Sunday, June 27, 2010

Everything she knows I taught her

"That's my daughter in the water, Everything she knows I taught her."

That song got stuck in my head after watching the end of the movie Knocked Up on TV today. But how true those lyrics are....everything she knows I taught her. When your child is a baby, all she knows is what you show her and what you teach her.

Emma Jo has started making this funny face and I didn't know where it had come from until I realized that it was an imitation of the face I make at her when she falls down. It's like an"Uh oh!" face. She also does this cute little shrug of the shoulders to her daddy all of the time...and she does it because she knows it's cute and it gets him to sweep her up in his arms everytime.

Little girls are different. You just can't argue it. My boys are wonderful and I am honestly one of those moms that didn't feel like she HAD to have a little girl. Boys will tell their mommies that they look pretty and give sweet sugars and are great snugglers, but there is something very special about a little girl.

I feel so blessed to have a daughter. Seth's granddad says, "God choses who He gives His little girls to." Well, we are certainly blessed to have her in our family.

Love you, baby Emma Jo!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Domestic Duties

I love freshly vacuummed floors, a dustfree bookshelf and a clean smelling bathroom. But unfortunately, this is not how my house is at all times. I am good about putting things away. You won't find a huge stack of mail on my kitchen counter or dishes overflowing my sink too often. This isn't to say that I am organized. I have spent most of my summer cleaning out and organizing my closets and drawers that I have just stuffed things in to get them out of sight.

It's just nearly impossible for me to have a clean house. Three kids under the age of 4 maximize the number of messes and spills in a house. My once blue and white couch is now a collage of different colors from varying types of disasters made by little monsters. And my mother in law reminds me nearly every time she sits down at my breakfast table about the time she sat in syrup there.

I only have 2 hours max to clean while all 3 are asleep for naptime. People say, "Oh, I just clean around them or why can't you clean while they are awake?"

Picture this actual scenario that happened last week:

The vacuum cleaner comes out of the closet. Emma Jo starts screaming at the sheer sight of it before it is even plugged in. When it starts, she uncontrollably cries. With her sobbing on my hip, I try to manuever the vacuum around the room. Mann follows me around, insisting that he could do a far better job and points out places I am missed. Daniel sits on the couch with his hands over his ears, complaining that he can't hear the TV.

I've seriously considered getting a maid. I grew up with a maid. I like to think that we had one because my mom disliked dusting, vacuuming and mopping as much as I do! But we really don't have that money to spend, so I am stuck with my domestic duties. But the best thing about cleaning is the finished project. A clean house! Like mine is right now....but wait, I hear a child getting out of bed. So much for my clean house. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do I really need this?

I sat down and finally finished watching the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic today. I have been watching it on and off all week during my kids' naptime. It was definitely a very goofy movie, but it did have an impact on me.

Shopping does just feel good! I, like most people, look forward to payday. But where does my money go? By the end of the month, I don't feel like I have much to show for all of the money I spent. At least the Rebecca, in the movie, can sell all of her fabulous clothes, but I look around and I really wonder...where the heck did it all go?

Not that's there's much to spend. I'm a teacher. Seth's a teacher. Our money goes to the, shelter, clothes....mostly for the kids, instead of us. (Although I have to note that Seth's clothes take up more room than mine in the closet, but that's a topic for another day!)

But there's still a good portion that I spend on little things here and there that cause me to be completely broke by the end of the month. Luckily for me, my husband is not as retarded with money as I am and he maintains his own checking account and our savings accounts. So....when my money runs out, at least I have his money, right? Wrong....he is really not very giving. And who can blame him? I had plenty of money for the month and I blew through it...buying things that I wanted, but didn't need. Apparently both Rebecca and I have the same problem defining the difference in those two words.

So, this month, I am on a budget. And before every purchase will ask, "Do I really need this?" Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Lord gives us obstacles

"Surround yourself with who you want to be."

Sounds simple enough. I can befriend the type of people who are loving, trustworthy, Godly, caring, positive and fun to be around.. Then I can just have them around me all of the time! Can you imagine how easy and pleasant life would be if you only had to deal with these types of people on a daily basis?

But unfortunately, "the Lord gives us obstacles." And sometimes these obstacles happen to be people. People that you are tied to in one way or another, whether it be at your work or your neighbors or even your own family. You know the type. They are miserable so they want to make others miserable. Some actually seem to find joy in it.

But what should we do when these people try to tear you down?

My mom used to say to pray for these people. My reaction to that advice during my teen years was rather sarcastic. But now, older and wiser I have found that sending up a prayer when someone is trying their hardest to bring you down is very calming and even empowering. It's out of my's in His hands. Just let it go....

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." - Matthew 5:44

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mary versus the Magnolia

Let me paint you a picture:

On a quiet country blacktop road sits a nice ranch style brick home, with 4 bedrooms and 2 and a half bathrooms, and a large front porch stretching across the length of the house, perfect for sitting and watching the world go by. The front yard is shaded by 3 gigantic magnolia trees, each close to 100 years old, making the yard and porch literally at least 10 degrees cooler on those hot East Texas summer days. Their sweet aroma from their large white blossoms fills the air all around the lovely country home.

Yes, that's my house. Sounds pretty nice, right? Ummmm....not if you know anything about magnolia trees. While from a distance, they are very pretty, take a closer look and you will see quite a mess underneath them!

One magnolia tree I could probably deal with, but three is just ridiculous.


And it's not like these trees lose those leaves and cones just one time of year. Nope! The Southern Magnolia is an evergreen tree, which means that it is always green. Isn't that nice? It also means that everyday of the year, leaves are falling!

We have lived in this house for 5 years and although I tried to keep up the yard in the beginning, it wasn't long before I threw my hands in the air! It's a mess and it's never ending. We can't grow anything under them for all of the shade, so the front yard is just dirt.

Recently we have been making improvements to our home and I figured I might as well tackle the yard. WOW! Almost two full days of work and I am still raking! Perhaps letting the yard go for a few years wasn't such a great idea after all!

Well, at least I am making a difference now....but I have to be honest. It's very hard to stay positive when you just finished raking up a section of yard and then the wind blows and 5 more leaves fall right where you just raked!

Oh, bother!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Creature of Habit

Today is Father's Day and I was happy to spend my Sunday morning having breakfast with my Daddy....just like almost every Sunday morning! My dad is a "creature of habit"...those are his words, not mine. Most weekends, he leaves Dallas as early as he can and heads east to his weekend place in Edom. You can find all of his activities at "the ranch" as he calls it, carefully written down in his journal on his dresser.

Example of a typical day's entry:

Friday, June 18th
Arrived 3:47pm -
JFM (Those are his initials)
Sunny, Temp 94, Rain 1/4 inch in gauge
Checked horses on the High Meadow
Fed Divi
Dinner - Cereal
Bed 8:41pm

And it goes on like this for every day he has ever spent there...chronicling every activity and every person who visits for every day that he is there.

And you have to love the voicemails from my dad...they go something like this:

"Hello Mary Margaret McCarthy Scott. This is your father, John McCarthy. I am travelling in an easterly direction on Hwy 31, headed to Cross Yoke Ranch. I was wondering if you wanted to do our regular breakfast at 8:30am at the Bakery on Sunday morning? You can call me back on my cell phone. It's ....." and then he leaves his number, not once, but twice, like I don't have it programmed in my phone, even if I could forget it after hearing it so many times!

So yeah, a creature of habit. And without a doubt, the best daddy a girl could ask for. A father is a very important fixture in a girl's life.

"Daughters need to know that the first man in their life loved them unconditionally, as every other man in her life will be patterned after this first one."-Dr. Beverly Block

My daddy did a fantastic job, even trying to stay close to me during those awkward adolescent years and then during my mom's illness and death in some rough years that followed. Daddy never yelled at me when I made bad choices. He helped me through...he guided me the best he could and I could not be more thankful for his love and support.

So on Father's Day, I feel so happy and blessed to be lucky enough to be my father's daughter. I love you, Daddy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Multiple Personality Disorder maybe?

Have you ever felt like you have lived two completely separate lives? I know, it must sound totally crazy, but I started thinking about my upbringing in Highland Park and then looking through old pictures, I found the one on the left. I was about 19 years old here, posing for pictures as "Duchess of the Gold Rush" for La Fiesta de Seis Banderas. The next year, I was a debutante for the Dallas Symphony. I drove a BMW and I spent my daddy's money like it grew on trees. I was going to college, but really to only for fun and to find a suitable husband. My plan at the time was to marry someone who made alot of money, and then I would work until I had my first baby. After that, I would join the Junior League and work on my tan at the Country Club during the summers while my baby took swim lessons there. Who the heck was that girl?! (And I have to laugh here, because any of my good 'ol HP friends who read this are like, "ummmm...yeah, that's what we are doing, what the heck happened to you?!")

Well, I jumped ship on my plan. I can pinpoint the moment it happened, but I won't go into all of that right now. But I realized at that moment, I wasn't happy. I knew exactly how my life would all go, and although it wasn't the worst life ever, it just didn't feel right.

So I retreated back to the sticks...Edom, Brownsboro, Murchison...Seth. This is where my old friends and family freaked. "What are you doing out there?" "Move back to Dallas, this is ridiculous!" But it was too late....

I was sucked in by backroads, friendly faces, sweet tea, cream peas, and riding the on the tractor with Seth. (Yes, seriously, like the Big Green Tractor song!) No one cared what I wore or drove or how nice my house moved slower and people still waved at each other. I know it sounds like a cliche or like I stole it from a country song, but it's true! It's a totally different out here then in Dallas, and I fell in love with the country life.

So here I am.....a completely different person than I set out to be. Yup, I am happy now! :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trying to raise respectful little monsters :)

Lately, it has become astoundingly clear to me that we have to stay on top of disciplining and teaching our children about respect. I teach 7th grade and I can easily tell whose parents have spent time on this topic and whose have not.

7th grade is a tough year for kids and every single one of my students can act out from time to time. But when I get serious and ask for a student's respect, I get one of two possible answers:

1. "Yes, Ma'am"


2. An eye roll with a dramatic sigh and a whiny "But, why? That's not fair!"

I want my kids to use answer #1.

I am not a perfect parent; there's no such thing. But I am doing my best to make sure that my kids act excuses. And when they don't, we will address it.

It would be easier to be a lazy let my kids do whatever, but I have high expectations for them. They will make mistakes, they will make bad choices, but I am just trying to give them all of the resources I can for them to succeed.

They are just babies now, but everything that I am instilling will hopefully make a difference in the future!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just something else for me to try to keep up with...

I really don't know what possessed me to try and start my own blog. I guess I feel like I just have too much time on my hands. But no, wait, that can't be it. I am a wife, a mother of three and a teacher. So here I am, in the summer months, with a to-do list more than a mile long, sitting at a computer rambling to myself. Although I have to admit, it feels nice to write. Maybe if I do a blog, I will talk less in public....yes, I think I will aspire to that goal!

But back to my crazy life. I live in rural East Texas, which is really insane because if you had asked me 10 years ago where I would be, Murchison Texas would not have made the Top 10. When I was in college, driving from Baylor in Waco to my dad's weekend place in Edom, the speed limit sign would ask you to slow down to 55mph in Murchison, but I always blew through at 70+mph. Because goodness knows there was nothing to slow down for in Murchison.

The question of how I got here is a pretty good one that people who live around me ask alot. I grew up in Highland Park in Dallas. It's a pretty upscale part of Dallas. My dad is a lawyer and my mom stayed at home with my brother and I, although she was never at home because she was running this charity or that one or presiding over this committee or that. I never really wanted for anything. I wouldn't say I was spoiled, but I was definitely sheltered.

My mom died of cancer the summer before my senior year of high school. Her death led me on an endless quest of trying to do "as mom would've wanted" for many years. I changed colleges a few times because I just couldn't figure out where she would've wanted me to go. My mom didn't tell me what to do, but she guided me in a way that was gentle, but obvious. But without her, I felt lost.

In and out of colleges, in and out of relationships, I found myself drawn back to East Texas. My dad had kept our weekend house in Edom, and it was almost as my mom had left it. She had loved East Texas. I found myself led back to our old friends from the area and got reaquainted with Seth.

Fast forward 5 years and here we are. Married, three beautiful children, a great house, wonderful rewarding jobs as teachers....I really can't complain!

I titled my blog The Power of a Positive Person because that is what I am aspiring to be: Positive. I have always been an upbeat and positive person, but here lately, I have looked around and I am seeing and hearing so much negativity. It's not easy to be positive all of the time, but I think it's a great goal!

"Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all!" - Romans 12:16