Monday, July 30, 2007

Back from Vacation

It's good to be home, to have my whole family together again, and to sleep in my own bed.
It's funny how the once plush king-sized hotel bed with an assortment of pillows, the billowy duvet, and extra-soft sheets can so easily be forgotten as I sink into my queen-sized familiar bed. The one that knows my every curve. Who's sheets are nearly 7 years old and who's duvet is stained with who knows what from my three kids and two dogs. It's also a wonder how the peace and quiet I was so in love with while Joe and I vacationed without the kids (and dogs) can so easily be filled with the sounds of two boys wrestling and a little girl trying to protect them both. (Joe says it's how the boys express that they missed each other while Jonathan was at camp for 2 weeks.) I do my best to ignore it all...until the wrestling laughs turn into fightin' words. Yep; we're home!
Our vacation was interesting, to say the least. It was to be our celebration for reaching 16 years of marriage. With Jonathan away at camp, we only had two kids to drop off with Joe's parents. Then it was off to Nashville to visit Joe's brother. It had been years since we'd been to Nashville and we were looking forward to exploring the city and seeing his new home in Franklin. We never made it into the city. His new home, however, is awesome. I kept thinking if the past 16 years had been different, this would be the ideal place to live. Such a different lifestyle than what we have. Not that I don't love our lifestyle, it's just fun to dabble outside of it every once in a while.
After a couple of days in Nashville, we made a stop in Chattanooga. We had high hopes here, too. After all, we'd read the recent article in Southern Living promising us a fun city, a clean city, a city robust in fun. What we found left quite a bit to be desired. But, this was an anniversary trip. Who really needed all that?
Our marriage has been full of dreams realized. The most prominent is the dream of our daughter. After losing Hope, I yearned for a daughter. It took Joe some time to join me but when he did, we were united in seeing the dream become reality. We have another dream we're trying to find a way to make reality. On this trip we thought we'd done just that. Only to find out, for now, it has slipped further from us. We're currently a little crushed, deflated, heartbroken.
But I think the best thing that came out of this anniversary trip is we learned that no matter what else happens around us, we have each other. Together we can always chase our life's dreams, relish in what we've achieved so far, and make the most of a not so great vacation. We're together and together we're home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A fun photo game

Backyard Fun II
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Friday, July 13, 2007

The Snack

Remember being a kid? There was always that one mom who bought the best snacks. She always had Kool-Aid made and those little paper cups ready to fill. It was always a treat to play at that house because you knew snack time would come. And once it did, you would take your place around the kitchen table, devour your Little Debbie Swiss Roll and drink down all of your grape Kool-Aid, except for the two drops that clung to the side of your Dixie cup refusing to let go. Then, you'd say "Thank you."
Things have changed since I was a kid. Today, my kids (and my neighbors' kids) enjoy popsicles and juice boxes out of my garage fridge, often without my knowing. Other than the fact that they need me to cut the popsicle wrapper for them, they don't include me in their snack time. So the privilege of snack time is gone, along with the thank yous.
Yesterday, I watched as my daughter ran home on the heels of a neighbor kid with two others in tow. They were running straight for the garage. (I knew they would by-pass all of the toys and beeline for the fridge.) Moments later, Millie was in the kitchen with 3 popsicles asking me to cut them open. I tried to explain to my 3 year old that you don't run to someone's house for snacks. If you've been playing there, the mommy may offer you a snack, but you don't run to a house and get your own. This was difficult for her to grasp. I cut them open. Seconds later, she was back to say someone else wanted one. She handed me the popsicle and I cut it open too. Then, I sent them all home. No one said, "Thanks for the popsicles Millie's mom!"
So, I'm moving the juice boxes and popsicles inside until further notice. See, when it comes to other people's kids...if you can't beat 'em, you gotta trick 'em.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ahh...sleep. It's a funny thing

I'm so not a morning person. Yet this morning I found myself awaking at 6:45 for a hair appointment, of all things! When you are approaching 40, I guess you kinda start taking anything you can get at the salon to cover your gray! So I rolled out of bed and joined the half of the world I never knew existed...the folks who start life early, who hit Starbucks before the crowd, who drive with dew-kissed windows on a summer morning. My appointment was at 7:30. It was the first time I'd done anything so drastic for my roots. And, it was the last time. My sleep is much too important to me. But, my hair looks fabulous, if I do say so myself. Worth it? Not sure.
My daughter's sitter came today. She was off last week for the Fourth and vacation, so Millie was a bit out of sorts with her. (I have to clarify that I have a 14 year old girl come for 4 hours a day, twice a week so I can run errands or clean the house without Millie in tow.) Anyway, around 2:00 Millie really was getting tired and I really needed to clean my bathroom. The sitter was trying so hard to pull Millie from my leg to no avail. Why is it so hard for a 3 year old to succumb to sleep? That's all she needed. A nap was the perfect solution. Instead, she and the sitter were hold up on the stairs... waiting for me to complete my domestic task. I took my time.
A while later, when we were taking the sitter home, Millie fell asleep. This put a stop to her cries for her Night Night. (Her Night Night is a threadbare, dirty--even after multiple washings--small, soft blanket of sorts she carries around. She must have it at all times...especially if she is upset or tired.) One minute, she was screaming for the Night Night, the next out cold. Unfortunately, she didn't stay that way for long. Waking up as soon as I removed her from the car seat, she asked for a movie. I put one in hoping she'd drop off to sleep once more. No such luck. The rest of the day was spent trying to persuade her to let me take her to the pool (she wanted none of that) and listening to her pitch fits about anything and everything. So I ask you, why is it so hard for 3 year old to succumb to sleep? A nap is treasured gift at my age. Why is it fought with such resistance at hers?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Before I get too far into this...

Let me introduce you to my family.
My hubby is Joe. As I've stated, we've been married a long time! It will be 16 years next month. I guess somewhere along the way, we got old. Other than a few aches and pains, we really don't feel old and can still be caught in bed at night laughing hysterically and goofing off. Our marriage is a spirited one. We scream as much as we laugh; no apologies. We are just real. And, it seems to be working. We met my first day at college, he a year older than I. It wasn't until October 24, 1986 that we had our first date...Cheap Trick concert.
I mentioned we have 4 kids. In order, there is Jonathan, Hope, Porter, and Millie.
Jonathan is 12. He is intelligent, outgoing, and everybody's friend. I am in awe of his qualities. There is quite a bit I can learn from him. The key is balancing that with all I have to teach him!
Hope would be 10. She was stillborn on October 24, 1997. Even after 10 years, I miss her presence daily. I'd give anything to see the preteen she'd have turned into. Having Hope enter my life taught me a great deal. I don't take a single moment for granted with my kids. And, I take each day as it comes. Nothing is guaranteed in this life.
Porter is 7. He is a very old 7. He has a gift of humor and is not afraid to try anything. He keeps us on our toes and I'm sure that's not stopping anytime soon. We pray he heeds our warnings and we struggle to keep him straight But there's a lot to be said for his "balls to the walls" attitude. Neither Joe nor I were ever like that growing up. I'm a bit jealous of his ability to take the path less traveled, the not so safe road. But as his mother, I'm also terrified.
Finally, there's Millie. She is 3. We adopted Millie from China in 2005. She has so perfectly completed our family; she's the perfect match, filling the hole in my heart and accepting the love we had to give so completely. She is not only a beautiful little girl but she is wise beyond her years, funny, and kind.
So this is my family. My reasons for celebrating with drinks made with swizzle sticks.

Monday, July 9, 2007's Monday morning! Swim Team is over for my boys and I'd thought it'd be a great morning to sleep in (translation...past 7 AM) but sadly, I was mistaken. Millie was up before anyone and climbed into bed with us. Her sweet rubs and whispers of "Mommy, I love you so much!" were hard to sleep through. And I wouldn't have wanted to. Who'd want to pass that up? She did get out of bed with Joe when he decided to let our 8 month old Weimaraner out...and proceeded to lock himself out of the house. His knocks brought a another level of consciousness to my still-in-bed self. (I was trying really hard to sleep in.) Luckily, Porter was awake and downstairs. He let his Daddy in. I was safe, covers pulled tightly to my shoulders.
Moments later, I decided all the trying to stay in bed wasn't worth it. The sound of Joe's shower was annoying and there was a strange smell of coffee....
I made my way to the kitchen and there the new coffee maker sat in a puddle of coffee and more was flowing. Of course I knew just how it had happened. Joe had forgotten to empty the pot of yesterday's leftovers before he started the machine. There had been quite a bit left as we found ourselves locked out of our house yesterday and couldn't drink our planned quotas. (Joe only took a car key to church; I took no keys since I wasn't driving. Thank goodness my neighbor and my mom both have a key. Only too bad my neighbor is out of town until Tuesday and my mom was not home. We would have called her but, alas, we didn't bring our cell phones either. So, after eating a less than desirable Wendy's burger, we drove back to my moms. Thankfully she was now home. But, by now, it was way to late in the day and HOT to enjoy a cup of coffee.) But back to today's drama. I got the Monday morning mess cleaned up and restarted the coffee maker...correctly. I'm now on my second cup.

Friday, July 6, 2007

First Concoction

Welcome. Grab a drink...something cold, sit back and enjoy. On my blog you'll find musings, fond memories, and even some ramblings of all my life has given me (and a weekly cocktail recipe!) I'm a stay-at-home mom of four very different children who have me so busy I often forget to make note of what they're teaching me. My hubby of 16 years (this coming August) has walked with me on a path of both steady deck boards and quicksand, always holding my hand tightly, pulling me along. We are a family doing our best to grow. We may not always appear sane and folks probably question our methods often but we're making it...of course drinks with swizzle sticks always help!