Sunday, October 30, 2011

bejeweled sweatsuits ahead

I am trying to be open and genuine, even if it is hard. So it makes it a lot easier with all of the sweet comments, texts and emails after my post last week. And then I saw this pin on Pinterest which perfectly describes the last month. One day, this will all seem hilarious. Maybe. 

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have been absent from this blog for about 2 weeks now. Well, who am I kidding. I have been absent for a lot longer. If blog posts have seemed like fluff, that is because they are. Fluff on a page to make me feel normal when I am everything but normal. My life is fluff and my heart is absent. 

This season has overwhelmed me with its never ending waves of stress. I want to be fair to the people in my life and not disclose too much because some of the waves are their own to ride. But I am tired from keeping a smile on my face and feeling like our life is not one of peace right now. Brian left his job of six years for a new opportunity early this summer, one I completely supported him in. I was so proud of him taking a risk that could lead him on a new path in his career. For 2 months, he intensely studied for a national exam. During that time, I was constantly trying to juggle an extremely busy job, a toddler, a house, and supporting my hardworking husband as he was working around the clock. After two months, he took the exam and did not pass, causing him to be let go from the program. He was devastated and I was too, as we felt God had led him to this opportunity and he had worked so hard to study all of this information.

The last 2 months since he was let go has been an overwhelming parade of crisis after crisis, never so much that we could not stay afloat but just enough to feel like we were barely able to paddle above the waves. Lila had a burn accident with hot coffee and a severe virus with high spiking fevers, multiple car problems, unexpected medical bills, extended family health problems, daycare juggling and huge work issues for me. 

Through all of it, I have tried to "be still" and keep going back to the ways God is providing for us. We have managed to stay okay financially. I still have my job and can provide us health care. I have an amazing husband who spends his free time organizing kitchen cabinets, taking care of our house and caring for Lila, all while looking for a new job. Lila is safe and growing into a smart, beautiful little girl. And we have a wonderful family that supports us. 

But I am tired. Tired of this roller coaster. Tired of waking up every morning and already feeling defeated. I am ready for God to move us past this season of unrest and the unknown. I want to be able to enjoy the blessings in our lives without feeling like it is the high before the crashes that keeps coming. And I am tired of fluffing. Jesus, please take my absent heart and make it new again. 

How many times have I turned away
The number is the same as the sand on the shore
But every time You've taken me back
And now I pray You do it once more.

Please take from me my life when I don't have the strength to give it away to You
Please take from me my life when I don't have the strength to give it away to You Jesus

How many times have I turned away
The number is the same as the stars in the sky
But every time You've taken me back
And now I pray You do it tonight.
~"Take My Life" by Third Day

Monday, October 17, 2011

we just got a letter

We got an unmarked piece of mail for Brian this weekend. It did not have a return address but was postmarked from Santa Ana, CA. We live in NC but I grew up in California so it did not seem that weird. However when we opening it, it had a newspaper story with a post-it note on it that said
"Brian, I thought you might be interested. ~J"
The article was about one of those self-help, we can help you get rich schemes. Brian has been looking for work so we spent an hour texting people who we knew in California with a J name. None of them had sent them. So then we started to get freaked out. Why would they send a real piece of newspaper with a handwritten post-it note, but no name and no return address? Why would they use a printed font on the envelope that looked like a typewriter? Suddenly all of those Criminal Minds episodes started running through our brain. 
We were being slowly poisoned by time-released glue on the envelope! There was a tracking device in the paper to see our movements! They wanted us to Google the self-help book and then a virus would be downloaded on our computer! At the end of the day, we threw it away and shook our heads at the weird, no-name note. Has anyone else received strange mail they could not track?

Please Mister Postman, look and see, if there's a letter in your bag for me
Please, Please Mister Postman
Why's it taking such a long time for me to hear from that boy of mine
~"Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes

Saturday, October 15, 2011

fever pitched

Craziest week in quite a while, hence the lack of posting. Lila has been feeling bad all week and Tuesday was just not herself with Brian at home. She would not eat all day and then refused dinner, instead crawling up on the couch and falling asleep next to me. This was not my little girl, who is usually jumping off the couch instead of sleeping on it! I felt her head and she was not warm but I decided to keep her next to me on the couch for a while. 30 minutes later she startled awake, looked at me and said "Hot!" very loudly. Sure enough a temperature check read 103.5 degrees. We immediately gave her motrin, put a wet cool towel around her neck and jumped in the car to the hospital. 
They got us back into a room in five minutes and had several different doctors checked her quickly to make sure there were no signs of meningitis or anything more serious. Thank God she is easily distracted by cell phones because she was not happy with all these doctors bugging her. Turns out she has an ear infection and a nasty virus that is going around. My adrenaline was still rushing when we got her home several hours earlier and laid her down to sleep in our bed. We were told she should be feeling better in a day or two, but this entire week has been a never ending cycle of temperature checks, spiking high fevers, alternating tylenol and motrin, trying to convince Lila to eat ANYTHING and bribing her to drink her sippy cup with juice. Today (five days after the first fever) she is finally fever free. On Thursday it spiked to a high of 104.1 and I am telling you what, my heart cannot take any more. 

I have also been laying low as I was sharing the same cold with Lila last week that turned into a nasty sinus infection and virus on Wednesday. Which meant a low grade fever for me, popped ears and swollen glands. Top that off with four nights of a toddler kicking me in the face while I sleep and I was DONE yesterday. I of course "took it easy" by spending the entire day at a budget meeting and then last night I told Brian I quit. I put Lila in her crib with a dose of Tylenol, prayed over her that she would stay fever free all night, got into bed at 8:45pm and slept for 11 hours. And it was beautiful. 

Today I feel more energized than I have in days and Lila is slowly starting to eat again. Brian is being the best husband ever by cleaning out our linen closet and I have taco soup in the crockpot. Let's pray we are on our way back uphill.

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know? 
~Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, October 9, 2011

rockabye baby

She never lets me snuggle her anymore. Always too busy to lay her head down, always wanting to look around and laugh. This week's cold meant that she could not really keep her pacifier in while she fell asleep because it was hard for her to breath. We had already weaned the paci to just naptime and bedtime once she started at her new daycare earlier this month. This seemed like the time to go ahead and stop the paci entirely. 

As a mom, something in my heart was breaking listening to her cry in her bed and being unable to soothe herself. I knew she would fall right asleep if I would just let her have it. There is nothing dangerous or wrong about a pacifier, so why I would keep it away from her? So many moments I stood there by her bedroom door, praying for her to let herself rest and give in to the sleep. 

Saturday might was the fourth night without a pacifier and it was by far the worst. She cried and cried, quieting down for 10 minutes and then back to crying. I finally couldn't take it anymore and busted in the door, picking her up. We sat in the rocker in her nursery and I felt her relax against my body, still shuddering from her crying. I rocked us back and forth, singing the lullabye I would sing for hours every night as a newborn. 

Her breathing started to become more even and I stroked her long hair, remembering the feeling of a little newborn snuggled against my chest. As I felt her long legs curled up in my lap, I could remember her little arms and legs tucking up against my body fitting in just one crook of my arm. Her weight slowly pressed against me as she finally gave into sleep. And I reminded myself that if a little plastic pacifier could not be the one to calm her down, I still could. I am still the momma that rubs her back, strokes her hair, pats her bottom and rocks her to sleep, no matter how big she becomes.

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always
As long as you're living, my baby you'll be
~"Love You Forever" by Robert N. Munsch

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

hoot hoot

I have this thing for owls right now. Not sure why but I am in love with all things owl. They are cute and inquisitive and slightly mischievous. Or at least this is what all the owl pins I have been pinning on Pinterest are showing lately. Owls in real life are probably dirty and loud and dangerous. Which is why you will not see any pins of real owls. Obviously.
Source: via Lindsay on Pinterest
My favorite owl necklace I bought on the shop OwlNest on Etsy and have been wearing lately. Because it reminds me that my nest will grow one day when God is ready. But right now, my little Lila keeps my nest and my heart full. 

Source: None via Lindsay on Pinterest
Adorable owl mobile, so colorful and fun. 

 A whole little owl family! Oh my gah, be still my heart with this owl cuteness. 

I love themed cupcakes. Okay, I just love any cupcakes. Or any sweet dessert. Or any dessert for that matter. 

Source: via Lindsay on Pinterest
I really do need a case for my phone. So I can keep it from getting dents in the side of it when I drop it. Maybe I should just stop dropping it. Eh, probably not going to happen so maybe I should just buy this cute case. Owl purchase justification? 

Source: via Dana on Pinterest
I wish I was the kind of person who could have white pillows on my couch. But this would just get covered in black lab dog hair. And spilled juice bottles. And buried under piles of laundry that never end and eat pillows and small children. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

so very big

She is so grown up. Suddenly she is in 2T clothes. She only even asks for a paci at naptime and bed. She walks to the fridge and tries to open it when she wants milk. She wants to walk ahead of us without holding out hand. She repeats EVERYTHING...seriously, she started calling Brian by his first name instead of Daddy because she heard me calling him that..."Brrrriiiiaaan! Brian! Brian! More more!"
She grabs her bow in the morning and walks to me so I can put it in her hair. I tell her it is time to put on shoes and she plops down on the ground, sticking her feet in front of her so I can slide them on. She picks up her fake purse and loops it over her arm, walking to the front door saying "Bye bye!" She walks around the house on her fake cell phone having whole 5 minute conversations "Hello? (lots of garbled words) Cracker? Uh huh. Okay! (lots of garbled words) Daddy? Mimi? Mommy? Okay, bye bye!"
 I can't decide if I like this one better in color or black & white

She is getting so heavy it is hard to carry her on my hip for more than a few minutes. Which is just fine with her since she would rather be walking around, exploring on her own. She picks up her Grinch and cradles him in her arms, patting his bottom and rocking him back and forth like a baby. She tries to feed him her sippy cup and sets him in her rocking chair. 
Her new wooden kitchen I snagged off Craigslist for $40 (STEAL!) is her favorite thing ever and she can spend forever taking plastic food in and out of the oven and stirring pots. Maybe she will love to cook like mommy one day. I have a feeling that one day is becoming not so far away anymore.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
~Stacia Tauscher

Sunday, October 2, 2011

head of the class

This weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. Which makes me old. Or at least so old that I feel weird standing around talking about marching band and who has the good parking spot in the Senior Lot. I was friends with a lot of different groups of people in high school, but the majority of my good friends graduated the year prior to me. So there was no one I was dying to catch up with this weekend but I wanted to go because it seemed like one of these things you would regret if you didn't do. I feel like Facebook has almost made reunions obsolete because we already know who gained weight, who lost weight, who is balding, who has cute kids, who is married (or divorced) and what we have all "done" with our lives. 
Our high school had a cute idea and started the reunion with a potluck barbecue at a local park so we could all bring our kids. Funny enough, most of the kids there were born within 9 months of each other. So there were two dozen 1-2 year olds running around and stealing each other's juice boxes. I wanted to bring something super yummy so I decide to fuel my Pinterest addiction and look for the perfect fall recipe. And I succeeded with this Pumpkin Dump Cake. 

  • 1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 10 oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking/baking spray
  3. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour into your prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top, followed by graham crackers and toffee chips.
  6. Pour your melted butter evenly on top.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.
I ended up overcooking the cake just a little bit because the edges were brown but the center still seemed a little wobbly so I kept it in another 5. Next time, I will take it out right at 45 minutes since the top became too crunchy when overcooked.

That night we dropped Lila off at Mimi and G's for a sleepover and got all dressed up. We out to sushi by ourselves and enjoyed spending some time just the two of us. And then joined the rest of our class for the late night. Maybe I am really old if I think 9pm-midnight is late. It was fun to see everyone and hear about their lives, but it was funny to see the people who I could have discussed gossip with for hours 10 years ago and now we struggled to have 15 minute conversations. I left being thankful for the friendships I now have based on how God works in our lives, yummy martinis that I only drink once in a blue moon, and a sweet husband who introduces himself first to the people with no nametag so I don't have to pretend to remember their name. 

Seventeen only comes once in a lifetime
Don't it just fly by wild and free
Going any way the wind blew baby
Seventeen living on crazy dreams
Rock and roll and faded blue jeans
And standing on the edge of everything
~"Seventeen" by Tim McGraw