Monthly Archives: May 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Perfection Edition


Happily Ever After…

In the past 8 years, I have:
-gotten 2 dogs and 2 cars
-survived being a resident widow, er spouse
-had 4 pregnancies but only 3 children
-lost weight
-gained weight
-cut my hair
-grown my hair back out
-lost 2 grandparents(Mama Jo and Big Daddy)
-had a surprise birthday party
-karaoked at the beach
-raced go-carts in the mountains
-played at Walt Disney World twice, and planned another trip
-move 4 times
-taken thousands and thousands of pictures
-made about that many crafts, too
-potty trained one child
-tried to potty train another
-triumphed over post-partum depression
-smiled and laughed more than I knew was possible
-fallen in love over and over again
-oozed with cheeziness more often than any person ever should

And I’ve done all with this handsome fella by my side:

DL16I can’t imagine anyone with whom I’d rather have shared this journey.

He doesn’t make fun of me when I say “with whom”.
He watches “Enchanted” and enjoys it just as much as I do.
He sings the silly fruits of the spirit song in front of 15 middle and high schoolers because I ask him to.
He laughs at my corny jokes.
He is an amazing musician.
He is generous.
He is loving.
He is kind.
He is a wonderful father.
He is a tender and understanding husband.
And he is mine.
And I love him.

Happy anniversary, Marshall!

If you know these things about me and still want to be my friend, then we're friends for life.

(Or ten things you probably don’t need to know about me, but I have a compelling need to spew my secrets out for all of teh interwebz to read.)

If you know all of these things about me, and still want to be my fra-yand(as Lydia calls her friends)…let’s make a deal.  I won’t make fun of you, if you don’t make fun of me.  Well, I promise to at least not make fun of you often.  Or, if you’re the sensitive type, I’ll only make fun of you behind your back.  Your choice though…just let me know.

1. I never watched The George Lopez Show when it was on prime time TV.  But now if I catch it on Nick at Nite(and Marshall’s not around to make fun of me), I watch it.  And I laugh. Every. Time.

2.  I’ve had a boob job.  No, really.  Just not the way you think.  Way back in 1997(was that really 12 years ago?), I had a breast reduction.  My back thanks me, but my children will never be smart because I didn’t breastfeed them.  (Note the sarcasm there.)

3. 99% of the time I brush my teeth before I go to bed.  1% of the time I lay down and then realize I forgot that crucial part of personal hygiene.  And I debate the pros and cons of getting back up simply to brush my teeth.  Fatigue wins that one every. time. (But I do always brush in the morning!)

4. While we’re on the personal hygiene theme, I’ll admit that I don’t shower every single day either.  I start out with great aspirations each morning, but if I’m still not bathed and dressed by 4 or 5pm, is it really worth it?  Sometimes the answer is no.  Admit it: you’d do it if you could, too.  Every now and again.  (And just for the record, I don’t go into public without some sort of bath/shower.)

5. I also don’t bathe my children every day.  It’s rare for them to get more than 3 baths a week unless it’s blatantly obvious that they need it.  This is obviously harder to do in the summer with all the sweating and swimming.  But they all have eczema and the more baths they get, the drier their skin gets.   (Even though I can use that as an excuse, I know I wouldn’t do it daily if they had perfectly smooth skin. Have you seen what kind of mess they make in the bathtub?)

6.  Just so you don’t think I’m absolutely disgusting, I want to point out that I do regularly visit my dentist(where very few cavities have been discovered).  That’s not my secret, though.  This is my secret:  I love love LOVE that gritty stuff they use to “buff” your teeth at the end of the cleaning.  I don’t know what it’s called or what it’s made of…but I love the whir of the cleaner.  I love the taste of the cleaner stuff.  And I love the smooth feeling it leaves behind.

7. I voted for Obama, but I get that he is still, after all, a politician.  If I could pick someone to run the country, I’d pick the folks at Walt Disney.  They’ve built an amazing corporation.  Disney World is always clean.  They are the masters at portraying a positive image, even when things aren’t so positive.  Wouldn’t it be great if America could be “the happiest place on Earth”?

8. I have little bitty pinkie toe nails.  Teeny tiny.  And there have been times I just painted a little patch of skin to make it look like a nail.  Want to know why I had to do that?  Because I have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad habit of wearing flip flops and then kicking the wheels on shopping carts and knocking my whole toenail off.  It’s really gross, and it hurts like hang!  (Get it…hang nail.  Hee-hee.)  I could avoid this whole tragedy by not going to the store.  But it’s a risk I’m willing to take!  🙂

9. My tonsils are the size of oranges…ok well maybe more like grapes…but they’re huge.  HUGE, I tell you.  So huge that I’ve had two surgeons tell me I should have them out.  So huge that sometimes when I’m singing, my throat just randomly closes off and air momentarily ceases to flow.  It’s not good.  But I’m a wuss.  And it’s supposedly one of the most horrible and painful recoveries ever.  And I’m SO SO scared that a scalpel may slip and ruin my singing voice.  Singing is an integral part of who I am…I’m not sure what I’d be without my voice.

10. Coming up with ten secrets about myself is hard.  I’m apparently too open and honest…you all know all of my secrets already!  But since I have to come up with one more, I’ll say that my secret is this:  Lately I’ve heard several people say to me (or about me) that I come across as really confident and self-assured.  I’m not.  And I’m kind of surprized that I’m percieved that way.  It’s good, I guess.  But in all honesty I second-guess myself all the time.  My inner band nerd is always telling me how ridiculous I am.  And I’m not nearly as confident as I appear.  (Shh…don’t tell anybody!  Once there’s a chink in my armor, I’m destined to fall.)

I hate the beach. (Gasp!)

I blogged yesterday about anticipating a trip to the happiest place on earth.
And my kids are anticipating that, but they’re also anticipating our upcoming trip to the beach with Marshall’s family.
(Me, too!)

BUT…I must admit that I am not looking forward the the beach part.

I hate the beach.
(Ok…go ahead.
Send me comments, emails, replies telling me how crazy I am.
I’ve heard it all before.
And I’m still not changing my mind.
I hate the beach.)

I hate sand.  Hate it.

I hate how sand gets in my crack and my other “girly bits”.

I hate how you bite down into a carefully sealed and covered snack, only to be greeted with grit.

I hate how when the sippy cup is drained of all liquid, there is still a layer of sand in the bottom of the cup.

I hate how the salt water stings my freshly shaven legs.
(Ok, who are we kidding…my legs are rarely freshly shaven. But that’s beside the point!)

I hate getting out of the water and feeling tacky and sticky.

I hate wearing a swimsuit.
(But that’s not exclusive to the beach.  Nor is it the beach’s fault.)
(With the help of your inner middle school self, say that last sentence 10 times fast.  Hee-hee.)

So what do I like about the beach?

I like the view of the sun setting over the water.

I like the sound of the waves, and the birds overhead.

And I like the photo op, of course.  🙂


To tell or not to tell; that is the question.

When it comes to vacation and small children, I’m generally in the don’t ask-don’t tell line of thinking.  Let’s say you have a trip planned to Disney in November.  Isn’t it torturous to tell your child that you’re going to see Cinderella’s castle only to realize that she’ll have to wait more than nine months to go?  When you’ve only lived 34 months, nine months is 28% of your entire life span!  That’d be like telling me that I had to wait 8 years to go on vacation!  Not cool.  So I didn’t mention the whole Mouse thing to the little folks in the house.

But then something happened.  We’d been having a particularly craptastic day when the kids and I went out to the mailbox and Lydia pulled out a golden letter (literally) telling us how excited Mickey was that we were coming to visit.  I could have played it off.  Neither of them can read, so I could have made something up. (I do that kinda often, by the way.)  But looking at those four intense little eyes, I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t lie to them.  So I told them that after my birthday and after Lydia’s birthday and after they start their new school…we’ll be going to Walt Disney World.  The Magic Kingdom. The Happiest Place on Earth.  And do you know what?  All the crap from the whole day was kinda flushed away and replaced by two of the Happiest Little Smiles on Earth.  And I was glad that I’d told them.

See, we used to go to Disney a lot when I was a child.  I’ve been a lot as an adult, too.  And although I always have fun when I’m there, I realized (while I was looking at my kids dancing around and singing “Cinna-wella,  Cinna-wella! We gon’ a see Cinna-wella!”) that one of the best parts of any trip is the anticipation leading up to it.

I remember laying in my bed as a child, the year that I just knew I’d be tall enough to ride Space Mountain.  I remembered the big tall, spiky building I’d seen many times before.  I got a little flutter in my tummy when I thought about how fabulous it would be.  And riding it was great.  (My first Space Mountain adventure ended in me having a bruised face…remind me to tell that story some day.)  But really, the anticipation of the ride was the best part.

And so I told them.  And (most days) I don’t regret it.  We talk about the big castle.  The Dumbo ride.  Mickey and Minnie’s houses. The “scary ghost ride that’s really not scary except at the beginning”(Carter’s name for The Haunted Mansion).  The elephants and giraffes on the safari.  Lydia doesn’t remember much from our last trip(she was only 1 and a half), but Carter does.  I love hearing him tell her about what he remembers.

And, as much as I hate to admit it, I love the question I get nearly every day:  “Are we goin’ to Cinna-wella’s today?”

James and Alaina's Wedding

The wedding was beautiful!

The weather was great.
It actually rained for about 2 minutes right before the bride and groom walked in,
but it was just enough to cool things down.
And, of course, Alaina was gorgeous.
(James was pretty cute, too!)

Here’s a sneek peek of what I got:












Remember this post? The one that was talking about how I was learning to accept compliments? Well, yeah…I’m still not getting much better at that.  People often tell me how much they love my photography; how great a photographer I am.  And I appreciate it.  I really do.  But I have a hard time believing it.  I want to believe it.  I want to believe that I’m good at it.  And I want to believe that people really mean what they say.  But I have a really hard time with it.

But I have to admit that when I look through the lens of a camera, I see things more clearly-literally and metaphorically.  I have my camera set for my eyes.  What you see when you look through my viewfinder isn’t going to be perfectly focused.  That’s because my eyes(even after Lasik) aren’t perfectly focused, and I’ve adjusted my viewfinder accordingly.

What, metaphorically, do I see better through a camera lens?  The old adage is true, I guess; a picture really is worth a thousand words.  For example, when I look at this picture of Lydia:

Easter08I see my little princess.  That’s obvious.  What you can’t see (but I can) is the silly face I had to make to get that smile.  I see that little gap between her baby teeth, and I realize that it probably won’t be there this time next year.  And I see her perfectly formed curls that curl beautifully all on their own.  And I see her cute little toes scrunched up on the concrete, even though there not even close to being in this shot.  I notice the little spec of red behind her arm.  And I know it’s the geranium that we picked out together.

And I see this picture:

Tucker001and I see a Carter that we don’t get to see very often.  He’s usually all grins and giggles, but I love the intent look in his eyes here.  I love that you can see the remains of chocolate on his lip, even though we’d eaten it hours before.  I love how he’s wearing the sunglasses that he wore for three days straight, but pulled them up long enough to look at me.  Really look at me.  I love how I know that he was wearing the top of his favorite pj’s.  And I love that I can remember that we were outside and he didn’t have on pants and he didn’t see that as a problem.  And, this may sound ego-centric, but I love the way that I can see me in him.  No, literally; look at my reflection in his glasses!  🙂

And I can’t forget Mr. Asa.

LukeI know that he’ll never be this little again.  And I see the little crack on his lip…I’d already forgotten it was ever there.  And his eyes.  Oh, his eyes.  Will I look back at this picture with him some day and say, “Look…your eyes used to be slate gray”?  They’re getting darker every day.  And will I tell him about the seat he’s sitting in for this picture?  His jumper-seat that he happily bounces around in all day long.  And that toothless grin won’t be toothless for much longer.  (I hope!)

I say all of that to say this…I’m glad that people like my pictures.  I’m glad that people have confidence in me.  But, as with any picture, it’s not the picture that really counts.  It’s the memories that go with the picture.  Those little things you can’t capture, you can’t see with your eyes no matter how clear or focused or perfect the shot is.

I’m photographing a wedding this weekend.  I’ve never taken on a project this big.  I’m nervous as all get-out, scared to death.  When I think about it, I kinda want to throw up a little bit.  (No, I’m not pregnant.)  So, since this blog is my therapy…I decided to a) remind myself that I can take good pictures, and b) beg you guys to give me a little self-esteem boost.  Pleeeeeease?  🙂  I know that asking people to sing your praises kinda defeats the purpose.  And it’s not really a very cool thing to do.  But I’m doing it anyway.  Give a girl some love?  I’ll return the favor one day, I promise!

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

It’s been an “You’ve GOT to be KIDDING me” day here.  Asa has a cold and is all stuffy and wheezy.  He’s also teething.  Even with Tylenol, he screamed most of the day.

I took the big kids to school and came home to work on some stuff for my “summer job” at church.  Everytime I’d get in a good rhythm while working on the summer literature, I’d hear a nice, loud:  WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

By the time I finally got the little bugger feed and settled down, it was time for me to go pick the kids up from school.

I get everybody home, and although I actually made a yummy lunch today, no one ate it.  Not even me.  Know how you make something and then you totally don’t want it?  What’s up with that anyway?

After 4 episodes of The Smurfs, I decided I really did want lunch after all. I raided Lydia’s to go box from last night’s dinner and found two left over chicken strips.  About the time I got one piece in my mouth, the bugger boy started crying. I leaned over to pick him up and dropped the stupid piece of chicken out of my mouth and onto the floor. Before I had time to react, guess what happened? Bet you think the dog ate it, right? Nope. Asa threw up on it!!! YUCK! So I let the dog have it after all.

So now I’ve picked up the baby, watched him throw up on my discarded chicken, and I’m standing there trying to figure out what to do next…and then I feel wet on my fingers. The *&(*@#^ dog got BOTH of my pieces of chickens…stupid dog. You’ve GOT to be KIDDING me!

Wordless Wednesday: So You Think You Can Dance Edition

Not 100% wordless, but oh well.  Lydia’s new “dance” is um…it’s…the same thing every 2 year old does beautiful and awesome. (Yes, that’s my crackberry dinging in the background.)


Carter trying to copy her is HILARIOUS.  (Sorry for the shaky footage. I, horrible mommy that I am, couldn’t stop laughing.)


(Only the first time was an accident.  And, yes, I do have problems with inappropriate laughter.  I’m also aware I sound like a COPD patient in this video.)

Packin' SMART

*This is not a paid advertisement or review…I just like the product.*

For those of you who aren’t regular readers, I have three kids: 4 years old, 2 years old and 4 months old.  There are some products that I loved with my first baby, that I ended up discarding once #2 came around.

Baby #2 was a girl and she was colic-y. There were a lot of products we tried with her. I did discover the joy of HotSlings, but I’m finding that I don’t use it as much this go ’round.  That’s sad, really, because I love “baby wearing”.  (Note to self: strap him on more often!)

There are, of course, some products that I have successfully used with babies 1, 2 and 3.

And then there are the things I’ve either just discovered or finally just got around to buying.

But today I found something that I hope is about to join my “baby favorites” list: Innobaby‘s Packin’ SMART.

It looks like this: Packin-Smart-Green-SpillOut

I bought this one, but with the transportation theme.  There are 5 compartments which all click together.  You can fill each compartment separately, click them all together, and be ready to rock and roll!  If you only want to take one, you only click on the bottom, one section and the top.  If you only want to use two, then you only use two!  So versatile!  They also make them with twist tops, if you prefer that.

With this nifty little container, you could easily pack a 5 course meal for your finger-food eating little one.  Think of how nice that would be!  Now if they’d only come up with an insulated one…