trying to create something beautiful out of the broken pieces

Happy Birthday, Karis! May 24, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life — kunderwood @ 11:15 am

It is so hard to believe 8 years has passed by since the birth of this sweet girl!  She is our second born, our first daughter, our second mother, and our sweet Karis.

She has been such a light in our life!  Karis is definitely the “firstborn daughter” in many ways.  She helps with her younger sisters whenever needed.  She is confident and a leader.  She loves to please her teachers and follow rules… in school… 🙂  She loves to help out at home with cooking and taking care of things.  She is an avid reader and loves to be creative and artistic.  She loves her friends to pieces and its fun to see her make good choices of who she wants to spend her time with.  If you asked her today what she wants to be when she grows up (and I know this because she was just asked!) she will tell you, “I want to be a cooking teacher because then I get to cook and teach which are all the things I love to do!”

Yeah, I’m pretty proud of this sweet 8 year old!!


Eyes Opened (at least a crack) May 21, 2009

Filed under: Life — kunderwood @ 4:00 pm

The other day I was renewing our cars’ registrations online because, as always, I had waited until the last minute.  Seriously, what did people do before online billpay??  If they’re anything like me, they paid a lot of late fees.  But anyway.

As I was pulling out the mailing from the DMV, I noticed a new rule/law/something that has gone into effect that actually rewarded me for my procrastination!!  It was actually cheaper to renew online than in person at the DMV.  They actually charge you MORE to go out of your way, wait forever and then finally get a turn to do something that takes all of 5 minutes to complete.  I was ecstatic!

But the funny thing is, within seconds my happiness dissipated.  Why?  Because when I happily reported my “accomplishment” to Brent, he quickly pointed out the unfortunate truth.  While the DMV is trying to save money in their operations by not needing as many employees available (and therefore trying to get people to stay OUT of the DMV), they are actually hurting the most vulnerable of our society.  The poor.  They are hurting those who don’t have enough money for computer/internet access (not to mention bank accounts and credit cards) by charging them more to appear at their office.  I’m guessing I’m not the only person who despises having to go into the DMV.  Can you imagine willingly paying extra money for the obligation?  But there are people who don’t have a choice.  And unfortunately they don’t have the extra money to spare either.

I am sure that whoever came up with the plan to cut costs for the DMV didn’t intentionally try to harm this part of our community.  But I wonder how many other ways we unknowingly harm those less fortunate than us simply because we don’t take them into consideration.


First Put On Your Oxygen Mask May 7, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 3:11 pm

I was at the gym working out today when a neighbor (and mother of 2) came up to me and asked, “How do you stay so calm all the time with all those kids?”  After I stopped laughing long enough to answer, I said simply, “Why do you think I’m here??”  (Uhh… besides the free childcare… it’s honestly a lot easier to be calm when my kids aren’t in my direct line of vision/hearing.)

After telling this neighbor that I am definitely not  calm all the time I told her about my husband asking me kindly last night, “You haven’t been to the gym this week, have you?”  Now, before you get offended and think it has anything to do with my physical appearance, allow me to get offended and explain that it has to do with my emotional wellbeing.  It was his way of saying, “You’re being a real *bleep*- you need to go workout.”

It’s true.  Working out has a lot to do with how I feel and act and react.  I’m sure a more knowledgeable person could explain the specifics of what gets released in your body to make this happen, but I just know that for me it works.  And while I could get all guilty feeling for being selfish and taking the time for myself and letting someone in the gym’s childwatch take care of my children, etc. (trust me, I learned well from my mom… I can feel REALLY guilty about not being a good mom, and its one of many excuses that’s kept me out of the gym some days) I’m choosing to put on my oxygen mask first.  You know the drill before every single plane ride when the flight attendant tells you that if the oxygen mask falls from the ceiling, FIRST put on YOUR mask, then assist others in need… or something like that.  It’s because if you can’t breathe and pass out, you can’t very well help anyone around you, right?

Isn’t that the opposite of what we do as moms?  We worry about those around us.  We put them first all the time and take care of them before (if ever) we take of ourselves.   Sometimes to the point of passing out… or at the least, being a less than healthy person.

Well, maybe this Mother’s Day we can all take a step together.  (Or if you happen to be the Dad reading this, help your wife do this…)  First put on your oxygen mask.  Do something that helps you relax/ heal/ rejuvenate/ enjoy the day and your family more.  Don’t let the guilt creep in, just enjoy.   I’m guessing that like my family, in turn they will enjoy you more too!


Everybody needs an Expert May 5, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 1:55 pm

Like every stay-at-home mom, some days I could be happy running off to work outside the home.  But then I would miss conversations like this:

Sitting outside with Avery, 4, enjoying the spring day

Avery: “Mom, can I have some of your apple?”

Me: “Sure”

A: “I’m going to let the ants eat it.”

M: “You are?”

A: “Yeah, cuz I’m an expert.  Mackenzie (best friend, also 4) and I are experts.  I’m an expert on ants.  Ants like to eat apples… and cake… and… all food!  They eat all the food all up.  Yep.  That’s what they do.  See?  I told you I was an expert on ants.”


Not So Innocent May 1, 2009

Filed under: Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 3:32 pm

I got to be “that” mom today.  What joy.

A little while ago, when Brittney Spear’s new album came out, parents all over were furious.  It seems that their little kiddos were singing the lyrics to one of her songs and they weren’t happy about it.  Now, I have to admit… the thought I had at the time was, “Well, you are letting your kids listen to Britney Spears…”  I don’t know about you, but the woman (hard to believe, but yes… she’s a woman now) is an adult, a mom herself.  She can sing whatever she wants.  I believe that it’s my job as a mom to not let my kids listen to inappropriate stuff.  And I don’t think it takes a ton of common sense to not consider Ms. Spears a suitable role model.  So, I can’t really say it upset me that she had this particular song out. 

Well, today as my children’s entire elementary school and most of their parents were outside at field day, a particular song came over the loud speakers.  I froze.  I seriously couldn’t believe that they were playing this song.  I started asking my friends around me if they knew the song and no one knew.  Well… I explained it to them.  And then I realized with the look of shock on their faces that I had to go be “that” mom.  I had to go tell the dude running the sound system that I didn’t think it was appropriate for elementary age. 

So what’s so bad?  The song is “If You Seek Amy.”  Seems innocent enough, right?  Well, here’s the chorus… might take you a minute if you haven’t heard it, but *hint* say the title fast at the end… you’ll get it.

“love me, hate me, say what you want about me, but all the boys and all the girls are begging to If You Seek Amy.”

Needless to say, “sound system dude” was a bit embarrassed after I had to explain it to him.  Appears Ms. Spears is still not so innocent.  Not that I ever expected her to be.  But now I have a new “fun” reputation at my kids’ school.