Tuesday, March 1, 2011


This winter has been really tough on me. We had a peek of spring a couple of weeks ago and it was quickly replaced by gray and snow once again. I didn't realize how much I had been affected by the lack of sunshine until I felt the lightening influence of the sun yesterday. Yesterday's blast of sunshine did wonders on my mood and my attitude. I had to go to the hospital to have another blood test to be sure there were no further complications from my miscarriage and it didn't get me down. Bless you sunshine! Bless you!

It started me thinking about my role in my family. That old-timey song came to mind (try not to think of the Soggy-Bottom Boys in O Brother, Where Art Thou? singing this one)...

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray

I am my family's sunshine. I affect the mood around here perhaps more than any other member of my family. "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." TOO TRUE. I am certain that my shorter fuse and irritability has taken away from my children's happiness at times. My husband comes home from long and stressful days at school and needs peace and solace... and all too often, I am a huge source of stress for him. Complainers aren't cute. He fell in love with an ambitious, energetic, fun-loving, happy girl, not an insecure stressed-out complainer!

I am the sunshine in my home. A little sunshine in my day changed my mood and made my whole day better. I want the same to be said of me by my kids and husband. "Mom changed my mood and made my whole day better."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stayin' Alive

The long, drawn-out Iowa winter is kicking my butt. Seriously. Stupid Puxatawney Phil. I'm starting to go a little nuts. It is teaching me to search for joy in the little things. Here are a couple of little things that made me smile in the last couple of days.
  • Kenley had a well-baby check up this week and in UI Pediatric Clinic, I heard the song "Stayin' Alive" by the ever-falsetto Bee Gees in Muzak fashion. Yes, folks. Not only can you hear the disco hit that encourages what you are actually trying to do by visiting the hospital in the first place, but in a way that drains you of your will to live. Irony. Yes. Elevator-style disco irony.
  • I am not sure what my daughter thinks or feels when she sees me, but I am coolest person in her world. She gets so excited and shakes and kicks the closer I get to her. I am scared she'll one day learn that I'm not anywhere near as cool as she thinks I am. She gives me the best smiles and the most persistent weeping when she wants me to hold her, which is all day long. The downside is that she never gets tired of me. Ever.
  • I have discovered two new recipes that I would have been better without. One is Chicken Flautas. I now know the reason that corn tortillas exist at all. The other is homemade Spinach and Artichoke dip with Crostinis. I've made both twice in about a week. Not good if I ever wish to realize my dream of becoming a Victoria Secret model. (Yeah, Ramone. That'll happen.)
  • I do have to give props to allrecipes.com. If you click on ingredients above the seach bar and type in "corn tortillas" you'll find a recipe like Chicken Flautas that you have to make twice in one week. The fat girl inside me (and, well, outside me) rejoices. The Victoria Secret Model inside me does, too. She's been craving a cheeseburger for a long time.
  • Nothing brings me joy like my son singing "The Wheels on the Bus" (motions and all) and my baby girl giggling.
  • We have the coolest icicles dripping down the front of our house. They are seriously so impressive.

    And you thought I was exaggerating!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amy Macy

In my last blog post, I mentioned the advice that my baby brother gave me about owning the gray. He said that when you have the chance to be an example you should take it. It made me think of my favorite professor at MTSU, Amy Macy. To be sure, I had a number of favorite professors, but I just LOVED her. She was such a strong woman with a really cool career. She had done it all... from performing and touring to working the business side. She was a tough teacher, which made the really awesome grade on my SWOT analysis a beautiful thing. But, she was so compassionate and kind.

I remember stopping by her office shortly before Thanksgiving for some school related thing. I was an older than average student and super hard core. I had broken up with my latest boyfriend a couple of months before, but we were still friends and he had invited me to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. (He and our friends were mostly Samoans and one played for the Titans. These were some big dudes! We had TWO turkeys and a huge table full of American and Samoan food. I felt so petite and dainty!) I had mostly decided to decline and just use the weekend to get caught up on school work. I was working 3 jobs at the time and was a busy gal. Amy asked me what my Thanksgiving plans were and I told her about the invite, but that I was just going to use the time to work on school projects. I was a little emotional about it, feeling lonely around the holidays and I did not want her to see me cry. I thought she would applaud this, but she looked me dead in the face and told me to go. She said that Thanksgiving is the purest of all holidays and should always be celebrated. A day set aside just to give thanks was a beautiful thing and shouldn't be brushed aside.

She also included me in a dinner at her house just before finals with her favorite students. There were four or five of us and she and her husband cooked an amazing turkey dinner for us. She was pregnant and sporting denim overalls. It was such a generous gesture. I loved her for it.

She would have been a favorite teacher of mine if she hadn't owned her beautiful silvery gray hair. Certainly. However, there was something so cool about her hair. I wanted to earn her respect from the moment I met her. She was so self-posessed. It is hard to explain and seems like such a small thing. As you'll see from the pictures below, she was YOUNG to be so gray. She was in her 30s and probably early 30s. She was pregnant with her first child in these pictures. I have worried about people thinking I am my children's grandmother when my hair is silvery gray, but no one would think that of her... and if they did, she would have laughed it off.

She was so hip and cute. So many boys in her classes got that goofy glazed over look that goofy boys get when they are crushin' on a girl. Her hair didn't say that she didn't care about how she looked. It more said that she didn't care what YOU thought of how she looked. She had such style and flair... and it was all hers. She wasn't a slave to trends, but she looked super-current. Not at all granola, even pregnant in overalls in her home.

She told me there was a secret society of women brave enough to own the gray. I was ready to embrace it and then I met my Cory, who was 22 at the time and I did not want to italicize our age gap, so I put it off. I'm ready to get a nod or a wink from other secret society members... and perhaps Amy Macy will know she was an example.

Matt O'Brien (Attorney that taught Copyright Law), me, and Amy Macy at NARM in Orlando, spring of 2001. Amy was obviously pregnant and worked tirelessly to help all of us nail down internships. What a trooper!

At the end of the Spring semester, 2001. I was days away from heading to NYC to my internship at BMG Distribution's Marketing Department. She was days away from meeting her baby girl. I had just been handed a scholarship from NARAS (the Grammy people). I'm absolutely certain she had a hand in that coming to be. What a rock star!

Friday, February 12, 2010

To gray or not to gray...

It's not really a question. It just is. The question is more about hiding it... and let's face it. As a friend pointed out recently, "You tell everyone anyway! What's the big deal?" Exactly.

I guess I was late for everything except the gray hair. I got my first gray hair when I was 16 and have gained countless more since then. I got a big jump on it as a missionary and even more as a mother.

I was talking with Kurtis (baby bro) about this the other night. He is my going-gray cheerleader (Cory too... just picture them in those little skirts :)) and made the best point. He said that whenever you have the chance to be an example, you should embrace it and be an example. So wise. So far, all I have needed to do to be an example is let my hair grow and not color. There is much more to say, but I am going to take advantage of my kids napping and shower.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I just changed the title of the blog to "Confessions of a Late Bloomer." That's me. I am such a weirdo. Really. I have never fit in where I should have. Most of my contemporaries just don't get me. Not that I'm not friendly with people. I think I make them a little uncomfortable.

I was single when most gals my age were married.

I was childless (and desperately did not want to be) when most in my association and my age group were mothers of multiple children.

I am married to a grad student when most married women my age have a husband a decade or so out of grad school.

The women with kids my kids' age are 10 years (or more) my junior.

I have really been blessed, though. I have great friends in varying phases. I find that the people I can truly call friends I would have been able to call friends whatever we might have in common.

I have struggled being a weirdo... a misfit. I italicize it more than I should, perhaps because I don't want it pointed out to me.

It's time to own being a weirdo.

Friday, January 15, 2010

No longer an option

I have this picture hanging in my kitchen. It is a greeting card that I framed. I love it. I love that the little girl (or 36-year old woman) is "running away" to her life.

This is my life.

For most of my life, I dreamed of being famous. I wanted to sing songs I had written to thousands of people who adored me. I'm serious. I lived in what would be my glorious future. I don't regret that I embraced such a grandiose dream, even until I was in my 20s. I earned a degree (with honors) to that end. Recording Industry: Music Business. I was given a scholarship by the "Grammy People." I was nudged by the Heavens to keep pursuing it.

What God knew that I didn't was that I would be single for a lot longer than I wanted to be. Twenty-nine is old to be a single Mormon woman. God also knew that I would have a tougher time than most becoming a Mother (yes, I meant to capitalize that). He knew that a little dreaming, even about something that might not come to fruition was not a bad thing.

I find that the dreams and hopes that are hardest on our hearts are the ones that are absolutely out of our hands. You can do all you can and just hope and wait, but its coming to you still largely rests outside of yourself. Marriage and Motherhood were both hard to hope and wait for. Stardom, too, I guess... but it might have been something to distract me in the meantime.

So. Here I am in "My Life." As I type this, I have my hair back in a ponytail. No make-up. Yesterday's dishes are still in the sink. My house is a bit cluttered. My 3-month old baby is sleeping and my 2-year old son is reading through the mountain of books he pulled off the shelf. My Sophie (our infertility puppy) is asleep next to me.

I have had the hardest time embracing this as my life. I nursed the music dream for a long time. I worked as a professional. I took business trips. I got promotions. I got validation from grown-ups other than my husband. I secretly find myself thinking about what I want to study in school for a graduate degree. That will likely come to be, though at a much later date. Education is great. I love school. I'm good at school. I keep thinking of a career outside of our Home. Why?


This is my Life. It is a beautiful and sweet, albeit chaotic, little life.

I am admitting now that I love being at home with my babies when Cory is at school. I love having the place "to myself" in a way.

I love working on sewing projects. I have made two darling little dresses for my baby girl. I am making some cute baby towels, burp cloths, etc. for my sister and her baby girl (arriving in the spring).

I love to crochet.

I love a clean kitchen and having the laundry done (for 5 minutes!).

I love looking into my son's eyes and seeing so much more intelligence and understanding than he has trained his tongue to convey.

I love his hugs (sometimes choking) and humming kisses.

I love my daughter's discovery of her voice.

I love her wide-open-mouthed drooly smile.

I love being their Mommy. They make me so happy.

So. This is my life. The rest, for now, is no longer an option.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


One of the fastest ways to appear crazy is to put on BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK--I'm talking 1960's red--in the middle of the day, with no other make-up on, while wearing sweatpants and a sloppy tee.

One of my best friends knows I've had a rough couple of weeks (years?) and gave me a sparkly little black and silver clutch filled with Lindor truffles, nail polish, BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK, and some lip gloss. She included a card with a drawing of a woman in a dress vaccuuming with a joke about us... that if we had to clean, at least we would have red lips doing it. I love the sentiment.

Actually doing it made me look a little nuts. My little Jacoby kept looking at me amused. To a 2-year old, when Mommy's lips look that red... well, somthing's up for sure.