Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to my girl

I know it's been ages since I've blogged. Things are cooking right along here. Yesterday was my last day of preschool until January 4th! Sweeeet!

We have lived in Atlanta for 11 years and neither my brother, nor my sister has ever been to visit us. We have been to CA several times in those years. sister is coming for Christmas this year! She and her partner separated after many years together this year, and my parents moved here from it would have been a very lonely Christmas for we're bringing her out! She arrives Saturday, and gets to stay for 10 days! I can't wait! I want to sit up all night chatting and laughing. I want to create some fun, wonderful memories with her, and make her Christmas amazing.

Shannon's last day of school for the year is tomorrow, but they actually had a snow day that was fun!

The biggest news though...Shannon's birthday is today! I can't believe my precious girl is 14. She is SUCH a blessing to Patrick and me. God is so good, and every single day I am grateful that he brought this girl into my life. Shannon is growing into such an incredible young woman. She is brilliant, and perceptive...loving and kind. She is fair-minded, and hilarious. I just could not be more proud of her!

Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet Shannon! I love you!!!

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Well, that didn't work, lol!

OK, so much for a month of ME! Psh. Since my parents moved in, I just haven't been online as much as I used to be. Just a different bunch of priorities at the moment.

We took our new camper on it's maiden voyage last weekend, and it was AWESOME! We had a 4-day weekend, so we took full advantage. The weather was perfect (70s in the day, and 40s at night), the camper was amazing...just so much fun.

Preschool is cah-razy right now! We're smack in the middle of the holiday know, Halloween done, closing in on Thanksiving, and than boom, it's Christmas! We've built up a head of steam, and are going full throttle ahead!

Patrick, Shannon, and I went and had family portraits made today...I can't wait to see them! The last one we had done, Shannon was 7 and had NO front teeth at all. Heehee!

OK, so maybe if I'm not feeling guilty for not continuing that 30 days of Me thing, I'll come back to posting occasionally. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 6 - Something I hope I never have to do in my life

Today is Day 6 of a Month of ME. And a real upbeat subject today, isn't it???

Gosh, there's a lot of things I hope I never have to do:

Bury my child,
Lose my belongings to a house fire,
Get hit by lightning,
Become paralyzed.

You know...NONE of those things sound at all appealing to me, but hopefully...also outside the realm of possibility.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 5 - Something I hope to accomplish in my life

Today is Day 5 of a Month of ME. Originally, I planned to complete these days know, one per day! Life keeps popping up, and slowing my blog progress, but I am going to keep at it!

There are a lot of things I hope to accomplish in my life...some "frivolous," some not, but all things I'd love to "check off my bucket list."

  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Visit Greece
  • Learn to crochet
  • Run a 5K...and then maybe a 10K?
  • See Shannon get married and become a mother
  • Enjoy watching Shannon achieve a career she loves
  • Travel as much of Route 66 as possible!
  • Stay out of debt
  • Live (if only briefly) where it snows
  • Live (if only briefly) near the beach
  • (I haven't blogged about this yet, but an item that would have been on this list has recently been checked off...own a Jeep!)
  • Achieve a healthy weight and fitness level
  • Read the Bible daily

I've made huge strides in dealing with my worries. This has been a huge struggle for me in my life, and getting it under control is something I'm really proud of. It's hard to "quantify" for a list, but definitely a trait I want to continue!

For a long time, my life felt like it was in a holding pattern. There was a LOT going on. A LOT to deal with...but it was really hard to see that I was accomplishing anything.

Now, I feel like I'm in a huge growth pattern, and seeing all kinds of opportunities for change, renewal, etc. It's exciting!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 4 - Something I need to forgive in someone else

Today is Day 4 of a Month of ME.

I'm not a big grudge carrier. I kind of used to be, but you know what? Life's too short, and I don't really hang around any people that I feel are *trying* to hurt me. If they do? It was probably a mistake or at least unintentional...I forgive them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Something for which I need to forgive myself

Originally, I didn't know what I was going to write here. I try very hard to not live my life with regrets. I work hard to live in a way that I can be proud of....

There are two things I can think of though. Things that I feel "niggling" inside of me.

This one isn't so much something I need to forgive, but something that does cause me regret from time to time. Occasionally I speak without thinking it out fully. I stand behind what I say...but sometimes my delivery sucks, or my tactfulness is lacking. Looking back, I tend to be able to see when I've done this...and I try to apologize when I mis-speak.

The thing that I need to forgive in myself is that I always put myself last. I get presents from preschool parents, and I give them away. I get gift cards, and I spend them on others. I never buy new clothes for fact, I can't remember the last time I bought clothes from a real store...not Goodwill. (Yes, it's a "green" choice to make, but mine stems more from things being "just good enough" for me.) Several months ago, I went out and bought a new purse and wallet, and it was a BIG deal. I never EVER get my haircut...not because I'm growing it out, but because I just don't make myself a priority.

This is not ok anymore. I don't want Shannon to grow up thinking that SHE isn't worth taking care of, why is that ok for me???

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 2 - Something I love about myself

Well, this hasn't been much easier to think of, lol. I've had this window open for like AN HOUR!

Good heavens...and now it's been like another 30 minutes. OK Cindy...FOCUS!

I love being a parent. I love being a teacher. But those aren't really things about *myself.* Those are things that identify me.

I love that I am a work in progress. I love that I am resilient. I love that I don't give up easily.

Things have been tough the past several years. Some pretty significant "stuff" has happened to me and my family...and I've really dedicated myself to not just throwing in the towel (I'm not talking about marital trouble) or just throwing my hands up in the air and giving up. I've really tried to maintain an attitude of gratitude, and to try to find the lessons in what's been happening.

It has not been easy. It hasn't always been my first instinct to think that way...but I do always get back to this place and I am very glad for it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

30 Days of Truths - a MONTH of ME

Eep. So yeah. It's been basically a MONTH since I blogged! I just didn't have it in me to sit down and write! School's back in session, my parents have moved in, and some MAJOR stuff has been going on here (all good though, I assure you!)...and I just didn't have the energy at the end of the day to sit and write it out. And so I didn't. But during this month, I've been thinking about blogging, and trying to motivate myself to get going again.

But! I was just reading Laura's blog, and she posted this cool list of writing prompts that are all about ME. I scanned the first few, and I'm game. I haven't read them all, so most of this will be written "off the cuff."

Day 01 — Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 — Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 — Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 — Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 — Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 — Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 — Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 — Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 — Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 — Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 — Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 — Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 — A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 — A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 — Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 — Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 — A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 — Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 — What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 — Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 — (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 — Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 — Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 — Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 — The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 — Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 — What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 — What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 — Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 — A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Ready to dive in? Off we go....

Day 1 - Something you hate about yourself

Well wow. What a start. I really don't use the word HATE very much. There are VERY few things I actually hate.

One thing I really dislike about myself is that I jump to conclusions and that despite my best intentions, I think I'm a pessimist. I'm hoping that some of the recent changes around here will help me with this, but my brain is much more likely to jump to the worst case scenario, than it is to the best, or even a pleasant outcome. This relates into EVERY aspect of my it's something that I do work on. I read, I pray, I talk to others...

I find that the more I focus on being grateful for my situation and what I have...the better. I try to uplift others, and to be helpful...because in doing so, I find that it elevates my own thoughts.

So...I'm baaaack! Tune in (gasp) tomorrow (?) for installment two!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Something exciting this way comes

We are avid campers, and for the past few years have LOVED having a pop-up camper. It made it possible for Patrick to continue to camp, despite his chronic pain. We had to sell our camper this summer, to make some money to have our house painted (which should happen in about 2 weeks...yay!).

We had invited my parents to move in with us, and therefore knew we'd soon have to upgrade our camper. We figured we save our money, and maybe by next summer we'd be able to buy something.

We got news of an unexpected (mid-size) windfall, lol...and went and put a deposit on this:

Squee!!! We'll pick it up the first week of October, and I can hardly wait!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thank you

Thank you for the prayers, friends.

My friend will be dearly missed by so many. Her memorial service is tomorrow in CA.

Please continue to pray about the family situation that is going on. It's sad, but hopefully what is happening now will help rectify some problems that have been building for several years. It's hard to walk through it though.

Otherwise, things are going pretty well here! I'm off work this week, so Patrick and I are getting to spend a lot of time together before I start school on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


An online friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer less than 50 days ago, and passed away yesterday afternoon. I am absolutely stunned, and my heart is just broken. She was happily married, with three children...16, 13, and 5. Her little daughter had just started Kindergarten, and will now grow up without her mommy.

If you are the praying type...please remember that family.

Also, we've just been made aware of a family situation that needs immediate attention. I can't share more publicly, because I have no idea who reads my blog...but God knows what is going on...would you please say prayers on our behalf, too?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friend Makin' Monday - It's Back!!!

Amber, over at Silver Lining has resurrected the super-fun Friend Makin' Monday blog party!

She wants to hear what we're up to, TODAY:

Today...I went to work and put finishing touches on packets for preschool parents.
Today...I led an age-level meeting to make sure the teachers in my group were ready for tonight.
Today...I came home, and Mr. Wonderful had cooked lunch, and had it hot and waiting for me!
Today...I felt cute in my clothes. is hot and humid. 91 degrees, but feels like 101.
Today...I snuggled two of my dogs while I surfed the 'net.
Today...I will go back to work, and speak to new preschool parents. For about an hour. Even though it's my 9th year, I'm a little nervous!
Today...I will remember that I get to go to work tomorrow night, and do it all over again! Maybe I won't be nervous tomorrow.

Come play along!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Getting to Know You Sunday


It's Sunday, which means it's time again for Keely's weekly blog carnival called Getting to Know You. Here are this week's questions...and my answers!

1. If you could host a Reality TV show, which one would it be? Well, I'd love to travel the world, so I think The Amazing Race would be fun!

2. Do you put your seatbelt on before or after you start the car? I turn on my car first to get the air going, then I put on my seat belt.

3. Shave or hair removal cream? Shave

4. What's your favorite feature in a house? Well, I live in kind of a cookie cutter subdivision home, but I adore older homes with quirky characteristics and built in features.

5. What is your favorite "Fall" scent? Pumpkin pie scented things

6. What tv show are you looking forward to seeing the most this Fall?? The Biggest Loser

7. Personal Shopper or Personal Chef? Um both! But I'll go with chef.

8. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of "Fall"? Leaves. I absolutely adore Fall...the cooler weather, the crispness to the air...and the changing of the leaves. LOVE it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A work week

So I just finished a week of pre-planning at preschool. All of my co-workers were super helpful, and I'd done enough set-up in July that I didn't overdo it. Still, I am EXHAUSTED now from it. I plan to do NOTHING but recuperate this weekend.

Some of my fatigue is the good kind though. The "I'm back into my routine" tired. Some of the "I love what I do, and I'm renewed and ready to get started" tired. But throw in some "I just had major surgery 3 weeks ago" tired? And I'm reaaaaaaaaaallly tired! LOL!

There was a HUGE influx of twos this year, and we went from having five classes of twos (2 on MWF and 3 on TTh) to having seven! (2 on MWF and 5 on TTh) Being the age-level coordinator, training the "newbies" is up to I've been really busy with that too. Getting their curriculum ready, explaining things to them, giving them pointers for their rooms etc. I hope it's a great year!

It's getting ready to storm here, and I love a good I'm off to enjoy it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh wow!

Today's been quite a day!

First, I had another post-op appointment. Things are going doctor was pleased with my recovery so far! The pathology report showed a two conditions, neither of which I need to worry about now, but make me VERY glad that I decided to have the surgery when I did. I've been cleared for walking (for exercise), which excites me!

Patrick and I stopped on our way home from the doctor, and took a walk! It was so wonderful to be outdoors again (versus in bed, on the couch, etc.) It felt good to notice the beautiful creation all around us...yellow butterflies on red flowers, tiny fish swimming in the stream next to the trail, vines on the trees, blue tailed lizards, etc. I took a picture with Patrick's phone...just to remind me of how glorious it was. We walked 1.6 miles in 40 minutes, which is REALLY slow, but not bad for my first time out.

This afternoon in the mail, Shannon received an invitation to apply for a full-ride scholarship to a very prestigious prep school located out of state. Whoa! We've always told her to follow her dreams, and to shoot for the, she's going for it. Can you imagine? Eeep!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lucky Sunday

Being only 2-1/2 weeks post-op, my gosh it barely takes anything at all to wear me out. We drove Shannon to youth group and then ran some errands. Patrick ran into a gas station to buy us a soda. He got the urge to buy a scratcher ticket...and won $50! Woot! So, we decided to spend it on a hamburgers and ice cream date. Fun!

So, two hours later we picked up Shan and came home...I'm beat! Sheesh!

Slowly, slowly, slowly.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First day back to work

So, I work at my church, in our preschool. There are about 40 of us that work there...all of us mothers. Neither my own mother, nor my husband needed to worry that I'd overdo it today. All morning I heard strains of...

"Cindy should you be carrying that?" "Cindy, are you allowed to do that?" "Cindy, go sit down!" "Cindy, why are you walking around again?" Ha!

It is nice to be so loved and looked after. I love my job.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Post Op...and back to work!

So yesterday was 2 weeks since surgery, and tomorrow I go back to work. Thank God it's only half days. (It's not time for the kids yet...this is our pre-planning time.) I'm positive I'm not ready for full days. I've been going out on "mini errands" every day for the past week. Sometimes walking around where we're going, and other times just waiting in the car...but every time we get home, I need to lie down for a few hours.

Before surgery, P and I went in and put up all my bulletin boards...which involves lifting, crawling, etc. So that's good.

I've made a big list of "running around" stuff for my aide to do. She's great, so I know that's fine...but it's hard for me to hand off what I perceive to be MY stuff.

Waistbands are still NOT my friends, so I went today and got three dresses. Between those and the 2 pair of pants I can tolerate, at least I have something different to wear each day.

I had my urology post-op today, and so far everything looks good. Do you want specifics? or just to know things seem to be ok? LOL! Whenever I start talking about this stuff, I kinda feel like everybody goes "Oh good...bladder news!" Hahahahaha!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

My first speed bump wasn't really a fun day. Nothing went wrong, I didn't get hurt, or have a complication...but I think maybe it was my first major hormone "event" since my surgery.

When I woke up, I already felt anxious...and from there, I moved into fear and weepiness. It kind of stunk. Patrick snuggled me (gently from the side, lol) and reassured me that everything was ok. Intellectually, I know that I'm only 11 days post-op, so I'm still weak and have a long way to go. LOTS of things are "messed up" inside me...and my body is totally in shock. It's natural that there are going to be days that I don't feel *awesome,* but it's still not fun when it happens.

I perked up some later this afternoon, so we actually went out (to Greek food) for dinner. We planned to just go order and either bring it back home, or kinda do a "car picnic," but once we got to the restaurant, it was pretty empty, and I was feeling OK, so we ate there. It was nice to get a change of scenery, and the food was delicious.

I hope tomorrow is a good day, and then Monday? Shannon goes back to school!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Can't sleep

I'm not sure if it's all the meds, or all the naps...or a combination of both, but I can't sleep tonight. I had kind of a rough day, pain-wise today...and I think that might be part of it too, even though my pain is just like a 2 or 3 right now.

I tried to just stay in bed, but I've been there a lot this past week, lol. That's right! It has already been a week (and a day) since my surgery! Overall, I think I am doing very well. It is hard to "take it easy," but I am SO blessed by how Patrick, Shannon, and our friends have been taking care of me. Through no organized pla, we received a week's worth of dinners from our friends. And it was neat too, because it was very "random" friends that felt moved to share. One of Shannon's friend's family, our across the street neighbors, two girl scout friends, a past pre-school family, my BFF, and my aide from school each contribted a meal. I've also received several cards, and a bouquet of flowers. Isn't that beautiful?

To receive the kindness of others is such a blessing. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept, but really...its just amazing. I decided that in lieu of sleeping tonight, I would sit and reflect on the kindesses being shown to me and my family...and write thank you cards. Feels good.

Hey, my Droid posts are getting longer! :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vote for Reagan!!!

Shannon's BFF, Reagan, has created this video to enter a contest for our local Christian radio station. The contest is based on number of I'm asking you to watch the video, and then possibly share and re-post. Reagan is a beautiful girl that loves Christ, and lives to share The Word. If she wins, not only will get get to "open" at a Christian band concert, but there is a cash prize both for Reagan, and for her church.

Please, listen and share.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

A low day

Another droid post...

Overall...I'm improving every day. But today, I'm just feeling low. I've slept more than I've been awake, I keep trying to get a little headache, and my head just feels kind of...swimmy. I know its all part of the healing I'm trying to be patient. I just keep counting my blessings.

Friday, July 30, 2010


This is going to be short because I'm typing it on my phone. Sitting in chairs is still super uncomfortable and my laptop is too heavy for my posting from the Droid it is!

I had a doctor appointment this morning and passed my test. I got to get rid of my catheter. Yay! Now the focus is just to rest and heal. And then rest and heal some more. People have been really sweet, bringing us meals. We've gotten a poppyseed chicken casserole, fried chicken, and lasagna. We are so thankful.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Can't win 'em all

Remember how I was hoping to only stay one night in the hospital, and to come home catheter-free?

Well, I only stayed one night. But I guess somtimes you can't always get what you want...I had to come home with a catheter. My bladder is either "asleep' or very swollen...or both. I go to the urologist on Friday to see if everything is working again.

I suppose the up-side to all of this is that I won't have to get up in the night to pee?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm alive!

Just a quick note to let you know that I made it through sugery fine. Pretty sore, but hanging in there.

Thank you for the prayers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Off to the hospital in the morning

It's finally here.

My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1:30 pm. The doctor said he anticipated it would take about 2-1/2 hours, and then I'd spend about 2 hours in recovery. I'll stay overnight in the hospital, and HOPEFULLY be home Wednesday. There is a 5-20% that I will need to stay a second night in the hospital, or come home with a catheter. If that happens, of course we'll deal with it...but I'm praying I can avoid both of those!

I've been busy getting preschool stuff together and ready, doing back-to-school shopping for Shannon, and cleaning the house...all getting ready for my down-time. My doctor told me that I should be doing NOTHING for the first two weeks. Getting up and using the restroom, walking around the house for about 5 minutes at a time...and that is it. Yikes!

Shannon's off to spend the night with a friend tonight, and we'll head to the hospital in the morning. I'll update here when I get home, and am able.

I appreciate your prayers and good thoughts!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feeling the love

One of my dear friends is going out of town on Tuesday, and has been feeling bad that she won't be able to come visit me, or bring a meal after my surgery. I've been telling her that it's fine, that we can visit when she gets home, etc.

Tonight, she and her daughter brought me a feel better care package! It's this super cute reusable bag...stuffed with fun stuff!

  • "Sweet Dreams" package: eye mask, pillow spray, lavender lotion
  • Valentines Day DVD
  • big bag of pretzel M&M's
  • big bag of Jolly Rancher hard candy
  • Flarp
  • 2 SoftLips lip balm
  • One of those super squeezy balls that has like...tentacles?
  • InStyle magazine
  • Real Simple magazine
  • New pajamas
  • New slippers
  • Ghiradelli chocolate/caramel squares
  • Thin Mints
Isn't that the best? I almost can't wait for my surgery now, just so I can dive into my bag of loot!

Getting to know ME Sunday


It's Sunday, which means it's time again for Keely's weekly blog carnival called Getting to Know You. Here are this week's questions...and my answers!

1. Thong or Granny Panties?
Uh, kind of neither? I kinda like a high-cut bikini style.
2. If you see a guy with his fly down, do you tell him? Unless it's Patrick or my dad, no. I don't need guys thinking that I'm walking around looking at their junk.
3. Spanx or no Spanx? Well, I like what they do, but I don't have any. So I guess "No Spanx" is my answer.
4. Do you sleep in your sheets? I don't understand the question. I have sheets on my bed, and I sleep in my YES? lol!
5. What is your favorite Disney character? Donald Duck! LOVE him!
6. Dream vacation spot? I would LOVE a vacation to Greece.
7. What is your dream job? Until I can get paid for napping, I have my dream job. I teach pre-school.
8. Who is your hero and why? Abraham Lincoln. Because he confronted a horrible problem, and FIXED it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bragging on my man

I'm so proud of my Mr. Wonderful. He really has the sweetest heart, and the fact that he continues to act on it, despite the fact he's been in pain every single day for the last 3-1/2 years simply amazes me. Seriously, if I have a headache for 20 minutes, everyone around me knows about it. Patrick has had what doctors call "daily migraine" (but only because they don't know what else to call it. His daily pain scale is about a 7-9 out of 10 every single day).

Anyway, he has been so sweet and diligent helping me get my preschool stuff ready before my surgery next week. In addition to that, he drove me to both of my pre-op appointments, just because he knows I like that.

After my appointment on Tuesday, we had to run an errand to return something, but I was on the phone with the hospital (doing registration stuff), so he just ran into the store for me. I got off of the phone while he was in the store, so when he came out, I just started talking to him about the call, etc. As I was talking, Patrick kinda waved/gestured to a lady walking across the parking lot, and said to me "We're gonna give her a jump before we go." So, we (he, did that, and she was so appreciative.

Yesterday, we were up at the preschool, and saw our Youth Ministers van (she is on the mission trip with Shannon) sitting in the parking lot. Patrick commented that her tire looked low. Today, he went up to the preschool, took her tire off, went and got it fixed, and then brought it back and put it back on. Isn't that the nicest thing? I told him how amazing I thought that was...and he said "Well, she's looking after Shannon all this week...the least I can do is fix her car. I wouldn't want to get home from a long youth trip and have to deal with a flat tire."

I just think he is amazing. And I'm proud that he is my husband.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One down, one to go

I had my urology pre-op today. It went fine, but you's never fun to hear about all the things that could go wrong. I know they have to inform you, but jeez. I trust both of my doctors, and I have faith that I will come through this fine. Having two procedures at once puts me at a little more risk to need to stay two nights in the hospital, and I *may* have to come home with a catheter...but I am hoping that neither of those will happen.

I had blood drawn, and blew a vein in one arm, and then in my other arm the vein was really deep and hard to get to. So, now I'm all bruised up. Oh well. The good news is, I got my lab results tonight, and everything was perfect.

Tomorrow is my GYN pre-op. Hopefully no surprises there. I'm just SO ready to get this show on the road.

Shannon is off on her first church mission trip. She's been away from home for a week before, but never without ANY phone contact. It's hard! I'm thinking about her so much, and sending lots of prayers to her and her group. They are the hands and feet of God!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that my parents (who live in CA) have decided to move to GA to be near to us. They are in their mid and late 70's, and it's just time for them to be closer to one of their children.

(A bit of parents retired about 15 years ago, and moved up to the mountains of Northern CA. They live WAY off the beaten path, in a home that is solar-powered, fire heated, with well water. It is a very rigorous lifestyle that is getting harder and harder to for them to maintain. After my Dad's health scare last year, it became clear that they needed to move closer to medical treatment (as of right now they are FIVE HOURS from their doctors). It is cost prohibitive for them to sell their house and move back to the Bay Area, where my brother and sister live.)

Georgia's cost of living is lower than CA's, and my parents would be able to afford a home in the areas near us. I've been watching the local real estate market, and keeping track of houses that interested me.

The other night, Patrick was having a really tough time. His pain was at a horrendous level, and he was just losing hope, faith, etc. He was just...overwhelmed. I called a dear friend to come over and counsel with him, pray with him, and him. His pain remained, but he was able to rest...feeling like some burden had been lifted.

The next morning, Patrick awoke and said that he felt "like his well was refilling." Then he said "And I think I've had a revelation. I suddenly realize something, and I hope you'll agree with me." He shared that he felt like my parents should move in with us. He proposed that instead of my parents buying a home of their own, that they use their money to add onto this home, to make it perfect for both households. I said "I love this idea...BUT...what if they use their money, and then we change our mind? Or you feel better? or, or, or? They won't have a down payment to buy a home of their own." He said..."I'm not offering this lightly. If we ask them to do this...I intend it to be for the rest of their lives. Where we go, they go."

(Have I mentioned how much I love him?)

So, we called my parents...(on the morning of our 20th anniversary, lol) and made the offer. They cried.

I just feel like...this is how families should be. This is how families USED to be. I can't wait for their home to sell, so that we can begin adding to this house to make it OURS. OURS, as in...all 5 of us.

They will arrive here in late September, and once their house sells, we'll begin construction! So. very. exciting!

This is the last time all five of us were together, December 2008. (I saw my parents in October of 2009, when I flew back after my Dad's accident.)

Christmas 2008

Friday, July 16, 2010

Taking Inventory

Something big is happening here.

By here, I mean...with my family, in our home. We are taking the time to take inventory of what we have, what we are...and measuring it against who/what we long to be. We are making core changes. Not only are we trimming down our physical possessions, but we're saying goodbye to old ways of thinking, and welcoming some very new (and exciting) ones!

We're working out some details, but then I'm going to something really exciting to share.

Today was Shannon's last day of Girl Scout Day Camp. It was a fun week, and the first week of camp that I can EVER remember that it didn't RAIN! Of course, we're now having a thunderstorm and under a flash flood warning, but at least the campers didn't get wet, lol!

Tomorrow, Shan and I are going to see Phantom of the Opera in Atlanta. I hope she will sleep tonight...she is SO excited!

And then, on Sunday...she is headed off for a week on her first-ever church mission trip. I know it will be hard physical work for her, but I also know that she will come back with her eyes open wide, and her heart full. I'm excited for her. She has certainly had a whirlwind summer. I love that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farewell, Sprocket-Man

Today is a sad day. We had to have our sweet Sprocket dog put to sleep this morning.

He's had seizures off and on for years, and they had begun to affect his behavior. He was getting aggressive, and extremely territorial. We've been trying to work through it with him for a long time. He's been starting to have more seizures, and they were lasting his behavior was getting more erratic. This morning it was just obvious that it was time. So heart-breaking. That's got to be one of the worst decisions to have to make.

Here's some pictures of our boy.

This is the day we got him:


Cute boy...a few months old:


Silly boy, loved to lie on anything on the floor:




Sprocket never EVER licked us...EVER. But what he did was "hug." He would come up to us, and put his forehead down, and we would put our forehead on his. You could just feel him relax and love was wonderful. I'm so happy I have a picture of a Sprocket hug.


Rest in peace, sweet boy. You were a good dog and we will always love you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day!!!

Isn't that exciting and wonderful!?!


OK, how about this? Today Patrick and I are celebrating our TWENTIETH wedding anniversary!!!

20 years ago today!

I love this man with all my heart. He is my Mr. Wonderful, my best soulmate. This life hasn't been what I expected...but just what I needed.

20 years ago today!

Here's to the rest of our lives, sweetheart. I love you.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Terrific Tuesday!

Hello sweet friends! Thanks for stopping by today! I'm having a really nice day...things just seem right.

Today is my last day babysitting for the summer. I invited a little neighbor girl over to play with "E," the girl I babysit. That was fun, and kept them both entertained.

I've been sticking my toes back into my preschool work...getting ready for next year. It's such a blessing to me to do what I do. By the end of May, I need a break. I need to step away from it, to recharge. I bring my preschool things into the house, take them into my "office" (ha!), and *close the door.* Seriously. I close the door so I can't see it, and therefore...don't think about it. Come July, I begin to organize, and plan. It energizes me. I begin to seek new ideas, and to implement them. By August? I'm raring to go...and excited to start with a new group of kids. I find it fascinating that EVERY year follows this pattern. Really shows me that a time of renewal is always needed, but is then followed by energetic growth. Love it.

"E" is napping, and my laundry is chugging along. Tomorrow is a VERY important day...I hope you'll come back by to see what it is!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

She's home!

Well...she was. For about 2 hours, lol! Shannon's have such a great summer. She got home from Hilton Head this afternoon, and I had time to run a load of laundry and get her sent back off for a Girl Scout counselor sleepover. Tomorrow is Day Camp Open House, so the counselors sleep over the night get everything set up, etc. Day Camp is next week...she always loves it. At least she'll be home in the evenings next week!

But check this out. Summer is just racing by. I have to take her out this week to start getting SCHOOL CLOTHES. Next week, she'll be on a church mission trip, and then two days after she gets back, I have my surgery...and won't be doing ANY shopping. Good heavens...SO FAST!

Starting tomorrow, I've got to start planning, and pulling my preschool stuff together. I just really feel like I've gotta get most things lined up be done BEFORE my operation. Later this week, I'm gonna go up to preschool and start setting up my classroom. I do get to go to the "Teacher Store," which I love...because I need a few new bulletin board pieces.

I only slept about 4 hours last I'm headed to bed now. I had a SUPER fun night with some awesome friends from work. It was a night of good food, silliness, truth or dare, and LOTS of chatting. Poor Patrick didn't sleep either...but not for fun reasons. His head pain was so bad last night, that he wasn't able to fall asleep until 6:30 am. Needless to say, we've had a pretty low-key day today.

Here's to lots of rest tonight!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spontaneous Getaway!

Also, my friend with the "lake house" invited me up for a spontaneous getaway! Another girlfriend and I went up Wednesday night and came home last night (I am babysitting "E" today, so I had to come home, lol).

Every time we go up there, I try to do something push myself out of my comfort zone just a little bit. I always find that I'm so proud of myself, and love doing things!

Last time we went, I rode a wave-runner for the first time. This time, I went tubing behind the boat, and jumped off the top of a dock (like...the roof) across the cove. Also, it doesn't sound like as big a deal, but it was MUCH harder (mentally) for me to do...I swam under their dock. (I should probably explain why, lol.) They have THE SWEETEST dog, named Annie. She loves to sit out at the end of their dock, and drop her tennis ball into the lake. At one point, the ball went under the dock, and "L's" (the one who owns the house/dock) daughter "A" (Shannon's age) swam under to get it. My stomach flip-flopped...and I jokingly said "Save yourself, "A"! That's where the monsters live!" Of course, I don't really think monsters live down there, lol...but I realized I was actually afraid to swim under! So I made myself do it! The dock sits up on this floating "pier" the surface of the dock is like a foot over the water. I swam the length of the dock...between the piers. My heart was beating SO fast...but I did it!

We had SUCH a great time. We just hung out and laughed on Wednesday night. Swimming in the lake, playing truth or dare, etc. We had fondue for dinner, and then MADE OUR OWN FUNNEL CAKES (OMG how fun) for dessert. We sat up til 2 am chatting, and then Annie slept with me. After sleeping with Rosie and Calvin...Annie the Rottweiler was quite the change!

Thursday morning we got up and had breakfast, and then went out on their pontoon boat. SO much fun. Eventually, we came back for a really late lunch, and then "K" (the other friend) and I headed home. I have some pictures, but I need to re-size them, etc.

Tonight, I'm going to another friend's house for a pool party. It'll be a bunch of girls from work ("L" and "K" are also friends from work, but not sure if they're going to this party). We'll do a little drinking, so it's a slumber party! SO fun!

Shannon "comes home" tomorrow. I put it in quotes because they're getting here between 3 and 4, but her counselor sleepover for GS camp starts at 5. LOL!


To those that are here from Friday Follow...welcome! I'm so glad you're here! I hope you'll follow and come back again!

Allied Moms

My sweet friend, Steph, just recently co-founded a wonderful new online community for Christian blogging moms.

Allied Moms

It's called Allied Moms, and it's a place to find friends and well as promote your blog! Just by connecting and answering daily questions, you can win front page ad space for YOUR blog!

And guess what? I already won! Go me! So, to any Allied Moms stopping by...welcome! I'm so glad you're here!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Empty Nesters

I keep meaning to sit down and blog, but I just never do! Patrick and I are home alone, and it's...kinda weird! Such a change from our regular day to day. I guess this is what it will be like when Shan goes off to college! We are kind of different from a lot of couples that Patrick is disabled, and can't work...and I'm a teacher, so I'm home during the summer. So...we're home alone 24/7 right now! Good thing we're best friends, huh? LOL!!!

Our 4th of July was good! Our city is weird, and did fireworks on Friday the 2nd. (Apparently it's not a good Christian thing to do them on the 4th? (If Halloween falls on a Sunday, people don't trick-or-treat here on that day, either!) I don't know...but why not the 3rd? Maybe they got a good deal if they went on the 2nd.) Anyway. We went Friday night and saw the fireworks. I LOVE fireworks. I don't know why...but they're just magical to me. I actually get a little choked up!

Saturday we cleaned our garage. I know, how exciting right? But listen to this. We back Patrick's truck up to the garage, and just chucked in junk that we don't need. Stuff we NEVER use, etc. And took it to the dump! It's outta here, baby!!! The way they charge at our dump is by weight. You pull onto a scale as you enter, and then you pull onto a scale as you leave...and they charge by pound. We dumped 680 pounds!!! OMG! Isn't that wild? (And this is our 4th dump run this month!) I LOVE getting rid of junk! (But am slightly scared that this now makes it sound like we live in a junkyard or something. I assure you...we don't.)

So then, Saturday night, we headed over to Woodstock to the Dixie Speedway for some dirt-track racing and more fireworks. A really neat thing happened...right at 9:30, behind turn 2...the Woodstock city firework show went off! We got a bonus firework show! Neato! They were really good, too. Then, after that heat of racing, at like 10pm...we saw the Speedway fireworks. SO fun!

Something really hilarious happened at the track. We were sitting next to this grandma and her two grandsons. One of the grandsons was grown...probably 24-ish, and the other was like 10. At one point, the grown up grandson got popcorn for them. Awhile later, I happened to look over at them. The grandma was making that "I have something stuck in my teeth" face, and moving her tongue around. Suddenly, she pops her teeth out, picks out the popcorn hull...and then puts her teeth back in! OMG, it was SO funny! It just struck me SO funny...but I mean, how handy for getting popcorn hulls out of your teeth, right?

Our 4th was nice. We barbecued chicken, and ate lots of watermelon. We shot some fireworks off in the driveway and just chilled! Very nice! It was weird not having Shannon home, but knowing she was having such fun, watching fireworks on the beach kinda made up for it. :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Friday!

Welcome, sweet friends!

I'm feeling content and blessed today.

It's a little rainy, which is nice...I love the rain, but it also means it's a little cooler outside. I know it's June, but it's just been beastly hot here for about 3 weeks. Mid-90's, with heat index around 105...every day. Yuck. I'm not a hot weather person, but I try to grin and bear it.

My little world traveler is off on another adventure. Her best friend's mom texted me on Wednesday morning and asked if Shannon was available to go to Hilton Head for TEN DAYS, leaving Thursday afternoon! Wow! Shannon had a couple scheduled events, but they were easily changeable. Shan's BFF and mom have been in HH for a week already, and step-dad was driving down after work yesterday. BFF's mom woke up yesterday with the fun idea to have step-dad bring Shannon down with him, and surprise BFF! Isn't that fun? I'm so tickled for my girl.

The rest of her summer is a whirlwind though. She gets home from HH next Saturday around 3-4pm. She has a Girl Scout Counselor sleepover beginning at 5pm! She'll get home at 4pm on Sunday. Beginning the following day is GS Day Camp, where she'll be a counselor. That gets over on Friday the 16th. On Sunday the 18th, she's leaving on a mission trip for church, and won't be back til the 24th! Then, my surgery is on the 27th. When we dropped her off yesterday, I jokingly said "See you in August!"

I have no idea why, but our town's fireworks are tonight, so P and I will go see them. It will be weird, but kinda fun (like a date!) to go without Shannon. Maybe we should have a picnic dinner or something. Hmmm.

I dunno...I just peace. Life's just cooking along, and I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be. It's been awhile since I've felt this way.

If you're here from Friday Follow, I hope you'll link up and come again!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A/C Update and I got my surgery date!

So the A/C guy came out this afternoon, and our unit just blew a capacitor. He had just taken a working one of another dead he gave it to us, and we only had to pay for the house call. SWEET! Now we're wondering if our thermostat is on the blink, too. It's definitely cool in here, but the thermostat isn't showing it. We've replaced the battery, turned it off and on...but Meh. It still says 80. Dumb thing. At least we're comfortable now.

I guess this is good news, but I'm still in the processing stage. I got a surgery date of July 27th. I really was hoping for an earlier date, so I'd be all nice and recovered before I had to report back to work. Sigh. No dice. July 27th is the earliest that both my OB and Urologist are available to do it. I need to get back into my "Yay! Hysterectomy!" frame of mind, because truly I. CANNOT. WAIT.

I'm going to have to work some stuff out with my work. I think I will go in mid-July and set up my classroom. And hopefully I can take some days off or work shorter hours at first. (The kids don't return until after Labor Day, but I have to report for pre-planning on 8/11.) I'm going to have faith that it will all work out the way it's supposed to.

Monday, June 28, 2010


EVERY year, one of our air conditioners goes out. Usually, they alternate. One year it'll be the upstairs, and the next year the downstairs will go out. Sigh. This year it's the upstairs.

Joy of joys. Everybody cross your fingers that it will be a cheap fix. If it's not, it'll have to wait until after P gets paid on the 12th. FUN!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Going green

This isn't a post about being environmentally friendly, making sound ecological choices, or reducing your carbon footprint.

Nope! It's notice that I am dying a stripe of Shannon's hair! She's REALLY wanted to do this for awhile, and I figure,'s summer. Why not? I felt like I had 5 hands though, trying to do the foil, etc. Shan started singing "Beauty School Drop-Out" to me, lol. For the record, I didn't GO to beauty school, hence I cannot be a drop-out. Ha!

Anyway...I'll update with a pic, when we're done.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pulling from my bag of journal prompts....

I'm realizing that it's been a few days since my last post. We're just cruising along, with summer busy-ness. I'm in a holding pattern about my surgery...until tomorrow or Friday. I'm supposed to hear from the surgery scheduler tomorrow, and if I don't, I am supposed to call on Friday. We're dog-sitting for friends, and y' is good. Not very good blog fodder though, right? LOL!

Then I remembered my post about journal prompts. While Shannon was on her trip...oh yeah! I never told you about that...she went to Washington DC and had a great time!...anyway, while she was gone I made her one of those journal jars. While I was making hers, I made a copy of the prompts for myself too, and put them in a ziploc bag. Remembering that, I pulled one out today:

"If you could have dinner with anyone currently alive, who would it be?"

Well, I'd love to have dinner with any member of my immediate family. They all live in CA, and I miss them so much.

But outside of that, I think I would love to have dinner with Jane Goodall. I met her once when I was in 7th grade. My parents let me skip school one day, to go have lunch with my aunt at some benefit thing. Ms. Goodall was the keynote speaker...and I was FASCINATED by her, and her work with chimpanzees. I think that would be a terrific meal and conversation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I am so blessed to have a Terrific Dad and to have married a man who became Wonderful Daddy! To me, a father provides guidance, teaching, support, and love. Both of "my men" are all of those things and more!

Patrick with Shannon, the morning after her birth.
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One of my all-time favorites...sharing applesauce.
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Shannon's first trip to Disney, Nov. 1998
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At dinner in Hawaii!
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Headed to the Father/Daughter Dance 2004:
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Lookout Mtn, July 2009
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To celebrate, we got Patrick some little gifts (a book, handheld game, and Shan got him a kite in DC), and he got to pick what we'll have for dinner.

He picked manicotti and garlic bread. I found THIS recipe on Bakerella, and thought it sounded Shan and I made that, too.

We also bought fun-size of his two favorite candy (Twix & KitKat). We wrote little notes on scrapbook paper (what we love about him, favorite memories, etc.) and wrapped about half the candies in those. That way, when he opens one, he'll get to read something special about himself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting things in order

For those not "in the know," I'm working my way toward a hysterectomy, and I'm quite happy about it, lol! I've been waiting to meet with a second doctor, to see if my symptoms warranted a second procedure...and if it could be done at the same time as the hysterectomy.

My appointment was yesterday, and after a not-so-fun procedure, the answers are yes and yes! So as bad as the procedure was, I'm glad I had it done so I have the answers I need. I should be getting a call from the surgery scheduler in the next 3-4 work days.

I went out tonight and bought two new pairs of new jammies so I'll be nice and comfy afterward. I love new jammies. It's been FOREVER since I had some!

This may be a tad bit, TMI...and if it is, I apologize. But it struck me as sorta funny, so I'll share it.

You know how even after you *know* something, it can take awhile for it to really sink down into your consciousness?

I was in the bathroom tonight, um...adjusting a tampon, and had the thought "Ohhh this is going to be AWFUL after my surgery." And then...the light bulb went on. Aaaahhh! No more periods!!! Finally! Thank you, God!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mom n Me Monday

Shoot! I just went to link up for "Mom N Me Monday" and found that it's on hiatus for the summer. I had just typed up this post, so you're gonna get it anyway! LOL!

As you all know, I recently got a Droid, and I'm still LOVING playing with all it's features, etc. It was time for Shannon's yearly check-up this week, and so when our doctor was running a little late...I pulled it out and we took selfies. (Remember when your kids were babies, and you took them for "well baby" checks? It made me smile that on our insurance paper, this visit was listed as "well adolescent" check. Hahaha!) And then, I LOVE our doctor. She sat and talked to us for a HALF HOUR. Just chatting with Shannon about school, books, her summer plans, etc. And then, Shan's physical was like another 30 minutes. She spent a full hour with us, and it was fabulous. I know so many people hate Kaiser, but I have to say...I have never had a bad experience, and I'm so grateful.

On to the pictures! Normal, and then...not so much normal. :-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Aaaaand, it's outta here!

That didn't take long! We had 10+ inquiries about the camper, and early this afternoon a guy showed up with cash and drove it away! We LOVED the camper, and know we will have another...but for now, we're glad to see it go! We've got plans for the money, hahaha! Anyway...there it goes!

In other news, I spent time this afternoon and washed all four dogs! That was a big, tiring, and sweaty job. I have decided that each dog earned an award:

Daisy: Dirtiest of all the dogs (her nickname is Water Buffalo)
Sprocket: Most agreeable (I wasn't expecting him to be that way, lol! Yay!)
Calvin: Most annoyed (He was VERY put out that I washed him, lol)
Rosie: Sheddiest. (Yes, I just made up that word.)

Now I'm exhausted, but my dogs are clean. Yay.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Out from under

We're taking steps in our life to get "out from under." Out from under debt, out from under looming court dates (P's SS court), out from under my health concerns...stuff like that. It feels SO good to be free.

We've decided to sell our beloved pop-up camper. With my upcoming surgery this summer, we knew we wouldn't be doing much, if any camping this summer...and our house needs painting. We figure we can sell the camper now, use the money to paint the house, and save up for another (with A/C) camper by next summer. Sounds perfect to me. We just put up the ad on Craigslist...I hope it goes quick, lol!

Shannon's having a great time on her trip so far. She's seeing amazing stuff, and LOVING it! (When she gets home, I'll tell ya where she's been! If you're my friend on FB or IRL, you already know.) She got a blister on her foot yesterday, so hopefully that's not hurting her too much today.

Patrick and I went on a date last night. Just dinner and an ice cream...but it was so fun. I love that boy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A big day for us

Thursday's an important day for our family, and I'd love if you'd keep us in your prayers.

First, Shannon and her Girl Scout troop are traveling. It's a long road-trip (10+ hour one-way), and while I'm not really worried about them being gone, I know I'll breathe a sigh of relief when I've heard they have arrived safely. She'll be gone til late, late Monday night. So if you could just keep good thoughts for these 9 girls and 4 adults...I'd really appreciate it.

Second, Patrick has a court date tomorrow for his Social Security benefits. As is common with lots of disability cases, his first application was denied, referred to an attorney, and like I said...his day in court is tomorrow. From what I understand, we are going to be OK whatever happens...we have disability insurance, so we'll continue to get paid. Tomorrow is just to determine if SS will pay any of the benefits, or if it just stays with the insurance company. But any time court is involved...I just have a bit of nerves. Please pray everything goes OK.

As for me? I'm fine, lol. Just keeping on, keeping on! Thank you for your good thoughts. I will update as I know things!

8:20 am update: Just got word that the girls JUST crossed into South Carolina, and also just got word from Patrick that he's arrived safely, and about to walk in.

Not sure I need to keep doing updates, since no one's commenting, lol...but when I look back at this post, it'll be nice to read it all together. So...

2:45 update: Patrick's court went wonderfully. I prayed that it would go well, but that God's will be done. If it couldn't go well, that at least we'd feel God's presence. Well, it could NOT have gone better! The judge suffered from migraines/trigeminal nerve damage for 15 years! He completely understood P's pain, and ruled that SS will pay P's benefits, etc. Like I said earlier, if SS wasn't to pay our benefits, we would still get paid through our disability insurance...but it is wonderful to have P feel validated, and be able to have an empathetic judge. Talk about feeling!

Oh, and for the record...the judges pain just alleviated over time, no particular treatment helped him either. So it's good news that their could be an end in sight, the bad news is...the judge's pain last 12 more YEARS than we're at right now. So...we'll just keep swimming and pursuing treatment options.

As for Shannon, I haven't heard from her since 11am, but I assume they're doing fine!

7:30...Shannon has arrived safe and sound!

Writer's Block

Do you ever wonder what to write about? I do all the time.

I love having a journal, and a written account of our life. However, there are times when I just can't think of what to say. Today I saw a neat idea over at Make and Takes about making a Journal Jar for kids. She talks about the importance of journaling and how it can benefit our lives. She filled cute jars with journaling prompts and gave the jars to her Sunday School class. Isn't that a neat gift?

Anyway, she credited Abundance Blog as the source for the prompts, so I went to check it out. Wow. Such great conversation starters, food for thought, etc. I'm bookmarking it for the times that I need a nudge to get writing.

Take a look!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Big Stuff

We got Shannon's end-of-year report card and her CRCT scores in the mail today. She got all A's (again, lol) and tested nearly perfectly! She missed two questions in the math section, but NOTHING else. Oh my gosh! She just truly amazes me. She had told us that her science teacher mentioned that Shannon had gotten a perfect score in the science section...but we hadn't heard about any of the other subjects. That girl is just astounding.

I'm going to do a brief recap here, because this blog relatively new.

We relocated to Atlanta almost 11 years ago. We were born and raised there, and our families still live there. My parents are in their mid-70's and my dad's health is beginning to deteriorate. They live off a dirt road, WAY out in the woods. They have a solar powered house, with a well, and propane appliances. Let's put it this way, their entire COUNTY has no stoplights! Yes, in California! I bet you didn't know places like that still exist in CA! They do!

Anyway, after my dad's scary blacking out while driving accident last fall, I have been planting the seed for them to move out here. Their doctor in CA is FIVE HOURS from their house. That's just not OK. My brother and sister are five hours from their house. I've been working on them for several years, actually...but since the accident, it's been easy for them to see why it would be a good idea.

Today? My parents listed their home for sale. They are definitely coming! Let the fun begin, lol!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Easily confused

This has been the first full week of our summer vacation, and twice I've had to be reminded what day it was. Wow, that was quick, lol!

Shannon and I are babysitting today, and Patrick is off to the tattoo convention in Atlanta. He's never been to one, and thought it would be fun. He took his camera...if he finds anything awesome, I'll be sure to share!

I'm wanting to go into my surgery as healthy as possible, so this week I've been making better food choices, and getting more exercise. I've had plantar fasciitis flare-ups a few times in my adult life...but after my workout on Wednesday, my foot told me in NO uncertain terms that jogging is NOT the sport for me. Dang. I was all excited with my new C25K app on the Droid and everything! I immediately started doing my foot stretching exercises and icing it etc, and thankfully it's letting up. But I've switched to our elliptical machine and swimming for the cardio workouts.

I'm super excited that we have NO plans for this weekend. You know how it goes at the end of school? Every single weeknight and weekend is crammed with activities? So tiring! I'm planning to veg out and LOVE every minute of it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rabbit, rabbit!

June, already? How in the world does time continue to speed up? I swear, it moves at double the time it used to!

I had a "stellar" evening last sleep whatsoever. Literally...I did not sleep. Finally at 6:20 I got up and took my shower. No sense laying there trying to go to sleep when it's already light out!

I've had a few things I've needed to update on my blog, so I figured I'd sit here in my quiet house and do that! It's either that, or yeah. I think I'll update my blog, lol!

Back in April, Patrick and I got new tattoos. I got a beautiful piece on my foot that I just love. Wanna see?

Isn't it pretty? Now that I've finally shown it to you, guess what? I went Sunday afternoon and got it touched up, and changed a little bit! So argh! I still don't have a good up to date photo of it! Give me a week and I'll take another one. Foot tattoos, and all-black tattoos can have a tendency to heal a bit patchy (you can even see a bit of that in the picture of mine) I went and had it re-filled. There was also one part of it that bothered me a little bit, that I had the artist change. It's just more aesthetically appealing to me now. Yay!

Next order of business: Last night we went to an Alice in Wonderland Midnight Tea Party! It was a lot smaller than we'd been led to believe it would be...but Shannon and her friend dressed up and still had a good time. Plus, we got the movie at midnight, and they served cake...what else could we possibly need?

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And finally...I mentioned last week that I had a doctor appointment coming up, and that I was hoping for good news. I got good news! It may not sound like good news to hear that I'll be having a hysterectomy this summer, but to me? Music to my ears. I'm getting some other issues taken care of too, so I have one other doctor to see, but then I can get on the surgery schedule. Woot! I hope to be able to hear from the scheduler today...tomorrow at the latest.

I think that's it for now. Shannon and I are both off school for the summer now. Woohoo! I'll still be babysitting on Mondays and Fridays throughout the summer, but by and large...I'm a free bear!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

When you wake up tomorrow morning, think of all the things you can have and do and go to, and then remember the people who made that possible. God bless our military.

I'm spending a lot of time this weekend thinking about and being grateful to our soldiers that have lost their lives protecting our freedom, but the most important one to me is my grandfather.

He was killed in WWII...I wish I had gotten to meet him. I think of him a lot. Thank you, grandpa.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's back! Better than ever!


Friday Follow has been re-worked and gotten a make-over! I'm so excited to see it back! This is the first week of the new Friday Follow...if you've never played along, click the graphic up above to see how!

This is a great week for us.... We started off with our trip to Duke for Shannon's recognition ceremony. Then, Tuesday was my last day of work until AUGUST! (Can I get a woohoo???) Shannon's last day of 7th grade is tomorrow! Here comes summer! I can't wait to stay up late, sleep in late, and laze by the pool. Bliss!

Patrick and I got new toys today...DROIDS! So awesome. Our phones were up for renewal, and then Droids went "Buy One Get One Free," with free shipping! It was just meant to be! We've spent the day learning about apps, chatting with friends, syncing our Google calendars, etc. Sweeeet! I feel so 21st century! LOL!!!

I have a doctor appointment Friday afternoon...hoping for good news. Cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Duke visit

We got to do a neat thing with Shannon this past weekend.

Due to her great ACT scores, she was invited to a grand recognition ceremony at Duke University. It was so cool! Not only was it surreal to take my 13 year old to college, but it really awakened in Shannon the possibilities for her future.

Shannon absolutely adored the Duke campus. She'd go there in a heartbeat if they accepted her (and gave her a scholarship, lol.) We were invited to a "It's not too early to begin thinking about college admittance" seminar. We learned that ONE year at Duke costs $53,000. HELLO! But anything's possible, so we're letting Shan shoot for the moon, y'know? You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so we'll let her dream and goal, and figure out it later.

There is NO way we can afford to send her there. But letting her dream, and work toward her goals may just lead her to the path to get there. It may also lead her to a different school, and that's fine too! I think this trip really was a touchstone for Shannon though, and it was neat to see that come alive in her.

I'm loving being on this journey with her. I have no idea where she'll end up, but I know we'll have fun getting there.

Here are pictures from our trip. Check them out...I had NO idea how beautiful Duke was! (Plus, my kid's kinda cute too, lol.)

He's Super-Charlie!!!

Baby Charlie is home!!! In fact, he came home TWO days ago! What a super-baby he is!

Thank you, Lord!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Update on Charlie

Baby Charlie's open-heart surgery was this morning, and I am happy to report that it went extremely well! Charlie's surgeons were able to repair his heart defect, and as of tonight he is already off the ventilator, and breathing on his own!

Please continue to pray for
  • Very minimal pain for Charlie.
  • Quick, infection-free healing.
  • Peace for Mommy,Daddy and all family and friends.
Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lots of things!

Baby Charlie's open-heart surgery is on Friday. His parents (who are our friends from church) have asked for lots of prayers for their sweet boy. Will you please help?

These are the specific requests of the family:
  • For successful surgery.
  • For the Lord to guide the surgeon's hands.
  • Very minimal pain for our sweetie.
  • Quick, infection-free healing.
  • Peace for Mommy,Daddy and all family and friends.

Thank you so much!

We've had a super-neat thing happen in our family. I don't know if you were a reader back when I posted this post about wishing for $16 million to buy some "family land." Well, something cool has, I haven't found $16 million, lol...but check this out!

A woman in CA's husband died at Thanksgiving time last year. Just a short time ago, she took an "old guitar" off their wall and took it to a music shop to see how old or valuable it might be. It was etched with the name "CB Irwin" on the back, which guided the shop owner to my family.

The lady has invited a member of our family to receive the guitar back into the family so it can be added to Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, which is creating an Irwin wing.

This is SUPER exciting to us!!! I hope you'll read THE's pretty neat!

One party down, one to go! Then, summer! Woot!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home stretch!

Yesterday and today were my last real "class" days at preschool. Tomorrow and Thursday are program and party days, and then I'm done, done, done! This has been such a fantastic year...great classes, sweet parents...just wonderful. The last several years have had some really stressful parts that kind of cast a "pall" over the contrast, this has been a sweet year of renewal. Reminders that I *am* good at my job, and that I'm appreciated by the families of my students. Those feelings actually make me want to work harder and try new things in the classroom, etc!

That said, I'm ready to sleep in, lay by the pool, read books for fun, etc. Bring on summer!

I'm looking forward to a few things this summer, besides resting, lol! I have a doctor appointment next Friday to discuss having a hysterectomy. I've had "girlie troubles" for years, and I'm just so done. 2 years ago I had an ablation, and while it helped...things are heading back to the way they were before. I just don't want to go back there. I'm hopeful that doctor will be in agreement.

Patrick and I have also been working hard at cleaning out our home of things we don't use. It's a little mind-boggling to see all the stuff we own, and truly realize how little of it we actually need/use. Most of our cast-offs are going to Goodwill, although we've sold a telescope and Shan's old keyboard on Craigslist so far this week! (We also have a nibble on my old laptop, but that one's not final yet.) It just feels SO good to simplify, and to take our belongings down to the stuff we truly enjoy or need.

Our whole focus this year is to simplify. Simplify our home. Simplify our health. Simplify our finances. It feels SO good to be making progress on it all.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting to know you Sunday

One more week of preschool, and then this blog and I will be back among the living. Don't leave me, lol!!! I've got pictures to share from Shannon's Duke TiP state recognition ceremony, and I think I still owe you guys pictures of our tattoos, too. Yeesh, has it been that long?

I woke up today with either a bad cold, or allergies from hell. I've spent most of the day whacked out on Benadryl and trying to sleep, if for no other reason than to slow my sneezing.


To help me not feel like a TOTAL loser, here is a post that I don't *reaaaallly* have to think about. It's time again for Keely's weekly blog carnival called Getting to Know You. Here are this week's questions...and my answers!

1. The most expensive thing hanging in my closet is.....probably the shelves! I'm SO NOT a clothes horse, nor do I spend much if any money on my clothes. This is actually something I'm working on.

2. Have you ever played a team sport? No, but I was in high school marching band. Does that count?

3. If you were a bug, what kind would you be? A nice pretty one, that people aren't always trying to squish!

4. Where on your body is the worst place to get sunburned? While no place is a GOOD place to get a sunburn, I think I'm gonna have to go with scalp. Combing/brushing a sunburn just plain HURTS!

5. Are you happy? I'm getting there! I'm a lot happier than I've been in a long time. (I've struggled quite a bit over the years with depression and anxiety....)

6. People are always abbreviating..are there any abbreviations that make your skin crawl when people use them? Um, I'm sure there are...but I'm having trouble thinking of any off the top of my head.

7. Do you love where you live..or could you live anywhere? I do love where I live, but I'd be pretty happy anywhere, I think.

8. What, if any, extreme measures do you go to to keep yourself from overeating when you're full? Sadly, none.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Revisited

It's been almost 13-1/2 years since I became a Mom. Each year, we've celebrated Mother's Day as a family...with special meals, cards, gifts, time together. This year we added something. A first, if you will.

I got to put Shannon "on restriction" for the very first time. While I know I'm lucky that she is 13 and has never been grounded before...being a mom is hard! I hate having limits pushed to the point where punishment is necessary. But I hope that maybe this will help put things back (at least for awhile) to where they ought to be.

Happy Mother's Day, lol!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Two awesome, but completely unrelated photos

Hi peeps!

I've got one Mother's Day Tea to go! After's pretty much smooth sailing. I'm midway through student assessments, but those are "easy" for me. End of year programs and parties are being planned, but's all well in-hand. Phew. Less than two weeks to go. Yippee!

Yesterday as Patrick got home from running errands, he thought he saw a bird on our front door. Which is weird, would a BIRD literally be ON the front door? He approached, and it flew to one of our flowerbeds. It was a moth. A moth with a 6-8 INCH wingspan! Holy moly. This is only a cell phone pic, since that's all P had on him...but look at this thing!

Gigantic moth that was on our front door when we got home.

While I was at preschool, one of the kids had to use the potty. OK, fine. We have a bathroom attached right to our classroom, so we sent him in to go. We heard him flush, and heard the water go on for him to wash his hands. All good things. Well then we kinda got distracted with Mother's Day Tea prep, and realized a couple minutes later that the water was STILL running. We opened the door, and saw a very happy and very WET little boy doing what I can only call a "bubble dance" at the sink. His hands were waving over his head, and bubbles were flying EVERYWHERE! Hilarious! Of course we talked to him about not wasting soap and water, and that the sink was not a toy...but, it was the funniest thing!

Why 2-year-olds shouldn't be left alone very long in the bathroom, lol.

Prayers for Charlie

The son of some friends of ours from church is having open heart surgery on 5/21. Would you please lift baby Charlie up in prayer?

These are the specific requests of the family:
*For successful surgery.
*For the Lord to guide the surgeon's hands.
*Very minimal pain for our sweetie.
*Quick, infection-free healing.
*Peace for Mommy,Daddy and all family and friends.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Photo Tagged!

I saw this cute meme on Sharing the Pages of Life, and thought it looked fun! How to play: Go to your photo files and pick the 8th folder. Then, the 8th photo in that it and write about it. Easy? Yep! Fun? Yep yep!

I just got my computer for Christmas, so all of my pictures are recent. Here's my random shot!

This was taken on New Year's Eve. Shannon and I made "2010" glasses out of pipe cleaners, and were modeling them. LOL!

Wanna play too? Please do! Leave me a comment telling me that you did, so I can come see your random picture!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Too good to not post!

About a week ago, we got some encouraging news.

Patrick had been referred to Emory to meet with a neurologist. (His 4th neurologist, not including a pain treatment center, and a headache specialist.) That appointment was last week. The news is that this doctor feels that Patrick has suffered trauma to his trigeminal nerve. He was "complimentary" (wrong word) of all the treatments Patrick has had...but listed a number of treatment options to still be explored. We're not so much hopeful yet...but definitely encouraged to hear there are still things to try.

Over the past 3-1/2 years, we've followed treatment plans and ultimately gotten to the point where each doctor has said "I'm sorry...that's all I can do for you, let me refer you to someone else." To hear a doctor say "Yes! There's lots more we can do" is just such an encouraging bit of news. I couldn't say we were hopeful yet...but definitely encouraged.

But then today happened!

We already have some good news with Patrick's new treatment!!! He had his regular chiropractor appointment this morning...the first since his neuro appt. last week. He told the chiro about the neuro's suspicion that he has trigeminal nerve damage.

The chiro did some simple tests, and basically confirmed it! With P's eye closed, he alternated touching points on his face with either a blunt or sharp object. On the right side of P's face, in the trigeminal nerve areas (there are 3 main ones)...P got them wrong!

This is amazing news. For THE FIRST time since P's accident, doctors have been able to isolate a possible source, and P's symptoms have matched up exactly. Now...we just have to find the treatment that will work...but this is AMAZING news.

Mom n Me Monday

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It's Monday again! Time for Mom n Me Monday, hosted by Julie at The Peanut Gallery...Exit Here.

After a year of classes, service projects, retreats, etc...Shannon's confirmation into our church was yesterday! What a beautiful, special day. I have more pictures posted on my Facebook page...but here's my Mom n Me picture!

Oh my! My baby is now taller than I am! How/when did THAT happen?!?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rabbit, rabbit!

LaLa! I remembered!

I'm here, I'm here...I'm just SOOO busy this week and next. Once I survive next week (see how optimistic I am? I didn't say "IF I survive next week..." lol), I promise I will be back in force. Right now I'm just running like a chicken with it's head cut off...but it's all good. Don't leave me, everybody!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crazy weather!

Not the most thrilling of posts, I know...but good heavens!

Saturday, it stormed allll day long. Pouring rain with thunder and lightning. On Sunday it was over 80 degrees. Yesterday it was breezy and cool. Today? WINDY (like 30 mph sustained, with gusts over 50 mph) and cold! This afternoon we had a weird storm come through that had hail and a snow flurry!

What the heck?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A sweet weekend

I'm feeling pretty blessed tonight. It's been a really nice, family weekend.

Shannon and I had a fun girlie day yesterday. We started off going for haircuts, and then I finally talked her into get her brows waxed for the first time.


We had already planned to go bathing suit shopping, so after our brows were done, we headed down to the mall. We found two cute suits for her, and one for me. I also got a CUTE pair of sunglasses. All on sale! Woot!

After that, we just sorta mall-crawled for awhile. Went to Hot Topic, know, the good stuff. We were having good talks about growing up, who she wants to be, etc. it was just nice.

Shannon asked me if she could get her ears double-pierced, and I couldn't see why I said yes. We went to Claire's, and as it turned out...Shan wanted a cartilage piercing. I've had that before, so I told her how much it was going to hurt, how long it takes to heal, how she wouldn't be able to sleep on that side, etc...and she still wanted it. I think I shocked her by saying OK, but you know what? It's an ear. It's really ok with me. So...she got it done! I sent Patrick a picture of it with the caption "Baby's First Body Mod." LOL! He wrote back and said "OMG! I'm 100 years old!" Ha!



After that we came home and watched movies, snuggled, etc. Just nice.

This morning, we dropped her off for her Confirmation class and Patrick and I went out to breakfast...alone! LOVELY! After we picked her up, Shannon commented on what a pretty day it was, and how it'd be a great day to go to the park. A new green space has opened near us, so I said that we ought to go check it out. We went over there...and OMG! It was sooo beautiful! Gorgeous walking/biking path...and it was SO fun! We ended up walking 3 miles!


We came home and Shan worked on her homework. Patrick watched NASCAR, and I laid out on the deck reading a Sookie Stackhouse book. FANTASTIC! Shan and I went to a Bible study potluck tonight. Good fun, good food, and good fellowship. When we got home, Patrick had vacuumed the entire upstairs, and cleaned our master bathroom. Talk about bliss.

I love my family.