Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ten Things ~ October

Every month offers me a million things to love.
October was no different.  Some of my favorite things this month .  .  .

Hot coffee on brisk mornings

Babysitting my sweet niece, Bridget

The Athlete doing his thing, and loving it!

Isabella's 8th Birthday & Michelle's Baby Shower on the same weekend.

Going to the library with the kiddos and helping them fill out their applications for their own libary cards

Being Mom to a kooky girl who hearts me

Eating a giant bucket of popcorn for dinner at the movies with E

Making holiday plans

A surprise box of goodies from Grandaddy and Nana Lana

a real compass

a sweet new baby named Lily Grace

Going to bed every night knowing that I am loved

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Snow White & Yosemite Junior Ranger


Happy Haunting!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Letters to Someone

Dear Cold & Flu Season -

Get lost! I certainly welcome the cooler weather and the opportunity to wear cozy sweaters and boots, but I think you suck. In addition to from taking out my family one by one and making the rest of us miserable I am blaming you entirely for our collective loss of spunk and the disasterous state of our home. I truly believe that Lysol pays you and this season you're getting a hefty bonus. Well move along and go infect someone else. We're scrubbing, spraying and sanitizing for dear life and could easily make it through the holidays without you visiting again. Scram!

Just Not Loving You,
 Worn Out and Wearing a Mask

Dear Bunco Crew -

I can't wait to see you fun ladies! I am super excited to have a scheduled night out AND I the invite says "wear your favorite PJs". OMG, seriously?!?! I so need a cocktail AND I don't have to dress up. Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.

Hugs & Kisses,

Dear To Do List -

Go ahead and get comfortable on my desk. It looks like you're gonna be there for a while. Lucky for you there are new items joining your party every day. Woo hoo! Y'all go ahead and have a good time together. I'm going to spend the weekend loving on my family before I fly away to work elsewhere. I know where to find you when I get back.

Still Organized, but Ignoring You

Dear E -
It's just been one of those weeks. I'm so sorry. I know you're not well and my defense is that I am thoroughly used to you being everything for us. This is me waving my white flag.  Let's have a little fun with our babes this weekend and enjoy Halloween. I promise I'll steal the kids Hot Tamales if you'll forgive me for whatever I did. Not loving on you is not good for me. I don't want to fly away sad. Please kiss me soon.

Forever Yours,

Head over to Family of Shorts to see who else has Letters to Someone this week.  Go on.  You know you want to . . .

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Simple Blessings and Funny Boys

The Princess is super sick.  Her eyes are hollow and she's frusrated that she can't sleep.  She is clingy and really sweet and wants her Mama.  I'm grateful to be her Mama and able to lie in bed with her and rub her back.  In my haste to leave the office yesterday when school called I forgot to bring home my computer. I'll view that as a blessing.

My amazing in-laws took The Athlete to dinner last night and let him sleepover.  He went into orbit when he heard he could spend the night on a school night.  The Princess stopped vomiting for a little while and stood in the doorway to say hi to her Grandparents.

The athlete said goodbye to her. Actually he said this.

"Thanks for throwing up for me, Princess! See ya!"

The love of a sibling at it's very best.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Oh goody! It's Random Tuesday and I am just overflowing with randomness. Big surprise, I know.

Today is one of those days when I think I'd be better suited to work in the shoe department at Nordstrom. I just love the subject matter and wouldn't mind the hard work.  I think it would be lovely to clock out and leave the madness behind. No strategy, no political position and backstabbing. Just work. Sounds so nice. And unrealistic. I know the grass isn't always greener, but a girl can dream.

My daughter is a darling child. If she's never given you the evil eye then you think she is innocent and charming. She's not. I told her today that there are some Mommys who hurt their children and sometimes she makes me understand why. She just stared at me like I was the one with a problem. Aarrrrggggghhhh - she has the MOST disarming way of getting under my skin. I have been irritated with her for hours on end now and she is happily playing at school with her friends. Maybe I AM the one with the problem. Actually I am sure of it.

There was a box on our doorstep last night from my Dad and Stepmom. I got some seriously gorgeous pearl earrings. They were so unexpected and such a fabulous treat on a Monday night. The Princess got a baby doll that she immediately named Lily Grace and carried her around feeding her and patting her back until it was time for bed. Lily Grace slept with her very proud new Mama. The Athlete got a super fancy compass, a navigation guide and a Swiss Army knife thingamabob. He was beyond thrilled. Beyond. We all think unexpected gifts are the very best. Thank you Daddy & Lana. We heart you.

E went to Vegas over the weekend and brought home some kind of sick. He was sick ALL night on Sunday night and kept me up with all of his carrying on and being ill. I hate that he's sick, really I do, but there's a certain level of graciousness that's expected when you're the one that needs help. Ya know - like when I was in labor and was sweet as pie to all the nurses even though they wouldn't give me any pain medication. Sweet Talk 101, Sir. It should sound like this.

"I know you worked hard all day with very little sleep and have cared for my children single handedly since I left on Friday morning, but may I please have some toast? I'd really appreciate a cold drink and a snack. I'm sorry I have been infecting our spotless bedroom for 24 hours and creeping you out. I'll make it up to you very soon."

Yeah, it should sound like that. And it's a little odd that you slept soundly through all of last night's chaos of dinner, baths and homework as well as the morning preparations but then you are up and at em less than an hour later and headed to an overnight in LA. I'm not really a suspicious girl, but the last time I peeked in you were barely conscious. I'm just sayin' . . .


Cruise over to see what Randomness the Unmom and her friends have come up with today. It's guaranteed good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Technical Difficulties ~ Please Stand By

I write a blog because (1) my parents like it when I brag about their grandchildren, and (2) I like to write and typing is easier than handwriting.  Now ya know.

Somehow, while I was sharing funny stories and photos of my cherished offspring I got sucked into the swirling vortex of the blogosphere. I've spent hours browsing free blog layouts and debating on whether or not I should pay for something more beautiful and custom.  I learned how to embed a link and highlight it.  That was a big day.  I intermittently spend a fair amount of time trying to keep up with the Blogging Joneses.  However, I am not a model citizen of this planet.  I've got technical issues.

A blog friend of mine recently created a meme and other blog friends complimented her in her comments.  TRUE CONFESSION - I don't know what a meme is.

I comment on SITS roll call almost every day. I browse sites of other roll callers at random and comment on the featured blogger.  I think their rules say I am supposed to comment on the post before and after mine or something.  TRUE CONFESSION - I don't.

Comments from blog friends are cool.  It's a little like chatting with your girlfriends, but no one is paying for cocktails and the kids can still be in the room.  I dig that.  I like to think I am a good commenter because I am considerate that way.  Sadly though I don't know how to keep up with comments left on my page and get back to everyone.  I think there's an unwritten rule somewhere that you're supposed to go back and comment on all of your comments.  TRUE CONFESSION - that seems a lot like another part time job I can't fit into my schedule.

There are lots of blog writers that feature their current posts through their Twitter page.  I follow their tweets on my Twitter account so I can stay current.  TRUE CONFESSION - my Twitter account has been idle for weeks because I gave up.  TMI at it's pinnacle.

I was awarded twice recently by fellow bloggers.  That really is an honor.  It means that someone I've never laid eyes on read something I wrote and liked it.  Woo hoo!  I've gotten a couple of other awards in the past.  There are rules attached to the awards that say you're supposed to share the love and pass along those same awards to other bloggers.  TRUE CONFESSION - I've never done that.  But I will this time.  For reals.

Thank you to Amanda and Emmy for the Dragon's Loyalty Award.  They both awarded this to me in honor of my loyally following and commenting on their blogs.  And with good reason.

Emmy over at Emmy Mom is the sweetest girl and spends an awesome amount of QUALITY time with her kids. I admire so much the time she puts into life with her children and the faith that she shows through her writing. She's the inspiration behind the monthly "Ten Things to Smile About".  Her positive vibe never fails to put me in a good mood and make me want to try a little harder.

My friend, Amanda, at Family of Shorts is ridiculously funny and I always enjoy her posts.  She's the brains behind "Letters to Someone" and has saved me some cash on therapy, no doubt. She loves her husband and kids and makes the time to be grateful for the little things.  If you don't know already, I dig that sort of thing.  AND she has a food blog with some crazy good recipes that she makes with her daughter, Rhiannon.  I'd make her a Malibu cocktail and have some fun in the kitchen if we lived in the same state!!

So, of course, there are rules for this award!

1) If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you.

2) Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know.

3) If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back.

4) Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans.
'kay, here goes and I do mean this.  Thank you so much to my bloggy friends who follow me and always stop by to comment even when I don't have anything nice to say.  I love reading what you're thinking about what I'm thinking.  Seriously.  Thank you.
Mimi - Living in France
Georgie - Decisionally Challenged
Rose - Desert Rose Moments
Tyne - The White House
And then Amanda gave me another award.  And this one really touched me.  The caption with it was so dang sweet.  I am not always complimented on my honesty :) Thank you very much, friend. 
Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

I am going to pass along the little teacup which is the warm and cozy for those blogs that make you feel like a cup of coffee on a cool night. These blogs make me cozy whether through sweet words or honesty or pure laughter.

I am sure that there are some other rules that I have ignored overlooked and I will try to do better.  G'night Big Blogosphere.  I'm happy to be here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Have Plans of my Own

The vulnerability we feel as individuals dramatically pales in comparison to the fear that arrives the moment your first become a parent. Any concern I’d ever had for myself or my loved ones seem so small and frivolous compared to the gigantic fear that I owned on the day that we drove our son home from the hospital.

Is the car seat installed correctly?

Will someone broadside us in the 8 miles between the hospital and the haven of our home?

Has anyone ever had to return to the hospital because they harmed their infant changing a diaper?

The fear of my own inadequacy was enough to drive a perfectly sane human to their knees, but I was learning how to get by. And then I turned on the news. Every day since February 2002 has been a minefield of emotion for me as I genuinely hurt for parents who are searching for their children, or even worse, find that their children will never return home. I don’t know how they go on.

Danielle van Dam was abducted from her bedroom on a Friday night while her parents were sleeping. There was a wide spread hunt for her until her 7 year old body was found dumped on the side of the road 3 ½ weeks later. My son was a week old when they found her and I was devastated. My heart was broken for her parents and I was sick to my stomach for her. She was a darling child ripped from her life and literally thrown away. This is where my faith has limits.

Even on my best days faith is a slippery slope for me. I do believe in eternal life and a higher power. We are all better for the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. I have faith that things will turn out exactly the way He has planned. However, in some instances I have NO interest in being part of His plan. I’m not sure if that means that my faith isn’t whole hearted or if I am selfish and an uncommitted Christian. Either way, I am willing to live with that. The plans that include pain to children are not something I want to be part of.

The case of Somer Thompson this week is no exception to that. I struggle to understand what plan that could be. Did God really intend to take her away from her family to teach them about sacrifice? I am praying for her poor Mother and her sweet siblings. I simply can’t imagine how they must feel and don’t want to know. Whether or not it’s a blessing in disguise I do not ever want to be blessed that way. Please God.

Hug your babies this weekend and give thanks that they’re with you and they’re safe. If they’re anything like mine they are far from perfect, but having them safe at home is sometimes all the perfect we need.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Letters to Someone

Dear Crazy Chick at the Gas Station ~

Yes, I do remember that super funny episode of Desperate Housewives!! The one where Lynette thought it would be OK to take her son's ADD prescription to give herself more energy??!!? OMG, so funny! Good for me I didn't rthink anyone really did that. You however, clearly considered it a "how to" episode. I looked REALLY closely for your wireless headset and it wasn't there. So that means that you were high fiving the pump and singing to yourself. Not cool. At all. Scarier still that you had to drive A CAR to get to the gas station. Maybe next time you could indulge in your addiction earlier in the day so by the time the rest of us are out and about you've normed. Umkay?

More Than a Little Concerned,
The Unmedicated Lady Behind You

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

How nice that you have nowhere else to be but the office. I'm truly delighted for you. I am, however, getting a little tired of defending my choice to see my family every night. Yes, my husband did pick up the kids today, but that doesn't change my desire to see their faces for more than the 40 minutes they're mine each morning. I'm funny that way. My projects are in line. I am still smiling and playing nice with others. The brilliant ideas can keep. I'll be back tomorrow.

The Senior Manager of Monkey Business

Dear Self,

Slow down, girlfriend. You need to take a deep breath and soak it all in. That little boy is a lot closer to 8 than 7 and he will only think you're a goddess for so long. Enjoy it. And the youngest one. Oh my. She thinks you are dipped in gold. Prove it to her. They will never remember that you didn't serve every food group with each meal. They will remember that you sat with them at the table and asked about their day. Kiss them goodnight even when the dishes aren't done. Hold on tight to what you love, it just may not be there the next time you're ready.

Loving You,

Dear Honest to a Fault,

We've gotta work on your timing, babe. I know Daddy didn't really steal anything when he took you and your sister to the movies without paying. I wouldn't have purchased $27 worth the tickets for a matinee either if there was no one there to sell me tickets or take them after I purchased them. But Buster, when we leave the theaters you should at least wait until we're outside to say "my favorite part of this theater is that you don't even have to pay!!!" Wow! Your positive outlook is so contagious and being near you makes me smile, but there are a lot of reasons we should crack up laughing. Running wildly from the door of the theater for fear of being arrested should not be one of them.

I Love You,

Letters to Someone happen every week.  Same place.  Same time.  You can go over to Shortmama's and see who caught her attention this week.  It's usually good for a laugh or 9!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Get Right With the Man

It never fails that when I wear my Cranky Pants for all the world to see, I am unexpectedly offered a sincere reminder of my blessings. 
I was afforded the special opportunity of weekday mass with The Athlete and his classmatesHave you ever had the opportunity to see 60 children under the age of 8 kneeling together in prayer?  It is breathtaking.  Truly.

I can't really articulate the beauty of their innocence and genuine hunger to learn God's word.  There is no dissent.  No opposition.  They are there as a whole without egos or judgement.  They are listening carefully and quietly developing their own way to apply it.  Every chance I've had to experience this stands still in my mind as one of those moments.  Those moments. 

E and I standing at the altar of that perfect little church listening to the waves.

The nurse handing me the baby in the middle of the night and saying Congratulations.

Sitting in bed with my Nanny on her last day here and chatting with my Mom.

Those moments are fleeting, but the impact is eternal and mind blowing.  I hear the voice that is usually crowded out of my consciousness.  And I come back to center.  I am reminded to drop my cranky pants in the laundry and hang my woe is me hat on the rack.  He's been dialing my number and I haven't been listening.  I've been driving too fast, working too hard and fretting too much.  All for naught.  I'm covered.

Don't forget to count your blessings friends.  A headache can be cured and the dog can be sold ;), but these moments will never happen again.  Only we can choose what the memory looks like when the moment has ended.

Fight your fights, find the grace in all the things that you can't change
And help somebody if you can
And get right with the Man

~ Van Zant

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

So there is a gimmick in blog land for every single day of the week. Clearly you know I am on the Not Me Monday bus that the blogging corporation that is MckMama started. I have also been known to throw a Flashback Friday in there although I don't think it has a sponsor. It gives me an excuse to browse through old photographs. I dig that. But mostly I don't participate in all the carnivals because I am so brilliant and profound on my own.

But not today kids. I got nothing. I can hardly be inspirational when I can hardly convince myself that it's worth shattering the blissful silence in my house to wake the kids for school. I am not so funny because frankly I haven't been smiling that much lately. So here I am in all my random glory. You can also meet some other random ramblers at the UnMom where Random Tuesday lives every week.


So the dogs are an issue for me right now. E works at home and they mostly lie at his feet and snooze for the better part of the day. Lately though, E has been moving and shaking a little more. Good for him. Bad for his canine companions. They're rebelling and I am not pleased. In the last week they** have eaten a bag of Halloween candy from my desk, broken a Halloween snow globe and left glitter all over the kitchen floor, peed in The Athlete's room, barfed on the rug in the dining room and generally irritated me to death for days on end. Just not loving them. Hope they survive until I am feeling a little more like myself.

**I have to lump them together because they won't rat each other out, but I KNOW exactly who the culprit is! You can see her here.

Speaking of feeling like myself.  I had a gigantic case of the flu about a month ago. Literally stayed in bed for days, E sprayed Lysol all around me to protect himself and on the fifth day I rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures (is that sacrilegous to say?).  I went back to work and started hugging my children again, but I have to tell ya kids I am just not right.  Mind blowing headaches, major fatigue and a lingering case of Icouldcareless.  That's just not me.  I got a referral for an internist that I see this afternoon. I am praying for a magic bullet or maybe just a bullet to the temple.  It can't hurt nearly as bad as my skull does most of the time right now.

I took today as a vacation day because The Athlete is not quite himself either and has an appointment with his ENT and a special second grade mass.  I usually "work from home" on days like today, but I didn't even want to pretend this time.  I am using 7.5 hours of leave not to have to check email and I am a little happy about it.  However, I am a little disappointed that I am not my usual perky self because a day off in the middle of week is my idea of heaven on earth.  I'll be lucky today just to finish the chores I blew off all weekend.  Oh Goody.

Yep, that's pretty random and the best I can do.  Holding out hope for the Magic Dr. today. Wish me luck!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me Monday

Knowing that I am currently the picture of perfect health, I bound out of bed every single morning and get all of my chores done before making a balanced healthy breakfast for my family. All of my laundry is done, the floors are spotless and there is no backlog of paperwork on my kitchen desk. Knowing all of that ~ NONE of these things have happened to me recently. Not me

Our family has not been without a washer and dryer for a couple of weeks and my sweet Mother in Law did not haul a hamper of clean towels to us on Sunday. We did not shop for a replacement set more than once and I did not check right out of the decision making process once we were ready to make a purchase. I care enough about the available cycles and the aesthetic qualities of appliances that I didn’t say “I don’t care” and let my husband take care of it while I watched the kids play DJ Hero at Best Buy.

I did not tell The Princess to “figure it out” for breakfast over the weekend because I couldn’t bear to get out of bed and feed her. She did not later tell me that she had M&M cookies and also fed her brother a Rice Krispy treat as his morning meal. I did not have to swallow my good Mom speech because it was not technically my fault that they ate that when they had to “figure it out”.

It wasn’t me that did not turn on my computer all weekend long and I am not concerned that I missed some school emails or team updates that are important to my children. I did not intentionally forego all of my electronic duties to relax and spend time with my family in an effort to recover from my lifestyle hangover. And I am not even a little disappointed that even after the intentional dismissal of those duties I still don’t feel better and still have chores to do. Boo! That would not be good.

And most of all it was definitely not me that got up late this morning and was positively dumbfounded when the dog barfed LOUDLY in the dining room. Nooooo. That so would not happen in my house on a busy Monday morning. And I surely didn’t send my 7 year old on a hunt for his Dad to clean it up. IF it were me (and it wasn’t) I’d have been long done with breakfast dishes and making lunches and would have no issue with scooping up barf on my way out the door. So that must mean it was not me that did not clean it up.

What haven’t you done lately? You can head to MckMama's and be part of the blog fun and see who else hasn't done anything terrific lately. You can't believe how much mischief hasn't been done . . .

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Letters to Someone

Dear Dinner Table ~
Your load has been light lately, I know. But I say, be grateful for the time off. The holidays are just around the corner and you know how I love to entertain! For now, I promise to make a crock pot o' something so we can enjoy your company, as well as something that requires a basket of rolls. Very soon, I promise. It's not that we love the kitchen island more, but it does seem more appropriate for tater tots and turkey sandwiches. Ya know? Don't sulk - it's not becoming of you. We'll see you for Sunday dinner.

The Lady Who's Not a Gourmet Cook

Dear So Cal Freeway Drivers ~
Some water on the road should not turn a 35 minute drive into a 2 hour drive. Do you hear me? Should. Not. I know that rain is foreign here in the land of milk & honey, but experience has shown me that we'll live through it. I also happen to know that water falling from the sky will not permanently damage your Range Rover. I promise. And driving 42 miles per hour on the freeway won't make it go away. It will just make you sit in the rain longer. And me. And I don't like it. Move along, please.

More Than a Little Frustrated,
The Rainy Day Driver

Dear Overweight Spaniel ~

Your spotty snoot is just the cutest and I say time and time again that you're the sweetest dog ever. Ever. But holy smokes do you have the worst manners in the world!!!! I've been trying to train the babes to close the bathroom doors to curb you of your lust for toilet water. We'll keep working on that one. And I am a little sorry for smacking you with a pillow in the middle of the night, but I just can't understand why you have a need to groom at 1 AM. The big, black man sleeping next to you is your BROTHER and no one else in the house cares what you look like. Give it a rest. Go night night like everyone else and I'll keep letting you sleep here. Blow me off and you might be outside with the raccoons. I think they could take you. Knock it off, sister!!

Big Hugs & Kibble,

Dear Household Appliances ~

Do you all get together with Buzz and Woody in Andy's bedroom and talk about your plans and dreams?  I am thinking you must communicate somehow and just don't understand why you've scheduled a revolt right now.  We were squeaking by with the duct tape on the washing machine even if I did have to squeeze my eyes shut each time I walked past, but then you decided to flash a brand new error message and quit altogether.  Not cool.  And now the oven.  WTF? It IS possible we're going to want clean clothes and dinner on the same day.  Will you please cooperate.  Pretty, pretty please?  I'd love a shopping trip this weekend, but not where you live.

So Over It Right Now,

Every Thursday you can head over to Shortmama's and read her letters and see what her bloggy friends have to say, too. It's always a good time around here!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Face of an Angel

For all of her sparkling finery and eye mask dreams, sometimes I think The Princess is a tiny truck driver wrapped in a silken package.  She has the MOST inappropriate sense of humor and a little bit of an evil streak.  In the last two weeks alone, she has lost all of her stars on the chore chart TWICE for hitting, pinching or kicking.  This girl is 5 and weighs 32 pounds, by the way.  Just the tiniest streak of lightening ever!  Anyhoodle . . .

She has been scolded a few times recently for her colorful word choices.  She comes to breakfast this morning with that wicked sparkle in her eye.

She says to her brother

"Yo sucker!"

She gets raised eyebrows and the look from me.  We've talked specifically about this word before.


What is her favorite word and always comes complete with innocent blue eyes and a smirk at the edges of her mouth.

"Didn't we talk about you using that word?  Should you be calling your brother a name?"

"Well, I just thought maybe he wanted a lollipop in his lunchbox."

Oh yeah.  Keep trying Princess.  I knew a girl like you one time . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Raising Thoughtful Children

Thoughfulness is a lost art. Everyone is busy and moving rapidly through life. There's no opportunity for sincerity in a tweet. True consideration is masked by birthday reminders on Facebook. People you've never laid eyes on wish you a Happy Birthday on Facebook. Timely and pleasing, absolutely. Thoughtful, I say no.

My Nanny was truly the most thoughtful person in the world. I was 20 years old when I moved to California and the only person I knew was E. My new world was full of foreign experiences and constant adjustment and all I could do was hold my head up and push through. I never told anyone how scared I was back then, but she knew. She mailed me a handwritten letter once a week. Every week. For years. A quick hello. A well timed word of encouragement. A small check for no reason. They were the most thoughtful gestures of my life. She knew I needed her and it was her way of being there for me without suggesting I pack up and come home. She was truly, truly thoughtful. The impact of her sincerity is not lost on me. When I spoke at her funeral I wasn't even a little surprised to see the ocean of people who wanted to be near her one more time. I always want to believe that I was her favorite and she treated me special, but I know that she extended the same gestures to everyone she encountered. Her bosses, the summer interns in her office, my less deserving cousins . . . She held no prejudice in her consideration.

I want to raise children who leave the same impact on the world. It is the job that I take the most seriously. I cannot take back my own trangressions or erase unkind words. I can only try do better in the future and the people at my kitchen counter ARE the future. They are learning to write thank you notes and call their Grandparents to ask how they're doing. They choose gifts that the recipient will cherish. They offer assistance to those who need it. They are required to go through the motions of consideration so they will evolve as truly thoughtful adults. It is a gift I'd like to leave them when I'm not around to pack their lunches anymore.

The Princess likes to color and draw and such when My Athlete is doing homework. Last night was no different. She was hard at work on a coloring book about fire safety. Cool! Woven into her chatter about not hiding from firemen even if they sound like Darth Vader and never playing with matches I saw her lightbulb go on. Quite cynically I was thinking "oh, this should be good."  Shame on me.

"Mama, it's Rory's birthday tomorrow."

"Awesome. Are you going to wish her happy birthday when you see her?"

"Can I make her a card?"

You've never seen a grown woman so feverishly dig for card stock, stickers and markers.

"I think that's a wonderful idea. How sweet of you."

"I know."

Well, thoughtful is a process. At least we're trying.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not take my kids directly to the grocery store for movie rentals, their favorite frozen pizza and ice cream for our Friday night slumber party. And they were not beside themselves when I let them eat in front of the TV in the family room and gave them seconds on Oreo milkshakes. I would never do that when their Dad was out for the night. I serve vegetables with every meal and we use linen napkins at the dining room table. Always.

I also did not cry and cry and cry when going through old videos for a project I'm working on. It's not me that was stunned speechless by how much life has changed even in the last two years and how richly I've been blessed. Nope. I did not shed a tear over footage of our now deceased grandparents or the videos the kids recorded two summers ago for their Dad. They were not the cutest 3 and 5 year olds EVER telling their Dad "congratulations" and wishing him well. Max did not compliment him on being handsome and doing well on his homework. That would be too cute a message from a five year old to his 30 something Dad. Those sentiments are not captured on film at my house.

It was not me that slept until 10 AM on Sunday just because everyone else was still asleep and I could. And I did not bolt upright out of bed realizing that the Princess didn't have the perfect hair accessory to wear to a baby shower with her shiny new dress. And she did not happily run right out the door with me in the clothes she slept in to purchase said hair accessory. She did not fawn over every sparkly thing in the neighborhood kids boutique and ask 5 times for a big girl dress. Did not. And I'm sure it wasn't me that told her a million times how beautiful she looked at her cousin's baby shower and she did not love it. Not one bit.

Oh, and I so do not wish it was still the weekend. Not me.  I just love a cold, cloudy Monday. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flashback Friday

On this weekend last year we were preparing for my sweet Sister in Law's wedding.  It's so hard to believe that it's already been a year.  Oh how time flies . . .

Our fabulous foursome was part of the wedding party and it was a very big deal to my little ones and to E and me.  We love TD so much and we were thrilled to be part of her special day. It was a beautiful weekend for all of us.  Just one of those times in life that will always be cherished.

The most beautiful bride EVER

everyone deserves to be this happy at least once in their lifetime

Let's get this party started

Happy Anniversary Mr & Mrs Anderson

We wish you a million happy tomorrows

Letters to Someone

Dear Second Grade Teachers -

We know that ITBS testing a BIG deal this week. Got it. We are serving healthy meals and snacks, allowing time to relax and praying promptly at 7:52 so he gets a good night's sleep. We've been fully compliant with all of your requests. However, in return for not serving any Happy Meals or Froot Loops this week we were delighted to know that we also had four nights of no homework. But you still send home the homework sheet and write "play a board game with your family." Aw come on. Really? That's just rude. Meals. check. Time to relax. check. Plenty of rest. check. But a board game AND reading after dinner on Tuesday. You're pushing it.

Nothing squirrelly tonight, please. We'll handle the relaxation on our own.

Most Sincerely,
The Parents who Need a Homework Break

Dear Metabolism -

I miss you. I know that I've eaten pizza twice in the last week, AND nachos, AND tacos at midnight. I know. But did you have to disappear entirely and leave me with these lumps that weren't there before? I'm a little self conscious of how quickly you've abandoned me. Can we negotiate? I'll have salad at least three days a week if you'll come home. I'll even give you a holiday bonus if you get back before it's time for baking. I'm gonna need all the help I can get.

Love you lots,
The EXTRA Curvy Girl

Dear Christmas Cards -

Please stop taunting me. Please. I want you so badly with all your timeless phrases and of the moment color combos and designs that will feature my gorgeous kids. I browse and lust far more than I should and it's only the first week of October! Every year I swear I won't be lured by you and spend more than I should, but man are you hard to resist. Please find someone else to torture. I'm sure I'll be fine with simple, inexpensive cards. Just fine.

Lots & Lots of Love,
Your Not So Secret Admirer

Dear Darling Family -

You are extraordinary. Just so fabulously great. Seriously. I've been a bit of a professional train wreck lately and there you are when I walk in with your sweaty hair, marker on your elbows and a smile for me and all the rest just disappears. I appreciate you so much for backing my car out of the garage in the mornings, putting your stars in the right spots on your chore chart and for wanting to read and pray with me every single night. Until the Big Man decides this gig is up for me I will continue adoring you and giving my eternal thanks for the chance to be in your orbit. I love you all more than words can ever say.

Very Truly,
The Luckiest Woman Alive

You can head over to Shortmama's today and read her super funny letters and you can see what her bloggy friends have to say, too.  It's always a good time around here!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sweet Dreams, Princess

Oh to be five and ruling the world from a 40" high perch
In a land where Christmas is pink tulle and Barbie convertibles

and a movie with your best friend includes your finest duds and some M&Ms in your popcorn

and bedtime brings an eye mask and your favorite teddy

I hope all your dreams come true, baby girl.  You're fulfilling mine every day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So, Who's the Crazy Girl?

You know the one who says “I am madly in love with my family” one minute and “OMG, I can’t control my life – what on earth is happening to me?” the next. Yeah, that girl. The one in the crazy hat. That would be me.

I have a friend who just said that she wishes she had two blogs. One for people she knows in real life where she can share her darling babes and family and one that is anonymous where she can rant and say what she’s really thinking. Ooooooohh, wish I’d have thought of that!!! IF I were smarter I might not have started being so honest on my blog and mentioning anything other than how precious my kids are and how much I love my life. But I am not that smart. And I did. And I’m OK with it. Well, I have to be OK with it at this point and I will defend myself (and my friend) with this.

The authentic version of ourselves is better than something artificial that we have to constantly stay on top of. The good the bad and the ugly is what makes us so fabulous. Yep, bad and ugly is a little more prominent sometimes, but it’s real. And real people hurt and sometimes don’t have anything nice to say. I think that’s OK.

Blogs are our 21st century diaries and no one has to wait for us to die to reveal our deepest, darkest secrets. What a lucky world!! I waiver sometimes on how much information I am sharing about my family and if what I am saying will hurt anyone. The answer is usually “no”. There are some things that are said on other blogs that I find to be life changing and sometimes hilarious, but I just can’t go there. I won’t go there. It’s not me. But what is me is what’s right here.

I work hard

I love deeply

I laugh loud

I hug tightly

I pray for mercy

I give thanks always

I occasionally cry

And sometimes I am just a little bit crazy

Monday, October 5, 2009

Well, I Guess That's What I Get

How ridiculous do I feel for my earlier rant? A lot!

I should have spent some time unwinding before I said what I was thinking. Hmmmm, sound familiar . . . It is truly a disease that I can't seem to be cured of. Anyway, I read to unwind. And I was catching up with all my bloggy friends who I missed over the weekend. And looky what I found.

The funniest Mama EVER at Speaking from the Crib gave me this little gem over the weekend. Thank you! Your lovely comments made my otherwise yucky day.

Mrs. Montoya at One Foot in Front of the Other a really sweet lady, mother, and wife, and truly inspirational writer.

How can I possibly be so crabby when someone calls me sweet and inspirational? I am honored and will live up to the praise. Tomorrow.

Can We Talk?

Everyone has those days when they have nothing nice to say, right? And if you're from the South you know that if you have nothing nice to say then you say nothing at all. Well sorry y'all, but I've been a West Coast girl long enough that my manners are slipping and I had a seriously intense day. And I don't like it.

I am generally a pretty laid back chick. I have worked a lot in the last few years to teach myself to get over things that don't matter and focus on the positive. There's so much negative noise in the world that you can be consumed quickly. I choose not to be. The whole of my life is good and I refuse to let traffic and idol chatter impact my buzz. Mostly.

But there are just days that shake you and remind you that you can't control everything. And that doing it halfway won't get you to where you need to be. And maybe saying exactly what you're thinking all the time may not be the best approach. Man, I hate days like that.

But lucky me. I have a blog that I can rant to. Just knowing that saved my chubby dog from a swift kick to the rear and allowed my children to both get a good book, a prayer and a kiss in lieu of a scowl. Thank you Dear Blog. I heart you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ten Things

Ten reasons September made me smile . . .

#1, #2 & #3

spending quality time with girfriends

priceless artwork

making time to read

how dang cute Sophia looks in her uniform every morning

an unexpected night alone with EY

kids who believe that dreams come true


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