August 28, 2008

Cry-ku

Haiku Friday

It started Monday
First day of annual trip
with book club moms, kids.

Bedtime came and went,
Wokd up at midnight, to sleep
no more until four.

Screaming over naught
Crying, finally falling
into fitful sleep.

Four hours total
that night, Tuesday night he slept
for five hours but

Mommy slept for less
So sensitive to every
move and breath he made.

Exhausted after
the evening temper tantrum
worse than ever

An hour of tears
screaming and crying, not to
be soothed by mommy

Finally ended
With both of us in tears, at
the end of our ropes.

Up at 5 AM
on Wednesday, but the day went
fairly well after.

Wednesday night at two
crying in the night, screaming
Mommy can't take it.

Hastily packed as
he cries in the car, we're off
desperate for home

Three hours later
Our trip ends at home at five
In bed at seven.

Needless to say, I am exhausted. Every summer, the ladies from our book club and our kids take a trip to a rental house for a few days. This year we were up to 11 kids between eight months and six years, and six parents. Unforunately it seems like Sam got a little sick just as we arrived. When he wasn't sleeping the first night, I finally figured out that he seemed to have some phlegm in his throat and when he was trying to sleep he was sort of choking on it when he tried to swallow. I got four hours of sleep Monday night, he did take a nap on Monday, but for less than two hours. On Tuesday he proceeded to throw THE WORST temper tantrum ever, complete with screaming, flailing, and unreasonableness. It ended with me crying and pleading with him to stop, and he finally did. On Tuesday night, he went to bed okay, and he slept until five. I probably slept for four hours, I was waking up every time he fussed and patting him and soothing him. We were up at five watching a movie and did both manage to fall asleep for a few minutes on the couch. The day went okay and he took about an hour nap and went to bed okay, I packed up a few things after he was in bed. He woke up at two and it quickly deteriorated into screaming again and I was DONE. I just couldn't take it anymore. I packed up the rest of our stuff and drove three hours home at 2:30 AM because I was SO desperate for help, for a co-parent, to be in my own place, to not have to get up and deal somewhere else the next morning, he cried in the car, but I knew there would be an okay outcome if we could get home, whereas I had no idea HOW I would be able to calm him down at the vacation house, how long it would take, or if it would even work. We finally both went to sleep in the bed with Justin at about 7 AM and Sam and I slept there until 12:30, then off and on from 12:30 to 1:15. Crazy. Today was fairly pleasant, and I got to go out tonight and see a movie and read my magazine and have a quiet dinner, but I am still totally exhausted. Tomorrow Justin has to work, Saturday he is going to some football game that I just found out about, and Sunday is one of my best friend's weddings, then Monday it's a whole new week. I don't see a chance for REAL rest, to catch up from this sleepless week, until the next weekend, and that is just making me more tired. Sometimes all I want is to sleep for 24 hours straight. While I was out tonight, Sam threw up, and we think it was because of his throat being clogged up. Bedtime didn't go so well either, so I'm not really looking forward to the next couple of days. I don't WANT to be tired. I want to enjoy my friend's wedding and not feel like I just wish I were in bed. Sigh...

To read more Haikus, or participate in Haiku Friday, click here!
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If I had $1,000,000

I'd buy you a fur coat. But not a real fur coat, that's cruel.

I was listening to this song in the car today and started thinking about what I would REALLY do if I had $1,000,000 in my hand right now...


$350,000: $50,000 each into college accounts for Sam, my 9 year old sister, and Violet's kids Kiki, Alex & the baby and my 'sisters' Maggie & Lucy (2 yrs old & 6 months old)

$103,000 into savings


$50,000 to my Mom & her husband toward their mortgage

$50,000 to my Stepdad & his wife toward their mortgage

$100,000 to my Stepmom toward her mortgage or repairs on the house to ready it for selling

$50,000 to my friend Violet & her husband toward their mortgage

$50,000 to pay off debt (wouldn't have to file for bankruptcy anymore... haha)

$50,000 into a special savings as a college fund in case we have another kid.

$30,000 to pay off my sister's student loans

$20,000 to pay last year's taxes

$10,000 $5,000 each spending money to Justin & I

$10,000 to my cousin Emmy to help with her student loans

$10,000 towards renovations on my Father-In-Law's house where we'll be moving eventually

$5,000 to my sister for her savings

$5,000 to Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church

$2000 to medical bills

$2000 to The Pickford Cinema (our local independant theater)

$1000 to the Bellingham Public Library

$1000 to the Bellingham Children's Museum

$1000 to Whatcom County Crisis Services


Ah, isn't it nice to dream? What are some things YOU would do with a cool million?
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August 25, 2008

Movie Monday: Catching Up!

Warning: **SPOILERS**
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This post contains spoilers for MAMMA MIA, THE MUMMY 3, STEP BROTHERS, TELL NO ONE & PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
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Mamma Mia: I expected a lot from this movie. When I heard way back when (six years ago?) that they were making a musical based on ABBA songs, I was totally excited. Yeah, I like ABBA. Whatcha gonna do about it? Then I waited and waited for it to finally come to the US. Then I waited and waited for it to finally go on tour. I missed it earlier this year when it went through Seattle, it only played for a couple of nights and conflicted with things I already had going on. So, when I found out there was going to be a movie, I got REALLY excited. finally, it would be my chance to see the show. I went in with high expectations. And I got... well, truly i'm not sure what I got. It was fucking insane. First of all, Meryl Streep... not a great singer. Secondly, she was totally the wrong age to play the character she was playing. That part should have been played by a 40 year old woman, or even 38 or 39. If you pay attention to the plot, you'll see. I was also excited about this movie because well, I seriously have a thing for Pierce Brosnan. And he was not bad in it. I loved the scene with him and Meryl Streep singing SOS. HO-OT! It's not that I hated every minute of it. In fact, I would say there was probably about 30% of the movie that I thought was pretty awesome. I loved Amanda Seyfried as the daughter, and was seriously impressed by her voice. But there were so many parts of the movie that were completely ridiculous. After watching people with flippers dance on a dock, watching Meryl Streep in her fucking HORRIBLE wardrobe choice of overalls that did her NO favors, watching Christine Baranski sing with that crazy haired guy, it all came to a ridiculous and AWFUL head during the end credits. Seriously? Seriously, Pierce & Colin, you thought putting on those fucking horrible spandex outfits was a good idea? Because I'm pretty sure I don't think that was a good choice. It was so shocking, I couldn't even laugh. Then I laughed. A lot. Because it really seemed like the entire cast and crew must have been drunk for the entire shoot to think that this movie was a good idea as it was. A couple of days afterwards though, I couldn't get it out of my head. I kept thinking about it, and how great it would be if I'd had a couple of margaritas beforehand. I bought the soundtrack. SHHH, no one else knows that. I hid it in my glove box. I admit it, I mostly just bought it for Pierce. Sigh... In any case, despite how I felt about it at the time, and how unsure I still am about it, I feel that one day I will watch it on DVD with a gruop of ladies and laugh. A lot.

The Mummy 3: After watching Journey to the Center of the Earth a few weeks ago, I remembered that for whatever reason, I really like Brendan Fraser. I think he is kind of adorable and I just think he seems like a nice guy, the kind of guy you'd want to hang out with. Maybe date. The boy next door who becomes more. In any case, I loved the last couple of Mummy movies (although this one was missing the gorgeous Oded Fehr), and hoped for good things from this one. Well, it was just all right. It wasn't awful. It wasn't great. It wasn't as good as the other ones. Maria Bello was weird. I almost didn't recognize her, and then I just thought that was a really odd role for her. I didn't like the son. For one thing, he just looked like a puffy James Marsden to me. For a while, I thought he WAS James Marsden in the previews, but realized in the movie he totally wasn't. In any case, I found his character annoying and pointless. I did like the idea that they had agreed to be a 'normal' couple, but in reality they both craved adventure. I also liked the parts with the Yeti, that was hilarious and kind of awesome. I thought that the special effects were good. The powers that Jet Li had with controlling the weather were cool. And of course, I always love John Hannah. Sliding Doors is one of my favorite girly movies to watch over and over, and I just love him in that movie. Now when I see him in other things it just makes me happy. All in all, it wasn't bad, but I wouldn't bother paying to see it in the theater, it would be a fine one to save for DVD or cable TV.

Step Brothers: This movie became worth the price of admission early on when I heard Mary Steenburgen say "What the fucking fuck?" while holding a hose spraying her son and new stepson and obviously trying not to laugh at the antics of Will Ferrell and John C Reilly. This movie was completely funny. There are certain things I see that will never stop being funny no matter how many times I see them. Mulder singing Shaft on The X-Files. That scene in Hitch where Will Smith accidentally kicks Eva Mendes in the face while mounting a Jet Ski. Will Ferrell being trapped under the makeshift bunkbed as it collapses at the same time John C Reilly asks "Do you like guacamole?". These two make such a great team, I am pretty sure I'd see almost any movie they made together at this point. Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins were hilarious as the parents, and the small side story line involving Will's characters brother and his wife was pretty hilarious. If you liked Blades of Glory, Talladega Nights, etc, you will love this movie.

Tell No One: I got the chance to see this wonderful French movie while I was visiting Philadelphia. I don't know if it will go into wide theater release (it should!), but you can probably catch it at a smaller or independant theater near you. I saw it at The Ritz in Philly and I know the independant theater here in Bellingham will be showing it in a couple of weeks. The movie follows main character Alexandre, who is still in mourning 8 years later over the loss of his beloved wife Margot, who was brutally murdered. He was a suspect at the time, and when the police find two bodies near the place where Margot's body was found, they reopen her case and consider Alex the prime suspect. Then, things take a surprising and thrilling turn when Alex starts receiving e-mails from a person implying that Margot is alive after all these years. I LOVED this movie. It was everything a thriller could be. It moved well, not to slow, not too fast. The acting was great, especially by Francois Cluzet, who plays Alexandre. He portrayed this still grieving husband's shock and slight crazed edge as he finds out that his wife might not have died all those years ago. The dialogue is good, so it's not as distracting to read the subtitles. The movie also stars Kristin Scott Thomas as a family member. She plays the part wonderfully, speaks French well, and basically did a great job. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes dramatic thrillers.

Pineapple Express: I finally got to go see Pineapple Express on Friday evening, and it was worth EVERY PENNY. I have not laughed that hard at a movie in a long time. I have a confession, I'm pretty sure that I'm totally in love with Judd Apatow. This movie, Step Brothers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superbad, Talladega Nights, The 40-year Old Virgin, Knocked Up. I've loved them all. But this may have been the funniest so far in my book. Remember earlier when I talked about things that will never stop being funny? The scene in this movie where James Franco puts his foot through the windshield of a cop car trying to kick it out, then it gets stuck and he's driving around like that... um, I laughed so hard during that scene that I was crying. I couldn't STOP laughing! There were just so many great things. It does get fairly violent towards the end especially, but it's not as graphic as it could be, and still remains secondary to the hilarious, pot-induced bromance that is this movie. If you have liked Apatow's other movies, you will definitely love this one. I know I did!
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August 23, 2008

Saturday Share

It's that day of the week again. Put on your readin' glasses and get to work...

  • Lotus at Sarcastic Mom makes me smile.
  • Shannymar at The Mommy Project touches my heart and makes me cry, and it all starts with a dream.
  • Maria at Immoral Matriarch shares with us about her beautiful daughter and how painful motherhood can be sometimes.
  • Catherine at Her Bad Mother breaks my heart with a pretty perfect post.
  • Jen at Absolutely Bananas has one of the best pictures I've ever seend. Read the post, you'll be rewarded at the bottom.
  • Jill at Woah, Mama celebrates her baby's sixth birthday! Happy Birthday Kylie!
  • Crystal at Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper reminds me of that Friends episode where Joey puts on all of Chandler's clothes.

Have a great weekend!

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August 22, 2008

Haiku Friday: I love my shower

Haiku Friday

Everyone has their
quirk, coming home from a trip
one thing they missed most

For some, it is to
sleep again in their own bed
the place they're used to

I come home from trips
The most joyous thing for me
My shower again

I admit it now
I hate to wash myself in
Other peoples homes

It matters not how
many times I've washed in it
I want my own back

I know I am odd
I bet you are too, admit
it now to me, kay?

So, what is your 'thing'? What do you look forward to about coming home from a trip or an overnight staying somewhere that's not home?

To read more haikus, click here!
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Haiku Friday: Trying to Change

Haiku Friday

I have tried so much
Different ways to get thin
I fail every time

I try so hard to
Change my relationship with
food, but I haven't

I wish it could be
easy. I wish that I was
stronger. But I'm not.

I'm so so afraid
Of trying for real to change
I pray for strength now

Read more haikus.

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August 21, 2008

New Blog

I went grocery shopping for the first time since my trip to the doctor today. I bought actual vegetables. Something has to change. I've started a new blog: Unconventional Fear. I need a place to write about my weight, and my struggle to get healthier. Visit me there if you're so inclined - I need all the support I can get.
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History of Heavy

I am 27 years old, 5'7" and weigh 265 pounds.
I am the heaviest I've ever been. In high school, I thought I was too big. When I look at pictures from that time, I wish that I could have seen myself differently.
In 1999 I traveled to London, and came back in the best shape of my life, probably around 140 pounds.

I got my first REAL job, working customer service for a cell phone company. I sat at a desk all day. I moved out of my parents house, which meant I was doing my own grocery shopping and eating whatever.

My weight went up to 180. I felt heavy, but was not really unhappy with my weight. I maintained it for about five years. During college, I worked for 3 years at Borders Books, which meant being on my feet most of the time.

When I quit that job, I went back to working desk jobs. I gained 50 pounds in a year, and sat at 230 for a long while. I was fat. I looked at charts and saw the word 'obese'. Some days I didn't feel that big. Other days, I felt disgusting.

When I got pregnant with my son in 2005, I weighed 249 pounds, my heaviest ever. I was sick and didn't eat much for the first 5 months of pregnancy. I lost 50 pounds while I was pregnant.

I gained it all back.

Plus more.

Now I weigh 265 pounds.

My fat hinders my life. It makes me not want to be in pictures because my chin is fat. I can't chase my child around the way I want to. I have to ask for an extender on the airplane for my seatbelt. I can't shop at Old Navy anymore. I don't wear shorts. I sweat more than I used to when it's hot outside.

Here's what it looks like:

I can't go on like this.

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I just want to be ME

My two week vacation in New Jersey ended on Tuesday. The day started out with Sam waking up playing the role of Mr. Not-enough-sleep-crabby-pants. With taking care of him and trying to let HIM sleep on the plane by holding him in freakishly uncomfortable positions, I ended up being awake for about 23 hours that day. I finally got to bed at 3:30 AM (6:30 AM EST). Sam got up the next day at 8:30. This morning, he got up at 6:15.

Maybe, if he would let his Dad take care of him, it wouldn't be as bad. But it has to be ME. I have to be the one to get out of bed and sit on the couch with him. I have to be the one to get him breakfast and try to interpret it when he whines.

I broke down in tears this morning because I am EXHAUSTED and I am overwhelmed. The idea of spending another eight hours alone with Sam made me feel defeated. Right now, I really need to just be ME. It's been 16 days of sole responsibility taking care of Sam. Sure, my Stepmom and little sister were a HUGE help, but in the end it was still me he ran to when he wanted something badly, still me who had to get him out of the crib when he woke at 3 AM, still me who he wanted to sleep with, which means my sleep was hindered.

I don't want to be MOM right now, I just want to be me. I need time to decompress from an emotional trip. I don't want anyone whining at me, pulling at my arms and clothing to get me to do things for them. I don't want anyone climbing on me, hitting me, putting their elbows into me, putting their mouth on me. I don't want to make decisions or be RESPONSIBLE anymore. Right now I really just want to be myself for a few minutes. I want to sleep until I don't feel tired, I want to read a book, I want to watch a TV show that's not Dora or Word World or The Wonderpets. I want to sit in a place where there is no WHINING for a few hours.

Justin said he'd try to get home from work early, but tonight I head down to Seattle which means visiting with Violet and her kids - which is DELIGHTFUL, but still not getting any time to myself. Tomorrow I have to work. For once I really, really can't wait for the weekend when Justin will be home from work. This week, Friday DOES mean something... it might mean my sanity.
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August 20, 2008

200!

Today is my 200th post! Can you believe it? It's kind of crazy. In honor of reaching 200, here is a list of 200 things I love...

Books
  1. A Widow for One Year by John Irving
  2. My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki
  3. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
  4. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer-Bradley
  5. "Incarnations of Immortality" Series by Piers Anthony
  6. "Homecoming" Series by Orson Scott Card
  7. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  8. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
  9. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
  10. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
  11. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
  12. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Polan
  13. The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr
  14. "Anita Blake" series by Laurell K. Hamilton
  15. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
  16. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R. Tolkien
  17. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  18. The "Lincoln Rhyme" novels by Jeffrey Deaver
  19. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster
  20. Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson
  21. A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
  22. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
  23. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  24. Sphere by Michael Crichton
  25. A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snickett
Children's Books
  1. The Cinder Eyed Cats by Eric Rohmann
  2. Anything by Bill Peet
  3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
  4. Alexander and the Magic Mouse by Martha Sanders and Philippe Fix
  5. Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn
  6. The Sheep Books by Nancy Shaw
  7. Chowder by Peter Brown
  8. That New Animal by Emily Jenkins and Pierre Pratt
  9. The Rainbow Goblins by Ul De Rico
  10. Strega Nona by Tomi De Paola
  11. Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest and Anita Jeram
  12. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
  13. I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis and Jane Dyer
  14. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  15. Ricki Ticki Tembo by Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent
  16. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
  17. A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley and Jim LaMarche
  18. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson
  19. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  20. My Teacher Sleeps in School by Leatie Weiss
Movies (so good, but not to watch too many times)
  1. Hotel Rwanda
  2. Brokeback Mountain
  3. The Last King of Scotland
  4. American History X
  5. 300
Movies (to watch over and over)
  1. Bride & Prejudice
  2. The Day After Tomorrow
  3. Once
  4. Jurassic Park
  5. Nightmare Before Christmas
  6. Singing in the Rain
  7. Prancer
  8. Jesus Christ Superstar
  9. The Lord of the Rings Triology
  10. Sliding Doors
  11. 300
  12. That Thing You Do
  13. Sixteen Candles
  14. The Breakfast Club
  15. The X-Files: Fight the Future
  16. Bring It On
  17. 13 Going on 30
  18. Freaky Friday (original version)
  19. Underworld
  20. The Matrix Trilogy
  21. Hello Dolly
  22. Drumline
  23. The Last Unicorn
  24. The Harry Potter movies
  25. Save the Last Dance
TV Shows
  1. The X-Files
  2. Quantum Leap
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  4. Sportsnight
  5. Lost
  6. Alias
  7. Grey's Anatomy
  8. Arrested Development
  9. Firefly
  10. Battlestar Galactica
  11. Psych
  12. Supernatural
  13. Pushing Daisies
  14. House
  15. Gilmore Girls
  16. Kenny vs Spenny (Canada)
  17. Heroes
  18. The West Wing
  19. Angel
  20. CSI (Original)
Albums
  1. Graceland by Paul Simon
  2. Every Second Counts by Plain White T's
  3. Tapestry by Carole King
  4. Love by The Beatles (compilation c.2006)
  5. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan
  6. Purple Rain by Prince (soundtrack)
  7. American Beauty by The Grateful Dead
  8. Songs About Jane by Maroon Five
  9. Stunt by the Barenaked Ladies
  10. Love. Angel. Music. Baby. by Gwen Stefani
  11. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
  12. Fly by the Dixie Chicks
  13. Edge of Silence by Solas
  14. Once by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (soundtrack)
  15. Once More With Feeling from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (soundtrack)
  16. More of the Monkees by the Monkees
  17. Automatic for the People by REM
  18. American Idiot by Green Day
  19. OK Go by OK Go
  20. The Instigator by Rhett Miller
Individual Songs
  1. In China or a Woman's Heart by Kate Wolf
  2. Nightswimming by REM
  3. Elsewhere by Sarah McLachlan
  4. Where You Lead by Carole King
  5. Oh Happy Day (traditional)
  6. I Will Lift My Eyes by Bebo Norman
  7. Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn
  8. Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira
  9. I'm a Believer by The Monkees
  10. Mercy by Duffy
Food
  1. Cheesecake
  2. Pizza
  3. Pears
  4. Strawberry Shortcake
  5. Garlic Bread
  6. Tacos
  7. Lasagna
  8. Cheese Fondue
  9. Salt Bagels
  10. Mozarella Cheese Sticks
Places
  1. My Grandmom's beach house in Ocean City, NJ
  2. Lake Ozette on the Olympic Peninsula, WA
  3. Versailles, France
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Wells, England
  6. Rome, Italy
  7. Yellowstone National Forest
  8. Phoenix, AZ
  9. My Mother-in-law & her husband's house in Grapeview, WA
  10. Philadelphia, PA
  11. Flemington, NJ
  12. New York, NY
  13. Seattle, WA
  14. Wimbledon - London, England
  15. Waipaio Valley, Hawaii
  16. Fargo, ND
  17. Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada
  18. My best friend's house in Mountlake Terrace, WA
  19. My future home out in the county in Bellingham, WA
  20. Bellingham, WA
Alcoholic Beverages
  1. Amaretto Sour
  2. Chocolate Martini
  3. Mudslide
  4. Lemon Drop
  5. Malibu & Coke
  6. Key Lime Martini
  7. Mojito
  8. Margarita (I like 'em blended)
  9. Strawberry Daquiri
  10. White Russian
Celebrities (let's be honest. Droolworthy male celebrities).
  1. James McAvoy
  2. Pierce Brosnan
  3. Jamie Bamber
  4. Orlando Bloom
  5. Nathan Fillion
  6. Jason Bateman
  7. Oded Fehr
  8. Alan Rickman
  9. Taye Diggs
  10. David Boreanaz
Performances by Actors/Actresses
  1. James McAvoy in Atonement
  2. Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda
  3. Cate Blanchett in The Aviator
  4. Leonardo DiCaprio in Finding Gilbert Grape
  5. Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter movies
  6. John Hannah in Sliding Doors
  7. Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean
  8. Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line
  9. Edward Norton in American History X
  10. Viggo Mortenson in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Best 5 Concerts I've seen
  1. Barenaked Ladies New Year's Eve (2001?)
  2. Prince
  3. Duran Duran
  4. OK Go
  5. Gwen Stefani
Restaurants
  1. Marrones in Ardmore, PA (Italian - Pizza)
  2. The Bagelry in Bellingham, WA
  3. Duane's House of Pizza in Fargo, ND
  4. The Melting Pot (chain - various locations)
  5. D'Annas Italian in Bellingham, WA
  6. The Rock in Lynwood, WA (yes it's a chain. I like this particular location)
  7. The Shaker Cafe in Flemington, NJ
  8. Cicchitti's Pizza in Bellingham, WA
  9. Philly Fevre in Seattle, WA
  10. Mi Mexico in Bellingham, WA
This is my last list. For 300 we'll figure something else out. Or else my brain might explode. Happy 200 to me :-)
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August 19, 2008

My kid wants to potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the ti-ime

Well, it's really coming to an end. Starting tomorrow, I'll have to go back to writing my OWN posts. Sigh... but, not quite yet! Today's guest post comes from Jennifer at Playgroups are No Place for Children. The first thing that drew me in to her website was the title, which I quite enjoy. Since then I've come to look forward to laughing at the adventures of Carson and Ella. I've recently been one of so many to benefit from her Blog Tip Sharing Project and have started looking forward to writing my haiku every week for Haiku Friday. Welcome her here, then go check out her website, you won't regret it!

My kid wants to potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the ti-ime

Hello everybody! I'm Jennifer from Playgroups are No Place for Children. I will be your host today. When Rachael asked me to guest post, I panicked. Every time I am asked to guest post, I come down with a raging case of writer's block. So instead of having to come up with something to post, I'm republishing one of my less embarrassing works.

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As part of my glamorous job as "Mom," I was cleaning the toilet a few days ago when Carson walked in and requested to go poop on the potty.

I was so shocked and unprepared, I had to ask him if he was sure. "You want to go poop? On the potty? Really?," I asked with a furrowed brow.

"Go poop on potty, " he assured me as he started to attempt to pull down his pants.

Seeing as how I was certain that he was not even close to being ready for anything potty training related, I had not bothered to buy him a potty chair. So I plopped (pun intended) Carson up on the toilet, holding him really, so that he wouldn't fall in. He was so proud of this accomplishment, of sitting on THE POTTY for the first time ever. We sat there. And sat there. And sat there. And sat there some more. Finally after I thought my arms would fall off from supporting his weight over the toilet, I decided we were all done. Carson, of course, vehemently protested, claiming he needed to "poop on the potty! POOP on the potty! Poop on the POTTY!"

To appease the little tyrant him, I promised a trip to buy a potty especially for him. We got that very special chair yesterday, complete with car stickers that he plastered all over it.

I put the potty chair in the living room encouraging him to just sit on it (pants on), per the instructions on the "Potty Train Your Child" handout I received at Carson's two year checkup at the pediatrician. "Allow your child to get comfortable with the potty chair in a relaxed area of the home." Check. That lasted all of 10 seconds and he demanded to "go poop on the potty." I attempted to move the potty chair into the bathroom because pooping in the middle of the living room next to the Christmas tree somehow seemed so wrong. This move was met with great resistance, so we stripped down and sat on the potty right there. And sat there. And sat there. He pointed out all the car stickers. He pointed out the dog hair on the carpet. He pointed out his p*enis. After about 15 minutes of just sitting there, I encouraged him to move along and said we could try poop on the potty again later.

I know I'm supposed to be more patient at potty time. The handout instructions specifically stated that "you should be patient and allow your child to sit on the potty as long as necessary so as not to make your child feel rushed." Rushed? Rushed? What? *exasperated sighs* I have another child to care for and two dogs! I don't have an infinite number of minutes each day to do this potty training stuff. I'm obviously not fit for being a potty trainer.

Carson has quickly figured out that when he says "potty," Mommy listens. We only just got this damn potty chair yesterday and he's already used the potty excuse to stall dinner time, bath time, bed time, and nap time. I feel very conflicted, wanting to encourage pottying on the big boy potty, feeling manipulated when I know deep down that no poo is coming out of that boy and falling into that potty chair, and irritated for having to devote hours of my day to sitting on the floor next to a toddler toilet while looking at cars and a p*enis.

Potty training blows. I'm praying that the novelty of "going poop on the potty" wears off soon and we can return to our normal routine. A routine that does not include sitting on the floor for hours on end next to a toilet.

Diapers Rule! Goooooo Diapers! Rah! Rah! Diapers!

Originally published December 12, 2007 at Playgroups are no place for children.

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August 18, 2008

Becoming the "AmeriBrit" Family – The Prologue

Today's guest post comes from Auds from Barking Mad. She is another blogger who I look forward to reading every day. She has had an amazing journey so far, and I don't even know the half of it. I love how she calls her daughter Meg Megawatt, and I love her dog even though I've never met it. One day I will have a Goldendoodle and they can be honorary cousins. Auds gave me the opportunity to do my first guest post earlier this month, and was one of the first people I thought of when I decided I needed to get some guests during my vacation. I've read her post, and I think you should too- then head over to Barking Mad, because I know that like me, you will be intrigued and won't be able to wait to read more of this story!

Becoming the "AmeriBrit" Family – The Prologue

It's awesome being back here in the Pacific Northwest. It's been a long time since I've been able to sit back and relax and gaze out on the indigo shores of Puget Sound. Rachael has a nice place and she even left me some chilled Coke's in the ice box! I love her casual style, and wow! Look at all those movies. I'm gonna be in Heaven whilst I'm here. Maybe I ought to leave her some nice English tea and biscuits for letting me chill at her place.

When Rachael first asked me to guest post for her, aside from asking her is she was absolutely sure she meant me, I had the presence of mind to ask her to give me a subject to write about. Rachael asked me what life was like being married to a Brit. Thus the intro a series of posts about how the hubby and I met, and ended up married, was born.

Before I can delve into what it's like being married to my Brit, I need to take you on a little journey of how we first got to know one another.

I was a couple of months from my twelfth birthday and the hubby, G, had just celebrated his fourteenth birthday. It was the autumn of 1980 and I was starting a new school year as a seventh grader. If IPods were around back then, this is probably what my playlist would have looked like:

Styx - the entire Paradise Theatre album (I was a serious Styx fan. In the span of time from 1979 to 1985 I probably wrote them over 500 letters, so imagine the orgasm I had when I actually had Tommy Shaw and Dennis DeYoung in the studio with me whilst I was on the air in 1999! Then picture my utter humiliation to admit, live, to everyone who was listening that I dreamt of having Tommy Shaw's babies when I was a teenager. I will NEVER live that down.)

BlondieCall Me

Pink FloydAnother Brick in the Wall

Pink FloydRun Like Hell

QueenCrazy Little Thing Called Love

QueenAnother One Bites the Dust

REO SpeedwagonKeep on Loving You

M Pop Muzik

Depeche Mode – the entire Speak and Spell album. My love of DM was only second to that of Styx.

Siouxsie and the BansheesHappy House

Van HalenAnd the Cradle Will Rock

RainbowSince You've Been Gone

AC/DCYou Shook Me All Night Long

AC/DC Back in Black

Andy Gibb – yeah I had a huge crush on him, so pretty much anything he sang I owned back then.

Shawn Cassidy – See Andy Gibb

The Eagles - Hotel California. Even though it came out when I was only eight, the Eagles were one of my mom's favourites and I inherited her love of them, especially this song. As I sit here and type this, riffs of Hotel California are blasting throughout my home.

Music was pretty much my life back then, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that I'd go on to be a radio DJ.

At the start of my sixth grade year the previous autumn I'd joined up for the school's "Pen Friends" program which matched-up students with other kids in the program around the world. Initially I signed up for pen-pals from Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. Keep in mind this was way back before Al Gore invented the Interwebs, so we wrote back and forth on special ultra lightweight Air Mail paper that was the equivalent of tissue and it took approximately three to four weeks for a single letter to get from one of us to the other. I was going to exaggerate and say that it took months because the men in the ships that carried the post from one shore to another were frequently overtaken by scurvy but alas, I am not that old!

At the start of the seventh grade I once again signed up for another pen-pal. Keep in mind, we were assigned pen-pals within two years of our own age and they were supposed to be same sex pairings. Picture my surprise when I get my first letter from a BOY in England! I was over the moon! My mom? Not so much. I'm sure she saw the writing on the wall. Add to that, we were Mormon at the time and very active within the church. G was not Mormon, another huge no-no in my mom's eyes. Back then I'm sure she had a nice young man, perhaps one of the Neeley's or even one of Bishop Holmes' boys in mind. They, no doubt, would start college and then go on their missions and come home, finish college and start families of their own. What could be more perfect for a young lady?

I read that first letter from G over and over again. Imagine my excitement when his last line read; "Please write back soon! Cheers, G"

I think my first letter to him was about ten pages long. I insisted on telling him every single trivial thing about me, including every song I loved and why. G has tried several times over the years to find that very first letter, to no avail. However, we have found several others from those first few years and have been able to piece together the foundations that a deep and lasting friendship was built upon and that would eventually lead us to one another, with G bent down on one knee asking me to marry him.

G and I faithfully wrote to one another once a month, if not more. All through junior and then senor high school I would rush to the mailbox after school to see if a letter was waiting there for me from him. Even though there were boyfriends I'd date, and one singular crush that lasted from the time I was fourteen until well into my late twenties that I thought would be the ruin of me, (whom I will only refer to as Mark C.), G was always there. He was like a steadfast beacon through all the teenage crap I'd put myself through. I told him everything, things I'm sure he didn't want to know, especially now that I know he had feelings for me, even way back then.

Our cross-Atlantic friendship survived an ocean of distance, the demise of other pen-friendships, my many varied changes in penmanship and hairstyles (Hey, I was a child of the eighties, and we've all seen this photo and this one, need I say more?), his bad break-ups with girlfriends, my bad break-ups with boyfriends, my shot-gun wedding to my first husband, the birth of my first son, birth of my twins, loss of my son, and my youngest son's birth from that first fated marriage, my career in radio and voice work, (yes that was, at times, something that needed to be survived, especially when I discovered my ego), two subsequent divorces and my frequent moves across the United States.

All of this would eventually lead to G spending an autumn holiday in New England in 2002 where we'd meet for the first time and spend the start of what would ultimately be the rest of our lives together.

The picture below was taken on that holiday, here in Maine at the Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth.

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August 16, 2008

Saturday Share

Happy Saturday! I am sad because I've only got 3.5 days of vacation and visiting left. I'll have guest posters on Monday and Tuesday, but here are the best of the best from this week.
  • Start with this post, then read the rest of the posts over at Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper this week and read about how Crystal's daughter losing her Nintendo DS has started an awesome movement.
  • Visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom to read some great advice for living life.
  • Maria reminds me why I love to watch siblings at Immoral Matriarch.
  • Britt at Fluent Brittish finally gives me proof that I am not alone.
  • Auds at Barking Mad opens up about being THAT Mom and touches my heart.
  • Heather at Queen of Shake-Shake is watching her boy grow up.
  • Y at Joy Unexpected talks to God.
  • And, as always, Sweetney helps us laugh with her linkblog - Cakes and McCain.
Have a great weekend, and as always - happy reading!
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August 15, 2008

Dear God, Please help him be ready soon...

Today's guest post comes from one of my very favorite ladies, Lotus from Sarcastic Mom! I can't remember how I came across her blog, but it was one of the first that I started reading regularly. I can't wait to see what she writes every day - whether it's funny, touching, or just an awesome picture of the second most beautiful toddler in the universe (sorry, can't betray my own spawn...). Also, she has a great rack. So there. Read her here, then go visit Sarcastic Mom, you will love it!

Dear God, Please help him be ready soon...

For weeks, he pottied,
back in June. Then July came.
Potty boycott time!

And yeah, that does suck.
But taking it easy here.
All in due time, right?

Now, sometimes he does,
and sometimes he doesn’t. And
we just keep on going.

Don’t get me wrong here.
I’m gonna be ELATED
when he’s fully trained.

Still, I don’t see the
good in forcing him before
he’s really ready.

But accidentally
Sticking my finger in shit?
IS GETTING SO OLD.

Love,
Lotus:)

PS HAIKU:
Oh, yeah, God? If You
could just erase the muffin-
top, I'd be set, though. <3
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August 14, 2008

Lost without LOST

Today's guest post comes from Nap Warden from The Chronicles of a SAHM. I can't remember what first brought me to her blog, but I immediately liked her header. Who couldn't envy those boots? She impresses me with tales of her kiddies and her running - she is training to eventually run a marathon, which is not something that I can even conceive of. Visit her blog to read about her adventures as she tries to find the answer to the same question many of us are - "How do you keep an identity, and raise babies?".

Lost without LOST

What to do... what to do... I am guest posting today. I have been seeing tons and tons of movies this summer. Did you notice that everything after Dark Knight has been a total let down? Well, for me it has been. I am not looking forward to any more movies this summer...boo hiss!
So...that leads me to my friend TV. My friend TV, leads me to LOST...*sigh* LOST. When are you coming back? I miss you. I have done some digging, and here is what the rumor mill shot out to me...

It runs 6 episodes in Oct. (yes, only 6) without reruns or recaps or breaks.

Then the show goes on hiatus until Feb. (during which time ABC will air some new sit com or something)

Then, starting mid Feb., the show will run an incredible, AMAZING, totally Lost-astic 17 episodes in a row, no reruns, no weeks off, no recap shows (unless they're on like an hour earlier and lead up to the show. I mean you'll get a new episode every week).

Oh my LOST, I miss you so.

Are you LOSTIES? What else has TV got for me? I'm putting it to you my brilliant blogosphere...What shows are you looking forward to this fall?
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August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Goodbye, Friend


Yesterday my stepmom took our kitty, LC (Little Cat) to be put to sleep. She was a good kitty, got 15 great years in and was sick and unhappy. But we still miss her. She was the last left of my childhood pets and I'll miss seeing her around the house during my visits.

To see more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.
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August 12, 2008

Short Note: Olympics

I am lucky that I planned my trip for this week, since we don't have cable at home. I've been watching the Olympics every night and I just have a couple of things to say.
  • I just watched Shawn Johnson do her beam routine and it was AMAZING. I would totally break my neck if I tried doing any of the gymnastics routines they do. Uh oh, the 2nd fall for a US Gymnast just now... bummer.
  • I admit it, I'm sucked in by the whole Michael Phelps thing. I think it's partly that he's crazy amazing - he has already won more medals than anyone else over games, and I feel pretty good about his chances for winning 8 medals in one Olympic games. He's already 5 for 5. By the way, did you SEE the 4x200 freestyle relay? That was freaking CRAZY! They were so far ahead all the swimmers weren't even in the shot. Partly I am also intrigued because his Mom is there and I can't imagine her pride at watching him and knowing that her son is the BEST SWIMMER in the WHOLE WORLD. And most likely the most winning Olympian EVER. He is crazy.
  • How come I have never noticed synchronized high dive before? I feel like I should have noticed. It's pretty cool, and Sam thinks it is hilarious, he laughs every time they go into the water and it splashes. The Chinese divers (both men and women) were so amazing in this event.

That's it for now... back to do some more work then head to bed.

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There's no business like someone else's business

Today's guest poster is Janet from the Planet of Janet, another of my favorite blogs! One of the things I love most about her blog are her adventures and conversations with the Roo Girl, who will be in HIGH SCHOOL this year. Agh! Janet is an amazing woman, and since she has a plan to take over the whole internet, it was not hard to get her to agree to take my place here.

There's No Business Like Someone Else's Business


Hi, everyone. In my never-ending quest to take over the blogosphere one guest post at a time, I have invaded Rachael's turf today. Hopefully she won't regret giving me the keys for today!

I'm Janet, one of about a gazillion Janets who blog, but I'm the only one with my own planet.

Those who know and love me like me tolerate me a little know that I have bathroom issues. Specifically, there are places where I will "go" and places where I will not.

The workplace restroom, fortunately, is one of the "go"-to places. And I can find refuge there -- in the center stall. A place where I have gone for inspiration when I couldn't think of what to write.

The place where I now go to play sudoku on my iPhone.

Oh, come on. You know you do it too. You take your phone into the bathroom at work and text someone. If you have a Crackberry or an iPhone, you compulsively check your email in there.

I mean, you gotta do SOMETHING to entertain yourself if you don't have reading material!

But here is something I will never do:

I will never ever ever ever ever take my cell phone into the bathroom while in mid-conversation.

Because ... ew.

I don't want people I'm talking with to hear other people's bathroom noises. Face it, I barely can tolerate other people's bathroom noises. Considering how squirrely I am about bathrooms, I can barely tolerate my OWN bathroom noises.

And I for sure don't want someone else to broadcast those noises over the wireless network.

So, there I was last week, minding my own business (heh) and playing a kick-butt game of sudoku when my silent meditation was rudely interrupted by an opening bathroom door and loud -- and I mean LOUD -- talking.

"I just don't understand how he can be so RUDE," exclaimed a voice.

"Mrmph mrmphen mphermiferm," was a garbled and slightly tinny answer.

*Adjoining stall door opens, closes and latches*

"Yes, but maybe you should explain to him that this is not proper behavior," continued the LOUD VOICE.

"I know," came a newly identifiable voice. "But I wouldn't know where to start."

What the hell?

Yes, Ms. LOUD VOICE put her cell phone on SPEAKER in the public bathroom!!

This conversation continued while the sounds of her personal ... um ... BUSINESS took place.

And while I was in mid-business myself.

Let me tell you that my immediate response was to cease and desist all activities while this invasion of my privacy continued.

And continued.

And continued.

The phone conversation about someone else's rudeness stopped only for some flushing ... at which point Ms. LOUD VOICE announced, "Here, let me take you off speaker ..."

And she left the bathroom.

Without washing her hands.

I may never recover.

Come visit anytime at my planet, where I promise no one will invade your privacy.
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August 11, 2008

My Confessional

Since I'm on vacation this week, I have arranged for some of the fabulous bloggers I admire to drop in to Scientific Nature of the Whammy and keep you entertained. Today I feel super lucky to have Maria from Immoral Matriarch as my first guest poster ever! I discovered Maria's blog early on when I decided to start blogging and trying to become part of this community. After I changed the blog template, Maria gave me some great advice that helped me clean up my blog and make it more readable. I always find her posts intelligent, entertaining, and touching, whether it's pictures of her adorable kids or talk about the latest great TV show she's found or her recap of Blogher. Enjoy her post here, then go visit her - you will be glad you did!

My Confessional

I have a problem.
It's an obsession, an addiction, an unhealthily craze that consumes me completely.
It takes all of my money, even when I don't have any. I've been known to choose it over feeding my children.
Well not really, but I'll be at that point soon enough.

I am obsessed with, addicted to, unhealthily crazed by movies.

This is Maria by the way, and if you know me you may know me better by Immoral Matriarch. Rachael is too busy or something to blog [is that even possible? I don't get it.] and asked me to fill in for her. I figured this was a safe haven to admit to my condition, since she has this problem too, and thus cannot judge me.

Movies have always been a passion of mine. I never have had a dream to make them, or star in them other than my fantasy that would put me in a Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal sandwich, but I've always loved to watch them. I'm the person that will literally be on the edge of my seat in suspense, that will get goosebumps from a good score, that will fight back tears at the climax.

They offer an escape from the mundane, a chance to indulge my inner sociopath, a reason to laugh when it seems that the world is crumbling around me. I can turn to them in my darkest hour or my brightest point. I love them. I have no favorite genre or style, I will watch any type, and kind, on any subject. I love the Oscar winners and the SciFi Originals. I am the harshest critique, the biggest fan, the most welcoming yet discriminating movie goer there is.

But I have another confession. Another addiction.
I am obsessed with, addicted to, unhealthily crazed by television. Dramas and sitcoms, cartoons, some reality and all things VH1. I obsessively fill and empty my DVR, and I'm constantly searching for the nest big show. I take it as a personal attack when someone disses Heroes, I mailed boxes of Rice-A-Roni to NBC as a part of the save Journeyman campaign and I can give you an accurate synopsis of just about every Law & Order and Law & Order spinoff episode ever made.

I develop crushes on, relationships with and hatred for characters. I'll defend the genius of Spongebob when he's under attack, and root for my favorite money grubbing hooker on Rock of Love like I was related to her. I love television. Almost all of it. But still, not much of it. It keeps me from working out to lose this belly. It assists me in maintaining my lack of stamina and need for Krispy Kreme and Doritos. It is a gift and a curse.

I have these problems, but instead of trying to eliminate them from my life, I have decided to embrace them, and bring them fully into being with my other addiction: the internet. I am starting a new subdomain for my blog, that will focus solely on movies and television, with a bit of music and celebrity gossip thrown in for good measure.

I'm asking for your assistance here, if you're willing to give it. I'll make it worth your while. I promise.
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August 9, 2008

Saturday Share

I just can't skip my Saturday Share, even if I'm on vacation! Grandma & Auntie took Sam to the park, so I have a couple of minutes to give you some quality reading material for the weekend.

Now go into the world, and click away. Have a wonderful weekend!
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August 8, 2008

Haiku Friday: Vacation Unplugged

Haiku Friday

Failed Movie Monday,
even though I have seen three
Feed reader is full

Emails sit in box
Overwhelming when I see
so many unread

Thought that on va-cay
I would have all the time in
the world for this stuff

Turns out I was wrong
Delusional to the max
I need a break now!

Well, I am managing to get my haiku up on time despite the fact that I totally failed and didn't post my Movie Monday post this week after having seen three movies that I WANT to write about (I'll get to it when I can - I promise!), AND I did Wordless Wednesday, but never got a chance to go put my link in over there, so no one probably saw it! I thought on vacation I'd have time to keep up with all this stuff, but I didn't bring my laptop so I'm using a borrowed one, and it turns out that I'm falling behind!

So, next week I will have some fabulous guest posters showing up for you to read, and hopefully will get a chance at least a couple of times to pop on and say hi myself! In the meantime, go read some more haikus here.

I will be back home on the 20th and back to my regular internet addicted posting, plurking and blog reading. I did manage to get through SOME of my Google reader this morning, and found out that Congratulations are in order for Mrs. Chicken, who welcomed her new baby into the world! Go see him, he is totally adorable.
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August 7, 2008

A Journey in Faith: My Life, New

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear
And take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

"I Will Lift My Eyes" - Bebo Norman

I'll start my final post with something I wrote only a few days after I joined the Presbyterian church:

Monday April 2

The last few days have been really full for me, but in my time in the car or lying in bed I've done a lot of thinking. I am really happy. It's weird I feel a lot more relaxed in the past two days, and weirdly I feel more confident too, or maybe just... Well, I always worry about things that aren't worth worrying about. For instance, since it was the first Sunday of the month, they had communion at church. Beforehand I was talking with Mom and Justin and they both thought that I wouldn't be able to take communion because I'm not baptized yet, but I thought that it would be okay, but wasn't sure. Now, in the past, I probably would have been convinced not too because of experiences at other churches, and just sat there quietly and waited until after I was baptized, just to be safe. But instead of doing that, I told Justin I would be right back and went and ASKED Mike, and found out that it was totally okay for me to do it. Instead of just being scared or unsure, I just took care of it. Or yesterday when Brooke and I got to book club and we had the address but hadn't been to Ceci's in a long time and it didn't look familiar. Instead of going through the hassle of looking it up on my phone's crappy internet browser or calling Justin or Dave to look up the address to make sure, I decided we should just get out and knock. If it wasn't the right house, it wasn't. It's not like anything bad was going to happen. I know those are little things, but to me they do make a difference.

Attending church on Sunday was great too. Since it was Palm Sunday the church was more crowded than usual. We also had communion, and I was able to take communion for the first time. It was also interesting how things sounded so different to me. Listening to the songs parts that I wasn' sure about before made a lot more sense to me, and I understood how the words fit in to my faith and my interpretation! I just really like it there, and I'm looking forward to getting more involved.

I've also felt pretty happy the last few days. I feel really close to Justin and have been just enjoying spending time with him, and I'm glad that happened just before Sam was going to be gone because I'm really enjoying hanging out with him. So, that's what's going on with me. I know this was really long, so if you got this far, thanks for reading!

I wouldn't consider myself a born-again Christian. To be truthful, I don't actually know exactly what that means. But when I really think about it, in a way I was born again when I accepted Jesus and gained my faith. My life has not changed dramatically, yet there have been changes. Little things. I feel more confident. I have let go of some of my fears about what strangers think. I still think about it, I am human, but it just doesn't bother me as much. And I do have the power of prayer. When I'm worried, when I feel anxious and things are not quite under control, if I can find a minute to sit down and talk to God, to remember all of the people who need my positive thoughts and prayers, I can ground myself again.

It's been almost a year since my baptism, and over a year since I joined the Presbyterian church, but it's all still fresh and new. I have a longing for spiritual learning in my life. I go to church eagerly, to hear the sermon, to gain knowledge. I have a beautiful bible that my Mother-in-law and her husband gave me when I was baptised, and I can open it and feel this wonder about the stories and the lessons they hold. I long for discussion, for books on spirtuality, for the closeness that my small group and our interactions bring to me. Things can still affect me in such a proufound way. I don't know if it's because it's so new, or if it will always be this way. When I started this series, I talked about Andrea from Punk Rock Mommy. Since then, Andrea passed away after a year long battle with inflamatory breast cancer. I read Andrea's whole blog, mostly in one sitting. Nestled between the updates, the posts about her illness and her children, were several gems of posts about her faith. Just reading the blog of this amazing woman affected my views, I gained something invaluable from reading her story and despite never having met her, I loved her. I prayed for her, and pray for her family and their peace still.

I wish that I had the words to describe what this experience has meant to me, but I have to limit myself. I could sit in front of a computer for hours and type away describing all of the wonder, the peace, the insight and the curiosity that my faith has brought to me. I feel love. I feel like I can contribute something that I wasn't able to before. I'm writing this series because faith IS a large part of my life. It doesn't always effect every single action I take. I still live the life I lived before. I am a Mom, I love reading vampire books and watch too much TV, I love movies and I still swear and make bad jokes. I still feel anxious sometimes, I let my kid watch too much TV. I don't always do as much as I can to help other people. But I try. I am still the same person, but better now and getting better day by day.

I don't want to force my views on anyone. I don't bring up religion in conversation that often on my own - only if it's already come up as a topic. I am ecstatic to share my experience and my faith with anyone who wants to know - but only if they WANT to know and hear about it. I would love to be able to share my experience with my friends, but I know that many of them are not ready, and my never be ready, just as I was not ready for so many years of my life. I believe whole heartedly that everyone has the ability to find some faith, and that they'll find it when they need it. If there is a way that I can facilitate that process for them, I will do it. Just as Violet was so patient with me, talking with me, praying for me, I will continue to give my love and support to whoever needs it, despite their religious beliefs. I want this kind of feeling for people because it has added so much to my life, but it is such a personal journey.

I decided to write my story down here for a couple reasons. One is that I really want to have this journey all in once place for myself. When I go back and read the story, it still brings up amazing feelings of discovery and wonder for me. I know there will be a day when I need a reminder of how amazing it can be. I want to be able to look back, and remember this discovery. The other is that I wanted to share my story with people. If you've come here, and aren't interested, it's easy enough to just skip these posts. But if you ARE interested - if you're looking for support or to read someone else's experience, if you're searching for what you believe, I hope that you'll find these posts helpful or inspiring. If even one person gets something out of this series, I will feel so much joy. I've also had a couple of people ask me about my experience, and I would love to have a place to show them and let them read the whole story, and now I do.

If you've made it to the end, thank you for reading. I hope that you enjoyed this, and that it helped you in some way. Now back to life and my 2 year old...

To read the other posts in my 'Journey of Faith' series, click here.
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August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Vacation Time!

I arrived in New Jersey for 2 weeks yesterday with my awesome little sister and stepmom. Here are a couple of my favorite shots from our trip last summer, enjoy!





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August 5, 2008

Come see me at Casa Barking Mad!

Psssst. You. Hey you there... I'm not here today. Why? Because something exciting and big is happening. I am visiting and guest posting over at Barking Mad. Come see me there. Stay a while. Put up your feet. I'll be back tomorrow.
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August 4, 2008

Help Wanted: Got a click for your fellow bloggers?

Kristin over at Motherhood Uncensored had an idea. A pretty great idea if you ask me. So, I'm jumping in to support August as Blog the Recession month! She said it best herself:

"The premise is simple. If you read blogs, then for the month of August, make the "pledge" to click through from your feed reader. No obligation to leave a hilarious comment or send a long stalkerish email (although both, within reason, are always lovely). Just click through to the blog (not on ads unless you are so led) and if you're feeling generous, click around to their older posts.

Just those extra page views can make a big difference for bloggers who could really use the help, or in my case, where page views don't matter so much, a big fat ego boost."

I'm in the same boat as Kristin - the clicks will just make me feel super warm fuzzy good. But for some people extra clicks might help them buy their gas for the month or pay their bills. Let's all use our clicker this month and support each other! You might even get some pleasant surprises, like maybe your favorite blog got a makeover. Maybe you forgot what someone's blog even looked like because you haven't been there in a while, and you can enjoy the prettiness. Maybe you'll discover some cool new blogs by going to the Blog the Recession participants list (because you needed just a few more in your feed reader, right?).

I could say something more clever, but instead I say - go, begin to click!

Join us!
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August 3, 2008

Banana Mondays: My child, my teacher

This week we'll be writing about things we've learned from our dear little daughters and sons.

1. Ice cream always tastes better when shared with a two year old, especially when it's chocolate and leaves a chocolate moustache.

2. Accomplishments are all relative - sometimes it feels like more of a success when your kid goes down to bed easily or finally repeats a word than it did when you graduated from college.

3. It is possible to have more working knowledge of a foreign language by watching children's TV than remains from the 2.5 years of language you took in high school/college. Yum, yum, yum, yum - deliciouso!

4. There is no more joyous sound in the world than your own child's laughter, coming from their big, goofy, grinning toddler mouth.

5. That place where socks disappear when you think they're in the drier isn't limited to socks. It also houses pacifiers and sippy cups.

6. Sometimes it's the simple things - a yard full of toys can't compare to the bag of gravel Grandma bought at the hardware store when it comes to fun.

7. Being dirty isn't always easier, but it's almost always MORE FUN!

8. The look on a two year old's face when they see a slug for the first time then pick it up, drop it and realize there is slime all over their hand? Priceless.

9. Almost anything can be used as a drum if you try hard enough.

10. A heart can be broken a thousand times and mended by pride and love every time. And it's worth it.

To read more life lessons, head over to Absolutely Bananas!
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August 2, 2008

Saturday Share

Thank goodness the weekend is here! As you may have noticed, I've decided to make Saturday Share a regular feature - sharing my favorite blog posts and internet discoveries for the last week. While you enjoy these fabulous pieces of writing, I will be throwing a wedding shower for my friend Sati!
  • Rebecca over at Girl's Gone Child has (another) amazing post about motherhood and losing our babies as they enter childhood.
  • Crystal over at Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper has some happy news. You might as well start reading now, because you'll all be reading her book later if I have anything to say about it!
  • Heather at The Queen of Shake-Shake ponders a question we all face someday - what do we do now that our kids don't need us as much?
  • Y at Joy Unexpected reminds us all how scary life can be out of the blue.
  • Casey at moosh in indy tackles two difficult subjects that are close to my heart.
  • Visit Oh, the Joys for a touching story about black & white.
  • Miss Zoot at zoot gives us the courage to admit that we don't ACTUALLY hover.
  • Black Hockey Jesus at The Wind in Your Vagina reminds us how wonderful silent love can be.
  • Jen at Absolutely Bananas will make you cry if you're not careful.
  • To end on a funny note, Danny at Dad's Gone Mad thinks he has a GREAT idea for feeding shrimp to his kids...

Have a great weekend!

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August 1, 2008

Amazing Love

I read on mothergoosemouse today that Midwestern Mommy just found out she has cancer. It's easy to get lost in this big wide internet. To read funny stories, think about trolls and people's nightmare neighbors and what movies people are watching. But then there are posts like these, ones that keep me grounded and remind me how little I have to worry about, how lucky I am. It's times like these when I know what I want to do with my prayers. So I headed over to Midwestern Mommy to leave a kind word. I made it through her whole post without crying. Until I got to the bottom. That's where I saw that there were 375 comments on this one post, on her announcement about her scary diagnosis. I am willing to venture that over three hundred of these were from TOTAL STRANGERS. Total strangers giving hugs, prayers, well wishes, love with all of their hearts. I added my own well wishes and prayers through tears. What an amazing world. I feel privileged to be part of this kind of a community. I can only hope that I have that much support the next time something so scary happens to me.

Yesterday, Midwestern Mommy posted an update that she may not have cancer. Hopefully, she doesn't. Her chances look good from what I've read. I'll still be rooting for her to get more good news.
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Haiku Friday: A Burning Mess

Haiku Friday

Last night, finally
Went to see Mamma Mia
What the hell was that?

I will be posting
Full review on Monday
But needed to say

Something, could not wait
All weekend because I can't
Stop thinking of it

Wanted to like it so
badly, but felt like I might
Have been slipped acid

It was not all bad
Only eighty percent bad
Well, Pierce was still hot

I went with Violet last night to see Mamma Mia. I have been looking forward to seeing this for MONTHS. I never got to see it on stage because when it finally came to Seattle I had conflicts and it was only here for a couple of nights. I wish I had been able to because then I could compare the burning mess that was the movie to the show, which was supposed to be so good. I will post a full review with my Movie Monday post next week, but I seriously can't stop thinking about this movie and wondering how it managed to exist, so I had to post something today.

Have a good weekend, and if you want to go to the movies, see Step Brothers instead - it was freaking hilarious, and you get to hear Mary Steenburgen say "What the fucking fuck?" while obviously trying not to bust a gut watching Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly fight, which is pretty much worth the price of admission.

For more haikus, click here!
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