Friday, April 28, 2006

The Lone Star State

I am sitting in the kitchen of my dear friend Jen (you can see her in the archives of October) . We have done several things that we enjoy doing together: We've shopped and talked and went to the gym together. We have had a great visit together and now we are getting ready to make our trek east to Dallas for a night with the old Mom's group.

Yesterday I spent time with Lara. You would remember her from the last post. We had fun talking and laughing and doing alot of what we love to do together most: hanging out! It was perfect.

Yesterday in the late evening I had the opportunity to spend time with my friend and mentor Jane, drinking coffee and learning what we could pray for one another in the weeks to come.

When we arrived here in the Lone Star State I had the most glorious evening at the Law "Ant" Ranch. A lovely, warm, and best of all, fun home full of teenagers and the awesome couple trying to raise them. In the next week I will post pics of the spectacular sunset and sunrise at the Law "Ant" Ranch and my first time solo ride on their quad racer thingy.

Now I get to spend the next 24 hours with some women whom I have had the pleasure to share the experience of young motherhood with...only tonight we will get together with only photos of our precious tots (most of whom aren't really tots but bigger than we would like to admit).

So that is the update. I wish I could post some pics but time is short and a Texas storm is brewing I better get off the computer!

La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Laundry Wars!

I have recently been challenged to a duel.

My dear friend Lara, over at has posted her own laundry woes. In comparison to my post on March 17th, I think she may have won. Only because she didn't organize her pile of laundry and make it look "nice" therefore making it look much larger than mine. I spent quite a bit of time making my pile look "just so".

So Lara, here are my hints for dealing with laundry:

1.Close the door and run

2. Blame it on the kids.

About Folding: My friend Becky says that you should just attack it all at once and fold, fold, fold. But she does something completely weird...if the t-shirt is inside out...she doesn't make it right. She just folds it and moves on.

I, for one, cannot do that. Not with T-shirts, nor underwear, nor socks.

Now, I can let it sit on the guest bed for a couple of weeks, but I absolutely cannot put things away when they aren't correctly right side out. Unless, she (Becky) comes over (which has been twice this year) and does the folding for me. Then she can do anything she wants short of burning it (which is sometimes appealing) and I am fine with that.

Thanks for the great post Lara, now I don't feel so alone.

I actually feel slightly better. ;)


Tomorrow I am leaving for a much anticipated trip.

You'd think I would be excited to get ready to go...and truly, I am.

And yet I keep finding silly useless things to do (not that blogging is silly and useless)...I keep calling all my friends (of whom I am about to see) over and over again so that I can waste their precious time as well.

When it comes to packing...I am the queen of procrastinators! The only thing worse than packing is unpacking!

Truth be told I have gotten a few things done. I have packed my toiletries bag so as to make sure I look, and most importantly smell, good while being guests in the homes of friends. I have also taken care of unsightly facial which, in all honesty was becoming quite a problem. This endeavor took up quite a bit of time especially since recently I have had to include the chin.

I also packed 6 pairs of know sandals, casual, running, dress and of course flip flops. One extra pair of red shoes...just in case. Seven if you include slippers. I contemplated others but since this is a short trip (and I might buy a pair of shoes while I am there) I thought this would be sufficient. Of course, I could always change my mind.

I have eaten an apple. And a handful of granola. I've called my mother. I've laid out more clothes on my bed than I could possible need for a little trip. I have reloaded my MP3. I got the mail.

Now I must go pack my bag and get ready.

I may not have the opportunity to blog in the next few days. (Maybe on Thursday for a bit of an update) Until then...

The stars at night are big and bright...

(clap, clap, clap, clap)

Deep in the heart of Texas!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

After the Rain

I can hardly believe I live here.

These are pictures of my front and back yards.

This is what I get to wake up to with a hot cup of coffee and the smell of wet grass and fragrant flowers and enjoy the latest and greatest feature of the spring season.

I have been trying to figure out how to get video on this website. Especially this morning when I took these pics. There was a flock of geese that noisily flew overhead in anticipation of the lake that is down the street. There are huge (like the size of a large grape) bumblebee's eating their breakfast out of the damp azaleas. There are birds singing exuberantly as they flutter around in the cool morning air. The squirrels are romping around from tree to tree. It's is just very, very neat.

The fog rolled in this morning which makes everything look magical and the smells it produces off of the wet earth (mixed with the fabulous aroma of coffee) are indescribable.

Just thought I would share...

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Today I did something I very rarely do...

I took a nap.

I have had a long(ish) week. Nothing bad, but this week felt very full and a little long. This is not unusual coming off of a 5 day weekend!

I had a full and busy morning in the house because it was raining outside. We had all the windows open and the Whole House Fan on (which is a massive fan upstairs in the ceiling which pulls crisp air in from outside and makes a fabulous whirring noise that makes sleeping very, very nice) so the air was very cool.

It was the most amazing, beautiful, lovely sleep I have had in years. A true siesta where I woke up not feeling groggy and sad I laid my head down...but feeling genuinely rested and ready for the night.

Now the true test...

I am notorious for suggesting a Saturday night movie...then falling asleep on the couch promptly at 9 p.m. We'll see if my nap (and a diet Coke) holds me over!

Siesta's....La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Yesterday after we all arrived from work and school we decided to go to our favorite store in town: R.E.I.

We went to grab a few essentials for the old S.S. Pina Colada and while we were there I wanted to investigate a couple of items that I had been "researching" on the catalog. One of the items was a cute brown skort that is made for hiking. Because when you are on a trail in the the middle of the wilderness and you haven't had a shower in 2-3 days you still must remain fashionable.

I found the skort in question. There were actually only two skirts left. One in a size 4 and one in a size 16. But for $42 dollars I was glad they didn't have my size.

I did find the second item on my list...the brown hat pictured above. Even though I spent many a day in my youth lying out in the backyard in the Arizona sun, usually with Tropic Sun tanning oil or Crisco slathered all over, I now have become ultra concerned about my face being too sun-kissed. Let's be honest here...I am trying to ward off wrinkles. I had worn a sun hat i bought for our excursion through the country of Montana for the last few years, but last summer it bit the dust. So I wanted to try this beautiful brown hat on for size.

I of course loved it and when I showed that Better Half of Mine he said, "That's cute....I'll buy it for you." I married him 11 years ago cause I thought he was cute and a man of character...but I have to admit his generosity is an amazing perk. I like to joke (fairly often) that I married him for his money...but he'd tell you that I'd spent it long ago...which is a joke that is basically the truth. But I digress...

I Love my new hat! I asked the clerk in the store to cut off the tag so i could wear it out. I did take it off briefly while we went into a restaurant to have dinner....but only because my son gave me that Please-Don't-Embarass-Me-Like-You-Did-The-Other-Day-When-You-Sang-That-Crazy-Fiber-Song-In-Front-Of-My-Friends look. But After we ate I got in the car, put it on and wore it all the way home and didn't take it off until after the kids had been read to and put to bed. It was only when I announced that I was going to go brush my teeth that that sweet man of mine asked, "Are you going to sleep in that hat?"

To which I replied, "I'm thinking about it."

I woke up this morning still happy about my new hat. i like it because it is fun, and it is brown with blue stitching and the inside is lined with fabric in tiny pink, yellow and maroon lines. It will be great for summer weekends at the lake in the kayak.

But, secretly, I also like it because when I put it on I feel like a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Gilligan.

Well...maybe just a very fashionable Gilligan.

La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

True Confessions

I just ate a sugar cookie...

...while on the treadmill.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Happy Easter

I Love Easter for so many reasons.

As a child I loved it because it was the begining of a new time. The winter was over and the world was coming to life again. Even in the desert there are a subtle changes between winter and spring. The signs of change weren't just left to the landscape and the weather. Every year I got to purchase a new dress and some shoes.

As an adult I love this time of year because I have a deeper knowledge of why Easter is spiritually important. This is the second Spring I have experienced in my home in the east and yet the new-ness of spring is just as exciting...

The trees outside only 4 weeks ago looked dead and lifeless without their leaves.

Those beautiful flowers I posted three days ago were non-existent a month ago. The ground where they now are firmly planted was nothing...literally, nothing but dirt. I had forgotten they had been there last year.

Which is why I love Easter...because it is a celebration of Christ. Who chose to die on the cross to save me from the certainty of death. Going from winter to spring reminds me that there will be a time when i am no longer alive in this world, but will arrive in Heaven like the glory of spring time.

But, in the meantime, he has made me new right now in this place. I no longer have to be bound in those things that so easily bind me. I can be free like those emerging Iris morning they are wound tight in a bud that couldn't be pried open if I used my own hands, but when the time is right it springs open. Free and beautiful.

I love Easter because Christ didn't do this just for me; but for anyone who believed that God sent Him. We need only to admit that we need Him and invite Him into our lives.

You can be new too.

What I love the most about springtime and Easter time is that it gives us insight into who God is and why we can trust Him: He isn't flashy. He isn't loud. He is majestic. He is real. He is fragrant. He is approachable. He is trustworthy. He has a plan. His timing is perfect. He is stong, yet He is gentle.

He cares for me. He cares for you. (1 Peter 5.7)

He makes us new.

There is a song by Bethany Dillon that is my favorite right now I wish you could hear it instead of just read it but if you want to hear a bit of it you can go to to listen to it:

What is this sun that conquers mountains
Singing over what has been asleep?
What is it that softens all my doubting?
It’s You
Morning brings a hunger for new eyes
That have been covered by the hurt of yesterday
Who could create in me the vision of a little child?
It’s You
You take an ordinary day
And turn it into flowers like the month of May
Yes, You do
And You see all my pain
And cry over it for hours till I’m new again
Yes, You do
When I have been the victim of familiarity
When my heart has fallen into sleep
Healing is the voice that awakens me
And it is You
You make me new…
With love,
P.S. Now would be the time to tell you that i I also love Easter because of chocolate bunnies. Oh, and also Peeps. Stale Peeps. As a kid my Mom would open them when she bought them and let them get hard so on Easter morning they would be not new....but old...and hard! Just the way I like them! Yummy!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The year of the Kayak!

She's here! A piƱa colada colored kayak.
We can't wait to get to the lake!


This blog is far from being a lesson in horticulture, but there isn't anything that makes me more happy and thankful than going out side on a spring Saturday morning, with a good cup of coffee, for a walk around my yard.

This morning at 7am the birds woke me up and I could smell my coffee all the way upstairs. I sleepily poured the java and looked out my kitchen window to see that my iris's had all opened up! They are almost 3.5 feet tall with the most beautiful is just amazing to me.

The white zinnia's are also opening and the baby pink ones are on the way.

And, of course, with the good comes the bad...

...poison ivy...growing within 30 feet from our house...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Dreaded Day

Last night I looked out the window and saw a flash of light. It had been a long day and I had just put the kids in bed. Being tired I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.

It flashed again...and again... and I realized that I had witnessed the first fire-fly of the spring/summer season. He is out a little early but it was a sign of the warm days to come. Which means that the Dreaded Day is fast approaching.

I start to anticipate the Dreaded Day around January 1st. Through February and March it is what motivates me to keep up the work-out routines, even though it is frigid in the mornings.

But no amount of running or pilates can ever make the Dreaded Day easier...

Because nothing makes shopping for a bathing suit fun.

I don't care what size you are or how many stomach crunches you have done...if you have popped out 9 and a half pound babies or are approaching middle age, there is some loose skin and some cellulite somewhere on that body. I am no exception.

For several years now I have uttered great praises for the tankini. It's a two piece, which allows for the descrepency in size between the "top half" that's apparently fallen and taken up residence in the "bottom half", giving you the option to buy different sizes between pieces.

In the search for the perfect suit your mind tells you it must be flattering, and yet not too revealing, and you shouldn't have to sell you first born to afford should be reasonably affordable so when your husband gets the credit card bill he doesn't have a heart attack (cause ladies, it doesn't matter how good it makes you look...if he looks at you and has flash backs of the day he paid that bill...the effect is lost).

The Tankini is great because you get the coverage of a one peice with a modest style of the two piece. But there is a catch.

It will cost you twice as much.

This is highly irritating and adds to the stress of the entire day.

After you have tried on 122 different bathing suits, and picked the 2nd one you put on (you wanted to buy the 1st becasue it was perfect, but at that price you could put a pool in the backyard), you are physically exhausted. Triple this exhaustion if you mistakenly brought your children with you. The stress is so great that you decided to head for the food court and find the nearest Cinnabon store...Which makes you feel guilty since your new suit only fits just right, but only as long as you don't go on a chocolate binge or are PMS'ing.

Lastly, the thing that makes this experience even tougher is that this is a task that must be done alone.

I laughed when I was talking to the hubby several years ago when he was on the way to a retreat, his sleeping bag in his hand. I asked him why he was bringing the bag if there were going to be double beds in each room. His simple answer: Kellie, men don't sleep together.

I really couldn't understand that because women do everything together...but now I do. When it comes to buying a bathing suit: Women don't shop together.

As I have shared the vast array of insecurities and hang ups in my life: from fear of spiders to dysfunctional laundry problems, I thought I would share this issue with you as well. Mostly becasue I know that I am not alone...I've heard you crying in the dressing room next to mine.

On a positive note: Exactly one month from today I will be celebrating 11 years of marriage. Last night that sweet hunk of man approached me and said he had a "thought". Let me tell you that when he approaches me with a "thought" I always give my full attention because it means it is something BIG. This is no exception. Last summer we became fast friends with a family that owned a couple of kayaks. It was a blast to go to the lake and paddle around with the kids. On Sunday we had seen a kayak for a reasonable price and (not to count my chicks before they hatch) we are thinking of purchasing that as this years gift to each other.

The really good news: IT is generally known that life jackets make you look chunky no matter how great the suit if you accidently indulged too much in that Cinnabon trip or on that chocolate frenzy just throw on that life jacket and blame it on safety.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Mr. Rogers Kind of Day

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The new flower of the week is the Azalea. The hot pink ones have been blooming like crazy and now the light pink and white are starting to wake up.

And like a good southern woman I went out and watered them this morning with a cup of coffee in my hand and fuzzy pink "house shoes" on my feet.

Kona didn't like being left outside and so she risked getting into big trouble by sitting at a window in a room where she isn't really allowed...but look at that sweet face!

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Inter Blog Memo

Agenda: Gingko, Slugworth, and Phyto Chemicals

Item of Business 1:
You know it has been along time since the last blog when you can't remember your own computer password! I would take gingko to help my memory but I can't remember to take it.

Item of Business 2:
Do you remember Slugworth from the old Willie Wonka movie. He was that bald "bad" guy who would go around to the golden tickets winners and whisper in their ears. Well I am beginning to think that there is a Slugworth type of person lurking around the halls of elementary schools across the nation. And he is whispering old jokes to our kids.

My kids come home everyday and tell me stories, jokes and silliness that I learned almost 25 years ago...really you'd think some new material would go around. For instance, The Boy got in the car a couple of months ago chanting "I got you where I want ya, Now I'm gonna eat ya!" If you remember there was a "scary" story about kids being in a house alone at night. Upon arrival at this house they here a distant voice chanting the words above. In the end it turns out that a monkey has picked his nose and is chanting at his "find". This to me is truly a scary story...Because I don't like mucus of any kind. And I don't want to see, hear, or think about anybody (even a monkey) eating it.

Two weeks ago The Boy got in the car with a sheepish look in his eye and said, "Mom, how do you spell 'I Cup'?"

I, not paying a whole lot of attention because I was just trying to get out of the carpool line alive, spell, "I-c-u-p"

He says, "Get it! Get it!...I-c-u-p !"

Yes, yes, I get it.

Yesterday he gets in the car and looks kind of serious. He says "Mom will you remember me in 20 years?"

This tugs at my heart strings and I say " Oh Sweety Yes! I will remember you in 20 years! I could NEVER forget you!"

Then there was quiet.

"Will you remember me in 1 year?"

"Absolutely"...although I was wondering what was going on in that little brain of his since he is acting quieter than usual.

About 30 seconds later he says "Knock Knock."

I say, "Who's there?"

"I thought you said you would always remember me!"

And he laughs so hard I think he might actually pee in his pants.

He was incredibly happy that he had played a joke on me and I told him that was the oldest joke on the planet...that they even had those jokes when cavemen existed.

He said that if I had heard them before then why did I fall for come I couldn't remember them....refer to Item of Business 1.

Item of Business 3:

As you know I have been teaching music to 2-5 years olds at a local pre-school. I have been doing lots of research on different things especially to find music ideas on the unit themes the school plans for each month. One of the themes for this month is the Five Food Groups.

So in my research I found that at in the teacher section you can download some pretty entertaining songs about fruits and veggies. My favorite one is entitled Phytochemicals. Although Fiber and Salad Sisters come in a close second.

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 03, 2006


Can I tell you how happy these flowers make me?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

And Baby Makes Five...


But i did survive the 5K and that isn't a joke.
The hills weren't as bad as I thought they would be and I made good time.

The picture above was taken before the race.

This is at the finish line. I was happy with the my time finishing at 29:10.

Now the good part of the day...hanging out with the 'fam'.

Happy Weekend!