Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy halloween morning

i had forgotten why i never ask chad to help with the pumpkin carving.
last year...i put him on research duty...finding the best pumpkin face ideas.
you know?  it's kinda kin to the thanksgiving job of "putting ice in the classes" or "watching the rolls."
you make them feel important...but you don't put them in charge of anything they can screw up.
this year...i made the mistake of asking him to clean the pumpkin out and get it ready for us to carve it while i showed the kids how to make their spider craft.  i thought they would like having something to do while we were cleaning it out.  they usually get bored with that and disappear and then i'm all yelling from the table with my hands stuck in goop...
alas...i think i enjoy all of the traditional holiday activities way more than the kids do.  and certainly more than chad.  he all but tolerates them.  sometimes...i actually have to physically force him to stay in the room.  i mean...i don't tie him to a chair or anything.
last night i kept calling for him and he was going back and forth between the kitchen table and the clogged bathroom drain upstairs.  i think he liked having a legit reason to flee the premises.
however...he did "start" the cleaning out process.  how could that go wrong?
i'll tell you how.
have you ever seen such a small, clean-out hole?  it was big enough for annslee to get her little fist in there...but that was about it.
"now what," i asked?

at least this kids were still at the table.

colton said, "i got this."
and alas (that's the second time i've used that word) the pumpkin clean out torch was passed to the eldest child.

in order to truly complete the process to my standards...i had to cut a hole out of the bottom and finish.  and i must add...that was chad's idea.  so he redeemed himself.  because do you know what?  you can now set that thing right on top of a candle!  that's what!! husband.
aiden had made this dessert with granna on saturday and we saved it for the perfect night.

while we ate...each kid was responsible for one part of our jack-o-lantern's face.  aiden drew one eye...and she took much care doing so.

colt drew the mouth.

annslee drew the nose.

and chase was supposed to draw the other eye.  he didn't want to do it.  i told him that if he didn't draw it...our pumpkin would be one eye short.
he found me a solution.


yesterday was my pre-school class' party.  the kids dressed up.
this was my raggedy ann costume that my mom made for me when i was little.  my brother was raggedy andy.  i remember having a busted lip that year because my dad tripped me to keep me from scoring a "touchdown" in the living room while we waited for mom to finish getting ready for my soccer halloween party.  if i made it to the love-seat (that happened to have a wooden frame) i won a point.  well...i got a little too close and my dad yanked my leg out from under me and i went down like a ton of bricks and whacked my mouth on the wood part of the couch.  i started screaming and he carried me into the kitchen and put ice over my mouth and kept telling me to stop screaming because mom was gonna go berserk.  i went and told mom on him, of course.  she was going as a hobo...and i remember her telling me that my fat lip would go really well with her costume.
and then at my halloween, soccer party...guess who couldn't bob for apples?
raggedy ann.  that's who.

luckily...yesterday, annslee's lips were fine.
chapped.  but fine.

we're creeping.

well...we're not gonna use that spoon in the sprinkles any longer...

last night, as i was getting settled into bed...i remembered that i hadn't washed the darks since sunday when the girls wore their orange and black halloween outfits.  that translated into staying up until midnight...folding laundry...and waiting for the load of darks to wash and dry.
sister got to wear her shirt and tights today.

i made sure she knew of my sacrifice too.

they need to know those things.
happy halloween!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

weekends. not for the faint of heart.

the weekend was quite the whirlwind.  i was remembering a time, when the kids were all toddlers...and i hated the weekend.  i thought they were boring.  chad was gone a lot.  there was nothing good on tv.  we didn't have anywhere to go.  i longed for monday to roll back around. least i had my good friends, regis and kelly to talk to.
times have changed.
i don't even know regis and kelly anymore.
haven't seen em in years.
friday night, i hosted my coach's birthday party at my house before the game.  that meant dinner and dessert.

we had a game at 8:30...and then went over to a team mate's house to play pool, just dance 3, and some LCR dice game that i had never heard of before.  to be fair...i could have come home after the game.  but why would i do that after years of my only friends being regis and kelly???
to be fair again...i had friends.  they just all lived far away.
saturday morning...i popped up and remembered that i had forgotten to go let UK's dog out.  he was in a wedding in austin and i was on dog duty.
in an early morning panic...i sped  drove with haste to his house.  luckily...timber has quite the bladder control.  she was fine.
then...i came home and did a little house work.  at 1...i got showered and dressed up for my cousin's wedding reception downtown.  i haven't dressed up in a good this took a little time.  there was a lot of grooming happening.  plucking eyebrows...shaving legs...painting nails...braiding hair...etc.  i also had to ransack the boy's closets...looking for anything remotely appropriate for a wedding reception that still fit them.  since when do we only have basketball shorts???  i'm not sure when that happened.  i also had to locate jumpers, skirts, matching long sleeved shirts, cardigans, tights, dressy shoes, and matching bows for the girls.  this was a little easier...but the state of their closets and drawers and our clean laundry mountain  pile made it take longer than it should have.
by this point...i was over my strapless dress and heals.  i threw on a jean jacket and my black cowgirl boots and thought, "i'm the photographer.  no on will care what i'm wearing.  and besides...heals can be a hazard while taking pictures."

colt was none-too-thrilled...due to having to miss his last football game of the season to dress up and be forced to smile alot.  smiling's not his favorite these days.


i love this shot.  this is the groom and his mother.  so sweet.

i didn't get home until 2:00 am.  this time...i didn't forget about the dog.
sunday morning...we went to church and then straight to the tailgate cookout that i was supposed to bake 2 dozen brownies for.  those just had to be bought.  we had to leave that situation early because flicka was done.  she cried if she looked at a blade of grass.  chase and i dropped everyone off at home and headed to watch the blue angels.

i can't get enough of these planes.  i grew up watching them every year from our street.  we lived down the road from ellington air force base and they came to the air show every year.
now...we park in a big, church parking lot and sit on the hood of our suburban and watch the pilots make their magic.  it is breath-taking.  they fly directly over low that you think they are going to hit you...and break the sound barrier directly over you head.
crazy cool.

luckily...small group got cancelled sunday night while i was with chase because i had a sunday night game.
we lost.
i'd say i've come a long way from my old, boring weekends.
today, we are having my pre-school class' pumpkin party.
note to self.  stop for a red bull on the way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

october 24th...come and gone

when i think over the last 38 birthdays...a flood gate of emotion opens up and pours memories all over me.
i remember things like getting my first pair of guess jeans; honey and paw-paw giving me my kermie and piggie sleeping bag; walking into school to find my locker decorated by friends; opening my first real ring from a boyfriend; being taken on a hike through the mountains in north carolina for a picnic; picking out a swatch watch; my parents throwing me a surprise party at mr. gatties; renting out the roller rink for my 18th; driving to get my driver's licence on my 16th; and reading the scratchy writing on homemade cards from my children.
i think that this birthday was one of my favorites.
i sit tonight...thinking back to the messages and gifts that i received over the coarse of the day.  and all of them...every single one...said,
"hey you......i know you....and i care about you....and i really want you to feel celebrated."
i write from my desk tonight...with a spiced pumpkin candle flickering, tulips slowly blooming, and chewy sweet tarts whispering my name...all gifts from the day.
the rest of my house may be screaming for my homemaker attention...but this place???  well...this place is a sanctuary...reminding me of my children walking into my room this morning, flowers in hand and a friend's surprise visit with my favorite fall candle and candy.

when i glanced down at my 36 "followers" of the i often do as an encouragement to keep writing...i saw the number 107 in place of the 36.  i figured there must be some mistake.  and then chad told me what he had done.  that sweet man wants me to feel valued and like i really have a voice that matters in this big world. 
he hears me wonder if i can ever really make a difference.  he hears me wonder, sometimes, if i matter.
although i'm a little embarrassed...i love that number 107.  and i love that you 107 people took the time to do that for me.  i feel heard.  it's a good feeling to feel heard, you know.  the reason that i started blogging was to record pictures and stories of our family so that some day...our children can look through them and read them and know their story.  they can look back and see how much they were cherished.  every day.  i often imagine my daughters reading some of these posts and realizing...
"ok...she didn't always have it all together...and she failed...and she got frustrated...just like i feel today with my kids....but she sure did love us well."
and it's been an unexpected bonus to share that with all of you.  you will never know how the kind words and support that has come from sharing our story has encouraged me over the last 5 years.  so...all of that to say...i'm really glad you are here.
this morning, i woke to the most precious of breakfasts.

i actually cried yesterday when my 6 little preschool students sang me happy birthday.  there is something about the voices of children, i tell you.
aiden actually made me 2 reindeer puppets that attached to my card.  there's not much better than reindeer puppets.
unless it's the running horse charm that the kids picked out at james avery to go on my bracelet.
colton took the day off school and he, annslee, and i met mom and honey at the new outlets that just opened by our house.

this is an exciting situation.  annslee knows how to entertain herself in a dressing room.

and this is one of my favorite pictures of the day.  i love these people more than life itself.

at mom and dad's tonight...UK gave me my birthday t-shirt.
it's just about perfect.  we often find ourselves asking each other,
"what would JR EWING do?"
it's become a thing.

mom made chicken and dumplings and creme de menthe pie, of course.
it has been my birthday dinner since i was 3 years old.  i will tell everyone that every year too.  it just makes me happy.

there was one nagging thought that kept plaguing me all day.  my dad had won a golf tournament a while back that took him to north carolina this week.  i kept thinking,
"dad hasn't called yet."
tonight at dinner, his seat sat empty...and i missed him.
i missed the way he hugged me.  i missed the way he laughs at what i say.  i missed the way he says happy birthday.
at the table...i said, "daddy hasn't called yet."
mom assured me that he was probably in the mountains and didn't get reception.
i said, "i know.  i'm sure that's it."
after we got phone rang.  i glanced down at it...and saw
i smiled and answered it.
he said, "happy birthday!!!"
we talked about what i did today and about dinner and about how he was doing.  he told me he was sorry he wasn't here.  he told me how much he loved me and how proud he was.
after we said goodbye, chad asked,
"he called???"
i smiled softly and answered,
"he called."
it's 11:13 pm now.  it's almost over.  the day that i look forward to for the entire month of october is here and is coming to a close.
and i loved it.
i loved today.
so far...38 has been great.
thank you for being a part of it.