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!