My little thumb sucker...I love the way that the rest of her fingers stick straight up. OK, I'll be honest. I just love everything about her!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
My little thumb sucker...I love the way that the rest of her fingers stick straight up. OK, I'll be honest. I just love everything about her!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Truth time 1: Daryl has been rocking the Biggest Loser competition at his school. He has been working so hard and has lost 16 pounds in the last three weeks. He looks great and he feels better. And...he is, thus far, the Biggest Loser at his school, which if he keeps it up, comes with a hefty cash prize. So on the way to work, Hannah announces that if she "keeps eating and eating that she will get as fat as you Daddy!" When Daryl stopped laughing and tried to defend himself, she very matter of factly said to him, "You are getting fatter and fatter and everyone knows it!" To her credit, she did follow it up with "No one loves you like me, Daddy." Which is so very sweet, and probably very true!
Truth time 2: I used to be all about dressing for work. My clothes would be color coordinated with my jewelry and my shoes, my hair was always done, make up perfect, nails done. I enjoyed it--the shopping, the dressing, the feeling good about myself, and of course that amazing feeling of wearing a super cute pairs of shoes. That was BC. Before Charlotte. Since Charlotte has arrived, things have changed. I roll out of bed with twenty minutes to get dressed and ready before I have to get the kids up and start geting the little girls up and changed and fed and ready to go with Daryl. I could get up earlier, but I cherish my nice warm bed and the time in it. Once up, more often than not, I have a child on my lap, and so the make up gets put on in the car. In the dark. Without a mirror. Eek. And I am tired and I hurt and I just look old. And the being tired and hurting and looking and feeling old has really done a number on my mood. So, I decided last night that I would get up and make the effort this morning. I did my nails last night. Wore matching jewelry. Did my hair--which because of the lovely postpartum thinning of the already thin hair--took some effort. Some teasing even (yes...I do realize that this makes most everyone reading this cringe, but man I had good 80'.s hair, and those mad skills come in handy every once in a while). So I am there in my classroom feeling good, feeling pretty for the first time in ...I can't even remember when...and in walks Emiley. This cute little imp of a girl who is one big bundle of messy curls that escape every headband, hair bow, and ponytail holder she tries. She looks up at me with these big brown eyes and says, "Mrs. Stone, your hair..." And I knew what was coming. A "it looks so pretty" and a hug...first graders are good for things like that. But no....it was "Mrs. Stone, your hair....I think you forgot to brush your hair. It's so tangly!" Sigh. And I didn't even get the "No one loves you like me" compliment afterwards to soften the blow.
Kids,...gotta love 'em. But no matter what anyone says (and yes,...my girls have said it too)...I'll always love 80's hair!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Anyways, with that out of my system, I looked forward to today and I ended up enjoying the day with my two men. I left there excited for Josh and that magical time yet to come.
Here we are at the admissions office. You can't really tell in the picture, but outside the office there was a sign welcoming him personally to campus!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Now don't get me wrong. There are certain situations in which I have incredible patience. In my classroom, for example. I have great patience with those little ones, realizing that in many ways, they are indeed, despite my urging, "acting like a first grader." Five and six year olds wiggle, they talk, the live life out loud and therefore have a problem with impulse control when they are excited. They live for their "snack" and can't help but focus on the fly in the room, despite the thrilling and compelling science lesson going on in the front of the room. It is just the way that they are and I know this and because of this, I am patient.
I am patient with my children (except when I am pregnant. HA!) I do not get uptight waiting for them to reach some milestone, for I know from experience that they will, regardless of how much I push or worry. I rarely get impatient with their behavior, because I believe every behavior is motivated by emotion, and I've been said to have "too much compassion" for them. I want to understand them, make them feel secure, encourage them.
In other areas, I have zero patience. I hate traffic. I repeat. HATE IT. Same with standing in line, waiting at the doctor (except the pediatrician, for some reason), sitting in pointless meetings.
I have a hard time waiting on God. After I got divorced, I wanted my happily ever after...and as soon as it was official. I took matters into my own hands, thinking that I could find the one that God had designed for me. This led to a few years worth of disastrous dates (think toe licking dentist) and bad relationships (think "Chip the Street Fighter"--nicknamed by Josh--who actually sprayed my feet with Windex when he felt them too dirty), and many more--which were good for some good giggles now, but little else. Once I found Daryl, I got impatient waiting on him too. Yes, it is true that I had booked the church before he even proposed. And once we got married, good grief did I get impatient waiting on a child. I wanted to take that into my own hands as well, but my wise husband convinced me to wait on the Lord, and looking back I see His perfect timing in it all.
But perhaps I have the least amount of patience with myself. Take this diet, for example. Excuse me...lifestyle change. I've written very little about it lately, because really, very little has been happening. I'm stuck. An infamous plateau. For.a.month. And each day I get on the scale and it reads JUST THE SAME, I struggle with giving up, or going to extremes, both choices unhealthy ones. I don't understand it, frankly. Scientifically, it's easy. Take in fewer calories than you burn. I've done not only that but more! I've cut out most processed foods, aside from whole wheat bread and pasta. I've cut wayyyy back on the carbs. I've limited my diet coke. I've upped my water. I try to stay moving during the day. I eat lean protein for breakfast, all fruits and veggies for lunch, thanks to a great lunch program at school, and lean protein and veggies for dinner. I have my two servings of fat free dairy daily--yogurt and skim milk. I even get in my healthy oils. And here I am stuck. Doing all the right things for the right reason this time--to become healthier. Not for a dress size. Not for a trip to the beach. Not to look better. To live longer. To have more energy. To lower my blood pressure.
And what do I get? A scale that won't move. Blood pressure that is pretty much the same--low when controlled by medicine, high without. Little change in energy. Stuck at 15 pounds gone. Which, really, I do realize is better than a gain. Because if I ate whatever I want, whenever I wanted? I would easily be a TLC special.
In the dictionary, one of the definitions of patience is "being steadfast despite opposition or adversity" and in the Bible, patience is often mentioned in the same passage with perseverance. And with it often comes mention of a promise. A promise that perseverance and patience will result in honor from God, a leading in His will, an answer from Him. And while I realize that my struggles with my weight may seem insignificant to some, it has become HUGE for me over the years, and something that I have brought to the Lord over and over.
So I will persevere. Be patient. And wait. Knowing that God will honor my efforts. Or not. But if not, that there is a reason.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There are two things that I distinctly remember her saying to me, over and over, that rang particularly true today.
1. "Some day, when you are a mother, you too will buy shoes from Target!" This was after I made fun of her Target tennis shoes, preferring my (and I am dating myself here) Tretorns and my K-Swiss, tightening the scrunchie in my hair. What she did not tell me was that not only would I buy shoes from Target, but that it would be an absolute treat to do so. Now, I have been a Target shopper since becoming a mom. And the shoes--especially the summer shoes--just make me giddy. I have sandals in every color of the rainbow and flip flops like you would not believe. Heels of varying height, color, style. Clogs, potato shoes, loafers, tennis shoes. I....LOVE....SHOES. Unfortunately, since having Charlotte, most of my shoes do not love me. Maybe my feet changed. Maybe I am just getting old. BUT....today, I experienced pure heaven on earth. THE most comfortable pair of shoes that I have ever had on my feet. And yes...they came from Target. Feast your eyes. That's right. Suede moccasins lined with faux fur. They sell them at American Eagle for $40 and they are all the rage with the "young folk" around here. Maddy got a pair after Christmas. Sarah liked them so much she went to Target and got them for a whopping $9.00. I couldn't find my brown slip on shoes this morning, so she offered to let me wear them. At first I was like, "Those are Grandpa slippers!" But then I put them on. Words can not express. Seriously.
2. "Never put it in writing if you don't want everyone to know." The first time she said this, I had gotten the babysitter in trouble by pulling her letter to her boyfriend out of the trash can and reading it and then tattling to my mom. Yesterday, I wrote the third installment in my "One Year to an Organized Life" experiment. When I wrote it--actually, whenever I post--I never anticipate anyone ever reading it aside from my mom and mother-in-law. I was blown away when I checked and there was a comment from no other than Regina Leeds, the author of the book and the Zen Organizer! I was almost giddy with excitement--both because I really didn't think anyone read this and because she is like a real life published author. Not that I didn't want her to read it, but there were times where my secret(not so secret anymore) inner smart aleck shone through!
And yes, Mom,...now that I am a mother...I do understand. And while I still do buy and wear white, I always regret it. HA!
and last....some random Charlotte and Hannah cuteness...just because it has been a while.
Monday, January 18, 2010
The first two chapters were like psychotherapy for the disorganized. Why are you so disorganized? What deep psychological issues are fueling your messiness? What did your mother do when you were an infant that has made you disorganized and affect your family forever? (just kidding on the last one, mom!)
Anyways, in week three, we take baby steps into reorganization. We're supposed to set the timer for 15 minutes and do an inventory of the kitchen--what can be thrown out, replaced, put to better use. Then, make a list of what you need to buy. Yes, that's right...buy. As in spend money. With no cheaper options suggested and heavy free advertising for The Container Store.
So, according to Regina Leeds, I need the following:
two-step step stool
lid storage unit
spice rack (s)
roll out drawers
under the sink caddies
And, I can color coordinate them for each room, or just stick with clear (and can I say that the inner OCD wannabe LOVES this idea)
I, however, did a quick mental inventory, and think I need to find cheap (or free!) versions of these:
lid storage unit-whether it be for tupperware or for the pots and pans, my lids are everywhere. And as with the mystery of lost socks, I have about 40 lids and 10 pieces of tupperware type stuff, nolne of them matching.
spice rack-we have tons of spices, thanks to me never remembering if we have something when I am at the store and Daryl's excitement in preparing for the international dinner at church. We keep them in the cabinet next to the stove and every time we look for one, they usually fall out. We have too many for a traditional spice rack. Ideas?
Cleaning caddies-they suggest putting them all in color coded caddies, by room of use. I don't want to spend the $$ to do this. Right now, they are all stored under the sink or in one of three high shelves in the pantry.
We are also supposed to organize the pantry this week. If you have ever been to our house, you know that we have a HUGE pantry. What you haven't seen if you have been to our house is the inside of it which is embarrassingly cluttered. This will be a huge undertaking, and I am thinking that it will be next weekend before I get around to it.
But I will. It would be so much more fun, though, if I could make a trip to The Container Store.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
And then come the reminders. The times when, like this weekend, where an innocent comment can bring it all back. Can make me feel, once again, that I am not good enough. Not deserving. Everything that I have tried so hard not to be. That all the feelings and emotions that I thought I had buried, worked so hard to erase or change, are still there underneath it all.
And I realize I am still broken...will probably always be, just a bit. I realize that there will probably never be a time when I can fully forget. I hope for it to be so, like it never happened, like my life has always been as it is now--full, happy, indeed beautiful. I pray for it to be so. Lord, let me forgive and forget. Let me judge my worth not by my past, by what others may have said or done, but by my worth to You.
But even so...God is good. Knows when my heart cries, knows when my heart needs a salve. Last weekend, we got our rehearsal CD for our Easter program. I didn't think to listen to it until today on the way to church, with only the little girls in the car with me and no one to complain about having to listen to it instead of the radio. And this was the first song that I heard, even though it is the third on the disc. And it spoke to my heart. The kind of reminder I needed to let me know that regardless of what has happened in the past, that God can turn broken into beautiful. That He has.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
This year, she looks a little bit more prepared, don't you think? A true sign of being a teenager--always being photo ready.
Maddy's cake. With Sarah's cake, I had two whole days to bake and decorate it. With Maddy's, I had baked it the night before and then had about 15 minutes to decorate it after school. Still, I think it turned out pretty well, and seeing as it is already gone, it must not taste too bad either.
Blowing out the candles--with a little bit of help!
I can honestly say that I have never seen one of my kids so excited about their birthday as Maddy was on Friday. She had previously said that she didn't want anyone to know it was her birthday at school, yet wrote "It's my birthday!" on a neon yellow bandaid and wore it on her forehead. I think it was because she was finally a teenager! Hard to believe. It really seems like not so long ago that she was a toddler, refusing to stay dressed, refusing to stay in her bed at night.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
And smiling even. Because even though I am tired---bone tired--worn slap out, even; even though the house is a mess and it's late and it's almost time for bed already again, I do have so many many blessings. One of which is my sweet family, my precious children. One of whom in particular is becoming a teenager tomorrow. Sniff sniff. And so, after the day that never ends, I came home and made a cake. With lots of help from Hannah.
Maddy's birthday presents all ready for the opening. And yes,...that is a Christmas tree by the fireplace--a little bitty Charlie Brown tree, but still. Hannah keeps adding stuff to it and I sorta like it.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Week One was all about jounaling and listing and finding out just why I am so unorganized. And after completing last week's assignment, I am leaning toward the conclusion that it is all a bunch of bunk (but I am going to finish this!) According to this book, there are two possible explanations--1. My parents and home life were chaotic, so I am just doing what I know, or 2. My parents were overly rigid and strict and I am rebelling. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. (Somehow I think mocking the book is not a good sign!) Neither of those really applies. I think that I am busy, I have too much stuff, and I tend to be a bit on the lazy side when it comes to putting things away.
Week Two is about scheduling your time. It includes things like getting a good calendar (which will sit in my purse/on my desk/on the counter/on the wall and not be used after the first two weeks, in which I will calendar everything we do obsessively), setting up routines, identifying time wasters. I have a good calendar, several even; we have routines, albeit chaotic ones; and I know what my time waster is, and I am not sure I am ready to give it up. I could easily give up my "sit on the couch and play on the computer time" in the evening, and instead clean and tidy and organize and do laundry. But my computer time is my outlet--my time to write, to read, to catch up with my friends, to research, and yes, to reveal my inner geek, do crossword puzzles. And if I don't have that time in the evening to decompress and let go of my day, then I don't sleep well. And if you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that not sleeping well usually leads to partial or total emotional breakdown (I must remember to check and see if people who suffer with chronic disorganization make excuses excessively).
One important nugget I did gleam from this chapter is this: I need to learn how to say no. Daryl says--and rightly so--that I do not like to be told "no." When we discuss something and then we/he decide that no, we can't do something that I really want to do, I don't like it. I pout. I feel sorry for myself. I probably do my fair share of stomping around the house. When I prayed for a baby when we were first married, and God said, "no...not yet" I threw the equivalent of a three and a half year temper tantrum. (And then He showed me, huh?) For this reason, I think, I have a hard time saying no to the children. Some things are easy. Things that cost lots of money, things that I think are dangerous, things that are inappropriate. Other things are not. Asking to go out with friends, even though it means I will have to make three trips to McDonough in one day. Even though it means that I will spend my day in the car instead of doing the things that need to be done. Even if it means that my precious weekend family time is wasted away playing chauffer, that the time I get to spend with the little girls is in the car.
So this week my one job is to work on my time management. Examining routines and establishing new ones. Identifying time wasters and eliminating them. Organizing my calendar. Learning how and when to say no. But for now, I have to go...I've got a newsletter I volunteered to write...right after I check Facebook. Baby steps...
Sunday, January 10, 2010
On Saturday, we met Grandma in Conyers for what has become a much anticipated event in our household: the birthday shopping spree with Grandma. Instead of guessing what the big kids would like for their birthdays, she has, for the last few years, given them a shopping spree so that they could pick out something that they like. Since Maddy and Sarah have birthdays so close together, they went on a combined trip, and the little girls, Josh, and I tagged along for the fun.
Grandma and the grandkids at the end of our day of shopping.
Gail, an honorary Stone, holding Charlotte for me while she slept.
Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Friday, January 8, 2010
It had been in the forecast for an entire week. It was going to be a snow "event" and dubbed "Snow 2010" by the local news channel. The children were excited. The teachers were excited. People flocked to the local Kroger like the "snow bunnies" that they were. (I only know this because we hadn't been grocery shopping since before Christmas and really...we had to go. I struggled with the decision for a good hour before I decided that I would risk being a snow bunny and feed my family.) And this below is a picture of our snow. Underwhelming would be a good word to describe it.
We didn't know, though, that we were going to get a snow day out of it. Daryl was optimistic, but the rest of us didn't want to get our hopes up and then have them dashed when every single other county was closed but ours.
Play Wii Fit with Daddy. They are playing Hula Hoop, which really is precious, but unfortunately not able to be captured by still photography.
You draw cute pictures of your Daddy that thrill your early childhood educator mother, as you finally decide that people have arms and they come out of your head. In this picture, Daryl is holding Charlotte and the camera. The scribbling all over his face is his beard.
Finally at eleven o'clock last night, long after I had retired for the night, but while Daryl was still up watching the Alabama game, and after every single county surrounding ours closed, it was finally announced that Henry county schools were closed.
All in all, a great day. The best part wasn't the snow or the nap (although I gotta say,....I LOVE me a good nap), it was having us all home together. I hate to admit this aloud, but I haven't always looked forward to the times where we were all stuck at home together. When the big kids were little and I was a frazzled single mom, I used to crave time alone. There have been times since Daryl and I have married that everyone home together meant to me more mess, more noise, more chaos, and I longed for a peaceful afternoon. It's ironic that now that we are inching closer to the time when Josh will be leaving for college, I am finally able to appreciate, enjoy, cherish, and even look forward to the time where I am surrounded by my husband and kids...mess, noise, and chaos included. "They" say that I will miss it someday, and I'm beginning to think that they--whoever they may be--are right!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Well, next Thanksgiving, we will not have a picture of her holding Charlotte. We will have a picture of her holding her own babies. Yes, that's right...BABIES! Not only is my baby sister (the same baby sister that I used to change and feed, the same baby sister who threw up in my braids before piano lessons) having a baby, but she is having TWINS!
Have I mentioned that I am beyond excited????
CONGRATULATIONS, Kathleen and Jason!!!
We love you!!!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This morning, it was a chilly 14 degrees when it was time to load the little girls in the truck with Daryl, so I quick grabbed the only hat she owns...the hat they placed on her little bitty head as soon as she was born. Then, it was too big, had to be folded over, and still it kept falling over her eyes (which, luckily, as a newborn blob, made no difference to her). Now, 4 months and 12 days later, it was all I could do to stretch it down over her ears and quick snap a picture before it snapped off. Guess it's time to invest in a proper hat...or it needs to get warmer! They are actually predicting snow for this week, but I guess she will be staying in!!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Yep...five boxes of logs, two forgotten Christmas decorations, a lizard cage, a chair, a feather trimmed carrying case full of "stuff," and a crate of Brio trains, all in a five by five area.
Such is my life...but not for long....
On to week one!