"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 29, 2010


Hi Company Girls! Unfortunately I'm blogging from my office so no cute coffee cup image for me this week..HOWEVER, if you want to find out all about the Company Girls, check out THIS great blog!!

And now, for my post!

We're supposed to be leaving for Alabama in the morning (at ahem, 4 am) and an ice storm has taken over the south. NICE. I move to the frozen tundra, and an ICE storm happens on the one week in the south, that I decide to visit home. Ah, life.

On other news fronts (fronts, get it, storm fronts, home fronts....heheh..ok it was a VERY pathetic pun), homeschooling planning is coming along nicely. After prayer and some research I felt a lot clearer in my goals and I have a nice outline of tasks I want to accomplish. I'll be putting my first lesson plan together this week on vacation and school will begin when we return! YAH!!!!!

Not much else to blog about because I'm super busy getting ready--no posts from me for a week because I'll be without a computer AT ALL! (EEEK!) Oh, one thing....every time I walk through a door lately I've had this strange urge to scream "Science kid in the hoooowwwwwwwse!"

Yep. I think I've officially overdosed on PBS.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ok, hands down, this is one of my absolute favorite family movies! HILARIOUS! I swear I nearly fell off the couch laughing...but my favorite part was courtesy of Reagan. Right as the carnivorous flower was about to eat Diego and Manny, Reagan screams at the tv "Bad Plant! Bad Plant! You spit him out right now or you go to time out!!!!!!!"

Kids say the darnedest things... ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So cute! When Reagan is talking about something that happened today or something she wants to do today, she'll say "THIS DAY" as in "We went to the doctor THIS DAY!" Can you say adorable!? LOL! She's a hoot!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Appliances Are Revolting!!!

No, not revolting as in I haven't cleaned them in 20 years...I'm talking revolt as in refusing to do their jobs and encouraging all other appliances to quit around them. First the stove (ok, ok, my fault..but the other appliances took it to heart), then the microwave (started shooting sparks at us), now the dryer isn't drying properly AND the printer has completely given up...I swear I saw a white flag run up last night. Add to the fact that the van's lights and radio need worked on, and *I'M* about ready to run the white flag up! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


We've been planning to home school Reagan for some time now (since our failed attempt with a regular preschool!) And although I have some items in place, I haven't become organized enough to actually stick with a schedule or a curriculum. Basically, I start with good intentions and then become overwhelmed with all the informatin out out there that I end up staring at the computer screen like a blubbering idiot and not getting ANYTHING accomplished.

Hopefully, two new sites I've found, Homeschool Creations and Tot School, specifically with information geared towards homeschooling preschoolers, will help kick me into action.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Post

Things at are house are finally quiet (for a short while) after a busy week and Reagan's birthday party on Saturday evening. She had a blast and I'm pretty sure everyone else did too! This week will be another busy week with getting ready to head down south to visit my family! I can't wait. I miss my Granny so much (yes, and all of my family too!) but especially my Granny.

In the meantime, I'm going to get as much rest as possible this week in between all the things that need to get done so I can FINALLY get over this cold. It's like the cold that lingers f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and won't go away no matter how much hot tea and Tylenol you take. And I'm still convinced that mothers shouldn't get sick...we don't have time people!!!

I think that's it for now. I'm a little disjointed (I just woke up from a nap and feel worse than before I laid down!) Hopefully I can share the dino pics soon :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Will He Ever Stop Campaigning?

Ever notice that Obama is STILL campaigning for his office????? And all he can talk about in his speeches is how he's going to continue to "fight"??? Hey, Obama, in case you haven't noticed....the American people don't want you to fight...we don't WANT your health care reform.

Isn't it about time that Obama and his administration LISTENS to the American people?

And isn't it amazing how many liberals are wising up to the fact that Obama was a very bad choice for our nation.........hindsight is 20/20. If any liberals would like to change those ballots to independent status, we'll be glad to take them.

Busy Week!

If there are any Company Girls dropping by, Welcome!!

And now for today's scatter brained post!

I feel so behind this week. Reagan's third birthday party is this weekend (a month late--there was too much happening at Christmas to have a birthday party in the mix..poor kid, Christmas babies get the short end of the stick!!). We're having a dinosaur theme--which she decided on at literally the last minute, so I've been running around like crazy trying to get dinosaur stuff together. I hope I can do a tutorial next weekend with some cute dinosaur party ideas!

We're also leaving to visit my family on the 30th...a 14 hour drive people...I'm already groaning! I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do about the cats. I need to work on a field trip for the Mom's group for March, which is due by Monday, the house is a disaster and did I mention we are almost out of everything??? LOL! And I STILL haven't gotten the mass email out about the donations for Haiti!

AND I'm about to be late to Reagan's playdate! EEEK! I need a shower and I need to get both of us ready in 30 minutes!

Regardless, I'm very thankful--the other day I was mentioning to a friend how I wished I had a house with no toys in it! But that's not true..no toys, no wonderful little girl to share my life with. I'll take the messy toy room and overcrowded schedule ANY DAY!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Look out Democrats in 2012, because if Massachusetts went conservative...well, just goes to show the country is sick and tired of the liberal regime!

Excuse me while I go dance and giggle with glee!! THIS could be the turn around we've been waiting for America...keep it up Conseravtives!!!!! We WILL turn our country around!

My Own Little Vent

If you're a mom, have you ever run into one of THOSE moms...you know the ones. They think they're superior to simply every other mom on the planet, simply because they're just either confident people, have several children or they have some kind of teaching background? And not every mom that falls into those particular categories are the uber-"I'm so good at being a mom and you're so not" category..those are just the categories that stick out to me.

I'm not a confident mom and I certainly don't even pretend to give advice to anyone because I'm living on a wing and a prayer at this point. But it drives me stark raving mad when another mom acts condescending and preachy and fake-sympathetic towards me when I'm struggling with an issue. You know what I do when this happens? It's absolutely horrible..but I just remind myself that these are the parents whose children will probably fly the coup at an early age and refuse to have anything to do with their parents or these are the kids that will end up as psychopaths. Yes, I'm horrid. But really, those types of moms drive me beyond my capacity for compassion.

I know I have a very dominating child. I know I let her get away with way more than I should in her behavior towards her dad and I. But I also know I have one of the smartest three year olds I know. My three year old? Yeah, she already adds and subtracts. She can tell you all about dinosaurs and the (real) names of their bones and if they're a carnivore, herbivore or onmnivore. People that know her forget she just turned three because she has a superior vocabularly. She asks questions about weather patterns, the earth's structure, how the solar system works and can actually tell you all about it. Someone once told Josh and I she sounded more like a first grader with the amount of knowledge she displays rather than a three year old. I truly think she's gifted and people that are around her often agree. She is socially interactive with friends; sweet, will argue with you with logic and fact. She is an amazing child.

So that's another reason I get so unbelievably upset by the "condescending" mom. I may not have it all together, but we're obviously doing something somewhat right. So, with all that, anyone have any suggestions for dealing with THOSE types of moms? Because seriously, I may be bald the next time you see me because I've nearly pulled all my hair out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I've been wanting to share this tip for a while, and this "blog party" at Thrifty Decor Chick is a perfect opportunity!

For an all purpose cleaner, combine the following:

1/2 part water
1/2 part white distilled vinegar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

I use this for everything now...it's replaced Clorox for all of my surface cleaning. I love that it's natural, safe, cheap and get this--it actually works BETTER than commercial cleaners.. I spray the entire kitchen down and by the time I go back to the beginning to start wiping, all the gunk has been loosened. Don't worry about the vinegar smell. The lemon helps mask it and the odor dissipates within a few minutes, leaving everything clean. I even used this to hand scrub the floors (I do have a steam cleaner, but sometimes I think it just needs a little something else!)

For cleaning mirrors, combine the following:
1/3 part water
1/3 part white distilled vinegar
1/3 part rubbing alcohol

Great glass cleaner, cheap and no streaks! Unfortunately it does have some fumes (similar to Windex) but it dissipates rather quickly!

For cleaning floors, sprinkle baking powder and let it sit for 20 minutes--then vacuum. It helps deodorize and sanitize! And best of all, no harmful chemicals for the little ones (especially those with asthma like Reagan!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Continuing in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge, here is our menu for the week!

Rocket Soup (scroll through to page 4) with biscuits
Chicken Nuggets and mac & cheese
Farmhouse Chicken with vegetables
Mindless Meatball Minestrone (scroll through to page 8) and focaccia bread
Baked Chicken with "Healthy" Sweet Potato Casserole
Reagan's Pizza Party for Saturday

Leftovers first! If there aren't enough leftovers from the night before, then:
Chicken Tetrazzini & vegetables (for what it's worth, we prefer it without cheese added)
tuna, peanut butter or chicken salad sandwiches with sides of fruit and/or vegetables

Cream of Wheat & Eggs
Egg and Bacon Muffins with fruit x2
Cheerio "necklaces" & fruit
Pancakes (Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana!)
Smoothies with a boiled egg
Toast with peanut butter and a side of fruit

homemade popsicles

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


We co-sleep. I won't go into the whys, hows, or any of that. But it's essential that you know that for this story.

Last night after Reagan had been asleep for a while and Josh and I finally finished our movie, we went to bed..only we were in a giggle mood and kept making each other laugh (loudly might I add!) Reagan woke up, gave us a very irritated look and said "SHHHHHHHHHH!" and promptly fell back asleep...which of course led to more laughter! Gee, wonder where she got the irritated shushing from???

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Except Edward...There's ALWAYS Edward......

But he's automatically #1. I mean, he is so far away from the Top 5, it doesn't even compare....oh Edward.....




Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Is he hot or what????? *DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL* He has just usurped ALL five of the men on my "Top 5 Of All Time".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Conversation with Myself

I didn't have time to fix breakfast before I left for the office on Saturday morning, so I inevitably ended up in front of the vending machine. My conversation with myself went something like this:

What can I have for breakfast? Hmmm....that rice krispie treat looks good. Wait! What am I thinking?? I can't have a rice krispie treat for breakfast. What kind of example am I setting for Reagan by eating junk food? But Reagna's not here right now is she...hmm......Ok, no, I'm not eating a rice krispie treat. But...it does have cereal in it..I mean lots of people eat cereal for breakfast. And a little butter..ok tons of people have butter with breakfast..butter on toast, butter on eggs...so that's not really bad either. Ok, but it's loaded with marshmallow creme. Buuuuut, marshmallow creme is really just sugar...and cocoa krispies have sugar! It can't really be that much worse than cocoa krispies can it??? And EVERYONE eats cocoa krispies for breakfast. Yes, a rice krispie treat is DEFINITELY healthier than cocoa krispies...rice krispie treat it is.

I'm such a sad, sad person.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Let me preface this by saying I am NOT a tech person. In fact, before my current cell phone, I had an LG phone for three years that I refused to give up because I loved it so much and when I HAD to get a new one...I specifically asked for one that didn't take photos...and the salesperson informed me there was no such camera on the market....GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

So, when I found out there was a Kindle available for your PC, I thought, hey! I might be able to handle that! After all, I'm good with the computer and it doesn't have any wires to worry about, it's not portable...sign me up!

So I did. And then I got even MORE excited! Look at all the FREE books you can download to your Kindle for PC! I scanned through thinking, oooh look, I can finally read this and this and this and I don't even have to leave my warm house to check out a book!

And then it hit me. Wait a minute...I can't turn pages. I LIKE turning pages. I ENJOY curling up on the couch with a cup of hot tea, a blankie and turning the pages in a book. The book is like an old friend I can have a wonderful visit with, put it back on the shelf, glance at it from time to time and have another visit whenver the mood hits me. No waiting to boot up. No clicking the mouse..just the whispher of pages turning, the dry crackle of the spine, the weight in my hands.

I am NOT a Kindle girl. But I'm kind of glad so many of you are. It just means paper books will get even cheaper for people like me!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Congratulations to Josh!

Today Josh was baptized! I am so happy and so proud of him! Congratulations, sweetie! Reagan was amazing and well behaved and watched Daddy the whole time. Although she didn't understand what was going on, I told her Daddy was making Jesus very happy and that seemed enough! (She was also doubly cute singing Away in a Manger during Communion!)


Hmm, I felt it was time for some updates.

First, on the Eating From the Pantry Challenge.

We had a minor set back on not eating fast food. OOPS. We grabbed something from McDonald's to eat in the car one night that we had to run errands. Since then, I can happily say we've abstained! WOOHOO!

I've already cleaned out our freezer and it looks...BARREN! There were a few items that had gotten bogged down in the very bottom and needed to be tossed..but for the most part we've done really well with using our freezer space. We were also able to donate some meat to a local animal/wildlife center that we couldn't use.

The big meat stock up sale happened this past week at the small, local market we purchase from (I refuse to buy meat from anywhere else..this is FRESH meat from LOCAL farmers!). Since we were low on our meat supply, we went ahead and made a huge meat purchase. This works well for us since it will cover the entire year.

We also had a stock up sale on canned goods at our local Kroger, so we stocked up on a few canned goods and peanut butter. These are all things we'll use in the future and were low on. I wanted to purchase them NOW so as to avoid paying premium price later on.

Otherwise, we're doing really well following the pantry challenge. Unforunately we're not saving any money with Reagan's birthday party, our trip to Alabama and Pritsha's illness this month. Oh well, that's what emergency funds are for, right?

As for the Walmart challenge I gave to myself, I've only been back twice. Once was on Black Friday when I needed to pick up a pair of jeans and some pillows--Penney's was packed and there was no way I was standing in line for an hour to check out! I kept to my list and got jeans and pillows and got out! The other time was right before our trip to Indy for Reagan's birthday. It was late, I had just left the office and Walmart was the only place open to get everything I needed. I spent more than I should have....another reason why I STAY OUT OF THERE NOW!

Oh, and I do shop them online. That is one leeway I've allowed myself. They're cheap for toys and I was able to pickup a HUGE KidKraft deal through them. Anyway, that's it for the updates!

As a side note and the most important thing in this entire post: Please keep our baby Pritsha (our first furbaby, she's 11 this year!) in your prayers. She's been pretty sick and her blood results were a little off this time around.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday!

To the bestest father in law ever!!!!!!!

Candy Crack...

UGH! This is not a feel good post. Just a warning, people.

Let's start at the beginning. Wednesday started out pretty much like any other Wednesday. Racing to get ready, going to playgroup, hanging out with friends...you know, just normal every day stuff.

Then my friend Laura decided to bring out a little recipe she'd decided to try...Saltine Cracker Candy. We were all hooked. The stuff is to die for. I mean, really, super good. The kind of candy you can't just stop eating at one, two or even three pieces. The kids loved it. The moms loved it. You get the point. Let's forget the fact that it wasn't exactly the best thing to be eating if you're trying to lose weight..yeah, let's forget that point entirely...because I have something more important I want you to focus on.

So, we go home, have an average day. Dinner comes around and Reagan eats all her dinner...GOOD JOB REAGAN! This RARELY happens. I have to BEG her to eat vegetables and meat. So I decide to be a good mom and wife and make...you got it...Saltine Cracker Candy!

Fast forward to later that evening and I could not get the stuff out of the pan...ok, we got a little out..but not much. The next day my friend Monica came over and brought her girls. We hacked away at the pan together, chipping pieces off, damaging my poor Pampered Chef spatula and despairing that I would EVER get my pan back. Later that evening I decided I had had enough and some stupid candy was NOT going to get the best of me. So I attacked it...like a crazy woman..pounding it out of the pan...right. on. top. of. my. ceramic. topped. stove.

Do you see where this is going?

As I'm cooking dinner I notice a huge crack and tons of little chips IN THE CERAMIC. Josh comes home and notices that there is not only ONE crack, but a GIGANTIC "X" crack in the middle of my ceramic stove.

UGH...I could KICK myself, I'm so angry! I didn't even THINK about the fact that the top was ceramic. UGH! UGH! UGH!!!!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome to the Company Girls!

I found an amazing blog called Home Sanctuary that I just love! Really, go check it out! Anyway, I linked up to their Company Girl page today and I wanted to say hello to any girls stopping by who adore Rachel Anne as much as I do!

Another Yummy Recipe!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes-Reagan's Favorite!

This is another of those mix up and use what you have recipes with no real measurements!

Pancake mix, made according to directions (or use your homemade pancake recipe!)
Peanut butter, creamy
Bananas, chopped
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (a handful?)

Mix it all together and cook on griddle or in pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheap Fun for the Little Ones!

Note: I shamelessly stole this idea from High Five by Highlights!

Cardboard tube (paper towel size)
aluminum foil

Have your child wrap the cardboard tube in aluminum foil and then decorate with stickers. Have your child hold it up to your chest and she can hear your heartbeat! Run around and then have her listen again and talk about the difference between your resting heartbeat and your heartbeat while exercising!

NOTE: Small children may not understand what they're hearing...my daughter says she couldn't hear my heartbeat, but I could hear hers just fine and she has MUCH better hearing that I do....they've been told it sounds like thump-thump and that isn't always the case!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm the new proud owner of......

A NordicTrack ASR1000 Elliptical!!

I'm so excited! I LOVE the ellipticals at the gym, but I never seem to make it there, so we end up paying over $500 a year for something we never use! THIS, THIS beautiful baby I can use first thing in the morning. I love it...I want to marry it I swear!

The only thing I'm not enthused about it is the game settings..what??? I thought exercise machines were just to work out on!? I'm certainly not coordinated enough to play a game AND work out at the same time..heck, I burn most of my calories trying to stay ON the machine! It also has an IPod doc and all other sorts of things I'm not interested in (I may be the only 30 something on the planet that doesn't have an IPod or something similiar!) But she's rock solid and I can't wait to hook her up and use her! WOOHOOOOO!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two Yummy Recipes!

I was in a MAJOR cooking mood on New Year's Day, I knew that I needed to use up some things before they went bad, and I really needed to prep some foodstuffs for the Eat from the Pantry Challenge. So, I threw together several batches of Sausage Potato Bake and Sweet Potato Casserole. Both of these recipes are DELICIOUS! My husband can't stop eating the Sausage Bake and everyone I know that's tried the Sweet Potato Casserole loves it (it's from a friend of mine that is a great cook!).

Sausage Potato Bake
(This recipe is adapted from a recipe that my mother in law makes, as well as several recipes I looked at in cookbooks. I didn't give measurements because I was using up a lot of odds and ends. Mix it up til it looks and tastes good to you. Also, I used from-scratch ingredients, but you can always use short-cut items from your grocery store!)

white potatoes
shredded cheese (I used a mix of Colby and Cheddar)
red peppers
Italian seasonings, garlic, pepper, salt

Wash and peel potatoes and thin slice them (I used my food processor for this step). Chop onion. Brown sausage and add seasonings to taste (I do this because we buy our sausage in bulk and it's not flavored or seasoned..if you're using Italian sausage from the grocery store you can skip the seasonings step). Mix potatoes, sausage, eggs, cheese, onion and pepper together in large bowl. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for approximately 30-45 minutes til eggs are set and cooked all the way through.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
3 large sweet potatoes, peel removed and cooked til soft (do this however you like to--boil, bake, microwave)
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
6 Tbs. sugar
20 oz crushed pineapple
1/4 tsp each, cinnamon and nutmeg (I love cinnamon so I used a full teaspoon and half a teaspoon of nutmeg!)

Mash or puree sweet potatoes. Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and pour into a greased 9*13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Butternut squash may be substituted for the sweet potatoes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Pantry Challenge Edition

This Monday begins the first week of the January pantry challenge hosted by Money Saving Mom and Life As A Mom. You can read my first post here. Menu Plan Monday is hosted by orgjunkie.com!

Since I wrote that post I realized I would be hosting Reagan's birthday party in January which means I will have to spend some extra money at the store for items I don't normally keep in storage. HOWEVER, I plan to use as many storage items as possible. I'm thinking a from scratch cake, homemade pizza (I have most of those ingredients) and punch as opposed to soft drinks, which will leave leftover juice for the rest of the month as well.

As I'm starting out my menu, I'm realizing that we were already out of some things I would have considered needs. I'm going to have to get through without them, as I've committed to a $100 total grocery budget for the month (with the exception of the birthday party foods) and I TRULY want to meet this goal. However, eventually I'm going to have to use part of that budget for cat litter and perhaps cat food!

At any rate, here is the plan for this week, all from the pantry, with the exception of a run to the grocery for milk (already made!) and some fresh fruits and veggies, per my rules for our family for the month.

Breakfasts (pick and choose):
Sausage-Potato Bake (I spent New Years Day cooking six pans of this AND a bunch of other items!)
Cream of Wheat

Tuna salad on homemade bread
Tomato Soup with cheese toast
Vegetable Soup with biscuits

Roast with sweet potato casserole and a green vegetable
Chicken pot pie with a vegetable (freezer)
Chili with corn muffins
Various Leftovers

Snacks (these are available for picking and choosing):
Homemade Graham Crackers
Cuties (oranges)
Apple slices
Homemade cookies


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ah, children...

The other day Reagan was making a picture for me. She said it was going to be a "special" picture. I explained to her that every picure she made for me was special because SHE made it. So then she said "Mommy, do you know why I'm making you this picture?" Getting a warm cuddly feeling inside, I turned around, smiled that warm mother smile and said "Yes, honey, I imagine it's because you love me." She smiled back and said (wait for it........)

"Nope, it's because I like making pictures!"

Happy feeling gone! (If you're a Nemo fan you'll get that!) KIDS!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Have you heard of Fresh Sugar Lemon? It's a fragrance that Philosophy sells and it retails for around $65. A little out of my budget at the moment I'm afraid. And not that I would spend $65 on a fragrance without at least smelling it in person...although it's name alone is hard to resist. Did I mention I'm addicted to lemon?

Perhaps it's my southern blood, but I think there is nothing quite as divine as the smell of lemon. It's heady scent is fresh, clean and embodies all the things I love about the south and home. Growing up my absolutely favorite thing to eat was Granny's Lemon Pie. Later on as I had my own space to live in, lemon brought to mind cleaning and a fresh glass of iced sweet tea (and shouldn't all tea be sweet?), and then memories of my favorite cousin, Kathy, dipping a slice in her Diet Coke. And even later when I really needed a touch of "home" to the wild and crazy life I had in my late teens and early twenties, it brings back memories of one of my closest friends, Karen, and her Lemon Meringue Pie that she could seemingly whip up out of nothing in her very homey kitchen. I loved afternoons there. Whether she knew it or not, it was a balm to my soul during those years.

At any rate, lately I've been wishing for more "lemon" in my life. Perhaps it's all that decluttering and nesting I've been wanting to do. So, when Josh and Reagan and I were out shopping at Marshalls and I ran across a body scrub so bright yellow you couldn't help but smile, and with the name "Lemon Lust", well, I had to buy some.

Let me tell you. It's heavenly. When you first open it, I have to admit, it smells a little like Lemon Pledge, but by the time you get it on the loofah and start lathering up, it smells JUST LIKE you're scrubbing up with a package of lemon drops. Remember those? I do. In fact, every morning I get in the shower my thoughts run back to a particular package of lemon drops....isn't it amazing what a certain smell, a certain sound or something that catches your eye can bring back to your memory?

Lemon drops always remind me of a boy I knew named Jim Butler. Yep, I still remember his name although it was about 20 years ago. He was 12 and I was 10. He and his Dad moved into the apartment complex that my parents and brother and I lived in. I was a tomboy in those days. I don't think I spent more than a few minutes indoors. I certainly don't remember eating lunch or taking baths or doing anything inside other than collapsing into a deep sleep late at night after all the stars had come out. I spent those long summer days racing around on my bike, collecting clips from the water meter, fighting ninjas, building ships and houses out of pine straw, teasing rolly pollies and fighting right along side He-Man as we defended the Universe from the evils that sought to destroy it.

When Jim moved in, all those boy-girl feelings started coming to the surface and I was about as confused as a 10 year old tomboy-girl could be. I distinctly remember him trying to kiss me (which would have been my first kiss!) but I used an evasion tactic and hit him with my purse! (This should have been a warning for all my future boyfriends!) I'm still not even sure why I had a purse in the first place...after all, I was a (say it with me) TOMBOY.

But shortly after Jim arrived, I was spending all my time playing with him, writing about him in a teeny tiny little diary covered in purple hearts and showing off to him my extensive stuffed animal collection--a collection which no doubt a 12 year old boy could have cared less about, but he was kind enough to humor me.

And how does this tie into the lemon you might ask? One of my favorite memories is of sitting on the steps, just sharing a package of lemon drops with him. And even though it was 20 years ago, the smell of lemon drops can bring back so many memories that should have been buried under so many others. The shock of dark brown hair falling over his eye, the old white bronco that his dad drove, the diary of purple hearts.

Oh I know it's not the lemon drops that burned these memories into my mind. It was more his situation...his parents divorcing, his mom all but abandoning him---pieces of him that stood out to me and at that time, little did I know, in two years they would become my own reality. Maybe that's why his memory is so indelibly inscribed in my mind.

And when I think of him, I begin to wonder about other people whose lives have touched mine for a brief moment. Fragments of ribbons twining briefly around me and then vanishing...which might be why I hate change so much. (I did label this post ramblings didn't I?)

Did I ever mention that about myself? I detest change. I simply cannot handle it. It makes me want to cry. In fact, it wasn't until shortly after Reagan was born that I realized this about myself. I was watching reruns of the Nanny and Will & Grace and realized I couldn't handle the end of the show's run that was coming up. It simply made me sick to realize that that was the end...finale...done. And sure it was just a tv show, but it was mimicking life much too closely for me to handle.

Now keep in mind at this point I was extremely depressed, had just been diagnosed with Post Partum Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which had in turn caused me to develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder..oh yes, you didn't know I was crazy? I'm kidding. I assure you I'm not crazy anymore than you are. I have, however, lived through a very difficult and amazing pregnancy and birth (and almost death of myself and our child) which made me a little more ill at ease with the whole notion of life and how easily it can be taken away. So having these psycho moments due to a tv show, was, at the time, actually pretty understandable. But I digress.

I always wonder what happened to those people whom my life entwined with so briefly..and wonder if their brevity in my life and all the changes my life has undergone didn't help but cause a little bit of my freak out when my daughter was born......and now.....she, too, hates change. And I hate that for her..because, while change can be very bad, it can also be very good.

Getting a new job, buying a new house, making a new friend, getting married, having a baby...those are all good things. And I want her to appreciate the good things that change can bring. And even if change sometimes does bring bad tidings, you can still appreciate the good in what happened BEFORE the change (does that make sense?)..you know, your own 'lemon drop' moments, the Jim Butlers in your life.

How do I help her appreciate those moments and deal with change as best as it can be dealt with? These are questions I ponder and don't understand the answer to, but perhaps many of those answers lie in uncovering whether I'm completely over the changes that have occurred in my own life. Have I dealt with them the way they've needed to be dealt with, or have I simply pushed them away, where they feel free to come out and taunt me at a later date?

Yes, heavy questions. New Year. Should be interesting to see how it unfolds..but no matter what happens, I hope I can carry a little "lemon" with me into 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

May everyone enjoy this fresh start to the year ahead!!!!!
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