Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coughing - the stuff memories are made of

You know you have been sick too long when the constant coughing becomes such a normal part of the day, and your little one informs you, "Mama, I LIKE coughing with you."

And then the next day, when a friend drops by, she tells her, "I lay in bed with Mama and cough."

So that sums up what we've been doing the last week or so...apparently nothing more than lying in bed and coughing.

Ricardo was gone for a good part of last week on a business trip to Arizona, and along with taking our one precious computer that we share, he also took our camera. So I have nothing to show for Week 4 of Project 365, which kind of bums me out. Not that you would want to see pictures of Savannah and me lying in bed and coughing, since that's all we did.

But really, I should have had him take my 365 pics for me, because his week sounded way more interesting than mine. He even got to eat at a sushi place for the first time - which I would have LOVED to have pictures of...I never thought my burger-lovin' hubby would try sushi. At first he said he liked it, but then when I pressed him further to see if he would go again (with me, this time), he backpedalled a little and said it wasn't quite on par with a burger.

Which reminds me of this...for awhile now, probably the past 2 or 3 years, we started a ranking system for the new foods that I try out on him. The scale is 1 - 10, with 10 being out of this world and 1 being fit only for the garbage disposal. Most of the time he gives the dish about an 8 or 9, which isn't too shabby, and occasionally he will bestow a 7 upon something mediocre. But he never goes below that, which leads me to believe that the scale is too extensive and that I should revise it somehow. Maybe from 5-10? or 1-5? Or maybe he just doesn't want to hurt my feelings.

So last night I made a chicken dish, which scored a 9 1/2. The highest yet. When I asked him what would score a 10, he looked at me sheepishly and said, "A burger".

Ah, I love that man.

After our oh so impressive (ahem) 9 1/2 meal, we put Savannah to bed and sat down to watch Fireproof. Good, good movie. I was really impressed that a movie that had such a strong message of salvation and love and commitment to marriage had been in the theaters as long as it was. But it was great to snuggle with Ricardo and watch something so uplifting. And it has made me think about what I can do to encourage this man of mine better every day.

Clearly, randomness seems to be the order of the day today - I'm gonna blame my addled brain on all the coughing.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Project 365 - Week 3

Project 365

I don't know why, but it is HARD for me to remember to take a picture every single day. So I've been skipping some days, and then taking multiples on other days. The rule-follower in me is cringing, but I guess it doesn't matter that's supposed to be fun, right?

So, a partial glimpse of our week (click to enlarge)...

How many of you all are American Idol fans? It was a very hard choice for me to choose between AI and The Biggest Loser, but AI won out. I think we need one of those DVR things.

And on the moonrise picture...I cannot tell you how PERFECT it was in person. We happened to walk out about 30 seconds before it sailed above the mountains. The combination of the light reflecting on the water and the dancing glow of the firepit was just...perfection. Of course with my cheapy little camera it didn't even begin to capture the magic of it...and I was sad you can't see the mountains in the picture. But I tried.

I'm going to be without my computer for the first half of next week - can you say severe withdrawals? I'm so dependent on this silly piece of technology - even for something as simple as looking up a recipe or a phone number. Sad, isn't it?

Have a great week, everybody!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bloggy Resolutions

Towards the end of 2008 - I would say probably the last two months - I hit a huge bloggy slump. Huge. All of my motivation to write was out the window. I still had things to write about, and I still wrote posts in my head , but they never made it from head to my fingers to the page. I seriously considering just packing it in and calling it quits.

There were a lot of things contributing to it... holiday busyness...a lot of silly comparing myself to other bloggers...and some not-so-fun emotional issues that really deserve an entire post to themselves, one that I hope I can get to soon.

But back to the comparing thing...I know it is so incredibly silly, but why do we compare ourselves? I know - ok, well, I hope - that I'm not the only one who does this. There's always gonna be somebody out there who is funnier, wittier, more thought provoking, has better kid stories, takes better pictures....whatever. And once you get caught up in the whole vicious comparing merry-go-round, it's hard to step off.

So many times, I would sit down to write a post, and if the words didn't flow just right, didn't just come pouring out of me, I would take a break - "just five minutes", I would tell myself - and open my Google Reader. And then proceed to read post after post that would speak to me, make me laugh or cry, or just wow me with it's general awesomeness. Problem was, after I was done reading (2 hours later -ahem), any creativity inside me would curl up in the fetal position, refusing to come out because it was sure it wasn't good enough, and then I would proceed to talk myself out of whatever post I was going to write.

Then there is that whole issue of time management. The thing that we all love about blogging is the sense of community - the meeting of friends that we would never know otherwise, finding common ground and exclaiming over things shared, rejoicing and praying and crying with one another. Leaving comments and emailing. And I love it all - like every other blogger I know, it thrills me to death when I get a new comment.

But seriously, I could spend 3 hours every day just trying to keep up with my Google Reader. And that can get exhausting after awhile. I am not sure where the balance is for me - I have gone back and forth, cutting down the number of blogs I read to try to make it more manageable, but y'all, I guess I just hate missing out on what is going on in your lives.

So, it's a little late for New Years Resolutions, but if I were going to make some, they might sound a little like this:

- I am a wife and a mom first - not a blogger. So when a little hand reaches over to tap my leg and a sweet baby voice asks, "Mama, you do puzzle wif me?", then I will put my laptop aside and do puzzle wif her. And enjoy every second, because pretty soon, not only will she not be saying "wif" anymore, she won't even want to do puzzles with me.

- I'm me. And that's ok. So I will write what comes to me, and not worry about those that have the gift of funnyness (so not a word) or wittiness or that special little knack that makes people cry or just feel good all over.

- I'll work on keepin' it real. There's a lot of stuff in me that I don't let out...and I'm not sure why. I guess years of practice of keeping it in? This one...well, it's gonna be tough. To quote my sweet friend Linda...."Have you ever pushed *publish* on your post and then felt that ball of insecurity drop like a weight in your tummy? What did I just write, what will people think, what if they take that wrong, what if they think I am legally insane, what if I offended someone, what if they DON'T think that is funny..." Yeah. For real. That is me almost every time. And until she wrote that awhile back, I really thought I was the only one who felt that way.

- It's ok if I go a week (Gasp! An entire week!) without catching up on everyone's lives. The world will not stop if I don't get to leave a comment. And...a successful day is not contingent upon whether my Reader gets cleared out or not (repeating this one over and over to myself)...

Ok - I feel like a little weight has been lifted off my shoulders - a totally self-imposed weight, by the way. And now that I am noticing the time - 1:10 a.m, thank you very much - here is my last resolution....

I will go to bed EARLIER.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Project 365, Week 2

Project 365

Better late than never - the second week in Project 365. This is harder than I thought it would be - and I admit to missing a day or two - but it it's a great way to be more intentional throughout the look for those simple and noteworthy things that otherwise pass us by.

Thanks to Sara for hosting!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hot for the Holidays - Finale (for now)

Wow, the time has just flown since Missy announced her Hot for the Holidays challenge. I think it was October 17 when she invited all of us to jump on board with her. And oh, am I glad I joined. I can't imagine how much I would have gained if I had not; if nothing else, it served as a fantastic check for me every time I wanted to shovel chocolate chips into my mouth.

I had some lofty, lofty goals, oh yes I did. Which I suppose is better than having no goal at all. But my goal was 15 pounds by Christmas.

In reality, I did semi-ok right up until the week before Christmas. Then it all sort of fell apart.

I lost 5 pounds initially, which I was pretty thrilled about. Not too bad. And then in the Week Wherein it all Fell Apart, I gained 2 back.

So that's my total. 3 pounds lost. I really wish I could say it were more, but that is the truth.

But there's good news - after a couple of us pleaded and cajoled and begged Missy to continue on with this, she has agreed. So probably sometime next week, Phase 2 will kick off. Everybody is welcome to join in, so check in over at It's Almost Naptime to see when it starts. I am so looking forward to this - no more holiday treats to contend with, my knee is almost fully better (although I am still deathly afraid of running on the treadmill - I'm sticking to walking for now), and I am excited to get in much better shape. Nothing like a bunch of invisible bloggy friends to kick me into gear.

Oh - I also wanted to mention something else that I'm doing this year...Project 365. I know a lot of you are already doing this, there are quite a few different versions of this out there. But basically the whole idea is to take a picture every single day of this year, and then post them on your blog. Some people are posting every day, but I'm going to post mine every Sunday and then link up over at Sara's, our lovely hostess. Just think how much fun it will be at the end of the year to look back and see a picture for every single day of the year. Check it out, I'd love to see your pictures, too!


Monday, January 05, 2009

What we've been doing...

Ok, where do I even start? It's been a crazy couple of weeks! I haven't even ventured into the blogosphere for 2 weeks, so I'm terribly behind, and I'm sure I've missed out on so much. How are y'all?

I didn't even realize it had been so long until I started to receive some emails from some of you, making sure we hadn't fallen off the face of the earth. Yep, we're still here - and we're all fine, just insanely busy, and also maybe a little bit lazy, the kind of lazy that goes along with the holidays. A couple of us are a year older. A couple of us might be a pound or two heavier, we're not sure about that since we have avoided the scale like the plague these past few weeks.

And of course, when I say "we", I basically mean "me". But it makes me feel better to say "we".

So, what have we we been up to, you ask?

- A little Christmas Cookie Exchange.

- Practicing and playing piano for the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church - one of my favorite services of the entire year.

- A Christmas Eve dinner at our friends' home.

- A a quiet Christmas morning, spending time together with just our little family.

- A visit from my sister.

- Celebrating a certain someone's 3rd birthday.

- A real live date with my hubby to the movies.

- Ignoring my computer and sitting down to read Anne of Green Gables.

- Actually cleaning my house.

- And then New Years - is it really 2009 already?

The Monday before Christmas, I invited just a couple of my friends over for the Cookie Exchange. It was a very small party, but so fun to get together for soup and homemade bread and girl talk and no kids. And the cookies - sweet mercy, they were good. Fortunately for me and my waistline, the neighbors next door have 5 kids who were more than willing to take most of them off my hands. Ricardo's personal favorite was the chocolate sandwich cookies. And Savannah's? The chocolate covered cheesecake squares.

The Christmas Eve Service was absolutely beautiful. Listening to a handbell choir playing Carol of the Bells and Oh Holy Night. Looking out over a sea of candlelight as the congregation sang Silent Night with hushed voices. Focusing on Jesus - Savior, Redeemer, Lord.

After the service we were invited to our friends' home for Christmas Eve dinner. They are like family, and they always give Savannah a gift or two. She tore into one of them as soon as it was handed to her, and she pulled out a rainbow-striped hoodie set. She was still dressed in her fancy Christmas dress from church, but that did not stop her from pulling on both the pants and the top, right over her dress, which totally cracked me up. Tell me this isn't a fashion statement.

Christmas morning was quiet and peaceful, spent here at home, just the way I like it.

Remember my ambitions to start a new Christmas tradition by making homemade cinammon rolls? Yeah, that didn't happen. Honestly, I was so sick of sugar by that time - probably a few too many cookies from the exchange - and I knew that the following day I would have to start making Savannah's birthday cake. The very thought of doing more baking made me turn and run right of the kitchen. So that's a tradition that will have to wait until next year.

But I did make a turkey and potatoes and green beans. And I have a little confession - for some reason, I completely spazzed out and put the bird in the oven upside down. You know, breast side down. I have no idea what I was thinking. I didn't even realize it until it had been in a couple of hours, and I started to wonder why I couldn't see the little built in pop-out thermometer thing. Um, maybe because it is hidden underneath the turkey? So I quickly flipped it over, and sure enough, there was the pop out button. And then I wondered if the pasty looking breast side was going to cook before the rest of the turkey dried out - remember the turkey from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation? The one that looked like burned beef jerky? I was afraid that mine was going to resemble that one. Thank goodness it didn't.

My sister arrived Christmas evening, and we were thrilled to see her. She came last year around this time, too, and in addition to the fact that it is just fun to have her around, she is always a huge help in getting ready for Savannah's birthday party.

So the next day we started in on the cake. Which consisted of baking 2 big 12-inch chocolate cakes, layering them together with chocolate pudding, baking 2 more 9 inch white cakes, layering them together with vanilla pudding and strawberries, and then making mounds and mounds of buttercream frosting. Fun times. But I admit that somewhere around midnight I started wondering why I hadn't just ordered a cake from the bakery around the corner and been done with it.

In between it all I sent Ricardo to the store a couple of times - thank goodness for a sweet hubby who will run out in the freezing cold for more powdered sugar. And then I tried my hand at marshmallow fondant and spent the rest of the evening tinting and kneading and rolling and cutting out shapes. I really liked working with it and maybe next year I'll be brave enough to cover an entire cake with it.
In the end, it turned out pretty cute, although I wish I would have cut more off the top to make a flatter surface. But Savannah was happy - really, all she cared about was the Dollar Store plastic Dora topper that was the crowning touch.

And just like that, my baby turned 3. Happy Birthday, sweet girl - you are my sunshine, and you really do make me happy whether the skies are blue or gray. And I don't care if you are 3, you're still my baby.