Monday, August 29, 2011

Update: The Summer List

Remember the summer list?

We've been busy having fun and checking things off over the past three months.  It looks something like this now:

 I've loved having this list.  It has really helped us be more intentional and focused with how we spend our time.

I also get great satisfaction from checking things off.  I stand in my air-conditioned house and stare at our progress daily.  (I felt like my air conditioner needed some public praise because I could not live without it in the oppressive 90 million degree weather.)

Here are some pictures showcasing our summer fun...

We played at the Woodlands Splash Pad with our sweet friend, Maya (not pictured).

We made homemade apple pie and celebrated Andy's 32nd birthday on July 4th.  

Bella took swimming lessons for the first time.  She went from crying the first day, to diving at the end.  We were so proud!

We spent a weekend in Galveston and took Hayes to the beach for the first time. 

Mimi came with us to Galveston and treated us to an adventurous lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe.  (Bonus!  This wasn't even on the list!)

We've had many family movie nights, and even got fancy by making homemade pizza to enjoy one evening.

We toned our arms by squeezing and squeezing and squeezing lemons for refreshing lemonade.

There are some things not pictured and there are some things we haven't done.  I am giving the list until after Labor Day weekend.  It's my list and I can make the rules.

But the perfectionist in me is hoping to get really close to completing it.  

We sure know how to squeeze lemons, so I think we can squeeze in more memories too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"What's on my phone?" Wednesday

So, I read a lot of blogs.

I love them.  I drink coffee and read blogs every morning.  It's my ritual.  If I actually have somewhere to go and can't do this in the morning, I feel...weird.  Off.  Reading them makes me happy.

One thing I'm noticing is that lots of bloggers have a weekly post that they do.  Something that their readers can rely on, usually with a cheesy title. 

I love cheesy.  Really.  It makes me laugh.

So, I've decided to do the same.  Not because I feel the need to copy everyone else, but because it seems like a way to hold myself accountable to blogging.  And I need accountability.  I do WAY better with it. 

I mean, I used to get up at 5:30/6ish every morning.  Now I can't drag my rear out of bed before 9:00.  (Yes, my kids sleep late.  Yes, I totally realize how * lucky I am.)  What's the difference?  No one's going to fire me now.  Accountability y'all.

*My keyboard totally just ran out of batteries where I put the *.  I stole some from two different TV remotes.  I'm probably going to regret that tomorrow.  Why does technology hate me?  And why are there never enough double A's in this house?

Anyway, I'm going to do a "What's on my phone?" Wednesday post every week.  What is this, you ask?  I will post pictures from my phone along with some witty and hilarious (I can hope) commentary.

The best part about this will be that I will actually look at all of the pictures on my phone.  Half of the time they are a surprise to me.  I have a tech-savy 17 month old who knows how to slide the arrow over to unlock my iPhone and then he does whatever he pleases.

His tech talent obviously comes from his father. 

Two disclaimers (because I love them so):
1.  I know it is technically Thursday when I am posting this first one.  But as I type this, I haven't been to bed yet, so it's Wednesday to me.

2.  The pictures may be poor quality.  I have the first iPhone, aka-no flash and slow shutter speed (I don't even know if that term is right, but it sounds good.) It's kinda a dinosaur.

Enough typing.  Here we go...

I changed the batteries in the rocket toy for my boy, which explains my lack of double A's.  It had to be done.  What good is a rocket without sound effects?  After I did this, he wanted to "fix" it too.  (I removed the bit from the screwdriver before he was allowed to play with it.  Don't worry.)

My new wedge shoes.  I sent this to my fabulous sister-in-law, because she knows how to wear a wedge like no other.  I knew she would be proud of my choice.

 Here is a sample of Hayes' fine photography work.  What's a mom to do with a fussy boy in HEB?  Give him your phone.  Then you get a lovely shot of your foot, the cart, and his precious chubby leg.

This picture was also I surprise to me.  Bella took this lovely pic of her new Twinkle Toes shoe, a gift from her wonderful Mimi.  Apparently taking shoe pictures runs in the family.

Make it stop.  I'm sweating just looking at this.  (That 459.9 was not on one tank of gas.  I never remember to reset it.  Why bother?  It's just depressing.)

And finally, we went to Baskin Robbins for dollar scoop night yesterday.  Deliciousness for a dollar.  Yes, please.

He would not even look at me.  He was in the ice cream zone. 

 "I love Mama"

This is what Bella wrote for me in the car after getting ice cream.  Just when I thought peanut butter and chocolate ice cream was the best part of my day...she proved me wrong.

That's it for now.  Come back for more.

I already love this glimpse into my week, my day-to-day.  Good thing my phone doesn't rely on double A's....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mountains, Shopping, and Truth

Warning:  This post will probably only apply/be interesting to women.  Men, feel free to stop reading. 

Thought:  I’m not even sure any men read this blog.  If they do, they are probably related to me and feel that they have to read, due to me annoying gently encouraging them.

Anyway, I went shopping for a dress yesterday.  We have a couple of fun events coming up, and I needed something new and fun to wear. 

(Note:  I did not wear high-heeled boots while shopping.  Geez.)

Our first event, in two weeks, is that Andy is marrying someone.  

Ok, no.  HE isn’t marrying someone else.  I would not buy a dress for that.  I would buy water balloons, posters to make protest signs, and a lawyer.  

Andy is officiating a wedding and we get to go on a weekend (kid free!) getaway to Fredericksburg for the ceremony.  Hooray!

I also have some theatrical productions to attend in the near future.  Yes, I said that just so you would be impressed by my level of culture.  I saw a Shakespeare performance last week too.  Again, be impressed. 

So, I went shopping for a dress for these things.  I feel so Kate Middleton using the same dress for multiple events. 

This shopping had me super excited, because it’s rare for me to go and get something just for me.  (I did look at kid’s clothes while I was out, and bought NOTHING.  Improvement.)

This shopping thing turned into quite an ordeal, though.  I have a talent for that-- taking regular things (that no one else even thinks twice about) and getting all worked up about them.  Making a mountain out of a molehill, as my mom would say.  

I call it passion.  I embrace it. 

What did I get worked up about?  Y’all, it’s hard to shop.  I realize how stupid and petty that sounds.  Stick with me. 

On a surface level, it’s hard to shop on a budget.  I saw one super cute dress…$230.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that.  If you do, more power to you, and is your job hiring?  Then I can have somewhere to wear all the fabulous Calvin Klein professional dresses I saw. ( I even tried one on.  It was beautifully done, lined so nicely, and had such great structure that I thought I looked instantly awesome.  I felt like a boss…and I enjoyed it.)

Also, it’s hard to shop as a (gulp) 30 year old.  It’s like the shorts issue I wrote about here.   There is LOTS of stuff out there if you are twenty and don’t have to wear proper undergarments.  There is a good selection if you are older, as well.  For ages in the middle, the lines are kinda blurred. 

Now here is the part where you should stick with me and realize I am not here just to complain about my American, suburban, very fortunate (not bragging-- just acknowledging and being thankful) life.

Most difficult of all, this dress shopping trip brought me face to face with the things I don’t like about myself:

I have so much, yet feel the need to have more to be satisfied. 

A lot of my self-worth is wrapped up in what I look like. 

I covet-other people’s dresses, other people’s dress sizes, etc. 

Kinda takes the fun out of shopping doesn’t it?  I told you…molehill=mountain.

I just reread all of the above and a large part of me just wants to delete this whole post and not share.  Because it seems shallow.  Because I’m scared.  Because someone will look at the monitor and roll their eyes (and even though I can’t see them), it will hurt my feelings. 

But, I’m going to be brave.  I know personally, I love happy blog posts with pictures of cute kids.  I read them every day. But I love, even more, when I read something that is honest, something that makes me feel connected, because I identify with what another person thinks or feels, even if it’s not pretty. 

In conclusion, I did find a dress.  And when I tried it on and modeled in the living room, my husband (the one who’s not marrying someone else) oohed and aahed and said he loved it.  When I told him shopping made me feel old, fat, and poor (three things that this world does not embrace), he reminded me that it doesn’t matter what the world thinks, because I have something better. 

“They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world.” John 17:16 (The Message)

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you”  Romans 12:2 (The Message)


It’s a large personal change I need to seek out. 

I’ll probably make a big deal out of it. But mountains are so much more fun to climb than molehills. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Good (Hair) Day!

Today was a big day for my kids.  It was haircut day.  The FIRST haircut day for BOTH kids.

Yes, you are thinking correctly.  For both? It is kind of odd, since they are three and a half years apart.  But you are forgetting one important detail...

Someone was very, very bald for a very, very long time.

This brought me so much happiness too.  The more bald the head, the more you notice the big bow.

Oh, that girl is precious.  And now she is big, and no longer bald.  It makes my heart hurt a little.

Now...back to haircut day.  Hayes had really been needing a haircut., maybe?  The ends of her hair were a bit dead and would tangle easily.  (I tried to type tangly there, but apparently that is not a word.  Who knew?)

Well, I didn't want to leave Big Sister, who has been begging to get her hair trimmed, out, so we decided to throw caution (and $13.95) to the wind and get haircuts together. 

 Bella went first.  While she looked very serious in this shot, she smiled throughout almost all of the process.  She was really excited.  It was fun to watch.

Hayes went next, and he was just excited about the sucker. 

He was a little too squirmy to have scissors next to his head, so I ended up holding him during his trim. 

Bella (at age 4 years and 10 months) before:


Hayes (at age 16 months) before:


Haircuts are just an ordinary part of life, but today was special.  Seeing something happen for the first time is such a treat and is one of my favorite parts of parenting.  Especially when it took almost five years for it to happen!

Maybe now I can finish that last page her baby book.