Archive | March, 2012

My Wednesday Letter #2

28 Mar

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about mailing letters?

Well, a friend of mine was so thoughtful and sent one to me that week!! I was so surprised when I opened up my mailbox.

I felt so special & loved!

Thank you, Melissa!

The weeks seem to fly by so fast and I haven’t written any since that last post.

But today, I am going to sit down for 20 minutes and send a little love to a few friends.

Won’t you join me?

Who will you send some love to this week?

{you can buy this cute stamp here}

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our family of 3 {for just one night}

27 Mar

Hayden had a pretty nasty work schedule at the beginning of the month. He was gone before the kids were up in the morning and didn’t get home till after they were in bed. Because I saw him every night, it didn’t register that the kids hadn’t really seen him much.

One night after he came home and was getting something to eat, our littlest one,  started yelling from his crib, “Ma!…Ma!…Ma!” I had put him to bed at least 15 minutes before so I had no idea why he was up still.

Hayden said, “Go get him so I can see him. Just let him play for a bit.”

Usually I would not be down with that, but for some reason, it sounded kind of fun. So I ran upstairs to get my little dude.

The three of us hung out for an hour in the family room. It was felt so funny. I don’t know the last time the three of us had been alone together. West thought it was the greatest thing. He had mom and dad all to himself.

He decided to make us some food.

Then he decided to roll Hot Wheels under the chair.

Then he played with cars on a track.

Water break.

Then he tried to cuddle with Daisy.

But she’s not a huge fan of West.

Then he wanted me to take a picture of his blankie, Tate.

then it was off to bed.

It was a sweet hour with just us three.

Oh, and Daisy too.

A Lasso of Love {Someone Threw Me a Rope}

21 Mar

Over at the Brave Girls blog, they have been posting a series called Someone Threw me a Rope. Well, it got me thinking about a time when I was so graciously tossed a rope. Thought I’d share….

It was the very first time in my life that I had ever moved to a new city where I knew absolutely NO ONE! Not a soul. I didn’t know my way around. I didn’t have a friend to call if I got lost (and I didn’t even have a smart phone/gps – imagine that!). My two little girls ages 4 & 2 got bored real quick just hanging out at the house with me. They wanted to play and meet some friends. I wanted friends too.  But I was so tired.

I was pregnant with my third baby and feeling very sick. My husband was working a ton. And when he was home, he was either exhausted or post call and sleeping. He didn’t have any consistent days off. There were many weeks without a weekend. I rarely got a break. I was lonely, sad, and so tired.

I felt defeated.

Then one morning in January when I was about 30 weeks pregnant {napping on the couch while my girls were zoned out on Sesame Street}, I got a call from a “friend” or at the time, more of an acquaintance.

I had met her in the fall at Barnes & Noble. I recognized her daughter from church and so I introduced myself. She told me that she and her husband had moved from San Diego just a few years before. A connection! She’s from the west coast! She moved here not knowing anyone either! Plus two of her kids were the same age as mine! She was so kind and invited me to go to a bible study at church. I went for a while and had a few picnics with her afterwards.

A few months passed by and I wasn’t in the bible study anymore and was attending a different church. I hadn’t talked to her in quite some time.

But then she called that January morning.

“Do your girls want to go to a park with us this morning?” she asked.

“Sure. They would love to get out. What park should we meet at?”

“No. Not you. Just your girls. Can I pick up them up and take them to the park with us?”

I didn’t understand. She didn’t want me to meet her there? She just wanted to take my girls? To add them with her 3 kids…was she out of her mind?

She must have known what I was thinking…

“Amber, I’ve been where you are.  Pregnant and tired, in a new city with no family around. I know what it’s like. I want to give you a break and take your girls out so you can rest.”

WHAT?! Did I hear that correctly?!

“Um…are you sure?” I think I said trying to keep the lump in my throat at bay.

“Yes! I’ll be there in an hour. See you then.”

She came and picked up my girls {who were so excited to go play with their new friends} that morning. And then she did it the next week. And the one after that. She did this every week until my son was born.

She didn’t just throw me a rope.

No, she took that rope, tied a knot and threw out a lasso.

It landed on my heart and her love wrapped all around me. Just because she knew. She may not have known me well, but she knew what I needed because

she had been there too.

One day after my son was born {and I was functioning again}, we met at a park to hang out and let the kids play. I asked her what I could do for her since she had done so much for me. Because how do you repay kindness like that? A thank you note? A gift card? There isn’t anything that would even come close. I thought I could do something for her.

Then she told me this:  “When I was new here and pregnant with my third, someone did the same thing for me. She took my two other kids once a week and gave me time to rest. I wanted to pay her back in some way too. But she told me what I’m going to tell you. Do this for someone else. Next time you meet someone who is pregnant, do it for them. Find a person to help. That is how you can repay me.”

A few weeks later, I was at the neighborhood pool. My youngest daughter tugged on my shirt, “Mommy. That girl is in my Sunday school class,” she said pointing to a little girl walking through the pool gate. Her dad and {pregnant!} mother followed.

We went over to introduce ourselves. Come to find out that they just moved to town a few months before and were expecting there 2nd baby in a month. The mom shared how she had been really sick with this pregnancy and was very tired all the time.

This is it! This is my person!

I got out my rope and tied a knot.

I knew exactly where my lasso was going to land.

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you can meet my awesome lasso throwing friend, Jennifer, right here…

The Flags of my Life

12 Mar

My post last night got me thinking about all the different places I’ve lived. Growing up I just thought I’d always live on the west coast. I was happy with Washington or California. I even would have considered Oregon. Never would I have imagined moving to a completely different region of the country. But like I said before, I love it here. Each city so unique. Each state full of history.  So here’s a little glimpse of my life journey thus far, using state flags. Yeah, i don’t know where I come up with this nonsense either.

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In 1991 Washington state celebrated it’s bi-centennial.  It was a fabulous year for the state with parades and parties every weekend. OK, not really.

The reason I remember this monumental year was because in one of my classes we were to draw a picture of the state flag as part of a report.  No big deal, right?

Washington State Flag

Um, you try drawing that presidential face. *Wonky* wouldn’t even come close to the description of my artistic interpretation. Why couldn’t I live in a state with an easier flag to draw?!

As luck would have it, I eventually would.  Actually a few.

After living here

California State Flag

during college  (which also would have been difficult for me to draw),

I married me a Texan.

And we all know about Texas pride and how they especially love their flag.

Texas State Flag

I didn’t think anyone could plaster their state flag on as many things as they did until…

South Carolina State Flag

…we moved to The Palmetto State.

South Carolinians take state pride to a whole new level {or at least flag pride}.

You can find this image on just about any piece of merchandise, clothing, product you can imagine. I’m not kidding. It.is.every.where. There is even a store Palmetto Moon, dedicated to all things South Carolina.  But you can see why, right? It’s totally cute. I dropped my Texas pride and adopted this one instantly.

So naturally, when I found out we were moving to Tennessee,  I couldn’t wait to see what their flag looked like. I am fully aware that that is not the first thing people look up when they are moving to a new place, but after living in the last two states, I was excited to see my new flag identity….

Tennessee State Flag

 I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed. I guess there isn’t much that can top the palmetto moon of South Carolina. This one was pretty basic and had the traditional red, white, and blue. At least my kids will be able to draw this for a project. In the 3 years we have lived here, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen this flag displayed. Anywhere. Probably at the capitol building. I would think.

Then last fall, I found out we will be moving to Alabama.

WHAT?! Alabama??? Whoa!

My brother didn’t make it any better when he said, “Dude. Amber, you’re moving to the dirty south.”

But that’s kinda how I felt.

After the initial shock, I calmed down. Though I was not thrilled (at all!) with this move, I thought … There is hope! Maybe Alabama has a flag worthy of displaying on my car. I whipped out my phone and googled “Alabama State flag”

and what to my wondering eyes should appear…

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Alabama State Flag

%#*@$&*!

’nuff said.

{Flag Source}

Southern Sundays

12 Mar

Has anyone else watched this new show on ABC?

It’s called GBC

{Good Christian Belles or Good Christian somethin’-that-rhymes-with-witches}

It takes place in Dallas, Texas.

About well, a bunch of housewives, wealthy women, you know… the same old story.

I really wanted to watch the pilot last Sunday. You know, to see if it would be any good. To see if I should commit an hour each week to this highly mental stimulating show.

After watching it, I thought it was just a little too much. Too many obnoxious characters, too much christian stuff, just over-the-top.

But then again, isn’t that Texas for ya?

So this week, I thought I’d watch it again. Give it another try.

It was still over the top, but I laughed {again}. At the end of the show, the story line got kind of serious and my husband says, “Well, maybe there is a good message in this show after all.” Maybe, but I doubt it. Oh, did I forget to mention that he has been watching these with me? Yup, he’s great like that.

There are a lot of stereotypes in this show. But after living in Texas, I know some of these to be true. Some. Not all. So yeah, I thought it was a funny show. Do other people think that as well? I’m curious to know.

It got me thinking about how I have lived in the south for over 10 years. I remember when I first moved to Texas and the culture shock I experienced.  Then we moved to Charleston and that was a whole different kind of southern culture. Nashville seems the most mild so far, but I think I may be heading into the deep south if we move down to Birmingham. {Lord help me!}

After living here for over a decade,  there are some things I can’t remember if “normal” here was “normal” on the west coast. And I recently have realized that things I used to be surprised or shocked by no longer do.  Accents don’t make me giggle anymore. I know what “fixin’ to” and “all y’all” mean. I have tried and do not like grits. There are way too many bugs here. Monograms everywhere. And smocking…oh, the smocking.

All that to say…I do love it here.

In honor of GCB, I thought I might take the next few Sundays to tell you a little about this place I call home…

The South.

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One of the very first things that I was surprised by was something that actually happens on Sundays. Yes, church of course. Duh. But I was reminded of this today when I wanted to head over to Hobby Lobby to pick up a couple of craft supplies.

Doh! Closed on Sundays!

I couldn’t believe that a big chain crafting store was actually closed on Sundays!

Then, to make matters worse… Chick-fil-a.

This video says it all.

There are a few other stores that I can’t think of off the top of my head, but still, more stores were closed on Sundays than I was used to.

Even though it might be an inconvenience to me, I am glad they do it. I’ve got six other days to shop and eat chicken sandwiches. I think I’ll survive.

love me some girlfriends

7 Mar

I just got back from a baby shower for my super duper friend Sally. It’s her third baby, so really it was just more of a girls night out. With diapers. And onesies. Oh and really cute burp cloths.

It was with a bunch of ladies I don’t know too well, but oh my goodness, it was so fun! I forgot how much I love being with girls. Just hanging out, sharing stories, and laughing…a lot.

Girls are great. I think I’ve always known that, but sometimes, girls can be mean. Especially to each other. And that just stinks. I see it happening with my 9 & 7 year old daughters. I remember it growing up. I remember being the mean girl. And I am sorry.

I’ve learned a lot this last year about that kind of thing. Being a girl. Helping other girls. I’ve learned the power in encouraging and supporting one another. And just being a friend to each other. We all knew these things when we were little. But somehow, we forgot. But you can learn it all again. Brave Girls Club is a good place to start. Watch out, it might just rock your socks off.

This reminds me that I have been wanting to introduce you to some of my dearest friends. They mean a whole lot to me. Helped me through some really tough times and always speak right to my heart.

But not tonight, cause it’s late and I really want to watch The Bachelor episode from last night. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a bunch of catty, mean girls. But I’m just doing research about what not to be like.

See? I’m always learning 😉

But seriously, stay tuned. You won’t want to miss meeting mi amigas.

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And now Winnie the Pooh and I, will leave you with this…

Source: dailybitsofbeauty.com via Andrea on Pinterest

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My Omega List

5 Mar

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Some call it a Bucket List…

I’m calling it my Omega List

{as in, stuff I want to do before the END of my life}

Things I want to do:

  • swim with dolphins!
  • be part of a flash mob
  • see the Aurora Borealis {Northern Lights}
  • start a blog
  • start an etsy store
  • work at Sonic for a day {wearing rollerskates, of course}
  • teach my kids to sew
  • teach my kids to cook*
  • write a children’s book
  • start a non-profit
  • read the entire Bible
  • try-out for roller derby
  • plant a veggie garden
  • plant a flower garden
  • teach an art class
  • dumpster dive & find something awesome
  • have a family picture taken
  • speak to a large crowd {mostly cause I’m freaked out by the idea}
  • parasailing
  • deliver shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child
  • have a project on kickstarter.com
  • have a pet pig
  • audition for The Amazing Race
  • be on The Amazing Race {wannabe my partner?}
  • design & sell a T-shirt
  • be debt free
  • adopt
  • wake up early with my husband for 22 days in a row
  • go to bed early
  • host an art retreat
  • host a retreat for med spouses
  • live on a farm
  • own chickens

Places I want to go & see:

  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Alaska {to see the Aurora Borealis, go on a cruise}
  • England
  • Africa
  • NYC {& see a Broadway show}
  • Tour Israel
  • A Dude Ranch {take my family there}
  • All 50 states
  • DisneyWorld
  • Mt Rushmore
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong {visit cousins}
  • Camping with my family

Stuff I want to learn:

  • how to play guitar
  • how to use our DSLR camera
  • what DSLR means Digital Single Lens Reflex {thanks to my cousin}
  • how to surf
  • how to build a porch swing
  • how to make a felt scarf
  • how to meal plan
  • *how to cook {so I can teach my kids}

Stay tuned…I’ll be adding more.

Do you have a bucket list?

The Secret is Out

3 Mar

I want my kids to take good naps.

No, I need my kids to take good naps.

For my sanity and their safety.

So the other day as I was driving, I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw that my little dude was starting to fade.

I had to act fast!

If he falls asleep in the car, he does not transfer well into his crib. And we were only minutes away from the house.

He needed a distraction. Something to keep his interest. To keep him awake for a few. minutes. longer.

With my eyes still on the road, I reached over to the passenger seat and grabbed the first thing I could get my hands on.

I called his name and threw whatever-I-had-grabbed at him.

I heard the sound of pages turning.

Sweet! It’s working.

Smiling to myself {since I had such a brilliant solution and all}, I glanced back to check on my little man…

Ummm…

OK, not my finest parenting moment…but hey, at least it kept him awake.

Mission accomplished.

errands shmerrands

1 Mar

 a beautiful day + my two boys =

skipping out on running errands &  heading to the park

  

 on the monkey bars

peek-a-boo

tire swing!

Big brother would fall down pretending that the tire swing knocked him over and little man thought it was the funniest thing ever.

together

more peek-a-boo

sliding down the tunnel

or climbing up

swinging

taking a break with mama

don’t you dare…

On the way home they got to watch Signing Time & eat special treats to keep them from falling asleep!

   

It was a good day.

Meat

1 Mar

While eating dinner tonight I was reminded of this conversation I had with my 7 year old daughter the other day.

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Brenna: Are we MEAT?

Me: What?

Brenna: Are we meat?

{Still not sure what I heard…}

Me: Meat? Are we meat?

Brenna: Yes. Meat.

Me: Well…… I guess so…Yeah, we’re meat.

Brenna: So, does anyone eat us?

Me: Nope. We eat everyone else.