Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A Family Portrait I Found: Circa 2005

This picture is priceless on so many levels...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good Ole Miss O

Because she's a stinkin' genius and should be one of those adorable kids on the Microsoft commercials, I was able to teach Olivia how to use Microsoft Publisher- my favorite program in the world (because I am not a genius and Photoshop hurts my brain.) She comes up with the most random, yet hilarious things while fooling around on there. She has made invitations to a private concert that was held in our living room.

She made this random sign that she hung on the fridge the other day...
HUH?!?!? Ha!

But the best thing I have seen from her is this card for my 30th Birthday Pity Party.
She cracks me up.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not Me Monday

I take comfort in the fact that the following has probobly happened to MckMamma... Scoot over and check out her Not Me Mondays and see what other things she and everyone else haven't done this week...

I did not turn 30 today.


Not me.

Februray 16, 1979 was just an ordinary day. Nothing of importance... Carry on.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ahhhh, Valentine's Day. I love today! (only because it means my birthday is in 2 days- Just kidding!) I am lucky that Jas and I tell one another how much we love each other about 100 times a day, so its silly to make such a fuss on a this particular day. We usually just get each other one funny card and one mushy one and call it a day. Of course, I have saved everything he has ever written to me- letters when he first moved away, the card the wrote me the day Miss O was born, EVERYTHING- since it happens so rarely, and they are all little treasures that I will hold on to forever...

There is one thing that he gave me that I didn't hold on to and its something I still think about on every anniversary or Valentine's Day, or at those moments when I can't believe how lucky I am to have him as my husband.

The fall of my freshman year at UT, I flew out to Phoenix to see Jas for a little getaway. Stacie flew out too. So fun. We all decided to drive up to Flagstaff for the weekend and go see the Grand Canyon. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Seriously. And while we were there I saw all these people throwing coins over the side of the canyon, obviously making wishes. I figured if you're going to make a wish, something as breathtaking and amazing as the Grand Canyon would be a great place- I figured the scale alone would hold some pretty strong mo-jo. So I asked Jas for a coin to throw and he gave me a penny. Nope, too small. Again, if you're wishing in to the Grand Canyon, you need a grand coin. So I asked for a quarter.

I went to the side, held the coin tightly in my hand, and wished that Jason and I would be together forever. I didn't make it too specific or demanding. Just simple and too the point. Me. Jas. Forever. This picture was taken right after I made that wish. It would take another 3 years with a lot of tears and heartbreak, soul-searching, and growing up- but we came back together at a time that was right for us and set us on the path to where we are today. A path to be on together forever.

We are still very much in love. We are best friends. We still hold hands where ever we go. I still get butterflies when I get ready to go on a "date" with him. I love the sound of the garage door opening because I know that means I get to see him again. I love that no matter how awful a fight we have, he always makes us "hug it out" at the end- such sweet comic relief. I stare at him a lot and think how handsome he is. I am lucky that he loves me enough to put up with me since I'm kind of a toot about 77.4% of the time. We have a strong marriage that has survived a lot, we have a precious family that we love to pieces, and most importantly, I love him more when I wake up every morning then I did when I fell asleep.

And I still like to think that my Grand Canyon Wish had a little something to do with all that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Was Not Rockin' A Blue Apron

Okay. So I took Miss O to the doctors last night(thank God for late hours on Thursdays) and it turns out she has Strep throat. Her doctors reminds me that I can get Amoxicilian at Wal-Mart for a lovely $4, so we stop by there on our way home.

We go, drop off the prescription, and the guy tells up it will be about 20 minutes.

Oh, the random things you can put in your cart at Wal-Mart in 20 minutes.
So we bought face wash. And cough drops. And Children's Tylenol. And 2 new pink pillow cases for O. And 100 calorie packs of Twinkies (who knew!?!?). And hamburger buns. And gum. We listened to the relaxing ocean waves CD sampler they play by the candle aisle. We tried on funny rainbow striped reading glasses. And then we head over to the card aisle so I can pick one up for my beloved for Valentine's Day. I am turning to go down the aisle, when his frazzled man stops me by grabbing the end of my cart and says, " I am so sorry, but I need your help." (Okay, freaking out justalittle, but...) He proceeds to tell me that his daughter just called and he must bring home a box of Valentines for her to take to school tomorrow and he needs me to tell him what she is talking about. I guess he had been walking up and down the greeting card aisle, stressing out because they were nowhere to be found.

So, always wanting to show Miss O how to be cheerful and helpful to others, I told the guy to follow me, and I brought him to the HUGE ASS (oops, sorry! See, I'm trying!) row of overflowing boxes of Valentines located at the VERY front of the store RIGHT where you walk in. And then get this: He says, "Thanks! I work here and I didn't even know where these were!" Okay, even Miss O made a comment about that one: " Why didn't he find one of his Wal-mart workers and ask them?" Good question, girl. I soon found out it was because I was wearing a blue Wal-Mart employee apron that was invisible to me, but shining like a beacon in the night to everyone else at the store that evening.

So we go back and are standing in the not even worth $4 medication its so long line at the pharmacy right next to the vast array of Tylenol products. A women walks up to me and asks, "Where is the Tylenol PM?", she doesn't even attempt to look herself, she asks me! But like a big dork, I'm all like, "Well, lets see here...." and proceed to case the whole shelf of Tylenol until I found it for her. (Its on the top row in the middle, if you need some next time you're there). Miss O gives me this precious What-In-The-World face when that lady walked away and starts cracking up. I'm glad someone finds this amusing.

And theeeeeeen, we have moved up in line, its almost our turn and I am not kidding you! A women comes up to me with a coupon in hand for HANDI-WIPES and asks me where can she find them in the store. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That's when I had a Jas moment, and really thought I was on candid camera. I looked around for a second, but, again, dork that I am, I tell her they could be located on the toilet paper aisle near the Kleenex, I believed. (Still not sure if that's right, but it was an educated guess...Don't think I won't go look the next time I'm there!)

Its been a long evening, 20 minutes of waiting has turned into an hour, Jas is texting me that the hamburgers he started cooking while we were there are now stone cold, I'm sad Miss O has to miss another Valentine's party, and I just want to GET HOME. I turn to Miss O and say all huffy, "Seriously, why is everyone asking me about stuff tonight?" and you know her answer that makes me feel about 2 inches tall for being so put out about it: "Because you just look so nice, Mommy."

She kills me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Swear Jar

Oh, it has happened. All the shit hard time I have given Jason about his potty-mouth has caught up with my ass tushy. Truth be told- its not really him with the problem... Its me.

I should have known it was coming. So many times I have told Jas, "Just you wait until they say something at school. You will be the one going to that parent-teacher conference." Yea, I think I should be the one clearing my calendar...

So, the other day my mom comes to pick up Luke for a play day, and he has been stalking her at the kitchen window, waiting... As soon as she pulls up, he turns to me and says, with clinched fists raised in excitement, "HOLY CRAP! Mimi's here!!!!" Now, I am the worst disciplinarian in the history of the world- only because I think my children are so funny, and I cannot look them in the eye and keep a straight face when they have done something wrong that could be perceived as humorous. (I know it is a fault of mine. I am working on it...) So when he says this declaration, I just about spit my coffee across the room and then have to bite the inside of my cheeks until the are bleed-ing to stop myself from laughing. But he knows. He's seen that face before and he says, "Wha so fun-nee Momeee?" with the precious smile. Ugh! So have to keep a straight face and tell him "'Crap' is a very yucky word. We don't say that word." and he says, "Yes, oooooooonly when we play MarioKart." Damnit! I mean, Shoot!

So I should have known it was coming. Something was going to come out of his mouth at the wrong time at the wrong place. Sure enough. Today after school, we had to run a few errands- one of which was up to the little post office place run by this adorable old couple. They are so nice and cute and southern, I always expect to walk in there one day and see them sitting in rocking chairs, offering me a glass of homemade lemonade out of a mason jar... Well, I had quite a few tasks to accomplish while we were there and suggested that the kids play with the toys that they keep in little bucket by the counter. Luke and Miss O start playing with the blocks and get into a bit of a tiff, if you will. I tell the sweet women, "Excuse me" and dip down under the counter to try to stop the squabble as quickly as possible. I dig through the bucket and pull out an old beat up train. "Here, play with this!" I say through clinched teeth, trying not to loose it. To which my precious son replies, "No! That one's CRAP!" Oh, sweet Lord. I stand back up very slowly, scared of the look I will find on Mrs. Sweet Postal Lady's face. Yea. It was pretty awful. "Oh, ha, ha, silly kids! They say the darnest things," I say, kicking Luke under the counter getting back to business. I am dying, by the way.

So we are almost finished, and I ask the kids to clean up and Luke wonders over to the rack of cardboard mailing tubes. One day, weeks ago, Luke was bugging the crap hooey out of me, begging me for cookies. To have some comic relief, I grabbed the empty paper towel roll from the holder, and did a little trumpet sounds and made a very official announcement: "NO. MORE. COOKIES!" He thought this was hil-ar-i-ous, and now every time he sees some sort of cardboard roll, he feels compelled to do his own "No more cookies" announcement. He decided this needed to be done with one of the HUGE tubes at the postal store. Well, he had a tough time getting it out of the rack, and in the meantime he knocked over three or four, causing a huge ruckess, and what do I hear out of his sweet little mouth? "Oh, shit!"

Yes. Its official. I am the WORST Mommy in the whole world.

"Luke!" I yelled, "We DO NOT say that word!"
"Right. Oooooooooonly when we play MarioKart."

Needless to say, I didn't look that poor women in the eye for the rest of the trip. I was so embarrassed and fumbly, wanting to get the hell heck out of there that I actually left my debit card on the counter with the receipt I signed. I am thinking of just leaving it there, out of sheer embarrassment, and going to the bank tomorrow to get a new one. And while I'm there, I may as well start a high yield savings account for all of the money that I will be pouring into the Swear Jar I have made for myself.

Oh, the shame. The shame.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Everything Happens For A Reason

So, I love when something happens and you can stop and look back and see that little things fell into place to make that one big thing happen. It always confirms for me that everything, big or small, happens for a reason and we need to roll with the punches. Someday, it will all make sense...

When Gary was sick, one of his wishes was that some of his ashes would be spread out at the Pebble Beach Golf Course in California. He had wanted to play there his whole life, and finally got the chance a few years back with his oldest brother, and best friend, Bob. They were blessed that day with not only beautiful weather, but the man they were paired up to play with happened to be there with his wife. Who happened to be an incredible photographer. She took some of the greatest photos of Gary and Bob, and was kind enough to later send him a CD of them all. A treasure we will all keep. Proof of their incredible time. Golf was something that he loved almost more than all of us, and it was fitting that part of him should stay close to the Earth, on a golf course green- something that is just a bright and full as life has he was.

After Gary passed away we were at odds with how in the world we were going to a)Get out to California, b)Get on the course itself and c) Not get arrested. There were a lot of detail to work out and we just weren't sure we could ever make it happen...

Then this happened: After much deliberation, Jason's brother, Jon, left the girl he had been caddying for for years on the LPGA circuit, and began working for a new guy who plays for the PGA this year. He played in the Phoenix Open a few weeks back and Jon was able to get half of Gary's ashes while he was staying there with Martha because....

Here is where the story gets good:

Guess where they will be playing this weekend? You got it. Good ole Pebble Beach! Its part of Jon's job to walk the course days in advance and make notes for guy, and lets just say he happened to take more than his notepad and pencil when he went out this time. He was able to spread Gary's ashes on the 18th hole that overlooks the ocean. A perfect place. Just what he had wanted.

Thanks to some little things, Gary got his big wish. And I can't tell you how much that means to all of us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Word According To Luke

I'm sorry, but I could seriously listen to Bubs sing this grace that they say at his Mother's Day Out all day.

We are "berry finkful" that we found such a sweet school that he absolutly loves. For those of you who don't speak Lisping 2 Year Old, it is subtitled below.

(And, yes, I know he is in desperate need of a haircut. He just cries every time I mention it though... I think he's been secretly talking to Celine Dion and Kate Hudson's boys...)

"God, our Father, God, our Father,
Once again, once again
We are very thankful
I am very thankful.
Amen, Amen."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lost And Found

So, guess what I did this past weekend? (Besides have some deliciosas margaritas...)
I re-found a friend.
Well that's silly, you say, where did I lose her?
I'm thinking it must have been somewhere on the road between HecticHomeLifeVille and MiscommunicationTown. I think the Lost and Found for girlfriends there must be full to the brim. But thank God you can go there, and look, and see if the friend you might have otherwise lost, is still there: You both might look a little different. You both might feel a little different. But your hearts haven't changed. You still know each other from the inside out.Remember my C.T.J. I had the other day? Well, just writing it really shook me up. Since then, (and since I've been well!) I have consciously woken up every morning and thanked God for a new day with my precious children and my loving husband, and made a commitment to truly be in the moment. To savor every Play-Doh snake I make and every chapter of Junie B. Jones I read aloud. I have hugged Jas a little longer than I normally would- because I have no where to rush off to. I have made no immediate plans, other than enjoying each day and playing it by ear for the most part.
And along with this commitment to my family, I made a commitment to myself. I want to feel like myself again. I got lost in the shuffle after Luke was born, a victim of E.E.F. (Everyone Else First) and I don't think that's healthy in the long run. Being my own person is what got me where I am today and I need to honor that. I need to take the time to put in the effort to focus on what I love and makes me truly happy. And one thing I love, love, love is my girlfriends. I have always had a pretty big circle of friends, its waxed and wained over the years, but my girlfriends are something that mean a lot to me. I am lucky enough to have two fabulous sisters, and each girlfriend I had was just like adding another. I always felt like those friendships were that close because it wasn't all smiles and rainbows; there was heartache, fear and loss. There were celebrations and disagreements. But more than anything there was laughter and love and confirmation that we are not all loosing it! And every friend I have found has had that "something": a quality I was lacking, skills I admired, a new perspective on things. Most of the time I am actually in awe that these women want to be my friend.
Especially my girlfriend Cat. She is so fabulous. Like, seriously, seriously fabulous. We met at work, and formed a friendship over microwaved lunches eaten at a rickety card table and hushed discussions with our co-workers over how we were planning to get the hell outta there. She and I then wised up, and would make a break for the coffee shop around the corner- where we could talk out loud about how we felt, and from work talk came boy talk and from boy talk came talk about marriage and babies and family and life... I will never forget one of the first times we had "escaped" and she says to me, "So, I went out the other night to this new place... Have you ever seen 'Eyes Wide Shut'?" WHOA, TONTO! I think I almost choked on my coffee, expecting her to start sharing a little tooo much that early in our friendship. That had totally come out the wrong way, and we started cracking up as my prudish tendencies came shining through, and I got the first taste of living through Cat's fabulous adventures (that had nothing to do with underground societies, by the way- just a fancy VIP elevator...)
She has always been the Neimans to my Old Navy- I just feel a little classier standing next to her. She has such a strong sense of self, and knows just the right way to speak up- which is a gift I do not have and admire so much. She is so calm and centered. She is kind and understanding. She is funny, and smart. She is beautiful inside and out. So needless to say, there has been a void in my life for the past year. I missed her so much, and it was fear of the unknown that kept me from reaching out to her. We had drifted apart and I told myself stories of why and how that weren't true, so I wouldn't have to put myself out there and face the fact that I might have hurt my friend... Do you know how stupid that is? I let one of my closest friends drift out of my life for fear of an uncomfortable encounter, because I was scared she was really mad at me and couldn't stand to face that idea. But- remember how I want "Me" back- well, She is a big part of Me. So I decided to go looking through that Friend Lost and Found- whatever the outcome would be- I needed to at least go look.
And I thank God that I did. Because I found her. When someone has been by your side through so much, has been a genuine friend through it all- you can't let them go. She has been in my thoughts every day- I never really lost her. I am lucky to have such friends: The kind who you can not see for so long, and then a few drinks and a few hours later, its like no time has passed. There's a little patch work to be done. A little dust to brush off. You make sense of what happened: There are some truths to be told and some sorries to be said. But then those moments are over and done. And then you make promise to create an emergency plan, so that you know what to do next time one of you gets "lost."

Look how sweet- Cat and Miss O, her flower girl...Love this pic...Love it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009