Wednesday, August 31, 2011

one thousand gifts

A dear friend let me borrow what is looking like may be an incredible read.  At least, it has been so far, and I'm only on page 49.  She told me over and over after reading some of my blog posts, "You have to read this book," and I'm so glad that I am.

The whole idea is that we should 'dare to live fully right where we are,' even if that is in the middle of 6 month old and 2 year old mayhem, as I am every day. 

And the 1000 gifts - let's just say it comes from the idea of noticing the little things that you appreciate through the day, the things that make your life a little better, the things you wouldn't want to go without.  As I've read through the book (all 49 pages so far, ahem), I've caught myself being more attuned to the gifts around me.  A few examples?

  • We had a mix-up with a sitter last night when the hubs and I were supposed to be going out to gorge ourselves at the local fair (yum!).  We didn't want to take kids this time due to allergy season being in full swing.  When there was a mix up with the sitter and I had nothing prepared for supper, we packed kids up anyway and went.  I wouldn't have traded last night for the world.  Had a great time piggy back ridin' and ride ridin' and jumping with Bryton.  Was a remarkable family fun night. 
  • Watching Bryton dance to our Ipod this morning. 
  • Ansley's laughter and how her eyes light up around her brother. 
  • Bryton wanting to be with her.
  • The taste of a lemon shake up - for real. 
  • The feel of the sheets on our bed at night. 
  • A kind note from a friend. 
You know, all of the good stuff.  The stuff that I would never want to live without.

This is kind of a rambly post, and I didn't mean for it to be that way, but I'm just thinking - I can remember when Aaron and I were wild and free with no kids in tote.  It was easy packing up to go to the fair to eat what we wanted, look at what we wanted and hang out with who we wanted.  And I'm not going to lie, I felt like I'd be giving that up when kids entered the world.  And the opposite couldn't be more true.  Aaron and I agreed last night that watching Bryton experience the fair, ride the rides, enjoy the food, ride on daddy's shoulders, etc, makes the entire experience for us.  The food is like the icing on the cake.  And for all of those years we were just skimming the surface of what enjoyment could be.

It makes me so excited for Ans (though I'm in no hurry for her to grow up), knowing that we'll, Lord willing, experience many of the same things with her, alongside her brother. 

And - as the 'not so candid' one I am... I'll say that it wasn't that long ago, 18 months maybe, that Ansley was but a thought in my head, a longing, a desire yet to be quenched, and I wondered if Bryton would ever have a sibling, if we'd ever have number 2.  Bryton wasn't exactly the easiest child, and the thought of having another colicky, not sleeping through the night baby was enough to make Aaron very stand-offish to any idea of more.  And as much as I couldn't imagine life with only one, and as much as I longed for two, I also longed for a happy husband and submissiveness.  So I waited... until the day came where he said 'ok.'

Today - while noticing my little blessings playing together (she's only 6 months, doesn't seem possible, but they love each other), I couldn't imagine life without her, and I thought back to such a recent time when I wondered if she'd ever even be, knowing full and well that God had our paths planned out and knowing I'd need to be okay with that plan.  And she's such a blessing.  All good and perfect things come to us by the father of lights. 

So as I prepare to dig into this book a little deeper - I ask you... what are those blessings in your life.  Not the big glaring in your face ones, but the subtle, "man, I love that smell" ones... know what I mean?


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Behind - Motivate Me Tuesday

I'm very behind blogging.  Give me a week or so and I may be able to explain the whirlwind of events surrounding us, but for now, the brief synopsis of what has been demanding of my time and energy in the past few days have been:
  • Hometown state fair (parade one night, fair the next night)
  • Fighting allergies from said fair (Saturday through current)
  • Prompt Care for said allergies (Helllllo steroid pills!)
  • Scentsy party yester-evening in which I made enough Taco Soup to feed a large army.
And that pretty much sums up the small stuff.

So my Motivation Monday comes on Tuesday, not because I lack motivation, but apparently because I'm too motivated getting stuff done to blog.  Good thing?  Yeah, but the allergies don't help.

So - here's what remains on the list:

  1.  I have two Scentsy parties to close.  One really needs to be closed today, one on Thursday.  
  2. I'm packing, yet again, for another big family adventure this holiday weekend.  That means two things, a pack list needs to be written and laundry needs to be done! (Um - by tomorrow...hmm)
  3. I have two more bills left to pay and all of our bills and menu planning is done for the next 15 days.
  4. Get packed.  
Phew.  You know - with allergies and a weekend away, that's the end of what I'm requiring of myself this week.  I'll clean house and regroup when Monday rolls around!

And I promise to get bloggin' some more!  I'm reading this amazing book (thanks Jen!) that I have 1,000 thoughts to share about, so we'll have to make that happen at some point!

Until then!

Friday, August 26, 2011

We Couldn't Even Sit in Our Chairs

I'm not normally a big complainer.  (At least I don't think I am.  Ya'll can read into that better than I can.)  Anyway - that obviously means I'm getting ready to complain.  (Which irritates me to all get out since I don't typically like listening to the complainers of the world.)  But I'm just out to point out an issue for the sake of a resolution.  That's really what I'm doing.

Let me catch you up to speed.  We took our two year old and our almost six month old to the fair parade tonight.  This was the fair parade I grew up with.  It was the fair parade that I brought great memories from.  Maybe I was naive to be thinking parade floats and marching bands, pointing out ponies and soldiers to our sponge - like two year old while we lounged in our lawn chairs, because that was definitely not what happened.

No - what happened was we showed up an hour early, popped out our chairs, had snacks (that we prepared), and fed our baby as we waited alongside the parade route waiting for the fun to begin.  All was glorious until minutes into the parade when the kids on either side of us bombarded the road at the first sign of candy... and then they stood in the road the rest of the hour long parade.  Not only did they stand in the road, but more kids who had not been anywhere near us to begin with, came and stood right in front of us for the duration of the parade.

Here's my beef:  I could have cared less about candy.  I didn't even bring a bag for my kid.  Candy from a parade, in my opinion, should be a couple of pieces a kid, not a bag overflowing.  It should be something fun, not something expected.  It should not be the point of the parade.  YET - we, who have been waiting an hour in our spots are now crammed behind a crowd of people and my 3 ft tall 2 year old - (you remember, the sponge?) - can see nothing.  

SO - we and the grandparents spent an hour holding and standing with said two year old just so he could see the parade.  He couldn't even be a kid.  And that candy?  Yeah - the couple of pieces I approved of him having was fought for by Gaga because the 5th graders standing near us were standing in the street and grabbing it all.  Candy didn't even get back to us. 

Our fair experience after the parade didn't even happen because everyone was exhausted... we couldn't even sit in our chairs for a moment of the parade. 

And so - where is the resolution?

At first - we thought maybe the police (who were everywhere) should have done something about it, as the safety of the bigger kids was on the line (as they were in the middle of the road and had to be told many times by parade officials to get back), but more prevalent than police were parents, and let's be honest, the parents were encouraging the behavior - and cops shouldn't be asked or expected to raise any children except their own.

Then - we thought - maybe there should be some kind of 'control' on the parade route, but then the same problem arises.

And then I got it - how about we really have a parade?  You know - balloons, floats, bands, clowns, and of course Shriners.  Maybe a ban on all things passed out: no candy, no fliers, no politician fans or nail files, nope, just entertainment... isn't that what a parade was meant to be? 

I'm not against politicians and politics - but when did the parade become so geared towards the adults and so not geared towards the kids? (And - just to clarify - throwing some candy at them does not gear it towards them.) 

I'm just aggravated.  I'm aggravated that a parade can bring out such greed.  I'm aggravated that I heard the 5th graders yell repeatedly at parade entrieswho were not passing out candy or a food item, "Where's the food?" over and over again. 

And you know what I would have loved?  I would have loved to have seen the look on my two year old's face when he discovered fire trucks and ponies, floats and bands.  I would have loved to have been able to sit with him in the lawn chairs we brought and laughed and taken pictures. 

All of that being said - I would have traded every piece of candy for those things to happen.  So, you know, how about a real parade?  I don't need candy, and neither do my kids, what we want is some good 'ole fashioned fun.  And less greed in the world...


So I'm Not THAT Old... am i?

I feel like I graduated high school yesterday.  No, I really do.  The six years of marriage, bachelor's degree and two kids still don't make me feel like I'm nearing my late twenties.  Ahem, *cough cough*.  

How did that happen?!  Late twenties?  That's like - almost thirty.  I know it is.  

But I know I'm getting old.  You know why?  The youth girls remind me all of the time while they talk about teachers and schedules and principals etc.  Same town, same high school, yet everything is different.  Even the teachers I loved that are still there - they hate.  (And visca versa.)  

Classes have changed.  Requirements have changed.  Teachers have changed.  Even scheduling has changed.  Principals have changed (twice).  And I catch myself saying, "Wow, well, when I was in school we did it this way," or, "So and so taught that," or "Well that's not how I remember it."  And I swear I'm in my 80's and I walked uphill to school both ways in three feet of snow.  

When did I get OLD?

There was once a time where I believed that my kids would go to my school and have some of my old teachers.  (Do you know how many times I had teachers say, "OH - you are so-in-so's daughter!  I had him in school when he was your age!  Do you also know how annoying that was?)  

Maybe that's why none of my teachers are left in the school.  Maybe the baby boomers are all retiring and the new young lads (many are *gasp* younger than I) are taking over.  

Who knows?  All I know is this:  the late twenties are looming, but I'm not gonna let on.  


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Snowboots and Hooded Towels

So - last Sunday night Bryton went to church like this:

Ok - not exactly like that.  He did have on pants to go to church, but his Thomas the Train snowboots have become a popular piece in his attire.   Good thing it was 'pie night' at church and not something uber serious.  

You know, we really thought we would miss that stage.  You know, that stage?  The stage where kids want to wear some random thing or some random combinations of things all of the time.  I must have been naive, or hopeful, but I was wrong.  He has a new pair of rainboots and a new pair of sandals, and somehow, lined snowboots (that are almost too small) win him over.  This picture has "Happy 16th Birthday, B" written all over it ;)  

And, have I mentioned that there is nothing cuter (besides a little boy in no pants and snowboots, mind you) than a naked baby post bath.  Nothing.  They smell good.  There is hooded towels involved and rubber duckies, and cute little baby feet with soft skin.  Refreshing.  So I try to keep the naked pictures to a minimum - but here is a towel clad Ans just moments after her favorite thing (besides eating)... bathtime! 

You know.  Somedays you just need pictures of kids in goofy clothes and hooded towels.  Makes the day a little brighter. 

The end... for now.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Moment in Faith

You know what I've learned from reading my new ESV Study Bible?  When I'm really reading the Bible, as opposed to reading over it, it takes a lot longer. 

I've been reading Romans 1 for the 4th day in a row.  There's so much to digest that I find myself re-reading the same verses over several times, then reading the study notes, then going back and reading the verses again. 

Today - I couldn't get away from verse 21.  It really left me with a sense of fear and a warning to remain in faith, real faith.

Before reading this verse this week, Matthew 7:23 was always that verse that arose this type of fear in my heart.  You know the verse.  It's the 'depart from me, I never knew you" verse.  It's the verse where people think they have it all together because they've done some stuff but in the end, all they ever did was do stuff.  Worthless. 

But reading this Romans verse today almost surfaces the same kind of fear. 

We're told in verses 19 and 20, basically that people have no excuse for not knowing of God, or even knowing God, as creation itself points that there is a creator.  Verse 20 says, "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse." 

Then comes the hammer in 21, "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

And you know what that sounds like to me?  It sounds like many of us.  It sounds like where we are when we know there is a God, we may even proclaim there is a God, but it changes nothing about us.  It's a head thing, not a heart thing. 

And I wonder, how?  How can you know, and see, and believe there is a God and yet not honor Him and not give thanks to Him?!  But the truth is, we do it every day.  In our apathy.  In our complacency. 

The whole 'being in awe' idea would come naturally if we really realized who God was.  The 'training up of a child' would happen through the overflow of works that came from a heart that really understood the heart of the gospel. 

Honoring and thankfulness would be automatic.

And for me, the question must be asked, "Is my faith becoming futile?"  Is it just something I 'do'?  (We see where that got those in Matthew 7.)  Is it just something I profess? (Those will say to me "Lord, Lord... and I will say, 'depart from me, I never knew you.")  Because - really - what good are those things anyway?  Rather - my faith should be a heart changing, life altering, joyful experience of growth, relationship and love with the author and creator of time.  Is that really the faith I possess? 

Hard stuff today, I tell you, hard.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Season After My Heart

I love fall.  No, really, I do. 

IN fact - I think it's safe to say that I love September - December.  Every blasted bit of it.

Every warm September day.

Every cold dreary December snow.

I love it all.

So by the time the end of August is amongst us (we - here - all know because our fair welcomes in our fall season and signals the end of summer), I'm breaking out the hoodies and getting the house smellin' all fall like.  (I have Autumn Sunset in my warmer burning right now, but only until I get my samples of pumpkin marshmallow.  YUM!) 

I swear I'm like a kid.  I really do start to get this giddy feeling inside as the temperature starts to cool some.  (And remember, I do not love cold weather.)  I just love the season that brings in Christmas. 

It's like my own little slice of seasonal heaven. 

I could really ramble about it forever.  I love the football games and wearing jeans again.  I love hoodies and s'mores and bonfires and falling leaves.  I love Christmas shopping and dressing up for Halloween.  I love sweaters and sock hats.  I love the shimmering lights at Christmas time.

I love picking apples and having crock pot dinners.  I love a good soup or a good chili.  I love pumpkin... carving them, decorating with them, eating them.  You name it. 

And so today - I'm immersed in fall.  Not because it's overly cool.  Not because the leaves are changing.  But because every sign I've ever known in my life signals that it's coming... it hints that it's around the corner.  And I'm ready.  Boy am I ready.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Motivate Me Monday

Believe it or not, I actually feel somewhat refreshed today, ready to tackle another week.  In some regards, I'd say that I'm happy it's Monday.  Now, I realize you work people out there may want to stone me, and do trust, I've been a 'work person' before in my life, so I'd kind of want to stone me too, but you must understand, with my current 'job', my work week never ends.  The weekend is a revitalizing time to get me ready for the coming week after going through the week before.  And, folks, after last week, I needed some revitalizing. 

It wasn't a bad week, per say, it was just an exhausting week, an overwhelming week, a week where I felt like the work. would. never. end.  And, I don't know about you, but feeling like my efforts aren't a drop in the bucket of getting things done, well, that kills my moral.  So trudging forward last week on our ginormous list was, well, hard.

And after a good weekend with the fam, I'm feeling like I can put on my trudging boots again.  (Speaking of boots - Bryton is totally digging wearing his snowboots right now.  Have I mentioned it's like 95 degrees outside?  Just checking.  Oh well.)

So - without any further ado - my goals for the week:

  1. I have some shopping to do with kiddos today - getting it done and over with.  It's not that I mind shopping with them - I really don't.  Shopping just has to be "go for specific items" shopping and not browse around shopping.  Sitting still for long periods of time is not optional.
  2. Ansley almost 6 months old, and I've not yet picked up her birth certificate.  I really need to do that.  I just hate lugging two kids in to fill out the paperwork for it, but it must be done. 
  3. More overhauling of the household.  I expect to get some things put on FB for sale this week - and hopefully get them out of our house. 
  4. I have some painting to do.  Remember that desk?  Yeah - needs to be done, and I've decided to repaint our light-pole out front too.  It WILL get done this week. 
  5. I'm planning a "Festival of Fall" Scentsy party - may as well celebrate all of the new wonderfulness coming out!  Sending out invites to great friends to come and eat some soup and other fall favorites, win some Scentsy prizes, and get in on some great fall products! I'll even be posting something on here - a giveaway - of sorts - for those of you who can't eat the soup or get in on the fun - and I'm going to make it very worth your while!  I'm still thinking on it to make it the best I can.  (Fall is my favorite season - and fall Scentsyness just makes it all the more wonderful!)
So anyway - off to run the house with my 2 year old (who is literally 'running the house' - he just stopped to tell me he was running crazy... yes, yes he is.  In his Thomas the Train snowboots, mind you.)

:)  Yep - this week will be a better week!

AND - I'm promising better posting!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trying to Remember

Discipline is not a crushing of spirit and an expression of control.  It is discipleship that leads to obedience to God first and then to parents, with the ultimate goal being the Glory of God displayed.

And it's hard to remember.

It took me 15 minutes to write those two lines because I was taking an utterly disobedient two year old back to his bed over and over (and over) again, for probably the 10th time while he should be napping (or at least resting).

And let's be honest, it's easier to crush them (not physically, of course).  It's easier to spank them.  It's easier to defeat them and be successful.  But that's not discipline.

Discipline that results in discipleship is not the type that puts me in control of you - no, discipleship says, "Son, I've been there, and there's a better way.  This disobedient path leads to trouble... obey and allow God to receive glory."

Off to take him to bed... yet again...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Cleaning Day

Continuation of the family overhauling of the house is underway.  Hubs' has been in the basement all day pitching and sorting and organizing and moving and sweeping.  Phew.  And I've been upstairs doing the same... well, minus the sweeping.

So, in the cleanliness, my house is in disarray.  Crazy, right?  Things are nuts right now.

I'm at a blog block, too.  I have a million things to say and sorting them and articulating them has become hard.  I'm working on that.  Promise.

It's a short post, but I have more craziness to tend to. 

Better next week, I promise. 

And a prayer request - be praying for Aaron's family.  Rough time right now.  I can't shake the uneasiness with it all right now...


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who Needs a Reason for a Random Post?

I don't.

1.)  The Hubs' is officially 40.  4 - 0.  Seriously, it's on his birthday every year that I notice our age difference.  I can remember when my mom turned 40... weird ;)

2.) Ansley is picking up toys now and playing with them.  And I even caught her bouncing (yep, actually bouncing) in her jumper.  Who woulda thought?  And where does the time go?!

(I just love that face)

3.)  Remember the ESV study Bible that I was trying not to make an idol several posts back?  It's in, and I love it.  May have to get a smaller, plain ESV to carry around though.  A friend even joked that some of these ESV Study Bibles would make adequate protection in a storm ;) 
4.)  Speaking of Ansley, she's become a side / tummy sleeper.  Somehow she manages to get to those positions from her back in the confinements of her sleep positioner (that, yes, I still use despite SIDS warnings.)  For some reason she's enjoying sleeping with her face down in the mattress.  Err... just another way to make momma worry. 

5.) Um - confession.  I've been packing up a lot of - dare I say - crap in the house lately.  Stuff we just don't need - stuff that just sits around - stuff that is just something else for me to clean.  And quite frankly - the kids have enough stuff that they actually use right now, I don't need all of mine out that I don't use.  And here's the confession part:  today I went through my closet.  I tried to mentally prepare myself for it.  I knew it wouldn't be fun.  But I tell you what, it's confirmation that Ansley did a number on this body.  Sure - maybe it's that I was two years older having her than I was having Bryton.  Maybe it's that it was a second pregnancy and things take longer to 'go back' (I'm gripping onto that one as hard as I can), or maybe, and this is my guess, is the fact that carrying around 10+ pounds worth of child has a tendency to stretch a girl out.  Just sayin'.  One way or another - I mentally came to grips with getting rid of over half my clothes in my closet (about half of those that were 'hopefuls' after Bryton came - not so much because they didn't fit - just because they didn't fit my hips anymore.)  So there ya go.  I may go cry a river now.  Just kidding.  Kind of.  

It's a good thing I had her sitting in her Bumbo while I was trying all of these articles on.  At least I could look at her and think, "Yeah - you're worth it."  (Although her little mischievous smile kinda irked me a little.  Like she did it on purpose or something...)

6.)  I've been amazed at Bryton lately.  He's learning so many new skills, especially socially, that he's never really expressed before.  He's been wanting to play a lot with us... asking us if he can pitch the ball to us or asking us to play trains with him.  He even played with a little girl at the park the other day.  And his language is getting so much more in depth.  He's totally getting his pronouns down, and he's putting his own words together to make his own phrases, not so much just things he's heard before.  It's very interesting to hear what he has to say.  I can't believe I'm planning a three year old birthday party.  Three?  Seriously?  I'm already worried about empty nesting.  For real. 

7.) Can you say 'hoodies, football, pumpkins, s'mores, leaves, and cooler weather?"  Go ahead - give it a shot, because those are the things I'm reaching for now!  Awww - bliss.  My favorite season of the year... September - December. :)  (If you can call that a season.)

So there ya go - there's my random collection of thoughts.  

Maybe if I'll go through the kids' closets now...


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Hubs' is 40

And I pulled off a surprise birthday party... somehow.  Well - I'll tell you how.  I lied my butt off.  (I wish that was possible, because if it was - I'd say "I lied my baby belly off" :)  anyway...)

I mean - you don't do paperwork for a venue, invite over 100 people (who all kept quiet by the way), buy decor and stuff to make cupcakes, prepare said cupcakes (and then hide them and every trace of them), and make plans to get him at said event without lying.  Yeah - I'll admit - I lied a lot. 

But - I think it was worth it this once ;) (Or until he turns 50... maybe 51, since 50 may be a dead giveaway.) 

So here's a little of the day in pictures:


Over 100 cupcakes prepared for the big day.  The ever so famous Oreo, Smores, Tropical (pineapple with coconut icing) and strawberry.

Strawberry Cupcakes

S'more Cupcakes

Tropical Cupcakes - you aren't going to believe it, but I injured my finger getting the dumb rubber bands off of each of these umbrellas.  Pulled the skin away from the finger nail underneath.  OUCH!

Oreo.  Note to self:  Either a.) Smash up cookies extra extra good or b.) Forget piping icing onto them.  Don't even bother using a tip.

Did I add that we made him ride his bike to his birthday party?  Yep - totally roped him in ;) 
(I'm sure he loved that he was all hot and sweaty showing up for it!) 

Bryton earned 4 'monies' (or quarters in adult language) by picking up all of the streamer parts of the poppers.

Adam and Bryan packed up Adam's grill to heat up some mean hot dogs.

And great fun was had by all.  

Especially by little boys with paper lanterns.  :) 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oh to Learn a New Skill

In my inner-most being I want to be crafty.  Really, I do. 

I can make some cute cupcakes.  And with quite a tutorial I can throw together a cute easy crafty project, but I lack in the 'creativity' and 'teach myself to do it' departments to say the least. 

And of course, I can never choose an easy project to try to tackle, I pick something difficult and something that I need to be taught to do - not something I can teach myself to do.  And of course, it requires tools I don't have on hand either - which would require an investment when I may find out that I totally stink at it anyway or may not like it either.

This time is no different.  Now - I have this urge to create something for my kids each year for Christmas, and I came across a quilt on a blog that I read (yes, I said quilt - did I mention I'm not crafty?) called an "I spy" quilt.  I love love the idea of it! 

It's basically a quilt with a lot of 4 inch squares of easily identifiable objects.  You put them all together, separated by borders and then add a playful border around the whole quilt and lay it out for babies and toddlers to crawl all over and pick out objects.  It would be awesome for Christmas for Ansley and for Bryton (although I really want to make him a super hero outfit, cape and all). 

Problem is?  I have no sewing machine.  I have no expertise in sewing, especially not quilting, and I want to be the one to make it... by Christmas.

That gives me 3 or 4 months to learn how to quilt and do it successfully. 

Hmmm, what to do, what to do?

Here's my inspiration:  Homemade Ginger

Tuesday's To Do

This is helping me prioritize my time.

I actually did quite well yesterday with my goals, but when I got in to picking up the house, I went into major overhaul mode.  What that really means is I decided that I wanted to get so far in depth in it that I began to lack motivation, knowing that the light pick up I had time for would never satisfy me.  So - that being said, today I start the Gregg house overhaul:  Going through every room and asking myself, "Why do we have this?" and seeing if it makes the cut or not.  I see lots of our 'crap' posted on facebook to be someone else's treasure soon. 

We'll see how it goes.

I, obviously, don't expect to get this done today, but would like to get a room done every day or so.  I dread the basement... dread it I tell you.

Anyway - also on my to do list - a promise to blog about something besides what I'm doing during the day. 

It's coming.  Promise.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivate Me Monday

I'm overwhelmed this week.  Seriously, I am.  And the week has just started.  So, I'm going to try breaking things down this week day by day, so this "Motivate me Monday" is just for Monday.  Today's goals:

  • Go to the bank.
  • Menu Plan
  • Pay Bills
  • Pick up House (Clean... maybe... maybe tomorrow)
  • Work on kids' videos and scrapbook to get them caught up.  
  • Laundry.  Lots and lots of laundry
  • Grocery Shop
So - I fell behind just a little bit with all of the party planning last week.  (Speaking of, B is next on the party planning list, with a 3rd birthday right around the corner .  How did that happen?  How did he turn three?  Oy.

Ok - off to do all of the 47 things on my list (or better yet, the 6 that I wrote down here.)


Saturday, August 13, 2011

AHHH! Finally!

I'm normally an awful secret keeper... an even a worse liar.  And for the past - oh - 6 months or so I've had to be both.  (Especially in the last month or so.)

So finally I get to vomit the excitement all over my blog!  (Because I've wanted to write about this all over my motivation Mondays and it was the culmination of my Mystery History blogs, plus I've wanted to write about TONS of party planning ideas.) My hubs is turning 40, and today was his SURPRISE birthday party.  In fact, as this is posting, he is being surprised ;)  Fun, huh!?

In January I decided I had to do something special for his 40th.  It started with a trip away for the two of us (and maybe a couple friends), but then I thought, that's something we may do anyway... and I started investigating the idea of inviting a ton of his friends (ahem - and he has a ton) and having a big 'ole' shindig.  And that idea stuck.

So for months now I've been planning and buying things here and there, stashing stuff around the house (not like we have much room to hide things) and at my parent's house... and this week, well, let's just say that I've been to the store about 100 times (with two kids, by myself), I've baked and iced 100+ cupcakes (without him knowing about it, yeah, I'm good), found a place to have it if it rains, and got a whole shibang worked up to get him there unexpectedly.

I'm excited.  Can you tell? :)

I love him dearly and wanted something memorable for him.  You only turn 40 once, ya know.

So we are spending the night celebrating where God has brought him in this 40 years, and praying for about 60 more ;)

I'll be posting pics soon.  I'll leave you with a list of fabrications I've had to make up to keep him unaware:

  • I knew the house would smell like cupcakes when he came home this week - and I knew B would totally spill the beans about baking cupcakes when Aaron asked him what he'd done during the day.  So I told him that we baked cupcakes for something to do and took them to my dad's business and to my parent's house.  (Which we did the latter - where am I going to store 100+ cupcakes in our house without him seeing them???)
  • I filled two of our coolers up with soda and water and took them to my parent's to cover with ice.  I told him my dad was having a field trial and couldn't find his cooler so he borrowed ours.  (I knew he'd notice them gone from our garage.)
  • A friend of ours has been planning a bike ride with Aaron and B to get him to the pavilion that his party will be held at. 
  • I've told him that I'm going shopping with my mom in the hours before the party because I'll have to have time to set up at some point. 
  • One day I told him the cupcake smell was a Scentsy Bar that I'd had burning ;) 
  • I told him I was doing Scentsy stuff online while I was really getting 1000 messages sent out about party stuff. 
  • And on top of those - tons of little spiders of the bigger lies ;)  
I'm glad to stop the fabrication ;) But it was fun!

Until next time - Happy Early 40th, babe ;) GOTCHA!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Change Change Change

Ok - seriously.  After yesterday's post we tried something monumental.  We put Ansley in her crib, for the first night... ever.  She's slept in her bassinet since, well, day 4 or so.  (Minus the hospital stay and one night that she slept in her bouncy at home.)  The reason why?  Her crib is in Bryton's room.  (Have I mentioned we need three bedrooms?  Ok, just checking.)

Last night went remarkably.  Bryton went in, went right to sleep (she goes to bed before him so we were concerned about him being quiet), and both of them woke this morning around 6:40.  Best of all, I got an entire night sleep.  Of course, I awoke once and panicked slightly that I'd here her talking or something, or that she'd wake him up... so I had to rid myself of the anxiety before I was able to go back to sleep, but by golly, did I sleep!

Tonight - though - Bryton goes to bed, opens his door 4 times (and it's an old - school creaky clicky door), then decides to sing and bounce his feet off of his creaky bed over and over and over again.  Three scoldings and a spankin' later, and he's still in there singing.  Ugh.  I'm watching Ansley on the monitor praying she doesn't wake.  (Which she hasn't... yet.)

Did I mention we need 3 bedrooms?!

Oh well.

Btw - I have a fun post for tomorrow to let you know what I've been doing all week ;)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Every Week is Different

And this is one of the weeks that I'm praying that will be true for next week.  (Can you tell by my posts this week that motherhood has been slightly discouraging?)

Bryton ended up in our bed last night, for the first time ever, I must add.  It was so weird.  At 10 til 3 I wake up to a little body crawling over mine.  He didn't say anything, whimper, nothing, just crawled over me, laid down between the hubs and I, and passed back out like he'd done the very same thing 1000 times before.  Hubs and I have different perceptions on what 'caused' the event.  Granted, Bryton ate an entire green pepper (seeded, of course) from my parent's garden just a half hour before going to bed.  That is hubs' theory.  My theory?  Sleep walking.  I guess we'll see what happens tonight.  (After I let him stay last night, mostly due to the fact that I was exhausted from not sleeping the previous two nights with Ansley talking.)

Fast forward through the night a whole 25 minutes (as I'm still laying there awake trying to figure out how B got into our bed), and Ansley starts her nighttime talking again.  Ugh.  I'm not sure when this phase started, but being that she's in our room, it sure is annoying.  She's got in the habit of talking, and it's totally not in her sleep.  She's not hungry, she doesn't need anything.  She's just awake... for about an hour, or longer... chatting away.  And she's not quiet either.  Did I mention that she's still in our room?  Have I also mentioned that we need a house with three bedrooms? 

So in fighting kicking Bryton, talking Ansley, and snoring hubs... I ended up on the couch, again, for the second night in a row... and slept a whopping 40 minutes after 2:50 a.m.

Are you seeing a little bit why I'm hoping next week is better than this week? 

I'm chalking hers all up to teething (drooling and chewing like mad) or a growth spurt (she's been crying after her bottles are finished and it would half way explain the waking in the middle of the night.)

But, if this continues, I'm getting a hotel room... or maybe I'll sleep in the car, it's been cooler here.  Ok, I'm just kidding, but really, it's not such a bad idea.  This momma would be a little less lion like and a little more sheep like if I could catch a couple of Zzzz's.  And by a couple I mean more than 4 or 5 hours worth. 

I actually do have exciting, not draining stuff, to blog about this week, but you'll just have to wait for it ;)
Until then - go sleep for me... please.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It's a good things.  For real. 

And this girl, well, she needs some of it.

But, while we were away Ansley decided she was going to start waking up in the middle of the night to talk.  And talk.  And talk.  (She's all girl.)

So - I just let her talk.  It's not going to do any good or serve any purpose to get up with her, only problem is, I can't sleep when she's jabbering all night. 

So this girl is tired.  I need a nap.  Or three bedrooms.  Or just for her to return to normal.  Any of those would be great. 

So - that's the reason for the short, scattered post.  I may go take a nap today.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And the Theme Takes on Life Application

You know how you know when you are a parent?  When your child misbehaves in public and you leave more frustrated with those around you than you do with your child, and it isn't because you think your kid is perfect, it's because it's expected for two year olds to act like two year olds, not grown adults.

Ok - so here's the story. 

I was in Wal-Mart today (first mistake), trying to check out, and the cart was too full to coral my son.  He had spent about 10 minutes already looking through the 'junk' that they try to get you to buy in the aisle before you leave, and you could tell he was wearing down.

Right as I was getting ready to pay, he decided he'd take off to the clothing section, which in reality was all of 15 feet away from me.  Frustrating?  Sure.  Complete and utter failure?  Absolutely not. 

So, I calmly, but sternly, tell him to come back to me and hold onto the cart, and, in being obedient, he ran right out into the aisle in front of a woman's cart.  Now, please note, that when I say right in front of what I really mean is that she was easily able to stop about 2 feet from him.  Her look, however, told me that she was completely disgusted by the whole situation. 

She let out a huge audible sigh, put her hand on her hip, pursed her lips together, and gave him a look that about made the bear come out of this momma.  Worse?  He saw the look and slunk back to me as if he'd been beaten... all in his being obedient in coming back to me. 

Someone tell me, what is it that makes people believe that they can treat people so harshly?  Especially children.  Again, as has been the theme today in my life, I'm so grateful for a God who is merciful and gracious, and rude people at the grocery store just remind me how important it is to extend that mercy to others.  (As I did today by not confronting the woman at the grocery store, as badly as I wanted to.)

Overall - all ended well, but I think said woman was feeling badly because (and God has such a sense of humor), as I was putting Bryton in the car I was praising him for being obedient when I called him and explaining to him how important it is that he stay with me.  In turning around I realized that the woman who had been so hateful was parked right next to me loading her groceries into her car and had overhead the entire conversation with B.  She not only would not make eye contact, but rushed into her car and out of the parking lot before a single word could have been exchanged. 

Praying that I remember to extend the mercy to others that I want for myself, and even moreso for my children.


An Expression of Independence

It's a good thing God has more patience with us than we do with our children sometimes.  Bryton is going through this do everything on my own streak, which is a good thing in light of the fact that it will, eventually, make him more capable and independent, but the attitude in which he goes about expressing his independence can be, errr, less than desirable

Just this morning he went to use the potty and, after he'd been there for some time.  I went to check on him and noticed that he was struggling getting his pants pulled back up over his rear.  His underwear was up, but he just couldn't quite get the back of his pants.  Of course, I should have known better, but I walked over to him and in the midst of saying, "Here, let momma help you," he came unglued and was on the floor crying.  My reaction?  I raise my hands (as if I'm washing them of the situation), and I say, "Fine.  I won't help.  Do it on your own,"  and I walked off. 

And I wonder - does God ever just hold up his hands and say, "Fine.  You think you have this figured out, YOU do it?"  Because, Lord help us if He does. 

It also reminds me how annoying my stubbornness has to be to God, because, let's be honest, folks, the stubbornness of our children works on our nerves.   It is a great reminder of God's patience and mercy, being that He could take us out whenever He wanted.

So, today, I'll be ever thankful to a merciful God and will work diligently to allow God to display that mercy, through me, to my children.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Motivate Me Monday

Whew.  Finally home, so today has been busy and we have spent almost all day (minus the two hours of driving this morning) trying to get the house cleaned up, laundry started, the house cooled back down, and our mail and packages gone through.  (Ahem - I shop for cheap, right?  We have several packages throughout the week.) 

So - I feel like we spent a great deal of time today doing all of the things that I'd have on this list, but believe it or not, there is more.  I'm serious.  There's more to mention than I can list here, but let's just say you're going to watch the blog as the week and weekend move along.  I should be much more blog attentive this week, and there's some secret missions and all going on here ;)

That being said, here's the just of the week:

  • I'm on a mission for a cute, inexpensive outfit for Ansley for six month pictures.  *GASP*  My baby is almost six months old.  
  • I have Scentsy business to take care of this week.  
  • I'm getting a chore chart made up for Bryton this week.  I would have never expected this to be this difficult.  It's so hard finding a balance between having things he can do (as a two year old, none the less) to earn some extra money to learn how to give, save and spend, but also know that there are some things he does because he is part of this family.  It's time to get it going, though, for sure. 
  • The rest of the week will be 'resettling' - getting schedules back, laundry done, bills paid, you know, all of the normal household managing things.    
So that's my week... should be more in depth posts this week!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Babies Have Been Much Missed

And I'm on my way to see them.

There's always a time for time away... much needed, precious time with the husband.  Much needed, precious time for the chaos on my brain to be organized and shelved, until I get home, of course, and precious chaos resumes.

And what would life be without the chaos?  That chaos is the epitome of, the overflow of, a love that I am blessed and privileged to experience. 

It will most certainly be a blessed reunion.  A reunion mixed with hugs and train playin', potty goin' and diaper changin', all blessed privileges that I've missed whole-heartedly the last several days.

Whoever said that having children is to forever have your heart walking around outside your body nailed it.

My body may have been in Texas, but my heart was swimmin' and splashin' and snoozin' in Missouri.

Ready for those babies back! 

Back to normal postin' tomorrow!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

6 Years Ago, the 6th

The Lord made us one.  We promised forever.  To have and to hold.  To cherish.  To love deeply.  To weep together.  To rejoice together.  To do life together.  And - without me knowing it - to learn an inner depth of God's heart learned only through marriage.

The Lord has taught me - as I can only speak for myself - a wealth about His love and His character through this entire idea of marriage.

He's taught me what sacrifice looks like.

He's taught me how to love despite circumstances.

He's taught me the idea of Christ's love for His bride.

He's taught me that if you go to great lengths to bridge great divides, the result is a stronger, more trusting relationship.

He's allowed me to see the yuck that is sinfulness within myself.

He's allowed me to grow in respect and submission.

He's allowed me the privilege to see first hand how commitment must look.

And He's shown me the importance of one holy love, not being able to love one without hating another.  One man.  One woman.  Loving Jesus forever, together.  All for the glory of God.

So glad to call you husband, babe.  Love you more today than you could know.

-Alicia Marie

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scentsy 10% off in August

I told you I won't blog about it much, and I won't, but I'd mention this even if I didn't sell it!  (As I'm all about scoring good deals on products I love.)

Through the entire month of August *most* products are 10% off!  And when I say *most*, I mean *most*!  (The only products that aren't are the products where a portion of the sales go directly someplace else, like colleges or organizations, or are combine and save offers that would discount the products so much that the company wouldn't make any money on them!)

 (This warmer is called "English Ivy".)

Anyway - if there's ever a time to go check Scentsy out (you can do that here), it is now!

ALSO - beware that many customer favorites are being discontinued at the start of the fall / winter catalog (which starts in September), so August is also the time you will want to get in on those discontinued items before they are gone!

The list of items to be discontinued is as follows (I'm 'starring' my favorites!):

Full Size Warmers:

Piece by Piece (Autism awareness warmer)
Square Brown DIY

Mid Size Warmers:


Plug In Warmers:



Berry Blush
Berry Tart*  
Cherry Limeade 
Citrus Sun Tea*  
Cranberry Mango 
Cranberry Muffin 
Faerie Blossom* 
Forever Pink*
Groovy Grapefruit
Honey, Do!  
Inner Peace
Lilacs & Violets
Lush Gardenia 
Mulberry Bush 
Mums & Marigolds (this seems to be a customer favorite) 
Red Candy Apple 
Reggae Sunset*
Surfer Chick 
Tea Party  
You Go, Girl*

Again - go check it out and snatch stuff up while it's cheapest!  OR - get in on a really great time to earn hostess incentives and book a party!  Even if you are far away!  This allows you to get more from your free hostess rewards and also for you half price items!!!  It's not too late to book for August!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fruits of the Spirit

So I was trying to figure out an art project that would stick the fruits of the spirit blatantly in our faces, often, and I just couldn't figure out any way that I thought I'd like to do it.  I did a lot of research on the internet and decided I wanted 9 different frames... all with pictures that I felt represented the fruits of the spirit.  I could then take the framed pictures and make a little, hmm, mosaic, if you will, on the wall. 

Though I don't have them framed yet, I do have the pictures chosen and branded, and I wanted to share them with you.  (I'll be sure to share with you the finished wall project when it does, indeed, get finished.)

(this is Bryton above and below... could he be any more different???)

 Like I said - I'll make sure to show you the finished product, well, when it's finished :)


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Snowballs in... August

Told'ja I like Christmas and could talk about it all the time, but I love my mom's 'Snowball' recipe so much, I want to share it with you!  (Afterall - you may be fixin' new stuff to try to see if you want to include it in your own traditions, right?  Right.)

So here it is - marvelous Snowballs!

Melt in saucepan:

1 stick oleo
1 c. sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 ¾ cup chopped dates

Take off burner.  Add:
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. pecans
3 c. Rice Krispies

Let cool.  Make into ¾ inch balls.  Roll in coconut or powdered sugar. 

By the way - I've never had them rolled in coconut.  I'm a traditionalist when it comes to stuff like this, so I don't know that I'd like it, but if it's new to you either way and you try the coconut, let me know how they turn out! 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What do you do on a hot summer day?

When you have no pool, yard, or real amount of shade?

Apparently, you play in a cooler.  At least that's what we do in our family.  As it started, I just intended to fill up the cooler and let Bryton play with cups and pitchers and such.  When I turned around from putting the hose down I saw this...

And he was totally stoked about it.  It was hot, folks, so who was I to rain on his parade?  

He pretty much took care of gettin' himself wet...

And he loved every minute of it...

Even dumping all of the water through the space in between the lid was amusing to him.  I had to fill the cooler up three times.  Oh well - it was hot. 

What do you do to cool off when it's hot out?  


Monday, August 1, 2011

This Could Be the Grossest Blog I Ever Write

And I apologize in advance... but this girl needs to vent. 

You want to know how my weekend went?  Here goes.

Bryton went to VBS this week.  Now, I'm not a germ-a-phobe completely (really, I'm not), but I do try to protect my kids through teaching good hygiene etc, and this year, I debated even sending B because he's gotten sick every year I've sent him prior.  Though, the social aspect outweighs the looming sickness, this year I was hesitant because I need he and Ansley well for when Aaron and I leave them for almost a week to go on vacation.  (Yeah - for my own peace of mind.)

Ugh.  Well, again, the social aspect and Jesus aspect of it all outweighed the possibility of him getting sick, and Aaron and I decided it was worth the risk, and everything was peachy until Thursday.

Thursday, I had been wrestling around with Bryton, holding him upside down by his ankles, swinging him through my legs, etc etc etc.  About 5 minutes later Aaron and I were talking in the kitchen, where B was playing, and just out of nowhere - no warning, Bryton throws up all over our kitchen floor. 

My heart immediately drops, and I race for the thermometer as Aaron is cleaning up chunky hot dog all over the floor.  (Hotdog in which Bryton is exclaiming:  "There Bryton's hotdog.  It smell good." Yeah, seriously.  Didn't phase him it all, obviously.)  I take his temperature.  Nothing.  Totally normal.  I continue taking his temp as the night goes on.  Nothing.  And on top of that, he's just as energetic, still eating like normal, still drinking like normal, etc.  So - we conclude that I probably upset his stomach swinging him and holding him upside down and we move on with life... with relief I may add.

Friday comes around and we send him to VBS.  He's never had a fever, and he's acting normal.  Totally normal.  Friday night I had a slumber party with the girl's in our youth group, and I had to run to the store to get a few things.  I come home and Aaron tells me that our kid, who is still acting normal, has experienced the other symptom of a stomach bug but just once, and he seemed fine ever since. 

Now - I will say, a handful of times on Friday Bryton had exclaimed to us that his tummy hurt, but it never stopped him from anything.  So needless to say - I was just a little surprised (and a lot discouraged) by this news. 

BUT - the night continues normally, Bryton plays like normal, eats like normal, and goes to bed like normal.

And Saturday is a completely normal day - all around.

Thankful that whatever was wrong is obviously better (we'd gone 24 hours between episode 1 and 2, and now we'd gone more than 24 hours since the last episode... and still no fever at all), we put kids to bed and get ready for church Sunday morning.

And I should have known.  Bryton has been getting up between 6 and 6:45 to go pee in the morning, and I had the opportunity to get ready for church and have to wake him up to get him ready at about 7:40.  I walked into his room to get Ansley's clothes, and I noticed the room smelled funny.

*You know where this is going.*

At some point through the night, B had thrown up all over his bed, and he'd slept in it.  

This is a cruel joke, right?

Wrong.  So here I am - in church clothes, trying to get my kid out of bed, into the bathtub, and all of his bedclothes outside to hose them off. 

If only I knew what was in store for me that day.

Again - B acted completely normal.  He was totally stoked to be getting a bath that early in the morning, played as usual, threw fits as usual, ate as usual.  Etc. 

About 11 o'clock I'm thinking to myself, "Well - maybe that was the end of it," (Still no fever, btw) when I'm sitting by Ansley on her playmat and she proceeds to throw up the entire bottle I'd fed her an hour earlier. 

Now, I've always wondered if I'd know the difference between throw up and spit up in an infant.  B was a major spitter and there were many time we wondered if he was throwing up or spitting up.  I now know that he was never throwing up.  Watching an infant throw up is a scary thing for everyone involved.

And I seriously wanted to cry.  We leave in 2 days and now my baby is sick, and I know how fast they dehydrate. 

And - she threw up her entire bottle later in her sleep during her nap.

And she threw up 3 more times after I got her up.

Before my (lovely) day was over, I'd made a trip to Wal-Mart for pedialyte, something I'd never bought before. 

As far as I know - Ans was able to keep down 6 ounces of that last night before bed.  She got no more formula. 

So now it's a waiting game.  Today is the big day to leave... tomorrow we leave them for several days with grandparents. 

Please pray for my babies - it's one thing to leave a toddler throwing up - they are a little easier to manage and don't dehydrate near as fast.  It's not that I love him any less, I know that his body is better developed to handle it.  Pray that this will be a 24 hour thing for Ansley and she'll be able to keep her formula down today, as I'm getting ready to try it again...

This momma needs peace of mind.  And she needs the relief, and the nourishment. 

And I'm clinging to Lamentations 3:22-24
"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for him.”

Because, I'll be honest - yesterday, I'd had it.  I wanted to run away.  I wanted to cry, and at one point I did.  Someone had a quote on their facebook yesterday that said something to the effect of, "Sometimes everyday routine can seem more difficult and monumental than an extraordinary feat," and I couldn't agree more.  I would have rather ran a marathon yesterday (and I do not run) than deal with what I did.

Ugh - so I'm praying for a legit new day.  And for health.  And protection.  And peace. 

Hope ya'lls weekends were better than mine. 

Now I'm off to fill my daughter with some pedialyte to see if she can hold it down to try some formula.

Until next time -



Motivate Me Monday

This is a strange week.  Aaron and I leave for a trip this week, so there's about 10,000 things to do, but they have to be done today.  

So, here is a look at what today holds:

  1. Do all of the laundry left to do in the house. 
  2. Finish packing.
  3. Get all dishes cleaned up and put away.
  4. Start my August in Review pictures (which I'm thoroughly excited about, btw.)
  5. Get some blogs scheduled, just in case...
Now - off to get 'er done.  (I can't stand that guy.  Sorry, mini-vent.)