Saturday, October 30, 2010


Halloween is so much fun! Since Fall is my favorite season, adding costumes, silly games and trick or treating just makes it all that much better. Of course, I have had to live down the jealous glances and snide comments from my friends - both as a child and as an adult - because October is also the time of year my mom gets her sewing machine out. And every friend I've ever had wishes their mom had the mad-sewing ability mine has!


Mother is quite the seamstress. She has spoiled me and my children by hand making every single Halloween costume we've ever worn. And they are/were ALWAYS spectacular.

None of those boxed costumes with a cheap plastic mask for me and my brother. Oh no....every part of our costumes were sewn perfectly. (I think everyone dreaded the costume contest if we were around. They practically just handed us the prize and walked off.) Raggedy Ann and Andy (with real yarn wigs), a mime, a witch, a clown....those are just a few of the costumes I remember sitting patiently waiting for Mother to finish.

And my girls have never once looked at the costumes hanging up in Walmart or Target and longingly wanted a rubber mask. They proudly march into JoAnn's and spend an hour hunting through the pattern books to find what they want Mums to sew for them. (Now Gracey has stepped up her game. She scours the internet - then makes adjustments to the patterns. Poor Mom could be the next Vera Wang by the time Gracey is grown. She's certainly stretched her design knowledge!)

I think it's so fun to dress the girls up and get them ready to go out in their costumes. When they were little, we went to the "carnivals" at various places. And now that they are older, we usually let the Trick or Treat with friends while the adults get some "chat time".

For a couple years, we even had a big Halloween party here at the house. Such a blast seeing all the kids come over - eager to play games and pretending to be whoever their character was for the evening. It's one of those times when kids REALLY get to be kids. They get to act silly, dress silly and just have a good time. (Not to mention get that sugar high that can only be felt after eating as much candy as possible in one night before their parents confiscate it!)

Kerry told me the other night that all of his Halloweens run together in his mind because he was Dracula so many years in a row. But the one that stands out the most is the one where his mom dressed him up as a hobo. Apparently, he HATED that costume. (Anyone who knows Kerry could probably guess how crazy those patches on his pants would have made him even at a young age. ha ha)

This year Gracey is a "Swiss girl" - whatever that means. It's a really cute costume - and she'll look great. Sadie, on the other hand, plans to be Candy Corn.  Yes, one big piece of Candy Corn.  Stay tuned for pictures of that next week!  In the meantime, I hope you are reminiscing about all your favorite Halloween moments!

PS. I hope my mom is able to sew for her great-grandchildren because I know they'd never want to wear any costumes I tried to make!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Whose Child Is This?

Isn't it funny the attributes you pass on to your children? This weekend I've realized a few things the girls have inherited from us. It's hard to tell if they are learned attributes or if they are things genetics naturally pass along.

1. I hate change. Ask my family. I don't move furniture around. I don't redecorate on a large scale until I've thought it over VERY seriously for quite some time.  I don't even move the toothbrush holder on the bathroom counter. And now I can safely say that Gracey has picked up my penchant for "sameness".  We put some new bookcases in the office yesterday. But to do so, we had to move other shelving in the room. Gracey walked in and said, "Why did you move those? Do you have to change them??" haha!  So me.

2. Kerry and I both have an "eye" for where things belong. If we put something in a spot that looks funny, inevitably we'll both want to move it. Kerry has an artistic eye, of course. I don't know how I do it because I don't feel very artistic. But Sadie does it too. Those same shelves that we moved to a different wall? Sadie walked into the room and said, "Oh! I like these here. They belong there. This wall looked funny without them."  She was right!

3. No need to repeat myself about the love of reading. But Sadie got that from me too. She LOVES to read - and she loves stories. But Gracey doesn't. She'll read a really good book - but she won't just pick up any book and start reading like Sadie and I do.

4. Gracey is very sensitive. She feels deeply but doesn't always let her feelings be known. Just like her daddy! Sadie and I will make sure you know where you stand with us at all times. And if we don't say it, then you can certainly read it on our faces! Gracey may resemble me (only a blond version) - but she's definitely a lot like Kerry.

5. Put Sadie in a kitchen or a garden, and she's happy as a little clam. Just like me. She loves to work on projects - and she loves people. She looks like her daddy but she acts so much like me in so many ways.

What have you passed on to your children? Anything surprise you?  I always stand amazed at how these sweet little beings can be so much like us and still be so independent and different too!

(I bet you are wondering about Billy, aren't you? Well....he's a whole other story since he doesn't share any official DNA. But suffice it to say that he is definitely his mama's child! He loves people, makes friends easily, and could probably read my mind! And yet he's the non reader who also cares deeply just like his dad....  And I SWEAR he's a Godwin because he loves to joke around!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not So Loud Please!

“Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action”

This morning on my way to work I passed a car whose driver was clearly upset. He seemed to be yelling either at or to the passenger. So many things ran through my mind, but the emotions I felt are what stuck with me. Sadness overwhelmed me that someone was starting their day off either yelling or being yelled at.

It made me wonder what on earth could be so bad that he was yelling. What makes someone so angry at 7:45 am that they find themselves yelling at someone else? (Or any time of day for that matter.) And do you think he realized what he was doing to the other person?

I really hate yelling. It's like the person yelling is determined to grab hold of power and make sure the other person knows it. Kerry and I try really hard not to ever yell at our children. I know we occasionally raise our voices - even at each other - but our goal is to have rational, calm conversation. Yelling is intended to tear the other person down instead of find a solution to the problem. It often makes the one doing the screaming feel empowered or "better", but the aftermath isn't worth it. Those words can't be taken back - and the feelings brought on by those words will always be remembered.

Don't you wonder how the rest of the day will turn out for each of those people in that car? I bet the driver will be cranky to everyone around him. He'll probably find fault with everything around him too. And I bet that passenger is in complete turmoil. I know it would ruin my whole day. Hours could go by before everyone calms back down - and even then the lingering discord will stay with them all day.

I personally would do well to remember that everyone starts their day off differently. There have been so many mornings when I should have just gone back to bed and started over. Or should have given more grace to the person who irritated me first thing in the morning. Not to mention holding my temper (and my big mouth) when I'm in one of those moods. But it's SO HARD!

Yesterday was one of those days, actually. Not so much because of yelling - because I didn't yell. It was just an "off" day. Gracey and I got home late. Kerry had to pinch hit for us (again) and put together dinner for our Wednesday night group. I was irritable. Gracey was irritable. And we were definitely not fun to be around. We may not have yelled, but we certainly weren't friendly to those around us. (Thank you Kerry and Sadie for tolerating us!) It could have colored our whole evening - because it definitely colored our day.  Even Billy had an icky day on the boat!

Instead, we got our act together and persevered. Gracey went to A&O thanks to a little prodding from her best buddy Blake. I spent some quality time with our fabulous group who always makes me feel better. And I had a little "therapy" session with my friend Kristin. By the time we all went to bed, peace was restored. (I hope Billy's was too.)

This morning I woke ready to have a good day. And I fully intend to make that happen.  As Kristin said last night, "Tomorrow's another day. Let's give it a go!"

As for the driver and passenger in that car next to me, I hope they have a better day tomorrow because I'm pretty sure today was ruined for both of them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Who Me? Stressed?

"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it” ~ Lily Tomlin

How do you handle stress? Does it shut you down or rev you up? Does it make you eat or ruin your appetite?

I think stress is one of the things I handle poorly. It makes me weepy and cranky. It also makes me feel very unfocused sometimes. I'd love to write this and give you all kinds of great ideas I personally use to combat stress, but I'm not that girl. I can handle other people's stress - but somehow my own consumes me.

My main stress reliever has always been sleep. Until a few years ago, you could almost bet that I'd go straight to sleep if something was bothering me. It seemed to work for just about every scenario.

Sad? Just sleep.
Mad? Take a nap.
Worried? Yep...snooze.

Somehow as I've matured, I do the opposite. I find myself waking up at odd hours if I'm mulling over some big issue. Or even not being able to go to sleep at all. What is THAT about? Ugh! Sleep allowed me to escape the problem and almost 'reset' so that I could think more clearly. It always seemed to have magical qualities. I'd sleep, then awake with a solution to my issue. Too bad that sleep alludes me these days!

I also read. Since I'm already a big reader - that's usually an easy way to make my brain stop thinking about whatever is bothering me. That works a lot of the time too. I can lose myself in a book and calm myself down. Probably even more of an escape tactic than sleeping was, huh?  (Of course, I read when I'm happy I'm not sure if that counts or not.)

This week was really good, but it carried some stress with it too. While I have been super busy at work - and got a lot done -I have also been battling some disappointment and hurt. Using that nervous energy to get so many projects finished and/or started was the up side to that stress. The downside was a melancholy feeling that I just can't seem to kick.

So, here I sit....trying to let it go -  this silly thing. I hate that I rehash everything in my head over and over. I also hate that I stay stressed even after it should be gone.

What I'd really love to do is give it all up. Stop letting things bother me and have the faith that God has it all under control. Just lay it at the altar so to speak.  That's probably the best tactic of all, right?  I know it in my head but just can't seem to get my heart convinced!

The up side is that it's Friday - and this week is over. And tomorrow is another day - another opportunity to kick the stress, and let it go.

Here's hoping and praying for a stress free weekend for us all!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Things I've Learned This Week....

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.”
~ Sarah Caldwell

This should probably say, "things I've learned that last 2 weeks"...but anyway...

  1. I'm happier when I'm busy. I hate it when there are lulls in my life. Well-organized projects make me a better person. This has been such a crazy busy week at work, and I've been in the best mood!

  2.  If I'm having an "off day", one of the best things I can do is get in my kitchen and cook. Somehow that makes everything better - and it's one of my very favorite things to do with my girls. It can be chocolate-chip cookies or some complicated recipe we've never tried before. Either way - it's therapeutic.

  3. People who insist on yelling into the phone or into the microphone at a drive through drive me crazy. What IS that?  (This isn't a new thing. I already knew it. But I remembered it just now. LOL) Just because the person isn't standing right there, you DO NOT have to yell.

  4. Pep Squad and Cheerleader sponsors should get medals of honor for dealing with temperamental girls. (That should be self explanatory.)

  5. I'm often a better Indian than Chief. I like to be part of leadership, but not the one completely in charge of the whole thing. Or maybe I just like to give my opinion a lot. haha!  While Randi and I have had so much fun working on our projects together, we both have decided it's much more fun to take an active role in things as opposed to leading them. Good thing Christmas Roundup is coming to a close soon! There are some things I enjoy leading - but as a whole, I'd rather be the vice president...haha...

  6. I'd prefer if anyone reading my blog would send me a message when I misuse or misspell a word. Just tell me.....sometimes I type and don't catch my mistakes!

  7. The standards I have set for my children are very high. And I'm pretty obnoxious about them. To make it worse.........I'm perfectly ok with that. I've got to find a softer approach though. My sarcasm is going to get me in trouble. I can already tell... Woe be to the boys and girls they date because those standards are probably higher than some of the others on the list.

  8. Every day we are surrounded by heroes. They may not wear capes and leap tall buildings, but they are amazing nonetheless. Jason is battling cancer - and has been amazing in the process. My friend Noel lost her battle with it, and still left an amazing legacy behind because of her positive attitude and fabulous family. The guys and girls floating around on the USS Kearsarge are serving their country and making a difference for other countries. The kids at Ascension Academy are thinking globally and looking for ways to help by forming a School 2 School group.  I'm so proud to know these heroes!

  9. Guinea pigs are really cuter than you'd think. We've all fallen in love with them.

  10. My cousin Sarah and I are more alike than I realize. I love talking to her because she says what I'm thinking and vice versa. In fact, most of the Godwin Girls have very similar personalities. Maybe someday she and Cody will live close enough for us to spend time together on a regular basis. (Cody and Kerry need each other.)
Ok. There you have it! Questions, comments and concerns are welcome! (And don't forget to proof this for me!)