Friday, December 31, 2010

Ten in Twenty-Ten

Last year on New Year's Eve, I wrapped up the year with my ten most heavily commented posts. It was fun to do that, so I thought I'd go for it again, though I had a tie for #10. Of course, nothing I've written has come close to the number of comments on Tommy's birth story... I guess I need another kid to boost my stats in 2011 (JUST KIDDING, UNIVERSE).

10A. 364
10B. Two Birds
9. [untitled]
8. Global Domination
7. The End of an Hair-A
6. An Open Letter to the Fine People at International Delight [please note that although Sweet Buttercream is now gone from the stores, I have approximately 20 bottles frozen, so I'm still not without my creamer. But when it's gone? TRAGIC. International Delight, please bring this back!]
5. Real
4. Randomize
3. Hands Together [I forgot that I wrote this. I love it so much.]
2. Separation Anxiety
1. My Heart

Thursday, December 30, 2010

All Is Calm

Our holidays tend to be hectic. While we are very blessed to live so close to both of our families, it can make for busy days where we drive, drive, drive all day long. The upside, of course, is that we do end up in our own beds at night. As Christmas wound down, Tommy found respite from our hectic day on Papa's lap.


You Capture: Holiday Favorites

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hope For Christmas

I hope your Christmas was full of togetherness

Quiet thoughtfulness
I hope your Christmas was both messy...
And clean.
[just kidding. My Christmas was all messy. I have no clean photos to offer you.]
Most of all, I hope your Christmas held all you wanted.
Merry Christmas
Mine did.

[gorgeous card by Tiny Prints--I wish I could have budgeted sending you all one!]
[if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope your Saturday was full of all of the above.]

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shadows On The Sky

I really thought my captured lights would be Christmas lights, but after driving home from the most disastrous Santa experience ever we ran into this sunset.

The sun was making the most perfect play of light and shadows across the fields of snow.

Unfortunately, my windows are dirty, so I braved the cold and a rapidly moving car to take this photo. Shane joked that somehow, I was going to drop the camera out the window, but miraculously, I held onto it.
It was totally worth the risk to capture that gorgeous vertical sunbeam. I suppose it's not really holiday related, but it is definitely magical.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Today has been rich in simple pleasures. Shane's parents gave us this bag of misshapen jelly beans from the Jelly Belly factory outlet. I'm not going to lie, it's like Christmas come early. You see that one on the left? It's THREE jelly beans in one singular blob.
My teeth are coated in sugar and I can't stop eating jelly beans. It's beautiful.

Luke made me this vase and picked out this flower arrangement all by himself. Do you think he has a future as a florist? I'd love nothing more than a son who could keep me in fresh flowers all year round.
The picture next to it is my grandma's senior photo. Wasn't she beautiful?

The simplest of all, though. Two silly boys doing silly things.

Did you find simple pleasures in your day, too?

Thursday, December 16, 2010



I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
~Mary Frye

You Capture: Outside

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Til The End of Time

My first night home from the hospital with Luke, I was so confident. He was sleeping well, nursing well, and didn't really cry at all. He was all settled in the bassinet next to our bed, swaddled and sleeping soundly. I remember clicking off the lamp and having a half-second to sigh at the joy of being back in my own bed before he started to WAIL. Honestly, I hadn't even put my head down on the pillow. I picked him up. He didn't want to nurse. He didn't want to snuggle in the bed with me. He just SCREAMED. I had sent Shane to sleep in the guest room, thinking that one of us should be rested in the morning (rookie mistake). He screamed and screamed and screamed. I tried rocking him, my newly post-partum body sore, hurting in places I'd never imagined, skin loose and unfamiliar. He screamed while I was rocking him. I tried putting him in the swing for the first time. In the dark, unfamiliar with the swing, I managed to hit his head on the swing. He screamed louder. I sobbed and wondered to myself if I was really cut out for this, only 48 hours into it and I was already a half step away from breaking my new baby. Finally, in a last ditch attempt, I started to sing to him. The only song I could remember in my tired haze, Hush Little Baby. He started to quiet, but still fussed until I held him tight my chest, walking, swaying, and singing. And walk, sway, and sing we did for hours, the same song on repeat over and over and over, until I was so tired that while (thankfully) standing next to the bed, my knees buckled and I collapsed from exhaustion. I didn't catch myself, but I reached out and gently deposited Luke on the bed before I hit the ground. At this point, obviously, I swallowed my pride and enlisted Shane's help.

I learned my lesson Tommy's first night home from the hospital and made sure that Shane was in the room with us. Except that as Tommy woke up at midnight, I whisked him into the bed, laid him next to me, and had him latched on and nursing before I even realized what happened, before I even fully came out of that dreamy sleep and realized that I had a newborn again. What a difference a kid makes, huh? Except that Tommy is the king of false advertising and the older he got, the worse his sleep became (and still is, thanks for the 3:30 wake up call, TOMMY) and so, hours of walking, swaying, and singing Hush Little Baby became my life again. I've learned more songs since then, but it's always struck me as the truest. Of course, we want to do what we can to make our kids happy, but none of us run out and buy them diamond rings. Yet, even if everything we've done falls apart, we'll still love them 'til the end of time and hope that they know that. I'm probably not ever going to buy my kids a billy goat, but I'll go to the ends of the earth to make them happy.

Sometimes when I'm standing in front of the room teaching, I find myself swaying gently from side to side. I stop and mentally admonish myself that my students must think I'm crazy, that they don't understand the motion that grips you when you become a mother, they don't understand that once you begin swaying, you never stop.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the lovliness of loving you

I have eaten horribly this week. So horribly that it's not even funny. It's Secret Santa week at work, which means I've gotten candy in my mail box EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I've eaten all of it, every sweet, chocolate-y bite.

As if this week's sugar binge hasn't been bad enough, I took the boys for milkshakes Sunday. It was one of those mom moments where I was totally patting myself on the back. When Luke was a baby, we never went out to eat EVER because the thought of taking him to a restaurant was so daunting. The first time we ate out, he was a year old--and taking him by myself? I would've broken out in hives at the mere thought. So, as I packed the boys in the car by myself and took them out to eat by myself without even a second thought, I realized that I totally got this. Except that last night, Shane and I took the boys out together and it was an unmitigated DISASTER, so really? I don't got this.

But what I DID get was two delicious milkshakes shared with my two best boys.

It doesn't get any sweeter than this.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my hope secures

Once upon a long time ago, I sent Sara Joy this beautiful necklace. We'd never even met, but I saw it and knew that she needed it, as a reminder that hope IS always there, even when hidden.

When I was home with sick Tommy last week, I checked the mail and sighed in dismay at the stack of Christmas cards, knowing I'd yet to even order mine. I saw Sara Joy's return address and made a mental note to yell at her for taking the time to address Christmas cards when she should be napping.

To my surprise when I opened it, a very familiar necklace fell out, along with a note. I had to sit down to read it, so taken aback, so filled with awe at the thoughtfulness of the human heart. She said it was mine to borrow as long as I needed it. Until I could find hope on my own again.

I haven't taken it off since, except to shower and sleep. Wearing it around my neck, a necklace made by loving hands of one friend, passed on to the loving hands of another is like wearing a constant hug, a constant shoulder to cry on. I haven't felt like myself lately. I've had clouds in my head and it's been hard to find the words to admit that I'm not me, that I'm lost and lonely and scared.

But today, with the subtle reminder, the guiding pressure around my neck... I'm thinking I won't need this necklace much longer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here And Now

Today I am home from work for the zillionth time this year with a sick Tommy. I feel like I've been gloom and doom lately and each week I say, Wow. That was a rough week. Like, I've been saying this since the first week of October, but truthfully, they HAVE been rough weeks. I don't know why. I guess this is our season of sad and sick and hard, although I am still happy, I am also very sad. It's weird how the two can coexist, isn't it?

I thought it'd be fun to live blog our day, because I never get to do these things and I am always wishing I can. So here I am!


I'm drinking my second (big) cup of coffee (with Sweet Buttercream creamer, of course) while Tommy vacuums. Almost every single day, he runs to the closet and gets out the blue vacuum that Luke got for Christmas last year. He loves to vacuum, too. It's a big deal that he's doing it today, because the last two days, he's been this miserably sick shadow of himself and has just laid around. My house is a really huge mess and I'm behind on laundry, so I'm hoping to get caught up today. But also, I have season three of Dexter (which I am seriously in love with) and I'm kind of hoping to sit and watch that, too.
Tommy just crawled in my lap to nurse and is waving bye bye, which means that he wants to go take a nap. I should nap with him, but I will probably clean (or watch TV). What are you up to today?
(Tommy is blurry because my camera is a dumb jerk and focused on the vacuum instead of him, but also because he is a very fast vacuumer.)


Tommy is down for his nap, and I am hoping that today he will not wake up with a fever. Fevers in kids are always scary, but it's been very scary with Tommy because for me the fever chill induced shaking and the glassy stare was too much like a seizure. I just did a super quick clean of the house, which is seriously so messy. I picked up dirty clothes from every room and had enough clothes to fill an entire load of laundry. It's so bad when everyone is sick! Luckily, I am caught up on towels and sheets. I am going to mop the kitchen floor, then fold the two clean loads of laundry I have. Not very exciting, but much MUCH better than being at work. I just went through the mail from this week and found a Subway ad, which makes me very much want a giant sub RIGHT NOW. I wish Subway delivered.


Tommy just woke up from his nap crying, which is not normal for Tommy.

See? He was nursing and still had sad little tears slipping out of his eye. However, as I was uploading this picture, he got done and proceeded to maniacally throw every piece of folded clothing out of the basket and over his shoulder, which is normal for Tommy. Now he's upstairs playing with Luke's trains (Luke is at the sitter today), which means that I should probably refold the clothes, huh?
I just checked my online bank information and my last four debits have been from Papa John's and Dairy Queen. I think this means that I have a problem, except that eating awesome food is really not so much a problem as it is a big huge win and seriously, I wish I had pizza and a Blizzard right now. Why am I SO HUNGRY today?