Thursday, July 30, 2009

a day in the life...

a recap of my day?

well, there are 2 perspectives.

the first one starts like this:

and ends with this:

the other...

is filled with things like this:

it is an obvious statement that although i'd rather not have laundry and dishes and constant clutter from glitter, crafts, train sets and legos, its all worth it because i have 3 precious children that i love more than words can express.

i mean, i know i complain a lot. i refer to this as mommy honesty. the purpose is two-fold. first, its an outlet for frustration. if i let it out, it doesn't overwhelm me. as much. and second, i believe transparency among moms contributes to the greater good in society. for instance, when i meet moms who are all contented sighs and smiles and like, "oh, this is the absolute best stage of my life and i love every minute of it." i'm thinking... you are such a liar. or. you are on some serious drugs. and i want some.

yeah, overall we all feel that way, that this is the best stage of our life. but also, we have our moments. and sharing them allows others to feel normal.

the day to day of life can begin to feel overwhelming and mundane. i can focus too easily on the lack of sleep instead of the laughter of my kids. or the piles of dishes and not the abundance with which we have been blessed. or the crayons on our wall and not the creativity of these little ones. the toys and games and miscellaneous whatevers everywhere and not the fun of childhood. or the lack of a waistline and the gray hairs and not the joy of seeing my 2 oldest children interact as best friends and the complete delight in their baby brother. it really is great to have my children so close together, even if my jeans tell me otherwise.

i recently read on a mommy's blog (sorry, i don't remember where and what random clicking enabled me to find her otherwise i'd gladly give credit where credit is due) about being so caught up in complaining about the laundry and dishes that we don't notice the little ones responsible for all these extra "chores" are listening with very attentive ears.

as much as i don't want it to, my perspective on the day to day affects my children greatly. i can re-cap our day with tedium and monotony, or i can re-cap it with joy and longing for tomorrow.

while there are constants in life, like messy floors and dirty clothes and sleepless nights, i don't want that to define us. i want my kids to thrive. i want each day to be full of promise for them.

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." ~Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


he's all mine, ladies. all mine.

(so this picture/hair-do happened on accident, while carrying ella around on his back. i just thought it a bit too fun to keep all to myself.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

and a big fat...

...happy anniversary.

to the coolest couple i know.

(be careful what you send to me. it just might end up on my blog.)

my wonderful parents have been married 35 years today. this is worth celebrating.

i kinda always thought of anniversaries as a special day between couples (which it is of course) and not necessarily something everyone else celebrates with you. but my mom, in all her wisdom, once shed some interesting light on this:

"we celebrate birthdays each year, as if we really did much to accomplish getting one year older. but in this day and age, staying married seems to have lost its significance. an anniversary is really the day that deserves the attention and celebration."

how true it is. commending couples for staying together and working hard at loving each other. and how grateful i am that my parents are not only still married, but love each other deeply.

i wonder what reason they would give for a successful marriage. it could be...

-physical attraction. they look fantastic, like they haven't aged a bit.
-fantastic children that keep them young and fill their lives with joy
-money. they are loaded. filthy rich, they are.
-the memory of my dad making us pancakes every saturday morning while we watched cartoons so my mom could sleep in
-my mom's easygoing, relaxed perspective on everything. she never appears to be stressed out
-they are quick to forgive each other
-my mom's great cooking
-my dad riding his bike to work in the dark pre-dawn hours of winter so my mom could have the car (back when we only had one. you know, back before we were totally loaded.)
-the constant sacrifices they make for each other, and for those in need around them
-their mutual love for friday night popcorn-and-soda-night
-my dad's willingness to clean the house, do laundry, wash dishes, cook dinner
-my mom's willingness to let nascar blare through her house at top volume
-my dad throwing the frogs across the street in the summer so my mom didn't have to step on them
-quality time spent with each other going for walks, bike rides, hikes, and sitting on the porch

really, the list could go on. among all of these little memories are the big ones. my dad waking up an hour before work (and that was already early) to sit with his bible and pray for his family. and my mom's prayer notebook with details she committed to the Lord daily. our family going to church every sunday, weekly fellowship in our homes with other families, youth groups and summer camps. family devotions, serving others, and Christ's love modeled in my parents. through all my years growing up, my parents kept one priority the same: Jesus came first.

and their marriage is proof.

thanks mom and dad. i love you.

We loved with a love that was more than love. ~Edgar Allan Poe

Saturday, July 25, 2009

10 months

(which really just means: only 2 more to go!)

i find the 1st birthday to be a mommy milestone. if i can survive the first year of my baby's life, i can survive anything. this especially being the case with mason.
not like i'm trying to rush it, of course. never...
the other day, i actually had the moment where i thought, "ok, i'm now officially ready to freeze time."
this really is my favorite stage. the 6 to 12 month stage. however, with mason, 6 months was still overly fussy. as was 7 months... 8 months... and so on. and he still isn't, (let see, how do i say it?...) comfortable in his own skin... happy with life... easy going...

but i'm still going to keep him. and really, who can resist this smile? that is, when it makes an appearance. which is definitely more frequently than it was once upon mason's miserable early months of life.

his giggles, his expressions, and the way he scrunches up his face to smile... he melts my heart. when he is in a good mood... its like the hallelujah chorus is playing softly in the background.

but talk about dramatic. man, that boy can swing abruptly... laughing one second, crying huge crocodile tears the next... and then laughing again before the tears dry. its a bit of a roller coaster with that one.

but we've made it 10 months and he is the little boy of our family i missed before i even knew he existed. i'll take the fussiness and drama. and the strong will. he has some leadership qualities in him. i've always said i wanted a happy, easy-going baby who can make the first year of life somewhat enjoyable and peaceful. i never got that, but its ok. passive people-pleasers don't change the world.

we're raising world changers around here for sure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

oh what fun...

aren't they cute? that's some deep sleeping after a day o' fun at our special its-my-birthday-my-husband-found-a-great-phoenix-summer-resort-deal. which happened to have a water slide and a lazy river. the fun abounds in 115 degree weather.
if there are ever moments we are divvying up sleeping arrangements/responsibilities, i always choose to sleep with ella and i let anthony sleep with bennett.

this is why:
the kids were SO excited about the bed that folded out of the couch (yeah, we don't get out much.)
but that excitement was nothing compared to the next find on their exploration of the room.

"ella! look! a TOILET!" followed by squeals of delight.
ok, are we really that white trash? did my kids honestly think we'd stay in a room without a bathroom?

my birthday celebration later that evening was complete with trick candles. bennett, perfectly content to hyperventilate during his persistent quest to extinguish the stubborn flame, didn't even seem to notice how incredibly angry ella was at these candles. once anthony told her they were trick candles she said, "that is so rude!" and pouted for a bit.

and i must say, i was a bit surprised at the sheer number of people we happened to meet who were in town for the entire week from places like new jersey, california, new york... this was their time share week and they came to phoenix. in july. on PURPOSE. i don't get it.

oh well.

vacations before kids always equaled relaxation.

vacations with kids equal fun (with the right mind set, of course). so while these 2 particular days weren't exactly relaxing, they were full of great memories, a very happy birthday, and...

... bennett's first enema.

oh, to be 3 again...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

its my birthday and all i want is a beach house and a tummy tuck

... but i'll settle for a batch of brownies and a nap.

so i'll go ahead and tell you. i'm 32. (wait, that's right, isn't it? born in '77... so plus 9, carry the one...) i miss the days where you didn't have to stop and think about your age. i feel like this was the case anywhere from age 4 to age 24.

speaking of 24, i still feel like that's about how old i am. just out of college. young and cool. driving a cool car. listening to cool music. wearing cool clothes. my whole life ahead of me. and the whole night ahead of me. none of this, i better get in bed because its 10:00 and it is way late and one of my kids will be up by 6 if not before.

but no, i'm 32. this post is sort of a reminder to me, not just a notification for you. and i don't feel like i'm sharing some huge secret in admitting my age. i mean, you could figure it out on your own. much like estimating the age of a tree by the rings in its trunk, you could do the same with the fine lines around my eyes. or gray hairs per square inch of my head. or...

i keep hearing "30 is the new 20." this of course is ridiculous, but i don't care. i'll take what i can get. this being the case, right now, i'm only 22. i can still eat whatever i want because i have the metabolism of an ant and manage on one hour of sleep. (and by manage, i mean, i hardly feel tired. unlike these days where some days i have to "manage" on an hour of sleep and it is dangerous for all.)

in all seriousness though, i have had a wonderful life. not like i'm trying to say i'm on my way out and about to die, i'm so old. but just, up to this point, i've been very blessed.

really, i had a childhood that would make the cleaver's jealous. (and a mom way cooler and far more realistic than june)

a husband who is my best friend. (and he cleans!)

3 kids, who are so darn cute and absolutely hilarious i'm perfectly content to spend my days filled with their laughter.

friends and family who make me feel loved and important.

i live in the greatest country ever. (at least, that was the plan)

my house is air-conditioned. (even if it isn't on the beach...)

and i just found a bag of twix candy bars in my cupboard. (and so much for that tummy-tuck.)

happy birthday to me. cheers!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"it be a hard day"

said in the cutest possibly pouty voice by my very adorable 3 year old boy. after his 3rd time-out and just as many melt downs.

and this was all before 8:30 this morning. poor guy.

(bennett, in happier times.)

with bennett, if things aren't right, he's either tired, hungry, or sick. but it all started looking up for him when we went to the library this morning and he found the movie Wall-E.

he was very excited. very. not because he's ever seen it, mind you. but he has desperately wanted to. and why this eager desire? because wall-e is on a pair of his choneys. and every. single. time. he puts them on, he says, "i want to see holl-e." "its called wall-e, bud." "yeah, i want to see it, mom. can we see holl-e?" same conversation when we pass the redbox at the grocery store.

those pixar people know what they are doing. if you want something to become popular, just put it on children's underwear. if they wear it and don't want to pee on it, its a big deal.

so bennett its happy now. it's not such a hard day after all.

and certainly not for me either.

wanna know why?

i mean, sorry to brag and all, but my husband is amazing.

i came home from the library and the house was clean!


and i'm not talking he-put-his-shoes-away-rinsed-a-dish-and-put-his-laundry-in-the-hamper. no, this amazing stud of a specimen vacuumed, MOPPED, cleaned bathrooms, picked up clutter, cleaned the kitchen counters... i don't know even know what i'm going to do with my time today. i figure i need to spend some of it bragging to the blogging world about how amazing he is.

oh, he is.

i'm so excited about my clean house. what did i do to deserve this?

its not even my birthday.

oh wait... it almost is. :) (that's right. please no gifts.)

i guess this year i don't need to whine about wanting a housekeeper.

thanks, my love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

top 10 movies

this is hard. because i really like movies. lots and lots of movies. so this list is not all inclusive (even though its numbered and called "top 10") and is subject to change at any moment i happen to find another favorite while channel surfing late at night or should one of my dear friends (you) post a comment reminding me of some great movie i forgot to add. (also, i'm not endorsing any of these as like family movies or anything. always defer to the rating. i'm aware some of these are R rated. i wish they didn't put unedifying garbage in movies and i usually try to steer clear of the vulgarity of it all, but sometimes, i don't. i'm a sinner. don't judge.)

1. amazing grace

2. life is beautiful

3. pride and prejudice

4. lord of the rings (yes, i'm counting all 3 as one movie)

5. bourne movies (yes, again, i am counting all 3 as one movie)

6. hitch

7. 10 things i hate about you (some movies on my list fall into the life changing/inspiring type movies. this is not one of them. however, there is something about seeing this movie on some random channel late at night that brings a smile to my face. i'm all about fun movies set in high school where some guy pays some other guy to ask out some bitter man-hater so he can date her sister. its just SO realistic. and so very entertaining.)

8. rudy

9. to end all wars (this is one of those movies i never care to watch again because it is so graphic, but i think it is incredibly well written and the message is fantastic. very inspiring.)

10. good will hunting (yes, i think that they seriously need some soap in their potty-mouths. but this movie is brilliantly written and very entertaining.)

and really, i go through phases and can very easily read this list in like a month or a year and say to myself, that one is ridiculous. just like if i had a list back in junior high i would see space camp on it and even though the thought of accidentally being launched into space is so incredibly awesome, it really can't compete with the above list.

and since we are talking movies and all, why not talk about those movies i often find on others top 10 list... and i just don't get it.

1. braveheart. sorry.

2. forrest gump. maybe it was all the hype before i saw it. its ok, but i just didn't think it was all that great.

3. star wars. i mean...???

4. rocky movies. sure, i cried when apollo got killed and all, but i just don't think these movies are top 10 material.

5. shawshank redemption. more like shawshank depression. the things that happened to him in prison were just so disturbing i wasn't able to rejoice with the rest of america when he crawled through sewage and escaped. just didn't like it.

so, what did i forget? and what about you? post and share your faves with us.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

random tidbits

  1. i took the "weekly" out of the title since i'm having a hard time with the whole "weekly" aspect of random weekly tidbits. its a lot of pressure. so instead of feeling like i need to post tidbits no one really cares about every week, i'm changing the title. lucky you.
  2. bennett is in the big kids sunday school class now, not the little nursery anymore. you know, since he's 3 and all. and he has been loving it. but this week when i picked him up, he kinda scowled at me and said, "some girl yelled at me." "was it your teacher?" "no. some girl." "was it a kid in your class?" "no. some girl." "why did she yell at you?" "because of the puzzle." "what did she say?" bennett pouts a little and very seriously says, "mom. i'm not going back to that place anymore."
  3. anthony and i just re-watched the movie Amazing Grace. if you haven't seen that yet, i don't know what you are waiting for. it is so inspiring. if i had a top ten list of movies, it would be close to the top. in fact, maybe i'll make one... i feel a blog post coming on... anyhow, people like william wilberforce make me feel pretty insignificant. thats ok though because i'm tirelessly molding the world changers of tomorrow. stay tuned for what God will accomplish through my wee ones.
  4. ella's prayer: "dear lord, thank you that my mommy is so nice and made us macaroni and cheese for lunch. she is such a great mommy. she loves us SO much! i'm SO excited. amen." yeah, she's easy to please.
  5. mason has taken to spitting lately. its kinda cute. except for when i am feeding him green beans.

Friday, July 10, 2009

skinny dippin

and various other ways to enjoy the much cooler and far greener great outdoors up north.

such as giving my children a fear of all things green when cautioning about poison ivy.

enjoying caterpillarsbennett discovered that such creatures do indeed exist outside of children's books. there are actually crawling animals besides scorpions and lizards. who knew? (by the way, the count is now at 10. 10 scorpions found INSIDE OUR HOME) naptime outside where there is actually shade and a cool breeze
this time of year, i wonder how it is phoenix became the booming metropolis it is today (and why the h.e.c.k. we live here. yeah i guess the winters are nice and all, but why haven't we all wised up come may and gotten out of here. its ridiculous, really.)

so heading up north was a nice reprieve from our furnace city where everything is a depressing shade of desert brown.

and aside from better temperatures, i also think it would be quite fun to live in a quaint little town that shuts down main street on the 4th of july so adorable little kids such as my own can march in a fantastic parade.

yeah, he loved it too:
and someday, i think i would rather enjoy living where we can sit outside on summer evenings and share popsicles and homemade ice cream.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God bless America...

our home, sweet home.

and may the americans who risked everything provide an inspiring bit of history for you this independence day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

little brother

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." -E.E. Cummings