Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Oldie But a Goodie :: This is a True Story

Originally posted 10/29/10

image found here
It was a balmy night in San Antonio, Texas
and as my car barrelled through the night,
all of the passengers in the car sat in silence.
We were all building up our courage to visit the Ghost Tracks.

The story is the stuff of urban legend...
the tale of an intersection of roadway and railroad track that is haunted.
In the 1930s a school bus full of children
stalled on the railroad tracks and a train crashed into the bus.
10 children died as well as the bus driver on that day.

Legend says that the spirit of the children linger
near the tracks and if a car stops in front of the tracks
that they will push your car over the tracks to safety.
To add to the spookiness of this
paranormal phenomena,
folks say that if you cover the back of the car
and rear bumper with baby powder that you will see tiny fingerprints.
No doubt, prints from the dead children.

My friends and I were just crazy enough
to put this urban legend to the test.
We pulled the car up to the intersection
that was seemingly on an upward slant.
The car was put into neutral 30 yards from the railroad tracks.

We sat in silence until one of us would giggle
then we would all shoosh and smack each other to be quiet.
A few of us jumped out of the car
and braved the silent darkness
to put the baby powder on the back of the car
and then ran back in the car squealing.

Then we sat idling before the tracks.
I turned off the engine and put the car in neutral.
As I took my foot off of the gas,
I could feel my heart beating in my neck
I was so scared.

Suddenly, the car started to move forward.
We all gasped as we gained momentum
and went steadily over the bump,
then over the tracks,
and down on the other side.

Once the car stopped,
we all took turns screaming and freaking out.
Did we dare get out of the car to see if the fingerprints were there?
We made a pact to all get of the car together to look.

Armed with a flashlight,
I shined the light on the bumper to find
tiny fingerprints all over the back of my car.
No lie, there were little bitty hand prints all over the place.

We all screamed again and bumped into one another
as we scrambled to get back in the car.
I drove like a bat out of hell
and never looked back.

Don't believe me?
Watch this...

Have a Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The trophy that proved me wrong...

Soccer season is over and it's bitter sweet
because it was Koen's first time playing on a team.

The Attack made for a good little group.
Koen mostly ran circles around everyone.
Literally, he would run an orbit around everyone
as they kicked the ball down the field.

That kid can run fast, too.

I hold so many memories in my heart from the season.

Like how Koen would stand up if he fell down
and just look at me with a quivering lip to see if he was okay.
 I would nod and yell "You're alright!!" from the sidelines
then he'd dust himself off and start running again. 

I'll never forget the high fives and
squeals that unfolded when he scored a goal.

I'll always remember the tender hugs of comfort
that I gave him when his team lost.

It's all really great "life" stuff.

They had a little celebration after the last game
where they handed out cupcakes and trophies.

It reminded me of this article that I wrote
a while back where I blasted participation trophies
because I felt like they were empty praise.

You know what, though?
I'm not too proud to admit when I change my mind
because Koen is so flippin' proud of his little trophy.

He says goodnight to it every single night.
He pulls it down from the shelf and carries it around the house.
It actually rode to school with us the other day.

He loves it and I'm glad that he has it.
I see how much it means to him
and I wish that I could take back
many of those words that I wrote
and make myself a little trophy that says
"You're a winner."

Because sometimes recognition feels good.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 36

Roger and I escaped for the weekend 
and went to my Father-in-law's hunting preserve,
just the two of us.

I had the mornings to myself
while Roger left early to go hunting
and had the best view to look at
while I did some much needed writing.

Later in the day, we hopped on
4 wheelers and played in the dirt.
It's just so fun to feel the air 
rushing over me as I speed down dirt roads.

We hiked in the woods and searched for arrowheads.
We may have stopped to smooch
here and there beneath the shade of the trees.

I even did some target practice, just for fun.
It was my first time shooting a rifle 
and I'm not going to lie,
it was pretty exciting. 

I did pretty good, for a first timer.

There's a little country girl living in me
that just feels so happy when I play in South Georgia.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie :: My stupid dumb next to last baby toe.

Originally posted 3/9/12

I was grumpy and tired
as I walked through the kitchen
with an armful of dirty laundry.
It had been a long day.

I stumbled over a toy cash register
that was beneath my clumsy feet on the kitchen floor.
My toes collided with the misplaced toy
as I caught my balance.

It did me in.
I dropped the dirty clothes onto the ground,
ran to the hallway, and cursed as I spilled
myself onto the carpet.

Then I laid there in the hallway
and cried for ten minutes.

My second to last baby toe was bleeding.


{The stupid culprit}

Roger took pity on me and dressed my small wound.
Then, he lovingly left me
laying in the hallway to mope.
It felt good just to lay there on my back and cry.

He even offered to take a picture of me
looking pitiful on the floor for a blog post
but I decided not to document that moment with a photo.

My mom called just as I was peeling my
sad bones off  the carpet.
I told her all about my bad day
and my stupid next to last baby toe getting stubbed
on that stupid dumb cash register.

"You need some TLC." was her response.


So, she offered to take Koen the next morning
and treated me to a much needed pedicure.
She was totally right, I take care of everyone else
but I rarely take care of myself.

It felt so nice to get pampered for a change.


I sat in the spa chair and read People Magazine.
The massage chair rolled across my tired back
and I thought about how much I neglect myself.

Long ago, when I was a teenager
and feeling a bit down,
I would take extra special care of myself.
I remember how I used to wake up early before school to take a hot bath
or to sit and read a book with a mud mask on my face.
It always made me feel better.

This mama needs to be kinder to her body.


In the end, the pedicure was just what my soul needed.
My stupid dumb second to last big toe
felt fancy and pampered.

I made a promise to myself to
shut the bathroom door tight
and ignore the little boys
that throw themselves against the door.

It's time for me to start taking care of me too.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm having a crummy morning...

I have a stupid ear infection.
This means that my left ear is muffled
to outside noises but vibrating like a mad drum inside my head.

My other ear hears everything amplified,
so I feel like a crazy person.

It doesn't help that my kids won't stop singing
that stupid song
at the top of their lungs.

It doesn't help that when Koen's happy
he just walks around the house singing 
about things that he loves in bravado.
"I loOOve to eAtt  iCe crEaM!"
"I lOOvE to wAtCH woRd gIRL!"

It doesn't help that the boys 
like to bicker over nothing 
early in the morning.
Their constant yipping
resounds in my good ear
and beats my brain in the bad ear.

To add insult to injury,
I went to Urgent Care last night
and they gave me a stupid dumb steroid shot
where the sun don't shine.

Now my bum is tender
and even my thigh is sore.

While I'm getting things off my chest,
my husband is the loudest snorer on the planet
and in trying to fall asleep last night 
I felt like going all Joe Peschi
when he runs out in his underwear
and shoots a gun in the air to shut up a screeching owl.

 Hold me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 35

What could be better than a day
spent at a local carnival?

I love the excitement of walking 
in and seeing all of the brilliant colors.

Watching the sweet expressions
on the faces of my boys as they 
float up and down on the rides
is worth the trip alone.

 I love watching tender childhood moments unfold.
Like spinning hand in hand on a ride...

or skipping through the grounds in
anticipation of what thrill will come next.

Griffin built up all of his nerve
and rode this crazy ride with me.

It was super intense and when
I looked over at him as I shouted with glee,
his little eyes looked terrified
and I screamed "STOP THE RIDE!"
as we soared back and forth. 

The nice man let us off.
I've never seen Griffin so happy
to feel his feet on solid ground.

The laughter that echoes off the walls
of the fun house while the kids play in the mirrors
is the best sound to be heard.

My little guys couldn't resist the call
from the Carnival workers
"Hey kid, come pop a balloon and win a teddy bear!"

You can't escape their calls.

The carnival is just about the best place on earth!


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie :: The Yummiest Ugly Cake on Earth

Originally posted 11/23/11
"I want to make dessert tomorrow!"
Griffin announced after dinner the other day.

He wanted to make a
strawberry cake
with chocolate icing
in the middle
and on top
with white icing
around the edge
and it would
have all of our names written on it.

Easy enough.
So, we did just that.


It turned out to be a hideous cake.
It didn't matter though
because we had so much fun baking it.

I really love playing in the kitchen
with my boys.

They love to measure the ingredients for me.
They fight over dumping all the junk into the bowl.
Oh...and somehow stirring the batter
is the funnest thing ever.


We surprised Daddy after dinner
with the cake.

"Here's a cake for no reason!"
Griffin announced proudly.

Sometimes just wanting to bake
is reason enough to turn on the oven.
Sometimes letting the children
lead in the kitchen is the best reward.

I'm discovering that there is freedom to be found
in making a really ugly cake.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Stay at Home Mom Chronicles :: Paper Airplanes

My days around here seem to run together.
Ordinary moments unfold around me daily
and I need to stop and relish in them.

One day, my boys will be out living life
and I will miss these everyday experiences.

So, I am taking the time to document
the simple moments that pass between us.
I'm calling this little collection of memories...


Making paper airplanes.

Oh the fun that is to be had when
 Daddy starts folding paper into airplanes. 

The kids beg him to do this
almost all of the time.

They each get soooo excited to have a paper plane in hand.

I love that in this fast paced world 
of video games, iPhones, and technology
that my boys still find pleasure in the simple things in life.

They run outside and toss their planes around for hours.
I literally have to call them in when it gets too dark
outside to even see their flight path.

I will always treasure the memory
of my little ones throwing planes in the front yard.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 34

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We love to play games as a family
and one of our favorites is Go fish.

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Playing a game like this
with a 4-year-old is so much fun.

His little hands are too small
to hold his deck of cards
without dropping them
so he has to gather blocks
and create a wall for himself.

It's the cutest thing, ever.


Want to join me in my quest
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: The Art of Writing a Letter

Originally posted 10/11/11


Composing a hand written letter.

I read
this article recently
about the fact that hardly anyone

writes letters anymore.

I was inspired to scout out some pen pals

and asked my Facebook friends

if anyone wanted to exchange letters.

Nine people said yes.

I was thrilled.

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I bought stamps at the grocery store.

It felt so odd yet so familiar.

We usually pay our bills online

so I rarely have the need to buy a book of stamps.

It was kind of exciting.

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I even made a special trip to the store

to pick up some new stationary.

I have enjoyed the feeling of putting pen to paper.

It's been so fun to sit down
and see what comes pouring out of me.

I've written a letter a day
for almost a week now.

I still have some letters to write

and I'm actually looking forward to it.

I feel connected in a new way.

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There is a simple happiness to be found in

putting up the red flag on my mailbox

as it holds my handwritten letters
to be sent to my long lost friends and acquaintances.

I've discovered an adventurous feeling
that stirs within me
when I shut the mailbox tight
and wish the letters
well on their journey.

I feel like I am

rediscovering a lost art.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 33

I've been enjoying scouting out the signs
that fall is making it's arrival in our neck of the woods.

Like fallen golden leaves
littering our front porch steps.

I figured that was a clear message 
that it was time to put a decorative pumpkin
on our dining room table...

and for Mr. Pumpkin to make his appearance
on our front door.

The children are bringing home
fall inspired art projects from school
and they're hanging on
our fancy refrigerator art gallery.

I just love these early signs
that soon the weather will get colder
and the trees will show us brilliant colors.


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.
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: The Road to Hana

Originally posted 05/03/12

With our anniversary fast approaching,
I have been reminiscing about our honeymoon.
We went to Maui, it was like a dream.

One day we journeyed on
The Road to Hana,
which is the name given to the 68-mile long
stretch of Hawaii State Highways 36 and 360.

It's an amazing adventure
that takes you past waterfalls, lagoons,
and so many other beautiful landscapes
that Maui has to offer.


The adventure should not be rushed because
once you get to the little town of Hana,
you will only find a sign, a gas station, and a small church.

You see, the magic of the Road to Hana
is the journey, not the destination.
If you rush to get to Hana,
you will miss 
all the beautiful views
scattered along the way. 

After we completed our quest,
I decided to take that experience
as a metaphor for how I lived my life.

Even now, as I've journeyed into motherhood
I have kept that experience close to my heart.

I am on my own "Road to Hana"
but mine involves things like cooking dinner, kissing boo boos,
bathing filthy boys, telling bedtime stories,
the list could go on and on.


These are important strolls that must also be taken slowly.

The joy of being a Mom can be missed if
one were to rush through these tasks.

So I take the time to pause
and enjoy the beautiful moments
that I encounter with my children along the way.


If you have ever been on a walk with a child,
you know that children live by this philosophy inherently.
We stop often to poke sticks into holes
or to throw rocks into the woods.

Very often, we have no destination.