29 July 2011


This morning, my Boy and I took advantage of the last weekday of his vacation and sat down and visited over our coffee (normally, he'd be checking e-mail and I'd be having quiet time...or reading blogs!).  One of the things that came up was a conversation I had with a friend last week about facebook depression--you know, how some people get really bummed when they read about everyone else's fabulous ____ (fill in the blank:  lives, meals, homes, spouses, kids, money, blah blah blah).  It made me sad to think about that, but I do think that some people ONLY post stuff online that they think makes them look _____ (fill in the blank:  happy, rich, successful, amazing, better than you, blah blah blah).  And that, of course, led to a discussion about how some people are a totally different person online.  Case in point:  a person whose profile lists a job he's never had.  Huh?  We all know someone like that, right?

One of the things I pride myself on is being real...even when it sucks.  You guys know I'm overweight, my bank account isn't overflowing (sometimes not even flowing at all...), that I'm impatient and imperfect.  Sure, you also know that I try to be a good wife and mom and daughter and aunt and friend and mentor to my teacher friends...I think the balance of good and bad stuff on here depends on my mood, for sure.  But if I'm coming across as a different person here on my blog and facebook than I am in real life--I mean this--let's talk about it privately.

Which leads me to the reason I took to blogger this morning:  my profile.  Professionally, things are changing for me.  I'm not sure what will happen next.  After this summer, I'll be a half-time mentor...it's the SAME job, but I'll no longer be classified as a consultant.  And since am not presently consulting for other school districts or Knowledge...I'm not a consultant.  I'm not writing anything right now, and don't have any contracts in the foreseeable future...so I'm not a writer.  I'm not teaching online...so I'm not a teacher.  (I know that one's debatable, since I teach my kids and teach teachers, yeah yeah...but that's not the point.)  As of today, my profile will be updated to reflect who I am today...not who I was before, and definitely not who I want to be.

Crap, does that mean I have to lose the fun picture, too?  Hmm.  I'm going to say no on that one, because it's so fun.  Does it help that I only use current pics of me on facebook?  Don't even get me started on all the people who never post pictures of themselves...

Let's start a trend, friends...let's be real to each other, and show the ones who are struggling that it's okay to be average, it's okay to have hot dogs instead of filet mignon...that it's okay to be who we are.  Nobody is perfect.  Nobody is always happy.  We are who we are, it is what it is.

You know how on Bill & Ted they say, "be excellent to each other"?  (I love that movie!)...let's

be real to each other.

28 July 2011

Jackson David

This isn't my story to tell, so I won't say much.  But I just want to shout from the rooftops that Jackson is HERE, he's well, and he's absolutely gorgeous!  When we got the call Tuesday morning that Lynn was going in to have Jackson...the world seemed to just stop turning.  James took over and got us all into the car and down to the hospital, 2+ hours away.  I don't know that I really, truly breathed until I saw Lynn with my own eyes an hour or so after Jackson was born.  

It was such an honor and a blessing to be standing in that hall with Hannah and David's mom and sister, and to get a first glimpse of this little miracle.  God's been working so hard to get Jackson ready for his early debut...he came out breathing on his own, and they were able to wheel him out to meet his family, just like any other baby.  He's got some growing to do, but that's to be expected.  Lynn is hanging in there...she sounds GREAT.  Last night she sounded like Lynn again.  Definitely stronger and feeling better, but again, those of us who have had a c-section know that she's got some recovering to do, so please keep BOTH of them, and David and Hannah,  in your prayers.  :)

If you watch "Grey's", the best way I can describe it is that Lynn is my person.  And this morning I am thanking God that she is okay, and he is okay...that is all that matters.  The rest?  Just details.  And we know God has a way of working that stuff out and showing us what's really important.  What a blessing it is to have a friend who is family, who will always be there even when I don't know what I need and who knows everything about me and loves me anyway, unconditionally.  Thank you, Lynn, for being my person for all of these years.  Standing in the hall the other day, waiting to hear that you were okay...don't ever do that to me again, okay?  :)  I know none of this is about me...but seriously, never again.  I am so much older today than I was when the week started!

22 July 2011

And the countdown begins...

Today is the last day James works for 9 WHOLE DAYS!

No, we don't have any plans.

No, we're not going anywhere exciting (to you...our kids would probably disagree).

No, we don't have a ginormous to-do list of things we want/need to accomplish around the house.

No, we're not coming to visit you (sorry, it's true).

Yes, we are going to enjoy some much-needed down time, just the 4 of us.  Maybe at home, maybe on a day trip or two...we'll see where the week takes us.  Starting in 6 hours...

20 July 2011


Today wasn't the day we had planned, but it was a good day.  Noble goes to school on Wednesday, and the original plan was that it would give me one day a week to just focus on Kayci.  And, I've got a whole closet full of stuff waiting to be put into scrapbooks, and that was supposed to be our girls' summer project.

Hey, it's July 20th.  I've only got a couple more weeks of summer--it's probably time to get on that, right?  A friend came over today and was trying to compliment me on doing such a good job of cleaning stuff out and purging.  I cleared up that misconception really quick--I showed her the dreaded closet o' scrapbooking hell and told her our summer plan and our summer reality.  And I was really disheartened when I realized how many Wednesdays we've had this summer, and how we haven't done anything to a single scrapbook.

When things calmed down this afternoon, I told Kayci we were going to make some progress--so we pulled it all out and got started.  I am so grateful I started binders with day one of Kindergarten, so this is just the stuff from KinderCare and Methodist.  (Thank goodness--I think anymore would have made me run screaming from the room.  This is a lot of stuff that's just been hanging around for YEARS.)  Anyway, we got started.

And we enjoyed visiting about her old art projects and her time at KinderCare and in Ms. Alison's class...it was fun.  Messy, but fun.  Still messy, actually, but fun.

We didn't get anything finished, but we started.  And that feels pretty good!

Oh, and a PS--we DID get Noble's 2nd year into his scrapbook, but only because the pictures were ready to go from his 2nd birthday party.  That's pretty satisfying!  On to year 3 for him...

19 July 2011

Uncertainty & Opportunity

(image:  the decorologist.com)

Yesterday we had a quiet day at home.  The kids and I actually stayed in PJs all day, even when we went to pick up dinner last night (thank goodness for drive thru, right?).  They needed a break after several late nights and days with no schedule, and I needed some time to process a big change in my life.

For almost 9 years now, I've worked for a teacher preparation program (one of the top in the state, it's a great program).  For the past 5 years, I've worked almost exclusively online for them...and pretty consistently.  In the past 4 years, I don't think more than 2-3 weeks have gone by when I wasn't contracted, and many weeks I had more than one contract...it was a great job, and one I could do at all hours of the day so it rarely affected my kids.

And then education in Texas started to unravel at the seams.  And if they're firing teachers left and right and there are hiring freezes across the board, we sure don't need to be pumping out more certified teachers. So, literally overnight, our program boom went bust.  And in walked uncertainty.

In the spring, I had a verbal contract for 9 months worth of work.  I was pretty psyched.  2 months in, you know what happened.  I was lucky to be able to finish the cycle I started in March (not everyone was that lucky, including LOTS of full-time people who work at the main office, unfortunately).

The March cycle ended Sunday night.  Other than my final report, I'm done with this job.

I just don't know what to feel about that.  I can't figure out if I'm stressed about money (well, sure), or if it's my same old issue--letting go of defining myself by what I DO, how much I ACCOMPLISH in a day/week/you get the idea.  Whatever it is, I need to let it go and move on.

I need to be grateful for this opportunity to grow.

I need to be grateful for the opportunity to spend dedicated time with my family (apart from the 8 hours/week I'm working for the school district for the next few weeks...then it'll be back up to half time, which I'm looking forward to and dreading at the same time...see how confused I am?).

I need to be grateful for the opportunity to pursue other interests, work out, spend dedicated time in Bible study...

...and I will be grateful for all of these things.  But I think maybe just for a little while more I need to be sad about what I'm missing.  And who knows, things could change tomorrow and I could pick up an August contract.  But for today, I'm out of one of my two jobs, and I need to come to grips with that.

The times, they are a-changin.
--Bob Dylan

14 July 2011


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans...
-John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

Noble woke up yesterday morning and promptly threw up.  He did it again a couple of times and that was that...we laid low yesterday (thanks for your help, Daddy!) and all seemed well.

And then he did it again right before Kayci and I came home from VBS.

So, today we'll stay home and take it easy.  

In the summer, you'd think that would be pretty easy, but for some reason, it's always a challenge for me to wrap my brain around NOT doing what I had already planned.  Isn't that silly?

Now YOU say, control freak who?
(If you know me, you just got that.  If you didn't get it, call me for a laugh.)

It's going to be a good day...even though the yard guy is coming, we might just have a pajama day!

13 July 2011

He is Me

Noble has been soooo...3 these past couple of weeks.  Some days I just don't feel equipped to discipline him, the things he does are so off the wall.

He's so darn cute, too, which makes it all the harder.

Come on, who could keep a straight face while correcting/redirecting this guy?

He's so curious and ready to be big, but still so little in so many ways.  Patience?  Tiny.  Frustration?  Big.  Curiosity?  Big.  Ability?  Sometimes small.  You get the idea.  He wants...but can't have/do/see...you name it.  Cue the fit-throwing, toy-throwing, sister-hitting/scratching/etc.

Cue my patience flying out the window, and me flying off the handle.  Hmm, wonder where he gets that temper?  Oh, yeah.

Every day I pray, because I know what kind of grace God offers to me on a daily--minutely, if there's such a word--basis, and I want to have that same kind of grace when it comes to my kids.  Especially when they do stupid stuff.

Seriously--they just. do. stupid. stuff. sometimes.  And it pisses me off.

We've really been struggling with him hitting Kayci and throwing things at her and just basically going after her whenever he gets grumpy about something.  That has been a BIG problem around here the past few days.  And I'm frustrated.

Then there's the toilet.  He's doing great with underwear (yea!!).  But then a behavior we thought was gone forever has reappeared.  Yesterday we were at the library.  Noble was wuving (loving) my hair and rubbed his hand across my face.  And I smelled it...the kind of smell that says, hey, this hand was recently on a booty and not covered in toilet paper.  Nasty.  And I remembered right before we left for the library, big boy was on the potty and I had to stop him from emptying the toilet paper roll.  Sigh.  As it turns out, he'd empty the roll a little later yesterday and I'd have to get out the plunger...and I was most grumpy.

Fast forward to today, after lunch, I send him to the potty and walk by and darned if he's not doing it AGAIN.  Only this time, he's done it--poop on the hand, toilet full of toilet paper, roll empty.  MAD MOMMY.  So I spanked his hand and yelled at him.  We finished his business, I talked to him about it more, then it was time for nap.

As we were laying there, he's cuddled up on my arm and snuffling since I hurt his feelings more than his hand, and I am just touched by how much I love this kid.  And I told him, Mommy loves you...I just don't understand why you keep making the same bad choices over and over...

...and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  HE is ME.  I keep making the same bad choices over and over again, putting the wrong foods in my mouth, yelling at my kids when a quiet voice would be kinder, being overly critical, being impatient, being selfish...you name it, I sin.  Over and over again.

We have really been working with Noble on not just saying "sorry" whenever he does something wrong, but apologizing and telling the person that he won't do it again.  Aren't I doing the same thing every day with God?  It's a sin to keep taking the same things to Him again and again, asking for his forgiveness and then NOT changing what I'm doing.

He is me.  And I am wrong, and I will change.  Starting with not finishing this throwback I poured to go with the lunch that wasn't what I was supposed to be eating.  Starting with being patient and giving my kids the same grace God gives me.  Starting now.

It felt good, and horrible all at the same time, to realize this while I lay there with my Bubby.  I have some work to do, Lord.

Parenting is so humbling.

12 July 2011

In the Weeds

We've been steadily working through our to-do list. At the top? Our yard. Bleh. I can think of about a bajillion things I'd rather do. I felt like I accomplished part of the goal today--I called to see if we could get on the yard guy's calendar this week. :) Progress, right? A few hours later I realized that the yard is only part of the issue...our flowerbed is overgrown. And it doesn't make sense to mow & trim and leave the flowerbeds full of weeds. Sigh.

So, after dinner I bit the bullet and got to it. You know, I don't think "weeding" is the correct term for what I did. It was more like "grassing" and "leaving"...the grass that refuses to grow in our yard is thriving in the flower bed, thanks to nightly waterings meant to keep our veggies alive. Which isn't happening at all, so I spent a lot of time pulling off dead cabbage and kale leaves.

All that to say, the bed needed a lot of work since I haven't kept up with it. It always seems to go this way...get it cleaned out, let it grow up...get it cleaned out, let it grow up.

That flower bed is representative of an attitude problem of mine: all-or-nothing. It's my fallback, in so many areas. Right now I'm working on my eating habits, and I'm really struggling. It's made me even more introspective than usual, I'm afraid. I don't have any answers to the big questions tonight, only more questions.

But the flowerbed is clear, and that's progress. One step at a time, boys...

11 July 2011

Monday, Monday...

Scenes from a Monday Morning
Kayci's creating... 

Noble's having some alone time (in his underwear, of course)...

Daddy's getting ready for work...

Otto is *literally* a blur as he races around, chasing shadows and who knows...

And I've finished my morning course checks and now I'm blogging a bit before I have my (not so) quiet time.  I'm backwards today--I try to get up and head straight into quiet time, but when you sleep late, you have to be flexible.  :)  

Happy Monday to you...what's your Monday look like?

08 July 2011

Small World

I sang "It's a Small World" in the school talent show when I was in 3rd grade.  Did you know that?  Probably not...I wasn't then, nor am I now, a good singer.  :D  But I did it.  To this day, it's a song that I can't even think about without it getting stuck in my head all day.  It's on my mind this morning...yesterday I missed *another* call from a good friend, then got her voicemail when I returned it.  That's been our mode of communication this summer, it seems.  I feel like an explanation is in order:  it's summer, when my world gets very, very small.  For some reason, that means my focus narrows until pretty much all I see are those three faces above...summer is all about family time, being together, doing nothing or doing something.  It's about being quiet, or being loud...or just being.  I don't make a lot of plans during the summer because, as a friend said yesterday, I don't like to be tied down.  I like to be able to go where the day takes us.  And, theoretically, summer is about getting some projects done around the house.  It's not about me--I'm horrible at keeping up with friends during the summer, because I don't have the time during the day to e-mail, text, facebook, talk on the phone.  I just don't--my kids are my priority from 8-5, and then it's family time.  Before 8, well, that's my quiet time.  At least it's supposed to be--I fell out of the habit while we were traveling and man, can I tell.  I got back on that horse this week and I feel so much better...but I'm off-topic.  That's a different post.

This summer is just flying by.  It's been a good summer, but please don't ask what we've been doing...I couldn't tell you!  I know my kids are just exhausted...I think the going to bed late has us all off-track.  So today we may just hang around at home.  Or we might hit the road.  I just don't know.  I do know that I promised myself I'd read "Made to Crave" this morning before the kids got up...so it's off I go to finish course checks and do that.

I just wanted to take a second to say, friends, it's not you--it's me.  But don't worry, August is just around the corner and I'll have all kinds of time while I'm commuting to catch up.  I still love you big!

07 July 2011

Table Talk

It's unusual when we DON'T sit down together for dinner, but tonight was one of those nights.  James is at church for a while and the kids were too hungry to wait until he gets home to eat, so I went ahead and fed them.  And since I'm trying to be good and their mac & cheese (homemade, thank you very much...one totally burned pot of noodles--who DOES that?--and one bleh pot of cheese sauce later, lest I get too proud of myself) was calling my name, I was putting away clothes while they were sitting at the table eating.

I assume the picture above, which sits on the buffet, sparked a conversation about Disney World.  It was hilarious to hear Kayci solemnly telling Noble about everyone she met (all of his favorite characters, coincidentally) and him telling her about how he actually (a favorite word right now) wasn't in my tummy, but he was out walking around and he met everyone, too.  Really?  Yep.

I was standing here, clean socks in hand, when it hit me:  this is it.  This is when his memory begins...the stories he'll tell his wife and his kids someday.

No pressure, right?  :)

06 July 2011

Kayci Day!

When Kayci was little, I was still a PPCD teacher.  One of our circle time songs was Barney's "Days of the Week."  For some reason, this song made its way into our home and somehow turned into the "Kayci Day" song.

Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday,
Kayci Day...

Kayci Day was Saturday, our family day.  I can say with confidence it was all of our favorite day of the week.

After Noble came along, Saturday became "family day."

Today, we're taking it back.  Today is officially "Kayci Day."  Noble's at school, and Kayci and I are going to go to College Station for a little shopping (her $$, thank goodness!), lunch, and a movie.

Just the two of us.  (And the Dallmeyers for a little while.)  But no Bubbys.

So, happy Kayci Day!

05 July 2011

Aaaahhh...now that's better!

Naptime is coming to a close (I assume), and I am pretty stoked about today's progress.  Look--my desk is back!  For that matter, so are the dresser, the dining room table, the floor where last week's suitcase has been sitting, 2 of the 3 kitchen counters, the living room (all of it--it was pretty well covered in toys and stuff)...we've made a lot of progress today.  Yes, without the TV (shockingly enough!).  And the bathroom is clean--like, give a guest a bath clean.  I love clean tub day!  But again, I'm off topic.  I just wanted to share that I actually did accomplish what I set out to do today.  Heaven knows I have a long way to go, but after a quick sweep & mop through the main rooms, we're ready for Madeline and Becca to bring baby Clara over for dinner.  Can you believe Clara Marie is almost TWO weeks old and I haven't held her, yet?  I can't...sigh.  Don't worry, we'll fix it once Noble wakes up!

I hope you've had a great day, too.  What I really hope is that you rock and your house didn't NEED a bomb squad today and you just got to sit around and relax after a hectic 3-day weekend.  I mean, I'd have to hate you if that's your life today...nah.  I'd be envious, but I'd probably just want to know how you did it.  :)  And I'd be grateful to have you as a friend...but still, envious.

Alrighty...time to wrap this up and get back to work for the final push...floors!

Clean Up on Aisle...All of Them?

This is my desk this morning.  I know.  And I don't know why my camera is acting up, either--everything is so pixelated.  But, I digress.  My house is a WRECK.  Every surface is cluttered with...stuff.  Part of it is we were on vacation for a week stuff.  Part of it is I was busy with a big work project last week stuff.  Part of it is it's summer and I'd rather spend time with my family than clean stuff.  A big part of it is dirty laundry from vacation.  And the biggest part of it?  I just need to take time and CLEAN.  Of course, in my brilliance, I declared our home to be, starting this morning, a TV-free zone.  Dang it.  What was I thinking??  So now I'm trying to gauge how much I can get done during nap time.  :)  I know, I know...if I'd get up RIGHT NOW I could get a load of laundry done before breakfast.  And I might.  Or, I might just enjoy the silence a bit longer.  The kids are still sleeping, and I hope they will sleep late today after the big weekend.  We'll see.

My poor Boy has to go to work today.  I feel so bad for him--it was a late night last night.  A great night, but a late night nonetheless.  I'm so ready for him to have vacation (with us, this time), but I think we'll have to wait a little longer.

We'll see what the day brings.  I'm going to bed tonight with a clean house, at the bare minimum.  Hopefully the laundry will be finished, too, but one step at a time, right?

Have a great Tuesday that feels like a Monday!

02 July 2011


I've been hearing about a "splash park" in Bellville.  Since yesterday was our first day of summer, I wanted to take the kids to do something fun.  So, we got in the car and I drove to where I thought it was.  Nope.  Then I checked my facebook post and followed my phone's directions to Clark Park (thanks, Jennie!).  Apparently, my phone doesn't know where Clark Park is...there was much turning around involved.  Finally, we got to the park.  And...it was a loop of parking and baseball fields and parking, but no park.

Hmm.  I could see more of the park in the distance, so I drove out of the park and tried to find the other side.  Surprisingly hard, folks, but I found it.  But again, no splash park in sight, only an awesome covered playground.  Luckily, there was a city number to call on the park sign, so I did.  Turns out, the splash park is actually a splash pad right behind the playground.  OH.  Of course it is!

If you decide to go, here's a tip:  it's RIGHT UNDER the water tower.

The covered playground is very nice, and a nice place to rest and play and get out of the sun for a bit.

And a great place for Mommygirl to read her new People while the kids play safely.  :)

Happy summer, y'all!

01 July 2011

Happy July!

Look what's on our refrigerator this morning...
it's July already!

I know for many of my friends, this day is a sad one, since their summer is half over.
But at our house, it's a happy day:  July is my slowest work month of the year.  

So, happy summer to us.  :)

It's kind of a lot of pressure...we'd better get out there and do something FUN today!