Monday, March 30

Things I've learned...

In the last week, I've learned...

* I like spring way more than winter.
* Sometimes, no matter how many years you've been away from someone, you pick up right where you left off...even if you're not sure where that was exactly.
* You don't know what someone means in your life until they aren't around anymore.
* Sometimes silence is a conversation.
* Exercise can be therapy.
* My almost six year old is reading at 2nd grade level...amazing.
* My dog sheds a LOT of hair. It's annoying.
* There are more chickens in the world than people.
* Conversations with a six year old can be way more interesting than conversations with an adult.
* 45% of dollar bills you'll ever own have been in a stripper's g-string.
* "Submitting" does not mean you're weak, it just means you're willing to admit you may not have the right answer all the time.
* My parents don't have all the answers and sometimes need help finding the right ones.
* For some, the fear of acceptance can be more overwhelming than the fear of death.

It's been an interesting week...

Sunday, March 29

Time with my guys

Friday and Saturday were filled with time with my two lil' boys. My two "lil' boys" who seem to become more and more like lil' men each day.

Maxwell is changing so fast. He's is a hilarious addition to our family and makes me laugh hard at some of his antics. He makes silly faces without meaning to and says things with such attitude that I end up laughing instead of correcting him. This will get dangerous, I already know. His latest one is where he makes the "ugggh" throat noise and rolls his eyes like a sixteen year old girl when I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do. Yeah. Cute now...not in a few years.

Payton has literally grown so much in the last month. He's at least an inch taller than he was Valentine's Day. He's so big and he's so independent. He is making his own mind about what clothes he wants to wear and he even asked me to shave his head this week. Not how I want his hair, but it was his choice, so we did it. He's very happy with it...while I'm waiting for it to grow out some more.

They're both such lights in my day for very different reasons. God knew that I needed them both in my life. And I love having them.

Thursday, March 26

Money Stress

And not just for Matt and me! I wish we could just pack up and move to a self-sustaining farm somewhere, but I know that's not possible. So, we stay. We deal with the stresses as they come and trust God we'll make it through. What else can we do? We're dealing with out own issues, but beyond that, we're seeing the effects of the money stress all over the place!

I was informed last week that our YMCA will be closing. My beloved Y. Where I've spent over 500 hours in the last year. (Wow, that's a lot of hours!) But it's more than a place to exercise, it's a place to make friends. And no one dresses skimpy to exercise there. And the childcare workers are AMAZING with my boys. They care about them (or fake it REALLY well). Some of my favorite daily interactions are at the Y. And with the doors closing on April 24th, I will lose a piece of my life.

I've already transfered our membership to another branch, but it won't be the same. Nothing will be the same as the "family" at the Y. We all know each other...

Beyond the Y, and the raising gas prices, I've had two friends in the last week tell me their husbands are out of a job, one more telling me her husband only has 3 months max left at his job and a few more are terrified of what they next wave of "cut backs" mean for their families.

The stress is being felt. All over Roseville, Michigan, the US and probably a good part of the world. I hope it makes a turn around soon.

Wednesday, March 25


Thank you for all the kind words and positive thoughts. It's great to know that I have so many people who care and are supportive. One of the reasons I love you guys so much! It helps to stoke the fire under my rear end, yet provides the comfort I need. I promise to keep moving towards my goal, and keep you all "in the loop".

Tuesday, March 24


I have a confession. I'm confessing it because I need support. I'm not one to ask for help often, so when I do, it's serious. I'm sure my friends know that about me by now. And since (mostly) only my close friends read this, I need to share.

I'm in a slump. 99% of it has to do with the way I feel about myself physically. I feel fat. I feel ugly. I feel disproportionate. I feel out of place and awkward almost everywhere I go. I'm uncomfortable in my own skin. I know most women go through this at some point in their lives, and approaching the big 3-0 MUCH faster than I'd like, I'm feeling it hard.

It's affecting my life in a lot of ways, and while I'm good at faking self-confidence, I'm doing just that - faking it.

But I'm not sitting idle waiting for my body to change itself. I'm watching what I eat (maybe too well), I'm working out at least 5 days a week and I'm changing up my routines. Maybe that's the hardest part. That I'm really trying and not seeing results. In fact seeing some opposite results in some cases.

So what I need from my friends (and family) is just thoughts and prayers in the positive. I'm sensitive, I'm crying easily and I'm feeling bad about myself. It's not good as a mother, a wife or a woman. Pray that I can see a change...or that my outlook changes. Somethings gotta give. Soon. Thanks.

Monday, March 23

Whew, it's been awhile!

Sorry it's been so long. Last week was busy and the weekend even busier!

Wednesday, my father came into town for a visit. We spent Thursday in Ann Arbor at Zingerman's enjoying a great lunch, good gelato and loving company. We took both boys with us and while Maxwell was a handful, they both did really well.

On the way home, I fell asleep in the car and realized I wasn't doing all that well. Maybe I was just getting a slight bug. By Friday morning, that bug had reared it's ugly head and I was full on sick. I took Payton to school and left within 5 minutes (that NEVER happens!) and was home and in bed.

Matt and my dad and Max went out to breakfast and my dad left. I'm sorry I didn't get to say goodbye, nor did we really get any one-on-one time this trip or time to talk. That was disappointing, but circumstances as they were, it just didn't happen.

I slept about 5 hours on Friday throughout the day and my Mother In Law came to get the boys for the weekend. I woke up just an hour before an event Matt and I were to be at and I was feeling queezy but good enough to go.

Matt and I arrived at the marriage seminar with plenty of time to spare and hung out waiting for friends to arrive. Turns out she's sick too (still is) and they weren't able to join us. It was an interesting seminar called "Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti". We spent half of Saturday at the seminar as well and enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot. The church hosting it did a great job!

Saturday afternoon, we met with a couple from our church to get appointed a "Mentor Couple". We're hoping to start meeting with someone within a month. They'll be friends, listeners and people to bounce ideas off of and say "Been there, done that, try it this way."

Sunday, we worked in the yard and spent time outside. Overall, it was a relaxing weekend where we learned a lot about each other individually and as a couple. Definitely helpful and meaningful.

Today, I'm ushering in the first full week of spring with a clothesline of cloth diapers! YEAH FOR SPRING!!!

Note to husband: the first hook on the tree needs moved up and over about 3". The line is sagging in the front.

Tuesday, March 17


Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I hope you all have a fantastic day. No green beer for me. But we'll have green pancakes.

If you want a good laugh, check out this website. It's my daily dose of comedy.

This is my current favorite:

Me: “Hey! What can I get you?”

Special Needs Adult: “I would like a hamburger and a hamburger and a hamburger and a hamburger.”

(An agitated customer who has been standing in line behind the group the entire time chimes in.)

Customer: “He would like four hamburgers. Can we hurry this up?”

Special Needs Adult: “No! I would like a hamburger and a hamburger and a hamburger and a hamburger.”

Customer: “Oh my god!”

Me: “So if I got this right you would like a hamburger and a hamburger and a hamburger and a hamburger?”

Special Needs Adult: “Yes, that’s right!”

Me: “You know what I think you need? A high five!”

Special Needs Adult: “You know I do!”

(I high five the guy over the counter and the other three all take a turn getting a high five.)

Customer: “This is just ridiculous!” *storms out of the store*

Saturday, March 14

Beautiful Time of Friendship

It used to be that Tiffany and I took Payton & Nate to the zoo every week. That was three four five years ago. Now, life has gotten in the way for both of us and we can go MONTHS without seeing each other. And the kids haven't seen each other since Halloween. It's been too long.

Today, we made it work. We both made it to the zoo, neither terribly more late than the other, with two kids each. It's a miracle really.

We spent the day walking and talking about all the wonderful things that used to be and about all the wonderful things our children have become. It's rather obvious God knew what he was doing when he made us friends when Payton was only 15 months old. (That picture on the left is P & Nate in October 2004.)

You see, Nate is Tiffany's Maxwell. And Lydia is Tiffany's Payton. God knew that if Tiffany had Nate and I had Max at the same time, we'd both be locked in a padded room. He gave us the chance to support each other and rewarded us for it with friendship...and only one trying child each. ;) (Picture on the right is Max & Lydia today.)

The kids have grown up together and for a time it was as if they were family we were together so much. The amount of time has changed, but the relationship between the kids has only grown.

Nothing can compare to a day at the zoo with "family". Especially "family" you can't get enough of.

Friday, March 13

Date Night: Payton-style

Impromptu, but totally amazing non-the-less, I had a great date night with Payton tonight. And while we were out Matt & Maxwell had their own time at Red Robin & Chuck E Cheese.

It all started because Payton was supposed to hang out with Daddy tonight, but when he found out I was going to the salon to get my haircut, he wanted to tag along. Now, don't read into this thinking that P loves hanging out with me so much he'd go to the salon and sit for an hour. He does it for the ladies. He LOVES the girls that work at London Calling Salon and they LOVE him. They sit and color with him, help him with his hidden picture books and give him gum. What more can a lil' man ask for?

After my haircut, which looks great by the way, we went to the Y. Again, not because he wanted to hang out with me. No, I had my Drums Alive class. He wanted to again, hang out with the ladies. He likes to go play board games and color with the college-age child care workers there.

Finally, after his dates with other women, I finally got some quality time with my lil' charmer. Per his request, we went to American Pie, an all you can eat pizza place. We talked about school, friends, played "I Spy" 400 times, and ate lots of fun types of pizza (Coney, Mac & Cheese, Buffalo Chicken, and Loaded Baked Potato). We finished our night with a successful "go" at the Claw Machine Game and then hit up the movie store on the way home.

It's the nights like these, that I see such growth in my lil' man. He's so random and sporadic, yet so well-mannered and thoughtful. Several times during our date, where he sat next to me in the booth, not across from me, he leaned on my shoulder and gave me a kiss. Sneaky lil' ways to make sure I know he still loves me.

Tuesday, March 10

Speaking of Leaps...

Leapfrog is having a pledge drive on how many minutes you'll read to your child for March, reading month. Another blog I visit, Green & Natural, is giving away a LeapFrom Tag system if you pledge! Be sure to visit for your entry!

Make the leap

I did it. I swore I wouldn't, but I did. It seems that a lot of my friends have done it lately. And I wasn't getting the responses I used to. heck! Even my husband's doing it. So...I did it.

I. Joined. Facebook.

I just had to see what all the hype was about and how it worked. Visit me there, or here...or email me...whatever. I'm everywhere now I guess.

Monday, March 9

Spring is...springing?

Today I walked outside to a beautiful sight! My tulips are sprouting! They look beautiful and healthy and vibrant against the muddy brown soil. I'm so excited to see something green in those flower beds. It won't be too long before they're more than just an inch or two tall, starting to open and even flowering. Ahhh, it's nice knowing that the winter will be ending soon.

We put up a bird feeder on the side of our house this week too. We hung it outside the kitchen window in our neighbor's tree. When I got back from the gym today, there were several black birds and a few finches in the tree. I saw a red headed finch and a yellow bellied finch. There was also a Pine Siskin Finch (had to look that one up, Mom). I'd never seen one of those before! It was beautiful! I'd love to put up a real bird feeder just for Finches. They're such pretty birds.

Another sign of spring? Max stands by the front door asking to go outside. And when we do, he gets muddy.

Saturday, March 7

Soaking wet & loving it!

We had plans for today that sounded wonderful until the rain started. It was just to wet to go to the zoo. Around 11am, we finally decided to do a little letterboxing. It was due to rain later again, and although overcast and cold, it wasn't awful.

We packed some snacks and headed up to Wolcott Farm where our box is planted. We checked on it and were pleased to find a few new entries! Maxwell couldn't leave without seeing the "moo cows". We went into the barn and there were a few young ones and one that was probably born yesterday or today. He was so cute with them. We saw a few other animals and on our way back, Maxwell fell in a huge puddle soaking himself from the waist down. We went into the restroom area and I dried his pants as best I could in the hand dryers. When we were satisfied he wouldn't be too cold, we went on our way.

We decided to try for another letterbox that is in that area. We'd read all about it and were really excited as it's a great story and it seemed like a fun walk. We started out and had a good time all along. Maxwell was riding on my back in my carrier (Lauren, I found my Ergo!!) and Matt and Payton went off on their own to find the 2nd in a series of 3 letterboxes. Just as they did, the downpour started... and didn't stop.

We were almost 3/4 of a mile from the car and we didn't know how far it was to the final box in the series...we didn't have a choice, we had to head back. As we did, Maxwell started screaming...he was getting soaked. We all were. Matt and Payton ran ahead and I did the best I could to get back to the car with Max on my back without falling in the mud or on the ice.

We finally made it and sat in the car for 15 minutes warming up and calming down. What a crazy trip that was! We had a great time as hectic as that one period of downpour was, and we're anxious to go back and finish the series.

When we came home, we all put on our pjs and had "Breakfast Dinner" where we used our Belgian waffle maker and let the kids make their own waffles. We convinced Payton to finally see Madagascar 2 and we all relaxed on the couch for awhile before putting the kiddos in bed an hour past bedtime.

Overall, it was a great day, with just a few soaking wet hiccups in our plans.

Payton's Pennies

A few years ago, Payton discovered "pressed pennies" AKA smashed pennies. He loved the first machine we let him try at COSI in Toledo, Ohio and he was hooked. We bought him a book and he filled it quickly. When family and friends found out about Payton's collection, they started seeking them out on vacations and trips and it wasn't long before we had quite a collection.

Last week, when I met with Tiffany, she gave me a few that she had gotten for Payton on a recent trip to Frankenmuth, MI. Today, when I found them on my dresser, I put them in his book...filling his third smashed penny book.

His most notable pennies are one of the World Trade Center from his Auntie Jenn and some from Hawaii from Matt's trip there last year. We have pennies from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Illinois, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina & Colorado.

Thank you to all who have gotten him pennies on your travels. He loves them and loves to hear about where they are from. We look up the locations online sometimes and talk about what he could see if he went there. Thanks!...and we're working on our fourth book, so keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, March 4

Living Life to the Max

Funny Stories of Life with Maxwell
These happened just in the last few weeks.

1) On the way to pick up Payton from school, I noticed Maxwell in my little mirror. He appeared to be picking his nose. Since he's been sick lately, there's a lot to pick. Yuck. I know. So, I said "Maxwell, stop it! We don't pick our nose!" I look around for a tissue to hand him, but while driving, I don't have one handy. I glance back to check him again just in time to see him look intently at his finger to analyze the situation. Before I can say anything, he quickly puts the finger in his mouth. All that I could do was say "Gross!! Don't do that!"

Maxwell's reply? "I like it!!!"

2) Most of the afternoon on Tuesday, I'd been looking for Maxwell's milk cup. And I knew that I had purchased a new bone for the dog that I also couldn't find when I was vaccuming. It doesn't take much to figure out that there is a collection going on. Maxwell does these from time to time. He gathers up things like that look like fun and put them all together in one place...but where is that place this time? Throughout the day, I ask him a few times, with no valid response given. Finally, the boys are in bed. I finish up my daily chores, set the laundry to fluff and suddenly hear a loud knocking noise. Yep. Milk cup (spoiled by now), dog bone and a few other random toys are all in the dryer.

Monday, March 2

For Mrs. McCoy

She's been asking about the pictures for Max's room and when I showed her the blog today she asked about my squares in the living room. She's heard about them, but not seen them.

So, Lindsey, here they are. Completed by me in November 2008. Framed by Matt. 5 colors pulled from our living room furniture. Let me know when you're ready to paint ;)

Sunday, March 1

Finished it!!

I've been working hard on Maxwell's room trying to get it decorated. As with many things, he's obsessed with the shape of a circle, I'm sure because it's like a belly button. Since he was just over 1, that's been his favorite shape. And he has fallen for the color green (and orange) too.

Using his passions as inspiration, I created this for him:

I chose the colors I wanted based on his birthday cake & balloons. It seemed to go so nicely together. Then, I made circles out of cardboard using different size bowls I have. I went with about 5-6 different sizes. When I was ready, I traced them on the walls, then went through with little bits of paper and wrote the color they should each be so that I wouldn't have too many of any one color in one area. Then I went to painting. It took me a total of about 4 hours spread out over two days. Some required second coats, but most covered pretty well the first time.

He was VERY happy and wants to show everyone his circles in his room. I'm glad it went so well and he's so happy!!