Saturday, March 6, 2010

21 Years and 3 Kids Later...

Thursday was my 21 year anniversary. 
By today's standards I think that's pretty cool...actually I think it's cool by any standards, but that's beside the point. 

I had a post all ready for Thursday with a timeline of photos of the Head of My Household and me over the years, and then 2 things happened.

1.  We had a fight.
It's extrememly hard to say nice things about someone when you're mad...especially a husband!
2.  A teenage heart was broken in our home - first love ran its course.

The fight was really not a "fight" for heaven's sake...The Head of My Household just made a not very smart remark to husbands will do from time to time...some, more times than others...remember the time he wanted to know what was for supper when I still had the suitcases in my hand??
The fight actually ended with him actually saying he was way of blackberry message...but that counts, right??

The broken heart, however, was what really blocked the post, I think.  As I tried to comfort my firstborn through this particular life adjustment that we've known was coming since January, I couldn't help but think of the differences in how we view love at different points in our lives and the inevitable changes that our lives bring us whether or not we are "ready" for them.

Change is difficult...even in the best of situations, even if you're the one who chooses the change.  Adjusting to change, I think, is even harder than the change itself. 
After 21 years of marriage, I think that adjusting to change has got to be one of the key aspects of making a marriage work.  

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a marriage counselor, nor do I even pretend to know what's best for a own has seen its rockier days just as any relationship does.
I truly believe anyone who tells you that their relationship has been all hunky dory since Day 1 is a liar. 

I married my husband when I was only 20 years old. 
Do I regret it?
Absolutely not.
Do I think that young women should ascribe to getting married at 20 years old?
Absolutely not.

I say this because I think back to my own growing up years.  I think the last years of high school through at least 25 years of age and maybe even to 30 in today's world, a young person is just really learning who he or she is.  These years are the only time in a person's life when he or she is able to make choices and do things without really having to think about how those choices affect others (within reason, of course)

Once two people decide to marry, those days are over (or should be).
I realize as I type that sentence that is sounds like fun is over once a person marries...but that's not what I mean.
Once a person decides to share his or her life with someone, then all decisions include that other person as well.  And sometimes concessions have to be made.
It's just a different stage in life.

While my marriage is not perfect (is anyone's?), I am happily married.
I believe it is because I'm married to a man who is sure enough of himself to allow me to grow and mature, to adjust to the changes that life has brought us...some we expected and some we didn't.
I have tried to do the same for him. 
There is a 7 year difference in our ages so he has reached some stages in life before me
(I just had to add that part!)
Because I was much younger than him when we married, he has probably had to be more patient with my changes and adjustments than I have had to be with his.  And, for that, I thank him.

Our 3 daughters live in a home with both of their parents.
Something many of their friends do not have.
Our 3 daughters know that their parents love each other.
And that marriage isn't like Cinderella or any of that other Walt Disney stuff.

I hope that one day, when the time is right and they've done all the things they want to do, they'll find someone as strong, honest and caring as their father with whom to share the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Reagan!

6 years ago today I gave birth to my 3rd and last baby.

Even though she was just about the biggest surprise in my life so far, I cannot imagine life without her.

My youngest is my biggest fan.

She wants to be right in the middle of everything, needs lots of reassurance that she's doing things the "right" way and is scared to death that she's going to miss something.

My youngest can fight with her two teenage sisters as if she was as old as they are and/or have a logical conversation with them that leaves us all speechless or in tears because we're laughing so hard at her quick comebacks.

She has no trouble voicing her opinion and wants to be right there with the "big girls" all the time.

My youngest loves to dress up...and spends time almost every day changing into a variety of old dance recital outfits from big box that sits in our hall because if we put it up, we'll just have to drag it right back out again.

With my youngest I've experienced the joy of having a child later in life when I was able to realize what's really important and more importantly...what's not.

Where has the time gone?

Happy Birthday, Reagan :)
Mommy loves you very much!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Prize?? For Me??


My sweet friend Terri (and a few days later Roan) gave me a prize!!!!


When I started blogging in January of this year, I did it because I needed an outlet.  After only 2 months of blogging, I have no idea how I ever survived without it.  Blogging has given me a space where I can share my thoughts and feelings through writing, which has always been my mode of therapy. 

Could be why I chose to be a writing teacher :)
So I can do something I love all day long, every day :) :)

What I never imagined though was that blogging has opened up an entire other world out there of folks like me...bloggers who use photography and writing as a way to chronicle, analyze and simply share who they are and what their lives are all about. I feel like I know these people...even though I've never met them.  I love my new friends...and my old ones I've reconnected with.

What blogging does for me as well is encourage me to do other things that I love...
taking pictures and cooking...
I have taken pictures my whole life.
When I was a teenager, I had an entire wall in my bedroom that was corked and covered with a collage of photographs...I really did! 
I didn't know then, but I know now how cool it was that my mom let me do this...lots of parents would have said, "You can't put all those holes in my wall!"
But, she didn't.

I have also always enjoyed cooking.
At different times in my life I have gotten away from cooking simply because I have a hard time managing my time...
While my photography doesn't affect others, whether or not I cook, when I cook, how long it takes for something to be ready, etc. DOES affect others...very loud, whiney others when there's nothing to eat.
My recomittment to my family and in actuality myself in January included a recomittment to eating better, which always includes eating more food at home than in restaurants. 
Turning a responsibility into fun experiments with new recipes has made that responsibility seem more like playtime time rather than the same ole same ole dreary decisions.
I have to find excitement somewhere!

My beautiful mama (the one who let me put all those holes in the wall when I was a teenager) is still encouraging my creativity even today by keeping me outfitted with the latest photography and cooking equipment so I can keep should see all the loot I found in her cabinets this past weekend!
Thanks, Mom...What would I do without you?
I love you!

There are rules for accepting this blogging award, and they are as follows:

1. Post the award.

2. Thank and mention the person who gave you the award.

3. Pass the award on to seven bloggers whom you think embody the spirit of the Kreativ Blogger Award.

4. Name seven things about yourself that others do not know.

5. Don’t forget to notify the seven Kreativ Bloggers about their award and post a link to their blog.

Seven Things Most People Don't Know About Me:

1.  I am horrified of going to the dentist.

2.  I am allergic to all kinds of medicine...Benadryl and Dramamine can knock me out for days.

3.  I would rather eat a bag of potato chips than cake or pie.

4.  My guilty pleasure is vampire movies, stories, t.v. shows.

5.  I could stay in my pajamas and houseshoes all day and be perfectly happy.

6.  If I could wear my houseshoes to work every day, I would.

7.  I was engaged to someone else when I met my husband and father of my 3 children.  Almost the biggest mistake of my life.

Seven Kreativ Blogs That Inspire Me:

1.  My friend and colleague Sharon at Writerly Haphazardly is a Kreativ academic.  If you want to know anything about using the most up to date technological doo-dads in the classroom, Sharon is your gal.  Sharon is also an environmentally friendly cat lover, poet and lover of Southern literature and culture who tries to live her life in a way that gives back to the earth what has been generously loaned to us for the time we are here. 

2. I thoroughly enjoy The Lumberjack's Wife.  Taylor is a down-to-earth, silly, hard-working, mother of 4.  Her posts are written in a Kreativ poetic form that I am sure my friend and colleague Sharon could identify immediately...since I'm just a writing teacher, I just notice how interesting Taylor's writing style makes her liners that tell a story...really cool.

3. I'm drawn to Jennifer's blog The Cotton Wife for a couple of reasons.  I seem to be drawn to blogs whose authors are living their lives close to the land.  I come from a long line of agrigarians in one form or another, so reading about Jennifer and her family's life on a modern day working farm inspires me to also work hard at what I do and to remember where all that stuff in the grocery store comes from.  Jennifer is also a photographer whose Kreativ photos are of the natural beauty around her rather than something she photoshopped to death. 

4. The 7MSN Ranch blog tickles me, especial Deets the cat.  The author of this blog came home from a corporate job to a job with animals from home in New Mexico.  I'm fond of New Mexico due to a very special Spring Break trip last year so I enjoy reading about the lives of the horses, burros and of course, Deets.  I'm especially drawn into the blog by the author's Kreativ and vivid color photography, which draws me in and makes me want to go back to Taos very soon.

5. Warm Vanilla Sugar is a blog by Katrina, a college student...I don't know Katrina, just stumbled upon her well written blog...wouldn't have even known she was a college student if she hadn't posted it on her blog  (and I don't mean that in a snooty English teacher way, I promise).  Katrina's blog makes me feel good just from reading the title!  Katrina blogs about baking and uses incredible pictures against a sleek black background to showcase her food.  Katrina is also a vegetarian and tries to make her sweets as healthy and as close to nature as possible.  Love it!

6.  17 and Baking is another baking blog by an incredibly talented young woman who lives in Seattle.  My firstborn will be 17 this year and I think that's partially why I am drawn to this blog.  The other reason is the maturity of this young woman's writing.  Holy Smokes! 

7. And, finally for my 7th pick, I choose two sister bloggers, DVM Wife's Life and Amy's Sister.  Amy, at DVMs Wife, was a blogger 1st...her life as the wife of a large animal veterinarian drew me in because of her photography and stories of their family life including all the animals they encounter.  Amy's husband Yooper was, out of the blue, diagnosed with a brain tumor while she and her sister were on a vacation together.  Amy and her family's experiences dealing with her husband's treatment and their changed lives were the incentive for her sister to start blogging.  The love between these two is incredible...childhood memories come pouring out of my brain every time I read Amy's Sister.  I can only hope that my daughters will develop this kind of relationship with one another some day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu Monday, March 1

Last week's menus went ok...I started off strong but gave out by the end of the week...One thing that I know would help is organizing not only my meal plan but my trips to the grocery store trips so that I'm not trying to remember what I need each day before I leave work.  The grocery store that I have to pass on my way home has spoiled me!

My kids always love the barbeque hamburgers that we had on Monday, and PW's potato skins are spectacular! 

On Tuesday, I should have pounded my cubed steak and thinned it out a little more...I already talked to my butcher about this...he happens to be in one of my writing classes :)

Wednesday we raised $2100 for the teenager with melanoma...I made Taco Soup, PW's Apple Dumplins, and cornbread...I tripled my recipe for Taco Soup and doubled PW's Apple Dumplins...not a bite was left of either!!  My cornbread could have been better...still thinking about that one.

I used barbeque sauce instead of the sauce in PW's recipe for Comfort Meatballs on Thursday...I didn't like it so kids ate meatballs for supper and snack after school the next day though so it must have been ok...I'm anxious to try this recipe again with the right sauce.

By Friday I was beat...and I had forgotten to make the pizza crust the night before.  I was so beat that I can't remember what we ate...I just remember I didn't cook it.

Here's this week's plan:

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - crock pot recipe (PW's perfect roast)...also baking cupcakes for Rea's b-day

Wednesday - Reagan's B-day - Wednesday Night Supper - Youth Breakfast...I'm supposed to bring frozen biscuits and a dessert.  I'm going to try to make PW's cinnamon rolls for "dessert" since they're sortof breakfasty...Along with my frozen biscuits, I'm going to throw together a breakfast casserole just for the heck of it.  I would much rather have more food than we need than to run out.

Thursday - Anniversary PW chicken parmesan

Friday - PW Pizza

Saturday - Our last show choir competition is tonight...need to make bfast and lunch (new spaghetti sauce recipe?)

Sunday - bberry muffins, cafeteria for lunch, out for dinner with friends after church

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beneigt Update

The morning after I posted that I was worried about Beneigt, I found him unchanged in the chair in our den.  I tried to talk to him and pet him.  He responded to me, but when I tried to look at his tummy, he let me know it wasn't going to happen. 

I called the vet and she said bring him right on in.
Beneigt has a lot of hair so I held him while she tried to see whether there was a wound of any kind.  She realized the tender area on his tummy was swollen and began to think that he might have an infected scratch from play fighting with Uh-Oh.

Then we found it.
A Wolf.
And not the Red Riding Hood kind.

Now, I am no veterinarian, nor am I a scientist of any kind.  So hold on to your horses while I try to explain this as only a liberal arts major can...

A Wolf is the larvae form of some kind of fly.
The Wolf bores itself into the animal's skin causing great pain, swelling and downright nastiness when you get it out.
Yes, I did say we had to get it out.

As you can imagine, Beneigt was not happy about this.
He had to be sedated.
I almost had to be sedated.

I will spare you the gory details; needless to say, my Beneigt has a hole in his tummy where that blasted larvae thingy dug into his body!!!!
Makes me MAD!!!

The vet said it's really early to see Wolves (I guess the plural is the same as if it was the dog kind of Wolf? - only a liberal arts major would worry about that.)
They get on the backs of horses and cows all the time...and even squirrels get them!! EWWW!

My Beneigt had his belly shaved, poked, prodded, squeezed and the wound cleaned out and antibiotics shot in there.  I watched the entire process.

Here's what Beneigt is doing now:

Poor baby...all day Saturday and Saturday night we made him comfortable in his travel crate and kept him in a quiet and dark place to recover from the anesthetic.  He is slowly waking up...and I mean SLOWLY...
He wakes up long enough to try to groom his belly...
Then, he gets woozy and lays back down.
The vet actually said he was stoned. :)
I'll let you know when he sobers up.