Friday, June 26, 2009

Gushing...

...over our little swimmer! I know, you are sick and tired of being sick and tired of me and my summer swim talk but SERIOUSLY I am so proud of my brave (ahem and very well "suited") little boy. LITTLE BOY...not LITTLE BABY (sorry, that is me having a moment).


Monday, June 22, 2009

Dads Day #2

In honor of P-Daddy's second fathers day I thought it would be nice and fun and fun and nice to show you a years worth of pictures of JD and his daddy! I am sure you already know this but he is the bestest father and husband we could ask for.


These pictures really do speak for themselves (which you know is hard for me because I love to talk...about everything including my pictures...but today, or yesterday rather, is about P-Daddy and so I shall be silent and let the pics do the talking).


Monday, June 15, 2009

Blogiversary!!!!!!!!!!!! {1}

One year ago it started right here, during JD's morning nap, with this

And here we are...a year later! And I must say, I think that my greatest blogging accomplishment (if there even is such a thing) was today. Since I screwed up the whole 30 Blogs in 30 days thing today consisted of writing SEVEN blogs in one day to get to my goal of 100 blogs in a years time. And I didn't blow off these said SEVEN. I really did this for real. Because I made a promise people, remember? To you, to myself and to God...remember?

Anyway in honor of this amazing (ha!) event I thought I would share some of the things I learned or that happened over the past 24 days.
  • I could blog everyday. I do have that much in my head. I surprised myself with how much in my head there is.
  • I acquired a few new "followers"...welcome folks, I hope you stay a while!
  • I sleep better on the days that I blog.
  • I am busier than I realized. Like in real life, not blog life. It was hard to get everything I want/need to get done in a days time AND blog.
  • I don't want to blog everyday.
  • I used to feel stupid blogging about "nothing" now...I don't care. Its kind of fun to blog about nothing.
Whew...my brain is fried today! I hope you have enjoyed my 30 in 24! Thank you for being a part of our journey. Here is to another great year of Blogging! :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dear JD, {2}

You are officially 21 months now. Even typing that seems crazy...you are ALMOST TWO years old!! With that said, P-Daddy and I still watch you in amazement each and every day. We still think you are the neatest, smartest, most intuitive child to walk the face of the earth. We always will I am just sure of it.

I can now picture you as a little boy. When you were a wee little thing I couldn't picture this (or wrap my brain around it). But now I can. You have your own personality for sure (you always have). Although you still really aren't talking to us in what most would consider the English language, you communicate what you want or need very well. Your little voice is so cute by the way...and I realize this tid bit will be embarrassing if you eventually read this when you are older, but I want you to know and it to be in the history books...



You have been rather trying lately. I feel like its the beginning of what folks call "the Terrible Two's." I know that a lot of this is the fact that you are saying something to us that we don't understand and its very frustrating for you. We are trying my dear...we sure are trying. You are so vocal though and you point, and then you get louder and louder and louder with the hopes that we will finally get it. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we aren't. Most of the time we just nod, agreeing with you which, for now you seem to be happy with.



You are such a happy boy, so intrigued with the world around you. I know you are so that child that is loud talking your own language in stores. I let you. I love it. You say hello to every single stranger that walks by us no matter where you are. You say good bye when we leave anywhere to whomever will listen. You get frustrated with people when they don't pay attention to your sentiments. I love that you are already social. You get that honestly.



You love your daddy. You are starting to mimic everything he does too. The other day he was standing in the kitchen talking to me with his arms crossed and there you were standing right next to him, arms crossed "talking" louder and louder and louder until we would acknowledge that what you were saying was important. If Daddy puts his hand in his pocket, you are trying to do the same. If Daddy goes outside to grill, you run right to the door to be with him. This is something I know is only going to grow with time and I love it. I love it for you and I love it for your daddy. You are going to have such a special relationship, and I can't wait to watch it grow.


You "talk" all the time on your fake cell phone. I assume this is mimicking mommy. My favorite part of this play time is when you "answer" the phone and then immediately start cracking up, tilting your head back as if someone has just said the funniest thing in the world. You learned that somewhere...and I am not ashamed to say it was from me. I like that you are so observant. I like that if I have a hair clip in my hair that is the first thing you notice (translated, grab for).

You know that when the computer makes a noise, its most likely GranBeck calling on Skype and you go RUNNING like its the most important thing in the world. When the house phone rings you will go and get it and bring it to us. You no longer run in the other direction like the phone is a toy. You know exactly what to do...and we are so proud of you.

Everyone who meets you says you are so "busy." And you are. You literally do not stop from the time you wake up in the morning until you rest your head on your mattress at night. You move from one thing, to the next, to the next, to the next and then the other thing and then the leggos, and the puzzle and the books (where you pause and pretend to read for a nano second), and then climb the coffee table, dance a little, slide off, move to your lawn mower, get bored oh yeah climb on the kitchen chair and have a meal...it never stops. I have recently lost some weight for no apparent reason than those I just mentioned above...namely you...so thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you my son. :)

You and I have started a new nightly routine as of late. We go upstairs and I rock you in the rocking chair and sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and whatever else you will let me for a few minutes. You normally don't sit still in my lap for more than a nano second so I consider this a very special time that I am hoping to continue for a long long time.

These last 21 months would have been so empty without you. Our life would not be full without you in it. We feel so lucky to have the original you in our lives each and every day.

Love,
Momma

Feels Like Home {3}

I recently told my P-Daddy that I wouldn't be a good volunteer...that I feel like a lot of people do "volunteer" work because they are trying to get a head...that they want their resume to look better, or they want their social standing to be better. Just calling it like it is, or how I see it. Not saying my word is talking about everyone...just talking generally here. And really, I am talking about myself in a way. In the sorority we had to complete a certain number of volunteer hours per semester and I always STRUGGLED to get through them...because our particular philanthropy wasn't something I was passionate about.

But I am currently a volunteer and I absolutely LOVE it. Even when I had that conversation with P-Daddy I was this same volunteer but because I LOVE it so much, I don't even consider it such. Is it work? YES! Is it hard work? YES! Is it a lot to ask of someone when they aren't getting paid? YES! Which are some of the reasons I thought I wouldn't like volunteerism but can I get a "Feels Like Home" verse from the Delta Gamma crowd (don't pretend like you aren't singing to yourself right now)?! But I don't care about any of those things because I love what I am doing. I feel alive because this particular "work" is tapping into the world that I am comfortable in and enjoy... and I for the first time (I am being honest here) I am really helping this house.

What am I doing? Well essentially I have become the interior designer/project manager for the expansion/house renovation of my old sorority home. It went from "do you want to help choose carpeting and come to a few meetings" to...well what it is now. I did help with the carpeting, and that was fun but it has unfolded is soo much more than that. And I love every second of it. There are days where I do feel like I have a full time job (besides the full time mom gig I got goin on) but in the end, this will all be worth it.

I was limiting myself when it came to volunteerism. I thought it would be something I had to do, not something I wanted to do. At my age and with all my wisdom (HA!) I should have known better! :) I literally don't think you will ever find me (willingly) at a soup kitchen. That is not something that would fill my cup up or make me feel like I was a better person or even really feel like I was helping at all and I am okay with that. I was okay with that before this even. But right now I am experiencing new things, meeting wonderful people all while helping achieve the greater good for the ATDG home at good old BU! I am now the poster child for volunteerism...just ask me! :)

Here is a glimpse at what I have been up to...and what the house will look like when its finished!

A Closer Look (for those who care)...

My Blogroll {4}

I thought...in honor of infamous Blogiversary (which is tomorrow by the way...and I am working on the last SEVEN blogs to get to 100-HA!), I would share some of my favorite blogs with you...just in case you don't already stalk some of those on my Blogroll (also named "Blogs I Follow" which can be found if you view "My complete profile."

These are in no particular order but are the ones that I will take the time to read every word every time they are updated:

If are sarcastic at heart and you want a good laugh (with amazing writing involved)....
http://www.dooce.com/
http://littlemaniac.blogspot.com/

If you want to learn a little more about "Being Green"...
http://www.green-lemonade.com/

If you want to know more about the Alpha Tau Delta Gamma Renovation...
http://alphatauexpansion.blogspot.com/

If you like following Mother's of Multiples...
http://murraycrew.blogspot.com/

If you like to follow in someone's journey...
http://abookaday09.blogspot.com/

If you just enjoy honest, great writing...
http://theelmowallpaper.blogspot.com/
http://findingmeinside.blogspot.com/

If you need a cool cake (in the Indy area)...
http://lovefrosted.blogspot.com/

A Dash Of Martha {5}

I have always been creative. I never knew that would turn me into a pretty fabulous house wife. HA! Although this is not my life goal...I am pretty glad I've got skillz.

I recently took a meal over to a friends home who just had a baby. I made my famous lasagna (okay not really MY famous...its from a famous cookbook that I just execute well), and some vanilla bean cupcakes. Everyone, especially new moms, need a little dessert in their life.

I know this is a little like Martha Stewart, but I do believe that everything given is better when it has a personal touch. So I couldn't resist busting out my cupcake decorators and making them just a wee bit special.
All it took was a little wrapping paper (for the shoe box), some ribbon (I had saved from a gift we got when JD was born), some food coloring (I also had some cake decorating bags/tips lying around) and chocolate chips (for the "polka-dots). :) As you will see, I am no professional. But it truly is the thought that counts.

The next time you offer to do a dinner for friends, church folks, or neighbors...take a little extra time to show them just how much you care! I know, I know...no one has TIME anymore. I believe we all have the TIME to do whatever it is we want to. Think about it...I bet I am right. The recipients of your TIME will appreciate it. You would appreciate it right? :)

Learning From Others Mistakes {6}

I told you one of these was a comin so fasten your seat belts...

For whatever reason I have never been ashamed of my family. You are probably thinking...well of course...you neither right? The thing is, there have been instances where most would have been ashamed, embarrassed, etc. I tell these and other stories to you, to my friends because I want to help you learn from others mistakes.

I consider that God gave me this gift, to be able to look at a situation and see it exactly what it is. That doesn't mean I don't get emotional about whatever may be going on at the time, or need a moment (or a year, what have you) to process it...but I DO end up always seeing it for what it is.

You see there is this pattern with women in my family. And I believe God gave me this gift to see things for what they are to STOP this pattern. And yes, I really believe that.

My mom, again is the youngest of 7 children. Two of her sisters moved far far away to California, but one of her sisters stayed in Dvegas. I grew up with this aunt around all the time. She had been divorced, which was really foreign to me as a child. She had introduced my mom to God. She had three children around my moms age from her first marriage and two from her current marriage who were younger but still old enough to be my babysitters. I loved her and I loved her children. I still love her children, and their children, and their children.

I had always been told that her first husband was amazing. But I never met him. I was told if I went to her house after church to not speak to her current husband. Just to leave him alone. He sat in a chair and barked orders. I was scared of him and I followed the instruction to leave him alone.

When I was in middle school my aunt moved in with one of my mother's friends for a stint because he was beating her. That's when I found out. He had always beat her. He was a "southern charmer" (so they say) that wooed her and courted her and told her that life would be better with him, and then evil came out.

I had never seen a bruise on her. But I knew that if she moved out of her own house that it had to be bad. I was angry at him and I told my mother I would never go back to their house again. But a month or so later, she went back. And then I found out she had been "going back" since her kids were babies. There was even an incident from long ago with a gun and my mom and their mom and a car chasing once. And she hid the gun. From a police officer because of the car chasing. He had pulled them over. She HID THE GUN and protected him. And she went back.

Their dad, my grandpa abused them too. Pattern.

She got breast cancer when I was a sophomore in high school. She was a true believer in holistic healing and didn't do chemo right away. Evil moved back to Tennessee (on his apparent huge compound of a farm with his mother) a few years (I think) back. We were relieved. But he found out she had cancer and magically reappeared. He fed her celery juice. He thought chemo was the devil. She believed him. She loved him. I wish she would have loved herself.

There were hospital visits because the cancer got bad and she would do chemo for a bit. Then there was hospice. It had gotten too bad and she was dying. There was, I am sure of it, a lot of conversations in between that time frame. But I know this, she got cancer my sophomore year, and her funeral was on my 16th birthday my junior year. Cancer took her fast. Or maybe it was the celery juice. Or maybe it was that she didn't love herself? Pattern.

He would turn the hospice nurse away and my mom would be called. She was suffering and he was just watching her. My mom could always talk him into letting them in to make her comfortable. My mom still has nightmares about her sister, the shaking, the pain. I never saw her like that and I am glad.

The night she died is interesting. My mom's oldest sister was in town from California to say what was to be her "good bye" to her sister. She had been staying with us for a week and still hadn't mustered up the courage to go see her. They have seen too much in their family. The day my mom and her oldest sister went, my aunt died. Their living brother was there too. The family in shambles for many reasons and my aunt apparently didn't want to die because she was scared of more family fighting after another death. They always fought after death. There was always too much death. My mom, living brother and her oldest sister held hands and all quietly said that they would be fine, to just go be with God. They were lying, but they were sincere. My mom and her oldest sister left and my aunt took her last breath in the arms of living brother. I still can't wrap my brain about the tragedy and beauty that was.

People say there is a lot of beauty in watching someone pass from this life. I don't know that God gave me that gift.

Evil left. We thought he was gone. She was gone=he would be gone forever. She was the only thing tying him to Dvegas. We were WRONG.

A funeral director from Tennessee called the funeral director in town and said Evil was on his way back with a truck full of guns to kill the family and take my aunt with him. I didn't know it at the time, but at the visitation, all of the greeters and "employees" walking around were cops with loaded guns on them. After many tears shed, I left the visitation, and he came. He did have a gun. He did point it at people. His step-daughter lost it and told him to shoot her because he had also ABUSED her. The children, he abused the children too. Evil.

The funeral director calmed him down somehow and he didn't take her. Not yet. We had a funeral the next day. We said our good byes. I was mad at her. I was mad she quit living. I was mad she didn't do chemo. I was mad. I sometimes still find myself being mad. They lied to her. Things weren't okay with the family. She needed to live.

At one point their living brother was arrested for my aunts murder. Evil had called the police and said that living brother had smothered my aunt. My mom bailed him out of jail. The autopsy confirmed this was crap. He loved my aunt. She should have lived.

I met her first husband at her wake. The wake that he put together for his ex-wife. His ex-wife of MANY years. They were right about him. She should have lived.

Evil got permission somehow, someway to take my aunts body, in her coffin to Tennessee in the BACK OF HIS TRUCK. I am laughing now and I always (at a minimum) chuckle every time I get to this part. I mean, honestly people I just picture myself driving down the highway looking over and seeing A FOR REAL coffin in the back of some old beat up pick up truck. I think I would have been creeped out. I may have even called the police because NOTHING seems right about that. Nothing.

She was layed to rest in his backyard. That's right. His backyard on his Tennessee compound.

She deserved better than that. But it was a pattern. She didn't think so or didn't know better. She was a very savvy woman. She had money, he took it. But who cares, she had sense, common sense. Why didn't she see it? Why didn't God give HER my gift? She should have lived.

My parents divorced a year later. I am mad at my aunt because she needed to live.

I told this story for the first time, while very drunk senior year of college to my closest friends. Again, I had never been ashamed and they ALL knew I had an aunt that had been physically abused her whole marriage. But they didn't know the WHOLE story. I think, in its entirety it sounds a bit outlandish and I was afraid of being the girl with the stories or something like that.

This isn't JUST a story...although some of it was seen through my mothers eyes and told to me. This was my aunts real life this is a part of my real life. I wanted my friends to learn from the mistakes of others. I wanted them to know that I loved them. That I love myself enough to never let this happen to me. That I never want this to happen to them. This story opened the flood gates of my life to my friends. They saw me differently. Maybe even understood me better.

Earlier in college there had been a friend where drama had occurred and physical abuse was apparently happening. I told her about my aunt. Because she was apologizing for him. I knew the Pattern. I didn't tell her the WHOLE story because she didn't want to hear the ending, not yet. But she needed to hear that this wouldn't be the only time. I wanted to help her. She wouldn't let me help. That relationship continued (on and off) at a distance from me for the remainder of college. I couldn't watch it, I tried to help her and she wouldn't let me. I walked away. Because I am mad at my aunt. Because she needed to live. I couldn't watch a FRIEND go through that first hand when I knew the ending.

That friend stopped her pattern. She had a happy ending. Without my help. Maybe with my help. I don't care...my friend lived.

Evil died a few years back. My aunts daughters threw a party. I hear it was a great time.

Improving Home Improvement {7}

In the last several months P-Daddy and I have been very busy. We have officially lived in our home three years in July and wanted to have a little more off the "to do" list when we came up on the three year mark!


You see, when we were DINKS everything was always done RIGHT NOW. Our last house was painted within a week of living in it and every room had a theme and decorated to our liking. Yes, we were DINKS for about one year in this home, but I will say the one thing we did learn from getting all of the decorating done RIGHT NOW in our first home was that we didn't always make the RIGHT decision. At the closing on this home we decided to slow the decorating down a bit so we didn't do things TWICE. Then we got pregnant and had JD and and and and. So a lot of our home wasn't "finished."

These projects were done by your truly (the Rhyme and Reason familia). Just in case you are hankering to do a few little projects around YOUR home, I included the cost of each project below. :)

Project #1: The "Powder Room"
  • Painted Walls (Sherwinn Williams Color SW6108 Latte $25)
  • Purchased and Had Installed New Lighting (Lowe's, $24.95 each...install was free by VP)
  • Purchased Small Table for Toilet Paper storage (Marshalls for $15 on Clearance)
  • Purchased and Hung Picture (Home Goods for $24.99)
  • Purchased Two Sets of Towels, 2 large, 2 small (Target Large $10 each, Small $4 each)
Total Cost: $143

Project #2: The Stairway
  • Hung Picture Frames (Michael's Picture Frames, Black Double Matted varies sizes as shown. All were 50% off and ranged from $10-$30 each).
Total Cost: $130



Project #3: The "Mudroom" Closet
  • Uninstalled crappy builder grade shelving (FREE)
  • Purchased and installed custom shelving (*Lowe's, $150)
  • Purchased Baskets to Organize Shelves (*Lowe's $60)
Total Cost: $211



Project #4: The "Mudroom"
  • Painted Room ("Free"...used extra paint from the Powder Room project)
  • Purchased and Installed "Mudroom" lettering (Michael's $14 on letters, $3 on brown paint, $10 on ribbon. The ribbon was $10 because I purchased the whole spool so I will be able to use this again on another project!)
  • Purchased and Installed the "God Bless" Sign (Hobby Lobby, $9)
Total Cost: $36

Now onto the second floor...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

R {8}

My favorite sister in law and I spent the day together, shopping, eating, coffee drinking, wedding invitation shopping (R and Uncle Badgeman are getting married in October)...all kinds of fun!

I don't have a sister so knowing that I am gaining one is so fun to me! I knew from the moment I met R that she was special and we were gonna be great friends! I didn't know we would be sisters...and am so happy that we will be...or really that we already are. :) I will quit gushing...just excited that is all!

R knows me for me. She doesn't ever say things like "you used to be fun..." or "I hope I can do more after I have kids..." because there is no "used" to and she doesn't judge me for the mom I am. She only knows me exactly how I am today and there is comfort in that. Not to say that I have changed that much over the years...but like I have shared here I am a for sure a different mom than I thought I would be, which in turn makes me different than I was, say in college. :)

P-Daddy spent the day doing what I do everyday...chasing JD around the house. :) At one point I called home to see how all was going and I could hear JD in the background going "no, no, no, no"...HA! I say HA because its what I hear all day almost everyday...P-Daddy is falling asleep on the couch right now. :)

I am so grateful for my girly day, my future sister in law, and my husband. Don't be jealous (apparently this is my new favorite saying on here. Probably should get used to it...I tend to drag these things out for far too long). :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Feet {9}

First off...I am apparently worse at math than I originally thought (which is BAD people, just plain awful) because I definitely screwed up this "30 Blogs in 30 Days" thing. So its gonna be more like "30 Blogs in 24 Days" so I can still make that 100 mark by my Blogiversary (see below if you want to catch up as this is my second post today). I am a nightmare, I know...but this just makes me more interesting so quit being jealous and read on!

I did record this little snippet today while JD and danced our booties off while the Black Eyed Peas performed on the TODAY show. We both enjoy ourselves a little hip hop it seems! TGIF everyone!


Inspiring {10}

Approximately 40 days ago P-Daddy and I started a nightly routine of reading this...




We have been reading this after our evening prayer (before dinner) while enjoying our meal. Each day has two different versus from the book of Psalms and then a short story that talks about different things in marriage. Titles range from "Front Burner Marriage" to "Stronger Together," to "Always Marrying." Each day is only one page, so its an easy read (note, it isn't marked as a day by day thing...you and yours could read it all at once if you want...we are just using this as our daily devotional). So far, everything we have read has been very interesting and relevant. It really does have a lot of great perspective on marriage in a very light hearted way. I would highly recommend!

I have thought several times about blogging about this because I thought it could be enlightening to others...but I haven't gotten around to it until today! One of our favorites is below...I hope you enjoy!





"Invitation List"




He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep
Psalm 121:3 The Message

All over the country black-and-white billboards popped up containing various messages from God. One message said "Loved the wedding. Invite me to the marriage."

When you invite God to your marriage, he comes. He comes to help you do more with your marriage than you can do with it by yourselves. By yourselves, you have only human abilities to call on. When you are partners with God in your marriage, there is a greater deposit from which you can withdraw assistance. Resources abound. Intermittent springs from which to drink are everywhere. God's presence keeps you company on a daily basis. God's purpose gives you meaningful work to do together. God's power sends you forth into a life as a courageous and confident couple. And God is in it all.

Invite God into your lives, and he will walk up and down the aisle of your marriage each and every day.

My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Pslam 121:2 GNT
The above is from the book "Inspiring Words From The PSALMS For Couples, Gods Gift of Endless Love, Joy and Encouragement," by Phillip H. Barnhart.
If you want to have one of these for you and your hubby, click here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

{11}

I entitle this post "11" for a number (ha! get it...11/number...I am so funny I know!) of reasons.

First-its {11} on the countdown on my 30 blogs in 30 Days Journey

Second-ELEVEN is my all time favorite number as I was born on November 11th and have always thought that was very cool


Third-
(ironically) today is June 11th (Happy 22 month birthday Addy and Lilly)!

So without further a do you shall receive a Mamalouise type of blog today! A selfish blog so to speak. I really have nothing planned (as I normally don't) but think its time to ramble a bit about, well...I guess we shall see.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately...which can be dangerous. I have been dealing with some part time insomnia which is nothing new in the last 2o or so months but still can be maddening. I have learned to deal with it a little bit and will now just lay in bed and think about whatever it is my brain apparently needs to work out before it lets me go back to sleep.

I think about how I never knew I would be this type of mom. The all "hands on, not working outside of the home, very depended on, doesn't make time for myself very much or very well," type. I was so into me, selfish old me (even while prego) that I never knew. And its been hard the whole quitting of being selfish/not having a job/somewhat losing and then regaining my identity thing. Geez, you people have even read about the hardness that it sometimes is.

However, along this whole 21 month journey I have ALWAYS felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I may not have always been comfortable there but always had a comfort of sorts because I was where I was for a reason (yet to be completely figured out).

I have gotten better about saying the word "no." Which is funny because I feel less selfish than I ever have in my life. But maybe saying no to things because I don't want to do them isn't being selfish at all...just smart! But "no" is a fabulous word and all should have it in their vocabulary. And while having it in their vocabulary should not feel bad for saying it. I used to do things all the time that I didn't want to do because I didn't want to hurt someone's feelings, or felt like I had to for one reason or another. Not so much anymore. If I don't want to do it, I don't and don't really care if someone is pissed about it. I used to be a HUGE people pleaser. Now I am just a people pleaser. :)

I sometimes wonder if JD should be our only child. Which was not who I thought I would be as a mom EVER. I originally wanted THREE...then got pregnant and thought there was no way I was going down that road TWO more times, so I said I could have TWO, and then JD came along and, like I said, some days I think we are complete just the way we are. I have friends moving onto baby number two...and the thought of that gives me hives. Itchy hives. That, I fear would make getting an actual babysitter to come to my house and watch my CHILDREN not CHILD a LOT harder...and its already hard. That means I would get even LESS time to myself, and right now I don't even know how that would be humanly possible.

I am more than just a mom, although I love being a mother more than I ever knew I would. Once again, which is why I feel very good in the place I am at right now. But I am more than just a mom. And I don't want to lose that girl, that fun, somewhat free spirited, laugh at her own jokes, have a beer on the porch with you on a Monday night just because, feels really pretty in pajama pants and a tank top (with ratty, unbrushed hair), sings so loud in her car that people shake their head at her at stoplights...that girl. I like her. I like me.

People don't like it when you tell them you like yourself. A lot of people don't like themselves. I have always liked me and I never want to lose that. I haven't always liked all of me, like the body of me. Still struggle with that. So don't call me arrogant. I'm not. People have always seen me as confident though, and I like that. Speaking of that, I used to care a lot more about what others thought about me. That is a curse. Don't do it. Anyway...I don't care at all. And really, I have P-Daddy to thank for that. He has NEVER cared what others thought about him. I admire that. He thinks he's cool even if the rest of the world thinks whatever they want. I think you get a lot further in life this way.

I don't like this stage in my life right now when it comes to friendships. Its a weird time. Some married, some with child/children, some without, some never gonna have children and can't believe we do, some in serious relationships, some single and happy, some single and sad. Regardless I never knew this stage would be so highschooly weird. I watched "Bride Wars" the other night (during P-Daddy's weekend away) and got emotional over the fact that these two girls were so close. I mean despite the drama (ha!). There are many days that I feel very distant from many (sometimes all) of my friends. Part of it is because I feel like for the first time in our friendship I am being true to MYSELF and not just to them (insert the word "no" here...you know to what they think I should be doing for them, with them, etc), and sometimes I blame it on a plethora of things (kids, distance, the weather, you name it). Regardless, its a weird time and I don't like it. I don't care that we aren't all in the same place...wouldn't that be boring if we were? I think so.

I have friends that read this blog that are probably taking what I just said personally. Its nothing I haven't said to any of them though, so whether they like it or not, they know I feel this way. And I am only writing about it because today is a selfish blog day and I am letting myself write whatever I please. :) And that I don't think I/we are alone in this weird time of friendships. Sure...I could probably walk the neighborhood and find mommy friends that stay at home too and we may laugh a bit at the pool this summer...but I would MUCH rather just spend time with my real friends. I don't need all that fluff. I need my friends to be friends.

P-Daddy is my best friend. I also got emotional (translated, cried...or rather sobbed) during "Bride Wars" at how lucky I am (insert I am PMSing and anything somewhat emotional is fair game for tears to shed). So with the weirdness that is 20 somethings friendships it is nice to have a true best friend. I literally have never had a friend like him. Oh people don't think we are perfect...we fight, we disagree, we have our moments. But seriously, no one has ever loved and respected me like him and a girls just gonna tear up about the hugeness of that every once in a while.

I hope you are happy today, just exactly where you are. I hope if you aren't, that you do something about it. I hope you love and are loved. We only get one life, why not live it?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All Boy {12}

Our little, sweet, JD (turned rowdy, sweaty, superhero like, and by superhero I mean he has magical powers that get him from room to room to room, up and down the stairs, in and out of doorways faster than the speed of light...and he is freakishly strong) is ALL BOY and that is for sure! We had our bi-weekly playdate today that consists mostly of little girls and, well, to put it nicely my sweet sweet boy sticks out (just a tad). Instead of toys he goes straight for the baby monitor with the cord (especially the cord), then the house phone (taking it apart, throwing it across the room, NOT SHARING it with others), and then will move towards the most destructive toys in the room. Like for instance, a stroller. Seems harmless right? Until your child picks it up and whips it across the room at the wall! He also somehow ended up with a fat lip...I am thinking one of the girls got him but not enough apparently because he never cried about it! He is like a world champion boxer apparently...no blow is gonna get him down! HA!



"Girls! You are doing this wrong...we need to be more sneaky about it! The big people will try and stop us if we keep being obvious." -JD



It is times like these when, as a mom who also loves herself some playdates because it provides some adult interaction, gets frustrated. My girlfriends kept saying "don't worry about it," or "he's just being a boy,"...and I'm thinking in my head..."yes you are correct, but I just want to sit here, watch him play nicely and RELAX while I enjoy YOUR company for just an hour." JUST ONE HOUR." But no such luck today. :) Regardless...THANK YOU Jaimie for your lovely hospitality and wonderful lemon poppy seed bread!




"Umm...is someone gonna tell these two that this isn't okay? " -Claire




JD was for sure in rare form, and I am not sure why. Could it really be the weather? It is gloomy and muggy and has been threatening to storm all day...and I look into his eyes and see "that look." My mom used to say "you've got 'that look' in your eye...maybe you should go take a nap, or go play in your room." Normally "that look" consisted of me misbehaving and he sure did today! And I hear that school teachers just know when the weather is acting up, so will the kids...or at least that's what they talk about in my kickbox cardio class...so I am thinking hmmmm maybe they are onto something?




"I am going to sit here for 5 seconds so my mommy will quit telling me "no" and she will think that I have settled down...but this is just a trick I am really thinking of my next move is all" -JD



And I know I have an almost two year old and am not supposed to be figuring his attitude out because its changing all the time...but just yesterday he was all cuddles, took a 3 hour nap, played so nicely, rode in the car like a dream child (which is rare in itself)...and YESTERDAY, just YESTERDAY I was all "he's turned a corner and is communicating so much more and is just becoming this wonderful little man." HA!


I love my son more than I can express to any of you! More than that even. I love him for exactly the "all boy" that he is. Today was just one of those days...but still...another day in our paradise. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

She's MY Mom, a daughter, a GranBeck, a Dear Friend, an Artist, Christian, a Blogger...AND... {13}

...ITS HER BIRTHDAY!!! Happy Birthday MOM! Don't worry, I won't tell the dear readers your age...but remember you are only as old as you FEEL...real age doesn't matter! Now go get yourself a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, stick some candles in it and make a wish!


Lets talk about mom for a minute. She is the youngest of 7 children and she is really the youngest. Her oldest sister was 20 years older than her and the closest sibling to her was 10 when she was born. Which makes life interesting as most of my cousins I call "aunt" and "uncle" because they are my moms age! Their kids are my age, and so on and so forth.

She has been a grocery store owner, a school teacher, a middle school women's basketball coach, a high school women's tennis coach, a volunteer for Christian Radio, a greeting card stock gal for stores, a summer softball coach, a girl scout leader, a business starter, a Jorgenson Electric logo and sign designer/painter, a bootie shaker, a DACC women's basketball player, a wind suit wearer (matching top and bottom of course), a conversion van driver (with curtains), a California dreamer...

...she is a high tech granny (but hasn't jumped on board with texting...yet), P-Daddy's favorite mom-in-law, a home designer, a babysitter, a many dog owner, Christian Women's Club President, Margarita and awful beer drinkin, choir singer, concert goer, motorcycle driving, mix tape/CD maker (still gettin em too and they rock...don't be jealous), a vacuum the entire house mother (including the trim and ceilings and whatever she can find to vacuum), a Halloween costume maker...

...she was a Junior Great Books instructor, WNBA fan, PTA momma, American Idol/Ellen/Bonnie Hunt/So You Think You Can Dance/The View (especially Whoopie) addict, the most amazing artist I know (and think she should seriously work on selling some of her stuff), a wife, Walmart shopper, a friend to everyone she meets (especially those seated next to her on airplanes)...

...she is the most tender hearted, kind person you will ever know, give you the shirt off her back and will listen to what you need so she can try to help, Contemporaires and RedCoats t-shirt maker, a sister who has seen her family through it all, cat owner, movie quoter (to be specific, What about Bob, City Slickers, Rush Hour, and Dumb and Dumber), the best Grandma a kid could ask for...she is MY MOM!

After all that, don't lie...you are jealous! I would be too! She is pretty amazing...I love you mom!!

Happy Birthday!!!!

If you want to give her some birthday love, click here! :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

All Business {14}

I am over here today sharing a few recent Save the Dates I created for Beyond Planning.

I will give you a sneak preview to entice you to come and visit!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Tradition Unlike Any Other {15}

P-Daddy has a tradition with his really close college friends. Golf. :) No really it is golf but WAY more than that...its a weekend every year where they all meet up in Ohio and go to The Memorial PGA golf tournament, play some golf, eat too much, drink too much and have a great time! Their annual golf game against each other is over the top competitive that includes a plaque which hangs in our den of the running winners from each year AND green jackets that are passed along to the winners (like The Masters...which if you aren't a golf fanatic you won't know what I am talking about, but just know that its a big deal, especially to golf nerds like my hubby and his friends, and yes I totally mean that in the most loving way as I do love that he is a golf nerd). :)

Three of the 4 guys who attend this tradition (unlike any other)

From Left: Zuercher, Liss (who doesn't attend), Walker, P-Daddy (we are missing Shilts)...I wish guys were better about taking pictures because I don't have any from their any of the years they have done this extravaganza together!


It helps that the host of the weekend's mother is the mayor of the town in which the tournament is played though. These boys are treated very well...go to the CBS dinner where they hang out (look at) Jim Nanz, eat lunch at the course in a VIP tent and so on and so forth. This is P-Daddy's idea of a great time so we are always excited for him to go for this tradition.


On a side note, I love tradition. Wish my girls had one or rather had kept one. But women are so bad about this I have discovered (I am including myself in this). Its our maternal crap I guess. And I only call it crap on a day like today, where I have spent the last 56 hours (whos counting) alone (mostly) with my son (whom I love dearly) but girlfriend is TIRED and is ready for a spa weekend somewhere soon. Very soon. :) Because I am a spa nerd.

Back to P-Daddy. He came home all cute and tan and well fed and well dranked and happy. To say that JD and I missed him sooooooooo much would be an understatement. We love ourselves some P-Daddy! Last night around bed time I REALLY noticed that JD was extra cuddly, extra sad, extra extra everything really. Daddy was gone and I think he really started to wonder what was going on. I, of course loved the snuggle part, because THAT is a rarity around these parts, but it made me sad too.


I was all "awww...daddy is golfing with his friends and he loves you and misses you and will be home tomorrow." And JD was all "dadda, dadda, dadda" and then he ran to the gate where he greets daddy every day...and then when he realized dadda wasn't coming through the door, he ran back to me and snuggled. So cute! When Daddy DID come back today he was soooo excited!! There was no cold shoulder, just hugs around these parts!


So I want to send a thank you to Walker, Zuercher, and Shilts for providing P-Daddy the outlet to be able to have such a weekend with such great friends!! :) We don't tell you enough what great friends you are!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Little Garden That Could {16}

John Cougar's "hold onto 16 as long as you can..." keeps running through my brain over and over again today. I keep thinking about something fun I could share that would be worthy of an entire blog...but no such luck. The only thing remotely interesting is the fact that I didn't turn 16 until the middle of my junior year of high school (which sucked) but that once I actually got that beautiful Illinois drivers license I had the sincere pleasure of driving my moms sweet TEAL Lebaron Convertible round town. I was cool, don't be jealous.

Onto the officially #16 (on the countdown) post. I decided to add a green thumb, be a tree hugger, "go green", be organic...the whole nine yards this summer. You know, me and my three plant garden-HA! Anyway I just did it...read the back of each seed packet, did exactly like they said and have been patiently awaiting SOMETHING. I planted green beans, zuccini squash and green peppers as those are some household favorites!!

Itty bitty stuff on the upper left: Green Peppers, Upper Right: Zuccini Squash, Long beautiful green plant: Green beans



So I have something, but as of now it doesn't resemble anything the family can eat. Its almost the middle of June so heres to hoping that in the next few weeks I will reep what I sow. HA!

If anyone has any suggestions I would be more than happy to take them! I looked up what green bean plants should look like today (I also wanted to make sure that I had them planted correctly, and I do thank you very much!) and so far it seems I am doing okay other than maybe it is time to take out some of them?! Thats just based on what I read...I may give it another week before I do something crazy like that though!

Friday, June 5, 2009

In Honor of National Doughnut Day {17}

We NEVER let Mr. JD have sweets (except for when you saw here the chocolate pudding, oh yeah and when I give him gummy snacks when he pees in the potty)...okay so we RARELY let him have anything good. Anyway...today has been a fun filled Friday AND is National Doughnut Day so I thought what the heck, a boy his age should get to enjoy himself some chocolate every once in a while!! No doughnuts for us, but we did have some of momma's chocolate chip cookies to indulge, enjoy, gorge, etc. :)

Whats funny to me is that even though we don't allow him to have goodness pretty much ever he totally knows what the goodness is! So when he saw me get the cookie out he immediately started yelling and pointing to it, like PLEEEEAASE mom? I am thinking this is because I fed him lots and lots of dessert while he was growing inside of me...you think?












Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cop Out {18}

I have to be honest with you and say that today I have no idea what to write about. So I tragically I turned to Facebook for inspiration from a few of those lovely quizzes people take freaking daily that I complain about all the time. I am apologizing up front because I realize this is a cop out blog...but I just got nothing else today people. :)

This may be useless information...but it also may entertain you. So you decide whether to read on...I promise never to be offended! :)

THE MOST RANDOM SET OF QUESTIONS IN THE WORLD:

Do you read the labels on shampoo bottles?
Yes, to see if it smells good. I don't buy the expensive stuff though. Unless it is found at Marshalls or TJ Maxx

Have you ever brushed your teeth in the shower?
yes, and I don't find it particularly fun at all. However, it is efficient

How old do you look?
I don't know...younger than 35 because I still get carded at the grocery store when purchasing booze

.
How old do you act?
Older than my age in most cases for sure. Or at least I think so...I feel very grown up most of the time and too grown up some of the time.

Whats the last song you sang?
"Jesus Loves Me" to JD before bed tonight

Whats the last song you heard?
"Free Fallin" by John Mayer and its lovely

Have you recently become a member of anything?
Delta Gamma, Alpha Tau chapter House Corporation

What are your plans for the weekend?
Girls night with my future sister in law tomorrow that I am sooo excited about, pool time, the gym, mowing the lawn, church...pretty much the usual!

What is your mood at the moment?
Good and relaxed!

Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?
No...but secretly I think this would be fun

If you were working on a pirate ship, what would you most likely be?
The Captain

Have you ever called anyone a slut?
Yes I certainly have...and I meant it to

Have you ever smuggled something into Canada?
No but mostly just because I have never been to Canada.

Does playing guitar make someone more attractive?
Umm, no not at all. But golfing does... :)

Do you live in a city with a good sports team?
Yes-GO COLTS! and GO BULLDOGS!

Have you ever finished off the popcorn?
Yes, all the buttery and salty goodness is at the bottom! Oh and I heart the half popped kernels too!

What's your favorite super hero?
Not sure if this answer will age me, but I don't have a current one (because I am not that kind of girl) but back in the day it was SHERA

!
Do you have more enemies than friends?
I don't think I have any enemies actually. There were probably a few in the sorority from time to time but we all know that was ages ago! :)

Have you ever sent anyone an anonymous letter?
no but I have totally thought about it.

Can you fix your own car?
Absolutely not

Are you smarter than your friends?
I am pretty sure I have blogged about the sense of entitlement most of my college friends had about being way smarter than me (they had no faith those girls...), so I don't mind saying that they were WRONG and I am smarter than a fifth grader. :)

Have you ever stolen anything from your friends?
Deliberately no...but I am quite sure that I have ended up with a random tank top or shirt from the many closets I have shared with friends.

Have you ever been to jail?
No and I plan to keep it that way thank you

Last thing you bought over $50?
Groceries

Have you ever died or killed someone in a dream?
No, but I frequently have dreams where close loved ones die or are dying...I think I am just scared to lose them though.

Have you ever given to a charity?
yes both monetarily and as a volunteer

Do you ever get depressed?
Clinically, no. But I have my days where I am down in the dumps for sure.

Do you live with your parents?
Nope, been off the tit for quite some time now and am proud of it

Do you have plans for your future?
Yes we do

Two names you go by:
mlouise
momma

Two things you are wearing right now:
my wedding rings
the sweet bright orange DEE GEE t-shirt from college-HA!

Two places you want to go on vacation:
Jamaica, and I think we are gonna make that happen very soon!
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic-just cause its amazing and it was our honeymoon and the most perfect vacation I have ever been on.

How many pairs of jeans do you own?
7 I think, but never enough people...never enough

What colors do you wear most often?
Black, khaki, and white...I look like a waitress most of the time. Its a curse...I go to the store to purchase color and I just gravitate to black, black and more black. At least it goes with everything?

Hows the weather?
Beautiful, 60, sunny and breezy!

Favorite pair of shoes?
Black flip flops

Do you own big sunglasses?
Currently I own no sunglasses because JD loves himself some of his mommies sunglasses and ends up breaking them. If I did own sunglasses I think they would be medium as I have a big fat face and big ones don't look so hot on my mug

What are you doing right now?
Thinking about what I am going to have for dinner, watching Jeopardy and writing answers to these random questions.

What should you be doing?
nothing, isn't that wonderful?

What's your favorite sport to play?
Tennis

What's your favorite sport to watch?
College Basketball or College Football

When was the last time you saw your dad?
A few weeks ago...but we talk all the time

What did you have for dinner last night?
Roselli's pizza

Look to your left, what do you see?
JD's toy area all picked up and ready for him to destroy again tomorrow!

What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
Grande, Non fat, French Vanilla Latte...yes I am high maintenance when it comes to my coffee drinking

Do you hate being alone?
Not at all. Sometimes its wonderful to be alone, close your eyes and hear nothing but silence.

Do you think the drinking age should be lowered to 18?
Yes. I think kids drink more because it is a forbidden pleasure. No because I believe there is some serious research out there that 18 year olds brains aren't fully mature and chemically unbalanced because of all the hormones so they won't/can't make sound decisions. In the end, I am glad its not my decision. Although I do think we should be a bit more consistent. Drive at 16, Vote and purchase tobacco at 18, and drink at 21. I say maybe drive at 16 and the rest at 18. And the answer to whether or not they should legalize marijuana is yes. Not because I enjoy, but because others do illegally and the government could make a whole lot of cheese and tax the hell out of this and maybe get us out of the enormous deficit single handedededly (that was a stutter) because of the weed. See...I totally am smarter than a fifth grader.

What's a bad habit you have?
Cussing...a lot of cussing

What is the one thing you would like to happen today?
A good nights rest...and peace in the middle east of course! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Butter Makes Everything Better {19}

I have mentioned before that while prego I discovered a love for baking (and lets be honest eating those baking efforts). One of my forte's is just regular old chocolate chip cookies. I have secret tricks (and every time I say this I silently think of the line in Mr. Deeds "never underestimate the power of my sneakiness"). Anyway...my secrets shall remain with me but the recipe below is for you and yours. :)

I recently got a little bored with just plain old chocolate chip cookies...so I played with the recipe a little and found that these cookies/cookie bars not only work, they are positively scrumptious!!


White Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies


Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package white chocolate chips
*1/2-1 cup of toasted almonds
**********************************************************

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl and set aside.

*Spread 1/2 cup-1 cup of sliced almonds onto a baking sheet. Lightly toast in oven (or toaster oven), approximately 2 minutes should do. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.




Beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs and continue to beat until mixture is fluffy. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Add the white chocolate chips and COOLED almonds. Stir together until well blended.



Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes (or until your version of cookie doneness) :) Move to a cooling rack and wait patiently until they are perfectly cool and them eat the entire tray. Do not pass GO, do not collect $100, just EAT THE WHOLE TRAY! It won't be hard, I promise! HA! Just kidding, I should be a comedian, I know... HA!



I have also done this same recipe and baked the entire mixture in a greased 9x9 square pan to make cookie bars. This version is equally as good. :) In this case you may want to turn your oven to 375 degrees. If you feel the center isn't getting done, turn that baby up!

Enjoy!

**Note, I used the Nestle Toll House recipe for their chocolate chip cookies as my dough batter. I am not trying to get in trouble for copyright infringement or anything. Just trying to make a cookie people! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Curb Appeal {20}

Today, P-Daddy got his early birthday present (I won't tell you what bday it is...not yet at least)...our home was LANDSCAPED! We have had a "work in progress" landscape thing going on since we moved in THREE YEARS AGO! P-Daddy and I both like things to be done, finito, complete (lets be honest here, perfect)...so as you can imagine this has been driving us crazy.

We have done little things here and there but we are by no means landscape architects so it kind of looked like amateurs had done it. Fortunately, because of my past life we have a hook up with a professional who does an EXCELLENT job for what I consider a very reasonable price!

We hired our main man a while ago but we couldn't get on his schedule until now. So water we will because planting new plants and transplanting existing ones in 85 degree heat isn't always the best thing. But we have proven that WE CAN keep things alive. :)

This is one of our little things...and it is those little things in life that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

Before (or during rather)...

The crew



And After...





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Not that this will be the only time I say this on this here blog but HAPPY BIRTHDAY P-DADDY!