Adventures with Family Photos

Living in northern Texas for a few years has given me a craving for a family photo surrounded by beutiful Texas bluebonnets.  I don’t know how many of you have seen them, but they only bloom for a little bit, which limits the amount of time that I can set all this up.  (I think they bloom for a few weeks at most.)

So for three years I have been thinking about this and three years I have been plotting planning this family photo.  I have the idea in my head and now the fun part is trying to find a field that isn’t on the side of the interstate to get this picture. 

I think I have the plan for that now.  Tomorrow, I’m going to drag my family out of bed early (to hopefully get the best light) and see if I can get us all together in a field of bluebonnets that aren’t inhabited by the local wildlife, and have a friend take our picture there.

Knowing my family, I’m sure that we will run into an obstacle or two *wink*, but I’m thinking if nothing else, it will be a great memory. 

What about you?  When was the last time that you took a family picture?  Was it anything like this


I’ve Got Magic Beans


(Image Courtesy of

Is anyone else out there a Friends fan? *raises both hands*  It’s one of the only shows that my husband and I can always agree to watch, and believe me, we have watched it over and over again – a ton of times, over the years.  The other day, I was trying to figure out something to watch that I could fold laundry to (and yes, the laundry is still in a large heap on my couch), when I decided to start with Season 1 of Friends.  

Do you remember the episode (like the third or fourth of the first season’s discs), when Rachel is being asked by her credit card company’s if she is okay because she hasn’t been spending money like she used to?  Her response, after some initial freaking out because of a disastrous reunion with some old friends, is that she’s okay because she has magic beans….like (as Phoebe says) Jack from Jack and the Bean Stalk.

Now, I bring this up, not just because the show is awesome (it is SO awesome), but also because the epiphany came at a crucial moment in my life.  Lately, I have been giving some serious consideration to where I am in my life and whether or not I should be proud of what I have accomplished thus far, or rather be angry that I haven’t done everything that I thought I would have by now.

Do you remember those kids in high school that knew from infancy that they wanted to grow up to be a foot doctor or rainbow maker?  Well, I was not one of those kids.  (I had an inkling that I would love to be a writer, but that dream didn’t solidify until recently.)  I was the kid that even after a few semesters of college, enlisted in the Air Force, because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.

After doing that for a few years (about five), I separated from the Air Force, and moved to be with my husband in Italy. (I know, it was really tough.)  It took some time, but I finally was able to get a job in the Civil Service and have been doing that ever since.

Now, in this time we’ve also had the most gorgeous and smart little girl.  She’s amazing and I can’t figure my life at all without her.  (She keeps me on my toes and makes sure I earn my “mom-badge” daily.)

So, as I’m sitting there, not folding laundry, I’m thinking about my life and where I thought I would be when I reached the age I am, and I couldn’t help but feel a little…unsure.  I know of friends that I have (those dreaded perfectionists from high school) that knew their dreams and are now like famous in their chosen careers (probably have butlers to clean the rainbows they make in their spare time from solving world hunger), and it was hard not to think that maybe I could have tried harder.  Maybe things would be different today.

Well, then my daughter runs into the living room.  She crawls into my lap and gives me a big hug and tells me, “I love you, mommy.  You are so beautiful.”  (She must have heard me say this to her a million times, but I’ll take it.)  

I couldn’t help but smile into her big brown eyes and think, like Rachel, I’ve got some awesome magic beans!

I may not be the astronaut I thought I might be (I’m not really great at math), or the big-time lawyer I briefly imagined (seriously, they have to go to school for a LONG time!), but I have so much more than I thought I would.  I have a wonderful husband and daughter, a great job, and family and friends.  It doesn’t get much better. *smiles*

What about you?  Are you fulfilling all those dreams you had as a child?  Do you have some great magic beans?

Sick Days

This was my first day back to work in over two weeks.  It was great to get away from work for a little while and spend some time with the family for the holidays.  I also got to spend my birthday with my parents and sister, which hasn’t happened in over maybe twelve years?  My husband and I have spent a lot of time living overseas with the Air Force, so when we got the opportunity to be able to spend Christmas and New Year’s with my folks and sister, I jumped at it!


Photo courtesy of Pencildancer on WANA Commons on Flickr

So we packed up the family and headed to the “Gateway to the West” for a little over two weeks.  It was great.  I was hoping, since we are from northern Texas, that we would have a snowy Christmas, but alas, the snow held out for New Year’s.  And as a matter of fact, we just missed “snowmeggedon” that hit the night after we left and I’ve heard that they had over a foot of snow there – crazy.

Monday after we get home dawns horribly early (at 5 a.m. actually) since right after my alarm went off, I thought someone broke into our house and tried to steal our dog from our room. (Our German Shepherd Dog, Leah, sleeps in our room at night and at 5 a.m., someone opened the door to our room and let her out.)  So I’m shaking the husband awake and yelling at him that someone broke in and he’s jumping out of the bed and running into the hall only to discover that it was our daughter, who had snuck out of bed.


Image courtesy of Lynn Kelley Author from WANA Commons on Flickr

Now, logic dictates that this of course couldn’t be a burglar for two very good reasons; one, we have an alarm system, and two, our dog would have likely at least barked if someone tried to get in, but none of this enters your head when someone sneakily opens your door at this hour of the morning. (Yes, I’m laughing now, wasn’t at the time though.)

After the premature heart attack and rushing to get ready, I get all the way to the daycare to drop off my daughter and realize that I forgot her blanky.  What kind of mother does this???  *ugh*  The kind of mother who is having the day like I was having this morning.  I drop my daughter off, promising that I will figure out how to get home and back again with her blanky before nap time.  (Luckily my husband had to run home this morning, so it worked out.)

Next, I come out to my car to discover that someone had hit my car.  Well, not like a hit-and-run kind of hit, but the kind that dents your door frame really good and makes you want to scream.

ImageIt doesn’t look like much here, but flip that picture around and that is my car door frame.  I know the person who did it, but since I didn’t “witness” the bump, I can’t really demand that they pay for it.  I can’t even think about this without getting spun up.

During all of this I’m battling what I suspect might be a really nasty sinus infection/head cold (yes, I need a tissue 🙂 ) and even a minor migraine.

Okay, here’s where the story gets good – after getting done with the police report for the accident, I get to work and everyone there sings “Happy Birthday” to me and I get a piece of cake. *smiles*  It was really great cake.  Also, it was nice to get to see everyone again, even if work was crazy busy.

So…how was your Monday?  Did you get a chance to be with family this holiday season?


I am a writer, that is a constant

When I sit down and talk with friends and family about what our favorite books are, I am always amazed by the fact that the list is a growing and ever changing one.  It’s not a stale list that has the same favorites that it always had, it is something that is living and changes as often as the world revolves around the sun.  And I like that.  Who wants to talk about the same books, every day, for the rest of our lives?  Isn’t it amazing that things like this are living and they are always changing?

I was giving some thought to what is constant in my life and life in general.  At this point (and isn’t that funny when I say at this point because that in itself goes to show that this wasn’t always the ‘contstant list’), I’m a mother, a wife, a writer, a Civilian government employee, a daughter, a sister, and a pet owner.  There are a ton more, but I won’t drag that on.  The point that I was trying to make that even this list of constants, changes.  I wasn’t always a mother, for example.  But the second that I became one, you can be that the order of priorities in life changed, and even the job of being a mother is an ever changing one because your kids don’t stay the same age forever.  (Ohhh, if you could pick an age, what would it be?)

Applying this school of thought to my writing, the lesson that I get out of it is that my writing changes every day.  And thank the Lord for that.  If my writing was the same as when I first started (back in high school), things would be pretty bleak for me.  I can start everyday fresh and even if the previous day all I wrote was caca, I can begin again and work through that to something even better.  Or who knows?  Maybe what I wrote before isn’t that bad, and just my inner critic was yelling at me because they are jealous?

Have you been getting bogged down by your inner critic lately?

Quiet happy moments…I’ll take one of those

Recently my family went through some trying times to include a surgery for my baby girl’s eyes.  I can say that even being deployed to a war zone didn’t come close to the stress and fear that I had when they wheeled my baby girl back for her surgery.  

Today, we got some really great news from her doctor.  The surgery seems successful and my daughter’s eyes are doing so well that they think her vision is better than 20/20. 🙂  I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear that, it literally was like this huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.  My daughter, who has no idea the stress her mother is under, is just happy to be out of the exam room that we had been stuck in (and had played with all the instruments in there – hey, she’s three and we were bored) for over thirty minutes.


(Image from Google Images)

On the drive home, I couldn’t help but say a quiet prayer of thanks for these blessings.  It is so easy to become overwhelmed with things in life that I think it happens that we can sometimes forget what we have.  So, I had to take a moment tonight to just out loud say, “Thank you!” to whomever was listening, for this moment!