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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

...NYE 2013...

The girls and I have been home since 9:30.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  In fact, if I could only pick 2 people to spend NYE with, they would be the 2. :). I kind of love them.

With only 1 and a 1/2 hours left of 2013... I am thinking how thankful I am for our little family of four (+2).  We are happy and healthy and our needs are met.  What more could I ask for?

2014...I'm hoping you have more great things in store for us!


Sunday, December 29, 2013 is well...

I have been struggling emotionally since yesterday afternoon when I found out that a family from Dave's hometown lost a 5 year old in a car accident.  We know the extended family, but I do not personally know the family of four that was rocked by this tragedy.  The story is simple, no one was to blame.  The car that the mom was driving hit black ice and rolled.  The mom and infant were fine.  The 5 year old little boy was not.

I laid in bed awake last night struggling.  As a mom, my heart is broken for this mom.  The rest of the family too, but especially the mom.  I cannot even begin to fathom how she is surviving.  How she is still breathing.  How strong she must be to  even take her next breath.

Dave came in and was attempting to reassure me.  It didn't work.  And I found myself praying for her, and her family, and then proceeding to ask God to please recognize that I am not strong enough to ever lose one of my children.  And if He ever needs to take one, to please take me too.  

I didn't sleep well last night and consequently slept later than intended this morning.  I didn't feel great, but got up and went to church anyway.

In the past 14 months that I have been going to Creekside, I can count on one hand the number of old hymns that have been sung by the worship band.  And I have commented on numerous occasions how much this Southern Baptist heart missed hearing hymns.

To my surprise, this morning was different.  Imagine my surprise at hearing this...

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
What ever my lot you have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though the devil will ruin, though trials may come
Let this blessed assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And He shed His own blood for my soul

It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul

It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Followed by:

  1. Jesus loves me! This I know,
    For the Bible tells me so;
    Little ones to Him belong;
    They are weak, but He is strong;
    • Yes, Jesus loves me!
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      The Bible tells me so.

Which brought on a lot of tears for me.  I honestly can't think of two more perfect songs to help my soul today.  It's crazy when God speaks to you loud and clear. There was confirmation that I cannot hold on to this and must be well with MY soul.  And in case I needed confirmation, I was able to visualize this little boy in God's arms saying, I'm ok.  Jesus loves me.  I'm with Him now.

As for this family, it may take a lifetime for their souls to heal.  And I will continue to pray for them always... 

My heart is still broken for them; but for my own soul, the soul that tends to worry, I am giving this back to Him.  There are things in this life that I can control, and things that I cannot.  It has been and will continue to be a concept that I struggle with.  But I am learning...

Three years ago I walked in to the office of the pastor of my previous church with a very, very heavy heart.  At a very young age, Taya looked at me and very seriously said, "Mommy, I am going to die soon.  Black truck is going to get crunched."  I panicked and refused to let her be in black truck for weeks.  And it consumed me.  But at my pastors advice, I had to let it go.  I could try to protect her as much as possible, but I didn't have control.  And I had to give it to God.

I honestly think that this will be something I have to work on my entire life.  Getting these small reminders, it helps.  I may not ever understand why tragedy happens.  But, when it does I hope to always get these in your face reaffirmations of His love.


Monday, December 23, 2013


I have recently been struggling with my weight.  I have done the diet thing, personal trainer thing, given up thing, and most recently I have begun taking Boot Camp and Zumba classes in town.  I love the latter the most.  Our instructor is super motivating and had been overweight her entire life and now has the most amazing legs!

I currently weigh more than I have ever weighed in my adult life (minus being 9 months pregnant, but not too far off.) And, I am extremely uncomfortable about the numbers.  So, I have stopped looking.  When I go to the doctor, I face backwards and ask them not to tell me.  I have had blood work done and I am still free of diabetes, and although my thyroid is low, it's not medication worthy.  There is no explanation for my weight gain besides this... I'm reaching 40.  That's the only explanation.

And, it sucks.  Because I am probably in best shape that I have ever been.  I can survive 2 hour long back to back Zumba and Boot Camp classes.  I eat healthy and don't overeat.  I lay off of carbs when I have a choice.  And the numbers keep rising.

But recently I had a small moment of perspective.  I was watching a video that I was in, but not really.  I was kind of in the background.  But, I knew that at one point I walked in front of the camera.  So here I am watching said video and I see a woman walking across the stage with long straight dark hair wearing the same shirt as me... And I almost started crying.  In that moment I questioned how I could ever let myself get that way.  When did I start looking like that?  How did I not see myself that way when I looked I the mirror?  And, what the hell???

And about 2 seconds later another woman with long, straight dark hair walked in front of the camera.  And again, I almost started crying.  But this time, from relief.  Because that woman looked normal.  She didn't look 20 pounds overweight.  She didn't look like she had let herself go.  By no means did she look perfect, but she looked average.

And here's the deal.  Looking back I remember the lady who walked out in front of me.  She was beautiful, and normal.  She wasn't super skinny, but she wasn't super heavy.  She was pretty average sized in the scope of society.

I recently heard that the average woman weighs 175 pounds.  In comparison to all of those 115, 120 pound women out there, that's a damn lot.  But there's a lot of other women out there who would love nothing more than to weigh in at 175.  And guess what?  My size 8 instructor with the flawless legs?  She weighs 180!

I may weigh more than I ever have.  I may have more tummy fat than I have ever dreamed I would.  But a small change in perspective and for a few minutes, I felt pretty  damn good about myself. 

And...I have 3 very amazing people who live in my house that love me for who I am.  So, for 2014, screw the scale!  Who really needs it anyway?


Saturday, December 14, 2013

…the VSFS tradition...

I have posted before that we aren't really a "tradition" type of family.  We have our annual Pumpkin Patch Trip with the Petersmeyer's, we always put up our Christmas Trees on Thanksgiving night, and we have started the Elf on the Shelf yearly with our girls.  I would say those are "typical" traditions.  But here in the Owens homestead, we have a somewhat unusual family tradition.  We start getting excited around Thansksgiving and wait for mid-December for it to occur.   We set the DVR and wait for the first weekend night that we can all bundle up on the couch together to watch.  I am sure that we could be criticized for our parenting on this one, but seriously, we all love it just the same and ooh and aah and pick our favorites. 

It is this…

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show!!!!!

The girls love to watch the Angels, and think nothing about the fact that they are for the most part in bras and panties.  We talk about how beautiful the women are, but also that not everyone looks like that.  When they say that they want to be an Angel when they grow up, we say we would support that. We talk about the creativity and how much work is put in to it.  And of course, there was Taylor Swift this year!  Who doesn't love her and think she is amazing?

We get that some people would find this type of tradition repulsive.  But for us, it is one of our favorite days of the year.  3 years strong!!!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

…the (un) usual holiday blah...

For as long as I can remember, I have dreaded the holidays.  And by dread, I mean I get anxious, crabby, stressed, and fail to find any type of joy in it.  And truly miss the real meaning.

I am a procrastinator by nature.  I do my best work in the 11th hour.  BUT, I am a planner.  So, that doesn't really make sense, right?

But lately, things have changed.  It may have something to do with the fact that for the first time in 8 years I don't have a super-needy child (or two).  Taya has grown up a lot since starting Kindergarten, and both girls are good helpers…my "Mom stress" is so much less these days.  But, I don't totally buy that either because I was stressed during the holidays before I ever became a mom, or a wife.  It definitely doesn't have anything to do with my stress-free job…(loved the 5 day break, and have no desire to go back tomorrow…).  Dave and I have been talking a lot lately about the good place we are in, so that could be it.  It could be that I feel like I am in a good place with my Church and my relationship with God, or that I found a new work out place that I love…whatever it is, if feels SO MUCH BETTER than it has in the past.

For the first time EVER, I have ALL of my Christmas shopping done.  With NO stress of shopping.  I have been planning presents for a while and have picked up things here and there, or got it online and had it shipped to the neighbors…it feels great.  I have gotten most of what is needed to make presents for teachers…and it is DECEMBER 1st!!!!!

I have started planning Merrick's birthday party and have a venue almost 2 months early!!!  WHAT?!?!?!  (Zumba, YAY!!!)

So the usual holiday blah?  This year it is somewhat unusual.  In the most awesome way!


Sunday, November 24, 2013 things...

like things.  I really like getting good deals on things.  And, I love samples.  

So, I thought I'd share some of the recent things that have given me gleeful moments:

1. Birchbox:  For 10 bucks a month, you get a fun little box of samples.  Dave thinks it's a horrible waste 
of money.  I say it's a fun and cheap way to try new things.  And who doesn't get excited by a mystery box??

My favorite was the liquid eyeliner and perfume sample!!

2.  Sevenly:  I recently was introduced to this awesome organization that sells different shirts and such every week and $7 from each purchase goes to that week's organization/cause of choice.  I hopped on the week that they were supporting anti-bullying campaigns.  So, I bought an awesome shirt, supported a great cause, and may have a new little "habit" of justifying purchases for the betterment of others.  Check it out!

3. Great deals at like these $29 scarves for $9 (scarf9 through 11/25) and this cute $48 shrug for $16 (molly16).  I may have bought only 1 scarf and gone back for 3 more, cause hey, who doesn't need 4 of the same scarf in different colors?!?!?!

4. Fisher Kids:  So, Dave and I both suck (well, really just me but sometimes it's cool to drag your spouse down with you...) at teaching our kids about basic finances.  So I came across this awesome little system that we are praying works.  

They also have a ton of other fun stuff, but this is the item that drew me in hook, line and sinker.  And I love that each Sunday is payday and they get a choice of how much to save, spend and give.  Bring on 2014 and teaching the Owens girls the value of a dollar!

Yay for fun things!!!!


Friday, November 22, 2013

...when things aren't easy...

Over the past couple of weeks I have been really turning to friends, my husband, my pastor and God for a lot of reassurance, pep talks and prayer time.  There is always the same theme: making it through the day.

  • "You've go this."
  • "It's going to get better."
  • "Dear God, please just help me make it through the day."  (ok, there is a little more to that one, but I am NOT a public prayer.  Unless you are 3, or one of my kids, you will never hear the utterance of a REAL prayer come out of my mouth.)
  • "Read these verses"
I know that no ones job is easy.  And I am not going to get in to any specifics... but dang, my job is giving me a run for my money.  I am emotionally drained, physically tense, and pretty much just  at a point where I am having to do some serious soul searching to figure out where I am or need to be in my career.

So, reality check.  Is anything easy?  I mean, really?  Because doesn't EVERYONE have their own thing going on?

Yeah, I'm struggling at work.  But..
  • I have a warm home to sleep in.
  • There is always food to eat.
  • I have an AMAZING little family of 4.
  • Everyone in my family is healthy.
  • I have a job that pays the bills.
  • Dave has a job that pays the bills.
  • Our girls are smart.
  • Our girls well behaved and have great manners.
  • I don't have to worry about how to pay for Christmas presents.
  • I grew up not knowing what divorce felt like.
  • I have never been beaten or abused.
  • I have a husband that buys me things I would never buy for myself.
  • I have true friends that love me and that I know I can count on for just about anything.
This is just a small list.  And ALL of these things are so much more important than any obstacles I am facing in my professional life.  :)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

...a little motivation...

I kind of gave this up.  For no reason really, besides I seriously don't feel like I have the time.  But someone said to me on FB to not give up writing because they wished they had journaled when their kids were younger... And I had that moment.  That was the entire reason I started this to begin with.

And honestly, there are so many things I want my kids to know about me, and them, and us.  I decided last year when I started that I would print my blogs in to a book.  And, I think I still will.  And I am setting a goal for myself for 2014 to have 52 entries.  So that will be another book. And hopefully by then, a habit.

I have said before I am not a scrapbooker.  And I have a crap-ton of photos on my computer, but, that's where they stay.  So, I am also thinking about just making picture books too, of my favorites...with no words, just pics.  Because words take too much creativity. ;)

I am actually excited about the prospect of being back in the grind...and picking up reading other peoples blogs again too.  It's been too long, and I've missed out on way too much...


Sunday, August 11, 2013

...i could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the chafe...

Seriously, I have like 10 posts floating around out there unfinished.  But on the eve of being back to work full time, I am feeling a little stress.  And obviously, a little chaffed, so here I am because I tend to blog when I am stressed.  And apparently writing about my chaffing is more important than anything I've done this summer.  OK, that is SO not true...

Here's the short of the story.  I don't typically run in shorts.  Let me rephrase.  I don't typically run in short shorts, that allow my fat thighs to rub together.  Wait, let me rephrase again.  I typically don't "run" more than a mile before walking some, so I have to use the term "run" lightly.  Until last night.  Because I ran.  2 miles without stopping.  Then an additional 1.25 miles after walking 3/4 of a mile.  And at around the beginning of mile 3, I noticed a burning between my thighs.  And it kept getting worse.  And I may have kept glancing down to see if there was blood running down my legs (and how would I explain to anyone that really, I have fatty thighs that rubbed all of the skin off because of the intense friction, and no, I promise I am not on my period.  It's all good).  And it just kept getting worse.

But, I had started this 4 miler with 2 goals in mind.

1.  I would run 2 miles without stopping.  Which would be a Personal Record.
2.  I would finish under 50 minutes.

 Stopping because my thighs were getting ready to self-combust was not an option.  So, I kept trucking along.  And texting my husband to tell him that I was in some serious pain.  And to top it off, the socks I was wearing sucked and I ended the race with a bleeding blister on my ankle as well.

I did finish, and met both of my goals.  YAY!!!  And last night, I was awakened several times in the middle of the night with sharp pains any time my thighs touched each other.

The thing is... I don't really mind.  And yes, it was worth it.  I would plan better next time (I really didn't want to go so I didn't plan well), but I was running for Cancer while also promoting our own event.  So, it was a win-win.  The event was super fun... live music, dancing, my brother-in-law was thoughtful enough to bring beer, we met some new people, got a good work out in...all in all a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

So, I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss meeting my personal goals, hanging out with my sister and brother-in-law, supporting a great cause, and learning that either from now on I run in longer shorts, or just lube it up!!!  :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

...dragons, battles, and kingdoms, oh my!!!

For the longest time, I really wanted for Dave to find something that he could bond with the girls with.  Mom's of girls have it good.  We are able to bond and appreciate their interests on so many levels.  Dads of girls sometimes have a struggle.  They may sometimes have a harder time appreciating a little girls interests.

My husband has always had a thing for "fantasy".  Fantasy sports, fantasy games... I think that it is some sort of escape from "real world".  Recently, my girls have become very interested in a game that he had begun playing on the IPad where he built some sort of village.  It interested me not at all.  But the girls would perch themselves up next to him and watch as he bought, sold, created, fought for, (I have no idea everything that he did) and they were hooked.  Like, so hooked that they wanted their own villages to build.

And so it began, and they each have their own village.  They have this crazy language that I have NO idea what it all means.  To watch your 4 year old talk about how she is mixing nature leaves to create new dragons, waiting for eggs to hatch in her hatchery, talking about how to know which defenses and tactics to use when fighting dragons to earn more's a little overwhelming.  And I just pretend that I know what the heck is going on.  (Oh, and to have your 7 year old read over your shoulder and tell you that your title to your blog post is wrong and change it for me because it doesn't best fit what they do!!!:))  But the thing is, the three of them really work together on their villages.  They strategize, plan for what they want to buy, how they want to build them, what quests they want to go on, sell what they don't need, what dragon is best to fight what dragon, how and when to feed the dragons, how to earn food, how to buy more land and what to put on it... And the part I love the most, when they ask dad a question, or text him something, he always replies.  Just this morning, Merrick had discovered how to mix a new dragon, and texted Dave and work because she was so excited to tell him.  It is FANTASTIC!!!

I am never going to "get" fantasy.  I am never going to build a dragon village.  I don't love the amount of time they are spending on their IPods and IPad.  But, I do appreciate that they are utilizing their brain power, and I am so grateful that they have found something that they can really relate to their dad.

So, dragons, battles and kingdoms???  Oh, yes!!!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

...goooooooooo team!!!

Today is the third day of my "summer break."  I am going to say that is a pretty loose term based on the amount of meetings and training I have to attend, the email that I have to check daily, and the fires that still need to be put out in the summer.  Nonetheless, reporting to work every single day is not required.  Which is awesome.  Because the Owens girls like to sleep in.

With summer though brings the stress joy of being with my girls...24/7.  I am excited.  I also realize that being home with the girls in the summer also brings about it's own...experiences.  But, this is the first year that I really feel like I am spending the summer with my "kids."  Not my kid and her very clingy and very needy little sister, who also happens to be my daughter. But, my 2 friends.  My 2 big and mostly self-sufficient children.  Those girls that have grown up so much that I don't have to worry about every single little thing because we can all actually go with the flow.

Yes, we are still working on some things.  (the need to drink chocolate milk and pull mommy's hair, needing something "special" every time we go to the store, needing to be held even though we start Kindergarten in 2 and a half short months)  But, we are taking on the mantra that we are a team.  We even put our hands together and yell "gooooooooo team!" randomly throughout the day to remind each other (mostly Taya) that we all have to work together this summer to get things done.

Our "team" feeding the goats!
I am a pretty lucky girl to have such a team.  And I am also pretty excited to see what this "summer" has to bring.


Sunday, April 28, 2013's been a while...

There's been a whole lot of nothing going on around here...

Well, at least nothing that I had the time or energy to write about.

But, today I find a whole lot of randomness running around in my head, so here I am...

Last night we went on a double date with my mother-in-law and her significant other.  We went to a little Thai restaurant in the city (apparently non-spicy Thai food is STILL spicy enough to give me some serious heartburn!) and then headed to the FABULOUS Fox to see Million Dollar Quartet.  Which...was...AH-MAZING!!!!!!  OMG.  I seriously loved it.  So much, that I ordered tickets for my parents today for early Mothers/Fathers day gifts because they have to see it.  I will also say that if I was growing up back in the day, I may have had a serious crush on Johnny Cash.  Just sayin'.  He is way more my style than Elvis.

Also, I love me some Jamey Johnson and was soooo close to buying tickets for this coming Friday night.  But, we have a super early and busy Saturday so it doesn't work out with timing.  Which sucks.  Maybe another day.  :(

I have completely lost my patience with my children today.  So much that I may have just poured myself a glass of 4 Hands Pyrus Saison just to help myself cope.  ( I also just typed that I poored myself a drink, and had to go back and correct that.  Nice.)

I completely sort of understand how/why people get divorced over money/building a house.  It is stressful.  And we are only remodeling a bathroom.  In no way do I think that it is OK, and it no way do I really have any problems with my husband, it is just the mere stress of doing so.  Timing, money, coordinating, money, building, money, money, decisions that cost money, and did I mention money?  It is unreal the price of things that are awesome and cool, and you don't want to do this again, so you don't want to settle, but geez.  Who can afford some of this stuff?  We looked at a bathtub that was the entire $8000 budget for the entire bathroom!  And then once you decide on something like an amazing little red free standing tub that is only barely out of our price range, you have to decide on faucets, which are also crazily expensive!!!  We had finally settled on some amazing black faucets, added them to our online cart, and were notified that we would be waiting 6-8 weeks.  WHAAATTT?????  It seriously took us forever just to decide on them.  So, we settled in this area.  We still got cool faucets, but they are just plain silver.  Which is boring.  But won't hold us up for 2 months.

Last night I spilled beer in my car.  Which is horrible.  Because it smells like stale beer in my car, which also mimics the smell of beer puke.  Awesome.

I have been sucking horribly at one of my New Year's Resolutions.  I was off to a great start with working out, have been struggling for the last 6-8 weeks, and am now considering the possibility of a personal trainer, who also happens to be my pastor, which are not at all related, he just happens to be good at what he does and reasonably priced.  I really need to find someone who can help me tackle this post-c-section tummy that I continue to struggle with.  I have been watching "Splash" and really have a great desire to look like Brandi Chastain in the tummy region.  Yeah, I know it's never gonna happen, but if I could get rid of at least a little of the huge spare tire hanging around my mid-section, it would be awesome.    I really miss the days of breastfeeding when I ate whatever the heck I wanted, and never worked out and was the skinniest I have been in my adult life.

Work is crazy, mad busy.  Hard to believe that in 4 weeks I will have survived my first year of juggling 5 buildings.  There are days when I wonder what the heck I have gotten myself in to, days when I think I have the best job ever, and days when I daydream about new careers.  But, who doesn't???

Also in 4 weeks, I will officially have a Kindergartner and a 2nd grader.  HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???

I am looking forward to summer, but terrified all at the same time.  These girls are 24/7 needy children that can wear a mama out.  But at the same time, they are SO MUCH FUN!!!  I have a long list of ToDos for us (in my head).  I am considering planning the entire summer out day by day.  I just wonder if I will stick to it?

I have really missed blogging.  But, haven't.  I think I need it though.  It's therapeutic and helps me escape.  Which is awesome.  It just takes time, that I don't have.

That's it for my rambling.  I could keep going and going and going, but I have laundry calling my name.  :(


Monday, March 25, 2013

...those little noises...

My Granny
I miss this lady.  I haven't seen her in over 2 and a half years.  To be precise, the last time I saw her living and breathing was on September 17, 2010.  I sang her a song.  I held her hand as she died.  It was the most heart-wrenching, yet peaceful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

There are things that happen to me every now and again (is that a real expression??) that make me giggle because I know that a part of her has rooted in me.

At some point in time in December I decided that I MUST learn how to crochet...although this lady had tried to teach me how and I quickly gave up because I didn't have "crocheting hands."  Well this time was different, either I had grown a "crocheting hand" or Granny passed one down to me, because I caught on quickly.  And once my mama had taught me two basic stitches, I was able to go on my own and I have even taught someone else.  (Well, it could also be that my mom was such a rock star teacher, but seriously... I couldn't learn from Granny!!!)

Just recently I have started making "little noises" when I am alone.  For my family members, just the mention of little noises probably makes you hear them.  I will never in my life forget that sound.  I asked my Mom once why she did that, and her reply was "she just does."  So when I catch myself doing it, it makes me giggle... and then I wonder how long I have been walking around the store by myself making little throaty noises and how many people have heard me wondering what the heck I'm doing?  But what is probably worse is the grin that spreads all the way across my face just because I am thinking about her.  Which would probably lead people to the assumption that the lady walking through the store making little noises with a big 'ole grin on her face MUST BE CRAZY!!!  But I don't care, because my heart is having a moment with my Granny.

And sometimes I need those moments so much because I miss this lady like crazy!!!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

...we've gone bird-s**t crazy...

*** I started this a while back, but never finished it.  In honor of this late March blizzard that we are in the midst of,  I thought I'd finish it***

I know, the real saying is bat-s**t crazy, but for real, we have gone all bird crazy up in this house!

I guess it started a couple of months ago when the weather really started getting colder.  We were probably bored and decided that the birds needed food, so we would do a little fun activity of using toilet paper rolls, peanut butter and sunflower bird seed to make some bird feeders.  It was fun and we liked seeing the birds come around.

Our first 3 "homemade" bird feeders in addition to our real feeders.
The birds went through them pretty quickly, so we made a couple more each time, until eventually we ended up with 9 "homemade" toilet paper/paper towel roll, peanut butter and seed feeders.  Although, those take a long I went to Pinterest, got some ideas, went to the local Dollar Tree and we made some more fun feeders.

And here are some of my favorite pics... (although their quality is not great due to taking pictures through a tinted window).

before the snow came

we thought this was a lot of birds at the time...

messy eaters

one of our mama cardinals

a bird variety

these are the "creepers"

just pretty

they love this $1 feeder!

Cardinal in our Wheaping Willow

Not a bird, but pretty fantastic!

and this was today... 03/24/13...
It's our second day of "Spring" break...what happened to the Spring???

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

...9 years and counting...

Today is our 9 year anniversary.

Dave and I are not picture people.  We really aren't like "remember it with a photo" type people.  That being said, I don't have a picture from every anniversary.  To say that I could even find "a" picture of us together from every year on my hard-drive would be a stretch.  Sad, right.  But, it's the truth.

Overall, it's been a pretty great 9 years.  As do any married couples, of course we've had our ups and downs, but one of my favorite things about our marriage is how we still miss each other when we have to spend the night away from each other. (Oh, and knowing that Dave loves me unconditionally and that I can rely on him for just about anything...because I am probably NOT the easiest person to live with!)

So, I have dug up a few snapshots that were on my laptop...

Next year, it's going to be a whole lot of vacay pics!  :)

Wedding Day

Almost a family of 3!

Wedding for friends

Go Cards!!!

Night out with my Sisters and Hubs
Wrist tattoo day with the Pete's
Lion King

10 more years???

Friday, March 15, 2013

...but I'm only 37...

This is what I was crying sobbing to my husband today while I drove to work.

***Edited to add:  I also may have called my mom and told her I needed her, because, I still do...***

Yes, I am only 37...but OMG!  I am already 37!

It's been a tough week for me.  It's been a tough month for me.  Work has been tough.  Mama'ing has been tough.  Wife'ing has been tough.  Friend'ing has been tough.  And having a 37 year old body has been tough.

I have really been trying to focus on the positive.  But today the positive stopped and the stress and anxiety and the hurt that I have felt over the past month just came thundering in and I lost it.

At the ripe old age of 37, I have not yet entered defined "middle age."  But I have more and more signs of life that are pointing precisely to that "label."  I am convinced that 37 is the time that things just start to go downhill, in a quick manner.  At least, for me.

You know those people out there that say 40 is the new 20?  Ummmmm..... my body disagrees.  And I have proof.

I should put in a disclaimer that I am eternally thankful that overall, I am a generally healthy person.  I do not have a degenerative disease.  I do not have cancer.  I have my eyesight and hearing.  I am not considered to be "overweight."

But on days like today, that doesn't stop you from grieving what you don't have that others do.


Last night I made an appointment to see the eye doctor this morning.  It has been increasingly worse every year as I go to the eye doctor and I hear the same spiel... "with every birthday..."  Today was not a routine visit.  I have had a busted blood vessel in my eye since last Friday.  I have had probably a total of 4 or 5 over the last couple of years.  They typically go away in 3-4 days.  This one was different.  I had pressure and eye aches and a general feeling of discomfort.  I went through the general test of "read this, what is this letter, blah, blah."  I have long ago come to terms with the fact that I can't read the E.  But today I really and truly struggled with reading the card.  I mean, I had to really take a long time to focus and still ended several lines up from the bottom.  UGH!!!  He did some looking, took some pictures, asked some questions, typed up lots of notes, and started talking.  It's really not a big deal.  My tear ducts are not working properly.  I have significantly dry eyes.  ( I have had lots of contact lens tearing in my eyes).  I have an infection.  "We'll take care of the infection, but we need to talk in about 10 days about our long term plan for the dry eyes... one thing at a time.  Infection first, plan second.  You need to start taking this super duper fish oil supplements every day.  This is common as we get older.  You aren't really a good candidate for lasik because you will likely need bi-focals so it's a $5000 dollar surgery and you will likely still need glasses.  You know, I had to stop wearing my contacts because of the same types of things, so I just stick to glasses."

I asked a couple of "non-eye" related medical questions, he suggested I follow up on some things with my regular doctor, we chatted about golf, and I went on my way.

And the reality hit me.  Am I going to be confined to glasses for the rest of my life? I hate wearing glasses.  I can't just look down when I am wearing glasses, I have to move my entire head.  I can't see in the shower.  You can't just dive into a swimming pool or the ocean.  (and on, and on, and on.) The commitment to glasses is LIFE CHANGING!  For the people who can see without lenses, you probably don't get it.  But it sucks.  Am I grateful that at least glasses allow me to see? Yes.  But, I'm not ready for this.... I am only 37.

Also today, I made the call to the doctor to have something checked out that I have been avoiding.  I am a self-diagnoser.  I am also a hypochondriac.  And the diagnosis of the day:  rheumatoid arthritis.  The thing is, this time there is something substantial.  I have had some serious hand-joint issues this week.  I even cried out in pain when Taya grabbed my hand.  And I have done nothing to it to injure it.  And it has gone from numb, to tingling, to locked up, to extremely sore, and it sucks.  And its not just my hand.  Its been happening in my toes and feet joints/bones as well.  And dry eye is a factor.

I could be completely off base.  I hope I am.  But even if it's really nothing... I am only 37.  I am not old enough for nerve/joint/bone issues.  I am not old enough to be confined to glasses for the rest of my life to see the world.  I still have two young girls with a ton of life left to enjoy.  I myself am still young.

But I'm not.  I am already 37.  I am approaching middle-age.

And today my husband reminded me that we really need to enjoy our lives while we are younger because where will be in 10 years?

Almost 50.  I can't even imagine.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

...when Mama hopes die...

I have been looking forward to today for a long time. It was supposed to be a big day for me and the girls. In my mind, it was going to be perfect.

My big mistake. Nothing in my world is perfect. I can't even tell you the last time I had that "this is perfect" feeling. Is perfect even such a thing?

This is by no means the first time my "perfect" plans have been squashed before they even got started. It happens every time. I plan it, I get excited, and it gets ruined.

I have two little "perfect plan" crushers who live in my house. One is 7. One is 4. I love them with all of my being. But they have a knack for really crushing a mama's hopes.

It's honestly not even worth going in to all of the petty details, and probably I worry to much about perfectness that I don't even get a chance to let it just come to fruition on its own... But just once, I'd like to plan something for my girls that didn't include whining, and crying, and tantruming, writhing like you are in pain because I didn't buy you everything you wanted, acting inappropriate in a restaurant, and on and on.

I love being a mom. I am proud of my girls. I love the idea of a perfect day.

But damn, just once I'd like to see it happen. Just once, I'd like for all of my efforts to be enough. Just once, I'd like to hear, "thank you mom for everything you did for us today."

But is once ever enough???

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

...oh crappy day...

I really wish I knew how to add those little music signs, because in my head I am singing it...

It truly has been a crappy 24+ hours.  And by crappy, I mean, comparative to MY normal life.  Not at all to be compared to what anyone else is going through.

It started last night... we had been been tending to a screw in the tire of our truck for about a week.  A little air here and there and we have been good to go.  My vehicle has been in the shop for a week and a half because we had to have a timing chip (or something) fixed and they didn't have the part and we chose to just leave it there rather than continue to drive it.  So, rather than just taking the time to fix the tire, we were successfully bandaging it.

I had picked up M from school yesterday, and she was crying because she missed her mama.  So...big crocodile tears and a guilty heart led us to Wal-Mart to grab some Legos.  (They already understand "retail therapy!")  We were driving home and it began to blizzard.  I mean, like a white-out type of blizzard.  A crazy-wind type of blizzard.  And, the neighbors trashcan was getting ready to blow away in to the field.  So, being the good samaritans that we are, we fought the blizzard to throw the trash can in the back of the truck and delivered it to the neighbors.  :)

And drove home...and heard a loud hissing noise...and the tire light came on...and thank goodness that we had made it home.  No blow out or flat tire on the road... which was AWESOME!!!  The hubs would change it when he got home.

So, in the blizzardish conditions, Dave proceeded to change the tire.  But, oh.... it was not happening because the spare wouldn't release from the wheel well, and... remember, our other vehicle is in the shop?  Ugh.  So, after a few phone calls, we decided to borrow the neighbors truck.  Crisis averted.

And then, we checked the mail.  And our internet and DirecTV went up by $70 a month.  UGH again. It was just a crabby night.  Not a big deal.  We had a plan for the morning and were good to go.

So, this morning I packed the girls up in the truck, headed to school, got to the end of the road, tried to take it out of 4 wheel drive, and nope.  With all of the upper body strength I had, it wasn't budging.  So, I called Dave, drove a little further, tried again, started panicking, and the anxiety settled in.  Merrick was going to be late to school... (yes, reason to panic, but that's another story!), I was going to be late to work, and I was stuck in a strange vehicle that I could not get out of fast enough.  ( I also may have screamed at my husband as though it was his fault...)

Dave came, picked up Merrick and took her to school and T and I went home.  Where we snuggled and read books (while Dave got the tire fixed).  Which was pretty awesome actually.  My tension released and all was good with the world.  I scrolled through FB, saw that my problems were minimal compared to others,  (we are healthy, have a home, great little lives) and made my own post...

When Dave had changed the tire, I went to work, got settled in.  And it got bad.  Really Bad.  My work computer, with all of my files that I never back up because my computer won't crash, crashed.  Like, everything that I have worked on and done for the entire school year.  Gone.  As in, not recoverable.  And even the tech guy felt bad for me.  But, it was no one's fault but my own... I mean, who does that?  Who doesn't back up their computer?  Who doesn't use a jump drive?  Me!  I don't.  Why?  Because I like to see it all sitting there on my desk top.  Because I feel like I have accomplished something.  And not just something.  Really good stuff.  But I regrouped, remembered that there are so many worse things, and was actually complimented for how well I was handling it.  :)

And then, I picked up the taxes from the accountant.  And all of the cash that we were counting on to gut the bathrooms and rebuild them to awesomeness.... yeah, not only did we not get it, but... we owed the exact same amount of money that we were hoping to get back.  UMMMMMM...... WHAT????  Yeah, we own a business.  Apparently, the business made too much of a profit and we have to pay.  UGH!!!

But still, we have jobs, we can afford to pay the taxes and still gut the bathrooms, so in the grand scheme of things... not the worst.

At least we didn't get any devastating phone calls about loved ones or friends.  At least our house is still standing.  At least we have love.  At least we were able to have children.  At least we have jobs.  At least we can afford to pay for things we need.  At least we are not battling addiction.  At least we got home safely.  And on, and on, and on.

Oh crappy day...thanks for the reminder of how good we really have it.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

...because it is 46 degrees and the ground is covered in snow...

...we decided to build an iglooish crawl through...


The brave one!

She made it!

Not sure what all the hype is about...he can calk through no problem!

Really scared my hips are not gonna fit!

Whew!!!  It didn't come crumbling down!

Not nearly as concerned as I was!

Although... he was worried about his shoulders!


And she made it!

Serious party pooper!!
So fun!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

...fight or flight...

I have a very typically shy and calm 7 year old.  There is not a lot that gets her worked up except she readily admits that she does not know how to tease, and can't handle it.  She is very smart and knows and uses words that I don't think any 7 year old should know.  When we are alone together (without the 4 year old) it's almost like hanging out with your best friend.  It is quite possibly the most amazing thing, to "hang out" with your daughter.  (When paired with her sister, however, she is silly, loud, crazy, annoying...)

She is 48 pounds.  She has great manners.  She is kind.  She would not do anything to intentionally hurt anyone else's body or feelings.

Come at her with a throat swab though, and watch the heck out.  Because the 48 pounds of sweetness turns in to the Incredible Hulk.  And I am NOT exaggerating!!!

It all started earlier this week with a complaint of a sore throat.  But, there were no other symptoms and she has been acting fine.  This lasted 3 days.  Until yesterday, when her throat "really" hurt, but she had  just come in from playing in the snow, so if it hurt too bad, she wouldn't have been outside playing, right??  But, no.  Because when I went to kiss her, she was hot.  Like, really hot.  So I took her temperature.  102.  WHAT???  How did I not know?  How long had she had a fever?  I AM A HORRIBLE MOTHER!!!  WHY DIDN'T I LISTEN TO HER???

So, I immediately went to the medicine cabinet and found not one, not two, not three, but FOUR bottles of EXPIRED Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  And did I mention that the state was in a State of Emergency and no one is supposed to be on the roads unless it is an emergency?  Oh, and we live in the country and our roads are typically, yeah.

So, I called my friend, asked what she would do, and proceeded to give my daughter alternating doses of expired medicine to bring her fever down, with a promise to call the pediatrician as soon as it opened in the morning.  (I did try to call the office, but they had shut down early due to weather and I did not think it was an emergency enough to call the exchange...)

We got in quickly and went through her vitals and the nurses brought out the swabs.  And that is when all hell broke loose.  My calm daughter turned in to a kicking, screaming, hitting maniac!  So much, that our pediatrician (who we LOVE and think the world of) came in...from the next give my girl a little lecture on not hitting or kicking the nurses.  AWESOME!  And then, we proceeded to try again for the test.

It looked a little something like this...  I was sitting on the table, M was between my legs.  My legs were wrapped around hers, my arms were wrapped around hers.  The doctor was completely wrapped around me to hold Merrick's head still, while one nurse opened her mouth with that wooden thing so the other could swab the back of her throat.  It took four adults to get one throat swab from a 7 year old.  And it made me sweat.  Like, a lot.

She was freaking scared and I had to hold her tight afterwards while she cried and told me why she went crazy...she was afraid she would swallow the sticks.  I mean, think about it.  Someone coming at you with really long cotton swabs in your mouth and it feels like they are sticking them down your throat!  It scares me too.  But at least I know I won't swallow them.

My girls definitely has some fight in her.  Which I kind of like.  Because I know that if someone ever tries to hurt her, she will most assuredly give them a run for their money.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

...sticks and stones...

I have a mama bear inside me.

If you know me, you know this.

Today, my mama bear showed up after picking Merrick up from after-care.  I think I can safely say that until today, all of my mama bear outrages have been adult-directed.  I mean, kids are kids and may not have the best role models, thus they may not always know better.  Adults and professionals are free game.  I mean, you do something that is not in the best interest of my child, and I will likely let you know.

But let me tell you...when your heart breaks because another child hurt your child's feelings SO's pretty tough to contain the bear.

Also, if you know me, you know that my soul is pretty sensitive.  And so is Merrick's.  So that old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" does not apply to either one of us.  Punch me in the face, the pain goes away.  Stab me in the heart with your words or actions, the pain sticks around for much, much longer.

So, today... I walked in to the (Christian-based) child care to see M sitting on the bleachers by herself, looking a little somber.  She got up to get her stuff and I went to get T.  I met her outside of Taya's room and looking sad, I asked her what was wrong.  Bring on the tears!  So I picked her up and held her and let her cry until she could tell me what was wrong.  (note:  I would like to say that the story itself does not sound horrible, and possibly silly, but trust me when I say that you would understand if you were there!)  Her friends had all left early.  She didn't have anyone to play with.  She tried to go to the coloring table with the older girls, who proceeded to say that she "tooted" and covered their noses with their shirts. Merrick then said that she did not and tried to continue coloring while the girls continued to make her feel uncomfortable, to which she got up and left. This all doesn't sound out of the ordinary of typical girl stuff, right? So, I comforted her and we went out to the car. Where she continued to sob because her feelings were that hurt. Which was the turning point to the broken mama heart that released the bear. Because here's the thing... When your 7 year old is sobbing and says "If Camryn was there, she would have told them to stop. But I'm glad my friends weren't there, because then they didn't have to feel what I feel," something inside of you snaps!

OK you mean little twerps!!! Who are you to make my daughter feel uncomfortable and hurt her heart like that???

So, we got our of the car, marched inside, and told on them!!! ;). OK, well, really we walked in and I let Merrick tell the director what happened. She assured Merrick that being treated that way was not acceptable, and we talked through what to do next time. But here's the deal, kids or not, girls or not, they need to know that they cannot treat other people that way. It is not OK. And why are kids so freaking mean?

So, I guess my bear was somewhat in check, but the things I wanted to say and do, I didn't. Because I am Merrick's number one role model. And raising a respectful daughter is much more rewarding than the gratification that would be obtained from retaliation.

I know I can't always protect my children, and learning to cope in the real world is a life skill we have to learn...but damn, why does it have to be so hard???

Saturday, February 9, 2013

...gone, forever...

Put your Alice Cooper hats on...

Pull-ups gone at nighttime
Wet pads gone forever
Diapers blown to pieces

No more pull-ups
No more wet pads
No more mommy changing sheets

Out for nighttime
Out forever
We will never be going back

Pull-ups gone at nighttime
Wet pads gone forever
Diapers blown to pieces
Nighttime panties completely!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

...the ring... missing.

My ringless hand
Next month marks our 9th wedding anniversary.  It also marks approximately 9 years that my husband has been without his wedding ring.  It's not that he is opposed to wearing it, but for work reasons, he only wore it when he went out.  And then he lost weight and the ring was too big.  So, I can't even tell you the last time I have seen him with his ring on.  It now has a permanent spot on my thumb.  Because someone should be wearing the platinum band, right?

To be completely honest, this has never really bothered me.  I don't think that Dave or I need a ring to serve as a reminder of the covenants that were made to each other.  What does sometimes bother me, however, is that I am sometimes self-conscious when we go out as a family and he isn't wearing a ring (might other people think that we are an unmarried couple?) especially since my ring doesn't scream wedding ring.  (When we were married, we went with a simple wide band with the diamond that was different than the band on my engagement ring.  Essentially, we traded one band in for another, and there is not a "wedding band" that accompanies like most other ladies out there have.)

Over the years, we have actually contemplated getting rings tattooed on, but ultimately have decided against that.  So I just keep ignoring the fact that he appears to be "single" to the general population.  But, sometimes, that is tough too.  It's not just about us going out together and appearing to be an unmarried couple...but, ahem, I would say my husband is more attractive than the "average Joe" and I may perhaps have a jealous streak.  Therefore, sometimes when he is not with me, I really wish that he wouldn't be ringless.

So, with our 10 year anniversary coming up in just over a year, I have again started hinting that I would like to have an anniversary band.  But, I also want to go on a trip.  Decisions, decisions!!

Last night Dave mentioned that he was going to go into the city and would be by the Shane Co and asked if I wanted to have my ring cleaned and buffed.  (UHHH, YEAH!  I swear I haven't had that done in 7 years!!)  I told him that he should also take his in to be cleaned.

And then, later last night, we got in a tiff.  :(

So, this morning, I proceeded to leave him a note that said I was sorry for being a "b" and I hoped he had a great day.  Oh, and, although I love wearing his ring, if he would like to have it sized so that he could pretend to be married, that would be cool with me.  :)

Later today he texted to tell me that I had gotten paid an extra stipend on my paycheck, and I jokingly told him to take the $190 and buy himself a cheap wedding ring.

But the coolest thing happened... HE DID!  And not just a ring that he wears when we go out, but a ring that he can wear all of the time.  Which makes me so happy.

AND THEN... he sent me a picture of my ring, with a diamond band attached.  WHAT??  It's only our 9th anniversary!  

So, I am super excited to say that I too am ringless...but only until Sunday, when I get my "refurbished" (cleaned and buffed) ring back that is sautered to my new diamond band.  And the next time you see us out together in public, there should be no question whether we are married or not!! (oh, and I guess there's that thing about him not appearing to be single either!)


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

...confessions of a 37 year old mom...

...the truth is, sometimes I feel like my kids got a bad draw when it came to getting me as a mom.

...the truth is, sometimes I think my kids are pretty damn lucky that they got me as a mom.

...the truth is that I believe with all my heart that being a mom and wife is absolutely the hardest thing in the world.

...the truth is, I suck at routines. And my kids suffer because of it.

...the truth is, my car is such a horrible and disgusting mess that merely getting in it takes my mood down a notch or two every day.

...the truth is, I long to be a neat freak and often wonder if I can somehow get that gene implanted.

...the truth is, for 4 or so days out of the month I feel like I have no control over my emotions or temper and I hate it.

...the truth is that I worry on a daily basis that something will happen to one of my girls or Dave.

...the truth is that I worry on a daily basis that something will happen to me and my kids will grow up without a mother, or with a mother that could never love them like I do.

...the truth is, I never feel good enough.

...the truth is, I often wonder if I have taken the correct professional road in my life.

...the truth is, I know I could be a better wife, friend, and mom, but sometimes it just seems exhausting.

...the truth is, I have got it pretty good compared to others...and I need to let things go...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

...January, gone in a flash...

Its the last day of January...

I don't know why, but time seems to fly by these days.

And although it seemed like a short month, overall it it wasn't half bad.

*  I have successfully remained "candy" free for the last 31 days!  Despite having my children ask by putting candy IN MY FACE if I want any... or my co-worker who thinks it's funny to put candy ON MY COMPUTER...I have remained candy free.  I have allowed myself to have some dark chocolate covered almonds (purely for the health benefit!!) but have even switched those to the cocoa covered ones.  I can't say that it has done anything for my tummy though because I seem to have picked up a new love for other sweet things...

* I got a little behind on my goal to exercise at least 3 hours a week because I was pretty sick for an entire week...but I am catching up.

* I went to the dentist and got a great check-up, but found out that in my "older" age, my teeth are starting to shift a bit.  Which sucks, because I have never had braces and have pretty straight teeth.  So, I will be doing a 3 tray invisalign this summer and will wear a retainer to prevent further movement.

* I just finished reading a book where there was an underlying theme of co-dependancy between a mother and daughter.  As the girl got older, she learned to resent her mom for always allowing the daughter to "need" her.  I'll be honest... it made me feel a little tight-chested as I thought about my future with Taya.  The girl is NEEDY... and I give in.  She is my baby.   I did say CO-dependance though, so I'm not innocent.  I need her tight hugs and snuggles as much as she does.  And I don't mind carrying her even though she is getting too old to be carried because she gives me that "weight" that I need.  It drives Dave nuts.  And I try to say no, but she is such good sensory for me.   I will just have to say extra prayers that she will never turn against me.

* I have officially given up the nails.  And  I tried the Jamberry shields on my nails.  Which was a fail.  So... I think I will just stick with a weekly polish with a good top coat.  (*** My toe shields are still going strong though***)

* Work is crazy-ass busy...but rewarding at the same time.

* I am continuing to be amazed at the great little writer and artist Merrick has turned in to.  Yesterday I walked in to her school and saw this writing, and it took my breath away!

* Speaking of Miss M, she had her 7 year well-visit and is healthy as can be.  She has come a long way since her 15 month Cystic Fibrosis test!!  She is right under the 50th percentile for both height and weight which is a shock to me since I feel like she is SO BIG!!!

* For Merrick's birthday, I survived a sleep over with 3 over her friends.  I say survived, but actually, it was pretty fun!

* Taya had another little "heart hurting" episode this month where she very clearly described her heart knocking at her from the inside.  The pediatrician has 100% faith in the Cardiologist's read and says we have no worries.  Oh, OK??  :)  (Just in case you need to know... apparently an abnormal EKG is normal!)  But seriously, he is one of the best pediatric cardiologists in the area and obviously knows more than I do.

* I have finally decided to tackle this horrible face skin problem that I doing less.  And it may be working.  I am an over-corrector, so I am trying to sit back and use the most gentle things on my face that I can to avoid flare-ups.  I am also trying a new mineral foundation... it is paraben free, gluten free, mineral oil free, talc free and fragrance free.  And so far I like it.  I'm not all crunchy like some of my friends, but I find myself leaning that way more and more, with both my face and some of my foods.

* My crocheting has slowed down a bit, and my sewing has picked up a bit. The sewing frustrates the heck out of me, but so does the price of American Girl doll clothes...

* I have kind of stolen an idea from one of my friends who has decided to take a picture every day of the year and scrapbook it at the end.  I have decided to take one month at a time and start staying on top of my digital scrapbooks by using a collection of pictures from each month (not daily!) and do one for each year.  I may also start doing a monthly re-cap on here to add in as well!!

So, that's about it... January, you were gone in a flash!!