Friday, July 30, 2010


I feel like I've been living for Saturday to come all week. I might sound a bit like a broken record by now... but I don't care!! I'm keeping it light and simple today! I'm starting the day with Zumba- and it's a free session! Then I have a date with my husband and we are going to the art museum and I can't wait! I might even have time to clean out my car- it desperately needs it. We're having dinner out with my in-laws. I had a wonderful "playdate" with a friend I met through theatre that I rarely get to spend one on one time with. We had a couple glasses of wine at a wonderful wine bar and then sushi at our fave sushi spot. It was relaxing and there was a good amount of laughter and catching up. Just what I needed. I'm eager for church on Sunday- I know it's going to be a powerful message. I can just feel it! All about finding your missions and living a life of service, I think. Enjoy your Saturday!! Photobucket

Friday Frags and Tryin' to Feel Good

Mommy's Idea

Mrs4444 has been getting her vacation on as she preps for school to start back. The Girl has continued her Blogcation another week- but found a lovely hostess in 29 and Holding for this week's Feel Good Friday! I have to admit that I am kinda struggling with the Feel Good aspect for this week. It's been a stressful week so bear with me.

First, my Frustrating Fragments:

- Had a work situation that got raised to crazy higher up corporate levels and had to explain processes and defend a supplier and then it turend out that I ended up finding the solution on my own with the help of Google. I saved the day, tried to save face since I'd been defending my supplier, and there is still going to be fallout because people aren't happy with how it was handled by the manufacturer our supplier works with. But having my boss and her boss and his boss and other bosses sending snarky and strongly worded e-mails around was NOT a fun way to spend my week.

- My kitchen is a mess. Our lives are so busy and one thing I really hate about cooking is that it means I have to clean it up, too. Worst of all, we did pasta night the other night and didn't clean up immediately so the kitchen stinks of tomato sauce and garlic. Plus the trash needs to go out. I'm betting it takes 2 loads in the dishwasher to get everything done, too. I can handle a messy house but a messy kitchen hurts me and I truly haven't had the time to take care of it myself.

- Jeff is going to be gone next week. He's just going downtown but he will be pretty much unavailable to us unless there is a true emergency. There is a huge gaming convention that comes to Indy every summer- GenCon. Jeff works with a company that runs a game called True Dungeon. He's a Dungeon Director. I'm not making it up- stop laughing. I'm serious! Anyway, the game is like a real life Dungeons and Dragons. Teams go room to room in a timed sequence and have to "fight battles" and solve puzzles and so on. The Con opens Thurs. Jeff has to go down Monday with the behind the scenes crew and start the dungeon building and setting up special effects and all that jazz. It's a really cool thing he does and he's passionate about it and he spends a week with his friends doing their version of guy stuff- but I do miss him while he's gone.

- Teagan's behavior is getting better. But we aren't out of this yet. I'm concerned about upcoming changes and the impact they will have- could go positive, could go negative. First change is that Zach starts going to Little Explorers next week. Second change is Kindergarten starting 2 weeks later. It seems like at least once each day- either at school or at home- there has to be at least one big meltdown or confrontation. And the later in the day it happens, the worse it is.

- Zach is starting to act out more. I don't know if this is his natural path or if he's modeling his big sister. It isn't anywhere near what she's doing. But I don't want my sweet, laid back boy to think he is supposed to act like Teagan when he doesn't get his way. We're trying to give him tons of positive attention and affirmation when he's making good choices.

- I wasn't sure I was going to admit this but... I've gained 4 pounds in the last month. I knew it was going to happen. I knew I wasn't making my best choices. I think my running plan (meaning that I've only been running once a week and not with the same amount of calorie burn as a month ago) is part of it. I know my food choices is part of it. I need to get refocused, recommited. I do some things exceptionally well but I am identifying some serious weaknesses that need work.

Now, let's take those Frustrating Fragments, drain them out and fill up with some Feel Good Friday, shall we?

- Tomorrow is date day for Jeff and I. We wanted to find a time for a date prior to his being gone for GenCon. However, Christy was booked up pretty solid. By chance, his parents mentioned that they now have more flexibility on Saturdays that they didn't have before. So we jumped on it! Saturday date day! Jeff will take the kids over just before lunch and then he and I are heading to the art museum for lunch and then some hand holding and quiet chatting and art gazing. I'm soooo ready for it.

- I get to go to a Zumba class tomorrow morning! It's free at the Lifestyle Family Fitness Center. They are celebrating National Dance Day by offering free group dance fitness classes all day!

- That situation with my supplier... while stressful... I get a little bit of a high as the frustration leaves and the fix that I FOUND settles in. I won't feel fully confident until the product has arrived and been used in our production and proven to be valuable- but I do feel good that I was able to "fix" the crisis.

- My friend Christy is an awesome person and deserves some support. She's been my running buddy and workout buddy since the word go when we joined the gym together. She's been my friend for a decade. She commits herself to her passions- theatre being a big one. She donates blood (platelettes) regularly. She cares about her circle of friends in a very real and genuine way. She's funny- and she laughs at y jokes (especially my stupid ones). Plus, she not only shares my love of wine, chocolate, sushi and cheese but she helps me expand the field and try new things. She's going to Paris, France for 2 weeks in September and, while part of my is jealous, I'm going to really miss her.

- I love my mom. I'm glad she's my friend.

- I love my church family. It's mind boggling to me how much my faith has expanded by locking in to this family. My faith in God hasn't ever waivered but I've been unsure about the church thing. In the past few years, I've really plugged in to my church and it's simply amazing.

Alright- I'm feeling better now. How about you- any frustrations that need to be replaced with feel goods? Photobucket

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's YOUR Post Today!

8:42 a.m. Pop over to the Facebook fan page or leave a comment- today's post is oging to be written by YOU! Leave a comment here or on FB and, throughout the day, I'm going to take your comments, share them here, and write about my thoughts on the subject or my response to you. 9:18 First submission! Thank you, C. Beth Blog! Well, Liz from Eternal Lizdom Asked her friends to share their wisdom Will her Facebook buds Be brilliant, or duds? Time will tell, yes it will. (Fo' shizdom.) Fo shizdom might have to become part of my ongoing vernacular. Fo shizdom, yo. 10:00 Mim's Muddle rang in with a good one! I'm taking my daughter to meet Joss Whedon at the end of April. It's official, my parenting work is done, I've raised a Whedon-geek :-) I'd been looking forward for years to sharing Buffy with Caitlin. Added bonus is that the boys got into too. I've given up on us ever going horse-riding as a family though, it was something we had planned on doing, Adam and I used to ride every second weekend. I rode up to 7 months pregnant with both Dave and Cait. But Dave's never going to get on a horse, he'd be petrified. So that dream is dead and gone. What things did you envisage doing/sharing with your kids before they came along and disrupted all your plans by very inconveniently turning out to be autonomous individuals? I'm still holding out hope that one or both kids will be musically inclined and have a passion for theatre. I'm betting Jeff is hoping one of them becomes a gamer. I have to say, though, that part of me is really interested in my kids doing stuff that I've never had interest in. I want to be able to share my interests and hobbies, of course. I'd love to see Teagan and Zach on stage, singing and dancing and acting and loving every second of it! But I also love the idea of finding new interests through them. For example, Teagan's brief stint with soccer was fun for me because I never played soccer and know nothing about it. I think about my mom, too. I got to witness my mom sharing her love of sci-fi with my brother, Ted. But Ted took it to a new level when he took up an interest in animé. My mom supported him and even helped him create a really cool costume one year for a convention. So I really just look forward to sharing mine and discovering theirs. By the way- totally jealous of a Joss meet up!! 10:10 All Things Aging said: Well who's going to leave a comment now that C. Beth set the bar so high?! Signed, Intimidated :) Lots of people!! She set the bar high... but there is a lot more to explore! 10:11 The Mom Experience asked: I want to blog about this subject, but never seem to find the time. I know I will someday, but for now, I will let you do it - what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing the career you always dreamed of? Or do you wish you did something different? I still am not sure what I want to be when I grow up! I look forward to you blogging about this, Kristi! Growing up, I always believed I would be a teacher. Elementary education, probably 3rd grade. I started college with El Ed as my declared major. However, after starting som eof my in classroom work, my grades started to suffer. My dad had a heart to heart with my over winter break in the middle of my 3rd year and suggested I look through the catalog and try to meet up with other department heads because I didn't seem to be on the right path. I did some soul searching and figured out that my interest in the classroom wasn't about education and learning. I wanted to be a teacher so I could help the kids who were hurting, hungry, abused, neglected. That was social work. So I changed my major. And went to school for 5 years because of it (very grateful for parents who encouraged me and supported me and paid for that). Then I did the social work thing for a couple of years befor emoving to Indiana. Being a social worker with a Bachelor's degree and minimal experience wasn't going to earn me enough money to pay bills so I had to go to a plan B. My long term plan was to work and get on our feet and eventually go back to school and get my Master's. However, within months of moving here, I ended up in a temp job as an admin to the department where I currently work. I found a niche and received promotions and raises and I'm still here! I also think that, while I never dreamt of this in an out loud kind of way, I would love to be working with animals. I had friend that used to joke that I'd end up a dog trainer. But in all seriousness... I'd love to be working for the Humane Society or I'd love to own a kennel or be an animal trainer or something like that. There are definitely times that I look at my career... and this is so not what I ever imagined I'd be doing. I didn't get into this field on purpose. I didn't even really know this field existed- I was very corporate business ignorant growing up. My one college regret is that I didn't listen to my dad and minor in business or at least take some business classes. There are definitely days that I wish I could be like Miss Lori or Miss Tori and work in or own a preschool or daycare. I've wished I could leave this job and look into offers made to work for a non-profit that assists those who have AIDS. I would love to be in a field where I make a difference to people. But the truth is that those jobs won't pay the bills and support the lifestyle we lead. Instead, I enjoy my paycheck and we use it to pay for the education my kids get with Little Explorers. I am able to give to charity and support ministries and help out moms I meet through Moms Like Me and other things. I'm still able to fulfill that base purpose of helping others- it just isn't my paychecked career. I'd also love it if I could be a paid social networker. I'd love to help build companies' social network presence through mediums like Facebook and Twitter. 1:24 From my friend, Louise: I'm having trouble getting Evan to eat. Good news is what he does eat is healthy (bread, dairy, healthy cereals, some fruits). I need to know that it's ok to give my child the same thing every day (and tips on getting him to try new....although if I give him something new he just pushes away and won't even touch it) I'm not sure I feel qualified to answer this!! But I do have ideas and I do have kids that like to eat stuff that other kids don't. Teagan, being 5, is working really hard to have a list of foods she flt out doesn't eat and I'm working really hard to know when to respect that (mac and cheese or broccoli) and when to push (spaghetti or green beans). I think that as long as you know he's getting protein and fruits and veggies of some sort each day, you're doing fine. If you were throwing your hands up and saying "He won't eat anything but bacon, ice cream, and cheetos!" it would be a different problem! Here are a few things we do at home that seem to encourage trying new things: 1. Get them involved in the shopping. "I can't decide... green apples or red?" "What kind of vegetables should we have with chicken?" Teagan loves it when I let her decide on our frozen veggies at Trader Joe's. Zach likes helping to pick out fruit. We also like to have a little fun in the produce section and I pick up different fruit or veggie items and ask if they know what it is. 2. Get them involved in food prep and cooking. I haven't been as good about this lately. But Teagan will ask to be involved and I try to find things for her to do. Last night, she wanted to shred the cheese with the grater for her ravioli. I had fresh romano (I'm trying to get away from buying pre-shredded since it is normally coated to prevent caking and I want to eat cheese, not cheese and chemicals) and I held the grater and she held the cheese and had a "grate" time. (sorry, groan, groan) FitCity has a lot of recipes that you can do with your kids- even as young as ours are. I did a snack mix where I got out all the ingredients, got a plastic tub and some scoops, and let each kid scoop out what they wanted from each option and make their own snack mix. 3. Let them graze. Sometimes, sitting down for a meal is a stress that makes eating worse. The toys and entertainment all around is far more interesting! So sometimes, I'll take an egg crate or muffin tin and just fill each little space with a different snack that I know the kids like. Blueberries, cut up cheese, turkey pepperoni, strawberries, cantaloupe, crackers, etc. Then it stays out and in reach and they can get something to eat when they feel hungry. We also have a snack bin that I keep loaded with things they are welcome to get and eat anytime they want something. So I guess the real advice here would be to keep the stuff you want to limit out of sight and reach. Put the stuff you want to encourage down low and freely accessible. 4. Don't stop introducing new stuff! Put it on the plate but don't say anything about it unless asked a question. Don't try to entice them to eat it, don't try to persuade, don't make a deal of it at all. Just serve it. I do however like to make a big deal about special and different food that I put on my own plate. "Oh!!! These beets are SO GOOD! I am so glad tha tno one else in the family likes beets because I don't want to share them!!" Mrs4444 posted a fun game they used to play in regards to getting kids to eat- The Stealing Game. Overall, just keep it laid back and fun. When it becomes a stress area for you, he will know it!! His tastes will grow as you gently encourage and make food exciting. 2:11 My pal Flartus asks: what's your favorite childhood summer vacation memory? We actually didn't take a lot of vacations when I was growing up. We did fun things in the Lexington area- visiting State parks or the Kentucky Horse Park, for example. But when it was just me and my mom, the budget didn't allow for vacations in teh traditional sense. Once she and my dad were married, vacation time and travel was used to visit family. This usually meant going to NE Pennsylvania to visit my dad's side of the family or going to Peoria, IL to visit some family friends. Not big vacation hot spots! I do remember going to Disney World when I was around 5 years old. The family had travelled to Jacksonville, FL for my aunt's graduation from medical school (I think). My mom had saved up and she took my to Disney for a day! I love looking back at the pictures from that day- like meeting Chip N Dale! However, there are 2 clear memories I have from being at Disney. The first was waiting in line for It's A Small World and someone saying that there were alligators in the water. The second was getting separated from my mom and following the advice she had taught me on what to do if I ever got lost. The first thing I did was find an employee- the popcorn vendor. The second thing I did was tell him I was lost and told him that my mom was wearing sandals and a hat with a feather in it. I looked down low at shoes and he looked up high at feathers and we soon found my mom. I think it is because I don't have a lot of vacation memories that vacations are so important to me. I think I would have enjoyed a chance to spend time with just my mom and dad, dealing with a hotel and navigating restaurants and having family fun amongst strangers where it was just us and not having to focus on a family dinner at this house or fixing this porch or going to see so and so. 4:28 From my friend Jennifer (met her through an online birth board when I was pregnant with Zach- that's also how I know Louise!) I am struggling with going to work and leaving my babies in daycare. Words of encouragement or insight? This is one that just doesn't have an easy answer. When I first returned to work after Teagan's birth, it tore me up. I fretted and cried. I hated being away from her. I trusted our childcare provider and knew she was getting loved on and cared for. I just missed her and knew she should be with her mommy and not a "stranger." For at least 6 months, I cried everyday on the drive to work. It was a nearly impossible task. My work suffered. I'm lucky I didn't lose my job during that very difficult time. I eventually had to make a choice. Find a way to stay at home or find a way to be the best working mom I could be. You can see my choice- I'm still working. There are days it is incredibly hard- like when one of my babies is sick and I have important stuff going on at home and have to leave them home with Daddy or call and find someone to step in. Then I feel guilty for interrupting someone else's day, I'm not as focused at work because my heart is home with my kids, I feel guilty because then my repsonsibilities aren't being handled the way I know I can handle them- at home and at work. It can be ugly. On those days- I just make each decision to the best of my ability and keep plugging through until the day is over. And there are days that I am truly thankful that I can drop off my kids and go to work. And I don't jus tmean the times when Teagan is having hour upon hour of meltdowns- but that's nice, too. I truly appreciate that I have an office with a door that locks. I can go to the bathroom with privacy. I can eat a meal without little fingers in it. I am earning money that goes into a college fund for each child, that pays for a fantastic preschool (and private K for Teagan). I am able to support this little side hobby of blogging and online connections and that has afforded me many opportunities. I guess I just finally came to terms with the idea that I have to put my faith and trust in God and His plan for my life. There was never an indication that quitting my job was the thing to do. Even on the darkest of those days when I would leave Teagan and sob for 30 minutes on my commute to work, I knew that I couldn't just go in and quit. Something kept me going on the path I was on. And there is a reason why I am still here and still working. Maybe it's because my kids would never have gone to Little Explorers if I wasn't a working mom. Maybe it's destined that Teagan and Zach be in the care of Miss Lori and crew. Maybe it was part of the grand scheme for me to meet Miss Lisa and have her be part of our lives. Maybe I wouldn't be as involved at church if Teagan wasn't in the preschool right next door. Maybe there are people in the workplace that I interact with that I am somehow am supposed to do soemthing with that is in that big old unknown plan. So when I'm frustrated, I pray. I pray or meditate and listen to that little voice inside me. When it is time for me to be done here, they will either throw me out or I will quit. If the time comes that it is important for me to start planning a way to stay home, I will know it when it comes. I have faith that I am on the path I need to be on and that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. That brings me a lot of comfort. Doesn't mean I don't get stressed out- and those days are the ones where I just have to focus on each choice, each step, each minute to get through the day. Photobucket

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Serious Subject

I apologize in advance if this post is confusing or doesn't flow or jumps around. This is free form blogging- I just don't know where it's going to take me but I know some of what I need to get out and I hope you'll bear with me. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It went on for a long time and a lot of bad things were done to me. It stopped when we moved out of state. I didn't tell anyone for another 7 years. When I did, I was believed immediately, never doubted. My parents supported me and loved me through a lot of very difficult and traumatic stuff. I work hard to learn about how to talk to my kids about protecting themselves. About fighting back. About telling. And about avoiding situations. It's incredibly sad and frustrating that it feels so impossible to cover all the bases, every topic, every angle. I learned an important lesson recently. It seems like so much recovery from abuse and messages about having been abused are focused on a warm and fuzzy kind of healing. The focus seems to be on not blaming the victim, not blaming yourself, avoiding guilt. But something became clear to me the other day... What if we change the focus to how we empower the people who have been impacted by abuse? "It wasn't your fault, you are blameless, you are loved..." What if there was a big emphasis on "What will you do next time? What have you learned and how can you change it?" I was talking with someone who expressed how much fear they still have and that it stems from what happened to them. Whenever I am in a situation where I am called upon to give advice or support, I pray first, I open myself up to be guided and say what needs to be heard in as true a way as I can. It suddenly struck me... The abusers are more afraid of the survivors than the other way around. And what if, instead of calming the fears, we face them head on? Instead of living in fear of the unknown, we try to define the unknown and plan what we can do about it? I have to admit- I've never thought about it for myself. I've never thought about what I would do if my abuser showed up at my house or I ran into him somewhere or he somehow contacted me. But if I was afraid... having a plan in place to know what my options are before the situation happens feels powerful. I still worry that I won't be able to protect my children. I feel confident that I am doing everything that I can to be as prepared as possible, to prepare them as much as possible, and to create an environment that encourages discussion and openness. Maybe my fears need to be faced head on. What would I do if... But I can't go there. I can't. It's beyond fear. It taps into something primal to think about someone else hurting my children and how I would have to try and pick up those pieces and put my child back together again. And that makes me realize how much respect and love and intensity and honor and connection I feel to mothers who have to live that role- including my own mother. Especially my own mother. For anyone looking for guidance on protecting yourself and protecting children, I highly recommend reading Gavin De Becker's books- Protecting the Gift and The Gift of Fear.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This N That

I've been exhausted all day so I'm not going to form many coherent thoughts this evening. So here's a bunch of random stuff! 1. I found a new TV show taht started last week on MTV called "If You Really Knew Me." I loooooove the premise of the show and you can watch it online and you realy need to go watch it. It airs Tues at 11 EST. 2. We went to the Farmer's Market this past Saturday as one of several errands to run. I only needed to pick up a bottle of lemon pepper dipping and cooking oil. It was pet day so I ended up VERY distracted. There were various rescue and humane groups there... which meant oodles of adoptable dogs. I've been around adoptable dogs before and it's been fine. They are nice dogs but there isn't that connection. Until now- when I met Trice. Teagan liked him and he liked Teagan. He liked Zach and Zach cracked up at anything that dog did. He's the kind of dog that looks into your eyes and not just at you. He hugged me- pushed his head up against my arm, gave me kisses. Jeff and I are discussing but we really aren't sure that we are ready for another dog or how that would impact Sassy. But... if you are in the Indy area and you've been looking for a dog... well, I highly recommend Trice. Or just go visit the Humane Society of Hamilton County and see if there is a dog or cat that's right for you. They've taken in hundreds of owner surrenders in the past few months and are over capacity and in desperate need of homes. 3. Saturday is going to be a great day! First, I get to go to a free Zumba session at 10. While I'm gone, Jeff is taking the kids to his parent's house for the day- big fun for them and date day for us! Jeff and I are going to spend the day at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. We can enjoy a nice lunch together and then walk around the museum without kids demanding, questioning, refusing, being loud... just hold hands, walk, view, take in, be together. Then we pick the kids back up by dinner time and get to enjoy that meal with Jeff's parents. 4. Had a really great time with Teagan on Saturday. She had been invited to 2 different birthday parties for that day. However, given all the issues we've had lately at home and school and even church with her behavior, I didn't feel that she had earned the opportunity to attend. So I had turned down the invites but said we would stop by and drop off a gift. Teagan handled a hectic morning really well so I told her we'd stay and let her play with her friends for a little bit. We talked about why she didn't get to do everything or stay the whole time at the party... and she seemed to understand. And she was an angel at the party. She never fought me when I encouraged her to speak to her friends, to wish the birthday girl "happy birthday," to thank the mom and dad for inviting her, to walk out with me when it was time to go. She handled it all so well and I made sure she knew how proud I was of her. It wasn't some big magic moment that has changed everything- but I do feel like we are on a verrrrrry slooooooow upswing and that things are getting better. How about you? What little bits and pieces are floating around for you lately? Photobucket

Monday, July 26, 2010

Your Amazing Life

One of the amazing things about connecting with other people is when you get to see a little glimmer of who they are outside of how you know them.

We all have milestones that define us, impact us, shape us, form us. We have positive and wonderful things that have happened. We might have tragedy and chaos behind us.

Sometimes, I am struck by the possibilities of each individual that I encounter and what their story might be.

I feel blessed when I am honored by learning about someone's past and how they've become who they are. I feel honored when I get to see a side of someone that isn't their norm.

Maybe it's finding out that the ultimate family man at church grew up in a rough neighborhood, surrounded by gang activity, making poor choices as his family struggled.

Or finding out that the slim and trim powerhouse of a petite woman at work used to be morbidly obese and lost it all through healthy eating and exercise and has kept it off for more than 20 years.

Or being blessed with a performance in church by an entire family that sings together.

I have my own background that I know is pretty amazing. I know my own positive and negative milestones that have helped me form into this person that I am today.

I've known financial struggle in my childhood. I've known the pain and rage of being a sexually abused child. I've experienced the loss of friendships due to an unexpected out of state move. I've made desperate and hurtful choices against my parents. I've been given the gift of an incredible education without attached debt. I've married for the wrong reasons and divorced for the right ones. I've found love that is indescribable with Jeff and our children.

When you see me in the grocery store, picking out Lean Cuisines from the giant freezer... there is no way to know that I have all of that inside me, behind me. When you cut me off on the highway, you can't possibly understand where I've come from. When you snap at me on the phone because I don't have the answer you want at work, you can't possibly get that your irritation and attempts to be hurtful are pretty laughable to me.

I have to remember the same holds true as I go out and see others. It isn't my business to know everyone else's story. But I do need to remember that everyone else has a story. Some people that I encounter are still in the midst of the struggles that are writing that story. Some people haven't yet found the path of better choices that will help them live that better life.

And if I'm lucky... as I get to know someone... as I gain respect for someone because of how they live their life... I might get to learn about their story and their amazing life that has brought them to this place.

How about you? How about your own amazing life or the amazing lives around you?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mothers Who Move Me: Anne


I know a lot of moms. I have a great mom. I have a grandma who is pretty awesome, too. I have mom friends at church and work. I know moms online through local community websites as well as through blogging. And a lot of these moms… really inspire me. I want to highlight these women and their motherhood. I want to better understand who they are and how they parent and what motivates them and who they are inspired by. Because I think all great moms deserve recognition.

This is Anne- with her lovely family (her son, Will, and her husband, Allen). I first met Anne when we crossed paths from time to time on a huge internet community for pregnancy and parenting. We got to know each other when we ended up on the same birth board- Will is the same age as Zach. I haven't stayed in touch with that birth board but I did make some friends on that board and we stay in touch on Facebook.

Anne always struck me with her wisdom and her faith.

She once gave me the greatest compliment- she said I was a woman who lived my faith and that she saw my spirituality through how I lived.

Anne is a woman, a mother, who moves me.

Unfortunately, sometimes tragedy defines who a person is. Tragedy can be something that helps us see who we really are and how we really live. Anne is one of those people. She very openly shared a tragedy on our internet community. It wasn't her openness that struck me and settled in this deep admiration. It was her faith and spirituality that came shining through. So often, tragedy means questioning faith. For Anne, her faith was what carried her through in a truly remarkable and inspiring way.

Anne is a busy a mother. She is Allen's wife, Will's mom, a senior pastor of a small church, a violin teacher, and caretaker to her own mother. In her "spare" time, she enjoys cooking and gardening.

Something I learned about Anne is that prior to having Will, she believed she was the kind of mom who would let her child "cry it out," would quickly switch from nursing to formula, would embrace her relationship with a frequent babysitter, and would have various pieces of equipment for carrying baby (stroller, for example). Instead, she followed her instinct and has ended up a "crunchy" mom who breastfeeds, babywears, homeschools, and attachment parents her son.

One of the reasons I admire Anne the way I do is that she is a woman of action.

She had a traumatic birth experience with her son. It impacted her relationship with her husband, her mothering of her son, and her son's first months of life.

As she recovered from it and worked to piece life back into a normal place, Anne decided to take action. She learned about ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) but had no local network. So she started one.

I asked Anne about faith and spirituality and mothering. As she said, this is a big subject for a pastor!

Here's what I know. Anne isn't a mom who just goes to church with her family and teaches her son different Bible lessons and goes about her life with an undercurrent of faith. Anne is a mom who lives her faith every single moment of the day. She knows and believes in her purpose and her relationship with God. Her focus is on her faith and her relationship with Christ is what guides her choices.

Anne is a wise mother- and gained her wisdom through the hard knocks of life. Growing up wasn't easy. She shared a story with me about learning to drive and saving up for driving school and having to abandon that plan and the impact that had on her in those formative teenage years and how that all came full circle when she met her husband.

I think anyone who has experienced hard times and learned from them, recovered from them, healed from them, grown out of them... is better and stronger for it. I know it is true for me- and I know it is true for Anne.

I asked Anne what she would want other mothers to know:

There is no right or wrong way to be a Mom for everyone out there, no blanket formula for parenting. Listen to the Lord and the best way to relate to your child's and family's needs will be revealed to you in due time. Your parenting style will be a little different from anyone else's, simply because your family and your child are unique. Follow your gut and nudging from God above anything written by experts or mentioned by well-intentioned friends and loved ones. God can help you to be the kind of mom that you are meant to be.

How do you define success in parenting?

Success in parenting to me means that I am doing what God wants me to do in relation to my child. I know when I've messed up because my gut tells me so. Luckily, I serve a forgiving God who is willing to extend grace, help me grow and show me how to do things differently. The ultimate goal is to raise Will to be a strong man of God who is able to live out God's dreams for his life.

Something else that I admire about Anne- and something that I have had to learn along the way- is that she practices what she preaches about her priorities. God, marriage, child, work. They are, of course, all connected. But something Anne learned in the course of parenting a high needs baby, of suffering a personal tragedy, of enduring a traumatic birth, of living with and later being an addict... through all of the life lessons that have been thrown in her path... is that her husband is her partner and the relationship with him needs care and attention.

Make your marriage a priority in your parenting. Talk with your spouse about how to keep your marriage first after God, while still meeting your children's needs. One day, your kids are going to grow up and leave the nest. You want to make sure that you still have spice in your marriage and that you still have a strong bond and communication with your spouse. Plus, modeling relationships as they should be to your children will help them to grow up and select healthy and fulfilling relationships for their own lives. It teaches them boundaries, love, respect, patience, faith, problem solving and many other indispensable skills. Take time for your marriage!

In many ways, Anne is like a soul sister to me. I can't say that we are close friends or that we even stay in touch regularly. We stay connected on Facebook but don't know each other in any sort of a truly intimate way.

However, through her openness, her life experience, her faith and spirituality, her gentle leadership, her wisdom, her grace...

She is a Mother Who Moves Me.


Saturday, July 24, 2010


There are several books that I consider to be classic children's literature that I love to read to my children. I can't swear that these were part of my own childhood because I honestly don't remember. But I know that these are books that are imprinted in my memory. And these are also books that I love to share with my children. Goodnight Moon is one that most anyone in this house can recite from memory at any time. It is the perfect "last story" to read just before tucking in. Mr. Brown Can Moo! is one that my mom and I used to recite to my brothers in the car on long car trips. We had it memorized and we really got into making all the different sounds that Mr. Brown could make. I remember one particular road trip where we had to do it many, many, many times to keep Ted entertained. Makes me appreciate and regret built in car DVD players. Mr. Shaw's Shipshape Shoeshop is a book that most people probably haven't heard of but it is a great book about a man and his shoeshop and about dreams. It has long paragraphs and fantastic hand drawn art. And my kids love to listen to the story and stare at those gorgeous pages of art. The Monster At The End Of This Book is a fantastic and fun story- Grover is terrified when he hears the title of the book and learns that there is a monster at the end of the book. He goes to great lengths to try and stop you from turning the pages and it all comes to an adorable end (of course). Corduroy. Who doesn't love Corduroy? A bear goes on an adventure in his department store but comes to realize that what he's always wanted is a home and a friend- and he gets both. Where The Wild Things Are is a book that has been one of my favorites for many years. I think I fell in love with it in high school or college. Teagan never took to it. She didn't dislike it but just really never picked it or cared to have it read. Zach, however, has come to love this book- just this week! He asks to read it, he gets excited when I pick it up, and he loves to recite it along with me. We talk about the pages that have no words- he likes to tell me what the Wild Things are doing during their rumpus. He also likes to joke at the end... before that last page... by telling me "It's not hot!" My favorite part is towards the end when Max realizes that he is "lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all." At this point, I always tell Zach that Mommy and Daddy love him best of all- and he grins at me and says "I love you, Mommy! And I love Daddy, too!" Then we have a fantastic little side conversation about all the people who love Zach and all the people that Zach loves, too. I posed the question on my Facebook fan page and on Twitter: Your fave book when you were a kid? What are your faves to read to kids? The answers took me on a nice little trip down memory lane and gave me a nice list of books to be certain to add to our bookshelf or library list. Curious George, Little House on the Prairie, If You Give a Mouse (series), How Do Dinosaurs (series), Nancy Drew (series), Hardy Boys (series), anything Dr. Seuss, Where the Red Fern Grows (I just re-read that one recently- one of my fave classics!), The Snowy Day (I love Ezra Jack Keats- Pet Show! is one our favorites), Sweet Pickles (series), anything by Robert Munsch, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (I still fantasize about staying overnight in a museum), A Cricket In Times Square, A Wrinkle In Time (another of my personal favorites), Skippyjon Jones (series- we have the first one and I love to read it!), Berenstain Bears, Ramona Quimby (series by Beverly Cleary), Sara Plain and Tall. And all those suggestions kept bringing other books to mind... Pippi Longstocking, Heidi, the Wind In the Willows, The Littles, Encyclopedia Brown, Anne of Green Gables, anything by Judy Blume, anything by Shel SilversteinMrs. Pigglewiggle, anything by Roald Dahl, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Madeline, Harriet the Spy... And more and more and more and more and more. How about you? What were your favorite books when you were growing up? What are your favorite children's books now? What about Young Adult Fiction (The Book Thief is one of my all time favorite books)? Photobucket

Friday, July 23, 2010

Welcome to Feel Good Friday!

Feel Good Friday is a weekly meme hosted by The Girl Next Door Grows Up (click the button above and go visit her!). She has been on a "blog-cation" this week and I offered to host her meme so she could sit back and relax. I really hope that her readers will come link up- and maybe some of mine will join in, too! Here's how FGF works: Choose a prompt, blog about it, link up below! The prompts: ◦Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things. ◦Write about something that happened to you this week that really made you smile. Was it your child, husband, or maybe a complete stranger did to you? ◦Write about something that YOU did for someone else that really made them happy or laugh. ◦Is there something you treasure so much that every single time you look at it, it brings you happiness? Post a pic and tell everyone about it. ◦Having a hard week and can’t find one good thing about it? Well then, what is your happy place? What do you think of that makes you happy? A past vacation? A childhood memory? We want to know! ***** I have to say that it has been a tough week. A tough couple of weeks. Certainly, things could be worse. But having achild who is in that negative place of acting out behavior every. single. day... it wears on you. It's hard on me, my husband, my son, my marriage, and on my daughter- even though she's the one making these choices. Last week, when it was really smacking me upside the head, I don't know that I could have responded to much very positively. I was very mired in the whole thing and spent a lot of time working it out, figuring it out, developing a game plan. It's a pretty typical way for me to handle a difficult time. The next pretty typical step for me is to try to find fun things. To be silly. Especially when I can't just be the fun mom with my kids- when I have to sacrifice fun times because my daughter hasn't earned the privilege. So the things that I have found happiness in this week include (but are not limited to): - Taking silly pictures of my haircut. - Watching Big Brother with my husband (it's an ultimate guilty pleasure for us and a fantastic way to escape... but it also scares us to think that our child might someday end up a reality TV show star). - White Sangria - Pay day - A Massage - My little boy refusing to let me kiss him... because he wants to kiss me instead! - Finding a way to help a friend - New running shoes (post to come on that- bought these shoes as a temporary pair until I figure out how to run) - Having a husband who is very serious about us parenting our children together - Watching the birds twitter about each evening in the trees outside my living room window - Laughing with friends -Normal phone conversations with my mom; I love that we are friends! ***** Your turn!! Focus on the positive! Feel good this Friday! Link up below!! Photobucket

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm No Martha

I am not a crafty person. I'm not artistic. Jeff is. Jeff can draw and build and create and design. I don't generally have the best ideas and when I do execute an idea that involves glue or paint or drawing... well, the results don't usually look like what I intend. However. That picture up there? I made that. And it is adorable. And tomorrow, I 'll share a picture of Teagan's adorable handprint butterfly. We are having an employee appreciation event at work today. They got everyone t-shirts. I wanted my kids' shirts to stand out from the crowd a bit. So we got fabric paint and.... My first thought was to write "I belong to Liz" or something. But I didn't trust my freehand with a paintbrush skillz. So then I decided we'd just do a couple of handprints on each shirt. And from there, it blossomed. That palm tree made from Zach's adorable little hand? I painted that tree trunk and the landscape. I painted- freehand- that flamingo. Give me a pencil and paper and ask me to create it again and it won't happen. But I made 2 adorable shirts. I had my crafty-artistic moment for the year. I still feel pretty confident that Martha Stewart's reputation is safe. *** I participate in 2 memes on Fridays. I've been doing Friday Fragments with Mrs4444 for a while now and started combining it with The Girl Next Door Grows Up's Feel Good Fridays over the past few months. The Girl is on blogcation this week so I offered to host Feel Good Friday- and she accepted the offer! I am very excited!! So please consider participating tomorrow. You can learn about Feel Good Friday here, get your post written, and then come link up tomorrow! Photobucket

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Snip, Snip!

Nothing like a haircut to help my baby boy look like he's almost fully grown. But with really smooshable, kissable cheeks. Teagan is very excited to have had 6 inches cut off her hair. I think this adds a couple of years to her- and really lights up her face! And I had about half of my length removed. But I couldn't find the best way to show off my new 'do...
Gotta love it when you accidentally zoom in...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trust Me

Jeff and I were very careful about our selection of Little Explorers as the preschool, Kindergarten, and child care program for our children. Just as we did when I was pregnant and we were seeking childcare for my return to work, we took our decision very seriously. When I was looking for childcare, I was looking for someone who would respect my parenting methods. I was looking for someone who would provide things that I didn't but that also matched the things we did at home. When I was interviewing pediatricians, I asked a lot of questions about philosophy and how different situations would be handled. When Jeff and I visited preschools, we nterviewed the Director, we asked lots of questions, and we often walked out knowing it wasn't the right place. Some places were a flat out "no way." Some were "if we don't find something better but it just isn't right." Then we walked into Little Explorers. It's small. It's privately owned. The owner is onsite and fully involved with the teachers and kids and parents. Lori's methods and philosophies and ideas and passion and intensity matched our own. Within minutes of walking in, we knew we'd found It. When I post stories about how things have played out at school, please trust me. Please trust, as I do, that when there has been a situation with my child that the staff involved have truly handled the situation well. Lori will never hire someone who can't or won't follow the appropriate and best practices. When I post a story about something that has happened at school, keep in mind that it's the 3rd hand or more version of the story. And that I don't have every single detail to share. But that I do trust that the teachers and staff at the school handle situations with my daughter (and soon, with my son) in the best and most appropriate manner that is best for Teagan's learning and development. In fact, I trust that they handle things more consistently and evenly at school than I do at home. There is an ongoing conversation between school and home. Just today, one of the teachers asked for my advice. "When Teagan just stares at you and refuses to answer about the choices she made, what do you do?" I'm very fortunate that this school not only already incorporates my own ideals about discipline and structure and growth but they are also open to and respectful of my own input. Some might say that I shouldn't be so blind. Some might say that I shouldn't be so trusting. Well, this is one area that you will have to just... trust me. *** I had some emotional stuff come up yesterday in regards to parenting my daughter. A lot more detail will come in a couple of weeks when I feature my friends Lindsey as a Mother Who Moves Me. I cried. I had this big moment of realization. I can't quite call it an epiphany because I still don't know exactly what to do with it. I'm sure I'll work some of it out when I'm writing up my piece on Lindsey. Quite often, I use this blog as a way of working through something I don't have answers for. Quite often, as I write, I find insight and understanding that I didn't have before. Sometimes, writing is a very deep, personal, and spiritual experience for me that I choose to share with you. Perhaps being so open and leaving myself so vulnerable leaves me open to attack or misunderstanding. Perhaps I shouldn't put so much of myself and my life out there. Some take my openness and misunderstand it for cockiness or egoism. I guess you will just have to... trust me. *** Sometimes I worry that I have painted a picture of my Healthier Me self that isn't completely accurate. I struggle. Sometimes, a lot. I've got the exercise thing still going. Maybe not with the same vigor as before. But I'm getting up, being active, and getting exercise about 4-5 times each week. I'm about 75% happy with my eating. I have an excuse each time. Vacation. Stress about work. Stress about parenting. More stress about parenting. But it's my choosing and it's my behaviors. I am focused on the positive- and there is a lot of positive. But there is a lot of negative that I don't share. There are after bedtime treats. There are quick little snacks at work. There are bad choices in restaurants. I'm not beating myself up. I'm not making excuses. This is my demon that I have to fight on my own. This is my battle, my choice. When I'm finding things that work, I share it. I talk about food and exercise that is working for me. Some people might notice that I haven't seemed as excited about running lately. Some might say that my oomph is gone. Some might wonder if I'm really living the things I say I am. I'm being as honest as I know how to be and I'm going to keep talking about what is working for me and I'm going to keep working through what isn't working for me. And someday... I hope to be able to completely... trust me. Photobucket

Monday, July 19, 2010

When The Rules Work

One of the really important things about having family rules is that they apply to the entire family. I had a big old ah ha moment about that yesterday. Teagan was testing limits in her obstinate, semi-snarky little way. I started to fly off the handle. She had talked back, shoved her brother, used mean words/attitude to him. That breaks the family rule "Respect Others." I started to point down the hall and yell and stand over her. I was prepared to pick her up and carry her to her room for her consequence- a brain break (time out). I got about 3 words out when I remembered those family rules. I literally said out loud, "NO. Wait. Stop. Family rules." I picked up the piece of paper and calmly came down to her level. I pointed to the broken rule- Respect Other People. I read the consequences at the bottom of the page and asked her to go take her brain break. Now, it wasn't magic. She didn't smile and say ok and walk to her room. She crawled. But she went. And I didn't get angry and we didn't end up in a blow up and meltdown situation. Later, it struck me that the most important part of that exchange wasn't that she realized the broken rule and accepted the consequence. The most important part of that situation was that I followed the family rules. I respected her. The last few days, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what kind of parent I want to be... how I want my kids to remember me... what I want my kids to learn from me about being a parent, a person. Yes, my daughter is going to need things that are outside of my comfort zone. She needs more structure and discipline than I had ever thought I'd have to give. But that doesn't mean we can't ever have fun. That doesn't mean I can't ever give in. That doesn't mean that I can't stay one step ahead of her. That doesn't mean that I have to be angry and enter into huge battles every time she tries to take me there. I'm keeping my copy of The 10 Commitments close by. I'm keeping the family rules close at hand. Respect Yourself. Respect Others. Respect Your Surroundings. Photobucket

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mothers Who Move Me: Mrs4444


I know a lot of moms. I have a great mom. I have a grandma who is pretty awesome, too. I have mom friends at church and work. I know moms online through local community websites as well as through blogging. And a lot of these moms… really inspire me. I want to highlight these women and their motherhood. I want to better understand who they are and how they parent and what motivates them and who they are inspired by. Because I think all great moms deserve recognition.

That is a face you might recognize. That is Mrs4444 of Half Past Kissin Time. I’ve been reading her for just about as long as I’ve been blogging, I think. I’m horrible at remembering how I find blogs and people. But I’ve been reading her for a while now and she is one of those women that I would just love to enjoy a few hours with on her back deck. She has a gift of warmth and welcome and humor on her blog. And when you get to know her a little better, you find out that she is an amazing woman.

She’s been married to her husband for 20 years. They have 2 children. Kendall (above) is starting her sophomore year of high school while Kyle is about to journey off to college.

Mrs4444 is a teacher. More impressive is that she is a middle school teacher. And even better… she’s a special ed teacher with extensive experience in students who have emotional-behavioral disabilities.

She is exactly the woman I would have worked with back when I was a social worker in therapeutic foster care. Each child had a care team that the social worker headed up. We would attend, arrange, schedule meetings, be present at court dates, meet regularly with foster parents, foster child. There were key adults in the life of any foster child- birth parents, foster parents, educators, therapists/support. Educators were vital to the performance and well being of those kids. A special ed teacher could make or break a foster child. Mrs4444 is one of those women that I would have loved partnering with and learning from when I was in the field.

Now that I am no longer a social worker but am instead a mom that faces challenges of parenting head on and seeks ideas and input from respected moms around me, I’m truly glad to know Mrs4444.

I asked her some questions about motherhood and life and such and found that she truly is the wonderful woman we’ve gotten to know through her blog.

I asked what she would tell her pre-motherhood self if she could…

You are going to be the type of mom every girl needs. You will be very close to your daughter and will have the relationship every mother hopes for. You will raise two beautiful, responsible, successful children who grow up in a healthy, loving environment. Relax. (Oh, and don’t worry--Kendall will be a wonderful baby and will NOT have colic (like her brother did.)

One thing that she and I have in common is that we both survived sexual abuse in our childhoods. When she shared with me that she was truly terrified that she wouldn’t be able to protect her daughter… I fully understood. I’ve certainly been there. I’ve personally handled it better than I thought I would as I approached certain topics and milestones. And I’ve had mothers who have helped to guide me through some of my fears.

I asked about her relationship with her husband and how that has impacted her mothering…

My husband is one of two kids, and I am one of nine with a large, extended family. I have the degree in Human Development and lots of experience with kids, so he mostly followed my lead when the kids were small. He gives me all the credit for our kids being so great, but we both know that he is an incredible dad, too; very involved, super-affectionate, and very open. We love each other, and the kids know it, which helps. Mark and I are on the same page (for the most part) when it comes to parenting, and if we aren’t, we talk about it to make sure we present a united front, compromising only behind closed doors. Early on, we were influenced by Barbara Coloroso’s book, Kids Are Worth It; it’s kind of been our bible.

Note to self: look up that book!

One thing I learned was that Mrs4444 grew up not having an emotionally open relationship with her mom (although she is close to her mom and loves and respects her deeply). It’s something she has talked about on her blog as well and she took important lessons from that. While she never felt comfortable talking about intimate subjects with her mother and her mother came from a “private generation,” Mrs4444 has focused on building an open relationship with her kids. Her kids know they can talk to her about anything. Her kids have seen her emotional side and how she handles different emotions.

I asked her what she thinks is an important thing about motherhood that she thinks others should know…

I think it’s important to know that if you haven’t dealt with your own childhood demons, you will not be the best parent you can be. If you were raised by a parent who had major issues (such as alcoholism, anger issues, etc.) it will affect you as a parent. Working on your issues with a professional could be the greatest gift you could ever give your children (not to mention your spouse!)

I completely agree. If I was still battling my personal demons… I feel like I’d be pretty worthless as a mom. That’s strong to say. But I couldn’t be as focused and here for my kids and husband without having gotten past a really ugly background.

I asked her how she would define success in parenting…

I think you’re a successful parent when your kids are happy, do their best in school, and respect others and the world around them. Successful parents have established boundaries for their children (their kids understand their role and that of adults.) All of this said, unhappy kids are not always the result of poor parenting. I have a lot of respect for parents of children with disabilities that make parenting especially difficult. In those cases, a parent who doesn’t give up, no matter what, has my utmost respect and admiration.

I have to admit I breathed a sigh of relief on that one. I’m working really hard to establish boundaries with my kids. I believe that this age, these early years, are when the foundation is laid to understand those boundaries. If I try to wait until they are in middle school… well, I’d be getting a lot of calls from teachers (or worse- the police or something. Eep!).

Finally, I gave her a chance to give any last bits of advice or quotes or inspiration…

It’s a child’s natural inclination to feel like they are the center of the universe. I think it’s important to teach kids boundaries and self-discipline. You have to think of your job as also preparing your children to be productive members of society, not just your family. (That is, unless of course, you plan to have them live with you forever.) In your intro, you mentioned that you’d like to know who inspired me as a mom. In addition to my own mom, I have also been very much inspired by people who are open with their emotions. I grew up holding a lot of secrets, and I have always been drawn to people who are willing to call call a spade a spade. My friend Terri’s mom, Ellen, was direct and (sometimes brutally) honest, and I remember being very inspired by her bravery and openness as a woman. She passed away a few years ago but is still a big part of the kind of mom I am today.

Whenever I post about one of my struggles with parenting, I always hope that Mrs4444 will swing by and offer advice. Whenever I share joys and successes in being a mother to my kids, I always hope that Mrs4444 is proud of me. She’s someone that I cherish for her opinion, insight, and experience.

She is one of the Mothers Who Move Me.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I’ve got a Fever! An Indiana Fever!

Last night, my family and I were hosted by One2One Network at an Indiana Fever game. Indiana Fever is our WNBA team (women’s pro basketball).

In college, I worked for the marketing group that did promotions at the basketball games. I loved being at all the Xavier Musketeer home games and I loved being part of the contests, giveaways, and other promos.

In high school, Jeff played basketball. And he played really well from what I’ve been told.

While it is in our past, Jeff and I both have basketball in our past. It’s something we’ve both enjoyed- but not together.

Friday morning, I was talking to Teagan about our plans for the evening. It struck me… that my daughter is going to grow up where it is normal for women to play pro ball. I was in college when the WNBA was born- and not without controversy or scoffing. But here we are in 2010 and women are still playing and teams are still playing and seasons are still going. While the WNBA might not be as popular as NBA games, the fact that there are teams and crowds and fans and players and coaches that my daughter can look to for athletic role models is pretty awesome.

Jeff and I aren’t really the “get up and go” kind of people when it comes to anything outside of a 5 mile radius from our house. Going downtown often feels like a bit of a hardship. It shouldn’t. From our house, there are at least 2 really easy routes down to Conseco Fieldhouse. Our drive was easy. Parking was easy- there was a lot right next door that was open for special event parking. The crowd was very manageable.

We made our way down to our seats- row 6, directly across the floor from the team benches. It was crowded but we had open seats next to us on one side and some room on the other side as well. Jeff made friends with the 2 women seated next to us- they could talk about the game and the calls and the shots. Good thing he made friends because sitting by the aisle with 2 young kids next to you can’t be terribly fun. They had to do the handing down of money and cotton candy… they had to stand up a few times when the kids had to potty. 1 of the 2 women- the one Jeff talked to the most- was a very vocal fan. My kids each took a turn studying her when she would get…. um… passionate. “You want some cheese with that WHINE?”

Fever a

fever b

fever d

Here’s what I loved… I loved watching these athletes. I loved the communication between the women- both verbal and hand signals and just eye contact. I loved the intensity on their faces. I loved watching them run and pivot and dribble and stop.

fever l

While Jeff and I enjoyed the game itself, the kids really enjoyed the distractions and entertainment that presented itself throughout the game. Most of all, they both were quite enamoured with the team’s mascot- Freddy Fever.

fever k

Don’t worry- he only uses the giant hands to make a loud clapping sound. He doesn’t wear them all the time or anything. And the gun thing behind him was way cool! When they would giveaway t-shirts, the Fever Hip Hop Team would hand throw shirts to the lower sections but that machine gun t-shirt thrower would shoot high up into the stands in a really cool rapid fire action.

I loved all the dancing. I love the music played at basketball games. I love the dance teams and half time entertainment. I love the crowd dancing. Heck, I love getting up and shaking my own booty.

There was the Fever Hip Hop Team- Fever Inferno. Loved their energy and how much fun they were having. Loved that there were boys who were dancing- and obviously enjoyed dancing. Loved that the team is made up of local high school and college kids!

fever o

fever c

They were just trying to make me jealous of how much hair they all have.

There was a half time show. I didn’t catch the name of the group but I sure enjoyed them! There was a woman who was obviously the leader of the group and then there were kids of all ages performing a bunch of dance routines. I loved it!

fever p

fever e

Plus, most of them wore yellow Converse and I am now totally wanting a pair!

fever r

And what is the one thing that everyone gets excited about at a big sporting event? No- I’m not talking about the cotton candy (although we did enjoy a bag). No- I’m not talking about the beer (didn’t have any of that). No- not the concessions or fan gear.


Everyone wants to be on that big screen, right? We all love hearing stories of marriage proposals via jumbotron. We laugh at the people dancing, we aawwwww at the babies, we giggle when someone sees themselves and starts pointing and bouncing up and down.

When we went to the Tin Caps minor league baseball game in Fort Wayne, our family made an appearance on the big screen during “dance cam.” They played music and people got up and danced. Jeff had Zach on his lap and was dancing with him and there we were- on the big screen. To this day, Teagan insists we weren’t up there because she wasn’t dancing. And, for the record, I was the goober who saw us and started pointing at the screen going “there we are! there we are!”

Well, it happened again. This time, there was a celebrity at the event. I think it was Carlos Diaz- of TV’s Extra! Towards the end of the game, he was being interviewed on the floor down in front of us. We were in the crowd between his head and the host’s head up on that giant screen.

Unfortunately, you can’t capture clean images of that screen with a camera. But we are there in between those heads. I circled Jeff and Zach to help you out…


I tried to zoom in… the yellow arrow is pointing to Teagan and I as we stare up at the screen. She’s staring up, I’m taking a pic. The blue arrow is Jeff with Zach on his lap. Jeff is taking Zach’s hand and “making” him scratch, touch, and pick that guy’s nose. Yes, he really is this funny all the time.


It was a late night for my kids but they really handled it all very well. It was loud and flashy and exciting and late and while it took some adjusting to take it all in, they were both all caught up in it by the end.

fever m

fever n

Jeff and I decided that we definitely want to go again. Next time, we plan on it being a date night. Down for a 7 p.m. game and then dinner downtown after (like at Scotty’s Brewhouse which is right down the street). I had friends in the crowd- a Mom friend from a local online community, one of my fellow Fit City Mom Bloggers, and one of Teagan’s preschool teachers was there (and sitting just 2 rows in front of us!).

I was surprised at how empty the seats were, to be honest. It was a really fun event. I love watching basketball. I love people watching at sporting events. I love the entertainment and the food and the atmosphere. It was so much easier to get there and park and get inside than I had thought it was going to be.

I really encourage you to go to a game sometime. Best of all, the WNBA really wants you there, too!

Follow the link below and you can take advantage of a special offer to buy one ticket (valued $23 or more), get one free! I checked it out last night. You won’t get to pick any game and any seats for the offer. Go to the link and see what games are available and then it finds seats that are part of the promotion and makes you an offer and then you have about 5 minutes to decide if you want to buy them or not. So go into it when you are serious about buying those tickets! If I took advantage of the offer and had taken the seats that came up for me last night, I would have ended up in almost the same seats we were in last night and my cost would have been around $60 total (2 tickets and fees and I had selected best seats available).

Just go to , enter promo code WNBABLOG to purchase tickets and experience the WNBA's exciting, family-friendly, entertainment! You will need to create an account in order to use the code, simply enter your email address, create a password – and discount!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Feel Good Fragments: Fun Edition!

Mommy's Idea

After a week filled with parenting stress, I think I need to have some serious fun today! Head over and visit our lovely hosts by clicking the buttons above. *** Driving home from church last night, the kids and I were listening to one of my Glee soundtracks. They love the remix of the Olivia Newton John classic "Physical." They sing along and dance and have a great time. As we're singing along, Zach starts yelling, "Look at me, Mommy!" I look in the mirror and he's wiggling away in his carseat. He gleefully tells me, "I make my body talk!" *** We had our weekly Ab Blast class at the gym on Wednesday at noon. This week, there were a total of 3 of us in the small class (we usually only have 3-4). We all work together or at least for the same company. We are nearing the end of the workout and our trainer has us doing this exercise. Legs out straight, lay on your back with arms extended over your head. Sit up straight and reach for your toes. Then sit up to sitting and curl back to laying down. About the 3rd time through the exercise- which requires quite a bit of core control and strength- I do the one thing that most everyone is afraid of doing in a group fitness class. Yup. You know it. I farted. Loudly. Good thing belly laughs are good for your abs! *** I've been very touched by the messages I get and see where someone gives me any ounce of credit for them making healthier choices. It started an idea. Then my friend Lety posted about an evening walk she took with her family and my little idea came to full on "must do!" Step One - Become a "fan" on my Facebook page. Step Two- Sunday evening, go for a walk. Go by yourself, with friends, with your family. Go to a park or in your neighborhood. Step Three- Take a camera or camera phone with you. Step Four- Take random pics on your walk of the things that capture your attention. Step Five- Come share your pictures on the Facebook page by posting the pics or by blogging about it and sharing the link. We'll all be taking an evening walk together! As a reminder, I'm going to post an event on my Facebook page and I invite you to join in. Let's all go for a walk, a run, a stroll, a bike ride. Get out with the family and then share it! *** In case you missed it, I blogged at Fit City yesterday about ways that my Healthier Me choices are starting to influence my family and the ways I am seeing evidence of those influences in their choices. I'd love it if you'd pop over, read, and leave a comment! *** New Feature will be starting this Sunday on Eternal Lizdom... Mothers Who Move Me. Don't miss it!! *** What are your weekend plans? We are headed to our first ever Indiana Fever game tonight! This is our WNBA team and my family is going as a guest of the Fever thanks to One2One Network. Best of all- this means a discount ticket offer for you! Details coming soon! Saturday, Jeff is out of town all day. I plan to get up early and head to the park for another 30 minutes of running form work with the Couch to 5K Week 1 workout to guide me. The kids and I plan to meet up with Jeff's parents and some out of town family for lunch. Then we have a swimming, bounce house and general fun playdate with a mom friend and her family. Other than that, we'll just be avoiding the heat as best we can for the weekend! *** Oh? Have I not talked about my new running plan? Silly me... well, it will just have to wait until I can dedicate a blog post to it now!! HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Photobucket