Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 24 of Thanksgiving: November 24, 2011

I am thankful for my husband, who was willing to go way out of his comfort zone to go above and beyond to be with us on our trip.  Our family vacation would not have been the same without him, and it has been a very happy Thanksgiving.

Day 23 of Thanksgiving: November 23, 2011

I am thankful for the kindness of others.  Allyson - you rock for letting me and my kiddos take over your house for a little while, even though you weren't there.  Our sort-of matching white vehicles look so cute in your driveway.

I am thankful for Google Maps and Navigation, which helped me avoid a miles-long traffic jam on I-20 yesterday.  I will never understand why cars have to STOP simply because the road narrows from two lanes to one. 

I am thankful for having children who are exceptional travelers.  We spent two hours running errands before we even left town yesterday morning.  Add to that a three hour drive, a taxi ride to the airport, a three hour wait at DFW and then a three hour flight.  J and K were so well behaved, they made this mama proud. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22 of Thanksgiving: November 22, 2011

I am thankful for Redbox.

Seriously - how can you beat $1 movies???  My children were released early from school today for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Hubby is out of town and we have nothing on our schedule until K's gymnastics class later.  What to do when it's chilly and wet outside?  Rent a movie!  My kids are happily watching Rio and eating snacks, giving me time to pay bills, go through the mail, pack for our trip, reserve a taxi, cancel a hotel reservation, do laundry and the gazillion other things I have to do today! 

Day 21 of Thanksgiving: November 21, 2011

I am thankful for my warm home. 

Having grown up in upstate New York, a cold, wet winter is nothing new to me.  It doesn't take long, however, to get acclimated to a different climate, and after a long, hot summer, a day of fog, thunderstorms and 40-something degrees feels downright cold!  I was out running errands for most of the day and I was so very glad to be able to come back to a warm, dry house.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20 of Thanksgiving: November 20, 2011

I am thankful for my son's football coaches.  It's so easy to complain when you don't agree with something, or get wrapped up in how much time we spend at practices and games, but sometimes I have to remind myself that however much time & effort we are putting in, the coaches are doing more.  These four guys have been there week after week since the beginning of August to teach and motivate our team.  They have spent almost as many waking weekday hours with my child as I have.  At times they were strict and serious, and at other times they could joke around like they were the 10 year olds.  Coach Chris, Coach Mike, Coach Moses and Coach Chris have turned a ragtag group of boys who, for the most part, didn't even know each other, into a championship football team.  I'm thankful that my son had the opportunity to play on such a fun and talented team, but I'm even more grateful for the men who gave so much time and effort to help this team reach their potential.

The Junior Pee Wee Wylie Bulldogs White ended the year with a 10-1 record and won the Super Bowl today against the Sweetwater Mustangs by a score of 39-13. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19 of Thanksgiving: November 19, 2011

I am thankful for my son's compassionate heart. 

J is not normally the most emotional person.  He is more the even keel,  go with the flow type.  Sure, he is prone to the normal kid tantrums and crying jags, but for the most part he is stoic like his dad.  Sometimes, though, he really takes things to heart and it makes me glad that he can be empathetic, sympathetic and sensitive. 

Last night he and I went to Dallas to watch our high school team's playoff game.  It was a rough night for the Bulldogs,  and the loss not only ends Wylie's season but Austin's (J's "big Bulldog") high school football career.  When we went down to visit with Austin after the game, he was visibly upset.  J walked up to give Austin a hug and his eyes were filled with tears.  He was sad that they lost, but even more, the "finality" of it really touched him, too.

I love a tough, "let me shoulder your burdens" kind of guy and I hope J will grow up to be like that.  I don't subscribe to the "men don't cry" theory, though, and I hope he is never ashamed to tell or show someone how he feels.

Day 18 of Thanksgiving: November 18, 2011

I am thankful to have a pediatrician who normally gets us in ASAP for a sick visit.  We have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much going on right now for anyone to be sick, but that's exactly what happened Thursday night.  K came in my room crying at 2:30am saying she wasn't feeling good.  A bad cough and a temperature reading of 100.9 confirmed that.  I called the doctor when they opened at 8:30am and they told me to head that way.

We were supposed to go out of town Friday night for the high school football game.  J and K were signed up for the gymnastics play day on Saturday, and then K and I had a date to see the Nutcracker.  Sunday is J's Super Bowl, and we leave Wednesday for Vegas.  When am I supposed to fit an illness in there???

Thankfully we got in to the doctor first thing and were able to start K on antibiotics right away.  Hopefully by the time we get ready to fly next week she will be all better. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17 of Thanksgiving: November 17, 2011

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.

My husband works hard.  He is one of the few people I know who doesn't complain about work.  He may complain about something that didn't get done, or how much paperwork he has, but I can't remember him ever getting up and saying, "I don't want to go to work today."  Maybe that's because he's not a morning person and doesn't say anything at all in the morning.  ha!

I am grateful beyond measure that I am able to be here in the mornings to get my kids ready for school and also be here when they get off the bus in the afternoons.   I love being able to bring lunch to my kids, schedule doctor appointments without having to worry about my schedule, and attend their school parties/programs every single time.  We are able to leave early for out of town football games and I can go back to bed once the kids leave when I have a migraine.

None of this would be possible if I didn't have a hubby who is a hard worker and a supporter of his wife making motherhood her number one priority.  I'm also blessed with the opportunity to work from home and bring home some spending money.  We often do without luxuries, we never get ahead, but we have everything we need and I am able to put my entire focus on taking care of my family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 16 of Thanksgiving: November 16, 2011

I am thankful for Christmas music. 

This morning when I got in the shower, the house was too quiet.  I pulled up a Christmas playlist on my phone and listened to that while I was getting ready.  Christmas music lifts my spirits.  The songs are so beautiful and heartfelt and full of faith & love. 

Day 15 of Thanksgiving: November 15, 2011

Oops - I missed a day again.
Let's just say I took a day off to grieve for Pumpkin.  It's hard to say who misses him more, me or Shadow!

I am thankful for texting.  It is fast and convenient (and often rude, but I guess that's the trade-off).  I love being able to send a quick message when I don't have time (or the inclination) to have a phone conversation.  It's so great to instantly show a picture of something to my mother who lives two thousand miles away.  Yesterday when I had a sick boy at home, it was very easy and helpful to be able to communicate with K's teacher regarding her afternoon transportation, without having to wait for email or go through the office.  And last night when I needed a pick-me-up, some late night texts from a good friend helped cheer me when I was down.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14 of Thanksgiving: November 14, 2011

Meet Pumpkin. 

It is with a very heavy heart that I say today I am thankful to have been Pumpkin's "mommy" for over twelve years.   This big, fat, fluffy gentle giant has been my buddy since I took him in when he was only weeks old.  He was the nicest, calmest, most loving cat in the world and today he went to heaven.  My heart aches with his loss.

In the summer of 1999, my coworker asked me if I wanted an orange cat.  I already had three cats and really should have said no.  Could I?  Of course not.   Someone she knew had found him living in a used car or junk car lot behind a KFC.  He was teeny tiny, scrawny, starving and flea-ridden.  He was missing a piece of his nose from where he must have burned it on a car engine.  He was my buddy from day one.  He loved me through some really tough times, and he loved my kids, too.  My daughter is as much of a cat person as I am and she is going to be completely devastated when I tell her.  One of my friends said Pumpkin is the only cat who would let her over-exuberant daughter pet him.  He loved the smell of tuna, he loved to eat turkey, he loved to romp around the house with Shadow like a kitten, he loved to lay under the end table, he would sit outside the bathroom waiting for me whenever I went in there, and he took his insulin injections twice a day without complaint.  

Pumpkin, you were well loved, and you will be sorely missed! 

Day 13 of Thanksgiving: November 13, 2011

I am writing this a day late because my weekend ended on a completely chaotic note.  I am thankful that we somehow managed to get in contact with a friendly, honest and efficient locksmith last night!

You know what they say about hindsight, right?  Let me tell you, if you don't have a key to your house somewhere outside (or with a neighbor or family), DO IT NOW!!  We went out to eat last night and when we came home, the garage door wouldn't open.  We have an automatic garage door opener, and we could hear the motor running but the door wouldn't budge.   I didn't have my keys because hubby drove, and hubby left his key ring in the house (his new truck has one of those crazy new keys that's not really a key, so he didn't have a house key with him).

This happened to me once before - I came home in the midst of a violent thunderstorm and the power was out - therefore no electric door opener.  Luckily I did have a house key on my car key ring, so I was able to get in the house that way.  Even though we have the passcode keypad for the garage, I usually always bring my keys (even if someone else drives).... just in case.  I didn't even think about it last night, though, because I never bring keys when hubby drives - he has his own keys!!!

We tried every key my father-in-law and brother-in-law had, and none of them were our spare.  Of course all of our windows were locked, too, so we had no way in.  Thankfully before hubby gave in to his urge to kick in the door or break a window, I suggested we call a locksmith.  That's not as simple as it sounds.  The first one we called, which said on their web site "Serving Abilene, TX" (hence the name Abilene Locksmith) told hubby they no longer serve Texas.  Huh?  The second one, Pop A Lock, which lists under services on their web site "Residential lockouts", told hubby they don't do residential.  People, there is obviously a boatload of false advertising online.  Thankfully the Pop a Lock people gave hubby another number.  This guy a) answered his phone on a Sunday night, b) came right out to do a RESIDENTIAL lockout, and c) only charged us $65.

All's well that ends well and we got back into our house in under two hours after we initially got home.  On a positive note, the garage door mechanism had not crashed down onto my car.  Unfortunately, the thing is kaput and we'll have to replace it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11 of Thanksgiving: November 11, 2011

All across the world there are men and women who fight for our freedom every single day.  My life is better because of the people willing to make huge sacrifices for our country.  America truly is the land of the brave and the FREE, and I hope we never forget that.

Today I am thankful for my number one veteran - my dad!!

Happy Veteran's Day to everyone who is serving and who has served in our armed forces.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10 of Thanksgiving: November 10, 2011

I am thankful for friends.

I have never been the type of person who wants or needs to be surrounded by a lot of people.  At any given point in my life, I have had a few close friendships and a bunch of "acquaintance-ships".  Hubby is also that way to some extent, and so are our kids.  I don't think that's a bad thing.  I would much rather be surrounded by one or two people who truly know and love me versus being in the middle of a crowd of people who wouldn't notice if I went missing.

I am really blessed with the friendships in my life. 

BFF:  I have known my BFF since we were twelve.  We have lived miles and miles apart for most of our adult lives and yet our friendship remains the same.  We can go for two weeks without talking and then talk on the phone for two hours like teenagers.  Whenever we are lucky enough to see each other, we pick up just as if it was yesterday that we were last together.   She understands me, she knows the best and the worst about me, she is my summer concert buddy and my know-everything-about-what's-on-sale buddy.  Her family is like my own and I wish our friendship could be more every-day and not so long-distance.

S - I met this friend through church over five years ago.  She's my every-other-Tuesday lunch buddy who makes me laugh, is a good listener and is always up for a gripe-fest.  She is always there for me to talk to, she loves my kids and can always tell me where to buy the most obscure item when I need something. 

R - I met my walking-partner friend through another friend.  She is generous and caring and always the first to help out whenever someone (especially me) is in need.  She loves my kids and my cats.  She is fun to hang out with and gives me that day-to-day friendship every woman should have.  

K - A couple of years ago I met a friend who also happens to be my employer.  Her daughter and mine are the best of friends and they are just good people.  They are generous with their time, love and affection.  When I am with K and her family I feel like I have known them for twenty years, not just a few.  

A - My very first "mommy" friend is someone I met when Jared was just a year old.  Her oldest is the same age and we have been friends ever since.  Though time and distance  have kept us apart more than together, I love her like the sister I never had and am grateful for her warm and faithful heart. 

I also have friendships galore online.  I'm not talking about "yes, I'll be your Facebook friend" kind of friends... but friendships that started over a decade ago thanks to a web site called Babycenter.  We all had children at the same time and have talked and complained and celebrated and cried together over the past ten years.  These girls have been there for me through thick and thin, even though most of them I've never met in person.  We have now migrated over to a Facebook group, but our core friendship is still alive and well.  November 2011 Babycenter girls - you rock!

I may not surround myself with a lot of people, but the friends I choose to surround myself with fill up my life and my heart, and they mean the world to me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9 of Thanksgiving: November 9, 2011

I am thankful for a certain kindergarten teacher.

For some reason I have had a harder time adjusting to K going to kindergarten than I did when J started school.  That's a little absurd to me, considering he is my first "baby", and I've already gone through this with him.  Maybe it's because K is my last baby?  Maybe because J was almost six when he started, while K was just a couple of months past five?  Maybe it's the differences in their personalities.  J is Mr Social, loves to be around other people and meets new situations head-on.  On the other hand, if you looked up the word "clingy" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my daughter.  She is sweet and lovable and kind, but she is a mama's girl through and through.  Even after two months of school she still tells her teacher that she misses me.

I'm sure most, if not all, of the teachers at my children's schools are absolutely wonderful, and J has been lucky for most of his five years at Wylie so far.  I think kindergarten is such a pivotal time for kids, though.  Even though K attended preschool for four years, this year is her true introduction to full-day, five days a week school.  And for someone like her who is shy, sensitive and unsure, having the right teacher is crucial.

You have no idea how many prayers I said before this school year started that K would be in Mrs. O's class.  She was Jared's kindergarten teacher and I just knew she would be a perfect fit with my little girl.  Mrs. O is fun and sweet and loving and just the right amount of strict.  She's also the mom of a kindergarten girl, so she knows where I am coming from!

Today, as I do every Wednesday, I went to the school to have lunch with K.  When I saw my little girl walking hand in hand down the hall with Mrs. O, my heart melted.  Knowing my child is with someone she loves and trusts makes it a little easier for me (and her) to stand being away from her all day.

I wish everyone could have a teacher like Mrs. O when they started school.  She is truly a blessing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8 of Thanksgiving: November 8, 2011

Today I am thankful for my parents.

I love my mom and my dad.  Not only did they give me and my brother the most "normal" childhood someone could have, they are loving, honest, thoughtful people who I am lucky enough to also call "friend". 

Mom & Dad - I hope in thirty years my children will say the same about me.  Hopefully I learned how to be a great parent from you guys!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7 of Thanksgiving: November 7, 2011

I am thankful for my health. 

I know so many people who have dealt with (or are dealing with) serious medical issues.  Two of my best friends are cancer survivors (and are only in their thirties), and my sister-in-law is fighting cancer now.  My husband lost both his mother and his stepmother last year and my BFF's sister had a heart attack this past summer at age 42.

In a world where so many people struggle with being healthy, I am grateful that so far I seem to have inherited my good health from my parents!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6 of Thanksgiving: November 6, 2011

I am thankful for modern medicine.  We have the ability to lower blood pressure & cholesterol, calm indigestion, recover from the flu and fight cancer. 

Unfortunately I've learned the hard way that I need to read labels carefully when taking medicine.  I woke up this morning with a headache.  As a migraine sufferer, I've learned to be grateful for any headache that is NOT a monster one, but this one just wouldn't go away.  I finally decided to take something around 11am.  My headache is better, but I couldn't figure out why I was so dizzy and sluggish.  I've never reacted to simple pain reliever before.  When I went back to check the bottle, I discovered that instead of taking regular Ibuprofen, I had taken two Ibuprofen PM.

There is not enough caffeine in the world to counteract the effects of a "help you sleep" medicine taken before noon.  <yawn>

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5 of Thanksgiving: November 5, 2011

I am thankful for being warm.

Now that the temperatures are cooler and the winds have picked up, it makes me even more grateful to have warm clothes, a new car with a good heater and GREAT heated seats, and a warm, cozy house.  I am still chilled from being outside at J's football game this morning, so right now I am sitting on the couch with a warm rice bag on my legs. 

I can't help but think about the millions of people who don't have these things.  Every day there are people who don't even have a coat, let alone a closet full of warm clothes.  People can't afford their electric bill so they have no heat.  There are homeless people everywhere who suffer through the brutal winter months with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. 

Today I am thankful for readily available sweaters, blankets, hot chocolate and heat!
(And yes, I know I live in Texas, but come join me in 30 mph winds at an 8am football game and you'll agree it can be downright COLD!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4 of Thanksgiving: November 4, 2011

I am thankful for my children.

Sometimes I look at J or K and can see so much of the other in them.  Other times I can only marvel that I gave birth to two such totally different personalities.  They share the same brown hair & dark eyes.  They share their mother's love of sweets, an obsession with cartoons and the same sweet smile.  They are both people-pleasers and want to be friends with everyone.  They are smart, inquisitive, nice, loving children.

If you could be in my house on school mornings, though, the differences between them become glaringly obvious.  J is so much more easygoing than K could ever hope to be.  When I wake him up for school, he will stretch and smile, maybe ask for one more minute, but generally wakes up happy.  (On weekends he's always the first one up, thanks to his Grammie's early bird gene)  He eats his breakfast (whatever I give him), brushes his teeth when I ask him to and will pull on whatever clothes I set out for him.  K, on the other hand, could have coined the phrase "waking up on the wrong side of the bed".  If there's a way to wake this girl up happily, I haven't found it.  She will grunt and grump and pull away from me, she whines and argues, takes forever to choose a breakfast, complains that her socks bother her or her shoes are too loose, and she refuses to hug or kiss me unless I've already taken a shower (apparently bedhead and no makeup turns her off).

Generally they don't even see each other in the morning because J leaves on the bus before I  wake her up.  Today, though, I let him sleep an extra hour and sent him in to wake her up.  I stood outside K's bedroom door and just listened & smiled.  She is nowhere NEAR as grumpy with him as she is with me first thing.  They were laughing and talking and playing around on her bed and it just made my heart melt.  Almost five years and a million miles of personality differences between them means nothing when stacked against the sibling bond.

I am so thankful that God granted me the privilege of being mom to J and K, and I'm so thankful for the love they share for each other.  They fight like cats and dogs, whine and complain about each other and basically act like normal big brother/little sister, but when it comes down to it, the caring they have for each other is evident every day.  It may be a single minute that I would miss if I wasn't watching, but it's still there.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3 of Thanksgiving: November 3, 2011

Today I am thankful for the Wylie Bulldogs.  All of them, but in particular the special young men we have come to know through the Adopt-a-Bulldog program.  This is J's fifth year participating and aside from the first not-so-memorable one, we have been extremely lucky to form friendships with some very nice young men and their families.  Caleb, Derek and Austin are three examples of what I hope my son will be like when he is a teenager.  They are all smart, polite, grounded, faithful individuals who have made it a point to get to know my little guy.  During their respective years with us, they have visited J each week without fail, they have brought gifts, cheered him on at his football games and even taken him out for some fun.  K somehow even wormed her way into Austin's heart this year and she manages to score a gift and time with him as well.  I know that hanging around with a fourth-grader isn't high on the priority list for most 18-year-olds, but these guys make it seem like they enjoy it.

After three months of the football grind (practice, youth games, high school games, and the ever-present challenge of finding just the right treat for our football player), it's still fun and part of that is due to our Wylie football players.  We have met a bunch of wonderful people (moms & dads, friends, girlfriends, etc) through them and in a world of increasing selfishness and immaturity in younger generations, I'm proud to say we have been blessed with forming relationships with young men who are anything but selfish or immature.

This is J's first year of playing football as a Wylie Bulldog, and I hope if he continues with it, that one day someone else's mom will be complimenting him as their "big Bulldog".

Our "Boys of Fall":

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2 of Thanksgiving: November 2, 2011

It's day number two of thankfulness and I am thankful for the internet.  Seriously.  This amazing, intangible, high-tech "thing" is a huge part of my life.  I use it to earn a paycheck.  I use it for parenting advice, travel arrangements, recipe-finding, shopping, even book trading.    I can figure out how to harden playdoh using glue and water!  I use it to order insulin from Canada for my diabetic cat.   The internet gives me a way to communicate every day with people I wouldn't normally be able to (unless I sat and talked on the phone all day).  I can send pictures of my kids to my mother and I can catch up with old friends.  I have made some wonderful new friends through online sites.  Most importantly, without the internet, I would never have met my husband!

Day 1 of Thanksgiving: November 1, 2011

November means chilly weather (unless you're in Texas on certain days), football, comfort food, pumpkins, Christmas decorations in the stores, and Thanksgiving.  I have a whole lot to be thankful for in my life (and I haven't been very good at posting to my blog) so I decided I would write each day about something I am thankful for.

(Yes, I realize I'm a day late in starting this.... I'm a busy mom, cut me some slack!)

First and foremost, on this first day of November, I am thankful for my husband.  The other night I told him "I'm so glad I married you."  His response?  "Are you crazy?" or something like that.  Ever the romantic, that's my hubby.

No matter who you are, where you live, or what you have, life is guaranteed to hand you ups and downs.  Hubby is definitely an "up" for me.  He is my strength when I'm feeling weak.  He makes me smile when I need a lift.  He works so hard for his family and never (seriously) complains about doing so.  He accepts all of my quirks (well, most of them) and has a few of his own.  He loves our children and he loves me and I'm so grateful for that.  He is a good, good man and I'm lucky to call him "husband".