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Mother’s Day

  • May 9, 2011 7:23 am

Yesterday Moms everywhere received special gifts of appreciation for the work they do at this job called Motherhood.  Some gifts were store bought, and some were homemade with painted hands and glittered letters.  The handwritten cards are my favorite, the ones where my little hoodlums try to explain their love for me.  At the end of one such card, one of my hoodlums wrote, “P.S.  Mommy, I love you so much I might explode.”

Me too.

Happy Mother’s Day Monday to all Moms out there!

To the man at the Cupcake Counter…

  • March 29, 2011 7:10 pm

You made my day, and even though it’s only Tuesday, you may very well have made my week.

Thank you.

As you know, we are celebrating the year of FIVE at our house this week, and today was the actual DAY of FIVE, so we tried to make it a little extra special.  Part of that was stopping by the wonderful Cakes by Leisha on the square to pick out a birthday cupcake.  She’s one of the few that takes the time to explore the strawberry world instead of leaving it all to chocolate and vanilla.  In fact, as we were trying to make our choice, she volunteered to ice a cupcake WITH SPRINKLES just for our little man.  Now that’s just some extra special service with a smile right there.

As we were celebrating our cupcake, distracted by looking at pictures of wonderful cakes, a nice man bought our little man his birthday treat.  Just right there in the middle of the cupcake shop, in the middle of our little town, a stranger splurged on a cupcake for another stranger.  A littler stranger, but still, a stranger.

Maybe it would have happened in the big city, but it really did happen here in our small town.  One little act that made a huge impact on our celebration, our day, and my faith in other people.

Sir–you made a difference today, in the sugary smile of a five year old, and in the sappy heart of his Momma.  And all it took was a cupcake, who knew?

The Big FIVE.

  • March 27, 2011 7:42 pm

Today we hosted a birthday party for my baby.  My baby that is turning FIVE YEARS OLD.  It’s just amazing to me to think that he is as old as my daughter was when he was born.  She seemed so big to me at that time!  So grown up–practically on her way to college.  My baby on the other hand?  Didn’t he just graduate from the crib??  He doesn’t seem capable of having five years under his belt.  We will be registering for school soon, and he will march into Kindergarten next year with all the other little guys.  I suppose he’ll even learn to read soon, try out for the football team, and get his driver’s license.

We celebrated with a jump house in the backyard, complete with a slide and a basketball goal.  I think he jumped for six hours straight, in the super cold winter weather blown in especially for the day.  Mario Brothers topped his cake, and he managed to blow out his candles all on his own.  Being the youngest of three kids, I really see him giddy when there is a day that’s all his own, and from beaming at church this morning when they announced the birthdays, to snuggling with his new toys tonight, I think he had the best day of his five year old little life.

It just seems like yesterday we brought home that little baby burrito…and now he’s jumping, sliding, and running his way to six.

Where’s my baby??

  • February 21, 2011 9:29 pm

It seems like I’ve been a Mom forever.  Even though I’m only approaching the ten year mile marker, it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t spend most of my days wondering about teaching good manners, washing thousands of miniature socks, tucking in little fingers and toes, and hoping for an entire night of sleep for myself. 

Talking with a friend today about her journey through the Year of One, I was hit with some vivid memories of my own first experiences with my perfect little baby doll showing signs of an actual kid (or-gasp-a real person!).  The cute little giggles, baby talks and smiles gradually turned into real words (even NO!), tantrums, and other expressive noises–sometimes not happy expressions.  When I was making the transition from Mom of Baby to Mom of Toddler, I remember other mothers acknowledging the dramatic personality shift-from easy going to highly demanding.  I also remember thinking it was a lot easier to be Mommy than to be Mom. 

Mom is a whole different ballgame than Mommy.  Mom has rules.  Mom has time-outs.  Mom says No in a super stern “I mean it” kind of voice.  Mom worries a lot about all the things in the real world that she can’t protect her perfect little baby doll from.  Mom is where the buck stops…and starts.  It’s not easy being Mom…it’s hard, sweaty, tiring work.

And honestly?  I like this work.  It’s challenging, exhausting, fulfilling, amazing work.  But, I can’t help but wonder-if I started with Mommy, and now I’m Mom….What’s the next step?

Annie-another ‘must see’

  • January 24, 2011 6:23 pm


“It’s a hard knock life..for us…” 

We watched one of my old-time favorites this weekend, because, as you know, I think it’s super important to give that “other education” in the form of old movies, songs, and traditions.  We’ve satisfied the Star Wars and Star Trek requirements in full force, and now I’ve moved on to musicals.  Gotta love a musical.

My husband is more of a hard sell, but so far the kids are grooving on my favorites, and “tomorrow is just a day away…”

A Lion’s Club Christmas…

  • December 15, 2010 9:06 pm

Tonight, my Lion husband hosted our family at the Lion’s Club Christmas Party–a tradition three years in the running for our household.  I always hold my breath as we trudge into the old building with our three hoodlums, hoping we survive without too much crazy.  I’m not knocking the Event-it’s a great event that my kids honestly now look forward to every year.  It’s just that some social events are more difficult to contain than others.  This one has wooden floors, folding chairs and close quarters.  All three can be elements for disaster in the hands of a nine, seven, and four year old.  But, to our kids’ credit, they are getting easier and I almost see the glimmer at the end of the tunner.  No actual light, but a glimmer.

There are two things I love about this event.  One, I love talking with Decatur Community Members, and hearing them say “to enjoy the kids while they are young.”  It’s easy to roll my eyes at that, and wish for calm, but I take that advice to heart, reminding myself that Moms in the Trenches do need to take the time to embrace the Crazy Love our children give to us so freely every single day.  Looking through someone else’s eyes, I can see my children for the Free Spirits they are, and appreciate that moment.  A quick moment.  Before they need to sit and be still.  Secondly, I love watching our children build friendships.  I love setting up the kids’ table and sitting back while our children talk, laugh and play with eachother–even asking eachother about past years’ dinners.  Tonight they were referenced as “Future Lions,” which made them giggle, but made me wonder.  They will be grown someday?  Is that even possible?  For me, it’s hard to see past the messy, loud, energetic conversation of the kid table.  A picture perfect, messy moment.  I guess someday it will be more refined and orderly.  Surely not.  I don’t know that I will know how to function without digging through my purse for pens, or quietly discussing intensive seating arrangements for best friends.

Ok, so there are three things.  Twice we’ve caught Santa driving through the streets of Decatur on a Firetruck as we were leaving.  The kids piled up on the corner of the Lion’s Club and waited patiently to give Santa a high five or a hug, and to eagerly accept a waiting Candy Cane.  Then, we waved Santa on as he walked from house to house checking on all those kids on the “nice” list.  On the way home, I listened to conversation about friends, dinner, Lions, Santa, and the beautiful lights on the Courthouse…

Does it get any better than that?

my favorite part

  • December 6, 2010 7:35 pm

“And then the Grinch had the strength of TEN Grinches PLUS two!”

I love love love that part of the movie, and every year we watch it, I get giddy just waiting for that one line to be said.  I don’t  have a good reason for it to be my favorite, and I know there are many more quotable moments from the twenty two minute cartoon, but the Sappy Me always gets a lump in her throat at that one moment, and then starts singing along to that little Who song.  My own kids look at me a little strangely when I get all teary and excited…

“Mom, you know that just means twelve Grinches right?  He was just trying to rhyme.”

Ya, I know.  But, it’s a REALLY good rhyme!

Santa Pictures

  • November 22, 2010 3:29 pm

We started decorating for Christmas this past weekend, given that, for us, the weekend after Thanksgiving is booked hour to hour with everything from shopping at 3am to your basic family bonding with eggnog and Christmas Tree Decorating.

So, in my decorating stupor, I had the ambitious thought to frame all Santa Pictures from the beginning of our parenting days.  Great thought, right?  Well, I came across three pictures.  THREE.  I was shocked-I was certain that just couldn’t be right!  I’ve had at least one kid for nine (NINE) years, and I could only drum up THREE pictures?? 

This just isn’t possible. For one, I’m super organized.  I feel I can say that without it being taken as bragging, because sometimes I think people pity my OCD tendencies, and realize it’s more of a sickness than a skill.  So, there’s that.  But, there’s also the fact that I’m a lover of pictures, and a scrapbooker at heart.  Before all these children took all my time, I spent hours pouring over the perfect layout, the perfect sticker, and the perfect paper to memorialize an event in one of my many (many) scrapbooks.  So, on top of being super-organized, I am all about preserving the memories!

Since I couldn’t possibly figure out how this tragedy occured, I called my husband-he has the memory of an elephant and would be able to recount every Christmas since his own birth-so our childrens’ Christmas memories would be no problem.  He was able to walk me through every year, which Santa, which location, blah blah blah.  Apparently, there were at least two years where my children would have nothing to do with Santa.  Sometimes Santa was a good sport, and held my screaming, crying children, but other years he just wasn’t that into that part of his job.  And, I guess I was in a sleep-deprived coma during that time since I only have foggy memories of seeing Santa at all, let alone him refusing to hold my children.

I feel like a loser mom-I bet there are moms out there with Santa pictures from the womb to age 18.  I don’t.  I did manage to scrounge up a few snapshots that I had put into those precious scrapbooks–I can scan those and have a partial Santa timeline to frame for Holidays to come.  So, this is my new goal-Santa pictures from NOW ON!  I’m sure when the kids are teenagers they will lovingly cooperate with me, and hopefully I will be rested enough to actively commit those outings to memory. 

In looking for those Santa pictures, I couldn’t help but pause and gaze at their baby and toddler pictures.  They are growing up so fast…no wonder I freaked a bit and wanted to freeze them in a frame with Santa.  I can do that, right?  Freeze time?

Our Town

  • November 15, 2010 9:17 pm

The Messenger has a renewed focus on blogging, and last week Brian touched on the role this Hometown Paper has in this community.  His points hit home with me, not only because of my inherently sappy mindset, but also because of so many stories I’ve read in the last year about the demise of the Newspaper.  With the onset of electronic readers, electronic subscriptions, and social networking, it’s amazing there is still a newspaper industry, let alone small town newspapers.  News is instant.  Twitter, Facebook, and websites tell the stories minute by minute, second by second.  News is Now-not tomorrow morning.

I’ve never been a newspaper reader.  Shocking-I know, since I’m now writing for one, but it’s true.  As a kid, I would ask my dad for the comics, but mostly because they were in color, not for their humor or any other intellectual stimulation (although I always did smile at Family Circus-I love me some Happy Family Moments).  But, by the time I’d flipped through Garfield, Peanuts, and the Political Cartoon of the Day, I was annoyed that my fingers were black, and that I couldn’t fold the paper back just like it was.  My parents weren’t big paper readers either, so that habit wasn’t ingrained in me like it is some.  For some, it’s a morning ritual-coffee and newspaper.  And, for all that I don’t enjoy dirty fingers, I do envy those with that ritual; it looks so peaceful and relaxing to flip through the morning paper with a hot cup of coffee.

And maybe that’s part of my nostalgia.  The idea of slowing down with the morning paper, a cup of coffee, and maybe even a scrambled egg or two is so appealing, that if it comes down to a vote-electronic or paper, I might just vote for paper–me, a non-reading, non-coffee-drinking, tree-hugger.  What does that say?  It says that the Newspaper is part of our culture, and the Small Town Newspaper is part of our Community.

It’s this newspaper that printed my student of the month picture, my graduation picture, my wedding announcement, and my childrens’ birth announcements.  It’s this newspaper that my mother clipped and sent copies to grandparents and cousins.  It’s this newspaper that I received at A&M in my mailbox twice a week.  Twice a week, I was guaranteed to have mail (very important in college life), and twice a week my roommates and I looked through the paper to see what was happening around town.  They were from Houston, and they began to look forward to those deliveries.   They began to learn our town, and to ask about things like Reunion, Moonlight Madness, and our Friday Night Scores.  Now, as grown-ups, those same friends ask if something “made it in The Messenger.” 

It’s a big deal to see your picture in the Paper, to see a friend’s story in the Paper, and sadly, to read tragedy in the Paper.  But, this Paper is one of the things that ties our small community together.  I hope this Paper does not fall victim to all things electronic, and I have faith that it won’t.  There are still some of us clipping and sending pictures to friends and relatives all over the country.  I know for a fact there are people reading The Update daily no matter their address–just wanting to be connected with Home, because that’s what they do here at The Messenger.  They tell us the story of Home.

And, there’s just no place like it.

Almost better than a cotton commercial…

  • September 12, 2010 5:52 pm

The caption says, “Seeing its arctic home melting away, a lone polar bear sets out on a great journey to thank someone who is trying to help.”