Monday, December 29, 2008

Here's to 2009!!!

My favorite time of the year! The time for reflection of 2008--it's almost like a a checklist of sorts, but hey, it's fun to see the changes in my life on a yearly basis!

2008--What kind of year was it???

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Well, 2008 saw many changes in my life! First, I got married in Mexico in April! Richie and I had a blast on our honeymoon and I hope we get to return very soon! Secondly, I spent 8 weeks on bed rest for my poor, pitiful back! I have never been on a medical leave except for having babies!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Seems like New Year's Resolutions are for breaking, right? Well, if that's the case, I am good at that. Last year, I wanted to exercise more--I completely flopped at that. In fact, I am back up to my round self I was at the end of 2006. I WILL make sure to exercise more this year. In my defense, I spent 8 weeks on bed rest and I have been trying to recover from that. Seems like when I try to exercise, I get that great pain feeling in my back all over again. So, I guess it's slow and steady.
My second resolution was to get organized. I can say that there are still 3 days officially left in the year, so it's not too late! I worked on my closet the other day, I am busy working on the office today, so there's hope. But that's definitely something I want to COMPLETE in 2009.
For next year, I really want to get involved in a church again. We visited a church yesterday and had a great time. I hope to make it a consistent part of our lives. I know the kids need the positive interaction and we could sure use some too!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Jana and Will had baby Lakyn in May and she's just adorable! Maybe we'll join the crowd in 2009!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

A cousin of mine passed away--Travis Robison. Richie and I also had a miscarriage in August that really turned our world upside down for awhile. Kyle's Papaw Sam also passed away.

5. What countries did you visit?

Richie and I visited Mexico and got married! What a blast!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Wow, I just read all of the things I wanted in 2008 and guess what? All of the same--I would like a toned body, a little more confidence, peace and quiet, PATIENCE, and a HOUSE OF MY VERY OWN! I guess a little more energy wouldn't hurt so that I can get everything I want accomplished!

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Well of course April 12, 2008--my wedding day!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think the biggest achievement was just adjusting to married life and getting a better grasp on my job. I know that's not anything extraordinary, but sometimes the little achievements give us the best rewards! I also wrote a story about Kylie's illness when she was a baby and all of the feelings involved in that experience. I even sent it to Guideposts (something I have wanted to do since it happened). Of course, it wasn't published, but finishing the story was a great reward. Maybe one day I'll post it here.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yep! 3 days in the hospital and 8 weeks in bed with my jacked up back. Is it 100% healed? NOPE!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I think the Wii has brought us the most fun this year. But, the Guitar Hero band game has been a blast since Christmas too!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I am giving this one to Richie! We loved the movie Fireproof and started our Love Dare journals and couple's DVD study. I can't believe how much he has changed since reading the book and doing the "dares". It has really impacted our marriage. I need to do a better job at doing the Love Dare Journal now!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I think this may be the 3rd year in a row that the parents win this one! One day, we'll break free!

14. Where did most of your money go?

Debt. Clothes. Kiddos. And...happily to savings! We are kicking rear in the savings department!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Our wedding day! It was so nice to go away and it just be about the two of us. We were able to enjoy it and relish every moment instead of worrying about everyone else.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I think Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars". Richie and I have adopted that as "our song" and since it was "our year" I think it's only fitting!!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? thinner or fatter? richer or poorer?

Well, I have found about 10 of the 13 pounds I lost last year! YUCK! Thanks to my little back hiatus. But, that's gonna change this year! I am richer--we are paying off debt and saving money! And I am happier--we are all adjusting to our new life and enjoying the time together!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Relaxed. Read books. Cleaned my house--I know I sound weird... (Note: NO change from last year!)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Less worrying. (Same as last year too!)

20. How will you be spending New Year’s?

Going out to eat with friends and then a little get together afterward.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Yes, I did. I love you Richie....still!

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Lots of new shows this year! I LOVE 90210...again! Desperate Housewives is still there. Plus, Ace of Cakes, Private Practice, and of course 48 Hours Mystery!

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don't "hate" anyone--but there are people I don't care for. But, hey, I know there are plenty that don't care for me either--But who cares??

26. What was the best book you read?

The Twilight series! Go Team Cullen!!

27. What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?

Taylor Swift by far. Kylie and I love her!

29. What did you want and not get?

My 5th bedroom cleaned out and converted into a game room. In fact, it's a little worse. Oh well, there's always 2009!!

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I liked Marley and Me and The Dark Knight. I wasn't impressed with the Twilight movie though!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Crap--ok, fine. I am 30. I give up--I am still here and officially old. I had a good birthday I guess. None of the hoopla anticipated, but about 25 of us went out to eat at Shogun's and we had a great time!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Getting a house, being debt free. Being organized!!! (Same as last year!!)

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Well, I have definitely branched out on the shoes--I have great colors and patterns and prints! FUN! And I guess I have a lot of black in my wardrobe--so, I think my fashion is a more polished, professional look.

34. What kept you sane?

Deep breaths! Seriously, just trying to enjoy life as best as possible. It goes so fast, it's so stressful, and there's way too much to do, but my 8 weeks hiatus was actually nice. I just relaxed and tried to heal. I also enjoy how my company gives us so much time off of work to relax!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I think watching Taylor Swift become ultra famous and not really changing a thing about herself. I love her music. I love that she's a dork like me and that sometimes people just don't get us!!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Presidential race of course! I am really praying about the future of our country. Also, the recession--it's so, so scary to see friends losing jobs, struggling families, and a very dreary holiday season for many. I sure hope things turn around in 2009 for everyone!

37. Who did you miss?

No one really--I have everyone I need.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Although I didn't JUST meet her, Jana and I have become good friends. I am also excited about new friends in 2009 as we find a church home. I have also made some great friends in my job--Michelle is a fellow rep who is so positive and upbeat. Oh yeah, she had a baby--guess that makes two babies on that earlier question!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:

Life is so unpredictable! We think we have it all figured out and then BAM it changes! I guess I have learned to try and take it in stride. Sometimes planning is just a waste of time, because God's got it all worked out for us!

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I have been thinking about this all year long and when this song came on, it just fits perfect! This year has seen some of the greatest memories and some unexpected ones. But, when it's all said and done, worrying about it won't solve it or change is what it is. So make the most of it!

"But, it is poor me, why me, oh me
Boring the same old, worn out, blah blah story
There is no good explanation for it at all

Ain't no rhyme or reason
No complicated meaning
Ain't no need to overthink it
Let go laughing

Life don't go quite like you planned it
We try so hard to understand it
Irrefutable, indisputable
Fact is, it happens"

Sugarland's, "It Happens"

Happy 2009 everybody! Here's to a great year full of unplanned memories called life!

Blog Makeover for 2009!

Well, I have decided to give my blog a facelift! I am not one for constantly changing up my blog background--I guess it's that "branding" aspect of marketing that has stuck with me. But, I am one for a refreshing change every now and then--plus I couldn't possibly pass up this background with my FAVORITE colors! I loved this background as soon as I saw it!
Ok, now for an update on our busy Christmas week! Sorry for the delay on our Christmas action, but it has been SO busy! Everyone got such great presents and for once Christmas didn't seem rushed like it normally does--don't get me wrong, we were busy, just not overwhelmed.
Christmas morning once again saw me waking the kids and dragging them out of bed to see what Santa brought them. However, that was after Weston's failed attempt to check out the goods around midnight. We heard the door open to his bedroom and Richie was up and running toward the kitchen to head him off at the pass. Seems that Weston didn't know what time it was and the excitement overwhelmed enough that he thought it was already morning. Luckily though, we got him back in bed and he was fast asleep in no time. But, all of the excitement wore him out and he and Kylie were both difficult to wake Christmas morning! But once they got a view of the Guitar Hero game, they were awake! This was the year of Weston's funny dancing and Kylie's loud screams as they opened presents.
After the present opening, I cooked my 2nd annual Christmas breakfast for my parents and grandparents. Let me say, cooking for a big bunch of people is a little tough since breakfast food isn't really something you can make in advance. But, we got Richie in the kitchen and he and I had the eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, biscuits-n-gravy, and fried potatoes in no time! YUM!
We went to Richie's parents' house for lunch and visiting with his family. We got a bunch of great gifts and had an awesome lunch!
My mission for this week is to clean, clean, clean! I want my office organized and cleaned out once and for all! I got some great gifts to use in the office, but I can't even get in the door! So, Kylie and I have been busy trying to clean out all of the old work stuff and fit it in the closet, so I can enjoy the rest of the office. Well, that's all for now--I am going to start a new post and write my annual lookback on the previous year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse! The house is quiet right now. The kids went to bed about 45 minutes ago and we are busy getting ready for the big morning! I was reading back through my blogs on the last two Christmas Eve's and last year's blog talked about how worried I was that the kids might not believe this year. Well, they still do, but I know it's inevitable that the "magic" will be over soon. It's so wonderful though to see the light in the kids' eyes and the pure joy and excitement they have over this one evening! Kylie's face lights up and her smile is so genuine when she thinks about Santa coming tonight. She's really "into" Christmas this year!
Last night kicked off our Christmas present exchange and family gatherings. The "Oklahoma" Christmas was moved to my Mom's house this year. It's funny, but the most memorable thing about the last 10 Christmases is how my Mom complains that she doesn't get "her" Christmas with her kids/grandkids. She even told the girl that does our hair this story and had the girl believing that we don't even go and see her at all! So not true! I understand she wants a Christmas at her house on Christmas Day, but really the meaning behind Christmas is not the place/time but the idea of coming together as a family--whatever time that may be. In fact, I spent Christmas with her last night, tonight and tomorrow! She gets the MOST Christmases! Back to my, we had Christmas at HER house last night and that was a lot different than the typical Oklahoma celebration. First of all there was WAY more room! Secondly, her house is breakable and fancy, so it was scary wondering if any of the kids would break something! In fact, Laurie and I had bets on the amount of spills and broken items by the end of the evening. It actually all went well though. But I have to say, it just wasn't the same!
Tonight was Christmas at my Me-Me's house. Sandwiches...again. Actually, it's growing on me and at my age it's kind of a welcomed meal since I don't need any help growing! The kids got some really cute clothes! Weston cracked me up when he guess what one of his presents was and said that he hoped it was jeans. He was went through a growth spurt (don't get excited, it's not much) and needs some bigger jeans.
But tonight when we got home to open our traditional Christmas Eve PJ's, that was the most excitement so far this year! Kylie went nuts over her PJ's--she got some Camp Rock ones. I thought she had won the lottery or something! She was just crazy with excitement!
Now here we are--the time of year that we wish would last all year. Why? It's just so nostalgic. Nothing compares to the pent up excitement over all of the presents under the tree. The curiosity is peaked--did I get what I asked for? It's just indescribable! I hope the kids have finally dozed off because I need to get their gifts ready for them. Andy tried to peak at his stocking stuffers! Actually he "sniffed"! He could smell some treats!
Perhaps the most important thing to remember tonight though is not only the time of year, but the time you have with family. As I sit here and type away about all my excitement, my heart is heavy thinking about the Robison family and many other families I'll never know. For this is the time of year that is most joyous, however burying your child is probably the most difficult thing anyone could ever experience. It breaks my heart for them to think about how they will have a small cloud of sadness hanging over them in the morning as they watch the other kids open their presents. There will be one stocking that won't get emptied and some presents that won't be opened. May God hold them in his arms tonight and be with them. Because if anyone understands the pain of watching a child die, it is him. And I know that he's the only one that can help them through this time and show them the good that will come of Travis' short, yet very fulfilled life here. What a difference he made.
So do me one favor in the morning--hold your babies a little longer when they hug you. Stop and concentrate on their faces--the smiles, the excitement. Relish the memory. We are not guaranteed tomorrow--enjoy every moment you have here. Make some memories that will stay with you forever.
Merry Christmas Everyone! God Bless each and everyone of you this season and may Santa bring everything you asked for!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A New Angel in Heaven

The family that I shared with you a week or so ago has experienced a terrible loss today. Travis Robison has gone to be with his Heavenly Father and I know that Stan and Cheryl are experiencing what no parent should ever have to experience. The first thing that came to my mind was the lyrics from Mark Schlutz's song "He's My Son" when I thought of the battle that have fought over the last couple of years. Here is a link to a journal and guestbook devoted to Travis. Please say a prayer for his family when you thank God for yours.

Mark Schultz \ He's My Son

I'm down on my knees again tonight
I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right
See there is a boy that needs Your help
I've done all that I can do myself
His mother is tired
I'm sure You can understand
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand
And she tries not to cry
As the tears fill her eyes

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See, he's not just anyone
He's my son

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep
I dream of the boy he'd like to be
I try to be strong and see him through
But God who he needs right now is You
Let him grow old
Live life without this fear
What would I be
Living without him here
He's so tired and he's scared
Let him know that You're there


Can You hear me?
Can You see him?
Please don't leave him
He's my son

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Kylie Tour

Well, last weekend it was off to Hot Springs, AR for Kylie's cheerleading competition! I am beginning to feel like the coordinator for the Kylie Entourage! :)
We had fun even though Kylie's team came in 12th out of 13th. They weren't the greatest, but we all thought they would at least be 8th or so. Oh well. There was more than half the squad who was brand new to the competition scene, so it was good practice for them! Here's a picture of a few of the cheerleaders goofing off before the competition!
Well, I am home from work today--the schools were closed due to ice on the roads, so it's a no go for me too when the roads are bad! However, it would've been cheaper and easier to just have went to work--so far, the kids have managed to break two photo frames off of the wall! I could've killed them! They were Heelying down the halls (after several requests made by me for them to stop) and Kylie took a fall and took down two pictures when she went.
Oh well, I guess.
Well, I am going to get some office work done--it's nice to have the time to do it finally!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sucked In

Well, I have officially been sucked into the teen vampire series, "Twilight". I am on the first book and I have to admit that initially I wasn't impressed. Not sure if it was because of all of the emphatic rave reviews I had heard or if it was just because the book seemed slow. Either way, it wasn't until around page 400 that I found the "I can't put this book down" feeling! Now, I can't stop reading. Luckily, I have the next 3 books in the series on hand to read!
Kylie was in the Christmas Parade Monday night and she looked so cute! She had a great time riding in the parade with her "Little Miss Fair Princess" title. At first she was shy, but she soon began to enjoy throwing candy and waving at everyone. She had people screaming at her the whole time trying to get her attention. It was so cute watching her soak up the attention. She was awed by the people's reaction. It was adorable! She had trouble getting the candy thrown, so Weston and I chipped in and helped her throw it! We had candy all over the car from tossing left and right so quickly!
I am ready for this week to be over! I haven't felt good this week and I am ready for the weekend and no work! I guess I am missing last weekend's relaxing tone. We stayed at a condo in Branson with my family for Thanksgiving and it was such a blast! There was a movie theater in the condo! We were in heaven!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today's newspaper featured a precious story about a family in our community. I know the family personally as I am related to the father and I can say firsthand that you will never meet a more friendly man and woman nor will you meet a couple that are more selfless and giving than this family. They knew very early in their relationship that they wouldn't be able to have children of their own, but they never let that get in the way of the bond between them. Now they are fighting another cancer battle--in one of their adopted children. The story in the paper is heartbreaking to read. The family has suffered so, so much, yet their resiliency is unmatched. I thought about the trials and battles they are facing and I compared that to the interactions I have had with this family recently. Never once would you expect to know that they were experiencing such trying times. They always smile and always ask how YOU are doing--never taking one minute of the conversation to discuss their own trials.
So, that got me thinking about how the bond of a family and how we go to great lengths to take care of the ones we love and never once question the sacrifice it takes. Because that's what families do--they stick together in good times and bad times. They lean on each other in hard times. And never once do they ever expect anything in return--that's just what families do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Busy Week!

Last weekend Kylie and I spent the WHOLE weekend at a pageant in Lonoke. It sounded like tons of fun on paper, but by the time I got home on Sunday, I was exhausted. Kylie didn't place in the pageant, but in fairness to her, she was the youngest one in her category and was against some very experienced girls. But, I think the experience was good for her because she had to introduce herself on stage and she learned how to walk the "pageant pattern". It was so cute though when she introduced herself. She had to say her name, contestant number, and who sponsored her to be in the pageant. She said, "My name is Kylie Cumbie, I am contestant number 4 and I am responsible for my mom." The whole crowd got tickled over that! I have to say it was cute too--but it was a good example of how young she was!
Well, I get to teach a couple more chapters in the class I am observing--a chapter on Conflict and Negotiation and one on Leadership. Those are two things I am pretty passionate about! I really enjoyed teaching the teamwork chapters and I really hope to have a chance to teach at the college on a permanent basis!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Deer Hunting...for Deer? Deer???

So, I went hunting with Richie a couple of times this week. Deer hunting. Yes, deer hunting. Problem is, I haven't seen a SINGLE deer. I honestly don't think they exist! Richie and I went Tuesday afternoon--perfect weather, perfect conditions...or so we thought. Put it this way, at 10 minutes to dusk when I saw a bunny rabbit I was thrilled! Why? Because it was the first living thing I had seen the ENTIRE time! Richie hasn't gotten a deer since he's been with me...he says it's my fault and I am an "unlucky" charm. I told him you can't have it all!
Kylie is going to be a pageant this weekend. We got a new dress and even have a back-up dress borrowed from a friend, so hopefully either way she'll look fabulous!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Weston and the Unicorn

Weston went on the Youth Hunt yesterday. It's really one of his first times to truly go hunting. He's been a couple times before, but I think he is just getting to the age where he's actually hunting. Anyway, he saw a ton of deer! He saw an 8 point (I have my name on that one!), a few does, and a....unicorn! Ok, ok, it's a buck with only one horn on one side, but it sounds funnier to call it a unicorn. Anyway, he got ready yesterday to shoot it, but the rascal wouldn't stand still (the deer that is, not Weston). He couldn't ever get it in the scope long enough to pull the trigger. I was so bummed for him, because I know he will be thrilled if he can get a deer. Richie said that Weston had buck fever the whole time he was watching that deer. He said he was panting and got all excited!
The kids really enjoyed Halloween this year. Weston was Wolfman and Kylie was Supergirl (with a Wonder Woman twist). They looked adorable! We had a great time too--we went and visited the grandparents, then to Sonic for a free hot dog and coke, then we went to Grace Community to the "Trunk or Treat" festivities. Then, we had dinner at Pizza Hut. It was a fun-filled evening!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Scary Cupcakes

I am trying to figure out what I want to do for Kylie's Halloween party on Friday. I signed up for cupcakes and now I am trying to figure out which design is the cutest--I have seen mummies, frankenstein, pumpkins, etc. It's hard to choose! I really like the mummy though--it's easy and cute, so stayed tune for pics once I make my choice and have the finished product in hand!
Richie is out hunting tonight...again. Here's the funny part--a friend of ours got an 8 point already. It was HER first deer!! Yes, that friend is a girl! Now, I am jealous--she got a deer before me! The funny part of the story is that she shot it in the butt. Hey, it worked, and now she's got a deer to mount on her wall. Maybe one day I'll get one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Worry Wart

I am so stressed lately and this economy certainly isn't helping things. In my industry, over 7700 people have lost their jobs in the last 36 hours! My heart goes out to these people and their families. It's such a stressful time in America and I am scared that we won't see an end to this anytime soon. If you have a job right now, you are a blessed person! So, thank God every day for the many blessings you have-kids, great marriage, a roof over your head, a place to lay your head at night, and a good friend to lean on!
Weston has had a phenomenal week--he was voted Defensive Player of the Week this week on his football team and he definitely deserves it--he tackled the biggest kid on the team at practice the other night. He also brought his grades up and he's now on the Honor Roll! He is on cloud 9! Now, if he could just find a nickname that fits....I really like Squirrel though! :)
Tomorrow is the weekend--woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

3 Strikes!

Ok, the Love Dare got a little difficult today! I had to ask Richie 3 things that I do that irritate him or make him uncomfortable. HOWEVER, I have to do this and not offer any excuse or justification for my actions--basically you are not supposed to respond. OUCH. Ok, that's SO hard. It is just human nature to want to explain why you do certain things or even get upset when you hear someone tell you things that you do that irritate them. But, today's lesson is on Love is NOT Rude. So, the design is to create a safe atmosphere for them to share things with you that maybe that wouldn't normally feel comfortable doing so.
Tonight I got to sit in on Master's course that I am hopefully going to be teaching in a semester or so. In fact, I get to teach one night of the course (3 chapters of stuff)! It was so refreshing to be back in class--I miss it! I know, that's not what everybody wants to hear from me though! Maybe I'll start looking into a few doctorate programs..... :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Manic Monday

I am so glad today is over--I hate wishing away a day of my life, but Mondays seem to just be tagged with this awful aura. No one likes Mondays. It's like hearing "Monday" is a laugh in the face of a whole long agonizing week ahead. It's a constant reminder of what you have to go through to make it to the weekend. It's not that today was that bad, I am just ready for weekend and it's only Monday!!
Anyway, I am still cranking along in the Love Dare book. I got a few days behind, but am now back on track. So, the first day was "Love is Patient" and it was all about keeping a lid on those negative comments. Well, the second day was Love is Kind. It describes kindness as "love in action" which is such a great analogy. The dares for that day and the next few have to do with buying your loved one something "just because" and calling "for no reason". It's little things that get us in the habit of thinking of our spouse and constantly putting them first!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Dare Ya!

I have started my Love Dare Journal today--I meant to start on Sunday, but Kylie had a little accident--have to tell you about that first.
Ok, so I was sitting on my bed and I had just started reading the Love Dare Journal when I heard this loud boom followed by a scream, then a cry, then a shrill scream, then a yell, then more crying from my daughter's room. I jumped up and ran as fast as I could to her room. When I got there, she was laying over her bed with her hands over her face and Weston had a look of fear on his face. I asked him what happened and he said when he heard Kylie scream he ran in her room to find her on her knees holding up her huge 6 drawer dresser as it was falling on her. So, he pushed the dresser back up against the wall and when he did, her stereo system came crashing down and fell on her head/face! He was shaking and so scared--he said it was so frightening to find her under the dresser like that. I told him he was a hero and she could've been seriously hurt if he hadn't came in her room to rescue her when he did.....
Anyway, back to my Love Journal. So, today I finally had time to sit down and start the "dare". Today's dare centered around patience and controlling our anger with our spouses. I have come a long way in the "patience" section, but we can all stand to improve even more. As for anger, well I think whenever I get angry at Richie, I find it is because I wanted him to do something, but I didn't ask him to. It's like I expect him to read my mind. Which, as I realized today, isn't fair to him. I really liked how it talked about letting each other be human and realizing we all make mistakes. It also talked about letting each other talk and explain before immediately getting angry. I think sometimes we, as married couples, get angry and start yelling before we ever listen to our spouse. The journal really stressed listening as a vital piece of having patience and controlling our anger.
Today's dare was to find ways to be patient with our spouse and to not say anything negative. If we found ourselves wanting to say something negative, we were to not say anything at all. I did Ok on today's exercise, but I really didn't have anything challenging to face, so it is definitely something I need to keep in mind for the next time I find myself upset.
Well, tomorrow my boss is riding with me--I totally dread the day because we are going to my least favorite clinic and I didn't have any time to prepare tonight at all. Wish my luck!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Welcome Back 1987!!!

Ok, in the last year, I have gotten younger by 20 years! Can you say 80's throwback year? I LOVE it! It all kicked off with my absolute favorite trio as a kid--The Chipmunks! When I saw they had a movie coming out last winter, I went nuts. Nuts to the point my then fiance wondered if he was making a wise choice in the "woman" he had chosen. But, let me just say it has only gotten better since then--so good I can't imagine what could be next! This summer, when NKOTB (better known to us pre-teen girls in the 80's as New Kids on the Block) decided to get back together AND tour, I honestly thought I was going to have to start teasing my bangs and wearing capri leggings--wait, I am wearing capri leggings again! OH NO! The 5 guys were on Rachael Ray the other day and I just want to know how they haven't aged (but I have!)....Then, there is my new DVR must-see show--let's all say it together now 90210! Yes, Kelly and Brenda are back! I just hope the producers KEEP them on the show. I need them on there to be able to relate, because I am old now and not in high school, so I don't quite relate to the girls on the show. But, when Brenda announced the Kelly's little boy was fathered by Dylan, I just felt like a teenager all over again!
So, let me just say that 2007-2008 has felt like 1987-1988! So, what's left to bring back? I don't know, but I can't wait to see!
So, for now, check the "In The I-Pod" section on the right for some of my favorite 1980's...most specifically '87-88 hit songs!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wanna Salsa?

I have been so frustrated--I have went to Wal-Mart and other places trying to find a good salsa. Awhile back, there was one that I really loved, but then it was suddenly unavailable. Since then, it's been frustrating trying to find one I like. They all seem so tomato-paste based! So, when you can't buy it, what's the next best thing? Make it yourself! So, I have been perfecting my "recipe" and last night I got it! I have to say though, it's the secret ingredient I use that makes it the best! Richie loves it so much he thinks I need to sell it! I wish I knew how to go about "marketing" and "selling" my salsa. You would think someone with marketing and sales experience would know, but I have been pushing everyone else's products and I have no clue how to do it for myself. I need to just open a restaurant/bakery. Then, I could make my cakes, pork tenderloin, and salsa! Ha!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Great Movie and a Great Weekend!

Richie and I saw the best movie today! Fireproof is such an awesome story about the real meaning of love and the importance of continually working at your marriage. Anyone that is married will say that it isn't always easy--but I think we sometimes make it harder than it has to be. Time can be your best friend or worst enemy in marriage. You can either wake up one day completely out of love or more in love than you can ever imagine. We can either spend each day investing in our marriage or each day slowly chiseling away at the love that brought two people together. This movie really taps into how marriage fails before either person really knows what happened. The central tool in the book is a Love Dare Journal which challenges the person to 40 days of putting your partner first. I think that marriages fail because of lack of respect and a selfish desire. Marriage isn't two people living under one roof, but one couple working together. Divorce is so easy these days and when both people aren't willing to put forth an effort to save the marriage, it will inevitably fail. One person can't do it alone. It takes two people to make it work. It takes two people working everyday. If you get a free evening or afternoon, go see the movie!
I have to say this has been one of the best weekends because Adelina has my house all cleaned up and I have had time to really enjoy the weekend. It has flown by like usual, but I have some great memories from the weekend instead of a frustration over trying to continually get things done only to find that it's Sunday and nothing is done!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Adelina to the rescue!

I have a housekeeper again! I am SO excited! It means that I will actually be able to have someone walk in unexpected and not freak out about what the guest bathroom looks like or how much dog hair is on the couch! It has been 5 long years of cleaning since I lost my last housekeeper and I am ready to have the help. Heck, it feels like Christmas Eve--I can't sleep I am so excited! It is just more than I can do on my own with as much as I work. Add two kids to the mix and it's next to impossible at times. Of course, I think Richie thought I was nuts when I spent all evening cleaning so that the cleaning lady could come and clean! But, you have to have the junk picked up before she can clean! I just hope she doesn't feel overwhelmed tomorrow and quit the first day! :)
Well, bow season opens tomorrow. I know Richie is excited.
We had a work meeting today in Tulsa. Honestly, I couldn't justify driving 5 hours round trip for 4 hour meeting. The funny part is that a couple of districts got together for this meeting, but then we split into 2 groups! I'm confused! Why get everyone together to just split us up into manageable groups? Oh well, it was a day that I didn't have to make sales calls, so that was a nice change.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spaghetti Squash

I so love Rachael Ray! I got to try a new recipe tonight I saw on one of her shows and it was pretty good. First, I had never heard of spaghetti squash. But she showed how to make it and use it as "spaghetti" in a dish. It totally works and is actually better than spaghetti because it was a sweeter flavor. I didn't make the sauce exactly right, so it wasn't as good as it could be, but I didn't have all of the ingredients. I'll be prepared next time and hopefully it will be even better.
So, today I went through the torture chamber. First, I had an eye exam and I had never experienced it as far as I can remember. Ok, I did NOT like it when they dilated my eyes--that was horrible. Plus, they didn't even tell me that things would be blurry for like 3 hours! All in all though, my eyes were fine. I had been having pain behind my right eye, but they didn't find anything. Darn! No Sarah Palin glasses for me! :)
So, then I leave the eye doctor and go over to my back doctor for an injection. They did an epidural injection this time. I felt so good right after it was over, but now I can barely walk! I am hurting so bad right now! I know they said it was get worse before it gets better, but man this is like regressing 6 weeks.
So cross your fingers it clears up!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Got No Weed :(

I am so bummed. So, so bummed. Ragweed will be in town tomorrow night and I don't get to go. I wish there were some way I could go see them! I am having serious withdrawls! Heck, I even tried to talk Kyle and Angela into taking me!! But somebody's gotta keep the kids!
Anyway, this weekend has been cram packed with football and fairs. We went to the Razorback game Saturday and had some AWESOME seats. A friend of Richie's gave them to him since he couldn't go. The only problem was that we had a very up close view of the butt-kicking that Alabama gave us!
I have added pictures of my cakes from a few weekends ago. It's amazing how different they look in pictures. They look so much better in person, but for some reason the angle of the pictures just distorts the cake. I guess I haven't quite figured out how to take a picture of a cake!
Also, I have started a Photo Blog--the link is on the right-hand side under "Connections". I think it's the last link in the list. I have put several pictures from the last few months on there.
We went to the fair this afternoon and had such a great time. I was so impressed with Weston and Kylie's bravery today! They rode all of the big people rides and had so much fun! Wesotn was a little apprehensive on a few, but after they were over, he loved them. I was even scared on a couple of them, so to see them get on and enjoy the ride really impressed me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Post Pardon

I am sorry I am behind on posts. It's not because there's nothing to write about. It's because I have wanted to post about the 3 cakes I did a couple of weekends ago and include pictures, but things have been so busy and I can't find my card reader, so I haven't had a chance. Therefore, I have waited to post--which was the wrong thing to do I guess. Because now I am behind on my news!
Well, I have 2 more birthday cakes and another wedding cake to do in the next couple of weeks. Such a nice pace--they seem to spread out nicely where I am not overwhelmed in one week. I am a little nervous about the wedding cake. The picture they have has tons of flowers, but I think I have convinced them to nix a few. Instead, we are going to go a little more trendy since it's a young bride. Flowers are nice, but they are a pain to make and I know they wanted to have a nice cake on a small budget, so it's best to cut out the pricey part of the cake when you can do things that are a lot prettier and less expensive.
Weston has been playing some football lately, too. He's an awesome receiver, however they don't pass the ball. It's not a mastered skill in 3rd grade. I told him to just hang in there and keep practicing.
Richie and I get to go to the Hogs game on Saturday. I am excited! We have never gotten to go to a football game together. Plus, we have awesome seats! It should be loads of fun! Now, let's hope they win.....
I am having a program tomorrow night for work and have been a little nervous about the response. It's hard to get doctors to show, however, we supposedly have 20 healthcare professionals attending. This is rare, but awesome! Now, keep your fingers crossed it plays out that way....
Richie is suffering from a terrible virus these days. It's called acute hunter deeritis. The symptoms are terrible--withdrawl from friends/family, irritability, longing for tree stand, desire to be outside in 45 degree weather. It's horrible. I am actually ready for October 1st so he'll feel better!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Princess Kylie

Kylie was in the Fair Princess pageant on Saturday and she won! There were 4 little girls in her division--all very cute. She was a lot more nervous this time around I noticed. I guess it was because it was outside during the day and she could see all of the people in the crowd. The last pageant was inside and the stage lights probably kept her from seeing the crowd. However, she did great! I was so worried though when we were getting ready because her hair was not cooperating! We cut it off a month or so ago and probably should've waited until after the pageant. But it worked out alright and her hair came out very cute! Her biggest excitement about the whole thing is that now she can ride in the parades!
Congratulations KYLIE!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sweet Paradise

I had the honor of making a cute cake this weekend! Angela's daughter's birthday party was this weekend and I was given the honors of making the birthday cake. It was a tropical theme and she chose a cake with a waterfall down the front. The only hang-up with the cake was trying to assemble to palm trees--they just didn't work! But I found some use for the leaves and we went with it. It was tons of fun and very challenging. This week it's a wedding cake and engagement cake--should be fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thank you

First I want to tell everyone thank you for their well wishes, phone calls, flowers, dinner and thoughtful words. It's great to have such supportive and compassionate people around us. It's a hard time, but everyday gets a little better. I have debated whether or not I wanted to write about my feelings on here, but I decided to go ahead and write a little bit. It's not really for anyone reading it, but more for me. I hope to read this post one day and realize how far I have come because today I can't imagine a time when I feel at peace with this. I think I have had every feeling imaginable. I am currently not on speaking terms with God. Maybe that sounds harsh, but when you weren't expecting something and get a surprise only to have it ripped from you, it's hard to understand. I sincerely appreciate people thoughts and prayers, but when someone tells me they are going to pray for me and my family, my first response is to ask, "why?". I prayed everyday that I knew I was pregnant, yet it was in vain. I was in even surprisingly calm for me and didn't get worried and anxious over the slightest little twinge or the absence of symptoms. I actually thanked God for making it so easy on me. But deep down, I thought something was wrong. Yet, I trusted God and prayed everyday. Yes, I know I have two healthy kids. I have been reminded by people during this and I wouldn't trade them for anything. But Richie doesn't have any and I want him to know that awesome feeling of holding something that you had a hand in creating. Something that wouldn't exist without you. I just get so frustrated that someone that doesn't even want a baby is able to get pregnant, that a woman who could care less about the child during pregnancy so she smokes, drinks, etc. And then the people that are blessed with kids only to abuse them and neglect them. And what about the people that don't even believe in God and they have kid after kid after kid? Why?
Plenty of people have told me that this miscarriage is God's way of taking care of something that wouldn't have been healthy. Well, why couldn't he have made it healthy? He can do all things right? He's perfect right? Then why do we have to suffer through imperfection? What good is it for me to experience this loss? So that I can help others through it? Why not allow it to happen in the first place. I don't understand. No, I don't want to bring an unhealthy baby into this world only to watch it suffer and see how cruel our world can be by the way they would treat it.
I just get so sick of seeing everyone else get blessing after blessing and chance after chance. I feel like I have busted my butt with nothing to show compared to the person down the road who seems to have no bad luck.
This is a bitter post I know, but I need a place to start so that hopefully I will move forward.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At a Loss for Words

We lost our baby last night. It's a little hard right now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This will be Kylie's new quote to her friends....

pregnancy cartoon

Pitbull Practice Game

Weston had his first taste of playing football today at their practice game. They are definitely young and new to this. And I can't say much for the head coach (who is new, but I don't think that's the issue), so hopefully we will see some improvement in the near future. The kids had fun and are eager to play and I just don't want to see that diminish. I know how down these kids can get if they don't get a taste of a win every now and then.
I am starting to experience some early pregnancy symptoms, but nothing major at all. That totally scares me! I guess I am anticipating what is likely to come and what did come the last two times, but I haven't really been that sick at all. Maybe mildly queasy about 3 or 4 times, but NOTHING like the last two times. How many people can say they WANT to puke? I just know that morning sickness is a sign of all things flowing right, so I guess I am just nervous. I have my ultrasound in about 3 weeks, so maybe that will help calm some nerves! But until then I am gonna drive myself crazy. I was talking to another lady who had a baby about 8 months ago and she said she was the same way. You just want some confirmation this thing is real when the the symptoms aren't showing up yet. I guess I need to be thanking my lucky stars instead of griping, huh? But every pregnancy is different, so I may not get sick with this one!
Tomorrow we are cleaning out the back bedroom and trying to sort things into garage sale, kids' sale, trash, and storage in a hope to get rid of some of the junk back there. I really need to find my extra bedroom so that I can get started on getting it ready for the little one. Trust me it's gonna take 9 months to clean that room out! Ha!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Rainiest August Ever!

I think it is going to continue to rain and rain until we all wash away. It's August! We are supposed to have burn bans, sweat to death, etc and we are drowning! But the break from the heat is such a welcomed relief!
Anyway, Kylie has been telling her friends she's getting a new sibling. She told Savannah the other day that her Mommy "has a real live baby in her belly!" I thought that was cute! Savannah wants one now but her Mom told her she got a puppy for her birthday instead!
I still haven't gotten too sick yet--I know I need to start BANGING on wood really quick because my day is coming! I have been mildly queasy a few times, but nothing that eating doesn't cure. The only strange symptom was this morning when I was dizzy as I got out of bed. It wasn't really dizzy--it was more like the room was sideways and wouldn't straighten out. Very weird! But a few minutes later and I was great.
I had an HCG test done because I guess I am trying to convince myself this thing is real--and it is. My levels were great, so no problems so far. Just keep praying everyday that the baby is healthy!
Well, I am sleepy--another sign of my impending future. So, I think I will kick back and relax before the chaos in the house begins!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Night Before School Starts

'Twas the night before school starts and all through the house, not a thing is ready and Mom is stressed out! I can't believe it's already time for school to start!
I called Kylie yesterday on her birthday to wish her happy birthday since I didn't get to be with her on her birthday. Richie and I spent the weekend at Big Cedar with my coworkers for our annual work retreat. I hated missing her birthday but the girl really made out like a bandit on the parties aspect! She had her slumber party a few weeks ago and then her Dad had a party for her on her actual birthday. Anyway, I also told her I had another birthday present for her and told her I am having a baby. She was in the car with a friend of hers headed to a "make-up" party and she yells, "Caroline, my Mom's gonna get a baby maybe!" It was hilarious! She then preceded to ask me when I was getting the baby and to make sure it was a girl. (BTW, Weston is adamant that it is a boy!) When she came home tonight, she stormed through the door and asked, "Where's the baby?" I told her that it wasn't here yet so she said, "when are you going to go get it?" This pregnancy is going to be like no other with these kids. The last time I was pregnant, Weston was only a year and a half to two years old. He went around telling everyone he had a baby in his pocket which was hilarious, too. This pregnancy will also be a long one for the kids, too. I have a feeling they will forget a few times before I start showing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Baby Mama

Wednesday night was a weird night. I can't think of any other word to describe it. The day started getting weird around 2 pm. I was sitting in a doctor's office listening to him and all of the sudden my head just started throbbing and throbbing. I couldn't hardly focus on what he was saying. My eyes hurt and I was about an hour and a half from home. Great, I thought. I have to drive home with a massive headache. The drive wasn't too bad--my audiobooks are really helping the time fly by. But, when I got home I was ready to go to bed. The headache was starting to make me sick to my stomach too. Great--a migraine. I haven't had a migraine in a long time! I went in and put my stuff away and just planted myself in the chair for the night. Then, the nausea set in. I ate dinner thinking I would feel better, but after an hour and a half, it was worse. And my head wasn't getting any better. I went to bed, but never went to sleep. And about 10:30 pm, I started throwing up. I threw up every 30 minutes until finally at 2 a.m., I woke Richie up and told him he had to take me to the ER. When we get to the ER, the doctor that walked in was a guy that Richie graduated with from high school. He came in and told me that he wanted to do a CAT scan before he gave me any pain medication. I asked for some nausea medicine first and so he left the room to get some. A few minutes later he came back and sat down. He asked if I requested that they do a pregnancy test when I came in. I told him no, but that I had told the nurse yes when she asked if there could be any chance I was pregnant since I wasn't late and hadn't started yet (there's always that chance ya know). He said, "Well, you're pregnant." WHAT? HUH? I then asked him if he was sure he had the right room! At this point, it was 3 a.m. and I thought I was having some sort of weird dream. The whole day had just been surreal. He said that he was in the right room and that more than likely I was having a migraine/nausea from the pregnancy. "But I am not even late yet!" Guess that doesn't matter!
So, I started the afternoon with a headache and ended the evening knocked up. I think I am still in shock.
The way I have it figured, I am due around April 26th. Pregnant--I don't feel pregnant yet though. Heck, it's been 7 years since I have been pregnant. I don't even remember what you can and can't eat! And I don't own a single baby item anymore! It's like starting completely over!
We have decided not to find out what it is. I have a boy and a girl. I think it will be awesome to know when we meet him/her!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Busy Week

I can't believe school is about to start next week--time sure flies these days. I stopped this afternoon and just paused when I realized it was already August--8 months into the year. This week is cram packed with school orientations, football and cheerleading practice and cake classes! Plus Richie and I leave Friday for Big Cedar for my work retreat. I am so excited and can't wait. I love going up there and staying in the cabins. This year just the two of us are going (last year we took the kids) and I am ready for a mini getaway. Friday night our group has a campfire cook-out scheduled. We get to ride in a chuck wagon to the campsite. Then Saturday we have pontoon and ski boats rented for the day which will be nice too. I won't last all day on the boat with my jacked-up back, but the good thing is that maybe that will leave time to float on the lazy river.
I heard some lyrics today that really made an impression on me. They are from George Strait's "Troubadour" song.

"Well, The truth about a mirror,
It's that a damn old mirrow
Don't really tell the whole truth,
It don't show what's deep inside.
Or read between the lines,
it's really no reflection of my youth."

These lyrics are kind of deep. I had to really sit and ponder their meaning for awhile. You know we are all walking around in ever-changing "shells" and what is reflected on the outside is never really the same as who we really are. Sometimes I still feel like a little girl who craves to jump out there at my daughter's cheerleading practice and join in the band routines (which by the way are the SAME ones we did several years ago!). I long for those days when someone took care of me--was responsible for me. Now it's on my shoulders. And sure I resemble the typical Mom these days (minus the Suburban and PTO button however), but really I am still that little girl who misses the carefree days of lying in front of the TV watching Kids Incorporated and Mickey Mouse Club. Don't laugh! I don't think we ever really grow up inside. Deep down we are all young troubadours masquerading as parents, wives, and employees longing to take off running to the sidelines of the football fields to join in the Fight Song!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jordan Turns 21!

It's hard to believe that my baby brother is turning 21. I feel so old! I made his birthday cake for his party this weekend. My mom picked out a "Medieval Castle" cake that has a Legos look to it and she found a few of his old Legos men from a medieval collection that we used to decorate the cake. I thought that the cake turned out well and have to say I am happy that's over. It seems like the only cakes I've done lately are the most difficult! But I guess that's great practice--the easier ones will seem that much easier!

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Icing on the Cake

I have been given a tremendous blessing and am inheriting a great wedding cake business from a family friend! She has decided to get out of the wedding cake business since her new restaurant has opened and is doing great! So, I get to try out my hands at a cake business! I have my first wedding cake in September and am in the process of establishing a website and creating some business cards. Currently, I am going to call the business "Party Pastries" and will include homemade pies and decorated cookies in the business as well. I am really excited to have a hobby that could earn me a little extra money but more importantly is tons of fun.
I had the pleasure of catering with this lady on Saturday and realized how much I miss catering and would love to do it more often. But having the cake opportunity is more than enough right now. I am still in cake classes and may even repeat a few of them if one of the really good teachers returns soon (she's been on a medical leave). That teacher does wedding cakes professionally and I know she would have some great tips and tricks.
So, here's to the icing on the cake!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Work, Work, Work--All Day Long!

I am officially back to work! We had a district meeting today and I have to admit that the sitting all day in the conference didn't fair well with the back. I am gonna admit it--I am going back too early. Ok, not too early, I have been off 8 weeks. However, if I had had some sort of treatment a lot sooner, I would be ready at this point. It's frustrating. I am really going to be sore and hurting for awhile I'm afraid. I just hope that next week's injections seal the deal! Cross your fingers!
Well, it's time to get Sleeping Beauty up from her nap and take her to her cheerleading swim party--wish me luck. She tends to be a hornet when you wake her!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cut Up....

I got a haircut today--ok, I chopped my hair off! I go through these phases, you know cute cut, hate it 3 months later, then grow, grow, grow it out only to chop it off again. I went almost a year this time. I cut it last August about this short and haven't touched it since except for the few trims here and there. I was worried what Richie would think. It's short, but then again he likes it short. He's not into that down-to-your-butt hair stuff, so I had hope that he would be OK with it. I wasn't prepared for his reaction--he loved it! WHEW! It's cute today, but the true test is tomorrow when I have to fix it. Speaking of tomorrow, I finally return to work tomorrow after 2 months. I am nervous that I won't remember what to do. I mean my job entails talking and driving all day and I haven't had anyone to talk to in 2 months because I haven't left the house!
My friend Erika is in town from Florida for a month. She's helping her Mom with her new restaurant as she gets it opened and organized. Usually I don't get to see Erika when she comes in to town because she's only here for a few days, but this time she's staying longer and since it's not a holiday, she's not occupied with all the stuff to be done during holiday breaks. I told her that Kylie is my little Erika because of her fashion sense and love for dancing and having fun. They hit it off immediately when they met. The other day, Kylie saw some shoes that Erika had on and she said, "Where'd you get those shoes?!" Now, that statement isn't unusual except it's a 6 year old girl saying it--she's not supposed to have that much of a fashion sense yet! So, we are at the store the other day and Kylie stops dead in her tracks and yells, "MOM! Erika shoes!" She had found the little girl version of Erika's shoes and HAD TO HAVE THEM! Too funny! I am so in trouble.....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dr. Seuss Cake

Here's the other cake I made this weekend--my hands were cramping from all the stars on this thing!!
But for only my second cake, it came out very well I think--I had a hard time finding a pan, but ended up using the "Topsy Turvy" Wilton pan for the "lop-sided cake". I am starting to get the hang of this thing. My Mom wants me to make a cake for my brother's party--it's a medieval castle. Bad part is that she wants buttercream icing, not fondant like the picture shows, so I am afraid of how it might turn out. But that's the fun part--the challenge of mastering the cake. However, I may age quickly from the stress of it all! My next cake class starts next Monday night, so maybe the practice from class will help me get more comfortable.
Also, I finally got the 4th of July pictures from the baseball game added to the post. It's under the "Franklin Not in the Cards" post!

It's My Party...I'll Cry if I Want to!

Kylie's slumber party went great! We had 6 girls show up and boy were they a hoot! They had a fashion show, watched movies at the "theater" and ate cake. I had a one group of girls go down fairly early and the other group didn't give up until 1:15 a.m.! Well, then the first group got back up at 6:30 a.m.! Needless to say I was exhausted and then I had to finish the cake for the baby shower that afternoon.
But back to the party--we only had one major meltdown and that was Kylie. I think she had a little too much princess in her. She started getting a little bossy and the girls started to break off and talk about other girls, so I put a stop to that REAL QUICK! Kylie wasn't happy about me getting up in her grill, but she was getting tired and cranky and I didn't want to have a bunch of girls melt down on me. The other girls behaved very well and overall I think everyone had a great time! Oh yeah, and her cake turned out great!!
Kylie had a lot of fun, but I think we'll put off another slumber party until she's 16! Ha!! :)
I was so worn out Saturday that I crashed that evening. My legs and body are sore-- this weekend was definitely strength training for returning to work!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kick-Butt Cakes!

I am trying to make Kylie's birthday cake today and it is flat kicking my rear! I can't seem to do anything right these days and it is spreading into my cakes. She has picked out this lovely castle cake--but I am afraid when I get done with it, it's going to look like a shack in the ghetto. Nothing has worked--the icing was too runny, one of the cake layers crumbled. ARGH! I feel like the chick in the Bible who had everything she touched turn to salt. Ever since I hurt my back, I have found every other part of my body going to pot. Maybe it's the lack of use or the meds, but I am completely defunct. I am also making a cake for a relative's shower, but it may send me over the edge. Kylie is having her first slumber party for her birthday tomorrow night--I hope all goes well. I am not sure how many girls are showing up, but we've invited 8 (Kylie makes 9).....
Hopefully I can return to work next week, at least that's my plan. I am nervous though--afraid my back will crumble like that cake layer under the daily pressure of lifting, riding, bending. I love my job so much though--it kills me that I have something I like and my body won't cooperate. Oh well, I will go slow at it. Things around the house may be put on the back burner at that point. I think my family has gotten used to me being home and staying on top of the house, food, laundry, and even managing to clean out a few rooms, but that'll change when I go back. I can't do the job of 2 people and risk my back.
Well, back to baking--or beating--the cake!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weston Plays Football

I am so proud of Weston! He has wanted to play football for the past couple of years and has been looking forward to 3rd grade when he was old enough to play. But as the date got closer, he was getting more and more nervous! So, last night when football camp started, I was worried as to how he would feel about it. And he did great! He's so scared of the new, unknown. But once he's past that bump, he's great! I know football may not be his best sport and that's OK--he's so good at basketball and baseball, so I know he's got other things to look forward to, but I really wanted him to give it a shot knowing he's been looking forward to the opportunity. The poor guy practiced so hard for two hours last night--he was hot, tired, and sweaty! And he crashed after dinner--he was worn out. But I think this will be good for him--it will definitely keep him active and it gives him something else to learn.
I watched The Tenth Circle movie last night. I haven't read the book, but I wasn't impressed with the movie. I think the book is probably good, but the movie just lacked a little something. Not sure what.
However, there was a great quote at the end of the movie that really sums up parenting.... "One wrong move and everything can shatter. That's what it feels like to watch your child grow up. You have to let go not knowing if she'll go to pieces or land softly. All you can is keep watch. All you can do is try your best to break her fall." How true. Many parents want to take credit for all they did to get their kids to turn out the way they are. But I think the letting go aspect of parenting is the most important. That's when the lessons are used. That's when the true test begins. And that's when the parents learn something--that their child is her own person.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Well, I finally got an injection in my back--boy, was that an experience. The doctor stuck a needle in my back in several places with the help of an x-ray. He then moved it around until it hurt. And boy, did it hurt! Once he found the sore spot, he injected some medicine. I can tell a difference, but man am I sore! It feels like someone kicked me in the back and I have a huge bruise. It hurts to sit a certain way or stand for very long. However, I can bend over, but just not side to side. I go back for Round 2 after the first of August.
The pain doctor was very good--he really explained the situation. And it makes sense--the sad part is that it is exactly what I read about while I was in the hospital but could never get a doctor to listen to me. Anyway, that old cheerleading injury from the 9th grade....well, it's back to haunt me. Basically, the doctor told me I am getting old--told ya 30 was gonna hurt!
Weston and Kylie are going to Bible School at my cousin's church and they are having a ball! They are learning life skills--cooking, first aid, nature, etc.
Well, that's about all I know right now--just sore and tired!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Franklin not in the Cards

Well, meeting Ryan Franklin just wasn't in the cards for us over the holiday weekend. Weston was pretty upset, but I think he enjoyed the game overall. Our seasts were 5 rows from the VERY top! Talk about a view of the whole stadium! Richie really enjoyed the game--of course, the Cubs won! We also got to see Pujols hit his 300th home run!! The whole holiday weekend was nice though. We took the kids to a local parade and carnival before heading off to the game on the 4th. I was so proud of Weston--he rode the Ferris Wheel! That is a huge accomplishment for him! Kylie though was the brave one--she rode a ride called the Viper and got on the Simulator ride at my parents' skating rink! The Simulator did multiple loops (yes, upside down kind of loops), yet Kylie smiled the whole time! I was amazed--I knew she was brave, but she took the meaning of brave to a whole new level for a 5 year old girl! I will try and get some pictures up very soon...
Our first set of accomodations had a little humorous twist to them. We arrived at the RV Park where my parents were staying and my Dad had booked a quaint little cabin for us. The cabin was nice--modest, but nice. It had a bedroom (ok, don't let your imagination go too far, the word bedroom in this case is used to represent a 6.5' X 6' room), living room (keep the information I just gave you in mind), a dining room, and a bathroom. However, upon first inspection--at 11:30 pm--we found no mirror in the whole place. And no bathroom sink. Weird. All that other stuff (small, but at least it covered the basics), but no mirror? So, the next morning, Richie set out to the office of the RV park to ask about the situation and possibly purchase a handheld if necessary. Well, he comes back empty-handed. So, I ask, where's the mirror? With no change in expression on his face, he walks over to the bedroom door and closes it. And there, tucked nice and neat behind the door was a small nook that held the bathroom sink and mirror! It was funny! How did we miss that?
Overall, we had a great time. It was nice to get out of the house that I have been stuck in for 6 weeks. I was ready to see the light of day!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cardinal Bound

Well, just a couple more hours and we are heading north to St. Louis! We are going to the Cardinals game tomorrow night and then heading up to see my parents' skating rink! There is a good possibility the kids will get to meet Ryan Franklin (the closer for the Cardinals) if things go well. Weston is very excited to get to meet a real MLB! And Mom is excited too! It's always fun to meet someone of "celebrity" status! Hopefully I will have pictures to post when I get back!
Nothing else exciting going on around the house--just packing, cleaning and trying to make sure I don't forget anything.
Here is a picture from Florida of the kids when they went with their Dad and Angela a couple of weeks ago also. The kids had such a great time in Florida. In fact, Kylie said she wants me to go with them next year....we'll see how that works out! :)
I would like to take them to Orlando next year though to Disney World. I have always wanted to take them when they're 7 and 9. I think it will be great ages--the magic is still alive, yet they are big enough to ride some of the rides too.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Gettin' the hang of it!

Weston has made a huge recovery in the retainer area--he is doing awesome! We had about 2 1/2 days of pouting, slobbering, and anything possible to resist wearing it. But he had a change of heart finally (or he realized Mom wasn't giving in) and he has decided he can do it. The retainer is for 1 tooth--he has a cross-bite and that tooth has actually moved in front of the other tooth already! It's been just at one week and he has kept it in costantly except when eating. I am so proud of him!
He's even taken it a step further and been a wonderful kid by doing the dishes and other "work" that he asks for around the house.
Well, I went back to the neurologist yesterday. I have to go for some injections in my back and I sure hope they help alleviate the pain. I was told I couldn't go back to work until August. I will probably go stir-crazy by then! But I still hurt and I ended up pulling a muscle in my shoulder/neck. It's not directly related to my back, but I am so weak right since I haven't exercised in a month.
We leave for St. Louis on Thursday for the baseball game and then we are heading north to see my parents' skating rink. The kids haven't seen it yet, so I know they will be excited to see it and get to skate.
That's about all for this evening!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Parenting has its moments.

Well, two days later and Weston is still walking around with his mouth open and drool dripping on his shirt. He's sick to his stomach and can't focus on anything but that retainer. It's frustrating, it's sad, and it's annoying. All in one. I try to be understanding, but I only have so much patience for "Maw, I an hunwe. I wan dinna." AAAHHH!!!
Moving my other frustration. My back. I got my bone scan--and my L5 and SI joint lit up as I expected. But no one seems to want to fix it. And I have to go back to work next week with no cure. Sure I am feeling better, but that's not going to last long once I start lifting and driving and sitting and standing ALL DAY LONG. Keep in mind, my patience is not all there right now, so I just know there's going to be an eruption. Soon. I won't be able to contain my frustration much longer. Heck, throw in one of Weston's baseball games at the "church league" field in there and I am likely to be committed. Whew.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gag Me with a Retainer!

Well, Weston's retainer came in today and let me just say that the day has been filled with drama, gagging, more drama, upset stomach, more drama, throw-up, crying, and finally a little drama. He's such a good kid, but when it comes to dentist/orthodontist stuff, he's awful. He hates the retainer--he says it makes him gag. The orthodontist even whittled away 1/2 of the thing in an effort to not have it touching anything but his teeth. Doesn't matter. He's STILL complaining. This retainer is only to move forward the front tooth that's in a cross-bite. And the orthodontist said that if he would wear it for a few weeks, that may be all he has to do. But so far he hasn't worn it 10 minutes. He's with his Dad tonight, so maybe he'll stay on his case and get him used to it. Goodness knows I tried.
I am going back to work next week....I don't know that my back is physically ready, but it's been a month and they still haven't done anything for it! I have to say though that my company is so understanding, so people-oriented that I am actually ready to return to work--I love my job! (Why didn't I find this place years ago??) But I am afraid that physically I will not make it very long if the doctors don't find some way to fix my back. We'll see.
Kylie and I have been taking cake decorating classes and we finished course 1 last night! Here's a picture of our very first cake!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Belly Bandit!

I am trying ANYTHING in an effort to keep Opie from pottying all over my house. The latest trick is called the "Belly Band" and my Mom found it at the local dog store. It basically a piece of material that you stick a maxi pad into and that way when he pees, its in the pad, not the carpet. Well, Opie in his true "I am gonna pout" form really tried to throw a guilt trip when I put it on him. He wouldn't move for 30 minutes. Then he held a leg up for awhile. Anything to get some sympathy. But I didn't fall for it. He's such a spoiled brat and has been in control lately. Well, I have to figure out how to get him back in control. So, this is the first step. My next beast to tackle is the "leash" issue. Opie HATES the leash. He literally goes nuts! It's actually quite amusing. Well, I have learned a few tricks to try in hopes of easing him into the idea. So, we will get him used to his new pants, then we'll try the leash!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sitting, Waiting, Doing Nothing

I am home still. Still here. I have read everything I can get my hands, visited every website known to man and watched all movies since they were invented. Ok, I am stretching it a bit, but my point is I am bored. Yes I have plenty to do--the house is a mess, etc., but it's a little hard when you hurt.
Kylie called me today from Florida and she's having a great time. She got out in the ocean today and got on her boogie board. I am glad she's enjoying the beach. I miss that rascal tho!
This past weekend we drove up to Big Cedar and stayed the weekend with my parents. I was feeling a little better and then in the middle of the night my hip popped again and I could barely walk. Now I'm just stiff and hurt. No medicine helps. I am frustrated with it all--I would've loved to have seen more of Branson.
I bought Richie the Call of Duty:Modern Warefare game for Father's Day and he's having a ball with it. It looks so real.
Well, that's about all I know for now....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Backing Out

Well, I am still home. Rotting. Waiting for my back to feel better. It's improving, but most of that has to do with the fact that I am doing nothing. I am NOT a good lazy person. I have so much I want to accomplish, but I can't do it because most of it requires more physical effort than I have to give. Oh well. I am just going to enjoy my time down and hope that when this is all said and done, I am pain free.
Weston and Kylie leave on Friday to go to Florida for a week. I am going to miss them. And I guess part of me is scared they are going to have so much fun that they will dread coming home. But, I want them to have a good time--I know they will enjoy the break from routine and monotony.
We are planning to go to a Cardinals/Cubs game over the 4th of July weekend--I think the kids will enjoy seeing St. Louis and watching a MLB game. I know my big kid (Richie) is excited to see his Cubs play!!
Well, I guess I don't have much more than that to write--told ya it was boring around here!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kylie takes the cake!

Kylie was in a pageant last weekend and she won Audience Favorite, Most Photogenic, and 1st Runner Up! She did awesome! We were so proud of her. This is her first pageant, so she was a little scared and didn't walk around a lot on the stage, but she smiled great and had fun. She told me after it was over, "I want to do that again!" She loves getting dressed up and modeling, so I wasn't surprised to hear that she wanted to do it again!
Kylie has also been joining me in my cake decorating classes and she's having a blast! It's the cutest thing. It was an accident that she went the first time, but since then, she's having a ball--and not too bad I must say! It's been nice having someone join me. Definite girl-bonding time!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Change of Plans

Well, I didn't go to Anaheim on Tuesday. In fact, the only place I went was to the hospital. My back has been bothering me for awhile, a LONG while, and I messed it up on Sunday. Well, Monday night, I finished off whatever it was I had messed up originally and I couldn't walk. I was screaming in pain Monday night when Richie was trying to lay me in bed. It was horrible. So, Tuesday the admitted me to the hospital in the hopes that an MRI would show what was wrong. They also did a CAT scan. Well, after a LOT of sitting and waiting the doctor FINALLY read the results. The MRI showed nothing. NOTHING. I was so upset. There is no way that NOTHING is wrong! However, the CAT scan showed a bilateral-spondololysis. I looked up information on it and it seems to be a big word for reinjuring an old injury. Which, the pain is in the same place as my old cheerleading injury. So, when the doctor comes back she concentrates on the fact that the MRI shows nothing and gives no credit to the CAT scan results. I was furious. She really had no idea what was wrong--but to give her a little bit a credit, she did forward me to a orthopedic specialist and a neurologist. Let's hope that we can finally get some answers and resolution!
I am home now and trying to just keep still and not move a lot.
Also, in other news--Weston broke his arm! He has a sub-periosteal fracture in his right arm. It only requires a sling for now--they are going to re-examine it 10 days.
We are one broken family!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Trampoline is Toast!

Well, the straight line winds, took the winds out of the kids' sails today! Their trampoline they got for Christmas traveled over 230 yards from our backyard to wind up landing in the big pond. They were upset and Weston informed Richie that it would cost $4000 to replace it. Ok, he's a little off on his pricing, but it is a costly loss in the toy department. We also had a tree lose a few limbs in the front yard and blow into the house, but luckily there was no damage.
While the boys were at home holding down the fort, I was busy shopping at the mall. I did some damage to the finances! But I had a few necessities to buy, so I guess that's the cost of living with me. You should've seen Richie's eyes though when he saw the receipt...priceless!
Well, I leave for Anaheim on Tuesday. I haven't been to Anaheim in 20 years! I am excited to actually get to go somewhere different for once. Our district has a dine-around one night, so it will be fun to get out and have a nice meal. Other than that, our manager has a busy schedule planned for us!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Catch of the Day!

Richie and I went fishing today! I caught 9 fish and Richie caught 5....of course, his were all bass--but, hey, I was just excited to catch a fish. I caught 2 crappie and 7 Perch. Oh, and a tree! We would still be out there fishing if it weren't for the gnats! I have bites in my ears, on my arms and legs, and my neck. My largest crappie was 15 inches long, evidently, that's good!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Brace Yourself

Well, at 30, I am getting braces. But hey, they have come a long way since I had them as a teenager! I am getting Invisalign braces--clear trays that you wear two weeks at a time and then change to a different one. It was so weird sitting in the ortho chair--I was by far the oldest patient! What made me feel even more older was when the orthodontist removed a permanent wire placed on the back of my teeth from my previous orthodontist. Side note of explanation--after you have braces, they usually place a permanent wire behind your 4 front teeth to keep them in position. Well, as she was removing the wire to begin my "new" braces treatment, I realized I had had the wire in for 17 years! At that moment, I realized it had been 17 years since my last trip to the orthodontist, but what's bad about that was that most of the patients there aren't even 17!! I have experienced what they call "ortho relapse". Nothing major--in fact you can't tell very much from my front teeth, but in the back my teeth have moved quite a bit. So, I want to have it fixed--it causes some issues, and I have wanted to do this for a long time.
Kylie's kindergarten class had their Kindergarten Program last night and boy was she cute! She is such a dancing fool! I was cracking up watching that girl boogie! My whole family was tickled as she shook her booty--she has some moves! Her cheerleading team has grown this year! There are 20 girls and they are now able to compete in the "mini" division which is more relative to their age. They have such a great chance of winning some competitions this year!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Busy Weekend

Well, we had a busy weekend. We spent Saturday fishing out on Sugarloaf Lake. It was the first time the kids have ever been out on a boat and fished. It was quite funny. They were so worried about what was in the lake--sharks? Snakes? Then, Kylie was trying to understand the difference between a lake and the ocean. I told her the ocean has she asks, "Does it have pepper too?" Crazy Girl!
Today we went to the Air Show...the kids like it, but I think it was a little hot and long for them. They were thirsty and hungry and the bad thing is that the drinks/food were SO expensive! So, we had to spread out the food/drink runs to keep them satisfied. But, they got a few pilot autographs and overall had a great time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

Anyone can fall in love. Anyone can care for someone. But, to see a couple in their 80's loving each other, caring for each other and displaying their love after years and years of marriage is the sweetest thing.
Today, I was waiting outside of an office for it to open and there was an elderly couple waiting there as well. The woman was in a wheelchair and her husband was pushing her. When, I walked up, we exchanged pleasantries and comments on the weather. Then, the lady let out a moan and a prayer that the doors would open soon--she was hurting and ready to see the doctor. At the onset of her discomfort, her husband started running his fingers through her hair and gently caressing her head and neck. Her grey hair was very thin on top and almost shoulder length down the back. But he didn't care about her hair--he cared about her. Then, a cool breeze began to blow and again she became uncomfortable. He whispered softly to her acknowledging she was cold and began to rub the tops of her arms and shoulders. He never once acted put out, embarrassed, or impatient. He was in the moment--with her. I actually had a tear form in my eye. I sat there thinking about how many people take their spouses for granted, put others before them, or even mistreat them. I stood watching this couple and realized that they truly loved each other.
Shortly after, the nurse opened the door and we went inside. I set my stuff down and went to the restroom. As I came out and gathered my things, the elderly lady said, "Sweetie, come here I have to tell you something." I walked over to the couple and the lady said, "You have the most beautiful legs, the most beautiful blonde hair! Sit down, I want to see you closer!" I sat down next to her husband. He had positioned her wheel chair to face him and now had his hands on her legs. The entire time she spoke to me, his eyes were on her. She then told me, "You are just a doll. I wish I looked like you, like a doll!" I told her I was sure she was a doll, too because her husband was madly in love with her. I told her how I had seen the way he looked at her and cared for her. She said, "Yes, he's the most wonderful man! You have to keep the flame burning--it takes passion."
At that moment, I knew she had the one thing that can stand the test of time. Love. True love. In the Bible it talks about love never failing, always being patient, kind. In fact, I have a picture on my wall next to my front door. It serves as a reminder. But that couple made me believe the words today. That picture has words on it. The couple has love between them.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weston turns 8!

Well, we had Weston's birthday party this was "bug" themed and I think it came out really cute. I made a dirt cake with bugs on it (I'll try to add a pic in a day or so) and the kids played games outside that were bug themed like the caterpillar crawl, bug scavenger hunt, and the bug sling. But the whole day it was iffy as to the status of the party. We were supposed to have one of the worst weather days this year on Saturday with a very high chance of tornadoes. I was sweating it and I had no back up plan. We had sent out 20 invitations and so it was highly possible that I would be entertaining a large group of 8 year olds in the house with no idea what to do with them. But luckily it started raining at 3:45 and stopped by about 4:10. Then it stayed dry the rest of the evening. WHEW! That was a close one. And all of the storms that came through split when the got to our area and went north and south.
Weston got some great presents--lots of Wii games, Speed Racer stuff, some Heely's...the typical 8 year old boy stuff. I still can't believe my little man is 8 already. I feel so old.
Perhaps the highlight of the party was when a neighbor showed up. You see my 2 labs (Sally and Abby--see previous posts for pics, etc) have been MIA for awhile. They venture home every now and then but it's obvious they are staying somewhere else. The kids have missed them and when they do make it home, they run outside and greet them hoping they'll stay. But this neighbor that showed up has evidently taken a liking to them and been feeding them. Well, she considers them hers now. Uh no. So, when she shows up at Weston's party to claim MY dogs, that was the last straw. Her excuse is that she's been "keeping the fleas and ticks off of them for a year now". Um, well, wouldn't be necessary if you had not started feeding them and had told me they were there so that I could get them! So, it resulted in words and Abby leaving with her and Sally staying...for awhile.
So, I guess I will resort to the law.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Bottoms Up!

Only me...only me. So, last Thursday I was at work, just trying to do my job. I knew it was going to be a beautiful day and so I decided to wear a dress. It was a dress that required no ironing, was free flowing and cute and would be an easy choice. Well, I didn't take in to consideration the wind. Yes, you know where this is going. So, I set out on a few calls and found my dress billowing in the wind. I tried to keep a hold on it while juggling my drug bag and car keys. I did a good job until I got to my home town and pulled up at the doctor's office that I actually use. I was busy at the trunk trying to pack my drug bag and for a split second forgot about my dress. That's all it took and the next thing I knew the skirt part of the dress was up in my face! I was grabbing and pulling and doing the "dress above my head" dance!
Can a girl get a break?
Well, Weston turns 8 tomorrow. I was hugging him this evening thinking back to the day he was born--it seems like forever ago! Yet, I can still remember all of it. He was such a huge baby and now he's the runt of the baseball team. I am so proud of his first 8 years--he's such an awesome little guy. Sure, he's got his 8 year old quirks, but when I see some of the other kids his age, I thank God for such an awesome kid. He is testing for Gifted and Talented at school. I hope he gets to be a part of it--I did it when I was in school and I feel like that extra push you get in there really established some great life lessons such as a passion to ask why and learn everything I can about something. And to never give up. I also learned that the best lessons are never the easy ones.