Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh Ooooh Pretty Woman

     I have been gone a long that might give you a hint if you have followed me before....that something big has happened in my life.  In this case, back on February daughter brought great joy to my life in the tiny delightful bundle of a new baby girl.  You may know that it is difficult for me to write about a new grandchild.  They are just so unspeakably PRECIOUS  and I just don't want to jinx anything.

     Which brings me to my actual topic: ( I just know that if anyone reads this, one must be thinking:  Gee, I thought her topic was her new granddaughter...but you would be wrong..I'm saving that until later.)  So anyway, it's about what a great Mommy my daughter has turned out to be.
     Maybe some of you who are new-ish grandmas can relate.  I mean for sure I THOUGHT I was pretty awesome.  I had great children, a fun and happy life.  You know, I breast fed and everything, people!!!!...which back in the mid-eighties was the pinnacle of motherhood.  Some of you may relate to this, but Motherhood changes.
     Back in the eighties, our super-duper advisers, our doctors, and our mothers told us to lay our babies on their tummies.  (YOU KNOW WHY.....I had nightmares about it)
     I don't think I gave even rice cereal to my first child for 10 or 11 months.  Or maybe one year.  I know it was a long, long time.
     But my daughter had her own ideas about mothering.  And to my great surprise, she was not always excited about me sharing my vast knowledge.  This has been a BIG learning curve for me.
     One of the things that I most admire her for is that there is one word that she does not allow in her home.  Probably really way more than one, but today we are talking about a certain one.  I so wish that I had enough wisdom to have outlaws this word in my home.
     The word is "f.a.t.".  My daughter doesn't use it, and won't let anyone else use it.  She talks about "healthy" and "nutritious" and such wonderful words as that.  She said it took her awhile when she made this rule, because she would find herself wanting to say negative things about herself. It was a tough habit to break.  She wisely realize that this word (the new f word) would probably had a negative effect on her little girls' self image...she she just MADE A RULE.  She is a young woman who loves a rule!!
     This is a challenge.....can you go a day without criticizing yourself out loud?  You know what I mean.....I'm forgetful, I'm fat, I'm so slow, etc.....I don't know what you say to yourself or out loud, but I do know what I have a tendency to say.
     So I challenge myself....and you to integrate this positive new habit.  Let's don't speak negatively about ourselves.  Out loud or to ourselves.  Can you imagine how your life would change if you didn't put yourself in those same boxes each day?
     Can you imagine how those comments affect those who hang on our every word?  Who model their lives after us?
     Let's join hands----right now-----and promise to be sweet to ourselves....(was that a little dramatic?)

You'll hear more about these new mothering techniques.....because I am in constant amazement of the ideas my daughter comes up with!!

Until blessed...
Much love,

Monday, February 20, 2012

An Inconvenient Trip

I have a story to tell you.  It's not a pretty one.  Unless we're enemies and then you are going to be very, very happy.

Recently, as sometimes happens, the Boss of Me asked if I would take a quick trip to our state capital on school business.  No prob.  I can't even count the number of trips, especially to Austin, that I have taken in the last nine years.

And before I start I should tell you that I DO NOT even believe in luck.  Bad or Good.  I've preached it for years, it's just taken or missed opportunities.  Lack of preparation might be a factor, blah, blah, blah.  Who knows?  I only knew that if you attribute something to luck, then you disconnecting yourself from any credit or responsibility for it.  And I am ALL ABOUT the responsibility thing.


It's like this.

I was on my way to the airport..about 60 miles away.  I receive a voice mail from the airline that says my second leg of my flight was delayed.  A lot.  Like three hours delayed.  I was already supposed to have a long layover, and this pushed my arrival to Austin back to a time that is only excusable if you have been out to a frat party.  On a weekend.  During your freshman year, when you are still excited about things like that.  Had I known the series of unfortunate events that were about to come in the upcoming 36 hours, I would have turned around right then.


So I arrive and am gliding right through security when an ever-so-polite uniformed man asks me to step aside.  Yes sir, no problem.    He needed to examine my purse a little more closely.  Absolutely.  Go right ahead.

Never was anyone more sure than I was that I was completely CLEAN, yall.  I mean, really, besides my contact case...what could it be?  Well, there was something.

Just a little old bitty teensy something. It was.................a knife.

I know...a knife.

In my purse.
That I was carrying on.
The airplane.  You know those signs that say they take all threats seriously?  They are not kidding.  My knife caused an uproar in the security area.  Uniformed people gathered around me.  Some separated from the group to whisper to each other.   I was in fear...not because I was afraid of arrest, but because this was one of my good dinner knife.  From my QVC set.  Pattern Domain.  No longer available.  I begged for mercy.  I begged them not to confiscate my knife.  It would ruin a perfectly good set.  With just about everyone examining the blade to determine if it was serrated, how serrated, etc.

Then to my delight and surprise, the Sanhedrin dispersed and I was informed that they would let me on through.  WITH my knife.  Can you believe it?  They did warn me to pack it in my checked luggage on the way home.

Whooooooooooo,  breath of relief.

So, on to Dallas and my eternally long wait.  It was so late that I was unable to participate in my favorite airport activities, eating and shopping.   That place was a morgue.  So, I went on to my alternate activities:  people watching and reading.

There's more.  Feel free to stop now.  I'm warning you.

Upon arrival in Austin, it was a rainstorm. It was 1:30 a.m. Rental car booths were closed down.  No taxis.  My phone, by this time, was dead.  So to my relief, Avis opened up and I got a car.  I rented a GPS.  Any of you who are as deeply entrenched in a bureaucracy as I am knows that if you go rogue like I did and rent from Avis instead of Enterprise, heads are gonna roll, girlfriend!!  Also....I already knew the GPS was going to come out of my own pocket, but at this time all I could think of was getting to the hotel and getting a couple of hours of sleep before my next day's meeting.

I got to my hotel after my GPS tried to get me to turn left right on the interstate.  But even to my BLEARY brain this did not sound like a good idea.

A couple of hours of sleep....on to the conference venue.

On the way was one of those streets that has a stoplight every single block.  But in between the lights, people drive fast.  I was in the left lane, but......and if I'm lying, I'm dying....a black cat ran out in front of me.  And stopped.  And never, ever moved.  I had to wait and change lanes and go around him.  Last I saw of the black cat, he was still sitting in his chosen location.

Once again, I should've read the signs.  The omens.  Turn out and go home.  Now.

So, the conference location did not exist. At least not at the address that was published.  I was there.  AT the address listed.  And it was not there.  After driving around aimlessly and making a few circles in the area, I found it.  Good news, conference was great!

The 12 mile drive back to the hotel that evening took 1 and 1/2 hours.  That's just Austin for you.  But by the time I got back to the hotel (still raining)....I kid you not, I walked to the Denny's next door and got take out.  It was a low point in my life.  You understand if you know how very cool Austin is and how much fun you can have there.

I had to check out of the hotel about 6 the next morning.  The clerk behind the desk was working on the receipt FOREVER.  Finally, he gave up and admitted he was the bartender and he was the only one on duty.  So I left without a receipt.  (More trouble from the business office of the bureaucracy!)

And that's about it, other than my carry-on bag ripping and falling completely apart.  That didn't seem so bad in comparison to other recent events.  By that time, I was expecting it.

As I steeled myself for whatever happened next, the ride home was relatively crisis free.  And when I arrived home in Amarillo (knife secured in the checked bag).....I kissed the cold, hard happy to be home and vowing to never leave again.

Blessings and may all your travels be smoooooth!


Peek a Boo..I see you!

A while back, my lifelong friend who happens to be the receptionist at my school, got the greatest package from UPS.

You should know that one of us gets a FEDEX or UPS delivery, we are all just thrilled.  Our favorites are from Zulily but we can get excited about almost anything.  So to drag out a short story into a long story, Melissa received a darling teddy bear destined to be a present for her granddaughter.

It looks like this and it has the most precious animated voice:

Within a few minutes the rest of us who had grandchildren, nieces or nephews or just a sense of fun had ordered several.  They all came in on the same day.  You can imagine our delight.

 So we did this.

Because we're fun that way.

We lined them up on the ledge in my office.

Then started them like a "wave" and made a video.

Trust me, whatever child you may have to buy a gift for...this will be a winner with young and old.  My Lily Bug loves it!  (and she honestly doesn't much like real toys)

(I'm not selling anything for Amazon or Gund, the manufacturer...but if you want this, the link is at Amazon)



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Magnet Family Tree

Silhouette-y stuff

I got quite a good response from my do-it-yourself post.  So, I thought I would show you another project. People with this new toy are always looking for something new....and this one turned out great!

Remember, I don't do tutorials....but I will describe the process..a LITTLE!!

This is a very bad pic of what it should look like before adding magnets.
I used a canvas for this project and covered the whole front in magnet paint.  I bought a quart of it at Walmart.  You can get it pretty much anywhere.  I chose to only cover the very front of it and leave the edges of the canvas white..for more contrast.

I used the Silhouette downloand (99 cents) called "Fall Tree" and just un-grouped everything and deleted the fall leaves.  Then I cut it on black and white printed scrapbook paper and applied it with tacky spray adhesive.

THEN, I used plain white card-stock and designed my own print-and-cut with a snowflake shape.  I chose black for the ink and made different size personalized snow flakes.  I attached round button magnets (you can buy them now at Walmart and I'm sure Hobby Lobby and Michael's that have adhesive already on the back...this makes this part super easy)

I don't think you could use anything too heavy on this magnet paint.  These magnets work well because I am just attaching card-stock paper, so it's very lightweight.

Here's what it looks like with the snowflake magnets on it.

With the snowflake-ish magnets attached.

Then, because I was super-excited about the look I had come up with, I immediately made more magnets.  I decided on a groovy 60's looking flower to use for Spring.

It looks like this....
The button magnets give it a 3-d look for a little more interest.

It's a fun and easy project.  I have it displayed on my black buffet on an black wrought iron easel.  

More to come!!



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Looking to the future.....

Do you know when something is so precious to you that you can barely stand to share it with the world?  It's just utterly magic?  Something that is just such an incredible gift that you can barely believe that you have such an amazing and beautiful thing in your life?

Well, that explains why I didn't blog for such a long time.

From the minute my daughter and son-in-law told me they were expecting their first child, I was beyond thrilled.  And, I must admit....uncharacteristically fearful.  What was I afraid of?  It's hard to explain.  It was too good to be true.  Something would go wrong.  What would it be?  Difficult labor?  Premature birth?  Undeveloped lungs?  Gestational diabetes?

Believing I had an adversarial relationship with the fates, I just laid low in lots of ways.  I purchased and had monogrammed some lovely newborn clothes.  But it was difficult for me to really imagine that it was going to really happen.

I had longed for it.  But suddenly I couldn't really buy into the idea that I would be a grandmother and get to gaze into the eyes of a child that my very own child birthed.

It was too much, yall.

Then, one Saturday morning....with none of the previously worried about drama.....Lily Kate arrived.  11 days early and in such a hurry that her Mom and Dad barely made it to the hospital.  She was precariously close to being born in a Love's Convenience Store restroom!

I arrived at the hospital about 40 minutes after her birth to find my gorgeous daughter nursing her sweet little bundle.  She saw me and was laughing and crying at the same time.

"Mommy, I have a baby"

As I look into the eyes of my oldest child, I was filled with love and gratitude for her strength, her health, her dedication to this brand-new life.  I remembered the day of her birth, all the joy and fun she has brought me.  My own father called her a "free thinker".  He would've been thrilled on this day.

Then, after assuring myself that my own baby was well, I looked into the eyes of my first grandchild.

Oh my.  The wonder.

She looked so familiar.  And kind of like she had a secret.

I was unequivocally in love.

My baby with her baby

Already looks like has things in control.

Two days old
First photo shoot at NEST
Visiting me at work

Wearing Uncle Chase's hat

She 16 months old now....and only now can I write about her publicly in this way.  She has changed my life.  I regret my time worrying rather than happily anticipating and preparing for this incredible experience.