Archives for February 2009

A beautiful wedding.

Today, I had the opportunity to shoot a wedding for some very dear friends of ours. Jodi & Kevin exchanged their vows, and it was one of the most amazing weddings I have ever been to.

This was the first time that I have ever cried during a wedding that I’ve been hired to shoot. And, man, did I cry. The service was absolutely beautiful, and unlike any other wedding that I have ever been to.

I have tons of photos to edit, but I had to sneak a peek. Here are a few of my favorites:

(The new family)
(The Happy Couple)
(That’s what the teenagers did to their car. Inside and out.)

What a fantastic day. It felt so great to be “back in the saddle again”! I need to start advertising more so that I can get more clients. I’ve missed it way too much.

Say it Forward: Week Four

Mom Blogs
Every Friday on 5 Minutes for Mom, they do a wonderful post called “Say it Forward.” The purpose is to thank those who are faithful in commenting on your blog and spread a little love. Each week, I will pick a different faithful commenter and post about them.

The person I want to award this to this week is Annmarie of A little piece of 7th Heaven.

I first met Annmarie through the blog OUR MIRACLE…HALAINAH GRACE. Since then, Annmarie is always faithful in stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. Annmarie is mom to 5 beautiful children, and is such a source of inspiration.

Thank you for always stopping by with something to say, Annmarie! I’m so glad we met and I enjoy reading your blog and seeing what those gorgeous kids of yours are up to!

Take this badge and display it on your blog proudly! 🙂

award

What’s bringing people here?

Awhile back, I posted about some of the funny searches I found in the keywords that are bringing people to this blog. I check again today, and found some that are absolutely hysterical. I simply must share them with you.

First of all, just in that list above, there were 5 keyword phrases that had to do with a swollen nose. Actually, out of the 125 listed keyword phrases, 14 had something to do with swollen noses. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?

One of my favorites this time was “photographing monkeys.” It must be from me talking about taking photos of my kids. I imagine that’s what photographing monkeys would be like.

“hate the love dare” makes me sad. How could something that has the possibility of saving a marriage be something you could hate? I’ve been doing the love dare, and it’s been great for me!

“i can’t stop eating” – Yep. Describes me to a t. Stress = eating. I eat a lot now.

And then there’s “i got spanked.” My mind could easily go to the gutter with this one, so I’ll try not to even let it go there and just pretend that it was regarding something in this post. 😉

Whatever brings you here, thanks for stopping by! I can’t solve the swollen nose problem, and I can’t help you love the Love Dare, but I promise to try and make you giggle every once in awhile.

Thanks for the smile tonight!

Entrecard Market: I listed something!

I’ve recently become addicted to Entrecard. I have found some of the coolest (and absolute worst) blogs because of entrecard.

Well, now Entrecard is having a contest. One lucky winner will receive 100,000 entrecard credits! I could finally get my buttons on some of the really cool blogs!

In order to be entered in the contest, you have to list something in Entrecard’s new Marketplace. So, I did.

I listed 1 month of advertising on Buy By Mom for just 250 credits. That’s a steal, considering you can purchase 1,000 credits for $6, and I normally charge $10/month for advertising on Buy By Mom.

If you haven’t joined Entrecard yet, you should. It’s a great way to get people to visit your blog. If you join, let me know. I’ll purchase an ad on your blog! (Unless you’re already one of the super cool, ultra expensive blogs. Then you’ll have to wait until I win the 100,000 credits!)


Our trip to the pediatric dentist.

We left for the dentist at 1:20 this afternoon. It is now 8:15, and we just got home about half an hour ago. That’s a LONG trip for 5 kids and one stressed out mom.

We got to the dental office, filled out the paperwork, and the kids played while we waited for them to call their names.

They called the boys back, and they had me come back to explain what they would be doing.

An hour and a half later, they called me back to tell me what they’d found.

Jace did not do well. When they separated the boys to clean their teeth, Jace freaked out. They had to hold him down while they did the cleaning. He cried the entire time. He has 5 cavities – all in between his teeth (from not flossing – UGH), and he has to come back. They are worried about how he’ll react to the fillings, so they’ll try one time. If he doesn’t do well, he’ll have to come back again, and they’ll sedate him. The only problem is, our insurance won’t cover sedation for him, because his teeth “aren’t bad enough.” So, we’ll have to come up with the money to cover the sedation. I honestly think it may be worth it for him.

Then we talked about Zander. The poor child has 14 cavities. 14. I wanted to cry. When I was 5, I had 14 cavities. My family has horrible teeth. You can brush 3 times a day and cavities still form. I need to have mine all pulled and get false teeth, but we can’t afford it right now. I’m 30 years old. Now it looks like Zander is going down the same path that I went down.

Luckily, we have this fantastic pediatric dentist now. Zander had a BLAST today, and can’t wait to go back for his first fillings. When I was his age and had all those cavities, I had a horrible dentist. I still remember that his name was Dr. Kimberly. I think he was the devil. I really do. BUT, Zander really loved the dentist today and I think he’ll do really well with the fillings and extractions he needs. If not, they’ll also do the sedation on him, and the insurance *will* cover it for him also, just because his teeth are so bad. I’m actually debating just letting them do the sedation on him. Then, they’ll do everything in one shot, and he won’t be awake for any of it. What do you think? What would you do?

I feel just awful about this. I brush the kids’ teeth religiously: morning, noon, and night. I’ll admit I am awful about flossing them, but that will change. It has to. Maybe if I start flossing Lucy early, I can prevent her from having all these problems in the future.

So, the pediatric dentist was a hit for one and we’re still working on the other one. At least they are patient and willing to work with Jace. It’s a very welcome change from what we dealt with on Tuesday!

We head back next month to see how they do with their fillings. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Showing off my favorites for a chance to win!

I stopped by my friend Karen’s blog and saw that she had entered a contest to win a $250 Target Gift Card at Barking Mad.

I could certainly use a gift card to Target. The boys desperately need a new dresser, and Lulu is rapidly outgrowing everything she owns!

To enter the contest, you have to create a post that links to your 5 (or 10) favorite posts. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?

So, here are my favorites – in no particular order:

So, there you have it. Some of my favorite blog posts, and the ones that certainly tell you more about me! 🙂

Head over to Barking Mad and enter to win the contest to win a $250 Target Gift Card! The contest ends March 4th, so hurry!

Good luck!!

Wordless Wednesday: Reach for the Sky!

4 year olds and the dentist, and Parker’s 4 month well visit.

We had an extremely busy day yesterday. It started way too early for my liking, and I had to have Jace at the dentist by 7:45am. We got the kids to the sitter’s house and then headed to the dentist.

Jace had never been to the dentist before, so when I had set up the appointment, I had asked them if they were good with children, if they would take their time, etc. They said they worked with children all the time, and if they needed to take a few appointments before actually doing the cleaning, they would do so.

That was *not* the case when we arrived at the dental office. Jace started to panic, and tears started streaming down his face. Rather than patiently take their time with him, they put him in the dental chair and started poking his teeth with that silver hook-shaped thing. It got stuck in a molar, and he flipped.

UUGH.

They immediately stopped what they were doing and refused to work with him any more. They recommended a pediatric dentist, (that is 2 hours away!), and don’t want to see Jace back in their office again.

Now, let me just say, Jace wasn’t bad. He didn’t hit, he didn’t lash out. He just cried. A lot. It’s what he does when he’s scared.

I am furious because I asked them before I even made the appointment if they were good with kids. They assured me they were, and I trusted them. So glad I wasted our time and their time. I’ve canceled Zander’s appointment for next week, and I’m just going to take him to the pediatric dentist as well. I don’t want a repeat next week.

Ashley was so good at her first trip to the dentist. She’s always been so good. Even Zander did really well at the dentist – until they squirt too much water in his mouth and he gagged. Then he panicked and that dentist refused to see him again. I swear, these mountain people just have NO patience for kids. No wonder so many kids around here have their teeth rotting out. The parents don’t want to drive 2 hours to the pediatric dentist and the other dentists are too mean to work with kids. It’s a no-win for everyone!

Hopefully, the new pediatric dentist will be better for the boys, and I can get them to go without a fight. Hopefully.

Parker also had his four month well visit yesterday. He is SUCH a good baby. He didn’t even cry when they poked him for his shots. Just kind of gave the nurse a look like he couldn’t believe she had just stuck him! He’s weighing in at 14 pounds, 7 ounces, and is 26 3/4 inches long. Not bad for a 5 pound peanut at birth! (That puts him in the 20% for weight and the 90% for height. Long and skinny!) He’s doing great, and there are absolutely no concerns about him at all. Yippee!

If ya’all have any tips on kids and dentists, I’d love to hear them. Please!

Photography Tips & Tricks: Creative Backdrops

I get asked all the time, “I can’t afford a fancy backdrop. What can I do?”

While backdrops are fabulous, (I own lots of them, and love them all), when I first started out, I couldn’t afford them. Know what I used? King sized bed sheets. Honest. They really work! I also used cloth shower curtains, large panels of fabric, and even large rolls of solid colored paper (like you would use on a bulletin board in school.)

The tip to using any kind of backdrop (fancy or not) is to make sure you pull the subject as far away from the back of the backdrop as possible. This will prevent shadows from forming behind their heads.

Windows also make excellent backdrops – or foregrounds, depending on how you want to use the light.

Outdoors it’s easier to be more creative with your backdrops. A football field, a baseball field, trees, gardens, rocks…. the possibilities go on and on.
My point is, think outside the box. So, you can’t afford a fancy backdrop. So what? Make your own creative backdrop using any kind of fabric. There are no limits when you use your creative juices!

Oh, and backdrops aren’t necessarily as expensive as you might think! You can find them very reasonably priced on ebay. Walmart sells Muslin material at a very reasonable price! If you’re really feeling creative, you can dye it any color you’d like!

Here are some of my favorite places for purchasing backdrops:
Say Cheese
Amvona
Owen’s Originals
Backdrop Outlet

Now, get creative, and start shooting! Be sure to let me know how it works for you!

Essure. Is it for me?

My Mother-in-Law is a religious watcher of the Doctors. She’s always telling us some miracle that she heard on the show. Every single time I’ve turned the show on, I’ve watched them remove a mole or a skin tag. ICK!! I don’t even try any more. I figure if I miss something important, MIL will let me know.

The other day, they were talking about Essure. It’s a new, permanent birth control procedure that you can have done in your doctor’s office. MIL kept referring to it as “Sure,” but I saw a commercial tonight about it, and it is indeed called Essure.

I spent a lot of time on their website, reading all about it. It really does sound like a good option if you know your family is complete.

Here’s the thing: How do you know your family is complete?

I have always had horrible pregnancies. Horrible. I go into labor early, and spend months on bed rest. I almost lost Jace because of a knot in his cord. Lucy had a 2 vessel cord that could have caused serious problems, and I almost died after giving birth to Parker. As much as I hate pregnancy, the end result and holding that sweet baby in my arms makes me forget how horrible the previous 9 months were.

The thought of never having another baby again scares me to death. Why is that?

I know there are lots of other ways to grow our family. Gene and I have talked at length about bringing in a foster child after we’re able to build a larger house. (The shack we’re in now can’t even hold the 7 of us. To bring another child into this would be irresponsible. I get that.)

But why is the thought of permanent birth control so scary? I adore my kids. I am so thankful for each one of them – even if they were unplanned. They’re truly the best surprises I ever could have asked for. I should feel blessed and be ok with not having any more babies, right? Is it possible to get to that point?

I know a lot of ladies that have a few kids and KNOW that they’re done. They don’t question it, and they do something to permanently make sure they’ll never have another baby.

How do I get to that point? Can I? What about you all? Do you know your family is complete? Have you (or your husband) had a procedure done to make sure it’s permanent?

Give it to me straight. I want to know if I can get to that point!

Church Bulletin Bloopers

I started doing the church bulletin a few weeks ago. The first week, I was told that the Prayer List was wrong. I fixed that, and the second week, I didn’t get any complaints. I thought it was going to be smooth sailing!

Boy, was I ever wrong.

This week, I was stuck at home because Jace, Lucy, Parker, and Ashley were all running fevers. I sent the bulletins to church with Gene. When he got home, he told me that I had gotten an anniversary wrong, and I’d forgotten to put someone’s name on the birthday list. Not 10 minutes later, my phone rang. A little old lady from our church called to ask me why I had forgotten to put her niece and nephew’s anniversary in the bulletin. I explained that I had used a list from the person who did the bulletin prior to me, and their anniversary wasn’t on the list. I apologized up and down, and then she asked me why I didn’t bother to check the church directory to make sure I hadn’t missed anyone.

WOW.

What I wanted to say to her was, “Look, lady. I was up until 2 am working on these bulletins. I am dealing with 4 sick kids right now. I didn’t even start feeling human again myself until Thursday of this week. If you can’t forgive me for missing an anniversary, why don’t you do the bulletins? Maybe then they will be up to your standard.”

What I did say was, “I’m really sorry. I went by the list and never even thought about checking the church directory. I’ll be sure to add them in next week.”

I’m thinking of adding a note in the bulletin that says something like, “Bulletins are composed by a mom of 5. If she happens to miss something, please blame it on momnesia, and be forgiving. Do not call her just to tell her that she got it wrong.”

I don’t like hearing when someone isn’t happy with me. I have this horrible need to please everyone. I think it goes with the Super Mom complex.

Instead of letting this little old bitty get to me, to cheer myself up and forget about it, I decided to do a search on church bulletin bloopers. Here are some that I found that made me giggle:

  • Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
  • Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again”, giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
  • Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
  • A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
  • The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”
  • The service will close with Little Drop of Water. One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

Aren’t those great?! Maybe I’ll start a new section of the bulletin called “Church Bulletin Bloopers that Angie Didn’t Make” and start including some of those.

Wonder how many phone calls I would get then?!

Say it Forward: Week Three

I’m really late with this, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out this week!

Mom Blogs
Every Friday on 5 Minutes for Mom, they do a wonderful post called “Say it Forward.” The purpose is to thank those who are faithful in commenting on your blog and spread a little love. Each week, I will pick a different faithful commenter and post about them.

The person I want to award this to this week is Natalie of Kummer Family Circus.

Natalie and I have been friends since I was pregnant with Zander, and she was pregnant with her second child, Alec. Nat and I have shared 3 pregnancies together, and each pregnancy has been about 2 months apart. (Her Alec is 2 months older than Zander, her Kyle is 2 months younger than Jace, and her Lauren is 2 months older than Lucy.) Natalie and I have so much in common and have a very special friendship. I consider her one of my very best friends, and I am so lucky to have her in my life. Now that she’s blogging too, it’s just one more thing we have in common!

Thanks for always stopping by, Nat. Thanks for your friendship, and thanks for just being you!

Take this badge and display it on your blog proudly! 🙂

award

Dinner with Friends…

Last week for Valentine’s Day, hubby and I were supposed to go out to dinner with some friends. Unfortunately, the flu hit us that weekend, and we had to postpone. We rescheduled for this evening, and come hell or high water, we were going.

We had such a wonderful time. Randy & Sabrina are two of the nicest people you will ever meet, and Gene and I could sit and talk to them for hours.

Dinner was wonderful – except that I made the mistake of letting Gene order my steak for me while I nursed the baby in the car. He ordered it medium well and it came out looking like a brick. I didn’t complain, but I didn’t eat much of it, either. They ended up giving me my dinner for free! Can’t beat that! So, to make up for it, I ordered their death-by-brownie sundae. 🙂 We were all good after that!

Parker screamed in the car the entire way home… something he never, ever does. I am praying that he doesn’t come down with this awful flu. I am so looking forward to getting back to church tomorrow…. as long as everyone is well enough!

Nothing else much exciting going on around here. I’m having my grand re-opening of my designs website on Monday, and I have much to do to prepare for that!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Sikulu & Harambe by the Zambezi River (Review)

Thanks to Parent Reviewers, I got the opportunity to review the book Sikulu & Harambe: By the Zambezi River. It is an African version of the Good Samaritan story written by Kunle Oguneye and illustrated by Bruce McCorkindale.

When the book arrived, I couldn’t take my hands off of it. The illustrations were beautiful. I slowly flipped through every page just taking everything in. I couldn’t wait to read it to my kids.

My wait didn’t last long. The moment they saw the book, they immediately wanted to read it. So we did. And then we did again. And again. We read the book 4 times in a row. For the next 3 days, we did the exact same thing. Whenever I would ask them what book they wanted to read, “Sikulu & Harambe!” was the unanimous answer.

My kids loved learning the new words and their meanings. I love how much they love this book and the moral behind the story. And there are even more fantastic features in the back of the book! The discussion questions are a fabulous tool for my boys. They also loved learning more about Zambia and the African animals.
After reading the book, we logged onto sikulu.com and took a long look around. Lucy’s favorite part was watching Sikulu & Harambe dance. She must have watched that 20 times in a row! 🙂 The boys thought it was so cool that you can buy a stuffed Sikulu & Harambe to keep forever!

Word has it that this is just the first in a series of adventures that will follow Sikulu, the spider, and Harambe, the hippo, as they travel to different countries in Africa.

My kids and I can’t wait to see where they end up next! We’ll definitely be following them along in their journeys!

Edited to add: Kunle, the author, stopped by my blog and wanted me to let you know that you can purchase an autographed copy of the book over on their website: www.sikulu.com

Be sure to stop over there today and get your copy. This really is such a fantastic book!

General Mills Blog Tour: Grow Up Strong

I am honored that I was selected to be a part of the General Mills Blog Tour through the Mom Bloggers Club!

On Wednesday, we received a package at our door. I noticed that it was from General Mills, and decided to let the kids open it. After all, they would be the ones who would be my official reviewers.

Imagine their surprise when they found a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch inside! They thought heaven had come straight to Earth, and it came by way of FedEx.

My kids have always been fans of General Mills cereals. From Lucky Charms and Trix to Cocoa Puffs and Cookie Crisp, my kids just can’t get enough.

As soon as they saw what was inside, they wanted some. It didn’t matter that it was 3:30 in the afternoon, they wanted the cereal, and they wanted it right then. I gave in, and they each had a handful of dry cereal as a snack. They all gobbled it up instantly. The fabulous thing about cereal is that it’s good any time! Day or night!

This morning, as soon as they woke up, they were ready for more! We set the table, and everyone got their bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and glass of orange juice. They ate in absolute silence – something that only happens when they’re eating something they love!

We know my kids love their cereal. It’s a given. But, as a mom, there are several reasons why I love General Mills Cereals too:

  1. All of my kids LOVE their cereal. Even my pickiest eater will happily eat a bowl of General Mills cereal, and then beg for more. No fighting to get anyone to eat their breakfast.
  2. Their cereals are an excellent source of calcium AND Vitamin D – something that all kids need.
  3. They contain Whole Grains and are actually good for kids!
  4. Their cereal tastes great! Not only do my kids love the taste of General Mills cereals, but my husband and I do as well! Some of them have been favorites since we were kids… and I’m not telling you how long that’s been!

Being a mom to so many, some days it seems impossible to plan a meal that I know everyone will love. I never have that problem at breakfast when I serve General Mills cereal. I know that everyone will eat their breakfast, and they can all get their day off to a healthy start.

Here are some facts you may or may not know about cereal:

  • Are you aware of the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D your child should get each day? Better yet, did you know the American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled the vitamin D recommendation for children? Approximately 75% of kids today don’t get the recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D — two key nutrients for bone growth.

  • Not to worry though — as a parent, you can easily help your child get more of these two nutrients by looking for calcium and vitamin D fortified cereals, milk and juice. All General Mills Big G kid cereals (including Kix, Lucky Charms, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and more) offer a good source of BOTH calcium and vitamin D in each serving.

  • Additionally, a recent report in a leading consumer magazine ranked kid cereals by nutritional content, and all nine General Mills Big G kid cereals included in the report were ranked in the top half. All Big G kid cereals have at least eight grams of whole grain per serving (at least 48 grams are recommended daily), and all have 12 grams or less of sugar per serving.

  • Cereal is one of the most nutritious breakfast options a kid can eat. Most cereals have about 100 – 130 calories per serving and provide at least 10 key nutrients. And, ready-to-eat cereal is the number one source of whole grain in American diets.

Be sure to stop by the General Mills website for yourself. You’ll find awesome recipes, nutritional information, and even a coupon!

Thank you, General Mills, for helping me be proud of what I serve my kids for breakfast. I’m glad to know they’ll be growing up strong!

ZONDERkidz – Review & Giveaway (CLOSED)

Books are a BIG deal in our house. When I was young, I always had my nose in a book. From comic books to classics, I read them all. Reading is still a passion of mine, and my love for it is something I want my kids to have as well.

So, when I was contacted and asked to do a review for 2 Christian children’s books, I jumped at the chance!

Zondervan is a name that I know and trust. I own several Bibles and many, many books that have been published by Zondervan.

ZONDERkidz is a division of Zondervan, geared toward…. you guessed it! Kids!

The first book they sent me to review was Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday written by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee.

This book was absolutely hysterical! Mike Thaler, also known as “America’s Riddle King,” playfully takes on the many of the potentially baffling church traditions. Mike Thaler has written more than 200 books for young readers. At the age of 60, Thaler came to know the Lord and he says his “life has gone from black and white to glorious Technicolor.” (What a fantastic way to describe our lives in Christ!)

Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday is just one book from the new Tales from the Back Pew series. Other titles include:

For this book, and for this series, Mike Thaler teams with Jared Lee once again. Having been together for nearly 30 years, the two have been called “The Court Jesters of Children’s Literature” for their collaboration on more than 70 hilarious books.

Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday is a fun, creative way to spark the interest of kids in church. Not only did my kids love hearing the story, they also enjoyed the “story around the story.” You find funny extra little pictures on each page. You get plenty of giggles with your child – and they learn fun, important truths about God, church, and the Bible.

*****************
The second book they asked me to review is This is the Day! This book absolutely, positively blew me away! The book was written by Nancy White Carlstrom, and illustrated by Richard Cowdry.

Based on Psalm 118:24, This is the Day! takes kids ages 4 – 7 on a daily walk through God’s creation – from deer grazing in the morning dew on Monday, to robins’ nests and butterflies on Thursday to the beauty of rocky coastline on Sunday.

Nancy White Carlstrom hopes Christian families and educators will continue to encourage eco-appreciation early on by instilling in them an appreciation for God’s creation. From frogs and ladybugs to rocks and creeks, Carlstrom reminds kids to see God’s fingerprint in all their favorite things and protect the Earth he made.

My kids loved the beautiful illustrations, and this book is also a fantastic way to teach kids the days of the week. Jace has really been struggling with learning them, and with the way this book breaks down each day, he’s starting to grasp them more and more each day. A beautiful, fantastic tool for teaching children about God and so much more. I loved that the book is hardcover, and the words are easy enough for even my kindergartener to read and comprehend. This is the Day! is a definite must-have for any Christian family with children.
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Along with this review, I have 4 – yes! 4 – sets of books to give to my readers! That means your odds of winning just increased big time!!

4 readers will receive one copy of each book: Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday and This is the Day!

So, want to be one of those lucky readers? Here’s how to enter:

Visit ZONDERkidz and tell me what book you would love to have for your kids.

For extra entries:

  1. Tell me your favorite book as a child.
  2. Tell me why you’d like to win these books and what you would do with them.
  3. Blog about this giveaway.

The contest will end on March 10th. 4 winners will be selected using random.org, and will be notified via email upon selection.

Good luck!! These would be some fantastic books to add to your library collection!

coverPlug Winner

Congratulations to valerie2350 – the winner of the coverPlug 2 Pack! 🙂

I’ll be contacting you soon.

Thanks to all who participated!

Determined to beat this!

I am trying so hard to get back into the swing of things. Ashley and Zander were supposed to go to the dentist this morning, but Z woke up with a fever of 102. Fabulous, I know. So, I arranged for someone to come to the house so that I could still get Ash to the dentist. She really needed to go.

Just the trip to the dentist and then running into CVS for some Vicks Vapo-Rub was enough to knock me out again. I’m totally over the flu (thank heavens!) but this bronchitis is kicking my butt!

I will reveal the winner of the Cover Plug Giveaway this evening, will be starting a new giveaway, and will be putting up a few reviews. I’ve got so much to catch up on!

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers while I took my little leave. A tropical vacation would have been better than this, but I’m thankful for the much-needed rest that I got this week.

You’ll be hearing from me again soon!

I’m not Super Mom.

And I *must* get that through my head.

I called my mom last night when my fever topped 103*. I told her all my symptoms. She was sure that it was pneumonia, and I *had* to go in to the ER. I called Gene, (who had gone to church with the kids), and told him that the fever was getting higher and I thought it would be best to go in and get it checked out.

Before he left, he mentioned to our Associate Pastor what was going on, and before Brother Tim started preaching, he called the entire church to the front of the auditorium to pray for me.

I am absolutely, 100% convinced that it was those prayers that kept this from being pneumonia. When I got back into the room at the ER, the ER doc was convinced it was pneumonia. My lungs sounded awful, my cough was terrible, and the fever was way too high to be normal. He did a chest x-ray, and it came back ok. He said that it was “on the verge” and if I didn’t get this under control, it would easily turn into pneumonia. Right now it’s just bronchitis. He also did a flu test, just to be on the safe side, (since I was achy and had the high fever), and it came back positive almost immediately. Just what every mom needs. They sent me home with cough medicine, a steroid shot, (to open my airways back up), an antibiotic, some flu medicine, and strict orders for rest and fluids. If I don’t get this under control, it will quickly turn into pneumonia, and then I’ll be stuck in a hospital for days.

One thing that this illness has taught me is that I am not Super Mom. Being a mom to 5, I think people expect more from me. Therefore, I always take things on, never say no, and do way too much. With this sickness kicking my butt, I’m quickly realizing that I need to slow down and take it easy.

So, I’ll never be on Oprah. I’ll never be one of the “it” bloggers. And, I may never make it to BlogHer. But, that’s ok. It has to be. By running myself into the ground, I’m not doing myself, my family, or anyone else any good.

I’m resolving here and now to make some changes. I’ll still blog. It’s such an outlet for me, and because I get little to no adult interaction during the day, I need it. I will still do reviews and giveaways because those are fun, and I love sharing new products with my readers. I will, however, start to say no more often. I will no longer live on a set schedule and beat myself up because I can’t keep that schedule. I will understand that things happen. People understand, and if they don’t – well, they’re just not worth the effort.

So, I’m turning in my Super Mom cape and tiara. As much as I want to be able to “do it all” and do it all well, it’s more important for me to be the best wife, mother, friend, and business owner that I can be, and take things on as I can. If I can’t take something on, I will not let the guilt eat away at me.

With that being said, I’m heading back to the couch. The kids are with my MIL today, (except for non-bottle taking Parker), and I plan to get as much rest as I can while they’re not here.

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. They mean so much. As soon as I’m feeling better, I’ll be putting up some reviews and giveaways for ya’all!

Heading to the hospital –

Gene is on his way home from church to take me to the ER. My fever is 103, and I am miserable. We’re pretty sure it’s pneumonia, but we want to get it checked out to be sure.

I’ll update as soon as I can. Your prayers would be much appreciated.