Thursday, January 31, 2008


For those of you who are fans of this incredible show, you fully understand what a momentous day today is!

I'm very excited to sit down and watch the season premier tonight and see if our survivors get rescued.

HOWEVER, remember my memory issues? I just cannot retain detailed information sometimes... Well, I'm having a problem with LOST. I watched part of last season's finale last night and I realized that I don't remember stuff about the backstories of the characters. And I feel like there are specific details that I need to remember. For example, I remember that Sawyer knew Foxy's (aka Jack) dad, but I don't remember how or why it is significant. I know there are other cross over details like that and I just cannot remember what they are.

So my challenge to you who watch: Please give me a refresher of any back story details that you can remember. Especially anything where the characters crossed over.


Monday, January 28, 2008

My lovely husband, knowing that I have been lonely and feeling smothered by being a stay at home mom, gave me the most wonderful Christmas gift. He bought me a plane ticket to Memphis, TN to spend 3 whole days with my BFWW. Three whole days without the responsibility of caring for my children. Three whole days of not picking up my house to turn around and find a mess in another room. And as it turns out, three whole days of not cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night and doing lots and lots of laundry.

I flew out on Wednesday night. After several serious delays, I finally arrived in Memphis at midnight. BFWW and I collected my one bag - ONE relatively small bag filled with only MY stuff - not anyone else's stuff - and were back at her house to chat for a few minutes before heading to bed at 1am.

The next three days were spent talking. Literally. The entire 3 days. We ran out of saliva. We never turned the tv on, never had a silent pause where we tried to think of something to say. When I first got there I had wondered if we would be staring at each other with nothing to say by Saturday afternoon. I guess it had been too long since we'd spent quality time together because by Saturday afternoon I felt like we were just getting started - and then I had to leave.

We did abandon our couches for very brief periods of time to grab a meal... Thursday night we had chinese at PeiWei and I ate my entire meal with chopsticks - first time for that! I also told Elise a secret - that she had been a very good girl at the restaurant. Then she told me a secret - that I had eaten my food very well. And she told BFWW a secret - that she drank her drink really well. And then we headed to the grocery store for ice cream and beer. Back to our perches on the couch until 1am.

Friday we had had breakfast at the Blue Plate Diner. BFWW surprised me with a talent that even she didn't know she had - I will refrain from sharing so as not to embarrass her (I've already done enough mockery;) In the afternoon we made our way to Michael's so I could buy some knitting supplies. She had started knitting and knit her very own scarf. It was so cute and she did such a great job that I got inspired to knit my own. We spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to pick out yarn for my scarf... I finally walked out with some gray for an everyday scarf & some red for a little dressier scarf.

At night we went out for sushi with some of her friends. Again, a first for me. And I am severely disappointed that I probably will never have sushi again since Cornbread won't go with me. It was AWESOME! Lets just say: Sushi = delicioso!

And back to our perches until 1am.

Saturday we knit together for a while and then went out for lunch at Costa Vida, where I apparently picked up the scent of the kitchen because Cornbread told me on Sunday that I smelled like Mexican food when he picked me up;) And then it was on to the Memphis Zoo. We were just about the only guests at the zoo because it was pretty cold. There weren't many animals there, but we were able to see their two pandas, the fish, Chompy the alligator, a gigantic reticulated python - AND three tigers that apparently thought Elise was their prey since every time they caught sight of her they started stalking toward us. The tigers were pretty creepy, but fascinating all at the same time. I suppose if they had been stalking MY child I would have wanted to get out of there, too.

My flight landed in Chicago around 7:45pm. I was really happy to see my family. To be honest, I didn't really miss them. Of course I love them and enjoy being home, but I was enjoying myself a little too much and didn't miss the responsibility aspect at all. I really enjoyed playing with and getting to know Elise - and not being responsible for her. I really enjoyed having grown up conversations about anything and everything. I really enjoyed going out to eat for meals and not having to make meals for other people. I enjoyed doing grown up things. I enjoyed not having to abide by everyone else's schedules. And I enjoyed not having to put children in a car seat every time I got into and out of the car. It was a wonderful weekend.

And then on the way home, as a way of saying, "Hi mommy - I missed you so much and I'm so glad you're home" Nora threw up three times in the back seat of the car when we were approximately 3 minutes away from home. Since Cornbread had been cleaning up vomit the entire time I was away (Ryann), I offered to clean out the car and let him relax. It was lovely.

I miss my BFWW. I so wish she didn't live so far away. There is not another friend in my life that I can spend 3 days with like that. We talk about everything. We don't necessarily agree on everything, but we can have great discussions about it. She is inspiring to me in many ways - her generosity, her heart for connecting other women, her desire to do better and to be better than she already is, her love for God, her love for her husband and her daughter, her patience with her 3 year old. Seriously, I love this woman. And I love my Cornbread for being thoughtful enough to send me away - and being willing to put himself in my shoes for 3 days.

I am loved.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Created Beautiful - Chapter 5

I've actually finished this study already. Apparently, nothing hit me enough to journal about it so I haven't. However, some things that I've been feeling today reminded me of something in chapter 5.

I've been really lonely lately. Lonely. Smothered. Crowded.

And you know what? I know that I should reach out to other moms - that I can't be the only one who feels this way and that I should try to care for my friends who may feel this way, but sometimes I feel like I spend my entire life caring for others - Dave and the girls - that I just want someone to care for me. I know it is way too much to expect.

Due to my current schedule, which includes my job, preschool dropoff/pickup, bus schedules and nap time I have little time to actually pursue anyone or anything beyond that. I have a free hour here or there, but you know how that goes - an hour doesn't really give you enough time to really get into something. Its enough to do a quick kitchen clean up and fold a load of laundry or curl my hair or put some laundry away. But an hour just isn't enough time to go out for coffee with a friend or hang out or really get to know someone.

So I've been thinking about it this way: I have to put my social life on hold until the summer when we won't be bound by bus schedules and preschool schedules. If I can just hold on until then things will feel better. This is what reminded me of chapter 5.

One of the messages in chapter 5 is that Satan threatens to destroy our internal beauty by convincing us to believe lies like:
I would be completely happy if I were as beautiful as...
I really don't feel like that. I don't think like that. I try to compare myself to myself - and no one else. HOWEVER, I realized today that I've convinced myself that life will be happier/less smothering or life won't be so lonely as soon as the school year is over, Nora is in school for a full day, Georgia doesn't need to take naps anymore, Georgia is 3, etc. etc. I could list any number of things that I look forward to in the future that I've decided will result in an easier, less lonely life.

I need to realize that this is not true. As soon as all or any of those things happen something else will also be happening that means life will not be so easy. And because I'm introverted I think I will always feel a sense of loneliness. I will always feel slightly left out and inadequate when I hear my extroverted friends talk about everything they do and all of the people they talk to throughout the day.

I think that although I try very hard to not compare my body to other women's bodies, I do end up comparing my life to other lives. It seems like everyone else has it all together. They've got it all figured out - parenting is easy, schedules flow, nothing is overwhelming. They have friends everywhere and everyone loves them and wants to be around them. Meanwhile I'm at home struggling with life and feeling lonely. I MUST be inadequate. I MUST be doing something wrong.

Satan has done a number on me, eh?

I'm working on being content with life as it is. Enjoying each day for what it is. Enjoying my children. My husband. Being grateful for the health our family enjoys. For my strong marriage. I need to enjoy now and not be constantly looking to the future and how much better I expect that period to be than right now. I'm working on understanding - really, truly understanding - that no one has it "all together". They may act like it. They may look like it from my perspective, but no one does. Not even me.

And thats okay.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Golden Birthday in The Gateway to the West

Nora just turned 6 - on the 6th of January. As she graciously reminded us every day for the previous 2 months: It was her GOLDEN birthday. So for a special birthday we took a special trip (okay, well, it just worked out that way, but we can pretend that it was especially for her, right?:)

Cornbread had to travel to St. Louis, MO for training on Friday the 4th. He left on Thursday night and the girls and I drove out there on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend there. He extended his hotel room and we fit as much as we could into the 36 hours that we had there.

We arrived Friday afternoon around 5:45 (after 5 hours in the car - no stops) and brought our bags to the room and walked to McDonalds for dinner. We went back, got our swimsuits and I dropped Cornbread and the girls off at the pool while I found a Walgreens to buy some cold medicine for Ryann (who began complaining of an earache while we were driving). I joined them in the pool for a little bit, where Ryann reminded me - often - that if we stayed in the hot tub for too long, we would get sick (Cornbread had meant dehydrated) - However, there was no chance that I would be going in the big pool - it was TOO cold, so I took my chances and stayed in the hot tub:) We went back to the room and got the girls settled in bed with a movie and layed down to watch something - anything - ourselves. I think Cornbread and I went to sleep before Nora did...

Saturday morning we got up, walked to the bagel place, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed out to see the arch. We had decided the week before that we wouldn't be going in the arch as it was rather expensive and the girls wouldn't know the difference, and Cornbread knew that I would not get through the elevator ride due to my panic attack issues. We were content to drive to the arch, get out, take pictures and look at it from several different angles.
From there we went to the Anheuser-Busch factory for a (free) tour of the brewery. The first stop was the Clydesdale's stable. These horses are absolutely magnificent!

Cornbread and I enjoyed the tour - and the two free samples afterward. It was interesting to hear about the process and the enormous amount of beer that is made by them - and consumed. We chatted with both of our tour guides a bit and found out that it is incredibly difficult to get a job with Anheuser-Busch - you basically have to have a parent working there to get in - and year 'round employees receive two free cases of product each month. Since both of our tour guides were there on break from their college classes, we can safely assume that they are the most popular kids in their schools...

Nora spent the entire tour like this because of the smell of the barley malt:

Lunch was pizza at a local restaurant suggested by the tour guides. Um, St. Louis pizza is not so good. When exactly did barbecue sauce replace pizza sauce? Am I now a chicago pizza snob?

The girls ate approximately 1 1/2 pieces of pizza between the three of them since they had filled up on pretzels in the hospitality room of the brewery and they were simply too busy coloring to care about eating lunch. Please take note of what Georgia is doing in the picture below. The poor busboy had a lot of cleaning up to do around our table.

After lunch we went straight to the St. Louis Zoo. The Zoo was also free - bonus! We had two hours to get through the whole zoo so we had to make a game plan on how to get through it all. The weather was decent - cloudy, but warm for January - so the animals were out and were pretty active, which made for a fun visit. We enjoyed the Humboldt penguins who were outside and were active (they're from South America, I think, so they don't need the arctic climate) and the Puffins who swam around and splashed everyone. We did not, however, enjoy the smell of the penguins and the puffins. They smelled much worse than the barley malt at the brewery, yet Nora didn't plug her nose once:) Here we see a peacock that was chasing a female peacock. Apparently in the St. Louis zoo the peacocks roam free and come and go as they please in whatever exhibits they want. We originally saw them in the prairie dog exhibit, but when we turned around they were hopping out of there and walking along the path with the visitors. This peacock was right at my feet. Being the courteous visitors that we are, we were trying to scare it into spreading his feathers.

Really, who wouldn't love to ride around on a gorilla?

Here we see lions demonstrating the two positions that the Woof is in most of the day:

It was an exhausting day at the zoo:

We couldn't wake Georgia up - she was OUT and I was a bit worried that she was going to sleep for the rest of the night and decide she was done at 4am. We let her sleep a bit in the hotel room while Nora opened her birthday presents. Nora declared that she got the best stuff ever so we let her play for a while, then got everyone going for dinner. We had decided that Steak N Shake would probably be our best bet for kid friendly + food that mom and dad will like. We ordered each of the kids a chicken nugget meal of which Nora was the only one to partake. Ryann was miserably sick and tired, and Georgia was having way too much fun - again - with the salt and pepper (I believe she finally stopped crying about being woken up when she spotted the magic white and black stuff). I do not know why we order them food - Georgia's meals at both restaurants were free, because who charges for mass consumption of salt and pepper? And Ryann hardly eats anything on a good day let alone when she is not feeling well...They were quite happy with their hats, though:)
We had a fantastic trip - and it was super cheap! We came in under budget by a huge amount and had lots and lots of fun with the girls. We were all really exhausted by the time we got home on Sunday afternoon - sleeping in hotels is so horrible when you're all in the same room.

We were so glad that we had an opportunity to make Nora's golden birthday special in this way. Nora and I decided that all golden birthdays should be celebrated with a weekend trip - can you even imagine where Ryann is going to want to go on hers (the 17th)?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Random cuteness

I love it when I find photos on my camera that I forgot were there - or didn't know were there:)

Could someone PLEASE find a good home for this:
Its definitely questionable whether or not I still love this animal. He ran away when we dropped him off at my grandparents house over Christmas, he ran away right before I brought Ryann to preschool the week before that and for extra good measure he ripped up our bedroom carpet when I locked him in our room so he wouldn't scare a guest. He barks all afternoon - at NOTHING. Seriously, nothing. I'm pretty sick of him. But when I called Cornbread to tell him about the carpet and I explained how sick to my stomach I was, he said our options were to deal with it or get rid of him - and I just don't think I could get rid of him. Sad to say, I would miss him - I wish I wouldn't.

As per usual in our family, we have exactly FOUR pictures of Christmas 2008. We had 4 different celebrations and we still only have 4 pictures:

My Gram gave the girls such special gifts this year. She has 4 great-granddaughters (and 5 great grandsons) and she gave each one of them a baby with a multitude of handmade accoutrement... blankets, outfits, diaper bags, beds, pillows, sweaters, etc. This was such an amazing and special gift and watching my girls (and Jacilyn) open their gifts was priceless. We are loving our new babies around here (the best kind - they don't cry;)

They are fantastically beautiful and will always be special to all of us.

This is Nora's baby, Charlotte, sleeping in the bed that Gram made for her.

She has white knitted knickers, a mauve shirt dress with white cuffs and a wine colored cape and bonnet lined with furry white - and ice skates!
She also came with two other adorable outfits and a royal purple bag that matches the blanket.
This is Ryann's baby, Olivia, in her bed. She came with a fleece blanket and a matching fleece diaper bag in addition to a bag with two bottles and a feeding dish.
The diaper bag had two outfits and a sweater in it. The pink outfit, the sweater and the outfit that Olivia is wearing (including the bonnet & the booties) were all handmade by Gram.
Aren't they beautiful? I don't think you can see it in the picture... the pink outfit has star buttons and the sweater has heart buttons! She's so sweet:)
Georgia received a very similar set up as Ryann, except she got a newborn cabbage patch baby. She has been feeding her baby every morning when she wakes up and walks around the house saying "Baby?" after breakfast until someone grabs her out of her crib.

The girls love playing with them, dressing them, teaching them to ice skate, and putting them to bed at night. I love to walk into their room and see them lined up on their pillows with their blankets pulled up to their chins - sleeping peacefully. It is very, very sweet. I am thankful for a grandma who is able to do this and is thoughtful enough to put it together for her girls!

And lastly, Ryann and I had some fun with the camera. Poor Ryann has chapped lips and I can't get her to keep chapstick on them :( I just love her:)

Don't you just want to smooch her?

  © Blogger template 'Ladybird' by 2008

Back to TOP