Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dear December...

Before you read this, I must point out that I did not write it. I read it on a wonderful little blog called the little red house and I loved it so much I had to share it. : ) Enjoy!

Dear December,
Let's try to keep it slow this year.....ok?
You always fly by too quickly and we have lots of fun things to do, and a very large amount of butter that I plan on using while you are here.
So stick around for a while. 

Dear Snow,
Where are you? It's December, you should be here.
I'm sorry I complain about you in February, March, and April......
...but it's December.
I will welcome you with open (triple layers of clothing) arms. 

Dear Christmas Music,
you make everything so magical! Thank you!
I hardly even noticed I was doing dishes with all the fa-la-la-ing going on.  

Dear House,
I am so sorry.
Boxes and barrels of tinsel and holly exploding everywhere I look.
Ok actually it's plastic bins and cardboard boxes of pretty normal Christmas stuff,
but tinsel and holly sounded better.
Anyway, House.
You are a mess.
We will have you decked with sparkly ornaments in no time.  

Dear Body,
(are you nervous for this one?)
Today marks a special day for us.
You should be excited to know that we are done.....DONE! with antibiotics!
(some of you may know that I have been fighting (and beating!) Lyme Disease for the past 3 1/2 years.)
After almost three straight years on antibiotics (with a few breaks here and there and lots of herbals and magic potions to go with them),
I just finished up the final antibiotic push.
Body, this is AAAHHHMAZING news.
We are quite the team. 

you are one of my favorite movies of all time,
and I can't wait to watch you 1,000 times this month and cry like a baby. 

Dear Girl Next to Me in Yoga,
Sometimes you are really close, and I notice that your toenails are really long, and I'm afraid they might cut me.
Let's maybe work on that.  

Dear Roaring Fire in the Fireplace,
You also make everything magical.
You+Christmas Music and my brain just might explode.  

Dear People Who Say the Holiday Season is Stressful,
I am sad for you.
Maybe take it down a notch.
Really, you don't have to take on so much stuff.
You do not need your sweater to match your baby's hair bow to match the tablecloth.
Your kids don't need 137 toys.
Relax, and enjoy is the Best.

 Dear Montana,
I miss you when it's time to go get a Christmas tree.
You know, imperfect little trees in the mountains, with snow and cocoa and sledding and using an ax.
These are things that the Home Depot tree lot doesn't offer.  

Dear Christmas Shopping Online,
bless you.
bless you. 

Dear The Princess Bride,
you are a very fun book to read.  

Dear Burl Ives,
I realize that you are no longer living,
but that doesn't keep me from wishing you could come read us Christmas stories.
Your voice is the best. 

Dear Self,
settle down.
You get much too excited this time of year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Don't Love You but I Always Will

This post is going to sound like a complete downer, but I’m not writing it depressed or anything. Just thoughtful. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about faithfulness and fidelity. I guess I’ve been thinking about marriage in general, and all that goes along with it. There have been a number of situations and experiences that have prompted these thoughts—movies, songs, personal conversation—but the long and the short of it is that it’s on my mind.
I caught the movie Love Actually on television a week or two ago and was really affected by the story of Karen (Emma Thompson) and her husband Harry (Alan Rickman). Toward the end of the movie she realizes that he might be cheating and there’s a very painful scene where she excuses herself from their family Christmas gift exchange and goes into their bedroom and cries. It’s a short scene and she’s quiet about it, but it hurt me to watch it. Shortly after, there’s a scene with the two of them at their children’s Christmas program. The conversation goes like this:

Karen: Tell me, if you were in my position what would you do?
Harry: What position is that?
Karen: Imagine your husband bought a gold necklace and come Christmas gave it to somebody else...
Harry: Oh, Karen...
Karen: Would you wait around to find out if it's just a necklace, or if it's sex and a necklace, or if worst of all it's a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?
Harry: Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool.
Karen: [voice breaking] Yes, but you've also made a fool out of me, and you've made the life I lead foolish too.

See, that’s the thing. It’s not just about him cheating on his wife. It’s about everything that happens afterward. All of us ‘strong, independent’ women like to say that if our husbands cheated on us we’d just ‘divorce the bastard’ and leave him in the dust. We’d go on to lead a very fulfilled and happy life without that cheating piece of dirt. But would we? Really? Would we be able to? Would we even want to?
I’m not thinking about all of this because my husband is unfaithful. He’s never given me any reason to worry about that and I’m trying to do all I can to make certain he never goes out looking for trouble like that. I’m thinking about it because it’s all over the place!
With this movie, I am reminded of why so many women stay with unfaithful husbands. Or, for that matter, why so many men stay with unfaithful wives. The simple answer is this: how else can you live? If I were to find myself in this situation tomorrow, I’d be stuck. Do I go out and find a job and pay a small fortune to put my three children in daycare? Do I hope that my spouse will pay child support for the next 18 years? Do I hope that the babysitters I need to hire so that I can work extra shifts are good people? That I can trust them? Do I hope that whatever woman my husband is with in the future is good to them? Do I hope that I will not make my children’s lives hopelessly messed up because I have torn apart the only family they know? Where’s that strong, independent woman now? She’s scared.
I watched that movie one night and practically the next day I’m hearing that stupid Sugarland song ‘Stay’ on the radio. I hate that song. It’s from the point of view of the mistress or other woman or whatever they’re called now. This ‘poor woman’ is so sad because the married man she’s with keeps leaving her to go home. The nerve of that guy. One of the lines in the song is “We don’t have to live this way.” Well at least she’s right about that. I will never understand why women continue to pursue or even accept the unsolicited attentions of married men. (Here’s the video for that song. Feel free to give her dirty looks when she looks at the camera with tears in her eyes. Yuck.)

I guess what that really got me thinking about was just marriage. Marriage. It has come to seem so temporary in our modern age. It’s just the next step on the list of things that you do in life. It’s not serious anymore. I mean, in this day and age where couples are sleeping together right after they start dating, moving in together shortly after, etc., what’s really the point of getting married? Can we honestly expect someone to be faithful just because they have now signed a paper? Probably not.
So here’s where I ended up. I ended up with this beautiful song. Some people might think it’s a sad song, but I really don’t think it is. It’s a real song. Here are the lyrics and my thoughts on them. Not that I’m any kind of expert, but this song has come to mean a lot to me, so I want to share it. Maybe I can help someone in some way. : )

You only know what I want you to – From the moment we start a relationship, we begin omitting the things that we don’t want our partner to know. We don’t want them to know what we really think of some people, what we really wish we could say. Things like that.
I know everything you don't want me to – As much as we may try to keep our guard up, this person that we sleep next to every night knows so much about us that we don’t want to share with anyone else. They know what we look like without makeup, what our breath smells like when we wake up, how we react when offended. They also know some of the things we’ve done that we wish we hadn’t.
Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine – I think this one is pretty simple. Nothing can wound like words from the person you love the most. And nothing means more than sincere words of love coming from those same lips.
Oh you think your dreams are the same as mine – Sometimes it’s easier to pretend that you want the same things even when you’re beyond those first months of a relationship. Sometimes you do what will make them happy, just because it will make them happy.

Oh I don't love you but I always will – There is something about love that sticks with you. Even in our darkest hours, I like to think that I will be able to look at my wonderful husband and just…love him. Even if I’ve been hurt. It will still be there. And that can be a blessing or a curse, which is why it’s so scary.
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
I always will

I wish you'd hold me when I turn my back – I don’t know how many times I’ve turned around or hung up the phone or gone into a different room during an argument. And even though I am trying to get away, I still desperately want him to just…hold me. Whether that means a phone call, a touch, anything. Just fight for me.
The less I give the more I get back – This one I honestly don’t know about. The only application I can think of is the possibility that if I was to stop trying in our relationship, my husband would try to bring me back. For instance, if a woman were to be unfaithful to her husband, he might buy her expensive gifts and do thoughtful things for her to get her to stop being selfish and stupid and think of her vows.
Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise – Another simple one. I love the feeling of my husband’s touch in love, but I can’t imagine the pain of his touch of anger. Not just because of the physical effects, but the emotion that goes with that contact.
I don't have a choice but I still choose you – I think this might be my absolute favorite. It doesn’t say I would still choose you. It’s I do still choose you. There are times in marriage when we feel…stuck. “Is this the life I had imagined for myself? Is this what I’ve always wanted?” But the fact of the matter is that we choose this life. I may be so angry with my husband that I want to get in the car and drive away, but there is no one else in the entire world I would rather spend time with.
So is this a depressing post? I don’t think so, but that might just be my opinion. I love my husband more than any other human being on earth. There is no one I would rather be with. He is a wonderful, loving, faithful, thoughtful and amazing man. Not to mention that he’s smokin’ hot. : ) I can’t say that I love every little thing about our life and our relationship, but the best part is that we both want to stick around and try to get all those little hiccups worked out. It will probably take years. But the truth is we both signed up ‘for as long as we both shall live’ so we’re not going anywhere. : )

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dorks of the World...UNITE!

I had a middle school moment at the gym the other day. Not everyone will relate to this; if you were one of those people who have always been cool, you will not understand. But here’s the gist of what happened.

I was reminded that I am not one of the ‘cool’ kids. To understand, you’ll need to know a few basic things about me. I am 28. I have three kids. I am at least 30 pounds heavier than I want to be. I am ghostly pale. I have never been a member at a gym before. As a matter of fact I must confess that the biggest motivator for me to go to the gym now is that I can have someone else watch my kids while I go and watch TV work out for 45 minutes and then shower and take my time getting ready. Then when I do shower and get ready, I am acutely aware that there are other women in the locker room at that very second that are thinner and less sweaty than I am. So that’s your basic picture here.

So there I am, trying to put my lotion on and get dressed in the locker room without exposing any part of my body to the girl about ten feet away that has just finished her workout. You can tell she’s cool. She knows it, I know it. She just oozes that confidence that comes with knowing that you’re cool. She is tan, trim, and probably 23 years old. She has a very cute little exercise ensemble comprised of new-looking sneakers, cute little black shorts and a red sports bra. Yeah, no shirt. Fan-freaking-tastic. : )

Then she talks to me. Dang it. She asks me a question about the cost of renting a locker or something like that. I am immediately transported back in time 15 years. A different locker room— different ‘cool’ girls ten feet away and different self-confidence issues. Back then it was acne, wondering when I was ever going to start looking like a mature female, wishing my parents made more money so I could get one of those cool Adidas bags. And wishing I was cool like them. Different time, different issues, but the same heart-pounding wish that I could just be…more smooth.

Back to the present day locker room scenario.  I dorkily rack my brain, trying to remember what that email that I got a couple of weeks ago said about the cost of permanently renting a gym locker. I only skimmed it, knowing that a fee like that was not in our budget. You know when you just know that you’ve come across as a dork? Like you’re trying too hard? Yeah, that was me.

Anyway I got through that little conversation and started washing my face and getting my makeup on. Cool Girl wrapped herself up in one of those teeny little gym bath towels and trotted off to the shower. (Side note: she didn’t actually trot. I am simply trying to convey her general spirit of carefree-edness. Yes that is a word.) As I’m washing my face she comes trotting back out and asks if I have any face wash she can borrow. Of course I bumble all over myself offering her some of my Cetaphil—which she’s never heard of. And I start thinking, “Crap! Is even my face wash dorky?!”

So here’s the thing. I’m dorky. I always have been and probably always will be. I have wonderful friends that can appreciate that about me. And I have an amazing husband that thinks my dorkiness is actually cute. (Please don’t tell him those two words have drastically different meanings.) So for the most part I’m pretty happy with my general persona. But there are those times. Those locker-room, Buckle sales clerk, trying to figure out if I can actually pull off the whole scarf with T-shirt look times that I am totally a dork. I get through them and give the evil eye to those darn girls trotting by in their cute little scarves. Who wants to trot everywhere anyway? I’m tired just thinking about it. : )

Cue reel of photographic dork evidence:
I started out quite cute! I'm the little one who looks like she's pooping her pants.

Then things started getting weird. Honestly I blame the eighties.

No I don't know why I'm standing like that. : )

Yes those are my real eyebrows. Yikes.

My sister totally looks like she's picking her nose. She probably was. She's gross like that. : )

Fake chest hair? Bring it on.

It was really hot out. We were really uncomfortable. Hehe.

Even on my wedding day...something not totally cool about me. Hmmmmm...

But here's one of those good friends. She knows I'm a dork. (Heck, she's a dork too!) And it just works. : )

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eden's Story

I love all my babies so much. Sometimes it physically hurts me to think about how much I love them and adore their sweet smiles. And while I know I will have many stories with each of my little ones, the beginning of my story with Eden is one that I would like to write down and remember simply because I want her to know about it.

When I was 34 weeks pregnant with Miss Eden I developed preeclampsia. This isn’t terribly uncommon in first pregnancies, but my doctor decided to induce me anyway since my blood pressure was so high and I was retaining sooooo much water. (When I went in to the hospital I was around 215 pounds!)

I was technically in labor for about 28-30 hours, but it wasn’t all bad at first. It did start to get pretty scary at the end when the doctors couldn’t find baby Eden’s heartbeat and I had to keep pushing and pushing to get her out and make sure she was okay. My nurse told me later that it was the scariest delivery she had ever been a part of, and that she and my doctor couldn’t help but hug in the hallway after it was over.

Eden after she was born

The doctors working on Eden right after she was born

Even with all that work, she came out with the cord wrapped around her neck and they whisked her off to the NICU. Since Eden was nearly six weeks early they had to make sure that she was breathing and everything all right. Which I was incredibly thankful for! : ) It just meant that I didn’t get to meet my little Eden until a few hours later. About five hours later, to be exact.

Meeting Eden for the first time! I don't know if you can tell, but it looks like someone's used my face for a punching bag : )

Baby Girl was doing really well but they knew they would have to keep her in the NICU for at least a week or more to make sure she continued to thrive on her own. I was bummed about having to go home without my girl but I was grateful to have her in such capable hands at the hospital, and was already thinking about the logistics of coming up to the hospital every day to be with her.

Eden in the NICU

Then my doctor told me that he wasn’t happy with my blood work and numbers and I needed to stick around in the hospital too. We thought that was weird but I had never had a baby before so heck, what did we know?

Anyway, I kept getting sicker and sicker and my doctor called on a nephrologist and a hematologist to figure out what the heck was wrong with me. My platelet counts were low and dropping and I was losing kidney function. I wasn’t even allowed to get out of bed without someone there with me because if I bumped my leg—even slightly—I could bleed to death from the bruising. Finally, a week after delivery and following one particularly scary night, my worried husband asked my doctors about moving me to a different hospital in a larger city to see if they might be better equipped to…figure it all out.

The nephrologist looked at us and told us that he’d figured it out (he said he’d been up late the night before going through some of his medical journals) and that I had a rare blood disorder called TTP. As far as I understand it, my red blood cells were basically shredded. He said we were welcome to try to move to a different hospital in a couple of days, but that if I wasn’t started on treatment that day, I would die. Those were his words! I remember looking at Landon and thinking, “Did he just say I could die?”

This is where the pain started. Not physical pain—although I had plenty of that coming over the next few weeks—but the pain of worry.

I was dying inside to think that I might not be able to be there for my baby girl. How could this happen? Landon can’t be a Daddy all by himself! He won’t know how to do her hair! He won’t know how to comfort her after her bad dreams. He doesn’t know how little girls think, feel, react. She needs me! I have to be there for her! Pain.

Let me just pause here and say this without sounding fanatical or crazy: prayer is an amazingly powerful thing. I know that people say that all the time and that a promise to pray for something is often right up there on the list of things you say ‘just to be polite.’ But I am incredibly grateful that I had my church congregation, my family, and my friends praying for me during those weeks. There were times when the thought of another treatment made me want to cry (the process was intensely uncomfortable) and I just felt too tired to fight very hard. But I had hundreds of people praying for me and for my little family, and my God decided that I needed to hang around a while longer. : )

Eden was released from the hospital a few days before I was, but on my two-year wedding anniversary, I followed her home! After two-and-a-half weeks in the hospital, 15 plasma transfusions, half a dozen whole blood transfusions and strange infections that made the palms of my hands and soles of my feet peel off and my arms turn black and blue, I was home. With my baby girl and my amazing husband. And God was good.

I get to go home!

I can’t remember ever thinking “This is it. I’m going to die.” I just remember ruling that out as an option. If that happened it was going to be in spite of me fighting the toughest fight of my life.

So if my sweet Eden ever gets to read this, she’ll know what I’ve meant all these years when I say she’s been trying to kill me since she was born! : ) (Just kidding!)

We chose the name Eden before she was even born because it has such beautiful meaning. One meaning is ‘perfection’which I must say is a little daunting. But the meaning we fell in love with and the word that describes our little miracle is ‘delight.’ My Eden is my delight. My Adaleine is my sweet-spirited lady. And my Judah is my bright blessing.

My Eden

Sweet Adaleine

Precious Judah

Do you see why I love them so much? My sweet babies.  

My Little Family : )

Friday, September 30, 2011

We Can Paint If We Want To

I’ve wanted to put together a post for a while now about all the crafty things I’ve been doing the past few months but I just haven’t gotten my pictures and everything together yet. So the rest will come later, but I couldn’t wait to share the project I just finished last night!

I am doing a grey, white and yellow color scheme in our bedroom here in Lincoln. I was determined to make my own art for the walls to save some money. I had a large canvas that I had put together from the old house and I decided that size would work really well over our bed.

Imagine the circles on a white canvas. Somehow I have absolutely no pictures of this after I finished it. Go figure, huh?

So I set out to remove the circles that I had Mod Podged onto the canvas so that I could paint it grey and…no dice. Apparently I was very thorough with the Mod Podge a few months ago. (As I type this, I’m having flashbacks of second, third, and fourth coats. So…yeah)

Plan B – rather than removing the circles I was going to cover them up. I got plain grey broadcloth from good ol’ Hobby Lobby at a whopping $2.99/yard and hot glued it onto the canvas to cover up my wonky circles and my sad attempts at removing them. But after one layer of that thin broadcloth you could still see the circles. Sigh. Better make it two layers. : )

After the canvas was completely covered with the grey broadcloth, I let it sit for about two weeks. This ‘resting’ period was not necessary for the project unless you consider me freaking out about ruining my canvas necessary. I apparently did. I spent that time looking up DIY artwork ideas online and trying to muster up the courage to take on this project on my own. Here are some of the ideas that I liked:

Ultimately I decided to TRY to recreate the gorgeous chrysanthemum pattern that I saw on the piece from the Simple Vie shop on Etsy. I loved what she did, but the teal wouldn’t work and I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do it. So last night I decided enough was enough and I started out.

I used my disappearing ink marker that I occasionally use for sewing and spent roughly 40 minutes drawing out exactly 260 petals on my fabric-covered canvas. (I didn’t count them until I was done painting because I was afraid I would break down sobbing give up. And then—let the painting begin!

I painted…

And painted…

And kept painting…

And then, about three hours later…

Finito! I have to say, I’m beyond happy with how it turned out. I had very little confidence in my ability to paint something like that, but it was really very simple and required basically no skill. It just looks complicated.

Here it is in my room. I love it! Since we don’t have a headboard it really gives the bed a little pizzazz. Now what is missing from the bed? Oh, that’s right. Pillows! That’s right up there on my to-do list too. : )

I also took a couple pictures of the little felt flowers I got at Michael’s and added on to my lampshades. I’m still trying to decide if I think those lamps work in there. A little too small maybe? Hmm…maybe I should go to TJ Maxx just to be safe…

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ten Things I Learned About Life

{You have to read the title like the Heath Ledger movie 'Ten Things I Hate About You.' Just so you know.} : )

Isn’t it funny how you learn things along the way? And once you’ve learned them, you can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for all those dumb naïve teenagers that obviously have no idea what real life is all about?

I’ve been thinking about this lately for a few different reasons and I’ve come up with my own semi-original list of little insights into life. Some are meant to be funny. Some are serious. And some are so true they’re frightening. (Are you worried yet?) : )

 Disclaimer: these will not be true for everyone. These are just some of the things I’ve learned as I’ve stumbled journeyed through the daily chaos and blessings of being a grown-up, a wife, and a mother.

  1. Never ask your husband ANY questions about your weight. It’s a lose-lose situation for both of you. Anything he says will be used against him (Miranda rights don’t hold any water in marriage), and you will end up feeling bad about yourself even if he tells you he thinks you look great.  
  2. Women, if you want to complain about something you have two choices. You can either call your best friend/sister/whoever and gripe to them or you can give your husband/boyfriend/fiancée/male counterpart strict instructions not to try to solve anything before you say a single word. Those instructions are very important; they will save you from feeling defensive when you think he acts like your problem is simple and easily fixed. And it will save him from being completely confused when you get upset at him for giving what he thinks is sound advice.
  3. When you have babies you will really never sleep again. I know that most people have probably heard this and thought it’s just a horror story that parents tell, but it’s actually true. Let me tell you why: even if your kids are sleeping you can hear them. Even if you are sleeping, you can hear them moving around or stirring or whining in their sleep. And if by some miracle you are sleeping so soundly you could swear you’re once again single and childless, that’s when they’ll lower the boom. “Mommy, I wet the bed. Mommy, I threw up. Mommy, I wet the bed and threw up and plugged the toilet and there’s water all over the floor and I think something’s on fire.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned. : )
  4. Just because something comes easily to you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for it. Trust me on this one. I floated through high school and most of college and then when I did need to study, I had absolutely no idea how to go about it. This idea also holds true when you have some natural gift for something. You have to work hard and dedicate yourself to improvement in order to achieve mastery of any subject. For example, no one can sit on a sofa in their pajamas drinking Mountain Dew and consuming massive quantities of chocolate quite like I can. It’s taken years, but I’ve truly mastered it. Dedication people!
  5. Make a decision early in your relationship about how you and your husband are going to fight. I know this sounds stupid and/or pessimistic, but the truth is that you ARE going to fight. And if there are no ground rules, you’ll fight dirty. When we first got married, Landon and I decided we weren’t going to yell at each other. In my experience yelling is the first step toward losing control and I simply wasn’t going to be in a marriage where one of us was losing our cool all the time. We also resolved not to call each other names. If we do call each other a name, it is as a joke. : )
  6. Money sucks. You’re always either trying to get more, trying to save more, wanting to spend more, or trying to figure out where all of yours went. Don’t let it control your happiness or your mood. I’ve definitely had my stressed-out times when I’ve been trying to figure out why, with the two of us working a total of three jobs, we were having trouble making ends meet. The answer always comes back to us. I like these sayings:
 “It's not your salary that makes you rich, it's your spending habits.”

-Charles A. Jaffe

“The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.”

-Mad Magazine

  1. If you figure out how to be happy with your weight, please let me know. I thought I was fat in high school at 120 pounds and now I’m looking back and trying to figure out when I ate part of that 120-pound girl. It’s too bad, really. She was kind of cute : )
  2. There will be moments in your time as a mother that you will look at your child in some ridiculous state (covered in poop/vomit, screaming at the top of her lungs, whining like there’s no tomorrow, or trying to kill her younger siblings) and think, “How on earth did I get here?” Don’t worry. You’re not a bad mom and it will pass. I’m not saying it ever gets easy, but those moments are very temporary and the important thing to remember is that you are their Mommy. They are your gift from God and He trusts YOU to take care of them and do the right thing. Whether or not you feel like you can, you can. Also, if anyone without kids ever even looks at you judgmentally, you have my permission you slap them. They’ll understand soon enough, but they need that look wiped off their faces right now so help me God. : )
  3. Don’t treat anyone like they’re stupid. Waitresses, Wal-Mart cashiers, those teenagers that apparently have no idea how silly they look. No one. No one deserves that. On a side note: many people seem to believe they can treat their family worse than they can perfect strangers, presumably because ‘blood is thicker than water.’ (I totally don’t get that saying, by the way.) The truth is rudeness is rudeness no matter who you’re talking to. Don’t treat your family like they just have to stick around and take everything you dish out. They don’t deserve it any more than a random stranger does.
  4. Finally, the one that I’ve learned that I kind of wish I hadn’t. I have regrets. I regret quitting cross country in middle school. I regret not learning how to handle my money wisely when I got my first real job at age 14. I regret not traveling more before getting married. None of that is to say that my life right now would be any different except that I might have maintained a MUCH better fitness regime throughout my life, kept better track of my finances, and seen a little bit more of the world. Regrets (I think) are just a part of life. And unless you live your life doing everything you want to, you will have regrets. Scratch that. I think that everyone will have regrets at some time in their life. They don’t have to define you or depress you. Let your regrets change the way you make your choices in the future so that you can reduce—if not eliminate—your ‘should-woulda-couldas’ in the future.  
So there you have it. The world according to yours truly. I know. I’m so wise, right? I’m not sure if any of that is useful or particularly insightful but it’s been on my mind for a while now so I thought I’d share.

I leave you with Tina Fey’s “Prayer For My Daughter.” I love it and it sums up so much of what having a daughter is like. : )

 First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her – When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need not lie with drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

 And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

 And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Late Night Insanity

I don’t like to shop. I know that’s weird coming from a female, but it’s the cold, hard truth. There are some exceptions to this though. I LOVE shopping for my kids. Almost anything is cute in a size 6 months (for Judah) and in 4T-5T (for the girls). I also really enjoy shopping for my home and for crafty items. Hmm…maybe I should edit my original statement to “I don’t like to shop for myself.”

There’s something about buying something that’s just for me that seems inherently selfish. I mean, there are plenty of things that my family could use that I should be putting that money toward, right? The idea of buying a shirt/purse/outfit, etc that only I will use doesn’t quite seem fair.

But last night I did it. I went nuts. Nuts I tell you! I bought myself—wait for it—a new wallet! I know, I know. It’s just crazy. : ) I have to admit I felt like such a rebel when I clicked on the ‘Add to Shopping Cart’ button. And even more when I entered in my shipping information. Then came the credit card info and I could feel my heart start to pound. And when I finally clicked that ‘Place Order’ button, I literally threw my arms up in the air and cheered, “Oh yeah!” (Just like Vector in Despicable Me).

So why this sudden bout of selfish abandon? Well, it was time for a new wallet. The one that I currently have is about two years old and even though I love the colors and funky look of it, the fact that I have to hold it shut with one of my daughter’s elastic hair ties is too much for even me. I’ve been surviving that way for a while, but yesterday morning when I was at the mall with the kids shopping for—not me, I noticed the sales clerk giving me a funny look when I removed the purple hair tie from my wallet while searching for my debit card. I had to draw the line. No one was noticing how cute my wallet was anymore. All they could see was that darn purple hair tie. Curse curse curse.

After much deliberation, (I honestly thought about it all afternoon) I decided it was time for a new one and set out to find the perfect wallet out there on the World Wide Web. I checked out where I found a couple of neat options, looked on just for old time’s sake (Mr. Bug used to work there), did a search at, and finally just punched ‘wallet for women’ into Google. Blessed Google. : )

And there it was. Those magic words: FOSSIL® Wallets - Iconic American Style - Est. 1984 | Cue chorus of angels just like when I walk into Target. Fossil is pretty much my ideal for casual awesomeness. I know there are lots of other brands that are fancier and more stylish, but for me it’s always been just the right style.

I checked out the site and looked at a few different wallets. I thought about going for one solid color, a.k.a. boring, and ultimately decided on this one. Drum roll please…

BOOM! It’s definitely more money than I would usually spend on myself, but I figured that since it’s higher quality I’ll probably have it for a few years. And if I use it even just once a day for two years, that brings the cost per use down to about half a cent. Even I can justify that to my cheapskate inner self! : )

So there you have it. My late-night wallet-shopping insanity. Now I’m just counting down the hours until I see that magical little package in the mail. I can just imagine the little angel song when I open that mailbox…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All Hail Mediocrity!

I have always been good at a lot of things. Don’t sign off now and think I’m going to do some kind of pat on the back post here, ‘cause I’m not. Hear me out. : )

Like I said, I have always been good at a lot of things. I’m fairly smart and I always got decent grades without really having to work for them. I have a decent voice and did okay in choir. Things like that. But (without sounding like a whiner) I have to say that I feel like I’m not really great at much.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that I really like to do and things that I’m okay at. But I really think I have fallen short of achieving ‘greatness’ in most categories.

I don’t want anyone to think that I am a Debbie Downer or anything like that. I will say that when I started writing on this little blog I decided that I would do it for me and that I would be honest. So I am not a Debbie Downer. I’m an Honest…Olga? (There are shockingly few girl names that start with a vowel!)

Over the years I have attained the highly sought-after status of mediocrity in many categories. I waited tables for seven years and was good at it, but definitely not the best. I worked in the same restaurant all those years and didn’t even bother to memorize the menu! Yikes. I used to run when I was younger and really enjoyed it. Now I am sooo no longer a runner, although I am trying to get back into it. I can do simple projects on my sewing machine fairly well, but haven’t come close to mastering many basic skills. I am a decent writer but have few original ideas.

That’s not where the list ends, but you get the general idea. I’m okay at a lot. So why have I not achieved greatness in any of the above categories? Along with many not listed here? I think I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons: I’m lazy and I’m a quitter.

You may be thinking that those are the same thing. And you’d have a valid point but you’d be wrong. (Sorry!)

Being lazy has kept me from trying things and being a quitter has kept me from being really great at the things I do get up off my arse to try. (Hehe) I’m not entirely certain why I was blessed with these fabulous traits, but there you have it. It reminds me of that quote of Chandler’s to Monica on Friends about why they can’t have kids. He says something like, “It means that my guys won't get off their butts, and you have a uterus that’s prepared to kill the ones that do!”

All that to say that I’m going to try. I’m going to try to do things well and to achieve excellence and not just meander through my existence on my mediocrity. (Deep, huh?) I’m running a 5K with my sister in a month and I’m doing my best to finish a few decorating projects in our apartment. I’ve got to start somewhere, and I figure if I get a few small victories under my belt I’ll be more likely to head on to the next challenge. I don’t think 28 is too old to change, do you? : )

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Movin' On Up to the East...ern Part of the State

This is kind of old news, but we are completely moved out of our house! Our closing date was May 20th and we have had a very interesting few weeks. I really just wanted to share a few of the pictures I took along the final leg of this crazy chapter in our lives.

Let me first say that as soon as we can afford it, I am going to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure and possible hair color. Not because it has anything to do with moving, but I am giving myself a reward for moving our little family. I had lots of help from my sister and Mr. Bug helped when he was home, but the long and the short of it is that I nearly went insane packing us all up. Packing up closets, sorting through clothes, sorting through toys, cleaning out desks, organizing cabinets, showing the house, running to Menards, ordering windows, reordering windows, and signing papers upon papers. Add to that the fact that I was hauling around three screaming angelic children at any given time and I think I’m entitled to spoil myself a bit, right? : )

Anyway, here are a few pictures and my reasoning for sharing them. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, it makes sense to me so just go with it, okay?

Here is the start of my pile of boxes. I’m not sure how I forgot to take a picture of said pile right before moving but needless to say it was about 20 boxes bigger. How do we have so much crap?!

Here is our little bug on the day we moved all of our big items out of the house, which just happened to be his 8-week birthday : )

This is the only picture I have of Mr. Bug actually lifting anything even though he was like a superhero that day. There he is with our good friend Bradlee who was AWESOME on the day of the move. He and my hubby got nearly everything loaded just the two of them.

That’s Brad again on the right (his face this time) along with Uncle Bug carrying my dresser out to the trailer. Hubby is assuming more of a supervisor role in this photo. (Does that sound familiar to anyone in my family?) : )

Here is my front door. I know it might seem silly but I want to get a print of this made and hang it on my wall in a kind of photo collage wherever we move from here on out. Call me sentimental, but this is where I brought all three of my babies home from the hospital and where we went from “just the two of us” to a real family.

Sissy decided that baby bug needed a hat on during the final stages of packing, so she talked Mrs. Potato Head into letting him borrow hers. I’m not sure he was thrilled about it.

Our last time walking through the house. The girls kept going from room to room and gasping at how different it looked empty.

I remembered to get a picture of our little family the last time we were in our first home. Eden’s face here is so funny. I’m not sure why she was making this face—she was in a good mood I swear!

This is all we left behind. Don’t those keys look kind of sad sitting there? Maybe that’s just me.

The last picture I took. It was starting to mist a little bit, which seemed fitting. I kept waiting to get emotional about leaving our home but it never happened. I’m sure it will hit me sometime and then I’ll be a wreck. I’ll let you know. ; )

So there you have it! Our big move! We are now getting settled into our apartment in Lincoln and I’ll share that soon too. Whether you want me to or not. Hehe. You know you love it!