Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Equally Important

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend any service members or their families. It is in no way a generalization of service people.

I was off yesterday, and the Mister asked me if I wanted to tag along with him. Sounded better than doing dishes and laundry, so I quickly dressed and headed out the door with him. I love days when it's just the two of us, and even if we're doing nothing more than feeding cows and tying up odds and ends, I love tagging along.

Toward the later part of the afternoon we ended up at the shop, and they were swamped. I took my place behind the desk and worked for a little while until things became less crazy. While I was sitting there, an older man sat down and started speaking to me in Chinese.

I gave him the "ah ha ha" smile, and raised my eyebrows, unsure of what the point of his yammering was. He was clearly NOT Chinese AT all, so I didn't know if he thought *I* might be Asian (because my stark white skin is so misleading?) or if he was senile and reliving his war days, or what.

Finally he broke the awkward silence and revealed what he'd said (I can't remember now, it was some kind of phrase like "I don't give a damn" or something). He then proceeded to tell me about how he was a retired Marine and had been all over the world, spoken to all kinds of people, taught younger soldiers how to prepare for life over-seas, and about many of his travels. I listened as I always do when customers feel like chatting, and though he was a little hard to understand, I carried on conversation with him the best I could.

Then he asked me how old I am, and I told him. He called me a 'whipper snapper' and told me about how the younger generation these days has no respect, especially for women. I agreed with him, and we talked some more about racism and bigotry. He then went on to tell me what a rat-hole this area is, and that he would NEVER raise a child here.

I didn't say anything. I'm not going to get into a debate with some old vet.

Then he turned to me and said, "I've been all over the world and done so many wonderful things. What are you doing with your life? You just gonna sit on your can and work an office job?"

And I became greatly offended. In my irritation, I replied, "Yep. That's the plan."

He soon left and I was glad to see him go. Then I began wishing I'd said more. I wished I'd told him that my life was important and that just because I'm not fighting a war or traveling the world doesn't mean I'm worthless.

This little farm life is the happiest I've been in my whole entire life! This community may not be much to some people, but to me it's a close-knit place where people know my name. Chloe has a school where she may not have the newest technology, but she has teachers who have time to focus on her, who know her well and care about who she becomes. She has friends whose parents aren't child molesters or alcoholics. People who live close by and help their neighbors out.

I have a job that allows me to work whenever I want to, to back-talk my boss (hehe), and wear jeans and t-shirts every day. A job that allows me to give mothering my full attention, yet still have some spending money.

 I have a home that is cozy and warm, and a husband who provides for his family. I am a wife and I take pride in being a good one. I am a mother and love that job more than anything in the world. I have a daughter who believes that without me in her life there is nothing. She may only be a child, but to her I am the world.

I may not have a big beautiful glamorous life. I may never leave the country or get a job that is considered "important," but the things I do every day are important. They help my family run smoothly. When I die, I may not have medals and badges and the title 'hero' etched on my stone, but I know that I have loved hard and made a difference to the people around me.

And that's enough for me.

Besides. I kinda like sittin' on my can ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Accepting what it became...

I was living my life, minding my business, when I logged into Blogger and came across this post. You don't *have* to go read it, but it's all nifty and comes up in a separate window, so you might as well.

Usually I read someone's blog and think, "ooh she's so right," or "oh that's awful," or "I can't imagine..." but reading this blog ignited something. Maybe because it hit me so close to home.

Friendship is a beautiful, wonderful, fulfilling thing. It's also a tragic thing. It's much like a boy/girl relationship, but almost MORE complicated sometimes. With boys we date, we court, we mend a few breaks in our hearts, then find that special someone who seems to fit and make us happy, and usually we commit to one guy. One at a time at least.

Friendships are different. It's ok to have lots of friends. Different relationship levels. But sometimes you find that friend who just seems to click. Like she might be "the one." The one you spend the most of your time with. The one who gets you. The one who is like you in so many ways (or at least seems to be). The one who feels like a sister to your soul.

The one who breaks your heart.

With "regular" friends you can drift quietly away and move on with life, never realizing you have diluted them out or vice versa. You can still smile and say, "It's so good to see you! How are you?" in the grocery store, and though it may be a little awkward, it's usually not a bad thing.

But THAT girl? The one you broke up with? Or the one who dumped you? She's the one you had a blow-out with. The one that took you through a range of emotions from love to enraged to sad to indifferent to crazed to numb. The one you see in the grocery store and duck behind the pyramid of tomato paste to avoid making eye contact.

Over time, though, you heal. Even though you remember what she did and what she said, you've come to a point in your life where you're over it. It's moot. You've come to a new place in life and all the junk that was SO! IMPORTANT! when you fell out, suddenly has no place in your life whatsoever.

Suddenly a song comes on the radio. Or you go to that place you always had lunch together. Or maybe there's a crispness in the air that reminds you of that season of life when she was your world. The smell of a certain food, or a show on tv. Anything that makes you remember the perfectness of what was, and helps you forget the tragedy of what it became.

And you pick up the phone. You write an email. You creep her Facebook. For just a moment you long for the comfort and ease of what was, and think just MAYBE it could be again. What it became doesn't have to matter anymore, does it?

The sad truth is that it can't be what it was. It won't. No matter how much you forgive and forget, just as soon as you start reliving the past, it comes back to remind you what happened. The only options seem to be making amends, and keeping a safe distance, becoming generalized acquaintances, or going back and doing it again, only to find that the good brings the bad back with it. Almost always.

The best thing to do? Love the good memories. Relish that smell or that song for just a minute, then move on. Don't let yourself forget for too long why you came to be without her. Call it a life lesson and deal with it. Accept what it became, and know it became that way for a reason.

Didn't it?

Friday, November 11, 2011

I love my bulldog, my granny, and Dairy Queen

Ohhhh I'm so happy it's Friday. Not AS happy as I was a few days ago, when Chloe had a dentist appointment today that was RUDELY  moved to Monday. I could be on my way to Springfield right now, holiday tunes blaring, thinking about what delicious lunch Chloe and I would be having.....

Guess I have a reason to look forward to Monday now.

Anyway, it's Friday and it doesn't feel like Friday without five questions. So here we go.

1. What's the last thing you spent too much money on?

Rocky. Our full-blooded, champion blood-line English Bulldog.

We felt so guilty after we got him that we tried to pass him off as a pound puppy...hehe. But no one was buying. And while we DID get a great deal on him AND can make mucho moolah off his er, ah..."goods," we still spent too much for a farting, stinking dog.

But at the time, we didn't think a baby was anywhere in the near future.  Oh little did we know that two weeks later one would start a cookin' in there!

But look at this face. Can you REALLY put a price on it???

2. What celeb chef would you want to make you dinner?
I'm going to go with Rachel Ray. She doesn't make anything that is too "out there," she cleans as she goes, and she makes dinner in 30 minutes or less :) That's my kinda cooking. She knows how to give old favorites a new twist without going too crazy.

I also wouldn't mind having Michael Simon...but mostly just because I like to hear him talk :)

3. Where do you hide things when visitors pop over or do you let them see the real deal?
Right now everything goes in the spare bedroom. It's got everything from our gun cabinet to our wedding stuff to our photos.

But that's not going to be a "spare" bedroom for long. In about six months it will have a squishy baby inhabiting it.

At which point, I'd say I'll start packing stuff to the basement.

4. Who is your oldest living family member?
That'd be my Mimi

She is my dad's mom, my only living grandparent, and pretty much the best grandma anyone could ever even dream of! Oh my goodness I could write post after post after post about her! She lived down the street from me when I was growing up, and we did everything together! She sewed all kinds of things (even Barbie dresses) for me. She took me all kinds of shopping. She baked and cooked like a REAL grandma. She rocked me even when I was too big and too old to be rocked. She is an amazing woman and I am so glad to have had her in my life all these years!

She turned 83 in July :)

5. What is your favorite DQ treat and/or Sonic drink combo (ie: cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper)?
Oh man. I sit in the DQ drive-through debating what to get EVERY. TIME. Hubby always says, "You know what they have, why do you have to read the menu?"  To which I reply, "I know, but I can't decide."

My top favorite things? The chocolate-covered strawberry waffle bowl sundae, and the chocolate brownie blizzard. But there are a million other things I LOVE.

As for Sonic flavored drinks? I like chocolate Coke and cherry Coke. But not choclate cherry Coke :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's the Holiday Season...

Chloe's Halloween costume still lays on the floor at home. There are still sparkles in her hair from the night before. The candy has barely been touched, and our Jack-o-lantern is still fresh, other than a black mark on the inside of his lid from his candle. It's a cool, crisp fall afternoon and we need to run to Walmart.

While other moms are devouring the 1/2 price candy aisle, and stocking up on costumes for their little cuties, I find my cart veering toward the lawn and garden area. I pretend I'm just getting my toothpaste and shampoo, but the cart and I are of one mind. We both know where we're headed.

As I push it closer, I can see the glow of twinkle lights, the green Christmas trees (and pink, and white), and I can hear the familiar sound of Christmas tunes disappearing into the high ceiling. Is it me, or is it a few degrees cooler back here?

My eyes light up like a little kid who is seeing Santa for the first time. My heart feels warm, and I can't help but smile. The smell of cinnamon permeates the air. I begin slowly trekking down each aisle, admiring the ornaments, all organized by color, thinking about the tree skirt I'd like to have, and looking at new wrapping paper.

I begin thinking about the hustle and bustle of December, and how in just a month it will be time to drag up the totes and boxes and start making the house festive. It's officially the holiday season for me. The "holiday season" being, in my mind, the time from November 1st to January 1st, which encompasses Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. A time of festivities, food, family, and friends.

For the first few weeks I keep out my pumpkin spice candles and my fall leaves and pumpkins. But, let's face it, those have been out since before Halloween, so it's not like they're new to the living room. But as soon as Halloween is over, I love beginning the process of getting "in the spirit." It's a time to anticipate the holidays, a time to start planning my gift-giving (aka SHOPPING TRIPS!), and a time to think about how to make my house all cozy for the next couple of months.

I don't buy anything. I don't go home and drag out my Christmas lights. Although, on a cold November day you might find me with my Christmas playlist at full volume. I merely begin anticipating my favorite time of the year.

Then I wake up and read a Facebook status like this: "Come on, people. It's November. We haven't had Thanksgiving yet. It's not time for Christmas!" Or "OMG Christmas stuff already? RIDICULOUS!"

To that, I say, let me have my Christmas spirit! Let me be excited and anticipate the coming holidays. It's the best time of the year for me! Don't you pull out your shorts or your fishing pole on the first warm March day? I bet so. Don't you plan your New Year party before Christmas has come and gone? And do you start shopping for summer clothes and tank tops before the 1st of June? I mean, it's not REALLY summer until June 21st, right?

Maybe it IS a little early to be decking the halls on November 1st, but for people like me, it's exciting.

Walmart gets it. They're just catering to the holiday junkies like myself.

If you don't want to start early, don't. Stay out of the Christmas area. And if you're bombarded with it beyond your control, just think to yourself, "It's too early for me, but I bet Andrea would enjoy this..."

But don't berate me for enjoying this time of year to the fullest. And I won't call YOU a Grinch. Or Ebenezer. Or Scroogy McScrooge.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Step 1: Admit you have hormones

I forgot how crazy raging pregnancy hormones can make a woman.

Some would argue that I'm borderline as it is, so throw this hormonal rampage in the mix, and you've got something scary on your hands!

Sometimes I *know* I'm being hormonal, and other times I feel I have completely just reasons for my rage/anger/uncontrollable crying/elation. Then a few days later I look back and laugh at how wrong I really was in believing it was anything BUT my hormones.

Let me walk you through my hormonal rampage day:

7:15am I'm puking. And probably crying, or seething, depending on which side of the bed I woke up on.

8:15am Breakfast time. Watch a little tv. The Pampers commercials have me bawling like a baby. So happily anticipating the arrival of my wee one.

9:00am Roll into work. Some old doucher man has a smart-ass comment to make about me being "late," (like he sets my schedule) or about something I should be doing.

9:01am Old doucher man gets his head snapped off, as does anyone else who crosses me between now and lunch.

12:00pm LUNCH time. I'm either happily eating, or puking from the smell of the boys' lunch. I feel better either way, and enjoy visiting with my hubby for a while. Happy happy mommy.

3:15pm Chloe gets off the bus. So happy to see her. Hugs and love.

4:00pm Chloe is bored and driving me nuts. A new doucher man comes in and teases her. Mama bear comes out. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

5:00pm Time to go home, YAY! A quick surge of energy as I gather our things and head home. I quickly do some dishes and start dinner. Happy mama.

6:00pm I'm exhausted. The day has more than caught up with me and all I want to do is lie down. But there are more dishes to do. Chloe is out of jeans, so I have to do laundry. The supper needs cleaned up. Chlo needs a bath. I need a bath. And I just want to sleep.

Instead I cry.

Or seeth. Depending on which side of the bed I woke up on today.

7:00pm Puking resumes. More tears.

8:00pm Chloe is getting out of the tub. I'm mustetring up the strength to get off the couch. Hubby has the nerve to mention something I FORGOT to clean/do. I seeth.

8:30 I'm tucking her in. Reading a book. Her soft little cheeks are so kissable. I'm suddenly sorry that I felt irritated earlier, that I am so tired, and that I didn't want to play Polly Pockets with her. It makes me feel even more guilty that she is so understanding and loving. I hide tears as I tuck her into bed and squeeze her tight. So much love.

9:00 I can finally go to bed. Relief washes over me. I want to visit with my hubby. Snuggle and love. But instead I mumble, "I love you," as my head hits the pillow and my eyes fall shut. And somehow he knows that means I'm sorry for my hormones. I wasn't really mad, and even though I don't feel like doing anything but sleeping, I still love him more than anything.

9:05 He closes his eyes and prays I wake up on the right side of the bed :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Give me a bubble bath and a DVR...

1. Where do you escape to when you've had enough?

I used to drop Chloe off with Mom and go walk. But that's not an option anymore, and if I go, she is tromping behind me, whining, wanting me to stay, or take her, or pull her wagon, or something. So usually I go to the bathroom. I run a full bath and lock the door. If I'm lucky hubby doesn't pick the lock, and Chloe doesn't bang on the door yelling, "MOM! I HAFTA PEEEEEE!"

But I'm not all that lucky ;)

2. What shows are you watching this fall?
Let's see. I'm watching X Factor and Grey's Anatomy. I WAS watching Teen Mom/16 & Pregnant until they RUDELY ended the season and replaced it with I USed to Be Fat. I'd be watching more if we had DVR. But we STILL don't. So I'm not. And I'm not ONE BIT bitter about it. Nope, nope, nope.

3. What was the longest roadtrip you've ever taken and where did you go?
The longest road trip I've ever taken *literally* is to Wyoming. I went twice, once with my granny and grandpa, and once with my youth group. But I've blocked out the latter, so I shall say Wyoming with grandma and grandpa at age 12.

The longest *seeming* road trip was the trip home in a rented mini-van whose a/c went out and whose belt was squeaking with a grouchy (now ex) husband, a stressed-out mom, a relatively cool brother, and my own self (which can be as bad as a rotten toddler at times he he). I'm pretty sure I spent the whole trip with an empty apple-juice bottle filled with ice stuck down my shirt.

4. Do you plan on taking your kids to Disney World?
I don't plan on it, no.

I'd like to, I really would. But there are just so many OTHER things we could do with the money a Disney trip would cost us. Probably two family vacations that would be JUST as fun and memorable.

But we'll see. You never know what the future holds. I'm not against it, I'm just certainly not planning it.

5. What is something people would surprised to know about you?
I don't know that there is much of anything that would surprise "people" in general.

People I only know professionally or as acquaintances might be surprised at how *not* shy I can be.

People who have known me my whole life might be surprised at how quiet I am (sometimes).

Most people are surprised that I don't eat any water-dwelling creatures of any kind, and that I don't like Chinese, but YOU probably already knew that :)

Some people might be surprised at how sensitive I am, and how easily my feelings get hurt (though I try not to show it).

While others would be surprised at how sarcastic and mouthy I can be.

Depends on who you are I guess.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adventures in Tooth Pulling

Yesterday was a big day for Miss Chloe. She started out having pain in her gum above one of her caps (the front one that sticks out like a sore thumb). I took her to the dentist, and by the time it was time for her appointment the sore had bubbled out and was clearly an abscess.

I was very worried after the trouble she had last time she went to the dentist.

The dentist suggested pulling the tooth (yay for losing the ugly cap!), and decided to do it then and there. She asked me to sign a consent for Nitrous, and I did. What an amazing gas it is :)

Chloe was relaxed, and she felt no pain throughout the entire process. She handled the whole thing like a champ, and when we left the dentist's office her first question was, "When are we gonna eat?"

Ahh a girl after my own heart :)

Since she was feeling great, and I was feeling great (for a freaking change!) we agreed we would eat at Olive Garden, where we always share fettuccine.

We made a stop at the mall and did some GREAT bargain shopping, getting her all geared up for Christmas festivities and winter snow (Mother Nature, if you DARE leave us with a snow-less winter I will hunt you down and kill you myself).

We sat down to lunch and let me tell you, there's nothing like the peach Bellini tea, fresh salad, and warm bread to make two girls happy :)

We ate and talked. She colored. Our food came, and we ate some more.

Afterwards, we made a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we spent a large amount of time perusing books. She in the children's corner, I in the pregnancy and parenting sections. We finally made our choices, and were both excited about what we got. I found a great "baby book" that is all from Chloe's point of view, and I got the pregnancy journal I've been wanting. She settled on Max and Ruby and Barbie, of course.

Finally we went to PFI and Bass Pro and did some browsing, then stopped at Andy's and headed home.

Pumpkin pie concrete. Soooo bad...but sooooooo goooooood!

I felt so good all day, and was so refreshed last night. I've come to the conclusion that I'm just *supposed* to be at home. And by "at home" I, of course, mean running around Springfield with my best girl eating carbs and shopping ;)

Six more months.

I can't wait!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fridays aren't what they used to be...

It's FRIDAY!!!!!!! A few short months ago Friday was so much different. Fridays were always eat-out nights. We might eat local and get a big juicy cheeseburger, or go out in Springfield and have steak. Maybe Applebee's or Olive Garden. I was staying home then, so the house was always clean and the chores were done by Friday afternoon. The coming weekend either meant one-on-one time with my hubby while Chlo was gone, or lots of fun family activities. If we were sans Chloshmo, a few drinks on Saturday night were always a possibility, whether playing cards with his family, or building a bonfire, or just relaxing at home. I cooked a big breakfast and dinner on Sundays. I rode along for farm work, or took Chloe to the park. We'd be outside a lot, and always had something going on.

Now I look forward to Fridays because it means the end of the work week. I can go to bed at 9:00 and sleep as late as I want. I can take my medicine and take a nap on Saturday. I have extra time to finish laundry and catch up on house work. I don't enjoy eating at all. I mostly look forward to two days curled up on the couch with my blanky and my unconsciousness :)

Either way, Friday means Five Questions, though...

1. Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or in a cone?

Hand-dipped chocolate chip on a sugar cone, please :)

But I'll eat ice cream pretty much any way you serve it. I love it. Especially in the fall and winter (weird?). It's my favorite night-time snack, and lucky for me, the bebe tolerates it well and lets me eat it often :)

2. What three things do you love the smell of?
Bread baking is my favorite smell. Ahhhh I love it. It reminds me of holidays at my grandma's house, and it reminds me that very soon there will be warm, fresh bread to be eaten. Mmmmm.

Newborn babies come in next. That sweet, yummy baby smell--there's nothing like it. When they out-grow that "fresh" stage, they still smell good in all their powder and lotion and baby goodness. Mm.

Finally, don't laugh. . . Hubby's pits.  His deodorant smells soooooooooo good (Degree) and although he shakes his head at me, I think he secretly likes when I nuzzle up next to him, stick my nose under his arm and say, "Mmmm babe your pits smell soooo good."  What. You don't sniff your hubby's pits? Interesting...

3. Giftcards or no? (In regards to gift giving...)
I love getting gift cards. Don't get me wrong, I love cash, too, but I'm too often tempted to spend it on groceries or gas. With a gift card to a restaurant we love, or a store where I shop, I have no choice but to use the funds at that particular place. I always enjoy the week after Christmas or my birthday when we get to go eat out "for free," and I don't feel guilty having dessert or a pricey appetizer. Or when I get to go to Maurices and get new jeans or a cute new top and not use my plastic. I always think of the giver and appreciate getting (or eating) something I really enjoy.

I used to never give gift cards, because I feel like it's a cop-out and I'd rather choose a gift, but then I realized that I tend to appreciate the "choose-for-yourself" gift just as much as one with thought put into it, and usually the gift card is more practical, so I finally let go of that stigma and started using them frequently, trying my best to choose a store/restaurant that I know will make the recipient happy. (that was a really long sentence...)

4. What sports did you play in high school if any and do you still play them?
I "attempted" to play basketball in 8th grade. I stuck it out for the whole season, but I hated it and never played sports again. The end.

5. Were you in band in high school? What instrument did you play?
I was not in band. When we went to band orientation the first few days of 6th grade I really thought I wanted to be in band. The band teacher even called my mom and told her that my testing showed I had an ear for music (tell that to my singing voice!) and that he could help fund my instrument if I wanted to join. However, the band room was not air-conditioned, and those first few August days flared up raging migraines for me, so I wanted no part of it. If I opted out of band I would be safely in an air-conditioned windowless classroom learning about speech or something. So I didn't join. Tragic, eh? But if I HAD joined band, I wanted to play saxophone (like Lisa Simpson hehe).

Monday, October 10, 2011

I heart bread (more than flowers)

I know, it's Monday. I'm late to the game. But better late than never? SURE!

1. What is your go to comfort food or sweet?

When I'm sick I want soup. Vegetable beef (preferrably home-made) or Mom's chicken and noodles. Mm. With bread.

Otherwise, I'd say bread. Nothing makes me happier than fresh baked bread or rolls (nothing, except if someone else took the time and trouble to make it then brought it to my house for me to enjoy). Add to that donuts, croissants, toast.....anything in the bread family.

And, if I have a really bad day, there's not much a plate-full of spaghetti (with garlic BREAD) and a brownie won't fix :)

2. What is the most romantic place you've ever been to?

Well to me, it is Pensacola Beach. But I've only been there on a mother-daughter-granddaughter trip with Mom and 'Shmo.

The most romantic place the Mister and I have been together? Probably Vail. But he was sick. So we didn't get to enjoy the romanticnessss so much =/

You know what I think is the most romantic place for us? Our house. At Christmas time. When we're snuggled up on the couch together after Chloshmo goes to bed, and there's a Christmas movie on, snow flying, and twinkle lights blinking. He looks stunning by twinkle-light :)

Maybe he'll take me to the beach one day....

3. What is your favorite thing about fall/Halloween?

Halloween, shmeh. I liked getting dressed up for it as a kid, but once I out-grew that (like Santa, it took me a little longer than most), I was pretty-well done with Halloween.

Best thing about fall is weather and food. And I've gone into detail about that before, so I'll spare you :)

4. How would you spend 24 hours alone?

With a hoodie, my blankie, a pillow, the TV and a book.

I would read.

Then nap.

Then watch a movie and eat something yummy.

Then finish my book, maybe. While sipping hot lemon tea (decaf, sure sure).

Then I'd take another nap.

Eat again.


And it goes on. Until my 24 hours is up.

Unless you also want to give me unlimited funds. Then I'd shop 'til I dropped, take a power-nap, and shop some more!

5. Does you husband bring you flowers? Are you the bring-me-flowers type of girl?

No. He doesn't. Hasn't. Probably never will.

It's not so much that I'm not the bring-me-flowers type of girl as it is HE isn't the bring-her-flowers type of guy.

And he knows flowers are lost on me.

But he writes notes on the mirror with a dry-erase marker.

He sends me texts for no reason.

He snuggles with me before he gets out of bed.

And I'd take those over flowers any day <3

Ooh or a bouquet of bread. That would really get him some points he he.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Boys of Fall

The other night my brother-in-law said something that got me thinking (this doesn't happen a lot, so mark it down hehe). He said, "I wish we'd had football in high school..."

And I started thinking about how strange of an idea that was. For me, football was a staple in high school. It wove in and out of everything. It was a huge part of our school. Our community. Our lives. To take football out of high school, for me, would be to take a huge chunk out of my life.

I wasn't a cheer-leader. I didn't date the quarterback. I was your run-of-the-mill average Jane doing her best to make it through the teen years. But football wasn't just for jocks or pretty girls. It was for everyone.

In junior high it was a time to socialize. We couldn't drive, and we all found ourselves at the game on Friday night. It's where we whispered to our friends, ran around the track, followed the boys we liked, giggled, ate popcorn, and had fun.

When we got to high school, though, everything changed.  Suddenly those boys we liked were on the field, looking tough and handsome in their pads and uniforms. Even the dweebiest guy on the team looked, well, like a football player.

Games became a time of excitement. Watching the guys from our class take hits, score points, and tackle the other team. Hearing the huge crowd cheer for those guys who sat with us in math, who took us out on dates, who danced with us at school dances. They were heroes.

The season started with hot summer nights, kicking off when the sun was still up. But by the second home game it was "football weather." We wore our school hoodies. It was just before dark when the boys kicked off. The air was crisp, and the lights were bright. By the end of the season it was dark before the game even started. We huddled close together under blankets, clutching hand-warmers and sipping hot chocolate. Cold to the bone by the end of the game, but always jumping up to cheer when one of our boys crossed into the end-zone.

Fridays at school were like holidays during football season. There was that thrill in the air. That feeling that something exciting was brewing. The boys all wore their jerseys to school. We talked about who we would play, what time we would arrive, and who was starting. Teachers rarely gave weekend assignments (though there were the few sticklers), and we talked all day about what we were going to do after the game. It was usually Sonic runs and sleep-overs.

There were pep rallies in the afternoon before a big game, and for homecoming. We spent the whole week before homecoming completely engrossed in everything football. We decorated the halls, the doors, our cars. We had bonfires and chili suppers. We made up skits and dances and cheers. We dressed funny every day. Painted our faces. It was one of the biggest events of the year.

By the time football season was over, it was time for Thanksgiving and holidays. Basketball started, and it was a whole new dynamic. While it was 'just a sport' to some, for most of us, football defined fall. And I can't imagine a fall without it as a student.

Friday, September 30, 2011


'Tis Friday again. Thank goodness! I didn't think this week would EVER end! Pregnancy weeks go by soooooo slooooowly anyway, but when you're spending as much time with the Porcelain God as you are with your family, it tends to make it go even mooooooooooore slooooooooooowly. Bleh!

Anyway, to pass the time, how about five questions?

1. Do you apologize to your kids if you're wrong?

I believe we have discussed this before, but yes. If I'm in the wrong, I apologize to little Chloshmo. She is very sensitive, and gets her feelings hurt very easily, and she will let me know if she thinks an apology is in order ;) But by admitting when I'm wrong and apologizing, I hope to instill in her the tendency to do the same. She is a little guilty of playing the blame game, and we're trying to stop that. For example, if she was running in the house, tripped, and broke my expensive vase (should I have one), rather than saying, "Sorry, Mom. I know I shouldn't have been running," she might argue that it's not her fault because I didn't sweep the floor today and the dust caused her to slip. She can be somewhat outrageous, but we're learning.

2. Do you have a class ring, Letterman's jacket, or similar obscenely priced high school "must have"?

To have a letterman's jacket, one must "letter" in something. This mama not so athletic. I'm very tall, and was always prodded to play basketball, but that requires coordination, which I have not. So after a terribly failed attempt in 8th grade, everyone finally gave up on that.

I did letter in academics...........and I had some math club medals..........ok, so you get it now, right? Why I didn't buy the jacket ;)

I did, however, get a class ring. And they saw me comin' they did. If I'm going to have this beautiful heirloom and treasure it for a lifetime, I'm getting the real deal. Gold. Yellow gold. 10k. And those tiny diamonds on the side? NO CZs for me! No no no. And I want my name engraved in it. Not just my name, but my signature.

Mama broke the bank paying for that ring.

And now it sits in my jewelry box, absolutely no refelction of who I was, or who I am. Merely a big gold ring (not one of those new style ones that looks like a pretty girl's ring, no no) with an ugly green stone (It HAS to be the school color!) that I've considered hocking for the gold in desperate times, but was thwarted only by the echoing of the Josten's man's words, "A precious heirloom you'll cherish for years to come...."

I guess I'll wait 'til I'm dead and let my grandkids hock it for a new cell phone or something =/
Other things I got suckered on: Senior pictures, senior book/t-shirt/keyring/key/boxers/invitations/thank you cards/name cards/everythingunderthesun

3. If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would you choose?
I used to say forever 21, but really I like 27. I'm not sure why. I think because it's kinda old enough to know better but still too young to care. Old enough to be responsible, be "grown-up" but young enough you can still be "young" when you want to.

But really I'd take anything under 30 and over 21.

4. What is your favorite (unused) baby name?
I can't tell you that.

Because the lil Bebe in my belly has not been named. The Mister and I have not discussed it, and don't plan to until we know the gender.

But, don't tell anyone this.....Mama already has her mind made up :) She just has to figure out how to plant the ideas in Daddy's head so he thinks *HE* thought of them.  Hehehehehehehe.

So. Sorry, world. You no get to know Mama's favorite baby name...because it just might be used soon.
As a kid I always liked the names Kelli and Stephanie (I watched Saved by the  Bell and Full House btw) for girls.

If Chloe was a boy I was going to name her Brady (odd coincidence...Chloe and Brady on Days of Our Lives)

But none of those names are in danger of being used anytime soon, so the secret is still safe ;)

5. If you could make your child like something what would it be?
Vegetables. All of them. Potatoes. Carrots. Green beans. Peas. Peas and carrots.

And organizing.

If only....

Friday, September 23, 2011

I haven't done a Five Question Friday in a long time, but I'm feeling more like myself today, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's been a crazy few weeks. I've been sick. I've been emotionally drained. But today, little Bebe is giving me a break. Little Bebe says "I sorry Mama. I be nice to you today. I just lay here and grow my little eye buds and leave you alone k?" And today I love little Bebe a little more for it :)

Anyway. On with the show.

1. Dream job...realistic and completely unrealistic.

Realistic(ish) would be a bebe nurse. You know, the ones that check on the little newborns. Tell the Mamas what to do. Take the first picture. Give the first bath. That kinda stuff. But the unrealistic part of that is I don't wanna draw blood, give shots, or do anything that would make the bebe cry, even if it's for his own good! And nothing that would make me squeamish.

Unrealistic. I'd be a singer. That's totally unrealistic because (whispers) I can't sing.

But I love music so much, and I think it would be so fun to tour the country just singing and dressing up every night. And making lotsa money.

2. Do you fart in front of your significant other?

Gawsh. I don't talk about my pregnancy here because I don't wanna talk about my lady parts with the whole you wanna talk about my, ah, corn-holio? ;)

Yeah. When it happens, it happens, and I spare myself the anguish of trying to keep it all in until he's not around. But it took a lonnnnnnnnng time for me to get there (and for him...though not quite AS long).

And I still don't poop when he's in the house....unless it's a dire emergency. TMI? Yeah...probably.

3. What's the furthest you've ever traveled from home? How far and where was it?
Wyoming, I think. I don't know how far it is from Missouri to Wyoming, but I think that's the farthest. Went with my grandma and grandpa one year, then went with my youth group (KILL ME!) later in my teens.

Wait. I lie.

I've been to LA. That would be the farthest.
And someday, I will tell you that story. Someday.

But not today.
4. How do you celebrate birthday for your kids? Family only or friends? ... Alternate for those without kiddos: How did you celebrate birthdays as a kid?

We have always just had a family party (including family friends), but now that she is in school we will invite munchkins. I plan to have the party somewhere other than my home, and I'm only doing one party, so if family wants to come, they can endure the screaming children. If not, drop a 20 in the mail and call it good ;)

5. Fave thing about fall?
Oh my goodness. I LOVE fall. All of it.
I guess my mostest favoritestest thing is the weather. Cool, crisp mornings, sunny warm afternoons. Jeans. Hoodies. Boots. Cool clear nights, good for bonfires and blankets. Snuggling up on the couch with my fuzzy blanket watching the new tv shows. Ah. I love.
But I also love the food. Apples. Apple pie. Pumpkin pie. Chili, soups, hot drinks. Cinnamon flavored anything. I bake the most in the fall.
And then there's the impending holidays. Getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Taking Chloe out for Halloween. Ooooh I love fall so much. I wish it stayed longer!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wheels on the Bus

Chloe absolutely loves riding the bus. Some mornings in a sleepy stupor, she'll say, "You can drive me to school. Just let me sleep a little longer," but when I agree, she immediately pops out of bed and tells me she wants to ride the bus.

She has two chances to catch the bus. The first is at 7am, and the second is at 7:40.

If I am out of bed by 7am it's a miracle of God. So there's no way I can get myself up, get her up, make lunch, and have her out the door by seven. Not going to happen.

Since she catches the bus at 7:40, she has to cross the street and get on at the corner.

For the most part this has been a good plan. I walked her out the first few days, then walked her to the ditch, and now I stand on the porch as she scurries to the bus.

However, traffic has begun picking up, and the road block the county has near our house has thwarted a lot of traffic, but it will be gone soon.

She looks both ways. She is careful, but she's so little.

Today her bus driver came by the shop to talk to me after he finished his route. He said he was just too nervous to make her continue crossing the street, and offered to come turn around in the driveway if we would keep it clear for him.

What a good bus driver. What a thoughtful and caring person he must be to offer to go the extra step for Chloe.

But it left me feeling horrible. Guilty. Sick.

Instead of thanking him and telling him how nice that is, and how much I appreciate it, why didn't I say, "There's no need. I'll get my lazy ass out of bed ten minutes earlier so I can walk her across every day."

Why didn't I say that? I'm bragging about this guy going the extra mile for my daughter when I quickly wisk her out the door to get back to my blow-drying?

Being a mom is hard.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

...and I can just see you with a baby on the way...

"...and I can just see you with a baby on the way; I can just see you when your hair's turnin' gray...."

It's a line I have always joked was written in the wrong order since I already have some natural highlights. It's from "our song," which is "Then" by Brad Paisley. The one we danced to at our wedding. The one that's held us so close together so many times. The one that always makes him grab my hand and hold it tight. Riding in the car. Riding out one of life's storms. Sitting on the couch. The one that's always described us and our love for each other: ...and I thought I loved you then.

The reference, of course, has a little more meaning now. A few weeks ago we were a little surprised to find out we're going to have a little baby coming into our lives. The journey to this particular revelation is something so deeply personal that I don't want to go into great detail about it, but I wanted the chance to announce it officially.

Unfortunately around here it's hard to beat the rumor mill. We told our closest family and friends the news, for fear it would leak and they'd find out second-hand, but despite our best efforts to keep it "in the family" for a few weeks, it spread like wildfire and I'm sure it's not news to anyone very local.

I'm a little irritated, if you can't tell. I wanted to keep a lid on it for a while. Wanted some time for us to get used to it. Some time to adjust. The chance to tell all my friends myself. But that's what happens in a small community I guess.

Otherwise I'm happy. Happy I can once again feel life grow within me. Happy I get to hold and nurture a squishy newborn. Happy to smell that new baby smell. Happy to tickle toes and laugh at the simple things in life. Happy to share our love and life with a precious little child.

Happy that every day that passes is one day closer to the second trimester, and full of hope that this constant sickness is going to go away.

But mostly just happy :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ten years...

Sunday marks ten years now. And I think I can speak for most in saying sometimes it seems like just yesterday. Sitting there, watching the panic-stricken faces of the news casters. Hearing them sound so human for the first time, and wondering, "What's next?"

I've thought a lot about 9/11 lately, and I heard something on the radio today that really hit home for me. The radio personality said that of all the horrific things happening that day, the worst may have been the unknown.

What had happened? Who was attacking us? Would every plane in the US fall from the sky? Would every well-known building or landmark be destroyed? Was this war? Could it happen again?

We panicked, not knowing what would come. Afraid we'd be without food and fuel, electricity maybe, water. Basic needs for everyday life. Frightened for our country, for our lives. For our future.
And on top of that, we never saw it coming. We sat idly in our homes, eating breakfast, shuffling kids off to school, taking a shower, driving to work, and little did we know that moments later our lives would change forever. Our country would change forever. History was in the making.

Tragedy is always just that: tragic. It strikes without rhyme or reason to most of us. It leaves us wounded and scarred, but I think it hurts the very worst when we never saw it coming, and we don't know when it will end.

Never forget.

Friday, August 26, 2011


1. Did you make any fun purchases this week?

It's probably not what you'd consider a typical "fun" purchase. I didn't buy new shoes or a cute purse. Didn't get any new electronic gadgets. I bought my daughter a dish-rag doll at Casey's (gas station/convenience store if you're unfamiliar).

I took her to meet her dad and she saw the hand-sewn doll hanging in the window. She fell in love with it. I had just given her the weekly allowance, which would pay for half. Burned out and tired of always being the one to fork over the cash (we had just spent my entire paycheck on school supplies and clothes the week before), I told her she could either save her allowance until next week and buy the doll herself, or see if her dad would kick in the other FIVE dollars for the doll.

When he arrived she ran out to his Jeep Liberty and begged him to come see it. He told her no, he just didn't have the money to pay for half the doll (then proceeded to drive her three hours away to visit his new girlfriend whom she's never met, but that's a story for another day). She didn't cry. But her face. She was heart-broken.

So what did I do? Instead of putting in five and paying for half the doll I went in after they left and bought her the stinking doll. It's not worth ten dollars. It's a dish rag with a stocking sewn on, but she loved it.

But when she came home and found the little rag doll lying on her pillow, her face was priceless. And because it was such an emotional journey for her, she's super attached to that silly little rag. And those moments are what being a mom is all about :)
2. If you could go to any musical concert, what would it be?

LIKE you don't know! Ok, ok if you're not my Facebook friend you might not.

My favorite musician of all-time is Jamey Johnson. Of all genres, all years, all bands, he is my one and only. I love everything about him. His voice. His songs. His troubled eyes. His demeanor. *swoon* And I have YET to see him live :( One day I will. One day. But until then, I just listen to his music and pretend he is here with me in spirit. We mow together. We go for walks together. We commiserate when I have a bad day. We go backroading (although the Mister often crowds him out). And although he's big and hairy now, beneath that ZZ Top beard is a burly, sexy man with piercing blue eyes that have a real story to tell.
He seriously sings my soul. If you want to listen to a smattering of his music, my short list includes "Place Out on the Ocean," "That's How I Don't Love You," "The Last Cowboy," "Give It Away," (a song he wrote for George Strait) and "In Color." And that's my super short list. I love all his music. All. But my favorite song ever ever ever is "High Cost of Living."

3. What is your least fav/ most fav house chore?
My least favorite is dishes. MAN I hate dishes! HATE HATE HATE! I miss my dishwasher SO much! Sometimes I refuse to cook JUST because I don't wanna do dishes.

But I LOVE to mow. It's that one thing I can do where NO ONE will bother me. The sun shines on my shoulders, I plug in my MP3, pour myself a refreshing beverage, and spend some time with myself (and Jamey!). It's truly the best.

4. Would you prefer new appliances or clothes?
If you would buy me a dishwasher (and figure out a way to install it in our kitchen..therein lies the problem), I would wear the same t-shirts and jeans for two whole years.
If we're just talking about a washer and a fridge, I'd rather have all new clothes.
5. Miracle Whip or Mayo?
EW and double EW. I have a texture issue and I do NOT eat anything creamy. This includes all salad dressing (clear-ish only) and condiments. No yogurt. No sour cream. No French onion dip. No, no, no. Chocolate pudding is the only real exception to that rule, and I could live without it. Bleh!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Ok let's be honest. It's not like any hetero-sexual woman in her right mind actually likes Megan Fox. Honestly. She steals oogling looks from our men. She's the topic of endless locker-room chatter, and she is gorgeous and thin. And rich. So we all agree we hate her anyway, right? Ok.

That being said, this whole tattoo thing has me really perturbed.
She's removing her Marilyn tattoo because of bi-polar and mental disorders, right? Yeah that's a pc no-no. It's bigotry and it makes you say "OMG." But there are two things that bug me MORE about this whole situation.
1. She got a tattoo of someone on her body, someone she must have hailed as a hero or icon of some sort. And she "didn't know" that Marilyn suffered from this? Holy Hell I know that, and I am not NEARLY interested in her enough to have a picture of her in my home, let alone ON MY BODY. I mean, read ANY book that references her in any way and it doesn't take a PhD to figure that one out. So stupidity move #1: having an icon/hero you know NOTHING about (and permanently affixing her likeness to your skin).

2. She's having the likness removed because she doesn't need Marilyn's "negativity" (from being bi-polar) in her life. But she was fine with Marilyn's boozing, drug-addicted, slutting around, home-wrecking lifestyle (no disrespect, Miss M)? Those things were all fine. But the bi-polar pushed her over the edge? The ONE negative element in her life she had NO control over? Says a little something about Miss Fox, dontcha think?

That's my two cents. Call me bitter and jealous, but I think some people are just straight warped, and it's not Miss Marilyn I'm talking about on this one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's get this thing started; it's my kinda party: Wedding Tale 8

We headed home while our family and friends finished clearing out the hall. We spent some, ah, quality time together, changed into comfy clothes, and headed to my mother-in-law's house. Mister's uncle was cooking burgers. The whole Wilson clan was there, and all our closest and most laid-back friends were on their way.

It began as a family bbq. Kinda quiet. A little chatter. Everyone eating and taking a breather after a long day.

And then the sun went down.
The drinks were poured.
And the rest is history.

This was in his pre-party days, so catching him with A beer was a big deal!

My two bestest friends <3

My boys.

Husband and wife <3

Love my brother in law =]

Coolest dad ever, partying with his daughter ;)

There was singing. And pickin' and grinnin' too.

My girl B. Lafs <3

Wade's gals

One. Great. Night.

...and they lived happily ever after.

Bathroom Jealousy

Disclaimer: This post contains bathroom talk. Read at your own discretion.

I never thought of "taking a wiz" as much of a luxury. I'm so speedy in the bathroom I can beat about any guy in a race. It's something you do because you have to, and you move on with your life when you're done. I never really thought of it as relaxing. I had not thought about it at all, really, until I started helping out at the family tire shop.

Our tire shop isn't anything fancy. There's no tiled waiting room, no plants sitting around, no tv. It's a dirty old workshop with a make-shift office complete with desk, bare wood walls, and that slick gray concrete that's in your unfinished basement.

It shares a building with the town bar, and between the two is a small hallway with a men's room and a ladies' room. It's technically part of the bar, so they take care of it. Er, ah, they claim it.

The trash is always full. Soap is usually empty, toilet stains, flies, floor never mopped. You name it, it's there. Granted I could easily go over and clean it spic and span, but inevitably the bar crowd would dirty it again each weekend and I would then be in an endless cycle of cleaning for nothing.

Having a slight severe problem with public toilets as it is, I fight this ugly toilet demon every day.

First I will myself not to even go. I won't go. I'll hold it. I am a potty camel of sorts.

But then it hits me. Too much tea. Way too much tea, and I have to go. And while I can wait a LONG time, once I do have to go, I gotta go now.

I squiggle and squirm like a potty-training two-year old, too stubborn to go to the toilet. By the time I actually go, I'm running at lightning speeds to get there.

I immediately take the position in front of the toilet: Drop trou, feet shoulder-width apart. One step back, squat and hover.

I told you, I go fast. But it feels like an eternity as my legs burn in torture holding my entire being as far from that crab germ-infested seat as humanly possible. I hover there, longing to put my buns on the seat. To just sit and pee for thirty seconds without having to work so hard at evading the filth.

Today as I hovered there, I thought of all the stay-at-home mommies and their toy-filled, bleach-scented bathrooms with nothing to worry about but baby germs and Daddy leaving the seat up. And I was jealous of their relaxing kids screaming, following them in, beating the door down while they sit on the toilet. So jealous.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Now you're my whole life: Wedding Tale 7

Pictures were pretty quick compared to your typical wedding. Below-average temps and gusty wind put a damper on our outdoor pics, so we just took a few [side note: in all my "the wedding doesn't matter, the marriage does" planning, my ONE mistake was not forking over money for a professional photographer].

The girl doing our pictures wanted us to wait a few minutes before we came to the hall so she could be ready. We decided to go get the Mister's hat, which took much longer than we anticipated. We finally arrived, though, and were introduced as Mister and Misses Mister :)

The reception was pretty informal, but we did all the traditional things.

We danced to our song.

We cut the cake.

Then we ever-so-gently fed each other that first bite of cake.

I wiped the frosting out of my nose. We ate a bite. I blew frosting out of my nose. We mingled. I picked frosting out of my nose. Then we left. I continued extracting frosting from my nose. We didn't go far, no sir-ee. Just went for a little drive to show off our escape vehicle,

then went home to change clothes. We had been apart and stressed all day long, so we were ready to really celebrate with our closest friends. My MIL was throwing us a party, and I couldn't wait to let my hair down (seriously, the bobby pins!) and enjoy our first night as husband and wife.

" you're my whole life,
now you're my whole world.
I just can't believe
the way I feel about you, girl.
Like a river meets the sea,
stronger than it's ever been;
we've come so far since that day,
and I thought I loved you then..."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"There Goes My Life"

"There goes my life;
There goes my future,
My everything;
I love you, baby,

Today I entrust my baby girl to this big old world. I'm fighting tears and a knot in my throat as I even type it. Not so much because I am sad to see her go, but moreso because I know what a big cruel world it can be. I know she's no longer sheltered under our roof with only our love and words of encouragement. Starting today she learns what it's like to be disappointed. To get into trouble. To be left-out. To be teased. To be heart-broken.

I have to hold on to the good things, though. I have to remember she'll learn to make friends. To be kind to others. To read and learn and grow. Experience puppy love. To make her own choices. To become independent.

Today I let my baby girl, who I've nurtured and taken care of for more than five years now, go out into the world all by herself, pink backpack in tow, and I trust that the world will be good to her more often than not. And even if it's not, I'm still going to be there when she gets home to love her, encourage her, and help her through it all....and to kick some butt if I need to :)

"...there goes my life..."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our real-life COPS episode

It was nothing more than a typical Saturday night. Chloe had gone home with Nana for the night, so the Mister and I went out to get a small bite to eat and were out driving around listening to music and unwinding from the busy week.

We pulled up to the house and into the driveway, and immediately noticed an unfamiliar car sitting at the end of the drive. Not yet alarmed, we figured it was one of our friends, or a friend of my BIL. Or maybe a cow was out and a passer-by had stopped to let us know.

As we pulled in, though, we immediately knew it was a stranger. Out-of-state plates. Unfamiliar car, and the man within was no one we knew. He was slumped over in his seat, but clearly breathing.

Bush's Sixteen Stone album blared from the speakers. The car was running, lights were off, and this man was out cold.

"HEY! HEY MAN!" Mister yelled across me at him. He never flinched.

"HEY!" I hollered, thinking being two feet closer might help? Nothing. His shoulders heaved up and down and we decided he was likely drunk and passed out. Suddenly he moved. Itched his nose. I gasped, and quickly rolled up my window.

We called one of the deputies who lives nearby in hopes he could come check things out. The longer we sat there debating about what to do, the more vivid my imagination became. What if he was tweaked out on drugs and woke up crazed and confused? What if he was intoxicated and thought he was at home, and tried to come inside the house or something? What if he was a serial killer baiting us so he could chop us up into tiny pieces? Or maybe he was a car-bomber! Nevermind there's not another house for a mile.

I was relieved when I saw Mr. Officer finally pull up in his truck. He went to the stranger and tried to wake him to no avail. He shook him gently at first, then so violently his head flopped around like a rag doll's. Finally the man awakened.

He didn't get off on a very good foot with Mr. Officer.

He didn't have ID.

He gave a fake name.

He said he was headed to the lake, and when asked if he knew where he was, he got smart.

"Yeah, I know where I am!" he snapped.

"Where are you, then?" The officer questioned.

"I'm RIGHT here," he said smugly.

Backup arrived quickly. While they were running his plates he started fumbling around in the car for something. Mr. Officer drew his gun and as the perpetrator raised his hand, he revealed a lighter, which he used to light his cigarette.

In running his plates they found he had a warrant in Kansas. They quickly pulled him from the car, told him to put out his cig, and he puffed on it as many times as he could before finally flicking it away. He was cuffed and taken in. As far as we know he was put on a 24 hour hold.

Mr. Officer stayed until the tow truck arrived, and finally our little episode was over.

Never a dull moment, even out here in the quiet country.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Do: Wedding Tale 6

The walk down the aisle seemed so long. I was trying to keep looking forward, knowing someone somewhere was trying to get a good picture. I had my eyes on my Mister, but my mind was far from the wedding. Was my shoe catching my dress? Was my train flowing properly? Was I walking with too much swag? Yeah. My booty has a mind of its own when I walk, anyway. Walking slowly...was that making it worse? Yeah. It was.

Finally we got to the altar and my nervous groom escorted me up the steps and onto the stage. I'd had these grand illusions of giving Wade a big hug. Saying, "thank you" quietly as we departed. But nerves had caught me off guard and I was now worrying about making sure I gave my groom more attention at the meeting than my "dad," and I squeezed his arm, took my Mister's hand, and went up the steps.

Unbeknownst to me, my daughter had been the star of the show. She had run out of petals, and was unhappy with the placement of some of them, and started back down the aisle to "fix dem" before I came in. Finally she got headed in the right direction and made it up just before we came out.

Our song was "Me and You" by Kenny Chesney. It was the longest two minutes of my life. It's not a long song, but man it seemed to drag on. At the time I didn't know it, but I was shifting my weight so much in nervousness that my uh..cheeks were wiggling the whole time.

The vows were perfect.

Wade and Brenna sang "You Got What I Need" more beautifully than Joshua Radin sings it.

The certificate was signed.

And it was time for the ring ceremony.

As my groom placed the ring on my finger, it slipped. He dropped it. There was a chuckle in the crowd. He looked at me (AS IF I was going to pick it up for him!) then finally bent down to get it. He placed it on my finger, and as the preacher read the words for me to repeat he was standing there smiling, saying through clenched teeth, "Drop it. Drop it! Please drop it. Come on. Do it."

Wanting to make us  both feel better, I dropped his ring to the floor, knelt with a giggle and continued the ceremony. Mister gave Chloe her ring and said a little vow to her, and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The kiss was perfect.

And we were married :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Get Ready.....:Wedding Tale 5

After we got done at the beauty shop we headed for the church. I had brought everything along in the event that our hair appointments took a long time, but we were in and out in a jiffy.

It must have been 11:30 when we got to the church. If not a little earlier. It was just Chloe, Jamie and me. We toted our dresses and other necessities inside. We made some final adjustments to the church decorations and went over our verbal check-lists of "did you remember to," and "who is taking care of," and "what if we," before finally settling in the "bridal room" (it is actually the church nursery.

It seemed like an eternity waiting for my mom and other family/friends to show up, but we chatted away the time, did our make-up, and laughed like we always do. We'd had such a fun weekend together, as always, and it was finally time for the big event.

There was plenty to do. Lots of pictures to take and memories to make.

My MOH and best friend. We make anything fun!

*whispers* I was starting to get a little excited...

A mom and daughter moment if there ever was one <3

3 Generations

Chloe: Nana, take my socks off!
Nana: Ok baby.
Me: Mom. Seriously? She can take her own socks off.....

Zipping up and ready to go!


Zipping up my other girl.

Tiny toes

All all that's left to do is wait.
We ginally got everyone ready and slowly but surely they all trickled out of the room, leaving just me. It was about that time Wade came knocking on the door, and if you haven't already read it, now is the time to read A Walk to Remember.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dog Whisperer?

We decided to take a family four-wheeler ride last night at sunset and appreciate the cooler weather, greening grass, and animals moving about the field. Our new English Bulldog puppy, Rocky, was outside with the "big dogs" when we decided to take off.

We don't normally leave Rocky unattended, as he is still learning boundaries and is becoming ever-more curious with each passing day. As we drove off, he sat down on the top step and watched as the other two dogs followed us on our journey.

A little worried, I asked Mister what he thought. Would Rocky try to follow us and get into danger, or would he stay put and wait for our return? He assured me Rocky would be ok, but our conversation worried little Chloe.

From between us she started confessing her concerns about Rocky.

"He'll be fine," we reassured her.

She leaned over the side and hollerd back toward Jessie the Cowdog who was right on our tail.

"JESSIE! JESSIE! You go back and baby-sit Rocky, ok? YOU go be in charge of him!" she hollered over the roaring motor and the crunching gravel.

"CHLOE!" I spoke loudly over the noise "Jessie doesn't understand English like that," I explianed.

She shook her head, leaned over toward Jessie again and said, "Woof! Woofwoofwoof! Woof woof!"

Nothing more was said.

But for the record, Jessie didn't go home ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

5QF: I hate love my brother, and other things

1. Do you have siblings and are you close with them?

I have a baby brother. And by baby I mean he's 26.

When we were growing up we didn't exactly get along. Maybe once in a while when we were forced to join forces at my grandma's house to pass the time, or with a baby-sitter we hated, but mostly we fought. And by fought I mean he said something mean to me and I said something mean back and we kept doing that until he'd had enough and chased me screaming through the house to my bedroom where I'd hold the door shut with all my 70lb might and he'd beat on it with a hockey stick until he either a) busted the door, b) got it open, or c) my mom intervened. In the event of scenario b, he would then beat on me until my mom intervened.

Then we grew up and I moved out and we were like hmmm...I kinda like you now.

And then I moved back home for a couple years and we were at it a more mature way this time. Like I'd say "potato wedgie" over and over again because it grossed him out that food was called wedgie, and he'd finally yell at me, go in his room, and slam his door leaving me to be chided by my mother.

Then I got married and left home for good and we were like oh yeah, remember how I kinda liked you once? Yeah.

And now we're close. Close as in I don't pry into his life and he doesn't pry into mine, but we talk when we want to and send each other hilarious texts at family get-togethers. Close like we want each other to be happy and support each other in whatever it is that makes us that way. Close like we don't say I told you so, or I wouldn't if I were you. Close like we have to bite our tongues to keep from laughing sometimes because we know what the other one is thinking. Close like I can laugh about it now when I see the broken jamb at my mom's house. :)

My brother and me on my wedding day

2. Would you rather be slightly UNDER weight or slightly OVER weight?


Next question!

3. What's your favorite State Fair food to splurge on?
I have to have a corndog.

And a funnel cake.

And it's not splurging if you just pick one, so I have to have both :)

4. What are your thoughts on your kid(s) going to school in a few weeks?
Now that I'm helping out with the family biz, I'm happy I won't have a sitter fee anymore. I'm excited that Chloe will get to see her friends again, have a schedule and structure again, and so proud that my baby girl is starting kindergarten.

Then I'm like WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY BABY is going to KINDERGARTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*wipes tears*

5. Pool or Ocean?
I love the ocean love love love, but even if I lived at the ocean I think I'd want a pool. You can't float in the ocean and that's what I love to do. Just float around on my raft. So I pick pool. Must include pool boy ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I was bombarded with a question just the other day that left me speechless. It made me quesion my life-direction and think on a deeper level than I've allowed myself to do in a long time. It rattled me to my core. Did I mention it came from my five year-old?

She sat in the kitchen while I was washing dishes and innocently asked, "So, whaddaya wanna be next, Mom?"

I turned my head toward her, my brow furrowed, and asked her what she meant.

"Well, you used to be a teacher, den you were a waitress, now you're a mama. Whaddaya wanna do on your next job?" she asked with curiosity in her eyes.

"I dunno," I said to her, and went back to my dishes. I felt a knot in my throat and the sting of impending tears. I didn't know what to think. I've been so busy living so happily in the moment, I haven't thought one bit about where to go from here.

I'm happy being at home, but with Chloe starting school full-time in the fall, I don't know where that leaves me. I could teach, but the thought of being back in the education environment with all its red tape and state-based rules makes me squirm. I love helping kids learn, but I don't want to be back in public school for the life of me.

I know what you're going to say. "Have a baby!" I'm not ruling it out entirely, but with every passing day my acceptable child-bearing years (for ME in MY opinion in MY life) are waning.

I have school debt from my first degree, so a second one isn't looking so attainable.

I'd like to dabble in psychology and sociology.

I'd like to work with pregnant women or new moms...but I don't have the nurse gift. You know, the one where blood and vaginas don't make you queasy. =/ Sorry mom.

So what now?

I'm still writing. And I still love it. Maybe when Chloe is in school all day I will devote more time to that and develop it more? I don't know.

That question left my head spinning, and it's yet to stop. It made me realize my own mortality. It made me realize I no longer have the luxury of being young and having my WHOLE blank-slate of a life ahead of me. I no longer have the luxury of "maybe in a few years..." 

Now that I have the life-experience, the trial-and-error, and a better idea of who I am, I don't know where to go or how to get there. So. What's next? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One, two Buckle my shoe...

It was January 16th, 1999. I had a fist-full of money and a full tank of gas (that cost me 10.00 btw) and I was on a mission. I had tossed the idea around in my head for a while, but now I knew what I had to do. I started up my Escort and hit the gas. I drove the 32 miles to the nearest Buckle. I parked out front, stuffed the cash in my pocket, and walked in the front door.

I wasn't prepared for what was about to happen.

I'd shopped at Maurices next-door since it opened. The Buckle had always been out of my price range, but I hadn't minded. I liked the clothes I found at Maurices. The sales ladies were helpful and made me feel comfortable.

As soon as I heard the bell ding when I opened the Buckle door I knew I was in another world. A toned, tan college-age guy greeted me with his sparkling smile.

"Hey there!" he said, as if he knew me already. I looked over my shoulder, unsure if he was talking to me.

"Hey," I said quietly.

Before I knew it he was holding me hostage in a dressing room tossing me Lucky jeans and shirts that were two sizes too small for my tall, lanky frame. All the while assuring me that color was *perfect* with my eyes, or that shirt flattered my body type. He flashed his pearly whites at me and nodded his head. I was more uncomfortable than I'd ever been, and wasn't sure how I was going to explain to him that I didnt' want any of it.

Quickly I checked the price on the jeans. Maybe they *did* make my butt look amazing. Nope. $95.00 was way out of my price range. I had 160.00 cash and I was going to need almost every penny.

"What do you want me to take to the register?" he pushed. I hated to tell him no, but I had no choice financially if I was going to complete my mission.

"Um, I don't think any of that is going to work for me today. I actually came in to look at shoes," I confessed, wrinkling up my nose.

"OK, cool. They're right over here. Let me know if you need a certain size," he said. I was afraid he'd follow me and try to take my shoes off for me, but he made his way back to the counter.

I saw them immediately. I'd coveted them for more than a month, and it was finally my time. I searched for an 8 in the style I liked and slipped them off the shelf. I was already familiar with the European sizes and didn't need a minute to try them on. Heck I'd been test-driving them for two-weeks.

I guess that's what started my obsession. For some reason I borrowed my friend's brother's Dr. Martens to wear to a basketball game one night. It was like test-driving a Porsche. A bad move on my part.

I never really bought into that whole idea that people liked you for your clothes. Boy was I wrong. I hadn't been donning the Docs for fifteen minutes when Mister Right-Now plopped down beside me.

"Nice Docs," he said sincerely.

"Thanks," I smiled back.

"They look good on ya." He clicked his tongue and moved over with his buddies. And I was sold.

He LIKED my shoes! They looked GOOD on me! I HAD to have those shoes. I had to.

I pulled the whole "I forgot" gig with the shoes for two weeks to buy me some time, and as soon as my birthday rolled around I returned them and made plans to purchase my own.

I never got the whole "new shoe" effect. No one noticed them because I'd been wearing them for two weeks. I couldn't brag about them, because I'd played the borrowed set as my own. I just went back to wearing them. Every day. I loved them like I've never loved a pair of shoes.

Twelve years later, I still have them. They're still in excellent shape, and they are the one pair of shoes I can fully justify spending that kind of money on.

If only they were still in style for someone other than construction workers....