Monthly Archives: July 2008

Search Engine Terms Commentary

  We get lots of interesting search engine terms that direct people to our little blog here.  I thought I would share some and give some commentary…as if no one has ever done that before.

“live laugh love” – lots of variations on this one, but pretty obvious why they would be directed here.  And yes, you can buy that phrase on embroidered towels or rub-on tattoos, just not here…yet.  And no, it is not derived from the bible.  I am pretty sure there is no laughing in the bible.

“living breathing baby doll” – creepy, creepy, creepy.  People, baby dolls are not real nor can they breathe.  That would be CHUCKY!

“will Malia be busy in September 2008″ – I am quite certain she will be, yes.

“deep questions” – we do ponder some deep questions on this site occasionally.  However, the post that prompts that phrase being directed our way was A JOKE.  And really, if you want a “deep question to ask a girl”, how about “what do you think about [insert meaningful subject here]?”  it is really not that hard.

“Malia love” – hmmmm, while this is one of my favorite subjects, you pervs want to use this euphemism to search for Cretan “love“.  Just a suggestion, probably the best way to find “love” in Malia is to bring someone with you that you love already.

“please excuse my dear aunt sally” – PEMDAS, order of operations, etc., purple elephants might destroy atom smashers, proper execution may divert abnormal solutions, not really funny…but does anyone remember what the letters mean?

Can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Filed under by DB, random

If I Didn’t Have Kids

Occasionally occurs to me that if I didn’t have kids:

I wouldn’t find toys or rocks or books in my bed when it’s time for me to go to bed at night.

I wouldn’t find toys or rocks or books in my bathroom.

I wouldn’t find toys or rocks (not usually books) in pants pockets when doing the laundry.

I wouldn’t buy Cheerios and Goldfish crackers or have a never ending supply of peanut butter.

I wouldn’t read children’s literature.

I wouldn’t have an annual membership to the zoo.

I wouldn’t watch Disney movies.

However…

Before becoming a parent, I wouldn’t have thought that finding toys and rocks and books left in my bed, bathroom or pockets could be so endearing. (Yes, it can be annoying too, especially since I try so hard to get them to put their stuff away!)

Before becoming a parent, I didn’t realize the nutritional value and sheer tastiness of Cheerios and Goldfish crackers. And I didn’t realize how good a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could taste a lunchtime.

Before becoming a parent, my knowledge of children’s literature pretty much stopped at The Cat In The Hat. I hadn’t yet discovered the treasure of writers that abound in this genre. And I never realized how much I would enjoy sharing my favorite books from childhood with my own kids.

Before becoming a parent, the zoo seemed silly and immature and overrated. (It’s not. Actually, it can be silly but in a really fun way!)

Before becoming a parent, well…I still watched Disney movies but now I get to share my favorites with my children and find new favorites to share with them.

There are many other things I could list but you get the point, I’m sure. Life is just so much fuller with them around.

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family

Birthday Blessing

On JBelle’s birthday, DB and I came up with several “Irish blessing” type sayings to bless JBelle. We handed them out to everyone at the party, then all stood in a circle and recited each blessing to her. Here’s how she was blessed:

  • May you live to 108
  • May you serve God with all your strenghts and weaknesses all the days of your long life
  • May you know the sting of failure and the thrill of success
  • May you be the first woman President of the United States
  • May you know the deep love of another
  • May you be an Olympic swimmer
  • May you always have a book in your hand, a dream in your heart and a plan in your head
  • May you always be surrounded by family and friends
  • May you never stop being curious
  • May you never have any regrets
  • May you inherit your father’s coordination but your mother’s ability to drive
  • May you never be without a song in your heart or a tune on your lips
  • May you find friendships that never fade or fail
  • May you always be willing to lend a helping hand to those around you
  • May you give generously from the bounty God has bestowed upon you
  • May you find laughter in each day
  • May you see beauty in all of God’s creation, including in yourself
  • May you always find reason to say, “TA-DA!”

It was a special time and she is a special girl. I hope one she can look back on this list and see that they have all come true.

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Filed under by Malia, JBelle

Turning Thirteen

The telltale signs have all been there. We’ve known it was coming for awhile now. First the moodiness. Then the eye-rolling and sighing. There have been the occasional outbursts complete with stomping out of the room. A blemish or two here and there. And don’t get me started about the hormones! Dear me, where’d those come from? Puberty can be so confusing and angst ridden. I mean, thirteen is a milestone right? I hope we make it through these teen years. I’m sure it’ll be fun for the most part. Branching out with new responsibilities, facing unforeseen challenges and learning to be flexible are all apart of growing up.

And growing in love.

So Happy 13th Birthday to our marriage! I hear the teen years are a wild ride. All I can say is, “Bring it on!”

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Filed under by Malia, love & marriage

Friend

I’ve tried to become more intentional with the word “friend”. I have noticed that in conversations, I will often refer to someone as “a friend” though they may actually be better defined as an acquaintance. Sometimes, they’re not even an acquaintance but just someone whose blog I read. I think that devalues the word “friend” when I use it so casually.

My real friends are those people I know I can rely on. Some of those I simply rely on to read these words and occasionally leave a comment. Others I rely on for companionship and conversations. There are those I rely on for a good laugh, a sincere compliment, encouragement, or even a prayer. Still others are relied on to help in tough situations. Many overlap in all those areas.

I’m blessed by friendships of all kinds. For that, I am truly grateful.

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Filed under by Malia, friends, musings

The Dramatic Exit

In the Family Graduation Birthday Holiday Weekend Extravaganza post, I mentioned an apparent graduation “jinx” that I have. Memorial Day weekend was not the first time I ended up in the emergency room after a graduation celebration. Rewind to thirteen years ago…

DB had graduated from Virginia Tech and his whole immediate family had come to Blacksburg for the occasion. We headed to a local restaurant to eat dinner and celebrate. While we were dining, a rainstorm came through the area and had cleared out by the time we left. However, I managed to find a very slick spot in the parking lot, slipped and fell. It was a bad fall. I was cut up and bleeding and I think I remember that my ankle was hurt as well.

I do not handle pain well so I freaked out. I had no idea how to deal with the pain so I cried and moaned and wailed. DB and his brothers got me into the back of one of their cars and they took me to the hospital. I remember on the way there, DB’s brother trying to assess my injuries and help me stay calm. I remember that two of my soon-to-be nieces were in the car with us and I was concerned that I might be scaring them with all my crying and moaning and hysterics but I just couldn’t help it. (Incidentally, I talked about this with my nieces and neither of the girls remembers this part of that night. Whew!)

At the hospital, they got me admitted and took me back to a bed in the emergency room where I waited for x-rays. And like my with my 4-wheeler accident, everything turned out just fine. No broken bones or internal injuries. Just abrasions and, I think, a twisted or sprained ankle. (I remember getting crutches.) They treated my abrasions, gave me some pain medicine and released me.

Before my dramatic exit I was supposed to go back to my apartment and finish packing since we were leaving Blacksburg the next morning. But with my injuries and limited mobility, I ended up spending the night in DB’s parent’s hotel room so that they could assist me if needed.

In two years, we’ll have two more graduations to attend in the same weekend. I think I’ll stay off of four wheelers and out of the rain that weekend…just to be safe!

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Filed under by Malia, random

Summer Camp & Letting Go

Last Sunday we took JBelle to Girl Scout camp. It was her first experience in being away from home for an extended period of time. She, of course, was just fine. I, on the other hand, was a complete and total wreck! The drop-off process went smoothly enough. She seemed excited, a bit nervous but she didn’t beg us to stay, she didn’t cry and cling. In fact, she was quite nonchalant about it. When we decided to go, she hugged us and turned back to the table of girls in her “house”. I purposefully stayed calm and didn’t cry or linger too long. And even on the drive back home, I was fine. It was after we arrived at home that I started freaking out.

“We don’t even know anyone at that camp!”

“We left our first born with total strangers!”

“Who does that?”

“What have we done?”

I kept my phone beside me the rest of the day. I just knew she was going to call crying and saying she was homesick and upset because someone looked at her cross-eyed.

The call never came.

Because she was fine.

That night I sobbed in DB’s arms. Letting go is so hard. But as her wonderful Daddy gently reminded me, our job is to raise her to be a responsible adult and that means we can’t always be in control of everything she experiences. And he reminded me that even in the 8 short years she’s been with us, those times when we’ve been apart from her she’s has shown tremendous growth, learning and maturity. It’s true and I knew it. Still, a knot settled into the pit of my stomach.

Monday I was still freaking out.

Tuesday I accepted that the knot in my stomach would not go away until I picked my little girl up from camp.

By Wednesday I had calmed down significantly and best of all, we got a letter in the mail from JBelle! A letter than simply told us that the food was good, they would be taking their swimming test that day and that they were 13 girls in her cabin. Short and sweet and not one mention of being miserable or longing for home.

Sigh.

My little girl is growing up.

And I can’t get this song out of my head

Wide Open Spaces
by The Dixie Chicks

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won’t be coming back with the rest
If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

As her folks drive away, her dad yells, “Check the oil!”
Mom stares out the window and says, “I’m leaving my girl”
She said, “It didn’t seem like that long ago”
When she stood there and let her own folks know

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

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Filed under by Malia, JBelle, parenting

One Small Voice

I feel like there’s nothing new to reveal about motherhood. We’ve seen everything on blogs about motherhood. That’s what made the phenomenon of “mommy blogging” what it is today. Mothers found a voice and opened up about hard motherhood is or maybe even, is not. We’ve confessed our struggles with post-partum depression and addictions. We’ve lamented being sleep deprived and the endless days of dealing with poop in all its various forms. We’ve recalled our pre-pregnancy bodies, social & sex lives, drinking habits, other habits, travels, free time and income only to admit that there’s nothing better than being a mom and seeing the smiling faces of our precious children. We’ve posted pictures and chronicled milestones from first steps to high school graduations. We’ve debated and stringently defended our positions as “work away from home”/”stay at home”/bottlefeeding/breastfeeding/homeschooling/public or private schooling mothers. We’ve recorded our shortcomings, failings and disappointments. We’ve lauded our triumphs, successes and immense joys.

What else is there?

Maybe there isn’t anything new to reveal and maybe that’s not the point. While my rational brain can tell me that all mothers struggle on a daily basis with discipline, guilt, time management, finances and so on, there’s still something in me that breathes a sigh of relief when I come across a post that vocalizes exactly how I’m feeling that day. Though the sentiments and anecdotes may not be original or novel or even shockingly revealing, they express those moments and feelings that make us who we are.

I admit that I’m often envious of the success some have found in blogging about motherhood. I wonder why I even try to lend a voice amid the cacophony of blogs that produce posts about the same things that I go through every day. What makes their stories better than mine? What is so much more compelling about their experiences over mine? Probably nothing and that’s what I’m learning to appreciate. My voice, my blog, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is still mine. It’s here that I record my shortcomings, failings and disappoints and where I laud my triumphs, successes and immense joys. If it simply helps me put into words moments and feelings so that I can move on from there, so be it. If it encourages and cheers another along the same path, that is all the better.

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Filed under by Malia, musings

Preparations

It always blows my mind when we get to this point in the summer. It’s still July but school starts in, get this, 2 1/2 weeks! And this year, I have two children starting school! Of course, GMan is only going to preschool two days a week. A total of ten hours away from home. Ten. Glorious. Hours! Oops, I digressed…anyhoo, we’ve already started preparing for school.

We found some shirts for JBelle on sale at Target. She still needs some shorts/skorts/pants and I’ll probably wait to get her some cooler weather ware since it’ll be awhile before she actually needs it. We also needed a lunch box for GMan. I found the aisle with the lunch boxes, quickly breezed by the licensed character choices down to the end of the aisle where the choices are you know, red, blue, green or black. Well, GMan wouldn’t have anything to do with that. He looked over his shoulder, spotted another lunch box and said, “I want that one! The pirate one!”

“Are you sure? How about this blue one here?” Nope, he would not be dissuaded! So, the pirate one it was. I think we made a good choice, he’s so happy about it.

And terribly excited about going to school with it.

The first couple of days after purchasing it, he carried it around the house. He even got mad at me when I removed the crumpled up filler paper and the Rachael Ray magazine subscription postcard that were inside! Thankfully they were only in the recycling bin and were easily retrieved!

The next couple of weeks are going to be a whirlwind of activity. We’ll get in as much pool time as possible plus get around to going on those field trips that still haven’t happened! I’m thinking the Adventure Science Museum, maybe the Frist, JBelle will go to a cooking class, we’ll paint some pottery, play in the bicentennial park fountains (a yearly summer tradition), go to the Wave Pool. Oh, dear…I think we may have left too much to the end to do! Plus, my grand plans for Frozen Fridays never worked out as I had imagined. We still have not visited Las Paletas, Pied Piper or Bobby’s Dairy Dip! Hmmm….I think Frozen Fridays will have to continue through the end of August since it’s still technically summer.

A few things we have managed to do: JBelle & I saw the “Kit Kittredge” movie together, GMan and I saw “Wall-E” together, JBelle and DB went to an IRL race together, and of course, lots and lots of pool time!

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, life as a domestic goddess, parenting

No Ordinary Friday Morning

It’s 10 am.

My children have not had breakfast.

They’ve watched some television but mostly they’ve played outside.

JBelle is riding her bike. (Which is a tremendous accomplishment!)

GMan is wearing last night’s pull-up and yesterday’s stained t-shirt. No shoes.

He’s been playing in the dirt. (No surprises there.)

And what did the GMan ask for when he came in, hungry and dirty and sweaty?

Carrots.

Excuse while I go check for signs of the Apocalypse.

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, life as a domestic goddess