Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bring Back the Words is Back!

It seems to be a common theme among my fellow bloggers that we are all having a hard time finding time to blog.  Fortunately, my friend, Ginger, is trying to do something about that.  First she put out a challenge to write on her blog more and invited us to join her. Then she decided to start her Bring Back the Words post prompts again. Yay! I love these since they give me something to write about instead of just writing about whatever comes to mind. So here we go with the first round of prompts.

1.) First day of school. I honestly don't remember anything significant about any of my first days of school. I guess that means nothing major happened so they don't stand out for me.  So I will talk about the boys. We are about a week and a half away from school starting here. Sean will be in fourth grade this year. And Jackson, well, he starts 3 year old PreK. He isn't changing classes at his daycare. They did that at the beginning of the summer so the kids could get used to the teacher before they start their curiculum at the beginning of September. I can't believe my baby is getting so big. I am excited about breaking out his new back pack and taking the first of many first day pictures. 

2.) If you could make everyone understand one thing about you that may not be obvious on first glance, what would it be? Why? I think one thing that may be missed about me is that I am pretty conservative. Truth be told, I don't agree with the opinions of a lot of my pocket friends even though I don't say much about it. I believe that everyone has the right to their opinions and, while I may disagree, I will respect you for having those opinions.  I feel like society has become quick to disparage people for their opinions. Instead of agreeing to disagree, there is a tendency to degrade and insult those who don't share your same opinion. So with that being said, just because I don't speak up it doesn't mean that I am not willing to stand up for my beliefs. It means that I prefer not stir up trouble unnecessarily. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Two Years in the Making

Since downloading the Time Hop app a few months ago, I have enjoyed the reminders of my past life. Pictures of a chubby cheeked Jackson. Tweets from my single days. Flashbacks to being pregnant. Lots of fun memories are stored in the various forms of social media I play around with. But today I got a reminder of one of the best moments in my life.

Two years ago today, we found out my mom was cancer free. Six months of chemo were done and she was OK. The sense of relief I felt in that moment wa overwhelming. The past two years haven't been easy. Mom still struggles with weakness and endurance. She misses the independence she had before getting to sick. But she is still here and Jackson still has his Gran and we are all so grateful for that. She has a PET scan scheduled next month. If that one comes back clear, her changes of the cancer coming back decrease greatly. But for now, I am proud to know that my mom is a survivor and pray that we have many more years with her here. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Eleven Questions

Nobody tagged me, but it seems like all my pocket friends are doing this right now so I figured it was a good excuse to dust off the old blog and do a few updates.

1. What is your favorite kind of cheese? My current favorite would probably be Jarlsberg. We bought a giant block of it from Sam's and I will just stand in the kitchen and cut off chunks of it to munch on.
2. What are you excited about? My new job! I start in a couple of weeks and I am really excited that I won't have a long commute anymore so I can spend more time at home.
3. How did you celebrate your last birthday? I cannot for the life of me remember anything about my birthday last year. I can't even remember what Chris got me as a gift. I feel terrible but I have no idea. I guess that means we will have to have a big celebration this year.
4. What is on your bedside table? A lamp, a couple of books, my iPad, a picture of Maverick, the baby monitor, and all the remotes for our bedroom TV for certain. Probably some change, random jewelry I discard at night, and a cup that needs to go back to the kitchen.
5. What do you order from the movie theater concession stand? We don't go to the movies very often so when we do it is either to Alamo or Flix and we order dinner. If I go to a normal theater, I would probably get popcorn and a drink.
6. Do you have a garden? What’s growing? Sure I have a garden. It's called the HEB produce department. I inherited my mother's brown thumb so I just stay away from plants.
7. Any summer plans? Well, we were going to spend a week in Alabama with a side trip to Charleston to pick up Sean but the new job has kind of derailed those plans. So now we are debating a weekend trip to somewhere close by (Brenham, Waco, or Fredericksburg). Other than that, nothing exciting.
8. Which TV couple(s) are you rooting for? Jackson and April on Grey's Anatomy. I just love them together. I have from the start and I loved it when Jackson stood up at April's wedding to Mathew and declared his love for her. So perfect! So romantic! And then they ran off and got married. I really want things to go well for them.
9. What’s the last thing you bought? Other than food? I ordered some clothes for my new job and I bought a couple of Planes items from the dollar spot at Target for Jackson.
10. What’s one thing you are passionate about? I am pretty passionate about volunteering. I love being able to work with different organizations to put on an event and see the end result.
11. What are you grateful for this week? I am grateful that Jackson and I were able to go home for a few days and see my nephew graduate from high school.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Best I Can Be

I read a blog post this week that really ruffled my feathers. In it, the author insinuated that working mothers did not love their children as much or invest as much time in their children as stay at home moms. Needless to say, as a working mom I was pretty angry about the whole thing. So I did what any sane person would do and took the matter to Twitter where I found my righteous indignation to be well matched. I felt better knowing that others agreed with my viewpoint but I was still upset about the post and bothered that it had gotten to me so much. That really got me thinking. Did I really want to be a stay at home mom? Was that why this was eating at me? Do I really feel like there was truth to the thought that I wasn't investing in my child or that I was letting someone else raise him or that I didn't love him to my fullest?

The answer is no to all of the above. There is no doubt that I love Jackson with all my heart. Anyone who sees us together knows that. Nor is there any doubt that he loves me and is very much a Momma's boy. Yes, I have thought about trying to stay home several times since I found out I was pregnant but that isn't a possibility for us. Even if it was, I am not sure that is a decision I would make. Jackson enjoys his time at daycare and he learns things there that I am not sure I would be able to teach him. I also do better having some time away from him which allows me to better enjoy the time we spend together. I make it a point to plan family activities whenever possible so we can make memories as a family. Are there days when I wish I could be home? Yes. Are there things I have missed because I work? Yes. It frustrates me to no end to see activities I would love to take Jackson to but can't because they fall during the week.

Being a working mom is hard because I know what I am doing is helping provide a good life for my child but it doesn't take away the guilt I feel on those mornings when I leave him crying in someone else's arms (Chris's, his teachers) because he just wants me to stay. (This doesn't happen often but when it does, I feel terrible.) I also wouldn't question the decision of someone who decides to stay home. I know their job is just as hard because they do spend so much time with their children often with few breaks while trying to maintain a household and keep it functioning.  Neither job is easy which is why I think someone in the opposite situation needs to be careful before making statements that could be deemed as a judgement from someone on the other side.

I learned something out of all of this. I can only be the best mom I can be and it isn't for someone else to determine what that looks like. I can't allow someone else to question my parenting or my decisions because they are not living my life and what works for them may not work for me. I know I will never be the mom that bakes cakes for birthdays or makes homemade valentine's or volunteers weekly at my kid's school. That just isn't who I am. I wouldn't do that if I stayed home. I look at pins on Pinterest of school lunches done up in cutesy ways and fun shapes and all I think is, "I don't have time for that nor would my kids want that." Frequently I think I am screwing everything up because Jackson is a toddler and some days are hard and I feel like I have no control over him. And maybe I am but then he will give me a hug and a kiss and say, "I wuv you, Mommy" and I know that everything is OK. All that really matters is that he is happy and healthy and thriving and if I accomplish those things, then I have been successful in my job.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remember me?

Hi there! It's your wayward blogger here. You remember how I said I was going to blog everyday for a month and then disappeared? Yeah, that wasn't good. Sorry about that. I have all the good intentions to make that up to you. I can't make any promises because life is still busy. But I do still want to record what's going on if for no other reason than for me to look back and see what happened. I'd still like to talk about some of the topics I set up for November. So I'm back and I have plenty to write. Here's hoping I can actually get it down on paper. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 To Do List

I liked the idea of a to do list last year better than resolutions so I decided to do the same this year.  I have a feeling I might add a few more things to this list as the year progresses but for now this is where I stand.

  1. Take a trip that doesn't include visiting my parents or any other family.
  2. Pay off a couple of credit cards and keep them paid off. 
  3. Go on at least 1 date a month with Chris.
  4. Take the boys to Disney World.
  5. Read 24 books that are being turned into movies.
  6. Spend an entire weekend kid free.
  7. See Alabama play in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  8. Participate in NaBloPoMo.
  9. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge.
  10. Read the entire Bible
  11. Celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary in January.
  12. Do at least 1 fun family activity a month.
  13. Keep money in our savings account all year.
  14. See my nephew graduate from high school in May.
  15. Lose the remaining 20 (or 25) pounds I need to get off.
  16. Find a new "For Me Only" activity.
  17. Watch all of Veronica Mars before the movie comes out.
  18. Finish Jackson's Year 2 book.
  19. Make the most of our Thinkery membership.
  20. Find a new activity for Jackson in the fall.
  21. Take some day trips around Texas.
  22. Go to some wineries on the Texas Wine Trail.
  23. Use my camera more which means learn how to use it.
  24. Get Jackson and Sean both into swimming lessons.
  25. Bake now that I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
  26. Actually follow some of the tips and activities I've pinned on Pinterest.
  27. Plan two birthday parties in one month (again).
  28. Revamp my wardrobe.
  29. Make cookies for Chris's shift.
  30. Organize a gathering for the shift wives.

2013 Goals Year End Review

2. Take Jackson to his first football game. Done - One of the local colleges started a football team for the first time in 68 years.  We decided to go support the Southwestern Pirates and, in turn, took Jackson to his first game.  He wasn't ready for it and we left at halftime but I'm glad we can say we did it.
4. Read The Great Gatsby before seeing the movie. Nope - I tried, I really did.  I got several chapters in but the language and the writing is strange to me and I can't follow it.  I still haven't seen the movie though so I added it back to my list and I am going to try again this year.
5. Get another tattoo as a tribute to Jackson. Nope - I can't figure out what I want or where I want it. Nor can I decide if I want to go through the pain again.
6. Take a trip that doesn't include visiting my parents. Done - Although this wasn't the way I expected to accomplish this.  I went to a training course in DC with my boss for a week in June.  I hadn't been to DC to really see the sights since middle school so it was a lot of fun.
7. Pay off another credit card. (Maybe even two!) Sort of - We did but then charged them back up. My goal for this year is to pay them off and keep them that way.
8. Go on at least 1 date a month with Chris. Close - We did really good until we moved in May then we hit a lag through the summer and didn't get a night out for several months but closed out the year with two weekends in a row having a night out including our first overnight together with no kids since Jackson was born.
9. Spend more time outdoors with the boys. Sort of - the boys got more time outside thanks to the playground near our new house. I, however, did not join them. I'm not outdoorsy.
10. Make more time for myself. Yes - I joined YPC this year and volunteered for a cause that means a lot to me. However, I just found out YPC will be no more after the end of our year so I need to find something else for me.
14. Increase our charitable giving.Yes and No - We gave more to the church and more consistently but we did not give to as many places as I wanted to.  We did, however, donate a lot of stuff when we moved.
15. Read 23 books. Not Quite - I read 14 and only because of the Great Flu epidemic of Christmas 2013 where I was able to read 2 books in about week.
16. Blog at least once a week. HAHA - Yeah, not even close.  Life just got in the way too many times and I couldn't find time to write.
17. Spend an entire weekend kid free. Done - I traveled home in October for my Judson board meeting.  Once again this isn't what I had in mind but it did check the box.
18. See Alabama play in Bryant-Denny Stadium. A girl can dream - One day...one day we will have the time and money to make this happen.
19. Run a 5k. Well...I didn't run one but I did walk one with my entire family.  It took over an hour but we weren't hurrying and we enjoyed the stroll.
21Visit my brother's family in Houston. Done - We stopped at Clay's on our way back from Alabama this summer and got to visit the aquarium while we were there.  I plan to make a trip just to Houston some time this year.
22. Setup Savings Accounts for the boys.  Done - This one was easy.  It was just a matter of making it to the bank.
23. Keep money in our savings account all year. Yes - It wasn't a lot but there was still money in the account at the end of the year.
24. Go to the gun range with Chris. Done - I shot once and told Chris I was done.  Guns just aren't my thing.
25. Clear out the excess stuff in our storage unit.  Not really - We gave some furniture away when we moved which did give us some more space but my goal is to permanently get rid of stuff (donate, garage sale, something).
26. Update mortgage, house, and bills to married name. Yeah, I forgot. Maybe one day I will get everything updated or else close the accounts so it doesn't matter anymore.
27. Participate in NaBloPoMo. We saw how that turned out. One day of no internet at home followed by a day of gone for over 12 hours and NaBloPoMo failed to happen. Oh well!
28. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge. Close - I did this all the way up to December which was nice because it gave me a little nest egg for Christmas.  I am debating trying a modified version of this for this year.