"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The heat index is 101 right now, so I thought I'd write  a little something in the comfort of our air-conditioned home.

This is our first summer having BigBoy home with us.  Our move back to Apex means a school change, and along with that is a calendar change from year-round to traditional.  He has his first real summer off from school (not just one week off between grades).  He's had camp, but there's also this:

The baby/toddler/preschooler that never would let me read to him, is now a bookworm!
He enjoys an equal amount of outdoor activities, too, but now he goes through 2 or 3 books a week.

Baby Honey seems to grow daily.
She gobbles up sweet potatoes, bananas...

and toy trains. :)

 The big kids are a little obsessed with her.

The other day after she'd just woken up, I was cuddling with her on the couch giving her a bottle.
Katie snuggled up next to us and began softly holding/cupping the side of her head and then kissed her, saying "She's so cuuute" in a very quiet, affectionate way.
"Is she like a little baby doll?" I asked.
"No," she replied. "She's like a real sister."

Small moments of love can carry more meaning than the grandest of gestures.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Pearls Progression

Just a few of my favorites...

-6 Months-

 -1 Year-

-18 Months-





Little June Turns 5

Every year I take photos of Katie in the pearls my mother-and-father-inlaw gave me before our wedding.  They used to say I looked like June Cleaver when I wore them.  
My goal is to photograph Katie in them for as many years as she will let me, and one day give them to her to keep as her own.

To our big girl upon turning 5...

You were nervous as we entered the tangle of trees and brush behind our house.
Surprising, because you don't get nervous about much.

 You asked, and of course I came with you.
It went from scary to exciting.

You used pine branches to "sweep like Cinderella."

You ran through the leaves in the white dress you picked out -- a little too big but perfect for you, because you don't like your belly button to by touched by fabric.

I put your hair in low pigtails because that's pretty much all you will let me do to your hair these days.  (We were barely back in the house 5 minutes before your stinker self pulled them down.)

After begging to venture farther and farther into the woods, you discovered a fun little stream
and became tickled in only the way a 5 year old can,.

An old dirty ball was a treasure... until you laughed and threw it as hard as you could down stream!

Lots of discoveries were to be had.  Especially for a little girl not afraid of some dirt.

 At 5, you are adventurous, funny, bright, and loving.

 You're also serious, brave, and blunt at times.

You're our Katie and we love you.
Exploring the woods was fun, but exploring you gets better every year.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Clearing the fog

Yesterday was dreary and kind of sucked, to be frank. 
For a variety of reasons, I was all "in my head" and not feeling good about a lot of things.  
It was more than a bad day, and I don't even have truly bad days often anymore.
But talking it out with supportive loving friends and family helped the fog clear.
I was able to let go of the heavy thoughts pulling me down.

Like finding an unexpected jar of Nutella buried in the pantry, (if you like perfectly good chocolate that's been contaminated by hazelnuts)

life's joys became clear again.  It's amazing how much better I feel less than 24 hours later.

If you're struggling with something, I suggest turning to someone close to you.  Trust that they care enough about you to want to help, and know that you aren't a burden.  Wouldn't you want your loved ones to trust that about you as well?  I sure hope mine do.

"A friend should be radical - they should love you when you're unloveable, hug you when you're unhuggable, and bear you when you're unbearable. A friend should be fanatical - they should cheer when the whole world boos, dance when you get good news, and cry when you cry too. But most of all a friend should be mathematical - they should multiply the joy, divide the sorrow, subtract the past, add to tomorrow, calculate the need deep in your heart, and always be bigger than the sum of all their parts."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


There 65 days until Spring.

That is all.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting (kind of) crafty for Baby Honey

 I promise I won't talk about Christmas much longer.  I'm actually putting away the tree and decorations right now, but wanted to share this really quick.

I love to decorate for Christmas, but like to keep it pretty simple for the most part.  All of our ornaments are either gifts, made by the children, souvenirs from trips, or ones we've bought to represent our family that year. (like this one from 2005 when we were expecting but still didn't know the sex of the baby...)

We all felt sorry for baby Grace when she didn't have a single ornament for the tree this year, so I decided get a little crafty and make her one myself.  

--Fair warning: this is not a Pinterest-worthy project.--

I bought a 97-cent plastic globe ornament from WalMart and that was my only expense.
We've always enjoyed reading The Berenstain Bears books with our children, and with a boy as the oldest, then a girl, and finally a baby sister, our family was completed with our own "Baby Honey."  
"Baby Honey" became her nickname while she was in my belly and BabyCakes still calls her that.
After searching online with no luck, I decided to make my own Berenstain Bears ornament so our new addition would have a proper ornament on the tree.

First, I printed out a photo of our family onto regular printer paper (it looks better in person), sized to fit the ornament.  
Next I searched for an image of the Bear family and printed it out at the same size.  
I'd already packed up the ornament hooks, so I used a twisty tie from a loaf of bread for the next step.  I glued the pictures back to back with the twisty tie in between, and wrapped the twisty tie over the top of the globe and under the cap.  
This holds the pictures in place instead of them floating on the bottom of the globe.
I wrote on the top "Baby Honey Makes 5  - 2014" but you can't see it here because of the glare.

Wow, I just noticed that we are even standing the same way in our picture as the Bears are in theirs.
The ornament's not perfect, but neither are we.  
It does, however, represent what I look for in life these days:

It's simple, special, and makes me smile.  :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

The post I don't want to write

Several years ago I decided I was TIRED.
Tired of feeling bad about myself.
Tired of letting my appearance -- which I didn't like -- affect choices I made in my life.
Tired of always choosing foods that would make me feel the happiest in the moment but was a bad decision in the long run. (Fettucine alfredo? Sure, I know it's often the highest-cal item on a restaurant's menu, but I'll have that and the bread that comes with it, too, please!)
But most of all I was tired of feeling powerless to change.
I decided I WOULD change.  I would NOT make excuses, have regrets, and berate myself for goals unachieved over the course of my life.
Above and beyond losing weight, I wanted to shift my outlook to a happier one, and prove to myself that if I wanted change -- in anything-- I would get it if I worked hard enough.
Sometimes the change didn't look like what I envisioned, but it was still different from where I started.
Focus on the lessons learned, the opportunities at hand, and the wonderful tiny and tremendous things about life.

I did.  Less and less I judged myself and others.  I took setbacks in stride.  I found more joy in everything.

I still do... for the most part.  Somewhere along the way, this joooourney I've been on with my weight has made me weary.  We could go round and round with why's and how's but really, that doesn't matter.  What's done is done and my weight today reflects my past, both good and bad.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, this struggle of mine to make good food choices is not huge.
But my lack of control affects how I feel about myself and that affects everyone around me. 
Not always in big ways (or even much at all) but in ways that I can feel -- and I don't like it.

I'm tired again.

So it's time for change... again.

If you must know, I last left you in my joooourney (I put this word in italics because the word is SO cheesy yet so accurately describes the situation -- thus its continued use) with 70 pounds being the most I'd lost.
My weight at that point was difficult for me to maintain.  I'm more of a sandwich-instead-of-salad-for-lunch-at-a-restaurant type of eater.  I wasn't ready to fully commit to the changes necessary for that maintenance.
But my weight at 50-55 down?  That I could do.  I've always been thicker (muscular legs and a large chest adds to this) than most of my friends and thought I carried it decently.
Now after having baby #3 and the changes in my daily life that came with her, my weight has crept up a bit to an uncomfortable zone for me. (About half way to my highest, so roughly 35 pounds from my lowest.)

I'm back to my joooourney and I want to share it.  
In truth, I will always struggle with food.  We all have things we struggle with sometimes -- and this is my thing.  And I need to remember that that's okay.  I tell BigBoy that all the time with his classwork -- "There's no shame in it being difficult; the problem is when you give up."

So yes, it's difficult and no, I'm not giving up.

Funny, after writing all this I don't feel so tired anymore.  Maybe all that guilt I was carrying was too damn heavy!