Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of a decade

Really, I didn't much think about New Year's this year. It just seemed like any other New Year's...the promise of a much better year ahead. The hope, the excitement, wishful thinking...every year the same. But then I really started thinking about what this is. We are moving into a whole new decade.

I am reminded of New Year, 2000. Josh and I spent the Millenium at a ranch with Josh's parents and some family friends. Everyone was in an uproar over Y2K. What was going to happen? As we all stared at the TV as New York's ball dropped, I think secretly we were all waiting for the electricity to suddenly flip off, our bank accounts to be drained, and mass hysteria to begin. And when none of that happened, we all smiled and went to sleep.

This decade has been bittersweet for me. 2001 was by far my most incredible year. That spring I completed my coursework for my major, had a wedding shower, a bridal luncheon, turned 21 May 10, began an internship at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital on May 14, had a bachelorette party May 17, got married May 19, graduated college on August 11, took our honeymoon to Lake Tahoe the same day, bought our first small house the day we came back, and started my career as an Early Intervention Specialist at BACH on October 1. It was a banner year.

The next year was spent working and being pregnant. As I look back on it, I think I spent most of my decade depressed and struggling to find the self I lost when I became a mother. Post partum depression lasted long into my second pregnancy and after. 2009 saw me looking back on this decade with a combination of sadness and happiness. Both my children were growing faster than I would like and I searched for the last time when deep in my heart, I felt truly happy. I love my husband and my children, and I wouldn't change the way I did things, especially since I will be only 42 when my youngest child graduates high school! The thing that makes me most frustrated about myself is that I never once lived in the moment. I took too many things for granted and dwelled too much on the problems that I was having. That is no way to live.

Life is hard. Life is grand, satisfying, complex, painful, comical, frustrating, joyful, and painfully uncertain. I really thought about that this week with all my medical issues that suddenly came up. Here I am, sitting at my computer, planning Christmas for next year, and I am not guaranteed even tonight. I want to stop myself from wishing my life away. I want to make my children love each and every day possible. I can't take my bank account with me to heaven. It really doesn't mean anything in the long run (ouch that was painful to write). Instead of me thinking about all the things I didn't get to do in my 20s, I am challenging my cynical, "glass is half empty" mind to think of the joyful experiences that I did have in my 20s. Think of how much we have all grown this first decade of the 21st century.

This is my life. It is not like anyone else's. God has blessed me beyond measure and I am so greedy to want for more or anything different. I am beautifully and wonderfully is my family! Come on 2010! I welcome you with open arms!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Best of 2009

Our Christmas was the best. Not only did we get to spend time with every member of our family, but both the kids really understood the meaning of the season AND the fun part that included Santa. Caleb commented on everything. He showed all kinds of appropriate emotion and played very well with all the children. He and Jansen were total troupers through all 8 Christmas celebrations. We were all very happy and blessed!

The new year is just around the corner and it is time to start thinking about resolutions. I don't really make resolutions, I like to make goals. Semantics, I know...but I LOVE semantics. Last year, 10 goals were made, and 7 were met. This year, I will make fewer, not because I don't think they can be achieved, but because our family has been so blessed, and I am happier than I have ever been. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are things that need to change, but things are good at this point.

So what are my goals for the year?
1. Lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday (May 10)
2. Pay off our LAST CREDIT CARD!!!!!
3. Finish Christmas shopping by August 31
4. Pay off our signature loan
5. Take the kids to someplace new each month

The last one is a work in progress. Actually, they are all a work in progress, I just usually like to have somethings that are very specific and measurable. Ramble, ramble, ramble.....we have no plans for New Years and Josh is finally off for the first time in about 5 years. AND the next thing to look forward to.....POWELL FAMILY LAS VEGAS VACATION IN MARCH!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Christmas tree...

Again, I love this time of year. The last week of school was a blast for the kids, and a little bit bittersweet for me. Even though I am always excited for Caleb to grow, learn new things, and advance in school, I must admit that a tiny part of me wants Jansen to stay little forever.

Jansen is 4 and this is his last year of private preschool. I have so thoroughly enjoyed having him at Chapelwood and felt a slight sadness while watching his last Christmas program. At Caleb's school, they don't have any kind of holiday program, although at least they do a holiday party. I am just one of those moms that really loves baking things, making goodie bags, and going on field trips. I still do those things for Caleb's class, admittedly one of only two parents who does so.

Elementary school is the last time for moms to really be involved in things like that (room moms, school crafts, etc). I am so blessed to be home and to have the heart to want to really be involved in my childrens' educations. Hopefully this will continue for as long as Jansen is in elementary.

Anyway, Jansen had a Christmas party and we provided the Rudolph cookies. At his program, he refused to participate, but at least he stood there in solemn defiance. Caleb had a party and we provided the sausage cheese dip. Total success for Caleb. He has a very difficult time with transitions and changes to the routine, but he really did well. Today, Santa sent both the boys video emails, personalized with their names, pictures, and gift list. The kids are so excited and can't wait until Friday, and honestly, neither can I!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas in the Park

Yesterday, Nana and I braved the suddenly freezing cold weather to take the boys to Clute's Christmas in the Park. Earlier that day, myself and some other PTA moms had put up our school tree there and decorated it with hundreds of Panda bears, carefully colored by our students. Caleb was able to find his panda almost immediately, even though it was on the back of the tree.

We had candy, drank hot chocolate, visited with Santa, toasted marshmallows, and played games with the clowns. The kids had a blast, both asking Santa for a football. They had already written a letter to him just before the park, and were excited to tell him all about the letters. This was Caleb's first year to actually understand the concept of asking for a toy and being good in order to get that toy. Usually kids' lists are long...Jansen is only 4 and he asked for three things, but Caleb....just the football. We are going today to mail them off.

Next week begins the official holiday madness. Baking for two class Christmas parties, providing gifts and donations, Christmas programs, and then comes the holiday break from school for over 2 weeks. AGH!!!! We are all really looking forward to it though. Lots of family, lots of food, lots of presents, the birth of our Savior...we are incredibly blessed!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Well, we got a big winter storm this year on the coast yesterday, and it snowed all day. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it did not stick to the ground, but covered it with a nice layer of frosty ice. When the kids and I went outside this morning, it had knocked over our umbrella and froze it to the ground, filled our fire pit with water and froze the lid to it, and probably killed our freshly layed sod in the front yard. Jansen was so excited to see it that he ran out, and before I could tell him to be careful, he hit an ice patch and his feet slipped right out from under him and he busted his rear-end and his head. He is ok, but sore!

In other Powell happenings, we have a new pet. We took the kids to the pet store to purchase a betta fish....something strong and virtually care free. Caleb picked out a red one and we found a small aquarium that everyone could agree on. As we paid for everything, I asked Jansen what we should name him. Jansen thought for a moment, and then said, "Um, I think we will call him Finn, and he will be my buddy." The kids were very excited to have him home and kept yelling, "welcome to your new home, Finn."
Funny things Caleb says: It is always funny to hear how Caleb's brain works and what he comes up with. He really still doesn't understand abstract concepts and he often still reverses the order of his words in sentences. Yesterday I got up early to get dressed, and then woke up Caleb. He and I had breakfast together and I went to the sink to wash up some dishes. He said, "Mom, why are you dressed?" to which I laughed. Then I said, "well Caleb, I am going to substitute at Jansen's school, like your substitute teacher." And he thought for a minute and said, "You can't be a substitute teacher. You are a mom!" and I laughed. He is starting to get it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You tell us what you want to tell us...

Got another opinion coming your way so if you don't like that, look away now. Seriously, navigate away from the page.

First, let me preface by saying, that I am a registered Republican with Democratic tendencies. That really has little bearing on this post but I just want to put that out there, just to reinforce my middle of the road tendencies. Often times I can see both sides of a situation and have some conservative viewpoints and some more liberal viewpoints.

That said, I am so over all this Tiger Woods nonsense. We have no idea what is going on in his marriage, nor do we need to know. Just because he is a celebrity, doesn't mean he checks his privacy at the door. It does mean that he has to make some sacrifices. People will be more interested in him, his doings, his family, and the like, however, that does not entitle him to give full disclosure of his every move. I don't really care if he was having an affair, if his wife was having an affair...that is why marriage is between two people. It's not our business. We don't know what their marital situation or agreement is.

So this got me thinking about being well known, responsibilities, and tabloids. When you think about it, people this day in age really believe that everyone is owed explanations. With facebook, blogs, and other social networks, people put their entire lives on the Internet, making other people feel entitled to know everything about that person. You can become famous now just by posting a video on YouTube. Or you can be famous in your town for winning awards, being an elected official, or having a high profile job. If you choose to do this, you must understand that people will be interested in you, but you should not be obligated to divulge all your personal information.

Tiger Woods doesn't have to hold a press conference to list his transgressions. Last time I checked, I am not married to him. And if I were, that would be our business. I really try not to judge people for their decisions, however bad I feel they may be, because there by the grace of God go I. Thus my pro-choice stance, thus my pro gay marriage stance to name a few.

That is just my rant for the day. I am so sick and tired of salacious reporting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The greatest time of the year is right around the corner. I know there are a lot of people who revel in their Bah Humbuggery...but I am one of the people who revel in the Joyfulness of Festivity. So if you are not one that enjoys this time of year, this is not the post for you.

We put the lights up on the house and set them to music. The kids agreed on an inflatable Santa, to which we purchased at a hugely discounted price, and then realized that we had just sodded our lawn. The lawn cannot take an inflatable, screwed into the freshly laid grass pads, because the lawn needs to be babied to take root. Josh took it over to Nana and Pop's house, and they put it in their yard for this year. Our tree is up, presents are wrapped, the mantle is decorated, and the kids got to open the first door of the Santa calendar this morning!

We are prepared to be baking, caroling, wrapping, Christmas light looking, hot chocolate drinking, and just all around enjoying our time together during the season. Jansen will be baking a birthday cake for Jesus, Caleb will be baking cookies for Santa, I will be baking cookies and cupcakes for school, and the kids will both be making chocolate dipped rice crispy treats. Sugar highs!!!