Ramblings from my life…

Just life in general

Last post

This will be my last post for this blog.

I strongly feel this chapter in my life is over. (Navy life, transition, Civi life… and now moving on to just Civilian life with kids growing up too fast!)

You can visit my new blog at Another Revelation to see the continuation of my life story.

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Open door

When God closes a window, He opens a door.

As I was running today, I was thinking about how much I’ve learned in the last two days. How humbling that not only has God used me as a lesson to myself, but my head feels so much clearer. Even my worries have lessened. I know, it sounds so cliché… Girl makes sacrifice, God speaks to girl, girl feels calm and see’s hope. Maybe it sounds cliché… but it speaks truth.

I was reflecting over why I started this blog, why it has the title that it does and wondering if it is time to move on. Originally, Half My Heart was intended as a means to write my husband while he was on deployment, vent my frustrations and document my children’s lives. I came up with the name because “half of my heart” was in Afghanistan. Now I’m pondering starting a new chapter in my life… a new blog with a fresh new name.

In other news, it snowed. Not as much as last year, but enough for the kids and I to build a semi-fort in the back yard. The kids reason for the fort was to hide from daddy when they have a snow ball fight… we shall see.


Miss Perception and Mr. Perspective

Recently I became aware that my perception of being social might be tainted. Nothing like a little perspective thrown in my face. What I mean is that is it so easy to get drawn into the online social networking world… a faster way of communicating with friends and family than waiting for them to reply to an email or voice message. It would seem like any free time I had, I’d use to check the statuses of my friends. In a way it is helpful because I was “in the know” of who was doing what… but why do I feel the need to know in the first place? Does it give me a sense of comfort? No. Does it fulfill me? No. Does it make me happy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Several instances in the last week have brought me to the conclusion that I in fact have a problem, an addiction if you will. The dictionary defines addiction as this:

addiction |əˈdik sh ən|noun: the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. A dependence, habit, problem. An obsession with, infatuation with, passion for, love of, mania for, enslavement to.

I think I did have an obsession – an infatuation of sorts with finding out who was doing what in the local area. I was checking facebook at least 3 to 4 times a day, when really even checking it once is probably over kill. A few weeks ago I started praying about it. I asked God to open my eyes to what I am called to do. I already know that I am called to be a wife and a mother. I know that I am called to sing at church. I know that I am called to be a friend… What I’m not called to do is be on the computer or my phone.

So, I have started a challenge. A few weeks ago my pastor mentioned fasting. He told us that fasting meant giving up something to concentrate on God. It didn’t necessarily have to be food, it could be anything that was an addiction. So, I deactivated my facebook page…. and a strange thing happened. I felt lighter. Color filled my cheeks. I can’t say that I haven’t been tempted to re-login to that world, but that is part of detox, right?

If you know me, will you hold me accountable? My goal is to be socially offline until February 16th. (After that I will only check in a few times a week.) I will still blog and search google for recipes. I will still check the weather and pay my online bills… and in my spare time, I will be living life. Being social, offline.

loving each other...


Year end review

Well, December has turned out to be a very full and fast paced month! It seems that when your youngest child turns Seven, time starts to go even faster. When I started this blog Three years ago, I felt the urge to write all the time. Now it seems that with the addition of Facebook, I don’t have much to share anymore. Maybe, or maybe I’m just lazy.

Most of December was filled with activities for Girl Scouts, school or rehearsals for the Christmas Eve pageant. We also were taking the oldest child to the doctor for testing. She was very lethargic, fatigued and complained that her neck hurt all the time. Blood work revealed that everything was fine. This Holiday break has given her the opportunity to “heal”, if you will, from the stresses of being a 3rd grader and she has been the happiest I’ve seen her since this summer. I’m thinking that my new years resolution will be to take things slower. Not that we are over involved, she only does Girl Scouts and gymnastics… but then add in her sisters Girls Scouts which meets opposite weeks, our Bible study growth group and homework and all the sudden we have a full week.

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday. The girls were involved in the Christmas Eve service, as was I. Both girls were bell ringers during the first song and the 8 year old was a flag dancer at the end. All of those rehearsals paid off!

After the service, my parents came over to spend the night so that they could watch the girls open presents in the morning. Santa was generous this year and brought the kids (and daddy) a PS3. It came with one game and honestly, I don’t see any reason to buy another. Ever. This game has so many levels and the game system does so much more than just play the games.

We then headed over to my parents house for the night, along with my sisters family. We had a big Christmas dinner and played a few games of scrabble.

On the 27th, I celebrated my birthday. The day was very relaxing. I got to pick out a new phone (thanks M&D!), go house looking for fun and then have a low key dinner on the sofas by the fire at a local restaurant. The girls sat on the floor by the fire and ate their dinner under the coffee table. Their giggling reminded me of good times when I was their age… but I think I’m having more fun now.

Speaking of good times… this break has allowed us to not only have much needed family time, but also one-on-one time with the girls. The girly-girl and I painted toe nails and went grocery shopping together, while dad and the tom-boy built a lego house. We’ve also had time to snuggle and watch movies, read books and play games. The girls even made up their own version of charades the other night. Now the year is coming to an end. So many memories, a few of them sad… but all of them together make another chapter in our lives. Here’s to 2011!


The Golden Child

The Golden Child

I have a furry son named Rusty. We bought him on the spot when we were going in the pet shop to browse. He nibbled on my shoe and he stole my heart. I couldn’t imagine leaving the store and letting someone else take him home. As a puppy, Rusty got into quite a bit of trouble. From chewing on the kitchen table chairs to eating some mysterious mushroom and needing antibiotics. We decided to enroll him in puppy training and he was number one in his class. We even taught him how to sit with only a hand motion.

Fast forward 8 years…, Rusty has an issue with his eye, READ: How the cookie crumbles. After almost 18 months, we have had no issues with Rusty, until now. For the last week he has not wanted his regular dog food, nor been doing his deed as much as he used too. I am worried… and to make matters worse, he has a strange little knot in his tummy. I guess we are off to the vet, yet again…

But truly, Rusty is our Golden Child. As we deal with tweeny and pre-tween girl ordeals at home… the whining, fighting, complaining… having a son that complies with the rules is nice! I can deal with the homework, extra curricular schedules, etc… it is the moods that get me…

In other news, Thanksgiving was certainly a time of thanks! My husbands side of the family met together (minus one brother and family) and had a great time.

most of the paternal clan...

caught on film! The blurry part is me "scolding" my hubs (for something dumb…) Don't worry, not the bird, more of an Italian gesture of sorts! (too bad I'm not Italian!)


Catch Up

Where have we been?

Life in this household has not slowed down. It seems that we go from event to event. Even when my calendar pages are empty, something comes up, like the 8 year old just started after school Enrichment in Chinese lessons. Monday we have Gymnastics. After the first session ended, the 6 year old has decided that it is not for her, so she is just going to take coloring and reading material with her. Every other Wed and every other Thursday we have either Brownies or Daisies (girl scouts). And of course the biggie… this is football season, so weekends are packed full. On top of the kids activities, I have taken up two jobs. I am substitute teaching again this year but since you normally don’t get a call everyday, I accepted a nanny job with my good friend. She works from home full time and needed someone to watch her younger two, so since I already know and get along with them – why not? It has been around 9 weeks with them and it is a dream job!

In other news, our HVAC just gave up and died, the fan has been on the fritz for about a year (producing hardly any heat and making an awful noise, then in the summer producing next to no cool air).  So since we needed a new system, we converted from oil to electric. The new system is working great!

A pipe in our septic system broke. I don’t know how long it has been broken, but my guess would be that it froze sometime during our major snow storm last year and burst shortly thereafter resulting in the need to be “pumped out” before we had an overflow issue. Hopefully the broken part comes in soon and can be repaired.

Did I mention that there seems to be a problem with our water softener? A few months ago our water started tasting metallic and subsequently our tubs and sinks started to stain. The problem seems to be off and on though, so we are putting off a new system until it completely dies.

I’m not sure that anything else could possibly go wrong with this house. I think we are done. You see, we’ve also had the roof replaced after much leaking…. and a few other things that I’ve mentioned over the years.

On the positive side, we have done some fun things like a surprise mission to Mimi’s house for her birthday, a crab feast and my husbands class reunion. I’ll leave you with some pictures of our adventures…

 


Stop the presses…

This morning I heard something that I have never heard before. My fashion princess asked ME what to wear. This is the girl who has taken pride in dressing herself since she was four years old. This is the girl who I go to when I’m not sure what I have on matches. Not to worry, she was just having a lazy moment. She is already back to her girly girl self.

Speaking of girly things, both of the girls are in Girl Scouts. The 8 year old is in Brownies and the 6 year old is in Daisies. I’m worried that when my Daisy bridges to Brownies at the end of the year, she won’t think it is girly enough. I mean, come on… we go from super girly, bright colors with a huge daisy flower on front to… brown? We recently had out Investiture and Rededication ceremony. The Daisies worked on cute crafts and the Brownies worked on a self life time-line. Could the two BE anymore different?


Fly on the wall…

School started today. My kids are in 1st and 3rd grade. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet… but talking to them last night about their first day started to make me wish I could be a fly a on the wall. I mean, I know that they will be okay and their first day will go great – but part of me wants to experience it and see what it is like to be a kid in their class. Cheesy, I know. I don’t remember much from my Elementary days… so, I want to see how it feels to have the jitters/excitement of the first day of school, just so I can identify with them.

Ready to go!

The rest of my day will consist of cleaning. Sounds exciting, right? I want to have the house spotless when everyone gets home today. I think I might make the kids a welcome home sign. Last night my husband suggested that I make the kids a special breakfast today. They did not let me forget… so, french toast was served. I made the mistake of leaving a piece on the counter to cool before putting it in the fridge. When I got out of my shower, the toast was mysteriously gone and the one eyed puppy looked a little too happy.

What? What did I do?

In other news, I had a small basil cell carcinoma removed a few weeks ago. Apparently, these things grow really slow… in fact, mine has been present for around 7 years. I was born with a small bald spot on my head, known as a birthmark. About 7 years ago, it started to itch all the time. Even though it was annoying, I didn’t think much about it. Whenever I had my doctor look at it – they said it looked fine. So, I let this cancer grow on my skin because I wasn’t persistent about it. This year, I finally had enough. Having a spot on your head that itches all day long every day is very annoying. I told my doctor that I wanted it taken out. They sent me to a dermatologist and took a biopsy. The results came back saying that it could develop into basil cell carcinoma if it wasn’t removed. This was news to me, since my doctors had always said it looked fine… just a small bald spot, no big deal. After the spot was removed and sent to pathology, the results came back that it was indeed basil cell carcinoma.

Anyway, this is something in my life that is very private and I really didn’t want to share it with the world… but I feel the need, because left untreated… eventually the cancer would become a bigger problem. (Slow, yes… but progressing.) So… this now puts me at pretty high risk for skin cancers. I will never skip a day without sun screen anymore. I will also be that annoying itch that you have… telling you to get it checked out. The first sign is reoccurring itching. It doesn’t have to be all the time – but it is always in the same spot.


Summer days, drifting away…

I’ve been trying to be more relaxed this summer. Usually I’m worried about jamming in enough trips to the library, swim lessons and things that I forget to just enjoy the fact that we don’t have to do anything. I am a family girl. I’m not a huge fan of time away from my husband or kids. However, I haven’t been to my grandparents house in 9 years. I know, my kids are younger than that… which means they have never been down to visit. Thank goodness travel works both ways, as my grandparents have visited us several times over the last 9 years. So, this past week the kids and I jumped in my parents RV for yet another road trip adventure. When we arrived at my grandparents house on Friday morning, my grandfather was a bit taken aback. At first it didn’t click who these two little girls were standing at the door (my parents and I were hiding), but he knew that he recognized them. When we popped around the corner, it all fell into place. We then repeated the hiding as we entered the house to find Gran knitting. It took her a good hour to get over her initial shock! I can’t say that the rest of the visit was fabulous. There is something about living that long that gives you the right to be cranky. We’ll just leave it at that.

Thankfully, my cousin only lives an hour away and came to my rescue! We took the kids to feed some ducks and then took them to the mall to put on a fashion show for us. I’ve never let my girls in a dressing room alone before – so this was a special treat. They tried on outfits and then came out and modeled them for us.

This was a size 10 that she picked out… didn't try that one on!

We left a day early and set out to a camp ground, where we stayed for 4 days. The campground was on a lake and since over half of the sites are owned by people who keep their 5th wheels there… it was quiet. I took runs along the lake and swam in the pool for hours with the kids. The most memorable moment though was when my dad and I took a 3.1 mile bike ride to a local winery, did a wine tasting, and then rode 3.1 miles back to the campground with our purchase!

In other news, this weekend the family and I took a last minute day trip. The girls love water fountains… so we seek them out whenever we can.


Life with girls…

One word: Drama.

Anyone with more than one girl in the house can tell you that there is always drama. It doesn’t come it little spurts, but rather in large booms. Anything from screams, crying and growls to the Miss Prissy attitude… it is all there. You might have seen us out in public. We are the family with the two angels that never disrupt conversation or act rude. I mean it, no sarcasm there… but walk into my living room and another story develops.

I often wonder what life is like for my husband. Three moody girls and a dog. Lord help him the day the second kid hits puberty. I can imagine that the pinching, hitting and screaming episodes will calm down at each other… and the Mom is so not cool phase will start. I’m sure there will still be screaming, but maybe it won’t be as high pitched?

Obviously my girls can be sweet little angels at home too… but boy does it seem like they are at each others throats too often! Maybe because it is summer… maybe because the six year old finally has an opinion and wants to share it.

That's her, with her arms folded…

In the cooking world, I made three more appetizers to go over to a crab feast at our friends house.

Watermelon, Tomato, Basil Skewers (as easy as it sounds, with a balsamic glaze)

Black Bean and Mango salad (with red peppers, corn, basil and a lime dressing)

Smoked Salmon with capers and olive oil… garlic toast

All three are again from the cook book I am working through. I will post recipes over on my cooking blog. Tonight my sister-in-law is coming, so I am making a chicken and shrimp deal from the cookbook. Hopefully it turns out well!