Monday, February 23, 2015

A Scouting Family

You know, I wanted to write something poignant and inspiring about being a Scouting Family.  It's February and that is the month we celebrate the Birthday of Scouting and Founder's Day.  It's also when Pack's are suppose to have their Blue & Gold ceremonies.

Scouting is such an important part of our lives and it assists us in raising our boys to become men.

But, right now - like today, I'm dealing with a sinking ship of a Pack.  One that I am counting down the days until Chris crosses over to Boy Scouts with Blue and Gold and we are done with them.

Chris doesn't know what's going on.  He's just excited about becoming a Boy Scout.

And we have 54 days until that happens.

And 5 years until we even have to consider another Pack for our youngest son.

Instead of focusing on the moment and the sinking ship of a Pack, I'm going to go through our time in Scouting via photos

Just know, that if you are in a Pack that doesn't work for you and your family that you can change Pack's.  The BSA is a wonderful program, find a Pack that works for you.

Cody - Tiger, Wolf, Day Camp, Dad & Lad, Bear & Religious Emblem

Cody - Webelos & Boy Scout

Chris - Day Camp, Tiger, Day Camp & Bear

Service - Day Camp (Me at Archery, Cody as a Junior Leader)
while Chris was a Tiger, Wolf & Bear

Flag Ceremony at a fellow Scout's Eagle Ceremony 

Blue & Gold (Cody crossing over), Blue & Gold (Chris earns Bear),
Chris at Day Camp & Chris Blue & Gold earning Webelos

Growing up in Scouting - Chris at Cody's Blue & Gold for Bear
and Will with Mama Dawn at Day Camp while I worked Archery,
Cody was a Junior Leader and Chris attended as a Bear.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Not About 50 Shades of Grey

I was going to post about how I feel about movies like 50 Shades of Grey

I decided not to, though.  I read this and just kind of feel it sums it up nicely.  But, I'll leave you with an excerpt from it before I go on.
So, here’s my challenge. (My apparently long-winded challenge.) Let’s take back sex. No. Seriously. Instead of watching Christian Grey have sex with Anastasia Steele? Try this. Have sex with your own husband. Spend the evening in your own bedroom remembering what being in love felt like when you first got married. Yup. Sex is good and important.And friend? Your husband and your marriage are worth honoring… and you know what? I think deep down… you agree with me.

I'm kind of quite over here talking about my husband.  I rarely break from this.  He's a private guy.  I did write one time over here about our 12th Wedding Anniversary and how great he is.  Go ahead, pop on over and see.

Valentine's Day is pretty special around these parts.  It commiserates our 2nd First Date.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It was 2000 and we went to a nice Italian restaurant and saw Fantasia in 3D at the IMax on Navy Pier.

It is also the day he proposed to me in 2002.

I know, you are still in shock at how young he looks in the photo above.  I understand.  I'm constantly asked if he's my oldest son.  So, yeah...

We would marry 6 months later in August of 2002.  I'm quite convinced that if he could have swung it we would have married on Valentine's Day.  Instead, we married and honeymooned during a very short window between when he completed his Bachelors and went on to pursue his double Masters in Political Science and Business.

Here are some cool little bits of info about my husband that I find gush worthy
- When he referred to our oldest son as his step-son (which, he is) to a friend of his, his friend asked him "Which step is he?  How high or low is he valued by you?".  He has never, ever referred to our oldest son as his step-son again.  He is his son.
- When I was in labor with our youngest son at the hospital he sat in a chair across from me while I was on a birthing ball breathing through contractions and carrying on a conversation with him between contractions, while I had a death grip on his knees.  He looked at me and said "I don't know how in the hell you are doing this."
- He made it possible for me to full-fill my dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom.
- He plays Mindcraft with our middle son.  I think that's pretty astonishing, or maybe I'm missing something.
- He kisses and hugs our children before they go to bed every night.

So, tonight we celebrate the re-start of our romantic relationship.  We celebrate the commitment we made to each other when he asked me to marry him.  We celebrate tonight, though it's not officially Valentine's Day, because when you are on your 15th Valentine's Day together and you have 3 kids, that's just kind of what you have to do.

I'm blessed and I count my blessings.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

City Mom

Back in September I applied to be consider for the Illinois Farm Families City Mom program for 2015.

I was accepted!

And....we had our orientation and first meeting this past weekend.

Over the next several months I will be touring a hog farm & Spring planting prior to breaking for the summer.  When we come back together in the Fall I'll have the opportunity to tour a dairy farm & a beef farm in conjunction with Fall harvest.

I'm super excited about this opportunity.

I'll be sharing what I learned through my blog at in addition to live posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter while on location.  My City Mom profile is already up on the site. Follow along, won't you?

Monday, February 9, 2015


I really don't care for "letting go", it's an action I'm only now coming to feel more comfortable with.  

When I surrender to what is, or the moment, there is this rawness and I do feel exposed.

All of my guards are knocked down, and it's real.

I got to be real yesterday.

I pause to use the word "again" at the end of that.  I pause only because the first time I auditioned for Listen to Your Mother Chicago in 2012, though the words I shared were real, I didn't feel real...or comfortable.

I felt fine yesterday.  I also know that the ultimate decision on whether what I have chosen to share gets selected, or not, has little to do with my words and more to do with the symphony of motherhood that the producers are trying to orchestrate.  The ebb and flow, the highs and all needs to flow.

So, I wait.

And I know, that if it's meant to be, it will be.

I will say this, though.  This whole processes of letting go, surrendering and becoming comfortable with the rawness of exposing myself is all thanks to Listen to Your Mother.  It was my participation in the 2012 show that was the catalyst for everything that I have been able to achieve artistically.

I do not take that lightly, and feel both blessed and indebted for that opportunity.

And still...I wait.  And, if it's meant to be, it will be.  But, I got to let go just a little more yesterday and it felt great.

Friday, February 6, 2015

I Don't Get Sick Days

I don't get sick days

I get to go to bed a few hours earlier to get much needed rest

I get to pass out for a few hours, unplanned, BTW - body just stopped, while Will naps during the day

I get to nurse OJ from a plastic tumbler and blow my nose in paper towel

No, I don't have tissues

My days have been sustained by these

Tussin during the day to make the cough not as bad and the snot stop

Ricola to help the not as bad cough a little more

Mariano's OJ - because!

Green at night so I don't cough myself awake at night

I've transitioned this week from sexy sultry voice to downright deep voice to no voice and back again.

I'm still getting up at 6:30 to get the boys off to school with full bellies and provisions

I'm still picking them up after school to bring them home to fill their bellies and for warmth

The dishes are getting done, the laundry is being washed and the floors cleaned.  Dinner is even on the table by 6pm.

But, by 7pm I'm done and by 8:30pm I'm in bed

Because even though I'm miserable stuff still needs to get done.  Stuff that cannot be pushed off, like getting the boys to school and picking them up.  And, yes, laundry too.

The fact that I am getting high fives all day long from this guy makes not feeling so great better

What I'd really like, though, is some more sleep.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Have No Clue What I'm Doing {AKA - Going With My Mama Gut}

I have no clue

Like, seriously, NO CLUE

This raising a kid, being home with a kid, Mama thing...this is really foreign to me

And weird

And, there are times that I truly questions just what in the hell I am doing.

With the older two boys, I worked full time.  I was not the one who was home with them, they had the advantage of having their father home with them.

Man, I tell ya, I can schedule a day.  I can make sure that the house is getting cleaned and there is dinner on the table every night at 6pm.  Kids picked up and dropped off and scheduling appointemnts and volunteer hours....that, that I got!  This raising a toddler thing, though, crap people - why didn't anyone clue me in on this?

This, putting everything I have scheduled and planned for a day, putting on, wait, more like screeching to a halt as signaled by vomit, what in the hell is that?

What is that?

So, everything ceases.  It all comes to a grinding halt and this happens

That is, after I go through three changes of clothing {vomit}

And then most of my day is spent like this

And, I can't do anything because I mean, look at him.

Here is the thing though - I knew that whatever was going on with him, we needed to stay put and let it work it's way through him.  Medicine wasn't going to help this right now.  Though when he continued to vomit up everything and nothing for 12 hours straight, including the tylenol to break his spiking fever, that was when we took him to the ER.

Did you know that there is a anti-nausea medicine that dissolves on your tongue?

Did you know that tylenol comes in suppository form?

Did you know that pedialite actually causes constipation and combined with the BRAT diet and the anti-nausea medicine a real suppository will be needed to get things moving?

I have never had to administer a suppository to any of my children prior to last week.  Fascinating, and scary all at once.

But, I knew, that what he was dealing with couldn't be fixed with medicine.  It was viral and needed to work itself out.

Yet, it couldn't {suppository}

I knew that, at least.

And that there was nothing I could do other than be there.

And I had the ability to do that, be there.