Getting Back My Mom Groove

We were welcomed back to a cloudy, rainy day here in the Midwest. Temperatures will reach the mid-50's today. I miss my flip flops already! Today I am getting back into my "mom groove". Photos will be posted sometime this week between recovering from jet lag, getting my boys back on schedule and tackling my laundry pile of shorts and T's.



Since leaving Sunday night this is my first time online to check email and post a short update on our trip. Needless to say we've been busy! The students' schedule is nonstop and during our free time, which is usually before bed, Steve and I prefer to crash. It's necessary in order to keep up with the young, teenage folk. Remember, this trip isn't about us, but for my hubby's high school band group. Chaperoning teenagers -- what a task! But we received the best compliment when the flight attendants searched Steve out and said it was the best behaved high school group they've had -- and they've had many. YAY and MOHALO! (thank you)

But tonight is a full free night and Steve and I made reservations for dinner on Waikiki Beach at Dukes. Can't wait!

We've done everything from a grand luau, Diamondhead Park, a private island getaway, Pearl Harbor (talk about sobering) and more to come. I am trying to figure out a good way to share our photos -- there are many!

I better go and get ready for my dinner date! Tomorrow we are sailing the Pacific on a catamaran and heading to the North Shore. I am not sure I want to leave, but I have two boys that my heart is aching to see again!



I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane

If you happen to look up in the sky sometime Monday afternoon, consider me up there among 150+ chaperones and students. Please pray for us. That we are safe, protected and everything runs smoothly.

Ok, so I've been complaining about this looooong flight I am about to embark on. I checked Continental Airlines online and found out not only do we have monitors behind every seat, but we have several channels to choose from along with decent movies: Becoming Jane, Enchanted and August Rush BONUS! What I thought would be a lengthy, boring flight has become somewhat of an escape for me. No interruptions or boys bickering back and forth; my kind of travel!

Add a 5-hour time difference and I'm sure I'll be tuckered out by 6pm HST (Hawaii Standard Time), which is 11pm in the Midwest. Until I arrive to palm trees, lava rocks and ocean views......


PS A good mom would have posted cute Easter photos of her kids Sunday, but our cameras were already packed away. Trust me, it was a great family day! Just what I needed to absorb before leaving my precious sons. I just love them so much.


He Died So That I May Live


Did you remember.....

Just when I thought packing was going smoothly Steve reminds me, "Did you remember to pack our beach towels?"



Uh, no.

"And don't forget your big, floppy sun hat that looks so cute on you." (shown here w. Mark last summer)

Ok. (Thanks for the compliment, sweetie, unless you are being sarcastic.)

Good grief. Between my boys' suitcases to bagging their medications (just in case) to the nebulizer machine (again, just in case) to our own stuff, I feel like I am in the middle of a cyclone. So much to remember and sooooo much to simplify. Steve and I only intend on bringing a suitcase for each of us not a full chest, so we keep combing through our items asking, "Will I really need that?" And then we ask, "Well, what if....." Thank God no fancy dinners or band concert in a hall is on the itinerary. No dresses or more shoes to add!

I'm sure a Walgreens or some convenience store will be close by. I mean, we won't be in the boonies! Honolulu is a city for pete's sake, right?

So far I have my magazines, which I set aside refusing to read all month so that they may pass time away on that loooooong flight to come. We are going to download our webcam software to send cute videos to our boys and my parents. And I promise to take a lot of snapshots. (Seems like while we were in San Antonio our camera was left behind at the hotel a lot. I think we were too thrilled to be alone and free!)


Better Late Than Never

Alright, Wendy, you asked for it: PHOTOS FROM TEXAS! (This is my first Orange Julius ever. It was refreshing during our Riverboat Ride around the city of San Antonio.)

Our main computer had some kinks in it, so our friendly tech guy installed Windows Vista as well as Office 2007. The features are pretty cool, but it's taking some getting used to. Matt is requesting his own email account and I had to guide my way along all kinds of parental controls.

In another week at this time we will be on a plane traveling from O'Hare (Chicago) to Newark (New Jersey) then all the way to Honolulu, Hawaii. Don't get me started on the flight.....I know.....LONG! But I'll take whatever they give me if it means tropical weather, blue waters and tasting the best pineapple ever.

Steve is recovering from surgery well. He hates being "a burden" and needing help with getting dressed, showering and carrying. I don't mind, but he thinks it puts a crimp in my day with handling the boys too. I realize a cast would have been much worse, so I am thankful he's in a sling and gaining his independence with every day.

And I haven't updated any of you on my dad. He is also doing well and gaining strength. Life isn't normal yet, but getting closer and closer. God was and is sooo good!

I have been a bag blogger too. With our new operating system, Steve's needs and Matt's flag football practice, which started last week, I haven't had time. Now I have packing to tackle and summer clothes to wash. This weekend I bought a couple crazy tropical shirts that aren't Steve's style, but he's agreed to wear them anyway. (And those that know my husband understand he's not the crazy type.) I am still trying to get this house in order and it seems after I pick up a mess, another is made. Does anyone want to offer their organization skills and fix this house? Anyone???? Just kidding, I'm just lazy!

This post will end on a good note. Mark made poo poo on the potty for two straight days. (Pee pee stuck just fine, but he was stubborn about the whole poop thing.) Seriously, I was starting to think he would go #2 in his pants for another year. So diapers are a thing of the past and I do not miss them. Good riddons....forever!

(Photo taken inside the Natural Bridge Caverns)



Steph, you made me laugh with this! And I can't forget to mention Arianne who passed the idea along in the first place. How many of you had nightmares of spooky ventriloquist puppets as a child? I know I did -- especially after seeing Poltergeist!

I think my mom's college portrait shows off the same hairdo too!


The Miracle Worker

Today is a new day. Steve slept all night and woke up refreshed. The thought of not being confined to a bulky cast is a relief (to him and me), especially with Hawaii a little over a week away. Our flight, however long, will go much smoother than we expected. Can you imagine sitting in coach with a rock hard stone-like sleeve around your arm? Ugh. Talk about uncomfortable.

Before Steve was wheeled into surgery we knew that either the tendon was partially intact or torn to the point of needing total reconstruction. The doctor at NMH couldn't tell unless he went in and saw everything with his own eyes. Either way, he needed to do something inside the elbow to help it heal.

Up to that point we were told there was a 8mm tear. We were told surgery was needed. We were also told that his recuperation would be grueling and long. Needless to say, we anticipated our lives altering. Every doctor before the specialist was saying this, so we had no reason to feel otherwise. We just prayed.

After pondering about our day yesterday we were left with two thoughts: either all the reports before the specialist were false and the MRI lied or God possibly took His hand and touched those muscles and bones. Even the specialist was baffled that the tendon felt intact before surgery, but the MRI showed damage, blood and trauma. Either way, we'll accept it! I also failed to mention yesterday that nothing was done within the elbow -- only the tapes over the initial incisions. And his sling can be removed Monday and then used as needed.

I believe our God performs miracles today. I believe He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And why yesterday worked out the way it did we'll never know in the natural, but God did something. I know that for sure!


No Cast Here

At this very moment I am at a computer terminal at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Steve's doctor just came out of surgery and said his tendon was partially torn and all that is required is a simple sling for a few days. We were hoping for this outcome and not a full-arm cast like we expected.

Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words. Again, nothing beats family, friends and a community of believers praying!



On Our Plate

I received two particular phone calls this weekend (among many others). One was from Matt's future rookie baseball coach -- practices start after spring break (end of March) and opening day is April 19th. The other call was from Matt's flag football coach, who said his first practice is this Thursday with games in April. I turned to Steve and said:

"I won't be cooking many dinners next month."

I was reminded how busy our home gets during the spring/summer season. All of the sudden I transform into a chauffeur and sport's fan with Gatorade in tow. And I hope this season is easier with Mark. It's hard to keep his interest going during a 2-hour ball game. Thankfully flag football is an hour and only a month long -- what a piece of cake!

And to add to our family dynamics, we found out Steve needs elbow surgery to repair a torn ligament. It stems from when he helped our friend in Texas with her garage door (spring broke). So Steve is in the middle of consults and deciding whether to have the surgery before or after our trip to Hawaii (in two weeks). We personally know a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and he is helping in every way possible with referrals, etc. It's sure nice to know friends in high places!

I am preparing to be lawn groomer all over again and hopefully our home doesn't need a major repair because I am not that talented in the "men's work" department. I just know it'll be a long haul as far as Steve's recuperation is concern.

Soooooo you can imagine how I felt when I heard our church is hosting a "Queen for the Day" spa day to benefit a local women's group: timing couldn't be more perfect!! Before my life gets more complicated, I think a good massage, manicure and facial is right up my alley, don't ya think?

And before my friend's life gets more complicated with a fourth addition to her family, I thought she could use a spa day too. So I made a call of my own to her.

Steve is getting a consult from a doctor up at Northwestern on Tuesday and is scheduled for surgery Wednesday. I feel so unprepared, but we'll get through this. Keep you all posted!


Welcome to the Party!

I am participating in 5 Minutes for Mom's Bloggy Party. This is a first for me and as I scrolled through and read some entries, I am realizing my life is pretty....well....mundane. (Even though my photo shows otherwise!)

I am not into scrapbooking or knitting. In fact, I don't have any hobbies that help me escape from whining kids and household duties. Does getting a full body massage count as a hobby? I guess Tivo is nice during naptime. I can watch my shows on my time.....when I have the time!

Well, now that I think of it, I guess I do dabble in cooking -- especially gluten free treats since my oldest son, Matt, has celiac disease. If you pop in for a visit, you are likely to find The Food Network on. And this week I purchased one of these in "onyx black" and used it twice already. What ease -- I love it!

So what keeps me busy? Two boys, thank you! Mark (2-1/2) is my adventurer and independent child, while Matt (7) is my calculator and lover of all things sports. They keep me on my toes for sure with their activities and schedules.

I have been happily married to a high school principal (Steve) for over 12 years now and in two weeks we are joining my hubby's high school band on a Spring break trip to -- drum roll please -- HAWAII Yes, you heard that right. Please don't hate me and click off this blog, I beg you!

So leave a comment and sign off with an adjective and then a color that best describes you. What's mine?


Have fun partying away!



I've been absent from Wordless Wednesday for some time. Maybe because I can't make time and respond to all the comments left. Maybe because I still can't download all the photos from our trip to San Antonio - blasted computer problems! But my blogging friend, Wendy, went down around the same time and her photos look very familiar. I believe she's wearing a tank top in one. Reminds me again how warm it was. Too bad we couldn't meet up, girl!

Yesterday I signed Mark up for preschool. I can't begin to explain what I felt emotionally. Part of me is excited to have 2-1/2 hours to run errands alone or even get a pedicure, the other side is in disbelief and even sad. Seems like yesterday I posted this and this.

And let me also announce that my baby boy has been in underwear for three days straight. We are still battling poop issues, but he is dry as a bone, thank God. Oh to save money and cut out that diaper budget, very nice!

I can't fathom the day the crib comes down. For good. I better start preparing myself!


Clean House

Last week was a time of reevaluation. Specific circumstances caused me to look more deeply in corners of our family's spiritual health. I walked into cluttered rooms and realized we needed to get rid of things, reorganize and find a whole new order.

In some ways I felt I failed as a parent. I think I got comfortable, even lazy, with training my boys. You know, allowing Xbox to be played without a time limit - after homework of course - and letting my kids camp themselves in front of the TV for hours. And even though Matt loves to watch NASCAR and other sports with his beloved daddy doesn't remove the awful Victoria's Secret commercials and alcohol ads, but that's a whole other rant I could go on about! I wish we could guard our children's innocents forever, but in this world it's impossible.

And on that subject, it was revealed that a couple of Matt's friends aren't edifying or helping to build up his character. Why are most kids allowed to watch more smut on TV than ever? Where is the logic in children viewing rated-R movies and listening to explicit lyrics about sex and getting drunk? And I am not talking about preteens, but 6, 7 and 8 year-olds! This worries me.

One day I am on top of bad behavior and the next day I let it slide. I also realized I should expect a lot more responsibility from my boys as far as household chores go. If The Duggars' toddlers can do it, so can my 2-1/2 and 7 year old!! Maybe some of this is caused by cabin fever, but I can't use that as an excuse any longer.

These areas, while some not major, can slowly corrupt our family. I was forced to ask God what I needed to do to change. We made some new rules along with more expectations -- consequences following (good and bad). I asked Matt, who understands a lot more at his age, for forgiveness because ultimately it was my job to train and teach him. He responded with a big hug. I think we all learned a lesson.


This Month......

The Thing I've Been Working On The Most: Packing suitcases. We just returned from our trip to San Antonio, Texas and we are getting ready for another trip away. I will reveal that destination later. Just wait!

TV Show I Used To Love But Now Hate And Refuse To Ever Watch Again: Two shows that I used to diligently watch on Tivo, but find myself becoming more and more uninterested in are Oprah and American Idol. One because she is getting more prideful in her "self love" and the other because I just haven't had the time to keep up with it to even care. (I guess these aren't refused shows, but you get the picture!)

TV Show I Sometimes Hate But Really Like This Year: Lost because just when you think you get it, the show gets way more confusing, but I am hooked.

The CD I Can't Stop Listening To: My boys are still TobyMac fans and Audio Adrenaline is a found favorite with them now. I have to remind Matt to put the volume down.

My Favorite Blog Entry This Month: I dared to post about this because usually I am not that controversial.

Blog I Am Always Visiting: Showered With His Grace

What I'm Most Looking Forward To Next Month: March is the loooooongest month for me weather-wise and there is 31 days to endure it. I long for Spring, flowers, Easter and then summer to come. But I'll get a taste of that warmer weather while we are vacationing in.....well.....you'll hear soon enough!

Share what you are into this month at Adventures In Babywearing!!