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Month: July 2009

You're The Inspiration

Some days all I want to do is write.  There are things that need to move from my head to a piece of paper (or a glowing screen). I’ve always had that side to me.  When I feel something deeply, I need to write it out.  It helps me process.  It helps me release the hurt, the joy, the emotions that build up inside of me.  When I was younger, it came out in poetry or letters to those that had wronged me, sometimes to those who I was infatuated with beyond my own understanding.  Most of those words were never read by any eyes other than my own.  As soon as the words were released, they were destroyed (and boy do I wish I had held onto some of that).

When I first started blogging, it was my own private little getaway.  I could write about anything and everything I wanted.  The internet was full of strangers.  I didn’t use my name.  I didn’t tell anyone that this private world of mine existed.  But I made friends in my private little world.  And they told me that my writing was good.  They validated my feelings.  They helped me become more honest with myself and with my writing.  They helped me overcome my shyness.  They made me feel like I had something to contribute to this world, even if it only reaches a few.  They made me feel like my story was important.

When I decided to move up in the blogging world and buy my own domain, I chose the name Voices In My Mind.  The title came from the lyrics of a song: “Voices in my mind, the voices I can’t hide”.  The line just kept ringing through my head.  I was done hiding my voice.  I was ready to let the world hear it.

In the beginning I let it all out – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I was in a pretty dark place for a while and I complained about everything and everyone that had wronged me.  I complained about my husband, my job, my money issues.  I didn’t even realize how many boundaries I had overstepped until I suddenly found my blog being featured in the Kansas City Star.  Talk about a panic attack!  At least I had a little time to delete and make private some of the worst ones.  Going public changed the way I write.  It made me think twice about the words flowing onto the screen.  It made me keep a lot inside.  It also reduced my blog from a personal blog to a “mommy blog” in many ways.  I stopped writing so much about my true feelings and more and more about my kids as they were a safe topic for my family and friends to read.

At some point during my pregnancy with Evie, my blogging really slowed down.  After she was born it slowed down even more.  Life with two kids was much harder and busier than I had anticipated.  My blog posts decreased to maybe one a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.  It got to the point where when I did want to sit down and write it had been so long since the last post that I felt too overwhelmed to write anything at all.  I wanted to change it. I just didn’t know how.

At some point in there I also stopped really reading blogs. I didn’t completely stop reading, but found it was easier to keep up with people on Twitter.  So I’d click a link here and there but pretty much stopped keeping up with my feed reader.  It was just all too much.  I didn’t feel like there was enough time for my personal life and my online life.  Yet, I still felt like something was missing.

Somewhere amidst the BlogHer ’09 hoopla I found inspiration again.  I’ve read account after account of women finally getting to meet their favorite bloggers, friends who have reached out to each other with their words, women who have bonded over babies, infertility, humor, politics, and a plethora of other things.  I’ve read posts that have literally brought me to tears because of the emotions so strongly conveyed through letters strung together on a glowing white screen.  It gives me goosebumps even thinking of it now.

Suddenly I want to write again, and not just about my kids.  I want to write from the heart.  I want to fill the page with my emotions, no matter who is reading.  I want people who stop by this space to know who I am, not just about my kids.  I want to be a part of this amazing blogging community.  I want to read posts from my favorite bloggers that fill me with so many emotions and “aha” moments.  I want to interact with all of the amazing women (and men) that I’ve come across in the blogosphere and not just sit silently on the sidelines.  I want to be a part of something bigger.  I want to step outside of this comfortable little box that I’ve been hiding in.

Over the last week or so I’ve been sprucing things up around here.  You won’t notice any major changes (especially if you’re reading through a feed reader), but I have updated a few things, including adding uPrinting as a blog sponsor and a few text ads (with all proceeds being set aside for a new camera fund and my next big dream).  I’ve also updated my About page, the Blogs I Read page (to reflect those that I’m actually trying to keep up with again), and added links to my other sites along the top.  On top of that, I finally took the time to update to the most recent versions of WordPress and Thesis (the best theme of all time).

So, for now anyway, I’m re-energized.   I’m ready to rock this thing.  You are the inspiration and I love every single one of you.

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Evie – 16 1/2 Months


Dear Evie,

I’ve missed two months now of these “monthly” letters and I really have no excuse other than that I just can’t seem to find the words to describe you these days.  You are beautiful and charming.  You are so full of life and attitude.  One minute you have me in tears laughing so hard and the next minute all you want to do is snuggle up on my lap like we did for hours at a time when you were an infant.  You make my heart swell and hurt in such a good way.

You are growing up so dang fast.  Some days it seems like you are one going on fifteen.  You still let me pick your clothes out in the morning, but heaven help me if I try to put the wrong pair of shoes on you.  You will kick and scream and fight until I give up and let you choose the ones you want.  As long as something is covering your feet it doesn’t really matter much though.  You just love your shoes and even though you can’t manage to put your own shoes on yet, I keep finding you walking around in your brother’s.  I’ve also found you walking around trying to wear a t-shirt as pants because you are trying to dress yourself already.  There were even a few days when I had to laugh because you started asking for a “bow” in your hair every night before bed and refused to lay down until you had one.  It seems I may have a little miniature diva on my hands.

You talk all the time now.  You can still only say one or two words at a time, but girl you have a lot of words for your age.  Your favorite word? Shoes. (You may have to get a job when you’re 3 to keep up with your shoe habit.)  I can’t possibly list all of the words you say, but the most common are: shoes, mommy, mama, daddy, zach, bubba, bopbop, cat, bye bye, more, night night, outside, belly (while you lift your shirt to show it off), hello, hi, ball, baby, bath, potty, yes, no, and cup.  I know I’m forgetting some because you’re always spouting off new words.  You try to repeat pretty much anything we say, even if you can’t get the sounds quite right.

You are getting more and more social all the time.  You love your friends at day care and your cousins, but you love your big brother even more.  You want to play with him all the time, which means I hear a lot of “No Sis!” coming from the playroom and living room when you start messing with his toys.  Most of the time he ends up giving up the toys and playing with you instead.  When he does pay attention to you the two of you giggle like crazy and it is the best sound in the world.

It’s been fun watching you develop your motor skills lately as well.  You’ve been walking since just after your first birthday, but now you love to dance as well.  In the last week or so, I’ve noticed you trying to jump.  Every kid does it, but I think it is the cutest thing when you try to jump and your feet don’t leave the ground.  You are so proud of yourself every time even though you aren’t going anywhere.  Your fine motor skills are improving as well.  You have started picking up crayons and coloring and you are doing much better feeding yourself with a fork and spoon.

Along with all of the growing, you’ve been cutting teeth like crazy.  You cut all four of your 1st year molars and all four incisors within a few weeks of each other.  In between cutting all of those teeth, you somehow got a bacterial infection in your skin, got a cold, and a horrible sinus infection that caused a week long fever.  You were a pretty miserable girl for a couple weeks, but once we got through the antibiotics you were back to your normal goofy self.

Baby girl, you are just so much fun.  You are so lively and funny and just perfect in every way (except for maybe your sudden obsession with princesses).  I can spend hours just tickling you and giving you zerberts on your belly and you never get tired of it.  You just ask for “more” and lift your shirt to show me your belly.  You bring so much joy and love to our family.  I can’t imagine a more perfect fit.  I love you, my little monkey!

Love always,

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I ♥ Faces – Week 29 – At The Beach

This week’s I ♥ Faces weekly challenge theme is “At the Beach”. Since we don’t live anywhere near the ocean, most of our beach outings are lakeside. On the few occasions that we have actually been to the beach on an ocean, I’ve been afraid of getting sand in my camera so I don’t have a lot of good shots. Since I don’t seen us visiting a beach anytime in the next two days, I’m digging up an old beach shot of Zach from our trip to Hawaii. He was about 18 months old in this shot. He had a blast playing on the beach, even if he wasn’t very interested in the water.

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Don’t forget to check out the other amazing entries over at I ♥ Faces!

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Pity Party for 1

Every year as the BlogHer conference rolls around I find myself feeling jealous of all of those who are able to go.  I want to go.  I love the idea of being surrounded by 1500+ other women who get why blogging is so cool.  I love the idea of being able to speak geek talk with other people who actually understand what I’m saying.  I really love the idea of meeting so many of the bloggers that I’ve been following and talking to online for years.  It would be such an incredible experience.


In order to go I would have to shell out way more money than I can afford.  I would also have to somehow manage to come out of my little shell I hide under in social situations (but a margarita or two would help with that part).  Plus, I’m pretty sure I would end up completely overwhelmed with the whole thing.

So instead I sit at home watching the #blogher09 tweets fly by and reading the blog posts of those that are there and dream of some day being able to make it happen.  Maybe when the kids are older.  Maybe when we get a little debt payed down. Maybe, maybe, maybe.  Someday…

I plan to spend Saturday enjoying my kids and hopefully get away from Twitter for a bit.  I can’t stay completely off the computer as I have some blog maintenance/site design type things to get done this weekend, but I really need to focus on the important things and just quit  feeling sorry for myself.

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Sometimes A Negative Can Be A Positive

Sunday night Hubby and I took advantage of my Mom’s offer to babysit and went to see Harry Potter.  We had a nice time getting out by ourselves for a few hours (and the movie was awesome!).  We got home, put the kids to bed, and soon headed to bed ourselves.  Just before I got to bed I suddenly felt sick and threw up.  I’m guessing it was the buttery popcorn I had at the movie, but who knows.

Monday morning I still felt a bit queasy and without thinking I posted to Twitter and Facebook something about how it sucked to start out Monday morning with a queasy stomach.  When I got to work a while later I had a bunch of replies suggesting I was pregnant.  Which of course was the same thing Hubby asked me when I got sick.  Uh, no.

So as the day went on I felt a little better and by lunchtime I felt pretty much back to normal.  (One more argument for the popcorn).  I felt fine the rest of the night so I just blew the whole thing off.

Then Monday night I had the dream.  In the dream I took a pregnancy test and it was positive.  I freaked out.  I didn’t know what to tell Hubby or how in the heck we would handle another child right now.  I woke up in a frantic state.  Then I realized it was just a dream.  My head was racing but my stomach was feeling a bit off again.

Then little thoughts started creeping in.  I am a couple days late (which isn’t unusual for me even while on the pill) and certain areas have been rather tender for the last week or so and I’ve been having a bit of pain in the pelvic area (which also isn’t unusual for me).  Dang it.  I prayed for the strength to accept whatever plan God had for our family.  Then I had to go get a test just to be sure.

So I took the test and got a big fat negative.  After about half a second of sadness, I let out the biggest sigh of relief ever.  After years and years of trying so hard to get pregnant, I was actually relieved not to be.  That was kind of a strange, almost foreign,  feeling for me.  It actually surprised me that I was so happy about the result.

The best part of all of this, is that it confirmed exactly what I’ve been feeling since the day Evie was born.  Our family is perfect just the way it is right now, just the four of us.  Some day we may decide we’re ready for another baby – but today is not that day.


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The Week (and 1/2) That Was

The last week and a half or so has been a lot of fun mixed with a lot of terrible.  It all started the Friday before the 4th when (on my day off) I decided Evie needed to go to the doctor.  She had some spots on her chest that originally looked like bug bites, but they kept getting more and more red and didn’t seem to be going away.  She had also been sneezing quite a bit but we’re having major allergy issues right now so I blew that off.  The doctor diagnosed her with a bacterial infection for the spots on her chest and prescribed her both a topical antibiotic and an oral antibiotic.


That afternoon we had an appointment to have Zach’s 4-year portraits taken.  By the time we got there, Evie was a mess.  The portrait studio was running behind schedule and it ended up taking nearly three hours from start to finish.  By the time we left Hubby was cranky, the kids were cranky, and Evie was running a fever and had green stuff oozing from her nose and eyes.  We should have just stopped then and gone home, but we were all hungry and Zach had been promised a trip to Target to spend his birthday money.


We celebrated the 4th with my family at Grandma’s where the kids got to swim in the pool.  Fortunately, Evie was feeling a bit better.  We celebrated our country’s Independence Day by eating tons of Mexican food, including Hubby’s homemade guacamole and salsa (yum!).  Then we headed to Corporate Woods to enjoy the fireworks, though we weren’t sure we would even see anything through all the clouds.  The kids loved the fireworks, but Zach decided about halfway through that they were too loud.


Sunday was a catch up/run errands/do laundry/snuggle with sick kid kind of day. It ended up being much busier than I had planned. It wasn’t a bad day though, until I realized that Evie’s Motrin had worn off and she still had a fever. That didn’t exactly bode well for heading back to work Monday morning.


Evie ended up at work with me Monday because I had things that just had to be done at the office. I worked as long as I could before she started getting too cranky then brought her home so she could get some sleep and I could do a little more work. Tuesday I ended up staying home with her, since her fever was still up. I was hoping that giving her a day to rest would help her recover, but the darn fever just wouldn’t come back down. Wednesday my sister took both kids so I could work and Thursday Evie was back at work with me. Her fever finally broke at some point on Thursday and I was thrilled to finally be able to take her back to day care on Friday after an entire week of fever.


Friday night was what I had been both waiting for and dreading all week. I picked the kids up, drove to my sister’s house, dropped the kids off with my BIL and Mom and headed out for a night out with the girls. It was for a friend’s bachelorette party and even though I knew I would have fun, I was pretty worn out from the week. The party ended up being a blast, just as I expected. We rented a party bus that drove us around all night while we consumed adult beverages, listened to music, danced, and chatted. We stopped off at a couple of bars, but mostly enjoyed our time together on the bus. Evie must show hers too!

The next morning, we packed up and drove to Springfield where we joined my cousins, Aunt and Uncle for their annual 4th of July bash. They always have a huge BBQ and then my cousins put on an amazing fireworks display. The kids loved getting to see fireworks again and I really enjoyed seeing some of my extended family. The best part was getting to meet my cousin’s two week old baby boy, Kyler. He is just precious and instantly gave me that sad “I don’t have a baby anymore” feeling. I didn’t get to hold him for long since Evie was practically attached to my hip all night, but the few minutes of baby snuggling I got in made the drive all worth it!


The other nice part of the trip was getting to see my Grandma. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so I’m never really sure what to expect when we’re around her, but she did seem genuinely happy to see all of us even if she couldn’t remember exactly who everyone was. I really wish I would have gotten a picture of her holding baby Kyler, but I already had my camera put away by the time she got her hands on him.


We didn’t check out of our hotel until almost noon on Sunday, stopped to eat and let the kids play at Incredible Pizza, then set out for the drive home. By the time we got to my house I felt like I needed another weekend to recover before heading back to work, but that just wasn’t an option. So far this week I’ve done nothing but play catch-up on the things I wasn’t able to finish last week and there’s a lot more left to do. I’d give just about anything for a long nap.

(Yes, super long post, I know.  I just needed to get it all down.  But at least I gave you pictures to look at!)

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