Friday, August 31, 2012

When Sorrows, Like Kidney Stones, Strike

I wasn't nervous at all this morning; after all, this is something I've dealt with since I was eighteen. My husband's guess was 4. My guess was 11.

The tech called us back, brought us into a small room, and told me to lay on my back. As she lifted up my shirt and squirted the warm jelly on my side, I thought, "Here goes nothing."

And what did she find? Seven. Seven kidney stones. Four in my right kidney, and three in my left.

It's not the first time that I've had that many kidney stones, but it is the first time that one has measured "unpassable." When she told me the measurement of the stone, I felt a sinking feeling--not a hopeless, terrified, gut-wrenching feeling. Just a sinking feeling.

Because "unpassable" means one thing: a procedure.

I'm scared. I'm scared for what the next few months might hold. I'm hoping nothing but e.a.s.y. :)

So, I'm drinking lots of water (I drank my 8 glasses today!), and staying away from. . . oh, if you knew everything I had to stay away from, it would make your head spin. Needless to say, I was not happy that at my sister's 23rd birthday party tonight, I could not have a piece of chocolate cake. Come on, you know how hard that was for me. :)

I went out on the porch swing tonight, because I felt God pulling me out there. I told Him how I felt and expressed my fears. And I just couldn't get this hymn out of my head. . .

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows, like sea billows, roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul,
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

This isn't big--at all. In the scheme of things, this is very, very small (literally, ha!). And I want to keep reminding myself of that. It might not be well with my kidneys, but God's in control, and that is well with my soul. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken Dijon

All I can say is "Thank you!" and "You're welcome!"

"Thank you" to my momma for flipping through an old issue of Southern Living, coming across this scrumptious and easy recipe, and sharing it with me!

"You're welcome" to you, because I can promise that if you make this, it won't be the last time! This is going to become a new regular in my kitchen! :)

You will need:
  • 3 tbsp. of butter
  • 2-3 chicken breasts (I "butterfly-ed" two)
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1 medium-sized sweet onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard (you can use more if you're cooking more chicken)
  • Rice, however much you want/whatever kind you want
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook until each side is golden.
2. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low-medium, and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Serve on a bed of rice!

How easy is that!? Once again, you're welcome. :)

The First Day Of School

After having spent yesterday in the hospital battling kidney stones and the rest of the day sick as a dog, I have to admit that the first day of school was the farthest thing from my mind.

Clearly, because I slowly opened my eyes at 8:50, said a bad word, and jumped out of bed! School starts in ten minutes! Mom of Year award once again. . .late on the first day. Geez!

I had just enough time to throw on some clothes, scrape yesterday's make-up off my face, and find a very large pair of sunglasses before it was time to pack up the toddler's back pack, pack a lunch, label everything, write a check for the first day, make sure I had all my paper work. . .you know, things that you wouldn't put off until the morning of school!

But nothing was going to stop me from taking first day pictures with my little man! Thankfully, the hubbs was at home and could help me get the toddler to school. . .because I wasn't feeling too great this morning.

The toddler absolutely refused to put on his back pack until Daddy went and put on his back pack, too. Precious! :)

How is my little baby boy already in the two-year-old class at school!? We've been talking excitedly about all the cool things he'd get to do this year--arts and crafts, lunch, and recess! Eeeeek! :)

"It's gunna' be okay, Momma. You don't have to worry about me!"

Can I fess up to something? I'm one of those people who kinda/sorta loathes summer. Don't get me wrong--I like going to the pool, the lake, and taking vacations just as much as the next gal. But I'm big on routine and schedules. And school helps to give so much structure to our weeks! I love the cooler weather, back packs, and watching my little man venture forth and make new friends and learn new things! :) YAY for a successful first day back!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Precious Pics and Random Ramblings

This evening, we drove over to my parents' house for dinner. It was wonderful to get out of the house and enjoy some yummy momma cooking. :) After dinner, everyone went outside to play. I planted my lazy behind in the middle of the action and savored the cooler evening, the setting sun, and my angel running around and having a blast.

Proof that I really was off my feet. ;)

Does it get any cuter than that!? I certainly don't think so! :)

I've been so spoiled lately by my amazing, amazing, amazing friends and family cooking me some awesome meals. And of course my momma has been cooking up the most. I'm so grateful! Thank you, Jesus, for selfless people who have blessed me tremendously with their love!


On a completely unrelated note, have you ever seen Crazy Stupid Love? Bleh. What a crazy stupid waste of time--literally, the movie is a full two hours long. In case you were thinking about watching it one rainy day when your toddler is asleep and you're glued to the couch and you have nothing better to do, trust me, you do in fact have something better to do.

Also, the second Hunger Games book? Totally cannot get into it. And I'm nearly through with it. What's wrong with me!? I'm like the only person in the world that isn't bowled over by these books.

Okay, enough complaining about things I don't enjoy. Because I do enjoy my friends, my family, watching my siblings play soccer-basketball with my son, my momma's home cooking, my daddy coming over and mowing my lawn while the hubbs was out of town yesterday, OH! and how could I forget? Downton Abbey . . .me and my mom's latest obsession. :)

I'm shutting up and turning off my ramblings! Goodnight! :) 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hard Workin' Men

While I've been sitting on the couch being lazy, my guys have been hard at work! Daddy is building the toddler a brand new big-boy bed with built-in drawers (I'm so stinkin' there anything better than marrying a handyman!?) and the toddler is busy dragging Lightning McQueen and Mater around with him while he gets into all sorts of trouble. ;)

And on a completely unrelated topic, we now have big boy underwear in our little casa! Have you ever seen Percy look so cute!? ;)

Before you go getting jealous and/or thinking that I'm super mom with the perfectly potty-trained, big-boy-underwear-sporting child, please know that there was urine all over the floor about two minutes after this picture was taken, and I'm fully convinced (and nearly 100% okay/aware) of the fact that I'm sure my child will be pushing four before he's potty trained. :) Slow and steady, right!?

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I'm in the middle of a big project. I'm catching up our family photo albums (no small task, considering I left off when the toddler was 6 months old). So, maybe it's photos like this that have me feeling nostalgic and mushy-gushy.

This evening, I was sitting on the couch with my feet propped up watching a movie. Suddenly, I heard the toddler crying. I slowly got up, turned on the light in the hallway, and made my way down to his room.

"Sweetie, sugar, what is it?" I asked.

He looked up at me, frustrated, from under the comforter. His small, precious voice responded, "It's broken."

Immediately, I knew what was wrong. He is my child, after all. He wanted his comforter to be just right. "Lay down, sugar. Put your head on the pillow," I said. Slowly he inched back, and put his head down on his pillow. "I'll fix it," I reassured him.

I fluffed out the comforter until it was smooth, and I folded it right under his chin. Then, I took his blankie and put it on top of the bedding. I handed him his Bear-Bear and his Lightning McQueen race car. He turned on his side, pressed the race car up against his cheek, and folded his hands right next to his face.

"Thanks, Mom," he said.

My heart just melts for this boy. Our lives are crazy, hectic, and at times really embarrassing (the meltdowns that occur. . .come on, you read my blog, you know what I'm talking about). But I want to remember the precious moments, too. I'm so grateful to be this sweet boy's momma. Blessed, blessed, blessed beyond words is what I am.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where Is Jesus?

This morning, as we were all busy getting ready for church, I asked the toddler, "Are you going to learn about Jesus today?"

His response was prompt. "No," he said, "Jesus at school and. . . Jesus in a magazine."

Stifling a laugh, I asked, "So, Jesus is at school and in a magazine?"

"Um-hm," he replied.

A few minutes later, I asked my question again: "So, are you going to learn about Jesus today?"

This time, he was emphatic. "NO!" he said, "Jesus at SCHOOL." (Like, "Did you get it that time, Mom!?")

"Sweetie," I said, as I sat next to him on the couch, "that's true, Jesus is at school. He is in our house, and in the car, and everywhere! He is especially at church! And he's in your heart and Mommy's heart. Jesus is everywhere!"

He thought about that for a while. "And Daddy's heart?" he asked.

"Yes, and Daddy's heart."

When we picked him up from Sunday school, I asked him, "Did you learn about Jesus?"

"YES!" he answered and gave me a big smile. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Manipulation 101

After I tuck the little one in at night, he knows he isn't supposed to get out of bed. Well this evening, I was cleaning the house, and I could hear him out of bed.

I tiptoed back to his room, opened the door, and sure enough--there was my angel in his jammies, out of bed.

"Get back in bed. You are not supposed to get out of bed, mister," I said sternly.

"Have a kiss?" was his precious/heart melting/adorable/perfect response.

"Okay, you can have a kiss." (He "really" had to twist my arm on that one.)

"Another kiss please?" Oh,  okay. :)

"Mommy has to go. You need to stay in your bed. It's night-night time." I got up and headed toward the door.



"Um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um. . ."

"What is it, sugar?"

"Have another kiss?"


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Caffeine, Crashing, and Comforted

This morning started at 6:15 AM, when a certain little somebody crawled into my bed and said, "Mommmmmmmmy, wake uuuuuuuuuuup. Wake uuuuuuuuuuuuup. Wake uuuuuuuuuuuuup, Mommmmy."

Ugh. 6:15 isn't too bad. . .except when you got up at 4:00 AM the day before. Then, it's really awful.

The face patting started. A concerned voice above asking, "You okay? You okay? You okay? You okay? You okay? You okay? You okay? You okay?" (Why is it that two year olds can repeat something twenty-four times, and still not get exhausted!?)

Finally, I opened my eyes to abate his "concern."

"Yes, I'm okay."

"Yogurt! I just need my yogurt. And crackers?" (The toddler's new favorite phrases are "I like that anymore!" (meaning, "I DON'T like that anymore.") and "I just need my ____________.")

"You can't have crackers for breakfast, but we'll get your yogurt, okay?"


What happened to the concern for sweet, sleeping momma? Gone out.the.dang.window.

What ensued was forty minutes of screaming for crackers, me standing my ground, and finally me throwing on a bra, a baseball cap, and some shoes, and heading out the door with my toddler. I decided he needed to fall back asleep before our 9:00 playdate, or else it was going to become the playdate from you-know-where.

He was in his flannel jammies still, and I tucked his lovey and his blankie around him. I backed out of the driveway and popped a lullaby cd in. I turned on the AC, and just waited for him to fall asleep. . .

. . .which didn't happen.

So, I decided to grab a coffee. I don't drink too much caffeine, but this coffee only has 48 mg, so whoop-dee-doo, I REALLY needed it.

Then I drove around for forty minutes in a desperate attempt to get him to fall asleep.

And do you know what he said as soon as we pulled into the garage?

"My crackers? My crackers, Mommy?"

Excuse me, will someone please shoot me in the face and put me out of the misery which is sure to consume my entire day today!?

We somehow got the car loaded up, got dressed, and got to our playdate without killing each other. No small miracle, folks. ;)

As soon as the playdate was over and I got back in the car, I started feeling really sick. I noticed that my hands were shaking, and so I took my water bottle and literally took about fifteen gulps and blasted the air all the way up. I figured that I'd gotten too hot. As I started driving down the interstate toward home, I began to feel worse and worse. I didn't think I could make it home, so I pulled into my parents' house. I immediately tried calling my husband, who of course was up at the hospital. I texted him, and I didn't hear anything. So then, I called my sister. No response. I was like, Great, I'm going to pass out at my parents' house and no one knows I'm here and I have my two year old with me! I then texted my friend Tasha, who immediately was ready to hop in her car and come save me and my poor two year old. By then, I'd downed a ton of Sprite to replenish electrolytes and was eating some chicken and a cookie, and was feeling better. But still, it made me feel loved.

I sat on the couch and turned on Thomas for Nathan. I was still really shaky, and not ready to drive back to my house. See? I said to myself. This is what happens when you start your day on such a "great" note.

After a couple of hours, I felt well enough to drive to my house. I tried to put the toddler down for a nap, which of course resulted in anything but a nap. (Sneaking into the playroom and knocking over all the puzzles, taking everything off his bed and throwing it around the room, attempting to climb his bookshelf, messing up the blinds, and being in a much, much worse mood than before the  nap.)

My phone rang. It was my husband. I answered quickly, because I assumed he had finally been able to check his phone. "Are you okay!?" was his first question. "Yes, I'm fine. Really. I'm feeling a lot better, just drained." He insisted on coming home. "No, do not come home. I'm fine. I'll see you in a few hours."

"Well, is there anything I can do for you?" he asked.

"Yes, you can pick up dinner on your way home, because there is NO WAY I'm cooking tonight."

Thirty minutes later, who walks in the front door? My knight in shining armor--or wrinkled scrubs, but it looked like shining armor. He kissed me, made sure I was okay, scooped up the little one, and insisted that I go immediately and take a nap.

Shock. Total shock. (If you have a medical spouse, you understand.)

I ran back to our bedroom, dove under the covers, and slept for two glorious hours.

In the midst of my crazy day today, I had two friends call and text me that they were there for me if I needed anything. I then had two more friends last-minute help me out with Nathan this week for a work event. And then my hubby came to my rescue.

What can I say? I looked like crap, my house looked even worse, but my heart was happy.

And thus I end the day, happy. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bedtime Breakout

Lately, the toddler has been getting out of his bed about three times every night before he falls asleep. The hubbs or I go in, tell him to get back in bed, and usually take away his favorite lovey, Bear-Bear, for a certain amount of time. Sometimes, though, it's nice and quiet and we think he's asleep.

Here's what he's really up to. . .

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Front Porch

In a recent interview with Southern Living, musician and Southern-stamped, soul-food-loving Zac Brown, gave the following quote: “In the South, you gather around food.  Your kitchen is your living room, whether you want it to be or not.”
The kitchen, indeed, is where it seems I grew up. Pushing around the spinach in hopes that my momma would think I’d eaten at least half. Getting up on Thanksgiving before the sun to preheat the oven, grease the pans, and start on that dessert that needed to be chilled for 6-8 hours. Fighting, laughing, hugging, talking, celebrating, growing, living.
But even more than the kitchen, which I might say was indeed the soul of our house, our front porch--two-storied, with white columns, two porch swings, eight sets of double French doors, Louisiana-style--was the heartbeat. It was as if the bare feet that kicked the swing into motion were the ventricles and valves pumping, beating, moving us through our childhood and into times when our own children carried the blood flow back--still pumping and swinging on the same porch swing.
We didn’t care about mosquitoes, and we were hidden enough behind the Japanese maples and oak trees that the few cars that would drive by wouldn’t wake us. For while we were busy with the business of life in the kitchen, we were settled in the dutiful Southern ways of talking slowly on the front porch--our conversations only punctuated when someone would stop by to say hi or a firefly would wing close enough to tempt.
It is no surprise to me that my own son loved that porch swing, loved that porch, from the time he was an infant. Almost, it is as if he knows his momma’s own bare feet graced those worn bricks--running up the steps from school, shuffling awkwardly after a date knowing Daddy was watching somewhere somehow, and still--talking about something as serious as who on earth remembers what.
The thing about our front porch, about all front porches, is that it tells you about the people inside the house. It tells you to slow down, to turn off your phone, to forget about television and air conditioning and everything that makes you rush over the threshold. Stop and tell your story. Ours are alive in this place.