Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No This Can't Be All There Is.....

Image courtesy of Google
As I prepare for bed tonight, the gates of Heaven are preparing to open for another angel.  At 89 years old, my grandfather is experiencing kidney failure and congestive heart failure.  When I think of God fearing Christians, he is the image that comes to mind.  He's earned his wings.  In my prayers tonight I ask that he be pain free, that he not be scared, that his son that he lost all those years ago be waiting for him at the gates.  This song sums up my feelings that there is more than what we see here on Earth...and he's one of the lucky ones that gets to go to the other side...

Old man Wrigley lived in that white house
Down the street where i grew up
Momma used to send me over with things
We struck a friendship up
I spent a few long summers out on his old porch swing

Says he was in the war when in the navy
Lost his wife, lost his baby
Broke down and asked him one time
How ya keep from going crazy
He said I'll see my wife and son in just a little while
I asked him what he meant
He looked at me and smiled, said

I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what i can see
Oh i believe

Few years later i was off at college
Talkin' to mom on the phone one night
Getting all caught up on the gossip
The ins and outs of the small town life
She said oh by the way son, old man Wrigley's died.

Later on that night, i laid there thinkin' back
Thought 'bout a couple long-lost summers
I didn't know whether to cry or laugh
If there was ever anybody deserved a ticket to the other side
It'd be that sweet old man who looked me in the eye, said

I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what i can see

I can't quote the book
The chapter or the verse
You can't tell me it all ends
In a slow ride in a hearse
You know I'm more and more convinced
The longer that i live
Yeah, this can't be
No, this can't be
No, this can't be all there is

When I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what i can see
I believe
Oh, I
I believe
-Brooks & Dunn

Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace be with You

I can not imagine the pain the families feel, knowing they have kissed their child(ren) for the last time.  I attempt to put myself in their shoes and the pain is unreal.  The Christmas presents that are wrapped, sitting under their tree that will never be opened.  The clothes hanging in their closet that won't be worn again.  So much sadness and the inability to comprehend this action, this Momma's heart is torn in two.

I've had to remind both myself and my husband that there is good in this world.  We come into contact with good people everyday.  We surround ourselves with loving, caring, warm friends.  We do good deeds for others and donate our time and money to charities.  But those aren't the things you hear about on the news.  Be good to one another, help one another, love one another.

To those in Connecticut and those affected by this tragedy, I offer my prayers and tears. I have cried alongside you as the news shows the faces of your beautiful children.  I pray you find peace and find comfort at the fact you will be reunited with your babies again.  May God hold you in the palm of his hands.  I am so sorry for your loss.

Isaiah 40:11 - He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are young.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Right about Now

Little boy surrounded by BIG trees
Wednesday night, curled up on the couch, smelling the scent of our Norwegian Pine.  The babe is curled up asleep and Scott is out in the garage putting new brakes on his truck.

Following tradition, we headed to the tree farm the day after Thanksgiving and cut down a beautiful Christmas tree.  Paisley loved running around in the tree farm and I was happy the perfect tree didn't take too long to find!  While putting it up in the dining room, I was a little nervous about the tree remaining in an upright position throughout the entire Christmas season.  I've since learned that Paisley does not like the way the needles feel when he touches the tree.  This is great, but now I worry about him grabbing a light strand and pulling the tree over.  Our tree is decorated...but only the top half.  It didn't take long to realize he was WAY to interested in ornaments for me to have them within his reach.  Sure our tree may look a little "different" being 1/2 decorated, but that's what happens when you have a toddler.

Probably shouldn't have carried an axe and a baby...
My Christmas shopping is done! Thank you Etsy, Amazon, and a few shops in town!  Not only are they purchased but they are also wrapped and nestled under our tree.

I feel surprisingly on top of the Christmas season.  I need to get stocking stuff figured out and my kitchen needs to turn into a bake shop for at least one full day...but Bing is singing to me in the background, my Christmas Cranberry candle is burning, and not a creature is stirring at our house.

Pretty Lights!
Last weekend I snuck away for the night and headed to French Lick with the girls.  We had a fantastic spa day, relaxed in our room and caught up on life, had an amazing dinner, and did a little gambling!  It was long over due and so good to relax.  Of course I missed my boys, but I needed a little me time!

I've been working a couple days a week at the University!  It was kind of a last minute thing as they were short staffed and asked if I could help out.  I figured if there is a time of the year when some extra $$ would be helpful, now would be that time.  I would rather be with P then working those two days, but I actually think it is healthy for both of us to have 2 days a week that we aren't together.  He gets to spend the time with his grammie and Nana and I get to spend time using my brain and having adult conversations.

I hope you are enjoying the spirit of the season and spending it with those you love.  Now if you'd excuse me, I think I hear some hot chocolate calling my name.
My girls and I at dinner

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Friday, November 23, 2012

November 22, Thanksgiving

T is for Turkey
After 22 days of "Thanks," we have arrived at the culmination of thanks-giving blogs.  Turkey day is upon us.

The entire day was full of events that filled both my heart and stomach.  From being with family, to teaching our child about tradition, to nourishing our bodies, to just enjoying one another, to homes filled with laughter, it was a joyous Thanksgiving!  For that....I give thanks.

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From Our Table to Yours, Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Eve with a squirmy little turkey
On Thanksgiving Eve, the Fish3 packed their bags and headed to my sisters house for a slumber party. My mom and dad joined in on the festivities and before you know it, aprons were donned and the food was cooking, coffee was flowing, the little guy was squealing up a storm, and we slipped into the spirit of Thanksgiving Eve.  Spending time with my mom and sister while the little guy runs around at our feet feels like "home" to me...even if I'm not in my own home.
What do you mean I don't get to eat turkey tonight?
The boys all retired to their rooms while the girls manned the stoves and timers.  A little before midnight I had to throw in my chefs hat as this Momma is typically in bed by 9:30!
Teaspoons make great teethers
At 7am, our little dumplin wanted to get the Thanksgiving party started.  My sweet mom and sister watched the little guy while I went back upstairs and crawled back into bed next Scott!  It's not very often we can relax in bed in the morning, alone!
Warming up the pan
We had a light breakfast in preparation of a large lunch!  We owe a big thanks to Pinterest for providing us with numerous recipes that were served the previous night, Thanksgiving morning, and over lunch.  With the Macy's parade playing in the background, we enjoyed the sun filled morning and swapping stories.
Turkey cutting time!
Lunchtime was upon us, we filled out plates and gathered in the dining room.  My sister blessed our food and turkey consumption 2012 began!  It didn't take long for our plates to empty and pants to fit just a little tighter.
Full and happy!
After clearing the dishes and gathering our belongings, it was time for us to head to our next destination, Scott's parents.  We are so lucky that our longest drive time between houses was only 20 minutes!  Now that is some holiday travel that I don't mind at all!
Our little blessing
At Scott's parents we ate more delicious food and watched Paisley play with his cousins.  A day full of family is a day that fills my heart with love and peace.  The Fish3 are so lucky to have both sides of our family to spend this time with.
Thanksgiving 2012
Five years ago, I remember being so excited that Scott had invited me to his parents home to spend part of Thanksgiving with his family.  At that point I had no idea that they would become my family and that I would give them a grandchild.  Today I am so lucky to have these in-laws as part of my family and to spend my holidays with them.

These memories and traditions that Paisley gets to have with both sets of grandparents make my heart soar.  These are the sweet parts of life that help us get through the rough times.  These are the memories that we'll look back on in 40 years and smile about.  These are the things that I am so very thankful for.  I don't deserve all these blessings, but I am so happy to have them.  

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November 21, My Time

Night night angel
Scott is away for the night and I just laid Paisley down to sleep.  My cranberry candle is burning, the Hallmark channel is playing Christmas movies, and I'm sporting my flannel pjs.  Besides the cheerful dialog on the television the house is silent.  It's "my" time.

I read on another blog that after 8pm, the mom of the family is "off duty" until morning.  I adopted this policy in our house as well.  This means that at 8pm, I turn off the kitchen light, laundry folding and sorting comes to a halt, and I take my place on the couch, in my sewing chair, or head to the shower.  It's now "my" time.

It's not often that Scott is away for the night and I don't necessarily like that my toothbrush looks so lonely in the holder.  On the other hand, a night without having to watch the Speed station is quite enjoyable.   For those few quiet hours in the evening when I can focus on me, watch Hallmark movies until I can't keep my eyes open, or flip through an entire magazine uninterrupted....I give thanks!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, Beauty

Fall day in the park
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder....

Life is full of beautiful things...there is the scenery that surrounds us.  This time of year, I love to watch the trees go from green to sunny yellow, butterscotch orange, and fire engine red.  I can't say I love it when the leaves are gone and the landscape becomes a little less colorful and a bit dull, but I know (hopefully) around the corner a blanket of white sparking snow is waiting to cover the ground and coat the trees.

The people around us...Today I was shopping with my mom and holding Paisley.  Mom was playing peek-a-pie with Paisley and her head popped around a corner.  Her eyes lit up, her smile was big, and her hair looked extra glossy and perfect...I thought to myself, self-"Momma is so beautiful."  The twinkle in my sons eyes as he is about to do something that he knows is naughty is beautiful.  Hearing the sound of my father and sister laughing together, that sound is beautiful.  The flush in my husbands cheek after he has come in from working on something outside, that's beautiful.

There is so much beauty in everything we do, if we take the time to look for it.  For the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty that is in each of us...I give thanks.

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November 19, Grandparents

Cookie Cutter Grandparents 
During my lifetime, I was able to spend time with 3 of my great-grandmothers and both sets of grandparents.  They were each so unique, so loving, and interesting to my adolescent self.  My great-grandmothers were Ruby, Francis, and Virginia.  If those aren't the most perfect great-grandmother names, I don't know what are.  Grandma Francis lived in Ohio and would send the best care packages.  I remember getting underwear from her one time that I'm pretty sure would fit a 200 lb. woman.  It was the thought that counts, but I remember my 6 year old (tiny) self being so confused and mildly amused.  Grandma Virginia lived in the same town as us, drove a brown pinto, and lived on Tums and Marborlo Lights.  One of the last times I saw her before she passed, she asked if I had gotten a boob job.  I had not.  Grandma Ruby had a chiuaua named Gigi that terrified me.  Sadly I don't have too many other memories beyond her dog and her green couch.

My grandparents are/were Mike, Lavonne, Anita, Vic and Florence.   Grandpa Mike told my "fortune" one time...he said I would have a pool in my future.  When I said I didn't see it, he spit in my hand.  I never forgave him for it, but man oh man did I love him.  He was a big man that dyed his hair black and wore diamond rings.  His wife Lavonne treated us like her own.  She was around about 12ish years before our grandpa passed away.  She liked to get glammed up and accompany my grandpa to the casino.  She made him happy and that earned her the title of Grandma.  Grandma Anita let me stay with her during a semester at college. I forget how many cats she has, but they would stick their paws under my bedroom door and rattle it throughout the night.  I was thankful they  never got the door open!  Vic and Florence, the perfect little silver haired couple that used to live on a tree farm, on top of a hill, with their Golden Retriever.   They had 3 children and 9 grandchildren.  My grandma cooked a huge Sunday lunch that we all looked forward to, every Sunday until she was physically unable to do so.  They joined us on vacations, kept us overnight, and would let us make and eat hors'devours at 9pm.  Perfect grandparents.

Grandparents are so important to children.  There is so much we can learn from then in regards to family heritage and history in general.  They lived through wars and depressions and were tough as nails.  I've always heard people aren't made as tough as they were back then...and I believe it.

For those precious, silver haired, priceless antiques...that we call our grandparents....I give thanks.

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15 Months and Still My Baby

Birth Stats                 15 Month Stats

6lbs. 5.9oz                  22 lbs. 7oz. (25% for weight)
19 inches long            32 inches long (75% for weight)

Mr Personality has had a busy few months.  Between trips to the zoo and having friends over, little man has a social calendar to rival any other 15 month old.  I am happy to say we have an extremely social little one.  It may take him 5 minutes to warm up, but after that, watch out.  He LOVES to have my friends hold him (maybe he just has a crush on them), he doesn't mind sharing his toys with others, and at a recent party, he stood out on the dance floor swaying his little bottom along with the music and grinning at his dad and I.  This baby has personality...and rhythm!

He is a mocking bird!  He tries to say just about any word he hears.  He has a few tricks up his sleeve that he breaks out when he needs even more attention then he is already receiving;

-Football run, he will stand in place and run as fast as he can
-If you tell him to jump, he'll bend his knees, but he doesn't actually get off the ground.  He thinks he does though, so we clap anyway.
-Muscles, he will flex and grimace
-Pig Nose, this one is pretty self explanatory
-Gives kisses and hugs when asked to
-Says bye bye/waves/blows kisses when getting off the phone or leaving
-Pumps his fist in the air when he wants music turned on
-Signs *food* when he is hungry
-Can point out just about any piece of furniture in our house (ex. where is the desk? Then he points to it)
-When asked how old he is, he will hold up one finger and say "Uh."

Not to brag...but I am known by my friends as being an awesome hugger.  I am also very affectionate.  These are a few traits I am happy to say I passed on to P.  He is the most loving little bugger.  It is normal for him to come up behind me and rub on my back or arm.  He gives kisses complete with "mu-wah" noises.  When Scott and I are sitting on the floor or couch next to one another, P makes it his mission to get right in between the two of us.  We figure if someone is going to come between us, it may as well be this little guy.

We FINALLY rounded a corner when it comes to sleeping.  Soon after he turned 1, he slowly weened himself.  With the nighttime feedings over, he started sleeping all night.  Wow.  What a difference getting a full night of sleep makes.  I feel like a new Momma!  He goes down around 7:30 and gets up anywhere between 6-7am.

You talking about me?
We have our nighttime routine which includes brushing our teeth, getting one last big drink of milk, kissing Daddy, saying our bedtime prayers, then I kiss him and put him in his crib.  At first he would howl, but now he just flips onto his stomach and tucks his hands under him.

Little guy is an eater!  You'd think he would weigh much more than he does.  He likes all types of fruit, vegetables (as long as his broccoli is cooked), and meats.  The only thing he isn't crazy about is fried eggs.  He'll put them in his mouth, then open his mouth and let them fall out.  Nice.

He tests the limits!!  He will point at objects he knows he isn't allowed to touch and get as close to them as he can, and says "no no no."  He will also throw his food on the floor when he's done eating.  He has a temper and doesn't hesitate to scream and throw a tantrum when he doesn't get his way.  We are currently working on losing the temper!

Yeah, I'm talking to you!
People are generous with their comments when we are out in public.  He loves the attention and knows just the perfect time to bat his long lashes and smile a little smirk when people comment on his eyes and adorableness.

I love dressing this little guy!  I love that he leaves hats on and with winter around the corner, he has plenty of winter hats to choose from!  He also has a puffy vest that I LOVE dressing him in.

It's still common for Scott and I to sit and stare at his monitor long after he has fallen asleep.  He still sleeps with his little bottom up in the air and his hands tucked beneath him.  He looks like a little doll laying there on the monitor.  It may be another 2-3 years before I agree to take it down!

We are looking forward to the holiday season with a toddler and curious how we will keep not only 1, but 2 trees from getting pulled over.  This could get interesting!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

November 18, Love

Love in the sweltering heat of a Tennessee night (My sister & Greg)
"I wouldn't want to live a life without faith, and I wouldn't want to live a life without hope. However, in spite of how wonderful, important, and life-changing both faith and hope are, they pale in comparison to love."

From the moment I was born, I was loved.  I had a mom that showed her love by her daily care giving.  I had a father that showed his love by providing for his family.  I had a sister that showed her love by letting me play with her Barbie dolls one time.  I had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that all showed their love for me.  The love of my family created the foundation for which the rest of my life would grow from.  

Today I watch those same family members and get to witness the love that they also bestow on others.  My sister didn't take the easy path when it came to finding love, but down rocky roads and lots of tissue boxes, she found it. My parents love has evolved through the years and weathered more storms than I hope lay in the forecast for Scott and I.  My grandparents (Vic & Florence) prove love can outlast anything; the death of a child, heart and knee surgeries, grey hair, wheelchairs, and they have carried their love with them into the nursing home.  They still hold hands as they sit in their wheel chairs, side by side.

I have been lucky in love. I have been able to give my heart to others and have a received a few hearts in return.  With Scott, I felt a different love.  It was a familiar, comfortable, safe, mind altering, intoxicant, seeing cartoon hearts floating around his head, two-way street kind of love, that I knew I was never going to give up.  Having our baby, I learned there is another type of love, the protective, mother-bear, "I will do anything to protect you," mind-blowing, we created this child and by-golly we are going to love the heck out of him, empowering kind of love. 

I have girlfriends that I love.  I have places (Cough*Jackson Hole*Cough) that I love.  There are holidays that I love, and a favorite pair of jeans that I love.  If feels good to love.  It feels good to be loved.  It feels good to have strong emotions and to be able to express those strong feelings to those around you.  

For those people that aren't afraid to give their heart to others and those who take great care with those hearts that are given to them, for my ability to love so strongly...I give thanks. 

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17, Modern Medicine

Exactly 15 months ago today, modern medicine and the kindest medical professionals I have ever met brought my baby into this world.  From the beginning, when we were first referred to the maternal fetal specialist, we dealt with the most thoughtful group of people.  From the ultra-sound techs to the ladies at check in, they knew my story, they knew what we were up against, and they cared for me and our unborn baby like one of their own.  
Modern Day Miracle
During my 6 week stay in the hospital, I had the most compassionate nurses one could ask for.  My OB, who visited me daily, not only told me she had begun praying for our family, but had tears in her eyes as she introduced my parents and sister to Paisley Andrew.  Even the anesthesiologist took a fatherly type role in the operating room, keeping a hand on my shoulder and talking me through every step of the procedure.  

The first time I met Paisley's pediatrician, I knew I was going to like her.  She was referred to me by one of our ultra-sound techs.  She and I quickly bonded as she wanted to hear Scott and my story and then told me about the loss of her unborn twins.  She doesn't act like Paisley's Dr., but more like a fellow mom that has way more knowledge then I have.  She has a little boy one month younger than P, so we are also experiencing "motherhood" at the same time.  

I may be the only person that actually likes visiting my OB and the pediatrician as they are such intelligent, kind, caring women.  I told Scott they are both people I would hang out with and I lucked out on getting both of them in my life.

Not to leave anyone out...I also have a wonderful dentist that massages my gums and tongue (he's looking for lumps and swelling).  My sister is a nurse and my go-to for strange looking moles or eye irritations.  These people all do jobs that I don't have the stomach to do.  I can barely administer a band-aid to a scratch without getting weak in the knees.  

For the people that took an oath to care for others, to help others deal with heartbreaking medical issues,  to help unborn babies have the best shot of life as possible, for those that have the stomachs to deal with the blood and "stuff"....I give thanks!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Halloween-Better Late than Never

Halloween gifts? Ok!!
In between my "giving-thanks" blogs I figured I would slip in a blog recapping our Halloween!  After all, I spent time sewing the perfect Pinocchio costume, I might as well show it off.

The Black Kitty (Nana) and P
Our morning started with a surprise visit from the Black Kitty (Nana) complete with Halloween gifts.  Paisley was happy to see her and interested in removing the tissue paper from his Halloween bag.

Paisley was super excited to put on the costume his Momma had worked so hard on!  Nana thought he was pretty cute.  I was happy he left the hat on!

Our real live boy
After Nana left, we spent the day reading our Halloween books, looking at the Halloween decorations around the house, and playing with our new toys from the Black Kitty.

He likes this Halloween business
We went to visit Grammie and Papa Bob.  At this point, Pinocchio realized this day was a kiddos dream day.  All he had to do this morning was wake up, let Mom dress him up, and his grandparents gave him gifts, candies, juice boxes, and all sorts of goodness.

Where'd my candy go?
After Scott got home from work, we (two pigs in blanket and Pinocchio) headed to our friends house for a Halloween gathering!

The girls
The boys
As the night wore on, our little wooden boy grew sleepy.  After getting him comfortable in his skeleton sleeper, we headed home.  As predicted, Paisley was asleep within 5 minutes.  I'm pretty sure he had candies and gifts dancing in his head.

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November 16, Weekends

It's the weekend! Get crazy!!!!!
Weekends just feel different than weekdays.  There is the feeling that anything can happen and you can do anything you want....I mean after all, you don't have to work the next day.  Even though I don't work 5 days a week, weekends still feel better to me than weekdays.  Maybe it's because I get to spend two consecutive days with both my boys?

On the weekends I get to sleep in drink my coffee a little more leisurely than normal.  Scott and I always make a big breakfast on Saturday morning.  It's a tradition we have had since we were dating.  Who doesn't want to eat their weight in golden fluffy pancakes smothered in maple syrup served with a side of crispy bacon?  After the dishes are cleaned and put away we always talk about what we want to accomplish for the day.  Maybe it's yard work, maybe it's basement stuff, or maybe it's just a trip to town to pick up some odds and ends.  Whatever it is, we do it with a smile and a little more pep in our step, after all, it's the weekend.

On Saturday night we "try" to stay up late enough to watch Saturday Night Live.  Depending on who the host is, we may even try to stay awake for the entire episode.   Crazy, I know.  Once a month Scott and I slip away from the kiddo and have some "adult" time.  We'll catch a movie, go to a non-kid friendly restaurant, or hang out with kidless friends.  It's so good for us to have some Scott/Kara time!!

As the weekend engulfed us this evening, the Fish3 headed to one of our favorite local taverns for dinner. We all had the "weekend is here" attitude and I went ahead and had the waitress add a little Bailey's to my coffee. Yep, I'm crazy like that.  As the baby curled up in his crib, Scott and I cozied up on couch to watch a little television.  Tomorrow it's a day of errand running and preparing for the holiday week ahead.  Sunday we're talking about a husband/wife date to a hockey game.  Weekends may not be the fast paced, loud and crazy time they used to be, but they are peaceful, fulfilling and leave me me a happy heart...for that, I am thankful!

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November 15, Modern Day Conveniences

Who needs a camera anymore? Thank you iPhone!!
Yeah....I realize I fell a day behind.  However, I have an excellent my favorite television show (Nashville) is on Wednesday night at 9pm.  My husband and I like to be in bed by we set the dvr and went to bed.  When Thursday night rolled around and the baby went to sleep, we caught up on the previous nights episode.  So by the time we watched Nashville it was bedtime and I was too sleepy to blog.  See...excellent reason! :)

So yesterday morning, we I woke up when P decided it was time to get up (at 6am).  Scott woke up to the sound of his alarm.  As I shuffled my sleepy feet around the house, programming the coffee pot and turning on my hair straighter, I clicked on the TV to see what late breaking news was happening.

After getting ready (it was a working day for me!) I hopped in my car and off to work I went.  At work I sat in my warm cube, in my comfy swivel chair, and interacted with a group of smart, professional, and entertaining women.

After work it was back home to cook up dinner and settle in for a quiet night with my boys.  It's easy to not give a second thought to all the little "luxuries" we have access to, and rely on, in our every day life.  For the phone that doubles as my Scott's alarm clocks, camera, and keeping us in contact with friends and family, for the coffee pot that bring us energy in liquid form, for the hair straighter that keeps me from looking like a cavewoman, for the television that tell which roads to avoid and whether to grab our heavy coat or just a puffy vest, for the cars that drive us from here to there safely, for the laptop that allows me to share my thoughts, and for the dvr that records my shows so I can get to bed at a decent time...I give thanks!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14, Blogs-Mine and Yours

Life, it's happening every second.  Don't blink or you'll miss it.
I remember the exact moment I decided I would start blogging.  Mom and I were sitting in Borders bookstore, my wedding was 6 months away, and we were talking about the excitement of life.  I knew that I wanted to remember those moments and the million of moments that had yet to take place.  I wanted to record the details of my life and I didn't mind sharing it with anyone that was interested in following along.  Hence, An Adventure Called Life was born.  

I've always enjoyed writing.  It's easier for me to write my feelings about someone or something, then to verbally say it.  Something about seeing my words in front of me helps make thoughts and feelings even more real.  Once I write a blog and hit "publish" it's a release for me.  I don't always write about pink fuzzy bunnies and unicorn horns, unfortunately life has rocky cliffs and bumpy roads, and I write about those too.  Those difficult posts are therapeutic for me.  Sometimes I forget there are one or two of you that read my blog and I bare my soul, tears spilling on to the keyboard as I type.  But those raw writing sessions are required for me to be at peace with whatever is happening around me.

Over the past few years I have stumbled upon blogs that have me hooked.  Stories of families that are in the process of adoption, stories of families that have lost their little ones too soon, stories of picture perfect families, stories of infertile females, and stories of professional women that don't know if they even want kids.  Some of these bloggers I know in real life, but most are what I consider "one-sided" friendships.  I silently read about their lives, sometimes adding them to my prayer list at night and always rooting for them to succeed in whatever challenges life is throwing in their direction.

For the people that share (sometimes unknowingly) their life with me and those that follow along on my journey...I give thanks.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13, The Girls

“If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky.”

I think when it comes to good friends, I hit the lottery.  The lengths of these friendships go as far back as birth to as recent as 6 years ago.  One was a neighbor during my Jr. High years and another I met across the big pond in Grantham, England.  One was born in England but we didn't meet until I offered her a job in the corporate world.  Two play the harp and one was in the Air Force.  They are all so unique and beautiful and share their lives with me.  Some are married, some are not, some have kids, some do not.  They are a mix of business professionals, a nurse, a Yoga instructor and stay at home moms.  

These girls celebrated my engagement, my marriage, the birth of our child, and the ups and downs that came between.  They've been a shoulder to cry on, but more often someone to laugh with.  I've learned by watching them as we encounter the many situations that life throws at us.  They are smart, beautiful, kind, and a good time to be around.  

To this wonderful group of girls that my life wouldn't be the same without...I give thanks!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, Little Things

Camping outside of Yellowstone, 2009
As I sat down to write my nightly "giving thanks" blog, I was amazed at all the "little" things that I am blessed with on a daily basis.  To start with, I woke up this morning in my warm bed, next to my loving husband.  I was able to pack him breakfast and lunch, help him locate his "missing" belt, wallet and brown shoes, and get him out the door to work.

Around 7 I heard the stirring begin in the next room and a few moments later a little voiced yelled,  "MaMa."  I made P and myself breakfast, and picked up the house a bit.  Before 9am, I realize I am luckier than most of the people of the world.  I have a home, food, and loved ones right here within arms reach.    However, I didn't stop giving thanks there.

My grandparents are now living in a nursing home.  I bundled up the baby and we met my mom to visit little Florence and Vic.  My grandparents aren't physically the same people they used to be, and at moments they aren't the same people mentally either.  But, they are still here.  I can kiss the top of their silver heads and tell them I love them.  They ask about my sweet husband and tell me how precious Paisley is.  They may not be like they "used" to be, but they are still here.  I am grateful there are places like nursing homes that can meet their needs and allow us to visit.  I am grateful that I have been given this much time with my grandparents and that they have gotten to know Scott and Paisley.

Mom and I are on top of Christmas shopping this year!  With coupons in hand, we went from store to store seeking bargains and marking names off lists.  We shopped until we didn't have an extra arm or stroller handle to hang another bag.  We grabbed lunch at Panera and by 2pm, Paisley was ready to head home.  For leisurely days with my mom, shopping for gifts for the people I love, I am so grateful.

As Paisley and I got home, we were greeted by the delicious smell of pot roast in the crock pot.  Scott came home from work and by 5pm we were sitting down to dinner.  The boys wrestled on the floor while I closed down the kitchen for the night.  Pajamas were put on and Paisley curled up in his crib for the night.

Scott and I donned our swimwear and slipped out in the wintry night air.  We slid in to the hot tub for the first time this season.  The sky was clear as glass and a splattering of stars shined down on us.  Scott asked what I was going to blog about tonight and I responded, "This...right here."  It's the little moments that make our lives what they are.  If you take the time to really think about everything we have to be grateful for, it is almost overwhelming.

For each morning we wake up, for the food we cook, for the laughs and smiles of our loved ones, for all those "little" moments that equal one amazing life...I give thanks.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11, Good Health

Skiing the Swiss Alps
Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but everywhere I turn I hear about someone close to my age battling cancer.  At 32, I still feel young, way to young to deal with a serious illness.  But, medical issues don't discriminate.  I don't take for granted that I've lived a healthy life.  I don't take for granted that my husband and son are also healthy.  The only medication you would find in our home is daily vitamins and Orajel.  You never know what conditions you will encounter down the road.  For now, at this moment, for my good health and the health of my family...I give thanks.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10, Memories

What? You didn't know I was a drummer?  Bonnaroo 2010
Today I drove to my parents house (roughly 45 minutes away) to claim our little fish.  We are having some beautiful, very un-season like, sunny sky weather.  The kind of weather that had me roll my window down and let my hair get wind-whipped and frizzy.  Alone with my thoughts and the radio, I drove the streets in my hometown as I had numerous times before.  My mind tried to revert back in time, as if I had just finished up a day of class and was heading "home."

My car glided into the same parking spot it did when I lived there.  Only now when I walk in, there is my little guy, waiting for his Momma.  I stepped in to my room and breathed in the same scent, touched my bedspread, and looked at the items on my dresser, left exactly like they were when I moved out over two years ago.  For some reason I never packed up everything in my room, I simply just walked out and created a new life in the next town over.  Stepping back into my room, into my old home, driving through my old city, floods me with memories.  I miss the nights of playing cards with my mom until I would force myself to go to bed so I wouldn't be cranky in the morning.  So many good memories in the white house with black shutters.

Once little man was loaded in the car, he instantly fell asleep.  I guess his Nana and Papaw wore him out!  I popped in a mystery Cd from my console and instantly was transported to my life in Wyoming.  David Gray singing "Babylon" took me to many weekends I drove into town to go skiing.  I would sing along and envision the turns I would be cutting into the side of the mountain within the next few minutes.  The next song, "Tiny Dancer" reminded me of another time a group of us were driving into town, "Tiny Dancer" came on the radio, and we all broke in to song, as if we had been waiting for that exact song to come on.

One song led to another and before I knew it I was pulling into my drive.  In 45 minutes, I mentally took a trip to Ireland, to Jackson Hole, thought of friends I hadn't thought of in years, and smiled that goofy smile you get when you think no one is watching.  I thought about driving past our house, letting Paisley finish his nap, and letting my mind continue to drift through the different chapters of my life.  Instead I pulled in to my drive and reunited P with the toys I know he missed over the past 24 hours.

For the life I've lived and the life that is left in me, for the memories that fill my mind like the words on a page....I give thanks (and a smile).

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Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, My Momma

My Momma and Me
You know how parents should put the needs of their children in front of their own? Well that's how my Momma lives her life.  Not only has she always made my sister and I her priority, but also my father, and my grandparents.  She literally takes care of herself after everyone else has been taken care of.

The other day she gave me a compliment without even realizing it.  She told me it made her heart happy to see me raising and loving Paisley in a very similar fashion to the way I was raised and loved.  For her to compare my parenting and nurturing style to hers made my heart happy, because you see, my momma is the most loving and giving person to ever walk the earth.

Today wasn't the easiest day for her.  Today she put my grandparents in a nursing home.  For years, she has been their sole caregiver.  She handled taking them to medical appointments, she assisted in getting my wheelchair bound grandmother in and out of bed, she took care of the groceries, of their hygiene, of their frantic calls at 2am when someone had fallen out of bed.  She took care of every detail, everyday, for years.  She was their chef, their chauffeur, their errand girl, their daughter, their everything. It got to the point she couldn't do it any longer, they needed her 24/7.

This evening as my grandparents are tucked away in their new home, my mom is caring for her little grandson.  I imagine she is either chasing him around her house or letting him splash up a storm in the bath tub.  Either way, she is loving on him and hopefully he is helping her keep her mind from thinking about her parents.

I wouldn't be the loving, compassionate, empathic mother and wife I am, if I hadn't had her as my role model.  For her house cleaning, porch sweeping, cookie baking skills she passed on, and the enormous amount of love she gives to those around her...I give thanks.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, Flexibility

Juggle work or motherhood?  How about a little of both?
Years ago I worked in the corporate world, complete with business cards, paid vacation, and a little plaque with my name on it.  I worked with a couple of my closest friends, I enjoyed my job, and I had a pretty great boss.  Funny thing is when I met this tiny little person that I had spent the previous 8 months growing, none of that work stuff seemed to matter.  I wanted to spend my time with him and the cut in pay (while it hurt) was worth it.  When Scott and I looked into the future, we both agreed we would never say "Gosh, I really wish I would have worked more and spent less time with Paisley."  Not to mention, Scott has a good job that can allow me to stay home with P, so it just made sense.

Life has a way of making everything happen for a reason.  Around the time that Scott and I realized my full-time gig, driving 45 minutes one way, and less than flexible work schedule was not working for our family, a friend from the local university called me about a job.  I was thrilled with the opportunity to be able to work 2 days a week in the Human Resource field, while spending the rest of the week taking care of Paisley.  To me, that is the best of both worlds! 

The university doesn't need me on a regular basis, so they will occasionally call and ask if I want to come in and work a day or two.  Since my mom and mother-in-law are my caregivers to Paisley when I am not available, it is easy for one of them to take him on the day that I work.  I am able to stay active in my professional career, while raising my child.  Having the ability to take care of our house, our child, and contribute financially is my perfect balance.  Having Paisley's grandmothers both available anytime is pretty awesome as well.  To careers that can flex to accommodate mothers and to grandmothers that can drop everything at a moments notice to watch their grandchild...I give (many) thanks! 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, Sweet Melodies

Excellent bassist (the one on the left) :)
I'm pretty sure my mom had ear phones on her stomach during her pregnancy.  I came out of the womb with a love for music. Growing up, my mom had the Doors playing constantly!  She was a stay-at-home mom, so literally all day, I listened to the Doors.  Every. Album. All. Day. I could sing every one of their songs by the time I was 10.

My Grandfather had a jukebox that he played.  His taste was a bit more dated than my moms, but I still enjoyed listening to his selections.  The song I remember most was Elvira.  He's no longer with us, but that song is.  Hearing it makes me smile and remember my time with him.

My parents offered to take me to my first Bonnaroo.  If that isn't encouragement from your parents to love a variety of music, I don't know what is.

Scott and I had known each other 14 days when he asked if he could buy "us" tickets to the Austin City Limits music festival.  Never mind the fact that the festival was 5 months and 4 states away.  Music was an ingredient to our bonding as a couple and was there as we fell in love.

I am proud to say that my little fish has a love for music that matches his Mommy's love for music.  When he wants his radio on, he will pump his fist (yes, we really taught him to fist pump).  Once I get the music going, he will want me to hold him and dance with him.  We spend a lot of time dancing around his room.  Currently he has Robert Plant his CD player.  I don't play nursery rhymes or other little kid type Cd's, it's all music from my own collection.  If it's good enough for me, it's good enough for my boy.

During the day, I keep the Coffeehouse radio station playing through our tv.  Throughout the day, P will be walking by the tv, stop to listen to the music, and bend his knees in his stiff manner of dancing, and shake his cloth diapered bottom.  It happens numerous times throughout the day and it makes me smile.  Baby loves his music.

Since music elicits happy feelings and memories for me, I am hoping it does the same for Paisley as we listen to so much music every day.  I want him to look back on our days when he is 35 and remember dancing with him Momma and singing along with Norah Jones.  For happy feelings, for instilling memories, for talented musicians that share their gifts with us...I give thanks.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, The Freedom to Decide

My deep thinker...some decisions are more important than others
I think everyone knows today is election day...well unless you live under a rock.  And if you lived under a rock, I doubt you would have wifi and a laptop to check my blog.  Nor do I think I blog about topics that people that live under rocks would be interested in.  But, I digress.  Where was I....oh yes, today is election day.  Maybe you noticed?

Of course I am thankful for my right to vote.  I remember turning 18 and being so excited to exercise my new found right.  I was thankful to have a voice, to have the ability to share that voice, and that my voice was being heard.  But tonight I want to give thanks for so much more that my ability to decide who takes office next.  How about the basic freedom to get an education, to choose my religion, to choose whom I married.  I have the freedom to drive a car, to travel the world freely, to watch whatever news station or reality show floats my boat.  I choose what clothes I want to wear, how to raise my child, which friends to surround myself with.  So many choices that are mine to make.  Right or wrong, they are my decisions.

Each morning we all have a choice to make.  We can wake up with a smile on our face and realize everything that we have to be thankful for.  I hope tomorrow morning you wake up giving thanks...I know I will.  For the freedoms that I have and the abilities to decide what is best for me...I give thanks.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, My Sister, My Best Friend

I didn't ask for her nor did I have any say when I was born,  I just lucked into being born as her little sister.  She is 3 years older than me, although for a good portion of our lives it felt more like 33 years.  She was wiser and more mature, I was cuter and more fun.  She always had a steady boyfriend and I was always moving on to the next best thing.

Despite our differences, I was pretty interested in what she was up to.  She had this small green binder that she kept phone numbers of all her friends in (this was way before cell phones).  I would sneak in to her room when she wasn't around and pour over the girls and guys lucky enough to get their name in her book.  I would run my finger down the list, proud that I knew almost all the people she had in there.  My freshman year she was senior.  I would smile with pride when teachers would comment on my "big sister."  Yep, I thought she was pretty cool too, even though I wouldn't admit it then.

The funny thing is, I didn't really let her know how much I loved her until I moved away.  It was while I lived in Wyoming that we got closer.  I guess when you don't see someone everyday, you value the time and conversations you have with them even more.  These days, I look forward to every day I get to spend with her.  She travels a lot, so it isn't always easy to get together.  She's trustworthy, she's loving, and she works way harder than most people I know.  Her eyes light up when she holds her nephew and his eyes reflect the same love and affection back to her.

I don't know if I've ever told her I'm thankful for if I haven't, Rhea Nicole, my only sister and one of my best friends, I love you...and for you I give thanks.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4 - This Boy

Pigs in a blanket

I spend a lot of time writing on here about the little guy in my life.  However, well before that little guy came along, it was just me and the handsome ham pictured above.  The blond haired, blue eyed boy that had me laughing the first day I met him, and continue laughing with to this day.  He is one of the hardest working men I know.  Besides his full time job, he also runs a side business.  Besides the side job and full time job, he takes care of each and every "manly" duty around the house, while still helping out with diaper changes and cooking meals.  He's never too tired at the end of the day to collapse on the floor with P and tickle him until he squeals.  He knows what I'm thinking and feeling sometimes before I do.  He says what I need to hear, when I need to hear it.

He's strong and outdoorsy and just fun to be with.  He has great ideas on a variety of topics and supports my hair-brained ones.  I couldn't love him more if I tried and I am so attracted to him.  He doesn't just tell me he loves me, but he shows me daily...for that I give thanks.

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November 3 - The Busy Season

So my November 3rd blog is actually being posted on November 4th.  However, it's not because I forgot, but because I needed the pictures taken on November 3rd to accompany my post for November 3rd.  And I didn't have access to a computer last night after said photos were here we go!

So I briefly mentioned the other day that I was preparing for a party and I wanted everything to be perfect.  The day and night turned out perfect, if I do say so myself.  We had a great turn out (46 people!!) despite the cold temps, but aren't hayrides and bonfires made for temps that make your teeth chatter and cheeks turn pink?  The kiddos played nicely together, the parents were able to enjoy an adult beverage or two, and nothing in the house got broken.  Sounds like a success to me.

So how do I tie a party into something I am thankful for?  Every year when fall rolls around, it is also know as the "busy season" around the Fisher house.  We have Halloween events, parties, trips, Thanksgiving, shopping, etc to fill the boxes of our calendar.  At times it may seem like a chore to bundle up, load up the car and head to whatever event is on our list, but once we get there, talk with friends and family, and enjoy the event, we are always glad we came.  I always come away from these events filling refreshed and alive.

For the friends and family that throw these events, to the trips we take, to those we love just wanting to get-together, I give thanks.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2nd - Thankful for Peace Within

Today should have been a perfect day...Scott took the day off, Paisley slept until 7:15am, and the sun was shining bright.  I should have woken up like a well-rested, happy Momma.  Instead, you could say I just got up on the wrong side of the bed.  I've had this stuffy nose/cough thing for a few days and I'm over it.  My grandparents are elderly and their rapid deterioration is more than I can stomach.  We just past the two-year anniversary of losing our first baby.  I burned 24 cookies in the oven (not just burned, scorched).  My sweet toddler kept throwing his toys in the trashcan.  And the straw the broke the camels back, when I tried to call my mom because I just needed to hear her voice, the connection of my phone was so bad that she couldn't hear me.  Pity Party for one.

I cried.  I texted my mom and sister telling them I was a wreck.  Throw in the fact that I'm throwing a party tomorrow and I just wanted everything to be perfect.  All I wanted was to be able to breathe through my nose, my grandparents to return to the way they were 10 years ago, and for perfect chocolate chip cookies.  Is that really too much to ask?

I made me some coffee (pumpkin spice), I whipped up another batch of cookies, I texted my Mom and Sister some more, and then Scott took us to dinner where I enjoyed fried chicken and stuffing.  The sunny sky faded to starlight and Paisley fell asleep in my arms.  I had a chance to look back at my day.  Nothing tragic happened, it was just a day with a few bumps.  Maybe I just needed a good cry?  By talking to my family and sweet husband, by holding our precious boy, I have now shaken that emotional cloud that consumed me for a better part of the day.  My sunny days wouldn't be as sunny if I didn't have the cloudy days to compare them too.  So even for my cloudy days...I give thanks.  (Dear cloudy days-just because I give you thanks doesn't mean I want you to return any time soon!  Love, Kara)

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st, First Day of Thanks

Our little turkey
I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon, but I've seen a lot of people posting on Facebook something they are thankful for each day of November.  I decided to play along.  Let's see if I can manage a relatively small post each day this month.

Last night Paisley came down with a cold.  Scott had it first, then I had it, and we knew it was only a matter of time before the little guy took his turn with the Kleenex box and Vick's vapor rub.  He was a trooper and tried powering through it.  He went to bed like normal but was a little fussy at 12:30am.  I watched him on the monitor and he wasn't awake, just rolling around.  He quieted back down and went to sleep.  At 2:30am he was up again...crying.  Since he typically doesn't wake up at night or cry like this, I went in his room.  I could hear how congested he was.  Crying those few minutes didn't help with his congestion.

This is the first stuffy nose he has had, so I imagined he was probably scared as to why he couldn't breathe through his nose.  I took him out of his crib, filled up a sippy cup with water (I've always heard dairy was not good to give someone that is congested) and we sat in the recliner and rocked.  I figured if he slept sitting up on my chest, he might be able to breath a little easier.  *At this point, you are probably wondering how I'm thankful for a sick baby*

He quickly calmed down in my arms and in the moon filled room, I could see him looking at my face.  He put his hand on my cheek and closed his eyes.  I listened to him breathe easier until his breathing fell into a rhythm that I knew meant he was sleeping.  I kept on rocking.  The house was silent.  The only light was the time flashing on the radio and the moon streaming in.  Scott was sound asleep in our room and I was there in the living room, rocking our sick baby.  My mind was flooded with nothing but thanks at 3AM.  I had zero interest in shutting my own eyes, I didn't want to miss a minute of this moment.  So I kept on rocking.

Yes, my baby was sick.  But this is just a little cold.  Nothing that love from his Momma can't cure.  He was calmed by being in my arms.  My heart soared as I knew at that moment, all that baby wanted was to sleep in his Momma's arms.  I was so happy to be able to meet that need.  I gave thanks for that special moment, of my little boy needing me and me being able to meet his needs.

As the sun came up, I slipped him back into crib as he was breathing much easier.  Next to the warmth of my husband, I realized that I may not be as well rested today as normal, but my night left me feeling full of life and love.  For that, I give thanks.

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