The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

10 things about me right now

I got this idea from Ali Edwards' blog and then saw that one of my top 5 bloggers, CZ, did the same thing. So, I decided to put myself out there and follow suit. (And yes, I, too, need to turn this into a scrapbook page soon.) Here goes...

10 things about me right now

1. I work from home every Monday and Friday, and sometimes, when it's a cold dreary day like today, working from home on a Wednesday just makes sense. Nothing beats working from home in your fuzzy slippers and cozy pajamas. Except, maybe, not having to work at all!

2. Yesterday I unexpectedly received a decent size royalty check for the one chapter that I helped co-author in the SAP book that was published earlier this year. While a pleasant thing to receive, Kevin and I disagree on whether to spend it responsibly or frivolously.

3. I have gone to bed by 10:00 pm most nights for the last several weeks, sometimes even turning in by 8:30 or 9:00. This behavior is completely out of character for me, a seasoned night owl.

4. I recently had the privilege of attending a program at Jordyn's middle school called Rachel's Challenge, which, among other things, was to start a chain reaction of kindness. Rachel was the first person shot and killed in the Columbine tragedy in 1999. At the age of 17, she had a tremendously kind soul whose life and story and challenge has now reached millions of people. I think of her message often.

5. Owen did not want to get up for school this morning, but not because he was stubborn, it was because he was exhausted. All day, every day kindergarten is really taking a toll on him. I wanted to let him sleep until his body told him to wake up, and then take him in to school late. Because, sometimes kids just need to sleep. But, Kevin woke him up and got him out the door on time.

6. My heart was full this morning as I witnessed yet another awesome big brother moment from Liam has he grabbed Owen's hand to hold as they jogged together down the road towards the bus stop. They didn't even realize that I was watching them out my home office window, and it makes me smile to see these private moments of brotherhood between them. Brothers forever, friends for life.

7. I'm frustrated and saddened by the economy, and as a result, Kevin's continued unemployment. However, I remind myself that financial troubles are but a speck in comparison with the tribulations that so many others face…tumors, hunger, divorce, death, war, depression, rebellion. I'll take a healthy, happy family over a paycheck any day.

8. All year I have been taking a picture a day documenting our daily life as part of Project 365. I have started to slip with my picture-taking - a day here and a day there - the last couple of weeks. I need to re-focus on this important project. When the year is over, I plan to print all of my photos and the corresponding journal entries (that I've logged in my Project 365 blog) to create a scrapbook album.

9. My dreams at night are plentiful and vivid. I just need to learn how to harness that energy during the dream while I'm awake and to make those dreams come true.

10. I am 12 weeks pregnant with our fourth child. The idea of adding a baby into our house when I thought we had closed that chapter of our lives is pretty scary, to say the least. But, life would be incredibly boring with out a bit of adventure, and I do love roller coasters.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Bird

Working from home today I took notice of one of my feathered friends hanging upside down from the bird feeder. I'd never seen any of my birds do this before and I thought it was kind of neat. So, I grabbed my camera.
Whatchya looking at fella? How cute are you? Looking for a worm?

Then some other birds came to visit the feeder. But instead of eating the seeds, they seemed to be pecking at this bird.

I took a closer picture of the bird and realized that he was only hanging upside down by one leg. See the other leg there in the photo?

Then I realized. He's not hanging upside down on purpose. He's stuck. Those other birds weren't pecking at him, really, they were trying to FREE him!!

So, I put on my black leather winter gloves, went out to the feeder, (sending three dozen birds that had been hiding amongst the evergreen branches flying off into the sky), and I inspected the situation. His foot was, indeed, stuck in the feeder!

I was able to release his foot with little effort and attempted to place him gently on the ground, but he immediately flew away. And, he didn't seem to be hurt one bit.

Fortunately, I had gotten to him in time.

Free Bird.

(Yes, I think that one day I'll be the old lady on the park bench with pigeons eating out of my palm.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Great Gypsy Escape

Trying to win a Cricut contest, plus it was fun to think about escaping for a little while.

This is contest entry for those crazy folks at TodaysMama and Cricut. Be sure to check out Cricut's cool new cartridges and the chance at $30,000 in travel for you and your friends at the Great Gypsy Escape site! Escape Meme

1. If you could escape to anywhere in the world where would it be?
Edinburgh, Scotland
2. What song do you play when you are by yourself in the car?
Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry
3. If you had a night to yourself, and money was no object, what would you do?
SPA - all day AND all night
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
Wine, Wine, Wine
5. What is the farthest place you have traveled away from your home?
Penang, Malaysia
6. Last book that you couldn't put down?
The Middle Place
7. When you want to escape into another time, what movie do you watch?
Braveheart or Dangerous Beauty
8. What is your favorite local escape?
Traverse City, MI (but that's about 5 hours away, so, I'm not sure that's considered "local"!)
9. How do you escape on a budget?
Get together with good friends for some wine consumption, grilled goodness, and belly laughs.
10. Best food you've ever had while on vacation.
I don't remember what I had, but I remember where I was...Emeril's restaurant in Vegas. BAM!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Fall List

You may remember our Summer Bucket List...

We gathered the family around the fire pit on the patio for one last summer hurrah and discussed the Summer Family Fun items that we did together:

Cook's Farm Dairy * Parsons' Pool * Finish Liam's Birthday Album * Driving Range (Kevin & Owen) * Gulda's Pool Party* Binder Park Zoo * Pancake Breakfast * Grand Rapids * Movies * Fireworks * Catch a Frog / Toad

Then, as we watched the summer sun set across the lake and made some S'mores, we discussed what types of Fall Family Fun things we wanted to do this autumn.

We may get to do some of them, and not others. And that's OK. As long as we do them together.

Here is the Hillary's Fall Bucket List:

Mom's List:
*Oxford Football Game
* Starbuck's for Hot Chocolate / Hot Caramel Apple Cider
* If the Tigers make it to the World Series, go to Detroit to walk around during one of the home games
* Go Bowling
* Watch our wedding video on our anniversary (Kevin and I have NEVER watched our wedding video!!)
* Make Peanut Butter/Marshmallow toast
* Farmer's Market
* Family Photo Session
* Go to the boys' soccer games

Dad's List:
* MSU Football Game
* Watch a Bucs game with out yelling
* Make Chili
* Kill an animal (all ideas get written down, that's the rule)
* Develop a new work out routine (not a family activity, I know)
* Develop a new dinner menu

Jordyn's List:
* Go pumpkin picking
* Go costume shopping
* Visit the Parsons' puppy
* Go Ghosting
* Rent a scary movie around Halloween
* Go to a corn maze
* Go on a haunted hay ride
* Make caramel apples
* Make a Halloweeny dessert
* Go to the Funky Fall Fest

Liam's Items:
* Score four goals in one soccer game
* Have a fall party
* Stay overnight at a hotel
* Bike ride on the Polly Ann Trail
* Make Halloween cookies
* Sell apple cider
* Kids Kingdom

Owen's Items:
* Plant an apple tree
* Carve Pumpkins
* Burn Pumpkins (we figured out that he meant to put a candle in them as jack-o-lanterns)
* Go trick-or-treating
* Catch more fish
* Ride horses
* Costume party
* Make Halloween decorations
* Make applesauce
* Go to a parade/Have a parade (not really sure what he was trying to say here)

And since we talked so much about Halloween, the kids discussed what they wanted to be:

Jordyn - a French maid
Liam - Storm Shadow (some GI Joe character)
Owen - a butterfly

Now, Jordyn and Kevin kept telling Owen that he couldn't be a butterfly, which made Owen want to be a butterfly THAT much more. And Liam and I kept telling him that he could and should be a butterfly. Eventually, lest we wonder which team he's gonna play on when he grows up, Owen changed his mind and said that he wanted to be a gun...."So that I can SHOOT the butterflies." Oh my.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Empty bed

I went to bed early last night. Around 10:30. That's pretty early for a night owl like me.... especially for a Saturday night on a holiday weekend.

Kev wasn't tired, so he stayed up and watched TV and had another beer.

Then, I woke up at 2:45 am (nature was calling).

I looked at the clock and turned over to an empty spot in the bed where Kevin should be. I ran my hand across the empty bed and felt empty inside.

Why wasn't Kevin in bed, yet?

I was surprised by how sad I was to not have him there next to me when he should have been.

I answered nature's call and then went into the hallway. I looked down into the living room, and there was Kevin sleeping on the couch.

"Kev, what are you doing down there?"

"Oh, I guess I fell asleep." (passed out is probably more like it)

"Well, come on up to bed."

I couldn't help thinking about how sad I was when I woke up to that unexpectedly empty bed. Of course I knew he was right downstairs. But he wasn't where he SHOULD have been. And that made me feel a little peculiar.

Then I started thinking about women who are married to, or in relationships with men who wake up to unexpectedly empty beds on a regular basis. And, not only is the bed empty, but the living room couch is empty as well. And, on top of that, they don't know where their partner is.

I can tell you right now, that would never fly with me. Because in addition to sadness, there would be anger and ugliness. A LOT of ugliness.

Then, I drifted back to sleep, with Kevin at my side, thinking about how thankful I am to have such a faithful and good man by my side.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Wow! How did September get here so fast?

In less than a week, the kids will be back to school, which, as I understand it, for many SAHMs (and probably SAHDs) is a highly anticipated, celebratory event.

But for this Work Outside the Home Mom, it's something that I am not looking forward to.

Because back to school also means:
  • Back to schedules and bedtime routines at a decent hour.
  • Back to homework and regularly scheduled bathing sessions.
  • Back to packing lunches and packing backpacks.
  • Back to $5 for this field trip and $40 for those pictures and $30 for this yearbook, etc.
And all of that just translates into more work and more money for parents, in my book.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of routine and structure, but there's just something to be said about the lazy days of summer that I am not ready to let go of.
  • Staying up late watching movies with the family
  • Bonfires on the patio
  • S'Mores
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Paddleboating
  • Fresh Basil
  • Cutting Hydrangea and Daisies from my garden to put in a vase on my table
  • Reading books in the sunshine
  • Evening walks around the lake
  • Watching the sunset
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • Horseshoes
  • Driving to work when the sun is already up
  • Driving home from work when the sun is still up
  • My bikini (YES, I wore a bikini this summer, and I didn't care who saw me in it!!)
But, this unseasonably cool August has already placed that smell of Fall in the air, and it will inevitably be here before we know it. It seems to already be here.

And I DO love fall.

(This love of fall has materialized itself, most recently in my serious cravings for some of Kevin's chili concoctions.)

So, I WILL embrace Fall and all that Fall brings with it....
  • Football
  • Sweatshirts
  • Pumpkins
  • Warm Apple Cider
  • Cinnamon Donuts
  • School
  • Leaves
  • Frost
  • Mums
  • Soup
  • Sedum
  • Soccer Games Every Saturday
  • Hot Chocolate
  • and, of course, Kevin's CHILI (Ancho Mama's and Love Me Sexy!!)

So, tell me. What are you going to miss about summer and what are you looking forward to about fall?