Thursday, December 29, 2011

sweet sixteen

sixteen years ago tonight, i was laying in a hospital bed in virginia, in awe of the sweet baby girl I'd been blessed with earlier in the day. all five pounds seven ounces of her.

tonight, i'm sitting in a chair in virginia, in awe of the sweet young lady i've been blessed with. all five feet three inches of her.

everything that i wasn't, she is.

everything that i am, she's not.

everything about her is JUST.RIGHT.

and i am so thankful for the gift that she is.

we've had a great day celebrating HER...starting with a trip to the starbucks at the her cheetah footie pajamas. in the parking lot we passed a car that said FEARLESS. you HAVE to be fearless to go ANYWHERE in your cheetah footie pajamas, am i right?

it's been a fun day...starting with some love from the lee boys and moving on to a fun night (that continues on) with friends from school.

jordan was certain her world was going to end when she had to leave texas. turns out she's just entered a whole new world (cue disney music now).

happy happy birthday sweet georgia lou. you are loved more than you can possibly imagine. keep smiling, keep loving life and keep being YOU. because YOU are something REALLY special. and i'm proud to be your momma.

here are a few pics of your journey so far...

at first, your big brother wasn't quite sure what to do with you...even then you seem to be looking at him and telling him how it's going to be. lol.

he warmed up to you super fast and y'all became best buddies. much as you torment each other now, you HAVE to know how much he loves you because he hasn't killed you yet. lmbo.

even in your first few months you displayed your ability to go from beach babe to cowgirl and wear both looks stunningly. hee hee.

while you've always loved getting into your momma's jewelry, you've also got a tough side...

sure it LOOKS like you're playing with pink roses but really i'm pretty sure you're using them as weapons LOL.

you were soooooo painfully shy up until you started hated strangers and you were less than thrilled getting your pic taken. stacey, if only we'd known you then...

you've always had your OWN UNIQUE sense of style. who else could pair a classic ralph lauren dress with a cheetah purse and flip flops and rock it?

i never thought you'd make it through your first day of school...thankfully gymnastics brought you out of your shell...and there's been no turning back since then...

you are part tomboy (strangely frogs are mesmerized by you????...freak...)

and part princess. this should serve you well in can survive in a castle or in a jungle. :)

you are an amazing big sister...and a hilarious little sister.

from wacky to elegant, you've got it all.

and our family would not be complete without you.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

countdown to christmas -- december 13

fact: moving 3,925 times in 20 years will make even the most sentimental person start throwing away pretty much anything and everything they ever cherished.
i used to have quite a collection of memories stashed away in boxes. now most of them are stashed away in my mind instead (perhaps this is why i am so forgetful in the here and now...too much old stuff up there LOL). anyhow, along the way, there have been a handful of things that i have just HAD to preserve.

i'm glad i saved THIS:

jordan's wish list to santa, december 2005.

this was the winter that we had announced to the kids that we were planning on moving to texas. just like her momma, this girl is ALLLLLL OVER THE PLACE.

some of the items on her list make me laugh out loud. some of them bring tears to my eyes.


number 10 has been erased. but i can still see what it says: to have will smith's autograph.

and i love how she ends the letter with number 13. have a great day always santa...little suck up.


p.s. santa, don't be offended that she spelled your last name wrong. she also spelled Jesus wrong. lmbo lmbo lmbo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

stuck in nebraska

**disclaimer: i know some really nice people from nebraska (cough*cough*the valencia family*cough*cough) and i'm sure that they think nebraska is just a lovely place to be...please no offense to those of you that this is sure to offend ;) i mean no harm.**


back in my high school days, summer meant camping. summer meant colorado. summer meant each of us girls got ONE cardboard storage box to fit all of our items in. summer meant saying goodbye to our boyfriends...and giving up the phone...and tv...and music...for we headed west and lived like pioneers.

there were no cell phones, no internet, no ipods for music...this made for some loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong car rides from ohio to colorado. just ask my parents. there was also no satellite radio...which meant that when you were in the middle of nowhere there wasn't much to listen to. so we did what any teenaged girls would do: we filled the dead air space with the sounds of nonsense...

we made up songs...long, ridiculous, unending songs (that we still have memorized)...we wrote movie scripts that starred us (duh!). we talked, we sang, we talked some more.

and my parents continued to do this year after year. wth were they THINKING?

i have so many fun memories of our times in colorado, wyoming & about BEAUTY! there is just NOTHING as majestic as the mountains. breathtaking...even to a completely self-centered teenager :)

what i DON'T have fun memories of are our times in nebraska. if you aren't much on geography, i've included this handy map for you to refer to. see ohio? see colorado? see all those states you have to drive through to get there? see how nebraska is last on the list? see how TERRIBLY, TERRIBLY HORIZONTAL NEBRASKA IS?????

now, imagine having been in the car (yes, car...we didn't get a van until later i have memories of my sisters and i being in the backseat of a little navy blue fiat making that journey)...imagine...being in that get through're excited...a few more states...still having fun...but then you hit nebraska. and it just goes on and on...FOR.EVER. there is NOTHING to look at. the SMELLS of the nearby animal farms (chicken? pig?) waft through the air and cause you to gag...which causes those around you to gag...which means lots and lots of gagging...

and you just want to be done with it. BRING ON COLORADO. give me my mountains. give me my view. give me beauty. give me fresh air.


God, i'd forgotten how much i hate nebraska.

(again, valencia family, i am so so sorry. i love you in spite of this torturous state you hail from).

soooo, why am i all anti-nebraska in the middle of the holiday season?

i'm just going to go ahead and type un-edited if you don't mind.

the 2010-2011 time frame has been one HELL of an era.

i could not be more glad to just say goodbye to it. in fact, i may actually stay awake this new year's eve to see the ball drop...which is something i just don't do...because i'm ready to kick this past year from here to kingdom come.

and it's not just me. so many who i love (and even some that i don't) have just been having a wretched time with this thing called life.

the heartache of losing loved ones...

the pain of dreams unfulfilled...

the hurt of damaged relationships...

the anguish of cancer & sickness...

the brutality of life...

sometimes it just seems like it's unbearable.

i was trying to share some encouragement with a friend the other day...sharing with her that she just needed to hold on another not give up...that good MUST BE right around the corner.

and that's when it hit me.

i feel like i'm stuck in nebraska. i feel like so many of my dear friends & family (and you know who you are as you are reading this) are stuck in nebraska.

and it's TORTURE.

we know where we WANT to be.

we know the beauty of what we HOPE TO SEE.

but instead we're stuck on this miserable road that seems to lead to nowhere...not only does it seem that there is NOTHING worth looking at, but add to that the literal STINK of it all and it's just so incredibly disheartening.

we long for more.

we long to move on.

we long to just GET THERE.

but it's not happening.

we're stuck. in nebraska.

and the bad news is WE'RE IN THE BACKSEAT. we have NO CONTROL over how long it's going to take before we can cross that fabulous line and see the sign welcoming us to the other side.

for some of us, that day is going to come before others. some of us will get to experience the hopes deferred...the dreams we've been waiting for...the joy of things we've been anticipating and praying for...

but knowing how this life goes, SOME of us won't. some of us are going to have to wrestle with the fact that maybe nebraska is where we're going to be for awhile (or...gasp...forever).

and if that's the case then we'd better start to find some beauty in this place.

for starters, we need to realize we're not alone. even though it may seem like it out on the highway. if we will resign ourselves to the fact that we have to stay for a bit, then we can (maybe) find some things about this place that aren't so bad.

there are others who may have gotten off the road here as well. they understand how we feel. maybe they've been here so long that they can show us some of the beauty that is here. or maybe they've been here so long that they've forgotten there's anything else OUT there.

either way, if we're going to BE HERE then we may as well embrace it.

this is where i find myself. when i finally get used to the scents and sights (much as i wish i could ignore them), i realize that i'm not the only one out here.

i'm not gonna lie. i'd WAY rather be in colorado. i'd way rather have THAT view than the one that i currently face.

but i'm trying to come to terms with it...

i'm stuck in nebraska.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

we interrupt this countdown to christmas - december 4

your previously scheduled christmas countdown has been interrupted by a random conversation between carson and i...that has absolutely NOTHING to do with christmas.

we got carson a skateboard for his birthday. it IS true that you get what you pay for. we didn't pay much, and today, about a week later, we had to exchange it because the wheels were just NOT right.

on the way home carson was starving. i stopped at a sonic and got him a hot dog. plain.

this is the conversation that followed:

carson: 'this is the BEST hot dog i have EVER had.'

me: 'oh yeah? glad you like it!'

carson: 'mom, when i'm a dad, if i'm out and my kid tells me i'm hungry i'm taking him to sonic for a hot dog.'

me: 'okay. that sounds good.'

carson: 'hey mom!'

me: 'what carson?'

carson: 'this wrapper says that this hot dog is beef...100% beef. is that the kind you buy or do you buy pig hot dogs?'

me: 'most of the time i buy the pig hot dogs...every once in a while i get the beef kind.'

carson: 'why?'

me: 'because the beef ones cost way more.'

carson: 'oh yeah...well when i'm rich, i'm gonna have my servant only buy me beef hot dogs whenever i want them. but i'm gonna make him use his own money.'

me: 'why would you make him use his own cash? if you're rich you should buy them and treat him to some.'

carson: 'mom, i'm going to want to STAY rich. that won't happen if i buy beef hot dogs all the time.'

makes perfect sense in the mind of a ten year old, right?

and once again, i'll say: it is true that you get what you pay for.

i hope someday his aspirations are set higher than just buying 'real beef' hot dogs. LOL.

Friday, December 2, 2011

countdown to christmas - december 2

once upon a time
back in nineteen eighty nine,
a story was set in motion
that i shall now put into rhyme.

i lived in a rental house
with my sister and a friend.
we were right around the corner
from the infamous C.B.N.

we decided to watch a movie
on a cold december night.
we started a fire, ate some dinner,
no clue of the impending fright.

but please forgive me,
i've skipped ahead too far.
first i need to tell you
a bit about my car.

i had a sporty dodge charger,
it was black and it was quick.
but on this fateful day,
the key only made a click.

i was young and blonde
and did not know what to do.
my sister and my roommate
were also without a clue.

so i called my friend diane.
told her my car was dead.
she sent over her husband,
i was so grateful for mr. fred!

fred had me move my car.
sissy's car & mine, nose to nose.
he got out the jumper cables,
turned the key and said, 'here goes.'

ta-da, the car had started.
all was going great.
fred said to let it charge a bit,
to revive it's uncharged state.

fred went along his merry way,
sissy & friend went back inside.
it was really, REALLY cold
as i sat inside my ride.

that's when it came to me.
i had a perfect plan.
why sit outside alone
when i could be inside with the clan?

this was in the era of cassette tapes,
way before cds.
i had quite a collection
and kept them by my front seat.

fred had told me to rev my car,
about a half an hour.
this should bring it back to life,
renew it's former power.

i took the shoe box
and shoved it down,
upon the gas pedal,
down toward the ground.

i headed in the house
and we started to watch a movie.
i can't remember what it was,
but i'm sure that it was groovy.

a knock upon our door
interrupted our movie plan.
we looked out the peep-hole,
and saw an unfamiliar man.

there was no way we would answer.
the man, he was a stranger.
we tried to talk through the door.
we were afraid of danger.

he would not go away.
he came to our back door.
who was this crazy man?
he scared us to our core!

eventually the fear gave way
to what the man was saying.
he was not messing around,
the man, he wasn't playing.

my car! my car! it was on fire!
huge flames reached toward the sky.
meanwhile poor sissy's car,
nose to nose it stood right by.

this is a night i won't forget,
such a vivid memory.
sissy in her bunny slippers,
our friend praying loud as could be.

911 was called, the fire men came.
they quickly put out the mess.
then they had some questions
and i did not have to guess.

why yes, yes sir, i do know
about the box on the gas.
i put it there on purpose,
after all, i'm just a lass.

insurance actually covered it,
miracles do come true.
the damage to my sister's car
thankfully was covered too.

this was 23 years ago,
so imagine my surprise
when we drove past the rental house
with the little guys.

here i am in the driveway,
see the remains of my poor car?
stranger than fiction, i realize.
my life really IS this bizarre.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

countdown to christmas - december 1

o.m.gosh! it's DECEMBER.

when you're a kid, christmas seems to take forever to get here.

when you're the grown up it's quite the opposite.

there are soooo many things i love about christmas. and every year that goes by, we layer another memory into the mix. i looooove decking the halls and making everything festive. everything is kept really simple and i've really stripped away anything that doesn't have special meaning. so it doesn't TAKE LONG but it's just such a special time with the kids.

one of my most favorite things to do is get out the ornaments...we've got a VERY broad range of ornaments on our tree...but each one has special meaning and represents something.

(before you scroll down any further, the perfectionist in me DOES need to put a disclaimer that it's annual tradition that austin and i get the tree set up and now that the kids are all old enough, THEY do all the placement of the ornaments...including attaching any hooks to the ornaments that need them...there...i said it...). you can continue reading.

the other night, jordan's friend addie was here with us and hudson was proudly showing her all of our holiday decor.

as a mother, i'd like to say that his 'tour' of our holiday home warmed my heart. i'd be lying. instead it warmed my FACE. he sees the world through a different lens. but then again, most guys do, right?

so here is my countdown to christmas, day one. a look around the house through hudson's eyes:

1. BATMAN..."checking out BARBIE" (who appears to be hanging by a green noose????).

2. an unidentified NBA (is that the right thing to call a pro baseball dude??? whatever...he's one of the famous guys) aiming a baseball right at jordan's gymnast bear. let's see how well she can keep her balance on the beam with a fast pitch headed straight for her.

3. the stockings were hung by the chimney with care. at first glance you'll see that (obviously) they are cowboy boots. but they have hidden messages in the designs that none of us had ever noticed. that is til hudson...

4. jordan's stocking is the 'girly' one with the flowers. to us, it's just western stitching. to hudson it's puppy dog eyes, a nose and the vertical brown design separates the dog's eyes from his long floppy ears. can you see this? it took me a bit at first. but the NEXT stocking...well...i saw it right away and i'll NEVER see the stocking the same again.

5. what? it's just a cute snowman stocking boot, right? WRONG. look again. it's a 'brown' lady wearing a low cut dress.

ROFLMBO. poor carson. his stocking will never EVER be seen the same again. it is forever after the 'christmas cleavage' stocking.

burlesque anyone?

on that note, i'm signing off to go read the bible to my kid. pray for him. pray for me. i seriously don't know how i'm going to survive the adolescent years with these two crazy young'uns. the first two were NOT cut from the same cloth as the second two. LOL.