Friday, May 30, 2008

Such A Clever Guy!

The other night we went out to dinner with T's parents after spending the day at their house swimming and having fun. As I was enjoying my meal, T said something funny to me and I laughed. Then, all of a sudden, I was choking. I've had several experiences where I have "had something go down the wrong way" and had a little coughing spell, but this was bad...I was having trouble breathing. I could barely inhale any air at all. T looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder, and gave me that "are you ok?" look and this is when I made a big mistake: I looked at him and shook my head "no". After several seconds of not breathing but a tiny bit of air, I finally started coughing, but it took a while before I was able to talk. When I could finally talk, I explained to everyone that I was really choking. T looked at me and said, "Then why did you shake your head 'no'?" Apparently he thought I was saying to him, "No, I don't need help. Don't get up." I explained to him that I was actually saying to him, "NO, I AM NOT OK." It is then that he made me feel really stupid...

He put his hands on his throat and said, "THIS is the universal sign for choking."

"Oh yeah," was my response.
I'm pretty sure I won't forget that next time. We also used that as an opportunity to tell our kids about it at the same time.

I sure am glad that God decided not to take me while eating a salad at a mexican restaurant and choking on lettuce! I can think of more glamourous ways to exit this world...choking isn't one of them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I acquired a hope chest, or cedar chest, from my mother many years ago. For the post 10 years this hope chest has sat at the foot of our bed and it has hardly been opened to view it's contents. Mostly, it serves as a place to put my folded clothes or to collect dust in my bedroom.

This past weekend, however, I decided to actually clean it out so that it might serve as my winter clothes storage rather than the usual plastic bins that we change out from our attic each season. (And YES...I AM JUST NOW switching out my clothes! I have been THAT busy!) One thing that we don't like about our 60's style ranch home is that it wasn't designed with very much closet space!

Ty has been begging me for years to clean out this chest, but I kept insisting that there was some really good stuff in there that I wanted to save. I knew that there were sweaters that my Mom had in high school and some from my era as well. SURELY one day they might come back in style...or one day M or K would like to go through it! That is what I THOUGHT. I couldn't have been more wrong. There is definitely no HOPE for the things I found it the HOPE chest! I now realize that unless someone throws a party with the theme "BAD SWEATERS OF THE PAST", then there is no way any of the contents of this chest will ever be used again.

Case in point #1:

Here is a close up of those fantastic jewels!

And NO, I DIDN'T Bedazzle this myself!...but I'm pretty sure I wore it more than once! I'm SURE to some really FANCY and sophisticated party or dance...probably listening to Tiffany.

Case in point #2:

What was I thinking? Could there BE another color in this sweater?! It looks like a brand new box of Crayola crayons!

Case in point #3:

Does GRIMACE come to mind?? Or Barney, perhaps?

I now have a huge trash bag full of ugly sweaters for the salvation army, although I think they are better served at the dump! But ya never know...somebody out there just might get an invitation to that "Bad Sweater Party" and they'll find just what they are looking for at my local Goodwill store. And the very best news of all....I just found a great new place for all my winter clothes!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good Book

I just finished reading the book, THE SHACK, by William P. Young. I highly recommend this read for anyone.

I have to admit, however, this wasn't an easy read for me. I tend to be a skimmer reader, quickly reading a book. This is not one of those books. You do want to find out what happens in the end, but you have to read carefully. I even found myself having to re-read things I had just read. Also, at first, I didn't really like the story and was ready to put it was kind of..well, strange. I didn't even know if I should be reading it. But as I read further, I was really interested and I'm glad I read it to the end.

The book is about a man and father who experiences a great tragedy in his life, and in dealing with this he is able to meet, confront, and talk to God. It's a really good story and incredible message. I don't want to give more away than that. If you do find yourself reading it, don't put it down if you get the same feeling I had in the beginning. Read it in it's entirety.

I'd love to hear any comments from anyone that reads it OR has already read it. What do you think about it?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Right of Passage

For about a year now I have invested quite a few dollars at Claire's, a little costume jewelry place in the mall, for M some clip-on earrings. Each time we buy a pair, she loses at least one of them within just a few days.

I have been trying to persuade her into going ahead and getting her ears pierced so that we wouldn't have to have all this wasted money all of the time. She desperately wanted to have pierced ears, but just wasn't willing to actually GET them pierced. She even called herself a "fraidy-cat" once, so I knew it was just fear holding her back. Some may think I'm weird, or totally wrong here, but I pushed her to having it done, only because I knew she wanted it but was too scared. I talked with her about it for a couple of hours Saturday morning, trying to make it sound great, fun, and telling her it wouldn't hurt...but NO, she didn't budge on the subject. Finally, I just got ready, took her to the mall and took her into Claires to look at the earring studs. She found some she liked and I said, "lets do it now." She, once again, hesitated...BUT this time she actually thought about it. The girl there said we could do both ears at the same time once the other worker got back from her break. That gave us about 15 minutes to walk around the mall and let M think on it. In that 15 minutes, she started to get excited and was ready. So, we all headed back to Claires (the whole family in tow) and watched M get her ears pierced without a hitch. There were a few tears welling up in her eyes, but it was a little the sting and mostly the joy in the fact that "I did it and it really wasn't that bad." T and I both welled up with tears ourselves even.

I don't know...something about it...a right of passage, my little girl growing bigger..I'm not really sure, but funny enough, it was emotional for me. I probably need to start preparing myself NOW for her high school graduation in 9 years. I will be a basket case, for sure.

M is completely overjoyed with her new little, diamond, flower studs in her ears. Her sister even said she looked "rich". M has told me a thousand times since Saturday that she is so glad I talked her into getting her ears pierced. She said that now she would trust me, but only "a little bit, ...because it did hurt a little."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I don't know how many times when I was growing up that I swore that I would never say things, or do things like my mom. Like when she would lick her finger and then smooth down my hair or get a smudge off my face, I vowed I would NEVER EVER do that to my children. Now, as a mother of three I am constantly dosing my kids in my spit, or "love juice" as I like to call it, to clean their face or smooth down J's cowlick. The very things we hated as children, we have adopted to doing as adults. This got me to thinking, What am I doing now that my children will model later?...whether they want to or not.

I heard a story once about a young wife that every time she bought and cooked a whole chicken she would cut off both legs and put them neatly in the freezer before cooking the rest. After many times of doing this, she picked up the phone and called her mother:
"Mom, I was wondering...I cut off the legs of the chicken and put them in the freezer just like you used to, but I'm wondering what do we do with the chicken legs later?"

Her mom replied, "I don't know why YOU cut off your chicken legs, but I always did because my pot wasn't big enough!"

Another example, that really led me to think about all this, was when K looked at J and said, "Now,Then." I asked her to repeat it, because it sounded familiar to me. "Now, Then." she repeated, and added, "Grandmother says it all the time." The funny thing is that MY Granny used to say this all the time. Of course, her version sounded more like, "Nayow thayen" and she would say it as to communicate, "Every thing's ok now," or "Ok, you're all fixed up." Perhaps a southern thing or perhaps just a family thing, but I have even noticed myself using this phrase that really doesn't make much sense at all, and obviously my mom says it too.

I wonder...what am I doing that is creating a lasting impression or habit onto my children just from being around it? Am I kind with my words, or do I yell too much? Am I patient, or always frustrated? Do I show kindness to others, or do I walk away because I am too busy? Do I spend my idle time doing good things, or doing things that aren't good?

Little sponges, soaking up everything we say and do. What kind of model am I being to them? That's a little dose of reality that will make you think twice the next time you are about to yell at the slow moving car in front of you. And the truth is, it isn't just the kids that are listening...God can see and hear me ALL of the time....Am I living in a way that is honoring to him? I find myself now thinking I might need to spend the rest of the day in prayer and solitude begging for forgiveness because I know most days I lose my patience, yell some, get frustrated, and am often too busy for others, even though I really don't mean to at all.

Now, Then.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cheeseburgers and Fries=Belly Fat

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K likes to play pretend drive up. This is where she gets out her little cash register and her play food and she speaks in her microphone, "Welcome to ----. May I help you?" For some weird reason, she especially likes to play this when I am in the tub. Instead of what could be a nice, relaxing time for me is spent playing drive up window.

The other day we were playing "Drive Up" and she kept changing the restaurant name. ..."Welcome to Wendy's. May I help you?.....Welcome to McDonalds. May I help you?" and so on. She ran through the entire fast food chains that I know about! After having enough, I said, "You know, K..I think I don't need any more fast food. I'm getting a little fat." She looked right down at my belly and then looked up at my face and said, "Well, Mommy, let's just PRETEND."

I think I myself have been "pretending" long enough. Time to shed some lb's. Anybody have any ideas on how to lose it in 2 weeks before I have to go to the pool with my kids? Oh I wish I had a magic wand!

I love my little girl, despite her indirect criticism. She doesn't care what I look like in a bathing suit at the pool, afterall. All she really cares about is pretending she works at McDonalds and playing with her Mommy. I hope this doesn't indicate what her future employment might look like. (I couldn't resist putting the song "McDonald's Girl" by Weird Al on my playlist!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Insult to Injury

I don't mean to keep harping on my bad weekend, BUT I forgot one of the worst things that happened to me in my previous post.

Remember now, my 35th birthday was on Friday, right? Well, TWO different people this weekend (my brother's friends) asked when I was introduced as his sister, "Who is older?" W...H...A...T..!!!??? Just to let EVERYONE know out there, I am NINE (9), let me repeat, NINE years younger than my brother, S. I even took special care before I left for the weekend to color my graying hair! I mean, he was probably in the 4th grade when I was born. I was only 9 when he left for COLLEGE. I was going through puberty when he was getting married. I had just gotten my driver's license when he had his first child. He had FOUR children before I got married! Again, I say..WHAAAT!!????

OK. Had to get that off my chest. I feel better, now.

There's No Place Like Home

This past weekend my mom, my kids and I took a road trip to Boone, NC to see my oldest niece graduate from high school. It was a very sweet and special graduation, one I had never seen, a home school graduation. It was very moving to see parents of their own children speak encouraging words and praise their child for their accomplishments and then give them their diploma. Very, very sweet. I think I teared up the entire time. With that being said, it was nice to go up there and be there for this special occasion and for my girls to be around their 5 cousins (all girls). They had a ball. On the other hand, nothing seemed to go right all weekend for me. Here are a few of the scenarios:

-It takes us nine hours to get there..what should have been a six hour trip. This was due to an hour delay in a town only 20 minutes from home because we had to wait on flowers to take up to the graduation. Then, 20 minutes from my brother's house, we take a wrong turn and head about 30 minutes in the opposite direction which, of course, took us an hour to get back to where we made the wrong turn. The other hour was spent in potty breaks and lunch where we had to feed J, etc. Just crazy.

-We arrived and spent a couple of hours at my brother's house enjoying seeing family. We then had to load everybody up in the car to go to the hotel room, which was 25 minutes away because ASU had the same graduation weekend and we couldn't find a room in Boone. So, I wake J up, put him gently in the car, along with my mom and the girls and I go to crank up my keys. The next 45 minutes would be spent frantically looking for my car keys with a flashlight, in the pitch dark on top of a windy and cold mountain. I can't tell you the level of my frustration. After looking everywhere, in every bag, every crevice of my car and their house, we find my keys in some other person's pocketbook. Ugghhh.

-Two nights of getting back to the hotel room late and J was beside himself crying. Still don't really know what was up with him, but I know my nerves were shot!

-J spit up on my too many times to count. I think those windy mountain roads turned his stomach over and he couldn't keep anything down. As a matter of fact, one evening I was holding J in my brother's den and talking with my Dad, Stepmother, and 2 of my nieces when he decided to spit up the contents of his stomach all down the front of me and even down my crotch area (and I was wearing black pants!) I proceeded to stand up and wipe myself off, including my crotch area, not really thinking anything about it...then I look up and one of my brother's friends(and members of his church congregation) was in the room saying "Good Bye" and he looked at me (and what I was doing). My niece caught on, seeing the scenario, and said very loud, "AWKWARD!" The guy just turned and left. Oops. I told my brother about it later. I bet his friends think that I have no class (truth is, I guess I really don't if I was doing that in the first place...just didn't think before I did it).

Seriously, I just couldn't wait to get home. I loved being there, but nothing was going right. I was being put to some sort of test and was failing miserably. My brother even said at one point, "Well, you wonder why things like this happen.....Well, I guess it's blog material." Yes, he was right...that's really grasping for the silver lining!

Once we arrived home, I was at ease. Peace. J stopped his fussing. He went straight to bed without even a whimper. The spit ups stopped. My stress level reduced to nothing. I got to be with my man and tell him about my crazy weekend. And while I was talking to him, I realized something...I think partly my weekend was the way it was because he was not with us. I told him, "things just don't go right when you aren't around" and it's true. He couldn't have kept me keys from going in some other person's purse, or stopped J from spitting up, but he could have been there for me and therefore my nerves wouldn't have been the way they were. He is good for me. He calms me. At the end of a bad day, he can talk me through it or just give me a hug to make it better. He is vital to me and our family. Without him, it doesn't work, it doesn't feel right. God intended it to be that way. I am so thankful to have my man, the "glue" that holds us altogether.

Next time, we're taking him with us!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day (A day late)

I spent my Mother's Day driving in a car for 7 hours back from North Carolina. I did get to do this with my Mom and my 3 kids so I guess it was pretty good. The kids were sweet on the way home and that enabled my Mom and I to have some good conversation, something I love to do with my Mom. She is a wonderful mom and a great friend.

Then when we arrived home, M had written me a Mother's Day letter. The teacher had most of the words and she filled in her words (I have put those in bold). This is priceless to me. It said:

My Mom is the most wonderful Mom in the world! Her name is E (she did have my name here and even spelled it correctly). She's pretty as a flower. She is 29 years old.(love her!). She has green eyes and blondish hair. She weighs 90 pounds (again, love this kid!) and is 20 feet tall. Her favorite food is fish. In the good old days when she was little, she used to play. I think Mom is funny when she gets peed on. (this is because of baby J) But I know she's really angry when my sister spanks her. (I think she got this a little mixed up) I wouldn't trade my Mom for anything. I love my Mom because she is nice. Happy Mother's Day Mom! Love, M

Well, I thought I would play along. So here goes the same thing for my Mom. Happy Mother's Day a day late:

My Mom is the most wonderful Mom in the world! Her name is P. She's pretty as a colorful rainbow bringing cheer to everyone. She is forever 35 to me. Her weight is more than gold, and I don't mean pounds. She is petite...maybe 5 feet 1 inches tall, but stands tall against others. Her favorite food is Italian, although my favorite thing she cooks is beef stroganoff. In the good old days when she was little, she used to roller skate to school and make her parents proud. I think my Mom is funny when she tells a story or laughs with me. But I know she's really angry when someone hurts someone she loves. I wouldn't trade my Mom for the world. I love my Mom because she is devoted, kind, loyal, loving, tender, proud, smart, lovely, respectful, humble and a good friend. Happy Mother's Day Mom! Love, E

The song playing is so true to me and I love it. Take time to listen if you can. "My Daughters Eyes." I couldn't have said it better myself. It's perfect. I'm so lucky to be a mom.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me...

Warning: This is a long post. Do not feel obigated to actually read it.

35 years, 12,775 days on this wonderful earth.

-This time 35 years ago, I was taking my first breath, weighing in at 8 lbs, 6 oz and meeting my mom, dad, brother and sister for the first time face to face

-This time 34 years ago I was celebrating my very first birthday. I don't recall what my cake looked like, or even if I had one, but I'm sure it was real nice.

-This time 33 years ago I'm sure I was into anything and everything.

-This time 32 years ago I was probably walking over to my favorite neighbor's house through the bushes and she was making me homeade french fries. I named my oldest daughter after her and my grandmother.

- This time 31 years ago I was 4 years old with pig tails tied up with that yarn ribbon.

-This time 30 years ago, I had a frog themed birthday party and all my friends came and celebrated. I think this is the year I got my first bike.

-This time 29 -23 years ago I was growing up, having fun, loving my family and my friends. Spending hours playing with Barbies, riding my Big Wheel, and collecting stickers.

-This time 22-21 years ago, I was embarking on my teen years complete with a bratty attitude, sleeping in until lunch on the weekends, pimples and Seabreeze, talking on the phone a bunch, and wanting as many pairs of Guess jeans as I could get. Posters of all my favorite guy celebreties adorned my walls.

-This time 20 years ago I got my learner's permit to drive. I failed it the first time, but passed it a day or too later (I'm pretty sure I had a little help from my Dad!) I remember being so nervous.

-This time 19 years ago, I turned sweet sixteen and for my birthday I got a Volkswagon Cabriolet, which was just what I wanted ever since I had seen "Can't Buy Me Love"

-This time 18 years ago I was only 10 days away from meeting the man of my dreams on a blind date (little then did I know I would marry him and have 3 children with him)

-This time 17 years ago I was graduating from high school and saying good-bye to a lot of friends, but starting a new adventure.

-This time 16-13 years ago I was drinking entirely too much beer, having entirely too much fun, staying up entirely too a little town called Statesboro, GA. These were some of the best and worst years of my life.

-This time 12 years ago I had just finished my student teaching and was graduating from college (finally).

-This time 11 years ago I was planning "the big day", nervous with anticipation for the wedding day that would take place 2 months later....On that year I married T, again, "the man of my dreams" and my best friend.

-This time 10 years ago I was a newlywed and about to complete my first year as a teacher. I was really glad to see May come that year...those kids were crazy and I had no idea what I was doing!

-This time 9 years ago was the last year that I wouldn't be getting flowers and cards on Mother's Day. I got pregnant with our first only 5 months later. Looking back now, I have no idea what we did with all our spare time and with all of our money then (pre-kid years) !

-This time 8 years ago I was growing larger and getting hotter as summer approached. This was one of my best years ever...the year I became a Mom for the first time. Nothing challenged or changed my life more.

-This time 7 years ago I was when I realized how many jobs I actually had: wife, mommy, teacher, maid....etc.

-This time 6 years ago I was still in my twenties!

-This time 5 years ago I was pregnant with K and got a minivan, something I said would never happen! I couldn't think of a more depressing birthday...turning 30 and getting a minivan. However, this is the same year that God blessed us with the sweetest angel of a baby in K.

-This time 4 years ago I was a mother of two and for the first time a stay at home mom. I have never felt more blessed.

-This time 3 years ago I had less wrinkles, and no gray hair in sight. How quickly things can change.

-This time 2 years ago my first child was finishing up her Kindergarten year, I had (almost) a three year old and we would spend the next few summer months at the pool loving every minute of it.

-This time 1 year ago I was finding out that we had our first son on the way. I'll never ever forget that sweet moment.

-TODAY, I am loving being 35. Yes, I think I would like to not have the stretch marks, a scarred belly, the wrinkles, the gray hair, the extra lb's, and the dark circles.....but to find the brighter side of all these, they are what makes me who I am today..a well worn, sometimes too tired mommy, who would do anything for my children. I have been so graciously given 3 precious gifts: two beautiful, sweet girls and one absolutely adorable son, my "buddy". I am married to a wonderful man, who is dashingly handsome, who makes me laugh on a daily basis and who takes care of his family so well. What more could I ask for in 35 years? Life couldn't be more complete.

Happy Birthday Me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Huxtables vs. Grand Theft Auto ??

T and I were discussing last night the lack of good family television shows. Besides America's Funniest Videos, Extreme Home Makeover, and possibly American Idol, there is really nothing out there that you can sit and watch as a family.

We remembered a ton of shows that we watched growing up. Some older re-runs and some actually from our generation: Family Ties, Different Strokes, Andy Griffith, Carol Burnette Show, Leave it to Beaver, Brady Bunch, Punky Brewster, Little House on the Prairie, Dukes of Hazzard. There were so many. The one we talked most about was The Cosby Show. A sitcom about a very succesful and loving couple (and do I need to say, married), Claire and Cliff Huxtable, and the situations of every day life that they experienced with their children. There was always a lesson and it was always funny and entertaining to both us and our parents. Where is that today? I might be a little optimistic, but I think that there are still loving, married couples out there raising good children that might like to see something like that again.

I am so disappointed with t.v. today. Even the commercials or clips for shows are things I don't want my children to see. The other night, I saw a commercial for a video game called (I think) Grand Theft Auto. WHHHHHAAAAATTTT!!!!????? We want responsible, good people in this world, don't we? Then I am confused at why we are teaching them how to steal cars by playing a video game, or how to cheat on your spouse by watching a tv show!!

One of my friends said she was searching for the I Love Lucy and Little House box sets for her children. I guess we will have to do the same thing. I know this is so cliche and not at all to be disrespectful to my sweet granny, but my granny would most certainly roll over in her grave!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Getting Older

My 35th birthday is in two days and quite frankly, I am feeling rather old this morning. I have just recently come to the revelation, that I am not as young as I act anymore. Seriously, it got me to thinking...

NOW is the time to actually wash my face before bed and apply heavy cream as to slow down the aging effects. NOW is the time to stop pretending that I still carry "baby weight" and actually exercise to get it off, for HEALTH reasons, not so I can look good (although, of course, that is really WHY I would do it!) NOW is the time to start eating right, cutting out the fatty foods and replacing it with organic vegetables so that my arteries might actually have a little more room in them for another 35 years of blood to pass through them. NOW is the time to stretch my muscles and keep them moving, so that I don't become stiff by the time I am 60.

They say that kids keep you young, but I'm not so sure about that. Perhaps, young at heart, but not body. My back and hips ache at night from carrying an eighteen pound baby around, and since having J, the gray hair has all of a sudden decided to come in like crazy. I'm not really ready to be gray headed...I still think 35 is too young for that. I say all this, but last night I saw a tiny baby sleeping on a TV show and I told T, "I think I want another one." Then, I regained my wits, and realized that it's kind of like a puppy...they don't stay in that cute, little,puppy stage very long and really I was just wanting another baby to experience that little bitty infant baby stage again. Also the realization that I am 35 now and "what in the heck am I thinking?" set in.

Time to start living like I am actually in my mid thirties like I am, instead of acting like I am still in my twenties. It's time to stop living in fast forward, as Kenny puts it. I'm not real sure if I have been acting quite like a "hillbilly rock star", but I can say that I could treat my body a little better.

I'm just not sure where the time went. It seems like yesterday that I was a young girl playing with dolls, or a teenager crying over a silly boy, or even becoming a mommy for the first time. My friend, mom of eleven, entitled her last post, "The Days Go By Slow, But The Years Go By Fast." You are so right, friend, you are so right.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Little Ballerina

K's very first dance recital. She did fabulous and was as pretty as ever. She danced to "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music. It was precious.

I am so proud of my beautiful ballerina!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Angel Baby

Oh, I get a little camera happy when I take pictures of my boy. Here's J at 7 months. Love that little feller.