Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's SUMMER!!!!!

My title belies the sheer horror I feel.

Summer.

24 hours a day.

7 days a week.

for 13 looooooooooong weeks.

I need HELP!

All you super mamas out there help a girl out ok?  I need ideas!  Cheap ideas.  Things to keep the kiddos busy.  I've got the standard wading pool in the backyard.  Of course there's always a movie or two.  But what else?  I need a plan, a specific day by day lay out of what we're going to do.

Or mama's gonna go CRAZY.

Anyone run across some great blogs about this?  I seriously need it all spelled out for me.  Craft projects, reading projects, outdoor projects.

Anything to keep me from hearing, "I'm boooooooored" for the thousandth time.

Please, please, please, please!

Please!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

And Update and How You Can Help

With this horrific spring releasing Mother Nature's almighty fury on thousands of people, the needs are understandably great.  I don't know about you, but every time news of more tragedy reaches me, the pull and ache to just do something increases exponentially.

I wanted to let you know about one such opportunity that is near and dear to my heart.  I posted a few days ago about the tragic story of the Hamil family, who lost their 15 month old son Cole in the monster tornado that tore through Piedmont, OK on Tuesday evening.  At the time, their 5 year old daughter Kathleen and pregnant mother Catherine were hospitalized with serious injuries and their 3 year old son Ryan was missing.

On Thursday morning, Ryan's body was discovered in the lake that bordered the remains of the family's home.

I cannot even put into words how I feel.  Though I bear no connection to this family, my heart aches in a way only a mother's could I think.  Their loss is great.

I am not alone in those feelings.  And someone is doing something about it.

Catherine Hamil is due with her baby, a girl, in October.  Of course the family has lost everything and will be needing tremendous amount of time to just grieve the losses of their sons, let alone begin to think about rebuilding and preparing for a new child.

In an effort to ease the burden, a woman by the name of Toni Keltner has begun organizing a donation for the Hamil family called Shower of Hope - Oklahoma.   For the next 3-4 weeks, Shower of Hope - Oklahoma will be collecting baby items as well as items for the 5 year old Kathleen.  Already many well known companies have offered donations - Stokke, Baby Legs, Bobby, The First Years, and Born Free, just to name a few, as well as private donations.

If you would like to participate in this shower, please send your donations to the following address:

ERA John Hausam Realtors
c/o BJ - Shower Of Hope Oklahoma
2625 S. Elm Place
Broken Arrow, OK  74012

You can find out more specific information by going to Shower of Hope Oklahoma Facebook.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

God Have Mercy

In a small bedroom community of Oklahoma City, a family is living out my worst nightmare.

On Tuesday evening, just 10 miles northwest of my parent's home, 3 small children were ripped from their mother's arms as she tried to shield them from the nearly mile wide wedge tornado that was plowing through their beautiful home.

The mother Catherine, pregnant with her 4th child, 5 year old daughter Kathleen and 15 month old son Cole were rescued and rushed to the hospital, critically injured.   In unspeakable tragedy, Cole later passed away from his injuries.

What is left of the Hamil home (Photo credit)
But if that devastation weren't enough, another son, 3 year old Ryan, was no where to be found.

He is still missing, over 24 hours later.

The father, Hank, who was out of town at the time the tornado hit, is joined by family, community and search and rescue teams, desperately seeking for the little boy.

Please pray.  Pray for a miracle beyond human comprehension for this sweet little boy.  Pray for peace as this family copes with grief beyond my imagination.  Pray for strength and encouragement for the rescue workers who are out there searching right now.  Pray for God to have mercy on this situation and reunite this family soon.


You can get more up to date information on the search efforts and offer your prayers on Facebook at Prayers for the Hamil Family - Find Ryan.

and hug your little ones a little tighter tonight.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Ruby Anniversary

Today (well, today for 2 more hours... it's been a busy day!) my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

Two things come to mind when I think about this:

The first is, geez.  I'm old.  I remember their 25th anniversary like it was yesterday.  It was the day of my highschool graduation.  Sigh.

The second thought is, as AMAZING as 40 years of marriage is, I wonder if we consider it more amazing now than we did when, say, my grandparents celebrated their 40th.  With the divorce rate in our country skyrocketing, it makes sense that we've lowered the bar on what's considered an accomplishment in terms of years of marriage.

Don't get me wrong, 40 years is phenomenal.  But sadly I almost fear that couples who can say they're celebrating their 40th are becoming an anomaly.  And I wish that weren't true.  I'd almost rather it not be considered a great feat of... whatever (patience, endurance, will power, sheer dumb luck) to make it to 40 years of marriage.  Instead I'd rather our society saw that as, well, a no brainer.  Because you know, most couples do say until death do us part, at least at some point.  So shouldn't it be common to see couples celebrating 40, 50, 60 years of marriage?

Please know there is no judgment in my words.  Just sadness that the state of marriage in our country is not as stated above.  Because I do think it could be.  As happy as I know my parents are to be celebrating their big milestone anniversary today, I think if you were to ask them they would also acknowledge that there was no doubt this day would come, and it's just another day in the journey they've chosen to walk together.

My friends, I know this post is idealistic and probably a bit naive, but that's ok.  I grew up watching what a strong, healthy marriage is supposed to look like, so perhaps those ideals have rubbed off on me.  I'm so grateful they have.  Happy Anniversary mom and dad.
PS.  My mom is going to totally kill me for posting this pic, but how cute is she in her wedding dress?!  40 years later it still fits!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

As The Blog Turns...

Obviously, I've been in a blogging drought of sorts.  Mostly self-imposed I think.  And if you look back at my archives you'll see that I tend to do that this time of year.

Lots of factors go into it I think.

One: It's the end of the school year and to say things are CA-RAZY would be an understatement.  We've got recitals and contests and parties and a thousand papers to sign and checks to write and plans to make for the summer.  It's exhausting just writing about it, let alone actually doing it.  Just a side note, I never, ever anticipated how overwhelming this time of year can be when you have multiple kids.  It's one thing to get one child to the right place at the right time.  Multiply that by four and you've got mama rocking in a corner desperately trying to find her happy place!

Two:  I've mentioned before how I hate this time of year, in regards to the weather.  And it actually effects (affects?  Urg.  My AP English teacher should be cringing right now) me emotionally and physically at times.  Not good, I know, but I AM getting better.  In the meantime I often tend to get a bit paralyzed in terms of my day to day and sometimes it's all I can do to just get through the day.  Again, I'm getting better.  But things like my little blog get pushed to the side when I'm dealing with my demons.

Three:  I go through phases where I feel quite inadequate as a blogger, or like I'm not really sure what my purpose is.  No, this is not a pity party nor a plea for compliments.  It's just reality.  Sometimes I just don't feel like there's any point to exposing my every thought in the written word for the whole world to see.  I'm not always sure I know what I want to accomplish.  I have no desire to be seen as a role model or to be a popular blogger. I have no desire to have people flock to me to hear my "how to's" or advice on raising kids.  I have no desire to make it seem as though I've got it all figured out, or even to always allow people to join me on my personal journey's. But sometimes I wonder if I'm not wanting any of those things above, if there's a place for me in the blogging world.   And I think that's my dilemma as of late.  I enjoy writing, but I don't always feel as though I have anything to share, or anything I want to share.  I've been pressuring myself to keep up with the blogging rat race, and quite frankly, it's not fun when you're writing for anyone other than yourself.  Is this a blogger's identity crisis?  Maybe so.  So I've backed off a bit.  Writing only when I feel like it and not guilt tripping myself if I let a whole week go by without a post.

So there you have it.  I feel like a write a post like this about once every 6 months or so.  The pressure is high in my little world right now.  Not in a bad way necessarily, but in a way that requires me to spend more time with my family and less time with my computer.  I'm still around, and I still love to hear from the community of bloggers I've come to know and appreciate.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Livin' On A Prayer and Other Fun Stuff

Hello friends.  I know, I know.  I've been slacking.  I could bore you with excuses about it being the end of the school year, piano contests, dance recitals, yada yada, yada.  But you don't really care right?  So I'll spare ya.  ;-)

I'm just stopping by real quick to say I haven't forgotten about my little old blog, and I'll be back again soon.  Once the crazy dies down.  Until then, here are a couple fun videos for your Wednesday.  The first you may have seen as it's blowing up all over my Facebook feed this morning.  What a sweet way to propose!  Love it!  (especially the popcorn bit.  I'm also loving the guy in the red shirt in the background who's just thinking, "dang, I went to the wrong theater tonight!"  LOL)



The second video is made by a guy I worked with.  He's ridiculously talented in all things graphic and media, and he and his wife are also infinitely creative.  So it makes sense that they'd announce their big news this way.  All I'm saying now is, they've set the bar REALLY high.  We all know what happens to baby books for kids #2, #3 and so on...



Enjoy!  Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Before I Was A Mom

Before I was a mom,
I never appreciated the luxury of sleeping in.

Before I was a mom, 
I never thought about where the food in the fridge came from.

Before I was a mom,
I never understood the appeal of 'Kids Eat Free'.


Before I was a mom,
I never noticed how quickly I could get out of the house.

Before I was a mom, 
I never grasped the beauty of silence.


But before I was a mom,
I never saw the joy in a child's laugh.

Before I was a mom,
I never stopped to marvel at the wonder of a sleeping child in my arms.

Before I was a mom,
I never believed in love at first sight.


Before I was a mom,
I never knew my own strength.

Before I was a mom,
I never loved so deeply, so fiercely.

Before I was a mom,
I never realized what a blessing being a mommy is.

(I also never knew how hard it would be to get a decent picture of all 5 of us, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

My friends, Happy (belated) Mother's Day!  I hope your day was filled with all the blessings and joy that motherhood brings.  I also hope you didn't lift a finger all day!


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