Thursday, December 23, 2010

That time of year....

I will have to take a moment here and give accolades to my husband's photog skills...cause he's got them!  Although every now and then I hit the nail on the head and luck into a good shot.  As my luck would have it, it's usually a pic of him.  (Yay Me) So I did it again my opinion.  And the lighting outside certainly played a major role, then again it is hard to take a bad pic when the subject is so strikingly handsome. 
We did our Christmas Card pics at the barn in Southlake this year.  We always have fun.  There is not much too serious about our camera time.  Except Brandon trying to not laugh in just about every pic I take!  You can see that here if you look.  He is trying hard to not burst out laughing at me. 

Anyway on point....this is one of my favorite times of year.  Not that there any times of year I truly dislike.  I have a hard time fitting in ALL the things I want to do with the kids and for the kids.  I realize that the most important thing is being together, being at peace and loving one another.  There will always be another year to decorate the Gingerbread Houses, there are plenty of lights to drive around and see, there are tons of cookies in our future to decorate, Santa will always be there waiting for us to take our pic with him and they will NEVER run out of toys for me to buy.  So this year I am sitting back relaxing, enjoying the season, looking forward to new traditions, not worrying about what we did not get to do.  Most of all I look forward to sitting down and reading the story of Baby Jesus in Luke tomorrow night and telling Bradford about his Christmas Day Christening when he was 6 weeks old.  (And of course we will make Santa's cookies) For now
Good Night to all and to all a new year...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Top of Turkey Mountain

What are you thankful for?  Why of course family, friends, Jesus, the cross, health, stabilty...But what about the other side of the coin?  As I reflect on my life journey, I do not regret the poor decisions I have made, the heartache, the trials, the other side of the coin.  I am a whole, complete person that has traveled roads that I know were not designed for me in a perfect world but I live in this world.  A world of mistakes, pain and sin.  As a parent I want to save my children from anything painful.  Yet I know that through fire comes character, strength and faith.  I could not dream of a better life, better family, husband, children than I am blessed with today.  All this brings me back to being thankful for lessons learned, the heartache, the trails and the rocks in my road of life. I live by the motto: Put it in 4 Wheel drive and keep going!  See you at the top.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I have nothing to say

Well how about that!  I have not had time to blog lately and I really miss it.  Here I am with both boys watching a movie, munching on carmel popcorn balls and I have time to blog....Yet I have no idea what I want to blog about....Do what??  Yep....

This may be one of my most random posts EVER. 

Today was the last day of T-Ball.  Glad for the break since today was so cold.  We will all miss it though.  I will miss wathcing Bradford learn more about the sport and seeing him get excited about something new.  Daddy will miss assistant coaching...I will miss watching him do that too...Berkeley will miss playing with Izzy.  Bradford will miss seeing his teammates and having quite the cheering section.  Everytime he was up to bat, he would turn around to make sure his entourage was watching.  When I say entourage I am referring to the two sets of grandparents and any various number of aunts.  It never failed that he always had more followers than any other team member.  It kind of reminded me of Dana who told her family they were only allowed to buy her children 1 gift for Christmas and Birthdays.  No showing up with box on top of box.  Good thing there is no such rule in t-ball:  No showing up with person on top of person to see you play.  What if it was like graduating from A&M and you could only invite 5 people from you whole life to see you graduate.  Heck I have more sisters than that!  Limits just don't run in our family.  Everything is always over the top, filled to the brim, good to the last drop, bring a friend and stay awhile...

We had a ball at Bradford's bowling party on Wed.  He had lots of great friends there to play and he was on cloud 9 all day.  I still can not believe he is 5.  It seems like yesterday we were getting up at the crack of dawn to head up to the hospital.  I remember how excited Daddy was to be a daddy.  He still amazes me daily what a fantastic father he is.  I mean I always knew he would be great but he actually far exceeds my expectations.  But then again he far exceeds my expectation of an amazing husband too. 

Berkeley is just about the cutest little two year old I know.  He just makes you smile the second you meet him.  I am thankful daily that God saw fit for Berk to join our family.  What a joy. 

Well that is the end of the voices in my head on the chilly, fall eveing...Enjoy the season of thanks and giving...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What stream do you live in?

I am proud to say I dont swim in the mainsream of life.  I march to my own wild caught Alaskan Salmon stream!  So when I read Mommypotamus today I had to laugh.  Outloud.  So yes I know many mainstreamers think I am crazy.  Even my own family thinks the same at times.  I don't mind.  Although some things I do believe in, I admit to not follow religiously because I am subject to fear at times on whether or not I may be wrong.  But this is my list of things that mainstreamers find funny/odd/crazy/etc... about me:

1. A neo-natal nurse shot cucumber soup out of her nose at my friend's baby shower when I admitted our babies slept with us!
2.  I do not believe in pacifiers past the newborn stage.  Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and express themselves--especially a crying baby! 
3. I avoid the pesticide/herbicide aisle at all stores...I actually hold my breath if I have to walk past one. 
4. I believe the best way to teach children to respect others is to treat them with respect not demand it from them.
5. I dont give my kids ANY caffinated drinks.  I am surprised daily at the sheer volume of people that disagree with this one.
6. On my oldest child's 1st birthday I was worried that too much icing on his first cake would give him a tummy ache since he had never had sugar!  I still hear complaints about that birthday cake....
7. I too plan vacations around making sure I can get to Sid's in Taos--a health food store.
8. All about extened breastfeeding.  Even used it to make babies cereal. Doesn't your cream of wheat taste better when made with milk instead of water? 
9. I know fish is great for you...but only fresh water fish.  I dont eat anything farm raised.  The thought of it creeps me out!
10. I dont eat veggies or fruit out of a can.  I dont freeze anythhing more than a couple days and never pork--freezing only slows the aging process.  It does not stop it.  (some things direct from the processor that are vaccumm packed are different)

I am really not so different in my own head...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How do you know?

Yes I am the proud mommy/mom/mother/mama of not 1 but 2 boys!  How do I know?  Let me count the ways....

1.  Not only are there rocks in my dryer, there is sand and dead worms.
2. You know all the ways to make crashing noises with your mouth and there are like 82 ways!
3. NOTHING is safe!  EVERYTHING will be used in a bathroom experiment.  Amazing what happens when you mix toothpaste, $100+ a bottle parfum, hairgel, baby lotion, deodorant and a tampon..
4. "Fire is a magnet" is an, fireplace, firepit, magnifying glass, matches, wood, oven, gas stove, charcoal, ANYTHING that can cause fire is a thing of beauty.
5. They completely undress to go to the bathroom.  And don't re-dress when finished using the bathroom.
6. You hear yourself saying, "Where are your underwear?  Please go put them back on.  We have company."
7. You hear things like, " Mom, I don't need a shower.  I washed off in the fountain."
8. You say things like, "Please don't eat that." or "Stop drinking that."  And THAT is usually something like PlayDough water.
9. You know exaclty what PlayDough water is!
10. You have matchbox cars in your make-up bag, Thomas the train in your handbag and Legos in your tote bag.
11. You have given up keeping that Ralph Lauren $200 a roll wallpaper in your kitched pristene.  Now you just plan to replace it before you sell your house.
12.  You no longer blink when a 2 year old asks you if you have a penis.
13.  And when asked by a 4 year old "Mom if you dont have a penis then how does your tee-tee come out?" you actually have an answer...
14. You pray every day that yours is not the child that says the infamous line in Kindergarten Cop: Boys have penis' and girls have vaginas!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Confessions from this working Mom

Some women love doing laudry.  Some women love cleaning their house until it shines.  Some women love yard work.  Some women love cooking.  Some women love_____.  Fill in the blank with whatever you want.  The great thing is we can all love different things and it does not make any of us right or wrong.  It makes us all different and requires us to respect those differences and similarities because if we can not accept each other as we are then we have a host of other issues to deal with--more than just a dusty bookcase.  So I happen to fall into the non-laudry, non-house cleaning loving group.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house and a great house keeper and I LOVE that my amazing husband finds laudry relaxing.  (I know that is so crazy, right?)  I just dont enjoy doing it, but I will and I do.  And I gladly take any and all help I can get with it! 

I am the kind of person that an entire day home with my kids, would find me on the floor playing puzzles or trains or whatever they wanted, a;ways cooking and squeezing in blogging.  Not really focusing on other domesticated things that need my attention.  My career changes have recently gotten in the way of me being much of a blogger lately, too. 

The thing about my life as a part-time stay at home/part time working mom, was that I always seemed to be running around chaotic.  As much as I tried to set specific hours or days would work, I continually found myself racing from preschool drop-off, to the office, to a client meeting to, back to pick-up by 2pm and sometimes back to the office.  Or on days that we did not have school, I would try and plan the entire day making sure the boys had naps.  Which meant I was either going into the office early and trying to be home by lunch or leaving right after lunch and coming home by dinner.  Either way I was always running.  And the boys well they never knew when I was coming or going which yeilded to some super clingy days. 

Oddly now that I am working full time and leaving early but comming home early most days too, they know exaclty where I am and when I am coming home.  And SURPRISE: everyone is actually more relaxed with this.  It seems like my new found stable schedule has rubbed off on the boys.  Who knew?  Looking back I kind of think I was failing miserably at trying to do it all.  Nothing got 100% of me; not work, not Brandon, not the boys!  And not even myself.  So here is to consistancey.  Historically I have only been consistant about that fact that I was always busy, well and that I was never consistant.  Does that make sense?  I seem to be getting more done these far we have organzied the garage, taken MULTIPLE loads to donate, organized the attic, rented storage unit, sorted Berks "too small" clothes, reorganized his closet and drawers, and planned Bradford's 5th Birthday Events!!!  So more to come....(And this is not getting spell checked...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My 100th Post

Not to be confused with my 100th blog written...because there are about 30 unpublished posts in my draft box.  My brain works on overtime but sometimes those thoughts are not publish worthy.  Trust me.  Unless you are a licensed therapist, you dont even want to open that bag of worms.  So what is on my mind these days?  Oh so much.  But after a marathon reading session that ended at 2:15 this morning of Eat, Pray, Love, I am strongly strectching the brain muscles this morning.  I am letting things go, relaxing the "Adaptaion" voices that talk back and forth, out of turn, rudely interrupting one another. 

With all that said, I am starting a new path.  (I do this occasionally.)  I gave up meat last week.  Not just red meat this time but pork and chicken.  I ended on quite a high note mind you--with Paul (soon to be Uncle Paul) breaking in the new Green Egg on some of the best Backyard BBQ ribs EVER!  Fish is still on the menu for now.  Not going straight vegan.  I might go into a coma if I had to give up dairy.  Besides with soy/tofu NOT on my list of edible I need my cheese and eggs.  I really have no major reason I can give you for this new path this time.  It was not because of my Animal Science class tour of the Meat Science Lab at A&M this time.  It was not because I had to use a bell scraper on a pig carcass this time.  It was not because I had to watch video of cow being processed this time.  It was not because I had a front row seat to the actual sausage making steps this time.  It was not a dire step to get my weight to under 110 this time.  (Not looking for that number any more) It was not to prove any kind of humane point this time. 

It is just because I decided to do it.  And oddly I don't even think about it, no craving, no "I wish", no crabby mood.  I am sure it won't last forever-the no meat thing not the no crabby mood part.  Just giving it a try.  We will see...

Anyway, lots more new things going on in the Arnold House with my career shift.  More on that later.  We are adjusting better than I thought we would.  And of course the new paycheck doesn't hurt.  I can say that after all these years and all that Zanex I am getting pretty good at flying "drug-free"!  Guess laying down those control issues that you never really had control of anyway has it's perks! 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where did my baby go?

Everyone says little girls are so fun because you can dress them up like a baby doll.  No one tells you that you can do the same thing with baby boys!  And boy oh boy did I.  Have you seen all the photos of my boys in smocking and bubble suits?  What about the velvet overalls at Christmas?  Or Bradford's red silk Christmas shortalls he wore when he met Santa(see below).  Nothing is sweeter than a toddler in knee socks.  I always say they have their whole life to dress like a grandpa or a Frat Daddy!  Why do it at 9 months?  I remember one day Brandon came home and I showed off some pictures I had taken of Bradford.  After viewing all of them Brandon noted the many different outfits Bradford was wering in all the pics.  He asked, "Did you play dress up with him?"  Of course!

With all that said Bradford has drawn a line in the sand.  He is NOT wearing anything that remotely looks like a baby?  "Mom I don't want to wear that one anymore.  You can give it to Berk." If I am not careful he may even give up his preppy look too soon for me too. 

The icing on the cake was when he showed up at his first T-Ball practice this week in a striped Polo t-shirt and Gap shorts.  In NO uncertain terms we WILL be buying basketball shorts, "daddy socks" (the no show athletic socks Dad wears to the gym) and "work-out" shirts.  All per my 4-almost 5 year old!  No fancy clothes please for practice anymore.  It all started with his hair last year.  "Mom this is how I want my hair cut..." Next it will be "Mom this is where I want to go to college..."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

blubber blubber

I logged onto a friend's blog for an update on her miscarriage grief tonight.  Then after clicking on blog after blog link, I now can hardly see from all the tears.  I know I know, Brandon reminds me frequently I should not watch the news because it makes me so sad.  Well I am thinking the same goes for sad blogs.  Actually my sweet husband just checked on me again and said to please stop reading those.  But you know when you understand someone's grief so profoundly you feel like you owe it to them to support them even if only by "listening" to them spill their hearts out via blogging.  So if ever you need a friend to lend an ear sometimes blogging can the best answer we have to offer.  I believe the only way to grieve a loss like this is to Grieve Outloud.  Every face of loss also has a face of hope.  Many prayers and hugs to you all tonight...Love,

Friday, August 20, 2010

All in the Family

Hello there from the mountain house.  We are loving the 58 degree weather in the higher altitude.  The entire Arnold clan has converged in Angel Fire.  Half of our crew has spent the last 3 days golfing and the rest of us have spent our days napping, hammick swinging and shopping.  I am sure you can guess to which group I belong.  Yesterday was our first Taos trip of the week.  If you ever find yourself in the area let me just highly recommend you pit stop with the kiddos at Twirl Toystore.  They boast the best toys around and I agree!  In addition, they have outdoor instruments the kids can play, a treehouse, outdoor climbing gym, art studio and plenty of organized activities.  Currently we are debating if we are going back for Sunday's Ice Cream Social and visit to The Harwood for a free art class or Saturday for the parade. 

Then on another note, we are thrilled to find out Larry Joe Taylor is hosting the Hot Chili Days, Cool Mountain Nights with Jason Boland, LJT himself, Josh Abbott, Roger Creager and so many many more.   

As you can tell we have plenty to do and so little time to do it!  For now I am headed to town for Yoga all by myself!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sisterly Love

Seriously, I have a pretty amazing husband. He can fix practically anything. Even if he doesn't know how he will try. He repaired the sprayer at the top of the dishwasher last year. He has replaced both top and bottom burners in the oven. After much tinkering on the 11 year old lawn mower he did give in and buy a new one. Now he is wondering why he didn't do that 3 years ago! Sometimes you do not realize something has ended its useful life until you get a new one.

That same dishwasher he worked on last year is at it again. Mind you this thing is not even 4 years old. We bought as part of our kitchen remodel before Bradford's 1st birthday party. Remember that insanity I embarked on 2 weeks prior to the party? This would also be the dishwasher that Brandon picked. I wanted the Bosch and he was pushing for the Kitchen Aid. When we debated the two he won just like the washer/dryer where he was gunning for the Maytag. He tends to argue "performance/durability" better than I argue "eye appeal/brand loyalty"!

Back to the dishwasher that has given us more problems in 4 years than the old one gave us in 7+, it went out Friday night. Completely. After googling possible culprits, we quickly determined this was beyond our pay scale. Come Monday we are calling a repair guy or going to Lowes for that Bosch.

Meanwhile, the whole point of this blog is talk about my weekend full of hand washing the dishes. I did not grow up with an automatic dishwasher. Neither of my parents did either nor did my grandparents have one at their homes. When you get a handful of competitive sisters together to wash dishes EVERY night you can always bet on some kitchen drama. I mean there are rules to dish washing! First of all it's a given it has to be done every night. So the person that gets in there first to run the dish water gets to be the "Washer". While on the surface this may like look the lesser of the jobs, believe me it's the better. The "Rinser" has to rinse and dry and put away! How do you like them apples? Although there is one trump card Rinser has. That is you can send anything back to the wash sink claiming it is not clean enough. (Careful to not abuse this or Mom does get called) As a Washer who takes much pride it this job nothing will infuriate you more. To which the competiveness may lead to some cattiness which then could cause a little too much soap to be left on the dishes as they are passed to the rinse sink. In case you are unaware of dishwashing protocol please note: there is also a proper order in which dishes must be washed. Glasses, plastic ware, bowls, plates, silverware, knives, cooking utensils and THEN pans.

Poor Brandon. Even after 14 years around my family he still has more to learn. The one thing he did instinctively know was to claim himself "Washer" and a little too fast for my taste. After the first few items hit my rinse water with way too much soap I got my own dishcloth and politely took the dishes from him and squeezed clean water over them into his sink before I allowed them into my near perfect, clean and clear water. I think I almost tasted blood inside my mouth as I pushed my big sister voice deep down and refrained from enlightening him on his erroneous washing ways. I mean really, silverware first?

I can say it was about 3/4 of the way thru the whole experience before I passed my first dish back because there was still something on it. I turned around as I actually did laugh to myself. I know it was an evil big sister smile on my face!
Later in day he asked, "Did ya'll hand wash dishes all the time when you were growing up?"
Uhh yes!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

May I VS Gimme!!

I am starting to think my zest for manners is backfiring on my kids. While I am teaching them to use their manners, use their words, hold the door or introduce themselves to new people, it's my kids that end up more often than not being the socially awkward ones. I go back to a day when Bradford, not quite 3 invited a guest at our house to watch TV with him. She refused to acknowledge him and turned her head away. He walked around the chair so he could see her face and repeated himself. Again she turned away and again he walked around to the other side repeating himself. After the 3rd or 4th time he told her she needed to look at him and listen to his words. Where had he heard that? During the whole exchange the mother never prompted the girl to respond. Hearing the situation from another room, I came to assist him. Here we are 2 years later and he introduces himself tonight to a boy his age, who just stares at him and does not say anything in return. Bradford does not get why others his age, even several years older "Don't use their manners!" I wonder the same thing. But I guess the more I ponder this dilemma it is impossible to teach what you do not know. Who would have thought that etiquette would truly go out of style or become a lost art form? Have no fear! At age 6 both my boys will be registered for The Fort Worth Club's Etiquette Class! Awkward as they may be perceived by some this mama is not throwing in the towel that easily.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dead Dad's Club

I made my way to The Mama Mary Show by way of Ooph! Well on Friday, but my weekend was pretty busy, so Mama Mary has remained at the bottom of my computer since then. (Yes I am one of those that NEVER shuts down my computer) Today when I had some surfing time I opened her blog and the words flashed in NEON at me. For those of you not in THE CLUB she is referring to you may not have noticed the words. And if you had you probably wouldn't click on them for fear something bad would happen!

I, of course clicked. What did I have to loose? At this exact moment in time I am saddened to say I would need to use both hands and a foot to count how many friends I have who would do the same. Without hesitation. I love that Mama Mary uses the infamous Grey's line as her opening header:

“There’s a Dead Dad’s Club and you’re not in it ‘til you’re in it…..I’m sorry you had to join the club.”
Dr. Christina Yang – “Grey’s Anatomy”

More so I love that Mama Mary has written a compilation book of stories from other Club Members. Crazy thing is this is something that I have been thinking about doing myself. I have talked at length with my sweet friend Victoria, also 20 veteran in this Club about this book idea. Mary is still shopping for a publisher so once this book hits the press; I will have a couple on hand. Not that I want any more members in our Club, but truth is Life is Inevitable!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Past, Present and Pictures

Last week was a whirlwind. Helped my sweet friend Kelli with her fundraiser for China, greatness at the office, and walked down memory lane with about 35-40 of my closest friends from high school and their significant others! I have been photographed on the "Red Carpet", photographed in the Stockyards, photographed while sweating, laughing and pouting. I even cropped myself out of some pictures. It is no coincidence this post will contain NO photos!
I can say personally last week was a success. There are some things in life I over-commit to and I still need to polish the art of saying "No Thanks." Although ALL event of last week were top priorities and I would do them again and again! Speaking of: We will be doing The Ultimate Girls Night Out again in the future. You are going to LOVE the next movie. I promise.
Our reunion event on Saturday made me kind of nostalgic for old friendships. In the last 4 days I have traded emails with two of my favorite Jr High and High School friends. Some things in life are just too good to leave in the past. As we usually realize too late or on a sad note: Life is short! Live it, Love it and Enjoy it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Beach Trip

Circa: Feb 2010

I am hosting our book club next month so I picked Beach Trip by Cathy Holton as our book. Boy-oh-boy what a pick. What a book! While I am not 20+ years out of college yet, I am almost 20 years out of high school. So this book still rang loudly in my ears...maybe inside the hollows of my brain too! A couple of the main takeaways were "Would we be friends today if we had not know each other so well when we were growing up?" and "How well do we really know people? Even our BEST FRIENDS? What do we keep even from them?"

I remember telling my friend Lysh a few years ago that we were destined to always be friends because we knew too much about one another to be enemies! Keep em close right? One night last year she, my husband and I were at dinner and afterwards, my husband comment he was surprised at how well she really knew me! All that from some off-handed comment about me in high school?? Great. No matter how hard I try to stay hidden and not wear my heart/personality/inner-most-thoughts on my sleeve, I seemed to be failing at that one! (Blogging helps, right?) I am telling you I am a deep dark person that none of you truly knows you just don’t know it!

Back on point, as of today I got to talk via emails with another of my favorite high school friends. Oh man, this girl and I passed more notes in A&P Class than I can count. And YIKES the topics were slightly, in a 17 year old way scandalous! Let me tell you catching up with her has made me absolutely giddy all day today. I have made some amazing adult friends in my life, although nothing can replace those girls that slumber partied with you, TP-ed houses with you(who's mom's drove you to TP houses), who oogled boys with you, fought with you, refuse to speak to you for months, stole clothes from you or vise versa, who threw up in your car before your own kids did, and made you who you are today!

So happy 20th Amy! See you tomorrow night and here's to my 20th next year! I know you all will be there with me. Love ya!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lesson Learned

A Mom

A Wife

Antiques Dealer

Child Psychologist

Restore an historic home

Make it on "This Old House"

Clothing Designer

Handbag Designer

Interior Designer

An Athlete

Real Estate Developer


Stock Broker

Yoga Instructor

Commercial Real Estate Broker



Travel the country in an Airstream

Live on a Ranch--even though the country scares me...

The list goes on and on and on.... I always said I would be the kind of person that had many careers--I was NOT going to do just one thing! I can say I have been a raging success at this goal. I love what I do now. But there is always more to check off my bucket list. You see the things I choose to do are things I LOVE--not just jobs. Now I also have said many other crazy things in my life that thank God, I failed miserably. Life is a journey and a constant learning lesson. Some lessons are more painful than others, like...

1) You won’t always be there EVERY time your baby falls--literally or figuratively. You can’t kiss everything and make it all better every single time. There will be times that your kids will get hurt. And it WILL break your heart. Great thing is no one takes away your mommy-card.

2) You teach people how to treat you! I learned this one a long time ago thankfully. You allow or don’t allow for people to walk all over you. It's your choice. You learn to set boundaries and these boundaries are mostly in equal proportion to your own self-respect. Recently I have realized that we teach people how to treat us in EVERY relationship we have from childhood on.... I have been teaching my son this lesson with his little brother. If he wants his brother to respect his toys he has to teach him that. We have had our fair share of pushing and "MINE" goings on but ultimately do unto others as we would have them do unto us in really a GOLDEN RULE!

3) My all time hardest lesson in life is you will walk it till you learn it! Courtesy of an Oprah show in college, I heard a lady talk about women that always seem to gravitate towards the same type of guy. You hear them say "Every guy I date is always the same" when in reality you are the one that is the same. And until you learn the lesson God has for you, YES you will continue to make the same mistake over and over again. So listen up: no matter if it’s the same brand of guy wearing different jeans or the same type boss or same kind of friend, THE SAME SITUATION EVERYTIME rest assured you can kick it! It is not everyone else. It is YOU. So dig deep, figure out what you need to learn here and then you can move on with life and life more abundantly!! Trust me, life is full of lessons. We can learn them now and we get to learn new ones. Personally I would rather get to learn lots of life lessons instead of sticking too long on the same one.

As you can see above, I have lots of other things to accomplish in life too...


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Give me an "R"

When you start off a new friendship courtesy of a hardcore work out at 5:30 in the morning, three days a week, with no make-up, sweating up a storm, you get real close real quick!  Follow that up with extra time at Starbucks chatting.  Then thanks to a nice little injury all that comes to a sreeching halt after 10 months, and you realize a little too late, you miss your friend!  Thank God for husbands that let us sneak out of the house late at night.  I told Brandon this morning I had forgotten how much fun I had all those mornings for so long. Here's too making room for R time anytime!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dont let your babies grow up...

July 2009, just look at them!  So cute!  Can't wait to see how big they get next year....

Lying, Babies and Fireworks

Bradford learned about not lying at Vacation Bible School a few weeks ago.  He is pretty much an honest kid so it was something that we had not really focused much on to date.  But now we are going to have to get a little deeper into it.  If you say something like, "I'm going to get you" when you are about to tickle him he asks, "Are you lying?" If you say it's time to take your bath, he answers, "Are you lying?"  And on and on.... I am now working on MANNERS: it is impolite to ask someone if they are lying!

Anyway, Berkeley came running through the house yesterday yelling "Daddy's home" when he really wasn't.  I explained it wasn't Daddy and he answered, "I not lying!"

Oh Geez!

Well we are getting into a quasi-rhythm for the summer.  Then again school will start by the time we have it all down pat.  Berkeley decided he is NOT sleeping in his baby bed any more.  Much to this mommy's dismay.  I was hoping to hold out to Christmas.  For no reason other than I just did not want to admit he is not a baby anymore!  He is very quick to correct me any time I call him my baby, that he is a Big Boy.  But I can call Bradford a baby...according to Berkeley!  After a weekend in Salado with our friends who are expecting, Bradford keeps asking when we are going to get a new baby too.  Oh and a play kitchen?

Oh Geez again!

And yes that was my child you may have seen watching fireworks wearing sound proofing ear thingys.  He isn't a fan of loud noises.  So the BOOM scared him.  He loved the colors, especially from the inside of my car.  While one is scared of the noise, the other can sleep through it!  Brandon had to carry Bradford to the car when it was over because at some point he had fallen asleep on the blanket even with the loud BOOM!  Fun memories!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

there are NO divng boards in Robot land

pat pat raise one finger...pat pat pat with four fingers....pat pat pat... raise up the thumb, pat pat pat...only three fingers left...pat pat pat....pat pat pat...shhh shhh...mommy's here....two fingers left....shhhh...pat pat pat slowly slowly pat more patting...he pops his head up...shhhh...mommy is still here go night-night....pat pat pat...crawl out of room...

Thank GOD every night is like that.  It reminds me of the office--no not the show on NBC...take a little time off and you pay for it later..the boys spent last week with BEBE and Boss(Brandon's parents) and it will take us at least as long as they were gone to get back in the rhythum.  It did not help they just came home yesterday afternoon, an hour after we did and we were gone again tonight, leaving them with THE AMAZING KARA.  (We had a party @ my in-laws best friends new BAZILLION dollar house--A real cant miss...And Brandon's best friend for 9 years old thru college--which I left him there enjoying Memory Lane) 

KARA: the BEST gal in the world:  They are both in love with her.  For the first time in over a year, no one went to sleep for her, so I  came home at 11:00pm, to 2 boys still awake(mind you the latest my two boys HAVE EVER stayed up except for New Years Eve this year...oh.  correction, one was awake after sleeping for an hour...which left me to pat pat pat one to sleep and to help the other finish the roboot factory made out of Legos.  (Because who can sleep with an incomplete Lego Robot Factory???)  In my zeal to hit the hay, I tried to put a piece in the most convientent place calling it a diving board--"we can finish the swimming pool in the morning..."  His answer: "Oh Mom, there are NO diving boards in Robot Land--it makes the robots go bleazzzkkkkk!!!"  I should so know that...But after 2 COSMOS I apparently need to retire my Lego card for the night...

Sounds like everyone is asleep... so I'm off to never never land... thank God!    and no spell check tonight...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

fast as a jack rabbit!

Well I have almost made it thru the better part f June without blogging!  I have 4 or 5 blogs started that have never been completed.  The boys are growing and runnng.  I seem to be losing the race to stay caught up.  Seen my dust lately?  Not the dust as in "eat my dust" because I am so fast but the "oh crap I forgot to dust that bookshelf before you came to visit!" 

Bradford starts golf lessons this week.  Berk's language explosion continues to amaze us!  He talks so plainly for a 2 year old.  His latest thing is to cross his arms and say "I so mad!!"  He gets this from big brother who says is frequently, in response to Berk demo-ing his Legos.  All in all they are getting along pretty well. 

Daddy is teaching Bradford to cook.  To which I leave the room bc it stresses me out a little that he is too young and will get hurt.  But he can make grilled cheese, his own toaster waffle, peanut butter sandwiches and even mix up his own batch of cookies.  It's the stove stuff that worries me.  The rest I am totally fine with...

So I have confessed before about my organzation and cooking distractions that I prefer over actually cleaning!  And here I go again...last weekend I put the food back in the quasi-pantry that was built in our house.  I had rearranged the entire kitchen 2 years ago.  And every morning since my husband, sister, mother, basically everyone visiting has continued to go to the wrong cab for a plate/coffee mug/can of soup etc etc etc...  Well it struck again and all is right with the world for my hubby now.  But since then I have drawn up plans to actually demo the existing pantry and expand into the garage and build a real live walk in pantry!  This will surely make my life easier!  So look out slegde hammer here I come.  And no electrical is in the way this time.  Elfa here I come...

So this is a record typing session and I am not even spell checking because if I dont hit post now this will be saved for all eternity like all the others from this month...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Learning to Breath

Below is my blog post from today....I am always so honored when they publish something I have poured my heart into...

When life gives you lemons make lemonade. If He brings you to it, He will bring you thru it. God does not give you more than you can handle …

I have always wondered if these sayings were true. What made God think I could deal with all that He’d put on me? As the story goes I was the product of two rebellious people head over heels in ‘love’ … But I was very young when I remember my mother and father arguing in front of me. I recall crying and reaching out to my mom. At some point he left. It makes me wonder if life was like a scene out of MTV’s “16 & Pregnant”. (I have to admit while home in bed with the flu recently I was introduced to that show. Can we say DRAMA!!) My mom was living in an apartment on her own, with a new baby and a job at the ripe old age of 18.

Over the next year she found church, God and a nice young man. That man fell in love with me – and looking at my own absolutely adorable almost 2 year old child, I have to ask, who wouldn’t fall in love with such sweetness toddling around all the time? And he fell in love with my sweet mom. The next year they were married. My new Parents. At this point my biological father was no longer around. I always knew where I really came from. I knew my new dad was not my real dad, but he was MY dad. I was special he would say because I was chosen. The word Step was never used in our house! My childhood was stable, pretty normal, nurturing, focused on education, church, discipline and loving those around me. The next year I had a baby sister, then 5 years later, another sister, and almost 2 years later another sister and almost 2 more years later …

I was 10 sitting at the kitchen table eating eggs when my mom said, ”Guess what? We’re going to have another baby.” I dropped my fork & rolled my eyes in that way all pre-teen girls know how to do so well. “Really?!”

Right after Christmas that year, my mom asked if I had any interest in meeting my biological dad. I was curious so I said yes. She told me to write a letter to him and she would mail it. Until this point there hadn’t been any communication with him or his family in years. I decided to write the letter and at the beginning of March 1984, he came to the house and met me and my family. My real dad, the dad of my heart, chose to stay in the house on the couch during this reunion. Someone snapped photos of this day. Over the years the only photo I remember seeing was the one of my dad sitting on the couch, watching TV, & eating some vanilla wafers. The picture is still stuck in my mind. There was such deep sadness on his face which later caused me much guilt. I felt that I had betrayed him somehow. Two weeks later he threw me an amazing 11th birthday party. It was my first big slumber party, my new cousins and new step-sisters I had just met through my biological dad were invited to join my friends and sisters and me! I still remember how much fun we had that night.
But just 10 days later on a Monday night I woke to hearing my mom screaming my name. I jumped out of bed, ran into her room. I kind of expected my parents to be arguing … something they had done a lot of since the whole meeting the biological dad thing had come up … But instead I saw my pregnant mom standing over my dad doing CPR. She yelled at me to call an ambulance. Mind you, this was prior to 911. I sat there staring at the phone for what seemed like hours but was in reality only seconds. She called out and asked me what I was doing. I said desperately, “I don’t know what to dial!” She had me switch places with her. It was then, standing over my dad I saw him breathe his last breath. I lost part of my own breath that day.

Fast forward a few years. My biological father, George was in and out of my life, promising things and delivering more brokenness to my sad little heart. By age 18 he was out of my life for ‘good’ and this time by my own decision. Several years later my new boyfriend (soon to be husband) encouraged me to reach out, offer forgiveness, and show him a heart of love. And I did. Wholeheartedly I did. And for several years it worked. But my father’s tormented soul was always catching up with him no matter where he was or what he did. There were always collect calls requesting I bail him out of jail, hospital calls begging me to come visit because he was ‘sure’ he was dying. The emotional rollercoaster was exhausting.

He called a month or so after my oldest was born in 2005. This was the most sober he had sounded in years. He wanted to just talk. Very guarded, I chatted with him for about 15 minutes. He asked if I was pregnant yet. I simply answered, “No.” As a brand new mommy I felt the sudden urge to protect this tiny being curled up in my arms while I spoke to this stranger that shared DNA with us. I told myself I had not lied because I was not currently pregnant. I struggled with not telling him he was finally a grandfather for a long time. I prayed and prayed about that, justifying myself to God until I finally realized HE was not judging me. I got one more jail call after that. Then NOTHING. Until the call came 4 weeks before my youngest was born, Spring of 2008. For years I had been waiting for the call telling me my father had died. Sometimes I wonder what that says about me as a person. This was not that call.

He had been admitted to Harris downtown after he was found unconscious on a sidewalk. Once they found out who he was they began tracing his next of kin. Somehow my name was it. My uncle met me down there. They wanted me to sign him over to a mental hospital. Later I found out he had been institutionalize when I was younger … explaining at least one of his disappearing acts. I knew that I could not walk away. I could not turn my back on him in this moment. I agreed to take over conservatorship of his care. Then they asked if I wanted to see him. I walked down that long hall, praying for strength the whole way. I walked in alone and saw this shell of a man I barely recognized. Gone was the sleek hair, the tan face, the eyes that mirrored my own and that charming smile. Instead lying in that bed was a small, frail, grey haired, aged older than his days, dying man. I could not make myself wake him. I spent a few minutes watching him and I left. He never knew I was there. That was the last time I saw my father. Once he was sober and all drugs out of his system, he was deemed well enough to sign himself out. I did not hear anything else for months.

Then that last hospital call begging me to come visit again. I didn’t go. Begging me to bring the children he now knew I had to meet him. I didn’t take them. I was overcome with that same raging sense of protection for my children that screamed inside me, “He will NOT hurt or manipulate my children.”
I needed to let go. I felt like I was suffocating. I prayed for peace for him and for myself. I prayed for his forgiveness and for my ability to forgive ALL of it. Then I sat down and wrote him a long letter telling him I really did forgive him, I truly felt that God had a purpose for his life and I felt like that it was to know that no matter what we do, where we are God is always there for us. I told him I did love him, I understood he had done all he could for me, I appreciated our times together when I was younger and I would raise his grandsons to be strong men he would be proud of and again, that I loved him and had no hard feelings against him for the past. I knew that I am who I am today because he was my father. I included photos of the boys and myself.

At his funeral the next month, I was sad for his death, sad that his life had been so difficult, sad that my grief was not as profound as when the dad of my heart had died 25 years earlier. Then I realized I had been grieving the loss of my “Real Father” since I was a baby and now I could let go. I could let go because I had found an even more REAL FATHER, in Jesus Christ. A Real Father who takes all that pain away, all that guilt away and makes me whole.
And now I can breathe a little deeper …

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Time flies when you're having fun.  That's NO lie! We go to the BEST Preschool EVER!  They let Berk start in January even thought he was a couple months younger than the rest of his class.  But he would cry after we dropped off Bradford every day during the fall because he wanted to go to school too.  It was the sweetest, saddest thing you've seen.  He was so excited to wear his little baby backpack and go to school, well at least after the second week.  Compass Preschool has been the best place for both of my boys.  We can't wait for next year! 

2008 First Day

2009 First Day

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Like Father, Like Son, Like Son

Look!  Over Yonder!  Can you see it?  No? Well you must not be looking hard enough because it is right in front on your face! 
We have reached a new level of Boyhood at the Arnold House.  I have a sneaking suspicion it has been here all along, hiding in the shadows...
My sweet baby boy that I thought I could count on to always hang with Mommy, looking all cute and yummy snuggly, CLEAN has turned 2 and would rather run with Daddy and Big Brother getting dirty, sweaty, wild and carefree.  Welcome to the world of constant mud holes, sand gritty hardwood floors, backyard peeing (and the occasional peeing in the wrong places), rough and tumble wrestling, ALL THINGS BOY!! 
We have made a few House Rules that are stressed above all others.  Number 1: You always ask an adult before going out the garage or front doors. (back door is ok)  Number 2: No naked people at the dinner/lunch/breakfast table!  (yes we had to make a rule about this one)
The best example I can give of the difference between boys and girls: I knocked over Berkeley's new bottle of bubbles accidently today.  The girl I am expected him to cry over spilled bubbles.  Nope! He jumped in the puddle and started laughing as it splashed everywhere....All boy I tell ya.  Hang on tight it is going to be a fun ride I can already tell.  And I am loving every muddy twist and turn so far. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's all in the ball

Golf is such a lovely sport--they say. I don't play, much to my Man's dismay. I mean we are talking about a family that has played the game for multiple generations. A grandfather that was truly a Pro, ran the country club, a father that has played courses in countries I have yet to visit and an uncle that plays 6 days a week all yield to much golfing in the genes at my house!

There are golf balls hiding in the yard, under the bed, in the ball tote, the toy box, the bath tub, under the couch, just about everywhere! Golf balls from St Andrews, Jamaica, Polo Ralph Lauren....

Things I have learned about golf balls

1. When they are put into the tailpipe of an Acura TL they shoot right out when the car is started

2. If they don’t shoot out you can park on a hill with the rear of the car angled down hill and they will roll out

3. They cause major plumbing issues when flushed down the toilet

4. Number 3 makes for a very frustrated Daddy

5. The lawn mower can scalp a golf ball pretty well

6. They will drive a daddy crazy when you drop them inside the little square holes on the side tails of a truck

7. They also drive a daddy crazy when they are inside the wheel well of a truck

8. They float in a sink full of soapy green Kando water

9. They are not good on the Kitchen Garbage Disposal

10. Even when you hide them in your secret pouch on your golf bag someone under the age of 5 will find them!
Dear Daddy,
I thought I should tell you a few things...Actually they like everything hiding in your golf bag regardless that you gave them your old bag full of clubs. And I do throw away all those golf tees I find around the house. Because you CAN have too many. But they haven’t found your Scotty Cameron hiding place yet. Promise, I'm not telling them! Love, Mommy