Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Letter to my First-Born

In May, you all read my letter to my second-born son, Cooper, for his second birthday.  Today is all about my first-born, Sam, who is FOUR years old today.  Here's to you, Sammie...

Dear Sam,
Four years ago, I became a mother for the very first time.  Although I had just turned 24 years old a few weeks before that, I felt like I had been waiting for that moment forever.  I always wanted to be a mommy, and considering your daddy and I have been together since we were sixteen years old, I had been thinking about our family for a long time!  When I found out I was pregnant, I can't explain the rush of was like I was on a roller coaster.  I loved being pregnant, and couldn't wait to see the face of our firstborn.  We knew your name would be Sam, either boy or girl, because you are named after my Grandpa Sam.  When we found out you were a boy, I was so excited. I always wanted to have a boy first, for some reason.

The last month or so of the pregnancy was a little rough, with some false alarms and trips to the hospital.  But, on the morning of August 22nd, 2008, I just knew that it was the day.  I was going to be a mommy! Your Grandma and Grandpa drove me to the hospital, and they confirmed--I was having a baby that day!  Daddy came from work, and at 5:51pm you arrived...and WHAT an arrival it was! Since you were my first baby, I didn't have anything to compare you to, so I had no concept of how big you were. When they weighed you, the doctor said "weigh him again".  I couldn't see the scale, but I heard her repeat the words "weigh him again".  After the third time weighing you, they confirmed:  10 pounds 1 ounce!  I could NOT believe it! And 22 1/4 inches long! You were HUGE!

Just a short time after you were born, the room was filled with so many family and friends that had been anxiously awaiting your arrival.  It was such a wonderful moment; one I will never forget.  Your four grandparents were the first ones to come in, and when my dad (your grandpa Roark) found out that your name was Samuel Roark, the look on his face was priceless. Priceless.  Such sweet, sweet memories. Those first few days in the hospital were filled with visitors and time for daddy and I to fall completely in love with you.  When we brought you home, we were greeted with another big group of people who love you.  Such a lucky baby!

Turns out you were the only baby we brought home to our first house.  When we sold our house, we moved in with your Grandma and Grandpa, and those were some good times.  We filled their house with stuff (and I mean filled), but the fact that their first and only grandson was living in their house kind of outweighed that issue! You loved living there, having so many people loving on you and spoiling you every day.  You were a good baby, you slept through the night and didn't fuss much at all.  When you turned a year old, it was QUITE the event. Again, you are so lucky!

By the time we found a new house, Mommy was nearly 8 months pregnant with your brother. We were still living with Grandma and Grandpa, and you were still my only baby.  You loved reading books, walking to the bridge, and watching your favorite movie, "Country Bears".  When your brother arrived, you were quite the new were SO rough on him! (granted, you were only 21 months's only natural!)  It took some time to get you used to the idea of baby brother, but after a while you did good and grew to love baby Cooper.  We moved into our home, and you enjoyed showing everyone your new frog room and giving them the tour of your house.

You celebrated your 2nd birthday at the end of our first summer in the house.  I couldn't believe you were 2 years old.  We took your picture by the tree out front, and before I knew it we were taking it again for your 3rd birthday. And now...ANOTHER year has passed! You've grown up so much since we moved in here.  You still love reading books and walking to the bridge or the park, but Country Bears has been replaced by Batman, Cars, and Shrek.  You are still too rough on your brother, but at the same time the two of you are the best of friends.  I hope you never forget how much you two loved each he follows you around and says and does everything that you say and do.  How you play Batman and Robin, running around chasing the bad guys. 

You are my big boy now, Sam.  You sleep all night, you get yourself dressed in the morning, you get yourself a drink and you go to the bathroom all by yourself.  You help me pick up the toys, you watch out for your brother, and you take care of your brand-new baby sister.  All year you have told people that you wanted your sister to come for your birthday.  Well, she arrived 3 weeks early, so she will be here for your birthday! In these days since I brought Nora home, I have thought so much about those days after I brought my first baby home.  A LOT has happened in the past four years, but a mother never forgets those moments with her first baby...when we don't know what to expect, when we worry about every little thing, when we don't have anything else to do all day besides sit and stare at your beautiful little face.

Today you are four years old, Samuel Roark, but a part of me will always look at you and see that little (well, not THAT little, I guess!) baby boy laying there on my chest looking at me in the eyes for the very first time.  There is nothing in this world like meeting your children, and there's just something about the first...

...and until you have a firstborn of your own (which I hope I'm around to meet, too!), you will never know how much your Mommy and Daddy love you.  I hope and pray that you have a life filled with laughter, happy memories, and as little sadness or hurting as possible.  That is my job as your mommy, and I hope to do it well.  As for now, please stop growing so fast (you are already the size of a six year old!), and remember that to us, you are everything.  We are proud of the little man you have become, and we look forward to seeing the boy you grow up to be.  Happy birthday, my little man. I love you to the moon and back.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Give Me A Break

Project “clean up the house” has been underway at our house for about a week now.  I’m still not sure if the other four people who live in my house are aware of this fact, but anyway…

…in the last two months, I have given birth to my third child, gone back to two of my teaching jobs, and started a bakery with some family members…just to mention a few things.  Throw in writing for two blogs, making baby blankies, and packing us all up for a weekend away from home for a wedding (I’m still un-packing, and we’ve been home 10 days), and it’s safe to say that my house needs some attention.  Especially considering these next two months include hosting a baby shower, two different weekends with out-of-town guests, and an open house for the bakery. Whew!

So, as I’m knee deep in toys, laundry, Halloween decorations, and half-packed bags (did I mention we are going on a mini-vacation two days from now? Yeah…), my son comes downstairs to find me and says “Mommy, can we go for a walk?”  I had just gotten into the “organizing” groove, I had piles and piles of things to do…and yet, the thought of a walk seemed heavenly.

To be honest, it was.  Walking outside with my family, my three boys and my precious baby girl, was exactly what I needed.  The Fall air was crisp, perfect.  My sons laughed, my daughter looked around at the trees towering over her stroller, and my husband and I shared some much-needed adult conversation.

As I tackled Project Clean Up later that night, I did it with a smile on my face.  I pray that God always reminds me to take a break.  Especially when the break includes spending quality time with my four favorite people in the whole world.

The house can wait.  (That’s pretty obvious!)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sam Said What?

In continuing with the post "Cooper said what?", I am sharing with you today another one-liner from my hilarious boys...this time it's Sam, my four-year-old. Although he became a big brother to Cooper at 21 months old, he has recently become a big brother yet again, this time to his baby sister Nora. With Cooper, he was...well, let's say...we had to watch him EVERY minute.  He pushed, hit, bit, kicked...all before Cooper was even six months old!  With Nora, it's a totally different story. He LOVES her.  He brings her toys, sings to her, tells her stories, and protects her from Cooper at all times.  However, I know that he is still dealing with the idea of having another baby in the house, another person to steal Mommy and Daddy's attention.  I can see this in the way that he acts sometimes, even though (thankfully) he is not taking it out on Nora.  One of the things he has been doing is baby-talking, which honestly grates my nerves. We tell him to talk like a big boy, and usually he does it right away, but the other day the baby-talking would NOT stop.  I finally just looked at him and said "Sam, do NOT talk like a baby!". He looked at me, then he got his "I'm thinking of a response" look on his face...finally, he smiles and says "Mommy, babies don't talk."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cooper Said What?

A new series for the blog...sharing with you the HILARIOUS things that my children say.  It's guaranteed to make you smile!

The other day, we were sitting at the breakfast table and baby Nora sneezed.  I said, "Salud" ("Bless you" in Spanish) to her, and then her big brother Cooper (2 years old) chimed in.

"Salud," he repeated.  Then he switched to English and said, "Bless you, Nora".

I just smiled; he's so cute. But it only got cuter...the next thing, he is singing the "Happy Birthday" song to his baby sister.

And, as if that weren't enough cuteness for one morning, as soon as he finishes singing happy birthday, he looks at me, smiles, and says "Amen".

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Year of the Couch.

Another garage-sale tale...

...a couple years ago, my mom and her friend dubbed it "the year of the furniture" from the garage sales.  It seemed like every week we were buying pieces of furniture at the sales.  We laughed so hard; our cars were so full that we would have to unload and head back out 2 or 3 times in a single day! forward to 2012, which we have deemed not the year of the furniture, but more specifically, "the year of the couch".  I'm not sure exactly how many couches we've gotten, but I know we got two in the past week, and this last one was the ULTIMATE couch bargain. 
My Aunt Becky has been looking for another couch for her house, and this weekend she and my mom were at a sale, and my mom saw a rather new-looking couch in the back of the garage. She asked if it was for sale, and the woman said "sure, it's for sale. We bought it and it wouldn't fit down our hallway, so we've never even used it".  My mom asked how much she wanted for it, and the woman said "How about $75?"
$75 for a brand new couch.  Ashley Furniture. Never even been sat on!  Now, you may think this is the end of the story...but remember who we are talking about here.  My mom, the ultimate bargain-hunter.  "I'll give you $50," she says.

And so, there is a brand new couch in my garage, waiting for Becky to take it to her house.  And it cost her $50.  It really is the year of the couch, no questions asked.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest Blogger: "Home Again"

I am so excited to finally have this post put together.  The author is Therese, who grew up in the house where my husband and I are raising our children. I am SO glad to have her as a guest blooger for "The Good"!  Take it away, Therese...

You can go home again --- at least to Sara and Matt's house.
I know it is cliché.  You can't go home again.  Like up there with “things will get better”.  I did have the fantastic experience and discovered that I could go home again; even if the home belongs to strangers. 

Nagle family in front of the fireplace, 1967
Let's back up.  I was one of the family of ten children that grew up in where Sara and Matt live.  My parents picked the lot to build a house on based on the proximity of the new Catholic high school as it was going up a couple blocks west.  When they moved in, they had 5 kids (well, my brother was born two weeks later) and then proceeded to have five more.  My parents also made a home for Gloria, a Ukrainian orphaned by WWII.  Gloria lived with my family for seven years.  Gloria  moved with my family from their house on Denison Ave. to the new house.  She left in the late 50's when she became a nun.  Needless to say, the house was bursting in many wonderful ways.

the Nagles, 1979
My parents lived in the house for almost 35 years.  They sold the house to one of my brothers who lived there with his family for ten years.  The house was in the Nagle family for almost 45 years.  It was sold again and the rumors were not good.  At one point, it went into foreclosure. 

Several times when I was back to visit, I knocked on the door, but never found anyone home.  About 18 months ago, I was down visiting my parents and my Mom and I were running errands.  “I want to drive by the old house”  I told her.  It was on a weekday afternoon, and finding someone home was not likely.  We pulled up and I told my Mom I was going to see if anyone is home.  Matt greeted me and I explained who I was and asked if I could come in.  A few steps in and I was pleased and shocked at all the changes.  The house looked gorgeous and very different.  I told Matt that my Mom was in the car and would really enjoy seeing it.  Matt was gracious and very generous that January afternoon.

My Mom and I spent a delightful 45 minutes (thank you Matt) going through each room, exclaiming over the wonderful and beautiful renovations.  We walked through each room and told stories, reminiced  and throughly enjoyed ourselves.  The renovations were amazing.  The kitchen has an island! (Not in fashion when I lived in the house).  The kids' bathroom upstairs has become a laundry room and my old bedroom is now a bathroom!  Wait a minute, I did not agree to this!  I am not serious, the house looks beautiful and the changes make a lot of sense.

the Meehans in front of the SAME fireplace, 2012
Matt humored us.  He didn't even complain when I opened up a cabinet in the laundry room f/k/a kids' bathroom because it was the only thing left of the bathroom I used for almost two decades.  I think Matt enjoyed hearing our stories as well. 

While we were getting ready to leave, I wrote my name down and suggested that he “friend” me on Facebook as there were photos on my FB page taken in the house when I was a kid.  Sara friended me and we have become FB friends that most likely will never meet.  It has been wonderful fun to see photos of her family living in the house, photos of her kids playing in the same rooms I did. 

I told Matt that day in January, all those months ago, I will take liberty and speak for all of my siblings. We are thrilled to see another family laughing, growing, living in our (their) house. 

You can go home again.....even if it is someone else's house.   

Therese Nagle Kiser

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just When You Start to Doubt Yourself...

As you all know, I've been working hard to catch up on the days I've missed writing on my blog since my baby girl was born.   Some of you are probably asking yourselves, why does it matter? why not just leave those days unfinished and keep going?  Well, it matters to me.  My goal with this blog was to write every day, to try and make people see the good, look for the good, find the good, every day.  So that's what I'm doing.  Slowly, but surely.

However...nobody is perfect.  And everyone has their off-days. I was having a couple of them last week.  I didn't post anything, I didn't try to play catch-up, and I even started to doubt myself.  Does the blog really matter?  Is anyone really reading my words?  You know how it goes...we've all doubted ourselves at some point or another.

And then, an old friend shows up at my door to bring me something.  We talked for a little while, and as she was leaving, she said she had been having a rough couple of days.  "But," she said, "tomorrow will be good.  I've been reading your blog everyday, and when I read it, it really makes me think about finding the good in everyday."

Just when you start to doubt yourself...God will remind you of your path.  He will send someone to remind you that what you are doing does matter, no matter how small you think it might be.  And even if my blog were only reaching one person every day, it is worth it.  It really is.

Thank you to that old know who you are.  Thank you for reading my words faithfully, and thank you for telling me what they mean to you. I really needed that.

And in the end, tomorrow really is good...isn't it?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Surprise Photo Session

Talk about a good surprise! When I was in the hospital after having Nora, my friend Camye, co-founder of the Quad City Moms Blog , called to tell me that there was a photographer interested in doing a newborn photo shoot to advertise on the blog. I was so excited!  With my boys, I had waited until they were at least one month old to get their professional pictures, because when they are first born it's such a hectic time. But Heather from Cherished Keepsakes Photography came to our own home to do the was perfect!

As you all know, I love surprises (that's why we dedicate one day each week to talking about them!).  And believe me, these pictures speak for see your precious babies (all three of them) in such beautiful pictures is such a wonderful thing.  When you're having a bad day or something is going wrong, looking at photos of happy times and smiling babies will always cheer you up!

my whole world.

daddy Matt with his girl

precious Nora Jean

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Look for the Good in People

When I started this blog, nearly five months ago (hard to believe!), I made a call to action to all of you faithful readers of my words.  I asked you to look for the good in people. I asked you to put a smile on your face and try to pay it forward.  I asked you to look beyond the grouchy sales clerk or the super-rude co-workers.  Because you just never know what they might be going through.  And, when it's your turn having a bad day, or a bad week, or God forbid a bad year...never under-estimate the power of a smile and a kind word to cheer you up, even if it's only a little bit.

Since I started this blog, I've really been trying to remember my own advice.  To be honest, it's not always easy.  But it does always feel good in the end.  I have been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life, and they deserve credit for all that they do for me...they make it a lot easier to look for the good in this world.  This summer when I was on bedrest, they were here at a moment's notice to help me with my boys, to clean my house, to make us dinner.  During the last miserable month of my pregnancy, they were here...laying in bed with me, timing my contractions, driving me to the hospital for false alarms. 

And in the days since my precious baby girl arrived, we have been blessed beyond words.  Countless home-cooked meals, beautiful baby presents, loving words and friendly visits.  So much help, so much love.  And for that we are immensely grateful.

So let me ask you the same favor again...look for the good in people.  Turn the other cheek when they treat you wrong, and try to always treat others as you would like to be treated.  There's a reason they call it the golden rule.  I, too, will continue to try my hardest to live with this mindset, this goal in mind to always look for the good in everything.

And so continues the blog.  I pray that you all stay on the journey with me.

Have you found some good in your life lately?  What was it? Please share!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Challenge: Update

Did you complete your Summer Challenge?

If you remember, a while back I posted a list of my “challenges” to myself for this summer. Well, as many of you know, this wasn’t the easiest summer for me…with two kids under 4, and pregnant with the third (not to mention a terrible pregnancy), I wasn’t exactly running full force at my list of challenges.  However, I did manage to complete a few of them, and why not focus on the positive, right? So here’s an update on my completed challenges…

Get to know my neighbors…I’d like to still do better with this one, but I’ve taken the boys over to one neighbor’s house to play outside with the other kids.  They had a great time, and it was an impromptu play date, which made it even more fun.  Gotta love spontaneity! Also, the neighbors right next door have a little boy the same age as Sam, and he and my boys have come to love looking for each other every time any of us walks outside.  In fact, the other night Matt walked over to tell the boy’s dad something, and our boys followed him and started chasing the neighbor boy around in the yard.  It’s so fun to see how fast kids can become friends and how they will just play and play, no questions asked.

Go to some new parks…once again, I’d like to do more with this challenge, but we have been able to visit a few new ones this summer (or new to us at least).  We went to a playdate with the Quad City Moms Blog at Memorial Park in Bettendorf, and this week we had a picnic at Marquette Park for Sam’s birthday week. The boys love any playground, and it’s always fun to go to a new one.  Plus, Marquette Park is so close to our house and yet we’d never taken them there!  So many parks, so little time!

Buy local…yet another half-done challenge.  I really want to do better with this one in the coming months.  We visited the Farmer’s Market a couple times this summer, but hope to go more before it gets cold. And although I didn’t get to do much shopping this summer, local or otherwise, I did get a couple opportunities to help local business owners.  First, a friend from high school started an online boutique for babies and kids (The Cherry on Top), and I’ve been able to get her name out there and share the news about her new items and events coming up.  Also, I recently had the privilege of a newborn photography session at my house (courtesy of Heather from Cherished Keepsakes, a local business here in the Quad City area) for a post I will be writing for the Quad City Moms Blog.  It feels SO great to help these small business-owners advertise and get more business!

Visit tourist sites…As I posted last month, we really took advantage of Family Fun Day Mondays this summer.  We visited the Family Museum, the Putnam, and the Botanical Center, all more than once! We also visited the John Deere Pavilion…a BIG hit with our boys! It was great to visit some of the local attractions (we sometimes forget to visit the places in our own hometown), and we hope to visit more this Fall as well.

Pay it forward…I’ve been working really hard at this one, both by sharing information on my blog and also just telling people about places we’ve been or local businesses that we like. I like to refer to myself as a “wannabe entrepreneur”…my only problem is that I need to focus on one idea at a time!  Private Spanish classes, baby blankets, the blog, party-planning business and soon-to-be a bakery attempt (more information soon!)…I love the thrill of a new idea and seeing where it goes.  That being said, I find it extremely important to be supportive of others who are attempting to live out their dreams as well. So, just keep paying it forward, people!

Take a different route…I’ve started doing this, and it’s actually been fun! Sometimes it may take a few extra minutes to get somewhere, but in the end I remind myself that I’m strengthening my brain and also getting a new perspective on my day-to-day surroundings! If you haven’t tried this yet, you should!

**the challenges I still need to complete are visit the library (although we did go to a library-sponsored event at the park), eat out (I knew we wouldn’t complete that one!), go to church (we did, but not as much as I want to), and last but not least…

…although I hold YOU readers accountable for this last un-met challenge: make the blog more interactive.  I’ve started a Facebook page for the blog, I’ve asked open-ended, conversation-starting questions at the end of my posts, and I’ve even mentioned an upcoming give-away in the works.  I believe I’ve done my part, people. It’s YOUR turn now! Let’s have some conversations!  Leave a comment, write on our facebook page, tell me what you’d like to see more (or less!) of on the blog! I welcome all comments and ideas!  And I thank you all again for reading and following “The Good”!


So…did you make yourself a Summer Challenge?  If so, how did you do? If not, let’s start thinking about some Fall Challenges…my favorite season!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nora's Garage-Sale Debut

Newest member of the bargain-hunting team!

Don't judge me. I took my baby girl garage-saling at 5 days old. We just can't resist a good bargain!  Little "princess Nora" (as her brothers call her) was a perfect little garage-saler...she slept the entire time! And her brothers were so good, too. I couldn't believe I was out with all three of my kids and not one of them made a fuss!  In the end, the only reason we ended up going home was because Mommy was too sore to be riding around in the van!

P.S. I don't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure that Cooper was even younger than 5 days when he went to his first garage sale.  Hilarious.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


On Wednesdays, we always talk about food.  And we frequently talk about my best friend Laura ("Chef Laura").  Well, today it's both...

...if you've been reading lately, you know that I celebrated my 28th birthday in the hospital with my newborn baby girl.  What a birthday! Well, the night before my birthday, I got quite the surprise in my hospital room.  Laura had ordered my favorite cake for me from My Girls Cake Shop (if you haven't ordered from Katie at My Girls, I highly recommend it!).  Strawberry lemonade cake. It is SO delicious!

All of the sudden, my hospital room was filled with my favorite family and friends, and the aroma of the delicious cake.  And the best part? The cake was HUGE! We all ate some (some of us more than others!), and then she took the rest to my house.  So, when I came home from the hospital on the afternoon of my birthday, my fridge was filled with pieces of strawberry lemonade cake.  I was so happy!

That is one good cake.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Challenge Accepted.

What a difference a week can make...

If you read last Tuesday's post, you know how extremely miserable I was after being cooped up in my house.  Not just cooped up, but at the same time unable to clean up the MESS that was piling up around me!  I sent out a sarcastic invitation for anyone willing to come over with rubber gloves and cleaning supplies...and, well, some of my favorite women in the world answered the call.

While I was in the hospital enjoying my newborn baby girl all weekend, my mom and aunts and mother-in-law were not only taking care of my two young boys at home, but they were cleaning EVERY inch of my house.  EVERY inch.

On Monday when we walked in the door with our new daughter for the first time, we walked into a fresh-smelling, spotless house.  They had worked so hard; I couldn't even believe it.  Every room was clean, they had finished sorting and putting away the baby's clothes, they had hung the pictures I hadn't gotten around to hanging.  And the details...a bowl of pink candy on the table, in honor of baby Nora.  And a pile of my favorite candy bars sitting on my nightstand in my room.

It was perfect.  This Tuesday was 1000% better than last Tuesday.  Thank you could never be enough for what they did for me.  But, thank you Mom! And Jean, Barb, and Debbie!  And anyone else who helped!  And for those of you who read the invitation to come clean and didn't're off the hook.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Best Birthday Ever

Monday, August 6, 2012 was my 28th birthday.  At 28 years old, I don't really feel the need to celebrate or receive birthday gifts (even though my family always makes us all feel special on our special days).  But this year I got the best birthday present I've ever baby girl!

If you've been following the blog, you know how extremely uncomfortable I have been for the last 3 or 4 months.  Contractions, back pain, false labor...and all of that after a first trimester full of nausea and daily vomiting! Disgusting but true!  I was SO ready to have this baby!

Happy birthday mommy!
After she arrived on August 4th, we spent the next two days recovering and falling in love with her in the hospital. I have cherished those days with all of my babies--no cleaning or cooking to do, none of the daily stresses or worries, and most importantly, time with their daddy, who works so many hours and rarely has days off with us.

And then on Monday, on my birthday, we got to take her home! As we drove up the street by our house, we saw her two big brothers jumping up and down on the sidewalk at the corner with their grandma and grandpa. I will never forget that sight, seeing my boys so excited for their sister (and their mommy!) to come home.

Happy, happy birthday to me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Surprise in a Blanket: Part 2

As promised, there is a part two to this post! If you didn't read the first part, go to Surprise in a Blanket.  To re-cap the story, I made one baby blanket with our baby girl's name on it, but since her name was a secret until she was born, I had to hide the name on the blanket while my aunt Jeannie sewed it up!
Fast forward about 4 weeks...the blankie was wrapped up tight with ribbon and waiting in my hospital bag.  I had told Jean that she could open it as soon as the baby arrived, and she was so excited to see the name!  Little did she know, she would be even more excited after she opened it and saw the surprise!
It just so happens that baby girl is named after my aunt Jean!  So, when Nora was born and we told my mom her name, she said "we have to get Jean in here now and show her that blanket!".  So that's what we did! Jean came running in the room, grabbed the baby, and unwrapped the blanket.  And Matt caught the perfect moment on camera...Jean was shocked!  She just kept saying, "you named her after me?? After me??"

For someone who loves surprises, this one was one of the best I have experienced.  And the fact that Jean was the one who had sewed the blanket made it even more perfect.  We knew that she would be excited, but I didn't know it would be like this!  While we plan to just call her Nora, I know one person who will always be referring to her as Nora Jean.  And that's alright with me.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Welcome to the World, Nora Jean.

On Saturdays we look for the good in people...well, this Saturday that won't be too hard.  There is a BRAND new person in my life:  my daughter, miss Nora Jean!

Born at 5:03am on Saturday, August 4th, 2012.

What more could we ask for on a Saturday morning?  Life is GOOD.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Good Cause.

Looking for something good to do for your community this week?

From now until August 12th, find a few minutes to go through your drawer full of bras that you don't wear (you know you have some! we ALL do!).  If you find some gently-worn (or maybe never worn!) bras, take them into Soma Intimates and donate them for their Bra Donation Event.  According to their website, bras are some of the most-needed, yet least-donated items for women in need.

So what are you waiting for? Get to your room, pull out all those bras you don't wear, and give them to someone who will wear them!

*Locally, you can find Soma Intimates at Northpark Mall.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Readers Beware: It's Not A "Good" Day.

CAUTION:  Today's post is not the average Pollyanna, positive outlook, happy heart kind of post.  Thursdays are for sharing our latest bargains, but to be honest I don't have any bargains to share.

Instead, I can forewarn you and tell you what is NOT a bargain...

It is NOT a bargain to make your FOURTH trip to the Labor and Delivery department of the hospital.  Fetal monitoring, urine samples, blood work, internal exams (yuck).  Not only is it not a's not fun.

I guess everyone is allowed a day to be negative, right? That's not what we aim for here at "The Good", but we also don't aim for a fantasy.  Life isn't perfect.  Sometimes it's not as easy to find the good in every day.  Last night at 10:30pm I was getting on an elevator with my mom and my husband...I was sobbing.  Not only because I was in pain (I was having painful contractions every two minutes!), but because I was getting sent home...again.

As I sat down to write this post, I knew it was pathetic.  But yet, after a full day of laying in my bed having contractions and terrible back pain, I guess pathetic just suits my mood.  However, now that I'm typing the words, I just can't bring myself to end the post in the same manner it started.  I have to look for the good.  And in the end, it's truly not that hard--after all, in a matter of days (or two weeks, tops!) I will have a newborn baby girl in my arms!  For those of us who have given birth and enjoyed the utter bliss of those first few days with our newest members of the family, we know that there is nothing to compare that with.  Nothing. bargains to share with you today.  Sorry to disappoint.  Anyone have any good ones to share? It may cheer me up to hear about all of you heading out to some garage sales or clearance racks!  Any good buys lately??

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Magic Sauce?

A few nights ago, I went to a little party with some of my friends from the Quad City Moms Blog . There were 8 or 9 of us there, and 4 of us are currently pregnant. So, naturally, the conversation got around to pregnancy stories and birth stories.  LOTS of stories!

Anyhow...Wednesdays we look for the good in food.  This week, I was looking for the magic in food!  As we discussed our pregnancies, our labors, and the births of our previous children, we started talking about ways to jump-start labor.  I am currently between 36 and 37 weeks, so I guess I can see why people don't understand my rush to have this baby girl.  However, I have been having consistent contractions, back pain, headaches, insomnia, ....the list goes on, for over 2 months now!!!  So, when two of the girls at the party (who are sisters) mentioned that they both went into labor after eating homemade spaghetti sauce (and their other sister did, too!), I was itching to make some sauce of my own!

super fresh herbs...NOTHING smells better!
I googled the validity of spaghetti sauce putting women into labor, and it turns out it's a pretty popular story!  There is a restaurant that has become famous for women going into labor after eating the eggplant parmagiana, but it turns out it's really the fresh oregano and basil that can have an effect on the body and make the uterus begin to contract. So.....yesterday I loaded up my boys and we went to the grocery store for some crushed tomatoes and some veggies to put in our sauce.  On the way home, we stopped at Chef Laura's garden for some very fresh oregano and basil...we even watched her cut it off the plant!

As I made dinner last night, I almost laughed at myself.  I was cutting up so much basil and oregano, you would have thought I was making dinner for 30 or 40 people!  Nope.  Just me, Matt and the boys (and my dad stopped by, too).  Needless to say, the sauce tasted very strongly of herbs!!  After eating a too-big portion, I literally felt like I had eaten a garden.  Then we sat down and waited to see what would happen...I actually did start having a lot of contractions, some even big ones and quite uncomfortable! you can assume since I am writing this blog right now, the contractions did not lead to a baby!

So I guess the magic sauce didn't work for me.  But, in the end, Matt and I had a good laugh, and I have to admit, it was a pretty good dinner.  Good food and a good doesn't get much better than that!

The final product:  Good. But not magic.