Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'll need to win the lottery to afford their therapists' bills

Without going into too much, I'll say this: I guess lots of moms feel like they're ruining their children's lives at times. Well, I feel that way sometimes too. I know my kids know that I love them. And I know that they love me. But I just wish I could always be that "good mom" that every child deserves. The mom that never loses her temper, or says hurtful things. The mom that makes her husband proud and her kids feel secure, safe and happy. But I guess that's the thing about being human...we all make mistakes and lose it sometimes. Thank goodness for forgiveness, huh? Forgiveness from our children, our spouses and from our God. Mercy is so good...I should learn to give it more freely.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

I just love the holidays. And Thanksgiving is my favorite. I am already dreaming of what I'll make for the four (yes, count em, four) dinners I will be attending next Thursday. At my grandmother's house I have been given the honor of making Mashed Potatoes. Now unless you are blessed with a uterus and ovaries, this will sound like a menial task. But if you are of the fairer sex...then you know what I'm talking about. It may not be mashed potatoes in your family; maybe it's green bean casserole, or pumpkin pie, or that orange marshmallow fluff...but in every family there is a dish that is expected, anticipated and revered. At my grandmother's house, it was her fluffy, buttery, perfect mashed potatoes. Three years ago she taught me how to make them just like she does. And the Thanksgiving after our cooking lesson, she asked me if I would bring them to our family dinner. And I tell you the truth...it is a duty I do not take lightly. I have crossed the threshold between being a girl and being an important woman in my family circle. For it is I who brings the Mashed Potatoes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Return to the Blogosphere

Hello? Hellooo? Anyone still out there? Please leave me a comment if you are here reading this. I so hope I didn't lose my whole audience (all two of you!) by disappearing for so long...

It's been a wacky month full of surprises and challenges & some fun too. I guess the best way to catch up would be to do a month in review in pictures, but Blogger and my camera are having a fight today, so that's just not going to happen. Sorry! So instead here's a transcript of a conversation I had with Corban (my 3 year old) in the middle of the night as he came in my room and crawled into bed with me:

(I roll over groggily and notice Corban looking right at me. He takes my face in his hands and...)

Corban: "Let's talk."

Me: "What?"

Corban: "Friends, right?"

Me: "Friends...right. Of course."
*Photo is of Corban the Entertainer doing his famous smooshie-face on the door of our entertainment center. He really is much cuter than Quasimodo in real-life. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

6 Years in the Making

It finally happened! And of course Heath was out of town and missed it - I'm sure he is so bummed. But here are the pics to show my daughter in all her athletic glory, scoring her first goal!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Real Reason the 'Boys won last night...

It wasn't just the explosive offense or the amazing athletic abilities of Tony Romo, T.O. and Marion Barber (to name a few). I'm almost positive that last night's victory had a lot to do with the amazing fans we are grooming down here in Arlington!

Go Cowboys!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Showing her Spirit

Tonight the Charlotte Anderson Vikings put on a stellar program at the Welcome Back Feast! All the kids were decked out in their spirit wear, including my little CAE Viking. Check out her snazzy new skirt and hair ribbons I whipped up last night!

Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy being this kind of mommy again?!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pool Par-tay!

Here are some pics from Chloe's 6th Birthday Party! Heath's Uncle Darrell very graciously allowed Chloe and 15 of her nearest and dearest friends (along with their parents) to descend upon his beautiful backyard to celebrate her special day. The kids had a blast and the parents were able to chill out and visit and enjoy the party too. All in all, it was a simply fabulous day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Watching and waiting for the school day to end...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

As Giddy as a School Girl

Well, the day has come and gone and I'm glad to say that it all went off without a hitch. Chloe (and her mother, thank you very much) did very well and didn't shed a single tear. Here are some pics to prove it!

My little Hippie-Chick.

I wonder how many more years we'll get to take this photo!

Chloe & Mrs. Conine

Corban thoroughly enjoyed the Boo-Hoo Breakfast that was served for the Kindergarten Parents in the library after drop-off! Not much boo-hooin' comin' from him today! Bring on the Krispy Kremes!

Here's Chloe with her new BFF, Emily. I talked to Emily's mom today and apparently Chloe and Emily "made a secret" yesterday at potty-time. They're going to pretend that they're sisters at school. Girls...so silly...

Getting out of order makes me stressed...

So before I post our pics for Chloe's first day of Kindergarten, let me post a few other pics that I've been meaning to!

First, here are some photos of Chloe being an adorable flower girl in my cousin Sabra's wedding. It was such a wonderful wedding - one of the best I've ever been to. For their first dance, Sabra and Joey did the dance number from dirty dancing...pure greatness I tell ya!

Now here are a couple from Sarah Valentine's baby shower. Also a fabulous day that totally deserves a place in the blogosphere. I made a diaper cake for her that I was pretty proud of. Check it out below.

OK, next post will be kindergarten pics, I promise!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just one last post before I leave...

I'm about to log off of my work computer for the very last time...I have to admit I'm getting a little misty.

But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Here's to my new adventure.

(Sorry...I couldn't resist. It was just too easy!)

3 Days till Kindergarten...

Last night we walked to Chloe's new school with our neighbor Michelle Dudley and her two boys for Meet the Teacher Night. Michelle's son Zac will also start kindergarten on Monday. Michelle is one of those awesome people who seem to know at least a dozen people no matter where they go! And she knows so much about the school too, which is funny because Zac is her oldest, so it's not like she has previous experience being a school-kid mom or anything. Anyhoo...because I'm so easily influenced I found myself hoping to get Mrs. Conine as Chloe's kindergarten teacher. Michelle told me that's who she was hoping for and that she was just amazing! And I'm glad to say that both Zac and Chloe got her! So yea for that! And the other fun thing is that we'll be walking to and from school w/ the Dudley's (and tons of other neighbors) so I'm also thankful to have a new shared bonds of friendship!

(One of my personal favorite pre-kindergarten reads)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I just love being a girl...

There is no way a man would get the same amount of joy from a simple photo of a movie of one of the best love stories ever written. It's true...

PS- But Colin Firth will always be the real Mr. Darcy.

Memoirs of a Morbid Mom...

I often wonder if other people think about dying as much as I do. I know that this is going to sound disturbing...but ever since I was a little kid I've had this feeling that I would die of some sort of incurable sickness or something...and not at a ripe old age either. I don't necessarily think it's a sign or an omen that it's bound to happen, but more that I realize that that kind of thing does happen in this world. And it could very well happen to me as easily as it could happen to anyone else. The thing is that I'm not really scared of death, but instead I'm very aware of my own mortality and realize that my days are numbered. Mostly these thoughts make me realize that I need to live everyday to its fullest and make the most of every opportunity I'm given while I am here on earth.

Last night I was up until 1 a.m. labeling 32 crayons with Chloe's name for kindergarten. Every single crayon had to have her first and last name on it. At first I was a little annoyed at having to perform this menial task in such a state of exhaustion, but then as I was labeling them I started thinking about how Chloe's life would change if I died. (You see it's in these random moments that my thoughts begin to wander...) I wondered if Chloe would maybe keep those crayons forever because they had my handwriting on them and it was too precious to her to let go of anything that I had written for her. I have a good friend who lost her father when she was only a teenager and her mother kept carbon copies of his checks for 15 years because she couldn't bear to let go of his signature. My friend recently used those old checks and had her dad's signature tattooed on her. It's weird to think that we really have no control over how long our lives will be and also to think of how much our lives (and in turn, our deaths) will affect those who are so close to us.

So I drew a little heart on each crayon beside her name...just in case.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Emotional Update

A few months ago, I went through a very hard thing. I can't really expound on it here, but those who know me well know exactly what happened. So without going into any gory details, the point is this: I realized over the past weekend how OK I am now. It wasn't like a light came on at some magical moment or anything as distinct as that...but after the weekend was over and I was replaying some of the fun and wonderful things that had happened, I gently realized that the pain that had been there before - and the awkwardness and the anger - well, it just wasn't anymore. The change had been so subtle and so gradual that I hadn't even noticed that it was taking place.

They say time heals all things. And even though I'm not usually the biggest fan of cliches, I have to say that I believe this one now. So thank you Time. You've done your job very well.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Green Smoothie Challenge - Day 1

Another green breakfast and this morning even the kids joined in the fun! The proof is in the pudding, folks! If a 2 year old and a 5 year old will drink a green smoothie, then you know it has to taste yummy! Here's the recipe for my breakfast smoothie:

½ cucumber- peeled and sliced thick
8 fresh strawberries
½- ¾ cup cubed fresh pineapple
1 sliced fresh peach
1 cup red grapes
¾ cup water
1- 1 ½ cups of fresh spinach leaves
1 ½ cups of ice

First blend together all the fruits & the water until smooth. Then add the spinach leaves and the ice and blend until very smooth.
And here's some interesting info on the goodness of greens:

  • They contain more vitamin A than carrots

  • They contain more vitamin C than oranges

  • They contain more vitamin E than whole wheat

  • They contain more vitamin B2 than milk

  • They contain quality proteins (with a good amino acid profile)

  • They provide essential alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are not found in sufficient quantities in fruits, nuts and seeds.

Source: http://www.greensmoothiequeen.com/materials/prepday.html

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I love the smell of fresh kale in the morning...

So I started on the green smoothie thing a little early. I couldn't stop thinking about kale yesterday...which leads me to believe I may be knocked up or something, because who in their right mind craves kale to the point of dropping everything to go get some...I mean really...

I did a green smoothie for dinner, and was good for about 2 hours. Then I had a hypoglycemic breakdown and scarfed down two bean burritos when I got home from Spanish class. Ooops. But hey, at least I know now what to expect and can plan accordingly for my 3 day challenge.

This morning my breakfast smoothie consisted of fresh cucumber, strawberries, red grapes, kale and a banana. I added in water and lots of ice to make it nice and frothy. It made enough for me and Heath, and it was so delicious! Hip-Hip-Hooray for a healthy start to the day!

PS- Notice that lovely new back splash? Gotta love a handy husband!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The official color of this weekend - GREEN

I've been feeling rather icky lately with the way I look, the way I feel, just everything. That isn't supposed to sound like a plea for my friends to spew niceties on me...it's just the plain and simple truth and confession that I've been eating well...basically garbage for the past few weeks. So I think this little gem - the Green Smoothie Queen 3 Day Challenge - may be just the thing to get me revved back up and excited again about eating the wonderful, healthy things that God has put on the Earth for us (instead of the highly processed jizzunk that so often finds its way to my plate!)

I happened upon this challenge while searching for a cute clip to send my friend Pam at work after she created a totally fab strawberry pineapple smoothie for us this afternoon. I was so intrigued after reading about using kale, spinach, even parsley into traditional fruity smoothies to up the protein and calcium. It sounds like a wonderful challenge to me. So I think I'll do it! I start on Friday and will end on Sunday. Ooooh...maybe I'll have to tweak it a little since I'm just now remembering that Heath's birthday party is on Saturday and Sarah's baby shower is on Sunday. Maybe Green Smoothies 2 of 3 meals a day with some regular food mixed in at the parties. Shoot...it's still gotta be better than nothing, right?

Here's to the weekend - I'll let you know how it turned out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

This time of year always takes me back to the happy and hopeful times of my childhood. It's Back to School time...and what could be better than spending hours perusing overflowing shelves of school supplies?! Present me with a brand new box of perfectly sharpened Crayola crayons and I will exhale such a sigh of contentment the world has never heard. Aisles upon aisles of brand new folders, spiral notebooks, pencils, markers, gleaming as a symbol of a fresh start and hope for a new year. Some people celebrate the new year on January 1, some see Spring as the symbolic representation of renewal or new life...but for me it's Fall. Right now. This is where my new year begins.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Minor Panic Attack - First of Many, I'm Sure

My daughter will be going to kindergarten in less than a month. I just got off the phone with the YMCA, getting all the details about the after-school program, which actually sounds so fun. I hung up the phone and imagined the exchange between me and Chloe on her first day of school:

Me: OK, Chloe, you'll be in this strange new place all day. Obey all these grown-ups you've never met before and make sure to play nice with all the kids (even the big, huge ones) you're meeting for the first time. Eat your lunch (in that big, strange cafeteria) and don't eat the treat first...eat the healthy stuff too. And after school you'll be going wherever one of the new adults tells you to go and doing things you've never done before until I get here to pick you up at about 5:30 pm. OK?

Chloe: (whimper...)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday...it just doesn't even begin to describe it.

Last weekend was supposed to be one of the best weekends ever. I had been planning a glorious road trip with Heath to Wichita, Kansas to see MxPx at a show they were playing there. It was going to be perfect. Heath's mom is off work for the summer and could keep the kids for us for 4 blissful days and we could just get in the car and drive and hang out together.

But everything ended up falling through. We had an unexpected expense come up and and then my mom needed us to watch my 13 year-old brother, and well...it was all over but the crying. And let me tell you I have done some crying. Call me a baby; call me selfish; call me what you will...but I am utterly and completely bummed!

Heath promised me that we will go see another show soon, but that's pretty unlikely. I'm sure it was more the kind of promise that's made to get a girl to stop crying than one that is well thought out and formulated to succeed. I've looked at the tour dates and unless we somehow become rich enough to buy airline tickets to Belgium, Holland, Germany, or even L.A., and come across someone who can watch our kids during the school year, it's just not gonna happen. This was our only chance to see them this year. The drive was doable (6 hours), I would only have to take one day off work, and MxPx was the headlining band. I don't want to go see a show where they are only playing 4 or 5 songs as an opening act for RANCID or something. I wanted to see them, not somebody else!

Anyway, so here I am stuck in a cube today, crying my eyes out wishing I were in a car riding home with my best friend, hungover from the adrenaline of seeing my favorite band, my ears still ringing from punk decibal overload.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Uncle Timmy

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

today kinda sucks

I can't take it when the one person who is supposed to understand me and love me and be nice to me is disappointed in me and mean to me.

It's crappy and I hate it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Internal Struggle

Over the weekend, Heath and I caught the last half of the movie "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" on Encore. These are the kind of stories I love. The kind of stories that stir up a righteous anger in me. Hmmm...I don't know if that's the best way to describe it...but let's just go with it for now.

I've known in my spirit for a while now that Wal-Mart is probably the devil, but have put off reading too much, watching too much or researching too much about it for fear that I'd have to take action...make changes...inform others.

But I found myself at that crossroads on Saturday - in that sacred place of enlightenment that God often brings me to. That place where He shows me an injustice and watches to see what I'll do about it.

I'm tempted to list off all the horrible things that Wal-Mart does to the communities it descends upon, the workers that depend on them, the laborers that work for less-than-nothing overseas to make the toy I just bought for that kid's birthday party, the environment, and every other person, place or thing they touch. But I won't. Instead I think I may host a public screening of the movie. If anyone is interested in watching or has a location we can use, let me know.

After I watched the movie, I knew I could never shop there again. (I'm sure this won't be an easy feat...but something I will do anyway.) I also researched Target, and found what I already knew - that they are really no different than their evil twin. They just come in a prettier package. So what now for me? Where will I buy birthday presents, groceries, adorable cheap clothing for my kids, get my photos developed? The list goes on and on...
I don't know the answer to those questions. But I trust that God will lead me. I know that the Wakeland family can't single-handedly bring down the big, bad corporate Goliaths - I'm not that naive. But I do know what God expects of me personally and from my family. And to Him I will submit. The right thing is not always easy, but it is always right.

Take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Ephesians 4:22-24 (MSG)

PS- Please don't take this as a judgment if you shop at Wal-Mart. Obviously the opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of anyone incredibly important. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I swear this isn't an 80's Blog, but...

This morning Lauren and I were chatting online while we were working. We were reminiscing about all the good memories we have of her dad taking us swimming in the summertime as kids. He always packed us a great lunch and it always, always included New York Seltzer - the yummiest drink ever created! My favorite was Vanilla Cream! MM MM! Anyway, I got online to see if you could still buy the stuff anywhere. Apparently Big Lots carries a new version of it in some places in the U.S. but the location by my work doesn't have it. I know because I checked on my lunch break.

But in my quest to find this delicious drink online I found a fun list that's a bit too long, but I don't want to take the time to edit! So for your reading pleasure:

"You know you're an 80's Child if..."

1. You had a crush on one of the New Kids on the Block members.
2. You wanted to be on Star Search.
3. You ever uttered the word "Radical!"
4. You wore jelly shoes and jelly bracelets
5. You thought "Ghostbusters" was by far the coolest movie
6. You remember watching shows like "Punky Brewster" , "Webster", You Can't Do That On Television" , "Wild&Crazy Kids" and "Double Dare"
7. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off. Or even when he had those freaky eyes in "Thriller" at the end of the video.
8. You wore a banana clip in your hair or one of those slap on wrist bands at some point during your youth.
9. You rolled up the bottoms of your splatter painted jeans.
10. You wore loafers with everything, and you put the laces in those little rolls.
11. You had slouch socks, and puff painted your own shirt at least once.
12. You owned a doll with 'Xavier Roberts' signed on it's butt.
13. You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout."
14. You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, Wax off."
15. You can name half of the members of the elite "Brat Pack."
16. You can remember watching Full House and Saved by the Bell for endless hours!
17. You have seen at least 10 episodes of Fraggle Rock.
18. You yearned to be a member of The Babysitters Club, and tried to start a club of your own.
19. You sat on your back porch, playing with your "My Little Pony" ,
"Rainbow Brite" , and "Strawberry Shortcake" dolls
20. You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer."
21. You hold a special place in your heart for "Back to the Future."
22. You know where to go if you "wanna go where everybody knows your name."
23. You thought Molly Ringwald was REALLY cool.
24. You know what "psyche" and "not!" mean
25. You fell victim to 80's fashion : big hair, crimped, combed over to the side, big hoop earrings, and possibly the worst:you wore spandex pants.
26. You wanted to be a Goonie, or Elliot from E.T.
27. You owned an extensive collection of Cabbage Patch Kids and trolls.
28. You knew "The Artist" when he was humbly called "Prince."
29. You actually saw Ted Danson as the MacDaddy he played "Sam" to
30. You ever wore flourescent (neon, if you will) clothing....
31. You could breakdance, or wished you could.
32. You know who He-Man and She-Ra are.
33. You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game system. 34. You know all the words to "Ice Ice Baby".
35. You remember MC hammer well.
36. You can still sing the rap to "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air".
37. You own any cassettes.
38. You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.
39. You remember and/or own any of the CareBear Glass collection from PizzaHut.
40. Pizza Hut was the coolest place to hang.
41. Poltergeist freaked you out.
42. You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins or an E.T. lunchbox.
43. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female smurf.
44. You wanted to communicate with some being named Cinergy, or you wanted green hair like that lead singer of the Misfits.
45. You totally LOVED Barbie's cooler, punkier counterpart, "Jem"
and her "Rockers"
46. You wanted to have an alien like Alf living in your house.
47. You wore biker shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish.
48. You wore tights under shorts and felt stylish.
49. You layered your multi-colored slouch socks, and added suspenders to make your outfit complete.
50. You ever had a Swatch Watch.
51. You actually spent countless hours trying to perfect the care-bear stare.
52. You had a crush on one of the Coreys.
53. You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.
54. You had WonderWoman or Superman underwear.
55. You wanted to be The Hulk for Halloween.
56. You believed that "By the power of Greyskull, you HAD the power"
57. You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
58. Partying "like it's 1999" seemed SO far away!!!!!!!!!!!!!
59. You ever owned or wanted any of the NKOTB action figures or dolls.
60. You remember when Deborah Gibson was "Debbie" Gibson.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ten Fond Memories of a Child of the 80's

1. Punky Brewster

2. Strawberry Shortcake

3. My Little Ponies

4. Rainbow Brite

5. Popples

6. Barbie and the Rockers

7. He-Man & She-Ra

8. Ewoks

9. Side Ponytails

10. The Get-Along Gang