Monday, August 29, 2011

Boys Will Be...

Boys will be dare devils. Boys will be super heroes. Boys will be army men. Boys will be boys. Of course sometimes these imaginative adventures come at a price.

On Thursday night I decided to head outside and enjoy some left overs in my favorite Adirondack chair while the kids ran around and got some fresh air. This summer has been so extraordinarily hot that we have to wait until dusk before it's even bearable. It was 8:15 pm when I watched Z fall out of a tree and gash his shin open on the little branch that came down with him. He was only about 4 feet up and it wasn't a bad fall, but it all happened in such a way that the wound was extremely deep and we had to take him to the ER where they administered 5 stitches.
It was not easy to comfort him as they held him down and stuck a needle through his numbed skin. He looked at me with buckets of tears dumping out of his eyes screaming "Make them stop. Owww! Mommy hold me!" I tried to keep it together, but it was too much for me to watch and I had a few tears sneak out as I told him how it was all going to be okay and that we would go get some ice cream when it was all done. Ice cream makes everything better, or maybe that's just me.
I can only hope that these hospital visits are coincidental and not a foreshadowing of our future. Z has had surgery, a broken collar bone, a ripped off toenail, and now 5 stitches all before his 4th birthday! I have never experienced any of these things and I am almost 30. He always bounces back quickly, but at the rate we are going we would be able to send him to the college of his choice with the amount that we are spending on medical bills.
Any advice from mothers of boys or girls with a history of injury? I think I am going to need your wise council, that or I just need to hire a full time doctor.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I love words. That's what I've been talking about this week. I just like reading and writing, even though I am not that great at grammar or spelling. The other day I had to fill out a questionnaire using pen and paper and it was so hard to have to rely on the spell check in my brain! Seriously, I am ever so grateful for the little red lines under my words that indicate that questionnaire is not spelled questionaire (I'm using a real life example here).

My love of words is probably why I am not a huge fan of texting abbreviations or initialisms. Although I do use them some, I am pretty old fashioned. I wrote a post about this once called textiquette. Times are changing though and these initialisms are becoming more acceptable. They are even starting to show up in the dictionary. I don't really know why. The should have a separate dictionary for acronyms because they are not really words, they are letters that represent several words. It could be called the all caps dictionary. But no one consulted me about this and so we are officially introducing several new acronyms into the Oxford dictionary such as LOL and OMG.

It was no more than 10 years ago I remember chatting with a couple of friends debating the meaning of the term LOL. One of them said it was laugh out loud. I said I thought it meant lots of love, and the other girl said we were both wrong and confidently declared that it stood for little old lady. After some research I found out that we were all right, and lots of luck could been thrown in there too. LOL began in the 1960's and did in fact mean little old lady, but for the current generation it obviously means laugh out loud and if you don't believe me you can look it up in the dictionary along with sexting and wassup. To be honest, it kind of irks me that misspellings and initialisms are making their way into the beautiful English language. I'll probably come around, I usually do (like with texting in general), but can't smiley faces be right side up? I drove past a car that someone had written on with shoe polish and it had a message followed by a colon and parenthesis, or in other words :). I totally understand using this emoticon when typing and maybe she was just trying to be cute, but my fear is that the next generation will not even know that smiley faces are not supposed to be sideways!!! I digress.

I am not trying to be a LOL, but does anyone else wonder if electronic communications will change the way we speak and write forever?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's the Word

We know the English language is constantly evolving. Especially in the digital era that we live in new words and trendy phrases are popping up left and right. But when does a new word actually become a word, like a real word? I hunted around the web for a while and made some new discoveries about this process, particularly from

Believe it or not there are actually people that get paid to spend hours reading magazines, books, and other published materials in search of new words.

I can picture it now

"Honey, would you get your nose out of the sports section and take out the garbage!"

"Quiet, I am tying to work over here!"

At the Merriam-Webster office they call this activity “reading and marking”. If they find a new word or new variation of a word they mark it along with what context it is written in. Then the word gets put into a computer as a citation. From there it is reviewed by someone called the “definer”. Once the word is used in a substantial number of citations, that come from a wide range of sources, over the course of several years, then the definer determines it’s meaning and whether or not it should be added to the dictionary.

It's serious business, but there area also a few exceptions. If a word makes a enough of an impact to look like it is going to be an important word that is likely to last it just might get to skip the lengthy process and jump right into the dictionary. This was the case with the word AIDS in the 1980’s.

So we know that new words are making their way into our modern vocabulary, but what about the old words, do they ever die off? Absolutely. Take Snollygoster for example. Snollygoster was removed from the dictionary almost a decade ago and it means "a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician”or at least that is what it USED to mean, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Learning a Language

Me: Z, it's time to get your shoes on.

Z: I will, I will, I promise!

Me: Do you even know what that word means? (I asked him because at that time he was "promising" everything!)

Z: Yes. A promise means that I will give you your satchel back.

He had been watching Tangled and there is a scene where Rapunzel says she always keeps her promises and she promises to return Flynn's satchel.
Obviously Z didn't get the definition quite right, but he was starting to implement a new word and piecing together how it is used.

I love watching this process happen right before my eyes. Last week I had another little conversation and I posted it on Facebook. I got such a great response from it that I thought I should share it on here too.

Z and J were sitting on the bed and I walked in the room and started putting laundry away.

Z: "Mommy you are interesting."

Me: "Yeah, I am pretty complicated."

Z: "Daddy, this could be difficult for us."

That kid just cracks me up! I remember when he was barely one he said the word "appeased."He was just parroting me, but still, it caught my attention. Same thing when he verbalized his feelings at age two by telling me he was "disappointed". Although, he is almost 4 now and he sounds like he is two when he has a temper tantrum, but for the most part he takes after his mama in his love for words.

On the other hand SJ is still not interested in using words. We try and coax her to talk, but we'll just have to wait until she is ready. She points a lot and she can say mama and bubba (for brother), but she doesn't even do that all the time and she is a year and a half. That's okay though. I am totally comfortable with them learning at their own pace.

I think language, expression, and communication are fascinating and beautiful. My children may develop in these areas in different ways, but either way as a parent it is a joy and a privilege for me to get to watch it happen.

What about your kids? Did it feel like they were never going to start talking or that they were never going to STOP talking, and did they learn at the same age?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

3rd Annual Blogiversary Poem Part 4

At the end of March spring was in bloom and I was all about fun in the sun

First I wrote about baby clothes then showed a pic of baby with none

In April we experienced a little torndado and worked on entering the gardening scene

And then I talked about some new additions and ways that we are going green

I loved visiting to Austin Texas with J and two of our closest friends

Then the next week I talked about art and I just didn’t want the fun to end

Week 41 we got a new roof and learned some lessons in patience and stealing

Then a lesson in grief when a baby chick died which for a while left me reeling

Then I talked about packing and showed some pics of what I wore when I was gone

Z had been learning lots of new things and that's what I talked about all week long

After that I did a little series about my perspective as a pastor's wife

Then I shared about loosing my brother and the impact that he had on my life

I turned 29 , had some birthday fun and gave a glimpse of our urban farming

In July we were gone for several weeks and traveled a distance that could seem alarming

When I finally got home it was really hot, but I still felt like it was good to be back

Now it's time to for another year of blogging because blog writing is where it's at!

Friday, August 19, 2011

3rd Annual Blogiversary Poem Part 3

Check here for part 1, and here for part 2.

I shared some pictures of Z in his glasses because he was so stinkin' cute

Then the poor little guy broke his collar bone and he got pneumonia too

Thanks to being snowed in I had a little time to read and clean my room

the next week Z started feeling better after two weeks of feeling gloom.

In February I wrote about our safari and baby SJ’s latest addiction
The month was actually full of cool stuff that really helped jump start my system

I blogged about parenting and then showed photos of my girl who just turned one

Then I had to share at least 2 posts about all the cool birthday party fun

On week 32 I wrote about sleep, libraries, imagination and more

And I had a series on once a month cooking where I shared freezer tips galore

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

3rd Annual Blogiversary Poem Part 2

Read part 1 here.

I gave some updates about baby girl and what she was up to on week twelve

Then shared lots of pictures of the kids when they dressed up as Woody and Belle

November 6th was the big day! We celebrated marriage in a beautiful setting

Then on week 16 I finally moved on to talking about something besides our wedding

On thanksgiving week I was feeling thankful, but then again I guess everyone was

And after that I was feeling cheerful because we started getting ready for Christmas

Week 19 I shared some of life’s moments. The ones I want to remember well

Followed by a visit to Bethlehem and a few Christmas songs like the First Noel

The week of Christmas I lost my mind when we headed out for holiday trip

But it didn’t take long to cheer up as we celebrated our biggest Christmas yet

I did a recap of Christmas week followed by some new year’s goals

It’s funny how much it snowed this season and yet somehow it never got old

Monday, August 15, 2011

3rd Annual Blogiversary Poem Part 1

Here is the next rhyming recap of what I wrote about in my 3rd year of blogging. It's divided up week by week and begins with the first of the 5 part series.

On August eight one year ago my blog was up and looking fine

Then suddenly my domain was gone and there was no blog on August nine

But by the 16th I was back in business and wrote my blogiversary poem

And after that I talked about babies and all the different places they go

I talked about texts, twitter, and skype on week 5 of blogging last year

Then my little boy turned three and told us his sister wanted a beer

I shared about a special notebook showing how dreams can become real

Week 8 the topic was all about SJ including a look at baby's first meal

I wrote all about the silly gossip I had read about a few celebrities

Then I talked about being pro life and issues that are important to me

That's when I took a little blogging break I guess I was busy with other things

Like getting ready for our vow renewal and shopping for new wedding rings

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Photos I've Been Taking

This is my first FULL week back since being away for almost all of July and it's been a packed schedule.

On Saturday I was hired to do my first photo booth. If you've never seen this latest photo booth trend you probably will soon. It's popular at proms, weddings, and parties and how it is done can vary. Sometimes it's a rentable photo booth that instantly prints out 4 consecutive photos just like you might have seen at the mall. Or sometimes it's a little studio area with props and costumes. That's what it was like at this 18th birthday party that I photographed. Here I am with my lovely assistant and BFF.
Then throughout the week there were lots of other fun photo shoots, but I can't share them yet until the magazine is published in October. Can you imagine trying to do seasonal shoots for October in 105 degree weather!? That's how it works though. I am always shooting 2 months in advance so that they have time to do layout, print, and have the issues arrive at your house by the first of the month.

Yesterday the only pictures I took were of Z's firetruck bed. It's funny how last summer I did a post about how much he has grown up and I posted this photo of his new toddler bed
and less than a year later he upgraded to our adult guest bed and now that is where he sleeps every night (until he joins us in our bed). We got the fire truck bed from Craig's List for $50 and today I sold it on Craig's List for $60. I was a little bummed though because I posted it with bedding for $75 and the buyer offered $60 then later I had someone else inquire and I guess I could have sold it for full price. Oh well, live and learn. I am still happy to have made a anything off of it.

Speaking of my little boy growing up, his 4th birthday is 3 weeks away and I've got a Veggie Tales party to plan. My friend came over to do crafts last night, but we ended up just hanging out and eating homemade bread. Next time though we are going to get serious and I am going to make a Bob tomato pinata. Today I started working on the invitations which I am super excited about.

More to come!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Blogging Senior Year

Yesterday was my 3rd bloggiversary. I am currently in my fourth year of blogging which makes me a senior right? After 3 years of posting an average of 250 posts a year is there anything left to write about? You bet there is! I am looking forward to this next year of blogging and have plenty of topics up my sleeve. Here are 10 things you can expect to read about on messy mom for my "senior year".

1. The blogiversary poem- I have had a tradition of writing a blogiversary poem where I do a rhyming recap of the entire year of posts, and I plan on doing that, but betweeen the big road trip, playing catch up at work, and having everyone in our house get sick I am a bit behind.

2. Unplugging- This idea is something that has been brewing in me since I read Hamlet's Blackberry back in April. I even have some posts written, but this series is so important to me that I have been waiting to make sure it is just right, but it is about time I go ahead and put it out there.

3. Crafting- One of my friends and I have recently committed to a craft night. We're going to try a bunch of stuff like soap making, and homemade reusable bags. If any of it turns out I'll share it on here!

4. School- Whether it's talking about how things went at my 10 year class reunion, or the possibility of Z starting preschool next year I am sure there will be some posts on the topic of education.

5. Cooking- We still love freezer cooking and gardening around here, so be on the look out for some cooking posts.

6. Photography- Can you believe it's been almost 10 years since my first paid job as a photographer? There has to be some time devoted to this topic for sure.

7. Renovations- J and I are pumped and ready to get this old house completely remodeled. We've covered a lot of ground, but there is still a lot left. Of course I'll have plenty of before and after photos in the event that we accomplish anything.

8. Family Fun Time- It was one of my new years resolutions and we've been enjoying lots of it. I hope to share some of our successes in hopes to inspire other families with small children.

9. The Kiddos- The thing I get complemented about the most on my blog is having pictures and updates about the kids. They make blogging easy.
Here they are licking the spoons after helping me make brownies.

10. Thrift Fashion Show- No promises on this one, but I have had requests for a comeback of the thrift store fashion show and I will do my best to make that happen!

On our road trip this past month I bumped into readers from all over the country. People that I know, but didn't know were reading! I've always said I would continue to write even if no one reads it, but it would be like an ice cream sundae with no toppings. Community is what makes blogging so sweet, thank you all for being a part of that. Here's to another year.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Journey Through the Past

One of the most special and unexpected aspects of "our biggest road trip ever" was making connections with people and places from my past.

J's niece (don't let the title fool you, she's actually slightly older than me) lives in Iowa and we stayed with her and her family over night.
With our baby girls

The last time I saw her was the night Z was born. She just happened to be in town and we had talked about the possibility of me taking pictures of her newborn daughter on labor day, but it never happened due to the fact that I was in labor on labor day and after leaving the family gathering I went to the birth center and had my son.
I'm the pregnant one in black and that's my niece sitting next to me on the left.

I also took a little trip down memory lane when I went to Michigan and got to hang out with a friend that I've known for 10 years.

Here we are about to go kayaking.

When I met her and her sister they worked at a little ice cream parlor. Now they both work at coffee shops. The difference is that they both had a huge role as designers of those establishments and currently manage the coffee shops themselves. Here is a picture of us before I had children and they ran businesses. Those were the footloose and fancy free days.
2005- That's me on the left and my MI friend on my right, and her sister, along with another friend.

The memories went back even further in Missouri when I met up with an old Highschool friend who I haven't even talked to in about 10 years.
Our little dinner meeting in KC. That's SJ in the middle.

I don't remember exactly when we met, but one of my first memories with him was when we both starred in the musical Bye Bye Birdie at the school. I am sure he would love me posting this picture of him "in character".

Truth be told, as Conrad Birdie he was actually the star, but my role as Mrs. Macafee wasn't too bad.
I am the one in the apron obviously. This was my family in the play.

As we made our way across the country and into Kentucky the memories really started coming back when we visited the city I grew up in. Here is a photo of my brother, his daughter, my kids, and me.
And here is my brother at about 3 years old with our mom at that same place in 1980.
A lot has changed in 30 years!

By this time I was starting to feel very nostalgic and I wondered if our old house was still around.
My little brother and our house behind us in 1987.

I wasn't sure because our neighbor's house was gone and there has been a lot of construction in that area. When I heard that it was still there I told J we had to go see it. I felt a little uneasy knowing that the house I had lived in for 12 years had been abandoned at one time and basically desecrated by some alleged drug dealers. But the moment we pulled in the driveway I felt a sense of relief. The house had been restored.
The same house in 2011

It looked beautiful and cared for. I knew by the kids shoes on the porch and playground in the backyard that there must be children that live there now making their own childhood memories out on the hillside.
My brother walking up the driveway in 1988.

The driveway in 2011

I went up the old concrete steps that my smaller feet had walked on so many times and I knocked on the door, but no one answered.

I looked out across the yard where we had hunted for easter eggs, played in our tree house, and parked our old rusty bikes. It was a strange feeling, but it was comforting. My childhood home was still there and it was loved. Out of all the other long lost connections I had made on this trip this was one of the most significant. After taking a few photos and getting back in the car with J and the kids, we pulled out of the driveway and I felt at peace. Between 3,000 miles I had seen a lot and been reminded of all the places I have been, all the way from the night my first child was born, to the very house that I was born in. Our road trip had come to a close, but the bigger journey continues on.
SJ and Z at Sawyer Point 2011.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home Is Where The Heat Is

Yesterday at around 8:00 am we finally made it full circle back to Texas. We traveled over 3,000 miles, were gone for over 3 weeks, and went through over 10 states and one Canadian province. It's been quite the trip, but boy was I ready to get back home. I dreamt of sleeping in my own bed, my kids making a mess of their own house, and having full access to my own closet and finally my dream has come true. It doesn't matter that I went back to work yesterday, or that Zion got sick because I am home. I don't even mind that the chickens ate the entire garden while we were gone and J has threatened to eat them for dinner. I don't even mind the heat. Oh the heat. It's horrible! SJ brought me a swimsuit to put on her and she wore it all day. We never swam, but I guess it was her way of coping with the warmer temperature and she was happy.

In Canada and the upper peninsula everyone appologized for the scorching temperatures and we had to laugh. It was kind of a disappointment that we didn't get to wear the wintery clothes we had packed, but 88 is still 20 degrees cooler than 108. It's been a record breaking summer and today is the 34th day in a row for DFW to have triple digit weather. It's a dry heat too. It will slap you in the face when you open the door. Yesterday my Facebook and instagram were flooded with people chiming in about the heat.
Our youth pastor had this photo
with the caption "Yes, that does say 113"

and immediately after that I find this post by J of a crayon that had melted in his car
and he writes "a warm welcome is nice but seriously 110*?"

I haven't posted my thoughts on the latest weather conditions, but if I did I would have say "Not cool Dallas, so not cool."