Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Snapshot (or 25)

Last week we had the most fantastic and wonderful and excellent surprise ever. EVER.

Well, maybe not EVER EVER....
I mean it wasn't that laundry now washes and dries and puts itself away. 
But it was pretty close.

My sister-in-law and 2 nieces came up to visit!!  Yep, the sister-in-law that was part of the team that saved my life back in 2010. She's pretty great.

And what is even more great is that she has 2 lovely little girls the same ages as Bitty Bean and Boy Bean!

We had some serious fun.

We played with My Little Ponies......

Poor Boy Bean.

He is the only boy on this side of the family.....
I'm hoping he'll just be able to communicate with women really, really well; but he might end up needing lots of therapy.

We encouraged the arts....

the "Arts" being piano playing - not topless dancing.

We had silly face breakfast time.....

And we went HIKING!!!

The Littlest pair walked as long as they could....

and then Boy Bean took a nice long nap in the stroller.  That boy can sleep anywhere!

The bigger-little-people had a blast exploring....


and sharing secrets.

We ran across (I.e. almost stepped on) a lovely poisonous snake!

Jumping Bean even got a turn in the back pack, as usual, she brought her own style to the ride.

I took pictures of my String Bean....but they all turned out blurry.

Her exciting moment in the hike was walking into an occupied spider web. She looked down and said "Hey Daddy! Check out the cool red shape on the spider's bum!"


Turned out it actually was a Black widow.

We roll with danger everywhere.....copperheads, black widows, and emotional meltdowns are just part of a normal day.

Keepin' it interesting,


Copyright 2011

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's growing Wednesday.....

So, while I'm sure this is totally lame, I really just don't care.

Wednesdays will find me posting updates on the status of my greenish hued gray thumb.

(It used to be black....I'm slowly progressing)

2 weeks ago I planted little baby seeds in my seed-starter-planter-thingy.

(I'm highly technical around here)

And look how much they've grown!

Go me!!

We have tomatoes, peas, cilantro, and basil in the "edible" category....

and a bunch of different flowers - cosmos, snapdragon, wildflowers, and 4 o'clocks - in the "look at how pretty and utterly useless I am" category. :)

I have high hopes for this year....
I want to make pesto! 
And eat fresh tomatoes!  
And decorate with MY flowers!

We'll see.
I highly doubt all of the plants will survive.
Even more questionable is if they will produce any produce.

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself)  

I think I have frightened my plants away from production in the past....either through drowning, starvation, over-attentiveness, utter-neglect, or complete ignorance.

Armed with numerous successful-gardeners on my speed dial, a phenomenal body of personal knowledge on what NOT to do, and the all-powerful GOOGLE....I'm hoping this will be my first year of success.

We'll see every Wednesday!
I can take zero credit for these. Yes, they are growing in my garden. I have no idea how they got there.

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Anchor's Aweigh....

I have been obscenely fortunate to have My Love home for almost all of 2011.

(He was just gone for the month of September)

But that doesn't mean that Navy separations aren't still impacting us. This week, thousands of families and friends said goodbye. For months. And my heart is heavy for each family.

For each of them, these past few weeks have been filled with special moments trying to cram every last second together with memories.

Reality has hit that the next time Daddy sees his baby, she'll be walking.

Big moments - weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations - will be missed.

Little moments - the first "I love you," acceptance to college, first steps, spontaneous hugs, goodnight stories, early morning snuggles - will be missed.

There are now empty seats in every house.

There will be sleepless nights.

There is the overwhelming weight of how long the next months really are.

I have found the emotional difficulty of a separation to be exponentially harder than the physical. 
You just know you have to do everything. 
And then you do.

One of the hardest parts of a separation - for me - is in the middle. Everyone remembers to think of you in the first week...maybe even 2!....and the last month is laden with excitement; but that middle section, is what is soooo hard.

You are exhausted. 
You are drained. 
You are lonely. 
You are an emotional wreck. 
(Well, maybe that one is just me!) 

If you are part of the thousands saying goodbye - ask for help. Take people up on their offers. No one expects you to do it all - and others would like the chance to give you a break. Don't let pride stand in the way of building a relationship.

If you know someone who just said goodbye - don't wait for them to ask for help. Invite them to dinner. Bring them food. Offer to watch the children. Call them in the evening. Or during the day. Pray for them. Pray for endurance - for patience - for strength.

I'm so very sad for each of you learning your new normal -
 I know this is part of what we signed up for, but that doesn't make it easier.

And I'm happy that the separation has finally started - 
because now your countdown to homecoming has begun.

As all things go crazy and you are exhausted from not sleeping and you cry at random songs and your kids push every button you've ever had and you can't even think of a way to express to them what is coming..... know that I'm here with tissues, chocolate, and wet wipes.
You will get through this. 

Anchor's Aweigh.


(Here are my thoughts on My Love's last deployment)

Copyright 2011

Monday, March 12, 2012

My sort of crazy....

So, I'm officially crazy.

Actually, I'm having an identity crisis; and this is why:

Nothing has changed. 
In an ENTIRE year. 
And there are no huge changes on the horizon for this year. 

This is THE FIRST TIME - in our 8 year marriage -
 that we have not just recovered from/been prepping for a move; 
OR found out I was pregnant; 
OR just had a baby. 

And over the weekend I kinda freaked out about NOT being a nomad.

So, to satisfy this completely strange love of change and crazy, I NEEDED to reorganize.

And my husband - my word, I LOVE that man! - was happy to oblige.

Now the girl room....which had been quite a mess and totally un-pretty and very "just worked," in fact, it was so not-pretty - I don't have a single picture of it....looks lovely.

String Bean is on the floor, Jumping Bean is on top.

Bitty Bean is in the toddler bed
The girls are super excited about their "New Room".

Each bucket will be properly labeled by the end of the week
They feel like they've moved. And that makes them HAPPY.

Now they even have their own reading nook!

They are so my children.

And we organized the closet in the playroom/guest room.

I'm short a bucket for the will be there soon!

That room still needs some serious re-working, but I'm hitting a wall. If I post pictures, will you PLEASE give me suggestions on how to make it better???

And the final, best, most wonderful re-organizing spot?

Our closet.

The dresser we took from the all the clothes that had been "neatly" stacked on the floor - are in there!

Our room is always the last place to "do" on the list. So the fact that our room is finally looking like grown-ups live there is super exciting. The fact that our closet is FINALLY neat - for the first time ever! - is totally worth a happy dance.

The girl feet from May 2010 - 2 weeks before we found out we had a bean in the pod!

I actually have thoughts about the Navy *gasp* but that will be for tomorrow......

Thanks for indulging my crazy!


Copyright 2011

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cocoa Bean Moment....

So, we are potty training.

By "we," I mean Bitty Bean. 
And by "potty training" I mean, rarely leaving the house and staying as close to the potty as possible and living off of my watch timer.

Fun times.

For some reason, Bitty Bean - who is 2 1/2 - cannot/will not use the potty if she is wearing a pullup. Or panties. That's right. She has accidents when her bum is covered.


If that adorable, mischievous 2 year old is going commando.....she has absolutely ZERO accidents.
And yes, they know that rolling without undergarments is called commando. 

Please call before you come over. 

We used to do just your normal-run-of-the-mill Hip, Hip, HOORAY! Whenever she had success in the potty. Not anymore. Bitty Bean thinks her feats of bathroom ability are worth much much more celebrating.

Which is completely true if it is poop. 
I would stand on my head to get that girl to go poop in the potty.

Now, whenever she takes care of business successfully, she jumps off the pot and yells out

(a la Vector from Despicable Me and Cuzco from Emperor's New Groove.)

And smacks her bum.  


And I laugh so hard I can't breathe.


I don't care if that is potty humor. That moment is sweet. 

Oh yeah!

Copyright 2011

Friday, March 2, 2012


So far, in the 23 days I've done the 10 second rule, I've been quite surprised at the promptings.

They haven't been what I expected.

Mostly, they've been small things - send a text, write a note, pray, listen, focus.  Some have been larger. (But those are being worked through still. Sorry, no more info on those!)

One that has been very convicting is my (lack of) shown through my thoughts.

"Do the NEXT thing you are reasonably certain Jesus would have you do."

That kinda totally impacts my thoughts.
Would Jesus want me to be critical in my heart of that person? 
Would he want me to get frustrated? 
Would he want me to be selfish and annoyed at whatever little thing  
my children - my husband - my friend - a stranger, did?

Here's the kicker: would he want me to be thankful for where he has me? What he has me doing? Who he has me around?

Does God have me here - right here - for a purpose?

Am I hindering that purpose by struggling against this place?

Realizing what you have - where you are - is ENOUGH.

Enough money.
Enough space.
Enough sleep.
Enough health.
Enough time to myself.
Enough mess.
Enough weight.
Enough ability to plan.
Enough friends.
Enough difficulty.
Enough ease.
Enough discomfort.
Enough clothing.
Enough food.

Who determine's MY ENOUGH? It should be Christ.  But it is often everybody else.

I wish for space to workout - to shower - to brush my teeth, without someone touching me or watching me. I wish for a house that can be kept clean. I wish for clothes that fit properly. I wish for stupid things like accessories. I wish for more warning than a flight schedule that constantly changes. I wish for.....what I don't have.

What I don't need.

I struggle and scratch against what I don't have....I want a different outfit...I struggle with my children....I want to lose my "love pot."

While I mentally whine and complain and foster my discontent....I forget how rich I am. 

I say I want other clothes
...while I'm looking through my jewelry, picking out what I like most
...while I'm picking through my shoe choices my dry/warm/safe home.

I've never gone hungry.
My children have never gone hungry.
We've never been without safe shelter.
I've never had to choose between a meal or a doctor visit.

Oh how very rich I am! How spoiled I am that I still find room to whine and complain.

The different people around me - the friends in various phases, the challengers, the mentors, the encouragers, the criticizers - they all have a purpose.  I am often chafing against the very gift God has given me.

The gifts - the ENOUGH - why do I think I need more?

This is the point....

Copyright 2011