Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

Blaahg, Blaahg, Blaahg

I wanna be a regular blogger.  My cousin is.  Just little snippets from her daily life.   Observations from her past.   Photos of her, her pets, her girls.  Current struggles.  Ideas for the future.   Just anything that comes to mind I suppose.  It’s interesting to read and I always look forward to what she has to say (even if it’s sometimes a woe-is-me depressing perspective on her current life situation).  I feel like I know her better even though we live miles apart and rarely see each other.

I would be a better blogger, I think, if I could get a handle on who my audience is.   and I don’t mean who is actually reading, but who I am writing to.  These days I’m just writing to my future self, I suppose.  and my cousin.   and maybe my sister, but she’s busy, so I can’t be sure.

I could write about all of the progress we’ve made with our house repairs.  I could commentate our current flea infestation.   Let you in on the secret that it takes an average of 4 times to hit the pause button on our remote for it to pause.  Confess that I rarely measure things when I cook and not because I am confident in my cooking abilities, but because I’m lazy and don’t want to dirty a measuring cup or spoon. I could discuss my 50 miles in October in challenge.  I could tell you about my struggle to schedule family pictures. My maternal feelings towards Cory’s girlfriend.   The possibilities…

Scrolling back through my blog, I really like the posts with pictures the most.  So, here’s some from a recent evening out with BOTH of our kids at the same time.  We spent way more than we should have, but we didn’t want to go home because they would have gone to their rooms and shut their bedroom doors (I know parents of teenagers understand) …so, dinner, cupcakes, coffee, etc.  Totally worth it.


Twenty Twelve in Review

The year 2012 in the life of CariKelley was the same as most…with its ups and its downs.   Here are some highlights and lowlights and firsts in no particular order of importance or occurrence.

  • Learned how to drink my coffee black–while this is not exactly a great feat in the grand scheme of things, it is notable in my life.  and to say that I “learned” is really not accurate–more like forced. Since I decided to “clean up” my food intake and because the creamers that I like and were using did not meet the minimum standards for health, they are out. Coffee, however, is necessary, so henceforth and hereafter, it is black.
  • Lost that last 10 pounds–finally. My weight loss/fitness progress had plateaued for about a year.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to make any forward progress.   In November I heard about the Whole30 and decided to give it a whirl (mostly to deal with a nagging neck pain that remains unresolved).  30 days of no sugar, no dairy, no legumes, and no grains (NONE!) and that did it.  Wow…it wasn’t easy but it was life changing.
  • Found out I live in a money pit…my house is broken.  Foundation, plumbing, and other random crap.  Approximately $25G’s to fix it to make it sellable.  So…I guess we’re stuck here for a little while longer….or a lot while longer.  I can think of 3, maybe 4, solutions to this “problem”–1. a $$ windfall, 2. a destructive house fire (not wishing for this, but if it were to happen…), 3. Jesus comes back, or 4. we borrow money to fix everything and then slowly, gradually pay it back over the next 10 years. Only options 1 and 3 sound attractive at the moment.
  • My oldest child left home at 18–with some time I’ve come to realize this really is a good thing…no matter how painful it is, it’s good for him and good for us.  Wow…really hard though.  But he needs to grow up and what better way than the “sink or swim” method?  I know he has a strong faith foundation and I believe in him.  I hate to see him go through rough times, but he’ll be stronger and wiser in the end.
  • Shot a gun for the first time–lots of different guns as a matter of fact…my dad has a collection and a passion to teach.  =)  Lucky me!  Rifles, automatics, revolvers of various shapes and sizes.   It was very, very fun and I was pretty darn good at hitting a stationary target. (not exactly real-world applicable 🙂 )
  • Had my first drink–I have some really really great friends that may or may not be a corrupting influence. 😉  They took me out for my first alcoholic drink, a frozen Margarita…and then my second, another frozen Margarita…and then a third, again with the frozen Margarita.  I can’t seem to venture out from that one yet.  I like ’em~they are very lime-y and very yummy.  Yes, yes, this is a fairly dramatic shift in attitude and belief for me.   I’ve NEVER been a drinker of anything alcoholic.   Just didn’t see the point.  and then my kid left home and I wondered what it would be like to use alcohol to “relax” and, dare I say it….numb the emotions.  Not exactly a healthy thought process, but I can definitely see why some people drink. That being said, I don’t plan on getting ridiculously drunk ever…if you need reason why, just look to Cassio in Othello “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
    my reputation!”   Need I say more?

I’ve already got a list of firsts I’m going to do in 2013.   Take a Zumba class.  Take a Yoga class.  Try a different alcoholic drink other than a Frozen Margarita. Get a tattoo (this one is another massive shift in attitudes and beliefs I should talk more about later).   Maybe I’ll do one brand new thing a month–wouldn’t that be something to type about!?

Joyful in HOPE

The great thing about the passage of time is that it allows opportunity for introspective thought. And the bad thing about the passage of time is that it allows opportunity for introspective thought.

As I process through the big event of the past 6 months-my 18 yr old son moving out-I am on a roller coaster of emotions and opinions. This may very well be the most unstable I’ve ever felt.  It’s harder than I ever thought it would be.  Maybe, if it had happened “correctly”, graduation, off to college, etc., it would be easier, but it did NOT go according to what I had always expected.  and that’s the hardest part.

Some days I’m excited about the journey that he’s on…filled with hope and optimism. Then the very next day, I’m wrapped in a blanket of despair, certain that everything he is doing “wrong” is all my fault.  *side note–Just because he’s not doing things my way, doesn’t mean he’s wrong…I realize that–really I do.  Really.

In the meantime, I WILLBe joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.Romans 12:12

More about the ouch

About a month ago I rambled on non-specifically about kids and how they can hurt you. Still hurting over here.  Letting my mind and my imagination run rampant.  And the stress is starting to manifest itself in physical symptoms.  I feel like someone pressed my slow-mo button.  I’m dragging through days with no energy, feeling achy all over, can’t sleep, can barely make myself get out of bed.  It’s been over a week since I did my Insanity workout!  I know!  This is getting serious.  Some days I can’t even engage at work–I’m just going through the motions…feeling like a zombie (not the face eating kind, though).  I really have to figure out how to get over it…past it…through it…whatever.

Through this current pain, I was praying for WISDOM and PERSPECTIVE.   God is so good to reveal wisdom to me. Words to say, words NOT to say.  Next steps, etc. He has shown me a longer term perspective–believing that this is not the end and that God will still get the glory when all is said and done.

Now I’ve switched to praying for TRUTH and COMPASSION.   Truth for both me and my precious offspring.  Specifically, truth about who God is and who we are because of who HE is.

TRUTH…God is SOVEREIGN.  God is HOLY.  God is LOVING.  God is JUST.  God is JEALOUS.  God is COMPASSIONATE.  God is FAITHFUL.  and on and on it goes.  We are LOVED.  We are ACCEPTED.  We are FORGIVEN.  We are CHOSEN.  We are SET APART.    Replace lies with TRUTH.

COMPASSION…acceptance, without condemnation, love, patience…and you can’t just pretend to be compassionate.  If I’m pretending, I will struggle to sound compassionate—the tone of my voice, my word choice, my facial expressions–all will reveal the truth.  You wanna SEE what compassion looks like?  Watch this video thats been on YouTube for a while now.  Watch Jesus the whole time.  He’s never angry.  He never gives up.  He’s always focused on his daughter, reaching out, waiting.  I’ve probably watched this skit a couple dozen times over the last few years, but I still get emotional when I watch it.   Jesus is the epitome of compassion and love.  and hope.

As hard as it seems, I will “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12   I will be compassion, acceptance, love–not by my own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in me. Ephesians 1: 19 


I don’t know where to begin…or end.  The end of the second week of Insanity was not as grand as the beginning.  I was hating it.   So I took 2 days off instead of 1.  I know, I’m wild. and a little crazy.  But, that helped a little, so I’m back into it…1/2 way through the 3rd week.  But, really, if I can’t get a handle on these Twizzlers, is going to be all for naught.   All of that sweating and panting and pain ruined by dozens of strawberry-flavored ropes of high fructose corn syrup. It would be a travesty.

And speaking of pain…you know what can hurt?  Kids.  They have the unique ability to break your heart like nothing and nobody else can. Can I get an amen, anybody!?  As moms, we seem invincible to them.   If we’ve done our jobs, they know that we love them unconditionally–no matter what they say or do, we will love them.  As Cameron said today, we are their “safe place”.  But what they can’t understand yet, is the pain we feel when they hurt us.  I think it’s rarely intentional, they don’t mean to hurt, but their disobedience, or bad choices, or harsh words, cut like a sword. (Prov 12:18)  Cut.  Like a sword.  Like deep, painful wounds.  Soul crushing pain. Ripping your heart out in a rough and painful manner.  Are we clear yet?

I so badly just want to fast forward  5-7 years from now because I’m confident that “He who began a good work, is faithful to complete”(Phil 1:6) but I can’t… I must endure the hardships of motherhood…a little while longer?? Forever? Does it ever get easy?? Will it kill me before it makes me stronger???  James said “Consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds…they come so that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, that you might be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

Pure joy?  Instead of crying my eyes out? More like while crying my eyes out.   I know, KNOW, KNOW, KNOW  that God understands with intimate detail the things that keep me up at night. He’s not surprised, He’s not scared. Nothing is hidden from him.  He is still sovereign,still good, still holy, still jealous for me, and He will never ever leave me.    I pray daily for wisdom and perspective.  Wisdom so I will say and do the things that honor him and teach my kids, and perspective to know that what I see in the immediate, isn’t the end…that God is still actively working in me and in my kids to give me a future and a hope. (Jer 29:13)

Maybe I should pray the same things for my physical health and well-being–wisdom to know when to put the Twizzlers away (and don’t go back and get them 10 minutes later!) and perspective–one mess up today doesn’t mean complete failure for the rest of my life.  Perspective can be a powerful thing–I may have to meditate on “perspective” and right a whole blog post of that topic. 🙂

Friday Foto Fun

So maybe I’m stretching it a bit on the “fun”, but it is Friday.  and there are fotos….well, photos. We begin today with the obligatory self portrait that we are all getting used to now, or should be….I wanted to show you how ridiculous my hair looks in the morning. Today I had a rooster tail thingy on top.    and yes, I often go out in public–well, the gym–like that.   No shame.  No pride.  Clearly, since I just posted it on the interwebs.


Today, though, I headed straight into the living room to see Shaun T! (I don’t know why he’s called “Shaun T”—is his last name a secret?! Hey wait, Shaun T sorta rhymes with insanity…maybe that’s it)  Insanity is crazy, awesome hard, and I love it, love it, love it! Max interval training. Intense. Funny thing is, if I don’t vacuum the living room carpet before I start, there’s enough dog hair down there to keep me from collapsing onto the floor.  It’s the only thing that keeps me not dead.  Now, granted, I’m only just starting week 2, but I’m already feeling a difference.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  Here’s a shot of my tv with Shaun T already jogging it out.


As soon as Shaun T was done yelling and encouraging me in the living room, Cam breezed out of her room, ready to go to the gym, with Abbey waiting at her house to be picked up. Ahh! But I’m a champ so I grabbed a some water and a chocolate protein muffin and headed out to find a beautiful sunrise.  This picture doesn’t quite do it justice though.  Did you remember that Friday is my day off work.  Yeah.  No rest for the weary.   and remember that rooster tail from earlier??  Oh dang, it’s crazy now.


Enough of that business, Cory looks a little different now. He got a trim.  Haha. That was a LOT of hair.  Look though…same shirt.  Somebody wanna hire him??  Please??


I made this Snickerdoodle cookie dough dip out of chick peas, almond butter, oats and a few other ingredients.  It’s yummy amazing. Delicious.  Plus protein, fiber goodness. Great with apples, crackers, a spoon.  There’s also Chocolate Chip Cookie dough dip from the same website that’s killer.  You should seriously try this.  Seriously. Now. Try it.


Then what do you after a morning like that and a whole day of shopping with your teen-aged girl???  Go to Smashburger! More yum.


Friday is almost over and I’m trying to watch a DVR’d episode of the Finder with Cory, so I guess that’s enough for now.  I think maybe I’ll start calling these types of posts, “Slice of Life”.   Or maybe “Food I Ate Today”.  Perhaps I’ll put it to a vote.  Later.

Emotions-Can You Fake ’em?

Use the corresponding face for the corresponding emotion.” Meg Ryan in that movie where she goes to Paris to chase after her ex-fiancé.

I’m one of those people who you can read like a book. If I’m happy, you’ll know it. If I’m confused, it’s written all over my face. If I’m mad, oh yeah, you’ll know it. That’s a good thing, right? I’m true. I’m real. I’m authentic. I’m transparent.

But I think it’s not always good. I know that sometimes when I’m angry–just for illustration purposes, let’s say I’m mad at my teenaged son–it does NOT help the situation for me to show anger. It communicates disapproval and disappointment. Which maybe I am, but my feelings are not the issue that needs to be dealt with or focused on. I read this several weeks ago and it stuck with me, even though I’m having trouble putting it into practice.

The anger of a parent confronted with a child’s poor choice shifts the focus from the child’s bad behavior to the parent’s angry response. Replace anger with empathy and see what happens. Responding to disobedience with empathy rather than anger is difficult, but the reward is great.

from Day 3 of the Parenting by Design devo on YouVersion.

Right. Empathy. Right. So….how exactly does that look?!

Mom: Well, hello, son. I see you are 20 minutes later than you said you’d be.

Son: Oh…sorry.

Mom (Option 1): Sorry?!? You’re sorry!?! You better be because I’ve been sitting here waiting and now I’m going to be really tired tomorrow! You bet you’re sorry, because now you’re grounded!!

Mom (Option 2): I can see that. I’m sorry that you couldn’t make it when we asked. Next time you go out you will have to make up that time. You’ll have to come home 20 minutes earlier than normal.

Yeah, I can see that would be a better response for parents who set firm rules and consequences (which we SUCK at). And also I know that…

human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:20 NIV)

Now I just have to figure out how to either not be mad–or hide it convincingly. Probably the former is more effective, although more difficult to achieve. Only complete reliance on God can bring about a miracle of this magnitude.

It was Friday again

It was Friday again.   Happens every week, I suppose. And it’s my only full day off work.   It’s also that special day I get to spend with Cameron.  I’m soooo glad we pulled her out of public school.  She’s 15 and time is racing by.   She’s happy.  She’s learning. and she’s a part of a great group of kids.  and most importantly, her relationship with Christ is growing and thriving.

Enough of that. Here’s another glimpse into the mundane, with a splash of … well… ordinary.

First a trip to the gym with Cameron and Abbs.  We are doing a program we found on Pinterest called “Lose a Size in 2 weeks”.  Riiiiight.  Really, I just wanted a change in my exercise routine. And I’m not gonna lie, the thought of losing that last 5 lbs was creeping at the edges of my brain.  I’ll let you know next week if it worked—although it’s probably for people who have more to lose than we do.  If nothing else, we are learning some great core and strength moves to add to our repertoire.  Here we are getting ready to do the “strength training A” exercises (cardio already finished up!).


Cameron and I went back to the zoo to take a few more pictures.  She’s looking for a picture to blow up and hang in her room.  Here’s one I took of the Redbud’s blooming.  It was a gorgeous day and there was hardly anyone at the zoo.  I took a picture of myself again (right before my haircut, of course).





A quick trip out to Pop’s for a bottle of Pepsi–original glass bottle for Cory’s birthday.  If you’ve never been to Pop’s it’s worth a stop next time you’re in the area.  100’s of different kinds of bottled soda and the best onion rings in the state!  and this really cool landmark–a giant soda bottle–that lights up at night!!  It’s a little ways out of town up route 66, but I like the drive.  I actually left Edmond twice today and I didn’t get lost once–well sort of…but I made it!


Who doesn’t love the fabulous Chick Fil A chargrilled chicken sandwich sans bread for lunch??  Delicious. Delicious protein.


2010 recap (finally)

This is for me really.  It’s my way of keeping track of what, if anything, I accomplished this year.

This year started with a 21 day fast , go here for a summary of how that went.  Turns out that was a really good way to start a year out.    No doubt, I’ll be doing that again in 2011. (I’m actually 16 days into it right now!)

  • Sold fireworks for the 4th of July in Louisiana (great time with family and precious friends!)
  • went to the beach in Florida for a fantastic family vacation (paid cash)
  • paid off a car (that’s the last time we’ll ever NOT pay cash for a car–car pymts suck!)
  • my firstborn started driving–this is exciting, nerve-racking, and time-saving all at the same time
  • bought a car with cash for the first time ever (well, we matched Cory’s contribution and he bought a car with cash)
  • ran my first 5K.  and my 2nd. and my 3rd. and my 4th.  I’m officially addicted to running now.
  • started learning how to play the guitar–something I always wanted to do, and now I can 🙂
  • lost a beloved member of our family, Lucky dog
  • got 2 new puppies–it remains to be seen if this was a positive or negative move.  on the one hand, we’re missing Lucky less, on the other, training starts all over and lasts longer than I care to think about
  • started a new job–same place, new position

It was a busy and productive year and I’m already making goals for 2011.  Blogging more is one goal.  jeesh, last year was pitiful in the blogging department.  How else am I supposed to keep track of what I do?!?

Other goals:

Get my own guitar–Cory’s generously loaning me one of his right now

Learn how to make movies in iMovie–I’ve started this, but my first one was incredibly lame

My marriage is going to be the best it’s been in 20 years!

Where Does My Help Come From?

Amazing thunderstorm outside tonight.  I haven’t seen a light show like that since…maybe never!  I love love love thunderstorms!  As I was standing on the back patio watching what seemed like CONSTANT lightning–avoiding sitting in the metal chairs–I could only picture the majesty, might, and power of God.

He is above all.  and He is right here.

I was praying for my relationship with my girl child and thinking how hard it is/was to be 13.  Remembering what I was like with my mom made me feel a little hopeless…like that’s just how it was, and that’s just how it’s going to be.  Distant, resistant to talk, etc.  Let’s just say I was not always very nice during that season of life…sorry, mom.

Then I remembered what’s different….I have supernatural help.  God is for me,  just waiting to intervene when I call on His Name.

So, look out, kiddo…I have the Power of the Holy Spirit, and I intend to use it!!

I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
Ps 121:1