Saturday, July 28, 2012

Love and Marriage...

The first time I saw him it was behind the wheel of a 1966 blue Ford Fairlane.  My heart skipped a beat.  I was in that awful county uniform the first time he saw me.  I am sure I made an impression, thanks to the uniform... if there are fifty shades of poop, then I was wearing two of them.  My hair was in my standard ponytail, if I had only known I was about to meet my future husband I would have spruced up a bit .  All these years later... I can look at him across the room and my breath catches. He probably looks at me and is thankful my wardrobe has improved.

The love we have for each other is real and it's not something that can be scripted in a movie. Real love is work and it's a choice.  People always say there is a light at the end of the tunnel and some days you have to wonder just how long the tunnel is. When times have been tough we have made a choice to stay together because no matter how hard something might be, it would be that much harder facing it alone. 

Mark and I still go out on dates. There are times I will go sit on his lap and curl up against him.  I remember my grandma used to curl up in my grandfather's lap when I was young.  You could feel the love radiate from the two of them, seeing them like that made such an impression on me.  They had more than their share of hard times.  When my grandparents were raising their children, there were times they didn't know how they were going to feed and clothe them.  Grandma and Grandpa always knew God would make a way.  Their faith was the foundation that they stood on and it made them strong.  They stuck together for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  They raised their kids, helped raise their grandchildren and looked after their great grandchildren.  Grandpa died almost 17 years ago...3 weeks before they would have celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary.  The love between those two was an amazing and beautiful thing.  They fought for one another because they knew what they had was worth fighting for.

Mark and I are here together in the trenches of parenthood. Sometimes...okay a lot of times we are good cop/bad cop and I will give you one guess who gets to be the good cop. It is so easy to get caught up in the every day happenings of life. We are Mommy and Daddy, though some days I feel more like a warden. It's easy to forget that before we were Mommy and Daddy...we were Kimmi and Mark.  We are still Mark and Kimmi, best friends, soul mates, prayer partners and lovers.  We stand on the firm foundation of our faith.  We know that God brought us together.

When I have no make up on and I am wearing one of Mark's t-shirts, he tells me I am beautiful.  When I feel like everything is going wrong, he tells me that we will get through it.  I couldn't imagine my life without my husband even on the days he makes me want to rip my hair out.  I have so many hopes and dreams for Charli when she grows up.  I pray that she will marry a man who loves her like her Daddy loves me, and I pray she will love him back with every fiber of her being.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Day The Music Died....?

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”  Victor Hugo

I would be willing to bet that if I started rattling off song titles a flood of memories would pour over your soul.  Music is a vital part of who we are and the memories we carry.  I remember making up  dance routines to Madonna songs with my sister and cousins.  When I was a teenager I  listened to a certain song over and over again, crying my eyes out, in a miserable attempt to nurse a broken heart.  I used to sing into my hair brush in front of my bedroom mirror, though I haven't done that for years... the thought makes me laugh.  I have been known to crank up the CD player in the car and sing Bon Jovi's "You give Love A Bad Name" at the top of my lungs, while my daughter just shakes her head and slides further down into her seat trying to pretend she has no idea who the crazy lady is behind the wheel.

Charli loves is in her soul.  I know we are living in tough times but the idea of cutting music as well as art from our schools makes me heartsick.  I don't want to get on my soap box but I really hope that "people" will use wisdom when they are making decisions that will effect my child's future. 

Okay, enough of the heavy stuff...I will share some songs and you all just let the memories flow and I will share a few of my own.

Moves Like Jagger...reminds me of my friend Lisa...and Jagger would be jealous of her moves!

Hot, Hot Hot...Polyester Prom and The Boogie Ball with a group of the most fun women I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...being young and watching the movie with my sister.

Swing Low Sweet Chariot... reminds me of my Daddy.  He would also go around singing Frenchmen Never Eat Ice Cream or something like that.  I used to crack up and roll my eyes back then, and now I am thankful for such a great, silly memory.

The Time of My Life, Glory Of Love, Love In An Elevator, Pour Some Sugar On Me, The Heart of Rock and Roll, Mony Mony (I still remember part of the dance we made up), The Greatest Love of All, I'd Do Anything For Love (but I won't do that), Dude Looks Like a Lady.

I could do this all night long but I am certain everyone reading this understands where I am coming from.  Music is vital to all of us and in this day and age our children need this creative outlet. So let's go grab a hair brush and sing it like we mean it :) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Donkey Rescue

This morning I woke up hearing part of a conversation I wasn't supposed to hear and it went something like this...

Daddy! Come here I have to show you something.
Charli?  What is that?!  Tell me you didn't!  Mommy is going to flip!!!
Dad, it will be okay...I didn't want to throw him away.

Mark comes into the our room and after much insisting he fills me in on the whole thing.

Charli got up at 6:50 this morning, went outside, climbed into the back of her Daddy's pick up truck and rescued the donkey.  She stuck her hand into the hole that was in the trash bag and pulled him out.  She was smart enough to put the dogs on their leashes and walk them so they wouldn't bark when she went outside.

I made Charli go into her room and get me ten things to get rid of in place of the one donkey.  I had her write me a list of five reasons why it was a horrible idea to sneak out of the house while Mommy and Daddy were sleeping, even if it was daylight.  The former worked in my favor, the latter made me mad all over again.  She knew it was wrong and she did it anyway.  In addition to her punishment she will be my personal beck and call clean up crew for the next week.

This weekend I have learned my daughter is more courageous and resourceful than I ever gave her credit for. If this is a preview of what her teen years will be like... I am thinking I need to get my game face on.  In the end it is pretty funny, though I am not going to tell her that just yet.  I had no idea Charli could be so creative and brave. Point Charli...touche'.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pack Rat attempts to save donkey...

It all started with the Brownie vest we had to find for a girl scout event tomorrow. Charli couldn't find the brownie vest underneath the massive pile of clothing, stuffed animals, clean folded laundry, and toys strewn about her room.  I knew opening the door to her bedroom was not going to be good but I am a brave soul.  I was determined not to determination lasted a grand total of 20 minutes.

Charli is a pack rat...she gets this from her father.  He saves check stubs from twenty years ago and it makes me insane.  The things I toss when those two aren't looking would amaze you.  I wasn't very clever in my movement to de-clutter this evening.  I had Charli choose between a stuffed penguin and a stuffed donkey.  I knew where the penguin came from, but the donkey...well I am certain it was from one of those slot machines or from Walmart.  I do not remember this donkey, though I was probably the idiot who bought it.  Charli was a sobbing mess pleading for the life of this cheap, stuffed, not even close to cute donkey.  I should also mention she forgot she even owned said donkey until I dug him out from his grave. I was livid.  She wouldn't decide so I made the decision for her.  The donkey is in the trash.  Charli my poor silly girl decided to make a swipe for the donkey, nearly toppling me over.  Her little antics went over like a ton of lead bricks.  I must say I did underestimate her bravery. 

In a last ditch effort to spare her precious possession she tried to barter for it.  I have had all the drama I could handle and sent her to bed.  She comes into my office and I told her she needed to close her mouth and go to bed.  She then says to me (I think she was channeling one of her little cousins) "I will cry until I get my donkey back!"  I said "Go ahead!  You can cry all night for all I care!  You are taking your life in your own hands and so help me if you do not go to bed right this instant, when you get home tomorrow afternoon all you will have in your room is your bed, your dresser and the carpet on your GO and goodnight, I love you!"  Charli has been asleep for about 20 minutes :)  Point Mommy - Charli Zero

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life lessons from my daughter...

Writing is my outlet and it has been since I was about eleven years old.  When I found out I was pregnant with Charli I started writing her letters.  I have written her a letter every year on her birthday.  I have written her letters on ordinary days as well.  I wrote something several years back when Charli was just around a year old.  Here is my list of....

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I learned From My Daughter...

Cuteness is a redeeming quality at 3 AM.

You can be proud and heartbroken in the same moment.

It is completely possible to survive on two hours of sleep but if done for more than two consecutive nights , you won't be very functional on the third day.

Do whatever works; Dr. Spock doesn't know it all.

If it will make a baby laugh it doesn't really matter how ridiculous you look.

The waitress will forgive you for putting mash potatoes in her pocket if you have a big toothy grin and are less than 3 feet tall.

Time goes by twice as fast once you become a parent.

Watching a baby sleep and listening to them breathe is a great way to reduce stress.

There are things in life we will never be able to the feeling you have when you hold your child.

Sometimes prayers get answered and sometimes they don't.  We should be thankful in both instances, even if the latter is only in hindsight.

Magic is in the little moments.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Back to the basics

It has been a long time since we have had a vacation...just our little family of three.  We go on vacation every year at some point but usually go with our extended family.  I love my extended family but it was nice to get away with my husband and daughter. 

We rented a surrey bike and I am certain that was quite a site to behold for on lookers.  Mark and I did all the work while her royal highness sat in bench seat enjoying the wind in her hair.  There were only 2 sets of pedals otherwise Charli will have been pedaling, like the rest of us peasants.  When we would come to the top of the hill Charli would yell "Keep pedaling Daddy!" , while I would yell "No brake!!!  We are going to tip!!"  Mark kept pedaling, Charli squealed with laughter and though, we didn't tip over I am certain I have new gray hair growth.

I booked a wonderful resort and we spent much of our time hanging out by the pool.  I read a great book, while my adrenaline junkies hit the water slides.  We ate ice cream at a hole in the wall joint where everything is homemade.  We sat outside to enjoy our ice cream and watched the lighting dance in the dark sky, seeking shelter in the car just moments before the rain began to pour. 

We enjoyed a trip to the museum, and a fantastic Mummy exhibit.  I must confess that was super creepy, and very Raiders of the Lost Ark (I am so aging myself)!  It was a very interesting exhibit and Mark and Charli enjoyed the fact that I was a little creeped out.  I was certain I would have nightmares, but Mark is the one who had a dream about me being chased by mummies.  I am not sure if he was trying to save me or if he was sitting on the sidelines eating popcorn and cheering them on.  He never did get around to sharing that part of the dream. 

Our vacation wouldn't be complete without a trip to the beach, so we loaded up the car and headed to Honeymoon Island State Park.  We played in the sand, and frolicked in the sea.  We collected shells, and Mark and Charli enjoyed a hearty laugh as I chased my sun hat down the beach.  We had a wonderful time creating memories.  Our little adventure has come to an end but the memories that we created will live in my heart and in scrapbooks for many years to come.

I am hopeful you have had the chance to enjoy creating memories with your family as well.  Life is short...we have to make it count. :D

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our common ground...

The butter sizzled in the skillet, the bread waited patiently in the sea of soggy yellow goo, eager to be transformed into something delicious.  I watched as my mother carefully lifted the bread in it's sodden state and gingerly placed it in the skillet.  The angry bubbles popped around the edges and after a few moments my mother flipped the bread over, revealing a beautiful golden brown among the pale yellow hue.

French was the first thing I ever learned to make standing side by side with my mom when I was eight years old.  French toast also happens to be the first dish I taught my daughter to make, though she was six. 

When Charli was a baby I cooked with her in one arm and a wooden spoon in the other.  She spoke her first sentence at nine months old, propped on my hip, while she stared into a pot of chili. As Charli got older I would sit her in the high chair, sometimes, with a pudding cup and I would give her a piece of paper so she could "paint".  I would talk to her about what I was cooking for dinner.  I was thrilled when Charli was finally old enough to stand up on a chair, that I had turned backward and pushed against the counter. We would stand there side by side, and I would give her simple little tasks so she could "cook" with me. 

We made aprons when she was two years old.  My apron read "Cookie Baker" while Charli's said "Mess Maker".  I painted her little hands and placed them neatly on my apron, then she clapped her hands together and created a beautiful abstract on her own aptly titled apron.  Once our masterpieces dried, we made chocolate chip cookies.  When she was three I bought her a kid safe knife and gave her a cutting board.  As the years have passed, we have traded up to matching, grown up aprons.  Charli now uses a real knife and is sure to curl her fingers under so she doesn't cut them off.  I am proud of her culinary abilities.  Tonight I taught her how to zest a lime being careful not to grate into the pith.  She also learned how to make a homemade salad dressing and how to emulsify it.

I am so thankful that Charli loves being in the kitchen as much as I do.  We are making wonderful memories together but for us it is more than the sum of our best dishes.  The kitchen is our common ground, where we are able to connect regardless of what happened through the day.  I am prayerful that it will always be this way.  Charli's teenage years are around the corner. I am hopeful that no matter what girl drama she faces, that she will be able to stand with me side by side in the kitchen, and we will still share that common ground.  We have shared so much as mother and daughter over cookies and cutting boards...if she becomes a famous chef someday and wins the James Beard award...well that will just be a bonus.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lulu Bug and Possum

I am sitting in my office looking at a dress I bought for my youngest niece, for her birthday. While I listen to the rain outside, I let my eyes drift over hundreds of spools of ribbon and I am reminded my office is organized chaos. I am contemplating what kind of hair bow I shall create for my sassy little Lulu Bug. I am still stumped as to what to get my youngest nephew for his birthday...I am certain the Possum would not appreciate a hair bow.

Alyssa Marie is older than her brother Nicholas William by a whole 7 minutes. I remember the day they were born. Alyssa was so tiny and Nicky reminded me of a lil' old man. They were so incredibly precious. It has been a hoot to watch the twins grow up. Their little antics have been a great source of laughter for me, though I am certain not so much at times for their parents. It doesn't seem possible Alyssa and Nicky will officially turn 5 years old in less than 12 hours. The older I get the faster time seems to fly.

Happy Birthday Lulu Bug!
Happy Birthday Possum!
Aunt Kimmi loves you both very much and I am thankful that God blessed our family with your presence. You are both very loved and wonderfully rotten. xoxo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

HA Wipe Out!!

It is said girlfriends are cheaper than therapy and I have certainly found this to be true. Girlfriends laugh with us and help us laugh at ourselves. I have done more than my part to aid in the comic relief of my friends. I was at a friends house many years ago and we were getting ready to go to youth group. We were in such a hurry that when it was my turn to take a shower I jumped in and after I am standing under the water do I notice that I forgot to take off my bra. I started hollering, and could not believe what I had just done. I told Michelle through the door what I did and I don't think I have ever heard her laugh as hard as she did at that moment. It would have been a non issue if Michelle and I wore the same size bra, and if I had noticed I didn't throw a bra into in my bag before I left my house. I ended up having to dry my hair and my bra with the blow dryer.

I have spit pop out of my nose, and lost my ice cream right off the cone at McDonalds (don't hold it against me...I haven't done that in years).  I have fallen on my butt at the bowling alley, and at the skating rink. Truth be told I am not the most graceful thing on two legs. Just last night a few of my girlfriends and I went to dinner to celebrate our friend Julie's birthday and then we went to see a movie. We are in a packed theater with at least 125 other people, probably more. I decided I had to go to the restroom before the movie started. I go running across the the floor right in front of the big screen where everyone is looking waiting for the opening previews... and I wiped out. Yep, Kimmi was down and I knew I had two choices, I could either army crawl across the nasty floor and make my escape or I could go with my second choice. I stood up in front of all those people and I took a bow. As I was picking up my butt and what was left of my dignity off the floor I catch one of my girlfriends get up and start to take a few steps to come to my aid. Once Julie (not the birthday girl- we are so awesome we have two Julies) saw me stand up and take a bow she sat back down and joined our fellow movie goers in a round of applause. I headed to the restroom limping on what I am now certain is a broke toe or at least a badly bruised one. It is a most lovely shade of blue-ish purple. This coming weekend I am headed for an encore presentation of the same movie with a group of equally amazing friends who couldn't make it last night...and I am really hoping I don't end up on my butt again in front of all those people.

Girlfriends are priceless. Michelle and I don't see each other often but when we do it's as though we haven't really missed a beat. I am part of an amazing group of women. There are several of us and I love when we all go out together.  We always have a good time and usually go home with sore facial muscles from grinning so much.  We laugh together, cry together, hug each others children, discuss every topic imaginable, lend a hand, give encouragement, text each other on a whim, pray for each other, we celebrate moments big and small together. We have shared in each others trials and triumphs. We reach out to each other and respect when to hold on and when to give a little space. We get our feelings hurt sometimes and we move on. I lovingly refer to these ladies as "my girls" and I count them all among my greatest treasures. I am also incredibly thankful for a husband who understands the need for my occasional girl's night out!