Friday, August 31, 2007
Sometimes my schedule just seems SO BUSY! Kids to raise, a husband to feed and love, friendships to invest in, upcoming block parties, Bible Study, Baby Showers, Baby Births, Mom's Club Stuff, Community Involvement/Activities, Magnet Orders to fill, new/upcoming Graphic Art Design work for WhichWich? , a LONG OVERDUE family vacation at the end of this month, Birthdays, Anniversaries (Oct.8th for us!), and it just goes ON AND ON AND ON!!!!! I don't know why, but I've been consumed by this stuff lately. Usually I just roll with it, pile it on and drive it home....I thrive on being busy and am depressed when I'm bored, but there are times when I need to call a TIME OUT!
I was talking to Chris tonight after Bible Study about juggling all of this stuff and it seems I don't have enough time in the day! Our circle of friends is bigger, our lives are fuller so OF COURSE that means there will be more activities to fill our days and weeks with. I guess it's just keeping it in perspective and sometimes when you're in the midst of being "overwhelmed" it's hard to do that. I have brief moments when I miss being bored, I miss my life being ONLY about me and my family . . . organizing my cabinets and drawers CONSTANTLY, cleaning closets, going through dresser drawers, rearranging furniture, working on lots of little household projects.
And then it HITS ME! I wasn't as fulfilled then, I didn't have those moments like tonight just hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, and chatting while holding a newborn (LOVE IT!), watching my husband has some meaningless guy conversation :o) and the kids all run around playing... NOW THAT'S WHAT LIVING IS. That's what LIFE is truly about. It's not about the seclusion or isolation (don't get me wrong, it's nice to have those kind of days), but about filling your plate. Filling it with things you enjoy, things that make you so excited to get up and go. The reality of course is that not EVERY DAY is going to be filled with things like that, LIFE ISN'T PERFECT, and I guess asking or expecting it to be easy is just selfish and unrealistic.
I have been listening to a couple people telling me about death of loved ones recently and they both have two totally different outlooks on it. One, "At least she is with Jesus, her life is now perfect and complete." and the other "It really is such a shame, she was so young and still had her whole life to live, kids to raise, a new life to start and it's over, just like that!". I have pondered both of these statements and truly have begun to stress out about life and what it means to really live.
Is it enjoying your husband, children, parents, brothers and sisters and throw a friend or two in the mix. Or is it adding more and more people to your circle of trust (sorry, had to throw that line in there,I LOVE Analyze This! HA!) and with that comes MORE AND MORE things to DO?! Which in turn leaves less and less time for ME. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . . . .
If I talk to anyone about it I already know what I'll hear, "It's a combination of both." and blah blah blah. Words are words, actions are actions. I've never taken directions/rules very well as you probably know. :o)
It's getting late and I still have to finish cleaning my bathroom for the company we have coming in town this weekend. It'll be so nice to see Chris spending this weekend with ALL 3 of his brothers, their wives and all 6 (plus one due any day) cousins . . . that brings joy to my heart!!!
Hope you all have a GREAT Labor Day Weekend!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I saw this and just loved it so I wanted to share it with all of you...
A house is a house is a house -
until love comes through the door, that is.
And love intuitively goes around sprinkling that special brand of angel dust
that transforms a house into a very special home for very special people:
Money, of course, can build a charming house,
but only love can furnish it with a feeling of home.
Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch,
but love may decide to tuck a little love note inside.
Money can provide a television set,
but love controls it and cares enough to say no
and take the guff that comes with it.
Obligation sends the children to bed on time,
but love tucks the covers in around their necks
and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!).
Obligation can cook a meal,
but love embellishes the table
with a potted ivy trailing around slender candles.
Duty writes many letters,
but love tucks a joke or a picture or a fresh stick of gum inside.
Compulsion keeps a sparkling house.
But love and prayer stand a better chance of producing a happy family.
Duty gets offended quickly if it isn't appreciated.
But love learns to laugh a lot
and to work for the sheer joy of doing it.
Obligation can pour a glass of milk,
but quite often love will add a little chocolate.
~~ Author Unknown ~~
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friendships are funny, relationships in general are funny. You can have a "friend" for years and not really even know them. At the same time, you can have a friend for months and know more about them than anyone else does. "CONNECTION" : that's really what it is. How you connect to one another, what each of you bring to one another's lives. I have learned alot living here in Texas for the past 5 years. I went from my mid 20's to starting my 30's here, from no children to two amazing babies, from having a husband that I loved so very much to now having a husband that I ADMIRE,RESPECT & ADORE more than ever, from having no friends or established relationships to having a handful of people I truly love like my own family. I NEVER thought 5 years ago as I sat in my new apartment crying and missing my friends that I worked on knowing and loving while I lived in Florida, that I would have people in my life that seem like they've always been there!
Yesterday made me realize how AMAZING life is...seeing a new life start literally from day 1 and the innocence in that touched me in a way that I cannot put into words. I hugged and kissed my sweet friend goodbye and felt nothing but LOVE. That's one thing I adore about her...I NEVER feel anything but love from her. She is one of those people who does nothing but give! When I met her a year ago she reminded me of my very best friend in Florida . . . her heart is pure, her words are genuine and she inspires me to be better, to grow, she is an encourager and a supporter. To be honest I have only met but two other people (besides Chris) who are the closest in my heart to me, one I talk to almost every morning and the other I rarely get the chance to talk to but it doesn't matter because she has a big chunk of my heart and we both know the love that we share as friends and nothing can change it.
What amazes me is that in almost the time it takes from conception to birth of a new child, I have found and grown a solid friendship. I am so thankful for the place I am today, the direction my life is going in, the new friendships I've developed and are continuing to develop, my growing relationship and discovery of God and all the amazing stuff that goes with that, that I am overflowing with JOY!
So thank you to ALL of my friends, old and new . . . EACH of you bring such happiness to my heart and joy to my soul!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Just a little something for some fun...I can't believe how spot on these results are, it's just too funny!!!!!
Your Score: Big Bird
You scored 81% Organization, 75% abstract, and 62% extroverted!
This test measured 3 variables.
First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.
Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.
Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.
You are very organized, more abstract, and both introverted and extroverted.
Here is why are you Big Bird.
You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Big Bird is never sloppy and always under control... pretty good for a 6 year old bird living without a family.
You both are abstract thinkers. Big Bird is a dreamer who always wonders what the world is like. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by.
You are both somewhat extroverted. Like Big Bird, you probably like to have some time to yourself, but you do appreciate spending time with your friends, and you aren't scared of social situations. Big Bird is always very comfortable around others, but he often prefers the quiet low-key presence that Snuffleupagus provides.
The other possible characters are
Oscar the Grouch
Kermit the Frog
Hey, don't be a grouch! If you liked the test, let others know by rating it below. Feel free to vote for your favorite character too.My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
Thursday, August 23, 2007
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. ~George Washington Carver
One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade. ~Chinese Proverb
If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.~Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.~John Adams
You can understand and relate to most people better if you look at them -- no matter how old or impressive they may be -- as if they are children. For most of us never really grow up or mature all that much -- we simply grow taller. O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.~Leo Rosten
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.~Pablo Picasso
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.~Anne Frank
While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.~Angela Schwindt
There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child. ~Frank A. Clark
“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them”~Oscar Wilde Irish Poet
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Here are some pics of that first day with both of them. My Cesarean experience was an emergency and a total nightmare after 16hours of hard labor with Adrianna. But my Cesarean with Christopher was literally a dream, the entire day couldn't have been more perfect or amazing! Something very strange about feeling tugging but no pain and seeing a baby being lifted over a sheet crying, gosh I get the chills just thinking about it . . . That is a moment I will remember the rest of my life! PURE JOY!
ADRIANNA RIGHT AFTER HER BATH (still hadn't seen her yet, only daddy had the privelige of being by her side the entire time, you know he didn't leave her for a second!)
MY WONDERFUL DR. PULLING CHRISTOPHER OUT, WHICH BY THE WAY WAS QUITE AMAZING THE SECOND TIME AROUND SINCE I WAS AWAKE FOR THIS CSECTION!
CHRISTOPHER RIGHT AFTER HIS BATH
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Here it is, the lyrics follow....
I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life
Well, Ive been afraid of changing
cause Ive built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
Im getting older too
Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe the landslide will bring it down
There is something about walking into a school that makes me feel so good inside! I always LOVED school. Yes, I was totally the teachers pet, always the most organized (but not nerdy), I always sat in the front row directly in front of the teacher's desk (you know just in case while it was quiet and he/she sat down I could, you know bring my work up to their desk to ask a question but really just get a compliment on what I've done so far, HA! I really did love love love getting up every morning and rushing off to school, hey it got me away from my dad and stepmom and that right there was a big plus during that time in my life. You could say I was an overachiever for sure, but I didn't get involved in school. I don't know why. It could be because I went to about 8 schools in the 12 years. I also never really had my parents set the example of what "getting involved" meant. They weren't involved in the schools or our community or anything like that. My dad worked all day, all night almost 7 days a week and I was home with my stepmother who didn't like me, resented both my sister and I, and was overwhelmed suffering depression with her two small boys that she had when I was 12 and 15 years old. So life was hard in that house and this post isn't even meant to go in that direction so I'm going to stop right there! :o)
BUT, those teachers....man I LOVED my teachers! Especially my English teacher in the 10th grade. I actually had a BIG crush on him, he was nerdy but classy...I don't even know how to explain it but any of my high school friends reading this know exactly what I mean! :o) I really wanted to love English because of him, and wanted to participate even more, which I did of course but it was not a love of mine for sure! I was a math and science girl. I loved "problem solving" and "dissecting", seeing the inside of things that you normally just don't see everyday even though you know they are there. I also loved Spanish class!!!!!!! Now, besides loving my teacher, I really didn't like English and I HATED History, Geography and classes of that sort! Gym class always seemed like a waste of time (where's the learning there?) I did join a local gym at 16 and always did aerobics, at least 3 times a week but just hated the HS Gym scene. The girls looked like boys, their bodies were muscular but squatty, and even when they did get made up and looked girly, they never looked "feminine". Sports just weren't for me and still really aren't. I am "girly" and always have been.
Anyway, my HS years were okay. They weren't as traumatic to me as to some BUT they definitely could have been more. I always went to my best friend Meagan's house and admired her family life. She was involved in much more than I ever was and her mother knew everyone and everything about the school..THAT IS TOTALLY WHAT I AM GOING TO BE LIKE WITH MY KIDS! I think seeing how important it is to your parents to be involved in community, in the school system, in serving, well that DEFINITELY has influence in the way you grow up thinking what is important. We all want to be like our moms and dads don't we? Even though we don't admit it, I think we all do, especially if they are doing admirable, selfless things.
By being less selfish, by putting ourselves out there more, by giving to and not taking from as much, well Chris and I are both hoping that our actions are what impact both our children and help them grow up to be the people that I always wanted to be and FINALLY am becoming at 31 years old!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
So since my mom always made sauce on Sundays, that usually meant we had something with sauce again on Wednesdays, which was fine since it was always something totally different than Sunday, BUT one of my FAVORITE things she would make on MONDAY mornings were FRITTATTAS! Basically a pasta omelette...yummy!
Well, there's my Tid-Bit for you today!
Here's an easy recipe I found on the web since I don't have measurements, just make it by eye...
* extra virgin olive oil
* leftover cooked, sauced spaghetti (2-4 cups)
* 3-4 eggs (depending on amount of spaghetti)
* a splash of half and half (or milk)
* 2 good handfuls of freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
* salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat broiler. Drizzle enough olive oil in an oven-proof frying pan to coat the bottom. Heat pan over medium heat. Add spaghetti and spread out the strands to cover the entire pan. Let spaghetti heat-through stirring occassionally (about a minute or two).
Meanwhile beat eggs then add half and half, cheese, salt, and pepper. Add egg mixture to the pan. Let eggs cook, gently lifting up edges of the frittata to allow egg to run underneath and cook. When eggs are mostly set, pop the entire pan under the broiler until top is fully cooked and lightly browned (about one minute). Carefully remove the frittata to a platter and slice into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature.
My Notes: I usually do it in a pan on the top of the stove and just cover it those last couple of minutes to let the steam cook the top. You can even flip it if you're good at the whole "omelett-flipping thing". Now if you want to get fancy, add some mozzarella cheese, some spinach, mushrooms, ham, garlic, etc...makes a great dinner too!
But we did it! We had some help from a good friend of ours setting everything up using Microsoft Money and all I have to do is every Saturday, take about 15 minutes, download the statements and whalah, that's it. Seeing everything laid out on paper in front of me is definately what I need in order to move forward and although this may be a little difficult, to say the least, and I may not always like making the right choices, I know that we will start to experience some freedom sooner rather than later. It's really not too bad when you think of it and we all know how much I TOTALLY DON'T MIND CHANGE, I think it will be pretty great in the end!
So when I joked around to Chris about "livin' on a budget" all I could think about in my head was "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi...man I loved that song when I was younger (not just because it had my name in it, well that definately contributed to it,lol)!!!!!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
It can be so overwhelming at times being home with kids, and you can get so consumed by VERY unimportant things which results in losing focus. Well, "I'm a great mom even though I have bad days." and "I'm a loving wife despite any challenges and ups and downs that you go through in marriage". . . while those are truths in my life and in the lives of many women I know . . . that isn't it, that isn't all what it's about!
Being a wife and mother, and friend, those are only small parts of our entire being. If you think about us as humans and how amazingly we were created, well it makes you definitely want to step up a little. The more you experience and the more you achieve, the more powerful and stronger you feel and become. I was having my morning coffee and chat with my sister in law which is always one of my favorite ways to start my day and we got to talking about exercising and depression. She was telling me how "Dr. Laura" said once that when she diagnoses a patient as clinically depressed, the first thing she recommends is a strict exercise program. After I hung up the phone I got curious and wanted to read more...this is one thing I found
The brain chemical serotonin:
Serotonin is an important brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that contributes to a range of functions, including sleep and wake cycles, libido, appetite and mood. Serotonin has been linked to depression.
Some researchers have found that regular exercise, and the increase in physical fitness that results, alters serotonin levels in the brain and leads to improved mood and feelings of wellbeing. Some research indicates that regular exercise boosts body temperature, which may ease depression by influencing the brain chemicals.
Now I think we all pretty much know this and those of us who go up and down, back and forth on the exercise kick (like I always do!), know how good it feels when we work out and get physical but I always like to see a definition, it just enforces it for me! This post isn't a "Rah-Rah, go workout, you'll accomplish SO much more!" post, because the reality is that exercising doesn't create the miracle of achievement in all areas of you life. BUT, getting exercise, no matter whether it's the gym, swimming or going for a walk with the kids, it gets you OUT OF THE HOUSE and reminds you there is so much out there for us to do and get involved in. And knowing that when you do get some exercise, there is not only a physical thing happening but a chemical one too so take advantage of that, use that! Exercise makes you feel good, so of course when you feel good you want to do good things. That of course leads to feeling that great sense of achievement, and that sets the momentum going...feel good, achieve, feel good, achieve more...and so on.
Okay so as usual I'm getting off track here...I guess what I was trying to say at the beginning was just that I know there is so much more out there for me to do and for me to be. This past year of my life has really been a year of "coming into my own" for me. I feel stronger than I ever have, I feel loved more than I ever have, and I feel inspired in more ways than I can count. I have things coming into and being part of my life from all different directions - - - from the mom's club that I'm an assistant organizer for, to the Police Chief and the things he's involved in, the Zambia project our church and city now is being part of, doing graphics design work (which I NEVER thought I'd EVER do),being on the Social Committee for our HOA, sewing, baking, making more and more things using my own two hands instead of a piece of plastic to buy it with, having more friends than ever, and the list could really go on.....
So what's my point? Well it was a year ago this month that I met Kyle and Erika and they have become our closest friends outside of our family . . . now is all this life change over the past year, our friendship with them, our involvement in Resonate Community Church all just coincidence? I think not!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I just wanted to share it with you....
Here you go!
I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way
I watch the sunlight dance across your face
And i've never been this swept away
All my thoughts just seem to settle on the breeze
When i'm lying wrapped up in your arms
The whole world just fades away
The only thing I hear
Is the beating of your heart
Cause I can feel you breathe
It's washing over me
And suddenly i'm melting into you
There's nothing left to prove
Baby, all we need is just to be
Caught up in the touch
Slow and steady rush
Baby, isn't that the way that love's suppose to be
I can feel you breathe
In a way I know my heart is waking up
As all the walls come tumbling down
Closer than i've ever felt before
And I know, and you know
There's no need for words right now
I can feel the magic floating in the air
Being with you gets me that way...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Today was such a great day! I wish Chris was with me today to share in my joy and excitement. The kids BOTH went into their classes with ease this morning at church, which doesn't usually happen, Amanda sang beautifully, Kyle spoke about what their purpose for coming to Hutto was while keeping practically everyone engaged, we got to hear about another Church Plant getting started here and listen to their story which was GREAT, and the BEST part... well that was listening to a young girl, probably 18 yrs old talk about her missionary work she's involved with over in the Dominican Republic.
As I type this and think about everything she said I am choked up. I sat listening to her, admiring her, hoping to one day see Adrianna in the same position as her, full of amazement as tears rolled down my face non-stop. I couldn't help but remember my thoughts and dreams when I was 17 years old. I had dreams of "saving the world", dreams of "helping the sick and the poor", dreams of becoming a woman others would admire and aspire to be like someday. And I couldn't help but to feel a little sad thinking, why didn't I do that? Why didn't I go to another country to help the less fortunate? Why wasn't I up on a stage telling my story to a congregation of people, mostly older than me???? Well it was pretty obvious,it just wasn't my time.
Wow, the freedom in saying those words. The relief of knowing I didn't do anything wrong, it just wasn't God's plan for me at that time. Today was just another one of those moments for me when I felt like I understood why I am where I'm at today doing the things I'm doing. I'm preparing my children to grow up in a life full of meaning, full of purpose. What better way to see that than to see their parents experience it first hand and show them the way?
When Chris came home tonight, we took the kids to the pool where we met up with friends and just talked, laughed and splashed around (until 8:00!). . . those moments are the "Hallmark" moments that I just can't put into words! This is what life is all about...days like today.
Well now I'm relaxed . .. . .
Today is a great day! I am going to church (Lifepoint, one of our sponsor churches) to support a friend who is singing for the first time there (she's going to be the Worship Leader at our Church) and am SO excited that our Pastor is going to have a few minutes up there to tell everyone about the movement we are involved in. And to top it off, a great new friend of mine and her adorable little girls are coming too! After church everyone is coming over here to have some meatball subs while the kids play outside in the pool.
This is what Sunday mornings are all about, yes they are hectic, but tonight when I cuddle up to Chris on the couch I will feel fulfilled! We will drink a glass of wine and talk about the past week and our plans for the next one. My heart is so full today, even though my body is tired, my heart and spirit are in high gear! That's what helps me keep on going like I do.
Sit back and listen to a little Bocelli...