Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

(Santa Pac.  My favorite Christmas decoration.  I have a poster size copy framed and I hang it each year.)
1.  School program? Check.  Church program? Check.  Class party for the class that I am the Room Mom of? Check.  Presents bought? Check.  Christmas picture taken? Check.  Office Christmas parties? Check. 
2.  Sending Christmas cards? Nope.  Elf on the Shelf? Nope.  Jesse Tree? Nope.  Advent Envelopes with 25 days of activities? Nope.  25 Christmas books wrapped and read each night? Nope.  Homemade treats for teachers? Nope.  Reindeer food individually packaged for everyone in the class? Nope.  Advent calendar where you open a window? Not even that.
Now, I am not a hater of any of these things and have done most of them in the past (Not the Elf.  That was always too much pressure).  Just not this year.  I don't know why, but it just didn't happen and I am totally OK with that.  And I do have next week to cram in some fun. 
3.  For about 2 weeks I have been living with some serious anxiety.  I wake up and my heart starts pounding.  I have just come to terms with the fact that I am always going to have anxiety and, since I am an addict, I am choosing to not medicate it away.  Not today or ever.  And you know what?  I get through it.  I pray, exercise, and journal it away.  I dance it away.  Sometimes I can cry it away.  A hot bath helps.  An iPod at the grocery store helps.  Talking with Jason helps.  Sometimes just saying something out loud takes all the power out of it.  So, I have anxiety and I am still alive.
4.  I made these "Melting Snowman" cookies for Jay's class.  They made it all the way to the carpool drop off.  Then Jay leaned over to get something and they all slid.  Breathe in. Breathe out.  I'm sorry Mama.  No big deal.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  (This was a Pinterest project that actually wasn't that hard.   I have been burned by a cute Pinterest project many times. 3 hours and nothing to show.)
5.  Our church Christmas program was last night.  Packy decided there were too many people there and that he would be excusing himself from the role of the Frankincense bearing Wise man.  Jason tried to talk to him.  Grandmama tried to talk to him.  Jay tried.  I was the last chance sent in at the last second.  I rationalized.  I begged.  I prayed.  And then I bribed.  I will take you to the ice cream store and you can get whatever toppings you want.  He replied, OK, but I am not going to sing.  I am not going to even fake sing.  And I am not wearing the hat.  And I was good with that.  And that is what he did.  Just stood there and looked cute while the Wise man next to him was belting out every word at the top of his lungs.
6.  Emory sang in a trio.  I did not know that she had become a famous country singer (in her own mind) but she rocked it.  She put both hands of the microphone and acted like she had been on stage her whole life.  Very entertaining. 
7.  Jay played it totally safe.  He sang the songs but made sure he did not have a speaking or acting part.  He did just what he was comfortable doing without any problem.  It was so good to see him sing and smile.
8.  I spent this week spray painting some chairs white.  I think white furniture is so clean and pretty.  I can take some ugly piece of beat up furniture and once it's white, it's so pretty.  Ugly and dirty one minute and clean and white in the next. Remind you of anything?
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Thankful to be celebrating the birth of my Saviour.  The one who took my awful mess of a life, and through his blood, made it white as snow. 
9.  This is a great list of 12 Things Happy People Do Differently.  (Thanks Howard.)  It's funny how many of these I learned in rehab.  In case you didn't know, in rehab they don't just get you off of drugs, they teach you how to live differently.  If you don't change, you go right back to where you left off.
10.  I was in the Chick-fil-A drive thru last week, super excited about Christmas miracle (my window started rolling down again), and guess what I saw in front of me?  Another mom hanging out the door of her wonky car.  I just had to laugh.  And then I realized we drive the same car so I had to take a picture.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. It's the most wonderful time of the year.  I sing that all the time and mean it about half the time.  Singing it can be a tension breaker.  Reminds me that whatever I am worrying about is really not a big deal.  Like I said, I sing it all the time.  (I even sang it to a stressed out mom at the dentist. Just trying to spread the cheer.)
2.  After Thanksgiving I was super excited about decorating for Christmas.  I got all of the boxes down.  We went to our friend's tree lot and picked out a tree.  I even put the lights on all by myself and it only took an hour and a half.  The kids decorated the tree (pending my approval of ornaments) and then I was spent.  Lucky for me, I have an amazing mom.  She has simplified her decorating, so when I called for her help she loaded up her truck with Christmas past and came over.  Christmas exploded all over my house.  I told her to go big and she did.  It is super sparkly.  Super sparkly is my theme for life.  Thank you Mom for making my house look amazing for it's debut Christmas.   You are the best.
2.  The kids each have a tabletop tree for their room.  Somehow we lost Emory's during the move.  Mom took her shopping and she got a 4 foot tree instead.  She also bought her the new Justin Beiber Christmas album.  It's funny.  I like most of it but rapping The Little Drummer Boy is too much.
3.  Packy was really into decorating his room.  After he finished his tree he started taping stuff everywhere.  I wasn't really paying attention when he asked me if he could use the snow.  I thought it was cotton snow.  It wasn't. It was tiny pieces of snow and he "snowed" his room.  The good thing about Packy is that he doesn't really like a mess so after about an hour he wanted to clean up the snow.  I gave him the vacuum and he took care of it.  Everything else stayed.

4.  Saturday morning one of our friends called and wanted to know if we would be interested in being in a parade.  Um, yes.  So the kids and I went to ride on the Beechtree Supply float in the Bolingbroke parade.  It was so fun.  They threw candy canes and peppermints.  Us moms sat in the middle and made sure no one fell off.  If you have not ever been in a parade you should put it on your bucket list. 
5. Do you know the song Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow?  I have always liked it.  It came out on her first album in 1993 and by this time I was quite aware that I was a handful.  Someone was going to have to be a strong man to put up with my mess.  Jason has proven to be strong enough over and over again.  He would not let me self destruct during the end of my active addiction, as bad as I tried.  He stayed, when leaving may have looked easier.  I love this man and he is for sure strong enough.  (The only part of the song I don't like is the lie to me part.  Don't lie.  Rigorous honesty.) 
6.  I was having my quiet time the other morning and I looked over at the baby Jesus in one of my Nativity scenes.  Sometimes the Christmas story seems surreal.  That a baby was born and lived a perfect life and then died so that I might have eternal life.  A baby. Sometimes I read the Bible and wonder why God designed the world the way He did.  (This is the kind of thinking that makes my brain hurt.)  I just know that I am amazed at the Christmas story, when I actually think about it. 
7.  Did you know there is a Jesus Calling for Christmas?  You sign up and they send it to you by email.  It's really good and helping me stay peaceful.  At least until everyone wakes up in my house.  You can sign up by going here and look for the Christmas devotional on the side.
8.  See the picture above?  That was my first attempt at a Christmas card.  Why is it so hard?  Two of my three were crying.  See the anger in that clenched fist? I remember doing the same thing when I was little.  Christmas cards did not get taken without screaming and tears. I want to break the cycle.  My mom was even at my house trying to calm me and the kids, and reminding me to do it differently.  I think Satan shows up when Moms get out their cameras for "the" picture.  The sad thing is we might not even send a card. (I did get this one of these two hamming it up.)
9. I called a man to come to my house and sharpen some knives.  Guess who came?  Packy was so excited.   He was thrilled that Santa dropped by to see our Christmas decorations.  But he did not want to sit in his lap. (My knives are crazy sharp.  Fruit Ninja sharp.)
10.  I watched my big kids sing tonight in their Christmas program.  So sweet and special. I love Christmas hymns.  I even enjoyed the 5th grade band.  If children singing Christmas hymns does not get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will. 
11. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. ~Anna Quindlen (taken from Ann Voskamp's blog)
Another mantra for December.  I am such a get it done person.  I want to treasure the moments.  Create memories by just being with people and not the gifts.  Slow down.  I am going to try. 
12.  Thank you to my sweet friends and my "happy". 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Catch Up

(Attempting to get a family picture for Jason's mom.)
1.  Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ.  Ann Voskamp
That is my mantra for this month. 
2.  We had a great Thanksgiving.  The dark cloud lifted.  I took each activity step by step and it was tons of fun.  I laughed when I tried to make a ten layer caramel cake (for the first time) and all the layers slid and it resembled a giant stack of pancakes.  (I gave the kids each a fork and told them to have at it while I made a two layer replacement.)  We went to see Puss in Boots and laughed.  (I thwarted some young teens plans to get some kissing in at the movies by blinding them with my phone flashlight and gently reminding them that they were in a G rated movie. That made me laugh.) (I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who sat near Jason and me during our high school screening of Dances With Wolves.  It's about a 3 hour movie.)  
3.  Keep your mind going in the right direction, and your life will catch up with it.  Joyce Meyer
4.  I am already working on Tuesday.  It can't be that hard right? Right.
5.  I would like to give a shout out to my friend Trish.  She wins the "I got my Christmas card finished early and had them mailed before you even thought about yours" award.  Very nice Miss Trish.
6.  So I learned that during dark days I can make it.  I just have to keep doing the next right thing.  Keep my eyes on the Lord.  Even when I don't (wait for it) FEEL like I am in a good place, as long as I keep doing the things I know to do, I will eventually get through it.  Better yet, God will see me through it.  Reflect on how HE has been faithful in the past and trust HIM for the future.
7.  I was wondering why they keep playing Harry Potter movies during Christmas since they aren't Christmas movies.  But then I remembered that neither was The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music and that's what I watched growing up. (Loving that I finally have a DVR this year.  I have a slew of Christmas movies recorded already.)
8.  Let's talk about the new Muppet movie.  I loved it.  Loved.  Laughed and cried.  Jason and I went with all the kids on Thanksgiving day. I love the movies on Thanksgiving.  It reminded me of being a little girl.  The Muppet Show was a big deal to me.  I hope the rumor that they are bringing back the show is true. 
9. Is anyone watching the Oprah Life Class on the OWN network?  I have only watched one but I really enjoyed it.  Oprah has always given props to moms and it was encouraging to hear her admire my position as a mother.  Sometimes you just need to know that people appreciate how hard it is to be a mom.  Just a mom.  I think I will watch some more and see what I think before giving a glowing recommendation.
10.  I'd like to thank all of the Room Moms of all of my kids classes, ever.  Being a Room Mom (and yes it is capitalized) is hard.  I am way too unorganized for the job but I am doing it.  The best I can.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I actually wrote most of my post on Tuesday.  I was going to tell you how I was being followed by a black cloud.  How I was fighting for joy, despite doing the things that keep me emotionally, spiritually, and physically balanced.  How I have a stye in my eye, a rash on my neck, and an iPhone that is shattered because Packy tripped and slammed it on a rock.  I was going to tell you how I threw a hissy fit at my kids (complete with kicking a wall) and told them I hope Santa brings them nothing for Christmas and the guilt that followed.  Then I was going to tell you that I took Packy to Build-a-Bear Workshop to buy his prize for quitting sucking his thumb and how much he loves the dog he bought.  And then how I busted him sucking his thumb a couple of days later and that he confessed, "I've been sucking it the whole time."  On and on went my woes.  Jason was concerned.  My mom was concerned.  But this morning something happened.  I started tearing up.  Flooded with emotion.  And I realized that when Justin Beiber singing Christmas songs makes me this emotional, hormones are probably to blame.

So why don't I just tell you what I am grateful for.
1.  My family.  I have an amazing husband.  He continues to be a rock for me and an awesome dad to our kids.  My kids are continuing their duty as tiny sanctifiers in my life.  Ever reminding me how selfish and powerless I am.  They push me to my breaking point, which leads to prayer (most of the time).  But when they get along and enjoy each other it gives me the most happiness. I also have an awesome mom, dad, and sister.  They have taught me unconditional love and make me laugh so hard.  (I could go on and on about each one of them but I can't make this too sappy.)  I also have an awesome "by marriage" family and I love them too. 
2.  My church.  Our pastor came to see Packy and 2 other children from our church in their 4k Thanksgiving program.  We didn't know he was coming.  It meant the world to those littlest sheep in his flock.  I love the community that is forming with old members and new members.  How the moms a few years ahead of me are such an amazing and encouraging resource. How it is starting to feel like family.
3.  My gym.  I know you might think I am weird about my gym but it is really like a family(sometimes complete with sibling-like irritation).  I spend alot of time with these people and really care about them. Tonight we went to a college basketball game together.  One of our members is an assistant coach and he fed us dinner and supplied us with tickets.  It was alot of fun and I don't know of any other gyms that have this same kind of atmosphere.  It just feels like family.
4.  My AA family.  All kinds of people, from all different walks of life.  Loving, encouraging, supportive. They listen to me laugh and more often listen to me cry, like a baby, and I never have tissues.  Someone else always does.  Again, like family.   I love you all.
5.  I am a blessed girl.  I love my new birdhouse (and if you send me a Christmas card, I have a new address).  I love our kid's school. I love fall trees. I love my life.  Everything about it, right down to my wonky car.
Happy Thanksgiving!
love payton.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fun Friday

Here are few things that are making me happy today.
1.  Packy scored his first goal yesterday and this is how he felt:

2.  Downy Unstopables.  They make our clothes smell so good. 
3.  This video that makes me laugh.

4.  Packy is on a Thanksgiving tear.  I have these turkey hands taped all over my house.
5.  Someone is quite the actress in our house.  She did an awesome job in her class play.

6.  Christmas miracles.  Guess whose window decided to start rolling down again?  Yea!
7.  And this video.  I think the video is funny but my dad imitating the video is even funnier.   I don't have a video of my dad, so I laugh thinking about him when I watch this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Guess who is playing soccer?  He is so excited.  This is his first activity.  He has sat through countless hours of gymnastics, karate, baseball, and other activities his siblings were participating in and  now it's his turn.  He is really excited about having some "equipment" and a uniform.  His first game was yesterday and he did alot of running and jumping around and some actual kicking. 
2.  Packy is in the second phase of "Operation Quit Thumb Sucking".  He is now going to sleep without the THUM painted on his fingers.  The prize for quitting for an extended period of time is a trip to Build a Bear Workshop so he is working really hard and doing a great job.  He wants to get a stuffed spider.  I doubt they have those.
3.  Yesterday I walked through the high school area of the campus of our school.  Teenagers everywhere.  I had on sunglasses so I could stare at them. Teenager years are tough.  I struggled with who I was in high school.  My desire for Christ and Christian friends was in a constant struggle with my desire to party and fit in with the cool kids.  The result was feeling like I didn't belong in any group.  Guilt when I was partying, and fake when I was at youth group.  Today I feel like I belong.  I have a sense of community with the people in my life.  I belong at my church, at our school, at the gym.  This sense of belonging comes from putting my security in Christ.  When I am secure in belonging to Him, then I feel the freedom to be myself, and then I can put my authentic self out there in the world.  If I am trying to please other people first I am never going to measure up.  Putting your security in Christ is extremely freeing and something I pray often for, for my kids.
4.  We sold our candy to the dentist.  I was estimating that each kid had about 2 or 3 pounds at the most.  I even told them I would match whatever they got.  Imagine my surprise when each bag weighed in at 7 pounds.  Fourteen pounds of candy!!! That is way too much candy.  They have not missed the candy at all and have not bothered the one who kept his.  The cool thing was that they had veterans there and we got to sign cards that they send with the candy to the troops.  Thank you Operation Gratitude!  (And they gave us light up toothbrushes.  Score.)
5.  Macon is gorgeous right now.  I love Fall and the colorful leaves. Just gorgeous colors. I ride around and point out different trees to my kids.  Did I mention that I am becoming my mother? 
6.  Jason and I have never lived in a house with a working fireplace, until now.  I love everything about a fireplace.  The sight, the sound, and the smell.  It's so peaceful.  Just another reason I know God saved this house just for us.  He does care about the details of our lives and gives us the desires of our hearts even when we deserve nothing.  Overwhelming gratitude.
7.  Yesterday, I heard two different people, in two very different situations, talk about not being ruled by your emotions.  That you should act on faith and not on feelings.  Feelings can often lead you down the wrong path.  Feelings can trick you. Robert J. Morgan says in The Red Sea Rules, " Don't trust your emotions, and never be controlled by them.  We're to walk by faith, not by feelings.  Sometimes we must choose an attitude that's contrary to the way we feel."  That can be really hard.  Especially when I feel like someone has wronged me.  Or when I feel that I deserve something.  God does not change.  When I feel like He isn't handling something I can look to the Bible and remind myself of who He is.  By hanging on to His unchanging characteristics I can live without being ruled by my everchanging emotions.
8.  Did you know that the Keebler elves have hijacked the Girl Scouts Samoa's recipe?  They are called Coconut Dreams and they are pretty darn close to the original.  I made these from scratch one time and it was over a two hour process.  Good but very labor intensive.These will work just fine for me.
9.  Going along with #7 is to look to see how God has been faithful in the past and applying that to my current situation.  I can remember so many times I thought I was in a hole I could never get out of.  How many times I gave up on helping Jay.  How many times I just quit trying.  God took care of every situation.  Why would He decide to leave me high and dry this time?  Now this doesn't mean He is going to do what I want.  It just means He is in control.  Not me.  He is faithful to me. 
10.  Look at that footwork.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  I feel great today.  Jason took the kids to school and I got back in the bed  (I did make them breakfast)and slept.  Then I had a massage.  Last week I was anxious about my crazy weekend and wondering how I was going to feel post-Halloween.  I knew I would be exhausted so I booked a massage and it gave me something to look forward to.  It was a brilliant plan if I do say so myself.
2.  We got home late from a Halloween party last night and Emory had a break down.  She asked me, in a nonchalant way, if I would email her teacher and let her know she was going to be late for school because she needed to sleep in. Excuse me? No.  But my friends do it all the time. Really? No. It was when Jason and I started laughing at her request that the screaming started.  She was asleep about 8 minutes later.  Too much candy, too much fun.
3.  I have had to eat Tums for the past four nights.  I can't stop eating candy and it's making my stomach ache. Sad right? Moderation has never been my thing.  Fortunately for me, I showed my kids the Operation Gratitude video and explained how dentists will buy back their Halloween candy and they want to do it.  (I think you get a dollar per pound and they send it to the troops.) Well, two of them want to do it.  I am so excited.  This candy has got to get out of my house.The one who has his dad's hoarding tendencies is keeping every bit of his. 
4.  Last week we had some lying happening in the birdhouse.  Lying is something that is not tolerated here.  If you get busted lying you are in ginormous trouble.  One person lied to get out of perceived trouble.  The other lied to impress a friend.  I probably let too much slide around my house but not this.  I lived a lying life too long and started at a young age.  The road that starts off lying never ends well.  It was a good teaching moment.  The one who lied to get out of trouble had to look up a bunch of verses that speak to how God feels about being deceitful, write them down, and then explain to me God's feelings about lies.  The other thing I emphasized was that the trouble you get in for lying is always worse than whatever you were trying to cover up with the lie.
5.  The person who lied to impress a friend had to discuss how to live an authentic life with me.  If you lie about who you are, then you are not happy with who God made. As a person who tried to be so many different people for a long time, I know the freedom that comes from just being who you are.  People don't like fake. I don't know if men play this game, but I know women do.  It's hard to be what you think people want you to be.  Peace comes from accepting who God made you to be and trusting Him for your security, not other people. 
6. My go to line is, "Hold on".  I say it all the time to each person in my family. 
7.  I'm just going to put it out there that, for the most part, I don't like field trips.  I feel no guilt or shame. My kids act weird and I have to make small talk which results in me saying some stupid stuff.  I think one a year for each kid is plenty and I have already been on 2, technically.

8.  Even if you hate Facebook, you have to admit that the day after Halloween is the best day to look at it.
9.  I survived my weekend by taking it one event at a time.  I knew that I would get nothing done at the house and that was going to have to be OK.  I really tried to be present and in the moment for each event and I really had a good time.  I got to catch up with family and friends and eat lots of candy.  I think if I had tried to get ahead of myself, I would have panicked.  (Saturday I ran a 5k at 8am, went to a birthday party at 9:30am, went to another birthday party at 11am for 3 hours, and then went to a Halloween party at 5pm.  Sunday was busy too.  And Monday.  I'm starting to get tired again.)
10.   We had so much fun trick or treating last night.  I could try to tell you how excited and cute Packy was jumping off the back of a hayride and running full blast to each house, but you just had to be there. His tiny blue Spiderman butt was about the cutest thing I'd ever seen.
11.  I almost forgot to tell you this.  I had a Halloween freak out.  I washed a roach.  I don't know if the roach was is in the dirty clothes basket and went in with the clothes or if he crawled into the washing machine.  All I know is when I was taking the clothes and putting them in the dryer I noticed a body, his wings and legs all separated during the wash.  Guh-ross!  Do these things happen to other people or just me?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maybe Not

According to my editor, the past 2 weeks my blog has been a little too much of my strong opinion.  While she understands it, she feels that if you don't know me (or even if you do) that I may come across as a know it all.  That is the last thing I want.  I want this to be about my journey through my life and the grace that God gives me.  So I am going to take this weeks ten down and try again.

I put it back up (see below), with a few changes.  Thank you for your support and for your sweet comments.

Ten on Tuesday (revisited)

1.  That picture says it all.  If you have one kid or ten there are days where you feel like this.  Like you have been run over by a truck.  I saw alot of moms look like this after the school Fall Festival on Tuesday. Between today (Thursday) and Monday, I have four birthday parties, 2 Halloween parties, a Cub Scout meeting, and a 5K race.  I also just remembered that Pac had an accident the other night and I never changed his sheets.  It dried and he has slept in it for two days.  You can send my Mother of the Year award to my home address.
2.  I have a new trick.  Sometimes, even though I haven't seen the big kids all day, I am worn out from the ride home from school.  They get in the car and it is on.  My new trick is to give them the keys to the house and I just sit in the car.  It's quiet there.  I might read the mail, play on my phone, or just close my eyes and prepare for the afternoon.  Eventually I either hear them screaming or someone comes outside because they need me.  (I think that lady in the picture above got that way by being too needed.  Needed to death.)
3.  I have felt a little extra crazy this past week for many reasons.  One is reason is someone is coming to visit.  If you are a guy who happens to read this blog then you need to know this information.  Every month I have a visitor and before she comes I have some extra crazy days.  This is what you need to know because I know you have either a wife, daughter, or mother.
              *The crazy is real.  It's some kind of hormonal screw up that makes us really sad, angry, tired, and very sensitive.  We aren't faking it.  If we could stop it, we would.  We can't even stop it when we know that's the reason we are crying over nothing or had our feelings hurt by nothing.
               *Your job (if you are a man) is to acknowledge (in your own head) what is happening and then be extra nice.  Just give us some extra love and extra help.  And don't tell us that you know what's going on.  Just don't.  And certainly don't ask that question.  We will hate you.  It will not end well. Don't.
4.  Guess who let me take their pictures?  I am in shock.  Love you big kids.
5.  I am nothing if not obsessive.  I usually get into something and go really hard until I burn out.  Some examples would be Words with Friends on my phone.   Really obsessive for a few weeks and then a quick burnout.  Right now I am so into my Tap Fish  2 fish tanks (I have four now) and this is one of my driveway calming mechanisms.  (By the way, I still sharpen pencils.)
6.  We have been going through each chapter in the book of Matthew during Wednesday night church and 1 Thessalonians on Sunday morning.  Although it's not the main point, I keep hearing about how, as Christians, we are ambassadors for God.  We aren't trying to earn our salvation by doing good things, but because of what Jesus did for us, we are to love the people of this world.  One of the things we talked about is how we live our lives.  Our example.  Does this mean we are perfect?  Absolutely not.  But do we try to live lives honoring our Father? Yes.  I thought about my example.  I know that some of you have told me that you read this blog and know some of my story.  What if you saw me at the Shamrock taking shots at the bar?  Would you still read this or would everything I said suddenly seem very fake?  I can't just talk about my walk with the Lord, I have to live it.  Especially in front of my kids. Thank goodness for amends.  I say "I was wrong", all the time.
7.  Today marks 58 days until Christmas.  Crazy right?  My big kids are not playing with toys anymore, with the exception of Lego's, so I am struggling as to what to tell Santa. I am not an over the top Christmas person.  (Unlike Teresa on RHONJ.  Did you see the reunion?  Tee, what happened to you girl?)  I like to be sensible and thoughtful.  A bunch of presents to open does not necessarily equal happiness.  Emory did say she wanted some rainbow glitter high heels.  Maybe she is my girl.  I will get her some but they will just happen to be in my size, just in case.  (Dear Santa...these would be fun.)
8.  I know why the babies of the family are spoiled.  We can't help it.  When you know how fast they are going to grow, you just try to hold on to every piece of baby you can.  I was always looking forward to the next stage with the older two.  I try to hold Packy back from entering the next stage.  Today I watched him get out of the car and carry his school bag into the building and I teared up.  My tiny baby walking into school by himself.  I hope he is not rotten, but he is for sure spoiled. 
9.  Coldplay has a new album.  Get it.
10.  I say really dumb things all the time.  One on one conversations I can usually handle but I get too nervous during chit chat sometimes.  I come home from events and think about what I said to people and wonder if they think I am a complete idiot.  Or did they even understand what I was trying to say?  My mom admitted that I get this from her.  Of course this is something Betsy and I have made fun of her about for years.  There are a few classic moments that I can think about today and laugh out loud.  In case you were unaware, I am turning into my mother.  As a 37 year old I have come to realize that is a good thing and I just laugh at myself when I think of the dumb things I said in a nervous moment.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  So it's been busy around the birdhouse.  Last week we had Packy going through thumb withdrawal.  We painted the nasty THUM stuff on every finger so that any chance of thumb replacement was eliminated.  It was really sad.  He couldn't sleep and this is my child who loves to sleep. Napping in the car was immediately eliminated.  He was tossing and turning at night and could not position himself to sleep without his thumb being in his face.  He was grumpy and took out his frustration on a kid at school.  We are about 10 days in now and it has gotten better. (He does tell me when he gets in the bed that he's lonely.  I don't know exactly how he is feeling without the comfort of his thumb, but to him it's lonely.  Interesting word huh?)
2.  In case you didn't see on my Facebook, Betsy is famous.

The Tweed Run (read about it on the blog below) was on Saturday (in NYC) and her family was photographed and then put on a fashion blog, Unabashedly Prep.  From there she was reblogged and even pinned.  It's really interesting to watch how fast you can travel on the Internet and the judgements people can make about you just by looking at one picture.  One person felt this way, "This family cannot possibly be happy. They are too well dressed. If those parents spent half as much time tending to their children’s emotional needs as they do dressing them in stylish sweater vests, we wouldn’t have another John and Kate problem on our hands."   Really?  You got all of that from just a picture of a family who dressed up for an event? Whatever angry blogger.  Here's another one from a blog called How to be my Boyfriend and it says, "you must want and love children as much as she does and agree to the weird bohemian names she plans to call them."   That one is actually more on the money. 
3.  Betsy is really really ticked at Tori Spelling for naming her third child Hattie.  I don't know how she will let her know how mad she is,  but she is mad.  How dare she steal her name! Whatever Donna Martin.
4.  I have come up with a new job for myself.  I want to be a bridal registry consultant.  I have been married for almost 15 years now and I look around the house and still see wedding presents.  Some good, some bad.  Some have been gone for years (think navy towels and lots of themed margarita glasses).  Let's face it, twenty somethings, about to get married,  have no idea what they will actually use or what they need.  This is where I come in.  I will take you to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and instead of letting you run wild with the scanner gun I will show you what will help you in your kitchen.  You will not register for crazy colored sheets.  You will get white sheets and white towels.  We will go for quality cook wear and knives.  (We might need to bring in your local Cutco dealer and let him set up a separate registry.)  Don't go to your local boutique and register for a bunch of cutesy stuff that you will be sick of way before your 5th anniversary.  Let me guide you.  (My all time favorite wedding present was a homemade quilt.  It has been on every picnic and snuggles on the couch with you anytime you need it.)
5.  It's Halloween time.  My parents did Halloween when I was really little but then they read a book or went to some conference that told them they were worshipping Satan, so we stopped trick or treating.  We started going to Hallelujah parties where you were only allowed to dress like someone from the Bible. Picture a ton of angels, Marys, and sheppards.  Betsy was the fruit of the Spirit one year.  She wore a leotard and had balloons pinned on her as the fruit.  If only I could find a picture. (For the record, we thought the parties were lame.) I know lots of Christians don't participate and I am totally fine with that.  You get to decide how to raise your children.  I do like how the Joy in this Journey mom puts it here.  And since this is my blog and I can say what I want, I will say that in my adult life I have never met a person who questioned their faith or the faith of their parents based on how they celebrated (or didn't celebrate) Halloween, Christmas, or Easter.  Just sayin'. (On the other hand, Packy and I walked out of Party City because it was way too scary for either of us.  Cute costumes, I like.  Adult scary stuff, I do not.)
6.  Speaking of the Fruit of the Spirit.  I had a painting party this past week.  A local artist felt called by God to help people put scripture on the wall.  She started with one design and asked people on Facebook if they would be interested in learning how to paint and incorporate their favorite verse into the painting.  People said yes and before she knew it she was booked through March.  At my party we painted the fruit of the Spirit on a pear.  I am no artist but with her step by step instructions I was able to make something I really like.

7.  Emotionally this week has been tough.  The children are learning lessons in friendship.  I am also learning lessons in friendship.  I am so happy and feel so blessed to have the people that God has placed in my life.  I had two conversations this week that were tough and that I would have totally handled differently in my past life.  One would have made me mad, and one I would have avoided completely and put distance between me and my friend.  I am trying to teach my kids, especially my daughter, that sometimes you have to make things right by talking, apologizing, and forgiving.  (Tough for kids and adults.) If I can't be honest with my friends and they feel they can't be honest with me, then I am back to having lots of friends and still being lonely.  I would rather walk through the hard conversations to get to the stronger friendship.
8.  I got up early for the first time in a while yesterday.  I read Colossians 3 and wrote in my prayer journal about keeping my eyes on the Lord.  Too bad by 8am that was all out the window and I was a frazzled mess.  I wasn't keeping perspective and I was overwhelmed.  Somehow I said yes to a few "little" things that put all together, made a big bunch of stuff.  So I went to the gym and worked out the anxiety. (And I mean the racing heart, sweaty kind of anxiety.  No pills here.  Just straight up, hard core exercise.  I love my gym.) Then I went to the pumpkin patch. 
9.  Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed I try to do everything except the things I am supposed to do.  The past few days that has manifested itself in baking a cake, and playing Fruit Ninja and Tap Fish 2 on my phone.  Fruit Ninja is mindless fun and Tap Fish is something I can obsess over.  Packy wanted to buy this game where you raise and sell fish but it's me who is constantly checking to see if they need to be fed or loved. I am trying to save my fish bucks to buy a new plant for my aquarium.  Sad right?  Just give me a few days and you will be amazed at all the fish I have.
10.  Jason told me yesterday that we really need to figure out how to keep the kids stuff and homework out of the kitchen and den.  Let me get right on that.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Last Tuesday I was in Atlanta.  The treatment center I went to has a program called "revisit" and Jason and I go every October.  It's a chance to recharge our recovery batteries (and I mean our because it's not just me that is in recovery).  For two days I am in process groups, some with current patients and some with alumni.  Jason meets with the spouses group and we do some couples groups.  It's an intense couple of days.  The fun part is that my roommates from treatment all come and we get to catch up.  There are five of us and we have all stayed sober since graduating from treatment.  We stay in touch, but it's fun to get together in person and laugh.  We laugh so hard.  I feel very bonded to these girls.  We all saw each other at our absolute worst, so we rejoice in the progress we see in each other.
2.  It's a weird feeling to pull into the driveway of TRC (Talbott Recovery Campus).  It takes me back to the very first time Jason pulled into that place and what a mess I was.  I really thought they might evaluate me and send me home because I wasn't that bad off.  (A lot of people think this.)  I was wrong and ended up spending 106 days there.  They saved my life.  I am grateful that they offer the revisit program.  Meeting with current patients can be encouraging for them and for me.  It reminds me of where I was and how I do not want to go back. It gives them hope that people do stay sober.  Every year there is a person I knew during my stay that has relapsed and is now a current patient.  I am always grateful that they stayed alive long enough to go back to treatment, and very grateful that I am still sober.  (I know of 3 people who died of addiction during the last 2 weeks.)
3.  We surprised the kids with a trip to Stone Mountain.  Our niece, who lives in Atlanta, had her first birthday party so we had an excuse to be in Atlanta.  We left the party and drove to Stone Mountain.  The sad part was that the kids were so into their video games that they didn't notice where we were until we slowed down to pay to get in.  Stone Mountain has come a long way since I was a kid.  So much to do.  Sadly, we did not get to go on top of the mountain because it was too windy.  (Packy asked me to pray that night that the next time he went to Stone Mountain that it would not be windy.)
(Emory's reaction when she looked up and saw the Stone Mountain gate.)
4.  I got on the website damnyouautocorrect last night and laughed to the point of hysterically crying. Some of them are totally made up but they still made me laugh.  I tried reading them to Jason but that didn't work.  I just know when my mom first got her iPhone, I got a couple of random texts about robots. (Bad words, you have been warned.)
5.  I have really had a hard time getting up early the past couple of weeks.  Sad to say but I think I am staying up too late watching Bravo.  I hate waking up late.  I feel behind as soon as my feet hit the floor but my love for my bed is very strong.  The main problem is when I get up late I miss my quiet time.  No quiet time equals no peace for me.  Working on getting some peace back.
6.  Remember how Packy decided he was going to quit sucking his thumb and quit on his own?  Well, after a few months he decided he would start back.  When he started back it was worse than before. (This sounds so familiar.)  He used to just do it when he was sleeping and when he started again it was all the time.  I bought the THUM stuff that you paint on their nails but that didn't work.  Then a friend told me that even though the instructions say to paint just the nail that you have to paint the entire thumb AND all of the other fingers because they will substitute.  So we tried that and we have gone 24 hours without any fingers in the mouth.
7.  Tybee makes me laugh.  They love to have a party and they love a parade.  This was the first year that we attended the Pirate Festival.  Now Tybee takes pride in their quirkiness and this festival is perfect for the locals.  I would say that most of them look like pirates in their everyday life and this weekend they just take it one step further.  I have to say that it is fun to walk around saying "Arrrggghhh".  Thank you Mimi!  We had such a good time. (It's also fun to say "booty".  Packy really liked having permission to talk about booty as much as he wanted to.)
8.  I forgot how busy life gets when school starts.  I feel like it starts on Labor Day and fast forwards all the way to New Years.  I am trying to slow my brain down and appreciate this season.  Since we are in a new house it is fun thinking of new ways to decorate and celebrate holidays.  One of the first things I always do when looking at a house is ask, "Where would the Christmas tree go?".  So much to look forward to over the next few months.
9.  I got my camera back out.  I have a love/hate relationship with this camera.  I love it when it takes good pictures but then get so frustrated when I miss shots.  I don't really compare myself to other people in most areas of my life but when it comes to photography, I do.  I get photo envy all the time.  The solution to this is to take more pictures but most of the time I do the opposite.  It is good to take a break every now and then but I am ready to start carrying it all the time again. 
10.  This makes me happy that I got my camera back out.  My little pirate could not take any more and Jason found him on the floor.  Superman PJ's, night nights and his thumb.  Captures him perfectly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. So this last week has been super hard.  I never could imagine how hard it is to see someone in such intense pain.  No words.  Holding her hand and crying was all I could do.  I am so encouraged by all of the prayer and support people have been giving her.  I have heard so many people say they woke up in the middle of the night and prayed for her and her family. So many moms hurting for another mom.  People who know and love her and people who have never even heard her name, just the story.  This is the beginning of a long journey of healing.  Don't stop praying for them.
2.  I think I fell into a funk around September 9th.  I started watching the September 11th coverage and just didn't stop.  I cried at every story. From the  children who were in utero when their dads died to the people in NYC watching in horror as people took their own lives because that was the better option.  Suffering is a part of life but when it is so intense and evil it really throws me.  I think basically I have been on the edge of tears for a few weeks.  I don't feel depressed but it is hard to come to grips with pain in this life.  I love when my friend reminds me that this earth is not my home.  I am just visiting.  My home is in eternal glory with my Father.
3.  I also feel guilty that I have been in a funk.  I have never lost anyone super close to me.  I still have 3 out of four grandparents alive and my Papa died when I was 8 so it's been a long time.  I have friends who have lost parents, siblings, and children so where do I get off being in a sad mood, or "off" as Jason likes to put it?  God wants me to be joyful,  but it is a choice.   It helps to be grateful and present in my own life.  I am about seven days ahead right now and all it's doing is causing me anxiety.  Stay in today.
4.  On a lighter note.  The crabs are gone.  We started out with three.  The kids took them to the playroom and I am going to be honest and say that I try not to go up there very often.   When I did go up there I saw the crab box.  One was obviously dead.  I disposed of him and took the other two out for examination.  Somehow they were still alive.  I put them on the counter and started to clean out the cage.  After some Facebook distraction I noticed that one crab was still crawling around on the counter and one was missing.  I noticed his shell was now on the floor, but no body.  At first I thought it was suicide but with no body this could not be the case.  I searched everywhere and could never find a body.  To this day, no body.  He either escaped naked or Bogey had a snack.  The last crab standing was Hiccup and he was more than likely dead when I threw him in the trash.  I didn't do a thorough examination. 
5. The wise in heart accepts commands but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Proverbs 10:8
I have a chattering fool in my house.  She and I are constantly at odds because she can't stop talking.  Back talking.  Bothering her brothers talking.  Talking to hear herself talking. 
6. Emory is in her first school play.  She is enjoying all of the attention.  She is a towns person in Treasure Island. 
7. Sometimes I question everything.  Including this blog.  I don't like for it to be a source of stress but sometimes it is.  I want it to have purpose.  I pray over it and over the people that read it.  When I start comparing my blog to other peoples or try to make it something that it's not is where I get in trouble.  I have never wanted to "promote" my blog.  I have always felt that God will lead the people he wants to read it to the site.  The last two posts by Andrea at The Flourishing Mother and this one by Karen Russell are comforting to me.  I am not the only one who doubts what I am doing. 
8. Emory's Flat Stanley went to the Ralph Lauren fashion show during NYC Fashion Week.  Thanks Uncle Lee.
9.  I have said before that Satan uses guilt to get to me.  I was talking about this in a group the other night and we decided he either uses guilt or fear as one of his main tools to distract us from looking to our Saviour.  If he can't get us by bringing up the past, he puts fear in us about the future.  Either way we should keep our eyes on Jesus.  This quote by Maya Angelou always brings up guilt ever since I heard her say it on Oprah:  "How do you react when your child enters the room? Do your eyes light up?"  I try to think about this in the carpool line.  I actually have missed them during the day.  I can even say that my eyes light up when they get in the car.  It's the part after that.  When they start decompressing from a day at school.  They share their hurts and struggles and often times turn on me or each other.  I was taught that is called sideways emotions.  When you are hurt you act out in anger, and when you are angry you act hurt.  Today, one child was acting hurt and one was acting angry.  Both sideways.  So I try to keep that light in my eyes. 
That is a hard quote to live up to.  Every time they enter the room Maya?  I would hate to see the look on my face sometimes.
10.  I am so grateful that I am in community with other women.  I used to think I didn't need women in my life.  I was wrong.

Ten on Tuesday

I am working on it.  Keep checking back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I can't do my ten today.  I am too sad.  A friend of mine lost her 3 month old baby today in a freak accident.  My heart is aching for her and her family.  She was the person who sold our birdhouse and was pregnant with this sweet baby as she helped us search for a new place to call home. Our grandparents were best friends and I have always thought of her like a cousin.  I have cried until I can't cry anymore.  I have begged and wept. My head aches and my heart aches.  There is nothing I can say.  I know that God is sovereign but that doesn't mean life is without pain and that's a hard pill to swallow when a baby dies.  All we have is prayer. 
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  This is what you call a third baby.  We leave the house 30 minutes before Jay and Emory get out of school in order to secure a place at the front of the carpool line.  The other benefit is that Packy naps 4 out of 5 days in the car.  He really didn't take naps last year but I think going to school everyday wears him out.  He actually looks forward to getting in the car and he is usually asleep before I have gone a mile.  (In the picture above we are actually parked.)  Packy was never allowed to nap in his crib.  I would literally pick him up, sound asleep, from his crib and put him in his car seat, in order to pick up Jay and Emory from preschool. 
2.  Plan the action, don't plan the results.  This is the response to someone having a hard time staying in today.  I can't just stay in the present, I have to plan for the future.  Yes you can plan what action you need to take but worrying about the results is where the problem begins.
3. "People who are tall but are still kids are called teenagers." -Packy age 4 after the football game Friday night.  They are still kids, but they don't know that.  They think they are so grown up.
5. This is the beauty of Emory's homework including reading aloud for at least 5 minutes a day:
It makes me so happy to see this.
6.  How do you feel about changing seasons?  I love the weather.  I get totally overwhelmed switching out closets and clothes for not only me but my three children.  Totally overwhelmed. 
7.   A couple of weeks ago we studied Matthew 16.  The main point is looking to the past to see Jesus' faithfulness and to apply it to my present situation.  Jesus was telling the disciples to remember how he fed the thousands when they were worried because they forgot to bring some bread on their boat trip.  When I look at how he has delivered me from my past how can I be worried that he won't take care of my future?
8.  Want to know what it looks like to be told you will not get any juice or snacks until you eat some actual food?
9.  Betsy called on Saturday while mom and I were in the car together.  She sounded frazzled and wanted to know if you ever got caught up enough to do the things you want to do.  Our answer, in unison, was NOPE.  And if you did actually get caught up one day with time to spare, you'd be so tired that you would go right to bed.
10.  So here is an update on my make up story.  I went back and forth in my head all day.  By the end of the day I didn't even like how I looked.  So made up that I was starting to crack. Literally. I didn't even touch the bag with all my carefully wrapped products.  I figured out that I was trying to be somebody else and that it wasn't me.  Now, I love make up and products, don't get me wrong.  It wasn't the make up that was the problem.  It was what I was trying to achieve by throwing money at something. I took everything back and went to a less prestigious counter and bought some new lip gloss and blush.  I felt relieved and happy.  Make up can't make me happy.  Lesson learned (for this week).
11.  I am really into walnuts.  By "into walnuts" I mean I am putting them on my ice cream and in my cookies.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Pirate Pac is really enjoying school.
2.  So, I had the best Labor Day.  I went to the movies by myself and saw the last Harry Potter.  I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter books.  My name was always the first one on the library hold list and as soon as I got the book in my hands I blocked out life for a few days and did nothing but read.  (I tend to be obsessive about things.) I actually called Jason's mom and asked her to watch the kids so I could finish the last book and return to my actual life.  I have not been into the movies as much but I knew I wanted to see the last one at the theatre and I am so glad I did.  It was awesome.   I did whisper to a little girl to shut up but it was totally justified.  She was seeing a different movie and came to "visit" her sister who was sitting behind me.  She was talking and talking during a very important and quiet scene so I shhhh'd and snapped my finger at her. Kept talking.  I shhhh'd again and still more talking.  So I quietly, but sternly, whispered SHUT UP.  No more talking.  Look, little girl, I paid $11 to see this IMAX movie and I want to hear every word Harry Potter and Dumbledore have to say. (I did know that no adult was sitting with them before I took matters to this level.) 
3.  When I got home from the movies, I made some gumbo.  Sausage and chicken, no okra.  We had a family come over and they brought homemade pizza for the kids.  I love having people in our home.  Jason has to have a gentle nudge to have people over.  He likes it once they are here, but the anticipation makes him a bit squirrely.  (Squirrely is a word I use often.)
4.  I really missed Betsy and the girls the other day.  It's hard to adjust to life without seeing them every day.  When she is struggling it makes it even harder.  With a first grader, a three year old (oh Josie), and a crawling 6 month old in the city, she can have some stressful days.  Today she bought a washer, dryer, and an ice maker.  I could not be more excited for her.  She will no longer have to drag everyone down two different elevators to get to the basement where the laundry room is, only to discover all of the dryers are broken.  Yea Betsy! 
5. Jay just found a tick in his belly button.  Gross.  Country living at its finest.  He found it because he was doing his homework shirtless.  Always without a shirt.
6.  Today I got a makeover.  I went to the mall without make up and let the professional show me the latest look.  I was having an ugly day.  All girls have them.  I just needed a change and I wanted some make up to make me feel better.  After the makeover I came home to surprise Jason with my new look.  He said he liked my old look.  He wasn't being mean.  Jason has never been a big make up guy (he always hated prom hair and make up).  So, my plan is to take it all back (after the lady who did my makeover gets off work) and maybe just try some new lip gloss.  The thrill is gone.
7.  My mom always said yes.   I always said no.  Now, I know there is a balance.  I said yes to one thing and no to another at my church this week.  It's OK to say no. Did you know that?  God has called me to some things and not to do other things.  If I try to do things he has not called me to do, just because I feel like I should say yes to anything "good", then I will be exhausted and resentful.  We all have different gifts.  Going outside of my gifts is a strain on me and my family. 
8.  The light that shines the farthest, shines the brightest at home.  Isn't that beautiful?  This is one of  my Pastor's favorite quotes. It reminds me when I am deciding about an activity that my main mission is my home. If I could draw a concentric circle graph right now it would have God in the middle, then spouse and family, then church, and THEN the other stuff.  When I have the light shining bright at home it spreads out from my family and into the world.
9. Some people I know went to jail last week.  Their addiction led them to stealing which led them to jail.  People in 12 step meetings often talk about hitting their bottom and how remembering it helps them to stay sober.  I think this is very true but I also know you can find a lower bottom if you want to.  In the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, it tells a story where someone is questioning their bottom and the answer is "You hit bottom when you stop digging."  My bottom was lots of things but the hardest part was becoming so emotionally numb that I could not love my children.  I never went to jail, got a DUI, or stole anything (actually, I did steal but that is another story) but I could always find a lower bottom if I started digging again. 
10.  The last pool day.