Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vacation Day

Myles was...thrilled.
Today, I took a vacation day.  It's Wednesday.  I used to be off every Wednesday.  Last week, I had a rough week.  I emailed Ben and (in a slightly whiny written voice) about never having a day off anymore to do fun things with my kiddies.  His answer... "Plan a vacation day."  Duh!  Not sure why it took him telling me what to do to think of that.

The day didn't start out exactly as we imagined.  A snow day kept us home from Jillian's field trip ice skating.  The bright side?  Myles was home for the day with us!!  Bonus!  After three calls to different ice skating rinks in the area, we found an open skate and planned our day around it.  We made our own field trip for the day.

The kids have never been skating.  They had these grandiose ideas of figure eights and gliding on the ice.  Jillian had planned to "step, step, glide".  Yeah, sure...  And...well...I'm not exactly shoes, let alone skates.  We managed to last all of 15 minutes.  In fact, I think it took longer to lace up our skates than we spent on the ice.  They had no supports for tiny tots, so Myles was dependent on the wall and I held both of Jillian's hands.  Myles fell a dozen times at least.  It was so adorable to watch his little skates do a cartoon style run trying to stay balanced...falling every time.  We chalked it up to a fail.  We'll try again some other time.
Then, it was on to the Children's Museum.  There was a new Africa exhibit and we spent the entire time there.  Here are a few pictures...

Myles loved watching himself on the camera and he drummed and natives danced.
 Scooter with chickens headed for a market anyone?
 Not even sure what to say about this picture...
 Jillian was so engrossed in imaginary play in this I have never seen her before.
 She made food at this fire pit for at least an hour.  Love the skirt.  It was women's sized wrapped around her tiny waist twice.  She was in the zone.
 Getting more food at the market to make over an open fire.

Our day was awesome.  I miss the days at home with them so badly.  Thank goodness for today.  It was a great break from our routine...for all of us.  Today I am making a commitment to sanity...and my kids.  I will take regular vacation days to do our old "normal things" like a trip to the library, museum, out to lunch...whatever the day brings us.  Not all vacation days have to be for "vacations".  Or, maybe that is the point in itself.  Spending a fun day with my kids is the vacation.  

Still finding my way.  My balance.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
  • Youth basketball pictures...with a front tooth missing.  Classic.  Brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.  Even cuter?  There was a hoop in the backdrop of the photo.  When he walked up, he posed as if he was about to shoot with his back to the camera.  They had to tell him to turn around and face the camera.
  • After debating for months, tonight I finally ordered barstools for my kitchen counter.  Actually, I have not hit the order button yet, but writing this will force me to...right?
  • Despite being sick, Myles always has a smile and sweet words for me.  
  • I saw a hilarious marketing write up yesterday.  "SWAGGER body wash from Old Spice is for the man who holds complete works of Aristotle in one hand, and a delicious sandwich in the other."  I couldn't make this stuff up!!  Someone did though!  Guess they are trying to appeal to every type of man??  Or no type of man??
  • Ashlee's time on the Bachelor has come to an end.  That girl was a little too "love of my life" over the top for me.  I caved for the first time ever and read what Reality Steve has to say about this season.  Don't worry...I won't tell.
  • Songza.  I have the free app on my phone and it is with me on every ride in the car now.  It's even better than Pandora.
  • Changing the batteries in a Dreamlite tonight was enough to bring me to rockstar status in the eyes of a tiny one.
  • A special hug from my husband tonight.  Feels just like home to me...every time.
  • Peeking through the window at dance to see my baby girl twirling and shaking it at dance class. 
  • Tomorrow Jillian's preschool class is going ice skating.  She is so excited and it is the first time that she is doing something new that her brother has never done before (besides dance class).   Hoping I can make it through without being that mom that brought her own kid down on the ice. Doubtful.
  • Breakfast stew.  We have it all the time in our house.  Hashbrowns, sausage, cheese, and eggs mixed together.  If we are feeling fancy, we will do the eggs over-easy on top of the rest of the ingredients (instead of just scrambling and mixing it in together).  Awesome.  Sometimes we even make it into Breakfast Ring - where I put the stew into a crescent roll ring and bake.
  • Myles is so proud to be bathing himself and washing his hair on his own.  I love that all of the things that he learns that make my life easier are such a source of pride for him.  Mr. Independent.
I'm Better Off Without List...
  • Falling down the stairs...again.  Next time, I vow to NOT try and stop myself with the handrail.  Every time it just cranks my shoulder for no good reason because, frankly, I'm going down either way.
  • Last week when I thought nothing else could go wrong on a particular lucky (read sarcastically) day, the kids and I ran inside and scattered to different bathrooms throughout the house.  My pick?  No toilet paper.  Both kids were occupied in other bathrooms.  I had to do the waddle of shame.  Oh, yes I did.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thank You.


I have no words to describe my overwhelming emotions at the response to my last post.  Well, that is not entirely true...I can always find at least a few words...  (Thus, the whole blog thing, right?)

I am so saddened to learn that so many of you friends have gone through this experience.  There are so many beautiful angel babies in Heaven.

So many women from near and far sent me messages describing their experiences with miscarriage and what helped them through the rough days.  So many women, in fact, that I am stock-piling resources, books, and prayers to guide me through.

I thank you.

A few resources from my amazing readers (friends):

Heaven is For Real (A Book)
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (A Book)
Hearts in Heaven Devotions (A Website with Devotions)

A children's prayer for comfort:

Do not fear, I am here,
And I love you, my dear. 
Close your eyes and sleep tight,
For tomorrow will be bright.
All is well, dear child.

And...a quote that had me weeping on the couch during American Idol tonight...

"An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth. 
Then whispered as she closed the book "too beautiful for earth."
~author unknown

All of this wonderful guidance paired with words of love, friendship, and support was more than I could have ever imagined.

Hugs, friends.  

Thanks for being so awesome.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We lost a baby this weekend.  I had a miscarriage.

Last week was a hard week.  {Understatement.}  If you have read my last few posts, you already know that.  My week was filled with blood tests, prayers, hopes, and eventually loss.

I have debated about addressing this open wound in my heart in this public forum...and today I decided to take the jump and share.  Not many women talk about the loss of a pregnancy, but amazingly, when I did...I realized just how many women have felt the pain I am feeling.  Felt the loss I have realized.  If it was not for the help of some of these amazing women over the course of the last week or so, I would not be coping the way that I am.  Women helping women.  I love that.  That is why I needed to share.

I have always appreciated the amazingly healthy pregnancies that brought me my two greatest gifts, Myles Jacob and Jillian Kate.  Yet, now, after experiencing something other than a perfectly healthy pregnancy...I realize a whole other view point.

I'm sure over time I will share more of my feeling about the loss of a tiny baby, with dreams that will never be realized.  The mess of emotions that comes with the experience.  The faith necessary to let go of the worry and leave it up to God as you wait to lose something that you want and love with all of your heart.  All the while, still hoping for that tiny sliver of a chance that the doctors could be wrong.  Nothing to do...just wait...

Then, it happens.  Again, it is not in your control.  Nothing is in your control.  All those pregnant feelings leave your body and the physical and emotional pain is overwhelming and draining.

The hardest part was telling my children.  The excitement about a little brother or sister had been pure delight.  I was amazed at the amount of joy they had for our pending fifth family member.  So I knew, they would be devastated about the loss...just like I was.  And I had to tell them.  I did my research and decided how we would break the news to them.  I can't tell you my exact words, but the analogy I used was that of a garden.  In a garden, we plant seeds.  Sometimes they grow and sometimes they don't.  The baby was like a seed that God planted.  Our baby didn't grow.  This concept was very easy for my kids to understand.  In fact, Myles was one step ahead of me through the discussion and he could immediately tell what that meant.  Tears from my children over the loss are the tears that sting on my own face.

We continue to have open dialogue as the kids want to discuss the baby that we lost.  I can see them healing.  I can see them hopeful that one day we may receive another gift from God.

I am so thankful for the amazing support system that I have.  An amazing husband, family, and friends. I am thankful.

I also want to hand over the opportunity for other to share their experiences.  Women helping women.  Feel free to comment below, or contact me to discuss how you can share.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Half Full.

Sometimes when I have a bad day...or weekend...or's the little things that bring me through.  I am reminded that God only gives us as much as we can handle and I find comfort in knowing that I can make it through.  My family, my friends, and my faith...such an amazing support system.  Oh, and I can't forget chocolate.

There have been a few surefire ways to cheer me up this week.  I thought I would share a few of them...

  • Breakfast in bed.  Seriously!  It wasn't even Mother's Day.  Cinnamon bread french toast.  Amazing.
  • I have a pile of gifts from Jillian this weekend.  Pages and pages of of drawings that she made me.  Her final gift?  A butterfly candle from her room.  "Momma, since you don't feel good...I wanna give you my butterfly candle.  I have a Dreamlite and you don't.  You could use this candle instead."  She is amazing.
  • A surprise pizza delivery sent from my sister in Georgia.  Seriously?  Ding-dong.  Pizza, breadsticks, and salad at my door with a pizza boy saying that even the tip has been paid.  No effort dinner and it tastes even better when you didn't pay for it.  :)
  • Friendly and supportive texts, notes, and phone calls.
  • A second delivery this weekend.  You won't even believe this one...  Beer and ice cream.  For real.
  • Hugs from tiny hands.  Myles has such a sensitive heart and he shows it. Love that.
  • Cuddling with a brand new, sweet smelling, squishy soft baby.  Less than a week old and simply adorable.  I soaked in her babyness (yes, it is a made up word, but I love it)...and even loved changing her diaper.
  • Watching Myles play basketball and relish in every single basket that he made.  
  • Tulips.
  • A daily passage book to read and learn from.
  • Working in Myles's classroom and connecting with his little friends.  They each have such special hearts.
  • Chocolate.
  • Cuddling on the couch surrounded by blankets and pillows.
  • An MSU win or two.  
I am truly blessed and listing out these amazing blessings proves it.  AND - I didn't even list all of the amazing people making these "things" happen!  Blessed for sure.

Having a bad day?  Think through all of the things that went well.  The people that make your day, week, life special.  That's what really counts.  Let God take care of the rest of it.  We can't control everything anyway.  I learn that lesson...daily.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

TV Nights

I've been neglecting you a bit...  Sorry, friends.  Honest truth was that I had a rough week last week and I actually wrote two posts...and never hit publish.  But, I'm here today and that has to count for something!

So, on to a lighter note - who controls the remote in your house?  This is usually never an issue for us...well...unless you count Monday nights,when I just have to watch the Bachelor.  It drives my husband absolutely nuts.  Don't ask me why he doesn't like watch women bicker, claw, fight, and whine their way into the heart of a single man.  This is real life romance...or a train-wreck with highlights and bikinis.  Either way, it is a Monday must.  So, he retreats to the living room.  I feel bad that we aren't together for the night, but then at least he doesn't witness the full effects of the typical popcorn, cereal, or cookie-fest that occurs as the drama unfolds.

Most nights, we can come to an easy conclusion about what to watch together.  Luckily we have similar interests and I don't mind watching sports on TV, so we are good to go.  We have had a few bad influences from some of Ben's friends...  Shows like Moonshiners, Amish Mafia, and Duck Dynasty tried to infiltrate our evenings.  Thank goodness it was a short-lived phase.  I would rather watch Yo Gabba Gabba or Power Rangers.  Well, maybe not Power Rangers, but that is a whole other topic (How the heck are those guys cool again?!?)

Sometimes on the long days that seem like they are never going to end, I look forward to the mindless TV time.  I love to sit in my pjs, cuddled under my blanket, hanging out with Ben.  (No, he doesn't use a blanket and he thinks I'm crazy to use one even in the summer.)  There is just something so cozy knowing that my kiddos are tucked snug in their beds dreaming sweet dreams while we watch the latest murder mystery unfold on network television...or the DVR.  It's the simple comforts that I love.  Hope you are cozy on the couch tonight...enjoying every last minute of the weekend before the work week begins again.  Go ahead and eat that piece of pizza from Saturday night calling your name.  I just did.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My New Level of Perfection

Things aren't perfect.  They can't be.  Raising children is not an exact science.  We learn from imperfection.  We grow through our mistakes.  We are better parents for it.

I am learning to accept a new level of "perfection" as I make my way through my second month working full time outside of the home.  I have officially lowered my standards.  Don't get me wrong, I still want the best for my kids all the time.  We eat well, we care for them with all of our hearts...but I can't sweat the small stuff.

I'm writing today from the waiting room at dance class.  I call it the Thursday crazy rush.  A mad dash from work, to pick up both kids, and get to dance on time.  Quite a wacky race.  From here, we are headed to parent-teacher conferences.  The entire time I was racing from the office to school today I am telling myself...

It's dance class.  Not the Olympics.  She can be late.  It's not the end of the world.

We made it on time.  We rushed into the door, put on her ballet slippers and I began the full-on purse dump in search of a hair tie.  Not a single one in sight.  Not in her dance bag, my work bag, or my purse.  How could this be?  I was contemplating pulling the band holding my mess of a ponytail out (which I just could not bring myself to's bad).  So, I came to the conclusion that I will just ask her teacher for one.  Admit that I am too crazy and unorganized today to follow the rules and have my daughter's hair completely pulled back...and ask for one.  Then I see mom friend.  A beacon of light.  I ask her for a hair tie and the problem is solved.  Thank goodness for mom friends.  We have to have each other's backs.  It is a mode of survival.

The thing is...does it really matter?  I have found myself asking this question inside my busy mom guilt head every day.  Does it matter she didn't have a hair tie?  Not at all.  She will still have a wonderful time at dance today.  It has no bearing on her day.  Caring about it...that's on me.  I've decided to let it go. 

Myles's school called the other day because he was sure that he was supposed to be picked up that day and there was no note in his bag.  Our communication lines must have gotten crossed and he must have been confused (he was supposed to ride the bus - thus, no note), but does it even matter?  It's not like the bus dropped him off to an empty house.  Sure, they had to call me, but he got home safe and sound just fine.  It doesn't matter.  Let it go.

Things around me lately have been moving faster than they used to.  Sometimes I feel like I am on fast-forward.  In fact, I think I am even typing faster than normal right now.  It's my new current state and we are adapting.  It's working out least some new level of perfect.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...

  • Snow ice cream.  Probably shouldn't advocate for eating snow...but the kids were gobbling the white stuff by the fistful while we were playing outside, so I grabbed a bowl full of fresh powder and got to work.  It was quick to make and tasted awesome!  Here is the recipe.  You know me, I didn't follow it exactly, but close enough!
  • Myles and his overwhelming excitement about earning lunch with the principal for his reading efforts.
  • A weekend movie with the kiddos.  They were ecstatic and movie popcorn and candy makes a great day even better.  We actually made it through the entire movie without someone (Myles) getting scared!  When the credits started to roll Jillian said, "Mom, Myles didn't even cry this time!"
  • Yesterday while I was making dinner, Jillian ran and got a piece of yellow paper and started working on a masterpiece for a "very very very special person".  I was so honored to be the recipient a half hour later.  Love her.
  • Our last minute Superbowl party with family.  Throw together a taco bar and you officially have a party!
  • A lunch date with my husband today.  How awesome.  He came up to my work for a quick lunch together.

I'm Better Off Without List...

  • A week between blog posts.  I've missed you, friends!
  • The safety at the end of the Superbowl that was a pointless play, but cost me the big win in the office pool.
  • Chips and salsa overdose on Monday night during the Bachelor.  You know it's bad when you go to put your slippers back on to go up to bed...and crunch a chip that was hiding inside.