I am really behind the times, technologically speaking. I do not have an ipod, or a blackberry, or any other fancy thing. I barely have a cell phone, and it's only one of those Go Phones, where you add minutes as you need them. It's fancy.
I am not even sure if the CD player in my car works.
But still, I am joining in with Missy at It's Almost Naptime to tell you what kind of music I've been listening to in my car lately. Or, in my house, as the case may be.
On Wednesday when I decided I couldn't wait any longer to tackle the many, huge, overflowing baskets of laundry, I popped in a mixed CD, a compilation of various songs from iTunes, and hoped that it would give me some kind of laundry-folding inspiration.
Here's a sampling of the songs that speak to me, in one way or another:
Can't help falling in love - Elvis
One Fine Day - Natalie Merchant
How He Loves - David Crowder Band (for the record, Savannah is IN. LOVE. with David Crowder. I think the attraction is the crazy hair and glasses, not sure. But she is like a little mini-stalker of his - she talks about meeting him, and knows he lives in Texas. Watch out, David).
When God Ran - Phillips Craig and Dean
Making Memories of us - Keith Urban
Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) - Chris Rice
The Way you look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
The Way I am - Ingrid Michaelson
I could go on...and on....and on....but that's enough for now.
And if you pinned me down under extreme duress and forced me to name my favorite song of all time (which, really, how can you pick just one?)....well, I would have to say it is this - His Eye is on the Sparrow. I can barely listen to this song with crying. I know He truly is watching over me.
Missy, thanks so much for hosting!
Oh! One other thing - I have a new bloggy friend, Mirinda, and she owns a fabulous store called October Belle Designs. She is an uber-talented artist, and she does custom canvas paintings - and she's giving one away at her site. Because Savannah's room is very sad-looking, and basically still has the baby-ish nursery theme going, I so want one of these to help dress it up. Go visit October Belle Designs and leave her a comment!
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am really behind the times, technologically speaking. I do not have an ipod, or a blackberry, or any other fancy thing. I barely have a cell phone, and it's only one of those Go Phones, where you add minutes as you need them. It's fancy.
Posted by Jackie at 11:59 AM
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Ricardo turned forty-two at the beginning of August, and I've been a slacking blogger and didn't even mention it.
If you do the math, you will realize that he totally robbed the cradle. He's almost 9 1/2 years older than me. No complaints, though. In fact, that was one of the things on my list of what I wanted in a man. An older guy, and also one that spoke a different language. I scored on both counts.
We won't mention the fact that the older the guy, the more set in his ways....that's just how it goes.
Savannah heard the word "birthday" and immediately her mind went to cake. I can only handle making one fancy cake a year, so Ricardo got a plain Jane cake with a strawberry filling. Savannah tried offering him a choice of a Batman cake or a Dora cake, but mama said no.
I didn't even make him fresh buttercream frosting; instead, I remembered that I had a good bit of the BRIGHT pink and green frosting leftover from Savannah's birthday in the freezer. Mixed them together, added a little blue, and voila. I hoped that nobody noticed the slightly freezer burned taste, and at the rate they devoured the cake, I guess it wasn't an issue.
I found Savannah letting all of the cold air out of the fridge more than once that day as she sat and stared at the cake.
Posted by Jackie at 12:39 PM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The thing about having a very handy, very competent hubby is that pretty soon, other people start to notice the handiness and the competency.
One little case in point: Ricardo has a CDL license.
Apparently, guys with CDL licenses are hard to come by, at least around these parts, because he is in high demand at our church for any random events that pop up. Senior trips to the mountains, field trips to the zoo. Once or twice even a trip to L.A. for some of the young people, a trip where they tried to convince me to come along when Savannah was 9 months old.
Think of all the fun! they said. Disneyland! Dodgers game! Shopping!
Well, yes. And 16 hours on a school bus with a baby? Um...no thanks.
But last Friday, he was asked to drive the middle schoolers to a local Family Fun Center, one of those places where they have laser tag and paintball and miniature golf and go karts. Since it was a Friday night and I think they felt bad for pulling him away from his family, they were kind enough to invite all of us.I figured we would hang out, maybe play a round or two of miniature golf, but I didn't have high expectations outside of that.
We started out in the Nickel City arcade, a den of swirling lights and headache-inducing noise, the kind of place I usually avoid like the plague. But since the youth leader handed each of us a card with arcade credits on it, we couldn't very well waste it, right?
I apprehensively approached the Skeeball games. I am one of those girls that always gazes afar at the Skeeball players at the fair because, while it seems like a fun enough game, I've always been too intimidated (and cheap) to try it out in front of people who could laugh and scoff at my sorry skills.
But this time, I got over myself and thought I'd give it a try. A few throws into it, and I realized that I was actually pretty good! I sunk a 50! And then two 100s in a row! And then...well, then the ball bounced violently against the plastic shield and rolled back to me while my ego deflated and I glanced around to see who noticed.
Turns out nobody really cares how good or bad anyone else is at Skeeball.
After a couple of games, I suddenly realized that reward tickets were spewing out of the machine after each game ended. And then I realized that you could redeem said tickets for a selection of prizes, mostly junky little things, the kind you get in a Happy Meal and that multiply around your house and drive you crazy.
Savannah wandered around the prize area, pointing to various things - "I want that! Oooh, I like that, Daddy!" - and of course they were all things that cost over 10,000 tickets, things like a Princess lamp or a humongous stuffed whale.
I kept playing, and suddenly the weirdest feeling kicked in. That I-have-to-win, I-have-to-get-more! more! more! feeling. There I was, throwing skeeballs for all I was worth, sweat pouring off of me because it was insanely hot in there, and getting all excited when the machine spit out 9 or 10 tickets at a time. And all for some silly little prizes that probably weren't even worth the money that it took to buy the arcade card.
I told Ricardo, "Now I know how gamblers feel, and why it's so hard to stop - you think, just one more time, the next time around I'll hit the jackpot."
So we played until our cards ran out, and we had a grand total of about 200 tickets. We told Savannah to pick something, and after we convinced her that the Princess lamp was definitely not coming home with us, she settled for two little bouncy rubber balls.
This, my friends, is what an hour of throwing skeeballs will get ya - two of these babies:
Word to my hubby: if you know what's good for you, don't ever, ever take me to Vegas.
On an unrelated note - the lovely and very hysterical Missy at It's Almost Naptime is hosting a giveaway for a complete blog design done by yours truly. I know that at least a few of you have told me that you wish you could get a blog makeover, so here's your chance! (blogspot blogs only - so sorry to anyone else hosted by a different platform).
So go on over and leave her a comment - you never know, you just might win! And if you don't need a makeover yourself - you can enter anyway, and give it away to someone else that you know needs some beautifying.
Posted by Jackie at 11:53 PM
Monday, July 20, 2009
I wrote this post a year ago about our hiding-out tendencies when the doorbell rings.
Not much has changed, except that Savannah now knows the ropes. The doorbell rings, she hunkers down on the couch. Just like Mama. She says, "Shhhhhhh......" in a loud stage whisper. Just like Mama.
And then when I have tiptoed over to the peephole and verified that whoever has dared to intrude is gone, she asks, "Can I talk now, Mama?"
I've trained her so well.
Last Monday, I was standing by the kitchen sink cutting up a mango for Savannah. I happened to glance up and noticed two young guys, maybe around 20, walking up my sidewalk and around towards my front door. My first thought was, Oooh, they sort of look like hooligans.....but other than that I didn't pay much attention to them.
I hissed a warning to Savannah, who was in the living room on the couch....."Savannah! Shhh! Doorbell!"
(And now that I'm typing this, our system sounds so much sillier than it does when we are actually implementing it. Not that I'm planning on changing it or anything, because it is has served us quite well thus far).
Two seconds later, the doorbell sounded. We shrunk into our respective positions to wait them out; I heard their voices, but not clear enough to make out what they were saying, just muffled murmurs. A few seconds later, it was quiet.
I stepped out from my little space and started to walk towards the living room. And that's when I saw them.
In my backyard.
One of them was scoping out the place, probably looking for a rock to hurl through the window. The other had his face pressed up to the sliding glass door, looking inside, trying to open it.
Oh, sisters. In about two seconds flat I went from zero to sixty. I roared - ROARED, I tell you - at them while I sprinted for the front door. "What the...!!!! GET OUT OF HERE!"
By the time I fumbled with all the locks - 3 locks and two doors - and burst outside, they had already leaped over my stone wall, which is chest-high on me, and sped around the corner.
I was so furious that I followed them. I pounded across our lovely gravel yard and down the hot sidewalk in my bare feet and nice stretchy pants and pajama top that looks enough like a regular shirt that sometimes I pretend that I don't need to get dressed.
Those boys were fast. But at that moment, I had such surge of adrenaline that I felt I could catch them and take them both down. That's how utterly incensed I was.
Then reality set in as I realized, (a). I didn't have my shoes on, (b). there was no way I would catch them, and (c). oh yeah, my baby girl is still inside by herself. And a bonus point, (d). what exactly did I think I would do to them anyway, even if I could catch them?
So I stopped at the edge where the sidewalk met the street, still screaming at them. They bolted far up the street, then turned right and careened away. Once they were gone, I suddenly became aware of just how hot the sidewalk was, and just how sharp the gravel was. Funny what adrenaline will do to you - I didn't even notice it on my mad dash out.
My neighbor came over right away to check on me and calm me down. I called the police, and they came in two minutes, and started combing the neighborhood. I called Ricardo, who had left that morning for a business trip for 4 days, and he said, "Go figure, the day I leave...."
Seriously, y'all. It still makes me mad to think about it, the gall of these people to march right on in like they own the place....to look in my windows, to contemplate taking my stuff.
It could have been so much worse. All of the what if's......what if I hadn't been home? What if they had thrown a rock and broken the window before I screamed? What if they had a gun?
But they didn't. None of that happened. We were protected by the great Protector - thank you Lord.
I doubt if they will be back, since a crazy lady obviously lives here.
A warning to all you hooligans out there....don't mess with Mama.
Posted by Jackie at 11:22 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I was browsing my friend Kellie's site yesterday when I saw this idea that I am borrowing for this week's Project 365. I picked one of my favorite colors, red, and then snapped pictures of random things around the house.
I like it because it shows such a diverse scattering of things, and it represents exactly where we are in life right now.
Some are things that I love - candles, red goblets, picture frames. A card from my hubby. Some are all about Savannah - books and barrettes.
And no picture collage is complete without the random can of tomato paste, which reminds me, I still need to put away the groceries from my shopping trip...from last night. Oops.
And to brighten your day...
Sara, thank you for hosting!
Posted by Jackie at 12:28 AM
Friday, July 10, 2009
Things that make my life a whole lot easier (idea shamelessly stolen from H-Mama):
1. Pampered Chef Garlic Press. I am a firm believer that a little garlic should be added to everything (well, anything savory, that is), and so this gets used almost daily in my kitchen.
2. Flat Iron. You would only need to glimpse my hair anytime during the 90's to know how absolutely true this is. Maybe one day I'll get brave and post a pic from this unfortuante hair era. Or not.
3. Refrigerated Air Conditioning. On a day where it is supposed to get close to 100 degrees, and where we spent the morning outside at the aquarium, this is a big, big deal to me. Thank you Jesus.
4. Portable DVD player. Yes, yes, a total non-essential, I know. But on long car rides, what a life-saver for Savannah. Even here at home, when I don't think I can listen to Dora's VERY VERY LOUD VOICE for another second, she just plugs in her headphones and away she goes.
5. Mac Select Cover-up. The circles under my eyes thank me.
6. Magic Erasers. I have no idea how or why these work so well, but they do. They even removed the ink pen from my kitchen floor (somebody got in big trouble for that one) and they are the sole reason why I even attempt to clean my shower.
7. Oscillating fans. Hmmmm....I guess this would be the second thing in my list that pertains to keeping me cool, but did I mention it's hot? And also, I love fans not only for their cooling properties, but for the white noise they provide. My husband doth scoff.
8. Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice. In the ingredients list, the only thing listed is Parboiled Whole Grain Brown Rice. So I'm hoping that it is just as nutritionally sound as regular brown rice that I could cook myself if I actually remembered more than 40 minutes before dinner that, Hey! I need to make the rice!
9. My hubby. I realized again this week how very handy and wonderful he is. Door handle falls off in my car? No problem...he runs to the auto parts place and fixes it in an hour. Termites infest my walk-in bedroom closet, totally grossing me out and causing much involuntary shuddering? He's all over it - I don't even have to go in there. Gigantic van runs into the back of my car? He files the police report for me, and goes and gets all the quotes.
Which allows me more time to recline on the couch at home watching soap operas and eating bonbons....the life of every stay-at-home mom.
I know this is only 9, but Hubby counts for at least two.
So...what's something on your Easy Button list?
And thanks to Meredith at Life at 7000 Feet for hosting!
Posted by Jackie at 12:30 PM
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Last week, due to the mild case of chicken pox that Savannah came down with, we were cooped up inside the house. All week, every. single. day.
And because my hubby was gone the majority of last week as well, I was her sole entertainment.
I dearly, dearly love her, but can I just admit that I was ready to throw Chutes and Ladders in the trash?
Now Candyland, I can take. Candyland doesn't take forever. You can romp your little plastic figure across the red and purple and yellow squares in no time. There are, like, maybe 5 cards that you can draw that will send you backwards.
But not so with Chutes and Ladders. I can't tell you how tempted I was to cheat...."A 6? That will send me down the very longest slide and back into the oblivion of the bottom half of the board? I didn't spin a 6....surely it was a 5...."
I didn't do it. I just thought about it really hard. But y'all, that truly is the game that never ends.
So Daddy came home on Thursday night, and her spots had all but disappeared by then, so all was right in my world.
The next day Ricardo was moving some cardboard boxes out of our walk-in closet where we had been storing some things. I will spare you the details, but to sum it up in one word....dun dun dun...
I have never been so grossed out in my life. Ricardo, on the other hand, felt the need to turn this catastrophe into something fun, so he took a box crawling with the despicable things out to the yard, and watched some ants pounce on them. That really seemed to brighten up the situation for him.
Boys. I guess they'll always be boys.
The 4th was wonderful, relaxing, full of grilled foods and fireworks. Just the way it should be.
This second set of pictures is going back a few weeks, when Savannah was still in swimming lessons. On the day of her last lesson, we came outside, and a young girl, maybe 18, came up to us and told me that she had backed into my truck with her very long Community Center van.
The damage looked pretty minimal to me, but Ricardo took it for an estimate this week. The most expensive estimate was $1800 and the cheapest was $1200.
I was blown away...$1200? Really??? Unbelieveable. Fortunately it will all be taken care of, and I even get a rental while it's getting fixed. So it could be fun after all.
And I can guarantee you that Savananh will just LOVE the rental car and be "so, so sad, Mama" when we have to return it.
My little drama queen.
Posted by Jackie at 1:53 AM
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Savannah saw a wedding picture of us the other day, and I think for the first time she realized it was us, her Daddy and Mommy. She gazed at it with something akin to awe, and then whispered, "Mama...were you a princess? Is that your crown?"
7 years ago, on June 1, 2002, I got to be a princess for a day.
We planned an evening outdoor wedding, thinking how romantic it would be to get married as the sun set.
There was just one tiny little problem. That morning, the skies opened up and it poured rain. Water pooled in the yard, and everything turned to soggy mush. We thought about implementing plan B and moving it to a church somewhere, but I just didn't want to.
So we prayed. A lot. And sometime in the afternoon, the sun came out.
The day turned out to be so gorgeous. It wasn't without flaws, or course - it was a little too breezy, and so we weren't able to do the unity candle. And we had two huge flower bouquets that were supposed to grace the sides of the arch where we stood to say our vows, and it was even too windy for that - they kept blowing over.
But none of that mattered. What mattered was this:
(On a side note...Savannah is looking over my shoulder as I type this, and keeps asking, "But where am I, Mama?")
And all of that crazy rain produced this amazing sunset....
He's still my Prince Charming. And I'm still his princess, even if I don't get the chance to don my "princess crown" much these days.
Thanks to Kelly at Kelly's Korner for hosting!
Posted by Jackie at 1:37 PM
Monday, June 29, 2009
For the past two weeks, Savannah's been in swimming lessons.
Excitement was at an all time high as we got ready for the first lesson, due in large part to the fact that she discovered she had three different swimsuits to wear.Because goodness knows one isn't enough when you're 3 years old.
We've been very blessed with various people showering 3T swimsuits upon us.
We had a slight hiccup in the swimsuit rotation on the 3rd day, however, when she went to pull on her Dora swimsuit. Wearing the purple suit and the red suit on the previous days had been just fine, but Dora was most definitely the icing on the cake.
Except that, as she paraded around the house in it, I noticed that Dora Swimsuit was sort of falling down on the job.
I know they say that you are supposed to get a high-cut leg on your swimsuit to make your legs look longer and leaner. But I didn't know that applied to toddlers, too. Seriously, this swimsuit rode up so high on her legs, and there wasn't enough material in the back to cover the little tush.
I happen to think that little baby tush is about the cutest thing in the world, but I am not necessarily a fan of showing it off at the public pool. And I knew her daddy would most definitely have a thing or two to say about it.
So we got an impromptu lesson in modesty when I told her that too much tush was showing. To make it a little less painful, I told her she could run around the house in it all she wanted.
That was good enough for her.
So (switching gears here, lest you think the previous story is continuing....)last Thursday, as I was getting her out of the bath, I noticed a sprinkling of peculiar spots on her tummy and chest. She had fallen at the park that night, and face-planted into a pile of wood chips, so I thought maybe it was from that.
Being a good mama, I did the whole 20 questions thing..."Did you fall on your tummy? And your chest, too? Does it itch? Does it hurt? Are you sure? It doesn't itch? For sure??"
She finally sighed a big dramatic sigh, and said, "Mama, you don't ask me that anymore, ok?"
So I chalked it up to a bunch of little wood chips having impaled her, until the next morning when the spots seemed to have multiplied overnight. Which is when I began to channel my inner doctor, via Google, and realized that it had nothing to do with wood chips.
I'm pretty sure my baby has chicken pox. A very mild case, but still. Pretty sure it's the pox. So far it has followed the exact progression that Google promised that it would.
My hubby is out of town this week, and so we are going to be cooped up in the house for at least 5 days straight while we wait for these awful little things to run their course.
However, I am very, very thankful that they aren't itchy and painful, like I remember them to be when I had them, oh, 26 years ago or so.
But enough about that...
I am weeks and week behind in my Project 365 endeavor. So here's two collages - the first is from Memorial Day and our trip to the mountains. Notice the two cannisters of Pringles, a very, very rare treat at the Moments and Memories household, being held in Savannah's death grip.She refused to put them down for the entire 2 hours that it took to get to our picnic site.
The second is from our Indiana trip. My brother turned 30, and Savannah had the honor of picking out what kind of cake he should have. She picked guitar. That made them both happy.
Sara, thank you so much for hosting!
Posted by Jackie at 12:45 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I cannot believe my last post was 3 weeks ago.
Part of the problem is, when you come back from vacation, you are so tired and overwhelmed with laundry and re-adjusting back to your normal life that there isn't time to even think about blogging.
And also, you might just get a call from friends whom you haven't seen in ten years (quite literally, ten years) , and they might tell you that they will be driving through your town, on the very night that you fly home.
And of course you will tell them that you will be delighted for them to stop by, if they can find it within themselves to ignore your dusty house wherein you have not set foot for over a week.
So that's what happened. Our plane touched down at 11 p.m. I lugged my carry-ons and a suitcase and a very sleepy Savannah outside where we waited for the Park and Fly bus to take us to our car. (And lest you wonder why my hubby was not there to greet us, he was in NYC on a business trip. A business trip that involved a dinner cruise around Manhatten and a trip to the Hamptons. A trip full of seafood and steak.)
We finally arrived at home at midnight exactly. I put Savannah to bed, and then called my friends to see how far away they were.
They were somewhere in Arizona, I think, and with embarrassed voices they admitted to me that they had forgotten about the time change. Then they further divulged that they had left late anyway, and wouldn't be there until 2:30 in the morning.
Well, no problem. I was already all hyped up from traveling, so it didn't matter to me. As a matter of fact, I got SO much done in those two hours that I was waiting for them. I threw in a load of laundry. Emptied all of the suitcases and bags. Cleaned the house a little. Lit some candles and threw open the back door for the breeze to blow in, and just enjoyed the quiet. I haven't felt that productive in a long time - I should try the late-night cleaning binge more often. I even contemplated making an apple pie for the following day, but just as I was preparing to peel a bowl of apples, they pulled in the driveway.
It was so worth it. It's wonderful when you pick up right where you left off, even if it has been 10 years. And they have two of the most beautiful kids. Just look at that glorious hair.
It's good to have friends. Both old friends, and...
New friends! A huge highlight of my Indiana trip was meeting these two ladies....Amanda and Wendi.
But after eating there just once, I do believe there is no better place to meet bloggy friends than a Panera Bread.
I've had some late nights recently working on some blog designs. I am absolutely loving it, even more than I thought I would, but it is terribly time-consuming. So if I haven't been by to visit you recently, that's why. I'm sorry. I hope to get faster at this as I go along, but we'll see.
Posted by Jackie at 12:33 AM
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I've sat here for 10 minutes waiting for the page to load so that I could put a cute little graphic of Indiana on here, but I give up. It's not happening.
I am also technically not here at my blog, either - I am guest posting for the lovely Jamie at Purposeful Pursuit today.
Here is the first part of the story....
She is a social butterfly if I've ever seen one, and the highlight for her is not playing on the swings or slide or monkey bars. No...instead, she cannot wait to go and find her friend, Ash-u-lee.
Ashley is 5, but somehow the age difference doesn't seem to bother either of them. Savannah is the little follower, running around after her, and she thinks that Ashley walks on water. Every night she comes home with stories..."Ash-u-lee said I could come to her house....or, Ash-u-lee is going to have a Dora birthday party, Mama!....or, Ash-u-lee gave me a piece of gum tonight! Which, by the way, she promptly swallowed, since she has no clue what to do with gum.
So all was well, and they got along famously. Until a few weeks ago...
Click over here to read the rest of the story.
And then, if you have it, thank the Lord for your high speed internet.
Posted by Jackie at 3:00 AM
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
My friend Linda hosts What's Your Answer Wednesday every week, and I've been meaning to join in for awhile now. Because it's just fun hearing what everybody has to say to random questions. I think of really awesome questions to ask during the week, but can never remember them when it's time to post.
But let's give it a shot anyway...
1. What is your philosophy on ironing? Do you wait until you have a huge pile and then tackle it all at once? Do you buy as many wrinkle-free clothes as possible, or are you an ironing fanatic? Or (like nobody I know, just saying...ahem) do you figure that as soon as you sit down in the car, the wrinkles will return and no one will know if you spent 20 minutes slaving over it?
2. Which web browser do you use, Internet Explorer or Firefox? Or something else?
3. What is your go-to meal when you are having company and you want to make something a little bit impressive?
Ok, my answers -
1. Ironing - I'm no good at it. I don't really hate it, but I do try to buy as few wrinkle-ish clothes as possible. A few months ago I got out the ironing board and iron, and Savannah started jumping up and down with excitement .... "What's that, Mama? What are you doing? What is it called? "
Isn't that terrible? She was 3 years old and didn't know what an iron was. I was so glad that my neighbor, who is iron-happy to the extreme, wasn't around to witness this debacle. But to my credit, I usually iron when Savannah's in bed, so there.
2. I use both, but usually IE. I know all of you Firefox users just gasped in horror, but change is hard for me. What exactly is the benefit of Firefox again...?
3. I don't have one, which is why I'm asking you. Because I'm having company soon and I don't have any idea what to fix for them. I'm thinking Pioneer Woman's Chicken Scallopine, maybe?
Posted by Jackie at 12:30 AM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
How long can you hold your breath before your chest starts to hurt, and your mind starts panicking for air?
For me it is about 15 seconds. That should tell you two things right there - one, I will never be joining the Navy, and two, I need to start amping up my aerobics to increase my lung capacity.
When I was a girl, I would play a little game with myself. I would lay in bed and think of different things, different people I was missing, or maybe a boy I had a crush on. Maybe I would think of a celebrity that was far removed from the life I knew, so far that they didn't even seem real.
And then I would hold my breath and count to 10. In those 10 seconds, I would tell myself, The whole time you are holding your breath, the person you are thinking of, missing, just breathed two times...three times....four....
A little, um....quirky, I know. But somehow just knowing that they were out there, still far away, but breathing exactly at the moment I was thinking of them, made them seem a little closer. A little more real. The fact that I was holding my breath right when they took a breath made for some strange little bond in my mind.
This past year I have been holding my breath. It's been a long year, a very, very long time not to be sucking in any air. Long enough that my chest started to hurt, and then my brain, and then I just wanted to shut down and lie on the couch and not think about any of it. It's the kind of feeling where you know you aren't going to die, but where you mind still goes crazy and you feel like you are trapped in a cave somewhere, claustrophobic, and it's hard to see past your immediate circumstances.
It wasn't just the whole not getting pregnant for two years thing, although that in itself knocked the wind out of me. It was a myriad of other things, like hubby starting his own business and suddenly being plunged into a world of financial stress. Worrying about house payments and bills and food. Stress. Stress. More stress.
So for awhile I quit breathing.
And then I found that sometimes holding your breath is a good place to be. Not fun. Not fun at all, but good.
Because you close your eyes and as your chest starts to hurt, you think about the One you need more than life itself. And in those moments, He is closer to you than you even realize. You feel Him feeling every pain, every fear, ever worry.
And you realize that you are still alive, even though you haven't been breathing for such a long time. You wonder how that's possible, and then you just know.
He's been breathing for you the whole time.
And even though your chest still hurts, and you want it to just be over, you know it's gonna be ok.
Because without Him, any breath that we take really isn't breathing at all.
Posted by Jackie at 12:31 AM
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1997. That was when I bought my very first, very own computer. I was in school, and I thought I was pretty snazzy when I lugged the huge and heavy PC back to my campus apartment and set it up. Seriously, it was a monster.
I got an AOL account, and was thrilled to death every time that metallic voice intoned, "You've got mail." Does AOL still exist? And does that little voice still talk like that?
My obsession with the internet had begun, never to return from whence it came.
I got married, and we went through a variety of used computers that all inevitably crashed, and work computers that we had to return when we left our places of employment. Finally we purchased a laptop of our own, nothing top of the line but good enough to get the job done.
Then we got high speed internet. And, oh, watch out, because my hubby? Well, he discovered the joys of surfing the internet. Before, when we had dial-up, my sweet impatient man did not care to wait around while a page took 45 seconds to load.
But with high speed? Suddenly a whole new world opened up to him. You Tube. Ebay Motors. Car sites where they played videos of loud cars going super fast. Videos of airplanes making scary landings, or motorcycle wipeouts, or other such things that I really couldn't care less about, because after all, being the avid (ok, maybe semi-avid) blogger that I was, I had much more important things to peruse.
But you see the problem, right? One computer. Two people. Mars and Venus orbiting in two totally separate internet galaxies, but forced to share.
We were sneaky. Cordial, but sneaky. Like, he would call me to do something while I was busy with my blog reading, and when I would get up to do it, he would comandeer the computer. And then I'd do it back to him.
But this week, that all came to an end. Take a look at this:
And you know I am joking about this, and making light of it, because sharing a computer with my man hardly constitutes a hardship. And I realize this. But I've gotta admit - it's still nice. And lest you think that we spend all our free time on our side-by-side computers, let me assure you that we actually do other things, too, like take walks and read to our daughter and water our flowers outside. Truly.
Sara, thank you for hosting Project 365!
Posted by Jackie at 11:41 PM
Monday, May 18, 2009
First things first....
I've been a bad blogger. Not only because my posts have been few and far between, but also because I have not been visiting and reading and commenting. I'm so, so sorry, and plan to fix that this week.
But I have some good news! Remember that little contest I held where I begged all of you to help me name my new design blog?
Well. We have a winner! And it is...
Posted by Jackie at 1:39 AM
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
1. At approximately 11:45 at night, realize that it's been awhile since you've blogged. Decide that it's probably a good idea to post something.
2. Sit down on the couch with blurry eyes and an even foggier brain and try to come up with something. Anything. Witty and well-written aren't even factors at this point.
3. Since nothing brilliant is occurring to you at the moment, tell yourself that it couldn't hurt to glance through your Google Reader. Perhaps something there will give you some inspiration.
4. Scan through some of your favorites blogs. Notice that everything you read is either screamingly hilarious or intensely thought-provoking. Sink into a bloggy funk because you just know that nothing you can write tonight will match anything you've just read.
5. Decide that you need a small distraction. Tell yourself that you can get on Facebook for 5 minutes. That's it. Just. five. minutes.
6. Make the mistake of clicking on the most addictive word game ever, Word Challenge.
7. Notice with horror that your top score has been roundly beaten by your sister, and that she is now an Anagram Cyborg while you are still a lowly Philosopher. Tell yourself that you are not competitive and that it doesn't matter.
8. Snap out of your denial and realize that you ARE competitive. Very, very much so. Proceed to spend the next 38 minutes trying to beat her score. Come no where close. Sink into a Facebook funk because your scores are only getting lower with each successive try.
9. Remember that, oh yeah, I'm supposed to be writing a blog post. Look at the clock. Take a moment for your fuzzy brain to realize that it's now 12:56.
10. Decide that you are far too tired to formulate any coherent thoughts. Shut down the laptop, which has been on so long and has become so hot that it has been burning up your legs without you even realizing it.
11. Go to bed, where you stare into the dark and compose the best blog post EVER in your head. Think about getting back up to write it down, but decide that's silly. You can write it in the morning.
12. Get up in the morning. Have absolutely no recollection of what the best blog post EVER was about.
I know, I'm crazy, right? I'm sure this NEVER happens to anyone else.
In other news...I've been frantically working to get my Blog Design site up and running. It's almost there, just a few more tweaks. And we do have a winner from my Name that Blog Contest, but I am waiting to reveal it until my site is ready to go. Just thought I'd mention it so you don't think that I am trying to skip out on awarding the $20 gift card.
Posted by Jackie at 12:01 AM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I went to Kohls yesterday (where else?) because they lured me in with a 15% off coupon. That's 15% off already marked down 80% off clearance, and who am I to turn down such bargains?
Because it was Saturday and my hubby was home, I got to go all by myself. No little voice begging me to go play in the toy section, just blissful browsing in the ladies section. No one telling me they had to go potty right when I reached the dressing room. Just a stack of about 18 tops which I tried on at a leisurely pace.
Why is it that out of 18 things, only one thing looks halfway decent on me?
Probably why I gravitate towards the purse and shoe section. Purses and shoes always look cute no matter what. There is no tummy to try and conceal when it comes to purses and shoes.
So I returned home a few hours later, refreshed from my shopping therapy, and Savannah greeted me like I'd been gone for at least a week. Hi, Mama! Where did you go? Did you go shopping? Did you go to Kohls? I miss you, Mama!
And then she proceeded to inform me...
Mama, we went to the store and Daddy got you a card and it is so beautiful and it has bunny rabbits on it, but you can't open it now, it is just for tomorrow, you can color it tomorrow if you want to, it's for you AND for me, ok?
Ricardo just shook his head and said, "I figured she'd spill the beans before tomorrow."
I'm trying to catch up on my Project 365 pictures from the last few weeks. Any picture that looks intensely green was taken in Missouri. Anything brown and dusty looking was taken here. Not hard to figure out which I prefer.
Sara - as always, thank you for hosting!
Posted by Jackie at 2:17 PM
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I've been back from my little trip for a couple of days, but I have been holding off on posting because I was really hoping that I would've picked a winner from my little Name That Blog contest by now.
Obviously I forgot to factor in my inherent indecisiveness, and also the fact that you all are amazing and came up with so many choices that my head is pretty much spinning.
I feel exactly as I do when we pull up to the Sonic menu board. I've talked about this before, haven't I? Where I just sit there, and also make my very patient hubby just sit there, while I study the menu for a good 10 minutes. Because everything looks fabulous, and I don't quite know what I want. And since it's such a monumental decision, you know, deciding between a cherry limeade or the lemonberry slush, you can't just rush these things.
So. I haven't picked a name yet. I'm pretty torn.
But - we had an amazing trip! It rained the entire time we were there, and I loved every second (sorry, Sara - I know you are sick of the rain!). And it was so green...real, live grass, enormous trees, and my grandma's garden that was exploding with lettuce and onions.
Something else I learned last week...Savannah loves crab legs. I had no idea. My uncle cooked a feast of steak and crab legs one night, and it's obvious that she is my offspring - the girl likes her meat. I spent most of my meal cutting up steak and cracking open the crab for her, and I couldn't keep up. More crab, Mama.
She has expensive taste, this one.
My extended family has had their share of issues over the past few years, and so we didn't really know what to expect going into this. We weren't sure if we'd be welcomed with open arms, or if the entire week would be spent awkwardly tiptoeing around trying not to offend.
We got the open arm treatment. Reconciliation is a good thing, y'all.
It was good to get away for awhile, and even better to come home. Because there really is nothing like your own plush mattress and pillow that is squished in all the right places. It's the little things that do it for me.
Posted by Jackie at 12:04 AM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I am on a plane today with Savannah, flying to what might possibly be the very smallest town in existence in Missouri, visiting my grandparents. My hubby is back home holding down the fort and probably reveling in the fact that he will be eating bachelor food for the next few nights. I believe that frozen pizza and chili dogs and hamburgers are the only things on the menu. Nary a spinach leaf in sight.
So, today is my 200th post! Honestly, I hadn't planned on doing anything about it initially. It has taken me so long to get to this point that it's almost embarrassing.
But I do love to do a giveaway. And, as I alluded to in my last post, I am in need of your help. So I am combining the two in a sneaky effort to pull out some creative ideas from you, my invisible friends.
So here's the deal:
I am in the midst of deciding whether or not to start a little blog design business. I've played with it the past several months, and have done several for friends. And I love it (I actually love figuring out the code more than the design part - how's that for exposing my inner geek?). Some of the girls I've helped out have really encouraged me to jump in and just do it; I am still vacillating.
But regardless of whether I actually start it for profit, or whether I keep doing freebies, I'd like to set up a separate page. And to do this I need a name.
And I have not a clue what I want to name it.
So this is where you all come in. I know some of you are far more creative than I am, so I need your suggestions!
Now, the good part - what's in it for you?
Well. I haven't quite figured all of that out yet. It will be several different things, but the main thing that I know you will be interested in is a $20 gift card.
I was going to purchase one to Starbucks, but it has come to my attention that not all of you are Starbucks aficionados. So I'll give the winner a choice; Starbucks, Target, Sonic, or...let's say Chik-fil-A. Because that's what sounds good to me right now, and it will give me an excuse to drive to the one that is completely on the other side of town.
To be entered, you have to leave a suggestion for the name of the blog design business. It can be anything; trust me, there are no ideas that are too silly. I won't laugh at you. At least not any harder than I did at my hubby when he suggested "Jericho"; he came up with that one right after he finished doing some Bible study in Joshua. To be fair, he scoffed with equal fervor at my suggestion of "Sweet Savannah Designs".
You can see why I'm turning to you.
As for picking the winner, the following extremely random steps will apply; if my hubby and I agree on one that we love, that person will be declared the winner. If for some reason we cannot agree, I will do a random drawing.
I am moderating comments on this post since I'll be gone. And I cannot wait to come back and see what you all have thrown out there.
Thanks for helping a sister out!
Posted by Jackie at 12:20 AM
Monday, April 27, 2009
It never hits me at any other time, this weird need to have everything spotless. I'm usually ok if everything is just picked up. But give me a departure date and a plane ticket, and suddenly I can't scrub everything fast enough. And then? I'm not even around to enjoy it. I don't get it.
We're leaving this week for our short trip to Missouri, and I have been cleaning like a maniac all day today. And also planting a few flowers to try and brighten up our back yard.
Something about cleaning a lot tends to stress me out. I know it is a stress reliever for a lot of people, but I can't stand the thought that all of the hard work I just did is going to get messed up in a matter of minutes. And so I think I snapped a few times at poor Savannah, who would follow along behind me and, well, mess things up. Because she's 3 and she likes to play and she doesn't get why she should be banned from playing just because Mommy is a little off her rocker. I'm sorry, baby.
I wanted to post a few Project 365 pictures, since I completely missed last week.
Thanks to Sara for hosting!
I'll be back to post once again before I go. My 200th post is coming up (which sounds like such a low number to me, considering how long I've been blogging. Hmmm...must be the erratic and sparse blogging schedule I adhere to). Anyway, I think I want to do a little giveaway. But I'm going to make you work for it, because I need your input on something. So come by and help a sister out!
Happy Monday, y'all.
Posted by Jackie at 12:04 AM
Friday, April 24, 2009
I believe I've mentioned a time or twenty that at the very top of my wish list is a piano. Preferably a baby grand, black and shiny.
Never mind the fact that we have no room in our house for one....I'd make room. Couches in the living room? Who needs those?
But hubby maintains, and I know he's right, that it would just be too crowded even for an upright, so I sigh and agree with him, and continue to dream.
Today we went to Kohls to see what kind of clearance deals we could snag. Savannah and Ricardo headed straight for the toys, while I shopped in the lingerie section (which, let me tell you, was a huge, huge exercise in futility).
I'm wandering among the many aisles of undergarments, where there was plenty of selection, just none in the right color and size for me, when Ricardo and Savannah found me. He was toting a big box and sporting a huge smile, and he said, "Look what I found!"
It was a keyboard. I started to smile and scoff in that, "Yeah, right" way, because after all, we're at Kohls. Not the best known for their excellent selection of electroncis, you know? But then he told me the price; originally $100, but marked down to $9.99.
Right there in the lingerie deparment, he found a plug, knelt down on the floor, took it out of the box, plugged it in, and tested it out. Oh, how I wish I had my camera at that moment. And, oh how happy he was that I did not. He kept muttering, "I feel weird doing this over here..."
The keyboard worked. And unlike other super cheapy keyboards I've tried, on this one you could play actual chords, instead of just two warbly sounding notes at a time. A definite bonus.
So the keyboard came home with us. Savannah was in heaven.
Here's what the little beauty (ahem) looks like. Don't laugh - it's better than nothing.
Now if I can just ignore the fact that the label says "Spectrum" instead of "Steinway", we'll be in business. That, and the fact that the keys are super small, and when I go to play an octave, my fingers keep overshooting and the result is some majorly disonant sounds. And of course, no sustain pedal. I did mention it was $9.99, right?
Who says dreams don't come true?
Posted by Jackie at 12:29 AM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So, yesterday I put on my cute little black wedge sandals and went shopping.
I was feeling mighty sassy at first, but then, since I obviously haven't worn them all winter, they begin to rub a little. After about 3 hours of walking around, they were really starting to rub. A lot. My poor little feet were so happy to get home and kick those shoes off. So much for vanity.
And then as I was inspecting the damage done in the form of little red welts on the top of my feet, it hit me - Linda's Flip Flop Frenzy. Today. Where we all show off our brand new shoes that our flip-flop buddy sent us. The kind of event where you are expected to take pictures of your feet, self-inflicted welts not withstanding.
However, the only redeeming factor that I have going on right now is that I got an amazing, relaxing, paraffin-dipping pedicure on Monday, thanks to a lovely gift card from some friends.
So maybe you'll focus on the pretty toes instead.
Aren't these darling?
Posted by Jackie at 9:30 AM
Saturday, April 18, 2009
If I could pick one of my favorite things in the world, sleeping in would be pert near the top of that list.
That might possibly make me sound lazy, but it's true. I love it. I don't always get to, but this fine Saturday morning, my hubby was home, and so he took care of Savananh while I blissfully snoozed away part of the morning.
At 9:15 I was half-awake and I heard him tell Savannah that they were going to take a walk. I sprang out of bed in my fuzzy state - fuzzy brain, fuzzy hair, fuzzy teeth - and stumbled to the living room where they stared at me as I announced that I wanted to go with them.
There is a truck stop about a half-mile or so away from our house, and this is where we occasionally rent our $1 Redbox movies. (Whoever invented Redbox? Genius.) We rented a couple of movies last night - Slumdog Millionaire for us, Dora for Savannah - and so they were just going to walk down the road and return them.
They waited for me to throw on some clothes and brush my teeth, and then we set off on our walk. It had rained all day yesterday, but this morning was bright and beautiful. There was a slight chill in the air so we wrapped Savannah in a blanket.
There is something....I don't know, special, I guess, about doing something with your family that you don't normally do. We take walks in the evening, but walking to a truck stop at 9:30 in the morning is not usually on our daily list of activities. We had to cross a busy street to reach it, and we were surrounded by the roar of semi-trucks speeding past.
We haven't taken a road trip in a long, long time, but just walking into the parking lot of that truck stop made me want to drop everything and drive to California. Or Pennsylvania. Or Idaho. Anywhere.
We returned our movies, and then Ricardo wanted to go look around inside. So we joined all of the travelers from everywhere wandering around and we wandered, too, looking at all of the over-priced packages of gummy bears and dried fruit, bratwursts riding a sizzling carousel under a hot light and cases of stale donuts. (To which Savannah said, "Hey, donuts! Can I have a treat?" Umm....no..) A lady walked by with a bag full of licorice, cherry red and green apple, and a guy stood at the coffee dispensing machine, and taste-tested all of the different flavors available, glancing around to see if anybody was watching him.
We didn't buy anything, just looked and people watched, and then left five minutes later. We walked away and I told Ricardo, "All truck stops are the same, aren't they? Don't you feel like you've just been on a little vacation?"
He smiled and nodded.
And then we walked back to our house, home from our mini-vacation.
Posted by Jackie at 1:16 PM
Monday, April 13, 2009
Posted by Jackie at 12:14 AM
Friday, April 10, 2009
In addition to ramping up my exercise routine a little these past two weeks, I've been trying - TRYING - to eat better. Because what good is it to burn off all those calories if you're just going to pack them back on again in one fatal swoop of cheesecake?
So I've been doing a sort of pseudo-version of the South Beach Diet - pseudo because I haven't really been following it to the letter, but rather I'm using it as sort of a guideline. (And if that right there doesn't sound like some sort of loophole for cheating, I don't know what does).
Suffice it to say that I have had my fair share of chicken, spinach, ricotta cheese, and broccoli these past few weeks. And while I love all of these, sometimes a girl just needs a piece of bread, you know?
Meredith is hosting her 10 on the 10th carnival today. And I immediately knew what my 10 things were going to be this month....
The foods that I cannot eat, the ones on the bad carb list, but the ones that are just so good. Not necessarily my favorite foods ever, but since I am deprived right now, these are the ones that popped into my head. And they are sounding mighty good.
- 1. Mashed Potatoes. Last week I made myself some mashed cauliflower to try and quiet my potato cravings. And while they weren't terrible, they aren't mashed potatoes. Not by a long shot. It's futile to even try and pretend.
- 2. Cinnamon Streusel Apple Pie. Sometimes I make this without the crust, which cuts down on the carbs, and ostensibly, the guilt. You should see Savannah put this away - the girl knows something good when she sees it.
- 3. A baked potato from Pappadeaux. If you have never had the pleasure of eating one of these, imagine the biggest potato you have ever seen, topped with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon (real bacon, crisp and crumbly), and chives. Heaven.
- 4. A slice of fresh-from-the-oven Marbled Rye Bread. This is the only yeast bread that I have ever successfully made, which might explain why it's my favorite.
- 5. Pizza. I'm not picky - any kind will do, but my favorite is veggie with some spicy green chile.
- 6. My Grandma's Hash Brown Casserole. Full of cheese, and french onion dip, and other sinful things that have the audacity to go straight to my hips.
- 7. Chocolate Revel Bars. I think the name says it all.
- 8. German Chocolate Cheesecake. Click on this link - click now. You won't regret it.
- 9. Chips and salsa. We used to buy chips. I would tell myself that they were for my hubby's lunches that he would take to work, and then give myself strict instructions to stay away from them.
Do you know how hard it is to resist the call of an already-open bag of chips?
So yeah. We don't buy chips anymore.
- 10. A big plate of Mexican food. Beans and rice. Enchiladas, or maybe a tostada. Or maybe both.
Should I be embarrassed that some form of potatoes made 3 of these 10 spots?
Mer, thank you so much for hosting!
Posted by Jackie at 12:08 AM
Thursday, April 09, 2009
I sat down to write this post just now while Savannah was eating lunch, thinking I could steal a couple of minutes without her noticing.
Um, right. She came zipping over 2 seconds later and said, "Mama! You want to exercise with me?"
I'm thinking about firing her as my personal trainer...seriously, this girl doesn't let up.
Very fitting, I suppose, seeing as how I am trying to do a wrap-up post for Linda's 2 week 5x30 challenge. And I have to say I owe most of my success to Savannah for pushing me every day, because let's face it - most of the time it's much easier to find something more fun to do, like clean the bathrooms.
So I've made a little progress. My Tae-bo kicks, while nowhere near my head, are a little higher than they were. I can make it through the whole thing without collapsing in a heap like I did on the first day. And in my book that is some serious success.
Out of the two weeks (not counting weekends), I missed one day. Last Friday was crazy, I can't remember what was going on, but I just couldn't make it work. But the rest of the time I was able to fit in at least an hour workout.
I usually hate every second while I'm doing it, but I feel incredible afterwards. Funny how it's the exact opposite when I cave and eat chocolate...I feel incredible while popping them in my mouth, and then horrible after. A combination of the sugar rush and the guilt, I suppose. Hmmm.
So part of my motiviation for this has been an upcoming trip at the end of April. Savannah and I will be going to Missouri to visit my grandparents, and so I have set a little weight loss goal for myself. Now, they could care less what I look like, but it just gives me something to shoot for, and I've figured out that I do so much better with a short-term goal in place.
Linda has promised to come back next week with another challenge....bring it on!
Posted by Jackie at 1:17 PM
Sunday, April 05, 2009
We were invited to a birthday party at our neighbor's house last night. Specifically, a party for their 6 year old girl. Which meant that there was an entire passel of other 6 year old party-goers there with her.
I say this with the upmost degree of love, because Savannah has a good deal of the Drama Queen in her, too - but who knew that putting multiple 6 year olds together for a party -and a sleep over - could create such drama?
I think Ricardo is scarred for life - I can totally see him banning all sleep-overs for Savannah for the next 20 years.
I personally have never been a huge fan of the sleep-over, even when I was young, but I suppose I'll have to deal with it sooner or later. Is 6 the age when this is supposed to start happening? I don't know. But I DO know that there will be a limit to the guests - 2, I think. Not 13. I'm learning some extremely valuable lessons from my neighbor.
The theme was a princess tea party, and the hostess passed out tiaras and necklaces, earrings and gigantic rings to all the girls, and they all fluttered around in their shiny and bedazzled princess dresses.
Ricardo taught Savannah a new word: bling-bling. As in, "Look at my bling-bling - it's bigger than my hand!"
Posted by Jackie at 11:50 AM
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
So here is a little story of what happens when a rare organizational fit comes over you.
You venture into the deep dark corners of the closet in your spare bedroom/office/workout room. And you start going through all of the many drawers, throwing things away and then moving the remaining junk to various other places throughout the house.
Then a month later, when your friend Rachel hosts a Baby Photo Carnival, and you go to that closet to look for all your old baby pictures, you remember that you moved them. But you can't remember to where.
And that, sweet invisible friends, is why I have no baby pictures of myself today. They are here somewhere, but I'll be darned if I know where.
So these are all I have, not baby pictures, but definitely from long ago and far away, and from a time when orange and green were obviously THE colors to decorate with.
I love this one, in all of it's 1980's blurriness, because of the awesome curtains and carpet in the background - tell me those aren't some pretty sweet drapes. And I also love it because some of my favorite memories are of my dad playing his ukulele while we all fought for a spot on his lap.
This is my hubby when he was about 2 years old, somewhere in Mexico. See, this is why I need to have a baby boy - so he can look just like his daddy. I can hardly stand the cuteness.
And I have to throw in a couple of Savannah. Was she really ever this tiny?
Rachel, thank you for hosting this - be sure to drop by her place where the Baby Picture Party is happening!
Posted by Jackie at 12:33 AM