Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Here we are on February 29.  Leap Day.  I have some random thoughts about this funny day we only get to experience once every four years.

1. The first year I was teaching was a Leap Year.  I had a student with a birthday on February 29th.  Her parents delivered two dozen red roses and a large bouquet of balloons to school.  They made a big deal out of her special day, and I thought that was pretty cool.

2.  I have a friend due any second with her third baby.  I'm kind of hoping she delivers before midnight tonight.

3.  I heard a man on the radio this morning saying that today he and his wife were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary even though they have been married for twenty years.

4.  This morning at my gym, in honor of leap year, our instructor had us randomly stop between songs and "leap" (which was really jump-squatting) four times forward and four times back.  It was a good quad workout, that's for sure!

5.  All the Bradford Pear trees are blooming here!  It is obvious that they do not understand the extra day in February, because they are already acting like it is March!

And since it is the last day of the month, I thought we could take a look-back at some pics from the end of February of 2011.

I always like to see how they have changed!
Now bring on Spring!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

School Play

Hannah and Leah came home very excited from school today. Their excitement came from the fact that they began working on the first grade school play today. This will be their first school play experience, and they are stoked. There are a limited number of speaking parts and they both want to try out for the role of the Butterfly. We spent a little bit of time this evening going over the line, trying to articulate and add inflection. We shall see what pans out there. I am just impressed that they want a speaking part at all. I always shied away from being front and center. I was definitely a background player in all my school play experiences. Although I did perform a dance to "It's Hip to be Square" by Huey Lewis once in sixth grade. It was my one moment in the spotlight. Try outs for the girls are March 7th and 8th. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Eating A Rainbow

A few weeks ago, after my normal Friday work-out class, I stuck around to attend a presentation by one of my classmates who is a certified master herbalist and holistic health expert.  She brought all kinds of food samples (mainly the reason I stayed) and had lots of interesting information about eating healthy and taking care of your mind, body and soul.  She shared her own personal battle with anerexia and how God brought her through that struggle.  I found her testimony to be quite moving, and it gave some background on why she is so passionate about total body health now.  Her motto is "Food. Fitness. Faith."  I like that.

Anyway, like I said she gave several easy, practical tips on how to live healthier.  One of the things she mentioned was to simply "eat a rainbow".  She suggested that when taking kids to the store each week, go to the produce section and let them have a color scavenger hunt.  With younger kids, she said you might just go with one color each visit.  For example, when given the color orange, they might pick up carrots, butternut squash, oranges, peppers, etc.  You get the idea.  I loved this simple idea and tried it with my girls during our next shopping trip.  They loved it!

Tonight, I needed a side for our simple dinner of sandwiches and chips.  So I told the girls we were going to make a rainbow fruit salad.  We were on a mission.  Leah found cans of mandarin oranges and pineapple tidbits in the pantry.  Hannah discovered strawberries and purple grapes in the refrigerator.  We already had red, orange, yellow, and purple.  I chopped up a Granny Smith apple to provide some green, and that's as far as we got.  If only I had some blueberries, our rainbow would have been complete.  Oh well, it still looked pretty and it tasted great.  Even though these were all fruits they love, they are much more likely to try something new if they help choose it or prepare it.

Our "rainbow salad" before we mixed it up.

In addition, at the end of the presentation at my gym, I picked up a guide for "when to buy organic."  I thought it was pretty interesting, so I am going to share it with you.  These lists are the "Clean 15" (which are lowest in pesticides) and the "Dirty Dozen" (which are better to buy organic.)  

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

1. Onions
2. Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Sweet Peas
6. Mangoes
8. Cantaloupe
9. Kiwi
10. Cabbage
11. Watermelon
12. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

There you go.  Some FOOD for thought.  Haha! I'm so punny.

*The lists came from

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Lucas is really into making everything into a sword. He has his light saber as an obvious choice, but other things become swords as well. Things like pretzel rods (one of his favorite snacks), carrot sticks, hair brushes, my Swiffer duster, and even the remote control. Anything is fair game. The most unusual "sword" he has found is the green nasal aspirator we brought home from the hospital when he was born. He loves that thing for some reason. He grabs it, waves it around, yells "high-ya!!!", and challenges me to a dual. Tonight he said he wants to sleep with his "green sword". I hope he is always my funny boy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Stats For Today

1. I completed one hour of cardio work in a fun new dance class. I made it through everything from hip-hop to salsa, the Jive to the Charleston, and even a Jewish wedding dance. It was a lot of fun!

2. Lucas and I spent some time at the playground enjoying the gorgeous weather.

3. My little boy took a nice two hour nap. He fell asleep in about two minutes. I think staying up until 11:30 the night before had something to do with that.

4. While Lucas napped, I decided to declare war on our laundry situation. I busted out six loads! That's right, I washed, folded and put away six full loads of laundry. The good news is we all have clean underwear now!

5. We went out to eat as a family after Mike got home. We had three coupons for free kids' meals at a nearby restaurant, so the price was right. Score!

6. As per usual, we came home and had Family Movie Night. Tonight's selection was Holes. I read that book to my sixth graders every year when i was teaching,and my kids always loved it. My girls thought it was good too. Jon Voight's performance is my favorite part of that movie.

7. It is nearly midnight, and I am tired!

Good-night, World! I leave you with a cute picture of Lucas. Just because.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Rough Patch

Of all my children, Lucas has definitely been the best sleeper.  The boy slept through the night at 2 months (way earlier than either of my girls), has gone down easily for naps and bedtime, and when he dropped from two naps a day to one, that one nap was usually a monster 2.5 to 3 hour nap.  I thought I had hit the child/sleep jackpot!  Then, the dreaded day came when he started climbing out of his crib.  Soon thereafter we moved him into his big boy twin bed.  In addition to his new sleeping arrangements, we also took away his beloved pacifier.  With these circumstances in mind, it is safe to say we have hit a rough patch in his sleeping habits.

Honestly, the pacifier issue is not so big anymore.  It's been almost two weeks and he barely mentions it at all.  I think it is the change of bed that has him in a funk.  He has tasted the freedom of being able to get in and out of bed on his own, and he likes it.

Usually, our night time routine goes like this:  bath, read 2-3 books, turn on lullaby cd, tuck him in, Mom or Dad sits with him and scratches his back for a song or two until he either falls asleep or is very still.  Lately, though, he does not get still.  At. All.  He flips around.  He talks.  He pats my face.  So we nixed the mom-dad-scratch-back routine and decided to tuck him in and say just good-night.  At this point he sometimes begins to scream and cry.  We try really hard to ignore the screaming, and sometimes that is all it takes.  10 minutes of intense screaming will wear anyone out!  But then there are the nights like tonight where the screaming doesn't wear him out.  Instead, he goes to Plan B which is do not stay in bed at all.  He just pops right back up after we tuck him in.  Every time he gets up, one of us calmly puts him back in, tells him to stay in bed and go to sleep, hoping that consistent repetition will get the point across.  Some nights we do this fifteen times or more.  Some nights he isn't asleep until 11:00 or later.  Right now he is just flat wearing me out in this area.
I took this picture at 10:15 tonight.
It's an image we see all too often. 
 It's the "I'm going to peek around this corner and see if I get caught" expression.  

So I'm at the point of opening myself up for suggestions.  What has worked to help your child transition from crib to bed?  What sleep methods have been helpful?  I know that we can get our good-sleeping boy back one day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CSI: Barbie

The Barbies have been on pretty good behavior lately.  I haven't had anything to report on in quite awhile.  But all of that changed yesterday evening when at 11:00 at night I walked into my bathroom to get ready for bed.  I came around the corner and spied this unusual scene.
Take a closer look.  Beware, there is mild nudity involved.
After some crime scene investigating it was determined that Ken has been skinny dipping in the tub only to slip on the edge and fall to his death.  His harmless evening in the nude ended in tragedy.  

Case closed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What A Day

I like to keep it positive here on this little old blog-- positive, yet real.  I try really hard to see the silver lining in all situations and trust God when things just don't make sense.  Sometimes life throws you some really interesting situations, and yesterday I got to experience one of those in a big way.  Are you ready for a story?  I promise to put a positive spin on it in the end. :)

Yesterday the kids were all out of school for President's Day.  I took them to the gym in the morning and then planned to run by Target (which is nearby my gym) to pick up a few items before heading home for lunch and nap time.  I had it all planned out to run smoothly.  I was going to have an easy, enjoyable day with no problems.

After a good work-out, we headed to Target.  The day was cold, windy and rainy.  It was an ominous sign of things to come.  We entered the store and found a shopping cart which could fit all my kids.  It's the kind where two bigger kids can sit facing each other near the front and a smaller child can sit in the basket behind.  It's like the SUV of shopping carts.  The girls got buckled in, then I placed Lucas in his spot and gave him my iPhone so he could play Angry Birds to keep him occupied.  Don't judge.  He loves Angry Birds.

I glanced at my list:  trash bags, toilet paper, cat food, and new toothbrushes for all three kids.  Easy Peasy.  Before I knew it, I had all the items I needed except the cat food which is located all the way at the back of the store.  I started heading that way at the exact same time Lucas decided he was done.  He was done playing Angry Birds and wanted to get "Oooouuuut Noooowww!"  I kept trying to reason with him by telling him I just had one more thing and we were going home soon.  He just got louder and louder.  Eventually he took his antics a step further and climbed out of the cart while my back was turned picking up the cat food.  I placed him back in and started pushing the cart, but he began screaming and tried to dive out of the cart (I should mention that there were no working straps in the cart to restrain him).  I finally decided to just let him "help" me push the cart up to the front registers.

Slowly we rolled along when I saw a display of two liters of  Diet Dr. Pepper on sale.  As fast as I glanced at the display, Lucas was already there ready to do some damage.  In slow motion I saw him whack at a bottle with one hand and a two liter toppled over.  He slapped it with enough force that when it hit the floor the red bottle cap shot off into oblivion and the contents of the container spilled and fizzed out all over the floor. I never realized how much liquid is really in a two liter when spilled onto a flat surface.  It's a lot, I'm afraid.  Embarrassed I quickly put Lucas back into the cart, grabbed the near-empty bottle so I could pay for it, and started looking for an employee so I could tell him about our little fiasco.  Oh and just so the picture in your mind is complete, Lucas at this point is screaming at the top of his lungs, "GET ME OUT!!!!"

I find a teenage employee and tell him what has happened, apologizing profusely.  He looks at me and says, "Uhhhh.....ok."  I can tell he has no idea what to do.  He runs off to go find someone else to help him, and I head to the nearest cashier so I can get out of there fast.

I think there are 30 checkouts at this particular Super Target.  There are exactly two cashiers working.  Lovely.  I choose the line that seems like the best option, but I am the fifth person in the line.  This is where things continue to go downhill.  Lucas would not stop screaming or climbing out of the cart, so I grabbed him and put him on my hip, my arm in a death grip around him.  I'm holding the mostly empty bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper in the other hand (there's approximately a cup of soda left) and try scooting my cart forward with a crazy combination of my elbows and my stomach.

I would like for you all to think that I remained calm and in control during this entire thing.  That is not the case.  I didn't cry (which is a first for me), but I kept mumbling under my breath, but loud enough for my girls to hear, sarcastic things like, "Gee, thanks for letting me go ahead, people.  Love the compassion you're showing right now.  Yeah, I enjoy holding a screaming toddler and a sticky Dr. Pepper bottle.  It's a lot of fun, you should try it.  Heaven forbid you offer to take this bottle out of my hands."  Not a single person did a thing to help me, and that made me more upset.

Eventually we got to the car, and when everyone was strapped in I called Mike and recalled the entire incident in angry detail to him while he patiently listened.  I think I said something dramatic like, "I will never take all three kids to a store ever again!  I will shop at ten o'clock at night if I have to so I can avoid situations like this!!!"  I hung up the phone and Hannah's small voice from the back of the van piped up.  She said, "Mom, I know what you should have done."

"What?"  I asked.

"You could have prayed."

Ouch.  Truth from my seven year old.  I took a deep breath and said, " are absolutely right.  I should have prayed.  Even though I was frustrated, I shouldn't have said mean things about those people in line." (shamefully I might have told Mike those people "sucked")  So right there in the car, in the parking lot of Super Target, I prayed.  I prayed that God would forgive me for my bad attitude and bad example I set for my children.  I asked for wisdom in how to better prepare for and handle situations like these.  I thanked Him for His mercy and grace.  And hopefully I redeemed the situation a little for my kids.

We made it home, ate lunch, and Lucas went quickly down for a nap.  I am sure part of his antics were due to the fact that he hadn't napped the day before and hadn't slept well at night either due to a stuffy nose.  He was out cold for three hours.  The girls and I played some games and watched a movie together.  Lucas woke up a new man and we had a much better evening together, glad that the events from the morning were starting to become a distant memory.

I like to remind myself of how cute they are after a hard day.

Have you all had any days like this?  Care to share your stories?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shopping With Gram

Tonight was a special night. My mother-in-law is in town and she offered to take me out to dinner and to the mall to do a little shopping! I immediately said yes! I am so blessed to have such wonderful in-laws, and it made me feel so special to have one-on-one time with her. I tend to shop at bargain stores and on clearance aisles, so getting to shop elsewhere was a real treat. I got two new pairs of shoes, a few tops perfect for spring and early summer, and a fun summer dress that I can wear for fancier occasions like weddings or baby showers, etc. More than the things I got tonight, though, I am so grateful for the quality time we had together. That to me is priceless.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Date Night

Mike and I got to have a date night tonight!  All day long I had been looking forward to it. Those precious hours where we get to chat without being interrupted and eat at a restaurant that we choose (not based on how kid-friendly it is).  We chose to go to one of our favorite places called Old Germany.  They serve (no surprise here) hearty German food served out of an old German-style home in a small town near Oklahoma City.  It was one of my mom's favorite places too.  From where we live it takes about thirty minutes to get there, and the drive is mostly along rolling, tree-lined country roads.

We drove there as twilight was settling in.  The day had been cloudy and gray, so the sky was muted with a purple haze. Looking out the car windows, we could see the occasional warm lights of a house up on a hill or back off the road a little ways tucked into the trees.  It was really peaceful.  Our conversation flowed freely as we talked about everything from Mike's new job to parenting to where we'd like to travel to funny memories from our early married years.  I love that we never seem to run out of things to talk about after all these years together.

When we arrived at the restaurant we discovered that there was a one hour wait for a table.  Bummed a bit, we decided it was still worth the wait.  And as luck would have it, we ended up only having to wait about 25 minutes instead.  The atmosphere in Old Germany is very homey with lots of dark wood, heavy curtains, and of course--beer steins.  We ordered our food and enjoyed every delicious bite of it.  The potato dumplings were especially good!  There was an accordion player up on a balcony serenading us with upbeat tunes and the atmosphere was lively.  It was nice not to feel rushed.  We were able to take our time and truly enjoy the whole experience.

When we were done with our main courses, we couldn't wait to finish off the meal with a piece of their famous apple strudel.  Sadly, our waitress announced that they had sold out for the evening.  We had a few seconds to mourn, but didn't let it ruin our night.  Next time, I suppose.  Driving home under cover of the dark night sky we were able to continue our conversation.  We held hands.  We laughed.  It was pretty near perfect.
Me enjoying my night out with my honey.
This was snapped before I learned about the strudel.  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Boy's Room

Lucas' "big boy room" is coming along, but is still not completely finished. We decided on a color scheme-- white, orange, and all shades of blue (especially indigo and aqua). We don't really have a theme like animals or trains. However, we do plan to accent with framed movie posters from two movies, Star Wars and The Iron Giant. My favorite new piece is this funky orange lamp we picked up at IKEA a few weekends ago. I just love watching my boy play in his new space. He is growing up so fast!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Writer's Block

Last night I sat down to write my daily blog post and mentally hit a brick wall.  Nothing was coming to me.  Nothing.  Throughout my days, I typically look for something to blog about.  Whether that is something big or something little, something my kids said, something I made, or even a memory from the past that pops into my mind.  Last night, however, as hard as I thought about my day I couldn't begin to write.  Like a car with a dead battery, my brain just wouldn't start.  And I couldn't motivate myself to even try to make it work, so I gave up and went to bed.

So then today, I thought about why I blog.  I came up with several ideas right away-- I like to write.  Writing my blog each evening gives me the daily discipline in writing.  I like to journal my family's history.  Keeping up with my blog is a way to keep up with family and friends across the country.  Writing my blog has allowed me new friendships that I cherish and love.  I guess lately I've been feeling like my voice in this world of blogging is so small and insignificant that when I sat down last night to write and nothing came, I just thought who I don't write for a day.  No one will miss me (please don't think I'm begging for people to tell me how great I am, I promise I'm not).

The funny thing was, I missed you all! I missed being a part of this wonderful world where we can share our joys and sorrows together through writing.  I missed being part of the inspiration I find daily through your comments and your own blogs!  I think writing is incredibly powerful and I missed being connected to that.

Now you know where I was yesterday.  I was in the middle of a good case of writer's block mixed together with a little self-pity.  Not a good place to be.  Today I felt refreshed and ready to put my fingers on the keyboard and keep writing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be mine

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012


One thing I learned during my teaching years is that sometimes my students just needed to take a break and get their wiggles out.  I remember standing at my white board going over something very exciting like prepositional phrases, and I would glance out into my class of sixth graders to see their eyes glazed over or slumped down into their seats.  They were bored out of their gourds (what does this mean anyway?).  I knew if I didn't do something quick I would lose them all together.  So I would do things like make them stand up and do jumping jacks.  Or we'd play musical chairs.  Or I'd play a song on my CD player and let them dance.  And by golly if they didn't sit back down ready to pay attention and learn something!

Fast forward to me being a full-time stay-at-home mom.  Sometimes my kids have that same glazed over look.  Maybe it's a day when I've done nothing but bark out orders.  Or when I've let them have a little too much TV time.  Or, like yesterday, when it was barely 20 degrees outside so we were stuck indoors all day.  They needed to seriously get some wiggles out!  Then I remembered our Twister game on the top shelf of the closet.  Perfect.  We shoved some furniture out of the way, spread out the familiar plastic polka-dot sheet and got busy.  Once we started playing I quickly realized two things:  1.  I am not in as good of shape as I thought I was (this might be where yoga could come in handy).  2.  We were having so much fun! There was a lot of laughter and by the time we were done, we had all worked our wiggles out.
 Lucas had fun trying to figure out how to play.  Most of the time he just rolled around all over the mat squealing with glee.
 Getting started on round 546.
  Mommy loses, Hannah wins.
 Leah getting her spin on.
 Hannah and Me
My awesome Twister crew.
Daddy played too, but he volunteered to take some pics for us.
So, thanks Mikey!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Good-Bye, Paci

Tonight was a momentous occasion for our sweet Lucas. We threw away his last pacifier! For several months now he has only used it during nap time and bedtime. Tonight he decided it was time to become a "big boy." He placed it in an envelope which we addressed to the Paci Fairy. We told him the Paci Fairy would take it to a baby who needs a pacifier. We walked it out to the mailbox and that was that! My baby grew up a little right before my eyes! Afterwards we took him to the mall for dinner and some playtime in the germ pit (aka indoor playground). Before we left the food court area we let Lucas and his sisters "ride" a helicopter for a dollar. We told Lucas it was his reward for sending his Paci away. We really live large, I tell ya. It thrilled him though and that's what counts! Here's hoping he sleeps all night tonight!

Friday, February 10, 2012

At School

This afternoon I headed up to the girls' classroom for their Valentine's Day party.  Yes, we do know it is not actually Valentine's Day, but their school always does their parties on Fridays, so this was it.  I always love the chance to be involved at their school and observe the girls in their element.  I was in charge of a Cupid Bingo game. The kids rotated through my station in groups of seven earning a ring pop for a prize.  I like to watch Hannah and Leah interact with their classmates and teacher. Thankfully they are always polite and respectful.  It is also nice to meet other parents and get to know the girls' friends a little better. I always loved it when my mom was able to attend a school party when I was little.
Hannah at the Valentine Heart Stacking table.
Leah with a sticker on her face.  She was so excited that I came to the party.

I also like to be involved at school because I get to see some of the girls' work on display.  Sometimes these can be funny or eye-opening.  Here is an example of both.  Apparently the kids were asked to do a self-portrait and write down some new year's resolutions.  Our girls' work could not be more different.

Hannah wrote, "I will exercise and eat healthy things and help somebody."  
Sounds good to me!
Leah wrote, "I will sell Christmas cookies.  And I will do everything she said."
I told her I needed some clarification.  She said she just wanted to sell some Christmas cookies because it sounded like fun (Still not sure where she got this idea. Maybe she was thinking of Girl Scout Cookies?) And the "she" in the second sentence is referring to her teacher, Mrs. Harris. 

I think this shows my two girls for who they are.  Hannah-- my careful, perfectionist tenderhearted girl.  And Leah--my funny, sweetheart of a free-spirit.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012


These are two of the faces I get the privilege of hanging out with all day. I don't care what kind of day I am having-- it could be downright awful, but then I look at one of these sweet faces and I can't help but feel a little better.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Little Details

Wednesday nights have their own rhythm and routine each week. The girls go to AWANAS at my mom's church at 6:15. I drop then off and my dad picks them up at 7:45 and brings them home. He always brings Chieftains cd so the girls can listen to "Irish music"on the way home. He always goes to the store and buys a loaf of Tuscan bread from the bakery. He and the girls always have a little snack of toast and butter together. He always plays with Lucas for awhile as the girls take their evening bath. Lucas always demands that his favorite green blanket be made into a cape. When the girls are all clean and in their pajamas, my dad always reads to them. They always hug him and tell him goodnight. Every single Wednesday we go through this routine. I am so grateful my kids have a Grandpa who cares about the little details that make his time with them so special.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Anniversary

Yesterday would have been my parents' 42nd wedding anniversary.  February 6, 1970 was the start of my parents' journey together, the beginning of their story.  I look at their wedding photos now and think about the fact that they had no idea what the road held before them.  I am sure they figured there would be ups and downs, joys and sorrows, but they certainly didn't foresee the end happening as it did.  And I suppose their story isn't truly over because it lives on in me and my children.

I caught myself thinking about them a lot throughout the day.  It felt strange that this particular date has meant so much to them over the last four decades and now it is just another day.  Not only was it their wedding anniversary, but it was the day they brought me home from the hospital in 1977.  They used to say that I was the best anniversary present they ever received.

When I lost my mom, I thought the big holidays without her would be the hardest.  Things like Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter.  And I'll admit, they were a little hard for me, but most people are in a festive mood during those holidays.  Just about everyone says, "Merry Christmas!"  or "Happy Thanksgiving!" so it is easy to get swept up in the happy holiday spirit.  Somehow that made those holidays a little easier.

It's the personal dates that have been the hardest.  Dates like October 30th (my mom's birthday) or February 6th (my parents' anniversary), that have been the most difficult to endure.  Not too many other people know the significance of those dates, so the world just speeds on by like those days are nothing special.  I don't blame anyone for that, but it makes those days seem extra lonely.  Where they used to be celebration, there is now nothing but quiet.

But I won't forget.  I hold those days dear in my heart.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Birthday Getaway

When Mike asked what I wanted to do for my birthday this year, I told him that I wanted to just getaway for a night.  It isn't often that we are able to vacation anywhere without our kids, so we planned ahead and set up a babysitting schedule, booked our hotel room and made it happen!  We decided to go to Dallas since it is only about three hours away and there is plenty to do.  Mike found this fun hotel called The NYLO which featured New York loft style rooms.  The above photo was from our room.  It was very peaceful and different from anywhere we have stayed before. Three other couples came with us on the trip and all booked rooms at the same hotel, which made the trip even more fun!  We went bowling, out out eat, shopping (had to hit IKEA), and spent a lot of time just hanging out at the hotel room sharing stories and talking.  It was exactly the fun, yet relaxing weekend I had hoped for!  And my kids did great with my dad and my aunt (big thank you to them for helping take care of them while we were away!).

I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Having fun on our birthday getaway to Dallas. Will update with a full report tomorrow!

Friday, February 3, 2012


So, today I turned thirty-five.  I had been dreading today, but not because of my age (I hear thirty-five is the new twenty!).  No, I was dreading today because it was my first birthday without my mom.  I didn't get a phone call to wake me up saying, "Happy Birthday, Em!"  She didn't make me my favorite blueberry-walnut cake with lemon filling.  Without her-- the person who actually brought me into this world-- I just didn't think today could be a good day.

But it was.

It was good because of all the loving friends and family who blessed me with sweet phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, and texts. It was good because Mike served me breakfast in bed, got the kids ready for school, and let me sleep in this morning.  It was good because my kids jumped in my bed saying, "Happy Birthday, Mom!!!"  It was good because I got some wonderful birthday cards in the mail. It was good because my friend made me a blueberry-walnut cake with lemon filling and brought it over last night.  It was good because my cardio & strength training class at the gym sang "Happy Birthday" to me this morning.  It was good because my college roommate was in town from Milwaukee, so she stopped by with her new baby boy and her lovely sister to visit with me for awhile.  It was good because of the thoughtful gifts that several friends have generously given me today.  And it was good because I know many were praying for me today.  I felt those prayers, and my heart was both content and comforted.

It was also a fun day because of all the yummy food I got to eat!  Oh my!
My friend Jacquelyn took Lucas and I out for lunch at Big Truck Tacos.  
Mmmmm....Fried Avocado Tacos.  So, so good.
Then she took us to Cuppies & Joe for some delicious cupcakes.
I had a chocolate/peanut butter combo while Lukey went with a classic-- vanilla with chocolate frosting.
And I have to say, my company today wasn't too bad either!  Jacquelyn is like my sister.  I love that girl. And she is gorgeous too!
 Later, my dad took my whole family out to Cattlemen's for a fancy steak dinner.
Here's Hannah trying on a hat at Langston's across the street. We had about an hour wait, so we had time to kill.  Isn't she a sweet cowgirl?
 My precious Leah posing away.
She and Hannah and Lucas are the best birthday gifts I could ever hope for!
After dinner, my dad and his friend surprised me with this enormous (and incredibly delicious) cake from the famous La Baguette bakery.  I am quite certain I gained a few pounds today-- even with my morning workout!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day Revisited And A Movie Quote

This was February 2nd of last year.  
I took this picture as we ventured out to the pediatrician's office in the middle of our "snowpocalypse" because two of my kids were really sick.  Boo!

Groundhog's Day of this year was much better.  Sunshine.  Spring-like weather.  No sick children.  
Much, much better!

And by the way....this is one of my favorite movies.  I could watch it over and over.

Favorite quote by Phil (played by Bill Murray)
"What if there isn't a tomorrow?  There wasn't one today!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stop, Look, Listen

This has been the warmest winter (so far) I can ever remember here in Oklahoma.  We're not known for being a super cold state, but the brutal skin-penetrating wind and periodic ice storms usually make the winter months pretty miserable.  Today it was near 70 degrees with no wind! People stop and take notice when there is no wind here.  After I went to the gym this morning, Lucas and I decided we had to play outside for awhile.  Who could resist playing outside in such great weather?

One of the things I like to do with my little boy is play "Stop, Look & Listen."  It's very easy.  Just like the name suggests, I will call out "Stop!" which means freeze.  Then I say "Look!  Listen!" and we start to name things we can see or hear.  Today we played several times and we heard birds chirping, geese squawking, & grass crunching under our feet.  We saw the bright sun, the blue sky, "naked trees" and wispy clouds.  Such a simple thing to do, but sometimes very profound.  How often we need to stop, look and listen and just be in the moment.
Look! We examined many rocks today.
Listen! We heard several different bird calls.  Sounded like Spring.
So grateful for a warm first day of February!