Saturday, August 30, 2008

Meme and Papa's Visit

Meme and Papa, Eden's paternal great-grandparents came to visit us last weekend. They came bearing gifts, including the pink dress with a tiny pink poodle on the front that Eden is wearing on the right.
They are so generous with their money, their time and their love. We both hope and pray that Eden will be able to grow up with them in her life.

They have been a huge part of Chuck's life and have become a large part of my own and we feel extremely blessed to share Eden with them and to see their Godly influence continue in our family.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Favortite TV Show of Late

... is Jon and Kate Plus Eight! Watch the clip and enjoy a short compilation of the trials and joys of having 8 kids. This show keeps my life in perspective and helps me relieve my own stress by watching someone else handle theirs with grace. Thanks Gosselins.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time Travel

OK here's my yearbook fun from Yearbook Yourself.

Me in 1960. I've always said I looked like my dad, but Yearbook Yourself proved me wrong.

The guy I would have married if we'd lived in 1954. Still good lookin'.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Gold Medal of Laughter

Here's a video to make up for my oversight of Favorite Friday last week. We had guests coming into town. Yes, again. That's my excuse. Hope it's good enough.
It seems most people by now have seen this video, but even if you have, watch it again. I guarantee you'll laugh. I wish I could bottle this, but at least we have video technology. What a blessing technology can be sometimes, huh?

The Olympic Thinker

The Olympics have come and gone, but I wanted to give my random thoughts... the commentary of my brain... about the most watched games of all time.
Opening Ceremonies: Awesome, amazing, brilliant. It's hard to think of words to describe the emotion that they captured and the wonder they inspired. As an artistic type, I was mesmerized, but I think anyone would have been. The Opening Ceremonies are almost like the Olympics of design, drama, and dance, except the winner is chosen well beforehand and then they must live up to expectations. The Chinese surpassed expectations. I would have loved to have been there with an excellent camera, you know, the kind the real photographers use. Every shot would have been good. I wonder how many millions... billions of pictures are taken over the course of the whole games, by professionals and spectators alike. (does a period go at the end of that sentence or a question mark?) (It looks funny to put a question mark at the end of the words "question mark.") I know there's no way for anyone to ever know the number of pictures taken, but these are the kinds of questions I pose to myself.
Every Olympic games, my goal is to see three competitions, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming. I did get to watch gymnastics this year and, since my hubby and I like to watch a little TV before bed most nights, and since that was pretty much all that was on for the first week, we watched it together. Men aren't supposed to like gymnastics, not even men's gymnastics. But, my man began to appreciate the difficulty and athleticism of the men AND women who compete in these events. He began asking about the scoring and even making sympathetic grunts or groans to help the gymnasts balance or to participate in their mishaps. I thought that was pretty cool.
I saw a little bit of the rhythmic gymnastics. I thought I would miss them completely, because I had no idea when they were on. I just happened to turn the TV on midday last week and there they were, women who could be mistaken for toothpicks bringing their leg up behind them and touching the bottom of their foot to their sternum while tossing a hoop several stories up in the air. I was so excited! About 5 minutes after I sat down to watch, they cut to commercial and came back to.... softball. SOFTBALL! I can go see the church softball game this fall if I want to watch softball. I don't know of any rhythmic gymnastics competitions around here, though. No fair! It was something about a gold-medal game or something. That's why they switched. Hmph! I suppose there was someone else somewhere in the world who turned on their TV and muttered some undecipherable words of disappointment under their breath when they saw rhythmic gymnastics was on, and then became elated to see them cut to softball. Well... good for them.
I saw no synchronized swimming. For some reason or other, I saw plenty of swimming, though. This guy... what's his name?... oh yeah, Michael somebody-or-other. He was swimming and winning all these gold medals. Seriously though, I heard an interview with him where he said that his goal at the games wasn't to win medals just to win medals, but to get people's attention and focus them on the often overlooked sport of swimming. Wow. That's somethin' else. He took responsibility for bringing the entirety of the sport to the forefront of the minds of the people of the world. That's a big job, but he made it look easy with every medal he won. This is kinda mean in an underhanded way, but I'm glad that someone is finally popular for their accomplishments and character regardless of their looks or speech. See, kinda mean... oh well. Michael Phelps doesn't read my blog.
Speaking of sports that don't usually get a lot of attention... Am I the only one who had no idea that Trampoline is an Olympic sport? Trampoline? So, in all actuality, my parents may have cut my Olympic dreams short by banning me from trampolines after a friend of mine "double-bounced" me and my back was hurt so that I had to see a chiropractor for years after. I could have come back from my injuries, developed my talent and won a medal eventually. Here's a link, in case you want to check it out for yourself:
I have to wonder if the gymnasts just laugh at how serious these athletes look as they flip and tumble on the trampoline. As far as I know, gymnasts use a trampoline to warm up and learn new flips and stuff. I betcha any of them could do what the trampoliners do.
Oh, and speaking of snickering at someone seriously competing... Did you see the speed walking? I would have been rolling on the floor if it hadn't felt like the Olympics were just too sacred of a situation to laugh that hard. There's a really great montage that captures the comedic aspect of this sport here:
Here are the official rules in a nutshell. "Race walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e., not bent at the knee) from the moment of the first contact with the ground until in the vertical position." Interesting, huh?
Closing Ceremonies: What happened to all the highly coordinated people? Apparently, no one from the opening ceremonies participated in the closing ceremonies. Yes, it was still pretty cool, but, frankly, I was disappointed. The performers could hardly have been less synchronized. The concentric circles were more like lopsided ovals, the smiles of the participants in the opening ceremonies (when appropriate) were replaced by bored looks, the choreography, while fascinating at some moments, looked poorly thought out and even less rehearsed. And what was with the lit-up football players strung up by wires going up and down randomly on the perimeter of the stadium? I really was disappointed.
All in all, these games were the most memorable of my life thus far. Yes, even more so than the games in Atlanta, my home town. These games gave me an appreciation for different sports, made it possible to have "quality time" in front of the TV and gave me a convenient conversation starter in uncomfortable moments. These were the first Olympics of my daughters life and the first we have watched in our first home. They made me want to travel to China, a place that wasn't on my world-travel list previously. They made me think about politics and rights, fairness and world peace. Bob Costas interviewed a man after the closing ceremonies (I'm sorry to say I don't know who the man was, but someone important to the games, I think) and this man said that it was so inspiring to see the world come together and take a break from all their quarrels and differences for two weeks. He then wondered, if the world could do that for two weeks, why not three or why not a month, six months, etc. Unfortunately, that lovely thought will never be reality until Jesus unites us all with a new heaven and earth. Until then, the earth and all that is in it can only groan and long for His return. I bet streets of gold will be better than any gold medal and seeing Him face to face is sure not to disappoint even the highest of expectations.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Single and carefree?

I never want to be a single mom. Who would? Well, I actually know someone in my family that would, but that's a whole different situation.
Bunny trail... I wanted to type "a whole 'nother" back there a second ago, because that's what I would have said if I had been talking. Since when can we get away with cutting the word "another" apart and putting "whole" in the middle of it for impact? Why don't I just say "a whole other?" My mom, who was my high school English teacher (home schooled) would be appalled. C'mon, I know you do it, too.
So I never want to be a single mom because I realize on days like today, what a rock my husband is for me. Today wasn't a bad day. In fact, it was a very good day, just full. I had a group of mommies over to my house from about noon-3pm for a play date (Remember that banana bread I was considering making? Well, I made it and they liked it! Successful baking attempt number two, horray!) and then I had a welcome fiesta to attend at 6:30pm thrown by the Spouses Alliance for wives of residents at UMC.
First of all, I have to preface this by saying that I am the type of person that can make myself be outgoing and I'm getting better and better at it, but no matter how easy it is to talk to someone I've never met, no matter how charming they are or how much we have to talk about, I am EXHAUSTED afterward. The level of exhaustion differs depending on the number of unfamiliar people and the time I have to be "on."
Today, I had to be "on" twice, once for 3 hours and once for 1 1/2 hours. Add to that the fact that I am not a hostess by nature. It is not enjoyable for me to have people come to my house. It feels like my space is being invaded even when they've been invited. Am I weird? Add to that the fact that these people that came to my house brought kids. (I know it was a play date...) And their kids were touching my stuff. (I know that's what kids do...) It was a tiny bit stressful. Ok, more addition. Are you keeping up? Add on the fact that at the dinner, I was the only one that had to carry around her baby in someone's beautifully ornate home that had no children. It seems all the other moms either had friends or husbands that could watch their kids. Awkward. Of course, the evening is Eden's fussy time. So there I was at a dinner gathering with about 15 women I had never met and about 3 that I had met once at last week's play date for the Alliance. Not only do I have to suck it up and try to be assertive in starting conversations and mingling (ugh! it's really soooo hard for me!), but I have to not feel like I stick out like a sore thumb with my baby on my hip... my fussy baby on my hip... and green bean puree spewed on my white dress. (I had to feed her at the party, I had no option. She didn't like what I chose to bring, thus it ended up on my dress.)
All this to say, that.... whaaaaaah, I want my mommy! And when I can't have my mommy, my husband does very well to fill the role of hug giver, comforter and general energy-giver-back-er.
I can't imagine not having him. If I need him this much on the good days, Lord only knows how much I'm glad to have him on the bad days.
Only 1 more hour until he walks through the door.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Please Don't

Why do mom's suddenly acquire a language where every directive must include themselves even though it is clearly only intended for the child? I've noticed this phenomenon for a long while now and I vowed that I would not be a mom that it overtook. I'm a "say what you mean" kinda gal and I think it sounds silly to say "We don't smear peanut butter on our faces, please" or "We don't dip Sally Sue's hair in the paint." Of course we don't. I know I don't. Do you?
Sometimes the sentences make even less sense. "We don't try to grab Mommy's coffee cup while she's drinking." So... you're reminding yourself not to grab your own cup out of your hand? Weird. Or something like, " We don't get up from a nap before Mommy comes to get us, ok?" Now this is starting to sound like some sort of multiple personality problem.
Are these moms trying to remind themselves of forgotten etiquette while training their child? Are moms afraid that they will revert back to unacceptable behavior because of their 24/7 involvement with children? Do all moms, in fact, aquire a multiple personality because of the overwhelming suffering experienced in labor and birth? Of course, the answers to these ridiculous questions is "no." But, why do we all do it then? Why am I tempted to say to Eden "We don't pull Dolce's hair. We pet gently."? What force is at work in moms (and dads) to adopt this speech of inclusiveness? Are we afraid that a simple "Please don't do such-and-such" sounds too harsh?
Any thoughts?

Granddaddy's visit

Eden had fun with Granddaddy over the weekend. She's so blessed to have a family that wants to nurture and support her and her parents.

We're looking forward to many more memorable moments in the future.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yet Another Revelation

You know what I realized yesterday? Whenever I do have 30 minutes or even 5 minutes of time to myself where I can get something done or just relax because my baby's happy or sleeping, I need to be more consciously grateful. I realized that I'm not even enjoying the time I do get, because I'm either mindlessly doing whatever until she cries and then I get grumbly or I'm tense the whole time expecting her to cry at any moment. I never thought I would have to put effort into enjoying something, but that's what makes the difference here. For instance, just now when I sat down to write, I had to stop and make myself realize that I was about to experience some "me" time, that my baby is cooing happily in the other room and that this is a nice mid-morning break. voila! I can now truly enjoy the moments as little gifts. Before, it was like I was taking the pretty box and squeezing it with my teeth clenched and eyes closed just waiting for Eden to take it away. Today, I'm going to open it and enjoy it.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Some things that a couple of moms have said in the last couple of days have really stuck with me, so I thought I'd put them here. My food for thought:
Why worry about losing all the weight only to have another child? Why not just have another and then lose all the weight one time?
Two can entertain each other, whereas you're the only one around to entertain just one.

Back to the weight issue. I have to admit, I've really been obsessed with my figure after having Eden, I think to an unhealthy level. If I really examine my motives closely, I think gaining weight again and losing all the work I feel like I've done to get my pre-baby body back is number one right now on my list of reasons not to have another child. I don't think that reason's good enough. I saw mom's today with two year olds and they looked great. It made me realize... you know, in 2-3 years, I can be back in shape and have my two kids and look great. Everything is a season.
I also saw a picture of one of Chuck's aunts today with 4 out of her 5 kids all together, arms around each other, smiling for a picture. I know they have a great time together and she really loves having a big family like that. It made me realize the temporary-ness of the fussy baby stage. It's like looking to the greater prize. (Not to devalue the fleeting baby years, but they're hard sometimes.)
Is God doing something in me? Yep. I think He is.

Brian Regan

Yay for sharing laughs today! My favorite of the week is comedian Brian Regan. Chuck's family has enjoyed him for years and I was introduced to him a couple of years ago. He's hilarious, and mostly clean which is a rarity. He'll occassionally use the "lesser" swear words, H*** and D*** and A**, so be ware. There is nothing objectionable in the clip. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just my day

Uggh! The baby's down for a nap after two hours of fussing. Dinner's getting cold on the table as it waits for my husband to arrive home from work (expected him at 3pm, now it's 7:30pm). Dolce is whining outside because I just couldn't stand her barking at every little noise inside. I'm wondering what we're going to do about grocery shopping that was planned for tonight because I was planning on putting the baby to bed at 8pm. Company's coming into town tomorrow. And I didn't get to work out today. Uggh!
Ok, now the good things: I met with some moms today from church for a lunch/playdate. It was really great. We just munched and talked nonsense about random stuff. Eden did really well with the babies and it tuckered her out, so she had a good nap. I got to meet some ladies going through the same things I am. Oh yeah, and the Wheels of Steel I made got rave reviews! (Thanks Kelli!) I never bake anything, much less for small gatherings like that, so that was a really good experience. They were saying I was a little Betty Crocker. I was quick to point out that I was only doing it to make a good first impression so they don't expect it every time. Although, I'm thinking about trying banana bread for next week.
Why does the conversation always have to go to birth stories? I was EXTREMELY good and didn't show my trump card - 36 hours all natural + pitocin toward the end. They were all talking about epidurals and c-sections and unbearable pain... with an 8 month pregnant woman there, no less. I felt so bad for her. It's her first child and she wants to go natural (horray for her!) but she had to hear all these depressing stories. At one point, I just interrupted everyone and said, "but it won't be at all like that for you. You're birth will be awesome." We got to talking after that and found out we have a lot in common, so that was nice. I'm optimistic about finding a good friend in the group. They're all coming over to my place next Thursday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It seems like it's been so long! I really don't know what to write about, not because I don't have anything to write about, but because there's just too much. I have the baby on my lap and I'm periodically lifting my elbows while continuing to type to block her from the piece of paper on the desk that she wants to tear up and from my glass of red wine. I can just see the glass shattering on the desk and wine splashing all over the keyboard. So... in return for all my blocking efforts, I get a frustrated, fussy baby who is making it even harder to put some thoughts down.

I'm actually still thinking about having another one. Can you believe it? Of course, probably most people that read this can imagine it because they've done it and even highly recommend it. It's really NOT my favorite thing in the world to hear fussing and see tears and I really can't imagine life right this second with another, possibly even more tearful one to take care of. At the same time. I do think it would just be so cute and so peachy and so fun to have two little ones to help with some baking or play with each other or tag along in the store. Now, I fully realize that this is a fantasy picture of having more than one child. In fact, I was just thinking today at McAllister's Deli where I had lunch how I was just wishing for 45 minutes without fussing so I could eat in peace and then enjoy some relaxing time on my laptop. I was imagining that I would probably be wishing, more realistically, for just 15 minutes if I had two. True? Yet moms still speak so highly of having more than one. Sometimes I think I'm just going to have to close my eyes and jump, so to speak, because the more I think about all the things that aggravate me about one and how that would be multiplied... the more condoms I want to buy.
That's about all the fussing I can stand for now, gotta go.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Cirque du Soliel

Here's my favorite for this week: This is Cirque du Soliel from their show "La Nouba." Chuck and I have been to two different Cirque performances and have been completely entertained/in-awe the entire evening. The music, costumes, set, props, make-up and performances are all amazing. They involve the audience too, which makes it even more fun. It's a marvelous, marvelous date night and we will definitely be taking Eden in the future. Put it on your list of things to do before you die. You won't regret it!

Here's the new do. I have to give a shout out to Mystica, my lovely stylist, who was able to cut and style it exaclty like the pictures I brought in. How often does that happen? Needless to say, I'm tickled.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Woman Power?

I had to share something I read on the Jezebel website. I've never been there before and probably won't go back because the language in the editorials is horrible and offensive, but, I found this interesting. I got to this through a series of sites where I was looking for hairstyles of Faith Hill. I always love her hair and I'm getting mine cut tomorrow and I need some inspiration. So I got to Jezebel where they were talking about the latest Redbook magazine cover with Faith Hill and how much her photo had been retouched. Then I linked to another article on that and read what you see below. I'm not really a fan of Oprah, but this fascinated me.

Imagine a scenario in which a powerful, self-made, self-possessed woman deigns to follow the orders of a much-less powerful, egomaniacal foreigner and crash-diets herself to aesthetic "acceptability" so she can appear on the cover of an American magazine available to the public for, at most, 4 weeks. That scenario is exactly what happened when Oprah Winfrey was asked — and agreed — to appear on the cover of Vogue's October 1998 issue. As the story goes, Winfrey spent months whittling herself to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's exacting standards so that she would look acceptable in a Steven Meisel-photograph for the cover. "If you want to be on the cover of Vogue and Anna Wintour says you have to be down to 150lbs - that's what you gotta do," Winfrey told the BBC, adding, tellingly, "I didn't think for one moment 'Now I am going to be a Vogue model' nor even did I think I could hold that weight."
The Vogue cover turned out well
, as many remember: Oprah looked hot. But there was something spooky beneath the Vogue image's Meisel-perfect, glossy veneer; namely, the idea that even a woman who had made her fortune validating women's strengths, hopes and dreams — and becoming one of the most powerful people on the planet in the process — would so eagerly and willingly help to perpetuate the "cover lie" of a medium that has made its mark by invalidating women's strengths, hopes and dreams with an endless parade of stories on how to be thinner, sexier, trendier, and — ugh — better in bed.

Sad State of Affairs

A recent study by the Parents' Television Council found that visual references to voyerism and sadomasachistic sex outnumbered married sex by 3 to 1.
References to adultery outnumbered references to healthy marraiges by 2 to 1 and the highest references to adultery were packed into the "family hour" or the first hour of evening programming children are expected to watch.
They also found that the current system for labeling shows with sexual content as a warning to parents was inconsistent, at best. The Council stated that prime-time TV "seems to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently painting it in a negative light."

Well, who runs prime-time TV? God? nope. So, yes, the force that is driving prime-time TV is relishing the fact that marriage looks boring and lame. He is doing all he can to put the worst stuff on at the time when the kids are there to soak it in. No surprise there. Appalling, yes. Surprising, no.

This is another example of committees and councils blaming anyone but the parents for what the children are exposed to. (They're pushing for stricter government regulation because of the findings.) It's the PARENTS' responsibility to check out the shows they're putting their kids in front of. I think, if you can judge character well at all, you should be able to watch one, maybe two episodes of a show you've never seen before to know if it tends toward objectionable content. You could probably even just read a review somewhere online and know. It's not that hard parents! And since when do we have a RIGHT to be able to have a certain number of tv shows that aren't objectionable? How long has tv been around folks? Just since the 1930's. Maybe we should dry plopping kids down infront of the radio like they did then. They won't see sex scenes there.
Ok, I'm really not that extreme. I'm just trying to battle the entitlement syndrome. I plan on letting Eden watch TV, but we'll probably have a lot of DVDs and just a few shows that she's allowed to watch. From the sound of things, we may only let her watch pre-recorded things while she's little, we'll see. You can't even trust Sesame Street anymore. I remember seeing a skit years ago where a little bird was flying from one nest to the other to visit his two sets of parents and singing about how it was perfectly normal and ok. Just a note on that: I understand that divorce is a real part of a lot of kids' lives, but that doesn't mean I want Eden to think it's normal and ok. There's a difference between a disease running rampant, a plague, and a normal, healthy human being. Catch my drift?

Monday, August 04, 2008

No Duh

"Parents want to feed their kids healthy meals, but America's chain restaurants are setting parents up to fail," Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan said in a statement about a report released Monday by the nonprofit public health group. She went on to say that the big fast food chains are "conditioning kids to expect burgers, fried chicken, pizza, french fries, macarroni and cheese and soda in various combinations for almost every lunch and dinner."


The National Restaurant Association, in response, said that it would try to put nutritional values on menus as well as providing more choices for parents but the group stresses that "exercising parental responsibility is key to childhood nutrition."

Um, no duh.

The group went on to counter that the report "fails to acknowledge the essential role of nutritional education, physical activity and parental responsibility in childhood nutrition - good eating habits and healthy living must be established in the home."

Yay for the National Restaurant Association. CSPI, you are rediculous! Between the sex education and religious controversy in public schools and this... parent's don't seem to be held responsible for much of anything anymore. I just can't get over it: "America's chain restaurants are setting parents up to fail." I just can't get over it.

Be creative with only half the work!

You must try It's an awesome, free, fun spot where you can design the words of your choice into cool peices of word-art. I did the one you see above with Eden's name and some scripture. Play with it!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Make-up session

I missed Favorite Friday because I took Eden to the pediatrician (anyone else tend to want to say they take their kid to the vet? I make that mistake a lot.) and we ended up spending a good amount of time there. It began to storm somethin' fierce while we were there and when we got back home, there was no cable, internet or phone. That's the catch with those bundle dealy-o's. Comcast didn't come out and fix our internet until today, so here's my Favorite Friday make-up... about make-up.
I LOVE Bare Escentuals make up and I'll tell you why.
I know you've already seen all the info-mercials, but I really am one of those people that says "I wish I'd known about this a long time ago!" Seriously, I wish I'd had Bare Escentuals back in highschool when I had terrible acne and no good way to cover it without looking like I'd used flesh-colored plaster on my face. I still have acne, but now, at least I feel like I can mask it and still look fresh-faced.
When I use their All Over Face Color in the color True as a blush, people have actually said I look like I'm glowing and I totally attribute it to the blush.
The products last a really long time. My mom bought me my first B.E. products about 5-6 years ago and I'm still using the same All Over Face Color I've been using almost every day. It takes so little.
The product line is expanding, so there are plenty of fun, fun things to try out. I'm using one of their eye shadow kits now. It comes with a couple or three colors already matched together and instructions on how to apply it. I'd like to think I've always been pretty good with make-up, but instructions and diagrams are still helpful.
I could go on, but I won't. If you're looking for something new to try, I don't think you'll be dissapointed.