Monday, November 5, 2012

on the road again

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  ~Ferris Beuller
That Ferris, he was on to something. Life has been indeed moving rather fast .

Shortly after my last post, we made this big, huge, enormous decision that we needed to move. For multiple reasons, really. Which I could spend an entire blog post or two explaining. But nobody really cares as much as I do, right? Basically, life here isn't working on so many levels and I've been LONELY for far too long. I've tried REALLY HARD to make friends here over the past 3 years specifically and it just isn't happening. I'm sick of driving an hour plus to see our existing friends, who are WONDERFUL and AWESOME and sad that my kids don't really get the chance to know their kids well enough.

Any how.

We made the decision to move. We drove multiple areas of Dallas proper and some various suburbs. Researched school districts, home values, average days on the market for each area, etc. I really spent a LOT of time making sure I didn't make the mistake of picking another location that isolated us from friends that could make us happy and options to make life easier on us both.

After a lot of talking and praying, we opted for a small suburb on the opposite side of town. Close to my hometown, so I am VERY familiar with the area. Where my best friend (!!!!!!!) and several other friends and family members live. And where the schools are rated VERY well, the people are incredibly nice and there is a somewhat "small town" feel. Really, I cannot overrate the value of living within 2 miles from my best friend. There is no one in the world I consider family more than her and we have lived an hour apart from each other for at least 8 years now. THIS IS LIFE CHANGING for me.

We figured that we could put a contract on a new house to be built in the spring, ready in early summer and prayed that at some point in the next 6 months our house would sell. We met with a builder, looked at home sites and plans and got really excited about what could possibly be for us.

Then we put our house on the market.

And got a full priced offer the same day.

I almost fell out of my chair when our realtor called us with the news. No negotiating, no waiting, no drama at all. The buyer wanted the house ASAP and was extremely poised with amazing financing and cash to use as a down payment.

The end.

We signed the contract. We close next week.

So we were suddenly left with less than 4 weeks to figure out what on EARTH WE WERE GOING TO DO!!! In usual fashion the husband had a long business trip scheduled, the kids were both sick with a MAJOR stomach virus and I was left to rush through trying to figure things out, field home showings that were still happening, clean up puke, look at houses, line up movers, start packing... Really. It is ridiculous what has gone down in the past 3 weeks.

We found a spec home that is under construction by a builder I am crazy about and both loved it. It will be done some time in December (hopefully early!) and we have to float around living temporarily for about a month until such time as it is done. Our plan isn't perfect and I know it is going to be hard not having a place to call home with 2 smalls kids and living out of boxes for a month but eh? We are so beyond words excited. I can not wait.

Keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

how to fail while really trying not to...

Things at which I REALLY suck:

1) Blogging
2) Commenting on blogs
3) Just saying "no" to double stuff oreos.

HI, friends!! How are ya? Long time, no read?

Yea. I've discovered that when you think you can "do it all?" You really kinda can't. Not sure why it has taken me so long to figure out that one person cannot do everything and be successful at anything. But... lesson has been painfully learned a lot the past few months.


1) The baby is HUGE. Gigantic. Enormous. A real live person. She took her first unassisted steps in August while we were in Destin (she was about 13 months) but it took her until the past 2 weeks to really decide walking is what the cool kids are doing. She has gotten pretty good! Her personality is just busting out at the seams, too. This child is FUNNY and knows how to work it. She blows kisses, waves and climbs anything that will stay still long enough. The girl is ornery and in to EVERYTHING. She says "hi, mama, dada, play, ball, milk, night night and lovey." Her tummy seems to be getting better but I still find that any hard core cow's milk products like milk, butter or cheese just aren't tolerated well. I went mean mommy and quit the formula cold turkey this week. I'm just sick of buying it! But she's eating enough solid food and doing pretty well with soymilk and soy yogurt, so I think she's ready. She is still a skinny little peanut, weighed in at just shy of 21 lbs at her last sick visit but she's definitely TALL for her age. I have to buy 18 mo size shirts and onesies for length but she seems ok in 12 mo size pants. Any bigger and she is SWIMMING in them. She has a mouthful of teeth and every single one was PAINFUL for us all as they made their entrance. I cannot believe she is already 14 months old! She and her big sister are BFFE. I'm watching them pull every shoe they own out of the closet as I type.

2) Little L is not so very little anymore. She is fully every inch of 3.5 years old. The girl just never stops talking. She has SO MUCH to say. Most of the time it is nice, funny, witty or insightful things. I'm beginning to notice, though, that she is also coming out with some not so nice things. We are ever learning and changing and dealing with this, though. She also tells MANY tall tales and crazy stories but she is incredibly smart. Learning to deal with the fact that she is smart enough to lie to me now is taking some patience on my part! Her heart is so sweet, though. So very sweet. She is doing great in mother's day out and she comes home with lots of stories. We also enrolled her in a tap, ballet and tumbling class once a week and she seems to love it so far, too. She took her flumist like a big girl with no drama this year. She is wearing size 4 GIRLS or XS (no more toddler clothes!!!) and size 10 in little kid's shoes. Her favorite movies right now are LiloandStitch and The LittleMermaid (both of which I watch at least 100 times a week) and she is just obsessed with barbie dolls, princesses and ponies. Bedtime has turned in to a real headache and she rarely takes naps anymore. The child eats enough snacks to be a teenage boy but picks at her food at meals and then asks for strawberry ice cream and candy every single day. The past month she has been saying "I want it for CRISSMASS, MOMMY PLEASE" to every toy advertisement and catalog that has crossed our steps. The child is a MASTER at bargaining. She picks out her own clothes every day (usually a dress) and asks to wear her dance clothes and tap shoes almost every morning. I have not seen her suck her thumb in almost a month, praise THE LORD.

3) I ran my first official half marathon this weekend. My training got derailed TWICE before hand as I got incredibly sick with that nasty stomach virus and I fractured another toe (after having broken one 3 years ago which also totally derailed me from half marathon training!). BUT. I didn't let those things STOP ME this year and I just had to train harder. I also started having some knee issues 2 weeks before but I just slowed my pace down drastically while training and ended up finishing the actual race much faster than I anticipated. I felt great and I am SO PROUD of myself for doing it. I registered for another half in December and part of me is thinking I could totally manage a full marathon someday. I just have time find the time to train...

4) TIME. I just never have enough. Between the kids and work and all the other things that come along with life like cooking, cleaning, church, laundry, grocery shopping, family, friends.... I have never felt more spread thin in all my life. I feel like I am always running late to everything or forgetting to do something important. I'm not sure how things got so out of control but here I am. And most days I feel like something really needs to change but I cannot ever seem to determine what the something is.

5) Our 7th wedding anniversary is on Monday. I cannot believe it has been 7 years. We really wanted to get a weekend away but it wasn't meant to be so we have plans for a LOVELY dinner at the same restaurant we ate at on our wedding night this Saturday evening. I desperately need some time alone with my man. I realized this week that we've only had ONE NIGHT away from our kids together since L was born. It just isn't good for a marriage. We aren't struggling by any means but there is a strain there and we both need TIME TOGETHER. But, again, I'm at that "something needs to change" point but not sure what to do about it. Our babysitting situation is (and has always been) just painfully bad. And that, my friends, is out of my control.

6) Change. If you aren't getting it, the theme for my life right now? Something needs to change. I feel like I have been in this place before but I cannot figure out how to break free and just move ahead. And part of me just feels like I am supposed to ride this one out and suck it up for longer. I HATE THAT FEELING. But it is ultimately all out of my control. Right?

You stuck out this post so I'm adding some photos. Love you all!

Monday, August 27, 2012

thirty three

It is my birthday.

The funny thing about birthdays is how they are so very much just another day. Sometimes with cake and presents, if you are so blessed.

I spent a lot of time in bed this weekend because a very, incredibly mean and nasty stomach virus made the rounds through my house late last week. And I ended up in the hospital hooked up to an IV after 9 nonstop hours of vomiting.


Apparently, the variety of stomach virus my kids bring home to me carry some level of toxicity that my poor system specifically cannot handle. So, after 2 bags of fluids and the miracle of zo.fran pushed through a poorly placed IV by a very nice nurse who must have failed phlebotomy 101, I spent the entire weekend in bed recuperating with my two sweet girls.

And I thought a lot about past birthdays and how very little I remember about the simple majority of them. I definitely do not remember gifts for the most part. Funny how that works, right? You want some specific thing SOOOOOO BADLY at any given time and then you get it and totally forget that's what you got within a matter of 12 months. (Unless you were fortunate enough to get a car or something for your 16th birthday, which I did not. But, yes, I'd indeed have remembered something like that.) At least that's the way it is for me.

But today has been not unlike any other Monday of my life. I get up, I feed children, I change diapers and wipe faces. I answer work emails, I drink coffee, I start laundry and I put away dishes. I pick up toys and I chase the dog away from the crumbs on the kitchen floor. I frantically try to push out work while the baby is dangling her tongue out of her mouth and forcefully doing her best to press the bright and shiny power button on my laptop. I break up fights over toys, I clean milk off a chair and I wash my hands for the 80th time before lunch has even begun. I toast bread, break up cheese, shake formula and wash sippy cups. I pick up a crying baby, I answer 1000 questions about mermaids and dinosaurs and I hit the dryer restart button for the second time because I just don't have time to fold it now.

I know at some point that I won't remember much about this birthday. Probably that I gifted the Metho.dist health care system with $1000 for a poorly placed IV (high deductible insurance plan for the win!). Maybe the card that my oldest daughter wrote all the letters of her name in (not in order yet). Hopefully a lovely dinner with my family OUTSIDE of my home and my cursed cooking skills.

This is life. This is motherhood. Sometimes I don't realize how much things have changed in 3 years and other times I stop to look around and find myself in awe of how little of my life remains the same as it was before they were here. And tomorrow I will wake up and start the 1st day of my 34th year and do it all over again.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


So, somehow, you are 1 year old.
I'm not sure how we got here but even now it has been almost 2 weeks since your birthday and I am still left scratching my head in amazement at just how quickly your sweet little life has flown. We spent so many long, excruciating days and nights together when you first joined us... I remember thinking that I would be exhausted and frazzled forever. The day when you cried THE ENTIRE DAY and I tried every single thing in the book of tricks from feeding you, to a car ride, to rocking, to walking with you... but you still cried and did not nap FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND that day. But, of course, it passed. One day a the switch just flipped and you started sleeping like a dream and smiling more than crying. Things were definitely tough with you and I have felt myself change more in the past year than any other of my life. Humility, patience, tolerance, faith, sacrifice, self awareness... all of these things have been vastly increased inside of me since this time last year. You've made me such a better person and mother. I am so incredibly thankful God chose you to be ours.

I remember the first night I was alone with you in the hospital. We had already been there for 2 nights with your daddy and he simply HAD to leave the third night to be with you sister at home. I felt so alone, sad and GUILTY. Guilty for not loving you like I loved your sister. I felt very sad and like an utter failure that I couldn't make you stop crying. I had no idea what you were going through and I also had no idea how much I would connect with you over the coming months. I was the only person you seemed to trust (still am, often times!) and how many times I heard your cry and came to your rescue and felt you instantly relax in my arms. Many nights you slept snuggled up to me in bed, even though I swore I'd never sleep with a baby and the stern warnings of books and doctors alike surrounded me, and while I never actually "slept" a lick I remember just staring at your sweet face and wondering who you would be as you grew.

Watching you turn from a little blob in to the sweet, silly, snugly and strong willed personality that you are today has been such a joy. I love watching you sleep, snuggled up to your lovey while on your tummy and breathing deeply. I really love watching you and your big sister play and laugh and talk in your own special sister language. You're certainly quick to cry but at the same time so quick to smile and laugh and very happy to be in mommy's arms. You are surprisingly brave and fearless and I regularly find you JUST ABOUT to get in serious trouble or hurt yourself. In fact, taking my eyes off of you is really just never wise at this point. I always wondered if I'd be gutsy enough to stick my finger down a choking child's throat and boy, have you ever taught me that I will do ANYTHING in a moment of mommy adrenaline.

I'm not sure I even remember what life was like before you at this point. I often marvel that I must have had a ridiculous amount of time on my hands because you have redefined motherhood and time management for me. I think that you will always be my baby. We have this special kind of bond that I've never known. I sometimes feel like I know you better than I've ever known anyone in my life. I am so excited to see what your next year holds.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

life at almost 1 year post baby

So, hi there! I just realized it has been over a month since I posted here, so yea, BLOG FAIL. But life is moving at a rapid pace and somehow it gets honestly seems to get faster every day. However, I believe many updates are in order.


Baby S is going to be ONE YEAR OLD next week. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I'm really struggling to come to terms with this as it seems like just yesterday she was a wee little, not sleeping and crying all night, every night. If the first 6 months were on slow-mo from all the drama we dealt with, then the last 6 months have been on super crazy fast warp speed. She is doing great! Her personality is hilarious and so constantly unlike her big sister in any way. She is VERY sensitive and dependent but at the same time incredibly strong willed and ornery. I say often that I feel like she's designed like what I'd expect a boy to be. She's completely fearless and curious and gets in to every single thing she can, making massive messes and chaos all over my house. I couldn't tell you how long she is or how much she weighs, but I think she's definitely caught up to 50% or greater in that department. She's mostly wearing 12-18 month size clothes and carrying her around is giving me some serious arm muscles. Sleep is still going great, she made the 2-1 nap transition just fine on her own about a month ago and eating is getting better every day. I've still not braved any raw dairy products, but I've given her bread and other snacks that have milk and soy listed in the ingredients lists. We don't seem to notice any problems in her from them. She LOVES bread, flour tortillas, waffles, graham crackers, cereal, oatmeal and WATER. My little carbohydrate junkie! I decided to just go cold turkey with the bottles and put her on formula in a sippy cup at her 11 month birthday and she's done amazingly well. She has actually lost interest in formula and is wayyyyyy more in to real FOOD. I am so glad we've finally progressed in this department and am eager to get the go ahead to try real cows' milk products after her pedi gives us the green light. I AM going to let her have some cake at her 1st birthday party next weekend. What is a birthday without cake??!! We are doing a cook out and swimming, it'll be a real blast.


As quickly as summer MDO started, it ends next week. Little L has had so much fun this summer. Swim lesson were a total BOMB, she refused to cooperate with the instructor, but we made the best of it. She is at least comfortable now in the pool in her puddle jumper and on noodles ALONE (we are still just at the side of the pool or in with her) without gripping one of us to death with fear. We have spent so much time outside this summer, I actually have a TAN in spite of my deeply thick layers of zinc oxide I slather on every day. I have made it a point to try and think of lots of fun things for us to do this summer and it has been lovely. Baby S is old enough now to sit at a restaurant and we've been doing regular patio dinners at some of our favorite spots on the weekends. I also took Little L to see a movie, JUST THE TWO OF US, yesterday and she was so excited and hasn't stopped talking about it since. I cannot believe how big this child is. She has strong opinions about what she likes and doesn't like but she is just the sweetest child and is kind to everyone. I love her heart, in fact it makes ME want to be a better person. Her prayers are so sweet and innocent, full of nothing but thanks to God and the smallest thing like a pink straw in a surprise cup of chocolate milk sends her OVER THE MOON with glee. She is really a little person now, there's simply no hint of baby left at this point.


I feel like I am finally learning how to be the most effective employee, wife, house cleaner, mom and individual with 2 children that I can be. It really has taken me this long to find the proper balance. And truth be told? Most days I am in a dirty ball cap and smelly running clothes and my showers are quite a bit more spaced out than they should be. The teachers at church don't even recognize me when I show up in real clothes with my hair down and styled. If this is what it takes to make all the other stuff work, though, that's ok by me. Exercise is my thing, I'm getting it in as much as I can and I am loving it. I don't think my house is ever ALL clean at the same time, but I'm managing to get the downstairs and upstairs separately fully clean at least once a week to 2 weeks. Laundry is figured out, grocery shopping and meals have fallen in to a schedule and things just seem to flow for the best part of the week. I certainly have days that crash and burn and there are times when I cannot even SEE the carpet in the playroom but I am doing my best to take it all in stride and just start each day anew. I think the thing about having 2 children that has shocked me the most is the amount of MESS they produce and the constant need for attention. I strive to do my best and not seek perfection out of myself or them. Life has really gotten so much better for us all since I dialed back my expectations in this department. We are happy and blessed and often laugh when something goes wrong and instead of getting mad or cry, we simply say "It happens!"


Vacation to the beach is in one month. I simply cannot wait. I need it more than words can say.


I hope everyone is well. I have a gazillion blog comments to catch up on, but I will. Promise. And here are some photos from the first half of our summer. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

where fore art thou, emerald coast?

Top of the order today: I just booked a condo in Destin for August. I am so thrilled!!! My husband insists that a week at the beach with 2 small children is going to be a brutal experience but I disagree completely. I searched rental properties for hours and found one that is a first floor end unit, walks out to the beach and has direct access to a pool. I think it is going to be a SUPERB week. I love, love, LOVE this part of Florida, it is my favorite beach in all of the US. If anyone has any child friendly activities in that area to recommend, THEN PLEASE DO. :)  (And please pray for no hurricanes but thank you, Lord, for travel insurance.)


This last week has been H-A-R-D. I thought that baby S was just teething, but it seems she is going through a huge wave of MOMMY specific separation anxiety. She cannot bear for me to leave her sight for even a moment. I get the death grip if I even try to put her in her carseat. After almost 5 solid months of a flawless 2-nap-a-day plus easy bedtime schedule, she is refusing naps and fighting bedtime with all her might. I have to stay in the room for up to an hour each time to convince her it is ok to go to sleep and she'll only concede to 1 short nap a day, if at all. She wakes up from said single nap PIPING HOT MAD that I am not in the room. We had to lower the crib to the bottom setting because I was convinced she was going to rocket herself out of the thing, hurtling towards the floor in her fury.


She has 2 new top teeth. Though they aren't the middle top 2, they are the next pair out, so she looks like she has little fangs. And she grinds her bottom 2 across the new top 2 and the sound makes my blood curdle.


I get FAR less done in any day without 2 full 2 hour naps from the baby. She's only doing a single 1-1.5 hour nap in the afternoon and she requires my attention ALL DAY EVERY DAY. I cannot leave a room or take my eyes off of her for a second, she is in to everything and anything and she is climbing and falling non-stop. I wish I could call in some reinforcements but I don't have any. I am so tired by the end of every day, I fall in to bed and crash. I love my kids. I love being with them and having the opportunity to work from home. I have to say that lately, my tank is just out of gas. I'm sure that this, too, shall pass.


Summer Mother's Day Out started yesterday. THANK YOU, GOD.


Little L is going to start semi-private swim lessons here at our house with one of our neighbor's kids this month. It is more expensive than going to a swim school but the idea of having the instructor come HERE and teaching her in our pool makes me pleased as punch. I'm not a strong swimmer and considering we own a pool, it is of the utmost importance to me that my kids can swim well. We installed a safety fence around the pool early this year, but I still have nightmares about one of them falling in and drowning all the time.


I think if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have bought a house with a pool filled backyard. I love the house but I've really been loathing that pool this year. I cannot change it but I am just throwing it out there that the next house we buy will not have a back yard that is all pool, if any pool at all. It is funny how priorities shift over time.


I have a very good friend that I've known since elementary school who just got engaged and is planning a spring wedding next year. She has asked me to be a bridesmaid and for the girls to serve as her flower girls. I am really looking forward to it.


Someone is going to be a year old in 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!?!?!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


1) Why does almost every mainstream animated movie have a dead or dying parent involved in the story line?

2) I love going outside but it has become SUCH A PAIN since we have small kids. My girls are so incredibly fair and I am constantly terrified of them getting sunburned and the sunblock application process is such a tremendously time consuming (albeit completely worthy) ordeal and I sometimes ask myself IS IT WORTH IT or should I just put on a movie? More often then not, yes, it is worth it, but I seriously dread the whole thing every time. My poor children get red from being outside for just a few minutes so sunblock is never optional. Plus, there is the whole thing about how sunblocks that contain anything with the suffix "benzone" are the REASON for the rise in melanoma as opposed to the decline, so I am meticulous to use zinc oxide product only on them and I wish it came in spray form but I have yet to find one.

3) I am also a bug MAGNET and for some reason I get bit by something every single time I step out my door. I am currently sporting at least 3 bites that I believe to be mosquito and I have a huge spider bite from almost a month ago that is taking an eternity to heal. I must be delicious?

4) I just bought new running shoes like 3 months ago but I really don't like them. I can't return them at this point because it took me a while to figure out how much I don't like them and I HATE that I wasted $100 on them. I really want to go to one of those fancy stores that hooks your feet up to a computer and tests your actual running to pick the perfect shoe for you. Can someone explain to my husband why I need this after having just spent $100 on shoes? I'm planning on running at least 2 half marathons in the fall, maybe I can convince him...

5) My average mile pace for short runs when I first got back to running seriously in February was just shy of 10 min/mile and I am presently at the 8:20-8:30/mile mark and I am so proud of myself. I think my long runs are going to stay around the 8:48-9:00/mile area and I'm thrilled with that, too. This might not be fast to some people but it is MY personal best.

6) I accidentally requested my husband's ex-girlfriend as a friend on FB. She accepted. This whole situation is very, VERY strange. But isn't that the whole point of FB, to make life exceptionally weird and awkward?

7) Everyone is talking about the 50 Shades book and while I don't judge anyone for the choices they make, I am not interested in reading it. I've felt convicted to really keep smut out of my life and I find it odd that a book that is basically porn.ography in word has been so socially accepted and talked about by women of all ages. And I think since SO many women are talking about it, it is drawing in women that normally wouldn't have any interest. This article that my sweet friend Jill recently shared seems to hit the nail on the head. Plus for me? My time is so precious these days and I'm painfully selective as to how I spend it.

8) We cannot decide if or where we should take our family vacation this year. We went to the gulf coast for a wedding in early May and it was just such a BEATING to be away from home with an infant and a toddler. If it was just Little L, it would be a no brainer to go spend a week at the beach or Disney but really, what do you do with a baby on vacation? It is all the stress of regular life at home except away from all the usual comforts, right? Am I just being negative? I really want a vacation but I just don't know if I can handle it right now. Or if it would be worth the expense.

9) I need to make dinner. And give baths. And pull the laundry out of the dryer... and finish some work stuff... And with that, I hope you all have a marvelous summer evening. ;)  (JUNE!!! IT IS ALMOST JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)