What habit does someone close to you have that you wish you could change?

1 Sep

This one was very easy for me to answer, because as I am sitting her writing this, I hear it coming from outside; my bulldog’s snoring. I love that dog like a kid, but there are only so many hours in a day where his snoring is tolerable.

Before we bought him, almost two years ago, I had done extensive research on the breed. I knew that they were considered “high maintenance” dogs and wanted to be prepared. After talking to other bull dogs owners, reading medical research online, and discussing things with my Aunt, who makes the Dog Whisper look like an amateur, I knew that a “bully” was the breed for our family. They are lazy, fat, but full of personality. When we went to look at the liter of pups, our dog Cane, chose us. I had my eye on a female. The breeder had sent me pictures of her so she was the one I was going to look at, but then Cane decided that he wanted us to be “his humans.” I was sitting on the floor surrounded by puppy bull dogs, basically I was in heaven, and this little man backed up into my lap and just sat there. It was like he knew that I was a sucker and that was all it took. He went home with us that night.

When he was a pup, the snoring wasn’t so bad. We had him in our room for a while, but as he grew, so did the volume and depth of the snoring. We moved him from the foot of our bed to the living room in hopes that we would not hear him. That hoping did not get us far. He was loud. At the time, we were in a condo, so the walls were thin and area small, so when we moved to a 2100 sq., foot house, we thought that we might escape the noise. Once again, we were SO wrong. Somehow it got worse. There are times, no lie, our walls vibrate. It has woken me up at 2:30 in the morning because it sounds like a large machine is in our room. The only time I don’t really hear it, is if he is sleeping with one of the big girls in her room downstairs. (How that child can sleep through his snoring is beyond me, but it just goes to show that she can sleep through anything.) The best part is that he has the ability to walk and snore. Stand and snore, even eat and snore. That is talent friends.

My fear is that this snoring habit is only going to get worse as he ages, kind of like my Grandpa. I am just thankful for ear plugs, because at the rate we are going… we might need to invest stock in an ear plug company! If you know of any, please send me their NYSE symbol… thanks ūüôā

Blessings ~ Summer


Toddlers and Tailgating

1 Sep


Tomorrow kicks off the 2012-2013 season of USC football. Usually, I would be excited and looking forward to a fun day at the Coliseum, screaming and cheering on the team, but I am thinking this season might be a bit different. Here is why:


Last Saturday we did a “trial run” with the girls by taking them to the annual football picnic. Let’s just say that we learned football, yelling, heat, sweating, long lines, big strollers,diapers, bottles and crying don’t mix! There is nothing like trying to change a baby in a bathroom without a diaper changing station. Talk about getting creative. Which reminds me, I believe there needs to be a law which states every public bathroom must have a diaper changing station! Enough said. Anyway, back to football. After a very long day, my wonderful mother-in-law and I decided that we need to rent a “mini wini” and start a babysitting service in the parking lot of the stadium.

I think it would be a huge success. Here’s how it would work; ;you drop off your kid(s) at our tailgating area. You sign a consent form that basically says we are not liable for any damage done to your kid while in our care and you take off. From there we will entertain. Actually, the large flat screen TV will be the entertainment. We will have tents set up in a row for “nap” time. We will have a healthy snack that will be given at half-time. We will ask the marching band to stop by and maybe a mascot or two. We will charge a reasonable fee, and in our lounge chairs, while sipping on chardonnay, we will “tailgate with toddlers” (mine included.) Brilliant idea, right?

Okay, so back to reality; I will not be going to many games this season. I guess I am okay with it. Watching the game from the comfort of my home, will be much better than trying to calm down screaming babies who don’t want to sit still, while in the company of 90K fans. Once again, the responsibilities of motherhood just aren’t fair (*inset BIG long sigh here*) So until the day comes when I can go to a game childless, I will dream ūüôā

Blessings ~ Summer


Choosing a love that lasts!

30 Aug

I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office this morning, when I spotted the cutest couple I have ever seen. They were sitting across for me holding hands as they both read different magazines. The lady looked up and sweetly smiled at me and said hello. I said hello back and somehow we started talking. After a few minutes I asked them how long they have been married. The gentlemen, smiled, squeezed his wife’s hand and said, “We are newlyweds, of 62 years.” My heart melted. Then he said, “My bride is more beautiful today than the day I married her.” Okay seriously, can you get any more adorable? No, I didn’t think so. I am pretty sure the receptionist and I swooned at the same time.¬†I knew the nurse was probably going to call them soon, so I had to ask what their secret was. How have they made it last for 62 years? The man looked at me and said, “Everyday I wake up, I chose to love my wife. When we have a bad day, I choose to love her. When we have a good day, I choose to love her” And then the best of all…”Even when she burns my supper, I chose to love her.”¬†

I left the doctor’s office, thankful I had met that couple and even though our paths may never cross again, what he said to me will not be forgotten. Love is a choice.¬†The Bible’s premier “love” passage or very definition of love is found in I Corinthians 13 :4-8, it says; “Love is patient,¬†love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,¬†it is not easily angered,¬†it keeps no record of wrongs.¬†Love does not delight in evil¬†but rejoices with the truth.¬†It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I love that in this ¬†description Jesus gave of what love is and what it’s not, everything requires action.

For many years I viewed love as an emotion or a feeling you have for someone else, but now that I am married, I realize that emotions are not something to base a marriage on, but simply something to start a marriage with. Marriage is hard work and if you are relying on the emotional connection with someone to carry you through for the rest of your life (like I once was) you will quickly be disappointed. Because the very definition of love is not an emotion. It requires action and actions are a direct result of… choices.

I think this sweet little man understood this. He knew that life was going to be good and it was also going to be bad. He knew that some days his wife would make the best dinner and other days she would burn it, but most of all he knew that in order to make it through those times, he was going to have to wake up every morning and choose to love her, even when he didn’t feel like it.¬†I love their story and what’s great is that this can be our story too. If we simply choose to love our spouse no matter what, we will be able to sit and after 62 years of marriage tell someone of a younger generation… this is how to make love last.

Blessings~ Summer

Today’s “To-Do” List

28 Aug

My life is busy and sometimes can be flat-out-chaotic. Between two 9-month olds who are now very mobile and two teenagers, there are moments I feel like 24 hours in a day is NOT ENOUGH. However, in the craziness of today I will do the following:

  • Tell my children I love them more.
  • Write my husband a love note.
  • Extend an extra dose of patience to someone I want to throw a shoe at. IE… my teenagers.
  • Vacuum less (Okay who am I kidding? That wont happen)
  • Smile more.
  • I will not be so hard on myself. Instead be the best I can be.
  • When I want to complain, I will thank God for something he has given me or done for me instead.
  • I will make today count. I may not be an important executive of a prestigious company or have a bunch of letters after my last name; but I am the CEO of the Elliott Household. I am a busy and important woman in my own little bubble, so today, I will not take that for granted.

Is it Contagious?

23 Aug



Contagious (adjective): tending to spread from person to person.



My husband I were laying in bed on what had to have been a very long day. I have absolutely no idea what was said or done but all of a sudden I started laughing. It was not just a regular, “that was funny” kind of laugh, it was a full belly, tears flowing, could not stop kind of laughter. Within seconds, I look over and he was laughing just as hard. This went on for several minutes ¬†and finally as we both began to come off the “laughter train” I asked him why he was laughing. He looked at me and said, “Because you were.”

We all know that laughter is contagious. We don’t really know why, but it is. I also think that if we take this a step further, we realize that almost everything can be considered contagious, or as dictionary.com puts it, spread from person to person. ¬†For example,¬†I used to work with a lady who was very depressed. Whenever she was in the office she brought with her this gloom or negativity. It was amazing how fast the entire “vibe” in the office would change when she entered it. I also worked with another lady who has very positive, fun, happy and laughed a lot. When she was in the office the “vibe” was just like she was, positive.

Our attitude is contagious to those around us. Our kids, spouse, co-workers and friends, ¬†are prone to catch what ever we are spreading around. ¬†So the question than becomes, “What are people catching from me?” I know that we are not always going to be happy and in a good mood. Life just doesn’t work that way, but even in the times when things are not going great or we find ourselves in a “funk,” I believe we still have the ability to spread positivity by having an attitude that is uplifting and encouraging to those around us.

Now, go out there and “spread a little cheer.” ūüėČ (insert corniness here)

Blessings, Summer~




If you had to give up one vice, what would it be?

22 Aug

Vice (noun)- an immoral or evil habit or practice. Synonyms: fault, failing, foible,weakness.

  If I had to give up one vice/weakness, I would give up how much I worry AND I am sure my husband would be so thankful!

I worry about everything. Our finances, the kids, my family, health issues, if I have offended someone, where my future is going and how I will get there. I worry about my husband being happy and if my kids are going to turn out okay. If there is something to worry about, then I am sure I do. But as I sit here and acknowledge this, I have to wonder why. Why do I worry so much?

Perhaps it’s because I was a single mom for a long time, living pay check to pay check praying that ends would meet. Maybe it’s because as a teenager my father walked out on our family leaving my mom to support my sister and I, and she eventually lost everything. ¬†Maybe it is because I feel that I need to control my environment and I find security in that; OR maybe it is very simple… I don’t trust God enough.¬†Sadly, that is the answer. I have put my faith and hope in myself and what I can control rather than in a God who is so much bigger than me.

“Matthew 6:25 says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself.”¬†Worrying robs us of today. I know this is true because there have been so many times that I have sat worrying about things that never happened, only to realize later that I wasted precious time.

So, I am setting a new goal (and Erik if you are reading this, you may find sticky notes around the house as a reminder… just a FYI) I am going to let God be God and Summer¬†be Summer. Meaning, I am going to trust in Him more and in myself less. When I start to worry, I will remind myself of His promises and that He will take care of me and those I love. I am going to worry less, trust more and enjoy today.

Blessings, Summer~

The Value in Today

21 Aug


He kissed his wife and 3 month old son goodbye and headed out the door for a fishing trip with one of his friends. He has been going to the same lake in Oregon since he was a boy. He knew the in’s and out’s of that place like it was nothing.It was in an instant that everything changed and somehow on the way in, the boat he was capsized into the really cold waters¬†leaving him and his friend to fight for their lives. Sadly, his body was consumed with hypothermia and as hard as he fought, he didn’t win. He died doing something he had done over and over again.


I heard this young man’s story as I was on one of my evening runs. My eyes were filled with tears because sitting at home were my babies and big girls and it got me thinking… I run this particular route almost everyday. It is a 4 mile loop around where I live and I could probably run it in my sleep. When I lace up my shoes, put on my earphones and head out to the street, I never think… “I may not come back from this run.” No, I think, “Ahhhh, 30 to 35 minutes of ME time.” I am sure that young man did not kiss his wife that day thinking it would be the last time he ever saw her face. He assumed, like we all do, I will be back soon, life will go on and I will live to see tomorrow.

Every single one of us has an invisible clock over our head. It is counting down the days that we have left here on this earth and not one of us knows then that clock will stop ticking. So, what are we doing with each moment we have here? More importantly, are we making valuable deposits into the lives of our spouse, children, family members and friends?

I am learning that it’s never to late to start. As I continued to listen to the message they spoke of his memorial service and one after one, people got up and told stories of how this ONE man had made an impact on their life. This is my hearts desire. If something was to happen to me tomorrow… I want my husband to know that he was my dream come true and since meeting him, I have become a better person. I want my 4 daughter to know that they are my treasure. I cherish them for the life they have given to this once lifeless soul. I want my mom and sister to know that there are NO words to explain my love and appreciation for putting up with me and for all the amazing memories we have. I want all my family and Erik’s family to know that they mean everything to me.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow, although most of us will wake up and have a “tomorrow” but we need to value and cherish today. We need to love the ones who love us and pray for those who don’t. Go, kiss your husband or wife and thank them for all they do for you. Tell them just how much you love them. Grab your kids, young or old, and hug them, letting them know how proud they have made you. Call your mom or dad and let them know how lucky you are to have had them as parents. If you cannot do that because they are no longer here, than simply thank God for allowing them to be in your life.

There is so much value in TODAY! Go out and find it.

Blessings ~ Summer

Goodness I have 8th graders

20 Aug

¬†I can close my eyes and picture the day I took these two too preschool for the first time. They had on denim little dresses with ruffled socks. They didn’t have much hair, but what I could work with was put into pig tails with bows. They had different backpacks because I let them pick them out themselves, so one chose a dog backpack and the other chose something with princesses. They sat on the bottom stairs in our Florida condo and posed for a ton of pictures I took with a disposable camera. Remember those things? Yea, not many do. But I took as many pictures as I could which was probably about 25 in all. I fought back the tears as we got into the car and drove to “big girl” school.¬†Now here I am several years later, fighting off the tears because my “little girls” are no longer little and this stings my heart just a bit.

8th grade… the last year of middle school and year before high school. It is a sobering thought for me because I honestly just felt really old. (insert BIG sigh). I like to think that I am one of the “cool mom’s.” I mean, I have tattoos, listen to good music, dress pretty trendy, and I don’t drive a station wagon or a mini-van (no offense to those who do, I just remember my mom picked me up in a purple station wagon… NOT COOL). But even with all that in my favor, I am still Mom and I know that very soon they are going to think being seen out with me is public humiliation or social suicide.

Life for teenagers now is so different then it was for many of us. We didn’t have Iphones, Ipods or anything with an “I” before it. We had to actually remember phone numbers or at least had an address book handy if we wanted to call someone. We didn’t have social media what-so-ever. We had actual conversations with our friends and although the desire to fit in and be accepted was there, I don’t think that it was at the caliber that is for the youth today.¬†Although the ways of the world have defiantly changed over the years, I pray that, morals, values and character haven’t. I pray that everyday my girls walk onto that campus, they know WHOSE they are and that they will never find their worth in this world. I pray that being “different” is a badge of honor for them and that they are “lights” in a school filled with darkness. And I pray they never compromise what they know is right in order to fit in with the wrong.

So, with all that being said, cheers to the last year of middle school and may it be fun!


What Makes Your Eyes Roll?

19 Aug

The Plinky Prompt of the Day: What makes your eyes roll.

Where do I start with this one? There are so many things I can think of, it’s not even funny! However, for the sake of this post I will limit my answer to the one thing that is making my eyes almost stick to the back of my head right now… ONE DIRECTION!

These kids are everywhere. I have two teenage girls who are obsessed with this “pop band.” ¬†I can’t get away from them. They are plastered on the walls of their bedrooms. They post pictures of them all day on Instagram and mention them in most of their “tweets.” They play their YouTube Videos when they are not actually watching the concert DVD video they have, and when I turn on MY Spotify to listen to REAL music, I am bombarded with the last song the girls were listening to last. It’s Madness I tell you.

Okay, Okay… I do get it. When I was 13, obsession was “New Kids On The Block.” I really thought that someday I would be Mrs. Joe McIntyre. But here is the difference, we did not have I-phones, I-Pads, Laptops, or even the Internet. So, my mom only had to deal with the cassette tapes I had and be bugging her about buying me a T-shirt. What I have to deal with is far ¬†worse and I fear that these 5 young men are not going away anytime soon.

So, the mention of Harry, Liam, Zayn, Niall and Louis (Yes, I looked up their names) will keep my eyes a-rolling for years to come, or until the next group of boys who cannot sing emerges.

If days had 25 hours, what would you do with the extra time?

19 Aug

The Plinky Prompt of the Day: If days had 25 hours, what would you do with the extra time?

I am going to be brutally honest, and I am sure that several of you might not understand my answer and think that I am just feeling sorry for myself, but if you had to live the week I just had, you might understand… So, let me explain.

I would sit in silence anywhere I could find. A padded room. My car. Under my bed. Under your bed. The local police station. I don’t discriminate … If there’s no screaming… crying… or teenagers talking… I will take it. Man, would I take it.¬†Before you report me CPS, let me explain.

Monday afternoon: I noticed that Reese was not quite herself. She would not stop crying and refused to eat. She would not stick to her schedule whatsoever, and nothing I did, sang,or danced, made her happy. She just cried and cried.

Tuesday: ¬†was the same as Monday but now Reese had a fever and when I tried to feed her, she would ¬†spit on me. Please note, the crying had now turned to screaming and didn’t stop.

Wednesday: Reese was starting to cry/scream a bit less; However, Haley had decided that she had to join in on the fun. For those of you reading this that don’t know much about Haley, I will tell you that the word “quite” is not an adjective anyone uses to describe her. She is loud. When she cries, the neighboring city can hear her. I have had to apologize to our neighbors for the volume level of my kid. I knew it was all down hill from here AND man was I right..

Thursday: ¬†This was one of the hardest days I have had in a long time. Poor Haley was miserable. She didn’t want her bottle, food or pacifier. She just wanted to cry. So did I. I knew something was wrong but I had NO idea what it was. I figured it was the flu. By 5 P.M., I was spent. The big twins were with their dad so I had no help trying to entrain Reese while holding Haley… ALL DAY. I wanted to find a ¬†rock and crawl under it for the night. At 8 p.m., I took her temperature ¬†and it was 102.6. Infants Tylenol was administered and prayers for a good night sleep were said.

Friday (At 2:00 A.M.) I thought I was just hearing screaming in my sleep. (I hear “screaming” in my head all the time. It is so bad that I will go into the nursery to check on Haley, only to find her fast asleep.) I was not dreaming, she was screaming, hot and miserable. We put her in bed with us but that didn’t help a bit! So back to the crib she went and before I knew it, morning had come and the “screaming” awoke me.

Friday 7 A.M.: I was trying to feed the girls when I noticed that Haley had blisters covering the back of her mouth, roof of her mouth and tongue. I called my mom and she said that the “Hand Foot Mouth ” virus was going around and with her fever, constant crying and lack of appetite… she probably caught it. Reese as well.

Friday 11:20: We went to the doctor. I was hoping my mom was wrong and the girls had ear infections because I knew that in that case they would get medication. So much for hoping. They both had the virus and there is nothing you can do for it other than to let it run its course. SERIOUSLY?! Shoot me… please! I spent $50 to waste my time and leave with no sense of relief.

THE REST OF FRIDAY: was not any different from the rest of the week. At this point I was a ticking time-bomb. I can handle a lot, but 5 days of this was beginning to take its toll. When Erik got home from work he took over and I went straight to my bed and stayed there.

Saturday: Haley now has Roseola. I noticed the red bumps when I got her up in the morning, but my mom confirmed it when she came over. Poor baby. I cannot image feeling so awful and not being able to explain it, other than by crying. My mother-in-law came down to give Erik and I a break, and we were so thankful.

This too will pass, but if I was given an extra hour right now, I would use it to simply sit… and listen to the screaming in my head ūüôā

Blessings, Summer

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