Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Closing

My 2010 can be summed by two words: TRUST GOD.

Thank you lord for being so real, and so loving. Thank you for being so constant when I am so fickle. Thank you for guarding my mouth, and touching my heart. Thank you for this roof over my head, the food in our bellies, and the warm blankets we cuddle.

Thank you for knowing the depths of my secret hurt - and for having my best interests in mind.

Thank you for giving me Wilo for the past 10 years - there are not too many men who would put up with all of my peccadillos.

Thank you for the health of my children, family and friends.

Thank you for opening my heart to the idea of one. more. baby.

Thank you for blessing me with such a pure, innocent, constant stream of Joy with Baby John.

Thank you for all of the laughs I have heard ring through these walls.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was done a little differently this year - it turned out well - AND taught me a lesson.

Santa didn't deliver all the goods first thing in the morning. Word has it - that Santa was missing one 'big present' that was unable to be found on Christmas Eve (even though his Meli Elf has completed shopping on the night before for years and never had trouble!) and needed to find an alternative quickly as the prezzie wasn't going to be available until the 26th.

Thankfully, He (God, not Santa!) reminded me of the message I had been preaching all week - Christmas is NOT about presents, it's about Jesus AND it's about spending time with your family. Let me tell you - that kinda stepped on my toes a little because I was secretly disappointed and pissy about not having a "complete" Christmas with "even" presents. I was heavily, heavily convicted as I sat on my front porch spilling my sad secret to my best friend - and remembered my lectured words about the real meaning of Christmas. I felt very guilty and bashful for focusing so heavily on a material good (I am so not that girl at all!), asked forgiveness (from God, not Santa, duh!) and then was hit with the most creative idea.

It went over so well.

On the nights before Christmas...

As I mentioned, I planned on writing a warm, heartfelt, "We are so ready for Christmas!" post in the days leading up to December 25th. Imagine pictures of our beautiful tree, candy encrusted Gingerbread houses, and cookies looking like Martha herself did them - pictures of kiddo's snuggled tight in their various Christmas Pajamas, Santa letters, and presents galore.

In Typical Meli fashion, it didn't turn out that way!

For starters: Our special, beloved tree (My Daddy took me to pick one out early in December) has seen better days and what used to be a symbol of everything Christmas - A big, live tree housing years of memories stored in significant ornaments hung by, (then little, now big) hands  - now looks like I hired a drunken college student to decorate it while doing keg stands and taking bong hits. Seriously. A Crawling 6month old with ninja like speed equaled half of the lights being pulled down in one direction leaving it lopsidedly lit and full of lonely branches with zero ornaments on the entire bottom half like someone just stopped half way. Don't get me wrong - I still appreciated my big, fragrant, imperfectly decorated tree but I am glad to see it go later today.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Half a Year, Baby John!

John turned 6 months old on Christmas Eve!

He can Crawl.

He can grasp.

He can Sit Up!
He can Cause a Ruckus.


He is our delightfully rotten 6month old Little Boy. 




Ouch...That's a TOOTH

If you look realllllly close, you can see his bottom teeth! One is through, the other is very close. 

Whew! What a Week!

Wow, it feels like thousands of minutes since I last sat to write. We have been SO busy. Like nonstop go, go, go. If we weren't somewhere, we have been occupied doing something. I hope all of you had a wonderful, merry, bright and jolly Christmas! I had inspirations of writing in the days leading up to the big day but those moments passed as quickly as the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas - with a supersonic quickness.

I feel like I can finally slow down a bit.

We were very, very fortunate to have a delightful, heartwarming Christmas. (I can't wait to write about it - which I am planning on doing next, I think). Our Holiday spans the 24th, 25th and the 26th - and four different neighborhoods soo it's more of an Christmas Adventure!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oldest and Youngest

Is it possible to love TWO fellows at the same time? 

Why yes, yes it is.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ella - From Me to You.

This is the soundtrack to our Christmas Season 2010.  I stumbled upon an Ella Fitzgerald version of 'Baby it's Cold Outside' (that song - specifically - has been supa stuck in my head) and instantly became hooked to this album. The other night I had this playing while my Starbucks was brewing and my children all laying around the tree - the sound of her voice, the swing of the music, the smell of good coffee and real Christmas Tree, matched with content children, was simply...joyful.

So, From Me to You - I hope you enjoy this, too.

(Even if you hate holiday music! It's THAT good.)


                        

Finally, Day 30.

 A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Dear Self:

First and foremost, I love the fact that it took you ohhhh....67 days to complete this "30 Days of  Truth" deal. That's hotness, there mama. But, I love that you did actually finish it  - even when you wanted to quit at times. (Way to keep the 'Finish What You Start Rule!)

I love how the first thought that came to mind when answering this question was - Everything? No way could I list EVERYTHING! (ha!) I love how amidst several things you'd like to change - you can find things that you really like about yourself but struggle pin pointing things you really love.

I love how you really are genuine. I love how you are truly accepting of all people and of all views regardless if they are different than yours. I love how you can state your point, yet truly listen to the other side.  I love how you don't mind admitting you were wrong - usually by laughing at your mistake.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

5 Years Ago, When There Were Two...

Christmas 2005

 


 Jake was 5, and Abby was nearly 4.

What a difference 5 years makes!

I cannot stop looking at all of these pictures from years past.

Time goes by so very, very quickly.

I blinked and now there are 4 kids, Jake is 10, and Abby is nearly 9.

These pictures make me happy AND sad.

Raegan @ 4months


I was going through some on-linealbums and came across Raegan at about 4months. She and John resemble each other....which means...they look like ME!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Dream Guy

How lucky am I to start every day next to this guy?


                           

Day 29 - M is for Messy

Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

I really wish I could change from a self proclaimed Messy to a Neat-o. 

I have been messy my entire life, despite having Martha Stewart for a mom. 

I'm not kidding - my mom made it all look easy. She could have a housefull of 10 kids and her home still be spotless. Trash never needed taking out, laundry never piled up, dishes never sat in the sink - homework was done without argument, behavior notes never came home, and she baked like a mad woman. Everything had it's place, and everything could be easily found. 

I wish I could be more like her - because some days, by the end of the day, my house looks like I sat on my tooshie the entire day. When - honestly, I promise! - I have worked on it allllll. day. long. There are some days where you could spend an hour looking for a lost earring, some days where dinner dishes turn into morning dishes, and the criteria for matching socks is: "Are they both white? Ok, then, go go go".

Yes, I let Baby John direct the day so completing tasks takes longer and longer.  I wouldn't trade my cuddle time with my beautiful, loving baby boy for a sparkling house, no matter what the cost. Baby time is way more important than an 'everything in it's place' kind of home - but I would, very much, like for it to come easier. 


I would like to be neater and more organized without giving up my baby time, please and thank you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sometimes.....

....When it's this cold (ten below with the wind) - I'll sneak outside in the middle of the night, or very, very early in the morning in my robe just to let the bitter cold chill my entire body from the tips of my toes, to the back of my neck, to the point where I am nearly shivering....

....Then, quickly and as quietly as I can, I run back inside, leaving a trail of my now frigid clothes in my path and dive into my deliciously warm bed, under my thick, heavy covers and next to my warm, peacefully sleeping Wilo...

It's one of my most favorite feelings in the world - the contrast between biting cold, and consuming warmth - it's better than gold, I tell you!

Day 28 - Baby Cinco?!

What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?


Well if you would've asked me this a year ago, I would've said: Bawl my eyes out and pretend that this isn't happening! Withdraw from those around me, be super mad, and ultimately disappointed in myself for getting pregnant AGAIN.

I pretty much did that with Baby John - and I've been rather open about it. I was so not planning on being pregnant and very uncertain about what it meant to me and to my already large family. Despite me saying to so many girlfriends in the same predicament over the years, "Babies are from God; They are meant to be!". I found myself wrestling with an (in it's harshest term) Unwanted Pregnancy.

I had never been so sad about being pregnant.

BUT.

Thanks to the support of Wilo, my bff, my family and GOD - the idea of a new baby grew on me, and before I knew it I was loving him sooo much before meeting him.

Now, I cannot imagine my life without him - he has brought my heart such joy and such fulfillment. He filled a spot in my heart that I didn't realize was missing. I adore everything about him, and deem this as my most rewarding and special mothering experience to date. He is allllll mine - and we have a bond like no other. (I, of course, am very bonded to my other kids, but this one is a little different). We were so meant for each other.

That being said - to answer the question, present day: I would deal. No tears, no crying, no denial.  I would just trust that God really does know what he is doing - and thank him for a miracle. I think I would be grateful for the opportunity to mother another baby - there is something indeed special about those wee ones and they grow so unbelievably fast.

I am sometimes saddened by the fact that John is truly the baby.


P.S. Just to clarify: I do not want another baby! EVER. FOR REAL, God.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 27 - Faith

What’s the best thing going for you right now?

My Faith.

It is the only thing that keeps a family of 6 supported on one income in 2010 - Wilo works hard and makes a decent living but helloooo....family of S-I-X! We are not millionaires, duh. (Shocking, I know!)

It is the only thing that offers me hope.

It is what keeps my marriage, my family, my life together. 

While I can respect and accept those in my life who do not value or recognize the power of Faith - I can't help but wonder how you do it. 

I could not.

Day 26 - Yellow Ribbons

Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

No, I haven't. 

We all have moments where life seems too overwhelming. We have all had those times where the mountain looks too high to climb or when we inwardly scream: What did I do?!

 But, ultimately, life is a gift and we should appreciate it no matter the current circumstance.

I guess my outlook is a result of my faith in Jesus and an experience with suicide that I had many years ago.

When I was in High School - a friend and a member of our Theatre Troupe committed suicide as a teenager. I remember hearing the news and feeling just so shocked and saddened. Not only saddened because it was one of the first and only experiences with the death of a friend - but feeling so heavily burdened by the fact that this fellow felt like there was nothing worth living for, how desolate and alone he must have felt. I know for a fact that any one of us - and many of you reading - would have done absolutely anything for him had we known there was such duress. I think back to those days and how many people appreciated his personality, his talent and his laugh - and how many people attended his funeral - and can't help but wonder - if he knew all of that, would it have changed his outcome?

I was able to witness the pain and tragedy that is a self inflicted death - and it truly changed me. It left an imprint, forever. I will never hear of another suicide or see another Yellow Ribbon without remembering him, and that time of my life.

No matter how bad it seems - nothing is impossible with Jesus.

No matter how alone you feel - someone, right now, loves you very much.

I feel the need to say that if you ever feel like you have reached your limit and cannot deal with this life any further - Please, please, please, talk to someone. 

RIP Seth Brown - you left this world much too soon.

Only By The Grace of God - Day 25

The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

It is honestly and truly only by the Grace of God that I am alive today. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

7am

This song came into my head as I was sitting on the porch this cold, winter morning. It was about 7am and all was so silent and still. It had just finished snowing a bit. It was a very calm, peaceful time start to the day - and this is such a cool song - yes, even for Phish.

He's Gone Mobile


Not the best picture, but it definitely captures his spirit - I had to take one today to mark him transporting himself alllllll over the living room and playroom... There was no staying on a blanket! Nooo way - there was ninja style crawl-scooching. Seriously - he's not perfected his form but he's definitely mobile. MOBILE, yo. None of my babies have been such over achievers - he's certainely the earliest crawler. I was not ready for this! Slow Down, Baby John!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music to My Babies' Ears - Day 24

Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs
I decided to make this a playlist to each of my children.  We listen to music every day in our house - so picking songs for them seemed to be kinda hard. In an effort to not over think it - I  went with the first song that came to mind. If you know my babies, you will know I did well.


Jake: I gave you 1980, because you love that song, and you love to sing it to me, and we love to sing it together. I, of course, couldn't pick a 'hippie' song for you, because we all know you hate hippies! HA!  We DO go back like 1980 (except for I wasn't born yet, and you weren't either) but you, kid, are the first born. All of my adult memories include you - and you have been there every step of my journey and the journey of our family. There will come a day where you will think of another girl when you hear songs like these - but for now, when you are ten, I want to treasure the fact that I am the one and only woman of your dreams.  I do love you because you so crazy!

Abby: You are loooooving Taylor Swift these days - and you have for quite some time. Truth be told, I love turning her songs up loud and singing them with you, even if Daddy and Jake don't care for it. I chose this song - because, my darling, you ARE a princess, and you deserve nothing less than a fairytale. One day - when you are older (at least 30, tee hee), and you start looking for a fellow - I wish for you to find a real life Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet and lead you up the staircase. Not kidding! You can totally have that! And, like in the song - if he doesn't realize how amazing you are - then, as hard as it may be, you move on. Anyone who doesn't see the beauty that is Abbigail - doesn't deserve your time.

Raegan: Ah, My little Rae Rae of Sunshine. You really do hear a different drummer, and I find it intoxicating and so fitting for you. You already exhibit so many qualities of a free spirit, and I adore that about you. I promise to always support and embrace that about you - despite what anyone may say. You love music - and since you are still home with me - we listen to it a lot together. I chose Scarlet Begonias (one of my faves!) simply because, "You are not like other girls".

John: My sweet love bug - I thoroughly enjoy holding you as music flows across the house and through your ears. You are the first baby who I can actually "feel" respond to the music. Some songs relax your entire body, some excite you, some capture your entire focus. At 5mo, you are definitely the baby who has been the most obviously effected by music, and I look forward to the years to come to see if it is one of your passions like I predict. I chose one of my all time, most personal favorites for you: Shady Grove. You heard it while you were in my belly - and I sing it to you now. We lock eyes, and you intently look into them. One day, you will realize that I am a horrible singer, but for now, You are my best audience.

Stay out of my dreams, please.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pierogi Passion

I made these for dinner one day last week and my girls LOVED them. They had not had a Pierogi prior, and were amazed and delighted. This is the conversation, I overheard after their second helping.

Raegan: Yum, yum, YUM!

Abby: I know! It's like a donut with mashed potato and cheeeeese!

Raegan: AND, sour cream. Yum, Yum, YUM!

Abby: I could eat these every.single.day

Raegan: Me, too, Abby, Me toooooo.

Raegan: Mommy, can you make me this EVERY DAY?

Jake was not a huge fan - and when I asked him what he thought he said:

"Meh...must just be a food for girls. It does have fried cheese".

Teee. Heee.

No, but I could.

So Wilo hurt my feelings tonight - helllllooooo, he is a MAN. It comes with the territory. As he comes to see what I am doing - which is exactly this - he looks at me with such an embarrassed, sheepish expression and goes:

"Are you writing nasty blogs about me?"

This made me full out chuckle.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It IS finally Cold

This is one of my favorite Wintertime songs - and there is something special about Mr. Martin. Sexy? Oh yeah.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Over Thinker

As a terrible "Over Thinker", This devotion really spoke to me. I love when God speaks so clearly.......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello, Winter.

First Snow of the season today! Yesterday it was 55 degrees and full of rain - and today it is 35 and snow.

Hello, Winter.

Day 23 - Antique Road Show Star

Something you wish you had done in your life.

I wish I had bought that antique chest - circa 1825  (the date was stamped on it, with the original sale papers) instead of a couch wayyyyy back in the day.

For serious!

I mentioned that fancy apartment we had when we first moved in together - it was really shwanky. We were the first people ever to live in it; they all were band spankin' new. It was my first apartment, ever - and Wil's first apartment with a girl - bye, bye bachelor pad. Anyways - we needed stuff. I mean, we had NOTHING - aside from baby furniture and a bed - when we first moved in. 

I could do without a lot of things - but I most definitely could not do with out a couch. We couldn't afford anything from a furniture store, didn't have any type of credit (a blessing in disguise), so I decided we should thrift it up.

We had $50 we could spend - and I was determined to find one. (Thrifting is AWESOME, and my love for it is a different post). We went to this little part of my home town where there are 3 thrift stores side by side - the first one we visited was the Salvation Army. They had 4 or 5 couches - and half of them were disgusting and I would rather sit on the floor  - but there was one that was $50, clean, in good shape, a neutral color and would definitely work. Easy peasy, right?

Then, my eyes wandered over to this big wooden chest. I mean, it spoke to me - laugh if you want, but as soon as I saw it, I stopped what I was doing and went over to it. It was about 4ft long, about 3ft deep. It was simple, but well crafted. You could just tell. I opened it up, and it was lined in valour with the make and date stamped in a corner - June 1825 - AND, I kid you freakin' not - it had the original sale papers with it. It looked something like this:



I had stumbled upon something special....and guess how much it was?

Yup, $50.

I was in shopper agony - I wanted that chest soooo, soooo, soooo bad. I knew it was special, and an once in a life time find.

But, I NEEDED a couch. I mean, I had a baby coming in 2 months aaaannnnddd, what good is a fancy apartment that is empty?

Wil and I looked and talked about that chest for a good 45 minutes or so - until we saw another couple coming in to look at the couch I was interested in buying. I knew I had to make up my mind - and the baby kicking inside my belly and my aching back determined that I needed to buy a necessity not a luxury. We went with the couch.

There have been many times over the years where I have thought about that chest - and how walking away from it still makes me queasy.  Not because it was my ticket to appearing on Antiques Roadshow, or that it could've been worth thousands of dollars (or nothing at all) but because it was so rare, and so unique. I knew that we were walking away from a once in a lifetime find - in lieu of a more comfortable (nice one, Me!) life for our budding family.

But, screw responsibility - I really wish I was selfish, and bought that damn chest.