Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back at the Unforgettable 2011

There are no huge crowds, alcohol soaked midnight kisses, or giant lighted balls dropping from rooftops. No party hats, drunk strangers, and loud bands. Tonight does not end in a haze of smoke and laden trays of food.

This amazing year will pass, much like it began, watching movies with my husband, the glow of the christmas tree casting soft shadows as the dogs lay in our laps. Except this year, I am not feeling my little boy kicking inside my stomach and dreaming about what he will be like this time next year. No. This year passes with my livingroom floor littered with his childish delights, his warm body tucked into his bed that we lovingly picked out and placed in his decorated room that I stressed over the last detail of.

I can't help but be sad to see 2011 go. It was an amazing year, full of adventure, love, hope, dreams and joy. I look forward to 2012 and watching my son grow but I will always hold 2011 close to my heart and remember it fondly.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011 Captured

This Christmas has been amazing. It was our first Christmas with Matthew and he did so well.

Excitement Mounts leading up to the Big Day:

A tradition is born. Golden Books Christmas Collection has the Story of Jesus, An Animals Christmas and The Night Before Christmas all in one.

OMG. Santa came! (and no, Santa did not bring a cat, but the cat apparently slept all night on the chair Santa did bring!)

We expected him to be interested in the boxes and paper but he actually wanted the toys. He could care less about the paper. He LOVES his new toys (and like any kid totally ignored the clothes. LOL)

Needless to say he had many naps and was oversimulated but it was a fantastic day. It's nice to be at home with a content baby, in our pajamas winding down with the remanants of love and excitement scattered across the floor.

A week of vacation filled with playing with new toys, snuggles, (and sickness thrown in there too) and straightening up. My livingroom now officially looks like there's a kid in the house and not just a few strategically placed infant items. Nooo....Toys R' US actually threw up on my floor. It has truly become a family room...which means I thinks its time to redecorate a little bit to make it more oriented to children (I.E. take out the glass coffee table and the sheer drapes to the floor that he loves to yank on etc.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

MIA-Mommy guilt

I had planned to do so much this week of Christmas vacation: clean out closets, goodwill donations, paint the livingroom, several blog posts, visit friends. Then sickness struck. I've spent the majority of the vacation dealing with a sick baby. Yesterday, we were both sick-not a fun day.

Today, I did what I swore I would never do. I took my baby to daycare even though I have the day off. He was in such a great mood this morning. Happy, playful, inquisitive. I, on the other hand, feel like a dump truck has parked inside my chest. I'm hacking up lovely globs of goop, I'm achy and exhausted. So I got dressed, gave him breakfast, played with him for thirty minutes and hopped off to daycare where I left him happily diving in the toy basket with his friends.

Mommy guilt however, will not allow me to rest. I can't fathom snoozing the day away while munchkin is at daycare and not with me, so I've been trying to sweat out the sickness with some major housecleaning.

One part of me is ready to fall on my face. The other part of me is enjoying the deep clean feel that is so hard to achieve in small bursts of time and/or with a little one underfoot.

At the risk of being a super bad mommy, I think I will allow myself a nice steamy bubble bath when I'm too pooped to clean and then go get the munckin. I'm trying to justify him being away from me on a day off: deep cleaning the house, I'm sick, he's out of routine with this week away from daycare so one day will do him some good, I'm paying the full week anyway, its playtime with his friends, etc. It's not working but I'm trying.

Do you ever get a babysitter/daycare on a day off? Do you have Mommy guilt over it?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa's Binge Eating Issue

I was joking earlier today on Facebook when I posted "mmmmm then again, these ginger butterscotch cookies are pretty scrumptious too. Maybe I should leave carrot sticks and celery for Santa and save him from his bad binge habits. I mean really, I would only be doing him a favor by keeping these cookies for myself right? The best gift I could give Santa and his OLD ASS JOLLY self would be one more year without a cholesterol fueled artery clogged heartattack. So that settles it: Santa is getting a bottle of water, carrots and celery and a Bayer aspirin. I'm sure he will thank me. ::nomscookies::"

Honestly it made me think though. Being an overweight person, I have pretty much dieted since I was a teenager. I struggle with my weight. In today's ever increasing waistline of a world, we are bombarded with Biggest Loser, Weight Watchers, etc. day in and day out. Guilt assaults us when we have a dessert. We struggle to teach our kids good eating habits and exercise to combat a generation of video game addicts. "Too Fat for Fifteen" wars with Fast Food Commercials and we as parents worry about how to best keep our children healthy and educate them about the issue.

Except at Christmas time. At Christmas we parade out the Jolly much loved FAT GUY who brings them toys in exchange for cookies and milk. It's okay for this guy to binge eat on cookies, in fact we train our kids to bribe him with fattening snacks, but they have to understand its not okay for them? I get that we only leave a serving size (or two) out for him but times that by millions of homes and I'm surprised this guy doesn't kill over before the night is through. We can chalk it up to him being magic and burning a crap ton of calories going up and down chimneys but obviously his calorie intake far exceeds his output since he's so rotund his Belly jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. (and how do you not imagine Bill Cosby in a Santa Suit everytime you hear that line?)

Maybe society should tone down Santa's girth and put HIM on a diet like the rest of us. We may not need so many gym memberships and New Years resolutions if we really did start leaving healthy snacks for Santa.

My joke turned into truth. I really am putting out celery and carrots this year...but just in case, I'm leaving cookies as well. I don't want to piss of Jolly Old St. Nick on Matthew's first year. He will either be pleased I'm thinking of his healthy and giving him options or be pleased that I thought of snacks for his reindeer. Either way, I've got Matthew covered! ha ha

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Power of Mama

There is no greater sound in the world than your baby’s laughter and coo’s, except the word mama. When you hear mama for the first time, your heart soars.
As your baby gets the grasp of the word and begins to know how to use it your heart settles into a comfortable joyous pitter patter as your relationship with your child changes. It breaks from pure instinct and trust and becomes a give and take of need and love.
Then one day your child foregoes just crying when he is upset and starts calling out mamamamamama through tears. You rush in with soothing voice and he reaches up to you. You take him in your arms, he tucks his head under you chin and sighs with a contented “mama” and your heart melts.
You know your world will never be the same because nothing can ever trump that feeling right there. In that moment you are protector, you are wanted, you are loved, you are the world. Everything you ever wanted falls away in the magic of being a mom.
The feeling never diminishes but grows as that relationship does. You puff up with pride when your 5 month old shows off his verbal advancement in front of others. That’s right, bitches, I’m the momma.
You feel elated when he prefers to be comforted by you over everyone, calling mama. When you walk in a room and he lights up with arms outstretched and that happy squeal of mamamamamama issues forth, you pick him up and he grabs your face to plant big slobbery open mouth kisses all over you. It only gets better from there as he grows and develops. You are still the person he is excited to see, but now he can crawl over and climb your legs, pulling up with fistfuls of your pants to smile big toothy grins at you. Bouncing in your arms with a little growling pant of “mama” and squeezing hugs.
These are the moments you live for as a mom. This is what you wanted for so long, and it is everything you imagined it to be and more. You have a whole new appreciation for how your mother feels about you and you want to hug her every time you see her now. For there will never be enough hugs, enough mamas, enough slobbery kisses, head tucked under the chin hugs, and squeals of delight. And oh how those simple things mean so much.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Great Santa Claus Debate of 2011

I’m pretty much over the Popular Santa Claus debate and numerous articles not only denouncing him but Jesus as well. This new generation of parents is super neurotic and trying so desperately to appear wiser than their parents in how to raise children. I get that technology has come a long way and with an increasing population we have to adapt to new safety standards (upgraded car seats etc.). My question is: Is your life so terrible that you want to change EVERYTHING about your upbringing? Do you hate your parents so much that your superiority complex is forcing you to embrace some skewed version of authenticity and impose it on your child?

This whole Non-lying grasp on reality statement that people are clinging desperately to is pathetic in my opinion. If you are really going to wave that flag at the Holiday Parade than you don’t need to bother with Christmas at all. There is no point in giving your child Barbie dolls, or video games, or Lego’s because that may stimulate their imaginations and playtime fantasy. Don’t bother buying movies and ban all the cartoons because they may develop their willing suspension of disbelief.

When they are nine and asking WHY DO I HAVE TO GO TO BED be prepared to be honest, after all you didn’t tell them there was a Santa Claus so you have to tell them “because you are driving me insane and I need a fucking glass of wine in peace you obnoxious little brat.” That is parenting realism.

Granted I may be given to exaggeration over future scenarios but that’s what happens when you have a sense of humor and overdeveloped imagination. Something I enjoy using when the reality of politics, economy, job etc. come bearing down upon me. You see, reality is harsh enough when you grow up, I can’t see the point in robbing the innocence from children by shoving it down their throats and not nurturing a little harmless fantasy in tradition. Refute my beliefs all you want. Puff up like a rooster and strut your statistics and broken trust sob stories. I will listen (and probably laugh a little to myself because I’m a bitch like that).

While I happily bake cookies for Santa and wrangle my child away from ripping bows off presents and watch The Grinch and The Santa Clause, I’ll think how sad it is for you that you couldn’t appreciate your parent’s efforts to create magic and fun for just a little while for you.

Just as there are an enormous number of posts and articles about defending the stance AGAINST Jesus and Santa Claus (and I refuse to link the ones I’ve read here because that gives them more credit and clicks than they deserve) there are equally a number of defenders that have waxed poetically and written amazing words of encouragement (like Heir to Blair). Thank you for that, but I’m not in the mood to do so.

Perhaps you do catch more flies with honey but I’m sick to death of reading this nonsense. How can you teach your child to believe in something they can’t see is real like Santa and God? REALLY? I’m guessing they had coal in their stockings and have never experienced the empowering embrace of the holy spirit. People who counter the “grace” and beauty of Christmas with “what about the poor, do they not deserve grace and beauty. Does your Jesus not care about them? How do you explain that you monsters? How can your God only favor people with money?”

Do you honestly sit around day after day all year long worrying about how to feed the poor or do you flourish that nugget as a negative morsel for this time of year only? Seriously (and don’t lie, Santa might be believed in then!). You can’t honestly tell me that you live in destitution so that you may help the poor, needy, etc more efficiently.

I work hard for what I have. Am I supposed to rob my child of joy, innocence, pleasure because someone else can’t afford to do that for their child? I donate, volunteer etc. but I’m supposed to feel guilty about Santa visiting my house because I’ve been blessed when he can’t someone else’s? That’s absurd. I’m not robbing my child of something when I bust my ass in order to provide it for him just because someone else doesn’t have the same thing.

You might as well chastise everyone for having the audacity to have the Internet and be able to blog in the first place when there are members of society who are illiterate and do not know how to use computers. Disadvantaged portions of the population who are dependent on government programs and charitable organizations to even live while you sit on your widening asses reading other’s diatribes. Illogical.

If you don’t want to participate in Christmas, then don’t. If you don’t want to believe in Santa, then don’t. If you don’t want to believe in Jesus, then don’t. But don’t ROB others of their freedoms just so you can justify yours. Someone teaching their child about Santa does not afflict you in any capacity. Displaying a Nativity Scene in their yard does not make your eyes bleed. If you believe in nothing, than nothing should bother you. If Santa, God and Jesus are lies, then passing a lit home with carolers singing songs of joy and praise should tickle your funny bone not enrage you and make you want to post signs of denouncement and plaster your accusations on every blog you can find. What is it hurting you whether someone tells their child about Santa and Jesus?

Santa Claus is grace, innocence, giving, beauty, youth, dreams, and spirit. He is twinkling lights, the sound of jingle bells, anticipation, and joy. He is the power to believe in something bigger than oneself. He is an embodiment of the gift of Christmas.

Jesus IS Christmas. He is kindness, charity, beauty and blessings. He loved the little children.

There are so many celebrations at this time of year based on tradition, religion etc that celebrating one does not diminish another. Knowing that some traditions for one stems from traditions from another does not diminish that idea in the least. We are constantly borrowing what we love, upgrading, changing as well as appreciating nostalgia and depending on rituals long loved.

I embrace it all. I wallow in reindeer and church pageants and black Friday shopping. I incorporate trees and movies and baking. I am enriched by love and peace and joy. I embrace Santa and God and Jesus. I delight in Christmas and all the season brings.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Last night, I was going to post about my great disappointment in my lack of popularity preventing my child from getting invites to birthday parties. It hurt my feelings that my impression on other parents would inhibit my child’s dance card so to speak. (He was not invited to a birthday party for his classmates 1st birthday when other kids were). I realize this is me projecting my fear and is completely shallow but I have this deep seated fear that parents will ostracize my child because they don't like me.

Then amidst the normal hectic evening schedule, my child had a complete and utter emotional breakdown. He didn’t want to sleep, he didn’t want to eat, and he didn’t want a bath. He didn’t know what he wanted. Daddy couldn’t pacify him. Momma couldn’t pacify him. He screamed and cried hysterically for almost three hours.

At first I was a little angry with the situation. His meltdown coincided with dinner and I just wanted him to eat so I could eat and go to bed. I had come home from a long day at work after three nights of not sleeping due to his whining/teething/congestion and I desperately wanted to sleep. So when he got fussy and refused to eat, I got frustrated. Then I got mad at myself and started tearing up because I got frustrated with him. I had to do deep breaths. Stephen took over so I could eat but I had lost my appetite.

From there, it went into full melt down mode and emotionally I was drained. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t fix whatever was wrong. Nothing worked. I rocked, I walked, I sang. I even offered him THE BOOBS which pacified him until I couldn’t take the pain of empty sucking anymore, which prompted him to scream more. Apparently this weekend wasn’t the most opportune time to go dry and wean him but my body made that choice, I didn’t and now he (and all of us) must suffer for it.

Those three hours were by far the worst three hours of his life to date. I can’t imagine what it must be like for new moms with colicky babes hours and days on end with unsolvable crying.

He finally wore himself out and went to sleep. It’s amazing how draining just a few hours of tending an upset child can be. All the emotions going through my head: Why can’t I comfort him? I’m a terrible mother! What if there is something seriously wrong that I’m not recognizing. I’m a terrible mother! I’m so tired, baby please go to sleep. I can’t do this all night. I’m a terrible mother!

We gave him Tylenol for teething pain, his amber necklace is on, Vick’s vaporizer steaming up his room, Child’s vapor rub on his chest, Gas Medicine. The combination plus the crying at least lulled him into one of his best nights in a long time. Granted he didn’t stay in his crib but an hour or two but he settled right down curled into me in the twin daybed in his room…and that’s where we slept ALL night.

That bed hurts my back lately but a stiff back is a small price to pay for a night of quiet sleep after the ordeal we have been through.

His top two teeth have come in simultaneously (just as his bottom two did) and they are completely through the skin now. His fourth bottom tooth is showing but not through yet. I’m hoping we are on the down swing of the teething trauma and get a reprieve for a few days.

It pains me unbearably to see my baby unhappy. It rips my heart out when I can’t soothe him. It makes me question my ability to parent, my emotional state, my everything. Why am I not good enough to make him happy? I know, logically, that I’m doing fine. I may not be perfect. I may not be the trendiest or have all this new fangled research under my belt to prepare for the happiest/healthiest/trendiest/hippest kid of this decade but I love my son. I do my best and sometimes that means just slugging through a workday in order to get 5 minutes of precious hugs and smooches and baby giggles before going through the nighttime routine. I give him all of me and that’s the best I can do.

Maybe all of me isn’t always good enough and maybe some parents will look down on me for whatever reasons: because I drive a Chevy Impala instead of a Lexus SUV and my kids dinosaur shirt that we both love has a slight blue tinge to it because it was washed with my brand new Dark rinse Calvin Klein jeans but I send him to daycare in it anyway. Maybe because I bake for his daycare teachers and give them Cashmere scarves for Christmas or because I wear jeans and workboots instead of suits and heels most days. Maybe just maybe, I do fear that because I don’t meet the standards of some parents, my kid will be outcast by his peer group but that is my insecurity, not his.

When you peek in the door at daycare he is usually in the thick of things, with his besties, crawling, passing toys, butting heads etc. He has friends already and everyone loves him. I can’t worry about his peers’ parents and their opinions of me. I can only be me and hope that by doing my best by my babe; it will be good enough, whether that’s making impressions on peers’ parents or soothing his aches and pains through endless nights.

I am only a mother, but I am his and after everything we went through last night, his peer group popularity at 8 months old seems completely frivolous and unimportant so why bother with a blog post solely dedicated to my insecurity over the issue. I will worry about that in a few years….when he’s not teething and is out of diapers. For now, I just hope to have a happy baby and no repeats of last night any time soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anticipation is Oft Greater than the Event

Where did the time go? I've been so busy shopping, baking, playing, decorating, and crafting that I haven't taken the time to write all these posts I have in my head!

Have you ever found a holiday, a concert, a much anticipated vacation to fall short of expectations? You get so wrapped up in preparations for it, building up the excitement, lost in the details, then BAM! It's all too soon, the day after and your left bewildered and disappointed because your expectations were not met.
We get a week off at Christmas, PAID. (It used to be two but economic conditions have greatly downsized our benefits.) I look forward to it every year, for month's (whom I kidding--all year long). Having experienced the inevitable let down when I blink and find myself sitting at my desk with a four month stretch in front of me with no long weekends in sight, I actually start dreading the vacation time when it arrives.
The excitement building up to it keeps me going and i dread the aftermath during the actual event which means very little enjoyment once its here. There is so much I have to cram into those few days off, that there is no relaxing involved. Not to mention that Christmas is over at that point so it's not like I can enjoy a day of baking and movies in prep for the holiday.
I was eager to spend a lazy week with my son but I need to paint which means a day or two he will have to go daycare. So now I have Mommy guilt but this is the best opportunity to paint.
The disappointment in my awaiting vacation just doesn't seem to end. Do you feel that way?

~T-minus five days till Christmas weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Walking in a Work Wonderland

My coworkers and I decided to have an impromptu decorating party today in our office. (When the boss is away, the employees will play!) A few strands of leftover white lights, some copy paper (misuse of office supplies perhaps?), scissors and a little kindergarten creativity. Add some strands of linked paperclips and before too long we had snowflakes dangling from the ceiling tiles, and all the windows strung with lights.

An MP3 hooked up to computer speakers and Christmas had come to our little office. Human Resources donated a poinsettia from the lobby decorations so we are set with the Christmas cheer. I'm sure my boss will be surprised.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Devoted Joseph

Amidst the bustle and hustle of the holiday season, we try and take a breath to reflect on the "reason for the season."

The songs we hum "Away In a Manger," "What Child is This," and "Silent Night" vibrate through our heads as sights of tranquil nativity scenes fill our souls and the soft excitement of a child fill our hearts.

Christmas has taken on a new significance for me, opened my awareness to levels of devotion I was previously unaware. My experience in becoming a mother has made me receptive to the magnitude of Mary & Joseph's role in the birth of Jesus.

Every mother assumes the role of Mary. It's easy to hold my son by the glow of a lighted tree (as Pagan as that may be) and imagine great things for him. I can only envisage what Mary must have felt knowing the true enormity of her child's presence.

But when we are consumed with this divine intuition we minimize the role of Joseph, relegating him to a shadowy character beside a manger. I can not help but to see my own husband in this role.

Not unlike Joseph, he has stood by my side through days of labor, watching and protecting both me and our son when I was incapacitated to do so at our own drawn out birth and recovery. While we have not had to flee to another country, he has worked hard and gone back to school in order to male all our lives better.

While times are vastly different, the family structure has not changed all that much. We are still spouses raising children (paying taxes) and often struggling with our spiritual journey. God blessed us with a son, and I have more faith through him than ever before.

I identify our family, our roles with their plight. Can you imagine the significance of raising a child, not of your loins, because an angel foretold that he would change the world? Yet Joseph remained constant to his faith and his wife.

Through our struggles with infertility and loss, Stephen has remained me, to our future, to our dream of family. He has become the father I knew he would be. We will raise our son to be kind, hardworking, caring and tolerant. To know God and be the best man we can train him to be.

This Christmas I understand more truly the power of God's gift to the world, the courage of his earthly family, their faith and love for their child and heavenly appointment. This Christmas I remember and am filled with God's light to know how truly blessed I am. As Christmas day draws near, I wish for you all to know peace, joy and remember Jesus, and don't forget the love of father's.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever shall believe in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life." ~John 3:16

Merry Christmas

Also published at Bloggy Moms

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cake

I'm not sure why, but nothing screams Holiday to me like Butterscotch. Probably because one of the first treats that became "tradition" to make were Haystacks. Oh how many Christmases my sister and I spent laughing over haystacks. By the time we were done making them, and boxing them for family and friends we were so sick of butterscotch we could puke.

I came across a recipe in a little obscure (to me anyway) magazine called "Fall Baking" (By Better Homes and Gardens 2011). I had to try it. My oatmeal butterscotch cookies last year were a huge hit so a cake had to be amazing! And that was the response I got from Beth on Pinterest night when I served it up with coffee "effing amazing."

Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cake

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 3/4 cups boiling water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups self-rising flour

1 tsp finely shredded orange peel

1 package of butterscotch chips (12 ounces)

Pecans Optional


Cut up butter and place in a bowl with the oatmeal. Pour boiling water over it and set aside for 8-10 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 pan.

Add both sugars to oats. Stir. Add eggs. Stir in flour and orange peel. Once well mixed add butterscotch. Pour into prepared pan. (sprinkle with pecans if so desired).Bake approx. 40 minutes. Cool completely.

My butterscotch formed a candy crust on the bottom that was a little hard to get out on the first few pieces but oh so crunchety goodness.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinterest Inspired Baby Ornament

I'm addicted to Pinterest. My crafty personality swoons at the ideas that abound in one place. After months of pinning, I am finally starting to try things. I have even started hosting "Pinterest Parties" once a month (basically craft night).

Time dedicated to trying all these fantastic projects I keep dreaming of. This is perfect timing since my SIL has determined that next Christmas we are doing a Homemade Christmas (which I did a few years ago and apparently those gifts went over even better than I thought).

One of my first projects: Ornaments.

Here is one I made for our tree: Baby's 1st Christmas Hand print (a LOT harder to get his hand print than I thought. He kept trying to close his hand around the ball).

For other Pinterest Ideas, check back here and/or visit my friend Jeanna's Blog where I am linked up! Happy Crafting!

Growing Up

You would think any number of milestones in my life would make me feel completely grown-up: Graduating College, My first job, Getting married, Getting a House, Turning 30...Having a baby.

I'm an adult. I know this. Every now and again, there's something new that makes me feel like a grown up. Something new that pulls me just a little bit more away from the comfort of my mother's embrace.
This week, I redid my beneficiary forms for my life insurance, accidental insurance and 401k. I've always listed my mother as my beneficiary. When I married, Stephen became my primary and my mother became my contingent. This week, I took my mother off all my forms and placed Matthew as my contingent.
It felt wierd. It feels wierd that now I think in terms of "my family" as my little unit. My Boys. My husband and son. My immediate family is no longer my mom and dad. It's a little stab in the heart but its also right. It's the progression of growing up and continuance. Thier legacy even. It's amazing that a few little forms you've always passed off have such significance when now it's providing for my son's future should I not be able to do so...and taking my mother's name off of them.
I think that's it. The last thing. I'm a grown up. A wife. A mom. the financial controller of my family.
::panic attack has ensued::

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finding The Spirit of Christmas

It is upon me. What I was lacking by breaking my Black Friday traditions entered my heart last night. It's not contrived or forced or materialistic, but the true reason for the season.

My longtime gal pal (we're talking middle school people so over 22 years) Tonya had an extra ticket to her church's holiday production that her daughter was dancing in. Having heard of this production, I've long wanted to go so seized the opportunity to do so.

On a cold, blustery/rainy night, I kissed my son and husband goodbye, made sure the timer was set for the casserole I left in the oven and ventured out for a southern christian dose of Christmas.

Community Bible Church's, (High Point, NC) Carol's by Candlelight, delighted and surprised me. I've been to a professional rendition of the Nutcracker and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, The Tran-siberian Orchestra, and numerous Broadway Plays but sitting in this small sanctuary in the glow of flames from candelabras flanking the walls, staring at a stage crowded with dancers, orchestra, choir and performers, I was struck by the level of talent displayed before me.

As the story of Christ unfolded, I was touched by the spirit that moved through God's house. If you have ever doubted the Lord's presence I beg of you to find a church that truly believes and presents the biblical message out of love. When your eyes begin to water, your heart beats stronger, your skin tingles and you feel warmth like a warm hug wrapping around you...that's the spirit of God. When I find that, I am once again centered and at Peace.

That feeling stayed through the whole production.

Unforgettable Moments:

When Rusty Evans sang King Jesus is His Name performing as King Herod with his deep voice resonating, I was awestruck and had chills. This man needs to be doing voice overs for Disney. He is fantastic.

Likewise the voices of Pamela Sansour and Jessica Neumanngave me goose flesh. Pamela's smoky voice seeps deep into your soul like warm cider by a fire while Jessica's clear voice rings out like a bell on a crisp cold night to lift your heart in joy.

The Men's aCapella rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas was hilarious and had any Barber shop Quartet beat hands down.

The Irish tap dancing would make my ancestors proud to see.

Most of all, the joy of Christmas and my Lord's gift to us was given to me again. I left with a renewed spirit and looking forward to the rest of the holiday season. My heart is full of Christmas Joy and i encourage you all to find that this season.

Community Bible Church has nightly performances through December 10th of Carols by Candlelight. For $10.00, I recommend you going if you are close to the Triad of North Carolina. Show Starts at 7pm.

Disclaimer: I am not a member of or affiliated with Community Bible Church, Hayworth Wesleyan Church or Arts Evangelica who put on the production. I was not solicited or paid to endorse their presentation and I do it of my own free will and the sentiment is completely my own without influence.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser

Why is it that on nights my husband has school, I can get dinner made, bottles washed, kitchen cleaned, laundry going, baby fed and bathed and in the bed.

But on a night I decide to go have a girl's night or run errands, I still have to come home and wash bottles, fix dinner, etc.

Just one of those curious differences between being a mom and being a dad I suppose. At least the baby is fed, bathed and asleep. Priority is taken care of...multitasking, not so much.

Thank you honey for all you do. I appreciate it. I really do...but you have to admit...there is a vast difference!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Midnight Anger Management

Sometimes, I'm not a good parent. I recognize my flaws and am trying to move away from them.

My angry toned curse words for example. In the middle of sleep deprived night number 2, as I spill formula all over me trying to fill a bottle and hold a squirmy crying baby all by the glow of a twilight turtle...and a loud angry "damn it" spews from my lips waking the house.

I'm not mad at my son, I'm mad at myself for adding more work to my exhausted night, but I have to stop the knee jerk reactions because he is starting to understand words and already feels the tones.

I don't want him growing up on pins and needles waiting to be startled by one of mommy's outburts or thinking he did it.

I'm wound tight, highstrung but I have to relax and take mishaps of motherhood in stride, stress and exhaustion be darned. There's more at stake here than me and my bad habits.

But in the darkness, through bloodshot eyes, crying because I let myself go, it's hard to think clearly.

My poor baby is teething, tired and I wasn't fixing it. Instead, I got frustrated and had to hand him off to his dad to get out of wet pants and clean up the floor.

Not one of my best parenting moments, to say the least...and it shows as evidence by this picture taken today...after a long day at work/daycare. We are both exhausted and pale.

:fingers crossed for a good night of sleep tonight and a happy baby and momma tomorrow:

Sunday, December 4, 2011


They come every week. Like clockwork. Much anticipated. Gone too quickly. Distant memories that last for three days until the anticipation starts anew. Counting down to those illusive long holiday weekends.

They are the true marks of the passage of time. We live weekend by weekend. Evening by Evening. Those precious moments where we are together. As a family. Enjoying the quiet. Enjoying the sunshine. Enjoying the holiday season.

There aren't enough moments. There aren't enough Weekends.

There is always enough love, but not enough time together.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Help-Review

Since this movie will be coming out on DVD soon, I wanted to do a review for you. I had the privledge of screening this dvd. It's a good movie but I haven't read the book so I can not compare for those of you who have.

I unfortunately, was not expecting to relate to a side character by the name of Celia Foote. A flight girl who marries into the social set, she isn't quite polished, always on the outside of her peer group, she blunders and misteps without knowing why when she has the best of intentions. (I cna totally relate-my potty mouth and Irish temper totally belies my genteel southern lady training).

But more, they touch on her struggle (mentally and physically) with multiple miscarriages. Completely sucker punched me as I sat on the sofa with my sleeping boy in my arms.

To all my girls who are experiencing fertility issues, miscarriages, etc. Please be fully warned about this movie. I bawled my eyes out a few times during this movie. The ending will rip your heart out as a mother/childcare provider etc. as well but I'll refrain from spoiling it.

Overally, great mvoie. Steller performances, a little slow to start but gripping story.

Image Credit:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hearty Cabbage Soup

Sometimes you just wake up happy. Despite the fatigue, the sore phlegmy (pnemonia riddled) chest, you know there is something inherently bright about this day.

I made it to work early today (with starbucks in tow.)

I have my yummy, healthy weight watchers friendly soup for lunch and my tennis shoes so that I can walk. it's amazing how good you feel when you can get things done and stay on task (including diets...cough..err.. lifestyle changes).

Hearty (stick to your ribs) Cabbage Soup

(3ww pts per serving -just over a cup)

1 head cabbage-chopped or large shred

2 medium onions-course chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1 box low sodium chicken broth

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups frozen green beans

salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt

-Boil chicken on medium-high heat until done

-In large stockpot, combine olive oil and onions. Cook on medium-high for two minutes until onions start turning translucent. Add cabbage and toss to mix. Pour Chicken broth in and fill with water to cover cabbage. Simmer on medium heat until cabbage is tender.

-Shred or coursely chop chicken. Add chicken, rice and greenbeans. Stir. Cook an additional 30 minutes and season to taste.

Makes approximately 5 quarts depending on size of cabbage and how much water you add.