December 30, 2006

Alive and Well

I'm here in Reno and have been enjoying my time with family and friends very much. I've eaten way too much food and we've taken advantage of the free babysitting privledges every moment they've been offered. Awesome-ness. Christmas was fantastic and we're leaving tomorrow for Atlanta, Georgia to play for a break out group at Passion 07'. I'm so excited to have some alone time with my hubby and they are putting us up in a nice hotel, so, you know... free towels and mini toiletries and stuff! woo woo!

These next 5 days are going to be rough, however, because it's the first time we both have been away from Ezra that long. I know the grandparents will do great, but the thought of not seeing Ezra's little smile for 5 days?!? HEARTBREAKING. The other night we left him over at Chris' parent's house overnight, and I collapsed into bed at 11:00 crying like a baby because I missed him so much and suddenly had this overwhelming thought that Ezra didn't know how much I loved him. I was saying ridiculous things like, "I think he thinks I think he's annoying!" through sobs while Chris gently patted my back and whispered "He knows you love him, honey..." Chris must have been thinking I'd finally blown a gasket as I slobbered into my pillow and ranted about being a horrible mom...

It didn't help that we watched the movie 'Click' that night-- the one where Adam Sandler misses out on his family because he gets a remote control that will fast forward him through all the gunk of life, and one of the last scenes is him lying on his back in the rain muttering "Family first, Family first, Family ALWAYS first..."


Anywho- I'll try to write while I'm there. It's going to be an amazing experience and I can't wait to get there and begin. More posts about the horrific plane/airport experience and our wonderful Christmas to come soon.. Happy New Year!!

December 20, 2006

We make him dance for his Food.

Plane and Simple.

I'm sick. my head feels like its puffed up like a balloon and I'm pretty sure there's enough pressure in there to propel a small locamotive. It's very rare for me to get sick, and of course the one time I do, it attacks right before I'm meant to board an airplane. If any of you who live in the states between Oklahoma and Nevada hear loud screaming overhead on Friday, it very well could be me on my flight- hollering in pain because the pressure was intensified one billion percent on takeoff. (Just a friendly heads up.)

We leave for home on Friday and I can't wait to see everyone. We'll be in Reno until the 31st, and then we are flying to Atlanta, Georgia (Ezra-less!) because Joel, Chris, and I are leading one of the 'break-out groups' at Passion '07 this year. (wooooo woooooo!!!) I plan to take many pictures and come back with many stories to tell. After that, we fly back to Reno again, pick up Ezra from the grandparents, and then fly back to Oklahoma the very next day... eek.

For the plane ride, we went and bought some fun toys at the 'Dollar Store' today, and since the selection was somewhat limited, Ezra ended up with a handful of Little Mermaid Stamps and some watermelon scented 'fun-dough'. I found them right next to a sponge in the shape of a credit card that you put in hot water and watch grow into a huge-normous Platinum Visa with the name 'Mrs. Spender' on it. Classy! We will also have the beloved DVD Player and perhaps a benadryl or two on hand in case of a total mid-flight meltdown. I think we've pretty much got all the bases covered.

But no matter how "prepared" I think I might be, I know that traveling with a toddler will always be challenging and unpredictable. Kindof like wrestling a giant boa-constrictor in the jungle. Only, you're not in a jungle- you're in a small airborne craft full of people who expect you and the boa-constrictor to keep your voices down so they can listen to thier iPods in peace.

December 19, 2006


My dear friends Seth and Skylana had a gorgeous little baby girl named Arabella on Sunday, and I am so happy and excited for them both. She had a long and triumphant labor at home, and all of this is bringing back to my mind the sweet, precious moments leading up to my own son's birth and the unforgettable emotions Chris and I both shared on that day.

The only way I can describe giving birth is this overwhelming sense that I had accomplished much in a very short amount of time, and that I would never, ever be the same. The moment all the pain was over and I was holding a wiggly stranger in my arms, I felt a huge wave of strength wash over me and it hasn't ever quite left me since. Not that I was suddenly this superwoman who could handle anything this baby could dish out, (quite the opposite), but that I was somehow stronger underneath- like my foundation had been reinforced and I had more solidarity and substance to me than just 8 short hours earlier. So, since I've never shared my experience with labor here before, I thought I'd do that now.

I started having contractions that were sporadic and not too intense during the day, so I walked around alot and even went to my friend Jessie Cheatwood's baby shower that afternoon. By the time evening rolled around, they were getting more intense and coming only a few minutes apart, so Chris and I grabbed the hospital bag that had been packed and ready to go for 4 months and headed out the door. We got to the hospital at 11:00pm that night and they showed me to a room that was small and had no shower in it. (They were really busy that night.) By this point, I was really uncomfortable, and the nurse checked me and unsympathetically told me I was only 1 cm dilated and should probably go home and come back in the morning. Luckily, my friend LeeAnn was there to help coach me through the birth, and she was able to calm me down and let me know that I didn't have to go anywhere if I didn't want to. We decided to stay.

Well, my contractions were intense, and we finally convinced the nurse to check me again an hour later. In 60 minutes, I had gone from being dilated 1 cm all the way to 5 cm. The nurse was shocked and started taking me a little more seriously after that. They moved me to a better room with a shower, and I spent a lot of time in that shower sitting on a big yoga ball after that. Less than an hour later, I was at 8 cm. It was happening so fast, which was good, but it was also very very intense. My body was having a hard time catching up and I felt out-of-control for the most part. LeeAnn and Chris were AMAZING, though, and they helped me stay focused enough to get through each contraction one at a time. I was begging for drugs, but was dilated too far for an epidural. They gave me a dose of 'Stedol' to calm me down in between contractions so I could catch my breath. My water broke soon after that, and my midwife still hadn't arrived because the nurse hadn't called her in time. The nurse kept saying it would still "be awhile", but Ezra had other plans.

After my water broke, things started progressing super fast, and my body was telling me that I needed to PUSH. The nurse, however, was trying to get me to NOT PUSH because the midwife wasn't there yet. Finally, LeeAnn leaned over and told me that if I needed to push, I needed to push- and not to let the midwife's absence stop me. So, I started pushing. I only had to push 3 times, and Ezra was born and in my arms. I was in shock that he was suddenly HERE. The nurses were freaking out about how long his eyelashes were, and the first thing I said was "I could totally do that again." HA!

Ezra was born at 4:00 AM- weighing in at 6lbs 8oz and 21 inches long. Long and skinny, just like his daddy. The time at the hospital after he was born is completely surreal, and I remember sleeping a lot and being surprised that this baby really did need to eat every hour or two. I remember the first time we were all asleep in the room together, and Ezra woke up in the middle of the night, and I felt like I had no idea what to do and kept hoping the nurses would come in and tell me. It was like getting hired to be an Electrical Engineer even though I'd gone to school for 'Recreational Administration' or something... I had NO idea what I was doing, but I had to figure it out quick because it was suddenly my job. 22 months later, I still feel like that sometimes... although I'd like to think I'm getting a little better as I go... hehe.

December 15, 2006

Growing Pains.

I've decided today that I want to grow my hair out again.

I think...


Most Definetly! (or not.)

this is the longest my hair ever got... it was right after I had Ezra.

Is this a good idea? Or am I just one of those 'short haired' kind of people? I do like short hair, but sometimes I get bored with it, you know? Oh, and if it is a good idea to grow it- I'm gonna need some serious help. Because, when I have bad hair days, I will usually just shut myself in the bathroom with a pair of scissors and CHOP CHOP CHOP like it ain't no thang. I'm going to need strict punishment and hoardes of accountability if I plan to grow my hair more than 1 inch past where it's at now.

what to doooooo????

PS. As I was looking for a 'long hair' picture, I came across this: (click on the picture to make it bigger)

Ezra's bellybutton used to be in the shape of a perfect STAR. How crazy is that?!

Emery Explosion.

I've always loved having my name. I love that I was named after some old man in a movie. I love that it's a unique name, but not TOO unique-- like Shanaqkwahleeanna or Fidget or something. I love that it's typically a man's name and I love how no one ever believes me when I tell them that.

I love how no one else I know has the same name as I do.

But that all changed a few days ago.

First, I learned that someone who goes to my church, whom I don't know personally, just adopted a baby girl named Emery Lou.

The next day, while talking to my friend Ryan, I discovered that another couple just had a baby girl and they were all excited about the name they 'found'. Yep... another mini Emery.

The day after that, I was sitting in the play area at the mall watching Ezra poke the foam dog in the eyes, when I heard a mom and dad talking to their little girl who was about 4 years old. Her name? Shanaqkwahleeanna. HAHA just kidding. Her name was Emery.

I feel sortof sad about this. Although, I always knew this day would come. I'm lucky to have made it 24 years without ever bumping into another female Emery in my life. Actually, that's not true. I was at the mall a few years ago when I still lived in Reno, and there was this little blonde girl who couldn't have been more than 3 years old playing on the chair next to me. Her mother was sitting a few tables away, and she kept looking right at me and saying, "Emery! ... Emery! ... HEY! Are you LISTENING to me, Emery?!" And I was feeling really confused and I kept just trying to smile and wave at her- and then she was looking all confused, and- well, it turns out the little girl was an Emery and I ended up looking like a creepy doofus in need of supervision.

Come to think of it, the only other Emery I've ever met happened in a very similar situation. I was in a college textbook store in California, buying some books for the semester, when one of the ladies that worked at the store told a customer that her employee could help her find the book she needed. The woman turned and was looking right at me and she said, "Emery! This girl needs help finding such-and-such a book. Show her where it is please." I remember I blushed crimson and started to stammer as I wondered if I'd accidentally become an employee of the bookstore while I was browsing the shelves of textbooks somehow. That's when a young guy who was standing right behind me turned and said, "Sure thing! Right this way, ma'am."

Emery the Mineral.

Emery the Board.

and Emery the Band.

So, maybe I'm just being lame and I need to suck it up and embrace the fact that my name just might become as popular as 'Sarah' or 'Amy' in the next decade or so, but part of me freaks out about that. So much of who I am is wrapped up in my name. It has always made me feel set apart... special.... different somehow. It has always given me confidence and pride to be the only one of me.

What if, someday, I desire to run for a political office or public school board? What if I drag out the old campaign posters from all the High School Student Council election days and enthusiastically remind everyone to "Burn it in your memory-- Vote for Emery!" ? What if the people see the poster and have to lean over and ask eachother "Which Emery is that? The dark haired one? Or the one that's overly hyped-out about things that aren't a big deal and never quite grew into her arms?"


*head explodes*

December 11, 2006


The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of much needed "girl time" for me... First, a mom's Christmas Party; then, hanging out and sipping wine with a few lovely ladies; then, getting to chat with a friend over dinner; and finally a dessert/coffee get-together with another group of fantastic females. Woo wee! It's strange how I have felt so disconnected from the women around me here (what with having to chase down a toddler before introductions can even be completed and whatnot), and yet suddenly this weekend I had more girl time than I knew what to do with! It was amazing and refreshing. I laughed and blabbed and felt truly welcomed into their hearts.

Even before I moved out here to Oklahoma, I had never really had a lot of those girl-bonding experiences. Chris and I married while we were pretty young. We were some of the first of our friends to tie the knot, and so I didn't have a lot of female peers who were on the same page as me in life... you know, having sex and franticly trying to learn to cook and keep up with the laundry. So, I never really got to get together with anyone and gab about the challenges and thrills of the newly-married life. I didn't get to laugh with girlfriends over the fact that all of Chris and I's indoor potted plants died within the first month or two of our marriage because he assumed I would be the plant-waterer, and I assumed he would be the plant-waterer. Before we knew it, we had crispy greenery and our first reality check that marriage was going to take some figuring-out.

To be able to get together with other really cool girls and talk for hours about kids and marriage and life was huge for me. I felt like I'd finally found my niche... Like a fish out of water that finally flopped its way back into the pond. SPLOOSH! I'm meeting some girls again on Saturday for breakfast. I'm finding that I am becoming passionate again about seeing women freed up from all the CRAP this world tells them to believe about themselves...

Like, You've got to look pretty. (CRAP.)
You've got to have it all together. (CRAP.)
You don't ever ask for help. (CRAP. CRAP. CRAP.)

Life is messy so let's stop pretending it's not and how your hair looked today won't make a bit of difference when it's all said and done. (A sneeze in the hurricane, really.) Live from your heart and find your worth in things greater than other's opinions of you. Stop giving yourselves ulcers because you've been told your daily balancing act must look EFFORTLESS.

Last night I was having a hard time with Ezra because I was tired and it was so close to his bedtime and he was being fussy and exhausting ALL of his energy on escaping my attempts to put pajamas on him. I started to feel that desperate panic rising up inside of me again- the one that suddenly grows larger than life and squeezes out all rational thought. That feeling that tells me I need to sit down and take deep breaths and get calm again... before ANYTHING else. Leave the kid running wild with only one pant leg pulled up and one arm through a T-shirt and sit on the floor and B R E A T H E.

I did that and felt better, but when Chris got home he could tell I was rattled. He asked me what was wrong and I blurted out, "I don't know why people enjoy this!"

"Enjoy what?"

"THIS. Being parents."

It felt so good just to say that outloud, because YEAH I feel that way sometimes. It felt so good to hear Chris say "It's OK, honey." and see in his eyes that he didn't think any less of me for saying what I felt in that moment. It felt so good to be messy and real and honest for a change.

I'm afraid that we (as women) have got our guard up so often and are so damn concerned about how we're measuring up all of the time that we're constantly missing out on the beautiful REALITY. The harsh 'breaking point moments' and the sweet relief that pours in when we finally surrender and admit we aren't superheroes... we're just tired and afraid we're only one second away from dropping the ball. Why is it we are always feeling pursued by some nameless fear? Turn around! There's no one there! Why is it that we demand so much from our bodies, our faces? Have you ever met one of those women who were stunning and breathtaking and gorgeous and it had nothing to do with her make-up or clothing or sex appeal? Cruel irony! The things we've been taught to pursue lead us further from where we want to be.

The nameless fear is bogus. I think we're running from ourselves.

December 8, 2006

A Part of Something More.

I'm feeling so blessed today.

I started an online vintage clothing store a couple of months ago, and its been really fun. Yesterday, I got a call out of the blue from a friend who told me that her mom was helping clean out a house and they had a whole closet full of vintage clothing they needed to get rid of, and she had thought of me. I was really excited and grateful as I went down to load my car up with the stuff. When I got home and started looking through the clothes, I was amazed at what I'd been given. There are some really INCREDIBLE vintage pieces in the mix.

I know it may not seem like a huge deal, but sometimes it's the little things in life that encourage me the most, you know? Things that help spur me on or remind me why I do the things I love to do in the first place. I'm a big vintage buff-- I am absolutely fascinated by objects that carry history and stories with them. I've always been this way. I'm a thrift store junkie. Vintage books are like little treasures in my hands. I'm a bit of a daydreamer, so I love to picture the people who may have owned the books and things before me.

I've never really stopped to think about why I'm like this, but this random gift of clothing yesterday got me wondering what it is about vintage things, or things with history, that excite me so.

I believe that we, as humans, all have a desire to be part of something... a community, a family, a group of people... A bigger picture. I think we also long to be part of a story. A story with adventure and surprising twists and romance and danger... Sword fights near the edges of cliffs, or daring castle rescues, or standing up for what is right even if it means your neck. We all want to live lives that will have a lasting effect-- lives that could fill the pages of a book and be read for years and years and years.

At least, that's me anyways. Knowing the stories behind things makes me feel connected to the people who lived before me. Listening to old family history gives me a glimpse of that bigger picture I long to be a part of. It reminds me that my little family tree has roots-- roots that support and give life... and without these roots, my tree wouldn't even exist! And someday, I'll be part of the root system of another tree- unseen, but crucial. And every car that I pass on the crowded roads holds a person inside with a huge root system all of their own. It baffles the mind.

I also believe that some of us are given the 'gift' of being able to Chronicle life as we know it. You know that person in your family that collects stories like jewels? A Chronicler. That's what this blog is for me. When I write these stories or feelings, I'm thinking of the people years from now that might read them. I'm thinking of Ezra as a grown man- sitting in a cozy chair somewhere, smiling to himself as he reads about his goofy mother's antics and the special ways he drove her bonkers. I'm thinking of his grandchildren who might one day ask what Great-Grandma-Emery was like.

My mom sent a box of old family Christmas decorations to Chris and I the other day. Things that I remember having as a small girl. It was such a joy to open that package. The memories poured out of it as I pulled each object out of the box one-by-one. In that box I also found some proof that I have always been a "Chronicler"-- someone who has wanted to leave an accurate account of themselves for the future generations. Here is that proof:

Just a regular placemat, yes?

No! It was given to me by an old babysitter named "Ooee".

Here's the 'Chronicler' in me coming out.

A new addition- How could I resist??

I'm sure 'Ooee' had no idea that this little plastic Christmas placemat would mean so much to me 20 years later. But it does. It encourages me to keep doing what I'm doing... It gives me insight on who I really am... And it reminds me that I'm still that little girl who longs to be a part of something more.

December 6, 2006

Naps are for Babies.

Ezra has REFUSED to nap for the past few days. He is usually such a great sleeper/napper. It appears, however, that the last time I was explaining this fact to someone, I had forgotten to knock on wood. This has made things quite INTERESTING around here to say the least. Despite occasionally wanting to rip off both of my own thumbs, I think I have been handling the change really well. Ezra has had approximately one billion screamy meltdowns, while I have only had one or two more than that.

Today, though, Ezra is napping soundly in his crib- just like the good ol' days. I'm sitting here typing away, pushing the keys oh-so-gently for fear of the clicking sound traveling all the way across the house and waking him. Also, I am thirsty- but I have no intentions of getting up from my spot on the couch because I just know that the floor will creak and Ezra will wake up screaming. (And now I have to pee.)

In other news, I am finally learning to play the piano! Remember my list of things to do prior to DEATH? This was one of them! Chris taught me all the chords and now I can play pretty much all of the songs in my music folder. I can only practice my new hobby at night after Ezra goes to sleep because when I try to practice during the day he gets pissed and tries to push me off of the piano bench for some reason. I find it much easier to concentrate when I'm not being dragged to the floor by a tantrum-prone toddler, so I wait until 8:00 every night. When I wake up these days I feel giddy and excited- as only watching one of my life-long dreams come true before my very eyes could make me.

As for the snow, it's almost all melted except for the pile by the tree that used to be our snowman. Rest in Peace, snowy friend.

Ezra liked to look at the snow, and he liked having some snow brought to him while he stood on dry ground, but the second any of it had the nerve to STICK TO HIS SHOES, he would crumple to the ground and cry as if I had gathered up all of his precious train toys and set them on fire. This goes hand-in-hand with his other new quirk- the one where I have to hand-feed him all of his meals because he freaks out when any food sticks to his fingers and gets his hands all dirty. God have mercy on us all.

One reason I AM glad that the snow is finally melting is because a neighbor had taken it upon himself to build a 7 foot tall Phallic Snow Statue in his front yard the day after it snowed. It is only now melting into a tiny, unrecognizable clump. The two huge snowballs he rolled up to accompany his statue, however, show no sign of melting anytime in the next century.


December 1, 2006

Heart Dust

I woke up this morning and reluctantly crawled out from under my warm blankets. The old heater was clicking again- the sound of the temperamental pilot light that won't ignite until I flip the thermostat
on and off.
on and off.
on and off.
I crouched by the closet door and waited for the deep hum that told me she was lit and waited for the warm air that would once again push through the floor vents like a sigh of relief. I felt quiet inside. My heart felt raw and withered. The yard sparkled white and the heater took deep breaths and my busy mind said nothing. I wrapped my cardigan tight around my body and went towards the morning whimpers. Ezra stood in his crib. His hair reached upward on one side and lay flat on the other. His right ear glowed red from being smooshed against the sheets and the warm air drifted up out of the vent across the room. He rubbed his eyes. Slowly, I turned the blinds to reveal the snowy landscape and I whispered in his bright pink ear "This is snow." That pile of leaves I never gathered up was now an unidentifiable white mound in the yard. A single pair of tire tracks in the street spoke of an early riser. He stared out the window as if still dreaming and yawned. His body shook with chills and he wrapped his arms around my neck. The heater breathed deeply. The house slowly warmed and creaked. The yard sparkled. My heart shook off its gathered dust, gave in, and sparkled back.

November 30, 2006

Room Swap with a Chance of Snow.

As if I didn't have a million other little things I could be doing, I suddenly decided a couple of nights ago that we absolutely MUST (without delay) switch the office and Ezra's room. I'm not talking about a simple furniture re-arrangement here... I'm talking about a full-on ROOM SWAP. Where everything goes from Point A to Point B and vice-versa. My sweet and longsuffering husband was willing to oblige my strange Tuesday night request, and so, the moving began.

I never felt 100% about Ezra's room placement choice- it's located by the squeaky front door and shares a wall with the living room. I'm sure it has been hard for him to sleep some nights as I curl up on the floor and watch 'Scrubs' re-runs at high volume while chomping on Cheezits. By putting his room in the back of the house, we can feel more freedom to dance around and sing Disney songs in horrific falsetto voices and operate the crushed ice machine without desperate prayers that the grinding won't wake the sleeping babe. It makes a whole lot more sense this way.

Ezra appears to really love his new room, and I think the office is great. We have yet to hang all the art and do all the window coverings and what not, but I thought I'd share some updated pictures anyways.

The Office. (take two)

Ezra's Room

Due to this random move, we have no internet on the desktop computer, so I am limited in my blog posting and vintage store abilities until we can get that up and running again. Oh, and did I mention?

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!

Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of my pretty rose bushes SCREAMING.

Big, fat, yummy white flakes are drifting to the ground right now. Its so pretty and I haven't seen snow like this in years. All last night it was 'ice storming'. If you haven't lived in Middle America, you might not be familiar with this concept... It's like RAINING ICE. Not hail, not snow, but ICE. The roads and trees and telephone wires get covered with thick ice blankets, and when its falling from the sky it sounds like needles hitting your house.

I love snow. It's just one more reason to postpone my grocery shopping. wooo hooo!

November 27, 2006

Unabashed Tomfoolery! (UNABASHED, I say!)

Ezzie Boo is such a ham. He's discovered the THRILL of closing his eyes while walking. And while this pastime is quite amusing for him, it makes momma as nervous as a cat on rollerskates. Why is it that he heads straight for sharp corners the second he closes his eyes? It appears to be some yet-to-be-discovered Law of Physics, where:

Sharp Corner + Child With Eyes Closed = Imminent Contact.

Surely this 'hobby' of his can't last too long... If he keeps this up, my hair will be gray by next Tuesday.

Also, he's taken a sudden liking to having his picture taken. So much so, that he will strike a pose somewhere and continue to hold it until I can locate the camera, come back to where he is, set up the shot, and take his picture. Then he runs over (with much glee) to see the picture on the digital camera screen. It's so cute it hurts.


And Again, shown here:

He is so very, very fantastic.

In other news, we went to see Santa at the mall. It was Black Friday, so I was preparing myself for a 16 hour wait in a line that stretched from the BabyGap all the way to Kansas. Yet, when we rounded the corner, we were shocked to see NO LINE AT ALL. None. Yippie! No line! How can this be?? After entering the roped off area, however, we quickly discovered why we were on our own. There was some definite racketeering going on there.

First, the guy at the counter asked us if we wanted a picture with Santa, or if we just wanted to visit with him for free. We all said, "Picture, please!" because, um, isn't that the whole point? the cute picture you get to pull out years later and show prom dates? Duh?

He replied, "Okay, just enter this line here, and there's a price sheet down there around the corner."

Translation: You don't know how much we're going to charge you until it's too late to get back out of line. (If there had been a line, we would have been standing in it for about a half an hour before we would have been able to see this "price sheet". Who would want to wait that long and then back out when they finally could see that one 5 x 7 picture would only cost TWO HEALTHY LIMBS?)

We decided to go the cheapest route and just get the picture put on a CD... no prints included. After we got our picture with Santa (made tolerable for Ezra only through candy bribery), we went over to the checkout, where a very nice girl proceeded to tell us that it would actually be cheaper for us if we added a print to the package.

"Ok, Great!" I said happily. "Cheaper is good. I kindof need these limbs for things like walking and sipping wine."

"Sure thing!", she chimed back. "That will be a total of $28.93!"

"I'm sorry, wha?????"


Turns out, she had been sneaky with her wording when she said 'it will actually be cheaper'. She had meant that the picture CD would be cheaper, but didn't bother to mention that the 'added print' would be another $15.00 or so ON TOP OF THAT...


Something smells bad at the North Pole. The stench of trickery and unabashed tomfoolery. (that, and the drifting scent of corn-dogs from the food court.)

We changed our order back to the CD ONLY and fled from the North Pole before they had a chance to take more of our money.

In the end, though, it was all worth it. Simply because of this:

THIS may have been worth those exorbitant rates because, this?


November 24, 2006

One Full Turkey Day (in pictures)....

playing the piano...

thanksgiving smiles.

stuff that turkey!

cook that bird!

hanging christmas lights

basting. (my only contribution to the turkey process... hehe.)

decorating the treeeeee!

playing in the leaves...

raking the leaves...

screaming at the leaves....

and posing in the leaves...

this cat stalks our house and won't leave us be.

grandma and ezra!

grandma and grandpa.

finished product! (soooo yummy.)

le table

yum yum food.

happy thanksgiving!

November 23, 2006


Turkey Day! Woo woo! Weee! Yippie! Loud noises!!

Chris' parents are here in Oklahoma City with us and we started cooking yummy food this morning. I've never cooked a Thanksgiving meal, so I'm very excited to do it this year. I'm in charge of the green beans and Chris' dad is the Mashed Potato King and Chris is the Master of the Stuffing. Chris' mom is going to teach us all how to de-goo-ify the Turkey and not set it on fire. It's going to be delicious and there's something so comforting about the sounds of chopping and the smells of simmering celery and Ezras faint GASPS drifting down the hallway from his room where he is busy playing with his new Bob The Builder toy that Grandma and Grandpa bought for him yesterday at Target.

We're also going to hang the Christmas Lights and possibly set up the Christmas tree and walk to the park once the bird is in the oven. All in all, it's going to be a warm and fuzzy day and I really am so THANKFUL for family and this comfy house and the beautiful weather.

I'm thankful for all the people who are working at the grocery stores and elsewhere today so that I can make a million last minute trips to pick up things like Turkey Basters and Tin Foil and mascara. (What? I NEED it!)

I'm thankful for Ezekiel Cheatwood. Born yesterday to the coolest mom I know.

I'm thankful for all of you who read my internet ramblings. You all are helping me become more of who I am- allowing me to write... something I've always dreamed of doing in one form or another. Your encouragement and comments mean more to me than I can say.

I'm grateful for my life. So very, very grateful.

Now lets pull out some Turkey guts!

November 20, 2006

Proof that I have Too Much Time on my Hands...

It's time for another embarrassing admission by Emery!

This week's embarrassing admission happened about 30 seconds ago. I reached in the fridge to get a Pepsi, but the box was just sitting on the shelf completely empty. (A common occurrence in our household... I often will think we're good on groceries for a few days, only to discover that about HALF of all the boxes in the cupboard are, in fact, completely empty.) We just happened to have an unopened liter of Coca-Cola sitting in the fridge from a dinner party we had a few days ago, so I grabbed that instead and unscrewed the lid.

Like the good little merchandise-trained American I am, I subconsciously checked under the cap to see if I'd won anything. This is like a reflex for me. Second nature. Drilled into my brain from the age of 6. Instead of a "you've just won!" message, I found a jumbled mass of numbers and letters printed on the cap. A secret code of sorts. Normally, I would just ignore these numbers and pour my drink and forget all about it. But today was a completely different story. I got a feeling in my gut that said, "this could be THE ONE!" I could win 10 million dollars or something just by plugging these numbers into the Coca-Cola website and then, voila! We're rich! We build Chris a recording studio and move into a big ol' house and we're set! For life! Yeeee haw!

While picturing this glamorous lifestyle, I headed back to the office to enter the code into their website. I thought it would be a quick, easy process, you know? Like, type code in this box and we'll tell you if you're a ga-jillionaire or not.

I was wrong.

First I had to register. Now, most normal people would decide that Coca-Cola didn't deserve to suck up the amount of personal time it would take to go through this registration process and they would just drop the whole idea and move on with their lives. Me? I took the time to register. WITH THE COCA-COLA WEBSITE. Not only that, I had to fill the whole page out FOUR times because I kept forgetting to check a box here or there or I had entered the scrambled code in wrong at the bottom... All in all, I spent way too much time doing this. But I couldn't stop because of that pesky 'gut feeling' I had that I was about to be a millionaire. What if I had given up and been THAT CLOSE to an instant fortune? Oh the irony!

So, after I registered, it asked me a hundred more questions and then FINALLY took me to the box where I could enter my lucky secret code. I licked my lips and began to type the numbers in slowly. No room for mistakes. MUST BE ACCURATE. Sweat formed on my brow. The world grew silent. The computer hummed softly.

After I punched in the last number, I hit the submit button and awaited my fate.

"Thank You!" The page said. "You now have 3 points!"

Huh? Points? *blink blink* Where's my money?

Turns out, each time you enter a code, you get three points. And then, when you've amassed a huge wealth of thousands upon thousands of points, you get to chose from the prizes. (Chuck-E-Cheese arcade flashbacks, anyone?)

I disappointedly click on the store button to see what the store holds. Ooooh! I can download a ringtone with 16 points! (wait...thats an EXPENSIVE ring tone...) Or, for only 26,000 points, I could win the hood of the coca-cola NASCAR driven by Kyle Petty! (I've always wanted a NASCAR hood!) OR, I could win a walk-on roll on a Hollywood movie or TV show!

WOW! thanks, coca-cola! All of this and I'd only have to buy 8,660 liters of Coke! You're too generous!

PS. In the last 20 minutes that it has taken me to type this post, I have received 5 new junk e-mail messages in my inbox. And they are all from Coca-Cola.

*heavy sigh* I've brought this upon myself, haven't I?

November 18, 2006

The Lesson of Big and Little

Chris and I have a house guest staying with us for a few days, and she was kind enough to offer to babysit one evening for us if we decided we wanted to go out so that she could say thank you for opening our home to her. Being the polite host that I am, I immediately pounced on the offer like a ravenous beast and all but kneeled to clean her shoes with my tears of rapturous joy.

So, last night we went out on a DATE. (It's been awhile.) We went to see the movie 'Stranger Than Fiction'. If you haven't seen this movie, you should STOP reading this blog right now and go hop in your cars or catch a bus and head down to the movie theatre and see it. NOW-ish!

Maybe I'm just being a tid bid overenthusiastic because the last movie I was able to go see in the theatres was 'Chronicles of Narnia' a ga-jillion months ago. Maybe I could have gone to see the theatre re-release of 'Glitter' and still been just as pleased because, hey, let's face it- I'm the mother of a toddler and it doesn't take much, you know? Give me a coca-cola slushie and a bag of popcorn and sit me in front of a wall of drying paint and I'm good to go. Just so long as there's no toddler in the room yelling "CAR! CAR! CAR! VROOOOOM!" over and over again, I'll be in heaven.

It's funny how kids have a way of making life a whole lot more complicated, yet simplifying it at the same time.

Becasue, sure! I may have to drag a huge purse load of baby gear with me wherever I go and I have to actually PLAN AHEAD and schedule my life around naps and meals, all the while stimulating his mind and preparing him socially and spiritually for the real world he's going to be growing up in, but man-o-man! ... I've sure learned to appreciate the small things in life in the midst of all the chaos.

Instead of coming up with fancy ways to spend our time, Chris and I have learned to savor the taste of two-buck-chuck by the romanic Citranella candlelight... sitting on our patio in the evenings- fending off the monster mosquitoes and enjoying the occasional smokey treat or two... The little pleasures become huge while the things that used to seem so huge and pressing become little. Unimportant. Obscure.

This week at gymboree, Ezra learned the difference between Big and Little. As I watched him absorbing what the teacher was showing him, I couldn't help but smile, because... well, I guess I'm still learning that too.

November 15, 2006

The Christmas Question.

I just got back from my oh-so-wonderful-and-refreshing-once-a-month-moms-meeting, and I'm really excited because we talked about CHRISTMAS. Christmas with kids. And how the heck you do it without running yourself into the ground at 600 mph in the name of all things Martha Stewart and Holiday Cheer-meister.

They talked of all the basics: how to teach the joy of GIVING and SERVING rather than the joy of GETTING and STUFFING FACE. They talked about charity and opening your home to those who are lonely and in need during the Christmas season. They talked about giving meaningful gifts and establishing traditions that teach the importance of the Holiday. They talked about listening to your heart instead of listening to the screamy, whiny American Merchandising Monster. It was great. I even took notes.

NOTES, people!

This is all great stuff and yadda yadda yadda, but then, finally, came the topic that I was dying to find an answer to. I shifted to the edge of my seat and readied my pen.

Let's talk Santa Claus.

I'm in that whole slew of mommies that doesn't want to lie to their children about Santa, but doesn't want to spoil the fun of it completely, either. Isn't there a way to tell your young children that he's not really real, but let's pretend like he's real anyways, and then WHATEVER YOU DO don't tell any of your friends at school that he's not really real but we're really pretending he really is?

No? I didn't think so.

The woman speaking told us what she did with her children growing up. She told them all the real story of St. Nick. She told them how he was a wealthy priest who lived long, long ago that gave very generous gifts anonymously to those who needed it in order to bless others without getting any credit or glory for his charity. St. Nick was said to have left three bags of gold in the houses of three poor families that had no dowry to marry their daughters with. Without a dowry, these girls couldn't marry and would be sold into slavery. His name, St. Nick, became synonymous with 'Anonymous Gift Giving'.

So, she told her kids this story, and then everyone would have a "St. Nick" present each year and the tag wouldn't say who it was from.

That way they still got to keep the fun of the 'secret gift'... and when the kids heard, "This one is from Santa", they knew it was from a secret family member gift-giver, not from a house-hopping, reindeer riding, cookie eating magic old dude in a red jumpsuit.

I thought that was a really cool way to do things. I love hearing about other family's Holiday Traditions. It's that time in our lives when Chris and I get to start forging our own. What traditions did you guys have in your families that were fun? What would you/do you do differently? How did your family navigate through the Christmas Madness?

Oh, and can I pirate some of those oh-so-special family traditions and make them my own?