Friday, February 27, 2015

Life Lately

My life lately:
  • I got to see my little bro three times in the last 5 days, which is always a perk of both of us  after 5 years of only seeing each other once a year (if we were lucky). Watching my brother with our son has been such a fun thing to witness. Tanner is almost always the first one to pick up the Munch or to unbuckle him out of his car seat as we enter a room. I think they're going to make years of memories together, and most likely get into some trouble together. Can't you see their quickly forming bond shine through these pics? Love.


  • Brrrr. This morning it was -15 as I got ready for work. Not -15 wind-chill. Straight up -15 degrees. And you know what's the crazy part about it? No one even batted an eye. There was no threat of school closures, no panic. Just mind-numbing cold. A few weeks ago we would've prayed for no school. A month later, we're all just to dead to it. Fabulous.

  • You know you're no longer a southerner when you scroll through Facebook and see school closures and delayed start times for cold temps in the teens, and you look up from your phone and realize that you're rocking flats without socks in 9 degree weather and hadn't thought twice about it. I'm either nuts or becoming an eskimo. Probably a combination of both.

  • As I snapped a photo of my foot (see above), the Hubs states "you better check that photo for foot crust-a-funk before you post that thing anywhere." Hmmm. Two things 1) Do I usually have foot crust-a-funk, whatever that may be? 2) After further inspection, we dubbed the foot image "all good", thankfully.

  • This little man has lived outside of my office window through two awful winters. He'll be sitting amongst the snow with -25 wind-chill and it breaks my heart. I can see him shivering under his fur and I want to bring him inside so badly. Think anyone would notice?

  • It was my mom's 60th Birthday on Monday night and we celebrated with her over delicious fish tacos at Tavern on Clark. Happy Bday, mom! Now please stop it with the birthdays. We must not age a single year more. I refuse to give in to this whole time thing.


Have a great weekend full of family, friends, above zero temps, smuggling wildlife into your offices,  and crust-a-funk-less feet, y'all!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throw Back Thursday Edition



I've never fully jumped on the whole Throw Back Thursday bandwagon, but today I feel inspired to bring a little #TBT to Saltwater and Snow Storms. I'm not sure I'll make it a weekly occurrence, but it's kind of fun to look back through the last 8 years of this online journal and see what was on my heart and mind circa 2008.

This post was written a month before my first medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Little did I know, I'd return to that beautiful country and those amazing people three more times after my first trip.

Without further ado, I bring one of my very first posts on this blog Here Am I. Send Me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Oh, So Much

There is so much awesomeness happening in the article I'm about to share with you from In The Powder Room. Oh, so much.

I have been a mom for all of 6 months now, which I'm sure is like a nano-second in the grand scheme of my parenting journey. However, I have done my fair share of disciplining as a nanny, skating coach, college cheerleading coach, and after school and summer school counselor. In working with children and even adults at the college level, I've learned that there are many ways to discipline. Some are more creative than others, which leads me to sharing one mom's fantastic story of creative discipline further in this post.

Anyone who has ever been responsible for someone else knows that without discipline, chaos can quickly ensue. As a college coach, I was able to be a bit more stern with those under my supervision. They could be talked to and reckoned with like adults, unless of course they were acting like children in which case they were then treated like children. There were days where they had to run laps, stadiums or do massive amounts of push ups. There were days when they were suspended from a game or even more devastating to them, from an away game and off campus travel. There was one day in particular when I simply had enough. They pushed me too far and we all know what happens when something is pushed beyond it's intended range. I snapped. Like crazy eyes snapped. I can still remember the looks on their poor faces when I lifted my coaching binder above my head and then slammed it to the gym floor with such force that it echoed across the gym. Guess what though, it got their attention and they stopped talking immediately.

One of my most creative discipline tactics came as the camp counselor for my "dolphins" at an elementary school the summer after I graduated from college. My dolphins were a group of about 15 rising 2nd graders. They were adorable and fun and cute and sweet and brutally honest at times and I loved spending all day with them five days a week. They'd be so great all day long, that was until it was time for 30 minutes of silent reading and writing time. Ugh. I dreaded those 30 minutes more than the remaining 7.5 hours combined. They. Could. Not. Stop. Talking. I tried everything. Time outs were pointless. The quiet game was a joke. Nothing worked. That was until I found their kryptonite.

In a moment of desperation, I declared that the next child to speak or touch their neighbor would have to stand up and sing a solo. Instant SILENCE, people. Like, pin-dropping silence. No one moved. From that moment on I learned what rising 2nd graders fear...embarrassment. Well, 99% of them do. Eric, my little man who was the first person to ever propose to me (true story), immediately wanted to sing a solo so I had to enforce that rule for everyone but Eric who thrived on the all eyes on him situations. But everyone else? They had it on lock from that day on during silent reading. Just call me the 2nd grade whisperer. And as for Eric, I gracefully declined his proposal whilst on the school bus on the way to a roller skating field trip with the caveat that if he still wanted to marry me when he was 22 and I was still single at 37, I'd accept. Sorry, Eric. The Hubs beat you to it.

As I navigate my way through this parenting deal, I fully intend on finding appropriate forms of discipline to raise fully functioning members of society and as proven in the past, I am not above embarrassment. Neither is the momma below who's story made me laugh out loud when I read it yesterday. Nash, look out sweet pea cuz yo momma is fully prepared to offer solos for you as a form of punishment. And even worse, I'll sing if need be. Oh the horror for all involved!

Enjoy the post below friend...
http://inthepowderroom.com/do-not-sass-talk-your-mother/

Monday, February 23, 2015

High Fives

I haven't had a chance to do my Friday high fives over the last few weeks, so today I've decided to combine them and switch things up a little with a Monday post. I know, I'm a crazy rebel like that. It's like wearing Saturday undies on a Tuesday. No one but you knows, and yet all day long you feel like you're silently shouting "hey world, I do what I want." Any who...

High fives and shout outs to:
  • My mom's birthday today! Happy 60th mom! I know all moms are amazing, but I'm pretty certain that my mom ranks right up there among Guinness Book of World Record Awesome Moms. I love you and am SO grateful that you're mine.
  • Weekday lunch dates with the Hubs. One of our favorite mid-week treats is a little Indian place near our offices. I just love all the different flavors they pack into one quick, little lunch date. I'm thinking we need to do more lunch dates since they're "no sitter required" dates.


  • Space heaters, slippers and auto-start on my Jeep. Brrrrrrr.
  • A sweet text from a friend saying they miss you and want to hang out soon. Done and done. Lord knows we need fun things to look forward to when it's this chilly outside.
  • Another sweet FB message from a friend saying they miss you too. Ironically, in both instances, I had actually thought about those two friends on those exact day before they text or posted on FB. It's the little things like that in friendships that make them so special.
  • A new study in our couple's church group, which we're now hosting in our home on Wednesday nights. The last two weeks have been great as we've broken out into wives on one floor and the husbands on another to dig a little deeper together. There's been transparency, laughs, prayer, and even an old slumber party game or two.
  • A night of learning how to make dumplings for Chinese New Year in my brother and sister-in-laws home. The evening gave our little clan an opportunity to bust out our Asian outfits that my sis-in-law gave us from Beijing. The Hubs rocked his "silkies" the entire night without apology. Classic. The food and the hosts were fantastic. Thanks, Tanner and Sonia!






  • Baby snuggles and kisses. Messy hair, don't care. No make-up and still in my robe, hmmm, I kinda care, but whatever, he's too cute not to share. Those cheeks...

  • Cutting over 4 inches off my hair this weekend. I'm guessing to others it's hardly noticeable, but to me, it feels SO much healthier.
  • Being selected as a vendor in the coveted MainStreet Market vintage sale again this year! It's such an amazing sale, with people traveling in from all over the country to shop. The minute you submit your application, you feel like you're waiting on a college acceptance letter all over again. I may have checked my email roughly 46 times a day and texted my friend, Jenny asking "anything yet??!!" until we both received word that we were in. Thanks, Urban Farmgirl!

  • Lazy Saturday naps. I had 2 out of 3 of my boys on board for naptime and it was glorious.
 
  • The promise of summer vacations. I need something warm and sunny to look forward to and what's better than a getaway? Nothing, that's what. We already have one family trip planned in August to Grafton, IL. And we cannot forget a trip or two to Charleston, and Nash's first ever Freibergapalooza. Fun, fun and warm, warm!
How cute is this cabin where we're staying in Grafton? I'd like to live there. And it's owned by the Loading Dock, so I cannot wait to visit wineries, go out to eat at the quaint restaurants and then walk across the street to enjoy a cocktail on the water and listen to the live bands at night amongst all the other families on vacation.
 

 

 
 
Have a great week, y'all!
 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Slap Yo Momma Cold

It's cold, y'all. Like slap yo momma cold and I'm not liking this one bit. Why did I leave the south again???

This morning, this is what my weather app shared with me:





-27 wind-chill? And why did they not cancel school?

And just to give you friends a glimpse into just how cold this place really is...

  • My 6 month old slept with fuzzy socks on his hands and a fleece hat all night long to keep him warm inside of our heated home.
  • The air in my tires starts to go flat when temps get this cold.
  • Our office door will not stay shut. Why, you ask? Because it's so cold that the door is shrinking. The DOOR is SHRINKING, people. How does that even happen?
  • I've been inside for an hour now after walking approximately 40 feet from my car to the building and I still cannot feel my toes.
  • Yesterday, after walking in the cold and wind to a campus event, my eardrums burned for 20 minutes. I could not tell you what the speaker said for the first 20 minutes, because when your ears have been THAT cold, all you can think about is whether or not extreme cold can cause permanent deafness.
If you live somewhere right now that's experiencing frigid temps, my heart feels for you. It truly does. Unless your frigid temps are 20 degrees or higher. At that point, I'm likely to tell you to go find a hoodie and suck it up. Come back to me when it's cold enough to take your breath away for a second when you step outside. At that point, we can commiserate while cuddling under a blanket with a nice glass of red.

Stay warm, y'all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Darn You, Facebook

Some days I love Facebook. Other days, not so much really. When the wind chill is -15 here, and I can see friends posting their vacation pics from Florida, yeah, not really feelin' it, Facebook elves. I'm not one to struggle with jealousy thankfully, but some days and some posts make me feel a twinge of ick.

One of the categories of Facebook posts that sting a bit, even though they 100% should not, are when friends post pictures of their precious babies on their first days of life. I love, love, love to see those sweet, sacred photos and I ooh and ahh and swoon like any baby lover should, BUT, the part that stings is in no way related to that precious bundle of joy. Nope. For me, the secondary part of that photo is the mom. You know the one. The one with the cheery lip-gloss and pretty, neatly brushed hair. It gets me every time. Every dang time.

I had hopes of being "that" mom. That one who everyone looks at and comments "OMG, are you sure you had a baby?" Yeah, that was not me. Not in the least. There is not one image of me whilst laying in the hospital bed that doesn't scream "hello world, I just labored and gave birth to a human being". Not one image leaves me looking impossibly fresh or glowing. And although I am okay with that, it still makes me shrug my shoulders a bit when I come across those images on others' pages. Just being honest.

What those pics of mine don't show is that I had a large IV attached to my hand for 3 solid days that prevented me from moving around much. They also don't show my left arm that resembled Popeye's swollen arms due to a nurse missing my vein during labor which caused my arm and hand to completely fill with an entire bag of IV fluid before we noticed. They also don't show that I was struggling with lightheadedness, clamminess, and cold sweats due to blood loss that kept me from even being able to shower for the first 2.5 days because I couldn't stand up for very long without feeling lightheaded. The last thing on your mind when you feel faint every time you try to walk to the bathroom is to grab your lip-gloss and brush. And finally, they don't show that although I checked into that hospital knowing that we'd gladly welcome any friends who'd like to meet our little man, we didn't get to welcome a single one due to how lousy I felt. The last thing you want is to have people see you when you haven't even gotten to change out of the awful, green hospital gown and into your cute, new jammies that you bought specifically for your hospital stay in 3 days, nor been able to shower. My photos aren't scratch and sniff (thank the Lord), but I could guess that if my hair didn't look impossibly fresh, I most likely didn't smell impossibly fresh either.

But, thankfully a picture IS worth a thousand words, so my photos don't just end with all the words above that just described what is visible upon first glance. What they show when you really look at them, is what rings true for all of us mommas (even the gorgeous, I practically sneezed and this child came out and only ruffled 2 of the hairs on my head mommas).

They show love, and hope and pride. They show fear and questioning and "am I really ready and up for this challenge". They show pain and recovery and an ever changing body that will most likely never be quite the same again. They show a miracle and a God who makes it all possible. They show exhaustion that every other woman who's ever held their child in those first days knows all so well and can relate oh so much. They show life dreams and goals and future scraped knees, sleepless nights, school dances and science projects. They show heartbreak and falling in love for the first time. They show first dances at weddings and hand holdings during illnesses. And they show a love story and a bond that is just beginning to unfold.

And although I wish with all of my heart that my cheeks were a bit rosier and my mascara was still intact, I wouldn't change those moments if I could. I'd actually give anything to relive them (well, maybe not the actual labor part, although the epidural was quite lovely). I'd love to meet our munchie for the first time again and again. In that exhausting moment, I got to tell him that he was mine and I am his and that I'll spend the rest of our lives and beyond living that out. I may not always look like the most put together momma on Facebook, but my love will be fierce and it will be loud and no amount of lip-gloss can make that any shinier than it already is.

 
 
 



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday



Today I've linked up with Andrea over at Momfessionals as part of her "Show and Tell Tuesdays" to share the story of how the Hubs and I met. To view Andrea's story, you can click on the link below and link up with the other 90 or so bloggers taking part.

http://www.momfessionals.com/2015/02/show-and-tell-tuesday-share-your-love.html

After being on a waiting list to transfer to a private school that was approximately half a mile from my home, I was given the go ahead and said goodbye to my current high school after my junior year. Things were not ideal for me at my original high school, and after two incidents that left me feeling anything less than safe, my parents made the financial sacrifice that allowed me to attend a Lutheran high school for my senior year.

Transferring schools your senior year, especially to a school where many people had been together since the fourth grade, was not an easy task. It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. In an effort to meet people quickly and ahead of the school year, I decided to try out for poms (aka...dance team if you're not from the Midwest). It took me all of about 5 minutes in the pom's tryout to know to know that it was NOT for me. Seeing as how I was already in the building with my hair curled and my big ole 1996 bow in my ponytail, I decided "what the hay" and I marched myself over to the cafeteria where the cheerleading tryouts were taking place. I had never in my life said a cheer, but in a strange moment of courage I walked in and a few days later, I walked out the new LHS varsity cheerleader.

Thanks to one of my BFF's from skating already being a cheerleader for LHS, I had the opportunity to meet some of the seniors at her house before the school year started. I can still remember what I wore that evening and how much I realized I hated my sandals once I was there and couldn't change my shoes. Isn't it funny how vividly you can remember silly details like that on the night someone special walks into your life? So there I was, sitting on the floor, desperately trying to hid my "hideous" sandals, when this tall blonde guy walked in the room. Aside from thinking he was really cute, I didn't think much of it as I was dating a guy who went to our local college at the time.

As things between my current boyfriend and I fizzled due to him being in college and me still being in high school, I began to notice Tim, the tall, athletic blonde dude a bit more. On the cheerleading bus ride to our first away football game, I remember telling my teammates that I was going to "go to prom with Tim". They sweetly told me that he doesn't really date girls from our school, but that didn't seem to phase me. After all, I wasn't saying I wanted to date him right then, but somehow I just knew that by prom season, we'd be dating.

And so we were. Just as I had planned. He and I were prom dates.



As we dated well into our senior year, I was ready to give the long distance thing the ole college try (pun intended), but apparently my prince charming was not. Although he privately confided in a friend or two, word travels fast in a small school and somehow it made it back to me that the Hubs had declared that come graduation, he was going to give me "the boot". My heart was broken, but I did not lose faith. There was something there that made me want to fight to keep that boot far, far away.

By the time we graduated, we were committed to trying regardless of the 1,000 miles that stood between his school in Kirksville, Missouri and me in Charleston, SC. We couldn't guarantee it would work, but it was worth a shot. And so we did for 2.5 years of college.

And although I won't bore you with the details that took place throughout our 16 year journey, in the summer of 2011, after reconnecting after many years of dating other people, the Hubs surprised me by Waterfront Park in Charleston with a proposal and I wholeheartedly said yes. And the rest is history.

And after 18 years, I'm happy to say that I never did get that boot.



I wish I remembered what he was saying to me, but I was simply trying not to faint from the adrenaline rush. True story. I'm sure it was full of very sweet things though. I look like I'm soaking in every word so it must've been good.
 




 
And for the next round of Show and Tell Tuesdays, come back on March 3rd!
 

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Ground Hog Day Weekend

Although I despise the movie Ground Hog Day, if I had to be trapped in such an awful and anxiety provoking scenario, I'd want my Ground Hog Day to be the weekend that I just completed. I'd love to relive that weekend over and over again. And then over and over again.

After a busy weekend on the 7th-8th and then a packed week, the last 3 days were much needed and totally welcomed.

Friday kicked off with a sweet co-worker offering to watch Nash so the Hubs and I could go out to a Valentine's Day dinner sans kiddo. I tried talking her out of it numerous times, but she insisted and finally we obliged. And it was wonderful. It was so nice to be out at our favorite restaurant, knowing that the munch was in such good and loving hands. From the service to the amazing food and drinks, our dinner was perfect. We shared four small plates, including my favorite risotto and Manchego cheese crostini with pesto and figs on the side, and all of them were everything I had hoped and more. Plus, it's always fun to be taken to your seat and see your name waiting for you. Five Forks, you get it right every single time.



From there, we stopped at Greenfire for a drink and a few more minutes of baby freedom, until I couldn't stand being away from the little man any longer. It's so funny how amazing it feels in the first hour of baby freedom, but by hour #2, I start to want to be home with him again. So home we went for a few late night munchie snuggles and a family selfie.



Saturday consisted of Valentine donuts by By The Dozen, cheesy TV movies, a nap, flowers and chocolate truffles from the Hubs, and a home cooked dinner of caprese salad, blue cheese stuffed olives for the Hubs, crab dip, shrimp scampi and champagne. With the temp bringing a -25 windchill on Saturday night and a kiddo with a cold, we made the decision to stay in and it was just what the doctor ordered. It was cozy and yummy and relaxing. And if you didn't catch it a few lines above, I actually got to take a NAP. A Nap, people! Everything was right in my world on Saturday.

And finally came Sunday. We slept in (thank you, Munchie), the Hubs made breakfast, my mom and I caught the matinee of "Black or White" and then my family came over for a belated Valentine's dinner. The movie was great, but can you ever really go wrong with Kevin Costner? Never. And although we had some moments of healthy debate over dinner, it's always refreshing to be a in a room with people who can call you out or tell you when they think you're being a punk, and then you get to move on and laugh together again. No hard feelings, just honesty and camaraderie. It's the little things, ya know.

And then this happened...

 
This is how my Sunday night ended. This sleepy boy had a bath, a full tummy, new, cozy PJs (that the Hubs says makes him look like a snow leopard or a 70's pimp), and then fell asleep on my lap while holding my hand. Perfection. Simply perfection.
All in all, my weekend wasn't full of anything flashy, but my heart was as full as it's been in awhile and my spirit was replenished. I hope your Valentine's Day was wonderful and loving and worthy of a Ground Hog Day too!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Things That Suck

Sometimes you just gotta wave the white flag and try and laugh at the things in your life that suck. Sorry in advance to people who are not a fan of the word "suck", but "things that stink" just did not get the job done. It is what it is.

Here are few of mine this week:
  • Opening a bottle of sparkling juice in your office kitchen only to have it proceed to spray anything within a 5 foot radius of the bottle. I'm talking ceiling, floor, into the communal toaster, cabinets, etc... Wiping down coffee pots, counters and walls is super fun when you have a million other things you should be doing. AND, to top it off, the juice was awful. I took about 5 sips and it went into the trash.  Hello, suckage.
  • Waking up to your furnace banging repeatedly at 3:00am. Not knowing if the banging was coming from a burst pipe or something mechanical is a very startling way to be woken up. Either way you know that something is not working as it should and will most likely cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars that you hadn't saw coming. Sucks much?
  • Having the furnace man fix your furnace for a whopping $630 bones, only to have it start banging again approximately 20 minutes after he leaves. Not cool, sucky furnace.
  • Then waking up the next day and your house is 58 degrees and your baby's hands are like tiny block of ice. Apparently repairing the furnace was not the right call, and now we probably need to replace said furnace after spending the $630 on what they "thought" was the problem. Yo furnace, you suck.
  • Always being 7-15 minutes late to work no matter what time I wake up in the morning. Seriously, how does that happen? My time management skills are the opposite of does not suck.
  • Having things break in both of the homes that you own all at the same time, while your car is also being repaired. Bank accounts, get ready to have funds sucked straight out of ya at a rapid rate.
  • Knowing that the low on Valentine's Day is supposed to be -9 degrees. Brrrrr. Cupid better be packing straight up flaming, blazing hot arrows. Illinois winters, you've sucked a lot less this year than normal, but it's still not cool.
Here's to hoping your week has been anything but sucky! And if it has, this too shall pass, right? We'll power through together. There's only one work day standing between us and the weekend, and that my friends, does NOT suck.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Big-time

Ladies and gentlemen, our little munchie is big-time now. He officially ate baby cereal last night and didn't seem to hate it all that much.

For the last six months, this kiddo has survived solely on breast milk, so putting on that bib and grabbing that spoon was a fun little change of pace for us parents.

I've also purchased some questionable looking veggies for him to practice with soon, which I'm certain are delicious (gag), but for now we'll play around with cereal so that he gets a little more used to a spoon.

Isn't it so much fun to be alongside of someone who gets to try everything for the VERY FIRST TIME? I love that even the smallest of things like eating super bland cereal can make for a fun memory.

The verdict is still out on whether or not he enjoyed it, but he tried it and that's all we had hoped would happen. Even covered in mush, this face melts me.

Dont' mind the fauxhawk in the pics. That's what happens when Lovie (aka Grandma) watches him;)