Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Washed a Truck.

I washed a truck.  I spent an hour washing a truck on Sunday.  It was dirty and I had an hour to kill, so I figured I just wash it and enjoy the sunshine at the same time.  Simple as that.

I pulled the truck out to the middle of the driveway.  I put the carwash soap in the big orange bucket and added water.  I watched the bubbles as they multiplied and loved that the water was warm from the sun.  I grabbed the sponge.  I even grabbed the step stool so I could reach the hood and roof.  I sprayed the truck down and started cleaning.

This is when it became more than just washing a truck.

It was my husband’s truck.  A gray 2006 F-150 he has named ‘Hefe’ and I have named ‘Daddy’s Truck’. It’s nothing flashy.  It’s not lifted. It doesn’t have huge wheels on it.  The front two windows aren’t even tinted.  It looks like a normal F-150, but to me it holds so many memories – memories I have never even considered until I washed it.  Alone. On a sunny day.

Chris bought this truck after he returned from his last deployment to Afghanistan.  I put the first tear in the upholstery not long after it was purchased.  He was thrilled. We moved most of our house in the bed of that thing. We have watched fireworks from the tail gate. We have gone on many dates.  We brought our daughter home in that truck. In the snow and ice and it kept us safe. We dropped Chris off for this deployment in his truck.  All of his gear took up the entire backseat.    Most recently I ran over our friends son’s toy lawn mower as I was trying to back it into the driveway.  Yes, I replaced it.  When Chris comes home on leave and when he comes home for good we will pick him up in Hefe.  We will start where we left off. In. That. Truck.

I never knew a vehicle with 4 wheels could mean so much. I never realized that I would be so affected by cleaning it.  I didn’t realize that I would cry halfway through.  I didn’t realize that I would smile at the same time.  I had no idea I would feel so much pride.  I had no idea a gray F-150 could represent so much of what Chris and I are.

I drove it for the rest of the day on Sunday.  I didn’t want to let go of everything it helped me feel during its bath.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wreaths.....what's not to love?!?!

Making things.  That is what calms me.  Gives me a sense of peace.  Typically provides immediate gratification. 

Over the past few months I haven’t been making much.  Ask me why and I wouldn’t be able to tell you but a few days ago I just felt I had to make something, so off to pinterest I went.  Have you ever been to that site?  Well, if not it’s…um….addicting in all forms.  Check it out, www.pinterest.com and follow me!  Oh, and get ready to fall in love and waste your entire afternoon looking through everything.

So a few nights ago I put Kennedy to bed and started in on this small little wreath project while I watched Company Men.  Have you ever seen it? If not, you can skip it.  You’re welcome.  Anyway, I started cutting and tying and hot glue gunning and viola…..this is what came of it:

I love it and think it turned out great!  All I need to do now is make another one for my second door.

I got my inspiration from a this Halloween wreath I saw yesterday:

I just changed the fabric and added the flowers because I super puffy heart cloth flowers.  If you are interested in seeing the tutorial, visit http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/2010/09/boo-wreath-tutorial.html.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's been a while.....so here is where I will start....

Things I have learned and/or accomplished over the past four months:

·         I have made financial decisions….and felt good about them

·         I met with our financial advisor for the first times since we got married….not smart, I know but that was something I didn’t want to be a part of…now I am…it feels good

·         I have potty trained our daughter – with the wonderful help of her teachers at school and our family

·         I have had both cars maintenance and even washed one of them…..this is huge and I can hear my husband laughing now!

·         I have managed to get Kennedy to go to sleep every night after 3 songs, no less than 2 hugs and 4 kisses and typically 2 or 3 good nights and I love yous

·         I have mastered our sprinklers and have managed to water our lawn so it stays green – with the help of our awesome neighbors

·         I have fallen asleep even when scared and learned that I will still wake up and will then not be scared anymore

·         I have woken up even when I didn’t want to or didn’t think I had the strength or the courage to make it through another ‘getting ready’ debacle with Kennedy

·         I have cried – not in front of many people because I just can’t…..but I have cried…..many tears

·         I have prayed – I’m still trying to figure out who I’m praying to (so give me breathing room on this) but I have still prayed and asked for help

·         I have eaten cereal on the kitchen floor with Kennedy

·         I have fallen in love with Friday Night Lights……a little late but it’s still amazing

·         I have learned what it means to make time for ‘me’ and I’ve learned to never take it for granted

·         I have managed to do the dishes, make two kinds of dinner, feed the dogs, pay bills and text all at the same time

·         I have realized that being a single parent is one of the hardest things I have EVER had to do and I take great pride in knowing that I can do it.  I don’t ever want to do this again, but it’s a nice feeling to know I can make it happen

·         I have learned that if I’m prepared I can grocery shop with Kennedy and be in and out of the store within 20 minutes

·         I have learned that a good book is a mini vacation

·         I have remembered to put the garbage out every week and have stopped cussing Chris out every time I have to do it

I have struggled with doing a blog post because I over analyze everything I have to say, everything I have to share, everything I think, everything I do…..so when I’m at the point of putting it on paper I just assume I will bore the crap out of all of you.  BUT I need to realize that this blog is my outlet.  This is where I get to say my piece.  This is where I get to leave it and move on. 

My life right now feels pretty good.  When Chris left I struggled everyday to figure out if I could do this.  Could I make everything happen that needed or needs to happen on a daily basis?  For months I second guessed myself.  For months I told myself I could.  For months I worried about getting everything done.  And guess what?  One day last week I woke up and I realized that I AM doing all of this.  I’m doing everything I wasn’t sure I could do.  I know that sounds a little lame and sometimes I probably make it sound like my life and my responsibilities are the hardest things in the world to accomplish…..they aren’t…I know they aren’t…but for me they are difficult.  Why do I think they are so difficult?  Because I want to do everything and accomplish everything in the best possible light and with the best possible outcome.  But DUDE, that is a lot of pressure to put on any one person.  And when YOU are the one putting the pressure on yourself you  can end up backing yourself into a corner feeling like you are too scared to try.  I have learned slowly that I need to be more gentle with myself, trust myself more, not take myself so seriously and as my dear Aunt Sherry would say…..don’t sweat the small shit!

I’m standing, I’m doing this and damn it I’m proud of myself!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Update and Cake Pops

I have been a little slow at updating the blog, not because I don’t want to but at the end of the day I’m just BEAT and simply want to sit and do nothing.  However, when I do that then I feel like I’m not using the blog for what I created it for……me to just dump my thoughts into.   So let’s see if I can provide some highlights of the last few weeks.
Visit with Chris:  Yup, we got to see Chris at the base last weekend. You may be thinking ‘how awesome’ and yes it was but no it wasn’t…if that makes any sense at all.  Yes, it was great to see him and give him a big hug and kiss but at the same time I couldn’t get too excited because there was always that possibility that his training schedule could change at the drop of a hat and then we wouldn’t be able to see him at all.  Because of that I didn’t let myself get excited and I obviously didn’t tell Kennedy where we were going.  I refuse to get this sweet little girl pumped up to see her Dad if there is even a slight change it won’t work out. 
Thankfully this time it worked out!! 
Kennedy was thrilled to see him and talked his ear off and have him some good hugs and kisses.  Me, I was pretty subdued.  Like I said, I was happy to see him but at the same time I have shut off a certain part of my brain and my heart just so that I can survive and get through this.  What I am experiencing is normal and expected but I just didn’t think it would happen so fast.   Don’t get me wrong, I love Chris with everything I have but for the next year it’s the Mel and Kennedy show and in order for me to be able to function I have to turn off that switch or else I would be a friggin WRECK and turns out that’s not a good look for me.  So…..my little wall is up and I march forward.  Thankfully Chris knows all of this and fully expects it…….I thank my lucky stars for such an understanding individual.  I’m blessed FOSHO!

Keepin’ Busy: We are keeping so busy that I have to remember to slow down!!  I have surrounded our family with the best possible extended family and friends that anyone could ask for.  We are constantly being invited over for play dates, lunches, dinners or just a quick chat and I can’t tell you how much EVERY single invitation means to me.  Each of you keep me going and I can’t thank you enough.  I hope one day that I can repay EVERYONE for everything you have done for me and continue to do.  I truly hope you all know how much I appreciate you.

Projects:  I have like 5 in my head I want to do SO bad but I have to slow my roll!!  I’m STILL working on my office.  Yes, I realize this is taking FOREVER but I have to keep everything in perspective.  I have to slow it down and just do a little at a time because if I don’t I will put too much pressure on myself and I will start to feel overwhelmed and that isn’t the idea or the goal as to why I want to continue with these small projects.  So……I will do my projects slowly and I will enjoy them.
OH, but I did try to make Cake Pops over the weekend.  Um, two words….HOT MESS!   What possessed me to try these?  Oh, well my friend Tawsha tried it about a week before and blogged about it at http://www.mybigdayplanner.blogspot.com/  and as soon as I saw her pictures (not much better than mine) I thought ‘Ok, I GOTAA try this!!’  I wanted to figure out where Tawsha went wrong (she is good at just about EVERYTHING) and figure out how to master this so both of us could make these friggin things with our eyes closed.  Um yeah….we ain’t even close!
The idea came from Bakerella at http://www.bakerella.com/make-your-cupcakes-pop/.  We followed the directions down to the last word.  Everything was going great until it was time to put the balls of amazingness on the sticks.  And…..um….that is when this project went downhill!  I think there were a couple things that contributed to the debacle:
1.       Maybe the balls were too big?  <Stop laughing you 12 year olds!>
2.       Maybe I used too much frosting….but is there really such a thing?
3.       Maybe the balls were cold enough?
4.       Maybe the frosting was too thick?
Clearly there were a few things counting against me but I decided to move forward.  I mean I had come this far why give up…right?
However, up until this point I felt good!!  I thought I had it.  Then…..I put the stick in the ball, dipped it in the frosting and it looked like this:

And 10 seconds later it looked like this:

I tried it a few more times and I got the same result, so I tossed the sticks and just dumped the balls of goodness into the frosting and let the kids decorate them, which they had fun doing =)  BUT I’m still left with NO CAKE POPS!! 

These damn things will not beat me!!  Tawsha and I are on a mission…..WHOS with us?!?!  TEAM CAKE POP!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Family Pictures

It’s no secret my sweet little punkin is not the one for photographs.  She doesn’t mind if I snap a few pictures here and there but you bring a stranger into the mix with a big camera and put her in surroundings she isn’t sure of and well….you have a HOT MESS!
We have tried to do family pictures several times and for whatever reason it didn’t work out.  Either the weather was horrible, Kennedy would get sick OR we would schedule the session and try to get what we could based on her mood but in the end it was a HOT MESS.  We tried to have our close friend Mike with http://www.michaelbuzzelle.com/ do some pictures because not only is he a GREAT friend and basically family to us but he is also a GREAT photographer but nope Kennedy would have nothing to do with it. She has a hard time with boys and doesn’t like the camera so add those two together and you have a craptasitc situation.  So I tried to schedule with another photographer and it didn’t work out for whatever reason so at that point I was thinking that this just wasn’t in the cards for us UNTIL I was introduced to the very talented Becky Hales with http://www.beckyhalesphotography.com/ and I had to try again and after you look at her site you will see why.  The only downfall to Becky is that she lives in California but because I’m such a baller I decided to fly her up….HAHAHHA…I crack myself up…I’m kidding people.   Becky is sisters with a friend of mine and told me that she would be in town for a week at the end of February so I pounced on her like a friggin Liger, you know, a lion and a tiger!   Thankfully she was available and was able to book our family. 
YES, photos are scheduled and I’m actually excited and feeling good.
I will spare you all of the boring details but we still had to figure out outfits because they all had to somewhat match. We also had to figure out where to do the pictures AND if I wanted to include any props.  WOW…LOTS OF PRESSURE HERE!!
So with the help of my RAD friends I was able to figure all of that out (you will see in the pictures shortly) but then the day of the pictures arrived and it was a HOT MESS!
It was freezing cold out and when I say freezing I mean it was take your breath away cold and to add to that amazingness it was also windy.  Here is a little known fact about yours truly….wind makes me want to stab people! On top of that Kennedy hadn’t had a nap and I ‘thought’ she would be fine but she wasn’t.  THEN we take her to the park OUTSIDE with new people she has never met before and asked her to ‘smile’.  I’m pretty sure she was mentally giving me the biggest finger EVER and turns out…..I deserved it!  I took this poor tired little girl into the freezing cold and expected her to be happy.  Um clearly I was in some other dimension of reality!!
Although Kennedy barely smiled and although she didn’t look at the camera much and although Chris and I’s patience levels were wearing thin our pictures turned out AH-MAY-ZING! 

These are photographs that we will be something that we look at for years and I’m more than happy about how they turned out.
Thank you Katie for introducing me to Becky. Becky thank you for being awesome and thank you for bringing Chelsea.  Shelley thank you for letting me raid your closet!  See…it takes a village to make anything a happen around here and I love this little village I live in!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Yup, that’s right I’ve completed one ENTIRE week….that’s SEVEN days and I’ve already realized a few key notes and things that will take a backseat to my daily activities.  You interested in the list? 
1.       There will ALWAYS be dog prints on my hardwoods cause I will never have time to clean them in between cleans (every 3rd Tuesday)
2.       Groceries will be purchased on an as needed basis…I don’t have time to determine what we ‘could’ or ‘should’ eat next Thursday, so if there is more than goldfish, pirates booty, chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese in my house then it’s a REALLY good week…..and dig in. 
3.       Dirty diapers (pee) may or may not constantly be sitting on the upstairs banister waiting to be taken downstairs….I have TWO hands and can only carry so much.
4.       My bed will never be made….EVER
5.       Chasing the dogs off the couches downstairs requires way too much energy, so I figured out a solution: flip up the cushions.  BOOYAH sucka!  (Thanks Kelly)
6.       Vacuuming will happen when I can’t remember the last time I vacuumed
7.       When I think the house is just too dirty or disorganized to function I will toss in a new Scentsy scent and pretend it’s now clean and organized and go about my day
My list is pretty short but I have a feeling it will grow as the weeks go on and on……and on……and friggin ON!
One more thing…..I’m so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open so I’m going to go pass out and watch the back of my eyelids for a good 9 hours.
More to come later……..like our family pictures =)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy and Distracted

We all have defense mechanisms that trigger us to do things to either protect our hearts or our minds from either feeling something or thinking about something.  Normally I would say that you need to just feel what you feel and think about what you think about, but I’m not going to say that today.  Sometimes you feel something for so long and you think about something for so long that you just need a little distraction that tells your brain, ‘we are going to focus on something outside of YOU for a little bit!’  Some people go for a drink (trust me I’m one of those people), some people go to the gym (Lord don’t I wish I was one of those), some sit down and eat (yup, been there many times)…..blah blah blah….you get the point – we all do something to distract ourselves. 
For me, the two things that I LOVE doing are baking and crafts
Insert Banana Bread - Something that makes me happy and relaxed is baking and one thing that I seem to make more than anything else is banana bread.  Amazingly enough I have never ended up eating the bread (maybe a piece here and there) because I am always making it for other people and to be honest, 99% of the time I make it for my friend Bethany.  For me there is something so therapeutic in baking but then I don’t want to be left with the finish product so I must give everything away (well let’s be real here….I don’t give everything away) and Bethany lives literally 50 feet from my front door and banana bread seems to be something she really enjoys so it’s basically a match made in heaven….I bake…she eats.
You wanna now the recipe?   This one actually came from Bethany and I keep losing it and asking for it over and over again so maybe this way I will always have it =)
3 or 4 ripe bananas (I normally use 5), smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour

1.       Start with the mushy bananas that basically slide out of the peel…sounds super gross, right?!?!

2.       With a wooden spoon, mix the melted butter into the mashed bananas

3.       Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla
4.       Sprinkle in baking soda and salt
5.       Add the flour

6.       Pour into a buttered (I use Pam) 4x8 inch loaf pan

7.       Bake 1 hour on 350 (unless you have convection then you can bake it for about 50 minutes)


And now on to crafting!! I love making things for friends and over the weekend a girlfriend of mine, Kimber had her baby shower for her 2nd baby so it was the perfect opportunity for me to get a tiny bit craft WITHOUT overwhelming myself, because turns out I can do that to myself real easily.

Kimber and her husband have decided to not find out if they are having a boy or a girl, so I had to keep the gift gender natural and still manage to make something cute.  Kimber is also a pretty crafty girl and loves fun things and ideas that she can use in the future so with that I hit the internet in search of something cute, easy and something she could actually use once the baby gets here.  And this is what I found……CUPCAKE ONESIES!

I saw this picture and thought…..I GOTTA MAKE THAT!  I mean who can't use onesies and receiving blankets? Done and done!

Remember, since I couldn’t make these ones gender specific they lack COLOR oh and my camera sucks!  Either way Kimber said she loved the gift and it put a smile on her face so I was pleased =)

If you are interested in making your own cupcake onesies, which I think would be AWESOME baby shower decorations, visit http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2011/02/baby-onesie-cupcake-tutorial-and-sweet.html for a tutorial.