Tag Archives: birthdays

A birthday and a birth story

Yesterday our sweet girl turned 12.  12!!!  How can that be?  In a blink of an eye, that’s how.  A blink.  Tip from me to you:  don’t blink.

In honor of her birthday, I will offer up her birthDAY story.  Always fun, right?  If that’s not your thing, then click away because here I go.

In my heart of hearts, I always knew we’d have 3 kids.  Just knew it.  When we had 2 boys everyone assumed we’d “go for the girl”, whereas I just knew we’d have a 3rd…gender aside.  (and then we ended up with 4……so go figure, but this is the story of our 3rd)

We never found out the gender of any of our kiddos.  I was working in the radiology department which was always tricky because I had my ultrasound buddies at the ready to take a peek, however, I just love surprises and how do you top THAT surprise?

My pregnancy with our girl was not any different from the boys (aside from no morning sickness) and I already had 2 boys complete with all the trucks, matchbox cars, sandbox, rain boots and plaid shirts, I honestly didn’t think we’d have a girl and that was OK.

At the end of my pregnancy I explored induction with my OB.  I really don’t enjoy being pregnant, the last month is brutal and I was ready to sleep on my stomach again.  Selfish, I know and hats off to those of you who go late…God.  Bless.  You.  Anyhow, things were looking favorable and so we scheduled a date 5 days prior to her due date.  It was weird.  And it was kind of nice.  I’m a planner and it was good to plan for my sister to come stay with the boys, make some meals ahead, pack a bag, etc, etc, etc.

We were at the hospital at 6 a.m. and it was probably about 9ish by the time we were settled in and Pitocin dripping.  Funny, how writing this 12 years later some memories are fuzzier than others but, for me, that day, the Pitocin got labor rockin’ and rollin’ all kinds of quick like.  (Compared to a false start and all day labor with #1 and an all-nighter with #2).  By 10:30 a.m., maybe 11, I was hot for the anesthesiologist.  ANY anesthesiologist carrying a big needle to be stuck in my back.  Again, mega props to all who go au natural…as for me….the epidural is my friend.  A dear, dear, SHARP and point friend, but a friend!!

The rest of the labor went the usual pattern, cramp, rest, cramp, rest, ramp it up and repeat…however, with the epidural you look at the screen and say “Gee, THAT was a big one!”  Only so long though.  Then you begin to feel each rise and fall and baby wiggling into the gate ready to go.  Such it was with this one anyway.

Just before 2, I asked the nurse to check because it was getting quiiiiiiiiite painful and I didn’t need to see the monitor graph to know, it was getting all kinds of close.  The nurse confirmed my suspicions and alerted the Nurse Practitioner.  When she came into the room seconds later, I told her “I’m going to push”.  She said “Wait for me to get my gloves on”, to which I replied, “You better hurry”.

2 seconds and 2 pushes later (12 years later and I’m still pretty sure it went down pretty much just like that), she and my OB (who almost missed the party) announced, “It’s a girl!”

My response, “What do we do with a girl?”  Seriously.  My husband laughed.   It’s on the video.  We figured it out quickly and the introduction to pink and fun fashions was so fun.  Still is.  This girl.  Stole my heart.  Still does.

Happy birthday, sweetness!!

PicMonkey Collage

This card: made by little sis, given to big sis. Just too sweet!!


Birthday breakfast. Chocolate chip pancakes. Whipped cream. Go big or go home.


Did y’all know about these? Hubby’s cousin gave these to our birthday girl….yum!!! She shared them with all the littles she helped out with at Religious Ed. She’s now their favorite.


Ice cream cake, double layer. Boring. No decoarations. Delicous. No complaints.


Birthday girl and Alaskan cousin


Grampa trying to get birthday girl to not be camera shy….the 10 yo certainly isn’t !!

Quick Takes, Mom Guilt, Exercise and MORE!

Time again for the weekly wrap up, seems that’s my most consistent day to blog…probably because it’s a quick summary and I can knock it out before the household is up and roaring along and/or I can start it up before I go to bed…Work really gets in my way of blogging, however, since it allows for the basic necessities I suppose I’ll zip it.  So you can join in and be sure to check in on Jennifer Fulwiler, the new Catholic reality star….(now THAT is an untouched niche in reality TV!!) and her weekly buddies with 7 Quick Takes and see how their week is shaking down!  AH, but THIS week QT is hosted by the hilariously funny Grace @ Camp Patton…she is completely addictive, don’t say I didn’t warn YOU!!

1.  As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve joined in with Clare et al. @ Peak313 for her 5 week challenge.  Basically a great accountability challenge with a Christian theme focused on spirit (see below for her super cute cutout reminder for memory verse #1), mind (wrapping mine around treating my body as the temple it IS instead of waiting for the fit-fairy to show up…she’s late apparently…), and body (exercise videos, workout suggestions and inspirational success stories)….the whole package.  She has mentioned prizes which has whetted my competitive spirit ( a little), but I really like the whole idea and she’s just so perky and encouraging…

Memory verse week 1 from Peak313 challenge! It’s not too late to join….

2.  Along those lines of building healthy minds AND bodies in this house, a friend recommended this documentary on Netflix (instant queue!!) America the Beautiful 2:  The Thin Commandments.  With 2 teenage boys in the house and one girl walking the line of puberty and the other totally immersed in the cheer life, it’s a message that can’t be touted enough.  In words.  Actions.  Example.  Man, this parenting stuff is tough!!

3.  For some inspiration, check out Lizzie Velasquez and her book, Be Beautiful, Be You.  What a strong message for my girls (and boys) both ways….on judging AND disregarding what others think of you.  Rise above???  She is soaring.

4.  The opposite of inspirational…..I won the “Loser Mom” award this week.  Despite having my daughter’s 5th grade teacher conference in my phone AND on my work calendar, I still managed to completely space it.  To make matters worse, it caused my DD to be late to her after school music practice and she didn’t get enough time and…..<sigh> won’t be playing the water drum this year, only the hand drum.  Which she played last year.  Ugh.  Dagger to the heart.  To ice the cake…..THIS is what I was doing when I could/should have been at the conference:

Yup. That’s me…resting in my car at lunch. Enjoying the 80 degree weather and breeze whilst reading a book. Niiiiiice.

**disclaimer, I usually do conferences in the a.m. because our work schedule is so hectic in the afternoons that it’s too crazy to leave.  Still.  I hang my head.  DD is over it, but this will live on in my Mom guilt “hall of shame”….

5.  This week our Saturday sports consist of 2 HOME games.  Let the angels sing!!!  We will be done by 1.  My feet are doing the happy dance.

Also on Saturday.  We will welcome a second TEENAGER into the house.  YIKES!!!  How is this happening?!?!?!?  I’m just not old enough for this.  Our nutty boy.  Our sensitive boy.  Our competitive boy.  Our smart boy.  Our driven boy.  Who is 5’8”!!  WHAT?!?!?  What happened to my fuzzy little hair boy with the infectious smile and laugh who made his entrance on the heels of a hurricane mid-evacuation of half the state?  He’s a big boy with an infectious smile and laugh.    someone slow this train down!!

Crazy boy bringing out my inner nut…

6.  In WWW. news this week, I’ve been venturing further into Twitter…mainly because I feel cut-off from the world during the day and it’s a great source for news, however, I’m also enjoying keeping up with various bloggers and podcasters and famous people I admire throughout the day as well.  I tweet a little, but nothing like some of the people on there…WHOA!  crazy, I tell you.  You can follow me if you want, maybe I’ll get over 24 followers….wooooooo…or follow me here and boost me out of the 70s….double woooooo.

I also had a Pinterest success this week with PB and Nutella Crescent rolls.  I blogged about it earlier this week.  It was enough of a hit that I may possibly feel inspired to tackle something bigger this weekend; perhaps that herb garden or the back porch project….hmmm.  Stay tuned…

7.  It’s Friday.  So that means.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can make it through this day!  I usually take above mentioned boy to McDonald’s for a McCafé on Fridays before school (his teachers love me).  I’ll hit the gym at lunch.  And the weekend (for me) starts @ 5:30 p.m. If you are in Dubai…it started yesterday 😉

Time to get rockin’ people.  Have a great weekend!!

Martha, your enterprise is safe. For now….

Our youngest turned 9 last week and since I had the day off for her birthday, I agreed to make the cake she requested:  Red velvet with cream cheese icing AND chocolate with chocolate icing….layered up.  OK.  No prob.  I am sure her vision was something like this:

OK, maybe we watch too much Cake Boss….besides she knows me too well. I don’t even have a tiny square pan like the top layer!!

**image by yumsugar.com

More likely, her visions were of this type of cake…(just imagine some chocolate layers between the red velvet….)

I actually HAVE made a few layered numbers sorta, kinda similar to this. Really. I just can’t find the pictures right now…..
Image by southernliving.com

Off to Publix I went.  And lo and freaking behold, there was not ONE red velvet cake mix.  WTHeck!??!  So, I went on my phone, pulled up a recipe (which took FOREVAH–the signal is lousy in that store!) and procured the ingredients.  Confident of my preparations and time frame, back home I went.

Turns out, between the two cake batters I had enough for cupcakes, too!  BONUS!  This was going to be a spectacular cake.

When I began to smell burning cake (8 minutes before the timer went off) I quickly removed the pans and checked for done-ness.  With the exception of one pan, everything was ready.

The problem was that the red velvet layer cooked too quickly on the bottom.  So I brought out my serrated knife to cut off that portion.  The cake itself was moist and lovely, hence…the darn thing began to crumble as I cut off the burnt portion.

Crumble-palooza, Summer 2012!!

The issues continued as the second pan didn’t QUITE come out intact (apparently I missed a spot with the spray…)

I decided on making the best of it.  I cut the red velvet layer in two, turned it upside down and began to frost.  Then layering with the chocolate layer and “gluing” it together with frosting–there is no such thing as too much frosting, by the way.  Topped it with the red velvet layer and then used cupcakes to hold the darn thing together and up (as for some reason it was now leaning to the side…).

As I surveyed the damage final result, I pondered running back to Publix and purchasing one of their ready-to-go FANCY SCHMANCY cakes, but my husband said, “it will still taste OK.”

As our daughter arrived home from VBS, I Happy birthday-ed her to death, oohed and ahhed over her 9-year-old self and buttered her up for the sell.  She paused as she took in the confectionary conundrum, listened to her sister as she assisted in the sell (God LOVE that girl!!!) and turned with the biggest smile ever, “That is so COOL!!!”.  Phew.  Crisis averted.

**on a side note, my girlfriend recently revealed to me that she often enjoys “Cake in a bag”, the result of an ALMOST  thrown away iced cake (can you even IMAGINE such a travesty!?!?!) and that yes, indeed, even if it looks awful, it DOES still taste good.  I was clinging to that hope.

So. For now.  Martha Stewart has nothing to fear.  Give me time and perhaps a little patience, attention to detail and a concern about what other people think…..and look out.  So, until then….VOILA!

ZEE Masterpiece, non?

Throw a bunch of candles on it and there you go! Smiles!!

The leftover carnage….and yes, it was AWESOME! (especially the red velvet part)

To recreate this baking WONDER, I pulled the Red Velvet recipe from HERE.  As for the rest.  Any chocolate cake mix.  And throw all your cares out the window and let ‘er rip!  Bon Appetit!!

Galations 5:22 -23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

First Friday and Quick Takes!

— 1 —

So.  Glad.  It’s.  Friday.  It’s been a busy couple of days for some reason and I am looking forward to some downtime this weekend.  I texted a friend today who’s been on my heart and asked her if there was anything I could pray for her.  She was fine and caught me up on the busy happenings in their family and just asked for prayers to be who God wants her to be in spite of and in the middle of all the busy.  And as tonight came to a (grateful) close, I realized I am so NOT who God wants me to be when I am tired and stretched too far.  And I really need to work on that.  really.

— 2 —

This week brought the beginning of the “Blog-Every-Day-In-May” challenge.  My friend Lea started it five years ago.  Ironic that she started it in May because it has to be THE busiest month of the year (next to December) with all the end-0f-the-school year activities and bustle and why wouldn’t you want to add to the craziness with blogging daily???  My other friend, Brite, calls it the challenge you love to hate–especially by the end!  I did get some interesting insight that apparently May is INTERNATIONALLY busy with the end of the year/semester as Ellie (in Ireland) is doing the calendar juggle as well.

— 3 —

It’s not too late to join our challenge.  Really you can join in at any time.  I’m not too serious and hard-core.  And if you don’t  post EVERY day, no biggie.  You can use words, pictures or both.  It’s all good!  Just comment and include your blog and I’ll add you to the roster below:






— 4 —

My girlfriend sent me my birthday present yesterday.  She’s way early and I opened it.  I can’t WAIT to shower this morning!!!  It’s a new shower scrub and bath gel called AWAKEN.  You can get it from Amanda HERE.  (Teacher gifts, hint, hint)  Shameless plug, but I really love Arbonne.  It is the bomb-diggety!!!  (to steal a phrase….)  I started using their skin care line when my face was SO dry when my oldest was a baby—14 years ago!!!!  Anyway, I love their makeup and skin care, but I don’t treat myself to the luxury of the scrubs and gels….so she treated ME!  I’ll just have to hide it from my girls…..

— 5 —

I am up WAY too early, but one hour from now and my workout will be over!  Woo hoo!  We were so busy yesterday at work, I didn’t get to the gym at lunch–worked straight through–but I did manage to squeeze in a walk when I got home to save my sanity.  somewhat.  That may be a lost cause!

— 6 —

Hubby’s tomato plants are growing like crazy and we even have little tomatoes already.  It’s only been about 4 weeks.  maybe 5.  Last week he planted cucumbers and they are sprouting, too!  Our first foray into gardening.  Very exciting.  He gets all the props though, I’m just standing back watching and he’s doing a great job!!  I’ll get some herbs to add to the mix this weekend and I foresee SALSA in our summer future!!

— 7 —

As another week comes to a close, may your weekend be blessed, whatever it brings.  Hug your babies, because tomorrow they’ll be 6 inches taller than you and one foot out the door.  Enjoy each day because it truly is a PRESENT.

Now, go grab a cuppa somethin’ and join Jen and everyone else for the Friday recap!  Blessings!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Party sucess…another birthday for the books!

Our oldest girl is now in the “double digits”.  WOW.  Not entirely sure how that is even possible.  Once I started contemplating the reality of that knowlege; I realized we will have a 15 year-old-driving-permit kid AND a 13 year old by summer’s end, not to mention the baby turning 9.  Heart palpitations, check.  Life rolls on.  Like a locomotive. With no brakes.  Down a steep and icy hill.  <sigh>  and that’s the blessing, right? God’s gift: The present.   We wake up.  On the other side of the dirt and we can experience everything each day brings.  Even if it’s realizing these little kids aren’t so little anymore.  Which is why I LOVE to make such a big deal over their birthdays.  Not the over-the-top,MTV- pimp-my-birthday, big deal, but a SPECIAL deal.  It’s their day.  And we celebrate it. All day!!!

Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.  Yes, please!  Lunch with mom @ school–Publix sub!  Dinner of choice:  chicken soft tacos!  Family birthday cake with siblings, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents–but of COURSE–with a homemade ice cream cake!  Delish.  Wrapped up with a birthday party with classmates and neighbors on the weekend.  And here’s how it went down…..

Dramatic Fanatic is our go-to place for a home mystery birthday party.  They’ve got it all, invites, thank you’s, the whole play. Good stuff!  Last year I printed it up the day before the party.  No costumes.  No rehearsal.  and guess what?  HUGE hit!  Huge, I tell you!!  So this year, we printed it up a week before the party and sent the character parts out with the invites, costumes encouraged (but not required).  We kicked dad and the boys OUT.  (There was going to be way too much noise of the high pitch levels)  We held it mid afternoon 2-4:30.  (a perfect time…chores were done in the a.m., lunch was over,  little snacks were ready and plenty of time to relax afterward before dinner, etc).  The girls were costumed up, for the most part and brought their drama.  It was so fun.  Everyone really got into their parts and there was plenty of hooting and hollering going on and accusations of “who done it”.  Prizes were given (after voting) for best constume and most dramatic. The whole theme. Sheer brilliance.  No goodie bags, but sent the girls home with a litle Valentine treat.  Seriously low stress and high fun.

And now, apparently our youngest is ready to bring it back for her summer party.  Aye, Aye, Aye!  At least I have a few months to prepare!  God is good.  All the time!!

Happy birthday, sweetness!

Oh, yeah…still no pics….laptop is with the Geek Squad though and hope to be up and running this week!  Fingers crossed, prayers offered up!!  I’ll have to do a photo post on all the missing pics from my posts…that could be kind of fun!