Thursday, April 29, 2010

For Papa

I want to tell you more about my Papa, but today I leave you with a story and a poem that my Papa taught to me when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. Grams was so mad at Papa for teaching me this poem because it has a cuss word in it. However, Papa knew even then how much love I have for the arts, and he taught me this. My mom and I were joking that only I have the ability to remember silly stories and details that others would forget within a few weeks. I remember silly things in vivid detail. Often when I want to talk about something in the past I try and bring back all my memories. I have been able to tell my husband what we were eating and where when we had a certain talk 10 years ago. Who remembers this kind of stuff?! I'll tell you who. ME! So here's the back story before the poem. And yes folks, this is a true story, and the poem is one that was written for the feelings had by Uncle Joe.

There were a group of guys who would always meet up at the local store for coffee. They'd all drive in from their farms and from town to meet up and shoot the breeze. Well a man by the name of Old Dad Frad did not have a car. He lived out in the country, so he would walk to the highway, and one of the other guys would pick him up. He made a habit of cutting through a couple of fields on his way to save time. One of these fields belonged to Bradley Pigg.

Bradley Pigg got tired of Old Dad Frad using his field to cut through, so he told Old Dad Frad that if he saw him walking through his field again, he would call the cops and have him arrested. Dad Frad didn't think much of it, and the next day he went on to the highway through the field again. Bradley saw him and called the cops. Dad Frad ended up calling the coffee shop to have his buddies come bail him out. All the guys at the shop pulled their money together to get him out, and they brought him back to have coffee.

From that day on, someone always drove to get Old Dad Frad from his home so he wouldn't be arrested any more. However, the story goes, that anytime there was a lightening storm or thunderstorm with a lot of lightening withing a certain radius of Bradley Pigg's farm, somehow it always caught fire. ;)

So here is the poem by Uncle Joe about Bradley Pigg

I was walking through the cemetery one night,
Reading the inscriptions by the fading light.
There was Gene Brown, and Old Dad Frad,
A host of friends I once had.
Shit Pewee! Shit real big!
For there's the grave of Bradley Pigg.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Sun and A Sister's Love

You can tell summer is on the way here. The simple fact that the sun is in deed out shinning for longer bits of time isn't the only clue either. I have to say I have never lived in a more miserable place in my life than Germany in the winter. It is cold, no sun (not only because of the cloud cover but also because the sun doesn't come up until after 8 and goes down before 4), and everything is just shades of gray. Everything around you is dead and shows no signs of life. I have often joked with my Twilight friends that where I'm at is a perfect for Edward to live. :p I struggle with seasonal depression, and this place does not do me any good when it comes to winter.

However, like I said, summer is around the corner. The sun is now coming up around 6 am, and it isn't going down until closer to 8:30 now. Soon we will be in daylight all but a handful of hours in the day. Last year my husband and I laughed that they couldn't even shoot off fireworks on the 4th of July until almost midnight due to the sun being up so late. I often find myself outside soaking up every bit of sunlight that I can.

Anyway, on to what I was going to say before I got off on the sun. Summer is on the way. The weather is warmer, and all that is missing is a good thunderstorm (which we don't really get, but I miss due to growing up in Tornado Alley). Summer is a great season. It brings about a more carefree time in life. It seems like things are more laid back, and schedules free up just to be replaced with other plans.

This summer the kids and I are making a trip back to Nashville. My sister is finally making an Auntie out of me, and I couldn't be more excited. No one expected that we'd make the trip to the US this summer for this occasion, but I just couldn't help myself. I find myself on the phone making plans with my sister and talking about things we haven't ever talked about. It seems like we have grown closer in the months since she found out she was having a baby.

My sister and I have always been close. We have had to be. We moved a few times when we were young and at home. So we had to be each others friend. It worked out great until we got to middle school. Then our relationship took a bump.

My sister and I really didn't get along too well in those years of middle school, high school, and then even into college. I always held some resentment of the things that she was given. These were the same things that I had to work for. I felt really upset by these things, and it really put a wedge in our relationship. I don't even know if she knows about these things. It wasn't until recently that I heard something that really changed how I felt. We had started to mend our relationship before that point, but I think at that point I was able to let go and just move on.

That wasn't the only thing that really kept us from connecting. She told me once recently that until she got pregnant she never really got me as a person. She didn't understand why I didn't want to work. She didn't get why I felt the way I did about certain things. She didn't get what my life was about and why it appealed to me. It does seem like now we are more on the same page of life again. For the first time since those early years, we can say that we are truly understand each other. It's been a long time coming.

I have to say that being in Germany has made me really look at how much I really want to have my sister in my life. It is not easy or cheap for anyone to call me here. In fact, no one calls me from the US. I don't blame them either. So my relationships with friends and family fall to me. Sure there is email, and I am usually good at keeping up, but there is something to say about phone calls. I realized several months ago, I want my sister in my life. I want us to stay close, and I want our kids to know each other. I have always felt that way, but more recently I have felt the need to show her this. I have felt the need to lead by action and not just words.

All this said, I am so excited to go to her home and visit with her for several weeks. I am happy to get to spend some time with her right before the baby comes so it can be her and I. We can go shop, have fun, watch movies, and play Wii. I'm also just as excited to spend time with her after the baby. I can't wait to see her be a mom. I can't wait to meet my new niece or nephew. I can't wait to help her out in the ways she wants me to. I also can't wait to see my kids around their new cousin. Genevieve is really excited and can't wait for her new cousin to get here. I'm sure she will want to hold him or her and love on them.

I guess this is where I'm going to end today. I just want to end with this to my sister.


I love you more than you will know. You are a big part of my life, and I'm so thankful. I know God knew what he was doing when he put you and me together. I am so happy that you have been there for me even when I didn't deserve it. I am glad we have fought to keep each other in our lives even when it seemed like the other couldn't care less. You are an amazing woman, and I look forward to our relationship as the years pass us by. Thank you for putting up with me when you shouldn't have. Thank you for understanding (if even years later) that being apart of my life means the world to me. Here's to many more years to come!

Love you more than you know,
Your Sister

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clean for a Year

That's right folks! You can all rest easy that I have enough soap (I think) to keep me clean for a year. I had given my talk at MOPS this past week about how to save money. I told them that I made a stupid mistake a couple of weeks ago. Usually here when they give out coupons you should hold on to them. It usually means (especially when they have the item up front) that they are going to put them on sale soon. I was so excited about the coupons, I went ahead and bought a box of the Swiss Ives bath soap with the coupons I gathered up. I paid $3.00 for the box of six. Really that isn't too bad of a deal in my opinion. However, in true fashion, the soap then went on sale for 49 cents a piece. The coupons I had were for 50 cents off. DOH!

I had been to the store several times after they lowered the price, and I kept kicking myself over and over for not holding on to the coupons. Well yesterday my luck changed. The coupons were BACK! They were giving the soap away by the case. I loaded up my cart and grabbed the coupons to go with it. Even with the amazing price tag, I couldn't take home every last box like I wanted to. I did show some restraint and only brought home 6 boxes of soap. Counting the one box I already have, I now have 42 bottles of soap. That's a lot of soap. Even if I go through a bottle a week, I have enough soap to get me through all by 10 weeks of the next year. What I like the most about it, I made 36 cents doing it :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pop Tarts and MOPS

Just like every Wednesday in our home, this morning was no different. I woke up far too early (for me anyway) to get ready for MOPS. I woke the kids up, got them dressed, and gave them a Wednesday morning Pop Tart for breakfast as we were running out the door. I am NOT a morning person. I never have been, and I don't think I ever will be. However, for MOPS, I will get up. This group has blessed me so many times that it is important for me to be there.

Today was a special day in our MOPS group. We were doing our semi-annual MOPS Clothing Swap. I love Swap day. Everyone brings in all their baby/kids clothes that they don't want, and after the meeting, you can go shopping for new clothes. I always take more clothing to the swap than I bring home, but it gets it out of my home. That's the important part. It's always a lot of fun though to get "new" stuff for the kids.

Today we also had a wonderful woman give a talk on home organization and cleaning. I asked her last night as she was setting up if she had read my blog. I told her that I had just talked about this here, and how I was really down about the fact that I felt so inadequate when it comes to that area of my home life. She had some really great points. She mentioned that cleaning is like exercise. You either love it or hate it (I of course HATE it). Just like exercise, you don't get back into shape overnight, so you can't expect to get into good cleaning habits overnight. Here all this time I thought I was a hopeless case :) She had some good ideas for making things easier, and now I'm thinking I need to convince my husband to let me buy a new laundry hamper for Samuel's room. Needless to say, I really think the things she talked about where things I needed to hear. I needed to hear that it's okay that I don't like to clean. I needed to hear that I'm on the right track just doing something new and mastering one thing at a time. I have found it easier to keep things clean now that we did the great purge and cleaning, but I fear that it won't always be easy. My husband is set to be gone for a couple of weeks. If there is any time that I slack, it's when he's gone. So I have been telling myself that I won't do that. I'm trying to really make myself not get into the mind set where it's okay to slack off. I need to get into a habit and make this work for me.

I also wrote the article for the newsletter this week. I got several comments about what I wrote, and it really made me feel good. I was going to write about something to go with the whole saving money thing, but I just couldn't get into it. So instead I wrote something about how I felt about being just a mom. I use to think that I had nothing to offer, and my job was no where near as cool as those of my working friends. In a conversation I had with a friend I learned (from my own words) that being just a mom is just fine. I don't have to do anything "cool" to be happy with who I am and what I do.

So I think this is where I will end. It's getting close to time for me to leave. I need to go wake up my sleeping child and go get the other one from school. It will then be a rush to get everything in between now and dinner time. After dinner is bath and bed quickly. It seems so far from now, but it really isn't too far off until bed time (for the kids). I am so glad that God will put people in my life to speak to me as I need it. As the woman said today, if we do these things with a joyful heart, our family and God will notice. So that's my goal for this week. To try and do everything with a joyful heart.

Friday, April 16, 2010

As Promised...Pictures!

As promised, here are the pictures of our living room re-do. It took a few hours to actually get the stuff in the place we wanted to get it. As you can see (I think) we have wood floors. I use to want wood floors like crazy. I would say, "If I only had wood floors." Now that I have them, I wish I didn't. Wood floors are suppose to look nice. I, for the most part, think they do. However, they seem to need more upkeep than any carpets (including the navy blue carpets in our last rental) we've ever had. Sweeping and moping didn't use to take much effort and work until we got the wood floors.

If you took a tour of our tiny apartment, you'd notice there are area rugs (nicer ones) everywhere. We have the two in the living area (as seen in the picture...the red rug is actually two rugs). In our kitchen, we put a very large rug under our table. If you ask my hubby, it was the best idea he ever had. Most of us know that men don't usually think of those things. My hubby loves to decorate, and does an amazing job at it too. He decorated, picked colors, etc for our place here. However, the rug under the table was my idea. I had been so annoyed with the chairs making awful noises when scooted up to the tables, cleaning, etc with the hardwoods. I begged him to get a rug. He finally decided he'd give in, and now all of a sudden it's his idea. Go figure :) On top of all those rugs that I already stated, we have one in each of the kid's rooms. Genevieve's is purple and HUGE. It covers almost the whole floor in her room. Her room is pretty small, so that helps. The one is Samuel's room is a lot smaller in comparison. It gets the job done, and it looks nice. We don't have a rug in our room because there isn't much floor space after you put our king sized bed, dresser, and night stands in there.

What I started off wanting to say was that wood floors are not fun because of the dust and dirt that collects under furniture. It's not like carpets where you can't see it, or it builds up the way it does on carpet. So as we moved furniture, we had to sweep and mop everything. The dirt and dust was horrible. We use to move our sofa and clean under it once a week. That was before we got our sectional. It's not as easy to move a sectional. So we had let that chore go. It looks like maybe we should put that back on the list for a once a month type job.

I think the pictures from here will speak for themselves. They show what we did, put up, moved, etc. I really like the new lay out, and I'm thinking we won't move it back when the winter hits again. Facing the window from this side of the sofa isn't fun right now, but in the winter, there isn't much sun anyway. So here you promised, the pictures of our room re-do :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dishes, Vacuum, and Laundry...YUCK!

If you ask me if I can keep this up, the answer is no. However, I want to try really, really hard to improve. What is "this" exactly? I want to work on keeping my place clean. It sounds like something stupid and trivial. I mean a 31 year old woman should be able to keep an apartment of this size (only around 900 sq ft). It is my weakness though. If you ask me to list something that I do well and something I need to work on, that would be what I need to work on. They say when you are asked that question in an interview you are suppose to make it something positive or spin it so it is that way. I usually respond with I'm always very punctual with time. I believe that being on time is late. You should always arrive somewhere 5 to 10 mins ahead of time to be ready to work on time. My negative I usually state is something like I care too much. That by making emotional connections with people I work for, with, and help, it makes it hard for me to be objective at times. This shows that I take a personal interest in my work. I take time to make relationships between co-workers, bosses, and those I work to help (usually children or elderly).

If I were answering the same question about being a stay at home mother, it would be a lot different than the last question I just answered. Something I do well in this roll is have fun with my kids. We do so many different things, and I'm always eager to get them into new locations and doing new things. My weakness, cleaning. I don't like to do it, I can't always see what needs to happen, and I am not good at it when I actually do it. I feel like I'm a failure. I can't figure out why my brain is not wired right for cleaning. My husband complains about this a lot actually.

So my goal as of right now is to try and keep the house as clean as I can. I don't know if I need to make a chore list, find some way to organize what I'm doing, or what will even work for me. I am at a loss. If anyone out there has any good ideas, please let me know. I'm willing to try anything just about right now.

Why now? Well for one I'm not getting any younger. I also want to be an example to my kids. I have been on Genevieve for a long time now about her room. I make her pick up her room every night. She is lost. It takes her forever, and she fights every step of the way. I realize that if I set an example for her, she might be more willing to follow. I don't want her to struggle with this the way that I do. So we are moving to being a good example and seeing if that helps. Lets hope it does.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring is Here!

You can't tell by the weather here just yet, but Spring is here. My husband has had to go to the store to get allergy medicine, and the cleaning bug has hit. We knew when we got our new sectional that the way we set up the living room was only temporary. We had the long end of it in front of the window. We don't have central heating and air here, so we have to use portable AC units in the summer. Some people don't think it gets that hot here, but we like to have our place cooler than it is here. Our walls are made of concrete, and it really gets warm in her quick.

So this was the weekend to do it. We like to undertake big projects when we know we have several days to take care of everything. We happen to have a four day weekend this past weekend, so we went for it. We just didn't do something easy. NO, we had to change everything! It wouldn't be us if we just went for the easy way out. Now that we have everything done though, I really like the new layout. We have one wall that is really bare, but we will find something to add to it.

On top of revamping the living room, we also did the kitchen. We moved some stuff around, organized the cabinets, and cleaned everything from top to bottom. I was so happy that my husband said to move the silverware drawer. I hadn't told him (I knew I'd get laughed at) that I always went to our junk drawer to get my silverware. I am sure it is because in a friend of mine's house, that is where her's is. So now I can go to the drawer and not feel silly anymore.

As for other things, I think detoxing is going better. I have been feeling much better recently. I still think I have a ways to go, but I am getting there. I learned real quick during the last couple of weeks that I don't ever want to have to do that again. I really hope that some of this other medicine I'm on won't cause the same issues when we start to work on getting some of my other medicine on track. Good news for now is that I seems to be doing better.

Pictures to come of the place. I promise.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Detox BLOWS!

I think I mentioned that my meds were being changed around. Well, cold turkey was the way to do it, and that is what I did. I'm less than a week into my detox (will probably take up to two weeks), and this really blows. I have had really bad headaches every day, and I feel like I've been beat up, run over, hit with a bat, and a bunch of other things all at the same time. I am nauseous a lot, and I don't really have a clue when it will start to get better. If I just knew when I'd be over the top of the hill, I think it'd make it easier to deal with. Until then I will just pray that this is that day and hope for the best.

On a side note, today is the 2nd Anniversary of my 30th birthday. :) I told my husband this the other day, and it took him several times of me telling him to get what I was saying. He then proceeded to tell me that it was stupid, and I should just suck it up. I embraced my 30th birthday with ease and open arms. I don't really even mind being 31 either. I guess the big thing that I have trouble getting is that I AM 31. I don't feel even close to 30. I guess that's the issue. I don't feel like I'm old enough to be where I am in life. I don't even remember what I would have said when I were younger. All I know is that life is good, and I'm not complaining. So I again open my arms wide to my birthday, and I am hoping for an amazing year to come. I have learned that life is short, and it seems to speed up the older we get. For that, I am going to try and not waist a single day on the small things.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!

So I thought about being really silly and posting that I was pregnant with the twins everyone says I will have. However, I thought twice. Mainly because I know if I do that my luck it will really happen. So no April Fools for me. I just went on about my day like every other.

I find it silly that I'm about to blog about this, but oh well. My life hasn't really been much for blogging recently. I can't tell you how much I am loving my iTouch. I have wanted an iPod for YEARS. I think when they came out with the Nano that was like a small square. I think it was like the 3rd generation. I kept telling my husband I wanted one and would hint at it. He never got me one. I'd go and look and look and look. I always came up empty. He would always say something like, "You know, you probably wouldn't use it after a few days." or "We have a big CD with all this music on it or the DVD is on for the kids." I would always see his side and never push the issue.

We were lucky this year to get into the Sears Heroes At Home program. Every holiday season Sears asks its shoppers if they'd like to round up their total to the nearest dollar and contribute it to this program. I'm sure they get other donations too. They take this money, and they divide it up among all the people who they select for the program. We were amazed at how much money in Sears gift cards we got. Since we didn't really have anything we needed or wanted from there, I told my husband I was getting an iTouch. He didn't like the idea at first, but he finally said okay.

I am happy to report that since getting mine, I have used it at least once every day. I usually use it off and on all day. I got some small speakers that I keep in the kitchen. It makes doing dishes and cleaning up a little easier to deal with when you can listen to some good music. I also use it at bed time. I haven't ever been someone who can fall asleep without something going on in the background. My husband usually goes to bed pretty early due to having to get up so early. I can now watch movies and listen to my books before bed without bothering my husband. The best part is that I don't ever hear him say, "Can you turn it down?"

Like I said, not a lot going on in my life. I'm working with a new doctor to get my headaches under control again. She seems to think I need some different medicines. I guess one that I was on is not good for long term. In fact it can be known to cause headaches after you take them for so long. It was nice to know that maybe my spike in migraines was connected to something that can be fixed. I'm praying that the withdraw from this medicine goes smooth and everything else works out easy. Keep your fingers crossed.