"Oh where oh where has Lori gone?"

I'm here. Really, I am. One non blogging day turned into two....then three....then four....then before I knew it I was off the blogging map for a looooooong time. While some have missed me and on that subject I will shout out a "thank you" to all those that told me so, honestly I've enjoyed the freedom. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy blogging and typing my thoughts down, but during my what turned into over a month of not posting, it felt nice not feeling the pressure to post something every.single.day.

During my hiatus I've accepted the position of Discussion Group Leader at my MOPS group, which I enjoy beyond belief. Totally up my alley!

I signed up to be a room mom for Mark and Matt's class parties. Hopefully the kids find me cooler and more hip with each passing year. Yeah, right! I already accompanied Mark's class to Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. That was fun!

Right now I feel my life is turning a new leaf. Having both boys in school has caused me to look at myself. Where do I fit in this world outside motherhood? Next year Mark will be in three day preschool and the year after that full day kindergarten. When you get right down to it, that's a lot of free time to just stare at myself. While that sounds nice to some juggling diapers, toilet training and feeding schedules, trust me, when you are forced to analyze yourself it can draw out opinions - both good and bad.

Let the chips fall where they may, I say. I accept this time in my life and know I will change and grow from it.


....and he's off to preschool, folks!


Sound the Trumpets!

Oh my goodness, am I actually posting something today? I guess so! These past couple weeks have been both lazy and busy. Seemed like one day passed and then another and another and another. I decided to enjoy the last days of summer before school started.....and summer ended today with Matt off to second grade. And I am trying to digest Mark starting preschool in another week. Can't believe his time is here too!

So those of you asking, "Is Lori still on this planet?" Yes I am and doing quite well, thank you.

So here I sit. The house is quiet with Matt in school. No bickering or whining or complaining of boredom. Maybe I'll catch up on the last three episodes of Lost from last season during Mark's nap? Sounds good to me!

RINGING IN 2008-09!!!!



Last night Matt tagged along with our sports writer neighbor and his son to the Chicago Bears training camp. As soon as Matt walked through the front door he was all smiles showing off his new autograph book with his first entry: TOMMIE HARRIS #91


And Baby Makes Three

Jeff and Erin with a bun in the oven due mid-March. CONGRATULATIONS!!

(He's my brother in case you're wondering.)


I'm Still Here....Really I Am!

Good grief, has it really been over a week since my last post? I guess so! Again, time is passing, things are happening and I am absorbing every morsel of my summer days.

Last weekend we took a trip to Terre Haute to visit my brother and his wife (Jeff and Erin). On Saturday we attended an Indianapolis Colts practice. The guys had fun and Matt actually named off several players. That boy! Erin and I had more fun observing the crowd. Behind our smiles was actually boredom! We endured.

On Sunday Jeff, Steve and Matt attended the Brickyard Race while I stayed behind with Erin and Mark for the day. It was a very lazy day for us and I loved it. What's better than relaxing on a couch watching "Overboard"?

Then my icing on the cake was Monday. My best friend, Kristi, was visiting from Texas. We including six more of our friends splurged on a limo drive up to Chicago. We shopped, dined, laughed and talked. I had a blast!!!

To view our photos of the weekend --> CLICK HERE!

And maybe I'll post more....we'll see!


These Days

Life is moving here. Fast. While at my favorite place in the whole world, Walmart (and please know I am kidding), I noticed the many many boxes full of school supplies. Matt announced that he's not ready for school yet and I agreed. Summer, at least July, has been lazy, free and fun. I don't know, talk to me in August and I may be ready for a schedule again. Then talk to me in September and I'll be wondering what to do with my two and half hours worth of free time while Mark is in preschool.

As for my blogging funk, I think that has ended, but I've been absent only because I've been busy elsewhere. I absorb my walks to the park with neighbor friends and DQ runs. Sorry if that comes before typing on this thing.

Yesterday I was delighted when I received this award. It's been awhile since I've been nominated for something.....and that's ok. Thank you, Jewels, for making me smile. And to think I got this during my hiatus? Go figure!

So now I will conjure up breakfast for my starving boys and see where the day takes us.


Sweet Home, Chicago!

On Monday our family headed up to Navy Pier and visited the Children's Museum. The weather was perfect, so we took the opportunity to walk around and indulge in some ice cream, plus the boys got a little...uh...a lot wet! CLICK HERE to view photos.



I'm in a major blogging funk right now. I'm just not in the mood. Plain and simple. And it's not only because our family is enjoying every minute of our summer's free time, I just have things preoccupying my mind. Nothing major or urgent, but just, well, things.

As of now I may be taking an out-of-the-blue blogging break, but who knows, maybe I'll rise up from my funk and get back to things in a day or two. We'll see. Until then, I'll leave you with photos from our recent trip to a local town's splash pad. Signing off...for now.


Luck, Please Knock On My Door!

If I said this once, I'll say it again: CROCS RULE! And I am about ready to shout it from the roof tops if it means I have a better chance of winning this!


High School Friends....and still clicking!

We are minivan driving, vomit cleaning, baseball cheering, fight refereeing, snack toting moms now. Who would have thought that one day our children would be playing at a park together?
Thanks for a great day, Happi!


Flicks & A Friend

Good times are here again! Steve aced his last test yesterday and got a whoppin' 97% in his summer class. This morning it was so very nice to eat breakfast with daddy included and he didn't have to work in front of this computer or read boring textbooks hours on end. We haven't done that in ages!

We celebrated The Fourth by seeing Wall-E and let me tell you, Mark was the best viewer ever considering it was his first theatre experience. SCORE! Pixar never lets us down with a good story and an even better meaning behind it. And after baths we watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Too bad microwave popcorn doesn't hold a candle to movie theatre popcorn, but it worked. That was an excellent family flick. A must see!

Today I am meeting a friend at a park with our kids. Happi, remember sitting right behind me and writing those continuing notes back and forth in sophmore literature class? Can't wait to see you and have our boys finally play together.


You Can Never Break Us!

This photo speaks volumes to me. It was taken last week on Mark's birthday. I took the opportunity to flip the camera around and snap this shot of my parents on the couch with Matt and me. Please do not think my dad is some sort of psychopath. And Matt sticking his tongue out, well, that's just our silly, entertaining son as he always is. At the time we were a little high on frosting and ice cream.

There was a time when I thought our family would never be like this again. However goofy we may seem; it's normal to us. Esophageal cancer wasn't going to steal it and neither was my dad's emergency surgery. We pressed on, battled through and won!


Ruled By the Clock

If I said summer break would be less busy without worrying about the clock, than I was really really really wrong!

With both boys home I find our mornings go by very quickly. They play and bicker. Eat and then eat some more. And some times they play so well together and I enjoy watching them share happily. In the midst of this I am still trying to be diligent with my workout routine and so far so good, but trust me, most days I would really like to skip it. My 45 minute high-energy pilates/yoga routine is interrupted with lots of, "Mom he's touching me and pushing me and hitting me and sitting in my chair and not watching what I want to watch...." Need I go on?

By the time I shower, which is a must since we are going out every day for swimming lessons and I prefer not to look like something the cat dragged in, it's lunchtime and then we are out the door.

We come home, Mark goes down for a nap, and I crash for a couple hours until it's dinnertime. Ah, those peaceful two hours go by way too fast, unless they are interrupted by any of Matt's neighborhood friends buzzing in and out our front door.

Steve's class is demanding to say the least. I am back to mowing the lawn for him and running errands with the boys in tow in order to give him a peaceful study space. I don't mind helping in this way, but again, it takes time away from my already busy day. I've had a basket full of folded clean clothes that has sat in the corner of our bedroom for five days. There is also a pile of papers screaming to be filed. Oh when will I get to this, I will never know!

So why I haven't been to your blog page lately....well....you can probably guess by now. I just can't do it all and, honestly, it's been the last thing on my mind.

All this craziness will end by the first of July, which is just around the bend. Steve's class will be over. Swimming lessons complete. And I purposed to keep July open for some family/friends time. Should be nice.


Third Birthday Wish


Look What We Can Do!

"I can peddle all by myself without someone pushing me!"

"And I can jump off the diving board and the water is twelve feet deep!"


She'll Be Pretty In Pink

On Sunday I was here. Really, I was! Maybe you can look for me here or quite possibly here, since she was the guest of honor.

Truth be told I had to leave early to relieve a hubby that needed to write a five-page paper due this week and the boys weren't helping him accomplish that -- even with their favorite shows on the tube. I sure can't wait for his classes to be put to rest, but I had a two-hour long blast!

Blessings, Steph!


Time In A Bottle

Let me say right off the bat that I absolutely loved Matt's third year of life. We were done with diapers and the crib, but his childhood innocence wasn't tainted yet. It was a time when he was experiencing a whole new world around him. We started taking more trips to zoos, museums, parks and we could finally see a movie at the theatre as a family. I wish I could contain that year.

Today my independent as ever Mark turns three and I am experiencing the same emotions all over again. I get to open that bottle and remind myself how much fun it was. He's so funny in his own quirky way and when I get a boo boo he asks me, "Can I kiss it for you, Mommy?" Gosh, I love him to death!

His favorite knock knock joke goes something like this:

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Water, who?
Water are you waiting for, let me in!

Happy Birthday, little man! We are so glad God made you a part of our family!


...and today is his birthday too!

Last Mother's Day I was allowed to possess the remote control the entire day, which meant no NASCAR race or baseball games. I think we ended up watching Raiders of the Lost Ark as a family while eating popcorn. I didn't cook or clean up. I was granted quiet time from my boys and they were told not to bug me, but to leave mommy alone to rest. I didn't have to wipe dirty faces or wash sticky hands. Bathtime was daddy's duty while mommy sat on the couch. It was my day to do whatever I wanted to.

Fast forward to Father's Day on Sunday. My boys surprised their dad with a handcrafted key holder. Matt presented Steve with a couple packets on "Why My Dad Is So Special". They both made cards and Matt wrote a poem: For my dad who is the best, today I will give you rest.

I mowed the lawn for my deserving hubby who usually works all day and walks through our door to give even more time to his sons. I picked up his favorite pizza at Uno's Grill and after the boys went to bed I made a DQ-run for Steve's favorite Blizzard (Heath). I tried to be on top of all other duties thinking Daddy needed his time out, but to my surprise, Steve told me to sit down while he served the kids.

He took pride in filling Mark's glass with more milk and grabbing a spoon for Matt. He enjoyed helping Mark snap his carseat buckle in place. It's as if he was celebrating his responsibilities as a dad instead of shelving them for a day like someone else I know. He even replaced a door's doorknob which busted the day before.

As I watched him willingly do these many things, I also learned that doing what appears to be nothing but a mundane parental task are actually tasks that speak life into our children. They should be celebrated and not dreaded. I decided to flip my attitude switch from bad to good. Yes, wiping a child's face for the billionth time gets old, but they appreciate the hard work we put into it and that makes me happy.

It's still morning while I type this. Mark is sleeping like an angel and Matt is hard at work playing his beloved baseball video game. Steve is getting ready for work with loads of reading and typing ahead of him for his class. The day is ahead of me and I pray my attitude remains good, calm, collected and that through my daily work, though mundane, breathes life into my kids and that alone fulfills me.


The Dad I Celebrate


What on Earth is happening?

A lot, if you must know. It's been almost a week since my last post. I assumed our summer days would be easy going and free with only swimming lessons to worry about. Boy was I wrong!

My best friend from the Lonestar State is up visiting. Oh how I love Kristi! Our kids love their time together and we are catching up on our lives too. Feels good. (This was the only opportunity to take a snapshot with all of them in one place -- watching TV.)

I signed both boys up for a Father's Day craft project through our parks department and realized next time I will assume it's for children in grade school. Here I thought they would do a simple memory hand stamp or something, but no, it was an serious art project that took over an hour to do. Throw an almost 3-year old in the mix and, oh my, I was on edge. Mark was ready to dive into the paint tray and have some serious fun. Live and learn.

Steve's work schedule is less demanding during summer break and some days it's good to meet him for lunch. The boys sprint to the high school's front doors. They can't wait to see their daddy and roam the empty school halls.

And lately I've been receiving emails from many companies wanting to promote products on my blog. Anything from Precious Moments sales to tropical island lotions to school supplies to photography. I haven't responded yet and not sure if I will.

Swimming lessons. Oh yes! Everyday Matt counts the hours until 12:30pm when we leave. He loves loves loves loves them!

Sometimes my exercise routine is interrupted by two boys bickering upstairs over what show to watch. One wants Dora the Explorer while the other prefers Pokemon. One wants the rocker while the other wants the office chair. I find myself yelling in between breaths, "Boys, I am exercising! Don't make me angry by having to come up and deal with you!"

Throw in outside play, walks to the park, trying desperately to keep up with the household chores and extra time in our morning jammies and you have days that are over before we know it. Until we meet again.......


Summer Begins

Today summer break officially kicks off. I will celebrate by giving you my top ten reasons why I love this time:

10. Our nights and mornings are not ruled by the clock.

9. After dinner family walks, which lead into long conversations with our neighbors.

8. Grilling

7. Water balloon fights

6. Steve dresses down for summer school and wears polos instead of dress shirts w. a tie. Less ironing for moi!

5. Sitting on our front porch step enjoying frozen treats.

4. Just put on your Crocs on and go - no jacket required.

3. Park dates w. my mommy friends and their kids.

2. Swimming

1. Being a family!


Just the Four of Us

This week marks the last days of school. Unlike when Matt finished kindergarten, I am a bit down. Last year I wasn't too sad kissing those half day classes goodbye. Picking Matt up at 10:40am every.single.day got old real fast.

But this year is different. His 1st grade experience is over and while it excites me watching both my boys grow into the beings God created them to be, it saddens me at the same time that its moments never to grasp again. And to think Mark will be in full-day kindergarten in just two years...well...don't get me started on that one.

Now I won't leave you depressed thinking, "Gee, Lori really knows how to make my day! What a downer!" I am sooo looking forward to summer break. Even though June is jammed packed with swimming lessons, Matt's baseball season coming to and end and Steve taking a summer class that calls for tons of reading and typing, we purposely made July a month of less commitments in order to allow time to do family things -- whatever they may be.

I feel such completeness when I look at my family. Mark is out of diapers and in a regular bed -- the last two toddler mountains to overcome in my book. And while I whimpered a little taking down the crib a few weeks ago, contentment came in like a flood. To put these two to rest actually felt good. I can't explain it, but at this moment it feels good to move on and flow with time. And when July comes we can plan little family activities and not worry about packing diapers and getting that nap time in. Even though Mark still naps 2-3 hours every afternoon (thank God), he is able to last a bit longer without having a melt down.

Here's to summer break! Oh the possibilities.....


It's Not All About Mom

I make Matt breakfast every morning and we share our thoughts over Coco Pebbles and a cup of coffee. I am the first to hear about his day at school when he walks through our front door. I'm around when his friends are over; making snacks and passing out drinks. I watch him at his sports' practices. It is not difficult for me to miss these moments, but for Steve it is. With school meetings, high school sports games and his own summer classes starting, I know guilt creeps in at times when he's not able to be so available. It's not easy to drop his responsibilities and attend everything. So when the opportunity came to go to the high school girl's softball regionals in Elkhart and then visit a friend of Steve's who lives right off of St. Joseph's River to eat and fish, I almost jumped at the chance for our whole family to go. Instead I thought:

What a perfect opportunity for Steve and Matt to bond. Alone. Together.

I am a firm believer that the relationship between a father and son is important. It's precious. You don't have to train a son to look up to his daddy. It's natural. They can chat about things that maybe a mom wouldn't understand. Trust me, Matt is at the age where some things are a bit embarrassing to expose to lame old Mommy. But bring Dad in and he's open and willing. So that day was their day and it was fun. Matt hasn't stopped talking about the five fish he caught -- with his dad.

As for Mark and I, we made our own day of fun. We blew bubbles in the front yard. Ate whatever we wanted for lunch and dinner. We snuggled on the couch while watching TV and during commercial breaks we made funny faces at one another. I guess everyone's day turned out to be a special one.


Sleep Walking

That call. At 3:30am. The first one I hear I think it's part of my dream and ignore it. The second call I realize it really is one of the boys yelling for me. I ask Steve which one he thinks it is and we guess Mark.
I stumble into Mark's room half asleep and ask, "What's wrong little man?" No response. "Are you ok? What's wrong?" Nothing. I put my hand on his little head.
Oh, it's Matt!
Off to Matt's room I go after I reassure Mark to go back to sleep. Actually, I don't think I woke him up to begin with.
I open Matt's door hoping I don't smell vomit in the air. "What's wrong?" (I detect no smell, thank God above!)
He then goes on about a dream he had. He was on some ship and it was sinking and filling up with water....blah....blah....blah.... I was too tired to make heads or tails about what he was saying! I hugged him and reminded him, "It's only a dream. You're fine. Go back to sleep."
Back to bed I went and I am lucky I didn't walk into any walls, but I did step on a Magna Doodle pad. Thankfully it's flat.



"Toot toot, chugga chugga!"

That's what Mark says when he walks into his bedroom now. During Memorial Day weekend I spent a day and a half painting it red -- Big Red Car red for all you Wiggles fans out there. We aren't doing a Wiggles theme, it's just the first thing that popped into Mark's head. I am not a fan of bedroom themes anyway since a child's interest changes on a daily basis. I just have to add some framed pictures, handle some minor touch ups and it's all done. For all you Chicago Cubs fans out there: Matt's room is Cubby blue and Mark's is Cubby red. Yes, that was intentional.

Sunday night our family endured different sleeping arrangements since Mark's room was out of commission. Mark slept in Matt's bed and since the two boys would argue more than sleep, Matt slept with me in our bed and Steve took the couch. (Got that straight?) Thankfully that lasted one night. I love my bed with my husband in my space and I think Steve would agree. The next night all was normal. Phew!



In a few weeks Mark will turn three. Three. THREE!

School ends June 4th and I anticipate my mornings not being ruled by a bus stop time -- 7:30am thank you very much!

My daily blog visits have decreased. With the weather warming up we are outside more than in. Talk about a cure for the winter blues. Blame my daily exercise routine on my new found desire to be more active and spend less time sitting in front of my computer's monitor.

Gas is $4.09/gallon here. I am beginning to become pessimistic. It's never going down. Ever.

Mascara is a tired mom's best friend. Use an eye lash curler and let me tell ya, I am W I D E awake!

Matt is half way through his baseball season. That went by fast!

Don't try to swipe the sides of the mixer's bowl while the machine is beating. It can be lethal!

Matt can add faster than me. Actually, this doesn't come as a surprise. I could never do math in my head let alone figure out tip.

A towel can pick up spills way better than paper towels. Trust me, I know!



My article was posted today --> READ NOW!


This Mommy Won't Get the Mommy of the Year Award

This morning Matt ran into our bedroom in shock and despair that he didn't get any money for losing his tooth yesterday. My heart sank. Thankfully Steve overheard and came to the rescue, rushed down to our cash bin and asked if Matt checked his other pillow.

"No!" Matt ran back to his room. "There it is!"



From Tests to Testimony

About five and a half years ago Matt was in the middle of blood tests and preparing for an upper endoscopy. The doctors were looking into celiac disease and all the tests proved our assumptions to be true.

We were faced with Matt living gluten free. For life. The first couple years were life altering as we tested some great products and, let's face it, some major stinkers. With each year our family began to flow more in gluten free eating and now it is only natural to cook this way -- and quite healthy I may add!

The son who I though would live so differently from his peers is playing sports, excelling in school and enjoys many parties/gatherings with his friends. Why was I so worried about his future? It's just living without wheat products for heaven's sake!

Our local paper circulates a parenting magazine and I was asked to share Matt's journey from his diagnosis to the gluten free diet. I gladly accepted the task and took it as a way to raise awareness about celiac disease. Here is what the latest research is saying:

*It effects more than 3 million Americans

*A child will visit on average eight pediatricians before being diagnosed

*It presents with as many as 300 different symptoms

*97% with celiac disease have not been diagnosed

*If undiagnosed, patients are at greater risk of other serious illnesses

When the paper posts the article online, I will link you to it. I pray this causes more food and drug companies to wake up and realize that millions of Americans have this disease. It's not a rare condition, but becoming more common among those with gastrointestinal/weight issues. And I am willing to spread the word!


I Got Plans

As Steve was heading out for work he announced that we were going out for dinner as a family. I am never picky with that option. If I don't have to cook or clean it up, I'm happy. And after my park day with my MOPS gals this morning, I stopped by our local grocery store's Redbox booth and rented a movie for Steve and I tonight. Who says you have to actually go out to a movie theater to consider it a date? And instead of paying $10/person plus the extra $20 for a drink and tub of popcorn, I just typed in a promo code and got my rental for free. With my boys' bedtime by 8-8:30pm, my hubby and I have a date set on our couch with microwave popcorn, cream soda and the remote control.

PS Mark is sleeping like an angle in his new big boy bed. Easy transition!


It Had To Happen Sometime

Today the crib came down. This is the crib that Matt slumbered in for two and a half years. We kept it up knowing we would use it again for our second child and Mark happily slept there for almost three years.

But today is came down. For good. It proves again that time doesn't stop. In another month my baby boy turns three and in a few more months he will start preschool. Preschool! I am speechless.

(Here is Mark in his crib for the last time)


My Men

I come from a male dominated family. I grew up with two brothers and my five cousins are, you guessed it, male. At our big family gatherings while the guys were playing sports, tackling each other or playing Dungeons & Dragons, I usually found my outlet in playing dress up and pretending with my Barbies. I was forced to protect them from being decapitated from my crazy brothers. They were always threating to pull her arms and legs off too. And my poor salon head Barbie took a beating. She needed a makeover and I wasn't helping!

My Grandma allowed me to dip into her stash of makeup which consisted of frosted blue eyeshadow and bright red lipstick. On some occasions I looked more like a hooker than a princess, but hey, I thought I was beautiful and all grown up. And if there was a twirling dress, boy could I twirl it!

I enjoyed baking with my mom and licking my fingers while I was supposed to be dropping the dough in teaspoonfuls. My favorite: snickerdoodles She passed on her love to cook for her family onto me and I know my hubby is thankful for that.

In the midst of my girlness there was a part of me that wanted to be included. I would watch my dad play wiffle ball with my brothers and if I wanted to be included, I had to get involved. I have fond memories of basketball games on our driveway: Dad and me against my two brothers. And I can repeat a good football play if need be. Wiffle ball? Give me a curve ball and I'll whack it! Even though I dreamt of being the next Mary Lou Retton and marrying prince charming (or possibly Corey Haim), I am thankful for these moments with my dad, brothers and cousins.

I guess God was preparing me for my relationship with my sons. Matt and I play football catch a lot. It's a perfect time to talk and share. He seems more open when he's doing something he likes. Mark comes in with stained knees from digging in the dirt and I am not surprised because that's what my brothers did. My boys climb on top of me and want to wrestle and I gladly return the favor. And on the sidelines I actually understand the sport Matt is playing and cheer loudly. I get it.

This is my life. With boys. And I would never ever trade it for anything!


What made my Mother's Day special?


A little of this....

Some of this....

And finally this....

I hope you had a great day too!


Blasts From My Past

I clicked on my mail server program this morning and was pleasantly surprised when I received yet another Facebook friend request.

To me Facebook is like an online reunion site. Soon after signing up I've been reconnecting with a load of friends - and I won't use the term "old friends" since we are getting closer and closer to the big 4-0. How about past friends? Yeah, that sounds much better.

Some I've known since elementary school. We shared many slumber parties, movie nights and dressing like Madonna. Remember, when neon ruled, earrings purposely mismatched and oversize shirts belted loosely. Oh my, when Duran Duran came on watch out!

Several I came to know in middle/high school, when I started searching for God. I attended Campus Life and our church's youth group. To know many still follow the Lord brings me joy. Some spoke volumes in my life, even much needed truth during my high school years of rebellion and rejection.

And then there are the ones I've just recently connected with. Time will tell how my life is affected by my relationship with them. Can't wait!

To browse through these friends (past and present) and see their family, children, ministries and passions is too cool. Maybe one day I'll see a friend request from you? Or better yet, get the opportunity to meet up with a past friend or two in person.



FYI: Mark's hair was untouched. I laughed and laughed when he stood in front of the television.


Never Say Never

Those that know me know very well know that I don't do shorts. Last year I caved in somewhat and bought Bermudas, but those are really shorts, are they? More like shorter capris. For years Steve has given me a hard time about my no-shorts decision. He compliments about how great my legs really look and how I need to get out of my capris pants box.

While we were vacationing in Hawaii, I realized I needed to get off my butt and workout. I wasn't huffing and puffing during our tours and hikes, but every night I was drop dead tired. My muscles a bit sore and my feet weary. It was then I realized I needed to do something and so I did. For a little over three weeks now my workout commitment is still strong and the benefits far outweigh the effort.

So drumroll, please.....

Yesterday I bought shorts. Not Bermudas or "walking shorts", but regular shorts. As I looked into the dressing room's mirror I was proud at what I accomplished. I announced to Mark, who was busy using the hangers as drumsticks, that "mommy's legs look just fine". And if my varicose veins are revealed, which are stamps of love from my two pregnancies, then so be it. They are my testimony of being a mommy! And my no-tan legs are the way God made me and who wants to start an argument with Him? Uh, not me!

When we returned home I brought in my bags and went back outside to kick a ball around with Mark. I wasn't tired from shopping. Or maybe I was still on my shorts-buying high? Either way, I felt great. And you should have witnessed Steve's face when I told him about my recent purchase. "It's about time," he replied.

Today our temperatures will reach 80. I want to walk with Mark to our neighborhood's park. I hope to play football catch with Matt after his homework. And I plan on wearing shorts.


Looking at the Positive

When I edited my "Archives" while giving this blog a new look, I realized I've been doing this blogging thing for two years. Some posts are thought provoking, some quirky, some painful, some opinionated, some fun and some just plain out there. But they are my posts and I'm sticking to them.

The new look also brought back all the reasons why I started this blog in the first place. I pray you find a reason to wake up and conquer the day. Even if the kids spill orange juice on the kitchen floor, you can clean it up and pour a another glass. Even if the bed isn't made, you can strive to make it the next morning. And those dishes piled in the sink can wait. It's not like they'll explode or morph into some flesh-eating beast. And even if your children whine and moan about petty things, know that bedtime is coming and a new day is ahead.

Find something to thank God for today. Maybe it's a child's kiss. A friend's hug. A spouse's love. A roof over your head. The clothes on your back. Food in the pantry. Your backyard. The sunshine. Or even the rain that nourishes the earth. All of us can find one thing to be grateful for and hold on to.


Weekly Recap

  • A girls' night out Tuesday for coffee and dessert. (Actually I had bruschetta, but it's sweet candy to my taste buds; not my breath, unfortunately).

  • Chaperoning Matt's class to a nature hike. I figured if I can handle 100+ teenagers, I can handle a group 7-year olds.

  • Making fresh salsa. My favorite! Mine consists of black beans, corn, jalapeno pepper, red onion, tomato and a colorful bell pepper. And what would salsa be without fresh cilantro? I can dip corn chips in this or even top it over brown rice. Yummo!

  • Flag football/baseball practice. Our laptop computer has been a godsent for DVD watching. Mark and I have designated our van's far back bench seat as our second family room area.

  • And on the topic of sports, my time in the laundry room has increased due to grass stained baseball pants and a muddy football jersey.

  • Friday @ MOPS! How I love my group of Purple Patience gals! I'm gonna miss you throughout the summer. Trying not to tear up. We are already planning a few days with the kids during our 3-month long break.

  • Today marks my third week straight of keeping with my workout schedule. I am proud of myself and more than that, it's healthy for me. When I am outside with my boys, I can actually play with them instead of sitting on my folding chair reading a magazine. YAY FOR ME!


Beauty Queens

Our church hosted a Queen for the Day Spa to benefit a women's shelter. Since my best gal pal, Stephanie, is pregnant, I wanted to treat her to a special day before life changes and she's a mom of four. We had a great time getting facials, manicures and a massage. Here we are in all our no-makeup glory! And while we absorbed every minute of pampering our husbands had a great day of their own. They were brave and headed to Culvers for lunch -- just the guys! And when we arrived back we found them playing baseball in the backyard.