Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1.  The week of my wreck was a great week and a really hard week.  I experienced some crazy PMS and ended the week chasing and hollering (because screaming sounds so horrible) at Jay.  This was right before I took him to school and I can not bare the guilt of a bad morning.
                                 Me:  I hate this feeling.  And I think I'm having PMS.
                                 Jason:  I've known you were.
                                 Me:  Why didn't you tell me?
                                 Jason: Because you told me to never tell you.
He's so smart.  And we made everything right with Jay before sending him to school to take his Social Studies test.  I would honestly prefer to send them to school late than to deal with the guilt I would have had if we had not reconciled.  It wasn't all my fault, but I did have a part, and I needed him to know we were good.  (What I learned from this incident is that Jay does not study well late at night or early in the morning.  He also doesn't need to cram.  We have studied every afternoon this week, together.  And it has been so much easier.  Why do I have learn the same lesson a katrillion times?)
2.  My car was deemed totaled by the adjuster.  This was the best news ever.  It meant that I could watch the tow truck driver tow it away to it's final resting place and that the adjuster would give me a check.  Apparently the insurance company uses the NADA car values and not the Kelly Blue Book and they don't take into consideration the condition of the car.  Jason's mouth dropped when he told him how much the check was going to be for.  This car was wrecked on every single side.  It leaked when it rained and the driver's window did not roll down.  The roof material was hanging due to the moisture from the leak.  It was a hoopty.  All I could do was thank God.  This was indeed a blessing.
3.  Before the wreck, I had already planned for Jason and I to go to Tybee.  We needed some alone time and I was inspired by a friend who had gone to Atlanta with her husband, just to get away.  I  think it is good to have some "us" time.  I tried to back out since my head was super crazy that week but no one let me.  It was MLK weekend too, so we had a bonus day.  It was amazing.  We got down there late Friday evening and went straight to the beach to eat.  When I got out of the truck, I took a deep breath and smelled the ocean.  I'm trying to practice mindfulness (which I hated at Talbott) and being truly present in the moment.  Stopping to smell the ocean made me even more grateful of where I was.
4.  Saturday was warm and sunny and perfect.  We slept as late as we wanted to, which wasn't that late, and I fixed no one breakfast.  I fixed no one, anything.  I found a yoga studio on Whitemarsh, a couple of islands over but closer than Savannah, and went to a class.  The teacher was from France and had the most amazing voice.  Heaven.  Jason spent the morning playing his guitar.  When I got back we ate lunch at the Tybee Island Social Club.  (Look them up on Facebook.)  They are the closest thing Tybee has to a hipster restaurant but they have the food to back it up.  (Burgers to DIE for.)  (The general manager was recently on the ABC show The Taste.)
5.  After lunch we cruised into Savannah to walk around Broughton Street.  Jason was totally up for going in any store I wanted, after we had some Starbucks of course.  It was so fun.  The weather was perfect and Savannah was hopping.  We literally strolled for a couple of hours.  We even held hands.  We went in tons of the cute stores on Broughton.
6.  After strolling we went to the movies.  We saw Silver Linings Playbook and it was amazing.  I really want to see it again.  We ate dinner and I cried for no reason.  No reason.  Just tears that needed to get out.  Jason is so used to this, it really didn't phase him.  (See why I liked the movie?  I identify with crazy.)
7.  The next day, I took another yoga class from the French lady and then settled in for a big day of football.   The game didn't go as we had hoped so we walked around Tybee.   We went to the beach and watched the crazy people in the ocean (it was warm but that water was cold), on the pier to see the people fishing, and then just some good ole' Tybee people watching.  Tybee people watching is never disappointing.  Ever.  We had another night to ourselves before packing up Monday morning and coming home.  I am so grateful to my mom and dad for allowing us to use their beach house and for keeping our kids so we could get away.  It was a wonderful recharging weekend and we (I) needed it.
8.  Last week we hit the ground running.  Monday, when we got back, I had to drive Emory's carpool for gymnastics.  Tuesday, I had a surprise party at my house.  Wednesday we bought a car in Atlanta (more in a minute) and made it to Wednesday night church.  Thursday, I taught my morning Bible study and then read to Packy's class. It was one of those hold on until the weekend kind of weeks. I think it's OK to know that some weeks are going to be fast and crazy and you can't really do anything about it.  Just do what you can do.
9.  Side note.  I am really disappointed in Bethenny Frankel.  I was rooting for her and not that I know her or Jason, I just wanted her to give Bryn a family life that she didn't have herself.  I was also shocked to hear about Ashley Judd and her race car driving husband separating.  I read her biography recently and she seemed "all in".  I know I have no right to judge and I'm not.  Just sad.  I know that I have a celebrity problem.  I can't help it.  Thank goodness Rachel Zoe and Roger are coming back in March!  I die.
10.  So the biggest news of all is that I got a new car.  It's a crossover actually.  I got a Chevrolet Traverse.  A couple of years ago I drove one as a rental after someone hit me in the carpool line, and I always liked it.  I've had it a week and the kids LOVE it.  I love ROLLING DOWN THE WINDOW in the drive-thru.  It's awesome.
(Pictures are from Thanksgiving.  I haven't taken any in a while.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1.  I had a wreck yesterday on the way to school.  Actually it was more of a fender bender.  I was not even a half a mile from my house when I rear ended someone.  I WAS NOT ON MY PHONE.  I was actually reviewing Jay's Bible memory verse.  It was on a note card in my lap and I looked down for a half a second and the person in front of me stopped.  Everyone is fine, thank God.  Now for the people who don't live in Macon, let me give you some details of what it's like to live in a small town.
  • I am friends with the person I hit.  She has three daughters and we go to the same school.  We used to go to the same gym and gymnastics studio.  I have bought tires from her husband.  She hugged me as I lost it crying on the side of the road. (She did text me later in the evening to tell me her neck was starting to hurt. Followed by a text reading LOL.)
  • The person immediately behind me was another good friend and neighbor.  Her son and Jay are good buddies and competed on the LEGO Robotics team together.  She pulled over immediately with me and took my kids to school with her.  Lifesaver.
  • Another person pulled in front of the girl I hit and took her kids to school.  At least three more people we knew slowed down and asked if they could help with the kids or anything else.  I also got very sweet texts from some people who either saw or heard about the incident and offered to help with anything. (Thank you to all of the people who made my first wreck in a long time, a very pleasant experience.)
2.  I gave my friend my insurance information and we decided not to call the police.  We could both drive our cars (I did have to pick up my headlight off the ground and stick it back in) so we just left and I told her to call me if she needed any more information.  I called Jason on the way home (I had already talked to him on the side of the road) and was crying and telling him how sorry I was.  He was so sweet and said to read James 1.  Then he texted it to me.  If you have never had a wreck, it's quite emotional.  Even if no one is hurt, it just leaves you feeling shaken.  I had to lay down and gather myself back together for about an hour. 
3.  When I got home it hit me that I had no idea what I said to the kids after the accident. (Or for that matter what I said during the accident.  Jay later confirmed that I said a bad word.  Sorry Jay.) I just told them to get in the car with my friend.  I didn't hug them and I was crying when they left.  I started feeling so guilty, wondering if they were upset at school.  I talked to my friend and asked her what state of mind the kids had when they got to school.  She said Jay was quiet at first but was joking around by the time he got out of the car.  She said Packy was quiet but she taught him the phrase "fender bender" so he could accurately describe what happened to his teacher.  She said Emory was fine, even a little excited (she loves drama and attention).  Emory's comment was, "We've been wanting a new car and now my dad will HAVE to get us one."  Such a girl.  Looking for the shopping opportunity in every situation.
4.  So I think I finally did kill my mini-van and no, I did not do it on purpose.  I like my van even though Betsy declared it an official "hoopty" over Christmas. 
5.  This past week we had some late Christmas presents.  Emory got Taylor Swift tickets.  We were going to wait to give them to her for her birthday but when the playground began to buzz about who got tickets for Christmas, we decided not to torture her for another couple of months.  I wrapped the tickets in a big box and told her I didn't know what it was, that her dad had brought it home.  She had no idea.  As soon as she read what the printed E-tickets said, she screamed and hugged me.  This will be her first concert and I can't wait to enjoy it with her.  Of course it's not until April.  On my 16th wedding anniversary.  Jason is awesome.
6.  There is nothing more disappointing than pulling up the driveway and seeing a Fed-Ex sticky note on the front door.  It makes me want to ride around until I find the truck and beg him to give me my package. I am so not patient.  #firstworldproblems
7.  I am in a quandry about what to do with all of the Christmas toiletry items around my house.  I love having Christmas soap and Kleenex from Thanksgiving until Christmas, but now I am over it.  I can't just throw it away.  I can't save it until next year.  I guess I will just use it until it's gone, but know that it pains me to look at it.  #morefirstworldproblems
8.  After dinner tonight, we watched this video as a family.  It's amazing how one person can really reshape your problems, or what you think are problems.  Hoping my children will be inspired not only by his accomplishments but more importantly, his faith.

9.  I love everything about this video.  I have watched it too many times to count.  Those two have a most special place in my heart. So does their extremely patient mom.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Christmas seems so long ago.  I didn't send a Christmas picture for about the fourth year in a row.  Too much pressure, remember?  This year I didn't even take a picture to post on Facebook as my card substitute.  The only reason I have this one is because I needed a picture for the month of December in my photo calendar for 2013. It was the last day to order without paying a crazy overnight fee so we did it before school.  Good enough.
2.  Santa brought iPod Touches for the kids in my house that didn't have one (Emory and Packy).  Now they have all turned into zombies. Minecraft zombies to be exact.  I don't really understand this game but I do know that they would play it every hour of the day if I let them.  The good thing is that I now have some leverage.  Forget to bring home your homework? No iPod.  Bad attitude when I tell you it's time to plug your iPod up?  No iPod tomorrow.  (I bought a powerstrip and put it in my room.  I wrote each person's name on a their plug so I could easily see who still has theirs "checked out".)  I also have had to make up so many new rules regarding screen time.  Rule #1 They stay in my room until after school, no morning play. #2 They go back in my room, for the night, before dinner.  After dinner they can play or read.  #3 You fight with your sibling(s), it's gone.  No questions asked.  And we also are having screen free Sundays (Jason not included).  (They also have no Internet or YouTube.  I have a code on each of their devices and have set all of the filters and restrictions.  Scary stuff out there.  Not ready to explain things I shouldn't have to at an early age.)  
3.  Christmas was so much fun.  The Norwoods came on Christmas night and stayed until Saturday morning.  I have decided that post-Christmas is more fun to be with her family than pre (they did Lee's family pre).  There is so much running around before.  After the big day, it's just relaxing.  The kids all have new toys and entertain themselves.  It was basically a typical visit.  Men played golf.  We ran errands.  Everyone talked about going to the movies and then didn't.  (It's hard to get a babysitter for 6 kids during Christmas.)  I love having Betsy and her family at my house.  It makes it so much easier to just be together.  We did send Lolly to stay with Mimi and Papa, and this worked out great for everyone.  She slept in a crib and Mimi and Papa got to see her during her happiest time of the day, without her Mom.  You all know how much I love Lolly but I was totally in support of this arrangement.  My sweet Lolly has gotten loud since has she has become a toddler. Really loud. 
4.  Betsy spent the better part of a morning playing What Not to Wear with my winter wardrobe.  She made me try on all of my clothes and then designed outfits.  My parents sat on my bed and I modeled each new outfit for them.  She made me throw out clothes that were too small, too ratty, or just ugly.  The best part is that she can get me out of the rut of wearing the same outfit over and over without making me buy a ton of new things.  I did have a list, with rules, to purchase after she left.  I texted her a picture of every single item and she either gave me a thumbs up or down. I was seriously looking for the cameras following me as I held my list and tried to find shoes, necklaces (lariats, actually), and shirts that would give my wardrobe that final punch.  Thank you Betsy.  You are the best!
5.  I don't set New Year's resolutions.  I don't even try to stay up to see the new year arrive (asleep by 10:30).  I do spend the first couple of weeks of the new year evaluating where I am and what I need to change.  Most of the time I know what I need to do, I just need to do it.  Get up early and have a quiet time.   Read the Bible. Plan dinner in the morning so homework time isn't interrupted. Go to meetings. Drink water. Go to the gym.  (VERY thankful that I have a group who will text me and tell me what class I WILL be going to.  I need this kind of forced accountability.)  Limit computer and phone time.  Have people into my home.  Read books.  Read books aloud (we are well into the fifth Harry Potter).  Meditate. 
6.  My grandparents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary this March.  Isn't that insane and amazing?  I can't really wrap my mind around that number, but I am so blessed to have that kind of example of marriage in my life.  Don't give up.  A marriage rooted in Christ's love can make it for the long haul.  And  65 years is quite a haul. 
7.  And because I'm a time marker when it comes to seeing my sister and her family, the celebration for this anniversary will be my next date.  The third weekend in March.  Cherry Blossom time.  And for the first time since Hattie started school, we have the same Spring Break.  Woo Hoo!  Can't wait for us to be back together again.
8.  I love awards season.  Golden Globes and the Academy Awards are my favorite. I actually like the 5 hours of pre-coverage that E! does.  Those dresses. When she was in college, Betsy and her friends would dress up to watch the Oscars. Sounds so fun. (I still toy with this idea every year, but in reality it's too much trouble.)
9.  January until it gets warm are the hardest months for me.  I don't like cold (I have already been warming my car up in the driveway for about a week).  School gets hard and serious.  It is just gloomy.  I made a pact with my friends to help each other get through the winter.  Hold each other up and remind each other how much we have to be thankful for, Anne Voskamp style.  I look forward to warm weather but I don't want to waste precious time longing for the future.  Be present in the moment.  Even if' it's cold and I have to take a couple of hot showers during the day to warm up.  (Can you imagine if I lived somewhere that was actually cold? I know I'm a wuss.)
10.  Packy got lots of manipulatives (one of Betsy's favorite words) for Christmas that he is playing during his screen free time.  (We also have a dangerous zip line in our backyard now too, for extra fun.  No brake, just a tire that you slam in to.  It's not that long as you hold on tight at the end.)  These are my favorite manipulatives.
Straws and Connectors...He has built all kinds of forts and spaceships, with a little bit of Daddy help.
Domino Race set by Haba...This is fun for kids and adults.  It also forces you to watch domino videos on YouTube that really blow you away.  People spend way too much time setting up dominoes. 
Magna-Tiles...I think we have some form of every magnetic toy made.   My boys like magnets.  Magnetix, Bucky Balls, and these Magna-Tiles are just fun building toys. 
11.  So I think that catches us up.  Nothing too thrilling.  I hope to write more this year, although that is not a promise or a resolution.  Thank you to those people who gave me a gentle nudge today.  Sometimes I need it in order to finish. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  This is what really gets me in the Christmas spirit.  I love our school program and that handsome king/wiseman and pretty girl from Bethlehem singing the songs I love really set my heart on the important things of Christmas.
2.  It's been one week since the horrible tragedy in Newtown.  I have gone up and down dealing with this.  I have cried thinking about those babies.  I have cried thinking about those teachers and how they gave their lives to protect those babies.  Walking in to Packy's Christmas party I cried because I know his teacher would have done the same thing.  Thinking of those presents under the tree that won't be open, I cried.  I don't think there will be any level of understanding why, except that there is evil in this world.  Makes it all the sweeter to celebrate the birth of our Savior, who came to save us from this evil and will come again to restore this world to what it was created to be like, without sin.
Here are some blog posts that were helpful to me:
God Identifies With Suffering: Rev. Tim Keller
Lamentations: Jen Hatmaker
A Tragedy at the Birth of Jesus: Rev. Chip Miller
A Connecticut Winter: Why our Hearts Break: Rebekah Lyons
(Did you read the 11 days before Christmas poem?  I wept.)
(SNL also made me weep.)
3.  Ann Curry created a 26 Acts of Kindness Campaign where people are participating in acts of kindness and tweeting it in memory of the people who died at Sandy Hook.  Now let me just say, I am not an Ann Curry fan, but this is really cool.  I love reading all the #26acts tweets and see how people are reaching out to others.  Shouldn't this be how we always live?  Taking care of others and finding ways to be kind?  Wasn't that what Jesus did while he was on Earth?
4.  I guess I am a big crybaby during Christmas. The TV shows and radio shows that I listen to are helping people and surprising people and it's just heart warming.  Kidd Kraddick, my morning radio show DJ, had a couple of weeks of helping people who were struggling financially during Christmas.  People would write a letter and "nominate" a friend or co-worker who was having a hard time and needed help buying toys.  I would cry just about every time.  I watched a story about Inner-City Arts, a downtown LA after school center that keeps kids off the streets and involved in the arts. Wal-mart came and donated an amazing amount of supplies, computers, and toys to these precious kids.  It's these stories that really get me out of myself and caring about others.
5.  I have had some anxiety for the past couple of weeks.  Like wake up and my heart starts racing anxiety.  I hate it, but I can deal.  I think the more I take the focus off of me and onto helping others, however that looks, the less the anxiety overpowers me.  The more I keep my eyes on Jesus, and the freedom that his birth, and ultimately death, gives me, the less I see the tiny things that are irritants in my life. So grateful for the gift of Jesus.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mercer Full Circle

Mom dug up some pictures to show you the full circle of Mercer cheering in our house. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Emory attended a cheerleading clinic at Mercer University on Saturday.  For $30 she went to a clinic from 1-7, ate dinner, got a t-shirt, and cheered at the game with the varsity cheerleaders, including a half-time show.  First of all, what a bargain. She had so much fun, they did a great job with the half-time show, and I didn't have to entertain her on a Saturday. Second of all, my mom cheered for Mercer.  My dad remembers seeing my mom on the court before they started dating (and thinking she was super hot).  I went to games when I was little with my grandad (my only grandparent that has passed).  Cheering for the Bears is a sweet childhood memory for me. I love that kind of full circle nostalgia.
2. I love Christmas shopping for Emory.  She no longer wants toys and I love shopping for clothes, bags, and earrings.  She is in fourth grade and I find myself in a dilemma with her.  I try teach her to think for herself and not to be influenced by her friends, but I also don't want her to be left out.  I want her to belong.  Yes, I want her to be her own person.  And yes, I want her to feel comfortable with her own style.  But I also know that when all of your friends have a certain bag, that you (I) might want it, too.  Let's just say it's hard to be the mom of a girl.
3. Sometimes Facebook makes me mad at people. I know this is my problem and that people are not out to get me. For the trillionth time, I have taken it off of my phone. It's fun to see what 1000 of my closest friends are doing, but when it affects my attitude towards people or makes me feel left out, it's time to take a break. For some reason, if it's not on my phone, I don't check it nearly as much. If I don't check it, I don't know that I wasn't invited to go out to dinner with people that I'm not really that close to anyway.  Maybe it's a girl thing, maybe it's a me thing, but even though I know Facebook isn't reality, it can sometimes alter the way I feel in an unhealthy way.  When that happens, I take a break.  I always do better when I cut out the junk.
4.  I am over birthday parties.  Sad right?  It's just that I don't know how to handle them.  I have one who gets invited to lots of parties.  I have another who doesn't. When I have parties I can either invite the entire class or only invite close friends, and that's where it gets sticky.  I know everyone says not to talk about it at school, but I know that they do.  There are no secret parties.  If it's an after school party, the birthday mom usually picks up the kids from the carpool line so the ones who weren't invited see the group leave.  Breaks my heart.  Now I know that you can't invite everyone to everything and that in real life you must learn to deal with disappointment.  I can use these opportunities as teaching moments but that doesn't mean they don't hurt.  Me and them. (This is where Facebook can once again remind you of everything you weren't invited to.  And no, I don't let my kids look at Facebook.)  I have really gone to the invite your one friend over and we will go out to eat party.  Or, I'll send you to NYC to see your Aunt Betsy because that can sometimes be easier than navigating a birthday in a small town at a small school. 
5. My mom came over to help decorate my house for Christmas.  The kids and I did the tree, but she did the rest (it looks so pretty).  She likes to do it.   She finally said out loud what I know she (and maybe others) has been thinking.  "You need to hang some pictures on the wall.  It looks like no one lives here."  I struggle when it comes to decorating. I have so many blank walls and empty tables that are begging for some kind of display.  I can't just go to Tuesday Morning and buy bric-a-brac.  I am totally knick knack challenged.  It has to be really special for me to want to put it in my house and the problem is that I don't find things that I love that often.  And if I do, it is usually too expensive.  I'm not a minimalist, but my house kind of looks like I am.  I just hate clutter and a knick knack that has no meaning, looks like junk, to me.  
6.  Here's what I'm watching right now; 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Scandal.  The first two make me laugh and the last is a drama that takes place in Washington, DC.  I love "behind the scenes of your government" type of shows.  It's really good.
7.  Britney Spears has a new song and video with It's mostly his song but I love her part in it.  She looks so pretty and happy in the video.  She has had a good year and that makes me happy for her. (I kind of have a Britney Spears thing in case you didn't know.)  I have listened to this song way too many times.  With my iPod in (because it says a bad word) or in my car sans kids.  I got busted booming in the Kroger parking lot when I got out of my car next to someone I knew.  She laughed about my thumping, and I replied, "It's Britney B#$&*."  At that moment, I realized not everyone loves Britney Spears like I do and that she had no idea what I was talking about.  I quickly explained myself and went in to buy some milk. (And if you don't understand that, then you don't really like Britney like I do either.)
8.  I am keeping Christmas simple again this year.  No Christmas cards or crazy expectations. I know people are simplifying presents, but I really like that part.  I like buying the kids presents.  I don't want to do want, need, wear, and read.  I don't want to do 3 presents because the wise men brought 3 presents.  I don't go crazy but I like finding things that I know they won't be sick of before Valentine's Day.  It's a challenge to find things they'll like, find the best price, and then wait for Santa (UPS man/love this) to bring it to me.
9.  Have y'all seen the guy who built Noah's Ark?  Like an actual ark.  Really cool. Please look here.
10.  Packy came home from school wanting an Elf on the Shelf, because all of his friends have one. I have never bought one of these elves, mainly because I'm lazy. (I have tried to eliminate anything that requires me to do something every day of December, including the Jesse Tree, wrapped Christmas books that are to be opened and read each day, Advent envelopes with daily activities.  It's too much pressure and I feel set up to fail. Getting behind and feeling like you have to catch up [and guilty] is the worst.  The worst!)  I asked Packy if he knew what the elf did.  He didn't so I explained that the elf observed the kids in the house during the day and then reported back to Santa each night about how you were doing.  He thought about it for a while and then looked up at me with tears in his eyes.  He said, "Mama, I don't want to get an Elf on Shelf because I know that I'll mess up and he'll tell Santa.  Then I won't get any presents."  So, I'm off the hook. No elf for me.
11.  Have you seen this yet?  (Language warning.)  If you are on Instagram you will really like this.

Friday, November 30, 2012

And the winners are...

I used to generate 5 random numbers and the numbers it chose are 4, 10, 2, 7, and 9.
So I need  Miriam, Karin, Natalie, Lauren, and Beth to email your address to by December 2.  The Odd Life of Timothy Green will be mailed to you from Disney, not me, so make sure you get it to me as soon as possible.  
I'd like to thank Different Drummer for allowing me to be a part of this giveaway.  And to Betsy, who has friends with cool jobs.  I hope you all enjoy this movie as much as my family did!