Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Loved Ones

I'm going to lunch with Eli (aunt Leelee) today. She's one of my dearest friends. She reminds me so much of my wonderful MIL (I got lucky with mine). Thinking of these two very sweet women made me think of a few other people here in H* that I've become extremely close with. I've learned that you can still have a family while family is nearly 2000 miles away. Today I'm grateful for my wonderful friends and loved ones that treat me like family even though we aren't related to one another. I feel very blessed.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
~ Elbert Hubbard

Monday, November 20, 2006

Deck the Halls

Okay, okay....I know this may seem ridiculous to some (all) of you, but I have my reasons - my very good, sane, normal reasons.
I'm putting up my Christmas Tree today. I'm almost sure I'm not the only one that wants to, but I may be the only one that actually does it. Now before I go on, I love Thanksgiving and plan on celebrating it as much as the next person. Believe me, I love turkey with all the trimmings and I have so much to be thankful for this season that it might make you sick! I'm not blowing it off like the rest of the commercial/retail world. But here are my top 10 reasons I'm giving into my Christmas decorating urgency:

  1. I don't know where we will be come Christmas Day.
  2. We may even move before Christmas - and I can't just put everything on hiatus until we know what we're doing.
  3. We're traveling for Thanksgiving and I need time with my Christmas tree and decorations.
  4. Steven will let me ; ). It's sweet how he thinks he has a say in the matter.
  5. Bradley's begging.
  6. It makes me happy.
  7. My kids don't take off the decorations - lucky me. Everything will stay in its place.
  8. It's finally cold enough (below 70 degrees) that it doesn't seem nearly as ludicrous.
  9. The entire family is home (no school for anyone), what else are we going to do that isn't going to require us to spend money?
  10. Because it's my house and I can - my favorite reason.
So they're not great reasons, but I'm doing it nonetheless. Growing up my family was always the-day-after or the-Saturday-after Thanksgiving type of people. But I know that if we end up moving and I wait until after Thanksgiving, I'll feel sad and guilty for not having it up more of the holiday season. So if any of you out there are sitting on the fence, join me on the dark side - or better said - the pre-lit, glass-blown, smiling, tinsel-filled, fa-la-la-la-la side.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Student Gratitude

Our time as students is quickly coming to a close. I never thought I'd say this, but there will be things about being a student (and the wife of a student) that I will miss. Right now I feel too young, or maybe a better word is naive, to be a real adult with a mortgage and membership in my child's PTO. It sometimes frightens me that I feel that I may be too ignorant to be in the real world. So, until I learn that I'm just overreacting, I'm going to list the things I'm grateful for when it comes to being a student.

  • Financial Aid (there is NO way we would have made it without some support from "the man").
  • Being the dutifully supportive wife. Mostly because I'm happy I'm done with school.
  • Gaining a new family with each move we make. Not to mention an actual family member with our last move.
  • Appreciating a dollar - and how dang good I am at stretching it.
  • Knowing that I'll remember this as one of the best times in our lives.
  • Watching Bradley light up when we tell him he goes to school just like Daddy does.
  • Our family's support....even when we moved far away from all of them.
  • Friends we've made at each stop.
  • Being on our own and making our own decisions.
  • Knowing that it's healthy for us to know what it's like to be poor.
  • It being over....
A year and a half ago Steven had his official white coat ceremony. Here's a picture from that day. Two weeks from now, he will graduate and we'll have new pictures, new coats, and new lives.

Indeed one of the ultimate advantages of an education is simply coming to the end of it. ~ B. F. Skinner

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Life Without Email & Avery

Goodness, it's been too long. I do have good reasons, however. Steven has been uber-busy with his research paper. Because of this, he's been taking our computer (we're a laptop only sort of family at the moment) up to campus and to the doctor helping him do his research. A day without my email is like a day without electricity. I can't believe I'm so attached! Plus, by the time Steven did get home at nights, I was so exhausted, I would usually crash into bed without even opening the laptop. Needless to say, when I opened my account this afternoon, my inbox was feeling a little swollen.
Also, for the past 8 weeks I've been working about 6 hours a day. My friend needed someone to watch her 3 1/2 month (now 5 months) old for her while she went back to work and decided on a more permanent situation for her daughter. Her husband is in the same program as Steven so their lives are up in the air at this point and they didn't want to put her in a daycare for only a few weeks when they could find a home they could trust to put her in. So I was asked and gratefully accepted watching after little Avery. The extra money is coming in handy and it's been quite the eye-opener to what 3 kids will be like (I guess three carseats do fit in the back of a Honda Accord - though I'll still pine for an SUV when the time comes). Though I'm looking forward to having time alone with my little ones again, we'll sure miss our Avery. She is a delightfully happy child and I think Bradley and Emmy will miss her the most.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Where, Oh Where?

This mid-term election has reminded me of something. I remember during the last presidential election, Steven and I discussed how it would be exciting to move to a "swing state" and try and make a difference. If you don't know what that is, it's a state that is not always Republican or Democrat (NOT a kinky trade-ya-partners state).It's funny how minds change and how decisions are made, because when we were moving from Utah to Texas, we swore we'd never live in a place where we had to own a snow shovel again, which was ironic considering we each own at least one snowboard and love the sport to death. Since then, we've endured 3 hideous summers full of muggy, 104 degree, indoor-only weather. Right now I'd give about anything for four seasons again.
I'm starting to believe that though I'm usually an optomistic person, I'm also an idealist. The grass has to be greener somewhere, right? What's my problem? Maybe it's because I knew this was going to be a temporary move. Grad school would be done in 2 1/2 years, then we'd be gone. Now that our plans may be differnt than we had originally thought, I think I'm getting frustrated. My priorities right now are so skewed. One minute I think "all I need is a house with a backyard somewhere I feel safe." The next minute I think, "I need this and that and the other with sunshine and a quarter of a million dollars in my bank account." Now, is that so much ask?
We're in the middle of deciding where we should live. Actually, we're hoping to get a job that will make that decision for us, because it's become a tedious, and possibly unnecessary task. For if we can't find a job in the "ideal" city, I might just go insane. Whatever. This is quite the tangent. Hopefully this won't be habitual. I had to vent somewhere.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween & Other Celebrations

Halloween was too much fun for the family. We're widdling down the candy supply and coming off a week long sugar high. Bradley has the whole family on Harry Potter patrol and talked Emmy into going as Hermione Granger and Steven and I took the easy (ahem, lazy) road and went as "muggles" - this actually means we didn't need to dress up. Here are pictures of Bradley's long, dyed hair (since been buzzed and rinsed back to blonde) and Emmy with her crimped hair (I'm very proud she was so willing to sit still for me!). I'm also happy I was able to make their costumes again this year. I know they'll soon think it's not cool to have your mom make your costume. Until then, I'll take full advantage.

Little Hermione....

Mr. Potter...

And my favorite and most magical of them all....

As for other such celebrations, the cat's out of the bag....at least it's peaking it's head out of the bag. We're very excited to announce to everyone that we're expecting a baby. I'm only 12 weeks along, but we were dying to share the news. Thanks to everyone that found out earlier than the rest. We appreciate you keeping our precious secret until we were ready to tell all. Here are some t-shirts the kids and I made to announce to family and friends.

I know there somewhat difficult to read, but they say: I'm going to be a big brother/sister. Then on the back of Bradley's it says: AGAIN. While the back of Emmy's says: FINALLY!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why Blog?

My BIL, Brian, has begun a family history podcast called Family History Minute. If you're not familiar with a podcast, it's similar to talk radio, but you don't have to tune in at the exact time of your favorite program, you just download it, or better yet, subscribe to it. Then every time your favorite podcast(s) come out, it will automatically download to your computer and you can listen to it whenever and however you want.

Anyway, he called me to ask me why I blogged. I explained to him this is my way of keeping a journal (his latest episode of Family History Minute promoted journaling). I explained to him that I have tried countless times to begin a journal. I've tried everything from spiral notebooks to hard-backed & bound journals with my name inscribed very nicely in gold-leafing across the front. I've tried using word processors. I've tried many different venues and I always give up. It becomes either becomes tedious, unsavory or simply forgotten on a shelf.

Using a blog, specifically this blog gave me an attractive pallette to work with; and it's not the same one everyone else is using. There are dozens of color choices, layouts, etc. This website allows me to illustrate each blog if I choose with pictures of my choice. Never would I have taken the time to grab a 4x6 picture and glued it into one of my journals.

I'm on my computer daily....and lots during that day - even if it's just checking my e-mail. I'm am reminded to keep it up. My computer doesn't get lost under a bed or left on a bookshelf to gain dust.

One other reason I love blogging is it gives me the opportunity to share my writing. Rarely did I have the occasion to share my writing with others. Never would I hand my personal journal to my friend and said, "here, check this out. I wrote something about you." It's just not done. both of us would feel uncomfortable in this scenario. This gives me a creative outlet and allows people to see it and even comment on it. Plus, the fact that I know people are reading it gives me extra motivation to keep it up. Before no one would know I hadn't made an entry for months at a time.

I LOVE IT! I'm definitely addicted. I've never been able to keep a journal up this consistently OR for this long. Thanks to my girls for inspiring me to start one. I will also say, if you aren't doing either, give something a try. Your family will thank you one day for keeping records of your life.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's In a Name?

Yes, I've been tagged. The initial question, I think, was what did you name your kid(s) and why?

Naming a child is surprisingly an overwhelming responsibility. I always made name lists growing up - not kidding, like since I was 12 and never thought it would be such a big deal when I was older. I loved the unusual, the gender un-specific, all those names that my future husband would hate. It wasn't until we were actually pregnant when we decided that we loved the idea of using our ancestor's names. This was a double positive because it made me fascinated with my own family history. Side note: we have records of one of my maternal lines goes back to the year 6 AD...crazy, eh?

Anyway, my eldest, Bradley Steven, wasn't decided on until 2 days after he was born. We went to the hospital with a list of four names and he just looked like a Bradley to us. Though Bradley isn't in our heritage, we had loved the name all throughout the pregnancy and Steven's best friend from childhood to college days was named Bradley. From the beginning I wanted Steven to be apart of his name, whether it was 1st or 2nd, I didn't care. I just didn't want a Jr. So if Steven were the first name, he would have gone by his middle name.

Bradley makes sure he goes by just that: Bradley; NOT Brad. He's very quick to correct you if you by chance forget -- even if you're his mother.

My little one, Emmy, is actually Amelia Maree. Her name was decided on before we got pregnant. Her middle name is the same as my middle name while her first name is after my great grandmother. Bradley couldn't say Amelia while I was pregnant, so for some reason Emmy stuck. It wasn't until a few months after she was born that Grandma R* (the daughter of Emmy's namesake) called me and told me that her mother's nickname was Emmy as well. We had no idea and I felt an even closer kinship with my great grandmother.

Emmy still has a difficult time saying Amelia. We're not sure when we'll begin calling her that, or if we ever will. It's just too pretty of a name to just be found only on a birth certificate.

As for future children, we'll hopefully will be having to think of one soon if all goes as planned .... wink, wink. We feel very blessed with what we have and feel lucky and priveledged to be parents of such wonderful monkeys.

Now it's my turn to tag you. I'm not sure who's been tagged, but I'm going to tag Terica and Laura, mostly because they're non-Texans and are less likely to have been tagged by the Texas Ring of Bloggers.

I Want to Hear From You!