Showing posts with label Ramblings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramblings. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Week Without Makeup

We had a fun little challenge over at Burlington Vermont Moms Blog to do a week without makeup. I thought it would be uneventful and no big deal. I learned a thing or two about myself.

Monday, January 28, 2013

What I Wanted To Do...

What I wanted to do today was post pictures of our Living Room before and after. What I'm actually doing is nursing a sick kid. He moans. It's the man cold in boy form. And it ain't pretty.

What I wanted to do today was show you how pretty my Living Room is. What I'm actually doing is hoping this set up...

Thaws the pipes to our upstairs radiators that are frozen. No heat in Vermont in January is fun.

What I wanted to do today was show you this rug:

But I can't because last night entailed an epic pillow fight and some certain children didn't clean up after themselves. What I'm actually doing is reading Duct Tape Parenting and realizing my kids need more training. I realize this because I am constantly cleaning up after them and quite frankly, I'm sick of it.

I'm the mom, not the maid.

I've let things slip, taken over too much control. Not expected everyone to do their share around here. So I'm leaving the messes they create. I spent my weekend ignoring scenes like this:

Biting my tongue so hard I may puncture it. I've asked once. And that's all I'm asking. Which is why my dining room looks like this:

And why my evening last night looked like this:

That's me hiding in my bedroom drinking a glass of wine while the children destroy the house.

So far the messes don't last long. It takes them a day to realize I'm no longer coming behind them to clean up. Now it's Monday and I can't touch any of this. Nope. Not even this delightful collection at the bottom of the stairs:

If you need me, I'll be rocking in the corner, thinking about all the things I wanted to do today.

PS: this book I'm reading is so great! It's like taking Love and Logic parenting up a notch and adding some great twists. I'll be telling you more about it soon! Just, obviously, not today.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kids TV Shows...Am I A Hypocrite?

My boys' new favorite show is Survivorman on the Discovery channel.

We are generally pretty picky about what we let our boys watch. We don't watch Spongebob. We don't watch those dumb teenager comedies. I just don't feel like my young boys need to get caught up in shows about boyfriends and girlfriends and all that drama. I also don't want them thinking that is how life and relationships actually work. When they are a little bit older and able to distinguish between real life and drama meant for tv, then we'll revisit that genre of shows.

Or not.

As for Spongebob and the like...

Just. No.

But then I stopped and wondered if letting them watch Suriviorman where I knew there might be a swear word thrown in here and there made me a hypocrite?  I thought about it and decided that no, it would not! Or maybe it does and I just don't care. You want to know why? I'm glad you asked!

Because I would rather my kids be the kind of people who say OH SH*T when something scary or startling happens than to be the kind of people who call others stupid and idiots when they don't agree with them or think they have made a mistake in some way. I would rather them learn about surviving in a dessert and eating snake brains than watching two diva disney stars kiss while the audience ooooohhhhs. Does that make me crazy? Maybe.

Don't worry though, if you let your kids watch those other kinds of shows, I will not judge you. I might think "Oh sh*t you let your kids watch what?!" But I will never call you can idiot.

That would just be mean.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Why I Over-Share

Today I share about why I over-share over on Burlington Vermont Moms Blog. I like sharing. Sharing is caring. Mostly.

Why I Over-Share

Let me know where I can follow you and see all of your over-sharing!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Silent, Lonely Journey

There are so many things I want to tell you but I can't. Sometimes military life is a silent, painful road. There are secrets to be kept. Security is first, and keeping things to myself is not my biggest strength. But, alas, I must. So that is why I am being quiet. I have recipes to share and funny things to tell you about and many, many house pictures to update you on but it will all have to wait. We are counting down to a deployment. It is taking up most of my time and my brain space. I am still fulfilling my responsibilities that I have for writing for other blogs like Goodwill and BVTMomsBlog. But otherwise it will be quiet around here until after the holidays.

We appreciate your prayers while our family goes through this difficult, but rewarding journey.

OK, one funny conversation that happened between the boys before I go...

Charlie: If you put the dog in the oven, he would be a hot dog!

Chase: No, actually, he would be a dead dog.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday Season!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vacation With A Capital V

We're going on vacation! Thanks to the very generous people of Ohana Camp we are staying for an all expense paid stay in a cabin for the week along with many other military families.

We didn't get everything done on our list for the house but we are all pretty exhausted and ready for a break so we're going anyway! Hopefully the contractors will be getting some work done while we are gone.

From what I hear there is no cell service, no Internet, no TVs. Nothing. And we are pretty excited about it!

So until next week, I'll be enjoying some peace and quiet. Well, except for the three boys that will be with us.

There are a few things on my list of things to do while we are gone:

-Paint my toe nails
-Pluck my eyebrows
-Read a book
-Catch up on hugging my kids

Not a bad list, is it?!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Someone Is Living In My House

Someone is living in my house.

And it's not me!

(Turn your volume up!)

And then I found this. It's too bad we are going to have to sell this house before we get to live in it.

I would have rather it been squirrels.

PS - Don't the floors look great?!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Breathing It In

I'm taking a nap with my sick little guy. I'm trying to breathe in this moment. 

The window is open. The birds are singing. There is a slight breeze rustling the trees. He breathes deeply. In and out. In and out. A slight snore catches his breath every now and then. 

He smells like home. Even though we do not have a place to call our own, this is home to me. Where I can be next to my loves. I breathe in his scent deep into my memory. 

"Remember this moment," the birds sing to me. "Remember it always."

*I took this picture using Instagram a while back and I wanted to share what I wrote here and expand on it a bit. Mostly because I know this is a safe place to keep my thoughts. And also because I thought some of you might relate.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Other Side Of Judgment

Living in a hotel has a taught me a lot about myself. 

Example? I need a maid and an indoor pool. 

Mostly though, it is teaching me about judgment. It's teaching me about judging a book by it's cover. It's teaching me that things are not always how they appear on the outside. It's teaching me that first impressions should not determine what you think about someone.

You get the picture.

One day last week I was doing laundry here at the hotel. I was lugging baskets up and down the hall. I will admit, I was wearing sweat pants and flip flops and my hair was, well, rough. These are the things you normally do in the privacy of your own home. Schlep around laundry whilst looking like a bag woman. I, however, do not have that luxury. I decided I would not get dressed up and put on make up to do laundry. Who cares if some random stranger sees me this way in the hallway, anyway? Not me!

So I thought.

On one of my less than glamorous trips down the hall I passed a group of moms who were bringing their kids in for swimming lessons which they hold at the hotel pool. These moms were not in sweat pants and flip flops. Their hair looked quite lovely.

I felt so small. 

They looked at me with such harsh and sad judgement in their eyes.

"Look at that poor single mom lugging her laundry down the hall. Poor thing lives in a hotel with her three kids! What a tragedy. Get off food stamps and get a job, lazy. And fix your hair for crying out loud."

This is what I imagined they were thinking. This is what their stares were saying to me.

They could be perfectly nice women, I don't know what they were thinking. But I wanted to tell them so badly, "I have a husband! I have nice things! I don't live here! I'm buying a house! My hair can be fixed, let me show you!"

Then on one of my trips to the laundry room that day, (yes, there were several) I met someone.

She was a single mom with two boys and she lived in the hotel. She explained that she was trying desperately to find a place to live since she left her husband. But everything was too expensive in this area for her to afford on her own. She didn't want her kids to have to switch schools though so she was just staying here until school was over. She was doing the best she could while putting her kids first. We laughed over the things we do to save money while paying for laundry. Making our kids wear their pants three times at least. Using lots of febreeze. She was just like me.

I felt so small. 

You see, when she first walked in the room, I had thoughts in my head very similar to what I imagined those other women were thinking about me.

"Wow, how tragic, this single mom lives in this hotel. Does she have a job? What's up with her?"

This is what I like to call a Holy Smackdown.

I judged her. Thirty seconds after having felt judged myself. I judged her. The women who I felt judged by had no idea about me, about my life, about what was going on behind the scenes. And when I saw this woman in the laundry room, I didn't know either. Yet. I judged.

It reminded me of a blog post I read by one of my favorites, Mama's Losing It, called But For The Grace Of God Go I. There are not many steps between the woman in the laundry room and myself. How dare I think myself better than her? But for the grace of God? I could be in her place. That could be my story.

So in closing, friends, I would encourage you to NOT judge a book by it's cover. The next time you see a woman looking rough and appearing worn down, don't assume the worst of her. She could be a perfectly nice blogging lady going through a hard time. She could be a very tired single mom doing her best to do right by her kids. 

She could be me. 

She could be you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Living In A Hotel

I thought I'd give a quick update on the house situation. We're still waiting. How's that for an update?

Things are moving forward but nothing is set in stone yet.

For now we are living in this hotel. It's...interesting. It's not the fanciest hotel in town but it's clean and it's relatively convenient to where we go to work and school.

There is one bedroom. The kids sleep on air mattresses in the living room now. The pull out couch gave them back aches. You know if a seven year old has a back ache, the bed must be bad.

So what life looks like is the kids go to bed at 8 pm and then we sit in our bedroom and watch tv or whatever. Then Matt goes to bed around 9ish and I try to watch tv or something but he snores so loud that I give up and just go to bed too.

Needless to say, we are all tired. We are getting much less sleep than we normally get. The kids wake up if we so much as sneeze or get up to use the bathroom. Basically, if one person wakes up, we all do. It's not pretty. But we're trying. We're making it work.

I'm just thankful there is a full(ish) kitchen. I brought my own dishes and pots and pans. (And blankets. And pillows.) OCD clean freak? Yes, please.

We are doing plenty of swimming to make up for the rest.

We are hoping to close on the house in the middle of June. So, just a few more weeks of this. I can do that, right?

Sure I can!

Pass the wine and the snorkel.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Why I Hate That One M&M's Commercial

If you are a parent,  you probably already know which M&M's commercial I'm talking about it.

It's this one:

OK. So it's funny. I laughed. The song is catchy. I get it.

But why. WHY. Do we need to market candy with sex?


My kids see this commercial on tv all the time. And they laugh. And now my seven year old knows the word sexy. No, he did not know it before. There is no reason he should. Sexy is an adult word. It has nothing to do with anything that a kid needs to know about it. Call me old fashioned. Call me strict. I DON'T CARE.

I'm really tired of our culture over-sexualizing everything. (Shut up little red squiggly line. Over-sexualizing is a word today.) It's unnecessary. It bothers me.

Sending the message that getting naked and dancing about being sexy in a group of people is not ok. Even if they are just candy. Especially because they are candy.  No, candy is not just for kids. But airing that commercial at all times of the day knowing kids are watching it is not ok with me. Funny or not. I'm not calling for a ban on M7M's in protest. I'm not going to get all loud-mouthed and obnoxious about it. But I don't like it. So I thought I'd say so.

And that's how I feel about that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Circumstances Do Not Determine My Joy

"Your circumstances do not determine your joy."

This is a thought that our pastor has shared many times. And lately I have really been struggling with it.

My joy comes from such a deep, meaningful place. My faith in God. My faith in myself. The undying love and affection of my (very adorable) husband. The smile on my boys' faces. The warmth of family. The strength of good friends.

And yet?

I let the smallest, insignificant things take away my joy. The car broke down. The ER bill came in the mail. I'm about to live in a hotel. (OK. Maybe they are not all small.) But the things I listed before? The ones that give me joy? They do not change when the mailman comes or when the car doesn't start. They are still there.

And yet?

I let myself get into a foul mood. I snap at my kids. I growl at my husband. I distance myself from family and friends. I ask "Why, God, why?!"

I'm working on changing that. I'm working on seeing the sunshine through the rain.  Being grateful. Saying thank you. And still thinking of those who wish these were their problems.

My circumstances do not determine my joy.

And neither do yours. So smile.

Feel the joy, friends.  And smile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No News...Just Packing

You know how when you say a word over and over again then it just sounds funny? Or when you write a word over and over again then it doesn't look right? I am having that problem with a word. The word is...


Say it two hundred times today and you will see what I mean.

It has lost all meaning to me. I'm over it.

Here is how you can tell...

And this...

I think the boys are over it too...

Charlie said he felt like we live in a warehouse. Can't really blame him...

So. No news. No real progress on the house purchasing brouhaha.

Just packing.



Did I spell that right? I can't even tell.

Next on my list of words to hate?

BOXES. Oh and...TAPE.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It Could Always Be Worse...Probably

I've never really used this blog as a place to discuss the happenings of our lives. I've shared fun stories and moments but I really don't want to turn this space into a whine zone. I have, however, discovered that we are going through some pretty intense stuff right now and maybe it would be therapeutic for me to write about it all here. The ups and downs have been tremendous and many of you are just getting let into the chaos that is our life. If you don't want to be let in, that's ok. Wait for the next funny moment or story. Trust me, they come to me daily. But if you'd like to hear about how I've dealt with the roller coaster of life with a smile and prayer and lots of chocolate, read on.

I just shared with you all that we bought a house. This house. We were all set to close last week and start construction when the bank, at the last possible moment, decided it wasn't a good investment for them. There is too much work that needs to be done and possibly structural issues. We tried proving them wrong with inspections and the like but they were not convinced. So now, in the eleventh hour, we are starting over with a new bank. Hoping for better luck this time.

We've already given our notice at our apartment. We have to be out in two weeks. So that means we will move all of our belongings into storage and move into an extended stay hotel until things get worked out.

It feels as though one thing after the other has gone wrong for us. Have you ever heard that song, "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." We're kind of living that song. Anything that could wrong? Has.

The "why does bad things happen to good people" question is quite present in my brain. I don't know why so much bad luck has come our way. I'd like to think that we're being protected from something that we can't see. There's something better that going to come out of this. Or maybe the opposite. Maybe this is all just really bad luck, bad timing. Maybe afterwards we'll just say, "Wow, that was rough." and never know the why.

I keep telling myself, it could always be worse. We could be jobless, homeless, we could be facing serious health issues or death. It could be much, much worse.

These are just bumps in the road on the path of our life. Really, really, big, obnoxious bumps. I don't know why they're there. Ever travel on a road with those big speed bumps and you think why in the heck are these here?! But then further down the road you realize there was a good reason after all. There's a school or a park. The speed bumps are there for your protection and the protection of others. I'm trying to see our speed bumps as just that.

Something. Some reason. SOMETHING beyond my point of view is going on here. There is something coming down the road. We need to stop, to slow down, to yield.  We don't know why. We are screaming at the bumps like it's their fault. YOU STUPID BUMP GET OUT OF MY WAY! But soon, very soon (I hope) we'll say, "Oh. Silly. Of course there was a bump there!" And we will go on our merry way.

For now, I'll slow down and step back. We'll do what we can with what we have. We'll push for what we want but have faith that we'll at least get what we need. And I'm ok with that.

The contentment lesson continues. I'm gonna be one patient lady when this is over. Or certifiably insane. But definitely content. Because it could always be worse.

Right? Just say right. It really is not the best time to argue with me.  :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Who's Making The Coffee?!

Just a peek into a normal conversation in my life:

Me: Can you make the coffee for tomorrow morning?

Husband: I don't want to get up.

Me: But I do it every daaaaay!

Husband: Well I make the money every daaaaay.

Me: Eye roll

Husband: How about this. Every day that I make money, you make the coffee. Every day that you make money, I'll make the coffee. Fair?

Me: Eyeroll

Quick! Someone sponsor a blog post! I don't feel like making the coffee!

Darn it. I gotta go make the coffee.

But then I'm going to lay around and watch tv all day and eat the last cookie while you are at work making all the money, husband.

So there.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What My Kids Think I Do All Day When They're At School

I read a post by Wendi Aarons today about What My Kids Think I Do All Day When They're At School and just laughed and laughed. I just knew I had to write my own list because we have this conversation every. single. day.

It's so funny what our kids (and others) think we do and we we actually do. Much like this picture that's going around the internet:


So here is my list of what my kids think I do all day:

Tell everyone on Twitter and Facebook about all the embarrassing things that they do.

Blog about "mom stuff" all day.

Sit on the couch and watch tv.

Sit on the couch and google stuff.

Ignore all the chores so they can do it when they get home.

Make the dog hold his pee and never take him out so they can spend their entire night taking the dog out.

Think up new healthy foods and yummy desserts just so they will hate the healthy food so I can have all the yummy dessert to myself when they refuse to eat their dinner.

Bake cookies and treats for other people.

Eat the last cookie.

Disclaimer: Some of these may or may not be true. *Ahem* I love cookies and yummy desserts. And the whole sharing their embarrassing things? I have no idea what they are talking about.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bad Blogger, Bad!

I feel like my last few posts have all been excuses about why I haven't been blogging.

I was in a tornado.

I was in Florida.

I was lazy. I don't have a link to prove that one. I just was.

This time? I was dying of the stomach flu.

We are feeling better today. But now I have things to bleach so blogging is not a priority.

I know you guys understand.

That's why you're my friends.

Anyone going through something similar may want to look into Article Writing Services.

Soon things will get back to normal and then I'll have more excuses, like the fact that we just bought a fixer-up house that is going to take up ALL my time.

More on that later! With pictures! I promise!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Compassion and Gratitude - Lessons From the Henrville, Indiana Tornado

I told you guys I was going to visit my family in Indiana. Well, that vacation turned out to be more than we bargained for! While we were there my Mom's town, Henryville, was hit by an EF4 tornado.

We heard that some serious storms were coming our way and since my Mom doesn't have a basement, we decided it would be best to go to my brother's house to ride out the storm.  We were not expecting what was going to happen next.

We picked my younger sister up from school early and headed to my brother's house. Not very long after we arrived there we started hearing the news that Henryville was being hit hard by multiple devastating tornadoes.  We were nervous and scared as we watched video of my sister's school and much of the town completely destroyed.  Thankfully, my Mom's house stood. There was much damage done but many people lost everything so we counted ourselves lucky.

Part of my Mom's backyard.
My Mom's front yard.

In the days to come we walked around the devastated areas and I couldn't believe my eyes. As we stood among the debris of people's homes and the school, it felt like we were standing in a movie set. It didn't feel real. But the emotions of everyone around us were very raw. We watched people sifting through what was left of their homes looking for something, anything, that looked like home to them.

An entire house swept away. Nothing is left.

I was struck at that moment at how lucky we were. The tornado was SO close to flattening my Mom's house. We were SO close to just staying at her house and riding out that storm alone with four kids. My little sister was SO close to still being at that school. We were spared and I was extremely grateful.

Just down the road...

At the same time we felt kind of guilty. So many lost so much and here we were with electricity and showers and tv. It was difficult to feel grateful without feeling guilty.

But what I learned through that experience was very simple yet very deep.

Compassion and Gratitude go hand in hand. No guilt required.

When you have true compassion for those not as blessed as you, you can't help but feel extraordinarily grateful for what you have. In one breath you are saying "thank you" and in the next breath you are saying "bless them".

When you are grateful, truly grateful, for what you have you feel immediate compassion for those who are not so lucky. You just can't help it.

When you have food to eat and a bed to sleep in, you feel for those with nothing to eat and no where to lay their head. When you are surrounded by people you love and support you, you feel compassion for those who have no one or who have lost them to tragedy. When you have faith and hope in a God who loves you, you feel compassion for anyone who feels hopeless and unloved.

And when you truly feel that kind of compassion and gratitude, you have to DO something about it.

I think this is the way we are meant to live. Riding the line of gratitude and compassion and responding to it on a daily basis.  We can do this in small ways and big ways.

I'd like to encourage you to stop and think deeply about what you are grateful for. If everything you owned was swept away, what would you be left with? Align your priorities so the things in your life are not what are driving you. Enrich your relationships and fill your heart with faith, hope, and love. Things do not make us who we are.

If you would like to DO something to help the people of Henryville, please consider donating to the Red Cross. You can also adopt a teacher as they prepare to get the school back up and running.

What's left of the school.
Love your neighbor as yourself takes on a whole new meaning when your neighbor has been left with nothing. Consider truly loving your neighbor today. Consider what it means to be grateful and compassionate on a daily basis.

Don't wait till a tragedy happens.

Consider love today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Doing Today

I'm packing suitcases and snacks and movies. I'm loading all my dirty laundry in a big bag so I can wash it at my Mom's.

I'm going on a trip!

The boys and I are driving down to visit my family in Indiana today. The last time I drive there alone it took me about 18 hours. We drove 9ish hours and stopped at a hotel and drove another 9ish hours the next day. This time we are driving 5 hours to my in-law's home and staying the night then finishing the rest of the drive the next day.

I might be crazy.

Will I make it? We shall see. I've made it before. Here are my travel tips in a video I posted the last time I made this drive.

My newest travel tip, which I found on Pinterest, is to pack the kids activities and snacks in these handy little craft buckets. The boys are very excited about it. We'll see how long that lasts. My bet is hour one.  What's yours?

I'm not sure why this photo insists on being sideways. I've tried to fix it for 15 minutes. I give up!

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dinner Date

Really bad picture of the back of Matt's head. We'll say it's artistic, not blurry.

Matt and I had plans to go to dinner with some friends last night. He asked me to get him some clothes ready.

Me: "What do you want to wear?"

Him: "I don't know. All I know is that I want to wear my nice brown boots."

Me: "Is this shirt ok?"

Him: "I don't know I kind of feel fat today."

Me: "Soooo..."

Him: "I don't know. You know how sometimes you just feel fat and nothing fits right? I might be having that kind of day."

Me: "Actually, I know exactly what you mean. But I'm not going to iron this shirt if you aren't going to wear it."

Him: "Fine. I'll just look fat all night."

Apparently I married a woman.

She sure is cute in those nice brown boots, though!

And not fat at all.