being married, personal reflection, and family

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

you are born one day and are like,
oh, hello people that made me a home to live in
and share your food with me
and listen to me cry
and share midnight laughs with me about bats being trapped in the bathroom
cool, this is my family.

And then you do that for a really long time (18 years give or take) and it's sort of like okay,
these are my people
and they get me
and I love and hate them at the same time
and its awesome.

I am lucky in that I have a truly amazing family (as does my husband) and although there are moments when we all feel like wringing a family member's neck - at the end of the day, these are the people that would go down swinging for me.  no questions asked.  These are the people whose name I hear and a little flame in my heart strikes up and whispers, 'mine.'

and then marriage is sort of like saying,
hey you - over there - random person that I really like.
How 'bout we both leave our families
(that we've known and been loving and making memories with for our whole lives)
and, ya know, just make up our own family together?
because that's how much I like you.

That's something I really love about marriage- that it's the conscious decision that you like being around someone enough that you want are choosing to create a brand new family (love/hate, go down swinging, 'mine' thing) with some random person out there in the world.  Like out of every person on the planet that I really don't have to care about at all - I really freaking care about you.  Let's get together for forever and make something new, like say, a family.

When B &I laugh at the same time in public at some obscure inside joke, when we have parties where my mum and mum-in-law are sitting together laughing with their grandkids on their laps, or I see our kids' faces light up at the sight of us, or when the kids giggle or share together or even when they egg each other into naughty, sneaky behavior, I think - we made that.  We made a family (love/hate, go down swinging, 'mine' thing) where there was none before.

Brandon and I have been married for five years and together for nearly fourteen.  We really freaking like each other.  But that doesn't mean that marriage isn't hard.  That we don't fight or disagree or need to find patience with each other's quirks and differences daily.

Brandon and I are both very, very different from each other - which is probably why we work so well, but can also lead to some disagreements that can feel like an impasse.  And an impasse, a happy family does not make.  (fyi: i had to look up correct yoda grammar)

Besides being different in lots of things, we also have different love languages (him: physical touch, me: quality time) which tends to leave each of us feeling neglected occasionally during busy weeks.  In the heat of an argument, it's really hard to see any other perspective than your own (is this for everyone or just us?) so we have found it helpful to step away from speaking and write it out separately before coming together to talk about what we wrote.

Recently, we did an exercise to get down our feelings and also think reflectively on how we could each try differently/better/more effectively at making sure the other feels loved.  We each had time to fill out a chart labeled with:

Ways I show you Love  (purpose:  Look!  I do love you and here's my proof...the everyday variety)
Ways I feel Love (purpose:  And actually, when I really think about it, you are giving me love that I sometimes take for granted because its the everyday variety - shame on me)
Ways to show Love to improve (purpose:  I know there are things that I can do better to show you my love that I am not doing because we are so busy or tired or just plain lazy, I'm sorry.  Taking note, now.)
Ways I'd like to feel Love (purpose:  here are exact examples of how you can make me feel loved in the near future)

We don't have this displayed anywhere in our house or anything, but it was helpful to each have our own time to reflect and 'speak' our peace without the other's personal argument blinders up.

One of my improvements in the list was that I need to try harder to be visibly excited when B gets home from work.  I (shamefully) am normally so tired at that point of the day that I toss him a quick, 'hey, how was your day' while trying to peel children off of me and reattach to him for a moment of freaking peace.  I want to try harder to stop what I'm doing, take note of what it sounds like when he walks in the door, and relish in his arrival back home to us (is there any other part of our day that is exciting as that moment?  the sound of the door handle clicking and sliding across the front carpet, dogs barking and wagging tails, kids shouting 'Daddy!', and his voice calling out, 'hello, family!'...why, oh why don't I cherish this more?  It will be so short-lived, Tabitha, please do better).

Brand reflected that he wants to be more a part of our weekly routines by choosing certain evenings or weekends that are 'daddy days' or 'daddy cooks dinner days.' (sometimes it feels like we lose all routine/schedule when Daddy comes home which makes me feel unorganized and sort of invisible).

It's wasn't revolutionary by any means, but it was a helpful way for us to say what we needed to say and also look at ourselves as a contributor (probably main contributor) to the other's happiness and frustrations.

Being married to someone is no picnic everyday; it takes work and patience and so much personal reflection that it is downright silly.  But when you get right down to it, the fact that we were two random people that have decided to make a family together -that of all the people out there that we've ever met (and those that we haven't yet), we chose each other to make a family where there was none before - that's pretty mind-blowing and amazing to me.  Certainly worth any amount of work, patience, and personal reflection.

Kindness update

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I wanted to give a little kindness update on how things are progressing this year for our commitment to 12 months of Kindness.  You can read more about the project here and also see more in depth descriptions of our scheduled monthly kindnesses at the dedicated blog at The 12 Months of Kindness Project.

Things have been going well for our 12 months of Kindness 2013 project - nearly over at this point and I'm already thinking about what might be in store for next year's planning.  

So far this year, we have completed these planned monthly kindness activities:

January:  Local EMS membership & donation
April:  Donation through Oxfam America Unwrapped - Grey's birthday choice
September:  Donor's Choose donation
October:  [currently working on] Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

You might be able to tell from above, that we missed doing our kindness activities for the months of February (grandparent date) and August (serving at the food kitchen).  The missing events are lingering in the back of my mind and I keep telling myself that we need to try our best to get them wrapped up before the end of the year.  That's the great thing about kindness - it's never too late.

The reason that we are so dedicated to our 12 months of kindness commitment and making sure that it is planned and recorded is because being kind is always meant with the best of intentions - but the truth is, life can slip into the day and derail your intentions.  So unless it's marked down and scheduled - it is really easy to intend to do a monthly act of kindness (see our months for February and August for proof!) and then so quickly and easily can that intention slip away with the dirty dishes piling up and kids running around wild.  That's also the bad thing about kindness - it always feels like something we can get to later.

Besides are regularly scheduled acts of monthly kindness, we always have opportunities to sprinkle kindness throughout the year too.  The sort that brings fun and companionship into kindness:

April:  Alumni Basketball game to benefit a local high school's mission trip to Central America

August:  a huge delivery of goods to the local Humane Society for my birthday (gifts from my family&friends for donations)

September:  The Gladiator Run to benefit TACA (Talk About Curing Autism)

October:  Buying Jammies for other kids for The Big White Farmhouse's Pajama Drive.  (Ashley's drive runs through Halloween, so there's still time to participate yourself!)

And of course, there is the everyday kindness that presents itself regularly and constantly.  Like holding doors open for the person behind you, reminding the kids to generously say please and thank you, helping family in a pinch, making time for google hangouts and long catch-up phone calls with friends, biting your tongue when its just not worth the argument, choosing to update our statuses with happy and funny news rather than complaints or rants.  

I am uplifted daily to find inspirational stories and amazing acts of kindness, patience, and love.  I seek these out because it is the reminder that I need to keep fighting the good fight.  That people are good, that people care about one another.  At times, it is vital to seek these things out as other stories flood my newsfeed and television of disappointed, disenchanted, and disengaged people who can't find the good in their days.  And so I seek out the grateful, enlightened, and enthusiastic stories from those that look around and see potential and kindness and are so thankful for life it brings tears to my eyes.

Each of us have the opportunity to act in kindness every single day.  Each of us get to choose whether we bring light or darkness into other people's interactions and experiences with us.  Whether we, ourselves, experience more light or darkness in our own days.  Which are you bringing to the days of those that get to experience you?

the electricity between us

Friday, October 18, 2013

There is an electricity that we share, my love.  It's been buzzing for so long now, much longer than the five years we've been married.  What are we rounding out now, fourteen years of kissing, and holding hands, and finishing each other's stories?  Yes, fourteen this Christmas.  How funny time makes it feel much longer than that - and yet somehow, never that long either.

it began, for me at least, with that floating kiss.  I was a junior in high school and you were a freshman (oh, the dramatics of it all).  We had been flirting without abandon for weeks at that point, but never making it official - or as official as you can be in high school anyway - and without a thought in that flitty little mind of mine, I blew you kiss as you walked by the gym from football practice while I was warming up for my volleyball game.  And enchanted, I smiled in delight as you pretended to follow my floating kiss as it tossed and turned through the air between us, until you threw your hand up and caught it, only to smack it on your cheek.  And then, in that moment, my light switch had flipped.  The spark of electricity surged up from nothing within my heart and has never burned out.  Someday when our children ask me, 'When did you know?' I will tell them the story of that floating kiss.

Shortly after, we had our first kiss, like something out of a movie.  And maybe I'm romanticizing it because I love you and I love our story and I am a big 'ole sap.  (But even all that considering, I still don't think I am).  After the school holiday dance, you walked me to my cellar door and we held hands and our lips met in the middle.  The softest, mostly closed, first kiss this Earth has ever seen.  And the house light was making the snowflakes look like crystals raining down on us.  And I swear, to this day, static electricity passed between us.  We were both smiling then, lips to lips, before reluctantly separating.  As the legend goes, you danced through the gas station parking lot on your way home while I nearly flitted up the steps to wake my Mum up with a smile she describes as 'something clearly was different about this one.'

A few months later, you came over to an unsupervised house (sorry, Mums!) to find candles lit and me waiting in just black underclothes.  You had a look on your face like I'll never forget - (honest grateful, joyful surprise maybe?) - and you leaned in to give me a hug and whispered in my ear, 'I can feel your heart beating.' I was so nervous and madly in love with you.  We didn't do anything past second base if I remember correctly, because honestly the only thing about that night that mattered were those first few seconds:  your facial expression, my heart racing, the electricity.

So young, so full of energy and intrigue.  Everything new and full of mystery; eagerly pawing at each other in a dark room.

Then there's the kind of electricity that feels like red, hot poison streaming out of my heart - the kind I used to feel when we would decide to break up for awhile during those painful years of long distance.  I'd see or hear that you were giving attention to some other lucky girl and the deep claws, that scarlet heat, of jealously would radiate from my chest out and all the way to my fingertips.  I know you felt this same thing because we'd talk about it when we would inevitably come back to each other each time.  This is the worst kind of electricity - and even though we haven't felt this in a long, long time - I still remember exactly how it feels.  It burns and hurts, but there is no denying that it is a strong reminder of just how alive you are.  And maybe it was the healing that came out of all the parts that were burned up from those moments that have made us stronger today - like volcanic soil; rich and fertile.

Relevant today, on our five year anniversary - there was that tunnel vision to your face- waiting for me to walk to you, and only you, from the back of the church aisle as all of our standing family and friends faded into the background.  So much electricity, we could have lit up the whole town that day, maybe we actually did.

Photo credit:  Michelle Misner
Then later that night, five years ago today, after so much dancing and hugging and laughing, we made our way to our honeymoon suite and slipped into a bubble bath.  'It was a great day, but I honestly could not wait to get out of there and just be with you,' I told you.  You gave me that sleepy smile, 'I know, me too.'  The hum of comfortable, dependable electricity.

Electricity passes between us in moments now, frequent and often.  Now as we are older, so comfortable and content.  Everything familiar in a soothing way, unconsciously slipping limbs and hands into the spots worn down and smoothed by the years of continued presence of each other.

Your kiss to my forehead when you leave the house before anyone else is awake.  Electricity waking me up.

The way you sleepily move over, lift your arm, and let me spoon up to you when I wake up in the middle of the night from a bad dream.  Electricity keeping me safe.

The moment a kiss changes from the everyday variety to a subtle invitation.  It's the extra pressure, or lean in, or the linger.  Enough to make us pull away and stare at each other with smiling, questioning eyes - like, 'you keep this up, friend, and we're going to need to get a room.'  Electricity.  The kind that is like a magnet; primal and undeniable.

Looking across the hospital room and seeing you stare at our first baby, your son.  And then again, looking across the hospital room and seeing you stare at our second baby, your daughter.  Watching you laugh and play with our kids, our dogs, these living things that we share air, space, and dinner with.  The quiet, constant buzz encircling those that are ours.

The zap that passes between us when we both laugh at the same exact time, at the same exact joke.  When we both glance up to find the other one already looking, expectantly waiting to catch the other's eyes.  We know undeniably what the reaction will be, and yet, we still stop to watch the smile spread across that face that is more recognizable than even our own and to hear the sound that brings life to the commonplace and warmth to our heart.

The hum between our hands while we walk together, changing from two singular people to one unit.  We reach out to each other as we walk into unknown places, busy spaces, familiar surroundings, and the small moments when we need reminding that we are not alone in this big, sometimes scary, lonely world - that our sorrow is half sorrow when shared.  But that we are also not alone in this small, sometimes deeply beautiful, joyful world - that our happiness is double happiness when shared.

Photo credit:  Michelle Misner
It's beautiful to imagine my life maybe strung out like a timeline, with lots of little bumps and dots along it.  So much life, family, traveling, friends, moments that would be interesting to passersby.  "Look at this!  Look at that!  What a unique and exciting life this girl has had."

But, what strangers may not realize is at the dot that is marked at that floating kiss, from that point; that one small humming moment - my life timeline became charged with the brilliant yellow of electricity.  And since then has never been just my own life, but yours as well; ours.  All this time, even while a part, it has always been our life.  Running so closely parallel that it is nearly impossible to see that they aren't actually just one thick line.

One would be hard-pressed to find someone in our life that doesn't associate your name with mine or my name with yours.  The first name is always followed by the other, it only matters which of us they met first.  Brandon and Tab; Tab and Brandon.  We are almost always mentioned as a pair which we cherish as a fortitude, rather than a shackle.

In the end, there are not words to express my thankfulness to run this life next to yours.
It is our electricity, my love, that keeps this life we create feel as though it is constantly showered with fireworks.  What a beautiful and wonderful backdrop it gives our everyday.  We are so very lucky.

happy anniversary, bud.
i love you.
yours, tab

5 pin-worthy things from my wedding, even though Pinterest didn't exist at the time

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five years ago today, I was antsies in my pantsies excited about tomorrow...which five years ago, tomorrow, would have been my wedding day.  (word of the wise:  if you're going to write 'antsies in my pantsies' don't accidentally leave out the first 's'like I nearly did...inapprop although probably accurate.  tmi).

photo credit:  Michelle Misner
anyway, I'm one of those pin-lovers of today that feel a tinge of envy for all the brides that get to borrow and make-their-own all those beautiful ideas from pinterest.  Gah.

So in honor of my 5 year anniversary of my wedding eve, I am here to share with you five pin-worthy ideas from my big day, because even without Pinterest and a bajillion awesome ideas floating around via the internet, I still pulled a few goodies out of my sleeves (just kidding, I didn't wear sleeves that day, but ya know what a mean).

Before the dawn of Pinterest, my dear friends (and PinBrides who may have found their way here) - These were my Pin-worthy details from our October 2008 wedding.

photo credit:  Michelle Misner

1. My Something Blue.  Brandon and I are high school sweethearts.  Our high school colors were blue & white and we were the Blue Jays.  Brandon was (and still is!) an amazing athlete, especially though as a basketball player.  As part of his wedding gift from me - I persuaded both his high school and college coaches to give me his 'home' basketball jerseys and then I got them framed.  (He loved them!).  Since I also snagged his away high school jersey (which was blue), I cut a little square out of the bottom and pinned it to the inside of my dress as my Something Blue.  A little reminder of how young and lucky we were to have met in high school.

photo credit:  Michelle Misner

2. Fall Flowers & Foliage.  Thanks to the guidance and support of my awesome florists, we were able to have beautiful and unique flower bouquets and accessories at our wedding.  I was hopeful that we could stick to a fall theme with our October wedding, and the bouquets that were assembled including 'Pods', were perfect.  My bridal bouquet included big white roses and sprinkles of white throughout, ya know, to 'bride it up.'

photo credit:  Michelle Misner

photo credit:  Michelle Misner
The bridesmaids carried similar Pod bouquets without the bride-y white flowers and our flower girls wore matching flower wreaths atop their precious heads.

photo credit:  Michelle Misner

photo credit:  Michelle Misner

photo credit:  Michelle Misner
For the guests that got a little extra special treatment (Mums, Grandmas, Church Readers, Godmothers), we had similar mini corsages (or pin-ons) for them as well.  (Our male special guests got boutonnieres - see below about those).
photo credit:  Michelle Misner

3. Camo vests & turkey feather boutonnieres.  My outdoors-loving husband was ecstatic to learn that he was able to find Mossy Oak camo vests for his tux options.  All the groomsmen, ring bearers, Dads, and my Granpap wore black tuxes, white shirts, and their Mossy Oak vests.  Who says camo can't be fancy?  It certainly does look good-looking, if I do say so myself ;)

photo credit:  Michelle Misner

photo credit:  Michelle Misner
photo credit:  Michelle Misner
Our boutonnieres including a spray of fall flowers (matching our bouquets and corsages) beautifully arranged with an actual turkey feather.  With many hunters in our extended family, we had enough turkey feathers to go around for every boutonniere that day.

photo credit:  Michelle Misner
photo credit:  Michelle Misner

4. Table tops.  As we were going for the 'it's fall and also we're paying for this wedding on a budget' theme, we used that for inspiration for our centerpieces.  We got married in a fire hall, ya'll (also that's pretty customary around here where we grew up) but we needed the space (ahem, with 430 guests) and we're pretty country.  So our table tops were decorated with tall simple vases ( filled with sticks (collected from my parents' woods) and sprinkled with some fake fall leaves.  I also snagged a ton of mason jars from the Trader's Guide and we had tea lights lit inside of them for dinner.  It was extravagant but it was simple and beautiful to us.

Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner

Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner
Because I like reading things in moments of waiting (like at a wedding reception dinner table), I also created triangle table tops for each table.  One side included a guest thank you from us with a Special thanks to those that helped prepare for the reception (family members that baked cookies, helped set up, and our Guest book attendant who took Polariods of guests (hi Yemily!))  Another side included a run down of our music from the night - our song:  Stay with You; John Legend, The Wedding Party song:  Cowboy, Take Me Away; The Dixie Chicks, Father/Daughter Song:  My Girl: The Temptations, and Mother/Son Song: There You'll Be; Faith Hill.  The last side included common wedding traditions and why the exist - like why we wear our wedding band on the third finger on our left hand, and why the groom sits on the right and the bride on the left.
Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner

5. Candy toss.  We had lots of kids attend our wedding because I was a teacher and always a big kid-fanatic.  And really, at this point with that many guests on the invite list - we figured you might as well go big or go home.  We loved having kids there and know its not possible or a good idea for all wedding receptions to include children.  I wanted the kids to feel included, but also wanted them to steer clear of the bouquet/garter toss since that's a potentially very awkward/inappropriate situation.  So we cranked up the song Candy; Bow Wow Wow's version and asked all the kids to join me on the dance floor.  Then I threw candy from a basket like a wild woman while kids ran and collected all over.  We did this directly before the bouquet and garter toss.
Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner

Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner

Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner
So there's my contribution to wedding pinmania, Internet.

Hard to believe that it has already been five years and sometimes not hard to believe at all.  Love is funny like that.  More on the sentimental happiness tomorrow:)  

But for now, let me make this proclamation:  Even without pinterest - our wedding was chalk full of joy, laughter, dancing, and love.

Photo Credit:  Michelle Misner

a blog beautification & trying new things

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hey hey!  Look who got a face lift this weekend!  Hahh.  Thanks to the amazing design talents of Bailey from Let Birds Fly - my blog has finally taken a step in the right direction for ease and simplification.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time and I'm so happy it's here and looking beautiful.  Thank you to Bailey (who recently found out she has Chronic Lyme Disease so please send some positive wishes her way).

Getting my blog overhauled has been something I've been meaning to do for a very long time.  I unfortunately do not have the graphic design nor web application chops to do it myself - so I was pretty intimidated for awhile.  It was a huge help to have a professional help me and give me guidance on what I wanted, needed, and how to get the things I have been meaning to get.  It was really first about pushing myself into trying something that I had absolutely no clue about.

This seems to be a current theme in my life since I am working on climbing a very steep learning curve for our secret project.  In the past few weeks, I've learned about bleed lines and how to use Photoshop, how to convert images from RGB to CMYK (and what that even means), increasing dpi, and saving jpgs as PDFs.  It's been an uphill battle, but I think I'm in the final stage of 'I-don't-know-what-the-hell-I'm-doing' phase, so that seems comforting.  You know what they say, 'It's only impossible until you do it.' So, I'm pushing through it until I can finally say, "It's Done!"

the face I apparently make when I'm about to take a leap of faith
I'm also trying to use that philosophy (the get to the 'It's Done!' moment) with a few other things in my life including writing my novel and finishing our family yearbooks.  My novel writing has been going awesome (big thanks to Jessica, my instructor in my writing course - seriously check it out for next time if you're a mum who can't find a balance between writing and ya know, keeping humans alive).  I have been pounding out pages for my book and I just keep telling myself - get to 'It's done!' and then you can go back and clean up the writing/grammar/problemareas.  I just need to get to the end.

For our 2011 yearbook, I've made it to October2011, which means I am almost done.  I'm hopeful to finish it before the end of November so I can get a start on this year's book for 2013.  Almost there!

Basketball season is nearly here which is both exciting and terrifyingly new for us.  We have fundraisers to prepare, "I <3 and="" br="" coach="" create="" creative="" family="" get="" in="" it="" make="" nbsp="" one="" our="" piece.="" plans="" scheduling="" through="" to="" tshirts="" xciting="">

So, the point is to say - we are trying all sorts of new things here at the Team Studer.  What new things have you been trying?  

1 thing I do regularly that makes my life easier

Friday, October 11, 2013

there is this thing I do regularly (usually many times a day) that makes my life easier and also sprinkles gratitude and peace in my life.

I consider future me.

I have been thinking about this recently as Brandon and I keep finding ourselves butting heads over putting things back where they go.  He just don't.

Prime example, when I get out of the truck when we get back from being somewhere, I lug up to the house the kids, diaper bag, empty togo coffee mugs, bags, and any leftover garbage.  Even when its a royal pain in the butt, I still empty it out and put things away.  When Brandon gets out of the car from being away, he walks up to the house with the keys...and then sets them on the counter instead of the key hook.  Coffee mugs left, hunting supplies strewn all over the backseat, suit jackets in the passenger honestly makes me insane.

So I tried to explain to him last night about the reason I care so much about putting things back where they go has NOTHING to do with being clean - because - BHAHAHAHBHAHAHHAHhahahahahahhahaha, that's the joke of the century - with 2 kids and 2 big dogs; nothing of ours is clean, ever.

But its because I care about the happiness of future us.  And not some distant future in like five years.  I'm talking about the happiness of future us later this evening, or tomorrow future us...or next Monday morning future us.

If our things are put back where they are supposed to go, maybe tomorrow or next week, or wherever future us are currently existing and most likely any (or all) of the following:  (a) running late, (b) annoyed,  (c) have our hands full; future us will not have to deal with a big mess or searching for these items.  The thing we need at some future moment will be right where it is supposed to be and future us can get on with juggling the inevitable other 62 things we will be trying to do at that minute.

Besides putting things back where they go, I also do things like reload toilet paper rolls, put a new soap in the shower, write down future notes in my planner ("remember:  stationary cards for Christmas with my fav nature shots from Shutterfly" post it on the November page), or I leave the last two k-cups for tomorrow's breakfast and drink tea this afternoon instead...

it's not because I'm incredibly organized or on top of things.  Let me assure, I am NOT.  I just truly imagine myself out there in the exhausting, possibly having a worst day than I am today, frustrating future and think, let me do something to make your day better, future tab - this one's for you.

Because honestly, the happiness of future me is a nice thing to be able to bank on.  My husband is amazing and supports these crazy dreams in my brain like no other human could possibly and my kids are equally adorable and rotten, but if I'm being honest - as the Mum it very rarely feels like anyone is taking care of me.  Ya know, last in the line sort of stuff.

I'm the one up before everyone else, in bed last, checking that the dishwasher is either loaded, emptied, or running, moving heaps of clothes, paying bills, administering first aid, oh, and making sure every living thing in our house is fed, bathed, warm enough, and contented.

This little gesture of considering future me is a way to bring a little boost to a future day; it makes me feel like someone is watching out for me, even if it is just a past version of me.  And I'm glad to know she has my back.

the world according to Greyson

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Greyson is 3 and half now.  He is loud, fast-moving, and too clever for his own good.

He went to the kitchen during quiet time, climbed up on the counter, got a handful of cookies, and then walked up the steps with them behind his body so that we couldn't see them from the living room.  When Brandon asked, "Grey, what do you have?"  He called out, "Nothing!" followed by giggles and quicker steps.

Grey recently learned to wink one eye and I immediately sent out a tiny prayer to future high school girls, "I am so sorry."

After Booboo's suffered through a few minutes in time-out, he'll announce that he's been 'dreaming' about what he did wrong and he 'won't do it ever again.'  Recent things he's 'dreamed about' in time-out include hitting Gemmi, shooting his nerf gun at Trixie, and pushing Gem off of the couch. 

while watching tv together -
Dora: Say backpack! Say backpack! I tap Greyson's leg - 
Greyson: Backpack.
Mum: Good job, Buddy.
Greyson: Mum, you know if you don't say it, it still comes up.

Greyson:  "Mum, I'm not hungry right now.  Dad fed me last year." 

Grey says "Sure" or "Sure, I can" when we ask him to do favors for us.  

Yesterday = "Last Day"
(Brandon says he doesn't ever want to teach him the word 'yesterday' because he loves Grey's use of 'last day' so much)

When Gemmi is teasing him-
"Mum, she's worsting me!"

Grey is very polite in the morning and at mealtimes, he is always the first one to ask how everyone is enjoying their time - for example:
"So, Mum, how was your sleep last night?  What were you dreaming about?

"Dad, how is your dinner?"

He is usually very patient with his little sister who wants to do exactly everything that he does at exactly the same time.  He has been practicing calling for 'Help, Mum!' if Gem is trying to tease him (take his drink, turn off the tv, steal his snack, take his toy, etc) instead of dealing with her with his own hands/voice. 

Booboo makes attempts all day to include Gem in weird little games where they run around in a tight circle chasing each other and belly laughing, or hiding from me while I cry out in a confused voice, 'Greyson!  Gemma!  Where are youuuuu?'  He likes to get her up in the morning (after checking with me) and announce, "Look who I found!  A little Gremlin!"  

great hiding place
There is a very thin line between spooky and scary, and he loves all things spooky.  He likes playing in dark rooms with flashlights, looking at spiders, talking about ghosts, witches, and goblins.  Last weekend, we spent a large part of our country roads drive pointing out spooky houses and barns.  But the moment something crosses the line to scary, he's done.  Scary things include movies/shows where children get separated from each other or their parents, unfamiliar noises coming from shadows, and anything that might try to come to our house at night (monsters, bad guys).

My some of my very favorite moments of the day are when I say a few sentences to Grey about something we've seen together or something we've done together and he gets a big smile on his face and say, "Now tell me another story."  Or "Let's talk about it again." 

If being a boy mom has taught me anything - its that no matter how young or old they are, boys just have the innate ability to break and mend your heart in the same instant.

Currently - October 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I'm totally snatching this idea from Ashley over at The Big WhiteFarmhouse (I warned you:) to give you all a quick update on what our October looks like.  Every year at this time, we always find ourselves jam packed with crazy plans and fun and general mayhem - so things are moving a little loosey-goosey over here.  For the most part, lots of plans and 'plate juggling' makes me feel excited, enthusiastic, and productive.  Occasionally though, when things pile up like the currently are, I get moments of panic and scold myself for taking on so many things - but those are few and sporadic, so- we just keep on keepin' on.


loving:  fall.  these leaves.  that rustling.  that breeze.  the colors.  all of it.

#nofilter  #noediting #noshit
planning:  lots of researching and working on our secret project that we hope to reveal very soon!  It is really exciting and we can't wait to be able to say more about it!

brainstorming:  guestlists, plans, and budgets for upcoming parties and events that I am hosting t or co-planning including a kid halloween party (Oct), an alumni flag football game fundraiser (Nov), a baby shower (Dec), and my sister's bachelorette party (early 2014).

reflecting:  on the past nearly three months of staying at home.  thinking about the baby steps I've taken to get to how we operate today, how I want to continue to grow and make more of this time with the kids, how I can be more helpful to our family in this role (saving money, learning helpful tasks like sewing, writing for pay, etc)

running: 3-4 days a week and now added 10-minute trainer to the other three days.  trying to prepare for more indoor activities as the cold is on its way.  Less worried about distance and time, focusing more on making sure I get a run in and that it feels good.  Remembering that I'm only doing it for myself and because it feels good.  I want to run because I like it, not because its a chore.

hoping:  for patience.  I'm always hoping and praying for more patience.

addicted to:  my revised daily schedule which has been updated to include writing times.  The biggest and most beneficial change has been to allot activities for my mornings.  In weeks past, I was just thankful to wake up before everyone else and have some time to myself.  This week though - mornings have been assigned something specific during that time (writing or running) and getting a tangible thing accomplished versus just checking out facebook/pinterest with a cup of coffee has been empowering.

thankful for:  Brandon.  we're fast approaching our 5year anniversary this month (how?) and even though we drive each other half mad regularly, we always have this layer of friendship that is underneath it all.  He's been busting his butt at work all week and basketball season will very soon be here - and even without a ton of time to be together we still find time to get in some laughs and playfulness.  #luckiest

drinking:  I'm doing my best to replace my afternoon coffee with tea instead.  Some days go well, others the coffee seems to be required.

making:  still working on finishing our 2011 yearbook (eek!  working backwards) and anxious to start our 2013 yearbook for this year.  It has been baffling to look back on 2011 through hindsight now (when we were moving and pregnant and had 6 weddings - goodness, that was a crazy time).  Seeing Greyson that young too makes my heart ache.

dreaming:  about our next big vacation.  We haven't officially traveled anywhere all year and in a perfect world, I'd ideally like to alternate between inside-USA vacations and abroad vacations each year.  We are due for an abroad next year but haven't made any plans or thoughts about it (especially now that I'm home), but we have started saving money for whatever we might do

reading:  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (read it now before it comes out in theaters this November!  Comes with high recommendations from my sis Kayla)

noticing:  how the kids have now learned to 'gang up on Mum.'  Seriously, it's ridiculous that one starts being naughty and the other joins right in.  I have been trying to use positive peer pressure to dissolve it ("wow, great job- Booboo, I love that you're making a good choice), but sometimes they just want to overthrow me.

cooking:  tonight we are having deer roast in the slow cooker - one of Brandon's favorites since he's had such a long work week.  He could use a little pick me up.

working on:  writing 750 words a day for my novel.  I'm on a 3 day writing streak (yay me!) and I've discovered I can write that many words in 25 minutes, which was much faster than I expected.  The hardest part has been to just get started - but once that happens, the words just have been spilling out.  Big confidence boost in my feelings towards calling myself 'a real writer.'

excited for:  our upcoming 'Erie vacation' back to northern PA.  We lived in Erie before moving 'back home,' and miss it regularly.  We made the mistake of showing Greyson the Splash Lagoon website and now he's asked every day since then if we're going to the water park today.  He and I made a paper-chain countdown to help him with the waiting.