Little White Lies

February 14, 2011

10 years ago today I ditched the guy I was actually dating to hang out with Mike. I remember saying to Mike, “I just am not ready for the commitment of going out with him for Valentine’s Day… I mean that means you are like REALLY dating.” To which my good friend Mike replied, “Just come hang out with me, I’ll make you spaghetti.” I called the guy at 3 o’clock in the afternoon to tell him I wasn’t feeling well. He showed up at my apartment with a huge bouquet of flowers that he had already bought. I am not a liar, I am not even a little white liar. I am tell the truth whether or not it hurts kinda girl.  But I totally wrapped up in a blanket and tried to look sickly when I answered the door. The day after Valentine’s Day I told him the truth and broke up with him. Six weeks later Mike and I were engaged and five months later we were married.  The best little white lie ever.

Let’s Eat

Okay, before we move on to this week’s food, can we just chat a bit about how gross my food from last week was…. The Chinese Cheese Burgers=Gross. What the what was I thinking? They got great reviews on, I followed said recipe and they were bad news ballet. The Chipotle Orange Taco’s from the pioneer woman’s site= also Gross and also got great reviews. They were tolerable, but I repeat do NOT make the Chinese Cheese Burgers.

On a good note, the Egg Drop Soup was so good and so easy and felt super fancy to make. I also ended up making Sloppy Joe’s from a Whole Foods seasoning mix on leftover night, since we obviously weren’t eating anything I had already made and they were great!

Monday: Valentine Dinner with the kids… Spaghetti (Mike’s favorite) Crab Legs (Scott’s favorite) Bread (Nate’s Favorite) Dessert (My favorite)

Tuesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

Wednesday: Blackened Mahi Mahi, Rice, Veggies (didn’t end up making the other week)

Thursday: Grilling out Kabobs it is going to be 74 degrees!

Friday: Out

Saturday: Date Night

Sunday: Pizza Movie Night

PS This is a pic of our Sunday night Valentine Calazone Movie Night… Impressive, No?  

Valentine Calazone



Genie in a Bottle

February 2, 2011

The snow blizzard has arrived. Mike is out of town and my biggest fear throughout this blizzard is losing power. Alone. With two little kids. Being literally snowed in. Seriously, trapped. And not knowing how to start a fire. (note to self: learn how to start a fire.)

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so nervous. Finally at midnight, anxiety ridden, I prayed. I prayed that if God let us get through this without losing power that I would go to church for six months straight. Then I decided that I didn’t want to commit to something I knew I couldn’t do (sick kids, vacations, etc) so I changed it to: Get to church often but if we miss church to watch it online, every week for six months.

Yes, I know I am ridiculous. Yes, I know God is not a genie. Yes, I know God doesn’t bargain like that, and yes, I knew this while I was doing it. Yes, I am that lame.

So far, we haven’t lost power. No, I am not saying the only reason I didn’t lose power was because I committed to church (honestly, I am kind of surprised God didn’t make me lose power and then leave me a message in the snow that said, “Have you not read the verse that says DO NOT TEST GOD”) BUT I am saying, If I make a commitment I follow through.

Tonight I decided to be an overachiever and watch church from last week online because that’s how I roll. I was sitting on my couch crying.

It was about fear. “What we fear the most reveals what we value the most and what we fear the most is also where we trust God the least.” How true is that? My biggest fear is someone hurting my kids. This comes from a lot of different places. A child molesting youth pastor, volunteer work, my pre kids job, child molesting camp counselors and private school teachers. The person most likely to hurt your child is the person you suspect the least. One in three girls will be abused. One in four boys will be abused. I get choked up with fear even thinking about the day my children will start having sleep overs and going to camp and playing sports and being away from me more than they are with me.

I am scared to go to church and be close to God because I am scared that he will test my faith by allowing someone to hurt my children.

It is an issue.

I am not going to go into every detail of what Craig talked about, I won’t explain it right and it will be better to watch yourself. However, I will say, I didn’t realize how deep my fear was. And I don’t want to project my fears onto my children and affect their lives negatively.

The next six months I am going to do more than go through the motions of church. I think I am going to embrace it and run with it and see where it leads me. My goal is to be present, to learn and to apply.

Now to find a church….


Shut In

December 24, 2009

So I didn’t Menu Plan this week. I totally forgot! It didn’t even cross my mind until Tuesday evening. I have had Christmas on the brain.

As I am writing this, it is 9:22 am. Mike and Nate are still sleeping, Scott is watching a show, I am drinking coffee and watching the rain waiting for it to turn to snow.

It has been an unusual couple of weeks. Wonderful but different. Last week, Mike was out of town and the kids both had pink eye/conjunctivitis (all I know, it was green pus, and it was gross, and it required $70 eye drops). Being true kids, Scott got it on Mon-Wed and Nate Wed-Fri, ensuring that we weren’t leaving the house all week. If your husband travels, you know how important leaving the house is during out of town times.

We are a leave the house kinda family and I am a gotta keep movin’ kinda girl. The first couple of days were rough. Wednesday night I must have shown it because I got a worried email after Mike and I’s (or me’s… grammar genes do not get passed down) nightly phone call. But then on Thursday morning, we all woke up and it was like we actually got used to being home. It was weird. We stayed in our pjs, I drank a lot of coffee, we painted, and played and cleaned together. We watched more TV than usual. At one point Nate was missing, I walked down the hall and his door was shut, I quietly opened it and he was sitting on his floor surrounded by books reading, I tip toed out and left him on his own. It was great. I know a big part of it was my attitude, I always come to the realization that my attitude is what was screwing things up, AFTER my attitude has changed. Kids smell fear and irritation and tiredness and I guess, peace and calm and love.

It made me realize, we don’t do it enough. This week, we have already had another shut in day, by choice, I think I am going to “take advantage” (just being positive) of the winter weather and have more of these days. It is kind of comfy. And despite my greatest fears, Scott is still just as smart as he was before the extra show or two. It also made me realize, what my heart brings into the house, directly effects (affects… again with the grammar), the hearts of my little stink bombs and I am sure the heart of my big stink bomb.

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you have lots of comfy days over the break and I wish you a heart of peace and love.

The Gut Squeeze

December 16, 2009

When we hug the kids good night we do normal hugs and we do “squeeze your guts out hugs”. Nate is starting to catch on to the squeeze your guts out kind. Before I lay him down I squeeze him and he grabs my neck as hard as he can and tenses his whole body and makes the cutest little grunt sound.

Today was one of those rare days I didn’t see the kids much. Our babysitter came at 9:30, I got home around 1:00, put Nate down for a nap, woke him up, stuck him in the car, got home, threw his pjs on, hurried through the bed time routine and plopped him down to start on Scott. Then he started crying. My initial response was irritation. I went back in hugged him, laid him back down and left. More crying. Went back in, rearranged him and left. More crying. I have to admit, I was really annoyed, it has been a long couple of days. I told Scott he “got” to stay up late and to play quietly since I might have to be with Nate for awhile (he was thrilled!). I went back in picked Nate up and sat in down in the chair. We curled up together. As soon as he realized I was going to snuggle, he gave me the gut squeeze, looked into my eyes and giggled and then snuggled back in. Then he sighed. It was that baby sigh that means, “Momma is here. She got it.” We snuggled for about ten minutes then I laid him down and he was fine.

He just needed to reconnect. He needed that moment at the end of the day to be able to say, “Everything is okay. I am loved.” I love that about kids. I love that they force us to to remember that the reconnection is worth the time.

Early Morning

November 25, 2009

I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon on Sunday. It was wonderful. Perfect weather, I was happy with my time, but the best part was hearing my babies (Mike included) cheering for me.

I had told Mike that if the kids woke up in time and he wanted to get everyone to the race that was great, but not to feel obligated. I wasn’t doing the girl thing of saying the opposite of what I wanted, I really meant it. The race started at 7:30 and I totally know how hard it is to get everyone out the house before 8:30, let alone find a parking spot, unload both kids, walk downtown, and fight the crowds at the finish line. So I didn’t get my hopes up that they would be at the finish line.

Hearing your husband scream your name, while simultaneously holding your four year old up so he can see you, snapping pictures and holding the double stroller containing your sixteen month steady with his knee is a beautiful beautiful sight.

A couple steps down the line, my parents (my mom kicked booty in her 5k by the way) were cheering me on.

I was smiling so big crossing the finish line it hurt.

To say I feel lucky sounds so cliche. I have a husband who cheers me on, supports me, encourages me and most of is proud of me. I have a four year old that after my race told me, “You were so fast, you did so good. You were so great, you even got a medal!” I have a sixteen month old that does the happy grunt when we sees me and wants to hug me, sweaty pig tails and all. I have parents who got to the race 3o minutes earlier than they needed to be there for my mom’s race (when you are talking about waking up at 5:30 am, 30 minutes is a lifetime!) just to be there for my start.

I have legs that run. I have a heart that beats. I have a healthy family. I have happy kids. I have a loving husband.

Sometimes you have those overwhelming moments that knock your breath out in a good way. Today was one of those days. I observed my life from a distance and really liked what I saw.


November 5, 2009

Evie leaves today. So, of course, I am crying as I write. Having our family together, seeing grandparents, eating dinner together every night is such a reminder of how loved we are. I am lucky that myself, Mike and especially our kids have so many people in our lives that care about us.

Scott has started to become very aware of people he feels “safe” with. In the last couple of weeks, he has made little comments like, “Don’t tell anyone I was ___, they might think I am silly. But you can tell my Dad because he lives at my house.” This morning we had a whole discussion about where he will live when he is a grown up. I don’t know what made him think of it, but he asked me, “When I am a grown up, can I still live with you?” I paused to think of how to answer and said, “Well, you can, but you will probably want to live with your family in different house, like how we live in a different house but we live close to Mimi and Poppy so we can spend lots of time with them and when you grow up, you can live with your family but live by me and Daddy so you can see us when ever you want and we can babysit your kids (see how I am already brainwashing planting the seed!).” He thought about it and replied, “That will okay. I will live by you and Tots will live by you, and we can live by Mimi and Poppy and then we can all still be together.”

In some ways, this new self awareness breaks my heart. He is to young to feel self consicous and to censor himself for others. On the other hand, I know he feels like our house is a haven. A place where he can be himself, run around in his underwear and be a pirate. A place where he is loved no matter what. I hope he always feels that way. I know I do. I still get homesick sometimes.

Don’t Make Eye Contact

October 8, 2009

There was this one time when Scott was about 8 months old… We were at the post office waiting in line to ship something and in walked a man and got in line behind me. He looked homeless, he smelled, and I didn’t want to talk to him. My thought process was, “Don’t make eye contact with the scary man. Please Scott, don’t start pointing at him. PLEASE DON’T MAKE HIM NOTICE US.” Of course, Scott leans over my shoulder, smiles his biggest grin, and starts “talking”. The man starts laughing. I have no choice, but to turn around and say hi. He tells me how cute my baby is, how beautiful his smile is, how lucky I am. Then he tickles Scott’s foot and says to him, “You made my day.”

Basically same thing happened to me and Nate the other day.

That combined with my friend and I out to dinner the other night talking about how we should be volunteering and aren’t and she said, “I think we get more jaded as adults.” My first thought was, “Speak for yourself lady.” Later as I was thinking about it, I wondered… Have I gotten more jaded?

I don’t know if it is more jaded or just less naïve or maybe I am just making excuses for myself. My first thought when I see a homeless person is not, “I should help.” It is more along the lines of, “Are my doors locked? Okay, don’t make eye contact.” Part of this I know is because I am no longer responsible for just me. But I look back on my college and pre kids days and some of the things I did, I would never dream of doing now. I remember on me and Mike’s first date in college, on our way back to my apartment, we drove by a group of teenagers who were walking down the street, Mike pulled over, asked if they needed a ride (the last bus had already come for the night), they piled in, and Mike dropped them off before taking me home. I would never in a million years do that now. I think of the places I went into to volunteer that I wonder what I was thinking and thank God that nothing ever happened to me. I remember the places I went alone at night and now think of how I always contemplate having security walk me to my car at the mall when I am there at night with the kids. Is part of this just growing up? Is it good or bad? Am I jaded? Maybe this is why I keep saying I want to volunteer and not doing it. I feel like I should, but I don’t really want to.

In college, I really in my heart believed I was changing someone’s life. Now, I even look back on my job pre kids and wonder if I really made a difference. There were some families, I knew didn’t listen to a word I said, but I also knew, I was the only person that week that was going to check on the baby.

Anyways, I don’t really have a conclusion to this. I just wonder about it. I wonder what the right thing to do is.