February 28, 2009

Someday We'll Be The Same Size

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Onesie Head

Hey, who turned off the lights?

I was just going over my posts from the past couple weeks and realized it's been a bit too dark and heavy in here.

Maybe I should just start posting pictures again.

(And I'm over the fact that I don't have the best camera and yes these were taken with my iPhone. So what if they're fuzzy. I captured the moment and that's all that matters.)

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February 26, 2009

It's Raining It's Pouring

So strange that snow would be the total normal for today but instead it's been a thunderstorm.

It seems fitting.

I like it.

Yesterday I picked out flowers for Beth and the lady preparing the arrangement engaged me in conversation about the circumstances for such lovely daisies in a blue vase.

Her eyes brimmed with tears the entire time she trimmed each stem and positioned it just so. She lost a baby in between her two sons. She always wonders if it was her girl.

The other woman working stopped to join us and gently spoke of her own three losses. I told them how special Beth was to me, and the boys, how important it was to remember them and they nodded and agreed and they took a moment to remember, too.

In the parking lot Gray picked up a broken pen and as I tried to get it out of his hands real fast we both ended up with blue ink all over us. Oh were we a pair.

I half thought that I was glad he wasn't in church clothes and same for me, and then I was filled with emotion and thanks. It's that messy stuff of life that makes you aware of the now and being in the present. If it weren't for that darn broken pen on the asphalt I would have just plopped him in his car seat and been on our way to the next place, my mind somewhere else thinking busy thoughts.

Instead we had a moment. One that he remembered, too, because when we were out and about today Gray told me he wouldn't ever pick up pens in parking lots again.

The other day we were doing other errands, as usual, filling our morning again with empty busyness that seemed so urgent and important at the time but now I can't even recall where we were even going. Gray grabbed my breath by saying, Mommy,
thank you for hanging out with me.

All along I was thinking I was dragging him from place to place, little luggage that asks lots of questions, and he found that to be precious time with his Mommy.
I huff and puff and sigh and tut tut about my time. I'm living day in and day out with other lives here, wings open and shelter... from way down there and underneath they seem to have a way better view and understanding.

I should totally be thanking them for letting me hang out with them.

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February 25, 2009

One Year Ago Today,

my friend Beth carried two sons in her belly, so precious.

And just like that, they could not find the heartbeats.

This doesn't really happen this can not be happening make it stop oh why I don't understand.

I prayed there had been a mistake. I prayed so hard they would find the heartbeats.

I was pregnant, too. One year ago today, I carried a baby in my belly, so precious. So bittersweet.

James, I am so sad that I never got to hold you and smell your head.

Jake, I am so sad that I never got to hear your deep belly laugh. Maybe at something Ivy did. : )

James and Jake, you are so loved. You will forever be remembered by so many people that probably would have never even met you if you had lived to be a hundred years old.

You made me feel feelings I didn't know I could feel. As a Mother, as a friend, and as a human being.

If I could whisper just one thing in your little ears this very moment- while at one time it could have been your Mama's crazy or I think you're a goofy loof or don't eat your toes!

It's not any of those today.

Jake, James, here on earth and now there in heaven, you brought me closer to your Mommy.

I would hold you and smell your heads, and whisper,

thank you.

I see you in her eyes. I feel your presence all around her.

One year ago today, you left her arms. You will never be gone from her heart.

There Really Ought To Be A Sign Upon My Heart

I was struggling.

There are pieces of me that I bare so unabashedly. But those are just pieces. It's not all of me.

I couldn't find my happy place.

I could fall on my knees to pray but down there I was met with crumbs on the carpet and reminded again that I need to vacuum. Then I would just become sleepy.

Some days all I want is to be in a moment- any moment- that is uninterrupted.

There's only so much of me to go around. And I feel like I've been offering up first dibs to all the wrong people and things.

I remember thin and fake wood paneled walls in the upstairs of our old church. The plastic seats and prize bucket if you remembered your verse and brought a friend and your bible.

And this song written big and neat on poster board with colored smelly markers:

He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.

Hey everyone, I'm under construction! And that's ok.

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February 24, 2009

As Seen On Ivy

Dress by Stardust (and a gift from Auntie Arianne!)
Necklace from Target a couple years ago!

Dress and shirt by Gymboree.

Headband by Butterfly Kisses

Bag from Method.

Outfit by Zutano from Butterfly Kisses.

Scarf by me. Oh, and Ivy, too.

I was not paid to post these links, but thought they might be helpful to some of you that asked!

Please help me choose a necklace and enter to win something for yourself in my Lisa Leonard Designs giveaway!

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February 22, 2009


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February 21, 2009


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February 20, 2009


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February 19, 2009


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February 18, 2009


Ivy LaRue, 5 months old

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February 17, 2009

Oh, Not Much

In a two-minute span just about one hour ago I could be seen consoling Gray about his Lego ship that would not stay together as I was putting drops in Carter's ear (he came home sick from school) while at the same time preparing him soup on the stove and running down to wash a load of diapers and bringing a big basket of laundry back up to fold right before I put cotton in Carter's ear and picked up the baby to nurse her.

This morning I was horrified to find that Noah has been walking around with a HOLE IN HIS SHOE. Now, I know I can be dramatic so it's not like there are toes sticking out or anything, but still. How is it that I did not know? As soon as he gets off the bus today I am taking him to pick out whatever shoes his little heart desires.

Oh, and seeing as how I am everywhere and everything today, I'm also here where guilt tastes just like a birthday cupcake.

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February 16, 2009

Apparently A Kid Can Be A Kid Pretty Much Anywhere

My oldest child turned eight and I've still never set foot in a Chuck E Cheese.

It was Noah's birthday wish to have lunch there today.

And, just so you know, the reason we've never been isn't because we are against it for any reason at all (aside from a little fear due to some horrific tales I only hope are urban legends) but rather that for a long time Noah was on a special diet and we stayed away from places like that until he was better and since then the opportunity to go had not presented itself.

Until now.

I bought hand sanitizer, as suggested.

I prepared my stomach for questionable "pizza."

And I nervously bit my nails.

I planned to blog about the whole experience here, hoping for some eloquently phrased great teachable moment to tie it all up in the last line.

But this morning Noah decided he'd rather go to the mall and eat at the Food Court instead for his birthday lunch and have I told you lately how much I love this boy?

We found out they had this Funflatables play area and headed right there. In a good hour we'd exhausted all their energy to which only corn dogs and lemonade could fix.

Side note- going to the mall on a school holiday REALLY makes you realize that four is a lot of kids if you hadn't noticed it in a while.

There are things that I hope my children someday look back and think of their childhood. I hope that they can be found one day sitting around talking with each other and maybe even arguing a bit because each one thinks that they were my favorite. I hope that they always knew how much their Mommy and Daddy loved and respected each other. And I hope they always knew how much we hoped for them, dreamed for them, and loved them.

And I hope they felt like they didn't miss even one single moment of being a kid.

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February 14, 2009

He'd Open His Arms Really Really Wide

I sat downstairs and took a few deep breaths.

Gray had woken up on the wrong side of the bed yet again and there was a whole lot of stomping and screaming at the top of the stairs.

No matter how determined I may be to assure myself that this day, any day will be a good day, it hinges on the personalities and moods of several other people in my immediate vicinity.

Head in my hands, I thought- and not in a kidding way at all but totally serious- what would Jesus do?

I calmly walked up the stairs with my arms outstretched. He continued to scream. Even louder. I reached out to him and he ran away.

I sweetly asked him to please come see Mommy. He tried to hide under a chair.

It began to hurt a little, his running from me when all I wanted to do was hold him. I decided I wouldn't wait for him to come to me and so I went and picked him up myself.

Tears and struggle and skin and bones and finally he gave in to my embrace.

It's familiar. It stings.

And finally I gave in to His embrace.

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February 13, 2009

When I Can't Meet You Halfway

Probably my favorite thing about BlissDom was the couch in the hallway.

There were times that I just wanted to sit and nurse Ivy and let people come to me. I could sit there for a long time all by myself and be just fine, observing all that was going on around me. Quick conversations from passersby was nice. And if someone wanted to sit with me and talk that was great, too.

I just didn't have that much energy to do the going-up-to-everyone myself.

Maybe you noticed?

That's not normally like me. Next time we meet you will probably see me more bubbly and flutter-like.

And now that I'm back home I'm thinking about it actually. How I'm kinda still on the couch. For friends. Family. My hubby.

I don't know if it's this cold I can't kick or the snow clouds rolling in again or the having of four kids or what. But right now I just can't meet you halfway.

Can't even meet myself halfway somedays.

This is a pitiful offering, I know. And I hope you understand.

Photo by Mishelle Lane aka Secret Agent Mama

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February 12, 2009

Rearview Mirror

We were stopped at a red light. I fell in love with you all over again watching you in the rearview mirror today.

You'll be 8 years old in just a few days but I can already see the teenager in you. The grown man you'll be when your heart will be taken away from me and given to someone else.

Your teeth are coming in so big and painfully cute and you're all arms and legs and your pants are too short. We'll get you some new ones for your birthday.

I look at you and see all my favorite parts about you only getting better and better. I do not long for you to be little again because I just love who you are right now so much it hurts.

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Toe Touch In The Sky

This is Part 3 of however many it takes to answer your questions about my Blissperience '09.

Renee asks who did you meet, what did you do? did you enjoy yourself? bought anything?

Oh, let me think. I met a lot of people. Check out the Blissdom blo
groll (which also has a link to everyone's photos from the weekend) and I probably met them or sat by them or ate with them or rode the elevator with them because there was a lot of meeting going on!

The first thing we did when we got there was meet up with Melanie at the airport shuttle and then we went to check in to our hotel rooms. Then Beth found Anissa and Janet a few rooms down and we all gathered in our room to eat room service- which confused Big Jim of Hotel Preston because I wanted no ham on my croissant sandwich but definitely wanted ba
con. And the awesome Caffeinatrix held Ivy while I ate. I'm forever grateful.

It was also during that little room service meet and greet that I met Lori (A Cowboy's Wife) and Shash and possibly others... this is where it all starts running together. See blogroll.

That first night we all had dinner in the hotel restaurant and it was really fun watching everyone come in and meet for the first time or reconnect with old bloggy friends.

The next day we didn't have to register until after 10 a.m. so Ivy and I chilled in our room and had room service and took our time until heading down for the day. There was plenty to do and see with sessions and hanging out with friends and eating and yapping away. This was about the time I lost my voice.

That night we had the cocktail party and the pajama party and then bed. Then Saturday morning was an earlier start- I had breakfast downstairs with everyone and had my panel at 10:30. The rest of that day was sessions and hanging out with Sarah & Asher and another cocktail party that night and then I actually hit the hay early because we were beat!

Sunday we woke up and packed up and headed out to Nashville until it was time to fly home!

Oh, and I think the only thing I bought was souvenirs for the boys! And guess where I got them? At a Dollar General in downtown Nashville! I think I spent $8.

CrookedEyebrow How did Ivy's first plane ride go?

Ivy's first plane ride went better than I expected! On the way there we sat with Arianne and she slept a little, ate a little, and then smiled at the lady behind us the rest of the time. Ivy did great, too. (Just kidding, I was totally talking about Ivy.)

On the way home we all had rows to ourselves so there was a little more room to move around. Arianne kept her entertained with her iPhone and Ivy mastered texting and turning pages with her toes. She's a prodigy, I tell you.

Have more questions? I've probably got more answers. Ask away.

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February 11, 2009

We'll Treat You So Many Ways You're Bound To Like One Of 'Em

My Poppal called yesterday to see if I had fun in Nashville and if I made any new friends.

Today he turns 78 years young.

One of my favorite things about having a daughter is watching him see me in her.

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She Answers More

This is Part 2 of however many it takes to answer your questions about my Blissperience '09.

Haley asked Did you enjoy TN?

I did enjoy Tennessee! I have been before and my personal favorite is to be in the mountains. This was my first time in Nashville and I'll admit that the entire time we were there I was inside the Hotel Preston until we left on Sunday!

From Krista: Did any speakers share something that really sticks out in your mind as a reason to attend an event like this?

The great thing about conferences like this is that you can be any type of blogger and probably get something out of it just for you. For those that are interested in branding or monetizing their blogs, then there's plenty of that. For those that just want to meet other bloggers in person that you admire, follow, or are friends with online, it's perfect for that. And honestly there are tidbits from each session that most often anyone can take something away. I personally felt so refreshed about where I want blogging to take me and not take me after this weekend.

And I will say that yes, I enjoyed several speakers and the ones that really stood out in my mind are Catherine (Her Bad Mother) who when talking about just what we should share and write about said, "I always err on the side of forgiving myself." And when Alli (Mrs. Fussypants) and Megan (Velveteen Mind) openly shared their blog stats to a surprised audience (much less than you'd expect). Influence, writing skill, and reach are not measured by how many comments you have.

Nell asks HOW did it go for your first speaking gig? I assume this was your first?

This was my first speaking gig! Here's a photo that Beth took from my view on the panel.

I loved it. I wish it would have lasted forever. I spoke with Catherine (Her Bad Mother) and Shannon (Rocks In My Dryer) and we answered questions about our passion for writing and the whole process of it all and sharing it for all the world to see.

Adlai Did you cloth diaper Ivy while you were at the conference?

I did not cloth diaper while we were away. I did the Seventh Generation disposables and seriously would have had to pack an extra suitcase if I hadn't. (I could not wait to get those cloth diapers back on her once we got home, though!)

KAJ Are these conference for ANYONE? or just "professional" bloggers?

These conferences are definitely for anyone. As long as you like blogging or like to read blogs. Some of my favorite people there were people that aren't about making a profession out of blogging.

Beth hints with her questions... Did you laugh a lot? Did you borrow anyone's really cute, really adorable shoes? Did you eat ice cream?

Yes, Beth, I laughed alot and mostly in your presence. And mostly at myself as I always found myself doing really dumb things. I borrowed your really cute really adorable shoes after my really cute really adorable shoes were too painful to wear a moment longer. And I ate the best ice cream ever while in downtown Nashville with you on Sunday. I believe it was called Uncle Charlie's Caramel Pie or something like that? Mmmm. And I don't even like ice cream.

Have more questions? I've probably got more answers. Ask away.

See Part 3 answers here.

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February 10, 2009

Out Came The Sun

Ivy LaRue, 4 1/2 months old

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She Answers

This is Part 1 of however many it takes to answer your questions about my Blissperience '09.

Mommy Melee asks Do airlines let you wear your baby onto the plane and in your seat? What was the biggest challenge traveling with Ivy?

We flew American Airlines and they did let me wear Ivy onto the plane and in my seat. I was even able to go through security while wearing her but it was probably because my sling didn't have any metal parts. I kept her in the mei tai most of the time until she needed to get out and move around. Then I'd put her right back in and this helped so much getting through the airplane & airport.

I am very thankful to have my awesome flymates with me- Sarah, Beth, & Arianne. I am not sure I'd ever want to fly alone with a baby. My biggest challenge was proba
bly just making it through the airport with all our stuff- and there was lots of extra stuff because I was not only packing for ME but also a baby and had a car seat/stroller and a ton of extra changes of clothes that still wasn't enough and toys and, yeah.

Heather of the EO asked Is Ivy feeling better? Did the awful cough leave your home? Who is your very most favorite blogger from the conference?

I think Ivy is feeling better but the awful cough has not completely left our house yet. I probably have it the worst.

And I know Heather was kidding about that last question but I will say that there were certain people I was really looking forward to meeting for the first time and I did, certain people that I was looking forward to visiting with again and I did, and then there were some nice surprises- probably my favorite thing was meeting people that I hadn't really known before online or in person.

Shannon introduced me to her friend Amber from The Run-A-Muck and we hit it off right away. I had just recently learned about her blog and there was something about her that just made me fall in love instantly. I was up late in the night with Ivy and decided to read through her blog. Trust me- it's one you will want to read all the posts in one sitting. She's so amazingly beautiful from the inside out.

Amber, Ivy, & Me

It wasn't until the next night after we met that I realized that... wait for it... Amber is THE Mom that the Mother Letter Project was for!!

Have more questions? I've probably got more answers. Ask away.

See Part 2 questions here.

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February 9, 2009


I went away for several days to a blogging conference and I come back and don't know what to blog about.

I'm glad to be back.

It was fun.

I met awesome people.

We did stuff.

What do you want to know?

See Part 1 answers here.
See Part 2 answers here.
See Part 3 answers here.

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February 7, 2009

When Mom's Away... She's Still Mom

The night before I left for Nashville I was up very late packing and getting everything ready for my early departure the next morning. As soon as I laid my head down to go to sleep, I heard The Cough coming from the boys' room.

You know, The Cough. That scary chills through my heart and out my toes barky croup cough.

And I thought Oh no. Or maybe it was more like Oh, dear God, no.

It was only a couple months earlier that I first heard that cough coming from Gray one night and I seriously almost called 911. Yes- in all my almost 8 years of being a Mom it was my first time hearing it and oh my goodness I think my heart just started beating again last week.

And so when, on the night before I am to leave for 4 days away from my family and I'm already thinking of reasons why I should just stay at home afterall, I hear The Cough and first I think it's a sign. Like I should stay home. And then I think maybe it's a test. Do I have faith that they are going to be ok? That hubby can take care of it?

I ended up staying up the whole night with each one as The Cough passed from top bunk to firetruck bed to bottom bunk. There were drinks of water, a steamy bathroom, a bubble bath, and snuggling and prayers. Lots of prayers.

And maybe a little piece of my heart breaking off.

But through the night they each were better. And sleeping soundly in the morning.

I left and trusted that all would be ok. And it was.

Of course I have Ivy with me and so I'm part Mom missing her family at home and Mom on duty with a baby and luggage and plane tickets and show your ID and diaper bag and stroller and car seat and did I mention baby?

And when we got to the hotel she started a little cold that really has been the most pitiful little thing ever but she's still so happy and sweet and maybe another little piece of my heart broke off.

I talked to Carter and Gray last night and it was just the sweetest thing to hear their voices and I wonder WHY do they sound so stinking adorable when they are on the phone- and they say the cutest and wittiest things ever but when we're at home, their voices just aren't the same, you know?

I've come away from this conference with more than I thought I would. I'm picking up the pieces and I'm going home to so much more.

And I should totally call my kids more often, like, from upstairs on a bad day.

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February 6, 2009

It'll Make Yer Tongue Slap Yer Eyeballs

I'm here! The BlissDom conference is underway and I'm already getting hugs and real life conversations from some of my favorite blog and Twitter friends. It's fantastic.

Hanging on the couch with Sarah & Asher and Alli & her sweet boy (I do know his name but I am not sure if I should reveal it here!)

I'm loving the Nashvillian way here so far. And thanks to Lori, I now know what "honky tonk" means. Not that we've been honky tonkying or anything, she just explained it.

Room service just came with my French toast so I better skedaddle.

Photo from I Should Be Folding Laundry's Flickr.

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February 5, 2009

Birds Flying High

We're on our way to Nashville!

Be sure to follow our tweets.

February 4, 2009

What Buttons And Glitter Glue Can Not Fix

This week two of my very dear friends were holding excited secrets of new babies in their bellies and then just like that, their babies were gone.

I feel so inadequate, sending emails signed with lower case x's and o's, offering help where I can. If I had enough money I'd send flowers in a pretty vase. I want to hold them in my arms. I want to say I'm sorry. I want to take all the bad thoughts and hurt and sadness away.

I watched Beth's kids while she went to the hospital. We made art with buttons and glitter glue.

All around me people I love are losing their children, their husbands, their wives, their jobs, their minds.

Sometimes it's not that there's not enough words to say but there just aren't any words at all. Or things I could do. Maybe if I were more creative or maybe if I were more organized. Maybe if I had a time machine. Maybe it's not up to me.

I'm sad and I'm sorry and I'm praying and I'm surrendering more than you know.


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February 3, 2009

Dear Stay At Home Working Mom

Mom, housewife, whatever you want to call me, I've grown weary of all I do and the constant reminder of what I don't.

This job, the early morning rush of breakfasting and backpacking and signing of the homework and you forgot to wash my favorite shirt or I'm thirsty/hungry/grumpy/coughy/sneezy or you forgot to read my mind.

This job, nap-less afternoons of sweeping and sweeping and droopy eyes and little people meltdowns and lunches and snacks and more sweeping. And more sweeping.

This job, I'm still waiting for a paycheck. This job where so much is expected and this job I can't ever be enough.

I need more hands. And arms and legs. And brooms.

This job without any breaks. Always a need, a nose, a mouth, a missing sock or Lego piece. A phone ringing and a diaper or battery that needs changing.

This job I collapse at the end of the day.

Only to begin all over again. This job neverending.

And still without a paycheck of money that I can spend.

Who could do such a job?

I must be made of something pretty powerful. Unbreakable and indestructible. I must be amazing.

This job oh, my God, I don't ever want to quit.

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February 2, 2009

American Idol 2025

She's only four-and-a-half months old, but Ivy LaRue is the sweetest little songbird ever.

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February 1, 2009

I Don't Want To Be A Charlie Brown Head

I only want to be Grayson!

I hope to raise all my children to want to be just themselves.

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