Someday she’ll go to college

IMG_1046I would sit and rock her to sleep late at night when I had a million other things that I needed to do. My house needed to be picked up, the dishes needed to be loaded in the dishwasher and bills needed to be paid.   I would often sit and think about all of the moms that would brag about their 6-month-olds just laying down in their beds and going to sleep each night.  I dreamed about what that must be like to actually have time to myself, get some things done or have a deep conversation with her daddy.  But instead,  I would sit in my rocking chair, holding my baby for an hour each night and praying that she would remain asleep when I put her in her crib.  Sleepily, I would say, “I guess I should enjoy this because “someday” she will go to college.”

IMG_1045Sitting on the floor by her bed, rubbing her back and singing Amazing Grace for the thousandth time, I would often wonder what it would be like to say goodnight, turn off her light and walk downstairs to grade papers, watch my favorite show or sit next to her daddy on the couch.  Three-year-olds are “no joke” and she took a lot of my time.  She demanded that we play in the backyard each night, watch Lilo and Stitch and make up funny songs  (many times late at night).  I was too busy with her to get many things done so I would say, “I guess I should enjoy this because “someday” she will go to college.”

At 6, she became a ninja in the middle of the night, sneaking down into our bed.  We would wake up almost every morning to an extra tiny body between us.  She slept peacefully while her daddy and I dodged her feet, arms, and head.  She talked in her sleep and would often wake us up laughing.  She was asleep but we were definitely NOT.  I would awake to small hands patting my face, lips kissing me good morning and a tiny voice saying,  “I love you, Mommy.”  Exhausted from the night, I would beg her to stay in her bed the next night so Mommy could get some sleep.  But then I would say, “I guess I should enjoy this because “someday” she will go to college.”    

IMG_0349Balls bouncing around my head, money flying out of my billfold, boys, drama, late nights waiting up for her to come home,  the teenage years did not disappoint.  She was easy but she kept us busy.   She and her sister made quite a pair.  Laughter, painting, passing volleyballs, playing in the pool, staying up late, eating a lot of ice cream while enjoying life.  They did everything together and everything very loud.  Life was always on volume 10.  When I told them to quiet down, stop playing in the bed and go to sleep for the 15th time, I would shake my head and say, “I guess I should enjoy this because “someday” she will go to college.”

Well…”Someday”…

it arrived today… a lot sooner than I thought it would. 

And I am so thankful now for all the late night snuggles, the verses of Amazing Grace, crowded beds, and sister laughter,

because

without all of them,

I might not be sitting here tonight crying big.fat.ugly tears.    

Go be AMAZING sweet girl…your mommy will figure this “new normal” out and try to enjoy it

and

be just fine!!IMG_7491

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College New Student Conference 1988 vs. 2018

Thirty years ago, my parents took me to college orientation. They dropped me off at the University of North Texas gym, handed me a $20 bill for lunch and dinner and told me they would be back to pick me up at 9:00 pm when it was over.  My eyes were the size of saucers. I was scared to death.

It was a one-day affair that resembled a day at Six Flags without the Pink Things.   pink thing
It was full of roller coaster emotions, sweating like a pig and standing in lines, lots and lots of lines.  We took a picture for our college ID, learned the school song, and were hurried into the dressing room to hear from our degree choice. Then we walked in a slow line over to the Union for lunch, hand-wrote my schedule on a piece of colored paper, and handed it to a lady that had worked at the college for 102 years.   They divided us up to play in a co-ed kickball game and ended the day with a cold hot dog for dinner. Momma arrived back at the gym at 8:58 pm, high fived me and we returned home.

This is NOT, let me repeat, NOT how they do New Student Orientation now. college parents

Wow, my man and I took our oldest down to Texas A&M this week.  It was a three-day affair. Traditions, ways to send money, calendars, ways to put money on an account, academic support, staying safe, sports passes, yell practice, maroon shirts to buy, and registration for classes.  

I started realizing as we sat and listened for three days that my children have lead very sheltered lives.  

They have never seen a whole chicken, created a casserole from scratch, or watched bread rise.  

I haven’t shared the ecstasy of pulling towels out of the drier and burying your face into them, the satisfaction of cleaning the lint filter or how to vacuum to get perfect lines in the carpet.  

But here are a few insights we have given her:

  1. Underwear should be kept private, changed and not shared.
  2. Students that talk to their parents weekly, get remembered in their will.
  3. Deposits should always, at all times, exceed the withdrawals.
  4. Pursue every roach as if it was female, pregnant and ready to make its permanent home in your pantry.
  5. You will not always get what you want and sometimes your basic needs can be met on $2.38.
  6. Maroon shirts need to be kept away from your whites.
  7. Introduce yourself to teachers and professors.  It goes a long way.
  8. Faith, love, and family are really all you need.
  9. Don’t be scared to ask for help.
  10. And if your bed is uncomfortable, you can always sleep between me and your daddy!still sleeping with your parents

As we were walking away, I could hear the Sound of Music playing in my head,   “Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow till you find your dream.”  

Julie Andrews should have also sung about loans, financial aid, and scholarships. Mikayla New Student Conference

Tired but amazed!

Allyson

A Little Marriage Story for a Wednesday

Last week a bride in Arkansas shot her husband at their wedding reception.  When the police asked why, she said: “Well, no marriage is perfect.”

You know I had the usual questions like a) why did she have a gun at her wedding          b) where was she hiding said gun  c) what big problem could they have encountered in their first hours of marriage? In-laws? Money? Children? Honesty?

We’ve all been lead to believe a good marriage is based on things a couple has in common but I think it might be what you don’t have in common that really holds a marriage together.

I’ve said before that half of the arguments in our country are caused by something as simple as a little thing like a mosquito in the bedroom.  It’s true.  It becomes clear that you have married your complete opposite when one doesn’t mind the mosquito in the bedroom and the other cannot possibly exist in a bedroom with mosquitos.  mosquito.jpg

Wife:  “Wake up. Wake up.”

Husband:  “What is it? Are you okay?”

Wife:  “Shhhh, listen”

Husband: “I don’t…”

Wife: “Shhhh, listen.”

Husband:  “What am I listening for?”

Wife:  “Hear it?”

Wife jumps up, pulls back the covers,  turns on all of the lights, wakes up both dogs, and starts waving her arms around in the air.  Husband is now standing at the end of the bed.  He has grabbed a shoe, slipped on one leg of his blue jeans and is searching for his glasses.  Then and only then, does wife let him know they have a mosquito in the room and she needs him to find it, kill it and make sure no other blood-sucking parasites have made their way into their sacred area of the house?

“Please ignore the insect and just go back to sleep.  There is no way for us to find him.” “But, they’re noisy and carry malaria.” wife responds. Husband rolls eyes and he lays back down in bed.  “No, no, no, don’t lay back down. We can find him.  I think there are two of them. There. There. On my pillow.  Hit him!  You missed!  Good grief, you are a man that spends 9 months of a year hitting baseballs with a bat, but you are horrible at hitting mosquitoes.”

“Those two mosquitoes aren’t bothering me. I’m going to bed. You can kill it yourself, Warrior Princess.”Xena_warrior_princess.jpg

“You know how those pesky creatures got into our house? You left that window open in the dining room last night.”

“Get back in bed.”

“You know if you had cleaned out the oven after the pizza cheese ran over the side on Sunday Night, we wouldn’t have needed to open that window.”

“Go back to sleep.”

“You know your mother should have never worn that cream colored dress to our wedding.”

“That has nothing to do with mosquitoes.”

“Well if you don’t care if I get Malaria I will go sleep in the living room.”

End of Scene…Maybe this should be part of the marriage counseling sessions before weddings.  Just saying.

Anyway, a little late night “bugging” is a healthy thing in a marriage.  The way I see it, you can either “bug”  your way through 30, 40 or 80 years of marriage or wear a gun to your wedding.

Be Amazing Friends,

Allyson

PS. I read a tweet a few weeks ago by Will Ferrell and he had some pretty good marriage advice:  “Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are.”

True… So true…

Love in this Crazy Mess We Call Life

I’m worried about what a marriage means to the younger generation.

Facebook and Instagram and the Bachelorette have lied to them.

They’ve made our lives seem less than perfect.  They’ve made us see our imperfections and taught us how to add a filter to cover them up.  They’ve also made us think that falling in love is quick, easy and filled with fancy trips.

What I know after 27 years of marriage, is that every night is not a romantic party. We aren’t having candlelit dinners, buying each other expensive gifts, and talking about endless dreams at night.  Nope…we are eating Spaghetti, going to Home Depot and are praying that our hot water tank holds up for another year.

My Current Marriage Reality:

My sink is full of dishes, my floors need to be mopped and the only vacation we are going on this year is a trip to the lake with my parents…in their travel trailer… all 6 of us…with one bathroom.

My Current Marriage Reality:

I know how to use the slimming feature on pic monkey because I’ve gained 10 pounds in the past year. I know how to use the Sierra filter because I have sun damage from too much sun.  And our fancy, fun, family time means eating free popsicles on Friday nights.

My Current Marriage Reality:

My goodness girls, don’t get too jealous, but tonight we are both laying on the couch in our pajama pants with computers in our laps.  In the last hour, we have only said two words to each other and that was  “excuse me” for the bodily function that escaped without warning.

Glamorous life and marriage?

So if you need to know about how to keep love and a marriage together, you should ask people with a lifetime of experience.  So here is some advice from some experienced 63-103-year-olds.

They agree we all need these 5 things in the crazy mess we call life:

  1. Confidence. No not “everything in my life is great”confidence but, that we both bring worth to our marriage.  We also agree that we have an attractive quality that has nothing to do with our outward appearance.  (Dodged a bullet here, I was so worried my man wouldn’t be able to tell me what my attractive quality was but he finally came up with humor. That I find the light side of every situation.) short-quotes-personal2.jpg
  2. Happiness. Y’all, honestly, sometimes we fake it until we make it.   Everyone wants to be around happy people and wants to love happy people. Heck, it’s why we love dogs.  They are happy to see us, forgive easily and a small rub between the ears goes a long way. So focus your energy on thinking about and doing the things that make your marriage happy.Be-Happy-And-Smile.-Happiness-Quote.jpg
  3. Share experiences. We actually enjoy doing things together. (or see above, fake it until we make it)  We go to ballgames.  We shop garage sales.  We paint, go to church, and sit quietly on our couch together.  2984149-Eike-Batista-Quote-Nobody-is-happy-alone-To-share-experiences-is.jpg
  4. Depend on each other. He’s mine and I’m his.  We just depend on each other.  If he is happy, I’m happy.  If he is sad, I am sad.  We both know that we could survive without each other…but…we.DON’T.want.to…ever.husband-quote-deep-love.jpg
  5. Luck.  Even with all these characteristics, couples were aware that holding their marriage together has to do with a little luck and a whole lot of Jesus. The Price’s know that we have been lucky and that God has protected our marriage.  Luck brought us together and I remind my man every day how lucky he is to have me. 🙂  TRUTH:  We pray A LOT for each other, our family, and our marriage.Sam_Keen_Quote.png

Got to go because I’m headed out for a crazy adventure with my man.  We are headed to McDonald’s for breakfast, going garage sale-ing, and then hopeful taking a nap this afternoon.  Lucky, lucky him and me.

Have an amazing Saturday Friends!!

Allyson

 

Bringing Flowers Inside

I like to buy myself flowers every once in awhile.  I also love having flowers in my yard. But in our Texas heat, I get to enjoy my flowers in my yard for about 3.5 hours every year.

flowerarrangement7So I like to cut a few and bring them inside to brighten up my space for at least four days.  But when I put them in a vase, they often look like this.  bad flowerarrangement.jpg

While still any flowers in a vase are better than no flowers in a vase, I learned a cool trick last week.

I can’t wait to show you.

First, find your favorite vase and some scotch tape.  I love this one with a rectangular opening.flowerarrangement2

Then take the tape and make strips across that are about an inch apart.flowerarrangement3

Then do the same thing going to opposite direction. (It’s June.  Why in the world would I start taking pictures out in the HEAT?!?!)flowerarrangement5

Now add water to your vase.  I always put enough water to fill about 2/3 of the vase.flowerarrangement8

Then start with flowers with the biggest blooms.  flowerarrangement6So my beautiful hydrangeas will go first. Start by pulling the bottom leaves from the stems.flowerarrangement9

I try to keep whatever is in the water, leaf-free.  Leaves seem to muck up your water faster.flowerarrangement14

Add the biggest blooms to the little squares on the outer edge. I added two hydrangeas, one on each side.flowerarrangement13

Then I  start adding the other flowers into the middle squares.  The remaining outside squares are filled with greenery.  (I just cut some of my dusty miller, asparagus fern and an unknown little white flower I have growing in my yard.)

flowerarrangement10

And there you have it.  All of your little sweeties will be standing tall and will stay in their spot.  flowerarrangement11

Okay, you can do this.  I know you can!!

Flowers do make me happy!!

Go be amazing!

Allyson

The Lov-ing room

liv·ing room
noun
*a room in a house for general and informal everyday use where people sit or relax together but do not usually eat or sleep
Our living room was offended by this definition.
living room 1
First off, it doesn’t like being called just “a” room.  It would prefer the best room, the stay-and-don’t-ever-want-to-leave room, or the most important chamber of the house room.
living room 3

Second, we had to let it know that just because it says general doesn’t mean it is normal or usual.  General can also mean chief  or principal.

alcove 1

Third, our living room laughed out loud when it heard the  “sit or relax” part.  Yes, we do sit and relax but we also have been known to dance, sing, reenact, tell stories, and a few games of volleyball may or may not have been played here.

living room 4

Finally the last three words had our living room rolling her eyes.  Really?  Eating and sleeping sometimes happen at the same time here.

gallery wall

So here is the new definition that was okay’d by the room we now affectionately call the “loving room”.

zinctoptable

lov·ing room

noun

*an amazing room in a home for the chief purpose of allowing its occupants to be whatever they would like while sitting, standing, jumping, dancing, eating, sleeping and most of all loving.

We do love you sweet room.

You are amazing!!