Monday, January 31, 2011

Hot Dog Theory

The hot dog theory was introduced to me last night by Shawn and I LOVE it!  Her BFF, Tonya came up with the hot dog theory and how it pertains to natural selection and I, literally, laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants!  I'm going to re tell it the best I can and since Tonya doesn't read my blog, I can get away with embellishing! Ha!  (this is why EVERYONE should read my blog! ha!)

The stupidity of America all began when someone's mamma decided their child wasn't smart enough to chew up a hot dog.  Momma cut the hot dog up for baby dumb dumb and got in the way of natural selection.  If a person isn't smart enough to know to chew, maybe nature should take it's course!

That sounds catty and mean, and of course I don't think babies should be subjected to choking to death on hot dogs but it does make you think!

I have been following this story about Dennis Kucinich, who is a congressman from OH.  Basically, he is suing a restaurant because he was too stupid to eat their food.  This guy sounds like a complete tool anyway but seriously, how do these morons get elected?  Oh yeah, by those people who can't chew hot dogs!  I know, someone (Greg possibly) will inevitably bring up the old story of GW versus the killer pretzel, but he didn't sue the pretzel maker!  And, that's all the defense I'll offer for that!

Then, you have this woman who can't walk through the mall without taking a dip in the fountain.  She was texting and walking and the two just don't work together!  I wouldn't normally judge that, because lets be honest, it wouldn't be that surprising if it happened to me, but she took it too far!  She hired an attorney!  She said security should have done more!  LIKE WHAT?  Shoot her so she didn't fall in the fountain?  Perfect example of a time when the hot dog would have won!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Flowering Dogwood: Snow Cream

Snow cream always brings such great memories to me! I remember each time it would snow, I would scoot to Grandma and Grandaddy's house to make snow cream! Grandaddy would go out with his enormous stainless steel mixing bowl and gather the "perfect" snow and then we'd all make it together. Grandma would add chocolate for me because I thought you couldn't eat ice cream without chocolate! Grandma's recipe always included raw eggs so Liz's recipe is a little more modernly acceptable and I plan to put it to the test just as soon as we get another snow!


The Flowering Dogwood: Snow Cream: "Growing up in North Carolina, we did not get much snow during the winter months. So, naturally, when it did snow, it was a big event. Me, ..."

No Thank You!

I have strong opinions but I really don't think I know everything.  I think it's okay that I'm opinionated and I have strong feelings about politics.  I do wonder sometimes, when life has given me a little more experience if I'll still feel the same ways.  Maybe one day I'll just wake up and be a card carrying liberal Obama supporter...nah!

Now that I've stopped laughing, hysterically, at my own joke I'll finish!

I opened my blog the other day to show Keith a picture of my speeding ticket fiasco that I had posted.  When I opened it there was a picture of Obama on my advertisements column.  Often times I get these ads to "repeal Obama"  I've never clicked them because it seems a little silly to me.  However, on this day the ad said "RE ELECT OBAMA!" 

"WHAT THE..."  I said to Keith while he laughed hysterically at my disdain!  "I will take these google ads off of my page!  It is SO NOT worth the whole ten cents I've earned in my three months of blogging!  HOW IN THE HECK DID THIS HAPPEN?!?  Don't they even READ the content before they slap this crap on my blog?  Have I misrepresented myself some how?"

All, while Keith is still laughing!  Then he says, "It's probably Greg's fault!"  He was referring to the comments on my previous blog post, I'm Really NOT A Jerk.  Now, I'm all for blaming Greg for anything (he IS a liberal, after all!) but I re read his comments and I STILL don't get it!

Then, today, I got a text from Shawn where she said  "I get a lot of junk mail, guess which one made me lol and scream HELL NO!" 

She included a screen shot from her iPhone

If you think I have strong conservative opinions, you should meet Shawn!  Apparently whoever is running the Obama re election campaign is trying to bamboozle us into submission!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken Salad

I'm not a food blogger because as much as I like to cook, I usually either use someone elses recipes or I make it up as I go along and have no idea what I've done.  However, a couple of weeks ago I ate the BEST chicken salad sandwich  I've ever had and I tried to recreate it and I did so pretty well.

2 boiled chicken breasts shredded & cooled
4 Slices of crispy bacon, crumbled
4-6 tbs of lite mayonnaise
fresh chives
1 celery stalk cut into very small pieces
dash of thyme
dash or sugar
dash of basil
dash of garlic
dash of dill

Then I took a croissant and lightly toasted it, spread it on thick and it was yummy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Waste of Makeup!

That's what today was!

I wasn't feeling good when I woke up but I pressed on thinking that if I could get into the day I'd feel better.  I took Lydia to preschool, returned some things to the store, got gas, picked up some things at Whole Foods, then perused JoAnns for a few minutes because I was early to pick Lydia up.  As I was walking out of JoAnns I realized that I had forgotten to pick up pictures that Hadley needed for a school project.  I loaded Lydia into the car and we scooted to WalMart (which I hate but that's a blog for another day!) I got what we needed and decided to hurry to the other side of town to see if I could pick Belle up before Hadley got home from school. 

That's when the highlight of my day occurred...I got my first speeding ticket!  Some of you may laugh, if you knew how reckless I was in my younger years, but I NEVER got a ticket!  I had to have kids, drive a minivan, and drink starbucks before I got a ticket!  UGH!  I was going 17 over...I think a warning would have sufficed considering it was my first ever ticket, the officer didn't see it that way.  He did, however, knock it down to 15 over so I'd save a few dollars.  (I just looked at the back of the ticket and by marking it down, he saved me $5 WHOLE DOLLARS!  Shawn says he must have a heart of gold! Ha!)  I, honestly, didn't realize the speed limit was 30.  I should have, but I didn't.  I really thought it was 45 or at the very least,'s not!

I have a sinus infection, I haven't been sleeping well, I'm tired, I'm grouchy, and I'm hungry!  NONE of that worked on the very young version of Ponch who pulled me over. 

To add insult to injury, I called Keith to tell him.  I only called because I seriously considered NOT telling him and I felt guilty because something inside said "you shouldn't hide things from your husband" so I reacted by calling and confessing!  His reaction was initially pretty relaxed...

THEN, I said "I really thought the speed limit was 45."

"Is it posted 30 or 45?" he says, kinda snarky.

"I don't know, seriously" I reply

"Well, you were speeding, whether it was malicious or accidental, you were speeding" he says, in that tone!

"DUDE, I admitted I was speeding!  I wasn't TRYING to get a ticket today, it just happened...what's your problem?"  I was mad!

"Well, I'm driving downtown, and there's traffic, and..." he starts.

"I'm going to hang up now, bye"

"BYE" he replies curtly.

I stomped around the house, mad for about 10-15 minutes and then the phone rang again, I almost didn't pick up, but I did and it was Keith.  He apologized and we are fine now.

The best part of the ticket was that Lydia kept saying "mommy, why are we stopped in the road?  Mommy, what's that man doing at our window?  Why are you talking to that man?"  Over and over and over!  Then I texted Shawn during the pull over and she thought it was hilarious that I was texting her WHILE being pulled over!  If she only knew what else I was doing...

Yep, I took a pic!  Why not?  He's going to charge me $145, I might as well have a picture to remember it by, or at the very least-blog about!

So now I'm getting ready to go pick up the dog at the groomer and I'm hopeful for a quick (NOT speeding!) trip, then a good meal of potato soup and corn bread and hopefully an early bedtime for all!  Overall, though, I stand by my original statement; today was a waste of makeup!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What Do Clapping in Time and Eternity Have in Common?

"Don't put that on facebook either!"  she says.

"Darnit!" I thought as I laughed.

"ahh!  I could just see you sitting in your car before you leave, typing blank blank blank said...." 

Uproarious laughter from everyone in the room, because we ALL knew I was going to do it and she'd stopped me!

But, she didn't say I couldn't blog about it!  LOOPHOLE!

We could all use a little laughter in our lives now so I'm going to leave the name out but I'm going to share the story because, honestly, it's too good not to share!
There were a  group of amazing ladies, who I'm blessed to call friends, standing around chatting recently and we were talking about some heavy topics, cracking jokes, and having an all around good time.  The topic turned to baptism and what age or position in life is baptism appropriate.  What age is too young?  When you have a young child who wants to be baptized but you don't think they're ready, what do you do?  You don't want to discourage them from taking that leap but at the same time, it's scary to think of your baby making such a huge commitment at an early age.  We talked about the decision that a few kids had made and that some were discussing with their parents and I think we all reflected on how we would handle it when/if the time came.

One thing lead to another and I shared a story of a woman and her children who were sitting behind me at church on Sunday during worship time, this mom happened to be one of the people in the room.

I overheard the mom telling her children "try to clap with the beat" and they clapped, completely off beat. 

"Try to clap in time" she then told them and they continued to clap completely out of time of the song. 

It was the most hilarious thing I've heard and I needed a laugh so chuckled during the remainder of worship service.

This mom was in the room then made a comment about one of her children being baptized and said "if you can't clap to the beat or keep time during a song, you're in no position to make decisions about your eternity!"

So there you have it!  If your kids come to you with heavy spiritual questions, just ask them to clap a tune and your decision will be made!  ha!

Wouldn't it be nice if life decisions really were that easy?  God Bless!


After a long, emotional weekend I'm trying to get back to my brand of normal.  My heart still aches for my friend and she and her family are still constantly on my heart but I have to keep going.  I can't focus, solely on their tragedy and they wouldn't want me to.  In an effort to get back to normal, I'm trying to figure out what that means...

Sunday-Church, taught 2 year old Sunday school, barely heard a good sermon, had lunch and small group, came home and dozed through Despicable Me (again!)

Monday-MLK day so no school!  Straightened the house, went to Chuck E Cheese with friends, lunch at Chick Filet with the same friends, gave the kids a loooong bath.  Made a barely edible dinner from a new recipe (yuck!) promptly threw the recipe in the trash along with the leftovers, made delicious chocolate chip cookies with the girls!  Hung out with the kids some more til bedtime then put the kiddos to bed and watched the Bachelor with Shawn (via AT&T and FB) till Bob came over with HOA business.  Slept on the couch because Keith had to be at work at 3am!

Tuesday-Back to school for Hadley, Lydia went to preschool.  I bribed Lydia into submission then dropped her off at school, went to Goodwill (spent and insane amount of money!) had lunch from Jimmy Johns, watched an hour of reality TV, listened to "I LOVE THE 90's" while cleaning house. (Thank you Vanilla Ice for the booty shake vacuuming!) Made a yummy dinner of homemade tomato basil soup and grilled cheese.  I had a memory of Shawn making fillet of pb&j and started to share the humor but didn't know if it was appropriate.  (I've turned into one of "those" people who don't know how to act...)  Now I'm hanging out with the kiddos till basketball practice.

So, I guess this is normal!  I've felt a little subdued and melancholy all day but that will pass too and eventually life will go on.  It feels so harsh to say that or think it but as crass as it is, I guess it's true. 

I've tried to use this as an example that we aren't promised another day with anyone and I've been more patient with the kids and definitely less selfish.  For example, at bedtime the other night instead of rushing them to bed (as I have a tendency to do because I'm tired!) Lydia asked if we could look at the stars.  So, we turned the star nightlights on in both girls bedrooms and laid in each of their beds looking at the stars and telling star stories.  That was so much better than rushing to get a bath or sitting on the couch watching tv or reading.  Keith's accountability group has vowed to reconnect with their kids and that's a blessing.  We're all trying to take this as a lesson and I pray that we do, but I also pray that it never takes a tragedy to show us how much we love our families. 

So, as I try to figure out what normal means, my new normal is to cherish and thank God for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT I have with my children, the good ones, the hard ones, and the ones where I want to pull my hair out.  They are all blessings and I will forever look at them that way!

Friday, January 14, 2011

No Words

I've been plagued with this question all day...

Why are there no words at times you need them the most?

I have a very dear friend who is going through the most horrific thing I can imagine.  My friend lost her daughter this week.  Her beautiful five year old princess passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly.  Even as I type that sentence I cry and my heart aches.  My whole body hurts for my friend and her family. 

I spoke to Shawn today and when I saw her number on caller id on my phone, I prayed..."God, please let me say the right things, or at least keep me from saying the wrong ones."  Because, even I know, there are no right things to say now.  There is nothing I can say, do, think, or pray that will make this better.  As I listened to my friend talk I struggled to say something, anything that might make her life a little less painful, even for a second.

She is holding together even better than can be expected, but she knows that at some point the calm will go away.  I pray that God protects her  when that time comes. 

Marissa was born November 11, 2005.  The day after my nephew.  I was sitting at Bach Lunch when I got the call that she had made her grand entrance to the world.  I was giddy!  Shawn was my next door neighbor and our friendship went beyond borrowing a cup of sugar, which I did more than once, and into being amazing friends!  We had been pregnant together when I was pregnant with Hadley she was pregnant with Joey.  Then, almost immediately, she got pregnant with Marissa.  Shawn always said her OBGYN gave a discount if you had your babies within two years of each other.  I still don't know if that's true or not but she lived up to the challenge.

When Mike and Shawn were deciding on names for Marissa, Mike liked the name Amber and Shawn told him "no way, that name looks way too good in lights."  Shawn told Mike he had one job and it was to keep her off the tables and the polls!  I remember a few other names but was relieved when they decided on Marissa.

When Shawn would bring Marissa over or I would go to her house, if I dared pick her up, Hadley would get super jealous!  It always made me laugh because Hadley was such a daddy's girl and I would tell Shawn, "see what's coming!" because Keith would walk through the door and Hadley would forget anyone else was in the room.  It did come true, Marissa was just as much (if not more!) of a daddy's girl as Hadley is!

My first two years of being a mom, my memories are intertwined with Shawn's life and the prep, planning and 1st year of Marissa's.  I haven't been around Marissa in years but I know she was quite a spit fire and I'm saddened that we won't get the chance to see her set the world on fire.

I'm praying for Shawn and the entire family.  They are a great family, full of love, and I pray that God pulls them through this. 

I will leave by copying part of the obituary because it described Marissa better than I ever could.

She was a little diva who loved dancing and playing dress up. The rough and tumble side of Marissa allowed her to keep up with her brothers, and enjoy being outdoors playing soccer. Marissa's smile was sure to brighten the day and light up any room. She will be missed dearly by her family and friends

Monday, January 10, 2011

On A Lighter Note

I've been on a political rampage for the last couple of days so I feel like I need to lighten it up a little!  Unfortunately, Lydia's had an ear infection so my material is limited!

I've tried to beef up my exercise routine a little this new year (which didnt' take much! ha!) and I'm trying out different things to see what I like (or hate less) and what doesn't feel like it's killing me but I still know I'm doing something good.  I've learned, I don't hate sit ups, anything I can watch TV and do, I LOVE!  (my TV addiction will be an entirely separate blog someday!) I loathe and despise squats!  The devil himself created them when he was torturing a big booty'ed woman!  OMG!  I had plans of doing 50 squats and 50 sit ups, and lets just say I'm glad I started with the sit ups because 10 squats in and I was sweating and panting and near tears!  I'm sure there was some primal groaning going on but it was too unattractive to describe! 

A couple of nights ago, Lydia was bending over, nearly in half, and squatting up and down while making a growling noise.

"Lydia, what are you doing?" I asked

"My exercises," she panted in response

I yelled into the kitchen for Keith to come see and we both laughed at the site!  (oh how I wish there had been a video camera near me!)

Bam!  She collapses in the floor, ever so dramatically!
"Those exercises are killing me!  I gotta take a rest" she pants.

Yep, she learned that one from me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's Getting Ready to Happen Again!

So, I just commented on a democrats facebook page after he blamed GW for dismantling the US.  All hail to Obama the savior of the American economy!  I can't wait to see how this ends...wonder if he'll delete my post or just call me stupid and pout?!?

And, just because I'm certain he'll end up deleting this entire conversation-I copied it and am pasting it below!  I did change his name for privacy's sake.  See, I'm really not a jerk!  ;)

Democrat Speaking...
I dont agree with all of Obama's agendas either. However our country was dismantled by the previous 8 yrs of the worst presidency in the history of the United States. George W. Bush's republican administration literally and completely broke... our country. No man on Earth can repair these damages in 2 yrs.. It will take 16 to 20 yrs to see a real recovery from this destruction. Obama is in too big of a hurry I think.. he just needs to slow down and realize that now is the time to be laying down the foundation for the solid growth and recovery of our economy.

Me (or the voice of reason, as I like to be called!)
I get so frustrated when people want to blame George Bush for single handedly dismantling the country. Quite frankly you're overestimating the power of one man-who was elected! We are all responsible for the current state of the nation-democrats, republicans, and the American people as a whole. Greed has motivated too many people for too long and now we're paying the price.

I'll add more if there's any to add!
and there was!!!  :) Sunday around 12:30

Democrat Speaking (again! and so far no name calling!)
Actually Al Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 election by a landslide. So I take no responsibility for George Bush getting the opportunity to play around with our country and the well being of every single American in it for 8 years. And I am not over estimating the power of an entire administration that is influenced by one man. George Bush bold face lied to the American people about his reasons for going into Iraq. We are STILL spending billions of tax dollars fighting in a war we should not be in! Not to mention the loss of our soldiers and family members. During no other presidency was gas allowed to near 5 dollars a gallon, and George Bush's vice president owns the company that was awarded a NO BID contract to reconstruct the damages in Iraq. HMMMMM nothing fishy about that at all...... So yes greed did motivate the downfall of this country. And while the big banks and big industry played a major role in it. One administration opened the door for everything to fall apart

Me (or the voice of reason, as I like to be called!)
Popular vote doesn't win you a presidency, Bush won the election fair and square.  He's not the first president to lose popular vote and win a presidency either.

Clinton shares his part of the blame for the current financial chaos. He beefed up the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to force mortgage lenders to relax their rules to allow more socially disadvantaged borrowers to qualify for home loans.  Or, to put another way, people who didn't need to be borrowing that much money got it anyway!  The massive increase in home sales made our economy boom as the bubble grew...

Then, in 1999 Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which ensured a complete separation between commercial banks-who lend, and investment banks which invest and take risks, causing a conflict of interest and giving lenders entirely too much power.

Clinton's bubble was burst in 2003.  GW's responsibility was only in failing to recover . He created a bigger bubble to replace the burst one. In the end, the burst hurt more and the fallout landed on his shoulders. 

The blame also needs to be applied to the predators who preyed on the gullibility of the public and on the public for not educating themselves before buying into it.  My grandparents always told me "if something looks too good to be true, it probably is" and this is a perfect example of that! 

Every politician ever in office lies about something, whether intentional or by circumstance. You have to overlook the lie and see the intention. It's no secret that Saddam Hussein and bin laden were/are dangerous men and that war has been known to stimulate the economy. I can only assume that GW thought it was an acceptable moment to bend the truth, thinking it would protect American and stimulate the economy. 

To be continued...possibly...

and it is...Sunday around 8:30pm

Democrat Crying, uh, I mean speaking aga
My point is that the American people elected Al Gore by popular vote, therefore it was clear who "we" wanted to be our President. Yes I agree that all presidents make mistakes.. But when Bill Clinton left office we had a surplus of money. W...hen George Bush left we were trillions in debt. And I don't see in any way that War is good for anything.. Look around do see our economy prospering?? Does it look like the death toll and debt generated from this war was worth it so that "GW" could settle a score with Sadam Hussein??

Now, I'm pretty sure I'm done debating with him because it's becoming boring and pointless to me and I don't have anything positive to reply anymore; I know I'd be snarky!

However, if I were going to reply I'd say:

I know what popular vote means, but I also know how the electoral college works and it's the system we've used for over 200 years and no one has complained nearly as much as Al Gore's minions.  It's been ten years, get over it!  I don't even think Al Gore is that upset anymore...if he can move on why can't his followers?

Obama is constantly saying that he inherited GW's problems, and he's right.  Seriously, I believe that!  (pick yourselves up from the floor, I'm being serious!)  Each president inherits their predecessors problems when they take over the office.  It part of the job, I'm pretty sure it's even on the application they have to fill out!  If they didn't know to expect it, they were stupid.  (sorry, I know I hate the "s" word but it's only fitting!)  I have zero intention of running for office, but if I did I'd know there would be inherited problems.  With that said, GW INHERITED CLINTON'S PROBLEMS! 

I feel pretty confident saying that when my grandchildren are studying US history it will reflect the truth, that GW was a decent man and a good president.  This article lists GW's top ten achievements while in office and I think it's spot on.  Of course he made mistakes, and of course he could have done some things better, unlike Obama, he's human and not infallible!  I know democrats, in general, don't understand that because they only elect perfect people or gods among men but we "real folks" get it.

To wrap up, I'd probably say that I had a bone to pick with terrorisst too, it wasn't just GW!  I don't like war and I'd love if we had world peace but I refuse to sit and be anyone's easy target so like it or not, war is warranted!  Sometimes you have to fight.  Sometimes you have to stand up for what's right.  Sometimes you have to quit letting people walk all over you!  Hopefully America will do that again in two years! 

My closing sentence would be...

"WE" didn't want Al Gore, ya'll can have him!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

House Democrats Rapidly Unleash Sharp Attacks-NONSENSE!

Stories like this make me so mad, as an American!  These jerks work for US and they are playing these stupid "told ya so" & "gotcha" games.  What happend to the promise of bipartisanship that both sides made?  All of these comments make me angry!  I am a republican and I often say that I can't imagine why people would be democrats, and I mean that when I say it, but I still expect better than this from them!  I think all politicians lie, I like to think that it's unintentional most of the time, but this is a doozy!  It's time to fire them all and start over!

I have this theory that if Americans would work together we wouldn't need the government!  I wasn't there so many years ago, but back when people just took care of one another I'm convinced it had to be simpler.  Forget government funded programs and taxes and "love thy neighbor!"  When did America become so greedy and self centered that we forgot to take care of each other?  When did so many lazy people become so entitled?  When did enjoying a free ride become an acceptable means of income?  Has it always been like this and we're just more aware now because of media and mass communication or was there an entire generation of deadbeats bread somewhere along the line that are thriving and reproducing at unbelievable rates?

I Do Love to Talk

If you've ever known me, you know I like to talk, a lot.  I really do, although silence doesn't really bother me either, when I'm in a group of friends, I feel like someone should be talking-at all times. 

When I visit my in laws, my father in law and I can comfortably sit in a room together without talking.  It's not an awkward silence and there's nothing uncomfortable about it.  We talk if there's something to say but we don't just chatter.

Tonight, though, at dinner with friends I felt like I couldn't stop talking!  I sometimes get a little embarrassed by the amount of talking I do.  Tonight was one of those nights!  Ugh!  There are times I come home after an outing and I reflect and think geeze, I should just shut up sometimes!  I wonder how often the people I'm with think that too! 

I like to think I'm funny and interesting but I realize that sometimes I'm probably just obnoxious. I just need to find another way to get the constant conversation out of my head! 

Oh wait, that's why I'm blogging!  At least I didn't discuss parenting, politics, or religion!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grey's Anatomy Inspired Post

I just watched the most recent Grey's Anatomy and let me tell you, I cried like a baby through most of it!  I understand the show is fictional and dramatic but there's a lot of truth to the things they show.  This episode was about a shooting on a college campus and it hurt my heart.  That's not fiction, that happened and still happens.  There hasn't been a mass shooting like Columbine or VA Tech recently but just a day or two ago there was a school shooting in Nebraska.  This happens way too often.  It makes me wonder, what is going on? lost must these children be to plot these tragedies and then to follow through with them.  These are tortured souls and although they turn into monsters, they are victims too.  Victims of what, I'm not sure but no one who is in good mental health does something so tragic.

I had a friend say once that these type of news stories make her wonder why any of us have children and my thought was exactly the opposite, the world is a wacky place and I think it's the responsibility of good, christian, moral, loving people to have children and combat the whack jobs.  I know that statement will upset some and I am anticipating comments like "you think only Christians should have children?"  "do Christians have a lock on good morals?"  blah, blah, blah.  And, to answer any of those questions, this is my blog!

When I watch these things though, it hurts my heart that my kids are growing up in this world.  I remember growing up in church and hearing the quote that we are to be "in the world, but not of the world" and I agree, but right now this is where we are.  It's not home, but it's where we live for now and my kids are growing up here and sometimes it scares me to death! 

It's days like today that I'm tempted to stick my head in the sand and not watch the news anymore...but then, how would I discuss politics!  ;)  God Bless!

Carmel Has the BEST Drivers in the World!

Just ask any of them! 

I have never seen so many people who are so convinced that everyone on the roads is at fault but them.  I'm not one of the best drivers on the road but I'm not originally from Carmel so maybe that's where I fell short!  I'm sure after a couple more years I'll be in that elite class of drivers as well.

Every single time I go through the 116 st. round about I get honked at.  Seriously, 80% of the time someone blares their horn at me!  I honestly don't know if it's a user error or all of the self righteous drivers.  I've watched the Carmel "how to" round about videos and I feel like I "get it" but apparently there is a disconnect somewhere on that particular part of the road.

I don't feel so bad after my trip on 106th & Gray yesterday when I saw a person driving through the roundabout when another car nearly tboned her while trying to outrun her to get in the roundabouts.  The driver (at fault) who nearly hit the woman in the roundabout promptly slammed on her horn and then flipped her the bird!  Self righteous much?!?

The day before that I was was driving down 116th st when a garbage truck I was following turned their blinker on to back into a street.  Naturally I stopped and waited for them to go when I heard a horn being held down.  I turned around to see what in the world was happening and saw Grandma Perfect Driver waving her hands and yelling...AT ME!  I kind of shrugged my shoulders because, honestly, I had no idea why she was honking when she rolls her window down flips me off and starts yelling something at me.  She then proceeded down the turning lane until nearly hitting a car who was turning and I am only assuming she then repeated the same behavior she had shown me!

I have said, more than once, that half of these drivers wouldn't make it ten minutes in south Louisiana!  They only think they have road rage in Carmel.  In Louisiana, I've seen people get out of their trucks in the middle of the road and throw down!  These Hoosiers might calm down a little with some cajun driver's education!

Now, if you don't live in Carmel you have no idea where these streets are but Indiana is straight and flat and all of the roads are a grid so just know what we are all driving around in squares all the time, except for where they have added round abouts and we're all driving in circles!  If you aren't familiar with round abouts you really should watch that video.  I'd never seen the type of round abouts like they have in Carmel.  I'm talking multi lane, over pass roundabouts!  Just look at the picture below and you'll understand my confusion!

Since the roundabouts are fairly new I believe we're all still learning to use them.  In the meantime I think a lot of drivers could use a dash of humility and a heaping scoop of patience!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm Really NOT A Jerk

I'm pretty opinionated and not afraid to share those opinions and sometimes I hear things that people say and I wonder what they're thinking but I'm not a jerk. 

When it comes to politics, I enjoy a debate.  I've mentioned before in my post Why I'm Blogging that I like to get riled up and debate politics but that doesn't mean I think I'm always right.  (I think I'm right a lot more than most of our politicians, though!) It also doesn't mean I think whoever I'm debating with is wrong, or stupid, or uninformed, or any of those other things people say when they debate politics.  I think we could all learn a lot from each other if we'd listen.  Yes, I'm a conservative, republican, christian.  No, I'm not close minded, a bigot, full or hate, or self righteous.  I'm not a jerk!

As far as parenting goes, I don't think I know anymore than anyone else does about it!  I think I try harder than some and probably not as hard as others.  I'm successful some days and others are epic failures.  I am a stay at home mom, but that doesn't mean I think I love my kids more than moms who choose to work or who work by circumstance.  I don't think my job is any harder or easier than a working mom's is.  I definitely think there are parts that are harder but there are awesome rewards too and I'm sure there are parts of working mom's day that are much harder than mine.  I truly believe we are all (most) trying to do the best we can.  None of us had kids to see how bad we could screw them up; inevitably some of you (ha!) will screw up your kids but it wasn't intentional. 

Religion plays a big part in both parenting and politics for me, and for everything I do.  I truly believe that judgement is in God's hands.

Matthew 7:1-5  Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

I try not to judge what others do, I don't always succeed, but I do try.  I don't believe acceptance means embracing something; I may not be thrilled with other's choices but I will accept them for who they are however that does NOT mean I have to like it!  There are things that I think are sinful and just plain wrong and it's my responsibility, as a christian and human, to try to be the best person/christian I can be and to help others do the same.  That doesn't mean bashing people, spewing hate, or being a jerk!  My religion means that I serve a God who is bigger than me, the creator of all things, king of kings.  I study the Bible, I praise God, and I'd like to model my life after Jesus.  It doesn't make me better than anyone else.

So, just because I'm opinionated on three very important topics in our lives doesn't mean I'm the only one who can have an opinion.  I think everyone should feel strongly about those three topics, open dialogue and less fear would benefit us all.  Maybe if our politicians and religious leaders could have open dialog we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.  Everyone has to prove their point and show how right they are but sometimes it's a good idea to hear what other people say too. 

My friend Greg and I debate politics a lot; we are about as far apart on the political spectrum as two people can be.  We've been friends for 25 years so despite the fact that we've never agreed on anything, it's never come between us.  I don't think I've ever changed his stance on anything nor has he changed mine, but I'm pretty sure we've both learned something from each other's opinions.  I understand him more when we debate and I think he gets some insight from me as well.  We both hear each other out (probably thinking the other is crazy) and debate, but I'm really not a jerk (and neither is Greg)!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm Waiting...

I've been praying about a few things and I'm waiting on answers! 

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Oh yeah, then there's that verse!  So, turns out that God has a plan and it's not necessarily mine. 

On more than one occasion I've looked back at something and said..."oh, that's why that happened..." and I've even been able to look at times that I think were terrible and I can see how God used those to get me where I am, and I'm thankful!

I've been praying on helping to plan our women's retreat for our women's ministry at church but I've been known to jump in over my head on things and I just don't know if I'm supposed to help or not.  I've been praying for weeks but I don't feel any closer to an answer than I was when I started.

Originally one of my  very dear friends was supposed to be the retreat speaker so I felt drawn into the planning.  You can imagine why I might feel "called" into helping.  Then God found a perfect person to coordinate it all and I felt a weight off of my shoulders.  I'm sure she was an answered prayer.

Now, my friend isn't going to be able to do the event and I got an email asking if I was still interested in helping out and I just don't know.  I'm not nearly as excited about it without my friend being the speaker, and I have huge reservations about leaving my kids for a weekend (that's a different blog, hold your judgement!) I love my girl friends at church, but my kids are only going to be small for so long.  Is the retreat going to help me grow closer to God? 

I thought having my friend do the retreat was my answer from God to buck up, attend, and enjoy the I'm not sure.  Is God giving me an out?  Does God do that? 

I try to pray through everything now, and I guess that's why I spend time trying to determine God's plan.  I used to plow through, do things my way, hope for the best, then pray out of it!  You know the prayer...

God, I've gotten myself in a mess and I need your help...

That prayer was on constant repeat in my life!  I'm trying to go in the right way now instead of going in and backing out when I blow it!  The retreat is a small thing, really, and I've prayed for much more difficult things (and am currently, but they're not blog material!)  This is just an example of the differences in how I try to approach everything in my life now.  I'm not the best at letting go of things, but I do go to God first before I pry them out of his hands and clench onto them with a death grip!

Until God sends a bright blinking marquis sign, I'm waiting!

Caramel Corn

This is one my new favorite recipes and EVERY single time I make it for someone they beg me for the recipe like it's an old family secret! The author of this blog is a very dear woman and one of my first friends when I moved to WV. Enjoy the recipe and enjoy her blog!

The Flowering Dogwood: Caramel Corn

I LOVE This Store and Had to Share!

I've mentioned this store in my blog before, but I wanted to share again.  This artist's creations are custom made and beautiful! 

ZBET Etsy Store

This one is my favorite, but there are TONS to choose from!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Parenting-the Doubled Edged Social Sword

Sometimes I feel like being a parent is socially doubled edged sword.  It's not as prevalent now as it once was, but it's definitely still a blessing and a curse, socially.  Through being a mom, I met my best friend, Nicole, who I cherish and may not have bonded so closely without our children, but at the same time parenting has limited who I have the ability to befriend.
On one hand, parenting has forever bonded me with a large group of women, this elite group of women were basically out of reach for me before having children because moms do tend to keep to their own kind. Always giving me an "ice breaker when meeting new moms and giving me a crutch when I meet other moms.  You can open nearly every mom's heart with a compliment about their child! 

However, when we moved away from my best friend I endlessly tried to meet new friends and was basically been unsuccessful.  I had moved to LA before I was pregnant and had an array of friends ranging from pre-preggers, preggers, and parents.  They were very different types of friends, but they were all truly blessings.  I had met some through work, some through hobbies and then I started meeting mommy type people.  They each added their own spice to my life and to my child's life. 

Then, living in WV the only thing I had ever been was a mom and although I am abundantly blessed to be a mom, it's not all I am and it limits the scope of people I meet.  The main groups I had to pull from were mom groups, and I only found a couple of people that I liked and that liked me.  It's so difficult to meet friends when you're a stay at home mom.
So many moms are competitive or they want to complain about how hard it is to be a stay at home mom or to complain about how their husbands don't help...well, that's not me!  I love my children whether they are the first or last to do things, whether they are the "best" or not.  I think being a stay at home mom is the best job I've ever had and although I get super stressed, having two little lives depend on me, I have nothing to complain about!  And, as far as my husband goes...I cherish him, he helps me so much and is so supportive and understanding!  By not being willing to participate in those competitions or complaints it limited my friend options even more!

Once we left WV and moved to IN I had a little more experience making friends as a mom so I felt like it was a bit easier.  I have learned that I must first bond with the moms of the group and then branch out and get to know other people.  My kids need friends and this is the time in their lives that I get to choose their friends and I need to use it wisely!  Hadley is starting to get to the age where she's making her own friends and I'm just getting to know their parents and that's an adjustment. 

There are still invisible walls around befriending non parental types but I'm working through those too.  Now I'm dealing with the realization that I'm no longer a "young adult" when the heck did that happen?!?