Thursday, September 27, 2007

On the road again...

Well, we're loading up The Viper (that's our minivan) and leaving tonight for a quick weekend trip away to celebrate my father-in-law's 60th birthday. I'm not looking forward to the drive, as Miss G is not quite the stellar traveler that her big brother is. He really doesn't mind being in the car, especially when he knows that the DVD player will get fired up for long trips.

Georgia? Ummmmm, not so much. Here's a typical 5 minute segment with her:

Minute 1: We put her headphones on and she giggles and kicks her little feet because she's so excited and proud to be doing big girl stuff. Constantly looks at the screen and then over at her brother to make sure she's not missing any new big kid stuff to imitate.
Minute 2: Watches the video with her eyes bugged out of her head.
Minute 3: Starts playing with her headphones, eventually pulling them off.
Minute 4: Tries to put them back on herself, which never happens, and proceeds to screech and scream at the top of her lungs so that I will do it for her.
Minute 5: Says "Kay" when I ask her to please use her words and not scream to ask for help. Says "Peez?" and holds out her headphones to me like a little angel.

Minute 6: See Minute 1.

Oh well, we went to Walmart (ick!) yesterday and stocked up on snacks and stuff to keep her (Ha!) occupied in the car. Hopefully something will work for awhile, and maybe she'll even sleep a little bit. Who knows! Our neighbor let us borrow a stack of their DVD's, so I'm hoping that the novelty factor kicks in and buys us some time. I also bought an iPod car thing so that while they're in DVD-land, we can be in iPod land.

Of course, I'm also semi-dreading the whole "Georgia doesn't DO sleeping in hotels" thing, but it will all be worth it in the end. Maybe she'll surprise me and decide to actually just put her head down in her pack n' play and go to sleep.

*wiping my eyes* Hahahahahaha...ohhhhhhh, that was a good one, Tara.

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful, safe weekend! I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wordless Wednesday!

"Batting Practice"



















"Eye See You"


















Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Exhausted.

You ever feel like you are actually beyond tapped out? Not just, the well is dry, but the well has been dry for quite a while now?

I'm there.

So many things are happening around me right now that I just can't seem to stop thinking. I can't seem to feel settled.

I don't have peace.

I learned a lot of things this weekend at Women of Faith -- and Renee, I so missed you being there. It's funny -- a lot of them are things I already knew, I just need to remember them. Other things (most of them from Beth Moore) are things that I just hadn't truly thought about.

I think that inside of that little "bubble world" I lived in this weekend, things felt amazing. I cried more than I thought I would (and I knew I would cry a lot), I laughed a ton, and I haven't stopped thinking yet. It was one of the most emotional weekends of my life. In many ways, it was a flood of good emotions, but no matter what the emotions are, they are almost always draining.

It was like I left the safe haven of my little group of friends and family that had shared the same amazing time with - and my little bubble world popped when the reality needle pierced it. Not just one thing went spinning out of control, quite a few things were off and running and waiting for me to chase them down.

I need to just cocoon myself again with the thoughts that I had this weekend...I need to spend some time with myself, and in The Word.

I need to just let it go because I think that the holding on part is what is wearing me out more than anything else. No, I know that it is.

Why? Why is it so hard to just let go?

**So, right after I posted this, I decided it was a perfect time to do my Bible study. I'm so glad that I did. Go read Romans 8. The whole thing. If you're feeling anything like I described above, go read it. Even if you're not, go read it.** (By the way, I don't usually do KJV, but I wanted to link it up quickly.)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mini-Me Monday - Check In #2

Seriously? It's Monday again? How did that happen?

Oooookay then. Time for a check in on the ol' extra baggage -- and by that I mean both the physical and accompanying mental/emotional types.

I had my very first First Place meeting on Thursday. It was good -- I am the only one who is doing this for the first time, as the rest of the women are returning members. We watched a video on the whole food journaling/exchange counting thing and set our goals.

Yikes. A goal. An actual, measurable goal. I'm all about those, but it's sort of scary because that makes it all the more official. Why does that intimidate me, I wonder?

Anyway -- I decided to shoot for 20 lbs in 13 weeks. We'll see what happens, but I feel like it's somewhat attainable if I can kick it into gear and keep it there. If I *don't* make it, I'll be disappointed, but if I do make it -- wow! I will be so proud!

So, we'll see what happens. I didn't get to exercise as much this weekend, as I was at the Women of Faith conference. (That is just way too much to get into right now, but it was a truly amazing and wonderful experience for me and the friends/family I attended with.) I did quite a bit of walking, but that was about it.

Not the best first week on record, I'm sure -- but that's the way it went!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Best Reason EVER!!!

Okay, so it's Monday. You don't want to cook. Your husband (and maybe even you) wants to watch Monday Night Football with some wings and a burger.

Tonight's the night, baby!!

On Monday, the 24th, go eat at Chili's!! 100% of your bill will be donated to St. Jude's Hospital. (That is one of my very favorite charities, so I'm doing my part to get the word out!)

Here's the whole story if you want to read more, but truly -- you eat, they get the money -- is that like the ultimate way to donate or what?! You can even call your order in and pick it up to go. They have special parking spots and your own little door and everything! (Not that I know this from experience or anything.)

Of course, I'll be having a salad with some grilled chicken. Being good.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Roots - Part 2...

The kids had a little (ha, ha) excess energy to burn last night, so while dinner was in the oven, we headed outside. They played, I pulled weeds from the wood chipped area in the backyard.

You would pretty much have to be a long-time reader of this crazy little blog to know, let alone remember what my original Roots post was about. Seeing as how I'm my own most faithful reader, I clearly remember it -- in fact, I still think about those things as I'm out pulling weeds. Last night was no exception.

I am a total nerd and will happily admit that pulling some of those two foot long roots out of the ground gives me a reasonably large sense of satisfaction.
It struck me last night how I approach these particular weeds much differently now than I did when I first found them. Originally, I began by pulling them the same way I did other weeds in the yard -- with a firm grasp close to the roots, pulling up in a swift, plucking motion. As I discovered the long, sprawling roots connected with these weeds, I soon learned that I had to completely change my method of removing them, or the weed would come and the root would stay. These weeds can not simply be plucked from the ground. They require patience, they require gentleness and they require flexibility, as the root is never laid out in a straight path and extends in both directions. It almost always winds wildly around and through other weeds, and is connected to weeds I never would have thought it would be.

Last night, as I was pulling this particular weed from the ground, my thoughts went from the actual weeds, to the ground left behind. I have not yet been able to get an entire root out. They are so very delicate, and they always seem to break just when I think I finally am making some progress. Each time it breaks, I look for the other end of the root in the ground, but have not been able to find it. The dirt and wood chips masks the location of where the root I hold in my hands ended, and where the one that stayed behind begins again.

I began thinking that the ground underneath my feet will never be the same after I've removed these weeds. I've disrupted the soil, I've removed something from it's ownership, and I've left a path of emptiness. The new rain that falls on the ground will now seep in differently today than it would have last night. It will be absorbed differently and will feed what lies beneath in a new and altered way.

As I moved onto removing the little hunks of grass from the play area, I started thinking about how different the same process of removal became. The grass is not nearly as delicate as the weeds with the long, tangled roots. If I use the same gentleness with the grass that I do with the other weeds, I'll get one blade of grass and leave the rest behind. I have to use more force and just yank it out to get the roots. As I did, I took note of the clump of dirt and wood chips clinging to the grass. This time, not only did I take something out of the earth, I took some of the earth with me and didn't replace it. This time I didn't leave an empty path, I left a hole. I disrupted the wood chips and dirt around the hole. Everything looked different, and it was obvious that something was now missing.

How true is all of this for what lies beneath the surface in my own life? Very.

I'm no different than any other person on this planet. I'm a sinful human being. I have emotional scars, regrets, guilt, and inner conflict. I also have joy, dreams, ambitions, cherished memories, and hope. They are all pooled inside, tangled together.

I work hard to make sure that the good things stay, and stay close to the surface. I try to remove the bad things, knowing that each and every attempt will never result in completely taking it all away. Something is always left behind, and even if what I've gotten rid of is negative, there are still holes and empty spaces residing where the "weeds" used to grow.

This is where I'm so thankful for my faith because I know that I'm covered by His Grace. He can see each and every root, and is the only one who knows the source of each and where the tangled pathways lead. He knows where each one is and is just waiting for me to find it myself. As I try to pull the weeds and tend to the flowers, He can fill in the holes. He can pour His love into the empty spaces. He can add his healing rain to encourage the good to grow.

I can't remember what my life was like before I truly, truly discovered the comfort and peace that His Grace gives, and you know what? I don't want to.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Winner! (And Wordless Wednesday)

Okay, so not *truly* a Wordless Wednesday because I'm announcing the winner.

Dun-dun-dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...(that's my drumroll)...

#11 - EMILY!!! Yahoo!! I'll get it in the mail to ya soon, Em!

Okay, because some of my bloggy friends do this fun Wordless Wednesday, I thought I'd join right in. (If I'm honest, it's also because I have absolutely nothing to blog about today. I'm too tired.)

I bet you are SO sad that you weren't sitting on our blanket with us to watch fireworks this year, huh?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My 200th Post - And A Giveaway!!

Wow! 200 posts! Can you believe it? Mari celebrated her 100th post recently, and it made me realize that I'd never even really paid attention to how many posts I had. I checked it out that day and was surprised to see that I was almost to 200. I started laughing because I couldn't belive I'd actually come up with 200 random things to write about. (I know my husband wouldn't be surprised at all. My guess is he thinks I'm probably babbling my way to 500 by now!)

Tonight I couldn't sleep (ohhh- shocker!) so I just spent about an hour re-reading my previous blog entries. As I waded through forgotten moments in time, feelings, and experiences, it struck me just how much I treasure this outlet. I've grown so much in the past two years -- as a wife, as a mother, as a person, but most importantly as a Child of God. I'm so grateful that I have it all in print and that I've left footprints of this journey that I've been on.

One thing that's been truly wonderful for me is that this is a safe place for me to share my faith. My struggles, my questions, and my reflections about this blessed life the Lord has given to me...I love having a place to express myself about what is becoming a bigger and bigger part of me each day. I read this passage tonight (you know, since I've been up all night) and it immediately made me think of my blog.

Psalm 63: 6-7 "I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night. I think how much You have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of Your protective wings."


Many of my God moments seem to come in the middle of the night - -and it's nice to have an outlet for those thoughts. It's also nice to be connected with people who know what I'm going through, who have been there, and who are able to offer support, love and encouragement. I never would have thought that a blog would be such a blessing in this way!

I have to laugh that my very first post was also written at 5:00 a.m. In fact, I think that at least half of my entries were written between the hours of 12 - 6 a.m. -- I try to make good use of that insomnia thing. By the way, Kim - you were my inspiration to start blogging. I loved reading yours and decided that it would be something fun to try -- and here I am now!

My 100th post celebrated my love of autumn -- of sweater weather, all things pumpkin (how did I forget to mention my beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte, by the way??) and leaf peeping. Today we had a chilly morning here, complete with a cool, autumn rain -- I was in heaven! Who knew 100 posts ago, I was in that same state of mind?

This crazy bloggy world has offered me the chance to get to know some amazing people and to make some new friends. It's also given me an opportunity to get to know people in different ways, and on a much deeper level. It's such a blessing that with the click of a mouse, I am allowed to share such personal and touching parts of people's lives. So - to all of you, my bloggy friends...thanks for letting me come into your worlds each day, and for all of the support, laughs and encouragement you've shared with me in mine. I never would have dreamed I would have so much fun or learn so much about myself and other people this way.

SO...since I've enjoyed this little part of my life so much, I want to celebrate a little bit with my 200th Never-Dull-Moment! Leave a message today telling me about one of your favorite bloggy moments -- it can be a memory you wouldn't have preserved any other way, a friendship you've discovered, a comment from a reader that really touched you...just any moment that makes you glad to be part of this crazy little bloggy world!

Anyone who plays along today will be eligible to win my little prize pack of Colorado goodies! If the random number generator picks the number of your comment -- you win! How easy is that?

What's in the prize pack, you ask?
  • A packet of Aspen Mulling spiced cider mix
  • A packet of cinnamon chocolate hot cocoa mix
  • Some chocolate aspen leaves
  • Mexican pinto bean dip mix (which, by the way will support The Women's Bean Project)
  • A "Colorful Colorado" coloring book (for any little ones that might enjoy it!)

And because you've been fairly warned that poop may be involved when you enter my world...

  • A package of Big Horn Sheep Doodles (double-dipped chocolate covered peanuts)

So, there ya go...200 and counting. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mini-Me Monday - Check In #1

Okay - so it's my first check in and progress report for Mini-Me Monday. My good buddy, Earen had this Monday idea, so I decided that I would do it, too. I'm happy to see that Renee is joining our Mini-Me Monday movement, and I am excited to see the changes we're all going to be making. (I'm sure that some weeks we will have much to rejoice over and other weeks we will be taking a few steps back. It just feels better to take a journey like this with good friends.)

For me, this has been a week full of "Yay, me" and also some "Ummmm, yeah...not so much" happenings.

Do you want the good or the bad? Hmmmmm...let's start with bad and end on a good note, shall we?

The bad: I didn't consistently eat any better. Here and there I did, but let's just say that you very well could have witnessed the following things going in my mouth this weekend: pepperoni pizza, a homemade Coke float that my hubby whipped up, peanut m&m's, and chocolate chip cookies. Now, I'll say that not every meal had a black cloud hanging over it, but whatever I did right during the week, I surely undid this weekend. Can I blame my husband? Ummm, not so much. (See, there's one.) If I'm totally honest with the world, I can tell you that I had McDonald's for lunch today, and I didn't get a salad. Or grilled chicken. Nope - a burger. (Yeah....not so much, again.)

The good: I am proud to announce that I exercised 5 out of 7 days last week! Yay, me!!!! (And there's one of those.) The thing is, it's difficult for me to get my eating AND exercise on track at the same time. Not that I absolutely can't do both -- but I know myself well enough to know that I can't do both right out of the gate. SO...since my First Place (similar to weight watchers, but based on the Bible) group starts this Thursday night, I figured I'd get my bootie moving first so that I'm already in the habit of working out when it's time to full-on tackle the eating thing. I'm really looking forward to the first meeting and just staring that starting number right in the eyes. My guess is that I have about 50-55 pounds to lose to reach my end goal, but to get to my first goal, I know it's 20-25 FOR SURE. That, to me, feels very attainable.

I'm not sure if I provided any background last week, so I'll fill in a few gaps here. I have struggled with my weight off and on throughout college. Probably a bit in high school too, but I was so active then that all of my sports kept the weight off. (I played volleyball year round and soccer in the spring.) During my junior year of college, I started working out with a personal trainer who was also a dietician. I don't know exactly how much weight I lost, but it was quite a bit. All of that went by the wayside during grad school and I seriously ballooned up. I am a stress eater and I have trouble sleeping when I'm stressed as well. I was just not taking care of myself at all then -- eating terribly, not exercising, drinking regularly, not sleeping well, not taking vitamins...let's just say I was not exactly the poster child for healthy living.

Fast forward a few years and you have me post-divorce (um, yeah -- can we just say I'll get back to that one later?) and living with two roommates. One of my roommates and I started working out together 3-5 times a week and eating really well. I dropped quite a bit of weight and was feeling and looking so much better. Got married, and a month later I found out I was pregnant. I gained about 45 pounds with my first pregnancy and kept about 30 of it for about two years.

My husband and I together did the South Beach thing and we just did awesome! He lost close to 50 pounds and I lost about 30. I was working out with a neighbor at an all women's gym and loved it. Then I got pregnant. Oh, and in the middle of that I had a freak accident/fall and tore my patellar tendon in my knee. That pretty much cooked my exercise goose. I didn't gain as much with Miss G, but I also started at a lower weight, so I think that helped a lot.

What it didn't help was me continue the lifestyle changes that I'd made. I had some WICKED food aversions when pregnant with her, and I kid you not, I would become nauseated even talking about salad. (I love salad normally, so this was a big problem.) Anyway -- it just totally derailed the train we had chugging along so nicely.

So, now -- here I am, back where I started. Needing to lose a ton of weight and trying not to feel defeated about looking up from the base of the same mountain again. That's what it feels like to me. A mountain. Nothing I can't do, but sitting in a recliner while eating junk food and watching someone else give it a whirl sounds like a much more tempting plan most of the time.

Tempting. That's a key for me.

The thing about me and temptation when it comes to food is that I am weak and vulnerable the first few weeks and then I'm golden. I am selfish and greedy in that I need to see results and get some positive encouragement from people who are just making observations in order to keep me motivated. It's so sad for me to admit that I just plain don't have the intrinsic motivation to do this that some people do. I don't enjoy working out and I have a serious love affair with food. Okay, let's call it what it is. An addiction.

There, I said it.

So, anyway -- that's me in a nutshell. That's how I got here.

The one thing I know is that I cannot do this alone. I need support. I need encouragement, and finally, I realize -- I need to lean on the Lord for my strength and motivation. His Word can guide my footsteps, and through my friends and First Place group, I know I'll get the prayer, support and encouragement I need.

With Him I can do anything. By myself, I just wind up on the same ridiculous roller coaster ride and I'm ready to get off. I'm upset with myself for having this be such an on-going issue in the "First Place" (ha, ha!) and it is comforting to me to know that God wants more for me as well. He desires that I have self-discipline and self-control, and I owe that not only to Him and myself, but to my children as well. They deserve a happy, healthy mom who can show them how to live a balanced life.

I know that Earen also posted this verse on her blog today, and I'm glad that it resonated with her as well. I read this while doing a Bible study last week and it just jumped off the page at me. The verse was only mentioned in passing, but to me it may as well have been in neon. I wrote it down and now have it as my guiding verse in this Mini-Me journey.

Hebrews 12:11 - "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening - it is painful! But afterward, there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way."

It helps to know that this isn't supposed to be easy and that, really - it's supposed to suck. I also like that there is a quiet harvest waiting for me at the finish line. At first, I thought -- hmmm, harvest. Let me get a better picture in my head of that because I'm a visual thinker and to be honest, I thought of corn and pumpkins. (Food -- go figure, right?) Anyway - here is my favorite definition:

harvest:
5. the result or consequence of any act, process, or event: The journey yielded a harvest of wonderful memories.

The consequence of my acts. The result of this process. A harvest. I don't just want that - everything within me needs it desperately, so I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing the best that I can.


Oh - and look for big happenings tomorrow (well, big for me -- it's a milestone and I'm doing a giveaway!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

*scratching my head*

So, somehow in the past week, Georgia has learned some Bushman language. We're not sure how this happened or exactly why, but now when she wants something to eat, she no longer says "I wanna sack," which loosely translated, means "I want a snack."

She now says "I wanna *click*click*."

We don't even OWN "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

The sweetest little blog award...

What a great way to wake up! The kids are watching Thomas in our bed, the hubster is snoozing, and I'm making my morning rounds on the blogs. One of the first things I see is that Mari has given me a "You Make Me Smile" award! Wow!



Upon seeing this, my initial thought was "Right back at ya, Mari!" She has a great blog herself and a very, very sweet heart. She is full of encouraging words and yummy recipes! Reading her blog always brightens my days, as do her comments to me. So, a huge hug and many thanks for making ME smile, Mari!

My favorite thing is this...I get to pass it on! So here are ten people that put a smile on my face when they let me into their world with their blogs. (There are more blogs than this on my bookmarked list, all of which make me smile...some of them are on Mari's list, too. Didn't want to be a copy cat!!)

Renee and "One Mama's Journey" - Renee is one of my best friends in the actual non-computer world. She has been a huge source of support and encouragement to me for about ten years now and we've been on this bloggy road together for awhile. She does a wonderful job of painting pictures in your head and gives so many things for me to really think on in her blog. You don't have to look hard to see what's in her heart -- it's full of the Lord. She just moved back to Michigan and I already miss her tons.

Earen and "Faith In The Journey" - Earen and I met at our MOPS group and have developed a wonderful friendship over the past few years. She is relatively new to blogging, but reading her thoughts always blesses me tremendously. She is honest, sweet, and reflective. She always ties events in her life back to her walk with the Lord and does it beautifully.

Kim and "Stressed Momma" - Kim and I have known each other for about five years now. She is a great friend and a wonderful person whose blog always makes me laugh because it's usually like reading about my own life. She has three gorgeous girls and I love reading about their adventures and lives. Kim also has this great way of digging deep into life and giving me things to ponder.

Emily and "Life As I Know It" - Emily is a true friend and our conversations are always interesting. Usually I'm telling her to hold on so that I can peel someone off of the kitchen counter or -- you know -- clean up something stinky. It seems that I have unknowingly sucked her into this wonderful blogging world -- and I'm so glad because her blog is a joy to read! Emily is an inspiration to me because of how strong of a woman she is...not sure if she knows that. She has a heart for the Lord and an adorable family.

Jamie and "The Little Family" - I've been lucky enough to get to know Jamie over the past two years and she is one of the sweetest people I know. Usually one of the first to help me through a rough spot and offer kind words, and at the same time is completely humble. Jamie's been through so, so much in a short time and it is so fun to read about that adorable belly and the little guy growing in there. Jamie has a great sense of humor and if you're lucky, you'll also get to see her sweet hubby and adorable furbabies! (She just moved blogs so this one's pretty new.)

Tricia and "The McDaris Family" - Tricia is a friend of mine that blogs about her wonderful family -- two girls and a boy. They are on an uncertain journey right now with her pregnancy (still needing lots of prayer!!) but their complete trust and faith in the Lord is 100% inspiration to me. I'm always feeling blessed after reading Tricia's words.

Sarah and "Short Stop" - Sarah's blog always makes me laugh. Or drool. Or say "Yep, I totally have been there." She has a great sense of humor and a beautiful family, which is in the process of growing. I've so enjoyed reading her thoughts and can relate to so much of what she writes about!

Beth Anne and "Waiting For The Shout" - I told Beth Anne shortly after I first visited her blog that I bet she has a great laugh. I love that even in posts that carry a very serious message, she injects humor. She is someone who consistently has caused me to think "Whoa. I need to remember that!" She is passionate about the Lord and does a great job of sharing that passion. Besides, she has a picture of a boy in Thomas pj's on her blog -- hello -- there's one of those on my bed at this very minute!

Alana and "A Kiss, A Hug & A Squeeze" - I think that Alana is someone I probably have a lot in common with. Many of her posts make me say "Wait...am I reading about my house or hers?" I literally giggled out loud several times while reading her latest post, and I could have written much of it myself. Also a Mommy following the Lord, she blesses her readers each day.

Denise and "Keeping Up With The Joneses" - I'm pretty new to Denise's blog, but I always smile each and every time when I see the picture of her dancing. She has a heart for the Lord, and looking into her heart and family's world through her blog has blessed me tremendously in a short period of time.

So, there ya go! Ten people that never cease to make me smile, except on days that they don't blog. Thanks again for letting me have some fun with this, Mari!! Feel free to pass it on, ladies!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A few little gems from an insomniac...

So, here it is -- early morning/middle of the night. Again. (I do this quite often.) Miss G screamed her little head off at about 2:45, and even though my wonderful husband got up to get her settled back down, I've been awake ever since then. I was in bed praying for awhile and then I decided to get up and tackle a task I've been putting off for months. And I mean months, people.

Yes, that's right -- I finally cleaned out our email in-box.

1262...that's the number of emails we had in there. Can you believe that? I've been weeding through them for months and months because I couldn't get myself to just sit down and go through everything. Here's how I spent my time:

  • I unsubscribed from several things that I'm not sure I ever subscribed to in the first place.
  • I looked at some friends' pictures again before deleting them.
  • I saved pictures people had emailed me of the kids before deleting them.
  • I finally put some phone number and address changes into our email address book. It will be so nice not to spend that extra 3 minutes digging through emails to find the one that contains the new contact information.
  • I read every single Mom-E-Mail from MOPS. The little stories are all so good and such good things for my heart. I really should try not to digest 32 (yes, 32) of them in one sitting from now on.
  • I deleted shipping notices for things that I've bought online, including things I bought in February.
  • I saved all of the things my hubby had emailed himself for work into his own special little folder. I don't know what's clutter and what he still needs so he'll have to do that one himself.
  • I saved documents for M's preschool, my work, MOPS, etc into the folders that have always been waiting for them in My Documents.

I actually sort of got semi-addicted to the feeling that de-cluttering my house gave me as we were staging it before we put it on the market. I just got that exact same feeling as I de-cluttered our inbox. I'm sure that sounds silly, but it's true. It's easier for me to breathe when I lose the clutter.

I thought that as long as I was going through all of that random stuff, I would share a few favorites that I stumbled upon. Nothing earth shattering, just things I enjoyed reading. I figured better to share this way than to clutter up my friends' inboxes, right? Off to work out and THEN I'll go back to bed for a little nap. I am willing to bet my sweet hubby will get the kids up and fed. Happy Saturday!

"My mother was the making of me. She was so true and so sure of me, I felt I had someone to live for." - Thomas Edison

"You may feel guilty about leaving your children for your work and guilty about leaving your work for your children. You will no doubt also feel guilty about feeling guilty." - Harriet Lerner

"There is no such thing as a non-working mother." - Hester Mundis

"Fortunately for children, the uncertainties of the present always give way to the enchanted possibilities of the future." - Gelsey Kirkland

"A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." - Tenneva Jordan

"Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories." - Lord Rochester

"Where we love is home; home that our feet may leave, but never our hearts. The chain may lengthen, but it never parts." - Oliver Wendell Holmes


Okay, and a little humor at the end. FYI, I am definitely feeling like a "Maxine" in most of these things!

Martha vs. Maxine

*Martha's Way*
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

*Maxine's Way*
Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete's sake! You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it, anyway!

Martha: To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
Maxine: Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix; keep it in the pantry for up to a year.

Martha:When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
Maxine:Go to the bakery! They'll even decorate it for you.

Martha:If you accidentally over salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix-me-up."
Maxine:If you over salt a dish while you are cooking, that's too bad. Please recite with me the real woman's motto: "I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes!"

Martha:Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
Maxine:Celery? Never heard of it!

Martha:Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
Maxine:The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust so I don't.

Martha:Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
Maxine:Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink!

Martha:If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
Maxine:Go ask that very cute neighbor if he can open it for you.

Martha:Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
Maxine:Leftover wine??????????? HELLO !!!!!!!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Correction...

So, my husband was curious about my latest bloggings (is that a word?) so together we were reading through some of my recent posts. He got a kick out of the "getting personal" post but made me aware of something.

The "Most Admired Trait" section is a bit -- well -- incorrect.

See, I'm a bit ding-dongish sometimes. Here's how our conversation about that section went:

Chris: "Integrity? Hmmm, really? I would have thought it was your loyalty or sense of humor."

*long, akward pause*

Me: "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So, what trait of mine do others admire most?"

Chris: "Yep. Think so."

Me: "Yeah. I so totally didn't get that."


So, to recap, while I like to think that I have a somewhat decent level of integrity, clearly my ginormous brain isn't the answer.

My real answer is probably my sense of humor. I'm goofy and people seem to enjoy that. I do tend to go overboard sometimes, though with age, that's gotten better. (I'm sure my 4th grade teacher is relieved as I distinctly remember her being less than amused by my sense of humor.)

Okay, I feel better now.

I Can See The Writing On The Wall...

I've been thinking a lot about how the things I say and do to and with my children today will impact their lives in the future. It's so much to consider and every single day presents many challenges and things that are potentially guilt-inducing.

I know that's probably not the best thing to carry around because I know that sense of failure and guilt is something that I can easily pass on to my children. So, in an effort to turn my worries into prayers and positive thoughts, I've gone back to a book I read a lot while I was nursing my babies...it's called "Praying the Scriptures For Your Children" by Jodie Berndt. I really adore this book and it's been a literal lifesaver to me recently. Two days ago, for whatever reason, Mitchell woke up in a grumpy mood and was unable to shake that mindset for the rest of the day...just one of those tough days.

It made for a very long day in this house...one full of arguing, sassy talk, and tears. Finally, at about 3:00, I turned on a video for the kids, plopped myself onto the couch and got out my book. It was just what I needed, and the rest of the day was much easier for me, even though nothing really changed as far as how Mitchell was acting. For instance, here are the two that I probably spent 20 minutes praying, over and over.

"Let us learn to see discipline as a gift. Let Mitchell recognize that when we discipline him, it means that we love him and that he belongs to our family -- just as you discipline those you love, those you accept as your sons and daughters. Let Mitchell respect us when we discipline him, realizing that we are doing our best and that we ourselves are submitting to your discipline, which is for our good." (Hebrews 12: 5-10)

and

"Teach Mitchell to obey us in everything, for this pleases you, Lord. Do not let us do or say anything that would embitter or discourage him." (Colossians 3: 20-21)

It just met me where I was, and took my mind to where it needed to be. I really can't recommend this book any more highly, especially if you find that praying for your children is an overwhelming task. Sometimes, the scope of what I want for them is so big that I don't know where to start...this book has really given me the gift of having specific prayers to start with and then continue on my own from there. I have had much more clarity and focus in my prayers for my children than I did before.

The other thing this book does is prompt me more and more to pray for things that are in my children's distant future. Things like their purposes in life, their future marriages, etc. As much as I enjoy saying those types of prayers, it also opens my eyes up to the fact that my time with them is just going so quickly. As much as I look forward to the many wonderful memories we'll make in the future, it's difficult for me not to grieve the loss of many of the things that we're leaving behind. It's not that I don't want my children to grow up, not at all.

It's that the "lasts" in my life as a Mommy are somewhat painful. They're memories now, and I fear that they will fade with time.

As I was driving into our neighborhood for my lunch hour (I'm working today), a song that I'd never heard before came on the radio. Before it was over, I was in tears because it really touched my heart. It just seemed to capture so much of what I've been feeling lately, so I thought I'd share the lyrics.

Artist: Mark Harris
Title: Writing On The Wall
Album: Windows & Walls



I came home from work
She was waiting at the door
Had that bad day look in her eye
Then I heard the sound of little feet across the hardwood floor
And I knelt down with my arms open wide
When I asked her what had happened
She pointed to our son
And said why don't you show your daddy
What you've done

Chorus:
And I could see the writing on the wall
The evidence of little hands
Picasso with a purple crayon
I tried to act upset but I was smiling through it all
I could see the writing on the wall



It was the first day of school
Standing by the laundry door
Wondering how third grade came so fast
Took a ruler and a sharpie pen and drew the line once more
So amazed at how time had passed
With a backpack full of promise
And wonder in his eyes
I turned my head just so he wouldn't
See me cry

Chorus 2:
Cause I could see the writing on the wall
It seems no matter how I tried
To stop the roller coaster ride
The pages just kept turning
Even though deep in my heart I knew we had it all
I could see the writing on the wall

Somewhere in the mystery
Of all that lies ahead
I hope and pray that you will see
I tried to do my best




Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting Personal...

Sarah posted this on her blog today, encouraging her readers to do the same. Oh, happy day! I love stuff like this, I wasn't sure if I had any bloggy ideas today, and I'm also TOTALLY procrastinating right now (we have a showing this afternoon and I need to clean), so it was a huge score for me in all three areas! It would be fun to read even more of these -- so to anyone who is game -- Tag, you're it!



Accent - I think I'm from that part of the country that people say doesn't have an accent. I will say that out here, people tend to say "warsh" instead of "wash" and it bothers me, so I have not adopted that little gem. (I also tend to tease my parents about it.) My mom told me that when I was as young as about three years old, I would start speaking differently after spending a short amount of time with people who had an accent. I started on my professional pathway early on! Hee hee.

I Don't Drink - Sweetened tea. Okay, all of you Southern ladies -- pick yourselves up off of the ground now. I like my iced tea with real lemon but no sweetener of any kind. At all.

Chore I Hate - I really can't stand dusting. It just irritates me to think about doing it. In fact, I would much rather be doing a random bloggy survey than dusting my house. I love the way the house looks after I do it, but yuck.

Pets - None, currently. My husband and I are both big dog lovers, so I can't see us never having one. Or two. We just don't have them yet.

Essential Electronics - Maybe I'll do my top three...that would be...hmmmm... (1) Computer, (2) Radio, and (3) Telephone. Not that I like to communicate or be connected with the world, or anything. My husband would probably be just fine with a rock, chisel, and a pigeon. Me? Not so much.

Perfume - Oh, yay! I get to talk about my beloved "Heart" again! It's made by Garden Botanika and I've worn it forever. If I was Oprah, it would be on my "favorite things" show. I love, love, love it!

Gold or Silver - Depends on what I'm wearing, but I prefer silver. Incidentally, the chain and cross I'm wearing today are made of both silver and gold. What are the odds?

Insomnia - Ohhhhhhh, insomnia. We're well acquainted. I've always been a horrible sleeper and still have trouble sleeping at least one or two times a month. I pretty much never slept in grad school -- stress does that to me, and well, it was sorta stressful.

Job Title - 90% of the time I'm a wife and Mommy. 10% of the time I'm a speech-language pathologist. Right now I am doing some private practice and have four children that I see weekly in their homes. I love it, but I really miss working in the schools. I miss my team, I miss the kids, I miss working in classrooms and with the teachers, but I sure don't miss all that paperwork!

Most Admired Trait - I think I'm going to say integrity. Each and every day it seems like there is less and less of it to discover in this world, so I appreciate it more and more.

Kids - We are parents to two little blessings! Mitchell is 4 1/2 and Georgia is 18 months. Good thing you didn't ask if we were having more!

Religion - Hmmmm, that's pretty open-ended. I grew up attending a Lutheran church. I sort of did my own thing (which was pretty much nothing) in college. Now, I am married to a catholic man and attend a non-denominational church, so I guess my answer would be...I'm religiously eclectic? I will say that my faith and passion for the Lord is stronger now than it ever has been, and so many parts of my life continue to change for the better as my faith grows.

Siblings - I have one brother (Tim) who is a year and a half older than I am.

Time I Wake Up - Most of the time, no later than 7, maaaayyyybbbbeeeee 7:30. I am starting my get up early to work out/have quiet time though, so it's going to be 5:30 several times a week now.

Vegetable I Hate - I really like pretty much any vegetable, really. Oh, I know. For some reason, pearl onions really gross me out. A lot. I won't eat those, but I don't hate them...they didn't do anything to me!

Worst Habit - No one is likely enjoying this little survey more than my mom, if she's reading it. I bet she is getting a good giggle out of some of these! I would have to say it's a toss up between picking my cuticles (I hate that I do it, but I do it all of the time, and half the time I don't even realize I'm doing it!) or procrastinating. I'm pretty good at both of them, and they're both pretty sucky habits to have. You decide which is worse.

My Favorite Meal - Probably a big, huge dinner from my favorite local mexican restaurant, El Parral. I love to get a chile relleno (soft, not crispy), a guacamole tostada, and a cheese enchilada (no onions). Yuuuuummmmmm!!!

That's it? Really? Dang. Guess I better get back to cleaning!! I'll look forward to reading some more of these! Thanks, Sarah!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pictures from our lazy Sunday...

We are a Bronco-lovin' family (well, Eagles, too -- but that's sort of a long story) and it's that time of year. Here are the two littlest fans in the house on the first Bronco Sunday of the year!


Playing Peek-A-Boo on the couch...


I should have taken a video of how hard they were laughing at each other...


Uh, YEAH...that used to be a pair of pigtails before naptime. Does the look on her face tell you anything about this girl? (That would be a definite yes, by the way.) Whoooo, Nelly.


At the batting cages with Daddy...he wanted to get in there SO badly!!


Just a fun video from the park...this is what Georgia did literally the entire time we were there.

video

Okay, and when I typed "lazy Sunday" into the title of this post, I was reminded of one of my very favorite SNL skits. I have it bookmarked and had to go watch it, so now I'm feeling the need to provide you with a link to the video that makes my husband and I crack up every time we watch it. There is one bleep, but it's very tame and so funny. Double true!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A very special family...

My friend, Tricia and her family are going through a very difficult, very confusing, very uncertain time right now. Tricia and Brian have three beautiful children (Karissa, Abby & Zachary) and are pregnant with a baby girl, Cadenne Hope. I have had the opportunity to get to know Tricia over the past two years and she is a wonderful woman and friend. I am so honored to count her among my friends, even though we haven't ever met in person. She designed my daughter's birthday invitations and thank you notes and is so talented, you just wouldn't believe it! I've come to know and adore her, so it is with a full heart that I ask you to lift Tricia and her family up in prayer.

I'll include little snippets of information, but your best bet is to follow the links to Tricia's family blog throughout this post, because the best and most complete information is there.

In July, Tricia was hospitalized after having two grand mal seizures. They figured out that she's most likely been having petit mal seizures over the last few years. You can read the best information in Tricia's own words, but as a result of Tricia having the seizures and being on the medication that she now takes daily, she was referred for a level II ultrasound. Here is a quote from Tricia's blog on that day:

In the process of looking for those other things, though, the radiologist did
find a problem with the baby. The heart is on the wrong side, and the stomach is
higher than it should be, which indicates a
congenital
diaphragmatic hernia.
... basically a hole in the diaphragm, which enables
organs that aren't supposed to be there to enter into the chest cavity and shove
the heart over to the opposite side.


Tricia and Brian met with a genetic counselor after their ultrasound and were given lots of information. One of those pieces of information was that sweet Cadenne likely has a 55-65% chance of survival. I know that I was brought to tears the first time I read those words, so I can't imagine the feelings that must have flooded Tricia and Brian's hearts and minds.

Since then, they have had an army of people praying for their family and I'd like to see that army grow even larger today.

So, it's with Tricia's blessing that I ask you to remember sweet baby Cadenne and her amazing family in your prayers. They have a big day tomorrow with two major appointments, and they can use all of the prayers, positive thoughts, and encouragement in the world. Her blog contains specific prayer requests from the family, so I won't try to repeat them. They also welcome words of support, and I'm sure those are a source of tremendous encouragement, so please feel free to stop by if you'd like.

Thank you so much for helping me make this blog thing so much more than just words.

Tricia -- I love you, my friend. Sending you all of my prayers, love, and hugs. You'll be lifted up all day tomorrow.


Yuck.

Pretty much, you have now just become a fly on the wall when I look in the mirror these days. (Just what you've always wanted to be, I'm sure.) I look and I think (and often mutter) "yuck."

I have had a struggle with my weight for many years now, and currently it's a full on war. I have bounced up and down and all around with my weight but right now, I'm up, and I'm not happy.

I'm not just unhappy about the weight itself and the fact that my fat pants are now my everyday pants. I'm not just unhappy about knowing that my health is suffering because of the extra pounds that I carry. I'm not just unhappy because my knees are bothering me again, due to the weight I've put back on.

I'm unhappy because there is no one to blame but me. I am responsible and I am so, so, so disappointed, angry and upset with myself about the whole thing. I could honestly type pages and pages of excuses. Reasons why it's happened, but it boils down to this:

I'm an emotional eater. I need to stop excusing and change the behavior. Period.

If you read my buddy, Earen's blog, you'll know that she posted about the very same thing today. I had to call her and let her know that I'm in the same boat, and that I honestly could have written most of what she wrote myself. I decided I'd join her in her Monday update to the world about how the whole thing is going, so look for that on Mondays.

In addition to having the entire internet world be able to see if I'm actually following through on my plans to better my physical health, I've taken what I consider to be a huge step for me. In my previous weight loss successes, I've done it with a partner. Either a roommate, my husband, a friend, etc. but never in an organized manner. This time, I decided that I needed something more. I needed to kick up the accountability a few notches.

I joined a group called First Place and I'm so, so excited about it. I have done some big time growing in my faith this year and I think that having my walk with the Lord be intertwined with my weight loss journey is exactly what I need. When I first found out about the group (which provides child care - yay!) I hopped on the internet and just bought the stuff I needed so that I couldn't back out later.

I finally am at a place where I'm ready to surrender ALL of it to Him...not just my present condition, but the things that led up to this point. I obviously am doing quite the sucky job of handling it on my own.

So, here I go...I'm on my way!

By the way, I've changed my signature again. (For the 3rd -- and likely not last--time.) So fun!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

It's going to be a good day...

Well, it probably was until I said that, huh? *wink*

So, let me tell you about my day so far...

I woke up and looked at the clock and it read 8:02.

8:02!!!!!

Can you believe that? MY children were both still asleep and I was snuggling with my husband! At 8:02 a.m. My hubby must have felt me lift my head off of the pillow because his arms tightened around me.

Chris: "I love you."
Me: "It's 8:02!!!"
Chris: (laughs) "I say I love you and you say it's 8:02?"
Me: "Well, I know you know that I love you, but I'm pretty sure you didn't know that we're still laying here in silence after 8:00 am and the kids are actually here, too!"

It's already a good day right there! Church was last night, so today is family time, from start to finish. The Broncos are playing, the weather is nice and cool but still warm, and we have nothing on the calendar except for spending time together.

It's now 8:44 and my kiddos are both snuggled under the blankets in our bed watching cartoons and giggling out loud every once in a while. Mitchell starts giggling, Georgia looks from the tv to his face, decides that she should be laughing, and joins in. I look over at both of them and can't help it, so I join in. Laughter really is contagious.

I'm sitting two feet away from them at the computer, and we're all in our Broncos stuff. I'm actually peacefully catching up on email, blogs, and, much to my husband's dismay, the eBay auctions I've bid on that are ending this morning. (There are some super cute jeans I am trying to get for Miss G! Sweet -- just won one of them!) I haven't had to say "Stop that," "Put that down", "Shhhhh," "Be nice," or "Just a minute," once. They are just content to just lay there together.

My husband? Where is he? My beloved Starbucks-hater is currently in the drive-thru line getting me an iced coffee. I didn't even ask! He just said he'd be back, and I know what that means! As he was leaving, he announced that he would be making breakfast upon his return. He is making his awesome breakfast burritos for us -- yummmmmmmmy!

Today's already been a wonderful day...I can't wait to see what the rest of the day brings!

Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful family. Thank you for opening my eyes in such a gentle, comforting way this morning.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Earworms...

Just wondering if anyone has any idea when the songs that echo in my mind all day will be actual grown up songs again?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

I wander around all day singing things like this...

"Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun...Please shine down on meeeeeeeeeeeee."

"If you like to talk to tomatoes...."

"I'm gonna color my world Crayola..."

"God's green earth is not just green, so many colors in between."


I was just thinking about this as I was humming "Winnie The Pooh" to myself while washing the dishes this morning. I used to hum along to my own favorite songs, and they're still in there somewhere, but they are definitely buried under a tremendous pile of kiddie faves. I can't remember the last time they surfaced for a little humming along time.

One of the cd's I don't mind having invade my memory are these great Bible song cd's. (We have both of them, but I prefer Vol. 2, if that review means anything to you.) My kids love them and I'll tell ya - I now have several verses swimming around my head during the day, which is never a bad thing. It's also fun to hear Mitchell randomly singing the songs, knowing that he has just tucked some very powerful words into his heart and mind. Many days, those are actually the cd's he chooses for car rides and quiet time in his room. They have even edged out The Wiggles!

In closing, I will throw a word of thankfulness out there that my children are not obsessed with the Doodlebops. I think that one might send me careening over Sanity Ridge.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ready, Set, Fly.

Wednesday was Mitchell's first day of his last year of preschool. You would think that after two and a half years of this, it would just be another day for me. Not at all. This year, things are so different.

So glaringly different.

We started at ten and counted down the number of sleeps to go until school began. Every morning, his first words usually centered around "Only ___ more sleeps to go until school!" To say he was ready to go would be a dramatic understatement.

Tuesday afternoon we went shopping for some things at Target. It was a big deal for Mitchell and he took his selection of a new backpack very seriously. I was very surprised that he chose Spider Man, but it all made sense once I realized that he just hadn't seen the Thomas backpacks yet. Let's just say that Spider Man's time in the spotlight was extremely short lived.

I have never seen him more interested in my grocery shopping. He was acutely aware of which snacks, fruit and drinks I was selecting and enthusiastically congratulated me each time I made what he considered to be a good choice. I believe that the full-sized yogurt (we usually get the little snack size) was what drew the most excitement.

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He even helped me pick a new shirt to wear to school for his first day. When we finally found one that we both agreed was great, he said "Oh, I think my teacher's going to love it!"

Funny, I was just thinking to myself that she's going to love him.

For the first time ever, Mitchell actually helped me pack his lunch. It was a very serious task for him, and he wanted to make sure that everything was placed just so in his little insulated Thomas lunch bag. This made me laugh because after he so carefully zipped it close, he quickly crammed it into the fruit drawer, most likely squishing everything he'd just lovingly set inside. Once it was in the fridge he matter of factly stated "Well, that's done."

That morning, the first words out of his mouth were "Is it school today? Do I get to go?" When I told him that yes, it was finally time for his first day of school, he started jumping around our bedroom with his arms in the air singing "Yay, yay, yay! It's time for school!" He didn't even fight me at all when I wet and combed his hair. He actually insisted that the top snap be fastened on his new shirt. He was as interested in having a neat appearance as I was. Amazing.

As we headed out the door to the garage, Mitchell asked if we had to hurry. I said that we would be okay since we weren't running late, but we weren't exactly early either. His response was just so, well, "Mitchell" of him.

He said, "That means we're right on time, just like Thomas!" Only Mitchell could bring it all back around to good ol' Thomas.

I herded the kids over to the front yard for the obligatory first day of school pictures. When Mitchell was putting his backpack on, Miss G positively lost her mind about not having a backpack of her own. Since he is such a sweet big brother, Mitchell quickly disappeared inside and returned with his old bumblebee backpack. It was sort of a passing of the torch, right there by the milkbox. I helped her put the bee on her back and she giggled with glee. Mitchell said "I think she likes it!" He didn't even complain when she wanted to get in on the photo session.

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He really enjoyed hamming it up for the camera, making sure to hold his lunchbox up in prime viewing range. After a few quick snaps of the camera, we piled into the van and headed off to school. I lost count of how many times he yelled "Yay," "Yippee," and "Woohoo" on the way over.

After I took one last picture in front of the school, he took off running for the door and I was struck by what a different boy I was bringing to preschool. Last year, he was a complete mess. We were both in tears and a teacher had to literally peel him off of me when it was time for me to leave. I remember children saying "Hi, Mitchell" to the huddled little lump hiding behind my legs.

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This year, he flung the door open and before I even saw him disappear inside, I heard him yell, "Zach! How are ya, baby?" (Yes, that's a direct quote.) I had to track him down for a picture with Zach and a quick goodbye hug as he was excitedly exploring his new classroom. I was glad that I had Miss G to hug on my way out to the van because it was bittersweet to realize that a part of my "little" boy had just become a memory. Who would have ever thought I'd miss the tug on my heart that his clingy cries never failed to produce.

I'm very happy to report that he is still very, very happy to see me when I pick him up. I thought for sure he'd be a little more subdued this year, given how ready he was to stay at school, but my heart did a happy little flip flop when he yelled, "Mommy" at the top of his lungs as I walked in the door. My smile grew bigger as I saw him then run to give me a giant squeeze. His hug was felt as tightly around my heart as it was around my neck.

His first day was a complete success. Apparently, he filled everyone in on the fact that both his new shirt and his entire lunch came from Target. He also graced the lunch table with several of his "knock, knock" jokes, which one teacher was still chuckling about. Her comment to me as we waved goodbye said it all...

"Someone grew up this summer."

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Yes, someone sure did.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Playing Along Today...

Okay, so I decided that since there are some things I am very loyal to and love to pieces, I would take part in the "Works For Me Wednesday" with Rocks In My Dryer. I love finding out about new stuff to make life easier, clean cleaner and tastes good. Play along if you want!

1. Easy Off Bam Power Stain & Drain Cleaner - I have actually been meaning to talk about how much I love this stuff. It's by far the best toilet bowl cleaner I've ever tried. It also took some sort of mystery smell out of my sink. Give it a whirl -- it's my find of the summer!

2. Shout - This is nothing new to those of you that have talked laundry with me. Nothing does the job like my beloved Shout for stain removal. It really does kick some serious laundry bootie.

3. Soft & Dri, Dri Gel (Cool & Clean scent) - I haven't used anything else for about 10 years. It's definitely something that you either love or hate...I've had people borrow my deodorant and be grossed out by the gel part of it, but it dries clear and really does a good job.

4. Garden Botanika's Heart Perfume - I'm such a whacko, I even put it on after my shower if I'm just going to sleep. I love, love, LOVE this smell...it's so clean and fresh. Occasionally, I have people ask me what kind of shampoo I use and it always ends up being my perfume that they smell. I don't know what I'll do if they ever stop making it.

5. Bath & Body Works Handsoap - Our favorites are "Warm Vanilla Sugar", "Key Lime Verbena", and "Mandarin Orange". Yum! I love it when it goes on sale 5 for $15.

6. Ken's Steakhouse Salad Dressings - If you haven't tried these yet, you are missing out! The Blue Cheese is our favorite. Sooooo yummy!!

7. Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea - I love the Cranberry Zinger. Mmmmm!

8. Starbucks Coffee - Did you really think I wouldn't put it on here? Seriously.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Stray thoughts...

Mitchell loves to play in our closet. He was in there playing Buzz Lightyear last night as I looked for a paper for his school at the computer desk:

Mitchell: Mommy, I love you so much.

Me: I love you, too.

Mitchell: I'm going to say a prayer for you.

Me: I would love that.

*Lays down his space shuttle and folds his hands.*

Mitchell: Dear God, Thank you for giving me my Mommy. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Me: Wow. That might be the best prayer I've ever heard.

Mitchell: Thanks. So, Mommy, Buzz Lightyear is going to go save Woody...

**********************************************************

Georgia has started to sing. I can hear her in her crib in the mornings and can tell that she is singing to herself. "Winnie The Pooh," "Twinkle, Twinkle," "Old McDonald," and "The ABC's" appear to be her favorites. It is absolutely adorable and so captures who she is at this age. I hope that I can always close my eyes and hear the sweet sounds of her little songs.

**********************************************************

A verse on my heart today as I send Mitchell off to his first day of his last year of preschool.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

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I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not, but Georgia is apparently able to throw half of a toasted bagel the length of at least three tables. Frisbee style. Just, you know, in case it comes up in conversation or something. Might be good information for you to have, especially if you happen to be sitting, say, within three tables of us.


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Before I go - just have to share that I've added yet another great blog to my reading list! I followed a link to Alana's blog and found out how to make my own signature! Very cool...thanks for the inspiration!


Wishes and dreams...

"I wish" might come from a friend wanting to something to change a situation, but feeling nothing short of helpless as she listens to someone she loves struggle to make it through each new day.

"I wish" likely echoes the thoughts of a man who is silently coveting the brand new corvette that zooms around him in his minivan as he drives up a mountain road. (Totally made that one up, by the way. It didn't happen this weekend or anything.)

"I wish" can be heard from mothers everywhere as they long for someone else to clean the house and do the six loads of dirty laundry that are piled on the floor.

"I wish" is likely the way you'll hear about a child wanting to have a pony or the ability to fly.


The phrase has taken on new meaning with me and my "Mommy's heart" today. Until this weekend, it seemed to be so much bigger than my small children. Not that they don't have wishes and dreams, I know that they definitely do. It's just that, to me, being able to clearly state them with "I wish" seems like such a big step.

Friday, we were driving down the road we always take to get into our neighborhood. As we passed the little farmhouse and stables, instead of showing his sister the horses and helping her "neigh" instead of "moo," Mitchell said this:

"Hey, Mommy...I wish I could ride a horse."

There was even a dreamy quality to his voice as he said it. I had to look in the rearview mirror to be sure it was really him, strapped into his carseat. My little boy wishes to ride a horse. Before that moment, he most likely would have said something like, "Hey, Mommy? Can I ride a horse some day?" On Friday, he dreamed a dream and out came a wish.

He grows a little more every day, and I'm not talking about his height.

As we were driving past a lake on our way home from the mountains yesterday, it happened again. We were talking about how beautiful the scene was: the lake set up against the trees, the clouds casting shadows on the water, and the sailboats skimming across the water. Georgia pointed out the window and excitedly yelled, "Wawa!! Wawa!! Boat!" Her brother didn't say a word. He just looked.

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I had turned around in my seat while I was talking to them and it was like looking through a little window in Mitchell's mind. He silently stared out the window and was obviously lost in the beauty of what he saw. When we passed the edge of the lake, he continued looking out of his window for a few moments longer, but then turned his head toward me. We locked eyes and a big smile crept across his face, which in turn, made me smile.

Then he said, "I wish I could sail on a boat. Maybe when I'm five, I can go sailing."

I just smiled and said "Maybe," knowing that watching moments like that through your child's eyes is nothing short of a gift. It was hard to resist the urge to bolt to the backseat and just wrap him in my arms and rock him. Instead, I reached over and held my husband's hand. He looked at me and said "Did he just say he wants to go sailing?"

Yes, it's his wish.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A glimpse of the future...

Last night at about midnight, Miss G woke up with a huge scream, which was quickly followed by a series of 3 more equally ear-splitting screams. I went in and saw her standing up in her crib holding her arms out saying "Mama, Maaaaammmmmaaaaa." She looked so miserable and scared.

While I'm on the subject, can I just say that the pain-filled screams, the agony on her face when I first entered the room, and the sadness in her little voice put my stomach into knots. I think that knowing my child is scared or in pain and being able to see and hear that fear so clearly is one of the worst feelings I get as a Mommy. For whatever reason, it always seems so much worse in the middle of the night like that...hearing either of my kids wake up from a dead sleep takes my breath away for a moment.

Anyway, I scooped her up and brought her into our room for a little motrin cocktail. (She is cutting 4 teeth right now and it's the only thing that helps when this happens.) She ended up sitting and snuggling with us for awhile before I put her back to bed. My husband and I had been listening to xm radio through the tv while we were snuggling and talking in bed. Our favorite station is "Lucy" because they play some of our favorite stuff from our college days...U2, INXS, etc. Georgia instantly noticed that the tv was on, but not "on." She seemed pretty confused and kept pointing to the tv, asking "Mooosk?" We'd tell her "Yes, music on the tv," but that still seemed puzzling to her as she undoubtedly tried to figure out where Mickey Mouse was hiding.

Well, that perplexed look on her face completely disappeared when the Beastie Boys song "Intergalactic" came on. Georgia's little bootie started bouncing up and down on the bed, and she started flat out jamming! Chris has always said we're in trouble because she is so much like me that it's scary. (Literally, it's frightening...I wasn't known for being the easiest child.) All three of us had so much fun laughing and singing together -- that song is so funny and it's hard not to tap your toes or shake your bootie. The thing is...

...guess who has always been a major Beastie Boys girl? Yep, me.

Georgia definitely "connected" with this song and she proceeded to giggle and dance her way through the song. At one point, she just naturally put herself nose-to-nose and forehead-to-forehead with me for my favorite line, "I'll stir-fry you in my wok!" We both started cracking up as we separated and Chris said "Oh, my word."

I was a bit of a wild child in my later high school and college years, and I am telling you - it was like Chris and I could both see that our sweet Miss G has that same little "spark." Our challenge will definitely be to keep this girl busy and engaged in things that channel that gleam in her eye into healthy, productive activities.

Otherwise, we're in trouble. Take it from me, I used to be trouble.