Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Reminder

One day I will edit the photos of Peyton hating the camera on Christmas morning and post them, but for now I saw this on Clover Lane and had to share. As we gear up to totally remodel the house to accomodate baby girl, I sometimes find myself wondering, why are we doing this again?! Here's a nice reminder:

From an Erma Bombeck Column:


A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome -- that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"

OK.

One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!"
And they will.


Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do ... and don't slam the door!"
And they won't.


You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way."
And it will.


You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company."
And you'll eat it alone.


You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.


No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.
No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.
No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.
No more clothespins under the sofa.
No more playpens to arrange a room around.


No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.
No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.
No more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.


Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.


No PTA meetings.
No car pools.
No blaring radios.
No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.
Having your own roll of Scotch tape.


Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.
No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No giggles in the dark.
No knees to heal, no responsibility.


Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?"


and the silence echoing, "I did."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To Believe or Not to Believe

Christmas falling on Saturday is really messing me up this year. We are traveling to Alabama this Sunday and then plan on heading back the following Sunday. I was thinking how difficult it would be to make the kids wait the whole week to open their gifts, just to pack up that afternoon to leave the next day. Mom and I talked about it and we agreed that we would just celebrate Christmas on Thursday. And I said these exact words, "It's not like the kids will know the exact date anyway."

Silly me. I keep forgetting Peyton is in third grade and not quite as clueless as his five year old brother. Who, now that I think about it, probably knows Christmas falls on Saturday too as I'm sure they are discussing it in class. But still, I didn't think about it, because, hey! presents! three days early!

So this morning on the way to school, Peyton was asking if we could stay in Alabama a few extra days basically for the reason above. I laughed and said, "well, I thought we could have Christmas on Thursday. I didn't realize you would know the date." He just looked at me like I was the clueless one and said, "Mom, I'm not dumb." Point taken.

We talked some more and then he says the following, "So, can we open your gifts on Thursday and then Santa will bring his gifts on Saturday?" This, coming from the boy who has told me that Santa's not real and even taunted his brother with this knowledge as well. I looked at him to see if he was joking or covering up for Shey, but he was serious. I really wasn't sure how to handle it. Did I use that time to finally squelch the belief in Santa, or so I now play along and strengthen this new belief?

I hem and hawed a bit and said that maybe Santa would make a special trip for us on Wednesday night. Now, though, I'm thinking we'll just hold one gift back and Santa can come on Saturday as he's supposed to.

If I haven't said it enough, Peyton is such a unique child. I know they all are, but he just takes it to a whole new level. I mean, seriously, he can't decide what he wants to do or believe, it's no wonder he's so frustrated all the time. Sometimes he seems so grown up and he has since he was a baby, but then other times, the little boy in him comes out and I'm not sure how to handle it. I guess I need to treasure it especially as he's getting older and that little one will show up less and less often. Oh, that boy.

*Edited to add: I just glanced at the Christmas card I chose and hello, there's my answer. You'll see soon, as they went in the mail today. :)

And by the way, I have 10 cards left over, so if I have any lurkers out there who want to exchange cards, let me know and I'll send one out.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

This is my Son

Early this morning about 3:30, Peyton came into our room and said, "You know how I have to watch Shey throughout the night? Well, he just fell off the bed." I didn't hear any noise coming from Shey's room, but I followed Peyton in there anyway and sure enough Shey was lying there whimpering on the bed. I rubbed his leg a bit and climbed in bed with the both of them and after Shey drifted off to sleep I went back to my bed.

Then I started thinking about what Peyton had said. Not just simply, "Shey fell out of the bed," but "I have to watch him throughout the night." It's humorous because, really, we've never once asked Peyton to check on Shey throughout the night. Shey doesn't have some condition where he needs to be checked on throughout the night and if he did, we wouldn't ask Peyton to do it. And, also, as far as I know, Peyton doesn't get up throughout the night to check on his brother. He does get up to use the restroom and then come to our room, but to check on Shey, I don't think so.

But that's Peyton. There's always a reason for everything and it is generally in his favor or makes him look good. He definitely an interesting child, one that can't really be explained without spending some time with him.

Mom bought me Setting Limits for your Strong Willed Child and I started reading it last night during Peyton's soccer practice. Thank God, he does not act out in the manner of some of the children documented in the book, but he definitely carries the traits of a strong willed child. While Shey is a natural pleaser, Peyton likes to test and push.

The book is very easy to read and offers good sound advice without asking the parent to come up with these elaborate rewards systems and charts that you can never keep up with. A phrase that stuck in my head last night from the book was "you [the parent] are not the problem, but you can be a big part of the solution." The book explains the whys of your child's behaviour, how you shouldn't take it personally when they test and argue. If you are able to do so and not see their actions as an attack, then you can remain calm and handle the behaviour accordingly. The author emphasizes that the strong willed child will continue to test, but over time and consistency, they will learn to tune into your words and respond accordingly.

I'll be honest, this is the first child rearing book that I've actually started reading and plan on finishing. It's not overwhelming and it just makes sense. I'm looking forward to completing the book and implementing the techniques provided.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Halfway There!

Yesterday, I hit the halfway mark of the pregnancy. Wow. I still can't believe I am pregnant most the time. It's just weird. Since I've started feeling better, the weeks are just flying by and I know with the holidays, they will continue to do so. It's so funny to me how a couple of weeks ago, all I felt were flutters and now just two weeks later, the kicks and rolls are setting in. I've even been able to feel Baby Girl on the outside occasionally if my hand is in the right place. We've also started the process of rearranging the house for this little one. Not even born yet and she's already taking over. :) I'm excited to do the nursery though, if we can ever get to that point.

I'm horrible at taking my own photo, but here's half a belly shot.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let Your Shutterfly!

While I always stress about getting a decent photo of the boys for our annual Holiday card, I always love capturing that great shot being able to mail them out. And I especially love receiving them from my friends and family. I set the cards up throughout the living room and often leave them there well past the Holidays. Since my mom so generously gave me her Canon SLR camera, I am particularly excited this year and hope to score a great photo.

And now with the help of Shutterfly offering 50 FREE cards to bloggers, I'm going to attack this year's cards with vigour.

As our family is a mixed bag of Christmas and Hannukah, I especially like Shutterfly's Holiday Cards. Oooh, like this one . . .




And while I generally give my grandmothers photo books, I was thinking about putting together a Wall Calendar this year to mix it up. Here's an example. . .



In April, after Baby Girl is born, I will definitely be checking out their selection of Birth Announcements. Doesn't this make your heart melt . . .



I am so excited to use this opportunity to check out Shutterfly's huge selection of cards and creating gifts to treasure for years to come.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's a Girl!

I've wanted a baby girl for so long, that I'm not sure what to think now that I have a little one growing inside of me. Going into the ultrasound yesterday, I was sure I wouldn't be surprised either way. I had felt it was a girl. I thought a girl would be a great addition to our family, but on the other hand, I have two boys and just thought chances were that this would also be a boy. Like I told mom and Tamara, I felt a girl would be best for our family, but what if God didn't agree? Obviously, I've been praying for a healthy baby, but I will admit, I would have been just a bit disappointed to never have the chance to mother a daughter.

When the ultrasound tech was able to get a perfect shot of her girlie bits, I was a little in shock. Even I could tell it was a girl, so clear was that shot.

And what a showoff she was. I've never felt her move so much as she did in the ultrasound. Wiggling around, on her head (literally), sucking her thumb and one time, I swear she waved. She was kicking so much, the tech felt her move. At one point, she got on her hands and knees and was kicking backwards, like she was exercising.

And now all the new emotions set in. A daughter. What will I do with a daughter? Boys, I'm starting to get them, but a girl is a new ballgame. (see, boy reference!)
I'm excited and feel very blessed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cure International

Living in the United States, it is often hard to imagine the difficulties other parts of the world face every day. Brant Hanson with Way FM is in Afghanistan now helping raise awareness for Cure International, a hospital in that area that provides care for the Afghan people that wouldn't receive it otherwise. Specifically at this time, Brant and Way FM are helping to raise money to cover a year's worth of pre and post natal care for the Afghan women and safe delivery for their babies.

Even in this time of recession and difficulties, we are still so blessed. Obviously, this has an additional meaning for me right now as I know that I can call my ob for any problems I may have big or small. I know that when the time comes, I will be in a hospital and Lord willing, this baby will be delivered safely with the best medical care there is. The women in Afghanistan don't have this luxury.

If you are so inclined, click on one of those links above and read about their hardships. And then see how only $65 will provide care for the mother and $125 provides care and a safe delivery. And imagine these women, who are often told horrible things about Americans, receiving this gift from one.

Even if you can't give, stop for a minute and offer up a prayer for the work that Cure is doing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I've begun a quest to save money where we can. Larry and I have been more conscious about bringing our lunches to work and eating dinner at home. I've clipped some coupons, even though I haven't actually used any yet. I'm trying to pay more towards our credit cards every month trying to get them down. I'm really working towards the goal of staying home after the baby is born, or at least trying to cut my hours some.

Along this same line, when I saw Chickens in the Road's recipe for Making Your Own Laundry Detergent, I was intrigued. I always hate spending that $12 to $15 dollars on laundry detergent, which is basically glorified soap. After I read the ingredients, I thought it was even better because it's simple and I figure I can use it on the baby's clothes as well instead of spending more money on separate detergent.

I purchased the ingredients a few weeks ago at Publix. They were all in the laundry detergent aisle and easy to find if you are looking for them.

1 regular (not large bath-size) bar of plain soap
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda
water

I should have paid more attention to how much the individual items cost to compare, but I didn't. I don't remember being mortified though and the boxes are so big, I'll be able to use it for a long, long time.

The directions were easy to follow (I made the concentrate) and within 20 minutes or so, I had a coffee can full of laundry detergent. Now, even though the mixture is a liquid when it is warm, once it cools it thickens and honestly, becomes the consistency of snot. Nice, I know.

I initially used the measuring cup that came with my last detergent, but I'm going to look for a scoop with a handle so I don't have to spoon the stuff into the cup before putting it in the machine.

I was so enthralled with measuring out my own detergent, that I forgot to add fabric softener to the first few loads, which may have been for the better for the initial tests as there were no extra smells to masked the detergent. Everything just came out smelling clean and fresh. So, yay, it was a success.

And with the ingredients left over still in the box, I probably have enough to make, well, I don't know, a lot more detergent. I'm going to try and keep track of how long this batch lasts me.

If anyone else has any tips for saving money, I am all ears!

**Edited to add: If you're not too crazy about making liquid detergent, I also found a couple of recipes for powder. It's basically one part of all the incredients mixed up really well. That's easy enough and I may do that for the next batch.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shellac Nails by CND

My fingernails have always given me grief. They are flimsy, take forever to grow and don't hold polish for anything. About a month and a half ago, I went into a new salon for a pedicure and noticed a brocure for Shellac nail polish by CND. I had heard about this before, but hadn't been in a salon where they actually utilized the new technology. I went back 4 weeks ago to try it out.

The process is really simple and much like a regular manicure. There's no filing of your nails like with acrylics or gels. The only difference is that in between coats, you place your nails under a UV light for about a minute or so. That's all.

Here is a picture of my nails on Tuesday.



Ta Da! They still look almost as good as the day I received the manicure, except for the growth at the bottom of my nail and if I would have picked a lighter color, that wouldn't even be that obvious. My nails have held up better than ever and actually have some length on them now. I'm finally going today to have them done again because I can't take the growth anymore. It's like a reverse French manicure.

In reading reviews, the average cost is $10 more dollars than a regular manicure. My salon charges $30, which is normally more than I would spend, but since it lasted a whole month, it was worth it. Especially with the holidays coming up. I love having nice nails without the damage of acrylics.




CND didn't compensate me for this review, but if they'd like to send something my way, that would be cool.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

17 Weeks



So, here's the belly. Don't mind the stretch marks, courtesy of Shey or the flat butt, courtesy of my mom. :) I should post a picture of my boobs. Hello! One of my coworkers yesterday commented, "Wow, your boobs have really gotten big." So much for my reduction. Oh well.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Second Play Off Game

Well, our poor little Orioles were pitted against, I believe to be, an undefeated team yesterday afternoon and needless to say, we were not able to beat them either. Rumor had it, all but two of the players are also on traveling leagues, so these kids are always at the ballfield.

Their first batter hit a long drive to left field and was able to get all the way home before we got the ball back in the infield. And that's about how the day went. We tried our hardest, but by the 4th inning, they were up 14 to 4, so the game was called.

It's so nice though, our guys were ok when the game was over. No tears or kicking and screaming and the parents gave them a standing O for their hard work. We have another game tonight. Hopefully, since we drop to the loser's bracket, we'll be a little better matched up.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

First Playoff Game

I'll be channeling my best budders, Tamara today (on her Birthday, no less) to tell you guys about Peyton's baseball team's first playoff game.

Peyton plays rec ball for the city and their team is the Orioles. Tuesday night, they were slated to play the Mets for their first play-off game. This is the first time Peyton has been old enough to have a play-off game, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Apparently, it is very official and serious! Well, we had an actual adult umpire and the Mets' coaches sure were serious. Arguing with the ump when they thought he made a bad call. Telling their kids to stay on base even when they were called out. I thought it was pretty humorous myself.

Honestly, I thought Peyton's team had a 50/50 chance of winning this game. Their playing has been hit or miss all season (no pun intended). There are some really talented kids on the team, but they can't always pull it together. We had played the Mets a couple of weeks ago and they beat us then, so my hopes weren't too high.

We were actually playing really well. Getting some good outs and hitting ok, but we just couldn't get many runs in. At the top of the last inning, the Mets were up by three. Our first two batters weren't the strongest hitters and they quickly got out. We thought the game was over. The little boy who batted third, well, this is his first year playing, so he never really gets a good hit. Funny enough, if he does make contact though, it's such a short hit, he can usually get on base, which is exactly what happened this time.

And then our little guys that can hit seemed to be in the line up one after the other. Hit after hit, out past the outfield and runners started coming in. Peyton, I am proud to say, was able to get two runners in with his hit. Before we knew it, the kids had tied it up. Our parents were on their feet and the boys could feel the excitement. Two more batters got up and two more runs were brought in and the inning was called. (Only 5 runs per inning)

We were up by TWO!

Now the nerve wracking part. The bottom of the inning. Oh, it's so wrong to wish a child poorly, but when I saw their first batter, I had a little twinge of excitement. He had not done well the whole game and this at bat was no exception. He struck out.

With the next batter, the crack of the bat brought a little fear into my heart, but our little bitty shortstop jumped with his glove in the air and SMACK caught the ball. Two outs!

The third hit was an easy one to the right infield which was snagged by the second baseman and a quick throw to first was the third out.

We had won the game!

We could have won the World Series with all the cheering going on. It was so much fun and the boys were so excited. Like they finally got it. Oh, this is what winning is about!

Our next game is Saturday morning and I hope they can bring this excitement with them.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

16 Weeks

Moving Right Along . . .

Watch what you say... tiny bones forming in baby's ears mean the little one can now pick up your voice. Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. And, if you're interested, an ultrasound might be able to determine gender.






We go in just under 3 weeks to see if Little One is a girl or boy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prayer Request

I was going to write a whole entry about my Mammaw, but I don't think I have the mental or hormonal strength to do so right now. So instead, I'm just asking for prayers for her and my mom. For those of you who don't know, Mammaw has been in a nursing home for sometime now and mom let me know that due to her inability to swallow effectively, they are switching her to puree food. If they can't get this to work, they'll then put her on a feeding tube.

With mom being an only child and me down here in Florida, she is handling this basically on her own. Please pray for her strength.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

15 Weeks

Your Baby: Week 15
Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can't feel the movements.









I have a regular apppointment this afternoon. Please send up a little prayer that baby's heartbeat sounds good.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Can You Feel the Heat?

Nehemiah. Now that's a book of the Old Testament that I don't ever think about, much less study. It is, however, the story that Pastor David is focusing on during the series Feel the Heat at Church by the Glades.

Did you know that the people of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah were able to rebuild the city walls in just 52 days? This is a project that should have taken years, even decades. We were tasked with reading Nehemiah 3 as homework, which details the different families coming together to build the great walls. Not just the carpenters, mind you, but everyone. The goldsmiths, the mayor and the priests all worked together to do God's work.

And of course, there were the haters, which was the particular lesson on Sunday, the nay sayers who tried to tear the people down and attend to their own agenda. When these men sent word to Nehemiah, trying to pull him away, he replied with the following, "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down." Pastor David spent the entire lesson breaking this sentence down and showing how we can apply it to our lives.

God doesn't want us to do good things, He wants us to do GREAT things. And when those negative people in our lives try to pull us down and take away our focus, we should take the same approach as Nehemiah and tell them to go away. When they sent another request to meet, I particularly liked Nehemiah's response, "Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head."

Pastor David cautioned us to pray for those who are against us, but do not trust them.

I've spoken of it here before, but it has been a while. Our church, in the midst of a recession, is in the process of building a new worship center. A worship center that is costing us $11-13 million. That's $11-13 million being asked of the members of the church to pledge. And you know what? The building is swiftly coming along. I can look out my office windows and see the massive concrete structure that stands like a beacon of hope. A church that is overflowing with people looking for God in a section of the state that's not exactly known for its moral upstanding. If that's not amazing, I just don't know what is.

What's God calling you to do? Pastor David said, if you feel a great deal of excitement, but also like you're going to pee your pants, then you are probably right where God wants you to be.

Friday, October 22, 2010

14 Weeks (A few days late)

Your Baby: Week 14
Your adorable little fetus is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, and (not so cute but equally amazing) making urine and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop. Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over the body for warmth.

Monday, October 18, 2010

100 Postcards

Shey's classroom is trying to collect 100 postcards from different areas. If anyone would be interested in helping them out, please shoot me a message and I will send you the address for the school and his teacher's name. I'll be your best friend! (So, yes, Tamara, you have to do it. ha)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ice Candles

When I came across the tutorial for Ice Candles, I knew I had to make Halloween ones with the boys for their teachers. I'm not going to go over the whole tutorial again, but here are some photos of the stages. We used two breadcrumb containers I picked up at the Dollar Tree and they worked just fine. I would recommend following the tutorial's instructions for using a taper candle, rather than a wick, as it was a little difficult to get the wick to stay in place. Also, I think I sprayed a little too much cooking spray and we ended up with some gray spots, but it worked out ok for Halloween. The teachers loved them.













Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Walk on the Water

by Britt Nicole

You look around
It's staring back at you
Another wave of doubt
Will it pull you under
You wonder

What if I'm overtaken
What if I never make it
What if no one's there?
Will you hear my prayer?

When you take that first step
Into the unknown
You know that he won't let you go


So what are you waiting for?
What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you

You know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all
It takes and you can
Walk on the water too

So get out
And let
Your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste
Don't wait
Don't you turn around and miss out
Everything you were made for
I know you're not sure
So you play it safe
Try to run away

If you take that first step
Into the unknown
He won't let you go


Even when a storm hits
Even when you're broken
Even when your heart is telling you telling you to give up
When your hope is stolen
You can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid

So what are you waiting,
What are you waiting for?

So what are you waiting for?
What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you

You know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all
It takes and you can
Walk on the water...
Walk on the water too

Friday, October 01, 2010

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Peyton and Shey's elementary offers Tae-Kwon-Do classes once a week after school for an hour. The session runs 6-8 weeks and only costs $35, so I signed both boys up thinking it would be a nice break from their normal aftercare activities. Larry and I have often talked about signing them up for Karate or something similar throughout the years, but it just never seemed to work out. With us working full time and the boys playing sports, on top of homework and just life, there's just not enough time and I refuse to stretch us any thinner than we already are.

One of the reasons I always think about it is the great things I've heard that the kids learn, mainly a focus on respect for others and for self. I'll be honest here, our household is not the most respectful place in the world by a long shot. I'm not really sure where we missed that boat, but sometimes I feel like it has sailed so far away, we will never catch it. Intellectually, I know this is Larry and my responsibility and at 4 in the morning when I wake up and think about things like this, it's never hard to say, ok, we are going to change. We need to work on this. But then 5:30 in the evening rolls around and we've both put in a full day at the office and the boys have been at school, we are all worn out. Dinner is thrown together, homework is done, some relaxation time, then baths and bed. On many nights, it seems we are all in such a state of irritation that it's better we just separate. That way there's no bickering and yelling and pouting and whiiinnnniiinnnggggg. I know it's not ideal, but I justify it by saying we are just trying to make it through and it'll get better.

Tuesday, after Peyton's first practice at the school and an evening of arguing and generally acting like a baby, he pulls out this paper and asks me to sign it. I read it and I had to laugh. At him. I asked him if he had even read it. Did he know what he was asking me to sign? I wish I had brought it with me, so I could write exactly what it said, but the gist of it was based on respect. Peyton was to act respectful, write down his acts of respect and then have me sign it. Um, I don't think so.

So, we read it together and I am ashamed to say that Peyton almost acted clueless as to what he was supposed to do. He had already written on the back that he takes the dog out, which is one of his chores, but not really an act of respect. So, we tried to talk about it some, but by then he was so frustrated and beyond talking too, that we really didn't get anywhere. Every night since, he's asked me to sign and every night, we've discussed it a little more. Last night, he actually listened and seemed to comprehend this act of respect. Lord, give me strength. He was playing with a little science experiment kit he bought and afterwards, he cleaned it up himself. So, this morning, I told him to write that down. We agreed that we would continue to work on it this weekend and then I'd make a decision if I was going to sign his form or not.

I told Larry that it was going to take an incredible amount of patience and self control on our part, but I was done arguing with the boys. I am going to consciously make an effort to think about their questions and once I respond, that will be it. I told Peyton that once I made a decision, I wouldn't discuss it any more and if he continued to, I wouldn't respond and if he kept it up, he would be sent to his room. I just can't take it anymore. I don't know why I just acted like that would grow out of this on their own.

I know it will be hard, but I'm hoping that if we really stick to it, then things will get easier. Once they learn that an answer is THE answer, then hopefully the attitude and carrying on will lesson some. Like I said, Lord, give me strength.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What I've Been Up To Lately . . .

- Almost going straight through a red light when only the turn signal changed to green.

- Pouring detergent and fabric softener in the washer then walking away before turning it on

- Becoming quite aggravated with a restaurant server when I tried to order a Summer Salad and he had no idea what I was talking about. When we pulled out the menu, it was actually a Strawberry Field Salad

- Specifically going back down the bread aisle to buy hot dog buns when I actually had hamburgers in the cart

- Setting the microwave for 20 minutes instead of the timer (Thankfully, I caught that one quickly)

- Throwing up and simultaneously peeing my pants (Go ahead and laugh, Larry and the boys do)

- Getting a positive pregnancy test and making it to 11 weeks.

- Seeing a quick peek of baby via ultrasound yesterday with a good, fast heart rate.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Something Beautiful

by Need to Breathe

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin' quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn't live like this
I wouldn't stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won't have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful (fade out)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Things Change

I remember in Junior High, some friends of mine discovered that a holiday named Yom Kippur was coming up. We thought it was a great sounding holiday and so fun to say, so we made signs and hung them up in our lockers celebrating Yom Kippur. I don't remember now if we ever looked up what the holiday really meant. I don't think so.

How funny when 15 or so years later, I met and fell in love with a Jewish man and now I really do "celebrate" Yom Kippur. I put it in quotes as Larry's family are not Orthodox and while practicing Jews use the Day of Atonement for fasting and praying, we just get together with his family and have dinner. Sometimes his parents will go to synagogue and his father may read prayers before dinner. It is very interesting to read about though.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I could make a great revelation about the holiday. How it would do us all good to take a day and reflect. But honestly, I'm really tired and my brain isn't thinking too clearly.

It just struck me this morning as funny. I was leaving the boys' dentist and the lady who checked us out said, "Have a happy holiday this weekend." and I automatically knew what she meant. That's life I guess. Always changing.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dream

I know dreams never come across as weird and as real in the retelling, but I had to share the one I had last night.

I was at a police station (I won't even explain how I got there) and looked out the window and saw my friend, Suz, so I went outside to chat. She was very pregnant and lifted up her shirt to show me her belly. It was opaque, like a balloon and I could make out the little hands and feet of the baby and then I noticed something really weird, the baby was dressed. As in had a diaper on and clothes. In her stomach.

When I questioned Suz about it, she nonchalantly replied, "well, yeah, he came out a few weeks early, so I put him back. Once I got the head and one shoulder in, the rest just followed."

I thought for a minute about all the things one would think in that situation and then just walked back into the police station. Apparently, even my dreaming brain couldn't wrap around that one.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Peace Offering

After the miscarriage in January, I decided that I wanted to start fresh and find a totally new doctor than the two I had seen during that time. My original doctor, who had delivered both the boys, had really hurt my feelings with his seemingly indifference and dismissive nature and the doctor who found my miscarriage, well, she was a bit abrupt and abrasive and I just really didn't want to go back to that office and the memories it held.

My friend gave me the name of her gyn and I went a bit ago for the annual go around. We were discussing my history, my difficulties in getting pregnant with the boys, the low progesterone in January, etc and she listened and didn't rush me and while she remained professional, she didn't come across as hard. She told me, "You know, it probably wasn't a problem with your progesterone that caused issues with the baby, but rather a problem with the baby that caused your progesterone to remain low." And while I don't really want to think about the baby being defective, per se, it does help ease my mind that there really wasn't anything I could have done. It helps ease the thoughts of if only I would have started taking progesterone supplements right away. And while I always knew there was a Master plan, it does help confirm that that particular little one was better placed in His arms than mine.

My would be due date is a couple of days away and while the sting of the would be memories will always be there, they're a little less sharp now and I know one day when we meet again, our souls will seek each other out and know each other.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stop and Hear

Wow! I cannot believe it has been a month since I last wrote a post. Busy, busy, busy is all I can say.

Sunday morning while I was waiting on church to start, I flipped through my Bible just to see where it would land and it opened right to Jonah. Now, I know the story of Jonah, but I've never actually read it for myself. And while I may have know at one time that there are only 4 little chapters, I had since forgotten. With it being so short, I was able to read the whole book before worship started. I really planned after that to write a nice post on it, but as I said before, busy, busy, busy. I do have to say, though briefly, how much it struck me that God saw fit to make those 4 little chapters into their own book titled Jonah and include it in the Bible. How it was so important to tell the story of one man's rebellion against God and the consequences that followed. And eventually, when Jonah followed the instructions given, a whole city was spared. Simply amazing.

On another note, and actually what I was originally going to post before I just had to share my Jonah experience, is that as busy as things are now, I am trying to pause and enjoy the little things. My new (pre-owned) Maxda CX-9 (LOVE IT!) came equipped with a DVD player, so the boys are just enthralled. Every morning, they wear the headphones and watch whatever DVD has been chosen for the week. Shey, my ever creative, musical and entertaining child, loves to sing and will do so even with his headphones on essentially making him tonedeaf. It always makes me smile though to hear his little voice sing along in that strange way people have when they can't hear themselves to the themesongs. "Power Rangers, Power Rangers hmmm hmmm hmmm" I love that boy. It almost makes up for him telling me "You suck" after I said no to Gameworks after we had already seen a movie and gotten popcorn. And yes, he got a swift swat to the behind for that one. Ah kids.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Peace at a Country Concert

My high school boyfriend, Robert, loved Brooks and Dunn, the country duo. We listened to their music quite a bit and went to two of their concerts during our tenure together. The first concert was in Birmingham and occurred after one of our break-ups and getting back togethers. I remember standing beside Robert, listening to "That Ain't No Way to Go," looking up at him and seeing tears running down his cheeks.

"Lipstick letter 'cross our mirror this morning saying 'Goodbye, Baby', you left without warning. Like a thief in the night, you ran away with my heart."

He told me later that he had been so upset when I broke up with him and that he felt it had come out of nowhere. I can't remember now the exact circumstances of the break up, but I do remember that moment and the love I felt for him in that space and time.

After we broke up for good and Larry and I started dating, I didn't necessarily stay clear of Brooks and Dunn, but I didn't seek them out either. Not sure if it was a subconscious decision, or just because Robert always liked them more than me.

They've played several times in our area and we've never been. I didn't think I knew enough of their songs anymore to warrant the price of admission and Larry never expressed an interest in their music.

We found out recently though that Brooks and Dunn were beginning their last tour and I decided it would be nice to see them one last time. They always did put on a good show. We were going to purchase lawn seats, but a few days before the concert, my boss offered me his seats, which were great. Thirteen rows back and near the end of the row.

Larry and I had a great time. The group still puts on a great, high energy concert and I was surprised that I still know all of their songs. They didn't play "That Ain't No Way to Go," but they did play another oldie that was amazing, "I Believe"

"I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what I can see
Oh I believe"

I could feel the emotion running through the crowd and tears welled up in my eyes.

Sometimes it is incredibly hard to do the things I know I should while living down here, so far from my family and friends that are active church goers. I admit that I don't go every week, but I do make a point to not let too much time pass between services. And I always take the boys, even when they would rather stay home with Larry. My momma always said, "Marry a Christian Man", but I didn't get it. She went to church alone (well, with me) and I didn't realize what a big deal it was. I love Larry and I don't regret marrying him, but I do wish he would go to church with me and be involved.

When "I Believe" was playing though, I felt this sense of peace. A sense that it would work out and eventually, he will come around. All of the sudden, Brooks and Dunn took on a whole new meaning in my memories of life.

I've been listening more lately, with my spiritual ears. Hearing God talk to me through other people, the radio, sermons, and now country songs. There are some changes coming to our household, possibly financial, which I can't talk about yet, and hopefully spiritual too. I'm going to just keep praying and listening.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Friends

This weekend, my high school graduating class celebrated its 15th year of freedom and can I just say that I feel incredibly blessed. While high school is high school, I can't say that I just hated that time in my life. Of course, classes drug on and on, boyfriends, well a boyfriend, broke my heart several times, and self confidence was not always high, but I had friends. Real friends.

Many of my classmates were together from elementary school, as early as first or second grade and those that came later, joined us in junior high. There were so few of us, that we had to stick together. Some of my best girlfriends were in chorus with me for four years, sharing adventures with Mr. T., trips all over the south and our weekly Sunday night performances. Most of these girls also went to the same church, which included more trips together, youth group fun and hanging out most weekends. These are the girls that I made up crazy stories with, shared intimate details of my life with and leaned on to make it through the school day.

After we graduated, some of us drifted for a while, but with facebook and blogging, we've been able to reconnect over the past five years and I am so grateful. I'm not sure if it is because I don't have any siblings, but there's just something about having friends who have known me for years and years. I loved being able to laugh with them over the crazy things we did in high school. To know that our paths may have woven through life differently, but they still love me for me.

I know any of the women that I spent time with this weekend would drop anything to help me out and I would do the same for them. I love you guys and can't wait to see you again!

PS - Next time, we must take pictures!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And one more Lost observation

And, here's my other issue/question . . .

It really makes no sense for The Mother and MIB to be the Adam and Eve Skeleton. It is obvious that the smoke monster re-inhabits MIB's body because of the conversation Jacob and he have on the beach as the Black Rock approaches, which occurred long after his body was killed and Jacob laid the two of them to rest in the cave. So, we are to believe that the smoke monster got back into the MIB's body, ran around the island for a while and then laid back down at sometime to become the skeleton?

I think it made much more sense for the skeletons to be Rose and Bernard's bodies after the hydro bomb went off.

Ok, I know there are a ton of other questions that will not be answered and most of them I can live with or have forgotten about, but that break in continuity just really bugs me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lost has become Lost

*Disclaimer: If you don't watch Lost, feel free to leave now.

Many better authors have penned pages upon pages on all the hidden meanings, clues and lessons behind the brilliant show that is Lost, so I will not attempt to add my two cents as I generally just watch the show for enjoyment and then glean any extra tidbits from scouring the Internet. I do, though, have to comment on the last two episodes, "Across the Sea" and "What They Died For."

While "Across the Sea" was informative (some what) and interesting (I guess), I felt it totally broke the stride of the season. In "The Candidate", we lost three beloved characters and then they interject this slow paced, set way back in time, allegory surrounding the myth of the island and the origins of two characters that, while somewhat essential to the overall story, are not the audiences' main focus. If they would have placed this episode near the front of the season, I may have been ok with it, but maybe not.

The more I think about the show starting with season 1 through season 6 as a whole, it seems to be "Lost" itself from the original intentions. I realize that when a creator begins a project that they may have no way of knowing exactly where it should go, but somewhere the stories of the characters were forgotten and instead this game being played between two men that started thousands of years ago became the main focus. And while those who study the show keep touting that the main theme is redemption, that lesson has been set aside as well. It seems the main theme now is protecting this holy light that radiates from the center of the island that we, the audience, just learned about one episode ago. (And yes, it's as weird as it sounds if you continued to read this if you haven't watched a single episode) WTF? (What the Face?! ha ha Modern Family shout out)

I wish the writers would have taken last night's "what They Died For" dropped the sideways story and injected flashbacks of Jacob and the MIB's origin. Then they could have taken the sideways story from last night and paired it with the island story for a new episode. You know, like the characters dealing with the deaths of three people who had been with them since the beginning!?! Or something. It's just really frustrating that with only 3 hours left, the writers throw a sleeper of an episode in there.

Right now, I'm at the point where I'm ready for it to end already. Let's see the big finale and then get on with our lives.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Swing Batter, Batter

**Edited to Add** Well, we received the email for the team and he didn't make it. It's ok though, I hurriedly printed out invitations for his Birthday and we'll go see Shrek instead. :) Thanks for the well wishes.

Peyton had try outs last night for the All Star team, or as they called it, the "Select Team" ooooohhhhhhhh . . . .

In all honesty though, it was an honor. There are about 125 kids in the league and he was one of 26 or so that were picked to try out for the 12 player team. While he wasn't on the low end of the scale, there were a few kids who were definitely better than him, so I don't think he will make the team. But that's ok. He didn't play last year, so this is really his first year as an older child and he's done unbelievably well. Especially considering we don't get out and practice with him and his coaches aren't the greatest.

It was actually pretty crazy how good a couple of the kids are. One little boy, who goes to school with Peyton and his mom and I are somewhat friends, is just amazing. I would say he's probably even Bandit material. ha ha This little boy, D, hit almost every pitch thrown his way and fielded like nobodies business. But then again, he plays for the City and on a traveling league, so they are at the field 6 to 7 nights a week. That's just insane. I don't know how his mom does it.

What really cracked me up though, was some of the parents, these are even parents that I know, they were almost biting their nails watching their sons try out. Like it was the end of the world if their child didn't get picked to represent our City in this tournament. Maybe it's because Peyton's not so intense about it, that I'm not, but I don't think so. You know, have fun with them, get excited for them, but please remember they are 7 and 8 and this will probably not be their life long career.

So they are going to post the results tomorrow afternoon and we will see. Peyton asked 'what happens if I don't make the team?" I said, "well, you just don't get to play that weekend and we celebrate your birthday instead." And he seemed ok with it. He may be disappointed, but I don't think he'll be too upset over it. We have decided to sign him up for Winter Ball though, which I've been told is a lot more organized and better coached. And he still wants to play soccer, so we are definitely taking this summer off! Momma needs a break.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Muddling Through

A fellow blogger, Leah (Califmom), lost her husband to cancer a few days ago and it really struck a cord with me. I think about her often, how she is coping, how her kids are fairing, what hell she must be going through. Through her blog and the support of her friends, they took a very vocal stance against cancer and expressed their feelings rather boldly, feelings most of us would like to say, but may not speak aloud.

Whenever she would tweet about her husband, or write a post about him, she always interjected this phase or used the hashmarks. When that tweet came, simply, "he's gone", I immediately sent my condolences. A stranger sending their thoughts and prayers over the expanse of the Internet. I thought for a second about not including her tell-tail hashmark behind it, knowing people that I went to church with follow my tweets, but in the end, I did. #fuckcancer

Words, you think, as a Christian, you aren't supposed to say, but sometimes, they are the only ones that express the frustration and the hatred and the anger you really feel.

I don't know Leah. Couldn't tell you what she believes, or where her heart is, and just reading her blog, just like any other blog, doesn't give you the complete picture. I may have formed an opinion and it may have been dead wrong. Leah posted this recently Snippets in Time and you know, whether or not she believes exactly like I do, I think she nailed it right on the head with her thoughts on God.

Whether or not I admit it here (or even to myself) and I know it's not been near as hard a year as Leah as had, these past few months have been rough. Here is Leah's last paragraph though and a lesson to us all

"If this past year has taught me anything, it is that I can lean hard on my God. He can handle it all. Every priest and pastor who has counseled me along the way has said just that. The error comes in thinking that He cannot, in thinking that we have to shoulder the fear, anger, frustration, and hate ourselves. We don’t. It is not our job. God can even handle the F-bomb. You’d be amazed."

I think it boils down to, even if it is part of God's plan, which we know it all is, sometimes, the f-bomb is all we can use to describe what we are going through and I agree with Leah, I think He can handle it and He may even agree with us.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday - We're having a Baby!

Six years ago yesterday, I took a pregnancy test at work and confirmed what I already knew, we were pregnant with our second child. I'm sure there is a blog post about it somewhere, back in my Diaryland archives, but work is blocking me from accessing that.

We were trying to have a second child and thankfully, one round of clomid did the trick. Apparently, when I ovulate, Larry and I are actually pretty fertile.

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I was so excited to be pregnant again. The pregnancy progressed almost exactly like my first. Morning sickness the first trimester. Large roundness by the end. Extreme largeness. By the last week or two, I was begging my ob to induce me and he took such pity on me, that he booked two hospitals to make sure I got in to at least one of them.

Shey 11

Thinking back on that time, of course, brings about what I now refer to is "all that happened in January." I'm still not sure how to address or talk about that. I still feel at times I am leading a double life, much like Gwyneth Paltrow's character in Sliding Doors. I'll pause and think, right now I should be 15 weeks. Or right now, I wouldn't be drinking this glass of wine or wearing these clothes. Right now, I would be feeling the baby move. A lot of right nows, I would be. But I'm not.

Shey

And while I haven't decided against it, I know intellectually, a baby/toddler/child/teenager is really not what we need right now. Life is already so chaotic with school and homework and sports, that I wonder how we would have fit another life into the mix, even though I know we would have found a way. And then there's the ease that is our life right now amidst the chaos. The boys can entertain themselves. They both know how to swim and ride their bikes and now even tie their shoes.

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I'm really trying to focus on the boys more and appreciate them. Concentrate on raising them to be good, Godly men. Oh, but when I am out and someone has their baby, I just want to snatch them and inhale the newborn scent. Munch on their cheeks and thighs. Listen to that first giggle and those sweet little baby noises.

Icky Fingers

The time goes by so fast. Gosh, Shey was such an easy baby. He slept for hours at a time and rarely cried. I remember calling mom and saying, he sleeps so much! What's wrong? and she replied, that's normal. Peyton never slept. Thankfully he does now.

Running Shey

My little entertainer. Man, I love this kid.

Cutie Pie

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And smart, boy is he smart. Not to brag, ok, to brag. He can count to 100, spell all his colors, knows all his ABCs and their sounds, he's picking up sight words, can now ride a bike and tie his shoes. His pre-K teachers say he's ready for second grade, but I think that's a little high. ha ha He's definitely ready for kindergarten though.

The Birthday Boy

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So, even though thinking of pregnancy tests and babies right now, is bitter sweet, this is one time I cherish the thought and am thankful for every little minute.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Key West Sunset

I downloaded The Pioneer Woman's actions for Adobe Elements and had so much fun using them on our photos from Key West. We had a great time just lounging around and walking the streets, shopping, drinking and eating. We were only able to get out on our friend's boat once, but thankfully, the sunset was realy nice that night and I was able to get some great photos.

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I will admit that I used the boost action on a lot of these, which will make almost any photo look better. Now I just have to decide where I can hang all these photos.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bedroom Remodel and Some Random Photos

I have FINALLY figured out how to really use the macro function on my camera and have been enjoying using it lately.



These are the wild roses that bloom on a random bush we received from Larry's aunt and uncle.

This is one of our cats and this is pretty much what they do ALL DAY LONG. Larry frequently says that he wants to come back as our cats. ha



About a year and a half ago, Larry and I went out and bought grown up furniture for our bedroom and I finally have decided to "remodel" our bedroom in an effort to have one room totally decorated. Here's an overview.



And yes, I need to buy a comforter for the bed, but I've been putting it off. The dark brown "cover" is actually a throw I bought from Wal-mart for the couch, but it was so cold this winter, that it was turned into a makeshift blanket for the bed.



I bought this great vinyl tree from e-bay and then the little frames came from Wal-mart for $1.50. This is the first photo Larry and I took together on my first trip to see him.



I finally replaced the $20.00 lamps I bought at Wal-mart about 12 years ago with these from Home Goods. They look so much better in our room than the glass ones we had before.



This mirror, we got from Larry's uncle a long time ago and I spray painted it a dark brown. It was a gold color and really didn't match, but I always liked it. My mom calls it the Magic Mirror from Snow White. I bought the vinyl words above the bed from Target. Awwww, aren't they sweet and actually a good reminder to never go to bed angry.

And finally, this candle is great! I smelled it first in a local restaurant that Larry and I love and after asking around, I found out they bought it at Publix! You have to get the Cinnamon Buns scent though. It's smells so good without being overly sweet and it's only $9.99.



So there we go, a little upgrade to our bedroom. I really love it though and I'm looking around for a comforter to finish it off.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Help us Moms, Lord

Mom forwarded me this e-mail devotion and I really liked it, so I'm reproducing it here. The author isLysa TerKeurst

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5 (NIV)

I wanted to tap the two girls sitting on the front row at our church service. And fuss at them in a not so gentle way I tell you. But they were five rows ahead of me and my arm couldn't quite reach.

Since I couldn't physically get their attention, I prepared my "look." You know the one that says a thousand corrective statements with just a cross expression and a raised eyebrow? Yes, that one.

The minute one of them stole a glance in my direction, they were going to know exactly how I felt about their wiggling and obvious lack of attention during the service. Oh, and I should mention, these two gir ls belonged to me. Well, at least one of them did. The other was my daughter's friend who sometimes goes to church with us.

I don't think anyone else really noticed them. They weren't being disruptive to other people. But they weren't acting the way I wanted them to. I wanted them sitting up straight, drinking in the message, and taking notes.

Suddenly, an annoying little thought started to tug at the corners of my mind. "You want your children to act perfectly because it makes you look good. Let that go. They don't need to be sitting up straight furiously taking notes to hear God's message. This is a beautiful time for grace."

Ouch.

I don't much like the Holy Spirit speaking the kind of truth to me that hurts. I was in the mood to fuss at somebody. Two somebodies. Give grace? Now? It wasn't what I wanted but it's exactly what I needed to do in that moment. Soon my daughter's friend peered back to look at me. Despite my feelings, I made the c hoice to smile, wink, and give her a little wave.

Then this wiggly, usually not very affectionate, middle schooler got out of her seat. She walked down the aisle, five rows back, and made her way to me. She threw her arms around me and gave me a hug that preached a thousand sermons right then and there.

Indeed, grace was exactly what was needed in that moment. The rest of the service she sat attentive beside me and even asked a few questions on the way home.

And that's what makes this parenting thing so hard. There are really no textbook answers. It's such a moment by moment balancing act between loving, shepherding, disciplining, extending grace, molding, modeling, loving some more and fussing a little along the way too.

The only way I can navigate this balancing act is to stay close to God. Really close. Rather than seeing God as far off, I have to rely on him as a desperate daughter who needs her Daddy.

Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I like that verse but without quoting it in context, it's stripped of its power. The last 4 words of Philippians 4:5 are the power source that unlocks the peace of God that transcends all understanding.

Those four words are, "The Lord is near."

And because He's near, we don't have to be anxious- we can ask our Lord what to do, how to react, when to discipline and when to give grace. James 1:5 reminds me, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Only God can prepare me with the wisdom and discernment necessary for each and every parenting moment. So I must stay close to Him- ask Him- rely on Him- cry out to Him- and make Him the basis for my parenting.

My goal should never be to raise kids that make me look good. (But, oh, how my flesh craves this!) My goal should be to ask God moment by moment for wisdom to know how to raise kids who proclaim God's goodness in their hearts.

Blessings to you as you ever so delicately search for that balance between discipline and grace as well.

Dear Lord, I am asking for wisdom today to know how to best raise my kids. Help me to know when to discipline and when to give grace. Help me sense Your nearness so I don't feel so alone and overwhelmed with this task of being a mom. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flash Back Friday - My Love

In late February of 1997, AOL was picking up steam and the sounds of, well, the electronic sounds of logging in via dial up were making their way across the country. My roommate and I shared a computer and time on this new fangled Internet or the World Wide Web. I logged in one evening searching for a fun chat room to kill an hour or two. At that time, people actually conversed in chat rooms and it wasn't a scary place that may be featured on Dateline sometime in the near future.

That night, I chose the room Friends First. I had a boyfriend, wasn't necessarily looking to exchange him, but I was keeping my options open. There was a lively discussion going between the 20 or so people in the room and I was quickly swept up in some random conversation or another. Over a bit of time, I was lured into one conversation over all the others between two girls, one with apple something or other in her username, and a guy, Romeo19. As the girls bantered back and forth, a sent a private message to Romeo asking him if he thought they were gay.

I'm don't remember Romeo's exact response, but I do remember that we kept our private conversation going that night and decided on a time to meet up again. Over the next month, e-mails were exchanged, letters were written and many chats were had in a private chat room. The first time we spoke on the phone, we were both taken aback. Romeo spoke very fast, with barely an accent at all. I, on the other hand, had a thick southern twang. We overcame though and talked well into the night, like we had known each other for years.

It wasn't long before I planned on making the drive down the state of Florida to meet with Larry. My roommate was going to come with me and she knew a Miami cop that was going to let us stay with him over the weekend. She backed out though at the last minute, and I was on my own, driving 12 hours south to stay with a man I didn't know in order to meet a man I didn't know.

Looking at that sentence now, it's ridiculously stupid what I did, but I was young, in love and invincible.

I left about 7 o'clock on Friday night and drove through the night. I smoked then and kept myself awake and entertained by having a cigarette every 30 minutes. Whenever I started dosing as I drove, I would pull over and sleep 30 minutes or so at the rest stop. The 700 mile or so trip took me over 13 hours. Then I got lost in Miami.

Thankfully, I had the good sense to pull over and give the Miami cop a call and as luck would have it, his apartment was really close. He met me at the gas station and I followed him back to his house. I didn't have a cell phone then, so I had to call Larry once I arrived and then he had to make the 45 minute drive south to meet me.

We still laugh about our first "date". In an effort of showing me the local culture, we stopped at a little Cuban cafe to have lunch. Hello, Alabama girl here! Larry ordered a Cuban sandwich and in an effort to not gross myself out, I ordered a hot dog. Then I had to eat said hot dog in front of this boy that I had just met.

It was great though and after the first 5 minutes of wow, you're a stranger, we were fine and comfortable and loving each other.

For nine months, we wrote and called and made trips when we could before Larry moved to Alabama for six months to finish out my lease. We both still have all the letters we sent during that time. 13 years. Wow. How time has moved swiftly by.

On a relatively new invention, amidst millions of people, in a random chat room, I met my best friend and my love. Through the ups and downs, the heartaches and laughs, two children, three dogs and two cats and a mean ass bird, we remain us.

Appropriately, on our wedding invitation, we featured the following saying,

Today I marry my best friend,
The one I laugh with, live for, love.

And I think it hold truer today than ever.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flashback Friday - MamMaw

In honor ofMaternal Grandmothers, here are some of my memories of my mom's mom or Mammaw.

Games - Mammaw loved to play games. Mom still plays with her now at the nursing home, but she's not as quick as she once was and I think mom lets her win most the time. But when I was a child, we played all sorts of games: Trouble, Sorry, Canasta, a lot of Canasta. When we played Trouble and twos popped up, we always said, Oops, a tootie.

Cornbread Dressing - Like Tamara, Cornbread dressing or dressin' was a staple during the holiday season. My dad has taken over the making of the dressin' now, but he always tells Mammaw, it's not as good as yours.

Comparing our nails - Mammaw and I both have crappy nails and when we could grow them out, we always compared them to see whose were the longest.

When I got older and Mammaw moved into the retirement home, mom and I would go pick her up and make trips to the mall or Wal-mart. We'd laugh and cut up. I remember her telling me one time about kissing her cousin, a girl cousin. And then she just went on with the story like it was no big deal and it probably wasn't, but to me, I was floored. There was an amazement that Mammaw had a life before I was born and she was a teenager at one time too.

I hate that now that I am old enough to appreciate these stories, that Mammaw's not really able to share them with me. Due to her muscle/brain atrophy, she mostly observes and doesn't say much anymore as it's often hard to understand her. She still has a sharp tongue though and if something is bothering her, she will get it out.

Even though these last few years have been a bit hard on my mom, taking care of Mammaw and visiting her in the nursing home, I'm glad they've had this time together and I know mom would agree. It is frustrating though that I couldn't be there as well more than I am.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who Was and Is and Is to Come

I've always loved to sing. If there was one thing I could change about myself, it would probably be that I have an awesome, belting voice. When asked what my favorite music is, I don't really give a genre, but rather my answer usually is anything I can sing along with. I've never sang in front of people though and it's only been recently that I will sing in front of the boys. My best singing is in the car by myself with the radio cranked.

When I first started going to Church by the Glades, their music was definitely a big draw. The lights are low, the band is loud and I can sing along with a chorus of over a thousand people lost in the music. It wasn't long after I started attending that I began listening to WAY FM so I could learn the songs quicker. And what began as a learning tool, quickly became my favorite genre.

There are so many heartfelt, uplifting musicians out there that make great music. Music that I know I can play in my car and not worry about my kids hearing. Music that touches my heart and voices my fears and puts into words feelings that sometimes I can't express.

After the miscarriage, I was angry. So angry. Not at God, but almost everyone else. And then I went numb. And I couldn't listen to my favorite music anymore. It just hurt. So when I finally left the house, rock was on my radio. Loud, pulsing noise that I didn't have to think about. For about two weeks, this was all I could stand.

Sunday was the first time I went back to church after the miscarriage. I kept telling myself we were too busy with the soccer and the soccer and the more soccer, but I'm sure a big part of it was a protection mechanism too. I couldn't handle the emotion. Sunday morning, they sang a few songs that I didn't really know, and then we sang Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig and Dean and yeah, I cried through the whole song, but it was ok. I've always loved the phrase, Who Was and Is and Is to Come and that song just goes straight to my soul.

So, I'm starting to feel again, letting a little emotion creep back in, trying to get things back together. Sometimes it hurts and I'm sure it will for a while, but it will get better and the music will help me through it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback Friday - My First Valentine

When we were in 4th grade, a new kid started school with us. A little guy by the name of Jonathan Gray. He later became known as J Gray, but that year he was still Jonathan. For some reason, even though I was taller, bigger than most the kids and had a haircut like a boy myself, Jonathan took a shine to me.

It's funny now to think about it. In fourth grade, boys and girls were still kinda scared of each other and I don't remember Jonathan and I talking about him liking me, or "going together" or even hanging out period. However, it never failed, every holiday, he would bring me something and Valentine's was no exception.

If I remember correctly, it was a shiny red heart box of chocolates.

After fourth grade, Jonathan lost his crush and even though we graduated together some 8 years later, I don't remember us ever talking about fourth grade and all my presents.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yes, I am 12 (+20)

Taylor Lautner turns 18 today. It is now legal and not quite so dirty feeling to look at that six pack.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Question

I recently removed the Blogher ads from my side bar. Was anyone using them to access other sites or liked looking at what they had to offer? Just curious.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Pantry Decrapification

I'm not sure what is going on with me. The only reasoning I can figure is that I am making up for the nesting that was taken away from me and in doing so, I am on an organizing/decorating kick.

I've been reading Thrify Decor Chick for a while now and I love, love, love her decorating. But, most the time I look at a project and either I think I could never do it, or I just don't really have the area for it. However, when I saw her Pantry Decrapification, I thought, I can do that! And I have a pantry! And do it, I did.

We ran up to Home Depot Sunday after Shey's game and bought all the supplies and last night, I finally put it all together.

Here is the before. . .




And while this isn't horrible, there was sooooo much food in there that had expired or was just gross.

Observe . . .




And here is the after . . .





And now when I open my closet, little birdies fly around and angels sing.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One Word

LOST!!!!!!!




WOO-HOO!



Coming soon, my decrapification (TM Thrifty Decor Chick) of the pantry. I know you can't wait.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thank you

Well, this is hard. Instead of going into all the heartbreaking details, I really just want to say a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for your prayers and your thoughts. Thank you for your e-mails and your telephone calls. Thank you for everything. It helped to know I wasn't alone.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What was Happening Tuesday o/k/a Hey! We're Pregnant!

On Wednesday, December 30, I decided it was time to stop messing around and just take a pregnancy test already. I was having those tell-tell signs in my uterus and my boobs were huge and ow! did they hurt. No sooner did the pee pass that little square box that the first line popped up, even quicker than the control line. We were pregnant again!

After October's heartbreak, I was a little more weary of getting too excited, but it was hard not to since the line came up so fast. Over the next week, I took 3 more tests and they all came up just as quickly. Last Wednesday, I went in to the doctor for the initial blood work to see what my hCG and progesterone levels were. I wasn't too worried because of all the positive home tests, but went ahead with the tests to confirm. My doctor called me on Wednesday and said that my progesterone was really low (a 6 and they like it to be at least 15) and my hCG was 2,200. He said the hCG was low too and put me at 4 weeks 5 days, even though I thought I was about a week ahead. I didn't get too concerned because my progesterone was low with Peyton as well and as far as the hCG goes, everything I read showed such a wide range that I was curious as to how he came up with such an exact date.

So anyway, I was prescribed progesterone supplements and told to go in Friday morning for repeat blood work. I didn't hear anything from the doctor's office until Tuesday morning when the nurse called at 8:45 that morning. Almost verbatim, this is what she said,

"You hCG came back at only 2,800 and since it is so low, Dr. A said this isn't a viable pregnancy. He wants you to go in for an ultrasound today to make sure it's not ectopic. Stop the progesterone and also, you'll need to go in next week for more blood work to make sure your levels are continuing to decrease."

AS you can imagine, my world just crumbled. I shut the door to my office and cried and cried. After I calmed down a bit, I started praying. And I know it's easier to say this now, but somehow I thought everything would be ok. I wouldn't have been surprised if things weren't, but I was really expecting them to be.

Somehow, I made it to the hospital for the ultrasound without going crazy and they were able to get me right in. Larry was there with me just hanging out in the background trying not to get in the way. Because I am so early, they had to do the ultrasound (TMI!) transvaginally, which is AWKWARD and then I'm trying to look sideways at the screen without just craning my neck.

As soon as the nurse got to where she should be I saw a flicker. I felt my heart start to race, but I was trying to maintain control. Then she zoomed in and there was little peanut, looking just like s/he should with their little heart beating away. I squeaked out, is that the heart beat? The tech looked at me and smiled and nodded quickly and then I lost it. Poor Larry wasn't sure what was going on. He said he saw the heartbeat too, but wasn't sure if it was where it was supposed to be and I was bawling, so he moved up to my foot and said, "Is it ok?" The tech nodded towards me, cause you know they aren't supposed to tell you anything and I just nodded too.

The tech told me she couldn't say anything especially in light of my blood work, but she hinted that everything looked fine. She also asked how far along I was and when I said, between 6 and 7 weeks, we're not sure, she said, well, you are measuring 6 weeks 4 days. So that was perfect too. So much for my doctor thinking I was measuring behind.

Obviously, I'm not stopping the progesterone and I'm about done with blood work. My doctor still wants me to go in next week for more, but I haven't decided if I am or not. I know we aren't out of the woods as with all pregnancies, but I am trusting that God is watching over this little one and all will be fine.

I can't thank you guys enough for all your prayers on Tuesday. I love Facebook. Such an amazing way to reach your prayer support on such a quick basis! Please still keep us and Kristin in your prayers!

And because you made it through all that, here are some pics from the holidays. Finally.