Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We Have Nothing To Fear ...

... but, well, everything, if we so choose.

Okay. So, my husband enlightened me this evening to the fact that I allow fear to dictate some of the areas of my life. Fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of change, etc. While I typically embrace the unknown, he's right. Frankly, the unknown terrifies me at times. And embracing something terrifying can be a little, well, awkward, really.

I think his words were "Worry Warthog". My husband actually referred to his pregnant wife as a WARTHOG. But that doesn't make me afraid. That makes me laugh.

As is usual when it comes to any sort of evaluation of Yours Truly a la my husband, he's totally right. Fear does creep into my life and dictate my perception of things. It clouds my vision to the unforeseen joy that also exists amidst the change or situation. I hate that it does those things because I cannot trust God completely and also live in fear. I have to choose one or the other. And I hate that sometimes I choose fear.

Choose fear.

Hmmm. Yes, I think I just typed something I hadn't thought of before. I guess I choose fear, don't I. I suppose we always have a choice. Why on earth would I choose fear over trusting the Creator of the Universe who knows everything, even knowing His "Worry Warthog" would be typing a post on fear on this exact evening? Sheesh. I'm lame.

What I do not appreciate about fear is the way it consumes me. Fear can kind of seem harmless sometimes, like it's okay to be just a little afraid. Or, more so, we convince ourselves that fear is natural. Natural, maybe, but also contradictory to the trust in God I mentioned earlier. Before we know it, that small fear creeps into other areas of our lives until it permeates everything. And then, suddenly, everything feels very out of control. Like we're spinning and we can't stop. When, in reality, we've just chosen fear rather than trust. Fear brews chaos, while trust welcomes peace.

I was about to type "We don't have any huge life changes coming up that I should be afraid of ..." and then it hit me that Yes, actually, birthing another child and becoming a family of four might be what some consider a LIFE CHANGE. Honestly, I'm not afraid of the birth or the baby. I'm just afraid we won't do it right. The same thing I struggled with when it came to Cub. Am I doing this right?? And it turns out I've done some things well and some things not so well, and Cub is just fine. Trust. Not fear.

So, tonight, as I sit here in bed with a bowl of Special K awaiting me, I'm taking a sigh and choosing trust. I know myself and thusly I know that I will be choosing trust several times a day, as I am, after all, a Worry Warthog. But my husband also said that he's glad he married me and that he loves me. Despite my obvious shortcomings. And that empowers me to trust.

My thoughts on a Tuesday night.

Have a lovely day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thumb-Sucking and the Elderly.

Okay, a couple of random Mom-ish things. Heregoes!

Firstly: Did you have a thumb-sucker? If so, how early did you break the habit and how did you accomplish said breaking of habit? Cub is typically a sleep-only thumb-sucker, which we're okay with for now, but I've noticed him sneaking it every now and then while he's awake (we ask him to take it out). He's also teething, so other fingers end up in his mouth, too. As of now I don't feel like I'm in a hurry to break the habit, since it isn't what I consider an issue yet (he doesn't suck it when he's scared or upset or shy, which would be a red flag to me, I think).

When I was five my parents put vinegar on my thumb. YEEEK. That did the trick.

Secondly, MANNERS. What do y'all think about the whole "yes ma'am", "yes, sir" thing? I realize some of it is considered cultural, but I like it when it is used in reference to addressing someone older, like Mr. Bob and Miss Lulu at church or something like that. I don't expect Cub to refer to me as a ma'am, but I think it's respectful to the elderly. When it comes to my friends or adults he meets that aren't necessarily in the "elderly" category, I think "Miss" or "Mister" is appropriate. I remember having no clue what to call my Mom's friends when I was little. Let's say she had a friend named Patty Mitchell. I remember wondering if I should call her Patty or Mrs. Mitchell?? Patty was too casual, I thought, but Mrs. Mitchell was a bit stiff. It was hard for me to know what was right or wrong when it came to addressing her. I think the whole "Miss Patty" thing is a happy medium. It shows respect and familiarity at the same time. I've already found myself introducing Cub to people using a "Miss" or "Mister" title and I think I like it.

So. What are your thoughts??

Have a lovely day!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wake-Up Call.

This morning at 5:45, my eyes popped open as I thought I heard Cub over the monitor. I laid in bed, anxiously, straining to hear another coo, or whine, or cry, or whatever it is I thought I heard, and then I heard it again! A coo-ish whine!

It was coming from my husband. Next to me. Asleep.


I rolled over and grabbed my cell phone. Ouch. 5:45 is way too early for me. So, naturally, I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to talk myself into going back to sleep. But, to no avail. I eventually gave up at 6:15 and waddled into the kitchen to prepare a pot of coffee. I had a new package of Dunkin' Donuts Dark Roast waiting for me, and the glorious aroma of simply breaking the seal on said package was enough to already lighten my mood. Mmm.

We have a small window over our sink and it faces our side yard and the homes across the street. I've grown to love having a window over my kitchen sink and I think I might make that a requirement of the home we purchase next, way down the road. Whether it's the sunlight slanting in at dusk or the ability to keep an eye on Cub as he toddles around outside, I just love having that large square of natural light to keep me company as I do dishes.

This morning, the natural light was all but pitch black. I grabbed a mug from the cabinet next to our sink and glanced out the window again, this time noticing that our neighbor's lights were also on. I couldn't see inside, of course (and I wasn't trying to), but there was something very comforting about knowing that, for whatever reason, they were awake, too.

And, as is par for the course with Yours Truly, my mind began to wander to all of the early mornings I used to have with Cub. Several of which I remember, simply because I blogged about them. One particular morning, when he was getting over RSV, he woke up at 4:30 in the morning and it took me only a few minutes to realize that he was, in fact, very much awake, and that I might as well give up on trying to put him back to sleep. He was only a few months old then, and I remember carrying him gently across the dark house and starting a pot of coffee, identical to the pot I just brewed this morning. I think I even used the same kind of creamer. I was so tired, SO TIRED, but in that dark morning it was just he and I, and looking back, I adoringly treasure that memory.

And as I sat here in my dark kitchen this morning, all alone, I realized how long it has been since I've gotten up with Cub. I usually wake up first and check on him after 7:30, finding him sitting in bed with Mr. Lion, smiling. It's something I've gotten used to, something that I honestly kind of like, getting showered and having breakfast started before he wakes up. I like getting the house ready before the house wakes up, you know? I think it's in my personality. As I sipped my coffee and checked my e-mail, I felt Naomi stretch and push against my ribs. And I smiled when I realized that those early mornings are about to begin all over again, in just a few months. While my husband is sleeping in our room and Cub is fast asleep in his big boy bed, I will be walking softly across the living room to Naomi's room, getting her out of her crib for whatever reason, and we will have our early morning together.

Of course, I also realize that Cub will quite possibly also wake up at the sound of us, which means I will have an early morning with both of my little chickadees.

And maybe because I am pregnant, or maybe because it's early, or maybe because it's just me and it's the way I am, but the thought of those mornings has made one very imposing tear slide slowly down my cheek. Sometimes it is in the quiet and dark moments of our day, in the unexpected moments, we realize how blessed we are, and that realization is wonderfully overwhelming. And maybe seeing my neighbor's light made me understand that we are never alone in it, and that those moments where we realize we can't fence time become all the more precious to us.

Even, simply, the anticipation of them.

So, as you start your day today, think about those moments. Or, you can think about me, sitting at our kitchen table with bed head and a mug of coffee and now several tears streaming down my cheeks, and you can have a good laugh. It's barely 7:00 and I've already had one good cry today.

But, like those other mornings, I wouldn't trade this morning for anything, either.

Have a lovely day.

Bon Weekend, Friends.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Meal! Organization!

After writing my post about our crazy grocery shopping attempt, I felt inspired to share how we do the whole grocery shopping/dinner meal planning thing at our house. I love sharing ideas and getting ideas from fellow friends and bloggers, so I thought I'd toss my routine out there, in case someone, somewhere might find it helpful!

Firstly, let me introduce you to the main unit of organization in our home: Our refrigerator.

Before having Cub, I was set on keeping a very clean refrigerator surface. No loose papers. No magnets. Just clean and smooth. After I had Cub, I realized how much time I spent in the kitchen and found that this clean and smooth surface was just the place to begin organizing my new life as a stay-at-home Mom. I'll get the clean and smooth surface back in sixteen years or so (in the meantime, I'm looking forward to many drawings, pictures, and You're Great! ribbons finding their home here).

What you see is a massive calendar (that was a gift, thank you, Chick-fil-A coupons are always appreciated!) where I write out everything. EVERYTHING. If it isn't on the calendar, it doesn't exist. Next to the calendar you see a pink magnetic notepad where I keep a running list of items we need. I try to keep it updated as we run out. Before I make our shopping list, I stand at the calendar and survey the upcoming week. I've mentioned before that we don't have a pantry, so I have to be careful to keep just the right amount of stuff in our cabinets. Meal planning is a week-to-week job for me! For example, this week, I knew we'd be home Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. My husband's birthday was Tuesday, so I knew we'd be eating out. I'm heading to the lake for a weekend with three wonderful friends on Friday (YAY!!!), so I knew I wouldn't need to cook that day, or for the weekend (but I would need to leave some frozen goods for the hubby). Thusly, I had roughly three dinners to plan. A pretty simple week.

On any given Monday, this is what our kitchen table looks like. I sit down with my notepad, a pen, and my coffee, and I pop open the laptop to search for recipes online. This way I can very quickly type in something that sounds good (and also search by the person who made it, like, say, Alton Brown), find a recipe, and read reviews on said recipe. That way, if it's a terrible recipe, I've been forewarned!

Very handy, indeed. Once I have made out my menu, I make another list that gives the specific ingredients I will need for each meal.

After I've divvied up the ingredients, I combine that list with the running list I keep on the fridge. I reorganize the items so that they are in the order I will find them in the grocery store. For me that means produce first, then meat, then dairy, then boxed/canned goods, then frozen.

It might sound a tad excessive, but I'm telling you, the more work I do at home, the less work I have to do in the store! And with a one year old in tow and limited space in my cabinets, I'm all about shopping efficiently!

After I've made my list, I check my coupons (clipped to some small folders ... on the fridge!) to see if I have any I can use. I'm not a hardcore coupon user, so I do not plan my meals around them, but if I have them I use them. I am a hardcore coupon user when it comes to diapers. Luvs mails me coupons every month and I don't buy diapers without them!

If you turn the corner on our fridge, you will see these coupons as well. These are for ... well, according to this picture, primarily Chick-fil-A, but also for local restaurants and such. Sometimes a drive-thru kind of night is just necessary. We eat out maybe once a week, or we'll go to the nearby city for a date, but try to eat at home most of the time, as it saves money and is healthier, too. We ate out way more before we had Cub and I gained several pounds in our first two years of marriage! After Cub, we ate at home more and both my husband and I lost weight. So, while I still like the experience of eating out, I've also learned the value of knowing exactly how much salt I'm putting in my food!!

So, there you have it! Once the list is complete and the coupons are collected, I'm good to go.

(And, just for laughs, here is a picture of the three wonderful friends I will be with this weekend. The four of us have been a tight group for 14 years now. This is at our senior prom [NINE years ago], before I discovered tweezers.)

(Also on the fridge.)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 28 Weeks.

Because every pregnant girl needs a double-chin shot.

Then my husband grabbed the camera. Naturally, it focused on the PowerMac rather than myself. I think it was intimidated by my fierce pose.

One last attempt.

(I heart Chick-fil-A, indeed.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cubbie Update!

Seriously. Yummy face.

So! Some Cub updates. For fun. Since I no longer post a monthly letter. Here it goes!

Sleeping: One (long) nap in the afternoon and night sleep ranging from 12-13 hours. Woot.

Eating: Appetite has slowed notably, however, palette has not. He still eats the craziest things.

Activities: Climbing, running, laughing, talking, talking, talking, talking, exploring, coloring, talking

Current challenges: Learning not to throw a ball inside (only outside), learning the difference between a ball and toy when it comes to said throwing, learning to not throw toys at Mom's face, etc., learning PATIENCE. Yes, we use that word with our one year old. We tell him to wait, to be patient. Sure enough, if we say, "Cub, you need to wait." He will say, "Patient!" They listen, I tell you! Even if the actual execution is a bit more challenging ... :)

Current victories: Using his "words" more efficiently (rather than whining or grunting), using manners more and more without prompting, picking up toys with less prompting as well, sleeping in the big boy bed, excelling at effortless adorableness

Playing: Loves playing with friends, loves playing alone. I am very thankful for both! He is quiet and methodical, lining up his cars and such.

Favorite toys: CARS. CHUCK TRUCKS. CARS. Vroom-vroom! Also, he likes to suck on his tooth brush after I brush his teeth. It is an electric toothbrush and I think it feels good against his teething gums.

(Don't worry, I don't let him run around with it in his mouth.)

Parental preference: Dadda is Walking Amazingness, but Mama is the one who wipes the tears and kisses the boo-boos and really saves the day (he he). Also, he has begun leaning on me and crawling on me and cuddling with me during the day. That's right. MAMA!

Quirks: Refers to his milk, whatever I am drinking, or any edible liquid he sees as "Juice!"... when he toddles to the trash can to throw away his diaper, he exclaims, "Yaaaaayyy!!!" when he tosses it in ... when we're riding in the car and I say, "TATOR TOT!!" he absolutely busts a gut laughing ... and lastly, he murmurs to himself with lots of inflection, reminding me very much of an eccentric professor. I'll hear him in the other room babbling what sounds like "Wow! Um, wow! Uh-huh. Yeah, wow! Hmmm!" with his little voice rising and falling with each different word. It's so incredibly cute. (This is most likely the result of being with me all day, seeing as I've been known to mutter a word or two to myself.)

My Favorite: When we tell him it's time to pray, he says "Pray!" and folds his hands. When we are finished praying, he declares "Amen!" There have even been times when we've sat down and one of us (ahem, HUSBAND) will take an eager bite and Cub will ask, "Pray?" It's already begun!!

Have a lovely day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let's Run To The Grocery Store!

Okay. I'm typically not a midday poster, but I just had to document this immediately because oh my word, it's just so typical of life sometimes. Here it goes!

I am on a cleaning rampage all morning. Call it nesting, call it Spring Cleaning, whatever. Cub and I are both still in our jammies, and I'm getting quite a workout vacuuming anything that has a smooth surface, be it a floor, a cabinet, or a countertop. I'm telling you. VICIOUS!

I put Cub in his room around noon for his nap, and I can hear him talking in his little sing-song voice over the monitor. His naps have been a little off for the past few days, which usually means the naps are changing in some way. I listened to him babble for a while until I finally peeked in and saw him laying on his bed, talking away, not tired at all! Too cute. I figure he's probably pushing his nap to a later time now, so I get him out of bed and we play a little before I realize Hey! This would be a great time to run to the grocery store!

So, I grab my notepad off of the refrigerator and begin jotting down the things I know we need. I pop open the laptop to check out some new recipes and after I finish making out my list, I open my FOOD envelope to see how much we have left (the last week of the month, after all!). Cub toddles in and asks for my "juice" (a cup of sweet tea). I hand him his sippy cup and tell him that is his milk and he may drink that but not drink my "juice". He leans his head on my leg and I rub his hair which quickly turns into an impromptu tickle war. After said war, I peek into my FOOD envelope one more time and revise my shopping list accordingly. Then Cub toddles in and takes my pen. I ask him to please hand me the pen back and when he does, I hoist him up to change him into an actual outfit, seeing as we were going out in public and it was too late in the day for me to get away with him wearing pj's!

Cause we're going to run to the grocery store! All quick-like!

I change him and decide I should probably fix myself up a bit. I run into my bathroom, trade out my trusty sweats for some maternity jeans, and Cub toddles in after me. He shuts himself in the closet while I'm throwing my hair into a ponytail. I release him from the clutches of the closet and commence spraying my hair with hairspray and he shuts himself in again. After I again release him, I open my make-up bag to dash on some eyeliner and mascara. Cub reaches in my bag and grabs my concealer and starts to make a run for it. I tell him to STOP and he turns around meekly and puts the concealer back. I do a somewhat decent job at applying said make-up before realizing Cub has made a getaway with my husband's deodorant. I retrieve the Cub and the deodorant and quickly shut the bathroom door.

So we can run to the grocery store!

As I head into the living room to grab my purse, Cub toddles after me, chirping, "Boots! Boots! Boots! Boots!" and I tell him that Yes, we're going bye-bye, so we need our boots! I hunt around for his Boots! and find them wedged in his diaper basket on the floor in his room. I grab a pair of his socks and hoist him onto my lap as he continues to declare, "Boots! Boots! Boots!"

Then I smell a stinky.

I take my boy in his Boots! and we head to his room where I change quite possibly the most intense poopy diaper of my entire life, thanks to some new little toofers popping into my little Cub's mouth. I hold my breath, finish the job, direct Cub to throw his diaper away, and then once again put his Boots! back on his little feet.

Because we're going to run to the grocery store!

I grab my purse, the list, and my cell phone, and Cub toddles after me as we head to the garage. I buckle him into his car seat and say, "Ready to go?" and he responds, "Go!" I hop in the car, back out of the driveway, and head down the road so we can accomplish that quick run to the grocery store. Cub talks happily as we speed along, until a few minutes go by and I realize he hasn't been talking. I peek in the rearview mirror.

He's asleep.

I check the clock. It's 2:00, which means if I wake him up from this ten minute snooze when we get to the grocery store, chances are he won't fall back to sleep again and that power nap will be all he gets.

Changing nap time, remember?

This is the part where I burst out laughing at the absurdity of it all. I turn the car around in a nearby parking lot and head home so I can put Cub to bed. I carry him into his room and he is totally conked out.

As for me? This quick run to the grocery store has all but worn me out!!

We'll go when he wakes up.

(If we can manage it.)

Have a lovely day!

Product Review! Kind of!

I sat at my computer screen for a few minutes before I decided on a blog topic. During that small span of time, I overheard a cranking sound coming from Cub's room over the monitor, and a few minutes later my husband informed me that he thought that perhaps Cub was playing with a toy. He went in to survey the situation and sure enough, there was a safari man toy wedged between Cub and the bed, placed there earlier in the day by the little rascal, and my husband had to explain to Cub that No, it is not time to twist safari man's head around and around. It is time to SLEEP.

Then I went and got some water. Why am I always thirstiest right before bed? Isn't that some sort of cruel joke on a pregnant girl? We already know I'm going to spend the majority of the night trekking back and forth between my bed and the bathroom, regardless of how much I drink, so what's the deal?

Apparently, Cub did not put up a fight when the toy was taken away. I hear lots of silence. Of the static-y baby monitor-ish persuasion.

So! Product Review!

Winter is harsh on my little family's skin, so I'm thrilled when spring-ish weather abounds and we are able to toss away our Cetaphil and Eucerin in a sort of carefree bliss and instead purchase skin remedies that actually smell good! And come in pretty bottles!

Not that I'm dissing the old standbys. We would be very dry and sad without them during long winter months.

As soon as the temperature went above 50, I headed to Target and purchased this for Cub:

I love love LOVE the way it smells, but I've never really been able to use it on Cub's sensitive skin. BUT! Good news! As he gets older, his skin gets a bit more tolerant (but still baby smooth...yum yum) so I gave this a try and it WORKS! We have the lotion, too, and I love it. The cup/lid makes for easy rinsing, which is a bit more attractive (and subtle) than the large plastic cup we usually use for rinsing. Fantastic.

Then I hoisted my cart down the grown-up pretty smelling aisle and came across this stuff:

Now. When I first saw these bottles, I was a bit taken aback. It looked just a little too ... cliched? A little too ... "Let's be creative and use old advertising on new products!", perhaps? Like they needed to use lots of different fonts and distractive words because the product itself was lame? But, of course, being one who tries to never judge a bottle by its label, I gave the wash a good sniff and MMMMMM. I loved it! I found the body butter equally delightful. Thank you, Soap & Glory, for being delicious, even if your labeling teeters slightly on the tween-ish side. I'll take it.

Then, for the man in your life:

My husband cowers at the thought of body lotion. Lotion is for GIRLS and he's a BOY. But, when I introduced him to "man lotion", he shrugged and gave it a try. His dry skin is much happier and so am I, now that he no longer complains about it (as much, anyway ... if he stopped complaining altogether, it would indicate that he appreciates the benefits of lotion and such a confession would be a betrayal to manhood, right?). Also, the scent is very manly, so he doesn't feel like he's slathering on a field of wildflowers basking in the midday sun.

There you have it! A mini product review. Ish.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Snips and Snails.

I took this picture during a shoot this morning and it only confirmed why yes, I would be just fine, if Naomi ended up as a boy.

Of course, I'm thrilled to meet our little girl.

But you get what I mean.

Have a great weekend!

Fajitas a la Katie!

Per a wonderful reader's request, I shall leave you this week with a recipe for fajitas! Fajitas a la Katie!

(Please notice that I am using the same picture from yesterday's post. CREATIVE!)

Of course, there really isn't anything too "a la Katie" about my fajitas, seeing as the ingredients are pretty generic and I don't have any kind of special sauce or anything. But, you know. I'll take it! A la Katie! We eat these once a week and I love them because I can prepare them in the morning or whenever I have some free time, and then refrigerate them until it's time to cook. Great!

Fajitas a la Katie
Servings: Depends on how huge you prefer your servings
(AKA: We make a lot, eat some for dinner, and eat the rest for lunches.)

You will need:
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 orange pepper
1 lime
Fajita seasoning (Here are your options: Grab a handy dandy packet at the store or make your own. I like to use a pinch of cumin, a pinch of cayenne, and black pepper.)
1 package chicken breast tenderloins
1 flank steak

1 package tortillas
Shredded cheese (I like to buy a huge hunk of cheddar [yes, cheddar!] and shred my own)
Black beans
Rice ... white, brown, Mexican, Santa Fe, whatever
Sour Cream

Firstly! Rinse the chicken, cut the fat, and slice into strips. Then, take your flank steak and slice it into strips as well (be sure to trim against the natural grain of the steak--you'll know what I'm talking about once you buy it). Take said strips of meat and set aside, or store them in an air-tight container and refrigerate until you need them. If it is going to be a while until you use them, go ahead and add a dash of olive oil into the container, along with your fajita seasoning, so the meat can marinate.

Secondly! Rinse your peppers and slice them into thin strips, tossing the seeds and the core. If you like it hot, add a bit of jalepeno. My husband likes jalepenos. I prefer sweet peppers. Set the peppers aside as well. I typically do this in the morning and refrigerate everything (meat and peppers should be in two separate containers), so my evening preparation is quick!

*Guacamole! If you'd like to make guacamole, it's super easy. Take three avocados, peeled and diced, and mash them in a bowl with a fork. Add half of a diced tomato, some salt and pepper, and some lime juice (go ahead and squeeze half of the lime you're using for the fajitas directly into the bowl). If you want some spice, dice up a jalepeno or habenero pepper and toss those in, too! Voila! Homemade guacamole without all of the store-bought sodium!

**Salsa! If you'd like to make your own salsa, again, it's easy. I like mine to have more of a pico de gallo texture, so that is more of what you are going to get with this recipe, rather than a red runny salsa. If you like red and runny, use a can of diced tomatoes, instead of a ripe whole tomato. You'll need a ripe tomato, onion (white, preferably), a bunch of cilantro, a jalepeno, and some lime juice. In your handy dandy food processor, dice the tomato, dice the onion, dice the (seeded and cored) jalepeno, a large pinch of the cilantro, and then squeeze in whatever you is left of the half of lime that you squeezed into your guacamole. Salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

Okay. When you are ready to make your fajitas, heat the skillet at medium-high heat. I use an electric dutch oven, but the stove top works fine, too. If your meat has been marinating with olive oil and seasoning, then just dump all of it in and you're good to go! If your meat has not been marinating, then pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into your skillet. I like to add my seasoning to the olive oil and then add my meat, but it's up to you when you'd like to season the stuff! Take that half of lime you have left and give it a good squeeze onto the meat.

Stir occasionally as the meat cooks, checking it often (you'll want it a little seared, so let it cook nice and hot). When the meat is done, lower the heat to low and add your peppers. Cover and let simmer. If you add the peppers from the get-go, they will get a bit soggy, and I'm more of a crispy pepper girl. Adding them at the end makes them soft enough to chew easily but still a bit crisp so you know you're eating a vegetable. Adding the peppers is always my favorite part, because it makes the meal suddenly very colorful. Which is a good thing!

Once the peppers are tender, turn off the burner and keep covered. Pop your tortillas in the microwave for ten seconds or so to warm them just a bit, or, if you have a steamer, you can toss the tortillas in a steamer for a few seconds to make them warm and pliable. Build your fajita using your meat/pepper mixture and your toppings (and your homemade guac and salsa!) onto your warm tortilla and Voila!

Fajitas for dinner. Delicious.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Meals for Moms!

One of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom is the ability to take time to cook. I remember during our first two years of marriage, I got home after 6:00 every night and our menu was pretty limited to a few quick meals or eating out. Now that I stay at home, I'm able to start a meal in the morning if I need to, and work on it off and on throughout the day as time allows, with lots of interruptions from an adorable little man! I love spending time in the kitchen. And, I love cooking for others, too. It's kind of like a labor of love.

This post is dedicated to the art of taking food to new moms. I made a meal tonight for some friends of mine who just had a baby (babies, babies, everywhere!) and it inspired me to create a post with some tips that I've found helpful when it comes to bringing food to new parents. Since I stay at home, I have more time to create and prepare a meal, so I tend to go all out. But, even if you work or are pressed for time, these tips can come in handy. Trust me, I've learned from doing it wrong several times. Now that I've had a baby and have had meals brought to me, I've developed a few guidelines for myself when it comes to bringing meals to others. So! Enjoy!


Repeat it again: DISPOSABLE BAKEWARE. I don't know how many times (before having Cub) I dragged (drug?) my massive crock-pot to the homes of new parents, proudly handing them my offering of whatever roast or chicken happened to be inside said crock-pot, and then promptly turned heel and left. I suppose it never dawned on me that perhaps new parents don't really want to do dishes? Especially someone else's dishes? A massive heavy dish with baked-on food?? Once I had Cub, I realized how much I appreciated the meals that came in disposable bakeware. If you use a crock-pot to cook your meal, either use a liner or dump the contents of the crock-pot into tinfoil pans. Or bring your crock-pot and dump its contents into a dish that belongs to your friends. Then you take your crock-pot (and the mess) home with you! Your friends will greatly appreciate it!

2) Home-Made!

Be sure you know what kinds of food your friends like or dislike and then prepare your meal accordingly. Also, keep in mind that if the mom is breast feeding, she might not want anything too spicy or anything with onions. And, try to include something homemade. By homemade, I mean that if your meal is frozen lasagna with frozen breadsticks and a bagged salad, try throwing in some homemade cookies. The whole point of bringing meals to friends is so they can have something homemade ... not to eat something they could have easily done themselves! And, if you are pressed for time, utilize the trusty crock-pot!

*Note: I, of course, have also been that lame friend who TOTALLY FORGETS I'm bringing a meal to someone until the day of and I end up calling them from the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A. Nothing says love like some nuggets and sweet tea! But, if you do happen to remember that you are bringing a meal before the day you bring it, try making something homemade. I made fajitas for my friends tonight (mild fajitas) and made homemade guacamole (sans onions) to go along with them! I also divvied up each topping into its own disposable container. The guacamole took all of five minutes to make. Remember that just because something is homemade doesn't mean it has to take forever to prepare!

3) Something SWEET!

Don't forget dessert. If you know for sure that your friends don't like sweets, then skip on over it. But, remember, you are bringing a meal to pamper your friends and to make this special time in their lives even more special. You probably won't see your friends out and about very much in those first few weeks, so this is one way you can spread some love and let them know how much you care about them, even if your meetings will be few and far between for a while. I've found these amazing Ghirardelli Fudge Brownies that come with chocolate sauce and my-oh-my, they are delicious. And they can be easily baked in, you guessed it, disposable bakeware!

So! There you have it! Those are the simple guidelines I try to abide by when I sign up to bring meals to my friends who have babies. If I have time, I try to toss some diapers in my meal sack, too.

How about you? Do you have any tips for bringing meals to new parents? Or have you ever had a scary brought-to-your-home meal experience??

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wandom Wednesday!

I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday today, until I realized I did a picture post yesterday, which would kind of make it a little obvious that my smooshy pregnant brain has come to a screeching halt in the area of Creative Blog Topics. I find that what few brain cells are left generally gravitate towards posts that I like to refer as Copout Posts.

Like today's post! Yippee!

Random Updates, a la Katie.

*I recently purchased dry shampoo at Target. I've heard over and over that this stuff is the way to go and seeing as I am unable (Or unwilling? Because I choose not to wake up early?) to wash my hair every day, this seemed like something worth trying. And it was five bucks. Anyone tried it before??

*Naomi is kicking all of the time and I love it. She is also wedged up under my ribs, over my lungs, and wrapped around my esophagus, simultaneously bruising, choking, and suffocating me. And giving me heartburn. I'd like to think it's her way of giving me a hug. Thanks, chickadee!

*While watching What Not To Wear a while ago, I heard the lovely make-up artist recommend light pink loose powder blush. I typically wear a light foundation/moisturizer, but no blush. Blush scares me. But, I decided to give it a try. So, while perusing the make-up aisles at Target (again! Target!), I found some delightful Sonia Kashuk light pink loose blush. I love it. Thank you, Carmindy.

*Caleb is talking all the time. This is delightful. It is also delightful to see which mannerisms he has picked up from Yours Truly. When he runs into something, he says "Whoa!" in this little high-pitched astonished voice. He also says "Wow!" in the same voice, this time with a bit of inflection, when he sees something cool. He can also throw his arms up in disbelief. You can tell he has had me in his face since birth.

*Did you know Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches come in Peanut Butter?? THEY DO.

*When I set the table for dinner, I also flip on the iPod. I love having quiet background music playing while we eat. I recently discovered Andy McKee, an amazing acoustic guitarist, and I can't get enough of his music (his song, For My Father, brings me to tears). I am a sucker for anything acoustic. No effects. Just real music and real talent. Seriously, Google that song. You won't be disappointed!

*I need a manicure.

*This post is set to publish at midnight. After I am finished typing it, I am going to crawl into bed with either a bowl of cereal (loving Cascadian Farms honey nut o's right now) or with one of those ice cream sandwiches I mentioned earlier.

*Probably the ice cream sandwich.

*It soothes the throat when Naomi's hugs get just a tad tight. Especially after a big meal.

*Like dinner. Where we listened to amazing background music.

Have a lovely day, friends.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Time For a Yummy Baby Pic.

And it isn't even my own baby! :)


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just Wait (Part II).

Yesterday's post was one of those posts that you write, and then hesitate to click the "publish post" button. My finger hovered over the mouse for a while before I finally decided to throw caution to the wind and let the world (okay, my tiny itty-bitty corner of it) know how frustrating it can be to get comments of the unsolicited/condescending variety (not blog comments, mind you) as you round the corner towards the last trimester of pregnancy.

Naturally, my brief but somewhat bitter assertation came on the heels of a very bad day. I had just hung up the phone with my Mom after blubbering to her in a wallowing vacuum of self-pity, bemoaning my condition of constant exhaustion and the ever-present reminder that I have a human being wedged in my rib cage. I was less than graceful and I am so very thankful for mothers, who help put things in perspective. Yesterday's slightly pathetic attitude was precisely why I started writing the things for which I am thankful on my Facebook status every morning. Those posts are just a tiny page of the massive volumes for which I have to be grateful and are typically a very humbling way to begin each day. And despite my best efforts towards gratitude yesterday morning, I then found myself in a massive cry-fest, which was not, in and of itself, a bad thing. Cry-fests are typically a part of pregnancy, especially a pregnancy experienced by yours truly, who cries at the slightest gesture, be it a life-altering moment or a Hallmark commercial.

And while yesterday's post was written in good humor, the reality is that there is always truth to sarcasm. I definitely will not oppose that reality, seeing as I wrote that post knowing exactly how I felt about all of those comments I've received. Being tired and uncomfortable only spurred on my need for venomous revenge, to spout how truly offended I felt at some of the off-hand remarks directed my way. Granted, I chose to write a post based on a few negative remarks, rather than a post on the overwhelming positive remarks I've also received. When we wallow in self-pity, the negative is just a tad more juicy and delectable. Positive is boring.

Positive makes us change our mindset. And we wallowers have no desire to do such a thing.

In person, I have the ability to take the high road, to attempt to not allow naysayers to have any emotional stock regarding my pregnancy, but I am not perfect, and the comments still sting. And while the speakers of said comments have no idea that their words were a tad unnecessary, I feel like I am left in their wake of negativity as they move on and I stand still, soaking it in. Because, while pregnancy hormones can allow us to bask in the glow of fantastic indifference, they usually primarily cause us to linger on one emotion or another, regardless of how much we tell ourselves we don't care. We do care. We're humans.

We're humans carrying humans. We double-care!

So, my apologies for failing to take the high road with my post. If it made you laugh, good--that honestly was the original intent. But I wish that I could say the rest of my intent was pure, but it wasn't. I was mad. So I came to Blogger and dished a heaping of frustration for all to see. I'm not saying I feel differently--I do wish that people who think our second child will be evil would take a hike. But, there are kinder ways of saying that. Like, "I do wish that people who think our second child will be evil would enjoy a nice cup of ice cream."

Ice cream that tastes like mud, maybe, but ice cream just the same.

[And I will do my best (try to, anyway) to keep my attitude in check. And I'll enjoy the funny side of things. After all, God has a sense of humor, as evidenced by the fact that He believes I can handle two children 20 months apart! :)]

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just Wait.

*Warning: This post contains some sarcasm!

*Also! I am blaming pregnancy hormones!

*Kind of!

Remember how, when you were in your first pregnancy, you received several "just wait" comments? Like how you will never have time for anything again or how you will never use that one toy you registered for? You know? Those "just wait" comments that kind of made you want to scratch out your eyeballs? Advice is one thing. I welcome advice. But the condescending "just wait"'s drive me nuts.

Sigh. Ladies, they don't go away with number two.

Here are a few of my recent favorites (and the sassy comebacks I never actually say...):

1) "JUST WAIT until you find out that Naomi is actually a BOY! And you have a GIRL nursery!"
Oh my gosh, we TOTALLY DID NOT CONSIDER THAT! Thank you, Captain Obvious. Then we will use our BOY bedding and our BOY toys and our BOY clothes! Since ... we ... already ... have ... a ... BOY.

2) "JUST WAIT until Naomi comes out as a strong-willed baby. Then you'll finally understand what it's like to have a tough child!!"
Firstly, if you honestly have time to think about these kinds of things, please use your time more wisely and come over and do my laundry, rather than wallow in spite. Secondly, we DO have challenges with Cub, we just choose to not make excuses for it. And Naomi will not get excuses, either. Thirdly, what?? Naomi will be DIFFERENT than Cub? They won't be one in the same?? Wow. There's truth to that whole birth order thing? We are all fearfully and wonderfully made?? Unique? Individuals? NO ONE TOLD ME!

3) "JUST WAIT until you try to lose your second baby weight! Mine took years!"
I'm not sure how to say this gently, but if it's been "years", it isn't baby weight anymore.

Okay. I just needed to vent a little. I understand that people enjoy giving "just wait" comments with all of the best intentions, but, you know. As I heard it quoted once, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"!

Just let me learn it on my own, okay? And if Naomi is, in fact, a boy, who is a rebel-rouser at the age of one week, and I haven't lost the baby weight by the time he is ten, then I will give you one of the cookies I have been devouring as a coping mechanism!

Feel Good Friday (er, Saturday)!

(A Day Late!)

(Because that's how I roll!)

Here are five things that made me feel good this week:

1) Planning Naomi's nursery! We originally intended on using all of Cub's old bedding and such, since we loved the clean blue, brown, and white palette. Then we realized that this will be Naomi's room for a long time (until we move someday!) so we decided to add a few more things to make it girly and to make it "her" room, you know? It's all in the planning period, but I'm so excited!

2) Planning a weekend getaway with my three best friends. We're coming from Chicago, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Memphis, respectively, to hang out one last time before some major life changes happen for all of us! We've been best friends since seventh grade, so these gatherings are very special to us!

3) Lots of sunshine and "ou-side" time for Cub. He stands at the door and begs to go outside, so it's been nice to accommodate him!

4) Cub's new words. He recently learned "coat", "socks", "boots" and "shoes". I ask him what we need before we can go "bye-bye", and he lists the aforementioned items. :) It's too cute and I'm seriously amazed at his sponge-like ability to absorb knowledge ... and then use it! I'm beginning to understand more and more why the first three years of life are so crucial to a child's social, emotional, and intellectual development. Their brains move at a million miles per minute!

5) Lake time with my in-laws! Cub and I loaded up and headed to the lake on Thursday to spend time with PaPa and Grandma. I love being at the lake--it's so relaxing, even if it rained the whole time! My in-laws are extremely gracious and it was so nice to spend some time away with them!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lame-o Thursday.

I am officially out of body wash.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eat Your Vegetables.

(Okay, before I begin, I have to tell you this! Today Cub got a hold of my (now cold) mocha from Starbucks and took it upon himself to take a sip (GREAT!) and toddle it back to his bed. Who doesn't love a good cup of coffee in bed?? It sloshed all over the place before ultimately ending up wedged between the mattress and the wall, by the time I caught him! Of course, that meant tossing the cup in the trash and hoisting the sheets, pillow, and duvet cover into the washing machine. And shampooing the carpet where some wayward chocolatey splashes fell. And wiping the chocolatey chin of a delicious little boy. Silly little kid. It cracked me up!)

Okay. So. Parenting advice. We've all received it, whether we've asked for it or not! And, while some advice can be a tad frustrating, there is a lot of advice that I've found to helpful. So, I wanted to share some of that today! Firstly, I remember my Dad telling me that "Discipline begins in the crib!" I realize that can sound harsh ... if you liken discipline to punishment. BUT, really, discipline should be done in love whereas punishment is typically the product of anger. Discipline is a response, where as punishment is a reaction. Things like crying it out and learning to stay in the crib are great examples of early discipline--creating healthy boundaries because you believe the best of your child, that they are capable of learning and growing even as infants. And, of course, including loads of affection with kisses and hugs and cuddles. Feelings of self-worth, confidence, and boundaries ... and it all starts at the age of the crib.

Secondly. I've mentioned the book Don't Make Me Count To Three by Ginger Plowman before. I appreciate a lot of what Mrs. Plowman has to say, but there is one principle that has stuck to my brain like white on rice and I'm so glad I read it. She tells the story of a young child who is misbehaving in a store. The child is whiny and fitful and disobedient, and all the while the mother is apologizing that her child is "tired". Mrs. Plowman suggests that shoot, we're not allowed to act that way just because we're tired, so why should children? As a new mom, I realize how easy it can be to excuse a child's bad behavior. "No, really, she usually isn't this way--she's teething!" "Oh, I'm sorry he hit your child. He's just very tired!" Because the reality is that yes, those things absolutely affect the way our children act. I'm cranky when I'm tired, too. BUT, that doesn't mean I get to haul off and smack the first person that crosses my path. I'm not allowed to scream at the dinner table when I have a headache, so my child may not scream at the dinner table because he's popping a molar.

I'm not implying that we should be stoic to the fact that are children are uncomfortable. Show the teething child sympathy. And good grief, don't drag an exhausted child to a restaurant or the mall! Be kind by doing what's best for them. If you know little Timmy is sleepy from a long day, stay home and spare yourself and others the frustration of a cranky kid in public. He'd rather be at home with Mommy and Daddy anyway, plus it's way easier to follow through on discipline when there aren't tons of people staring you down!

Yesterday, Cub was cranky and drooly all day and I knew he must be teething. We have a little routine after I change Cub's diaper. He picks it up and carries it to the kitchen trash can, lifts the lid, drops it in, and says, "Yay!" (We empty that trash every day, don't worry.) Yesterday I finished changing his diaper and handed him the used diaper and asked him to please take it to the trash can. He held it in his hand and suddenly burst into tears. He set the diaper on the ground and stood there, sniffling, looking up at me. Knowing he was obviously a bit unhappy and probably uncomfortable (and good grief, still so stinkin' cute), I got down on his level, kissed his head, and explained that I knew he wasn't feeling good and that I would help him carry his diaper. I handed it to him and offered him my hand. He knew the expectation was there for him to obey and that I was giving him a second chance--not in anger, not threatening. In the midst of his pain, he felt safe to obey. He took my hand and we walked together to the kitchen, where he tossed the diaper in the trash, and even gave the "Yay!" at the end of it. It might seem like a little thing. And maybe some of you will think I'm too harsh for still expecting my little guy to obey when he's teething. But, I wasn't cruel. He wasn't miserable. And the diaper got tossed.

So, that is also some of the best advice I've received (or read): Discipline starts in the crib, and, Be careful to not excuse disobedience.

How about you? What's some of the best parenting advice you've received??

On Being Thankful.

I've decided to post something I am thankful for every morning on my Facebook status. It has to be something for which I am thankful already that morning, like a good cup of coffee or a comfortable bed, or it can be something that I am anticipating that day, like time with friends.

I'm doing this because I realize how easy it can be for me to start the day off on the wrong foot. Wake up with heartburn, trip on my way to the bathroom, discover we're out of toilet paper, dread the chores that are awaiting me ... you know. It can be easy to be a Debbie Downer. Especially if "woke up 174 times to use the bathroom" is added to the list. So, I'm trying to be positive.

And oh my word, it's amazing. It's just a really fantastic way to start the day.

Because regardless of how awful the morning might feel, the truth is that we are awakening to a day that was not promised to us, breathing a breath of which we are undeserving, and opening our eyes because we felt safe enough to fall asleep in the first place. The best part of my Facebook Be Thankful Project 2010 (yes I just made that up, woohoo!) is that I then ask those who might stumble upon my status to mention the things for which they are thankful. And I love it. It's almost like paying it forward. Thankfulness turns to joy, and joy spreads.

My list this morning (I am typing this on Monday) included waking up with energy and having a quiet, clean house, the beauty of the dawn of morning, the chance to bring coffee to my friend (decaf ... for Emery's Mama!), and for my in-laws, who kept our little Cub the night before.

This will post Tuesday morning and I will have a different list. So, I am going to open it up to you today. It isn't Thanksgiving morning. It's just a Tuesday in March. But, you know. It's never a bad day to be thankful.

So. What are YOU thankful for today?

Monday, March 8, 2010

She's Here.

My precious friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday. She and I went for a walk on Saturday all through Target, hoping that labor would start. Sure enough, her water broke Saturday night and her sweet little girl was born early Sunday morning. I went to the hospital early in the morning and saw her before I had to rush to church for band practice. It's crazy how much I already love this precious bundle of joy. And seeing my friend step into the new world of motherhood is a very amazing thing. When I stood in the hospital room, a flood of memories rushed back and I remembered what it was like, being there with my newborn, having droves of people come to our room, and me not feeling so sure about it. I was so excited, but I was nervous, too. My friend, however, has been wonderfully calm and I'm so proud of her.

Every morning before the worship team goes onstage, we stand backstage to join hands and pray. Inevitably, there is a collective sigh as the prayer begins, as everyone releases their nerves or thoughts before beginning the morning. Even though some of us go out there almost every week, there is still always the need to re-focus and prepare our hearts before we lead others to engage in worship. Quiet preparation. Even though we rehearse the songs and know our instruments, it is completely through faith and through God giving us the opportunity that we are able to step out there and worship Him.

I thought about my friend yesterday morning during our prayer. She's read the books, asked the questions, taken the classes. And now it's time to take the deep breath and simply step into her new role with renewed purpose and trust. The name of God that I think of is El Roi, the God who sees. He is watching over her and her husband and their new sweet baby. My prayer is that they will take comfort in His watchful eye, knowing that everything--the sweet moments, the late nights, the coos, the diapers, the figuring out the car seat, the quiet rocking in the nursery--everything is in His sight. He is very, very near and will be there, every step of the way.

Those are the thoughts that are on my mind tonight. I'm so happy for my friend.

Have a lovely day.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Our Little Boy.

Tonight at bedtime, I told Cub it was time for bed and he led me into his bedroom. I told him he could pick a book and he did (Gossie, it's one of his favorites). He pulled it off the shelf, handed it to me, and settled into my lap. He drank his sippy cup of milk while I read the book. When we finished, I asked him to please put the book away and he did, and then I told him it was time to say nigh-night. He handed me his sippy cup, walked over to his little step stool, and crawled into bed. I handed him Mr. Lion, kissed his head and told him how much I loved him, and shut the light off before I left the room.

He was a very good boy tonight, but I'm not writing to brag. We have our share of challenges, too.

I'm writing because I can't believe it was only a few months ago when I was rocking him and singing to him before laying him in his crib. And now he crawls into bed himself.

I'm proud and kind of sad at the same time!

That's all.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

It Does Burn, Indeed.

Well, I realized today that most of my food is stopping mid-esophagus, so it's time to ask the question:


Whatever method of treatment works, I will most likely be employing it through June. So, you know. Please suggest something tasty.

Have a lovely day.

Next Up: Fork.

So, Cubbie has taken it upon himself to learn the art of the spoon. We've introduced this over the past few months, giving him opportunity to feed himself. Usually he's all Meh, why feed myself when there are others who can feed me? But, as of last week, he kind of insists on feeding himself. I've found that yogurt, oatmeal, and foods of similar texture seem to work the best. He's enjoying it.

Of course, this means we're implying lots of bib-age. I do remember being a new mom/mom-to-be and thinking that I could get away without using one.

This is true as long as I am controlling the spoon. Now I control the spoon no longer.

So, the bib goes on. Thankfully I think Cub has cute bibs. So it works out well.

Please notice in this picture that Cub's right hand is sticking out from his side. This is because he knows he isn't supposed to stick his free hand into the tub containing whichever food he happens to be ingesting, so he sticks out his hand and when it occasionally makes its way to the tub of food, he stops and says "NO!" Yes, that's right Cubbie. Too funny.

I'm really just loving this stage. It's too fun.

Also, I am the size of a house. That is not as fun. But I've started scheming for Naomi's new nursery, and that is fun. So, really, life is pretty good.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stepping Back As I Move Forward.

I've been at a bit of a loss when it comes to finding interesting blog topics. There was something that was discussed at the retreat this past weekend, called the "51% Principle" (from the book, Stickman Theology). It basically asserts that when it comes to our emotional stock, God holds 51% while the other 49% goes to a selective group of friends and family. While one could argue that God should hold ALL of our emotional stock, we have to remember that Christ Himself was surrounded with twelve disciples. Relationships are integral to our existence here, really. And, if you are familiar with the corporate world, you know that when someone owns 51% of a company, they are the primary shareholder. So, in the wake of our close relationships, God remains the majority owner of our emotional stock.


I realized that I allow others, some of whom I don't even know, to have way too much emotional stock in my life. I've spent the past couple days spending time evaluating my relationships and praying for guidance. It's been fantastic, really, because I don't feel like I'm on an emotional high, like coming home from summer camp or knowing I get to eat chocolate in the near future (that was a lame attempt at a joke, please laugh.). Instead I feel this settled peace for which I've been longing for quite a while. As we grow older and get married and have children, our bodies and minds and emotions experience changes and transitions that are unlike anything we've ever experienced before. And, to assume that we can simply cruise on like normal is untrue. We have to keep adjusting our lives and keep adjusting ourselves to fit into these new roles and these new experiences, or we find ourselves worn out and a bit lost.

I am a chronic people-pleaser and have always tried to fill that unnecessary role in my family and in my relationships. I will wear myself out in the desperate hope that I am earning someone's approval, all under the deceptive guise that this is how we, as followers of Christ, are supposed to act. After all, the call to love unconditionally is a high one.

But, there are different levels of love. I am not perfect so I doubt I will ever attain the ability to truly love unconditionally, but I at least recognize how to keep my own love in check so that I am loving those in my life at the appropriate level for which they should be loved. God receives the most of my love as much as I am capable of understanding how to love God. My family and friends receive the next biggest chunk of my love, based on the mutual investment each of us makes. I realize that it is in my nature to over-invest. And when the few that I over-invest in only give me a small return, I feel defeated and that I have done something wrong. When really, I've misunderstood by not loving them at the level for which they need to be loved. I need to take it down a notch. It doesn't mean I don't love them or even that I love them less, it's that the investment those relationships get needs to be at a lower level to keep our playing field even. Or I will continue to over-invest, not be nourished in return, and will find myself exhausted and empty.

And over-investing is nobody's fault but my own. That's a bit hard to swallow.

The speaker this weekend was a certified counselor and I was able to eat breakfast with her on the last day to discuss a plan of action for this stage of my life. Ironically, I had walked into the weekend thinking how great it was that I had no issues and that life was gloriously glorious, even though I was a bit tired. In the midst of my hurried schedule and over-expended exhaustion, I had been a bit blinded by my own well-intended ambition. There are things in my life that need a bit of readjusting. And now I feel that I know how to do that.

So. Where does that leave blogging? Well, I will, of course, continue to blog. You will hear stories about Cub smearing his face with yogurt or falling out of bed and I will continue to share with you the ups and downs of being a mom. Nothing will change in that respect. But what will change is what you do not see--the person beyond the screen. Nothing huge, but definitely necessary.

And now I look back at this massive expanse of words and wonder if any of it made sense. Or, if you made it to the end at all. If so, Bravo! If not, I don't blame you. It's long. With no pictures.

So, friends, have a lovely day. I mean that.

It is really a lovely day today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rabbit, Rabbit.

Happy March 1st, everyone.

No deep thoughts for today, but, yay, it's the beginning of a new month and I'm back from an amazing women's retreat, which has left me filled and exhausted at the same time!

My friends and I would always say "rabbit rabbit" on the first of each month. I have no idea why.

(Oh wait, I just googled it. Here's the reason. Even though we didn't know the reason? Anyway.)

So, rabbit rabbit.

Have a lovely day!