Saturday, December 31, 2011

Meaning of a Name

What is in a name? Juliet told Romeo, ‘What's in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet’.  As we know Juliet wasn’t very smart.  What if a Rose were called a Thornbristle, Cactilestink, or Buttweed…would it be the flower of love, the flower that people use for Valentines Day, or the flowers most used in a wedding bouquet? Oh, honey thank you for these beautiful Buttweeds!  I'm not so sure. 
I love literature, but I detest Shakespeare.  I blame him for the reason I scored a very low B in English.  The teacher actually wrote on my exam paper (interpreting a Shakespeare poem), “you poor dear, you have no idea what Shakespeare is saying, no wonder you keep failing these tests”.  

 It might be important to say not only am I a very southern girl, I was into hip-hop during this stage in life, and I spoke a completely different language.
But the REAL point I am trying to make here is…it’s really hard to pick a NAME for an unborn child.  It was quite the challenge at our house.  Darren loved the names Valarie, Paige, and Reagan.  I ADORED Kennedy, Katherine aka. Katie, and Elizabeth.  Every time we brought up a name, we argued.  We are NOT one of those cute couples that had names picked out for our children before we married, we could barely pick out the washer and dryer.  Luckily we FINALLY agreed on a name we both liked…..drum roll please….
Carlee Anne

We wanted to find a family middle name that would work with Carlee, like C. Spencer (after his dad and uncle) but we could never think of anything.   I used a name after one of my favorite children’s books and it worked perfect.  As soon as we chose Anne, we realized Anne is actually a family name too….Anne is Aunt Julie’s middle name and Ann is Nena’s (my stepmother) middle name. 
Being a teacher, the meaning of the names weren’t as important to me as picking a name that didn’t evoke memories of someone else, wasn’t so hard to spell, too radical, too common, and too hard to sound out.  It turns out that Connor actually means…STRONG WILLED.  Can you believe that?  I should have named him something like Zola which means Peaceful and Quiet. Like Shakespeare would say it’s what something IS, not named, and no one with 50% of my genes is going to be peaceful and quiet.  Carlee means Strong Female Leader (we need one more of those at our house).
So there you go. We have a Connor and a Carlee and couldn’t be happier.  We have cleaned out the spare bedroom, painted walls, laid new carpet, and last night ordered the nursery furniture.  A few more months now, and my anticipation is growing; along with the rest of me. 

I’m only 5’2 so I only have one direction I can go...OUT…and I  think major organs are being shifted, breathing is awkward at night. Mr. Shakespeare would say, How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.   
I have no idea how that quote really applies to my blog, but all the 90s hip-hop lyrics I know are not appropriate, except maybe "cosmo says your fat, but I ain’t down with that…baby got back”.  Love Sir Mix a Lot, now that is a cool name!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Love and Christmas

Imagine being a woman getting ready to embark on one of the most exciting times of your life, planning to leave your family, planning a wedding, a life with your significant other, and officially becoming an adult!  Then, OUT OF THE BLUE, you get a message from an angel that YOU are officially pregnant with the Savior of the World!?!  You think people are judgmental today?   I can’t imagine the scandal stirred up by Little Mary of Biblical Times.  I know the scripture tells us that Mary had her own doubts initially, but I often wonder if her reaction was that of a sweet and obedient daughter or if she was more like me…..a questioner who tries to argue ones way out of God’s plan.   God how can you do this to me?  This is supposed to be one of the greatest celebrations of my life and you come, choose my destiny for me, and mess everything up!?! 
Sure, we know NOW that Mary was highly favored by God…but at the time would you think that?  The whole village had to think that she was a major hoochie mama, and her journey really was never easy.  She had to travel pregnant, was chased by the vicious government and leader King Herod (who had all boys killed under age 2/Massacre of Innocence), and had to give birth in what many scholars think was a barn.  There had to be MAJOR feelings of pain, fear, worry, and anxiety everywhere.  Again, I would have SERIOUS questions about this whole “plan”, and more than likely I would be expressing my issues every step of the way.  Are you trying to tell me God, that this is the place I am to deliver the King of the World? That we have to be in danger? That we can’t be comfortable?  Why can’t you just send your child here on a gold cloud, or make this journey easy and comfortable? (maybe eventually I would take a clue that God is in control and shut up)
Since becoming a mother myself, Mary’s story resonates with me, because I can understand how she must have felt in many ways and the significance of the people she relied on.  God gave her more than Angels.  To name a few:  Elizabeth- her relative and friend (who was pregnant with John the Baptist) who encouraged her and told her to trust the plan.  Joseph-  a good man who followed God’s will and Loved Mary and Jesus unconditionally.   The Magi- who tricked King Herod, continued their own grueling journey, and confirmed God’s plan.  The Sheppard: who helped guide and direct Mary and Joseph.  I will tell you this truth…we as parents need more than ourselves to raise children in this world; we need trusted good friends and family.   
I am certain any doubts Mary had was completely wiped out the second her precious little baby boy was born.  Yes, he was God’s son, but he was also her little boy…the same little boy who would take his first steps, say his first words, ‘I love you Mama’, He would get into mishaps, He would get excited over his birthday, make friends, and learn a trade.  Mary would also be there as his mother when he was criticized, ostracized, and eventually beaten and crucified….yes He did it all for His love for us but He was still her little boy.  The thought alone makes my heart ache, to think of the joys and pain that woman experienced….all the time doing the Will of God.   She was simple, but she was special.
 Mothers are special and our journeys are never easy no matter how much you complain (I’ve tried it), but I find prayer always helps.  Every year The Christmas Story (not the story where Ralphie's friend sticks his tongue to the flag pole), The REAL Christmas Story takes on a different meaning for me and leaves me appreciating the love that went into Christ's Birth.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, enjoy your loved ones and pets…past and present, and remember the LOVE that made the True Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas is from Heaven and Christmas Shopping is from Hell

One promise I would like to keep as a parent is to have Christ in Christmas and our home year round (and I don't mean if you say Happy Holidays).  I mean for us to understand that Christmas is a celebration of family, love, sacrifice; it’s the symbolic day we Celebrate the miracle that is Jesus Christ!  The problem is… every year I am sucked like a vortex into what Christmas IS NOT about... case in point CHRISTMAS SHOPPING.
7 more days until Christmas Shopping, and Darren and I found ourselves without having bought a single gift.   (Enter my hyper hysterics here).  The time has slipped through our Grinchy fingers.  Even the weather says November...not December.  Mother Nature is confusing me.  We finally agreed it would be tragic if Santa did not deliver the Matchbox Mega Rig Ship Shark Adventure because we forgot the down payment.  The thing is, to be productive; we have to find a BABYSITTER.  Have you ever tried to find a babysitter for Dennis the Menace? 

It can be a challenge.  Luckily, Meme got off work early and was able to host Connor for the night.  Therefore, at 5:30pm Darren and I went off to the BIG City to get some things done.  It started out very nice.  My husband and I had great conversation in the car, and had a very nice “sit down” meal, and I was really feeling relaxed and enjoying myself……………………………………………fast forward to 1:00am that SAME evening (aka morning), and all I can think about is punching my husband in the face (the poor guy).  To make matters worse, many things I had in mind was SOLD OUT.  How is a girl to know that The Christmas Story Lamp Ornament and that the black remote control Tarantula would be gone so fast!??  Think of Baby Jesus, Think of Baby Jesus.  Think of Baby Jesus.  The most "wonderful thing" *sarcasm* about Christmas Shopping……
·         The DISPLAYS sticking out everywhere.  Yes I knocked over a display of KY Jelly and had no option but to pick it up while everyone watched (and no one offered to help the pregnant woman pick up the KY Jelly).  Every time I would set one on the display four more would fall off!  Mental Picture-  Imagine a Sumo Wrestler in a Holiday Sweater trying to pick up KY Jelly (that was me).  Is that really a HOT item during the Holidays?? Never mind I asked.
·         The husband walks AWAY with the buggy to look at flat screen TVs, while I find items and pile them up in my short, stumpy arms looking for him while my back screams ‘Uncle’!!! 
·         The husband suggests a 5.00 gas card every time I need an idea for a family member.  (Nothing says I found the perfect gift like a 5.00 gas card that will give you a 2-minute ride in your car).
·         The husband reminds me that we are OVER BUDGET without actually choosing the gifts.   He later redeemed himself with a trip to Krispy Kreme.  In my mood, I almost chopped my doughnut up with a rusty spoon to snort it up my nose.
·         The RUDE people who shove you out of the way or push their buggy into your butt! 
·         The line that lasts 30 minutes only for your item to ring up double while you hold the line up for another 15 minutes while you huff ‘This is ridiculous; there is a HUGE bold print sign with the price!  This store needs to get its ACT together!!’ and the minimum wage sixteen year old gives you a look that says she can't wait for a smoke break because she deals with idiots all day.
Sadly, we were not done and had to go back out today and this time with Connor.  I gave a lecture in the car about the importance of GIVING and on the really BIG importance of online shopping.  We finished with a late lunch at the Blue Bird Diner.  Connor voluntarily spelled his own secret notes…dad hre (dad is hairy), dad pas gas (Dad passes gas), dad frg (dad likes frogs), and dad mom loves (dad and mom loves each other).  I have to say I was impressed with his spelling when five months ago he didn’t know all of his letter and sounds.  He also talked about Christmas and what he asked for, would we feed the reindeers, would we go over to see our cousins, and how long would he be out for school??  His constant laughter and chatter made me feel happy again. 

It's like the quote, “When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”  ~G.K. Chesterton
When we got home, Connor really wanted to help me wrap the presents, so I let him go at it….what is the big deal if the gifts look like this guy wrapped it? 

I leave you with my own Holiday Wisdom:  Keep Christmas in your Heart and Keep Your Butt out of Walmart.  God Bless You, One and All!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Let There be Peace on Earth and Most Importantly in MY MIND!

After Thanksgiving Break my belly was full of a lot of turkey and a little baby, and my mind was on slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I sooo enjoy my breaks throughout the year.  However, this week life went past Go to Jail and Collect 300.00 and went straight to CRAZY.
Recap of  my week:
 ·         Finally finished unpacking all Christmas Items at the house
·         Plan A:  Mrs. E. brings a Real Tree to school, have students decorate, and take a part of tradition they may not have at home.

It smelled so good.

·         Plan B- Having a real tree in school is a MAJOR fire hazard.  Under authority, we undecorate tree.  (I had to comfort Mrs. E. more than anyone.)  We  placed the REAL tree outside in front of our window and made birdseed/acorn decorations. Then we put up a crappy fake one on the inside of the room.  
We just hope the thing doesn't get stolen now. 
Something for the birdies.
·         Plan A- Follow up Connor’s doctor appointment about some ways to help his focus at school....focus aside... Dr. T thinks there might be something going on with C's ear.
·         Plan B- Go to the Ear Specialist the next day, because the doctor finds a foreign item in his ear.  (Have small bead removed from ear at the price of 81.00!!!!!)  Now if you can believe this I took the bead home to show Darren but dropped and lost it in my carpet.  I am an idiot.  I have already given Connor direct orders that if he finds it again he is to throw it away or risk my wrath!
One of these were found in Connor's left ear...we have no idea out it got there, but Connor mentioned he was trying to make an earring with a bead like it to be a wrestler on TV.
·         ANOTHER pair of pants don’t fit.  Geez, I’m going to cut a hole in a bed sheet and place it over my head with a fashionable belt!
·         District E.C. meeting (after school) where I present information from a conference attended (I wonder if my family would find chicken noodle soup from a can a good dinner?)
·         Student Evaluation and Parent meeting after school (frozen pizza for dinner)
·         Create and order Christmas Cards- they are so cute but will they get mailed out??
·         Husband insists on painting 2 rooms this week…..for connor and nursery (there is a lot of junk in the hall and it is driving me NUTS)
Connor picked out this color for his room- Carolina Panther Blue
No Name Baby's room....Sweet Pea Green (very light green, think garden with pink flowers)
Sweet Pea for Sweet Pea
·         Plan A:  Meet with my friend and brainstorm baby shower details, give her addresses and numbers
·         Plan B: Just chat with friend because I Lost ALL of my addresses, NOW working on calling, emailing, and looking for all addresses lost
·          Wacky Hat Night at Church (I remembered to plan for my sparks class and a wacky hat, but forgot to review the scripture with my son)
I am telling you I went to bed at 7:30 am Friday night and Connor must have felt my tiredness because he fell asleep right beside me on the couch (and this little dude stays awake until 11:00pm).
The anxiety just creeps all over me during weeks like this, I have no idea how I am going to take care of baby #2, I have visions of her sprouting beads in her hair due to a bead left in her ear unattended for years, or Connor throwing her across the room like a football because I fell asleep while standing!?!  I wonder if moms and dads and wives and husbands and sisters and brothers and friends would agree that it is the fear of the unknown that will drive you ‘panty hose over your head with a rifle in the shot tower’ insane.  It’s the…what if? How will? Can I??  that really screws up our heads.  I mean you can only self medicate with chocolate before you realize you are gaining enough weight to have your own TLC show.
My supportive friends try to tell me God will not give you more than you can handle and that you only take it day by day…but my spoiled overwhelmed side wants to stick my tongue out and say ‘what do you know!? I mean I just had a bead removed from my son’s ear, I currently have birdseed and peanut butter stuck all over the only blouse that fits, and I think I just lost my cell phone in the fridge again!!!  (But like I say that is my spoiled side talking).  The truth is so far everyone is standing, and things have worked out, and everyone got through it without scars, and most important my Father is Faithful and His words are true....

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)
I have way more to be thankful about than I have to complain about, but I still ask for prayers and if you want to throw in a good joke paired with a Nutty Butty I will be your SLAVE for life.  Thanks Friends!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Where did November Go??

Really, Where did November Go??  I'm trying not to hyperventilate thinking about my List of Things to Do.  Can you believe Christmas is around the corner?  I haven't gotten one shopping list or Christmas Card idea complete.  I probably wouldn't have gotten the house decorated for Christmas, but Connor was soooooo persistent this year.  He actually wanted to start right after the Thanksgiving meal.  Although Thanksgiving with family was a lot of fun (and didn't require me to bake), I was beat when we got home.   I promised the next day after breakfast we would pull it all up from the basement.  Of course, Connor woke me up at 7:30am sharp today (it kind of takes the Christmas Joy away that early).   Pregnancy is no excuse with a six year old.  I was really surprised by how engaged he was in the process.  He helped me decorate most of the house (with me going in behind him to fix his "decorating"), and we even braved Black Friday to get a stocking for the baby, a tree for his room, and fast food burger fix while singing Christmas tunes.  It was a fun day.  I hope you all are enjoying your Holidays.  Right now this is the scene where I live....
Our Tree-  Darren tries to get me to leave off some of the ornaments.  I can't leave off one because they are so special.  I remember when we were first married I could barely cover the front of a smaller tree, now we can cover this whole tree!

My mother in law gave me this Nativity scene with the manger animals when Darren and I were dating.  I put it out and tell the story to Connor every year.  It's in good shape...with the exception that Joseph is missing a hand, and I have already found Baby Jesus in the toy wrestling ring twice. 
'Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.' 

Connor picked out this tree today.  It was the only blue one left.  It was 50% off because the lights didn't work. Surprisingly, so far the lights work.  I was able to let him pick out a few ornaments, and he added this banner he had himself. 

Even the bathroom has a touch of Christmas.

Welcome and Gingerbread Greetings...Santa lost his glasses, but I still love this door decoration.

This is my small Christmas Village.  I usually get one house a year.  My favorite is Cinderella's castle because Darren bought it for me when we first started dating.  It lights up inside and flashes all different colors! (as you can see Connor has added a few pieces).

My aunt made this present with the lights inside....this is a continuation of my small Christmas village.

I got this Christmas School House for my Birthday last week (33!).

I set out every Christmas Picture of Connor with Santa.  This is his first picture (4 months).

A few years later, we still don't like this Santa guy.

Last year, I think he figured out how this Santa Dude works.

The Santa on the bottom plays 'Jingle, Jingle, Jingle'...and it has been driving me CRAZY.  A family friend who just graduated from West Point Academy gave it to Connor and he loves it.

Merry Christmas!

A stocking for every family member, including our 'no name yet' baby girl.

I love this apron...exp. the BLING!

Anybody want to come over for some cookies in the Santa jar and eggnog? 

I usually end up burning stove covers at least a few times a year by accident.  So far these have been safe.

This picture didn't take well (I am asking Santa for a new camera this year), but it's a Santa doormat. Wipe your feet and Ho, Ho, Ho!

Watch your step...these baskets have taken a tumble many times already.  Maybe the new member of our family will be more "calm".

Our Fridge Reindeer....he would never say 'a moment to the lips forever on the hips' ...he says things like 'red light! go for it! santa would approve of all those cookies!'

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Were They Thinking?

My blog tonight is going to be major weak, because I’m major weak.  I cannot seem to kick the crud.  I’ve been to the doctor, but due to my pregnancy I have to be very careful about what I’m given and what I take.  Doc gave me an antibiotic, but so far it’s working like a sugar pill.
 Things are really picking up all around me.  Upcoming duties include cleaning out and preparing a nursery, preparing a little boy’s room (no teddy bears on the walls and curtains, sigh), possibly replacing carpet in three rooms, preparing for the upcoming Holidays, major paperwork and assessment deadlines at work,  social and church events, etc. etc.  All exciting things….until they become highly stressful.  I’m guessing my blogs are not going to be major creative (as my norm), but I’m going to try my very, very best to keep you up to date on the latest news…for example this commercial I just now watched. 
Keep your eye carefully trained on the Windsor Jewelry commercial (directly after the Ford commercial) that had me saying, "what were they thinking????"

(Let's just say I wasn't watching it carefully the first time).  Is this commerical tooo funny or what?   Just what are they trying to say here with this two second commerical? “Every kiss begins with the middle finger”  or “With this ring I thee shoot you the bird, (sort of).... 
Or maybe I have drank too much hot chocolate.   Stay tuned for more great updates. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friendship is not a MYTH

I’ve been looking on Facebook tonight.  I like to look at the young people…their thoughts, posts, and pictures.  It reminds me of my high school days, and it brings back some good memories.  I look at the pictures of pals in homemade t-shirts from clubs, fun matching girl boots, school spirit week…messages of ‘I’ve got your back gurrrlllll…message me and we will meet, can’t wait…love you sister!"  And I laugh at the open messages about hidden crushes, inside jokes,  and past fights.  It all takes me back, and BOY am I glad we didn’t have Facebook, because I am a SUPER OVER SHARER.  The notes I wrote on paper as a teen were so embarrassing.  I would hate to think I shared my dreams of being an ice skater and marrying Jim Carey with the world.
 Although these things seem so young and unimportant on Facebook, TRUE friendship is a value no matter what age.  I was reminded of this lesson. One of the worst things to figure out as an adult is when you think someone is your friend…. and it turns out that person is not a friend.  For many people the thrill of drama, gossip, competitiveness, and attention wins out over true friendship.  Sometimes when you are young, a measure of success is how many friends you have.  As you get older and deal with issues that forge your life, you really understand that a true measure of success is a smaller number of REAL and SPECIAL friendships. 
Today I feel so thankful to GOD for the true friends that I have…..the ones who make me laugh, who listen to me cry, who give kind words of advice, who lend me a great book or movie I may like, who picks me a flower, who tells me why they love me, and most important who allows me to do the same back to them. 

Loyalty is important, and it’s something we all need in our lives no matter what age.   I think it stills hurts when loyalty is broken, and even though I have never used a voodoo doll, it makes me wish I had one.  But let's face it, if I knew how to use a voodoo doll I would probably prick the crud out of myself and get nothing done anyway.  Seriously, each lesson teaches me to really value true character and to give others the respect I want.  I have been forgiven for so many things, so there is no point in harboring ill feelings or bad wishes toward someone else because of hurt.  Instead I focus on the people who have made me a better person=  to all my pals...I LOVE YOU DEARLY. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear Fall, Why is Your Visit so Short?

What is this???  We wake up and we feel the frigid cold hit our noses, we need a thick jacket to go outside, and we have to bring out the super fuzzy socks and mittens!?! 

So Long Fall, (weep) like my size 6 waist... I loved you while you were here, your visit was tooooo short!