Saturday, January 31, 2009

26 Random Things

      (my niece, my daughter, my favorite #) 

 1. i love my family
 2. i'm confused about religion
 3. i'm not confused about God
 4. i love photography, but am not sure why
 5. i love color
 6. i love black & white
 7. i'm concerned about world issues
 8. i hate politics
 9. my children are not allowed to use the word "hate"
10. i love babies and animals
11. i know my heart
12. i'm not always brave
13. i am strong
14. my favorite number is 21
15. manners are important
16. so is wearing a seatbelt
17. so is making eye-contact
18. i love music, most any kind, and love to ponder lyrics (maybe it's poetry i like?)
19. i feel like i'm always chasing pavement
20. i love hooty and kid rock
21. christmas is my favorite time of year, but christmas has not felt like christmas to me for the last 3 years... hmmm...
22. i'm a superhero who fights laundry 24/7
23. my favorite snack is honeycrisp apples and peanut butter
24. i have a love/hate relationship with oreos, especially dbl-stuffed
25. i'm addicted to coffee
26. touch is important 

Friday, January 30, 2009

About Blogging

Whew. It's been kinda hard to come back after that last blog, even though I received so many kind and supportive emails and comments. So it got me thinking, "Why am I doing this?" And I looked around a bit, and I've come to the conclusion that it's all about connecting.  And maybe a little about being heard.  And definitely about creating. Some of us do it to share ideas, some to ask questions.  I like it all, but I think one of the biggest reasons I'm enjoying it is because it allows me to think things through, fully... it's part of an organized writing process. As I write, I organize my thoughts and make decisions.  "Yes, that's how I feel."  Same as keeping a journal, right? Why such a public forum then? So..., maybe I'm from the need-to-be-heard group, too. That, I don't truly understand yet. Maybe it's because IRL, it takes at LEAST 100 times to be heard by those tiny, little ears. Here, I only have to say things once! :)

How 'bout you? Why do you blog?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear God

Dear God;

I know it's been a while. I'm thinking I don't deserve your comfort tonight, but my heart is aching. They are all asleep and I feel alone. 

Tonight, I feel great loss. They are all here, my loved ones, tucked in and hopefully dreaming good dreams. But I am confronting choices, head on now. I learned well, and You blessed me with great parents who gave me the tools I need to know what to do. It's just hard when there's something so bright and so glowing and that draws me so strongly.  To hold a dream so tightly, so protectively, knowing it will never be more... but still cherishing it so, loving it like all the other gifts You have given. I love this dream. It is my secret treasure. I don't want to let go. It sits in my heart, and during my quiet times, I take it out and play with it. It's starting to hurt me. I'm starting to want it too much. It doesn't work in this life. It's like a warm, sunny day and the snow. I can't have both, even though I love both. They can't co-exist. One disolves the other. 

Being a good mother means sometimes making hard choices. I have a beautiful life. There's just this one other thing that I want. It's selfish. And I want to think, maybe it can wait, maybe it can happen later. But it won't. And I remember that I have realized so many dreams. You have also blessed me with a husband who has always supported me as I persued my dreams. He has sat at many libraries for long hours while I studied. He has encouraged me to go out on my own, work for myself-even at such a young age, he believed in me. He helped me build a business, and even mopped its floors at 2 in the morning after a long day at his own job, just to get me home earlier. And still, I want this.

Tonight, God, I ask that you sooth this hurt for me. Help my heart realize what my head already knows. Help me to make the right choices for my family. Help me let go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Year's Resolution # 21

Just a quick break... I'm addressing New Year's Resolution # 21: clean OUT house. I really  dread this, but have found humor in it that I needed to share:

Found in 9-yr old daughter's underwear drawer:
 2 pj tops
 1 pj bottom that doesn't match either top
3 pair underwear, clean  :)
1 zip-lock bag with jelly beans in it (?? please try to not remember how long ago Easter was!  and don't judge me!!)
1 set stuffed reindeer antlers w tie string (now we're in the right season)
3 hairbands
a yo-yo
1 die (ya know, one of the set of dice?)
an empty Shrek Pez dispenser
2 neon-colored post-it pads
multiple loose pens, pencils & crayons
1 full pencil case
a polly pocket blanket
another zip-lock bag, this one with beads & cords for necklace-making
2 paperclips
1 safety pin
a light blue satin button that belongs to God-knows what
1 set of headphones
a stylus to her brother's DS

Bear in mind that this drawer measures about 12" x 18" x 4". Can you imagine what the rest of her room looks like?!  (:O

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Getting Rid of "I Should've"

So, yesterday, I had a pretty good mommy day. Usually, I melt into my bed at the end of the day, exhausted and panting and just grateful to have another place to plant my backside besides the driver's seat of the Suburban. And I'm usually full of  "I should've..." 's.  I should've been more patient;  I should've left earlier;  I should've tried harder;  I should've planned better;  I should've hugged more... But yesterday? Yesterday was pretty good.

I got J-man to baseball practice early, as in before 9am... and with all of his necessary equipment.  No small feat for this wanna-be late morning sleeper. And it's funny, because once I'm up, I really like the mornings. They're peaceful.

I noticed this sign on my way back home, and was inspired and hopeful for a good day.

I also noticed this red barn. And now you're thinking... okkkkaaay?? Well, hold on because I'm about to get really east Tennessee on ya...

C'mon... even you northerners have to admit... in the dismal, drab, dead-of-winter, this red barn glows. It's beautiful!  Even if it is in a Green Acres kinda way....

Then at the stop light in town, I looked right and saw this:

See, in the north, we use these signs just to tell when services are held.  Here, lessons can be learned. "Keep thy heart with all diligence."  Persistence, care, caution, constant and earnest effort, persistent exertion... diligence.  Pay attention to what matters. So then I thought of my Austin, my middle child, who has yet to be seen on this blog.  He was off at a church retreat this weekend.  I love this child.

Isn't he sweet?!

I went home and made pancakes, which  I later blogged about.  And later in the day, I made meatballs and yummy chocolate chip cookies (so mommy-like).  I organized Austin's soccer team stuff, and loved on Lexi quite a bit.  I got her to a birthday party at an indoor pool, and again(!!) (ahhemmm): ON TIME (woo-hoo!), with a birthday present and card that she picked out.

I even showed up early to pick her up, camera in hand...

(That's her, on the far right, in the brown & pink.)

And when she asked to bring a friend home for the night, I said yes, even though her brother already had a friend spending the night... (What's one more, anyway?)

I noticed this old barn on the way home and the beautifully simple "cut-outs" on the doors. And the Christmas wreath. Even though it's almost February, I love it.

So, instead of running around like an idiot, getting projects half-done and not knowing which way is up and being barely able to breathe because I can not do that one more thing...

I did breathe.  And I loved, and I noticed the sunset... 

And when I went to bed last night, there wasn't one "I should've" on my mind.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pancakes...This One's For You, Edie!

I have these very fond memories from when I was growing up.... My southern-raised mom would make these great, huge breakfasts on the weekend.  It could have been pancakes, french toast, or eggs (to order, of course) and toast. And there was either sausage or bacon, but there was definitely meat. The piece de la resistance - a big pot of grits... oozing with like a stick of butter and sprinkled with a container of salt. I was the only gal in the north who ate grits on a regular basis. And I loved them. (As an adult, I realize it really wasn't the grits... the grits were just a conduit for the butter and salt!)

So, I wanted this for my children, a memory that reinforces how close our family is. I make big, huge breakfasts every weekend. But not like my mom's... we forgo the meat, usually, or substitute turkey sausage/bacon, which really is nothing at all like that really-bad-for-you, greasy, spicy, salty, yummy sausage and bacon. And the grits? Only when we eat out. My pancakes, though, I've been told they're to die for.  My recipe had a basis in Betty Crocker, but has long since evolved, and I want to share it with you. This one's for you, Edie!
First, I start with my very own iced latte... can't do anything Saturday or Sunday morning without first consuming at least one iced latte.  Then, mix the wet ingredients...
  1 egg
  1 C milk
1 T oil (less to be healthy, but some to brown the cakes)
  and (here's one secret) 1+ tsp of home-made vanilla

Add the dry ingredient right into the wet... it's not rocket science, and I'm all for minimizing dirty dishes....
   3+ T sugar  (sweet, like the Scandinavian-made -another secret)
   1 T baking powder
   1/2 tsp salt, to control the baking powder!
   1 C flour

Now, in my family, some like them thin and some like them thick, so I either divide the batter & thin one half with milk, or do the thinner ones last, diluting the batter right in the same bowl(fewer dishes, remember?)
I use a cast-iron griddle that sits on top of my burners. My mother-in-law gave this to me years ago... I wonder if she realizes how she's helped in creating cherished family memories for my kids? I have to double stack my burner grates because my fire burns too hot!  (hmmmm...)

(Today, it was about here that my husband walked in on me taking pictures of pancakes, and with the most quizzical look on his face, asked, "WHAT are you doing?" to which I replied, "Getting ready to blog. Ya know, Edie, she....", at which point he interrupted and asked, "Does Edie KNOW she's your hero?" Oh, I'm sure she knows she's many peoples' hero!)

The kids like them with milk chocolate chips baked right in.

Sometimes I get help:

(Ron teaching Lexi how to flip.)

Sometimes we top them with bananas, pecans, and whip topping, and heaven forbid: chocolate syrup! MMmmmmmm....

Serve with REAL maple syrup, preferably imported from my sister's house in Maine; 100% real fruit juice (stawberry banana is the going favorite); fresh sliced pineapple, a memory-keeper from our trip to Maui 4 years ago; and for me, of course, a second or third iced latte.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Ya know, he's just 14. Actually, he just turned 14. He's amazing. He's so secure in his "manliness" (this is very important when you are 14!) that he's not afraid to kiss his mom in front of the baseball team. Or yell "I love you, Mom!" from across the parking lot. He plays the piano, and he plays baseball. He listens to Beethoven, and he listens to George Thorogood. He's kind and thoughtful and smart and hard-working. In fact, he'd work his butt off for you if you asked it of him, or if he thought it would help him be better.  He's our J-man.
I lie upon a tree
And dream about the day
I think about nature
In a beautiful way
I lie within the field
And dream about the night
I think about the stars
Alone with fright
I lie within my bed
And dream about my house
I think about my family
The ones who are mine
                                    jordan, 14


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why The Moon?

So, I had all these thoughts about what my first "blog" would be; that in and of itself was fun... I thought up all these catchy one-liners, (because everyone knows the first line should be catchy!). The first subject-idea, and of course one that I will return to, was to tell all about my "Muse" friends... the lovely ladies I scrapbooked with all last weekend. But I've had a kind-of blue afternoon, and I'm feeling a little deeper, a little more quiet than that.

This recent obsession with the moon... It started with one of my favorite quotes, taken from a book whose title I've long forgotten, that includes the phrase, "see the moon".  I took that to mean that I should be present enough and observant enough to actually notice something that's there all the time, whether we are seeing it or not.  I'm so caught up in the management of life, mine and my sweet family's, it would be easy for me to miss a beautiful moon. Or sunset. Or sunrise. Or how about when there's a sparkling, glistening frost that coats and quiets everything.... diamonds dancing on the ground, there for my enjoyment, if I am present enough to notice. So, my advise -both to and from me- see the moon.

Then came that song, "... let me shine in my own light...". I hear the words and think, "Really?  I have my own light?" Cause, like I already mentioned, I'm busy running, and not glowing.  And the moon... it doesn't have it's own light; it reflects another. So, when I see the moon, as beautiful as it is, I remember to shine in my own light, and not just reflect that around me.

Ironically enough, in all this pensiveness about the moon and light, my sweet friend started talking about being the light for others. Really! Using those words! I was thinking of shining my own light for me, and this loving creature was talking about shining for others, to be the joy and inspiration in someone else's life.... which really is different than just reflecting another's light, and shining "in" your own light.

Lastly, there's A Midsummer's Night Dream, from which I've lifted "Blessed Moon". Okay, who can't be inspired by Shakespeare?  He has a "rhythm of his verse {that} reflects the rhythms of the body-the heartbeat, the pulse, the breathing in and out..." A fantastical story I imagine with fairies and fireflies and love.  (I try to forget the jealousy and poison part!) The moon, the blessed moon, has become my reminder to slow down, be wistful,  breathe, see, shine, inspire.  Blessed Moon.