Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adieu, 2009!

It's the end of the year as we know it...
It's the end of the year as we know it...
It's the end of the year as we know it...
And I feel fiiiiine....
Last year, I wrote about my thoughts on the whole New Year, resolutions, looking back, moving forward stuff.
This year, over on the local mommy board that I'm part of, someone posted the question- "Where do you want to be at this time next year?" Instead of making resolutions, the idea is to focus on the outcome and not the process of change, right? So people are listing "I'll be in a house that we own" or "We'll be free from credit card debt" or "I'll be done with my first semester back to school." All great goals. I admire the folks who step up and have goals and take charge, take action to make them happen.
What was my answer?

I don't have an answer... because I'm so content with my life. Yes, there are areas that are in a constant state of improving or needing improvement.

Y'know... I've lived a hellish childhood and beyond turbulent adolescence. So I deeply value and appreciate the normalcy of my life.

So a year from now? I hope I'm just blessed with more of the same that I have now.

I think that's pretty true to what I said last year! I am consistent, if nothing else. But I like that my philosophy has remained the same.

We are going to go out and celebrate tonight. Jeff, kids and I will head downtown to the Indiana State Museum for the Family New Year's Eve celebration.

Ring in the New Year at 8 p.m. with a balloon drop! The popular band The Tides returns with their special brand of musical magic, and the Santa Claus Express will carry passengers for the last rides of the year until closing at 9 p.m. Other activities include face painting, clowns, hands-on crafts and children’s games.

Doesn't that sound fun?? I think the kids will have a blast. Then we can come home, get the kids to bed, have some time to ourselves... and hit the sheets to be sound asleep before midnight. A little sleeping in Friday morning would be a great way to ring in the New Year... but I'm not holding my breath.

For those who have big adventures and hopes for the new year, I wish you well and I hope that the hard work you put into your new ventures pays off the way you hope it will. I know people hoping for babies, starting new jobs in new cities, looking for employment, wanting to buy their first home, seeking healing and peace, and more.

This time last year, I was at home, cleaning out bedrooms and transitioning my kids to new bedroom situations. Teagan's room was rearranged for her dollhouse. Zach's room was set up to start utilizing his "big boy bed." I was still nursing my boy. I do wish I had that house cleaning time at home this year- maybe this weekend. My boy had just turned 1. My girl hadn't yet started school- we hadn't even decided on a plan that included school yet!

I guess that's part of why I don't focus on goals or resolutions or whatever. God's got my path covered. I make the best choices I can and handle stuff as it comes. Life will take me where it takes me.

So here's to 2010! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Need Some Laughs?

Are you familiar with the Back Dorm Boys from China? They gained fame with their lip sync of "I Want It That Way." The videos are always in the same dorm space with a guy on the computer in the background. Many have imitated and tried to do the same... but the Back Dorm Boys, which originated back in 2005, are classic. The video below is one I hadn't seen before but had me cracking up! ***
As someone who previously worked in fast food and manned the drive thru on many occasions... love this! And then Taco Bell took their idea and advertised with it! *** I found this on and it is hilarious!!! Per the website, the story goes: Apparently, she wanted to make the hallway appear that it had snow in it, so she decided to use a fire extinguisher (this is something that her dad has successfully done in the past). Instead of there just being a “little poof”, the entire hallway filled with chemicals that caused the fire alarm to go off in the middle of the night during finals week. Now this is her in the car upset that everyone at Alpha Chi (the sorority she wants to be in and presumably those who live where the fire alarm went off) hates her. She explains how she isn’t a bad person and it was just an accident. But even better are the responses... I think this might be what Jeff and I have to look forward to. Honey- please do not EVER use a fire extinguisher to make snow for our kids, m'kay??

WWW: Accomplishments

Accomplishment. As defined by
an act or instance of carrying into effect; fulfillment
something done admirably or creditably
Francis Wayland It is by what we ourselves have done, and not by what others have done for us, that we shall be remembered in after ages.
Vince Lombardi It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.
I found the definition and quotes to be what I expected when I sat down to think about my accomplishments. What I didn't expect were the synonyms. Because they don't all fit into my personal definition...
1. completion, execution. 3. consummation. 4. acquisition, proficiency.
Those come from and fit nicely with my definition of accomplishment. But then I clicked over to the thesaurus on and words like "talent" and "performance" and "effort" were given as synonyms. Talent? Performance? Effort?
For me, an accomplishment as to include effort and work on my part. Talent can be effortless. Performance can be effortless. Effort? That's what gets you to the accomplishment but it isn't the accomplishment itself.
So as 2009 comes to a close, I have to wonder about my own personal accomplishments. What have I worked hard on, put a lot of effort into, and reaped rewards from?
Parenting. Yes, I struggle. No, I don't have all the answers. Yes, I have successes. No, I am not perfect. But I keep working to improve and there are a lot of things that I do really well with my kids and my family. But the accomplishment for me is that I am a parent, I am an engaged parent, I am actively parenting. So many people seem to take it for granted. I think that's why I like so many of the Mommy Blogs out there because it shows the invested parents, those trying to improve and do better and who take the job very seriously. I am proud of me as a mom.
Jan 4, 2010 marks my 10 year anniversary of my first day of employment with my current employer. I've worked in the same department, same bosses, same company. I've promoted up to my current position after starting as a temporary administrative assistant. I am proud of me as an employee.
My mental health. I've come from a dark, scary, bad place and my life is happy, normal. There isn't much more I can say about it... but if you are someone who is struggling, who is in a bad place, who isn't seeing the light... I know it's there. And if you need someone to pray for you or with you, my e-mail address is in my profile.
My relationship with my mom. See the previous paragraph. We've come down a difficult path together and where many wouldn't have a relationship one might have a difficult one now- my mom and I are close friends. She's the one person I want to call with good news, bad news, no news. If you'd asked either of us 15 years ago if we could imagine being here now... I don't think either one of us would have dreamed we could be this close.
My marriage. We're only 6 years into it. And we certainly do fight and handle things poorly at times. But there is an openness and honesty and trust in my marriage that I never dreamed I would find.
I know there's more but I think that's a good start. And I want to hear from you! Don't hold back, don't make excuses, don't be ashamed. What are your accomplishments?
Adding: I went back and found this post from 12/1/08 that listed accomplishments I'd made in the previous month.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All is Calm, All is Bright

I wrote yesterday's post immediately after the stormy bedtime. It was raw and honest and I edited nothing, filtered nothing. And, once again, the outpouring of support has been awesome. I've gotten great comments on the post, messages on Facbeook and by e-mail, had a couple of great phone conversations. Being away from it, not being in the heat of the moment, I don't feel like it's as a big a problem. And I've got a new gameplan in place for tonight's bedtime. Jeff is home with her today and she's played in the snow and been chilling out with Daddy. No sugar, carefully watching what she consumes. He's keeping all confrontations at bay. The next few days just focus on getting back to normalcy, routine. My daughter tests limits. It's her way. My daughter tests and pushes. My daughter's personality has always been demanding and deserving of lots of energy and attention. Not in an unhealthy way, not in an out of control way. At her next doctor's appointment, I will bring it up (if it's still happening). But until then, I've been offered some other resources through church and friends that have me rooted again, grounded again, and feeling far less alone. I think that's a huge part of it... when my compassionate, kind, funny, sweet, loving daughter is screaming, hysterical, crying... it feels like there is no possible way other people are dealing with the same thing. But once I open up and start talking... it turns out that we are far from alone. I wanted to share some peaceful pictures of snow in my neighborhood and around my house. We had a very lovely snowfall Sunday. I love the way my neighborhood looks in the snow. I love our Christmas lights in the snow. I love the sound and scent of snow and the peaceful calm of standing out in the midst of it. So these pictures are just as much for me as they are for you... because I need my calm, too.

Monday, December 28, 2009


It has been an emotional roller coaster in our house the past 24 hours. I know the holidays mess with routine and the ups and downs of excitement and anticipation and too much sugar and not enough water or sleep all add up to hyper children who make bad choices. At 2 a.m., Teagan woke and started calling for Daddy. Repeatedly, loudly. Not scared, not in a panic. Just demanding. He goes to her. "Cover me up" she whines. He covers her. She whines that she is still cold. He puts another blanket on her. She cries and whines that she doesn't want that blanket. She cries and whines and yells for the next 45 minutes with Jeff and I taking turns going in and trying to figure out what she needs. She even wakes Zach with her hysterics. Morning comes. She starts out pleasant enough- playing independently in her room while the rest of us sleep. But once everyone is awake, the demands and complaints start right away. After the 2 a.m. incident and her mood upon waking, I decide that I'm not taking her to church. Normally she comes with me for both services. She loves being there early and going to Sunday School twice. This wasn't done as a punishment- I just didn't have the energy to put into being part of worship and managing my child. I knew I couldn't trust her to be in her seat alone for the time I would be up front singing. I knew I wasn't going to let her have any donuts or sugar laden treats. Church rejuvenated me. Understanding and hand holding during prayer from a friend (thank you, Ashli- it meant so, so much). Listening to the sermon, getting refocused. I left feeling much better. Got lunch came home. As soon as we start eating, Teagan starts announcing that she isn't sleepy and won't be taking a nap. If we respond, she fights. If we don't respond, she escalates. It's a smidge maddening. I do get her down for a nap. I got Zach down, I sent Jeff off for some alone time to recover from his morning at home with the kids (which did include some fighting Teagan, of course). And eventually got her asleep, too. But first we had a little conversation. About how I know Teagan is this really awesome kid who is funny and caring and sweet and smart. About how Daddy and I love to spend time with her and play with her and hang out with her. And that no matter what, we love love love her. But that sometimes, I don't like the choices she makes. I don't like the way she chooses to act. And that something has to change. I jump into my afternoon project- organizing and cleaning out toys. Once everyone wakes up, I'm feeling much better. Teagan and I head to the grocery store in the midst of a beautiful snowfall. On the way home, we have another lovely conversation. She tells me that she isn't going to be "mean Teagan" ever ever ever again. She tells me that she knows I love her no matter what and that there isn't anything she can do that would make me not love her. She tells me she likes making good choices and being part of our family being happy. And the evening proves out her assertions. We get home and I make dinner. She eats every bite- even though it's food we've never had at home before (lil cheesy smokies in a blanket). She even eats her veggies (peas). Bathtime is no issue. It's fun and pleasant. She gets into jammies and she and Daddy read a book. The book is the print version of Disney's "The Princess and The Frog." Jeff gave it to her for Christmas and told her that they would go see the movie on Monday when she was home with him for the day. We've talked about their plan this afternoon and about how it's good she's making such good choices now so that she and Daddy can have their special day tomorrow. We've not made a huge deal out of it but it's been brought up once or twice. So they finish the book. Jeff covers her up, rubs her back and tells her good night. And then the peace is gone and Teagan-hell breaks loose. And we are back to screaming, demanding, whining, crying, hysterics. Switch- flipped. Getting angry doesn't work. Staying calm doesn't work. Responding to her lovingly (like going in and shushing and holding her)- can't bring myself to it because it just feels so wrong, like a reward for her behavior. But the frustrating thing is that we don't know what she wants. It's not like it's a power struggle and we aren't going to cave. She wants to tell Daddy something- he stands there, sits there, listening, asking her what... and she just keeps saying she wants to tell Daddy something. The thing that eventually works... and I hate being this way, doing this... I tell her that she needs to lay down, take a deep breath, get quiet... and if she gets up, calls for us, repeats the statements she's hooked onto... I take something and she will have to earn it back. Tonight, I took her new Tinkerbell music box, her new piggy bank, her new necklace, her new Christmas shoes, her new book, her new coloring set, one of her blankets, and a few other things. And she calmed down and got quiet and the hysterics and tears stopped... I hate it. I'm just so frustrated. I don't like my temper when she gets this way. I don't like the smirk on her face as she plays the game. I don't like seeing how much she pushes my normally patient, calm, and loving husband. I had such hopes that school would make things better. It's what others told me would happen. That the routine and structure and exposure to new ideas and expectations and the opportunity to do better and shine would lead to better choices all around. Nope. Is this really normal? These mood swings? I mean- she was A W E S O M E this afternoon. She played with Zach, she cooperated and listened. We played together, the kids played together, she played in her room. Then the last moment of bedtime hit and BLAMO! End of the world. I'm at a loss. No book seems to address it. My instinct is stumped. Part of me thinks that it might be time to talk to our family doctor. Just to make sure there isn't something abnormal going on. But I really don't want to medicate her. I don't, in my gut, feel like there is something wrong with her. I think this is just part of her, who she is. I think she's passionate and dramatic. I think that if I can figure this out, figure her out, we can find a way to hone this passion and drama into... energy, hard work, and so on. But I'm flailing. Am I off track? Am I missing something? Is this normal or am I off base? Should I talk to my doctor? Should I keep on keeping on? Do I crack down and continue being strict? Do I let up and let her lead the way? Or do I just take each day as it comes and hope that there is truly a light at the end of whatever tunnel I'm currently lost in?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Kid-Bits

One of the most beautiful and classic parts of most Christmas Eve church services is how they close. Lights dimmed, candles lit, singing "Silent Night." Our church does the same. I was very touched by it all this year. I had a different perspective. I was in front of the congregation, looking out at all of them. I'm totally caught up in the peace and joy and love. The music ends and there is that moment of silence and awe... and my son yelling "BAM BAM BAM!" ***

We did our Christmas with Jeff's family last night. After dinner and opening presents, the kids split off to various areas to play with their new treasures. Jeff was working on his dad's computer. His sister & her husband, his parents, and I were laughing at Zach in the living room. 8 year old nephew and 12 year old nephew headed upstairs to play video games. Teagan and her 8 year old cousin, Jillian, went off to play together. After a while, my mother in law got up and went around the corner into the laundry room and I hear, "Girls!! This is NOT a sandbox!" She brought a handful of toys out and set them down and announced- "They found the litter box!" Yep. My 4 year old (she'll be 5 in March) and her 8 year old cousin decided to play in the cat's litter box like a sand box. And they got litter EVERYWHERE in this laundry room. Every inch of floor, every corner. To be fair, Teagan hasn't ever seen a litter box. But still... the litter sand box? EW!


One of my favorite funny stories from Christmas isn't really my own. It's a conversation I had with a 10 year old boy at church. I asked him, on Christmas Eve, if he was excited for Christmas... and his response?

"Not really. See... I'm having a hard time... I have this feeling... I'm really torn...

I think I might be Jewish."

After a conversation about Jesus and God and holidays and ham and bacon and cheeseburgers and what it means to eat kosher... he got a little tired of my knowledge and understanding of the Jewish faith and instructed me to go and sing with my friends.


I am very ready to go back to work tomorrow. Jeff will be home with Teagan (they have a special movie date- if she can get her act together), Zach at daycare. My mom is coming Tues-Weds. My daughter has been a nightmare the last 36 hours. Even overnight. I pray for Jeff's one on one time with her to be a really good and helpful thing. Because we can't keep going like we've been going. It's come to a new level and I feel inadequate and forced and bordering on out of control- not of myself, of the situation. More on that later, I'm sure.

Friday Fragments. Christmas Hangover.

Click the button. You know you wanna. You know you've missed Mrs4444. Go on. Do it! Do it! *** Christmas was good. Christmas Eve was good. Both were busy and I am tired. *** I really enjoyed being part of our Worship services at church this year. We haven't made it to church for Christmas the past few years because of the kids and bedtimes or having a family Christmas with Jeff's family or whatever. But this year, I was part of Music Team for the family service at 7 and the Lessons and Carols service at 11. And I loved it. We didn't have a huge crowd of the "it's Christmas so I have to go to church" crowd. So when I looked out at the congregation... I saw friendly faces, people I love, my church family. It was mildly profound and very loving and joyful for me. *** My kids slept until 6:15 on Christmas morning. It sounds early but that's actually about an hour's bonus for our normal schedule. Even better- Jeff got up with the kids this morning and I slept until 7:45! Heaven! *** I got the Wii Fit Plus upgrade. I got the Jennifer Hudson CD. I got 2 books- Push (which I've already finished and it was awesome) and Say You're One of Them. A board game called Quelf. And a Smothers Brothers book. Those were from Jeff and kids and Brian. *** There had been agreement, I thought, to not do adult gifts at my mom's Christmas. So I bought no gifts. Teagan, while shopping for Jeff's mom, picked out little Christmas salt and pepper shakers for my mom so we gave those to her prior to our meal. Other than that- I bought no gift for my cousin, my brothers, my aunt or my uncle, my dad, my mom. And that was very hard for me. I will confess that I slipped each of my brothers $20 and my cousin $20. But no envelope, no card, no gift wrap- not a Christmas present. But here's the kicker! My mom broke her own rule! She had presents for everyone! *** My mom gave me an ornament- a small, breakable ginger colored dog. We had to put down our lab mix named Ginger Dec 2, 2007. We still miss her a lot and Teagan, Jeff, and I talk of her fondly. My mom, a self-proclaimed non-animal person, misses our dog, too. Loved our dog, too. My mom played in the snow with Ginger. My mom would sit and brush her and brush her. My mom found a little ornament that reminded her of our Be-Jar Gee-Jar... that's a pretty good present. *** The Santa food giving plan worked out perfectly. At bedtime, Teagan dictated a note to Santa: Dear Santa, We got some food for you. We have a lot of it for a lot of people so you can give one thing to each person if you need to. Adios, Teagan When I went to the 11:00 service, I took all the food with me. I had a moment of concern as I realized the food may well still be sitting there on Sunday morning... but figured I could just ask Pastor Jennifer to help me stash it somewhere until it could be delivered to one of the missions projects that needs it. But the plan worked better than I could have imagined! The woman who runs the trustee's office came to the 11:00 service! I asked if she would mind taking the food with her... and she said she and her daughter would not only take it but would stop by the pantry and drop it off before heading home. Santa left Teagan a note back, thanking her for helping him out. It's a new tradition that I feel really good about. *** My husband and my son are on the floor, doing one of the 7 puzzles Zach received. That doesn't count the 3 that Teagan received. And Zach, true to form, has been sitting and doing his new puzzles all morning! *** On our drive to Cincinnati, as we were almost to Grandma's house, we suddenly hit traffic. We saw a police car blocking the right lane and traffic was merging... then the right 2 lanes were blocked... and as we came around the bend... we had a stark lesson in not complaining about traffic and being grateful... there was a vehicle flipped upside down, off the road in a ditch. The tow truck was working on flipping it over. Made me very thankful that my Christmas wasn't that family's Christmas. *** Have you ever stopped to think about how many people have to work on Christmas Day? Newspapers still get delivered. News casts are still reported. Hospitals stay open. Some restaurants stay open. Gas stations stay open. We were very thankful to those people working at gas station and a fast food place near our house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And everyone we encountered had a smile on their face. *** Today we go shopping for a new Christmas tree. We've outgrown ours. We bought it because it was tall and skinny and worked well in the limited space of our apartment before we were married. But now we have more ornaments than we can put on the tree and there is hardly any room for presents underneath. So we are hitting the Christmas sales to find a new tree! We also will have our Christmas with Christy later today and this evening we head to Jeff's folks' house for that Christmas. *** Oh- be jealous. I got a gift of Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate and vanilla marshmallows. I think I'll go make some for me and Jeff. Just to help us enjoy our family morning together. *** I feel like I need to put something not-Christmas related in this edition of Friday Fragments but Christmas is my entire life right now! If you've got some time, go visit Mrs4444 and the other Fragmenters!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas at Conner Prairie

So much going on the next couple of days! So I’ll just share a bunch of pics (click to see them big size) from our recent holiday adventures!


I do have some memories of my mom and I making gingerbread houses with graham crackers and icing. And it’s a tradition that I enjoy passing on to my kids. We haven’t done a house at home this year, but they did the graham cracker and icing houses at school. Grandma has actual gingerbread houses ready to be decorated on Christmas day. And we went to Conner Prairie last weekend and enjoyed the Gingerbread display.

Teagan’s gingerbread house from school- followed by pics of Teagan enjoying her sugar high and a nice pic of the kids sharing the gingerbread house.


Some of the pics of the professional gingerbread houses we saw- amazing detail!

gbread6 gbread3 gbread5gbread4

And some pics of our trip to Conner Prairie. The grounds were beautiful in the snow. We enjoyed our visit so much that we got a membership! It’s a real deal- the annual family membership is only $65 and they were doing a promotion for $5 off! So I guess you can expect a lot more pics from CP over the next year.

CP12 CP1 CP2 CP3 CP4

Ca-Joh, Flartus, and my other cooking buddies- I thought of you when I saw how they were cooking the turkey for that night’s feast!

CP5 CP6 CP7 CP8 CP9 CP10 CP11

Connor Prairie also afforded Zach his first time to really play in and experience the snow. He was out in it last year but it didn’t mean much. This year, he discovered the raised garden beds at one of the CP homes and we had to almost literally tear him away…

CPSnow1 CPSnow3CPSnow2 CPSnow4 CPSnow5CPCut2 CPCut1

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas Eve or your Thursday or whatever you have going on today!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WWW: Christmas Stories

Click the button for info on past subjects- and only one more week is planned. Haven't decided if this will be an ongoing feature or not...
Christmas Stories. And while I am going to focus on Christmas because that is what my family celebrates, I certainly invite you to focus on stories relating to your own winter holiday celebrations.
Last year, I shared the story of My Magic Christmas. It is still my favorite story from my childhood and I love remembering it through my child's vision of the time. I hope you will take the time to go and read it.
But I know there are more stories that make Christmas magical for others. The Christian story of Christmas itself is miraculous and magical. A poor young girl has an angel appear to her to tell her she will become pregnant with God's baby and she and Joseph will marry and raise this child. Can you even imagine? Put that into today's society and it's the story of a high schooler who made a mistake with her boyfriend and is trying to cover it with some wild story! These days, Mary would get locked up for psychiatric treatment for hallucinations and delusions of grandeur. Joseph's family would demand a paternity test... wonder how those DNA results would look...
I love hearing Christmas stories. Whether it's a magical Christmas from your childhood or a tradition that started with your family, your children or something humorous that happens every year... Christmas is a time of storytelling and sharing and magic.
I've dug up a few Christmas stories from bloggers to share with you. But I'd really love it if you would link to a newly written story on your blog or an old post on your blog that shares your own favorite Christmas story.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The New Santa Tradition

As I was typing up last week's entry on Saint Nicholas and the Veggie Tales movie and all that... I had the idea to have Santa leave a bag of food for Teagan to take to the food pantry for him. I had a lot of favorable responses from other moms that want to do the same. But I've changed what I'm going to do and thought it only fair to share that change here! Teagan and I will go shopping for food on Thursday. We will have a bag or box filled with food and leave a note on it that will ask Santa to please take the food and give it to a family he knows needs it. After all, St Nicholas was all about giving to those in need and doing it secretly. This really carries on that tradition.
Since I will be heading to church for the 11:00 service, I can take the food with me and leave it at the missions table. So when she wakes up, the food will be gone. And Santa will leave her an empty box and a note...
Asking her and Zach to please fill the box with toys that they don't play with anymore that we can then donate to Goodwill. That will make room for their new toys and will also help out other mommies and daddies and kids.
I think that should pretty well cover us on the giving side of Christmas. I think the lesson will be powerful and will be a great tradition that we can easily carry on year after year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa, and More!

The debate is raging full force this year. Christians are feeling shunned, persecuted, and more. And I know some people who are getting very angry about things happening this holiday season. I know people who feel that if we don't keep a bright focus on Christ throughout the season, we will lose the meaning of Christmas. I know people who get angry about the other winter holidays, even declaring them to be "made up." I've been planning this blog post since observing one of these conversations last week. It started out well enough. A small group of Christians. A shared story of a local elementary school that did a winter program that included every faith and culture EXCEPT Christianity. All agreed that to be inclusive means to include all perspectives and that excluding any Christian music- when you were offering songs about Hanukkah, something Muslim based, something Yule, something Kwanzaa- is wrong. I agree. Then it got a bit more passionate and there were loud exclamations of "Kwanzaa being a made up holiday" and so on. Then I read Karen's perspective. 12/22 edit: I am also adding a link to C Beth's perspective. Then my family and I went to visit Connor Prairie on Saturday. And it was eye opening. It's a living history museum set in 1836. Some of the "towns people" are very excited to celebrate Christmas and have a meal with their families. But some of the people are opposed to the celebrations- "The Apostles didn't have parties for the Lord's birth!" So when did Americans start celebrating Christmas as a holiday anyway? (Go read that link for a history lesson- and this one, too.) And where did the traditions come from? Made up holidays, ancient traditions stolen from other cultures and faiths, an entire world that has recognized holidays at this time of year... what's a Christian to do? Granted, I know I'm not the most common voice of Christianity. I've proven that a few times in sharing my thoughts on this blog. So here are my thoughts. I believe in the birth of Christ as the "reason for the season." I believe in gift giving and tree decorating and stringing lights and visiting Santa and being charitable and singing lots of Christmas hymns & carols and spending time with friends & family. That's what is right for me and my family and it is the lengthy tradition of my heritage. I have no intention of taking away from families that don't have the same heritage that I have. If someone is Jewish, I believe they should celebrate Hannukah as they traditionally do within their family and religious heritage. I believe it benefits me and my children to know and appreciate the traditions of Judaism. I love that my daughter learned about the Menorrah at preschool and brought home a paper one that she made. I love that she sang the Dreidel Song. I don't see the purpose in getting angry about Kwanzaa and I've known many people who do. The way I see it, Kwanzaa is an opportunity for some learning. Kwanzaa is a "created" holiday and it was an important time in our history for the Black community in this country to come together in a positive way. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966. A year of Vietnam, Civil Rights, race riots in Mississippi, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, the death of James Meredith, tear gas at demonstrations, Martin Luther King Jr was stoned during a march. Seems the perfect time to find a way to bring people together and lift them up in a positive way by focusing on Unity, Self-determination, Collective work and responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. I suppose it would be shocking to some that some people in our country who celebrate Kwanzaa are also Christians. And that Kwanzaa in no way threatens Christianity. I will admit ignorance when it comes to most celebrations outside of those 3. I know that there are recognized days on the Islamic calendar in December. And when I go and read, the days are based on the same kinds of things that "we" recognize here... religious dates, remembering a final speech, a celebration of bringing together Muslims and Christians. I believe in tolerance. No, I believe in more than tolerance. I believe in loving others- especially those I don't understand. I firmly support those who feel so strongly that the kids who did the holiday program should have included traditional Christmas hymns since so many other faiths and cultures were being represented. Because to exclude one is still exclusion, no matter which one is excluded. I just don't find it threatening or harmful or bad for my kids and the people in my life to recognize and even celebrate these other holidays. Afterall, perhaps seeing acceptance of "their" culture will encourage "them" to check out "our" beliefs. And maybe all of that will bring us all a little closer together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Letter From Santa

Teagan got a letter from Santa. And not just some quick, rushed, pointless little note. A real letter. Check it out... (click to bigify) I love love love her preschool. I just wish they could keep expanding so she could be there through college.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

There isn't really much I want wrapped up under the tree. Jeff is good about spoiling me from time to time (like with the 2 Glee soundtracks or by renting movies for me via Netflix). And, generally speaking, when I need or want something, I can afford to cover it or find a compromise. So there isn't much I'm hoping to find. But... if we're going to be honest... don't we all have something we want? 1. A morning to sleep in. I'm tired of being awake by 5:30. I'm tired of 6:30 being the definition of "sleeping in" at my house. I long to go to bed and then sleep until my body wakes me. No putting the dog out, no kids waking me up, no alarm going off. 2. An afternoon at the salon. I'm really a low maintenance gal. But there are a few things I'd love to be pampered with right now. I want my brows waxed. I want an hour long massage. I want a spa pedicure. Thank you. 3. A dining room. 4. Time and space to bake. I went back and was reading some blog posts from this time last year and came across one about my Baking Zen. I really like baking. It is calming. But only when I have a clean and semi-organized kitchen to work in and time to dedicate to the project. A kitchen island to give me more counter space and more cabinet storage would be awesome, too. 5. More opportunities to write. This is post #632. I love writing on my blog and finding creative angles and working out thoughts and ideas and issues. I also get to write for an online moms' community and I love that writing challenge, too. So if I had more opportunities to write and challenge myself creatively in new ways, that would be awesome!! 6. A summer vacation. I really, really, really, really, really want to go to Sesame Place this year. I gave it up to put vacation money towards buying a playset last year. We didn't get the playset up because of Jeff's shoulder injury. This year... if we can save up the funds... I won't back down. I want my family vacation. 7. A self cleaning living room. And laundry that puts itself away. That would solve a lot of my clutter issues. Coats that hang themselves up would be nice, too. 8. A small, carry in my purse address book. I've lost the file I was keeping with addresses of friends and family. I'm scrambling. And if I just had a good ol' fashioned paper and ink address book to carry with me, I'd never be lacking again. 9. A holder for my cell phone in my van. You know those things that mount on the dashboard? One of those. 10. Do they make organizers that sit on the floor of a minivan? I'd love a spot to put stuff- a place for trash, CD's, and so on. A place that wouldn't slide all around the floor. How about you? What are you really wishing you could ask for this holiday season? What are your unspoken or unachievable desires?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fragments 12.18.09

It's Friday which means... actually, it's Thursday night for me... it's been a long day... Go visit Mrs4444... she's cool... and she's our hostess with the mostest... click the button above...


I'm tired.


It's been a crazy, busy, wonderful week! I plan to blog details- soon, I hope. Tuesday evening was Teagan's preschool Christmas program. It was adorable. I hope the video Jeff took turns out and that he has time to edit it this weekend so I can show you the highlights! Teagan was adorable and did awesome! Even when faced with some tough stuff, she handled it all like a pro. A fantastic evening!! Wednesday was the church program that I was also part of (but kept forgetting, all day long, that I had a job to do in the program!!). I was the narrator and the kids did the singing. It was fantastic and the parents and friends and family really enjoyed it!


When I hear my husband chanting "sack, sack, sack" from the living room, I really hope he's watching football and not some gross adult channel...


I'm tired.


I cannot believe next week is Christmas and 2009 is coming to a close. Crazy!


I have Christmas cards to mail out. I hope they make it into envelopes, the envelopes get addressed, and they get stamped and mailed before Christmas! Ack!


I'm tired.


Christmas Eve will be interesting. I've been to our church service a couple of times and enjoyed it. But with the kids being so little, we haven't gone the past few years. This year, we are taking both kids to the family service at 7. I'm singing with Music Team. Then we come home, open 2 presents (pre-set on beds- pj's and ornaments), read some books, get snuggled in, kids go to bed. Jeff and I will handle stockings and such. Then I run back to church for the more traditional Lessons and Carols service at 11. Whew! Then we are up and at 'em first thing Christmas morning and then off to Cincinnati for Christmas Day with my family.


This weekend, we will either go to the Children's Museum OR go to Conner Prairie. Conner Prairie is free on Saturday so I am really leaning towards that option. Plus, it's much closer to home and will most likely be less crowded.


Guess what I'm doing today? I finally get to meet my blogging friend, Amy of The 4th Frog! WAHOO!! We are having lunch today. She's meeting up with me to deliver a gift she's donating to the Graddy Family and it just turns out to be a great excuse to finally meet each other and spend an hour together!!


Did I mention that I'm tired?


Saturday morning, Teagan got up and asked if she could go to dance class that day. I was happy but my heart crumbled a bit because I had to tell her that we can't just drop in any day, we have to plan ahead and I have to call the studio and make sure there is still room for her in the class. She had wanted to go so she would be there to dance The Nutcracker in class. I love that she remembers that!


I think my shopping is done. I hope my shopping is done. Now... the wrapping must begin.


I think I'm too tired to write good fragments this week... so I'll just sign off for now. Must get some sleep! Happy FRIDAY FRAGMENTS!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Earplugs Are Sexy

I work for a division of 3M. My company was previously known as Aearo- our brands were AOSafety, E-A-R, and Peltor. I attended an interesting "Lunch & Learn" session today. The focus for a lot of companies is shifting from old fashioned print media marketing to online, interactive marketing. Google searches, Facebook apps, blogs, social networking, online communities... it's the wave of the "future" to a lot of the "old school" corporations who have invested their marketing dollars in TV ads, newspaper ads, magazine ads, and bulk mailings. I have to admit that I do giggle a little, to myself, when I hear these business folks talking about the very media that I am pretty heavily involved in as being the "wave of the future" when I totally see it as the wave of right now and I catch myself wondering what the actual wave of the future will be! Anyway... it got me thinking... here I have my little speck in the blogosphere... I share my thoughts, my experiences, my frustrations, my joys, and so on. Do I really have any kind of an impact? And can the impact that I have be applied to the company I work for? I work in PPE- Personal Protective Equipment. We make and/or sell safety products. Earplugs, respirators, safety eyewear, hard hats, first aid kits and so on. Very exciting stuff. Honestly- I didn't ever think much about these kinds of products until I started working here. I always assumed most other people didn't think much about it, either, to be honest. I figure people wore safety stuff when they had to- for work or whatever. But when people find out that I work for the company that makes those "yellow ear plugs," I hear all kinds of ways that everyday people- people who don't work around heavy machinery or other noisy situations- use our earplugs all the time. "I couldn't sleep without those earplugs for all the snoring she does!" "I have to have them when I travel. Can't be on a plane without them." "It's how I got through my baby's colic- muted his screams so I was better able to comfort him." One of my co-workers was getting rid of some retail stock samples of chainsaw chaps. I snagged them and thought I would at least offer them to friends before they just got tossed. I didn't really think I'd find a home for either pair- who really uses chainsaw chaps besides lumberjacks? I immediately had several people interested in them- one person even wanted them as a gift for his mom! So apparently the use of our products is more widely applicable than I had thought back when I started working here 10 years ago. Now, I assume most of my readers must be somewhat internet savvy- why else would you be reading blogs and, most likely, blogging on your own? So my questions for you... 1. Do you use any types of safety gear like earplugs, safety glasses, respirators, etc? For work? At home? 2. What kind of marketing would capture your attention when it comes to safety products? Facebook apps? Banner ads? Online games? Educational information? 3. Have you even read this far? Don't forget... Safety first!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Total Mom Moment

As we gathered the church kids together... getting ready to head out to the sanctuary and do our Christmas program... a little boy, maybe age 8, asked me if they were going to get presents. Now if I had been more involved... had more time... I mean, I had considered having gift bags to hand out to the kids. It's one of the things I remember most about Christmas at church growing up. It was usually on Christmas Eve and as we left, we would be handed a brown paper lunch sack with a Christmas bow attached. Inside would be an apple, an orange, chocolates, and a candy cane. I'm also a recovering theatre junkie who used to adore cast parties. So it would have been great fun to have cookies and punch or hand out goodie bags or whatever to celebrate the weeks and weeks of practice and hard work the kids had done. But I didn't think of it in time, I didn't talk to anyone about it... I tucked it away for another day. So when this boy asked me, excitedly, hopefully... "Are we getting presents?" I gave him the Total Mom Answer. "This is our night to GIVE a gift to all the moms and dads and friends out there. The best part of Christmas is giving!!" His face said it all. I was a Total Mom.

WWW: Role Models

After yesterday's downer, I really need something a bit more fun today. And focusing on who my role models are or what kind of role models I see in my kids' lives... it's just too heavy for right now! My week is crazy busy, I'm still a bit weighed down on the inside by the tragedies around me but not directly touching me. So the order of the day is fun and then some help from YOU. Since I'm not in a place to really dig deep into my own psyche to talk about role models, why don't you leave some lengthy comments and share stories of people who have been a positive influence in your life? And if you've seen Role Models and Lord of the Rings and are at all aware of LARPers (Live Action Role Play- gamers)... Who have your role models been and who are they now? Have you been a role model to someone else? Any opinions on famous people- athletes, entertainment stars, successful entrepreneurs- being role models? Is it even important to have role models or should our attention be focused elsewhere?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sometimes, The Hurt Is Too Close

Sometimes, the hurting that other people endure hits too close to home. Sometimes, the fears that I hold as a mother and wife and friend become so painfully real through someone else's story...

Yesterday, through This Is Reverb, I spent a good amount of time visiting Gavin Owens. And my heart broke and shattered in my chest. I was left in tears, my soul shredded. This beautiful family, the struggles and difficulties they have faced, and the raw pain... and even peace... they now have... it's indescribable. And while I am torn up inside... I am so deeply touched by their faith and the comfort they have found in God. Losing one of my babies...

And I think of Tim Graddy who lost Michele back in July to a swift battle with cancer. I think of her children- facing their first Christmas without their mommy.

I think of my friend, Anne. I had asked you for prayers for her last year. I think about her and her husband and her son as the approach the one year mark.

I think of my friend, Elizabeth, who lost her son this past August before even ever having a chance to meet him face to face.

I think of friends who have husbands facing cancer battles... of friends and family facing health issues... single moms, marriages falling apart, spouses off at war...

And I can either be totally overwhelmed by the pain and loss and suffering or I can...

What can I do? I can't solve the problems, I can't fix things, I can't take away the pain. I can organize and donate and collect until I'm blue in the face. But all that pain and suffering and loss is still there.

This won't make sense to some and will make perfect sense to others.

I pray.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Father Santa Saint Nicholas Claus Christmas

I wrote about the Great Santa Debate last year. We've been trying to focus more on the giving and the story of Saint Nicholas. I've been looking at children's books and such, trying to find things to have in the home that will reinforce this idea... that we are remembering the example of giving that Saint Nicholas gave us and that Santa Claus is the spirit of that giving. As I started my search this year- a bit later than last year- I came across a new Veggie Tales DVD that may say exactly what I've been wanting to teach!


I've talked with Teagan about Saint Nicholas and she seems to really like the idea and has taken to it quickly. She talks about Saint Nicholas and that he gave things to people. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I'm very hopeful that the movie will fall right in line with what I've been wanting to teach my kids.

I also think I might have Santa leave a bag of groceries for Teagan, with a note asking her to take them to the food pantry for him because he doesn't have time to drop them off but he knows she's a great helper and giver. And, like last year, we will work together to go through toys and decide what we can donate to Goodwill. Make room for the new things the kids are getting and also have a teachable moment about charity and giving.

Last year, her environments were still pretty controlled when it came to Santa exposure. This year, she is in school and there is a lot more talk about Santa and traditions. I love that they've been learning about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Christmas. I love that they've made "reindeer food" and other fun things. I love that she is learning lots of Christmas songs. I just hope that I am being effective and that our church is coming through loud and clear with messages about the reason that we celebrate this season.

Santa and jingle bells and reindeer and Frosty and all that is fine... I enjoy celebrating those things, too. I just want all of it to be balanced. She will learn from the example I set, I know. And, hopefully, I will be involved with teaching music to the kids at church at this time next year so she will be singing Christmas hymns just as easily as she sings Rudolph this year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Special Sunday in a Nearby City

Today, Teagan and I ventured to Greenfield, IN as guests of director Christine Schaefer (and fellow blogger- Better In Writing) of Crazy Lake Acting Company for their closing performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." First, this is one of my favorite stories. I remember reading the book as a kid- over and over. It's the tale of an annual, traditional Christmas pageant, put on by the children of the town church each year. Also in this town are the Herdman children- they are poor, dirty, crude, rude, mean, bullies. No one likes them, most are scared of them. After years of church being the only place the town kids are safe from the Herdmans, they wind up taking over Sunday School and the Christmas Pageant (thinking the Sunday School offers desserts each Sunday). In the end, the Herdmans, who know nothing of the Christmas story, end up teaching everyone an important lesson about that traditional tale. Crazy Lake is located in this fantastic old theatre- so much you can do with that space and it is a building that has to hold some great history. Christine- I'd love to know more about it and I think it'd be cool to have that info on your website, too! You actually step up to the outside window to get your tickets and then go in these gorgeous old doors into the lobby. We got seats in the second row- Teagan was very excited to be so close. We enjoyed music from a brass quintet. One of the best parts of that pre-show was when one of the musicians stood up to introduce the other members of the group and then said, "If we have folks in the audience who have seen this show before, you know what you're in for!" Teagan turned to me and said, "He is NOT talking to you or me, Mommy. We haven't seen this show!" There was a pre-show "radio version" of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" that was a lot of fun. There was a narrator, 2 audience members pulled up to run the foley table (various sound effects), an audience member to hold up the audience cue cards, and audience members to play The Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, and Max. Curtain opens... show starts... intermission... final act... Then our friend Christine offered to let Teagan go onstage and take a tour of the backstage. Teagan got to meet some actors, see the dressing rooms, check out the set. She loved it. She would have taken 3 more tours if they hadn't been striking (tearing down the set). She got to see kids onstage. She recognized Christmas music and enjoyed siging along (or at least lip syncing along). She refused to applaud, didn't understand why Mommy cried at the end, and got only mildly squirrely at the end (when there was no action onstage, just a voiceover of the Scripture of Jesus' birth being read). It was a great afternoon. And now I'm itching to do a traditional Christmas pageant at my own church with Teagan and the other kids... reading the verses, singing the traditional hymns that tell the tale... and maybe finding our own Herdmans to teach us the true meaning of Christmas, to demonstrate how the story actually happened. If you enjoyed this little sliver of a Sunday In My City, swing by Unknown Mami (click the button below) and check out other participants!
Unknown Mami

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Whew! Last night, I got bit by the shopping bug and ran out to Target and shopped for 2 solid hours. And got most of my shopping done! Finished up a few things this morning and only have a couple more things left to get.

I don't do shopping well. I don't do malls. I worked in malls long enough to have a deep distaste for them. I worked at Suncoast Motion Picture Co in high school and college. They are now out of business- they sold movies and movie collectibles. I loved my job, I hated the mall. I worked at The Children's Place when I moved to Indianapolis. Liked my job, hated the mall. The word "mall" seems to have roots in the word "mean" and "rude" and"thoughtless." I got so tired of the crowds of people, the arguing, the negotiating, the complaining. And most of the people aren't there to be around other people- they are there to get what they want.

Hence the reason I've spent many holiday shopping hours at my computer the past few years. This year, I did venture out of my comfort zone a smidge and hit Target and Kohl's. And it wasn't so bad. I sang Christmas songs under my breath the whole time and had full plans to react to any dirty looks with a full blast "FIVE GOOOOOOOLD RIIIIINGS!"

Jeff and I are doing something a little different this year with the kids.

Something you want
Something you need
Something you wear
Something you read

Now, the idea is to use this to control how much stuff you buy. I'm already guilty of buying multiple things in the categories. But it has still limited the craziness I can be infected with at this time of year.

Here's the break down so far:


* Zach is getting Spiderman sheets and a rocket ship night light.
* Teagan is getting a piggy bank and a wearable blanket (basically a Tinkerbell snuggie).


* Zach is getting an Elmo fleece shirt and a Spiderman fleece shirt. He is also getting BIG BOY UNDERWEAR as he is really on the verge of being ready to go full on potty training!! The underwear are Thomas the Tank Engine and Cars (Lightening McQueen, Mater).
* Teagan is getting a pink sweater with a fake fur lined hood, a Wonder Woman long sleeved shirt, tights, Tinkerbell undies, Disney Princesses underwear.

Jeff is in charge of want and read for each kid. I like that we split them up- makes it a bit more challenging and takes some of the stress of me!

I got Christy finished up today. Got teachers and daycare provider done.

But the purchase I'm happiest about is a wok. For Tim Graddy. Our Indy Moms are coming together, once again, to lift up this family. We've got teams for each side of town and each team is assigned one of the 4 kids. I'm taking collections from people who want to chip in to buy gifts for Tim. He asked for a wok. Because the kids love stir fry. I love that. I think it shows how much he is working hard to embrace this new life of widowed fatherhood. He's taken a step back at work so that he can have a position with more stable and regular hours. When Michele was alive, as I understand it, his role was breadwinner, husband. Michele managed the house, the finances, took care of everything. He has had to step up and really learn a new role in life and has had to figure it out without his partner, his best friend. I am so impressed with all he has done, with the people who have stepped up to help, with the support that has come out for the holidays. I'm just so humbled to be a part of this in even a small way- like buying a wok.

And I gotta give a shout out to all the Indy Moms... I have been so impressed, so touched, so inspired by the outpouring of support... I'm watching moms come together and organize efforts to adopt other moms who are struggling this holiday season... and it just touches my heart and soul... to be part of that community but to also witness the power of these women. It's amazing. Truly.

So what are you shopping for this holiday season? Are filling your heart as well as your shopping bags? I'd love some warm fuzzies if you've got stories to share!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh There's No Place Like Fragments on Friidaaay!

Friday Frags are here... Happiness and cheer Fun for all that bloggers call their favorite day of the week! Fragments in the air Comments everywhere Funny times and words that rhyme of snips and shorts to share Mrs4444 is near hosting all the year Catching up and serves a cup at football games, some beer... Friday Frags are here... Happiness and cheer Oh that we could always see such frags throughout the year... *** I am soooooo soooooo sooooo not ready for Christmas. ACK! *** I have no clue if any of my readers are Jewish... nonetheless, Happy Hanukkah to any and all who begin their celebration tomorrow! *** I had another one of my weirdo allergy attacks yesterday. Stayed home from work with it... took a Bendaryl. And got knocked on my arse for about 4 solid hours. Woke up very dried out. I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go see an allergist. *** My husband rocks. Seriously. For no reason, he bought me presents this week. No, he couldn't wait for Christmas. Because one of my presents was the last Harry Potter movie- which I never got a chance to see in the theatres. And the one that really couldn't wait? The Glee Volume 2 CD! WAHOO! Love it, love it, love it! I am listening to it as I type... "Don't tell me not to live, just sit and puttah... life's candy and the sun's a ball of buttah..." *** I think we might have to skip the State Museum this year. I'm not sure we can make it there this weekend. There has to be time for Jeff and I to separately take the kids shopping for each other. And that might have to be this weekend. Next weekend is supposed to be Children's Museum on Saturday and I'm hoping that the 20th will be a project I'm helping out with to support a family. *** Why do we hate to talk about the good things we do for others? It isn't bragging. If we would be more open, maybe it would inspire others to share the things they do? I think that most people who are helping others aren't looking for applause or pats on the back. *** Last night, at dinner, Teagan started singing "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay..." And I sang along with her and then asked if she learned about dreidels at school today. "Huh?" I asked her- "Did you learn what a dreidel is at school today?" "Huh?" "Your song, sweetie. Did you learn about dreidels today?" "My song? Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel..." Yeah. She apparently hadn't caught on that it's a song about the little clay spinning toy and not weird nonsense singing "dreideldreideldreidel." Ha! *** Today is "Polar Express Day" at school. The kids wore pajamas, will watch the movie, have hot cocoa, and decorate gingerbread houses. I so wanna go to preschool. Forget high school or college. I want pajama day and fun sock day and naptime and snacks and lunch and breakfast fixed for me... I wanna go back to preschool. *** I was an awesome mom because when we got word about the plans for today, knowing my daughter doesn't like chocolate in any variety, I called Ms Lori and asked if I could send apple cider for Teagan instead. Went out and bought some that night. I am an awful mom because... guess where the apple cider is right now? In my fridge. But I'm so proud of my girl... I called, in a mild panic, and told Ms Lori that I forgot to send the cider. They are already in mid-party mode at this moment. Lori, bless her heart, went back to check on the situation and called me back. Apparently, when hot cocoa was being handed out, Teagan went to her teacher and told her that "my mommy had called Ms Lori and was going to have something different for me but I think she forgot. Can I just have water?" Melt. My. Heart. *** Had to take Zach to the doctor yesterday morning. We've been fighting the weirdest diaper rash for the past 2 weeks. Tried everything on it. It didn't seem to be bothering him at all. One diaper change, it would be really bad. Sometimes on his butt cheeks, sometimes on the groin. Next diaper change, the redness would be almost gone and just little spots would be there. So weird. Tried Desitin, A&D, Beaudreaux's, Triple Paste, Monistat, Lotrimin, Nystatin, Neosporin. Nothing made it better, nothing made it worse. Doctor gave us a prescription for an anti-fungal and suggested cortisone. This morning, it's practically gone after just 2 doses of the prescription strength anti-fungal. *** I want to take a road trip along a highway where I can stop often, with my camera, and snap pictures of the beautiful images I see while driving. On my trip to Chicago, I kept seeing things I wanted to capture images of but couldn't because I was driving and only had my camera phone handy. I did try to capture a few things... I was totally fascinated by a wind farm. I have no clue how many wind turbines there actually were but they went on and on and on as far as the eye could see... I think the kids really love the DVD player in the van. I know I was very grateful for it. Since the trip to Chicago ended up with me being the solo parent, having that DVD player made the trip so easy! Plus, it's awesome to look in the rearview mirror and see those 2 precious faces. On the drive home, we ended up getting up at 4 a.m. CST (5 a.m. EST) and got dressed and out the door. We were on the road by 4:45 CST and got to enjoy the sunrise once we were back in Indiana. The sun, just starting to peek over the horizon.
And just moments after the sun had fully risen, past the horizon.
And to bring it all full circle, as I obsessed over the sunrise, we came back to the Wind Farm...
And as we approached home, Teagan and I spotted a tiny little rainbow in the middle of a small little portion of clouds. It's hard to spot... but it's there!
Happy FRIDAY! For the hard to see rainbow... Photobucket