April 30, 2007

Gussied

I had a hard time getting ready for the Victorian Tea that hubby and I attended yesterday. Now when I put makeup on, I really feel like I'm over doing it. I've enjoyed seeing how comfortable you all have been sharing your clean faces in the Bloggers Without Makeup contest. I truly thought it would be really hard to get participants!

And you heard that right- hubby and I had to attend a Victorian Tea for a charity. I know- who goes to those things? Apparently people like us. For hubby's work.

And when he told me about it
, at first I thought it was weird that he, being a man, would be going to such a thing. Isn't it usually just for women, in hats and gloves eating lemon bars? And what if they talk about women-stuff? You know, women stuff. He called to make sure and it turned out men were indeed allowed to attend.

So another dressed up occasion we were off to. It was a beautiful day. And the best part was my new shoes. You couldn't see them in our picture above and I can't not take a picture of these shoes. The dress may look familiar (an old DKNY Marshall's fave) but the shoes are new (and are of course from Marshall's.) Where else can you get a fabulous pair of Franco Sartos like these for $20?!

April 29, 2007

Beauty


Oh, the new look I have here and the new outlook I now have after seeing all you lovelies baring your unmade faces in the Bloggers Without Makeup contest this week! Join in if you haven't already, and please visit the participants to admire them and all of their natural beauty goodness!

So, what do you think, then, about permanent makeup?

There's a running joke in our family that my hubby grew up like the Cleavers from Leave It To Beaver and I grew up like the Connors from Roseanne. We tease each other about it often.


My mom emailed me that my Mommal (grandmother, age 70-something) is going to Chicago on Monday with the little girl that does her nails to get her eyebrows tattoo'ed for $100.

I tell hubby.

Me: Isn't that kinda expensive?
My brother: She better leave a nice tip!
Hubby (shaking head ): Your family...


Making Milk Public Controversy

I don't even know how to preface the article below... the writer's email is included as well as my response to him.

Making Milk Public Controversy

By: Charles Winokoor, business writer
04/27/2007

So there I was grocery shopping the other day when, just as I reached for a
quart of skim milk, I noticed the strangest thing.

Women - mothers, to be exact - began dropping to the floor and
breast-feeding their babies. Hurrying out of the dairy section, I found myself surrounded by pet supplies, but again was confronted with a surrealistic sight: Unsupervised
canines and tabbies relieving themselves willy nilly, and then sauntering
off to leave the mess for the night crew to clean up.

Get out now, I told myself, as the sweat trickled down my brow. And wouldn't
you know it, just as I scurried past the Health & Beauty aisle I spied a group of men, shirts off, nonchalantly spraying and rolling their underarms with the deodorizer of their choice.
Decorum precludes me from detailing what I witnessed in the place where they sell the Charmin.

Knocking over a shopping cart with a child's seat, I ran into the parking
lot and headed for my car to make a getaway. As I fumbled for my key, I realized it was too late; I was surrounded.
.........
.........
Waking up in bed, I took stock of my nightmare. What in the world had inspired my subconscious to unleash such nocturnal torment? Then it came to me. It was nothing more mysterious than this week's story about a Hingham mom who managed to cause a stir by breast-feeding her infant in the middle of a store.

Last Friday,
Brockton cardiologist Dr. Melissa Tracy, while shopping in the South Hingham iParty store, dropped to the floor and began breast-feeding her ostensibly starving 2-month-old child.

"Rather than let him become hysterical, I sat down on the floor and
breast-fed him," Tracy told the Boston Herald. What happened next, she said, caused her to feel humiliated. The store manager, a regular Darth Vader it seems, had the gall to admonish her. "He stood over me and said 'You can't do that here,' " she was quoted. "I've never felt that badly before."

Feeling emotionally scarred, Tracy did the honorable and proper thing: She
ratted out the iParty blue meanie to his corporate superiors - who issued a knee-jerk, please-don't-hit-me mea culpa, faster than CBS Radio and MSNBC gave Don Imus the bum's rush.

What she's failed to mention, either in print or on TV, is why she was so
compelled to plop to the floor instead of walking to the ladies room. Would she have jeopardized her child's welfare, his very life, if she had simply made the effort? Or was she more interested in making a point about who she is and what she thinks she represents? During a TV interview, her husband said in his native Germany breast-feeding in public is an accepted practice and one that is "not vulgar."

Not vulgar for sure - but how about annoying? Not the act of breast-feeding,
mind you, but the behavior of well-educated parents who want to impose their version of an enlightened society upon the rest of us, without regard to our sensibilities.

That sort of selfish, guerilla mentality is not just inconsiderate to those
of us backward Americans who are not used to seeing babies suckling while we're shopping for party supplies or dog food, it's also unfair to the companies whose employees are only trying to do the right thing. Now, if any business - be it retail chain, a local independent store or a car dealership - announces a policy explicitly allowing open breast-feeding then that's their prerogative. But one also has to ponder how this type of adult-baby behavior will eventually affect the child.

No wonder there's a legion of kids nowadays who have grown up thinking
they're extra-special, entitled and oh-so-superior; after all, it's been imbedded into their id since they were fed mother's milk. This whole silly episode reminds me, in a way, of the case of the "flying imams," six religious Muslims who were removed from a flight last November
after they insisted on standing up in the plane for evening prayers. They knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted publicity and they got it, in spades.

That's not to say the good doctor from Brockton intended, ahead of time, to use her breast-feeding as a publicity stunt to teach the rest of us a good lesson. From what I've read and heard, she comes across as a decent, sincere individual.

What I do suggest to her and other mothers who act rashly, and then condemn anyone who complains, is to grow up before your child does. And next time you go shopping with your infant in your arms, try bringing along a baby bottle.

Charles Winokoor is the business writer for the Taunton Daily Gazette.
cwinokoor@tauntongazette.com

Dear Mr. Winokoor,

Yesterday
I was out an outdoor shopping mall with a friend and our two babies. They needed to nurse, so we found a nice shaded bench outside and sat down to nurse. We did not make a scene and we did not feel like we had to be on display for all to see that we were 'breastfeeding our babies because we have the right!' or because it's the best way to parent our babies. We were only thinking of our babies needs at that time. It in no way inconvenienced anyone else. Especially those that walked about with their shopping bags around us.

No way would I nurse my baby in a bathroom if I had a perfectly good bench, chair, or even a floor in a store. Check the ladies restroom next time YOU'RE at the grocery store and tell me if you see a nice bench or chair in there. And then, yuck- would you want to eat in there?

Why in the world should I bottle-feed my baby (requiring bottles, a breast pump, inconvenience) when I have (for free) two perfectly fine breasts to feed my child?

I think those that choose to be offended by a mother feeding her baby are doing just that: CHOOSING to be offended. You are trying to place the selfishness on the mother who probably has had little sleep and needs all the support she can get, Mr.!


April 27, 2007

Look At Me!

-Updated-
Yet another look we're working on! Bear with me as I get settled in!

While I’ve been getting a make-under with the Bloggers Without Makeup contest, my blog has been getting a make-over!

What do you think? Is it me?

Drea from Fina' Drea showered my blog with beautifully designed blessings… she is the sweetest most cutest little thing, I want to put her in my pocket. Not that she’s that tiny, but I just say that about people I like so much... like Yau-Man from this season’s Survivor. So adorable. I told hubby I would love to have a Yau-Man doll with his goofy body and big teeth… ok, so maybe I’m delirious from this new make-over.

I’ll go now… just be sure to stop by Drea’s and tell her how awesome she is and totally consider her if you need a bloggy make-over, too!

My Kid Is So Cute

The Bloggers Without Makeup contest is in full-swing! Look at all these beauties! And remember, if you just can't post a picture, you can still participate by mentioning the contest on your blog!

Now, back to my kid that is so cute...

So Gray can make some pretty cute animal sounds...




And here's a video of animals making people sounds...


April 25, 2007

Google & Me: The Story


A couple months ago I got an email from my dear blogging friend Jaymi aka FlipFlop Mamma telling me how I might get a call from someone at Google to go to some thing about moms in Chicago. She had been contacted and wouldn't be able to go, but recommended me. Ok, how nice is that?

Sure enough I got a phone call from the nicest gal ever at Google asking a bunch of questions and wanting to know if I could be a part of a special panel of moms at
an upcoming presentation. Of course! It's Google! Sign me up!

I had really been excited about it and was kept in contact with Jen (the nicest gal ever at Google)- she would keep me updated on what kind of questions we'd be asked, what to expect, etc. Over 140 rsvp's had come in for the event including big name brands, PR people, marketing people, etc. There were 3 other Mommy bloggers on the panel and two other moms that don't have blogs but who also consider the Internet as a big part of their life.

Last week as the big day was approaching, I had a lot to think about. Mainly- what was I going to wear? Seriously. I asked Jen what we should wear and she said most would be in business casual or suits. Oh, so usual mom attire of a cute shirt (with or without snot stain on the shoulder) and jeans was probably not appropriate. I wasn't going to wear a dress or be too dressed up, and still wanted to look like a mom to represent myself as a mom, but not look so much like a mom that I looked too much like a mom. Get that? Anyway, I went shopping at- where else?- Marshall's. Turns out there were some business-suited people, but also many in the "Google casual" wear that could be jeans and a nice shirt. So a mom like me would fit right in... oh, and I still wore my Crocs!

I had a wonderful drive into the city. I must admit it was really nice to be alone in my car, all by myself, driving along, alone (did I say that already?) I got there a little early and was just so glad I wasn't late. I found the building, gave my name and who I was meeting, and then was escorted up to the Google office. Upon exiting the elevator I felt like I was entering FAO Shwartz and not a business office! There were lava lamps and colorful exercise balls everywhere. And everything was Google-colored. You know, white, blue, red, yellow. Fun.

First I had to sign into a computer and a name tag was printed out for me. Then I met Jen and went into the "green room" for us moms. They had lunch for us while we talked over what
we'd be doing that day.

Here is probably my favorite part of the day: Jen tells me she read on my blog that I was vegan, so she googled for vegan Chicago pizza and found me the most heavenly vegan veggie deep-dish Chicago-style pizza! I am still dreaming about it. I wish I would have taken a picture... What an awesome first impression, Google!!


Over lunch, all the moms arrived. We chatted and got to know each other and I just felt at home. Everyone there at Google was so nice. Nicer than nice.

Pretty soon we were heading in to take our seats for the presentation. There were a couple slide shows and speakers before our part at the end (us moms were the 'carrot' to the audience and we were saved for last.) The speakers and presentations were so interesting - mainly accentuating how important opinions of moms as consumers are, and what we're talking about, what's important to us, and what role the Internet and technology plays in our lives and also how it works for us as moms. To see it all in more detail, you can check it out here. One of the moms there was Sara from Self-Made Mom and she live-blogged during the day. She also posted about our whole Google experience way better than I am trying to do right now.

Soon it was our turn to go up front- microphones and all- and answer questions like How Does The Internet Fit In To Your Daily Life, How Do You Find Time To Blog
(My answer: My husband has his Xbox and I have my blog for therapy) and How Has The Internet Played A Role In Various Ways? We talked about how we used the Internet during pregnancy, caring for newborns & toddlers, shopping, communicating with other moms, meal planning & recipes... pretty much everything!

MJ from I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl was hilarious and pretty much talked about breastfeeding the whole time. Of course I loved that! Sara from Self-Made Mom was really cool and had a neat perspective as a working mom. Amy from LadyBug Picnic had a lot to say about life always online with her little girl. The two other moms that didn't have blogs were so personable and fun- Madeleine was a sweetheart and Jessica has teen boys and was just downright entertaining.

When our panel was finished, questions were fielded from the audience. Representatives from big name brands like
Kelloggs, Kraft, and Proctor & Gamble, and marketing research companies asked questions like How Can Companies Market Their Products To Us? and What Do You Blog About?

One person asked if we spend any time researching little purchases like laundry detergent or breakfast cereal, to which I answered those
are the things we spend most of our time researching! Moms of today are reading labels and want what is best for their kids and good for the environment, and we're researching products online before we head to the store with two toddlers and a baby!

After the last question was taken, we all went into a different room where we could each stand by a computer station and talk to the audience members as they came by. I was at the
YouTube station and really ended up showing videos of my kids, and before long had people just looking at my blog. Hubby had made me some cute little business cards to pass out and I had many people asking for them. I hope to start getting some emails about my ideas and free products in the mail! I love telling my ideas and getting free stuff!

I left my computer station briefly to go take pictures with the other moms and when I came back I found one of the Google guys looking at my blog post of my mom in her swimsuit!! Everyone there was a hoot. Did I just say hoot? Yeah, I guess I did.

The whole day really went by very quickly and before I knew it I'd been away almost 7 hours from home (the longest I've ever been away from Gray in his 18 months of life!) I checked my cell phone periodically and there were no messages all day! Here is when I started to wonder if they even missed me!

When the event was winding down, the moms started saying their goodbyes and the Google people assured us we'd done a great job. Jen and Denise (another way cool and super nice
vegan Google gal) expressed that they'd love to have us come back to do more Mom Panel things for them. There's also a possibility they'll help me go to BlogHer this summer! We all got some nice Google swag as we left and a generous compensation for our participation in the panel. Google is just as how you'd imagine it!

I made it home in record time- I am still amazed that I didn't have one bit of traffic on the way! And when I got home, I expected Gray to go straight for my you-know-whats (for which he fondly now calls "Boo") but instead he wanted to show me how he and his big brothers were playing with their light sabers and then he was off playing with them. He didn't even want to nurse until after dinner,
much later to my surprise! And maybe I stuck out my bottom lip once or twice at the fact that no one seemed to miss me...

So, there you have it. Now for your patience I feel like I should have a contest to give away some of my free Google stuff... I'll think of something and post about that tomorrow!! And of course I'm going to think of how I can thank
Jaymi for passing this opportunity along to me as well. I promise to at least knit her baby a sweater (and I do think she'll be having a boy, but will wait just in case!)

Be sure to check out the other moms to read about their take on the Google Day and tune in tomorrow for fun contest information!! Whee!!!

Thank you to Amy for the pics!

April 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Me & Google

As soon as I get a chance I'll tell you all about it...

April 22, 2007

Still Spinning... and lots of pictures

Remember when you went to an amusement park riding roller coasters all day and then when you got home that night, when you closed your eyes, you felt like you were still riding the roller coasters, stomach dropping and head speeding and all?

That's me. Right now. And I didn't ride any roller coasters or go to any amusement park. It was just that busy of a weekend... but when I close my eyes, whoa... I'm still spinning!

Friday was such a busy errand day to prepare for an even busier Saturday. Then Friday afternoon Ashlee & I were off to visit with our blogging friends Lisa & Cara- meeting up for the first time! It was a blast and I only wish we had more time to visit, but you know how it is with toddlers! Here's pics of Gray, Xavier, Cricket, & Emma playing at the park.

And a photo (at least we tried) of all of us (left-right is Ashlee w/Xav, Cara w/Cricket, Lisa w/Emma, and Me w/Gray- you can see I'm trying to tell him a picture is taking place!)





Saturday morning was busy from the moment I woke up. We had
a lunch interview at Noah's favorite sandwich shop- our local newspaper is doing an article about Noah being off his special diet now and our upcoming Epilepsy Walk (Go Buddy Bears!) Then immediately after that we had more errands to do, then Noah and I went to one of his classmate's birthday party at a cool fun center where Noah won 172 tickets with which he picked two pair of vampire teeth and bags of fruit snacks for his brothers.


Right after the party we were off to get ready for a ball (like a dance-type black tie ball) that Jeff and I had to attend. The boys were off to Grandpa & Grandma's and were rushing off to our date- it was great! Here's us looking quite snazzy... me in my fabulous dress from Marshall's -$29.99, painful high heels- borrowed, and my vintage-y clearance jewelry from Tar-jay... I loved my outfit! And I must say we were one of the finest couples of the ball!




Sunday was church then an Earth Day celebration at the park then sandal
shopping for all three boys. At the Earth Day event Gray fell in love with Smokey the Bear. It was an instant attraction and a difficult separation... then off to shopping where sandals were found, and I even liked them (I am kid-shoe-picky), and they were on sale.




As the night comes to an end, I am trying to stop from spinning. It was good times, yes. I just might sit outside for a spell and do nothing. I
heart quiet moments and the slow life.



it's a magic number

HAPPY EARTH DAY!




In celebration of Earth Day today... share this video & song with your family!

Here's more about me & being green.

And check out Ashlee's post about how easy it is to go green today!



April 20, 2007

Green Is My Signature Color

Green has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. (Well, if you don't count the pink and purple stage I went through in 5th grade.) I have green eyes. I'm Irish. I used to drive a green Cavalier convertible...

This Sunday is Earth Day. What are you doing to celebrate? Of course our family has been adjusting our lives to make everyday Earth Day. Whether you take baby steps at making your life and home more earth friendly, or have already gone green, it should become part of your everyday life.

Our community is having an Earth Day festival- and we'll be there! Check to see if your neighborhood has something exciting going on to celebrate!

Take this quiz to see How Green Are You?

If you missed Oprah today, check out the episode again when it airs tonight. GREAT tips for going green, and why you should! And oh the power of Oprah! She introduced many earth friendly cleani
ng products that we love like Method (available at Target) and Seventh Generation (available at many grocery stores and Target.) So, today when I was just at Target, the lady in front of me had absolutely every product that Method makes in her cart. You think she just watched Oprah?

And an even more economical way is to use natural everyday items to make your own cleaning and beauty products. Sara at Walk Slowly Live Wildly has some awesome information about that, and just take a day to read all her blog posts for enlightenment on living a green life!

If you don't even know where to start, an easy first step is to bring your own bags!! To the grocery store, out shopping, getting take out, etc. Anyplace that you will be getting a bag! And yes, when I was just at Target, I brought my own bags! We love our ECOBAGS string bags (and they have an awesome special here to get them at a great discounted price!) But you don't have to buy these. You can use anything! Even if you just re-use your paper and plastic bags by bringing them with you! Or any old tote bag! I keep mine in my car at all times, and keep several in my Nest tote while I'm out.

When I go to the grocery store, I bring my string bags and place them on the conveyor belt before I unload my groceries. Usually they already know that I bring my own bags, but if not I'll just tell them that I brought my own, and that they hold WAY more than you think! If I have something really heavy or run out of my bags, I'll request paper. But really, paper isn't much better than plastic. The best choice is to bring your own!

If you think you'll get weird looks, I have to say I've only had positive feedback! Usually people want to know where they can get some for themselves! So, you may think- who am I- just one person making a difference and not using a plastic bag? How much of a difference can it really make? Just think about who you are influencing and the people that will be observing you. You might be a good reminder to them to bring their own bags next time, or at least get them to wonder why you bring your own bags... anything to get people to think!

Go Green!

April 18, 2007

A Finger Or A Toe

I run the nursery at our small church. Well, our small church is actually a branch of a much larger church. When they announced they were starting up the new smaller church, I felt led to offer myself as the nursery person. And that's what I've been since last fall, pretty much. The lone nursery person.

I knew that, until we got a larger attendance, I wouldn't be able to recruit any workers for a while. My Mom and Mother-in-law help out often so that I can be a part of church service upstairs a couple times a month. And usually Gray is the only baby anyway. Sometimes there's a couple other little ones on Sunday mornings.

But on Wednesday nights, it's just me & Gray. I don't mind- because he really loves all the toys and everything in there and I like the peace. I'll play a soft worship CD and sometimes even knit while Gray plays with the kitchen set. I'll admit that week after week when it's just me serving in there with just my child, I am tempted to miss a service here & there. Because really- who would notice? The nursery is downstairs and sometimes I don't even get the chance to go upstairs to see anyone else, really. They might not even know I'm there.


The church and everyone in it is a body. And as we serve, whether it be doing the smallest of things, it's like the pinky toe or finger of the body. And I don't know about you, but I think I'd feel it if my toe or finger went missing on me. Or have you ever just had an ingrown toenail on your little toe? Or stub it on the corner of something? How in the world can something so tiny be so important and feel soooooo much pain?

In my church, I am that toe. Last night as I sat in the nursery, all three boys were with me as Noah & Carter's teacher was running late. I had the fleeting thought to just go on home. I had some shopping I could still get done if we left right away. But then I didn't want the boys to miss out on their lesson and it would be a short service anyway. Off to class my older boys went and -to my surprise- a baby was at the nursery window!

A six-month old baby girl- a rotund little bundle of pure goodness, I tell you! I was giddy! The dad was clearly unsure at first if he even wanted to leave her. She usually cries, he said. But she was so happy to see me and I took her right out of his arms and daddy was on his way. How could I forget that this was Gray, just 1 year ago?? The perfect stage- just sitting up and shoving everything into her gummy mouth. Oohing and ahhing and slobbering. Happy to just look at the funny faces I'd make. Gray was so excited to have someone to perform in front of! He would run to & fro, grabbing a baby doll or ball to give the baby. Then he'd crouch down and tilt his head, look at the baby, and pet her head. Then off to find another toy. Then pet the head again. It was adorable. We sat on the floor playing the entire time.

After service was over, the baby's mom & dad were so thankful she stayed in the nursery the whole time. Usually they had to miss part of service with her. We chatted and, although I was the one that served and gave of myself that night, I was so filled up. Well, then. I am glad to be a toe!

Image: baby feet

April 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: When Did He Grow Up? Part II


(Part 1 was last week)

Carter... he starts school this fall! I'll have two babies in school! Ahhhh!!!

Today...


Sometimes I feel just like this.

Last night as I was taking out the garbage, I noticed the shadow of a package on my front door step. How mysterious! A surprise for me- a note of encouragement from Ashlee, some yarn, bread, and a stack of CDs! Carbs, knitting, & music... now that will cheer a girl up. I am still smiling.


photo: William Wegman: Mother's Day

April 16, 2007

buds again!



A good sign that spring is coming back- my lilac bushes have buds. And the sun is shining today. Really shining!

I was reminded of the following post from about 1 year ago. Back when we still had our dogs and they wore diapers...



This post was originally published April 12, 2006

The dogs got out this morning- again!!! All three, and this time they were down the street by the time I threw on my flip-flops and made sure the kids were ok with me darting out of the house.

It took me a couple seconds to even figure out which way they went, then I saw all three clear at the end of our street by the train tracks. OF COURSE there would be a train at this time, with a whole line of cars backed up waiting, and watching me! I yell & call for the dogs- Gucci & Jake are pretty good and come quickly- running to the house. Dobie is a totally different story. Won't come & I can see him marking everything in sight. His diaper is going to be gross, I think! I feel really embarrassed yelling, chasing, coaxing Dobie back home. He acts like he is coming and then goes the other way, then across the street, finally I get him home- and see his diaper is missing. Oh man! Those things aren't cheap! I make sure all the dogs are inside, check on the kids, and then head back out to look for my dog's diaper! Thankfully the train has passed and the cars are mostly gone. I am really hoping no one is on their lawn or looking out their windows at me! I do a quick review of the yards, sidewalks, street... no diaper. I head back in the house to make sure he even had it on when he got out. Sure enough- diaper is on the couch downstairs. Sigh of relief.

Well, at least I got my exercise in for the day. Also- I did notice that my lilac bushes have BUDS!!! This really put me in a great mood! I am not even mad at the dogs anymore!

April 15, 2007

Over It

Whether I feel over the blues or not, I have to get over myself. There is not one reason for me to be feeling so down. Not one! Honestly, I really think I am still tarred!

And if you're going through something like me right now, I give you the wake-up call:

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. -Romans 8:22-28 (The Message)

Ahem... amen.

P.S. If you are up for a bit more reading, read Romans 8:5-28 here. It will do you some good.

April 14, 2007

A Little Better Each Day


We did have a nice night out last night. A good talk with hubby over dinner was just what I needed. Just as we share our happiness, I think it's important to be open about our sadness. I am so blessed to always be in agreement with my hubby. I think it's just part of being made for each other. He doesn't think my nature-girl ways are kooky. He actually supports and agrees with my passions about the dangers of vaccinations and the importance of breastfeeding. He thinks what I have to say is important and meaningful. To be able to pour my heart out to one person that will pour his heart right back to me... I'm blessed.

I am crawling out from under the dark cloud. I think a nap would be good medicine. Hoping for that tomorrow... today I did get out by myself to do quiet things like go to the library and to the knitting shop where I got some yummy yarn and new needles to make myself a hat. And they were having a sale. Good for me. I got my hair cut, too. There's something cathartic about that; in my mind I envision a release and a letting go. A little bit of a new beginning.

The sun didn't shine at all today, but I made the best of it. I still wore my flower earrings. And I told myself, "Good for you."


April 13, 2007

Flower Earrings

What goes up must come down. I know I am the eternal optimist and usually encourage my readers with a positive spin on most situations. This past week has just been low and foggy. Just in my head and not anywhere else. I have so many things to be thankful about, so many blessings. It's just the weight of the world sometimes... I can be a deep thinker and just think and think and think. How can I make a difference? Am I being used to the best of my abilities? There is so much desire in my heart to change this world, it almost bursts. That sort of thing.

So I put on my flower earrings today. Just cleaning house, but they make me feel better. I opened a couple windows. The sun is finally pushing the wintry clouds aside. Hubby is taking me out tonight. He reminded me last night, when we were talking about my depression, that I need to rejoice that this is the day the Lord has made. At the time I didn't find that very helpful. But today, even though it seems to take a lot of effort to rejoice, I am very happy to have this day. It really is quite beautiful. And so are my flower earrings.



April 11, 2007

Examine Your Zipper


A conversation in the car while running errands...

Mommy, YKK spells "zipper!"

No honey, YKK is just on your zipper. (Making the zuh sound) Z-Z-Zipper starts with Z. It's spelled: Z-I-P-P-E-R.

Giggles from the backseat, Pee Pee !!

Sigh.

April 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: When Did He Grow Up?




Noah... I just looked at him yesterday and can't believe
that's my baby!



Not Just For Your Entertainment



What a treat to be given this:
by my blogging friends! To know that what I have to say makes people think is quite the honor.

My first award came from Butterfly Mama and then I was told yesterday that Musings Of A Housewife gave me one, too! *And this just in... Whitney (Happy Jack's Mommy) just happened to award another one to me, today! AND another one from Melissa at Banana Migraine! Wow! Thank you! *Updated to add that Jaymi aka FlipFlop Mamma and Cara at Mama C-ta has awarded me one, too! I'm honored!

So, the deal with this award is to pass it on to 5 bloggers that make me think.

1. Walk Slowly Live Wildly - Sara will inspire and ignite a whole new way of thinking to those readers that have open minds and hearts.
2. Actual Unretouched Photo - Sometimes Mel writes exactly what I was thinking, only I didn't know that I was thinking it. And if I wasn't thinking it, then it's something I should think about.
3. Faith Lifts - Probably the blog that makes me think the most. This should be on everyone's daily read list.
4. Coastland Blog - Scott, the writer of this blog, is one of the smartest people I know. And it's Sheryl's hubby. They are like the coolest couple ever.
5. Frog And Toad Are Still Friends - I know Beck's been awarded a couple of these 'Thinking Bloggers' but it's true. She's not your average blogger. Reading her blog is like taking an English course- in a good way. She's nostalgic and refreshing in a real sort of way.


April 8, 2007

Scenes From A Weekend


I know you all just couldn't wait to see me in my Sanjaya-Goodwill dress. So here I am with my mom in our Easter best. It snowed a little here and was cold, so I wore my black sweater, which also happens to be from Goodwill.







And after a very bus
y weekend of cooking & baking & parties, I am declaring Monday a recovery day. Gray has the right idea... don't you think?

A Love That Knows No End


"He is not here; He has risen, just as He said."
Matthew 28:6


April 6, 2007

Snow On Easter

It's in the forecast. Oh how I miss spring.

But if it does snow, it will remind me of the spotless lamb, white as snow.

If it is cold, I will think of the death He endured, the dark tomb in which His body was placed.

And as the sun shines (I know it will) I will smile and rejoice that Jesus has risen and is alive. I am alive and free because of Him.




April 4, 2007

With My Own Two Hands


I am thankful that we can still make a difference:
in the hearts of the people on this earth
as well as with the air we breathe and the ground we walk upon.





Video can be found here.
Song: With My Own Two Hands by Ben Harper & Jack Johnson


April 3, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Our Make-A-Wish Trip














Ok, so this is going to be my very Wordless
Wordy Wednesday!

Last year Noah was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. His wish was to go the zoo, and so they sent us to San Diego, California- of course! I've posted about our trip before, but I was going through photos from the trip yesterday and just had to post about it again.

It's been over a year and a few months now, but we still think about our wonderful vacation to San Diego. When Make-A-Wish grants a wish, they really grant a wish.

Make-A-Wish generously provided us with money for meals, souvenirs, and a free day (which we used for Disneyland!) All other expenses such as the hotel, rental car, and all the park admissions like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, & The Wild Animal Park were paid for or donated. If you ever have the opportunity to give, they are a wonderful organization.

Every single day of our trip I would cry joyful tears, thankful for every minute of this blessing we'd been given. I still look back and get teary-eyed. I remember how those times weren't easy with Noah being on the ketogenic diet. Not allowing him to order at the cool places we were eating. We did cheat and let him have popcorn at the zoo, though. That was a REAL big step of faith, and a huge treat for him! And before he was seizure-free, I can not even explain in comprehendable words what it felt like. I don't think anyone could fully understand unless they also have a child with seizures. Having boys, I hear a lot of "thuds" in this house. And still my stomach drops at the sound, and my heart sinks. I praise God every morning when Noah wakes, and every night as I check on him asleep in bed... thank you, God, he is healed.

If you'd like to Share The Joy, t
he LAY'S® brand is inviting us to "Share the Joy" to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation raise the resources to grant 100,000 wishes. Please visit lays.com & click on "create a floret" to upload photos, home video clips, or simply share a short text message of moments that are especially meaningful and joyous to you. For every moment of joy shared, Lay's will make a $1 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (up to $460,000). I've already done ours- it takes just a minute- please do the same when you get the chance! Spread the word, too!

And if you are able to give to some other very worthy causes, even if it's just a dollar of your own, check out the Buddy Bears in my sidebar (we'll be walking next month in the Chicago Epilepsy Walk) and we'll be walking for Xavier in the March of Dimes walk later this month as well. Every dollar does make a difference...


Pillow In The Room

This was in the latest newsletter that my local knitting shop sends out, and I just had to share it here as well as my knitting journal. (I also have to say that I have the best in-laws ever. I love my husband's parents and his sister and her family. I also love the family my brother married into. We are very blessed in this way!)

Dear Knit Doctor,
I know you have heard tons of horror stories about unappreciated hand knitted gifts. Well, here is my contribution. Years ago I knitted an elaborate pillow for my son and his wife. It was a complex cable pattern. I went to visit them and noticed the family dog had a very nice pillow- hand knitted- by me. I decided to say nothing, but put the pillow in my suitcase and took it home with me. I now enjoy it in my home and make no attempt to hide it when family comes to visit. Nothing has ever been said about this. Sometimes I wonder if they realize that this is in fact the self same pillow. I'm actually not mad at them for not appreciating my gift. I'm really rather enjoying it myself.
Signed, No Pillow Talk

Dear No Pillow Talk,
The fact of the matter is that a hand made gift fares no better chance statistically of being appreciated than a purchased one. It is my feeling that any hand knit gift should come with two contracts. First the knitter must make a contract with herself not to become emotionally involved if the gift is not well received. Second, any hand knitted gift item should include a return clause. You simply exercised your rights under the return clause.

Dear Knit Doctor,
Years ago we received an elaborate knitted pillow from my husband's mother. For reasons which we cannot explain, our dog just loved that pillow. Every time we retrieved it from the dog, when we'd turn out backs the dog would have it again. We finally gave up trying to preserve the pillow from our dog.
You can probably guess what happens next. Mother-in-law visits. Pillow disappears. Pillow reappears in mother-in-law's home. Since then I've seen it at her house many times, but no one ever mentions the...
Pillow In The Room

Dear Pillow In The Room,
In your family there is a Pillow In The Room that no one speaks of. In many families there is an Elephant In The Room that no one speaks of. This should put a new perspective on the basic good health of your extended family life. You are all wise enough people to enjoy each other without letting small matters, like pillows, get in the way.

April 2, 2007

Recovery & Review

My head is stuffy and hard to hold up. I can not stay in bed all day hidden under the covers, as I'd wish and as I probably need. Three little guys need their breakfast and jeans washed for school and lightsabers re-attached to their Star Wars guys.

Being an at-home mom I don't have a boss really, or anyone to give me a year-end review or anything like that. But Noah & Carter are usually generous with suggestions and praise. Just today I was proclaimed "the best bed-der maker ever" and the "bestest cooker." And I've already had Carter tell me he loves me twice this morning, and it's not even 9 am yet. I think I'll keep this job.


April 1, 2007

Sanjaya Was In Goodwill


I was shopping at Goodwill the other day with my Mom & the three boys. On my list was a possible dress for Easter, shorts for Gray, and I had also promised the boys they could pick out a toy. This is the place to do that versus, say, Target because most of the toys here are fifty-cents or a dolllar at most!

Strolling down the aisle my mom whispers "I just saw Sanjaya." But my excited 6-year old that watches American Idol didn't "get" the whole whisper part and says so very loud "Sanjaya?! Where's Sanjaya!?" I Shhh him and my mom, who is now not helping things and laughing at him (encouraging him- thanks, Mom!) So I shuffle them all several aisles away from the Sanjaya look-alike. Noah still didn't get it. "Where's Sanjaya?"

Mind you, this was on Wednesday somewhere in Indiana, and that night was the live results show on American Idol. I promise you, it was not really Sanjaya. He could, however, easily be his twin. Apparently he worked there and apparently he overheard us (how could he not?) In the dress aisle he comes singing along and smiling, pretending to straighten the clothes or something. I think he was enjoying the attention. Now I wish I would have pulled the camera out of my purse and taken a picture. Oh well.

We did have a couple other big finds. A Darth Vader costume for $3, complete with helmet, cape, and working voice thingy to sound like Darth Vader. I also found several pairs of shorts for Gray, and two dresses for me! One is nice & simple from Ann Taylor Loft and the other will be my Easter dress!

And now I can't do a post about Sanjaya without linking to this hilarious bit about him on SNL last week...

Sanjaya, please do us all some good will and either start singing like you deserve to be in the Top 9 (I honestly think he may have it in him if he tried) or just stop the joking and go home already!

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