Funny Friday – Saturday Edition

July 16th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – Saturday Edition)

Here are my three little maniacs at the grocery store yesterday. Vanilla (almost 7 months old) just learned how to sit up without falling over, so I put them all together in the race car cart. They sure love each other, and surprisingly did not fight during our whole trip to Hy-Vee. Have a great weekend!

All three maniacs sharing a "race car cart" at Hy-Vee

They sure love their baby sister!

Funny Friday – Nerd Love

July 8th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – Nerd Love)

My good friend Matt Andrewz put this video on YouTube a few months ago. Gotta love Nerd Love!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Rainy Afternoon

July 7th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Rainy Afternoon)

I love how well my kids nap when it’s cloudy and rainy out. We had a fun, lively morning at the pool today before coming home, watching a half hour of “Up” and then kiddos going down for naps. I have always loved rainy weather and storms, and this is just another reason why.

Perfect napping weather

Last week, however, the stormy weather got a little out of hand. Last Monday morning, because of 76 mph straight line winds, we lost power, and I was having flashbacks to the movie Twister because the lightning looked like a strobe light with no thunder. We didn’t have power for two entire days, had roof and tree damage, but thankfully everyone is all right.

Our little city suffered mainly tree damage and everything that comes with it, and the Ameren (power company) workers were desperately trying to get power back for more than half the county that lost it because of downed power lines. It was a hard few days, getting our yard cleaned up, figuring things out with our insurance, trying to feed our family with no ability to cook or refrigerate food, and endless worry over all these things.

The gospel for this past Sunday was Matthew 11:25-30.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

After the previous week, we definitely needed a break. God can give us that break from worry. If we can just trust in Him, there is no reason to worry about anything. He cares about us, and He has a plan for us. He’ll give us rest if we just rely on Him.

For now, I’m totally at peace because God has truly worked things out. Our insurance is paying for our roof, and my parents never lost power during the whole ordeal, so they were able to store some food for us and help us with meals.

And now all three maniacs are getting their rest because of this great napping weather.

Oh how He loves us!

 

Funny Friday – Pixar Edition

July 1st, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday | Kids - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – Pixar Edition)

I love Pixar movies. We own all of them except The Incredibles, Wall-E, and Ratatouille. Each Pixar movie has funny little quotes that you don’t notice unless you’ve seen it a hundred times. And believe me, I’ve seen each of them a hundred times. Or more.

Here are 10 funny Pixar quotes that I have always enjoyed. If you have any more, let me know. Have a great weekend everyone!

Just a sampling of the many Pixar toys we own

  1. Ken: I like your legwarmers.
    Barbie: Nice ascot!
    -Toy Story 3
  2.  Sharks: I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.
    -Finding Nemo
  3.  Mike Wazowski: [while Sulley brushes teeth] C’mon, fight that plaque! Fight that plaque! Scary monsters don’t have plaque!
    -Monsters, Inc.
  4. Rosie:  And that’s how my twelfth husband died. So, now I’m a widow. I mean, I’ve always been a black widow, but now I’m a black widow *widow*.
    -A Bug’s Life
  5. Mr. Potato Head: Hey, a laser! How come *you* don’t have a laser, Woody?
    Woody: It’s not a laser! It’s a… [sighs in frustration]  It’s a little light bulb that blinks.
    Hamm: What’s with him?
    Mr. Potato Head: Laser envy.
    -Toy Story 
  6. Carl: Hey, you in the suit! Yes, you! Take a bath hippie!
    -Up
  7. Mack: Wait a minute, here. They’re just using the same actor over and over. What kind of a cut-rate production is this? [when he realizes that the Hamm car, the Abominable Snowplow, and the P.T. Flea car are all voiced by the same actor.]
    -Cars
  8.  Ken: I’m not a girls toy… I’m not! Why do you guys keep saying that?
    -Toy Story 3
  9.  Mrs. Potato Head: [to Mr. Potato Head] I’m packing your extra pair of shoes, and your angry eyes just in case.
    -Toy Story 2
  10. Lightning McQueen: He won three Piston Cups!
    Mater: He did WHAT in his cup?
    -Cars

UPDATE: I’m watching Toy Story 2 with my kiddos and just heard a couple more gems.

11.   Andy [speaking for Evil Dr. Porkchop aka Hamm the Piggy Bank] : You must choose! How shall she die? Shark? Or death by monkeys?!
         –Toy Story 2
12.   Slinky: Oh no, it’s closed.
         Potato Head: We’re not preschool toys, Slinky. We can read.
         –Toy Story 2
UPDATE AGAIN: More from Toy Story 3
13.  Barbie: Ooh! Glitter tux!
        Ken: Who cares? Who cares? Sequins are tacky!
        –Toy Story 3

Things No One Tells New Mothers

July 1st, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Kids - (Comments Off on Things No One Tells New Mothers)

When I had my first baby, I had no flipping idea what I was doing. Figuring out diapering and just being responsible for someone other than myself were real challenges. By the time the third one comes around though, diapering is old hat, and I’ve realized that I don’t have to do everything “What to Expect the First Year” says. I can make my own decisions about parenting, and even if someone else does it a different way, that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

Here is a list of things I wish someone had told me when I getting ready to become a mother for the first time:

  1. Parenting is hard. Really hard. But you can do it! A lot of times, you have to do things you don’t want to do. You are the one to make tough decisions for your kid. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart (or stomach!). You can and will do it. Why? Love, that’s why.
  2. It’s OK to be a bitch sometimes. Your baby relies on you to stand up for her when it comes to her physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. If a stranger wants to give her a squeeze during cold and flu season, it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to make people wash their hands before touching your baby. Stand up for your baby, even if it’s uncomfortable.
  3. You can’t take everyone’s advice. Everyone has their own opinion on how to raise children. It would be impossible to apply every piece of advice you get because much of it is conflicting.
  4. You know your baby and what’s best for him better than anyone else, including your mother, random strangers and well-meaning relatives. You have the power to make decisions for him, and what you say is of supreme importance to his life. Have confidence in your role as parent.
  5. All kids are different. Even if another kid is the same age as yours, that doesn’t mean that they “should” be doing the same things. Try not to compare your child to other people’s children or to her own siblings. One of my kids crawled at 6 months, one at 7 months, and one at 11 months. They are all perfectly normal, healthy children. They are just all different.
  6. You’ll have a whole new respect for your own mother. Your mom cleaned poo off the back of your neck when you blasted out in the middle of the night. When you’re doing it for your child, remember that she did that for you because she still loves you as much as you love your little bundle.
  7. Breastfed baby poo smells like biscuits. Yes, really. A baby who is exclusively breastfed does not make stinky poo. My husband thinks it smells like buttered popcorn. Sometimes it smells like your prenatal vitamin(which you should still be taking if you’re nursing!). Whichever, the point is – it does not stink. And while we’re on the subject of breastfeeding…
  8. Breastfeeding is tricky… at first. It feels super weird the first few times. It’s not something that just comes naturally to everyone, but don’t give up. It takes a couple of weeks, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an awesome bonding thing, knowing that your child truly needs you just to eat. Having a little life look you straight in the eye as they take nourishment directly from the source… amazing. You’ll see.
  9. There’s no “right” way to parent. You breastfeed? Good job! Your kid ate today! You formula feed? Good job! Your kid ate today! Take care of your kid’s needs, and don’t worry about a specific style, schedule, whatever. Do what’s best for you and your baby, and don’t apologize for it.
  10. Be prepared for the LOVE EXPLOSION! My good friends Mike & Mandy get credit for coining that term, but it’s the best description I’ve ever heard. When you’re in the delivery room, you won’t believe the crazy incredible love you feel for this tiny person you just met. It’s like your heart is instantly bigger and can hold so much more love for your newborn baby.
So – all you parents out there… Am I right? What other practical advice can we give our expectant mommy friends?
UPDATE:
11.   From Beth H. – “I think the best advice is to just follow your heart and your instincts. They’re almost always right.”

Man vs. Man – Funny Friday

June 24th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (Comments Off on Man vs. Man – Funny Friday)

Bruder, a band based in Tulsa, OK, made this video a couple of years ago. The music is great, and the video is hilarious.

Oh yeah, and my brother-in-law is the bald guy. Enjoy!

Christian, with the Works

June 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (Comments Off on Christian, with the Works)

“Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”
– St. Francis of Assisi

My honey and I are in a couple’s bible study this summer, and we are talking a lot about what a Christian should look like in the world.* I’ve always heard the children’s song, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” But how do we show Christ’s love in the real world? How do we really preach the gospel without words?

We are called to be holy. A couple of years ago, I read the book Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. In the book, Kelly explains that we are all called to holiness, and that we are called to become “the-best-version-of-ourselves.” We must have a goal in mind (holiness) if we want to become better Christians.

Our study group has been talking about how Christians should look different, how we should behave differently from those who don’t know Jesus. This is a harder problem to solve than it sounds.

Acknowledging Deficiencies

To reflect on how my own life should truly be Christian, I have to think about the hindrances in my life to following Christ. It’s different for everyone. For me, I tend to judge others when I should just accept them for who they are (Jesus did teach us to love your neighbor as yourself). I gossip from time to time, I tell lies of omission, and I watch TV shows that don’t reflect the values I want to uphold. These are difficult aspects to think about and admit, but avoiding them can bring me closer to Him and to the life I want to lead and follow Christ more closely.

Showing Our Faith through Good Works

In addition to avoiding bad behaviors, there are also good things I can do to show that I follow Him. I can be kind and patient with my husband and children. I can listen to and pray with those who are hurting. I can not only attend Mass, but also participate, pray, sing, and listen to the homily. I can receive the Eucharist and take it (Him) to those in the hospital and in nursing homes. I can pray the rosary.

I can donate food, money, and my time to help the less fortunate in our community. I can volunteer to help out with retreats like Great River Teens Encounter Christ. I’m just barely scratching the surface on the works I can do to show that I follow Christ.

What do you do to show that you are a Christian? Are you striving for holiness? How do you preach the gospel without words?

*Of course, the most important thing to being a Christian is having faith in God. We show our faith through our works. Not everyone who does good works has faith, but everyone who has faith in Christ should show that faith by their works. Read James 2:14-26 for more information.

May the Daddy Bless You

June 19th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith | Kids - (Comments Off on May the Daddy Bless You)

Peach turned two years old about a month ago, and we all “practiced” singing the birthday song over and over. Many, many times.

When she sang it (to herself apparently), she’d get to the “May the dear Lord bless you” verse and sing confidently, “May the Daddy bless you!” I thought it was pretty adorable. Toddlerisms crack me up.

But when I really got to thinking about it, she replaced the words “dear Lord” with “Daddy”. It’s actually pretty profound. In Mass today, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Trinity. The trinity is the belief that God is actually three persons in one – the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Three persons, but one God.

In the past several years of my life, I have focused on having a “personal relationship” with Christ, always trying to think of Jesus as a best friend that I can easily have a conversation with through prayer. I think is a good way to think about God because He does love us and He knows us better than anyone.

The Daddy

Today at the end of Mass, we sang the song “Abba, Father”. The word abba is translated to English as “daddy”. Our “dear Lord” is our “Daddy”. God is our father, our daddy. We can lean on Him, go to Him for advice, and rely on Him because He’ll never let us down. What an awesome example He is to fathers in this realm. My honey shows that godly love for our children with a smile on his face every day. Even when they’re acting like maniacs.

I know I’m so blessed that I still have my own father here on earth, and that he’s a loving, faith-filled Daddy. I am able to relate to God better in a father/daughter relationship because of my dad.

As we celebrate our fathers today, let us not forget God the Father, our Daddy in Heaven.

Twenty-Five MORE Things About Me

June 16th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Living Simply | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on Twenty-Five MORE Things About Me)

A little over two years ago, everyone on Facebook posted “25 Things About Me” in their notes section, then tagged their friends in it. These were just totally random facts about the writer. Click here to read my original twenty-five.

I thought it would be fun to see how much has changed and how much different I am two and a half years later, so I made a new list. Twenty-Five More Things About Me. Enjoy.

  1. I am a stay-at-home mommy of three children under the age of four years old. Although it takes a lot of time and energy just to care for them, we have way too much fun. It’s like I get to be a kid again sometimes.
  2. After 6 years of marriage, I’m still insanely in love with my husband. He’s got an awesome, clever sense of humor, and he keeps me grounded when I fly off the handle. We complement each other, and I have no doubt that God brought us together.
  3. I believe in Heaven. I have read several books on Heaven (Heaven Is For Real, 90 Minutes in Heaven, and others). I have always had a strong faith in God and I believe what the Bible says, so I know it’s a real place.
  4. Deep down, we still want ten kids. Before my honey and I were married, we answered EVERYONE who asked, “How many kids do you want?” with a definitive, “Ten.” Now that we aren’t young starry-eyed kids anymore, we have to be realistic about raising and educating multiple children… but we still WANT ten. Are we crazier than Charlie Sheen? Possibly.
  5. If you are old enough to be on Facebook, you are old enough to know how to spell the word “definitely.” Not definately, not definently, not deffynitly. And don’t even get me started on their/there/they’re and you’re/your and here/hear and too/to/two. It makes my skin crawl to see a high school or college graduate write, “Deffinently. I’ll be their.” Ick.
  6. I’ve tried to quit drinking soda at least ten times in my life. But I just love it. I don’t drink it very often, but a delicious Orange Crush or a Dr. Pepper is a real treat on some days.
  7. I have started running again. My high school self would be disgusted at how fat slow I am these days, but hey, at least I’m trying.
  8. My kids just look like themselves. Everyone always asks which parent they resemble more. They’re just a good mix of both, and they do not look exactly like anyone.
  9. Buying paint and canvas doesn’t make you an artist, buying a piano does not make you a concert painist, and buying a DSLR does not make you a photographer. Another pet peeve of mine. More on this later.
  10. If I had a million dollars, I’d still shop the clearance racks first and buy store brand groceries.
  11. I took dance for 15 years. Tap, ballet, jazz, some modern. I had fun, but I’m not wonderful at any of it.
  12. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s since 2004. To be fair, I did take TT once to play on the playplace and eat a happy meal, but I didn’t order anything.
  13. I used to think “babywearing” was for hippies. Now that I’ve got my three, I can see how convenient those little slings are.
  14. The whole reason I’m a picky eater is not because of flavors, but because of textures. I still don’t eat raw tomatoes, pears, olives or oranges.
  15. It sounds weird to me when my husband calls me by my first name. We started calling each other “Mom” and “Dad” when TT started talking, and I’ve gotten used to it. A little too used to it.
  16. I was a jerk to my parents in high school. And my whole first year of college. Sorry Mom & Dad.
  17. I have thumbs up toes. Details to come.
  18. My husband and I go on a date at least once a month. It’s amazing what good food and good conversation can do for a relationship.
  19. When we first started dating, I told my honey all I wanted was Funyuns and fireworks for my birthday. He got me a big box of fireworks and my parents got me an entire case of Funyuns. Happy 20th to me.
  20.  It’s possible to survive without a cell phone. Yes, it’s really true.
  21. If I think too hard about my kids growing up and going to school all day long, I cry.
  22. Conan is my favorite late night talk show host. Come on! How can you not love Coco?
  23. The “right” way to put toilet paper on is when it rolls over the top. 
  24. I’ve had some sadness in my life, but in the words of my good friend Matt Andrewz, “It could be worse.” Overall, I’m a super happy person, but of course no one’s life is without its sorrows. I’m a “look on the bright side” kind of girl.
  25. Blogging might be for me. This is a starting list of topics to write about. (Yes, I did just end that sentence with a preposition. But I’m from the Midwest, I can’t help it.) We’ll see how it goes.

My Original Twenty-Five

June 14th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on My Original Twenty-Five)

Remember a couple of years ago when it was all the rage on Facebook to post “25 Things About Me”? Well here are my original twenty-five.

Rules:
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I love Jesus Christ more than I ever imagined I could. Sometimes though I wish I had a closer relationship with Him.

2. My second most important relationship I have is with my wonderful husband. It sounds corny, but he’s really my soulmate and I never doubt that he’s the one I’m meant to be with.

3. My children are one of the biggest sources of fulfillment and happiness in my life. [TT] is my little man, and my new baby girl will only wear dresses when she gets here in May.

4. All of my siblings live out of town, in three different time zones. I miss them every day.

5. My mom is my best girlfriend.

6. I love animals. They’re delicious. (No I don’t have pets)

7. When I get hungry, I get crabby.

8. I didn’t realize how private of a person I am until after I got married.

9. At my wedding reception, I had a “do not play” list. On it was any songs with the “F” word and the Macarena.

10. I can talk myself out of being sick most of the time.

11. I love love love being pregnant. It’s the best excuse to get fat ever.

12. Sometimes I think about how easy relationships were when we were kids, and I miss that. But I would never go back if I had the chance.

13. Money isn’t everything. I think about money and budgeting a lot, but that’s probably because I don’t have a lot of it.

14. My brother is one of the funniest people I know, and he’s my favorite person to watch a good comedy with.

15. I don’t watch scary movies anymore… ever. They really creep me out.

16. When I was little, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, so it kind of worked out since I’m a graphic designer now. At least I get to be somewhat creative.

17. I’m 25, but I’m really old for my age.

18. I drive a mini-van, and I love it.

19. My favorite magazine is Better Homes and Gardens.

20. I don’t understand how people can like the move “A Walk to Remember.” It’s one of the worst movies ever made. The whole thing just bugs me.

21. I like it when people lose on Deal or No Deal.

22. It takes me about an hour to pick out a greeting card because I have to read them all. People probably think I’m nuts because I laugh out loud or tear up right in the card aisle.

23. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in 5 years.

24. My cousins and I once rolled down the levee in inner tubes.

25. I love my name. When I was little I wished my name was Cindy, but now I’m so grateful my parents picked something a little different… because I’m a little different.