Monday, November 29, 2010

In 5 Days

Today marks a very special angel's 1st birthday. Cora, who in just 5 short days accomplished a mission few of us will in a 70 year life span.

I want to share her birthday with you today. I learned of Cora and her mother and felt an immediate bond. As mothers we both had a baby born close together and we both learned about CHD (Congenital heart disease) after our babies were born. My baby's heart condition turned out to be nothing more than a hole in the heart that ended up closing on its own. Her baby's heart condition took her life.
Cora spent 5 days with her family. 5 days of knowing nothing in this world but love. As her mother penned it...
"5 perfect days"

Those 5 perfect days inspired her mother to begin campaigning for the spread of information to parents about CHD. I watched as day after day she tirelessly educated herself and others about this disease that claims so many lives. She focused on the pregnant and the newly delivered writing posts about the need for blood oxygen tests at birth and I saw mother after mother thank her for her efforts. Not only did Cora inspire her mother to educate, but to do deeds of kindness in Cora's name. Then a movement started. All around the nation people wore pink ribbons and did deeds because of Cora's 5 perfect days. We may never know the extent of Cora's reach, but we know it is far and many have benefited because of her.

Cora and her mother will always have a special place in my heart. Cora's 5 perfect days were short in time, but powerful in their impact. Cora mattered. Thank you to her mother who not only gave her life but shared Cora with all of us. 

Happy 1st birthday Cora!


So much has been happening these past few weeks that I have barely written here and when I do write; I don't want to waste all that typing trying to tell you everything. I have found a "Blogger App" on my phone and am considering using that and doing shorter more frequent posts from my phone when a thought hits me. I try to save up until I have time to sit down at the computer, but my sitting time is getting sparkly horn unicorn rare.

Just in the moment after I typed the last few words above I had to save a 11 month old who was tangled in garland, vacuum half a dozen crushed Nilla Wafers from the rug, pour 2 cups of juice, adjust the temp on my pork roast and realize I forgot salt, refill my coffee, explain how an egg is laid and then Obama called me on that matter of "World Peace" that he wanted solved. My mind is pulled in 40 directions all at once and I have got retain some sort of control over the gray matter spillage. Oh yeah and I told Obama to figure out himself. I didn't have time because I was trying to figure out how we are going to afford health insurance this year plus put food on the table.

The two biggest thoughts that have gone on in my little brain that I want to pass to you are:

Pay It Forward - I heard these words spoken at Baby Sophia's funeral by her father. It was mentioned several times about the abundance of FaceBook fans and people that have come together to pray for and support her during Baby Sophia's brief stay here on Earth. There is strength in numbers and all of YOUR numbers added up and provided her family with prayers, support and generosity. Sophia's father asked that her time here on Earth should "mean something" and for us to walk away from her death and "pay it forward". So....what is "IT" that we are paying forward? It's super simple folks. The "IT" is "YOU" The giving of YOUR time, prayers, talent, money, etc. for the help in easing someone else's burden. To let someone out there who is struggling with their health, health of a family member, etc. to know that they are not alone and they are supported. Thanks to the internet, it is not difficult to find these situations. Around every corner is a heartbreak waiting for a miracle. I ask that you get involved and get your knees dirty in prayer, support, etc. Let someone know that they are not alone and that they matter. PAY IT FORWARD and when you do it...think of a precious angel named "Sophia" and let's show her parents that her life matters. Perhaps you buy an extra box of food this Christmas for a family in need, buy a toy for a needy child, give a donation to help the homeless, give blood, or support another family in crisis...any of these things....when you do it for Sophia go visit her family's Facebook page and let them know that you "PAID IT FORWARD"

Indoctrination - I swear I am not picking on a particular person here, but rather a movement. I recently was in a discussion where a mother was teaching her 5 year old daughter about Christian faith. She was questioned over the fact that she was "indoctrinating" her young child and influencing the impressionable mind rather than allowing her child to grow up with a chance to choose her beliefs. Folks, it is time for us Christians to quit being the nail and start being a hammer. It's time to stop tip toeing around the non-believers and trying to not offend their civil liberties. They ask us not to indoctrinate our children with our beliefs, but rather indoctrinate them with non-belief....which is a belief of its own. It's backwards to say the least. Christian's time to teach our children the basic moral codes of being Christ like. To tend to the needy, feed the hungry, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and things like honesty and integrity are a "must have". God was not passive when he wiped out cities of sin. Jesus was not concerned with offending civil rights when he threw people out of the temple. Jesus was not timid when it came time to die. It's time to be a hammer!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This Thanksgiving I am thankful for...

  • 6 half used jars of peanut butter and 8 barely used jars of jelly that are cluttering up the pantry. It means that we have been blessed and my family has enough to eat.
  • The fact that I could find no cold medicine for my splitting sinus headache. It means that my family has been healthy this year.
  • The radio station that dropped the F-bomb this morning that I quickly changed before my children repeated it. It means I live in a country that celebrates its freedoms and all the men/women who sacrificed their lives to ensure that I have those freedoms.
  • The slight feeling of dread at the loud chaos that will take over as 6 adults and 6 children sit down to devour a turkey. It means that I have been blessed with lots of family.
  • The chair that will be empty this year. It means that my Nana no longer suffers, has no pain, no need for wet towels for her head, no frustrations of earthly binds and is celebrating in heaven with her Maker. It also means missing someone means loving them.
  • The traditional gravy that always makes me gag a little. It means that my mother loves us enough to keep with tradition and its always good for a little ribbing year after year.
  • The long and tiring drive to the grocery store for "provisions". It means that we were blessed enough to find our dream house in the country.
  • The 8 shirts that need to be ironed for The Man. It means that I have a husband to care for that cares for me.
  • The fight that will start as I try to chase down my girls and get them dressed to leave. It means that my children have plenty of energy and independence.
  • My email box and text messages that are full and running down my cell phone battery. It means I live in a time where technology allows me to reach out and connect with family and friends. It also means that someone out there cares that I get a student loan and have white teeth.
During this time of Thankfulness, I want to update on my last post "Involved". Baby Sophia is now resting in Our Father's arms after a long fight here on Earth. Today is the funeral and while we begin to count our blessings, please remember those who are struggling to feel "blessed" right now. To those in my lives who have suffered a loss, holidays are a difficult time especially when the loss is raw and fresh. I am so Thankful to have had the blessing of meeting Baby Sophia and all of her family. Her family and her were an inspiration to me. I am thankful for Sophia's family. That they gave her life and showed her the strength of love during her fight. I am thankful to watch all of Sophia's family hold tight to faith and surround each other in love.

We have all been so blessed. Sometimes the blessings are small and personal, sometimes they overwhelm us. Be thankful this year for the small and large.

I will be picking back up the blogging after Thursday. I am thankful for all of you and have a great time this Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


If you are reading this post, thank you for sticking with a lack of posting from me this past week. It's not normal that I take time off from posting on my blog or Twitter, but this past week I had to. I couldn't find words to type. I didn't want to entertain you. I got involved.

I am sure if you follow me on FaceBook or Twitter than you have heard of Baby Sophia. I have talked about her and encouraged people to pray for her and show their support on her FaceBook page. If you have done this I want to say "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart. It means you have gotten involved and you are part of Sophia's life.

There is a great difference though in reading a memo and writing a quick word and really being involved.

When Sophia was born it was just a name I heard in church. A sad story that made me pause. Just for a moment. Then I continued in my own little life. Time has passed and my little life has been shaken to the core by this little life. I got involved. I got to know her family through time and became involved in Sophia's life. I became part of her story. She became real.

As I type this Baby Sophia is fighting for her very life, for her next breath. It's a struggle that takes my own breath and why I took a week off from being involved here. I had the blessing of meeting Sophia. Holding her hand. I will forever be a different person because of this little girl.

As a parent, I watched Sophia's parents. The strength and hope of a parent's love was stronger in that room than anywhere I have seen. It made me think back to the time that Belly lay in that same hospital. My fear, my hope, my prayers, my love came crashing back into my heart. Robbing my lungs and crushing my heart. I know their pain because we share a parent's love for their child.

I want to urge you to be involved. Perhaps not in Sophia's life, but in the life of another that you have heard about. It's not just a memo, not just a blog post and not just a status update; it's a life. Being involved is asking you to be uncomfortable and sometimes that is just what we need. To be shaken, to cry and to love.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Falling Into Failure

This past weekend our oldest daughter Buzz made up her mind that she wanted to try to ride her bike without the training wheels. She anxiously watched as I took each side off and we discussed what a big girl she was for riding without the training wheels. I set the bike up on just two wheels and that's when she "fell into failure".

She began to realize that it was going to be unsteady and started to doubt herself. Before she even got onto the bike she was convinced that it was going to be too hard and she would fall. I assured her that I would hold on until she could do it herself and that I would not let her fall. She sat on the seat and could feel how unsteady it was underneath her. She promptly got back off and begged for the training wheels to be put back on.

Before she could actually fall she "fell into failure."

Often times we are faced with a new situation in our lives and although we are initially excited about the new venture; that little voice in the back of our head says we are not ready and we are going to fall. We seek reassurance from people who love us and they tell us that they will be there to hold us up, but still we are consumed by our fear and self doubt.

I did finally convince Buzz to at least try. I told her that she might fall but she was over the grass so it wouldn't hurt and I would be right there to help her back up. She got to the point that she accepted that she was going to fall, but that she could keep trying. We began a few laps around the yard and on her cue, I would let go and yes, she fell. She got very frustrated every time she fell and we finally decided together that we would put the training wheels back on and she could try again later. After the wheels were put back on, she rode all around the yard with confidence that she wouldn't fall. After she was done renewing her love for riding without fear, she again asked for the wheels to be taken off. She continued to fall and we took off and put those wheels back on a dozen times. Each time she feared those falls less but understood that it was just going to take time and skill to do it right.

How often do we revert back to comfortable and safe actions when we are scared of failure? But when we do venture and try we are able to accept those falls as part of learning. The falls aren't as scary and they are seen as growth. I encourage you to take your training wheels off this week in a new skill. Yes, you might fall but that doesn't mean you have to stay down! Don't let yourself "fall into failure" before you even start.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Boycott Day

Click this link

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Cartoons - From An Annoyed Mother

I have been watching cartoons with my kids for almost 5 years. You would think that I would be able to easily tune them out...toon them out (ha!) Anyways, since I make it my mission to supervise all 'toon watching in this house, I have become very well acquainted with all the characters on a spread of several channels. Since I have gotten to know some of the cartoons, I have become annoyed at the characters, the lack of characters and their whole conflict/resolution writing.

Dear Dora,
You seem to be a pretty self reliant and smart girl, but what are you; like 8? Why on earth are you traipsing all over the place all by yourself? You get in hot air balloons, climb a tall mountain and go through the scary forest with no adult supervision. I saw you have a chit chat with the grumpy ole' troll; have you never heard of stranger danger? Do you think its OK to talk to people who live under bridges? Do you think it is normal to hear voices coming from inanimate objects? Also you may need an adult to pack your backpack. While a roll of sticky tape is fine; the pinwheel, pair of skies (in a hot climate) and a set of crochet balls is not going to get you far in your travelings. Lastly, that monkey; you shouldn't trust him so much because he is just a monkey. Has he even had any shots? Training? What's to stop that thing from ripping your face off the next time you make him climb up a tall mountain?

Dear Toot & Puddle,
Where are your parents and are they OK with you jetting off to Peru, Egypt, etc.?

Dear Angelina Ballerina,
Please cease talking and whining, your voice is just annoying!

Dear Diego,
Same thing as your cousin need better supervision and stop playing with unpredictable and wild animals. Showing your best friend Baby Jaguar is all well and good, but quit portraying him as reliable and not a carnivore who would enjoy gnawing on your leg in the top of a tree.

Dear Dirt Girl,
Your face freaks me out. Seriously, my kids are not allowed to watch you because you give me nightmares.

 Image of DirtGirlWorld by Google Images

Little Bear,
I feel as though I have taken some heavy narcotics after watching you. The slow pace, trippy music and cat's voice just chill me way out. I think there is something subliminal going on there.

Handy Manny,
You remind me of my husband. He talks to his tools all the time too, but THEY DON'T TALK BACK!

FanBoy & Chum Chum,
Really?!? What's the point here?

Yo Gabba Gabba,
Somehow you have managed to create songs that are like crack for kids. I appreciate bringing Jack Black for an episode but if I hear one more "Tiny Yucky Germs" or "Rain is coming down" song, I am going to foot stomp your radio. You also need to keep a better eye on that red cyclops dude. I saw him recently in a commercial joy riding a stolen car with a sock monkey.

Wow Wow Wubzy,
Someone needs to give that rabbit a Super Mega Tylenol 3000, that short thing with the glasses needs more fiber and Wubzy possibly needs ADHD medication. Oh and that's kooky.

What about YOU? Any cartoons you want to sound off about before I subject my own mind to them?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days Of Truth - Days 5-10

I got behind on these days of truths due to being a mom, being a wife, working this weekend, writing for NaNoWriMo and playing in the Daily Break Community.

So I am going to catch it up today and even be a day ahead (cause that's how I roll) Get ready for a whole heap of truths.

Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.

I hope to work for a nature-ish magazine one day taking wildlife photographs all over the world.
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
Watch one of my children suffer.
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
(Just one...deadgumit) My husband. (Well, without him I wouldn't have my girls so by choosing him; I am also choosing my girls)
Day 8: Someone who made your life hard.
Myself. I caused more heartache and grief for myself than probably anyone else.
Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted. 
I had this friend in HS named Wendy F. I adored that girl and she was my best friend. I thought perhaps with FaceBook that I would find her again one day, but it hasn't happened so far. Life just got in our way.
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know. 
I've pretty much let this person go, but I DO wish I had never met this person. It was a person who was toxic in the friendship from the start, but I wanted to be a good friend, support this person and help in whatever way. I knew I was being used the majority of the time and spent many years going back and forth in the friendship. Hoping this person had changed, hoping that they grew up and hoping that we could be real friends. It ended with this person stabbing me in the back in the worst way, spreading lies and trying to rip dreams from my hands. I have told this person that I forgive them, but I hope for my heart; to never see them again.

There...that's my stories and I am sticking to them. It's been kinda bland around these parts as I work on NaNoWriMo. I have an exciting story going and I write every spare minute. I promise to get back to my usual writing and vlogging here on the blog as soon as I get finished. Please be patient with me and know that I appreciate you continuing to check in on all of us here in The Crayon Box.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mamavation...kick me in my jiggly parts!

So all across Twitter and from a few friends, I have been hearing about this whole Mamavation bit. I have watched two friends go from flab to fab (no offense meant, but its the truth) while using this program. I decided to join in, because I do not want to be that fat jolly guy...errr, girl...whose belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. There is a happy green button in my sidebar that will lead you to their website if you are interested in a little jiggly part kicking!

So now I have to talk about a weekly plan of sorts to get back into shape.
1.) Quit the snacking especially after the kids have gone to bed.
2.) Move faster with a more determined attitude.
3.) Every other day: bicycle
4.) Days in between: cardio inside
5.) Sunday - Rest and reward
6.) Smaller portions and tone down the Fry Daddy.

My Ultimate Me Goals
  1. Lose 20lbs quickly but safely
  2. Get a control on my breathing problems in order to excersise more effectively.
  3. Tone up those jiggly parts (I hate that my lower arm waggles after I have quit waving 5 minutes ago)
  4. Re-assess weight loss towards a healthy weight limit.

That ought to do it for now until I start connecting well with the Sistahood and get some better ideas towards a healthier ME.

30 Days Of Truth - Day 4

*Big Oopsie - Yesterday I announced the Living Social Live Chat was that night. It is actually TONIGHT at 8EST and I am a big doodoo head.

Also in addition to that sweet Southern Belle I introduced you to yesterday...her boyfriend got on the blogging bandwagon. This duo is hilarious together and I am thrilled to get to follow both of their lives! J.R. is aiming to become an elementary school teacher to 2nd graders and you can read about him HERE 

Day 4 - Something you have to forgive someone for.

From the wording here I am assuming that I have to write more about the "something" than the "someone" *Whew* Glad I wasn't going to have to call out names or anything.

The "Something" that I have to forgive that someone(s) are doing is: Assumption

I can't stand for someone to assume anything about me. If you spent half the time it took to assume "xy" about me actually talking to me about "xy" then we may have gotten somewhere. When you assume "xy" about me and let your actions reflect your belief then you haven't even given me a chance.

I am pretty open and direct on my feelings, etc. I have no problem at all telling you if you did something to irritate me, shun me, etc. If I haven't told you this; then it hasn't happened. End of story. I am not one to merely fade into the background nursing some kind of grudge. I would rather confront the issue at hand and lets solve is together.

So if you are reading this and you have made an assumption about a certain way I think of something without asking me and it has affected our relationship; I forgive you. Chances are I don't even know this assumption you have made about me (since I am not a mind reader or anything) and all I know is that our relationship is strained. Let's talk about it, mm'kay?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lessons Learned - Kids Have No Sense Of Humor

Kids are not born with a sense of humor. Humor must be something that is perfected over time.
Lessons in kids with no humor:

  • 3 year olds are not amused when a parent hides in their closet to throw ice cold water on them.
  • 4 year olds will declare themselves a Vegan when a parent drives by a cow pasture and points out the hamburgers.
  • Shorting sheets does not work on those under 4 feet tall.
  • Putting a fake spider in the bathtub will result in a boycott of bath time.
  • Replacing their bowl of vanilla ice cream with sour cream does not cause laughter but puking.
  • Putting an ice cube in a diaper loses the shock factor when the wetness is just absorbed.
  • Finding a perfect hiding spot is not recommended when playing with children under 3. This has a tendency to bring back all the separation anxiety.
  • When working in the kitchen, do not coat hand with ketchup and begin screaming. Children under 5 do not appreciate gory humor.
  • Putting Vaseline on the seat of a toilet does not encourage a toddler to potty train as they continually slide off into the floor.
  • Teaching "knock knock" jokes is impossible when one has the attention span of a gnat and drools constantly.
What has proved to you that kids have no sense of humor?

30 Days Of Truth - Day 3

Before I get started on Day 3, there are some announcements to make.

1st: The Daily Break Community is having a live chat tonight at 8pm EST. You can join in HERE where we will be discussing communities: how they influence us and connect us. 

2nd:  A sweet young woman has started a blog to journal her life outside of high school and going to college. I met her through being her photographer on her senior class portraits. We connected right away and I just know you are going to love this sassy, strong young lady. You can visit her blog HERE.

Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for. 

Forgiving yourself. I do believe that "YOU" is the hardest person to forgive, but something that I have made a practice of doing. 

About 13ish years ago, I was holding every grudge against myself that I could. I detested myself because of my failures, my choices, etc. I would not forgive myself because I felt like I deserved the grudge. I convinced myself that the self-loathing was good because I had entitled myself to the bitter feelings because of my actions. I wallowed in self imposed pity and beat myself back down every time that something good came my way. I didn't deserve the good stuff. I was convinced.

The came the day that the pity pit was so deep, I cracked. The loathing and hatred I had for myself made me feel like not only did I not deserve the "good stuff", but that I didn't really deserve life. Life was good and who I thought I was did not merit one ounce of that. Lucky for me there was a person back then who was willing to pull the dead shell of who I was out of the pit and work with me on forgiving myself. He convinced me that I was worth something and I deserved the best life had to offer. He showed me that through love. Loving the unlovable was the greatest act of forgiveness that I could fathom and some small part of me reached for it and clung to it like a life preserver.

Since those days, I have learned to forgive myself for every infraction I inflict. When I really mess up, I know that I am not unlovable or undeserving. I have made some whoppers of mistakes, but it doesn't have to be who I am. My mistakes don't define me, they educate me. They teach me to try harder, do better and consider someone else I may have affected. I actively forgive myself because I love myself and I know that I deserve every good ounce that life has to offer. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 2

Day 2: Something you love about yourself. 

Most people I have met struggle with this question. It's not because they don't love something about themselves; it's because they lack the confidence to share that self-love with someone else. Worried about scrutiny of what they like most about themselves. There is nothing like thinking your eyes are your best feature and sharing that with someone only to have them look at you and laugh, saying "Really??"
You may not be doing this 30 Days Of Truth with me, but why don't you take a minute to tell me what you love about yourself. Seriously. I won't laugh even if you love the way your pinky toe looks. The things you love about yourself if what makes you uniquely you and that should be celebrated!

What I love about myself...

My humor that is shared with others. I love to make people laugh, but not with a funny joke. I try to show people the humor in their everyday life and that funny connects us. Anybody can regurgitate a good joke and gain laughter, but when you are sitting there about to pull your hair out because the kids have overflowed the toilet, the insurance company is denying your claim, there are bills coming in, your significant other and you had a fight and the dog just puked on the rug...if you can laugh about it; you can live with it. There is a funny in just about anything if you look for it. I love that God gave me a humor that helps me see that and the ability to share that with others. it's your turn. What do you love about yourself? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days Of Truth - Day 1

I saw this little prompt over at "Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy" and thought it would be perfect for this month. I am participating in NaNoWriMo this month and sometime when I write elsewhere my creativity suffers here. So I wanted to jump on in and give you 30 days of truth. The prompts are as follows:

Here are the topics, one Truth for each day in November...starting Monday, Nov 1st!
Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.
Day 2: Something you love about yourself.
Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14: A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30: A letter to yourself: tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

So here is Day 1: Something you hate about yourself

Wow...that's an intense question to start off with.

One thing I hate about myself is that after 30+ years, I still don't seem to acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses that are mine to own. I have a tendency to underplay my natural talents and not achieve anything with a focused intensity. My weaknesses? I don't factor those in when I do attempt to break out and do something new.

Although I know what my strengths and weaknesses are; I don't allow for them when making short or long term plans. How many times could I really have done something great if I had applied a focused intensity to my talent? How many times has a plan failed because it fell into my weaknesses and I took it as a personal failure rather than just accepting it is something that I am not good at? How many grudges have I held against myself because of these things?


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