Friday, May 24, 2013

You Could Probably Care Less, But...

Here are some random and probably little-known facts about ol’ Mrs. Cupcakes and Running Shoes.

*I can’t STAND when a public bathroom doesn’t have paper towels to dry hands, and instead you have to use a hand dryer.  Sure, it’s better for the green movement, and I’m a big fan of our planet, but give me a freaking paper towel because those air things NEVER get my hands all the way dry and it drives me crazy!

*I am OBSESSED with the smell of clean laundry.  Like, if I even get a whiff of that smell, I will follow my nose until I find the person who smells that good and ask about their detergent.  But it seems like even if I buy the EXACT same detergent, my clothes never smell that good!

*I don’t eat very much meat.  In fact, I could probably be a vegetarian without skipping a beat.

*I’m a bit of a hypochondriac.  And I worry about EVERYTHING.  I try to keep most of it to myself, but Lord if anyone could hear what goes on inside my head from day-to-day you’d make me an appointment with a psychiatrist.

*I drink TONS of water every day.  I have a cup of coffee in the morning, a Diet Coke with lunch, and a glass of wine or three each night – But I literally drink at least 6-8 LITERS of water a day.

*The food on my plate cannot touch.

*I have an abnormally small head.  It drives me crazy.

*And speaking of body parts, my ears are different from one another.  In 28+ years I never noticed it until my lovely husband pointed it out.  Now it also drives me crazy.

*I LOVE going on long car trips, and much prefer them over flying in a plane.

*I have a recurring tornado nightmare almost every two weeks.  The location and people are different, but there’s always a tornado.  This has led to an extreme storm anxiety and panic attacks when there’s a threat of a bad storm.  Because of this, I have not been able to stomach any of the stories or news coverage surrounding Oklahoma.  I will give, give, and give to the storm relief efforts, but I cannot handle hearing about it or seeing pictures.

*This is probably well-known by now – but running is my therapy.

*I prefer desserts to be slightly undercooked.  Take that, salmonella.

*In the evenings, I LOVE to get in my pj’s and wash my face ASAP.  There’s something about it signaling the end of the day, telling my body it’s time to kick back and relax.

*Speaking of pj’s, I keep wanting to buy cute little pajama sets to jazz up my nighttime attire – but I always end up in T’s old boxer shorts and a stained, torn up tshirt.

*I can’t stand having long fingernails.  It makes me feel dirty.  In fact, as soon as my fingernails grow even a millimeter, I have to cut them as short as possible.

*I often almost every night have a glass of wine and eat chocolate/dessert BEFORE dinner.

*When I was in elementary school, my grandma won a trip to California/Disney Land on Wheel of Fortune (she wasn’t actually ON the show, she sent in an answer to a puzzle).  So she, my mom, my older siblings, and I trekked to the west coast and met Pat Sajak and Vanna White.  I still have very vivid memories of this trip!!

*It really bothers me when someone uses a microwave and leaves a couple seconds blinking on the timer when they’re finished.

*After a series of scares/tests/heart ultrasounds a few years ago, we learned I have a missing “blip” on an EKG because the upper right quadrant of my heart doesn’t fire the way it’s supposed to.  I also have bradycardia, meaning my resting heart rate during the day is typically in the 40s.  At night it’s even lower and that’s when it really bothers me.  I often have “episodes” (usually when I’m trying to fall asleep) that are very scary and make me feel very weird, though the cardiologist assured us that my heart has adapted just fine and all is well in there.  It’s still something I think about every single day.

*I eat way too much Ranch dressing.  On everything.

*Academically, I was ranked number 10 in my high school class of 450+.  And I only missed ONE question on the SAT math test.

*I LOVE dozing off on the couch snuggled up with T before we actually go to bed.  I do this every single night.

*In addition to my head and mismatched ears, I can’t stand my eyelids or my feet.

*I have always, always, ALWAYS wanted to swim with dolphins.  We had a chance to do so on our honeymoon, but didn’t.  I have regretted it ever since.

*I’ve learned recently that I think I’m a little scared of heights.

*And as I’ve gotten older, I think I’m also quite scared of the ocean.

*I LOVE Oreo-flavored anything.

*My first car was a 1978 blue hatchback Honda Accord.  Picture the Wayne’s World car, minus the flames.

*I literally cannot fall asleep breathing through my mouth.  I sleep with my mouth clamped shut and my teeth clenched… hence the night guard I’ll soon be sporting at bedtime.  (Sexy!)

*The volume on people’s televisions really bothers me.  I have yet to go into a house without thinking someone’s tv is turned up WAY too loud.  I’m constantly asking yelling at T to “turn it down!” – It drives him crazy.

*When I eat a sandwich (or something similar), I usually eat around the outside edges and save the middle for last.

*I lived in Canada for two years when I was younger.

*I DREAM of going on The Amazing Race with T.  I really, really wanna do it!  I just can’t get motivated to apply!!

*I would rather pay for a stylist than a maid.

*I was voted Most Spirited in high school!  Go Silver Foxes!!

That’s all, for now.  I’ll keep a few tidbits secret in hopes that y’all will still be my friends.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why the Title?

So, obviously I did a little makeover around these parts (you like?) and it got me thinking about my blog title.  I never really discussed WHY I chose my title when I carved out my little corner of the internet universe over two years ago.

Sure, I love cupcakes.  And yep, I love to run.  But my pleasure over these two things is not the reason for the words that adorn the top of this page.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was obviously THRILLED.   However, I was also nervous.  Not necessarily nervous about labor and delivery or even the logistics of taking care of a baby – somehow I knew it would all work itself out.

I was nervous about how I was going to balance it all.

Pre-Cameron Kate, I always struggled with balance.  As an educator, it was hard to learn when to leave work at work – T used to always say he liked his July-August wife a lot better than his September-June wife!  It has also always been hard for me to balance work and play in general – figuring out when to put the to-do list down and just LIVE.  So when I saw those two pink lines, I wondered how I’d wrestle with balance when a brand new squishy human being was thrown into the mix.

When I decided to start writing this blog, I pondered over the title for quite awhile.  Then one day it hit me – I’ve always been obsessed with cupcakes (I even had cupcakes instead of a wedding cake, BEFORE that was the trend!) and I’ve always been addicted to running.  These two things together almost create a contradiction… a balance.

The title has always felt right to me – like the perfect sign hanging on a storefront window.  It is a true reflection of my constant struggle – When to indulge, when to be disciplined.  When to tackle the to-do list, when to have fun.  When to be a rule-follower, when to throw caution to the wind.

When to hold on tight… when to let go.

Balance is a tricky thing, and it’s something that looks different and feels different to everyone.

For me?  It’s often about lacing up my running shoes, pounding the pavement for a few miles, then coming home to a glass of red wine… and a cupcake.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Help a Sister Out!

Or more specifically, help MY sister out!

Want to take part in getting a children's book published?!  Hop on over to Doc Momma's blog and learn how YOU can get involved.  It's easy, and fun, and only takes a little Instagram action.  (And who doesn't love Instagram?!)  And y'all - I've read the manuscript... the book is adorable and will one day be at the front of Barnes and Noble!

Now go take a picture!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Can Do All Things...

"For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."  
Romans 8: 24-25

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."  
Romans 12:12

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  
Hebrews 11:1

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."  
Psalm 27:14

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."  
Proverbs 3:5-6

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Jeremiah 29:11

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."  
Romans 15:13

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I am lucky enough to be able to celebrate THREE women on Mother's Day - my mama and my two mothers-in-law.  To the three of you, thank you for loving me, for supporting me, for dealing with me when I'm difficult!  Mostly, though, thank you for wrapping your whole heart around our Cameron Kate.

And to the little girl who made me a mama...
I have no words, my sweet bug.  To the moon.

Friday, May 10, 2013



Raising a toddler is starting to feel like that 4th of July contest they used to do at my neighborhood swimming pool – the one where they grease a watermelon and toss it into the deep end, and the first person who can dive down, retrieve said watermelon, and successfully swim up to the surface and put it on the edge of the pool wins a pack of Now & Laters or something.

It’s hard.  It’s entertaining.  It’s frustrating.

Toddlers are magical, wild, curious little beings.  Beings whose emotions turn on a dime.  Beings who have more willpower than is humanly possible.  Beings whose lives seem to be over if you put Cheerios in their snack cup instead of raisins.  Beings who will all of a sudden scream with absolute, unexplained terror during bath time when, just 24 hours earlier, they splished and splashed to their heart’s content.

Beings who will boycott bedtime for SEVEN.STRAIGHT.HOURS.

True story.

Last Sunday, Cameron Kate pretty much decided she was going to take a night off from sleeping.  And by take a night off, I mean stand in her crib and scream, “MAMA! DADA!  ALL DONE NIGHT-NIGHT!” from 7:40pm to 2:50am.

We tried everything.

We checked her temperature, no fever.  We checked on her in elongated intervals, gave her Ibuprofen, changed her diaper, even rocked her to a dead sleep (which we NEVER do) and then oh-so-slowly we’d place her back into her crib when BAM SHE WAS AWAKE AGAIN AND IMMEDIATELY STARTED SCREAMING.

At about midnight, TJ said, “Ok, we’ve just gotta let her sort this out on her own.”  I agreed, though we all know it is MUCH harder for a mama to listen to her screaming toddler than it is for a dada.  Within minutes, my hub was snoring away while I had my eyes locked on the video monitor.  I mean, how much longer could she REALLY keep this up?!

It had already been over four hours.

All of a sudden she started trying to climb out of the crib.  She pulled herself up on top of the crib rail and was balancing with her belly on the bar – head leaning toward the floor, feet hovering over the crib mattress, Superman style.


I shot out of our bed and TJ abruptly woke up and told me I needed to calm the heck down. 

He assured me she would not break her neck.  I wasn’t convinced, so I kept my eyes glued to the monitor while my child went back-and-forth between standing in the crib and stomping and screaming, and teetering her little body dangerously over the edge of the rail.

I was a mess.  My emotions went from being scared, to exhausted, to emotional, to frustrated.  And finally, at 2:50am, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I went into her room and climbed into the crib with her.

I guess TJ woke up and realized I was missing, so he ventured into Cameron’s room, and said, “Where ARE you?!”

“I’m over here!”  I whispered.  “In the crib!”

“Get out, you’re going to break it!”

I was too tired to be insulted.

With ninja-like stealth, I attempted to ease my body over the rails when she woke up.  My wonderful hub then decided to make a pallet on her floor, pull out her crib mattress, and coax her to sleep with him by her side.

We all finally fell asleep around 3:30am.

My alarm went off at 6:02am.  Hello Monday morning!

I managed to make it to work and called the pediatrician as SOON as they opened.  After all, SOMETHING must be wrong with my kid.  Who screams and boycotts bedtime for SEVEN.STRAIGHT.HOURS?!

A long talk with the pediatric nurse and pediatrician, a podcast, and some research later, we had our diagnosis – I am the proud mother of a TODDLER.

A toddler who is too smart for her own good and stubborn as all get out.  A toddler who tries my patience, who will lean over, smack my leg, look at me and say, “Time out?”

Like the 4th of July watermelon game, I have to keep striving to find the humor in it all.  Because really, when she’s lying on the kitchen floor screaming, “NO CHEERIOS!!!!!!!!!” like the world is ending, how do you not giggle?

And have you ever watched grown people try to swim holding vaseline-covered watermelons?

These moments are fleeting.  And one day I’ll miss the way she crinkles her nose when she’s up to no good, the way she knowingly pushes the limits with a sneaky smile, the way she sometimes prefers to sleep on my chest instead of her crib.

And while each and every day I thank God for choosing me to be her mama, because I love her more than life itself – I also ask God for the patience, enough deep breaths, and enough bottles of wine to get me through the toddler years.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Mama and Her Girls

When I was pregnant with Cameron Kate – I mean from the very minute I saw two lines – I KNEW with every ounce of my soul she was a girl.  And though we didn’t find until her birthday, when TJ yelled, “It’s a girl!” – my reaction was, “Of course she’s a girl!”

I had always longed for a little girl, and that is because of my mama.  You see, I love being my mama’s daughter.  I know the depths and uniqueness of a mother/daughter relationship, and I always, ALWAYS wanted to have that same kind of relationship with my own daughter.  There is nothing in the world like a mama and her little girl.
There is also nothing in the world like sisters.  When I was pregnant again this past fall, as much as I knew I one day wanted a son, I secretly hoped it was another little girl – because I am desperate for Cameron Kate to experience the joys of having a sister.  It’s a relationship like no other, a relationship that makes life more rich and meaningful and colorful.
And this weekend, I get to spend many, many, uninterrupted hours with my mama and my sisters.  We realized we hadn’t ever had a weekend with just us four, so after much discussion, plans were made.  Toes will be painted, clothes will be bought, alcohol will be consumed, and lots of delicious, calorie-laden food will be devoured.  But most importantly, we will talk, and laugh, and remember what it’s like to put our busy lives on hold and just be a mama and her three little girls.