Friday, February 28, 2014


This mama is tired today. The kids have been good overall. It's not that. I'm a little bit discouraged and feeling pretty defeated today. Being a mom is hard work. I certainly knew that going in, but I didn't know just how hard it would be. It's so hard to do the right thing sometimes. Or to be the responsible parent that I must be to help raise my children to be responsible, capable, polite, kind and civilized human beings.

Do you know the song "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic? There's a line that has been resonating with me lately:

I feel something so wrong doing the right the thing.

There was a time in my life that I couldn't have understood what that means at all. I'm a rule-follower, so to think of feeling wrong doing the right thing? Never!

And then I became a mother.

Sometimes it does feel wrong. When I have to discipline my kids or give them consequences for their actions. (I'll admit that sometimes it doesn't feel wrong at all, like when they've blatantly disobeyed or are totally getting on my nerves). But those times that I warn them of the consequences and they still choose to disobey anyway? Oh, man. I just want to grab their little faces, look into their sweet eyes, and tell them, "Make the right choice. You'll be so much happier and I just want the best for you. I don't want to see you hurting or sad. Please, just listen to me! I love you!!"

God, help me to love those sweet babies with an unconditional love and to remember You when I have to make tough decisions and follow through on my word. I will press on.

Let me remember Your words, too.

Proverbs 22:6
Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Love theLord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

30 Days of Blogging: Day Nine

Day 9: List 3 people who have influenced you, and how.

1. C.S. Lewis
I mean, what an interesting man. He had a phenomenal gift for writing and is an overall intriguing person. What an amazing heart of generosity and love. I would have loved to sit down with him and just listen to him talk, inspiration oozing from his every pore. To hear the thoughts in his brain and to sit in his presence would be intoxicating. He gives me hope.

2. Bono
A philanthropic icon.
He's Irish. (whoop!)
His music is awesome.
He's super-cool.
He helped create both One: The Campaign to Make Poverty History and Product(RED) which partners with businesses to buy medicine for people in Africa who can't afford it.
And my daughter favors him in this pic. In fact, I call her baby Bono now.

3. Jayne Walker
My mama. I could write about this woman for days. I have written about her and mentioned her in the past. Probably not enough, though, to give you the full context of my love and admiration of her. I could sit and tell you all the amazing things she's said, done or been to me over the years. I could not ask for a better mother. I couldn't even imagine my life without her. I have been so influenced by her that, in no way would I be the same if she were not in my life. She certainly makes me a better person. She taught me (and still teaches me) about Jesus. She taught me (and still teaches me) how to love. She gives advice on how to parent better, love better, and live better. But never has she forced these things on me. She gives me her opinions when I ask. She is an amazing woman and I'm thankful for her.

Influence or admire? My mom has obviously influenced me. The others? I'm not really sure. I do admire all of these people and I think in some way, seeing the amazing work, personalities or dedication these people have, they have opened my eyes to an awareness of the world around me. My mama included. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Permission to change

I am so thankful to have such inspiring bloggers around. I read this post today and it reminded me how hard we can be on ourselves and that it really is okay to change our minds. It goes right along with this post.

I started writing the "30 Days of Blogging" series and stopped at 8. You know why? Mainly because I didn't want to write about the next topic. My mind was struggling with how to frame the post, what words to write and I wasn't giving myself the freedom to write for me. I felt that I needed to write for the world (because so many people read this blog. Ha!) I was afraid of sounding stupid or immature. Yeah, well, I probably am stupid and immature. So, now I'll just share the proof with you.

It's the same with other things, too. I might try one style of parenting and it doesn't work out anymore. So I need to change it. I might try out a new fashion trend and realize it's just not for me. I might have a thousand thoughts in my head at one time about how I can do certain things - parent, decorate, love my kids or my husband, etc. And fear of failure or of possible regret cripples me into not doing anything at all.

But I have to keep reminding myself that it's okay to change my mind. It's okay to stop doing something, start doing something or change things up completely. I live with the freedom of that. It's my life.

P.S. Day 9 is on its way.

Interesting articles and random facts

Ha! This is so true! Librarians really aren't the cardigan-wearing, hair-in-a-bun, shushing group of people they're stereotyped as. Not to say there aren't those who still fit the stereotype, but the library is full of diverse and interesting people.
I love the quote that JP Porcaro shares by Keith Richards, “When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you.”

I was doing some research at work and came across this blog. I thought she had some good things to share about being a children's author.

I absolutely love this website. She has great advice and expresses a growing concern for this next generation we are raising. She has great thoughts on how to be encouraging, and this one, one of the first posts I read of hers a couple of years ago that made me do a double-take and change my life up a bit. She really opens your eyes to the reality of parenting in this age.

Apparently I'm Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell. Lol! Who are you?

Ummm...I don't eat most of these things every day (except artificial sweeteners...I know, I know. I need to stop, but coffee's just not as good without creamer) - certainly not whole dairy, margarine, potato chips or soda, but I've been known to consume every one of these things at some point in my life. Sheesh! Something's gonna kill us eventually, right?

So, on that note, let me share a website I recently ran across. Not to say that we'll go completely sugar-free in our house (are you kidding me??) but she does have some interesting recipes that I'd like to try and tips on how to cut down on sugar.

The Avett Brothers will be performing live on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on March 5th!! Can't wait!

And speaking of Jimmy Fallon, I've been catching up on The Tonight Show via Hulu since I can't stay up to watch it live. This girl's in bed by 10:30 most nights, 11 at the latest!
by Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: The Church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.'"
by Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: The Church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.'"
by Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: The Church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.'"
by Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: The Church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.'"
by Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: The Church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.'"
I just love Jimmy Fallon, don't you? He's had so many great moments already!
This one made me laugh :)

As did his interview and skits with JT, the evolution of hip-hop dancing with Will Smith, the Ragtime Gals singing Ignition, the lip sync battle with Paul Rudd, #Hashtag2, Will Ferrell and thank you notes. And U2 as Jimmy's first musical guest? Fantastic!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I still have a hard time believing this boy turned 5 yesterday.
Man, I love him! 
He is so silly and so sweet and a joy to be around.

We had a great time over the weekend and yesterday celebrating him.
-a visit to Ray's Splash Planet
-gifts, including picking out a new bike
-a frozen yogurt treat at Sweet Frog
-a trip to Build-a-Bear
-special birthday donuts
-getting picked up at school with a bouquet of balloons
-having birthday cupcakes with his class
...and more to come!
This weekend we'll be celebrating Xander, Kaitlyn, and Mimi (all of whom have birthdays within two weeks of each other) with the combined families and then Xander's birthday party with his friends at BounceU is on Monday night. Celebrations, parties, love and friendship abound.

We'll be going for a well-visit and the dentist again over the next month.
Here are the results of his interview from this year. Love him!
TV show - Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Curious George
Movie - Turbo and Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue
Song - Story of my Life, Let it Go by Demi Lovato, and Kiss You
Musician - One Direction
Food - cookies and goldfish
Candy - Chocolate hearts
Toy - Amelia Jayne’s kitchen
Activity - play on the iPad
Cereal - Fruit Loops
Vegetable - peas and carrots
Drink - root beer
Game - Angry Birds Go!
Book - the Bible
Restaurant - Chick-Fil-A
Holiday - Christmas
Animal - monkey
Color - blue
Vacation - the beach house

If you could change your name to anything, what would it be? Xan-bear
If you could have anything you want this year, what would it be? money
What do you love most about Mommy? when we play Angry Birds Go! together
What do you love most about Daddy? I like when he works in the kitchen to help Mommy fix our supper....or breakfast
What do you love most about Amelia Jayne? That she plays with me and has fun with me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Interesting articles and random facts

What great tips for doing holidays. I oftentimes get hung up on them being perfect, when really, if they're celebrated at all I'd call that a win. :)

“Ladies, before you were Mommy, you were his. Men, before you were Daddy, you were hers. Remember this. Hold on to this. Keep these words precious to you.”
Oh, how I need this reminder most days.
It's similar to our kids' dedications at church. And I'm thankful for the reminder.
Proverbs 5:18
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

I could write a whole post on this topic...and maybe I will.

This was worth a good laugh for David and I as we snuggled on the couch the other night. :)

This time 5 years ago I was waiting, waiting to meet my little boy. His due date had come and gone. I was scheduled to go to the hospital for an induction in just three days' time. I was so scared and so excited. I had no idea what lay ahead. From my surprising (and disappointing) birth experience to the amazing little boy who stands before me today. I couldn't ask for anything more. That sweet little man is music to my soul, his daddy made over and holds my heart in his hands. Can't wait to celebrate the day of his birth with him. He can't wait either. :)

Acting like a 2-year-old

It's been an interesting year so far.
We've been through a stomach bug, some colds, snowmageddon, plus I hurt my back early in February which took a good week, if not more, to get over. Thanks to my husband and Mom who really helped me out during that time.

Life is always challenging, but it's been a bit more than usual lately. Obviously the aforementioned calamities, but also some new challenges with my babies...and ultimately with my controlling nature.

Amelia Jayne is two. She's acting it. I think I expect more from her than I should because I keep forgetting she's so little. I did the same with Xander. They're so smart, and big kids for their age. Plus, Amelia Jayne has Xander who seems to make her feel older to me, too. She has phrases that he never would have at that age simply because he didn't have an older sibling giving them to him. Phrases like, "Stop it. Ge' ou' uh my face." or "I don't yike dat." or "Heah comes anudder one!" or "I not done yet. Not yet."
(I certainly don't have to worry about her standing up for herself. She will not be to just make sure she's not the bully. Yeesh.)

Potty training is going very slowly right now. Amelia Jayne took interest very early on - before she was even 18 months old. I thought it was cute and she was brilliant, so we let her do it when she was interested. Now that we're trying to get more serious (which we've been doing for a couple of months) I just feel like we're having power struggles. She does #2 in the potty very well, but I'll check her pull-up one minute and she's dry so I ask if she needs to go. She says no. Five minutes later it's wet. And she puts up such a fight when I gently ask her or take her to the bathroom. I decided this week to step back for a bit, keep her in pull-ups, keep asking her if she needs to go, but let go of some of the control. Oh, me and my controlling nature. Bless anyone who has to put up with me, especially those in my house. I'm the one who acts like a two year old most days.

I wonder sometimes if that's how God sees us. He knows what's best for us, but we fight it the whole way. He's only trying to make life better and yet we want to do it our own way. And he lets us. That's how amazing He is. I don't know how he does it, but I pray that he'll give me the grace to do the same. I pray that I'll remember his love for me when I'm struggling with my daughter and I'll stop right there and just love her. Isn't that what He does? Isn't that what He did?  His love for us is so great that He gave up his Son for us.

Will I ever stop acting like a 2-year old?


Dads are funny, right? I love mine. He still sends forwards like it's 1999, and he's big on sending me articles like this. He loves to send me articles about space and stars, too.
My sister and I love to roll our eyes at each other or exclaim how he'll only send one picture per email...and then send you thirty emails (I admit that he's learned how to send multiple pictures in one email now, but we had good laughs about that one).
Erin admittedly discards most of his forwards before she even looks inside, but I typically give them a glance. Sometimes I delete them pretty quickly and sometimes I take the time to read them. You know why? It's almost like research. I can read up on my dad. I can tell if he's feeling emotional or sentimental; right-winged or middle right-winged ;); looking for new projects or interests; what he's involved in at the moment; what he'd like me to be involved in.
Maybe the topics don't always pique my interest and maybe the forwards are cheesy, but...
they're my dad.
I know him better because I know his interests.
I know he loves me because he still sends me cheesy forwards.

I love you, too, Dad.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Presidents Day!

What a strange holiday, right? Xander didn't have school today and when we told him it was a holiday, he got really excited. I think he was pretty disappointed when there were no presents and no special desserts. He did, however, get a visit from Granddaddy and Nana which made him very happy! (The visit had nothing to do with the holiday, FYI.)
Here's an interesting article about each president's favorite book.
And though I think the holiday is pretty lame, too, I have to admit that I enjoyed having my boy home from school today. We had a great time with Granddaddy and Nana!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snowmageddon videos

There were so many videos and I just couldn't choose which ones to share, so I'm sharing them all! I hope you enjoy. We had a wonderful few days with family in the snow. :)

Xander's snow angel

The first (and lamest) sled of the day. :)

Xander learned to bail...and loved it!

Amelia Jayne's first solo sledding experience

It was snowing so hard...and it did that for hours! Makes for awesome giant snowballs. :)

Great run, Xander!

Sledding fail

Kaitlyn backwards

Patrick's skeleton run

Xander's attack attempt


Kaitlyn's skeleton attempt

Xander and Aunt B


Dead snowman

Four wheeler sled ride

Snowball fight


The name seems to have stuck, so I'll go ahead and use it in my title. Yes, we had about 9-10 inches of snow this week! The most we've seen since 1987, apparently. I remember the snow of 1987, but being just a kid, I didn't really care how much snow we got, just that we got to play outside and enjoy it.

Because the prediction came so early, and schools and businesses were trying to be proactive and prepare for the worst after what happened in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, we knew the kids' school and the library would be closed on Wednesday which meant the kids and I would be home. David's office has him either take a personal day or work from home on snow days, so he would be home. He never really gets much done when the kids and I are there, so I decided to pack the kids up and take them to my sister's house before the storm hit. JD was out of town, so my mom was coming to Erin's also.

I was there with my kids, Erin's family of four and my mom; Ame, Harry and Becky braved the trip in Harry's hummer and came over on Wednesday and Thursday; JD got there on Thursday afternoon. It was a houseful!

I brought a few food items from home to help feed the crew, she used some supplies she had on hand and ran by the grocery store on her way home from work, so we were able to whip up some tasty treats for the 8-12 of us that were in her house at one time or another. We made cookies, taco soup, chicken stew, cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, and lots of sandwiches. Plus, snow cream, of course. :)

Since Erin and her family live in the country, there were lots of hills for the kids to sled down, lots of land for which to walk around, make snowmen, and have snowball fights. Nathan tied the sleds to the four-wheeler and pulled the three big kids over to his parents house for hot chocolate, apple cider and homemade fried pies. The rest of us trudged through the snow to their house, only about 100 yards away. We had such a fun time!

My sister is also much better prepared for cold weather than I am. She had ski bibs and snow boots that her kids had outgrown. My kids didn't have much at all, so I was thankful that she had some things for them to wear. They have a wood stove in their basement to keep things warmer, plus a great place for us to leave our wet snow gear to dry quickly. We also enjoyed a nice warm fire in their living room each day. She had plenty of bedrooms (though Amelia Jayne enjoyed her first experience in a sleeping bag) and the kid had a ball with each other.

It was great fun being at my sister's. The only downside was that my hubby was home by himself. He was able to work all three days we were at Erin's but we sure missed him. And I think he missed us, too!

I guess the other two not-cool things were when Kaitlyn dislocated her ankle while sledding (lucky Harry is an ER doctor and Nathan is an EMT!!) and I got stuck in the snow (or, really the thick layer of ice under the snow) trying to pull out of the driveway. My mom and I were the only ones left at the house by then, but she and I got it unstuck. Girl power!!

The snow was great fun, but I won't mind if spring is right around the corner. :)

First sleeping bag experience. 

Tuckered out from all the fun in the snow.

We missed Daddy...

Videos to come...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First lines

What an interesting article! I don't think I ever thought about first lines, really.

Here are a few of my favorite books' first lines...

"Where's Papa going with that axe?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. --E B White, Charlotte's Web

Sophie couldn't sleep.
--Roald Dahl, The BFG

The morning sun shone brightly on the canvas of the covered wagon, promising an unseasonably warm day for mid-October. --Janette Oke, Love Comes Softly

Alex Stafford was just like Mama said. --Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love

It was a dark and stormy night. --Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother”s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
--John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
--John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Here's another website dedicated to first and last lines.