Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tales of an Honest Toddler

Many of you know that I love babies, but I have to say that I really love toddlers.  There’s something about watching the facial expression of someone who is desperately trying to develop their verbal skills.   And this past year, I was introduced to Honest Toddler.  I follow Honest Toddler on the Twitter, and he keeps me laughing almost every day of the week.  Who is this toddler?  Well, I don’t really know, but his Twitter profiles states that he’s not potty trained, and he’s not trying.  Here are a few of his recent thoughts and concerns…
  • Naptime. Daddy just tried to put me in my bed and walk away. LOL. Skipped like 28 steps! Start over. From the top.
  • As if Santa cares whether I finish this sandwich or not. The man is swamped. He's not watching me eat.
  •  My love don't cost a thing but if it did it'd probably be like four cookies and a bike.
  •  There's so much pressure to have a favorite color. Wish people would stop asking. #life
  • I feel like when I share it sends the wrong message to my friends. Yes, I want them to be happy, but not happier than me.
  • Stop crying. Oh ok let me find the button that TURNS OFF MY FEELINGS.
  • Toddler Tip:  Don't bother helping an adult to wipe in the bathroom. They're far too proud.
  • Hearing two people argue over who has to come get you in the morning is not a good way to build your child's self esteem. smh
  • But no, take your time. Hash it out. I'll just lay here and brainstorm ways to rebuild my self-worth.
  • And my personal favorite…she's on Pinterest again. Looking at pictures of dresses and wavy hair is more important than getting my snack together.
But I'm also lucky enough to have my very own honest toddler.  He's my nephew and his name is Micah.  He's the third child, and we all know that no one is especially picky about their third child. At this point, he's just thankful to be alive.  I don't think he has his own Twitter account but if he did, he would have tweeted this on a recent visit to Auntie's house...

 Sure, I don't mind sleeping in the laundry room. I'm sure it's okay with DHS if I sleep in room with chemicals and no windows. SMH.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

10,000 Reasons

I never knew or understood anything about grief until this past year.  What I’ve learned is that it’s a singular process.  No one can walk through it for you, no one can make it go away, and no one can really get out of it.  I tell myself that it’s fading and time heals all wounds, but then it pops back up in the most intense and unexpected ways. 

I feel like every year God gives me a song that speaks to my heart every time I hear it.  In 2010 it was “Oh How He Loves Us” by the David Crowder Band, in 2011 it was “Thanks Be to Our God” by Travis Cottrell, and the song for 2012 was “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redmond.

And it’s this line that has captured my heart for almost an entire year…

Those words…for all Your goodness.  That God is still good even when I’m frustrated over all the crazy and ungodly people He leaves on this earth.  Yes, this is the conversation I’ve been having with God over the last month.  Why does He take the good people that make handmade cards for missionaries and faithfully serve Him through thick and thin?  I’m still talking to Him about this, and I can think of at least 100 reasons to tell Him every day that it isn’t fair that my Mom died.  We go through this at least once a month when my sadness crosses the line of grief and turns into what some might refer to as hormonal issues. And He listens to it…I’m thankful.  And you should be thankful that He listens to it too or there would be way more blog posts about death and dying. 

All in all, when I look back on 2012, I will always think of my Mom and the sadness of losing her.  But in the deepest part of my heart I know that for every reason I find to be sad about…they never amount to the 10,000 reasons I have to sing of His goodness.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Only Sister

Yes, I've accepted the challenge from my friend Teresa to get back to blogging.

Today my sister turns 29. I can still remember my Mom pacing back and forth, quietly calling the doctor, and then me being dropped off at my Aunt's house late at night. It would be days before I would get to meet her because it was the eighties, and hospitals had strict rules about kids and germs and such.  Some might think it's odd that we are so close considering the number of years between us, but we've always been this way. I guess when your 12 year old sister carries you around all the time, you have no choice but to bond with her.

We've bonded over some really bad hair daysbad hair

         I think we bonded when I made her an Aunt at age 6 (she looks a little bitter)pic 2

We've bonded on fun trips and para sailing gone badparasailing
(FYI-the para sail should not be in the water next to you)

Her wedding day
Misty and Angela 1

We’ve bonded over her pregnancies, the day I handed over her first baby boy to be circumcised and me becoming Auntie to this crazy crew…mistys kids june 2012 001

But this year we've bonded in the valley. It was this time last year that the valley was deep, and we thought we wouldn’t make it through. There were days when my Mom looked at me and then looked at her. There were no words, but I knew that she was telling me to take care of her baby.  Sure, she was bossing me in her final days about the quality of home health care that I was providing, but she still looked at her with tear filled eyes because a mom is never ready to let go of her baby.
The days of 2012 have been filled with sadness, but I'm so thankful that on December 31, 1983, my Mom walked in the house with an almost 10 pound adorable baby girl that I would finally get to hold (and boss), and I would have someone to walk through the valleys with me.
mom misty me
Happy Birthday to my sister, my only sister. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Last Place I Went With My Mother

It was now time to step into the land of chemo. I know chemo is encouraging to most people because it offers hope to those that are filled with disease. The room was filled with people that could carry on normal conversations and people that looked good. Sure, some of them had lost some hair, and looked a little pale, but most of them looked like they stopped by for a little dose of chemo on their way to the bank. And while that might encourage the average person taking a “get to know us” tour of the chemo room; it was a little discouraging to two daughters who sat at the foot of their mother’s chemo recliner trying to read magazines and look at their iPhones to hold back the tears that wanted to flow. We both knew that our mom didn’t look like any of the “stopping by for chemo people” and it would be the last place we would go with our mother.

We sat there for 6 hours as the poison ran through her veins, and we asked her if she was okay at least a 1000 times.  She was always “okay” and would doze on and off when the drugs would give her a break from the pain that now ruled her life. The nurse would stop by and say,  "You’re doing good" but we knew she didn’t mean it.  Everyone, including the doctor, knew what we were up against and this visit to chemoland was what I like to call a big dose of sympathy.  He knew it wouldn’t work, but this good ol’boy doctor from Alabama didn’t have the heart to tell a fellow southerner that she couldn’t have her chemo. So he told her if she could walk across the room (about 4 feet), he would let her do chemo and made it very clear that it would probably kill her. 

We were nearing the end of the day, and she needed to go to the restroom so I asked a nurse to help unhook all of the cords and tubes.  The nurse walked beside her as I followed closely behind. She tried to make small talk, and asked about the girls that were with her. She quickly said, “They are my daughters” with a strong sound to her voice that I hadn’t heard in days. The nurse quipped, “I hope this one’s your daughter or someone is following us.”  The nurse was just making conversation, but the few words that were spoken meant a lot to a woman that would say good-bye to her children in just one short week…

She didn’t have a lot of hope in the poison that was running through her veins, she didn’t have the strength to make conversation with another patient, and she didn’t have the energy to even read a magazine, but she was quick to say what she had…she had daughters.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teen Tuesday: Pinterest Is Your BFF

Way back in the fall the Lil’Nanny decided that she was going to move to her sister’s bedroom.  I had offered this room to her years earlier and she wasn’t interested, but then one day, she slept in there and realized that the smaller window didn’t let in as much light and she could sleep later…she’s a typical teenager.

The room needed to be painted so we got on the Pinterest to start looking for room inspiration and before we knew it, we had an entire board of teenage bedroom ideas.  You can view our teenage room ideas here.  The Lil’Nanny decided that a turquoise and black “glam” theme was her style, and I began pulling it all together.
Here’s the big reveal…

Brianna room 1
The focal point of every room is the bed so we found a reasonably priced black damask quilt at the Steinmarts.  Those large rectangle pillows on the bed are actually dog beds, but I didn’t know that when I bought them.  Not exactly as classy sounding as euro shams, but they do the trick. The mirror and decorative pillows are from Homegoods.  Homegoods is my happy place.  Sheets are from Walmart, gray blanket is from Target.

Brianna room 2
Another view of the bed. 
Brianna room 3
We got her this black vanity for Christmas.  My favorite part of buying this vanity was that it’s from Big Lots, and I needed to pick it up when I was out Christmas shopping with Alicia and Sumer.  I’m not sure that Alicia had ever been to Big Lots before so I’m always glad to expose her to a new high class shopping destination.  Sumer was like a kid in a candy store because they don’t have good Big Lots shopping in Addis Ababa. 
Brianna room 4
This was the dresser that we bought at Unfinished Furniture Mega Mart before she was born.  CraftiMama and I picked this dresser out, painted it white, and lined the drawers with baby shower wrapping paper (do people still do this?) five days before I delivered the Lil’Nanny.  It’s held up well, so I painted it glossy black and glammed it up with some crystal knobs we found at Homegoods.

Brianna room 5
A ruffle curtain from Target
Brianna room 6
We found this chalkboard wall sticker thing (Kohls) for the door.  I thought I was going to leave her fun notes of inspiration like clean your room, clean the bathroom, wash your sheets, etc., but she had other ideas. 

Our final project ended up being one of my favorite things in the room.  I bought this wood sign at the Pottery Barn Outlet years ago for the Medium Nanny’s room.  We weren’t using it anymore, but I always kept it because I knew that I could repurpose it.
  brianna room 7

My inspiration idea came from Pinterest via the Susan Harris Blog.  She makes and sells word signs on her blog.
April May June 2012 017

If you don’t know this song, you should.  You can listen to it here.  Whenever I’m getting my craft on, I can’t help but think of my CraftiMama.  My first instinct at completion is to send her a text. This was our primary means of communication the last couple years so I could always count on her for an honest opinion, and a you need to add ________.  She would have definitely suggested more bling.  This sign and this song is a reminder that oh, how He does love us especially when our hearts are broken. 

I’m thankful for craft paint, a teenage girl, and fun glamour rooms…it’s cheaper than therapy!  Happy Tuesday!