Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Day Book

Outside my is almost 8:00am and everything is quiet on this Sunday morning.
I am thinking...about making breakfast for Craig - pancakes and scrambled eggs.

I am thankful lovely neighbor down the street that baby-sat Natalie yesterday afternoon and did a wonderful job!

From the learning rooms...I have my 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams all decided.  That doesn't mean that everyone is HAPPY about it, but I know that I made the right decision. 

From the kitchen...Craig made Chicken Cordon Bleu last week with rice and green beans!

I am wearing...a t-shirt and shorts.  Natalie is wearing her jammies top and a diaper.

I am creating...lots of to-do lists. 

I am disengage and let other people handle her drama.

I am reading...not much at the moment.  I definitely need to turn OFF the television and do something more relaxing and productive with my time.

I am hoping...that I am able to hold it together this volleyball season.

I am hearing...Nick Jr. cartoonsand Natalie trying to crawl on the blankets on the floor.
Around the house...we have about three baskets of laundry that are waiting to be folded, but it's almost to the point where I might as well just wash them all again.
One of my favorite things...Natalie.  Everything about her right now is fun and exciting.  She is learning new things everyday like sitting up and trying to crawl!
A few plans for the rest of the week: I have two volleyball games this week and then a 6th grade Open House on Tuesday.  I'm really not looking forward to the time demands of volleyball season.  I love working with my girls...I just wish that I didn't have to be away from Natalie so much.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Past Life

I have an almost debilitating addiction in my the Bravo network on television.  Whatever Andy Cohen decides to produce, I will watch.  The Housewives, Flipping Out, Millionaire Matchmaker - I love it all.  Miss Andy's newest venture has landed here in the Metroplex and features six young and hot singles living and working in Big D. 

Most Eligible Dallas had me a bit skeptical at first - was it going to be like that bomb Miami Social of which I only watched one episode before cutting out?  Nope.  I'm hooked.  Maybe it's the fact that I get to scour each episode trying to figure out where exactly they are and if I've eaten at that restaurant before.  Or maybe I'm a bit nostalgic for the days when I ran all around North Texas from one bar to the next and getting to hang out with my big group of friends at my own leisure. 

Post college was a blur of the neon lights of bars in Ft. Worth and big bar tabs in Addison.  I relate to these people - the group of friends that I hung out with in my early twenties could have easily comprised the cast of this show.  Jennifer and Zach: the ambitious almost married couple living and working in downtown Ft. Worth; Cody: the lovable goofball with the most brilliant one-liners...but not the best of luck with the ladies; Justin and Laura: semi-high school sweethearts each trying to figure out their place in the working world....and possibly in a relationship with one another; Meggie and Ryan: a traditional romantic and a irreverant cowboy that secretly fell in love but are now living their own fairytale.

Where was Andy Cohen six years ago?!  I could have been a Bravo reality star!  Ha!

But in all honesty, although those crazy years of my life were some of the most heartbreaking and confusing, I wouldn't change it for anything because I think it has made me so much more appreciative of the life that I have carved for myself in suburbia with the hubs, the pup and the baby girl.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Obviously motherhood has changed me in so many ways - my priorities have shifted and I have learned to stand up for what I believe is best for my family.  But I didn't expect the massive amount of guilt and sometimes even shame that I would feel as a new mother.  It's no secret that I'm a perfectionist and an over-achiever....and pretty competitive as well.  I think that these characteristics, which serve me so well in many aspects of my life, have also held me back from being the best mother to Natalie that I can be.  There is so much conflicting information out there as to how to raise your children and since it is such a personal and important topic, many people are incredibly passionate about their point of view....and also sometimes quick to point out other people's parenting flaws as well.  I think the concept of "mommy wars" and the "this versus that" conversations we get into can all be boiled down to a few key ingredients: we sometimes have no idea what we're doing as mothers and if we're doing something "wrong" with our children, is that a poor reflection on our love or devotion to them?

A few days ago on one of my favorite blogs Blue Eyed Bride, Erin wrote about the mommy guilt that she was releasing.  It seemed to be pretty cathartic for her, so I'm going to try my own list.

1. BEING INDUCED A WEEK EARLY.  During the induction, Natalie's heart rate dropped dramatically in response to the Pitocin and she was delivered via emergency c-section.  I struggled with the idea of having a cesarean for a long time - I felt that I had caused Natalie's heart rate drop and subsequent delivery because I was selfish and chose not to wait for nature to take it's course, but instead to play God and decide when my baby was being born based on what was best for my life.  Not that it's anyone's business but....I was not a good pregnant woman, especially in the last few weeks.  I was miserable being on my feet all day, hardly able to walk because of the pelvic and back pain AND I was supposed to work an Open House at my school one night followed by a track meet the very next night.  At 39 weeks pregnant.  No thank you.  Craig and I made the best decision for our family and our baby and that is all that matters.

2. QUITTING BREASTFEEDING AFTER FOUR MONTHS.  It didn't take long to get in the rythm of breastfeeding with Natalie - she was always (and still is) an enthusiastic eater and was always generally predictable as to when she would be hungry.  I did really well during my maternity leave but struggled with pumping during the school day when I went back for the last three weeks.  I'm not sure what happened during the summer but for whatever reason, come July I was having mini anxiety attacks whenever I would try to feed her.  She would squirm and pull and it was very difficult for me to maintain my composure while trying to get her settled down to eat properly....all the while I was worried that I wasn't producing enough milk and that's why she was so frustrated.  I'm sure that somewhere along the way I could have made different choices as far as the feeding goes, but at the end of the day my baby needs to be fed and I need to be emotionally stable and if formula in a bottle is how that needs to happen, then so be it.

3. GETTING A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP.  Natalie was a great little sleeper from about six weeks old until the second week into our summer vacation.  Then she started waking up at least one....many times it was more....time a night.  It was awful.  I was stressed and angry and frustrated when I would be up with her desperately trying to rock her back to sleep just like the books said, without giving her any food because according to some, that could start up her midnight feedings again which is obviously something I wanted to avoid.  Finally Craig took the bull by the horns and sent me back to bed and gave Natalie a bottle after which she promptly fell back asleep.  I felt terrible - I wasn't feeding my baby enough so that she could sleep through the night.  Obviously this wasn't the case....I just had to learn that there isn't one book on this planet that can explicitly tell ME what is right or wrong to do with MY baby.  Craig had to take on the nighttime care because I just couldn't do it.  I was a better mother to her during the day if I was able to get a mostly good night sleep.  I felt terribly guilty about him being up with a lot during the night - like because I was the mother, I should automatically be the one taking complete care of her but I realized that he kind of likes being able to rock with her and snuggle.  And more importantly, if I'm not mistaken, he was there when she was created and therefore he shares 50% of the responsibility of taking care of her.

I know that some of my statements might seem like they are directed towards a certain person or entity but in all honesty my feelings of guilt have nothing to do with any other person but instead more with pressure that I put on myself based on society and what is presented in literature and online.  I am freeing my own self from all the guilt that I carry around about the things listed above and I'm sure that there are many other things that I need to resolve.  My mantra lately has been: I am doing the best I can with what I have.  And at the end of the day, Natalie knows that I love her and she is an extremely happy baby who is curious and giggly and enjoys being in the company of a variety of people....and one special puppy dog.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Day Book

Outside my is 8:54 pm and it's finally dark but still very warm.  And the grass is mowed...good job Craig.

I am thinking...that change will make us a better and stronger family.

I am thankful husband for always wanting the best for his three favorite ladies: me, Natalie and Angie.

From the learning rooms...I started the day in almost a panic attack just thinking about all the stuff that needs to get accomplished before next Monday.  Our school underwent major renovations this summer which meant that every single room was broken down and all our stuff was put into huge moving boxes and then once the reno was over put back in our rooms, but still in the boxes.  I walked into our storage room this morning and I couldn't see where any of my volleyball junk was and I nearly flipped out.  I hit the ground running at the first of the year and I like to have everything ready to go from day one.  But luckily our principal was very generous (or maybe scared of the angry backlash of a hundred women) and allowed us practically the whole afternoon to work in our rooms getting things sorted out.  The other PE teachers and I attacked the storage rooms and got about 2/3 of the huge boxes cleared out and the materials put away.  Good news is that I have volleyballs, standards, ref stands, ball carts, antennas and pole pads...I can start volleyball on schedule.
From the kitchen...last night I made Poppyseed Chicken Casserole and it was delish.

I am wearing...shorts, t-shirt and a messy bun in my hair. 

I am many "to-do" lists for all aspects of my life.  Stuff to get done at school and stuff to get taken care of around the house.

I am going...crazy inside my head with all the things that I'm trying to remember and process.

I am reading...I totally finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo while I was on vacation in Vegas last week.  I loved having the entire afternoon up in my hotel room with the curtains drawn, that lamp turned on and the AC cranked low while I snuggled under the sumtuous sheets at the Wynn and delved into the twisted world of the Vanger family.
I am hoping...that Natalie has an even better second day with Ms. Rebecca! 

I am hearing...Angie snoring on her blanket on the bed and Craig packing cards downstairs.
Around the house...I desperately need to put away tons of Natalie's 3-6 month clothes and wash and hang her 9 months stuff!

One of my favorite things...the look on Natalie's face whenever I came to pick her up this afternoon.  I love her little scrunched up grin.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Just getting ready for the school year and then enjoying our last weekend before school starts!

A picture worth sharing: I'm a slacker - all my pictures are on my flash drive which is across the room and I'm cozy on my bed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Day Book

Okay, let's be real honest.  I wrote this on Friday, August 5th at 12:44 while Craig was at the baseball card shop and Natalie was taking a nap.  We will be in Vegas on Monday so I figured I would get ahead of the game.  Taken from my friend Molly who found it here.

Outside my is still hot but unlike everyone else, I'm not complaining about it.  I've been staying indoors and I know that it won't be too long before it will be cold and I will be dreaming of warm weather like this.

I am thinking...that Craig sure is taking a long time at the card shop.  He needs to hurry home - Momma needs to shave her legs before volleyball at 2:00.

I am thankful for...King Ranch Chicken casserole.  With sour cream.  And blue corn tortilla chips.

From the learning rooms...the countdown is on.  A week from today I will be at student orientation taking up athletics paperwork packets and filling orders for new gym clothes.

From the kitchen...I obviously made King Ranch Chicken casserole this week and it was beyond delicious.

I am wearing...shorts, t-shirt and a ponytail...again.  BUT I do have some very cute new clothes waiting in the closet for Vegas, the 10 year high school reunion and for coaching volleyball in September and October.

I am creating...the scariest scenarios in my head of what can possibly go wrong while Craig and I are in Vegas.  The newest and latest one?  The plane crashes going there or coming back and Natalie is an orphan.  Is this normal?!

I am play volleyball this afternoon and then I am going baby registering with my friend Kate tonight.  It's amazing how a year ago Babies R Us totally overwhelmed me but now I can navigate it like a pro.
I am reading...well, I'm not reading much right now but I am going to take The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with me to Vegas as well as a book my mom lent me called Rescue by Anita Shreve.  I might also stop by the bookstore and get Jen Lancaster's new book, If You Were Here.

I am hoping...for a smooth transition from summer to school for Natalie, Craig and myself.  And even more so for Angie - I think she'll be the one that has the hardest time with us going back to work.

I am hearing...silence - could that mean the baby girl is taking a much needed nap?!

Around the house...the yard needs to be mowed but unless Craig gets up at two in the morning to do it, it is just too hot outside!

One of my favorite things...Natalie's new screech of joy.  And the fact that it is much easier to get a big giggle out of her these days.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Vegas next week and then my ten year high school reunion on the 12th and 13th and then we go back for inservice on the 15th!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
A ten day old Natalie.  Sigh.  I can't believe how little she was.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

5 Months Old (and 28 Years Old)

We are missing a picture for this post because Craig and I are leaving for Vegas in the morning and between celebrating my birthday, packing three people for a trip and Natalie taking the most monstrous nap this afternoon, I never got around to making a sign and taking a picture of her with it.  Maybe this weekend.

Natalie's Vital Stats: No doctor's appointment this month so everything is estimated!
- Height: about 27.5 inches
- Weight: More than 14 pounds for sure, maybe close to 15 now?!

Mommy's Vital Stats: Happy 28th birthday to me!
- Height: 6 feet or 72 inches
- Weight: More than Natalie

- She has become a pro at eating her oatmeal cereal in the morning and takes a full bottle of rice cereal/formula at night.  Her sleeping has gotten.....better I suppose.  Some nights are still better than others but for the most part she is a pretty good sleeper.  Maybe it's a mother's intuition, but I can always tell how the night is going to go based on how well she takes her nighttime bottle and falls asleep. 

- Natalie is a roly poly monster flipping from front to back and back to front.  She desperately wants to crawl but just isn't sure of all the mechanics of it.  I'm sure by next month's post she will be scooting all over the place!

- She had a few weeks of intense physical development where she was learning all sorts of new body movements (reaching and grabbing, rolling over, etc.) but that has kind of slowed down and now we are noticing a lot of emotional development.  She definitely knows Momma and Daddy and is beginning to reach for us and always gives us a big grin when she hasn't seen one of us in awhile.  She also has developed a funny little screech of joy when she is playing by herself.  It almost sounds like she is upset, but if you check on her she is just really enjoying chewing on her toes or playing with her animals.  Funny girl.

- It's hard to detect any real attributes and characteristics of hers at this point in time.  I know a lot of people like to try and make grand assumptions about babies future personalities based on their behavior but I think that when you say things like that ("Oh she has quite the temper!" or "I can already tell how stubborn she is going to be!") they become self-fulfilling prophecies.  I just want to enjoy her today however she is and not put any expectations on who or what she will become tomorrow, next week or next year.  But overall, she seems to be pretty expressive and engaging with people - she enjoys interacting with adults, children and especially Angie!  She is very curious about things going on around her - she loves to stroll along at the mall and just take everything in.

Here are a few pictures of what Natalie has been up to this past month:
While staying at Nonna and Grandaddy's house one night Natalie took a bath after which all the puppies had to come check her out of course.

Natalie and I went to church with Nonna and Grandaddy and she even wore my baby shoes!

She cuddled with all the puppy dogs on my old bed at my parent's house.

She tried rice and oatmeal cereal for the first time.  It took a few weeks but she is a really good little eater now.

After Craig's big basketball tournament he wanted to get something special for each of his women - I got some new work clothes and Natalie got an exersaucer!  She loves it because of the sounds and the new things to chew on and Craig and I love it because we can put her in it while we actually eat a meal together!

She what I mean?!  She really has become so much more expressive with her faces and her noises.  I can't wait to see how her personality develops!

We are working on sitting up independently.  She has the basic mechanics down but balancing is still an issue.

She played with her oldest cousin Alexander (7)......

and her younger cousin (but not for long!) Ford (4).

As for my parent's are coming up for a late lunch at my favorite restaurant Agave Azul and then Craig, Natalie and I are just going to hang out for the rest of the day and get everything packed and ready to go for our Las Vegas vacation.  Natalie will be staying the first night we are gone (the 8th) at her Grandmama's house (Craig's mother) while the other two nights (the 9th and 10th) she will be with Angie at my mom and dad's house.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

50 Questions in 5 Days: Part IV

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? My mom and dad just to reiterate to them how much I love them and how thankful I am and have always been to have them in my life.

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? Probably not seeing as how I'm already extremely attractive and have no desire to be famous.  Ha!  But all kidding aside...I'm pretty comfortable with the looks God has given me and I really do not want to be famous at all because of all the crap that comes along with it.

43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Ugh.  I hate questions like this.  I think everyone in life fluxuates between "being alive" and "truly living."  Sometimes life is strictly about survival through the day, week, month and even year.  But I like to think that the tides always change and after a survival period comes a time when you can stretch out, unwind and LIVE life.  I'm not sure which I'm in right now. 

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? For me personally, the "right" think to do is always the choice with the smallest amount of risk and the greatest reward.  I'm also okay with sacrificing a little bit of reward just for the security of knowing that my risk isn't that great either.  I think the biggest risk that I ever took was dating the hubs because we worked together, he was ten years older than me and at the time that we started dating both of us were dealing with A LOT of baggage.  But I suppose the reward was pretty worth the risk.

45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? I don't think you always KNOW that it's a mistake when you're making it.  Most of the time when I've learned from a mistake I didn't realize that it was a mistake until I looked back and thought "hmm...that probably wasn't the best decision I could have made."  So I guess that old saying is true "hindsight is 20/20" and therefore since none of us have crystal balls, we are going to keep making mistakes and learning from them - just as long as it isn't the SAME mistake over and over.

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I would probably speak what I'm REALLY thinking a lot more. 

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Strange question.  Probably when I was in labor with Natalie.  The pitocin made Natalie's heart rate drop dramatically after a massive contraction and therefore the nurses and doctors went into emergency mode and immediately put an oxygen mask on my face.  I was lying on my side facing the fetal monitor and I knew that there was obviously something VERY wrong and so I zoned out and stopped paying attention to what was going on in the room.  All I knew at that point was that when I breathed in really deeply, Natalie's heartrate increased and that was good.  So while our room was chaotic between nurses and doctors rushing in, out and around and our families nervously exiting the room I was focused on breathing in and out and making sure that my baby was alright.

48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I love lots of things and I think I openly express my love for them by continually doing them.  I love playing volleyball so I play games every week.  I love Natalie's giggles so I work tirelessly to get giggles out of her every morning.  I love cuddling with Angie at night while watching Chelsea Handler so I do it every night.  I love nightly swims and chats and drinks with Craig so we've made a habit out it. 

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that? I will remember going and helping Kate register at Babies R Us last night because it was just last November that Amy, my mom and I were doing the same thing.  I was so overwhelmed and confused about all things baby last fall, but now at the beginning of August I am a pro at navigating the aisles and products.  I already have forgotten what I did on Thursday so it obviously wasn't that memorable.  I will remember going shopping with Emily on Wednesday because it one of my first ventures back out into the fashionable world with my new post baby body. 

50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? That's what I'm working on.  I can make decisions for myself and my family but the tough thing is standing up and defending those decisions without always worrying that people are upset with me for making those decisions.

A Night Out

A Night Out

One sleeve dress
$113 -

Diamond jewelry
$9,100 -

Monica Vinader sapphire jewelry
$340 -

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekend Wear

And here is the other outfit that I came up with this morning.  This is totally something I can wear this fall when the weather is in that in between warm and cool stage (if it EVER cools down here in Texas!) when we go shopping or lunching on the weekend.  And of course - I would wear my Converse because they go with absolutely everything.

Weekend Wear

Striped shirt
$72 -

Current/Elliott short shorts
$63 -

Converse sneaker
$75 -

IMoshion leather handbag
$69 -

Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses
£60 -

Winter Weekend

I've been on Pinterest for awhile now and I love searching and scouring other people's "pins" to see all the great design and life style ideas that people come up with.  There are also lots of great outfits that are posted from this site called Polyvore.  I went there this morning to check it out and it looks like I might have a new addiction - it's like going shopping without spending so much money!  Hurray!  Here is one outfit that I've put together for this winter.  I love the bright coat (and for a reasonable price too!) as the statememnt piece with everything else around it more or less a muted color.  I really want to rock some knee high boots but I'm deathly afraid that they just won't look right on my body.  Hmm.....we shall see.
Winter Weekend

J Crew sheer top
£45 -

Army pea coat
$90 -

James Jeans skinny leg jeans
$88 -

Chinese laundry boots
$99 -

TopShop satchel handbag
$110 -

Jigsaw chain link necklace
£19 -

50 Questions in 5 Days: Day IIII

31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Playing volleyball for the first time in a year this past June.  It was just a pick-up game with seven other ladies at the gym but it reminded me of the person I was pre-baby.

32. If not now, then when? There isn't anything that I'm putting off right now.  I've done everything that I've wanted to do: marriage, traveling, baby, career...I don't know what the next task to accomplish will be or when it will present itself to me.

33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? I don't like losing so I only go after things that I absolutely know that I can achieve.

34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Uh probably not.  I walk away from every conversation feeling like there was always more I should have said, or a better and clearer way I could have gotten my point across.

35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Because people are human and have been given free will by God.  And that free will means they have the ability to distort the word of God which can lead to wars.

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? If you read the Bible it tells you in black and white what is good and what is evil, but sometimes recognizing those good and evil things or forces in your own world is very difficult.

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Nope.  I would invest a lot of it for college tuitions and retirement and then maybe buy a bigger house with lots of land further out in the country a bit.  But I would keep my job - I would be bored without it AND I don't think it would be enough to live on for the rest of my life without any other source of income.

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? I would love to have less work around the house to do.  I love my job and I love coaching, but I do wish that I had to do less of it during the actual season.  Coaching both seventh and eigth graders can get a bit exhausting during the season.

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Sometimes during the summer things do tend to get a bit boring and Groundhog Day-esque but luckily school is starting back up soon and we'll all get back on a schedule and things will be more interesting.

40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? Probably never.  There just hasn't been that much controversy in my life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

5 days and 50 Questions: Part III

21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? I can tell you from experience that life as a worried genius isn't as bad as it might seem.

22. Why are you, you? That's what I think I've spent my life trying to wrap my brain around.  And it's the most simplest of answers, but the hardest to understand - because God created me this way.

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? Recently?  Probably not.  But like everything else in life, relationships ebb and flow - it's always a give and take.  Right now, I'm taking but I know that I'll eventually get back to a place where I can give again.

24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? I think losing touch with a good friend who lives near you because there really isn't a good excuse for not keeping in contact except for "I don't like you anymore." 

25. What are you most grateful for?  Having God in my life and all the blessings that he has provided me - my family, my friends, my career, my puppy dog.  All of it.  I know how blessed I am.

26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?  Oh gosh.  This sure is a hard one.  On one hand I would lose all memories I have of my grandma but on the other I would never get to remember Natalie as a baby or little girl.  I can't choose.

27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?  I'm sure Christians who come by their faith easily would say yes - that their faith in God is unwavering and cannot be questioned.  But for me, I had to challenge the truth that I have come to accept in my life as my faith.  I had to hit the bottom to have Him help me back to the top. 

28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?  No.  Thank goodness.

29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?  Yes, actually it does because those times five years ago when I was at my lowest and extremely upset have shaped who I am and how grateful I am that I have my life today.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?  Playing dolls with my mom or listening to my mom and grandma talk to each other in Italian or French.  Both of these memories are important and special to me because they are memories that I want Natalie to have in her life.  I can't wait to get down on the floor with her and play dolls and I'm so excited to see the special relationship that will blossom between my daughter and my mother.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

50 Questions in 5 Days: Part II

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do? I would observe and listen for awhile and think of how to diplomatically and objectively voice a contradictory viewpoint.  I might even wait to let them know that she's my friend until the end of the conversation so that they really feel ashamed of themselves.  Is that bad?  Maybe.  But I would stand up for my friend by offering up well-crafted counter arguments to their statements.  I don't think I would be pushy or aggressive or rude about it though.

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Oh the conversations that Natalie and I have had at night when I am rocking her to sleep.  There is an infinite amount of information I want her to know and take with her for her life.  But one piece?  It would probably be - none of it matters.  None of the clothes, the popularity, the drama, the achievements...all that stuff that gets thrown at them through middle and high school and sometimes even into college.  It just doesn't matter in the end.  All she needs is her confidence, her sense of worth and her family and she'll do fine.

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? If the person was dying then yes.  But if they had broken the law themselves and were going to prison for it then no.

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? I think I've seen more the other way around.  What I thought was creativity really was a strong dose of insanity.

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? The way I eat.  I don't let my food touch.  I used to make forts with my celery and carrots around my ranch dressing so it wouldn't run all over the place.  And when I would eat pancakes I would carve out a square in the middle to put my syrup so it wouldn't run into the other things on my plate.  Even now when I eat at IHOP I eat the whole yolk of the egg in one bite because I don't like it spreading and touching my other food.

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? I don't know.  Just the way God built us I suppose.  How come the things that make other people happy don't make me happy? 

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back? I'd really like to have a wider spectrum of readers on my blog.  I need to get on the BlogHer network and put myself out there on other people's blogs that I read.  I guess what is holding me back is fear that they (the people whose blogs I read but have never met in person) won't like me or want to read my the fact that I really don't know where to start.

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Oh my goodness most definitely I am.  And that's a work in progress.

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I would move to England.  I would still be in a country where I spoke the language (more or less) and I would be super close to the rest of Europe for any and all the weekend travels and adventures that I want to have.

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? No, but I do hit the "door close" button once I get in there I don't like sharing the space with people I don't know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

5 Days, 50 Questions: Part I

My 28th birthday is on Sunday and due to circumstances outside of my state of mind has taken a really contemplative turn recently.  So I was stalking around on the internet and found "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind."  Don't mind if I do.  I would love to free my mind right now.  And since I have five (counting today) days until my birthday, I will do ten questions a day.

Here we go.

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I'll be honest.  I don't feel almost 28.  I watch MTV, play video games and my favorite cereal is Lucky Charms.  My iPod is probably ridiculously similar to my students'.  And they're thirteen.  I guess age really is a state of mind...and if that's true, I'm probably still closer to 16 in some aspects, but in others I feel way too wise for my age.  I was at the 30th birthday dinner for a friend of mine recently and she talked about how "at peace" she felt about turning 30 because she really knows who she is and where she belongs in her life and she is content with that.  I'm looking forward to being 30...and maybe more importantly, being out of my twenties.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? I know what I SHOULD answer but that would be lying.  For me, failing is just about the worst thing that could ever happen to me.  I would much prefer to stay on the safe side of things and never try.  Or at least just try the things that I KNOW I will succeed at.

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Yikes.  I should have read through these questions first...maybe I would never have started this project.  Um...I don't "like" doing the laundry or cleaning up after we eat.  But I do it because I "like" having clean clothes to wear and a clean house to live in.  Those are just minor things I suppose.  I guess that's one of the great things about being an adult - you get to choose to do more of the things you like to do so that the things you do but don't enjoy doing don't seem so bad.

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? I say plenty that's for sure.  It's probably one of my worse characteristics BUT I'd like to think that out of all the people out there that say they want to make the world a better place, I am doing it because I'm influencing (hopefully in a positive way) the lives of young people. 

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Hypocrisy.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? I would probably have the same job tha tI have right now.  I would teach middle schoolers because I love working with that age group, I love being in the classroom and I love having my summers off.

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? I absolutely believe in what I'm doing.  If I didn't, it wouldn't be fair to the kids.  I also believe that this is my calling and what God put me on this Earth to do - teach children and more importantly, provide a well-rounded role model for young girls.

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I'd be looking to retire.  I guess I probably would have had children earlier than 27 but other than that...I've traveled, I've partied, I've started a family and had a career...I've checked off most of the things on my "to do" list.

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? When I graduated high school I most definitely had a plan: go to college, graduate with honors, get a job teaching, get married and start a family.  I followed that plan.  Now...the one area that I didn't have control over?  Falling in love with one of the coaches in my coaching office who was ten years my senior.  That I did not expect.  And it took a LONG time for me to relinquish control of how I was feeling for him and just admit it - I was in love with him even though he was completely the opposite of what I THOUGHT I wanted, but he ended up being exactly what I NEEDED.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? All of the above.  I want to do the right things, the right way.  This can be a good thing.  This can also be my Achille's heel.

Alright.  That's it for day one.  See you back here tomorrow!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Day Book

Taken from my friend Molly who found it here.

Outside my is 8:45 and the trashmen just came and got the trash.  It's hot.  It's dry.  It's summer in Texas.

I am thinking...of what I will need to pack for Vegas and then what kinds of new outfits I will need to get for my 10 year (eek!) high school reunion that is August 12-13.

I am thankful for...Craig - he has gotten up early with Natalie the past two mornings and let me sleep in.  A rested Mommy is a happy Mommy.

From the learning rooms...We only have two more weeks of summer vacation left and I'm so conflicted.  I love, love, love the lazy, relaxed days of the summer but at the same time I enjoy having a schedule and something structured to do during the day.  I'm a little apprehensive about volleyball season and being away from Natalie so much, but I know that it will be okay because she will be in good hands. 

From the kitchen...we had my favorite "easy" meal last Friday night - chili dogs.  Yum.
I am wearing...shorts, t-shirt and a ponytail.
I am creating...different playlists on my new favorite app for my iPhone - Pandora internet radio.  I've listened to Pandora on my computer before, but just installed it on my phone.  I have a U2 and Kings of Leon station - gotta start Natalie off right by listening to the best kind of music.

I am Las Vegas with Craig a week from today for my 28th birthday celebration.  I'm so excited to get away and just hang out with Craig doing whatever we want, whenever we want but I'm so terrified that something bad is going to happen to Natalie while I'm gone and I'm not going to be there for her.

I am reading...and journaling a book that my friend Jill lent to me.  It's helping.  I'm feeling better.

I am hoping...that I'm able to find some cute clothes when I go shopping later this week.  Adjusting to my new body size is really difficult!

I am hearing...Natalie blowing raspberries while playing on her playmat.

Around the house...we are going to have to get our foundation checked out because we are noticing cracks in a few walls and in the tile downstairs.  Ugh...this could get expensive.

One of my favorite things...Pinterest conference calls with my friend Amy.  Last Saturday while Craig took Natalie shopping for my birthday presents Amy and I were on speaker phone with each other for 45 minutes just perusing Pinterest together looking for party ideas for our kids (Emma - LaLa Loopsy, Jake - Toy Story 3 and Natalie - St. Patrick's Day).

A few plans for the rest of the week: Clothes shopping for Vegas, school and my high school reunion.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Craig and me at the Wynn hotel for my 25th birthday.