Tuesday, April 28

Confessions of a Blog Stalker

So I have been thinking about posting this topic for quite a while now. I think about it often. So here it goes...

By definition a "blog stalker" is someone who checks a blog (or blogs) regularly and never leaves a comment. (Is that right Holly Noye? You told me this once...and I find it to be true.). Get it? You follow it, know all about this person/family/couple yet never interact with them. HA! Kinda funny, right? I am guilty of this on MANY blogs. My main excuse is that I use Google Reader. I can plug in the web address and when I go on Reader (thru my google email) I can see who has updated. It doesn't take me to the actual site though....so I can't comment on the post I read (I don't even get to see the pretty new wallpaper people use!). So I do have a legit excuse. :)

It's actually quite fun (yet crazy!) when I run into someone I have not seen or talked to in YEARS and they say, "Hey! I saw Daisy and Isaac on the playground outside (no one introduced them and they have never met). Hey...remember that time you almost burned Tanglewood down? That was hilarious." WOW. Now, I take full responsibility for that...heck, I post it for the world to read. :) But it's true you never know who's reading! (Let me reiterate that I don't dislike when people do that. I love it. It makes me feel good that people check in on our little family.) And for the record...I have done that to TONS of people. I love to keep in touch via blogs. The pics and stories help me feel connected to those I don't live close to anymore.

But that is not what I wanted to post about....even though I know MANY of you can relate. What I wanted to write about is the untold side of blog stalking. I check probably 30 -40 blogs. Crazy right? Well not too crazy. I don't check them each day. And honestly, some of you (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) don't frequent your dashboard (bloggers personal home page where you post) as much as I would like. But hey, I will take once a month (or once every three) if I can get it. :) I check mom blogs, kid blogs, baby blogs, craft blogs, newly married blogs, college kids blogs, pet lovers blogs, dressmaking blog, missionary blogs...and on and on.
What's the problem?
Seems like fun, right? Well, I tend to take what is on the blog as exactly how those peoples lives are. TRUTH...and all of it. Fun, carefree, problem free, good recipes, great families, sweet pets, new homes....ain't life grand? Especially the MOM blogs...whew. I read those, see those sweet pics, family adventures, and so on and start down this road...."Wow...she is such a good mom. I have not finger painted with my kids EVER. Or let them play in the mud daily. Or had a back yard camp out. Or take them on rock hunting hikes. Or made letter shaped crayons with cute letter molds. Or told them enough bible stories to make them have such deep comments...I AM A FAILURE. These moms are so happy and patient, laid back and calm. I wish I was like that. And look how easy marriage and kids are for her!"
How's that for a confession? I mean I don't even consciously think those things...it's more of "man, that's so neat. I wish I did those things...why do I feel so...down?"
- Can anyone relate to that???
Few comments on those thoughts:

1. Don't get me wrong....I LOVE blogs. I love to write and read them. I love to keep in touch and see pics. And I love to get ideas of fun things to do with my kids. I just get carried away in my own thoughts sometimes. I know this is my struggle. And I am not asking anyone to change what they post or how they post it. :) Cause I LOVE to read it! I am simply sharing my thoughts.

2. It's a weird thing, a blog. Because it's really a place to share good and happy, sometimes funny things. It's not the best place to air dirty laundry or share all your personal struggles. You can share struggles...but personal ones that don't effect others negatively. What I am saying is...I don't feel it's the place to post, "My husband is a lazy slob...we are not getting along." (Which my husband is NOT. Just an example.....dan added this when he proofed it! ha! but he is really not. ) You can post "Kids are not good for a marriage" (which I have found to be true.. ha!:)) so that no blame is placed, I guess. But having limitations in what can be said makes it hard to be honest about life, all parts of it. Some things just can't be said. But some struggles can be shared. And for those who do share those...I appreciate that. It's always encouraging to know you are not alone. :)

Plus, it's much like Facebook (yes, I admit...I am on it...but not often). What pic are you gonna choose for your profile pic? The ugly one? The one where you look bad? NO. You choose the ones that you like of yourself. Same weird phenomenon with a blog...many times...we only see the good stuff.

3. But here is something I have found to be true at my wise old age of 29.... :) All people have struggles. Some bigger than others. But if you really get to know people, every one has their level of pain and hurt. Even those you think never do...they could be the very ones hurting more than anyone else (they usually are!). (Insert here the "why we need Christ" speech. :) ) Not to be a downer...but this is a good logical reminder to me when I blog stalk and start thinking about how I wish my life was like someone elses. Everybody has something going on. Life is not perfect. And it reminds me that God is my confidence. Not me, not what I think I should be. But what he makes of me right where I am at any point in my life...good or bad.

I also acknowledge that some people don't wanna share everything. And that's ok too.

4. I have also found that in my harder times in life (moving to a new city with no friends or losing our job) it was harder for me to read peoples blogs and how great things seemed to be for them.

5. If my blog has ever made you feel that way...(and I really try hard to share the good, the (appropriate) bad and the ugly (and sometimes naked)...then I am sorry. We all go thru good and bad seasons in life. Our current season of job loss and our future in limbo is not my favorite. I will be honest and say that I go thru a roller coaster of emotions each day. But God will provide.

Just thought I would get these feelings out there and see if anyone else can relate...come on...comment! Even you Google Reader people. :)

Sunday, April 26

Thank Goodness for Orlando!

If I didn't live here...I may have never seen one of my dearest friends...JULIE K. (SAMPLEY) McMULLEN! I was so excited when she said she had a conference here. She and her husband, Paul, live in Vancouver, B.C. (as in Canada) where they are planting a church there. They just moved there in January. They have been living in Washington State for a few years before that. I can't believe that we lived on such opposite sides of the country. I was not sure when or if I would EVER see her again. :) But thank goodness for us living in "Conference Central" down in O town. :) For those of you who don't know...Jules is one of my longest friendships! We grew up together in Atlanta and went to HU together. :)

So like 2 weeks before Julie was coming...when Sarah Dennis Wilson (another best friend from college who lives in Nashvegas) caught wind of what was going down...she didn't wanna miss the chance to see Julie on this side of the country either (or to visit sunny Florida....eh hmm... I mean see me too!). So she booked plane tickets and brought her baby boy, Jonas, with her (and left Asher, her 2 year old, at home in the care of Grandma). It was so fun to see her and get to hang out! I get to see her more often since she lives in Nashville where my sister lives. But still, it was a treat to see her at my house!! :)

We had so much fun hanging out and catching up. We laughed and remembered all the good times and some of the bad. :) Julie and I go all the way back to the 2 year old class at Sandy Springs church. She is like my back up hard drive for my memories of growing up, high school, and college. She doesn't forget a thing. Sarah also remembers a ton. Come to think of it...maybe it's only me. Maybe I should have that checked. I always say when I delivered my kids...I delivered my brain too. Or that with each birth a re-set button was hit in my brain and I started over from scratch. But then Sarah has 2 kids...so I have no excuse.

Julie and Paul had the conference to attend. So Sarah and I would hang out and when Jules was done we would hang out with her. We tried hard not to watch the window and cell phones waiting for her to come home (thinking that the darn conference was stealing our friend away!). Our time consisted mostly of hanging out at home with napping kids. BUT it was fun nonetheless. :) We would lay out in the back yard (hey, they were in Florida! You can't go home from FL without at least a little sun. :)). One night we went to dinner (I got a sitter!! woo hoo!) and enjoyed an evening of adult conversation at Taverna Opa!, a greek restaurant. One afternoon when Jules was done we went to lay out at the Y. It was fun. The guys watched the kids. Jules and Sarah braved the Red Rocket waterslide. It was pretty funny. And they said it was fun! They even went again! :) But there won't be pics of that. I didn't get permission on those pics. :)

I have to say that we missed many of our college pals at this gathering. Had we planned better we all could have hung out! We wish you all could have been there! Buh, Schep, Critty, Lolo, you were with us in spirit as we laughed hard at all our college times...which involved you all!

Baby Jonas laying out with us in the shade.

btw...Jonas looks JUST LIKE his Daddy, David.
Hilarious! I have memories of doing laying out in the backyard in high school and college. And here we are again. No pool? Can't leave the house? No problem. :)

Sarah with the "Red Robin...I mean Red Racer...I mean...what was it?" :)

On the way to dinner. :) We got to all pile into the MINIVAN that Julie and Paul got as a rental for the week. AWESOME. :)

Paul and Dan
The sun was in our eyes for a little bit at dinner til the guy put the shade down. We were cracking up at ourselves looking at the menu in our sunglasses. (and btw...who is that girl in the pic in the blue? it doesn't even look like me!)

pics in march and april...

These are just some random happenings with us during March and April...pics included. :)

Here is Daisy in the childrens choir at church. We had no idea she was in it till one Sunday we dropped her off at class and they said, "You will see Daisy during worship today. The childrens choir is singing!" OH! Neat! :) This pic below was MID SONG...once again, I have created this monster. :)

This pic was taken in the dark...cause when I peeked in on Dan to see what was taking so long to put Isaac to bed... THIS is what I saw...this is what was taking so long. ;) This way he can comfort him...leaving him asleep in bed with out having to transfer him. :) Clever...even if all the blood is rushing to your head, it's worth it. :)
Below is Isaac after a long day at a party and park...filthy...yet still having fun.
One night at dinner Daisy said, "Hey mom! Look! This strawberry looks like a nose!" And sure enough...

Speaking of Dais...she has a new song that she loves to sing. It sort of goes to the beat/tune of "If you love Jesus!! (repeat), stomp your feet!! (repeat)..." Daisy's song only sounds like that first part of that song. Hers goes like this:

(clap, clap, clap, clap)
(clap, clap, clap, clap)
(clap, clap, clap, clap)
(clap, clap, clap, clap)

My little scientologist in the making. ;)

Above is the classic "kid has crazy static hair from the slide" photo. :)

Isaac and Daisy playing after church. She loves dresses that "twirl." :)

So now we Skype with our families to keep in touch (which I HIGHLY recommend! It's free and fun!). We don't do it with everyone...but it seems to make the blog not quite as needed when we can talk to and see our family thru the computer. A main motivator for me was the grandparents seeing the pics of the kids. But I do love to post...so hopefully I will still be motivated. I like to write but I felt better about it when I was doing it for others...and not just me. :) But I do love that I can make a blog book later and have all these memories in a hard copy book.

Tuesday, April 14

swimming at the Y


Ahh...the Y. Man, we love the Y. We went to swim the other day and (shocker) I took some pics. It was "coldy-coldy" (as we say at our house) in the pool. But the kids didn't care. Eventually we moved to the heated pool which was a welcomed change...but not quite the hot tub temp I was wanting. :)

Remember last years pic of Daisy after enjoying the Red Rocket waterslide? (if not I will give you a hint: MEGA wedgie). Anywho, same story this year. HA!
But the funny pic this time is not of the strap being lost in Daisy's hiney...it's of this....

Isaac's "moob" (man boob) cleavage!! HILARIOUS. So this life jacket is a little snug. :) He was not bothered by it at all. We sent Isaac down the water slide a few times. Daniel took him to the top. And you can't ride together (no exceptions) so Isaac went solo. I was at the bottom ready to catch him in the Artic sea. :) When I would grab him up out of the water he would come up with HUGE eyes gasping for air. And then when I asked him, "Go again?" he would nod. It was so funny. He is CRAZY in the water. He pushes off of Daniel wanting to swim alone. His fav thing to do is "jump" (actually it's more like a step) off the side to Daniel. And if we catch him where his head does not go under...he shoves it under himself. Crazy kid.
We are trying to soak up this Dr Phillips Y as much as we can til we move. We have no plans yet...but we will keep you posted. :)

Monday, April 13

WOAH...that's a lotta Easter.


That is what you will say at the end of this post. It's a doozie. We had ourselves some super easter fun. :) I mean how many times can a child hunt easter eggs? Well...we say 4. HA! So let me give you the recap of our Easter festivities.

DAISY'S SCHOOL PARTY at Christ the King Preschool

Mrs Rachdan's 3 year old class: Jonas, Ashley, Mackenzie, Brooke, Daisy, Madison, Dean, Johnny, Ruby, Pierson, Mia and Christian

Daisy making her food craft (pound cake, with layer of whip cream, sprinkle green sugar on top, add jelly beans and marshmallow peep bunny...DONE!) She is sitting with Madison (lower right), Brooke (upper right), and Mia (upper left).
Daisy and her pal Mackenzie (who is moving to LA soon). :(

MOPS EASTER PARTY at Kristen's House

The MOPS party was great! It was perfect weather. Shelley Russell had come by to visit and come to this party with us. She was on her way to see her daughter (flying to see Jen in Arkansas) and stopped by to hang out. It was great to see her.

All the moms got to hang out and chat...while all the kids were playing.

All the kids ready to hunt!
Jen, Dena and Cheri...some of my sweet MOPS friends. :)

Easter Egg-stravaganza at Camp Down (Church event)

This event was fun too. The whole huge church was invited to Camp Down (less than a mile from our church). There were TONS of people there. We found some people from our class and enjoyed a picnic lunch. It was right on the lake and so pretty! There were games (egg toss, sack race, kickball, water balloon toss, tug-o-war...you get it...) and free sno-cones and cotton candy! SWEET! Then the egg hunt....ten thousand eggs! The area (as pictured below) was basically a colored carpet of eggs. It was amazing. Daisy and Isaac had a blast.

Egg toss...Daisy and Daddy. And guess what Isaac was doing? Yes, you guessed it! Picking up all the broken eggs, getting them all over his shirt, tasting a few and then sucking his fingers (since it was nap time). Niiiiice.

above: sarah and ben giving the egg toss a try.

I got Isaac a snow cone. Sarah and I waited in the super long line for it. And moments later, when his big sister appeared she decided she wanted a bite. A scuffle went down...the snow cone lost. Isaac was not happy after he realized the snow cone was now off limits in the dirt. :( Daisy cried too.

Below is the Egg Hunt....with all 10,000 eggs. I mean when they "hid" the eggs...the busted open garbage bags of eggs and walked along as they dumped on the ground! Hilarious. :)

below dan is formulating a game plan for Daisy and Isaac.
GO! (please note the lady in the pink dress to the upper left of Daisy...where is she runnin? Surely not for eggs, right?) No lie...all 10, 000 were picked up in less than 10 mins. Maybe we should tell children that local parks/highways have hidden candy in all the litter on the ground. Can you imagine how well that clean up would go? Well, not on the highway. :)

Let me explain my redneck child. Yes, he is shirtless. But he had lunch, dirt, EGG yolk, and snow cone on it. So off it came. Ahhh the life of a second child. I am ashamed to say this would have NEVER happened with Daisy.

Isaac asking for us to open his loot!

Sarah and Daisy just CLEANING UP! I mean her bunny basket was FULL.

So I look over as the hunt is coming to a close and see this...Ben is still standing behind the starting line, like a bodyguard. We were cracking up at him and his pose.

Our family's Easter pic! :)
Ben and Dan

This is us (ben, sarah, me, and daisy) sorting out the candy (melted chocolate from others) and "recycling" the eggs for next years hunt (they collect them after the hunt...awesome idea since I dont want them at my house.).


Thanks to the grandparents for providing Easter Bunny stuff!!

We headed to Ocala for Easter. We are still looking seriously at a job there. We visited a church there. Here are the kids that morning...NOT cooperating for the pic.

Dressing them when we arrived (you know that the outfits would not have survived the 1 hr 15 min drive).

Isaac finally felt the urge to cooperate as we were crossing the parking lot to go in. "CHEEEEEEESE!!!!"

Isaac's socks...let me explain...these shoes rub his feet (blisters on his heels) but they match this outfit (and we don't have any other ones but the car shoes!). The band-aids didn't work last time. So we had to go short socks. Hey, we knew NO ONE at this church. Who cares? :)

And after church Daisy wanted Moe's. What says Easter more than "Welcome to MOE'S!" ? :)

As a side note...Daisy asked Daniel randomly if Santa was real. He tried to skirt around it and distract her (for me...he woulda just told her, but I've always been a little bit more of a "let's keep the magic" person...but we both agreed if she asked us straight up...we would just tell her.). He said when he said "no" she acted like, "oh, ok" and went on like nothing had changed. I guess the Easter Bunny stuff got her thinking....