Love Overflowing

Wish I invented that…

Ever think of something that would make your life better or easier and wish it existed? Ever kick yourself when you see that same idea in the store later? Enter “Leaf Scoops”.
Last year while raking leaves, I wished there was a better way to get the leaves into the bags. Guess what? There is now.
“Leaf Scoops. The perfect took for picking up: large piles of leaves, pine needles, sweet gum balls, grass clippings, hedge trimmings…”
Perfect is right. So easy that a 5 year old can use them. Makes cleaning up leaves faster and easier. Bummer that you still have to rake them though. And only $5 at your local Ace Hardware. ūüėČ

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Natural lighting

I read an article last week on using natural lighting with photos. I have a plain ol’ point and shoot but I LOVE taking pictures. There are so many different functions with my camera that I will never know how to correctly use them all. I would love to eventually get a DSLR¬† but in the meantime I am always looking for ways to take great pictures. I don’t know why I haven’t done more with natural lighting because I LOVED the way these turned out. I just popped Zachary in the highchair during snack time and started snapping away.

 

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Lagniappe

I have been reading¬† “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair” by Geneen Roth. The book is her 50 ways to feel thin, gorgeous and happy. I enjoyed the read. There are a few ways that really resonated with me. One was when she talked about wearing your “special” clothes on non-special days, especially on days where you feel pretty crappy about yourself. She states that by “wearing special-occasion clothes on any old day means being willing to believe that you are special on every old (and new!) day.” You should pick out some gorgeous clothes on days when you would tend to pick out your grubby sweatpants/yoga pants/stained t-shirts/insert your go-to clothes. You need to remind yourself that you are not a slug, that you are a human being that has bad days and move on. That you are fabulous, no matter what you ate the previous day, what the scale says, etc.

The other one was a chapter on lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap). One of its meanings is an extra that you weren’t expecting, but are now immensely glad to have. Try to live like every moment is lagniappe. People and possessions are fleeting. When you live like every moment is a gift and time is fleeting, every single blessed thing you see, feel and touch is lagniappe.

I have been given two major gifts of lagniappe. My children. Emily is definitely a gift and blessing. Zachary is my lagniappe. My extra that I wasn’t expecting. I am immensely glad that he is my son. I need to work at living the rest of my life in the moment, not taking anything for granted. It’s a hard thing to do. I

t’s so easy to get carried away in the day-to-day grind. Feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and worrying about having enough when enough is possibly too much. Clear as mud? Basically living my life like it is a lagniappe and, as the one song goes,¬† like I am dying. It’s going to be an ongoing process, with many backslides. I just want to become more thankful for every blessing that I have.

Back to the book, I would recommend it. While I didn’t “get” all 50 ways, many of them at least made me say “hmmm”.

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Ever wonder….

how different your life could be if you had made different choices or life had taken a different turn??

Let me start off by saying, I truly love my life. I am happy as a clam. I have a wonderful husband, a good marriage and a beautiful daughter. I am expecting my unexpected 2nd child. I am blessed with the ability to stay at home and raise my children (Thank you Stephen). Life is good. Sure there is always room for improvement in every aspect but I truly wouldn’t change a thing.

But do you ever wonder how things would be different? Where would Stephen and I be if we weren’t able to have Emily?? Our lives have changed dramatically in the past few months. Definitely not a bad thing but how would our outlook be if we weren’t expecting a son in January?? What decisions would we have made differently?

How different would your life be if you had made different choices?

I know there is no point in dwelling in “what if’s” but it really makes you wonder. You have to live in the now but sometimes you need to reflect on what you have, where you are going and where you have been.

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A lull

You might have noticed or not the lull in my posts. There is usually something to read a few times a week. I looked at my little calendar thing and there was only 3 for the entire month of March and it’s the 11th already. Whoops! Sure Emily and I have been in the middle of potty training but that’s not my reason. The reason I have been so preoccupied is crack. Crack you say? Yes, crack. Crack in the form of books.

I had never heard of Stephenie Meyer or the Twilight series before my best friend Cindy’s husband’s birthday. She and her friend were excited talking about seeing the movie. They asked if I had heard of it. Nope. She explains to me that it’s a series of books about love and vampires. They were aimed at teenagers in the beginning but the books had put many grown women into a swooning frenzy. She asked if I would like to read them.

I was never into Ann Rice and her vampire books like my sister was. I didn’t know if I wanted to read them. They weren’t really my cup of tea, in my opinion at the time. Cindy, being the wonderful friend that she is, brought her set to me anyway. And they sat. They sat in the bedroom for a week or two. Cindy asked me once or twice if I had gotten around to reading them. By that point, almost everyone mom in the gym had been chattering about the books. I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the hubbub was about.

Oh. My. Goodness. I am SOOO glad that Cindy brought me the books. I could not put the down. I like to read but it’s not my passion. I read so many books to Emily during the day sometimes reading is the last thing I want to do during my down time. There are only a few books that have really gripped me and made me unable to put them down. I can now add these four to the list. I read four 500+ books in less than two weeks. That is a record for me. I seriously could not put them down. They were like my drug and I needed my fix.

If you have never read the books (I am not sure how many of you are out there since I am late to the party) I truly suggest picking up, borrowing, bartering, stealing (just kidding!) all four books. You will not regret it. I promise that. Just don’t shoot me if you do!

I have never read a book that had me gripped to my seat like these books by Stephenie Meyer. While reading I would find myself holding my breath, anxious, still as a log, tense, happy and everything in between. I probably sound like a true dork but these books really drew me in. I think Stephen is really happy that I am done. He has his wife back. After I finished the last book, Breaking Dawn, I was a bit sad. And that is true dorkiness.

I am excited though. The Twilight movie comes out soon. I have not seen it and am ready to! I have several friends who have it pre-ordered so I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If all else fails, it’s on pay-per-view! I didn’t see any trailers or movie posters before I read the books so the characters are totally different than what I had pictured. It should be pretty interesting to see how they turned the book into the movie.

Thanks to all my friends who sucked (pun intended) me into this awesome book series! I really enjoyed reading all four books and cannot wait to see the movie and movies as the come out. Can I count on viewing parties?!?

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Kudos to The Learning Curve

Emily is practicing to be an NFL linebacker. She’s rough, tough and throws her weight around. Unfortunately, the baby gate (used to keep the dog out of her room) took the brunt of her practice session. I am still not sure exactly how it happened…But it happened. She broke the gate. Now the dog thinks that it’s free reign and that makes Emily mad. She’s not at the point where she invites Shadow into her room. Sure, it’s ok for Emily to crowd Shadow off of her pillow in the early morning hours but letting Shadow in her room?? No way!

I decided to see if we could purchase replacement parts for the gate in case we wanted to put it back up. I emailed the manufacturer, The Learning Curve. After looking at an emailed copy of the instruction manual, I was able to tell them exactly what pieces where needed. They are so awesome that they are going to ship the brackets free of charge.

Now that’s some customer service! They were easy and pleasant to deal with. I would buy from them again in a heart beat. More companies need to be like that.

Thanks to The Learning Curve for making my day!

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Change in the dictionary

There needs to be a change to the dictionary. The entry needs to be:

Molars [(moh-luhrz)]
n.   A tooth with a broad crown used to grind food, located behind the premolars.

adj.  
1. Of or relating to the molars.
2. Capable of grinding.

verb:  to cut: pure torture to all involved. Nights of sleeplessness, days of crabbiness and the need for the parents to drink.

It took Emily 3 months to cut her one year molars. I thought that would be the worst. And now we are starting to experience the two year molars….

I knew that the “Twos” are challenging but no one prepared me for this! I can deal with the occasional tantrums, the constant repeating (if I hear the word Shadow one more time……), the random outbursts and the inability to listen but I am afraid that I am not going to have any brain cells left by the time Emily turns 3. On most days, she really is pleasant to be around. But then there are THOSE days. Those days that I wonder if it is really too early to drink by noon. (Just kidding! Maybe)

We just got over the canker sores in the mouth, possible ear infection and the *big move* to the toddler bed. Can’t we catch a break over here? And by we, I mean me. Ok, I really mean all of us but I am being self-centered here!

I really think Stephen is going to stuff a sock into my mouth if I ask him one more time if I think her attitude and bedtime battles are related to the toddler bed. I sometimes wonder if it has something to do with it but she’s been in the big girl bed almost two weeks. The first week was rough but she was sick. The second week was a breeze. It’s only been the past few nights and naps that I have wanted to bang my head into a wall. She wants me to sit with her or she doesn’t want to lay. I know she is testing her limits and seeing what she can get away with but bedtime is non-negotiable.¬†Same with naps. For the past few days, I feel like I am fighting a battle every time time. I will win this battle.

Back to the molars. Stephen seems to think that the issue is with the molars. I think there is some truth to it because she isn’t always a pleasant person to be around. The temper tantrums have been much more frequent and she always ends up hurting herself.¬† Her appetite is hit and miss these days. And the whining…….oh, my, gawd.

And I know the molars are coming in. I survived the whole “shoving the finger in the mouth” tradition. And I still have my finger! Poor kids gums felt pretty swollen. I don’t feel any points yet though. Have a seen any? That’s a joke! Can’t get her to keep her mouth open long enough to check. So it’s going to be awhile.

I know it’s harder on her than it is on me. I am not the one dealing with the constant pain. I am armed though with Motrin, Tylenol and teething tabs. I wonder what else I am missing….I feel bad for the little girl and wish I could take the pain away but it’s a right of passage…Luckily, she won’t remember the process when she gets older.

So, if you have any extra booze lying around, think of me while my toddler cuts her molars. By the time they all come in, you might find me in a corner, bald with my thumb in my mouth.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you lots of prosperity and good health for this upcoming year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve! Emily’s grandma and grandpa came over for a few hours to party with Emily. They had party hats, horns and ice cream! I think everyone had a good time.

Stephen and I took advantage and went out for a few hours. We are so lame! We went to Borders to buy some calendars and then to Cold Stone for dessert. We were back home by 9:15pm. After getting Miss Bedtime Staller asleep, we enjoyed some adult beverages, some appetizers and watched the ball drop. I was drooling on the couch by 11:30 so Stephen had to wake me up to ring in the new year. Such the party animal!

2009. A new year. A fresh start. You reflect on the previous year and look forward to what is to come. Last year, in our family, wasn’t that bad. We were all pretty healthy for the most part and happy. We have a beautiful daughter who is growing, mentally and physically, by leaps and bounds. Our extended family grew by 2 and my sister came back to the family fold. We have had our share of obstacles but, all in all, I can’t complain. I do hope that 2009 is even better.

The new year always brings resolutions. As always, I have a few.

  • Lose weight and get healthy through diet and exercise.
  • Spend less time on the computer and read more.
  • Organize photos. Print some out and actually get them into albums.
  • Get organized in general.

I wish you peace, happiness and joy in this coming year. I hope that life treats you well and that you have a smile on your face.

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I am convinced…

that shoes from The Children’s Place run small. And it drives me insane!! At the end of the summer, I bought Emily a pair of tennis shoes. I thought she’d be able to wear them into the winter. Nope, she grew out of them. So I went to a different store and bought a size up. Those are too big. I still wasn’t convinced at that point.

We bought Emily’s birthday shoes at The Children’s Place in October. Thought she’d be able to wear them throughout the winter. Again, I was wrong. She cried and cried when I tried putting them on the other day. It was like shoving meat into a sausage casing. If she didn’t have half a dozen other pairs of shoes in the SAME size, I’d swear it was just her foot growing.

I am just frustrated  because I have a perfectly GREAT pair of beautiful black shoes that have been worn 3 times. I must burn this into my brain so that if I buy more shoes from CP, I buy bigfoot size.

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Why I love this time of year

Christmas season is here. Everyone is hustling and bustling, going from here to there. Trying to get their shopping done, trying not to be out done. That is why I dislike this time of year. But that is not what this post is about. Christmas is a magical time of year. It isn’t all commercial and Santa. There is much, much more too it.

I thought I would take a moment to reflect on why I love the holiday season, with all of it’s stresses.

  • I love the lights and decorations. I love seeing Emily’s face light up when she sees all of the beautiful displays. This means even more to me this year now that she is a bit older and enjoys it more.
  • I enjoy giving to others. Christmas isn’t about getting. It’s about giving to those you love, showing your appreciation and showing them that you care. It’s also about giving to those those less fortunate than I am.
  • While I don’t love the cold, I love the way the snow looks after it’s just fallen. I enjoy when the world around you is quiet and peaceful.
  • The carols. When Emily was a newborn, I would sing carols to her during attempts to sooth her during the wee hours. I get a little teary eyed when I hear certain ones.
  • And the main reason: God promised a Savior for the world and Christmas celebrates the fulfillment of His promise. Real love never ceases.

Merry Christmas season to you. I hope everyone is able to take some time to sit back and really take it all in. Take some time to relax and enjoy. Peace, love and joy to all of you.

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