Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Raw Beauty

I'm not saying I like Nashville, and I'm definitely not saying I like the country, but this is the view I've been waking up to since the green-ness enveloped the valley.



It's beautiful around here.



As for our garden...

Even though our yard is mostly shaded, the plants are growing. Cabbage, tomatoes, okra, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, green peppers, and jalapenos, plus my herbs. I don't have high expectations for these little babies, as they only get about 6 hours of sun a day, but I said a little prayer and treat them really nice. We'll see what they do.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Bribe Gone Right

After a 6 month hiatus, I am back. And it feels good.



How do I do it? I go to the high school track--kids and all.
iPod in just one ear, I pass them by, but they keep on going. Then, if mommy gets in a good one, they get to go to the park. It's a fair trade, I'd say.
Some days, if I get in a really good run, I might just throw in some ice cream.
Plus, they come home and WANT! WANT! WANT! to take a nap.
I love running.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This Day is Done...

Today was a hard day. Things happened, like this:

Jackson's hand was slammed in the car door after I said NOT TO OPEN IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!
The plants in the landscaping pretty much were destroyed because a rubber snake that blends was lost somewhere in the there and it had to be found RIGHT THEN or it would be "loosed forever"!
I fell right on my face during yoga due to a 40 pound Triston sized boulder hurling off the chair at me.
The bathroom sink was filled to the top with water to just rinse little toes....and to give a dinosaur a bath. Nice big muddy footprints were left on the floor as a consolation prize for me.
Bryce has learned how to crawl out of the crib and refuses to stay in it any longer. Naptime is the worst. Triston and Jackson woke him up 30 minutes later "on accident" they said. Right.
So after all this TODAY, I made a big batch of these babies.
AND ALL WAS CALMED.
(and then Triston told me I was like the sugar in the cookie because I'm so sweet. And Jackson added that he is the eggs because he is so slimy. And then Triston said he is the whole cookie because he is just so yummy. They're pretty funny kids, even when I'm mad at them.)
BUT THEN....Jackson attacked me for another and almost sent my cake stand toppling to the floor.
THAT BOY.
I'm betting on a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Loving This Guy


Jessie started something on her blog when she posted about the things she loves about her husband. I thought it was a great opportunity, and since the boys haven't had any catastrophes to write about, I have ample time to think about what a lucky woman I am.






Hard-Working Man--Travis has had two jobs since I've known him. We met in college when he worked as a waiter and a RA for housing at USI. After he graduated, he kept his serving job and worked at a bank all the while studying for the law school admittance exam. He did not work his first semester of law school...instead focusing on a merit-based scholarship that paid half-tuition, so he did everything he could to hold on to it. He did it! He graduated in the top 30% of his class and received numerous awards all through school. He even was awarded "Best Oral Argument" in one of his classes during his 1st year, named a Dean's Scholar, and graduated with two different job prospects in Jacksonville. We decided to come back to Indiana, even though we knew it would be hard for Travis to get his foot in the door here. No contacts, No Indiana law degree, no experience other than his law clerk jobs....but I knew he would do whatever had to be done in order for his career to take off. After passing the Indiana Bar last fall, he took a deputy prosecutor position. As I've posted before, it's not a glamorous job, but he is learning a lot from his work and doing well. He recently started working a midnight shift on Friday and Saturday nights, just so we can be a "little more comfortable". As it stands, he hasn't had one day off in 42 days. Of course, on top of that he still comes home to do yet even more. Trash, yard work, ect. He is quite the motivation around here.



Doting Dad--My boys are madly in love with their dad. They often wait by the windows when it's about time for him to come home and run to his car when he pulls up. He is truly joyful to see them when he comes home, too. I've never seen him slough off the kids because he is tired or has had a bad day. With his limited time, he really focuses on them, often one at a time, so that they get in good "Dad Time". If he is working in the yard or in the garage on something, he always lets them help and as he gets older, I see a refined patience in him that I am quite jealous of. He is hard on the boys, but very loving, and they respect him....much more so than me. He loves the possibility of more children, especially the thought of a daughter. When I look at pictures of him with the boys, especially pictures from their births, I can truly see joy in his face.




Hot-Husband--Travis is truly my soul mate. There is no one else in this world that can make me laugh as much as he does, can make me as happy as he does, or make me want to be a better person as much as he does. He sends me e-mails nearly everyday telling me how beautiful I am and that he can't wait to get home to see me. He is supportive in every role and is my biggest fan. When the kids mouth off, he stops it abruptly and says to them, "That is my wife, and you will not talk to her like that...." which I just love. He isn't afraid to tell me the truth--whether it be good or bad and is the first one to tell me to slow down on the ice cream but, if I beg enough, he'll be the first to go into town to get it for me. He does late night Tae-Bo DVDs with me that always have us laughing on the floor. We don't get a lot of time to be together for dates and such, but he is always trying to plan a "date night", which consists of the boys going to bed early and us doing something together around here.

There is also no one else that I have actually thought about killing. Man, he can get me fired up, and I him. He rivals my temper and often if we are arguing about something, we just start laughing, because we've learned how to "let-it-go". Our relationship is intense, we are either lovers or haters, and fortunately we have worked through the kinks in the early years and revel in the lover part. He does it for me....and I am oh so lucky.


Spiritual-Leader--Travis teaches Sunday School to teenagers in church. Obviously, they love him...but he really loves doing it, too. He sees a need to be a role-model in the lives of teens and does what he can for them. At home, he initiates family prayers and gets up early to read the scriptures. He has a knack for applying them to everyday life and I look forward to religious discussions with him. He has a heart of gold and is the first person to help out when called on. He is probably the least judgemental person I've ever met. He genuinely cares for everyone.

Travis takes care of business. Remember this? And what Travis did? He would do anything to protect his family. I have always felt safe in his presence and I know he'd take care of a situation if it happened. He does what he feels is right and I respect that so much. He is patriotic, a true boy from the South, knows how to handle a gun and ride a horse. Hot. He thought about going into the JAG program with the military recently, because he feels a civic duty to our country. I love that about him.

There is so much more I could write. But, I am tired and my husband just went to bed. I'm going to join him--lucky me.




What do you love about your one and only?

Monday, May 18, 2009

On Making and Eating Gourmet Pizza



This really should be a post for In My Kitchen, but I haven't felt inspired to take pictures, let alone edit for blog-readiness, of the meals I've been preparing. I haven't felt inspired really at all when it comes to food unless you can put it in a bowl and eat it with milk. Which really sucks, because I have an awesome new-to-me Kitchenaid sitting on my counter getting dusty. But, I recently made the perfect pizza and lucky for you--I want to share. Too bad no pictures to accompany, we just ate it up too quickly.

The Dough.

(as per bread machine instructions)

3/4 c. water

1 1/3 T. olive oil

1 1/2 t. sugar

3/4 t. salt

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour*

1 1/2 t. Quick-Rise yeast


*I like whole-wheat crust so I sub 1/2 the flour for the whole wheat variety. Don't forget to add your gluten if you go this route. If you don't have a bread machine, I don't know what to tell ya. I pretty much suck at making bread and couldn't do it if I didn't have my machine. Good luck.




The Sauce.

(as adapted from Skinny B*tch in the Kitch)

14.5 oz. diced tomatoes

1/4 c. tomato paste

2 T. red wine vinegar

1/2 t. oregano

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1/8 t. cayanne pepper


I doubled and put half in the freezer.


The Toppings.

Fresh Garlic

Fresh Spinach

Pepperoni

Fresh Mushrooms

Black Olives

Diced Onion

Mozzarella

Parsley


It's important to use fresh garlic. And don't forget the parsley at the end. It just looks better.

Create a masterpiece, and then eat it up. I put mine on at 400 for 15 minutes.

Do you have a gourmet pizza recipe to share with me?
























Sunday, May 17, 2009

On Finding Joy

I don't know at what point in my life I became an emotional woman. I don't know if anyone would even use that term to describe me, as I don't usually wear it on my sleeve, so to speak, but it's there. It might have come during my first semester of college on 9/11 when the American teenage bubble I lived in burst wide open and I realized we do not live in a happy safe world. It could have been when I became a mother, as this is when I can distinctly remember a never felt before anxiety of the "unknown" come in to question. You know, the whole responsibility for another living breathing person that you can't send home, bit. Or, maybe I just finally reached adult maturity. As the years go by they begin to meld together and I can't quite pinpoint when the sobbing mess I have become, came to be. But, I read a lot. The news mostly, what's going on in the world around us. And although I am aware of media biases and shock value that's added for ratings, I am always drawn to the extraordinary stories of common people.

I'm not emotional in all aspects of my life. But, if one thing can get me, it is something usually related to joy. Reading about those who have lost it, learning that someone has found it, or witnessing those who have never felt true joy get in bad situations are all ways to jump start the emotional/compassionate side of me. But my favorite? Those who can find joy-- even when adversity is staring them in the face.

Adversity touches everyone's lives in some capacity. We've all experienced it in some form or another, and unfortunately there are those who have felt the weight of the world bearing down on them because of it. But, I believe behind the BS that inevitably will come into our lives, there is a plan. Adversity teaches us something about ourselves--it strengthens our spirit and for me, helps to gain an even better understanding of our Savior. If we can harness the power to overcome our trials and tribulations, we can find joy even in the most desolate times of our lives.

As for all the raw emotions: I truly want people to be happy. All people. Everywhere. So many fall victim to addictions, abuse, bad luck, tragedy, exhaustion, criticism, contention, too many bad decisions that have left them to scarred to better their lives, ect. It's easy to get off the straight and narrow with so many distractions, no? I haven't experienced tragedy/problems in a way that some have. But, I try to never take it for granted--we're all not so different after all, and you never know what's lurking around the corner.

A few weeks ago, I was driving home just after a hard rain. I had drove into town to pick up dinner, for a water pipe had busted under the sink leaving a pool of water in our kitchen and our landlord holed up in the cabinet for far too long. This of course, happened right about the time I was preparing to make dinner. I was annoyed--my kids were hungry, it was raining outside, and it was another $40 that we didn't need to spend. To make matters worse, I had to take Bryce with me because he wouldn't leave my landlord alone while he was working and Travis was helping/taking care of the other two. While waiting for our take-out, I watched him study the fat raindrops that smacked at the window pane. He turned back at me and with a goofy smile, said some baby jargon and pointed at the window. My attitude at that point changed. Bryce, who was hungry, wet, and nearing bedtime, was able to find something to be happy about in that moment. As we paid for our food, I noticed the rain had stopped and the sun was peaking through the clouds. On the way home, the brightest and most complete rainbow I have ever seen laid before me, stretching across the highway. I was truly mesmerized for the moment, and the thought was impressed upon me.....The beauty before me was a reminder that we can have joy in every situation. It's a free gift offered to us by our Heavenly Father. One that is conditional on our part: we must choose to seek it out. I was so touched, I cried all the way home, sucking it all up before walking into the house....and then I promptly threw down on the Fajita Nachos that I just paid $12 for--and I must say, I certainly found joy in that, too.


I have a motto that I carry with me: Through every dark cloud that comes our way, if we can keep perspective, we will see the silver lining....or something like that. Someone out there has got bigger problems or worse conditions. I hope whoever is reading this can find joy today. Find it in the small things, and definitely--if you can--find it in the bigger things. It will be there, waiting for you.

P.S. I'm cutting my stitches out tomorrow. Courtney, is the nurse in you cool with this?

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Heart Brazillian Dancers Without Poison Ivy.


This week has been awesome.
On top of a nice little hand injury, a demon in the form of poison ivy paid me a visit. It covers one whole side of my face, and neck, and behind my ear, and on my arm. My boss wouldn't even let me come to work. I mean, I don't know why--it's not like having a bandaged hand inside a plastic glove and a crazy looking rash all over my face would freak out the patrons, right?! (That just cracks me up every time I think about it.) I went to my physician to clear up the mess and he prescribed steroids. Steroids that have side effects like "excessive hair growth" and "water-retention". So next week-end when we go out of town to party hard celebrating my youngest BIL's graduation, I might not have anything that actually fits me besides sweat pants....and I could have a 'stache. Are you laughing? I am. Because what else can you do?
Addressing the comment made by Triston last week. I don't for see dropping 10 in 2 as promised. I blame bloat-ation by way of PMS. But, I did break out some new workout DVDs.
Zumba.
Love it.
P.S. I just read that Jon and Kate are splitting.....not cool. C'mon Hollywood! And a Catholic Priest just released a "How To" book promoting sex....within the bonds of matrimony, but still, kind of gross and weird, right? Also, Hoosiers--buckle down--it's about to get scary by way of storms tonight. I'm going to go get my babies and bring them in my room. Night Night.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Revelatory.

I've thought, before, I could have a career as a nurse. It wouldn't be my first choice, but in the event of spousal death, I thought I would at least be able to make a decent living. I found out this week that this is not so--at least not for me.

On Saturday, while working, I busted a glass and nearly sliced my finger off. While blood literally poured out of my hand and onto the floor, a million thoughts raced through my head, the first being: "OMG, we live 30 minutes from the nearest hospital--will I even make it?!" Then, I passed out. From reading, you understand my lack of experience with this sort of situation, right?

It turned out to be a fairly minor cut. It was deep and yielded 4 stitches, but it could have been worse. But, I learned something about myself: I'm kind of a wuss.

I guess I should have known. My first experience with child birth contractions was short lived. I signed the epidural form pretty quickly and as my third birth experience was happening, it was the first thing I asked for during the admittance process. And at the end of 2007 when Jackson about burned the tips of his fingers off I had to fight through nausea and blacking out while the nurse pulled the dead skin off with tweezers.

Back in the hospital on Saturday night--as the NP was cleaning the wound, my vision became cloudy once more and I had to lay down. On Sunday, when I changed the bandage, I had to sit down and sip a Sprite until the nausea passed.

A real eye opener here, for me, folks. My post-spousal death plans have to change--because I know I couldn't handle what nurses and doctors do, daily. It's grossing me out as I type. But, at least I now know for sure:I AM A WUSS in these situations...and in the future, hopefully knowing will help me handle it better...especially if it's one of the kids.

In short, I have a whole new respect for the medical field, but most of all, a whole new respect for people with major wounds or medical conditions. It sucks to not have complete use of just one of my hands due to a minor cut....but there are millions out there who can't use their hands at all. Or can't see, or can't walk, or whatever.
It's good to be reminded.

True Love

Reason #87 why I love this guy:

"When I have a real bad sinus infection, I can do a pretty good Axel Rose impression"




My kind of guy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

oops.

4 stitches in my left pinkie + hospital grade pain meds = difficult typing situation for me.
I'll see ya in a week.
Don't forget to celebrate your mom.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Can Take a Hint...

My 5-year-old says to me tonight:
"Mom, are you having a baby?"
"No. WHY?" (Knowing quite well where this is going)
"Your belly is getting big"
"Oh."
Of course, he says this while I'm stuffing my face with CoCo Puffs.
But rest assured, 10 pounds are dropping within 2 weeks.
How's that one for ya, Nicol?
Watch for updates.

BFF



We would keep Logan forever if his parents would let us.

Thanks for the visit.
Let's do it again. This time with Macy.

Hi, Nice to Meet Ya.

I've gotten a few e-mails of late asking questions about my beliefs, my rental home, the ratio of husband's income to student loan debt, and my part-time job.

You ask, I answer:

I belong to this church. For those who knew me in high school or college, this is a change. A good one. But, I'm still pretty goofy, minus alcohol and Starbuck's, if you were wondering. If you don't know a lot about the church and want to know more I'll send missionaries to your house. Just kidding, go here, or ask me about it. And no--there is no other wife lurking in the background. ....that was a joke, too.

Our rental home is not my choice house, but I am happy not to live with my parents. We live waaaayyyyy out in the country, but to the locals, it's not far out at all, which I find...interesting. The home we rent is actually a modular home, but it's decent. When we moved here, with the intentions of not settling here for too long mind you, we thought renting was the best option. In June of 08 there was a giant flood in the central part of the state that sent a many out of their home into the rentals available here in Nashville, but also in Columbus and Bloomington....so when we were looking, in November 08, there was hardly anything to choose from...unless we wanted to pay 1,000 dollars a month for a crappy house we were just STAYING in or 500 dollars a month for a ghetto home next to drug dealers. Perplexed, we went back to Evansville weighing our options. Live with the parents or pray something finds us. Luckily, or as I like say blessedly, someone Travis works with knew someone who eventually Travis would know via work, who was trying to sell their home. They asked if we would rent it at 100 dollars cheaper per month than they wanted, it was close to work for Travis, and it has a big back yard. The rest is history. Our landlords are awesome and I'm learning to like it out here. But I will never like the wood-grain paneling on some of the walls. Blech.

Travis' job is wonderful. As a young lawyer, he is learning the tricks of the trade in the courtroom. But, it comes with a price....it doesn't quite foot the bill for the brand new big house and luxury cars we were expecting after completion of law school. Another joke...we weren't really expecting luxury cars. Anyway, it pays the bills and then some. Not a lot, but some. We couldn't ask for more in these weird economic times. But I will say: STUDENT LOANS SUCK. And we have a lot. That's all I have to say about that. Moving on....

I grabbed up a job, here in Nashville, to help out with aforementioned crappy student loans, but also because I knew no one and was BORED ( and sometimes my kids drive me nuts). I work here, waiting tables. Some of you may remember in high school I waited tables at Country Oaks. It was there that I learned the trade well and I guess I've never stopped doing it. I waited tables all through college, too. I have to say, I really love it. The scene changes hourly, and there's something to be said about getting a tip out of someone--it's a game well played. I think of this job kind of as a hobby--and practice. Someday I would like to own my own lunch place--another post for another time. But, I still consider myself a SAHM, I guess because it isn't a career I take home with me, and I'm only there maybe 20 hours per week. I also write in my spare time--looking, hoping, wondering if anything will get published. Not yet--but working on it.


There you have it, folks.
Anymore questions?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Vent That Smells Like Pee

I was putting laundry away in Jackson/Bryce's room. Something was off. Something smelled foul.
"Jackson, what is that smell," I asked.

"I dunno," he replied. But, when I looked up he had a sheepish? smile on his face. The same look he gives when he really does know.

"Maybe it's because we peed in the vent," Triston casually calls from the next room.
"WHAT?!"
After a long talk about why it's not okay to pee in the vent and a spanking to help them remember not to pee in the vent and a whole bottle of Lysol spray to mask the smell of the pee in the vent....
They tried to do it again.
But, they were caught red-handed by their dad, this time, so they got an even bigger spanking and were sent to bed early--the most crucial of all the punishments.
And that is the story of the vent that smells like pee. Because it happened 3 days ago and still smells like pee.
These. boys. are. making. me. insane.
But I still love 'em like crazy.

A Contribution to the World of Music


"Da-Doe-Dee-Do-SNACK! Doo-Da-De-Doe-SNACK! Doo-Dee-Doe-Doe-SNACK! Dee-Da-Doe-Dee-SNACK! Dee-Do-Doo-Da-Dee-SNACK!"







Monday, May 4, 2009

Worst Mom Ever Award Goes To....

ME.
Let me explain.
My oldest angel started t-ball just two weeks ago. Saturday was his first game, but BEFORE the game was a kick-awesome parade--right in the heart of Brown County. It was awesome. Triston walked with his team (and dad, of course) through the village and threw candy to the young and old that lined the walkways. Bryce and I lost ourselves within the crowd and found the perfect spot to perch and wait for Triston's team to come by. We watched the fire trucks, police cruisers, the Brown County queen in a horse drawn carriage, the 4-H dog club (Bryce's favorite), and even a group of yodeling seniors (senior citizens) that square danced in the middle of the street. Finally after a million other people came by at 5 mph, Triston's team came around the corner. I waited until I could see the All Stars logo on their bright red hats, then went to whip out my camera. THE CAMERA THAT I FORGOT TO BRING.
Not only did I not get to photograph my boy in his first parade in quite possibly the coolest town in Indiana (to visit, not to live--just so we're clear) I didn't get any shots of him at his first game, either. I suck at the mom stuff.
In 10 years, when we are shuffling through old photos, do you think he'll remember that the one labeled "first t-ball game" was actually his second??
I don't know. The kid is smart.
And isn't afraid to use it on me.
I better get better.
Know what I mean?

Friday, May 1, 2009

What Do We Do on Rainy Days?

Make snakes, of course!

Toilet Paper Roll Snakes:

3 rolls per snake
yarn or string
googly eyes
stapler
red strip of paper for tongue
glue gun
colored pencils, markers, crayons, stickers, glitter, ect.--whatever you want to decorate.
paper hole punch

Have your child decorate the snakes however they like. Choose one roll for the head. Use the paper hole punch just on one end of that roll. You'll want to punch one hole on each side of the roll--make sure they are matched up evenly on both sides. The next roll will have punches on both ends and then punches on just one end of the last roll. Tie the rolls together, leaving enough string for the rolls to bend when the kids slide them on the floor or table. At the end of roll #1, place the strip of paper just slightly inside the tube and staple shut. Glue the eyes on--I've found that regular glue takes to long to dry and isn't as sturdy as hot glue.
You have a snake!



This guy just ate the markers. Destroyed them, really.
We did a lesson on snakes and the "S" sound. Triston spelled "Snake" by sounding out the letters--all by himself. Way to go, Triston!



What do you do on rainy days?



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