Monday, October 31, 2011

Dear Bo, Your first Halloween party...

Your school Halloween party was on Thursday.  You wore your costume to school and trick or treated that morning.  Then your "party" was that afternoon.

{Handsome pirate}

The parents signed up to bring items for the party, and I signed up for party favors.  I had so much fun making them Wednesday night!  I stole ideas from Pinterest again, and loved how everything turned out...

{Overboard?  Yes.  Overcompensating for working mommy guilt?  Absolutely.}

{Jack-o-lantern goldfish}|
-inspired by ghosts above-
{Play-doh witches}
-inspired by these-
The "party" consisted of the 6 of you having juice boxes, goldfish, and cookies in your costumes.  You were all fussy because you were woken up early from your naps for the party.  You were still precious though.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dear Bo, Weekend review (oh, yeah, we were home)...

You stayed at a neighbor's house while we had the party and went night-night there.  We picked you up after the party, and I beamed when she said you were a breeze to keep and fell asleep easily.

We had a lazy Sunday and played outside and enjoyed the nice weather because it's supposed to get cold this week. You were obsessed with the pumpkins.  You loaded them in and out of your wagon and were so proud of yourself. 

We had friends over Sunday evening to help us finish the leftovers from the party.  You and the other 3 kiddos played your little hearts out and wore yourself out before bedtime.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Dear Reader, Firm Halloween party...

I hosted the firm Halloween party at the house this year.  I was dreading it since it was scheduled right after the big exam, but since I didn't take it and was a little down and out, the party gave me something to obsess over and turned into a nice distraction.  I was told folks would come over and decorate so I just came up with the desserts and staged the tables. 

I got so many ideas from Pinterest.  I don't pin, but I do enjoy looking at everyone's else's pins.  I made the following from ideas I saw there:

{Eyeball oreo truffles}
-oreo truffle recipe here , red sprinkles, colored M&M, and chocolate icing dot in center-
{Witch cupcakes}
-the best cupcakes I've ever tasted: cupcake here and frosting here-
I have never attended a firm Halloween party so I was a little naive and thought it would be cutesy (or at least tasteful) Halloween decorations, but it turns out, it's more gory, scary decorations.  Like this:
I used two card table sets I had for seating on our patio, and I needed some tablecloths for them, but I didn't want to spend very much money, and I don't sew, so I "made do".  I was pleased with how they turned out.  My card tables are standard sized so I got a perfect square of 45" width fabric and tied it back with orange ribbon.  Since it was gathered on the edges, you couldn't even tell that the edges weren't hemmed...voila!
We had a lot of good costumes.  The One and I aren't exactly costume people so we took easy street and were Jim and Pam from the Office (which consisted of him wearing khakis and a button down with a loose fitted tie and his hair combed forward messily, and me wearing gray pants, a maternity shirt, and my hair pulled back at the side, and both of us wearing Dunder Mifflin nametags.  Lazy, I know, but when you host the party, you earn the right to be a little lax in the costume department.

Some of the better costumes:
{Charlie Sheen and one of his Goddesses}
 {Witch and pirate}
{Bride and Groom}
{Pimp and his Girl}
{Steve Jobs and his iPhone}


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dear Bo, You're 23 months old...

Yep.  My heart just sank writing that.  23 months.  Just one more month before I have a 2 year old.
  • Again, no idea with the stats.  You're wearing 24 month everything (though the pants are too long and have to be folded over at the waist).  You wear a size 6 shoe and a size 4 diaper.
  • You're rockin' the same schedule as last month.  You are worn out when you get home from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and sleep for several hours afterwards.  Your week generally looks like this:  M-speech at the house, T-school, W-gym class, R-school, F-go to Discovery Center or play time at the library.
  • You got one of your eye teeth last month which explains all the sleepless nights and diaper rash.  You've been pretty good in the sleep department this month though (except for last night!).
  • You are so much fun these days.  You have hilarious facial expressions.  You cut your eyes very slowly and then grin so big.  You've gotten into teasing that way.  You also think it's super funny to flail around when we're trying to change your diaper, to run away as fast as you can (which is pretty fast) when we try to change your clothes, and to take off when we're about to start our bedtime routine.
  • Your crib has slats at the top on the foot board piece, and you love to put your leg through it when you wake up in the mornings.  We usually know you're up when you start fussing because your leg is stuck.
  • Same words as last month, with the addition of "ah-dee".  We don't know what this means, but you use it with multiple inflections, and you usually ask it as a question, like you're quizzing us on shapes, animal sounds, etc. (like we quiz you).  You are relentless with it, too.  If we don't answer, you say "ah-dee?" and point and ask over and over until we answer.  You say "no" to everything, but not the abrupt, defiant, toddler "no" (though you can pull that off, too; trust me), but a sweet slow, "naohhh".  In your world, "no" means yes, maybe, thank you, and sometimes even "no". 
  • You're still into throwing things in the trash and taking things out of drawers/cabinets/any receptacle really and putting them back in.  You're not afraid to clap for yourself when you're all done either.
  • You are into singing and motions.  Your favorites?  Wheels on the Bus, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Heads-Shoulders-Knees-And-Toes.
  • You love you some puzzles.  Your very favorites are this one and this one.  You can do them in no time flat.
  • After trying to convince you to sign "all done" forever, you've decided this is the month to get it going.  What in the world?
  • You are a true boy.  You love to laugh at bodilyy functions...sneezing, tooting, and burping crack you up.  You think it's funny to stick a finger in your nose and just look at us until we move your hand, and you just laugh and laugh.
  • You heart goldfish and cinnamon cheerios.  Oh, how you heart them.
  • And oh, how we heart you.  You're the best, little man. 
{Now-October 2011}
{Then-October 2010}
{And just for fun-October 2009}


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear The One, Number 11...

Friday was #11; being married 11 years is one of the most rewarding things I've ever accomplished. 

It's one of the easiest things I've ever done...
  • You are hot.
  • You are funny.
  • You are smart.
  • You are a good dad.
  • You are loyal and committed.
It's one of the hardest things I've ever done, too...
  • Some days I take for granted that you are hot, funny, smart, a good dad, loyal and committed (HFSGDLC).
  • Some days even HFSGDLC men are challenging.
  • Most days I am challenging.
  • Routine settles in.
  • There is trash to be taken out, laundry to do, a baby to bathe, and jobs to keep.
One of the reasons I'm most proud of the 11 years is because getting married was a choice, and staying married has been a series of choices.  Staying married through difficult days, heck, even through difficult years.

We don't choose our families of origin, and we certainly can't change them.  We don't choose our gender, and barring an extraordinary procedure, we can't change it.  There's just a lot of life that involves playing the hand we're dealt.

But marrying each other was a choice, and we could change that at anytime.

Yet we don't.  Even when it doesn't look like we want it to.  We stay.  We work on it.  We say I'm sorry.  We vow to do better next time.

I love that.  I love knowing you don't have to be married to me, but you choose to be.  It feels good to be chosen.  It feels really good knowing I've been chosen the last 4,019 days.

I made a really good choice on October 21, 2000. 

{April 2011}

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear Bo, The rest of the weekend...

Let's see, on Saturday, Daddy went to the ranch, and we went to Blaze's soccer game.  You and Brooks palled around, then it was lunch at Aunt Jen's before nap time.
Sunday was church and lunch with cousins before heading home and playing hard before bedtime.
 Weekend 6 out of town is complete, and now we are home for awhile.  Hallelujah and amen.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dear Memory Bank, Long live...

My nieces adore Taylor Swift.  One of my favorite memories with my oldest niece Brileigh is when I went to stay with my sis's family after Bo was born.  We both sat on her bed and played the Fearless CD over and over so we could get down the lyrics.  It reminded me so much of when I was little, and her mother and I would rewind tapes over and over and pause them so we could write down the lyrics and memorize them.

My brother's generous friend who works in the music business was able to get us great tickets to the Taylor Swift concert in Lubbock.  My sisters in law, sis, the 3 oldest nieces, and my mom were all slated to go.  Mom ended up taking a trip with a girlfriend so Dad went in her place.  Since my brother's friend was there, my brother and nephew Landry went, too (and were in the sound booth close to where Taylor did a set; Landry even got a hug from her!).  My talented SIL made the girls matching shirts to wear.  The crowd was sold out, and there was a sea of excited girls.  I loved seeing how many young girls were there with their parents.  We were happy to be among them.

I knew I would love the concert.  I love her music.  And I love being anywhere with my nieces.  What I didn't know was that I would tear up so many times in the concert!  Melodramatic much?  Yes, thankyouverymuch.

Her songs are so innocent and written with such raw honesty about those pivotal years in your life.  Years that I've struggled with remembering kindly due to an overshadowing of bad decisions the last 6 months of high school that tainted an otherwise really special teen experience.  As she sang some of my favorites, I got teary eyed remembering that time in your life when you have a clean slate and you walk around believing life is yours for the taking, but you're ignorant as to what that means specifically and what it will ultimately look like in your life.

The song Fifteen gets me every time.  She also sang one I'd never heard before, "Long Live" that just about made me lose it.  It's an upbeat, reflective song celebrating the window of success she's experiencing, and recognizing (with far more maturity than I had at her age) that while it's just a window (a very large one, I'd argue), some day it will be a memory and her hopes that the memory will long live.  It made me reflect on all my own windows whose memories have lived long.  I thought of many summers at Lake LBJ with my cousins having the best of times.  I thought of high school basketball and what a fun, successful, special time I shared with my teammates.  I thought of college with my girlfriends and Jonathan and what I will always remember as a seminal college weekend...the 1998 Big 12 championship game in St. Louis.  I thought of the last girls' trip with Mom and Lori to D.C. before grandkids changed the landscape of our family.  I thought of the summer Jonathan and I lived in New Jersey and had the time of our lives.

And most of all, I thought of that very evening.
  • Of my brother, BIL and husband giving baths and putting 6 sweet smelling little ones to bed in their jammies.  
  • Of my mom who is blessed to have both the health and the means to travel with a girlfriend.  
  • Of my dad sitting in a concert he would have been out of place in before he had granddaughters, but who now wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  
  • Of my brother who always had lots of friends in high school and who still nurtures those old friendships well, so well that he was sitting with one during the concert.  
  • Of my handsome 7 year old nephew who was so underwhelmed by Taylor Swift that he kept asking what her name was and was embarrassed to be hugged by her.  :-)  
  • Of my big sis who has the blessing of watching sisterhood play out before her very eyes with her own girls and who always welcomes me to peek at what mothering girls looks like.  
  • And most of all, of my precious nieces who watched in wonder at the concert, some shyly mumbling the words, some boldly proclaiming them.  Some with wide grins and some with reserved smiles.  All at the time in their lives when they have a clean slate and believe life is theirs for the taking, but ignorant as to what that means specifically and what it will ultimately look like.  I watched their expressions almost as much as I watched the stage.  I don't think I've ever enjoyed watching someone else be so filled with joy.  When she sang the line, "...long live that look on your face", I knew I would never forget the look on theirs.

And I thought...this moment right this is a window.  This time in my life where those I love are healthy and happy and sharing life together.  And I recognized (and this perhaps spawned the tears) that it's fleeting.  That there will come a day when my parents aren't healthy, when they're no longer with us even.  There will likely come a day (though I hope it's far away) when my siblings' and my own family don't share life together like we do now because of full schedules, disagreements, or something else.   That life will unfold for my precious nieces and hand them disappointment and heartbreak and may even fill them with some regret.

But I recognized with a full heart (insert more tears) that the memory will long live.  That many years from now there will be a Taylor Swift song on an oldies station, and I will remember that night.  And so will my nieces.  And no matter what happens between now and that day, when we do hear it, we will be transported back to that night when we sang, and we danced, and we smiled, and we excitedly anticipated what song was next.  I am so grateful for that. 

{Excerpt from "Long Live"}

Will you take a moment? Promise me this...
That you'll stand by me forever.
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye,
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures,
Please tell them my name.
Tell them how the crowds went wild;
Tell them how I hope they shine.