Saturday, November 27, 2010

Which of these have you done?

Got this from my friend Tobi's blog. I'll update soon, I promise. But for now...

Bold these if you’ve ever…

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (nope, never, nada, un uh)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child 
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (Held one? I had one for a pet! He had painted hooves and loved orange popsicles). 
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (Does Mary Kay Cosmetics count?)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (um, never happening)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby (or four)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Love Lives Here

I made this banner for our entryway.

Maya Road Scalloped Banner Chipboard Album
Daisy D's Patterned Paper and stickers
My Mind's Eye red glitter alphas
Martha Stewart doilies
Martha Stewart butterfly punch
Making Memories acrylic paint (white)
Colorbok Chalk Ink (black)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Little Man has Arrived!

I haven't updated in weeks.
School has kept us busy. and sick.
And then, two glorious weeks ago, we received an amazing blessing...
our sweet grandson.

Introducing:
Landry Augustus Weston
Born Sept. 29, 2010
5 lbs. 12 oz.
18" long




Isn't he stunning?!?!



So are his parents.
This picture shows just how tiny he is.

Sean called while Mr. C and I were at lunch that day to inform us that
Chloe's dr. had decided to induce her.
I came home, packed, farmed the kidlets out for the night
(Mr. C had a huge deadline the next day and was going to be working late),
and I left.
Landry was born 2 hours before I arrived in Evanston.
Bummer.
But he is beautiful and healthy and the most amazing little person I've ever met.

Chloe and Sean are FABULOUS parents.
I am so proud of them both.
They are naturals.


Also, the 2-year anniversary of my
breast reduction
is coming up in a couple of weeks.

I get a lot of questions about the surgery,
and my post-op life.
I also have people who are interested in having the surgery,
but are to embarassed to call and ask me questions.
So, I've decided to do an informational
blog post
answering any questions you may have.

You can post the questions in the comment section of this post,
or, if you are uncomfortable doing that,
email them to me at
I will be writing the post within the next week or so.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

September Already...

I cannot believe summer is over.
I was not ready for school to begin...
for my kids to be gone all day...
or for the cooler temps to hit.
But, in spite of my unreadiness, all three have come to pass.

We always walk the kids to school on their first day.
This is what they looked like this year...


When we got to the playground, Brendan just kind of stood there.
Katie ran off in search of new friends.
She quickly found two girls (who just happened to be wearing pink)
and introduced herself.
Then she went to play tetherball.
All the way across the playground from us.
That child knows no fear.

The first day of school always includes
cupcakes.

It is our tradition.
The kids love it.
so does Mr. C.

After school was over, I went to meet Katie at the exit from the school.
She didn't see me...
She only saw Brendan.
This was how they looked as they walked onto the playground.
They didn't even notice I was there.


He was asking her about her first day in Kindergarten.
She was telling him all about it.
He is seriously the best big brother a girl could have.
And, believe me, she tests that all the time.
He will be a great example to her in the years ahead.
She will be good for him, too.
He is serious. She is funny.
He is shy. She is outgoing.
He doesn't play enough. She doesn't know when to stop.

They couldn't be more different.

Yet they are so close and they love each other so much.

Kinda like me and Mr. C.

Friday, August 20, 2010

For the Love of Goop!

There are only a few things I miss about living in Utah:

I miss my boys (obviously).
And Chloe and Carter. :)
I miss everything being so family-friendly.
And I miss goop.

Goop, AKA fry-sauce, is available everywhere in Utah. It is even widely available at burger places in neighboring states, but once you get east of Rock Springs, WY, nobody even knows what it is. There are a few recipes for this delectable condiment, but the one I use is: 1 part mayo, 1 part ketchup, and a splash of pickle juice. Mix well. Serve with fries, chicken nuggets, burgers, etc. I love it with chicken strips and homemade fries the best.

Mr. C and Bren refuse to use it, but Katie and I love it. You can get a bottled version in the grocery stores (Some Dude’s Fry Sauce – yes, that is the actual name), but it has HFCS and doesn’t taste quite the same as the good old burger drive-in variety that I grew up on.

So, try making it one night when you are having fries!

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jumping into the Deep...

Disclaimer: I wrote this post last week when I was hanging at the pool - before the (in)Courage blog posted a similar one.

I’m watching Katie jump into the deep end of the pool. This is a huge accomplishment for her. At the beginning of the summer, she wasn’t even comfortable getting her face wet. Now she jumps right in and swims around with her floaties.

When we began coming to the pool in June, she would only go in the baby pool. Then she saw all of her friends wearing those cute pink arm floaties and decided she wanted some, too. Once I bought them for her, she went into the big pool but refused to let go of the side. She was so frightened.

One day Mr. C was here with her and he took her out into the middle of the pool and held her. He showed her she could float and not go under the water. He showed her that she was safe. She slowly became more confident and began going a few feet from the edge, then swimming right back. Each day she would venture just a little bit further out. Each day she felt a little more secure. Now she just jumps right into the deep water because she knows her floaties will keep her from drowning.

Katie and her floaties remind me
of myself and my trust in God.

I know He will be there for me, but sometimes it is so hard to let go of the edge. When I test Him with the little things, I gain more confidence and swim a little further into the shallow. If I would only let Him take me in His arms and carry me out to the middle of the pool, I would gain the trust to know He will always be there to keep me above water. I am frightened. Yet, I know that it is only by letting go and venturing out into the deep, rough waters of life that I can truly find my faith and confidence in Him. I won’t find it by holding onto the edge. I must force myself to take that leap and jump, with both feet, into the deep.

Have you jumped in lately?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pool Days...


I brought my computer out to the pool yesterday. I’ve been thinking of doing it all summer long, but didn’t actually do it until then. Unfortunately, I have found there is no wireless access from my little poolside table. Rather than just sit there reading yet another book or magazine, I decided I’d write my blog post anyway, and then post it when I get home.


I registered the kidlets for school yesterday. There was some slight confusion as to which teacher Katie had been assigned, but in the end both of them got the teachers I had requested last spring. The gals in the school office thought Katie was do very well with a particular teacher because they apparently have similar personalities. Brendan’s 4th grade teacher told me which 5th grade teacher she thought would work best for Brendan. In all the years my kids have been in school, I had never requested a specific teacher until last year. There was an awesome teacher that I really wanted for Brendan so I asked the principal if he would put Bren her class…and he kindly obliged. Brendan’s year was the best one yet and I am so happy I spoke up.

As I mentioned above, we are hanging at the pool. With only two weeks left of summer, we don’t have many days left where we can come and swim all day long. The kids have enjoyed their time out here so much. I was really nervous in April when we signed up out here, but it has been one of the best things we’ve ever done for our children. They golf several times/week with Mr. C, they swim almost daily, we enjoy coming to breakfast here on Sunday mornings after church, and the extra activities have been so much fun. It has almost been like being on vacation every day.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to Mr. C that I haven’t been home at all this summer and that the house isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. He replied that summer in Wyoming is so short and to just enjoy the time with the kids. I can worry about cleaning after school starts. I am so blessed to have such an understanding hubby. He is more concerned with the kids enjoying their summer rather than having the house cleaned and spotless. I love that. There are some days when I almost think hanging out at the pool is a waste of my time and that I could be accomplishing so much more if we’d only stayed home that day. But, then I look out and watch the happy smiles and hear the laughter coming from my children and I know I am doing the right thing. They are only this age once and this time in their lives is so fleeting. I need to remember that more often. This is the stuff they will remember when they are adults: summers spent at the pool with their friends, playing lots of golf and tennis, and all of the fun times.

Mr. C has been busy again this week. Not quite as busy as a couple of weeks ago, but busy. I am grateful he has such a good job and I am VERY grateful that he is appreciated there. I look back to February when we found out he was being laid off from his former job. We were nervous and afraid of what the future would hold. But, he had another job within a week, with a great firm, and with that came this opportunity to join the country club. Never, in our most crazy dreams, did we ever anticipate things would work out as well as they have. Things couldn’t have turned out better for us if we had planned it. Mr. C is really happy with his job. He works for (and with) some really wonderful people. I’ve always known that the plans I have for myself pale in comparison to the plans God has in store for us…and this is just another example of that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

School Registration

I have to go register the kidlets for school tomorrow.
Their first day is two weeks after that.
I am bummed.
I think I need 3 more months of summer
before I'm ready to relinquish my little cuties again.

I love summertime.
I love having my children with me all day (most of the time).
And I love not having to send them off to a building full of virtual strangers every day.

But Katie is very excited for Kindergarten.
Brendan is excited to be going back to school,
but not necessarily for the daily walk there with his sister.

Every school year I contemplate homeschooling my children.
I love the idea of homeschooling,
but don't think I'd do well with the reality of it.
I'd be great with the arts & crafts part of their education,
and the field trips,
but not so great at the actually "schooling" aspect of it.
I just don't do structure very well.

I am not overly disciplined about keeping strict schedules any longer.
I used to be.
I got up and worked out every single day at 5 am.
I came home and showered before waking the kids up for school.
I cooked them a hot breakfast each morning.
I always cleaned my house from top to bottom on Mondays.
I baked bread 3x/week!
(Long story)
I was a stickler for keeping my babies on schedule for naptime
(but that was mostly self-preservation, I think).

Now?
Well, not so much.
I clean when it needs to be done.
I rarely work out in the mornings
(heck, I rarely work out, and it shows).
If the kids want cereal for breakfast, I let them have it.
I buy bread at the store.
Always.

Maybe I should use this school year as an opportunity to get back on a schedule.
Maybe not as strict as I used to be.
But a happy medium between
where I was
and where I am now.

But I think I'll allow myself a week or two
to mourn the return of school first.





Sunday, August 08, 2010

My Crazy Life

Well, Days 6 & 7 of "Project: Week Without Kidlets" were a bust. I ran errands, cleaned, did laundry, etc. on Friday. Then, went to Santa Fe all by myself on Saturday. Mr. C had to work all weekend, in addition to his long hours all week long. I think he ended up with 89.5 hours total Monday-Sunday.

In a quicker version: it sucked.

I left here at 6:30 am so I could hit Trader Joe's in Santa Fe again. I had picked up a FAB shopping bag there when Houston and I went the week before, and I had several people ask if I would pick one up for them, as well. I went in, grabbed my lemon curd (Mr. C loves my lemon chicken made with lemon curd), some shampoo and conditioner for Houston (she fell in love with the Tea Tree Tingle), and went to grab 5 shopping bags....and they were sold out of them. Bummer. I then drove out to McYuck's to meet Jess & Joey with the kidlets. We made the switch, and hit the road. We stopped in Las Vegas, NM (which isn't nearly as exciting and cool as Las Vegas, NV, but I digress) for a quick late lunch/early dinner. The kidlets didn't even want to go in. They just requested I drive through so we could get home that much earlier. They were awesome little travelers. No fighting, whining, or complaining. They just hung out in the back seat, and watched the, um, uh, scenery (of which there isn't much in southern Colorado).  We arrived home around 10 pm.

Sunday was spent recuperating from the trip, and catching up on laundry (my souvenir from Arizona was a ginormous bag of dirty clothes!). I knew we had a busy week ahead, so I tried to get laundry/housework done.

Brendan had a golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday...
and he came in 3rd!!!!!
He was so excited. It was such an awesome day for him. Then, after his round on Tuesday, Mr. Miller (his swim coach) brought him his ribbons from the City-Wide Swim Meet held the day before he went to AZ. Bren came in 3rd in Butterfly and 5th in Freestyle! It was a great week for him. He needed some positive experiences after the baseball disaster in June. We had a banquet Tuesday night where he received a plaque.




Wednesday brought recital rehearsals for Katie. It was a dress-rehearsal even. Ugh.

Thursday (5th) was my birthday. I turned "29+13". Sean congratulated me on being in my "teens and twenties at the same time". I also received a package from Chris Hertel the day before, which helped me celebrate that much earlier! I had won a drawing on her blog last month. This is what she sent me!

THANK YOU, CHRIS!
What a wonderful birthday surprise!!!

Mr. C and I went out to dinner that night. I had pistachio-crusted halibut. It was wonderful! They brought out a slice of chocolate cheesecake with a pink candle in it for me. It was so thoughtful of them. I also liked that they did not sing to me. I hate being sung to...especially in a crowded room full of strangers. I also got another birthday surprise that day...Sean and Chloe called to say they were coming to see us that night and staying until Sunday!!! I think that way my favorite part of the day.

Friday was busy: Katie had ballet recital rehearsals at the Civic Center all afternoon, I went to work to catch up on things a little, then we had a luau to attend that night. We had a BLAST!!! They had a roast pig (which Katie, Brendan, and I were unable to eat because it was a whole pig...including the head and face...blech), coconut shrimp, crab legs, ahi tuna, etc. Katie refused to eat any of it so the sweet wait staff went and had the cook prepare chicken strips and fries for her. Then, one of the servers brought her this because she said it looked just like Katie that night:



After dinner we went outside and watched the kidlets swim, then the band kicked up and lots of people started dancing.


Including Katie and her friend Sabo. They danced all evening long. We couldn't drag her out of there until midnight. Bren had gone home with Sean and Chloe long before that, but Katie was having too much fun to leave.

Then is started to get really fun when people started getting tossed into the pool fully dressed. Luckily I was able to avoid that.

Saturday brought Katie's ballet recital. She was beautiful and danced so well. Mr. C and I had to endure got to enjoy 3-1/2 hours of variousl dance performances. We took pity on Sean, Chloe and Brendan and let them leave at intermission.


All in all, it was a wonderful, albeit busy, week.
A week packed with busyness and blessings.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days 3 - 5 of "Project: Week Without Kidlets"

Day 3
I went to work again and caught completely up. It was such a good feeling! Mr. C and I went to dinner at the Country Club, then he had to go back to work. With CFD in full swing, it is nice to be able to go out there to eat because it isn't crowded like everything else in town is. Mr. C then went back to the office and I read another book for the Summer Reading Challenge at the Library.

Day 4
...was fairly uneventful. I just cleaned and hung out at home. It felt good. The house was quiet...almost too quiet. I got some more reading done, which meant I only had 1 more book to read to complete the library's challenge.

Day 5
I went and did a little shopping for Mr. C, then came home to read again. I finished "The Man Whisperer" finally, which meant I finished my 25th book this summer for the challenge. I can now go pick up my prize tomorrow at the library! Last year I finished 25 books by the end of June, so I was a month behind this year, but at least I completed the challenge so I won't beat myself up too much. Mr. C came home for dinner, then went back to the office. He is working on a new project, so at least it isn't the same one that has been dogging him - but he is getting tired and worn out.

My bottle of Moscato sits unopened in the fridge and we've spend almost NO TIME TOGETHER at all this week. And so far, the score for the week is:

Mr. C's Projects 6
Romance            0

I'm thinking of demanding a re-count.
Where do I go to file a complaint about this one? :)     

Tomorrow is Day 6 and will be filled with errands because we go pick up the kidlets on Saturday. Hopefully Mr. C doesn't have to work too late tomorrow night. I don't want him to be tired on our long road trip. I may just have him stay home and go by myself if he works too late. I don't want him to get too run down and get sick.

I have to complete my final layout for The Good Grief Blog. I am sad that it is coming to an end, but I know it has helped so many people. The final challenge will be posted on Sunday, August 1. Check it out.

Also, my favorite scrapbook store (The Treasure Box) is closing. I am heartbroken about it. I have been going there for 12 years, and been on the Design Team for almost 6. It will be sad to not have a scrappy place to call home, well..except for my scrap room at home - but I don't have a store in there so it isn't the same. I will probably be doing my shopping online or driving to Denver to get my fix...er, supplies.

So that is my childless week in a nutshell. Totally relaxing and completely uneventful - just the way I like it. Except I would've loved to have Mr. C around a little more. ;oD

Monday, July 26, 2010

Days 1 & 2 of "Project: Week Without Kidlets"

Day 0
The trip to Santa Fe was actually quite nice. The kidlets are actually great little road-trippers (who knew?). Except when Katie puked while we were in the Starbucks drive-thru in Monument. I have a very weak stomach when it comes to that sort of thing. I almost couldn't even drink my Green Tea Frappuccino. Almost.

We arrived in Santa Fe at around 1 in the afternoon. Jess and Joey still had an hour or so left of their trip (we forgot about the time difference when we set our meeting time) so Houston got on her handy dandy phone and found a Trader Joe's! What a fabulous store!!! We then fed the kidlets some lunch at McYuck's while we waited. After handing them off to Jess and Joey, Houston and I somehow found our way to the downtown area. We were in search of Mexican food for lunch. We thought it would be easy to find such cuisine in Santa Fe, New MEXICO. We thought wrong. We did get some amazing pictures during our search, however. After finding bakeries, american food, chinese, and yes, even french restaurants...we finally stumbled upon The Blue Corn Cafe. The Queso/Guac/Salsa appetizer was to die for! Neither of us could choose between the stuffed sopapillas or the tamales, so we ordered one of each and split them. They were sinfully good. I think I need to take Mr. C back there this Saturday when we go back.

After we ate, we realized we'd better be on our way home. We drove through a few strong rain storms, and even ran into some scary looking biker dudes and biker women. I was afraid to get out of the car to gas up, but Houston promised me she'd be on the lookout for trouble. Of course, when they all decided to start their uber loud motorcycles at the exact. same. time...she was hiding in the car while I was outside with the gas pump in my hand. Yes, we are brave women. So glad she had my back on that one! (wink)

Day 1
I dropped Houston off around 11 pm and I made it home at 12:48...and Mr. C was waiting up for me. He is such a sweetie. I was so excited to sleep in on Sunday morning. I was tired from the trip and my back was somewhat stiff (I have 2 herniated discs in my lumbar spine that cause me constant discomfort). Unfortunately for me, I forgot to inform the neighbors that I wanted to sleep in - so they made sure their car alarm went off at 7 am sharp. Once I am awakened, I can't go back to sleep. Needless to say, my neighbor 2 houses down won't be getting any Christmas cookies this year. ;)

Since we were awake, Mr. C wanted to go for his morning run at the track and invited me along. Since I couldn't really think of a good excuse not to go (well, nothing that wouldn't make me look like the lazy girl that I know I am), I thought I'd join him. After about a mile, my sciatic informed me it was unhappy. So I decided to punish it by continuing to walk for another couple of miles. I guess I won that battle, huh?!?!

When we returned home, Mr. C had 2 messages informing him that he had a tee-time at 1:26 pm with Steve, Jeff, and Ron (Jeff had travelled from California the previous day). We showered, grabbed a quick lunch, and then he headed to the course. They also had a BBQ planned for the families after their round. We had a really great time catching up with everyone.

Day 2
Mr. C went to work, so I decided maybe I would, too. I actually put in an 8 hr. day at the architect's office. I haven't done that in YEARS. I have barely worked this summer so I was way behind on my filing. Way behind. As in "I spent 8 solid hours catching up on only filing today" behind. Tomorrow I get to go back and do it all again! Well, I'm not filing, but I am going to be working on some archive projects. Yea, me!

When I got home from my marathon filing workout, I had a phone call from Joey & Jency (see my side bar for a link to their blog). They were in town for CFD! I was so excited they called. They came to visit us before their PBR show tonight. They are the most adorable couple!!! I've known Joey since he was born (he is 2 mos. older than Sean), but this is the first opportunity I've had to meet Jency in real life. After they left, we made dinner, went for a walk, and then Mr. C went back to the office. His project is lingering on for far longer than it was supposed to. Grrr. Since he was gone, I decided to write a mini novella and disguise it as this highly entertaining blog post...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thelma & Louise...

...without the cliff-diving.

Mr. C has a super busy week,
and it looks like he will be working this weekend, as well.
Which means he will be unable to go to
Santa Fe
with me to drop off the kidlets.

But, my bestie
Houston

has agreed to step in and travel with me
so I am not all alone on the return trip.

We are going to have a blast!
We'll pick her up on our way through Denver Saturday morning.
Then I'll deliver her back home that night.

I'm sure we'll be hoarse when we get back.
The drive to and from won't seem nearly as long
as it would if I were by myself.
Whenever we are together we just
talk and laugh
the entire time.

Then, Mr. C and I will return
next Saturday
to Santa Fe to pick the kidlets back up.
And hopefully then
we will be able to enjoy a quick tour around town
and some of his beloved
Mexican Food.

If I don't update the blog for a while...
well, it means I probably am busy
doing things that parents don't get to do
when they have kidlets underfoot...
sleeping.
scrapbooking.
reading.
shopping.

and...

that's pretty much it.
What were YOU thinking? :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Goin' to Santa Fe...

Well, we're going to drive to Santa Fe next weekend, drop the kidlets off with our niece and her husband (who are driving up from Tucson), then driving home. Jess and Joey are taking the kidlets to Tucson for an entire week! You know what this means, don't you? We will be childless for the first time in forever. Sean and Marc were 8 and 9 when we married, and aside from the school year they returned to Evanston (right before we had Brendan), we’ve always had children around.


I am hoping we can at least have lunch and wander through downtown Santa Fe before we head back. That town holds special significance for us...it was on a trip there to visit my mother over 16 years ago (before she moved to sunny Florida) that

Mr. C proposed to me.

The story of when we met and began dating is a long one, so I’ll just talk about when we became engaged. I was working at the community college in Evanston, and Mr. C was working as a project engineer for the highway department. Spring Break was upon us so my work schedule was light that week (and the boys were with their father) so I decided maybe I’d go visit my mom and step-dad. My friend Sandy told Mr. C he should go with me and he said he would (she was good at being direct like that).

We were supposed to leave on Friday morning, early. Unfortunately, Mr. C had to go in to the office for an hour or so…and ended up spending about 4 or 5 hours there instead. By the time we got on our way, we were several hours late. We drove across I-80 and got a flat tire just outside of Rawlins. Mr. C put on the spare (thank heavens he had come along with me because I STILL haven’t the foggiest idea how to change a flat), we found a service station, I bought a new tire, and we headed back out. We arrived in Cheyenne (where HIS parents lived) at about 9 pm. Mr. C had failed to tell his family that his “friend” was female so they were quite interested in grilling me asking me about myself. We stayed a while to chat, then headed south on I-25. It was very late, we were very tired, and we were behind schedule. But, we enjoyed the journey and spent the time talked about life, hopes and dreams, goals, plans, and everything else under the sun. If you ever want to REALLY get to know someone, just plan a road trip. We arrived at my mother’s house at about 5 a.m., utterly exhausted.

I knew if I slept in my mom’s room, I wouldn’t get much sleep because she’d be asking questions so I opted to sleep in the guest room with Mr. C. Now, mind you, we were just sleeping – our relationship was not yet a physical one. After a few hours of sleep, we got up, had breakfast, and went sight-seeing around town. Mr. C is a huge Mexican food freak fan and he was looking forward to trying some of the local flavors. My mother didn’t know this and was so excited to take us to her favorite dinner spot. We pulled into the parking lot that night . . . at a Japanese restaurant.

We left to come home the next morning and Mr. C and I, once again, talked all the way back. He proposed to me during the trip home. I am convinced he was delirious from fatigue, but was too nice of a guy to take it back after he’d rested up. LOL. He promises that wasn’t the case.

I was afraid. I had a strong distrust of all men. My first husband had been less than kind and loving (to put it mildly). But Mr. C swore to me that my heart would be safe with him…and he has kept that promise. He has nurtured me and helped me grow from a frightened, na├»ve 25 year old to the happy and content woman I am today. He has shown extreme patience during this process. For the first 2 years we were married (he claims it was 3), every time he tried to put his arm around me, I’d flinch and duck away from him. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until he asked me about it one evening. He felt truly awful about it so I worked hard to overcome that reflex. He taught me how to speak my mind and share my thoughts and opinions. He has encouraged me to grow in ways I never knew I could. I am forever in his debt. He is, by far, the greatest blessing I’ve received in life.

So, to get back to my original story…I am really hoping to at least make sure he gets some real “Santa Fe Mexican Food” before we come home next weekend (and/or the following one when we pick up the kidlets). And I am so excited to have 5 or 6 whole days with just us. He’ll be busy at work during the days, but I am hoping we have some evenings where we can go on long (quiet) walks, hang out in the back yard drinking moscato, and just focus on US.

So, Jessy & Joey… If you are reading this:

THANK YOU!!!

You are my very favorite niece and nephew-in-law! I am going to re-write my will to include you both. Seriously, thank you both for loving the kidlets enough to go to all this trouble. Thank you for all the fun things you have planned for them. Thank you for being so trustworthy that I won’t have to worry about them for even a second. We love you both very much. And when you are blessed with children of your own, I will drive down to pick them up and bring them home with me for a week, too. And, only then, will you realize what a gift you are giving to us. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July!

The B-Man made it home from his
camping trip
at about 3:00 on July 4.

He was greeted with
angry skies,
wind and rain.


So we couldn't get our traditional
July 4 Photo Shoot
fit into the schedule that day.

Instead, at about 9:00 pm that evening, I had to take this one:


Yes, notice the
jackets and pants.

I won't complain much though.
The first year I moved to Wyoming
(way back in 1982 - when I was technically a fetus because eveyone knows I am ony 29)
I was greeted with
snow
on July 4.

I seriously wondered to what kind of 
God-Forsaken place
my parents had relocated our family.

Teen angst doesn't even begin to describe it!

But slowly I came to appreciate living here.

Because most evenings look like this
during the summer.


The beautiful pink, purple, and blue skies
are unforgettable.
It is those kind of evenings that make the
long winters
totally worth it.

On quiet summer evenings with a beautiful sunset greeting us on our patio,
I occasionally enjoy a glass bottle
of this


 Usually Sometimes I share it with Mr. C.

The past week has been wonderfully busy and joyful.

The B-Man decided to join the Swim Team.
His very first meet was Friday and he
loved it!!!!

He did well in his races, but more important was what
one of the boys told his mother that day.
She was one of Bren's teachers from school in 2nd grade.
Her son pointed at Bren and said,
"He is the nicest guy I've ever met before!".

Then the next day, Bren's swim coach ran into Mr. C at the pool and
said that Brendan is the most
respectful
kid he's come across.

That made Brendan's mom's heart smile.
Because that is what life is about.

That is all that matters.

It isn't about sports, fancy cars, big houses, job promotions, or annual compensation packages.
When it comes right down to it,
life is about
relationships,
kindness,
love,
respect,
and being a good person.

And no matter what my children ever do in life,
nothing will ever make me more proud
than that.



Sunday, July 04, 2010

Pictorial Update

June is history.
July will be in no time.
Boy, this time of year goes by quickly.

Katie participated in her
Performance at the Park
on June 24.

She had lots of fun dancing with her friends.
Katie always loves an audience.
She has performed this dance several times in the past few weeks.
And even does her own singing so everyone gets the
full effect.

Edited to add: Katie is the one wearing the stylin' sunglasses:

The Mermaid Dance...

Katie is the one in the very center.
Go figure.



After her performance, she wanted to stay and watch some of the other numbers.
And insisted on using Daddy as a recliner.


Sean surprised us the following night
by showing up to visit us
with only 90 minutes notice.

That weekend we decided to make pizza on the grill.
We do this every summer.
Every summer we say it's our last attempt.
This time it really was.

Really.



 On the bright side, our roses are blooming and gorgeous!



 We are waiting for The B-Man to arrive home from
camping.

We aren't camping people, but Mr. C's sister is.
Every once in a while they'll take our kids for a night or so
in the wilderness.

This time they took Bren for 10 days.
We have missed him terribly.
But he has had a blast.


I camp at hotels.
My idea of
roughing it
is a hotel with no room service.
I figure that if God had meant for me to camp
he wouldn't have created
The Four Seasons.

I want to take a quick minute to express my deep
gratitude and appreciation
to all of those who have served, or are currently serving
to keep us and our country safe.

Thank you also to the
families
of these
brave men and women.
The sacrifices are immeasurable.
Thank you.

Happy Birthday, America!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Katie-isms # 27,963 and #27,964

On the way to pick Bren up after his golf lessons the other day, we went thru an intersection and Katie sees a motorcyclist...

Katie:
Mom, there was a
GRANDPA
on a motorcycle.

Me:
Yes, Katie?

Katie:
Well, he can't do that?

Me:
Why not? Lots of grandpas ride motorcycles.

Katie:
But he might break a hip or something!!!!

Me:
Your Daddy is going to be a grandpa. Does that mean he can't ride a motorcycle.

Katie:
No, he can still ride a bike so he'll be ok.


The next day, we were driving to the office for an hour or two, and then to the pool.
She was being unusually silent in the back seat...

Me:
Katie? Are you ok?

Katie:
Yes, I just don't want the wind to
disturb my hair.
Yes, I know. She is way too much like her mom.

Me:
OK. I'll roll up your window and turn the air on.

Katie:
They should put people
like me
in magazines, huh, mom?

Summertime in Wyoming...

Brendan is camping at
Brooks Lake,
which is near Dubois.

Apparently the lake is partially frozen,
there is snow on the ground,
and the nearby campground
where they usually go to shower
is closed.

I doubt he'll be gone through next week.

I have a feeling he'll be home a wee bit earlier than that.

Friday, June 25, 2010

a few clarifications...

This whole baseball situation has exploded into something very, very ugly.

I misunderstood,
they misunderstood,
and now everyone is upset.

In no way
did I want to accuse coach of intentionally hitting my son with the pitch.

I did not for one minute
 think he did it on purpose, or I would've called the police immediately.

My whole point of frustration was that I felt nobody had really checked to see how bad the injury was.
That was it.

I guess the coach asked if Bren was ok,
and Bren nodded.

What they didn't realize is that Brendan always says he is ok when he gets hurt. He tries to be tough and strong. Once he nodded, the coach assumed he was fine and sent him to the dugout - then turned around , put his back to the plate, and began to pick up balls to throw to the next kid.

I guess players who are having hitting issues are often told to
bunt
so they can at least make contact with the ball -
then as they become more confident, they can start swinging.
I feel absolutely horrible that I even said anything now.
I am fiercely protective of my children, I know that.
I can't help it.
I'm a mom.

But I am a very sucky whistleblower.

I can't handle guilt.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drama Mama

I've long held fast that I keep a "No Drama Zone" around me and my family. I don't like tension or unhappiness. I don't like to butt my nose into other peoples' lives. Their decisions and choices are just that...theirs. I try so hard not to judge others.

So imagine my surprise this week when I found myself adrift in a sea of it. It began innocently enough...at baseball practice. Brendan has had a difficult time hitting this year. We thought it was just him - we recently realized that his coaches made him nervous and he froze up when he was at bat. He can hit at the batting cages, off assorted pitching machines, for Mr. C, and even for other coaches - but not for his. This has been frustrating for all of us involved. The coaches were putting more pressure on him and threatening to make him bunt when he was at the plate, he was just about at the point of a nervous breakdown, and Mr. C and I were just having to suffer through watching it.

So...fast forward to Monday night. Baseball practice before the big game on Tuesday. We arrived already nervous. Tension was high. Bren got up to hit and the coach was throwing too fast. Rather than slow it down, the coach kept correcting everything Bren did - "you moved your foot!", "you swung below the ball!", "you shifted in the box!", "stay in the box!". . . Suddenly, one coach decides Bren will just practice bunting. The coach was throwing outside pitches and Bren was having to lean over the plate to make any contact. Then he got yelled at for hitting off the tip of the bat (but if he is having to lean over the plate, doesn't it make sense that only the tip would be hitting the ball?). Anyway, coach become frustrated, I am ready to go all ninja and jump the guy, and Bren is a bundle of nerves. The coach gets right in his face and yells,

"YOU WILL NEVER GET A HIT IN A GAME
IF YOU DON'T BUNT!!!!".

The camel's back broke and I said, "Actually, Bren can actually hit the ball quite well, he just can't hit it for you. You make him nervous. He subbed in a game on Saturday and hit 8 balls in a row to the outfield during batting practice with their coach.". The coach shot back, "Well, I have yet to see that!". I informed him he could call the other coach and ask. The next thing I know, coach is zinging the next pitch at my son and hit him square on the elbow. I know accidents happen, and I would've been "ok" (barely OK, but OK nonetheless) if he had showed any sort of care or concern. Instead, rather than asking if Bren was hurt, or even apologizing, the coach turned his back toward home plate, faced the outfield, and stayed there until my son went to the dugout . . . alone. I ran in and within 10 seconds, the elbow was already pure blue from bruising. I spoke with the other coach, then took Bren home.

Meanwhile...Mr. C arrives on the field via another entrance (so he doesn't see me as I leave with the kids). He watches the pitching and makes a comment to the other coach that the pitches are awfully fast for these kids to hit. He notices the coach is throwing at least 50-60 mph. Mr. C then asks where Brendan is and he is informed that we had left due to Brendan being hit.

The elbow looks bad and we decide to take him in for x-rays. Luckily nothing was broken (thank heavens because that bone usually requires surgery).
Neither coach calls to check on him or apologize.
I am upset and I email our league board member to discuss. The league is now furious at their behavior. All I want is an apology for Bren (not for the hit, but for the coach ignoring him after the hit) and to make sure the kids are safe. The league shows up before the game last night and the coaches try to say Bren had leaned into the pitch - then tried to say they didn't know he'd been hit. They are threatened with permanent removal from coaching (which is not what we wanted), and the game commences.

After the game, Mr. C tried to talk to the head coach (NOT the one who threw the pitch that hit Bren), and the coach is mad at US. WE are the bad guys. Several parents are mad at us now, as well. all I was trying to do was keep these boys safe. What would've happened if I had done like 90% of the other parents do and just dropped him off for practice, then returned to pick him up when it was over? Would he have sat alone in the dugout with a possible broken elbow for 2 hours? I just told the league rep that we need to be sure these kids are safe when they are on the field.

So, we are sending Brendan to Brooks Lake with Mr. C's sister until July 5 so he can get away from all of this. Hopefully the furor will die down in his absence. He'll be home in time for playoffs, and can decide if he even wants to play again.

Now, I realize I made mistakes in this, too.

I should not have argued with the coach in front of Bren and the other kids. I should've taken him aside and spoken to him privately. My bad. I accept that.

What I did not know before contacting the league was that there had already been several complaints lodged against these two coaches. I was not the first. I was unaware that the league was already watching things on the team. But, nobody remembers the first two outs in an inning, they only remember the final one that ends it. We are the heels in the situation.

So, after coming home at 9 pm last night, I emailed both coaches and apologized for my part in this. Of course, neither have responded, nor do I expect them to. They are angry and want someone to blame. I also want to say that, usually, these two guys are really great. They are fathers and husbands who are eager to volunteer for their children. I didn't want to be involved in any of this either. Oh, how I wish Bren had not been hit. I didn't want him injured. I didn't want to watch him suffer physical, as well as emotional pain. I wish I had kept him home from practice that night like I wanted to.

But, I cannot change the past. All I can do is move forward and re-enter my
"No Drama Zone".
I am not a Drama Mama.
I plan to keep it that way.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day
to Mr. C.

Thank you for the
constant love and support
you give to both me and our four children.

Thank you for nursing me through
6 pregnancies,
which resulted in
4 miscarriages,
and
2 c-sections.

Plus the surgeries and countless rounds of
fertility meds.
Which made me
weepy
and grouchy.

Thank you for being such an amazing example of what a
real man
is and does and says.

Thank you for teaching us all about
love
patience
caring
integrity
and kindness.


Thank you for teaching THEM that they are important and valuable.


Thank you for working so hard so we could play so hard.

And for being a man of God
who isn't afraid to show his children that he
needs faith to carry him through.


And for being a man who is WORTHY of the
love and respect he receives from his children.

Because they do love and respect you so very much


...and so do I.

Happy Father's Day
to the love of my life
and the best Dad in the world.

My love and gratitude know no bounds.