Sunday, June 29, 2008


So since August of 2004 I have been keeping my journal on my laptop. It all started when I moved to NYC for graduate school. So now 4 years later I finally decided it might be a good idea to print it in case my computer ever crashes. Then at least I've salvaged something right? I printed it out and have been putting it in plastic sheet protectors and having been enjoying the memories that have come flooding back. I found a couple entries that I wanted to share:

There was construction where I normally walk so I crossed the street. I approached the house from the other side. It was remarkable how different the scene was from just the other side of the street. I arrived at work just the same, walked up the same gray steps to go into my same office but the journey had been very different. There was a small tree just beginning to bloom with white blossoms. It was situated near a delicate wooden fence that had been scraped free of it’s once pale blue paint. It felt like a foreign neighborhood and I mused over the simplicity of ‘just the other side of the street.’ I, of course, immediately had to draw the obvious parallels of this experience to that of real life. When a problem is looming, when it seems that it is immense with no sign of dissipating, how different might it look if we just cross the street, if it is simply looked at from a new angle, a new perspective?

Have you ever had one of those experiences where, for a brief second, it seems as if the stars align and everything connects and you realize you’re standing in a moment of perfection? I had one of those tonight. I had just come off the subway, experiencing a mini-high after being able to give up my seat to an elderly woman. I was walking down the street and looked up and it suddenly hit me. The block was lined with trees. The streetlamps were glowing dimly, creating a hazy fog of light. The temperature outside was at that level that makes you feel like Baby Bear’s porridge…not too hot, not too cold but just right with a breeze blowing ever so slightly to rustle the leaves. And the moment I took two more steps, it was gone. But while it was there, and I was standing in it, it was magnificent.

When I read these again tonight they just made me ponder and think a little so I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All about friends lately

And no, I'm not talking about the weight-loss competition (though since I mentioned it, can I just say that I absolutely love it? Best reality show ever because.....EVERYONE wins!) I am officially the biggest loser friend. I have this fantastic friend named Monica. We've been friends since I've been in Texas and she is one of those friends that will do anything and everything for you. She will hear me say that I need something, like a toybox for Pumpkin's room, and before I know it I'll be getting links from her to great toyboxes for sale on Craigslist. When my mom came out for Pumpkin's birth, Monica was her own personal GPS (yeah my mom, not such a great sense of direction....runs in the family). She finds hook-ups for things like sweet mattresses at amazing prices and shares them with me. She watches my daughter whenever I need her to. She is just an all around great friend (who is moving in August; I'm currently having a very large tantrum about it) to and let me tell you what I have done to show my appreciation. I FORGOT HER BIRTHDAY!

It gets better (or worse depending on how you look at it). So husband went out of town again on Sunday night. Last night I was watching T.V. and heard a weird tapping/scratching noise on my windows. There aren't any trees out by those windows so it wasn't trees. At the same time, I got a call on my cell phone that said Private Caller and when I answered it they hung up. Anyway, I got myself a little freaked out so I called Monica to see if I could bring Pumpkin and sleep over. Of course she said of course (I told you she was a good friend). So I get there and we (her, her hubs, and me) are sitting around talking for a good hour when all of the sudden her husband asks her if she had a good birthday and that was the point that I clued in. Yes folks, after my dear friend took me in to protect me from the boogie man, it took me an entire hour before realizing that it was her birthday. So then of course I felt like the biggest moron on the planet and on my knees (literally cuz I was on the floor playing with Pumpkin) I begged her forgiveness. She pretended it was no big deal but I know better.

So, Monica if you read this please know that I'm a loser and will spend several months making this up to you. I am yours anytime you need a babysitter or anything else for that matter. I couldn't ask for a better friend to chat and gossip with, (I know gossip is bad but if I"m gonna do it anyway I'm glad I have someone to do it with) to hang out with, to share parenting advice with, to get a pedicure with......well you get the idea. So HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Next year it won't be late. I'm on my way to buy you a big fat yummy birthday treat!

Friday, June 20, 2008

All those hotties

So, I have a fairly technology-literate grandmother who has been emailing me back and forth for the past eight years or so. I recently decided it would be cool to print out all the emails back and forth between her and I and get them made into a book here or at another one of these type of sites. I thought it would be a cool thing to have when she's not around anymore for my kids to be able to read and feel like they knew her a little bit since she is pretty amazing as I've previously pointed out.

Well when I was checking very very old email accounts to try to find all the emails, I came across one that had emails between my high school best friend and I from..........................1998! Isn't that crazy? I read one to my husband where she said something like "So that awards thing I had to go to tonight was fine I guess. There were a LOT of hotties there!" His response was "Nobody talks like that." Well, 18 year old high school girls do, I promise. I was laughing so hard reading through them that I had to call her. I don't talk to her as often as I should, probably only 4 times a year but I called her last night, even though it was 10 pm at her house and we giggled for over an hour at the silly things we had written and the memories they brought flooding back. It was one of the most fun hours I've had in awhile. And afterward I was thinking, it has probably been 4 months at least since the last time I talked to her on the phone and yet it was so easy when she picked up the phone for me to say "Hey, what are you doing? I'm about to pee my pants over some emails we wrote" without any how are you doing, what have you been up to, etc. (For the record, she couldn't believe that we even had email back in 1998!) That's the beauty of "old friends" as one of my favorite bloggers mentioned in a post a few days ago. (Go ahead and go read it, you'll agree)

I've long noticed that the good friends I've had in high school have something different than any other friends I've met along the way. Somehow time never seems to pass with these friends. Even if it was two years ago that you last talked to them, you can call them up and it feels like it was yesterday. And I swear they love you more, because they thought you were cool even back when you were the typical overly self-conscious high school girl, who wore a bit too much makeup to cover those acne breakouts, and said and did much sillier crazier stupider (is that even a word) things than you do now. So even though I don't keep in touch as well as she deserves (see above), it's sure nice to know that when I do, things haven't really changed that much. I mean sure, we both have husbands now, different jobs, a few kids under our belt (okay her two, me one) but at the end of the day, we still laugh at the same stuff. You know, like all the hotties that were there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Join the Club

So last night I hosted my book club at my house. We start at 7:30 and we are almost always out the door by 8:45. Last night however, when my husband returned with Pumpkin at 9:30, we were still sitting around in a circle chatting it up. What can keep a group of women away from their kids longer, their husbands, their homes and their beds? (For a good night's sleep) Childbirth. Well not the actual act of childbirth but the reenactment of it through some pretty good stories.

At the end of our discussion about the book, one of the girls mentioned that her sister-in-law had given birth earlier that day. And little did she know, she'd opened the flood gates. For 45 minutes, with little awareness or concern for the time, we sat around and swapped "when my water broke" and "I didn't think I wanted an epidural" and "when the doctor said she weighed 9 lbs." and "32, 36, 39 hours of labor" stories. And even though we've all told the stories probably a thousand times, we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I remember telling my husband after I had my daughter "Now that I have Pumpkin, I've automatically been inducted into a club I never even knew existed." "What club is that?" he asked. So I told him. The I'VE BIRTHED A CHILD club.

It's an amazing phenomenon isn't it? And a wonderful one too. After being through something so emotional, hard, incredible and excruciating it's nearly impossible not to share and to be intrigued, awed and thrilled when others share.

We discussed the epidural vs. natural debate. For the record, my husband is flabbergasted that there even is a debate. He says its like going to the dentist for a root canal and saying "Oh I know I can have anesthesia but no thanks, I think I'll go without it." I tried to explain to him the way some women feel, wanting to be connected to the women of history who did it w/o the pain killers, those who don't want to take the risk it may have for them/the baby, the women who wanted to know they are tough enough to get through it without help. I thought I was one of those, I was going to go "as long as possible without an epidural." After I labored for an hour at home and my water broke on the way to the hospital, that was "as long as possible" and by the time we pulled into the hospital I was screaming for two things: 1) a wheelchair and 2) an epidural. I even begged my husband at one point to go pay the anesthesiologist whatever it took to get him to hurry up. (There I go, telling my story again.)

Anyway, just wanted to say what a proud member I am of this club. I was even prouder when my husband walked in with my daughter and she gave me her cheesiest grin. I realized that my participation in the club was well worth the painful membership fee! So to those of you who, like me, were unaware of even the existence of this sisterhood, we look forward to you joining us! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You look familiar........

Hooray! My dear husband is finally home from a 10 day trip to Taiwan. It's the longest he's been away and I barely remember him! J/K But I am always a lot more grateful for him after he's been away awhile and I thank the Lord that he made it back to me safe. I don't know what I'd do without him!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

V is for Volcanoes

I have a 4 year old nephew who is one of THE funniest children on the planet. I've been lucky enough to be able to visit him a couple times in the last month even though he lives far away in Utah. Right now it's tornado season here in Texas and there has been much talk on the news lately about tornado activity. Here is a recent coversation I had with my nephew:

Nephew: You live in Texas
Me: Yep I do
Nephew: But I don't live in Texas
Me: Nope but you should come visit me some time.
Nephew: Texas has lots of volcanoes.
Me: It does?
Nephew: Yeah and they are dangerous.
Me: Uh-oh, I better be careful then huh?
Nephew: Yeah cuz of all the volcanoes. They explode.

So I have now taken to being much more cautious when I leave my house just in case I should happen to fall in the path of one of those nasty Texas volcanoes. For the record, I'd also prefer to avoid the path of any tornadoes.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Check check check it out! Wow Hits 1 And it gets better, there's a sweet giveaway of this CD and more over at Rocks In My Dryer. I never win anything but I love surprises so I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dresses, pantaloons and headbands.....oh my!

As I mentioned before, I am spending a week visiting my family while husband is gone on a business trip. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy being around them. My mom and I spent part of the day yesterday at the fabric store buying all kinds of fun ribbon and material to make Pumpkin some headbands. Headbands: the perfect accessory for that no hair baby in your life. After the checker at Walmart asked if Pumpkin was a girl or a boy (mind you my child was dressed in a pink and peach striped shirt, bright pink capris, bright pink crocs and sitting in a bright pink shopping cart cover with yellow and pink flowers on it) I decided it was time to get serious about some headbands. Lucky for me my mother is a Jack Jill of all trades and can do a little bit of pretty much everthing. They are gonna be soooo cute. Now for a way to keep the kid from pulling them off.

My mom also spent the end of last week making 2 DARLING dresses with matching pantaloons for Pumpkin to wear to church. I can hardly wait to put her in them and now that we've finished up those two projects I'm racking my brain trying to think what else I can use my mom's talents for before I leave. Too bad I didn't bring any pictures with me; she does a mean scrapbook page!

Monday, June 2, 2008

We call them Gram & Gramps

Tonight I took Pumpkin over to see my grandparents who I call Gram and Gramps and she will call G.G. (Great Grandma) & Grandpa. I should mention that I have the best grandparents in the world but I won't because I don't want to make anyone feel bad.

I've always had a very close relationship with this set of grandparents. Their house has always been down the street or around the corner and my second home. My mother's parents both died when I was very young and I barely knew them but my father's parents, these grandparents have been my heroes, my friends, my confidants, my playmates, my biggest fans, and so much more. They have worked very hard to keep our family close, every year hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the best easter egg hunt this side of the Mississippi. In the summertimes, many lazy days were spent on the lake with Gramps trying to catch the biggest fish and despite many claims of "yuck" and "gross" accompanied by looks of terror and disgust, every one of his granddaughters learned how to put a worm on a hook.

In the fall, you could find my cousins and I jumping in the monstrous piles of leaves my grams would rake up in her front yard. Despite the fact that this meant much more work for her, she never complained and always seemed to time her leaf gathering to coincide with grandkids running about on her front lawn. It was almost as if she raked them just for us! ;)

Winter came early in Idaho and the anticipation for the first "real" snow almost killed us. We knew that on that day or soon after we would go hookey-bobbin! Gramps would hook up the snow saucers to the back of his pick-up truck and pull us up and down Dog Alley (I come from a very small town) until it was dark or we were exhausted. Each time he'd tell us that it was time to go in, he was met with cries of "One more time gramps, one more time!" We even had a little trick to keep him out longer. On what was supposed to be the last run, one of us would purposely accidentally throw toss drop a glove or mitten on the side of the road. Once we returned to the house we would inform gramps of our loss, and another run to retrieve the glove would be necessary.

Gram & Gramps rarely missed any of our ball games, theater productions, music concerts, or other important activities and in the event they did, there was always a very good reason. It was very evident how proud they were and how much they loved us. I can remember many late Saturday nights I spent at my Gram & Gramps in high school staying up to watch Hello Dolly or another volume in their movie collection. They always seemed different than my friends grandparents; they never felt old to me because they were always willing to participate in the fun that we had whether it was staying up late to play board games or patiently showing us over and over how to make a doll out of a hollyhock flower.

I cannot even begin to number the neat memories I have of them. As they progress in age, though they are both in decent health, I wonder more and more how I will manage without them. Something that has always brought overwelming sadness to me was the fear that they would not be around long enough to give my children the opportunity to know them or learn from their incredible examples. And that is what has inspired me to write this post. Because tonight that fear lessened a bit as I watched Gramps play with Pumpkin, tickle her belly to make her laugh and hang her upside down from her feet. I saw Grams, in the way she always takes care of others, make sure there were toys ready in the living room for Pumpkin to play with when we arrived. As I watched my daughter interact with the two of them, I was suddenly flooded with memories from my childhood with them when they did similar things with/for me. Depending on how long they are with us, Pumpkin may never have any recollection of these tender moments but I will never forget them.

I'm not sure they know it, because among many other things they are amazingly humble, but they have passed on quite the legacy. It is a legacy of kindess, of hard work and service, of gratitude and forgiveness and above all, unconditional love. What an example to follow!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Un-American Airlines (LONG POST)

Well Pumpkin and I made it to my parents house for our visit although not without a very long day and an unexpected sleepover at my sisters. The day started when my friend showed up at 9:20 am to take us to the airport. After a well-fought battle with the carseat in 70% humidity, we were off. Halfway to the airport I realized that I had forgotten to bring the food I had for Pumpkin. It was still at home in my fridge. Luckily I had some snacks but nothing of real substance.

We got to the airport about 45 minutes before the flight was supposed to leave and when I checked in on the computers, I was told that I was too late to check in and would have to pick one of the later flights. I chose one that left at 2:00 pm and had to pay $35 to reserve a seat and not have to stand-by w/ my highly impatient 11-month old. Then of course, because I was flying American the computer informed me there was a $25 fee for my second bag. However, when I was finished with the whole process, the computer screen said "The second checked bag fee of $25 has been waived for this flight. Your credit card will not be charged." So I was grateful that it was going to only cost me $35 instead of $60.

My friend took me to her mom's house to wait until it was time for our flight. When I returned to the airport and went to the counter to check my bags, the attendant told me I had to pay $25. I told her what the computer had said and she acted surprised and told me her computer said I had to pay. I told her again what the computer said and then she kept saying things like "I've NEVER heard of the computer doing that" as if she thought I was lying. Then she called a supervisor over who proceeded to do the same. Finally I just paid the fee and walked away.

Next, onto the security process with the lovely, well-behaved TSA agents. One of them must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed b/c she yelled (I'm not exaggerating) at my friend and I for my friend helping me (though the other agent said she could) and for not taking Pumpkins shoes off (though they've never asked me to do that before). She had me literally fuming at her rudeness but yeah for me I held my tongue!

Okay, this is getting really long so I'll try to "Reader's Digest" the rest of the story (Paul Harvey anyone?). Our flight ended up being delayed 1 1/2 hours for "maintenance" problem. After we took off finally we found out the maintenance issue was something to do with the upper baggage compartment and resulted in them having to leave 30 bags in our departure city. Ugh! And of course, when we get there, my bag came through but Pumpkins didn't which meant I had no diapers, clothes, formula etc. (A little ironic that the bag I paid $25 to check is the one I didn't get..) And the American Airlines lost baggage woman was SO rude. There was one couple whose plans were to drive somewhere so they were going to drive until they got tired and then get a hotel so they didn't have an address to give the baggage lady. So the lady goes "well what stuff do you have with you now?" and they said "Nothing." Her response? "Well you're gonna have nothing a lot longer if you don't give me an address." WOW!

When I called to check on the status of my bag, I told the woman that the bag was Pumpkin's so I was without diapers, clothes, etc. and she goes "Yeah, hmmm thats really unfortunate that you didn't think to put any of that stuff in your carry-on." WHAT? I did put that stuff in my carry on but you guys delayed us and wasted so much time that all that stuff is gone. You can only fit so many diapers and so much formula in a diaper bag! But once again, (hold the applause) I held my tongue. So Pumpkin and I stayed w/ my sister who lives near the airport instead of driving right to my parents house. Luckily they delivered my luggage in the middle of the night. There was no knocking, no doorbell. They just left it sitting outside in the front of the house where it remained until this morning when I noticed it. Grrr! And once again (are we seeing a pattern here?) I held my tongue. For those of you who know me, you know that this is a big deal as I haven't always been blessed with the ability to control my temper at will, especially with boorish strangers. (Is it good that I held my tongue even though I'm now posting for the world to see all the complaints that I would have voiced had my tongue not been held? Hmmmm....)

This morning we left my sisters house and made the 3 1/2 hour trip to my parents and arrived in safety. I was so grateful to get the bag we'd lost that it wasn't until much later that I realized I'd also left my book in the seat pocket of the library book!

Yes, it was quite the day. Hopefully it isn't any indication of how this week will go. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, Pumpkin cannot get enough of her grandma and poppy so I guess it was worth the trouble!