From Tracie: January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It Is the Thought That Counts

I see her giggles.

She is leaning over and whispering to her daddy.

He laughs.

They look over at me and the laughter grows.

"What are you two saying? What is so funny?"

"Oh mom, we can't tell you that just yet. Wait until tomorrow. You will see."

It is a surprise. Her very favorite thing.

Not often very big....but special in all it's smallness.

Love drips off of it.

She can hardly contain all the joy that flows through her, and it comes out in jumps and hops and big, tight hugs.

A smile so big.

Her heart shows through.

And in that moment I understand the truth behind that old saying, it is the thought that counts.

"Do you love it? Do you really really love it?"

"Yes my dear. I love it. And I really really love you."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cat-Kisses and a Movie I Never Actually Watched

Today, my wonderful, sweet, loving husband brought home some meltaway Hershey's kisses. They are wonderful and sweet too...and I love them, so they are a good fit for my stomach our home. I portioned out two for each of us after dinner (okay, I'll admit it, I portioned out two for Thomas and Katarina and I ate four) and then hid them away on top of the refrigerator.

Later in the evening I had to have just one more. I reached up above the refrigerator, which is too high for me (hush, short people are awesome) and grabbed the bag.

It ripped down the side.

Chocolate spilled out all over the floor.

First thought: At least they are all individually wrapped, because otherwise I might have a small breakdown.

Second thought: Every single one of those kisses landed upright.

Oooooh they are magic. Or they are cats.

They are Cat-Kisses.

Melting Cat Kisses.

I think I will have nine more to celebrate their catlike-ness.


Last week, KLZ at Taming Insanity (who is currently at Blissdom, but I'm trying not to hold that against her) wrote about how you can improve your Alexa ranking. So I held my breath and looked at my rank.

It was a scary number.

I followed KLZ's instructions Install Toolbar-check. Install Widget-check. Post Frequently-check. It seems to be working. My rank has gone down (in Alexa world, the smaller the number the better) and someone even clicked on that little green box on the right and wrote a review for me. Apparently having reviews is also very important to your Alexa rank.

If you are into stats and things, or you want to increase your traffic, or you like being able to look at everyone else's stats at a glance when you are on their page, you should go check out Alexa.

...and write a review for my site, if you want.
(/shameless begging for reviews)


Thomas and I were flipping through the tv and saw that Sybil was on. I have never seen this movie, but Thomas has mentioned it before, so I started asking him lots of questions.

At which point, he informed me that he has never watched it before.

This was confusing to me, because I know I have heard him talk about it.

At which point, he clarified for me that he has never watched the movie, but he has watched people watch the movie.

At which point, I felt a little creeped out

.....but not as creeped out as I feel having just told a story using the phrase "at which point" three times. Because that is a little weird, right?


I have been seeing this video from blogger and author, Ann Voskamp, all over the place the last couple of weeks. It is absolutely beautiful. I want to read this book!


For the Grandparents: Katarina lost a tooth yesterday. That makes seven. I have yet to capture photographic proof...but trust me, it is gone. 


Now all of my Melting Cat Kisses are gone...and so am I. Happy Friday to you.

If you want to see more blog posts of fragmented fun, go visit Mrs.4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time.

Review on

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Love

Have I mentioned that I love this kid?
She makes me smile, everyday.
What makes you smile?

Monday, January 24, 2011

on the verge.

I sit here.

On the verge of tears.

It seems to be all too common lately.

The smallest things seem insurmountable.

The hurts and hearts of others seem too much to even hear.

My ability for empathy overwhelms me.

My cynicism and anger scare me.

My need for something unknown is drowning me.

My insecurities paralyze me.

I try to rest in God's hands....but that is a lie, because I know that I am no where near them, and the blame for that lies solely with me.

This is honestly from the verge.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Accepting Submissions for the January Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

***The January Blog Carnival has been posted and you can find it here**

Just a quick reminder that the January Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is this Friday, and the deadline for submitting your links is Wednesday the 26th. Our host this month is Margaret from The World As I See It.

We don't have a theme this month, but all of our usual categories are open:
-Advocacy and Awareness
-Healing and Therapy
-In the News
-Survivor Stories
-Art Therapy

Friday, January 21, 2011

Orange Couch Conversation

"I want to go out there and tell Jason how I really feel, but I'm not sure how to do it."

"Kim, decide what you are going to say, quit being a wimp, and go for it."

"I am just going to sit down next to him on that awful orange couch and tell him...

tell him, uh....."

"Tell him how you hate that couch, and you only keep it around because he loves it so much. And you sit on it when he isn't here because it makes you think of him, and that day you spent together visiting estate sales?"

"No! I am not going to tell him that, because it sounds slightly insane, and possibly stalker-ish. Even though it is true.

I'm going to say, 'Jason, we have been friends for ten years. For a long time, that was enough, but for the past year, I have wanted more than just a friendship with you. I'm falling in love with you, and I need to know if you could ever feel the same way.' And I am going to say all of that while restraining myself from laughing nervously or throwing up on him mid-sentence. "

"You will not throw up.

He will say, 'Oh Kim. I love you too. All this time I have been afraid to hope that you felt the same way!'
and then he will kiss you."

"Or he will say, 'Oh Kim. I love you too. I really do, but not like that. I come around mostly for the couch, and because you get all the good tv channels.'

I will be crushed, and live alone with a large collection of cats."

"He is not going to say that."

"Probably not, but he might, I think I should be prepared."

"Kim, you can't live the rest of your life locked in this bathroom putting on yet another layer of lipstick and stuffing your true feelings in a box. You won't ever know how he feels if you don't talk to him, so why are you in here while he is out there?"

"Because I'm so much better in my mind than I am out loud. Because I can not seem to make my mouth say what my heart thinks when other people are around. That is why I am in here, staring at the mirror...talking to myself."

Today I am linking up with Red Writing Hood and sharing a little fiction on the blog.

This week's prompt from the Red Dress Club is to write a piece in which you use ONLY dialogue. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do You Leash?

Something that I find curious, leashes.  I'm sure there are reasons for pulling out that leash.  Safety is one.  I can imagine lots of people pointing out that they use leashes for safety reasons.  It keeps the little ones from running away.  That is all good and fine, but what happens when they turn the leashes on you?

When Thomas and I were first married we flew from Florida to Arizona to have our second wedding with my mom's family.  We had a layover in the Houston Airport.  While we were there we saw this woman.  She was traveling with her four kids and it didn't seem to be going very well.  The first time we noticed her she was walking through the airport with all four kids attatched to her by leashes.  She had a suitcase and although three of the kids were walking (none of them were babies) one of them was definitely closer to being dragged.   

The three kids who were walking weren't much improvement on the "dragged" kid, because the three "walkers" were all trying to walk in different directions!  It made me think of those old western movies when the townsfolk would get really angry at a guy and threaten that he might be drawn and quartered.  I could just see this poor woman being pulled in three different directions!

She finally corralled all four kids into the bathroom (these western words are really working for me today) and we didn't see them for a long time.

Finally, after a long wait, it was time for our plane to board.  We got in line and Thomas started tapping me and said, "Look!  It is the lady with the leashes!"

What I saw when I turned my head........I have wished ever since that I had had a camera with me that day.  It needs photographic explanation.  It was just so crazy!  So crazy in fact, that I decided that since I don't have a photograph I would just have to draw you a picture.  Nothing short of that will do.

There she was.  One kid trying to escape while simultaneously having wrapped his leash around another one's neck.  Two of the kids had run around her in circles and the mom was unable to move due to being tied up.  The last kid......this was the one who was being dragged earlier......had climbed on top of a telephone booth that was mounted to the wall!  To this day Thomas and I are unsure how he managed to get up there.  we had to catch our flight, so I never have known what happened to that mother with all the leashes.  I imagine that she might still be there at the airport all these years later tied up and stuck under that phone booth, but hopefully she was able to make it to her airplane.

I had never given leashes much though before this incident.  On that day, Thomas and I decided that we were not leash parents.  It is just too dangerous.  You might be able to use that leash to keep your kid attached to you.....but you never know when they might turn on you and tie you up with it!
This was originally featured as a guest post at Curiosity.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Do You Do The Kissing Thing?

Last week Pamela, at A Renaissance Woman, had a post about Camille Grammer from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You know that show that you and I never watch, and have never heard of? That one. The one that we know nothing about because we never, ever watch it.

Now that we have that all cleared up, about how we never watch it, we can move on and talk about it, right?

Okay. Pamela was talking about a moment where Camille kissed another woman's husband on the lips during a party.  This has gotten me thinking. Not about the kissing of the husband, I'm pretty sure that none of us would be very okay with that. The kissing I'm thinking about is the women on the show, they always do the double cheek kiss. I'm pretty sure if we added up all the time that they spend kissing each other in greeting, and put them together, it would equal the amount of time allotted for one entire episode of the show.

So I have to ask, do you double cheek kiss your friends? Do you double cheek kiss people that you barely know, or don't even really like?

I know it is all European and cool, but I am not a kissing person. I'm not even a big hugging person, unless I love you or feel close to you. All that touchy-feely-ness is not for me, but it seems like every talk show and reality show on television people are doing the kissing thing. Am I the only one freaked out by that?


This is Stream of Consciousness Sunday. The challenge is to sit down and limit yourself to only five minutes of typing. No editing, spell checking, or proofreading. Keeping it quick and real....and, in my case, hopefully kissing free!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't Mess With Me or I'll Cut You

Dear Clothes That Hang In My Closet,

I am nice to you. I take you out of those boring stores full of florescent lights that give you a slightly greenish hue and bring you home with me, where the lighting is nice and the temperature is cool.

You hang out in my closet with all your other clothes friends.

I lovingly select you one at a time and take you on little the park, to the store (where you can visit all those clothes that haven't found good homes and feel comforted that you have). Sometimes we go to a movie. You are always there when I go out to eat. Every fun thing I do, you come with me.

You are treated well. There is nothing that you have to complain about. Okay, there was that time I thought that I could make my jeans look distressed like the ones I saw in that magazine...and I know that didn't work out so great, but those jeans are gone, and I have never experiment that way since. You told me that you forgave me.

I'm reminding you of this because I have one request. You have lived with me for a long time now and I think it is time you started pulling your own weight around here.

I'm happy to place you in the hamper and not dump you in the middle of the floor to be trampled upon.

I'm happy to put you in the washing machine, I'll even treat your stains and use fabric softener.

And you, the T-Shirts that are afraid of shrinking, I'll remember to not put you in the dryer, therefore saving you a trip to the Goodwill from which you would never return.

This is where pulling your own weight comes in. When that process is over, I expect you to hang yourself up (or fold yourself if you are hoping to fulfill your secret desire to be a contortionist).

You keep up your side of the bargain, and I will keep up mine.



PS. If you don't keep up your side of the bargain. Well, lets just say that I still have those scissors and that magazine and I seem to remember some other tutorials. One of them involved paint, a seam ripper, and some beads. The choice is yours. See you around the closet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happiness is Finishing a Project

On a Tuesday long ago, I talked about cross stitching and relaxation. Life got busy, and that project got set aside. Eventually it ended up on the bottom of my sewing bag, forgotten.  I came across it this week and finished it!

Happiness is finishing a project.
(and yes, it is still very relaxing!)

What is making you happy today?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

One Word: Courage

I have said it more than once. I don't make resolutions. I don't like the stress of them, the pressure, the ultimate failure.

What I am going to do this year is a word.

One word to focus on.

One word whose limits I will test.

One word that will test my limits.

My word for 2011 is COURAGE.

Courage can be a big boulder, existing in great tragedy and adversity, this is the courage that we often hear about. But courage can also be a small stone, present in our day to day lives, quiet but strong. This is the courage that I will seek.

When the day is black as night and there is nothing there to hold onto. Courage.

When the day is sunny and bright, and no one is holding out a great expectation. Courage.

Be transparent, even when it is scary. Courage.

Reach out to others, even when there is no guarantee they will reach back. Courage.

Be powerful. Courage.

Stand firm, even in the small things. Courage.

Write....and share it. Courage.

Believe in yourself. Courage.

Give more, even when it isn't certain where the more will come from. Courage.

Do the hard things. Courage.

Do the easy things...on a hard day. Courage.

Speak the truth. Courage.

Get out of bed. Courage.

Shut down the negative. Courage.

Ask for help. Courage.

Not only accept change, but embrace it. Courage.

Stop old things that worked in the past, but are not working anymore. Courage.

Let laughter come easily. Courage.

Say NO. Courage.

Say YES. Courage.

Trust God. Courage.

Try new things. Courage.

Be open. Courage.

Accept help. Courage.

Put the "ape" in apricot. Courage. (see: let laughter come easily!)

Take risks. Courage.

Live big. Love hard. Feel deep. Courage.

Don't use phrases like, "I don't do _____" as an excuse to sit on the sidelines, because what that really means is "I'm afraid to do _____, I think I will fail, so I won't even try". Courage.

Be the loudest one in the room. Speak. Courage.

Be the quietest one in the room. Listen. Courage.

Howl at the moon. Courage.

Live with arms wide open. Courage.

Be dorky. Courage.

Learn. Courage.

Make decisions intentionally. Courage.

Hard work. Courage.

Say yes to myself. Courage.

Say yes to God. Courage.

Open the door. Courage.

Courage doesn't mean that the scary things are no longer scary. 
Courage means that I do them anyway.

What one word would you pick for 2011?

If you want to join the community of people living out one word in 2011, visit Alece at Grit and Glory: One Word 2011.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happiness Askew

Happiness is:
Giving myself the freedom to resist the impulse of symmetry, 
and get that off kilter shot.


What is making you happy today?