Thursday, January 12, 2017

Just Shy of Creepy Mom Status

Tonight I did weird thing.

I went into my 3 year old's room while she was sleeping and I picked her up and went into a different room to rock her in the dark. I promise I'm not usually a weirdo mom. You know, like that creepy mom in the children's book "I'll Love You Forever". I could never read that book to my kids because the thought of an 80 year old women crawling through the window to rock her adult son was as disturbing as some horror movies I've seen. But I digress...

Tomorrow is Lou's 4th birthday and we have all been very excited about it. Birthdays are big in this family and we have been celebrating our baby all week. But this is also DNOW weekend at our church which means we will have a house full of teenagers all weekend. Needless to say I have been a bit preoccupied getting ready for both events.

So tonight I came home from a particularly great worship service feeling super pumped about the next few days and I walked into the girls' bedroom and saw her sleeping. Something just came over me and I collapsed. I literally fell to my knees and started sobbing. I had missed putting her to bed on her last night as a 3 year old and it was almost more than I could bear.

Now I feel like I should point out that I'm usually not very sentimental about babies growing up. None of my children have baby books with their measurements and lists of their "firsts" and I have never cried at a first day of Kindergarten, but something was different tonight. As I sat there in the dark rocking my almost 4 year old and crying in the room that used to be her nursery, I thought "what is happening to me? Why am I doing this? Did I feel this way when the others turned 4?" 

That's when it hit me...I don't remember the other two turning 4. Sure I can remember the parties I had planned, but I don't really remember THEM at this age because both times I also had a 6 month old baby. I don't know about you guys, but the first year of a baby's life is complete chaos in the Summy home, and I spent most of that time I'm a sleep deprived fog. So this transition is something I'm  experiencing for the first and last time. For someone who doesn't handle change very well, this is the sort of thing that causes some type of emotional break down or at least the need to spend the better part of an hour looking at old baby pictures and eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (Am I being a bit dramatic? Probably so, but that is just who I am as a person.)

The bond between me and little Lou is a special one. Of course I don't love her more than the others, but there is just something special about that last baby that gets this Mom a little choked up. Lou and I have had a lot more "just the two of us" days than I had with older two. I have become more relaxed and confident as a mom since having her. I have learned to play more and listen more and give more grace with her. I learned to spend extra time snuggling with her because I knew that time would not last forever. I caught myself enjoying motherhood a little more. Maybe I'm actually growing up with her. Just as I nervously experienced all the firsts along with Amelia, I'm celebrating all of the lasts with Louisa. Soon I will graduate from a mom of babies and preschoolers to a mom of elementary and middle schoolers. (Maybe that is what all the crying is about. Lord be near.) 

Things are changing in our little family and this is just the beginning. These 3 children that God has given us are each so very different. I know he has big plans for them all if I'm willing to let them go and grow and if I teach them to follow Him. That is my job as their mom. But tonight she is still three and still just a baby and so I rocked her just a little longer while watching her sleep.

Okay... maybe I am starting to sound a little bit like the creepy old Love You Forever mom. Time to look at cute pics of the birthday girl to lighten the mood!

Happy 4th Birthday to my sweet Louisa! She is as smart and hilarious as she is cute!

***Have any of you found yourself overly sentimental and acting super weird with your last baby?

January 2016
How many brownies is too many brownies for breakfast? 

Friday, January 6, 2017

When it snows, aint it thrillin? Though your toes get a chillin.

It's a good ole southern snow day in Tennessee y'all.  Which of course means we have approximately 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff and the entire city has stopped to enjoy the view. Well except for my husband, but let's not dwell on that.

For the last couple of days I have been trying to write my New Years post. For some reason (kids, cleaning, cooking, dieting, sleeping) it is taking me a while to gather all of my "welcome 2017" thoughts. And then this little snow day thing happened and distracted me and I started writing about today. The New Years post is already a week behind, what is a few more days?

I (finally at 2:45pm) sit here on my nice warm couch looking out the window at the winter wonderland. I've been haunted all day by the expectation to create magical memories of each blessed snow day. I'm kind of over it.

I was thinking this morning while in the shower (seconds after my children barged in on my naked self to ask if we could go out and play in the son may never recover) I kind of wish that we lived a little further north so that snow would be a little less of a novelty. Since it only snows 2 maybe 3 times a year in the southeast, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to soak up every second of this weather phenomenon.

Don't get me wrong. I love snow. I really do. I remember as a kid the excitement of snow, but specifically the excitement of watching the TV waiting to see if my school's name would be listed as one of the cancellations. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever actually playing in the snow as a kid. or making snow cream. or sledding. And I surely don't remember my parents taking part in the festivities. Parents in the 80s were not in the business of making magical childhood moments. One of the many reasons I wish we could go back to the 80s. (others include: hanging at the Mall, being dropped off at the skating rink, the Cosby Show, and of course the Reagan/Bush political era. Sorry if I just offended any democrat readers, but I have always had a thing for the Bushes.)

Honestly, as a 2017 mom, I kind of dread this whole snow day thing. I know we aren't supposed to admit this, but snow days are a ridiculous amount of work for the mom. First of all, my family in general is a lazy bunch of folks. We like to take it slow in the morning. Saturday. mornings are made for watching cartoons and reading and coffee drinking. But we get a little frozen precipitation and suddenly my kids are up and at 'em at 7am fully dress and wanting to go play. "Hold your horses kiddos. What's the rush? Mama needs her coffee and sittin time." 

I firmly believe that snow days should be a dad thing. I'm not the "run around outside" parent when the weather is pleasant and certainly don't have the desire to do it when it is cold and the closest thing to snow boots I have is my super cute rain boots that leave my toes vulnerable to frostbite. I should point out that none of us actually have decent snow apparel. Because as mentioned before these things would only be used 2 out of 365 days a year and as any finance smarty pants would tell you, that's a horrible return on your investment. But this is a fact that only seems to bother me. Kids don't mind a little frost bite.

I don't mean to sound like such a grump. I do actually love watching them make snow angels and throw snowballs at each other (but not at me!!!), and  I also love the taste of snow cream and hot chocolate. It's just the Instagram pressure to make it magical that gets to me. I feel guilty if I don't make the most of it and beautifully document on social media. It's exhausting because what you don't see on Instagram is the child crying who got hit in the face with a snowball. Or that 2 out of 3 kids had to come and strip down after 5 minutes because they forgot to go to the bathroom. Or that you forgot to buy hot chocolate so you had to use 2 old packets found at the back of the pantry and then find a way to stretch it out to 3 mugs without anyone noticing. And finally, no one takes a cute picture of someone spilling that precious hot chocolate all over the living room floor after they BEGGED and PROMISED to be careful if they could drink it while watching a movie.

These are all hypothetical examples of course.

But then I look back at my own Instagram worthy pics and they make me smile. And I almost forget the grinchy attitude I had earlier in the day. I see their little hats and gloves drying off next to the fire and I determine that I will remember to be thankful for that fire and those little hands. And then if I need a little more motivation, I make myself another bowl of chocolate chip snow cream. That combo will perk even the mom with the coldest feet right up.

January 2014
My littlest has her first birthday in a week. I have made no plans and no practice smash cakes. There is no theme and no presents have been bought. My how different is the life of a 3rd child. Poor Lou. Maybe aunt Carmen Keen can give you a pep talk and tell you being the baby is all bad. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It ain't over until the droopy, dead Christmas tree comes down.

It's 2am on Christmas Eve. Well technically it is Christmas Day but I haven't been to bed so I haven't switched over. I should be in bed but it is so quiet and comfortable and my tree is so pretty. I don't want it all to end.

I just finished the laying out of Santa gifts and I have that wonderful feeling of accomplishment and Christmas spirit. I really really just don't want it to be over. So I will sit here a little longer.

I do love Christmas Day and all the fun and family that goes with it, but I must admit I've always been a little partial to Christmas Eve.

I'm a fan of anticipation. I like waiting in suspense until the big event. I don't look for my
Presents or try to guess what they are. I will voluntarily cover my eyes if I walk in on a surprise for me. So the waiting really is most of the fun. Christmas Day is the big show and once it's over the excitement is gone.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Well guess who fell asleep writing that blog post on Christmas Eve. This girl. And then there was non stop Christmasing until this moment. This very quiet, relaxed, happy moment. Christmas was the usual beautiful whirlwind of presents, candy, family, delicious food, noise, traveling, more food, and pure joy. We wouldn't have it any other way. But I tell you as I sit here with my feet propped up on the coffee table staring at my slightly droopy Christmas tree, I am happy to be home and back to (somewhat) normal.

We hit my hometown of Senatobia first and enjoyed laughing and eating with my parents and siblings and all the cousins, then we headed down to visit Steve's family in Brandon where we enjoyed more good conversation, food, and cousin play time. Yes I love all of the fun and laughter, but I have become a bit of an introvert in my old age and need a break from all the holly jollies after a while and look forward to quiet couch time. (Give me a day or two and Ill be ready to join the festivities again, just in time for my annual Girls' Trip to South Mississippi. More on that later)

So we made it home mid/late afternoon yesterday and began the great fun of finding where to put all the new gifts when our house seems to already be full of junk. I told Steve this morning that the week after Christmas was such a let down when I was a child, but now as a mother, I weirdly enjoy the practice of getting rid of the old and organizing the new and getting ready for the new year.

I love the start of the new year and all the possibilities. I always have big dreams for weight loss, and healthy eating, and staying on top of the cleaning, emailing, organizing, cooking, and keeping the kids alive. This is when I am my most positive self... Here's hoping I can keep it up!!

Here are a few of my favorite moments from the Christmas festivities. I am so thankful for my goofy family and the joy that they bring to my life!

Waiting patiently

You never know what the favorite gift will be.

home girl with a fancy doll

The stage is set for Dowdle Christmas

Owen and Walt were this year's official "Santas"

Sweet girls

These two were buddies all day

The three musketeers. I love matching pjs.

When the pjs come on that's when the fun begins!

This is us. This is also why I am who I am.

The Summy Cousins

What it looks like when you have enjoyed Christmas to the fullest

December 2010
I might be able to fit all of these new toys/presents in my house, but then I will have to get rid of one of my kids.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Lysol is my new favorite Holiday Scent

It is Monday the 19th. Christmas is less than a week away. Normally that would stress me, but I think we are ready this year. We spent this past weekend just relishing our favorite season. It was a lovely weekend full of all the Christmassy things I love and I couldn't wait to write all about it before going to bed on Sunday night, until all of the sudden it was less than lovely.

We are suffering a minor hiccup in our usual holiday merriment due to the fact that Louisa fell victim to the stomach bug last night around 9pm. She is a pretty easy patient and fell right to sleep after she was (and me, and bathroom, and the living room, and all the blankets were) cleaned up. That is when the fun of parenthood begins.

I really never feel more like a true mother than when I can catch vomit in my bare hands, calmly move the child to the bathtub, and begin mopping every surface of the house with high powered disinfectant without missing a beat (or even gagging). And if any one reading shaking their heads because I should be using more environmentally safe cleaners in my home and around my children, please let me assure you, this was no time for plant based materials. If I had a hazmat suit lying around, I would have used it. Besides, I'm not one to shy away from chemicals in my attempt to rid my house of germs. I have been known to spray my children with Lysol when they come into the house during flu season. (I tell them to close their eyes and hold their breath first so I'm sure it's fine...right?)

Santa is laughing at me isn't he?

But with any luck she will be on the mend in about 24 hours and thanks to some quality isolation time the rest of us will hopefully be spared. Of course, things are looking up because it is daylight and everyone is happy and perky. If anyone else is going to fall ill we know from Mom-experience that it will happen in the middle of the night tonight. Because vomit and fever always happen in the middle of the night. Further proving my mom's theory of "nothing good happens after midnight." A theory that is true for both sicknesses and high school shenanigans.

That's the thing about Christmas spirit. Even the late night stomach bug couldn't ruin all the good feels about our weekend. Because Christmas break began on Friday and the kid's excitement is so contagious. We busted out of Farmington Elementary at 12pm and headed straight to Macy's to deposit our wish lists in the big red Santa mail box. This has been a small yearly tradition that was started because...

A. Amelia loves a mall. Like, watch Tiffany sing "I Think We're Alone Now", loves it. She totally should have been born in the 80s so she could have experienced the hay-day of a Galleria Mall.

B. Also, my children tend to get a bit of stage fright talking to the Man himself. There have been a few tears shed after a Santa visit because someone forgot to mention that one thing they wanted most in the world. You remember Ralphie's embarrassing football moment at the department store when he couldn't remember the name of that beloved rifle? Well, that doesn't just happen in the movies.

Anyway, the letter writing is way less pressure to perform and you can proof read and erase. Very important cause you gots to get that Santa list right, or who knows what crazy stuff you will get.
We still visit santa every year, but only for the obligatory picture.

Friday we had a wonderful party with our friends from our Sunday School class at church. Always such a fun night capped off with a rowdy game of Dirty Santa. My friend Kress and her husband were the lucky recipients of this awesome real life Awkward Family Photo that pre dates camera phones and therefore no one said "yikes! we look scared! Let's take another one."

Saturday was rainy and lazy and filled with christmas movies and present wrapping and take out Chinese food. There is nothing else to say about that. It was perfect. Oh wait, and then the we lost power that prompted a candlelit story time and a quick family run to Walgreens in our PJs for flashlight batteries. When the power came back on and we were tucking the kids in bed, Walt said "That was the funnest night ever!" (Steve and I are nailing this parenting thing. We should totally write a book)

Sunday cold and very Decemberish and we were all smiles on our way to church which is a real Christmas miracle. We then enjoyed lunch and naps and I had a chance to start working on this watercolor for a dear friend. This is just the beginning, but hopefully it is on the way to being what she wants for her mother-in-law's gift. From time to time I paint or draw houses for people so they can remember that special place they called home. It's not a big money maker or anything, but it pays for my Starbucks.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer
is singing loud for all to hear! -Buddy the Elf

After another lazy afternoon we headed back to church to watch the kids' choir concert. In a very un-Summy move we threw caution to the wind and decided to squeeze in a trip to Starry Nights (one of our favorite Memphis Holiday events) on the way home from church. We are not good and spur of the moment things and therefore there were more arguments and crying than I would like, but we did it and can mark it off our 2016 Christmas Bucket List.

I don't know about yall, but that list gets harder and harder to accomplish every year. They are growing so fast and we are getting so busy that it takes real effort to do all of our favorites. The cookie baking, the Zoo Lights, the Starry Nights, The gingerbread houses, Christmas movies and Christmas parties. It's alot and if Im not careful I can let it all stress me out and lose the meaning of the season.

There is one tradition that we make a point to keep it up and that is our Advent/Jesse Tree. We started it 3 years ago and it is a family favorite. Not every night is a complete worship experience because.... 3 of whom is Louisa. But every night in December we read God's word as a family and point it back to Jesus. So if we don't get those Gingerbread houses made this year, at least we have that.

Merry Christmas!
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!" Luke 2:11

December 2013
The crazy holiday baking is in full swing. Consequently, the crazy holiday binge eating has also commenced. Which will soon be followed by the crazy post-holiday fad diet and 2014 workout overdose. Happy Happy Christmas to All!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Just Blousing....I mean Browsing. The Lost Art of Gift Giving

We are in full blown Christmas mode now. The house is decorated (inside and out) and the cookies have been made (and eaten). The kids have only one week left of school and so the countdown is on to get as much shopping done before I have an entourage with me 24/7.

My mom came up to Memphis on Tuesday for our annual Mother/Daughter shopping day. Truth be told, we spent more time chatting and lunching and pointing out ideas for our family than actually purchasing. She and I are the same person in a lot of ways especially when it comes to gift buying. We take great pride in searching for and choosing the perfect gift for each person on our list. Of course this also means we are usually finishing our shopping on the 23rd of December, but that is the price you pay for being picky.

You know what has been helpful for me this year? Those lists that everyone and their mother create to help people on their "perfect gift" quest. You know the ones. They are all over social media.... Top 50 gifts for Her. Top 10 gifts for Him (because 10 items is seriously all you can think of for a man). The best gifts for little girls, teenage boys, and your dog. There is a list out there for everyone. I think more people should take advantage of these lists. Why not? The writer of the list has done the leg work for you so you can show up on Christmas morning with an age/gender appropriate gift for your favorite niece, uncle, or sister-in-law and look like a Gift Genius.

Instead there is a new trend. (I say new but it really has been around all of my adulthood although it seems to get more and more extreme every year.) Im not sure what really started it. Maybe it was the gift registry business that became more hi-tech in the early 2000s. Before Y2K to register for a Wedding gift you just went to Dillard's/Goldsmith's/McRae's or down to the local "fancy dish store" and picked out your favorite china and Authur Court pattern and called it a day. But then came the ability to scan any and everything you could possibly want at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and other big box stores. I feel like this was the beginning of people saying "No it's not the thought that counts. You strayed from my pre-approved list? You are dead to me." 

Now I must point out that I am not pointing fingers at anyone. This is a First World Wide epidemic. And we are all caught up in it. In an effort to take the guess work out of the holiday season, we have somehow forgotten the meaning of a gift. We have streamlined gift giving almost to the point of making it obsolete.

Think back to the 80s (which everyone knows I like to refer to as the Golden Years). No one told their family what to give them for Christmas. That's how Ralphie ended up with that god awful pink bunny costume, and Kevin MacAllister received that sweater with the big bird knitted on it. Those gifts weren't on a wish list or registry. Those gifts were specially picked out by the gift giver and memories were made. Back then, the only person you could get away with telling exactly what you wanted for Christmas was Santa Claus himself. Because that was the cornerstone of your entire relationship with St. Nick. Anyone else who was giving you a gift had a relationship with you beyond presents. They knew you personally and therefore the gift was representation of that relationship and their desire to bring joy into your life.

Can you tell this has been on my mind? I've been growing frustrated for the past couple of years with the exchanging of the wish lists and couldn't really figure out why. The joy was fading. I started resenting the whole gift giving part of Christmas and felt like it was affecting how my kids viewed gift giving. I want my kids to be able to receive a gift from someone that is not exactly what they want and graciously say thank you because they know that someone picked that for them. I want them to have those memories. I don't want them to grow up thinking everyone gets exactly what they want all of the time. Even at Christmas.

It took reading the Christmas story for the 1 millionth time to remind me of the purpose of a gift. We can look to the wisemen for our inspiration.

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great JOY. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." Matthew 2:10-11

These men came to see Jesus and they brought him wonderful gifts that were picked out specifically for Him. And they had such joy in their hearts because of the opportunity to give something to the Messiah.

Joy. That is what were are supposed to feel this time of year. The custom of giving gifts is meant to remind us of the first Christmas and the gift that God gave us in Christ Jesus.

I would love to get away from the passing lists back and forth and get back to heart of gift giving. I want to think and pray for the person I am buying for and look forward to the surprise and joy on their face when they open it. It may not be the exact thing they would buy for themselves, but maybe, just maybe, it is something they love and didn't even know they wanted. Because I don't want to reduce Christmas presents to a glorified to-do list. Before we know it, my sister and I will be exchanging toilet paper and Diet Cokes (as if I drink diet anything) and wonder why we aren't feeling the Christmas spirit.

We need to stop phoning it in. If we are exchanging gifts with someone, they must be someone important in our lives. I know if we really think about them, we can come up with something that would bring them joy. Sure it is a little harder, but I think everyone on my list deserves more than just what they need from the store.

So if you are reading this, would you join me at reclaiming the fun and joy of a thoughtful and surprising gift? Let's give ourselves the freedom to love on each other and remember those wise men who looked forward to presenting their finest gifts to a baby king. Gifts that could not be found on the Target baby registry.

December 2011
Guess what you get when you mix multiple batches of cookies, several sticks of butter, Christmas Tree cakes, peppermint mochas, lots of Coke, 3 thanksgiving dinners, marathon carb loading, and a 4 course holiday progressive dinner?... A muffin top.  (Some things never change)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Once upon a time I had a blog. Then November happened.

So, Wow. November was fast.  I have been saying for a few years that November has become the new December as far as busy-ness. At least it is that way in the Summy home. But then, December is still December so really I guess that makes no sense and was just my attempt at an excuse for going MIA for an entire month.

That entire last paragraph was written sort of apologetically to all my readers, but at this point I am pretty sure I am talking to myself (which is a shameful admission that I read my own blog. Is that weird?) which is fine really since I pointed out in the beginning of my blogging days that my number one reason for writing is so when my mind leaves me for Dementia (which I truly believe will happen the way most hypochondriacs do) I will be able to go back and read about my exciting day to day life.

November really was crazy. Good crazy, but still. Most of the month was devoted to Amelia's school play. I gushed like a super proud stage mom here when she scored the lead role in Annie Jr and it was everything we expected and more! It was a tough few months of rehearsals and memorizing and that was evident by the dip in grades on her report card and the rise of the numbers on my bathroom scale. But we made it and the show was spectacular. Here are a few pics from my favorite moments.

We moved straight from play week into Thanksgiving week with no chance to catch our breath. It's okay because holiday season is my jam. I LOVE it! We celebrated Thanksgiving at my sister's new home which is only 10 mins away so it was really like a special gift just for our little family. For the first time in years, we were able to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and still make it for the family lunch. We were then back home and in our pjs by the time the sun went down. That's my kind of holiday.

The Christmas music has been flowing in this house for a full month and we aren't slowing down any time soon. As soon as Thanksgiving was over, it was time to pack up the pumpkins and get the house ready for Christmas decoration explosion (that word sounds a bit contrary to the spirit of the true meaning of Christmas. But I assure you we are thinking of Jesus' birth the whole time!).  As we cleaned the house in preparation for the usual Christmas decor (I couldn't bear the thought of putting tons of greenery on top of already dusty furniture) I kept thinking it was a picture of rebuilding and preparing the temple and for the coming of the Messiah. Okay, maybe comparing my house to the temple of our Lord is a stretch, but it still gave the cleaning process a little more meaning and therefore gave me a little extra motivation. (I need any and all motivation for cleaning these days. Momming is hard.)

And with the cleaning done it was time to select that most important of Christmas symbols (no not a stupid tie with the Santa Clauses on it... thank you Audrey Griswold) the Summy family Christmas tree. We do it up real nice and drive all the way to the nearest Lowes and select one of the prettiest 6-7ft frasier firs they have in stock. Because we are fancy like that.

Lou walked right up to this itty bitty tree and said
"Look guys! I found the perfect tree!"

Those are the November highlights. And these are a few of the other things I've been obsessing over this month.

I love a good Christmas album. And this beautiful one from Christy Nockels does not disappoint.

Ok yall. I am sure you have heard people mention The Crown on Netflix. But I need to give my 2 cents because it is so wonderful. I am desperately trying to pace myself so that I don't finish season one too quickly and then fall into a deep depression. I love everything about British royalty and The King's Speech is on of my most favorite movies. This seems like a perfect sequel to that beautiful movie. Beautiful is the best word for it. The costumes, the scenery, the score. I love it all. So much that I can watch an episode while running 4 miles on the treadmill and be blissfully happy the entire time. (if you know my hatred for running, you know that is saying a lot!)

Have you heard of this little thing called the Gilmore Girls revival? Obviously this is all anyone has talked about for the last week. I was all in. I have always loved these GGirls and therefore watched these back to back until the wee hours of the morning. It was so lovely to see all my old friends again and it gave me all of the comfort feelings of the past. I was not super happy with how it all shook out in the end, but it was very well done and entertaining.

So that about covers November. Looking forward to all that December has to offer! It really is the most wonderful time of year!!


November 2011
I just realized that I have unintentionally and unknowingly cut red meat out of my diet. Now if only I could accidentally quit eating sugar.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Nothing a Little "Fa la la la" Can't Fix

It's November and I haven't written in weeks. This has become a form of therapy for me, and I have felt a little frustrated recently not having a chance to blah blah blah out all the extra words in my head.

After my wonderful anniversary trip the rest of October basically punked out on us and forgot it was supposed to be fall. It's November now and it's still stupid hot in the South. Which, yes, we are accustomed to the heat, but not in November. That's just mean and spiteful. You hear me November? You better step it up. 

There. I have said my piece about the crazy weather and promise to move on. I'm sitting here in a Chick Fil A today writing on an iPad. It is so not ideal, but with life as busy as it is right now I needed to kill two birds with one stone and get out of my dirty house. So here I am, lunching while I write in a place that was cleaned by someone other than me. 

I feel a little silly here pecking away on this oversized phone and suddenly realize I could use a laptop for these types of things. I've never really owned a laptop (and I guess technically don't NEED one now. But please join me in my first world thoughts) because I'm not a writer and never had a job that required carrying my computer around with me. And since I'm not really employed at this stage in life, purchasing something major like a computer just for facebook and blog posts seems extravagant. 

I'll be fine. I mean I have this little pad thingy and I have my giant 2009 Mac desktop at home at "my desk".  (which lets be real and say that it is a homemade computer desk from college shoved in the corner of our guest room and is covered in notes from teachers and expired to do lists.) Nevertheless, I have all that I need in the way of ways to write my little blog and should be grateful..... But..... Christmas IS a coming. Right? Maybe Santa reads mommy blogs.

The heat is trying to dampen my Thanksgiving/Christmas spirit this year, but I am determined not to let it win. Tuesday was November 1st, which in the Summy house is Christmas Music Day. That has been the opening day for my favorite genre of music each year since I was old enough to work my parents' record player. It's a very strict rule. Music begins November 1st. Decorating and Movies begin after Thanksgiving. It has worked for me for a very long time and I am sticking to it. I love to see all the Others out there who get so angry this time of year because people are "skipping over Thanksgiving" and they want to "save Thanksgiving". Well that's just silly. Thanksgiving isn't sad. Thanksgiving is not capable of feelings. My music doesn't ruin Thanksgiving. If anything it gets me so excited about the whole season that I enjoy that day even more. Also, show me a CD of Thanksgiving Caroles sung by the likes of Harry Connick Jr or Bing Crosby and I promise you I would be adding them to my play list. But alas... 

In closing, I don't say anything about you listening to Bieber or Pop Country which are equally offensive to my feelings. Can't we all just agree to disagree? I think we can.  That's what ear buds are for. 

I'm not even gonna mention the obvious elephant in all the rooms this month, but it rhymes with "shmelection". It is simply too depressing to discuss. But the end is near and we will all pull ourselves up by the boot straps and get on with our lives. All we can do is try to do the work that God has set before us in spite of a dishonest leader. I'm thankful my hope is not in men, but in a powerful God who loves me and knows all! 

Since the nation has gone coo coo for cocoa puffs (shout out to 80s advertising!), I believe we need to end on a happy note. So here are a few pictures of us sweating through the usual fall festivities. And may I please brag on my cute kids and their excellent Halloween costume and Trick-or-Treat game? I know I'm biased but they really turned up the adorableness this year. They had a blast and we will be eating on their candy haul until March at least.

Our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch.
Steve was there for part of the time and managed to avoid all photographs.

I love this one of us on the hayride,
but I'm a little creeped out by the ghostly looking photobomb. 

This is how they tell me they are tired of all the pictures

Davy Crockett, Elsa, and a Hooded Huntress.
Please note that I made Davy's vest and for this non-sewer that felt vest
might as well have been a wedding gown

Signing off from CFA. It has been my pleasure.


November 2010
I have too much storage space on my body and not enough in my house.