Thursday, April 26, 2012

I am a Warrior!

In my life, I can count on one hand the number of things that I have done where I truly was terrified and completely unsure of my capabilities.  

NUMBER ONE: Traveled through Europe for two weeks with my good friend Kristin.  We managed to have a great time, not get our money stolen and never missed a train or flight.

NUMBER TWO: Studying for, taking and passing the Texas state exam that certified me to teach 8th though 12th grade math.  I did it all while seven months pregnant.

NUMBER THREE: Preparing for and completing my first ever 5K run complete with mud and obstacles, all finished with a pulled pork sandwich and a beer.  Mission.......accomplished.

The main stage at the run.  Despite the thousands of people that were there either participating or as spectators, the event was run incredibly smooth and organized.

My clean sneaks before the race.

Me and my sister-in-law, Laura.

The finish line of the race.

About to hit the fire.

Ugh.  I miscalculated my entry into the mud and ended up with a face (and mouth) full of mud.  Gross.

Getting through the gunk.

You don't want to know what my shower looked like after I washed all this stuff off.

Emerging from the mud - the hardest part was getting up that slope while simultaneously trying NOT to bust my butt in front of all the spectators.

Treading carefully.

Crossing the finish line!

All done!  We worked really well together - kept up a good pace and encouraged each other through the obstacles.  We've already decided that we will be doing this race again next year with a goal to finish in under 45 minutes.


Dirty sneaks after the race.

My "free" Warrior t-shirt and the ten dollar shirt we bought for Natalie.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life Lately

Things have been pretty calm around our house lately - nothing too major to report.  So here are a few pictures of what Natalie has been up to recently.

"Say what?!"

I plan to thoroughly embarrass her with this someday during her teenage years.

Those sunglasses stayed firmly in her hands the entire afternoon while she played with her water table but never once did she actually try to put them on her face.

Playing in the water, throwing animals, dumping over the tower and then.........face plant.

I don't think it turned out quite like she had planned.

That hair down the middle of her nose kills me but I just can't bring myself to cut off any of her locks quite yet.

Love her big blue eyes.

Ajax resting comfortably in the dirt and far away from the water.

Angie looking dignified while basking in the sunshine.

Sweet girl.

Sweet girl did NOT expect the tartness of a Sonic Strawberry Limeade!

Drying off after a fun hour playing in the backyard.

Shortly after decimating her Easter basket.

We totally used the same basket as last year and just filled it with a few books from the dollar aisle at Target, a cute bunny sippy cup (which Angie has already destroyed), her favorite goldfish and a few Bert and Ernie characters.

The best picture of her in her Easter dress that I could get - Easter was not a fun day for her.

But THIS certainly did her her get into a better mood.  We had dinner at my parent's house around 5:00 and she was just exhausted so I took her in the back bedroom and rocked her to sleep.  But now she is definitely hovering around 25 pounds and is over 31 inches long.  No more can I comfortably accommodate a sleeping child in my arms and there was no pack n play out and available.  So what is a mother to do?  Use the dog bed.

Cool girls in our swag shades.

Mommy and daughter running shoes.

Wearing a pretty dress to go to the big boy's school with Ms. Rebecca.

Her personalized backpack that she takes to Ms. Rebecca's house full of all her goodies.

Excited little girl!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Here's a weekly insight into my life and a chance for me to debrief my own brain and sort out my thoughts.

This is where you can find other daybookers.

Outside my window...we've had a respite from the already sweltering heat that March brought with it although I'm afraid that it won't last for long and we'll quickly be back up into the 80s temperature wise.

I am thinking...that I might die this weekend.  Well, figuratively.......not literally.  I have my Warrior Dash on Saturday morning with my sister-in-law and I'm terrified because my work-out regime didn't really work out too well for me.  Ugh.

I am thankful...that Craig is home to fight the bedtime battle Natalie is currently waging because I fought the naptime battle this afternoon and it's his turn in the hot seat.

In the kitchen...I've been making some good stuff lately!  Last week was Taco Pasta Salad and tomorrow night we're having homemade pizza!

I am wearing...make-up!  And my hair is straightened!  Hurray for a long morning nap by Natalie!

I am creating...a list of all the things that I would like to do this summer but that is already saved for an entirely separate post.

I am the doctor tomorrow afternoon.  I've had this weird (and painful) bump on my hand for about a month.  Last week at a doctor's appointment I found out it was a ganglion cyst (don't Google it - I did and it's GROSS) and tomorrow I'm headed to a orthopedic hand specialist to see about getting it either drained or removed.  Hopefully this doesn't wreck my plans for Saturday!

I am wondering...when (and if) Craig and I will get a full night's sleep again.  If it's not Natalie, it's the pups and if it's not the pups, it's a thunderstorm or my own personal nightmares.  Sigh.

I am reading...1Peter from the Bible.  Tuesday night is the last night of my 10 week Bible study on this particular book.  I'll admit that I'm relieved to have another night free to spend at home with Craig and Natalie but I've really enjoyed the new friendships I've made and all the interesting and enlightening conversations and discussions.

I am hoping...that my hand gets drained tomorrow and that it's not too painful.

I am looking forward to...a summer vacation with a toddler full of swim dates, trip to the zoo and aquarium and lots of reading.

I am learning...that perhaps I didn't just "suffer" after Natalie's birth so that I could learn something about myself, but instead so that I could be a solid sounding board and source of support for my friends experiencing a similar path.

Around the house...although things are relatively organized and picked up, I can tell that it's a "Martha" week and I'm ready for her to come on Friday and give the house a deep scrub.

A favorite quote for today...I am terrible with quotes.  Really, I am.  

One of my favorite things...having lunch and catching up with one of my college roommates Lauren and her baby boy Bennett.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Last Tuesday night Bible Study, volleyball (hopefully) on Wednesday and Craig has lots of basketball practices.  And of course......Warrior Dash on Saturday.

A picture I'm sharing: My roommate Lauren and I a VERY long time ago getting ready to go out on Fry Street in Denton.  Having lunch with her this afternoon reminded me of how much I enjoyed our year of living together.  She went through a bunch of crap with me and for that - we are forever bonded.  Plus she's super stylish and funny and gorgeous and we can cut through the BS with each other and get to the heart of the matter.  I love friends like that.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Short Story

The other day it was just me and Natalie at home and I was working in the kitchen putting groceries away while she was running around the house pushing her walker (with Ernie in the seat of course).  Since our entire downstairs is either laminate wood or tile so I could tell where she was and what she was doing by listening to the scraping of the walker and the patter of her little footsteps.  I was keeping an ear out for the tell tale signs of where she was and what she was doing when I suddenly heard deafening silence followed by the soft shutting of a door.  Standing at the stove, I glanced through the dining (okay, storage) room and into the front entry way where I SHOULD have seen a thirty-one inch tall, curly headed little girl looking back at me while she stood behind her walker and beloved Ernie.  No such luck.  I had a sneaking suspicion as to where she might be - clever as she is, at this point in the game, I'm still smarter than her.  As I approached the door to the 1/2 bath that is located just off the entryway I noticed it was slightly shut.  I gently pushed it open and sure enough, out of the pitch black darkness erupted the precious giggle of a little girl who was VERY proud of herself.  I flicked on the light and there she was - standing in the dark bathroom perched behind her walker, my sneaky, clever and absolutely adorable daughter.  I ushered her out of the bathroom and needless to say......closed the door firmly behind me as I exited.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Daughter of Mine

You might call it Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I prefer the term idiosyncrasies.  You might say anal retentive, while I would classify it as organized and efficient.  But regardless of the terminology, the truth of the matter is.........I've got some quirks.  They're such a part of my daily routine that I hardly notice that I do things a little differently than most people, until someone points it out that I don't allow my food to touch.  Or that I have all my clothes hanging in the same direction, organized by sleeve length and all hanging on white hangers.  I'm sure I could write a novel how this kind of behavior is rooted in some sort of need for control and a fear of change but I don't have the time nor the energy.

And this post really isn't about me to begin with - it's about Natalie.  Or more importantly, how this behavior of mine affects her and the person she becomes.

I constantly have to remind myself that even though she inhabited my body in the most intimate of ways - she is not an extension of me.  I do not own her and I cannot expect her to be an exact replica of me.  She will have her own personality traits, her own unique perspective on life and her own voice that she will hopefully use to do great things.

All the time, I find myself making comparisons and picking her apart to find myself instead of appreciating the wholeness that creates HER.

Already I have to force myself to put aside my own "quirks" and embrace the fact - or even REJOICE - that at this time she seems not to have inherited those aspects of my personality.  She, quite frankly, does not care if her food touches - even though I do put it on her tray in nice and neat little piles clearly separated.  Nor does she mind throwing puzzle pieces around the room or mixing up her Little People animals (some go with the ark and others with the jungle) whereas the idea of toys mixing and pieces getting lost causes my chest to tighten up.

Part of my initial PPD reaction when Natalie was first born was the fact that she looked NOTHING like me.  Not one smidgen of me in her tiny little face.  I was crushed.  I felt no ownership of her because she bore no resemblance to me.  She didn't feel like mine - I felt like a carrier for an heir to my husband's family lineage.  Over the course of her first year I desperately searched her facial expressions and developing personality traits for any sign that she was indeed my child.

I read an interesting article the other day about women and their fears about having children that are "different" from them.  Different in the article meant a jock when the mother is not athletic or extroverted while the mother is introverted.  In some aspect, I could relate - there are so many things in life that I hope to share with Natalie: athletics and physical activity, Harry Potter, playing dolls and coloring.  My heart aches to be able to one day share those loves of mine with her.  But then there are things that I absolutely do not want to pass onto her.  I do not want her to feel overwhelming anxiety.  I do not want her to be obsessed with perfection.  I do not want her to worry about everything that comes out of her mouth and how it might affect other people.  I do not want her to wear her heart on her sleeve so much that it is ragged, ripped and weathered by the time she is 28.

So what am I supposed to do?  Children do not learn from words but instead through actions.  I can tell her til I'm blue in the face how to live a contented life free of the anxiety that consumes me, but if I can't demonstrate and model it for her..........

Or she could be just like her Daddy and I'm worrying over nothing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Here's a weekly insight into my life and a chance for me to debrief my own brain and sort out my thoughts.

This is where you can find other daybookers.

Outside my window...storms are starting to roll in from the west.  Over the radio on my way back to school from lunch the emergency alert system was in effect, warning people about tornado outbreaks and warnings.  All winter I was terrified that this spring would be absolutely awful for storms due to the mixture of our VERY warm air and the VERY cold air coming from up north.  Sigh.  At least my under the stairs shelter is all ready for us to go into if need be this evening.

I am thinking...about how to weave teachings from the Bible into my daily life.  How do I still be ME but yet the wife and mother that God calls me to be?

I am thankful...for Pinterest because it has breathed new life into my cooking regime lately.  I enjoy cooking because every recipe is a challenge - can I make my dish look like the one in the picture?  So far this week I am two for two with the slow cooker pot roast on Sunday and spinach and cheese lasagna roll-ups last night.

In the kitchen...whoops.  Well - you have already read about what I've been cooking.  Thursday night is tacos for us and then I'm making pineapple au gratin and broccoli cheese casserole for Easter at my mother's house on Sunday evening.

I am wearing...a pony tail, Garth Brooks concert shirt, Under Armour shorts and old tennis shoes.

I am shopping lists.  About a week ago after we came home from a grocery trip sans list I almost had a panic attack because there were so many things that I had forgotten to get at Target.  I just can't live my life without lists.  I'm really making a concerted effort to plan out meals and to dutifully write things down when I'm running low.

I am the doctor on Friday - I've had this weird bump on my hand that has been rapidly developing over the past month.  Strange, I know.

I am wondering...what would happen around the house if I just stopped working.

I am reading...not really anything right now.  I've been stuck in the middle of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest for about a week - it's just not my favorite book from the series and the plot/characters is/are really complicated, heavy and confusing.

I am hoping...for some district records to be broken in the 400m dash tomorrow at our district track meet.  I have both an 8th grade boy and a 7th grade girl that are about two seconds (literally) away from smashing the district record in each of their age-gender divisions.

I am looking forward to...Easter Sunday.  I'm getting up early and going to church (probably by myself, but that's a whole different blog post) and then having brunch at Craig's mother's house and dinner at my parent's home.

I am to lead through example. <----------Still learning this.  Now I'm learning how to lead through example without that example wearing a sourpuss expression on her face.

Around the house...I've done five loads of laundry in the past few days, cleaned out Natalie's closet of all her winter clothing, cooked up a storm and kept everything organized and clean.  I'm exhausted.

A favorite quote for today...Natalie finally said "hi mama" to me at Target the other day after I came out of the dressing room and met back up with her and Craig.  She's been saying "hi dada" and "hi dog-dog" for ages and I was starting to feel a bit left out.

One of my favorite things...the prospect of no after school track practices or meets.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Bible Study, basketball practice and a track meet - same as last week but at least at the end of this busy week I have a four day weekend to look forward to!