our Saturday has been full of



Sweet potatoes




Stain (applied to the outdoor columns in our front entryway and our front door)

Sorting through things to keep and things to donate


Salsa (because we ate Mexican take-out for dinner)

Swamp loggers

and Sibling love.

Thousand Words Thursday


Moments like these...

are worth a thousand and more words.

One Good Woman


I think I've mentioned before that I love me some Peter Cetera. To me, no love ballad is done justice until it's sung with that voice of his. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I heard this song during my lunch break today, and I thought my whole day was made until I got back to work and watched the video.

The mullet and dark shades just tickled me to death!


A Struggle

Mine is this - “When is it my turn to get away? Where is my free time? Why don’t I ever get to do the things I want to…just for me?” The questions roll over and over in my mind. I get frustrated with overgrown eyebrows and unfinished redecorating projects. I have days where I want nothing more than to be unwanted and where I resent the pressure I feel to be and do everything for everyone – even my precious children. Feelings of selfishness and guilt stir simultaneously and out of control.

This past Sunday morning, I left Jim at home with Parker who was sleeping in his crib. His nose is (still) oozing greenish/yellow gook, and for that, he thanks his big brother. Just before Jake and I left, I told Jim if God didn’t change my heart within the next eight miles, it might be best for me to put it in reverse and come back home. The last thing I wanted to do was “go take of someone else’s screaming kid” when at times it feels like it’s all I can do to care for my own. I strapped Jake into his car seat, and these thoughts came to mind - “How can I possibly have this attitude when I’m being asked to do a job for my Lord? How wrong is this to think so negatively about being of service to Him? Because that’s what this is, Cindi. This is a ministry that you’ve been called to, and it’s the most important part of your day and week.”

I left our driveway and then our neighborhood. My stubbornness didn’t want me to pray. My conscience said, “Yes, you will.”

We pulled into our church parking lot and went inside. No one knew that Parker woke up at 3am and then again before 6. No one knew that Jake startled me out of bed by turning the monitor on my bedside table to its loudest volume to let me know Parker was crying. And no one knew I threatened to not show up at all because they probably wouldn’t miss me anyway. Except for God.

But he had already prepared my heart, gave me His unfailing forgiveness, and gave me a new attitude. He gave me the arms to rock a ten-month old to sleep who his dad said, “never takes to anyone.” And he gave me the reminder I desperately needed that Parker’s preschool would be closed until August 5th for their Summer break.

Turns out my gut feeling that I needed to just suck it up and do what I knew I had to do were right on the money.

"Thank you, Father."

two of the most important people in my life


One is celebrating 67 years of life today (My Dad)...

and the other drove an hour and a half one way this morning (My Mom) to spend the next three days and nights to lend us a helping hand while Parker's preschool takes their Summer break.

Two people who call me daughter, two people who make sacrifices on my behalf no matter how far apart we are, and two people who will never know just how deep my love and appreciation for them really goes.

Parker says...





Or at least that's what his onesie says.

Week in Review

This past week I...

wished my sister a Happy 40th Birthday

made a detour to Wal-mart to buy bottles because I forgot Parker's on Thursday morning

overheard this short conversation between Jim and Jake: "Jake, you might better go into another room before I start lettin' 'em fly."   "What, Daddy? You're gonna catch a fly?!"

kissed baby fat

read devotions

ate lunch at P.F. Chang's

gave fashion advice to Jim

brushed four-year old teeth

spent at least a quarter of an hour every night on our back porch swing

heard all about all thirteen of Jim's employees and how much he's diggin' his new job

found out my niece, Delilah, had her first portraits made and is growing by leaps and bounds

applied cornstarch baby powder to Parker's neck and chest and watched it work like magic to rid him of his heat rash

prayed for family members battling addiction

put sugar on strawberries and syrup on pancakes for breakfast

hugged my husband more for no special reason at all

and soothed a sobbing ten-month old who was missing his mommy and daddy something fierce after they left him in our church nursery.

What a week, right? 

Jump around!


Jump around!

Jump up,

Jump up,

and get down!

 Jump, jump, jump 
Jump, jump, jump 
Jump, jump, jump 

a conversation between jake and the tj maxx cashier last night


I love Smarties (the candy).

Yes, that was very random. But it's true.

Jake: "I'm really sick."

TJ Maxx Cashier: "You are?"

Jake: "Yeah, I'm just cauwfin'." (How much do you love that Southern drawl right about now?).

TJ Maxx Cashier: "Awww...I'm sorry."

Jake: "Well, this toy's gonna make me feel all better."

TJ Maxx Cashier: "It is?! Wow, this must be some toy."

Jake: "Yeah, it is. They're mans."

TJ Maxx Cashier: "They sure are. I like these."

Jake: "I have a baby brother."

TJ Maxx Cashier: "You do? What's his name?"

Jake: "Parker."

TJ Maxx Cashier: "Parker. How old is he?"

Jake: "I don't really know."

TJ Maxx Cashier: (Laughing)

Jake: "And I watch Courage the Dog every night! That man is mean to him. And Courage is gonna bite his head off one day."

Me: "Uhhhhh. Thank you for that, Jake. I'm sure that exactly what we all expected you to say next.

Me to the TJ Maxx cashier: "I hope you can't delete that mental image and have a great night, Ma'am."

Jake: "What's a mental image, Mommy?"

Finding Balance


Here lately, so much has been on my mind about my relationship with Jim. I think about how much it has changed and grown over time...since we first met...since we started a family.

I remember when Jake was nine months old. We sat in our living room looking across at one another, and I knew it had all changed. I realized in that moment that we were spending less time talking about us, our hobbies, our dreams, even our plans for the upcoming weekend. It was all about this little person who had come into our lives and turned everything we had known for eight years completely upside down. And I truly felt like I had lost touch with my soul. The beauty of that moment was that we both recognized it. We talked about how to fix it and where to go from there.

And now our family of three has become four. Our schedules, routines, jobs, and roles in parenting have changed. We've become a team. We know what each other's responsibilities are, and we work together like the hands of a clock. And if one of us isn't able to meet our obligations, the other pulls the weight and becomes totally supportive.

But at night when our two sons are in bed, we're tired. Our wheels have turned as long as they can. We even leave glow-in-the-dark, plastic aliens and Army soldiers all over the floor because there's nothing left of either of us, and I find myself falling asleep wondering if he knows how much I appreciate all that he does and if he grasps that I love exactly who he is inside and out.

We make plans to take vacations without the kids "some time next year", and yet, we miss...us. We're still trying to find a balance.

In the mean time, I want to find new ways to say "I appreciate you". I want to save some energy at the end of the day for the one I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with, and I want him to know he's wanted. I can't imagine my life without him - no matter how imperfect our relationship is or how many times we disagree or become agitated over insignificant things. He is still who I'm thankful for above and beyond anyone or anything else. Because without him, I wouldn't be a wife or a mother...or loved incredibly more than I ever imagined.

I wish


I wish I had more patience...and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I wish teething wasn't such a process, and I wish a thousand I love you's was enough to make them feel my love.

I wish I had black-eyed peas like the ones I ate for dinner on Friday night at my parent's house that Jake helped his Grandpa pick from his garden.

I wish breathing treatments took anything less than twenty minutes, and I wish I had the perfect cure for heat rash.

I wish I knew what the weather was like in Boston in September (because I'll be there for work for a few days right after Labor Day), and I wish I hadn't taken a nap today.

I wish this weekend wasn't over, and I wish this didn't sound like I'm wishing my life away.

I wish all these wishes would come true.

Fist Pumpin' (the not-so-good kind)


Last night, before Jake went to sleep, I made time to read a devotion to him.

And before my mom gets her hopes up when she reads this (because she's bought three devotion books for him), I have to admit this doesn't happen every night - me reading a devotion. Some days I let my feelings of tiredness overwhelm me by 8:30 pm, and instead I'm raising my voice to the tone of something like, "I cannot possibly do one more thing in this night! I just can't!" (Of course I still do, but for some reason, it makes me feel better to be dramatic and raise my voice and threaten not to. So not mature. I know.)

But on the days when I've taken not just one but two b12 vitamins and the voice of the Holy Spirit is telling me to, "Read your firstborn a devotion!" (Or maybe that's his grandmother's voice I hear?), I lay with him in bed and heed to the voice.

The Bible verse (which was also the moral of the story) we read was "Do to others what you would have them to do you." Luke 6:31. When I read this and a few paragraphs about being kind and lending a helping hand, a super bright light bulb went off in my head. I had the perfect example...something that happened yesterday at school. A classmate had thrown a toy that hit him in the face and made a small cut on the inside of his lip. Apparently he cried and chewed on a piece of ice and all was right in his four-year old world again. And it was exactly what I needed to get the entire point of this verse across which made it work for me. "And just like today when your friend threw a toy and hit you in the face. That hurt didn't it?" Insert head nodding yes. "So that means because you wouldn't want to have something thrown at you, you shouldn't throw something at someone else." "Right, Mommy!" "Right, Baby!" We said goodnight to each other, and I went to bed feeling like I had taught him well.

Then this morning, I got this text from Jim: Call Faye when you get a chance. Apparently Jake has an anger problem we need to deal with.

What the?! Noooooo. That shouldn't be possible. Really?!

I found "Ms. Faye" in my list of contacts on my cell and dialed her number. We talked for nearly twenty minutes about his tightly-clinched fists that he holds by his sides while his teeth are grit together and (brace yourself) him giving knuckle sandwiches to his classmates (and non-classmates which is what prompted the phone call to Jim who, in turn, called me because this first full week at his new job is keeping him so busy I'm not even sure if he's taking bathroom breaks and text messages are all I get pretty much during the day). "Boys will be boys!", she said, "And his behavior isn't totally inappropriate when you consider his age....He's taking up for himself...He gets his feelings hurt...And when he's had enough, he's had enough."

We talked about how we'll handle it all and how we'll work through it both at school and at home, and before we said "Goodbye" and before she went to go threaten Jake within an inch of his life (because I told her she had my permission to), I remembered the devotion we shared last night. "Ms. Faye! You will never believe what Jake and I read together and talked about last night!".....

Yeah, that really sunk in didn't it?  And yeah...the chances he'll use his fist to dish out knuckle sandwiches have gone waaaay down.



Parker is a hefty fifteen pounds twelve ounces and twenty-seven inches long and is reeeeaaaally close to sitting independently, Jake brought home seashells from school today and jumped wildly on our bed completely nude after his bath tonight far longer than he probably should have, and this...

is what I consider to be one of the two best wheelchair rides of my life!

It's also my cop-out for having neither the mental or physical energy to write one more word in this blog post.



Lunch for two at P.F. Chang's

and two slices of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory...$52.71.

Two movie tickets, one large bag of popcorn, and one large coke...$28.95.

One reservation at Ross Bridge Resort and Spa...$112.86.

Wishing each other a "Happy Anniversary" for the thirteenth time...


Baby Legs


They are





Truth be told, his skin is as dry as the Sahara Desert. It's from all the bathing I do to him. But when he's been out and about, I can't help but soak him nightly...make him smell all good...get my fix on the smell of baby shampoo...watch him kick and splash and listen to him squeal because water in his bathtub is one of the highlights of his entire day.

But he's gotten patches of eczema in the creases of his arms, in various places on his legs, and in the bends of his ankles. So just before bedtime, I slap some Aquaphor on him and then cover him in rainbow striped Baby Legs (or aqua and orange striped Baby Legs or bright blue, grey, and red checked Baby Legs...you know...whatever's clean or goes with the onesie of choice for that particular night).

The Aquaphor is definitely a huge help (I was turned onto it by my coworker, L, when Jake had the same problem a few winters ago.). But when we make a visit to his pediatrician for his six month well baby check-up in the morning, I'll have him take a look at it, discuss it with him, and see if he thinks we need something that's prescription strength since it's not totally clearing up.

As a side note, no one is more excited than I am to see how much he weighs and just how long he really is.

Baby legs wearing Baby Legs...come to mommy and let me eat you up!




Can't.wait. to find a way to frame this and hang it in our house. 

And credit where credit is due goes to JMom.  She posted this yesterday via Pinterest.  And yes, I pretty much flipped out and fell in love all at the same time when I read it this morning and couldn't resist sharing it.   

Homemade Goo

The days this week have all just run together for me. So much that in my last post, I said Jake had brought his patriotic pinwheel home from school on Monday when in fact it was Tuesday (which I've changed already for the sake of accuracy).

I realized my mistake when I got ready to post these this morning of the goo he and I made. We made it this past Monday, July 4th, while Jim played a round of golf with his best friend, James, and Parker sat nearby in his bouncy seat which means he wasn't at school on Monday.

Cornstarch, a bowl, warm water, and blue food coloring, was all we needed to make our homemade goo.

Those few ingredients also made dozens of thank you's come from Jake's lips "because it was so much fun"...

smiles come across his face...

ten fingers get veeeeery wrinkly...

and me wonder what cruel, evil demon took over my body and possessed me to do something that would create such a huuuuuuge mess.

He had fun, though, right?

Said that at least ten times as I wiped and wiped and wiped and wiped....