Thursday, July 31, 2008

floors and more

...These are of the master bedroom. We picked walnut floors and if you remember, I painted my ceiling chocolate. It matches beautifully. This is of our formal living area. It is the same walnut. What I love most about these floors is that they look as if they have always been there. They belong. :)

I do need some color in the living room to punch things up a bit so we are looking for a rug. But I am so happy with the results.

BTW: Just in case Holly and Justin were wondering, we didn't do this ourselves like they did. The people we hired were fast and efficient. H & J rock for diy-ing it. :)

I am going to teach Sunday School starting this Sunday. I, for a long time, didn't want to have anything to do with teaching but it seems God keeps calling me back into it. I will be teaching Pre-K and Kindergarten class so it will be fun.

Can you believe this is the last day of July? Summer flew and the boys will be starting school in 21 days. What I will miss about summer? Lazy mornings, late nights, swimming anytime we want, not having to go anywhere, seeing the boys all hours of the day. What I won't miss? The boys fighting because they see each other all hours of the day. ;)

I have decided to stop designing for Your Scrapbook Stash. I loved being on a design team, but lately scrapbooking has seemed more of a chore than a hobby. I can't get into it lately. I have even just started putting my photos in a picture album {gasp} and you know what? I love it. I love that I don't have stacks of photos just waiting to be scrapped. It is a relief.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

i've got

...hardwood floors! Happy early Anniversary to me! (oh, and to Seth too)

I'll show pictures tomorrow when the blue tape comes off.


Monday, July 28, 2008

mama birds are tough souls

...Noah has always been a mama's boy. I remember the 2nd night after he was born and Seth had gone home with Rhett so it was just Noah and me. He couldn't sleep by himself. He was whimpering in his hospital crib so I took him out and snuggled close to him. He relaxed and fell asleep. (I, of course, did not sleep at all because I was so afraid of him falling out of the tiny hospital bed).

So it is no surprise to me that he still really likes to be around me. (Honestly, who wouldn't? hee hee) But, lately, he has been especially clingy. Yesterday, in the pool, I really noticed it because everywhere I would swim, he would follow. He wouldn't leave my side.

I had a thought about what it could be and tonight I found out what was wrong. He got out of bed around 10:30 and asked to be rocked. Usually Daddy rocks, but he wanted me instead. I sat down with him and just asked, "Are you scared about going to kindergarten?"

The tears start flowing. He is scared of leaving me, of homework, of being the littlest kid, of bullies, of having no friends, of not knowing what 100+200 equals, of not being able to read...

Wow. I thought he had a little seperation anxiety. This kid has a full case of first day of school jitters!

First, I told him he would only be at school half-day or roughly 2 1/2 hours. I told him he would see me a lot more than not. I told him he didn't have to know everything right away. That is what teachers are for. I told him that bullies are scared too so just be brave and say, "Back off and leave me alone!" and they probably will. I told him he would be the same age as every other kindergarten and that he already has a friend from our neighborhood and even better, a big brother just down the hall.

Then I told him he was sweet and special, smart and funny and that he would have lots of friends. I hope that is true. I know that every parent wishes that for their kids.

I also told him that it was to be apart from the ones you love every once in awhile because then you get to miss them. And then the sweetest part is when you get to see them again! (I am really trying to prepare him for my trip to New York in September)

So there you have it. Another good bedtime conversation. He went to bed feeling loved. I am going to bed feeling bittersweet because my youngest child just had a very grown-up conversation about leaving me and fears of new things. On one hand, I just want to hug him and say, "You don't have to go! Just stay with me forever!" and on the other hand that has slightly better judgement I have to, not just let him go, but tell him that it is okay to go.

It makes you wonder what the mama bird are thinking when she is scooting her babies toward the nest's edge. She knows that they have to learn to fly and she has to be the one to give them that push but is she sad? Proud? Happy? Scared? Does she close her eyes and just hope they flap their wings and not fall?

All the while knowing in her heart that they will be just fine.

Just as I know that Noah will be just fine too. And so will I.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

three special little guys

...This past weekend, we went to Friona to visit family. While there, we went to Friona's Cheeseburger Festival (according to Rhett's Granddad, some guys named George and Paul started this competition many, many years ago when my granddad was just a boy. A promise to move somewhere cold and wear cheese on their heads was what was on the line. Some potato vodka, a nice sister and nasty hangovers for George's big family assured Paul and his small family were not those people. Rhett is so excited to see the cheeseheads on tv in the fall...)

Anyway, while there I spotted someone I know: Holly! And beside Holly was Justin holding--Eli! I ran over to them, dropped all my drinks and took Eli immediately. He is the most precious little boy. I am so happy that I got to see them. It was a great surprise. Holly did ask me how I was and I said I was okay. And here is where I have to be honest: Although at that moment I was okay, earlier that morning I was not. It has just passed a month since I had my miscarriage and there had been moments where I was dwelling in my loss. And one would think, seeing a baby would make me sad, especially if I was already feeling down. But quite the opposite happened. When I saw Eli, all I could feel was...happiness.

A little later on in the day, my cousin and her children came to see us. We were sitting in my parents' living room, watching her youngest, a 15-month boy, play. Let me tell you, he is the happiest baby! He growls like an Ewok, has a huge smile and at one time, he climbed on the couch where my sister and I were sitting and would just sit there with us. Darling. He made my heart swoon.

While driving home on Sunday, we stopped at my friend's house to see her and her family. Christy's son is almost a year old and this was the first time I had seen him. He had a smile, that one! He was so cute, could already walk and made me laugh at the way he would try to pull the boys' too long hair. It was like he was saying, "You guys need your hair cut!" Again, my heart was just happy.

This may sound dopey, but after seeing these three special little guys, I really feel better. I really am okay. It was like they helped my heart heal. It was like God was telling me, "See, Aimee, look how much good there is in this life. Look how much love there is. Focus of the beautiful."

I read an article a few weeks ago about trying to let go of the messes in your life. It made me think about how I want to live my life from now on: Accept that things, bad or good can happen no matter what you do.

I wrote down a quote from that article by a Rabbi Kula, that I want to share with you:
You can't seperate nature's beauty from its destructiveness.
By finding the beauty in everyday, even in life's terrible moments, is a way for me to accept and to know that God loves me.
This past weekend, I saw the beauty in three little boys' faces. They are their mothers' happiness. And that made me happy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

our vacation (part 2)

...The colors of the sunset were just breathtaking. We could have spend $350 for professionals to take our pictures on the beach at sunset, but I decided to try it ourselves. This is one of my favorites.

This photo looks a little strange, but the concept was great. Heading back from the beach, we stopped in Mobile at the Exploreum to look at their frog exhibit. There were some really neat frogs that we have only seen in pictures. There was this aquarium that had a hole in the middle for kids to go inside and look. Hence the picture.

And this video is something we found at the Exporeum. It was hilarious and very, very cool.

It is tiny, magnetic particles reacting to the music. It is neater in person because the video doesn't do it justice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

our vacation (part 1)

...These are some images from our Alabama vacation. I'll show more tomorrow. The first 2 photos are of the beach. Noah and Rhett had a great time swimming (or letting the wave carry them) to shore. The rest of us (Seth's brother and his family were with us) picked up shells and played in the sand. Seth, the boys and I were standing in knee-deep water when Melissa yelled out, "Jellyfish!" We were out in a flash and that pretty much ended our trip to the beach.

Our hotel was across the street from the beach and we had a lovely view of the bay (the last photo). The boys posed on one of the docks for me and that is where I took the picture of the jellyfish. Apparently, they love warm water and that is the reason why they were there. Their presence fascinated all of us.

A little side note: I took such good precautions about us not getting sunburned (UV shirts, hats, lots of sunscreen, even swim goggles with UV protection that we left Alabama sunburn-less.

Then we go to Friona's Cheeseburger Festival on a overcast day and guess who got a nice little sunburn on her shoulders and back? Me.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

hello there

...It's been a long but fun week. I went to the beach, in the Gulf Shores of Alabama. I would love to show you pictures and I will, but tonight I am tired.

But here are some interesting (at least to me) facts about our car ride to and from our lovely vacation spot:

*We (mainly Seth and I) spotted 27 license plates from different states. A couple of surprising ones: Maine and South Dakota

*We drove through 5 states to get to our destination. Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

*Rhett's great sense of smell was lost on his own feet. Usually, he is the first to say, "What is that smell?" During one point of the long drive, Seth asked that question. We were in Louisiana at that point at we were both wondering that maybe it was the air outside (it was a swampy kind of smell). I told Seth that I was going to ask Rhett if he smelled it. I did and he answered, "Oh. That must be my feet!" Then we all laughed. He had just taken off his crocs. And had no socks. Poor guy with the smelly feet. We bought foot powder the next day and on the way home, there was no smell. :)

*Noah can't read. We were trying to pass the time on the road and at one point, Rhett says, "Let's find things that start with each of our names! S for Seth, A for Aimee, R for Rhett and N for Noah!" Seth saw several signs for shrimp and seafood, I saw a sign that started with A and Rhett found one with an R. Then Noah shouted, "Aahh! I can't read!" We all laughed at the one for a while.

*At the final leg of our journey, I almost cried, I was so tired of sitting in the car. On the way back, I did cry. Long car rides are just not for me. I am very thankful for my husband though. He drove the entire way without complaining.

*We made it all the way there and all the way back safe and sound. Thank God.

Friday, July 11, 2008

a love story

...After seeing a VISA commercial during the Olympic Trials about Derrick Redmond, the British Olympian who was favored to win the 400 in the Barcelona Olympics, I teared up because I remembered watching that very race Morgan Freeman (the voice-over in the commercial) was talking about. I found someone who told it better than I could. The author is Mac Anderson, which I quoted in my header. You'll find the quote in this story. I think he wrote this story in August of 1992. I hope you enjoy:

Derrick Redmond from Great Britain was favored to win the 400-meter race during the summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, but as he powered around the backstretch his hamstring snapped. Derrick tried desperately to finish the race, but he still had half the distance to go. Because he couldn’t walk, he began to hop. One step – a grimace. Two steps – a yell.

Jim Redmond had to get to his struggling son. He doesn’t remember all the steps down from Section 131, Row 22, Seat 25 of the Olympic Stadium. He doesn’t really remember leaping over the railing or pushing off security guards who were too stunned to stop him. He was not just a spectator at the Olympics anymore; Jim Redmond was a father, and he had to get to his son.

“Dad,” Derrick said, “Dad…Get me back to lane five. I want to finish.”

And leaning on each other, father and son made their way around the track as the crowd, with the whole world watching, rose to their feet cheering. Olympic Organizers can light the skies with fireworks, they can invite kings and queens…but this was the magic of real life.
That day people saw an example of great courage, but they witnessed an even greater story about love.

Love, simply stated, is the essence of life. It can put the smile on your face, the bounce in your step, and most importantly, the joy in your heart. Even when your whole world is crumbling around you, one person holding your hand, looking into your eyes, saying “I love you” is enough to get you through.

Love is to attitude as the rain is to flowers. Surround yourself with people who love you, and whom you can love back. This, more than anything else you can do, will provide the music for your life and the fuel for your soul.

Just recently a friend included a wonderful poem by Robert Ward in her letter to me. I hope you like it as much as I did.

I wish you the courage to be warm when the world
Would prefer that you be cool.
I wish you successes sufficient to your needs;
I wish you failure to temper that success.
I wish you joy in all your days; I wish you sadness
So that you may better measure that joy.
I wish you gladness to overbalance grief.
I wish you humor and a twinkle in the eye.
I wish you glory and the strength to bear its burdens.
I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season
Your journey.
I wish you peace in the world in which you live and in the
Smallest corner of the heart where truth is kept.
I wish you faith to help define your living and your life.
More I cannot wish you, except perhaps love, to make
All the rest worthwhile.

Have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

jobs, lifes, and wives

...I don't know why, but the most meaningful conversations with my children come right before bed. Maybe they are just trying to delay lights out or maybe that is the only time they will allow themselves to be reflectful (I am sure it is the former not the latter). Anyway, last night was a great conversation.

It started off with just Noah. He was in the bed and I was hugging him good-night. Rhett was saying good-night to Dad in the other room.

Noah: Mom, I wish we could be married.
me: I know. What we have is so great though! You are going to be my sweet son forever and I'll be your mom forever.
N: But what if I'm a Dad?
me: Then that's even better! You'll still be my son and you will have also made me a grandmom!
N: Oh yeah!

Rhett walks into the room.

Noah: Will Rhett and me live together when we're Dads?
Rhett: Only if our wives let us!
N: I think our lifes will want to live together.
R: It is wife, not life!
me: I guess you could live together if you wanted to. You could live next door to each other, or in the same town or in different towns. My sister Krista lives way far away from me and so I don't see her very often. I don't see my sister Jana very often either. I wish they lived closer.
R: Yeah, we 'cause we don't see them a lot.

N: Mom, when I grow up, I'm gonna take of you and Dad. Because I really like you. And that's all I'm gonna do.
R: I'm gonna be a racer and then when I make billions of dollars, I'll be a billionaire. That is how it works right?
me: Yes, if you have a billion dollars, then you are considered a billionaire.
N; First, I'll go to the Olympics and then once that's done, I'll live with you.
R: A racer, go to the Olympics and a billionaire. That's all my jobs!

N: I wonder what my life (wife) will be like. What will my children's names be?
R: Mom, if we can't get a job or can't afford a wife, can we live with you?
me: (laughing) I guess if you live with me, you must not have made that billion dollars?
R: I guess not! But, really, do you think we can afford a wife?
me: (laughing again) How much do you think a wife costs?!?
R: Probably a lot.

me: (leaving the room) If you can't afford a wife or can't get a job, you will always have a room in our house. Especially if Noah is taking care of us.

I'm glad to know that they are thinking about the future. I do wonder what kind of wife Rhett wants though. She seems like she is a little high-maintence to me. :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

something random for you

...I sat down here to blog, but am not inspired. What should I blog about? The weather? No. You probably know it was hot. The weekend? It was fun. We saw fireworks, the boys stayed awake (until we got back into the car and then they fell asleep. Let me tell you that getting a 7 and a 5 year old out of the car when they are deadweights is not fun. Seth and I were both grunting and moaning!), and the rest of the weekend was spent doing things as a family.

Should I blog about the Olympic Swimming Trials? Did you see Dara Torres, a 41-year-old mom of one win one, but two events at the trials and now she is on her way to her 5th Olympics?!? She is amazing. I mean, Michael Phelps is amazingly perfect at swimming, but Dara Torres is amazing because she is defying odds and not only beating them but winning too!

Should I blog about the changes I made to the left of my blog? I am having mixed feelings about the new blogroll. On one hand, the fact that it updates blogs means I do not have to check them until they are updated. On another hand, it makes it seem that I am keeping tabs on blogs and does it make one feel bad that they haven't updated? So, that may go away. Also the slide show is neat but I don't like that I can't make it show photos randomly. Everytime you come here, you see the picture of the tree in the snow. So that may go away too until I can figure out something else. (In fact, now that I am writing this I am thinking I will make changes right after I post this, so you may not even see those changes I am talking about and that makes this paragraph null and void.)

Should I blog that it was my niece's birthday yesterday? Head over to Krista's blog to read a beautiful post about her. And Happy Birthday big 3-year-old!

Or should I blog about all the things I have to do this week but instead I am writing this blog about what I should write about? Does it seem to you, too, that I am procrastinating? Hmm...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

have a happy 4th!

...Our neighborhood had a bike parade and ice cream social last night. The boys decorated their scooters and themselves and rode up and down the streets. Then they got to swim (at night!). A fun time.

Here is a wonderful reason to celebrate America's birthday: U.S. hostages that had been held by Columbia rebels for five years were released! That is great news. I remember reading about them a year ago and telling myself to remember their names: Keith, Marc and Thomas. I am so happy that they can go back to their families. After five years, that is a lot of catching up to do. But thank God they have the chance to do so.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

surprises in the mail

...This past week, I have had a couple of packages in the mail. I always love getting packages and this time was no exception. The first was a lovely hydrangea from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. It now sits on my craft table so I can see it everyday. Thank you Scott and Melissa for the beautiful flower. The second package, that I received yesterday, was a colorful package that held inside a beautiful concoction of chocolate. Yummy chocolate brownies and cookies from Harvard Sweet Boutique. Krista, thank you so much for the goods!I had to take a bite out of it right out of the box. And it didn't disappoint. It was so rich, so gooey, it was delicious. I put the package in the refrigerator to hide it from the boys. When I told Seth about it he asked if I already ate them all. Ha. Ha. I would never do that! ;)

The last picture is one of my new hairdo. Now, for those that haven't seen me in awhile, it may not look so different than the last time you've seen me. But for months, I let my hair go without color and without a curling iron or straightener, so it was not pretty. Two Fridays ago, I took the afternoon to go "get my hair done." Nellie Connolly said it best in her book, From Love Field when she wrote about going to the beauty shop after getting her husband home and settled in, after he was shot. She said, "In those days, that's what ladies did when they felt worn down and worn out: They got their hair done." I think that still holds true today. I, too, was feeling worn down when I went to the salon. I told the hairstylist to color it darker and to cut it to my chin and she picked a beautiful color. I felt like a new person!

Have a great Tuesday.