Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jack the Ripper

I mentioned before that is was a certain little princesses birthday... and even though her gift from us is her party I wanted her to have something small.... (read cheap) on her actual birthday. 
So the night before her birthday, Aunt Sarah came over and let us go on a date and we picked her up a little snow white doll... no big deal.. $4.88 to be exact....

Well her dad gave it to her when he got home on her big day, and she was thrilled... 
clung to it,
slept with it,
ate with it. 
loved that silly little piece of  plastic.... 
then she put it down for a minute. 

And Jack got it...

I took me about 24 hours to get to walmart and buy another one... in that time I heard the question 
"where is my new princess?"  about a thousand time...
followed by
"Ohhhh.... I'm so sad dat I yost her..."
....."Mommy I just don't know where is she?".... 
"can you help me find her?"

So $4.88 turned into... $9.76... fine ... whatever... its her birthday... she is sad... its not her fault...

Two days later... went to feed jack in his cage... and I am once again faced with the horrific scene

Jack the ripper strikes again

There are two other princesses just like this one!! Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty...
I guess he doesn't like blonds....

If you are a cute brunette, with fair skin, and and you smell like rubber... watch out...
there is a killer on the loose.

 Don't give me those eyes... your in the dog house buddy... and you owe me $14.96... 


Hi-ho, Hi-ho... its off to Wal-mart I go....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Forgivness and Friendship.

I saw an old friend from high school today.
It has been about two years since I've seen him, if you don't count bumping into each other at wal-mart.... 
which I don't.... wal-mart is nothing if not impersonal....

 George Herbert said,“The best mirror is an old friend.”
I have no idea who he is... but he was spot on. 
We were at Isabella's birthday party at my parents house
The backdrop to most of our mischief, parties, late night conversations, and funny stories.

And the thing that I loved was that it felt like not a day had passed... like we hadn't missed a beat.
 Forget that what we actually missed was an engagement, 
a baby shower, 
a baby, 
a couple birthday's, 
a miscarriage,
another baby.... 
the list goes on... and obviously so does life.

I love that there was no weirdness. Two, five or fifty years later. I love that we can pick up where we left off.
But on the flip side of this same coin, I am so sad that not all my old friendships have survived the way that this one has... and sadder still to realize how much of that is my fault. When I look back over things I've done wrong the list seems painfully long. I thought in high school that you picked who you wanted to be and then you struggled to become who you wanted to be. 
I was so wrong. 

You don't take a sunflower seed and try to make it grow an oak tree...

You can be better, you can change habits and small things,
But the essential parts of who you are, those are God given... those are the basis for you.
Those are the talents, the interests you should feed and water... and see where they take you.
I wish I had done more of that and less of the superficial stuff.

 I can tell you that if I had it to do over I would have put courage to my convictions, stood up and said something when I had an opinion, rather that waiting to see what my friends thought.

I would have pursued my interests... whether or not it was cool. It was all in my own head anyway, I know my real friends wouldn't have cared if I played chess or tried out for the musical or any other thing.

I would have been friends with people no matter what 'group' they were in, does it seem ridiculous that I didn't realize this was an option!?  It seemed like you picked your tribe and you stayed there... loyalty... knowing where you fit in... safety in numbers... it seemed so important at the time... why?

Most of all I wish I had know more about forgiveness. 
Not just for others... though that would certainly have helped... but for myself too.
Knowing I didn't have to be perfect... couldn't be perfect, 
knowing my friends weren't going to be perfect.

I wanted my friends to fill a void in me that I've now found only God can fill.

How many hurt feeling could have been spared? How many fights wouldn't have happened? 
If your reading this and you are one of those people I hurt... 

I'm sorry.

If I once threw a glass across the room in a fit of rage about God-only-knows-what...

If I put the so-called-affection of some silly boy whose name I no longer remember... ahead of you...
If I didn't call when I should have....
If I threw a phone through a window pane once when you were on the other end...

If I suddenly dumped your friendship for no reason... (it was me who lost out I'm sure)...

If I kissed him... even though I knew you liked him too... and it hurt you..
If I paid no attention to your feelings because I was too consumed by my own...

If I made fun of you for being different than my definition of  normal...

If I used you in any way...

.... forgive me?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Prince Charming to the Rescue!

I thought it might be nice to try to make Isabella her birthday cake this year.
I was inspired in part by the Vitafamiliae Blog, and partly I just plain felt like I could actually do it...
Save money,
make memories,
look good in front of the relatives!

I could barely boil water when I got married, so this is a big step for me ok?

And so it began as a cake...then a princess cake... then maybe the kind of cake you see that looks like the skirt on a barbie (you know like a ball gown?).

She said she wanted "Cinderella" so we started looking at pictures and that was the fateful moment when she saw a castle cake... a big fancy one... and she said in awe, "I want a castle cake mama!" 

And I said... "Ok"..... cool as could be..... no problem.... your mom can do anything baby, don't even sweat it.

What I was really thinking is ....'Daddy can do anything and he will save my butt'
he cooks
he bakes
he builds
he fixes... well... everything!

Have I said lately that I am the luckiest woman alive and I truly love this man that God gave to me?  
Cause I am and I do!!!

These are the pans we used, I made the cake from the Pioneer Woman's Recipe.
I love her... shes not hard to love... just try one of her recipes!

Once I had made the cake and the frosting (thank you Leesha it was awesome!)
Tom pointed out that it might not survive the drive to my moms house in the morning once it was assembled,
so we loaded up the kids and headed to my moms to finish the cake.

I would like to say now that  
I made the cake..
I made the icing.... 
and I figured out the general assembly process  
with some help from Tom and my awesome facebook friends..

Then I wisely let my baby take over...

Here you go...
Rice Krispies to hold the cupcake towers together and anchor them

Lollipop sticks to help

The cone roofs with icing and sugar crystal on top


The doors and windows are Wafer cookies he cut with scissors to look like windows and doors.
One very happy birthday princess!

One very awesome Daddy and some very blessed kids!

Did I mention I never even really asked him to help?
He apologized for "kinda taking over my project" once we were in the car heading home...
little did he know That I knew it was his project all along :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fat Friday... barely

So I didn't weigh-in yesterday... I know ... I know...

I will now provide you with the following list of excuses so I can feel justified in my choice...

Reasons I did not go to my WW meeting: 
  1. Tom had some awful stomach bug on Wednesday so I spent all day trying to take care of him, while keeping the kids quiet so he could sleep.
  2. Because of aforementioned sudden illness I was woken up at five am.... and then again at six am for a bed wetting incident.... and then again at seven am for a bottle.... so in total on Wednesday night I got maybe four hours of sleep.
  3. On Wednesday morning I had to take the kids on an unplanned four hour morning outing... Daddy was sick and sleepy and needed quiet... so rather than kill myself trying to accomplish the impossible task of keeping three young kids quiet I headed for Pappy's house.
  4. My Dad could only handle us for so long and with another hour to kill before nap timeI had to take the three of them to the playground by myself.... exhausting is the only word that comes to mind.
  5. My Mom (who was sadly working on Wednesday) had appointments all morning on Thursday...during my meeting. Therefore I would have had to take the kids with me just to weigh-in. We would not even begin to try to stay because even if I could keep all three of them quiet I wouldn't hear a thing anyone else was saying.
 So I choose sleep and yoga pants over dragging three kids out in the rain again.....

Thank you if you actually read all that and felt any measure of sympathy for me... Oh well, such is the life of a Mommy. On to Plan B!!!

Instead of my meeting I decided to embark on an exercise in re commitment. I went all around my kitchen and marked the points value on every package of food I could that I might ever be interested in eating.
And then I read a bunch of success stories on the WW site.... and then I caught up on the Biggest Loser.

And so far so good... I am motivated!!! Now i am off to count my points!!! 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bella Beautiful

Four years is not a long time. 

Four years is high school... or college.

Four years is a presidential term.

Four years is a lifetime for a mouse... betcha didn't know that did you?

It is hard to believe that I have only been a mommy for four years.
That Four years ago today I was just about to meet this little girl who would change my life forever.
Isabella in 2006

One year old

Two years old

 Three years old.. I love this picture.

She won't tell me yet what she wants to be when she grows up... a mommy? A doctor? A teacher?
When I ask she just says" No mama, I just wanna be Isabella Josephine."

This is who she is so far...
She loves to dance, and sing... and generally be the center of attention. 

 She loves her "brotters" and thinks she is the mini-mama

 She likes to use big words, even when she really has no idea what they mean.
"I need some "pribacy" in the bathroom mama"

She loves shoes, every time we pass a shoe store she wants to "look"... so do I but someone has to be the voice to reason.... Daddy is the voice when it comes to shoes.

She is still very attached to her "byank". Her receiving blankets from when she was baby. She doesn't care which one.. as long as they are hers, the boys blankets won't do, it has to be pink or purple.
She was constantly spitting up when she was a baby and we couldn't get her to nap well.
Finally her Grammy told me to give her the burp cloth for naps. 
"she has it 24-7, you can't take it away when she goes to bed"
Turns out my mother in law (who has twelve kids of her own) knows a thing or two! worked like a charm :) Now Grammy, how do we get her to let it go??? 

notice the blanket in the bottom left...

Her newest love is riding on her big girl bike. She still has training wheels but she thinks she is very big and bad.

She loves her princess dolls. Two small Disney princesses with little rubber dresses.

She loves to dig in the dirt.

She loves to go to Cooks Forest every year with her big family, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents. Happiness for Bella is people... lots of people.
She loves to cuddle with her Grammy
(when she is upset Grammy has a way of talking her down better than anyone else),
or watch her Grandpa cook breakfast,
or ride on a bike with one of her many aunts and uncles.

She loves to go to Nana and Pappy's house,
and play in my old playhouse,
or play with the bathroom sink,
or ride her bike inside!
Or anything else she would never get to do at home.
Nana is her partner in crime.
Pappy is her over grown Teddy bear.

She loves Chocolate
(anything.... seriously)

  She loves to pray long, exhaustive, rambling prayers..
possibly to just keep from having to go to bed.

She loves the movie Cinderella.

She loves going to Sunday School.

She loves her Daddy

and she loves me too...  

Four years is not a very long time, but we didn't need four years to fall in love.

Before you were conceived I wanted you.
Before you were born I loved you.
Before you were here an hour I would die for you.
This is the miracle of love
Happy Birthday Bella Baby.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Dad

 He isn't much in the eyes of the world
He'll never make history
No, he isn't much in the eyes of the world
But he is the world to me 

My dad, now here is a man
To me he is everything strong
No, he can't do wrong, my dad 

My dad, now he understands
When I bring him troubles to share
Oh, he's always there, my dad

When I was small I felt ten feet tall
When I walked by his side
And everyone would say "That's his girl"
And my heart would burst with pride 

My dad, oh I love him so
And I only hope that some day
My own sons will say
"My dad now here is a man
Happy, Happy Birthday Daddy, we love you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fat Friday.... have you ever seen the movie "Groundhog Day"?

I'm not even gonna bother with the stats this week... just refer to last week if you want to see because I stayed the same.

I am neither discouraged or motivated. I guess i just feel like I wish I could hurry up and get to my goal already!
Maintaining my weight seems easy.... I wish I was there already!!!

I need a serious shot of motivation, what was i doing this for again? What was it that helped me lose so much weight so quickly before the holiday's?

  • I felt weak and frail after having Daniel. There were some complications and I was in bed a lot for about two weeks. I never wanted to feel that weak again.
  • I couldn't find any clothes I liked, even if I liked the outfit in theory.. putting it on was a reality check that nothing looked good on me.
  •  I couldn't keep up with Tommy and Bella. I had zero energy. I got winded doing nothing. My mom had more energy than I did.
  • I was embarrassed for my husband... I wasn't the same person he married. The man is a saint and would never say anything like that but i knew it wasn't fair to him.
That is sad to write... I remember what that felt like, it was awful and I will never go back. Now the problem... and the victory :) is that all those things are past.  I don't feel weak anymore, I feel much much stronger. Right after i had Daniel I tried to do palates or walk on my treadmill and it was killer. Now the same workouts are much easier. I have way more energy now too. I have lots of clothes i like and I have thrown lots of clothes away that were too big! Of course I still have my days when I like nothing I put on but now its just sometimes, not all the time. And last but not least, I am literally the same person I was when Tom and I got married. I weigh the same now as I did on that May day in 2005  :)

It sounds like I've arrived doesn't it? But I haven't, If i had then I would be content. And I'm not.

  • I want to be the same size I was in college when i met my husband, not just when I married him. And I want to wear my favorite "button fly jeans" just once more even though they are thread bare and have 6 patches already. (I could probably be fined for indecent exposure if I wore them in public... it would be worth it!)
  • I want to be able to say that no matter what my weight, i am stronger and healthier than I have ever been.
  • I want all the clothes in my closet to be one size and I want to maintain that same size permanently, right now I have clothes for now and clothes for later. I hate seeing the perfect skirt on Sunday and knowing it doesn't fit yet. I want to be done with that.
  • I want to feel comfortable in a bathing suit.... stop laughing, I think it might be possible.
  • I want to have another baby and know when I do that I am as healthy as possible.
  • I want (on a slightly silly note) for my belly button to go completely inside out next time I'm pregnant. This probably seems ridiculous but I don't care... its true... its what I want... in my warped little mind it is a sign of "thinness" even in the midst of "hugeness".
So there you have it....wish me luck! I think I'm on the right track now!!!

(my mom just called and I turned down a Big Mac... *sigh* .....)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So remember when I said the reason I had three small children and a puppy, was a sad story? The time has come to tell it... stop now if you don't feel like crying.

There is our Sheba.

When we got married (almost five years ago) I told Tom I needed a dog. I had moved strait from my parents house to our new house and I had never not had a dog. The house seemed quiet and empty. So about 2 days after we got back from our honeymoon I stopped by the humane society. He wanted a German Shepard. I wanted a puppy. And there she was... just waiting for us. I made Tom come see her right then.

I was in a little playroom with her and just as he was outside walking by the window to the main entrance she decided to make sure he knew what he was getting himself into and she pooped on the floor right in front of me.... He took a little more convincing after that but only a little. 

I remember feeling so bad for her the first few nights we had her home, she would cry at night, and I would try to reason with Tom to let her come sleep in our bed or at least our room. Eventually he let her sleep in our room but not until she was fully house broken. By the time we had two kids and had moved our bedroom to the second story, she no longer cared about us but preferred to sleep right in between the kids rooms on the first floor. She was so protective of them. 

always nearby.

Here she is watching someone in the neighbors driveway from just outside our play yard.

I know a lot of people who have dogs worry about how they will react when a baby is brought home... Sheba didn't enjoy the crying at first. For a few days she would come running every single time Bella would cry but other than that she did just fine.

Once when Isabella was a newborn Tom and I were doing yard work while she slept in her stroller. Someone came out of the neighbors house and Sheba went nuts. It was the first time the baby had been out in the yard and I guess Sheba felt it was her job to protect her. I never her saw her like that before, hair raised, growling, she immediately got between the baby and the neighbors house until the person was gone. That was when I knew we had the right dog. She was never what you would call brave, but if she thought those kids were in any danger she was a mother bear. 

I don't want to make her seem like the perfect dog. For her first year of life she had a majorly bad habit of chewing on trim. Tom was not at all happy about that. Once she actually dug a hole in the dry wall in our hallway. Again.... not a happy hubby. 

And the worst of them all... on the day after Christmas while I was pregnant with Bella, we were going to dinner with my husbands whole family. We had been at his parents house all day because he was hunting with his Dad. So Sheba was there with us. When it was time to go to dinner we decided to lock her in the bathroom so she wouldn't "go" in the house..... not smart. When we came back she had tried to dig her way out... through every wall....  there were seriously deep scratches three feet up the wall all around the small room. We all agreed that given another few hours and she might have made it out. I thank God everyday that the bathroom needed remodeled anyway, and every time I'm there I feel bad it hasn't happened yet!

So if you've done the math you could figure that Sheba should just be turning five this month. We had to have her put down in September, she was losing weight, not eating, going into kidney failure. We went to two vets and neither could explain it. We know she didn't get into anything chemically that could have caused it. The best they could guess is a rare bacterial infection that they can get from drinking standing water. I guess it doesn't much matter now anyway. 
Staying with her while they put her down was so incredibly hard. I felt so bad in that moment for all the times I brushed her off or yelled at her when I was really frustrated with something else. You always realize to late what you could have done better. It was harder still because she was with us from nearly the beginning. She was our "practice baby", our wedding gift to each other. It was not just the end of her life but the end of a chapter of ours.... one I thought still had a long way to go.
I know that she is in heaven. I keep telling Bella that when she says she misses her. When we first had to tell her I explained that she was really sick (which Bella could see) and that the only way for her to get well was to go to heaven where God could heal her. Somehow explaining it to my kids made it easier for me to understand as well. 

So what made me write this today in the first place? Two things...

First, we went outside to play today for the first time since we got Jack in the late fall. And I realized just how much I missed Sheba. Don't misunderstand. I love Jack too. But I couldn't trust him.... yet. He will get there I'm sure, but I didn't feel as safe today. I didn't know that he would be the first one to hear anything that was nearby. I took that for granted with her.

Second, Isabella looked out the door this morning and said " there goes Sheba... I miss her so much mama." I was confused for a few minutes until we worked it out that she was actually pointing to an airplane. I guess in her three year old mind, the only two things we talk about being "up in the sky" are airplanes and heaven. To her they had somehow become one and the same. She said "I miss her but she can't come back and play with us, right mama?" I said no but I'm sure she is happy now and just waiting for us to come and play with her someday... and I really do believe that.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning! Wake up and smell the windex....

Last week we had a few warm sunny days, and I got to thinking about spring cleaning. Every year around this time I get a little stir crazy and start throwing away Everything.

Mostly I want to focus on yard work once the weather turns nice, but we still had tons of snow out in the yard from the 40+ inches we got in February....
Yes... that is the Hood of my van level with the snow.

Let us speak of snow no more....hopefully now that that pretty white stuff is all but gone I will get to yard work this weekend.

I was thinking it would be nice to get the indoor spring cleaning done before the weather gets nice consistantly. Also I was very inspired by the series "Declutter: 40 Bags in 40 Days" over at Clover Lane.

Everyone I know thinks I am "very organized"...either that or they have been lying to me to spare my feelings. Anyway... here is my dirty little secret... I am not very organized I just hide the mess in drawers and behind closed doors. So to prove that I did have my work cut out for me, we have some before pictures! I love, love, love, Before and Afters, don't you?

Today I'll show you the kitchen:

This is the top of my fridge and the cabinet above it.
Catch all of the kitchen. Don't mind the dust...

And this is the After...
I got the white document box at Walmart, it fits perfectly. I would love to assume that nothing will ever get stuck up there again but since I know that is will (probably by me) I thought the tray would help me more easily and frequently sort through the mess and put things where they belong.

These are the two main cabinets I use for pots and pans... and mountain dew... that is not mine, it is for my many teenage brothers... five to be exact, but that is a whole 'nother post... Anyway the plan eventually is to get one of those neat sliding shelves, I took me four years to get hardware on the cabinet so I'm just going to be patient.

Here is the after, this honestly took me about 10 minutes, now the trick is to not get lazy when I'm putting the dishes away.

These are some more random pictures that I don't have Before pictures of, honestly I didn't think I'd get this far! Also I found the joy of contact paper... everything just looks nicer, neater, don't you think?

 My mom saw this one and called me "sick".. such a compliment!

So there you have it, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was! I did it all with my kids underfoot, and while my husband was at work. It really is true that if you take it one drawer or cabinet at a time it seem so much more doable. I am easily overwhelmed by the list of things I want to accomplish around the house each day... I start to have panic attacks when I think about the basement...

But seeing what I've done reminds me that I can do more, and seeing what others have done inspires me to do it in the first place.