Thursday, December 3, 2009

Operation FAIL

Maddie is the typical five year old. Sweet and sassy, kind and evil, forgiving and grudge- holder, obedient and doing whatever the heck she wants to.

But for the last few days, everything has changed. She does what we ask of her immediately. She listens to whatever we say. Instead of arguing, we hear "yes ma'am", "no ma'am", "sure", and the list goes on.

Yesterday, I gave her a list of four things I needed her to do while I walked our dog. I really only expected her to accomplish two of those four things- get dressed and put pajamas away. I walked in and she was completely dressed, pajamas in the hamper, hair brushed, and teeth brushed.

"Wow, Maddie! Thank you so much! You know, you've really been acting very grown-up lately. I'm proud of your behavior these last few days. What's gotten into you?"

She shrugged her shoulders, "I guess I'm just full of the Christmas spirit."

My heart melted. Maybe she really has been absorbing all that we've tried to teach her. I'll start working on the whole "Christmas spirit can last all year long" thing. She hasn't mentioned Santa much at all this year. SHE GETS IT!!!

"That's great, Maddie. What exactly is the Christmas spirit, anyway?" Just to be sure

"Well, it's like this. When you do the right thing, you get more gifts." Oy.

We've got 22 days to change her Christmas spirit. Any suggestions?

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harriet Potter and the Yard Full of Leaves

This summer became the summer of Harry Potter. My mom introduced Maddie to him and well, she fell in love.

She talked about him and the other characters like they were a part of our family. She wanted to watch all of the movies, over and over again. She even pronounced his name with a British accent.

We talked to her about the difference between fiction and non-fiction, and she understood from the start that it wasn't real.

I was concerned that they might be too scary for her, but it didn't seem to bother her. Until she had her tonsils out.

Just a word of advice- NEVER let your 5 year old watch all of the Harry Potter movies, Spiderwick Chronicles, Jumanji, or Zathura while on pain medicine, specifically codeine.

The nightmares began.

So Justin and I were instrumental in ending Maddie and Harry's relationship.

She missed Harry. She talked about him often. But like all childhood crushes, she seemed to get over him rather quickly.

But I'm afraid she hasn't.

A few days ago, we were outside.

"Mommy- do you wanna see how to do the secret code to get into the club? You can't tell anyone."


Then she picked up her rake, and started hitting the bricks on the house while chanting, "Hufflepuff. Slytherin. Ravenclaw. Gryfinndor. Hufflepuff. Slytherin. Ravenclaw. Grifinndor."

Nothing happened.

So she did it again.

At this point, I realise that I'm impeding her progress into the club, so I go inside- fully aware that my daughter looks incredibly strange, beating my house with a rake while chanting the four houses of Hogwart's.

A while later, I found her walking in my yard, dragging her rake.

"Mommy, I have a secret. One that you can't tell anyone but Daddy. Because I think he should know. But no one else. I'll tell you if you promise not to tell."

I cross my fingers and promise.

"I'm a witch. But a good one. And instead of a broom, I carry a rake. It's so no one will guess my powers."

"Um. Wow." And then, a light bulb!

"Honey- just so absolutely NO ONE guesses your secret, why don't you use your rake the normal way? How about you rake the leaves?"

That lasted about 5 minutes.

Here's hoping she can come up with a spell to get rid of all the leaves. Soon.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Freak Accident

I have this friend that I adore named Sujette. She is older than me by about 30 years, but that has never seemed to matter. She is that person so filled with life that you can't help but smile.

One of the best qualities about Sujette is how connected she and her husband seem when they are together. They hold hands, they disagree with a smile, and enjoy their time with each other. They are the couple that still go on dates even though they've been married over 25 years. I love them.

Not long ago, they decided to take a quick trip to Hawaii to use up their airline miles. On their last day, after they had checked out of the hotel and loaded up their rental car, they headed out. Sujette and Jim decided to take one last walk on the beach before catching their plane.

While walking in the shallow water, a wave knocked Jim down. A rip tide then carried him out into the ocean. He crashed against the ocean floor.

A bulging disk in his back damaged his spinal cord.

Sujette rushed into the water and dragged him to shore. Emergency help came and Jim was taken into surgery.

After his surgery, the doctors wanted him to go to a rehab center to help prepare him for the 10 hour flight home. While waiting to get admitted into the rehab, Jim contracted pneumonia and went to a different hospital's ICU.

Jim is doing better and will, hopefully, go to the rehab center sometime this week.

Jim is the man that decided to ride his bicycle to Florida from Nashville last year- just to see if he could. Jim is the type of grandfather that chases his twin granddaughters around and around. Jim has regained some movement in his arms and hands.

Please pray for both of them.

And when you're done, go hug the people you love.

You never know when a wave is going to knock you down and they are the ones to pull you out of the water.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

The Scariest Moment

When Maddie was two, she started snoring. Loud. Lumberjack snores. She was louder when she slept than she was when she was awake- okay, that may be stretching it a little, but not by much.

By the time she was four, she could compete with anyone over the age of 60. In fact, last Thanksgiving, when everyone blamed my mother-in -law for keeping them awake with her snoring, I let her take the blame, even though I knew it was Maddie.

I was hesitant to let her sleep over with friends. I was accustomed to sleeping with a pillow over my head to drown out the noise, but I didn't want anyone else to have to do that.

It wasn't until this past summer that we noticed a problem. She started waking herself up from sleep because she was gagging. When we took her to the doctor, her first response was "Whoa- those tonsils are huge. They need to come out."

A month later, we found ourselves strangely calm as we waited in the surgery center. 45 minutes later, the doctor informed us that everything went well and we could see her as soon as she awakened.

When we walked into the recovery center, we were greeted with a hysterical child that could not be comforted. That was the first time I questioned our decision to have this done.

The second, third, fourth, and fifth time I questioned myself came every time she woke up screaming in the middle of the night and nothing I did seemed to help.

We fashioned a bed for her in our living room. We let her watch as much television as she wanted. We offered her every kind of ice cream available. We snuggled. We tried everything.

She was pitiful.

Five days later, Maddie seemed to be doing better. She still was not eating or talking much but didn't need pain medicine as often.

Justin's mother and stepfather came over that Saturday night to visit and entertain Maddie. Maddie was on her best behavior. She sat in her granny's lap and whispered secrets. She smiled at all of our attempts to make her laugh. She never complained.


"Mommy, there is some liquid in my throat that won't go away."

"Okay. Why don't you go spit in a tissue and we'll see what it is. Justin- will you go in there with her?"


I walk in and witnessed something I hope I never have to see again.

My five year old projectile vomitting blood. Lots of blood.

Crap. What have we done?

After a quick call to her ENT, he agreed to meet us at the emergency room at the hospital that is 45 minutes away.

That was the scariest 30 minutes of my life. Scary because Justin made the 45 minute drive in 30 minutes and because I had no idea what they were going to do to my baby. I was sitting in the back seat with ice packs on both sides of Maddie's throat praying. It was only when Justin had to slow down suddenly because of a blue hair driving the speed limit on the interstate that Maddie croaked her first four words since this nightmare began, "Mommy- you're choking me." Good times.

They took her into emergency surgery where they had to repair two bleeding spots and pump her stomach. The surgeon said that based on the amount of blood in her stomach, she had probably been bleeding and swallowing the blood for 8 hours. Yes, people- I DID get the mom of the year award.

And after a night in the hospital, we were sent home to begin the recovery process. Again.

In those two weeks, I seriously questioned if we did the right thing by having that first surgery. During the recovery time, I said repeatedly that I wish we hadn't done it. It just couldn't be worth it. Snoring isn't that big of a deal.

But now, 4 months after it happened- I can look back and realise that what happened is not the norm. It was a freak thing.

And, now- Maddie doesn't snore at all.

We sleep like normal people. With our heads on top of our pillow instead of under them.

Life is great.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Hello- Anybody There?


Remember me?

I'm the blogger who decided to take a week off from blogging. That one week turned into two weeks, which turned into a month. SIX months later. . .


I didn't realise it at the time, but I needed this break. I needed to concentrate on more important things. I needed to enjoy life for what it's worth and not look at every single situation and try to come up with a witty blog post. I needed to see my daughter come looking for me and not automatically go to the computer desk. I needed to be.

Don't get me wrong. I've had LOTS of stuff to write about. And, I've wanted to write about them.

Like the two hellacious weeks that involved Maddie having minor surgery, projectile vomitting blood, and lots of ice cream.

And how I spent Maddie's first day of Kindergarten.

And how Maddie has done in *gasp* PUBLIC school.

Softball, Florida, Summer, Halloween, losing a job, church plant, and everything in between.

I've missed this. And I've missed you guys.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Music To My Ears

McDonald's is trying to ruin the vow I made as an angst ridden teenager. The first time I saw the commercial in the '90s, I swore my child would never have a certain item and now McDonald's is GIVING it away in their Happy Meals.

Kidz Bop Vol 635

When I discovered the cd squeezed between her chicken nuggets and apples, I cringed. And then I did what every sane parent would do.

I tried to hide it.

But apparently, all 5 year olds instictively know to look under the picnic table at a public park.

So, I braced myself. And put it in the cd player on the way home. She listened. She bobbed her head. She asked me if I would take her to "Funkytown" (which I will admit to cranking the volume waaaay up.)

And then. . . just when I thought she was going to ask me to buy the previous 634 volumes of Kidz Bop. . .

She asked me to put Johnny Cash back in the cd player.

I love that girl.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

The Break-Up

To Whom It May Concern at Private Academy:
Re: Maddie

My daughter, Maddie, has been enrolled in your program for the last two years. Her teachers have done a wonderful job and I truly appreciate all of their hard work.

However, I regret to inform you that she will not be enrolled in Private Academy next year.

It's nothing personal. Well, it kinda is. You see, you keep raising your tuition. And were Maddie to attend Kindergarten next year, it would cost almost as much as our mortgage is each month. And, well, I really want to keep our home.

I'll be honest with you. We met someone new. It's a school less than 10 minutes from our home. It has won the same awards you have and has also gained national recognition. And while I know this word is taboo in the private school realm, I must say it. It's a public school.

There. It's out there. My child is going public. Please don't treat her differently during these last few days.

Can we still be friends? She's zoned for a terrible high school. Maybe I'll give you a call in 8 or 9 years.

Ta-ta for now!!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Failed Attempt

We sat down to eat dinner with my parents. I had made potato soup with French bread.

I explained to Maddie that we were going to follow her doctor's advice about her pickiness. Dr. Hyperenoughtobefiveherself told us that the "one bite, no thank you" rule works well.

Basically, Maddie has to eat one bite of whatever it is that she doesn't want and if she doesn't like it, fine. She can eat something else.

Justin had prepared her every night meal of mashed potatoes. Beside them I placed a small bowl with a tiny amount of potato soup.

Maddie gobbled up her mashed potatoes. Then I told her that she still needed to eat a bite of potato soup.

She smelled of it. And refused.

I told her to eat it.

She took the smallest bite possible. And made a face.

And then that look came upon her face. She better not. Oh crap. She's really about to do what I think she's about to do. Nnnnnnoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She did it. She vomited at the table. Over a teensy bite of soup, which everyone else seemed to think tasted pretty good.

I think the doctor forgot to tell me one important rule. Only attempt this on an empty stomach.

Not after eating an entire bowl of mashed potatoes.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mission Accomplished

My alarm clock went off at 4:30 this morning. I stumbled to the kitchen, hit the coffee pot power button, and started getting dressed.

My mind kept discouraging me- telling me that my foot would probably start hurting, my knees would kill me at the end. Then it started telling me I didn't train properly, that I may not even finish, that Nashville has some killer hills.

I told my mind to shut up.

And kept telling it to shut up until I crossed the finish line for the 13.1 mile race in 2:36.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Short Term Relationship

Maddie made a new friend yesterday. His name was Casey. She was very excited about meeting him and wanted to show him off to everyone.

She made him a sign. Complete with hearts and "I love you Casey."

She invited him to dinner. But I ruined it when I told her that he wasn't allowed to come.

She stayed on our deck with him while I cooked. But she informed me every few minutes of the new accomplishments Casey achieved.

"Casey just climbed!!"

"Casey just smiled at me!!"

"Casey is sooooo coooool!"

And then. . .

"The coolest thing just happened!! I pulled Casey apart, and both pieces started moving!! Now, I have two Casey's!!!"

Both Casey's died a mere 13 minutes of being introduced to Maddie. While their relationship was short, I'm sure he will always remember her in worm heaven.

As the strange little girl that put him there.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blog Depression

Yesterday, I was asked a question that I wasn't prepared for. "Are you ever going to blog again?" It's been over a week since I last wrote on this blog.

The answer: Yes. Probably. I don't know.

I really don't know if I want to keep this blog.

It's not like I don't have plenty to write about. I could write about how I was laid off a couple of months ago, but no one has actually told me. I could write about how Justin has gotten a third job umpiring Little League games at night. Or how I've started working lunch shifts at the restaurant and the people are even crazier during the day.

But when I sit at the computer- nothing.

Nothing sounds right. Nothing looks right. Nothing.

I'm thinking I may have some type of blog depression.

And when I kick out of it. . . I'll be back. Comments or no comments.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Game

Maddie's first softball game was on Saturday.

She showed no pre-game jitters.

And looked so tiny next to the other girls.

And even though she could barely see, she went 3 for 3. A way too big uniform can't stop my Pink Panther.

Even when her shorts fell to her knees when she was running from 1st to 2nd, she just kept going.

It's going to be an interesting season.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Last Supper- 5 Year Old Style

Most of the time Maddie understands Bible stories as well as she does the concept of Cinderella. Basically, she hears the story and believes with all of her heart that it is true.

And I love that faith.

Last week, Maddie's school started telling the story of Easter, bit by bit.

"Guess what, Mommy."

"Ummm. . . you didn't have to go to the sad bear chair."

Insert sigh of disgust from her.

"No. I didn't. We learned a really cool Bible story."

"Really? That's great! Why don't you tell me about it."

"Well- I don't know if you will believe it."

"Of course I will believe it. If it came from the Bible it is true."

"Okay. . . In the last supper that Jesus had with his friends, they ate him."

"No, honey, that's not quite what happened."

"Uh-huh. It came from the Bible. It's true. They ate him and then drank his blood."

"Wow. I'll look it up in my Bible and try to explain it better, okay?"

So, I looked it up.

Matthew 26:26. . . "Take and eat; this is my body."
Matthew 26:27. . . Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, . . .


"See, Mom. I told you that they ate Jesus and drank his blood."

"I don't know how to explain this to you, but I promise you that they didn't eat Jesus."

She looked at me like I had no idea what I was talking about. And like I was going against everything we had taught her about the Bible and believing it.

I gave her a hug and promised to explain it when she is six.

Surely I can come up with something in a year, right?

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Book Review and Giveaway

One of Maddie's very favorite things to do is swing. She took her first turn in the swing when she was about 6 months old.

And loved it.

Soon, the little daredevil was begging for more.


My arms would be exhausted by the time we left the park.

Now that she is older, and has a swingset of her own, she has taught herself how to swing and to make herself go "higher, higher." Thank God.

A few days ago, I watched her swing. I wish I could have read her mind. She was enjoying every second of making herself go as high as she possibly could. And laughing like a lunatic the entire time.

This is one of the reasons I enjoyed Leslie Patricelli book "Higher! Higher!" so much. It is full of vivid pictures of the adventures a little girl encounters while swinging. Just how high can she go? Over a giraffe? Over a mountain? Into outer space?

I'm sure every child that loves to swing has gone there. The possibilities are endless.

One of her other books, "Baby Happy Baby Sad" was equally endearing. Maddie flipped through the pages, reading each scenario, then said with all seriousness-"Babies sure do go from happy to sad quickly, don't they?"

She has no idea. Or memory, for that matter.

This book is best for ages 1-3, and since Maddie is 5, it didn't hold her interest for long. But I know from experience that it would have been one of her favorites 3 years ago.

She told me that I could give away the baby book, but not the swing book. So. . .

If you want this book, leave me a comment. Like I said, it's best for ages 1-3 but would also make a cute baby gift. I'll have Maddie pick the winner. Good luck!

***Comments now closed***Sorry 'bout your luck***Except Megan***She won the book***

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lesson Learned

I have a confession to make.

I'm not always a very nice person. But I'm working on it.

My biggest downfall is making people laugh at the expense of others. It's mostly people that I know and love. They know that I do it for laughs and not out of meanness. I hope, anyway.

But, there are times that I say things about complete strangers that are mean and hurtful. I am fully aware that I shouldn't do it, but I can't seem to help myself. It is a toxic habit that I'm trying desperately to break.

Today, God taught me a lesson on remembering my manners.

A table was seated in my section. I walked up and as soon as I took a breath, I noticed it. They smelled really bad. I could go on and on about how bad they stunk, but like I said- I'm trying to be nicer.

I walked into the kitchen and told a co-worker about it.

"Nothing about them says 'clean' to me," was her response. We joked and laughed for a couple of minutes and then I took a deep, deep breath and walked back to them.

Chelsea, you don't know what their circumstances are.

You don't know them.

They didn't deserve that.

What is wrong with you. Mean, mean, mean.

They were the nicest couple I could have imagined. I felt terrible.

I was bringing their salads to them. My tray shifted and I dropped both salads, their bread, and their dressings all over the place. I felt terrible.

They were completely understanding and forgiving.

About 5 minutes later, I walked back to their table. She had a puzzled look on her face.

"Sweetheart. . . I don't know what this is. It feels like a seashell." She showed me what she had just pulled out of her mouth.

Oh. My. The woman was chewing on glass. Apparently, her replacement salad bowl had broken and no one noticed it.

Again- she was completely understanding and forgiving. And nice. She even apologised for finding the glass. I felt terrible.

Why was all of this happening to me? And to this poor woman?

And then it hit me. God knew exactly what I had said. And how I used this lady to make others laugh. It hurt. Probably not as much as it hurt her when she bit into the glass, but. . .

He was showing me that she was one of His children and she deserves as much love and respect as anyone else.

I am far from perfect. I'm sure I'll mess up. But I am going to try to be a nicer person.

In fact, I did very well today. She didn't leave me a much of a tip, even though most of her meal was comped.

And I didn't gripe.

I couldn't handle any more lessons today.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Health Kick

"Mommy, I ate something healthy today." Wow! It's about freakin' time.

"That's great! What did you have?" Please tell me something that I can make for all of us that doesn't include cheese and crackers.

"Cheese pizza." Ummmmm

"Well, honey, that's not really all that healthy." Captain Carlos agrees.

"Yes, it is." Seriously?

"Nope. Sorry. Try again."

"Mother, I'm not arguing with you about this." Okay, then.

It's official.

Cheese pizza is healthy. Eat up. Forget all the calories and fat grams. Forget what your doctor told you.

Maddie says that it's healthy and that's that.

Don't even try to argue.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Mathematically Speaking- I Hate Math

I've never been good at math. I can remember the very moment I realized that math-well- sucked.

I was in 3rd grade. I was trying my best to keep up and figure out how the heck to divide fractions and I just wasn't getting it. The teacher called on me to answer the problem. I didn't have a clue. So, I did what made total sense at the time.

I pretended that I had not been paying attention and didn't know what problem to do. Because it would be so much better than actually admitting that I needed help, right? She then told me that I had to sit on the sidewalk during recess and called on someone else to do the problem.

I never did learn to divide fractions.

Lately, math has given me even more of a reason to despise it.

Justin did several brackets for the basketball tournament, several of which have monetary prizes, should he win.

One, in particular, is a nation wide, ESPN sponsored bracket. Winner take all. And, by all- I mean $10,000. Cash.

In this nation wide contest, with over 115,000 entrants, Justin is in second place. The difference between his bracket and the person in first place is one game. And that one game was lost by one point.

Mathematically, there is no way possible for Justin to win.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Pink Panther

I'm now officially a softball mom. To a precious member of the Coopertown Pink Panthers.

Practice has started in full force. Justin takes her on Tuesday nights while I'm at work and we both go to the Sunday practice.

Every time I ask how the Tuesday night practice went, I get the same response from both of them. "Great." Thanks, guys. A little information might help me feel less guilty about missing the practice.

Justin told me that at last week's practice a mom pointed to Maddie and asked if that was his daughter. When he said yes, she said, "I thought so. She looks just like you."

On Sunday's practice, I noticed that Maddie is by far the smallest on the team. She is one of the youngest on the team. It is a 5-6 year old team, but there are a couple of 7 year olds on it. Justin calls them the "beasts" because they are so much bigger than Maddie.

During their first practice game, I watched Maddie play. In the dirt, that is. The coach marked her spot to stand and then she marked it by writing her name. When the ball was hit, she ran around in a circle. Not really looking for the ball, just running in circles. And if she happened to find the ball, she would pick it up and not know what to do with it.

She may look like her daddy, but she plays ball like me.

And she's okay with that. And so are we.

Because she is having the time of her life.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Don't Know Much, But I Know What I Like

A couple of weeks ago, I agreed to start doing music reviews. I love music. Almost all kinds. So, needless to say, I was excited.

I decided that my approach to doing music reviews would follow along with how I decide if I like any type of music. I would listen to the CD a few times, and if it held my attention and I found myself humming the songs, I would do further research on the artist.

The first CD I received was Corneille The Birth of Cornelius. The first time I listened to the CD, my first thought was, "I'm kinda liking this." The second time I listened to it, I thought, "I'm almost loving this." By the third time, I really did love it. Enough to let Justin listen to it. And he liked it as much as I did.

So, then came the following up and reading about my man, Corneille.

Wow. That's all.

The lyrics to his music have so much meaning, I can barely fathom all that he's been through.

Take this verse from a song of his, for example:

Last time I saw you
You were filling your rivers up with
Blood of your own
Last time I saw you
You were wearing fire and
Burning our souls to the bone
That's how I remember you
So please forgive me
If I never call you home

I believe that he is talking about his time in Rwanda. You see, he was born in Germany where his parents were students. At a young age, they moved back to Rwanda and stayed until he was 17. He was there in 1994 when the Rwandan genocide occured. He is the only surviving member of his family from that time.

He sings frequently about his struggles finding his place in this world. With his Tracy Chapman voice and soulful words, he sings of love, and his life story,.

To find out more about Corneille, visit this site.

So, if you are in need of a great CD or some new songs for you MP3, I highly recommend this one. You will not be disappointed.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Gone Far Enough

Several years ago, Maddie and I went with my mom to the Grand Canyon. *Free advice: Don't take a 2 year old to the Grand Canyon without a leash. And nerve medicine.*

Maddie was going through a period of testing the limits. We were walking along in the park. She stopped. My mom and I waited patiently for her to catch up. She didn't. She didn't move.

We told her to come on. We pretended that we had something to show her. She didn't care.

Ha! I'll get her to come to me.

"BYE!! I'll see you later." And I started walking slowly away. I took a quick glance back at her and saw her sit down in the middle of the path.

"Bye bye, mama!"

Okay- so that didn't work. I laughed it off, ignored the group of tourists that were laughing, and went to get her.

Fast forward 3 years to today.

We were at the park with some friends. The kids had played well the entire time. It was time to go.

"Maddie, it's time to leave. Tell them goodbye."

She ignored me and continued playing.

I told her again, with my "I mean business" voice.

She climbed up the hill to the slide and told me that she wasn't coming. I told her that if I had to climb the hill to get her, it would not be pretty.

She slid down the slide and then started playing in the dirt. Again.

"Maddie, I'm leaving without you. I sure hope no strangers get you." Stranger Danger!! Stranger Danger!!

"Umm. I think I'd like to just stay here alone." Seriously? This independence thing is getting old.

"You would have to eat those veggies in the garden over there. That's all you would get." If stranger danger doesn't work, surely the thought of having to eat vegetables would scare her into obeying.

"Well, then I would get stickers for trying new food." I. Can't. Win.

"Maddie. You are coming with me. Now. End of story."

For some reason, her defiance was a lot cuter when she was two, and in front of strangers. But now that she is five, it's not funny at all.

Especially in front of my friend.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Time Travel

Justin grew up playing sports and even now plays in a basketball league. My best friend played college basketball. Her husband was a basketball manager for a college team.

I did none of the above. The closest I got was playing 5th and 6th grade basketball and I was terrible. I mean, really terrible.

So, when the four of us get together, there are moments when I'm left out of the conversation. I'm perfectly fine with that. I have nothing to contribute and basketball is something that all three of them enjoy. I get it.

Last week, the challenge was made to do brackets for the upcoming tournament. It was agreed that each couple would combine their scores from their individual brackets and the highest score would treat the other couple to dinner.

And that was all I heard about it.

Until last night.

Justin handed me two completed brackets to give to my friend. One with his name on it and one with my name on it. Only, I hadn't done one.

I told him that it wasn't really fair. He didn't see it that way. He wanted to win.

When I told my friend, she agreed with me. Vocally. She explained that it wasn't fair for him to know and pick both teams. And I, knowing nothing about the teams, had just as much chance because often they over analyse the bracket. That made me feel better.

Until I tried to use that reasoning with Justin. He didn't buy it and said it wasn't true. Thanks, hon.

Then, Justin said that we could do a couple's bracket where each couple would complete one together and just use that one. Only, I knew that I wouldn't have a say so in it at all. Justin confirmed that he would just do it without me.

When all of the fairness talk was going on, I was transported back to gym class elementary school. There I was, standing in line, waiting for someone to pick me and praying to God that maybe, just maybe I wouldn't be the picked last again. Inevitably, I would be.

Only this time, my husband didn't want me on his team. My best friend wanted me on the other team.

Because they both wanted to win. And apparently, I'm the loser.

Welcome to March Mad-ness.

*Justin has since apologized. I'm almost over it. Really.*

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Answered Prayer

"Maddie, please stop."


"Because I said so/it might hurt you/it might hurt me/it is driving me crazy."

And then she proceeds to ignore me and continue to do whatever is was I just told her to stop doing. This goes on all day long.

We are pretty much at our wit's end. No- scratch that. I'm losing my mind. Nothing seems to work.

Monday night, I was helping her get ready for bed. I told her to stop jumping around in the wet bathtub. She jumped again.

I asked her what just happened.

"I disobeyed." And then she giggled. She. Giggled.

"And what should happen when you disobey?"

"A spanking." And then she stuck her little tush out, ready for punishment.

Was she calling my bluff? I can't not spank her at this point.

I gave her a spanking- not a hard one, but one that left a slight sting on my hand. I watched her upper lip quiver.

"You know, Mom, that didn't really hurt."

Me walking out of that bathroom was the best thing I could do at that point.

The next morning, I was sitting on her bed talking to her. I told her that us praying about her behavior and my reactions to her behavior before the day starts might help us.

She explained that since she wasn't blind and her legs worked fine, she didn't need His help. Yes, they've been studying the miracles of Jesus in Sunday school.

I prayed anyway.

As the day went on, I noticed something profound happening. The clouds started parting. There was a little blue in the sky. And a miracle happened here in Middle Tennessee.


We spent the entire day outside, enjoying the day.

When she wanted to go inside for something to drink, I brought it to her and made her swing while drinking it. When she complained that her feet were hurting, I brought her a different pair and suggested she run around the house to make sure that they felt good. We walked down to the creek and jumped on dirt piles. We invited our neighbors over to play.

3 hours of continuous play time.

And after all that, she went to softball practice.

Her behavior was better than ever. It may have been from sheer exhaustion, but I'll take it.

Spring. It's every mom's answer to prayer.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

The New And Improved Tract

It was Thanksgiving and we were all sitting around listening to Justin's mother. Well, I was pretending to sleep on the couch because if you are sleeping, you aren't expected to respond.

She was talking about this man that went to school with Justin. Apparently, he went to her restaurant with his 5 children and let them run wild. Her restaurant is a small place, and 5 small child running around quickly creates havoc.

"I let him know that I didn't appreciate it. Not one bit. And he was in there all high and mighty...blah blah blah...and when he left, I went to the table to clean up the mess those little heathens made and you wouldn't believe what that man had left."

She paused to make sure she had everyone's attention.

"A TRACT! He had the nerve to leave me a tract."

At that point, I couldn't pretend to sleep anymore. I made eye contact with Justin and we both burst into laughter. Justin's brother and his wife were laughing so hard they were crying.

We were laughing so hard because the one thing you don't do to my mother in law is question her faith. I promise you that if you do, you will be on her bad side for at least 20 years. That poor man had no idea.

She still tells that story every chance she gets. And we still laugh at her outrage.

Saturday night, I walked over to my table that had just left. And they had left me a tract. Of a different kind.

I'll admit I was in disbelief.

Just who do they think they are? Don't they know I work out 5 or 6 days of the week?

And then I started questioning myself.

Do I need this? Is this how everyone sees me? Should I go to the gym twice a day, now?

And then I just had to laugh.

Because it takes some kind of nerve to leave a tract. Of any kind.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

I have a strange habit. It could even be termed a fixation. And I can't help myself.

I read each and every church sign I see. Believe me, living in the buckle of the Bible belt- I read a lot of signs. I've even turned around and drove back to the church because I missed what it said.

Some of the time, there is a Bible verse- which never hurts.

Some of the time, there is a cutesie little saying that is cute until I get to a stop sign.

Some of the time, I wonder what in the world the church was thinking when they put it on the board.

Most recently, I passed a church and the sign had 5 simple words on it. I did a double take because I was sure that I had read it incorrectly. I hadn't. It read:

Wow. I could just imagine being a guest walking into the church and asking to sit in the "sinners" section. Would there be ushers? I pictured it to be like a wedding- Are you family, friend, or SINNER? Ahhh, you are one of those SINNERS, huh? Well, here is your red "S". Make sure you wear it so everyone will know. Oh look, you are the only one sitting in the SINNER section of church.

I could go on forever.

I'm sure the church's point was to simply make it clear that everyone is welcome. But, really- if you weren't a Christian, would you want to try it out based on that sign? I'm a Christian and a sinner and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't. But that's just me.

I found some pictures of church signs that are pretty funny and if I were looking for a church, I might try it out because it's evident that someone in the church has a sense of humor. Enjoy.

Church signs Pictures, Images and Photos

Church signs Pictures, Images and Photos

holy ghost party. Pictures, Images and Photos

church signs Pictures, Images and Photos

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Career Day

Last week was "T for teeth" week at Maddie's school. Every day was filled with tooth related stuff, and the week ended with a dentist coming to her class for further instruction.

This morning, Maddie told me that she was going to ask her teacher if they could have "R for restaurant" week. That way I could go speak to her class about working in a restaurant.

I wanted to explain that being a server in a restaurant isn't quite in the same class as being a dentist, but I didn't. Children going home and telling their parents "I want to wait tables when I grow up!," doesn't have the same ring as, "I want to be a dentist/doctor/vet/astronaut".

But then, I started thinking. All Maddie talked about for 2 days was what the dentist had told her. Maybe I could use this to my advantage. Maybe I will go speak to her class. Maybe I can brainwash them. No- forget I said that.

Here is my outline- just in case I get the invitation.

I. Intro
A.) Positives
1.) Cash
2.) Working with all types of people
B.) Negatives
1.) Some mean, bad people just don't tip no matter how good the service is
2.) Working with all types of people

II. Tips
A.) Percentages
1.) 15% is good, but 20%+ is better
B.) Wages
1.) Servers make $2.13/hour.
2.) Rarely is a check actually given.
3.) Servers depend on tips to pay for groceries.

III. Behavior
A.) Drinks
1.) Slurping your drink is rude. It will not make your server go any faster.
2.) Ordering water with 8 lemons so you can make your own lemonade proves
you will probably not tip. And we don't care if Oprah told you to do it.
B.) Food
1.) If your order is incorrect, by all means let your server know. If your server
corrects the mistake, tip accordingly.
2.) Mistakes happen

IV. Conclusion
A.) Economy
1.) We understand things are tough. But spending $75 on a meal and leaving a $3 tip because things are tight is just wrong.
B.) Most important lesson to go home and tell your parents... 1.) TIP
2.) 20%
3.) Ask for Chelsea if you tip over 25%

What do you think? Should I present my outline to her teacher?

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Chocolate Pie

Justin has a terrible diet. He knows it. I know it.

His breakfast, every single morning consists of a king size candy bar and a Mello-Yello. His lunch is usually fast food. Most of the time his dinner is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and whatever instant potatoes Maddie doesn't eat.

His family history leaves a lot to be desired. His dad had both a heart attack and a stroke before he was 50. His mother has diabetes.

But I know that no matter what I say, he is going to eat what he wants to eat. If I were to tell him that he couldn't have something, it would make him want it even more. But, it doesn't stop me from wanting to warn him about the long term side affects.

Last night, I walked up to a lady that I work with. This lady is 75 years old and waits tables like nobody's business. Somehow, the conversation turned to health and eating and diabetes. She told us this story.

"When my husband was 36, he had diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems. It was December 22. We had been out most of the day. I fixed a pot roast for dinner- trimmed all the fat off because he didn't need it. He wanted a piece of chocolate pie. I wouldn't let him have it. We argued about it, but he didn't get his chocolate pie."

I laughed for a minute because Justin would definitely argue if I told him he couldn't have chocolate pie.

"He needed me to run some errands and on the way home, I got behind an ambulance. I followed it to my house. It pulled into my driveway."

I stopped laughing.

"My husband had had a heart attack and died. I sure wish I had let him have that piece of chocolate pie. When it's your time, it's your time."

So, Justin- eat your candy bars and your chocolate pie. But, seriously, a salad every now and then wouldn't hurt.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Miniatures and Treasures

I've told you how much Maddie adores Bella Sara in a previous review. And her passion for everything horse related hasn't diminished in the least.

Excuse me. . . "Maddie, hold on. I'll tell you when."

Her love only increased when we received the Bella Sara Miniatures. It is a brand new product line that features 20 tiny horses to play with or collect. Each velety horse comes with its own stand, a bonus code redeemable online, and a checklist. And for only $1.99, it's perfect for small rewards.

I'm sorry. . . "Maddie- I'm doing something important. A review for my blog. If you want to keep getting stuff to play with, I need to get this done. I'll call you when I'm done."

The other new series Bella Sara has added is the "Treasures" series. With Treasures your horse lover gets more printable activities, bonus codes, coloring pages, wallpapers, a poster and jigsaw puzzles. Every treasure pack comes with 5 cards, a mini-game, Bella Sara tattoos, and stickers. As a bonus, the tattoos wash off in less than one day, and for me- that's a huge bonus. Until April 30th, Bella Sara is offering the chance to win a Treasure Hunt Party of their very own. The Treasures pack retails for $2.99 a pack, which is still a great deal.

Aaargggghhh. . ."Maddie- seriously. Let me do this. Two more minutes."

Bottom line- check it out. And in the words of Maddie- "Bella Sara is awesome- especially the little ones."

"Okay- Maddie. I'm done."

Note to self: Never tell Maddie that she can play on Bella Sara after I'm done on the computer.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Family Look-a-likes

Justin gets asked a lot if he golfs. His answer is always an emphatic "no". And the response is usually, "Oh, cause you look a lot like Tiger. If Tiger was white."

And he does. Some. Particularly in the summer when he has a tan.

Tiger Woods Pictures, Images and Photos

Last week, my brother in law was stopped in the airport because he was mistaken for someone that was famous.

Guess who.

Dwight Pictures, Images and Photos

dwight yoakam Pictures, Images and Photos

dwight yoakam Pictures, Images and Photos

Dwight11 Pictures, Images and Photos



Since he doesn't look anything at all like good ole Dwight, I'm thinking my brother in law needs some looser jeans.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Even A Taste

When Maddie was a baby, she would eat anything. Almost anything we put in front of her, she devoured it. Now- not so much.

Now, the only "vegetables" if you can call them that, that she lets pass through her mouth are mashed potatoes. But not just any mashed potatoes. They have to be Daddy's mashed potatoes.

And they are instant. I'll wait while you stop shuddering.

She fell in love with them the first time he fixed them for her. And turned her nose up at mine. And her granny's.

She then proceeded to explain that she doesn't like "old lady mashed potatoes." Meaning that if an old lady prepares them, she won't eat it.

And let me tell you- it does so much for my ego to be called an old lady. insert heavy sarcasm.

I had almost given up until I came across an idea that worked with 3 small boys. I just tweaked it a little to suit our family a little better.

I printed out the cards. For every time she tries something new, and actually eats the entire bite/serving without making herself gag/vomit at the dinner table, she gets a sticker. When the card is filled, she gets a special treat. We were going to let her choose her favorite restaurant when the card gets filled, but she pretty much does that anyway since our choices are so limited to what she will actually eat.

When I explained the Tasty Tasty club deal, she loved the idea. Until it came time to try something new.

We were sitting in Cracker Barrel- if you aren't familiar with Cracker Barrel, I'm truly sorry. You are missing out- and I offered her some of my mashed potatoes, so she could get her first sticker.

"Um- I'll need two stickers to try that."

And then when she explained the whole thing to Justin, she tricked him into joining in. If she eats something new, he has to try it too. And then he can get a sticker.

Yesterday, she asked me to fix my mashed potatoes and spinach, so she could get two stickers.

She put the spinach on her fork and ever so slowly brought the fork to her mouth, but did not even open her mouth and put the fork back on her plate.

She filled her spoon with mashed potatoes. Very slowly, she brought the mashed potatoes to her mouth, touched it with her tongue, and claimed that she didn't want the stickers that badly.

It's freakin' mashed potatoes! What kid doesn't like mashed potatoes?

After 5 days, Maddie has one sticker. For eating half of a roll.

Justin still has no stickers on his Tasty Tasty Club card.

Which proves that his prayers worked. Because he only has to try something new if Maddie does.

And she didn't try the spinach.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mission Not Accomplished

"Mommy, do you want to be in my secret club?" This is what I get for only having an only child.


"Okay- I'll tell you the secret code and you can't tell anyone. Not even Daddy. Cuz this is a girls only club. No boys allowed." Wow. Secret codes and everything.

"No problem."

"Now- Club Member Mommy, are you ready for your first mission?" There's a mission? Can't I just say the code and make some cookies or something?

"Yes, I'm ready." I hope.

"Go outside and build me a treehouse." ummmm

"I think we should ask Daddy to be in this club."

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stop The Presses!!

"IT'S NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE. FROM GOD.", Nashville woman claims.

Coopertown, Tennessee- When Chelsea walked into her house, after a long day working both jobs, she sensed something was different. Not quite knowing what it was, she walked through each room and closet until she figured out what it was. And when she figured it out, she immediately thanked God. "It's nothing short of a miracle. From God. I just couldn't believe it until I walked into that room, and the proof was right there in front of me."
Chelsea explained that in the nine years she and her husband have been together, she's never seen anything like it. "Justin, well- he told me that he couldn't, and that he didn't know how. I tried to help him. I prayed, I showed him examples, I did everything I could think of. I almost gave up, which is just what Satan wanted me to do. Give up. But my answers have been answered. Finally."
So, what was this miracle that touched this family of three and changed their lives forever?
The laundry was done. Washed. Dried. And, most importantly, folded.
"I just love that man!", Chelsea said as she gazed adoringly at her closet. "Even if this was a one time deal, I'm just so filled with happiness, because now I know that he can do it. And I have proof."

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Accidents Happen

Friday night we had some friends and their twin 5 year old granddaughters over for dinner and fun.

Everything was going great.

In fact, it was going too well.

The adults were all sitting at the dinner table, and had just commented on how well the girls were playing. One of the twins came in and asked for some Valentine's candy that was out. My friend told her that it was too late and that she could not have any. And off she went.

We continued on with our conversations and about 5 minutes later, Maddie walked into the kitchen.

"Um, Mommy- if I lock the door, will it cause a fire?"

"No, but if a fire were to happen, we might not be able to get to you if the door is locked. Now, go play." And off she went.

It wasn't until later that night, when I was putting Maddie in bed that I noticed all of the open candy wrappers beside her bed.

Wow. Well, at least I know it wasn't Maddie. She wouldn't have done that. She knows better than to eat in her room, especially after the girls were told no candy.

Fast forward to the next day

"Mommy, I really need to tell you something." Guilt was written all over her face.

"What, baby?"

"Way-ul, last night, they were eating candy and kept telling me that I should eat some. I said that I didn't want any, but they kept begging me to. Some candy accidentally got opened in my hand, and I accidentally put it in my mouth, and then I accidentally swallowed it."

I could hardly contain my laughter. But I did and put on my stern face.

I explained that while I was proud of her for telling me, I was disappointed that she did what her friends were doing even though she knew it was wrong. I almost used the whole "if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" thing, but I didn't. I'm saving that one for later.

And then she countered with the fact that I didn't tell her that she couldn't. Only her friends' grandmother told them. And, that I should be really proud of her for not locking her door like her friends told her to, because she didn't want to be trapped in a fire.

When everything was said and done, I put all of her candy on top of the refrigerator and told her that she couldn't have any for one week. That would be her punishment.

I dread Saturday.

I'll have to confess that I've accidentally eaten most of it.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Life Changed Today

Lately, when I go to the gym, I walk up to any machine that doesn't have someone right next to it, program my info, and proceed to do a mediocre workout. And I know that that's not going to cut it.

Especially when I've registered to do a half marathon on April 25.

On Monday, while I was barely running and getting frustrated because I just couldn't get into it, I tried to remember how I was able to train for my first half marathon.

And then it hit me.

At my other gym, the better gym, the nicer gym, they had tv's on every cardio equipment. I would just plug it into some music station and I could workout forever.

I'll just say that my current gym doesn't have tv's on every machine. To give it credit, though, it does have a cardio theatre that shows different movies. But, seriously, just how many times can you watch "Are We There Yet" or "Johnson Family Vacation" or "RV" without losing your mind?

So I came to the conclusion that I needed some type of MP3 player. I tried to think of ways to justify the cost. Well, if I don't get one, it will be like forfeiting the $86 registration fee because I'll never be able to finish the training. Our new car has a MP3 player hookup- we can get rid of our cd's.

I had it all worked out. I would get a small one that didn't cost too much and just listen to the same song over and over again.

When I checked me email, I knew that God had gotten tired of listening to me.

I won an iPod!!! Imagine my happy dance.

I programmed about 20 songs and while I was working out, I realised just how much I've been missing. It changed my workout. No- my LIFE.

My 10:30- 11 minute mile was a 9:13 mile. I ran faster and farther than I've done in a long time. And it felt good.

Okay- here's where you, my bloggy friends, come into play.

I need songs. When I was trying to program my favorites into my new best friend, my mind went blank.

What are you favorites? New or old. Fast or slow. Country or rock. Just no gangsta crap.

This plea for songs is two-fold. I want to know who still reads. I want to find some new blogs. I want to know if I should continue blogging. Okay, so that's four-fold, but whatever.

So, please, leave me some of your favorite songs. And let me know who you are.

That's all for now.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Names

Maddie calls me "Mommy" for the most part. She will randomly switch up and call me "Mom" every now and then, and she went through a 2 day phase where she called me "Mother," because it sounded more princess-like. But I thought I would always be "Mommy" to her.

Until yesterday.

"Mommy, from now on, I want you to call me Sweetie-Pie."

"Okay, Sweetie-Pie. If I call you that, what are you going to call me?"

"Hot Mama."

God help me if she follows through.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My True Love

My first true love happened when I was a pre-teen. I went on a trip with my church's youth group to Nashville and fell in love. With the city.

I made several more trips as a teen to Nashville, but since most of them were with my church, I wasn't able to explore like I wanted. But the pull was there. Just what was going on downtown? Where was that music coming from? Who is walking down Broadway?

When I moved to a small college town, most weekends would find me and my roommate on the streets of Nashville. Going from nightclub to bar to honky-tonk. But I knew there was something more to the city.

Luckily I met a man that loves the city as much as I do. When we were dating, we would head downtown and explore. Museums, restaurants, and parks. We were basically tourists in our own city. And we still do it sometimes, just to see what's new.

This Christmas, I wanted to get Justin a book about Nashville. We paln on decorating our office in Nashville prints and pictures. And our coffee table looked kinda empty. It needed a book.

I searched and searched and found the perfect book. The only problem was I had a budget, and the book would cut into almost half of it. So I didn't get the book but promised myself that I would get it eventually.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I got an email asking to review a book about Nashville. Of course I said yes, and when the book came, I actually did a happy dance.

It was the same book I almost got Justin for Christmas. Historic Photos of Nashville by Jan Duke.

This book takes Nashville's history and makes it come alive. It has always been fun for me to imagine what Nashville was like back then, but now- I have pictures. And proof that I was born in the wrong time period.

One of my favorites include a picture of the Ryman Auditorium, where Justin proposed to me. Another is of Union Station, a train station converted to the prettiest hotel I've seen in this city.

The book retails for $39.99, which is really a great price when you consider the quality.

The only problem I've had with this book is keeping grubby fingerprints off the cover. You just can't resist it.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

I May Be Converted. . .

to actually liking Valentine's Day. It may take several years of consistent great V-days, but if any of them are half as great as this one, I might be one of those people. The "Be my Valentine/I love everyone/where are my flowers/gimme chocolate because it's February 14" type of person, that is.

The 13th was actually the 9th anniversary of mine and Justin's first date. We tend to recognise that day as our anniversary more so than our wedding day, simply because our entire wedding day pretty much sucked. I'll save that for another post.

He called to tell me that he actually did get us a gift. Um...I didn't even get you a card, but whatever- what did you get me?

James Taylor tickets!! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. He is one musician that we've both wanted to see, but have never had the opportunity.

Then, on the actual day of love, my microwave was fixed. The repairman showed up, just a little late, but after 10 days of no microwave, I didn't even mind.

Work was work, but everyone was in a tipping mood. And that was fine by me.

And after I got home from work, Justin and I decided to go buy a new car. 2009 Nissan Sentra. We desperately needed it. And have needed it for about 3 years. So, yes, I'm excited.

And to top it all off- the dealership gave us a free flat-screen LCD tv. It is only a 19" but hey, it was free.

So, yes, I may begin to like Valentine's Day if they continue to be like this one. Right now, though, it's still somewhere between Labor Day and Halloween.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

V-Day Love. . . Not So Much

I'm not a fan of V-day. I personally think it's silly to devote only one day to show the people around you that you love them. Commercialism at it's best.

It's turning into something so much more than a one day thing. I'm afraid that eventually, when someone mentions taking a holiday break, it will start with Thanksgiving, go through Christmas, Martin Luther King Day, Valentine's Day and end with President's Day.

One one side, that's great. People go out to eat several days before the big day to avoid the crowds. That helps me because I work in a restaurant, and in this economy, we need all the business we can get.

On the other side, it's kinda not. You start seeing pink and red hearts shortly after they get rid of the New Year's party gear. Cupids are flying around, shooting arrows all willy-nilly. Single men are hiding behind trees trying to avoid the arrows; single women are jumping up, hoping one might hit them. But not too soon. V-day can turn into something really awkward if the arrow hits too early. Nothing scares a man off quicker than feeling the pressure of declaring undying love over a box of chocolates.

Good times.

Maddie worked on her Valentine's cards all week. She struggle to find just the right card for just the right person. Which wasn't easy since the Barbie cards she chose only came in four variations. The mean boys all got heart ones, because "they need more love in their hearts."

Her party was going to be today. The kids worked for 2 weeks getting their boxes ready. Hearts were cut out and glued. Sparkles were placed in just the right place. I've gotten updates upon updates about the progress of the boxes.

I got word that school is canceled today. Over 20% of the children in the elemtary school have been out sick. Thank God Maddie isn't one of them.

The party has been post-poned until next Friday.

This stupid, made-up holiday is never going to end, is it?

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Micro Problemo

We've had a traumatic past week. More so for me and Justin, than Maddie- but she has suffered, also.

Our microwave quit heating.

Do you have any idea just how stressful that can be? Easy Mac is no longer easy. Heating frozen dinners in the oven? 35-40 minutes. And that's after the oven is preheated. I actually ate leftover KFC mac'n'cheese cold. And I'll never do it again, I can promise you that.

Since it is built into the cabinetry, I can't simply go get a new one. And the stupid thing is under warranty, so I made the call to get someone to fix it.

The appointment was set for last Thursday between 8 and 12. I called and tried to confirm but had to leave a message. No one showed up.

I called again at 1. And 2. And 3. Finally someone called me back at 4 and explained that the part hadn't come in. Really? Why didn't someone call me and explained that? I could have actually taken a shower if I hadn't been afraid I would miss them. . .

They assured me that someone would be at my house on Saturday morning to fix the microwave.

Justin called them on Saturday morning and the part still had not come in. And once again, no one called to let us know.

I called today. And I was livid. After all, it had been a week. 2 appointments were not kept and we did not get a single phone call in the entire time.

"So and So Home Repair- How can I help you?" You can fix my freakin' microwave!

"Yes. My microwave has not worked in a week. We haven't heard from anyone about it. Someone was supposed to fix it on Thursday. And then Saturday. And No. One. Has. Called."

"Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry. I thought I had called everyone." Yeah right. I left 4 messages for you. Did you even listen to your messages? Cuz I'm pretty sure you would recognise my voice.

"Well, we never got a call." And I did that really sarcastic, "whatever you say" type of laugh.

"My father is the owner of the company. . . " Well I'll be happy to talk to him

". . . and we had to bury my mother yesterday. We closed the office for a few days." GULP

My microwave problems didn't really matter anymore. And I felt about 2 inches tall.

I told her how sorry I was and they could just get to my microwave whenever. But hopefully on Thursday.

And to please have someone call to confirm.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Teach Those Vultures Some Manners

Justin turned to me. "The vultures are waiting to pounce."

I looked back and saw exactly what he was talking about. "Let's get this over with." I replied.

We got out of our vehicle and within 13.5 seconds, we were approached. "SowhatcanIshowyou?Lookingforanythinginparticular?Pricerange?Blahblahblah"

Yes, we were car shopping.

We've needed a new vehicle for a loooong time. Our '99 Explorer has well over 200,000 miles and has needed a new engine for over 3 years.

And I think the main reason we've put off getting a new car was the dread of dealing with the sales people. I mean, besides the fact that we have been broke for well, ever.

So while they were practically begging us to take the first car we looked at for a test drive, we were trying to put them off because we were in a hurry to pick Maddie up from school. We promised to give them a call and set up an appointment if we decided we wanted to try it out.

"So, when were you hoping to buy a car?"

"We planned on doing it next week."

And then the floor manager asked us a question that I will admit to wanting to ask customers that look out of their element. Especially in February. But I never do because I wouldn't want to be that rude. It's just bad manners, in my opinion.

"Oh. Are you expectin' a check?"

"Um, yeah. We are."

And with that one question, she pretty much just lost our business. We will take our refund and spend it elsewhere. Thankyouverymuch.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Being Part Of The Family. . . sometimes sucks

I bought new work pants. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but I tend to wear my work pants until they are literally falling apart. My old pants were more gray than black and the hems were gone.

I will admit that I've gained a few pounds in the last few months, but I decided to go ahead and not buy up a size. I reasoned with myself that I was sure I would look fine in them and in a couple of months, all would be back to normal.

I wore them to work on Saturday. You may remember that I wrote a few days ago about my work family. And like any other family, they call it like they see it. Believe me- it's not always pretty.

"Hey, are those new pants?" Wow. . . it sure is nice to have the little things noticed every once in a while.

"Yep. Believe me, I needed them."

"Your butt looks a lot bigger. You are now a member of the Official Big Booty Club." WHAT?!? Did he seriously just say that to me?

"Um. Wow."

Another voice chimes in

"You know, I noticed it's getting out there, too."

And another

"Ever heard that song 'Honkey-Tonk-Ba-Donk-a-donk?" Are you freakin' KIDDING me?

In my opinion, there are a few things that you just don't say to a white girl. And telling her that her butt is getting big is high up there on the list.

It lasted all. day. long.

And since I'm part of that crazy family, I received a new nickname.

And since I'm trying to shame myself into losing said booty, I'll share it with you.

I'm now known as Chelsea "Ba-Donk-A-Donk" Burns.

Hopefully, in a couple of months it will be something completely different.

I'm thinking Chelsea "Runner-girl" Burns. Or Chelsea "Where did her butt run off to?" Burns. Or Chelsea "Finished the half in 2:20" Burns.

Any other suggestions?

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Need A Laugh?

Is it just me or has it been a craptastically loooong week? And not a very fun one either.

I had a long post written about everything that's been going on- in my world and in blogosphere. But then, I remembered a hilarious skit I saw and decided to share it instead.

Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

Funny, huh?

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Monday, February 2, 2009

My Second Family

I work in a restaurant that is like one giant family. A dysfunctional one, but a family all the same.

We argue with each other. We laugh at each other. We get on each others' nerves. We help each other out when needed. We cry when something happens to another family member.

There is a grandmother figure. We have several loony great-aunts that we love. The moms and dads (managers) try their best to keep everyone in line.

There are several small groups made of individuals that are like sisters and brothers. Each of the groups treat the other groups similar to how one might treat cousins. We speak to one another. We hang out on occassion. We gossip about and with the other. We are there for each other when needed.

Our restaurant family tragically lost a family member on Sunday night. To me, she was like a cousin. But to many others, she was their sister.

And my heart breaks for them.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Maddie

Maddie hit a milestone today. She turned 5.

I'm working on a birthday post that I may or may not post in the very near future. Right now, I'm simply too exhausted.

I'll leave you with some pictures of the par-tay.

The swing set arrived Friday night. The Amish man that set it up told me that he didn't need directions to my house. He has GPS. I'll let that sink in. An Amish man with GPS.

We gave her a card with a pair of gloves in it, with instructions to put them on and ask all of her friends go outside for a surprise.

The other little girl is her cousin- born 24 minutes apart.

It never ceases to amaze me, how much my life has changed since having her. She has blessed us in so many ways.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Why, Yes- It Does Still Bother Me

I hated P.E. in elementary school. I did everything I could, just to get out of it. I would "forget" to get papers signed, just so I didn't have to go. I cleaned blackboards. I helped grade papers. I did my teacher's filing. Anything.

I was the kid that was always picked last.

I can still remember the order of kids that were picked first. Matthew, Amy, Eliot, Cindy, David, Reacie, Natalie. . . often in that order. The one guarantee was that I would be last.

I would watch the captain's eyes and could tell from their facial expressions the minute they realized they would be stuck with me. The one time I was allowed to be the captain and choose my team, kids were wanting to not be chosen by me. It was traumatizing.

Looking back, I can't blame the other kids for not wanting me on their team. I was the one picking dandelions in the outfield. I missed balls thrown directly at me. I practiced my dance routine while waiting to kick the stupid ball.

But would it have hurt the gym teacher to make them pick me third or fourth every once in a while?

Maddie loves to try to play games. But, I'm afraid she is showing all signs of inheriting my lack of athletic abilities. She gets frustrated when she doesn't catch the ball. She gets embarrassed when the bat doesn't connect with the ball. She likes to pretend she is a butterfly and flitters around the yard while we are trying to get her to play soccer. That's my girl.

And because she desperately wants to play with other kids her age, we signed her up for softball. God help us all.

I just hope that by the first game, she gets some of her daddy's athleticism. And with some practice, she won't be the kid in gym that gets picked last.

Every. Single. Time.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Contingency Plans

Yesterday morning, Maddie looked troubled.

"What's wrong, honey?" I asked.

"What would happen to me if both you and Daddy died?"

"Well, hopefully, that won't happen until you are all grown up."

"What if it happened today?"

"I guess you would go live with Gram and Pop."

Her eyes twinkled. She got the biggest smile you could imagine on her face.


Great. Now on top of everything else, I get to worry about my 4 year old offing me and Justin just so she can go live with my parents.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let's Go Qlubbing

I have two jobs. Justin has two jobs. Maddie goes to school three days a week. We go to a church small group meeting every other week. I occassionally help out with the 4 yo class at my church. Justin is signing up to be an umpire for the Dixie Youth T-ball league. Maddie is signing up to play in that same league, which means practice and games. And she wants to start dance and gymnastics.

To say that we are busy is an understatement.

And it's getting increasingly hard to keep up with who needs to be where and at what time. Most of the time it feels like we are running in circles and wave at each other when it's convenient. I could not imagine how families of 4+ handle it.

Which is where Qlubb comes into play. This is an online calender service that can make life so much simpler. You form your group, which could be family, team, playgroup, etc. and invite the people in your group to join.

You simply add events to the calender and every member of your group can view the events. It really does helps with the constant emailing back and forth, delegating tasks, and organizing group events.

It makes the circus we call life a little simpler. Heck- I almost want another baby, now that I've mastered the art of managing a family of three with this Qlubb thing. Surely a family of four couldn't be that much harder.

Whew! That moment of insanity passed. I'll stick with my family of three.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

What A Difference 10 Years Makes

Ten years ago, I turned 21. And I thought I had it all figured out.

I turn 31 on Tuesday. And I know I have so much to learn.

The last ten years have been amazing. And I'm looking forward to discovering the woman I'll be in the next ten years.

I fell in love and married the man that understands me, even when no one else even wats to try. And in the next 10 years, I'm going to continue to try to understand him.

I gave birth to a wonderful little girl, that seems to love me unconditionally. I'm going to try my best to be the person she adores.

I came to realize who my true friends are. I'm going to thank them more, love them better, and always be there for them like they've been there for me.

I realized that maybe, just maybe, my mom knows more than I thought she did when I was a teen. And when she gives me advice, I'm going to take it. Sometimes. If I think it's the right thing.

I loved my 20s. And after a year of being 30, I've determined that I'm going to love my 30s even more.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

One Reason Adults Shouldn't Text

I have a 13 year old niece that I adore. She recently hurt her leg and I've been texting her like crazy.

But she hasn't been texting back. I assumed that she thought she was too cool for her old aunt and refused to text back. Or that she was grounded from her phone. But that didn't stop me. Oh no. The more she ignored me, the more I texted her. "How is school?" "What time is your dr appt." "When are you coming to visit?" And so on.

Last night, I sent her one asking when she was going to write more on her blog.

This is how everything transpired.

5:54 (inbox) Hey just to let you know, you have the wrong number. Whatever. . . we've been texting tons.

5:56 (outbox) What are you talking about?

6:00 (inbox) You keep texting me and I have no idea who you are Someone must have gotten a new phone and didn't put me in her contact list.

6:05 (outbox) Silly- it's me, Chelsea. She better not be trying to play a joke on me.

6:08 (inbox) I don't know any Chelsea's. Who do you think you're texting? QUIT MESSING WITH ME! I KNOW YOU KNOW ME!!!

6:10 (outbox) You a punk with a gimp leg- that's who. Get some.

7:15 (oubox) What? No response? I'm hurt. Really.

8:00 nothing

9:00 nothing

A light bulb goes off. I was the one that got a new phone. And every time my niece sent me a new ring tone, it didn't show her name but a number. Crap. I called a stranger a "punk with a gimp leg."

10:30 (outbox) I am so sorry. I thought I was texting my niece. And then I thought she was messing with me by telling me I had the wrong number. Oops. Thanks for letting me know.

The punk hasn't texted me back to tell me that everything is ok and I'm forgiven. That's just common courtesy, isn't it?

Unless he/she is an amputee. And then they have every right to ignore me.


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'll Take Apple

Maddie turns five in a few weeks. Justin and I discussed it and decided that we really wanted to get her something special for this birthday.

Something that she and her friends can use. Something that will keep her occupied for hours on end. Something that was pretty far out of our price range.

Fortunately, my parents, Justin's parents, and other family members have offered to chip in and let the gift be from all of us. Which is a great idea.

So Justin and I picked out the perfect wooden swingset. A 10ft slide, 2 swings, telescope, steering wheel, and a small play area. And handcrafted by the Amish.

I went to the little Amish store to put a down payment on it. It was full of quilts, hand made crafts, dolls, jellies, honey- just about everything that you would imagine would be in an Amish store.

As I was signing the paperwork, she told me that since I purchased a swingset, I was entitled to a free gift. Woohoo! My pick? I'll take the quilt. It will keep us warm when our heat is turned off due to paying for this wooden monstrosity. Thankyouverymuch.

"Next time you come in, this coupon will get you a free fried pie. We have apple and cherry."

"Umm, thanks."

Forgive me, but I seriously believe that if you make payment arrangements for a swingset that will take 24 months to pay off, you are entitled to something a little more than a $2.50 fried pie.

I left the little Amish store, knowing that Maddie's 5th birthday will likely be one of her best.

But feeling like I had just sold my soul to the Amish and all I had to show for it was a coupon for a free fried pie.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

I Hope She's Not Going To Be THAT Girl

Maddie has had two boyfriends since August. She juggles them like a champ. Zach is her school boyfriend. He eats lunch with her, pushes her on the swing, and sits with her during library time.

Ethan is her other boyfriend and I think her true love. He is the weekend boyfriend. The boyfriend she sees when the parents get together to play games, watch football, hang out, etc. They've loved each other since they were 2.

A few days ago, we were on our way home from school. She was as excited as she usually is. "Guess what, Mommy?!"


"Timmy kissed me today. He walked right across the rug and kissed me. He told me he just couldn't help himself. I have 3 boyfriends now."

I laughed it off.

The next time I picked her up from school, she had the same excited look.

"Mommy- guess what! Today, Timmy kissed me during gym. Benjamin kissed me on the playground and Easton kissed me before lunch. I've got 5 boyfriends. I love them. And during naptime, I got to sleep between two of them."

When she talks about these boys, she gets dreamy eyes. She told me that her wish had come true. Apparently, she wished upon a star for more boyfriends and now they just can't stop kissing her.

I was fine with her having 2 boyfriends. But 5 is a little much.

So we have started talking about how she really doesn't need 5 boyfriends and that she probably shouldn't let them kiss her.

Before I took her to school this morning, Justin was telling her goodbye and to have a good day. I asked her what would happen if another boy tried to kiss her.

"I guess I'll have 6 boyfriends, then."

Does anyone know of a good convent that accepts 4 year olds?

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Night Epiphany

I've always been the type that likes to have something to do on a Friday night. Whether it's hanging out with friends, going to dinner or a movie- I just like to go. Anywhere.

Even when I was little, I would plan whose house I was going to visit, then finagle an invitation. And would beg my mom until she caved. Or told me to go ask my dad, whose answer was always, "I don't mind if your mom doesn't." I would always assure him that she didn't mind at all.

As a teenager, well- let's just say I went. Football games, work, out with friends, the skating rink. . . okay, Mom, confession time- we never went to the skating rink. It just sounded good. And I'm sure it was fun.

I'm afraid Maddie has the same "go" factor. When given the choice between going to a basketball game with her daddy or staying home with me, she chose the game.

Which means I have the house to myself tonight.

And I'm going to ignore the pile of laundry that needs to be put away. I'm going to ignore the Christmas decorations that have yet to be taken to the garage. I'm going to ignore the dust bunnies that rapidly multiply when I go to work.

I'm going to put on my comfy pants. I'm going to relax on the couch with whatever chick flick I can find. I'm going to relish my sweet, glorious alone time.

It's taken 30 years to figure it out, but I've had a revelation.

Staying in is where it's at. Please excuse the poor grammar. It just didn't sound right any other way.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gotta Run

I'm concerned. Not really worried. Just concerned. It is a concerning time we live in, after all.

Business is down. For both Justin's business and the restaurant in which I work. I'm down to working one day a week at my office job. It's concerning.

The bills keep coming in and getting larger. The paychecks are still coming in but getting smaller.

I don't deal well with stress, in general. But the best way I deal with it is working out. My mind clears and my problems seem to disappear when the endorphins are pumping.

I know this. Justin knows this. For some reason, though, I haven't been able to get motivated into working out.

So I did what I knew would motivate me. I registered for the Country Music Half Marathon. 13.1 miles on April 25.

It's exciting and it has had the effect that I wanted it to. I'm anxious to go to the gym. I am feeling less and less stressed. I know that everything will work out. Eventually.

Wait a minute. . .

Registration fees- $86
New shoes, which I will definitely need by March- $80-100
New running outfit, simply because I don't want to run the race in my grubby gear- $35-50

My shoulders are feeling a little tense. I think my breathing just quickened. I can't quit fidgeting. Great. I'm stressed again.

Gotta run. . . I'll be better in a bit.

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Monday, January 5, 2009


I don't take Maddie to many birthday parties. I let her go to the party if a) she actually likes the kid and sees him/her on a regular basis b) I like the parents and c) if I plan on inviting that child to Maddie's party.

I don't send invitations to every child in her class. The main reason is I don't want to feel obligated to going to 19 birthday parties over the course of a year. And I definitely don't feel slighted when she doesn't get invited to every party. No big deal.

Some don't feel that way.

A few days ago, she got an invitation in the mail. To the bad kid's party. I did the "yeah right" laugh and hid the invite before she saw it.

Today, as I was dropping her off at school, I saw the bad kid's mom. She was talking to another mom about the party. Oh no. . . what if she asks me if we are attending. What should I tell her?

Sorry, but no. Maddie is terrified of your child.

Will there be arts and crafts? Because Maddie told me that your little angel CUT a little girl's hair during nap time, I don't think it's a good idea to have scissors anywhere near them.

Ummm? Do I know you? It interesting that you've never spoken to me in the 1 1/2 years our kids have been in the same class.

Can you guarantee me that your child will not intentionally or otherwise hurt my child or any other child? Or me?

Maybe I would be better sending an email.

Bad Boy's Mom,

We won't be there.


Much easier.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Glorious Tomorrow

I should be remembering all the good times we had this Christmas season. Because we did.

I should be sad that it is ending so soon. Because it is.

I should not be doing my happy dance. But I am.

Maddie starts back to school tomorrow.

And my Christmas break begins.

Disclaimer: I loved spending time with her but seriously- I'm tired. From traveling, to parties, to cooking endlessly, to playing with all of her toys, to keep reminding myself to say "Santa" instead of "I" when discussing her toys, to play dates, to plays, to everywhere in between- we both need a break. And school is just the place to take her.

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