Monday, April 30, 2012

Atkins - Confession Of A Sugarholic

My weight is out of control.
I need to drop a few (OK, WAY more than a few) lbs, and I want it gone yesterday.

Enter Atkins.

I have never even attempted this diet before, because I love bread so much... it is definitely my favorite food group.  Going without bread has always seemed like a fate worse than death.  But I've heard that this diet can really help you drop weight quickly, so I'm finally giving it a try.

I'm less than 24 hours in, and I've already learned something about myself:  It's not so much the bread, as the sugar.

Apparently I'm addicted to sugar, because I'm already craving it in a major way, and thinking that I'm going to end up rocking in the corner gnawing on my hair before the first three days are out.

What was I thinking?!

Not even 24 hours in and the temptation for just a few gummy bears or a glass of wine is strong.  HOW do people do this?

I keep telling myself that I'm stubborn enough not to give in... we'll see.




** Edited to add:  I am down three pounds in the first day!  Definitely motivation to keep going.  :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Here Comes The Bride....

Oh, do I love to travel.  It doesn't much matter where we go (although, I do confess to a slight preference for  places I haven't yet been).

This weekend we are off again... to Altanta.
P's best friend (and the girls' Godfather) Matt is getting married.  It's weird, because I feel like I've seen everyone I know get married over the last decade.  I was the first of my friends to get married, and I've been married so long that it feels really strange to attend weddings now and think of the early days... of them just getting started.

Wow.

I always find myself, during the vows, fervently wishing many things for the happy couple.  I cry, because I know that they are the happiest RIGHT NOW that they will be for a long time... there is nothing like that rush of a new beginning.

I pray that they will look at each other with love and wonder, even after the years start to add up.
I hope that they will, even after many sleepless nights with kids, remember why they love each other.
I pray that they are marrying for the right reasons... that they are doing it because they can't imagine a lifetime without that person's smile and presence in their life, not because it's the 'next step'.
I hope that they will always find solace in each other's arms.

Marriage can be so beautiful, even though so many of us have seen it turn ugly.

Every couple I see marry, I wish the best for.  I wish them far better than my parents had, far better than all the people I've seen divorce, better than my own marriage.  I never, ever give up the hope of Happily Ever After, and I never give up the conviction that it can be had... I know it can.

To Matt and Heather:  I love you.  I wish you all the best in the world, and I hope your marriage defies all your expectations.  <3

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Won't Forget You

Always a good one, but you don't hear it much...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Life, According to Some E-Cards...

I always have to snicker when I see cards from www.someecards.com, because they are just awesome smart-ass goodness, and so many of them apply to me/my life.

All about me:










Me and parenthood:











Me and the people who annoy me:


 

 

The joys of Facebook:

 

 

I <3 good grammar:



Dear Husband:




Friday, April 20, 2012

Forgiveness

I don't even really know how to start this post, because it's just kind of a mind-dump.  For as long as I can remember, just writing things down has helped me get things out of my system that were bugging me.  I have a tendency to brood and over-think, but writing down what's on my mind helps me get on with my day.

Forgiveness.  That's one of the things on my mind.  I keep turning this word, this concept, over and over in my mind... and in the midst of this, I've found that I always had the wrong idea about forgiveness.

People claim that forgiveness brings a lightness of spirit... that it 'frees' you from the anger and hurt you've been hanging onto.  I think they are wrong.

There are a few people that I've struggled for years to truly forgive.  I made the decision to forgive them, and not hold a grudge, and kept waiting to feel better... waiting to feel the hurt evaporate and to have a chance to truly start over with them.

I'm amazed that it's taken me this long to figure out that it doesn't work that way.

Forgiveness is a decision you make, and it doesn't end there - you have to keep making that same decision over and over, because it's impossible to forget.  Because it's impossible to forget, you can never really start over... the best you can hope for are new, good memories.

Forgiving may make you a happier person in some ways, but it's never easy.

Every single day of my life I have to make the decision to forgive these people again.  I have to decide every single day that it's not worth holding onto the pain and anger.  And every day I grieve the fact that I can never/could never open my heart to them again, because I can forgive, but I can't forget.

Forgiving can't erase the past... it can only provide opportunities for the present and future.  I think that's what I hate the most.  I want to erase the pain and hurt... I want to re-write the past.

I should feel guilty for saying that, shouldn't I?  Because if my past were re-written, I might not be where I am today... I might not have my children, I might not be who I am.  I'm not wishing my present away, truly... but deep down, I desire to 'right' my past.

But the best I can do is to be vigilant in deciding again, every day, to forgive.  Maybe one day I can learn to let go too... that is my hope.  :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Drop Cloth Curtains

My house is in desperate need of a spruce-up.

Pretty much since the minute we moved in here, I've been busy with kids that NEED a lot, fighting sleep-deprivation, and have simply been too behind with virtually everything to care about shaping things up that much.

Well, that stage is over, and I'm DYING to fix the place up.  The master bath got an overhaul a few months back, and now I want my living room in shape.  I've done a few little things, and today I addressed a problem that's been driving me crazy for years - the ugly curtain things in my living room.

See?  Ugly.  The rods are even those crappy white sliding metal ones left by the previous homeowners.  Really, really bad.  (There's a second window on the other side of the door, not shown.)


So.  One thing stopping me was that I'm basically a cheapskate, and didn't want to spend a lot of money on living room curtains.  I haven't found anything I like on sale for a decent price, and so I started looking online and saw curtains I quite liked on a DIY site.  Get this... they're made from drop cloths!!

Drop cloth curtains.  Yeah, I can SO do that.
So I did... and I like them!  I even made cute little burlap tie-backs, held in place by my vintage-look glass knobs.  :)  (Excuse the random crap outside the window... the kids love to drag junk out on to the deck to play with.)


Two curtains and tie-backs, and two curtain rods only set me back $25!  That makes the cheapskate in me very, very happy.  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Swirl Ultramarine Depression Glass

This was supposed to be my blog entry, before my children decided to do some 'rescuing' of perfectly fine baby birds....

I was on one of my periodic jaunts to Goodwill (hey, one man's junk...) the other day, when some cute glass in my favorite color caught my eye.  I'm normally pretty practical about what I buy, and don't get things I don't see a NEED for.  I didn't need dishes, so I almost didn't get these, but I caved because I truly loved them.  They were cute, my favorite color, and the price was right.  I got two teacups (all they had) the first day.  Something was whispering 'go back' the next day... there were 4 dessert plates and another teacup out.  I bought them.  So today I went back again, and another teacup had appeared.  Obviously I snagged it.  :)  LOL!

I bought four little teacups and 4 dessert plates for $6.
See?  Aren't they cute?


I love them.

I assumed they were vintage, possibly from the sixties, so I did a little internet research.  Turns out, they are Depression Glass.  A pattern called 'Swirl Ultramarine' made by Jeannette Glass between 1937 and 1938.  Wow!  It's 75 year-old glass, and in beautiful shape.  (And it's worth a decent amount more than I paid for it.)

I just love this stuff!  I want more... only, now I'm thinking I got really lucky, and will probably have to pony up some decent dough if I want some more pieces.  LOL!

I'm just so happy with these little pieces of glass.  I've never seen anything quite like them, and the color makes me grin.  I love it!

Chirp, Chirp

What a day.

The kids both had to have dental work this morning, and were hopped up on Valium and instructed to eat only soft foods.  You know what that means... no school.  Doom.  Once the Valium wore off they were cranky and argumentative... fighting, having tantrums, the whole nine yards.

They recovered nicely.
So much so, that they are bouncing off the walls.  I decided that if I was to keep my sanity, they must be banished to the outdoors for a while.  That was going well.

WAS being the key word.

I was all set to write this blog entry (about something else entirely) when my animal-loving oldest child comes tearing through the back door, shouting.

"Momma!  MOMMMMA!  I found a BABY BIRD!"  (Inwardly I was groaning.  Most years we have a fledgling or two that get stranded in our yard, and end up needing help.  One year a fledgling was bound and determined to drown itself in the kiddie pool and a bucket, and needed saving repeatedly.  Another year we had to save a fledgling from the dog... you get the picture.)

Anyway, I steel myself for whatever mischief the latest fledgling had gotten itself into, only to find my daughter grinning from ear to ear holding a freaking bird's nest, with four tiny baby birds in it.  OY!  She 'rescued' them from the tree.

*head slap*

Of course we had to relocate the birds back to the tree, but nobody could remember where they came from, nor could they manage to get them back up there as high as they were.  I hope the babies don't meet an untimely end via snake due to my child's 'rescuing'.  *sigh*

*** This just in... Child #2 rushes in to tell me that Child #1 has liberated a baby bird from its nest, and will be taking care of it on her own.  She has dubbed it 'stretchy' due to its neck, ever craning in search of food.

UM... NO.

Bird is now safely ensconced back in the nest.  I have delivered death threats, to be carried out upon the next child to touch a baby bird.

Now, where was I?



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lullaby And Goodnight

When I was putting E to bed tonight, she was worried that she might have a bad dream... then she thought about it for a moment, looked a bit sad/perplexed and then said "But I haven't had any dreams at all in a long time, not even good ones."

The first thing out of my mouth was "That's good, right?  No dreams at all = no bad dreams.  Isn't it better to have none at all, and not have to deal with bad ones?"

Just minutes later it occurred to me just what I was saying to her.  "So what if it's good sometimes?  Avoid the bad... giving up the bits of good are a small price to pay."

Are they?  Is giving up the snippets of good a small price to pay for not dealing with the bad?

I do that.

I try to avoid the bad even at the expense of the good.  I am fearful that I can't handle the 'bad', so I bury myself in the 'safe', in things below my dreams, in the mediocre.  In doing this the good things, the highs that come with the lows, are a rarity.

Safe is boring.
Safe makes you wake up at night fidgety, with your mind going a million miles a minute.
Safe will eventually give way to the longing for 'something more'.
Safe is equivalent to caged, and caged is no way to live.
Safe will make you miserable.

This is what I really want to tell my daughter.  This is what I hope I one day have the courage to 'tell' her in the best way possible; by taking my own advice, and modeling my life on what I know to be true.

What I might have been if only I'd had the courage is still waiting out there for me to find it....

Friday, April 13, 2012

More On Vacation....

So.  Vacation.  (Can you really call it that when it's less than a week long, you spend 30+ hours of it driving, and the other parts of it ferrying kids around?)

First stop, overnight in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Yawn.  Did nothing except get a break from the driving... MO is 14 hours non-stop, and with two little kids, it just wasn't sensible to do it all at once.

Second stop was Keokuk, Iowa.  P's dad's family (and his, obviously) live in Kahoka, MO... P hadn't seen any of them since he was about 15 years old, and the girls (and me) have never met them at all.  (I got his Grandmother's address from his Mom, and rekindled a relationship with her, then found his Uncle Chuck on FB (he's awesome!).  Eventually I decided it was time to visit, and for my girls to meet their Great-Grandmother.)  I had a great time! (And I'm pretty sure the others did too.)

My suspicions were confirmed... my daughter Ella looks like her Great-Aunt Linda:



The kids got to meet their Great-Grandma Pat, play on the family's (former) farm, complete with many acres of land, barn, goat, and many farm cats.  :D  They had a ball, and I didn't have to worry one bit... there were no busy roads or hazards anywhere nearby.  Ella fell in love with her Great-Uncle Stanley (who played with her non-stop), and their cousin Scotty.  :)  I got a HUGE handful of old family pictures that I'm scanning in, as well as a wealth of genealogical information.  I was so grateful and happy that Grandma Pat was so willing to share these things with me!

Stop 3:  St. Louis, MO.
In St. Louis we visited the arch (I even rode to the top with the girls) and the zoo.  We (me and the girls) also did a fair amount of swimming in the hotel's pool/hot tub.  I really enjoyed Drury's free food/cocktail hour... 3 free cocktails?  Bring it on!  LOL!

Stop 4:  Nashville, TN.  
I hoped and hoped to go to the Nashville Flea Market... and was really bummed to find out that it's only open on the weekends.  I missed it.  :(  I drowned my sorrows in cheese, chocolate, and vodka tonics (with a splash of sweet & sour) at The Melting Pot.  Mmmmm.  Now I really need to diet.

Stop 4:  Chattanooga, TN.
In Chattanooga we met up with my sister Breezy and brother Jimmy.  It was the first time P and the kids met them.  :)


We hung out for a few hours, saw Breezy's new place (I am SO jealous of the original hardwood floors and vintage glass doorknobs!), went out to lunch, and had a great time.    The girls love their Aunt Breezy (and her cats)!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Missouri-bound

Vacation... a pictoral account.  I'm tired, and I figured this is as good a way as any.  We hit five states in just under 7 days (six if you count NC)... I love to travel, but it's good to be home, too.  :)

Me, on the drive up to MO (about the only way I ever have pics of myself is if I take them, so there ya go):


The girls, meeting their Great-Grandma Pat for the first time:


The girls, under the arch at St. Louis:



P's Grandfather's grave (I couldn't help doing some genealogy-related digging... left with a bunch of old family photos for the girls, as well):


The view from our hotel room window in STL:


The girls with my sister Breezy, and brother Jimmy in Chattanooga, TN:



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vacation!

Ah, vacation. It seems I can vaguely recall when vacation meant days of lounging in the sun, not a care in the world. Now? Now it involves working around school breaks/holidays, long car rides with surly, bored kids, and general angst and myhem ensuing in regular intervals. That's where I am now. In a car, near Asheville, with several more hours to go before we sleep... and we're only halfway done then. Missouri calls us on this spring break... Missouri, to visit P's family, and Tennessee to visit some of mine on our way back. Oh, and traffic is backed up like crazy. Yay for us! In other news(in case my thousands of readers (ha!) are interested)... I got a new hairdo! 4 inches whacked off, and my colorist went (somewhat alarmingly) rogue with the blonde. I haven't had hair this light since high school! I think I'm getting used to it, though. Oh yay! We moved a few hundred feet! (Traffic sucks. I'd much rather be at home in my bed with wine and a good book.). Oh well... Onward to TN!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Things My Kids Will Never Get (aka: Reminders That I'm Old)

The other night I was waiting in the bathroom to brush teeth and the kids were taking forever (of course!), and so I figure I'm finally just going to have to call someone in, because neither wanted to go first.

Me:  "E.J, come on down!  You're the next contestant on The Price Is Right!"
E:  [arrives with a blank stare on her face]
A:  "WHAT does that mean, Momma?  WHAT are you talking about?"


Kind of sad, isn't it?

By the time I was four, I was a The Price Is Right junkie/guru... there was a serious shortage of 'kid shows' on TV, so we made do.  My kids would whine if I told them to watch it, but when I was their age I couldn't wait for it to come on.  (Hey, I grew up back in the day when cartoons were pretty much only a Saturday morning affair... and then only until 10am.  Also, we never had cable... so no Nickelodeon for me unless I was at my sister's house... when I was there, I gorged on Nickelodeon like a starving dog let loose in a butcher shop.)

I've also been indignantly informed that "That's not my name!" when I bust out with:
"What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"


*sigh*
Kids today.  They know nothing of good, quality programming.  They don't find it at all amusing when I stumble around and say "It's the big one!  I'm comin' Elizabeth!"


"Kiss my grits."
"No whammy!"
"Danger, Will Robinson!"


All unappreciated.

I try to explain the beauty of these remarks, and tell them about these awesome shows/movies, but they don't care.  It's like talking to a wall... their eyes glaze over, and they eventually interrupt to ask for a popsicle.  Does nobody care what they are missing out on?!

"Bueller?  Bueller...  Bueller?"