Saturday, December 29, 2007

8 years and 1 day...

Sometimes the best way to celebrate something, is to just Be.

We had a wonderful evening yesterday, a wonderfully normal evening.

We strolled the walkways of a local mall.

We took our time shopping with a little holiday cash.

We strolled again, at another favorite shopping spot.

We played with gadgets at this store.

We didn't mind waiting an hour for a table.

We talked.

We laughed.

We ate at this yummy place.

Then we came home, and cuddled under my new blankie.

And watched this silly and funny movie, from the comfort of our family room.

This is the kind of night that I took for granted BK (before kids!)

This is the kind of night that I cherish now.

It was a wonderful, relaxing, and very happy anniversary.

Exactly what we needed right now!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Almost 8 years...

Tomorrow is our 8 year anniversary!

I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it!

I'm ready for a little break from all of the festivities, traveling, eating, kids talking/screaming, cleaning up, un-packing, toy organizing...FUN we've been having.

I'm ready to focus on my one true love for a little while.

I need some time to clear my head.

Here's my dilemma...I have no idea what to do to celebrate our 8 years of marital bliss!

Other than nap...

I checked the movie theatres, honestly nothing really appealed to me there.

I'm sure we'll eat dinner somewhere nice, but then what?

Well yes, there's that. But I mean in between dinner and that.

Any ideas?

I'd love to hear what some of y'all have done for special nights out, that don't involve traveling out of a 60 mile radius!

Friday, December 21, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my Sanity!

Well, I didn't win, but I will be practicing with the fam over Christmas, so you better believe that next time I'll be better!!!

In other news...we're leaving for Texas this afternoon. I haven't packed yet, so I better make this quick. Wish us luck with the 9 hour drive. It's always an adventure with 3 kiddos!

We'll be back on Christmas Eve night, and spend Christmas morning at home (YEAH!), and Christmas afternoon at my Grandpa's, so I doubt I'll get much blogging done for a few days, so... Merry Christmas!!!

I wanted to leave y'all with these pics...

Yep. That's Austin, my little storm trooper!

He had help with this little mess. Annie thought he was hungry, so she got him a yogurt...opened it for him...and gave him a spoon...

Y'all, I don't know what to do with him! He is Everywhere, All the Time!!

He pushed the lamp off the end table after climbing on to the table from the couch.

He unscrewed the drain plug in the bathtub yesterday.

He pushed on the gate to the stairs so hard today, that he made the child safety lock come un-done.

He tried to climb into the dryer the other day.

He can out smart any kind of harness...high chair, stroller, shopping cart...

He is 15 months old today.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thought for the day...

Sometimes not being able to smell is a good thing.

For instance, when you find a full bottle of milk that's been missing for a week.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's a Bloggy Christmas!

As I lay in bed last night, drifting off to sleep, I kept thinking of great topics to post on my blog today. Thoughts drifted through my mind. Beautiful words about my children, my thoughts on life, words that would create a post as poetic as this great blogger. This morning I woke up with a headache the size of Texas, and the cold that will never end still with me. However, my excitement over writing a fabulous post was still there, and I breathlessly made my way to the computer, coffee in hand. I logged in, clicked on Create a New Post, and poised my fingers over my keyboard...

Nada. 2 hours later, my page was still blank. I cannot remember anything that I was thinking last night. Not a Thing.

Just another way to document my on-going memory problems.

Dejectedly, I checked bloglines, and discovered that today was BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes!

Thank you BooMama, for rescuing my blog today.

So, without further ado, I give you my Christmas Decor!

My wreath on my front door. I love this wreath because it looks real, and the ribbon says Fa la la la la, which always starts me singing!

Our "family" tree. It consists of mostly ornaments the kids have made. Notice, I did not photograph the bottom part of the tree. That would be because there are no ornaments there. There were a few to begin with, and that lasted all of about 4 1/2 minutes. Then Austin came around the corner, and flung them to the far corners of the room. Oh, and also note the mismatched paint on the wall. This is the room that I've been meaning to paint for 3 years.

This is the view from the playroom into the living room. I have these giant "ornaments" that I hang in the doorway. They make me happy.

Here's a close-up.

This is my Dining Room, my favorite room in my house. This tree is 9 1/2 feet tall, and I decorate it with red, white, silver, and gold ornaments. This year I added the red angel on top, which makes me happy, and the "snow" which I'm still not sure about. For one thing, snow doesn't really fall in perfect rows of white fluffiness, for another, the kids keep rearranging it, which is driving me crazy. Note: the presents are not under the tree, instead they are on top of the tables. Yesterday I attempted to put some presents on the floor, and thought maybe Austin wouldn't bother them. I was wrong.

These are the shelves in the Dining Room. They are newly decorated this year. The tray and canister on the top shelf are new, and say things about chocolate in french, which of course, makes me happy. The gingerbread house was a new project this year, that we had a lot of fun making.

On to the kids rooms! Here is Austin's tree. (not sure why the picture is so dark) I like it, but I feel like it needs some sort of "filler". I was thinking raffia, or ribbon. I have one idea to take wide black ribbon, and make it look like a road using fabric paint. But I'm not sure...what do you think? FYI: his tree is "transportation and tools". Oh, and the tires below and behind the tree are a permanent decoration in his "garage" themed room.

Annie's tree is beautiful. It has mostly blue and white and silver ornaments in a "winter" theme. The giant ice skates are new this year.

Ellie's tree is, well, lopsided. It has driven me crazy this year. I have straightened it more times than I care to count. I have tied it to the window. I have propped it up with magazines. It is still leaning. I gave up. It's a new tree, and it's pink and shiny with lots of cat ornaments. It turned out OK, but next year I want to work on it some more.

And here are our stockings. Oh wait, where are they? I keep forgetting to order our new ones from Pottery Barn Kids. I better get that done today. If they don't come in time, we do have the ones from last year in a box in the closet. Don't you love our "mantel?" We have no fireplace, therefor no mantel. So they hang from the back of the desk. Beautiful, I know. We would like to add a fireplace this year or next, with a big beautiful mantel, that I can't wait to decorate. For now, this will have to do.

So there you have it, the pretty, the unpainted, and the leaning.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

13 hours.

This is my brain...

(that's supposed to be the sound of it not working, you know, like on one of those hospital monitors, just in case you didn't understand, which you probably did, since your brain is working, and obviously mine is not since I can't stop typing this sentence...)


This cold, this stinkin' cold is about to drive me insane!

Despite the nasty cold/sinus infection, I had a crazy and fabulous day yesterday. My day included...

Kindermusik class for Annie, with this fabulous teacher.
Trip to Target.
Picking up Ellie from school.
Trip to the grocery store.
60th birthday party for my daddy!
A cruise on the B-town Belle!
Our last ballroom dancing class.
Dinner with friends!

13 hours of crazy fun!


In honor of the 13 hours, I decided to list 13 of my favorite moments from yesterday...

1. "Ice skating" on paper plates with Annie at Kindermusik.

2. Picking up Ellie from school. She had a smile on her face and a tooth in her hand! That's # 4!

3. Surprising my daddy for his birthday!

4. Seeing the Lake. I love its' beauty.

5. Thinking Annie was at my feet under the table during lunch, then looking down to see her crawling as fast as she could over people's feet to get to Grammie! Thankfully the "people" were all our family!

6. Watching Austin run around on the top deck in the cold cold air, just absolutely loving the outdoors!

7. Seeing Ellie drive the Boat!

8. Seeing the delight on all my kids faces during the show.

9. Getting dressed up to go dance with my sweetie!

10. Dancing with my Sweetie! (even if he did "dip" me too far, in turn making me fall, in turn, making me show my undies to the class!)

11. Dinner with friends at a great new restaurant!

12. Hearing this friend make noises that sounded an awful lot like whales mating, not males waiting like I kept saying this morning when the cold medicine was working! He made us all laugh and laugh!

13. Forgetting to play tooth fairy! Apparently she wasn't able to make it due to inclement weather conditions.

I did it all, thanks to much medicine!

And now I'm tired.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just in case the writers strike is cramping your style...

I have a new favorite tv show, and I just had to share with y'all.

It makes my house with 3 kids look calm, serene, and peaceful.

It's called Jon and Kate plus 8.

And yes, the 8 means children!

These aren't your run-of-the-mill, have a ton of kids people. They are young, bright, fun, energetic parents, who had one set of twins about 7 years ago, and then had sextuplets around 3 years ago.

I've been tivo-ing it, it's on TLC, but I think these are re-runs. From what I can tell, the new ones air on Discovery Health. I don't have that station, so for now I'll settle with the reruns. That is, until I can convince hubby to upgrade to a bigger cable package!

Anyway, I'm hooked!

Monday, December 10, 2007

She's dreaming of an 80's Christmas...

Remember this look?

Big hair, big earrings, flannel nightgown...

...OK, maybe not the flannel nightgown! But definitely this look...

Ugh! My mom is SO un-cool for taking pictures of me while I'm on the phone with my friends talking about Madonna's newest tape.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's Meme time!

Christmas Meme Fun!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Both. I love wrapped gifts, but sometimes they are just not easy to wrap, and a bag is just more practical. What I really love is fancy bows! I love to put big fancy homemade bows on my wrapped packages!

2. Real tree or artificial?

Artificial! I have no recollection of ever having a real tree. My mom says we did when I was really little, but I don't remember that. I tried to talk my hubby into getting a real tree a few years ago. He said...NO! Actually he said...Are you insane? They are messy, and you have to water them, and they're a fire hazard, and we already HAVE a good artificial tree! Or something like that. He talked me out of it then, however I still want to try it someday!

3. When do you put up the tree?

I like to put it up the week before Thanksgiving, Hubby would rather me wait until after. So we go back and forth. It usually depends on how busy we get. This year we just finished the decorating, which is late for me.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Again, I like to take them down the week after New Years, but their has been years it's been later. Sometimes much much later!

5. Do you like eggnog?

Kind of.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

I'm with Alana on this one...Either I was an ungrateful child or I just have a very bad memory, because I cannot recall anything right now!

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes, I have a Precious Moments one that I love, but will not be getting it out from its normal spot in a cabinet, for fear the kids will destroy it! I have this great little plush Christmas tree with plush Nativity ornaments that the kids play with. We also have the Little People one, and Ellie has a tiny one she plays with in her room.

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Hubby! Our Anniversary is 3 days after Christmas, which makes it that much harder!

9. Easiest person to buy for?


10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Again, the bad memory rears its ugly head...I have no idea!

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?

Mail. Although I was wondering how a Blog card would go over :)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Miracle on 34th street! And I agree with Janelle that Rudolph has a very weird story line!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

December 26th, for the next Christmas!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Yes! And admit it, you have too!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

My aunt makes the best fudge and chocolate pie...YUM!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Clear on one, Red and Clear on another, Clear on Annie's, Big Colored ones on Ellie's, and little colored ones on Austin's.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

O' Holy Night by any male singer. Mary Did You Know by ????

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Every other year we travel to Texas. When we're home we usually visit my Grandma or Grandpa's house on Christmas afternoon.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Dancer, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Angel's on the big trees, Annie has a Snowflake, Ellie has a Star, and Austin has a Plane!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Christmas morning!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

When I get stressed out because I want to do EVERYTHING, but then everyone is miserable!

23. What I love most about Christmas?

The wonderful feeling I have for weeks on end...the music, the family time, the memories, the beauty, the parties, the friends, the food, the fun, and most of all, the TRUE meaning!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's (FINALLY) begining to look a lot like Christmas...

I am filled with the Joy of Christmas this year.


Apparently my house wasn't.

UGH! That is how the decorating of my house felt when I started this year. I just finished this morning. I didn't do nearly as much as I normally do...2 big trees, and 3 smaller trees...a little "extra" stuff in the living room and dining room...and that's about it.

OK, I realize that to some people that sounds like a lot. But not in my family. I usually have 2 more trees up, garlands everywhere, wreathes in the windows, and many more "extras" around. But not this year...

I'm changing.

It started when I found out I was prego with baby #3. I'm downsizing. It's a gradual process, but a process that makes me happy. I don't feel the need for the level of perfectionism I used to maintain. Our house is decorated "just enough" to make me happy. Inside and Out. Honestly it was a struggle to do much of anything this year, but I'm glad I did it, and I'm even more glad it's done! It's tough, having 3 young kids, to get anything done. It's been especially tough this year with our little "Turbo Man" around.

But I really do feel "Christmassy." More so than I have in recent years. I think my attitude of "letting go" has helped that. The girls helped me decorate the trees...all of them...and I only Re-decorated one! When I ask them "What is the most important thing about Christmas"? Their first answer is Baby Jesus! It's things like that, along with the chill in the air, that has me feeling good.

So here I sit, in my semi-decorated-yet-perfect house, letting my self relax a bit.

It feels really really good.

Oh, and I heard a great song yesterday. "Christmas with a Capital C", by Go Fish. I love their music, if you haven't heard it, go listen! Our other favorites are "Jammies", "The Mom Song", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and "Saved!" Seriously, I know it's "kid" music, but I listen to it even when my kids aren't with me! The Christmas song is on their CD "Snow", and the others are on their CD "Snazzy."

Tomorrow I hope to get to the Christmas Meme...we'll see!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Things that make you go Hmmm.

I got to join a new club today!

It's the...

My child just put a bug in his mouth!



Austin was walking around, playing, and generally creating havoc as normal this morning, when I noticed he was munching on something. I did the normal "finger swipe" technique and came out with this.


It makes me wonder what he actually swallows, when I'm not looking.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Role Reversal

There must be something going on...a full moon, a change in the weather, an atmospheric phenomenon...Whatever it is, it seems to be causing a reversal of roles in our house.

At least between the girls.

I adore each of my girls for different reasons.

Ellie is the strong, independent, and stubborn one.

Annie is the sweet, cuddly, and easygoing one.

Except for today.

And yesterday.

As my stubborn one, Ellie is usually the one I have the most run-ins with. But today, well today ANNIE has been the hard one!

The little squirt was breaking the crayons at lunch today, and yanking coloring sheets away from her friends. She had a major meltdown in the car, and then told me "NO" when we got home and I told her to get out of the car. AARRGGHH!

And Ellie, she's been an absolute ANGEL!

I'm a little scared...

For instance, we had pictures taken yesterday, which in our family, means lots of crying, screaming, bribing...and that's just me. I usually get so furious with Ellie during these sessions. She won't cooperate, and I get mad since she's the oldest, and ends up being the most difficult. But yesterday...she was Perfect.

She posed, she smiled sweetly, she did everything I asked of her. She played well with others, she helped me take care of her brother, and she was just as happy as could be, all day long.

I just don't know what's going on!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

8 Random, yet quite Interesting, facts...

Alana did this Meme, and since my brain is not being very creative on its own today, I decided to try it. I've seen others do this, and I've enjoyed learning more about people, so here I go!

8 random facts about me:

1) I played the clarinet in junior high, high school, and college. My college band was over 300 members! We were awesome too.

2) There are days that I just want to close myself up in my house, and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist. I'm not completely sure why, but those days have become more and more frequent lately. I used to crave busyness, now I crave peacefulness.

3) I have been addicted to TV since I was a child. It's almost always on at my house.

4) Right now I can hear things crashing in the playroom. I'm not going to look yet.

5) I am an only child, but I have 2 beautiful cousins, who I'm very close with. They are like sisters to me.

6) I love to sing. If you see me in my car, especially by myself, I'll probably be belting out something. At times I pretend I'm the next American Idol. (I love that show!)

7) I'm not a big jewelry person. I love my wedding ring, and I love earrings, but other than that, I don't get very excited about jewelry. I occasionally wear a necklace, but honestly, they bug me.

Forgive me, but my next "fact" kind of turned into a post of it's own! I just remembered this after my last "fact", and I think it's a pretty neat story!

8) I lost my wedding ring once. I was pregnant with Austin, and my fingers would swell at night. Normally I sleep with my ring on, but one night I took it off in the middle of the night, because of the swelling, and the next morning I forgot to put it on. I noticed later that day that I wasn't wearing it, and I went to get it.

It was gone.

Ellie was staying at my mom's, so I knew she hadn't done anything with it. And then I vaguely remembered Annie playing by my nightstand that morning. And then I remembered that just after that, I found her in Ellie's room, by the vent.

She was 19 months old, just a tiny thing, and I remembered that she kept pointing at the vent saying Uh-Oh. So obviously, you assume my ring was down that vent. However, uh-oh was Annie's favorite word at that time, she said it all the time! So I didn't put much hope in that. But of course I checked the vent. When I reached down inside, all I found was Barbie shoes and pennies. I searched the house for 2 days, and didn't find it. I went back to the vent again, and didn't find it.

I went to MOPS, the next day, and asked my small group to pray about it. I realized that it was just an object, but an object with so much meaning. I had prayed and prayed that God would help me find my ring. The afternoon after MOPS, I felt a pull to look in the vent again. I argued with God that I had already looked there 2 times!, But the feeling wouldn't go away that I needed to look there again. So, I went back to the vent, took the cover off, and reached in.


God please, Help Me!

Then an idea occurred to me, to reach further into the vent, I could twist my arm backwards. It hurt, but I was able to reach another inch or so, and then I felt something...


I know God led me to reach in there one more time. I learned a lesson that day, God wants to help us All the time, even with the little stuff.

Thank you God!

Well, there you go! If you want to do this little meme, consider yourself tagged. If not, that's OK too. I'm not a pushy person!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

She'll be sending invitations soon...

This morning, Annie woke up talking.

I love that.

It is so Me.

She called for me to come in and get her, and as I walked in she said...

Mommy, we can put piwwows on my wug, and awso bwankets, and aww my fwiends can come ovew and sweep. They can sweep on my big bed too. Aww of dem!

She said this with certainty. Like, she'd be sending out an evite soon.

She's 3.

She's a social little thing.

I wonder where she gets that from?

I realize that all too soon, she will have friends over, sleeping on her rug, and on her big bed. They'll be playing in make-up, and talking about boys...

But for now, she is still my sweet 3 year old girl.

And I love every inch of her.

Oh, and one last thing...

She has this cute little question she asks me everyday...

Is today, today or tomorrow?

Everyday I tell her, It's today sweetie, it's always today. And still, everyday she asks me again.


Monday, November 26, 2007


Allrighty then...It's official.

I am dieting, starting today.

I have tried off and on and off and on and...well, you get the picture, for several months now, but now I am really serious.


This is not new territory for me. I have done this before, and been quite successful at it.

The first time I lost over 60 pounds. That was before I had kids. I was still about 25 pounds from my "goal" when...

I got pregnant with Ellie.

I gained a lot of weight back during pregnancy, and it took me awhile to get back in gear. When Ellie was about 18 months old, I got serious again. In case you were wondering, I counted Weight Watchers points, and exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, to lose the weight. Both times. That last time I got within 18 pounds of my "goal." Then...

I got pregnant with Annie.

Since then I have never been able to stick with a good diet for more than 2 weeks. It's a lot harder now. Both times before, I could exercise without kids screaming for my attention. Yes, the second time I did have one child, but she took a 3 hour nap every afternoon, and that's when I would exercise. I've had a hard time overcoming the obstacles this time.

It's hard to load up two small children and hit the gym everyday. It's hard to exercise when they're awake. I can't seem to get myself up in the morning to exercise before they awake. And at night I've just been too tired, after they're all in bed.

But lately I haven't been as tired. The baby sleeps better at night now that he's stopped nursing. And all the kids go to bed now by 8:00, which leaves me a lot more time in the evening.

So, I'm committing myself. And I'm using this blog to help keep me accountable. I love how Tara has done this, and I hope she doesn't mind, but I think I'll do the same. I'll be keeping a weight loss and exercise journal going on the side of my page. My hope is that that will keep me going through the tough times.

So, wish me luck! This is taking a lot of courage on my part to blog this. I've done really good so far today on my points, and I plan on exercising tonight after the kids go to bed!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


They are running...

Ellie just went by...

Annie close behind...

and a few seconds later...


They are all three running through the house, laughing, smiling, playing chase.

These are the moments that melt my heart.

Whoops! Moments over!


CONGRATULATIONS TO MY FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!

Christmas with Michael W. Smith...

need I say more?

The first 150 visitors to this place can apply for a FREE CD!

And honestly, even if you don't get one for free, GO BUY IT!

I mean seriously, Christmas with Michael!

mws banner

My trip to Tulsa. Part 3

Oh the suspense is just killing you, isn't it?

continued from the previous posts...

OK, so no masked maniac attacked me, although for a moment there, I was a bit nervous. I looked high and low for a sign that would tell me what to do, something like...

In case you don't have any money, just call this number and we'll tell you what to do.

But apparently that sign does not exist.

So reluctantly, I just drove on through.


I about came out of my own skin! This really loud buzzer went off behind me, and a red light flashed, as I hit the gas to get as far away as possible, from this God forsaken place.

As I drove, I scanned the skies for the Storm Troopers that I was just sure were about to descend upon my car.

But No.

Apparently nothing happens when you drive through the automatic tolls, instead of paying them.

Not even when you do it for a Second time.

Yep, you read that right.

I got to do it again, a few miles down the road.

At least this one didn't BEEP at me, but it did have a red light.

And believe you me, I was looking for anywhere I could stop to get some cash.

There was Nothing.

Somewhere during all of this Drama, one of my beautiful cousins called, and innocently asked...

Where are you?

I don't KNOW! was my stressed out response.

And in answer to Jen's question, I didn't mean to be at that second toll booth or the third, I took a wrong turn somehow. Apparently they've redone some of the exits, and the one for Tulsa comes earlier than it used too.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

After that second automatic toll booth, I saw a sign for Tulsa, and mercifully it lead me straight into the city, even onto the road I needed to be on.

And I'm not lying, when I tell ya that I thanked God right there at that exit.

I gave the beautiful cousins a call, to let them know I had made it back to civilization, in one piece.

We met here, and celebrated my survival with lots of laughter and good food.

And then I drowned my troubles in the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake.

Oh yes I did.

And I am not one bit ashamed.

We had a fabulous time visiting stores like this, this, this,and this...Oh how I love city shopping!

This is my favorite shopping spot in Tulsa.

And we never even got lost, thanks to some fantastic navigating skills by Laney, one of the beautiful cousins.

She has an incredible sense of direction for a 21 year old.

Obviously it doesn't run in the family.

We parted ways late Saturday evening...Lauren went back to her wonderful hubby and their two cats, and Lane went on to visit her parents. But not before giving me instructions on how to get out of Tulsa, and on the interstate, heading in the right direction.

Thank you Laney.

And yes, I had cash this time.

In fact, I was able to pay up on the first missed toll at the toll booth going home. This time I got a sweet young toll booth operator, who said...

Oh, don't worry, it happens all the time.

With a smile.

Where was she the day before?

And she gave me instructions on what to do about the other two tolls.

Thank you, nice toll lady, thank you.

I made it home, rather uneventfully, after that. And all in all, it was a great trip.

I guess it didn't take a toll on me after all.

Oh I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My trip to Tulsa. Part 2

...continued from the previous post

I have No Cash!

I will not lie, had I not been on the phone with Michelle, I would have cussed.

As I waited in a line of 3 or 4 cars, I dug for any and all money I could find. I checked my wallet first...12 pennies. Then I checked the bottom of my purse, but I had just switched to this smaller purse in anticipation of lots of shopping, and not needing to carry diapers and wipes with me. So, No Change. Did I search the floor of my car, you ask? No, because again, in anticipation of my wonderful trip, I had actually cleaned and vacuumed my car. Next came the change bucket, which was actually designed as a removable ash tray, but since we don't smoke, we use it for extra change. Now, 2 months ago this baby was filled to the brim with all sorts of monies...but now...not so much. See, my girls discovered it, and since then it usually only has a few coins in it. As I opened it, hoping against hope that it miraculously contained the $3.50 I needed for the toll, it's contents revealed themselves to me...


It was completely empty.


By this time I had gotten off the phone.

Surely they'll take a card, I mean, who doesn't take cards now?

I rolled forward to the toll booth, it was my turn.

Three dollars and fifty cents. The kindly lady stated.

And by kindly I mean, grumpy and not smiling.

Um, I just realized that I don't have any you take cards?

She rolled her eyes. She actually Rolled her Eyes!


And then she just looked at me.

Um, well, I don't, I mean, I really don't...What do I do?

She stepped out of her booth and walked to the back of my car, without a word. She proceeded to write down my license plate number on a little slip of paper.

Oh my goodness, I'm going to jail.

OK, I didn't get hauled off, instead she handed me the paper, with instructions to pay up within 10 days. I drove away, shaking. I kept thinking, I know I'm not the only person who's ever done this...I mean, what about people who've never been through here before! She doesn't know that I've been through here dozens of times, and should KNOW to have cash!

I gotta tell you, I kept thinking of you, Alana, and how you'd have reacted! I mean, you're such a rule follower, and I'm not, and so if it shook me up, what would it have done to you!

So on I drove, and as the miles widened between me and the cheerful tool booth lady, I started to feel better.

I'll get some cash as soon as I get to Tulsa.

My mother called, and I related the whole crazy story to her, as I sped along...then I started to get an uneasy feeling...something didn't look right...and then I saw it...up ahead...a sign...

Pay Toll Ahead.

Oh you have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!


No one was in front of me this time, and I already knew I only had 12 pennies, so up I rolled to the booth, ready to receive another slip of paper.

What the...?

There was no one in the booth. Only a sign. It read...Deposit $.75 in automatic receptacle ahead.

For a brief moment I thought maybe my 12 pennies had mated and produced 63 babies...and then I realized that the automatic receptacle only accepted nickles, dimes, and quarters of which I had None, so it really didn't matter if my pennies had multiplied.

I sat alone... in the dark... somewhere in Oklahoma... lost... with no money... at a toll booth... with no operator...

cue scary music please...

to be continued...

Monday, November 19, 2007

My trip to Tulsa. Part 1

On Friday, I left for a one-night-getaway to the great city of Tulsa. As I drove away I was SO excited to meet my two beautiful cousins for a day and a half of shopping, talking, eating, sleeping (important when you have 3 young kids!), and of course playing Nertz! I was SO excited, in fact, that I didn't even take time out to drive through the ATM. Oh well, I thought, I'm probably OK, I mean, everybody takes a card now. Right? So, off I drove.

Remember that.

As I was driving, and singing at the Top of my Lungs to Adult music, I thought...

How long has it been since I did this? How long since I hit the road by myself, for a trip...Well...No, surely not...Really?

The answer to my own question was...


It's embarrasing to admit, but after a phone call to my hubby to confirm my fear, I realized it was true! I had never in my life been further than 40 miles by myself.

Oh my.

I'm 30 years old.

That's just Sad.

Don't get me wrong, I've traveled a lot. It's just always been with other people. My parents, my church youth group, high school friends, college friends, my hubby, or my kids.

Never by myself.

I did finally remember that I did drive from St. Louis to Kentucky by myself one time...but I was part of a caravan of cars and a moving truck (that got in the middle of a funeral procession by accident, I'll blog about that some other time!) But I don't really think that counts, as I was a part of a Caravan.

Goodness! Anyway, so now I was even more excited, seeing as this was my first trip Alone, and off I drove to (sing it with me...) Oklahoma!

As I crossed the state line, I got a little shiver of excitement, I had a big silly grin on my face, and I was happily talking away on my cell phone to my dear sister-in-law, and then I saw it...

a sign...

No, not that kind of sign, a Real sign, that read...

Pay Toll Ahead.

My smile dissapeared as I remembered...

I have No Cash...

to be continued...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's the Simple Things...

You know how sometimes it's the simple pleasures that just make your day.

I went to Kohl's today.

With a 3 year old and a 1 year old.

So fun.


Anyway, half way through the store, Annie needed to go potty.

Of course.

And the potty...waaaay in the back corner of the store.

Of course.

So we hiked through the store, and fiiiinally made it to the bathroom. I see a sign marked "Family Restroom" and head for that.

I am a Big Fan of the Family Bathroom.


Well, first, I can usually fit my cart filled with kids through the door. Second, I don't have to deal with anyone trying to crawl under the door of my stall while I'm going potty. Third, they're usually cleaner.

Anyway, I opened the door of the "Family Restroom", and Annie squealed.

It had a little potty!!!

Like the pre-school ones.

Oh, she was just Thrilled! had one of those little seats for your toddler! (not the potty, the bathroom!) I didn't need it, since my cart fit through the door, and Austin was contained in that, but still! It was there if I needed it!

Oh the Joy that the Kohl's Family Restroom provided for us today!

Like I said, Simple Pleasures.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Too Cute!

Is there anything sweeter than 2 CUTE, 3 year old girls?

Yes, add in their matching pink blankies, bowls of popcorn, and "Dora saves the Mermaids", and you don't only have CUTE, but SUPER CUTE!

Or, give them each a Baby Alive doll to play with, and watch them pretend to be mommy and daddy!

OH MY, they are too sweet!

These girls were born 10 days apart. They are both smart, sassy, ADORABLE girls! And next year they get to attend pre-school together!

Thanks for coming to play at our house today AJ! Annie had a great time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wild and Crazy

We had a wild and craaaazy night, my friends and I. Yes we did. Saturday night was filled with lots of food, and I mean LOTS. Also, tons of good girl talk, and so much laughter that my throat hurt the next day! And then, DA DA DAAA (read in scary music), then the cards came out.

And I mean CARDS!

Our dear hostess Carissa opened her drawer, and a few of us gasped! I've never seen so many decks of cards in a place that wasn't trying to take my money! I didn't get a picture, but it seems like someone else might have...if they did and they post it, I'll link to it.

(update: here is the card drawer!)

The Card Game was fast paced, hands flyin', voices shoutin', trash talkin', faces scrunchin', and SO MUCH FUN!

We had so much fun, in fact, that we are all dying to do it again!

30 emails, people, 30 emails between 5 people have been sent over the last 24 hours in regards to another Showdown at the Card Table!

Oh, we are wild and crazy!

If you'd like to read my friends blogs who also attended and blogged about it, just go here, here, here and here! There were some other famous bloggers there too, but for some reason, they haven't blogged about it. I'm pretty sure we've scared then with our competitive nature! (or maybe they think they have more important things to do than blog.) (can you tell the trash talk hasn't completely left my system?) Or maybe this friend, this friend, and this friend are just biding their time! There were also a couple of awesome blog readers there (aka: we haven't been able to bring them into bloggy world!)

Now I need to go brush up on my Solitaire skills...I'm pretty sure I didn't win, but Watch Out girls, I'll get ya next time!

(update: this friend and this friend, FINALLY got on board and blogged about our fun night!)

Monday, November 12, 2007


Dear House,
You are a great house. You keep us warm and dry, and you are amazingly patient with the 2 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 cat that reside in and around you. However...what is with the mess?

Seriously house, I do a pretty darn good job of keeping you clean, despite the 2 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat. I clean, I wipe, I pick up, all day long! So why, WHY can you not just keep yourself clean??? 2 days ago you were spotless (as long as no one looked too close) and clean. The toys were picked up from your floors, and your sink was empty and clean. So why are you such an incredible mess today? REALLY, is it too much to ask that you just keep yourself UP a little! I mean, the kitchen, the kitchen is awful! And don't even get me started on the piles of toys you've let collect on the floor. And then there's this questionable spot on the floor next to me. It looks suspiciously like dried spit-up. I mean REALLY!

Please House, you need to sit yourself down and have a little talk. Your letting yourself go, and you need to do something about it. Get some therapy, if you need it. Just please straighten yourself up. Now I have to go clean the kitchen you've let get so messy.

The frustrated mommy that lives here.

Friday, November 9, 2007


We have this great tradition, my friends and I. When it's one of our birthdays, we celebrate with a Girls Night Out! We aren't a wild bunch (although on occasion the margaritas have come out!), but we CAN have some SERIOUS FUN! Tomorrow night is our night to celebrate this friend, and I CANNOT WAIT!

Top ten reasons I'm looking forward to tomorrow night:

1: This mommy gets an evening OFF!

2: My kids get to have some special Daddy Only time!

3: I don't have to cook dinner tomorrow!

4: I don't have to do dishes after dinner tomorrow!

5: I will laugh a LOT tomorrow night!

6: I will eat GOOD FOOD!

7: I will get to talk, and talk, and TALK to my friends, without being interrupted by the young ones!

8: I will eat Chocolate!

9: I will RELAX!

10: I will celebrate one of my dearest friends!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Smoother Waters...

Aaaaghh! It's 8:59, and I only gave myself 'till 9 to blog!!! OK, I'll type fast!

So many times, my blogs about Ellie are about our struggles. My little teenager wrapped up in a 5 1/2 year old body. So today I wanted to blog something Positive about her. She is a beautiful, smart, and when she's happy, an absolutely delightful child...

She's almost 6, she reminds me almost daily, and she doesn't need me much anymore. I've been SO impressed with her attitude the last few days. Usually our mornings involve Lots of prodding from mommy, to get her Up and Dressed. The last few days she's happily rolled out of bed, with minimal prodding, and gotten herself dressed QUICKLY! Today she positively Popped out of bed with a Smile on her adorable face, and proceeded to get dressed SUPER FAST! She even MATCHED HER CLOTHES. Oh, the delight I feel in that! School has been good for her, and good for me. Seriously, she needs the Challenges that school provides for her, and the structure, she does really well with Lots of structure.

Having said that, I know that there is something else that makes a Huge difference, and that's Me. When I'm calm, rested, not stressed out and running absolutely everywhere, She is happier. She feeds off Me. Even if I think I'm hiding my stress from her, she feels it. Now, don't get me wrong, there are times that I'm doing just great, and she isn't! But the last few days, I've been very relaxed, very un-stressed, and the smile on her face today, it was absolute Proof to me that She needs me to be like that!

Interesting, that I can't hide my true self from her. A lesson I'm learning. Not only do I need to model being a Godly women to my children, I actually need to Be a Godly woman.

Thank you God, for this Strong child of mine. You have taught me SO much through her. Thank you for the reminder, that what we are on the Inside is so important to our children. Thank you for helping me through the "rough" years we've had, and blessing us with smoother waters lately. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Something to think about...

I read something today, it was about Praying aloud. I read it here, a place I'd never been before. It was one of those moments that I think God directed.

I pray. I pray daily. But I rarely set aside an actual Time to spend with God. I have a really hard time doing a Daily Devotional. I know it's something that I need in my life. When I do actually set time aside to study God's word, I know it blesses me. So why do I still struggle with this area? I am selfish. I won't get myself up early, because I want my sleep. At night, I want "Me Time" to watch TV, or flip through a magazine. I feel stretched to the brink many times, what with all the mommying, driving, cleaning, laundrying...I tend to think "I just need some ME time!" When in all actuality, I probably need some GOD time! Anyway, the Praying aloud idea really struck me. It doesn't have to be Loud, it can be a whisper, as Jennifer emailed me. What a Great Idea! I've prayed out loud before. Usually in my car when I'm alone. It definitely makes me focus more on my words, my heart. It's something I'm going to try everyday. It's not a Devotional, but it's a start. A step in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maybe she's was testing me...

This morning I went to get Annie out of bed, after she'd called out Moooommmmmyyyyyyy. (which, by the way I love the fact that she assumes she's not allowed to get up on her own, it makes my life SO much easier!) I love this moment every morning, her sweet, sleepy little body reaching up for me to cuddle and hug. Usually the first words out of her mouth are something about her beloved Woof Woof (her stuffed dog that is never far from her side), or a question about what we're doing today. Today was different though. Today as she swiped her hair out of her face to see me she said...

"Is it my Birthday?"

I said nooo, it's not your birthday sweetie. (not even close, it's in August)

"But I'm 4 now!"

Nooo, no your still 3 sweetie.

"Oh, OK!"

I'm not sure where that came from, maybe she was dreaming, or maybe she just wanted some presents. I don't really know.

I do know one thing though, She is just absolutely precious!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Austin the Marauder

Austin isn't feeling too well. He's had a cough for a week and a half, and now has a fever to go along with it. You would think that because he's not feeling 100% well, he'd be a little easier to keep up with...


In the last 5 minutes he's pulled things off shelves in 3 different rooms.

The other day while I was on the phone with Alana, I let him loose without watching him too closely, for approximately 15 minutes.

It was like a Path of Destruction as I walked through our house afterwards. Boxes of toys had been pulled down in the playroom, drawers had been opened and emptied in the kitchen, a bucket of markers had been dumped out in the dining room, toys had been flung through the living room along with a few picture frames...Oh, and back in the kitchen, my darling boy has learned to navigate the step stool, and therefore anything on the counter near the step stool is "fair game" to him. That day it was a package of cookies, with sprinkles and icing of course, that he pulled down, and helped himself to.

And then, just when I'm about to go crazy, he gives me this smile...