Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happiness Is ...

- a sticky peanut butter kiss on the cheek

-listening to your kids laugh again and again as they watch a Tom and Jerry cartoon

-when your kids want to sleep in the same room at night just because they're buddies

-cooking with your daughter, letting her "help" even though the soup ends up a little too peppery or the cookies are all different sizes

-peeking around the corner and seeing Major dancing and singing to his favorite praise CD (God must really love this one!! Psalm 8:2)

-When Major points to a picture of himself and says, "There's your buddy, mom."

-When Mary Alice says, "You're my best friend."

-When Mary Alice says, "I don't want to move away when I grow up mom. I just always want to live with you."

-When your daughter's top two marriage prospects are her brother and her dad

-Listening to Major bang on the piano and sing "Holy Holy Holy" at the top of his lungs.

-Listening to Mary Alice bang on the piano and sing "M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E" with all of her heart.

-When your kids disappear for a while and you think that they're up to something, but are relieved to discover that they're laughing and playing together in their closet

-the nightly bedtime ritual that ends with this:
"See you later alligator"
"Afterwhile crocodile"
"See you soon baboon"
"Anyplace monkeyface"
"I love you, Major."
"I love you too."

-a boy who loves to snuggle and cuddle and still likes his mommy to rock him and sing to him

- when yesterday, Mary Alice woke up from a nap and had fallen asleep with gum in her mouth and now had gum on her jammies. I said, "Oh no!!! Mary Alice!!!" Major came running in and said, "What she do mom?" I had to laugh!

-My girl doing the "hiney dance", laughing and running away

-When Major says, "That's my fave, mom." (Usually about some food or sports related thing)

-Mary Alice jumping up after breakfast and saying, "May I PLEASE do the dishes Mom?"

-After she finishes washing all of those dishes her saying, "I'm going to do this every day from now on, okay?" (Hmmm. I definitely wanted to get this written down.)

-"Lubbock, Texas in the rearview mirror....." (just kidding, I just had to throw that one in there :)

-A girl who proudly parts and fixes her hair, then announces that it "sure does look cute!" Hilarious!

-A girl who always asks me to wear some of my perfume and/or lip gloss just because she wants to be "girly"

-the pitter patter of little feet that belong to one little two year old wearing nothing but a saggy diaper

-A girl who likes to paint my toenails and surprisingly, is good at it!

-Major's bucktoothed smile (especially when he says "Pleeaase?")

-When the two kids play baseball together (Mary Alice pitches to Major, he swings, then they both run around and cheer for Major) They chant "Go Maje! Go Maje! Go! Go! Go!" again and again

-the prayers of my kids (especially Mary Alice's when she thinks nobody is listening)

I know this was excessive. I guess I have lots to be happy about! What makes you happy?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


This week I have been busy trying to juggle the many different things I have to do. Actually, I don't HAVE to do all of them, because if that were the case, I'd be in big trouble. I have lots of aspirations about things that I want to do. I WANT to cook a homemade dinner every night. I WANT to keep my house clean. I WANT to read my Bible every day. I don't HAVE to, so I don't. :( I struggle with balance. I don't know exactly how to efficiently accomplish all of the goals that I have. I think that my expectations and goals are a little too high sometimes, maybe not even realistic. Someone out there must be a talented time-juggler! Any hints on time management would be much appreciated!

Here are some questions that I have:

1) How do you keep your house clean and still have adequate one on one time with your kids? I try to include the kids in my daily activities (letting them help me mop the floor or dust, etc.) and that works for a short while, but lots of time they end up messing up more than they help. I sometimes feel like if I actually kept my house super clean, I would not be able to spend good quality time with my kids. When do you find the time to clean your house---from top to bottom??? My house is always in a state of partial cleanliness. If the laundry is done, the floors need to be mopped. If the floors are mopped, the laundry needs to be done. You get the point.

2) Does anyone have any good ways to keep kids things from being strewn about all over the house? Mary Alice has to pick up everything that she gets out. Major is starting to have to pick up a little bit, but he mostly just creates messes. I am tired of finding various sports equipment all around the house.

3)It is very important to me that my family eat quality, healthy foods. I don't always feel like chopping vegetables for an hour or spending lots of time preparing. I am tired of two combos that our family eats way too often: grilled salmon with steamed veggies and grilled chicken with steamed veggies. Does anyone have any other quick, healthy, but easy dinner ideas?

4) I know that my friend Tamra rises before the crack of dawn to get ready for the day and read her Bible. Does anyone have and OTHER suggestions for carving out necessary study time each day? I admire super early risers, but don't think that is for me.

5) Other things that I WANT to do and feel like I NEED to do, but can't seem to do: work out, take the kids out for service related things (visiting nursing homes), have friends over for lunch, update my blog. I want to take advantage of the "fun" things about being a stay at home mom (lunch picnics at the park, making crafts together, playing dolls with Mary Alice, playing ball with Major.) I also would like to help Josh out a little bit. I have been wanting to mow the lawn for him for a few days. Surprise!!! I haven't done it. I can do one or two of these things, but then the others fall behind. It is a constant battle for me.

I try not to look around and compare myself to others too much, because I that makes me discouraged. It seems like lots of my friends have their act together. Any of you ladies have any ideas of how I can get a handle on this full time job??

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Duty Calls

To anyone who hasn't given up on reading my blog.... Yes, I am still alive and well. I haven't entirely given up on blogging. Thank you for the notes and calls of concern. To answer you guys, I just haven't really been in a blogging mood lately. My younger sister, Taylor, moved in with us for the summer. Taylor's life is extremely busy and hectic. She is juggling a full time job as a graphic designer intern at a company in Ft. Worth., her photography business (which keeps her very busy after work), doing some graphic design work on the side, all while spending her nights getting ready to be in a local play. Her schedule has me worn out! I stay up later, get less done, and worry more. Living with her is so much fun, but must be comparable to living with a teenager. I now know the feeling of "waiting up" on someone. She is very fun to be around. We stay up late and talk and laugh. My blogging life has slowed WAY down. I have found that I am a little more tired than usual and a little less inclined to use my free time to sit at the computer. Sometimes, I use a little time to check up on my friends', but just haven't felt as much like journaling our goings on here. Maybe I'll get better. Maybe. The regular blogging might have to wait, though until Taylor moves out in August. We'll see...

Josh's practice is coming along nicely. He opened his doors three weeks ago. He has had more patients per day at this point than I thought he would have, which is encouraging. It is always scary to start a new business. I feel confident that when people realize what an honest and genuinely caring dentist Josh is, they will be lining up down the street for care. For now though, we are patiently waiting for the word to get out and for his new business to grow. I still have a little bit of work to do on the office. I'm actually a little bit tired of thinking about decorating. As with many of the projects I start, I am wishing that someone else would finish it up for me. That is one of my many weaknesses. I need a little more sticktoitness.

Today I am up here at Josh's office answering phones because the person who usually does that is on vacation. Yikes!! It is here at his office that I have found a little bit of time to blog. I don't feel bad about blogging on the job because I am working for no pay. :) There are many reasons that I am not the most qualified person for this job....

1. My voice sounds like a twelve year old. My soft voice is something that I have always had to work hard to overcome. First of all, I am quiet as a mouse. In a crowd, I always have to "yell" for my voice to be heard. Also, when I yell to make myself heard in a crowd, my voice doesn't get much louder, but merely sounds like a yelling mouse. My voice gives the appearance of someone who is gentle and quiet, meek and mild, and 12!! This does not reassure the patient that they are dealing with a professional, competent organization. Much to my dismay, I am not really gentle, meek, or mild. I hate it that when people meet me they assume that I am many things that I am not all because of my voice.

2. My voice makes me a walking doormat at times. Last year I had to work closely with a woman who is not much older than me, but is known for her extremely loud mouth, bossy ways, and boisterous personality. This woman is large and in charge and commands the attention of all who see her coming with her booming voice and untimely comments about things such as body odor and farting. Wonder why they paired me with her for a project??? Maybe they thought, Amber is so quiet and gentle. She, of all people will not mind working with this woman. If the people who paired me with this annoying woman had known that my mouse-like voice has a strong personality that likes to be in charge and that my voice will squeak a definite "I refuse to be a door mat" perhaps I would have been paired with someone who was less of a take charge type. I do not like being ordered around, unless it is by a person who is really good at what they are telling me to do. (This annoying woman was not.) Enough about her... What this means about my phone answering skills is this... I am not a very good at service with a smile. I am not sure how I would respond if someone was rude to me or, worse yet, treated me like I was a youngster by calling me "hon" or "sweetie". I already had to bite my tongue once this morning. Blah.

3. I am not quick on my feet. If you have ever answered phones you know that you have to think quickly and sound like you know what you are doing. You are supposed to sound friendly and have a ready response for each of the many different questions you might be required to answer. I have never been quick on my feet. I also don't know the answers to very many of the questions that are asked. Of course, Josh has provided me with a handy little sheet that tells me how to answer the questions. I don't want to answer the phone and then say, "Hold on, ummmm..... (while I hurriedly scroll throught the list of questions and answers) Oh yes.... ummm... uhhhh, Yes, we do accept your insurance." I can't wait for the woman who usually works here to get back!!

4. I want to be silly. I think this job is too boring. Too many people depend on you to be knowledgeable and professional and may not appreciate any attempt at silliness. How I really really want to disguise my voice! Can't do it. Not here anyway.

5. I have been out of the workforce for too long. Going to an official job is something that I haven't done in over four years. I feel very much at ease in a room full of preschoolers. When it comes to dealing with the adult world and using adult language, however, I feel a bit out of practice. When I don't know what I am doing, I am NOT good at faking it, either.

I think I am going to get back to work. Duty calls. Maybe I'll answer the phone with a silly voice, just once.