Friday, December 28, 2012

New year, same me

There are thousands of things I could do better. But this New Year I want to blog more, eat less and really focus on doing things for the right reasons. Be more intentional. That's all. Totally doable, right?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today it hit me

The reality of the tragedy in Newtown, CT did not hit me until today. As I reached for the door at my girls' school to find it locked and someone standing guard, it finally hit me. It was a completely out of body experience. And for a moment I didn't want to be in this world. I didn't want to be in a place where something like this could happen. I just didn't want to BE. 

But I am here. And it happened. And I knew I needed to think about it more. To pray about it, to process it. Because as much as I've avoided the news and tried to pretend I didn't see their faces, what happened 6 days ago affected every person on this planet. Not because we knew those children or the teachers or anyone in Newtown. But because the innocence of so many children was stripped away this day. Like a child that's abused and learns about sex way too soon, we had to talk to our children and rob them of their innocence by letting them know there are people out there who could hurt them.

It was like someone threw a cup of ice cold water in my face. This world is sick. And I am really struggling with the fact that I've brought 3 of my own little children into this.

So tonight we prayed. We lit 20 candles for the children lost, and Madeline and I prayed.

"Dear Lord, Please help me in this time of loss and overwhelming grief. I don't understand why the world is filled with grief and heartache. I turn to you as I seek to find the strength to trust in your faithfulness. I will wait on you and not despair; I will quietly wait for your salvation. My heart is crushed but I know that you will not abandon me forever. Help me through the pain so that I will hope in you again. I believe this promise in your Word to send me fresh mercy each day."

Psalm 34:18 says "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." 

Crushed in spirit.

I'm not a person that strains their neck to try and see the carnage when I drive by a car accident. I hope and pray that everyone is ok and move on. We are never going to make any sense of how someone could do what happened at Sandy Hook. But we can hope and pray for the families and community and try to move on. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Praying for Newton. Because I know that is the only thing I can do.

Holding my children extra close today. Thankful for my family. Praying the families can somehow go on.

Newton is grieving. The world is grieving. God is grieving. I wonder what he's thinking right now. So much negativity towards Him right now. People ask "how could God let this happen?" We still have free will. I believe with all my heart that God tried to stop this. We don't know what obstacles he put in the way.

By faith I know the He is grieving more than we could ever imagine.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

4 gift rule

Last year a friend told me about the 4 gift rule and its been a little voice in my head ever since. Mainly it's been a screaming panicked person yelling (4 gifts?!? How the heck is that even possible?! I've already got dozens of ideas (and bags shoved under the bed)?!?


Love isn't about stuff. Christmas isn't about stuff. Nothing should ever be about stuff. But somehow it always turns about to be, even if we don't mean for it happen.

Easier said then done.

My problem is I WANT to be the person who gets my kids all the stuff they want, and that's extremely selfish of me. We are blessed with great family and friends that buy for my kids...even if I tell them not to. So this year I'm sharing the great ideas with others. I wanted to be the one to buy my kids their ice skates, but someone else wanted to, so that takes a financial burden off me and gives someone else the joy of seeing my kids get their ice skates! A perspective I would not have probably come to without the 4 gift rule discussion.
Something else we did this year was really hard my my kids...when we dontated toys we picked out things my kids personally really wanted. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but normally I would just pick up "something another kid would like" and not necessarily something I would include as one of the 4 gifts for my kids. It seems really awful of me to do something nice, but not fully do it. I don't know if that makes sense, but for example Amelia (age 5) really wanted the Brave bow & arrow toy so that is what we got for the 5-7 year-old-girl gift Amelia picked from the xmas tree at church. She cried and cried (and I almost did) but I want her to know what giving with intention is more important than just giving. And when Madeline and I worked at the toy drive Madeline got to tell Amelia about the family that picked HER toy to give to their little girl. She got it. A little...I mean she still wants one but I think she comprehended it as much as a 5-year-old could. And at a much younger age than I.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy dinner Rojo style

We like this dinner a lot. And it's easy to make quickly in a pinch because the 3 ingredients are usually on hand...except for tonight, but it worked on b/c I had to run to Home Depot for more Xmas lights anyway (and I timed myself in the store, literally 2 minutes to grab the frozen veggies).



Bag of frozen veggies

Cook the chicken in a pan
Steam the rice
Once the chicken is cooked throw the frozen veggies in the pan with them
Cook them veggies! Once cooked add the rice.
Soy sauce and pepper to taste.

Ok, that's technically 5 ingredients, but 3 sounds much cooler.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I have this friend....

She is not sneaky. We've been planting this lovely statue for the other to find for a long time. Probably more than 10 years. We even looped her mom in a couple times and hid it in plain sight amongst some home decor. I think that's actually the longest I've been committed to something. And the fun has just begun. We'll never stop. So I guess whoever lives longest will get the last laugh, cause if she goes first I'm burying this bad boy with her.

And apparently she took the word "planting" literally this time...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

on marriage

Being married is hard. People that tell you it isn't are 1) lying or 2) delusional.

I love my husband very, very much. But through our 10-year relationship and (almost) 8 years of marriage there have been a lot of ups and downs. When it's good things are great, but when it's bad it's the end of the world.

I dream of a marriage where we never get mad at each other, no one's feelings are ever hurt and we're always kissy-kissy smooch-smooch in love....but I live in reality. Our life is hectic, we have stress from work and there is always something that we need or have to do. Never a dull moment. Ever.

We are both extrememly stubborn and always right. So a simple argument about something dumb, stupid, meaningless trivial can turn into a pretty ugly event. Nick tends not to back down or know when to walk away, and I tend to repeat the same thing. Because I'm right damn it. I'm more of a "leave me alone and let me be mad for an hour" type. And he's more of a "let's yell it until we're both crying" type. Neither is healthy, and we know that, and we're working on it.

But I love this man more than I could ever explain to anyone. We were young lovers. We started off as friends, grew inseperable, fell in love, got pregnant and then got married. And honestly, at times, I have a very hard time with that. I don't know why, I just do. Actually I do know why. Because I can never know what might have happened if we would not have gotten pregnant. And for some reason that bothers me. And not in a way that makes me doubt my marriage, in a way that makes me crazy. Because I am a planner and a control freak. And Madeline was unplanned. Unplanned, but not unwelcomed.

Would Nick and I have still gotten married? Yes. Would we have still had a baby? Yes. So what's the problem?!? I don't know!

I do know that wondering what might have happened does not matter. It is not important. And it is not relevant. What matters is that we are together, we love each other and have three amazing little girls.

My mom has been around for some of our arguments and truly seen us at our worst. I know she worries about it, but I tell her it's ok. We fight so passionately because we are so passionate about each other and love each other so much. If we fought with no conviction then there'd be no force driving our emotion. Plus, Nick just likes to fight...that's a half-joke. And we'd be one of those couples who don't care about each other and are just mad at the other all the time.

Someone once told me "anyone can be married to anyone, they just have to be willing to work at it". To this day I believe that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. And I've heard some dumb shit.

The truth is I believe a happy, healthy marriage just involves being nice to each other. It's as easy as that. And it's as hard as that. It's actually much harder to do than it sounds. You have to be able to filter out all the crap from the world. And there's a lot of it. And sometimes it's hard to come home to a messy house, a crazy dog, whining kids and no idea what to do for dinner and not be frustrated and take out some of that frustration on your partner. But that is what I need to work on doing.

I don't want to look at Nick when I'm 80 and say "sorry I was mean to you". I want to look back and say "Thank you for the wonderful life".

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

sweet baby Claire

Claire turned 6-months-old on Friday. Her personality is shining, and through her smiles and mini-temper tantrums I can see parts of Nick and I emerging through her.

She loves:
-when you sing to her
-when you talk to her and smile
-having her diaper off
-taking a bath
-leaning forward and reaching for things (this is a new accomplishment and I love watching her do it, even when it makes her barf)
-her sisters reading to her and playing with her

She doesn't love:
-putting her arms into her shirts
-anyone trying to put clips or ponytails in her out of control hair
-watching someone else eat
-getting buckled into her car seat 

She's learning to love:
-sitting her in high chair
-eating "puffs"
-scooting on her belly
-how cute she looks one mommy gets her pony tail in
-lying in her crib to fall asleep (sometimes she doesn't want rocked, which makes me sad, but I understand. a girl needs some alone time every once in a while).

why The Walking Dead made me SOL

Sunday nights are big TV nights for us this time of year. Dexter, Homeland and The Walking Dead are all on, on the same night. rude. And they don't start until 9. And 2 of them are on at the same time. double rude. Thankfully we can record them, but even if we start at 9 we're up until midnight. worth it.

But I may have had a change of heart of The Walking Dead. I do not know if I can keep watching after Sunday's episode. I was in tears for about the last 10 minutes. And not the "oh, that's so sad" tears. I was SOL (duh, sobbing out loud), the bottom lip shaking, runny nose kind. I don't know how Lori could think that was the right thing to do. A baby in zombieland is a risk to the group not to mention that they have no way to feed the baby. And all in front of Carl. The one thing that will keep me watching is how this event will impact his character. This episode has stayed with me, and I'm only hoping it doesn't start to haunt me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

please consider this blog...

I have a few email-related pet peeves.

One that's really been urking me lately is people with the notice "please consider the environment before printing this email"at the bottom of their messages. Are there really people out there printing emails? Who are they? And WHY ARE THEY printing emails?!? I don't get it. This just seems like a pretentious notice to me, from people who need to broadcast they're green and extra environmentally-conscious.

No one is printing emails. Stop it. Oh, and....

Please consider the environment before printing this blog.

What we learned tonight

We do this thing at our house where when the kids (minus the baby) misbehave or don't do their chores or are disrespectful or do anything else they shouldn't, they get a "fine". The amount varies, and the money is put in a jar on the ledge between the dining room and the living room. They can earn their money back, and they've never done anything to be fined more than a dollar (Amelia takes that prize, for a day I had to tell her fifty thousand times to clean her room).

But tonight, the day after Halloween , I found something that hits them where it hurts, their CANDY. They're 5- and 9-years-old. They don't understand money yet, but tonight when Madeline coughed up 2 pieces and Amelia said goodbye to 4, I saw a look in their eye that was new. I almost felt bad, but that's part of my job. I have to love them, take care of them and teach them responsibility. And I'm ok with getting a little help from a dum-dum and some Whoppers.


Please pardon the profanity, but this made me literally LOL, so I feel especially obligated to share. Normally when I LOL it's just extra air blowing out my nose, but I actually laughed out loud. at a co-workers desk. on my way to get a brownie leftover from our pitch-in yesterday. it's especially appropriate today but I'm not ready to write about why yet. stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Baking, blogging and beef with Pillsbury

Tonight Madeline went to Ghoulish Garfield, a haunted house at Garfield Park, with her girl scout trip. I picked her up at 8:30, where another mother quickly pulled me aside to say "it's going to be a 'lights on' night for Madeline....she got separated from the group in the haunted house and came out crying".

Seriously?!? Of all the kids to get left behind in a haunted house, I'm 99% sure Madeline is the most scared of everything and therefore the WORST candidate to get separated from the group. Oh, and she got separated because a guy with a chain saw started chasing them and Madeline ran the opposite direction.

Needless to say it's 10:17 and she's up with me. She's watching Diary of a Wimpy kid while I make cupcakes, monster eyes and hot dog mummies for a pitch-in at work tomorrow and a party tomorrow night.

Pumpkin time

Last night we finally got around to carving our pumpkins. I saw a lot of others posting photos of their carvings on Instagram, and I think the fact that its been 70+degrees until last week made it easy to procrastinate this holiday tradition (no one wants a rotting pumpkin on their porch!).

I picked up this nifty tool at Meijer after a glowing recommendation from a friend...

And boy were they right. Regular price $7.99 but I lucked out and Halloween stuff was 50% off, so I only paid $3.99 for this beast. Score! The pumpkin gutter attaches to your drill and makes cleaning out a pumpkin about a hundred times easier and faster. I actually got a little carried away with this bad boy and Nick chimed in "I'm afraid you're going to go through the pumpkin". I just wanted to make sure I got everything out! And the gutter was amazing to watch do the work for me. (It's sad to admit, but I have only recently started to use realized how amazing tools are. I love them!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The files are IN the computer

I'm not a techy person. Not.

I prefer to call the workings of technology "magic". Because magic is elusive and wonderous and expansive; and leaves the audience in bewilderment. In magic we don't need to know what happened, we just know it was cool.

magic=technology. bewildered=me

What doesn't make sense to me is everything how the frickin frick we can do what we do with these computation machines?!? How could we ever live without them? It seems like life would be impossible. But we did it before, and at the time we didn't even know it sucked. It was just how it was.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trip to a field

I love every moment I get to spend with my kids. Especially when I can do something to focus them individually.

Today I went with Amelia on her kindergarten field trip to Waterman's Farm. She was excited for the pumpkin patch, but more excited to ride the bus. Her school doesn't have bus service, so it was kind of a big deal.

That's her friend Riley. They're buddies. Riley's mom is Amelia's Daisy troop leader so we've been hanging out with Riley outside of school a lot lately.

I love this picture. Amelia's expression is pure Amelia.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bad friend karma

It's hard for me to be a good friend. Not that I don't want to, just - it's hard. As most people I lack time, sleep and honestly, I just don't think about what I need to proactively do be a better friend. 

Until recently. 

For the past few years I've had a handful of people acting as my support system. And lately it has failed. Hard. Maybe everyone is busy, maybe I'm just hormonal and sensitive. Or maybe they've realized I suck. 

At first my feeling were hurt. Then I was pissed. And now I'm really not sure what to do. But it still hurts.

And because I feel like I haven't been as good a friend as I could be, I'm convinced that I deserve it.