Wednesday, December 31, 2008

photo a day photo #2

I took my tripod to First Night last night! I set it up, right there in the middle of all of the commotion, and played with the shutter speed. My kids didn't even complain too much...well not about THAT anyway!

New Year's Eve

We actually left the house on New Year's Eve this year! We went to First Night uptown. We rode part way in to town and then rode the light rail the rest of the way.
The kids had a blast on the train. In fact, the train ride was probably the best part because Stella was in a terrible mood. It was cold and she really wasn't warm enough so we didn't stay too long.
I was so excited when I planned this little adventure but MAN the kids were quite challenging. I now remember why we don't usually do anything on NYE! I did have fun taking photos though! I didn't manage to get a photo of Finn...but believe me....he was there too!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Photo A Day

I stole the idea from someone else's blog but like I tell my kids and other idea is completely original. And any great idea is an idea worth stealing. This doesn't mean that I ignore copyright rules or anything. It just means that I truly believe that great ideas are for sharing. As long as you do the work for the great's okay, right? Right.

So my stolen idea is to take a photo a day. I am an amateur photographer who refuses to get better for some reason. I think this will force me to "see the light" a little differently each day. My hope is that my images will get better and better. Some days I will have writing to go along with my images and other days I won't. I do teach full time after all. And have 4 kids.

Here is my first "Photoaday" photo. Maybe I should have started on Jan. 1st! Sweet! Now I can tell people this is my NewYear's resolution. (Hate those things...none of those ideas are worth stealing!!) Okay so here is my first. My sleeping babe. Her eyes were fluttering while she lay dreaming and it was sort of eerie sort of angelic all at the same time. Little love bug.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Enjoying time off...

I absolutely cannot believe it but I actually painted a picture today. I am not saying it's GOOD...I am just saying that I painted a picture today. I would love to consider myself an artist. I would love to be a photographer, painter, excellent seamstress. There are many different things I would like to do one day. Until then, I will just play around and pretend to be all of those things. I figure if I pretend long enough then one day I will believe it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Sister's Family

This was the first year that I can remember that I didn't get to see my sister and her family before Christmas. She usually comes a couple of days before Christmas (Christmas Eve Eve) and we celebrate at Dad's house. Well this year she was unable to come until a couple of days after Christmas. And we went to see her at Mom's instead. Sadly, it just wasn't the same. We usually have all of that preChristmas excitement when she arrives. We get to eat yummy food (well some yummy stuff...sorry Daddy) and open presents. Dad has always
LOVED Christmas so
he has that "Christmas in the air" attitude. We still went to Dad's but it was different without Jill's family. I realized this year just how excited SHE gets about the holidays... and her excitement has always been contagious. I missed catching her excitement bug.

Anyway, long story short, I missed seeing her before Christmas but it WAS great to finally see her after. Here is her lovely fam. (side note: if you have seen the movie Step Brothers....they are totally the family singing in the car...only nicer.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking to be Inspired

I am so happy to have found all of these bloggers recently. I have been trying to find the motivation/inspiration to get creative again. I really want to continue the photography classes and eventually become a full-time photographer.
In the meantime, however, I have been searching through books, magazines, and blogs trying to get myself motivated to do something!!

Last night, Nick and I went to the ex husband's house to play Wii with the kids and to have dinner. While we were there, Ex gave me a box he had found in the garage. I was so excited! In the box were several pieces of jewelry that I made a few years ago. There were some beads, findings, pendants too.

After Ex and I got divorced, I no longer had the time or the capital to buy beads and materials so I let it go. Lately, I have had the itch to get started again. Thanks all you bloggers out there for helping me find the inspiration to get started again.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Final Christmas Notes...

Estella Grace

I really think that all of the kids had a great Christmas this year. The Wii, new phones, too many toys to count, and LOTS of good food.

Stella learned about Santa this year...and responds with an appropriate "Ho! Ho! Ho!" every time his name is mentioned. We discovered that Finn still believes in Santa...can you believe that?? He is 7! The girls were way too nosy to fall for that past about age 5!! What's even more unbelievable is that Maddy didn't ruin it for him. She is growing up too fast. Sweet girl. And Hailey...Hailey seemed to really enjoy the family this year. She seemed like the mini adult she is not really worrying about what gifts she was getting. She was way more concerned with the gifts she could GIVE. It almost makes me cry she is so grown up these days. She was also really into the traditions of Christmas. She loved decorating cookies and making the gingerbread house. She enjoyed all of the family get-togethers and if you know anything about know that stuff used to really stress her out.

Overall, I have to say this was one of the best Christmases ever. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stella and her Daddy

I know that all dads love their little girls. And I am quite sure that most little girls LOVE their daddy...but these two are unbelievable. Now remember, I had my older three children with my ex husband.
And of course the children love him. 2 and 3 are actually very close to their dad. But all of my other children have been attached to ME until they were 3 or so. All of the first 3 wanted me when they were tired, hungry, hurt, sad, etc.
NOT Stella.
From the time she was born she has been quite diplomatic. She never screamed and cried for her mommy. She never fussed when her dad put her to sleep. She has never, ever even pretended to like me best! I am the Mom for heaven's sake. She is supposed to like me BEST. But no. She seems to like her Dad just as much. I can't quite figure it out. Except for the fact that he absolutely adores her. Cannot get enough of her...ever. They truly seem to enjoy each other's company. He seems to totally understand her and respect her at all times. It is the coolest, sweetest thing I have ever seen.


I have often said that with each child, I have lost a little bit of my mind. By the third child, my mind was pretty much gone...lost...forgotten. Then when the fourth came along, I thought there was no hope. I thought I would very likely go insane. However, this little child seems to have brought with her some clarity. I actually see the world a little differently these days. Somehow, I seem to appreciate the little things a little more. And I am hoping, that even though I am old, I will find a way to remember the little things.

Stella has reminded me about little toddlers and Christmas trees. They love to help decorate. Stell loves to put all of her favorite ornaments on the same two or three branches. I think it's just beautiful. Absolutely, preciously beautiful. So I decided to take a picture of it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sick Day

Hailey and I are taking a "sick" day today. Mental health counts. Last week was awful. We are tired. I never get to see her. So there. We are officially mentally ill today and we are staying in bed. I don't even feel bad about it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving came quickly this year! In some ways it was a nice surprise...sneaking up on me like that! In other ways of course, it was very stressful. I made a promise to myself last year that I would not let holidays be so stressful. Family here and back and forth...messy. So I am sort of shocked that it was so crazy again this year. I guess I shouldn't really be surprised. Nick wanted to have lunch or dinner with his Mom. I of course wanted to have lunch or dinner with my family the kids were supposed to have one meal with me and one meal with their Dad. I told you...messy.

In the end...we all went to my sisters for a bit. Then Nick and Stella went to his Mom's to actually eat while the older 3 and I ate with my family. Then, Chuck (ex) came to pick the older 3 up at my sister's house at 3:00 so they could go eat with his family for dinner.

I actually ended up at my sister's, without any children, for a bit. Strange. Ok. But strange.

After all of that....I sat back and thought..."What in the hell is going on here?" I guess I create all of my own messes to an extent but GOOD GRIEF!!!

Let me back up for a minute here. Nick is my boyfriend/life partner (as he calls himself). We got together just before my divorce was final. He loves my kids, he loves me. All is well. Then I got pregnant with Stell and she of course changed life all over again. She is an angel from God...just so you know...but just when I thought divorce was about to be final and things were going to settle down...along comes another baby out of wedlock. Another beautiful mess.

So now, Nick desperately wants for his family to embrace and love me and all of my kids. His brothers are fine. His Dad too. Even his Mom has been great. BUT she doesn't always try to change her plans for us or try to include us in her family traditions. I am totally ok with that. I understand. Nick doesn't understand. He wants us to all be one big happily-ever-after family and he wants us all to do holidays with his family too. Of course I understand that. He needs for his daughter, Stella, to be involved. BUT all of us?? It gets too complicated sometimes.

I have tried to tell him kindly that I don't really think his Mom cares if we come to her house or not. I mean, she doesn't mind... and she is very sweet to my kids...but basically she just wants to see him and the baby. I don't think she is upset if we don't all see her on holidays. But Nick fought hard for all of us to go to his Mom's for a big Thanksgiving lunch and I kept saying, "Honey, I don't really think that she is planning for all of us to come." And he kept insisting that she was planning to feed all of us and that she had a big meal planned. Did she tell him this? No. He just assumed that she would have a grand meal and tons of food so he thought we would all be welcome. Anyway...we agreed after many tears that he would go eat at her house with Stell, the other 3 and I would eat at my sisters, and we would meet back home after a couple of hours. INSANELY MESSY.

As it turns out, Nick's Mom didn't actually cook Thanksgiving Dinner this year at all. She served cold cuts. She casually said that she is waiting until Christmas to cook a big dinner. Yep. That's right. Cold cuts for Thanksgiving.

Anyway....Next year...I am having Thanksgiving at my house. Anyone who wants to come is welcome. But I am not leaving my house. Come. Join in. Bring food or not. I will not go anywhere else on Thanksgiving Day next year. And for that....I am very thankful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Food Frolics

Cheese sticks, ice cream, mac and cheese...all favorites at our house.

The important thing to note is that these kids eat all the time. ALL THE TIME. They are never full, we never have enough of what they like, we really need to buy more next time...and "somebody" always eats all of the good food.

The happiest times in our house occur shortly after I return from the grocery store.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home is where ya eat!!

The weekends are a mixed blessing for me. Yes, the work week is finally over. Yes, I may be able to sleep a little later on Saturday. But... the house is also very empty. My three older children go to their dad's house most weekends. I still have baby little but the other littles make a whole lot of noise when they are around so when the weekend comes I feel bittersweet about it all. I told you before, my life is messy.

I usually take the opportunity to clean like a wild woman while the littles are away. It's usually messy within moments of their return, but I love having the house appear clean and inviting when they arrive.

Just before they got here today I cleaned off the dining room table. I swear I don't think the table had been that clean in weeks. I put out the place mats and a couple of candles and I stood back to look for smears, crumbs, yucky stuff I missed with the wipe down. Everything looked good to me. And then I had this vision of the family sitting at the table eating together.

All of the sudden I felt like I was home. I felt comfortable and calm for a minute.

No matter what goes on in this house, no matter who is mad at whom, no matter how much homework or housework there is to be done, we all have to eat. And when we eat, we talk. And when we talk, we usually smile...sometimes even laugh. And when that all happens, I feel like all is right with the world. I feel content. I feel home.

So when I looked at the table and felt all warm and fuzzy for a minute, I decided to save the moment. Now when I forget, I can look back at the picture and remember that home will return eventually...cause we all have to eat!

Friday, November 14, 2008

If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane...j.b.

There is nothing better than a good laugh. I mean nothing.

Even when I was a little girl I knew that....that laughter could cure just about anything. I laughed all the time. I would get so cracked up sometimes that tears would fall and I would just about wet my pants. And I have discovered through the years that laughter is also a gift. Not all people have the ability to really crack up. I feel sorry for the people that have never experienced sore sides from the joy of it all.

Now that I am officially old...I still love it. The laughs don't come as often and they don't last as long...but I sure appreciate them when they come!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Today is one of those days. One of those days where I have to keep reminding myself that it's all going to be ok. One of those days where I have to take deep breaths and remember to be the moment and not far away worrying about the future.

When it comes right down to it, here and now is all we've got.

Two little feet pulled me back to reality today. Two little smoochable feet. Sometimes that's all it takes...and I am suddenly full of gratitude.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Angels that Live in my House

There are 4 little angels living in my house. Sometimes they appear to be descending directly from the light. Other times their halos disappear and they dive daredevilishly toward darkness!
Most of the time, however, they are halo wearing, wing flapping little creatures that spread the light into every little corner of this house.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inaugural Blogural

This is not exactly my idea. Well in a way it is. I have been encouraged to do this by several wonderfully inspiring women who have this down to an art. My art, however, is the messy kind. My life is messy. My kids are messy. My classroom gets messy. My house is usually messy. My room is especially messy right now. And above all, my mind is messy. My knowing how to deal with the messiness and knowing the differences between motivational mess and downright filth! The filth I simply cannot stand but the mess...the good kind, I rather enjoy sometimes.

I love photography and I love children. (My children, your children, any old children really.) Those are the two great loves of my life these days. ( I am not including my own personal family in that statement because 1. they are all crazy too and 2. they know how much they mean to me already.)

So here goes. My attempt to blog away about my artfully messy life.