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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

To all those who are currently serving, have served in the past, or lost their lives in the process, thank you for your devotion to our country and military. You and your families are sacrificing so many things to ensure my family and my country's safety.

Some very special men in my life are especially appreciated.

PaPa (aka, my father-in-law) is retired after 24 years in the Army plus 2 (voluntary) tours in Vietnam. I don't know if he'll ever fully adjust to civilian life and I love him for it.

MunSoo is a Captain in the Air Force currently serving in South Korea. He's also been stationed in Germany and Iraq, in addition to previous stations in Korea. Today is an especially memorable Memorial Day for him, as he and his wife are at the hospital to have their first child.

Pa was in the Army and stationed in Germany during the Korean War.

Papa was in Army during the Korean War, too, but it ended before he left the country.

Thank you, again. Thank you, military families, as well. Thank you.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I found this tacky little thing at a yardsale a few weeks back. I paid $1.50 for it because I knew it had potential. Here it is filled with fake ivy and baby's breath. Ick.

I chucked the fake crap, took off the long chain, and sprayed the cage with a coat of oil-rubbed bronze. It was high-quality spray paint so it covered really nicely.
I used spanish moss to surround the pot of petunias that are inside. My plan was to use a pretty ribbon to hang it by but our porch is being painted right now.
The bird and metal ivy were originally red and green but I think it looks better all one color. I thought about removing them but I think it would have damaged the rest of the cage. I *think* I like it how it is...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today was another pleasantly "normal" day for us. After BabyCakes' morning nap, we made the beautiful drive to Biz and LadyBug's house.
We spend 30 minutes driving smooth roads through a lake-covered, green part of Carolina. Blue skies and bridges -- BigBoy (ever the (un)cooperative car-rider) even enjoys gazing out the windows and pointing out water birds and boats.

After a nice visit (as always) with the girls we headed back so BabyCakes could get another nap (I tried at Biz' house and it wasn't hap'nin!). Of course both of the kids decided to nap in the car on the way home so I ended up driving around a bit so they could sleep. Usually I would just go ahead and get them out of the car, but BigBoy so rarely naps that I really wanted him to get one for a change.

I've been so focused on getting other things done lately that BigBoy hasn't had a lot of attention. Today I changed that and there were puzzles, racecars, and markers involved in the mix. We gave BabyCakes some baby apple sauce. She ate about 6 bites -- much better than her rejection of rice cereal. :)

As I type, J is roughhousing with BigBoy on the bed behind me. I just took this picture. BigBoy is upside down. :)

I swear the child has no idea he is only 32 pounds soaking wet! In his mind he is every bit his father's physical equal.

Okay, I'm off to pry my child off his father... wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sports Illustrated: Babysuit Edition

Yes, I know I posted some pics yesterday but one of the things I LOVE about babies is their bathing suits. I had roughly 90 seconds to find a swimsuit for BabyCakes and I was thrilled with my purchase. It's very "her." :)

Those bikini-clad teenagers next to us had nuthin on my curvy baby!

Look at those arms!

Oh my the butt/leg rollage...

I guarantee she felt better in her bathing suit than any woman out there.

Wouldn't it be nice if we women could always feel this comfortable in our bodies? We should -- it's the only one we're going to get!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Impromptu Myrtle Beach Trip

Thursday we came to an agreement with our neighbor, who has been painting the exterior of our house, to paint over the interior burnt plum walls as well. It was our living, dining, and kitchen and if you saw how much edge work there was you would have wanted someone else to do it, too! Less than 24 hours later we were on the road to Myrtle Beach. I hadn't been there since I was a kid and J had never been there so we found a hotel, prepped the walls/ rooms for painting, bought the paint and swimsuits for the kids, packed some bags, and hit the road. Whew!

We went to the Ripley's Aquarium, the beach, etc. BigBoy loved the "super-big" fishing store. It was his first time at a Bass Pro Shops and he had to have a net even though in all their time fishing together, he and J have only caught one fish. :) He had great fun with it all weekend.

RIGHT after we found our spot on the beach, BigBoy had to pee. J trucked him all the way back up to the hotel room so BabyCakes and I had some alone time relaxing on the blanket.

She did so well. (Don't worry, she wore a hat a lot but it had just gotten wet when it flew off her head into the ocean.) I BATHED her (and BigBoy) in SPF 50 because they are MY children, after all.

She didn't get scared at all. Not the noise of the ocean nor the cold of the water. What a little sweetie. By the way, I didn't take my nice camera, only my point-and-shoot because I didn't want to risk getting sand in the lens and also because I primarily am enjoying my family, not taking pictures.

BigBoy has never been really into swimming in the ocean. He's more of a throw shells/make sandcastles/get your feet wet kind of beach kid.

J must have made this walk to the water 20 times. They had to have a moat, of course. It eventually just became a hole of water. :)

I was laying on my side next to BabyCakes a lot of the time so this was usually my view. :)

Did you know monster trucks are beach toys? hmm...

Back at the hotel. The kids are now clean and sand-free. We were looking at menus to find some delivery for dinner. Let me narrate the scene:
BabyCakes - Squeel, spit-bubble, coo!
BigBoy - Ahh! She's got my hair! Baby Girl let go!
I was mostly laughing because up until this point BigBoy had been jumping all over us (J and I) and now it was his turn to get picked on. I freed him from her grasp soon after.
I asked J to take our picture at first because I was cuddling sweetly with both the kids, but then it turned into this and I am happy it did because this is more "us."

All in all we had a great weekend! Next time we will stay in a different hotel but does it get better than going to the beach and returned home to half your house painted by someone else?! I still can't believe how blessed I am.

Okay, I'm off to 7 loads of laundry, touch-up painting the white trim, and cleaning everything so I can put our living areas back together. At least I still have Krispy Kremes we brought back from the beach!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It's been several days since my last post, hasn't it?
Well, I don't have any pictures today but I thought I'd catch you up a bit. BabyCakes is good, BigBoy is getting over a cold (it's taking forever), J is working hard as usual, and I'm trucking right along too.
Unfortnately I'm dealing with an ulcer in my left eye right now but with treatment it should heal. It started really bothering me last night and by this morning I knew it was serious-- turns out it was. I have two follow-up appointments and a possible third scheduled for this week.
This sort of thing reminds me not to take all my different kinds of health for granted. It also makes me want to take better care of myself.
It ALSO makes me want to get off the freakin computer because while my meds are helping I am typing through a haze.
Bye for now, and take care of your eyes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Check out this giveaway on Fussy Monkey Business, a fun blog by a woman I know from my Portland days.

It's a $40 gift certificate for websites that are all about "home." (Check her blog for details.)

Follow her for creative crafting, decorating, and up-cycling ideas. She's a frugal mom after my own heart just trying to make her house a home.

I won this wallet during her last giveaway!

I just woke up. You know the drill. I will not smile until you feed me.

Ah... tasty. Okay, let's play!

Be sure and get my good side!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm not feeling anything obvious to blaaaahhhg (I detest this word and want a replacement) about today so I'm offering up a pretty picture of tulips for your enjoyment. I took this picture when we met my Aunt Caroline and her family in Richmond on Easter '09 for lunch at Pf Chang's. Weird choice for Easter you may say, but it was also my cousin Ally's 18th birthday.
I was hoping to see tulips at Duke Gardens last week but alas, they were gone.

Instead we saw these (yes I should know what they are but I've told you about my relationship with plants before...). Pretty, huh?

And these.

The above are ornamental onions. They look like they belong on Pandora. Too cool.

So yes, I was disappointed not to see my tulips, but look what was in store for me instead!

Now if only I could turn all of life's "disappointments" into enchanting surprises...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Sick boy, then migraine mom. Luckily J was able to come home early and help out.

I hope everyone out there is healthy and happy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Happy Mommy's Day!" BigBoy told me this no less than a dozen times this weekend. I was showered with flowers, chocolate (in 3 forms) and lots of love and appreciation. I'm lucky that, aside from the gifts, it wasn't that unusual. My boys have always been free with their words of love and gratitude. I know how rare and special that is, though, and I try not to take it for granted.

Apparently BigBoy picked out the flowers. Red and orange carnations and pink somethings (you know this "filler flower"). :) I was happy to spread them around the house. Now I have flowers in my kitchen, living room, and even my bathroom. Flowers of any kind always make mommy happy. Chocolate is 2nd on my list of smile-makers, as far as gifts go, anyway.

This morning we went to Bob Evans for a big ole breakfast and then had a beautiful drive to the zoo. We did the lesser-seen Africa side today. It was in the 60's and could not have been prettier outside so there were a lot of people with the same idea. We had a nice time as we usually do. BigBoy alternated between angellic and whiny, though. One minute he's begging to have his picture taken and then next hiding from the camera, but I think that's normal for this age.

BabyCakes was happy to suck/chew/slobber on Daddy's finger during her "ride." J sure got a workout carrying her up and down those hills!

Here is a rare picture of me with one of my children. :) He doesn't even really have his eyes open but it was the best one.

1 John 4:12 says "No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and is made complete in us."

I know I won't be able to spend every Mother's Day with both of my children. I know they won't want to hug me tight over and over telling me they love me and that I'm the "sweetest Mommy ever."

I'm going to enjoy it while I can, though. That's really the only thing we can do in life -- love deeply and work hard to better the lives of those we love. Luckily for me those people are a husband and two children who make every day "Mommy's Day."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Look at what I just got for Mother's Day!

Bam! Yep, a nice black eye! It looks darker in person and is actually bruising more as I type. :(
I was rough-housing with BigBoy in the living room floor. We were "fighting" with pillows (all the while holding BabyCakes in my other arm... BigBoy is very careful with her, actually.) and all of a sudden his rock-hard noggin met my eye. Usually I let J do the bulk of rough-housing in our house but I was feeling especially playful this morning. I immediately cried out and then BigBoy started bawling. I took a good 30 minutes for him to stop whimpering over it. He felt so awful he hurt me. I think it just scared him so see me cry like that, too.

Being a mother can hurt sometimes. :)

Mother's Day

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I'm reflecting on some of the things I have learned in the almost 4 years I have had this job.

Some of them include:

  • Never, NEVER leave permanent markers accessible to a toddler. Even if you think they never look in THAT spot in THAT drawer.
    They will open the drawer. They will find the marker. They. will. use. it. It is amazing what can be accomplished while you spend 5 minutes in front of a running washer/dryer.

(He also "decorated" our white fireplace surround, too.)

  • If they scribble on their face with permanent marker, be sure and take a picture for later evidence of why they in fact are the cause of your gray hair.
  • Clean clothes (for you or the baby) or running late getting somewhere will easily prompt a baby's gag reflex.

  • Don't get upset if the ONLY way a child will smile is by contorting their face until it is no longer "pretty." One day those pictures won't seem "ruined" but instead a wonderful souvenir of the stinker at that age.

  • A bouncy seat/swing will be worth its weight in gold when it is the only place your child will sleep. You would rather run out of milk and bread than batteries.

  • It's sometimes more enjoyable to buy clothes, drive home, try them on, plan another trip to the mall, drive back to the store and return the items that you didn't like, than to take 10 minutes in a dressing room with a child in an unmoving stroller.
  • It's a good idea to hide "mommy chocolate" or you will have to share with people who don't appreciate it -- that's what smarties are for.
  • Teach your children to do as you say, not as you do. ;)

  • Sometimes it's okay to splash in the tub. It's just water. Why do you have 27 towels, anyway?

  • Don't insult yourself too much if over-indulging in "mommy chocolate" and the like leads to you gaining weight. No matter what your health goals, you should still be respectful to your child's mother. Besides, they always think she is beautiful.

  • Children will be more excited to see grandparents than parents walk in the door. You will be the one they call out for in the middle of the night, though.

There a lot more lessons I have learned as a mother but because I AM a mother I have to go now. I'm starting my day with the two sweetest "teachers" in the world. Well, at least in my book. :)

Leave a comment and share a lesson YOU have learned. If you don't have children, share something you learned from your mother!

Happy Mother's Day, Mama! Thank you for wiping away all the nasty bodily fluids you encountered times 3! Also, thank you for not letting us chew gum, even when we whined.

I love you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Duke Gardens with Our Sweet Friends

BabyCakes and LadyBug relaxing in the shade.

Biz loves LadyBug as much as BigBoy loves BabyCakes

Look at those blue eyes.

The girls -- BigBoy is a little outnumbered but I don't think he minds. :)

Just chillin.

She will kill me for this picture one day. Check out that rollage!

BigBoy and Biz had so much fun throwing rocks in the water. The dust in the air is because most of the rocks came from the walking path. :/

I LOVE this picture. Even if he does has have hat hair. :)


Our lovely Miss Rachel and LadyBug

LadyBug in her Derby-worthy hat

The kids thought is was soooo funny to run from me most of the time! TONS of my pictures are blurs of them running and laughing away from me.

She's growing up so fast. This is such an innocent age, though.

Biz had rocks in the other hand. She of course gave Big boy one of these seeds(?) before we left. They were both soooo sad to go and told us so all the way home.

Have I mentioned how much these two love each other? They've been two peas in a pod since they were babies. Who would have thought that such a boy's boy and girly girl would click so well?

Do I even have to say how blessed we feel?