Saturday, April 30, 2011

And the Beat Goes On....

April 29th has been planned on the calendar for months around here. And no, I'm not referring to the Royal Wedding. How dare those royals go and pick the busiest day on the Fidler's calendar to get married? How rude! Our day started with Josh and I accompanying Eli and 50 trillion other kindergarteners (slight exaggeration) to Gulf World. We were put in charge of 2 other boys besides Eli and we had lots of fun going from reptile shows to bird shows to dolphin shows and checking out sharks and turtles and stuff in between. We came home and had an hour and a half before Eli's ballgame. In that time Eli and I went to pick Sarah up, ran to the store, and entertained 4 neighborhood children in our backyard. Josh met with some church members. We headed to the ballgame. Eli did great. T and Dandy and Aunt Leah got to watch him play for the first time this season and even brought an early birthday present, a new bat! It was a good bat, he hit really well and even hit one out of the infield! Did I tell y'all he doesn't even use the Tee anymore? Yeah, I'm a little proud. :) We left there and I came home to fix supper and have a mini breakdown. Really, I did. Fish sticks and tears, that was on the menu. It was just one of those days. I know I was just totally exhausted. I also got something in my contact and it was hurtin' real bad, so even when I wasn't crying, it looked like I was.

Our night still wasn't over. Our dancers were performing at Relay for Life. I orginally planned on all of us going, but Kate had joined me in the cryfest and I decided she'd best head to bed. Sarah and I headed out to complete the final activity of the longest day in a long time. Before we danced they did a very serious ceremony and played songs and lit candles and pretty much had me doing everything in my power to avoid the ugly cry (or any crying at this point). Finally, it was time to dance. There were 9 dances, but only 1 of them was my class. My sweet ballet girls dancing to a song from Titanic. I was so impressed with all of the girls who danced before our class and super proud of Sarah who did her tap dance and ROCKED IT! I was pumped. I couldn't wait to see my girls. And then.....I got the news every dance teacher dreads. My CD wouldn't work. WOULD.NOT.PLAY.  Thankfully Barbie had grabbed my other CD from the studio BUT this particular song has a skip in. My girls have practiced a million times with the skip so I just let them know to expect it and keep going. Well, it skipped where it usually does, but it didn't stop where it usually stops. Instead of going to the next part it went back and the girls were getting way ahead. I started hollerin' "GO BACK! GO BACK!" and thankfully one of the girl's heard me and figured out where she needed to be. The other girls realized what was going on and they got back to where they needed to be.  Now, I share all of the activity of the day and the exhaustion and my emotional state to let you know the frame of mind I was in. I was humiliated. I was hating on myself for messing the girls up. I felt like a loser. I had one dance. One dance and it got messed up. Have I mentioned I was already at the point of handing out the party favors at my pity party? I wanted to crawl under the stage. I perhaps blew things a little out of proportion.

It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do for you, isn't it? I woke up with a fresh perspective (and the ability to see out of my right eye) and was suddenly overcome with such pride in my girls. I realized that last night I focused so much on the mess up, but I did not recognize how awesome the girls did. They never stopped dancing. Not once. Do you know there are dancers twice their age that couldn't keep dancing like that? I've seen teens literally stomp, throw fits and walk off stage when they get off count or have music mess ups. And here are my sweet 8 and 9 year olds dancing their hearts out, even if it's the wrong part or the wrong music!

I don't know about y'all, but I think God can use so many things to speak to us and teach us. Last night was a moment for me. Not only did I learn to have 15 back up CDs :), I feel like God reminded me that life is a lot like that dance last night. We plan and we practice and we organize and we study and we do all kinds of things to live this life, but we just don't have a guaranteee that things will go the way we plan. As I thought about that, I was reminded of the natural disasters that literally destroyed homes and land and lives. Like the scratch on that CD, tornadoes ripped through bringing to a screeching halt the beautiful song of people's lives. I can't imagine being in their shoes. Absolutely cannot imagine. I know it wasn't an event anyone planned on. No one says, "After we've been married 15 years and have 2 kids and have just bought a new house a tornado will come and wreck it." We just don't plan that way. It's not in the choreography of our lives.   The truth is some events in life call for you to get back in step, and some call for new choreography altogether. Whatever the case, the key is that we keep dancing. Even when it's not perfect. Even when it hurts. Even when we want to hide under the stage. Even when it's not what we rehearsed. We have a Heavenly Father saying, "GO HERE! DO THIS! THIS IS WHERE WE ARE AT!" And, sometimes, He carries us.

"though he may stumble, he will not fall,

for the LORD upholds him with his hand."

Psalm 37:24

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday-When a Mama's Not Lookin' Edition


-Tonight at church we started talking about when we do bad things and asking God's forgiveness. "Like when a Mama's not lookin' and you take a cookie" was one example I was given. Or, "When a Mama's not lookin' and you steal."  Stealing seems to be our big issue with the kids in my class. Who knew? One boy told me his dad robbed a bank. Not too sure about that story, but you just never know. Anyway, thought I would show y'all what happens at my house when "A mama's not lookin'".

I guess Kate has overheard me telling Josh he needs to clean out his closet and decided to take matters into her own hands. Thanks, Kate. :)

-Josh's sister, Leah, is here from Italy. We've enjoyed visiting with her and she even took our kids to the beach on Monday and gave us a childfree morning! Isn't that awesome?  She is expecting a baby, Layla, this summer. So, we will have Leah, Layla, Luke and Lyla. I'm gonna have to practice that a lot. My sister posted a video of my niece, Lyla, walking and I commented, "Go Layla!" Ha! I'm already struggling. I'm going to have to come up with some special nicknames for everybody. :)

-I feel the need to tell y'all that I made it through Easter weekend without eating a SINGLE.PIECE.OF.CANDY. No sweets. None. To put this in perspective for you, you need to know that holidays are usually my kryptonite. I will never forget the month of Easter when I was pregnant with Sarah. I went for my check-up and I had gained 15 POUNDS in a month. Did y'all know that was even possible? Well, I did it. I remember my dr. said, "Somebody sure enjoyed her Easter bunnies" and laughed like it was the funniest thing ever. Hardy har har! Yeah, I've come a long way, I think. :)
-We are three weeks from the dance recital. After tomorrow all of my classes will meet one time before dress rehearsal and two times before the recital. I am equal parts excited and stressed. The mirrors have been covered so the girls get used to performing without them. I have to tell you, they drew an audience and it is cracking me up. We have the cast of Harry Potter, a bored brother, a couple in love and a ticked off sister our audience.

Here is Kate drawing her person.

-Eli FINALLY lost his tooth!!!!! Josh pulled it while I was at work, so I missed all of the trauma excitement. He said it didn't hurt. Praise Jesus.

                                    I posted this pic on FB and the next one in my album was this one-
It's from 2009. He said, "That looks a lot like me."  I told him it is him! Just blows my mind how fast they grow.

-I think I am as excited about summer as my kids. We are going to be crazy busy the next few weeks, and while I am excited about all that is going on, I am really looking forward to a BREAK! Can I get an Amen?

-Okay, I'm going to eat supper. You know you are a hardcore blogger when you wait to eat until you're done. :)   I promise one day I'm going to slow down long enough to have real thoughts and write something worth reading. :)

Don't miss your chance to link up!

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Epic Easter

Hello friends! Or random people who google things like "Coupons and puppies" or however you found this site. I hope you ALL had an amazing weekend celebrating that our Savior is RISEN AND ALIVE! We did have an amazing, busy weekend and what you are about to experience is an obnoxious amount of pictures. Consider yourself warned. :)

We kicked off Easter festivities with an egg hunt at the school for Eli's class.
And of course, a party.

Something very, very traumatic happened between the taking of these two pictures. Eli was leading the line on the way back from the hunt when he complained his tooth was hurting. I inquired if it was a toothache, but upon examination I was loose! His first loose tooth!  Eli FREAKED OUT. I've never experienced anything like it. He kept trying to hug on me and it was messing the whole line up as they were following whatever he did. I finally had to take him to the school nurse for some ice. For real. All I could think was that I was so thankful this child will never give birth. :)  That tooth is hangin' on by a thread, but he won't let us touch it. I suppose it will just randomly fall out one day. Maybe when he is 12.
That night we finished up dance pics and then headed out for a tball game. I was hot as a pig in a blanket. Oh my word! I'm one of those people who like the warm weather, but I was seriously contemplating wearing a bikini to the next game. But I decided nobody around has done anything to deserve having to look at that.  Maybe I'll just make a fan.

The next morning my Mom took off of work to go with me to the kid's field day. I'm so glad she did. We've never been to field day here so I didn't know what to expect. They had grades k-2 doing events at teh same time and of course Eli and Sarah's seem to always happen at the same time on the OPPOSITE end of the field. I think I got the biggest workout running up and down the football field. Sarah was not excited about field day. She kept talking about having to run the 40 yard dash and saying, "I don't know why they're making me do this."  She is so my daughter. I don't understand the purpose of running somewhere when you could stroll and sip a Diet Coke. Anyway, she came in 3rd for her class! I was so proud. I don't think either of us knew she could run that fast!
Kate entertained herself by running up and down the bleachers while I was distracted running up and down the field.

We went for a yummy lunch at Pepper's and then had to head home to wait for the carpet cleaners. And to bake 70 cupcakes. And 100 mini brownies. And lemon bars. I was astounded with how clean they got my carpet, but I'm pretty sure they are going to block our number the next time we call. :)  The kids stuffed eggs with candy while we were all exiled to the kitchen.

I could not believe it when I opened my eggs (the real kind) and realized I had exactly 6, which was exactly how much I needed for the ginormous amount of cupcakes I was making. It was too good to be true. Well, later that night I made a late night grocery run to get food for Sunday's dinner and when I put the eggs in the fridge I realized the other carton was still there.  Uh-oh. I realized at 11 pm after I had baked 70 cupckaes and 100 mini brownies that I FORGOT the eggs in one of the mixes. Oops. I had Josh taste one and he said it was fine. I was just tired enough to believe him.

The next morning we were in full gear getting ready for our Easter Egg Hunt/Open House. I accidentally called it the "haunted house" at one point and let me tell you, as I cleaned in circles all week I was afraid that was what it would be. SCARY! I finally got the house clean, the cupcakes frosted and the table decorated.

Kate told me when I put that bunny on the table, "Nobody wants to see that bunny up there on that table." So, I apologize. I am sorry if I offended anyone by the placement of the bunny. Josh made the cheese ball and later one of our church friends brought pigs in a blanket and some other yummy looking appetizer, but I never got another picture once they were added. She also brought the cutest cupcakes and I wished I had waited and put hers on the display!
These were mostly for me since I couldn't eat any of the good other stuff. But I was surprised how much people seemed to enjoy the fruits and veggies.

During the party Kate and her friend, Peyton went missing. We were a little panicked. Then we found them. Under the bed. With FunDip.

I really had a lot of fun doing the Easter Egg Hunt at our house. I usually get totally stressed out about hosting events at our house, but I can honestly say I just really enjoyed it. I think the kids did too!

Our Easter included a nice day at church, dinner with my Mom and brother, Philip, then heading out to have dessert with Josh's side of the family. You might be a preacher's wife if you pack up for a trip like this. :)

I learned this little trick from some of our Mississippi ladies on 5th Sunday dinners. They always had impressively huge tupperware containers, but my laundry basket is what I had to work wtih. :)

 Y'all, I know that this amount of pictures is obscene, but please take notice of this family pic. EVERYBODY is smiling. Every.last.person. I cannot tell you how many years I have waited for this picture. How hard I've worked. The sweat, blood and tears. The perserverance. It's an Easter miracle, that's all I can say. Or my kids just know they don't get to eat until they smile. Whatever.
 This pic sums up how these things go. You plan everyone's outfits. Then, your 5 year old (who is already suffering from the mental anguish of a loose tooth) skins his knee and refuses to pull his pant leg down or take an individual picture without a tennis racket. Did I tell y'all about his Santa pic from school? When I saw it I thought, 'Man, I know he needs new pants, but I didn't know they were that short.' He told us, 'It looks better in pictures when I show a little skin." Well there you go.
And finally, you need to know that even though we have officially given away all of our puppies, now our  neighbor has puppies and guess where they like to hang out? Yeah, our front door. They had lots of fun with the Easter grass.

Whew! If anybody actually got through this whole thing, bless you! I promise I will soon be back to the deep, important, thought provoking blogs I usually write. Okay, maybe not so much. I just promise I will never post this many pics again!! Hope your weekend was blessed and full of everything important to you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: Extreme Couponing Edition

Let's just get started.

*Yesterday was my first day of extreme couponing. I've been watching that show and decided I would give it a try this week. Of course on Sunday every paper in Port St. Joe was sold out. So, I asked my Mom if she would save me any she wasn't using and she was nice enough to not only save them, but to even cut them and put them in an envelope for me. Thanks Mom! I made the mistake of sealing the envelope and when I opened it at the store they started sticking to the seal. So, in patient, Emily form I just pulled the seal part off the envelope. That led to me dumping half the coupons on the floor. I was feeling WAY frustrated and remembered why I don't coupon. Than, I had a magical moment. I had a coupon for $3 off Nivea bodywash, and I realized, it cost $3! I got it for free y'all! I also saved 75 cents on my Febreze. Woo-hoo! $3.75!!! I am so gonna be on that show soon....

* If I don't make it on Extreme Couponing I am pretty sure we will be asked to be the organizational crew on Clean House. Today Josh found the kid's Easter baskets in a storage container marked "DVD's". Which makes perfect sense because there are two boxes full of DVD's on the floor in the laundry room.

* Josh spoke at our community's Passion week services yesterday. Our church secretary was sweet enough to keep Kate with her so I could go. I have to admit, I felt sick the whole time. Does that happen to the other preacher wives out there? I'm fine at church, but when it's somewhere new it totally freaks me out. He did great though and I was real proud. Somebody told him he did real good for a kid. :) 

* I need to be more careful when I grab Josh's t-shirts to wear. I just realized I'm wearing one that says, "DAD King of the Grill".

* I need a haircut.

* My favorite quote of the week is, "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing."  Phyllis Diller
That woman speaks the truth. I've never even had to shovel snow, but I know exactly what it must feel like.

Okay, I'm done. That's my rambling for the day. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Sneak "Peep" of Things to Come.....

Big things are happening around this house, let me tell you what. We are hosting an Open House/Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday for our church (and anybody else we can talk into coming) and we are working like busy bees. I mean, Josh changed every light bulb in this house yesterday. Every.light.bulb. Do all of your lightbulbs go out at the same time, too? Or perhaps, like us, you just go months of only do laundry in the daylight hours to avoid changing the lightbulb in the laundry room? Anyway, I am in full "Hostess who is Stresstest" mode. I keep telling myself, "Just be excited! Just be excited!" Then I lay in bed and think, "Is green Hawaiian punch better than blue? How many kinds of cupcakes should I make? How do I get smushed bananas out of my couch?"

Well, today I did the BIG shopping trip for the party. I am getting excited.
First, instead of driving myself crazy over the fact that I can't paint bunnies on my cupcakes in fondant frosting, I'm going to stick some Peeps on some of them.  Or, I may call my friend Deborah at midnight Friday night and beg her to make cupcakes for me. Will y'all pray I don't do that? Thanks.

I found these two butterfly placemats at Ross for less than $2 a piece! I think they will look pretty on the table. Then, Kate told me I have to put them on her back. We are all about multi-purposing around here....

I also got this carrot that I am planning to put these orange Reeces Pieces (that I can't eat :( ) in. That little sticker on there says it was made in Italy. I thought my mother-in-law would be impressed. She actually went to Italy to visit our sis, Leah, and ended up getting some plates made in Poland. I'm going to have to tell her she should just go to Ross. :)

Finally, the grande finale! I am planning to fill it with cupcakes, brownies and lemon bars. Anything will look pretty on this, right? Even my cupcakes.......okay, so maybe I'll just sit the box on the table and we can look at this picture.

I recently had a midwestern friend comment on how laid back everything in the south is. I haven't ventured past the mason dixon line in a while, so I don't know what to compare our lives to. I'll tell you this,what we lack in rat race indutsrialism, we make up for in holiday celebration preparation! Ask any southern lady and you will know, we mean business when it comes to matching Easter clothes and big after church dinners. So, what I'm saying is, wish me luck!!!!!  I'm setting easy goals: 1. Keep the carpet clean from Friday afternoon when the carpert cleaners come until Sat. when the party starts. 2. Don't make anybody sick with my baking. 3. Don't break any of my pretty plates until I've gotten two years of use out of them.

Okay, I'm off to finish painting my bathroom cabinet. Because, you know, I'm sure everybody will want to see my bathroom cabinet. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011



1. The process of removing toxic substances or qualities.

Not too long ago I shared that I was in a processing phase. I have now moved into a detoxing phase. As I've shared, I have made drastic changes to my diet. No caffeine. No dairy. No sweets. I had no idea how the change in my eating habits would change my life. My heart. It has changed my clothes size and alleviated some of my health issues. But I wasn't at all prepared for the journey this would be for me. That it would become such a spiritual lesson for me.
A few weeks into the diet strange things started happening to me. I just didn't feel right. My skin started breaking out. I felt like a 12 year old again. I discussed this with a friend and she brought up the detox issue and how things get worse before they get better. Like my 7 days of caffeine withdrawal headaches. There was a time when things were definitely feeling worse. I have often joked about my hormones and my mood swings, but tonight I'm just going to be real honest. It's not so funny. For over a year now I have really struggled with feeling like my brain and body are taken over by evil forces for a week to 2 weeks every month. It has been the most challenging issue for me. I am thankful to report that this month I could really tell a difference! Praise God! You know Josh is praising God!
I don't know that this diet is going to completely heal me or do all of the things I hope it will, but regardless, I have been changed. It's really true what they say, fruits and veggies are good for you. :)  But even more than that, as my body has eliminated things that do not benefit my body and taken in things that do, I've begun to crave those good things. When I was so sick last week and couldn't eat for a while I was worried that I would break down and end up craving cheeseburgers and cake. And I would feel justified in eating them. But, I didn't. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my body CRAVED things that are good for me. As that realization dawned on me, it occured to me that another type of detox has been happening simultaneously. A detox of my heart. 
Tonight in our Bible study at church we talked about our call to Holiness as Christians. In the past I thought if people were "holy" that meant that they were pretty much sinless, only listened to gospel music and said, "Praise the Lord" a lot. Tonight we talked about the fact that as soon as we become believers we are called to holiness and we are called to holiness to acheive the work that God has for us. We also learned that it can only come from Him. We don't have the power to change our hearts. And our hearts are what He is concerned about. 
You may wonder what that has to do with my diet. I'm trying to get there. And I'm trying to think of another word besides "diet" because this is not a diet for me. This will be an entire lifestyle change for me, much like becoming a Christian was. Often Christianity is something we compartmentalize in our lives. We have work and our social life and church. We attend services every now and then and try to be good people. We post that we love Jesus on FB. Sometimes we even listen to Christian music. But the truth is, Christianity was never meant to be a crash diet. We can't go to church occassionally and expect huge changes in our lives or to see amazing works of God. He meant it to be an entire lifestyle and lifetime of growth. Like I started my "diet" praying, "God, please help me pass up the cheeseburger" and then feeling really deprived, as a Christian I am guilty of just trying to get by. Trying to be the best Christian I can be without having to be too radical, too different from other people. Feeling deprived when I feel left out or like I'm giving up things.  But, as a month goes by and it becomes my habit to do what is right for my body I begin to CRAVE things that nourish me. And as a Christian as I make it my habit to spend time with my Father, it isn't enough to just get by. I want to CRAVE Him and the things that He has called me to. The things that please Him. 
None of it is easy. My mind, body and soul feel like I've been in a boxing match and only somedays I win.  We misunderstand the journey we are beginning as Christians if we think it involves pretty dress clothes and potluck suppers. The journey of a Christian is one that involves a lot of detox. A lot of removing toxic qualities that separate us from God and hinder our work for Him. It's not easy to face our sin head on and deal with it. It's not easy when selfish desires and ungodly motives make their way to the surface. It hurts when we don't get our way and it breaks our hearts to see who we are without His redemption covering us. Being a Christian has very little to do with knowing the right things to say at church or acting a certain way. It has everything to do with our hearts and what is going on in the places other people can't see. We can go many years fooling people, but not God. We can "fake it until we make it" in many areas of our life, but not in holiness. It may hurt while He is rooting it out, but it is worth it when His qualities take root in us.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

Ephesians 4:22

"and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness"
Ephesian 4:24

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday~U-N-G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S

Well, y'all, if there was ever a time I needed a Whatnot Wednesday to vent meaningless, nobody cares tidbits of information, today is the day.

-Monday morning I awoke puking my guts out.  Nice, right? I don't ever get sick like that. Ever. Even during the "Great Stomach Virus" of 2011" when I thought we were all going to die, I didn't get sick like that. It just came out of nowhere. I was shocked. It was not planned. Did not fit in my schedule one bit. Josh was in Panama City working and I *thought* the kids were starting their testing that day and what was I supposed to do? I determined I would make it my deathbed mission to get them to school and I did. As we went to leave our glass door got stuck (as it often does) and I'm not kidding, I called Josh crying. How embarrassing. I was so weak and I couldn't get the stinkin' door open and the future of our children's education was on the line (NOT!) and I was a mess. He didn't know I had been sick and so I'm sure that me crying over the door probably had him ready to pack me up and take me to the place with all the men in white coats.

-I just had to ask Josh if this is 2011.

-Kate has taken advantage of my sickness. When Josh got home the other day most of our kitchen was in the living room. Yesterday I was OUTRAGED to find pink marker on her new nightstand (remember the one we just picked up SATURDAY????) and today I found her and a wall of my bathroom covered in make-up. I took a pic of the wall, but it seriously looks like a crime scene photo so I will spare you. BTW, magic erasers are my best friend. They got the nightstand clean!

-Last Friday I chaperoned a field trip for Sarah's class. We went to a pioneer settlement. I think stuff like that is real cool. I thought I would share some pics from that experience.

This right here is the ugliest chicken I have ever seen. There was another one that looked like this and I figure there must have been a fight. Is this a chicken's equivalent of a bad hair day?

This is a sweet pic of Sarah and some classmates pumping water. Seconds later she smashed her hand in that thing and experienced the only injury of the day. Leave it to my child!

-One of my ballet classes is dancing to a song from Titanic (NOT the Celind Dion one) and one of the girls told me that yesterday my fellow dance instructor was working on the dance recital line up and was trying to find out if the dances ended onstage with a pose, or with the girls dancing offstage. She wondered out loud how "The Titanic" ended and one of her middle school girls very excitedly told her, "Ooh, ooh, I know! The boat sinks!" Yes, she was serious. :)  The dance teacher then went to the lobby to ask her question to which another dancer replied, "The boat sinks!"  What can I say? Our dancers really know their history. :)

-My son has the coolest fan club at the ballpark.

-The good news about my sick days is that I was able to watch two seasons worth of "America's Next Top Model." My life is so much richer now. :)

-I have the best husband ever. Have I mentioned that? He's taken very good care of me. He even made a special trip to the store to get me wheat thins, grapes and pineapple because it was the only thing that sounded good to me.

-Well, I'm sure y'all would love some more fascinating details about my exciting life, but this is all I have for now.  Now it's your turn to mosey on over to Everyday the Wonderful Happens....  and link up, too!  (There's still a few hours left :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Is How We Roll

I love my life. It cracks me up. Sometimes I'm just overwhelmed by absolute giddiness. Which is so much better than when I'm overwhelmed with stress, fatigue and confusion. That happens a lot, too. But last Wednesday night, I got to laugh at our life. For months the ring bearer from our wedding has been asking Josh if he could use his car for prom. Yes, I got my first grey hair and the ring bearer from our wedding went to prom in a two week time frame. Let's all observe a moment of silence. Okay. So, Wednesday Josh met Robert for the trade-off. I knew we would be getting his truck. I just didn't know I would drive home to this-
It wasn't just any truck, y'all. It was the most ginormous pick-up truck I've ever seen. And it just happened to say "Southern Stroking" across the front. I'm still not completely sure I know what that means. I'm not completely sure I want to know. I just know I literally laughed out loud as I pulled into my driveway and imagined me and the preacher man totin' our family around in this here vehicle. I got home just in time to head to church where some of our church members had a good laugh about it, as well. One of them said, "At least it doesn't say "Southern Toking"!" word. Can you imagine?
I've always had a thing for cowboys. :)  Well, we all took turns wearing the cowboy hat. And we enjoyed some good old-fashioned mixed CDs full of country music and one hip hop song. That cracked us up. I appreciated the turkey callers hanging from the rearview mirror.
I wish I could report we had all kinds of wild fun in the truck. You know, muddin' and stuff like that. I wanted to. I've been in desperate need of some fun. But, reality calls so we did the next best thing. We hauled stuff! Woo-hoo! This truck came just in time to pick up the girl's new bedroom furniture and mattresses. I was thrilled. I think Josh determined he never wants to own a truck again. :)  Robert kept calling to tell Josh stories about comments people made about his car or people who wanted to race and stuff like that. When we went to trade back vehicles he said, "So what have y'all been up to? Everytime I talked to you you were haulin' something. A dresser, a mattress."  It's true. That's what we've been up to. Hauling. :)

So, Josh's car got to go to prom.

Would you believe me if I told you Josh still has my garter in there from our senior prom? It's looking pretty rough. I mentioned that to Josh and he figured up how many years ago it was that we went to prom, and well, let's just move on.....

Oh, who am I kidding? We're old. It's time to face it. Here's what Robert looked like in our wedding-
Doesn't he look like he could belong to Josh? He absolutely adored Josh and in this picture it looks like he might even adore me, but don't be fooled. I was the girl that stole all of Josh's time and attention. He wasn't fond of me at all. But, times have changed and gathering from the pic in his truck of him and his girlfriend smooching, I think he might have a better understanding now. :)  

What can I say, it has been a very full circle kind of time around these parts. And boy did we drive some circles this week looking cool in our pick-up truck!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

So, my dear friend, Lori, sent me the link for Whatnot Wednesdays because she said she wanted to hear the useless thoughts floating around in my head. I warned her she actually probably would rather not know. :) But....since she asked......

*An update from our day of beauty-Sarah's hair curled! Did I get a picture? No. Well, at least not one that I don't have to wait to pick a proof, pay half a year's salary and wait several weeks to get back. I got those pics. Barely. Kate was not cooperating. She didn't want to wear her costume. She didn't want to wear her hat. She didn't want to hold her lollipop. She didn't want to smile. Our little photo shoot got a little chaotic when other dancers began flooding the studio and I was a. still trying to get a good pic of Kate b. Sarah had 4 other costumes she was begging me to help her change into c. People were hollerin' for me to come pose other girls d. Kate climbed up in the photographer's lap and decided she liked taking the pictures as opposed to posing for them and e. I did not have time to change so I was looking like a doofus in a BRIGHT yellow, sequined, halter top costume that looks much cuter on my 8 year old than it does on me. One thing is for sure......I will never forget Kate's first dance pictures. :)

*Speaking of curls, the most often asked question I hear is, "Where does Kate get her curls from?"  It reminds me of when Sarah was little and people would go on and on about how beautiful she was and her amazing blue eyes and then look at me and say, "Who does she look like?"  Thanks. :)  Anyway, I always tell people she gets her curls from my Mom, but the truth is, I actually have a few curls. Kate wanted to take a picture of us in the bleachers at one of Eli's games (she is so going to be a photographer) and although it is a horrible picture of me, it shows one of my curls. The 1.5% of DNA I've passed on to one of my children. :)
Do you see that little curl on my neck? That is what happens when I am too lazy to completely straighten all of my hair. Does that allow me to take credit for Kate's curls????

*I must be getting old because my excitement of this week is that we are getting a new dresser and nightstand for the girls. I had found a chest of drawers I wanted to get and then I found a dresser AND the nightstand for $50 cheaper! Score! Anyway, the chest of drawers the girls have now is GONE. We bought it right after Kate was born and it has not stood the test of time AT ALL. Of course, one day I found a couple of 6 year olds climbing it and sitting in the drawers and I think that is what really did it in. It is now missing all of it's knobs, one drawer is stuck to the point of being unusuable and another drawer will pinch your fingers EVERYTIME you close it. Needless to say, it has been my nemesis in this house. How sad is it that I am looking forward to putting away laundry without pinched fingers? It doesn't take much to make happy these days......

*Eli is now having ballgames 2 nights a week AND practice 1-2 nights. I'm expecting him to be drafted for the pros any day now.

*The highlight of my week now is a new episode of Castle. Do y'all love that show? I think it is great. It is the perfect mix of humor and mystery for me. I may secretly fantasize that in another life I am Kate Beckett. :)

*I am super excited about going on a field trip with Sarah on Friday. We are going to a pioneer settlement. I don't care where we're going. I'm going on a field trip!! I felt extra special because her teacher called and asked me to. She asked if I would be okay following behind the bus in my own vehicle. Are you kidding me?? I get to make a 45 minute drive ALL BY MYSELF???? Woo-hoo! Sign me up! :)

*I better go now. Kate is in the kitchen. That is always dangerous. Let me show you.
This may seem harmless, but you must understand, these were sandwiches I made for a church function. Sitting right on top of my fancy, little sandwich tray. I am forever thankful Josh found this BEFORE I took them to church!!!!!

Okay, your turn! Go link up here!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Living, Breathing Science Experiment

Yep, that's me. The living, breathing science experiment. I've mentioned in my blogs that I gave up dairy and caffeine, but I haven't said much about it. Mostly, I think I've been afraid to jinx myself. You probably just thought I didn't stick with it. I wouldn't blame you. I do not have a great track record with sticking with things, especially things related to diet and exercise. And yet, I have now completed a full month free of not only dairy and caffeine, but CHOCOLATE! How, you ask? It's kind of a mystery to me, too. Josh often reminds me of one of his favorite quotes that says, "People will not change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing."  One of his professors, Eric Pratt, said that in his class one night and I cannot tell you how many times we've discussed it over different situations or people in our lives. It kind of became my life quote for the moment. Because, y'all, I've been in pain.

All of this is referring to what my dr. believes is endometriosis. It cannot be officially diagnosed without a laparoscopy, but we are about 93% that is what is going on. I originally planned to have the laporascopy, but after months of waiting on paperwork and scheduling and having things fall through, I began to do some research of my own. That is when I came across the info. about diet changes and the success that other women have had and decided that Iwas willing to do ANYTHING (even give up quesadillas)  if there was a chance it could help ease my symptoms. The original information that I began reading was here. I won't lie, the first 50 times I read it I thought, 'You want me to do what??? Give up caffeine, cheese, fried food and chocolate??? What the heck am I supposed to eat? Rhubarb? YEAH RIGHT!' I'm just being honest. But, eventually, the pain and mood swings won out and I was desperate enough to take some baby steps. The first was giving up dairy. It actually wasn't as hard as I expected. I had a bad experience with eggs a few weeks before I decided to do this and I think it stayed with me. Then, I gave up caffeine. That actually kind of happened by accident. During the week that we were all dying  sick with the stomach bug I had run out of my Diet Coke supply and Josh was late getting home so I didn't have time to go by Mr. Cheap Butts for my 44oz. energy drink on the way to dance. I didn't finish class until 5:00 that night and decided if I had made it that long without caffeine, I should just keep going. OH.MY.WORD. Y'all, I had headaches for 7 days straight. I mean, nausea inducing, begging somebody to hit me on the head with a hammer so I would feel better headaches. I think I was able to do it because we were all sick and felt so bad anyway, so I kept convincing myself that it wasn't caffeine withdrawals. But it totally was. I've heard that like anything else, the more caffeine you are used to the worse and longer the withdrawals are. So, y'all know what that meant for me. :(    About a week after we went somewhere and their sign said their Diet Coke was caffeine free and I was so excited, but also totally paranoid. After what I went through I won't take any chances!

In the last month I've eaten things I never dreamt I would try. Beets, Kale. I seriously had never even heard of kale before. I've replaced my Twix addiction with nuts and raisins. Did you know that pumpkin seeds are supposed to help with PMS? I eat them like they are going out of style!!!! Water became another issue. I started reading that water in plastic bottles is bad for me (endometriosis causes a lot of chemical sensitivity) and then I read that tap water was bad. I was feeling a little frustrated. So, I had bought a couple of organic, caffeine free teas in glass bottles, so I've just saved those bottles and refill them. Of course, my 8 year old was the one to ask, "Aren't you getting the water out of a plastic jug?" Yes. Because I'm still buying the gallon sized water and pouring it into the glass bottles. Leave it to my 2nd grader to make me feel totally dumb. Soon, I'm hoping to get a water filter, but until then, I'll just pretend like I'm doing better. :)

This hasn't been as hard as I expected, but it also hasn't been easy by any means. I think it has helped that I'm doing this for health reasons. In the past when I've dieted I would always reach a point where I would feel better about myself and then reward myself with food. It's totally different this time knowing that it really does have to be a complete lifestyle change. It has also helped that Josh has been super supportive. He's really gotten on board and has been a trooper through the changes. Cutting back on red meat is not his idea of a good time, but he has done it for me and he tells me all the time how much better he feels. The kids are the ones who have really suffered. Sarah told me the other day that she had vegetables for lunch at school. She said, "This healthy stuff just follows me everywhere." Bummer. :)

I say I'm a science experiment because it seems that everyday we are making observations about my well-being. I will say, "I feel sooo much better!" or "Can you believe I went to bed at 10:00?!" That's been another big change. I've finally been able to get my body back on a normal sleep schedule. I credit melatonin and the lack of caffeine for that. But then, there are other times when I still don't feel so great. Sunday morning Kate woke me up at 3:30 and I could not go back to sleep. I finally fell asleep about 5:00 and when it was time to get up for church I was hurting and exhausted. I spent the day in bed. I was very discouraged. Today, my mood started swinging, and I was very discouraged. I asked Josh if it was pointless to make all of these changes if I was still going to feel this way. Sometimes I'm a little melodramatic. First, he told me that he could still see big changes. And second, that this might not be the day that everything gets better, but maybe tomorrow will be. And I know it's the truth. I know I can't expect to undo 30 years of damage I've done to my body in 1 month. I made a comment one night to my friend about my years of  "hard living" and she totally laughed out loud. But the truth is, while I've never smoked and don't drink or do drugs, I've had years of eating the wrong things, living on caffeine and depriving my body of sleep. And unfortunately, I have a health issue that makes me extra sensitive to all of those things. In a way I am thankful that I've struggled through this health issue because I feel like it has been a big, fat wake-up call at a point in life that I am still young enough to do something about it.

I'm sure you will be hearing much more about this journey. It is consuming a big part of my life right now. I'm curious, what do you think about the quote I mentioned? Is there an area in your life where you found the pain of staying the same was worse than the pain of changing?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Camera Ready

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Who was it that said that? I can't remember. I would google it, but I'm too preoccupied with being totally lazy. Anyway, I have to ask myself, what did it take for her to be beautiful? Was she one of those girls with naturally shiny, perfect hair and skin that never ages? Or was she a Miss Congeniality behind the scenes with a team of people and chemicals? I find myself wondering because tomorrow the girls and I will have our pictures taken for dance and tonight we've had a night of beauty. My girls, they are natural beauties. Sarah has the most amazing silky, straight hair. It's what I've always wanted. Of course, she wants curls.We've tried everything. Hot rollers, curlers you sleep on, curling irons, you name it we've tried it. But I knew she would want curls again. So tonight I got creative and just twisted her wet hair in pincurls and bobby pinned them. We'll see what happens in the morning.
I also gave Sarah a french manicure. The cheap, not exactly straight, my Mama did it, version of a french manicure. It was fun! Those are her real nails, too y'all. I'm so jealous. All of mine broke this week.

Girls are so much fun. I have to say, this was a special thing for us tonight though. Nail polishing and stuff is usually something they do at the grandmas. By the time I feed and bathe all these youngins I don't usually have much time to play beauty salon. They do, however, seem to find time to play without me. Like yesterday, Josh dropped Kate off at the dance studio so he could take Eli to his ballgame. By the time Kate and I found our seat in the bleachers I looked down to notice hair stuck to her shirt. I was trying to place it. It looked lighter than most people's in our house. Shorter too. I asked her about it thinking maybe it had shed from Daisy when she told me, "It's Barbie hair." Mercy. I've already been through this with Sarah. When I was pregnant with Kate, Sarah "styled" all of her Barbie dolls and then left their hair on the hardwood floor of her bedroom IN LOTION!!!! I would totally vomit to this day if I smelled that lotion. Anyway, I was torn between being mad she had cut the doll's hair and being SO glad she didn't cut hers. (Sarah did that, too.)

I'm showing you these dolls from the back A.) Because every doll we own is nekded and 2.) to protect their identity. It's the least I could do.

Okay, well maybe I have to show you Ken's bangs. I'll tell ya, this is true love if these two can make it through these haircuts. :)

It just isn't spring if I haven't launched into full, make-over mode. Jergen's Natural Glow, 2 hour teeth whitening, and new make-up. Am I the only one who considers a new look one of the most exciting parts of Spring? Yes, I'm shallow, vain and superficial. I admit it. I'm also orange, have teeth a lighter shade of yellow and most days don't even bother to wear make-up. But the point is, I TRY. I try,  y'all. Yesterday I was in the make-up aisle in Wal-Mart and noticed that an anti-aging foundation (yes, I've reached that point) wasn't completely wrapped in plastic and I could try it. I've always been told you should rub foundation into your wrist to see if it blends with your skin tone. So, I did. I don't know what happened. It started out as one little squirt and before I knew it, I was covered in make-up. I glanced around frantically for anything to wipe my hands on. Nothing. I started blending. The underside of my forearm has never looked so good. I seriously considered putting make-up on my arms everyday. Speaking of that, do you know what they make now?? CVS has this stuff by Joan Rivers and it is make-up for your legs! Y'know, to cover up varicose veins and stuff. I'm saving up my CVS bucks. I am so gonna get that stuff! BTW, a major life event happened in the midst of the craziness of my life the last few weeks. Y'all better be glad I've been so busy or I may have dedicated an entire week to it. What, you ask? My first gray hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And get this, I colored my hair, and that one hair is still there!!!!! Josh keeps telling me it's blonde. Yeah right. I am just thankful that this event occured in the middle of t-ball season and dance recital preparation. I just don't have time to obssess over it properly.

Well, my hubby's softball game got canceled tonight and he's searching for a movie for us to watch. So, after my night of beauty I'm about to retire to the couch for a date. Wearing not an ounce of make-up, oversized pj's, and split ends that have split ends. Maybe by the morning I'll have had enough beauty sleep to work miracles. It's amazing how I've gone from wanting to be naturally beautiful to just hoping to be artificially presentable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please tell me, what is your beauty secret you can't live without?