25 June 2007


So, it all started with a errant gray hair. Or maybe it was the dry skin. No, no, it was most certainly turning 30.

I've been feeling a little, uhmm, old. I guess, feeling is the wrong word. More correctly, I feel like I look old. The skin on my hands seems to have aged 10 years in the last 9 months and it looks much younger than the skin on my face. I do have a few gray hairs that like to curl and stick up in my part. (and now I'm blabbing to the world about something I told Bryan he would never see on me...I said I would be 90 and still dying my hair :) I have permanent wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes. Even the skin in my neck/jaw region seems to feel awfully loose these days.

Quite honestly, it's bothersome. I don't want to look old. I want to look young and vibrant. But, why?

Well, because old people get sick and eventually die. I want to live forever and see my grandchildren's great-grandchildren have babies.

But, I read today in Paul's 2nd letter to the Corinthians, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." This time on earth, spent in my outward body, is preparing me for an eternity, spent in my inward spirit, praising my Creator.

That gives me hope. It makes the wrinkles futile. Maybe even vain. (Ouch!) After all, "charm is deceitful and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."

Now that is what I really want. I really want to be a God-fearing example of a woman to my daughters. I really want to meditate on "...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report" and are of "any virtue" and "anything praiseworthy". I really want to "...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness."

But, these don't always happen. So many times I fall short.

Then there is GRACE.

And perserverance.

23 June 2007

convenient sharing

[in Addi and Libby's bathroom]

gp: Is that glitter on the wall?
agp: Where?
gp: (pointing to spot about 3 feet up the wall) Right there? It is.
agp: No, it's not. Libby did it.
gp: Addi, you're the one with the body glitter.
agp: No, it's mine AND Libby's. I just decided.

22 June 2007

trying to fit it all in

I don't know if you missed me yesterday or not. Apparently I'm having a hard time fitting blogging into our easy-going summer schedule.

About a month ago, a typical day for me would have started about 7 am when Addi woke me from a peaceful slumber. I would have gotten up, fixed her breakfast, unloaded the dishwasher, taken a shower, started a load of laundry, woke Libby up to feed her, gotten ready, gotten the girls ready, fixed a bottle for the baby I was watching, loaded all 3 girls into their car seats and headed to preschool. Addi and Libby would have spent the morning in their respective classes while I taught science, baby in tow.

We would have made it home by 12:30 to eat lunch. Then I would have put all 3 girls down for their naps, one at a time. After singing and reading and praying, I would finally have about 2 hours alone. That is when I would usually blog, email, read my bible, pay bills, dry the clothes, pick up the house, or, occasionally, sit on the couch and enjoy the silence.

About the time the girls started waking up was time for me to begin supper. Usually Bryan would make it home before the baby was picked up. When she left, we would sit down and eat together. Next came baths, kitchen clean-up, bedtimes, housekeeping, and time with Bryan. And for a while, I was throwing running in there also.

My weekends were filled with grocery shopping, errand running, projects, preschool planning, and catch-up.

I was tired. I felt overscheduled and frustrated.

The last day I taught at preschool was also the last day I babysat. Since then we've been to Texas and had Nana and Poppa visit us here.

And for the last week or so, we've done nothing.

Well, almost nothing. I am still awoken by Addi at 7 am to feed her breakfast. However, I've discovered that if I turn Disney Channel on after I pour her cereal, she will gladly spend the next hour on the couch (after she eats, of course! kids eating out of the kitchen/breakfast room is a big no-no at my house. a battle Libby tries to wage daily.) watching whatever Playhouse Disney has to offer. Most of the time , I crawl back under the covers and read a chapter or two from one of these. By then Addi has watched enough tv, so she colors while I eat breakfast and unload the dishwasher, if I am feeling exceptionally energetic. Otherwise I wait until around 10 when Libby wakes. While she's eating breakfast, I almost always empty the dishwasher. Some days I even start a load of laundry. But some days I don't, which is why I need to run 3 loads of laundry today.

We've been spending mid-morning until early-afternoon at the pool. Some days we have friends join us and some days we make friends with whichever of our neighbors happens to also be swimming. After sandwiches and fruit, we head home for naps...I love the pool!

Naptime is when I would normally blog, but this week I've been teaching VBS in the evenings. So, naptime has been when I prepared for the VBS lesson...and read more. Then I fix a quick supper heading out with Addi as soon as Bryan gets home to stay with Libby.

We don't make it home until about 9 pm and I still have to put Addi to bed and, you know, spend time with Bryan. I do enjoy listening to him complain while we watch So You Think You Can Dance, which might possibly be my favorite show.

Don't feel too sorry for him though. I've watched enough Deadliest Catch to last a lifetime. Is there a night that show isn't on?!

So, you see, I'm enjoying my non-scheduled days of summer immensely. I do need to get back to some sort of housekeeping schedule. It's fun to be lazy, but not for too long. Perhaps next week, I'll find a happy medium. Perhaps not...next week is already busier than this week with swimming lessons and playdates! Not to worry though, I have through August to get a summer time schedule working. Of course, then I'll have to switch it up again because preschool will be starting.

I'll end with pictures from the playdate we attended this morning.

19 June 2007

And the winner is....

Mr. Swimming Pool Man!

I do believe the swimming pool is the greatest invention ever! And a close second, is the person who first put a pool in a neighborhood for the community to use. All the perks of a pool without actually having to fool with one is fabulous!

I'm sure you've figured out we don't have a pool in our backyard, but we do have one just down the street. When we bought this house, we thought it might come in handy some. And then Addi and I made a visit to that pool almost everyday until I gave birth to Libby mid-August.

It's entertainment when company is here. It is great for inviting friends and having a pool play-date. It can even be nice for an evening swim when Daddy gets home. Basically, we won't be able to live without a neighborhood pool until our kids are at least old enough to entertain themselves. It has turned into a necessity.

We're back to our pool visit almost every morning routine. The girls are thrilled. They can't wait to eat breakfast and throw on a suit. Libby walks around the house in her suit and cover-up with a towel draped over her shoulders until I get the lunches made and we hit the door.

The best part about it? Addi, who has started giving up her naps, is now sleeping everyday after we visit the pool. Sometimes she fights it a bit. Like today, she told me she didn't want to sleep or rest. But she knows my rule is that she has to at least "rest" in her room for an hour. Swimming pool days the rest turns into sleep. And that is good.

18 June 2007

2 in 2

Reagan Elizabeth will turn 2 years old in just 2 short months. I could list 222 things I love about her and still not be finished. Instead, I'll narrow it down to 22 in honor of her 22 months.

  1. Her deep, deep, chocolate-y brown eyes with the incredibly long eyelashes framing those eyes.
  2. Her new favorite game is hiding.
  3. The way she loves to claim everyone's property for them..."Addi's shoes, Mommy's shoes, Daddy's shoes, Bibby's shoes".
  4. As soon as I take her out of her crib in the mornings, she points to the door and says "Eat!"
  5. She tries to do everything she sees Addi do.
  6. Her tan skin.
  7. Her chubby thighs.
  8. She puts her Crocs on all by herself.
  9. She loves babies.
  10. She is so sweet sometimes I think I can't take it :)
  11. She loves Zoe from afar often telling her, "Eat, ZoZo, eat!" (When Bryan had Zoe living with him during college he taught her to go away and lay down when he'd say "Eatin'!", so he could eat in peace)
  12. Her independence.
  13. The way she notices everything like where everyone sat the first night we had company. The next day she walked around the table pointing to each seat while naming the person who'd sat there the night before.
  14. How she often surprises me with her knowledge.
  15. The way she gets her entire body moving when she walks.
  16. "She's a 6-year old in a almost 2-year old's body" is what a friend said of her today.
  17. She loves to be outside.
  18. She never wants to sit still.
  19. She loves other kids and is very friendly with them.
  20. She isn't so friendly with other adults...not rude, just cautious.
  21. She's not scared of anything...except animals nearby when no one is holding her.
  22. Anytime she falls, bumps, or skins, I say, "Brush it off." No matter where the boo-boo is, she brushes her hands together and then she's fine. Unless, of course, she really is hurt, which is usually only when blood is drawn.

17 June 2007

All I wanna say is Happy Father's Day

I wanna say Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband who has lived up to the High Daddy Standards set for him long ago by my dear father. Bryan, you make me love you more every time I see you with our daughters. Dad, thank you for setting those standards so high. You are incredible. And, of course, Chris, thank you for being such a great daddy to Bryan. We are truly blessed people in the 4 Texans household.

16 June 2007

photo shoot

Posted by Picasa
I feel some explanation is in order.
Indulge me, if you will.
One night, while Addison was still away, I took about 300 pictures of Libby during her evening bath. I also shot 2 videos. It was like she was my first child. She loved every bit of the attention.
These are a few of the ones I liked the best, for one reason or another. I don't know if you'll be able to enlarge the collage, but picture 2 on the top row is so sweet. It showed so much detail. Picture 3 on the 2nd row was completely her. She held that "pose" forever until I finally snapped the camera. Picture 1 and 2 on the 3rd row are interesting. I didn't realize I had the flash on, so she is super-bright, but her eyes look like yummy chocolate. And, picture 2 on the bottom row is funny. She pointed at the camera while I took the picture.
It was a rare bath time for her. In fact I think it may have been the only bath she has taken alone since she was big enough to sit up in the tub. That was certainly worth documenting!

15 June 2007

The Best Do-er

The girls and I were in the car on our way home the other day and Addi proclaimed, "Mommy! You are the best driver!" I laughed and told her she should tell her daddy because Bryan is in a constant state of irritation when he rides shotgun with me.

That night, Bryan told me that Addi had asked him a funny question. She said, "Daddy, can you guess what Mommy is the best do-er at?" At that point in the story, Bryan confessed to me, he had no idea what she was talking about. He feebly guessed, "Rainbows?"

[insert exasperated look here] "Uhmm, no. I'll do the guessing." She said.

[insert excited waving of hands] "Mommy! is! the! best! driver!"

So, there you have it. I'm not totally sure what qualifies me as the best driver or what other drivers I was in competition with, but I know that my oldest daughter would argue anyone into the ground if they even thought of disagreeing. Some may think that's loyalty, we know it's stubborness...that I'm positive she gets from her father :)

14 June 2007

Miss Manners

Addison returned from Texas a new and improved kid. Someone must have introduced the word may to her, but quit the lesson before making sure she knew when to use it.

She now says things like, "Mommy, may you go upstairs and bring me my clothes to get dressed?" Or, "May you open the door for me, Daddy?" Or, "LIBBY! May you get out of my way?!"

However, she also does things like teach her little sister to open her mouth when it's full of food.

12 June 2007

I'm cooking up all I need to keep the kids entertained this summer

The main ingredients in my recipe for a Summer O' Fun include:

  1. a readily accessible pool - check!...neighborhood pool down the street
  2. something to break up the monotony for Addi - check!...preschool camp in July
  3. a library that lets you check out as many books as you want and has super-cheap late fees - check!...here
  4. a play set that includes "Sings!" and "Sides!" in our backyard - check!...thanks to Daddy, Tom and Poppa
  5. enhancements to aforementioned play set - just have to order them from here...fyi: did you know they have Site to Store "shipping", which is free?!
  6. an occasional day trip to this beach - check!...we can count on our friends Suzanne, Ally and Carter to make it even more fun
  7. a lush, grass-filled backyard - maybe next summer!...we still have to seed it in the fall since we had 9 trees cut down to give the grass a fighting chance too late in the spring this year.

I think I'm as prepared as a momma can be to dive head-first into the deep-end that is summer. It's sink or swim time and I'll be swimming sans floaties.

Have you had enough of the analogies?! I will try and resist any more that pop into my head, but really they're the most clever things to be posted on this blog in a good 6 weeks :) Here's hoping, for you, my blog-break was good for my creativity.

Back to the topic at hand...this summer...and distractions diversions entertainment.

Until this past weekend we had a well-used play set that included 2 swings, 1 baby...ahem, Toddler (as Addi reminds anyone who dares refer to Libby as a mere baby, "She! Is! A! TODDLER!") swing, a trapeze bar, and a glider swing. Saturday, we inherited a gently-used playset with a "rock" wall and a ladder, a bumpy slide and a twirly slide, a platform, a bench with picnic table, 2 swings and a glider swing. Quite the upgrade, as you can imagine!

It is worth hours upon hours of entertainment for both girls and will be a welcome relief to my ears from hearing Libby yell repeatedly, "MomMyy! OutSIIIIDE! Sing! Side! OutSIIIIDE! MomMyy! MOMMY!" Bryan's made plans to use all the mulched up wood, from the 9 stumps he will be grinding any day now, around it. And our old swing set went next door to our neighbors' backyard. My neighbor runs a home daycare and told me this morning that the swing set was a hit yesterday. All the parents came in telling her that their children couldn't stop talking about the swings. It's a win-win(uhh,-win-win).

Once we get the toddler swing, telescope and pirate's wheel added, I may not be able to drag the girls back InSIIIIDE!

10 June 2007

So, where's my place in that arrangement?

This morning as Bryan poured milk in Addi's cereal, she spoke words he claimed to be the sweetest she'd ever uttered. She declared her wish to marry him.

He would've given her the world after that statement.

Well, obviously, we like the torture

If you know us, or have read more than this post, you know that we recently spent a week and a half in Texas. All of our family lives in Texas, most in the DFW Metroplex. We flew into DFW airport and over the course of a week or so, saw almost all of our family members.

You may think that is the torture I am referring to.

Of course not. Depleting all our Vacation Fund to spend time in the not-so-tropical-or-mountainous area of Dallas is really our idea of a relaxing trip. Seriously, we love being able to spend time with family and are thankful that our girls get this opportunity a couple times a year.

The torture I'm talking about began when we stepped off that plane a few weeks ago and will end...when...when will it end?!

You see our daughters spent all that time in Texas surrounded by grandparents. 24 hours a day of complete spoiling...Cookies for breakfast...New clothes...McDonald's every other day...New outfits...Dessert every night...New dresses...No naps...New swim suits...Movie after movie...

Anything a little girl could want was doled out in excess.

And, that's fine. That's what grandparents are for. At least, that's what my mom says. We've done that before and after a week or two of detox, the girls are back to normal and no longer demand their heart's desires.

However, this trip was different. This trip ended for Bryan, Libby, and me 6 days before it ended for Addi. She stayed with my parents for 3 days and Bryan's parents for 3 days all by herself. At one point, my dad was bragging on her by telling me that she never whined or complained about anything. To which I felt compelled to ask if she was ever told "No". My dad's reply: Of course not!

I think you're catching on.

Bryan's parents flew back with Addi last Thursday and have been our guests since then. I don't know if Libby remembers life without a grandparent around. And Addi doesn't want to.

They will leave in a few days and I will begin the systematic process of un-spoiling my children. Although necessary, it is not something to which I look forward. It could be a long summer around our house.

05 June 2007

Everything you ever wanted to know about our trip and more

Obviously, we're back. Well, 3 of the 4 Texans are back in NC. Addi is still in Texas with grandparents. And having a ball, so I'm told. She's not really needing to talk to me once a day like I had planned. I got a call from her about an hour ago, which was the first she's initiated during the 3 days she's been away from us. I, at least, am going to believe she initiated the phone call rather than the alternative...her grandparents forced her to call.

We had a great trip. I am having a little trouble getting out of vacation mode though. And, no, the mountains of laundry surrounding me aren't doing much to slap some reality back into me. We have 7 people (including Addi) showing up at the local airport on Thursday. They will patiently be waiting for Bryan, Libby and I to pick them up. Then, we'll see what we can do to entertain 4 more adults and 2 more kids for a week while it is supposed to be scorching hot and raining. Maybe that knowledge will kick me into gear...at least by tomorrow night :)

So, like I said, the trip was great. We spent the first afternoon with Bryan's family where we were introduced to our newest family member, sweet Rachel, and the girls were introduced to a cool new treehouse that Poppa and Uncle Clay built. It goes without saying that the girls loved both Rachel and the treehouse.

The next morning, Bryan and I drove to Houston. We were able to hang out with good friends all weekend and see lots of old friends at the wedding. We took advantage of being child-less by eating everything we wanted....chili-cheese Fritos with peanut butter Twix and Big Red for a snack on the road, Mexican for lunch, yummy seafood at the rehearsal dinner, Shipley's for breakfast, Sonic for lunch, Whataburger for the next breakfast, and Wings-n-More for the next lunch. My mouth is watering as I type.

We enjoyed our fried pickles, cheese fries, and wings at the "new" Wings-n-More in College Station. Bryan and I took our time at the Bonfire Memorial. We walked around campus remembering different spots we would always meet and noting the inevitable changes.

Bryan was amazed at the Century Tree. I guess, being a guy, he didn't pay much attention to it while he was a student. I don't really remember the whole "story" with the Century Tree, but, basically (and please feel free to correct me in a comment if I'm wrong) there is this huge tree in the front-side of the Academic Building with a path leading right under its branches. You aren't supposed to walk under the tree by yourself or??? Who knows?...you'll never get married or something. If you walk under it with someone, that will be the person you marry. Lots of people get engaged under the tree. Anyway, all I know is I avoided that path at all costs while I was a student. I guess, I walked under its canopy for the first time about a week ago! We also drove around College Station and spent way too much money outfitting our family in current Aggie garb.

We were more than ready to see our girls by Sunday evening. Monday night we all ate at Babe's in Burleson. My belly was full by the time we made it back to Nana and Poppa's house. Not too full to enjoy some Blue Bell though!

Tuesday we ended our time with Bryan's family and began our time with mine. That night we were able to catch up with the neighbors I grew up next to. On Thursday, we drove out to Sprinkles and ate a cupcake. I have to say, that none of us were overly impressed. Don't get me wrong, the cupcakes were delicious, just not overly delicious.

We swam, ate more Blue Bell and more Mexican, spent time with my grandparents, played with the little girls next door, and made pancakes while at my parent's house.

Then Bryan, Libby and I came home. Addi cried when she found out she had to ride with Grandpa while he dropped us off at DFW. We'll miss you too, Kid! I started crying when I hugged her good-bye and she did her best at impersonating a sad person. I cried as we drove to our house from RDU and wondered what in the world I was thinking when I agreed to leave my child 1100 miles away from me. I called Addi the minute we walked in the door and she humored me for about 2 minutes. I really didn't want her to be miserable. I just thought she would want to talk to me once a day (maybe before bedtime). I thought wrong and that has been a little hard to come to terms with. My baby's growing up. She doesn't need me like she used to. It's part of life and before I know it my other baby will be just as independent.

I don't know that I'll be posting much more for the next week or two. I really do need to tackle this laundry. I've been trying to do fun Mommy-Libby activities while Addi is away. And, we will have company for a week. Until then...