Friday, April 15, 2011


I have finally moved. New start.

I can be found at

Color Me Happy

All old posts have been imported there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011

After much thought, I will be moving this blog soon. My life is opening up into a new chapter and after all that has happened (and a very wise friend's advice) it is time for me to let go of "Crayon Wrangler". After letting that go...who better to be than just myself?!?

For now as I am working with some awesome people getting my new blog up you can reach me at

and follow me on Twitter
@alyciaestok (sorry for having to follow yet ANOTHER account)

Thanks again to all of you who have loved on me, offered advice and just really exemplified what a friend is.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

April 9, 2011

As of today I will not be blogging here for a while. Do not follow me on Twitter or Facebook as those accounts have been hacked. Do not believe anything that you see "me" say unless you hear it from my voice.
My gmail account and my cell phone are the only way to get a hold of me.
I apologize for the confusion and hope to be on my feet soon. Thank you to all who have contacted me with prayers, support and resources. I appreciate you.
Alycia (Crayon Wrangler)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Up - Go Have An Adventure!

One of my favorite movies to watch with my girls, is "Up." I don't really know why they like it because it seems a little old for them. Yet, they ask for it and I smile inside; grabbing some popcorn. (Is there a movie that you like? Go join the discussion HERE at the Pixorial BlogFrog community)

If you haven't watched this movie, I'm about to slide into some possible spoilers. Oh...and if you haven't seen the movie; let me know. I'll come pull you out from under the rock!

There are two scenes that choke me up every time I see them. The very first time I watched it, the tears fell unbidden. Its scenes that are gut wrenching and somewhat cleansing for an adult.

The first scene is when the Carl Fredrickson and Russel finally reach a destination in the floating house. The fog is thick and the disappointment of believing they are not where they want to be is even thicker. Swirls of the fog cloak shapes and their eyes strain to make out where they have landed. The dark gloominess does nothing to compare the shadow of their emotions.

Out of nowhere come a great gusting wind, causing the pair to cringe and shield their eyes. There is almost a touchable feeling of "Oh God what next?"

But the fog lifts and sunlight pierces through illuminating in front of them a land of dreams. The dreary gray is replaced by the striking color of a lush forest and a waterfall painted with a rainbow.

Their eyes can scarcely take it all in and to see the "I made it to where I want to be" cross their expressions is the sweetest gut wrench. They are still standing on a cliff, miles away from where the heart wants to be, but it's there in front of them. It's obtainable. Tangible.

How many times are we so blinded by our disappointment with where we are that we don't see what is right in front of us just waiting to be revealed? There may be cliffs and miles, but if you keep your eyes on that waterfall and put one foot in front of the other; it's there waiting for you.

The second scene is where Mr. Fredrickson is looking through a book of "Adventures" that he and his wife had lovingly put together. Sharing their joys, memories and dreams in snapshots. The strength in their union was that they shared every page, every dream and worked together for a goal.

He lovingly caresses each page of the past; the bitter sweet memory of a moment lost forever. As he flips to the last page, there is a tender sentiment to him in his wife's handwriting to keep having adventures. A dying love's last wish that life be continued and dreams be fulfilled.

So many years he had spent mourning that he had quit living. He believed that because he couldn't reach out and touch her, that love and the lust for life was gone forever. He realizes in that moment that she was still there. Love was not lost as he began to live again, instead love was stronger than ever. He was still sharing his adventure with her by living.

Are we ever to a place where we feel that our dreams are gone because life didn't go according to the pages we had hoped to fill? Do we shut ourselves up and close our shades in mourning?

Don't wait until the last moment when yellowed pages of memories is all that you have.

Go have an adventure!

The End.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ivory Silence

I'm linking up with The Red Dress Club today, but I am also guest posting at Four Plus An Angel

This week's assignment was to write a post about a sound or scent that brings you right back to your past.

*Disclaimer - my wonderful writing partner and editor did not get a chance to see this. It was a last minute submission and therefore she should not be stoned for missing my standard errors.

**Below I speak of a song. To hear my favorite interpretation click HERE

Ivory notes of "What Child Is This" hung in the air and every part of me wanted to snatch the harmony back. My fingers poised in perfect position.

Trained. Willing. Stopped.

I look back now and I see that it had been a hard day. I now have children so I understand the pushed feeling. Today I have no recollection of what was said, how it started or how it ended. I only know that moment.

My dad had spoken sharply to me. He wanted me to stop playing the piano.

I had been at this song for almost the full amount of time that was set on the oven timer. Rushing through the notes as I always did for the achingly slow Christmas Carol. For me it wasn't about perfecting the song, it was about giving it my own rhythm. Fur Elise came out like a rock song for me. Putting On The Ritz I spun into lounge music. I even learned how to hang over backwards on the hard piano bench and play upside down; never looking at the keys. Someone else wrote the song, but it was mine to interpret. I loved when I finally heard me in every song.

I am not sure that I was the first to express interest in piano lessons. I remember the looming box always sitting in the corner and one day I began to play. Next thing I remember is sitting beside Ms. Watson getting my knuckles hit over and over while my mom waited in the car at the curb. Ms. Watson and her gnarled fingers couldn't play much anymore herself, but a stern, wise teacher she was. She had a way of coaxing me to let the music play through me. Instead of focusing on Allegretto or Adiago, she instructed me to play the beat of my heart.

She would chastise me for watching the clock at times, impatient to get on with life.

"Bloom where you are planted." she would say.

I have always hated that saying. I don't believe a palm tree can bloom just because it is planted in the arctic. I believe sometimes you have to decide where you are best suited and pull up your own roots. Bloom because you are so happy with where you are that you can't help but unfurl your petals.

That hard wooden bench was certainly not where my energetic body wanted to be planted, but bloom I did. I learned each song, each note was a feeling. I could make it whisper as a lover, welcome you as a friend or cry out in personal torture. I took each troubled emotion that a maturing girl stumbles into and poured it into a song.

With all my passion for the notes I could caress, I couldn't bring myself to put another finger down that moment. I felt my bloom fade a little and my petals begin to pull back in.

I sat in silence and he moved on to do something else. My timer hadn't gone off yet releasing me to perform anything else, so I starred a hole into the sheet music.

I tentatively struck a note and paused. In my next breath, the haunting notes of the song began to come alive. Slow and with purpose. As the song wove into the air, my tears finally began to fall. The melody of disappointment.

Disappointment in self.

Disappointment in a parent.

The song reaches out year after year through the radio or through my own fingers. The slow notes still contain an ache, but I've come to embrace the feeling. I allow the sadness to wash through me and recognize that although disappointment is a part of this life, its not the ending note.

People will fail you.

You will fail others.

I have the choice to continue playing, for me alone. To make every life song my own and bloom.

*Author's notes: In the note I do not want it mistaken that my father and I have a turmoiled relationship. This was merely a take on the prompt. My daddy and I are good! This was a moment that my dad was having a hard time (as adults get from time to time) and I had my heart on my sleeve (as young girls get from time to time)
Also, one of my favorite moments with Ms. Watson was years after I stopped taking lessons from her. I was volunteering at a nursing home and ran into her, a new resident. In the lobby there was a piano and we sat down together. I played a few songs for her and showed her that although she had quit instructing me; I never quit learning. At that time I was deep into teenage rebellion, but beside her at that moment...I bloomed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

We Rock

Thump Thump Thump

My husband gives me the side eye and I just wearily shake my head. There is nothing more I can do.

"Do something!"

Bitsy is rocking again. Not strumming out on an air guitar and flinging her little curls to some Queensryche. She's just rocking.

Into a doorframe.

Against a wall.

Thump Thump Thump

I finally reached out to Twitter last night, since our darling backwoods, black bag toting grandpa farm doctor just said "she'll out grow it" or "find her a good glass of sweet tea and a rocking chair." Even Buzz knows. She's likes to deem her little sister as "special like me." Sometimes (although she was never a rocker) she will sit beside Bitsy and rock with her.

Dear guys are awesome!!!!

I was at wits end (not a real far trip, but every mile is precious to me) and to the point that I just wanted to lean up on the wall with her; rocking and crying. Each thump on the wall echoed a thump of pain in my heart that I can't fix her. I can't seem to ease what is causing it. She has no words at almost 16mos and very few sounds (We are thinking another Speech Delay child) so how long until she can express her frustration? How long until she can tell me what is too much for her to process?

Until then we rock.

Not against the wall though or a door frame. We rock just being who we are. For all our quirks, for everything that makes us different; we rock. For being mother and daughter who don't speak the same language; we can still show our love and we rock. For being a family cast in the chaos of special needs and making it through the day; we rock.

Friday, April 1, 2011


My UBP Welcome Vlog and some crazy outtakes :)

More Outtakes if you didn't get enough courtesy of my handy cameraman's mad editing skills....


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