About Me

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This blog is about what happens to a former newspaper photographer when she becomes a mama and moves home to raise her kids. I'm a wife to my best friend Michael who is a photographer for the Tulsa World. I am a mama to two beautiful girls who make me laugh every day. I was born and raised in Oklahoma and I think it's a wonderful place to raise our children. I was a newspaper photographer for 13 years before leaving to stay home with my girls. One of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I am blessed with the ability to stay home with the girls mostly but also freelance photography some. Sometimes I can't believe I'm actually getting paid to do something that is so fun! I recently heard someone say "I spent my 20's thinking I knew everything and I have been spending my 30's proving myself wrong." I relate so much to that because I realized a while back that I spent my 20's thinking mostly about myself and my career and I have spent my 30's mostly thinking about our children and how I could stay home with them more and work less.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Attended another funeral today. It was LaRue McCrackin's funeral, long time Mannford Elementary secretary and grandmother to one of my dearest and most precious friends, April. April belongs to what I lovingly refer to as my "Mannford gang" which really applies to all my friends from my Mannford days. I've known some of these people since before I can remember and their parents knew my parents. Going to another funeral for someone from Mannford this year not only made me sad for losing another wonderful person but it also had me reflecting on my life growing up in Mannford. I grew up at 109 Hinton and thanks to my mom and dad I have nothing but fond and wonderful memories of that house. I can even look back fondly at the time my dad grounded me for the entire summer for making a D in Mrs. Larsen's 5th grade class. I still have people remind me of seeing me swing out on the front porch swing and wave as they would walk by. How sad! I never got a grade lower than a C again.
My mom's sister lived a couple blocks one way and my dad's sister lived a couple blocks the other way and I couldn't get away with anything without someone finding out about it. My parents let my class build the homecoming floats at our house every year I was in high school and they would take in kids like they were their own. I mean really it kind of blows my mind when I realize my mom was younger than me when I was a teenager. I'm 38 so that means I was 21 when my mom was my age. Really, really blows me away at what a great job she did raising my brother and I. She made sure 109 Hinton was full of love and laughs and really what else could a child need? It took me becoming a mother to really respect what she did for me all those years and the sacrifices she made.
I feel a little silly when I get all choked up at Miranda Lambert's song "The House That Built Me" but it really gets me every time. It's not only the house that built me but the town also. Not sure I would be the same person if I hadn't had all those people in that little town looking out for me. People like LaRue while I was in Elementary school who would help me call my mom at the Flower Shop when I was sick as well as countless others who did little things along the way to show love and grace. I mean think about it....my dad was 30 years older than my mom and to this day not one negative thing was ever said to me about it or as far as I knew nobody ever placed any judgement on me about it and if they did my parents did a great job of sheltering me from those people because I never felt anything but love. Hmmm??? Maybe I'm clueless which is highly likely and in most cases very true but still I credit my simple little upbringing for that. I have to admit that I'm not sure what I would think if my 8 year old daughter had a friend who had a mom who was 26 and a dad who was 56. But never kept me from having friends or having friends come over. In fact, seemed just the opposite, our house was always full of kids and families hanging out.
As most of you know my mom died of a heart attack in July and my dad, who is almost 86, has stage 4 bone cancer. It's weird though, I'm sad some but mostly extremely grateful for what I was given. I have my moments of deep sadness but for the most part it's making me more thankful. I miss my mom deeply and so wish she were still alive but I'm incredibly thankful for the wonderful memories she created for me and thankful for my childhood in Mannford. Wouldn't change a second of it if I could.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I not only want this cookbook but I want to be friends with this woman. She made the same decisions I have made and it seems to have turned out well for she and her two daughters. Mike and I made the decision together for me to quit my great job at a large newspaper and move back to Oklahoma so I could stay home with the girls and work around their schedules. So far so good and we wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes I wonder if they realize the sacrifices we make for the bigger cause?? Will they ever realize it or care? I hope so and I hope they agree that we made the best decision for our family.
I cried when I watched this little promotional video and I can't help but wonder....was it because I could relate so well to her story, was it because I just lost my mother or is it that I am just a sap?
I haven't posted anything since mom died and I haven't felt much like blogging because she was my biggest fan and biggest cheerleader and I always joked that she was the only one who read bylines back when I worked at newspapers and she was the only one reading my blog probably. I was 20 years old when my mom was my age and I think about that a lot. She was a great mom and she was so very young. How did she know what she was doing? How did she do it? I wish she were still here so I could tell her that she made all the right decisions with me and my brother. That's what a mother really wants is to know they are doing alright. That's what I want to know anyway. Am I doing this right? Did I make the right decision? Am I feeding them right? Am I dressing them right? Blah...blah...blah....


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I went to a craft party last year at my dear friend Christy's house. A woman who was there (I can't remember her name or I would give her credit..Christy, do you know?) brought these terrific little tasty treats that I fell in love with!! If you like thin mint girl scout cookies then you'll LOVE these! You just take Ritz crackers and dip them in melted mint chocolate and amazingly enough it tastes just like a thin mint! I have taken them to several gatherings since then and they are always a hit with the kids and adults. My girls love helping me make them too. Easy! Oh...and like thin mints, they are even better frozen. : )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cute Gift Ideas

Cute idea alert! Sarah's AMAZING preschool teacher Mrs. Cook at Rejoice put together these flowers for our mother's day gift for the kids to give us at Muffins with Mom this morning. She took two of those small, clear plastic cups and put a cute piece of scrapbook paper between the two and it made the perfect little flower pot complete with sweet flower from our sweet ones. Love this! Good idea for teacher appreciation week I think.
Sonnie's equally amazing and wonderful teacher Mrs. Smith had all the kids make this flower pot for me as a thank you for helping out in their class all year. She had all the kids put their fingerprints all over the pot then made adorable little bugs, frogs, animals of all kind out of each thumbprint. I'll remember each of their sweet faces and all the hugs they would give me each time I would walk into the classroom.
So sad that this year is coming to an end but so thankful for the wonderful teachers the girls had and for the new friends we have all made.
Now bring on summer!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My crafty friends strike again!

I have so many creative and crafty friends. I wonder why that is? I think I'm just attracted to these kind of people. They are so warm and kind and just overall happy people. I think all of us have some craftiness in there somewhere.
My good friend Christine Pirtle is making these ADORABLE necklaces and selling them for $25 that includes 3 charms with whatever saying you want stamped on there. The charms are oversized so it's a very chunky and cool piece. Like my Sonnie charm is 2" wide and the "love" charm is 2" long. Love it!! Email her at ctuzz2002@yahoo.com if you want one for yourself. Great mother's day gift huh?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My VERY favorite kitchen appliance EVER!!!

I can't remember where I got this little gadget. I think my dad got it for me at a garage sale or maybe I got it at a garage sale? I can't remember. Anyway, thought it would be good for the camper until I discovered it's awesomeness!
It's a crockpot like thing but the top is removable from the warmer base so you can brown your meet in the non-stick pan directly on the stove (see picture) and then transfer over to the warmer so no dirtying up another pan! The base also happens to be a little griddle if you wanted to make a couple of eggs on it or a pancake or two. Never done that but it would work great.
You can buy a new one w/ a handy case from Target. Here's the link: West Bend Slow Cooker
Worth every penny!!
I don't always have time to make dinner right at 5 but I always have time to make it at like 2ish so like today for example I browned my ground turkey with taco seasoning and then put it on the warmer at the low setting and added some RoTel so the meat would stay moist and then when we get home from our activities it will be so much easier to throw together the taco salad. I think this is the coolest little gadget that I never even knew existed before. It's like the perfect little size too that can be cleaned so much easier than my traditional crockpot. Can I say enough about this? Sorry to go on and on!!