Birthday Week

Posted by Shelley on Mar 29, 2010 in Real Life Stories, kids

I think most of us would agree that birthdays don’t just last a “day” anymore. Don’t we all celebrate at least 2 or 3 times, maybe more? Between friends, family, work, school, whatever the case may be… there are usual multiple celebrations. I wonder if it’s always been this way? All I know is around here there is generally a birthday week, where we eat, drink and be merry more than once. It’s Melodi’s week this week!

Wow, I’ve managed to keep this blog since 2006 when Melodi was in 1st grade. So, in keeping with the birthday week theme I am going to re-post my thoughts about my precious daughter from years past. No crying allowed, only extra helpings of ice cream :)

here is one from September 2, 2006 – never published to the official blog but I found the draft saved after all these years…


A Decade of Swapping Some Christmas Cookies

Posted by Shelley on Dec 23, 2009 in Real Life Stories, Uncensored Shelley, kids

Christmas Cookie Swap #10 happened at approximately 14:00 hours today.  From here on out we’ll take it up a notch around here and there will be more excitement than usual!  Our cookie swap means Christmas Eve is usually within 24-48 hours of the event.  Here we are!

When Melodi was born I wanted to have a tradition with her that would last longer than I would.  I mean, eventually I won’t be here anymore but she will and will hopefully carry on some of the things we did while she was growing up.  Up until recently I never really grasped that fact as the truth.  I’m here to tell you, it is the truth with a capital “T”.  We don’t live forever but our memories and traditions can.

So, my aunt gives me a Christmas book, a journal which records Christmas for the next 10 years.  This was in 1999.  We are 10 years later and it’s 2009 and this will be the last entry in this little book.  Where, oh where, does the time go?  Oh, I know.  It’s really not that fast.  In fact, it’s a long, slow process but that’s another post.

It’s so funny to look at this family Christmas book  b/c 1)  you can’t read my handwriting and 2)  I stopped journaling in it about  half way through.  That would be when Canon was born.  But I always recorded our cookie swaps and now have 10 years worth of them chronicled in the book.

Every year for our cookie swap I mailed out an invitation, created a “menu”, created fun cookies and anitcipated the day of the party.  Each year Melodi has taken on more responsiblity for the party, by addressing the envelopes, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping off the front porch and finally, baking the cookies.  This year she did all of that except address the envelopes.  Why not the envevlopes?  B/C there were no invitations.  This year you got an email.

She loves this tradition!  And I want her to have it long after I’m gone.  Which means Melodi, if you ever read this, please have the cookie party.  No matter what.  Life will change and be a little different, year after year.  But make room in your heart for our cookie swap.  And when I’m too old to participate, bring it to me at the old folks home.

And for those of you who know my incredible, has her act together daughter, know that she will.


Happy Birthday Canon!

Posted by Shelley on Aug 9, 2009 in Real Life Stories, kids

Today he is officially 5 years old.  I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry!

Yesterday I got out my boxes of keepsakes that I put together around the time each of my children were born.  There were so many memories in each box.  I might not know where my celphone charger is, but I know where their hospital baby bracelets are that they came home from the hospital wearing.

Among these treasures are two journals that I kept while I was pregnant.  I’m going to recap my last journal entry from when I was pregnant with Canon.  This is where I recorded all my thoughts and emotions on that roller coaster ride called  pregnancy.  But what’s amazing about my entries are that their personalities showed up early in pregnancy.  So much of what I discovered about my children in utero have played out in “real life”.  Amazing.

Here is my last entry from that journal, when my precious baby boy was only 3 months old.  Now he’s rocking and rolling into kindergarten.  And we have partied all weekend, unlike the weekend he was born, when I woke up in ICU.  Well, that’s another entry entitled:  “Things I’m Glad I Won’t Have to Do Again.”  So, here are my thoughts post delivery and all I can say is that with every passing day my joy has increased tenfold.  As I have said before, I’m a blessed woman!


You are now 3 months old.  And quite honestly it has taken me 3 months to revisit my pregnancy.  I mean, for the last 12 Mondays following his birth I cried, sometimes beginning on a Sunday night.  It’s just been different.  I was laboring and not progressing, had to wait it out for the doctor and proceeded to have complications.  Like not being able to breathe.  I have spent 3 months now trying to figure out what I did to deserve such an agonizing delivery!

But he is here now and I finally feel more like myself and can look at pictures from the week in the hospital and read up on my last entry in here.  We’ve doubled his birthweight, had a cold, started some anitbiotics for a slight ear infection, and captured my heart in so many ways I didn’t know could exist.  When he smiles, his entire face smiles.  He shows me when he can do something new and waits for my affirmation and does it again and again.  He wants to be a baby, none of this growing up too quickly like his big sis.  He is a precious bundle of joy and I can’t believe I will become his measure of what it means to be a woman, a wife, a mom.  I love him so much, even these tantrums he has learned when it ‘s time for bed and he’s hungry and sleepy are all precious.

Because when I wrote in here on August 3rd, 2004 it was a week before I went into labor my final time.  A memorable time in my life which won’t be repeated until I become a grandmother.  I am so excited because I have so much love for both my children, I am so looking forward to our life together.  Apart from heaven, this is what it means to be complete.


Mid Summer Report

Posted by Shelley on Jul 15, 2009 in Real Life Stories, kids

We’ve been busy. We’ve been lots of places and done lots of things. When we aren’t on the go, we’re eating, watching TV, having friends over, or playing our gameboys. Sleep is in there somewhere. More so for sister than brother. She doesn’t get up before 10am if she can help it (brother is up by 7am most days – oh, joy!). Speaking of sister, she’s getting paid this summer to do some chores, babysit her brother and teach her Nana computer lessons.

Survival techniques for mom include three musketeers bars and energy drinks.

Below are some quotes from Canon this summer. Consider this a special appendices for my blog today. If you know anything about my sitcom lifestyle you can easily read between the lines and figure out what is really going on in my house. But just in case you can’t, I will explain each statement and what it *really* means.

Mom, did you know there’s an air freshner that can watch your kids for ya?(I’ve been watching too much TV and have confused a couple of commercials with reality)

Mom, let’s see how long my hair can get. (he has had no haircut at all this summer)

I can’t find pink lovey. Where is hers? (stall technique at bedtime)

I have no money mom! I want a job where you can watch TV all day and get paid for it. (sis got paid for helping out, isn’t watching TV a job that counts?)

I want hungry! (so hungry he forgot the word food)

Look what I can do! (see the next quote below)

That’s not carpet burn on my face. (see the quote above)
Hardy tardy life’s a party! (he learned his mantra well early in life!)


The Best Parenting Advice

Posted by Shelley on May 23, 2009 in kids

I’ve gotten so far…

The job of the parent is to help children come to know themselves, grow to like themselves, and find satisfaction in being themselves ~ Chuck Swindoll

That changes everything.


The Blessing of Field Trips

Posted by Shelley on Apr 16, 2009 in Real Life Stories, kids
April 15th, 2009

April 15th, 2009

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go on a field trip with Canon’s class… I say it was an opportunity because it truly is just that, an opportunity, a chance. So many field trips I’ve been on and I don’t think I’ve ever taken one for granted. First of all, it is such a gift to have children of my very own in my life. Second of all, I am so blessed to have a boy and a girl, what a joy it is to see the world through Canon’s eyes! And thirdly, they are growing up and each day is a day the Lord has given me to see them through it. How good God has been to me!

The hayride was the highlight of the trip

The hayride was the highlight of the trip

I am cherishing this because over the weekend I got the words I knew I would hear one day.

me: “I sure wanted to go with you on that field trip to Montgomery, Melodi. I am sorry it didn’t work out this time…”
melodi: “that’s okay mom. I think I had more fun without you being on it.”

She went on to say how grown up she felt. Last week she had the opportunity, the chance, and she took a charter bus with a bunch of school kids and with $25 in hand and her gameboy she left for a full day on the town. Before I know it she is going to be dressed for prom for a full night on the town. I just hope she doesn’t take her gameboy. But if she does, that boy better just consider himself darn lucky. Because not every girl can make a gameboy a fashion accessory ;) .


Her Birthday

Posted by Shelley on Apr 1, 2009 in kids

It was a good one, she was truly very happy all day today and isn’t that just the best? Everything, from the candle in her fresh baked cinnamon sugar muffin this morning to the April Fool’s fun at school. She didn’t want to fall for my prank: a banged up foot from a fall in the parking lot, with ice and crutches, the whole deal. Here’s what she told me, “mom, you know I’m a professional. I’ve been doing this April Fool’s stuff for 10 years now…” Not to mention more fun at dinner, fun with the cake, super-fun with presents… it was a special day and I’m sure we’ll always remember it.

One of the gifts I gave her today was one her Dad bought on the day she was born. “Wow, mom, it’s like a re-used gift!” A cute little beanie baby from the gift shop at St. Vincents had been put away for the past few years. She saw the exact one online and asked for it for her birthday. How about that? Receiving something a long time ago is actually something that you want again. Interesting to think about.

I didn’t get sad til I put her to bed. She told me about some silly stuff a boy was saying to her at school. I said, “you know he’s just doing that to impress you…” She rolled her eyes and I said, “it doesn’t work does it?” and she said, “no, it doesn’t work.” Like I said, I’m going to make darn sure she learns from some of my mistakes!

Tucking her in, giving her a kiss and then hugging her got me. I said, “Can I just stay here a little bit longer?” She agreed. My face was in her hair and I thought, here we are. How happy she has made me, how she has challenged me and how much she’s allowed me to grow and learn what the heck I’m doing right in front of eyes. And then I felt the tears come that don’t fall. And while I was sad, because every mom knows what it’s like to remember a new life in your arms, I just knew I was blessed. Immensely.


T-minus 4 weeks and counting…

Posted by Shelley on Mar 2, 2009 in Real Life Stories, Uncensored Shelley, kids

Some time last week Melodi was complaining about everything she didn’t want to do. We had all been making our lists on Facebook and I had a brainstorm…“Melodi, write down all the things you ARE looking forward to!” She said, “Like a list?” And I immediately knew she was all over it. If Melodi were on Facebook, there would be no list of 25 or 57 or 103 things she would not complete. She’s always got an answer for everything!

She closed her door and appears later with a envelope marked “Mom”. I opened it and there was a list there that I could’ve written when I was 9 years old. Made me stop and think. She’ll be 10 in less than 4 weeks and around this time every year I get a little sad. Now we’re into the double digits! In five years she’ll be… 15! Instead of being sad this time I am rather on a mission. Now is the time for being the best kind of mother I can be to her during this phase of her life. Because as most us girls can attest to, there is plenty up ahead and over this hill. Or maybe I should say mountain?

It’s all about love/hate and the silly, serious, or strong emotions that no young teenage girl knows what to do with. Those battles among friends will hurt but probably not as much as the ones she’ll fight with the opposite sex. She might decide to journal her thoughts rather than talk to me about them. And if she does decide to talk, then I had better be ready! The “it’s complicated” part of life is on the horizon. So much of what she decides to do now will affect her for the rest of her life. I am not sure where I’m going with this, but if you’re reading this far into my post then it probably makes sense to you.

So, here’s her list. The 9 year old list.

Looking Forward To:
1) Going to swim
2) Playing with friends
3) Being a vet/teacher/lawyer (I only wanted to be Barbie when I grew up- ha!)
4) Getting Molly to have puppies
5) Summer
6) Any break such as spring break
7) Having kids
8) Getting married
9) Getting a hamster (funny how that comes right after marriage!)
10) Going to sleep
11) Going to Heaven
12) Learn about God
13) Seeing Uncle Tim’s adopted kid

And on the back – Not looking forward to:
School Homework any pets dying
School Homework
School Homework
School Homework
School Homework

Guess I need to make a new list too. The “what I learned that I can teach her list”… maybe after she blows out the candles…


Yes, I’m Their Mother

Posted by Shelley on Feb 26, 2009 in Real Life Stories, kids

Today is really not chaotic. However, I did not have my chance to blog until now. So, my blogging attempt is becoming chaotic because my children are so darn entertaining. Any real deep thoughts will be written later. Now, you dear reader, have the chance to become entertained by my children as well!

Canon’s class is having a wedding tomorrow for Wanda and Willie Walrus. They will eat wedding cookies and worms. It is W week (obviously) He just told me, “I get to marry Jolie! and I will have two lifes!”

I asked him what that meant and he held up 2 fingers, and said, “I will have 2 lifes, Emily and Jolie, b/c there wasn’t enough boys.” Life? Wife? What’s the difference? One or two? Again, I bet most men would say, what’s the difference?

Next up was Melodi. She wanted the laptop and I said no. I was still in some dream-like state that I thought I could squeeze in some deep thinking/blogging with the kids and the dog at my ankles. She looked at me and said, “Well, mom, can you type for me on my blog? I will tell you what I want to say…”. Honestly, I don’t make this stuff up. She wanted to blog, but she wanted me to type it. It was like dictation. All of a sudden I felt like a secretary. My daughter’s secretary.

I decided to do it because by typing her blog I had some decent material to go along with Canon’s life/wife story. I thought about cutting and pasting what she said, and I typed, onto to my blog. But, I do believe you will get much more entertainment value after visiting her site yourself. Please note she is very incentive based and much of her blogging are attempts at getting rewards. Did I tell you I was her mother?


Best Places to Raise Your Kids

Posted by Shelley on Nov 11, 2008 in kids

I just saw this article online at Yahoo.  There is a state by state listing of the Best Places to Raise Your Kids.  Looks like Hoover is one of the runners up!  God has really been in the details of my life and has truly blessed me and my family with a great place to live!

Click here to read the full article.



Getty Images

Nearest city: Huntsville

Population: 162,819

Median household income: $69,000

Families don’t have to leave Huntsville to find fun things to do.

The city is best known as the home of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, where scientists designed space rockets in the 1950s and visitors now come for interactive exhibits, rides, and movies.

The 104-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden has a new Children’s Garden and Nature Center, which claims to have the nation’s largest seasonal butterfly house.




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