Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 - The Year We Were Pooped On

If you know me, you know that seagulls and I have a love-hate relationship. I have been pooped on more times than I can remember. I always figured “they must love me” since they choose me as their target. However, I have recently learned that birds often perform this ‘act of love’ to make themselves lighter as they flee from danger. So really, all of this time, they were scared of me.

On my way home from work I drive through an exchange of expressway that is home to hundred’s of birds. As you may have guessed I get pooped on almost every time. It is at this point that I am thankful for the vehicle I’m in, and that the window is taking the brunt force of the poop not me.

One day after driving through this treacherous area I got to thinking about how this year relates so much to those birds and what they so often do to me. At the end of January we laughed as we said, “2011 is NOT our year” thinking that it had to get better - we were only through the first month.

But then the year continued, as did the poop.

Our vehicles stopped working, our cupboards leaked, relationships changed, solid plans diminished, good-byes were said and tears were shed.

There is so much more that I can’t remember, or maybe just do not really want to.

When you are in the midst of it, you don’t see the bright side. It all seems like poop. But, almost everyday my van gets pooped on and there are days that I never notice.

There are been the down-lows this year, but we are thankful for the ones we don’t remember or that turned out to be not as bad as we thought. Our vehicles are still running, and we have a live in mechanic for when they don’t. We still have a roof, even if it leaks in large snow storms. Although we have said so long to some relationships, new ones have formed in their places. And even though there are some changes in our lives that we have yet to figure out, we know that they are all part of the plan for our family.

Then there was the day that I got pooped on in rainbow fashion. I don’t know what the birds were eating that day, but the kids and I laughed the whole way home at the sheer variety of color. Those are the times that I’m most thankful for this year, the ones that we could laugh through.
Like the time we ran out of toilet paper. One bathroom house, totally out of toilet paper.

And then there is the day that God decided to prove to us that His plan is better than ours. The day we found out about baby number three.

As the year started wrapping up and coming to a close we looked with anticipation to a new start. But as we needed to say good-bye to this year, we also had to say good-bye to beloved members of our family. We know that their new beginning is greater than any we will know, but it doesn’t change the loss that we feel without them.

Finally, I woke up this morning without a voice. I thought being sick through the holidays was enough, but I was hit once again.

Throughout today I have been thinking about this post, this year, and my lack of words.

It’s fitting. There isn’t anything to say that will change this past year. It is not my words that will write the next one. We have learned through it all that God has something to say to us, through the good and the bad. We need to listen.

It’s time to wash off the poop. More may come, but it too will be washed eventually. So, I silently say good-bye to 2011, and welcome 2012.

Bring it on birds, I’m ready!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Starting School

Back to School for Henry!!

Henry started Pre-K last week, and couldn't get enough of it! His favorite part is playing on the playground and in the gym. In the mornings he can't wait to leave for school so that he has plenty of time to play before the bell rings to start the day. I'm glad that he is enjoying it so much!

Meleah couldn't be left out of the pictures.

I told her to smile, "I am mom, this is my smile"

Saying Goodbye to Summer

As I sit in my house tonight, and it is 83 degrees inside, I realized that this maybe one of the last summer days we are going to have. So what better time than to relive our summer. Enjoy the snapshots from our summer (in no particular order)!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Joy in my Heart

Last night while playing Henry started talking to me about his heart. He said that it was inside him and that you have joy in your heart when Jesus lives there.

I didn't want to push him on the subject, but I knew that vacation bible school last week had made a big impact on him, so I figured this talk was a result of that.

I asked Henry if he knew how to get Jesus in his heart, and he told me no. I told Henry that all he needed to do was pray and ask Jesus to come and live there.

That was the end of that...Henry was onto other things.

Later in putting Henry to bed, he told me that it was his turn to pray.

"Dear Jesus, help me have no bad dreams and please come live in my heart. Amen."

My cup runneth over.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We're Still Here!

Yup, still here. We're all waiting on summer, and our days are full in the meantime. What have we been doing?

Celebrating Scott's Birthday

Henry's field trip on the train:

Celebrating Grandparent's Day at School

Henry was blessed to have two generations of Grandparents with him!

Celebrating Easter:

Waiting for grilling season:

Our annual trip to the butterflies:

There's always more to come...

...but it might take awhile (just stating the obvious!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Who is Your Henry?

Tonight I was busy. Checking email, making a grocery list and try to accomplish multiple other things at the same time. In checking my email the devotional I get from the Proverbs 31 ministry caught my attention. You might realize why. I have posted it below.

Meeting Henry
11 Apr 2011
Holly Good, Assistant to Lysa TerKeurst

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

He sat across the aisle from me, talking to himself. I had boarded a plane very early one morning in TX, after a weekend women’s conference where I was serving with Lysa. I casually glanced over at him and thought, “Oh boy, this will be interesting.” And I closed my eyes to settle in.

After several minutes, he realized he was in the wrong seat. He jumped up, grabbed his belongings and crossed the aisle to join me. And once again, I thought, “Oh boy, here we go.”
I was a bit nervous to be honest. We exchanged pleasantries and I closed my eyes again, waiting for the plane to take off. He continued to mumble to himself as he looked out his window.
Several more minutes passed. I tried to fall asleep. And then finally, deep in my heart I felt compelled to talk to my seat mate, even though there was still a part of me that begged for my eyes to remain closed; shut off in my comfort zone.

“Tell me about yourself,” I reluctantly smiled.

He told me his name was Henry. Then he started asking me just as many questions as I was asking him. With every answer I gave, he would kindly respond, “Well that sounds good.”
I looked around somewhat apologetically as Henry continued to dialogue with me in a very loud tone.

It was then that I profoundly felt three words rush into my mind, “This is Me.”

I stopped. I pondered. I swallowed. And I blinked.
“You, Lord?” I hesitantly questioned.
“This is Me,” I gently but clearly sensed again. And then, “Look at Me.”

I reflected for a moment and remembered, “‘…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40.

My perspective abruptly softened. I looked at Henry with inquisitive eyes as he chatted away. I examined every detail on his face. I noticed his scruffy beard and bushy eyebrows and I looked deep into his eyes, which he told me did not work very well.

Henry was traveling to attend his grandmother’s funeral several states away. He was about to see his father, whom he hadn’t had contact with in 25 years. As our conversation unfolded, I learned that Henry had been born with a birth defect called Poland Syndrome. He had a small left hand with fingers that didn’t move and permanent paralysis in the upper left side of his body. He dropped out of high school several years earlier because students were not nice to him.

I listened with interest as we talked about his love of computers. I was captivated by his knowledge, and continued with a long list of questions. We happily shared my granola snack over an animated conversation as he talked and I listened.

All of my previous inhibitions had completely vanished.

The last words Henry spoke to me were, “People never talk to me like you have.”

I blinked back tears as I helped him read his connecting boarding pass. I gently smiled goodbye. But my heart was sad as we got off the plane. You see, I knew how close I was to being like everyone else. So very close. And how many times in the past I was like everyone else.

I had ministered to women the entire weekend, but I was resistant to talk to the fragile soul right beside me, begging for attention.

Meeting Henry changed me that day.
Meeting Henry taught me to pray daily for eyes to see deeper, ears to listen more intently and a heart to humbly embrace new perspectives.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord. I want to see others the way You do. Because when I do, I learn.
And the more I learn, the more I am drawn closer to the One who created it all.

Who might be your Henry today?


So of course by the time I was done reading it I was in tears. No, my Henry does not have any defects, in fact he is quite wonderful. But oh how often I over look it.

I just said to a co-worker today that we are going through some ups and downs with Henry. I said I'm trying to figure out the best way to deal with it, or at least just live through it. But really what is the best for him, and us?

Like this Henry, all my Henry wants is attention. So why is that so hard to give? How often I listen without hearing and look without really seeing...way too much I'm sorry to admit.

I'm not seeing him like Jesus does, and I'm definitely not seeing him as Jesus. I want him to see Jesus in me, I never thought of seeing Jesus in him.

Time to take a break, and focus on Him. I might see things I never have before.

Friday, February 11, 2011

All about ME

Did you know that I’ll be 30 in approximately 5 months?! Well, I am. And right about the time I turned 29 this became a somewhat dreaded thing. Not because I feel like I’m getting old or anything like that. It was more because most of my 20’s has been about change and finding a new normal. In my twenties I graduated from college, got married, had two children and fluctuated from full time to part-time in my job and no-time to full-time in wife-ing, mothering and stress-filled living. I was not at a place in life that I felt I was truly enjoying living.

I wanted to get my life in order, to make progress in everything I enjoyed and to complete or eliminate the things that were preventing me from that.

So I made a list, lots of lists actually. Some on paper, though most were in my head. I thought I knew where I was going, and what I wanted. I set the over-ambitious goal of getting there in a year.

I even started another blog. Feel free to gasp in horror, I’ll wait. I know, what was I thinking. I can’t keep one blog going, why was it necessary to start another?! Well, I was submersed in blogs about crafting and cooking and baking and being organized and couponing to save money and…the list goes on. In reading them, all were, and still are, things that I want to do. I thought by starting a blog about what I was doing, related to those things, I would make progress in accomplishing those aspects of my life.

I was wrong.

However, what I did learn was that having a blog about things that you like to do, but aren’t doing only makes you feel guilty about not doing those things, AND for not updating a blog about them!

But let me tell you, I did not come to that conclusion right away, it took about 6 months.

There were quite a few things that led me to the end of the alternate blog, but mainly it was after a few days of intense attention on Henry, in an effort to keep him on the right track in terms of his attitudes and decision making, that I realized I still had my focus and priorities wrong.

Vacuum b4 dusting started to be about me…and then it changed into a lot about my kids with an occasional post from ME. My new blog was all about ME, butt my life isn’t all about me, and so it wasn’t a good fit.

Don’t get me wrong, I did learn about myself through the blog. So I guess it did serve its purpose. I’ve changed - my thinking, my attitude and my focus.

As a result, I’m reinventing this blog (a bit). There will still be pictures of my kids, don’t worry, but it is going to be more. I am continuing this blog TO my kids. It is a great way to record memories and stories of their childhood, but it is now a way to teach my kids. I want them to know not only the fun things they did, but what life was like growing up from every side. I want them to know what I thought and did when they were kids, because in becoming a mom and growing older, that sort of thing has become so much more important to me and I want it to mean something to them.

So feel free to continue joining us on this ride – no matter where it takes us.

As I delete my alter-blog, are you curious what happened behind the scenes? What I really did learn or do in all of this time? Since it got me to this point and gives a bit more insight to who I am, here you have it:

The Start of a Journey
My life is a mess, but I'm striving to make it a beautiful mess.

Most days there are so many things to do and never enough time to do it. The main problem though, is that I have so many things that I WANT to do on top of the things that I need to do. When a free minute arrives I have no idea where to start.

About two months ago I turned 29.

Less than 365 days now until 30.

I was never one to have lofty goals of "by the time I'm 30....." However, a month or so before The Day of 29 I started thinking. I am not sure how I really got to this point in my life, and I am not so sure that I like where it is at. During my silent meltdown the week of turning 29 I decided it was time to make those lofty goals and set a path for my 30th year and hopefully the rest of my life.

I want to accomplish the things that I need to do, and enjoy the others activities that I want to do. I need to create a balance, I need to get life in order and I need to get my priorities straight.

There is a song on Christian radio stations right now by Amy Grant, and it has become my theme, Beautiful Mess. "Beautiful the mess we are / the honest prayers of the breaking hearts / ... / Better than a hallelujah"

From the first time I heard the song I knew that it was one of those things that would change my life, I just was not sure how. But as time passed, events have occured in my life that have led me to realize that life really is a mess, but with the right focus it can be beautiful.

So join me on my journey, my 30th year, and in living my beautiful mess.

I love how easy it is to procrastinate first thing in the morning.

I snooze my alarm once saying that my hair will survive not being washed for a day. I snooze the alarm yet again saying that I allowed plenty of extra time in our morning, I don't need to get up quite yet. I snooze it one more time thinking that if the kids get up and eat breakfast during Curious George, I could get ready at the same time and we would actually be ahead of the game. Win-Win.

Then the door swings open and in walks child 1, so much for sleeping in late...or later at least.

On Monday I cleaned my house. It was clean for about an hour. By five o'clock the daily tornado had come through, so I said to myself, "When the kids go to bed I'll clean up again." Then after bedtime, I decided that tomorrow would be a better time to attempt another cleaning, I would hate to wake the children you know.

This is one of my 30th goals: To keep things cleaned up and stop procrastinating about doing it!
--to not leave things on the counter when I’m cooking or baking when the cupboard is just inches away
--to not leave clothes on the end of my bed rather than hanging them up.
--to not leave laundry hanging in the basement so long that it smells like basement and I need to wash it again.
--to stop coming up with things to do rather than actually doing them.

This is a daily thing for me, this procrastination. I would never have called myself one in the past, but I'm trying to re-discover myself here. So let's be honest, I am a... ... ...closet-procrastinator. I guess I cannot really admit this charateristic about myself to its fullest extent yet, maybe tomorrow.

Thrifty Acres
When I went through the check out lane tonight at the grocery store, I ended up with the same cashier from the night before. Yes, I was at the store two nights in a row. But worse, she recognized me! "I've been seeing you a lot lately," she said. I told her that my cart was so full I didn't have room for everything so I had to come back. This was partially true. My cart was full, but I wasn't sure what pop I needed to get for a party this weekend, so I had to go back.

I got to thinking though, I was at the store on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. The same store everyday. A problem? Not if you don't like saving money.

My husband claims that half of his paycheck goes to the grocery store. I am begining to think that he is right.

I tried avoiding the grocery store...impossible, we need to eat.

I tried didn't work out.

I tried buying just what I needed for meals...I couldn't do it. You see this option requires meal planning and well, perhaps that is the part that I couldn't do.

So, I still buy what I need for dinner (this is how I end up at the store everyday!) and I stock up on things on sale that I use regularly. This results in 20 boxes of cereal, 10 cans of diced tomatoes, 8 jars of salsa and a pantry and closet full of food. Which is great, if you are feeding the masses or know exactly what you are going to do with all of these treasures.

However, this can also lead to items you think you will use, and then don't. Case in point, the marble cake mix I threw away that expired 3 years ago. I think that I can still remember buying the mix, it had a purpose at the time. The purpose obviously failed, and the poor cake mix suffered the consequences.

In an ongoing effort to actually eat us out of house and home, I have inventoried, looked through recipes and tried to meal plan accordingly. I'm usually missing a couple of grocery items to finish off the plan, so I head to the store and the vicious cycle resumes.

Goal for the 30th year number 2: To eat through the pantry, meal plan and stick to a grocery budget.

I might have to try this in baby steps, good thing I have about 10 months to perfect it.

The Life of a Fruit Fly
I hate fruit flies!

I love to get fresh produce, but have trouble with the insects that insue.

In an effort to keep my home free of them, I often flap through my kitchen attempting to clap them to death. My husband hates this as much as I hate the flies.

My average is 2 out of 10. But it is just so worth it when there is a dead one on my finger!

Tonight at the dinner table I attempted to get one. I thought that I had a chance. I didn't, the thing got away.

I told my husband that I knew it was an older one, I could tell because it was a bigger one and by its lack of speed in flight. I said that they usually only live 4 days.

My husband then thought I was cruel for trying to kill them when their life span was so short. And that they probably try to fly into a wall to die on their own so that they can escape my clapping.

Either way, they end up dead and I feel better.

Fruit Fly Update
Because this really IS important in the broad scheme of things...I clapped a fruit fly to death tonight. It flew right in front of my face, I backed up a little and clapped.


The best part: My husband was sitting across the room.

I said nothing, just held up my hand. The dead fly was stuck to my middle finger.

Point made.

I'm Letting Go
I have been thinking a lot about my goals. Sometimes I think that they are attainable, and most of the time I think not.

Yesterday my oldest had preschool orientation. I dropped my youngest off, went to school, picked up a celebration lunch in honor of the newest preschoolers (my son and nephew), went back to my youngest, had the lunch, let the kids play and then head home. I was hoping (dare I say praying) that my kids would nap. I should've known better. Before I knew it dinner was upon us, the evening activities and then bedtime.

No goals were met, no progress made.

By this morning the discouragment had gotten to me. Now, don't get me wrong, it isn't like I have 300 goals that I'm crossing one off each day. I just hope to make a step in the right direction each day. Yesterday had no direction.

My mind was in 100 different places. Not only were my goals running in my head, but thoughts about my son and his new beginning as well. I have feared for the last year (and really since he was born) that we weren't teaching him enough, or not the right things, or sheltering him too much from the big, bad world. I worry about him making friends, having fun, getting picked on, embarrassing himself...the list could go on. We headed into school and made through a "practice day". Being there just made me think of more questions, more concerns and more worries. My Mess just got worse.

The whole day ended. I had gotten what seemed like nothing accomplished, added new thoughts to my jumbled mess and realized that getting anything accomplished this year could be impossible.

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Matthew 6:27

This morning on my way to work I was listening to my new Francesca Battistelli CD. The song "I'm Letting Go" came on. As I thought through yesterday, this morning and all that is in my head, I started listening to the words. I have heard this song numerous times, but I had not really listened. God was speaking to me this morning, there is no denying it.

I constantly feel like I'm drowning and there is no getting to the top. I'm holding so tightly to my own selfish ambitions that sometimes I can hardly breathe. I am clinging to my own thoughts, decisions, and goals...which are suffocating.

I said in my first post that the focus needed to be in the right place for the mess to be beautiful. Hearing this song reminded me, yet again, that my focus has not been in the right place.

I'm letting go.

(As I wrote this post the radio was on...this song came on in the middle of typing. The odds of this happening: 100% in God's favor! )

The Domestic Helper
After writing my last post, I'm afraid it might sound as thought this blog is no longer relevant. No, I'm not giving up my goals, I'm just coming at them from a different angle, with a better Christ-centered focus. Although they are my goals, so mostly about me, I'm attempting to not think of them in a self-centered, self-affirming manner. I want to conquer my goals in a way that fulfills my purpose here, to better my faith, myself, my family and to encourage any one else who relates to these thoughts to do same in their own life.

With that being said...

Last year my sister pursued canning, and I went along for the ride. I have since wanted to find a wonderful spaghetti sauce that I could make and can to have ready at a moments notice. I have not been able to find a brand at the grocery store that I have fallen in love with. I've been collecting dozens of homemade recipes, but have not tried any of them. Canning a sauce seemed like the option that fit for now and I thought it would be fulfilling to make my own.

At this point in the journey let me introduce you to my sister. She is often the source I turn to for crafty, creative inspiration and usually the one who is able to actually figure out what I want to accomplish. A lot of my friends think that I am crafty and creative, but they have not met my sister. She takes things to a level that I cannot. I often attempt something, she does it better and then I copy her. I of course do this in a loving fashion, and there is always an abundance of laughter involved. We are now moving on into food explorations, and I am thoroughly enjoying the ride.

My Grandma canned all her life. My mom swore she would never touch it. My sister is a bit more into it that I am, but I'm getting there. For me it depends on what we are going to can, but it really comes down to wanting to do something my Grandma did, as well as having a great time doing it with my sister.

One of my goals is to be "homey" in the kitchen. (Note: this is not home-ly) I want to be able to make food from scratch, to cook without recipes some of the time. I want to try new foods and techniques, to teach my kids how to bake and cook, and to make fond memories that involve all aspects of food.

Back to the sauce. In a recent addition of Better Homes and Gardens there was a simple recipe that seemed to have promise. So in my true fashion, I told her to look it up and let her figure it out.

Last night I "helped" make the recipe. And then held down a stool while she processed it. We had a great time! I brought my camera, forgot that I had it until I got home and so, never took a picture of any of it.

We did taste the sauce, and it was wonderful so far. It is sitting on her counter, so when I get my jars I will post a picture with a little more detail. However, since this was my major accomplishment of the weekend I thought I should document it.

My Pretty Good-Fantastic Curtains
I decided this year to make a few new sets of curtains for my kitchen. I want to be able to change them with the seasons, or just whenever the mood strikes. Yesterday I made some fall-ish curtains.

I brought the fabric home on Saturday and my husband said "those will look nice". I was shocked. This was not what I expected him to say at all. I really didn't think he would say much more than "Oh".

So I worked diligently on them yesterday to get them done in a day. As bright as my kitchen was with no curtains, I didn't need my neighbors seeing too much of us. I completed half of them in the afternoon and the others after 10 pm last night. They are great - if I do say so myself.

And apparently I'm the only one who thinks that. My husband looked at them and said "They look pretty good."

Pretty good.

I think that this is an oximoron of sorts. Pretty - a nice word. Good - what you strive for in elementary school on your report card. However, when you put them together they become something else.

Pretty good.

Pretty, as in almost, or close to good...but not quite good. I'm not even sure how to say what I think, or rather how I feel, when I hear this.

It's like saying:
"Close, but not quite."

"Not fabulous, just pretty good."

How did two positive words turn so negative?

My husband disagrees with all of this. He doesn't understand where I'm coming from. I think that he should have just stuck with the "Nice" comment.

My son listened to this whole exchange while finishing his dinner. When just he and I were left in the kitchen he got down from his chair, came over to me in the kitchen and said "Mom, I think that your curtains are just fantastic!" I even got a hug.

Perhaps there is hope for future generations...because the current one is a lost cause.

A Pretty Good Meal
I have two weeks out of the month when I work three days (normally only 2). These are my least favorite weeks because things get out of control during that time. The papers and dishes pile up, the meal planning suffers, the budget is thrown out the window due to take out and I get stressed.

I decided on Sunday that this week would be different. I thought about what is the biggest stress of the week and realized that it was food. If I don't make dinner we get take out. There usually aren't leftovers for lunch so we go out to lunch and ruin the budget twice in 24 hours. So rather than continue this cycle I made a plan for meals.

Tonight I worked, but put a roast in the crock pot. A nice warm, meat and potatoes meal with leftovers. My husband said "It was pretty good."

After all we been through with this, that is the comment.

I said "Really, you couldn't come up with anything else?!"

I'm thinking of bagging the rest of the week and making him the new cook.

It Didn't Happen Overnight
I recently read a posting on a blog that I visit occasionally. It is a money saving blog with other life tips/posts thrown in. In an attempt to start couponing and building a more appropriate grocery budget I wandered back to see what I could learn. Upon review of a few older posts I came across one that hit close to home, and had nothing to do with my groceries.

Your house didn't get the way it is in one day, so you aren't going to fix it in one day either.

When I was younger I had one room to care for. I rearranged my bedroom every month. I cleaned out my closet regularly. I organized my drawers meticulously. Then I moved to college. I had a slightly larger room to care for and a roommate. We did a great job creating a liveable, inviting dorm room. Then I got married.

I spent the first week of married life trying to put our house together, or away depending on how you look at it. I don't know that I've ever gotten it right. During my first pregnancy I figured the nesting would kick in and my house would get organized...I later changed my deadline to due date of baby #2. There was no nesting during that pregnancy, and my house is still the same as it was.

It isn't that my house is dirty, our socks do not turn brown walking around the house, and it isn't really messy, per's just an unorganized clutter, to put it nicely.

I am constantly re-organizing the same areas, and not making any progress. I try to feel better by saying "If I had a whole day that I could re-work things around here I'd be all set."

First of all, I don't think I'll ever get a whole day to do something this impossible. And secondly...I read that post and things became a little more clear. I know that baby steps are the way to go, but when I have to keep cleaning up the same room, or spot, every time I clean I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere.

MY house didn't get the way it is in one day, so I am not going to be able to fix it in one day either.

So...where to begin...?

This is one of my biggest challenges that I want as a goal. This is the goal that will need lots of steps to accomplish.

Last night I put away all of my loose recipes that I have riped out of magazines or collected along the way.

One task down, 999,998 more to go.

Mother of the Year
This morning I did not win any awards.

By the time we were in the car to go to preschool my son and I had each cried two times - for separate reasons, so four episodes if you're counting.

As we walked up the path towards school I realized that I had forgotten to pack shoes for my son. I then attempted to stop my failure tears before my son noticed and started his own.

In an effort to protect him from embarrassment, I told him that I would quickly get him shoes and bring them back to school.

As I drove towards the store I was quickly trying to make decisions,
--should I go to store A or store B?
--should I buy more than one size? What if the ones I buy are to big/small?
--should I try to fly home instead (we live 15 mins, one way, from school)?
--why am I spending non-budgeted money on shoes when he has 4 other pairs at home?

So, for my stupidity in forgetting the shoes, in an effort to protect my son from potential humiliation, and to attempt to do what seemed best, I drove to store A, bought one pair of shoes and ran back to school.

"These shoes are awesome Mom!"

Oh hallelujah! Crisis averted. Hug child, apologize for screwing up and send him back to class.

"MOOOMM! These are too big, they're too loose" Start both of us.

After trying to explain that he would just have to wear them for the next two hours and then he could take them off, there wasn't much more I could do. I sent him to his classroom and walked away.

I made it to the car before I broke down.

I know...they are just shoes, this is really not a big deal. But this was just the outlet for the tears and failure that had been building.

In an attempt to get life back to normal after the holidays I have put my house, cleaning, personal goals and agenda before my kids. It has been reflected in my attitude, my words and my actions (or lack their of) with my children.

I have been letting them down, and today was the breaking point.

I could go on, but I'm not really sure where I'm going from here. I know where I need to be, but struggle in getting there.

Tomorrow is a new day, and for now, I will start with that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good Bye 2010

We made it. We survived 2010...

...perhaps a little worse for the wear, but still in one piece.
It was a whirl wind year. I really can't believe how fast it went and how much life changed. I don't know that I can even put my finger on all of the actual events, but when I think back on the year, I smile. And when I think of the new year, I'm excited for where it will take us!
So here's to 2011--
--another year of change
--another year of excitement
--and hopefully a year with more blogging!

Christmas Day

We had our immediate family Christmas after church on Christmas Day. Henry and Meleah exchanged the gifts they had for each other, which were perhaps their favorite gifts. We could have stopped right there! Of course we didn't, and the kids loved every minute.

(This was the only picture I took of Meleah with her Cinderella doll from Henry...I didn't notice her facial expression until later. I can't believe how much she looks NOTHING like this in person!)

The Holiday Parties

The kids did pretty well at all of our parties this well as a 4 & 2 year old can do! They enjoyed the festivities and the anticipation of everything involved. They loved hanging out with their cousins and of course all of the presents!

The extended family parties


Our 2010 Family Christmas pictures

Holiday Baking

I had way too high of expections for this holiday season. I wanted to get my shopping and planning done early so that I would have the month of December for crafts, baking and holiday fun with my kids. I did get my shopping done, but I think it worked out because we were all going to get sick during the month before Christmas. As a result, the sum total of my holiday aspirations came out to be Holiday Hug Bullseyes with the kids.

We made quite a few batches. Whenever I needed to spend a length of time in the kitchen (usually getting dinner ready or cleaning up from dinner) I would haul out a bag of HUGS and let the kids go to town. We did branch out in our flavors and methods this year, but they still turned out every time. I would say our "holiday baking" this year was a success!