In Honor Of {…} Giveaway

You don’t know it, but something amazing happened today. I passed the 5 week 6 day mark. This might seem odd to you, but to ME it is something a little great. I miscarried when I was 5 weeks and 6 days. That was five years ago, but I still remember it, and I was super happy to wake up this morning having officially PASSED that mark.

In honor of passing THE mark.
In honor of being able to get pregnant despite my doctor’s warning that I might never be able to after having my son.
In honor of my morning sickness that reassures and bludgeons me all at once.
In honor of artichokes.
In honor of the woman at church who asked me how much longer I had left as if I was 7 months pregnant (hi, I’m fat).
In honor of the cold I woke up with.
In honor of my filthy house.

Okay, now I’m just griping.

In honor of babies the world ’round! I offer you and yours the chance to get free goodies. Not from me, mind you. Though I DO enjoy making a good craft:

These goodies come to you straight from Delicate Designs by Darah.

You don’t have to actually HAVE a baby to enjoy these goods, man. She makes other non-baby goods as well. But really… who doesn’t enjoy a few good baby pictures?

Maybe it’s just cuz looking at baby pictures makes this morning sickness seem like it has a point.

Aren’t these hats adorable?!

I want to reach through my computer screen and SMELL these babies. I can smell everything, and truuust me: right now, new baby smell would be a welcome relief to what I’m smelling right now… which is The Weekend. Cleaning up The Weekend on Mondays never has smelled all that wonderful.
But I’m griping again… back on track now:

PUMPKIN! My little sister was a pumpkin for her first Halloween. Mom just attached a fabric pumpkin top to her head (she was like 3 months old)… forever sealing her nickname, “Pumpkin Head.” What we wouldn’t have given for our little red-headed sister to have a hat like that. She’s 21 now. Do you think she’d still wear it?

GNOME baby!
Ahhh, the list goes on! Aren’t these hats to DIE for? Like I said, you don’t need to have a baby for this giveaway to work for you. Aside from her non-baby items to choose from, I KNOW that you KNOW someone who would LOVE one of these free goodies! Whether it’s a friend with a baby, a new grandmother who would LOVE to be given a sweet little hat to gift her new grand kiddy (I can’t wait to be a grandma), a photographer friend who takes pictures of babies and would love a new prop…
The point is: you need to enter regardless.
PEOPLE need these sweet handmade goodies!

All you gotta do (and I’m not asking much because, after all, you’re getting something for FREE) is click on over to her etsy shop (if you haven’t already) find your favorite item, and then leave me a comment telling me what it is. My favorite item?
This little number.

If you want to be entered more than once, post the giveaway on your facebook page and (now this is important) leave me a comment letting me know you did.

If you “like” my blog on facebook, let me know and that’s another entry. If you don’t “like” it, go forth and do so that you may obtain the prize.

One free item of your choosing from Darah’s etsy shop!
If you’d rather pay than play, simply head over to her site and fill your shopping cart up and use this super-duper secret promo code for 20% off from now until Mother’s day: MOM20
(The promo code can be entered at checkout)

You can enter the giveaway anytime between NOW and Friday night at midnight!
Good luck, readers. You’re all winners in my book (that’s something moms have to say. I’m a mom; therefore, I say).

Papers and Plaques vs. Diapers and Dishrags

My husband got a plaque yesterday. After receiving it, he sat down next to the the kids and I. I jokingly mouthed the words, “Another one for the wall!” He smiled and mouthed back, “My shrine.”
There’s a wall in our house, above our computer desk, and it is fairly slathered in plaques with my husband’s name on them.
My husband HATES that wall, but I’m proud of him, so I don’t care. He once teased that the only thing missing from the wall was a gigantic portrait of him in the middle. Well, don’t tempt me.

My husband has this great talent to be REALLY good at whatever he does. He has a plaque from his full-time mission, a plaque from graduating at the top of his college class, and various work plaques. He’s amazing at his job -I mean, he is really amazing. He loves it, so that helps.

After looking at The Wall one day, he sadly remarked, “We need a wall for you.”
“What for?” I laughed, “Are you going to tack dirty diapers to it?”

Before I go on, I need to say that I GET the importance of my job. I love my job. I don’t want to NOT do my job.

Sometimes I get to feeling like I’m really, for lack of a better word, lame. Every stay-at-home mother has felt this way at one time or another -probably at many times. When I attend luncheons and conferences where my husband is given plaques, I feel so boring next to all of the polished career women.
I listen to women talk about the difference they’re making teaching homeless young adults -helping them get their GEDs at the YMCA. I hear about the amazing people I graduated with -we’re technically old enough to be getting MASTER’S degrees! Isn’t that amazing?! And I’m so proud of all of them -their jobs, their degrees, the difference they are all making.
Their accomplishments don’t make me love them less at all -I don’t even envy them. I’m just straight up, 100% amazed. And completely proud.
Then I look down at my growing belly and wonder if I’ve let my personality go. I wonder if I should be doing more. I WANT to be doing more.
I realize in the big scheme of things I AM doing more. I really am. But in the day-to-day monotony, I feel like I’m not. I feel like I’m doing the same things over and over and over and over and no one really notices or cares.
Because if they DID, they’d stop eating on the dishes so I wouldn’t have to wash the again. Really -it’s the only logical thing they would do, you know, if they cared.
They’d also start dressing in disposable clothing.
In any case, I feel an itch to DO something… accomplish something that STAYS accomplished.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t mind having A Wall… just something that says, “Look what you’ve done. You’re great at what you do. Your life really matters.” Everyone needs that fat pat on the back now and again.
I mentioned this to my husband the other day -I tread carefully. I didn’t want him to feel for one little second like I didn’t appreciate everything HE does so I can stay home. I explained to him that I knew that my job really matters, but I can’t help but feel, well, fat and boring.
“What really matters is that you’re learning as you go,” he said, which isn’t exactly what I expected him to say. Then he said something else that I didn’t expect him to say, “You’re doing the kind of learning that matters right now. You’re learning skills that will make a difference when the time comes. When things get bad, you’re going to be all right.”
I have to admit: I never thought about that before.
Also: when things get bad, I WILL NOT be all right, but I get what he’s saying. He’s right. I guess I’ve always felt like mothering STUNTED my scholastic learning, but in all actuality it’s been more of an accelerated learning experience than anything. I won’t bother you by listing everything, because it would take and I know I’d miss a million things. Literally: a million. The things I’ve learned by staying home have ranged in topic from economics to nursing to spiritual growth to psychology to physical education… and BEYOND!
Does Movie Quoting count? Kid Movie Quoting?
Anyway, I went to a kid movie last night with my daughter. We went to see, “Mirror, Mirror” and while she sat next to my in our one-screen Roxy Theater, my heart was absolutely overcome. She was wearing a froofy princess dress, clutching her popcorn and Root Beer and asking questions VERY loudly.
“Why does the Queen want to kill her?”
“Why are their legs so big and silly?”
“Why are those guys just so short?”

And eventually, despite the fact that I needed a bathroom for 45 minutes, I scooped her up and plopped her on my lap.
“Mom, I can sit in my own chair,” she said.
“I know, but you’re still small enough to fit on my lap and pretty soon you’ll be much too big. So can I have you on my lap, just for tonight?”
“Sure,” she nodded. She’s really very charitable.

And here’s the thing: if I haven’t offended you by now I might just cross that line in a second…
I feel so bad for other parents. Seriously. I mean, I have the BEST kids. I wish everyone could have a Lacy in their home. She’s the coolest, cutest, smartest, more fun, most caring, sweestest little morsel of a girl that ever walked the planet.
And she’s ALL mine. I feel like I’m hogging all of the awesomeness in parenting because my kids are the best.
My son? He’s a CLOWN. And he’s so loving it would melt your heart to pure liquid. And I’m the only mom who gets him.
I’m sure all parents have felt this way as well… I’m sure all parents look at their kids from time to time and think, ‘Man, mine are the best. Poor other parents.’
And such is the ride of mothering.
We go from feeling boring, fat, monotonous, and unimportant to a parenting high of utter, absolute, swelling and overwhelming PRIDE… all in the course of one silly day.

And so I don’t have A Wall. I don’t have plaques. I don’t have any real recognition of what I’ve done… but I have something better and higher than that. I have two perfect children and something perfect brewing as we speak.
They’ve been the ultimate challenge -the ultimate joy -sometimes they’ve been my source of ultimate sacrifice, and just as the words of the song tell us…
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.

My plaques don’t go on A Wall… they go on horse rides.

I Tried Too Hard

Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in OVER A YEAR. Because I live out in the country, going shopping is a well thought-out process. The nearest grocery store is ten miles away, and given gas prices and how hard it is to load up two little kids and take them with you… we don’t go to the store very often.
Unless we happen to be passing by on the way to doing other things and remember we need milk. and artichokes.

Anyway, I plan my meals two weeks in advance. I’ve been doing it since we were newly weds. Lately though, prices have been rising. Our paycheck? Not so much. Prices aren’t sky-rocketing… but a few dollars more here and there adds up REALLY fast. I used to be able to plan fun, interesting meals and buy fun, interesting ingredients for them. Now I just end up replacing things we’ve run out of and by the time that’s done… so is our money. So we trek home and eat what we always eat. Lucky for us, we have half of a steer in our freezer so what “we always eat” is roasts, hamburger, steak… it’s not like we’re starving.

But yesterday I had a craving. I’m a little weirded out by this because I didn’t usually start craving things until I was farther along in my pregnancies. But yesterday, the craving was undeniable. I wanted deviled eggs and imitation crab meat. I mean: I wanted it BAD. I wanted it IMMEDIATELY. My mouth was literally watering. Just as I was about to call him to ask him to pick up a few things on the way home from work (we were out of eggs, boo!), my husband called ME.
“Heeeeeeey!” I sing-songed into the phone.
“Hey?” I asked.
“Is everything okay?” He asked.
“Fine, I was just thinking about you and then you called… like magic…” I was trying to sound like I wasn’t about to ask him to do a favor for me.
“Okay… well can you do me a favor?”
“What are you going to do for me?” I asked, seeing an opportunity.
“Rub your feet.”
“OR,” I snapped my fingers, “You can stop by the store and get me some eggs, some imitation crab, and green onions!”
“Nasty, why?” He asked.
“What? Why nasty? It sounds so good!”
“I’m not eating that for dinner,” he laughed.

And I did whatever it was he wanted me to do and took MYSELF to the store to get everything. I threw caution and gas prices to the wind. I even kind of, sort of forgot all about my food budget (I’ll be paying for that later when I go to Sam’s Club and have to leave a few things out of the cart). I went and bought things to make dinner for that night.

And THAT, friends, is what I did that I haven’t done in over a year. The last time I did that was when my husband and I went to the store and bought stuff to make dinner together -for a stay-at-home date. It cost us $50. We had an amazing time together, and we still talk about it… but wow. never again, we said. $50?! That’s dinner at Cheesecake Factory! I mean, the pasta we made was pretty amazing… maybe like $20 amazing. That is why we avoid going to the store to buy things for dinner. That is why I went into the grocery store a little hesitantly.
In the end, I only spent $30 and I got enough stuff to make 3 dinners. $10 a dinner? Not TOO bad! AND the stuff I got was fun and interesting! I bought STIR FRY sauce! And I bought tortillas! I NEVER buy tortillas because I usually make them, but yesterday I was so brave.
I came home and made stir fry with imitation crab, frozen veggies (don’t remember the last time I bought those either!), and stir fry sauce. AND THEN I served fried rice on the side. I bought the fried rice that you buy in a box that’s extremely cheap, unhealthy and pretty much 78% sodium.
My husband came home to a house filled with the aroma of The Orient. I had THREE burners on my stove going, and I was cookin’ man. Literally… cooking.

We ate and it was divine.
And when I say “we” I mean my husband and I. My children flatly refused to eat anything different.
“What is this?” My daughter held a sauteed piece of celery daintily between her fingers and FAR from her lips, “I don’t like it.”
“You love it. It’s celery. You love celery,” I say.
“No…” she sighs and puts it down.

And guess what? By the end of the night, we had threatened, shouted, threatened, pulled the whole “your aunt Julianne would KILL to eat something as good as this!” and bribed… and in turn they cried their eyes out.
“I don’t want to eat this!”
“Can I please go clean my room instead?” True story, my daughter ACTUALLY asked that.

We promised a movie night and sugar cookies if they’d finish their dinner.
The boy really did try hard.
The girl gave up completely. Threw her hands in the air, put herself in her PJs, curled up on her bed at 8:30 pm and went to sleep.
The boy lasted until 9.
My husband and I sat up late (ish), watched a movie, and ate sugar cookies.
WE finished our dinner.

So much for fun and interesting ingredients, right? Here’s the one gem of a picture I got last night… it was in the thick of the threatening when my husband went from bad cop to good cop.
“Let’s all take bites together, okay? We can do this! Then we can all eat cookies and watch a movie together, ready? 1……2……3!”

I hope they’ll eat the imitation crab salad wraps we’re having for dinner… Julianne would LOVE them.


I went to my husband’s work yesterday without calling first. I would have called, see, but my phone QUIT working. Naturally, I drove straight to my husband, interrupted his lunch, and begged him to take a look at my phone. And he fixed it in about 2 minutes. It used to be his phone, so he understands things about it I just don’t… like how to get the flingin’ flangin’ back cover off to take the battery out. Sheesh.
As I was driving home, I thought about the $5 in my pocket. I thought about the artichokes in the grocery store I was about to pass.
I told myself I didn’t NEED them. I could save the $5.
Yes, I told myself resolutely, I could save. I didn’t NEED to spend a $5 on artichokes.
I passed the grocery store. The $5 was still in my pocket. It wasn’t spent on artichokes.

And just like that, I took a back road and high tailed it back to the grocery store. And, oh yeah, I need milk.
And, oh my GOSH would you look at the price of STRAWBERRIES?! It would be so fun to slather them in Nutella. HEY! If I buy Nutella the girl can make her own lunches from here ’til next payday!

Once home, and after one artichoke had been safely tucked away deep inside my stomach (have I ever told you how grateful I am that no one can watch me eat one of those? It’s repugnant)… the boy had fallen asleep and it was just the girls. I pulled the strawberries out, washed a few, cut the tops off and began slathering them in Nutella.
“Is that for us, Mom?” She asked, “Like for just the girls?”
“Yeah, I thought we could have some,” I said, “And I’m going to make some for Dad to have when he gets home.”
But she didn’t hear the last part. She had taken off in a hard run for the door. She came huffing back in with her little Cars table. With GREAT effort, she set it down next to the counter, and then she was off again… bolting out the door.
She brought a little Cars chair in. Then she brought a BIG chair over and sat it next to the table.
“Is that for us?” I asked, “For our snack?”
“Yeah!” She said brightly, looking up expectantly from her Cars chair.
I reached up to the HIGHEST part of our cupboards and brought down… crystal goblets. Her eyes lit up.
“For US?!”
“For us,” I said.
“It’s a PARTY, Mom!”
Party indeed.
She couldn’t get enough of the clinking.
It’s not REALLY party, you know, unless there’s clinking.

I don’t know if I’ve told you lately, but I LOVE having a daughter. I also love strawberries. And Nutella. And goblets. And dirty little lady faces.

May you always keep your goblets handy.

Ton of Son

I’d almost forgotten what it feels like to have your body order you around, but this pregnancy has brought everything back to me. I’ll be in the middle of cleaning the kitchen, and my body will order me to sit. lie. stay.
No, I say, No. You know I’m busy. You know I’m in the middle of something.
Yeah, my body snaps back, You’re in the middle of creating a human. Now shut up.

It goes without saying that my formerly packed life has almost slowed to a halting stop. Life is much slower these days.
My mother even loaned me a book to read. Do you remember the last time you read a book just for fun? I mean, I read ALL the time, but… a BOOK? just for FUN?
The last book I read just for fun was “The Help” and that was last year. Before that, I can’t even remember when, so when my mom offered me “The Princess Bride” I took it, and I relished it.
Have you ever read it?

The copy I read was an abridged copy of the original -and the abridger is, well, obnoxious. I’ve read abridged books before, and after I finish them I turn them over in my hand and think, ‘How? What? Where? I couldn’t find a SHRED of anything being left out!’ Then I shrug and drop the book back in the library drop box. This particular abrdiger, aside from being obsessed with The Princess Bride like most the rest of us, is intent on you knowing that he is divorced. His wife’s name was Helen. She never believed in him. She was a cold woman. And that he was an expert lover of all things Florenise.
I’m really tired of him.
The book, on the other hand, is WELL worth your time. Just skip over anything in italics (where the abridger explains WHY he abridged, sigh) and you’ll be in for a real treat.

Anyway, a few days ago I had trouble really getting out of bed. I mean, I’d BEEN up. I had done this and that, but my feet found their way back to my gigantic bed, and my head begged to be propped up against three different pillows, and in my hands, I grasped “The Princess Bride.”
So I read at 8 am.
And I was still reading at 9 am.
9 am is when it started.
“Mom,” a voice came from behind the gigantic bed somewhere, “Mom, I meed food.”
“Hi, son. Whatcha doin?”
“I meed some food, Mom.”
“In a minute, okay? Mom is going to rest for just a minute, okay? Go and watch your movie.”
And off he’d run to watch Spiderman and Ice Man defeat whoever it was they had to defeat to being back peace to the world.
9:15 am
“Mom, I meed froggy in da ho’e.”
“You do?” I ask, pretending this is brand-new information.
“Yeah, can we make it now?”
“Go ask Lacy what she wants for breakfast.”
“Okay,” and he’d run off. I knew he’d get distracted by Ice Man. And he did.
9:30 am
9:45 am
10:00 am
He’s back. His big eyes are bigger than normal. His brow is knit in deep concern for his own well-being.
“Mom…” he comes to my gigantic bedside, “You meeda get outta bed. Okay? I meed some food.”
And it was so bloody adorable that I put Buttercup aside, pulled my son into bed with me, and I hugged him so tight he groaned.
“I love you TONS,” I said, and kissed his cheek.
“But Mom!” His voice was surprisingly whiny, “I just don’t have TWO TONS…” with that he stuck his tongue out and grasped it between his thumb and pointer finger, “I only hab ONE ton!”
I laughed so hard I cried. When I composed myself:
“Son, I love your ton.”
“Fanks,” he said, and stuck his tongue out for me to admire.

That boy has my heart 100%… and apparently he’s farther along that I am.

Happy, Happy Birthday Grandpa Dear

Last night, we were invited to my aunt’s house for desserts to celebrate Grandpa’s 81st birthday. He was born in 1931, delivered at home by the family doctor.
There was a table in the backyard covered in Grandpa’s favorite desserts, and we all gathered ’round and visited. Aunt Lil’s backyard is beautiful… filled with all kinds of flowers and plants. She works miracles, that woman does. Want to meet her?

All the kids love Aunt Lil… my kids beg to visit “Lilly.” They can’t get enough of her. Don’t you love The Red-Headed Nephew’s PJ’s? They look like they come from an evening smoking jacket. Only 9 months, and he’s already a cut above.
Aunt Lil’s newest addition to her backyard is a fireplace and sitting area… it’s absolutely amazing.

After we all polished off our desserts, I sat next to Grandpa with a voice recorder and asked him questions.
“If you could offer us financial advice, what would it be?”
“Spend as you go,” he said.
“What advice would you give us as far as how we spend our time?”
“I think work’s about the best way to spend time,” he said.
“What advice to you have to give about families?” I asked.
“I dunno,” he said, “Ya oughta have one. That’s all.”
“If you could sum your life thus far up in a few words, what would they be?”
“Shortest 80 years I ever had,” he said.

Grandpa has never been a man of many words. I always wish I could be more like that. But I guess if we were all like that, no one would tell anyone much of anything. And if everyone talked as much as I did… the world would be in a STATE.

He did tell us all about the time he saved a man’s life, thanks to the training he received as a Scout. And he told us about how he was baptized in the creek. And when I asked him who his strongest influences were in his life, he told me he looked up to his parents. Then when he got married, he looked up to his wife.
When I asked him what the greatest gift his wife had ever given him was, he said, “Just being her. That’s all.”
And I melted RIGHT into my sandals. And Grandma, who sat right next to him, fairly beamed. It was so sweet -a memory I’ll take with me forevermore.

And in case you’re related to me and sorry you missed the interview, I’ll be burning it to a CD this very day. If you want a copy, just let me know. If you’re my sibling, you’re getting one whether you like it or not.
And if you WERE there but were on your smartphone… you’re welcome to a CD as well.

Eating a GIGANTIC helping of pumpkin dessert was a great way to end The Day My Belly Turned 5 Weeks. Sometimes the best cure for worry is pumpkin dessert followed by two days worth of yoga.

5 Weeks

 BabyFruit Ticker
Let me tell you how something the size of an APPLESEED is causing me a great deal of… I don’t know what the right word is. I’m only a little uncomfortable. I’m a lot tired. I’m hungry. But I don’t really think of those things as “complaints.” I do have one legit complaint.
I’m going crazy.

My poor husband is sitting on the sidelines, watching me spiral out of sanity. He’s comfy with it by now… with the girl’s pregnancy, he spun out with me. With the boy’s pregnancy, he couldn’t figure out WHAT was wrong with me. This go around, he recognizes the symptoms and he sits back like an experienced parent… “it’s just a phase… it will pass.”

I have to say, it’s really disheartening that something the size of an APPLESEED is having such a grand effect on me. I mean, that thing could fit on my pinky finger tip and STILL have miles of room.
Here’s the thing: I’m terrified of miscarriage. You would think that having had come through it once, I’d be fine. I’d be saying to myself, “I’ve done it once and lived through it. Surely going through it again wouldn’t kill me.”
I can say that.
Whether or not I BELIEVE it is something entirely different.
Consequently, I’m analyzing every. little. symptom.

“Honey, does my belly look smaller today? It does. I know it does. That’s it. This pregnancy is done for. It’s only matter of time now.”
“I think you’re fine. You did this last time with Trent. You poked out far and then it went back in and you thought you weren’t pregnant anymore… but you were.”
“REALLY?!?!” I cry out, clutching my belly.
“Yeah, really.”
And then I’m fine. for a while.

But here’s the gritty: I’m not sick. Now, in my mind I KNOW that I don’t get sick until the middle of week 5 or start of week 6, and is it absolutely nuts that I’m looking forward to being sick? I know I’ll eat my words very soon indeed, but at the same time: what a comfort morning sickness can be… like one big warm punch to the stomach to let you know your baby is growing juuuuust fine and you can stop worrying and focus all of your energy on up-chucking.

Is it nuts that I’m looking FORWARD to that?
I confessed that to my sister-in-law who is by ALL means more relaxed and infinitely more grounded.
“Well, there’s nothing you can do,” she said, “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”
“And that’s what bothers me so much!” I confessed. I obviously don’t have the faith of many… the faith to just let whatever needs to happen… happen. At least in this case. Because I want my kid, dang it. Every little seed-sized piece of it.
I’m my own worst enemy in the first trimester, folks. My very worst.

Be Good To Your Daughters

A few months ago, I was teaching a large group of very small children at church. I needed to tell them three different stories about Christ without losing their attention.
I took a long strip of butcher paper. I tacked it up over the chalkboard at the front of the class room. I strapped on a work apron that had it’s pockets full of markers… one pocket was filled to the brim with candy hearts.
“Who has two hands?” I asked, tying the apron on.
“Me!” They all cried out, almost in unison.
“Let me see… raise them up.” I said. The children all raised their hands up excitedly, “Wow… Now, someone told me that you guys really like to use your hands to draw.”
“Yeah, yeah!” They cried out, almost in unison.
“What do you call someone you draws and paints?” I asked.
“An artist!” A four year old girl on the front row called out.
“That’s right! An artist. Now. Sister Deets is a terrrrrrrrrrible artist. Can you say that?”
“Sister Deets is a terrrrrrrrrible artist,” they all chimed.
And so we began our lesson. They all had to help me draw because I was SUCH a bad artist, and they all earned candy here and there as they answered questions.
Well, my daughter has never forgotten that day. She actually remembered the story I told about SAUL because every time I said, “SAUL” I made a wicked face and used a wicked voice and made the children copy me. So she loves that story. But what she remembers even more is…
Mother is a terrrrrrrrrible artist.
She reminds me of it always when I’ve almost blocked it out of my mind.

“Hey,” I said to her when we were in the car together, “I’m really sorry but I forgot to take you to preschool this week.”
I didn’t mean to honestly. And I never forget like this… honestly! It’s just… we came back from vacation after taking a week off from preschool and we found out we were pregnant and I’ve been sleeping countless hours and my brain got sort of mushy in all the commotion.
“I’m sorry,” I continued, “I’m a jerk.”
“No you’re not a jerk,” my daughter said in her overly-nice voice, “You’re just… a terrrrrrrible artist.”

Oh, yeah. THAT explains everything!

She really is something else, my daughter. I love her to pieces. She loves the weird foods I love, and she’ll gobble up green olives and artichokes with me like there’s no tomorrow. By the way, the first time she asked for a green olive I told her no. I said, “These are yuckies. You wouldn’t like them.” Later on, when I wasn’t looking she snuck into the fridge, twisted open the jar, popped one in her mouth and came running to me, “Guess what, Mom?!?! I just LOVE those YUCKIES!”
She’s had so many firsts, and she has so many firsts on the way. Last night was a VERY important first… it’s one every family holds dear. Well. Every family that prays together, anyway.

She TOTALLY crashed.
I just love that girl. Love love love.

These Are a Few of My Favorite

Every so often, I start getting overly excited about THINGS. A few years ago, I went berserk over some Dawn dish soap because it was fancy enough to keep my hands from cracking and bleeding when I did the dishes. I wanted to give away a case of that dish soap, but truth be told… if I had a case of it, I’d prolly hoard it. I’m still smitten by that dish soap. Every winter, I send up prayers of thanks for that wonderful product.

Yesterday was another on of THOSE days where I look at what I’m using and practically gush with glee. The first is my (now don’t laugh) Britta water bottle.
My husband bought one of these for himself, and I thought he was a little silly. After all, we had a Britta water pitcher and we use it constantly… why an extra bottle? While we were on vacation, Danny insisted on buying a water bottle for him mother who was having some pain in her kidneys. He bought a two pack and gave me one, insisting that it would help me drink more water during my pregnancy.
“Okay,” I said, because I’ve been married to him long enough to know that he’ll do what he wants anyway.
And guess what? I use that bottle to PIECES. I drink water like a crazy lady, and the purple water bottle has become my very close friend. I don’t leave the house without it.
Phone? Check.
Purse? Check.
Keys? Check.
Water Bottle? Check!

It makes Joseph City water taste SO good -it’s a tiny, precious miracle.

Onto the next:

Look at the one all the way to the left… in the middle… it’s a bird’s nest with three eggs, and by golly gee if my thoughts weren’t almost immediately on that necklace in the minutes following my positive pregnancy test (ahem, the FIRST one). Guess what I’m getting for Mother’s Day? And I wonder if Danny will be sweet enough to throw in the necklace on the top left? It’s gorgeous!

Fed Ex came to my house yesterday and dropped off:

I’m SO thrilled! A few weeks ago, I went to a presentation on THRIVE. I was supposed to be teaching preschool, but I felt really strongly that I needed to go to this presentation instead. I cancelled preschool and went. I’m so glad I did -this food is a life saver! Unopened, it keeps for 25 years. Can you even begin to wrap your mind around that? Once opened, their shelf life is about one year, give or take a little. The cans are specially coated on the inside to keep the food from absorbing that “tin” taste. My shipment yesterday was spinach, pineapple, and blueberries. They are freeze dried, so the nutritional value is much higher than that of canned or dehydrated food. And my kids went nuts for it. They gobbled up handfuls of the pineapple and blueberries, and asked for more… win! I signed up for the program which is set up to take $50 out of my food budget every month ($25 a paycheck, not bad!) and send me whatever is on my list. I have a list set up online that I can change up however I want to, but once a month without fail, I get $50 worth of food storage shipped to my front door.
And there’s so much variety! Fruit, veggies, cheese, butter, eggs, yogurt… and on and on and on. My husband popped in the door for a brief second yesterday to pick up some work stuff and I shoved a pineapple in his mouth. A few minutes later (after he was back at work) he sent me a text, “I feel really good about having that food.”
I feel good about it too, and I feel SO good about it that I just HAD to share the info with my family. I booked a party and started taking invites around to my siblings, aunts and parents… only to find that most of them already had an account.
What? This stuff was brand new to me! No one told me about it! Maybe they all wanted me to die of starvation instead of thrive on my freeze dried food.
Okay, that was a joke.
I realize that most people don’t go bonkers over freeze-dried food. I was just really excited. HEY! I just realized I could totally send some to my sister on her mission! I bet she’d LOVE some!
Great idea, Alicia. Very great indeed. I’ll start work on a package straight away.

I love having it on hand not only for preparation reasons, but I live in a rural area where if I run out of sour cream, I have to drive at least 10 miles one way to get more. Now I can just use the freeze dried sour cream which tastes really, really good. Really.

So you should come over and see what I’m talking about. Saturday at 10:30 am at my house… unless you’re already set up with an account. In which case, shame on you for keeping it to yourself in hopes that I’ll die of slow starvation.
Shame, shame, shame.

I even put samples on my invites. Eets for fun.

I also put the pineapple on my homemade pizza last night AND I put a handful of blueberries in my oatmeal this morning. I feel so proficient… and I also feel healthy about the whole thing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with Pinterest, looking a recipe I pinned that calls for blueberries (which I usually don’t have). Then it’s off to do the most hysterical prenatal yoga video on Netflix instant streaming (“Now look down at your baby… say hello!”) during which I’ll have my trusty water bottle court side.
Enjoy your day, friends. It’s a beaut outside.


Grandpa got out Strawberry a couple days ago and snapped some pictures to send to Julianne on her mission. Speaking of Julianne:

She’s the greatest, and the only thing she loves more than horses is her nieces and nephews.

Ah, horses and kids. They go together like… I don’t know, maybe not peanut butter and jelly, but they’re a close second.

I think the only thing that tops peanut butter and jelly is probably grandpas and grandgirls.

Now BABIES and horses is a different story entirely.

And while The Red Headed Nephew isn’t so sure of the hoss… he’s right at home under a truck.

The kid can’t help it -he was born with mechanically minded genes.
And this girl… well she was born to love the outdoors and everything that goes with it. She has a special gift with animals -something she most certainly did not get from me. I just absolutely love her animal and outdoorsy ways.