This picture makes me cry!

This picture makes me cry!
Thought it was time to change my picture

Friday, September 7, 2012

Letters to my children.....

Geez, I have a billion things I could type out here and I'm trying to sort them all out so bear/bare (????) with me. This post and the others to come will probably be moved to a seperate space in the interenet universe but for now, I'm putting it here. Here goes: To my amazing children: Sometimes in life you have a day that starts like any other day but ends with such a profound sense of sadness that you can barely breathe. A day that makes you stop and question everything about the universe. A day that makes you realize your own mortality......makes you wonder, "what will I leave behind for my children should I go before they can ever really know me?". Well I had one of those days today.....actually a few days ago. Right now you are 15, 3 & 1, respectively. Hopefully, I will live to see my great grandchildren at your age but seeing as how we are not promised tomorrow, I wanted to just tell you my story. I wanted you to know who I am.....I'm your mom and without a doubt that is the most important "thing" I will ever be but there is so much more than that. I don't know that you can ever really convey, on paper, who you truly are but I want to try. First, as I said before, I'm your mother. My deepest dream was fulfilled the minute that you were placed in my arms.....actually the minute I heard "you're pregnant". My life was forever changed and a balm was poured in to my soul that soothed every hurt that I harbored.....every rough and rocky road seemed a distant memory. That is and will always be my most important title I have. Even on days when I scream, "I swear I'm going to change my name if you say it one more time".....yeah, even on those days I know how blessed I am to be a mom, specifically your mom. I'm also a may not believe this because I've probably used the paddle on your hiney more than once but I really am. I love deep and if I love you, I love you. My emotions run high and most of the time I'm not afraid of showing them. I cry if I'm hurt or angry or sad. Sometimes I do more than cry, sometimes I sob (or ugly cry as we girls like to call it) but I'm not afraid to do that in front of people or by myself. Most people would say that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that isn't far from the truth. I know that loving comes with risks but I don't want to live my life without giving or receiving love. What kind of life would that be? Intense sadness is part of having amazing joy.....the two go hand in hand during this life. To feel the depths of such great joy I believe that you have to feel the lows of heart breaking sorrow. Those emotions are threads that run through the tapestry of our life.......creating the fabric of who we are and propelling us forward to discover the future that is laid out before us. Never be afraid to cry.....the saying "boys don't cry" is baloney. Some of the most tender moments I've ever shared or witnessed involved tears being shed by one of the men in my life. Whether they are joy or sorrow filled......tears have a language that connects hearts and souls. I guess that is enough for today. More than anything in this whole world you have to know I love you. That I am your biggest fan...that no matter where you go or what you do, somebody will ALWAYS love you....that someone is me. I love you to the moon and back, Mom

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Goals for now.....

Lately I have become involved in a plethora of different hobbies and while I love having so many things that interest me, I hate the feeling of never fully commiting to one thing. I am left feeling completely disorganized and anxious about EVERY SINGLE THING I want to accomplish. So I thought it would be productive to write it down least start writing it down. So here goes.

1. Learn to run.......while I may not enjoy running I would at least like to give it a shot. This is somthing I have been putting more and more thought in to. Now I need to quit thinking about it and just do it.

2. Learn to take great pictures and how to edit them.....I LOVE taking pictures of my kids and having a nice camera was always a dream of mine. Well, my dad bought me a dslr for Christmas and while I have played with it, I'm having trouble finding time to really get my hands dirty. I'm also having trouble getting my kids to sit still for more than 10 seconds at a time. I'm not sure how to fix that one??!

3. Learn to applique.....I'm doing well with sewing (for the most party) so I really would like to take on a few applique projects and learn to do that. I'm an Etsy junkie so anything I can create at home is bound to save me some money!

4. Give more.......more money, more time, more of me. And not just to those in need but also to my kids and my family.

5. Cultivate a better relationship with my husband.....we are fine most days but I want more than fine. I'm not expecting unbridled passion every time I see him but after 7 years and 2 toddlers we could definitely use some "us" time. I LOVE being a mom but I think one of the most important things I can give my kids is a good marriage between their mom and dad.

Okay so those are just a few.......I have a million little things like planting flowers, reading more, planning fun outings for the kids but the things above are the things that keep me up at night. So now that I have a list how do I start incorporating these things without making myself nuts??!! Awwww, the million dollar question!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Back to Phase 1

So I get an update every week about how many visits my blog gets. This weekly email motivates me to blog because when I actually see that people visit my little corner of the internet I feel extreme guilt for not giving them something to read. With that being said, I'm sorry for my sloth like blogging this past week. It's been a tough one for a lot of reasons but mostly becuase for about 6 days I just wansn't feeling the love. Not the love for blogging but the love period. I was in a funk and as I told my friend, "I felt like my spirit had been broken". I'm so glad that my blues have passed and I'm able to dust off my dancing shoes.........don't worry, I'm not literally dancing!

I'm back on phase 1 of the 17 Day Diet.......I just don't do well with carbs. I'm really hoping that at some point I can find my moderation button and begin using it but right now, I just can't seem to find a good middle ground. I'm either hard core or I'm so lazy it isn't funny. For now I need to work on begin commited and hard core. But man I miss sugar and chocolate and rice........lucky for me the cravings usually pass after a few days and I get to where I don't even think about that stuff. I'm just ready to be there, like NOW!

I'm anxious for spring so I can start walking with the babies.........I say babies but really they are toddlers who will probably keep me running after them on our walk. I'm envisioning me pulling a wagon with 55 pounds worth of baby in it. I probably should start working out now so I can be prepared for those walks!!

Okay, I'm sorry I'm boring but I'm super busy at work and just can't seem to focus. Have a great day and I plan to be back more often this week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from Abby Jewel!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sloppy Steph

Ughhhh, I hate writers block! I would love to put something witty or moving or thought provoking down on this proverbial paper but truth be told, I'm beat. Abby was diagnosed with pneumonia on Sunday so my nights have been filled with a coughing, crying toddler. She is better now but man I hate when my babies get sick. Couple all of that with my sudden urge to become domesticated, ie, sewing and pinterest projects, and you have one very tired momma on your hands.

I'm holding steady on the weight loss.........I need to get my butt in gear. The last two weeks haven't been very productive but of course I haven't been working the plan like I know to. Sure, I'm eating healthy for the most part but it's occassional splurges that kill it for me. Like the trip to have chinese food on I'm not sad about that trip (the food was delicious) but I'm sad about how I couldn't tighten my belt immediately following that dining experience. See I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. I'm either hard core or I'm sloppy..........I don't have an in between button which is probably why I battle my weight.

So my eating has been sloppy. Not bad but not good.....a handful of goldfish here, a vanilla wafer there, nothing overly awful but enough to make the scale stagnant. So I'm trying to get my groove back........I really want to lose another 35 pounds before our family reunion in June. That 35 pounds will still leave me with 40 to lose but it will also put me at 75 lost.

This is a lifestyle, this is a lifestyle, this is a lifestyle..........I keep telling myself that in hopes that one day it will sink in!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beautiful Broken Blessings

This time a couple of years ago I was in the throws of a miscarriage. I was laying in bed trying to entertain a 13 month old toddler and praying to God to save my baby. This time two years ago I had no idea how my innocence would be stripped away. I naively thought that surely God would not thrust me in to the baby loss category after already putting me through the every doctor in America has shoved his hand up there infertility club initiation. Surely, I would not, after laying here for hours pleading with God, still lose this baby. Two years ago I had no idea how strong I could be or how fragile life really was. Two years ago I had no idea how you could feel such deep devastation and complete gratitude at the same time.

On February 9th, two years ago, I realized all those things. Life turned upside down for me that day……..there are few moments that I will ever forget about that afternoon just because they have been burned in to my heart. I’m not angry and never really have been. I don’t understand but I’m also not angry. I have always maintained the position that “how could I possibly be angry at a God who gave me William”.

I will admit that there are days that I cry…….more because I don’t understand. Usually the tears come at the end of an already emotionally charged day and truth be told, I let them fall. I let myself feel that hurt, that tiny sense of betrayal. I let the questions flow and wonder how things would have been different.

Different………hmmmmm??? Two years ago I never imagined that I would wake up to this beautiful ray of sunshine who looks like her grandmother and makes her momma’s heart smile.

This beautiful red headed girl with beautiful, red headed curls whose name means “Father’s Joy” and who lives up to that name every single day. This bouncing, bubbly, baby girl who has brought much peace into my battered heart. Who has fulfilled my dreams of painting toe nails and playing baby dolls. Her presence does not make me miss my 2nd child any less………..and yes, I say 2nd child because after seeing your baby’s beating heart 5 times via ultrasound, you kind of feel like that is your child………..but it sure does remind me of the goodness of God. It reminds me that He has great plans for us and they are plans for hope and a future. Those are the things I try to remember as I journey down this path………this week brings back bitter memories but also brings forth new hope. I’m trying to rest in the hope part.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spaghetti Dinner

Just some pics of the family and their complete, over the moon excitement for spaghetti. My gosh you would think I don't ever feed them!! My husband literally skipped around the kitchen when I told him that he could have pasta.......yes, he is a carbaholic for sure!!

You may be wondering where Will was during all of the carb festivities.....he was busy riding his tricycle through the kitchen at an alarming speed! At least he had on clothes this time!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Diet

Got on the scale this morning and thanks to a nasty cold/flu bug and lots of dieting, I'm down 40 pounds since September 1st. I wish I could say that I was done but I'm nowhere near done. What I am is healthier, 2 sizes smaller and a lot more confident.

In case you are wondering what I'm doing on the diet front, we (the adults in my home) are doing the 17 Day Diet. While I haven't seen the amazing results that a lot of people boast about I have seen steady weight loss and overall better eating. The better eating and healthy part was what I was really after so I feel like this diet is a win for us. We are eating a lot less processed food and a lot less red meat. I was never a huge meat eater anyway but my husband and father in law were. They also had a sick love affair with Hamburger Helper and mac & cheese. This diet has given us a clean slate and really I'm not hearing many complaints out of those two.

The next step is integrating some exercise in to our lives which may prove to be a difficult task. I don't usually get home until almost 7:00 p.m. and my kids are normally in bed by 8:00 p.m. I'm sorry but I refuse to waste that precious time with them..........that means I'm going to have to find another way to get some activity in. I've thought about dvd's, treadmills, late night visits to the gym and honestly, none of it sounds very appealing right now. I'm just not super motivated to get it done. So maybe my next step should be finding my motivation??!!

Anyway, I'm proud of myself and the guys in my life. We are all working hard to make sure that we are around for a long time. I've done this before and I can do it again.........I have extra incentive now though because I want to make sure that I'm there for my grandkids!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wooden Teasets

As I peruse the internet I often come across bloggers whose pictures display this perfect balance of hip and June Cleaver. These blogs always leave me scratching my head while tagging their page so I can return day after day and feel like a loser mom. Their daughters are having tea parties with little wooden tea sets rather than the cheap plastic ones from China……..their homes are beautiful shades of gray and orange……..a color combination that I love but would never be daring enough to attempt. They have recreated goodwill finds into original pieces of art that they have displayed all over their magazine worthy home. They shop at places like Anthropologie and Crate & Barrel. Their jewelry always coordinates with their super, cute and trendy wedge heels. Their children are dressed in a plethora of modern attire straight from sewing machines off Etsy or maybe, just maybe these cute and trendy June Cleaver’s make these wares themselves with wool from their organic goats. Of course they also find ways to convince their children to eat humus, quinoa, homemade yogurt and goat butter………..they baby wear, cloth diaper, have mismatched furniture that looks like it is supposed to be that way and they take incredible pictures of their incredible lives!!

I just have one question for all you trendy mom bloggers………how is it possible that you have time to do all of this?? Maybe your kids don’t cry, or puke, or poop their pants, or spray paint the walls with black spray paint??? Maybe you have brooms that move themselves, washing machines that do the laundry automatically and toilets that manage to clean up the pee streaks running down them, with little to no help from you?? I know this sounds like a jealous rant but I’m not really jealous……….okay, maybe I am just a teensy bit but I’m really intrigued. Did this cool, crunchy aura invade your body when you gave birth or has it always been there??

Let me give you a peek into my life. The furniture all matches……except for the spots where the cats have laid and covered my gold/taupe couches in grey hair. My floors usually have crap all over them………sometimes it’s literal crap but for the most part it is legos, pop tart crumbs, spaghetti noodles, fruit loops, some milk stains and hot wheels………thank God for hardwood. I’m not sure what would happen if I had carpet to contend with?? Speaking of pop tarts and spaghetti – there is a good look in to my kid’s diet. There is no trendy jewelry because I fear my children would strangle me with a strand of beads and wedge heels, uh no. A pair of comfy ballet flats is what I live in. My house is overrun with toys…….most of them from China and while I’m learning to sew, the last dress I made for Abby almost cut off the blood circulation to her arms because somehow I managed to make the arm holes to small!! I hate modge podge, hot glue guns, beads and puffy paint……….I work with these items when necessary but in my humble opinion, mixing 2 toddlers, 1 frazzled mom and crafting supplies is just a bad idea. I have 500 pictures on my camera that need to be reviewed and either deleted or downloaded, a stack of laundry that J U S T N E V E R L E A V E S and what is that stuff growing in the refrigerator.
Guys, I’m not lazy and I’m not a slob but sometimes it is hard to tell that by the condition of my house/life.

Some days I just sit the kids in the floor, in front of the tv with a pb&j (I know, go ahead and report me to CPS) just so I can have 5 minutes of peace. This teenager and 2 toddlers thing is hard work and I’m just constantly amazed at these parents who are able to juggle it all. Maybe it is because I work outside of the home?? Maybe it’s because I’m not organized enough?? Maybe I’m too anal, too lazy, too something. What I’m NOT is too trendy, too organized, too patient or too crunchy. So if you are one of these mom’s that I envy so, please fill me in on your tricks…..pretty please……… it for the children!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beautiful World

I need to do a quick mind dump real quick………too much stuff in my brain!!
First, I’ve lost 40 pounds since September 1st……….I have about 80 to so don’t start shouting hallelujahs yet. And before anyone starts judging me for gaining that much weight back…….yeah, I don’t care what you think……….every one of those pounds was worth it to get my babies so I have no regrets! I’m plugging along, eating healthy, planning meals, prepping food on the weekends until my fingers bleed and basically just trying to add some good healthy years to my life for the little people that helped me put this weight back on. No longer consumed with being a size 2 or buying designer clothes is proving to make this journey more enjoyable. Well as enjoyable as drinking liters of water and eating boatloads of carrots can be. This time it is different…..I’m not miserable, I’m not thrilled either but more importantly, I’m not miserable. I’m not freaking out if I slip up and I’m not going to spend the rest of my life potentially putting my children into therapy because mommy has an eating disorder. I’m going to do the best I can and at some point, maybe not next month, but at some point I will be where I want to be. I can give you the low down on the diet in my next post……..see I’m just not consumed with it anymore.

Speaking of kids……….they are beautiful, amazing, more than I could ever deserve. They are also exhausting, inquisitive, angry toddlers a lot of the time. I have some CUH-RAZY stories to share about William that include black spray paint……yeah, maybe next time. They bring joy to the very core of my being and there are times, after the kids have long been in bed, that I have to resist the urge to go wake them up to cuddle. Funny how in the thick of things we can’t seem to find that irresistible urge to snuggle them………like at 4:00 in the afternoon when they want you to play play-doh and watch Dora and all you want to do is get some kind of dinner in the oven so you won’t all starve to death. Those times when you remind your 3 year old that mommy wasn’t created just to entertain him only to have him look at you like you have 2 heads and again ask, “mommy, play play-doh with me?”. Those are the moments that make up my life. Like I’m constantly in a hamster wheel with no way to exit………like a theme park ride that goes on and on and won’t stop long enough to let me stumble out the right side of the car so I can puke in a trash can instead of on my co-rider!

This year I’m trying hard to remember who I am……..why I am…….where I want to be. I’m a mommy, wife, friend, sister, coworker……..yeah, that is who I am but not really “who I am”. I want to love bigger this year, give more. More of myself, my time, my money, my compassion and not just to people who need it but to the people that I love. I want to bake cookies and create art projects. I want to take thousands of pictures (with my new camera)…….I want to take impromptu, silly pictures of toddler boys in super hero capes and perfect princesses playing dress up. I want to LIVE this life I’ve been given. I want to remember every single detail, every smell, every sight, every sound. Sometimes I want that so much that it almost moves me to tears… can I do that. How can I be the grounded, methodical, planner that I am and still be free to experience all of the joys that come with messy handprints, lazy Saturdays and camp outs in the backyard. I’m sure we all have this quandaries………if I ever come across the answer, I’ll let you know. For now, I’ll leave with you a couple of reasons why I press for the answer.