Friday, December 2, 2016

{Lego Advent} December 2

Well, it looks like the family has unpacked and settled into their winter home nicely! 
Little Emma & Evan have built a snowman out front. "The broom is a perfect addition!", Emma tells her brother. They are excited to see all their friends in Bricksmeade again, but it will have to wait. Most of the families here are busy getting ready for the big Christmas Faire that is taking place all month long in the tiny mountain town. The little minifigs are so excited! They are already making plans for what gifts they want to wrap for their friends!
Mommy & Daddy are busy gathering logs from the workshop to take inside for a nice fire. It is always Mommy's favorite part about the Bricksmeade cabin. They don't have a fireplace at their home back in Bricktown, so it's always first on her list!
As the little red door closes, we see Mommy and Evan in the kitchen window! I wonder what they are up to?
It looks like they are getting ready to make dinner! Yummy! What a good little helper!
I hear the crackling of logs!
Well, sure enough, there's Daddy and Emma in the living room, hanging stockings and building up the fire that will keep them warm all winter long. 
Have a wonderful weekend, little Lego Family! We'll see you next week!
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

{Lego Advent} December 1

Welcome back, friends!
December has come 'round again, which means it's time to catch up with our favorite Lego family on their adventures!
December the 1st finds them on the train up the mountain to Bricksmeade. It looks like Engineer Roy has decorated the cars this year! How fun!
Just look at those happy children in the window!

The trip up the mountain is long, but the minifigs have made this trip ever since they were tiny one-bumps. They know the mountain well, and have grown up with the train workers like family. 
Once they make it through the Mountain Pass, Conductor Paul takes them out on the back of the caboose to see the tracks disappear behind them! Be careful, little ones!


It looks like Mommy and Daddy are enjoying some nice hot cocoa in the passenger car. Yum!


Finally, the train has pulled into Bricksmeade Station! 
"Everybody come stand for a photo!" says Mommy. "Even you, Engineer Roy!"
Little Evan wants to hang off the side of the coal tender, so Conductor Paul watches him close. 


"Say 'Bricksmeade!'", Mommy says, as she snaps the button on her camera. 
"That's one for the books!", she says. 

"They always are!", Daddy exclaims, and the others giggle, because it is very true. Mommy Lego does love her camera! 

We'll let the family get settled in and check back with them soon!
Happy December!

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Friday, September 2, 2016

The tenth year apart.

My dearest little one,

It's been a decade now since you've left us.
It doesn't even seem like that could be possible.
One year for each little perfect finger, one for each tiny toe.
Could it really be so?

Photo by Rebecca 

You know how some people like to take pictures of people? And some like to photograph animals? And some like architecture or barns or symmetry? I've always liked ruins. The broken and deserted. The barely hanging on. The stories unknown. There's always something about them that makes me feel strangely welcome. Like I was meant to be there, like I belonged there. I'd beg my kids and hubby to go with me inside, and they always decline, but it's almost like they call me in like a siren of the sea. It wasn't until yesterday when a friend and I started talking about an old house that we passed, that I put it together. 

I always thought it funny how a building can be deserted and left, how quickly nature takes it back, wrapping it's green vines around it, adopting the ruins as its own.  At first, people are interested. They talk about how sad it is that this wonderful place has been left to die. Remember all the good times we had there! They watch as it crumbles. As nature pulls it closer and closer to her chest.
As years pass, fewer people notice what used to be grand and beautiful, 
and nature still, slowly calls it back home. 

And one day, mother nature, herself, bears that cross alone. No one will remember the sparkly windows or the laughter from inside that has long since gone. No one remembers, but her. And she holds those ruins inside her, and she welcomes them, even if the broken shards of windows cut her deeply, and rusty pipes poison her flesh. She keeps it.

And then I realized.

YOU are my ruins, sweet boy.
YOU were the light of our small world, the beautiful cathedral of stained glass and blessings!
And when you fell, we all fell with you. The doctors who delivered you carefully into this world, the nurses who bathed you and wrapped you, the blessed man who had to autopsy a newborn baby. The strong man who took you, wrapped lovingly in your blankets, and prepared your tiny body for us. Every ONE of those funeral homes workers that had to look us in the eyes as we asked them about arrangements for our son, who was just a baby.  The families, the friends, the enemies even. 

We ALL fell.
Some just for a moment.
Some for a lifetime.

And I always feared that one day, when all the pain was forgotten and your physical body put to rest, that you'd slowly fade away. And the world would forget this magnificent creature that they were so damn blessed to know.

And it would just be me.

Welcoming you in.
Wrapping my arms around you as the world forgets.
Like mother nature and her ruins.
Until we were one again.

I guess I was scared that would happen.
But it's been TEN years, and you're just as alive you could ever be. 
The world may think they've forgotten you, but they can't. 
Your smile smiles back in your brother's laughter, and your nose is still the spitting image of your sister's. I can still see your little toes when I look down at my longer second toe, and I still see your sweet face when I watch your daddy sleep.

I see you when I see first day of school pictures for 4th grade. I see you on the soccer fields and in the aisles at the grocery store. I see you in the fall when the leaves rain down, and I see you in the rainstorms of spring. I see you every moment of the day, because you never really left. 

Happy Birthday, Eli Marcus.
We are all so blessed to have been touched by you, even if just for a moment. 


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School 2016

This year's back-to-school day is one for the books. I didn't cry! I might have whimpered and teared up a bit and walked out of that little classroom with my bottom lip-a-shakin', but I didn't cry.
Not Tuh-daaaaaayyy!

(Although now that it's Monday, day two...)

Did you gasp at the photo? That beautiful young woman standing there? I'm not sure exactly what happened! I filled out her athletic form as a 5 foot 4 inch teen, and the nurse comes in all scratchin' it out, lookin' at me over her bifocals and says "Mom! You're in denial, aren't you?!" And I'm all givin' her the look of WTH are you talking about, and then she points her finger to the form where she's written in the "CORRRRRECT" (that's how she said it!) height of 5 foot 5 inches.

Which is my height.

And I opened my mouth to rebut this woman, but she's already pushing us together back-to-back like little kids, and says "Yup! She's gotcha, mom!"

And I'm checking our shoes and we're both wearing the same flip flops. And I'm checking our hairdos because you know, volume! It makes a difference! But it didn't that day.
And so I sat there, all teary-eyed with my hangin open like a fish, trying to think of something to say, while the gruffish nurse tries to backpedal and tell me tales of her own kids' height growth stories, which doesn't matter to me because this is my BABY we're talkin about here!! The one that fit inside my belly (<--- are="" austin="" bottom="" cabinet="" carried="" cups="" damn="" for="" helped="" her="" hip="" i="" kept="" like="" mean="" my="" nbsp="" of="" on="" one="" onto="" p="" powers="" read="" shelf="" still="" swings="" that="" the="" two="" up="" years="">

So there it was.
The end of an era.

My baby girl has outgrown her momma. 
And people keep calling her Heidi.
And Christmas card photos are gonna look all weird and grown up now.

And I feel like I need a walker.

So, yeah, maybe I was a bit overwhelmed and hungover from summer that first day of school on Friday. And maybe not. But I made it through my first year without a tear.

Em and I walked Evan into his 2nd grade classroom. He didn't want to go. he doesn't like school, he says, which breaks my heart. He looked so handsome and proud. A new student was seated next to his desk, and some old friends scattered around the room. His teacher is WONDERFUL and we even got a text that night from her about how awesome he is, which melted a momma's heart like nothing else. 
My little peanut.

Emma started at the jr. high this year, which is alllllll the way across town. On the way there, we talked about what the new year might bring at this new place. I love to hear her thoughts. They're so mature for her age. She must have gotten that from her daddy. ;)
She hopped out at those big front doors and off I went, immediately filling the empty, quiet car with my own voice, giving God all SORTS of thanks and requests. Praying for friendships, praying for teachers, praying for knowledge, praying for safety, praying for the mommas, and praying for the daddies (especially for the one that kept calling this momma all day to make sure she was okay!).

I prayed that God would fill this empty spot in my day with whatever He chose, and he worked fast, because right as I turned the corner, I saw that there was a grand opening for the new thrift shop in town, so i pulled in all fast and crazy like Elle Woods into a nail salon (post-Warren breakup), and filled my cart with books and pokemon cards and hot wheels for the first day of school trinket boxes. 

When it finally arrived - the time school got out - I was READY.
I was so nervous. Did he have a good day? Did he want to go back?? Would he be smiling??

And let me tell you, I had never seen him so happy running my direction.
I had an awesome day! My teacher is so nice! We had guidance! And I played with my friends on recess!
I like school.

(Okay, so maybe I cried a little bit on the first day)

I was so happy for him. SO happy.
This was going to be a great year. 

Emma's day went great as well. She really likes her classes, and they're all pretty close together, so her locker is right by them all. She got to see all her friends again, and has a lot of new people to meet. And the best part?
We drive right past Starbucks on the way home. ;)

Happy Back-to-School, everyone!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mothers vs. Social Media + My Mother's Day!

Every mother's day, I try to think back on what it must have been like for my mother when I was growing up. Was it easier? Harder? The same, except better clothes and hair back then?

A friend of mine at lunch the other day brought up the whole social media thing. How she feels that every time a certain few someones post something about their kids, it's like they're competing or trying to make themselves look better than everyone else. They proudly take photos of achievements that, to some, wouldn't be called achievements at all. 
I think I sat there with the most confused look on my face, but there were others that agreed. 
And then on my side of the table, I began to think about how I feel about other moms' IG photos, and I seriously didn't get what they were saying. I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing my friends' kids achieve greatness. I LOVE seeing them creating, doing, learning. I LOVE to see involved parenting and silly faces with duck lips and parents taking pride in their child - no matter how mediocre. I think we post what makes us happy, and of course, not everyone's happy is the same.  How is this a bad thing?? I'm not on facebook, so I asked if maybe this was a facebook thing, and they assured me it was the same on all social medias. Instagram, twitter, tumblr, and so on. 
At that point I was pretty sure they hated me because pretty much all I post is my kids, and I think the other kid-posting moms felt the same way because it felt like a silent sneeches with no stars sitting across from sneeches with stars kinda moment. I post for the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends scattered all over the world. Happy memories that they get to be a part of, even in other countries or states. We were divided, and that was kinda that. The conversation moved on, but thinking back, I wondered, why don't you unfollow or unfriend people whose photos you don't want to see? If you feel bad about yourself or about a friend, why would you continue to expose yourself to something that makes you feel sad or angry or bad?
I've unfollowed many of my friends just because they post multiple personal views on things that make me feel sad or angry. I'm glad they have their own opinion, but if it makes ME feel bad, I stay away. I unfollow the friends with daily "crap-Im-selling-to-make-you-skinny" spam. I'm not interested in it. Doesn't mean i don't like you. I don't want to feel angry at them when I see them at lunch or at the park. Call me old fashioned, ignorant, or whatever. I just don't want to hear hateful remarks from your mouth, even if it's from behind a screen. So I unfollow, and move on. 
Would you buy a magazine on computer programming when you could read the magazine you're really interested instead? 
Where do you stand on this issue? 
Ida know. Whatever. That's my rant, brought to you today by Mother's Day!


MY mother's day was AWESOME. My kids made homemade cards with the sweetest words penned ever in life. Isn't it funny how a few scribbled words in crayon can mean more to you than all the jewels in the world?
Evan also made me a coupon book. 

 "Try to jump on the trampoline without peeing"
Now THAT. is a mother's day coupon, am i right?
There was stromy weather brewing, but when I'm faced with a "If you could do anything today, what would it be?" kinda day, I choose being outside. Hiking, walking, being with the ones that make this day possible for me.  

The rain held off all day where we were. 
It was perfect.
I am so blessed to be a mother.
So thankful.
I love you two more than life itself. 
I love every second with you, whether it be holding hands along a creek bed or cleaning you up during a bout with the flu. 
I love you when you're sweet, but love you just as much when you're mean or angry or have that attitude I hate so much. 
I love you no matter what, and that will always be true. Through angry faces and arguments and yellings and groundings. 
I love you.

And you can't ever change that. 
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Monday, May 9, 2016

In the Spring...

There's just something about the spring in Oklahoma that hurries things along. 
"It's warm today! Hurry and enjoy because tomorrow will be snowy! Or 200 degrees!" 
"Hurry and plant the seeds! It's warm out and if it gets too hot you'll miss the prime time!"
"It's supposed to rain tomorrow! Hurry and fertilize before you miss it!"
The weather here isn't just bipolar. It's got about 20 personalities and you really never know which one or when a new one will come along. 
So, EMBRACE THE DAY!! happens a lot around here, and on one of those days where mother nature was like the sweet old granny personality that kisses you on the cheeks with warm sun and hugs you with little gentle breezes, the hubby & I grabbed some wood and screws and taught the kiddos how to build their own little garden beds. 
Emma's plan was to plant a rainbow of colorful flowers for bees and butterflies...and probably her photo feed on instagram. 

 Evan's plan for his bed was random. Veggies! no... flowers! no... Apples! No...
he ended up planting giant sunflower seeds in it, and that actually happened like a week ago - so that little bed sat vacant and sad for a good month!
The third bed is a monarch garden, and we will evennnnntually get milkweed planted in it for the monarchs to lay eggs and grow up on. (It's also the visiting kiddo bed for our "summer kids"!)

The garden was planted with all it's baby seedlings, who were finally ready to be outside!

Oh, hey! And wanna see the latest and greatest Lego club creation?? This month's theme was transportation. Evan built the mean green machine, and it was going up against my mini scoot in a battle for the hill.

 OBVIOUSLY, mine was killed. 

Do you ever feel like the last month of school is like the bottom of a cereal bag and you go to pour a nice bowl of cap't crunch and all of a sudden you get a bowl full of millions of dust bits?!?
Am I right?!?

Dust bits of Emma's last middle school track meet. 
(snif snif waaaaaahhhh!)

Dust bits of Muffins with Mom at school...
(plus a cinnamon roll)

Dust bits of s'mores...

Dust bits of random garden visitors...

Breakfast in the sun dust bits...

Oversized glasses and a top knot?
I'm pretty sure people will be knocking n my door wanting to turn this into a piece for a fashion blog...right?? I mean...

Acro yoga before class begins...

And  a real life red spotted mushroom!!
Have you ever seen one?!?
In real life?!?
I thought they were just the stuff of David the Gnome cartoons and fairytales!!

Another nice day took us to our old playground again. 
Something about this place beckons my kids in, just like it does me.
If we have a day off of school, you'll find us way outside of city limits, miles from the brand new top of the line city playgrounds.
We'll be here. Just playing on old metal slides that burn your butt from the sun and old shaky swings and merry go rounds that creak and groan with every sway.

And then there's always the deviant hippies that come out to spray paint stop signs. 
I want to meet them. 
I mean, it may be vandalism, but at least it's a positive message?

The mornings, for now, are quiet and cool. After the big one and the wee ones are off for the day, the furry ones and the shelled one and I go out and weed and harvest the gardens. 
Buckbeak wanders around, occasionally taking a tiny nibble of lettuce or strawberry, but more often just a nap in the sun. 

Our shitake mushroom log has enjoyed the recent rains, and started sprouting little mushrooms for us!

There's a brick-paved road in our downtown area. Is there still one where you are? 
They've started paving over it now.
It made me really, really sad.
but, how do you handcuff yourself to a brick road to protest??
So I just stood there and watched the cement truck pour our town's last historical road into the past.
(cry faced emoji x 1000)

Super kids day at Evan's school.
He LOOOOVES super kids day. 
Twenty something events, running wild and crazy, getting that sweaty boy hair that for some reason he allllllllways gets when fun is being had.
Pure happy. 

There's a cat that lives at the gardens where we do yoga. His name is Cowboy Kitty.
And last week he decided that he was going to take over John's yoga mat for class.
Cats, am I right?

And he didn't even bother to do cat pose. 

Just last week our first broccoli heads were ready to be cut. 
There were only two, but the others are close behind!

Three strawberries survived the squirrels that day as well. 

A feast fit for a supermodel!

Last weekend we went out to grandads and took the canoe out.
Judging from the photo, can you guess how great the rowing lesson went?!?
I mean, all rowing on one side...

The best part is being the captain.

Evan and I abandoned ship and the girls ventured out on their own. 
We could hear them screaming all the way at the cabin. 
They were probably still both rowing on one side...

Hubby cut down quite a few limbs off our oak tree a couple weeks ago. 
I spent a whole afternoon cutting all the branches off until we had some long, straightish sticks to make a teepee out of. Evan & I had planned it for days before we finally got it up and ready.

His sunflowers sprouted!!

Spring, you crazy old thing.
We love you!
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