Thursday, January 26, 2012

i'm wasn't bullying, $30 paper coterie


1. it wasn't an act of bullying

2. it was just a low fever, finally broke; likely from teething.
3. the older kids were at school so i could stay frozen in position when she fell asleep on my collar.

4. it was only the bumper. no one was hurt. he came home unscathed. again.
5. the money is there for necessary repairs
6. urgent care. w/no wait & discount co-pays for employees families.
7. Free $30 to spend at Paper Coterie right on time for my annual photo book. code: 'FREETHIRTY'
8. girly pink iPhone Defender Case is worth the bulk. & $20 cheaper here
9. inspiration to eat what remains in the pantry/fridge/freezer
10. all of the family can come to carter's party!
11. free valentines printable
12. teachers who email.
13. teachers who take the time to write such kind things.
14. i didn't eat my way through this wild week
15. "Be joyful because you have hope. Patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times." Rom 12:12 (NCV)

Why the list? Pin It

Monday, January 23, 2012

guess that sums up my legacy

At three and a half she has big plans for her life.
Well, I guess that pretty much sums of my legacy!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm thankful for...DC with kids

I'm thankful for... 
1. A lovely calendar with lines for memory-recording on back of each month
(60% off with CALENDAR2012)
2. Living close enough to DC to spend the weekend there spontaneously
3. Free admission to Smithsonian Museums. Natural History (Elephant photo below) our family's favorite for the dinosaurs, mammals, ocean, & bones exhibits
4. Free admission to National Zoo. Tiger growling, super close up with apes & zebras.
5. Finding a Starbucks across the street for escape from cold & kids to eat Lunchables & get our coffee fix.
6. Embassy Suites on 22nd more than met our needs/expectations. (cooked-to-order, plentiful breakfast, nightly open bar & snacks, fish-feeding in the lobby pond all included in room rate. 2 room suite w/2 queen beds & a door separating sleeping kids from grown-ups awake in the living room. Also appreciated: fridge/microwave in room & indoor pool/hot tub.
7. Convenient hotel location. Starbucks & Walgreens at corner. Whole Foods & Foggy Bottom Metro Stop just a couple blocks' walk. 
8. Free street parking space. ($35/night savings)

9. Only going the wrong way once.
10. Always finding a working elevator
11. Baby Bjorn-loving baby
12. Lilah jumping in & swimming under water to the edge. again. again. again.
13. She didn't push hard enough for Carter to fall onto the subway tracks
14. Finding grace enough to forgive & not lose it with her for such a mean & scary outburst
15. BOB stroller. World of a difference on bumpy city streets.
16. Wegmans on the way. Yum!
17. Kindergartener writing sentences! missing several vowels & little to no space between words, but writing his own stories to describe his illustrations.
18. Visit from Heather & her kids. And now every salad is inadequate without caramelized onions & goat cheese crumbles.
19. New running sneakers with ample heel cushion & arch support. Found on sale @local outlets.
20. Laughing out loud when Julie explained what we want from our kids is to "come home from school singing Jesus Loves Me not Single Ladies". Just so perfect. So funny. But perfectly put.
21. Big sister's LOVE & attention for baby girl. Even if that means she can be found in the crib, changing her diaper if I'm not quick enough.
22. Remembering to bake with Lilah like I did with Carter when he was 3 & at home with me all day. 2-ingredient, low-fat, egg-free cupcake recipe.
23. Faith-restoring chat with my sister-in-law! I just love you & thank God for you, Tara! 
Exactly what I needed: thinking about my kids choosing to believe in Christ, and accept Him as their Savior:
24."Now God has us where he wants us...Saving is all his idea, and all his work.  
All we do is trust him enough to let him do it.
It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing." Eph 2:8 (The Message) 

*Photos taken with iPhone4S, Edited in Instagram App (free). Collages created & uploaded with Frametastic app (free) Pin It

Monday, January 16, 2012

Skipping Golden Globes for Sports Center

In the words of Elphaba:
"Something has changed within me, something is not the same."

My feet are blistered & legs are aching from a weekend of walking around DC (which I consider a souvenir; worth every bit)
but nothing was going keep me from running today. (can hardly believe it, but it's true)
I'm determined to get this running thing down.
I was running on the treadmill this morning and flipped past the Golden Globes red carpet coverage (what??!!)
to watch Sports Center (not kidding)
I was so engrossed in this conversation about Tim Tebow between Skip & some other guys...whom I don't remember because I agreed with Skip and felt the guy fighting with him seemed irrational &...frankly, jealous.
I stayed on the treadmill 30 minutes after I finished running just keeping a 3.5 pace to watch it and the coverage of Saturdays big SanFran win. That last 40 seconds took me right back to the Red Raiders' stadium watching Harrell/Crabtree pull off that incredible play to beat UT in 2008.

Even Saturday night in the hotel room, Dan gave up & went to sleep at half time & I stayed awake holding onto hope for a Bronco comeback. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Brady's pass accuracy & marveling at how long he had in the pocket in comparison.
What has happened to me? 

For the record, I ran farther & faster than I have since I started (last week). This time I turned off the TV & turned up the music so loud I had to check a few times to be sure I wasn't singing out loud.
Warm Up/Fast Walk: Forget You (Glee Cast feat. Gwyneth Paltrow)
Run: Singing in the Rain/Umbrella (Glee Cast feat. Gwyneth Paltrow)
Run: Shake that Thing (Gwyneth Paltrow, Country Strong Soundtrack)
*I did this one twice.
Fast Walk: Telephone (Glee Cast version)
Run: Bad Romance (Glee Cast version)
Run: Raise Your Glass (Glee Cast version)
Walk/Cool Down: Empire State of Mind (Glee Cast version)
During Singing in the Rain/Umbrella I was imagining the gym bursting into a choreographed musical number, every section having a part. One part by those on the dumbells, another the ab workers, the bench-pressers, the leg machines, the climactic parts by the runners/ was quite an exciting daydream & before I knew it the song was over.
Some things never change.
ps: Jessica Alba (above) was my favorite, from the brief review I saw. And she just gave birth to baby #2 in August! Pin It

Thursday, January 12, 2012

thankful for...

1. grocer employee handing me a bouquet of flowers. free of charge. just because.
2. snuggled in the chair, Carter reading me a book. 
3. taking them all in & noting: "if i could freeze my kids just as they more growing"
4. kind & encouraging comments on blog posts
5. Lilah, calling from the other room where she's playing with play-dough
"mom? can i have another chair for my friends Tangled (aka: Rapunzel) & Flynn Rider?"
6. tinted mentha lip gloss. c.o.bigelow
7. the way her warm, round head fits in the crook of my neck and feels heavier as she falls asleep 
8. running longer, faster. note: still boring as ever.
9. diaper delivery arrives in time
10. SJPs movie was just as good rented at Redbox as I remembered from the theater. (though for a movie set primarily in Boston, why did no one have an accent?)
11. text communication with faraway friends 
12. nice enough weather for the trampoline in jan
13. shopping for hats & gloves to donate with my compassionate son
14. tasty Pinterest recipe finds (& a clutter-free place to store them all)
15. power toothbrush. addicting silky clean teeth. thanks, mom 
16. kid-free time at Panera to post what I'm thankful for! thanks, generous husband.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

love so strong its scaring me sleepless

confession: i've been waking up with nightmares.
mostly, they involve these three. typically the theme is: i am responsible for their protection & i fail.

a home-intruder. that's the most common.i'm distracted by one & the other is in the middle of the street-bring lights, screeching tires, shrieking onlookers...
school bus accident.
lost at a theme park. (well, this actually happened this summer. we got him back.)
helping a stranger find their dog-kidnapped.
running into the street to get our dog-crushed by a car.

then there's the dream where i get the call that my husband was in an accident.
and the dream that i get a life-threatening diagnosis.

most of these dreams have been quite vivid. they play out so detailed & real life-like. you know those dreams.
i wake up in a panic. frozen in fear. sure the garage door was left open or gate left unlocked.
i have quite an imagination, which for the most part serves me well.
this is a certain downside. wild & specific nightmares.

two of my kids are out of my care regularly for the first time this year, going to school.
so much more is out of my control and even when they are with me, my attention is spread more thinly than ever.
the letting go comes in smaller, unforeseen ways. it is much harder than i expected.
my faith is being tested in a whole new way.
do i really believe what i say i believe:
"I will not be afraid, because the Lord is with me. 
People can't do anything to me.The Lord is with me to help me...
It is better to trust the Lord than to trust people." Ps 118:6-8 (NCV)

on the first day of kindergarten, we dropped him off at school with strangers.
they are sitting next to him in class, embodying homes i've never visited, much less approved.
he's taking information from a teacher we requested because of her high recommendations but we are pretty sure she doesn't share our faith. we are sure we made the right choice, but it was new territory for us all (this picture says it all).

letting go comes in small ways like school lunch. he enthusiastically described the lunch line, where they "get their own tray and choose their own food like real grown-ups", so i loaded money onto his account & we choose a few days from the lunch menu each week. that wasn't so bad. actually, it adds novelty to the packed lunch.

letting go was much harder when he begged us to take the bus. "that's where you make friends, mom. you make them on the bus and then you have them you sit and eat lunch." our house is the first stop after leaving the school, so we signed up for him to ride the bus home each day.
that week i must have heard three reports on bus accidents & one kidnapping of a child walking home from school.  just recently he told us his bus driver plays "music. that grown up word that's not for kids. can i say it? sexy. sexy music."
um. yeah. i could have retracted the whole bus riding thing & frankly the public school thing right then & there. not joking. i was online revisiting private Christian schools that evening. 

on that note: the public school vs private, Christian school adds certain depth to this fear that has me up at night. we chose public for good reasons. not forever, for certain but for now, it was our choice for him. we have personal experience with both; positive & negative. (a WHOLE other post or posts!)

bottom line:
i have something really good here. really, really good.
this little family of mine, this little life we live: it's a good one.
and if anything threatened to take it from me...
well, like my husband put it: i may just have it so good right now, it's too good for me to have peace that it can stay this way. 
it's testing my faith, compelling me to prayer, & committing me to mediate on scripture.
and robbing me of my beloved sleep!

are you with me? been there? would love your advice! 

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

thankful for...


1. Lilah handing me a plate of "food" from her new kitchen. walking away. turning back to add "you better eat it all. I'm not making you more later."
2. Keurig convenience. Somedays it's SO worth the extra $ per Kcup. Even on cup #3!
3. the gym, & so far no child is sick. dangit now i've certainly jixed it. 
4. toasted pistachio delight candle. no longer available online, but from here.
5. Clara eating pears & giggling with each spoonful. oh. my. swelling. heart.
6. breakfast date with Dan in a french restaurant downtown. making it happen when it can.
7. good preschool; timely lessons in community & authority
8. high-fiber, sprout bread at Trader Joes. sometimes a girl just needs some toast.
9. Carter using bigger-than-his-age words in proper context. knowing i taught him.
10. grace, new each day. not my best week.
11. pedicure, by the good lady
12. free $25 code for paper coterie
13. thoughtful thank you notes from teachers
14. Seeds of Courage. Hiding His Word in our hearts in such a fun & effortless way.
15. watching Bowl games & eating grown-up food together after kids go to bed
16. taking the entrepreneurial leap. nothing to lose but regret.

Why the list?

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

and then there were three

Today we were missing someone.
Our family's first "back to school" after break experience.
The space he fills, he fills uniquely.

At first, we just hung around adjusting to the emptiness.
I distracted myself with some running around town with the girls. 
I packed away Christmas while they were napping. 
(Thankfully, I remembered to warn him before he left this morning).
Not two days into Christmas break, I consulted the school calendar to verify just how long I had with all three of them at home before this day. (Sad, I know. But true.) 
Eventually we got the hang of being around all day together. 
Well...sort of. 
More than I thought because today was much more awkward than I had anticipated.
He's back! 
Just where he belongs. Filling his special space in our home.
It took 3 seconds for the sibling bickering, followed by screaming tattling to commence.
Is there an in-between? 
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Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 highlights word cloud

can't think of a more fitting celebration for new years eve than counting our blessings, recalling the memories of the year gone by. my 5 y/o "got it", i'm sure.
the idea was to create a time capsule with q&a for the kids to record a glimpse at their current favorites, their plans, etc. (similar to this free printable)
this questionnaire was a jumping point.
we couldn't stop there. there was FAR more to record & eventually we filled the page; up the sides, between the lines until no blank space remained.
that inspired a trip down memory lane, recalling events & highlights of each month. SO. FUN! neat to see what stands out to a 5 y/o & in the mind of a 3 y/o ("lemolade" read: lemonade @ChickFilA is a certain highlight).
i took a couple minutes & abbreviated some of those memories & plugged them in here to create a word cloud of 2011. (make your own here. )
some won't make a bit of sense to you (ex: 'forever' is a top-requested song title on road trips) and to a detailed gal like myself it nearly kills me to be this concise, the words trigger so much more.
i suspect this will be an annual tradition.
between the lines: we have SO much to be grateful for.
"Thanks be to God for his gift that is too wonderful for words."
2 Cor 9:15 (NCV) Pin It
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