Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Blog

I have a very special announcement to make. I am really excited about this. I have started a new blog. I've been wanting to do this for a really long time now. I've been really bored with my current blog AND I've been wanting to switch over from Blogger to WordPress. In with the old and out with the new, as they say! In other words, Bye bye, Blogger and Hello, WordPress!

I haven't decided what I'll be doing with this blog. If I'll be saving it or deleting it or revamping it. But for now, I'll be doing most of my writing at the new WordPress blog.

So without further adieu...Come on over to angelabuckland.wordpress. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Big Weekend

Well, it's Sunday night, literally one minute before midnight, and we are capping off one heck of a weekend. First, my oldest baby, Isabel, graduated from Kindergarten on Friday, and I am now the proud mother of a first grader! Second, my baby sister, Gina, graduated Valedictorian of Apalachee High School on Friday night. That was so incredible. The whole evening was so amazing. Her speech was wonderful. God even held back the rain (it was held outside), and gave us a rainbow during the ceremony. Ren made the comment that it was the nicest graduation ceremony he's ever attended. And last but definitely not least, Abigail turned one on Saturday. I can't even believe it. I am beginning to feel very old all of a sudden.

School's out for summer, although Isabel only gets 8 weeks of summer. That's just not right. So we've got to get busy and have some fun before it ends all too soon.

Time goes by too fast.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yeah, what she said

After reading this, I am left asking myself, "Why the hell couldn't I have written that???" I've been following Molly's blog over at "Adventures in Mercy" for a while now, and she's very quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I feel like we're on parallel journeys, so her posts always resonate very deeply with me. I hope her poignant words speak to you as much as they did to me.

Blessings to you on this beautiful day! May you find Love guiding you and keeping you in all you do.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I woke up this morning with the thought of being involved in every moment of today. I haven't gotten dressed yet. Or made my bed. Or brushed my teeth. So, by all measurable American standards, I'm failing miserably so far. But I'm pretty sure it was a noble thought nonetheless. I'm beginning to think that this is the key to just about everything, and this is the way God wants us to live our lives, every minute of every day; and, thus, why it's so darn difficult to do. I've yet to figure out exactly how to do that and what that's supposed to look like in my every day life. But I think I'm onto something, and when I figure out all those details, I'll let you know what I find out.

Now, usually when you hear someone talking about this kind of stuff, it's in some context of getting you to be more productive. Perform better. Do more stuff. Contribute more. It can come across as some kind of heavy handed manipulation tactic.

I'm not talking about any of that.

No, what I'm speaking of is so much simpler. Almost, too simple. So simple that we might just miss it if we're not careful.

What I am talking about is being more attentive to those around you, whom God has given you. To whom you've been given. Staying connected. Tuned in. Living in the moment. Listening to the people who are talking to you. Looking them in the eye. Not daydreaming about where you'd rather be or what you'd rather be doing, but being connected with where you are and appreciating it. Appreciating them.

The God of the Bible is known as the Great I Am; not I Was or I Will Be. But I Am. I Is. I Be. Today. Here. Now. I guess this is why people with terminal illnesses often obtain such a clear, razor sharp perspective. They know their time is limited. Time is not a someday or one day, because someday and one day are not promised to them. What they know for certain is that today belongs to them. Today is what they have. And I think that this is where God lives.

Today. I will hear God's voice and not harden my heart.

Today. The day God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Be. Live. Breath. Connect. Laugh. Love.

Now, I'm gonna go brush my teeth.

...So I think it must be true - that when you pray, you are not starting the conversation from scratch, just remembering to plug back into a conversation that's always in progress.--Anne Lamott, Plan B
What are some of the things you do to help yourself stay connected? Tuned in? Please share.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In Summary...

My prolonged break from blogging was purely unintentional. There's been so much going on, blogging has honestly been the last thing on my mind.
  • With that said, I have really missed it, and I think I may be ready to pick it back up again.
  • My apologies to the two readers who have been eagerly anticipating my return! I promise I will make it worth the wait.
  • I've picked up a new hobby. I think it's fair to say that I'm now addicted. I'm even proselytizing to others. Want to know what it is? I swore I would never become one of these ladies. Oh, sweet irony.
  • I honestly have no idea where I am at spiritually. This is, hands down, the CRAZIEST SEASON I've ever lived through, in my ENTIRE LIFE. No exaggeration here. I really can't even put into words what I'm going through. EVERYTHING that I've been so certain about is now a great big ol' question mark. I have yet to determine whether or not that's a good thing. Time will be the tell.
  • As the most bodacious philos-o-phizer of ancient Greece once said, "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."
  • After 10 months, we FINALLY got tired of Abigail sharing our room. She now has the girls' former room, all to herself. It's been so nice to be able to talk to my husband at night as we're going to sleep, use the bathroom, breath, or turn on a light if we need to do something very optional and nonessential, you know, such as, SEE WHERE WE'RE GOING! Needless to say, Ren and I are very happy with the current dispensation of Buckland children.

  • We transformed our chaotic hodgepodge of a playroom upstairs into the girls' new bedroom. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. We chose the girls' two favorite colors: Isabel's is red; Jo's is pink. It's kind of Valentines-y. It basically looks like we hired Cupid as our interior decorator. It's crazy, but very cute, I think. And the girls absolutely love it. They even have their own bathroom now. It's not completely done yet. It still needs a few finishing touches. But we're very happy with the way it's coming together.
  • After getting our sweet couch and fixing up the kids' rooms, I currently don't despise my house. Huh. Who woulda thought?
  • I am so proud of my husband. He's moving and shaking over at Connected Technologies. He's been busy. But in this economic climate, busy is good. We are very thankful for him. He's a hard worker.
  • Since January, we've dealt with our share of common illnesses, vomitting, molluscum, and head lice. It's only May, people. The lesson we've learned through all this: Kids are nasty.
  • Isabel finishes Kindergarten in less than 3 weeks. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by!
  • We are thrilled that Jo will be going to the same Pre-K this Fall that Isabel was able to attend. We are all so excited about this. This is a total miracle, thanks to God's grace and provision, and two very sweet and generous grandparents! It's a blessing that we didn't even expect or ask for.
  • My baby sister, Gina, is graduating in two weeks as VALEDICTORIAN of Apalachee High School!!!! We are all so proud of her. She totally rocks.
  • Abigail turns one on June 6. Are you even kidding me?!?!
  • One thing I do know for certain - Our friends and family are some of the most amazing people in the whole world. Hopefully one day we'll actually be able to appropriately express how much we love and appreciate all of them.
  • I really love my family and friends. The ones nearby and far away. Every single, last, crazy, gloriously odd one of them.

Monday, February 23, 2009


My husband emailed me this today. It made me laugh really hard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seventeen Thank You Notes

It all started with this.

Go ahead and read it if you haven't already. I'll wait.

That post was important to me, because it was the first time I realized that I could actually diffuse my anger and hatred for something, even something as inconsequential as a piece of furniture, albeit momentarily, by writing a simple blog post. Afterward, I felt much better.

Like a healing had taken place.

So, it really began as an experiment in creative writing as therapy.

And what do you know? It worked.

Boy, howdy, did it work.

Well, a little over a year later, on a lark and a whim, I posted this. That directed you to this. You really do need to click on that link to see it.

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT CURRENTLY SITS IN OUR LIVING ROOM!!! (In a soft, lovely, warm cappuccino hue.)

Although, you're probably not surprised, because you're probably one of the seventeen families/people represented who donated to the Buckland Family Couch Ministry.

"Thank you" doesn't even begin to appropriately express how we feel about this couch.

You should also read all 63 glowing reviews that this couch has received on Haverty's website to see that I am not exaggerating my deep and profound love for this couch. I LOVE this couch. It's perfect. It is truly the most wonderful, beautiful, comfortable, stylish, amazing couch I have ever seen or had the privilege of sitting on, let alone owning. It's the most grown-up, adult-looking piece of of furniture we currently own. It totally transforms our living room; it no longer looks like the dwelling place of a college student...or multiple toddlers. And not only is it remarkably stylish, it's comfy, too. In fact, Ren and I both fall into a deep, non-waking comas any time we lie down on the thing.

The funny thing about all this is that I had actually made peace with my current couch set-up. After I'd been whining to God a little while about desperately NEEDING a new couch, I felt like He'd given me an idea. We threw, literally threw, the split-wide-open section of the our old couch downstairs, and replaced it with a semi-stylish futon which had been sitting upstairs and was hardly being used. Somewhere down in the depths and recesses of my personality, I had gotten in touch with my Inner Thrifter. I restuffed the back cushions with the stuffing from the unused sections, so while it was incredibly lumpy and uncomfortable to sit on, hey, at least it looked better!

In all seriousness, what you don't know is that just the day before the couch arrived, I was crying out to God asking Him if He'd forgotten about us. I have been growing weary, feeling like my faith was on its last scrawny, little legs. I asked God for something big, something tangible, something I could see, to give me hope. God has been taking care of our needs. All our basic necessities are provided for, but there's very little at the end of the month with which to actually go out and enjoy. Something always has to get cut. We have food, clothing, and shelter, but the clothes are several years old, sometimes have holes, and the food is, at times, only slightly more than beans and rice.

There are days when I can push through all that, paste on a smile, pull myself up by the bootstraps, do all things through Christ who strengthens me, keep fighting the good fight, keep on keepin' on, or whatever positive thinking mantra one tells themselves to keep from going crazy.

Then there are days when you can see no end in sight. That's when it's almost too much to bear.

And that's when God sends angels in the form of family and friends to lift our loads, making the burdens seem not quite so unbelievably heavy. And the road not quite so lonely.

I want to share something with you that I wrote in July of last year, not to depress you, but, hopefully, to let you in on how long we've been struggling and what that's actually been like for me:

Father, will You, out of Your abundant resources, please provide us with a new couch? I would like a new couch and a new love seat. Or a new sectional. I'd take either option. Father, Your word says that You own the cattle on a thousand hills. Father, I don't own any cattle. All I'm asking for right now is a new couch. Will you please provide us with a new couch? Our current couch is literally falling apart. Every time I look at it, I want to cry.

Father, do You love us? Do You care about our wants? I know that You have given us all that we need. We have enough. But, God, what about our wants? Do you care for, provide for those as well? Father, I feel like I've been doing without quite a bit lately. More than I am used to, frankly. I guess I'm still rich compared to the majority of the world.

Father, am I supposed to boldly ask You for things? Or am I supposed to be content with what I have? Why do I feel so guilty for asking You for a couch? You can do that, can't You? Will you?

Father, my heart is growing bitter. I don't trust in Your goodness, mercy, or love right now. A decent father gives his children some nice gifts if he can afford them. Certainly you can.
Certainly He can. And certainly, He has. And certainly, He will.

I know it's just a couch. But to me, it's a symbol that God not only cares about our needs, but also our wants. Things you might be to embarrassed or feel to silly to say out loud. I have to believe that the God who created the universe, who created us, wants us to enjoy this life,and not just merely survive it or endure it.

Thank you, sweet friends and family, from the bottom of my heart, for reminding me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


It is unearned love--the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It is the help you recieve when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.--Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Ode to Mayonnaise

It seems that this world is divided into two types of people: Those that eschew mayonnaise and those that can consume mass quantities of it single meals. There is no in-between. Either mayonnaise totally creeps you out, or it is one of your dearest, time-tested culinary companions. I find myself in the latter group. I love mayonnaise. So...there. It's out. I've said it.

I feel so much better now.

I have always been somewhat embarrassed by my passion for the stuff. It's definitely not the most glamorous, or um, health-conscious thing to eat. And it's impossible to look sophisticated whilst eating something gobbed with the white, greasy goo. When fellow mayonnaise junkies discover one another, there's an instant bond. An unspoken camaraderie. Together, we share in the fellowship of our mayonnaise-y sufferings. We've heard the comments. The jeers. Seen the peculiar looks as we smother our various food items with the thick, white, gooey condiment. I believe that mayonnaise lovers are really rebels at heart. We go on and eat our mayonnaise-laden victuals, raising our greasy fists in the air shouting, "To heck with my arteries!" And we stick together.

I remember one such instantaneous bond occurring a few years ago, when the mom's group I was a member of ventured out for a play date and lunch at the mall. We sat down to eat our Chick-Fil-A, and I found myself sitting across from a young mother and relatively new member of our church. As we pulled out our respective value meals and readied them for consumption, our eyes fell on each others' piles of mayonnaise adjacent to our waffle fries. We looked at our food. We looked at each other. And a profound mutual respect was earned that day.

If you've never tried mayo on your waffle fries, before you scoff, I double dog dare you to give it a try. No, I triple dog dare you. I don't find the obsessive compulsion to do this to any other pile of fries EXCEPT waffle fries. There's just something about the way the pockets (or holes) trap the extra mayo, making it extra mayo-licious. I've been ridiculed mercilessly for my waffle fry habit, even by so-called "friends" and family. People that simply do not understand the finer things in life. People with, I'm just going to go ahead and say it, underdeveloped and immature pallets.

I guess I feel this strongly about all condiments. My philosophy is, Why bother eating something if you can't smother it with something, rendering it completely unrecognizable??? To me, the food is just a medium for the sauce. I've been known to pour copious amounts of mayonnaise and other various sauces on my food at what some would deem "inconvenient" or "inappropriate" times. Whilst traveling at high velocities. Whilst wearing evening wear, etc.

I've been a mayonnaise fan ever since I was a kid. I used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches. It's not rocket science. There's no guess work. It's two pieces of bread with, you guessed it, nothing but mayonnaise. Oh sure, you can throw on a tomato or two if you want to get all gourmet-like. But for me, there was nothing finer, or simpler than a mayonnaise sandwich. Go ahead and make one. You know you want to. Any brand of mayo will do in pinch. And believe me, I've tried them all. But Hellmann's is the best, by far. There really is no substitute.

Not only am I a fan of mayonnaise itself, but I love all mayonnaise-based things. Potato salad. Chicken salad. Egg salad. Tuna salad. Dips made with mayonnaise. And a sandwich just isn't complete without a dollop (or two...or three...or four) of mayonnaise. And I recently stumbled across this ingenious invention. Are you even kidding me??? That's like combining Heaven with even more Heaven. Double Heaven. In a jar, no less. I might never leave the house.

So, tell me. Are you a mayo slut or a mayo prude? Go on. Hit me with it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Move Over, Jon & Kate

The world welcomed it's second set of longest living octuplets on Monday. Jon and Kate Plus 8 just got a whole lot less impressive and/or interesting with that little piece of news. I wonder how long TLC will give this poor woman before they're knocking on her door. Please pray her, especially as she's planning on breastfeeding all 8 of them!!! She's either extremely talented and dedicated, a glutton for punishment, or utterly delusional. And that, in a nutshell, is motherhood, my friends. Huzzah!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Little Something For the Guys

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page today. It was completely brilliant, hilarious, and worthy of stealing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To The Waffle King, Master of All Things Electric, & Mouse Catcher Extraordinaire

It's a long title. It could be longer if I included everything else that Ren Buckland was good at. How else can you describe him? He's a man of many talents. I've been married to him for almost ten years now, and I am still finding out things about him that I never knew before. I am constantly learning of his many hidden talents that I didn't even know existed. I swear he's lived about 1000 lives. Just being around him makes me feel like a wiser person.

He is the self-proclaimed "Waffle King," and he does make some mean waffles. My once broken oven, that got me out of doing any cooking during the holidays, is now fixed--because of Ren. And just the other night, a furry woodland creature decided to come into our home, uninvited, and give us all good scare. Ren, our hero, captured it and returned it back into the Winder wilderness, albeit much to the kids' chagrin.

I don't write about Ren enough. But that doesn't mean I'm not thankful for him. If I listed all the things I was thankful for about him, this would make for quite a long post, and you'd probably walk away feeling really bad about yourself for not being him.

He's one of the hardest working people I know. He never gives up. His patience is endless. He is generous. He's a wonderful father. A terrific husband. And I am so thankful that he was born 41 years ago today.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie. I love you!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tired Mom of 4 Needs Good Laugh

So here's what I'm proposing. If any one out there actually owns one of these crazy things, I insist that you show up on my doorstep wearing one. So that I may then proceed to fall on the floor and laugh uncontrollably for several hours.

Seriously, who owns one of these??? Come on and fess up.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I Will Begin, Again

Well all I can say is, thank God that 2008 is over. Can I get a witness??? Whoo-whoo! So far, 2009 hasn't been so bad. We arrived here all in one piece. No one is deathly ill at the moment. Our checking account currently has more than $5 in it. And last night we brought in the new year with our dear friends, the McCollums. All the kids even made it to midnight. Well, Abigail was asleep in a pack-n-play. We celebrated with a little bit of the bubbly (bubbly cider, that is), of which Oliver was obviously a huge fan. Hopefully, the rest of 2009 will follow suit. All I know is, right now, I'm tired. And I really just wanted a reason to post this awesome picture of my son, courtesy of Tony.

Happy New Year to all. And to all, a good night.

Now, I just gotta get that darn tree down...