Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year Ahead . . .

2009 is upon us! I am shocked at how quickly 2008 passed by. It was a busy and eventful year for our family. I'm sure 2009 will be as well.

I love the beginning of the new year. It's like a fresh start each year and I always look forward to it. I view the beginning of the school year the same way. This year my focus is on getting healthy and fit again. Now that I am mostly recovered from surgery, I plan on working out again. Until I had Brendan, I worked out at 5 am each weekday. I loved it. After he was born, I was tired and worn out so I slacked off - big time. Well, no more. I am determined to get myself in better shape. I may never be back to my old size or former fitness level, but I will be better than I am now. I am looking foward to getting on the treadmill and not having my shoulders ache for days afterwards (that surgery has done miracles for my back/shoulders, by the way). It all begins on Friday. Can't wait.

Tonight we are celebrating the New Year with the kids. We cheat a little though. Each year, the Time's Square show is played live (with the ball dropping at 10 pm local time), then replayed so it drops at midnight local time. We always watch it "live" with the kids. They celebrate by popping poppers, blowing horns, throwing confetti, etc. at 10 pm. Then we put them to bed. One day they'll realize what we're doing, but until then I'm going to enjoy not having to keep them up until midnight.

I made a bunch of cards yesterday. I used up a ton of scraps and got a couple of dozen cards cranked out. I feel like I accomplished so much. I haven't done much scrapbooking since my surgery 8 weeks ago (can you believe it's been that long already?). It felt good to get something done.

I also re-organized Katie's and Brendan's rooms. That was a huge undertaking. Tom helped with Brendan's, but I did Katie's by myself. I only have the closet left to finish, but I couldn't reach up into it yet. Since my surgery, my arms don't go all the way above my head yet (scars reach from the middle of my chest all the way to the back of my underarm on each side so it is still tight). Tom will help me finish her closet - then I'll be done! Whew!

Well, have a wonderful New Year's Eve. Enjoy this time of new beginnings. Cherish each moment with your loved ones. 2009 is going to be great!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Win some great Cosmo Cricket!

Leah is giving away some fab Cosmo Cricket in a drawing next month. You MUST go check out her blog and leave a comment in order to be entered into her drawing. Her linkety link link is on the right side of my blog (she is one of my faves), or click here. I'd wish you luck in the drawing, but I am soooooo hoping to win!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I am a Mother

I cannot believe that Christmas is less than a week away already. This past couple of months have absolutely flown by. I'm almost ready for the big day. Almost.

Tom brought the stomach flu home from work last week. Then Brendan caught it. Now I have it. Hopefully we'll be all healthy before Christmas Eve. Today is Brendan's Christmas Party at school. Tom will have to fill in as "Room Mom" today because I will not be able to attend. I am so excited for Christmas Break though. I live for breaks from school. I love having my children home with me - just hanging out and spending time together. We've been enjoying the various Christmas shows on TV the past couple of weeks. I record them on my Tivo and we cuddle up in my bed and watch them after dinner. It is always so fun to watch my children enjoying the same programs I watched as a child.

Speaking of children (and being a mom, and all that that entails), I read the best book last night by Jane Clayson Johnson. You may remember her as a host of the CBS Early Show. She left her job several years ago to become a wife and mother. She left a very lucrative TV contract sitting on the table in order to do this. She is my new hero. Her book is titled, "I am a Mother". It is so inspirational. The world told her she was making a huge mistake but she knew where her heart was. She talks about how motherhood isn't valued as it should be. In social settings, when people ask "what do you do" we usually reply, "Oh, I'm just a mom". We should be PROUD of our calling as a mother. We should be honored with the trust God has placed in us by sharing these little people with us. He is entrusting them into our care and so many of us feel it isn't something to be honored and revered. I am so grateful for each of my children. I take my responsibility to them very seriously. I love watching them grow and change and learn. There will always be time to get my career back on track, but this time in their lives is so fleeting. I want to cherish each and every moment with them.

A year or two ago I received one of those forwarded Q&A email things where it asked what my favorite job that I had held was and I replied "being a mom". Someone (a mother herself) responded, "Is that even a job?". My thought? If you do it right it is. I put everything I have into being a good wife and mother. And my family is benefiting because of it. I'm not saying that I don't have outside interests or friendships of my own - but 99% of my energy is given to my family. This has been a huge blessing for us. There was a time (not too long ago) where my heart was divided between my job outside the home and my sweet Brendan. I worked 50 hours/week and didn't have much left to give him or Tom. I longed to be at home caring for my son and husband, but felt I would be letting myself down if I did so. When Sean and Marc were small, I was not "allowed" to work outside the home (and after devoting myself to our family for 9 years, I found myself divorced, broke, uneducated and unemployed). I was determined never to be financially dependent upon another man again so I worked hard, earned my degree, and threw myself into my job. I felt I needed to work in order to feel secure. After Brendan was born, slowly (I am not always a quick learner) I realized that for this season of my life, I am going to focus on following my heart. My heart led me here. Home. I've honestly never been more content.

I am not putting down people who choose to work outside the home. If that is where their hearts lead them, they should be there. I am just saying that all women should be proud of their jobs - whether in the home or in the workplace. I am just sad that so many people look down on women who choose to give up a career, salary, validation, etc. in order to care for their children. There is honor in giving yourself to others. I am a mom, but I am proud to say that I am a mother. I am proud of my choice to put my plans/dreams/goals on hold in order to devote myself to my family. I am grateful that we women have a choice.

Here are some pictures of my sweet children - wouldn't you want to be there 24/7, too?
Katie in front of the Christmas tree before her school program:

Katie and her "gingerbreads cookies". She begged me for these for a couple of weeks.

Sean and Brendan in their Bronco garb before the game on 12/7. They were so excited to go to the game that day.

Tom and Brendan at the Broncos v. Chiefs game on 12/7.

Katie on the day she earned her tutu. She worked very hard learning all of her foot positions in order to get her tutu. It was an exciting day for her.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

OK. So I've been a bad blogger as of late so I thought I'd better update everyone on things here:

I'm still trying to recover from surgery. I've had some internal stitches fail and one part of my right incision re-opened. They are watching it, but it seems fine right now. The dr. thought they might have to re-stitch it, but so far I've been lucky and haven't had to do that. Other than that, I feel great - and I think I look so much better than I did before. Tom bought me a bunch of new shirts because my old ones were too big. I am really happy I did it - even with all of the complications I've had.

Brendan turned 9 on Saturday. I made him his favorite breakfast (cinnamon rolls and bacon - not very healthy, I know). We let him open his gifts in the morning because we were going to be busy for most of the day. We went to Katie's ballet program downtown at the Depot in the afternoon. Then we took him to dinner - anywhere he wanted to go - and he chose..... Godfather's Pizza. Not for the pizza - but for the video games. It was pretty funny. Then we went to see some Christmas lights and came home for cake and ice cream.

Brendan has to go get his top braces on this morning. He isn't looking forward to it at all. After we're done with that, I need to take him to get his birthday treats for school, the drop him off at school, then go to my dr. appt. I have one today and one on Thursday. This is going to be a super busy week.

The kids have one more week of school before Christmas break. I am very excited to have them home for a couple of weeks. I need to get some Cheeseballs made to deliver to the neighbors. Usually I do cookies, but they are just too labor intensive for me to undertake this year. I need to finish a couple of Christmas gifts, print our Christmas letter, address and mail our cards, wrap a BUNCH of gifts, and take time to enjoy the holiday spirit. :o)

Tom is doing well. He'll be in town for the next couple of days, then in Ft. Collins the remainder of the week. He has been such a good care-giver to me since the surgery. I can't even begin to explain how much I appreciate him. He is amazing.

Well, I think that is all that has gone one lately. Take care and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, B-Man.

Today is Brendan's 9th birthday. I cannot believe how much he is growing. He is still the sweetest boy I've ever met - so caring and kind. He is also quiet and shy. And he likes to hid out in his cave (bedroom) all the time.

Happy Birthday, Big Guy! Your mom adores you.

Friday, November 28, 2008

'Tis the Season

Christmastime is here! I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the entire year. I love Christmas music and Christmas trees and Christmas lights and Christmas cookies and wrapping gifts, etc., etc., etc.

However, I hate Christmas shopping. I cannot stand the crowds of rude people in the stores. I don't like how commercial it all is these days. We remedied this with our kids several years ago. They are allowed to ask Santa for 3 gifts. Only 3 gifts. That is all Santa brings. Here is our reasoning: Christ received 3 gifts for his birth (gold, francensense and myrrh). Why should they receive more than HE did for HIS birthday? It works, too. Quite well. Of course they always ask why so many other kids receive more than 3 gifts - and we explained that it is OUR rule and we told Santa that is how we want him to do it at our house. A few years ago, Brendan really wanted 4 things and he just could not narrow his list to 3. He looked at me and asked "Why weren't there FOUR wisemen?". We stuck the 4th gift in his stocking (it was a minor item). Yes, I am a sap. But they still get the meaning and understand. Last week Katie informed us that she gets 4 gifts this year because she's a big girl now. I'm not caving this time. :o)

We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving yesterday. Uncle Don came up from Ft. Collins so we ate early (he doesn't like to drive home in the dark). Our dear friend, Paul, was going to come over, but wasn't feeling up to it. Paul is undergoing Chemotherapy and is suffering from some side effects. Tom and I took dinner to him yesterday afternoon though. Just in case he was able to eat later. I watched the parade on TV (well, part of it - I was busy cooking). Katie loved the Rockettes and danced with them in my bedroom. It was so cute!!!!!! Brendan hid in his cave until dinnertime. Tom cleaned and helped cook (well, he prepped the turkey and popped it into the oven).

Last night I was so tired, I fell asleep before 9 pm. Then I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep (which is why I'm blogging at 4:30). This would be an ideal schedule if I enjoyed Black Friday Shopping, but I don't (see above paragraph). I did too much yesterday so I plan on relaxing on the couch (or in bed) all day today.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rash 2 - Marti 0

I have yet another rash in my incisions. I am allergic to everything, I swear. The nurse decided that putting some Bacitracin ointment on my incisions would make them feel better after the stitch removal on Friday. WRONG. I am absolutely miserable right now!!!!!!!!!!! I go in for a recheck tomorrow so they'll get a good look at my wounds again. I am having trouble with some of the internal stitches popping out so they need to clip those, too.

I keep telling myself that this will be worth the pain and trouble. I know it will. My back already feels so much better. But all of this itching is driving me nuts. Maybe I'll feel better when I go shopping for new shirts ;o) .

OK. Enough whining. I'd better get back to the laundry and ironing. I am paying my sweet niece to come and clean my bathrooms and floors tomorrow. Stuff I cannot do - and Tom has been too busy to do.

Have a super week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fatigue! Ugh!

I am doing a little better each day - but I am super tired. I can't seem to get my energy back. I should be upset by this, but I am trying to look at the bright side - I can relax through the holidays and not feel guilty ;o) .

Thanksgiving will be a low-key event this year. Sean and Marc can't come home due to work commitments. Uncle Don is coming up from Ft. Collins, and our friend Paul will be here as well. Tom is doing a majority of the cooking (I'll help him with the stuffing, cranberries, green bean casserole and gravy, but he'll do the rest). I enlisted the help of Perkins with pies and will go to a local bakery for the rolls. I will watch the Macy's Day Parade (I HAVE to watch it every year) in the morning. I always try to make the kids watch with me, but inevitable wind up watching it by myself. We will eat at around 1:00 then spend the remainder of the day watching football. I love Thanksgiving.

My mother and all of her siblings are gathering for the holiday in Michigan. My Uncle Butch was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier in the month. This is the first time they've been together since they were kids. Mom, Aunt Linda, and Aunt Sandy had a heck of a roadtrip from Florida to Michigan. Maybe next time Aunt Linda will take my advice and hop on a plane ;o) .

I doubt I fight the crowds on Black Friday this year. First, I can't lift more than 5 lbs. - which really inhibits my shopping capacity. Second, I am too afraid some over-zealous wacko will run into me and hurt me. I am still in quite a bit of discomfort and don't want to risk getting injured. I'd rather spend the extra cash and avoid the pain.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, food, and peace. Watch the parade! Enjoy the games in the afternoon! Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas Tag!

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Copy this blog post, change the answers for you, let the person who tagged you know that you have answered, then tag 3 people and let them know. Let's keep this going....
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper
2. Real tree or Artificial? I love the smell of a real tree, but hate the mess so we have an artificial one. I was considering doing 2 trees this year - and having the real one upstairs on the wood floors so I wouldn't have to worry about finding needles in July ;o) .
3. When do you put up the tree? Shortly after Thanksgiving - not a set date though. Personally, I love doing it after Thanksgiving dinner, but Tom complains too much.
4. When do you take the tree down? A couple of days after Christmas - again, no set day.
5. Do you like eggnog? Gag. My oldest two love it though.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Roller skates with pink wheels and stoppers.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Tom
8. Easiest person to buy for? Sean and Marc - money is their favorite ;o)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I always set it up underneath the Christmas tree (the greatest gift we've received was the birth of Christ). I don't put baby Jesus out until Christmas morning. All during December, Katie and Brendan do good deeds to earn pieces of hay to make the manger soft for the Savior. It keeps them remembering the true meaning of Christmas. I also have a stuffed nativity that the kids are allowed to play with. It is set up next to my porcelain one.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I make and mail all my cards.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? One year, Sean & Marc's Dad bought me a bunch of stuff that obviously wouldn't fit (waaaay too big for me) - but defended himself by saying that was all the store had.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Grinch - classic cartoon version
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? During the fall.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Never
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? sugar cookies
16. Lights on the tree? yes...tons, all clear
17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night by Michael Tait - awesome!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home - but we are thinking of traveling next year to someplace warm and tropical.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I collect angels - and used to have one on the top of my tree, but Tom found a really neat brass, lit, cut-out star that we now use.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve - then the kids play with Santa's gifts Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? grumpy people
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We collect ornaments each year that are a reminder of something we've done together (or someplace we've traveled). I love looking at all of the ornaments and remembering the great times we've shared.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? pumpkin pie
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Some cute new shirts ;o)

I'm not going to tag anyone, because I just did not too long ago. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Short update

Just wanted to let everyone know that the surgery went well. I was a little vague in my last post because it was a little embarassing, but Tom said I should just be open about it because the info may help someone else who is considering it.

So, here is an update: I had breast reduction surgery on November 7. The doctor removed 6.25 lbs. and I'm really happy with the results. Anything is better than what I was with 6+ lbs. added. It is strange to walk now. I feel like I am walking with my back arched. Tom said I am actually walking straight up and have super good posture now - LOL.

Take care! Blessings to you all! Thank you for the emails, phone calls, and good wishes. Everything is going really well.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lots going on........

Did you go vote today? Our polling place was not overly crowded and it only took me about 20 minutes total. Katie loved it.

Lots going on around here. I will be MIA for a week or so - got some health issues happening. Nothing major or worrisome. But I will probably not be around the computer for a while. I will, however, update when things settle down. I have so much to catch up on: my trip to Florida, the kiddos, holidays, etc.

Just wanted to wish Thomas a very Happy Anniversary tomorrow. It has been 14 years since I married that man - and he still makes my heart race. He is my dearest friend, greatest support, and the joy of my soul. Happy Day, my love.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tag! I'm it!

I got tagged by my good pal, Debbie!

(The rules….link your tagger and list these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.)

1. I am the oldest of 2 and I married the oldest of 2.
2. I gave birth to the first grandchild and the last grandchild in my family - 20 years apart!
3. I iron everything. always.
4. I am usually very, very happy!
5. I watch sports constantly. When the Olympic opening ceremonies come on, we always eat the food of the host country for dinner (Torino = Italian; Beijing = Chinese).
6. I am a total news junkie
7. I didn't like pink until my daughter was born - now it is my absolute favorite color!

I'm tagging...
1. Bri
2. Amanda
3. Shanna
4. Wendy
5. Shaunte
6. Emily
7. Houston

Have fun, ladies!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Simple Things...........

My ever-so-talented daughter is wearing Tom's red Titleist cap and playing her portable pink piano (say that 3 times fast). The tune that is blasting through my family room is "Santa Claus is Coming To Town". Did I mention the piano was pre-programmed?

She is also wearing her jammies still (she is sick today) and has her pants on backwards so the little bow is on her tushie instead of her Buddha belly.

Honestly, I think she is the cutest little thing I have ever seen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Made it home

I arrived home last night tired, but so happy to be back with Tom and the two little ones. I had a terrific time..........in Florida. It was (I thought) supposed to be a surprise for my cousin, Paula. I was going to surprise her at our tea party (we went to high-tea at a darling little tea house). The joke was on me though. They had all planned a surprise 40-th birthday party for ME. I am so darned gullible! It was a blast though. Lots of laughing, teasing, catching up, and just plain ol' hanging-out. Loved it. I rarely have time with my mother. Having my aunt and cousins there was icing on the cake for me. I'll post pics and the entire story later in the week.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'll Catch You Next Week!

I am going to be gone until next Tuesday. I'm going on a nice, quiet weekend getaway to scrapbook and hang out with some very special ladies. Can't wait to share pics and fill you in when I get home next week!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, My Love!

Today is Tom's birthday - his 43rd. We are going to get his cake today, then we're going to Ft. Collins for dinner (at Johny Carino's - his absolute favorite). Tom is a creature of habit, so I already know his order: Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti, House Salad with the Chianti Vinaigrette, and a coke. The man is nothing, if not consistent.

Sean is coming home this weekend and the two of them are going to the Broncos v. Bucs game on Sunday for their birthday gift from me and the kiddos. They are both pretty pumped for this. We tried to get 3 tickets so that Brendan could accompany them, but nobody would sell us 3 - just 2 or 4. I didn't think Katie was up for something like that yet (too much noise, bad language, drinking, etc.) so I told Brendan that we'd get him tickets to go with Dad for HIS birthday in December. He wants to go to the Broncos v. Chiefs game on 12/7.

I took the two little ones to get their hair cut yesterday afternoon. Katie got another 5 inches cut off of hers - and it is STILL below her shoulders.

Well, Happy Birthday, my dear. Here's to 43 more (at least)! I love you more than words can say.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Finally!!!!!!!!

I am finally feeling better! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The doctor put me on a MEGA dose of antibiotics on Saturday - and they worked. I am so happy. I was sick for over a month. No fun at all.

Things are great here. Katie has had 4 preschool days of no time-outs! We are on a roll now. Hopefully she keeps up the great work. She wasn't bad, or defiant, or mean. She just loves to visit and be social. She didn't understand why she had to sit and be quiet and listen to the teacher. Now she does. The last time she had a time-out (a couple of weeks ago), we were driving home and I asked her about it.

M - Katie, did you have to go to time-out again today at school?
K - Yes.
M - Why?
K - I didn't have quiet lips.
M - (begin long lecture on having quiet lips at school, listening to the teacher, yadda yadda yadda).
K - (in an exasperated tone) But, Mom, I don't have quiet lips. The only lips I have are loud.

Seriously.

Brendan's braces are doing the trick. He hates them - but they look so stinkin' cute on him! School is going well, too. His class is currently making haunted houses, including full lighting. He is pretty stoked. So was Katie and insisted that Daddy help her make her very own haunted house. He is one busy man.

I'll check back later. Super busy trying to catch up on life.

Blessings to you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Round Three!

....of antibiotics. Now it is DOUBLE ear infections, and a massive sinus infection. The doctor said if this latest "atom bomb" of antibiotics doesn't do the trick, he will have to send me to a specialist. I am absolutely miserable. and sick. and so very tired. and extremely sore. I began my latest med on Saturday night. I am hoping that by Wednesday I am at least feeling a little bit improved. Not holding my breath at this point though. Ugh!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!

Ear infection and sinus infection are back. I am miserable, but too busy with kid stuff to rest. Hopefully my latest two prescriptions kick in by tomorrow. I can't stand much more of this!

On a bright note, Katie had her first day of no "time-outs" at school on Thursday. I took her to McDonald's for lunch to celebrate. Hopefully she keeps up the good work. I'll post about her latest exploits later when I feel better.

I'm taking Brendan to get his braces in 1/2 hour. Bottom braces this time, top braces in November. His teeth are already looking better than before. I'll try to get some pics posted.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

BYU 44 WYO 0

'Nuff said.

Yah, I'm a slacker.

Not really - it just appears that way. Once again, we are sick (or is it "still"?). We aren't suffering from anything major, just a nasty cold/sinus infection/cough thing that won't leave. Doesn't it know it is unwelcome? I don't have time to entertain you, Mr. Cold. I have a kazillion other things to do right now.

Huge football game today. BYU v. WYO. In Provo. I soooooo wish I was going to be there. I live for this game each year. Our friend Steve and I have a fun rivalry over this game. And considering that BYU beat UCLA by such a humongo margin last week, I think I'll win this year. again. I had intentions of going online and ordering a window cling that looked like a football had smashed into your windshield - and it said, "BYU FOOTBALL" on it. I wasn't going to order it for myself. I was going to stick it on Steve's car. Fortunately for Steve, I got sick again and never got around to placing my special order. Maybe next year. He'll love it, I'm certain. Steve, Caroline, and their family are in Casper today so poor Steve is going to miss the game. But, I am a great friend so I volunteered to text him updates of the score all afternoon. I'm sure he is looking forward to hearing from me. every single time that BYU scores. Which should be quite a lot. Of course, if BYU doesn't win, I will be eating CROW served up by my good buddy Steve.

For the record, I don't really like BYU that much. I actually just ADORE Steve Young - and BYU happens to be his Alma Mater. I started liking BYU during Steve Young's college days. Then the LA Express was my fave team. Then the Bucs. Then the 49ers were my favorite team. So, really, BYU isn't my favorite team any more. ESPN is. But, it is just too much fun teasing my buddy Steve (the other Steve, not Steve Young) about it every year. Now, don't go feeling sorry for my pal. He can dish it out far better than I ever thought of doing. When word got out that Steve Young had gotten married, my buddy Steve called me to make sure I knew all about it. Of course, that day I happened to be home from work, lying in bed nursing a broken heart. (Not really, I had a bad case of bronchitis, but a broken heart sounds better. )

I am blessed to be married to a very understanding husband. One who completely tolerates my mad crush for Steve Young. Gosh I love that man (Tom, not Steve Young). Well, him, too. But mostly Tom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

OK. Never Mind.

I thought I wanted the blog to go private, but decided it was too much of a pain. Sorry for the confusion. Ugh!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A special Day for a Special Person.

22 years ago right this minute, I was in labor with Sean. When I wake up in the morning, I can still say the same thing. I was in labor for almost 36 hours. Then I hemorrhaged after he was born. And my blood pressure plummeted to 50/10. And I felt really awful and tired and sick for a long time (a couple of years). I was in the hospital for 5 days (so was he because he was 5 weeks premature). But he was so worth-it. Every second of it.

Happy Birthday, my Seanie Bonnie Bear. I love you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Slowly improving

We are all slowly improving here. Tom is still fine. Brendan had to go to the Dr. yesterday and was diagnosed with a sinus infection. Katie seems to have rebounded nicely. I am feeling a little better today, thankfully.

I'll post more later. Just wanted to let you know that we are all surviving this.

Prayers are going up for all those in Ike's path right now. Keep safe.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tom is so lucky......

.....because he is the only one in this house not sick right now. Unfortunately that means he has to take care of all of us. So he comes upstairs to make us soup, get us something to drink, and make himself dinner - then he retreats to his cave in the basement to avoid our germs. Coward.

Brendan is on the mend and actually went to school today. I had to go back to the dr. (went on Friday) again this morning and she said I have a nasty sinus infection. Katie just started coming down with it last night. Stay away from our house. You don't want this. I'm going back to bed now. If I don't update this by the end of the week, call Tom to ask when my funeral is :o)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Firsts..........

It was Katie's 1st day of preschool today. Which was accompanied by her 1st "time out" (at school) for not listening to the teacher. Apparently, it was time to sit down and Katie had other ideas.........

When I got her in the car, I asked her if she had a good day. She replied, "Yes! I wasn't done yet!". She then informed me that they had sung "Itsy Bitsy Spider". Unfortunately, Katie has trouble with some of her sounds so it came out as "Itchy Bitchy Spider". She couldn't quite figure out why I was laughing so hard after hearing that.


Before we left for her first day.

Walking into school. Do you think I could've found a backpack that was any larger?

Katie had to pick up her apple and put it on the tree. She correctly chose her name!

The preschool had "survival bags" for us Moms to help us survive our first day of preschool.

This was her reaction when I came to pick her up from school.

She. ran. away.
There's never a dull moment with Katie around. Fortunately, I only have to deal with all of this just two mornings each week. I don't think I could handle much more than that.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I am .....

What Your Latte Says About You
You are easygoing and pretty simple to please. You don't put up a fuss... ever.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You have a healthy relationship with caffeine. You're definitely not dependent on it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are sophisticated and daring, but you are never snobby.
What'>http://www.blogthings.com/whatdoesyourlattesayaboutyouquiz/">What Does Your Latte Say About You?


and

You Are a Bit Prissy
From time to time you can be a princess, but these days, who isn't a little high maintenance?
You know what you want, and you're definitely not afraid to ask for it.
(Just refrain from having a temper tantrum if you don't get your way!)
There's nothing wrong with having high standards... as long as they're occasionally low enough to allow spontaneity and fun!
How'>http://www.blogthings.com/howprissyareyouquiz/">How Prissy Are You?



Nothing too surprising here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School Pics

The day has arrived. The day I've been dreading since June. The day I try to avoid each year. Yes, yesterday was Brendan's first day of school. I always enjoy summers with my children and I am so sad when it is over each year. I love just playing and hanging out with them. I like not having a schedule. I like the fact than I get to spend all day with them. Then, it ends far too quickly. He is another grade older (third grade this year) and the time since last year has just flown by. I am trying so hard to cherish each day. I don't want to forget these moments with these two little ones. Marc's and Sean's childhoods just went by in the blink of an eye - and I don't want that to happen with Bren and Katie. Unfortunately, that's just how it is with children - they grow up and you can't do a darn thing about it!

I always take his picture outside in front of our tree on the first day of school so that I can see how much Brendan has grown each year. He hates it. He thinks it is unnecessary. Fortunately, Katie still likes posing for pictures so at least SHE is smiling.



Brendan by himself. I made Tom take this one. Apparently Brendan is more willing to smile when his father is the photographer.

Every year, on the first day of school, I make cupcakes. I don't know how or why I started this tradition, but the kids like it so I continue to do it. Another tradition is that Katie always ends up getting into the cupcakes before Brendan even gets home. She is so predictable. I don't know why I don't just put the cupcakes up where she can't reach them! I guess it would break tradition too much.

The evidence . . .

Katie had to have a small photo album for preschool. Since no "normal, store-bought, plain" photo album is sufficient for me, I decorated this one for her. Her name is on the side on a tag hanging from ribbon. This started out as a $2 album from Michael's. I made one of these earlier in the summer for my "Got Sketch" class. It was quick, easy, and totally inexpensive. Plus, nobody else has one like it. I used the Basic Grey "Sugared" collection (patterned paper and chipboard) and Bazzill cardstock on this one.

Katie begins preschool next Tuesday. She is STOKED!!!!!!!!!! We had her Open House yesterday morning where she met her teacher and some of her classmates. She already found a "best friend" and she was very disappointed that she didn't get to go back to school this morning. She doesn't understand why Brendan goes every day, but she only goes twice each week. I am praying she stays this enthusiastic for school in the coming years.

Well, my darling son will be home soon. Wanting cupcakes. And some attention. I'd better go get ready for him. I hope everyone has a super weekend! The official end of summer.......and the beginning of football season!!!!!!! Woooooooohoooooooo!!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I got tagged!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:00am
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Mamma Mia!
4. What is your favorite TV shows? CNN - I am a total news junkie
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Nothing.
6. What is your middle name? May
7. What food do you dislike? Too many to name - but mainly anything that used to slither, hop, or had 8 legs
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Everything on my iPod
9. What kind of car do you drive? Chrysler Concorde
10. Favorite sandwich? Turkey bagel sandwich with cranberry cream cheese (from Mort's Bagels)
11. What characteristic do you despise? People who lie or people who are really snarky and rude
12. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Hawaii
13. Favorite brand of clothing? Anything comfy
14. Where would you retire to? Hawaii
15. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I turned 40 earlier this month and 3 of my girlie friends took me out for appetizers/wine/dessert. We hung out and laughed for 3 hours. It was my best birthday ever.
16. Favorite sport to watch? Football or golf
17. Furthest place you are sending this? California
18. Person you expect to send it back first?
19. When is your birthday? Aug 5
20. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning
21. What is your favorite job ever? Being a MOM! My 2nd favorite was working for an oil company. I was the lone female among 14 men and those guys were all so sweet to me.
22. What is your shoe size? Used to be a 6-1/2, but after having Katie it is a 7
23. Pets? absolutely none
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Not a darn thing
25. What did you want to be when you were little? an actress or model
26. How are you today? fabulous
27. What is your favorite candy? Hmmmm - milk chocolate
28. What is your favorite flower? roses or daisies
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Labor Day - no school and DH doesn't have to work!
30. What is your favorite pastime? scrapbooking, quilting, or reading
31. What are you listening to right now? My kids arguing over crackers
32. What was the last thing you ate? some mint & chip ice cream
33. Do you wish on stars? Nope. I gave up on that a LONG time ago.
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? PINK
35. How is the weather right now? cloudy with thunder
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Brendan's school - PTO stuff.
37. Favorite soft drink? Caffeine-free diet anything
38. Favorite restaurant? Capitol Grill (their chicken oscar is heavenly)
39. Real hair color? dark brown
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? barbies
41. Summer or winter? Summer
42. Hugs or kisses? Both
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? vanilla
44. Coffee or tea? green tea frappuccino
45. Do you want your friends to email you back?
46. When was the last time you cried? I can't remember. I hate to cry.
47. What is under your bed? hardwood flooring, probably with a little dust on them
48. What did you do last night? Had a BBQ with friends - then cleaned up and went to bed
49. What are you afraid of? snakes, spiders, moths (ick), etc.
50. Salty or sweet? salty
51. How many keys on your key ring? a kazillion
52. How many years at your current job? 23 (I'm a mom)
53. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
54. How many towns have you lived in? I can't even begin to add them all up. My parents were a little "gypsy-ish" and we never stayed in one place for long. It sucked.
55. Do you make friends easily? No. I'm pleasant to everyone, but I'm extremely private and don't trust easily. I am very selective with my heart.
56. How many people will you send this to?
57. How many will respond?

Great Weekend!

Well, we had a nice, quiet weekend. It was wonderful. Tom got to sleep in on Saturday (I woke up at 6:30 due to my allergies), and I slept in on Sunday. The kids got home at about 10:00 am on Sunday morning. They had a blast with Auntie and Uncle Neal. Camping was a big hit! Maybe this will be a regular event?!?!

Brendan begins school on Wednesday. I am really bummed. I love having him home and I am not looking forward to having him gone all day. He will be in Mrs. Holt's class this year - along with 4 of his buddies. He is looking foward to seeing his friends again. We have our "back to school ice cream social" tomorrow night. We go to the school, meet the teacher, eat some ice cream, and then come home.

Katie begins preschool next Tuesday. She will attend on Tues/Thurs mornings. She is super excited. I will be working at the Architect's office on the mornings she is in school. She is also signed up for gymnastics and I need to call the ballet school to register her there, too.

I talked to Marc and Sean today. Marc is enjoying Alaska. He had a grizzly chase his boat last week. Moms hate to hear things like that. Now I am going to worry even more than I already do. Sean is in Roosevelt, UT on a drilling job this week. He emailed me a picture of the site - pretty impressive. He may be there for a few weeks.

We had a BBQ yesterday with a couple of Tom's friends from High School/College (and their families). It was great to see everyone. The kids had a blast, too. They played basketball most of the time, and beanbags (fun game). Katie just enjoyed having everyone there so she could socialize. It is her favorite activity, you know.

Well, I'll post some "1st Day of School" pics later in the week. Blessings to you all!

Friday, August 22, 2008

We are unavailable!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom's sister surprised us last night and decided to take Brendan AND KATIE camping for the weekend. Tom and I are childless for the first time in.......well, for the first time ever. I called my mother and informed her the phone will be unplugged for the weekend and not to even try to call. We'll be doing what any couple with two young children would do if their kids went away for the weekend.......


............sleeping.

Have a pleasant weekend! We will.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Those pics I promised..........

OK. I finally posted some pictures. Here they are in random order:


Bonnie and me at The Olive Garden celebrating my 40th Birthday!

Belinda and Michelle at The Olive Garden.


Brendan's Coach's "end of year" gift. It is a shadow box for his office wall.

The party favors I made for my 40th Birthday Cropping Day in Ft. Collins. I made 12 of them.


Jay Cutler looking right at me when I was taking his picture. I'm going to have this one enlarged and hung on Brendan's wall.

Champ Bailey (grey shirt) having a little conference with a couple of other players. Nice view, huh?

Brendan and Katie in Denver. This little stream ran along the walking path behind our hotel. I took the kids out for a walk while we were waiting for Tom's meeting to end.

Brendan at Denver Bronco's Training Camp. Studying players and stats:

Katie at the Denver Broncos Training Camp. Being her usual self:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Youch!!!!!!!! Otherwise known as, "you may feel a little pressure"!

Yes, I had my mammogram today. I don't think I'll be doing that again any time soon.


Brendan's palate expansion was a huge success. He gets his lower braces on in September and his top braces on in November. He has a humongo gap between his two front teeth (which is a good thing). He has to get his 4 canine teeth pulled next Wednesday afternoon.


He had a super time with Sean. They got to stay with Sean's grandparents on their ranch in Utah, which he enjoyed immensely. They fished, went to the lake, and just did "guy stuff". They are already planning next summer's trip.


I'll update more later. I wanted to leave you with two layouts that I created for a contest at http://www.makingmemoriesforyou.org/ . I won, but it was mainly by default (a bunch of people were eliminated for not following the contest rules completely. But, I won nonetheless. Both layouts were based on sketches provided to us for the contest. I was in the "simple" group - there was also an "embellishment overload" group.


Here is the first one (I want to apologize in advance to Linda):


Here is the final one:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Today is the Day!

This is it. 40. It's been wonderful so far! I need to say that last night was the funnest night I've had in FOREVER. 4 of us met at Olive Garden and had wine, appetizers, and dessert. Marc called while I was out and Tom told him that I'd gone out partying with my friends for my 40th and Marc replied, "Isn't that a little out of character for Mom?"! I guess it's my mid-life crisis.

Lincoln Brewster has a song called "Today is the Day" and the lyrics go:

Today is the day You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I won't worry about tomorrow, I'm trusting in what You say. Today is the day!

So, without further adieu, here is my "40 things to rejoice about today":

- I still have the next 1/2 of my life ahead of me!
- I am more confident.
- Girlfriends - 'nuff said.
- I am more comfortable with myself than when I was in my 20's.
- I still have both of my parents.
- My firstborn called me first thing this morning to wish me a Happy Birthday!
- Katie picked out a pink birthday card for me - her favorite color, and mine!
- Tom is such an understanding and supportive partner in life.
- Mani/Pedi's
- Going out with friends and "closing down the place" for my birthday - even if the placed we closed down was the Olive Garden.
- Scrappin' all day today with my beautiful daughter.
- It is cool and overcast today, not hot and sweltering like it has been.
- Tom let me sleep in this morning.
- He got me a pink iPod & and iTunes gift card for my birthday.
- Birthday Greetings in my inbox this morning - even one from Donny Osmond. Sigh.
- My backyard is done - and is gorgeous!
- I'm looking foward to a quiet evening at home tonight with Tom & Katie for my birthday.
- I cancelled my mammogram. It was scheduled for today - who wants to do that on her birthday?!?!
- I am in pretty good health (other than the occasional bout of pneumonia).
- I am joyful. Always.
- I am genuine. Nothing phony here.
- We're planning our fall scrappin' retreat - got some fun things ahead!
- A lifetime (so far) of terrific memories.
- A lifetime (so far) of not-so-terrific memories - but I have learned a lesson from each one.
- My relationship with my Savior is a blessing to me and my family. I used to think that my faith came from a religion - but it is from my relationship with God.
- I'm not perfect. I don't have to be. It's ok.
- Friday lunches with Tom. I work Friday mornings and Tom usually works on town on Fridays. So, we have the babysitter stay for an extra hour while we go enjoy a quiet lunch together. I look forward to those Friday lunches more than he will ever know.
- I have 4 really incredible children.
- Green Tea Frappuccino. Yummo.
- I'm having a chocolate birthday pie tonight!
- My husband still finds me hot even thought I'm 40 & chunky.
- I love being creative.
- My Rowenta iron. Love it.
- We live in a happy and healthy home filled with love, laughter, and nurturing.
- My marriage is strong and happy. That man rocks my world.
- I have a healthy, open relationship with each of my children.
- I am blessed with a very part-time job (mainly from home).
- I am blessed that I am not dependent upon the salary from my very part-time job. I love being a stay-at-home mother. It is the greatest blessing Tom and I have.
- My children all have great relationships with one another. Brendan is with Sean this entire week and they are bonding and laughing and having fun. Love that.

and, (insert drumroll) the final wonderful thing about my life at 40 is...................................

- mineral makeup. That stuff covers everything! It is my friend.

Have a blessed day! I know that I will!!!!

Love to you all!

Monday, August 04, 2008

It just keeps getting better!

I had a nice conversation with my friend, Bonnie, today. We are planning our fall scrapbooking retreat in Estes Park. She turns 40 in March. I told her I'd get through my birthday, then I'd help her through hers in the spring. We hung up after a nice, long chat.

Then she called back. She and our other friend, Belinda, decided to take me to Olive Garden tonight to celebrate my 40th! Tom will be home at 6:30 tonight so we'll meet at 6:45. We decided we'd either have wine and dinner, or wine and dessert - but wine was definitely going to be the main course ;o) . Not really. We are all responsible wives and mothers - we don't really go "party" or anything. LOL.

The other day, I was down because I thought I didn't have any girlie friends to hang out with. I just forgot to count them. I have so many great people in my life. God has always been so very generous to me in that regard. He has always placed really good, fun, wonderful friends in my life. I need to be more diligent in counting my blessings. You can bet that I'll be doing that tomorrow! I'm going to think of 40 TERRIFIC things to celebrate. Check back tomorrow. I'll post my list.

Can't wait for tonight. I'm taking my camera and will post pics tomorrow!

Have a blessed day!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

One lucky girl.

I had the most amazing day today. I spent the day in Ft. Collins cropping, laughing, shopping, and just relaxing with 9 of the funnest people I know. What started out as a depressing morning really turned into one of the best days I've had in a very long time. I will always remember this day and how I celebrated my 40th birthday. And, yes, I did say "celebrated". You guys are the best!!!

ps - Yes, I did blog about you ;o) . I think I'm becoming "kinder and gentler" in my old age! Ha!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Woooohoooooooooo!

One of my layouts was selected for the August e-zine at Making Memories For You!!! My layout was done with Basic Grey's Archaic line (dinosaurs) and pictures of Brendan at the Dinosaur Museum in Thanksgiving Point, Utah. Here is the link to the e-zine!

http://publishing.yudu.com/Freedom/All30/August08a/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=


I'm having a birthday party tomorrow in Ft. Collins!!! Well, not exactly. We're going scrapping at The Treasure Box and I'm passing out gifts for everyone who comes. I spoke with Amanda Probst and told her that I'd do little "party favors" for everyone, plus my friend Debbie Sherman is bringing a cake. It is my birthday and our friend Darci's birthday. She's not 40 though, which is completely unfair! Amanda mentioned making party hats - but I think she may have been joking. If she really made them, I'll get pics and post them! I am really looking foward to a girls' day out and I couldn't pick a more fun group of women to hang with all day. These gals are just such great people - and so very talented. I don't know why they hang out with me ;o) .

Check out the e-zine!!!

Marti

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I broke my son's face.

Seriously.

Brendan had to get his Palate Expander last Tuesday and I've been the one in charge of turning the little dial every morning and night. The idea is to break the palate, then let him wait 3 months until the bones heal. After that time, he will get braces on his front top & bottom teeth. The orthodontic tech indicated that we'd be able to tell when the palate was split because he would suddenly have a gap between his two front teeth. It happened on Friday. I felt awful. It needed to be done, but I hate being the bad guy on things like this. I don't even take the kids in for their immunizations, Tom does. That is our deal - I get pregnancy/delivery and he gets shots. Unfortunately, I didn't think ahead far enough to tell him that his part of the deal includes breaking bones, if necessary. Ugh!

But, his gap between his front teeth is expanding nicely and he doesn't seem to be in as much pain as he was on Friday when it finally gave-way.

I talked to Marc today. He hasn't had telephone access until this week (after 6 weeks of being up the river). He is doing ok. He is actually quite distraught. His dog, Kye, died while he was gone. His father told him about it the other day on the phone. Marc is just devastated over it. She was his baby. She was diagnosed with a heart condition this past spring, so Marc knew that she had some health issues. He just didn't expect her to pass away while he was in Alaska.

Other than that, life is just peachy! Brendan leaves on Sunday to spend a week with Sean. Tom has a conference up here next week so he won't be driving to Ft. Collins. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing much of him because he'll be gone from breakfast through dinner every day.

I'm going scrapbooking on Saturday in Ft. Collins. Can't wait! Some of the DT gals will be there, and some of my friends of Cheyenne will be going down, too. It should be tons of fun!!!

We went to the Denver Broncos Training Camp yesterday. I got a super good picture of Jay Cutler. I will post it when I get the pics downloaded from the camera. We had a super time. Katie came home with a cool PINK Jay Cutler jersey and Brendan found a neat Broncos cap. They were both happy with their souvenirs!

I'll post later in the week with the pics!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A little down this week.........

I think I am going through a mini-depression. I don't say that lightly. I really think I am. I can always tell when I am getting down because I start reading a bunch of fluffy fiction books. nonstop. I have read 9 books in the last 8 days. All of them fluff. Nothing of value to them other than the opportunity to escape life for a while. That is so not like me.


You see, I turn 40 in less than 2 weeks. Why do milestone birthdays seem to make us evaluate our lives? Why do we start thinking about "where we are" compared to "where we thought we'd be"?


I always assumed that by the time I hit 40, I would:


- have finished my college degree.
- be enjoying a fabulous career in accounting (yes, I know that is an oxymoron because accounting is supposed to be boring - but I've always loved it and that was my goal).
- be more grown up and super confident and oh-so-very sure of myself and life and things in general.
- have a herd of really terrific girlie friends that would help me enjoy being "fabulous at 40".
- be fit, trim, completely in-style, and still have gorgeous fingernails.



Instead I:


- have only taken 2 additional classes since I earned my Associates Degree in 1995.
- have no career whatsoever.
- still feel like I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing.
- have a couple of casual scrapbooking friends, but no really strong "best-friend", long-term girlfriends who know how to make me laugh and cheer me up and who would call to be sad with me that I am turning 40 and haven't reached any of my goals and dreams. My parents moved too much during my childhood for me to ever have forged those types of friendships so I completely lack that skill.
- am pudgy, wear nothing but capris and tank tops in the summer, and my fingernails are atrocious (I stopped getting them done when I was pregnant with Brendan and I've missed them every since).


I know I've done a lot of things since my 20's, but I am not at all where I expected myself to be. And while I am extremely happy with my life, I can't help but think that my 25-year-old-self would be quite disappointed (on the verge of disgusted) with my almost-40-year-old-self. And that makes me somewhat sad. And the fact that I am sad makes me even more sad because I am typically a very positive person. Does that make sense to anyone but me?


I wandered around Barnes & Noble for a while last night. My little escape after we finished dinner. Tom always encourages me to get away like that because I usually come home so refreshed. Not last night. I wandered around for a while and bought a scrapooking magazine (the only one I don't get as a subscription), and couldn't really find anything that I wanted to buy, which is highly unusual. I love books. I read constantly (although not usually at the pace of 9 books in 8 days). I did find something that struck me as quite odd though: as I was perusing through the Biography section, I realized that Pope John Paul II's biography was located directly NEXT TO some famous porn star, Jenna Jamison's (well, according to her book cover she is a famous porn star). I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. PJP2 must be rolling over in his grave!!!


On a brighter note, look what I got for my birthday from my very understanding, totally amazing, and completely wonderful husband:









He gave it to me early. I love it. It can hold so many more songs than my old iPod did. And it is pink which makes it way cuter than my old iPod, too.


Just so this post doesn't sound overly-negative, I feel like I should add some positive things to it. So, while I am not where I thought I would be, I am blessed because:


- I have focused on raising my children rather than furthering my education up to this point. I can always go back to school, but this time in their lives is so fleeting.
- I have the luxury and supreme honor of staying at home to make sure that my family knows that they are far more important to me than any career I could ever have.
- I know that I have no idea what I am doing in this life, but I guess that is the nice thing about life. We never know what it's all about. It just "is". That's what makes it so darned fun.
- my dearest friend in the world happens to have chosen ME to spend forever with. He is an amazing person and even after almost 14 years, I still pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.
- I am making changes to get back in shape, lose weight, and then I can buy some super-cute trendy new clothes. or not. And although my nails aren't gorgeous any more, they are practical and perfectly fine for my lifestyle right now.


I'd better end this before I go all negative again. Have a blessed day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally - a new week!

I got sick again last week - a relapse of pneumonia. I went to the dr. on Wednesday and he put me on a different antibiotic, 2 inhalers, and a nasal spray. Hopefully I am over it completely now. I do not want that back again. I still have a bad cough and am quite fatigued, but feel soooooooo much better than I did last week.

Brendan is done with golf lessons for the year. He had a great time at Collindale. They always do a golf tournament for the kids in their Junior Golf program. He'll play in that on August 12. He is pretty excited. We had to go buy him new clubs last Tuesday night - he had outgrown his since our trip to Hawaii! We were lucky to find him a great set on sale right here in town!

Tom played in the Tri-State golf tournament this past weekend. He came in 9th in his flight. He was fairly happy with that. The wind howled all day on Saturday so the scores were pretty high. He is glad that his swing is finally back. Those lessons in Hawaii really paid off for him!

We got the hoop post concreted into the slab last night. Tom will finish installing the basketball hoop tonight. The kids (and Tom) are pretty excited! It is a really nice adjustable one so we can lower it for Brendan and Katie.

Well, I'm going to spend the day cleaning, doing laundry, and trying to catch up from last week. Brendan has his orthodontist appointment tomorrow morning so they can install his palate separator. He will get his 8 braces in the next few months.

Well, that is all from here. I am hoping to get some scrapbooking in tonight or tomorrow. I did a little bit yesterday, but not as much as I'd have liked.

Have a super week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Little Baseball Player

Here is my sweet boy!
______________________

Another Update

Tom had his annual review this morning at work - and scored fantastically! I am not surprised. he works so hard. He met his new Regional Managing Director and really liked him. He doesn't have an Office Director yet, but hopefully they'll find someone terrific.

Tom has decided that he is going to try to get on the Board for baseball and we may keep Brendan in Cheyenne Junior League for one more year to see if they get a better handle on the coaches. Hopefully next season doesn't end like this one did. My poor son - he didn't even know the other team's coach (neither do Tom or I - I've never seen him before). I understand that these coaches are volunteers, and that emotions can run high - but what happened to my son was inexcusable. It was a terrifying experience for him. Tom has coached several sports - for several years - and has never seen anything like this either.

So..........we're just going to see how things go next season. Hopefully Brendan still wants to play. If not, I'll just let him focus on his golf (that is his strength anyway) and we'll try to forget all about this. Brendan seems fine today. He has golf lessons in Ft. Collins today and Thursday - then he is done for the year.

The kids are thoroughly enjoying our play set and the back yard. I'll be glad when the fence is up. I'll feel more comfortable having the kids back there alone.

Sean is here until tomorrow afternoon, then he has to go back to Evanston for a dentist appt. It has been so nice having him home!

I'll check in later in the week!!! I hope you have a wonderful and blessed week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Backyard pics

I decided to just post the pics of the back yard now. So, go to the post below for Shanna's link! The yard is complete - except for the fence and the basketball hoop. It is so nice to have it done! The kids just love it!!!

View from the patio. The kids LOVE their playset. It was installed on Thursday and they've been on it ever since.


View of the basketball court from the patio. We will install the hoop later.



View from the swing set toward the southeast corner of the house.

Vote for my friend, Shanna!

Here is the link to Shanna's awesome card. Please click to vote for your favorite card - and click Shanna Vineyard's name toward the bottom of the list of participants. She does amazing work and is such a doll!!! here is the linkety link link:

http://abc123.sewnews.com/component/option,com_zoom/Itemid,28/page,viewproj/catid,800/

Lots going on here. Baseball is over, thank heavens. The playoffs were brutal. We hadn't expected to win the first round game, so playing yesterday morning was supposed to be a bonus for the kids. Not quite a bonus, I'm afraid. I arrived at the game to find the other team's coaches yelling about the fact that we had borrowed a couple of kids from other teams because we only had 7 players. Two were on vacation and one was mormon and not allowed to play on Sunday. Our coach called the League President and was told it was fine to borrow from teams of the same level. These kids weren't all-stars by any means - just your average 8 year old player. I am thinking of filing a complaint against the other team's coach because at one point in the game, he was standing behind Brendan - BRENDAN - jumping up and down, pointing at my dear son, and screaming, "He didn't touch second!!!! He didn't touch second!!!" (Brendan had been on first and made it to third - and yes, he DID touch 2nd base). Brendan was terrified. When he crossed (and touched) homeplate, I took a picture - just in case the coach wanted to question THAT. I have never seen coaching quite that bad. What. a. tool. Seriously. It was an ugly game. We lost by 1 run. I was just as happy not to have to play again after that mess. We gladly came home and spent a quiet afternoon together in our fabulous new back yard. I have inquired about putting Brendan in the recreation league in Ft. Collins next year and we found out that he can definitely play down there. It will be a pain to drive there twice a week for baseball, but at least he won't be exposed to situations like that again. His coach this year was wonderful. His coach last year was pretty bad (win at all cost), but not as bad as the opposing team's coach was yesterday morning. I think I'd like him to stay out of Cheyenne baseball from this point on - or at least until he is older. I truly believe that 8 years old is too young to have to deal with a grown man pointing at him and screaming about him like that. To top it all off, parents from the OTHER team were coming up to OUR coach and apologizing for their coach's behavior. It was so unfortunate and not at all what I want my child to witness at such a young age.

Well, I'll update more later in the week! Blessings to you all!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It could only happen to me!

I just recovered from pneumonia. in june. Tom says I am the only person he knows who could contract pneumonia in the middle of summer. I think he's right. At least I'm recovering and I don't feel like I am going to die any more. That was rough.

Brendan goes in tomorrow for his first of three appointments for his Phase 1 Braces! He is 8 years old. He will get Phase 2 when he is 12. Phase 1 is costing us $3,800. I don't even want to know what Phase 2 is going to cost us. Hopefully it helps. The poor kid has some crazy crooked teeth.

Other than the above, life is fantabulous!!!!!! We are having an awesome summer! The kids have had so much fun already. I can't believe how quickly it is going by though. I wish summer was longer than 2-1/2 months.

Marc arrived safely in Alaska. He is enjoying it so much. He won't be home until fall though. I hate having him gone so long, but he really loves his job up there.

Sean is coming home next weekend. Then he will be having Brendan come stay with him for a week in August. They are both so excited about it.

The landscapers are finished with the back yard. The super huge swingset will be delivered on the 10th. And the concrete dude is giving us a bid for our basketball court in one week. Hopefully it isn't too costly. Between landscaping and braces, we are about tapped out.

I will post some pics of some layouts I've been working on. I need to photograph them and download them from the camera.

Talk to you all soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quick post with some pics!

I'm Princess Katie! This is how the girls introduced themselves at the recital. She received lots of "aaaawwwwwws" after her turn. She was so happy and excited to be in the performance.

Katie in her ballet attire. She had a super week and really loves her lessons. I think she will continue this for a long time.



Bren and Katie in their pool this afternoon. It was in the 80's today so they were eager to cool off a little bit.
The Princess Class after their recital. Much fun was had by everyone (especially the proud parents). The teachers were the Queens and the girls were the Princesses. Katie is the 2nd from the left - sitting in the front row (blue hat and blue skirt).



Katie making her grand entrance to the recital. She was very excited when she saw us and ran to the front of the line so she could say hi!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A few pictures..........

Brendan and I had a "Mommy and Me" Day on Saturday. He has been begging me to take him to Graffito (ceramics place) for a while so he chose to do that for our activity. We had a blast. He painted a dragon and I painted a cup for my pencils on my scrapbook table. We get the finished pieces back on Saturday. I can't wait to see them. After Graffito, he wanted Chinese for lunch (Tom hates Chinese so we rarely go there). It was a wonderful day. We seldom get to spend time alone, without Katie. It was nice to reconnect.


Tom and the kiddos on the Paddle boats at Fort Fun. Katie lasted a whole 3 minutes before she started screaming that she was getting seasick. I think she has PTSD from the Whale Watch in Maui.


Katie's version of mini-golf - doing everything except actually focusing on playing mini-golf.


Fort Fun - don't they look thrilled to pose for another picture. I think they are getting tired of me.

Brendan had golf school this week in Ft. Collins. They had an awards ceremony this morning after the last class and Brendan won first place in chipping. He was one of the youngest in the class so that is really quite an accomplishment for him.

Katie is finishing up Princess Week at her ballet school tomorrow. She has a recital at 11 am. I can't wait to see her up there! She has enjoyed her week immensely. Very fun program - and she has perfected her "curtsey".

I'll post more after Katie's dance performance tomorrow.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's summer!!!!!!

We had a blast on Friday. It was Brendan's last day of school. Here, they get out at 10:30 am on the last day so we always spend the day doing something fun with the kids - just to kick of summer the right way ;o) . We left Cheyenne at 10:45 and headed to Ft. Collins. Tom wasn't quite ready for lunch when we arrived so we went to the scrapbook store. Really. Only because Tom wasn't ready. After that, we picked Tom up and went to Woody's Woodfired Pizza for lunch (Brendan's choice). I had to get my allergy shots and the clinic happens to be across the street from Uncle Don's house so the three of them hung out with Uncle Don until I was done. We then went to Fort Fun and played mini golf, went on a ginormous slide, paddle boated, and played in the arcade. If I never play mini-golf with Katie again, it will be too soon. That girl just does not understand that she cannot pick up everyone else's ball and hand it to them during the round. She thinks she is being helpful. Then, she stuck her ball into a water pipe. She thought it was a pipe that would spit her ball out next to the hole - it was an irrigation pipe for a non-working water hazard. So I had to give her my ball so she could finish the round. I didn't mind - in fact, it was a relief. Overall, we had a super time! I'll post pics later in the week.

This week, Tom and Bren go to Ft. Collins until Thursday afternoon. Brendan has a golf school every morning (Mon.-Thurs.) 7:30 - 10 am. Katie begins Princess Week at her ballet school. And our landscapers are due to arrive in the morning!!! Woooooohooooooooo! Can't wait to see how the yard turns out. It should be amazing.

Marc left this morning for Alaska. He won't return until mid-October.

That is all. I need to go to bed, but wanted to update before the crazy week starts.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Happy Summer?!?!

This is a picture of my wonderful husband standing on a metal ladder in a terrible rain/thunderstorm trying to clean out our gutters. They were full of pine needles from the blasted tree next door and refused to drain. Thus, we had water pouring out from the TOP of the gutters and into our flower beds - and almost into our window wells. Yes, it may appear that I am cruel and just stood there and photographed the event while my husband risked his life - but I actually helped him and wound up getting just as wet and cold as he did. I promise.

Once each year our tree blooms with brilliant pink blossoms. I love it. Unfortunately it is short-lived. It lasts an entire two days. But, while it is in its glory, I thoroughly enjoy the view. This year, I decided I wanted to get pics of the kids amid the pink flowers. So I made them climb a ladder - the same ladder their father used last night to rid the gutters of pine needles. Now, Brendan looks (and actually was) quite relaxed and happy to be on the ladder posing for portraits for his obsessive-compulsive mother .........


Katie, on the other hand, refused to relax and smile for me - she was PETRIFIED. This was the best smile she could muster.

Miss Sandy (across the street from us) recently went on a trip to Salt Lake City (to the new IKEA store - I am uber jealous). She, of course, brought gifts for the kids - bubbles/bubble gun/ginormous bubble wand. They were in heaven! She is such an awesome surrogate grandma to the children. They just adore her.


Those were the highlights of the week. Wanna hear the low-lights? Well, we had to cancel our Denver Trip. Didn't get to see Mamma Mia - and didn't get to stay at The Brown Palace. Our darling, beautiful, sweet, thoughtful daughter decided to get sick. She was up all night Friday night with a fever/head cold. We canceled everything (lost a bunch of coin on that deal). By Saturday evening, she was feeling juuuuuuuuuust fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Go figure.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for Brendan! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am more excited than he is, I think. Can't wait. Next week he and Tom will be in Ft. Collins all week for golf lessons, and Katie has "Princess Week" at Ballet School.

Tom's Father's Day gift will be arriving on Monday - landscapers. We are having our yard done. It will be our Mother's-Father's Day/July 4th/Labor Day/Halloween/Thanksgiving/Birthday/ Christmas/New Year's/Valentine's/Anniversary gift for the next zillion years. Holy Buckets, landscaping is expensive. I'll take before and after pics though. HOpefully it is worth it. We may have to mortgage our first-born. Or all 4 of them.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you our big news! Tom is opening an office in Cheyenne. Nolte finally got him an executive suite so he doesn't have to drive to Ft. Collins every single day any more. He'll be up here 2 or 3 days/week - and the other days he'll be in CO. We are very excited! So is our gas card ;o) .


Friday, May 30, 2008

It's Friday!

We only have one week of school left and it is summer! I cannot wait. I love summertime - no schedules, warm weather, non-stop fun with the kids, and sitting out late at night enjoying the evening air.

I am the opposite of a lot of moms. I love summertime and I dread the beginning of school. If I had my way, I would homeschool Brendan and Katie and we'd spend every day together. But, it isn't up to me so I relish each day of the summer with the kids. There is nothing better.

My darling husband and I are going to Denver this weekend. All night. With no kids. First time since I was pregnant with Katie - and only the second time since Brendan was born 8-1/2 years ago. Yes, we are a pathetic pair. But, we are packing a lot into our one-night-trip. We are leaving Cheyenne after Brendan's baseball game and driving straight to our hotel to check in. We are staying at THE BROWN PALACE!!!!!!!!!!! Woooooooohooooooooooo! I am a little excited, if you couldn't tell. We will then go to dinner and then to see Mama Mia at the Buell Theatre. So cool. I adore Abba music and I can't wait to see the show. I've heard it is wonderful. Then, we'll come home on Sunday morning. Our niece, Jessy, is keeping the kiddos in Laramie Saturday night for us so we'll have to drive to Laramie to pick them up before getting back home Sunday afternoon.

I'll post more next week - and even get some pictures added finally. I got some great ones of the kids in front of our pink flowering crab apple tree last week. So fun. The tree is gorgeous for about 2 days/year - brilliantly pink and absolutely covered in flowers. Stunning. Then, the rest of the year it is just a plain ol' tree.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone. I'll talk at ya next week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!

Our computer crashed again. for the third time. since September. Sigh.

The good news is that this time, Tom spoke with Mike (Brendan and Katie's Godfather who is an ultra-smart, computer techie guy) and he told Tom that it sounded like a bad hard drive. So, off I went to Circuit City to get a new one. We did some research before I left (luckily Tom had his laptop at home so we could check out the internet first). Then I quickly decided that I should be the one to go because women are much more believable at the "playing dumb" bit than men are. This sounds so sexist - but I have found it to be true. Anyway, I went to the store with my little handwritten list of specs that we needed our hard drive to have. I found the geekiest computer geek I've ever met (gotta love those tech-savvy kids these days) and I played dumb. And it worked quite well. I told the kid what was wrong - and what error message I kept getting in place of Windows when I turned my computer on - and he selected the drive that I needed. He also assured me that once we installed the new drive as the "master", the old drive would be a "slave" and would more than likely cough up any and all information contained on it. I came home with a new hard drive - which my brilliant husband quickly installed in our computer. And I got ALMOST all of the information on the "slave" drive - everything except my freakin' emails and contact list!

Smart Mike is on vacation in Arizona/Utah/Nevada right now. I will wait patiently for him to return home to Detroit so my husband can call and get proper instructions for finding my wayward contact list and my old emails. Tap. Tap. Tap. I'm waiting anyway. Trying to be patient. Tap. Tap. Tap.

But, on the bright side, I have a much faster computer now. And I have access to the internet again (which I missed terribly). I even got most of my iTunes back up and running - most of them. I will make Tom figure the rest of them out later.

I'm glad I married someone smart. I can run a computer just fine - turn it on, check my email, surf the 'net, shop (I shop very well), etc. But when it comes to installing things, I refuse. That way if anything goes wrong, my husband can't blame me. Life is happier that way.

So, if anyone wants to shoot me an email, I will add you back to my address book/contact list. hint. hint. hint.

Have a good one! I'll post more later - with pics even!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mother's Day Pics with Katie

A local photographer (Val Rothwell) does a Mother's Day shoot each year for Moms and daughters. You all know that I HATE having my picture taken, but for some reason I agreed to go have our portraits done anyway. As much as I cannot stand the sight of myself, these ones didn't turn out as bad as my pictures usually do.





On a side note, my daughter decided she wanted to be the pre-game entertainment at Brendan's baseball game last night. The entire baseball complex was standing at attention for the National Anthem. The music came on. Everyone stood with their hands on their hearts. Except for Katie. SHE decided to do ballet instead. She performed a brilliant dance to the entire anthem. When she was finished, she bowed to the crowd - and they all applauded. I guess we need to work on "how to stand quietly during the national anthem". Well, she was quiet, I guess.