September 30, 2010

A Letter to Joycie - #1


Each month I write you letters that detail how much you have grown and changed in the previous four weeks. And each month, I print those letters out and tuck them away in your baby book, in the hopes that years from now, we can read them together. And when I am no longer with you, you can read those letters and feel the love that I have for you.

I enjoy writing those letters. But lately I have been feeling as though I should write more letters. Letters that speak to you about more than just how you are growing up (way too fast for my liking) – letters than impart some of the wisdom that I have gained in the 28 years on this earth.

I also want to have these letters to refer back to – so when I encountered a parenting situation in the future, I can remember how I wanted to handle it, what I wanted to say, what I wanted to do.

So today, on Thursday, September 30, 2010, I am going to impart my first bit of wisdom to you.

“Don’t envy others!”

Joycie, it’s a simple fact of life that someone is always going to have somthing you want. The popular girl at school will date the boy you are secretly crushing on, a coworker will get the promotion you wanted, a friend will buy a new vehicle while you drive your old car.

You’ll first reaction will likely be envy. It would be easy to give into this emotion. You will list the reasons that the boy should like you better (Side note: Any boy who thinks you are anything less than amazing should be ignored, but that’s another lesson for another day), why you worked harder to earn the promotion, or why it is makes no sense for your friend to buy a new vechicle in her current financial situation.

You will probably find yourself wishing that you had what the other person has…don’t. I promise that there are things going on that you do not know about, problems that you can not see, worries/fears/questions that are plaguing the other person.

Envy is a waste of time and energy. Instead, of envying, you should be happy for the other person. And then focus on all the good that is in your own life. Sit down and list out all the things that you have been blessed with and I promise, you will soon forget about the boy, the promotion, or the car.

Okay, I would write more, but you are sitting in my lap and keep banging the keys, so I will close this letter.
I love you, pook!


September 28, 2010

Write Pink ! Blog for Your Breasts Day

We each have moments in our lives that change. Moments that so dramatically shift our worlds, that we can describe in vivid detail where we were, what we wore, when the moment happened. For me one of those moments was April 4th, 2004.

I was lying on my beige floral couch in my one bedroom apartment in Smyrna, GA. I was wrapping up the final weeks of my senior year at Georgia Tech. Per Sunday afternoon tradition, I had called home to give my parents the weekly update. Towards the end of the conversation, my Mama said “Honey, we need to tell you something.”

My heart leapt into my throat. I wondered if the news would be about my grandmother. Over the early part of the spring, she had been ill – I wondered if it was the news that the end was near. It was not. Instead, the news my mother shared was even more shocking, even scarier. With tears clogging her voice, she spoke “Tammi has breast cancer.”

Tammi was my oldest cousin on my father’s side. 14 years older than me, she had been more of a big sister to me than a cousin. I had always admired her style, her zest for life, and though I had never told her – I secretly wanted to be like her when I grew up.

That night and in the coming weeks, I wondered how this could be happening. My cousin was still so young – didn’t breast cancer happen to older woman. I was scared of what would happen to my cousin, but during a long conversation with her she assured me “I will win.”

And she did! She beat breast cancer, not once, but TWICE. Unfortunately, many woman do not win their battles. So today, in honor of my cousin’s victory, and in memory of the other soldiers, I am participating in Write Pink: from the Head, Heart and Feet.

Please join me and Bigger Picture Blogs today as we kick off Write Pink! from the Head, Heart and Feet by teaming up with Army of Women and bloggers everywhere to Blog for our Breasts.

The Army of Women campaign is an online initiative, where women (and men) can sign up at The members are then contacted via E-blast to participate in groundbreaking, breast cancer prevention research studies. They can either sign-up for the studies online, or if they do not qualify, they are encouraged to forward the information to a friend or family member. Every woman ( or man) over 18 is welcome to participate, whether a breast cancer survivor or someone never affected. Do you want to join the fight against breast cancer? Then sign up! Want to recruit friends and family to join the army? Encourage them to sign up by using the Invite a Friend Link.

Breast cancer has taken the lives of too many mothers, daugthers, sisters and friends. Join this Army and let's battle to win the war with breast cancer.

September 25, 2010

A Single Curl

6 months 9-24-10 #10

September 23, 2010

Bigger Picture Moments: Following the Plan

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a weekly writing meme where we breathe in the moments that paint a picture of the grander scheme. All moments are welcome in this space -- small or large, as community is just as important as the grander awareness brought on by searching for a bigger picture every week.

I have always wanted to be a runner. There seems to be a freedom in running – the breeze blowing around you, the repetitive sounds of your feet hitting the pavement – running seemingly provides a momentary escape from the pressure of the world around you.

Two years ago, I was in the middle of transforming myself into a runner. I was nearing the end of Couch to 5K training plan and was a mere two weeks away from my first 5K run. And then I got injured.

Two X-ray, 1 MRI, and a few cortisone shots later, I was able to finish the race. But my knee was extremely inflamed, and my doctor advised me to take a few months off from my new found hobby.

Those few months became years. Recently, I have once again felt the urge to run. To lace up my shoes, pick a route, and just run. But my body is two years older, and has undergone changes sense then – namely given birth to a child. So once again I am following the Couch to 5K training plan.

On Monday, I was in the middle of the first day of the 4th week of the program. My training plan called for a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by a 3 minute run, a 90 second walk, then a 5 minute run, followed by a 2.5 minute walk – all of which is repeated a second time. The first set was hard – I struggled to maintain my pace, and my legs felt heavy. Three minutes into my 2nd 3 minute run, I was feeling great. I was experiencing the elusive “runners high”, so I though – I think I’ll just keep running. So I ran for another minute and then another.

My training partner looked me and said “Aren’t you suppose to walk now?”

“Nah, I am feeling good – and besides the walking segments are boring. I am just going to run the rest of the time.”

And my plan worked for a moment. And then my lungs began to feel as they were on fire. I couldn’t breathe properly. My lack of breathe lead to a cramp in my side that finally forced me to stop my workout.

Later that night as I lay on my living room floor attempting to stretch out my sore muscles, I though about my run. I realized that I had gotten so focused on the end result – RUNNING – that I had desired to abandon my training plan.

It’s something that happens to me in other areas of my life. I become so consumed with the end result, that I often miss the small steps that I need to take -- and often wind up costing myself more time.

So in the coming week, I am going to follow my training plan to the letter. And in the other areas of my life, I am going to focus on the completing the small steps that will get me to my end result.

September 21, 2010

M's Birthday Scavenger Hunt

If you read my blog yesterday, you saw a post that contained a clue for M to decipher so that he could continue of his birthday scavenger hunt. I promised that would post a recap once he was done….and here it is.

M’s birthday hunt was suppose to begin with a letter that I had placed over the visor in his work truck. It contained a poem about breakfast that I had composed and a clue that read:

Look in the place that was named by Dorothy Levitt, it is also known as a jockey box.

The answer was the glove compartment, in which there was money for M to treat himself to a breakfast out.

Unfortunately, M had to switch work trucks, so while he found the letter, he did not figure out the clue until AFTER the switch. He is going to treat himself to breakfast today.

M’s truck swap further thru my plans out of whack. As the 2nd clue was set to be delivered by scheduled email at 10:30. The clue was simply an anagram of the word toolbox. Inside his toolbox, I had hidden 2 cd’s that he had requested. I had to just tell him about that gift.

The third clue was this:

    

    

    

    

    

If you take the text, paste it into word and change the font, it looks like this:




D M I O -

O A K T -

Reading down each column you get the following:

www dot kim and mikey dot com.

This clue took him to a blog post that instructed him to e-mail me at the e-mail address that we use for private matters. This was my personal e-mail address. Once I received his message, I responded with

Sehen Sie unter der Stelle, wo Staub Hasen verstecken

M figured out that it was a phrase in German. So he googled an online translator and received the phrase “Look under the place where dust bunnies hide.”

This clue took him quite a bit of time to figure out. He was looking under our bed, the crib, chairs, tables, etc. He finally found the next clue under the corner of our couch. I should not that I laughed at him crawling around on our floors. Joycelen was watching him with an expression that said “Daddy has lost it.”

The clue under the couch was simply 2-9-5. I told him to look in anything that would contain numbers. He thought about phone books, various books in our house, and finally found the clue in an old hymnal we had in the living room.

The clue in the hymnal read “I can feed you but I am not food, I can quench your thirst but I am not water.” M quickly realized that this was referring to the Bible. He located the correct Bible (we have 4 in our home) in which was a humrous birthday card that contained the final clue “Look where your memories were stored.”

The final clue guided him to a wooden chest that he stores items in. He lifted up the lid and found the box containing the wireless mouse that I purchased him.

M stated that he enjoyed the scavenger hunt and wants another one for his next birthday. And being the good wife that I am, I am going to oblige him. But I think he is nervous because I have a whole year to plan clues, while this year’s search was planned in just a week.

Oh, this is going to be fun….

September 20, 2010

Mikey's Next Clue

**Readers, today is M's 31st birthday. Since his birthdy fell on a work day and a Monday no less, I decided to create a scavenger hunt for him. He has been receiving clues on morning. Some clues lead directly to a gift and others to another clue. I promise to post tomorrow with a complete recap. But for now, I need to give M his next clue.**

You previous clue was quite difficult, so I will make this one a bit simpler. Send me a message to the address we use when we wish to discuss private matters.

September 16, 2010

6 Months


Dear Joycelen,

You are 6 months old. Hard as it is to believe half of your first year of life is over.  Here are the important milestones for this month:

6 months 9-4-10 #1

  • You are 15 pound, 15 ounces.
  • You measure 27 inches in length.
  • You are wearing 3-6 months clothing, although a few of the 6-9 month onesies do fit you.
  • Due to your long limbs, you have a tiny waist, so you are still in size 2 diapers.
  • You are still sleeping thru the night. You take a nap around 6:30 or 7:00 that last for about an hour. Then you wake up for an hour of playtime and one last bottle, and then sleep for 10 hours.
  • You have become a pro at eating solid foods. You have 1 jar of baby food along with a 4 ounce bottle for breakfast, a 6 ounce bottle at 11, a jar of baby food at lunch, another 6 ounce bottle at 3, 6, and a 4 ounce bottle before bed.
  • Your verbal skills continue to grow. You are making the “b” and “m” sounds….over and over again. Nana says that she has heard you say Mama and Daddy first, but if that’s true you are not letting us hear them.

6 months 9-4-10 #4

  • You are also becoming quite accomplished at sitting up.
  • Still no crawling, you prefer to scoot on your back or army crawl.
  • Recently, you have become enthralled with remotes, cell phones, and paper.

Your Daddy and I are constantly amazed by you, and you always have us laughing with your smiles, giggles, and big wet kisses.


Mama & Daddy

Bigger Picture Moments: Satisfaction

Another Thursday, another chance to share my weekly Bigger Picture Moment. For more inspiring moments, visit Bigger Picture Blogs

For the last two months, I have repeatedly listened to a CD titled “Songs 4 Life: Feel the Power”. It is a CD compilation of Christian music from the 90’s. With all of the new praise and worship CD’s and the plethora of Christian artist, my husband who gifted me with the CD wondered why I had asked for this particular one (and the others in the collection.)

I explained to him that my parents had gifted me with the collection when I was an 9th grader. As I dealt with the numerous angst of high school, I had listened to those CD’s. While other girls went on dates on Friday night, I stayed in my room signing along to the words. The music was a reminder of a time, when my sole source of comfort and peace had been Jesus.

Now at 28, my days are filled with work, exercise, family demands, making time for friends, creating time for my husband, housework, and other responsibilities. Jesus has been relegated to Sundays and Wednesdays, and often my mind and heart is any another place on those days too.

I was/am yearning to once again be close with my Savior. And foolishly, I though that if I listened to the music that it would happen. However, over the last two months, the gentle voice of God has whispered “ You are listening, but do you hear the words. You know the music, but have you learned the message.”

And I do. If I want to have a better relationship with my God, I have to spend time with Him. If I started to feel disconnected from my husband, would I just sit at home playing CD’s of our favorite music. Of course not. I would probably turn on the CD’s, pull him off the couch, and slow dance in our living room. Then when the music ended, I would sit with him and talk, and talk, and talk….

Nothing difficult, nothing challenging, simply really….I would find time to spend with him. And that is what I need to do with God. So last night, as a lay in bed, I prayed

“Lord, I know that I need to spend time with you. I need to study your word, talk with you, to just be still in your presence. But, Lord, I too often let life get in the way. So I am asking you (and this may be wrong to do Lord) can you have me wide-eyed and alert when my alarm goes off. Remove the desire to hit snooze….and I promise I will study your word.”

Bargaining with God…..yeah….. but you know what? At 7:05 this morning, I was wide awake. I offered a pray of thanksgiving as I tossed the covers back. Then I pulled out my Bible and began to study my lesson for that day.

And wouldn’t you know it… the lesson was on satisfaction – on how I am designed to long to be in God’s presence. Coincidence, not likely. That is just God telling me what I needed to know.

I am eager to hear what He says next.

September 11, 2010

Nine Years Ago….

Nine years ago, I awoke in my sophomore dorm and set out for the campus bookstore.

Nine years ago, I stood in the checkout line at the bookstore. As I waited to purchase my biology book, I heard a radio announcement that the Pentagon was on fire. My thought “What have the idiots in Washington done now?”

Nine years ago, I climbed on the campus bus. As I rode, I heard to guys behind me conversing. “Did you see the plane hit the tower?” one asked. “Yeah, the smoke came billowing out and glass flew everywhere” was the reply. My thought “I wonder what action movie they are discussing.”

Nine years ago, I was volunteering at the campus Job Fair when the director told us that it was closing early. She stressed that all students should return to their dorm rooms. My thought “Yes, I can take an afternoon nap.”

Nine years ago, I walked back into my dorm room and found my roommate crying as she watched a newscast. Curious as to what had her upset I turned to look at the screen. NBC was replaying the footage of the plane hitting the tower. My thought, that I voiced over and over, “This isn’t suppose to happen in America.”

Nine years ago, I frantically and repeatedly im’ed Kevin , who I knew worked in the Pentagon. My prayer “Lord, please let him be safe.”

Nine years ago, the President sent out a campus wide e-mail to address the horrific act and its impact on us. He stated that in one hour our campus would be closed – nobody in, nobody out. My roommates and I were ready to leave in 40 minutes. All of us fearful of staying in the heart of a major city…Our thought “Could Atlanta be next?”

Nine years ago, I spent the evening with my roommates in Dunwoody. We cooked ravioli in Alfredo sauce and watched the news footage safe in the den of Kim D’s parents home. Sometime during the night, I spoke with my Daddy.

Nine years ago, I asked my father “Daddy, does this mean we are going to war?”.

Nine years ago, I cried when he replied “Yeah, baby I think it does.”

9/11 is forever etched in my mind. It was a day that America as a nation was changed, and a day that I as a person was changed. Faced with the horror of the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, our nation came together. We prayed, we mourned, we gave, and we vowed never to forget. In light of that day, I lost the last vestiges of my childlike innocence. I was faced with the reality that the world is indeed full of hatred, cruelty, and people who are willing to hurt others in the name of “their god”.

Today, nine years later, I awoke in the comfort of my bed, in the safety of my home. I checked on my beautiful, sleeping child. And I offered thanks to God for all that I have been given. And I asked comfort for those who lost loved ones ten years ago, peace to those whose heart are still filled with anger/hatred, and that somehow America as a nation can once again unite as we did then.

Today, nine years later, I will host my nieces 1st birthday. I will watch as children frolic thru sprinklers, splash pools, and water slides in my front yard. And I will pray that they never experience what I did…ten years ago.

Today, nine years later, I will honor the victims of 9/11 by living my life fully. I will celebrate that I am living in a country that, while flawed, is still the greatest nation on earth.

How will you remember? Today, tomorrow, and years from now?

September 07, 2010

A Tough Choice

On Thursday, after spending several hours deep cleaning my home, I was in desperate need of shower. I turned on the hot water, got a new fluffy towel, and stepped in....

A few moments later I discovered I was out of my body wash....I was left with the choice of using M's ' manly bodywash, or Joycelen's baby wash.

Guess which one I chose?

September 01, 2010

Weekend in Atlanta, Part 2


Hi Bloggies – I’m back, did you miss me?  I missed ya’ll.  So, where did I leave off last time.  Oh, I remember. Even with Mama navigating, we managed to make it to Turner Field.


Here I am with Daddy waiting for the game to start.  Mama made sure that I was slathered in sunscreen, had my hat, and was properly hydrated….


Watching the Braves was hard work. I got tired from clapping my hands and cheering. So around the 4th inning, I took a nap.


I woke up in the 7th inning. I sat with Papa and Nana and watched the Braves score again, and again, and again. The Braves won the game 13-1.

After the game, we loaded up and head back home. It was a busy and short weekend in Atlanta. But I can already see why Mama and Daddy like visiting there…. I can’t wait to go back.