Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Things We Do

“Mommy, you will lay down wif me?”
“Yes, baby…I will lay down wif you.”

He places my arm in juuuust the right spot and settles in.
But as soon as he’s still, I feel his body tense ever-so-slightly.
And he turns to me, cups my face in his hands
And says “I luf you, Mommy”
And kisses me quickly.

I close my eyes and pretend to sleep, hoping he’ll follow my lead.
And as I slowly crack my one eye open,
I see him staring at me.
He catches me breaking the rules
And we both giggle.

I pull him in closer and close my eyes for real.
He closes his and almost immediately, his breath falls into the rhythmic pattern of sleep.
(How do people do that?)

My arm numb and fingers tingly,
my heart can’t convince my mind to move.
(And I am oh-so-glad.)

All the stuff to do isn’t nearly as important as the thing I’m doing.

Heather of the EO invited us to Just Write with her.
Don’t you want to join us?

Just Write

A Weekend to Remember

You know how sometimes you just have one of those weekends where you rush-rush-rush and feel like you’ve got a million things to do and you aren’t doing any of them well?  Yeah…me, too.  But this weekend?  Totally not like that.

On Friday, I went on a field trip with Lydia.

They had this whole town made up of little playhouses.
They had everything – a bank, a chapel, a stable, a jail, a courthouse, a school, a dress shop, and several others.

There was this super-cool trampoline type thing called a jump pillow.

There was a corn maze and teepee and little log cabin and a slide through a hill and a zip line and tons of awesome.
The time flew by.

Oh…and I found a Beyoncé hidden in a corner there.
(Don’t click that link if you aren’t a fan of the curse words.)
(I am convinced they took her down because of that post.)

Then on Friday night, Carter had his very first camp-out at church.
He was so proud of earning his air rifle badge and healthy eating badge.
(Of course his healthy eating badge was for eating hot dogs, so I think he maaaay have missed the point on that one.)

(I love that when he got back home, he climbed into my lap for cuddles.)

Lydia and I put the littles to bed and watched The Princess Diaries together.
And then she and I had a sleepover in my room.
(And by sleep-over I mean she slept on top of me.)
It was really a lot of fun to turn out the lights and giggle with her.

Saturday was full of fun.
Even when Asa colored his hand, arm and face with a blue marker.

We went to hear my brother’s band play at a local family event
And Marshall sat in with the band for a song or two.

My dad and my Papa sang a little back-up, too.

Then we went out to “the lot” – a lovely piece of land that my grandparents own but haven’t developed.
The weather was perfect for a picnic, and we had fun celebrating my dad’s birthday.
(He got one of these…because they’re awesome!)

The kids splashed in the creek (and Asa busted it a few times, hence the bloody chin).

The ‘boys’ (aka my dad, my husband, and our family friend) climbed a tree.

We laughed and told stories and just enjoyed being outside.

Saturday night was for football and working on Halloween costumes.
(They’re going to be Jake, Izzy and Cubby.)

Sunday was for church and family.
And looking at this cuteness.

After church was over, I remembered that I was supposed to work in the nursery.
(Oops!  Sorry Lynn and Ginny!)
We had picnic leftovers and a nice, lazy afternoon.
(Or as lazy as is possible with 4 small children in the house).
We had an old-fashioned hymn sing that night.
Followed by dinner with long-time friends.

Our weekend was full and this morning I am tired.
But more importantly my heart is full.

The Tale of a Happy Hat

Y’all probably think I’m crazy.
But if you didn’t before, you will now.

I somehow managed to find myself alone in a store with no deadline.
I wandered – meandered really – down every.single.aisle.
And look at what I found.
ZOMG…the awesome.

(And I am totally rockin’ the TMNT look, if I do say so myself.)

I was standing there trying on hats when a <sarcasm>lovely</sarcasm> employee <sarcasm>kindly</sarcasm> reminded me that I’m not supposed to try on the merchandise and take pictures.  So I hung them all back up and kept walking.

Lo-and-behold, two minutes later I found myself in another aisle of happy hats!
It was just too tempting to not take more pictures.
And so I did.

For the record, I will never be as adorable as Vivi.
But I will always crack myself up with owl jokes.
(Click to enlarge.)

(Also?  I have funny friends.)

Who knew that one little hat could make me so happy?
I really wish I could buy one for each of you…


I know that one day I will miss that little baby squiggling in my lap.
I know that one day I will miss the chaos and the buzz of constant activity.
I know that one day I will miss being constantly touched and needed.

But today…
Right this very moment…
I find myself chanting in my head:
Savor the moment.
Savor the moment.
Savor the moment.
Savor the damn moment.

I try.  I really, really do.
I really want to drink it all in.

{even the bad}  

But it’s hard.
Today is hard.
The screaming and the shrieking is hard.
The constant unrest that stirs in my chest and aches to break free.
It leaves me antsy and on edge.
Senses heightened when I need them to be dulled…
And then there’s the moment when I snap and I yell.
The moment when I have reached my breaking point.
The moment when I think terrible horrible no good very bad thoughts.
And force myself to take a deep breath and walk away.

Motherhood is beautiful.
But motherhood is messy.
And hard.
And sometimes…
– No matter how hard you try to savor it –
It sucks you under
And breaks you.


Just Write

This is my second Just Write that is just…bleh.  
I’m okay.  Really, I am. 
But some days are better than others.
And today?  Is one of the ‘others’. 

Blah-Busting Beach Fun

Last week I was all blah.
But Friday I did a photo shoot for some friends…
And then we headed to the beach.

We are fortunate to have a friend with a little villa there.
He is kind enough to let us borrow it if they aren’t using it.
And so we packed up and planned on catching some rays and splashing in the water.
But when we got there, it was dark and stormy and the waves were crashing in faster and harder than I’d ever seen here.

But despite the crazy weather and major advisories about rip currents and high surf and wind gusts, we had a great time!

The big three played on the playground with Daddy
while the little and I rocked the time away on the big casino porch.
She slept, I read.

We went to the beach and failed kite flying,
but found great big ‘puddles’ on the beach that were perfect for playing.
(The huge waves plus the rain flooded the beach and left tiny ponds.)

The wind was so strong that the birds couldn’t fly or even walk straight.

We got to see my favorite brother-in-law and his girlfriend.
The big three went to the Sea Turtle Center with Daddy.
And we all played mini-golf.

It’s no secret that I’m not really a beach person, but this kind of beach trip was perfect!
Minimal sand.   No swim suits.   No sweating!
Lots of waves crashing.  Happy kids.  Happy husband.

I kinda didn’t want it to end.

Books We Love

Yesterday I talked about toys that my kids (and I) love.
Today I’m giving you the rundown on our favorite books.









Board Books(for the littlest littles):

Read-to-Me and Early Reader Books:

Chapter Books:

We also have some Judy Moody books, but we haven’t read them yet.
We don’t have any of the Encyclopedia Brown books, but Santa is thinking about checking into those.
I’m hoping to grab Charlotte’s Web, How To Eat Fried Worms and maybe even Pippi Longstocking soon.
I’ve thought about Bridge to Terabithia, but I’m not sure they’re ready for that yet.

I really love kid books.  Can you tell?
Have I missed any great books?


All of these links are affiliate links.

Toys My Kids Love

I was recently talking to a friend about how many toys have passed through my house.
Some of them were ones that my kids begged for, got, and then played with once.
Some of them were things that they begged for and play with every single day.
Some were things I chose, or they got as a gift.
Some things they love and I hate.

But there are a few things that we can agree on as top toys.
(And since I’m shopping for Christmas already, I thought some of you may be, too.
I’m hoping that by giving you ideas, you’ll share your ideas with me!)

For the Tiniest Tot

  • Leapfrog Learning Table – Lots of toys all in one spot.  When the big kids were little, they used this more than any other toy.
    (I will say that some of the little songs get annoying after you hear them 100+ times a day.)
    (They no longer make the one we have, but this one is the newer version.)

For the Little Man

  • Wooden Race Track – Nothing fancy.  No batteries.  Only a few pieces.  Win-win!
    This is the one we have.  But this one looks infinitely cooler(pictured below).

For the Girl Child

For the Big Boy

  • Perplexus Maze Ball – He spent hours working on this thing.  So did my dad.  And so did I.

  • Hot Wheels Track Attack for Wii – We don’t actually own this yet.  But we’ve rented it a few times and we have all really enjoyed it.  It’s easy enough for the kids to play without adult assistance, but fun enough that adults want to play.  (You can even make your own race track!  That’s fun!)

Although I listed these toys as his/hers, I would like to note that the big kids play fairly equally with all their toys.

For the fam
Despite Marshall’s lack of enthusiasm for board games, the kids and I love them.
(And since he’s a good sport, plays along with us.)

Beyond the typical kid favorites (Candyland, Guess Who?, etc.), we each have games that we prefer:
Lydia: Disney Rummikub – This is a kid version of a grown up game.  A lot of fun once they get the concept.
Carter: The Dinosaur Game – He LOVES this game.  I think it’s meh.
Me: Bananagrams – This one is too hard for Lydia, but Carter’s getting the hang of it.

What are some of your kid’s favorite toys?

(FYI: All of these are affiliate links.)

This picture makes me all kinds of happy.

She’s 8 months old.
Finally crawling on all fours.
Pulling up on things.
Laughing a lot at her brothers and sister.
Snuggling with Mommy.
Gnawing on her fists.
Willing those teeth to make their debut.
And still kicking those feet non-stop.

(But today she’s sick and I’m not here because I’m cuddling with her.)

Finding My Footing in the Fall

My camera sits in the corner, casually waiting for me to pick it up.
But when I do the pictures I take feel generic and uninspired.
(Although that’s no surprise to me because lately I feel generic and uninspired.)

Things that normally roll off my back, leave me in a tizzy.
Little things annoy me and I snap at the children for being children.
I find myself just sitting and staring.  At nothing.

This is not me.
I am not this.

“It’s too early for this”, I tell myself.
I don’t usually bump into The Blah until winter.
Fall is supposed to be my season.
I’m supposed to hit my stride in fall.
As the oppressive heat fades, I begin to perk up.
As the summer slump slips away, I come to life.

This is what I do.
What I always do.
So what’s wrong with me?

The weather is gorgeous.
The smells are perfect.
The sights are glorious.
And yet…
I only seem to stumble along,
Making do and trying not to slip.

But today?  Today I’m fighting back.
Today I’m claiming that Fall is Mine.
And I will celebrate it.
And I will take it all in.
And I will pick up my camera and find my footing again.

Fall is here.
This is my time.
Not only the leaves are changing.

Just Write

Heather of the EO invited us to Just Write with her.
Don’t you want to join us?

Rise and Shine

The sun’s not even up,
but you are very, very up.

From the warm spot in my bed,
I heard your babble turn to cries
and I slipped out from underneath the weight of my covers,
not taking time to put on socks before I headed into the kitchen.

The tile is frozen beneath my feet.
I mix a bottle and grab a fuzzy blanket on the way to your room.

Switching on the closet light,
I can see the outline of your face, but not the features.
The sound of your voice tells me that you are happy to see me.
I’ve missed you, too, sweet girl.

I always love being away.
I love stepping out of the mommy role for a few days.
But the comfort of being back where I am most wanted, needed is irresistible.

You curl into my lap and we snuggle and settle in to an old routine.
(Funny how quickly routines become routines.)
(And how quickly they can change.)
(Actually…there is nothing routine about children, is there?)

As you drink, you watch me…just like you did as a little bitty baby.
And, just as I did then, I feel like you know more about me than you are letting on.

As you drink, I watch you…just like I did when you were a little bitty baby.
And, just as I did then, I feel like there is so much more to know about you.

You stop before the bottle is empty, but you are satisfied.
You touch my face and smile.
I kiss your cheek and your nose and that little sweet spot just below your ear
and you laugh that baby laugh-
almost a grunt, but not quite.

And in the almost-darkness of your room,
the moments seem more tender, more perfect, just…more.
Other senses making up for what the eyes cannot see,
the sound of your breathing and mine fill the room.
The touch of your skin to mine warms my body and my heart.
And I try to drink in every ounce of awesome in the room.
(Although I could have done without you smearing snot across my chest.)