I'm a Lotta Bit Southern

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Yesterday it was muggy, and we had severe thunderstorms with tornadoes in the area.  Today the temperature is in the thirties and the wind is so biting and fierce that it cuts right through you.  I much prefer mugginess and tornadoes.  I absolutely detest cold weather.  Every year, it could snow some time around Christmas, and if that was all the snow I saw in winter I would be just fine.  Why do I feel that way?  That's what I'm used to.

I grew up in Southeastern Oklahoma.  Sure, some people consider Oklahoma to be in the Southwest, but I can assure you that Southeastern Oklahoma is far more southern than western.  It is called "Little Dixie," after all, and I'm a southern girl to the core.  Thankfully I still live in the south.
  • I don't take Tornado Watches very seriously.  They're as numerous as stars in the sky.  If an actual Tornado Warning is issued, I'll turn on the TV and check the radar.  If Sheldon is home, he'll be on his Mac, watching the radar himself.  Our meteorologist friend showed him where he could buy the radar they use on TV online.  If there's circulation headed directly for my house, then we'll think about taking cover.  I'm much more likely to walk outside to look at the pretty storm.  My husband is likely to want to chase it, while staying a safe distance.
  • I actually really like a good thunderstorm, and will watch weather coverage of one for hours.  
  • I still wonder what good it would have done to crouch with my head between my knees and a textbook over my head if a tornado had hit my elementary school, what with all the glass doors.
  • Saturdays in the fall are for college football, preferably Oklahoma Sooner or Arkansas Razorback football.
  • My husband drives a four-wheel drive Toyota Tundra.
  • My Grannie would take my cousins and me pecan picking in the fall.
  • "Ya'll" is a noun, and the proper usage of it has been discussed in my home.
  • To a child, everyone who is older is either "Miss" or "Mister."  To call someone by just their name is a sign of disrespect.
  • When there's a threat of an inch of snow, I'll run to the grocery store and stock up on milk and bread.
  • I don't find cold weather exhilarating.  I find it exhausting.
  • "When I grow up," I want to be a combination of Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker.
  • I think chocolate gravy and biscuits a suitable breakfast and a delicacy.
  • A "Coke" is a Coke, but it can be any other type of soda as well.
  • My child prefers to run around barefoot, even in freezing temperatures.
  • I find the song of crickets and cicadas comforting in the summer.
  • I totally relate to The Waltons.  I'm talking more John-boy and Mary Ellen than Sam and Alice.  Although I appreciate both.
  • I love to roll up my pants, throw off my shoes, and go wading through a stream.
  • I still love watching a good baseball game.
  • I own my own pair of neoprene fishing waders.
  • A good Sunday afternoon consists of driving around the mountains.
  • If I see a snake, I'll chop it up with a garden hoe.  Once I'm through, I'll look to see what kind it was.
  • I'm pretty sure my grandmother knew where "Yonder" was.

Gladness for Sorrow

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Prayers are still answered, and miracles still happen every day."
I quoted a post I made on Facebook today. You see, today is a day of joy and gladness.  It is a day to shout from the rooftops that God is alive and good and wonderful.  It is a day to remember that even though for some reason we are given burdens that either drive us closer or further away from God, He also brings joy in the morning.

Today, sweet little Mr. E. was born.  Almost exactly a year after his sister, Eleanor was born and shortly thereafter passed away, Mr. E. is here and healthy.  He isn't here to take Eleanor's place.  Those of us who loved her always will love and remember her.  He is his own person, unique and wonderful, born to two of the most deserving parents I'll ever know.

Ladybug and I tried to go see him tonight, but she's too young to visit the Maternity Wing at Washington Regional.  I didn't even think of that, because when I had her at Willow Creek our friends brought their little girl to see us.  Different hospitals, different rules.  We'll see him soon though, because my arms ache to hold him!

Prayer works.  God listens.  We may not always understand His ways, but He listens.  Praise the Lord, He hears our cries.  When we think we are alone, we are not.  He does turn our mourning into joy.  He does comfort us and give us gladness for sorrow.  He is good, and "it is well with my soul" tonight.

Jeremiah 31:13 ESV

Things I Should Do

Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • I should be emptying the dishwasher and reloading it with dirty dishes.
  • I should be ironing Sheldon's clothes for the work week.
  • I should be folding the clean towels and washcloths.
  • I should be doing a thousand different little things around the house.
  • Instead, I am taking this moment to rest.  It is Sunday after all.  Those other things will all be done in due time.  
The saying is true, a mother's work is never done.  The to-do list seems especially long and daunting, knowing that Ladybug's birthday party will be at our house in less than two weeks.  We're just having a small get-together of friends and family, because well...  she's not going to remember this birthday except in pictures and video.  It's not that it's not important, but we'll throw a bigger shindig when she can walk unassisted and have some say in her party.  Even though we're not having the grandest gala ever, I want my house to be clean and somewhat orderly (I do have a toddler after all) come party time.  

Ladybug was awake from 2 am until 3:15, then I had to get up in order to get ready for church by 6-ish.    So, I curled up on the couch during nap time and took a nice nap myself.  It.was.wonderful!  

I don't always take a nap during Ladybug's nap time, but sometimes I need that or some other down time.  Sometimes, like everyone else, I need a sort of a down day as well.  There's a reason God gave us the Fourth Commandment.  Our human bodies need rest.  We cannot serve Him or anyone else well if we're too exhausted to care about well, anything.  It does me no good to read my Bible if I fall asleep after five verses, or to go to church if I nod off during a prayer.  An exhausted wife and mother is usually not the best to have.  I'm crankier, less fun, and feel rather like more of a failure as a mother when I'm super tired.  

So, I'm resting and only doing the things that must be done today.  I'm trying to just enjoy myself, my husband, my child, and my life today.  I'll do the things that need to be done.  Tomorrow I will start washing the week's laundry again.  I'll pick up the house multiple times, load the dishwasher several times, and take the trash to the curb.  I'll even rearrange the Ladybug's bedroom furniture some tomorrow, because the below is happening far too often during nap time and even bedtime now.  Right now, I think I'll open a cold Coke a Cola and eat a couple of the cookies I baked yesterday.  The next month of so is looking to be pretty busy, and I don't know how many chances I'll get to relax.  If you don't hear much from me, know we're here just keeping busy outside of the Interwebs.

Exodus 20:8-11

English Standard Version (ESV)
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

If I Had a Bucket List...

Friday, January 25, 2013

...one of the places I've always wanted to visit in my life is Prince Edward Island, Canada.  I don't have a bucket list, because if I don't check everything off of my bucket list I'll feel like a failure.  If I do eventually check everything off of my list what... should I then just sit around, waiting to die?  Still yet there are things I would like to do and places I would like to visit.

These places I want to visit are places that have become vivid and alive in my mind, especially Prince Edward Island.  Of all the literature that I've read, studied, analyzed, and even sometimes cried over, my favorite has always been the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.  I love the entire series, even Anne of Windy Polars and Anne of Ingleside.  Furthermore, reading these books has made me fall in love with a land I have never been to; a land with red soil and blue skies.

The setting of the books is just as much a character of the stories as are Anne, Gilbert, Marilla, Miss Cornelia, Matthew, and Rachel Lynde.  I think it's a more important character than say, Moody Spurgeon Macpherson and far nicer than Josie Pye.  Like Pemberley is to Mr. Darcy and Tara is to Scarlet, Prince Edward Island is to Anne.

So, when Sheldon offered to go there with me in order to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, I sort of jumped at it.  I did it with hesitation, because we're a practical couple and don't splurge on big vacations very often.  Also, it would mean leaving the Ladybug for a week.  I haven't yet left her for more than a few hours at a time.  It will be difficult on both of us.  However, what good is it to have dreams if occasionally you don't just jump and chase them?

Now, we have to decide when we want to go.  If we want to go in August or September, we'll likely go this year.  If we wish to go in June or July, it will likely be next year.  Also, putting it off a year also means that another member of our family could be here or expected to be here.  No, we shouldn't put off planning just in case.  It is something to think of.

When do you think we should go?  What places should we visit?  My friend Cathy has been and has shared some of the places she and her husband visited.  This is possibly a once in a lifetime trip, so I want to do it right.

Do you have any places you've dreamed of visiting or want to check off of a bucket list?  Where are they?  What attracts you to them?  Have you gone there yet?  Do you expect to go?


Never a Dull Moment

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tonight while I was fixing tilapia for dinner, Sheldon was hanging out in the living room with Ladybug, Lucy, and Dory.  Lucy and Dory were playing a spirited game of keep away with what was left from one of their Christmas Presents from Cousin Apache.  The toy had once been a Kong Braidz toy, now it's basically a long piece of string.

Dory was running around the coffee table with it, while Lucy barked at her.  Suddenly I heard Sheldon ask Dory where her toy was.  Then he yelled to me that he thought she ate it.  He told me to keep an eye out the next few days when she went to the bathroom.  I asked him how big the string/ rope was.  He said that is was fairly long, kind of like the neck tie that I once had to extract from Lucy.

Now this is the point where I'm trying not to get too concerned, but I know now that we were very fortunate when that happened to Lucy.  That neck tie could have twisted around her intestines, and I could have really hurt her.  Also, it could have cut off the blood supply to her intestines, killing them.  So, I told Sheldon to do something I learned about when I spent a great deal of time on The Golden Retriever Forum.  I told him to take Dorothy Gale out back, make her drink a couple table spoons of hydrogen peroxide, and make her vomit.

Sheldon didn't relish the idea of doing that.  So he called our handy-dandy after-hours veterinarian ER. They told him that they couldn't tell him what to do over the phone, so he tried it.  The first time, she didn't get enough peroxide.  So, after about ten minutes he gave her more.

He followed her to a point in the grass where her stomach started to boil, and she started making that retching sound all dog and cat owners know too well.  A minute later he was at the back door asking for a paper towel.  We had a winner!

We felt horrible for making her throw up.  Really.  It's not like we enjoyed the process, though it is interesting to watch.  However, it was nice not waking up at three in the morning to that retching sound in bed.  It was nice not having to pull it out once it started coming out the back side.  Most importantly, it was nice not having anything serious happen to our dear Dory Gale.

To think, I mistakenly thought a cold, dreary day like today would be dull.  Not at our house.



Current Events I Could Care Less About

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The news is constantly being littered by breaking stories that are anything but important that I just could care less about.  In fact, I get tired of seeing my Twitter and Facebook feeds loaded down with all of these non-important headlines.  Here is a list of some of the most recent events I could care less about:

  • Beyonce lip-syncing The Star Spangled Banner at the inaugeration.
  • Lance Armstrong really did dope and doesn't seem sorry.
  • Any Kardashian relationship, breakup, or procreation.
  • The Mariah Carey/ Nicki Minaj feud.
  • Any celebrity feud.
  • Any celebrity's political views.
The only story that has been covered on everything from ESPN to Entertainment Tonight that I am half interested in is the whole Manti Te'o fake dead girlfriend story.  I'm not interested because I care what this football player does, but just because it is so incredibly bizarre.  Basically, I like to watch actors act, listen to musicians make music, and so on.  I just don't care about their personal lives, thoughts, and beliefs enough to make a big stink about the things they do.  If I did, I probably wouldn't be able to listen to music or watch anything for being offended.  They're just people, and usually they're very flawed people.  They're not my heroes.  I don't want to be them or to be like them.  There are far more important things going on in the world.

What news stories are you absolutely sick of hearing about?


A Surprise

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Yesterday the other half came home with a package in hand and told me that if I wanted, we could take a trip somewhere I've always wanted to go in order to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  Imagine my surprise when all I was thinking about at the time was leaving Ladybug with him so I could make a quick run to the meat market!

Our actual 10th wedding anniversary isn't until December 20.  However, we don't want to go to PEI at Christmas for many reasons. We're opting more for autumn, when the leaves will be at their peak there.  Whether it is this autumn or next, is still up in the air. However, we're going to start saving for it.

If for some reason we can't take the trip due to something like another baby, well we have a Plan B that's also not too shabby.

I Miss Hymnals & Real Bibles

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A little over a week ago, a friend from back home posted a conversation she has every Sunday with her teenage daughter about whether or not she has her Bible when the leave for church.  Every Sunday her daughter tells her that she doesn't, but that she has her smartphone and would rather use that instead.  Then that particular Sunday the mom forgot her Bible and had to use her smartphone.  She didn't like using the smartphone rather than an actual Bible.  That started a small debate in Facebook that I have had going on in my own mind for some time, so I asked friends on Facebook, this blog on Facebook, and also on Twitter whether they preferred to use a hard copy of the Bible or an app on a smartphone or tablet.

I have to admit that no one under the age of twenty-eight answered my queries, but I found it refreshingly interesting that so many people, including myself, still prefer to have a tangible copy in their hands.  Like myself, many have found digital copies of the Bible useful in research and sometimes in daily devotional reading, but most prefer to have the real thing in their hands - especially while in church.  Although one of Sheldon's fellow engineers actually answered just the opposite.

One thing is for certain, for my mom friends out there, having a copy on a phone is super-convenient when juggling the kid(s) and all of the paraphernalia they need when going to church.  I have to admit that that I asked Sheldon for a new, slimline copy of the Bible for Christmas last year, just because I didn't want to lug my heavy Comparative Parallel Bible along with Ladybug's diaper bag and my purse anymore.  Why don't I just download an app?  Oh, I have.

Over the years, I have downloaded countless Bible apps and different versions on iBooks for my iPad and iPhone.  One of the reasons I wanted an iPad two and half years ago was so that I could carry just an iPad into church.   I thought note-taking would be easier.  I tried it once and didn't like it.  To me, part of going to church, part of my connection to God, is that tactile connection to His Word.  I prefer actually holding the BIble in my hands, smelling the leather, and feeling the delicate pages between my fingers.  I know I could still find God without those things, but they're a part of the sensory experience I need when reading the Word.

In a way, the same goes for hymnals.  Most churches today don't even use hymnals.  Many don't ever sing traditional hymns at all, just contemporary praise and worship songs.  Either way, the words are broadcast on giant screens where the congregation can easily read the words.  Thankfully our church mixes in traditional hymns with the P&W.  As I grow older, I find myself worshipping more with the traditional hymns than with the P&W songs that sometimes are just repetitions that go on and on until the music minister feels compelled to stop.

Traditional hymns are what I heard growing up.  They're the songs that inspire me and bring me comfort in much the same way passages from the Bible do.  They're part of the foundation that is Adrienne, and I think that it is a great disservice to everyone to completely do away with them.

Just as I prefer to still use an actual Bible, I miss actually holding a real hymnal in church for the same reasons.  Also, there's just something sweet and nice about sharing a hymnal with your significant other or your child.  Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I like those things.  Yes, some could argue that they're more ritual than anything else, but I like them.  I like real Bibles, traditional hymns sung from hymnals, Fifth Sunday Singings, and revivals.  Why don't we have revivals anymore?

In order to keep up with the times and be more (I hate the entire idea and practice) politically correct, we have lost so many wonderful things about church, about fellowship, and about praising and worshipping our God. Sadly, many churches are not only throwing away traditions, but they're also throwing out the parts of God's Word that may cause people to be uncomfortable or cause controversy. As I've been reading through the New Testament this year, one particular passage has made me think of this.

Matthew 5:19

New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
I don't want to confuse anyone.  I don't think that reading the Bible in a digital form or singing praise and worship songs from a big screen is breaking commandments.  I don't mean that at all.  However, I think that just as readily as our churches are willing to throw out physical texts and hymnals, many are also throwing out parts of God's Word they don't necessarily like.  That will be the end of the church when we pick and choose what we want to believe.

So yes, I miss hymnals and real Bibles.  I miss Fifth Sunday Singings, revivals, ice cream socials, and announcements for meetings of the WMU.  Most of all, I miss churches who aren't afraid of being unpopular and would rather preach the truth.  I'm not saying be hateful or any of the things that those who claim to be so tolerant are wrong about Christians.  If we were to be like that then we would again be picking and choosing parts of the Bible we like and ignoring

John 13:34-35

English Standard Version (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I might not get invited to the inauguration and be labeled a great many things, the least of all is old-fashioned, but I'm not here to please people.  I learned the hard way over the years that's a futile practice.

A Belated Best Of: 2012

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Like most everyone else in the blogosphere, I'm a little behind on a few things.  One of those things is a "Best Of" retrospective of my posts from the past year.  Today, the Arkansas Women Bloggers are doing a linkup for either our review posts or our 2013 goals.  I sort of did a post about my 2013 goals, but I wanted to do a retrospective also.  So, here we go.  I'm going to first share the five most popular posts according to Blogger.  THEN, I'm going to share five more that I personally like.

The Most Popular According To Blogger:


  • This weekend we took apart Firecracker's swing and stored it in the attic until we (hopefully) need to use it again.  She hasn't really used...
  • In trying to think of something to blog about because I've been somewhat remiss in posting this week, I realized that I have never shared ou...
  • I may lose some friends ( at least the social networking type ) after posting this. I may garner some hateful comments. I may be called a ...
  • Yesterday, I had the experience of hosting my mother for the day while she visited with Firecracker.  Without giving away too many personal ...
  • Source: vi.sualize.us via Adrienne on Pinterest On a Friday morning, not so long ago, Firecracker and I met a lifelong friend...

  • Five Of My Favs:
    • No, Not FML: Yesterday I was tempted to post on Twitter something with the hashtag, #FML, but I didn't.  We all know what it means.  If you don't, then Google it.  I'm not running a hashtag dictionary...
    • An Offhanded Insult:  Two days ago I became horribly ill at some point after lunch. I don't know if it's related or not, but I had been extremely tired all morning.  However after eating lunch, I felt a little worse than tired. 
    • To My Unnamed Child:  Dear Little One, Today or a day very near this one, you would have been two years old. It's hard to imagine that we could have a toddler running about...
    • A Verb Too Few Practice:  Parent:   By now, everyone who doesn't live on a mountain top somewhere with only their trusty goat companion has heard the news story about Karen Klein, the bus monitor who was bullied mercilessly and to tears bychildren.
    • Faith > Fear:  In his first inaugural speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt told the country that "...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself..."  I guess in reality that's true.  Fear is a powerful, horrible, crippling thing...
    There you have it!  Take a look and remember I had an infant under the age of one when writing them! Also, take a look at my Photo-A-Day Blog 365,000 Words!

    When Daddy Dresses Ladybug...

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Sometimes when Sheldon is home, either on weekends or for whatever other reason, I take advantage of having a second adult in the house and rest a little longer in the morning, leaving Ladybug with Sheldon while I shower.  When Sheldon is at work, I try to get up early enough to shower before Ladybug is ready to get out of bed.  Sometimes it's just nice to be a little lazier than normal though.   

    Most of the time when I do this, I try to dress Ladybug before leaving her alone with her Daddy.  Sometimes I get busy and don't get a chance to take care of it though.  Then Daddy gets to dress her, and I swear he loves putting her in the most absurd outfits imaginable just to rile me.

    So, Sheldon dressing Ladybug is almost always makes me nervous.  I'm never quite sure what clothes he'll put together, and I'm pretty sure he comes up with the most outlandish outfits just to make me crazy.  That, or he just is making sure we won't go out anywhere that day, because I 1). refuse to go out in public with my child dressed like a bling hobo, and 2). I don't want to offend him by changing her into a more acceptable outfit.

    Poor Ladybug doesn't like when he dresses her either.  She is a little lady who is accustomed to being told how pretty and cute she is.  It's just sad when she's dressed like that, and it reminds me that I need to remain healthy and live a very long time.  That poor girl will be the laughing stock of her school if her Daddy has to dress her all the time.








    Faith of Our Fathers

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    I'm cross-posting today with yesterday's post at 365,000 Words.



    My Dad was a man who lived fairly simply.  He loved hunting turkey and deer, though he rarely killed anything because he loved nature.  He liked fishing.  He enjoyed technology.  He loved history and reading.  I only realize now that I inherited my love of history and a great deal of my love of literature from him.  I would often misplace library books because he would "borrow" them.  Oh, how I wonder what our conversations would have been like had I known him and he, me as an adult.  

    I don't have much that was his, because he really didn't have much.  He didn't have collections of things really, except for a few nice guns.  He gave all he had to give us a better life.  Other than a wallet and one of his watches, all that I really have of his besides his eyes is his Bible.

    In my early years, I don't really remember Dad going to church all that often.  He worked on the railroad and was often "out" on Sundays or resting after coming home late.  However, when I was six he had his second heart attack and had to undergo triple bypass surgery.  It was then that he gave his heart to Jesus, and he was a different man all the rest of the days of his life - not that he was a bad man to begin with.  He wasn't.

    He got his Bible the following Christmas.  Like many other people, he didn't like the archaic (though some of us call it poetic) language of the King James Version, but he read his New King James Version as voraciously as he did my library books he would "borrow."  I remember discussions and debates he would have over scripture and sermons.  The greatest comfort I have had regarding his dying so long ago is the knowledge that without a doubt he is in Heaven.

    I'm finding myself, in my most trying of days as a new mother, seeking solace, inspiration, and hope not only out of my own copies of the Bible but his as well.  Not only am I reading the words of my Heavenly Father, but also I'm reading the same words that were read by my earthly one as well.  I am very thankful to have witnessed the faith of my father, and I pray that some day Ladybug can say the same of her mother.

    Weeping May Tarry...

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    12:30 am, & teething is keeping us awake.
    Maybe I'm whining too much.  I have to admit that for the most part, we have been miraculously blessed with a child who would rather sleep at night than fuss.  So Ladybug's struggle to cut her top, front teeth seems to be a battle of Stalingrad-like proportions.

    I have, quite honestly, rocked Ladybug so much the past couple of days that even when I'm not rocking her, I am still rocking.  Last night / this morning, once she finally was in bed for the night and I was able to go to sleep, I couldn't stop feeling that perpetual rocking motion.  The fatigue, the exhaustion, and even the frustration of having a miserable, fussy baby is horrible.  Yet all of that is nothing at all compared to knowing that my child is miserable, in pain, and and that I have done all I could in order to quell those screams of agony.

    There are times like this current one when this Mom-business is just about the worst job there is.  It is physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting.  All you can do is just pray, pray, pray for relief for you and your child.

    Throughout all of the rocking, the screaming, and the fighting last night all I could remember and think of was that Psalm,
    Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.  (Psalm 30:5b ESV)
    It's true you know.  This is only a small trial in the midst of all the joyous days of Ladybug's life.  The weeping may tarry for a night ( or a few nights ), but the joy, the smiles, the kisses, and those sweet, mirthful laughs will return.  Until then, onward with the perpetual rocking.

    What We've Learned In Eleven Months

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Sunday, Miss Ladybug, you were eleven whole months old.  In less than thirty days, you'll no longer be a baby but a big girl of one full year.  Looking at you, it's hard to believe you're that same little person we brought home from the hospital.  Here are some things about you:
    • You are pulling up and standing all.the.time.  However, you don't like falling, so you get stuck when you're standing and often start crying for help.
    • You said your name once where we understood it.
    • You love going to watch basketball games at the U of A.
    • You are a backseat of the car singer.  You love belting it out with Mariah, Mumford and Sons, and even some of that twangy stuff Daddy listens to.  In fact, you prefer having music on all the time, which is ok.  I needed a break from talk radio for a while anyway.
    • You give great kisses.
    • I caught you standing up, telling yourself how pretty you are in the mirror this morning.
    • You have become obsessed with stuffed animals.  
    • Bathing you is like sitting on the front row of the splash zone at Sea World.
    • You've started shaking your head "no" all the time.
    • You went sledding for the first time over Christmas.  You sort of liked it.  You hated having to snowsuit up though.
    • Your favorite books are still "Goodnight Moon" and "B is For Bear."
    • You love cheese puffs.
    • You are super-clingy when you don't feel well.
    • You are just about the sweetest child I've ever met, and I hate when things like teething make you feel awful.
    • Your smile is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life.
    • "Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God." (Philippians 1:3 The Message)

    Ladybug's First Razorback Basketball Game

    Sunday after church, Sheldon and I took Ladybug to her first Razorback basketball game.  The Razorback women were playing Texas A&M, and Sheldon wanted to see the return of Gary Blair.  It's super-easy to get tickets for women's games, and we managed to get three right behind the Razorback bench. We were so close you could smell the BenGay.

    Ladybug was a little tired, because the game started at what is usually the start of nap time.  However, she soon awoke and had the time of her life.  She cheered, she yelled, she danced, she looked so cute that she caught the attention of the Fox Sports Southwest photog several times.





    The Hogs didn't win Sunday, but we enjoyed going so much that we're already planning on attending a couple more games.  We got our tickets to the annual Pink game in the mail today.  Now Ladybug and I have to find some pink Razorback apparel.

    The Ladybug's First Christmas: The White One

    I am finally getting to where I can sit down and write a post about the Ladybug's first Christmas.  Sadly, I think the inspiration for writing this post has disappeared somewhere beneath loads and loads of laundry.  However, I do remember the important details, and I have pictures to help me remember (thank goodness).

    Christmas was a whirlwind week.  It seems no matter how hard we try to not run ourselves ragged, something happens and it still happens.  This year was especially insane at time, it seems.  That's probably more or less due to our having two babies in the family this year.

    I guess that Christmas started for us on our wedding anniversary, Dec. 20.  We reminisced how on the previous year we had Ladybug's 32-week ultrasound, scheduled her arrival for Feb. 6, ate a simple dinner, then watched The Muppets.  For this anniversary, the three of us had a nice dinner at Spiedini Italian Grill on Crossover in Fayetteville.  It's my favorite local Italian eatery, and it's a two minute drive from the house.  Ladybug tried her first taste of blueberry gelato and loved it.


    On Sunday we went to church then my Mom came to spend the night and have Christmas with us.  We ate a nice family dinner then visited the Light's of the Ozarks one last time for the year.  Ladybug got a Minnie Mouse vacuum and a scooter from Grammy.  The scooter has turned out to be Ladybug's favorite gift so far.

    My mom left Christmas Eve afternoon.  Sheldon, Ladybug, and I got ready and went to Christmas Eve services at church.  I couldn't help but think as we drove up to Bentonville of Christmas three years before when we were expecting Baby 1, and how he (I've always thought it was a boy) would be two and enjoying Christmas probably even more than Ladybug was.  There will always be bittersweet memories of Baby 1 at Christmas.

    Back to the happier side of things though....  Ladybug loved Christmas Eve services at church.  She sang right along, loudly and happily, with every arrangement.  She listened fairly well, and was generally a good girl.  I was very pleased with her.

    This will make you laugh, but after church we grabbed McDonald's for our Christmas Eve dinner.  We still had gobs of leftovers from the day before, but we didn't want to dirty the kitchen before we left on Christmas morning.

    Christmas Eve night, we read Christmas stories and the Christmas Story to Ladybug after we opened a few gifts.  I wanted her to have a pair of new Christmas pj's, and we also wanted her to have her Jingle Dog and book that night.

    Christmas morning, Sheldon and I got up early, because we still needed to pack and finish loading up the truck to head down to Sheldon's mom and dad's in Greenwood.  We were in high hopes that we could also make it to spend a couple of hours with my Scott family in Heavener.  We actually had to wake our little late-sleeper up to open presents her first Christmas.  I imagine this will be the last Christmas that will happen for a long time.  Once she woke up, she really got into this who Christmas present / Santa thing.  I was a little sad that we had to quickly load up and leave, but we wanted to see family.




    We made it to Greenwood, took a potty break, and deposited Lucy and Dory so we could get to Heavener.  We made it out of the driveway, but decided to just stay where we were, because it started sleeting like crazy.  It's a good thing we stayed too, because my family got stuck at the cabin they were using on Runestone until pretty late Christmas night when my Uncle Darien could rescue them.  I wish we could have seen all the Aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I miss them a great deal, but it's best to be safe.

    Instead, we were treated to an honest-to-goodness white Christmas.  That rarely ever happens here, and it's awesome that it happened for Ladybug and cousin Pistol's first one.  Thankfully I have blogger friends from far away that hand down awesome little girl clothes.  Ladybug had a snow suit to wear the next day when she and Pistol went sledding for the first time.





    We ended up staying a day longer in Greenwood than we originally planned and got home late Thursday.  On Friday, Capt. B, Aunt J, and Pistol came up to see us.  Apache, their Lab, already came home with us on Thursday to play with Lucy and Dory more.  We took the Capt. B family up to Cabela's in Rogers, ate Feltner Bros. that night, then when the kids went to bed we played late-night Scrabble.  The next day we all headed over to the Cincinnati Firehouse for the boys' extended family Christmas.

    Grandpa G grew up in Cincinnati.  We always have Christmas with Mema and the G family some time after Christmas.  Two years ago, a tornado swept through the night before our get-together and made national news.  Capt. B was deployed in Afghanistan at the time, so we called him before he saw it on CNN and didn't know that all of our people were safe.  It was interesting having our get-together in the rebuilt firehouse.

    All in all, it was an awesome Christmas, but a tiring one.  As a mom, it was amazing watching Ladybug experience it for the first time.  Also as a mom, I am very glad that it happens only once a year.  2012 was a blessed year for us.  

    New Year: Blues & Words

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    I am so behind in my blogging that when I get the chance, there may be some backtracking and double-posting.  A week and two days after Christmas, and I'm just now getting caught up on the laundry.  Don't even ask me about my house.  It is picked up and vacuumed.  Dusting, mopping, and the other things will probably happen next week when I have an entire week of normalcy.

    By normalcy I meant that Sheldon is working long hours either out of town or in the office until pretty much the wee sma's most of the time.  Until he took vacation for Christmas, I saw him mostly on the weekends since like October.  I'm not complaining about his job, or the hours he works.  He has a great job, and we both understand that having a good job and doing a good job often means long hours.  I'm just stating how things have been the past few months and will probably continue to be for the next couple.  For some reason, the last and first quarters of the year always seem super-busy for Sheldon.  I'm still very happy/relieved that he wasn't out of state when Ladybug was born last year.  All of this means that there are a lot of days (and nights) when it's just Ladybug, Dory Gale, Lucy-girl, and me.  Add in the cold, dreary January weather, and I'm already finding myself fighting off the Post-Christmas Blues.

    Every year after Christmas and we ring in a New Year, I have a tendency to find myself frustrated and depressed.  Coming down from the holiday high, the lack of direct sunlight, and the ability to spend much time outdoors really do leave me feeling down at times.  Add in the memory of January three years ago when I suffered my miscarriage and all the "might have been's" that flood my mind, and well...  Let's just say I'm not a big fan of Winter days, even with the anticipation of Ladybug's first birthday coming next month.  That is my bright spot in these cold, gray days.  That, and the ever-growing list of things I'm thinking of and doing to motivate and encourage me.

    I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions.  Resolutions are made most years with the knowledge and intention of being forgotten long before December.  However, I've noticed that several members of AWB are taking part in One Little Word.  I'm not registering for it or paying for the class, but if I had to pick a word for 2013 it would be organization.  However, I have far too many words to pick just One Little Word right now.

    Sheldon and I both hope to get our house much more organized this year.  Personally, the older I get the less I can stand to be around clutter.  It makes me feel trapped, claustrophobic, and it's especially difficult to motivate myself to start cleaning things up when they're all cluttered and stacked.  That's why I get up an hour before everyone else most days to pick up the house and continue to do so all throughout the day.  It's why I prefer to put dishes in the dishwasher as I go throughout the day, rather than to leave a pile for the end of the day that may or may not all fit in the dishwasher.  Also, things are going to have to get a great deal more organized and rearranged if we hope to ever welcome a sibling for Ladybug into our home.  If I've learned anything in the past almost year, it's that the more organized and routine you can make things for a baby, the easier it is for the entire family, because you all learn what to expect.  Already I have cleaned and reorganized the pantry in a manner I've been wanting to for years.  I can't wait to tackle the other closets and maybe even eventually that room I don't really like, the kitchen.


    Besides getting more organized, I hope to be more inspired this year.  My friend, E. L. Bates, has started a Photo a Day blog, Art of a Sort,  hoping to engender more inspiration and keep her out of a creative rut.  I copied her idea and started 350,000 Words today.  Like E. L, I'm not using prompts, just posting a photo a day.  So far, they're all from iPhones, but you know I'll bring out my Canon soon enough.

    I started a reading plan to read the New Testament entirely this year, hopefully growing deeper in my relationship with God.  I didn't want to do one for the entire Bible, because even though I think that's a great feat.  I would rather spend more time on less material than to just blow through chapter after chapter, not really gleaning anything other than the bragging rights of having read the entire Bible in a year.

    My years studying an interning for Secondary Education are slowly bleeding through my plans for Ladybug.  I'm hoping to sit down and map out very loose lesson plans for the next year in order to educate my little genius.  I'm planning on spending one week at a time learning letters, colors, shapes and numbers.  If she doesn't catch on to all of them in the next year, I am at least building a foundation of learning first at home for her.  Of course reading to her many, many books a day, singing songs, and other things are already starting that foundation.

    Lastly, on New Years Day Oklahoma Women Bloggers, a spin-off of sorts of the Arkansas Women Bloggers launched and I joined.  Why?  Well, because even though I've lived in Arkansas for the past nine years, I grew up in Southeastern Oklahoma.  I'm a Sooner girl at heart.  My dream date in college that never happened was Josh Heupel.  Friends in elementary school got the Boz's haircut.  I went to college at a JC named for a former Speaker of the House from Oklahoma and then at a former Cherokee Women's Seminary.  I know what it is to go to Falls Creek, Summit Camps, and KBA.  I've marched in OSSAA marching contests.  I had classmates in Oklahoma City on April 15, 1995. I know what a scissor tail flycatcher is.  I hear "Boomer!" and I'll yell "Sooner!" just like playing Marco Polo.  My grandparents trekked to California during the Dust Bowl then came back.  I know who Gusty is and was saddened when Don Woods passed away.  I am and always be an Oklahoman, even if I'm also an Arkansan as well.  To all my blogger friends from Oklahoma, I highly recommend you join as well.

    With all of these plans and quite actually more floating around in my head and taking fruition, I don't really have much chance to allow the Winter Blues to take hold in me.  Idleness really can be the devil's playground if we let it be.

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