31 October 2010

Never Grow Up

Sitting here this morning grading (long story--an instructor had an issue and they needed someone to step in and catch up on grading...the caveat?  4 weeks had to be completed this weekend.) and listening to "Speak Now" on the Apple TV.  "Never Grow Up" just came on, and it was so sweet to be listening to that particular song and look up to see the family show playing (what my kids call the pictures that play on the Apple TV...it shuffles through all of our photos and plays them randomly, so it's really fun to watch!).  Just having some warm fuzzies this morning, I guess.  :)

Never Grow Up (Taylor Swift)
Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14 there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your PJ's getting ready for school

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
No one's ever burned you, nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to, just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder that I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up

Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
I could still be little
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
Won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even though you want to, please try to never grow up
Oh, don't you ever grow up
Oh, never grow up, just never grow up

30 October 2010

View from the Top

Last night we went to the BHS game to see the cheer clinic cuties perform.  The Dallmeyers joined us, and it was a lot of fun.  Heather and I were joking about being back in these stands someday cheering on Mason and Kayci and being the overzealous parents.  Who, us?  (Oh, yeah--I can see it now!)  Anyway, the Cubs dominated the field...and it took me a while to realize what was different about the game.  The view off to our left was awesome--just to the left of the goal post, you can see the Blue Bell sign.  You know why?  There's no jumbo-tron.  I didn't miss it one bit...being there last night reminded me of my high school football games (well, trade the sea of green for red).  It was fun to reminisce, and a little bittersweet.  Simpler times...there's a lot to be said for that.

28 October 2010


Kayci had her favorite friends over today for a Halloween party. I think it's safe to say, a good time was had by all. :)

Letter to a Dear Friend

Dear October,

You started off beautifully--cool weather, gorgeous light, pumpkins and gourds and decorations galore.  I vowed that THIS year would be different, we'd cherish every moment of you.  Then work kicked up and the next time I turned around, you were almost over.  Did you know that Halloween is just a few days away?  Did you know that today is the day of Kayci's much-anticipated Halloween party and my floors are filthy and we can barely walk through the office because of the tubs I need to find a new home for?  (By the way, October, why does our friend Organization bring so much Chaos with her?  She's totally worth it, don't get me wrong, but Chaos always takes me by surprise.)  

Anyway, October, I need to run so I can make the most of your last few days.  Halloween parties today, tomorrow and Saturday, HALLOWEEN on Sunday...we've got things to do, you and I.  Thanks, by the way, for bringing the cool weather back.  Well, trying to--but I have faith in you.  I believe you can do it today.  Tell you what, I'll work on those floors and tubs and you concentrate on that weather.  That only seems fair, as you cannot clean my floors and I can't do anything about weather.  See, isn't it cool how we work together?  Don't mention it, that's what friends are for.

By the way, October, thanks for being so awesome.  Don't tell the others, but I think you're my favorite month.  I know, I know, I say that to all of the holidays, but I mean it.  You're special, and I'll miss you come Monday.  Tell you what, let's just enjoy each other until then.  And be nice to James when he goes fishing on Saturday, will you?  The limit's 2, so if he could just catch 1, that would rock.  He'll ask you for 2, but you just do your best and we'll be grateful.

Love you big,


PS--Please tell November to take her time coming and going.  Thanks!

26 October 2010

Mommy's Boy

Quick trip to James Avery...getting a kick out of Noble running around yelling, "Mommy have that! And Mommy have that, too!" So far, he's been right--observant little guy! :)

--out & about :)

Killin' Me Softly With His Words (so I paraphrased)

A few weeks ago, Noble started getting a little clingy and saying "don't WEAVE me!" when he thought I was about to leave.  How cute is that?  Unless you hear it every time you have to go to the bathroom, when he feels like you're walking too fast...you get the idea.  But it's so sweet to hear his little voice.  :)

Sunday night, Kayci had a little freak out over not seeing me yesterday morning (I was scheduled to go in early for an Evaluation).  She and I had a heart to heart last week and she's really struggling with the time I'm spending in Houston.  Unfortunately, I'm working toward a huge deadline so I'm about to head back for two days...that part can't be helped.  But yesterday, it was easy enough to rearrange my schedule to leave after she left for school...problem solved.  Or so I thought.  Because I was leaving later, it made more sense for me to drive Noble out to our friend's house than James, so I offered.  He was fine until we turned onto her road, then he popped up with "Becky's house?  No, no, I not go Becky's house--I go HEB."  Hmm.  Maybe later, kid.  We drove on, he was fine...got to Becky's, fine...time for me to leave...not fine.  I hugged and kissed him and passed him off, and as I walked out he was saying, "Don't WEAVE me...but I wuv oo!!!!!!"  (But I love you...nice touch, Bubby.)

Last night when I met them for dinner, Kayci was happy to see me (the new Taylor Swift CD added to my appeal, I must admit!), but Noble was ecstatic.  He kept muttering "and Mommy not go anywheres buhout me..."  Good thing for him he gets to go to work with me today and tomorrow.  And honestly, good for me, too.  Crap.  But now he's crying because Kayci and Daddy aren't going to Houston with us.  See?  Killin' me!

21 October 2010

You Be Mommy...

Yesterday GoGo watched the kids and of course, as any self-respecting grandparent would, spoiled them a bit.  Noble is a chocoholic, so she let him pick out some candy...guess who picked an 8-pack of Hershey bars?  :)  Last night we were hanging out and Noble was enjoying his candy.  He asked for a candy bar and I said, "I'm going to me Mommy here..." (I was about to say, and make you count these before you can have one...) but my little wiseacre jumped in with...
"OKAY!  You be Mommy, I be Boble."
Fine, have it your way.
We laughed and laughed...he's so literal these days, you just never know where he's going to go!

Almost Perfect From the Outside

Caution:  pity, party of one...my table's ready.  

Today was a good day.  A busy, upside down, good day.  GoGo offered to come be me for a day while I worked, so I headed for Houston.  I had a good day at work, doing something I'm way excited about...work has been pretty stressful for a while now, and it was a nice break to have a day to just focus on something I really wanted to be doing.  Don't get me wrong--I love my job, I'm grateful for the work, I love my coworkers and my district...but I've just been feeling torn lately.  I have a great life here in Brenham, and I have a great job--it's selfish and childish of me to complain, but I wish the two weren't mutually exclusive.  Don't think I'm giving myself too much credit here, because I'm no pop star, but sometimes the "Hannah Montana" song plays in my head..."the best of both worlds..." because that's what it feels like when I explain what it means to be a consultant to people.  Truthfully, I'm a really well-paid part-time worker.  Respected and valued and all of that, yeah (don't want to take anything away from my district--I love you guys!)...but a part-time worker nonetheless.  I don't fully fit in my Mommy world because I do have a great job...and I don't fully fit in my work world because I get to walk away at the end of the day, drive out of the city and into a simpler life where I get to spend a ton of quality time with my kids and my husband.  It's a great life.  They're BOTH great lives.  So why am I just...churning...right now?  Sigh.  

Here's something else that's really working on me...I notice this a lot with parents, myself included.  We work really hard to make it look like we've got it all covered, and that it all comes easy.  But how many of us are one person in public and another at home?  I know I am SOOOOOOOOOOO guilty of this.  This is another thing that's just got me churning inside...my parenting.  But that's another story.  In the conversation I'm about to tell you about, my friend and I also talked about how much easier it is when we have friends' kids over, how it makes us be the parent we want to be all of the time...friendly, engaged but not too engaged, caring but not too caring, nice but not fake nice...all that stuff.  Why can't I just BE that parent all the time?  Why do I get lazy at the end of a long day and quit trying with the people closest to me when I've shown my best self to everyone else all day long, from the homeless guy around town to acquaintances to friends to family...but not the three people who mean the most to me.  See, another story...another day.  

And then there's our marriages--I know someone who's at a crossroads.  It's a familiar place for me, as James and I stood there 10 years ago and had to decide whether to travel on together, or go our separate ways.  Oh, come on--don't look shocked.  The fact of the matter is, the first two years of our marriage we were young.  And dumb.  And selfish.  And dumb.  Did either of us break a vow?  Nope, but we bent the hell out of the whole "respect" one.  We were both stressed, learning new jobs and trying to be adults--but the joke was so on us.  We had the most unrealistic expectations of what life was "supposed" to be like after college, what we were "entitled" to have.  Here's an aside:  our generation sucks.  We expect to have everything our parents took a lifetime to build overnight--and to have it all handed to us on a silver platter with our college diplomas.  I'll let you know when I get mine, friends.  We are STILL paying for that thinking--hello, credit card debt and living above our means.  Goodbye, all sense of reality.  

Sighing again--stupid, stupid selfish kids--that was us.  Silly, in love kids, thank God for that, because when we came to the crossroads and looked each other in the eye, we saw that  we HATED the place we'd come to be...but we didn't want to go on alone.  We wanted away from the pain and confusion, not away from each other.  It wasn't crazy dramatic, nobody left, nobody got hurt--but we had to learn how to communicate and share and be a team.  You'd think we'd have picked some of that up in our premarital counseling, but not so much--we were more interested in the wedding flowers, I think.  

Anyway...so much on my mind.  I talked to one of my favorite teachers today, and she's struggling.  It sounded so much like me my first year of teaching--I was DYING every day, but I hid it and nobody knew how hard it was for me.  I cried every day until Halloween, when our interim principal and I had a long talk and she explained about how the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and I needed to ask for help.  She was actually very, very helpful and when she said it it was soooooooo much cooler (fun fact, and one of the many reasons I love where I work:  she was my elementary school principal!).  But she was right--I was so busy looking and acting like everything was going well that people bought it.  That's what this teacher is going through, and my heart hurts for her.  It sucks to struggle and have people know, but it also hurts to struggle and nobody knows that you need help.  That sounds weird, but if you have trouble asking for help (here I am!  Me, right here!), you get it.  

Marriage, parenting, work...why do we all spend so much time on PR?  I heard this song on the way home today when I was deep in thought, and it really struck a chord with me.  Get it?  Hee hee.  Anyway...I don't think my life is perfect or looks perfect from the outside, not saying that.  But I think we spend a lot of time working on people's impressions of us when we should be working on US.  (That us is me, friends...you don't have to raise your hand.)   

Lead Me (Sanctus Real)

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I am called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't you lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing dreams that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this out home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

So that's what I wrote while I was waiting on James to get off work so we could have a date.  (Thanks again, GoGo!)  We sat at Starbucks for a while and talked, then we decided to go to Rendevous (a wine bar here in town that we'd heard had great food) since we were child-free.  Neither of us were starving, so we ordered a couple of beers and a couple of appetizers and just ate and talked and hung out for a while.  We needed that.  I needed that--I needed some down time with my Boy.  And the rumors were right, the food was great!  

Today was a good day--I know GoGo is so not judgmental about how the house looks, but with things so busy at work I haven't "cleaned" like I'd like, so I took a few minutes this morning to clean the bathroom and dust...little things, but I've been putting them off and it felt great to have them off my list.  Then tonight when we got home, we had a few minutes so we went out and planted the rest of the plants that have been wilting in their little flats...don't know if they'll survive, but they're all in the ground now.  Loose ends drive me nuts, so it feels good to have had a great personal day today AND a great work day.  I had a lot on my mind, and a lot of time to think and work through some of it today.  I feel better!  Hey, it's the best of both worlds after all.  :)  

18 October 2010

Good Times

13 years ago, on a football field not so far away...he proposed and I said "yes!". :D

13 October 2010

Not Interested

I'm all about recycled images this week, please bear with me.  

Last night, James and I put the kids to bed and then headed for the couch for our nightly 23-46 minutes of TV...and once again, realized that one of our favorite shows just doesn't make us laugh anymore.  It's been pretty rough TV-wise this fall, and I'd say we're down to looking forward to "Mad Men" (which is almost over, the horror!) and "Modern Family," which never fails to delight.  It's so bad, I'm totally looking forward to Brad the Bachelor's return...don't you judge me.  

I guess the bright side is, we'd gotten to where we were watching too much TV after the kids went to bed...we had something to watch every night.  Geez, now we'll have to find something else to do...

12 October 2010

Lost in Space

You know when you have so much on your mind, and you can't seem to get ANYthing accomplished?  I have been stuck in that place for too long now.  Sigh.  Gotta get out of this rut and get a lot of work accomplished...quick.

11 October 2010


I woke up 67 minutes ago...the plan?  To write my report before the kids wake up.  Today is parent-conference day, so Kayci's out of school.  I don't know what we're doing after her conference, but I do know that it won't include me sitting in front of my computer, so I was hoping to get my work out of the way.  Ummm...yeah.  There's just so much on my mind this morning!

When James woke me up, I was dreaming the craziest dream, but it somehow snuck into my morning and has just left me feeling unsettled.  I do NOT have OCD, but I do have some OCD tendencies that are enough to drive me (and my poor Boy!) nuts.  One of those is making sure the doors are locked before I can go to sleep.  Poor James--every night, that's one of the last things I say to him, and I can't count how many times he's gotten out of bed and trekked around the house checking doors.  I don't know why HE always does it, since it's my issue...that's love, I guess.

The dream this morning was a variation on one I have a LOT..I was in the house on Grand Oaks, and I was trying to lock up the house for the night and I realized that the lock on the sliding glass door didn't work.  I dream this over and over and over...but as far as I remember, the lock worked.  Isn't that crazy?  So there was that...there were several unsettling elements of the dream, the lock being the one that will drive me nuts, but the one that makes me laugh is how upset I was to walk into my old room and see toys (a kitchen and a train table? among other things)--in my dream, I was just ticked off at myself for holding on to these toys when I'm so good about purging things as we outgrow them.  I could not, for the life of me, think of why I was holding on to toys that I outgrew years ago AND took up most of the room.  :)  What a Kristi dream.

08 October 2010

These Small Hours

Noble has become our family DJ of late.  He's moved on from the "iCarly" soundtrack to "Meet the Robinsons," which is fine by me because one of my favorite songs of all time is track #2.  In a melancholy moment the other day,  I was struck by how life is really in the little things, the little moments...not the big stuff we photograph and put on our blogs and in our family albums and up on our walls.  I've thought about this time and time again, as I've taken mental pictures of the little wonders that make my world a magical place:  the look in James' eye when he sees me walk into a room, Noble's toes sticking out of his jeans while he naps on the couch, the curve of Kayci's cheek as she's lost in a book...the bathroom counter piled up with various lice-killing products this morning as we head into battle once again...these are the small hours that make up my life.  I hope I never take any of it for granted, or wish it away.

Little Wonders
-Rob Thomas

Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you 
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made
In these small hours 
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate 
Time falls away,
But these small hours
These small hours 
Still remain

Let it slide
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine,
Till you feel it all around you
And I don't mind 
If it's me you need to turn to 
We'll get by
It's the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made
In these small hours 
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate 
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours
Still remain

All of my regret
Will wash away somehow
But I cannot forget
the way I feel right now

In these small hours
These little wonders 
These twists and turns of fate
Yeah, these twisted turns of fate
Time falls away
Yeah, but these small hours, 
These small hours
Still remain

Yeah, oh they still remain
These little wonders
All these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away 
But these small hours 
These little wonders
Still remain

07 October 2010

Fall Craft Fun, and a Fail

Kayci saw this candy corn wreath in a magazine.  We looked it up and saw how to make it--looked pretty simple, minus the hot glue gun...I'm an adventurous Mommygirl, not a crazy one.  Everything was going well until we got to the curve of the wreath and the candy started sliding off.  Kayci made the executive decision to just have candy on the front of her wreath...I want to be a supportive parent, but I have to say--this photo, while horrible quality, is extremely flattering.  You can't see all of the orange drips from melted candy...or all of the uncovered white where there's supposed to be candy.  So, go, Bitty!

 That was the crafty fun.  Here's the fail.  I picked up the Real Simple "Family" edition last week, and they mentioned a cupcake liner garland.  Sounded easy and fun, so I picked up some fun cupcake liners in Bastrop and went to work the other day.  Ummmmm....no.  I went ahead and hung it up, thinking maybe it would look better up in the air.  Nope.  Uh uh.  I tried (see the sad right side?) to kind of make the liners look like beads or something...that just made it worse.  James summed it up well yesterday morning over coffee:  it's not even almost cute.  Hmmph.  Well, he's right.  But there's $10 down the drain.  (Did I mention I got all Kristi and used fun ribbon instead of string?)  Anyway...I'll take it to MOPS today and see if one of my crafty friends can salvage it.  It's a Fail.  Big time.

And here's a horrible picture (I took these early yesterday morning without many lights on in the house, which explains a lot...) of some beautiful flowers.  I saw my orange tin pot in the laundry room the other day when I was straightening it...there's a story there, I'll get to it...and then I found these flowers at WalMart, of all places.  I put a mason jar in the pot, thinking the flowers would kind of hang over, but no luck--you could see the neck of the jar.  So I improvised...I put some fake fall leaves and mini pumpkins around the neck of the mason jar to fill in, and it actually turned out pretty well.  Who knew?

The story behind the laundry room:  last week, after all of the lice laundry (don't read my blog?  Backtrack a bit!), I finally got through all of the linens in the house and threw in a big ol' load of jeans.  (Remember, I was out of town for 5 days before the lice...I had a week's worth of laundry for all of us.)  The washer filled up and then made a horrible noise and wouldn't agitate.  Sigh.  We had to laugh--we're within spitting distance of being debt-free, so it seems like things are just going out or breaking right and left (last week it was a couple of key hard drives).  Turns out, it costs about a bajillion dollars to have someone else do your laundry for you (a week's worth), but man, it smells nice.   :)  What's even funnier is that I took the laundry to the cleaners so we'd have clothes for Bastrop last weekend and planned to deal with the washer on Tuesday, since I had to go to work on Monday.  (Unusual, but necessary this week.)  So...with that on my plate, I go out on Monday morning and the car won't even start.  It's D-E-A-D...dead.  It was hard at that point not to assume the worst, but we kept our senses of humor and kept at it, rolling the darn thing up the hill that is our driveway to finally jump it with the truck.  Turns out, Noble turned his door light on as we got out of the car on Friday.  That'll drain a battery big time, apparently.  Man, were we grateful that's all it was!  And the washer?  Turns out, it wasn't crazy-expensive.  Only $50 more to fix than it cost to do the laundry last week...

05 October 2010

What's good for the gander...

...is good for this goose, too. :)

--out & about :)

04 October 2010

Hint of Fall

We had the BEST weekend...we got to go camping at one of the most beautiful state parks around, then we came home yesterday in time to buy our pumpkins and do a bit of front porch decorating.  James even made a pumpkin pie (unrelated to the pumpkins we purchased)!  I'll post more pictures later...gotta go to work today.