Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Values

As I stated in a previous post, I would love to go to Blissdom at the beginning of February. So I am entering a couple of contests to attempt to win myself a ticket to that lil old conference! Because I sure as heck can't pay for it myself, that's why! My husband is in ministry, remember?!

SteaZ is running a contest and wants everyone who enters to blog about values--what you value as a blogger, what success means to you, and how attending Blissdom will help you achieve it.

As a blogger, I value other bloggers' stories. I LOVE hearing about others' lives; good or bad. But I'm really picky. The stories I'm reading must be well-written. They must be honest, and a little humor never hurt anyone. I value guts: the courage to write about intensely personal stuff; sometimes details about life that would hurt your play group, your Starbucks Barista, your PTA, or maybe even your family. I am not brave enough to not care what people think of me or whose feelings I'm hurting, so I really admire those who can. It takes a very special, very strong kind of person to face criticism OR hand it out publicly! Now about honesty--I don't like fake, contrived honesty or humility. I can see RIGHT through it. That's all I'll say.

Reviews, review blogs, and mommy/frugal/sponsored blogs give me mixed feelings. Again, I value good writing. So when every single review I'm reading follows the same formula, I get a little bit annoyed. You know the formula:

"Well I wasn't sure about trying ABC's product, but boy, gosh-golly-gee-whiz, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it is really SUPER DUPER AWESOME! ABC has generously provided me with one *insert product here* to give away to one lucky reader! To enter, jump through the following hoops, which ultimately benefit my blog and ABC company."

Yes, I enter those giveaways. I for SURE want to win some of them (HP Touchsmart computer? yes, please! I didn't win one. Darn!). But I LOVE when bloggers find a different way to write their reviews. There HAS to be a different way. If I was ever given the opportunity to do a review and a giveaway, I would be really excited to write it differently. The new rules that are causing bloggers to start separate review blogs are great, in my opinion. That way I can read about the blogger's life, and go to a completely different site to read about their product preferences. I'm still not sure how I feel about the two being mixed together.

Connection between bloggers is something I value and envy at the same time. Because I'm not a BIGTIME blogger, I don't have those special blogging relationships with others. I would LOVE to go to Blissdom to help me with those relationships. Not only would I soak up a TON of information about blogging and writing (remember I love good writing!), I would be able to form connections across the Blogosphere and just get to hang out with some really cool people. The information about writing and blogging would help me better tell my story to others. It's a win-win!

So SteaZ, these are some of the things I value. I hope you value them too!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Under Pressure

DUN DUN DUN DA DA DUN DUN--DA DUN DUN DUN DADA DUN DUN
Or is that Ice, Ice, Baby? I never can tell!

Guilt. Oh, the guilt. The constant feeling that you are doing the wrong thing for your child; or that one decision you've made is going to scar him/her forever. Or worse, the fear that someone is going to call your state's child services department because you lost it at Wal Mart...and THEN the guilt that you lost it at Wal Mart. You are convinced that you are a horrible mother.

Any moms out there hear me on this one? Can I get an Amen?

Here in Missouri, there seems to be a big push *no pun intended, ew!* to potty train by age 2. I've noticed this recently with a couple of my friends who are starting to potty train their little ones who are younger than Zeke. I asked a friend of mine about it, and she informed me that the culture around here favors advancing the normal "babyhood" stages like solid foods and potty training because, quite frankly, baby food and diapers are expensive.

OMG.

I'M BEHIND!!!! *Again, no pun intended, ew!*

Not only was Zeke still eating some baby food when we moved here (he was 16 months), but I haven't even STARTED potty training him! He seems to have no interest in it whatsoever, unless of course I am on the potty, then he's ALL up in the potty business! But if I sit him on the toilet before his bath, he cries, puts his arms up and says "Mama, hug!" He's not ready. But how do I NOT feel like a horrible mother who is headed straight for a 12-year-old in Pull Ups?! I'm sure I'll get over these guilty feelings eventually because really, he's just not ready. But these feelings will be replaced by more, when someone tells me that "Your Baby Can Read" has subliminal messages about world domination or John Lennon or something. GREAT. Zeke will be advanced in his reading skills AND be brainwashed? Awesome. I'm up for Mother of the Year, folks.

P.S. Yes, Zeke watches "Your Baby Can Read" and we LOVE it. Judge away, people!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm not worthy!!!

Given the fact that I don't post every day, not to MENTION the fact that I don't really have a cohesive theme for this piece of interweb, I barely even qualify as a blogger. But STILL, I really really really really really really REALLY want to go to Blissdom in Nashville this year:

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010

Why do I want to go? Well let me tell you.
* Nashville is fun.
* Nashville seems to currently be the epicenter of the Blogging world AND the church world. What I mean is, there are a lot of really cool bloggers in Nashville-- Lindsay Ferrier, Jessica Turner, Angie Smith, and some of my pastor wife friends, too! Lots of amazing churches are there, too including Crosspoint Church and Cornerstone Church.
*I love conferences, hotels, and hotel food!

SO...I'm just saying, you know, if you want to HELP me go to Blissdom, you know, I would really be THANKFUL and stuff... if you want to, you know, let me stay at your HOUSE, or room with you at the Hotel (remember, I love hotels...especially this one!), or, you know, pay for me to go...I'd be your best friend! Well, your best blogging friend, anyway. Because I'm a wanna-be blogger, you know!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa, Maybe?!

These pictures were created, and the digital "scrapbook" page was designed and put together by my friend, Tracy Cochran.

Here's a little glimpse into Zeke's visit with Santa this year (it was our friend Bob from church. I'm convinced that's the only reason he would even get near him)



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Easiest Christmas Cookie Recipe EVER!



Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:
1 tube of sugar cookie dough (or you can make your own sugar cookie dough if you're feeling ambitions!)

Seedless Raspberry Jam

Sprinkles

Frosting:
Confectioner's sugar
Water
(you could also use milk or lemon juice, or mix it up with some butter, depending on how you like your frosting!)

Directions:
You may notice that there really aren't any measurements! If you like precise measurements, sorry! :)

1. Bake the sugar cookies according to directions, either by slicing the cookie dough or rolling it into 1 tbsp balls--totally up to you. Set them on a wire rack to cool.

2. Once the sugar cookies are cool, take half of them and spread a little bit (about 1 tbsp) of the jelly on the bottom (the bottom should be a little bit flat because of the cookie sheet). Put the other half of the cookies on top, flat side down. Now they're little sandwiches! Let them sit for about 30 minutes, until they're pretty well stuck together. You can refrigerate them if you want.

3. Make the frosting by putting some confectioner's sugar (start with cup) and a couple of tablespoons of water in a bowl, and mix. Add confectioner's sugar and water (or other liquid--adding a little lemon juice would be really tasty with the raspberry jam!) until you get a good consistency--it needs to be thin enough to go on the cookies, but thick enough to stay on.

4. Dip one end of the cookie in the frosting (like you're dipping an oreo in milk), then dip in the sprinkles to coat. Set on wax paper. You can leave them out to dry or put them in the refrigerator, but you want the frosting to harden.

** You can really make this into any type of cookie you want! Put nutella in the middle and dip in melted chocolate chips? YUM!**

ENJOY!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where I stop telling my age on my birthday

I think I've reached the age. 27. This is it. This is where you stop telling people your age. I always thought I'd grow old gracefully, but here I am, an old lady, in my LATE 20's, and I am swearing to never again tell my age. *sigh*

I'm totally kidding! Yes, I have transitioned into my late 20's, but I feel great! I'm stronger than I ever have been, and honestly I still feel like I'm 17.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. I felt so loved yesterday! I am honored that you guys even remember who I am! Seriously, I thought I had long since been forgotten by some of you. Sure, Facebook reminds you of everyone's birthday, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to stop by and acknowledge it! Awesome! I had a wonderful day, and you helped make it even more special. Thank you.

This year was easier than last year. My 26th birthday was tough. I had a pity party for most of the day. It was my first birthday as a mom, and I was listening WAY too much to what the World was telling me about how I should be at 26. I SHOULD have been in a successful profession; I SHOULD have been finished with my Master's degree (TWO years prior, might I add); I SHOULD have been out partying with my friends, and I SHOULD have been free, unencumbered, and happy. I WAS NOT any of these things. I was sad, lonely, taking antidepressants for PPD and spending alllllllllll day with a 9-month old infant. I was changing diapers, breastfeeding, listening to crying and putting down for naps. I think I cried on and off for a good 12 hours.

Last year I had no idea that in a year, this year on my birthday, I would be doing this:
On Tuesday, I was told to rush my son to the doctor (now 40 minutes away) because his respirations were high--he breathed 26 times in 15 seconds. He was coughing, sneezing, and wanted nothing to do with toys, snacks, or books. So rush him I did. After a breathing treatment in the office, we were sent across the street to the hospital for X-Rays, and when we arrived back at the doctor's office, the doctor, with complete surprise in his voice, informed me that Zeke had the very beginning stages of pneumonia. So we left with a prescription for Albuteral, a nebulizer, and antibiotics. What scared me the most is when the nurse asked the doctor outside of our room, "are we admitting him to the hospital?" and the doctor said, "not yet." Ummm excuse me? Not WHAT?!

So this year, on my birthday, I snuggled my little boy. This amazing little person who, last year, cried and pooped and nursed and spit up, this year needed my love and attention, and some medical intervention. I was so thankful on my birthday to have him, and to be at home, not in a hospital. In the last year (really, in the last 4 months, since moving to Missouri) I have learned to enjoy him and relate to him in new ways. We have carved out our own little relationship and we are doing better than ever before. Maybe someday on my birthday I WILL have a successful career, my master's degree, or SOMETHING. Who knows? But this year, I am just SO thankful for my little family. Especially my little boy.