Pay It Forward

I was a winner on the ‘Pay it Forward’ listed on The Adventures of Jen and Tiff…so here is my post! Rules are as follows:

1. Be one of the first three people to leave a comment on this post, which entitles you to something handmade by me (something crafty or yummy).

2. Winners must post this challenge on their own blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, and send handmade goodies to three more folks, the first three who leave a comment on your blog.

3. The gift that you send your first three commenters can be from any price range, and you have 365 days to make & ship your item. (This means that you should be planning to keep your blog at least until you’ve received your gift and sent your gifts.) And remember, it’s the spirit and the thought that count!

4. When you receive your gift, feel free to blog about it, and share the Linky Love. If you’re not one of the first three commenters on this post, you can still play. Just create a Pay It Forward post on your own blog, and start your own chain. And encourage your blogging friends to play along.

A fun way to connect with others out there in blogland! Pay it forward….


Field Trip-Lancaster Science Factory

Since Jenn and I do not have children of our own, we have taken to “using” other peoples children. We borrow Avery when we have some fun new place we want to try out, but would look weird without bringing children with us. After our trip to the Hands on House a few weeks ago I asked when we were going to the Lancaster Science Factory. Yesterday was the day. Chris had off work too so he was able to join us this time.

It is rather hard to tell who had more fun, the four adults, or the 3 year old. I’m leaning towards the four adults.

Jenn and Lyz went straight for the K’NEX exhibit:

Chris had a blast with the black hole:

And I finally found a way to take a picture of myself. One picture, but lots of me!!:

Avery loved everything. I think everyone’s favorite part was the parachute launcher. You shoved a plastic man attached to a parachute into a tube and he came flying out the top falling gracefully. Chris would like to build one in their house.

We also enjoyed the magnifying glass thing. Did you ever wonder what the inside of Chris’s nose looks like?

Even Delaney got in on the fun by trying to lift 100 pounds with a pulley system:

I just realized that I didn’t steal Delaney for a cuddle session yesterday. But I did get this cute picture of Jenn and Delaney.

As we were leaving us four big kids were discussing what other places we can go to give Avery a better education and help her have lots of fun as a small child. Yep, Avery will love the things we have planned for her.

Thank you Lyz and Chris for sharing your children.

(P.S. This is post #300. Wow)

Mingo Monday

Just home from a trip to Florida, I have lots of mingos to show off so it was a hard choice. I decided to go with the first one I purchased.

I have lots of flamingos. Way too many to be honest. That still doesn’t stop me from purchasing more. Many times while in Florida I would pick up a mingo and coo over it, show it off to everyone with me and then set it back down. For several of them either Lyz or Joni would say “If you aren’t going to buy it yourself, I am going to buy it for you.” This would result in Jenn rolling her eyes, and me putting it into my shopping cart.

You’ve heard me talk about my plaster facade. I am starting to realize that it doesn’t exist as much as it once did. I am starting to break through. My facade is now many faceted. You see bits of the real me, bits of the old me, bits of the me I am now, and bits of the me I am trying to become. My facade is now a mosaic. Some edges are rough, and can cut you deep, some of them are soft, begging to be touched. But all of the pieces are pieces of me. If you love me for one, you love me for all of them.

The other thing I like about my facade being a mosaic is that it represents the broken bits of me. Yes, I am broken, I always will be a little broken, but I have been put back together. You can see the bits of grout holding me together. My friends. My family. The people I love.

It was the first flamingo I saw at the flea market, and there was never a doubt in my mind that it would be coming home with me.

Random Thoughts

  • Fake Babies are weird. We were out to dinner last night and three women over the age of 25 carried in a baby carseat with a beautiful little girl inside. She was covered in crocheted blankets and all sweet. But she didn’t move. I used to have a dog that slept with one leg up in the air, but babies don’t do that. Jenn and I debated long and hard over if this baby was real, or a doll. Debated so long that we had finished eating 20 minutes before we would actually leave the table. It wasn’t until one of the women put her purse on top of the baby that we finally determined it was fake. So weird.
  • Years ago before we got Minnesota Jenn and I were watching Animal Planet and she shook her head and said “I can’t believe how much money people spend on pets, it isn’t like they are human.” I told her she had never had one before, she wouldn’t understand. We had Minne less than 24 hours when she looked at me and said “I’d spend a million dollars on this dog if I needed to.” Last night I was telling her that I was broken hearted because I had seen a dead golden retriever on the side of the road and we discussed what we would do if we ever ran over a dog. She said she would take it straight to our vet and then adopt it. I mentioned that we might have to give it back to its owners and she got all upset, over a hypothetical dog. It is amazing the way people can change.
  • I wrote my post two days ago trying to be rather lighthearted and jokingly proud of myself for having a good heart. I am shocked by the comments. I really didn’t mean to make some of you cry, and I honestly wasn’t looking for the wonderful love and support that was given to me. Thank you.
  • Facebook is rather addicting.
  • I am on cycle day 2. I don’t understand why the cramps have to be so bad. Isn’t it bad enough that our hearts and souls ache everytime we start our periods? Why do our bodies have to go through so much pain too?
  • Even my car is rejecting the cold weather that Pennsylvania has been throwing at us. It wants to return to its lazy days of sitting in the sand too. If the car wants to move to Florida, shouldn’t we abide by its wishes?
  • I hate the word its or it’s. I never know which one is the right one to use.

The End of an Era

Seven years ago I was planning a wedding. I wanted new fresh ideas. I didn’t want to do the same old thing with the same old vows. I wanted to be somewhat different. I found a website called The Knot, and fell in love with it. It had ideas I would have never found here in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It had planning down to the smallest detail that I would have never thought of. Most importantly it had a community where other brides planning their weddings could get together, pick each others brains and cheer each others plans on.

Seven years ago I met a group of women who I can now call friends. I’ve never met a single one of them in real life, even though two of them live in my town. I’ve even helped several of them plan vacations to our area, but have never had the balls to say…hey come see me! I just can’t.

When The Knot’s message boards began to have problems we found a new home on MSN’s Groups, and have been together ever since. Through thick and thin this group of women (and a couple of men) stand with one another. We’ve been through each others weddings, some divorces, parent’s deaths, spouses deaths, births, miscarriages, you name it. Yes, there has been bickering, with a group of women how can you not have some? We’ve debated through elections, each side fighting for their candidate and usually patient enough to listen to the other side, even though there was no way of ever being swayed.

Today, MSN Groups is closing down. Yes, we have a new board set up, ready and waiting for our relationship to continue. But it still feels like such an end. I will admit tearing up a bit over the last few days. We’ve been reminiscing about past conversations (my personal favorite being Nuts and Mints…long inside story), we’ve been thanking each other for being there through our rough spots. Apologizing for when we were younger, ruder, and stupider. These conversations may disappear with the group itself, who knows. At least we’ll always have the memories to take with us to our new home.

There are several different groups that I am a part of through them. There is the General group, the TTC/Mommy group, the littler TTC/Mommy group, the Still Trying to get pregnant group, the miscarriage group, the Clueless Couch and even the BithBoard. I know several of you are shaking your heads at this, but it all makes perfect sense to me. This is my internet family.

So, thank you internet family for the past seven years. I look forward to many more to come on the new boards, as cranky as I am to have to leave the old ones.

Best Friends

It gets harder and harder every year to leave Florida. We really do want to move there. A few years ago we thought long and hard about it, but didn’t. Jenn’s mother was ill and we wanted to be close by.

Jenn’s mother is healthier now, so we could leave and feel at peace about it. But now there are other things holding us here. The biggest one is Jenn’s best friend.

They have become rather inseparable.

It hurts me a little, not in a bad way. I am not jealous over their relationship or anything like that. I’m sad that I can’t give Jenn someone little to love her as unconditionally as Avery loves her. There is nothing Jenn or Avery could do to each other that would ruin their undying love for each other.

Joni and I had a long talk on the drive home from Florida while Jenn was napping. We talked about God, I told her the whole story of how Jenn and I met and became a couple. We talked about fear and pain. We talked about how I want to be someone different, but at the same time I like the person I am. And she told me something that made me glow from the inside out.

She said, “It is such a wonderful thing as a mother and a grandmother to know that there are people out there that love your daughter and granddaughter as much as you do.”

There are often times that I worry that I don’t show enough love to those around me. When I am feeling my most broken, I am not sure that the love I am trying to pour forth is sufficient enough, but then again I am often amazed at how much love my heart can hold, even when it feels the most broken. Joni’s statement was the proof I needed that we are doing right in the world.

Thank you Grannie Frannie for giving us Joni. Thank you Joni for giving us Lyz. Thank you Lyz for giving us Avery and Delaney. Someday we hope to be able to return all that love to you.