June 30, 2010

Hump Day Humor

*Today is 6/30/10 which is the end of my company's fiscal year....and I am going to be swamped for the next several days, so this cute story (that I received via e-mail) helped to lighten my load a bit, so I thought I would share it with all of you.

Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church Ladies' Group in Tuscaloosa , but forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix & quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, "Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake!" This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church, and in her new
community of friends.

So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of The cake.. She found it in the bathroom - a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered
it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect. And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it
opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home.

When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone & called her mom. Alice was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed! All night, Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing
fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than
once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa , but having already RSVP'd , she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south and to Alice 's horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert!

Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake! She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "what a beautiful cake!" Alice , still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself."

Alice smiled and thought to herself, "God is good.”

June 28, 2010

A New Adventure

Last July, when M and I discovered that we were expecting, one of our immediate concerns was child care. The first few months of my pregnancy were filled with lengthy discussions that listed out our options and weighed the pros and cons of each.

We quickly decided that me becoming a stay at home mom was not the best option for our family. While our financial situation would allow us to leave off a single salary, my job provided our health care benefits. Moreover, I love my career and strongly feel that the Lord has placed in my current position for a reason and a purpose. There was no peace in my heart when I contemplated leaving….

Our next option was daycare, but our needs were very complex. First, we wanted a facility with a high teacher to child ratio. The facility also needed to begin educational training at an early age. I had seen facilities in other areas that did not engage the infants very well. Most importantly, we needed a facility that had lots of flexibility with scheduling. Both M and I have jobs that often require early morning and late evenings. Our town, while small, has two great day care centers that met both of our first two requirements, but the scheduling was a sticking point for both.

As my delivery date loomed, I wondered what we were going to do. To further complicate the issue, Joycelen was due to arrive at the peak of cold/flu season, and my mind filled with images of my tiny infant coming down with the flu.

When I was seemingly at my wits end, my Mama offered to keep Joycelen until the flu season had passed. Our original agreement was 3 months, but 3 months neither my Mama nor I were ready to change our arrangement. Mama loves having Joycelen each day – as an empty nester it gives her a renewed sense of purpose. I love being able to go into work early, stay late if necessary, and visiting Joycelen on my lunch break. (Side note: the first 8 weeks after I returned to work, I would nap with Joycelen on my lunch break; there is no daycare in the world that would allow that).

At the beginning of June, Mama asked if I could find a fill in caregiver for a few days so that she and my Daddy could take a short vacation. She seemed apologetic, but I assured her that a getaway was well deserved, and I had no problems with making alternate arrangements.

It just so happened that our local Christian daycare center had drop in opening for the 3 days that we needed. My older nieces attend this center, so I knew the quality care that Joycelen would be getting and the individuals who would be providing it.

This morning I carried her into the center. She was cooing and babbling the entire time, as I gave a brief run down of her routine to Mrs. Jamie, the lead teacher in the infant room. When it came time to leave, I got a little bleary eyed and worried that she would do the same. But not my girl, she was too busy jabbering at another infant to worry with my departure. If things go well, M and I may enroll her in the 3 day a week program in the fall, to give my Mama a break and to allow Joycelen more interaction with her peer group.

June 24, 2010

A Package from Texas


Hi Everybody – Joycelen here. I hijacked Mama’s blog so I could show you the gift that my cousin Korlyn sent me.  She lives in Texas – I’m not sure where that is, but Mama says it is pretty far away.  It was my first piece of mail, so I was excited to see what was inside.


Daddy was nice enough to open the box for me. I am still too young to use scissors.


Investigating what’s inside…..I see yellow and black, two of my favorite colors.


Let me grab it, Daddy!


It’s a quilt and a letter. Korlyn said that this quilt was her first long sewing project. Since the quilt is Georgia Tech colors, she thought I would like to have it.


I love it already!!

Bigger Picture Moment: The Gift of Time

My life is running at warp speed these days. As the end of my company’s fiscal year approaches, I find myself needing to spend more and more time at the office. I am going in at 7 a.m., working thru lunch, and coming home after 7:00 p.m. Last night, after another exhausting day at the office, I found myself whining to M.

“24 hours in a day – is not enough time to take care of everything I need to do.”

“Sorry, babe, that’s all we get.” M replied as he scrolled thru the selections on our DVR.

“Well, it is not enough. Between work, cleaning around here, our church activities, I feel as though I have no time to do anything else.”

“I know, hun.”

“It is Wednesday, and I have yet to spend anytime alone with Joycelen. She is asleep when I take her to Mama’s and asleep by the time I get home.”

“Babe, this is just a temporary thing. You said it yourself – once the audit is over – work will settle down. Don’t worry about the baby, she knows you love her –

Our conversation never finished. The buzzing of my blackberry indicated a new e-mail, another work issue that needed to be addressed.

{Fast forward to this morning }

A tiny cry catapults me from a deep sleep. My focus my bleary eyes on the alarm clock. In the darkness of my bedroom, the red numerals glare at me – 5:45. “Why??” I pondered to myself “Why is she awake this early??”

Just a few feet from minute, my daughter Joycelen is stirring in her bassinette. Normally she would still be sleeping – like her mother she prefers to wake up after the sunrise. But not today – no, I think to myself, on the one day I needed extra sleep – she’s awake.

I wait a few moments, hoping that she will soothe herself back to sleep. No luck – she’s awake and hungry. If I do not act soon, those tiny coos and cries will morph into full out screams.

I feel myself fuming, grumbling as I make my way into the kitchen to prepare her bottle. I know that my bad attitude is because I am fatigued. “God, I am going to need your help today. I am tired – and I have a lot to accomplish – give me energy, give me strength --

My daughter is smiling at me, a toothless grin that stretches from ear to ear. As I bend to scoop her up, she throws her hands into the air and giggles. She’s happy – happy to see me, to be held by me. I feel my heart swelling with love as the tears threaten to flow from my eyes.

In the quite of the morning, with the sunlight softly beginning to stream thru the window – I nurse my daughter. Her blue eyes lock onto mine and never waver from my face. Staring at my daughter, I recall the previous evening’s conversation with my husband.

Even though, I had not asked, my Heavenly Father had heard the prayers of my heart. He knew that this tired Mama longed for time with her child but felt as though there was no way to make it happen.

So in the quite of the morning, He stirred a tiny baby from slumber, and in doing so blessed her mother with a gift that far exceeds extra sleep….the gift of time.

June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

picnik tes photo

June 21, 2010

Father’s Day






June 20, 2010

Joycelen - 3 Months

As hard as it is to believe, you are now 3 months old. This month was a big one for you in terms of development. Seemingly over night, you went from a baby who was content to simply lie wherever, to a curious little girl who wants to be on the move. This month:
  • You weigh 12 pounds and are measuring around 22 inches in length.
  • You have started to wear clothing in the 3-6 month range.
  • You are still wearing size 1 diapers.
  • Tummy time has become one of your favorite activities. You have moved from mini-pushups, to pushing up onto your knees and rocking back and forth.
  • You have learned to roll from your back to your stomach, and back again.
  • You finally discovered your feet and our fascinated by them. You like to hold your toes while rocking or riding in the car.

In addition to all of your big developmental milestones, the third month of your life was special because you served as a flower girl in your Aunt Jessica's wedding. Everyone was so impressed at what a calm/sweet baby you were. From the photo shoot to the last dance at the reception, you were all smiles when you were awake and slept like a champ when you were napping. While you were a marvel to all the new people you met, your Daddy and I were not surprised at all. We've known how sweet you are for quite some time now.

We are both eager to see what new skills you learn next!


Mama and Daddy

June 15, 2010

Hitting the Wall

In the beginning, motherhood seemed easy. After hearing horror stories of colicky babies who screamed all night, I had spent 9 months preparing myself (or at least attempting) for the possibility of numerous sleepless nights, and a long road back to my pre-pregnancy self.
Instead I was gifted with a baby who slept thru the night at two weeks old. Two months post-partum, I was back in my pre-baby jeans and resuming the routine that I had developed prior to Joycelen’s arrival.

And then life hit. I went back to work – and discovered increased responsibilities which translated into needing to work longer hours. I thought I could solve the situation by simply getting up early, so my 7:00 a.m. wake up became a 6:00 a.m. Sure, I was a little groggy in the morning, and some days I needed a caffeine i.v. – but the house was clean, I was at the gym 4-5 times per week, and M had clean clothes and supper every night.

April came, and along with it the start of blueberry season. My days grew longer as M needed my help in taking the picked berries to town, or preparing for the next’s days picking. I was no longer in bed by 10:00 p.m. – instead it was 11:00 p.m. or later. This made the 6:00 a.m. wake up more difficult, but nothing that a Pepsi Max with breakfast couldn’t overcome. I still felt in control. Each night I took pleasure in seeing the items marked thru on my to-do list --- clean house, happy baby, etc. I was so wrapped up in activity that I failed to see that I was really accomplishing very little.

Then M’s superintendent left the $8 million project they were working. My husband, who normally left the house at 6:00 a.m. after taking the morning feeding, was now leaving at 4:30. Our conversations had dwindled to mumbled goodbyes in the pre-dawn hours, and quick I love you’s at night before exhaustion took us over.

Last week, I hit a wall. The morning started out like any other morning. Joycelen began stirring in her crib about 6:00 a.m. I stumbled out of bed, and with bleary eyes prepared her bottle. She took the first ounce without a problem. She burped and I prepared to feed her the second ounce – this is when she began to scream, and scream, and scream. 15 minutes of screaming for no apparent reason. All of my attempts to calm her failed. Soon, I found myself curled up in my bed crying while I listened to her cry in the bassinet. “I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t” I yelled out loud.

And just like that, Joycelen’s screams ceased. She lay in her bassinet happily gurgling. I called M and said “I’m not happy. Things have to change.” As he drove into work, we talked about why I was unhappy – M pointed out that I could not do everything by myself….I am not super woman. I told him that I understood – that I was simply going threw the motions and not appreciating the moments. Together, we came up with a plan on improving the situation.

The plan started last Saturday night, when I left Joycelen’s in M’s care and went to Savannah for my best friend’s bachelorette party. Prior to the “wall”….I would have texted constantly reminding M of Joyclen’s schedule, things that needed to be done around the house, etc. Instead, I texted him to let him know I had arrived safely, texted at Joycelen’s bed time….and then I put the phone away and danced, laughed, and for a few hours celebrated being me – not a mom, not a wife, just a woman who loves spending time with old friends.

On Sunday, I returned refreshed. I rushed into the house and scooped up my daugheter, smothering her with kisses. I didn’t care about the dirty dishes in the sink, M’s socks on the living floor, or the things I would need to tackle on Monday. I was basking in the love of my family.

This week is going to test my new plan – as in addition to my usual responsibilities, our church is hosting VBS. Two days in and I am tired but not harried… I have allowed my MIL to take Joycelen a few hours in the evening so that M and I can tend to farm business. And I no longer feel as though I am failing because I need help.

Motherhood is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. But I am learning that it is not nearly as difficult if I am willing to ask for help. Being a super mom does not mean being a super woman…….it means just being there.

June 02, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday

  • It is officially blueberry season in South Georgia, which means M and I are devoting a large portion of our evenings to the following activities: transporting our freshly picked blueberries to our processing shed, coordinating tools for our picking crew, repairing leaks in our irrigation system, and mowing/spraying/trimming our fields.
  • Joycelen has seemingly grown over night. She is holding her head up for longer periods of time (nearly 4 minutes yesterday) and is pushing up while enjoying tummy time. Her vocal skills have greatly improved. She coos at nearly everyone she meets, but saves her high pitched happy shrieks for family and friends.
  • The weather down here is hot, hotter, and hottest. We have combated the heat (and humidity) with daily swims in the pool. Joycelen is still a bit too young to join us in the water, but either M or I will sit on the side and let her dip her toes in the water.
  • M and I are both swamped with work. M is trying to complete the school that he was been working on since last July. The official completion is set for mid-September, which means the next few months will be filled with early mornings, late evenings, and a few weekends of work. As for me, our office is preparing for our fiscal year end and annual financial audit. These requires a few additional tasks for me in addition to my regular work processes. I am feeling a bit stressed but know that things should slow down by mid-July.
  • My best friend is getting married on June 19th. Her bachelorette party is this weekend. I, along with my SIL, will be joining her and several other gals for an overnight stay in historic Savannah. It will be my first night away for Joycelen. I am excited about the girl’s night but a little sad that I will be away from my baby girl.

I think that sums up what is happening in our neck of the woods. What is happening in your world?