Sunday, January 31, 2010

Green Grass & Sporty Spice

I can't tell you what seeing our grass for the first time in almost a month is doing for my mood!!! Our temps still aren't above freezing, but the sun seems to be warming certain exposed areas enough to get rid of the snow pack. It's funny, b/c my home area got snow this weekend (only happens every couple years) and my Facebook news feed is filled with "snow this" & "snow that." I'm honestly jealous. I can't wait to go back (soon?!?) and live in a place where snow is something special that people appreciate and stop for...and that's 100% gone 3 days later, tops. :-P I can't wait to no longer loathe it!
  
I also (re-)realized what a sporty spice I am today. Not participation-wise, but fan-wise. I've always been a crazed super fan & cheerleader for *my* teams, but I love that my whole family is in on it, as well. We're an NFL and now NASCAR (thanks to Will) family, and this week STINKS for sports! Daytona isn't for two more weeks, and the ProBowl tonight just isn't all that. Back in September, we started going to eat lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings after church, so we can see all of our games not broadcast at home. Growing up, watching football together was a big quality family time event for me; and with us going out, we all get to eat what we want, we're all together at our table instead of scattering about the house, there's lots of talk time over the course of a game with lots of action pauses, and JB stays awake & interacts with us, instead of napping. We were there after church again today, but with no exciting sporting events that we wanted to cheer, it was so boring. We just ate & left. And it really bummed me out! I can't believe how much I want to have sports on in the background of my Sundays!!! [Does JB realize how lucky he is to have married ME?!?!?! ;-)] These few weeks, end of Jan/beginning of Feb, are the only cruddy sports weeks for us all year, with no daytime NFL games or races, b/c NASCAR starts week after next and runs well into football season. I can't even believe I'm writing this out (about NASCAR; I've always been this obsessed with football) but it really does wonders to make our family come together & focus for several hours. I feel like we're floating around today in limbo...
  
And so yes, to touch on our personal state of family limbo - no news or decisions, yet. Praying that God will give us some answers this week, especially so that we can prepare the kids for wherever we're going to move next, (here in town or somewhere else.) I trust that however much time He gives us, though, will be as much they need, so. A few more great verses to ponder from our sermon this morning, all from John 14:
  
Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me [Jesus]. - John 14:1
 
  
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! - John 14:13-14

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Luna-tics & the Sword of the Spirit

My kids are obsessed with the moon. I'm talking jumping-up-and-down, cheering, dancing, & singing EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. it appears. We all have to run to the window, if Annelise sees it on her own, and I feel like I am giving her the greatest gift in the world, if I notice it - esp. during the day while we're out & about - and point it out. It's better than candy. I think this obsession may be genetic, because my mom loves to tell everyone one of my very first words was "moon" (I think before "mama") and I also dragged the entire household to the door anytime I spied it. It's a great day here, b/c the moon was so huge and rose right along our drive home this afternoon. :-)

My root canal is officially scheduled for next Thursday morning...and while I'm not "excited" about it, God has - yet, again - done a number on my attitude & perspective. I am happy(?) to get it taken care of, thankful that JB can help out with the kids that day, glad I really like the endodontist, and hopeful that, in the end, my smile may look even brighter.

I've been compiling and going over as much scripture as I can that applies to our state of housing (& hopefully future job offer) limbo. It truly does slash the doubt that creeps in!

The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. - Psalm 6:9
  
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." - John 13:7

 
The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him. - Nahum 1:7
   
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead -- since he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. - Romans 4:18-21

 
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. - Hebrews 10:23

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. - Psalm 139:23-24

"My grace is enough for you; For my strength and power are made perfect in (your) weakness." Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weakness... that the strength and power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD. - Luke 1:37

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Upheaval

The last couple days have brought news of upheaval to our household. I don't feel like going into detail, but suffice it to say, we will be moving out of this house sometime in the next few months. I have no idea if we will move to another house in this area or if JB will get a different job that will move us elsewhere. I know that I know that I know God will take care of us and put us in the perfect place for our family, but I can't deny that the unknown is so challenging. It's the definition of faith, but it's certainly an active battle to keep anxiety at bay. Moving stresses me out like no other. I am a huge nester, and thinking about the futility of moving somewhere else here - especially when we may move, again, with another job soon - makes me seethe. I am trusting that God will work it all out. I know He will. He always does.

*Deep breaths*

On top of that, (which we found out about Monday after JB left on a business trip; nice timing, huh? He'll be back tonight,) I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning yesterday. I came out with an appointment tomorrow morning for a ROOT CANAL consult! WHAT?! You've got to be kidding me... I am royally terrified now across the board. I hate the dentist more than anything. I'd so much rather go to the gynocologist...

I DO know that everything will work out for the best, but it's been a lot for me to digest. I spent a long time yesterday going over helpful verses:

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. - Isaiah 58:10-11

O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. - Psalm 141:1-2

I will do mighty miracles for you...All the nations of the world will stand amazed at what the Lord will do for you... - Micah 7:15,16

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6,7

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. - Luke 12:29-31

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? - Matthew 6:27

God, I thank you SO MUCH for the faithfulness you ALWAYS show me. I cry out and pray that you will continue to help us now, that you will help me shake my fears, get peace of mind, and rest in the calm security of Your perfect plan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Overflow, Power of Music, & Negativity

After last week's irritation culminated in a sliced hand & shards in my cabinet,

I'm picking up the pieces - literally - and starting fresh this week with a renewed spirit!

Our pastor has been speaking on generosity & giving this month, (not a "comfortable" topic for the depressing month after Christmas spending sprees...but I think that's kind of what makes it perfect, too.) I heard a great gem this morning:

Your overflow is someone else's necessity.

I ask God to show me everything I can give (not just money & material things, but time & talents) to those who need them.

This is random, but in the background I am watching the US Figure Skating Championships (I like ladies' figure skating during Olympic years :-P & I'm waiting for FOOTBALL! Go Peyton & Brett. ;-)) and the music keeps catching me. One girl skated to Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux, which is my absolute favorite ballet music of ALL TIME, and I was just transfixed. Another to music from Gone with the Wind - my heart welled. Music reaches me like nothing else on Earth. I think it is the most powerful force God ever designed to draw out emotions in my life.

Speaking of emotions, Will needs prayers (and I do, too, for dealing with this the right way) for not focusing on the negative. I've talked to a few other mom-friends, and they're all going through this too, so I know it's just a phase (& that blah winter doesn't help) but it's driving us nuts. Whatever happy, wonderful thing we're doing, Will has been finding the one thing he can to complain about. He is the sweetest, most golden-hearted kid, and I think that's why this behavior just feels so urgently unacceptable & wrong. Example: after going out to his favorite place for lunch & doing what he wants all afternoon, he whines when we get home b/c I say no Wii. Just rude & ungrateful. And I know that is not his heart. When we pray at bedtime, we always list everything we're thankful for that day, so I really don't think it's an issue of not realizing all of the good things. I think he's just learning how to battle selfishness and how to balance exerting his will.

I think we all still battle the same thing most days, ourselves, huh?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Joyce: "Patience and Faithfulness"

So after blogging tonight, (writing it out always makes me feel better!) I watched today's Enjoying Everyday Life, and OH. MY. GOSH. That was a word directly FOR ME TODAY!!!!! (I wish I would've watched it earlier!) I cannot encourage everyone enough to watch this episode called "Patience and Faithfulness" - you can watch it free here online (scroll across the bottom to find it, if you don't see the title listed) or download the free podcasts.

I shouldn't be surprised when God comes through like this with the perfect advice, but it surely feels awe-inspiring!

Picking Up Pieces

I am just having one of those times where the irritation of little things compounds and compounds. I keep praying for grace to restart and apologize for blowing up...but then the irritation just starts over, too. I know I've been on edge & anxious all week, and it's probably for nothing, (which is even more irritating, to have stuff so on your mind that may end up as a moot point,) but I can't let it all go. The kids have been extra whiny, (why???) and I've been extra sensitive to it - not the most graceful combination. The final straw was slicing my hand tonight on my absolute favorite cooking bowl as it shattered to bits in my hands when I put it up in the cabinet (...with a little bang, b/c I was already irritated. I was SHOCKED, though, b/c this thing is thick, heavy-duty glass, and I truly didn't slam it in there hard.) :'(

I just need a big cathartic cry, I think, to get it all out! Hope for Haiti Now will surely put things in perspective...

I will also focus on all the positives. I was a Junior League machine this week for our Cinderella's Closet project, and I really worked through a big personal [irrational] obstacle (I *hate* the phone!) to contact all the social service organizations in the surrounding counties to see if they would work with us to promote the event. Huge checkmarks off my list!

I felt really good about dance this week, too. I'm teaching two classes I haven't taught in ages, and I actually went back into my old curriculum from my beloved studio in Georgia to find a few old gems I used to use to add into my repertoire here. It sounds silly, but it felt great to do those bits, again - like it was reviving a part of my heart that was so broken when we were transferred, and I had to leave what had been a dream for me there. It's not the same here, but for whatever reason, those few movements helped.

MOPS this morning was also fantastic. We had a ton of food, and someone brought chocolate cherry bread - my FAVE!!! I also brought a scrumptious Pithivier with sweet almond cream filling from Trader Joe's - heavenly. We finalized our KidsLink Downrange card kits, which was a great feeling, too. (We made card kits to send to children whose parents are deployed soldiers, so they can write back & forth easily.) When I took over our MOPS group, it was really important to me that we do a couple service projects like this, b/c mothers of kids from birth to age 5 really don't have the time to do much on their own; but this way, they get nurtured and get to nurture others without wearing themselves out. I've been so excited about the KidsLink Downrange project since July, and it just feels cool to have it completed now. I can't wait to get the response cards back from the kids who receive our kits in Fort Riley, Kansas!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Distraction

I feel super anxious - like I'm waiting for something...but I don't know what. I fully believe that God can break into our everyday lives with excitement at any moment, but there's nothing I really *should* be expecting RIGHT now.

In trying to distract myself from being...um, distracted:

I am obsessing over new nail polish I saw Sunday: Sally Hansen Color Quick Chrome Pens. I am admittedly a nail polish junkie. If it has glitter or sparkle, it's mine. I'm usually an OPI girl, (I just got Merry Midnight for Christmas & *LOVE* it: purple base/blue glitter/holographic red flakies - see here) but I can't stop thinking about these chrome pens. I had a Carolina blue chrome polish that was my toe signature years ago, and I loved the chrome look. I'm dreaming about how cool this new chrome silver would look on my fingers...

I also want a Brett Favre/Peyton Manning Superbowl. They are my two favorite players in the NFL not on the Redskins. I love the city of New Orleans - one of my most favorite places in America - but I'd still rather a Brett/Peyton showdown. I love them.

Annelise is almost 100% better. She just has this dry cough that won't disappear. One more pharmaceutical recommendation: Hyland's Cough Syrup with 100% Natural Honey 4 Kids Yep, from the same people that make the miracle teething tablets. I was so frustrated hearing from doctors that cough medicines don't really do anything and they're not worth even giving to your kids, so again - I sound like a health nut, and I'm really NOT! - I looked for something else. This stuff works, and I don't feel like I'm drugging up my kids. I'm pretty sure I will be turning to Hyland's in the first place from now on. (You can get Hyland's products for sure at CVS & Whole Foods, but Walmart is the cheapest.)

Hmmm...was noch? Ich habe ein paar deutsche Filme gesehen: Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, Im Juli, Der Krieger und die Kaiserin, Rosenstraße, und Anonyma: Eine Frau in Berlin - ganz traurig. Ich warte auf Netflix freigegeben zu werden diese: Flammen & Citronen, Keinohrhasen, Krabat, Das weiße Band, und Was Tun, Wenn's Brennt? Ich möchte immer mehr Empfehlungen!

(Not to be obnoxious - that last paragraph was a list of German movies I've seen recently and another list of ones I'm waiting for Netflix to release.)

Turning now to TiVo for further distraction...

Monday, January 18, 2010

BRATty Wellness

We've been incredibly lucky this year. This weekend was our household's 1st major sickness since September, and even at that, Annelise got over it a lot quicker than anyone thought, esp. with all the cases of pneumonia, flu, & bronchitis we know of here. (All 3 of my friend Brandi's daughters have pneumonia!) The kids have each had a 24-hour bug since September, but nothing more than that.

I'm not a big health nut by any stretch, but I kept hearing so many things about vitamin D being as (if not more) important for immunity as vitamin C, and since we currently live in the frozen tundra, we're certainly not getting any from the sun October-April. So, after each kid had their first big back-to-school cold in September, I wanted to do something more. I bought this vitamin D supplement - Wellesse Vitamin D3 liquid - at Costco,

and I don't know if it's a placebo effect or if it's really making a difference, but I am totally surprised at how much relatively healthier we've been so far this sick season! Every bug we've had has bounced off so quickly. I'm a fan!

We've also been pretty lucky avoiding stomach issues, but while Annelise was fighting off whatever she had this weekend, she did throw up several times Saturday morning. I was so glad someone had recommended BRAT wellness drinks to me last month! I've never liked the idea of Pedialyte. If my kid can't keep anything down, and I'm going to feed her only this drink for a while, I want it to have some actual nutrients, too. Annelise loved it, and I felt better knowing that she was getting some nutrition instead of just kiddy gatorade. I know I sound like a commerical, but I am so impressed with the BRAT wellness drinks!


And that's it for today's episode of Susie's Pharmacy. :-P

Friday, January 15, 2010

Taking Care of Business

This week has been crazy busy, but I don't feel crazy. (Well, not crazy over the busyness, anyway. :-P) Everything just got addressed in its time.

I had all my new dance classes begin Monday & Wednesday. They're fine. Fine. Yep, just fine. I wish I had the same students and same classes all year, from Sept-May with full recital dances; but b/c I can only teach while Will & Annelise are in school, I can only do the pre-recital tiny classes (18 months - 4 years) and the turnover is just expected, b/c it's a very "try this, try that" environment. I do enjoy the actual classes and being in my tap, jazz, & ballet shoes, but my passion is recital choreography. One day down the road, whenever we move next, I'll look for a private non-competition studio that has a safe family waiting area where Will & Sis could play for a hour while I teach. (My studio now is in a wide open community center, and I would never leave them on the other side of the door w/o me!)

Junior League was another big focus of my week. I had a General Membership Meeting Tuesday night and my community project, Cinderella's Closet, meeting last night. Our League's big annual fundraiser, Spring Fling, is coming up in March and all members are required to raise $300 in silent auction donation items. There are NOT WORDS for how much I HATEHATEHATE soliciting donations!!! Every year I've been active in the League, it's been the one part that makes my stomach churn violently. By God's grace, I am officially DONE, though, this week - over a month early!!! Biggest thanks to my friend, Michelle, and her new massage therapy business - Bella Rosa Massage - for donating enough gift certificates to put me over the top! I do LOVE getting to support & promote a business I really believe in, so that makes it even better. And the weight that has lifted off me now is indescribable!

I made trips to the car dealership Tuesday & Thursday. Tuesday for an oil change. Thursday for them to fix what they messed up after my "low oil pressure" signal came on & wouldn't stop beeping. I miss our old dealership that had all the free diet cokes you could drink and all the fresh chewy chocolate chip cookies you could eat, along with a separate playroom for the kids. Going there was like a vacay in the middle of the day! But since Saturn is going the way of the dinosaur, maybe they don't do all that there anymore now, either... Oil changes are so boring now! :-(

MOPS business this week, too. We had our steering (leadership) meeting this morning, and boy - almost every single one of us is really going through some extreme stuff. A couple extremely happy, a few extremely rough. We spent a full quarter of our planning meeting going over prayer requests. I'm not going into details, but if anyone wants to offer up prayers of strength, health, provision, & comfort over our steering team & loved ones, that would rock! I love these ladies so much, and I really feel what's going on with each of us.

On the emotional front, I had to explain Haiti to the kids last night. I don't get freaked out or scared when I have to talk to my kids about tough topics. I kind of see it as a honor that I *get* to have. I explained earthquakes (which paralleled fantastically with their recent study of the layers of the Earth at school! They know all about the crust, mantle, & core!) and that earthquakes only happen along fault lines. I explained how the buildings there weren't very strong, and - like in the Three Little Pigs - most of them fell down. A lot of people there got hurt or stuck when the buildings fell down, and some of them died. Now they need help, and like the offering Will & Sis gave on Sunday, money like that goes to help those people who are hurting. They watched part of the news with me, and we saw a 5-year-old boy (same as Will) with a broken leg, waiting for aid. Instead of being scared or sad, Will got all happy & excited: "Hey! We can give the extra money we have, and it can help him get better!" I wanted to burst... And we did!

My pastor - and really good friend!!! - went to Haiti on a mission trip less than 2 months ago to work with the group New Life for Haiti. If any of you are looking for a reputable organization through which to donate, Neil knows first hand that 98% of all money they receive goes directly to relief efforts. If you have any questions about them, I'll give you Neil's email, and he can speak in great detail!

Finally, Annelise is sick, so add her to your prayer lists, too. Fever. No school or tap for her today, which was heart-wrenching, b/c apparently the girls saw their recital costumes!!! I'm not telling her she missed that...but I am SO checking them out Monday when I go in! ;-) *I* can't wait!

Tomorrow? Chocolate festival! I'm excited, b/c I actually used to watch Gale Gand's Sweet Dreams show on Food Network as a newlywed all the time! :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This Week in Pop Culture...

It's apparently retro week on FB, and everyone is posting profile pics of their young selves. I am LOVING seeing everyone "little", so I thought I'd put little Susie here, too:

That's me cheering in the mid-80's. :-)

American Idol: yes, I watch it...and my favorite part is laughing at the train wreck auditions. I'm sorry if that sounds mean, but these people are purposely going on national TV and totally asking for it. I *LOVE* Paula being gone! I really thought she was a waste of breath. Simon is my fave, and I wonder if I'll still enjoy it next year with him gone?

Late Night: living in Central Time for the last year has actually allowed me to get into late night TV, (Jay at 9, Conan at 10:35, & Jimmy Fallon as I go to bed at 11:35 - not that I watch any of them every night, or ever even a complete episode, but I'm actually awake here to be able to, if nothing else is on.) I like Leno, but I am rooting for Conan.

Christmas décor: not only is our tree still up, but we still have it on!!! I love it! And I don't feel the least bit bad, b/c at least 6 of our neighbors still have their *outdoor* lights up AND ON, too! I guess that's what happens when you have a foot of snow standing around 24/7. The news reported that today was the first day here above 30°F since before Christmas, so maybe some of the groty snow pack will melt away. (Never fast enough! :-P) I'll take our tree down by February, I promise. ;-)

My heart breaks for Haiti...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies

I just heard that Miep Gies, one of the people who protected Anne Frank in hiding and the one who saved her diary, passed away last night. If you aren't familiar, please read this article. Everyone knows how obsessed I am with WWII history, so obviously this story is at the top of my news list. I've been to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Anne died, and I think growing up, I always identified more with Anne, purely b/c we were closer in age. Miep was a grown-up... But in reading the articles today, I realized that she was in her early 30's when she helped hide Anne & her family...just like I am now.

Whom am I saving? Whose life am I changing? Whose life is better b/c of me?

Big shoes to fill...

I ask for the wisdom God provides, to see God's plan and to share it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Birthdays, Bracelets, & Breastfeeding

My kids are *CRAZY OBSESSED* with talking about their birthdays. I mean, DAILY. It's a rare day that passes without Will vocally vacillating between an NFL or a NASCAR cake. (The past few days it's been all NFL, which I champion, only b/c I already have a football cake pan.) Annelise is sticking to her guns with another princess cake. (I've gotten 3 years, so far, out of my castle pan, too!) We went over to our friends' house today, and they had a party cake cookbook out. Will & Sis sat and studied that thing like they were prepping for their LSATs - they didn't want to play with their friend's new toys from Christmas until they were done reading it. But we're still on for football & princess cakes...today. They're also obsessed with daily reciting their guest lists...which include their sibling only when they're not trying one-up each other. It's gotten to be a hot button to push: "I'm only having boys at my party." "Well, I'm only having girls." :-P It was silly at first, but now it's escalated to the point where I've had to tell them that kids who fight about birthday parties don't get to have them, so please be careful how you talk to each other! I *am* thinking about doing a girls-only party for Sis, b/c I lovelovelove this idea, but I'm still not sold on cutting out the siblings quite yet, so we'll see. BTW - their birthdays are not this month. End of April and August, people! And yet still, every single day...

Are mine the only ones who do this?

MOPS was FANTASTIC this morning! B/c of the weather (yes, we got 8"-10" of snow yesterday; no, I don't want to talk about it, b/c I hate snow more than anything else on this earth, and I want to keep focusing on positive stuff; but it DIDN'T keep me down, though! There were no snow days, so I was out & about all day and even did extra fun errands, just b/c I could. ;-)) several moms couldn't make it, so our group was smaller, but so relaxed & cozy. We closed with a craft, and I admit, I'm usually not really into them. I love doing artsy things, but I can't get into useless chotchkies that just clutter. But today! Today we made the cutest bracelets! I'm not even a big jewelry-wearer, but for whatever reason, this bracelet has me over the moon:

Our MOPS theme for the year is "Together on Planet Mom", so the turquoise beads resemble our planet while the complimentary square agate beads symbolize our roles as women, mothers, and leaders. The beads are really nice, and I truly see myself wearing this stylish-casual piece often!

I'm a HUGE "meaning" person; I do not like things without meaning, esp. gifts and jewelry.

Finally, after the rash of bra-color FB statuses yesterday, (yes, I posted, too: hunter green) my friend Liz came through with something of actual value, which I immediately posted, as well:
Breastfeeding reduces your chances of getting breast cancer (and the longer you nurse, the lower your risk) AND it also helps your daughter reduce HER chances of getting breast cancer. So post THIS instead of the color of your bra today!

I am crazy passionate about breastfeeding. I don't even have enough words to share how important I think it is. Breastfeeding was one of the most powerful, empowering, life-changing, hard-&-then-easy things I have ever done. Certainly the most selfless 44 total months of my life!!! And perhaps my most proud parenting choice of their first years. I absolutely don't berate anyone who did not nurse, (being a mom is hard enough w/o other moms putting anything else on you,) but I am the biggest cheerleader you will ever find for those who do!!! Moms do not get enough support for this, and it breaks my heart. It shatters me whenever I hear of someone who "wanted to, but it just didn't work out." No one talks about how hard it is; just that it's natural, er go it must be easy. Babies are born wanting to do it, but they don't know how. It's a learning process for both of you, and it can take up to a few weeks before you both settle into any kind of rhythm. And certainly no one talks about the pain & sensitivity at first that make it so easy to give up, esp. when you're tired & so extremely emotional... But the rewards!!!!!! Here's just one list of thousands. (This site is super cheesy, but it has the most info I wanted to share on one page.) I don't want to preach to the choir here, (and believe me, this is one topic I can go on about FOR-EH-VER!!!) so if anyone ever has nursing questions or wants support, PLEASE seek me out!!! :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Channeling Sue & Christmas Digiscraps

For all of my fellow Glee addicts - my kids were channeling Sue Sylvester today:

Hysterical! It didn't hit me until I was signing them into Småland at IKEA (a.k.a. heaven) today. ;-) I've been cracking up ever since.

I did get my Christmas digiscrapping done this week, too. (And I figured out how to post the best quality images of my pages on here! Click on them to see them huge.)

Santa, our tree, & card:


With JB's parents in Brighton:


Christmas in Charlotte:


Last week of December in NC:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cushioned

How is your new year starting out? Shockingly enough, I have to say, I'm not depressed to be back after our luxurious Carolina home holiday. I feel...like I'm being cushioned. I had turned our heat way down while we were gone, and after 13 hours in the car, I was dreading entering an icy house Sunday night. (It was 6°F outside.) When I walked in, it wasn't that bad, and the house heated up the rest of the way very quickly! It sounds like a tiny thing, but to me, this was a huge hug telling me everything was OK. We got home in time for JB & me to relax on the couch for an hour before bed after unloading the car. Crawling into my bed felt soft & heavenly! Monday, I woke up refreshed & slightly early (since my body was still an hour early on Eastern time.)

After taking the kids to school, I got so much business taken care of. These are the few months my Junior League projects kick into high gear; I still need to get about $175 in fundraiser donations for our Spring Fling and do my committee work for the main project I'm on: Cinderella’s Closet.

MOPS also starts back up this Friday, and we're not having a steering (leadership) meeting beforehand, so I'm doing a lot of email organizing for that. Finally, it looks like starting Monday, I'm going to have 3 more dance classes to teach than I had planned on! Ack! I'm happy to do it, but I have a bad habit of letting myself get freaked out & overwhelmed, so I'm pretty surprised I'm not churning over everything on my plate right now.

I just feel...cushioned. :-) Even in this bitter, bitter cold!

Want a present? I *always* do!!! Click here for a free 16x20 photo calendar from Shutterfly!

Closing with this prayer, b/c I know we are all on some journey. Most of us are waiting. Waiting. Waiting for the next step to be made clear. Following the Star continues to inspire me:
God, it is frustrating to get so close to my destination and then be unsure of where to turn. Today, help me to be aware of those who are seeking you and need a little help along the way. Help me to offer both a friendly face that reflects your love and the knowledge of you and your Word that points my brothers and sisters to you. Amen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Firsts!

This week held several firsts for the kids. Annelise went to her first real (not school or church) play on Tuesday: If You Take a Mouse to the Movies (based on my FAVE children's books!) done by the Children's Theatre of Charlotte.




(Will came, too, but he's a theatre vet.) It was a big deal, b/c not only was the actual story special to us, but theatre was my whole life for so many years, and I actually performed in a company with Children's Theatre of Charlotte one year in high school. This was almost up there with Annelise's first dance class.

Will also had a milestone this week: his first sleepover Wednesday night! With an older woman, no less! (It was with my parents' neighbors & their elementary-aged daughter, a true BFF. :-)) I had blogged earlier in the week about them being a luxury to me, and wow! I am all about the idea of this sleepover business! Now, if we could just coordinate Will & Sis to have them on the same night, so we could go out... ;-)

Honestly, Will did fine and didn't even come home until after lunch Thursday! I had a hard time with sleepovers first starting out. Even though I have always been an extroverted social butterfly, I was forever homesick, and I vividly remember trying not to cry & then having a mom call my parents to come get me, b/c I "had a stomach ache" my first couple times when I was 6 or 7. Not Will! He loves being with me desperately, but he really is full of strong confidence & trust when I tell him something is OK...which *ooo! personal revelation!* actually makes me feel like I've been doing a good job with him! :-D

Another first: Annelise has gone a whole week without an accident at night! This is huge. She potty-trained herself during the day the week after she turned two: she said, "I want Ariel underwear," and that was it; she was trained. Will had to be taught; he showed no signs of readiness, so at 2 years 9 months, (to be ready for preschool,) I took away the dipes one day for underwear, and that was it. He got it in four days, and then a month later, his dipes started to be dry overnight. I'm sure it's b/c of the active teaching we were working on during the day; but b/c Sis did it "a self", there was no teaching from me. And she never had dry overnight dipes. I waited and waited and waited, figuring at SOME point, she'd do it. Nope. My miracle all-on-her-own early daytime girl was getting ready to be surpassed on the nighttime milestone by Will.

We talked a lot about it, (she has amazing rationale!) and she finally told me she was ready to try back around Thanksgiving. Even with me waking her up to potty when I went to bed b/t 11 & 12, she still had accidents every single night. And she didn't care. I thought she would care at least that it was cold! Nope. I'm actually glad the holiday hoopla was around to distract me from getting irritated over the pee pee jammas and Groundhog Day-feeling of it all. (Y'all have heard that I don't usually do well with extra laundry & bodily function messes over & over. :-P)

Well, wonder of wonders, our first night here at LaLa's house last week: dry. And every night since! LaLa (my mom) is magic. Apparently just being in her presence makes miracles happen! ;-) So I'm posting this in faith that she'll keep this up when we go back north Sunday, and it's not just a holiday fluke.

Cuteness that I want to remember: this morning, Will & Sis were walking around in their robes, pretending my socks were "golden scepters" and acting out scenes with the Mouse King from The Nutcracker. I want to burst when they play so creatively together. Priceless...

Edited this evening to add:
I just had my first real phone conversation with Will. We are always together, and the only times I've ever left him, I've just talked to JB or whatever adult he was with. This afternoon, he & Sis have been at my parents' sweet neighbors. (Yes,  it feels like they have been virtually living there! They have so much fun, so as long as we aren't doing anything special, why not? Am I too go-with-the-flow?) Will called to ask if they could eat dinner over there. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things...but it just hit me in the gut. He's old enough to call, carry on a complete conversation, ask permission to do something, and be gone - like a BIG KID. He's really growing up, and it doesn't make me depressed at all...just more...amazed!