Wednesday, November 30, 2011

school mornings

Please excuse this post.
This is one of those posts I write for me.
So when I look back, I can remember what our mornings were like.
You probably won't find this to be one of my top 5.

Also, please excuse my camera.
She's dying I think.
Poor old girl.
Hasn't been the same since Mexico.
The heat and humidity got to her.

Our mornings.
I wake up about 7:20 and go downstairs and make her breakfast.
Today was vitamins, sausage, grapes, milk and oatmeal.
Always oatmeal.
Then I go upstairs and wake her up and carry her to our room.
This is about the only time I carry her these days.
Wish I could do it more.
But girlfriend is getting HEAVY!
 Then she gets all cozy in our bed and tries to wake up while she has her breakfast.
Yes. Breakfast in our bed.
On Chris' side.
He loathes the crumbs.
I tried making her eat at the table at the beginning of the year.
It didn't work.
This does.
Don't judge.
Here she is trying to wake up.
 Getting closer...
 And we finally take a bite.
 While she eats, I head down and make her lunch and pack her snack.
Today, cucumbers, string cheese, grapes, a tortilla, and trader joes chocolate star cookies.
With water to drink.
Ritz crackers for snack.
 And I start my coffee.
 Then I go back upstairs and prod her along.
She can be sluggish, this one.
Notice the mighty hunter, eyeing the sausage.
 He's creeping closer.
This particular morning, he snagged it.
I am usually quicker than he is.
But not this morning.
Little bugger.
He was pleased as punch with himself.
 Here we are all dressed.
(My poor camera.  This is a hideous shot.  The worst one yet.)
 And brush teeth.
 And then comes the absoulute worst part of my day.
Her hair.
She is tender headed like her mama.
It's not fun for either of us.
 After all that horrible hair brushing is done, we head down for shoes and coat.
This is the second worst part of my day.
She has a thing with socks.
They feel "wonky" to her.
Some days, it can take us 5 minutes to make them feel right.
We turn them wrong side out, we turn them right side in, we change feet, we change socks.
Today, they went right on.
Bless the sweet Lord.
 And of course, as soon as she got outside, she took a little detour before getting in the car.
I remember that first snow of the year.
Then I come home,
make my breakfast,
and get whatever needs done, done.
On today's agenda,
get the roast started,
wrap some presents,
finish Christmas cards,
(No newsletter this year.  I am sad.  No ink at Chris' office and they cost .49 a piece at copy stores. No thank you.)
figure out why the top of our Christmas tree isn't working,
meet a friend for coffee,
and read my book.
It's a rough life I lead.

Monday, November 28, 2011

catching up

I'm back.

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.

We did.
It was a whirlwind.
But it was nice to see everyone.

I promise I will have a better post soon.
With pictures.

But I am playing catch up.
Christmas cards.
Decking the halls.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 days of thankful - the last one

30 Days of Thankful - The last one

My Life

I don't know if I am going to get back on here until Thanksgiving is over, so I think I am going to sum things up.  Thank you so much for reading along.  It's been fun to remember all the reasons to be thankful, especially when life's little mishaps and mixups get in the way.

I am thankful I am here.

I am thankful for the people who surround me,
old friends,
and new ones.

I am thankful I get to see the sun rise and set everyday.
And that I get to get up in the middle of the night to chase away bad dreams, cause no one does it like mama.

I am thankful that I have plenty to eat,
and someone who helps me clean up the kitchen.

I am thankful for school harvest parties
and making chex mix to take to family gatherings.

I am thankful for stolen monday movie dates and breakfast dinners.

I am thankful for bedtime stories, family pictures, and everyday routines.

I am thankful I get to be home right now, enjoying my family, cause I know it is about to come to an end.

I am thankful for renewed health for my father.  I am so glad he is feeling good.

I am thankful for new Thanksgiving traditions we are embarking on this year.

I am thankful that every day I get to get up, and live this life.
I am thankful to God for giving it to me.

I am thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 20

30 Days of Thankful - Day 20


Disclaimer:  I realize I am skipping days (Paige!), but it is a busy time of year!

Aren't traditions grand?
I love 'em.

For example, today was Baby Polar Bear's birthday.
I can never remember the exact day,
but Ellie never forgets.
So he got a candle in his breakfast strawberries this morning.
He turned 5.

Whether big or small, I think they are so very important.

When I was little, we always had BLT's, kidney beans, and sun tea on the first warm day of spring.
Such a small thing.
But a sandwich never tasted as good as it did on that day.

And every year, my mom got this amazing tin of chocolates from someone she worked with.
She always saved the strawberry one for me.

And I got to put up the nativity every year, and we always made caramel corn to give to our neighbors around the holidays,
even George, who lived across from Wayne and Linda and scared the peewaddens outta me.

I try to continue things on for Ellie.
It is such an important job.

We do turkey cookies every year for our friends and neighbors.
And of course there is Benjamin.
We put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving every year,
and she is almost old enough to be trusted with the nativity.
She gets an ornament every year that depicts what she was into that year.
This year is a dolphin, of course.

We go home for the fair every year.
And go see my mama.

We look for the first robin, come spring,
but always get beat.
It is a contest that Paige and Mom started.
Whoever sees the first robin of the year, wins.
I swear Paige stands at her window starting Jan 1 until she sees one.

We carve pumkins on the 31st, not a day sooner,
and we have Jeff and Megan to pass out candy and go through the ever important sorting process.

Traditions make me happy.
They make me feel connected.
They bring back all the old memories.
The ones I never want to forget.

I am thankful for traditions.

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 18

30 Days of Thankful - Day 18

Alone Time

I am a social girl by nature.
Like being with my family and friends.

I am also an only child.
And I crave alone time.
Time to do whatever. I. want.

Chris understands this about me.
He understands that I need this time to function normally.
And he makes sure I get enough of it.
It really is best for all concerned.

Today, for example, I shopped and lunched all by my lonesome.
I had fun stores to look through.
I had my book.
I had a veggie quesedilla.
It was heaven.

Today I am thankful for alone time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 17

30 Days of Thankful - Day 17

My Friends

I love my friends.

There was a time when I didn't really have any close girlfriends.
I was very engrossed in my boyfriend
(i.e. Chris)
and spent all my time with him.
While he is, and always will be, my very best friend,
I am so glad I broadened my horizons.

A girl needs her girls.
And I have some of the best.

At any given time, I have no less than 12 women I can call on for whatever I may need.

I can really count on them to:
tell me if butt really does look fat in those jeans.
laugh at my stupid jokes.
meet me on a random Tuesday night for a glass of wine cause it was
"one of those days."
 invite me out to that new restaurant that I have always wanted to try.
 text me, just to say Hi.
watch my kid in a pinch, and love her as their own.
realize that my habit of being 20 minutes early is here to stay.

You've seen their pictures on here.
My gravy, are they ever lovin' gorgeous.
But they are so much more than that.
They are smart, and motivated, and witty, and wise.
They are healthy, and involved, and business women, and mothers.
And lordy, do they ever make me laugh.
Some of them I count on for advice, others for a pick me up.
Some for fashion advice and others to tell me when I am being less my myself.

I love them.
I hope they know that.
I hope they know how important they are to me.
I am so thankful for them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 15

30 Days of Thankful - Day 15

Stuff that doesn't deserve a whole post, but I am still thankful for...

jeans that fit
turkey bacon

basement dates
warm and toasty socks
my iphone

getting a card in the mail for no reason at all

learning to golf at a young age
coffee flavored Nips
long hot showers

a clean house
my old blankie that still makes an appearance when i am sad
(yes, i still have my lovey)

While I have a lot of big things to be thankful for,
I have a lot of little ones too.

Today I am recognizing those.
And am thankful for them.

What is one little thing you are thankful for?

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 days of thankful - days 13 and 14

30 Days of Thankful - Days 13 and 14

Being a Mom to Ellie

I skipped another day.

Good thing my next topic is another one I am extra thankful for, and therefore deserves 2 days.

When I was little I wasn't much into dolls.
I preferred my stuffed animals.

When I was a teenager, I didn't like to babysit.
I would much rather have fun on a Saturday night with my friends.

After college, children were the furthest thing from my mind.
I was far away from home, being on my own for the first time.

The first few years of my marriage I was having entirely too much fun to bring a kid into the mix.
Chris and I loved those first few years.

Then I got the itch.
And I loved babies.
Saw babies wherever I went.
Started thinking, maybe it was time.
We decided to start trying.
And wowza!
The next month we were pregnant.

I had a fantastic, easy pregnancy.
Gained only 25ish pounds.
Felt good most of the time.
No serious morning sickness or complications.

I had a horrible, horrendous, awful delivery.
I had taken Bradley classes.
Was going all natural, baby.
Went into labor on my due date.
Spent 24 hours laboring at home.
Left for the hospital when contractions were 4ish minutes apart.
I thought for sure I was 6 or 7 cm.
I was shaky and sick to my stomach.
My water broke as we were walking into the hospital.
I was 1 cm.
Paige was my doula and she met us there and told me that now things would really get going.
They didn't.
I labored for another 20 hours unmedicated.
I tried every possible thing to get things going.
 I never got past 4 cm.
Ellie's heart rate started to drop.
I had a c-section.
I was so doped up and exhausted I barely remember anything.
Except the very cute anesthesiologist who had the unfortunate job of holding my puke bowl.
It was not the experience I wanted.

However, the outcome was more than worth the trouble.
Ellie was 8 pounds 3 ounces of perfect.
And I fell in instant love with her.
I was kind of a mess after the delivery.
I was tired.
I was in pain.
And I wanted my mom.
Ellie must have known to be a good baby.
She was a fantastic eater and sleeper right from the beginning.
And always a happy little thing.
 I will admit though, those first few months were hard for me.
I missed my independence.
I missed Friday nights out with my husband.
I missed my sleep.
Looking back, I probably had a touch of postpartum depression.
But I was so in the middle of it all, that I didn't recognize it for what it was.
 But about 6 months in we hit our groove.
I started to really enjoy her.
We got our routine down and she became fun to be with.
And not just something to take care of.
(Gosh, does that sound awful?  Apparently, this is also 30 days of truthful.)
 Kids let you live your childhood all over again.
You remember how fasicinating snow is.
How fun it is to make cookies.
You remember how hard it is to learn to ride a bike.
And how having a friend over is like a vacation.
You remember how staying up past your bedtime is exciting.
And how swinging makes you feel like you can fly.
You remember how scary storms can be.
And how much a skinned knee hurts.
 Being a mom is freaking hard work though.
When they are tiny, you are responsible for keeping them alive.
And you are convinced that it will only get easier.
At some point, she will be able to tell you when she is hungry or when she is cold. 
And you won't worry that the blanket is going to suffocate her at night.

Then they get older and you realize the real work is just starting.
Now you are responsible for making them good people.
Making sure they know how to share.
And what hurtful words can do.
Making sure they give respect where respect is due.
But teaching them to stand up for themselves.
Making sure they are safe but giving them some independence.

I can only imagine how hard it is going to get.
Mean girls.
Letting her go.
I don't want to even think about it.
 I wavered back and forth and back and forth and back and forth on whether or not to have another.
It was a difficult decision.
But she will be my one and only.
(Unless we decided to adopt, which is still on the table, which is a whole nother post.)
 She is everything I thought she would be.
And 100 times more.
She is funny.
And dramatic.
And clever.
And sweet.
 She loves dolphins.
She loves to swim.
She loves her friends.
And she loves school.
 She talks back.
She is whiny.
She is far from perfect.
And that is why I love her so.

I am not the perfect parent.
I lose my patience, more than I would like to admit.
And I probably expect too much from her.
But she loves me anyway.

She is all mine.
Forever and ever and ever.

For that, I am most definitely, thankful.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 12

30 Days of Thankful - Day 11


I love books.
I love everything about books.
I love how they smell.
I love where they take me.
I love talking about them.
I love sharing a good one.

 I feel so sorry for anyone who doesn't like to read.
I can't even imagine it.

I will read anything.
Historical fiction.
Teen fiction.
Children's books.

I come from a long line of book lovers.
My mother and Aunt Linda were librianians.
And nearly everyone in my family reads.
I think I have passed my love of books onto Ellie.
I better have.
Cause if she doesn't like to read, she is no daughter of mine.
She did recently read her first book, cover to cover.
It will live on as one of my finest memories.

 I was looking through my pictures to see if I had any of books.
And realized I am forever taking pictures of books.
I have about 107 pictures.
I guess you take pictures of the things you love.

I don't know if I could list my favorites.
There are so many.
But I will give it a try.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Outlander series - Diana Gabaldan
Twilight series - Stephanie Meyer - don't hate.
Hunger Games series - Suzanne Collins - teen fiction has come A LONG way.
Sky O'Malley series - Betrice Small - so smutty.  but so good.
Ghengis series - Conn Igguluden
The Long Walk - Stephen King

Those are the ones that stand out as books I would recommend to someone.  I also love the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, Water for Elephants, anything from James Patterson (which I tend to read in the summer cause he is so easy), Harry Potter, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, anything from Jodi Piccoult, and anything dealing with the end of times (One Second After, My Life as I Knew It)
I could seriously sit here all day and list books I loved.

It would be a sad world without books.
I am thankful for books.

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 11

30 Days of Thankful - Day 11

My Country

Seeing how today is Veterans Day,
 I thought I would write about how thankful I am to live in America.

To live in America means:

We have the right to vote
or not to vote.

We have the right to speak our minds without persecution.

We have the right to wear pajama pants outside.
To the grocery.
To pick your kid up from school.
To restaurants.
Personally, I think we should forfeit this right.
We are fortunate we live somewhere
where bullets and war aren't part of our everyday lives.

We are fortunate we live somewhere where
girls are treated as equals to boys.

We are fortunate we live somewhere
where the vast majority of us have everything we need, and then some.
Even if we don't think we do.

As a country, we have problems.
Of course we do.
Occupy this.
Horrible housing market that.
A corrupt leader or 20.

But I think, overall, we have it pretty good.
I am thankful for my country.

And I am thankful for all the men and women who serve in the military.
To keep me and mine safe.
Thank you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 10

30 Days of Thankful - Day 10

Lazy Days

I have enormous amounts of time lately.
Ellie is in school from 8:15 to 3:30.
And I don't have a job.
The plan all along was to get a job when Ellie started school.
Then Noonie got sick.
And I am kinda in limbo.
Do I get a job, just to have to quit when it comes time that he really needs me?
Or do we just stick it out for awhile longer with one paycheck?
Decisions Decisions.
I have a few resumes out.
Am looking into things.
Trying to find just the right fit.
But for now, lots and lots of time.
I try and be productive most days.
My closets are the best shape they have ever been in.
My laundry is always caught up.
Never a dish in the sink for long.
Ellie (and Chris when he wants one) get a healthy lunch packed.
A nice dinner is on the table... most nights.
I volunteer at school.
I also try not spend a lot of money.
This one is HARD.
It is amazing how a trip to Target for little girls tights,
turns into $50 worth of stuff I just had to have!
Or how often I want to meet a friend for lunch or coffee.
I have lots of time,  and it is hard not to want to get out and see what's happening.
Chris is great.
He tells me to enjoy it while it lasts.
To do the things I want to do.
Love that man.
But it's weird.
I feel slightly guilty.
Like a kept woman, if you will.
I want to be contributing more than I am.
Add a little $$ to the college fund.
I guess I am feeling a little useless.
A little underutilized.
A little bored.

Woe is me, right?
All in good time I suppose.
It will work out.
It always does.
But yesterday.
Oh my.
I did nothing.
Now, granted, I was just this side of a nasty cold, not feeling well.
And I took that and ran with it.
Took Ellie to school,
and came home and put my comfy pants back on.
Layed in bed all day,
with a kitty curled up next to me,
and watched my dvr'd Biggest Loser,
and 4 episodes of Animal Cops Detroit.
Throw in some coffee and tomato basil soup,
and you have had yourself one lazy day.
Some days you just need a day like that.
And I am thankful for them.
And PS.
I didn't spend a dime.
I just posted and re-read that and realized how spoiled I sound.
I was going to change it, but you know what?
It's real.
It's what's happening right now.

I am enjoying this time.
It's fantastic.
I love my life.
I try and live in the moment, enjoy every second.
Cause it is going FAST!

I am just looking forward to the next chapter.
That's all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 days of thankful - days 8 & 9

Yesterday was just one of those days.
Ellie missed Monday at school cause of a bad cold.
Which means I got nothing done.
So I did all that yesterday and then when she came home from school,
she had 8 pages of homework/missed work.
In kindergarten?

I was watching my shows last night,
(NCIS Los Angeles...Hello Chris O'Donnell!)
and I got a text from Paige.

"So, I want to go to bed!  What are you thankful for today???"

Meesa forgatsa something...

I had planned on talking about my family yesterday.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized they deserved 2 days anyway.
I am that thankful for them.

So without further delay...

30 Days of Thankful

My Family

I have been blessed beyond blessed to be given the family I have.
I really could go on and on about every single one of them.
And how much they mean to me.

This is Mom's side
A few notes about Mom's side:

Aunt Linda is one of the best people I know.  She is kind and giving and will do anything for anybody at any time.  Plus, she makes a mean rice crispy treat. 
Since my mom died, we have become very close and she has taken on the "grandma" role for Ellie.
Uncle Wayne.  He is my go to find it guy.
"Hey Wayne!  Be on the lookout for such and such!"
And a week later, such and such is in your possession.
He also knows how to fix anything.  And is very very involved in the community.
Paige and Ken have a fantastic love story.
That deserves a post all on it's own.
And I will get to that someday.
Paige is the closest thing I will ever have to a sister and I love her to pieces.
She is my advice giver, and book sharer, and salsa maker.
She is super classy and a fantastic hostess, really knowing how to make you feel comfortable in her home.
And Ken is that person who can seriously do anything he sets his mind too.
He is also my dentist :)
And when I was a kid I had a massive crush on him.
Andy is insane.
In a good way, but you never quite know what your are going to get with Andy.
He is brilliant and motivated and a fantastic businessman.
And then there are the young people.
A fanastic group of kids.
Nick and Tanner and Quincy and Isabella.
They are fun and funny and smart and respectful.
Spoiler Alert!
I am going to do a seperate post on my parents, so I will talk about Noonie then.

 Dad's side
As you can see, Dad's side is a titch bigger.
And there are a lot of people not pictured!
Now technically, have of these people are Deckmans.
And while not technically family,
they are family all the same.

A few notes about Dad's side:

Judy and Randy
They are the rock of this side of the family.
Judy's brother died when Judy was young (24ish?)
She had 2 young daughters and adopted his three children.  2 teenage boys and a 10 year old girl.
That is the kind of people Judy and Randy are.
She is the aunt I would run too when I was mad at my own mom.
She would feed me fruitty pebbles, tell me it wasn't so bad, and send me home.

I wish I could tell a story about everyone one on this side, but you see that picture.
It would be a novel.
But I can say, that when we go home, Ellie is gathered in, with hugs and kisses.  She is never forgotten, even though we live far away and she is not a part of everyday life there.
And when Dad was in the hospital this summer, almost every single one of those people pictured came to see him and keep me company.
They are fantastic in a crisis.
I love them.  And I love them.  And I love them.

My family by marriage
And then there is the family I was fortunate enough to marry into.
Chris has a younger brother and sister.
And I have watched them grow up,
cause we have been together that long.
So I have known them, like, forever.
We have such a good time when we visit.
And Ellie is the only niece/granddaughter, etc...
and is spoiled rotten by them.
We play games and they are, by far, the most competative people I have ever known.
I knew I was one of them when they hooped and hollared when they beat me at aggravation.
They are fantastic people and I am blessed.

I am thankful for my family.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 7

30 Days of Thankful - Day 7


Lord have mercy.
I love me some seasons.
I don't know if I could live in a place without seasons.
Every year in February, I swear I could, but mostly, I love 'em.

They have always taken on personalities for me.
Is that weird?

Spring is a fickle lass.
She is pretty as a picture but can never make up her mind.
Spring brings new green grass.
And flowers.
And colors.
And the smell of Fresh.
She brings robins.
And Easter.
And the first warm days.
She has also been known to bring a late snow shower.
When she is in a bad mood.
Or lots and lots of rain.
When she is feeling weepy.

 Summer is a favorite around here.
We like him a lot.
He is strong.
And bold.
And very warm hearted.
He brings sunscreen.
And the smell of chlorine
And tan lines.
And flip flops.
He brings later bedtimes.
And beers on the front steps.
And long visits home.
And fireworks.
He is welcome anytime.

 Fall has a fashion all her own.
She is gorgeous.
And likes to show off.
Her favorite colors are bright orange and shiny yellow.
She brings apples.
And pumpkins.
And sweaters.
And the start of school.
She brings leave raking.
And turkey.
And the first fires in the fireplace.
I think she is so showy cause her time to shine is so short.

Oh Winter.
He is a good old chap.
But he tends to wear out his welcome.
He starts out great.
He brings snow.
And Santa.
He brings hot cocoa.
And family get-togethers.
He brings cuddles under the blankets on extra cold nights.
And the rush of a sled down a hill.
He brings mittens.
And rosy cheeks.
And a cold or two.
He has a hard time leaving.
He likes to hang around.
Bless his little heart.

But spring always pushes him aside.

And it starts again.

I am thankful for seasons.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 6

30 Days of Thankful - Day 6

My Kitties

There's Hoosier.
She's enormous.
And while isn't mean, isn't a lover either.
Poor thing looks like an opened up pillow pet.
She is 11.
My first baby.
We got her in Virginia.
Everyone is terrified of her.
They just don't know her.

 Then there's Atticus.
I have written enough about Atty for you to know how in love I am with him.
He is rotten to his very core.
But cute enough to get away with it.
He terrorizes Hoosier.
And keeps me awake at night with all his "cuddles."
But I don't even remember what our house was like before this little spitfire.
He wants to know your business.
He wants to be in the middle of your business.
He wants to own your business.
Christmas is going to be a nightmare around here.
He is going to be into EVERYTHING.

They shed something fierce.
Poop more than normal cats, I am convinced.
Vomit hairballs constantly.
And fight all the time.

The second one jumps in my lap for some love,
all is forgiven.

I am thankful for my cats.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 days of thankful - day 5

It's gonna be a quick one.
Bedtime is upon one of us.
The other two of us have a movie calling our names.

I am thankful for my blog readers.
You and You and You and You.

This space has become so important to me.
My creative outlet.
My memory.
My way to look back.
And I am thankful for it.

Thank you for reading.