The Giant Sunflower
A Perfect Pair
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:14 AM
The Fall, Ya'll bloggy giveaway is upon us. It's a circus of sorts, a hay day, a carnival (without the carnies, of course) so what are you waiting for? Let the fun begin! Head on over to Bloggy Giveaways for all the details!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 2:33 PM
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:10 AM
Our day at Aplin Farms included a corn maze, a hay ride and a "punkman" patch. We never did find our way out of the corn maze; we cheated and ended up coming back out the entrance. Sprite was getting tired and kept sitting down in the middle of the cornfield. Her Daddy had to carry her out! The kids loved the hayride-Sprite laughed whenever we went through a puddle and Sprout picked a giant Sunflower for me at the "punkman" patch! Oh how I love Fall!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 2:53 PM
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:16 AM
"Look Bitches!!! Don't hate, Hollywood hoochies pay big bucks to get the "punk/just rolled out of bed" look."
(While I didn't pee my pants I did spit coffee out of my mouth so bonus points for that too!)
Congratulations, I have decided to award you both with the prize of taking my children to Chuck E Cheese, while I enjoy a pedicure, massage and a few bons bons! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, come directly to Podunk, AL to claim your prize-NOW! Just remember you agreed to release, discharge and hold harmless Sweet Home Alabama, its affiliates, and subsidiaries from and against any/all claims, losses, injuries or damages, including death, resulting from the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize!!!! Ha Ha Ha!
Thanks for playing everyone!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:16 AM
Wordless Wednesday is just below this post- looks like I found my words and lots of them...
Meg from Simply Nutmeg has sent me a few interview questions for your reading pleasure. But before I begin I want to tell you how I “met” Meg. I came across her blog as a link on another blog, which I came across when googling breastfeeding and weaning of all things! While I never really found the resolution I was looking for, it was reasurring to learn that I was not alone in my breastfeeding blues! After it was all said and done I found a few blogs that made me cry, laugh out loud, and almost pee my pants- hers being one of them. This was the beginning of my blogging addiction as I felt like I had found a community or neighborhood where I belonged. I’m getting ahead of myself so here goes:
Why do you blog?
Hmmm, why do I blog? Because it gives me a voice- even if no one is listening! No, seriously, we recently moved across the country (twice) after being stationed at one base for 10 years. My husband was accepted to flight school and had the opportunity to pursue his dream of flying. While this was very exciting it was also very frightening as I was forced to leave most of my friends and a rewarding career that I was passionate about. We packed up and moved to Kansas when I was 7 months pregnant with my second child. This move was very hard and short lived. We bought a house that required a lot of fixing up, had a baby and barely got settled in before it was time to pack up again. We only lived in Kansas for 6 months before moving to AL. Kansas was a very lonely and isolating place for me. We were far away from everything comfortable, our family and friends, our home, our neighbors… I did not make any friends while we were there and Austin did not play with another kid the entire time we were there! Maybe I didn’t try very hard- I find it is hard to make friends as an adult; it takes time to build trusting, nurturing relationships-something I didn’t have much of and I was struggling with being a new stay-at-home-Mom in a strange place. It really felt like OZ. I was waiting for Glenda the good witch to come with the ruby red slippers so I could close my eyes, click my heels together and whisper, “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” waking up back home in NC. She never came! But a giant tornado whirled through picking us up and dropping us in Alabama! :) The transition to AL was a little easier. Maybe it was the courage that the cowardly lion shared with me; maybe it was the 2 little munchkins that were depending on me. Whatever it was, I knew that I needed to find something that replaced what I was missing. This is where blogging came in. I wasn’t expecting to find what I did. I first started blogging to keep in touch with family and friends. I wanted a place where they could come and get a glimpse of what was happening in our lives. I also joked that this would allow me to stop inundating their in-boxes with pictures of my kids! But what I found through this process is that blogging helps me feel connected to other woman and less alone in my struggles and triumphs. I have found that blogging is a great outlet for the craziness that comes with being a woman, wife, mother…the sad, the silly and everything in between.
Wow, that was long-winded. Sorry- I’ll try to be a little briefer in my responses to the other questions!
What have you learned from the blogging experience?
I have learned that I am not alone in my struggles to find sanity in this crazy world or in my desire to write about it for everyone else to read. I have enjoyed learning from the number of other woman in the blogosphere who are brave enough to share their journeys and allow others, like me, to read about it and am hoping that I can do the same-help someone, somewhere, realize that she is not alone. I have also learned that I find humor in almost everything my kids do! They make me smile and laugh out loud and I love sharing those moments!
You picked a card from the pile of life that says, “Do not pass go. Move directly to another country.” Where would you move?
This one is really tough for me. I have not traveled much, something I long to do someday. The only time I have been out of the country was to visit my husband in Bogotá, Colombia when he was deployed there. While it was a fascinating experience, I am not sure I would take my “do not pass go” card and move to Colombia, South America.
I am, however, drawn to Ireland or at least my naïve perception of Ireland-its rugged, natural beauty and majestic emerald landscape (green is my favorite color), its fascinating heritage and turbulent history, the mythical legends and castles…
If you could give the twenty-year old you a piece of advice, what would it be?
Trust yourself-your heart, your head, your gut-and you will find your way!
Oh, this is going to be another long-winded one. Toby and I were high school sweethearts and got married when we were 19. He was in the Army and I was in our hometown working two jobs trying to support myself and pursue my education. Toby proposed after graduating from basic training. I turned down a full ROTC scholarship to Syracuse University. We closed our eyes and followed our hearts. Most people thought we were crazy and told us that we were throwing our lives away. Little did they know that we had found at an early age what most spend a lifetime searching for and rarely find. Had I taken the scholarship, Toby and I may have ended up on opposites ends of the earth with the military, a chance I was not willing to take. I believed in us and knew that together we would make it-and we did. We struggled, with pride, to make it on our own while following our dreams. I managed to finish school, we bought our first home, had a baby… I will never forget my graduation day-it was one of the proudest moments of my life. The years of determination, dreaming and believing rolled down my face in the form of tears as my husband cheered me on-just one of the many memories that I cherish! I am not going to lie and say that it has been perfect because it hasn’t. We have had our struggles but 11 years later we are still working towards our happily ever after, each struggle and victory bringing us closer together and stronger than ever.
What is your greatest challenge as a mother?
Trusting that I am being the best mother than I can be. Believing that I can find the balance between allowing my children to be who they are, intrinsically, while providing the guidance and boundaries that they need-all the while instilling genuine values and beliefs that are important to our family. As you can probably tell by now, I am highly emotional and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. While most days I am ok with this, I tend to be a little bit of a softie when it comes to my kids. I am not always the disciplinarian that I need to be. At the end of the day I want them to grow up to be happy, strong, independent, self-thinkers who have the roots they need to stay grounded but are secure enough in their individuality to spread their wings and fly, believing that they will make it. I don’t always know if I am going about it the right way and struggle with the balance of it all. And like many moms, I struggle with Mommy guilt. Being the best Mom that I can be also means being true to myself-my wants and desires- and sometimes it is hard to allow myself that freedom without feeling guilty. As moms, it is easy to put ourselves last while caring for everyone else. The problem with this is that when we neglect our true, inner selves for too long, we burn out and have nothing left to give. If this continues for too long we start to become invisible to ourselves and to those around us, allowing the emptiness and loneliness to creep in. There has to be a point where we allow ourselves to recharge, refuel and replenish our spirits. Then and only then can we be the best moms that we can be. When it is all said and done (which is never, really)- I hope I can look back and be proud of myself, my kids and the journey!
What made you fall in love with Toby and what keeps you in love with him?
His quiet strength, his silent confidence, his humbleness, his deep brown eyes, the way he wore his hat low-just above his eyes, the mysteriousness that surrounded him…
Toby believed in me at a time when it was hard to believe in myself. He was the rock that kept me strong when the world around me was falling apart. He made me feel safe and protected. To be completely honest, back then, I wanted him because I needed him. Today, I need him because I want him. This is a huge difference to me but I don’t know if this makes a lot of sense to others. When we got married, I was escaping from a past I was trying desperately to forget- I was young, naive and not very strong emotionally. I depended on Toby for a lot of things, including my own happiness-I needed Toby. Don’t get me wrong, I have always deeply loved and needed him and truly believed that we were meant to be together. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was blessed to have had found him at such a young age-but today our love is a much stronger, deeper love. It has not always been easy-many times we have had to choose to take the road less traveled and find our own way. And finding our way together in the darkness has been hard. There were times when it felt like we were growing apart and taking different paths but ultimately our paths always lead back to one another. And through this journey we have continued to learn more about each other and ourselves than we ever thought possible. We have learned that nothing is quite the way we thought it would be. The hurts have been deeper-and the joys have been greater. We’ve learned what it feels like to love and be loved, to hurt and to be hurt, to forgive and to be forgiven. What makes us survive and thrive is simple yet complex-our love for one another. Through the joys and the sorrows, I have loved him; through the successes and failures, I have loved him; through the laughter and the tears, I have loved him. I have always loved him and I always will. We have grown and changed and the world around us has changed even more but he has not given up on me and I will not give up on him.
What keeps me in love with him is all of this and so much more! He challenges me to be the best person that I can be. He supports me even when he doesn’t always understand me. He allows me to be me and accepts me, flaws and all. He makes me laugh at myself- when I least feel like but most need it. He is gorgeous and still gives me butterflies when I look at him and he doesn’t know I’m watching him. He is an amazing father. He is my best friend, my confidant, partner and soul mate! While it is easy to forget these things in the continuous chaos, and mundane daily humdrum, I try not to and appreciate the opportunity to reflect on this.
Phew-If you are still reading-thank you. I got a little more personal than I intended to but that is me-I am who I am-why hide it! :)
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:39 AM
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 2:36 PM
Ooh how I love fall! Aside from the beautiful basket full of Autumn goodies and decor, Courtney included my favorite Halloween candy and even included something special for the kids. A very thoughtful swapper! Thanks Courtney.
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 2:22 PM
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 1:50 PM
Sprout and I were riding in the truck yesterday and at some point in the conversation I said jokingly, "Listen here, Senor!" He said, "Mooommm, I am not a Senor, I am a nino. Daddy is a Senor, you are a Senora and Sprite is a nina!"
Well Exccuuusssee Me! :) I'm glad to see he is paying attention in at least one class!
Later that night when the kids were in the bathtub I was telling the Hubba Bubba about our conversation (we all seem to congregate in the bathroom at bathtime because all too often something happens that you don't want to miss). He mentioned to Austin that he could teach him a new Spanish word every day and that he could share that word with his teacher. To this Sprout replied, "No, she never lets us talk, all we can say is Aqui," with his arm raised high in the sky!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 11:22 AM
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 3:02 PM
Get your mind out of the gutter...
It's an Autum Goody Swap and you still have time to particpate. Mozey on over to Are We There Yet? for details!
What do you like best about Fall?
Cool Breezes, Autum Hues, Halloween...
Do you have any family traditions for this time of year?
Going to a local pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins and taking pictures of the kids tucked amongst all of the pumpkins.
What’s your favorite Halloween chocolate?
Toss up between Kit Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.
Is there any Halloween treat you do not like?
"I don't like Candy Corn" (or those nasty pumpkins). Can you tell we watch a little Noggin around here?
What has been the best Halloween costume you’ve ever dressed up in?
Queen of Hearts.
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 12:26 PM
I have joined my sister-in-law in The Challenge to walk 100 miles by the end of the year. Care to join me on this challenge? I have been walking 3 miles on the days that I don't have Jazzercise and attempting a 5 mile trek on the weekends. So far I am up to 14 miles- only 86 to go!! This is where I think of Dory whispering in my ear- "just keep walking, just keep walking!" Actually, I turn to one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson for inspiration: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." I use this time to reflect on my journey and what lies within. What is your inspiration?
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 11:39 AM
How many American pioneers are remembered for wearing tin pots on their heads, traveling barefoot, and scattering seeds? Only one springs to my mind—Johnny Appleseed. Here is Austin's tribute to the tin pot-wearing, seed scattering pioneer...
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:50 PM
Apparently, she knows something that I don't! Maybe she is part of The Whistleblower Protection Program!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:34 PM
See for yourself:
Scroll down to #30 and you will see...
Skimbaco - is giving away one blue Gigi Blankie. Visit their blog spot here.
Winner: Lisa (Sweet Home Alabama).
Yippee!! Thanks Skimbaco, Happy Panda and 5 Minutes for Mom!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 11:21 PM
Yesterday was just one of those days- well last night was anyway. YesterDAY was great! Ashlyn and I went to a playgroup and had a really good time. I have to be honest, I was a little nervous as Ashlyn has a strong personality and isn't afraid to show it in public. She also has the most bizarre cry you have ever heard!!! And when she cries, or screeches, people in Timbuktu hear her! It is a high-pitched guttural roar, which have left friends saying she sounds like a Tiger! I always sit and wait for the vomit to fly out of her mouth and her head to start spinning- yes, it is that bad! I have never heard such a cry in my life and it can be very disturbing at times. If you don’t know her personality, you would think something is wrong with her, which is why the Ferber method of getting her to sleep through the night was out of the question, especially since we live in a duplex! We recently had a friend visiting from Minnesota and it was her first time meeting Ashlyn. Around the second night she was here, Ashlyn didn’t want to go to sleep and started roaring when I put her to bed. My friend, who was a nurse by the way, jumped off the couch get her out of her crib, certain that there was something seriously wrong with her. My husband and I laughed and told her she was fine but I know she didn’t believe us- until she had been here a few more days and saw Ashlyn’s personality, in all it’s glory, first hand. Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there. So, anyway, the playgroup went really well and Ashlyn managed to refrain from roaring until it was time to leave. After her very short nap we went to the park and we had a blast. She was so excited, she was squealing with delight. But when it was time to come home to get ready for dinner, the roaring began and I think the entire neighborhood came out to see what the commotion was about. Leaving the park put her in quite a mood, which made the rest of the evening a little difficult. Here is where the fun really begins.
Birch, my bunny, had a sick tummy and pooped all over his cage and himself- it was NASTY! But in his defense, it was my fault because I ran out of rabbit food and when I went to the pet store they were out of the kind that we normally get so I had to get a different brand. Well, rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems and don’t deal well with sudden changes in their diet-NO KIDDING! Have you ever tried to bathe a bunny? I don’t suggest it!!!! I knew Birch was not keen on being dunked in water so I wrapped him in a towel, turned him upside down, which is supposed to relax them, and began to give him a sponge bath. EEEWWW!!! While I am doing this Ashlyn manages to find an open juice box and proceeds to spray it across the kitchen like a fire extinguisher, squealing in delight all the while. I take the juice box away from her (with an upside down rabbit in the other arm mind you). This of course leads to more roaring from my sweet little girl and a very non-relaxed rabbit squirming in my arms. At this point the phone rings twice and the door bell rings!!! So, I put Birch back in his somewhat clean cage, put Ashlyn in the living room and begin clearing the bar stools and whatnot out of the kitchen so I can mop up the juice before it becomes permanently stuck to my kitchen floor. I manage to finish mopping with only minor roaring from the tiger but then Ashlyn manages to climb through my barricade and makes her way to the kitchen floor. One step into the kitchen and she looks like Bambi on ice, which leads to major roaring!! I pick her up and try to climb back over the barricade with her in my arms but manage to catch my water-ski sized foot on one of the barstools, bending my big toe completely backwards, and trip. I attempt to catch my fall by running into the wall but ultimately catch the lamp instead and land on the floor. I am a majot klutz!!!! I somehow managed to hold on to Ashlyn the entire time-thank goodness. After a few choice words I pick up my swollen toe (and pride) and decide I better just sit in the recliner until bedtime!! I wish I could say this was the end of it but bedtime was a nightmare! Calgon take me away!
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 7:33 AM
Posted by Lisa Lou Hoo at 9:32 PM