There are many definitions of "clean freak", so let me clarify what my problem is. When I walk by a bedroom with an unmade bed my eye twitches a little. I can't go to sleep at night if the kitchen is still a mess. And as the setting sunlight pours through the windows of our west facing front door and I actually see the thin grey film of dust on our TV stand, I want to crawl into a hole somewhere and cry. Mike is the same way. But our methods of cleaning our house are as different as can be. While I can deep clean our entire home in three hours (with no kids around that is), Mike will take an entire afternoon to clean our pantry. He is slow, meticulous and organized in his method. While I, on the other hand, turn into a mopping/dusting/windex-spraying tornado. We both get the job done, but in different ways. In a way we balance each other perfectly. Perhaps when us two clean freaks got married, it was a match made in heaven.
I always start with my kitchen sink. Once that's done, I feel I can tackle the rest of the house. Some of my cleaning arsenal. Not pictured: Swiffer mop. I heart my Swiffer mop.
It was a good weekend. We visited with our dear friends who came up from Dallas, watched two great movies (more on these later), went the OSUOKC farmer's market, and got the chance to do one of my favorite things: drive to a small Oklahoma town to eat at a charming hidden gem of a restaurant. This is becoming a hobby of ours. So Saturday night we visited Lucille's in Mulhall, OK. Mike was the one who actually read about this place and suggested we take the drive to eat there. Mulhall is one of those towns where you have to take a state highway (not the interstate) to get there which always makes for a more interesting drive. We were pleasantly surprised by Lucille's. Part of the restaurant was the town's original bank. It's now saloon/bar area. The main eating area was added on to the back and was very clean. The food was country cooking at its best: chicken fried steak, fried catfish, okra, buttery soft yeast rolls, and homemade pies. Yum. After we all stuffed ourselves, we went outside just as the sun was beginning to set. We let the girls run and play in the field next to Lucille's and thought just for a few minutes Could we live in a small town like this? It's a question we toss around every now and then. But soon enough we were all back in the car, the big sky turning indigo, winding south on highway 77 toward home.
I recently read a post by The Pioneer Woman that got me thinking. In this particular post she compared where she thought her life would be when she was in college to where her life actually is today. It made me think about the same thing.
When I was in college:
Did I think that at age 31 I would be married? yes
Did I think that I would have kids? yes
Did I think I'd have a career in education? yes
Did I think I'd be a stay home mom? no (I thought I'd still be teaching)
Did I think I'd have twins? no way
Did I think raising kids would be so incredibly hard? no
Did I think raising kids would be so incredibly rewarding? no
I guess I've learned that it's good to be surprised by life. I thought about what I'd change in my current state and my list was pretty short (reduce/eliminate debt, be able to travel more), but at the core of where I am today, I honestly wouldn't change a thing. What a great place to be at. It helped me to realize that my day to day frustrations really are minor when compared to the bigger blessings in my life. So my three year old is running away from me calling out, "Get away from me old lady!" (a line she picked up from a movie I let her watch). I can deal with this (God, help me!). I have to remember that where I am in my parenting and my career is not where I'll be ten years from now. Just like where I was in college is not where I am now.
Well, most of the time that is. When the girls were babies we used to say how we couldn't wait for them to be able to play together. And how great it would be that they would have a "built in best friend". Naively we thought those days would be sooner than later. At age one we waited for them to happily interact, but instead they just parallel played. In other words, they would do the same thing, but independently. Even at age two they still didn't really "play" together yet. Instead one would take a toy out of the other's hand and then whack her over the head with it. They still do this occasionally, but now that they are three and a half, they are finally really interacting well together and I love it. Blocks, their kitchen, and dolls seem to be the toys of choice to play with. They will spend a long time working together to build a castle. When they're done, they both run to find us and squeal, "Come see what we built!" They are so proud of their work. Then Leah usually declares, "Hannah, let's decorate it!" They use whatever is close by: shoes, dolls, plastic silverware from their little kitchen, you know, the essentials.
I hope this new era of interaction and friendship plants the seeds for a deep, loving relationship to grow into their teen and adult years. Believe me, they are not perfect. They still scream, throw fits, argue and even hit or pinch each other. But for now I am cherishing those moments of them working in sync in a rhythm of play.
You need one willing volunteer. A smiling three year old will do.
About six lemons (enough to make one cup of juice).
And an electric juicer. If you don't have one, get one now. I love mine.
When I was pregnant with my girls, I craved fresh squeezed orange juice. I would buy a big bag of oranges from
Wal-Mart every week and spend about an hour juicing them all. But that's a another story....... And you'll also need a few free minutes to spend with your smiling three year old, just enjoying your time together.
Because time really does go by so fast. It's good to sit down and make a pitcher of lemonade and slow down a bit.
You'll also need 1 cup of sugar and six cups of water and that's it! Pure and simple. I should have a picture of our
finished product, but I don't because we immediately sat down to drink it! Now go make some of your own.
Kick your feet up, relax and relish a little down time in your day.
This weekend I was able reconnect with some of my dearest friends. Heather (on the left) and LeAnn (in the middle) both traveled from different parts of the country (with their children in tow) to Oklahoma City this weekend for a college roommate reunion. The three of us had so many fun times together at OBU. Studying together, staying up late talking, going on walks, laughing until we cried, discussing our futures and the exciting possibilities of what was to come. I am so very thankful for friendships like these. The ones that have really stood the test of time-- that have seen each other through many phases of life. Our pastor was saying yesterday that God created us for relationships. A relationship with Him and relationships with others. I'm so glad I was able to nurture these friendships this weekend. And all of our kids got to spend time together too! There was a lot of running, giggling, jumping, skipping, and squealing going on that's for sure. Here's our delightful crew. The Bee could not be in the photo without her pink blanket.
Some important running taking place at the park Thursday night.
Banana surveying her options for a potential mate. Ahhhh.....good times in deed.
Welcome to my new blog! I've been wanting to start one for quite some time, so I finally just took the plunge. Here I'll be rambling about motherhood, music, kids, books, and whatever else comes to my mind to write about. The name of my blog, "Bananas and Bees", comes from the nicknames I've given my children. I figure they will be the subject of many a post, so why not include them in the title. Plus, I just liked the way it sounded. And the name was actually available (what an ordeal that was!). The "banana" part refers to my little Hannah. Get it? Hannah Banana? It rhymes. I'm very original with these I might add. "Bee" is the rhyming companion for my sweet Leah. Leah Bee and Hannah Banana. Those are my girls.
Nicknames can be pretty funny really. Sometimes they evolve into other sweet or silly versions of the original nickname. For example with Hannah, I've been known to just call her "Banana." For example, I might say, "Banana, please pick up your sippy cup off the floor." Or, "Hey Banana, come look at this!" And sometimes I add on to that by calling her anything from Banana Bread to Banana Pudding. Sometimes I add an 's' to the end and call her Bananas. It just depends on what comes out of my mouth at that particular moment. With Leah, I usually call her "Leebers" (a strange combination of Leah and Bee). But I also call her "Little Bee" "Sweet Pea Lee" or just simply "Bee."
Even in marriage, nicknames seem to surface in our conversations. Mike and I have been calling each other "Pea" for years. It's a shortened version of Sweet Pea which we thought was just a little too sweet. So we cut it down to "Pea" and it stuck. So two Peas, a Banana, and a Bee. It's a great combination.
What nicknames do you have? What nicknames have you given to your children? Or pets?