About Me

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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I'm pretty in touch with me. I don't necessarily understand the inner workings of my brain, heart, and spirit, but I fully accept them all for what they are without that understanding. I'm not cocky but am honest, about my faults and my strengths. In my opinion, one of the things I do best is feel. My emotions are out for all to see, and why not? The thing that really gets to me is that some see that as a fault. Why?

Here's what I think...crying or being overly emotional can get in the way of living life, if it gets in the way of living. Makes perfect sense, right? For me, my propensity to tear up does not act as a stumbling block to decision making, but rather a way of cleansing the senses to allow for clear, mature, and nurturing decisions.

So, feel. Don't be afraid of feelings...they are one of the few things that are ours alone and no one can take them or void them.

Feel love so deep it's got to be a peek into God's love for us.
Feel joy so uplifting you remember, if only for a minute, what it was like to be a child.
Feel sorrow for a stranger.
Feel frustration.
Feel contentment.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Little Things

I know I've been scarce. Life has been a bit "aaaaahhhh!" for me over the past few days. Rather than give you a blow by blow, though, here are the high lights...

The improving housing market is not improving here. We now owe more on our house than the realtor recommends listing it for and our contract is up on Saturday. So, we're taking it off the market. What does that mean for us? Well, the following:

1) I can leave match box cars on the floor and dishes on the counter.
2) The kids and I will continue to live here until the market recovers here as well as some lady on the radio news keeps telling me its doing other places around the country.
3) Scott will go to school in Connecticut in March and continue on to Washington state in July. The rest of us will enjoy Southeast Georgia living.

Gracie's feeling our stress (and we're still 5 months away from Scott leaving) and doesn't want me to leave her at school. She's gotten progressively more clingy and this morning cried. She has never cried. Gracie loves school and her friends and teachers. She's breaking my heart and I'm going to need to be stronger than I knew possible for all of us, apparently starting now.

Don't you fret, though. I'm up for it. Scott picked me for a reason, maybe a few. In this case, I'm positive, strong, focused, and creative. I'm already working on things we can do to "stay in touch" with Dada when we're not with him. And I calmed Gracie this morning reminders of all the exciting stuff that's going to fill our time for the next few months...holidays, vacations, random mom and daughter lunch dates! We'll make it...

And the market will turn eventually and we'll be ready when it does!

While dealing with all the emotions of this, Scott and I are trying to figure out the details of vehicles, money, day-to-day bicoastal living. No easy task. We'll keep you posted.

In other areas...I got my diploma from the writing course I took, but haven't published anything yet. I have three pieces in the final stages before submission, but have gotten side tracked.

My mom is slowly healing. Her focus right now seems to be on handling the MS so the injuries can get better. They're hoping to take a little trip next month, which will be tricky physically but wonderful for their spirits.

Halloween's this weekend...love me some candy. :)

OK, gonna go pick up the kids, but I wanted to let you know where I've been and how things are...until next time...

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Sigh

I vaguely recall noticing my mother "sounding old" when I was younger. There's no specific memory of this, just a general sense that she used to take deep, cleansing breaths from time to time and that - to me - made her sound old. I feel a little embarrassed admitting that I thought mom was old because of a possible propensity to sigh, especially because she probably wasn't much older than me when I would have been listening to her breathing.

And now, I sigh. Like many daughters do, I've become like my mother in some ways, and if she did in fact sigh a lot, this is one of the ways I'm like her. I sigh a lot. Deep, cleansing breaths.

Tyler: "Mama."

"Mama, mama, mama!"


Me: (sigh) "What, Buddy?"

(sigh) "Yes, Tyler?"

(sigh) "TYler! What?"

Gracie: "My legs hurt."

"My wrist hurts."

"I bit my tongue again and my tongue hurts!"

Me: (sigh) "I'm sorry."

(sigh) "I'm sorry."

(sigh) "I'm sorry. And stop crying."

Jace: "Can we watch cartoons?"

"Can we watch a movie?"

"Uuuhhhh! I don't want to _____!" (You can fill in the blank.)

Me: (sigh) "No."

(sigh) "No."

(sigh) "Didn't ask if you wanted to."

Scott: "Are you ready for bed?"

Me: (sigh) "Yes."

I also sigh when the washing machine or dryer beeps that its finished. I sigh when I sit down and when I get up. I sigh when trying to get the kids in bed at night and up in the morning. I sigh on Monday morning and Friday night. I really sigh all the time.

(sigh) I did, too, just now. Sighed. Can't help myself. It calms me, gives me pause when I'm frustrated. Breathing helps me relax and gives me a second of rest before embarking on the next task. With the lens that I look through now, as opposed to when I was younger, breathing is no longer a sound associated with being old. It now says to me: Focused. Motivated. Composed. At least that's what I tell myself because I'm certainly not old...just be sure to ask someone other than my kids for confirmation on that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Make New Friends...

It occurs to me that I not only reference country songs for every occasion, as previously thought. After my recent post about sandwiches and this one, about friends, I realize that I find musical inspiration everywhere!

Anyway, two years ago when Jace was getting ready to leave preschool and head into kindergarten his teachers taught him a song that I remembered fondly from my childhood. It goes something like this:

"Make new friends, but keep the old.
Some are silver and the others gold."

I love my friends. I guess if I didn't care for them they wouldn't be friends. But I've realized over the years that friends come in so many shapes and sizes. Some are life long. Some enter my life unexpectedly. Some I didn't realize were friends until they'd been present and accounted for, a stable shoulder, for a while.

I've been lucky enough to have friends from every point in my life. I married the "boy next door," pretty much. And he's not the only one from elementary school that is still a part of my life. There are some friends that I've lost touch with, but have reconnected and others that I've never lost touch with, and many that I happily share holiday cards with and nothing else. I'd feel at ease having dinner with any of them...they're all dear to me.

Through my transitions from small town high school to small city college girl to grad student and Navy wife I've learned even more about friendships...what they mean to me, how I form them, when I lean on them, why I want them.

I'm not going to share any nuggets of wisdom with you regarding my experiences, though. I know, you're bummed. But I don't think I have anything that "wow" to let you know. My friendships have been forged on common experience, good, bad, and long lasting. Those who know me and love me anyway... Those who laugh with me and cry with me... Those who have stories about me that bring joy to their hearts and smiles to their eyes... Those people are my friends.

Thankfully I've made new friends and kept the old and my life sparkles with all the jewels I've been blessed to know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pho - October's DC Challenge

I hope it's true what they say..."better late than never." It's been a crazy week, but I got my first Daring Cook's Challenge made and even remembered to take a few pictures. I'm still learning the new camera, though, so they didn't all turn out...but you'll have a few to make your mouth water!

So, October's challenge was Pho (pronounced fu, with a soft u). I was nervous from the get-go. Scott doesn't enjoy anything Asian except the occasional bagged stir fry with soy sauce on the rice. I know...he's quite adventurous, isn't he?! The kids barely eat anything I make anymore. They still love to help me in the kitchen, but they don't hardly eat what they make either! The other issue? Pho is a soup. Scott is not a soup guy. He likes to say that he doesn't like hot liquids. I love soup, though, so even though I was nervous...I was also excited!

There were some choices to be made this month. Pho can be made with chicken, pork, seafood, beef or vegetarian. I chose beef. There's also a long and a short version. I made the short version, purchasing my beef stock from the store rather than making it. Here is the recipe for the long version. Other than not making my own stock, I pretty much followed it.

So, what do you think? I thought it not only smelled fantastic, looked delicious, but tasted incredible. As my husband is not a fan of Asian flavors I don't get them very often and I just have to say, "Man! I'm missing out!"

This recipe wasn't difficult. The hardest part was finding the whole spices, and shelling out the cash! I recommend giving this a shot, though...yum!

Now, if you ask my husband and kids, you'll get a very different opinion on the success of this challenge. Tyler liked the noodles but nothing else. Jace and Gracie ate nothing but the salad I served with it. Scott, didn't even eat that!

I thoughtfully made Scott a variation, knowing his aversion to hot liquids. I pulled the flank steak out and thickened a bit of the broth to make a nice sauce.
In the end, this recipe will not be one I turn to again anytime soon. But, if the occasion arrises that I'm cooking for others, I might just pull it out. Like I said, I did enjoy it.
There was another part of the challenge too. Dessert wontons. We got to pick the filling and I chose marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and chocolate. That part was great. However, I couldn't find wonton wrappers. Obviously I was looking someplace they weren't and I might ask next time I'm in the store. (Weight Watchers has a whole article on wonton recipes this week.) For this I tried Lumpia wrappers, thinking, "How different could they be?" As it turns out, very different and not so good!
All in all, my first go round as a daring cook wasn't exactly great, but I shall not be deterred...I'll be back next month for more. You can count on it...and I'll try to be on time too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Official, I'm a Mom

From time to time you might wonder what really qualifies someone as "mom." Is it simply procreating or is there something more to it? There are a few things about my mom that stick out in my mind, that shout loud and clear..."MOM!!!"

First there's the fact that she always cleaned up after the pets when they emptied their insides out in the house in any fashion. Often we'd pretend we didn't even see or smell it and let her discover the pile of puke. I know it wasn't nice or pleasant, but Dad was just as guilty as the rest of it, which somehow made it OK when I was young. In any case, as I grew I always figured that when I was the one to scrape poop off the kitchen floor after bringing in bags of groceries...well, then I'd officially be a mom.

Lucky for me, we don't have a pet yet. We have, however, cleaned up after our kids in a similar fashion, which I think qualifies both Scott and I as parents.

Today I took my time with working my way through another miserable right of passage that without question brands me a mom: lice. I know, you're itchy aren't you?

I remember having lice checks at school. I don't remember if any was ever found on my head during the school year, but I remember the lines at the nurse's office, waiting to have our hair picked through with chop sticks. Even if I didn't have the nasty nits and bugs in my hair during the school year, I did in the summer...every year after 4H camp. I loved camp, had a great time, and came home with new experiences, crafts, and head lice every year.

I didn't enjoy sitting still while mom washed my hair with something gross smelling and then pulled half of it out with that little comb. Apparently, by the next summer, the memories of getting lice treatment didn't out weigh the ones of the fun I was bound to have at camp...because I'd go back and do it all again!

Well, Gracie hasn't been to camp, but she's had her first lice treatment. Unlucky girl. The teacher called me to come pick her up and we stopped at the store for the gross smelling shampoo, which thankfully no longer smells gross. After washing her hair with that we sat watching Dora and Diego for over two hours and I went through her long, strong, used-to-be-fond-of hair with a fine toothed comb. OK, I still do love her hair, but while I was trying to get every little egg out of it...didn't like her luscious locks then.

So, now I'm a mom. Hopefully I won't need to be reminded of this again anytime soon!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


"Sandwiches are beautiful.
Sandwiches are fine.
I like sandwiches.
I eat them all the time.

I eat them for my supper,
and I eat them for me lunch.
If I had a hundred sandwiches
I'd eat them all at once."

This is a little song I remember hearing when I was younger. I can't recall where I heard it, but I know it well enough that it still pops in my head every time I think about sandwiches. It's a fun little tune...maybe I'll sing it for you sometime!

Anyway, I do like sandwiches. I had one yesterday (chicken salad on a croissant) that was good but not worth what I paid! Why are some restaurants so expensive? My sandwich came with "seasonal fruit" or chips. I asked what the fruit was and she said peaches. I chose the fruit and was excited for a nice, juicy, fresh peach. What I got was a little bowl of canned peaches. Seriously? Needless to say, we won't be eating at that cute little place again. The decor was nice but I'm still not willing to pay almost $9 for that lunch, even though it did include a can of sprite.

Tomorrow I'm having a sandwich for lunch too. Scott and I will be on the road, traveling to our friend April's wedding. We're trying to make good time, eat healthy, and be frugal so we're taking snacks, drinks, breakfast and lunch with us. So we're going to have turkey sandwiches. I'm very excited...more for the wedding, time alone with my husband, and road trip in general than the sandwich...but the sandwich is exciting too!

I could go on about sandwiches, and maybe another day I will, but I want to work on writing shorter blogs. I've had some pretty lengthy ones lately. So, I'm going to go now and in a short time I'll be making grilled cheese sandwiches for Tyler and I for lunch today!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Charades and Other Games

People are always interested in knowing the secrets to a good, successful, and hopefully happy marriage. Now, I think I have a good, successful, and mostly happy marriage but I do not presume to know anything more than most others do...except for one key ingredient. And that is...wedded bliss hinges on willingness and ability to play games.

Seriously, think about couples you know...they challenge each other to finish thoughts, fill in the blanks, understand the meaning behind "thingy," and interpret hand motions.

As an example of this, yesterday I was telling Scott about how I'd used the air compressor to try to put air in the car's tire. Yes, I only tried because I couldn't find the right fitting. Honestly, I didn't look. I've looked before and not been able to find them. I've always gotten the right stuff out of Scott's truck, but he had that at work. Since the correct piece wasn't on the compressor it was only an attempt to put air in...luckily, the tires weren't that low and the warning on my dashboard went away when the temperature warmed up so all is well.

Anyway, I wanted him to be impressed by my autonomy but due to my lack of story telling skills he ended up laughing at me. See, I started telling him about the yellow thingy.

"Hose," he suggested.

"Yeah, I guess, but it's all twirly."

"OK. The coiled hose?"

In the end he was sufficiently impressed, because I reminded him to be. And I now know the twirly yellow thingy attached to the air compressor is a coiled hose. Good info to have.

The bottom line is, communication has long been known to be crucial to healthy, loving marriages. It must not be forgotten that interpretation, comprehension, and translation are all part of communication.