Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 22

We decided to let the boys share a room.
We moved Koen over the weekend.

They begged for us to push the beds together.
It's really helped with bedtime battles
and they look so sweet snuggled up together when they sleep.

It's been a blessing in so many ways.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My Dad's Trip to Hell and Back

Remember this fantastic wardrobe that I found?
Well, getting it home became quite a saga.
I bought it at a store in Atlanta,
which was a bit of a problem considering
that I live 175 miles away round trip.

I called my dad from the store 
to see if he'd be willing to drive in 
with his truck and bring it back.

At first he said no.
Then I called back and begged
and he begrudgingly said yes.

I must have super persuasive daughter powers.
That and I'm just a little bit spoiled.

The thing is that my dad hates driving in traffic.
He'd rather have a tooth pulled,
slam his finger in the door,
or smell a dirty diaper than drive
in Atlanta traffic.

I tried finding an alternative
to picking it up to let him off the hook.

He finally accepted his fate
and last week he carted me 
on the long trek to fetch my wardrobe.

He wasn't happy about it
but he did it cause he loves me.

Riding in traffic is an adventure with my dad.
I tried to make casual conversation but he'd shout
"No talking! I'm driving!"

Once we got there and loaded it up
he relaxed a little bit
and actually made a joke or two on the drive back.

He braved construction,
big rigs, speed traps,
traffic, and miles and miles of road
all because he loves me.
My furniture is now safe and sound in my home.

Thanks, daddy.
You're the best!

Tune in soon and I'll share
with you the continuing saga
of my lovely wardrobe.

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Just In...

My hair is now long enough to be braided!
Squeee!!! I feel like me again.

Also, I will never ever in a million years
cut my hair short again.

That is all.
Thank you and have a nice day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: Reading Makes Me Happy!

Originally posted 8/30/2011


Rediscovering my love for reading.

Over the last six years since becoming a mama
I haven't really had an interest in reading books.

It's been just too much to try

to fit in reading

with my two little monsters
needing so much of my time.

Well, my love for reading

has been rekindled.

I suppose that they are getting older

and suddenly, my life has

room for books.


I don't have the luxury of sitting down
to read for huge chunks of time

so I find myself stealing moments

to soak in the story.

Slowly, as the week passes

I read the book in quick spurts throughout the day.

While waiting in the car line

to pick Griffin up from school,

I give Koen a book to thumb through

in the backseat and we both

take a minute to read.


I am a voracious reader
who gets pulled into the story easily.

My mind wanders to the characters often.

While doing household chores I will

think of the story and before I know it,

the dishwasher is only half loaded
and my feet are propped up while I read.


Sometimes I can't sleep
because the book is calling to me.

I snuggle up in bed and yawn

and read and rub my eyes and read some more.


As the boys play outside
and my cranky cat begs for attention,

I shut out the world

and get lost yet again in the story.

It's as if some the best parts of me
that were lost in Motherhood
are slowly coming home.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Embarking on a New Adventure

  photo 4fa56a42-d7d3-4e9d-9b71-bf179a5b87b8_zps7c275c30.jpg

         A few months ago I was dropping Griffin's lunch off at school (because he forgot it, of course) and his teacher introduced me to local author that was visiting the class named Susan Nees. We shook hands and chatted for a moment about the fact that I was working on a novel. She asked me if I was in a writer's group. I should go ahead and tell you that the whole concept of a writer's group scares me for various reasons. So when she invited me to sit in with a group that she meets with, I conveniently "lost" her phone number. 

        Fast forward to last week when I was cutting a friend's hair in my kitchen. M.J. is a fellow writer and general badass. We love chatting about our writing and she casually mentioned her writer's group. It turns out that she is in the same group with Susan. It felt almost serendipitous and so I decided that I would be brave and attend the next meeting.

      All attendees are invited to read 10 pages to the group and get feedback. That idea felt so daunting to me but I was determined to do it.  A few days later MJ let me know that she would be showing up late and that Susan wasn't going to be able to go the meeting. This meant that I'd be entering a house full of strangers and reading my work aloud for the first time in years to people I didn't know. I wanted to back out.

     My heart wouldn't let me. I need this group. I need support from other writers. So I put on my big girl panties and went. It was awesome! The ladies in the group were so welcoming and kind. My voice quivered when I first started reading but I felt more at ease as each word escaped my lips.

    I got great feedback. Also, it was so inspiring to be surrounded by writers and listen to their work. I left the meeting feeling like a million bucks. Yesterday I became an official member of the group. They want to hear more of my story! It feels good to be accepted. I'm so excited to embark this on journey with fellow writers by my side.     

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 21

My mom and I took a daytrip into Atlanta
to go thrifting at the fancy surrounding suburbs.
We hopped into Estate Sales in mansions 
and had so much fun hunting for bargians.

It's just so much fun to
sort through boxes of old stuff.
It was a whirlwind trip.
We visited 4 Goodwill stores,
3 Estate Sales
and one antique shop.

It was an epic shopping trip.

 We found so many great treasures.
I just couldn't pass up this beautiful burled wood armoir.
I fell in love with it and refused to move
away from it until a "sold" sticker
was slapped on it,
letting all other shoppers know 
that it was mine all mine.

I found these adorable dishes
and bought them for a song.
 They look like they were made just for me.

We came home after our long day of shopping 
to a very messy home after Roger watched the boys all day.
I just strapped on my new thrifted kitten heels
and cleaned up the house in style.

It was such a fun day!


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My little fishy!

Koen just completed swimming lessons.

Our little guy is a natural
and has taken to the water like a little fish.

He knows no fear and swims like a champ.

I just love checking off childhood milestones.
I started swimming when my mom
took me to a Baby and Me swim class before I could even walk.

I'm so thrilled that my little guy
has a love for the water like I do.

Go Koen, go!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My nerves are shot. I need a vacation. What day is it? Who am I?

Lately I've felt uninspired. 
I have moments where I wonder
why anyone would care to pop over here
and read about my silly little life.

The truth is that being a full time mom
is an intense gig because I get very little time for me.

It's hard to be inspired 
when almost every moment of my day
is filled up by fulfilling my children's needs.
 I'm fetching them snacks, 
breaking up fights,
cleaning up messes,
teaching them life lessons,
enforcing rules,
playing games,
kissing boo boos.

The list could go on and on.

I'm not complaining,
I love this gig
and wouldn't give up this time
for the world.

I realized the other day
that I haven't been doing the things I love
because I'm so busy.

I haven't read a book for fun in forever.
I was reading a book
then I lost it and searched everywhere
for weeks and weeks.

So I gave up reading
because who has extra time
to search for lost books?
Not me.

I haven't taken photographs
of pretty things because
I'm just too tired to stop
and celebrate the pretty things in the world.

I see a beautiful flower and
I mumble "That's purty" in my mind
and then I just keep on walking.

That just not like me
to pass up stopping to say
hello to a flower.

My novel fell on the backburner.
I tried to write but would get interrupted 
by these little people all the time.

So I quit writing.
 I went limp.
My soul went hollow.

Until I found that lost book the other day
It was sitting on the shelf the whole time,
right next to me.

Imagine that.

 So, I picked it up and started reading...
 then I remembered that 
I have to make time to do the things
that make me happy. 

Like blogging about my silly little life,
exercising, meditating,
taking a moment to put on lipstick
before I leave the house,
brunching with a good friend,
or simply taking a shower more than once a week.

I have to do these things to stay sane.

Lord knows that I have more
than enough crazy in my life right now.

  {images found here}

Throwback Thursday :: The Tale of Three Neigh Neighs

Originally posted 10/26/11

Let me introduce you to Neigh Neigh.
Now, I know that this is actually a zebra
but round these parts it's known as a horse.

This nasty toy has been in our
family for four generations
as it was passed down from older cousins
to younger brothers.


It had been ignored for quite some time now
and just taking up space so,
while my mom watched Koen,
I donated Neigh Neigh
(and several other ignored toys)
to the Salvation Army.

I felt very good about myself.

Until Koen woke up from his nap screaming
for Neigh Neigh.
It was terrible...
I felt awful.
It was like the Tell-Tale heart.

So, we picked Griffin up from school
and raced to the donation drop off
to see if we could get the damn toy back.
I have never driven so fast in my life
as Koen cried for his toy in the back seat.

We arrived at the donation drop off location
and I told the guy my sad story.
Luckily, the zebra was still there.

I walked back to the car
feeling like the best mama ever
until Koen started crying even harder.
he said between sobs.

That's when I remembered
that I had also donated this little guy.


I'd like to introduce you to Neigh Neigh.
He had been collecting dust as well
so I decided to pass him on
so another child could enjoy him

So, I begrudgingly shoved the Zebra back in the car
(because now Griffin was heartbroken to lose it)
and headed back to tell the volunteer
that I actually needed the stick horse.

He was very nice about it
and chuckled as he handed it to me.

I felt like the best mama ever yet again
until Koen whimpered and said
in a sad shaky voice...
"Not that Neigh Neigh."

Then I remembered this special guy.


Let me introduce you to Neigh Neigh.
A huge lovable horse,
that is a favorite of Koen's.

I would never in a million years give him away,
and he was safe at home hidden under a blanket.

So, we put the stupid stick horse back in the car
(because they both suddenly LOVED him)
and headed home to find the beloved Neigh Neigh.


Everyone was happy.

Except me, because those damn toys
are back in the house again.

The end.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 20

 photo 1dc72c20-bb01-45ed-88c5-00091d775687_zps4a1c4e25.jpg

My view at the dinner table.
Koen insisted on wearing his 
bike helmet and being shirtless while he ate.

Then he made his sandwich sing a rousing
rendition of the song You are my Sunshine.

I love eating dinner with a 4 year-old.
It makes me happy to have a home
where my kids feel comfortable being silly.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Simple Things in Life

I don't have a thrilling post for you today.
As I scanned the photos that I captured this week,
this simple image caught my eye.

It may not seem all that spectacular
but to me it's a glorious moment.

I just love that Roger is
so willing to give the children
his undivided attention after a long day a work
and a long commute home.

Stepping outside to discover
the two of them playing on the porch
while a light rain fell warmed my heart.

These everyday moments 
are what I cherish the most
and want to keep record of.

Our summer has been filled
with these simple moments
and I always take in a
deep cleansing breath
and let gratitude fill me up
when I see them unfold.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: Surrounded by Boyness

Originally posted 6/09/10

I am surrounded by boys.
Boy toys, boy clothes, boy tears that they fight so hard not to cry,
boy hugs that are so wild that I actually find myself saying the words
"Don't slobber on my head when you hug me."


There is constant motion in my home.
A swirling of energy that they can't help but feel
and give into as they roll on top of one another.
They are both but a blur as they speed across the living room.
My baby who is quickly becoming a toddler
is the instigator and Griffin is quick to respond.
You can add "referee" to my many titles around here.


They wrestle and laugh and they can't keep
themselves from diving into each other.
They growl like wild animals
who are running free in the forest.
A deep resounding "GRRRR" fills up the living room.
They jump and climb and try to fly.
They land hard
and they get right back up to do it again.


I get tackled from behind while I load the dishwasher.
My skirt gets tugged at until I am in the living room
and I am pulled to the floor.
Before I know it, I am wrestling them too.
We roll around on the floor in a heap of giggles,
I forget to be a lady as my skirt goes over my head
and the baby flops onto my chest.
Griffin tickles my belly non stop.

They both stand up and they are running again
but this time in circles.
The house is full of laughter and squeals.
I am covered in baby snot and my hair is a mess
as I catch my breath.


There are no dolls
no hair bows,
not one tutu.
No glitter
no ballet slippers,
and no pink.
Not at all what I had expected.

I live in a house full of boys
and I am learning
that this crazy world
is one that I'm lucky to live in.

What a great surprise!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Adventures in Food Chaining

Dinner at our home can be struggle. My oldest has Sensory Processing Disorder that manifests itself in food. That's just a fancy way of saying that the neurons in his little brain don't fire for the sense of feel within his mouth so eating can be hard for him. We've been to occupational therapists and food therapists where we've seen progress but we often regress back to a list of about 20 foods that he willingly eats.

We don't want to make a big deal about food because we don't want the dinner table to be a negative experience for him or produce new traumas for our sweet little guy but recently my husband and I both started to feel that he needed a little push to try new foods.

So, we gave food chaining a try. There are books out on the topic but we decided to just take the concept and do our own thing. After years of watching him at occupational therapy and food therapy, I felt confident that we had the tools to help him. The idea with food chaining is that you build on food that the child already likes.

For example, my kiddo would eat cheese pizza with no sauce. So, we put tomato sauce on half of his pizza. We explained to him that just like we make him brush his teeth to keep his teeth healthy, it's our job as his parents to make sure that he can eat all kinds of foods to be healthy.

So, we told him to be prepared to see new foods on the table. At first he panicked but with a little encouragement, he tried it and discovered that he liked it. Woo hoo! We were so proud of him for taking that leap. Small victories, right?

After that he was feeling brave so we made him macaroni and cheese to try. At first we saw panic again but he eventually ate it. We were on a roll so the next night we had tacos. Normally he'll eat the taco shell with melted cheese but we scattered ground beef on the shell and low and behold he ate it! It was another breakthrough.

We decided to put together all the components of his new foods and prepared Beefaroni. It looked so scary to him to see pasta with meat sauce but when we explained that he had already tried all the ingredients successfully, he mustered up his courage and ate it all up!

It was dinner miracle! Next up will be adding fresh veggies to the tomato sauce. This may be harder for him but he's built up so much confidence that I think he'll be open to at least taking a bite and maybe even learn to enjoy it.

It's so hard to get of our comfort zone but I'm proud of our family for gently pushing our picky eater. I feel a new sense of hope that we can help him overcome his dinner time panic, one meal at a time.

You can learn more about Sensory Processing Disorder here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 19

The boys had a sleepover at my
Mother-in-law's house.

When we pulled up to her house
this sweet message was written
on the sidewalk for them.

  photo 77f9d03d-ef83-4186-99c4-ba46b9539059_zps8c4634e6.jpg

Before we left our house I asked
the boys to pack what they wanted
to take with them to Grandma's in their backpacks.

When we unpacked at her house
we were cracking up at what
Koen chose to pack.

He grabbed a special stuffed Pterosaur,
his gymnastics trophy,
a bedtime story book,
a Veggie Tales bible,
and his toy camera.

Roger and I had a date
and went to dinner at P.F. Changs where
I became very intimate with a Mai Tai cocktail.

We ended up at the Mall of Georgia
and saw Man of Steel on Imax.

We even had food left over from dinner so after the movie,
we sat in the same empty closed food court and ate
leftover Chinese food in the dark.

I love that I have so much fun with my man
doing simple things.

Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.