Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh the Places I've Been!

As of next weekend, I will have been out of town 8 out of 8 weekends--each trip with, usually both, but at least one girl. In the past month, I have experienced some major life events and all I have shared with you is that crazy day I was trying to make it to a kitchen shower. So, this blog is a quick catch-up.
One of my dearest friends, Lauren, gave birth to the newest baby in our neighborhood clan--Georgia Jane Brooks. She entered this world at a whopping 9'14"! This is Caroline (the little Mother of our street), Natalie (lovingly referred to as "Danger Girl"), and Georgia (Mary Aplin's newest cohort) Brooks in ABryanJohnson Photo.I was honored to be the Matron of Honor at the wedding of Whitney (my best friend since second grade) and Cole. It was a beautiful wedding of two very special people, and it was a day I'd been helping to plan for almost 20 years. There is something magical about standing beside two people you love, and witnessing God mesh their lives into one. It always makes me catch my breath, and gives me a strange feeling--like I'm being allowed to peek over the hedgerow and catch a glimpse of the perfect union we're all going to experience with Christ one day.
I experienced my first Mother's Day without my Mother. Several of you have been kind enough to ask me about how that day was for our family. It had its hard moments. Honestly, I think it was harder on my Dad than any of us. I had to drive back to Birmingham from Dothan, and that alone time in the car, with two sleeping girls and nothing but silence and my thoughts...was less than desirable.
My grandma (Mom's mom) turned 80 and we celebated her birthday with a beautiful and delicious lunch at my Aunt Alice's house. I cherish her so much, and it was fun to celebrate her life.I turned 26!
I helped to host a baby shower for one of my best friends from college--Jessica! She is the first of my college friends to take this plunge into babydom with me, and I am very excited to have somebody else join the ranks.

I saw my husband off on a trip to Montana with his brother, Josh. They stayed with Mrs. Ohs, their Mountain Mama, and nearly died camping out in a snowstorm on a mountain, when they were dressed for 80 degree weather.

I took Pace and Mary Aplin to the beach, and it was M'Apple's first beach experience. Caroline (my sister) and her boyfriend Riley went with us. They were a huge help, lots of fun, and it was great to grow closer to them both.

I went on a surprise trip with my Dad and sisters....It turned out to be a flight to Phoenix, AZ where Taylor got ENGAGED!!!!!!!!! It was oh so magical, and I plan to blog about the whole experience next time.
Finally, next weekend my baby sister, Kendall, is graduating from high school.
I feel like I need all of next month to sleep off the last two :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Inappropriate Girl with Children

When your family lives in another town, you're basically a single mom because your husband is always either at the hospital OR on-call, and you're living on a budget that actually has $0 allotted in the "Entertainment" category, you often find yourself in the "Inappropriate Girl with Children" category. Today, I landed there with a resounding crash.

My friend Lindsay is getting married in December (I am a bridemaid), and this morning there was a kitchen shower for her. I really tried hard to get a babysitter. I started with all my different lists first thing Monday morning, calling each girl one by one, only to discover that between working regular daytime jobs, finals, and graduation pickings were slim to none. So, I swallowed the embarrassment, and I called my friend Lindsay and said I can either not come or come and bring the girls (I hope I worded it a little bit nicer than that, but that was the basic idea). She told me to come and bring them, but let's just be honest, it would have been pretty awkward for her to tell me not to come.

So this morning, I work our whole schedule around trying to have the girls bathed, dressed, fed, and well rested by the time of the 10:30 brunch. I'm feeling bad. I'm telling myself that I've learned this lesson so many times...why does it never stick? It's just inappropriate to lug your children to a function that they are not invited to. They're distracting, you become the center of attention because of their distraction, and the guest of honor is left wanting to tell you that today isn't about you believe it or least that's how it feels in my head.

10:30 rolls around, and I am about to wake Mary Aplin up to nurse her one good time before we leave. I have the diaper bag packed, an emergency bottle prepared, a present in my bag, and Pace pumped up about being allowed into a big girl party. Then a premonition comes over me, and I start to think that I didn't remember seeing my keys hanging by my diaper bag where they belong. A still small voice whispers, "Remember yesterday afternoon when Jeremiah asked if he could borrow your keys..." Sure enough, my keys are nowhere to be found. I start paging Jeremiah incessantly and after about 20 minutes he calls me back.

"I don't know if I have them or not. Clinic is really busy and I don't have time to go look right now...Could you just borrow somebody's car?" That's a man for you. That's a man who doesn't think about the fact that it isn't only the car that I need, but the 2 carseats in the car so that I can transport our children as well. At this point, I am 30 minutes late and it's pouring rain outside and I am thinking, "What kind of excuse does it sound like to tell your friend that you couldn't make it because you lost your keys." Lame.

I reign in my aggravation and call Ashley, my friend and neighbor across the street (who has children Pace and Mary Aplin's age) to see if I can borrow her car/car seats. She says that's great with her, but the windshield wipers don't usually work. I am just desperate enough to not care. Being the sweet friend that she is, not only did she drive the car over to our house, but she stood out in the rain rubbing RainEx on the windshield and buckled Pace in for me.

We finally make it to the party, an hour late, but at least we're there. I've started telling myself that we'll just drop in, get lost in the big crowd, hug Lindsay, add our gift to the pile and take our inappropriate selves back home. Not SO, fate cried! I jump out of the car, into the downpour, unbuckle Pace and hand her her pink princess umbrella. I hold her hand and run over to Mary Aplin's side. M'Apples is still riding in a pumpkin seat, and for those of you who don't have kids, those are the monstrously heavy seats you see mothers twisting their backs into scoliosis position and hauling around. These seats also, generally, click into a base in the car. There is a little visor you can pull over them to shield them from light, or in my extreme case, a torrential downpour. Try as I might, I CANNOT figure out how to unhook this new pumpkin seat. Pace is holding her umbrella out beside her and generally enjoying the soaking rain as she asks over and over, "Watcha doin' Mommy?"

After a few minutes I give up and just pull Mary Aplin out of the seat and we run through the rain. Have I mentioned that M'Apples has been running a 101 fever for the past 2 days and now I've drenched her in cold rain? Finally, I stumble through the front door, with two wet children in tow (one of whom is crying profusely), only to find that this big party I was envisioning is actually an intimate little group of girls who have just sat down to start brunch. I start rambling off excuses, the bride herself comes to take my wet coat, her mother picks up my screaming baby, and Pace is excitedly wondering where the party food is that I've been telling her about all morning. There I was, the inappropriate girl with children, dominating a party in my whirlwind. I hated myself.

Thankfully, after Lindsay's sister fed Mary Aplin a bottle while I helped Pace neatly eat her meal, the girls truly were well-behaved. I think God knew I couldn't take much more. Everybody was nice at the party, and Lindsay couldn't have been sweeter about the girls being there...I just know it was wrong. I try, but it seems I am doomed to always being inappropriate.

(Just so you know, I went straight from the party to Wal-Mart in that same rain. We all took a long nap this afternoon!
Also, that stroller in the picture is my new pride and joy that Jeremiah's parents gave me for my birthday. It is a dream!! and I've finally learned that in the land of baby strollers, you really do get what you pay for. If you can, go for the BOB)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sad Day

I hate to do this, but I am going to remove the ability to post comments "Anonymously" on this blog. There is something fun and mysterious to me about some of you leaving comments without your name. It makes me feel like there are sweet people out there, who I don't even know, that care about our lives. Unfortunately, there are also people in this world who like to say unkind things under their anonymous guise. I am completely OK with people disagreeing with me, or even feeling the need to call me out in areas you think I am in the wrong. However, if you intend to make a strong statement, then I believe its only right that you should have the courage to put your name to it. Otherwise, you're just a coward. I hope this doesn't mean an end to the sweet anonymous friends I've made...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Eagles Anyone?

I bought Jeremiah and I tickets to go see the Eagles sold out concert for his 30th birthday. I searched the internet over (including eBay), back in March, and the cheapest tickets I could find were $113. When you add on the processing fee and shipping, I ended up spending $261. Whew! That's some money for a concert, but they ARE incredible and when would we have the chance again...
Then life happened and now, on Saturday May 17th, Jeremiah is going to be in Montana and I am going to be at the beach INSTEAD of in Atlanta at this amazing concert. SO, I was going to see if any of you are interested in buying these from us. I just want to sell them for what I bought them for. The seats are section: lawn; seats: row G5, 96 and 97. If you are interested then email me at

Have a happy Mother's Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To Shower or Not to Shower Why is THAT in Question

All mothers know that with the birth of children, showers suddenly become a luxury. Let me amend that, a shower is a luxury that does not involve A) You trying to fool your child into believing that your shower is really a game you're playing with them by constantly sticking your head out and making silly faces and/or noises. B) Your neck muscles are in a knot because the baby is screaming and you know the other child is only moments away from acting out in anger towards the screaming baby. C) A child getting soaking wet because they feel like now is the perfect time to carry on a conversation--with their head jutted into what you hoped would be your one quiet haven. OR D) And perhaps worst of all, complete silence. Then you have to tell yourself, "Well, I know that there is some huge (and possibly dangerous) mess being made somewhere out there right now, but I choose to remain blissfully ignorant and I'll just say a prayer that God keeps them safe and he'll allot me the patience I need to deal with the mess whenever I get out."

The other option is to shower when the children are sleeping. This is my normal routine, but I've started to question it. Those moments when they are both snoozing are so rare, and so precious, that it seems like a waste to use them on my shower. I could be blogging, or reading, or (more realistically) dealing with the mess strewn all over my house, or making dinner. Instead, I'm spending 45 minutes showering and dressing. Just think what we could accomplish if we could throw hygiene out the window. I know I did in college! It was in no way out of the ordinary for me to go 2 or 3 days without a shower. During the week, everybody came to class in T-shirts, the same pair of jeans they'd been wearing the week before, and hair in a pony-tail. I was studying at night, my boyfriend was 2 hours away, why in the heck would I take the time to shower daily?

Then there's Jeremiah, who showers at least twice a day and cannot stand for me to skip a day. He used to call me, when I was in school, and ask me how many days we were up to at this point--with no shower. I always thought it was just a big joke between us, and it was sort of, but soon after we were married I discovered that it was genuinely disturbing to him. So, I made a showering commitment--shower, little make-up, and dressed in something decent. Every day, no matter what, even though I am at home with two little mess makers all day. My Mom used to tell me that I should give him something to look forward to coming home to--a wife who took care of herself (although she didn't always follow this advice herself :)).

My friend/SIL Ashley asked me the other day if I missed working. It made me think, and I realized that I don't miss working at all. What I do miss more than anything else is being able to have complete thoughts. To sit quietly and use my mind to work through something without being in a panicky hurry, or being interrupted, is what I miss most. I also miss my friends, and the feeling of contributing monetarily to our family, and being able to plan for myself what I want to get done in a day and actually do it--but the thinking and the quiet seem like the rarest commodities.

This is where that shower during nap time comes back in. My shower and my run are the two times during the day when I get that quiet, complete thought provoking kind of time. The run necessitates the shower, and I feel like I plan my day around how to get both things accomplished. While I sometimes start to get the productivity itch, dreaming of what I could get done in my day if I knocked out these two "luxuries," I think that without them, my brain might go to mush and my overall well-being would probably soon follow. So, after hashing all this out with you all, I think I've decided that the answer to the shower question is "YES, I do deserve a quiet, daily, shower!"

These are my two shower disturbers at 6 months. Pace on the left and Mary Aplin on the right. If your smile looked like theirs, I might forgive you for disturbing my showers too!