Friday, December 31, 2010

Well, here we are again. About to embark on a whole new year's worth of excitement and adventure. At the risk of sounding like "one of those" people I am going to take this opportunity to share my goals and resolutions for 2011.
You know when there is something in your life that you know is wrong or maybe even just slightly "off" and you don't really notice it because either a) it has been there so long that it's just normal now or 2) you are so far in denial about it that you pretend it is normal? Or is this just me?'s not the most fun experience in the world to finally come to the realization that this "thing" is really taking it's toll. Not fun at all, my friend.
This year myself (and my husband) will be getting in shape. Physically and Financially. WHOA. "She really DOES sound like "one of those" doesn't she?"---I know you're thinking it. That's fine. I'd probably think the same thing about someone else. I just really feel like this year is different. I KNOW it is. Every other year before this I have had the same picture in my head. That I will magically wake up with a hot bod even though I seem to be stuck on eating ice cream and chips. Not going to happen. But THIS year...this year it has really hit me. I don't just want to be able to fit in smaller jeans (believe me...I do) but I want to be HEALTHY. I want to be a good example to my son. I don't want him to be the kid that refuses to eat anything but Happy Meals and Donuts. I want to provide a stable and loving environment and show him that healthy food can be and IS delicious. I think we're on a pretty decent start with Brennan. I started out when he first began eating solid foods with a book called "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron. It's pretty awesome and breaks down into incredibly simple terms how you can prepare your own fresh baby food and freeze it so that you know exactly what your baby is eating. The kid eats better than we do, seriously. He loves things like broccoli, lima beans, spinach and avocados...I'll take it. I just don't want to be a hypocrite. I don't want to eat things and have my son say "Can I have some?" and me say "No, it's not good for you." or worse..."Sure, have some." Don't misunderstand...I don't want to be one of those parent's that has this crazy anti-fast food and sugar agenda. I don't want my kid to be the one in the school cafeteria eating his tofu cake and bean sprouts while the other kids enjoy their snack packs...I just...want him to be a healthy boy who knows that Snickers are an occasional treat, not a daily ritual. So there you go...we're getting healthy. Besides, I have already had a membership to the gym here for the last 2 months and I would say that I have been going (on average) 3 times a week...a good head start if you ask me! PLUS...we're starting a garden (I'm practically giddy thinking about all of the fresh produce and how much cheaper and WAY tastier it will be!) and getting chickens so we will have fresh eggs. I WILL do it this year. For my family and for myself.
As far as the financial aspect goes...if you have any kind of debt or financial "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Now. Seriously...stop reading this and go read that instead. My husband (love that guy) has been trying to get me to read the book for about 3 years now and wouldn't you know...I didn't until just the other day. I'm tellin ya...good stuff. I am under no illusions that this "money makeover" of ours will be a walk in the park, but I totally psyched about it. I'm ready to not be a slave (in debt) to a master (creditor) anymore. Proverbs 22:7 It's like I said of those things that you know is wrong in your life, but you just choose to ignore or become so in denial about that it gets a little bit out of control. Unfortunately in today's society being in debt is "normal"...having student loans, credit cards, car loans...whatever. It's expected. It's the only way you can get what you want, right? Wrong. If you don't have money for something you want...don't buy it with money you don't have. Period. It's hard work when you have "stuff" shoved in your face all day long giving you the impression that you "need" certain things to be happy. I'll tell you what I NEED...I need a God who has patience with me and all of my shortcomings and loves me anyway. I NEED the support and love of my husband. I NEED to be able to know that I am raising my sweet boy to know that he is loved by God and by his Mom and Dad. I NEED to my son to learn to make wise decisions concerning money by watching his parents. Luckily I have a husband who is awesome and a leader in our marriage...we both want the same things in have a solid family and marriage and to be debt-free and able to live and give "like no one else".
Another reason why I feel like this and our physical fitness will work is that we are on the same page! Isn't it awesome to have someone to share your goal with?? Thank God for my amazing husband! So there you have it...two incredibly typical New Year's Resolutions that are about to have completely atypical results. Keep our family in your prayers! Maybe I will report back on December 31, 2011 and let you know how we're doing.
Happy New Year Everyone! May your 2011 be better than your 2010!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

I sincerely hope that everyone had a blessed and joyful Christmas. I know I did. It was pretty low key at our house, but I loved watching Brennan experience his Christmas this year (last year he was a bitty little guy so he didn't do much...although he did enjoy laying beneath the Christmas tree and gazing up at the lights last year.)
Derek was gone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (The life of a pilot!) but he came home around 3 o'clock on Sunday so we celebrated from that point on. We started with chopping down a "Christmas" Tree and hauling it back to Grandma and Grandpa's house to decorate. There were a few reasons for the delay in the tree festivities this year, but the main reason was that Brennan is quite "grabby" we wanted to hold off as long as possible so we wouldn't place an unnecessary temptation right in his lap. It was actually quite nippy outside (rare for Texas) so we bundled Brennan up in his batman hat and mittens (SO CUTE!) and we hopped on the gator with Grandpa and drove out to the pasture where we located the perfect tree. Not your typical Christmas tree, but a tree nonetheless. This was my first tree-cutting experience and I will say that I didn't actually cut the tree, but watching Derek do it was awesome. He was a pro! The tree came down in under 5 minutes and it fell perfectly. I asked him later how he learned to cut down a tree like that and he said it was from watching "AxMen" on the Discovery Channel. Don't you just love educational TV? Anyway, we got it loaded onto the trailer and hauled it back home and set it up with decorations and all. It was lovely and smelled quite nice.
Then we had a delicious Christmas feast and we all ate way too much, but then again...what else can you do when you have such amazing food staring you in the face? It just wouldn't be Christmas without a healthy bout of food contractions.*
After dinner we opened presents. Let me just say that I enjoy presents, but not nearly as much as I enjoy giving presents. Now that I am a mother, I can't tell you how much fun it is to watch my baby boy open presents and get excited about them! Probably the most precious thing ever. By the's official...we have the most spoiled boy in the world right here. He got so many books and toys and clothes. Funny thing about the clothes...every time he opened an article of clothing he would throw it over his shoulder as if to say "Are you kidding me?? What is this?? I asked for TOYS. T-O-Y-S. Not CLOTHES. Ugh." Hilarious. They learn early, don't they?
All in all it was a very sweet Christmas and spending time with family was wonderful. I love having Derek home to snuggle and watching Brennan reunite with his Daddy never gets old. It melts my heart into a puddle of warm, sappy goo. I am so blessed! I'm bracing myself for a fabulous New Year and I hope you are too!!
By the way, I had pictures to go along with this but couldn't seem to make blogspot upload them. Terribly sorry. Maybe next time?**

*Food Contractions were first introduced into my life whilst having a delicious-sinfully delicious-meal ala Lisa McCart (aka Mama Lisa) the mother of my dear friend, Kirsten.
**Speaking of Kirsten, I totally stole the "*" at the end of the word to express something below from her blog. Thanks Skirst!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Emotional Napsack

I have always been a pretty emotional person. All kinds of emotion really...happiness, sadness, anger, etc. I have heard it said that that means you are a "passionate" person. I'll take it.
When I was young I was a crier. When I say that I cried a lot...I mean, I cried A LOT. I was one of those people that would exit the movie theater after a sappy chick-flick with red puffy eyes. I was the girl that was on weepy-hyper drive at all times. Seriously like the infamous tween from the American Idol crowd...that was me. I'm not sure what happened though because once I hit about 19 or 20 I just kind of stopped. Not to say that I turned into a heart-of-stone-no-tears-robot...some things still made me cry, but I just stopped crying at the drop of a hat. I stopped crying during movies...even sappy ones!! It was the weirdest thing and I couldn't quite figure it out. I thought I was broken. Or maybe that I had cried so much in my early years that I was all dried up.
Well now that I a Mother...let me tell is back in full force, my friends. What is it about having a baby that causes you to find every little thing emotionally wrenching? Or is it just me? I find myself looking at things like paintings or flowers and thinking about how beautiful they are. Let me just pause and say that paintings and flowers have yet to make me actually shed a tear, but they can definitely make me stop and appreciate...whereas maybe I didn't so much before. I'll tell you what really gets me though...kid stuff. It doesn't even have to be MY kid (although that really does it) Songs about kids, Movies about kids, Pictures of kids, Stories about kids, Kids that are kids...It's pretty ridiculous actually. The radio comes on this time of year and you hear the little kid singing about buying his Mom some Christmas Shoes so she can meet Jesus...I mean...COME ON!!! Who writes this stuff?? (By the way, that song used to-and still does annoy me, but I just can't help but feel sad when I hear it! UGH!) Another thing...the other day I was watching Lord of the Rings-Return of the King with my husband and watching Sam encourage Frodo and then carry him up that mountain...*sigh* Maybe it's because the hobbits are small like kids??
There are times when Brennan is being super sweet and cuddly (he gives the best bear hugs!) that I just cry. He is just so precious and adorable and sweet that I feel like I might overflow or burst with joy and thankfulness. I am thankful that God chose to bless me with such an incredible little person in my life. It's all sort of a snowball thing really. Thinking of how thankful I am for Brennan makes me think of how blessed I am to have Derek who is a super Dad which makes me think about how I love my little family. Watching Sam carry Frodo up the mountain makes me think about how loyal and awesome friends have been in my life. Hearing that shoe song for the 5 hundred-thousandth time makes me think about how blessed I am to HAVE shoes and to be able to spare even just a fraction of what I have so that someone else might have something special on Christmas.
I realize that all of that was sort of jumbled (what can I say? I'm an emotional girl :-)) but basically what it comes to is that becoming a mother has brought me back to realizing that I am so truly blessed and helped me to embrace the fact that I am a big sappy cry baby. It has also made me especially tenderhearted where Children are concerned. I just love 'em.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Isn't it funny how a song can bring you straight back to a LONG time ago? Or maybe not so long ago, but for the rest of your life a particular song will always make you remember someone or someplace or something. For instance...this morning when I went to the gym to work out I was listening to my Zune (used to be an iPod, but then it vanished-aka got stolen, but only after I accidentally left in on a really it was MY fault, ANYWAY...) and I always put it on "Shuffle All" when I work out because I feel like it leaves an element of surprise that forces me to keep working out just a little longer so I can see what song will come up next!! Exciting right? I know...not really, but I do what I can to keep things spontaneous. So anyway, today I am working out and into my little earbuds comes the lovely voice of Freddy Mercury (may he rest in peace) singing "Fat Bottom Girls". I chuckled as I was trucking along on the treadmill because it was ironic to me that I was listening to a song about how "fat bottom girls make the rocking world go 'round" and there I was trying to rid my body of a fat bottom. The other thing that popped into my head is how my dear friend Kirsten used to sing it "FLAT bottom girls" instead of fat. Which lead me to remember endless sleepovers and car rides in the "jeepers" where we would listen to music (such as Queen) and "rock our faces off" (Also a commonly used phrase from that time in my life) So, yeah...I took a nice little stroll down memory lane today. Now as I am writing this though, I am thinking about how other specific songs remind me of certain people or places or things. Like...oh I don't know...let's see...That one song by Evan Essence, don't know the name but every time I hear it I think of going to the viewing for a girl who died. I went to high school with her and she died shortly after we graduated. The weird thing is...I wasn't really close friends with her and I can't remember her last name for the life of me, but all I know is...when I hear that song I immediately envision myself in that teeny tiny funeral home room looking at her in a casket. Needless to say, I typically change the station or avoid listening to that song when I can. On a happier note, when ever I hear Frank Sinatra bellowing for me to "Start Spreadin' The News..." I am transported to a little living room on Avellana Circle where me and my goofy friends created a video where we sang and danced (and also did "Real World"-esque confessionals...that's right, I admit it.) to "New York, New York". There's also "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" which will always, always remind me of LindsAy Johnson. "The Star Spangled Banner" by KISS---brings me back to first annual "BOREth of July". "Maggie Mae" by Rod Stewart and how it made Amy cry. Really what it boils down to is that I LOVE music. It's such a big part of my life and I always used to wish that I could have a "soundtrack" to my life, but I have realized that I kind of do. What songs take YOU back??

Monday, December 13, 2010

This weekend we traveled to Tyler, TX to go to "SantaLand" a spectacular drive-thru Christmas light display. It has over 2 million lights (imagine the electric bill for that place!) and you drive through several different "themes". Another really cool thing was that when you arrived they informed you to tune your radio to a special station so that you experience the music with the lights. The timing was awesome and they played Trans Siberian Orchestra-esque (actually it probably WAS the Trans Siberian Orchestra) music on the station. The lights would twinkle and turn on and off at just the right moment from the song. I was actually pretty impressed. Brennan, however was more than impressed. He alternated sitting in mine and Derek's laps and spent the entire 30-ish minute car ride saying "ooooo...." "OOOO..." "ooooOOOooooOOooo..." It was quite possibly the most adorable thing ever. It just made me so happy that he was so happy. Isn't it awesome how sweet and innocent children are? How they can totally "light up" (no pun intended) by something so simple? It really made my heart warm to see how excited he was. It's nice to take a break from being a grown up and having all of these grown up things to do and think about and just..."oooo" and "aaahhh" over the Christmas Lights.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tales of Christmas Past

Well hello there, Blogging World. Lovely to see you again. Forgive me for my absence, I have been in the midst of life, you understand. Ironically enough I am finding it difficult to think of things to write about. Not for lack of "happenings" if you will, but just that I can't imagine why anyone would feel compelled to read about MY happenings. I mean exciting can my life be for other people? Not very. I like it though, so that's good. A wise friend of mine once told me that even if I am just blogging to blog and no one ever reads's still a nice way to "talk it out". A release, if you will. So here goes...the topic of this blog shall be: my favorite Christmas-time memories of my 26 years of life...what can I say? I'm feeling holly AND jolly. Here goes. (these are not in chronological order, by the way)
#1...When Derek arrived at my old Watergate Drive townhouse at some ridiculous hour (I believe it was 6 am) and woke me up on Christmas Morning. I was not pleased. I am someone who likes my sleep. I opened the door and returned immediately to the couch where I proceeded to close my eyes and get back to my dreams. He said he needed a drink "mmm-k." I replied, but he was back a little too soon and kneeling next to me on the couch he pulled out a beautiful ring and asked "will you marry me?" AHH! Any guy who proposes to a girl with some kickin' morning breath, dressed in sweats and a crooked ponytail must really love her! And the rest is history folks...
#2...When I was a little girl (4 or 5? As a matter of fact I think I had JUST turned 5) all I wanted was an Easy Bake Oven. was my life long wish. So on Christmas Eve, much to my delight I was able to open and play with said treat-maker. Well, get Mom made me share the dang thing!! Can you believe her??? Well, naturally I was not compliant and she informed me that if I didn't want to share I could return to my room and sit alone. Which I did. Not before I dialed 911 to inform the operator that my mother was "being bad to me" though. Approximately 10 minutes after I hung up the phone when the operator told me Santa doesn't bring gifts to children who are naughty, a police officer showed up at our doorstep. Needless to say, my mother was not feeling the "Christmas Spirit" when she came back to my room. (Ok, maybe this isn't a favorite memory per se, but it DOES stand out!)
#3...When I dressed up as a ridiculous Elf with Liz Logan-Eagle (was it an elf? Well..."something" anyway) for "Christmas Coffeehouse" at LU and was selected by Santa Claus (aka Mike Sanders...shhh...don't tell!) to perform a "catwalk" routine on stage. Well...all was fine and dandy until I actually got ON stage. Do you even know how many people FIT in the Vines Center?? A lot. That's how many. Well, I choked!! I could hear my friends (only a few rows back from the stage) yelling something to me but I couldn't make it out. As soon as I stepped off the stage (losing the prize to some idiot wearing only an extremely large Santa lame) it hit me! "THROW THE CANDY" they were yelling. AHA! I had completely forgotten the special mini-stocking pockets that I had glued on to the front of my poinsettia sweater that were full of delicious holiday treats for the crowd!! Darn. This memory would have been better if I had won the prize, but alas...goofy Santa Hat guy beat me. The point of this one though is that I love my crazy friends dearly and I miss them lots.
#4...Watching a 24-loop on TNT of "The Christmas Story" in my Great-Grandparent's den with all of my siblings and cousins. The best.
#5...(and I will stop for now because...well...I feel like it I guess, plus who is honestly going to read all of this?) creating "family" Christmas with friends when we couldn't be with our real families. There are actually several memories that fall into this category because of the fact that I have lived away from my family for quite some time, but most recently we spent Brennan's first Christmas with "Not Our Family". (The "not our" stemming from the days in college when I was put in a dorm room with LindsAy Johnson...TWO Lindsa/ey Johnson's in one room, people!! Her family sort of adopted me and called me "Not Our Lindsey"--it's a term of endearment, trust me. So now that we have Brennan he calls them (or will when he can talk) "No'ma and No'pa" and they are seriously good people. Some of the best, actually.)
I love making memories with my family and friends and this really is the most wonderful time of the year. I am blessed. I think I'll make an effort to keep this thing updated more often, but lets be honest...who knows how that'll turn out. Bye bye for now.