Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How do you protect them?

The motherly, protective instinct strikes me harder on some days than others. Tonight, it's in full force.

Maybe it has to do with nothing, or maybe it has to do with the task of the week: choosing a preschool.

I remember when we moved to Jonesboro, Olivia was 9 months old. How is it time for this already??? I feel like it was just a couple of days ago that she was moving into her big girl room. I find myself surprised that something I thought happened last year actually happened two years ago. Time is going so very fast and I worry that I'm not making the best of it.

Worry. It's what the Devil uses most frequently to keep me from walking as close as I'd like to with God. I'm a worrier by nature and as the girls get older, I find myself worrying about more and more.

My biggest worry as a parent (and as a person) is that I will do everything the best I can  and it still won't be enough. That I will make all of the right choices, say the right things, and somewhere along the line, everything goes wrong.

I think about the times when the girls go out on their own and the choices they will make. Will they be the right ones? Will I have even given them the tools to make these choices? What do these magical tools even consist of?

What about the days when they go to school, not old enough to care for themselves and I'm untrusting their safety to someone that, in all honesty, I don't even know.

I have toured 5, yes 5, preschools looking for 'the right fit.' In all honesty, I don't even know what I'm really looking for. Anyone can put on a good face for a tour, but what's it like after I leave. I now see why people homeschool.

Can they just stay home with me. Forever. I'll arrange your marriages and when you have babies I can provide free babysitting. No, that's OBVIOUSLY not right. What is?

How do you parents out there let go? How do you do it? Specifically, how do you make it through the teen years and not have that moment where you feel like you did all you could, but Suzie did xyz, anyway?

I'm terrified of xyz. Mostly because xyz probably hasn't been invented yet just like Snapchat wasn't even thought of when I was in high school. How do we prepare our children for things that don't even exist as we slowly become old farts that can't work the remote control??

I usually like to wrap things up on a positive note with a pretty bow to make everyone feel good inside. Tonight, it's just not in me. I really don't have the answer to any of these questions. Just worry. Worry and doubt. Protecting and caring for God's most precious gifts is something I will never take lightly.

Goodnight all.....

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Trying it again...the blog, that is!

There has been a very long break going on with my blog, but at least once a week, someone tells me that I should start one. Little do they know that I have one that I turned off because it felt like work. Lately, I have found myself wanting to share pieces of my life that (quite frankly) take too much time to put on Facebook. With that being said, it's back!!!!

If you take a look around, you can see that I have quite a bit of updating to do, but I'll get to that......eventually.....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Missin' Missouri

We are loving living in Jonesboro, but there are just some times that I think "Man, if I was in Missouri I would......" With that said, here's my top five list of things I miss about Missouri.

1. My church family. Hands down, the thing that I miss most is my church, and specifically, my Faithful Friends group. This group of young women are so wonderful and truly make God a priority in their everyday lives.

2. My family and friends. I know that we live so much closer to our family than many other people do, but I think my family could see Olivia every day and that still wouldn't be enough! I also really miss my teacher friends at KMS. I have never seen a group of people that are so positive and truly support each other. I also have never been around a group of people that are so funny!

3. This list would absolutely not be complete without mentioning FOOD! There are times (who are we kidding, ALL the time) I would kill for a Bills BBQ with extra slaw, crispy fries, and a piece of Strawberry cake from Causbey's Bakery. Mmmmm mmmmm good!!

4. Aldi's. Yes, you read that right. I love getting groceries there and I loved looking through all the random stuff that they have in addition to food! They also have great seasonal food that they only stock during certain times of the year. Jay, on the other hand, is probably glad that I don't go there anymore. Now I actually come home with only the things on my list. One day I came home with a case of apple pie yogurt- that was a bit much!!

5. Missouri sports. I've always liked Mizzou but I love the SEC. Since they made the move I am officially a Tiger fan (no more house divided). We've been pretty lucky with basketball this winter and we have caught quite a few games in TV (Did you see the pig roast last night?). The thing that's going to get us is Cardinal baseball. I'm still klinging to hope that we will run across a channel that carries the games, but I have a feeling we might be buying an online subscription or upping our cable package.

As I have typed this I think I am going to have to make a trip North in the next few weeks. That cake is calling! Have a great day!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spring, where are you?

This past week has been crazy in every sense of the word. I have been sick for what seems like forever! I can't decide if I have had three sinus infections since January or just one that has come and gone, but either way it stinks!!! I feel better during the day and as soon as the sun goes down-WHAM! We should buy stock in Kleenex because I've lost track of the amount of boxes I've used but I can guarantee its in the double digits. Being sick is bad enough, but with a little one around, it's especially miserable. Moreover, if being sick with a little one is miserable, then being sick with a teething little one is, well, I don't think they've invented a word for it!

Yes, I said it. I said the word....TEETHING! Hands down, for us, the biggest speed bump, growing pain, struggle (whatever you want to call it) has been teething. I know for sure that Olivia's gums have been giving her problems since October and I really think we had a day or two before that. When it comes to cutting teeth I know every baby is different, but if I run across one more parent that says their kids had no problem with it I might scream!

I know it's going to be one of those days when instead of going in the nursery at 8:00 to a baby that is all smiles, I'm hitting the floor doing one of those Fred Flinstone running in place things at 5:45 in response to 'the scream.' It's the one I know anywhere. The one that means I'm going to look in her mouth and see red puffy gums. It also means that there will be at least two three hour periods of whining or crying, teething rings will fly through the air (sometimes hitting me in the head), and some sort of bruise and/or injury will occur due to gum pain induced lethargic flailing throughout the house. There will be little, if any, solids consumed, however I will be wearing an original baby food masterpiece by Olivia Van Gogh an there will be multiple rounds of our favorite teething game known as 'Pick me up this minute, oh wait I hate this put me down.'

Through all of this, I have thanked The Lord that while I have been so sick an she has felt so bad, He has never allowed both of these events to occur on the same day.....until Friday. I will spare you most of the details, but instead of being at the box at 9:00 am doing my crossfit workout we were both sitting in the floor of the nursery......just staring at each other.....crying. By noon, I was laying face down letting her pull the mess out of my hair because she thought it was entertaining (more importantly she had stopped crying). At that point, I laughed to myself and decided that the good thing here was that things probably couldn't get worse.....then he spit up on everything, including me. Actually, it was mostly me, but I feel like it doesn't sound so bad the way I described it in the last sentence.

What is definitely the most heart breaking thing about this whole situation is the fact that no matter what I do, I just can't make this better. If you read a couple posts back you'll remember that I like to be in control-of everything. The 'I'm Mommy and I fix things, by gosh!' mentality just wasn't cutting it and that's when I realized that out of all the things you can't control, your child's pain (both mental and physical) has got to be the worst one of all.

This picture pretty much sums Friday up to a 'T.' You can't win 'em all!

In the end we will be fine (right?) an she will get a tooth eventually (right?). In the meantime, I'm going to vent my frustrations on the groundhog that was gravely mistaken about his early spring predictions. All together now, "No more snow!" I'm not going to talk about it because I don't want to jinx it, but if I was, I would mention that next weekend is supposed to be in the 60's. Come on spring!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Mommy Wars

Transitioning from a multitasking, working, ambitious, competitive twenty something to a diaper changing, baby food making, my shoulder looks like a dinner napkin, what is this thing you speak of called a hair straightener stay at home mom has been anything but effortless. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting and you have big plans about the perfect meals you will cook and how your child will be speaking Chinese mandarin at 9months old. Then reality hits and you realize that things probably aren't going to work out just like you expected; at least that's how it has worked for me.
I have had my fair share of days where I long to have an adult conversation and wonder what I would look like these days if I put the same effort into getting ready as I used to. All of these things have been just daydreaming until I stumbled upon an immediate counselor position here in Jonesboro. And there I was again: right in the middle of the mommy wars.
The mommy wars are what I like to call the struggle that moms face when it comes to working or staying home with your children. In many cases, working or staying at home comes from necessity and you just do what you've got to do. Those moms are rock stars in my book because they take one for the team and get the job done, whether it be at work or home. I, on the other hand, was blessed to be able to pick.
Ultimately it is a blessing, but having the freedom to choose comes with its own set of demons. There's nothing out there that makes you feel more warm and fuzzy than running into one of the drug reps you used to sell aginst in full mom-mode: no make up, hair in a bun (not a cute sock bun), and trying to hang on to a baby that is acting like a greased pig at a rodeo. After my best attempt to glamorize my new role as a human burp cloth I get the reaction I feared and dreaded, "Oh." Two little letters but based on the tone she might as well have made an 'L' with her fingers, popped it on her forehead, and said 'loser!' Actually, the thought that came to mind was, "She thinks I'm a failure." As I was walking away from my manicured, designer labeled former competition, I told myself she had no clue but I secretly wondered if she was right.
On the other side of things are the people that I have inadvertently surrounded myself with here in Jonesboro: other stay at home moms. Whether it's story time at the library, the Facebook comments or pictures that I choose to like, or even my 9 am Crossfit class, I am around people who are continuously giving me examples of how staying at home has been the best thing for their families. Needless to say, the second crowd is much more enjoyable to be around at this point in my life.
With all of that said, here I am at an impass: apply for the job and potentially get back out among the living or stay at home and continue on the path to bottle washing oblivion. While part of me was excited about finally putting my masters degree that I worked so hard for to use, another part of me (bigger than I'd like to admit) was dreading telling the stay at home moms the news and getting the dreaded 'oh' from them. Only this time it would mean, "You don't care enough about your family to sacrifice your wants for them." Darned if you do and darned if you don't in my opinion.
At the end of the day and after lots of praying I realized that for me the real war is an internal one I'm fighting with myself as my definition of value and self-worth continues to change. In the end, I decided not to apply for the job. As bad as my seize the day personality tried to get the best of me I know I will never get these days back wih Olivia and if we don't have another, I won't even get a do over. This was hard post for me to write but I hope on the days that are the most chaotic I can look back at this and remember why I'm soaked with splashed bath water and still have my pajamas on at 3:30 in the afternoon.
As a side note, I do still have some of my drug rep clothes, but for now they are staying in the back of the closet as far way from the craziness as possible.

Craziness is much easier to deal with when it's this cute!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh, Hello Blog!

It has been so long since I have been on my blog that I literally forgot I had one- oops! Well, that is until a friend that doesn't have Facebook gave me the third degree about my lack of interest in her 'only way to see the baby.'

So here is goes: yet another attempt to be more diligent in my blogging abilities. I make no promises about my frequency but I will promise that my posts will be much shorter and probably have more typos haha!

It's so frustrating for me to set out to do something me it not work out like I had planned. The only thing I can't stand more is not being in control. Let me tell you; God is using motherhood to stretch me in this area on a daily basis. He has given me a bald, toothless version of myself to mold and shape into what I pray will be a Godly young lady and, hopefully, a Christian woman. There is nothing that will whip you into shape quicker than seeing your sweet precious child exhibit some of your less than stellar qualities. In my case, I have a child with a temper and determination that is rivaled by no one.....except me. There are times where I'm so glad she can't talk because I know I'd have to get onto her for wherever that jibber jabber was that just came out of her mouth! Self reflection has always been an important part of my spiritual life. I never dreamed that the thing that would force me to take the longest look at myself would come in the tiniest of packages. I'll leave you with a little Olivia cuteness. Have a blessed day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quick post about quick cooking

Seeing that the first month of motherhood has been one big diaper change/feeding/please go to sleep/you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, I haven't had too much time to cook. I have been so fortunate to have friends and family that have kept us stocked on meals and I made a ton of freezer meals before Olivia came. Still yet, there's a part of me that misses humming around the kitchen and making the house smell amazing with dinner when Jay gets home. When we got married I didn't know how to cook anything!! It still shocks me that Jay took the plunge seeing how much he loves good food. I have gotten lots better, but what I used to lack in skill I now lack in time.

I did get online this weekend and found the following recipe for pork tenderloin on I decided to post because it actually was easy and good (I've had my fair share of 'easy and good' failures, so I was pumped).

Okay, here we go:

1- 2 lb pork tenderloin
1 envelope of onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine
3 tbs. minced garlic
3 tbs. soy sauce
black pepper to taste

Place the tenderloin in a crockpot and for heavens sake use a liner! If you don't, then you deserve to be slaving away scraping the food off of that thing-best invention ever!!! Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the loin and then pour the water; soy sauce and wine around the meat. We had two bottles of wine left over from our wedding, (yes, we've been married over 3 years) so I used one of those to get rid of it. Normally, I would probably use beef or veggie stock and I usually add in a boulion cube of some sort to enhance the flavor. Next smear the garlic over the top of the tenderloin and sprinkle on the pepper. I finally broke down and got a nice pepper mill and I can really tell the difference in my cooking-so worth it. You can also add any veggies you would like. I cut up some new potatoes. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours and then you are officially an awesome cook.

I think the smell that filled the house was just as good as actually eating the finished product. Jay said it smelled like I was 'really cooking something,' whatever that means! This one will be a regular dish in our house since I don't think I'll be getting any free time in the next few years-haha! Have a great day!