Tuesday, August 30, 2011

on turning 30.

I finally made it. I'm 30.

I actually feel like this is the 'age decade' I've belonged in all my life. :) It's kind of a joke in my family that my childhood never really existed. I don't remember really playing anything when I was little, except school with M&M, and I was the teacher.

and in the home videos and such I'm just sort of non-existent. it's weird.

and in high school I didn't really do the normal rebellious things that high school kids did.

and in college I didn't do the things that normal college kids did, besides a few Perkins runs here and there.

and when I was 21 I was married. and when I was 23 I was a mom.

it all seems so weird now. I think I've spent most of my life in my 30s, and now I finally caught up with myself. :)

so that's why it feels good. I think I belong here. I'm much more comfortable being 30-something than a 20-something.

so yeah, the day was great. My friend Rachel was over for a while in the morning, and then she went out and got me chipotle for lunch, and burgers for the kids so that I didn't even have to cook the whole day! (I think she's my friend who knows me best because every time she does anything for me-which is OFTEN-it seems to be EXACTLY what I need/want.)

Then after lunch I took the kids to the park, and found three of my friends there with thier kids! I felt like it was a little surprise party for myself, since none of the friends really know each other well. I was the common link! It was so fun!

after that was naptime. I had to finish up some pinkadink items, but that was still fun!

Then Steve came home early (but had to lay down because of his big nasty headache). :(

Then I made my own birthday cake with the kids, because even though I don't like cake (unless it's Sara Crane Cakes or DQ ice cream cake) they really really wanted me to have a bday cake.

Then we went to get me some avacado egg rolls for supper (fave!) and some more diet coke, because happy birthday to me. :)

after supper the kids and steve decorated my cake, and then we ate it!

the crappy part of the day is that steve had to go back to work, and he just wasn't feeling well all day. so I feel like I barely even got to be with him, but such is life I guess. but instead I "hung out" with my sister in law for a while on face time (she lives in Honduras) and we just chatted the night away.

We always kind of say that as you get older birthdays are just sort of another day. But not today. it was special.

I just kept taking a bird's eye view of my life, and realizing how blessed I am. I had gotten cards and gifts in the mail all weekend. I got some ridiculous number (like, over 100) birthday greetings on facebook, which some people think is cheap and insincere, but I happen to love! I spent my day with my kids and my friends and my favorite foods. I'm blessed with a husband who, even though it really sucks that he works so stinking much, takes care of his family, and works hard at his job. lots of other guys would just be selfish and throw in the towel I think. but not my man. :)

God has BLESSED this undeserving mother/wife/friend.
for THIRTY years.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"what do you love about mom?"

L: I love every thing that she does for me.
J: I love that she loves me, and she loves me, and she loves me. And I love that lets us eat birthday cake even though we didn't eat all our food.
B: I love that we can eat cake.
L: OH, and I love that she lets me go to school instead of being homeschooled because that would be BORING. (she's a social one, she is.)
S: I love that she gave me three beautiful kids. and that she picked me.
J: and I love that you guys got married and kissed on the lips!
B: Josiah said he loves that you got married....{giggle}

Friday, August 26, 2011

the diet coke diaries: the beginning of the end

I'm a HUGE diet coke fan.

It's actually freaked me out for a while now, how much I love it. And other people too. I feel like if you are a diet coke drinker, that's all you drink as far as pop goes. If you're a pop drinker in general, it seems like you don't care much for diet coke. strange. I realize there are probably a million exceptions, but based on the people I know, we LOVE our diet coke.

I started drinking it more in college I think. We never really had pop in the house growing up. But in college I could get it in the caf, which was awesome. And then when we were in Spain, I remember going to Gibraltar and FINALLY getting "real" diet coke, as opposed to Coca Cola Light, which is NOT the same. I even took a picture of myself drinking it I was so happy. So clearly, somewhere in those 4 years, I became what some my call an addict.

And then we moved back to the States where it was available all the time. I started drinking it more often, and always had it in the house. Even through my pregnancies, it seemed like I craved it MORE than ever, and if you don't know me at all, I'm not really a "by the books" kind of person when it comes to that. I probably had at least one a day (probably more) during all my pregnancies, and nursing for the whole year after, even though you're not really supposed to have caffeine.

And then at some point I started having one with my lunch and my supper without exception. Which makes two a day. at least. for a LONG time. and maybe occasionally I'd have one in the afternoon when I just wanted something refreshing.

oh, and I NEVER drank water. hardly EVER. or milk, except with cereal. It was really the main source of liquid in my life for a very very long time.

I know all the info about aspartame, and how horrible it is. I even tried to quit drinking it a number of times. And it worked, for a while. but then I'd buy a box again, and that was the beginning of another cycle.

In the last couple years, I finally decided to stop trying to quit drinking it. People have their guilty pleasures, and mine was diet coke. I was a diet coke drinker. end of story.

But then...
while I was on vacation, and my hubby was home working...
he got an idea...

and he informed me over the phone. and in that moment, I decided to stand by my man, and do it with him.

So, after I finished all the diet coke that I brought home from the cabin leftovers, we quit drinking caffeine. So I started to buy caffeine free diet coke. :) but seriously? it just wasn't the same. so...DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN......

I quit. altogether.

sort of.

I don't buy it for the house anymore. so if we go out, I still have it. which is what sort of means.

Ok, so the only problem was that it TOTALLY messed me up. after having two or three a day for the better part of 7 years, and cutting completely off, I was a mess. falling asleep in the middle of the day, dragging dragging dragging all day every day. and then when I'd have like ONE glass, I'd be up til like 3 am going stir crazy in my bed. I was a total mess.

And then my kids were gone for a week, and it was my "crank it out 2011" time for the pinkadink, so I NEEDED to be productive. and, well, productivity=diet coke. and I drank A LOT of it that week, because I also took the week off of cooking too, so we went out a lot. :)

but then it was back to the grind. back to the exhaustion. but I survived. and didn't really regret my week of indulgence. :)

and that was like 3 weeks ago. I think I'm doing good! (don't you????) :)

I keep thinking I'll get to the point where diet coke actually grosses me out. and I'll wonder how in the heck I drank so much of it every day. But I'm still FAR from that place.

I think about it every day. at least twice a day. probably more.

I miss it. I miss it soooo much.

I still go crazy when I do have it, and can't sleep at night. but my productivity skyrockets, which is awesome. and totally worth it, which is really sad.

so, my friends, this is the diet coke diaries. I'm hoping it's short lived. that very soon I'll be writing my "grossed out" post. But this is my journey, where it started, and where I am now.

it's one step at a time. so tonight, since it's Friday Night Movie Night, I'm sipping diet coke with my pizza, and loving every minute of it. and the good news is that Monday is my birthday, and we'll be going out to eat, and I might give myself the gift of a diet coke with my meal.

oh, and ah....I have a dentist appointment in a couple weeks, after not being there for almost SEVEN years, and drinking one or two or three diet cokes every day since then. so. yeah. I'm thinking the "grossed out" post might come after I pay that bill. good chance it will.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Smits

I've never actually heard ANYONE pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Smits before in my whole life. Wasn't alive yet when my parents or my uncles got married, and I only have ONE boy cousin with the last name Smits and I wasn't at his wedding. And my brother isn't married yet. We're heavily female on the Smits side. (We do have one more boy cousin, but his mom was a Smits, so he won't even carry on the name.) So anyway, it's an occasion to be celebrated!

although, I can't pretend I wouldn't LOVE to have there be no need for a wedding between these two people. For everyone's old lives to just have gone on uninterrupted by death.

But the day was absolutely beautiful. The BRIDE was absolutely beautiful. My children looked absolutely beautiful. And all of us being together was just so wonderful.

The ceremony was a WHIRLWIND of emotion. There were crying babies and fussy kids everywhere, so that kind of helped me not just sit and bawl like a baby the whole time. But there were probably 5 times that I had a quick hard cry for like 30 seconds, and then it would pass. I was also trying to get pictures from the front row with my 50mm fixed lens, which was challenging enough without the tear and nose wiping. so it kept me occupied. That's about what what I remember about the ceremony. tears, kids, camera.

But the reception is what I'm really going to remember when i think back on the wedding. It was so strange to pull up to this old golf course and pond, where I hadn't been since I was probably 10 years old. Most of my memories from that place are from when i was even younger, before we moved to California, which was when I was six. My mom used to take us there to play with our cousins while she sat in her lawn chair with her visor on, chatting the day away with her sister. There was this dumpy old blue water slide, and a raft out in the deep with a high dive on it. In my memory it was so big and beautiful and full of happiness. And seeing it now as an adult just gave me a completely different perspective.

Everything had changed. no more slide, no more high dive, no more concession stand to buy a frozen Charleston Chew from, no more little kids running around because there's really not even much of a lake anymore. no more of all the things that made it what it was. and no more mom.

but it was still beautiful.

And the little clubhouse thing that is there now was decorated just absolutely beautifully. There were all these little details that made it all magical. There were delicious little wedding colored sixlet things at our tables, and hershey's kisses. black and white, and a little red. about a gazillion balloons, and a gazillion more candles (which didn't go over very well for Lillian, my FIRE FEARER). Little kids and big kids all over the place, dressed in their coordinating clothes, a mixture of all the people my dad and Judy love most.

and that's the thing, see.

it was beautiful. the decorations were beautiful. the setting was beautiful. the people were beautiful. the weather was beautiful.

and their life together can be beautiful.

If you've ever lost someone close to you, you probably understand the whole thing about feeling a little bit guilty for enjoying certain things, or allowing certain things to happen, or...whatever. It was like I was almost tempted to feel guilty for allowing myself to enjoy the day, because it only existed because my mom was gone.

But how can you not be thrilled for the widow and widower who found love (much too soon in the eyes of their kids, but of course in God's perfect timing) at a support group for the loss of a spouse. who suffered through such similar situations, caring for the one they loved most, and then watching them leave this earth. And now they have each other. And I'm so glad.

it was almost like that was the theme for the day. beauty in the change. yeah, the lake looks different. things are different. but it's still beautiful.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

proud auntie :)

Had these two beauties at my house for less than a day this weekend, but had to snap some pictures while I could. aren't they STINKIN cute? if only my other nephews lived closer and I could take theirs too, then oh my, you'd all just wonder how I got so lucky to be their auntie A. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

160 days without you

so, I've taken a little blogging hiatus, which you probably haven't noticed. I have yet to post about things like my dad's wedding and B's 3rd birthday. But before I do that, I just have to tell you about yesterday.

Remember last year? Lillian had a really hard transition into kindergarten. I didn't even post about most of it, just the first day. I'm not sure what happened, but the girl that I thought was SO READY for kindergarten actually wasn't. Well, I guess she was ready for the learning part, but not the being away from mommy part. She turned into a completely different child and was hiding behind doors before school, and making herself SICK thinking about riding the bus. It was a LONG first few weeks last year.

But this year, since she knows a bunch of kids in her class already, and one of her best friends (erica) is in her class, and her teacher seems really awesome, and the fact that she's "bored" just about all day every day, I thought for sure she'd be excited!

But the last few days she's made little comments about not wanting to go back, and other little things.

And last night we had 'back to school night' or whatever, and met her teacher, and saw some friends. And when I put her to bed, she looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, "but mommy, I don't WANT to be away from you for 160 days again!" :( and THEN...at about 9 she got out of her bed and walked downstairs and started bawling in my arms, saying she couldn't sleep because all she could think about was going to school and not being with me.

I know she'll be fine once the year gets going. I know. But that doesn't help NOW. So, we'll read The Kissing Hand again, and find something to put in her pocket to give her a little comfort when she misses me. It's so wonderful that she thinks I'm awesome and wants to be with me, because I know some day that will change. :) I just really hope that she doesn't dread the start of school every year.

it's more than this mama's heart can take.