Thursday, December 20, 2012


As of now, I still hate crafts. I say still, because as a kid, whenever we had to do one in school, mine never turned out. It honestly caused a source of anxiety for me because I was a girl and girls are supposed to be good at that creative stuff. Sure mom, I KNOW I have other talents:) But I'm just stating the obvious that my art projects looked like crap, my handwriting is about as good as a 4-year old boys, and I have no color/fashion/idea/creativity or whatever 'that' is. Now that I'm a housewife, it seems the craft world is hitting me all over again. Ladies want to get together and craft. I'd rather just about do anything else. Even miniature golf, which I also hate. But as a mom, I realize kids like crafts. My son likes crafts. So it's ok to do them with him, because we are actually on the same talent level of crafts. His crafting, eases my craft anxiety. His colored turkey with pipe cleaners on it, makes mine look like..well, like I'm not 3 years old! But this Christmas my kids are 3 and 18 months. We'll set the presents out under the tree Christmas Eve so they can wake up to them. But I'm not going to put little gift tags on them because they can't read. And also because I'm terrible at wrapping. And I'm a lazy wrapper. BUTTT I wanted a way for them to know which presents are theirs. So I had the idea to make some reusable gift tags/ribbons that have elastic to fit around any gift. And they will be on their presents every year! They aren't pretty, but they are functional and pretty for my work!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 3 - Staying at home

I'm thankful for the opportunity to stay at home during the day with my children. I knew this was something I always wanted to do when I became a mom if it was possible. But we ended up getting pregnant earlier than we had planned (surprise). Right around this this time, my mom announced she would be moving to Canada after her wedding. She was worried about leaving her house to renters while she was gone and asked if we were interested in moving in. We found a renter for our town house, and moved into my mom's house where she didn't even charge us rent. Little did I know, that I was about 5 weeks pregnant when I was helping CJ move our bed, dresser, couch, and everything we owned up and down our townhouse steps and into the new place. We found out right after we moved in that I was pregnant. God knew we were going to have a baby earlier than we 'planned'. He also knew He was going to take care of that baby, and us by providing all our needs. It's rare that as married adults you can live rent free for any amount of time. Especially with not having to live WITH your parents:) But the timing of this couldn't have been more perfect. We lived off CJ's income, and used my whole income over those last 9 months, to get ourselves completely out of debt. But most importantly, I was able to stay home with my new baby. I didn't miss a THING. I can always work if I want to. And I probably will again. This is something I take for granted because a lot of days it's hard. It's easy to miss the working life if I'm being completely honest. And probably most moms who work wish they could be with their babies. I need to remember how blessed and thankful I am that I get to see my babies and that I'M their only mother, and I get to spend the most time with them!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 2

I'm thankful for my hardworking husband. I really can't think of another man that works as hard as he does, yet is still making his family a high priority. He's cut out any other time consuming habits so that he is available to his kids. He's extremely underpaid for how how hard he works physically and the hours he has to put in at home when owning a small business, but yet he rarely complains. He watches the money come in and go right back out for our little family, and doesn't ask for anything for himself. No matter how physically exhausted he is at the end of a work day, he walks in the door smiling and jumps straight to the floor to play with the kids. That's my favorite part of the day too:) As I write this, he's going on almost an hour of of playing with 2 small matchbox cars with Hayes...over and over again. He takes care of our family and supports my social habits by taking me on dates and watching the kids so I can have girls nights. I'm thankful for the man he has become!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 1 - thankfulness

Last year during the month of November I tried to concentrate every day on something I was thankful for and post it on Facebook. This year I'm going to do the same,in more detail, on my blog so I can go back and look someday. For day one, the first thing that came to mind was the country I'm fortunate enough to be born and live in. I'm thankful for the USA. We just got back from Mexico. A country that Americans love to visit because it's beautiful and cheap. We take for granted when we see so many men, women and children 'harassing' us to buy whatever they are selling. But yet not ONCE did anyone beg for money. I found that ironic. We can go to any major city in the US and find bums sitting there asking for money, with nothing to offer in return. And most people have given to them at some point. But when you go to Mexico, you feel like they are begging, but they are still offering something in return. Even if it is a crappy wooden lizard or something. I hate to admit it, but it's easy to look at these people as lower than us. Why? Just because they were born in a different part of the world, doesn't mean they aren't husbands and fathers or trying to provide for a family member. We live in a country where pretty much any time in history means it's a good place to be. Of course being black, being native american and other races at certain times has been difficult. But for the most part, this is the best place on earth to live. And I was blessed enough to be born here, and have my children be born here. Our worst days in America, are still usually some of the best someone from other certain countries might ever have. At any point, I have access to free, clean water. That in itself is something I take for granted. When I'm quick to complain about sitting in traffic, I should remember I have a warm car that I own and I'm probably on my way to go somewhere enjoyable and safe. When I complain about not having enough money to get nice new things for my house, why do I forget that most people will NEVER own a house or even have their own room to sprawl out do I even have the RIGHT to complain about things like that?? When I complain about not feeling well, how do I so easily forget that I have access to whatever medical care, relief otc drugs, food and help. When I start to wish my husband could be home earlier in the evenings, I forget that he isn't sitting on some dangerous street for 12 hours a day hoping to sell at least $5 of something hoping to feed the family for another day or so. Thank you God for my country and blessing us for another day in it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Turning 30

I turned 30 almost 2 months ago. Of course, only fitting I write about it late. It's funny how it DID actually seem 'old' to turn 30...before I turned 30. You know, when everyone else turned 30, it just sounded super super old right? But then here it was on my doorstep. And I know it's going to be one of those things where I look back and think 'wow, did I really call that OLD?' Yeah, I did. And I also developed a picture of me at the beach when I was 19, and immediately thought how fat I looked. Now looking back, I want to slap my skinny self in the face. All that to say, I really don't feel old. But birthday's aren't just about getting older. In fact, I really could care less if I celebrate my birthday at all. But that number 30 was a perfect excuse (that society puts out as a pivotal number to hit) to do things and see people that I want to see. And honestly, it couldn't have turned out better. And this isn't going to be an entertaining read, more just a document of details that I never want to forget about a milestone birthday:) I'm not a present person. I'm an experience and people/fun times person. One of my best friends from high school, left her kids at home and came out for a few days. She lives in San Diego, and her husbands in the military so they move around a lot. Getting to see her in person is something I don't take for granted. The fact I got to just hang with her for a couple days was awesome. Then one of my grade school girlfriends came out with one of my college roomates. These two drove from Nashville and Indiana. They got in town and we went down to the plaza for dinner, drinks, and some H&M shopping where we met up with my long time girlfriend Laura who now lives in KC. We came back to the house, and Jodi showered me with some blasts from the pasts...she had found some tshirts, and Best Friends bracelets that we gave each other about 25 years ago. Talk about special. Then my brother's fiance, and my good friend, Brittany came over. She gave me one of the sweetest cards (I'm into cards. Greeting cards.), and a bottle of wine that said 'will you be my bridesmaid'. Yep, she asked me to stand by her side while her, and my favorite brother take their life long vows to be husband and wife. What an honor! But that next day, that's where my dream of a fun birthday came in. We went floating down the Elk River. Something I discovered I loved, way back in college. I did it for my bachelorette party, and it turned out perfect. Perfect as soon as you get on the water. The whole leading up to that, is usually frustrating chaos because I'm a bad planner/we get lost/it's raining/I tell everyone wrong directions/coolers break/campsite is full etc. BUT then we get on the water, and it's just bliss. The weather was hot and sunny. But the float was perfect. I was sharing my canoe with my 'bosom friend' as we used to call each other. If you've seen Anne of Green Gables (don't bother renting if you haven't), then you know what I'm talking about. Steph and I even got grounded from spending time together for a period of time after we got caught lying/sneaking around. And that didn't stop us, we'd meet in secret:) Steph and her husband drove a LOOOONG way, left their kids, and even got a flat tire on their very short 9 hour drive(that's without any detours) home. Do you get now that I have the BEST people in my life? So basically, my birthday was amazing. Old friends, new friends that will become old friends because they will be in my life forever, sunshine, outdoors, day-drinking, hot dogs. Oh, and I forgot to mention the cutest 2 year old I have ever seen in my life, sang his mommy Happy Birthday. More than once. And it was the sweetest thing I've ever heard!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Almost 2 1/2, my Hayes

Tonight I started to go through stuff for a garage sale. I had an enormous box of Hayes' old clothes. And I'm not going to go into detail about how sad we got. It happens to everyone, I'm sure. I told CJ I would keep a small pile of 'sentimental' clothing items from his baby stage. Well every outfit I picked up, looked over, and started to fold to put a garage sale tag on, CJ would say 'but he wore that....", or actually, my favorite was when he got off the couch, ran over to grab an outfit looking for the matching hat and pants that were tied up with a complete memory CJ spilled out. I knew right away it was the wrong outfit. And it was, but I held my tongue;) I hate the phrase you get from strangers 'it goes sooo fast, enjoy it!' Yeah, I know, it does. That's super true. Which is probably why I hate hearing it. Also though, because it's confusing to me. Because sometimes the DAYS literally couldn't go longer. I look at the clock thinking I need to probably start dinner, and to my surprise, it's only 10am. That being said, it has been a fast 2 1/2 years. I've had two pregnancies, a 55 hour labor, another c section, breastfeeding and cuddling and long nights. But it went SOO fast. There I go! But I'm writing about my 'kick joe' tonight. Hayes, you might not even know why we call you that. But when you were in my belly, you kicked HARD. No surprise. But this was my first baby to carry in my belly so I assumed that was normal. You kicked in the same spot, SO hard, for those last few weeks, that the feeling has never completely come back. It's still numb. That's insane???! But we had no first name for you. We knew your middle name was going to be Joseph after your wonderful grandpa and great grandpa who you would never get to meet. But no first name decision yet. So we called you 'kick joe' because that's pretty much all we knew you were like:) As a 2 2/2 year old, you are still feisty! You are the most unique little guy. You can focus for long periods of time, look anyone in the eyes with your gorgeous blue eyes, say please, thank you, and good to meet you..without ever being prompted. You are so polite. You listen close when you need to, but talk up a storm about nothing and everything. You say hi to everyone you see and ask the mailman if you can have a hug, but yet you are quiet and reserved. You aren't afraid to hit me in the face when your temper flares, but you are learning to come to me quickly and say sorry on your own and ask for a kiss. You are learning to love to laugh. I knew this HAD to come at some point. It's too hard to live in this family and not laugh:) You get excited to see your sister in the morning, and still love your uncle Adam like you guys were brothers:) You ask to play with your friend Maddox and Titus and you have a crush on Addison at school. You are kind to animals and still love music and night, but that stops early in the morning and you are you are ready to go! You are teaching me so much, just by being you. I am constantly asking God how to parent you, how to be patient with you (hehe I'm working on it), and what kind of lessons I can learn/grow from as I am blessed to be your one and only mama. I love you with everything I got, Kick Joe! You're the best, and you're mine!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Attitude change

Every once in awhile, as in pretty much every day, I need an attitude change. See, staying at home with my kids is something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. I wanted nothing more than to grow up and have babies, cooking meals, and wearing heals. Cute, look how that rhymed. And boy, am I doing it. Except the heals thing. And my meals are pretty mediocre at best.
And I will tell you, that I'm not a very good housekeeper at all. In fact, as I type, I have a dinner that needs cleaned up, a couple loads of laundry to fold (even though I've folded 2 already today), the upstairs to vacuum, some coupons to sort, like 3 late birthday cards to send, a lunch to pack for Hayes school in the morning...i haven't showered today..agh and it's almost 10 pm! But look at me, I'm sitting her blogging about how I never get anything done haha
I don't need to tell you stay-at-home moms about how hard it is to stay on top of housework when you have one crawler who needs you for everything and a toddler who you probably physically shouldn't take your eyes off of for more than 30 seconds at a time. So yeah, it get tricky. But if I'm being 100% honest, that's only half of it.
I need to admit that I need an attitude change. I explain it this way. Imagine if you are a painter. And you go into a house, and your customer has a room painted white, and they'd like it painted blue. So you unload all of your supplies, tape off, pour the paint, prime, paint for a few hours, take a lunch break, go back and paint a couple more hours until you have your final product. A beautifully painted room. And you leave, and maybe the customer says thank you. But they don't pay you. Then they call you the next day, and say 'hey, we went ahead and painted that room back to white. But could you come back and paint it blue again? Oh, pay? No, we aren't going to pay you. Just go ahead and do it anyways'. So you go. And you paint it all over again. And you leave, and maybe this time they didn't say thanks, and of course they didn't pay you. Instead, they just splashed white paint all over your fresh blue paint and knocked over paint can and then they pinched you. And you do this every day Ook, that last pinching part I made up. But you get the crossover in stories here. Sometimes, I feel like that painter. I REALLY like hanging around my 'customers'(my babies) and playing with them, and laughing with them, and chasing them, and tickling them, because to ME, that's rewarding. But I emphasize me, because staying at home with your babies, isn't all about ME. And the little stuff that I don't do for my own immediate pleasure or gratification, the stuff that I shouldn't wait for a pat on the back or a paycheck for, is the stuff that is the real sacrifice for my babies and my husband. Having clean clothes and meals and clean sheets is how I show them love. Ignore this society that put in my head that I need to wait for some monetary value or certain level of praise to do the things that are the selfless acts of love that, in all honesty, I hate. But that's what makes them pure acts of love. And realize too, that I have friends who have stayed home with their grown babies, and told me they regretted how much emphasis they put on keeping their house up and wish they would have spent more time on the floor with their babes. But I'm faaaaar from that. But I say that to show you that there is a good balance. And that I will never regret spending time with my children, but I can't let the excuse of my lack of praise for my duties keep me from doing what's right! AAANDDD here's hoping that writing about it will hold me accountable!! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

When you pick your mate

Someday my kids will fall in love. They might fall in love a million times, or maybe once, or maybe not at all! I hope they never feel pressure to get married if they'd prefer to stay single..nothing wrong with that. But I hope that they choose someone that they can have fun doing anything with. You know, like a best friend.
I can honestly say that I am lucky enough to be married to that person. Sure, sometimes we drive each other nuts. But honestly, almost 5 years into marriage, I can say that he's my first pick for doing almost anything with. See, someday we aren't going to have the kids around. Someday we might be too old to be as active as we are (actually, we aren't that active, ever). Someday it will be just the 2 of us. And this is when some people get bored with each other, or feel like they don't know each other. That's why I feel like it's even more important now, in these baby years, to make sure we still get priority time with just the two of us. And that it's not forced, but it's looked forward to. Yes, I love my girlfriend time. I NEED my girlfriend time, and I get it. But I NEED my one-on-one CJ time. And we are blessed to have two kids that are in bed by about 730pm every night, and CJ and I get the rest of the night to be with each other, alone. But dates away from the house and routine are good too.
This last weekend, I realized once again how much I love being married to my husband. And not because he makes millions, or says the right thing all the time, or looks like Channing Tatum with his shirt off, or even listens very well (he's getting better). No, it's because he is my best friend. And in a wierd way, sometimes I forget I'm married to him and that we have babies together etc because we just have that much fun together.
We had the opportunity this last weekend to have an overnight date night, thanks to my brother and Brittany. We aren't 'planners'. In fact, we had known about this for a few weeks, and still had no plans. We tossed around going to the casinos, getting a hotel room at the plaza, going skiing in Weston to name a few. Then it came time to leave, and we went to Houlihans to get some food. Right here in Lees Summit. Then we stopped at store and I bought some jeans. Then he wanted to buy a hat so we headed to ever classy, Independence Mall. As we were walking into the mall, CJ said 'hey, let's run into Applebees and get a drink, because we can!''. Yes, we don't have the opportunity to just stop in for a drink because we usually have kids with us. Well, I never pictured the highlight of our weekend away would be at a mall Applebees. In fact, I can't think of a worse thing on paper haha. But man, 3 hours later, we had the mgr. ask us to quiet down! We were really having that much fun. At one point, a man came over to us and thought we were on a first date. He said he's never seen a date look like they were having that much fun. It made me proud to say that we were married for 5 years and we still have that much fun. I hope we can say that when we are married 50 years!
So to sum up my advice to my kids about picking a mate, let me tell you this. I dated guys longer than I dated your dad, I dated guys that were 'nicer' at the time, I dated guys that were better looking, and seemed like they could provide a decent life, guys that loved me, guys that my family loved...but if all those things line up, but you can't picture yourself laughing and having fun with them doing any basic, daily or mundane activity, then you are going to be BORED! And your daddy is the one for me and I feel blessed everyday to have him as my spouse. Picture yourself spending time with a person doing life, and if it doesn't seem like they will make your life more fun, re-think. Hopefully this advice doesn't get me son-in-law that is homeless, jobless, is 300lbs and looks like a woman, but hey, he's funny! :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In the last ten days

I DOUBT all this has anything to do with getting off Facebook, but who knows! :) All this has happened or developed in ten days

-I've lost 4 lbs
-CJ has lost 6 lbs
- We booked our 5 year anniversary trip to Mexico
- CJ was involved in an accident, resulting in roller coaster of emotions over the condition of a little boy's life
- My brother was in an accident in Florida, where both vehicles were totaled. He was fine!
- Bria stands up in her crib and holds her own bottle!
- Hayes wants me to sing to him at night, and gives out hugs and kisses
- I've prayed more than I have in a looong time. As it should be.
- CJ's bought a 'new' work van

Monday, January 16, 2012

Healthy Purge

I am giving myself a vacation from Facebook. I have to check myself sometimes and re-do my priorities. There is nothing wrong with Facebook. In fact, that's how I keep in touch with a majority of my friends, see their babies grow, communicate with my moms groups etc. It brings us together and I love it. However, what is wrong is when I let it take over my day. I know myself well enough to know that I need to watch anything that does this. Again, that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, but the amount of time wasted can be bad:) The goal for my life is to serve God, serve my family, and serve others. ANYTHING else that can consume me, needs to be checked. So I give myself a break from it. And if I can't take a break from it, then it's a problem and I consider it an addiction. Could be eating, could be tv, could be exercising(got that one in check:), could be wine, could be a relationship that isn't good for us, could be just dwelling on something materialistic that doesn't bring us lasting fulfillment when we obtain it, could be our obsession to have control over the details of our life,could be the internet or attempting to keep our lives/homes/appearance perfect... could be ANYTHING. So when I see myself letting something besides serving my family, God and others take up too much time, I have to make sure I can live without it for awhile.
After my dad died, I found myself in an unhealthy obsession with my weight. Binging on an entire box of toaster strudels in one sitting, eating an entire bag of Thomas bagels in less than 5 minutes etc. Eating as much as I could as fast as I could as if to get through it so I wouldn't stop and think about how bad it was for me. But you do finish eventually, and feel so terrible physically and emotionally, that you have to 'un-do' it. That's when the barfing started (like my word choice;). It started slow and got the point where even if I put on chapstick, or chewed a piece of gum, I thought there was some flavor or calories that needed out. I would mentally freak out into how I was going to sneak to a bathroom and vomit without anyone catching on. Eventually had it down to a science where I NEVER had to stick my finger down my throat, could do it silently and quickly, and hide it in my room or in the shower or wherever! To the point where at my worst, I counted over 20 times in one day. That'a living mental hell. A constant cycle of mental panic on trying to control what you eat, blowing it by going overboard, and then panicking on getting it out of your system quickly. And repeat. Thank GOD I got through it and can honestly say it's not a struggle anymore. The thought of being back in that secret addiction is enough to keep me far from it. Well, at least the barfing part. I still over eat quite a bit ;)
But knowing how my personality can get to that point of letting something run my life, I have learned to step back, and make sure I can live without something for a short period of time, even if the thing itself isn't harmful. Haha, like how I pretty much compared Facebook to an eating disorder??? Hardly..
So my plan for the beginning of 2012 is to prioritize a few things. See you back on there in a month or so!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Highlight, so far, of 2012

My Hayes is a great sleeper. He loves it, and goes right down. Sometimes asks to go to bed and takes him there himself. So when I heard him at his door tonight (about 45 minutes after he had gone to bed), I was a little concerned as to what he could be needing. That NEVER happens, unless we are super loud and woke him up. I went downstairs, opened his door, and he was standing in the dark. I said 'what's wrong buddy?' He said 'hug, kiss, mommy, please hug kiss'. I gave him a hug and a kiss and put him back in bed where he snuggled right back in and said 'good night'. Good thing it was dark, or he would have seen me choking up:)
This may be the kind of thing moms get every night. But if you know me well, you know that Hayes doesn't show these emotions to me often at all. Without going into detail, it's been sad and hard on me at times just yearning for the moments that you hear so much about from others that seem to be so second nature. So this, tonight, made my whole year! Love my Kick Joe!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I almost forgot about this story, and that's when I have to write stuff down, so my kids can read about it after I lose my mind!
One thing I love about my husband is the fact that he has a good heart for others. I prayed I would marry someone who would be ok with helping others that were less fortunate than us. Even though sometimes we may be the 'unfortunate' ones in some perspectives, we are still blessed beyond measure.
A couple years ago, CJ discussed selling his drill set for a better, longer-lasting but more expensive set. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but it kind of is. You see, these aren't just a collection of garage tools that men keep to break out a couple times a year when they feel like doing guy stuff. These tools literally help feed our family. They get used. Every day. And they get beat up, but they are so necessary. And it's high on the totem pole compared to the heater that was busted in his work van (this was dead winter), that he said could wait. Buying new replacements on tools, however, is unavoidable when you own your own business. He was planning on getting about $300 to pawn or sell his old ones, to put towards a new set.
He started by doing a craigslist search to see if anyone was in the market, or how much other sets were going for to get an idea for his posting. But instead, he found something else. He found an ad, written by a wife. A wife who's husband didn't know she was writing it. She said they had come on some bad luck on top of losing almost everything in a fire. And they didn't have insurance. Her husband worked by doing handyman services. She said he lost all his tools. She said he was a hard worker who would never ask for anything, but she wanted to help him. And if anyone had any extra tools that they were just going to throw out, she wanted to come get them and surprise him with whatever she could collect.
Now, when CJ read this, he showed me. When I read it, I put myself right in that wife's shoes. Maybe they had babies to feed? My baby was only a few months old. If this were my husband, I would do whatever I could to help him. Of course I didn't go pouring on CJ that he should give away his old set of POWER tools to someone we know not much about. After all, they could be selling them for drugs? But you know what, that's not my problem. We should do things (within common sense of course) because we have faith that it's the right thing to do. What happens after that is on them.
Well you know where this is going. CJ contacted the wife, who was in tears when she heard what he wanted to give her. They came by, and yeah, they were interesting:) He had spent time in prison, met his wife when he got out, and he said 'she saved him'. Said he's had a hard time getting a second chance at life in general after prison (people won't hire him etc), but he was doing the best he could. They were so humbled and grateful. And that alone was worth any amount of cash CJ could have got for the set. But it didn't stop there.
CJ and the man talked for over an hour about everything. Turns out this man learned a lot in prison:) How to fix things etc. CJ told him about his broken heater. CJ had already had a mechanic look at it and give him an outrageous quote, so CJ didn't have it fixed. This man and CJ disappeared in the garage for awhile. And I'd be lying if I didn't have a few uncomfortable feelings creep up. After all, over the last hour we learned this guy did some serious time in prison. What if he's taking CJ in the garage to blindside him with a crowbar to the skull and then steal all of our..well..all of our what?? We don't have anything worth stealing haha! Pretty soon CJ came busting through the door and the first words out of his mouth were 'that son of a bitch..' so I was sure the guy took off with something. No, CJ said 'that son of a bitch just fixed my heater! Runs better than ever!' He was so excited.
Will never forget that night. Well, actually, I almost did. So that's why I wrote it down:) Sometimes we may have that opportunity to help someone but we talk ourselves out of it for a million reasons instead of having faith that if we pay it forward, we will be taken care of. Or that someday some stranger may help me or my children if they ever needed it.