tree toppers

Tonight we decorated the tree. I only kind of like this part. I like the idea of decorating. Hanging ornaments, hot chocolate, overall spreading good cheer. That ideallic picture was smashed even before getting everything out of the attic. A broken coffee pot and one fight later we had everything down. Fight quickly forgotten as Owen was climbing all over the reindeer ( or as he called them giraffes) and loved that there was actually a tree in the house. Shaun helped O put the star on top and I stopped him midstretch.
"Wait, hold that moment -- let me get the camera". It was too cute with O's little superman underoos showing.
TiVo has me spoiled. Sometimes I catch myself wanting to pause or rewind the radio. Just for a minute I wanted to do the same with real life.
I found some shoes and my car keys and went searching for the camera.
No luck.
Back inside, one more rummage through the purse. Still empty handed.
O was looking longingly at the tree wondering why he couldn't put the star on top just yet.
Finally Shaun found the camera (in about 30 seconds) for me and we tried again.
We captured the moment.
It was really just a replay of the moment about 10 minutes before. This time slightly less candid.
The picture I guess looks the same, but it still reminds me that we can't go back. We can't replay. And if we aren't careful we will miss it.

home sweet home

usually after a trip i can't wait to get home.
after 5 days with my inlaws that couldn't be more true.
don't get me wrong. my inlaws are great and in many ways much more sane than my own family. however, things start to get a little crowded after day 4. the twin beds in shaun's old room don't help.
almost 6 hours in a car with a small child and dog later i was eager to unlock that door.
we quickly piled into our own bed, checked the tivo and discussed what toppings for the pizza we were about to order.
i was ready to be home, just not ready to be back to reality.
out of cat food. ughh. going to the store in the cold drizzle after being in the rain was the last thing i wanted to do.
i did.
then i get home and realized we were also out of milk. damn.
then i rumaged through the mail. turns out i forgot to pay the water bill. they were threatening to turn it off ......uhm 3days ago. quick check and the sink turns on. Must go drop off the check in the night drop, hoping they will process it before shutting off my water.
pizza guy is here. suprise they don't take checks or credit cards.
neighbor comes through in a pinch and lends us some cash.
i scarf down thin crust hamburger and green olive pizza that even the mysterious odor coming from the kitchen can't ruin.
next commercial and i'll tackle the things growing in the fridge.
did i mention grades are due in the morning.......
welcome home.

posed part II.

Here is a sneak peak from the shoot this morning. Check out my friend Rhonda: http://www.snapshotsonlocation/. She is a deal and can work with even the most difficult child. ( don't ask me how i know that!)


One of my friends recently got into the photography business. I have capitialzed on the oppertunity for my family and particuarly my son to be her learning subjects. The above pics are from her last shoot. She has gotten really good and invested in some top of the line equipment.

This morning she came over to shoot my Christmas card photos. Usually that job falls to who ever is around when the tree is up and we are all in clean clothes ( and never this early in the season).

I had it all planned out in my head. My favoite place for everyone in the family to be......the bed. We were all in Christmasy pajamas and I had very convincing props. Crisp white sheets, coffee cups, the morning paper, books, and stuffed animals. I wanted the pictures to display all the warmth and life that I feel in my family. I had images in my head of O jumping on the bed, a pillow fight, reading the paper all with the dog curled happily at the foot of the bed. I haven't seen the photos yet. And she swears she got some good ones, but the shoot felt like a disaster. Really, it even began with a small fire. I lit a candle on one of the bed sides tables and slipped out of the room to get something. Shaun, Rhonda and Owen were just hanging out doing their own thing -- but when I walked back in I saw the pillow case on fire. We aired out the room, tucked away that pillow case and kept shooting. O mainly looked in the opposite direction, he whined. I think he was afraid it was bedtime. When we let the dog was really chaotic. I am all for chaos and think it brings many photo oppertunites......but these were all the wrong way.

My next good idea was to take a picture in sweaters, winter hats and scarves. Let me mention that it is like 80 degrees outside and O still has hat issues from his helmet days. As soon as we get outside Shaun immediately gets sneezy, O rips off his hat and takes off for the swingset and my heart sinks that these photos aren't going to turn out either. The truth is -- I bet they are great. Even better than I imagined. Yet I was left feeling disappointed because things didn't quite go like they looked in my head.

Often I feel that way. When I try to stage life. Plan it out. Make it look like something that mabye it isn't. Expectations always seem to get in the way. 2 year olds and dogs do not cooperate. But my real life, not the one in my head, or the one in my photographs is better than anything I could have pictured.

pushing 30 at the House of Blues

Friday night me and Shaun had tickets at the House of Blues. Tegan and Sara. ( they are awesome and you should totally check them out if you are into 2 hip twins from canada -- they almost make up for canada's other 2 musical blemishes: shania twain and celene dion).

The night was fun and amazing but full of not so gentle reminders of my age.

1. The show started at 9. as in pm. as in very close to the time i am usually in bed. also that was just the opening act ( northern state who totallly should also check them out...kind of a female version of the beastie boys).

2. What to wear? the House of Blues is a little bit hip. I don't think Ann Taylor Loft counts as hip. I couldn't find one single pair of jeans in my closet with holes in them. paint yes, but holes no. When did i get so grown up that my clothes actually look new when I buy them.

3. Getting ready for my night on the town also included laying out pjs, diapers and leaving insturctions for the babysitter.

4. I seriously considered valet parking. 12$. Used to be I would walk a mile to save 2$ in parking. We settled for the close by gravel lot for 10$.

5. Apparently the word was out about Tegan and Sara and the place was completely packed. Me and Shaun didn't do our research so we did not know that T&S are very popular with the girl crowd. As in the all girl crowd. This wasn't necessarily a negative for us ( hey -- we have been to Ani difranco!).....just a surprise. I was suddenly a bit self consious about my hetero-ness. My first thought was, "damn - I bet there will be a really long line in the women's bathroom".

6. I was very annoyed with the smoke. the HOB is smoke free but there smoking porch is right where you walk in. I have never been a smoker....but i used to have a slight affinity for party smell. Tonight I just held my breathe and took a shower when I got home.

7. The bouncer looked over the couple in front of mine's ids. He asked ?s about birthdays and everything. When he got to mine, he barely even looked at.

8. I kept looking at my watch. The show was amazing, but babysitters charge by the hour and it was way way past my bedtime.

9. Three beers was apparently 2 too many. My head pounded in the morning and my stomach didn't feel very reliable.

10. The worst reminder was there was no sleeping in after a fun night out. O woke up ready to go at 6:20. Let the potty training commence.

5 things

I'll admit it. I'm still a Grey's fan. I like the mess that is Meredith Grey and all those hot doctors don't hurt either. I don't particuarly like the way have portrayed marriage.......but I still TiVo it and look forward to my Thursday nights.

If you don't watch let me give you a quick summary of part of last week's episode. First a little background: Meredith has a step sister who has suddenly appeared this season. This step sister was never part of her life. It was the life and family her father chose over her. Her step sister keeps trying to connect with Mer -- but she keeps pushing her away and is often downright mean. In this episode a woman comes in with a small child that is injured. The baby turns out to be ok, but the mom is in critical condition. The dad doesn't know what to do. They had just adopted the baby and hadn't even given her a name yet.......and now it looks like the mom won't make it. The dad wants to give the baby back. He is afraid he can't do it without his wife. She is just a baby and hasn't quite connected with her yet. He lists just a few things he knows about her. How to comfort her, etc. Meredith explains that he knows 5 things about her that know one else knows and that it is alot. His wife ends up dying and he ends up keeping the baby. It all seems to go back to that conversation and those 5 things. A few scences later -- Meredith's step sister walks up to her and rambles off 5 ridiculous things about herself...she is a great etchasketch drawer, used to play trombone, etc. And then she says this" That's 5 things, 5 things that will hopefully make it harder for you to hate me." They don't hug or cry or resolve any issues.......but it does leave the audience with a bit of hope for their relationship.

It is so true. Here are 5 ridiculous things about me....

1. I like my showers scalding hot

2. I am addicted to dance dance revolution ( it is a video game if you don't know).

3. I had the biggest crush on Kevin ( fred savage) from the wonder years back in middle school. I might have even kissed the tv.

4. I had a reputation for being the biggest klutz in school. All my year books are filled with sayings like "stay trippin"

5. I can't pee if I think people can hear me.

I am probably going to misquote this, but Larry Crabb wrote a book called inside out. There is a line on the first page that have remembered clearly. It really hit home when I read the first time. " Most people's biggest fear is that if people knew them, really knew them, they wouldn't like them." So we spend all this time guarding who we are. Only letting out little pieces tentatively a time. When I meet new people -- I don't automatically think they are going to like me. I am careful with my words and how much I let them see.
The truth is....the opposite of that is more true. Think about when you get to know a new friend or first started dating someone. The more you learned about them ... the more you loved them. I love that I know that shaun's legs twitch as he falls asleep. I love that I know my sons favorite toys, cartoons and foods. I love that I know what he wants sometimes without him even saying it. I love that I know my friend's coffee orders, even the really complicated ones.

It is hard to reject someone that is being that vulnerable. It is hard not to love that boldness. I'm not saying everyone who meets us will be our new best friend. They won't. Even if we give them 5 things. But if we let people see more, if we look for more in them -- more often than not we will be harder to hate.

So what's your 5?

god made dirt, so dirt don't hurt.

Yesterady we took Owen to the Tech/Baylor football game. The weather was amazing and he is still small enough that we don't have to buy a ticket. One of my favorite old friends was in TX and just a row behind us...which meant I spent most of the game catching up with her.......and ignoring the game ( come on it was baylor)...and my son. Owen was entertaining himself nicely feeding his dinosaur crackers, drinking all my "juice" (soda he shouldn't have) and throwing the nerf football we packed at some unsuspecting neighbors. After several quarters of entertaining himself, the sun started to get to him and he laid down on the concrete riser. This was gross I know, but I let him. He got a little dirty, he ate some popcorn off the ground ( i did try to stop that)and seriously eyed some chewed up gum stuck to the bottom of a bleacher. The two cute women in front of me kept looking me back and giving me dirty looks. He was not disrupting them in any way, they were just shocked that I was allowing him to lay on the ground like that. The looks were far nastier than any germ my son was picking up off the ground.
The cover story for this week's Newsweek is about the drastic rise in food allergies. I am not allowed to send Owen to school with anything that was even near a peanut becuase someone in his class has a severe allergry. The throat closing up kind. Now, when you introduce new foods to a baby you are supposed to do them one at a time for an entire week. I tried. I did cereal and sweet potatoes and carrots and squash according to the rules. Then I quit and fed him whatever. He didn't quite make it to his first birthday before his first peanut butter sandwhich ( they tell you to wait until they are 2 now). His face did turn all red and blotchy once after eating cinnamon apple oatmeal. I called the dr. panicked on a Saturday morning -- afraid his throat would swell shut next and that we would need to rush him to the ER. Turns out the cinamon just irritated his skin. No allergy, just an irritant. Now, I am not saying allergies are nonsense. I get 2 allergy shots every week and am miserable if I don't. Owen gets an almost daily dose of Claritin ( right after we give him his inhaler). Allergies are real and a total pain in the ass. Newsweek went so far as to say this giant rise in food allergies, particualry the extreme allergies are due to being too clean. We don't let them eat something that fell on the floor. We wash off the pacifier before popping back in their mouth ( or atleast we feel like we should). We wipe them down with Purell after they play in the mall toddler play area. We cover their shopping cart seats, and high chairs. The theory is that our immune system is bored. It isn't fighting off all the usual suspects because all the antibacterial soaps are doing it for them. Every fever or runny nose is treated with antibiotics even if it isn't bacterial. Our immune system doesn't know what to do so it starts attacking perfectly harmless things like peanuts or eggs.
Ask any teenager why they did something stupid. If you get any answer out of them at all, it will most likely be something along the lines of "I don't know, I was bored.....I guess" Bored is bad. Nothing is more dangerous than if we become complacent with our relationship with God. If we let that get boring -- we are guarenteed attack on things that were seemingly harmless before.
To be honest my son gets sick a lot. We have been to the ER, we have called poison control, me and Shaun have played rock paper scissors to see who has to stay home with him. I have been puked on twice in the last week alone. Maybe I should be breaking out the antibacterial wipes a little more often, but I am not. I want my son to be strong and ready for the world. He is going to get dirty, he might even get sick, but I pray that he is never bored with who God is. I pray that his little immune system and his heart will be ready when the real culprits appear. Until then, bring on the mud pies.