i've been wanting to blog lately. problem? i don't know where to start....again. i hate this feeling. yesterday i was trying to find a clip of my wedding and stumbled across the video i took crossing the finish line at the austin marathon in 2011. my gut told me to post it. my instincts said to post it but then my rational mind stepped in. it asked why would this be your first post back?

in the end, my mind won. it defeated my gut instinct. my natural desire to do something other than for no reason except for it felt right. i left work, forgot about my blog urge and went home to play with my family. until....my dear friend, jennifer, sent me a message reminding me that yesterday was our one year anniversary to surviving the austin marathon!!!

my heart sank and lifted all at the same time. i instantly knew my gut was right and i was a schmuck for not listening. so, today my friends - one year and one day after i crossed the austin marathon finish line, i want to show you what its like.

this was taken by holding out my cell phone. it not great quality and it at the end of my 26+ mile hill run but you get the point. except for one thing you can't hear - i was listening to linkin park numb in one ear bud and the crowd cheers with the other. i was surrounded by the cheers and motivation.


happy one year and one day anniversary, austin, jennifer & cheryl. we did it!



mother of the year moment.


after dinner we were just hanging out. we had nick jr. on tv and a nice small fire going. without even realizing it, i'm on pinterest. i mean, my account was open and it just happened. i was checking it out. scrolling through the mindless pins that make me believe if i pin enough things i could cook, have style, own fabulous accessories, feel the need to shop for things i didn't even know i want, have stunning and versatile hairstyles at my command, host the best party and become a diy goddess. i am feeling glorious! feeling like the best mother in the world for pinning a site where you take a picture of your living room and put santa in it for proof. 



i really see this:

my son. cleaning the coffee table while i waste time on the internet.


okay, i didn't really see this exact snap. i was the one sitting by the fire. this is what i really saw:

i didn't even stop him. 

i got up and grabbed my camera.


so, really all of this happened but we didn't just have baby wipes in the living room. james went into his room and grabs his wipes box with the cars characters on it and brings it into the living room. i'm "busy" and so i am okay with this. he's naming the characters and seems like he is pleasantly entertained. he then pulls one wipe out. so, i casually say, james, clean the table.

and he does! 

i mean, he scrubs away. he get another wipe and another. he is loving it!

this. is. awesome! this ranks right up under the proud achievement, trash can award. mr. h and i feel spoiled now that james knows where the trash is and likes throwing things away. (well, except for when we have to rescue the toy casualties who "fall down" inside the trash can. yep, they just fall, fall down. james swears.) but seriously, it's like now he's a little helper. doing chores and pulling his weight. baaahaha. 

i just love that he is learning.

and that he's a good helper.

and that i have a clean coffee table.


the king.

halloween thus far hasn't been super exciting. don't get me wrong, i love dressing james up and picking out the perfect outfit. i mean, james just really hasn't been an active participant in the halloween festivities. the first year he couldn't walk and got abnormally hot in his perfect costume for thirty degree weather. i think it was like seventy. oops. the second year we ramped it up and tried to make it more fun for him. we i tried to pick out an outfit he couldn't hate. let's face it, 19 month old baby boys don't like accessories. they want to be mobile and free. this year, well, i wasn't sure exactly what we'd do. we were newbies in texas without our family or friends to celebrate. luckily i had some options and talked to a neighbor ahead of time. the costume search began. here's what happens - i think about it and think about it. i talk to my friends about their kid's costumes and then i think about the photo session opportunity. obviously.

this year, i knew i could ask james what he wanted to be. he'd tell me a toy story character, like woody or buzz. man, he'd love those wings. if so, i would have loved to be closer to my friend, chelse, who is a nice mom and let her daughter pick out her own costume. she chose jessie. how cute would that have been? two little toy story characters running around asking politely for candy and joyfully saying thank you as they skip on to the next house. except, i think my daydream really is just in my dream world. our children are young and exert there own personality on this wonderful holiday. and i think it is safe to say, we'll work on improvement for next year. i think there is an 18 year learning curve to being a mom, right??

so, knowing james would have picked a mainstream character, i thought i'd ride it out one more year and diligently pick his costume. i might let him decide next year. if mr. h has anything to say about it, we'll let james choose. and i'm okay with that. totally. as long as it's cute. or as long as he can rock a photo session with dear old mom. but this year, this year i thought "the king" was fitting for my little prince.

my friend, haley, made his costume. from scratch. i know, right?!! it was perfect. except he wanted nothing to do with the gold glasses. wouldn't even touch them. still hasn't. dang. anyway, my work had a halloween carnival and he got to rock his costume and hear all the women coo-ing over him. i bet that is what the real elvis got, probably not g-rated though. he was a hit! until it was time to eat and jump in the bounce house. we changed his outfit so he could enjoy it more. and truth be told, so he didn't ruin it with kethcup and his rambunctious ways.

next up was actual halloween. my first thought goes to the traffic. that could be an entire post itself but let's just say that it was the longest commute home i've endured so far. i think everyone leaves work on time to get their kids ready. i told my boss to remind me to take a half day vacation next year to avoid the mess. he laughed. and said i could leave early. he remembers those days. luckily, i married an awesome hubby and dad. he had james dressed and ready to roll when i got home. since round one at my work, he kind of understood - wear this costume and i'll get candy. specifically i'll get chocolate. (i know, i know. my toddler had chocolate. he loved it. don't be a hater. it was october! if you deprived your child, you should point that finger right back around.) we successfully made it to a grand total of 4 houses. only three answered their door and i made james go to the forth so mr. h could meet the neighbors to the west. jackpot! they, by far, had the best candy. of course, james did not say one trick-or-treat or thank one kind person for the candy. awkward! he did however say trick-or-treat to ask mr. h and i for candy around the house. funny how that works, right?
thank gawd halloween is over. i loved it. i loved every kitkat, snickers bar and dumdum sucker. i have no self control. sweets are definitely my weakness. i think james got that gene from me...but i got it from grammie. so we'll obviously blame her.

thank you.

thank you very much.

**note to self - if you put the plastic pumpkin holding halloween candy in the pantry, the strong-willed toddler will know how to open the pantry for the rest of your life!**



i never realized that i was blessed to have an actual pumpkin patch so close to me in oklahoma. i mean, it was at least a 30 minute drive but it was there. you could pick a pumpkin, ride a mini-horse and enjoy the petting zoo. i could tell james enjoyed it last year so i just knew this year would be even better. welp, if i could find a dang pumpkin patch that wasn't over an hour away.

i decided to go to the dallas aboretum at white rock lake. i remember thinking how beautiful the lake was when i ran around it last december and i've heard that the pumpkin display is beautiful. i'm not sure what i had in mind but my thoughts were different than reality. please don't think i didn't enjoy it. i did - just minus the petting zoo, the heat and the crowded pumpkin areas.

mr. h had to go back to oklahoma so i snagged my old roomie, brittney, and we were on the pumpkin adventure with james. overall, it was a nice day and it just felt good to be outside. it felt good to be in good company.
i mean, this was his face before we even let him out of the buggy:

i knew we'd have our hands full.

he did sit for maybe 30 seconds so i could try to get that perfect picture but between his quick moves and all the other parent photographers out there, this is what we got.

then we went to check out the pumpkin house. this was neat. and they had little pumpkins you could have, for free. or we hope they were free. brittney gave james one. you would have thought it was gold. open shade equals picture time in my book. here we go.


hi mom.

hi handsome, little stud-muffin.

look how innocent he looks. he was being so good and so cute.

i love that little crinkled nose and smile.

i'm pretty sure right after this he spiked the mini pumpkin. all boy. i really wanted to get a picture with james. i'm behind the camera, always, so i thought it was time for another mommy/stud-muffin picture.

james and i have totally different opinions.

death grip. i have a death grip on my child. he was kicking and flailing around. poor brittney didn't know what to do. so, she just took a few snaps. luckily, he kind of looks like he's smiling in this one. but trust me - in real life, he was definitely not smiling for the camera.
so, i let him go. he's way too heavy and strong and it was way too hot to fight him. once he calmed down, i had to try again though. maybe he'd take one pretending to kiss me on the cheek or give me a big hug to show his appreciation for the trip to look at a ton (TON!) of pumpkin decorations.

 take two:

nope. not one single picture is he looking at the camera. so, i choose the one that i liked the best of me. in this particular pose, i've noticed i look like a hunchback and can actually look scary. bless.

immediately after this, i was putting up the camera and getting the stroller when james decided to run around the house in a circle. brittney and i are chasing him, the buggy is flying and then he decided to disappear. i think both brittney and i were terrified but knew he was there. just short and we couldn't see him. luckily we found him before we both started screaming like one of those moms. don't worry, if he hadn't popped up, i would have been. immediately after that, he got the leash put on. oh, i'm sorry, child harness.

we walked and looked around and decided it was lunch time. okay, only german brats. no thank you. oh, another stand....with four dollar pb&j sandwiches. no thank you. but i think this might have been the highlight of james' day.

yep. a cheeto break in the shade.

on the way home, james fell asleep and we went to a yummy mexican restaurant for some lunch. i am so glad i decided to go, even though mr. h couldn't. and even though i couldn't find an actual pumpkin "patch". maybe we'll make the added drive next year. maybe.


white knuckle grand prix.

so, i've dropped the ball on my ambitious 3 to 4 blogs per week goal. blogger fail. i mean, i think i have a good excuse but in reality, we all have 24 hours a day. how we choose to allocate them is up to us. i have thought about blogging but just haven't done it. i even have specific blogs to write and pictures to post, like our trip to the "pumpkin patch" and my little trick-or-treater. i'll get to those soon. i promise, grammie.

my excuse for not blogging is that i got a job! phew. the day after i left my oklahoma job, i was unemployed. i did not expect to have any further revenue coming into my bank account. this made me anxious and actually saying "i'm unemployed" is less than desirable. i was completely torn - i was moving states without a job insight. this could be awesome because i would finally have the opportunity to be a SAHM. yay. we would play and be best friends. we would snuggle over my morning coffee and color and everything i'd been missing. i couldn't wait. knowing that a job would come, i needed to relish my time at home with james.

we moved down on a saturday and i had my first interview on the following wednesday. i was so nervous. i was almost more nervous about the drive than the actual interview. i suppose because texas drivers are fast and crazy and i was still in the "i'm a sahm" glory state of mind. BUT after i left the interview, i wanted it. i needed it. i knew it was a good company and i knew it would be a good direction to take my career. i was torn. i wanted to stay at home longer but i also didn't want to be rejected. i didn't want this job opportunity to pass me by. luckily, i didn't have to wait long before i got the call. the offer call, not the turn down, thank goodness. i was so happy to accept but so sad to know that my time at home was cut short. i researched daycares. took james to visit and even had to have a trial run. i think i've made a good choice and i think james is happy and have been told several times that he really enjoys the slide. isn't that what life is all about?

the main adjustment i've had to coming back to work after my three week break is the traffic. in the morning i'm a participant in the white knuckle grand prix but on the way home i think my right leg is going to fall off from breaking every 20 yards. i don't understand - people are so quick to get to work but so dang slow to go home. shouldn't it be the other way around?? in the morning i have to put away my phone and really pay attention. on the way home, i like to chat. i'm not usually a big phone talker, per say, i'm more of a texter. well, i do talk to my mom everyday but you get the point. but i've found talking to my family and friends back home make my miserable drive more tolerable. it allows me to catch up and not look at the clock every two minutes. i tend to look at the clock when i pull out of the garage at work and run a mental tally on my way home. it stresses me out and just makes me in a bad mood. this is definitely something i need to overcome. traffic isn't going away. there is no solution except to breath. and learn to use my mirrors.

i've always thought texas drivers were nuts. i still do. heaven forbid you use a blinker to change lanes. i wonder if they see my oklahoma tag and immediately think i'm a bad driver? good. maybe they'll get out of my way.


chocolate milk, pease.

james loves chocolate milk. he wants it before bed, in the morning and all day long. unfortunately, we don't always give into his requests but he gets his fair share. this guy isn't getting shorted.

do you ever have those small moments when you know you're child is a genius? yes, yes, yes - i know we all think that often but really? like, james will do something and i think his brain is clicking. he is getting it. he'll be smarter than me. is he like me when i was little? did i think so in-depth about chocolate milk?

james always asks for chocolate milk followed by a pease. this trick worked for a while but now we're professionals. so, when we do decide to adhere his request he now says thank you. followed by his new genius moment -  he looks for chocolate at the bottom of his cup. yep. as soon as we give it to him. he needs to see it to believe it. we used to get away with telling him it was chocolate and he never said a word. now, as soon as we make him a drink, he lifts it up and searches for the chocolate evidence. if he doesn't see chocolate at the bottom of the cup, he's going to let you know about it.

i obviously passed the test. a nice cup and some mickey mouse equals one happy boy. you know, truth be told, i love chocolate milk too. maybe we do have this in common.

tunnel vision? chocolate induced coma?

i don't care.

10 minutes of silence. 

joy. pure joy. i think i hear birds outside. they've never sounded so wonderful.



i was going to link up to saturday morning scene again but the host didn't post one today. is it over and i missed it? i have been so caught up in moving and my recent life changes, i have missed blogs and posts and current events. maybe selfish, maybe just busy. priorities. either way, i'll do my own little saturday morning scene. today i wanted to introduce you to medusa.

someone thoughtfully chose this light fixture for the master bedroom. lucky me. cough, cough. at first, i thought it was just an eye sore. i'd much rather have a ceiling fan. hands down. any day of the week. but still, i thought it might grow on me. 

i thought wrong. 

i wake up to this sight every morning.

yep, that is my actual view. it probably has a zoom on it though.

the bottom two look a little lower to me most of the time. i'm sure it is just from where i sleep and the angle i look up and see this beauty. but still, they remind me of medusa even more. 

here is a glimpse into my new home. and yes, this might be my biggest complaint so far. and if that is it, i really am happy. remember - i did not see this house until moving day. so, we all knew i'd find something that i didn't like. i just didn't know it would be the "chandy" in the master. hopefully medusa and i will make friends. she better be nice or i'll just have mr. h replace her with the old, trusty fan. i suppose this could be her official warning. 


put the scissors down.

so, before the move mr. h and i decided to have a garage sale. i've never hosted a garage sale but i knew that we had some good stuff that we don't use but didn't want to haul to texas. i went through james' things and clothes. then i went through my stuff. mr. h did the same. we were set. kind of. having a bi-state marriage and a two year old made it nearly impossible to be 100% prepared. 

the days leading up to the garage sale were filled with clouds and rain. great! now it might not even happen. i'm mentally prepared to part with our junk. i was trying to take the "no stress" approach that mr. h insisted. he said this would be a fun garage sale, not a stressful one. on the designated morning it was rainy. this allowed us to get around slow but once the clouds parted, we finally decided to call over the grandparents to watch james while we put the advertisement signs out around the hood and tend to the mass crowd that wanted to buy our gently used or pre-owned possessions. ha.

all was fine and dandy. well, the lack of people for the first hour was concerning but things were fine and dandy until....i walked inside to get something. i don't even remember what because i was greeted to this scene - grandma standing behind james, holding scissors and cutting his bangs. yes, you read that right. grandma blindly cutting my son's hair. i was speechless. i couldn't even concentrate on what to say. put the scissors down was all that came out. then i yelled to mr. h that his mom was cutting james' hair. (now, i know she meant no harm so i am not trying to portray her that way.) i just want you to know that besides a little baby frizz trim, we have not cut james' hair. on purpose. this was shocking. and heartbreaking. and fine but definitely unexpected. mr. h explains to her that she does not have authority to make those kind of decisions. she stopped but once i explained that we hadn't cut his hair she handed me this:

a sweet lock of baby hair. 

who knows where it came from. 

somewhere in the front-ish area.


grandma said that when she turned on the fan, james said his hair was blowin'. so, she thought his bangs were in his way. i don't get that interpretation though. truth be told, i had been thinking about cutting some of the front myself. i hate when parents intentionally style their child's hair where it looks cool but hangs in their eyes. that is like child cruelty. well, maybe not but close. or just mean. or selfish. or vane. or something stupid. so, as you can tell, i did not want to be one of those parents. the thing is, i probably would have turned on his favorite show and put him in his highchair or done it while he was sleeping - not standing behind him. oh, because i forgot to add, there was no mirror in front of him. he was blissfully unaware watching tv.

all i know is that james already had a semi-mullet. now he still has one but we're just not quite ready to cut his baby curls. the day is coming. this just bumped it up a bit. 


new school {again}.

back in september james started his new, two year old class at victory kids care.  on his first day, i took some cell snaps to send to mr. h and the grandparents.

i tried to get him to wear his backpack but no deal. so, i just propped him up for a picture. this lasted about three seconds before he was off to play with the new toys.

i wasn't really worried about the transition but the airplanes were a nice touch. james definitely approved. this class would only last a month but i'm sure it was a good month.

today was james' first day at a new school. i enrolled him in a two day a week mother's day out program at a local catholic church. today he is a little saint. cute name, right? so, i had to document the moment. via cell phone again. urg. this is how the drop off played out.

mom, you're taking me to daycare? me??

you're going to let the sweet face go?

okay, fine. let's do this!

follow me, please.

mom, i can't smile for you. i'm too busy watching all the other little saints go inside.

okay, mom. seriously, this backpack is loaded down and heavy. let's roll.

james p. sunshine was perfect. he gave me several big hugs but i didn't hear any cries or screams when i walked out of the room. truth be told, i miss him at home with me. i just need some time to unpack, run errands, complete employment stuff, you know - adult mommy things. i thought sending him for a couple of hours twice a week would give him some time to make friends and play. i hope he enjoys it. i'm about to go pick him up. i pray he gets a good report.


documenting life challenge: mess

my sweet friend, jen, is a talented photographer in the tulsa area. she also teaches the mamarazzi workshop, a class to teach moms how to use their dslr cameras. i took this class and highly recommend it. she has been hosting a weekly photo challenge. i've been taking a few pictures here and there with the chaos but not as much as i would like. i'm working on it now. per grandparent request, i will keep the blog up to date.  i've even taken some pictures to do the challenges but never blogged them. so, i won't be able to link up with the current challenge, but i'll still blog them. i'd like to complete them all so here we go.

this week the challenge was to take a picture of the messes our kids my - well, the mess my kid makes. since we just moved, this was definitely an easy "challenge" for me. ha. here is how i see things right now, i'm at home with james (just until i find a job) and so i let him have some fun. these are snaps taken yesterday during james' naptime and during the football game. this is real life.

yep, those legos are a hit. but there are so many miscellaneous toys thrown in the mix. james just keeps doing this. all day long.

until the living room looks like this:

melissa & doug puzzles are great. so are colors and his new big boy cup.

oh, and then there is the "helicocker" and "airpane". these go everywhere with us. james loves real ones even more but this is the best the local grocery store had to offer. james has no complaints.

the kid still loves horses and this book. they're around everyday too.

and in honor of game day, of course daddy and james were playing football. it really is funny. james throws a lot with his left hand. we does with his right too but i'm thinking he might be a south paw. 

so, here was a snapshot into my life yesterday. one day, once i get a job, we'll get a new tv stand, rug and coffee table. we'll move the living room furniture into a more recognizable arrangement. until then, it's james own playground. and we wouldn't have it any other way. i mean, can you think of a better way to introduce a two year old to a new house? he loves it! 

i wonder why.