Friday, December 02, 2011

One Sweet Love

So for the past few days I have been elbow deep in dough, sugar and cinnamon. 

I have made 5 full pans of maple iced cinnamon rolls and 6 pans of apple cinnamon rolls.  The 6' table is in the middle of my kitchen and will probably remain there until just before Christmas.  I am already tired of walking around it, but it really makes things so much easier, especially rolling out the dough for these babies. Look how pretty that is!
Like a flower. ;) The pan above got a little ambitious on me and tried to escape it's confines so I had to go ahead and bake it this evening.  Now I will have to fight to stay out of it, especially since there is no one else around to eat it right now. 
I mean, how can you resist that?!?

D :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sugar Cane | NaBloPoMo day 30

I scalded the milk, oil and sugar this morning, and then later added yeast, flour, and various other ingredients and created the most magnificent dough.  After letting it rise for a couple of hours I pulled the 6' long folding table out of the garage, scrubbed it down and set it up in the middle of my kitchen.  It's that time of year again! Time to make the cinnamon rolls!

The plan this evening was to roll out the dough and get a few pans made and ready to freeze, but my Kiddo had other ideas. He's been bugging me for a couple of weeks now for a new pillow. His current one is pretty lumpy and worn - we've had to wash it so much because of nose bleeds and allergies - the filling is shot. So tonight I made the trek to Target to get him a new pillow. I also picked up one of those allergy covers; it's supposed to be water proof and keep out all the allergen stuff. I put it on the new pillow and man, those things are noisy! But I thought I would give it a shot anyway and so I put the pillow case on over it and brought it to the kids' room, shortly after bed time.  Kiddo rejected it in less than a minute, coming out of his room to ask for his old pillow back. So I took off the allergy cover and let him try it again and a couple minutes later he said he still wanted his old pillow. I gave him the old one back - by this time the little one was complaining about his pillow too (copycat!) so I gave him the new one. I laid them both back down and left them to go to sleep. I went into the kitchen to prepare to roll out my dough.

Five minutes later, I hear bickering coming from their room so I went in to see what was going on. Kiddo was standing in front of Port's bed and he had taken the cover off the new pillow and put Port's pillow back on his bed. I asked him what he was doing and he said he wanted to put two pillows in one case. And he wanted the pillow back.

Too late, kid.

I told him no, he couldn't have it back and he couldn't put two pillows in one case. He asked about stacking two pillows on top of each other so I gave him Port's old pillow and he pitched a fit. I told him to go to sleep and left him in his room. He cried and cried - Hubby and I both went in there to tell him to calm down and go to sleep. About 10 minutes later he came out of his room, marched up to me in the kitchen with his little hands all balled up into fists and he told me that he was going to "fuss and cry all night long if I didn't give him that pillow back!!"

Hubby and I burst into laughter. 

We made him go back to bed - it's a good thing we both have a sense of humor. But 10 minutes later he was in there coughing pretty much non-stop. I brought him some water and when I walked in I discovered he was laying on the floor. I asked him why and he said he refused to sleep in his bed. *shakes head* Oh the DRAMA! I made him get in bed and once again I left. 

10 minutes later he was still coughing, so I brought him a cough drop. When I left his room, I noticed that I had stepped over a piece of paper on the floor in the hallway just in front of his door. Thinking it was some random drawing that had some how made it's way to the hallway, I picked it up to throw it away. But there was some writing on it...

"Dear Mom, 
Im stupid! Remember when I refused the pillow
Youll hate me by now.
<3 Kiddo Fry"

So, the teen years are going to be smooth sailing, right?

D :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Save Me | NaBloPoMo day 29

This morning Port was sleeping soundly way past his normal wake up time when the cat snuck in the room and tried to claim the pillow he was sleeping on. I heard Port fussing and walked in to find him up on all fours in the bed, grunting and growling at the cat while he was still in a half asleep state. He was not a happy guy. I can say I wasn't too happy either - darn cat. You just don't wake a sleeping monster; doesn't she know that??

Later on this morning I heard him happily laughing and squawking (yes, he squawks, and grunts and growls - so what of it?) and I came in to find he had set up this dinosaur invasion on the cat. She was not amused and she told me so by swishing her tail rapidly when I looked at her. 

Haha! Take that, kitty cat! ;)

I am feeling better today - who ever it was that said a prayer for me, thank you. I felt it, and it worked. Some good things happened today and I really, really needed it. I am so thankful for His grace.

D :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Heart of Life | NaBloPoMo day 28

I am feeling discouraged today, and hormonal, and a little too....real for my liking. I feel like I am running 90 miles an hour, working waaaay too hard and spinning my wheels, and at the same time sitting here doing nothing, waiting on something to happen. I am trying to trust, trust, trust when all my being is telling me to just take over and get something done. Make things happen. It feels like the more I try, the less I accomplish. The more I put into my house, the messier it gets. The more I put into my business, the less business I get. I feel a tremendous amount of weight on my shoulders.

But I have to have faith. I have to trust. I have to let go and not worry. This is what I am commanded to do, and this is what I strive for. But the day to day, today, is just wearing me down.

Yesterday I was having a hard time with the kiddos and I had been reduced to yelling. I hate getting like that; sometimes it seems like the only thing that gets the boys to do anything around here. At one point, after particularly upsetting Port, he came to me and asked to be picked up. He is still my little cuddly guy. I picked him up and he got on his knees in my lap so he could look me straight in the eye and he said, "Mummai, I want you to be nice to me."


The guilt just crushed me.

He threw his arms around my neck and gave me the biggest hugs. He hugged and hugged and hugged, and even threw in a sweet kiss or two before he snuggled down in my lap and cradled my arm.  Of course, I just melted into a big ol' blob of adoration for my sweet boy and within less than a minute he had fallen asleep.

I wish I had a big lap to snuggle into when I was having a hard day. I wish that I could just ask the world to "be nice to me" and give it a hug or two and all would be better.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Throw Me A Rope | NaBloPoMo day 27

"So throw me a rope to hold me in place
Show me a clock for counting my days down"

I love Sunday nights. They are usually the one night a week that I get to go to a place I love to hang out and sit with a friend and just chat. Granted, they are my Musing Mommies and Project 105 meetings, but when the meeting combines Starbucks and one of my best friends, you just can't go wrong. More often than not, the meetings are less "meeting" and more "therapy" than anything. I can vent, I can analyze or I can just enjoy regular conversation with an adult....who doesn't need me to get up and fetch anything...or wipe a rear end...or tie a shoe...or anything even remotely related to taking care of someone else. 

Sunday nights ground me. The set me up with a moment of release of all the pent up frustration from the week and get me ready for Monday in a better frame of mind. I feel unbalanced when I have to miss a Sunday night meeting - during my busy seasons with photography, I am often booked with a senior session on Sunday nights. And usually for the rest of the week I wonder around trying to figure out what day it is. 

I need more Sunday nights in my life. We all do. 

D :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spell | NaBloPoMo day 26

Here we are almost all the way through the month - I can't believe I have made it this far. And it really was relatively easy, mainly because for once, I didn't really think too hard about what to blog about. Now of course, that makes for a lot of "this is what I did today" sort of boring posts, but very few of you all still read my little blog anymore so I guess I don't have to strive too much for literary greatness in every post...

not that I ever did that in the first place. anywho.....

I have to say I am pretty proud of myself this week. I actually let. something. go.  Haha! I didn't think I was capable. And it may only be temporary, but for now it feels pretty good. For the past couple of years I have been on this bizarre, mid-life crisis truth quest, and while it's been liberating and exhilarating, at the same time it has caused me a lot of stress and strife. It is a struggle to live like this, seeking truth from everything and everyone, when everything and everyone else doesn't function that way.  There just isn't a lot of truth in this world. We have all been lied to and have lied about so many things for so long that the lies have become the truth. So often I find myself not knowing what to believe anymore.

So this week I was faced with deciding to stick up for what I know to be the truth, or to let it go and just let people believe what they want to and tell themselves whatever it takes to feel ok. It is hard. It is not something I like doing these days. I have very little tolerance for it right now, but after hashing it out over and over for a few days I just decided it's not worth it. So for now, I have let it go. And I hope that the effort it took to do that is worth the headache it caused me (and a couple of close friends - sorry!).  It really just boils down to the fact that I have too much crazy in my own head to have to try to tame someone else's.

So anyway, now Thanksgiving is over we plow head first into the landslide to Christmas. And suddenly my totally open calendar is filled with meetings and get togethers and baking and crafting (cuz there will sadly be no buying this year) and photography sessions and seeing old friends, meeting new babies and supporting friends and family during transition. But isn't that life all the time? Why does it suddenly seem like everything is crammed into 4 short weeks?

I love this song - it's one of those I get lost in in the midst of the chaos that is constantly in my head. I can totally relate to the lyrics, and I miss those moments being on stage and having people in my spell, if only for a moment. I wish it were so easy to capture someone's attention. There are a couple of people I would absolutely love to be able to "have" for just few minutes, just to say the things I need to say.

D :)

Spotlight shining brightly 
on my face 
I can't see a thing 
and yet I feel you looking my way 

Empty stage 
With nothing but this girl 
Who's singing this simple melody 
And wearing her heart on her sleeve 

And right now 
I have you 
For a moment I can tell I've got you 
Cause your lips don't move 
And something is happening 
Cause your eyes tell me the truth 
I've put a spell over you 

Beauty emanates from every 
word that you say 
And captured the deepest thoughts 
in the purest and simplest of ways 
But you see 
I'm not that graceful 
Like you 
Nor am I as eloquent 
But just a simple melody 
Can change the way that you see me 

And right now 
I have you 
For a moment I can tell I've got you 
Cause your lips don't move 
And something is happening 
Cause your eyes tell me the truth 
I've put a spell over you 

And all my life I've stumbled 
But up here i am just perfect 
Perfect as I'll ever be 

I have you 
For a moment I can tell I've got you 
Cause your lips don't move 
And something is happening 
Cause your eyes tell me the truth 
I've put a spell over you

Friday, November 25, 2011

In Your Eyes | NaBloPoMo day 25

What is it about Thanksgiving that makes us cook SO MUCH food?  I swear, it must be some sort of altered genetics that have been environmentally bred into us throughout the generations. Thursday was really just like any other day; I was cooking for the same 4 people I cook for every day, and yet I made enough food to feed at least 8 people, and probably more than that. And I didn't even make the stuffed jalapenos I was planning to have for appetizers. 

Ah well.

Today was spent recovering. I had so many bizarre dreams last night and I am not sure why. I think I may have been on carb overload. Today I enjoyed myself again, but starting tomorrow I am going to do a bit of a cleanse - not so much in an official way, I just need to cut waaaay back on the yeast and sugar, drink more water, and get more veggies and clean foods in for a while.  My friend, Kim, is starting a 10 day juice regimen and she will be drinking only fresh made juice for that time. I am thinking about trying to juice for one meal a day and see how that works for me. I am too dependent on protein to go on an all out juice fast; I just don't think I could make it. But I am hoping the increase in veggies and fruit will supplement some imbalances I am certain I have. 

And I need to do this now because it is almost time to start making cinnamon rolls...

oh yes. :-D

D :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day | NaBloPoMo day 25

Ahh Turkey Day! How I love your food.

How I adore your desserts!

See this tree? I picked this up in January for $10. Oh yeah, you read that right. 

It's gorgeous and I love it. We had it up and decorated in about 20 minutes. (a little too quickly for the boys! lol) It's tall and skinny, just like me. :) 

I hope you all have full bellies and happy hearts today and always. 

D :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cooking By The Book | NaBloPoMo day 23

Tomorrow I shall make an attempt to cook a turkey. I have only ever cooked a whole one once before, waaaaaay back when I couldn't cook anything and I was newly married, and I ended up giving myself (not anyone else) food poisoning. haha!

And now you know why, 13 years later, I am OCD about washing my hands when I am cooking.

It should be interesting - I am not entirely sure how I am going to go about it yet. But if I had to guess, I would think it might involve cream cheese and rosemary...and it will be fabulous! Though, not traditional. ;)  Accompanying the meal we will have bacon wrapped, stuffed jalapenos, some sort of potato (I am thinking mashed with bacon, green onion and rosemary), fresh green beans, and an apple pie type dessert (actual recipe yet to be determined).

What are you having for Thanksgiving dinner? I wish I had time for stuffing and chicken and dumplings and broccoli rice casserole (though I may still do that) and all the traditional stuff. But I am only cooking for 4 people and I really should be practical.


D :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From Where You Are | NaBloPoMo day 22

No words really tonight. Our family is mourning the loss of our Uncle Don. May he rest in peace.


Monday, November 21, 2011

You're The Inspiration | NaBloPoMo day 21

So, you all may or may not know I am currently trying my hand at writing. I am in the process of writing one book and also mentally developing a second one.  So occasionally my mental development hits inspiration and I have to spew the words out before they either 1) drive me insane, or 2) disappear, leaving me frustrated and extremely sad that the moment of pure, raw emotion was forever lost. 

The following is a piece that I wrote back in July when the words swirled around in my head to the point that I had to either write them down or check myself into the loony bin. They were that strong and that powerful and controlling.  So, I put this in one of my other blogs back then, and I tonight it just felt right to bring it here...

When you are young you are full of emotion and instinct. There isn't much control of either and when emotions are high (which they always are) you react on instinct more than logic.  It is a magical and confusing and heart breaking time, and unfortunately, more big decisions about life are made in that time that shape who you are than in any other time of life. Make one wrong choice and you can send yourself hurling down a path that you may not want 5, 10 or 15 years from then. And by the time you are an adult it is too late to go back and change your path, and you are committed to too much to not risk everything you love to make the change.

When we are young, we live in the moment. We don't think about the future in more than a big cloud in the sky sort of way. We don't yet know the details, the day to day challenges and the little things that add up to big joy and big frustration.  We don't yet realize how small choices can lead to big life factors; how the "big" decisions really aren't that important and how the time that we have is so unique and special, when we are young. Living in the moment is so exciting and dramatic, and when you are in your teens drama is a way of life. We feel, we experience everything as if it were the first time (and it often is) and our senses are heightened and electric with impulse and fire. We challenge. We challenge authority, we challenge ideas and we challenge...everything.

When I was a teen, I often challenged the weather. My moods and feelings were altered and were reflected in the sun, the wind and the storms. I soaked up the peace that the warm sun would bring. I would sit on top of my parent's van at night and watch the stars and follow the moon. I wished on falling stars, I talked to the sky.  Storms brought passion and love and sadness. They manipulated events and feelings, the held promises of a future that I never got to see.  I loved the weather and I thought it held power. I would stand in the wind and stare it down as if I could control it. I pleaded with the wind and the thunder and the stars to send me signs and answers to my troubles. And somewhere between then and now, I stopped listening and I stopped challenging. Now, thunder and wind sends me running for shelter and makes me worry for my children. I don't want to get wet in the rain and I certainly don't like driving in it or dealing with the mud the dog tracks in the house afterward. Storms lost their passion and their beauty and became little more than a nusiance.

I have been dealing with some things. Stress and emotions that I can't control any longer have forced me into a time of much reflection and deep thought.  And suddenly I am looking to the outdoors and the solace of the quiet that it can sometimes provide; that quiet away from the distractions of electronics and children and things that make noise allows me to ponder the things that trouble me, or quiet my head for a moment of peace. I enjoy being in my garden, sometimes with music in my ears, sometimes not, and just letting my mind run where it wants to. I enjoy that time of living in the moment and letting raw feelings take over.

A couple of weeks ago I was in my garden and as I was finishing up my tasks a storm began to blow in. Normally I would have hurried into the house but for once, I felt I needed to stay. The wind kicked up and the sky turned pink and I stood there in the middle of my yard, face into the wind. I challenged it to blow on me, to knock me over. And as my hair whipped around my head and my eyes filled with tears from the debris blowing in and the emotion I was feeling, I felt my spirit awaken with an energy I haven't felt in many years.

When I come home late at night now, I pause for a moment to look at the sky. And that child in me is still there, pleading to the stars for answers. I have no more power now to interpret them than I did then, and I feel my heart breaking in the silence just the same as before. And yet I linger, thinking one more moment, one more glance to the heavens will be enough.

D :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Little Things | NaBloPoMo day 20

I took my monkeys on a date tonight.  It's been a lazy day; I had a headache for most of it and I just didn't feel like cooking tonight. Daddy was out on a photo shoot and so since it was just me and the boys, I thought we'd do something fun. They were so good and totally enjoyed the restaurant and all the fun decor; I was really surprised. And now I know I can go back there, get them a big bowl of chips, a stack of tortillas and some re-fried beans and they will be happy little campers.  Best of all, we can all eat on the cheap! Woot!

I am looking forward to this week and having Kiddo home from school. We'll have one of his friends hanging with us most of the week, so the boys will have a playmate to keep them occupied. Now I just have to think of a couple of well placed activities to keep them all from getting bored. I think it will be fun!

D :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Back To You | NaBloPoMo day 19

Well if I thought I was tired yesterday, then I am downright exhausted today. I so did not want to get up when my alarm went off this morning - I was sleeping so well. :(

I still had some crazy dreams though.

I had a photo session today for a 2 year old - man, those littles are tough! She was super cute, but I am pretty sure that by the end of the session we (her parents included) were all worn out.

And I just haven't recovered. So, I am making this a short one tonight.

If you are travelling this coming week for the holiday, I wish you safe travels. I am still trying to figure out what we are going to do for Thanksgiving. We won't be going anywhere, but I still have to cook something, and I don't want to treat it just like any other day...or do I?

D :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Thousand Miles | NaBloPoMo day 18

Sooooo, this is what I see when I look in the mirror today.  Staying up till 3am did a number on me. ;-) I desperately need some beauty sleep.  I had a lot I needed to get done today but I am just too tired to actually do any of it. I took a shower in lieu of a nap this afternoon and while it did perk me up briefly, I still sat at the computer and stared at a blank screen for an hour. *sigh* It was worth it though. I had so much fun last night.

Random thoughts...gonna let the crazy hang out a little. lol Forgive me, it happens when I am tired...

Ever feel like you are waiting on something, and you know it's important, but you really have NO IDEA what it is, or what to look for?  And you know you will know it when it happens, but yet, you don't know what it is going to be?

I am waiting, waiting, waiting.  And I don't know why. Whatever it is I am waiting for, when I think about it (of course, in a general sense), my heart aches, my head pounds and my my eyes feel that fullness that comes just before I cry. Like if whatever it was happened, it would be such a relief and a release and a joy, and it would be scary and life altering and...REAL.  And I long for it; I try to will it to happen - ridiculous, really.

I can't seem to move on past the waiting, the holding pattern, the holding my breath every time I turn a corner.  My dreams are getting more and more strange. I am dreaming of people I don't ever dream about, places I had long forgotten, and of worlds that don't exist. Perhaps that is normal for some people, but my dreams, for the most part, have pattern and some predictability.  With the exception of every now and then, I usually dream of the same people and places. But lately, man, they have become really strange.

I am just too much in my head right now I guess.

D :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monster Mash | NaBloPoMo day 17

Hanging with the girls tonight, posting with my phone... Here are some photos of what we are up to. :)

Hope you are having a fantastic Thursday!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Know Why | NaBloPoMo day 16

The area that I live in is seeing a lot of new development right now. What used to be a cow town on the outskirts of a major city is turning into a pretty bustling, modern-ish town. And near my house there are new neighborhoods going up right and left. What that means for most of the area is that the acres and acres of trees that were once there are now gone, and nice new homes with nice new streets are taking over.

Diving over to a friend's house today, I noticed that the majority of the property on one particular street I drive regularly is for sale. The old homesteads, old businesses and empty lots are all for sale, most likely to be bought by some retail corporation so a new shopping facility can go in. All of it is zoned for commercial use now, so I am sure in the next 5-10 year we will be surrounded by places to shop.

Sprinkled in between all of these older properties are new subdivisions. I was driving along and looking at the new houses, all grand and modern. But what I found myself doing, more often than not, was looking even harder at the old properties.  The old houses - and ooh that one has a detached garage or an old barn and that one has an old horse stable...I was more intrigued and "dreaming about buying" the older properties that had so much more character. Those are the types of property I can work with! I can see myself holding photo sessions in the old barns, building a studio in the huge workshops and working the land so that I can make my very own little photography oasis.

I think my heart will always long for the old farm house on the big chunk of land that has more character than any custom built home could ever have. New and modern and subdivided is nice, neat and for the most part, worry free, but I guess I am just more of a country girl.

D :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bubbly Toes | NaBloPoMo day 15

This is a beautiful site. Little Port was up at 5am this morning, SCREAMING because his brother got up to go to the bathroom and told him he couldn't come out of the room. And then Kiddo proceeded to leave the door open - Port was so dutiful standing in the doorway, but it upset him so much (he still likes to accompany everyone to the bathroom) he decided to wake everyone up with his wails. So needless to say he was a cranky monster by noon today. It was raining and dreary out all morning so when things cleared up a bit around 1pm, I decided to make an attempt at some grocery shopping. He promptly fell asleep about a block from the store. So, I did what any good mom would do and I drove to Sonic instead for a beverage and some quality Bejeweled time. 

I am at the top of my leader board if that tells you how long I sat there playing... ;)

I brought him home and he woke for about half a second before falling over into this position on the couch. He slept like this for about an hour. It makes my arm tingle just looking at it. 

I heard this line in a song tonight when I finally did make it to the grocery store (fyi, grocery shopping on Tuesday night is not recommended, at least not at my store, because they are out of everything and trying to restock before the Wednesday sales go into effect). Anyway, the lyrics: 
"When you move like a jellyfish, rhythm don't mean nothing. You go with the flow. You don't stop."
I've been feeling like a jellyfish lately - absolutely no rhyme or rhythm to my life right now; just drifting along, taking it day by day. Some days are great, some not so much, and the water is still murky. I am so ready to plant my feet on something solid. Or land on the shore...or something.

...not that jellyfish have feet... oh you know what I mean.

D :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Candy Girl | NaBloPoMo day 14

Some things are bigger in Texas. Most things are even bigger in random truck stops in the middle of nowhere in Texas.

D :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Miss You | NaBloPoMo day 13

After a weekend of hotel bliss (a bed to myself with extra fluffy pillows and no one to wake me with requests for cereal and "playing trains"? yes, please!) we came home today with tired minds but many accomplishments.  After dropping Kim off at her home, I drove to mine. Hubby had spent the weekend finally teaching Kiddo how to ride a bike and when I drove up they were practicing in the driveway. Port was riding his tricycle around in circles with his brother, and when he saw me pull up his little face broke into a huge grin. He hopped off his bike, and in one of those totally unreal sappy tv commercial moments he ran to me at full speed, arms wide open, screaming "Mummai! Mummai!".  I jumped out of the car and ran toward him and when we met I scooped him into my arms and he threw his arms around me and buried his face in my neck.  He was laughing and crying and so excited to see me - and I realized how much I had missed him. He is such a special little guy. Kiddo was too busy trying to show off his new bike skills that he didn't really greet me before he wanted me to watch him ride. I enjoyed spending some time with everyone in the driveway - the weather was perfect.

It was so good to get away. I do hope I have more opportunities to do it again in the future, but, today it feels great to be home.

D :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Inspire Me | NaBloPoMo day 12

Inspiration comes at the oddest times. I've been sitting here all day in a hotel room working on my business plan for the upcoming year, and so much has been accomplished. I have a good plan (almost complete!), new products, a totally new pricing structure and a huge head ache. Lol! I haven't thought this hard and for this long in a looooong time. My head hurts. Have I said that already?

Just as we were starting to wrap things up for the evening, my incredibly intelligent friend and co-planner/assistant/task master, Kim, had a brilliant idea. And as we talked through it, it became even better. I love it when an idea unfolds into a beautiful plan! I can't wait to see if it works.

I am so proud of what we've accomplished today and so thankful for the opportunity to take the time to do this.  It has been a great weekend so far.

D :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Backroads | NaBloPoMo day 11

I love driving. I have always enjoyed getting in the car, cranking up the radio and driving the back roads to my destination. The freeway holds it's own appeal - fast and no fuss, but the back roads, the back roads offer so much more when you have the time to spare.

Back roads provide a glimpse into the lives of the people who love nearby. I love seeing the old houses, cars and interesting things that people collect. I love going through the old towns that have been long forgotten; I love seeing the picture-book perfect barns and dilapidated old houses. I love the rows and rows and rows of trees and every twist, turn, rise and fall of the pavement.

Tonight I had the pleasure of travelling back roads with my friend, Kim.  I so enjoy traveling with good friends, and the always incredible conversations that come from being trapped in a small space. We are spending the weekend hiding out in a hotel in San Antonio so I can do some work on my business. I needed the time away from all the distractions of home so I could concentrate and focus on the lofty goals I have set for myself. I am hoping that in the short time that we have here we can be productive.

Thankfully, the hotel does not seem to have Food Network on the cable provider. ;-) Shew!

D :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Real World | NaBloPoMo day 10

Random thoughts...

This world that we live in is amazing. It's bright, it's beautiful, it's mysterious and ever changing. It has so many amazing and wonderful features, 99% of them I will never see. And people - people are even more fascinating and wonderful. The human mind is something that, even with all of our vast technology and endless study, will never be completely figured out. 

I am fascinated by behavior. I WISH, oh how I wish, I could figure people out. 

We are all here together on this beautiful planet with these fascinating minds and we are just screwing it all up. 

I was chatting with a friend today and we were talking about people we thought were "good" and those that were not so good, and it occurred to me that no one really knows 100% how another person is - what is truly in their heart.  We only let people see what we want them to see. For most, we try to only show the good parts, the accomplishments and the kindness.  Others gain satisfaction sharing weaknesses and faults.  But in most cases, there is more to someone's true personality and heart than what they ever show.

So where, in all of this, is the reality? There really is no reality anymore. Heck, even reality TV isn't "real".  Young rock star wannabes put "amateur" videos on YouTube that are made to look like they are just hanging out in their living room playing the guitar and singing to the camera. But if you look closely, you will notice that there are several camera angles throughout the song and there is no background noise at all - hmm, could they perhaps have recorded in a studio??

The point is - there is very little these days that is completely raw, real, or unscripted. And we, as friends and family and acquaintances, are just as scripted and fake with each other. We censor ourselves, we put on airs, we proclaim innocence while hiding what we really do, we say we are one way when we are the other. We scold those that don't "do right" as we do the same wrongs. There is no reality.  Social media perpetuates this by providing us with check boxes and categories to define who we are (or who we want people to think we are) on our profile. It provides a platform for us to say things that we don't have to actually subscribe to or even believe in, but people *think* we do because we trust that what is said (and our interpretation of it) is the truth. 

What frustrates me sometimes more than anything is that when I see someone being fake, there really is nothing that can be done about it. As we become more electronically social, we become less personable and calling someone out on bad behavior or telling someone how you really feel is quickly becoming a lost art. People get offended and for some reason many feel we are no longer allowed to point out when someone exhibits bad behavior. 

I try to be as real as I can.  I am overly honest to a fault, but I still have things that I don't talk about. I am by no means a saint, either. But I just wish more people would be real and stop trying to be someone they clearly are not. Be real. If you don't have anything interesting or compelling or valuable to say, don't say anything - or better yet, say something if you feel you need to but be REAL. Be honest. Be boring. It's OK. Truly. I am tired of trying to sift through all the smoke and mirrors to find the truth. 


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Water Of Love | NaBloPoMo day 9

Did you know that I co-host a weekly podcast? Well, I do! We have been podcasting for 2 years now and I truly enjoy it. For those of you who don't know what a podcast is, I guess the best way to describe it is this. It is like a radio show (ours is about an hour and comes out weekly) that is pre-recorded and can be found on the internet.  The recordings of our show can be accessed on our site, on Facebook or on iTunes.

On the show we talk about a lot of different things. We interview moms like us, moms not like us, entrepreneurs, authors, business owners, inventors, dads, and many other interesting people. We have shows about daily life, hot topics, cooking, controversial ideas, lifestyle and many more. Our show is fun! And the great thing about it is that Kim and I can give our honest opinion about the things we love and the things we don't love.

About a month ago, in my endless quest to find a dishwasher detergent that actually worked, I came across an AMAZING product called Lemi Shine. And without going into boring detail about it, let me just say that the Lemi Shine not only completely revitalized my dishes (I know, it sounds impossible, but everything looks like NEW) but it SAVED my dishwasher. I was honestly thinking we would have to replace it soon, and now it looks and cleans like brand new. So I was over-the-moon excited about Lemi Shine and I mentioned it on our podcast.

Well, through the awesomeness that is Google Alerts, the CMO at Lemi Shine found out about our podcast and within a day he had contacted us and within a couple of weeks we got to interview him on the show! BUT, that is not even the best part - the BEST part about it all is that not only is Lemi Shine an amazing, natural, environmentally friendly product that actually works, the company that makes Lemi Shine is a FANTASTIC, honest, trustworthy, earth conscious, and generous organization of great people. It was not only a joy to interview Dustin (he is a super fun and interesting guy in his own right), but it was an honor to be able to speak with and help promote such an amazing company.  And the reason I am telling you all of this is because Lemi Shine is doing an AMAZING thing right now in partnership with Living Water International. Now through December 31st, Lemi Shine is matching donations dollar for dollar up to $50,000 to help provide clean water to children in Ethiopia.

Please, I beg of you to click that beautiful blue button above or the one in my right sidebar, take a look at this project and give what you can. Even a small amount can make a life saving difference. And with this amazing program, your donation, no matter how small, is DOUBLED. Less than $10 will provide clean water, life SAVING water, to a child. The small sacrifice of that $4 latte or your $2 sonic drink for one day will save a life!

D :)

PS. If you would like to leave a comment for me below (and make me soooo happy!) and you found this post through Networked Blogs on Facebook, you have to click the x in the circle at the top right of the page so that your browser goes directly to my blog. It's some sort of programming glitch that I can't seem to fix, but once you do that the comment button should work perfectly. TY! <3

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Stop and Stare | NaBloPoMo day 8

I don't think God ever intended for an apple to be that big. Holy moly!

I will be getting this post in for NaBloPoMo just in under the wire. Port was feeling better today, but still a little fussy every time he ate. He would cry out and grab his tummy but then deny that it hurt him. He's such a tough little dude. I am so thankful he is feeling better though.

This being November, the month of the all important of Thanksgiving, I have been thinking a lot about the things I am thankful for. Many of my Facebook friends are participating in the 30 Days of Thankful thing where you post something each day that you are thankful for. I have some weird, irrational feelings about posts like that on Facebook so I don't tend to participate (long story, for another time I suppose), but I have enjoyed seeing what everyone is thankful for. Most people make it sappy and meaningful, but some have fun with it too and as sure to mention their thankfulness for things like coffee. ;) (now those are the posts I can support! lol) 

I am thankful for many things, despite this sucky year and all that has happened. I have many blessings. I also have many hardships, but I am even thankful for them in a way because they allow me to shine through them. They allow me to really see what God is doing in my life and they humble me on a daily basis. One of my fb friends, Lori, posted this today: 

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I am so thankful that God uses the people in my life to show me His grace and to remind me of His love. I could not have made it through these last few months without His power, and so I intend to "boast all the more gladly about my weakness" so that I may glorify Him.

D :)

Monday, November 07, 2011

I Feel Fine | NaBloPoMo day 7

This photo brought to you by my crappy iPhone camera, the letter P and the number 3. ;-)

My poor little dude is not feeling well. He started out the day strong, but didn't/couldn't eat lunch and by 1:30 he crashed hard. I had to go up to Kiddo's school for a parent/teacher conference, and Port was playing Legos in his room with Hubby. Hubby said he just suddenly got up, walked over to the cat, laid down on the floor and went right to sleep. He slept there for a few hours. Dinner was a little touch and go, but he made it through and managed to hold down a small portion of mac-n-cheese. He cuddled and was puny through the evening but got a sudden burst of energy just before bed (of course!). Hopefully he will be close to 100% tomorrow. I can't stand my pumpkin being sick. :(

And why is it that some little ones, when plagued with a tummy bug, decide that is the perfect time to kiss mommy right on the mouth, repeatedly??

I feel fine, I feel fine, I feel fine, I feel fine........

D :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

All There Is | NaBloPoMo day 6

It's been a long day. We went to church this morning and then when we got home I had to do a couple of loads of laundry, clean the kitchen, wash the dog and pick up a little around the house. Then I had a senior session in the next town over and after had to rush home and make dinner before heading out again to my weekly podcast/book meeting.

When we got home from church and had lunch, I noticed that Port didn't eat anything. And he picked at what I had served him in a way that was not his usual picky eater self, it was more of a "that sounds disgusting for some weird reason" sort of way. After my senior session, I asked Hubby if Port had eaten anything all afternoon and he thought he had eaten some goldfish crackers, but it turns out I don't think he did. So when I was making dinner Port was complaining of being hungry. I gave him a little bowl of goldfish and he tried to eat one but hollered almost immediately saying his tummy hurt. So a few minutes later he was "hungry" again and I gave him half a banana. That seemed to sit well so he tried to eat the other half and just a minute later he was spewing it all over the bathroom.

Thankfully he gives us some warning before he gets sick - he yells really loud.

So because I was in the middle of cooking dinner, Hubby had to deal with the sickness. That was not a good idea - I should have had him take over the dinner. Hubby doesn't handle sickness well. When I found him pale as a sheet in the hallway while Port was standing in the tub in the bathroom, I knew I needed to task Hubby with finishing up dinner.

Thankfully Port was much better after that episode, and he even ate a whole piece of toast during dinner. He did this a few weeks ago - he got up one morning and threw up twice and then was fine.

I hope that was all there was.


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Slow Dancing In A Burning Room | NaBloPoMo day 5

I often feel like I am slow dancing in a burning room (a great song by John Mayer, by the way). But this song (it's John Mayer day!) has popped up on my Pandora station twice today - I absolutely love it. I can sooooo relate to this song too!

If you are a listener of the podcast I co-host, you know that I tend to talk my way through and then around things and say what I feel and then backtrack/justify a ton trying not to offend anyone. But so many times, when I finally get the nerve to say what I really feel, I just can't stop myself. It's like opening flood gates. The good thing is, that the people that are my close friends know that I never mean any harm or judgement in what I say, and that anything that is my opinion is just that, mine. You don't have to agree with me, and if you don't, I am ok with that. How I feel is how I feel. The bad thing is, I often misjudge the "closeness" of some of my friendships and feel comfortable saying what I feel when I shouldn't. The older I get, the less I like having to censor myself. 

And sometimes I just can't shut up. I have conversations in my head, long after the subject has been laid to rest or abandoned. It drives me nuts, but often in those conversations I find the truth I was trying to speak in the first place. That part is great, but unfortunately by then it is usually too late to speak it. That's the worst.

I am at such an odd place in life right now. This year has been so hard and it isn't getting better any time soon. I am eagerly awaiting the new year on a false hope that "starting fresh" will make things better, when I know the reality is that it won't. Turning the calendar over to January 1 isn't going to make my problems go away. So there is a hope and a dread all wrapped up in one pretty bow in my head. I am pretty sure that on top of all this, I am in full on mid-life crisis mode. It makes dealing with the day to day stuff pretty trying. While part of me is trying to be this confident adult that I should and can be right now, part of me is still clinging for dear life to the 18 year old in my head.  I want to just be able to be myself (the grownup) and say what I feel when I feel it (the 18 year old). Sadly, not everyone is comfortable with that.

I hope that I can soon find a peace about life that I am currently lacking. Or, if I can't, I hope I can find a way to make changes that will help me feel better about my life and find the contentment that I seek. And along the way, I would like to find at least one or two people that can handle me - all of me - the happy, the sad, the stupid and the funny, the moody, the foodie, the earthiness, the height of me and the skinniness and...the stupid mouth. 

D :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Play That Funky Music | NaBloPoMo day 4

There was a moment, just - a moment, a couple of months ago that I thought I might try to teach myself to play the guitar. I felt like my life was falling apart and I just wanted something to do that was different and hopefully therapeutic, and also relatively easy (or so I thought).  It's not that I thought learning the guitar would be easy - far from it. I just thought it might be a bit less difficult because I actually took a semester of guitar when I was in college.  Surely, I thought, I could pick it back up and at least be able to play a few chords. 


I have owned a guitar (and that lovely pitch pipe in the image above) since I was about 8 or 9 years old. And yet, I never learned to play. My parents couldn't pay for lessons, and my dad, who knew how to play a little bit, didn't try for long to teach me (I actually don't remember him ever trying to teach me, but surely he did).  I wasn't interested in it enough to teach myself when I was young, but when I needed an instrument credit in college, it seemed to be the logical choice. I did alright in the class; over the course of the semester I developed the calluses needed to hold the strings. I kept the nails on my left hand short and the nails on the right hand long to pick with. Playing was pretty fun, but as soon as the class was over, I put the instrument away. With the exception of a few brief moments to show the kids, it hadn't seen the light of day until this summer. 

I pulled it out one night and found my training books and tried to will my fingers to remember how to hold the strings.
But they couldn't remember, I didn't really have the finger strength, and my nails were too long. I guess a brief knowledge of a few easy chords aren't as easily remembered as something like say, riding a bike.

Though I wouldn't want to see myself try to ride a bike either.

Maybe someday I can afford to take some lessons. Until then I will have to be content with singing to the steering wheel. ;-)

D :)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Feels Like Home | NaBloPoMo day 3

So, this is what I do. This is what I love. I have been a lot of things in my life; I have worn a lot of hats.  And while I have many very strong interests, this, photography, is something that no matter how busy I am, no matter what is going on in life, when I am shooting I am loving it. It feels like, home. I get excited about it, nervous about it, scared...and I love going through it and being exhausted when it's over but still being so revved up that I can't settle down right away when I get home. I love pulling the images up on my computer and seeing all that I have captured. It's like Christmas - I get to open hundreds of little presents with each session. Even if the session doesn't go how I had hoped or something is off, I know that there will always be something stored on that little square card that will make me smile.

For the first time in my life I really feel like I have the potential of being successful in my "job".  I really feel like I can be creative, or even not be creative, and still turn out quality work. It thrills me to the core to know that what I did with the camera made someone happy. For the first time in my life, I really want this thing that I am doing. I really want to make this business something I can be proud of. Now that Hubby is unemployed, my business has taken on a whole new meaning to me. I am more determined than ever to make it work; to make it into more than just a really fun hobby that helps me pay for more camera equipment.

The only other thing that has ever come close to photography is music. For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a singer, and I tried for many years to get to a place where I felt confident enough to pursue it professionally. Unfortunately, that confidence was never really there, I never felt talented enough, and my fear of failure defeated me.  Now, I still dream of a life that involves being able to sit on a small stage with a guitar or piano player and sing to an intimate audience. And I suppose there is still time for that; maybe it will happen some day.  But I know that singing will never be a full time profession for me. I do hope I get to make it a regular hobby some day.

So, with this passion, and this tangible need for my photography business, I am constantly thinking about it. I think about the business, how I can improve it, how I can provide my clients with the best possible experience, how I can provide amazing products, how I can take on more clients, how I can improve my style, and how I can do it all and maintain some sort of sanity. I think about how I can educate myself, how I can get more organized, how I can update and maintain my website...the list goes on and on and on.

But with 2 little ones around (ok, just the littlest little one mostly) it is darn near impossible to get anything major accomplished that will help my business. I have so much I need to do that I can't do in 5 minute intervals - which is what I am awarded with when the precocious Port is around. So, I am investing in myself and my business and I am booking myself a hotel room for a weekend this month and locking myself inside so I can get some work done.

I started my to-do list today for what I want to accomplish on this all important weekend, and I think I may need to extend my stay for about a week. Or two. heh.

There is never enough time, is there? What extremes have you gone to in order to make your life/job/world better?

D :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Someone Like You | NaBloPoMo Day 2

I think like most moms, am constantly wondering what my kids think of me.  Am I the mean mom, the nice mom, the fun mom or the ____ (fill in the blank).  Sometimes I think I am being the good mom, and my oldest will mutter something under his breath like "you just don't care for me" and I wonder what the heck gave him that idea. But I guess, in the eyes of a 7 year old, not allowing him to do something he wants to do, even if it's what's best for him, is the equivalent of "not caring". I am fairly certain Port thinks of me as the pushover mom; and perhaps I am just that more often than I care to admit. 

And while I am always wondering what they think of me, I don't put much time into how they see me. I mean, I see me like this.

Or at least that's how I imagine I look, even when my hair is in a bun and I have no makeup on. ;) Sadly, I don't always, nor often, look like I do in the above image. But a girl can dream of days like that, right?

I guess I am pretty lucky that Kiddo is a pretty good artist. Through his drawings, I sometimes get a glimpse of how he really sees me. 
Apparently I somewhat resemble Nanny from Muppet Babies cartoons. I am so tall I don't even fit on the paper! (and apparently I also wear my cat pajamas with jeans?? shh! Don't tell anyone!)

This next drawing, while sweet, is a bit disturbing...
What is up with my hair???

Oh well, at least I have a head in this one.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November Rain | NaBloPoMo day 1

NaBloPoMo 2011

Since it's been almost 2 months since my last post, I thought it might be a good idea to once again participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) again this year.  And luckily, since yesterday was Halloween, I am fresh and ready to go with some fun pictures to share with you. 
First, in case you are coming over from NaBloPoMo or are new to my little blog, that chick on the left is me. That is probably the newest images of me - I sort of have a thing for self portraits. However, this lovely capture was created by my wonderful friend, Kim, over at KimberlyTM Photography. Kim has, until now, mostly been a "thing" shooter (and mostly flowers), but she was interested in me giving her a little portrait photography lesson of sorts so we went out a couple of weeks ago and played. She also does hair, so I have to give her props for my fabulous cut and color. And yes, that is a blue streak on top and blue underneath. I LUV it!!

So, yesterday, the boys had a blast trick-or-treating in our friend's neighborhood (our hood pretty much sucks for ToTing) again this year.  We started the door to door trek just before dusk. 

I had some fun with my wide angle lens - his cute little cookie face looks even cuter all distorted. ;)
And of course, Kiddo had to get in on the wide angle lens action too. I can't believe he actually looked at the camera! That, my friends, is a rare thing. 
And on Friday last week we made our annual visit to the pumpkin patch for some pictures and a ridiculously expensive pumpkin. Here is Port with his shaggy hair, Molly the Cat who goes EVERYWHERE with him, and his little pumpkin.
And Kiddo with his pumpkin (notice he is NOT looking at the camera. *sigh*)
  And my sweet guys together. This was the reward for the yearly excursion. ;)

It feels good to be back to blogging again. Hopefully I can once again make it through the November challenge.


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