Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 28

Today is my first day back to work after taking 5 1/2 days off for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was one of those trips where things went even better than we planned so we came back happy, healthy and ready to start the Christmas season.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

On Tuesday, we pulled out of Dallas around lunchtime so start our Thanksgiving road trip.  Trey was shooting a commercial for a local jewelry store in Shreveport that evening.  After expecting to entertain the kids by myself for the evening, we were all surprised when his shoot was finished in less than two hours.  After eating the free dinner at our hotel, we all piled on the pull-out bed in our room and watched Cars 2 together.  I was so excited when we woke up the next morning and I realized that the kids let us get a full 8+ hours of sleep that night!  Wednesday morning we packed up the car again and drove to Lafayette.  As soon as we got in town, we headed to one of our favorite burger places, Judice Inn, for lunch.  Later that evening, 18 members of the Suire family posed for a picture wearing bright red shirts as we prepared to participate in the Camellia Crossing 5K race in honor of Trey's late grandmother, Jane Suire.  That night, three Suires completed their very first 5K - Sophia, Nick and Mark (Opa). 

Thursday morning was Thanksgiving at the camp.  I made breakfast for the kids and watched bits and pieces of the parade between sitting outside in the beautiful weather.  We ate lunch around noon, then listened to Trey and Nick sing and play guitar for the entire family.  After the obligatory nap while watching football, the kids wore themselves out by playing with their cousins.  Instead of pumpkin pie for dessert, we made smores by the campfire that evening.  That night, I even managed to start reading a book that I checked out of the library 6 weeks ago. 

On Friday, I left the kids with Trey and took advantage of Black Friday deals to get some Christmas shopping finished.  I was one of the few women that was not pushing a stroller around the mall that day.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.  Later that evening, I put the kids to bed and stayed up late to finish the book I started the night before.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.

Saturday morning I was excited to go for a short solo run in the country.  However, it was a warm and humid outside when I started my run.  Then I startled some duck hunters as I ran by with my music blaring from my phone and I got chased by two dogs as I ran down the road.  Not so thankful for any of that. 

Later that afternoon, I sat in a dark movie theater with two little sleepy kids on my lap while we watched The Muppets. Memories from my childhood came flooding back while I was making new memories with my kids.  It was the first time I had ever taken both kids to the movies by myself.  Since we were running a little late, I did not have time to stop and buy popcorn for Sophia on the way into the theater.  Instead, I promised the kids I would take them out for ice cream afterwards.  A little while later, I sipped on a butterscotch shake as I watched Sophia spin in circles on a red bar stool at the counter in Borden's while I helped Tallen eat his ice cream. 

Saturday night, Trey and I met up with some of his old friends from Crowley.  After dinner, drinks and lots of laughter, I was beyond exhausted so we headed back to his uncle's house where I immediately crawled into bed.  Our drive home on Sunday was uneventful and I even took 2 (or maybe 3) naps in the car.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

It was an extra-long holiday weekend filled with family, friends, food and fun.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 17

Ok, so I have missed a few days.  You will just have to cut me some slack because it has been one of THOSE weeks.  In fact, during the last few weeks I have been extremely stressed about work and it is affecting my sleep, eating habits, etc. As a way to handle the extra stress, I have been backing off the extra pressures of blogging and writing. 

But there is one thing that has kept me going and that is my family. 

In the last few days, I have received two or three comments about what I good job I am doing with my kids.  I have been told that I am a good mom, that I am setting a good example for my kids and that it is obvious that I love my children... 


These things are just what I need to hear when I am struggling to keep up with work responsibilities.  My family is the biggest priority (next to serving God) and I take comfort in knowing that they are loved.  Take a moment today to tell your mom, your brother or sister, your husband or wife, your kids that THEY ARE LOVED!  That might just be the thing they need to hear...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 10

If only my children acted as sweet as they look in these pictures...

I have two beautiful, smart, funny, interesting, amazing, loving children. 


30 Days of Thanks - Day 9

Wednesday morning, I got up early with every intention of getting out of the house before the kids woke up.  Daylight savings time foiled my plan because the kids were up before 6:30 AM, like they have every morning this week. Once I was dressed and ready for work, I was able to take the kids downstairs and make breakfast.  Sophia wakes up starving every morning, so I made three servings of whipped banana oatmeal and she had finished her entire bowl in about three minutes flat.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.

With deadlines approaching at work, I have been staying late a couple nights a week.  Unfortunately this means that I leave for work in the dark and drive home in the dark.  However, Wednesday I promised Trey that I would leave work at 4:30 so I could pick up Tallen from daycare.  When I got to Mrs. L's house, he was wearing a superhero cape and hiding from me under the table in the playroom. Let me tell you that there is nothing cuter than a two year old wearing a cape.  Especially one that is so excited to see his mommy that he jumps up and gives me kisses!  For that, I AM THANKFUL.

Before I left for work on Wednesday, I had put some chicken in the crock pot so we could have pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner.  When Tallen woke up that morning, he asked for a hamburger so I also had Trey cook some turkey burgers.  Then something magical happened...

All four members of my family sat down at the kitchen table at the same time and ate dinner together!


*Pictures taken by Sophia who has developed an interest in Photography. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 8

Today I worked for more than 10 hours at the office then rushed home to put my kids to bed.  Both of the kids ran to the door when I was parking the car and did their happy dances that Mommy was home.  After about five minutes, I told them it was time to go upstairs to read a book and Sophia's world turned very dark. 

Notice that I did not even use the words "bed" or "time" when I told her we were going upstairs, but she is 5 yrs old and has BRAINS.  At least that is what she tells us when we ask her how she got so smart. 

Anyway, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and read one book to both kids at the same time.  Poor choice on my part.  After I vetoed the third book that Sophia chose for a bedtime story, she had a meldown of Chernobyl proprtions.  (FYI - 1st book was an activity/puzzle book and impossible to read, 2nd book was a sing-a-long book but the batteries were dead and the 3rd book was a 6th grade level story about Snow White which I declared to old for Tallen). 

Sophia was so over the top with demanding that I MUST read Snow White, that even Tallen got off the bed and waved his little finger in her face to stop.  Then he went to the bookshelf and picked out a Winnie the Pooh storybook, which Sophia grabbed out his hands and THREW ACROSS THE ROOM.

That is basically when story time ended for her

Instead, I took Tallen to his room and we sat together in his chair while I calmly read Winnie the Pooh.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

While I was enjoying the five minutes that I actually got to spend with one of my kids today, Trey was handling the discipline of the meltdown making, book throwing, scream producing little girl in the next room.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.

After finishing her talk with her Daddy, I asked Sophia for a hug.  She said NO and walked away. 

I stood there for a moment then left her room.  Within 10 seconds she ran out of her room and gave me (a somewhat lackluster) hug.  But she did hug me and I got to tell her "I Love You" before she went to bed.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 7

Monday mornings are not my favorite time of the week.  In fact, this morning was pretty much over the top for my stress levels from the moment I sat down at my desk at work.  First, I found out that the theater tickets that I bought for my birthday were actually for a perfomance on November 1st and NOT November 11th.  So we missed the performance and there was nothing the ticket office could do about the fact that I wasted $70 on tickets that went unused.  After deciding that I was unwilling to purchase new tickets for Friday night, I am left with making birthday plans at the last minute. 

Oh by the way, my birthday is on 11/11/11 this year.  You should all try to call or email me at 11:11 AM on 11/11/11 and wish me Happy Birthday.  Or you can buy me 11 presents.  You choose. 

Then I found out that I have another project that is starting this week and has a deadline of mid-December.  That means that I will basically be putting in overtime for the next 7 -8 weeks.  I know that is expected at this time of year but I always get anxious about getting all of my work completed and meeting all the deadlines. 

Why am I burdening you with all of this?  Because it took me awhile to find something to be thankful for this morning after starting the day of with so much negative news.  I really had to dig deep today. 

Then I thought about my Sunday afternoon, when I got home from the race.  Sophia wasn't feeling well, so she wanted to lay on my lap and watch a movie together.  Although I have heard every word of several movies that the kids watch in the car during long trips, I have not actually watched most of these movies.  Sunday, I finally sat down and watched the movie "Up" while snuggling with Sophia.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

A little while later, Tallen woke up from a too short nap and was crying uncontrollably.  Neither Trey nor I could calm him down for almost 15 minutes.  Finally, I went downstairs and rocked him awhile then gave him three of his favorite things: a stuffed animal he calls Bubby, his favorite blanket that he sleeps with every day and a cup of orange juice.  Turning on an episode of Scooby Doo helped too.  

Once he finally stopped crying, he was ready to play.  Since I was too sore to cook, do laundry or even pick up around the house after running 13.1 miles that morning, I was able to just sit on the floor and play cars with Tallen.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 
Later that evening when I was putting Tallen to bed, we settled down in the yellow chair in the corner of his room to read a book.  As soon as we were finished, he asked for another book.  In fact, he said he wanted his "farm book" that has pictures of tractors working on a farm to get it ready for the fair.  This was the first time that Tallen has asked for a specific story during bedtime, which lets me know that I have sparked a passion for reading books in my kids.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

Once I was downstairs, Coco Puff jumped up in my lap and demanded some pug attention.  Usually I push her off because she stinks and I don't want to smell like a stinky dog.  Somehow Trey talked me into giving her a bath on Sunday night.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.  After washing, rinsing and repeating with Smurf bodywash and Strawberry Shortcake shampoo, Coco smelled sooooo much better.  Which is why she was allowed to sit next to me on the couch and lay next to Trey on the chair.  I guarantee for that, COCO PUFF WAS VERY THANKFUL!

If you are having trouble finding happiness or hope today, dig deep and think about the little things in life that you are thankful for.  You will probably be surprised at what you can find. 

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6

(A Day Late) - Sunday, November 6th

Yesterday, I was very thankful to finish the DRC Half Marathon at White Rock Lake!  You can read my full race recap on Food and Fitness 4 Real.  Hope you all had a great weekend!!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 5

Even though today is Saturday, I woke up before the sun came up.  My body is conditioned to wake up around 6 AM every day and today was no different.  Then I heard Sophia open the door to our bedroom and felt her crawl into our bed.  She has a cold so she kept sniffling and I knew that I was not going to get any more sleep. 

I decided to go ahead and get up, so I could get my grocery shopping out of the way.  Today I was cooking a special lunch for some very special guests, so I needed to go buy all the ingredients for Vegetable Lasagna.  Since Sophia was not feeling well, I convinced her to stay home and promised that I would make her some Mickey Mouse pancakes when I got back from the store. 

Even though I had a long list, grocery shopping went quick since there was not a lot of people in the store. For that, I AM THANKFUL.  When I got home, I hurried to put away the groceries because Tallen kept asking for pancakes. 

After breakfast, I got to work making two large pans of lasagna.  They were in the oven by 11:00 AM and ready when our guests arrived for lunch around 1:00 PM. 

A few days ago, Trey called and asked me if we had any plans this Saturday.  Trisha just finished her training for her job in Petroleum Engineering in Oklahoma and her parents and boyfriend were driving her back to Louisiana.  They thought it might be fun to drive to Dallas for a short visit on their drive home, so I offered to make lunch for everyone.  Trey's parents also come over for lunch, so we all gathered around the (very much underused) dining room table.  For that, I AM THANKFUL

The weather was perfect today, with the sun shining and a slight chill in the air.  After lunch we sat outside and watched the kids play on their play set.  It was so nice to have family at our house, since it is usually us who travels to visit family.  For that, I AM THANKFUL

The kids went home with Trey's parents to spend the night again, so Trey and I have the entire afternoon to rest and relax.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.  I have to get up early in the morning to run a half marathon!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 4

Yesterday morning around 9:15 AM, I made my usual phone call to Trey to see how the kids behaved after I left for work.  When I left they were eating pancakes and watching cartoons on PBS but Tallen started to cry a little when I told him goodbye.  Trey could tell by the sound of my voice that something was bothering me, so he kept asking if I was okay.

Finally I admitted that work is completely stressing me out.  I have several deadlines coming up in the middle and end of November and I am overwhelmed at the amount of work that I need to accomplish in the next few weeks.  Between family, work, running and writing - there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day.  Work is taking priority right now, so that means that I have to cut back on some of the things that I really enjoy doing in my spare time. 

Because right now, I have NO spare time.  There is barely time to do the basic things around the house like cook, clean up the dishes or do a load of laundry.

So when I called Trey later in the day to let him know that I had a late afternoon meeting, he arranged to have his mom pick up Tallen from daycare so I did not have to stress about getting there on time.  Even better, Sophia asked if she and Tallen could spend the night, so Trey packed them some clothes and told me there was no need to rush home. 

I was able to get in a few extra hours of work last night without the guilt of missing my kids.  When I got home around 7:15 PM, the house was fairly quiet.  As I walked into the kitchen to put away my lunch bag, I noticed that there were no dishes in the sink and the kitchen was clean.  For that, I AM THANKFUL!

I guess I was not the only one who was able to take advantage of the kids being gone for the evening.  Trey cleaned up the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher and folded three loads of laundry.  For that, I AM THANKFUL!  He even had to re-wash a load of towels because I got to busy earlier this week and never put them in the dryer! 

Instead of worrying about kids or dishes or laundry last night, I was finally able to relax.  I opened a bottle of red wine and dug through Tallen's Halloween candy until I found some dark chocolate.  Then I went upstairs and soaked in a hot bath - by candlelight! For all of these things, I AM THANKFUL!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 3

Running is one of my newer hobbies.  About a year ago I started running on a regular basis and decided to sign up for a few races as motivation.  I stuck to 5K races for several months, then ran my first 10K.  Eventually I signed up for my first half marathon, trained for the race and finished in under 2 hours. 

I ran the Heels and Hills half marathon in May with Team in Training
I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line.  The realization that I am stronger than I think and that I can accomplish things that seemed impossible before.  In fact, I loved that feeling so much that I wanted to share it with my friends and family.  Specifically, with Trey.

Several months ago, I started looking for races to compete in this fall.  I signed up for a few local races, but thought it would be really fun to do a destination race.  Even better, I decided that Trey and I could take a weekend trip somewhere fun and I could run a race while we were there.  So I picked the Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas half marathon.  At the time, we planned to meet some of Trey's friends from Georgia in Vegas and we all decided that we should run the race together.  So Trey and I signed up for the half marathon.

I ran the 13.1 Dallas half on October 22, 2011
Trey has never participated in a race longer than an 5K and until a few weeks ago, he had never ran longer than 4 miles.  Over the past month, he was been training for the Las Vegas half marathon so we can run our first long distance race together.  Then on Saturday, he ran 8 miles and woke up the next day injured. 

Yesterday, we were talking in the car and the topic of running came up.  Trey admitted that he kind of missed being able to run this past week.  He said that even though he ended up hurt, he enjoyed his 8 mile run last weekend.  In fact, he told me that running that distance was not that difficult and for the first time ever... he felt like a runner.  Finally, I was able to share my passion for running with the man in my life that I am most passionate about.  

For that, I AM THANKFUL.

My life is busy and work is consuming most of my time right now.  But Trey's comment about missing his running reminded me that even though I may have missed a few training runs these past few weeks, I am healthy enough to run 13.1 miles this weekend at the DRC Half Marathon. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 2

Yesterday after work, I rushed to daycare to pick up Tallen then drove home to check on my injured husband.  After changing Tallen's dirty diaper (no, that is not the part I am thankful for), I sent both kids outside to play while I started making dinner.  Usually I have to keep a close eye on Tallen when he is on the play set, but Trey was willing to sit outside on the patio and watch the kids while I cooked. 
For that, I AM THANKFUL.

About 40 minutes later, I had two home-cooked meals ready for dinner.  The kids had their choice of chicken & sausage jambalaya or a cheesy broccoli chicken and rice casserole.  Trey was starving so I made his plate first, then put small bowls of jambalaya in the freezer to cool off so the kids can eat.  Once I got the kids seated at the table and filled all requests for milk and juice, I noticed that Trey was limping to the table with his plate to join us for a family dinner.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.  Even though it was a struggle to get the kids to eat, we still make an effort and that is what is important. 

After dinner, I chased both kids up the stairs so they could take a bath (that was way over due for both of them).  Drying off my clean smelling kids and putting them in warm pajamas is the best way to end a hectic day.  After letting them watch a few minutes of Scooby Doo, I took turns taking each of them to their bedrooms and reading books before bedtime.  Books were read, prayers were said and kisses were spread.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.   

30 Days of Thanks - Day 1

30 Days of Thanks -
I am not sure that I will capture all 30 days, but I wanted to start out November talking about the things I am thankful for in my family.  I hope you enjoy...

Monday night was Trick-or-Treat in our neighborhood.  With two small children, there is usually a lot of discussion and planning about who is taking the kids trick-or-treating and who will stay at home to hand out candy.  This year, Trey's parents offered to hand out candy at our house while we took the kids out to get their sugar rush. 

On Saturday, Trey went for an 8 mile run as part of his training for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon that we are running together in December.  After church on Sunday, I noticed he was limping because he ankle was hurting.  By Monday afternoon, Trey was in a soft cast and a walking boot as the result of tendinitis in his ankle. The doctor told him to stay off his feet as much as possible for the next week, so that meant Trey was out of the picture for Halloween night. 

Instead of hanging out with Tallen and me, Sophia decided to go trick-or-treating with the girls next door.  I knew this was coming, because last week she let me know that Tallen was "too little" to go trick-or-treat. I waited for Tallen to cry when his sister left with the 'big girls" but he was too excited about candy to care.

Around 7 PM, Tallen and I started walking up the street by ourselves.  For the next 45 minutes, it was just me and my little skeleton knocking on doors throughout neighborhood and checking out all of the scary Halloween decorations.  I realized that I rarely get to spend "fun time" with Tallen alone.  Usually it is family time on the weekends or I choose to take Sophia with me to the grocery store, but there are not a lot of times where Tallen and I are by ourselves.  But Halloween night, I got to hang out with just my little boy.  For that, I AM THANKFUL. 

Tallen lasted a lot longer than I expected.  About 35 minutes after we left the house, he asked me for some orange juice which meant he was getting sleepy.  A few houses later, he walked up to say "trick-or-treat" but stood still after the neighbors gave him some candy and oohed and ahhed about how cute he was in his costume.  When I asked if he wanted to go home, he replied "Yeah."  When I asked if he was ready for bed, he replied "Yeah."

So I scooped up my tired little skeleton and carried him two blocks home.  He laid his head on my shoulder and held on tight around my neck.  After changing him out of his costume and into his pajamas, he went to bed without any protests or requests for candy.  For that, I AM THANKFUL.