Monday, August 9, 2010

Keeping the ME in Mommy

So, it seems like forever since I've blogged! It's been forever since I've even checked this thing! I had so much catching up to do with reading up on everyone else but it was great and I feel motivated to try being more consistant in blogging. I think part of me felt like this was mostly for pictures and stories on Gracie, but I've seen and was reminded by other friends' blogs that I CAN write about me on here too. Lol :)

To be honest, I've had a little bit of the stay-at-home mommy blues lately. I don't know why it's just now hitting and, really, it could be from a million different things going on right now (switching birth control, job hunting, parents moving, it being too hot to do anything outside!!!, etc.) Thyroid problems run in my family so I even went in to get that checked out. Nope, everything is normal. Except it's not. I can be emotional sometimes but this has been ridiculous. Don't worry, I don't think I'm a danger to myself or anyone around me... unless crying has damaging effects on men... then Brock may be in danger! It seems to be that's all I've been able to do lately is cry. Even I'm tired of crying! After finding out that my bloodwork is normal, I've done a lot of self-reflection and talking to my mom and a friend or two (you guys are the best!!!). I think a lot of this is "identity" problems. I feel like I've lost a little bit of myself which is weird to me because I've waited my whole life to be a stay-at-home wife & mom. However, I think going from working in a job I loved (this is who I am, this is what I do) to staying home all day, every day, cleaning the same things over again, and having limited outings and/or time for myself has taken a toll. I got a lot of self satisfaction from my job. I also had time for exercise and my bible studies. At first I thought this was a social problem, not getting to be with friends enough or something, but now I think I realize this is a "me" problem. I'm not prioritizing my day or time to where I do things that make me feel good about myself, exercise and bible studies being the main ones.

So, this all being fresh in my mind, Gracie and I went to Half Price Books to try to find a book on photography for my mom's birthday. I ended up remembering my mom isn't big on reading so I went back to the Christian section to see if they happened to have Love & Logic. Of course I didn't remember who it was by so I went through the whole section reading every time in the Christian Parenting shelf while trying to keep a kicking and very wiggly Gracie from getting down to run away. I ended up running across a book called "Keeping the ME in Mommy". It's written by Lisa Whelchel (the girl who played Blair in The Facts of Life). I bought it and started reading it on our trip this weekend and am really enjoying it. She writes the book in three sections: taking care of your body, soul, and spirit. At the end of each chapter, she gives ideas on how to apply the things mentioned in that chapter. It's a super easy read and the first section is on your spirit. In the first chapter of that section, she talks about how she needed to maintain her relationship with God but finding the time was hard and felt overwhelming at times. One of the ideas she gave was that she started using daily tasks as triggers to remind her to pray about specific things. Example: cooking dinner = praying that God's word would nourish her and her family, spot cleaning laundry = asking God to remove stains of sin and guilt, folding clothes = praying that God would clothe her family in righteousness. She also did this with scripture memorization. Of course, she recommends this as a way to "pray without ceasing" and keeping His word at the forefront of her mind... not as a substitute for studying or sitting down to talk with God. I'm really liking a lot of her ideas and wanted to pass them on in case anyone else may be interested in finding more time for YOU.

Thank you again for those of you I've talked to and for making me feel normal! :) I hope if anyone else out there feels this way that they don't feel alone in this. I felt so ridiculous for being so emotional when we are incredibly blessed and have every reason to be joyful. But the transition to being a mom is hard sometimes. It's natural to want to do everything we can for our families and we let ourselves slide down the list of priorities. I've learned that I've got to take time for myself to care for myself because, we all know, when mama's happy, everyone's happy. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The House That Built Me

This weekend was an emotional rollercoaster to say at the least. I was almost relieved to be home... almost. My parents officially moved to Pennsylvania yesterday. I knew it would be hard, mostly because I haven't been home much to see the house get packed up. It didn't seem real to me so I knew this weekend it would all come crashing down.

Twenty-five years is a long time to be in a house. There are so many memories there: holidays, surprise b-day party that my sisters and I planned for my mom when I was only 9, my youngest sister was born there, learning to play basketball with my dad, sharing rooms, lemonade stands, etc. I did better than I thought till it was time for us to leave. I went inside to get a drink and was alone in the house and finally broke down. It's bad enough knowing you can't back to your "home" but knowing my family will be 25 hours away, compared to 3. It was a lot. And saying good-bye was not pretty. Poor Brock, he had a mess to deal with. We had to leave Saturday (instead of staying till sunday when my parents were leaving) because the elders at our church were supposed to be introducing the small group leaders. Brock and I are leading our group and the other co-leaders are in Europe so we wanted to make sure our group was represented. So I didn't even get to see my parents off or spend as much time with them as everyone else. It was so hard to leave. There were great times as well though! We got into town just in time to see my brother-in-law get baptized! We're so proud of him and happy to have him in our larger "family". My amazing aunt and uncle also hosted us for dinner and breakfast and we celebrated my sister's 22nd birthday. I'm glad there were some good times to the weekend as well! Here are some pics of the home I grew up in and a link to the video my sister Kaytie put together.
our home
the door from our garage to my parents' room
the piano my mom and i grew up playing, now in my living room
love notes from Mom :)
all packed up :(
mom's favorite swing we got her for Mother's Day
good bye little yellow house
leaving our marks

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Christmas in June ;)

Some of you may have heard me say before that I enjoy seeing our flowers bloom so much it feels like Christmas! :) It's true! Mostly because we aren't the creators of the garden in our backyard and we're still learning what all is back there! Lol, we are finally getting around to spending the time we need fixing it up. I never knew how much work goes into a garden!!!

We have cannas, catmint, daises, tiger lilies, honeysuckle vines, mint, and several others that we are still clueless about.


Please ignore the weeds in this picture. I haven't gotten to this side of the yard yet. :) Anyone know what this flower is?
Our rose bush. It's actually pretty pitiful right now. We need some serious clippers.

???? I know that's catmint in the back but have no idea what the yellow flowers are. Gracie LOVES them though!

Tiger Lilies

Going outside is now one of Gracie's favorite things to do! I can't even say "outside" if it doesn't mean actually going outside. She'll run to the back door and cry, saying "side!" until I take her out to play. Here are few pics of her having fun in the yard.

But Mama I always pick all the yellow flowers at the park!

AND back to the yellow flowers. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend in Amarillo

So we were way over due for a trip to Amarillo! I was packing for the trip and I realized it was Christmas last time we were there! The weekend went way too fast, of course, but we had a lot of fun. Gracie loves her Grammy and Pappy! We got a very late start on Friday and didn't make it in till after 1 on Saturday morning. BUT, that didn't stop Brock from getting up at 6:30 for golf! :) He and his dad went and played and Gracie and I slept in and played with Grammy. Gracie discovered Pappy's petunia's on their balcony and had a fun time picking those :/ (sorry Pappy!).

We met up with the guys at the course right as they were finishing up and Gracie got her first lesson in golf. Daddy showed her how to putt and Gracie helped Daddy get all the balls in the hole.
I think her favorite thing though was pulling all the flags out.

We later got to hang out with Brett, Cheryl, Bryan, & Julie. It was so good to spend the evening together and Bryan's uncle even let us take the boat out! Us girls got to listen to the boys re-live their glory days, and I have to say, they have some funny stories. Sunday, we went to church and had lunch with Memaw and Clarence. Gracie was a sweet girl and went straight to Memaw. Brock and his parents went to play another round that afternoon but his dad got tired so he came home and watched Gracie and I got to go play the last 9 holes with Brock and his mom. I haven't played since before I was pregnant with Gracie so I wasn't expecting much, but, Brock is a great teacher! I was making good contact but kept slicing right and my putting wasn't great. It took me a little bit to work it out but on the sixth hole I actually made par! My first par ever! AND Brock bogeyed (sp?) so I beat him on that hole! (That will probably never happen again so I'm going to take braggin rights when I can! :)) I couldn't have done it without him though and he was so proud of me. :) It was my favorite part of the weekend!

We had a date night that night and Brock wrapped up the weekend by winning another scramble tournament! He made enough money to pay for gas there and back and for our date. NOICE!, as he would say! :D

It was a great weekend! In other news, Gracie is learning all kinds of things. She can now say please (or "pwee") and says thank you. "Thank you" isn't too clear yet but it's still manners just the same. :) She knows where her nose, hair, ears, and toes are, as well as saying "eyes" and pointing to them. At Grammy and Pappy's house, she wore herself out going up and down stairs all weekend. That's all she wanted to do! It makes this momma nervous but she's gotta learn it sooner or later. She is running very well and I think has finally moved up to a size 3 in shoes, lol. This should help us find shoes that are good for walking!
We're still driving so I think I'm going to get back to singing county songs with my honey! Love y'all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Day In The Park

Anyone else loving this weather?! It is soooo gorgeous outside!!! And it makes it that much harder to work inside! Brock and I have been working on a new system for housecleaning and usually I would use the park as a reward post-chores. BUT, seeing as how I need to get in my exercise, I justified going to the park by walking 3 miles around the neighborhood first! See, you like how I did that?! It's win-win and we're all happy! :D lol, Gracie even got a nap while we walked.

Gracie always enjoyed the park before but, now that she's walking, it's even better! I helped her get up the steps and we went down the slide I don't know how many times. She crawled through the tunnels and, of course, lovvveedddd the swings. But I think her favorite thing to do today, out of all of the stuff at the park, was to try and eat dirt and flowers! Yeah... seriously. :) She was constantly grabbing handfuls of dirt and trying to eat it (and she tried to eat pebbles from our back porch yesterday). She wasn't as bad with the flowers. Anytime she saw some yellow dandelions, her little legs would go as fast as they could and she pick them all. I think she cleared out the park of all the dandelions and a few tiny purple flowers as well. It was pretty cute! :)

Here she is after she tried to eat one of her dandelions. :)

These are a few pictures from when Brock, Gracie, and I all did a picnic at the park. It was a lot of fun! We have a video of us "playing soccer" with her on Brock's computer. She really liked that!

Some other new things she has going on include four new teeth on top! We were right about the teething in Nashville... they all came in at once, poor baby. She's been trying a lot more foods like pizza, peanut butter-n-jelly sandwiches, and a cheeseburger (just the meat & cheese ;) ). There are also a few times a day when I hear her "singing". It is the sweetest sound in the world!!! I LOVE it!!! She really likes to hear songs as well. It doesn't matter how upset she is, I can sing "The Wheels on the Bus" and she'll start laughing and clapping. :) Gracie enjoys playing Pat-a-Cake and Peek-a-Boo (she plays Peek-a-Boo mostly with Daddy, it's their game ;) ). I think her favorite thing EVER right now is reading! If I let her, and I have quite a few times, she'll pull out every book she has so that we can read it.... sometimes more than once. We definitely get in plenty of reading!

Lastly, here are a few pictures from my sister's wedding - which was BEAUTIFUL. It was so nice to see everyone! And as you can tell, Brock is fitting in just perfectly ;)

Love you all! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walkin & Tennessee

Well, I'm sad to say we're leaving BEAUTIFUL Tennessee. It was a short visit but we're very thankful to Kyle & Rachel for giving us a reason for a vacation! Gracie did great on the trip... especially since she was running a 102 temperature the whole way over here. We took her to the doctor before we left but Brock and I think she's working on all four of her top teeth at the same time. Her fever was pretty much gone by our first night so I'm glad she got to enjoy her visit too.
Friday we went to Opryland. Unfortunately The Grand Ole Opry was closed to the public because there was a show choir competition being held so we ended up going to Opry Mills mall. It was pretty much like Grapevine Mills but it's always nice to do a little shopping! :) We ran out of time after that and had to get ready for the rehearsal dinner that night. It's crazy how much less time you have for sightseeing when you have to be sure and fit in naps and feeding schedules! lol :) The rehearsal dinner was lots of fun and had some great BBQ. We got to catch up with some of Brock's OKC friends and tell some stories on Kyle, watch him squirm... haha, poor guy.
Saturday was by far our favorite day! We got up and went downtown to Nashville and drove around a little. We drove by LP Field and Music Mile then made a stop a Centennial Park & Parthenon.

The Parthenon was originally built in the late 1800's in celebration of the centennial and the national exhibition. It was just supposed to be a temporary structure for the centennial celebration but the people of Nashville protested it stay. So they later built it with materials to make it last longer. It the only exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens.

After we finished there, we thought - we're in Tennessee, we have to do some outdoor nature stuff! I love hiking and had read lots of comments for Lake Radnor so we drove over there. We originally choose a "nature" trail that was for hikers only - no jogging or cycling - but it was all mulch and since we had Gracie's stroller (I forgot her backpack carrier), we crossed over to a paved trail. It was so great to be out there!!! I couldn't count how many times Brock and I said that as we walked around.

After leaving Lake Radnor, we just drove around looking at houses. I told Brock I could have done this all day too. The homes are beautiful here. No massive neighborhood developments with ridiculous landscaping. After living in Dallas a few years, I feel like being in Keller is like being in the country. But it's nothing compared to this. There are beautiful old trees here and the houses are actually built on several acres of land. Sure, there are some amazing McMansions here, but most of them are older homes with so much character. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the neighborhoods. Even the normal homes were beautiful! I am so motivated to get home and do some yard work!

Saturday night was the wedding and we had so much fun! The reception was at The Factory at Franklin and they had lots there to entertain us all. Each guest had "money" to play at the casino tables and the top 5 people with the most money won gift cards at the end of the night. We happened to sit at a table with an old GriefWorks friend I haven't seen in a while and we had other friends that took turns taking Gracie around while Brock and I played blackjack (I actually did much better than I thought I would! :)) Gracie really enjoyed the DJ, she was dancing and rockin everywhere! I also think that was some of the best wedding cake I've ever had. :)

All in all, great great trip! :) In other news, Gracie took her first steps a week ago today! After small group (daddy had given her some cake AND a cookie bar), she was putting on a show for everyone. It took her a couple tries but she ended up taking her first steps while our friends Lance & Taylor were filming. (If you're on facebook, Lance uploaded the video and tagged Brock and I.) She's getting to be such a big girl! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finally!!! a blog! yay!

Well, I've been trying to start a blog for a while now. Though we do have one on wordpress... I don't know how to use that thing. And why I chose now is beyond me. You would think the life of a stay-at-home mom would be pretty relaxed and laid back but it seems we have stuff going on all the time. BUT, I promise friends and family, I will try my best to keep this up to date with plenty of pictures! :)

So, Gracie had her birthday about a month ago. I know it's cliche but I can't believe it's been a year! In some ways, it feels she's always been a part of us but in other ways, it feels like we just got her. And she already seems to be growing up so fast. Everyone has been commenting on how much older she looks recently: lots of hair coming in, teeth coming in, standing up (almost walking)... and, if things go the way they should, last night will have been her last nursing. :( We've been slowly cutting down the times that she nurses over the last month so hopefully it will go well for both of us. AND, I'm crossing my fingers that my friends are right and that I will lose this extra 5 pounds my stomach and hips seem to want to hold onto!
Other than the big number ONE, we've just been working and having fun! Brock's job is up and down a lot but I'm so grateful to have a husband who works hard so I can be home with our baby. It's been wonderful staying home this past year but we've arrived at that time to start earning some extra dough. I actually had a harder time adjusting to staying home than I thought. I'm so used to working it was hard to feel like I wasn't contributing financially. So part time would be ideal for us... alittle time working, a little time at home... as long as we can find some affordable day care that won't make it all in vain!
We've got a little trip coming up for Brock's friend Kyle. He and his soon-to-be wife Rachel are getting married in Tennessee so we have an excuse for a little get away! :) Some great friends of ours are letting us use their portable dvd player which straps onto the headrest in the car so hopefully it will make the trip enjoyable for Gracie. We're definitely looking forward to a mini vacation! Then two weeks after that is my dear sister's wedding!!! =D So, we will definitely have some fun pictures coming up soon.
Gracie has finally woken from her record breaking slumber so this is it for now. Sorry for the randomness... this is more of a catch-up post I guess. =) More to come soon!