Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's All About the Montage Baby

Everything looks better to music and with a few special effects and transitions.  Basically it's all about the montage baby.  And I believe we all deserve a montage.  

On television people get montages when they are leaving a talk show, such as Regis or Meredith Vieira.  Or when accepting a fancy award.  

I believe we all should get a montage.  My whole life I have loved montages and television. Right or wrong, I loved them.  As a kid on my way to dance class or on the bus to school, I would look out the window and picture an opening montage with credits and everything.  

Too much?  Distorted reality?  Yes and yes.  But now I am a teensy bit more grounded and now just make montages for my family.  Because not only does everyone deserve a montage, it all looks better, just like my beloved tv.  

For example, I was inspired by all the end-of-the-year montages all over the past couple of weeks.  I set out to make a montage of the best moments of my family's year.  I thought 2011 sucked, but looking through pictures and videos I realized it wasn't THAT bad.  

2011 was full challenges and frustrations.  But it was also full of the most wonderful, precious moments. Moments of great fun.  And there was lots of dancing.  Thank god for the dancing.

So here's my montage....our look back at 2011, the year that didn't suck as badly as I once thought.
(This video isn't the best, just trying out a new software and made the video last night, well this morning around 2 a.m., after getting back from Pittsburgh. Please forgive shaky cameras and a few hideous transitions.)

This is the Today Show montage that I love.  I cried.  Love the Today show gang.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pittsburgh-Some Kind of Magic

My kind of town, Pittsburgh is....
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere....yup, I'm talking about Pittsburgh again.

Pittsburgh, PA.
Steel City U.S.A.
Steeler Nation.

Pittsburgh is where I got my first real grown up job.   It's where I got my first real grown up apartment.  It's where I fell in love with my husband and father of my four children.  Pittsburgh is home base for my extended family.  

Pittsburgh means a whole hell of a lot to me.  
And people, Pittsburgh is totally f&#*ing cooler than you think.

It is a small town with a big city attitude.  Great restaurants, neighborhood bars, amazing museums, a mini subway and transit system.  Sports teams that don't suck.  A skyline that will kick any big city's ass.  An accent that no one has ever heard of and few can mimic, right yinzers?

Everyone knows someone from Pittsburgh.  Think about it. Sure that means that there has been a mass exodus (including me) over the years, but we come back or we follow the Steelers at the local Steeler bar or we wear our black and gold or we talk about the three rivers or at the very least we mention the Michael Chabon book "Mysteries of Pittsburgh," or even "Wonder Boys."

Pittsburgh is the coolest city in the midwest.  Chicago has nothing on the Burgh.  For real.
And again, I am totally biased because I am personally invested.

Last night, my date night in Pittsburgh was magical.  

My husband and I strolled along South Side remembering the bars we used to go to a million years ago when we were dating.  We had an amazing dinner at a place we never could've afforded a million years ago (and still couldn't if it weren't for my brother's generosity in covering the bill as a Christmas gift).  Then we stopped at Starbucks for a mid-evening coffee so we could stay awake to go home and put our four children to bed.  Four kids--that's something else we never could've dreamed of a million years ago.  

A million years ago, we were young dreamers (and heavy drinkers) who spent nights out talking about the places we would go and the things we would do.  Last night, we were older dreamers (who can't handle their alcohol) talking about what we wanted our kids to have and the places we wanted to take them and show them.  

The skyline was still picture perfect and we're still dreaming.  Sure Jay Z and Alicia Keys haven't sung a song about it, but Pittsburgh is some kind of magic.

This year has been pretty crazy.  One of my top moments is creating this blog.  Sharing my parenting journey.  My crazy mother.  Sharing my reality.  
And shit, it has been so fun writing, drinking wine and dancing in front of my computer every night.  It is a time I look forward to all day.
Thank you for reading and making writing this blog one of my top moments of 2011.

Me and the blog...this is a random blog,wine,dance night from this past summer.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Silly Things (and a Top Moment of 2011)

It's been quite a year...
Looking back through pictures  I can tell you a few things for sure:
My family loves eye black.

I am not afraid to get real.
Here are a few of the not-so-top moments of 2011 too.
My Nick Nolte moment.

This one happened last week when JT said "stand together with your arms at your sides so I can take a picture."  We are good listeners, but it's really not the most flattering picture.

Life is FUNNY.

Life is silly too.  And we need to do silly things.  

My sister isn't known for being silly.  She is the serious big sister caretaker, get it done kind of gal.  My whole life I have looked to her for approval, love and what to do to get things done.  This past summer she turned 40 and we celebrated with a trip to Hilton Head together, with the rest of our families.  Our kids enjoyed the beach, the ocean (minus the damn jellyfish attacks), the fancy house, the great food....but when I asked Lucy what her favorite part of the trip was, she said it was "when you and Aunt Dana jumped in the pool with your clothes on."  Okay? Really?  Cuz that was free.  But it wasn't just free, it was silly.  
Silly and free and fun.
And unexpected.  Me jumping in the pool, silly, but maybe they all saw it coming (I am not known as the serious sister, shocking I know).  But my big sister Dana jumping in fully clothed and at night?  That shit is crazy.  And simply fun and wonderful.  
That is why it is a top moment for me from 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fun Parent (and a Top Moment of 2011)

Another rainy day in Pittsburgh  
The kind of day you want to drink coffee, read a newspaper and stay inside looking cool in a cool looking hat.  But the only person doing that was my brother. 
Another day of vacation with my kids.  

There was a lot more Wii, floor hockey, wrestling, drawing, a game of charades, eating, playing cars, more eating, talking and more eating.  Normal holiday family stuff.
Wade's Toy Story obsession is still in full force.
But one bonus that I fully took advantage of...was hanging out with my kids.  Which sounds crazy, aren't I always with my kids?  Yes, but I am also always cleaning the house, running around like a crazy lady and the like.  But here, while I am still a crazy lady, I am relaxing a bit.  

I was one of the floor hockey players with my boys and I sat down to draw with Lucy.

Usually, I am the stereotype serious planner, cleaner up mom.  While my husband is the funny, relaxed playmate great dad.  And most of the time I am very grateful to be married to someone who is such a great dad. But there are moments.  Moments of annoyance that he finds it so easy to relax and play.  Moments of jealousy that he loves to play pretend and the kids love him for it.

But today it felt good to have my own moment of playful abandon. For just a little while I was the fun parent. Thank you Grandpa and Carrie and Uncle Jeff.  Thank you vacation.  Thank you rainy day in Pittsburgh.

One of my top moments of 2011 for my family was a summer afternoon that epitomizes what a fun, playful dad my husband is.  And what lengths he will go to for a game of pretend.....even donning a Halloween 80s wig and looking like a creepy guy to be a customer at my kids' yard sale (that was severely lacking in customers and sales).

For another look back and to read more about how I suck at pretend play, click here.

And on another note, I love pop music!  And this look back is fun.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keep Telling the Stories

So I am sitting in Pittsburgh looking out over the South Side at the lights of the city.  
More impressive pictures of Pittsburgh to come, I promise.
I am feeling very Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City.  Except I am typing in the dark so the lights don't wake up my four kids, Pittsburgh is cool, but it ain't New York City and I am not smoking.

I swore I would go to bed early tonight, but here it is almost 1 a.m.  and I am still up.  And I will be up in four or five hours with all those kids.  Ugh.

But all those kids were really good today. 
They were good on the road.
And they acted like the games and candy at the rest area were DisneyWorld. 

And we are here to visit with Grandpa and Carrie and the uncles. 

Tonight we had a great time playing games, Christmas-ing, eating and talking.  We talked with the kids, we talked about the kids after they went to bed.  We grown-ups talked about how important it is to tell the stories.  The stories of what it was like when we were little.  The stories of what it was like when the kids were even littler.  Funny stories.  Sad stories.  They matter.

So, keep telling the stories.  Even when the kids are sick of hearing them.  It's their story.  And they matter.

This week, we will be taking a look back at some of the top stories of least in my house.

We like to dance in our house, but some of us like to dance anywhere.  And it's no joke.  This top story took place on the way to the beach....a trip that took two days and lots and lots of time in the van.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pick me, choose me, love me

Christmas is over.  The kids are nestled all snug in their beds with visions of....okay I was going to try and write a cutesy thing, but I'm over it just like Christmas.  

It was good.  It was a long day--a day much like daylight savings time where you feel like it should be later than it is and you think "really we have six more hours until bedtime?" But it was good.

Some of the kids were very happy with the gifts Santa brought them.  
Baby Wade had a very Toy Story Christmas and he was in heaven.

One of them was a little disappointed and we couldn't blame it on Santa anymore.  He knows we are the lame parents that didn't buy him an iphone.  But c'mon, an iphone?  He is in fourth grade, it was never going to happen.

I was happy with my gifts the kids bought me at The Dollar General, for real.  I got a "fridge de-oderizer" and Lucy got me a wine glass.  Actually it is a wine goblet and I love it. 
I am drinking out of my fab new goblet as I type.
Is it bad that I got a wine goblet from my second grader?

Really for all my anxiety and melancholiness, Christmas eve and day went very smoothly.  I felt very grateful for my messy-haired, sloppy, sweet kids.  I felt grateful for my husband because he is pretty amazing.

And I want to thank each of you that reads this here wee little blog.  And thank you to the readers that keep coming back to read.

There are a lot of blogs out there.  Like I've said before, there are blogs that teach you how to craft or how to wow your guests at your next party.  There are blogs that teach you to cook.  There are blogs that teach you how to decorate a room or how to dress cooler.  But as you readers know, you will learn to do nothing from my blog.  

Except maybe, just maybe, you will feel a little bit saner. A little bit better about yourself. Or maybe, just maybe, you are like me (neurotic, anxious, a little raunchy, borderline depressed, hopeful, passionate, narcissistic, self-loathing, self-inflated, nutty, funny, happy), not perfect.  And now you feel less alone.

I've always been a writer--in my past working life in marketing and newspapers--but also just always.  A lot of times it was the only way I could express myself.  Even when I was very young.
Circa 1982. Age 7.
I've always been a little overdramatic too.

My whole point is thank you!  And since I am feeling a little post-Christmas neediness, I was wondering, er, um...this is awkward.  I was kinda hoping you might just, well, in the words of any neurotic's pop culture goddess Meredith Grey, "pick me, choose me, love me."

She says it better than me...

If you are still in the Christmas spirit and feel like throwing a little love my way, please follow or share the blog.

To follow the blog by getting an email every time I put up a new post, click here.

To share the blog you can click on the side bar for Facebook and Twitter links.

Or you can just copy the blog address and paste it on Facebook or in an email to a pal.

And if you don't want to, that's cool.  I hope you keep reading and I thank you.  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Angels and the InnKeepers

So this is Christmas....

Last night we celebrated Christmas Eve at our church.

Lucy and I played the roles of innkeepers, busting gender barriers by playing a mostly male-dominated part.  Yup, merry feminist Christmas.  

I love being in the pageant because you get to dress up and it is so much more fun than sitting in church just listening and trying to keep your kids quiet.  I actually got to tell mine to "speak as loud as you can so everyone can hear you."  Awesome.  Along with Lucy and me, two of my boys were shepherds this year.

Since we started doing an upgraded pageant at our church a few years ago, my family and me have been a part of the cast.  I have provided two baby Jesuses, been a Wise Family, been the mother of a Roman soldier and King Herod and now the co-innkeeper.

My pal Steph is always the angel of the lord. No questions asked. I think she believes if there is a god, representing the angel of the lord every Christmas Eve will help her case further on down the road.  I am joking, she is a kick ass angel.

We seriously have a lot of fun.  And there is a moment at the end of the pageant every year where we get the best view in the house.  Up on stage,we look out at the congregation holding up candles singing "Joy to the World."  I don't care what you believe, you feel something at that moment.  You feel hope, reverence, love.

Hope you are all having a day filled with hope, reverence and love.

Merry Christmas.
Best pageant clip from a movie ever.

Next year's Christmas cards? (taken right before we left for church last night)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Words, Bob Dylan and the Armadillo

This year's Christmas letter:

The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Times they definitely are a-changin.’
Recently, I’ve been looking back at past Christmas letters I’ve written. I feel the need to defend the Christmas letter.  It seems that this year, even more than ever the Christmas letter has come under attack.  I still believe in good old-fashioned letters and updates from people you care about.  Even though people tell a certain story on is usually a glossed up version of the truth. Believe me, I get it.  If you have seen my Facebook profile picture, you understand that I too fall victim to the “make it look better than it is” syndrome.  I looked pretty good ONE night last year and I am using the picture from that night in every profile I have online and otherwise.  Even the church directory.  
But hopefully my Christmas letter has been and is different.  Real.  Not depressing real (well maybe to some people.)  But a real update.  Real life--funny, complicated, annoying, ridiculous and good and bad.
In my look back I realized things are changing.  My babies that I wrote about are getting bigger, growing up.  And it is happening fast.  Soon they will be teenagers (and then the letters will get scary real).
Peyton turned 10 this year.  I can’t believe I have been a mother for a decade.  (Yes it is about me.) He is thriving in baseball and football.  It’s the first year he isn’t so crazy about school which is bumming us out.  He recently decided it was time to make the switch from calling me “mommy” to “mom.” Ugh.  He asked to go deodorant shopping with Tim. They bought AXE, the deodorant that attracts uber-attractive women.  Really Tim? “Mom” will be going deodorant shopping with Peyton next time. 
Times they definitely are a-changin.’
Lucy however is still as funny as ever.  As we were decorating the tree, we told stories about each ornament.  We told the story behind the fortune cookie ornament, the story of how Tim proposed to me with a fortune inside a cookie.  Lucy followed up with, “Why? Didn’t he have the guts to just ask you?”  Classic. She is having a great year at school, which if you could hear the surprise in my voice when I say that you might judge me.  But we are beyond thrilled that she is happy.  Believe me, the world is just a better place when Lucy is happy.
JT is 5 1/2 and had a rough fall adjusting to kindergarten.  Set back by speech issues and Celiac disease he is finally getting used to his new routines.  Just in time for the two-week holiday break.  But I am hopeful he will continue to adjust and learn to love kindergarten.  It is the season to believe in hope, right?  JT is still an amazing little athlete.  He loved baseball this past summer and is enjoying hockey now.  He might be into hockey a little too much.  I find myself saying “Quit checking your brother into the wall.”  A lot.
The baby Wade is 2.  He is obsessed with matchbox cars and all things Toy Story.   He is a yes man.  Actually a “Yup” man.  Ask him anything...”how are you?” he replies “yup.”  “do you want to go outside?” “yup.”  
I haven’t been in love with 2011.  There were some really good things about it, but a lot wasn’t that fabulous.  I mean even if I were one of those people that was all phony and fake in my Christmas letters, it would be hard to spin some of the stuff that happened.  Like hoping for a short sale on our under-water mortgaged house, frustrating health issues, longer hours for Tim’s job, and oh so much more.  Just one of those years.  But there were some really great moments, they were mostly great moments even in the midst of stress and exhaustion.  
I started two blogs and am writing more than ever before in my life.  And it feels good.  Check them out: and my blog dedicated to living gluten free with four kids,  You can also follow me on Twitter at @angelaYblood or @aglutenfreefam.  I share a lot.  So much in fact that some people that I used to talk to a lot, don’t call anymore.  They just read.
Social media has proven to be incredibly entertaining.  Peyton of course is concerned with what is going out on the world wide web.  “Are you sure you want to put that out there?” he recently asked after I showed him a video I posted of me dancing in the kitchen.  
Again please believe me when I say, I realize it won’t be long before I am asking him that very question.  (Well maybe not with a dancing video, but you get what I mean.)
2011 was a roller coaster and I won’t lie and say that I am not ready for a fresh start, a change.  But I also realize that time is going fast, things are changing, babies are growing up, memories are being made, stories are being told and there is magic in everyday.  Even in the worst days.
Wishing you strength for the roller coaster ride of life, the ability to laugh when it’s funny and let go when the change is out of your control.  
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
And by the way, how can you not believe in the Christmas letter when you can work in a Bob Dylan song quote?
Nothing says Christmas like a Bob Dylan cover...right?  Love Brandi Carlisle.  

And just because I love her, here is Brandi covering another classic favorite of mine.  

Here are some old and newer Christmas TV flashbacks:

I heart Phil.

Friday, December 23, 2011


So, I tell people this isn't a blog that can really fit into any type of genre.  I will not show you a craft you want to make with your kids.  I will not give you a recipe you want to make with your family.  The only take away?   I will make you feel sane.  Saner than me.  

I compare it to "Wife Swap" without the swapping, you will feel better about yourself after reading this blog.

For example, here's a little gem for you.  After writing my post about feeling the Christmas spirit because of the family party, I went f-ing crazy.  For a multitude of stupid reasons, I started crying, swearing and ripping down Christmas decorations in  dramatic fashion.  It was a real crazy-lady moment.  They happen quarterly if I am being honest.

But this was a real, life sucks, Christmas joy is stupid moment.  And I am not going to lie, ripping down the decorations felt great.  It felt dramatic and like I was living the soap opera lives I so covet.  But then I laughed.  I laughed that I covet soap opera lives, a dying genre. What does that say about me?  I laughed because I actually used the word covet in my head.  I laughed because it was so f-ing stupid.  I was the one that had to clean up.  A tantrum is so much more fun when you aren't the one cleaning up.  Duh.

I laughed because life doesn't suck.  Christmas joy isn't stupid, well not all of it is stupid.

If you are feeling this, leave a comment and tell me something crazy, stupid you have done in the heat of the holiday moment.  Seriously. Have you ripped down decorations?  Did you tell off an in-law?  Spill it.  Help me and countless others feel sane, well saner.

And while we're talkin' crazy, here's a look back at last year's Christmas letter.  It's totally cattywampus!  If you are on twitter, get it trending #cattywampusChristmas. (And follow me @angelaYBlood)

Christmas Letter 2010

“How’s that?,” I ask Tim as we put the finishing touches on our Christmas tree.
“A little cattywampus,” he says.  “But good.”

Two hours later the tree was wrestled to the ground by our one-year-old Wade.  I stepped out of the room for two minutes and of course that is all it took for our cattywampus Christmas tree to come crashing down.  This is not the first Christmas letter I have written that involved our tree falling down.  Nor do I think it will be the last.  

Cattywampus is a word that Tim and I love.  It is how we describe many things in our life.  The definition says it is slang meaning askew or awry, but both those words seem too proper for us.  

I would describe the entire last year as cattywampus.  It was a blur...jampacked with so much.  Sometimes it feels like too much. I feel like the pig character in the children’s book “A Pig and a Pancake,” randomly bouncing around from one thing to another.  Or Amelia Bedlia, not quite getting it but making the best of it.

Having a fourth child was a real game-changer.  Sure, I now have a funny, abnormally large family to blame all of my un-organization on, but all of you who have known me for a while know the truth.  I have always been scattered and flighty.  Now I just have more people looking to me for plans, answers, directions and hugs.  Tim recently likened parenting this many children to the Whac –A-Mole game—you have every problem fixed for about a second and then a child pops up with a problem.  It seriously only lasts about a second that a child isn’t popping up.

Wade, who turned one in October, is a funny little guy who is all over the place.  He is tough (just ask our Christmas tree) and already loves to wrestle with his big brothers.  I call Lucy little mama because she always wants to “help.”  She started first grade and after a bumpy start is very happy.  Lucy is still fiercely independent and has a fabulous imagination.  Peyton turned 9 in November.  He is a very serious, sweet soul; a voracious reader and is almost as tall as me.  

JT is an absolutely adorable boy.  He was diagnosed with Celiac disease this past year.  Our little buddy was wasting away in front of our was horrible.  But luckily we got a diagnosis and the whole family has been gluten free since May.  JT has gained four pounds, grown three inches and is so much happier.  It was an entire life change for the whole family--food wise and financially.  Tim has lost 17 pounds which is great, it is mostly because we can’t afford to eat as much.

Some really wonderful things happened to us this year, I ran a marathon, Tim started a new job as principal at an alternative high school which is closer and in a safer neighborhood, we built a baseball field in our backyard, Wade started to walk and so many more good things for which I am so grateful.

Of course there were many parenting moments that left me speechless or wondering if I was doing the right thing.   For example, the playground incident:
Lucy, now 6, and I are playing on a playground and she quickly climbs to the top of a pretty high structure.  She looks like she’s going to jump.  My heart starts racing and I say “Don’t jump from there.”
Me- “You might get hurt.” Lucy-”I might not.”
Me-”I wouldn’t do it.”
Lucy then shrugs, crosses her fingers, closes her eyes and jumps.  
After sticking her landing, she turns to me and says “See? Told ya.”

A couple of Sundays ago, I was teaching JT’s Sunday school class and was supposed to teach the story of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem to find a room.  Admittedly, I wasn’t excited about teaching the same old story to the kids that morning.   We played the “No Rooms Available Game” where the kids role played as the inn keepers in Bethlehem that were at full capacity.  Little Ian and Ava played the roles of Joseph and Mary and knocked on everyone’s doors.  The children repeated “no room for you” with great emphasis and anger much like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld.  It was a blast.  But then one child said “no room for you, but hey come on back in our barn, how’s that?”   Suddenly I imagined the holy family looking out at the barn and saying “cattywampus, but good.”

So, as we tape up the tree and sweep up the broken ornaments we get that life is messy—plans go awry (if you are one of those proper families).  All we can do is cross our fingers, close our eyes and jump.  Oh yeah, and laugh, a lot.

Wishing you a merry cattywampus Christmas!

Classic TV clip:
"Can't a guy be happy on Christmas?" Love Alex P. Keaton.  Love the whole Keaton family.

Merry Christmas to you...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

THE Christmas Party

Kids not being in school an entire week before Christmas is borderline torture.  I love my children, but my god they are maniacs right now.  Hyper, excited, over-sensitive, expecting greatness at every moment. 

I went to bed before 10 p.m. last night.  So tired.  Too tired to watch tv.  Too tired to drink wine.  Gasp!

Every year.  It never fails.  I get a little cranky around the holidays.
A broken ornament (from the latest Christmas tree fall) that still valiantly hanging onto our sad tree.

The pressure to make it magical gets to me.  The pressure to make it happy gets to me.  The pressure to spend money gets to me.

This year has been a bit crazier than normal, but believe it or not, not that much crazier.  Life is hectic.  Expectations are a killer.  And I seemingly enjoy overcomplicating things.

I have been known to mutter "I hate Christmas" several times a week leading up to the big day.  I know.  Horrible.  

But never fear, just when it looks like all hope is lost my husband's enormous family hosts THE Christmas party.  It includes 50 plus family members, a pinata, Santa Claus and singing.  Every year, I am frazzled about making the passing dish and buying the gifts for this party.  But every year, once I am there my heart grows three sizes.  Like the Grinch, I gaze out at these sweet, hopeful (some a little drunk) people and get it. The family using song sheets to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and other favorites--the same song sheets that were used 30 years ago. Generations gather together to celebrate family and their history.  The kids and grandkids are just as excited to sing and be together as they are to get presents.  Maybe even more excited. 

And I get it. The spirit of the season, the importance of traditions.

Just when I was feeling so over Christmas, my husband's family had their big party last weekend. And it worked it's magic.

Here's a video I made for the family about THE party. (It's 20 minutes long, but it's sweet, watch it if you have extra time (extra time? very funny I know.).)

Quick, I need another party.  I am losing my Christmas vibe because of my damn kids.   
It's getting scary around here, even the baby is suiting up for battle.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chaos, Craziness and Lots of Love

Looking back through my old Christmas letters I've sent over the years, I've noticed a theme....chaos, craziness, lots of love and the obligatory Christmas tree falling.

And because I am a nut about tradition, today the Christmas tree fell.

Here's a letter from 2009 that mentions lots of crazy (the tree must have fallen after the letter 
went out).

Complete chaos.  That is the description of my house and my mind.  I have never really been a very organized person or what you would call a planner, but this year feels more intense.  Time is moving faster. Is it the recession?  Is it too much coffee?  Is it being over committed with holiday activities? Is it the pressure to have everything perfect?  

It could be the hormones.  

Happily, we had our fourth child in October, Wade Kimball Youngblood, and life hasn’t been the same since.   He is a beautiful, healthy baby and we feel so lucky.  But it has also rocked our world a bit.  I am fine with change…as long as I am campaigning for it or in charge of it.  Four kids, swine flu, holidays and breastfeeding…not so much.

While Tim and I are running around like crazy people, bemoaning change, the kids are bubbling with happiness.  Peyton is very sweet and thoughtful—he is that kid that writes the letter to Santa and says he doesn’t need anything, but his little brother wants a fishing pole.  The letter is genuine and amazing, just like him.  Peyton is 8 years old and in second grade.  Lucy is a beautiful, witty child.  At pre-K graduation last year, her teacher said a nice thing about each child such as “he is so good at sharing” or “she is so kind.”  When Lucy walked on stage the teacher said “she is hilarious.”  I asked her what she wanted Santa to bring her and she said “Santa knows.”  Hmmm…hope Santa gets it right.  She is 5 and now in kindergarten.  JT is a charming, sweet little 3-year-old boy.  He is doing much better with his speech since starting speech therapy last year.  He still struggles with some sounds and baby Jesus sounds like baby

When we told people we were having another baby many people supported us.  But others didn’t know what to say, remember this was right around the time Octomom became famous.  People said “you are crazy,” “better you than me,” “how are you going to fit everybody in your house” and we even got a “why.”  And yes, sometimes that was Tim and I talking to each other.  

While we don’t have the answers to some of those questions we do have faith, hope and a sense of humor.  We have faith in our love and in our family. A sense of humor to laugh at all of our parenting blunders; like when the young babysitter comes over and corrects JT not to point the gun at our faces while we are lying down pretending to be shot in the face by him or as I am yelling “it’s a present, not a weapon so stop hitting your sister.” 

It is impossible not to feel hopeful about life with these adorable, albeit violent, children in our lives. Lucy told us the other day she believes the world needs more bubbles…I agree.  

So, as we prepare for another Christmas pageant I do realize the chaos will calm down, the hormones will level out and life will be normal crazy.  I also realize that we have become that family that takes up half the roles in the pageant.  But I am proud to be that family.

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!!!!!!

A look back at some good Christmas episodes of days gone by in TVland:

Thank god the kids from West Beverly were saved with a Christmas miracle.

Love this Christmas special and the CD was a staple in my house growing up. I remember always wanting "a fast talking lover" when I was a fancy, sophisticated grown up (yup like Dolly Parton).  "Dolly always says where there's a will, there's a way."  Definitely a Christmas to remember!  I completely heart Dolly then and now.

There's nothing like soap operas at sad there are only a few left on the air.  Long live the soaps! Long live the montage!