Sunday, December 31, 2006


When your toddler begins to speak, it brings some amazing moments. Some are hilarious. Over the monitor this morning we heard Jadyn say, "All done", to indicate she was done sleeping and wanted someone to come get her. Some make you fear for your future. Today I experienced that one.

Jadyn loves things with buttons, namely phones and remote controls. It's an unending job to keep them from her, for fear she may either calls China or tell TiVo to record an entire day of OC Choppers. *sigh*

So just now I saw that she had once again absconded with the TiVo remote. Usually if she has something I'd rather she didn't have, I can ask her to hand or bring it to me and she readily complies. Today was different. She sat there playing with the remote and I reached out my hand and said, "Please give it to me."

She said, and I quote, "Huh-uh!"

Oh my great good Lord, are we ever in for it!

Monday, December 18, 2006


So sorry I haven't posted in over two weeks. (No, Amanda Sue, I didn't take the month off after NaBloPoMo, tempting as that may be...)

When you're a director of children's ministry, December is a very busy time. Organizing kids activities, Parents' Night Out events and a volunteer apprecation luncheon have taken up much of the time that hasn't been spent doing personal Christmas stuff. It's a crazy time, but as I'm finding out thanks to the joyous response from my 15 month old, it's also beautiful.

Now, on top of all this, my grandfather (age 95) passed away yesterday. We (Jadyn and I) will be flying to PA tomorrow, and come back on Christmas Eve. Thankfully the weather report doesn't indicate any travel riskiness at this point.

I promise I'll post again before New Year. Until then....

I wish you peace in the midst of the bustle.
I wish you love even for those you don't like.
I wish you hope in a frightening age.
I wish you faith when it's difficult to believe.
I wish you joy that surpasses your understanding.

Merry Christmas, my blog friends. May it be delightful and meaningful for you and yours.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Don't ask me about all the things I COULD have been doing instead of blogging....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

30 days

I can't believe I did it. Funny, the things I stick with vs. the things I don't.

NaBloPoMo rocks!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


My tiny sweet daughter has been sick (4 weeks) so today I took her back to the doctor. Actually we see this great nurse practitioner in a local clinic. We came home with stronger antibiotics and cough syrup with codiene (yes, sleep will now begin).

At the clinic, the LPN, doctor and staff all marvelled that my daughter communicates using sign language. She knows about 10-12 signs and uses most of them on her own without prompting. I admit that at times I have taken this communication skill for granted.

We came home, I gave her some of her medicine, and let her play while it "took". After a while, I looked at her and said, "Jadyn, do you want to go night-night?" And you know what she did? She signed, "Please."

Good Lord, I love that kid.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


This may sound strange, but there are these moments in my life when suddenly the realization that I'm a mother hits me with the force of a freight train. I'm minding my own business, picking up toys or filling a sippy cup or ordering a Happy Meal with a toddler toy, and WHAMMO. In the blink of an eye I'm reeling from the dizzying notion that this little person will spend the next several years looking to ME for answers. I can't believe that someone as clueless as I am could actually be responsible for the health and wellbeing (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) of this tiny little wonder. This blond, blue eyed angel who runs toward me with abandon, giving me a great big smile while hugging me and patting me on the back. I think she picked this up from me. I tend to pat her back when she needs comforted.

Maybe she understands my cluelessness after all, and is just trying to comfort me through it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Step Into Christmas

Tonight was our town's annual Christmas parade, complete with marching bands of varying qualities, carloads of dolled-up cheerleaders brandishing sparkly pompoms, fire trucks making very loud noises, floats decorated in the "Christmas Around the World" theme, and marching packs of children from all sorts of local organizations. Paul, Jadyn and I watched from the sidewalk in front of his office, accompanied by folks from our church. Jadyn was happily being passed back and forth from person to person. She marvelled at the lights, boogied to the music and learned how to wave her best toddler-style Miss America wave back at the "Miss Whoevers".

I love small-town life.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time

We yanked out all the Christmas decorations yesterday. No, we still haven't set any out. In my strange little world, you can't decorate a house until it's clean. And since my world has been crazy lately, I took today's decorating time to actually clean up. Maybe I'll get the pretty stuff out tomorrow during Jadyn's nap....unless I take one too.

Maybe the stuff will be up next week...we'll see.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Less than a week

This NaBloPoMo thing is wearing on me. I haven't put much thought into my requisite post of the day. Sorry, I know that's lame.

So we went to Wal-Mart this evening. It was much as I expected, with the exception of toys being placed for sale on the endcaps of the grocery aisles. Wow, are they ever pushing the kid stuff! I'm so glad Jadyn doesn't "get" it yet. I may be in for it next year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Not-So-Black Friday

In a stroke of genius, Jadyn and I didn't leave the house today. After watching the evening news and seeing the absolute craziness that falls on humanity while entering retail stores at 4:30 AM, I am very glad we hung out at home all day. I'm fairly certain the one toy I really want for Jadyn will still be available later in the season. And if it's not, it isn't as if she'd know the difference. Heck, at this point she's wildly entertained by a cardboard box in our living room.

Sounds like a MasterCard commercial, doesn't it?!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Today, I'm thankful for:

  • My sweet hubby, who makes me laugh, makes me think, and keeps me real.
  • My darling little girl, who dances and plays peek-a-boo like no one else.
  • My friends, who like me for me while challenging me to grow.
  • My parents, who have been supportive through all the craziness of my life.
I'm also thankful that there's a Thanksgiving potluck at our church so I don't have to cook the entire meal for just 3 people. All I have to do is bring one dish. Woo-hoo!

Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I encourage you to take a moment think about what you have to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What am I, crazy?

I went to the store on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Yep, it was me and the 2000 other lunatics who aren't very good at reading a calendar and planning ahead. I hope this is not indicative of how I handle the rest of this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Still working on being thankful

The clutch in Paul's truck went out today. I had a doctor appointment smack in the middle of Jadyn's nap time and I had to take her with me. My shoulder has been in pain all day - to the point that I can't pick Jadyn up.

It hasn't been an overwhelmingly wonderful day. But I'm thankful that we have a second vehicle, that I have health care and insurance, and that I have a daughter to pick up in the first place.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Off Road

I'm finally home - thankfully. Travelling alone with a toddler can be very exhausting. I'd post more, but I don't have much energy left.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Road Trip

Jadyn and I took a little overnight trip to Alabama. I just gotta say - Benadryl is a wonderful drug. The hard part is single-handedly keeping her out of everything that is not yet babyproofed. Kudos to all you single parents out there. I have no idea how you do it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Ok, have you seen this movie? Oh my gosh! How could I have not seen this before now? Shoo-in for best animated picture, and Paul thinks maybe it should even be nominated for Best Picture.

If you haven't seen it, go rent it. NOW!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Girls' Night Out

I am so excited! We're having a girls' night on the town and I'm SO looking forward to this! Dinner, bowling, and I'm sure we'll have lots of laughs.

Tell me, when's the last time you got together with your circle of friends???

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Ah, what a wonderous invention. Since we got TiVo, about 2 weeks ago, we have often wondered aloud how we managed without such entertainment innovation.

As if watching TV shows whenever we want is actually a need.

But pausing and rewinding live TV really does come in handy when you miss a pivotal line in LOST because your toddler picked that moment to test out her vocal capacity.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

NaBloPoMo halftime

I've made it to the halfway point. I can't believe I'm still doing it - posting every day. Crazy, the silly commitments I stick to and the serious ones I give up on. There must be some meaning to it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One Word

Respond using only one word. Yeah, that's just SOOO natural a fit for me.

You can only type one word. No explanations.

1. Yourself:

2. Your significant other

3. Your hair?

4. Your mother:

5. Your Father:

6. Your Favorite Item:

7. Your dream last night:

8. Your Favorite drink:
diet dr pepper

9. Your Dream Car:

10. The room you are in:

11. Your Ex:

12. Your fear:

13. What you want to be in 10 years:

14. Who you hung out with last night?

15. What You're Not?

16. Muffins:

17: One of Your Wish List Items:

18: Time:

19. The Last Thing You Did:

20. What You Are Wearing:

21. Your Favorite Weather:

22. Your Favorite Book:
Nicholas Sparks

23. The Last Thing You Ate:

24. Your Life:

25. Your Mood:

26. Your best friend (s):

27. What are you thinking about right now?

28. Your car:

29. What are you doing at the moment?

30. Your summer:

31. Your relationship status:

32. What is on your tv?

33. What is the weather like?

34. When is the last time you laughed?

Circle of Friends

Every girl needs a group of friends - folks who know her and like her anyway. We're having a gathering of the girl group this weekend, and I can't wait. We're celebrating Martha's birthday in style - with no kids.

Gotta love it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

RENT Review

Ok, I had no idea what to expect, but Rent was amazing!

When we got there, the stage was open. I looked at the set and was so confused because I couldn't figure out how all those scenes could be played on that one stage. And the band was on the stage with the cast in this little box!

Soon the cast came out, and WHAMMO, it was awesome! So many more numbers than were in the movie. The whole story was richer and fuller. Experiencing it live was 100x better than seeing it at home via DVD.

The part of Roger was played by a Brit, which was kind of different. Instead of an American rock god, he was more of an angry punk rocker. It was not what I was expecting and it took a while to adjust to it.

The cast was talented and it was obvious they were having fun while working hard.

I came away wanting to run away and join a theater troupe.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Paul and I are going to see a stage production of Rent tonight. I'm so excited! I loved the movie and the soundtrack. I hear it's tons better on stage. YAY!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Love it.


Amazing, the thoughts that come flowing at you while you're driving.

To Let Me Out

The pain ebbs and flows
Like the tide but never goes away
All the way

I can’t get a grip, shut my lips,
My heart as touchy as
My fingertips

I’ve felt stuck in the muck and mire
And I’m tired of the fight to
Get my head right,
Understand who I am and who I’m not
And what’s what.

How ironic that I blame
The same One who
Came to free me from
So I could finally change.

I’ve got a choice,
Raise my voice
Give it up and then rejoice
Because if I let him, He
Can set me free
And let me see
Who He made me to be.

I now avow
To allow Him
To remove my sacred cow,
My right to hurt, to avert
The healing He wants to exert.

I must
Let Him in
To let me out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Me, Myself and I

I saw this on Nova's Heart and thought I'd try it out. Since my last name is fairly common, I used my maiden name. Apparently, I'm in a class all by myself.
LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I KNEW I was unique!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Recipe Request

Ok, Amanda Sue asked me for the recipe for the soup I mentioned in a previous post. So here goes:

THE Soup (We call it that because it's THAT special to us.)
1 can chicken broth
1 can beef broth
1 can Progresso Minestrone Soup
1 cup Acini de Pepe pasta or some other teeny tiny pasta
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 lb ground beef
1 or 2 cups of already cooked chicken, cut into small pieces (I often use leftover made the day or two before)

First, roll ground beef into 1 inch meatballs and brown them. Don't forget to drain them.

Cook the pasta in the broths. (It adds flavor to the pasta, trust me.)

Combine all ingredients, stir, and put on medium heat till it's all hot. This feeds 6-8 big servings at least. It also freezes well.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I think I figured out to start dealing with me - the real icky parts. At least, I may be close to knowing how to start. At the very least, I feel a renewed sense of hope that I won't always be the utter mess I seem to be now.

I'm getting there, but I'm not there yet.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


...I am way too emotional about the stupidest stuff. How am I supposed to be real when all that comes out when I'm trying to be real is crap? Is there anything real about me that isn't crap?

Monday, November 06, 2006


I'm at a church leadership conference at North Point near Atlanta. I can already say it is worth the effort to be here. The big thing I got from tonight's session was that I can't fill someone else's cup - all I can do is empty out my own of what I have to offer. Wow.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

How do you know...

...if a friendship is over? When they stop talking to you all together? Or when they finally only talk to you in basic pleasantries? How do you know if it's worth fighting for? When there's a rift and you thought it was repaired, what do you do when the chasm seems to still exist? Addressing these questions has become the preoccupation of my thoughts and prayers lately. I'm just not sure how to proceed.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Something Completely Different

Our church has a potluck every month, and each month has a different theme. Typically I don't prepare anything because I'm not that good a cook. Usually we just give money instead. But this month, the theme is "Soups & Stews", and I just had to participate.

I've made "The Soup". This is a family favorite called THE soup because we have no better name for it. It's sort of based on Italian Wedding Soup. It's perfect for chilly weather and I love it because it fits this season so perfectly.

So now, I'm going to eat some. Yum.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Shaken, not Stirred

We got up early this morning, got everyone ready and headed out to the hospital. Despite our best efforts we were 5 minutes late.

I had more pictures taken of my insides before I was ushered to an outpatient room. I had to wear one of those mortifying gowns and these odd panty-hose with no toes. They stuck me with an IV and eventually wheeled me into a "holding" room before the procedure.

Eventually some doctor with good drugs put something in my IV and I was asleep on the table. I don't even remember falling asleep. I do, however, remember waking up and vomiting. Apparently my body doesn't like general anesthetics.

I finally became somewhat conscious while I was being wheeled back to my room. Paul had put Jadyn in a hospital crib so she could take a nap. Poor thing was konked out. Eventually they let me go, but not before proving I could "void" without problems.

All of this took about 4 1/2 hours. It felt like forever at some points. I'm tired and groggy and a bit bruised on the side, but all in all, I'll survive.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sonic Boom

So, this kidney stone is large -8 mm. Too big to be passed. The solution, therefore, is to put me through some sort of sonic shaking procedure which should pulverize the thing so it can be passed with less pain.

All this from drinking too much milk. Apparently, it does not always do a body good.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Stone's Throw Away

Ok, in honor of NaBloPoMo (see the button on the sidebar), I hereby enter my first post. Warning: TMI.

This month started off rather painfully. I awoke at 5 AM in terrible pain. It was reminiscent of labor on pitocin, but was just on my left side and went around to my back. After some groggy deliberation (and some getting sick) we decided to get everyone up and ready to go to the ER. Of course, the one in town is not in our insurance network so we had to drive 30 minutes away.

So I answered a bunch of questions (some more than once), gave up some bodily fluids and had a CAT scan. That was kind of like being put on a big table and being passed through the window of a laundromat dryer. Finally it was announced that I have a kidney stone. A large one, it would seem. So this afternoon I'm off to the urologist to find out more about the tiny rock rolling around inside me. Until then, it's lots of liquids and - get this - straining the liquid I produce to catch any bits potentially passed in the process.

If this is any indicator of what the month will be like, let's just skip to the Christmas Carols and get it over with.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Seasons Change

First of all, the camping trip went ...well... well, I suppose. Other than some marital communication snafus, we had fun. Jadyn seemed to have a great time. She slept as well as I could have expected and enjoyed the group during her wake time. All in all, I'm glad we did it.

So the temperature has finally dropped, the leaves are gradually fading from green to gold and red. I can smell it in the air, and I love it. Fall has always been my favorite season. Too bad we only get 2 or 3 weeks of it here in Just North of Hell, Mississippi. We're looking forward to taking Jadyn out trick or treating. Not that she can eat the candy or will bother to even get any, but how could I resist taking her out in her cute little costume. She's going to be a fairy princess, although I'm almost sure she won't wear her crown and she'll try to eat her wand. Ah well, cuteness is assured no matter what. I promise I'll post pics on her site.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Church Camp

This weekend a group of families from our church is going camping together at a local campground. I, in a possible moment of insanity, decided this was something we should do. We bought a tent and other necessary outdoorsy items. I packed them all up and loaded up the van.

Now, let me say at this point that the last time I was tent camping I was a teenager and my parents were the "in-charge, responsible" people. They knew what to do and they did it. That was 20 years ago and now I'm the parent. I'm the one who's supposed to know what to do and how to do it. I'm supposed to be in charge and responsible. How exactly did this happen!?!?

Anyway, this morning we (meaning Jadyn and I) headed off to the campsite to set up. Since it's local we could do it during the day and then come home and wait for Paul to get home from work. I knew setting up would be a challenge and I didn't want to have to do it in the dark.

If it weren't for the help of some sweet friends, I'd still be there trying to figure out how to put rod A into hole B. No, it wasn't really that difficult. After all, this is a brand new tent, not the kind from my parents' age of antiquities. But Jadyn wanted all sorts of attention (crazy, isn't it?) so some folks helped distract her while others put the tent up in lightening speed while I pulled out the rest of the gear and tried to get organized.

The others left, and suddenly I was on my own with a tired, hungry 13 month old at a partially assembled camp site. And as I managed the chaos, I realized I was actually managing the chaos! Jadyn was fussy but not a screaming banchee. I handled it! I was sort of stunned by my apparently latent ability to "be the mom". I fed Jadyn, we left the campsite in a state of relative order, and we got home for Jadyn's nap.

Maybe it sounds silly that I'm proud of myself for accomplishing something so minimal. But parenthood has shaken out of lot of the self-confidence I used to have. I'm fighting to get it back. And it looks like I'm winning.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

8 Years

Happy Anniversary to us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tuesdays with Morrie

If you haven't read and/or seen it, do so. ASAP. Well worth the time.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A bit unrelatable

So, because over 500 years ago some guy landed on the wrong continent, I can't get mail or go to the bank. Strange, the things we Americans honor.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Start All Over Again

I was at a convention for MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) last weekend. It was impacting and life-altering on many levels. The amazing thing is that most of the life-altering stuff happened with the group of people I was with - some of my closest friends.

One of the speakers was Wess Stafford, of Compassion International. He shared his story which evoked and clarified some strong feelings with which I have struggled for a long time. I feel like I finally looked straight-on at the lies I was believing and saw them for what they were. I saw how they have influenced so many of my behaviors over the years. And most importantly, I really began to believe I can change.

Before I left, Paul bought the new Sara Groves CD "Add to the Beauty". When I got back, I popped it in the van's CD player and I have yet to take it out. My favorite song sums up a lot of where I'm at right now.

Just Showed Up

by Sara Groves and Joel Hanson

Spending my time sleep walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take by working their way from the outside in
I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface repairing the holes in the shiny veneer

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I'm going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel all that's honest and real until I'm truly amazed
I'm going to feel all my emotions
I'm going to look you in the eyes
I'm going to listen and hear until it's finally clear and it changes our lives

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Oh the glory of God is man fully alive
Oh the glory of God is man fully alive

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Monday, September 18, 2006

Arrgggh, me mateys!

Happy "Talk Like a Pirate" Day!

Don't know how to talk like a pirate? Click HERE.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Toddler Mommy

So apparently I am no longer a "Baby Mama" - I am now a "Toddler Mama". Yes, my sweet tiny little baby girl is now a full-fledged toddler. She turned 1 on Sunday - see pics on her blog. She's eating solid food that she can pick up herself. She is signing some words and even saying a few. ("Dunck-Oo" is thank you, I think.) She takes several steps on her own. And, she's trying to climb things. I'm in trouble. Big BIG trouble.

I am frequently told how "easy" Jadyn is. And I suppose, compared to most, she is. But I'm already seeing how I'm going to be running crazy trying to keep up with her. She's very busy - into everything and curious about how things work. She loves life and seems to want to get all she can out of it. I'm thrilled about this - it's wonderful to see the world through the life of a child. The way she catches on to things is amazing. She knows to beat a drum with a stick, play her xylophone with a mallet, and mimics noises from her toys. Gosh, I love being a mommy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Name is Earl

Ok, I hate to admit it, but I love the TV show My Name is Earl. It's goofy and trailer-trashy, but there's always a good message in the end. If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it. Just when you're about to pee yourself laughing, you may find yourself on the brink of tears. And just when your lower lip is about to quiver itself into a sob, you'll bust a gut again. Stupid brilliance. I love it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yard Sale Mania

So I'm doing a joint yard sale with 2 friends of mine. We're trying to raise money for our trip to the MOPS convention. It is absolutely stunning just how much junk I've accumulated that I can live without. And we've received tons of donations. It's even MORE amazing how much junk OTHER people have accumulated that they're willing to get rid of. As George Carlin says, our homes are sometimes just "places for our stuff".

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yankee Amanda Pills

Yankee Amanda Pills:

Will cause you to get a song stuck in your head for over a day

'What effect do you have on people?' at


So this is what it feels like to hit middle age. Wasn't it just last week I was 29?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So, we're all moved in. Yeah, that was fun. I really want God to just strike me dead if I suggest moving again in the next 5 years. That is, unless Paul gets offered the most rockin' job ever and the company will not only pay for packers and movers but also the therapy that I will no doubt need.

In other news, our church's pastor left to take a job somewhere in Virginia, so we've had quite a lot of transition there. We still haven't figured it all out but I think it's sort of a good thing that we haven't. I mean, heck, if we could figure it all out on our own, what exactly would we need God for, anyway?

I have an 11 month old pre-toddler who is in the raging throes of teething. She was awake quite a bit in the wee hours of the morning, poor dear, crying her little eyes out. The cry sounded a lot like the baby version, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???" The morning nap didn't go much better. She's down now thanks to baby tylenol. I'm hoping she sleeps for hours but I'm also sort of a realist.

It's still hard dealing with the loss of our friends Chris and Leah and their kids. The other day Paul started a sentence by saying, "Now that Chris is dead..." and I stopped him before he could continue the thought because I just couldn't absorb it. Odd. It's been almost 2 months, and it's still a rather foreign concept.

I expect that I'll be back to posting on a more regular basis now. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's Gonna Be OK

Yes, I've been in a posting haitus. Moving can do that to a person.

So we finally got into the new house on Saturday. With the help of a great bunch of friend from church, we got in all the basics. Pros are moving our more fragile items this Friday. We still have lots of odds and ends and junk in the old house that has got to make it back in this house by the end of the month. I have NO idea where we're going with all this stuff because we're now in a smaller house. But somehow it is all going to be ok.

It's been a very rough couple of weeks. I feel like I'm finally on the upswing.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Slowing of the Merry-Go-Round

It's getting better. We closed on both houses (the sale and the purchase) and I have some amazing friends in our small group who have stepped up and seriously helped me deal with this move. One friend just pops over anytime she has a spare 20 minutes and packs a few boxes. Another friend, her dad and her girls (who regularly watch Jadyn on Thursdays while I am at staff meeting) secretly packed my entire kitchen, took everything to the new house (got a key from my hubby) and put everything away. I was stunned when I got there today and saw all they had done.

Not that the craziness hasn't continued. On Tuesday my washing machine died. Kaputt. No chance of resurrection. So we need a new one. And we've discovered that the fridge we already own won't fit in the whole designated for it in the new house. So we need a new fridge. Ugh.

In the midst of all this, friends have brought over meals, done loads of our laundry, and offered much needed moral support. I'm very grateful.

Thank God, once again, for the Body of Christ. This is what it's all about.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I will be so glad....

...when this move is over and we can be all settled in our new house. This craziness is about to kill me.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I can't get into all of it, but it seems like right now there is so much drama surrounding my life and the life of my friends that I'm beginning to wonder if I'm living on the TNT channel.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Here at Chez Crazy... just doesn't seem to stop. It's a long and winding story but the one sentence version is that we are now buying a different but (in most ways) better house. We close on the house we're selling AND the one we're buying all next week.

July promises to be a whirlwind month, and I'm just gonna hang on for dear life. Pray for sanity. Good thing that Jadyn is such a resilient kid, plays well independently and takes regular naps.

Oh, and about that thing I asked y'all to pray about a few weeks ago? Yeah, the answer was no. Hubby career stuff. Ya know.

Warning for the next month: posting may be sporatic and a little nonsensical at times.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Moving... a pain in the arse. I hate wrapping dishes, collecting boxes, packing boxes, figuring out where to PUT said boxes. You'd think for having done this now 9 times in less than 8 years, I'd have this down to a science. But it is to the point that I just want to settle down somewhere.

The house we're buying isn't perfect, but the market where we live is so crazy that it's the best out there in our range. And it needs work. I think mentally I'm approaching it to an "I won't be there long" attitude, simply because we haven't stayed anywhere longer than a year since 2002. I'm going a little crazy. The idea of roots just feels so foreign that I can't really let it sink in.

I'm trying to readjust my thinking so that I can embrace the idea that we will be in this house a few years and we'll have time to do some great things with it. It's going to be a good place for Jadyn to grow in and a nice place to have friends gather for parties, small group functions, etc.

Being nomadic for so long has really messed with my head.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Loss Lessons

When you lose folks you care about it's hard to see anything positive. But the loss of my dear friends Chris & Leah and their sweet children Miller and Mallory has brought home two important lessons for my husband and I:

1. If you don't live near your family, make sure your local friends know how to get in touch with them. Our friends lived in AZ after having lived in TN for several years. We knew them from their days in AL. So when all this happened, people in AZ called people in TN and then people in TN called us to see if we could help remember the names of the family so they could be contacted. It was quite an ordeal. I'm sure it had never even occured to Chris and Leah to inform the folks out there of the names of their families. So we have decided to make a "who to contact" list and make sure that at least 3 friends have copies. No need to make a difficult time more stressful if we can do something to avoid it.

2. Don't wait for bad news get you back in contact with good friends. In an effort to find the family and then to spread the news, we talked to some folks we hadn't talked to in one or in some cases two years. We're grateful that we finally got to catch up, but we were sorry it took a situation like this to make it happen. Seriously, we live in the electronic age when it only takes a few moments to shoot a "hey, how ya been" email to someone. Are we really too busy for even just that?

3. Any time you talk to someone could be the last so make sure they know you care. We all know this in theory but the reality of it truly hits home when you have to look back and KNOW that the last conversation you had was all you got to say to them on this side.

4. It's different when you know them. So many times we hear these stories on the news and think, "Oh, how tragic" and then go about our business without another thought. But this time wasn't like that. We read the stories online and even watched video clips of the tv coverage. It's gut-wrenching when you had real-life experiences with the victims. We were in small group with this couple. We went to see them in the hospital after the birth of both their children. We helped them move twice. We went out to eat with them and played with their kids. We went to church and concerts with them. And now they're hanging out with Jesus, and we miss them.

It's true that "All things work together for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28a) and I have to cling to that with blind faith in times like these when it's very tempting to believe that the Lord, who never slumbers or sleeps, may have blinked.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

One Glad Mourning

Our dear friends, Chris and Leah Walls, along with their young children Miller and Mallory, are before the Throne having the ultimate worship experience. They were taken in a car accident out in Arizona. We mourn them but we rejoice that they are with Jesus, which is the best place to be, and they are all together.

The story is here:
I warn you, it's not an easy read.

God, please hug them for me, and tell them I miss them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Away, Away, Away

Ok, I know it's been ages since I posted. Please forgive me. I think I went crazy.

Actually, my 94 year old grandfather up in PA got pretty sick and we all thought this would be "it" so I packed up Jadyn and myself and got us on a flight up there. Actually, I drove 2.5 hours to a "nearby" airport, flew 2 hours, then drove from that airport about 3.5 hours to his house. Yes, it was an ordeal, and my darling girl spent a total of about 12 hours in her car seat in one day and was mostly content. What a trooper. Oh, and thank the good Lord above for Benadryl. And for helpful people at the airport. You should have seen me pushing Jadyn in her stroller with one hand and a cart full of luggage with the other.

So we were up there for a week. It was good to see the "old stomping grounds" (though I never stomped, so it's a bit of a misnomer), to hang out with a dear friend I've known over 20 years (how on earth did we get this old?) and to let Jadyn spend more quality time with her Oma and Opa. Most importantly, this is most likely the one and only time she'd get to meet her only great grandparent, my Poppop. We went several times to see him in the hospital, contrary to the advisings of friends who said "staph infections are rampant, don't do it". She didn't freak out. Not once. She smiled and laughed as he made silly noises at her. And I got the best picture I could have ever hoped for. She looks for all the world like she knows she's there to help him feel better.

She'll never remember this trip. We'll pull out this picture and tell her about it till she can recite it anecdotally, yet she won't have any personal memory of it. But I will. And I'm glad. All the expense, all the driving, all the worry about how she'd handle it, it was all worth it.

By the way, Poppop rallied (he's just too stubborn to give up) and so far is holding his own. And my reward for all of this? Jadyn finally said, "Mama." We were at the hospital in Poppop's room.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

One more time, just ONE more time

Ok, first of all, this is not what y'all have been praying about. I may not be able to tell you about that for a few more weeks. In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt if you'd pray a little more.

Now, it was almost a year ago that we were given the "rock and hard spot" decision to either move or accept a pay cut. So at 9 months pregnant, we moved. Not enviable. We chose to rent a new residence and then rented out our house. Not ideal. The lease is up at the end of July and is not renewable on a month-to-month basis. Not optimum. The lease on our own house is not up until November. Not convenient.

But the tenants want to buy our house and are willing to get it done soon enough for us to purchase a house here with enough time to move by the end of our lease. Miraculous.

God help me, we're moving again - hopefully just ONE MORE TIME!

Now, pray we find a house in our price range that isn't in need of having it's chimney jacked up and a new house slid underneath.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

If you think of us....

If you happen to think of us at all on Tuesday, please say a prayer. Life-altering stuff could happen on Tuesday. If you're not the praying type, well....what could it hurt to pray just this once?

I'll tell you why later. Not now. SSSssshhhhh!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stupid Girls

I love reading Elizabeth at "Motherhood is Not for Wimps" because she's authentic and grounded yet has high ambitions. She really seems to capture the essence of mothering in all it's gut-wrenching reality. She recently posted a vignette (she calls them vinagrettes) about having "retold" some of the Disney princess stories to her daughtery Mary, without the emphasis on outward beauty. It made me laugh - it made me think.

Lots of people, friends and strangers, remark at how pretty Jadyn is. And I appreciate that. I just don't want that to be all she is. I don't want her so fooled into thinking that is her identity that she becomes completely lost without it. I want her to know herself and all the gorgeous things God built into her that have nothing to do with her external appearance.

I like the song "Stupid Girl" by Pink - not ALL the lyrics since some are a little raunchy - because she talks about not wanting to be like these vapid beauties who seem to be running rampant on our tvs. Here's just a little taste of the lyrics:

Go to Fred Segal, you'll find them there
Laughing loud so all the little people stare
Looking for a daddy to pay for the champagne
(Drop a name)
What happened to the dreams of a girl president
She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent
They travel in packs of two or three
With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees
Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
Oh where, oh where could they be?

Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back
What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back
Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl

(Break it down now)
Disease's growing, it's epidemic
I'm scared that there ain't a cure
The world believes it and I'm going crazy
I cannot take any more
I'm so glad that I'll never fit in
That will never be me
Outcasts and girls with ambition
That's what I wanna see
Disasters all around
World despaired
Their only concern
Will they (mess) up my hair

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My First* Mother's Day

*I was pregnant this time last year so technically that would be my first Mother's Day, but this was the first one with a baby that was extra-utero.

This was a day that was very long in coming. Many years I would dread going to church on Mother's Day, especially on those "special" years when the church did baby dedication on the same day. It got to the point where I would just walk out because I couldn't stand it. And my "friends", all of whom were fertile as the Nile Valley, never seemed to understand why it was so difficult. They looked at me with this pitiful expression, as if they were thinking how weak I was that I couldn't just "deal with it".

The church we attend now, where I work, decided to deal with Mother's Day differently this year. Based on an idea from one of our members, we had a panel discussion about motherhood. 4 of us moms with different backgrounds and in different stages of life all talked about our experiences and things we've learned. 2 of us, myself included, got to share about our struggles with infertility. It was a creative way to deal with a topic that can be either stale and boring (the classic Honor Your Mother sermon) or frustrating and painful (if your mother has died or if you are having trouble becoming one).

I'm really glad our church leadership was willing to step outside the norm and address this in such a unique and thought-provoking manner. And I was honored to be part of the panel. I was the "newbie" of the group - the first-time mom with the youngest baby. I was awed by the wisdom that came from the other mothers, and hopeful that maybe one little thing I had to say made a difference to someone. I'm mindful of those couples still dealing with the agony of infertility and how heart-wrenching days like today can be. More than anything, I'm so grateful for my sweet daughter Jadyn, and I pray that I can be worthy of being her mother.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

On My Toes

Sometimes I think God likes to keep me on my toes by throwing things into my life - good things and more "challenging" things - that I just didn't expect. It's my guess that one of His motivations for this is to keep me going back to Him for guidance and strength.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday Thirteen!

Thirteen Things aboutYankee Amanda's work history

1. My first job was working in an ice cream shop for a summer. I didn't like it.

2. I worked at a local outlet mall that sold women's lingerie and men's shirts. What a combo.

3. I was a busgirl at a restaurant. That's where I first discovered that I have crowd claustrophobia. I hate being enclosed by people with no easy way out.

4. I was a checker at our local grocery store. It was owned by Mennonites and all women had to wear skirts or dresses. I later worked in the meat department of that same store. Oddly enough, the meat department was owned by someone else, but also Mennonite, so I still had to wear a skirt.

5. During college I worked at a place that did telemarketing research - you know, call strangers up and ask them to do surveys. I hated it.

6. After my first term as a missionary I went to work in a wood shop building cabinet doors. I think this is the job that surprises people most.

7. When I went back to college I worked in another local grocery store in the - yes - meat department. The boss was crass and I didn't like it.

8. I got a job working in the college cafeteria working in the dishwashing area. Ick. That led to doing data entry for the catering department, which led to being a conference liaison for the summer conference program at the college. That was cool.

9. I got paid to design a website for a college program I was involved in - a mock European Union project.

10. I was an intern at the PA House of Representatives. It was during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, so I heard a lot of jokes.

11. The internship led me to my first post-college job, working as an lobbyist aid for the Sierra Club of PA.

12. I worked for the church I attended for over 2 years as a "ministry assistant". That's all I have to say about that.

13. My last job was as a bankruptcy clerk for a collections agency. Very eye-opening. I didn't really like it, but I met some nice people.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. poopydigs

2. geggie

3. guppyman

4. carmen

5. denise

6. carolyn

7. karen

8. present storm

9. moogie

10. undercover angel

11. angie

12. skittles

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Why is it that while laying in bed trying to fall asleep I can mentally compose a perfectly brilliant blog post, but when I sit at my computer the next day all I hear in my head is, "Uuhhh.....*cricket chirp*......"????

Monday, May 01, 2006

Great Expectations

Today was Paul's first day at his new job, and the boss took the staff (including 2 other new members) out to lunch. Not only was I invited, but they PAID for my lunch! Let me tell you, this is quite a difference from past experiences. And we had so much fun laughing and talking about movies and slang and all sorts of things. The whole atmosphere was so fresh and welcoming. Paul seems remarkably more at ease and generally happier. I'm looking forward to hearing how the day went for him.

Change is a good thing.

Friday, April 28, 2006

What Makes a Good Parent

This is an interesting point of view regarding what makes a good parent.

We were out tonight having a celebration dinner. We were celebrating Paul being free from his current job. Today was it - hurray! But I digress...

So we're sitting there at this restaurant with our sweet Jadyn sitting up in a high chair at the end of the table. (OH MY GOSH! She's sitting up in a restaurant high chair already!!!) As usual I had her dressed in a very cute outfit. Now, Jadyn will simply beam with smiles for anyone who so much as glances at her. Typically folks stop to talk to her because she's so pleasant and, frankly, so adorable.

Tonight there was no end to the attention she was getting. At one point this obviously upscale southern woman came by and immediately got sucked into the cuteness vortex that was emanating from my daughter. She made the comments we most often hear:
"What beautiful eyes!"
"She's so well-behaved."
"What a big smile!"
"What a cute outfit!"
Then she said something I have never heard before.
"I love it when parents dress their children well. You are good parents."

Hmm. So. Because I dress my child in clothes that a) are clean, b) match, and c) are reasonably in style, I must be a good parent. I may be the type of parent who sits her in front of the TV for 12 hours a day, feeding her nothing but pixie stix, but hey, she's dressed well so I'm obviously doing a good job. Maybe I let her play with scissors or ride in the car with her rolling around on the floorboards, but at least I put a bow in her hair that matches her onesie, so sign me up for Mother of the Year.

Tomorrow I'm going to strap her to our dog and let her ride him around the back yard. But she'll look adorable in her pink striped romper with her name embroidered on the front, so it's all good.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I heart Dooce.

I love reading Dooce - I know, I know, that in no way makes me special among the blogging community. And there are times I don't agree with her views on certain issues.

But this - well, I couldn't have said it better.

Thursday Thirteen!

Thirteen Things I'm looking forward to

1. Paul's new job starting Monday.

2. The weekend. Since it will be the weekend between jobs for Paul, it's the ONE weekend when no one can call him into work.

3. Mother's Day. It will be my first one being a parent of an extra-uterine child. No idea what to expect but it's a milestone I've been looking forward to for quite some time.

4. Memorial Day weekend. My parents are meeting us at our place in Alabama. They haven't seen Jadyn since January and she's changed SO much.

5. Jadyn saying, "Mama." I know that once she starts saying it she won't stop, but I still can't wait to hear it the firs time.

6. Getting out of the rental house we're in. Hopefully this summer we'll sell our home (that is currently being rented out), buy one in this town, and get out of this place.

7. Getting rid of our home phone. It costs more than it's worth and we can save money by getting rid of it.

8. Having a date night with my hubby. It's been too long and we're overdue.

9. Seeing "The DaVinci Code" movie. I read the book, and while I don't really believe much of the "theories" behind it, I still found it a good read, so I'm interested in seeing how it converts to film.

10. Seeing a live production of Rent. I loved the movie but have been told several times that it doesn't in any way replace the live show.

11. The next 3 new episodes of Lost. Yes, I'm hooked. And I can't wait to find out who "Henry" really is.

12. Going out on the river on our friend's boat this Sunday. I hope it's good weather!

13. My next baby. No, I'm NOT pregnant, but I look forward to having at least one more someday.

Links to other Thursday Thirteen! (Place a comment and I'll add you here.)

1. Princess Jemmers

2. Jen

3. astrocoz

4. lifecruiser

5. tlc

6. present storm

7. undercover angel

8. trinity13

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Daily Battle

Ok, so I need some helps from you mommies.

Every day, at every meal time, I put Jadyn in her high chair and she usually sits cheerfully as I bring her food. I feed her the first 4 or 5 bites of whatever solid food I have chosen, and she does fine. Then all of a sudden she's fussing to the point of crying after every bite, but she keeps opening up her mouth for more. She seems kind of angry or maybe in pain. She arches her back and turns her head away, but then comes back for more. Now, she only does this with solid foods (ANY kind), not with liquid.

So I ask you, oh collective mommies of more experience, what the heck is going on? Is she tired of the chair? Does it hurt to swallow? If that's the case, how come she'll take her formula just fine? And why does she do this after the first few bites? I'm at a loss and I can't find anything online that speaks to this specific issue. Please, ladies, I need help!!!


There are days when I think the only thing I ever get done is laundry, and even then it's not finished. Today is looking like one of those days.

How on earth does a person so much smaller than me generate so much more laundry than I do???

Friday, April 21, 2006

Finally Friday

Hallelujah, I made it to the end of this week. Big props to all you single parents out there and military parents who deal with being alone in the great parenthood experience. 4 days was plenty for me. I'm glad Paul is back home - not just because I can't sleep well without him, but because I simply can't get much accomplished when I have it all to do myself.

Paul asked me if I missed him, and it was odd to say, "Not really." See, during normal life we don't get a lot of time to talk. That's partly due to his soon to be former job, and partly to being so wrapped up in parenting that we sometimes forget to take time for us. But while he was in the hospital and my friend watched my daughter, we had a lot more time to talk. We talked about current events, music and movies, our friends and church, and all sorts of other things. Paul's little pause gave us time to just BE together, and while it made home life crazy for me, I'm thankful that we had the opportunity to reconnect.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Ok, so I've been reading Princess Jemmers, and she does this Thursday Thirteen thing. I like it, so I'm gonna do it too. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. :) So,without further ado, I present for the first time to you my very own

Thirteen Things about YankeeAmanda

1. My husband Paul got out of the hospital today after a bout of cellulitis. It's icky.
2. I am exhausted since I have not slept well without Paul here. I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight.
3. My good friend Amy kept my daughter Jadyn for the 5th day in a row. She rocks.
4. We had church staff meeting today, as we do every Thursday. It was especially entertaining and energizing.
5. My job is challenging me in all sorts of new ways and it's very exciting stuff.
6. My friend/coworker Martha inspires more every day to shut my yapper.
7. I don't like the rental house in which we currently live and I'm hoping we can be out of it by August. We'll see.
8. I started a new blog at Xanga and I really like it - better than Blogger - so we'll see which one I stay with.
9. I would love very much to get rid of our cats. They were fun till we had a baby, and now they are just eating, pooping, shedding, meowing machines. Their cuteness is greatly overshadowed by the amount of money and work it takes to keep them.
10. Last night I gave myself bangs. I'm still not sure if this was a wise decision, but too late now. Good thing hair grows.
11. I have discovered that the amount of laundry generated by a person is inversely proportional to their age, at least until they enter geriatric years, then it is likely to become directly proportional.
12. I could wallpaper a room with the credit card applications I get in the mail each month.
13. I have a huge inventory of Mary Kay products that I'm trying to get rid of. Half price.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Emily tlc trinity13 Karen

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Change of Venue

So, Paul is changing jobs. He's leaving his current position and going to work for a competitor. It's good because it means we don't have to leave our friends and our church. We are expecting that he will be able to spend more time at home - there have been several days when he's only seen Jadyn 10 minutes all day, and that's hard on all of us.

Also, he is out of the hospital and doing fine. Hallelujah!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Life's Little Pauses

I've noticed that there are times in life when God is trying to get you to slow down a little and experience life rather than rushing through it. And sometimes God won't give you a choice.

Very early yesterday morning Paul woke up with a fever. Since he was an understudy for an actor in a skit at church, he felt compelled to get up and go anyway. After all, it was Easter Sunday and that's the ONE Sunday you're supposed to go to church, right? Anyway, I gave him some Tylenol and off he went. By the time Jadyn and I got there a few hours later, his fever had broken and it seemed like nothing more than a passing fluke.

Then at lunch he was dizzy and pale. That was a clue that I honestly should have taken more seriously.

So it was Sunday afternoon - family nap time. I woke up to the bed shaking - I don't mean just a little quiver, but like one of those vibrating beds that work by putting quarters in the little box. It was Paul, shivering like crazy. His fever had returned and it was climbing. Since it was Sunday and I live here in Outter Jabip, there are no "doc-in-the-box"es open anywhere.

Then I did something they tell you never ever to do. I woke the baby. I had to. Paul was getting worse and I wasn't sure he should be driving, so she would have to come with us.

Turns out Paul has cellulitis. He's had it before but never like this. He's been admitted to the local hospital and will be here 2 days at least, maybe 3.

Much thanks at this point to Jadyn's "aunt" Amy and her family for keeping Jadyn when I'm with Paul. Man, that's what small groups and community is all about.

So there's a lot of stuff not getting done right now. Laundry, cleaning, work stuff, life stuff. Time to slow down.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Blessed and Grateful

Today I am feeling very blessed and thankful for my life. I have been blogrolling - that's when you click the little "next blog" link at the top right of the screen, just to see what you'll find - and reading linked blogs from those I already read.

Some of the linked blogs are written by women still struggling with infertility. My heart goes out to them, as I remember those long and painful years of waiting and wondering and arguing and negotiating with God. Now that Jadyn is 7 months old, it almost feels like all those years it was someone else going through it. I'm a different person now in so many ways.

I came across a blog last night that had me bawling. Nova's Heart. It's the story of a little boy who was born with a congenital heart defect. God took him home at just 4 months old. He was so beautiful and my heart simply ached for his mother. I can't imagine having to go through something so awful. I cried at the very thought of losing Jadyn. Life would never be the same without her.

So today I am feeling very blessed that God sent us Jadyn and that she is vibrant and healthy and beautiful. I also recognize that she ultimately belongs to Him and if He wants her back, all I can do is trust in His love for both of us.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Spring into Summer

See the date? April 14, right? Supposedly this is spring, which is typified in most places by moderate temperatures. Yeah, well, not here. Today we were at Jadyn's first Easter Egg Hung (pictures to follow on her blog) and I was slathering her with WaterBabies sun block. Why? Because it's sunny and 89 degrees outside. And on Tuesday it will be 96. 96??? In the middle of April? Good grief! I think we skipped spring all together and have jumped right into summer.

I shudder to think what it will be like here in August. And the thought of our power bill as we run the air conditioning makes me quiver in terror.

So, if you're not down here in the gulf area like us, how's the climate where you are? Are you already having to crank up the AC and drink gallons of iced tea? Or are you still wearing sweaters and boots?

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Thing About Things

We have accumulated entirely too much stuff. Most of it was inherited. Some of it we purchased for ourselves. An increasing amount is for Jadyn. I don't get it. She's 2 feet tall - how come I am losing square footage like crazy to her stuff?!

First it was an entire room of furniture, which I completely understood. I never had new stuff as a kid so I wanted her to have a set all her own. But then there was the pack 'n play and swing. Then the portable swing. Then came the exersaucer. Then the high chair. Then the jumperoo. Good grief, it's no wonder I'm feeling like I live in Babies R Us!

I heard recently you can donate goods in value of up to half of your income every year as a tax break. Hmmm....I gotta get that value chart and get busy....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Deal or No Deal

Ok, so America's new favorite game show, Deal or No Deal, is our newest "appointment" tv show. Here's the deal.

There are 26 cases carried by impossibly, inhumanly beautiful women. There are varying amounts of money stashed in each case, from $.01 all the way to $1 million. The contestant chooses one case and keeps it. He is hoping that his case has the million in it. The only way to find out if that's true is to open the other cases. So the cases are opened at intervals (6 at a time, then 5, then 4, etc), and at these intervals, there is a banker who will make the contestant an offer to buy his case back. The banker is playing the odds so that he will pay the lowest amount possible. The contestant is hoping to open cases with small amounts, because at these intervals, the offers go up or down based on the odds of walking away with a lot of money. The contestant is asked, "Deal or no deal?" At this point he may say DEAL and accept the offer, or NO DEAL, at which point he needs to open another interval of cases.

The thing I like about this game is that it doesn't take any trivia knowledge or quick thinking or eating slimy things. It's about luck and timing. You open all small amounts, your offer goes up. You open big amounts, the bank offers you piddly amounts. And it's so easy to root for these folks who come on the show with support from friends and support and tell the host, Howie Mandel, about what they dream of doing with the money.

Anyway, if you haven't yet, I suggest checking it out. It's clean, fun and intense tv.

Friday, March 31, 2006

RIP Customer Service

Let me tell you about my lunch stop yesterday (March 30, 2006). After considering my somewhat limited options, I choose Hardee's and pulled into the drive-thru. I place my rather uncomplicated order (which did not include any large burger needing a long cooking time), I hand over my money and am asked to "pull around to the front and I'll bring it out to you". Ok, I think, no problem, this has happened before, it should only take a few minutes.

Time ticks by as time tends to do. I notice that it feels longer than usual and I check the clock. Yep, definitely longer. I wait somewhat unpatiently until 10 minutes have passed since I was asked to pull up. I sigh, turn off the car, grab my receipt and march in. I have a fleeting thought that maybe the place got slammed, but that is soon debunked by the noticeable absence of a crowd.

I approach the woman behind the counter (whose badge identifies her as "shift leader") and say that I'm still waiting on a drive-thru order. She gives me a rather puzzled look and turns to the drive-thru attendant. This girl points to my order, which is sitting there waiting on the counter for its owner, and mutters something about the fact that she is "just about to bring it out". The shift leader takes the order and gives it to me, along with a half-hearted "sorry about that". I calmly mention that I understand, but the point of the drive-thru is to NOT have to get out of the car. I see that she's included a free sandwich coupon with my order, so I say thanks and head back to my car with my lunch.

I get to my car, noting that the bag does not seem hot and the shake is on the way to melting. I take a quick look at my well deserved coupon and that's when I noticed it. The date. Yes, that says "February 28, 2006".

Gee, thanks so much for the expired coupon. I didn't even bother going back in. I don't think I ever will.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

These Boots Were Made for Walkin'....

My good friend Martha's son Alex is the Ambassador for our area March of Dimes campaign this year. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Our little family has signed up to support Team Alex in this year's walk, which takes place Sunday, April 2. Today I helped with a HUGE yard sale to raise money for the March of Dimes, and got a good case of wind/sunburn to prove it.

Anyway, if you'd like to learn more about the March of Dimes, or even sponsor us as we go out walking, please visit our Walk America page at


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Go Look At My Kid!

Hey, my baby's blog is seriously lacking in comments. Have you not noticed the gravitational pull of her cuteness? How have you not fallen into the vortex yet?

Jadyn's Journey. Go there. Now. Ooh and aah. Now.

Thank you.

The world's most overly-proud BabyMama

Huggies, aka Seive Diapers

Ok, I don't like Huggies. I always thought (before Jadyn came along) that they looked cushy and anti-leaky, so I was sure I'd love them. We were given some as baby shower gifts. After finally making through the huge box of 200+ size 1s, I decided never again, no Huggies. Jadyn woke up soggy almost every morning and after every nap. May as well stick her in a colander.

So I went to Pampers Swaddlers, and while they may be a tad more expensive, I VERY rarely have a leak issue. No going back to Huggies.

Yeah, except that we had a whole pack of Huggies #2 size in the closet, and instead of giving them away only to buy more Pampers, I figured I'd be Frugal Mommy and work with what we had.

This ought to teach me to listen to my gut. We're only 1/4 of the way into the pack and I promise we've had 6-8 leaks and I even had one that ripped during application! RIPPED??? This cannot be. If we can land a man on the moon and a vehicle on Mars, can't we make disposable diapers that don't leak or rip? Gadzooks, people, what do those scientists spend all their research money on, anyway?

Ok, rant over.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


So I'm in Chicago by myself for a conference, and it's snowing. I rarely travel by myself these days, especially this far away. And I haven't seen snow like this for 7 or 8 years. This is...surreal. And I had to share. I know that for a large portion of the cyber community this is all commonplace. Good for you. I'm a little freaked out - in a good way. And I'm having a blast.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lost in Another World

I have a new TV addiction. LOST. I picked it up at the start of the second season with the "primer" that sort of caught me up on what was going on. I have to admit I was a little confused about some things. I eventually saw the pilot on a rerun and decided I must immediately see the entire first season. So last Saturday on a regularly crazy WalMart run, I picked up the DVDs, and so it began. I can't stop watching it! I think about it. I read message boards about it. I have even started dreaming about it. I've seen all the episodes and the special features and I have now started over!!! Oh woe is me! I'm a Lost Junkie!

So, are the numbers cursed? And who are the Others? And is Dharma out to rule the world or just experiment on children? And why were the tail section survivors hit so hard? And what in the name of all that is holy is that crazy security system?

I need help.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lent the Good Times Roll

Yes, today starts Lent, which has all sorts of historical roots that go much deeper than I care to at this particular moment. You can google it if you want more information. For me, personally, it's a time to sacrifice some things that I really need to be willing to give up anyway. It's just a good way to jump-start a good habit.

So this year I'm really challenging myself. I'm giving up:
  • sweets. Ugh - it will take some time to figure out what to eat in their place.
  • daytime weekday tv. I'm not a huge soap opera fan, but if I have the tv on during the day, tuned to sci fi or whatever, I find I get much less accomplished.
  • eating after 8 PM. This is gonna be tricky, since sometimes Paul doesn't get home from work until late, which tends to push back our dinner time.
  • nagging my husband. That's sort of a nutshell - there's more to it. I want/need to build him up and encourage him more, and that starts with not being negative toward him.

When Lent is over, on Easter, it's my hope that instead of gladly induldging in these activities on a regular basis once again, they will have by habit fallen mostly by the wayside.

So here I am, laying it all out there for cyberaccountability. I have some friends who will hold me up to this in person (and you know who you are) but I'll try to give regular blog reports on how well I'm sticking to this.

The next few weeks should be very interesting.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"Outten the Light"

Yesterday the Olympic flame was extinguished, and for some reason the closing ceremonies always make me a little sad. Maybe it's the idea that all those hopes and dreams are over. All the escalating excitement has reached its zenith and is now on its quick descent. The stories of glory have been told. The "Flying Tomato" Shawn White took the gold, as did the previously controversial Apollo Anton Ohno. The disappointments have been experienced. No gold for Sasha Cohen. No medal at all for Bode Miller. Not even a competition for Michelle Kwan. And when all the judging is over and the times tabulated, USA came in second in the medal race.

So it's over - at least until 2008 when our sites are set on Beijing. Look out, China. Here we come!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends

I got sick. Not my typical "sniffle, sniffle, cough" sick, but "I think I should make sure my will is done" sick. It started creeping up on Saturday evening and by Sunday afternoon I was wasted. Fever over 102, chills, nausea, sore throat, and the kind of headache that had me thinking, "Maybe if I drilled a hole in my skull, it would relieve the pressure and I'd feel better."

If it weren't for some awesome friends swooping in and caring for me, I don't know what I would have done. Aunt Sassy, as we like to call one friend in particular, dropped by and picked up Jadyn so that I could rest Sunday afternoon. Paul, who had already worked 6 days straight, had some news event to cover. We could pick her up at small group that night. Sounded great to me, except that when Paul came home to get me and take me to small group, I was so dizzy that making it to the bathroom seemed like trying to walk a straight line on a moving tilt-a-whirl machine. So I elected to stay home while Paul went to group.

A few hours later, it got worse. I couldn't figure out who had hold of the vice grip that was obviously invisibly crushing my brain. When I couldn't get Paul on his cell, I called Aunt Sassy. Apparently I sounded like I was on the brink of death because she made the executive decision to get me some medication, come pack a bag for Jadyn and keep her for the night. I was in no condition to care for myself, let alone my 5 month old. Paul was going to have his hands full dealing with me and my imploding head, so off Jadyn went on her first night without Mommy. I didn't even get to say good night, but that wouldn't dawn on me till I could think again.

On Monday Aunt Sassy came and drove me to the doctor (I could not be trusted with machinery with moving parts) while Jadyn's pseudo-adoptive Aunt Amy kept Jadyn. After the doctor took one look at my temperature, she pronounced me sick and gave me several prescriptions that even now continue to do scary stuff to my sense of balance. Aunt Sassy kept Jadyn the rest of the day while Paul worked. Good thing, too. I didn't puke so much when I was pregnant as I did that afternoon. But by Monday night my temp had dropped and it seemed I was on the mend.

Yeah, right.

Tuesday morning the thermometer still said 102.2 so Paul stayed home to parent while I stayed in bed. He even lined up a friend to watch Jadyn for that evening so he could cover a night meeting without leaving me to spread my germiness all over her. Just when I thought the magnanimous nature of my friends had reached its zenith, Aunt Amy's daughters walk in bearing dinner for us. Had I not been working very hard to keep from coughing on them, I would have burst into tears.

At our church (Hope Community Church) we have a saying: "Hope happens in small groups." And that's how I got to be friends with these folks - from small group. It has been wonderful to experience the love and support of people who have quickly become family to us.

So thanks, you guys. I couldn't have made it through this without you!

Oh, and by the way, so far, Jadyn seems to have dodged the sick bullet. Thank God! I'd rather be sick for a week than have her sick for just one day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Can't Help Lovin' That Man Of Mine

Why? Let me count the ways...
  • He sees our marriage as a partnership and treats it as such.
  • He makes me laugh, and he laughs at my jokes.
  • He's still with me despite my bouts of moodiness, nagging and complaints.
  • He's totally devoted to our dear sweet daughter.
  • He's the one God made for me.

I love you, Paul. Tag, you're still it!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Confessions of a Bad Blogger

Yes, I know it's been over a week since I last posted. I'm a bad blogger. Shame on me. I don't pay attention to things that happen in my life that would make good posts. I don't sacrifice sleep time to post. I do my paying work instead of posting. I don't let my baby cry so I can post. I use nap times for silly things like laundry and washing bottles when I could be posting. Every now and then I get a sitter, but I don't use this time to post - I actually go out with my husband.

How dare I? And I call myself a blogger?! My password should be revoked!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

And now, for something completely crazy

Going to Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon is an exercise in insanity. I tend to return from such trips in a total mental fog from the sheer ridiculousness of the experience.

Apparently there are great masses of folks out there who care deeply for one another but only get together at the ends of store aisles, where overheard greetings rival Hallmark sentiments. "Whatchoo bin doin'?" "Hey girl, you at the sto'? "Heyhawyoo?" (Yes, that last one is all one word."

Another startling realization - I seem to become invisible upon entering the building. This must explain why I can never get past these touching family reunions. It also could be the reason why folks pull their carts out in front of me as if they just got the green light at a NASCAR track.

My daughter, on the other hand, must have a spotlight shining on her because there is no end to the line of people who will remark at her cuteness. This does not bother me. Their proximity to my daughter while making such comments, however, causes me great consternation. Please, people, you're germy and she, for the moment, is not. Yes, I know her cuteness has it's own gravitational field, but please resist the temptation to fall in and touch her fingers!

I'm getting the idea that shopping with children who can walk and/or talk makes a parent want to swear at said children. The smaller the difference between the age of the parent and the child, the louder and more obnoxious the swearing becomes. This increases exponentially with more than one child.

And you know you've been to Wal-Mart too much when you recognize employees of the store who are out of uniform and doing their own shopping. I fully expected to be greeted by a sweet little man who was buying himself some lunch meat.

I need help.

Monday, January 30, 2006


Ever get that feeling that life has you tied in a tilt-a-whirl and is spinning you till you turn green and puke? Yeah. I hate that feeling.

Please, someone, make the spinning stop!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Someone Should Have Warned Me

Apparently when a woman has a baby, she's not warned of an amazing and miraculous fact. It is possible for a mother to survive with her very heart on the outside of her body. Said heart can be dressed in a cute fuzzy orange sleeper and be passed around to all the adults and children of her home small group, all the while smiling, laughing and babbling at all the funny faces.

It's adorable, startling, terrifying and magical.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New Leaf Turning - aka The Gym

We joined a gym. We chose the most expensive one in town, mostly because they were the only ones offering any child care beyond "we stick them in a room and someone looks in on them every now and then". Besides, it offers all sorts of great classes, including a parent and baby aqua class. 2 more months and we are SO hitting that class. I already got Jadyn a few swim diapers!

The downside is that there are all these things you have to do when you join. You get bloodwork done, fill out this lifestyle survey, have a physical assessment done with a trainer, then an hour long orientation. Sheesh! I didn't have to do this much work to apply for my job!

I know it will be worth it in the long run. It's just that this week was already full enough with both Jadyn and I scheduled for doctor appointments this week. (Neither of which actually appeared on the doctor's schedules for some cosmically strange reason.) Add to that all this other running around and my week is quickly filling up to overflowing.

Geesh, all this to get in shape. Next year, my resolution is to simplify my life.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Can a Girl Catch a Break?

Jadyn is almost 4 months old now, and has been watched by a babysitter 5 times now, not counting being dropped off at the nursery for church or MOPS. Now, I personally don't see that as very unusual, let alone daring. But several of my friends have commented to me (and apparently to our mutual friends) that I'm doing so well to be entrusting my darling little angel to the care of others at such an early age. After all, it did take us quite a while to be entrusted with her ourselves, so it apparently comes as a surprise to my more veteran parenting friends that I so willingly drop off my child, give basic instructions and my cell number, and with a kiss and a wave I happily walk away.

I look at it this way: yes, I'll miss her, and it requires trust to leave her in even the most capable of hands not belonging to me or my husband, but honestly, if I don't catch a break to catch my sanity, I may very well lose it forever. Now, exactly how is THAT gonna help ANYONE?

So, yes, I love and adore my beautiful blue-eyed angel child. It only serves to enhance our relationship and energize me for another day of diapers and bottles if I get out among the real world every now and then.

Can I get an amen??

Friday, January 06, 2006

Things I Pray For (an abridged list)

  • My husband - to be joyful even though some parts of life are not joyous
  • My daughter - to find God as the source of her love and joy
  • My parents - to figure out the balance between being grandparents and adult children of aging parents, and where that will lead them.
  • My church - to grow and meet the needs of those she serves
  • Our pastor - to get the rest he needs while enjoying life with a new baby and a 2 yr old
  • Our Children's Ministry - to be real, relevant and resourceful
  • Volunteers for said ministry - to be blessed, refreshed, and to increase in number
  • Jadyn's naps - to last longer than 45 minutes
  • Wise Use of Time - to get done quiet time, the laundry, cleaning, cooking AND my paid work
  • Direction - to know where we are supposed to go next
  • My friendships - to be deep, healthy and fun
  • My blogging buddies - to come away with either a smile or a deep thought, depending on the topic of the day.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Balancing Act

Becoming a new mom has required a lot more strategic planning than I first imagined. Everything from a quick grocery run to a weekend road trip means planning that sometimes rivals that needed for the D-Day invasion. I also work part time as the director of children's ministry for my church, and thankfully most of it can be done from home. But that means squeezing tasks in while laundry is going, dinner is in the oven, and Jadyn is either napping or swinging contentedly in the next room. I'm beginning to feel like a circus juggler. At least I'm not tossing running chainsaws in the air!