Archive for ‘Reflections’

August 12, 2011

This is me as of now.

When I first started this blog I was so excited to write every single post. I was motivated and determined to chronicle my (and Little’s) life in this new way. I thought about my blog while I did the dishes or read a magazine and considered what I would share next.

And I still want to do that. I was going through some old stuff that I wrote in college the other day and really enjoyed reading about my life at that point. Sure, that wasn’t too long ago. And yes, I have pictures to remind me of my days past. But there is something about reading my own words that is different from anything else. Please don’t misunderstand me to say that I think there is something especially unique or inspiring about the way I write! I’m simply stating that reading about my life is pretty cool. I like it; and therefore, I want to keep sharing what’s going on in our little family so I can read about it later. Ha!

I’ve mentioned it before, but the summertime and my blog do not always agree with each other. There is just so much going on that it’s hard for me to take the time to slow down and type it out. But like I said, these are some awesome times in my life that I want to remember (in detail) in the future! So here is what’s going on with me and my family right now.

Mr. T graduated from a 22 week police training academy just over two weeks ago.

 

He started the process to join the police force over a year ago just after getting his college degree. Finally in March, the actual training program began. It was a hard road (much harder than I will ever realize, I’m sure), but he stuck with it.

We are all so proud of him! He’s now in the field but will ride with a training officer for the next six months. Please keep him and all of our police officers in your daily prayers!

The day that Mr. T graduated just happened to be my birthday! I was more than happy to share my day with him, but he did something special for me the day before. About a week before my birthday, we started watching the Harry Potter movies. Now if you know me at all, you know that since the HP books and movies have been around, I have had zero interest in them. But my husband is a persistent guy and after about seven years of poking I finally succumbed to the pressure and dove in with both feet. And I’m so glad that I did. I’m hooked. A little late to the game, I know, but about three days after watching the first part of the last movie, Mr. took me to watch the final part in theaters at our local drive-in. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself (and I know I don’t!).

Little Miss enjoyed her first VBS experience at our church a few weeks ago.

We did a one day event, and while Little Miss was the youngest one there and spent much of the time goofing around with her daddy, I think she had a great time. The theme was “Saddle Up with God,” and the kids looked so precious in their boots and cowboy gear.

 

And finally, last weekend I sang and danced the night away at the Keith Urban concert.

My good friend Emily has her birthday just a week after mine, and after thoroughly enjoying myself at the CMA fest with her, we bought tickets to Keith’s show to celebrate. A long-lost high school friend who we haven’t seen in about six years made a weekend trip from PA, and she and my sister joined us for the concert. It was amazing. My sister and I were on the floor with seats much better than I had anticipated. To make it even better, Keith came into the audience for several songs and was about five rows from us at that point!

 

I’m an even bigger fan of Keith (and Jake Owen) than before!

 

June 13, 2011

Whoa-oh, Whoa-oh, Stuck like glue.

We had a busy but very fun weekend around here. Our weekends are mostly spent hanging out around home just enjoying our time together, but this past weekend was packed full! On Friday night I had the absolute pleasure of enjoying a night at the CMA music festival. My dear friend Emily who I went to high school with got four-day passes. She mentioned several months ago that she wanted me to go with her for one of the nights, so I’ve been excited about it for quite a while. And in one word, it was amazing. Now I’ve already written a post chronicling my first time at the zoo, so I’m almost embarrassed to admit that Friday night was my first real concert! Oh well. At least I can now say that I went to my first concert before Little could!

Being a true southern girl, I wanted to look the part when I went to the festival. Emily told me that she would be wearing a sundress and cowboy boots, but alas, I do not own a pair of boots. Luckily, my fashionista sister came to the rescue and let me borrow her boots. And her jean skirt. Have I mentioned that I buy clothes for Little a lot more often than I buy for myself?

Before the concert, Emily and I went to a restaurant close to her office called BrickTop’s, and it was so good! I felt kind of silly walking in to the place in a jean skirt and cowboy boots, but luckily I think most of Nashville was buzzing about the music fest, and I was forgiven. We headed over to LP Field and got to our seats just in time for the music to start. The line-up was so good for Friday night! We got to see Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Keith Urban, and Reba. There were also smaller artists that performed in between the bigger ones. I love all of these artists, but my favorite of the night was Sugarland. I’ve seen them on TV for award shows and have always loved their entertaining performances. But on Friday they were ten times better because it was live! I still haven’t stopped jabbering about the whole night to Daddio. If you’re reading this Em, THANK YOU for inviting me. You’re a wonderful friend, and not just because you invite me to fun things like the CMT music fest. 🙂 Maybe we can be concert buddies from now on. I’ve got a feeling that I’m not going to be able to quit now!

(Photo courtesy of CMT.com)

To continue our fun-filled weekend, Daddio and I actually went on a date sans Little on Saturday night. My parents came over to sit with Little Miss while she slept, and we headed to a wood fired pizza place called Brixx. We sat on the patio, ate our pizza, and just talked (probably a lot about the music fest…). It was so relaxing. I love spending time with my sweet husband at home, but it’s an extra treat when we get to occasionally get out of the house together. After the pizza, we walked over to Barnes and Noble to browse the books. Random fact about me: I love the way bookstores smell. I checked out the best-sellers shelf and am about the start The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

Sunday morning we went to church. I just started teaching the 2-4 year-old class with Loren, another dear high school friend. I love doing the class, and Little Miss has been coming with me even though she is still six months away from two. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with her reaction to the class. I think she is so interested in the older kids that she just sits in her little chair and behaves (for the most part!). Of course, her favorite part of class is the snacks. Who doesn’t love cheez-its? I also left her in the nursery during service for the first time on Sunday. I’ve always stayed with her, so I was a little worried she might get upset when I left. But she did great! I will admit that I’m pretty attached to my daughter…but I spend every waking moment with the child, so what can you expect? :)Sunday night we went to Nana and Poppy’s (daddio’s parents) house for dinner. Daddio’s grandparents were also there, and we shared a great meal.

Whew! I’m tired just typing all that out. Like I said, we usually do a whole lot of nothing during the weekend, so it was kind of funny that we packed so much into three days. The long days of summer are here, and I am loving the hot sun and relaxing nights. I can’t wait for lots more fun to come!

June 6, 2011

She’s the “boss.”

Up until now, Little Miss hasn’t had much contact with other babies or young children. She sees kids at church, and obviously she notices all the babies and little ones everywhere we go. But during the day, it’s been just Little Miss, Kona, Moose and mamma. She plays on her own a lot of the time, but she also loves to boss play with Kona. She doesn’t try it with Moose (I think because he’s so big), but as I’ve mentioned in other posts, she definitely enjoys ordering Kona around the house.

Well now there’s a new little man in town! I’ve recently taken on the task of caring for Little’s cousin (I’ll call him Baby Boy) while his mamma is at work. He’s eleven months old, and such a sweet little guy. He doesn’t cry much, and we’re working on getting him to nap at the same time as Little while he is at our house.

Like I said, I haven’t had the opportunity to see Little interact with other kids much, so I was very excited to see her reaction towards Baby Boy. The first couple of days she didn’t pay him much mind, but I think she’s finally warmed up to him now. I wanted to share some of the funny things she’s done the past couple weeks.

Playing together for the two mostly consists of Baby Boy picking something up and Little Miss taking it away from him. I’m so glad for this interaction though because I have started teaching Little what it means to share. Isn’t it amazing that a child has to be taught most everything? Right now Little Miss has no idea that taking Baby’s toys (or bottle, or puffs, or blanket…) is not a nice way to act. She is a blank slate that is ready to be taught. On the flip side, Little’s personality is something I don’t have quite as much control over, and sometimes when I encourage her to do the right thing, I see that little temper of hers flare. Also, if Baby Boy takes something away from her, watch out! The shrieking will ensue. Like I said though, Little has to be taught, and what better a situation than with her sweet cousin and my supervision.

Yesterday Daddio and I took Little and Baby for a target adventure and used the huge, cumbersome, two-child cart for the first time. Little Miss was tickled pink when we sat her in the seat. And I must mention how my heart melts when Little and Baby “talk” and smile at each other. It is one of the sweetest little things I’ve ever seen. I had to get a picture of them in the cart, but it’s on my phone. Maybe I’ll be able to figure out how to get it on here!

I’ve really enjoyed taking care of my little nephew so far. He and Little Miss could not be more different! It really makes me wonder what kind of personality my next little one will hold.

ETA: I got the picture to work! Little Miss priss is doing her new “cheese” trick. Baby Boy is chillin’.

February 4, 2011

Teaching Kindness

Children go to school and learn how to write. They memorize math facts and study about America’s history. As the student becomes older, the studies continue to evolve into more difficult subjects. Hopefully, by the time a young person graduates from high school, they are a well-rounded human being who knows all sorts of information on many different subjects. But what else does a child learn when she goes to school? What else should be taught besides math and history and grammar?

I read an article in Instructor magazine the other day about teaching kindness and empathy in the classroom. The author explains that children must be taught empathy because it isn’t something that is inherently understood.

Now I don’t know if I’m the only mother out there that does this (surely not, right?), but I often think way into the future and consider different situations that may occur. I think about Little Miss running on the play ground with her friends. I think about sleepovers with giggling girls. I think about her going to the movies by herself and wearing make-up for the first time.

But I also think about things that may happen to Little Miss to make her sad or hurt her feelings. Why do I waste my time considering such things, you ask. Well, like I mentioned, I hope that I’m not the only one that does it! I hope that it’s normal for a mother to wonder about these types of issues. And I will say that I don’t sit around all day long wondering when Little is going to get her feelings hurt for the first time. Luckily, I’m not that pathetic! 🙂

When I was in first grade a group of girls were down right mean to me on the play ground. I remember it quite vividly to this day. The thing that I didn’t understand then (and still don’t understand today) is why these girls were so hateful to me.

I was reminded of this situation last weekend when my sister and I brought Little to the park. It was a beautiful day and we wanted to take full advantage of the warm weather knowing that it was just a fluke. It was the end of January, after all! Anyway, as Little played, I witnessed a group of boys snub another young boy. The mamma in me wanted to run to the child’s rescue and give the group a piece of my mind.

Why do kids have to be so mean? Why can’t kindness and compassion be natural for everyone? Because according to the article I read, it has to be taught! And guess what? Parents–not teachers–are responsible for setting the foundation for a compassionate person. I’m excited to hear that empathy is being explored in the classroom though. The article listed many great ideas on how to get a child thinking about others and how they may feel in a situation.

The most important thing for me is that Little Miss grows up to have a kind and tender heart. We will always remind her to treat others the way that she wants to be treated. I never want her to be the girl on the playground that is taunting another child. I think that would actually hurt me more than to see Little with her feelings hurt.

What are your opinions on teaching kindness? How have you taught your own child to be kind and empathetic? I’d love to hear from you!

P.S. Mothers (and fathers) out there: Do you think about all of this stuff, or am I just crazy?

January 20, 2011

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

I often have to remind myself of how blessed I am. It’s something I do to keep from feeling sorry for myself over very silly things. Isn’t it so easy to allow one minuscule detail of life control your attitude? Whether it be a good detail (Grey’s Anatomy comes on tonight!) or a negative detail (The bathroom needs to be cleaned again.), trivial parts of my life too often dictate my mood.  

Yesterday I was feeling grouchy, hormonal, tired sorry for myself for whatever reason, and Little’s crying and clinginess was not helping matters. I am so blessed to have an independent and for the most part low-maintenance baby (Am I supposed to call her a toddler now?!). She has never wanted me to hold her for long periods or to constantly sit with her as she stacks blocks. I am able to pick up her room, clean the bathroom, or make the bed, and as long as she is able to see me every few minutes, she is a happy girl.

Every now and again, however, she likes to throw me for a loop by demanding me to hold her all day long, cry constantly, take a 45 minute nap, and get right back to crying when she wakes. I’m not used to this baby, and it catches me off guard every time.

Finally around 5:30 last night, I noticed that Little’s nose was running and had a hunch to check for teeth. Ding, ding, ding! Poor baby has two teeth coming in on the top. She already has four on top and four on bottom, so now she will have ten!

That’s right. Mother of the year award can go to me for being grouchy and annoyed with my baby girl as two tiny daggers wreak havoc on her gums. Time to feel extremely selfish and remind myself of all of those blessings.

I am blessed to live in this country. I am blessed to have a warm house in the winter and a cool house in the summer. I’m blessed to have plenty of food to eat. I’m blessed to have a hard-working husband that loves me (and let’s me know it). I am SO blessed to have a beautiful, healthy, smart, funny, timid, feisty baby girl.

That list only skims the surface of the overflowing blessings of my life. It doesn’t matter if a handwritten letter just arrived in the mail or the dog threw up on the carpet because you forgot to feed her breakfast (another post!). I am abundantly blessed nonetheless, and sometimes I need to just remind myself of that.

A good memory is one that can remember the day’s blessings and forget the day’s troubles.

-Unknown

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