Friday, April 27, 2012

relationships

Relationships are confounding to me.

When you Google the word "relationships", the majority of the hits come up regarding romantic relationships. Here's a site - straight from Cosmopolitan Magazine - you know,  the relationship advice gurus of the fashion world? One specific item that stuck out to me was this particular excerpt, "Almost every undesirable attribute your guy possesses has a positive flip side to it," New York clinical psychologist Alon Gratch, Ph.D. explains. He continues by stating, "Recognizing the specific upside to each of his flaws will make you happier with your guy and help your relationship flow more smoothly. Once you recognize this mental skill, you can apply it towards any bothersome behavior." Can't this be applied to all relationships?

And don't we all as human beings have a variety of relationships in our lives? And not just the romantic ones? We all have family relationships, friendships, in-law relationships, ex-relationships, co-worker relationships, even relationships when encountering strangers on the street, while driving, or even in the supermarket. So who determines what is the best way to act and interact in these relationships? Is it yourself and your own guided beliefs? Is it the advice you seek from others? Or is it the unsolicited advice we so often get when we do not act according to someone else's standards? 

Some people treat relationships as a burden while others value the relationships they have - even those with strangers. My mother, for instance, is great at interacting with strangers. While I, on the other hand, don't care to value those relationships, so I don't make an effort with people on the street that I don't know. But what about those people who don't care to make an effort with those they do know? What about those people who refuse to compromise when there's love involved in the relationship? What does one do in a situation such as this? Is it our own selfishness that prevents us from taking the first step? Is it our own pride that keeps us from opening up like we should with those we love and care about? 

Asking these questions makes me think about my own situations that I've encountered throughout my life. Many are great and many are quite troublesome and disheartening. I've learned that what is important to me in a relationship, may not be important to someone else. But in the end, I know what's important to me and my family and I strive to do the best I can with what is in my control. Sometimes you can't help that others don't want to be involved in your life - no matter how much effort you put forth - such as with my biological father. It doesn't matter to him one bit to maintain a relationship with his children and no matter what effort we put into it, that will not change his behavior and I am okay with that. Sometimes no matter how much effort you put into a relationship, others are simply willing to not compromise and that often means we have to move on. 

But that brings me back to the questions above ~ why? Why do relationships have to be so hard?



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

tulips ~ i just love them

They remind me of what the world should be like.

Monday, April 23, 2012

loving my friends

I wouldn't say that having to go to San Antonio for work last week was the worst thing in the world.....Nope, I would say it was a pretty awesome because of the proximity to some of my closest friends in Corpus Christi. That's right, two hours away from San Antonio rests a wonderful town that I try to visit once a year to see my best friend and her family and friends. Once I realized I was going to be in San Antonio, I asked Nathan if he cared if I stayed another day so that I could visit them....of course this was going to be rough and tough due to the extra night Nathan would be with Tristan by himself - but come on, I do it all the time when Nathan's away from work. Or maybe it will be rough and tough because my flight would get in on Saturday afternoon at 230 and I would have to head straight to Tristan's first birthday party he was invited to.....then I thought, oh well, I don't get to see Danica and her family that much, I'm already here, I might as well make the effort because we only live once, right? 

For anyone who knows me, I don't have regrets. I have lessons learned, but not regrets. Even when I make the worst mistake in the world, I don't regret that I did it, I just learn from it and move on. I like who I am today - it's taken a lot to build me into a strong, caring person and if I would sit back and regret all of the bad decisions I have made in my life, I wouldn't have changed and I wouldn't have evolved into who I am today. I would have sat there and sulked and pouted and vowed to not do anything different. But I'm not like that, so I don't ponder on regrets. I just don't want to have regrets. So if an opportunity like this comes up and we all can work to make it happen, I will jump right on board and suffer any side consequences for making this decision to stay an extra day to see those I love and care about. Glad I did too.....We had a great time together!!

I headed to Corpus from San Antonio and arrived about noon. Danica stated she and Serynn were at the mall playing in the play area, so I headed there to meet them. Serynn was so happy to see me (remember, she's only seen me three times outside of Skype - when they came to visit after T was born, when I went to help throw the bridal shower 6 weeks later, and at Danica's wedding.)  But she was nervous and excited all the same and didn't hesitate to run up and give me the most wonderful hug ever. This is what I love about Danica. We've ALWAYS lived apart, so we know nothing different than making sure to stay in contact. And that also means going through pictures and naming all the people we love in our lives to our children so that our children learn them even when we can't be there every. single. day. 

Man it was chilly today! Why did I think the sunny illusion of Texas was going to last all week? Hmmmm....so me and my tank couldn't wait to get back to Danica's to put Serynn down for a nap so that I could put on a sweater, lol. We had a good chat while Serynn was sleeping and then decided we needed some Starbucks - go figure right? But we had to pick up B from school and that's when the day just. got. hectic. 

B's school was having a fair that night from 5-8:30 to help raise money for the school. Danica is the classroom parent and was in charge of the Lego basket for auction - with no direction from others, mind you. So when we picked up B, we were asked to run and pick up a basket and tissue paper and then meet her back in 45 minutes to put it together before everyone shows up for the fair. We manage this task (even making the much needed stop to Starbucks and getting lost walking back and forth to Target to find Danica).....You see, her dad had just been released from knee replacement surgery and she had to pick up and deliver his meds too....oh, and the storm clouds are rolling in fast. 

B keeps saying, "Great, it's going to be cancelled and I've never missed an Athenafair!" Automatic negativity...we kept reminding him that it will be okay as we head back to the school to deliver the basket for set up. Down starts the rain!!! Pouring and pouring.  The school door is locked, we need to find a janitor, get into the room, put together the basket, and print off the label for the basket. All was accomplished and it stopped raining (yea!) for the kiddos to enjoy the evening of moon bounces, face painting, hair painting, music, silly string, clown-making balloon animals, and cake walk galore. Oh ya, and I indulged in a Frito pie - for sheezey (which I realized what the real meaning of what that meant, ha!). I did come out of this fair having high aspirations to be a PTA President though when T starts elementary school ~ and ~ simply for the up front parking spot that only the PTA President gets. Uh, huh. I would totally do it for the parking spot. :)

Okay, okay, enough of the day's activities, here are some pics of the kiddos at the fair (below):


My buddy for sure!


Such a doll! Look at the cute smile!!


Getting her hair painted!


Smile for me! XOXO

So after taking care of Danica's father and getting B all ready to take care of Mike for the night with this meds, etc, we headed back to the house to find Mickey, Jimbo, Shannan, and Teri all sitting there waiting for us!! It was a long night of fun, serious talks, crazy talks, baby talks, our loves (our children) talks, friendship talks, drink talks, and "planning visits back" talks. Oh, I just love the time on the porch at Danica's house at night!! I wish I could make that more of a routine for us ~ But it certainly makes us enjoy the time we do have together ~ for sheezey (Okay, I couldn't help it).

Anyway, regardless....we stayed up way too late, I caught an early flight back, jumped in the car and headed straight to T's first birthday party that he'd ever been invited to. It was hot, but it was fun at for him. The foam pit where the students do flips and twists into, was Tristan's favorite place to play. That as well as the extended trampoline for multiple back handsprings....oh what memories being at gymnastics brought back for me. We spoke with the party director and we think we are going to make the switch to this place in the fall for Tristan to become more advanced in gymnastics than what My Gym can offer. Go Columbia Gymnastics!! What a long week, I was so glad to be home. :)

Oh ya, I also cleared one more thing off of my bucket list - the Alamo in San Antonio that's located along the Riverwalk!





Monday, April 16, 2012

listen to your children

I came across this and absolutely love it. If you are there for your children in every way, they will trust you. And trust is what you need from them in order for your children to always be honest with you. Honesty ensures their safety. :)


ccbc charity gala

Nathan's company sponsored a table at the CCBC Charity Gala, so he was able to invite a few friends for some dancing, a nice dinner, and free drinks. The food was fabulous....prime rib, crab cakes, veggie lasagna, asparagus, salad, corn chowder, and MANY dessert selections!! We had a  lot of fun with everyone who was able to make it out. Thanks for coming!!


Kristie, Maria, and I


Nathan and I

And...here are the photo booth pictures....they aren't up on the website yet, so I had to take a picture with my phone. 


Maria, me, Chizuko, and Kristie living it up!



 Nathan and I acting goofy!



scottsdale fun

Among the many things we did while on our trip to Scottsdale, Tristan and I had plenty of fun while daddy was working at his convention. Let's see....we went to the Children's Museum of Phoenix, the Hall of Flame,  the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, watched the movie Lorax, went for plenty of ice cream trips while playing in the fountain, went to the mall, ate sushi, and played at the Cactus Park. His schedule was so "messed up" from the three hour time difference....I tried to keep him on his schedule, cut things close too many times, and then he wouldn't want to sleep when we came back to the room....It was kind of hard to get him to sleep when I have to stay in the room with him.

"Mommy?" He'd pop his head up in the crib. "Lay down," I'd say. Thirty seconds would go by...."Mommy" popping his head up and laughing. "Lay down." Over and over again until I realized he was never going to sleep...the little bugger makes me laugh....At least I was able to think of one million things to keep him entertained. :)


Video swimming with Daddy.



I heard T grunt while I was in the bathroom getting ready...I said are you okay? He said, "I'm fine." I walked over to him and this is what I saw.....


Eating frozen yogurt while Mommy is grocery shopping for food for  the week.


Wow....a fountain.


I will try to touch it....


All the people said "OH" when he threw his hat in. I laughed...he was putting on a show for everyone.


Running back from getting his hat all wet.


Relaxing with ice cream after the run in the fountain.

Preparing to throw his pennies.

WOW!


Counting the pennies.


Dancing on the bed to his Thomas songs...



His first movie - The Lorax! Such a great message too. :)

And...Daddy at work. :)


As the airplane was taking off, Tristan looked out the window and said, "Bye, bye tee-nix." (Phoenix...in case you were wondering.)


Playing with the iPad on the plane ride back. 





mccomick-stillman railroad park



Tristan was so excited when we pulled up to the railroad park, that he ran straight for the biggest train he saw. He just loves trains so much!! It's just too cute. :)  Here are some pics from the day's adventures.....


He was so excited that he ran all the way to this train to look at it!


Riding the carousel with Daddy.


View from our see on the train ride around the park.


Another view of train ride. 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

the hall of flame

Tristan LOVED this museum. Unfortunately there were so many fire trucks that he wanted to climb up on all of them. That was a task in of itself to try to keep him behind the chains that were attempting to block him off. :)  Check out the pictures of the old fire trucks and the ones Tristan enjoyed!































the children's museum

I discovered the Children's Museum through the recommendation of a high school friend. When I looked over the website, it seemed oddly similar to the Port Discovery Museum we have in Baltimore where we have a membership ~ but cheaper. 

Here are some videos from the trip to the museum. It didn't open until his nap time, so he was acting up quite a bit there. Enjoy. :)

The Kitchen Room (It was all a mess from the kids).



Playing in the toddler room!







Wednesday, April 11, 2012

easter with the miles

It's never a bad time when we spend our time with the Miles' clan. Nathan had a work convention the week after Easter, so we planned a little vacation around the trip. I took a week off of work and Steve, Sarah, and Alex met us out in Phoenix, AZ for a fun filled trip!




We decided to stay at the JW Marriott instead of Nathan's "work preferred" location for the weekend before he had to be at his convention. This place was gorgeous! It had a lazy river, a beautiful view from the room, and even an Easter hunt all set up for the kids on Easter morning.

We arrived at noon on Saturday ready to swim! Tristan loved the water!! It was very nice too....not too hot and not humid at all. The only sad thing is that we were trying to time Tristan's naps and bed times as best as possible so that he still was able to get them and we would still be able to meet up with the Miles for dinner, etc. But being on a 3 hour time difference...this was quite difficult to do. Saturday around 5:30pm, Tristan fell asleep on the bed in the room.

Look at that precious little boy. So pooped!

Nathan went down to meet the Miles for dinner at around 6pm with hopes that I would be able to wake Tristan and join them. No such luck. He was so tired that he was mad when I tried to wake him up! So I decided I would stay there and let him sleep his normal schedule so he wouldn't be grouchy in the morning.


Tristan's Easter basket that we gave him the day before we left.


Full of toys and a few pieces of smarties candy hidden in the eggs. 

The next day, Tristan woke up at 4:40am all ready to go. Yea for us! So we got up and entertained him with some DVD TV (that's what he calls his DVD shows) and fed him breakfast. We also spent some time playing by the fountain and posing for some lovely Easter pictures before the Easter breakfast buffet opened up.


Trying to get a good picture for Easter.

He won't smile for anything!



By the time the Easter brunch opened up, we had already registered him for the hunt and sat down to eat. The Miles were still sleeping and decided not to join us for breakfast or the hunt. Here's a picture of him and Nathan right before the hunt:




Then we ran into the Easter Bunny-type lady......Scary! Tristan didn't even want to go near her! I'm not sure many children even did.




The hunt went well and Tristan had a good time collecting the eggs. Of course he didn't see any value in anything inside the eggs, but it was fun, nonetheless. Check out the video below:










The rest of the trip with the Miles was filled with pool time between nap time, an attempt to have dinner at a regular time with the Miles at the Sandbar Mexican Grill off site from the resort, and a final lunch with the Miles before they headed off back to KS. I wasn't able to enjoy late night hang out time with the Miles since Tristan went to bed right after the Sandbar dinner....but it was good to hang out with the them when I was able to!! We attempted a final lunch in Tempe with the Miles clan at a really cool brewery ~ but it was during Tristan's nap time and he had just fallen asleep right before we got there. I woke him up in hopes that he would be okay through lunch.....but he wasn't and we ended up having to box up our food and let the Miles finish their meal in peace. I guess that's what I get when I try to alter my son's set schedule. :)

Here are some other pictures from the trip with the Miles:

Daddy swimming with Tristan.


Alex all pooped out after a morning of swimming and sun.


Now I'm ready to play!!

We continued the trip and moved onto the Westin Keirland Resort and Spa where Nathan's convention was being held. I can't say that I was very fond of this resort since I just came from the fabulous JW....but it was fine. More pictures and stories to come for the rest of the trip with just Tristan and I!!