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Month: June 2010

CD Review: Sarah McLachlan – Laws of Illusion

Laws of IllusionBack in high school I had a friend who always had the best music.  He was the kid who always had a cd player and headphones in his backpack ready to pull out when there was a lull in the day.  He introduced me to a lot of music during the two years of high school that we shared, but the most lasting impression was the time he had me listen to Sarah McLachlan‘s Fumbling Towards Ecstacy.

I don’t remember what song he first played for me, but I know that I soon owned the album and listening to “Elsewhere” on repeat quickly became my outlet for teen angst.  I doubt there is any album in my collection that has been played more.

Since that initial purchase,  I have bought every album that Sarah (we’re on a first name basis here) has put out.  Her voice has carried me through half of my lifetime now, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out Laws of Illusion was set to release.  I was even more thrilled when I found out that One2One Network was covering her release and I jumped on the opportunity to get my hands on a review copy.

Laws of Illusion is everything you would expect from a Sarah McLachlan album.  Her soothing, melodic vocals stand out over the instruments in the background as she pours her soul into each song.  In this album she brings a sense of maturity as she explores love, heartbreak, renewal, and the weight of the world around us.  Some songs, like “Out of Tune” hold a heaviness that you can feel as you listen to the lyrics:

It isn’t my heart that’s grown cold
The same mistakes are getting old
I’m lost for words, I don’t know what to do

But when I’m lying here with you
And the whole world’s out of tune
You’re the one and only voice that makes things right
So stay with me tonight

It is apparent that McLachlan has done a lot of soul searching in the years since her last album release.  Overall, the album was not as upbeat as I would have expected it to be, but that certainly hasn’t kept it from being on a nearly constant rotation since the day I received it.

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Five Years In The Blink of an Eye

Dear Zachary,

Five years ago today, I became a mother.  Some might argue that I became a mother upon your conception, but something inside me changed in those first few moments when I heard your (very loud) cry and got my first glimpse of your beautiful face.  That is the moment when I truly understood what it means to be a mother.  At 4:40 p.m., on June 26th, 2005, I finally knew the meaning of true, unconditional love.


We’ve been through a lot in five years.  I’ve watched you grow from a tiny (ok, maybe not so tiny) baby into a little boy who is a force to be reckoned with.  While I’ve tried to shape you the best that I can, you are very much your own person.  You are so strong-willed and yet also so sensitive at times.  You take after your daddy quite a lot in this way.


You have changed so much over the last year.  You’ve lost every bit of your baby face and now you are just all boy.  You are growing so fast I can barely keep you in clothes and shoes.  I’m just thankful that it is summer now so that you can wear shorts and I don’t have to worry about your pants being too short anymore.  I’m guessing there is another growth spurt coming soon though, because several nights recently you have eaten more at dinner than I have!


This last year you finally got to go to preschool.  You were so excited for school to start.  I think you really enjoyed it for the most part.  There were a few rough times, fights with other kids, and days when you just didn’t want to go, but overall I think it was a good experience.  We also learned that you sometimes have a hard time focusing on tasks.  I’m hoping this is something that will come with maturity and not become a life-long problem.  You do pretty well in a one-on-one environment, but are easily distracted otherwise.  You are so incredibly smart though.  There are still days when you absolutely amaze me with the conversations we have.  My favorite part of preschool was watching you on stage during your school music programs.  You are a true music lover and you practiced so hard to learn your songs.  You were so proud up there performing for your family and friends.  Don’t tell anybody, but I might have cried just a little bit watching you.


After preschool graduation we changed gears a bit.  You are spending the summer going back and forth between your cousins’ house and Miss Paula’s.    I’m glad you are getting a little time to play and relax because in August, a whole new venture begins.  You’ll be starting Kindergarten.  I have very mixed feelings about it at this point.  You seem to be very excited about going to a “big school” but I am a bundle of nerves.  I’m excited for you, but also scared to send my baby off into the unknown.  I’d feel so much better if you could go to Aunt Tanya’s school where I at least know some of the staff.  If I had my way I’d wrap you in my arms and carry you through until you were an adult.  I have this fierce need to protect you from all of this, yet I know that I have to let you go and it’s really tugging at my heart.  I just am not ready for all this growing up and I know that this will be a life-changing year for you.


Five years ago, lying on that hospital bed, I never could have imagined the incredible journey that we’ve been on.  I am so proud of you, of all of your accomplishments, of the things you’ve overcome, of the sweet little boy that you are.  My eyes seem to be watering a bit as I’m writing this because I just can’t find the words to express what I want to say.  The love I have for you is sometimes just so overwhelming.  Of all the boys I have loved and cared for in my life, you are the one who completely stole my heart.

Happy 5th Birthday, Zachary! I love you so much!

Love always,

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Chaos Is Not So Much A Routine

You never think that coming home from vacation will be harder than preparing to leave for vacation, but it always is.  Those little things that you do day in and day out throughout the week really add up.  And when you are gone for over a week, there is a lot to do when you get back.  All of that is the long way to tell you all that the last week was insanely crazy for me.

Besides all of the catch up, I decided that immediately after we returned from vacation would be a great time to throw a wrench into our established routine.  Since preschool was over for Zach at the end of May, we’re changing gears a bit over the summer.  He’s spending three days a week at the sitter with Evie, and the other two days he’s spending at my sister’s house.  Being the awesome preschool teacher that she is, she’s working with him a bit over the summer on his letters and numbers.  In order for him to do that, he has to spend the night up there two nights a week (due to the 30-minute drive each way).  Zach is loving every minute of it, especially since he gets to hang out with his cousins two days a week.

This is all working out splendidly, especially on those mornings when Zach is at my sister’s house.  Mornings go much easier when I only have to get myself and Evie up.  I even got to work 15 minutes early one day, which is pretty much unheard of for me.  If it weren’t for the fact that I had to arrange to pick him up two evenings a week, the whole deal would just be spectacular.  I hate for my evening routine to be messed up but I chose to do this, so I can’t really complain.  It just makes the week feel so much busier.

After a crazy week of the new routine, trying to catch up at work, trying to catch up at home, and in the meantime keep my sanity, I was wiped out by the weekend.  I had all these plans of things I wanted to get done and I got very little of it done.  Instead, I had one of the best weekends with my family that I’ve had in a long time.  We did get a bit of work done on the house but we also went to see Toy Story 3, took a long afternoon nap during a thunderstorm, had my brother-in-law over for dinner and a movie, played on the slip ‘n’ slide, and went swimming at my mom’s.  I ended the weekend exhausted, sunburned, and very happy.

It makes me wish I could just blow off the housework and other odds and ends all the time and just have fun.  Oh, how I wish that were an option.  I wish I could just shove it all aside and take a true vacation for the summer like Cass intends to do.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

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iheartfaces – All About Babies

This week’s iheartfaces photo challenge theme is “All About Babies.” I haven’t participated in an iheartfaces challenge for a while for but I had to jump back in on this one.  A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to do a trial photo shoot with a friend’s newborn twins.  I’m still very much learning and was so nervous that I forgot some really important things, but I did get a few good shots.  This one is one of my favorites.  I was amazed that this little guy cooperated as well as he did while wide awake!


There are a lot more adorable babies this week over at iheartfaces!  Go check them out!


Mountains, Dinosaurs, Buffalo, and Antelope


If you’re not keeping up on facebook or twitter, the family and I embarked on our annual summer road trip last Friday.  This year we headed up to Utah to visit Hubby’s family.  Much of the trip here was rather boring (Nebraska) but then we drove through Wyoming – where we saw real cowboys!  Finally, as we neared Utah we started seeing mountains and Evie was super impressed.


After nearly 18 hours of driving (including pit stops) and a quick overnight stay at the Comfort Inn in Laramie, WY, we finally made it to our destination. We were all quite happy to get out of the car at last. The kids were thrilled to see their cousins, Uncle, Granny, and Papa.


We stuck around the house the first day, then headed into Salt Lake City where we walked around downtown, enjoyed lunch at a local microbrewery, went to a cool dinosaur museum, and then I got to go to IKEA for the very first time. I’m not sure what part of that trip was the most exciting. I am thinking of moving closer to an IKEA though.


Yesterday we went to Antelope Island where we saw the Great Salt Lake, some buffalo, an antelope or two, and toured an old ranch. After we got back, the kids enjoyed playing out in the yard some more. Zach and Evie have really been enjoying playing in the little pool and sprinkler.

Today we drove out to Bear Lake, which was absolutely beautiful. We had a picnic lunch, let the kids play, and had a great time. On the way back, we were so high in the mountains that we encountered snow. It was strange to be dressed in shorts and t-shirts and be standing next to a pile of snow.

I still have lots of photos to go through, but we really are having a great time. Tomorrow is our last full day in Utah before heading back home and I’m a little sad about that. I wish we could stay longer.

It is going to be awfully hard to leave, but at least we’ll have the photos to remember it by.

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