September 21, 2010

Just Call Me Martha.......

I say that with a wee bit of sarcasm ;).

Sometimes, while blog-hopping, I get so inspired that reality gets blurred.  What I mean is, I see projects that are way out of my crafting league, but I naively think, "That looks easy.  I can do that!"

Well, the baby's mobile was definitely one of those times.  It was something I saw online and LOVED and wanted to recreate for baby boy's nursery.  So I took my list of supplies and bounced my way to the nearest Hobby Lobby.   Total cost to make this was only about $8 (I love me some 50% off sales!), but it required about 5 hours of my time.

Imagine spending 5 hours cutting out 160 circles and painting 56 little hollow wooden balls and putting it all together with wire and ribbon and tiny, hard to see, beading parts.  Not my idea of a good time.

I guess it wasn't really THAT bad, and maybe I work slow, but I am not the most patient person.  I eventually persevered through the project and am so glad to be DONE with it!  Not sure if I would do it again, but I am happy with the way it turned out.  Let's just say it was a labor of love before THE labor of love.

I know it doesn't look like 160 circle, but trust me, I had to cut out 160 circles.

Here's another view:
So it was a lot of work, but I do think it looks great in the room!

In other decorating news, notice in the above picture that we only have the big "D" in the frame.  We atleast know that baby's name will end with Dollahon, but that's all we know for now.  I plan on adding two smaller initials on either side of the "D" for the first and middle names whenever Sean and I reach a decision on what those names will be.  And I don't think that's going to happen until our son pops out and shows us his sweet little face for the first time.

I know in the last couple of weeks I have told many of you, who have asked, what the baby boy's name will be with certainty, but just this past weekend, Sean decided he liked something else possibly better.  We still might use the other name, or we might call him something completely different.  We're flakey like that.

I usually am more opinionated about this sort of thing, but I like both names enough to let Sean pick which one it'll be.  I know, I am the perfect vision of a submissive wife.  Perhaps that should have been the title of this post instead :).

And finally, back to the room.  Here are the curtains that I bought/made.  They were much easier to create than the mobile because they took under an hour to put together.  My level of patience can handle buying black-out curtains at Target and simply adding a border to the bottom.
And, yes, if you have ever been to our house, that is the bench that use to sit on our front porch, doing nothing.  No one ever sat there.  I never put anything on it, except maybe pumpkins in October or an occasional potted plant, which would soon die because I'd forget to water it.  I cleaned the bench up and am quite proud of my repurposing abilities because it cost me nada!

So that's all I got for now.  Being closer to getting the room done makes my nesting urge calm to a quiet whisper.  Hopefully I'll have the final room ready in the next few weeks, but now I'm off to tackle the mountain of laundry that needs to be folded and put away before I have to go pick up the girls from school.

Happy Tuesday!

September 15, 2010

Lately

We've been busy with school starting and such.  School being in session has given me time to start on the nursery.  I wanted to show you a few things I've been working on for baby boy's room.  It's not near complete, but every spare moment and nickel I have is going to his nursery right now.

Originally I was going to stencil a bible verse on the piece of wood that once read, "Little Blessing" in Mary Ellen's nursery.  But then I found this quote: "Tall oaks from little acorns grow."  I LOVED IT!  It made me smile and think of the man my tiny son will some day grow to be.  It perfectly depicts the hope and miracle of new life.  So I had to use it.
The green in the tree isn't showing up well in the pictures do to lighting, I guess.  It's a light green that matches the green in the bedding.

The sign rests above the changing table/dresser.  I added these two baskets for diapers and powder and creams - all of which need to be handy!
Those are Sean's old baby shoes on the dresser :).

I'm also in the process of making a mobile for the corner of the nursery, near the crib, but not in little arms' reach ;)!
Mary Ellen is still in her crib.  With the girls sharing a room, I am in no hurry for her to move into a big girl bed.  The crib contains her.  I don't mind chatter and giggles.  I just don't want movement - getting out of bed - those types of shenanigans!

So we are using my younger sister's and brother's old crib, circa 1980s.  My parents have generously donated it to us. It's a dark brown wood and looks "vintage" to me.  And my dearest friend, Christie, has offered us some baby boy bedding, which I'm using.  Gotta love free stuff!  Pictures of those things soon!

At 32 weeks along, I have the nesting bug big time.  I feel like things are coming along.  I go from being impatient for our son's arrival to nervous, not knowing how I'll handle a third.  I know God will equip me.  It's just getting through the transition period, the growing pains, that I'm worried about.

The big sisters are excited about their brother's arrival.  They've been busy with school.  Mary Ellen now loves MDO.  She cries on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when Hattie gets out of the car, and she doesn't get to go.  Two is fickle isn't it :)!??!
Hattie started playing soccer a couple of weeks ago.  Sean is her soccer coach.  She loves it.  He......... is learning to work patiently with 4 and 5 year olds :).

That's all for now!  I hope this newest blog post finds you well and beatin' the heat with as much grace as possible!  I am so ready for a REAL cold front!

August 24, 2010

And Just Like That........


I suddenly have two mornings a week with no children in the house for the first time in four years.  Today was the first day that they both went to school, and I have to say, even though I know this free time will only last about 10 more weeks, I really didn't know what to do with myself, other than to watch the clock and wait until 12:45 when I had to go pick them up.  I did manage to get the bathrooms cleaned and four loads of laundry folded and put away in peace and quiet!  And then on Thursday, I have a midwife appointment; plus I have a nursery to put together and decorate, so I know I'll find stuff to do with myself ;)!

Hattie is a pro at the school stuff and had no problem at all on her first day.  She was all smiles and "Miss Social Butterfly!"  Mary Ellen did fine when I dropped her off, but then I heard her crying while I was still in the building.  She stopped after about 5 loooong minutes.  Then I left, to leave on a good note!   The director of the preschool called me around 11 a.m. to tell me she was a happy camper, playing, and there had been no more tears.  I think I needed to hear that!

I am so proud of my girls who were both smiley and happy to see me when I picked them up at 12:45.  First Day of School 2010 - a HUGE success!

August 9, 2010

Sunday Best


Don't they look like angels?  Then why are they so mean in church?!?!

Every Sunday we wake up and get ready early to make it to our church's 9 a.m. mass because that is the only mass where nursery is offered.  A big part of me feels like the girls should go to church with us every Sunday.  How will they ever learn how to act in church if they don't go?  But nine times out of ten when we skip nursery, or they cancel it, and we take them into church with us, we wind up regretting our decision by the time the priest gives the homily.  Hattie is pretty good, though she gets antsy, but at least she's a quiet antsy.  At 4, she knows how to behave for the most part.  It's Mary Ellen who is our little trouble-maker - she's nearly two, afterall!  She loves to be loud and point.  She loves to get others' attention and make them smile.  We usually end up in the narthex or cry room with her, missing most of what the priest is saying.

One thing I have learned, though, over the 4 years that I've been taking kids to church with me, is that less is more.  I use to load up on snacks and juice and books and toys.  All of this would entertain little minds and fingers for about 15 minutes, and then they would find it more entertaining to throw said books and toys.  Crumbs would wind up all over the floor and juice spilled or leaked all over the pew.  Now when we go and take the kids, we bring nothing but an extra diaper and wipes (just in case!).  Somehow that has cut down on a lot of the noise and movement, but we are still definitely working on how to act like little angels in church!  And I know adding a third isn't going to make this job any less challenging ;).

August 7, 2010

Random Summer Shots & Thoughts

I can't believe summer is almost over.  If you had asked me two weeks ago if I was ready for the summer to be over and for the girls to start school, I would have said, "No way!  We're having too much fun!"  However, last week, the dog days of summer kicked in - and so did the heat! - and I am READY FOR SCHOOL to start ;).  Hattie is READY FOR SCHOOL to start!  Mary Ellen has no clue what's coming with MDO, and I have to admit, I'm a little sad to send her.  She's my baby, but I know I will enjoy the two mornings a week, kid free, to go to midwife appointments as those are about to get more frequent with the 3rd trimester and to start decorating baby boy's nursery of which I have done nada.

Overall, this summer has flown by, minus the last week of it.  We've enjoyed lots of trips to the pool & playing outside in the mornings before the mosquitos and heat get too bad.
We've had popsicles in the bathtub.
We've had numerous playdates.  We've gone to Chickfila one too many times.  Been to the library to checkout books about a dozen times, and we've played dress-up almost every day. 
Hattie woke up from naptime and begged me to be a kittycat one afternoon.  I obliged.  And of course, whatever big sister wants, little sister wants, too! :)
We went to Splashway (located in the middle of nowhere but loads of fun) one day, Kemah another day, and Galveston beach yet another.
We celebrated Hattie's 4th birthday and will celebrate Mary Ellen's 2nd birthday in a week {sniff, sniff}.
And I've been reminded over and over again how blessed I am to have this life with these beautiful children and this hunkiness of a man! :)
But now, this mom is tiiired!  And summer couldn't be ending at a better time.  I know the heat will last long after school starts, but it'll be nice to spend the 3rd trimester of this pregnancy a little more relaxed and low-key.  I think I just might nap through the fall before things get crazy again with the birth of our son and then the holidays!  But, I think, as Robert Frost says, "I have miles to go before I sleep."  Life's not gonna slow down for this worn-out preggo!  But the blessings are definitely worth the time and energy.  100% worth it!

June 29, 2010

Hello Lover!

My reference to Carrie Bradshaw in the title has nothing to do with the perfect pair of shoes.  Rather, the thing that provokes such passion in me at the moment is the perfect sandwich.
Hello Lover!

I am at the point in my pregnancy where I eat everything in sight.  The middle trimester is when I pack on the pounds, which can only be blamed on my insatiable hunger, which can only be blamed on the growing baby in my belly.  While I'm eating breakfast, I'm thinking about lunch.  While I'm eating lunch, I'm dreaming about the perfect snack to eat while the girls are napping, ect. Right now, as I type this, I'm eating some Paula Dean homemade mac-n-cheese that I made earlier.  It's bad.  And how bad it is doesn't quite hit me until the nurse asks me to get on the scale at the doctor's office at the start of every check-up.  You pregnant veterans know the drill.  The nurse marches you right up to the scale in the middle of the busiest intersection of the doctor's office where tons of other people are around to glance at your ginormous number on the scale.  Then if that isn't bad enough, the nurse calls out that number as if she's calling out a to go order at a noisy restaurant.  Humiliating.  Way worse than all the blood that's drawn and cups that are peed in during pregnancy IMO!

I have been spared that humiliation this pregnancy, thank goodness!  This time, at the midwives office, run by women (key phrase!), you get to discreetly go into the bathroom and get your own weight.  Then you deduct however many pounds you think is water weight (3-4 lbs ;)!) before you discreetly tell the nurse your weight when y'all get to your examining room.  I love it!  Takes the edge off the shame of packing on the pounds.

I do try to watch it, though.  With Hattie, I gained 40 lbs.  I think with your first, you eat whatever you want because you think you can.  For me, eating constantly helps with the nausea in the beginning.  But it's what I ate with her that made all the difference.  I wisened up with Mary Ellen and, while I still ate a ton, I stuck to healthier options and only gained 25 lbs.  I am shooting for that 25 lbs. again.  Am definitely trying to watch it.  Not sure how I can come to terms with typing that while I eat Paula Dean's mac-n-cheese, but still.  25 lbs.

So back to that sandwich.  With all of my pregnancies, the number one thing I have consistently craved is sandwiches.  I love them when I'm pregnant.  LOVE THEM.  The only difference is that I crave one specific thing in the sandwiches that I don't usually want on my sandwiches when I'm not pregnant with each specific pregnancy.  Does that big run-on make sense?  Like with Hattie, it was tomato.  If you know me at all, you know I pretty much hate tomatoes, but I loved them and had to have them on every sandwich I ate when preggers with my first born.  With Mary Ellen, it was avocado.  I like avocado in general, but just normally don't put it on my sandwiches.  When pregnant with her, though, I had to have it on every single sandwich I made; otherwise, the sandwich wasn't worth making.  With this one, it's mayo.  I am usually a mustard girl when it comes to sandwiches, but these days, all I want is gobs and gobs of mayo slapped on the bread.  Not good for keeping the weight at 25 lbs., though, I know, but that's what it is.   So that's my weird craving story that I'll probably forget if I don't write it down. ;)

And the sandwich story does have a more meaningful point that I wanted to make: We find out this Thursday, in two days, what baby #3 is.  Boy or girl.  My newest realization is that I craved veggie things on my sandwiches with both girls, but this time I'm craving mayo.  So maybe it's a boy.............or maybe it's a girl that just likes her mayo?  We'll soon find out! ;)

Stay tuned!  Appointment is at 8:30 a.m.  Hopefully this little one will cooperate and show us the goods. And please pray with us in the meantime that everything checks out healthy and developing normally with our little baby on Thursday.  We'd appreciate it!

June 8, 2010

Family Update

She.......
~ is enjoying swim lessons so much!  Much to my surprise, she isn't fearful of the water at all and tries everything the teacher asks.  I'm so proud of her!

~ still loves coloring, but now also loves puzzles just as much.  She can sit down and complete a hundred piece puzzle all by herself in about 30 minutes - a great quiet activity!

~ is such a big help.  She is the typical first born, motherly big sister.  So much so that she helps keep me in line sometimes!  Just this morning, as we were heading out to the pool, she reminded me that I hadn't put sunscreen on Mary Ellen yet!

~ is totally in the independent phase and wants to do everything for herself.  It may take a little longer, but I try to be patient because I know she's learning.

~ will be 4 in less than a month, and I can't believe it!  Three and a half years ago, sitting up in the middle of the night with my colicky baby, crying with her half the time, I don't think I would have believed you had you told me that these years would go by this fast and that she was going to be such a delightful, easy toddler and child who would eventually sleep in until 7 every day with no night wakings.

She........
~ is obsessed with shoes right now.  Every morning, almost first thing, she picks out a new pair to put on.  If you try to put a different pair on her than the one she's picked out, a massive fit ensues.  The girl knows what she wants, whether the shoes match or are in season or not!

~ has become such a picky eater.  The only meats I can get her to eat right now are sausage and rotisserie chicken.  She knows the difference with any other kind of chicken, too, and won't even give it a nibble.  So her diet consists of lots of scrambled eggs, which she is starting to turn her nose up to, and peanut butter.  Thankfully, she will eat 3 or 4 different kinds of veggies, so she has some variety there.

~ is in the throws of terrible twos.  She is a tantrum throwing maniac right now.  It is rather exhausting for me, a person who thrives on quiet and peace, but we are managing through it and praying it's a short phase ;).

~ is still my cuddlebug.  It's often that she'll come and find me in the kitchen and just wrap her arms around my leg and give me a hug.  She loves to be held and rocked and will eagerly accept all of the kisses I give her.

~ despite her unwillingness to eat most foods, loves to eat crayons and playdoh, and with a big sister who loves doing art, there are always crayons and playdoh lying around, waiting to be digested.  It is often that her chompers are filled with shades of pink, purple, blue, green, ect.  We are working on learning not to eat inedible objects ;)!

I.........
~ am feeling the baby move every day, several times a day now, mostly after dinner when I lie down while Daddy gives baths.

~ go through feelings of being so excited to have 3 children and so nervous about it, too!  I am trying to block out the nerves ;)!  By the 3rd one, you just know it's gonna be hard for a while, and the transition of adding a new child to the family is rough, but ultimately, it's so worth it and fun.

~ enrolled Mary Ellen in MDO 2 mornings a week next year, and Hattie will be going every morning, so for two mornings a week, before the baby gets here, I'm not gonna know what to do with myself!  I am looking forward to getting stuff done, things I'm putting off right now because it's just too hard to do with two little ones underfoot.

~ am so into watching all of the housewives shows on BRAVO right now.  They are my current guilty pleasure.  The shows are horrible, but I can't help it!  I'm fascinated with these petty women, thrown into what seems like high school dramas.

~ could eat avocados and brownies all day, every day.  I guess those are my cravings of choice for this pregnancy.  Lots and lots of FAT, so I try not to cave in to the cravings too much ;)!

He.............
~ has perfected his margarita making skills just in time for summer.  I've sipped, and they are GOOD.

~ is so gracious about putting up with my mood swings and tiredness!  He picks up all of my slack like a champ, and every day I am reminded how very blessed I am to have married such a good, gracious man.

~ will be 30 in September - we've got to do something special for that!

~ recently became an RCIA sponsor at our church.  I am so proud of his leadership in our church and his constant dedication to our faith and Church.

~ makes the best breakfasts!  Saturday morning breakfasts, made by Daddy, have become a much loved tradition in our house.

That's what we've been up to in a nutshell; what about you?

June 4, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I have totally neglected blogging lately, mostly because we've been busy, and I just haven't felt like blogging when the house is quiet.  Generally these days when the girls nap, I need a nap, too.  Pregnancy just kind of does that to a mama :).  But I'm hoping there will be less gaps and more consistency with my blogging now that I'm past the first trimester.  I want to document this precious time.

At 17 weeks tomorrow, it still hasn't really sunk in that I'm even pregnant.  This pregnancy is flying by because life is so busy with two toddlers.  I am so grateful, though, every time I go to a midwife appointment and hear a rapid, strong heartbeat.  Having two children already doesn't make me take that for granted one bit!  I am still so amazed and thankful for that perfect sound!

The next appointment I have, on July 1st, will be the big ultra-sound, the one where we'll hopefully get to find out if this little one is a boy or a girl.  So many people have asked me what I want, expecting me to say boy, I guess, since I already have two girls.  Really and honestly, though,  I want whatever this little one already is.  God has planned our family out perfectly for us.  He already knows what our completed family looks like.  Whatever He give us, son or daughter, will be exactly what our family was always meant to have.  The bigger issue for me, and all parents, I bet, is to just hear those words that the baby looks perfectly heathy and looks right on target growth and development wise.  That is my prayer.
As far as the big sisters go, Hattie knows there is a baby in my belly.  She totally gets it and says she wants a new baby sister most days.  I have heard her say once that a baby brother might be "cool."  Mary Ellen doesn't have a clue of course.  I think the new baby will be hardest on her because she is my baby now, and I treat her like one.  I have held on to her baby ways much more than I did with Hattie, who I was always pushing towards the next milestone it seems.  Maybe that's just something most of us moms do that's different with the first and second child.  You savor the moments more the second time around because you just know they fly by too fast.

We are heading into summer at full force.  Hattie starts swim lessons next week, and we have already been to the pool a few times.  We've also already consumed two watermelons and lots of grilled food.  Nothing screams summer more to us than grilling, swimming, and watermelon.  Summer always makes me crave margaritas, too, but I would rather be in my condition than sipping that wonderfulness right now.  Though, I will surely be going out to the nearest mexican restaurant as soon as this baby arrives ;)!

So in a nutshell, that's what we've been up to.  Hope all is well with you and yours!

April 16, 2010

Sisters

Our days are filled with images like these pictures.  I find that these two can be getting along so well; then I turn my back for a second, and they're fighting.  It's usually over a toy.  Hattie likes to aggravate her baby sister.  Mary Ellen has learned to scratch and pull Hattie's hair.  They have to have everything equal.  If one gets a cracker or juice, you better believe the other one wants and must have the same thing. 

I know this is just the beginning of what will be a deep relationship.  I have two sisters, so I know the highs and lows that come with having such a relationship.  Now I get to see it from a mother's perspective, and I am enjoying watching them together so much; however, they can also frustrate me and leave me throwing my hands in the air, not knowing what the right solution is.  And they're only 1 and 3.  I tremble when I think how I'll manage when they're 15 and 17.

The other day I was at a playdate with the girls, and a more experienced mom was there with her 3 daughters.  Two of them started fighting over a toy.  She immediately took the toy away and said, "We will not love a THING more than we love each other.  When you figure out a loving solution, come and find me and the toy."  And that was the end of it.  These girls are older than mine, and this was the perfect solution, I thought, to this problem.  Not just taking the toy away; I usually do that, but what she said.  I thought that was right on.  Don't you love learning from more experienced, wiser mommies?  Most of my parenting tactics have come from them.

So hopefully by spending time with wise mommies and with lots of GRACE, I can help foster a loving, gentle, non-competitive relationship between my girls.  That's so important to me!

April 12, 2010

Why I've Not Felt Motivated to Blog Lately

Yep!  As most of you already know via facebook, I've been rather tired and drained because my body's been a little preoccupied growing and sustaining another little life.  It's hard work!

Not to mention these two keep me rather busy as well!

Sean and I are expecting to be outnumbered some time in November.  My official due date is November 13th.

This time around, I've decided to go with a midwife practice through Texas Children's Hospital.  So far I am really impressed by them.  I like my ob who delivered both of the girls, but I really want to attempt a natural childbirth this time, so I thought using a midwife might help foster that a little better than my ob could have.  And the good thing about the midwives is I'll deliver in a hospital, so if I change my mind in the midst of pain and want the epi, I can get it!  I like having options ;).

And like I said on facebook, Sean and I covet your prayers for the birth of a healthy baby and an uneventful pregnancy.

March 11, 2010

Preparing Our Hearts

Lent is about repentance and drawing nearer to Christ.  We are supposed to reflect on the things we do and don't do that keep us from Him and then try to change those things.  I mean, we should reflect and strive for holiness always, but Lent is a special time set aside for reflection and repentance.

This year, Hattie came home from school with a booklet of activities to do with your kids to prepare for Easter.  We decided to pick this one and make a Lenten tree:

Striving to become more like Christ, we need to remember to love each other better, to strive for perfect love, like He loves us.

I wrote this verse on the mirror: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Then Hattie and I went outside and gathered dead branches on the ground.  The dead branches symbolize our death and ugliness in sin.

Then I cut out some colorful eggs from card-stock where we write encouraging notes to each other.  These notes symbolize our love for one another through our sin, just like Christ loves us.

It has been fun for Hattie, especially, to do nice things that are noticed and a nice comment gets added to the tree by Mommy or Daddy.

And I have to say, I enjoy walking by and seeing a new egg on the tree with something that I've done written on it because it's sometimes easy to feel overlooked and unnoticed, especially doing this job!
Can you even read Sean's dyslexic scrawl as we call it? ;)

So if you are looking for something to do with your children to prepare for Easter, I recommend this activity.  It's a good one.  We're enjoying watching our dead tree "come to life" as Easter approaches.

February 23, 2010

18 Months

We had Mary Ellen's 18 month checkup last Friday morning.  She did great considering we were at the doctor's office for 2 hours, and she woke up at 5 a.m. that morning!  Yeesh!  We got through the trauma of the shots and then had a good long rest that afternoon while Hattie stayed for lunch bunch at school - a rare treat for Hattie!

Her 18 month stats put Mary Ellen at the 90th percentile for height and the 50-75th percentile for weight.  Perhaps my predictions of her being a tomboy will play out on a basketball court someday?

At 18 months, Mary Ellen can say quite a few words; about 15, I think.  "Ball," "more," and "Dada" being her favorites and most commonly used words.  She is surely a daddy's girl who loves to eat :).

Even though Hattie had more words at this age, I think Mary Ellen is better at getting her point across sometimes.  She is passionate (my kind way of saying hot-headed ;)!).  She's a girl who knows what she wants and is bound and determined to get it.  I think I can recall a few women in her life who she gets that from :)!

She is a daredevil.  While she isn't really climbing on things yet, she tries, and she has less and less fear about things like heights.  She loves when I spin her round and round.  She loves playing outside, digging in the trash can, and unraveling the toilet paper roll.  She is mischievous with a capital M!

But she is also my cuddle bug.  One of the best parts of the day is when she wakes up while Hattie is still in her room napping or having quiet time, and I go into Mary Ellen's room and rock her with the lamp on and rub her little head and soak up the baby in her who is fleeing too fast!  She lets me hold her as long as I want in those moments.  And we usually stay that way until Hattie is up.  It's our sweet time together that I cherish so much.

So here we are at a year and a half, Mary Ellen.  You make this age wild and crazy and fun.  You are a beautiful, unstoppable toddler, and you wear me out most days, but you have my heart, and you make me chuckle and laugh constantly.  I love who you are becoming.  I'm a little afraid of your intensity sometimes, but I pray that you will give that intensity to the Lord and do great things in your life for Him, little girl.  Your mama loves you so!

February 16, 2010

40 Days for Life

Remember man, thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.


These are the words spoken by priests, on Ash Wednesday, as they mark the sign of the cross on the foreheads of men, women, and children of all ages.  It is one of my favorite traditions in the Catholic Church.

Lent is a penitential season which begins with Ash Wednesday tomorrow.  The ashes on our foreheads remind us of our mortality and are a sign of repentance.

Basically, all I am is dirt without Jesus.  And everything in me that is not of Him, my sin, is filth and death.

We worship a God of LIFE, a God who can take the nothingness of dirt and ashes and breathe LIFE into it.  We worship a God who calls us out of our deathly slumber into eternal LIFE.  We worship a God who holds all LIFE precious in His heart.

There is a worldwide 40 days for Life Campaign during Lent.  This means that for the next 40 days of Lent ahead, we are called to prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism to promote LIFE.

Catholic churches around the Houston area have organized peaceful activism at the new planned parenthood abortion center (3601 Fannin) that will be opening soon.  So for the next 40 days of Lent (excluding Sundays), between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., you can go and pray silently for the end of abortion outside the facility.  Park across the street from the abortion center and walk over.  You don't have to be Catholic to go.  You can bring your children.  You can stay minutes or hours.

I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is "Abortion", because it is a war against the child... A direct killing of the innocent child, "Murder" by the mother herself... And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love... And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts...Mother Teresa 

America you are beautiful . . . and blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life. - Pope John Paul II 


If you are interested in going or learning more about this campaign, go here.

February 12, 2010

The Story of How You and Me Became We


Well, I have to start with the first time Sean and I met because the date is so providential and shows how perfectly God works in our lives.  He lets up know that He is the Divine Thread weaving our lives together, and we all aren't a bunch of random molecules floating around a randomly placed universe.


It was the summer of 1998.  My best friend, Christie, invited me to her parents' annual 4th of July party.  I went, and upon arriving, spotted this tall, handsome, blonde stud in the background.  I was later introduced to him as Sean, Christie's cousin.  Heelllloooo, Sean! :)


That afternoon and evening we talked and hit it off, but I didn't really think anything of it.  He lived in Kansas and was just down for a few weeks of the summer visiting family.  We were both about to be seniors in high school, a most exciting year ahead of us!  


Nothing came of that night in particular, but it's so significant to me because exactly 8 years later, on the 4th of July, we gave birth to our first child, Hattie, who is such a perfect marriage in looks and character to the two of us.  And I can't help but think about how clueless I was that day.  I had no idea what God had in store for us, and how surely, He must have been smiling down on us that night as we literally and figuratively set off fireworks in Christie's front yard.


I didn't see or hear from Sean for another year and a half when he was somehow solicited to pick up Christie and me from a weekend baby-sitting job in another town and bring us back to school.  We were finally all in the same area, attending our first year of college.  I was so excited when I heard that he would be the one to pick us up!  We rode to our college home in Sean's little red truck, with Christie between us, as we talked and got to know each other all over again.  That encounter led to a first date inquiry, and with butterflies in my stomach I said YES!


Our first date was the best date I've ever had.  Sean came from College Station to Brenham, where I was attending Blinn, to pick me up.  We then drove to Lake Somerville and had an amazingly easy conversation by the water as the sun was setting.  It was one of those conversations that just flows so perfectly.  I felt like I had known him forever.  It was warm and flirty.  I thought he was so handsome and funny.  Then we went to dinner at the best restaurant in town - Casa Ole!  After dinner, we saw a bad movie.  Then I gave him a tour around Blinn's campus, which was more like a high school than a college.  It wasn't the best of dates when you consider what we did that evening; rather, it was the chemistry and the connection we shared that made it so divine.  Neither one of us wanted the date to end.  Eventually it did because all good things come to an end, but he didn't kiss me goodnight that night, and I was glad he didn't because I liked him way too much.


That night, I went up to my room and wrote in a journal I still have today.  In it, I wrote, I hope I marry a guy like Sean some day when in my mind, what I was really thinking was, I hope I marry Sean some day.  But I was too scared to put that on paper.  I had fallen too hard, too fast; I had never ever felt like this before, and I had to protect myself from myself.


From there, we casually dated on and off for another year since we were living in separate towns, going to separate schools.  Eventually, though, I moved to College Station to attend A&M, and we became a couple.  


We had bumps in the road, for sure, because we were so young to be so certain of anything.  But God always helped us find our way back to each other, and that familiar, warm feeling between us never left.


And what more can I say that won't sound cliche?  I won't even try!


The rest is history.


or 


We lived happily ever after.


All I know is that I have tasted love at first sight, and second sight, and going on the twelfth year of sight since I first laid eyes on my husband, and nothing has ever tasted so sweet on this earth as what we have together.  No, not even a cupcake! :)


Happy Valentine's Day, honey!

February 10, 2010

Cupcakes and Love

This morning I made some Valentine's cupcakes for my playgroup for tomorrow morning.
Nothing says love like cupcakes to kids.

While putting the M&Ms on them, the girls started to get antsy, so I decided to give them each half of one that I had messed up on.  I knew it would buy me a few minutes of quiet time while they enjoyed licking up every last ounce of sugar from their halved, flaw-filled cupcake.  It was a goof on a cupcake we could all enjoy!

So I sat them down and gave them their half of a cupcake.  Then I decorated and watched them eat.
Mary Ellen, not really sure what it was, stared at it in complete awe for a moment.  She had this look on her face like, I know this is going to be good, but I just don't even know where to begin!!  She took her time with it, trying to understand how to eat it and savor it.  Each bite was followed by her licking her fingers.  She wasn't going to miss a morsel!  It took her forever to finish eating it, which I was thankful for!

Hattie, on the other hand, ate her cupcake quite differently.  By the time I turned around to look at her eating it, she was done with nothing on her face but a tiny trace of the cake she had just devoured and enjoyed.
I couldn't help but think about how differently they ate their cupcakes, and somehow, in my mind, that thought transitioned to thinking about how differently we fall in love.  I have no idea how or why my brain made this connection.  It just did, and now I'm sharing it with you :).

I was, for sure, like Hattie was with her cupcake, when I met Sean.  I took one look at him and knew he was going to be delicious (okay, I know that sounds a bit racy, but really, I'm just trying to keep the analogy between love and eating going strong, so bear with me!).

When I met Sean, I fell for him completely.  Lost all of my guard.  Knew very early on that he was the one.  Was intoxicated in a way that, other than love, only chocolate can make a woman feel.  I had never tasted anything so sweet.  We quickly fell in love, stayed in love, and the rest is history - it was a whirlwind in my hopeless romantic mind.

But I know not all love is like this.

I don't know if it's because we were young or if it's because God knew He had to hit me hard with a ton of bricks for me to even recognize real love when I saw it, but our love grew quickly, and we never gave it a second thought, atleast I didn't.  Sean was more cautious but still, I can safely say, head-over-heels.

However, I have known many who were friends first, those who eased into a lasting relationship, savoring every step of the way.  There are so many stories that begin with the antithesis of It was love at first sight.  Those are mostly funnier and better stories, in my opinion, maybe because my own love story is so different.

So I guess what I'm getting at is what's your love story or your parents' love story?  I'm being nosy.  I want to hear them, and at what better time than now to share them!  I'll share mine, too, soon, mostly because I think it'll be fun for my girls to look back on it one day while their sifting through Mommy's ol' blog.  And also, I love to reminisce about those days of new love.

So post yours or your parents' love story on your blog, in the comments (the short version of course), or email, and then let us know so we can come over and read it.  Then we can all sit back and read 'em while eating a cupcake any way we'd like.

And I realize that I have like 4 readers for my blog, and going private keeps things cozy, so even if no one gets around to doing this before Valentine's Day, be on the lookout for a good love story read from me ;).

I think this Hallmark holiday is getting to me!

February 4, 2010

Why Do They Have to Grow Up So Fast?

These pictures were taken approximately one year apart.  Hattie's hair is so much darker; I didn't even realize, and I can't get over the baby face she still had last year.  All the while, I was thinking she was such a big girl.  I demanded so much from my then two year old baby girl.

And as much as Hattie's hair has darkened, Mary Ellen's has lightened.  The then baby has toddler written all over her face now.  Mary Ellen was just starting to sit up a little this time last year.  Now I just wish she would sit still for a little while every day.  She's all over the place.

They are growing up too fast for my liking!  I think I need to invest in some toothpicks to keep my eyes open 24/7 because if I blink, I might miss something.  And God knows, I don't want to miss a thing.

February 2, 2010

My Little Love Bugs

It's been a while since I've update about the girls, so here's what my little love bugs are up to as we near Valentine's Day:

SHE........
* wants bangs ......... is begging for bangs!  It took me forever and lots of hair fixin' throughout the last 3.5 years of her life to grow those bangs out, so I am reluctant, but I also feel like I should give in and take her to go get them cut.  I mean, it's her hair, but ........... I like the no bangs look on her.  We'll see.  I just find it funny (and scary) that she has such an opinion about her hair at 3!  Double scary that her two best-friends at school have bangs.  Let the assimilation begin?  Or teach her to have individual style and love it?

* loves to color.  She spends about 3 hours a day just coloring; however, her record of actually finishing a page she starts to color is not good.  She starts one picture and either gets bored with it and moves on to the next one or makes one tiny mistake and can't stand it so moves on to a different picture to color.  We have a lot of half colored pictures in this house.  One of our current main arguments right now is about not wasting and finishing something you start.  I wonder if this is a glimpse of what our arguments will look like for the next 15 years.........

* is in the stage where she loves to dress herself and changes clothes 15 times a day.  Then she proceeds to change her shoes 15 times a day because the shoes have to match the outfit, even if the outfit doesn't exactly match.

* makes this excuse when she does something wrong: "But, Mommy, sorry.  I'm just little.  I didn't know any better."  Gee, she picked up on the excuse that Mommy gives for her little sister really fast!

* has informed us that she is going to marry Paul.  Paul is the cutest little cotton-blonde haired boy in her class and comes from a very nice family, but Sean and I are pondering more and more over the idea of Catholic {ALL GIRLS} School.

SHE...........

* does not love to color but loves to just eat the colors.  I discovered this fact the other day when I found her sitting (hiding) in a corner with a half-eaten, blue crayon in hand and blue molars in the back of her mouth.

* also loves to eat spinach.  It's a frequent affair these days that I will cook a big pan of spinach, and between her and me, there is none left by the end of dinner.

* has started biting me when she's mad at me.  This little one has quite the temper.  If she doesn't get her way, she will retaliate in the form of chomping down as hard as she can on my shoulder!  I am trying desperately to nip this in the bud.

* loves to be outside and explore.  She's our little tomboy.  She can often be found throwing fits (or biting my shoulder) when going from the car to the house or vice versa because all she really wants to do is GET DOWN and PLAY whether it's freezing, sunshine, or pouring rain.

* wants to do everything her big sister is doing.  If Hattie's playing in her room, Mary Ellen wants to be in there.  If Hattie has juice, Mary Ellen wants juice.  If Hattie is coloring, Mary Ellen wants to be eating the crayons.  It's fun and frustrating since a 17 month old can't always do what a 3.5 year old can do.

We are enjoying (most) of our days and looking forward to the days ahead!  I love watching them grow and develop and blossom before my very eyes.  They are my little love bugs!

January 22, 2010

Censorship

I take the girls to the library to check out books about once a week, sometimes once every two weeks if we are really busy.  Both my girls love to read books before bedtime.  It's become part of the bedtime ritual around here.

Normally, we go, and I just let Hattie grab books because libraries are meant to be quiet, but with two children, aged 3 and 1, quiet is hard.  I don't want to disturb everyone else.  Once in a while I scan the books while there to make sure they're not too long b/c bedtime rituals shouldn't take hours, but other than that, I rarely look in the books to actually see what we're getting because I want to get in and out.  I guess you could say that I totally judge a book by it's cover ;).  Then, once home, I never pre-read them before reading them to the girls.

This has only gotten me in trouble once in over a year.  After reading Hattie a new library book one night, Sean came out of her room and said, "Why'd you get Hattie a book about divorced parents?"

I had no idea.  The book was called A New Day for Sophie or something like that and had a cartoon picture of a smiling girl all happy and stuff on a swing.  She did not look like a little girl whose parents had just ruined her life as she knew it.

Then the other day, back at the local library, Hattie handed me this book:

Learning about opposites - great!  Cute elephants - great!  It was a no brainer to put the book in the stroller for checking out later.

That night, Hattie picked two princess books and a Fancy Nancy book to read well before bedtime, so when getting ready to put Mary Ellen down for bed, I grabbed the opposite elephant book to read to her because, after opening the cover, I discovered it only had two words per page (and they were opposites - imagine that!), and little sister has a much shorter attention span than big sister.  She prefers less words and more pictures.  She's one.


So we started reading it.  The first couple of pages were harmless enough: Big {insert picture of a big elephant}, Small {insert picture of a small elephant}.  Tall {insert picture of a tall elephant}, Short {insert picture of a short elephant}.  You get the picture.  
Then I turned the page to this:

First of all, the stupid elephant looks happier than the smart one (what's up with that?!?!), and second of all, there are just some words that I don't want used in my house EVER.  One of those words is on the above pages, and it ain't "Smart!" ;)

Maybe you are saying, "Big deal.  That's not that bad.  Just say a different word, like unintelligent.  Hattie can't read yet."  Touche, but what about this:

Um......... graphic!  I mean could the boy elephant have just been wearing a tie and the girl a bow between her ears or something?  Did you really need to go there?  And why does the boy look so much happier than the girl?!?

Before looking, I was certain that this book had to have been published like 40 years ago atleast.  In our current world of total PC, this would never fly.  

Nope, it was published in 1999.  I just couldn't believe it.  However, on further investigation, I discovered that it was originally published in French and was translated to English in 2001.  BINGO.  That makes total sense to me now ;).

Needless to say, Hattie will not be reading this book ever.  Thank goodness I read it to the oblivious 17 month old first!  And I have learned my lesson.  Censorship is necessary with toddlers, and I will find the time to go through library books before my kids get their hands on them in the future.

January 21, 2010

My Current Favorites

I don't have much to blog about, but in an effort to stay away from the pantry and fridge during naptime, I thought I'd share some of my current favorite things.

1.) Sean and I went to see Avatar a few nights ago.  I did not want to see this movie.  I was totally dragged to it kicking and screaming, but it is one of the most, if not the most, amazing movies I've ever seen.  I know I'm probably the last person on the planet so am preaching to the choir, but GO SEE IT if you haven't!  AMAZING.  Visually AMAZING.  And the story's good, too.  Totally not just a guy's movie, which is what I thought.

2.) If you are into eating healthy and organic foods and live in the Houston area, you should go dine at this restaurant.  YUM-O!  A bit pricey but fun for a rare nice dinner date night.

3.) Two books that I'm enjoying right now:

I am almost done reading it.  It is scandalous and fascinating.  I have a love-hate relationship with it.  Love because it's so good.  Hate because I can't put it down at night to go to sleep and wind up very tired in the morning.

I'm also reading this:

I have a tendency to totally procrastinate with Bible study books.  My group meets Monday nights, so I usually pick up the book to do the study the Sunday night before, and half the time, I'm too tired or Sean beckons me to come watch something on t.v. with him.  This time, though, I'm enjoying the book so much that I have kept up with it, doing a lesson every day.  If you are looking for a good bible study book, I recommend this one!

4.) I rooted for this lady on The Next Food Network Star months back and was so happy when she won.  I have tried a couple of her recipes and am totally digging her four step chicken dishes.  Easy and so flavorful, and the chicken never comes out chewy.  We eat a lot of chicken around here, but with her four step plan, I don't feel like I'm eating the same thing every other night.

5.) Have you been to this store?  They have every kind of accessory I never thought I needed.  It's a bit overwhelming at first, but if you need some cheap bling, go here.  They are bound to have something you'll like.  And they sell cute clothes, too.

Well, that's it for now.  I can hear that nap time is over.  What're some of your current faves right now?  Do tell :)!

January 15, 2010

The Other White Meat


This is Sean's mostest favoritest main dish that I make. He says it creates a party of flavor in his mouth :).

Jerk Rubbed Pork Chops
4 pork loin chops, thin cut
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 tbsp preferred Caribbean jerk seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
lime wedges
fresh cilantro


In a small bowl mix lime zest and juice with jerk seasons and oil. Rub both sides of pork chops well and marinate atleast 30 minutes.
Then place pork chops on hot grill (I just do it in a pan) set to medium high heat and cook 10-12 minutes, turning over once until brown on outside and slightly pink on inside.

Easy, healthy, and tasty!

January 12, 2010

This is for Me, but Just in Case You Needed to Hear it, too.....


Thursday is my birthday. I turn 29. I'm surprised with myself at how badly I'm taking it. My theory is that ending a decade is much harder than beginning a new one. I'm about to be the oldest age in my decade. It's like I'm trying too hard to hold onto my 20s. Oddly enough, I think turning 30 is going to make me feel much younger than turning 29. This year, I think I'll just stay in bed and put anti-wrinkle cream on my face all day while periodically checking for stray grey hairs. Waaa!

Really, though, I feel the aging process kicking into gear. I have wrinkles on my forehead that use to not be there. Bunions are starting to form on my feet. Cashiers no longer card me when I go into a store to buy wine or beer.

And I know I'm being petty, which makes me feel worse.

My Christian woman conscience within wants to slap me upside my wrinkling head and say, You know youth is fleeting. You know trying to look young always is like chasing the wind. Stop being a sponge for society's agenda. Contrary to what the world around you is saying, you don't have to look young to be desirable to your husband, and God expects far more from you than just looking young.

Psalm 31 needs to be my Cosmo magazine, my reference for what is desired of women:

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


This is what God desires of me: to be trustworthy and kind, to work joyfully, to be disciplined, energetic, generous, and diligent, to be elegant, poised, a good manager of my home, and God-fearing. Never once does He tell me that younger is better. God does not value youth. He does value life and what we do with it for His glory.

When I dwell that I am leaving my youth behind, I am surely not dwelling on how I am not pleasing God. I have surely missed the mark on who I am here to please.

I was thinking this morning of the similarities of aging and pregnancy. Embracing my wrinkles and gray hairs coming in is so similar to embracing my stretch marks and swollen belly while pregnant. Neither is viewed highly in our society. Both times I was pregnant, the bigger my belly got and the thicker and longer my stretch marks became, the closer I was to bringing forth new life for a child and a new dynamic for my life which would definitely change the ways things were for me forever. I spent the days of my pregnancy nurturing the life inside of me, careful not to eat or drink the wrong things or do anything that would harm that life. I did not want to cause any damage to the growth taking forth within me.

Aging is much the same when you're a Christian.

There is a new Life coming, and my body is starting to show more and more signs that it is getting closer for me. Instead of dwelling and worrying about how the journey to that Life is changing my body in a way that is undesirable to this world, I need to make sure I am nurturing and readying myself for the Life that is to come! I need to make sure I am not damaging or hindering the growth that God is trying to do within me. Am I growing the way that God desires, or am I wasting this time chasing the wind for something that matters not, like the wrinkles on my forehead or the muffin top that I just can't seem to shake no matter how many crunches I do? Am I exercising my soul for the coming of my Lord and the new Life that is in store, or am I sitting numb to it all because the world tells me that it matters not?

Am I a sponge to the world, or am I helping the Living Water flow through the earth, waiting to be soaked up?

Instead of moping around in my aging misery on this birthday and all of those to come, I should wait in joyful hope for what is coming and prepare myself for Him as best I can until then.

So before I blow out my 29 candles {plus one to grow on} this year, that'll be my wish!

January 6, 2010

Sound the Alarm!


Soon after turning 3, Hattie fell into a pattern of waking up at the crack of dawn and screaming and screeching from her room, which would cause her mommy and daddy to wake up very grumpy. Her loud antics at 6 a.m. also started to occasionally wake up her sister, which made sister and mommy hysterical!

I tried everything. Punishing her each morning she did this, trying to bargain with her what she would receive if she didn't wake up so loudly. Regardless of what I did or did not do, she remained our unpleasant alarm clock at 5:30 or 6 a.m. almost every morning. After months of this, I wanted to pull my hair out!

Finally, after many grumpy mornings, it dawned on me to put an alarm clock in her room {duh!}. I tried to teach her to read the time, but the blank look on her face made it pretty clear that she wasn't ready for that, so I decided to just set it for 7 a.m. and instructed her that this object would let her know when it was morning and that it was a BIG GIRL thing to have and use. She lit up with enthusiasm. I practiced with her on how to turn it off in the morning. She learned that quickly. We were ready to try it out!

The first morning, we heard nothing until Christmas music blared from her room at 7 a.m. - clock radio set to Sunny 99.1 in December - and she came running out of her room squealing, I did it! Praise, of course, followed.

It has worked like a charm every morning since. Since December is over, we now wake up to Mexican music, Hattie's choice, instead of her screaming unbearable loudness to get out of bed. Instead of grumbles with my morning coffee, I now want a breakfast burrito :).

I just want to say, thank you, Mr. James F. Reynolds, for inventing the radio alarm clock. You have made my mornings more delightful indeed :)!

And I know that so many preschoolers go through early morning wake-ups, so if yours is in the midst of this lovely phase, and you're about to pull your hair out, this little tip is for YOU :)!

January 4, 2010

Christmas & New Years



We had a blast! This year was so special because everything was so magical about Christmas to Hattie. She loved hearing the story of Jesus' birth. She loved hearing about Santa. She loved all of the decorations and carols and fun traditions we are trying to set.

And Mary Ellen was so much more aware this year, too. She got really good at ripping presents open and playing with those boxes :).

We got to spend Christmas Eve at home mostly, and we attended Christmas Eve mass, which was crazy and packed and noisy with the kids, but then we came home to a gumbo that was warming in the crockpot and dined at the dining room table which I had decorated and fancied before church. After dinner, Mary Ellen hit the hay, and Hattie cuddled up on the couch and got to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas - one of my faves as a child. Then she dictated this Christmas letter to me for Santa:

Dear Santa,

Happy Christmas! Rudolph has a shiny nose. Jesus was born in a manger with lots of angels.
I want....... a wand, a barbie, a pony, and my own manger with Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus laying in a manger.
Sissy wants..... a rattle, a Baby Jesus laying in a manger, a snowman, and her own Christmas tree, and a Rudolph like me.
Mommy and Daddy want...... a bookmark, their own bottle of wine, and their own snow globe.
Merry Christmas!

Love,
Hattie


Hehe, our own bottle of wine! I guess she saw how stressed out we were after Christmas Eve mass ;)!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas that was filled with love, laughter, family, friends, and most importantly, the promise of hope that the birth of our Lord brought us!

And Happy New Year!!! 2010!!!!

We celebrated by going out to dinner with some friends. We went here, and it was fantastic and like nothing I have ever experienced. It was a 5 course dinner, and each course came with a wine pairing. By course number 4, I had to decline the wine ;).

I am not really good with New Year's Resolutions. I break them habitually, but I also love to make them, so this year, to cut myself some slack, I have decided to pick two words that will guide me and remind me throughout this year of what my focus is/should be on {hopefully}. The first is discipline. I want to be disciplined in my prayer life, the way I eat, the way I conduct myself when I'm stressed out, working out, ect. And the second word is youthful. I am about to enter the last year of my twenties {gasp!}, so to honor my last year in this decade, I am going to strive to be more youthful or more energetic, more acting on a whim, more MY age and less my mother's age. Even Wii Fit put me past my 30s, but I am blaming that on my balance. I have terrible balance. Was way off on the board! Must be why I trip so much?!?!

And yes, I know thatYouthful and Disciplined don't really go together as a pair. They contradict each other. Maybe Balance is better? That would help improve my Wii Fit age, too :)!!!

So, do you make New Year's Resolutions? If so, what are they this year?

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2