Wednesday, March 4, 2015

MOUNTAINS OF MEMORIES:DAY 2

Tuck: "Awww. Look at my fish mobile, Mama. What happened to that?"
Me: "I took it down the day I came in to get you from your nap and found you swinging from it."

We prepped. We painted. We paced. We pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. Tuck came in his own good time ... in "Tuck Time." We were a family in an instant. There were tears of happiness, tears of frustration, tears of fears ... and tears of colic.

The constant hum of the vacuum was our only hope against the rage of the cry. It soothed the beast within the tiny baby. That, and his daddy's thumb. But only Daddy's. Not Mama's. Not Meme's. Not even the UPS Delivery Man's (there were no limits to what I would do to stop the incessant crying).  

Within those walls we rocked, sang, bounced and laughed. Within those wall we were safe, warm, happy and loved. 

Within those walls...we were...a little family.






Monday, March 2, 2015

MOUNTAINS OF MEMORIES: DAY 1

Mags: "Look at you and Daddy in that picture. You guys look so...so...wow. Were you really that young? I mean, Mama, you look so good. Look at that! You have no crinkles around your eyes and these dark things (pointing to the dark suitcases under my eyes) aren't there either."

Me: "You mean my eye bags? They come with children. No extra charge."

It was a simple house. "Live within your means" was our driving force when we looked. Eight to ten houses were on our ambitious agenda the day we found it. If you asked either one of us, we could tell you the EXACT moment we knew. For me, it was the bathroom. I was coming out of the downstairs half-bath as Chris came around the corner. We saw each other and simultaneously mouthed, 

"This is it."  

And so it began.


For 11 years, 5 months and 9 days




Photo credit: C.Alexander, September 2003



Thursday, February 26, 2015

TURN THAT CYNICISM UPSIDE DOWN

Tuck: "How can you be so happy that we'll never live in our old house again?"
Me: "It has just been a lot of extra work for me and Daddy, Tuck. It'll be nice to just have ONE house to worry about again. I'm sorry. I know you loved that house."
Tuck: "It's all I ever knew for eight years. How can you forget it just like that?  I miss my room. I miss the smell. I miss IT!"

That was an eye-opening conversation I had with Tuck the other day as we pulled away from our soon-to-be-sold house on the mountain. It has been a long process for us: preparing the house, putting the house on the market, waiting for people to look at it, fixing (and replacing) things that broke along the way, and overall, taking care of routine maintenance. After having been on the market for almost a year, my feelings have gone from sad nostalgia to pure relief. I was so happy someone found our sweet house to love. 

But Tuck reminded me of something. He hasn't felt what I've felt for over the past year. He hasn't been worried about things breaking down, price changes, foot traffic and normal upkeep. He hasn't had to make phone calls, locate paperwork, or make stomach-wrenching decisions. He hasn't had to be the adult in this situation.

What he has been in this situation ...  the kid. He felt a loss over the past year. He moved away from all he has ever known. He had to leave the safety and comfort of his well-known surroundings.  He had to adapt to a new house...with new creaks in the night. He had to adjust to a new school. He had to make new friends. He had to join new after-school activities. He had to move on.

But he was resilient. He did it. WE did it. Together. And as I told Chris this conversation I had with our son through my tears, he reminded me gently that this has been a life lesson for us all. Things change whether we are truly ready for them or not. The important part is how we handle the change. We've all grown stronger, more determined and smarter through this process.

Thank you, Tuck, my sweet boy, 
for brushing the "adult" away from my eyes for a moment. 
That way, I could see our true accomplishment in all its purity!





Tuesday, February 17, 2015

AN UNTOUCHED LIFE

VickyI love that you posted a photo of a real happy girl in a real room with real mess! More rocking Mums like you need to show that life is not "picture ready" so other Mum's can feel normal. Iyou!



I walked by Mags' room the other day and caught her bee-bopping around it.  I couldn't let the moment pass, so I grabbed my phone and shot this quick picture. The joy on her face was so pure. Naturally, I wanted to share it for our extended family to see. So, I got on Facebook, pulled up the picture on my phone, submitted it to the post and then...clicked CANCEL. Once I really looked beyond that precious expression, I panicked.  This thought process followed:

"Her room looks like a disaster! What will people think? I can't post this. People will think we're slobs."

And then her expression caught my eye again. That sparkle in her eye overrode any of my rationale. I threw caution to the wind, went to Instagram, applied some filters, which only seemed to accentuate the mess,  and clicked SHARE. I don't post reality-in-picture-form enough. 

I crop pictures like crazy. If I need a posed shot, I move the kids to a clutter-free space in the house. But every once in a while, reality needs to shine through. Too often I post my seemingly clutter-less life...when in reality...there's a 2x2 "backdrop" (if I'm lucky) in our house that doesn't have a counter littered with the week's worth of school papers or a sink with a mountain of two (or three-day-old) dishes in it. I don't know about you, but Barbie and Optimus Prime often take up residence in crevices and corners that ruin a seemingly perfect picture. Photo bombers...in the worst way possible.

There's a beauty in reality. It brings about camaraderie.  It's nice to know I'm not the only one. Hey, if Cindy Crawford can post untouched photos, then so can I. (Ummm..I mean my house untouched...not me in a feather coat and lingerie.) But go on with your bad self, Ms. Crawford. 

And welcome to all my little, future photo bombers!  

We've been Mags bombed! Me and @olddognewtits.
Photo credit: ODNT Jr. 



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Time for a BonBon Break

After I put the kids into bed, I came downstairs to finish up a project.

Me: (reading and recording a past post into my iPhone for BonBon Break)

Once I finished, from the stairs I heard my 9yo clapping followed by:

Tuck: "I'm always so proud of you, Mama." (footsteps darting up the stairs)

Last week, I was honored to have one of my most treasured posts featured on BonBon Break.  Have you heard of them? They are "an online magazine for the modern mom." They have an eclectic collection of writers from all over the Internet that offer tips, provide a much needed laugh, or give you some inspiration. 

It all started a few weeks ago when BonBon Break called for posts about LOVE for February. I knew I had the perfect one about my proposal, so I submitted it. I was honored when their incredible Editor in Chief, Val, contacted me about posting it. Some of you may remember reading this post in the past, or, heck, even being there for the summer of the proposal. You can check it out on the BonBon Break site:

Photo credit: BonBon Break

After it was posted, I heard from Val once more. She asked if I'd be interested in recording it for their newly developed Podcast. That was a no brainer! Of course I was!  I recorded it quickly and sent it off to their Creative Director, Greg. He worked his sound editing magic and VOILA! I was live. You can hear it here:




Thanks so much for having me over for a BonBon Break! 
I hope I can come by again soon!

 Bonbon Break

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THIS IS NOT THE EXAM YOU'RE LOOKING FOR

Mags: "I have a HUGE test tomorrow, Mama! But don't worry. I'm gonna rock it!"

Midterms are fast approaching. Being in my second year as a high school teacher,  I'm able to recognize the diffferent types of test takers. 
Which one can you identify with most? 


Monday, December 29, 2014

RECYCLING THE HOLIDAYS

Mags: "What in the heck? The Easter Bunny?"
Tuck: "What are you...OH MY GOSH! MOM!! LOOK! It's the EASTER BUNNY wrapped in SANTA!"
Mags: "Come look, Mama. This is totally creepy."

I'll be honest. Mags has been known to fib here and there lately. Once I call her on it, she likes to follow up with "I was just joking." We've been working with her on this and giving her examples of how she can be funny without telling a lie. 

So, naturally, I wasn't buying into her Santa Bunny story at first. I gave her my best Momcher (Mom/Teacher) look. She countered my look by calling in the big guns...Tuck. Sure enough, Tuck's reaction told me there was something to this holiday chocolate mix-up. I went over to the table and what to my wondering eyes should appear? An unwrapped Santa with two big bunny ears. 

Someone at the chocolate plant was taking the 3 R's a little bit too far. What? You don't believe ME? Well, here it is. I think it could be up there with the Virgin Mary on Grilled Cheese. 

Drum roll, please! 



Of course, Chris and I spent some time laughing about what kind of Memes could be created for this little guy. We'd love if you'd join in the fun! In the comments, share your best captions for this confused holiday treat. 

Here, I'll start!