Saturday, January 30, 2010

These Boots Are Made for Walking...

Well not really, but they sure do look cute on her....

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Walk to Emmaus

I want to apologize to my devoted blog followers for the 2 week hiatus. As some of you know, I went on the Alabama Walk to Emmaus (#363), through my church to Camp Sumatanga. I left last Thursday afternoon and didn't return until Sunday night. We were told to leave all of our luxuries of the secular world behind (i.e. watches, cell phones, etc.) so we could fully dedicate ourselves to the spiritual weekend. That was a difficult thing for me to do, as I have never gone ONE day without talking to Steve since we began dating 6 years ago. In addition, it was hard to cut ties with my children and trust that all was going to go well at home without me. Of course it did, and I am so happy that I went.

This experience was so valuable to me, and I hope that the feeling of gratitude and closeness to God that I am feeling right now lasts forever. It was such a good reminder of what Jesus did for us, and it made me even more thankful for the things in my life. I have always viewed myself as a Christian, but after having my children my feelings deepened. After going through the whole process of each pregnancy and child birth, and holding these little miracles made me ever thankful for my healthy beautiful children. Then as Steve and I each experienced job headaches in a terrifying job market, and things started to change and look up for each of us, once again I knew that God was looking out for us and had a plan.

Long story short, I knew I needed this. I wanted to thank God (as I do every night in my prayers) for everything that he has given me, and continues to bless me with daily. But what I didn't expect was to learn so much, and feel so much love from him. It was an emotional weekend, and anytime I slow down and just recall things about it, I cry again. I know I am an emotional person (I have always had the ability to cry at a drop of a hat), but this weekend I cried a river. Some of them were tears of sadness after listening to other people's journeys to God, but most of them were joyful tears.

I am so thankful for everything in my life, and my family and friends mean the world to me (I hope you all know that). However, I learned that I need to reprioritize things some. I really need to put God first, and continue to trust that he will guide me down the right path. I know I will stumble, but I am confident that I can lead a more fulfilling life if I can do this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kid's Day Off

Monday the kids didn't have school, so we joined some friends at the McWane Science Center! I guess everyone else with young children had the same idea because the place was slammed! To top it off, my children did not want to play in the same areas, or with the same things, so I was constantly running from one end of the room to other. Thank goodness I had an extra set of eyes from my friend, because Preston kept trying to escape from whatever room we were playing in at the time! I love that child, but he was going 150 mph the whole time!

We started off playing in an oversized maze (well I didn't, but they did). Preston loved climbing up the stairs and sliding down the slide. But I had to enlist Bennett's help to get him out of there. Then I directed the kids over to the water station. Before I could even get the rubber apron on Pres, his sleeves were completely soaked and he was splashing around like crazy. Even when I got the apron on, it didn't help much because he kept trying to take it off and climb into the water basin! Meanwhile my little girl is playing nicely in the water, not making a mess, just enjoying it. All I can say is the older he gets, the more differences I can see between Pres and Bennett. He is such a BOY, which I guess is good since he is a boy, but my goodness.

The trip there ended with a photo of the kids sitting with Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat. Since Bennett asks to watch George daily, I knew she would be excited to see him. And she was while she was standing in the line,... until it was her turn. Then she started to get tense, and almost refused altogether. Thankfully Pres just hopped up on the bench, easing Bennett enough to get a couple of photos of her looking totally miserable. Another one for the memory books I guess!

Anyway, after a short two hour visit, the kids were exhausted (as was mommy), so we headed home to have lunch and take naps. If their three hour naps were any sign of how much fun they had, then they had a ball!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr Day

You know when you go on vacation, you try to do and see everything you can that is unique to that city? Well, when I moved to Birmingham over six years ago I had a long list of things I wanted to do, see and experience while I was here (not knowing that this might be my final stop). Over the years I have done many of the things on the list, but one thing that remained was Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute. Last week I got the opportunity to go, and to top it off I went with some elderly black women who have lived through the civil rights movement here in Birmingham.

As I toured the museum alongside of these women, I learned so much about Birmingham's history, as well as the civil rights movement. It is truly amazing to be living in a city where SO much history has taken place to further the rights of black people. Today I wanted to share some of those things with those who read this (and may not know it).

Back in the 1920s Birmingham had two baseball teams, the "Barons," and the "Black Barons" since the teams were segregated. The "Black Barons" started in the early 1920s, and were very good for the 40 years they were around, and ended up having five of their players inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They played at the historic Rickwood Field, the oldest ballpark still in use today. Both whites and blacks enjoyed watching them play (even though they had segregated seating), especially in the late 1940s when Willie Mays played for them and they competed for the Negro National Championship.

The astonishing pace of Birmingham's growth through the turn of the century earned it the nicknames "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Much like Pittsburgh in the north, Birmingham's major industries were iron and steel production. 30% of those laborers were white, while 70% of them were black. However, it was the burial business which led to the success of a few black men in Birmingham.

It is hard to imagine that from 1940 to the mid 1960s, there were 50 unsolved bombings, giving Birmingham another nickname: Bombingham. Then on 12/1/55, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a crowded bus in Montgomery. It was that defiance that led to continued violence between the blacks and whites for the next couple of decades, but also the beginning of laws changing. A year after Ms. Parks famous move, the Supreme Court said that segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional.

Laws continued to slowly change over the years, so I was shocked to read that in 1990 (just 20 short years ago), a burning cross was put in the yard of Huntsville, AL couple (a city 1.5 hrs north of Birmingham) because the white woman was dating a black man. That is pathetic! So, as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr Day today, I hope you all know the reason we celebrate this day. It is because he fought to end racial discrimination in a nonviolent way. So in observance of him, teach your children to love everyone equally. If we can end racial discrimination, perhaps we can make this world a safer, happier place with less war and turmoil for their future.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pres on the Phone

Preston's personality has really started to come out more and more. He is constantly babbling, and loves to "talk" on the phone. In fact, if we are on the phone he reaches for it and cries if we don't give it to him. This morning Steve was on the phone, and Pres started crying. So we called my parents so Pres could talk to them. He babbled some, did a little singing, hung up on them a couple of times, but was happy. It is so funny to see him repeat some of Bennett's behaviors from a year ago

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Mimi!!

Today (I won't say how long ago) a very special person in our lives was born. Myra, we all wish you a fabulous birthday!

I am sorry that you are sick on your birthday, because all year long you do for everyone else and this should be your special day. You have been a loving, supportive mother to all three of your boys, and an even more caring and giving grandmother to your five grandchildren. Speaking as the daughter-in-law, I feel blessed to have you in my life. I have always heard horror stories of some girlfriend's MILs, but you have been great! You are always willing to help in anyway that you can (without being intrusive), whether it is helping with Spencer, inviting us over for our favorite dinners, babysitting your grandkids, watering flowers while we are in vacation, to just being a thoughtful person and checking on us when someone isn't feeling well. We appreciate it all, and love you very much!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lucky 13!!!

Tonight Alabama won the National Championship game, beating Texas in what became a slight nail biter at the end. Though we weren't in Pasadena to see the game in person, we were all there in spirit dressed in our crimson! I must admit I took a short nap during the third quarter, but for those who didn't rest your eyes, you must admit it was a sloooow quarter. Anyway, the Mizerany household couldn't be happier for the BIG WIN!! Though Saban was ticked off when a couple of his players dumped red gatorade on him at the end, I am sure he will reflect back on it and chuckle.

37-21 was the final score, but after Alabama was up so much at the half, we got cocky and thought we had it in the bag. The players became complacent, and Texas came out of nowhere and starting scoring with their back-up quarterback. Bama had to stick it to them at the VERY end and let them know who was boss! Thank goodness they were able to pull it off and bring home their 13th National Championship!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Standing Ovation

Back by popular demand is Preston singing. This time "Jingle Bells" and Twinkle Twinkle." By the way, I swear my children are usually dressed, it is just that I got this video right after Preston's shower today (since he wouldn't perform on cue for my mother over the phone).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Peter Piper

Preston got a new book for Christmas filled with various mother goose stories, and the kids just love it. Yesterday Steve was reading it to Pres, and when he came to "Peter Piper" he asked Preston to copy him. Pres sputtered and babbled, and Steve thought it was so funny. He told me about it when I got home, so he got the camcorder after dinner and made him do it again.

Bennett hates to be left out of any photo/video session, so we asked her to sing for us. Enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Though I personally didn't have a bad 2009, I am always excited to see what the new year will bring for my family. Steve started his new job a couple of weeks ago, but will get really cranked up next week. So much so that we had to back out of attending the National Championship game, which almost made Steve cry....really. I can't tell you how bad he wanted to attend that game in person. Unfortunately, work has to take precedence since it pays our bills.

Next year should be a fun year for us with the kids too. Preston is trying to talk more and more, and now repeats several things we say (like "oh man" and "all aboard") and can say several more single words that we can understand. He babbles incessantly and thinks we should understand him, so he gets very upset when he doesn't get what he wants. Bennett is mothering him more and more, and is turning into quite the little girl. Last week she came up to me and told me "I love your new boots mommy, they are pretty," and when she tells me she loves me out of the blue....priceless moments in a mother's eyes.

Anyway, last night Steve's parents kept our children OVERNIGHT for us. It was Preston's first night away from me since he was born. It is not that I am an overprotective mother, but he is the worst sleeper ever, and I hated to do that to someone else. He has been sleeping better, but of course he pulled a typical Preston and woke up at 1am last night for them, which got their whole house stirring (including Bennett). Needless to say, they didn't get any sleep. We, on the other hand, partied like rock stars! Knowing that we didn't have kids to come home to caused us to stay out later than we should have and drink more than we should have. This wicked combination is now making us suffer tremendously today.

Now that the kids are finally taking naps, I too need to get some beauty sleep so I can function the rest of the day. When will I learn my lesson, and realize that I am no longer the 23 year old that could rebound within a few hours!

Happy New Year to you all!