Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Did It!!!

I did it!!! Thirty posts in 30 days! I can't believe it.

So I kept my promise and posted each day during the month of November. I decided to keep this blog going. It helps me free my brain and keeps me from having to repeat my stories a million times...

Thanks for putting up with me this month. The plan from now on is to post once a week. Sometimes I will post more, sometimes less. I will try to keep my rambling to a minimum.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nani Part 2

We lost her on Sunday, Mother's Day. I had to take a final the next day. Let me tell you how fun that was... or not. I could have postponed it. But I wanted to get it over with so I could have the rest of the week to deal with family stuff.

On Monday, I went with my parents to set up the arrangements. We put together the obituary and chose a casket... that was probably the most surreal experience of my life.

BB flew in Wednesday night. Thursday evening we had the visitation at my parents' church. Friday was the funeral. The whole thing just didn't seem real. I saw people I hadn't seen in years. I saw people I will probably never see again.

Lunch was served at the church afterwards. We sat around and told stories and relived memories for a good part of the afternoon. It was actually pretty nice.

It's been months but it's still not sinking in that she's gone. Little things remind me... I call my parents' and no one answers. I turn onto their street and she isn't sitting on the porch. Just this week I was putting together my list of Christmas gifts to buy... the list looks very short with out her on it.

I miss her.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Patience doesn't always pay off.

I am a scrapbooker. I love designing layouts and the cutting and pasting of pictures and embellishments to display the events in my life. There is a group that gets together once a month through my church and we crop for 6 or 12 hours depending on the month. There are also scrapbook stores that hold their own crops as well. I try to crop once or twice a month and I love it.

I am a perfectionist when it comes to my layouts. I want the titles and any other words on the page to be uniform and clean. I usually plan the layouts before hand and use my computer to type and print out captions and titles for the pictures I want to do before each crop. But that isn't always possible. I can use stickers and chip board letters to spell things out, but there are always so many left over that I can't use and it's frustrating to throw any of it away.

A couple ladies at the church get-together have die cutters and a Cricut machine I can use. But they are not always there every month and they don't always bring all of their supplies. So a lot of time I am suck organizing layouts and never getting anything put together. So I decided to purchase a Cricut machine for myself.

Now these machines are not cheap. The one I want is portable and runs anywhere from $200 to $250. I have seen them on sale for $189 down to $169. Last year, I found out after the fact, on Black Friday, a local discount store had them for $119. So all year I watched and waited. I saw the typical sale prices and had to keep telling myself to be patient and that they were bound to have a similar sale this year.

I was patient. I held back. I was so excited when Thanksgiving finally came and I could search the ads for my long awaited prize. And it wasn't there. What was there was the model that was twice as big as the one I wanted. Not nearly as portable, that model runs $250 to $300. It's down to $199 today. Still a good buy but not what I want.

So here I sit, eating my breakfast and bidding on the one I do want on e-bay. I could have done this a lot sooner and saved myself the aggravation. But that would have been too easy. And I guess I like to do things the hard way.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Merry Turkey Day!

Wishing you and your's a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We lost our grandmother on Mother's Day this year. This will be our first Holiday season without her.

So, here is the story: She was 94. According to my dad, she had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was only expected to live about another 6 years. That was 15 years ago. So we had been on borrowed time for a while.

Throughout 2007, she had been in and out of the hospital 3 or 4 times, each time to treat the fluid building on her lungs. The funny thing was, if you asked her, she would say she felt fine even if you could tell she was struggling to breathe. Her only complaint seemed to be her eyes. She was addicted to word search puzzles and she couldn't do them if her eyes were acting up that day. Breathe-schmeethe, she just wanted to do her puzzles!!!

Now, she was a sharp lady. She had her moments, according to my mom, when she could tell she was regressing a bit. But she was still with it. She took care of herself. No dementia or anything like that, so we were very lucky.

When she was admitted on May 9th, we all thought it was just another trip to treat the fluid. I worked my "fun job" on Saturday downtown and swung by to see her that evening when I got off. Again, she seemed to be struggling to breathe but when I asked her if she was having trouble, she said "no" and that she felt fine.

I gave her her Mother's Day card that night because I was supposed to spend Sunday with my husband's family and I wouldn't see her again until Monday when I returned to work at the hospital. My little brother and I had made her a coupon good for dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. I slipped it into her card and when she saw it, I told her we'd be going later that week after she got home. She didn't seem very excited and I thought that was a bit strange. Maybe she knew she wouldn't get to go.

So we had a nice chat and before I left, I asked her if she wanted me to bring her anything on Monday. Her response: "a puzzle book." I told her I would bring her one, that I loved her, and that I would call her the next day. I have her a hug and I left.

Early Sunday morning, my mom called and said we needed to get to the hospital. So I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and left for the 45 minute drive from my house to the hospital. I got there in 35 minutes.

When I got to her room in the ICU, I could tell she was already gone even though she still had vitals. They had her on an oxygen mask and the respiratory therapist was fiddling with the breathing machine. I recognized her from the NICU so I said hello. She looked surprised to see me and I explained that this was my grandmother. She apologized.

I beat my parents there so all I could do was sit and hold her hand. She kept trying to take the mask off and I kept telling her she had to leave it on. I knew they had been talking about a breathing tube and my parents had refused. They knew that if they made the decision to intubate, they would eventually have to make the decision to extubate and that would excruciating.

After what seemed like an eternity, my parents showed up. My mom took charge and asked them to remove the mask and put her back on the nasal oxygen. She told her that she was going to see Jesus really soon but I don't think she understood. I sat beside her and held her hand. I told her I loved her and watched her vitals.

We called my baby brother (BB) who we knew would not be able to get there and held the phone up to her ear so he could talk to her. We weren't sure if she even knew what was happening until we took the phone away. Then she said, "Tell (BB) I love him." Those were the last coherent words she spoke.

The time passed in a fog for me. Part of me wanted her to just go and not prolong the inevitable. Part of me wanted to sit with her forever. I knew her mind was pretty much gone. Her oxygenation levels were so low that there was no way she was really aware of what was happening.

As time passed, my mom would notice things that seemed to bother her and would ask for them to be removed. First it was the blood pressure cuff that automatically did it's thing every few minutes. Then it was the IVs and other tubes. Finally she was down to only the nasal cannula and the sensors that monitored her heart beat and pulse ox.

My little brother (LB) and SIL were on their way but they live an hour away and we didn't think they would make it. So at one point, we held the phone to her ear so he could say good bye as well.

So my mom and I sat there and held her hands and talked to her. My dad hung out in the background. He was probably in shock.

Finally, her heart rate slowed and then stopped. As soon as it hit zero, my mom and I were on our feet, pulling off the last of the sensors and cannula.

The nurses came in to clean her up and I stayed with them while my folks went to wait in the waiting room. One of the nurses I had known since I was 15 so it was nice to have a friend there helping take care of the end of life necessities.

When she was all cleaned up, I combed her hair. My parents came back in with LB, SIL, and a few close cousins. We chatted about the arrangements for a few minutes, gathered her belongings, and left. The last things I grabbed were the comb and her clipboard with the pen and half finished word search attached.

Having my brothers there would be the only thing I would have changed if I could. She went peacefully holding my mom's and my hands. She didn't suffer. She was aware of what was happening until the last 12 or so hours so that was a blessing.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I had dinner with my hubby tonight. It was nice. We went to a cheap pizza place we both like. We always end our meal there with a cone of soft serve ice cream. For whatever reason, he never eats the very bottom of the cone, he always gives it to me. He says it's because he doesn't like it but I think he knows it's my favorite part.

It's nice to just hang out with him. His job recently changed so we actually see each other almost every night of the work week. We are spending more time together now than we have our entire marriage. Its a little scary, though... we can only spend so much time together before we start arguing... Same goes for me and all my friends. :-)

But so far no arguments. Maybe we just really missed each other. Maybe we have learned which buttons not to push.

Regardless, I am enjoying our new-found time together. I hope he is, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008


So I am 2 days and 6 chapters into Twilight and I am hooked. I can hardly put it down to eat, sleep, and work.

It is a very easy read and is very much like the movie. A few minor characters were either left out or merged into one for the movie, but that's about it.

Unfortunately, the library did not carry the series so I had to break down and buy the book... it was only $9 at a local discount store so not too bad.

I also heard on the radio this morning that "the powers that be" got the go-ahead to make teh second book, New Moon, into a movie as well, so I have that to look forward to.

I am off to have dinner with a bunch of friends from church. See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


We started Bailey's new class tonight. I am pretty excited about the prospective tricks she is going to learn. It's clear that this is a step beyond the general obedience classes.

Today, we worked on "Crawl" and "Say Your Prayers". Crawl wasn't too bad but the praying one is going to be difficult. She has to put both paws up on a raised surface and bow her head. We have worked very hard with her to get her to keep her paws on the ground so this is gonna take some work.

We weighed her today as well. A few weeks ago, she was 79.3. Today, 78.8. We recently switched her to the adult dog food from the puppy formula so that may have something to do with it. I will be interested to see where she finally levels off.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


One of the things I inherited from my mother is the love of reading. From the time I was very young, I remember my mom reading to me. Picture books with few words when I was really young and chapter books as I got older.

I am a fan of fiction. After all the books I had to read for school, reading to learn or gain information is out. I read for pleasure, to escape, to be entertained.

One of the things I really like to do is read books that are made into movies. The first one was The Clan of the Cave Bear. I watched the movie at a friend's house and when I learned it was a based on a book, I asked my grandmother to buy it for me on our next trip to the mall. I was young and it was huge so my mom read it to me, editing out the graphic violence that she felt was not appropriate. And we fell in love with Jean Auel together. I've read the series 6 or 8 times. I'm sure my mom has read it more.

When the Harry Potter books came out, I had to see what all the fuss was about. I read them and loved them and have read them a few times as well... about when the next movie is about to come out... so I will be due again soon since The Half Blood Prince is due in theaters in July...

Last night, my husband and I went to see Twilight. With all the talk about that series and the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I, again, had to see what all the commotion was about. So, I watched a bunch of True Blood episodes and made my husband take me to see Twilight. I am still not sure what all the fuss is about with True Blood, but Twilight was pretty good.

So, because its almost Christmas, I am off to the library to check out the book. I felt there were a lot of questions left unanswered and I am interested to see what was left out of the movie.

Friday, November 21, 2008


We lost our grandmother on Mother's Day this year. I have been meaning to post about it but I have not had the time to devote that I feel that post deserves. And, I have been avoiding it... I haven't cried in a while and I'd like to keep it that way. The holidays are going to be difficult enough this year as it is without adding to it...

Last year we had just lost Gizmo. This year will be our first without Nani.

Maybe next year we'll get a break.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I took a quick run through a couple of malls today to see what was out there and hopefully get a few gift ideas in the process. I was not very impressed. But I did find a few things for myself...

I live in a pair of knee-high black boots. They have a pointy toe and a 2 1/2 inch heal. I have had them for a few years but they still look great. Except just last weekend I noticed that the heal is worn down to the nail on both of them :-(

So I went browsing and found a pair I liked... but they are more than I normally would spend. Not an outrageous amount or anything, we're talking about less than $100, but still.

I also found a purse I just love!!! I have fallen in love with a designer but I can't bring myself to pay that much for a purse... again, we are still talking about less than $100, but I find it hard to part with that amount of money for myself this time of year...

I asked everyone today to send me their wish lists so I can get started on my holiday shopping... I hope they all get back to me soon before I lose all self control...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Party Hardy

We had a Halloween Bon Fire and weenie roast back in mid October. We invited about 100 people, which included most of the nursery staff at 2 hospitals, a bunch of my husband's co-workers, half of the people we invited to our wedding, and all the neighbors on our block. We expected about 40-50 people; about 30 showed up.

We set up a heater on our back porch and had the bon fire going out back for those who wanted to hang outside. We also had a bunch of camping chairs set up in our great room for those who preferred to stay inside.

My husband worked really hard on the decorations. We spent almost $200 last year on all the clearance items and I don't even want to think about what he spent this year on the finishing touches. Our backyard was turned into a graveyard with headstones and a fog machine. We turned our pool table into a tomb with cob webs hanging from the lamps above it and a skeleton laid out underneath. We had a giant spider web and spider hanging from the track lighting and plastic wall hangings that made the room look like a castle dungeon. And outside, all along the driveway, we had chalk outlines of bodies complete with pools of blood and all. I am kicking myself now for not taking enough pictures.

The highlight of the evening was when a bunch of people, including my husband, decided to play on our fire pole.

Background: the people who lived in our house before us had an authentic fire pole installed the ran from the loft above to the bar below in our great room. There is a little door that opens from the loft so you can slide down the pole just like a fireman.

So a bunch of people decided it would be a good idea to go down the pole. Which was fine until some genius decided to go down upside down. They spotted each other, though, so it ended up being pretty entertaining.

And then one guy went down without a spotter. He hit the terracotta tile floor with a loud bang. Then he just crumpled at the foot of the pole. I thought he broke his neck. He laid there for what seemed like forever before he started to stir. I am sure it was only a few seconds because if it had been longer we would have had time to shake off the shock and run to his aid. So he righted himself and was laughing as he did so we all knew he was alright. Later he said he heard a loud bang and thought "what the heck was that?" a moment before the pain hit him...

He ended up being fine and I think everyone had a fun time. My husband is already planning the changes for next year. So if you know me personally, keep your Saturdays in mid October free...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Giving Back

My husband has had a love of hockey since he was a kid. Where he grew up, you either ran with the gangs or you hung at the "ice terrace" so he chose the latter.

And he is great with kids. When we first started dating, I baby sat a lot. He would go with me and play with the kids, keeping them busy, while I got dinner ready and cleaned up after the kids. We made a great team.

So I don't know why it surprised me when my husband started coaching a little league hockey team. A large indoor ice complex was built on the southern part of the metro area a few years ago and since then the little leagues have exploded. And when a couple buddies asked him to help out, he agreed.

I can't wait to go watch a game!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Weekend

I am exhausted.

I nannied all weekend and they wore me out. I got them off the bus on Thursday afternoon and didn't get home til almost 8 last night.

Friday they went to school and I went to work for a while, then to an interview... let's hope they like me more than the other 2 candidates. Friday night I let them stay up as late as they wanted which meant about 10:15 after we read s bunch of books.

Saturday we went to a free arts and crafts place and had lunch at a place that has a train deliver your food. Then we walked around the mall both places were attached to and played in the toy stores for a while before heading home.

Again, I let them stay up late and we all passed out around 10:00. Later that night, the little boy came into his parents' room where I was sleeping and crawled in to cuddle with me... I fell back asleep and woke up again when I heard more footsteps headed toward the room. I figured it was the little girl coming to join us... but it was a grown man who walked in the door!

Their parents had come home early. Dad crawled in bed on the other side of the little boy but there was no sign of mom. So, a bit creeped out, I got up to look for her. When I found her, she explained that their office had been broken into the night before. They had gotten in town around 3 that afternoon and had dealt with the police most of the afternoon and evening before going out for drinks with friends. They had intended to stay at a friend's house that night but after a few too many drinks, they decided to just get a ride home...

They ended up wanting me to stay all day Sunday so I could take the kids to a local pizza place that had an arcade attached. They had to go back to the office to meet with a computer guy to figure out if any protected information had been downloaded within the last 48 hours.

So it was almost 8 pm before I got home...

I need another weekend!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Training

I have decided to continue with Bailey's training. She graduated from the Advanced Class in August and since then we have really slacked off... she is still very well behaved and still knows a bunch of commands but I want more.

The goal is to get involved with a local therapy dog group. To take part in the program I am aiming for (children and teens in a psychological rehabilitation center), she will need to know a few tricks. She "dies" when we shout "BANG!" (not appropriate for the target audience) and can "pound it" when we offer her a fist. But we need more...

So we start next Sunday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Financial Peace

If you have not heard of Dave Ramsey, you must be living under a rock. He is a syndicated radio guy who talks about money management and budgeting. Check out for more info.

There is a class he offers called Financial Peace University. You can take it through any small community group. When I heard it was being offered at my church, I signed up.

I am about halfway through it and I think it's great. The lessons are funny and informative and I learn something new every week. I really liked the lessons about insurance and investments.

His site offers personalized budgets that help you see where your money goes and a program that calculates your debt-free date. Most folks find this empowering... my date was set sometime in 2023 due to my enormous amounts of student loans so it wasn't so empowering for me...

But overall I really like it... it gives me hope...

To quote the man himself, I am hoping it teaches me to "live like no one else so I can LIVE like no one else."

Friday, November 14, 2008


So during the concert between songs, one of the members told about the differences between touring now and the tour they did in 1990. Like how the fans were either sporting pregnant bellies or drinking beer. Some more than others...

There were some rowdy drunk girls in front of the people next to us. They kept leaving to get more beer and spilling half of what they brought back on the people in front of and next to them. The ladies in front of us actually complained to the ushers 3 times before they finally did anything about it. And when the girls were being escorted out (to clapping from those of us around them), one of them tossed what was left of a beer on one of the ladies who complained.

Later I thanked one of the ladies in front of us. She said, with the breath of an over-filled ash tray, "I just didn't want to go home to my kids smelling like beer."

I guess we all have our own priorities...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Young Love

I first fell in love with the group we went to see Tuesday night when I was 12 1/2. I went to their concert when I was 14. I paid $21 for the ticket then. It seems the only thing that has changed in the 18 years since they were here last is the ticket price. But the show they put on was worth every cent of $70 I paid this time around.

I was excited but I didn't realize how much until they actually took the stage. And when they did, I was transported back in time and I was 14 again. I screamed and sang along to all the old songs and never once thought about putting in the ear plugs I had tucked away in my purse (The hearing health care provider in me be damned!)

The girls I went with made it even more fun. We had a fabulous time and the show was amazing! The pyrotechnics and the fog machines and the costume changes were fantastic. It was worth every penny.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

Guess who turned one year old today...

I spent the day at home recovering from the concert I attended last night. I had not had a day off to do nothing in a long time...

So I did stuff around the house all day. I finished taking down the decorations from Halloween, lugging 5 full totes out to our garage. I did 5 loads of laundry, actually putting everything away which never happens. I changed the sheets and pulled out the electric blanket. I packed for my weekend since I leave tomorrow straight from work to go nanny for a friend who is going to Vegas for some much needed fun. I emptied and reorganized my purse. I learned to use a new camera. I piled firewood outside our front door so we don't have to walk out into the driveway every time we need a log. And I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher.

I am the least domestic person I know but if I was actually a stay-at-home wife, I could really be a great homemaker. Too bad I have to work... I am amazed at the stuff I got accomplished today!

Anyway, Happy Birthday Bailey Grace! Momma loves you...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Tonight I am going to a concert with a few girl friends. It's a group we were all crazy about as young teens who are attempting to make a come-back.

When I heard they were coming, I asked one of my friends if she wanted to go. When we were 14, I got to go to the concert when they were here but she had been very ill and missed it. She said no so I just forgot about it.

A week later she calls me. "I was flipping channels and came across their new video. All of a sudden I was 14 again!" So we got tickets.

So I am off! Tell you about it tomorrow!

Monday, November 10, 2008






I am 1/3 into this and already I have run out of things to talk about. I have a few more stroies to tell but I am just not feeling them for today.

It's Monday... the first day of my busiest week outside of work ever. Tonight, my cell group from church meets. It only meets 2 times a month and the last meeting was canceled due to illness so I don't really want to miss this one. Tomorrow night, I am going to a concert with a few girl friends... should be fun. Wednesday night I am in a class at church. It's Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and I will not miss that. Thursday night, I begin a weekend of nannying fun... I will surely have some funny stories to tell about that.

So I am sorry I am just not feeling the creative juices needed to tell all the stories that need to be told... I will try harder tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


We lost our little Gizmo one year ago today. I can't believe its been that long. After we lost her, she used to visit me in my dreams a lot. It's been a long time but she showed up there again last night.

It was a huge two-story dog park, kinda like a mall with 2 levels where the 2nd story overlooks the first but with real trees and real grass. I was up on the second story looking down onto the first when I saw her running determined down the length of the park. I rushed along the 2nd story and down the stairs at the end of the floor. When I got to the bottom, she ran across my path and I scooped her up and hugged her. My husband walked up to us but he didn't believe it was her. I showed him her collar and bell and he said, "It is her!"

We loved on her for a bit but she did not seem to be anywhere near as interested in us as we were with her. It was like she couldn't wait to be let back down so she could be on her way.

So we said our good-byes and let her go. She ran off like she'd never been interrupted.

Now I am not saying I know anything about dreams or the afterlife of pets, but I can't help but think that the dream was her way of telling me that she is happy where she is now. That she has moved on and so should we.

I still miss her and I am sure my husband does too. But the pain has faded. She still holds a very special place in our hearts. She will never be forgotten.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

NIght Out

Last night my husband and I went out on a date. We had tickets to see a popular comic at a large venue in the city and the plan was to go to dinner before hand.

Dinner was great. Then we drove downtown. When we got there, the place looked deserted but it looked like folks were parking in the lot adjacent to the venue. When we pulled into the lot we were approached by a parking attendant. He told us the show had been canceled and that there was no reschedule date. We were to return our tickets to the place of purchase for a refund.

We were so upset. We decided to call around to the local comedy clubs to see if anyone was playing. All we found were folks we never heard of, expensive tickets, and/or show times that would not allow us to get there in time. Disappointed, we decided to just go to a movie.

We saw Role Models with Paul Rudd and Sean Something (Stifler from American Pie). It was hilarious! I don't remember when I laughed that hard. The little kid was a riot! Walking out, I told my husband that was how his kid was bound to act. His response: "Yeah, we'll probably spend a lot of time up at the school..." We had a good giggle over that as well.

We decided to stop off at a local bar for a drink before we went home. While we were there, I noticed a bowling video game in a corner and challenged him to a game. We ended up playing 4 because I beat the pants off him and he kept wanting a rematch.

So even though the night did not go according to our plan, we had a great time. And I was keeping up on my vow to play more often :-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hubby's Hobbies

Although this happened many months ago, I saved the story just for when I needed a post and could not think of anything good to write. Some of you have already heard the story, but most of you have not. Please enjoy:

One random Friday night, my husband went out with a buddy to a race track... while he was gone, we lost power in the neighborhood... not good when you have a 450 gallon saltwater fish tank that needs a functioning pump to survive. Luckily, the power came back on soon enough as to not do any damage.

A few hours later, as I am about to step into the shower, I hear water running even though I haven't turned it on yet. I decided to investigate. To my horror, I discovered the source of the sound was a waterfall splattering onto the living room floor... The tank was overflowing!!!!

I quickly sent my husband a text message (since he couldn't hear me at the races) to tell him what was happening while I frantically searched for the outlet to unplug the malfunctioning pump and stop the deluge... said outlet is hidden behind the wall the tank is built into. There are 4 power strips behind the wall with about 4 or 5 plugs in each so I started flipping switches until I heard the water stop... all the while water was pouring out of the tank (and all over me) and I just prayed that I didn't get electricuted...

Meanwhile, I get a text from my husband that says "Unplug it from the wall"... hmm, didn't think of that :-{

After all was said and done, I had a pool of water that stretched from the tank to under the living room furniture... about 100 square feet... thank God for tile floors.

So every dry towel in the house later (except the one I saved for the shower I still hadn't made it into) I realize that all the blinds in the living room were still open... the lights inside were on... it was dark outside... and since I was about to step into the shower when the fiasco began, I was still in nothing but underwear and flip-flops...

I hope the neighbors enjoyed the show...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fairy Tale

I mentioned a few posts ago that although I knew my husband from high school, we had never dated. Today I will tell the story.

I was a sophomore. It was fall and I had just ended a year long relationship with a boy who emotionally abused me. I was one of the smart kids who clung to the fringes of the "in" crowd by my fingernails. Although I was not a part of it, I had a friend or two who were part of that longed-for clique.

Shortly after the school year began, I crossed paths with the dreamiest boy I had ever seen in real life. Blonde, blue eyes, and a crooked, mischievous smile that could melt even the coolest of hearts. He was a senior, on the football team, and he was a part of the "in" crowd.

I asked around and learned he was dating a girl I had despised since 6th grade (very stuck up without the looks to back her up) and I could not believe it. She was the younger sister of one of the boys in the "in" crowd although she herself was on the fringes with me. I never in a million years would have believed I had a chance with the popular guy so I just admired him from afar.

Early that winter, I found out he was going to play baseball on our high school team. The team was in need of a score keeper so I jumped at the chance to be close to him even if he didn't know I existed.

That spring during one of the games, I started chatting with a guy who was more my league and we ended up dating of and on for the next 3 years. He knew I had a crush on the other guy but he, like myself, never thought anything would come of it.

Early that summer, I got a job at a local pizza place as a hostess. And to my surprise, my crush was working in the kitchen! So I found reasons to talk to him when ever I could. Still never believing anything would ever happen between us. We became the "co-worker" friends who speak and get along well on the job but never speak outside of work. Eventually, he moved on and so did I.

Over the next 7 years, we ran into each other twice. Both times, he was with a girl, but both times he said "hi" and we made small talk for a few minutes before moving on.

Then, in late 2001, I ran into him again. It was the Saturday before Christmas. I had been out dancing the night before and had stayed with a friend because I had too much to drink. When I woke up and was headed home the next morning, my friend called me and begged me to bring her some food. She was working at a jewelery store at a mall on that side of town and they were too busy for her to take a lunch. So my hair plastered to my skull (due to the cowboy hat I wore and sweated profusely in the night before), raccoon eyes, glittery club shirt and all I headed to her rescue. Although I very clearly had not made it home from the night before, I was on the other side of town and did not think I would run into anyone I knew.

I was not 10 steps into the mall when I noticed my high school crush walking toward me. I knew I looked like hell but there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to say "hi". He was polite and friendly and walked with me to the place my friend was working. He was just as dreamy then as he had been when we were in school.

We walked back to the entrance chatting and then he walked me to my car. I gave him my number, never thinking I would hear from him again. We said our "good-byes" and I left.

He called the next day. We went to a movie and then to dinner. We talked about all kinds of stuff and had a really good time. Our second date was the Christmas Eve service at my parents' church. As we walked in, he confessed, "I haven't been to church in a long time. I hope the building doesn't fall down."

Two months later we were looking at rings. Two months after that, we were engaged. A year later, 4 days after my oral exam for my Master's Degree, we were married.

That was 5 1/2 years ago. This Christmas we will have been together 7 years... we will be married 6 years in May.

He still doesn't believe that I had a crush on him. A few years ago, we were tailgating at a college football game with my mom and baby brother (BB). BB asked how we got together so I told him the story. My mom overheard. Shocked, she said to my husband, "You were why she joined the baseball team? I knew there was a boy involved but I never knew who!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quality Time

With all the hours I've been putting in lately, it has been really hard to find time to hang with my husband and Bailey. My hasband and I did have dinner together twice last week though and we even went to the movies. That was really nice.

But poor Bailey has really been neglected. We used to go to the dog park 2-3 times a week. Now we are lucky if we get there once a week. Although my husband has been home a lot more than me, he is not a dog park kinda guy. Now don't get me wrong, he plays with her a lot. She bounds around the yard while he mows or fiddles in the garage and when they play with each other, they really wear each other out. But time with Mom has been scarce.

So last night, we played. I left work early so there would be enough daylight to spend an hour at the dog park and she had a blast. You could tell how excited she was when we turned down the street. I thought she was gonna wiggle right out of her skin.

After she played, we came home and she got her first bath in what seemed like forever but was really probably 6 weeks or so (a really long time considering she used to get a bath once a week.) Then we cuddled on the couch and watched Finding Nemo together. No there are no kiddos in the house, I just like the movie and Monday's suck as far as TV is concerned.

Quality time with Mom rocks!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Now I am not the most politically informed person but I am adamant about exercising my right to vote in every election and on every issue. Too many people sacrificed too much for that right for me not to take advantage of the privilege.

I can honestly say, though, that I have no idea which presidential candidate I will cast my vote for. I am totally torn. When I weigh all the issues, it comes up as a draw... I hate all the negative ads and the phone calls. I hate having to choose between the lesser of 2 evils.

I wish there was a decent Independent candidate who could shake this country up. When I was in college, I used to think that eventually, enough people would decide they had had enough and vote for the Independent. Then the US could get a complete overhaul. But now I am realistic enough to see that if I voted that way, I was just tossing my vote away.

So still no solution. I know it is my responsibility to educate myself so that I can make an informed decision. But I just don't have the time or the desire to do so. My husband is a talk-radio addict so he is pretty informed. Since we've been married, I have been deferring to him. He explains the issues so that I can see how they will effect us personally. I typically ask him how he thinks I should vote and then follow through with his suggestions.

But this time I am not sure.

Please remember to vote today no matter what or who for.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our "Little" Girl

Bailey and I paid a visit to the place where we did all her training yesterday. I had been there to purchase food a couple of times since Bailey's advanced class graduation in August, but she had not been.

Everyone was so happy to see her. She had pretty good manners considering we hadn't been to the dog park first to run off some energy. And we hit a milestone: we purchased her first bag of adult formula dog food.

Since we hadn't been there together since August, she had not been weighed since then. She was 73+ pounds the last time she was weighed. I knew she had grown some since then but I had no idea how much. She won't be a year until November 12th so I was sure she still had some growing left to do. When she got on the scale, I could not believe what it read. Our "little" girl weighed in at 79.3 pounds!!!

And my husband swore he didn't think she would hit 80 pounds...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Play Time

I spent Saturday afternoon at the funnest birthday party I have attended in a long time.

The husband of a friend of mine from church turned 30 on 10/30 so they had a party for him Saturday afternoon. The thing is that he is the very definition of the phrase "a kid at heart" so they had a party that was suitable for a 10 year old.

They had a cook-out, cake, presents meant for a ten-year-old, a neighborhood scavenger hunt that we did in teams (girls against boys, of course), and a pinata. I have not had that much fun since I can remember. When my husband turned 30 four years ago, I planned a surprise party for him. I was fun, but nothing like this.

It got me thinking about some of the fun things we used to do as kids that we only do sparingly as adults, like going to amusement parks, miniature golf, bowling, and going to the zoo. Why don't we do these thing more often? And I am talking about doing this stuff as a couple or on a date, not with kiddos in tow.

We work so hard that when we finally get a day off, we spend it working on the house or just relaxing on the couch. But I think it's important to work a little "play" into our lives, too.

I think I am going to make a real effort to "play" more often. I hope my husband is up for the fun...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Family Dynamic

I tend to talk a lot about my family so I thought I would give those of you who don't know me a little background.

I have been married for about 5 1/2 years. Although I knew my husband when we were in high school, we never dated. But that's a story for another post so I'll just say that we are 2 years apart in age and were married when we were 26 and 28 years old.

For those of you who do not know, my baby brother (BB) is 22 and is a Marine serving in Iraq. I will refer to him as my BB for the duration of this blog due to the fact that I also have a little brother (LB) who is between us in age. He is married and he and his wife are expecting their first child in March. They live in a city about an hour away from the home we grew up in, and where our parents still live.

Growing up, we had a charmed existence. Dad worked, Mom stayed home, and Nani (our paternal grandmother) lived with us. So we were a 2 income family in a 3 parent home. Nani worked at a restaurant in the evenings so my parents had time to themselves after dinner before us kiddos came along.

We recently lost Nani. She passed away on Mother's Day this year. That's also a story for another post.

My folks still live in the house we grew up in. Mom is slowly going through things, though. She is preparing for the day when they do decide to put the house on the market, which I can foresee happening in the next few years.

My husband's family also lives fairly close. His grandmother lives pretty close to my parents. His mom and step dad live about halfway between us and my parents. It's really nice having everyone so close. We are very lucky.

I sometimes wonder what I did to deserve such a great family. My folks, although we have our differences, are very supportive and sacrificed a lot for me. My in-laws are almost too good to be true. I enjoy the holidays with my side of the family playing cards and board games together. And I am content hanging out with my MIL doing a puzzle or just watching the dogs play.

I may not know why I have been so blessed but I make sure I thank God for these blessings every time I pray.