Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thankful Thursday #6



I am so thankful everyday for so many things.

     When you have babies you want all kinds of things for them.  You immediately feel the responsibility and want to raise good people and productive members of society.

     I am not a perfect person or parent and everyone makes mistakes.  My kids have always known the one thing I will not tolerate is one of them ever being mean to someone for no reason.  Fortunately, my kids are caring and considerate people and it has never been an issue.  Don't get me wrong, I also taught them to speak up for themselves and not let anyone run over them. I stay in my own little world and don't go out of my way to be disrespectful or hurtful to anyone, but if someone messes with my kids or family, I tend to go after them.  I know I am supposed to turn the other cheek and that is something I work on, but I only react to someone hurting someone I love.

     I really believe in the end we will be mostly judged on how we treated others.  I have never understood being mean to another human being for no reason. I don't know why it's so hard to just be good to one another.  It's the devil hard at work and we don't need to fall for that.

     I know from my relationship with my parents you never stop being a parent.  In many ways, I need my parents more now than ever.  I couldn't have raised my kids without them.

     A lot of things are considered successful parenting.  For me, all three of my kids cook and wash their own clothes. They are all really good cooks and try new things.  My youngest is really good at the crockpot and grill.  Between the two, he has cooked more dinners this summer than I have!

     I am blessed and so grateful that I have not watched my kids go hungry.  Not all parents can say that and I believe there is a special place in Heaven for those parents in that helpless and hurtful situation. I have sat and talked with many single parents at the courthouse trying to get child support from the other parent who is taking no responsibility.  That is a hard and frustrating position to be in.  I say single parent because although most were women, there are some men in the position of being the only parent responsible.

This Thursday, I am thankful for kids who are now cooking for me.  Stratton cooked dinner Tuesday night and grilled out last night.  I should say I am also thankful they go to the grocery store. I don't like going to the grocery store and have so many hours of my life there I can't get back.

This is Stratton's Italian chicken.  Chicken with Italian dressing cooked in the crock pot, then he shreds it and eats in a bowl with rice and sauteed vegetables.  It's even better the next day!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tradition and Heritage Makes Everything More Special



     I just listed this pair of earrings on my Etsy shop.  The kids start college classes next week so it will be a little quieter around here and I have a lot of new things that have come in for me to work on.

     I love Thai Karen Hill Tribe beads. I have a little information about them on listings in my shop.  The Karen Hill Tribe are of Northern Thailand and they use traditional methods that have been passed from generations-to-generations of hand-tooling. Their work is unique in design and fine in details.  The silver content is 97.5-99% compared to Sterling Silver which is 92.5% silver.  The beads and charms are hand crafted with eyes for details and intricate by highly-skilled artisans.  I absolutely love using them.

     I have such an appreciation of heritage and tradition and what these artists produce is simply amazing. The pieces can be small and delicate but so detailed.  It's just beautiful work.

The steel gray and blue of the Kyanite beads is really pretty and the gold Vermeil Style disc beads are a perfect accent.  The ear wire and gold beads are Karen Hill Tribe.


   Karen Hill and Kyanite Earrings








As always, your purchase comes in a recycled box with my shop name on it.  There is a cotton fill and it will come with a non tarnish zip loc bag and a square of polish pad.





*****UPDATE:

     I sold these earrings yesterday.  They are more beautiful in person than my terrible photography skills show on here.  I loved the way they turned out and am so tempted to put another pair in my shop.  Even though it is made with gemstones and the Karen Hill disc beads and no two are like, I still don't like to "copy" my designs.  There's no way to get another pair identical to these because of the natural materials, but I feel like it is really special to sell one of a kind items.  People go on Etsy to get the individual items and experience. If you want to see what you buy from my store on other people you might as well go to a department store.  I take pride in what I do and want my pieces to truly be unique.


     





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Each Age and Phase Just Gets Better!



     Time goes so fast.  My kids have grown up on me and it just flew by.  I loved having babies and every age and stage I would think was the best, until I got to the next one.

     As much as I loved it when they were little, it is so nice in so many ways now that they are older.  We can watch the same movies and do a lot of fun things together.  Summer was kind of crazy.  We went on a trip with my parents and brother and sister and their families at the beginning of June.  Shane has worked all summer and either competed himself in Crossfit competitions or had an athlete he is coaching participate. I enjoy watching the competitions.  It looks so hard, but is really fun to watch. Sydney took summer classes and Stratton declared this summer his last official "kid" summer.  He graduated from high school early in December and took Spring semester classes at the same college Sydney and Shane attend.  He participated in senior activities and walked with his class in May although he was done.  He said this is his last official "summer break." That child. He is so funny.

     Anyway, with everything going on, I also had surgery in June, we didn't go anywhere just the four of us so I had a fun night planned Sunday night as a kind of end of summer blowout.  They start classes next week.  We went to a Matchbox 20/Counting Crows concert.  I got enough tickets so they could each ask a friend so there were 7 of us.  They knew the music because me and my sister love them and played them a lot when they were little.  A lot of their friends didn't know who they were.  They knew a couple of songs, but didn't know their name.

     We had such a great night!  It was a little bit of a drive for us and I knew parking would be crazy and I just wanted us to enjoy the night so I got us a limo.  We didn't go on a trip so I didn't feel so bad splurging.  Also, they commute to school so I don't have the expenses of moving them to school.

     We got the tickets months ago and of course, then, it seemed like forever away.  We didn't want to wish away the summer, but I knew it would get here fast.  Time just moves that way!




     We didn't plan on all wearing black shirts! Mine says Less Mondays More Sundays.  I thought it was appropriate and I couldn't agree more!

They are such fun people and they have great friends. They will occasionally do something that reminds me of when they were little and I love those glimpses, but this is a great time too!  I don't know what I will do when they are all moved out.

Do you think they will let me have a room in each of their homes and I can rotate staying with them? Maybe if I offer free babysitting they will!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Prehnite Fall Earrings



     I am ready for Fall.  Although, here in the south we have two seasons instead of four.  It seems like it goes from a sauna to a freezer, then back again.  Once school starts, I am ready for fun Fall things.

     I have an unhealthy love of Halloween.  My aunt and uncle used to have a party every year when I was younger and they would go to Atlanta to rent costumes.  The party was always a big deal and my uncle was in politics so it was always a big party with different kinds of guests.

     I always joked with my aunt that when I finally got old enough to attend, they quit having it.  I got to go to one. She is crafty too and would do these great decorations and carve pumpkins into all kinds of things.  I remember their costumes.  My mom and did were gangsters and probably the best was the year my uncle was the devil and my aunt was a pregnant nun.  They always had a contest and the winner got a nice bottle of champagne.

     I posted these earrings yesterday getting ready for Fall colors.  I am going somewhere with my kids tonight and will cut this post short, but promise pictures tomorrow!


Prehnite and Karen Hill Tribe Rose Gold Earrings on Sterling Silver ear wire.  Find it here.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thankful Thursday #5



     I am late posting this, but I had to get it in.  I am thankful for many things everyday.

This Thursday, I am thankful for aunts and uncles.  I have posted about how blessed I am to have 3 nieces and 5 nephews.  I am proud to be an aunt, and I am just as proud of my aunt and uncles.

     My mom has a younger brother, Jimmy, and my dad has an older brother, Eddy, and younger sister, Gina.  I am his sister's clone.  She has two grown sons, but she couldn't have had a daughter more like her.  I am very thankful my mom's brother has moved back home to our town.  He moved when I was little and has lived in different places my whole life and I am so glad to have him home.



This is a picture of my grandmother, my aunt Gina, uncle Eddy, and Dad Tim.  One of my favorite pictures because I can see my kids and nieces and nephews in all of them.

     This Thankful Thursday is my uncle Eddy's birthday.  He is the sweetest man.  If you look up the word meek in the dictionary, his picture should be there.  Everyone who knows him loves him.  He's just a good person.  I just got off the phone with him.  He has been in the hospital for awhile and isn't doing very good.  It absolutely breaks my heart in two.  I am very close to him and pretty sure my artistic side comes from him.  He had a leather store when I was little and he has made my kids purses, belts, and Bible covers.  He can draw anything.  I always tell him he missed his calling to be an architect because he has also built homes.

     Every family has a "crazy" uncle and it seems like they are always named Eddie.  At least in the movies!  (He spells his a little differently.)  We have called him that, but we really mean fun.  He is the one always making jokes, always seeing the bright side and the good in others.  He has always said about me and my sister, "I love my nieces to pieces."  He has never missed a moment to tell me he loved me or is proud of me.

     It's funny because he is my dad's older brother, but his second wife was just 5 years older than me.  He has a son who is 2 years younger than me.  He and his second wife got married and had my cousin, Sarah, then I had my daughter, Sydney, then they had my cousin, Taylor, then I had my boys, Shane and Stratton.  I always joked that growing up I couldn't have ever imagined having children the same time as him and his wife and me sharing maternity clothes but we did.  And it was so much fun.

     As sweet as he is, he is tough.  He is a survivor of kidney and throat cancer.  He beat advanced throat cancer a few years ago, but the radiation is what has caused his problems today.  They don't tell you the long term effects.  I am not used to seeing him so thin and his voice so weak.  He is always the life of the party and you would know his voice in a crowd.  It also breaks my heart to see my dad so worried about him.

     He had to have something done yesterday and I haven't been able to talk to him until just a little bit ago. You never know, and considering what he is going through, I made sure I said some things to him I wanted him to know.  I have never needed him that he wasn't there. It was sad, but thankfully, we have always had a relationship where we made sure to say things to each other.

     I hope and pray he gets better and next year we can celebrate his birthday in a much better way!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thankful Thursday #4



     I am thankful for so many things every day.

Today, I am thankful for harmless pranks.

     Life is hard, stressful and busy. We tend to take things too seriously or let things build up then something minor sets us off.  There are many things that need us to be serious and aggressive, but it is so nice to just have a little harmless fun sometimes.

     I can't believe schools are already starting back around here.  It really seems like it just let out.  Summer always goes fast, but it seems like schools start back earlier and earlier every year.  I think northern schools start later and let out later.  The problem here with school in August is the heat.  We used to start back after Labor Day then the end of August.  We take a lot more time during the school year with breaks and longer holiday breaks than we used to.  Thanksgiving week we usually only got out Thanksgiving and Friday, now the whole week is out.  There are also Fall breaks and Winter breaks.  I do think it's better having breaks throughout the year even though it means starting earlier to get in the total number of school days needed.

     Pranks are definitely different than they used to be.  With shows about them and social media people definitely can take pranks too far and sometimes they are dangerous.

     Then, there are the old fashioned just fun pranks.  I saw this morning one of the area high schools suffered their senior prank for the first day of school. Senior pranks are a rite of passage.  My senior year, the classmate who came up with our prank was the son of one of the teachers.  His dad was also the preacher of one of our town churches and you know what they say about preacher's kids!  He thought it would be funny to put crickets in the ceiling of the high school.  We had drop ceilings everywhere and his mom had a school key....so you can guess what happened.  It was harmless, until the noise was too much and those little critters were hard to round up!

     Kids have a lot more to deal with today and if we don't let them "act out" a little bit it can just build up.  Teens have always expressed themselves and while it can be at a whole different level today, teens are really no different than teens of years ago.

     I don't know if it is a southern thing, but these high school seniors must have gotten their idea from their grandparents because toilet papering a yard or home has been going on here for years! You take rolls of toilet paper and throw them letting the paper hang from trees.  I remember when I was younger and then in high school waking up to a "winter wonderland" of toilet paper in the yard.

     These teens must have bought every roll of paper in their county because from the pictures I saw, they outdid themselves.  Evidently, it is a tradition at the school and a couple of years ago there was punishment for it.  I understand rules and everything, but give the kids a break.  They didn't harm the property, they clean it up, and anytime young generations pay attention and take pride in heritage and tradition it is a good thing.



     I remember in high school getting caught rolling a yard with my friends. It wouldn't have been so bad, but it was the varsity basketball coach! I know it sounds weird, but around here, it was almost a compliment to have your yard rolled.  Everyone in town knew about it.

     Another thing we did around here is called "ding, dong, ditch."  We ring door bells and run.  I took my youngest and some of his friends one night when they were in 8th grade to go do this.  They were so funny, though.  The one house they really wanted to prank didn't come to the door so they went back and just stood there ringing the bell until he answered.  It was the dad of a young football coach and I think they wanted to visit rather than prank!  He looked at me like he was going to shoot me for bringing over these boys late at night.

     There's a difference between being mean and just good, harmless fun.  Kids, especially teens, take a lot of cues from us adults.  We have to let them express themselves and take every opportunity to connect with them.  That's when they are open and listen to us.  If we are too hard on them for the wrong things, they will rebel.

     And sometimes those messes are a heck of a lot harder to clean up than toilet paper.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Duck Syndrome



     Are you a parent or have a job that has you around kids?

                                                                                                        ChrisB

The first thing I want to say is don't ever underestimate the impact you can have on a child.  Of course, we think of the negative things that can happen with bad intentions and some adults shouldn't be around kids. For the most part, if you are a parent, your child is going to be influenced by other adults all the time.

     If you work with kids, volunteer, or are just around the kids of friends, don't discount the positive influence you can have.  Being a single mom, I have depended on others to help me and be there for my kids.

     As adults, I think it is important to help each other and share information when possible.  I saw something on the news this morning that compelled me to share.  Some of you may have seen it, but it is horrifying to me the effect of cyber bullying.  Kids have been mean for years, they just had to do it face to face.  Technology has made it so much easier to be mean and parents may not be fully aware.  It scares me because families are so busy.  Families used to eat together and have at least some time during the day or evening to talk to each other.  Today, everyone is going somewhere or involved in some activity.  It's hard to check in with each other.

     As a parent and someone who just loves others I wanted to share two trends with young people that are sad and terrifying.

     Kids who are 11-12 committing suicide because of bullying is the saddest thing to me.  Accidents happen, but deliberately taking their life is just unthinkable. Parents of the bullies are responsible in my eyes.  I have a teaching certificate and only taught for a year and stayed home with my kids the rest of the time, but schools have to intervene.  I know they don't want to, but it isn't schoolyard fights anymore.  This is serious stuff and some of the crazy things teachers have to do because of "red tape" and policy should be removed so they can take care of more pressing issues.

     Kids spend more time in school than with their parents most days so there has to be more involvement.  More pay for teachers would be great also since they are wearing several hats and have a big influence on kids.

     The other thing that scares me is the illusion that life is perfect on social media.  I see so many teens and young adults trying to live up to these crazy expectations.  Nobody has perfect hair, make up and clothes all the time.  It is such an artificial world and emphasis is being placed on the wrong things.  I heard it being called the "Duck Syndrome."  It refers to how ducks look like they are effortlessly gliding over the water while their feet are frantically moving below the water, where you can't see.

Here is the link to the story:  Social Media Pressure






I live in still a relatively small town.  It has grown and so have our schools.  I graduated with 85 in my class in 1989, my kids graduated with over 250 in their class.  A lot of the teachers in the school are from here, many I went to high school with, and I know a lot of parents. 

 
     Some of the surrounding county schools have crazy amounts of students.  I had my kids in a private Christian school for a while and with the divorce and economy I was going to have to make a change and I put them back in my city's schools. I struggled with the decision and my mom told me that the benefit is that we know so many people.  She said if my kids get in trouble, people who care will tell me, those who just want to talk will get out and talk about it so either way I will find out!  It's not like that in a lot of places.

Oh, and my daughter was bullied at the Christian school by girls and it was really small, but drugs were found in a locker. My illusion of a safe environment because it was private and Christian was shattered.  There are bad things and bad people everywhere.

That brings me to the only solution I can find for this problem and every other problem in the world.....

     We have to bring God back into the classroom and everywhere else.  I rely on my faith for everything and I don't know how I would function without it.

Have you had any experiences or thoughts about cyber bullying or the effects of social media?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday Motivation



     I think we should have 3 day weekends.  Saturdays are for kids and their sports and activities or working in the yard or cleaning the house.  You finally get chilled out on Sunday and it's time to start the week back over.

     I don't think anyone would disagree that Monday has to be the day in most need for motivation.  I love music.  If a good song is playing, I can get motivated really easily.

    I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like music.  I am so blessed that my kids appreciate music from when I was their age.  My youngest bought a record player last Fall and I was so excited!  It was funny having to teach him how to use it.  My kids are usually teaching me how to use everything.

     I got him some albums for Christmas. I had a blast picking them out.  I got Journey, Boston, Fleetwood Mac, and Steve Miller Band.  He likes the bands, but he is a romantic (he's the one with a girlfriend) and wasn't too familiar with Chicago, so that was a must buy.

     It's fun that my kids like my "old" music.  My aunt Gina, my dad's sister, was 14 when I was born and I spent a lot of time with her when she was in high school.  My mother's brother, Jimmy, was the same age as Gina so of course I thought everything he did was just so cool. I know I love music from the mid '70s because of them.  And, my dad's older brother, Eddy, sang in a band then so it would be impossible for me to not have fond memories of music.

     I am so much like my dad. My grandmother sang in the church choir and played the piano.  My dad says she would take my uncle Eddy to choir practice on Sunday afternoons and send my dad golfing with my grandfather because he "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket."  Any kind of musical ability totally skipped me.  

     I made these new earrings and posted them on my Etsy shop yesterday. I can't guarantee wearing them will give you motivation, but I am sure they will bring compliments!




                                          Rainbow Guitar Pick Earrings




                                          Abalone Guitar Pick Earrings





                                          Zebra Guitar Pick Earrings







What is your favorite group or song?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ain't That Some Shit Saturday



We have one saying (in the south, particularly my family) for many different scenarios.  It's the same words, "Ain't that some shit," but pitch and how quickly or slowly it is said gives you an idea of the situation.

     If something good happens like somebody wins something it is said a little fast and high pitched. (Think of Eddie Murphy asking "do you believe" something,)  If something bad happens, like someone dies in a strange way it is said a little quieter, almost a whisper, and a little slower. If something aggravating happens like you stub your toe or lose your car keys it is said a little deeper and with an irritated tone.  One phrase but so many meanings.

     I have never thought that this could just be my family until now.

It's said when its close cousins, "I hate to hear that" and "Well, don't that beat all" just don't pack enough punch.

The world is crazy, people can be crazy, and by Saturday I have usually had at least one "Ain't that some shit" moment.

I am a homebody and don't go out a whole lot. I have had some health issues and I just get aggravated with people. Most of the time if I am in a crowd I have an "Ain't that some shit" moment along with a "This is why I stay home moment."

This week's moment is brought to you by myself, in my car. I am in the south.  It is almost August.  It is fry an egg on your forehead hot here. I am 46 and haven't been able to handle the heat for some time. I had a partial hysterectomy in 2012 and it was completed last month.  So......I am hormonal.  Or not, I get confused what has happened does everything just bottom out or one hormone take over???? They have taken everything and left me with Bitchy, Itchy, Sweaty, and Jumpy.

     I get in my car today and I don't know how but my butt warmer has been turned on.  I don't know where to turn it off.  I have never had to use it since I got the car 2 years ago and because of health haven't driven it a whole lot.  Even in the dead of winter, I might not even have the heat on much less the butt toaster.

     I am just trying to get where I am going, which isn't far so I just turn the air conditioning on a little more and deal with it.

     It's embarrassing because I have to walk in the store sweating like I walked there.  If I exercised it could look like I have been at the gym, but my hair is flat and I just look sweaty and don't have on the right shoes.  I go down an aisle and turn to go into the next and see old friends I haven't seen in a while. They see me before I can turn around and go the other way.

Ain't that some shit.

Please tell me you have moments like these. Really, please comment and go  into detail so I feel better!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thankful Thursday #3



Who likes a good scary movie??!


     I am thankful for scary movies. I absolutely love them! But, I am a scaredy cat. I will watch one then run to the bed after turning off the nights and not sleep for a week. After the creepiness and fear wear off I am thankful for sleep!

     Scary movies have really evolved over the years.  The old ones are still the best. There weren't as many special effects so you had to use your imagination a little more and the acting was much better.  Old ones like Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? are just classics. Then, there's The Changeling with George C. Scott that had a great twist.  A good twist at the end is underrated.

     It seems that newer movies go more for the shock value and almost just get tired and end the movie and it doesn't always make sense. My kids and I love Halloween.  When they were younger, but not too young, we would get scary movies and have a marathon on Saturdays. Everybody has things going on now so it's hard to find a time for all of us to even go to a movie together so we don't get marathon days anymore.

     I am my aunt Gina's clone.  She is my dad's younger sister and we are so much alike. She loves scary movies too. I think I have my love of movies and music because of her.  She was 14 when I was born and she spent a lot of time with me when she was in high school so naturally I looked up to her and loved whatever she was into.

     We have watched countless movies together.  My dad likes them, but doesn't like to admit he gets scared.  When I was little, I remember the commercial about When a Stranger Calls. At the end, it would ask if you have checked on the kids.  My mom told his whole family he got up and checked on me, my brother and sister late one night after hearing the commercial.  The house we lived in at the time had all of our bedrooms upstairs.  If anybody got up or sick you could usually hear.

     One night, my dad wakes up and starts yelling. He's yelling for my mom to wake up. He says he can't see anything.  He says he's woken up blind.  My mom doesn't like to be awaken and I remember hearing her finally saying, "Damn, Tim, the power is just out."

     We are in a small town and I don't think it gets as dark as it used to.  I don't mean night has changed. We have too many street lights and buildings around for it to get as dark as it used to.  The town used to be half woods and when it was dark you really could not see your hand in front of your face.

     My dad has always tried to keep us from taking things to seriously.  He always says famous people are like us and pee first thing in the morning. He would always try to explain the scary movies.  He and I were always night owls and I think I enjoyed those marathons with my kids because my dad and I would stay up late on Friday nights and watch The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.  He would always cook us up something and it was just fun.

     One night he decided to keep me from being scared after watching something. I went to the bathroom and came back to the den with him laid out on the recliner with ketchup all over his neck. He was trying to show me how they do it in the movies and TV, but it scared me to death!

     He had good intentions, but I don't think I ate ketchup for a week!

I always dressed up for Halloween when the kids were younger. This was my best costume. I had the candy on a platter around a severed head.  We lived in a subdivision where we gave away insane amounts of candy....except that year.....I had plenty left over!


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's In A Name?



Do you have a namesake or are you named after someone or a place?

     My niece turned 13 yesterday.  I am fighting every urge to post her picture because she is beautiful and I am so proud of her, but I have to be aware of the internet and out of respect for her and her parents, I will resist.

     Between me, my sister, and my brother we have 11 kids.  All 11 are named after family members. We have a "Jr." and a III.  My daughter is named after my sister and my niece, with the birthday, is named after me. Both of my boys are named after my grandfather (the older with his first name, the younger with the last name) and my nieces who were born two weeks apart are both named after their maternal grandmothers.

     I love it. A name says so much and whether we have used maiden names, or first names as middle names it is special every way you look at it.  It's something they all share and have in common.

     It's funny the bonds you have with nieces and nephews. I have the oldest three and my brother and sister have their kids closer in age to each other.  I seriously could not love my nieces and nephews any more if they were mine.  We live very close to each other, until recently, we all lived on the same street for 10 years. We are trying to move out a little more from where we are so we have had to go individually. These kids have grown up more like siblings than cousins.

     I made a sign for my mom a few years ago that said,"Grandmother and Pop's House Where cousins go to become best friends." It is true.  Some of them just get each other, some fight more like brothers and sisters, but they all just love each other and it is the sweetest thing seeing them all together.

     My sister's oldest was born a day after his due date.  When she was pregnant with my niece, we all started guessing when we thought she would be born.  Her due date was the second week in August. We were all on vacation early June and everyone was throwing out a date. It just came in my head and I said July 25th. Everyone thought I was crazy because it was 3 weeks early and my sister had easy, low risk pregnancies.

     As we got to the beginning of July, everyone asked if I wanted another date, but nope, I stuck with it.  The morning of the 25th I was getting ready for church to teach my Sunday School class and my mom called and said, "Well, you aren't going to believe this, but Amanda's water broke and she is on the way to the hospital." I said, "of course I believe it" and I called to let them know I wouldn't be able to teach and went to the hospital.

     I had big babies. I am 5'3 and used to only weigh a little over 100 lbs. My babies were really big and after 2 days of labor with my first ending in a C-section, we scheduled my boys to be born that way 1 week early.  They were still big, but man that was easy going in and having it done. I always say I had enough labor for all three with the first!  Not having the experience of a "regular" birth, I was blown away watching my sister have her kids.

     I was there for all five of them being born. I was going through my divorce for the last two and my kids had after school things and I thought I was going to miss 4 and 5, but I managed to get there in time.  I joke that the 5th waited on me because we got there and about 15 minutes later she was ready to push.  I think of that labor like waiting on a page to load on the computer.  It was taking a while and then went fast at the end.  It was like that, he waited on us to get there then he was ready.  It being her 5th she literally only pushed once and he came out like a little fish almost saying, "It's ok, mom, I've got this one!"

     I saw all five and each time was just remarkable.  I am godmother to my sister's kids and it is such a wonderful thing to say to them I saw them come into the world. I don't know how anyone can watch that and not believe in God.  It is truly the most miraculous and wonderful thing to ever witness.

     And, after my niece, 3, 4, and 5 were all three weeks early.

Are you named after someone or a place or have a significant meaning to your name? It really is a hard thing naming your kids.