Monday, October 29, 2012

the weekend

On Friday, I woke up thinking about my Mamaw.

My old night clinic partner, Raine, had come into town and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch.
I decided to kill two birds with one stone and visit my Meme and Mamaw, first, before lunch with the girls from work.

I didn't tell my  Mamaw or Meme that I was coming over, we just showed up, unannounced.

Meme looked so good, and more healthy than I have seen her in a while.  (although she was on her way to the salon for a new color on her hair)

Mamaw looked frail and old and unsteady when I first walked through the door...
But the more Maddox filled her ears with words and she watched Beckham play,
her face filled with more color, and she looked like my Mamaw.

I have no excuse as to why I go so long in between visits, and I know that it is something I will regret after she is gone, but I sure enjoyed my time with her on Friday.

She understands life is busy, and she gleams with joy when she tells me how blessed I am.
She never tries to guilt any of us into visiting, instead she always just tells me that I am doing a good job and reminds me that I am in the sweet spot of life.
To keep doing what I am doing.

She does this thing where she closes her eyes for a second and pierces her lips and squeezes my kids cheeks, and I just know that what she is feeling is beyond words.

She didn't tell her stories of her days at Nieman Marcus (from which she retired)
or about her own life raising 2 kids, this visit.
There were no talks about Arkansas...
or politics (she's the only democrat in our family, and she's proud of it).

She seemed more confused than usual, repeating some things over and over, like how dark the room was.
But she knew me.
And she knew the boys.
And has lived almost a century...
And though it is hard for me to accept,
she will tell you that she's ready to meet her maker.

I guess I would be too, at that point...
but that sure won't be a day I'll enjoy.

I have always had great relationships with my grandparents.
Some of my best memories as a child come from impromptu camping trips with my meme and Papaw.
And feeding the cows with my Nana and Pawpa.
Both sides were a big part of my life and I love them all.

But since I was tiny, I knew I had my Mamaw in my back pocket.
She would take my side against my mom, my meme, and anyone else for that matter.

She believed, in her entire heart, I would be great.
She would tell me over and over that I was smart and would do great things.
I remember her telling me that I was going to be a doctor...
a pediatrician, to be exact.

When I didn't become a doctor,
she thought I was the smartest nurse to ever walk to face of the Earth.
She even clipped me a newspaper article about nursing and saved them for me.
It didn't matter that I went to a junior college, right here at home.
There wasn't a better nurse in the world, as far as she was concerned.
And she believed that.

She told me I was beautiful.
"pretty enough to be a model" she would say.
We all knew she was full of it...
but she would back it up by telling me that her office at Neiman's was right across from the modeling agency...
and I had everything those girls had.
She believed it.

She treated me as an equal, rather than a child.
As a little girl,
she would let me do her hair and makeup and then we would run all over town
and she would not change a single thing I had done.
I was impressed by her liquid rouge, so I know I over-used it as much as I could,
but she told me it looked as good as she could do...
and I believed her.

I've never seen her bed not made,
and yet she never told me I was making a mess,
or seemed bothered by my crayons and coloring book and paper that I would immediately spread across her coffee table, as soon as I walked in her house.

She has never complained to me about her health...

Or had reason to.
As a matter of fact,
she brags.
"Take care of yourself baby, we've got good genes, you'll live long like me."

She tells stories in a way that put you right there where she intended you to be.
She can splash color in your mind when describing the trees in Virginia.
And I can almost smell the dinners she would tell me about when she was a girl.

She reminds me that being rich has nothing to do with money.
Even disoriented at the hospital,
she reminded me how blessed and rich I am.

She always does.

She thinks I am raising the most handsome, smartest boys ever born on this Earth.
And she thinks I am the best momma in the world.
She tells me over and over.
And she believes it.

She's independent.
And tough.
And stubborn.
And smart.

She's loving.
And beautiful.
And encouraging.
And one of a kind.

I've been told that she can be mean as a snake.
And so can can I.
Maybe that's why I love her so?

On Saturday, Maddox had his last soccer game.
I woke up feeling sad, like I was mourning our last game.
Not only have we seen so much growth in Maddox, but I feel like this has been a rewarding experience for Lance, too.
My mom reminded me that I will be doing this for the next 20 years, but admitted that she still misses those days of sitting in the stands, cheering for us.
I was like 30-something degrees out Saturday morning, and we couldn't wear enough clothes to make ourselves comfortable.
Maddox did not score this game, and was originally pretty bummed.  But we reminded him that our friends Cayden and Brooks did, and Maddox still earned a dollar for an assist... so he was fine.

After the game, the church where we play was hosting a trunk or treat.
I went on call at noon and Beckham had already thrown in the towel, so Lance and I split up and I took Beckham home.

Lance and Maddox returned home with a bag full of candy, and a plan to go out to my parents and hang out.
Dave made me a fire, mom made her yummy food, and we watched Hallmark movies and football all weekend.

Maddox has been begging to go hog hunting for a while now, so about 10:00pm, the guys bundled up my little lion and loaded his BB gun full of ammo, and took him out.

Lance and Pop said that he didn't make it 10 minutes before he was head bobbing and snoring...
But the fact that Maddox got to walk through the field "and climb through a fence to where the grass got tall" was about all that little boy needed for his memory bank.

Sunday, I was on call again.
The boys sited in a few of their guns.
Mom cooked.
Beckham and I got to take a morning nap together.
And Maddox spent the entire day playing outside.

We didn't leave Paradise until after the Cowboy game was over and it was already dark.

I know that once we live out there, the nostalgia will be somewhat lost.
But I will tell you that it is so nice to have a little get away, like that and just chill.
I took my first 2 tests for my psychology class when we got home, and the boys fell asleep all cuddled together on the couch.

Which was a great ending to a wonderful weekend.

And today, was back to the grindstone...
and another great day at school for Maddox...
And mommy-Beckham time at home!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012

Today we made our annual trip over to Flower Mound to visit their famous pumpkin patch.

Before I post the pictures, I just want to point out how blessed I am to have a husband who enjoys being a part of family activities like this.

Despite Beckham pouring a rather expensive container of powdered eye liner all over his new shirt (that stayed beneath his jacket anyway), finding a red permanent marker (that Maddox leaped in the most dramatic way possible possible to retrieve) , unscrewing the lid to my detangler and attempting to pour it into his lap (insert momma's dramatic leap here), grabbing a pair of scissors and  placing them to his head as if he was going to chop a chunk into his little blonde locks (I had just trimmed my bangs, I promise I don't let him play with scissors), and me backing into a neighbor's (brick) mailbox and jacking up my bumper on my car.  (while on the phone with my husband)...
We had a great day.

Well, Beckham was a bit testy...

But the rest of us had a great time.

After the pumpkin extravaganza, we filled our bellies with some Mexican food from Christina's and then did a super market sweep.  ($100 of groceries in 15 minutes.)

Until next fall little pumpkin patch.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

greatest hits

Every time we go to see my Mamaw, she tells us the same stories over and over.
They typically aren't anything amazing, but it is fun to see her put herself right back in that place, 50, 70 or even 90 years ago.
It is like she has the greatest hits album of her life, on repeat.

Sometimes, when the boys and I are dancing in the kitchen, or playing cars, or pretending to be super heroes, or cuddled up on the couch, or laughing so hard we can't talk...
I wonder if this will be on my greatest hits album.

I see this glassy look in Lance's eye sometimes, where I am not sure if he is about to cry or laugh but it is usually followed by a hug to me or one of the boys, and I know he feels the exact same thing.

I have had such an amazing day with the boys, today.
Doing nothing more than what we usually do.
But somehow I took away the pressure that I usually have hanging above my head of the endless list that has to be completed,
and we played.
And we danced.
And we laughed.

Today, I am soaking it in to every pore of my being and just feeling abundantly blessed.

I don't want to stop long enough to add pictures,
I just wanted to document this feeling so I could try and remember it again.
And maybe help me to slow down when I take for granted this time, in the future.

I tend rush through the days worried about what lies ahead, but apparently at the end of life, these are the days that we will cherish the most.

I have always found it interesting, that patients in the nursing home that can no longer can remember their own name, still rock.
Back and forth as if they still have a newborn to their chest.

And hopefully, one day, when Maddox or Beckham get married, and they grab their wife to dance in the kitchen, despite her unwashed hair and her broke out face...
they will be thrown back in to days like today,
And will soak it in too.
Just another melody on the greatest hits album.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I am back... ish... for now.

I knew that I would drown under the week of finals but I did not anticipate the back draft that the week following would be...
I will do my best to catch back up without causing you to shove a fork in your ear out of boredom.

First things first:
I made an A in my art class (and had you seen the caliber of duck I can carve out of ivory soap, this would not have been any surprise to you.) For some reason, I really enjoyed learning the history of art in this class, where as I remember despising it in high school.  This class was interesting and fun.
I made a B, however, in my "cell and molecular biology" class.  (I like to write the entire name, so it sounds more difficult and boring.)  This class was super hard to me... and honestly, I would have been satisfied with my first college C, because I really didn't deserve anything more than that.  Luckily I made 100s on all of my labs, and they pulled my grades up, but I still know very little about the cell, molecule, or biology for that matter.
The eye-gauging biology class I speak of above, was not one of the core classes I need... it is a UTA pre-requisite to the biology class I have to take, however, that I was suppose to start today.

I got a one week break after my first 2 classes, which was just long enough to realize how overwhelming and time consuming college is...
how great of a job I have...
and that the only race I am in to finish this damn degree, is the race against myself.

Lance and I talked, and with Christmas approaching, we decided that I would hold off on the next two classes (save our money) and start back in January.
I waited until the last and final day to drop, and finally went online to take care of it Friday.
I first dropped the biology class.  (it was the most expensive of the 2 since you have to pay for not only the class, but also its lab and the $250 lab kit).
Crazy enough, though, when I did... it showed I owed $0.00 dollars for the psych class I was still enrolled in.
I called the college and they said it was correct.
It was covered!
You know I am a sucker for a bargain, so I decided to stay enrolled in it!
And get this...
I went to rent my text book for it, and they had a used copy that I could buy for $5.
What kind of deal is that?!
My book will not get here until Wednesday and I already have 4 videos, 2 chapters, 2 quizzes, and 2 summaries due this week, so maybe it is a good thing I only have one class this semester!

Here we go again.

He is doing awesome in school.
I still sometimes get mad at myself that we didn't do this sooner for him.
I don't know that he is learning anything curriculum-wise, that he hadn't already mastered at home... (except the pledge of allegiance.  I never would have thought to teach him that!) but the social environment and structure and arts and crafts and following authority stuff, is awesome.

Today when I picked him up, his teacher said, "Maddox, tell your mommy what happened today."
My heart sank.
Maddox said, "I got 6 M&Ms!"
They start every day with 5 sticks and at the end of every day, they get an M&Ms for every stick they have left... so I originally thought he stole an extra M&M or something?!
The teacher explained that they caught him going above and beyond, helping another child in his class, so they asked him to put an extra stick in his folder!
I was a proud momma... We called Daddy to tell him, we called Gigi and told her and then we decided that Sonic happy hour slushes were a great way to celebrate!
I could tell he felt so proud of himself that we made a huge deal out of it... heck, he even got a phone call from his pop, all the way in Jordan, telling him how proud he was! 

Soccer, is also going amazing for Maddox.
{{insert video that refuses to load, here}}
His final game is next week and I realize that he is mine, but I bet all of the parents would agree, that this child deserves a most improved award.
I went into this season expecting a little flower-picking Holly.
And game one, we got almost-that.
Each game, though, he has grown so much and now he is our best (or at least one of the best) little players.
He is so coach-able and really understands the game, I think.
He scores almost all of our points now-a-days, to the point that Lance had to hold him back the last 2 games so that other kids can get a chance!

Though he is no longer a flower-picking Holly... he is still the make-everything-a-much-bigger-deal-than-it-is Holly.
The last 2 games, he has cried before the game with belly pain.
After some investigating, I think I realized that he was nervous that he wouldn't score this game like he had in all of the other games.
Lance and I talked to him about it... and told him that scoring is not what is important... and that we only play soccer for fun... and that Lance and I will be the same amount of proud if he scores zero points but runs and pays attention and helps his friends up and passes the ball... as we would if he scored 10 points.
He said okay...
but then he said, "well there no money in passing the ball.  I better score."
And he continues to do so each game.
We created a money making monster, I think.
And maybe we never should have offered a dollar per score in the first place... but add it to the things that we probably didn't do perfectly.
'Tis parenting.

Today is his 1 year and a 1/2 birthday!
I can not believe this little lamb is already 18 months old.

It is difficult to pinpoint his little personality, because he has days where I would call him the quietest, sweetest, loving-est child in the world...
and other days I refer to him as a garden snake.
Mean.  like.  a snake!
(but not poisonous!)

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit, because I know it is not the norm within my social circle, but I do want to document, that we are officially finished breastfeeding.
I tried to ween for months, but stopping cold turkey a couple of weeks ago was what worked best for us.

I think I felt the need to nurse him longer than Maddox mainly because it was so easy, and I learned after constant questions and appalled faces to keep it more to ourselves this go around.... but also because it was my way to bond with him.
Maddox was talking by now and could express himself better so this was a way that I felt B could comfort himself and enjoy our time.
No big brother...
no daddy...
just me and B.

But Lance made the comment that we had gone long enough, and he was ready to be done...
and that's all that I needed to hear.

Beckham did much better quitting than Lance or I either one thought he would, but he did replace one pacifier with another, when he started carrying around the snuggies that have always stayed in his bed!

I am not sure if it simply is a way to feel the void of the boob, or if he noticed that our little friend Audrey carried her lovie around when she stayed with us... but either way, he is paci mouthed and snugged armed, most of the day!

He still is not talking.  (hold your paci comments please)
He has said bat, gigi, night night, and more a few times each.
But don't even think about requesting a repeat, because he is tight lipped!

I have stalked down  talked to a few speech therapists and they all have come to the same conclusion...
He's a boy...
He's a 2nd child...
He is conquering motor skills with ease...
Give him time.

So, we will continue trying our best for words...
and answering to his grunts of commands.

He gets his point across well enough, like when he pokes his belly our real far, to tell us he wants to potty in the toilet.
He has yet to master it, but he gives it hell trying.
632 times a day.

My mom took him on Saturday and got him his first hair cut.
I thought I was going to cry when she sent me the pictures...
but now I like it.
He just looks more like a boy.
A sweet little groomed, boy.

Speaking of Saturday...
We had plans to tailgate at the TCU vs TECH game, but minutes before heading to the game, we got a phone call that Kaleb had scored 4 tickets and we were now going in.
That meant that my sister, who was planning on tailgating with us, was ticketless.  She was sweet enough, however, to acknowledged how few times Lance and I have dates away and told us to go on without her.

Her and my mom spoiled the boys with dinner, hair cuts, a movie and a toy from target.

We spoiled ourselves with an exciting game (that went into triple overtime) and dinner at Chuys with some sweet friends.

Sunday I had to work but Amanda and I ran around town after, searching for the perfect outfit for our girls weekend in November.
We laughed so much and though we both felt guilty leaving our men in charge all day...
We enjoyed ourselves.
And laughed.
A lot.

I came home to a clean house from my hubby...

and today he brought me surprise 'no reason' flowers.

Maybe my day away was just enough time for him to realize that there is a lot more to the staying at home gig, than just, staying at home!

Or maybe he just loves me.

Who knows?!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Over the weekend...

A cold front came in.
Maddox had soccer pictures and a game and we were almost frozen solid after it was all said and done.

Lance asked him on the way to the game if he was ready to play, and he said, "yes Daddy.  I did 100 push ups in my room this morning before we left!"

He didn't.  But he did make another goal this week, and I wish I had videoed it!
His kick took so much energy that he fell and somehow his head took the final tap into the goal.
It was so unorthodox that he had no idea he scored!
I was cheering and giving him a thumbs up but it wasn't until the game was over that he understood why?

Beckham and I were his only spectators this week so he only scored $2 rather than the loot he took home last game!
He did call his Pop though, as soon as we were in the car, to let him know he owed him a dollar.
That he will save.
Because he is a hoarder.
Like his momma.

I have mentioned before that the soccer organization we play for is a bit different that the others.
We only play 4 players on 4 players... no goalie... smaller fields... and tiny goals.
I love, love, love Upward.
The entire process of soccer is centered around Christ, more than soccer.
We don't take score.
We cheer for all of the kids.
Both team's parents sit mixed together.
The ref gathers all of the kids on the field before the game and prays with them.
And after the game, they each receive a sticker, acknowledging something great or Christ-like that they did.
(help another team mate up, pass the ball, etc.)
I am not competitive and I think this was hands-down the best place for us to start our sports career.

This week's half time speaker, gave her testimony about her marriage falling apart and then coming back together and finding Christ in the process.  She was doing her best to tackle it without tears, but her husband walked up and put his hand on her shoulder and she lost it.
And... you know me...
I did too.

I found my seat, ready to watch the second half of the game and I got a text:

I have 3 sister in laws.
I think the world of each of them in their own way.
This particular one, I am the least close to, and unfortunately we hardly see.
She is not someone I would just call or text at random, and from what I do understand about her, she's not one to pour her heart out, so this meant a whole lot to me.
More than she understands, honestly.

I do like her and think she is a wonderful momma and I did remember this day she was referring to..
But I did not remember this actual situation.
At all.

Twirling the boys is what I do.
Kissing them like a mad-man is part of my make up.
I love my kids loudly.
But I also discipline loudly and laugh loudly and cry loudly, and probably mess up loudly too.

I worry a lot that I am doing everything wrong.
I wonder if I am breaking them down when I let every emotion show, even those of disappointment or anger, and if my kids would be better off if I was someone who hung on to that middle margin, a bit better?

I have tried to learn to control myself over these 4 years,
And though parenting has been a constant learning curve and full of adjustments, I don't think the middle fits me.
They know when I am upset, but they both understand the magnitude of love I have for them and how proud and overwhelmed I am with happiness they give me too.

I guess I just appreciated her words of affirmation and I wanted to remember them.

And it reminded me that it is important to tell people when they move you.
It certainly made my day.
And possibly my week.
Probably the way I parent too....
obviously people are always watching... good and bad.

After soccer, we grabbed lunch to go from Chickfila and then turned the trunk of my car and a basket full of blankets into a watching zone for the airshow.

Beckham and I left after an hour or 2, because he was restless and tired and ready to go...
Maddox toughed out the cold with his Daddy, until the end.

B was asleep, 2 minutes back on the road.

Last night I had my 10 year high school reunion.
My mom is camping and Lance is being stubborn about asking his family to help, so I had to go alone.

I did chop off my bangs before I left and then panicked because I wasn't sure if I liked them but there was no going back.
My friend Katie didn't even recognize me for a second but immediately thought I looked like Zooey Deschanel...
And crazy enough, this picture is who I used as my reference.

Yeah... it's a stretch...
But still.
The bangs?
You dig?

We only graduated with 42 kids in my class, but we only had 11 people, I think, turn out last night.
Nonetheless, we had a great time together and I am glad I went.

I made it in around 1:00am and we had a cookout at the church that hosts Maddox's soccer, this morning.
Maddox begged to wear this tie with his outfit...
and I thought it was funny, so why not?!

We showed up a little late, so we didn't check the kids in, instead they sat with us through the service before the luncheon.

This church is much smaller than Gateway and we have never kept the kids with us so it was work an experience, to say the least.

In the midst of the sermon, the pastor was talking about accountability and asked the rhetorical question, "Say it... Hold me accountable."
And Maddox belted out, from the back row, "hold me accountable".
Quickly all eyes were on us and giggles filled the room and Maddox just put up his hand and said, "I said that."  Proud as ever.

After the yummy BBQ with the airshow still going on overhead, we came home for a family nap.

It felt good, and then Lance headed out to play softball and the boys and I snuggled up and played.

Beckham decided tonight that he was ready to add another word to his vocabulary.
He now says, "momma", "dadda", "bubba", "dipe dipe" (diaper), and "BAT"!
He did it 4 separate times, for Lance and I separately, so I think it is fair to take it out of the fluke category!
You can bet we will be all about playing with bats tomorrow to keep this up.
And then moving on to ball?

I completed another lab this evening and am about to head back to bed.

This week coming up is my final week in my 2 classes.
I have a quiz, a paper, 2 labs and 2 tests due.
Add that to keeping my friend's baby 2 mornings, and working in the office 2 mornings and taking call 3 nights...
I am going to be pulling my hair out.

And infusing my bloodstream with coffee!

See you in a week.
When the torture is over!