Bad Margo!

Yeah yeah, I know. I've been a bad blogger. I just don't have enough hours in the day!

Christmas is upon us and the hustle and bustle that comes with it has been extra hustley-bustley this year. We just returned yesterday from our trip to Colorado to stay with Uncle Matt and Aunt Malissa. It was a wonderful time but not nearly long enough. It's always nice to be back home, I just wish we were with family more often.

When we came home we opened our own gifts to each other and Hubby blew me away with my gifts. A new chair for the office. A new 24 inch monitor and a super fast "tricked out for pictures" XPS Dell computer. I hadn't asked for any of these things but the idea that he thought of these things all on his own just make me beam. You see, I'm not sure if I've mentioned it but I've quite my job and am hoping to pursue my dream of being a full time photographer. Knowing that he has invested in me by providing these gifts makes me so happy! He really rocks!

So, hopefully I'll be editing faster and adding more photos to my blog more often. Yeah! Here are a few to enjoy of Sadie putting the star on our family tree this year.

And Eli got to do the star on the big tree in the entryway this year. We rotate the kids so next year Sadie will move up to the big tree and it will be Tea's turn to do the family tree. Luckily they aren't afraid to climb. I hope our banister holds up throughout the years. Just think, there may be a day that we have grand-babies climbing on that thing to put the star on!


Snowflake fun

I'm sitting here at work, trying to avoid working. I don't feel well. Haven't felt well for 12 days now. I'm just nauseated and blah. No, I'm not pregnant. At least I don't think I am. Some major growing back together would have had to have happened for that to take place! I'm going to the doctor this morning at 11:00 so I'm just sort of hanging here waiting until my appointment.

So my friend Shari showed me this link to make a snowflake. It's awfully fun. You should try it out!

Need a Snow Day?Snowflake Fun!


Here's what's happening in our neck of the woods.

Said in my best Al Roker voice of course.

So sorry to my faithful followers who are wondering if I might have fallen off the face of the earth. I'm still here. Just hanging on as tight as I can.

We've been busy to say the least. I guess the best thing to do is share updates on everyone. So here goes!

Teagan: She's doing much better after her major injury. She won't let anyone go near her knee though. Taking the stitches out was a nightmare. It didn't hurt but you would have thought that they were putting more in. Then a couple days ago she said it was hurting and it looked like there might be an infection under the skin. The disolvable layer of stitches are still in. I know this because some of them are still sticking out. When she woke up yesterday morning whatever I had seen under the skin the day before had "popped" and there was a hole. She gets really super freaked out if anything changes because she thinks we'll have to go back to the doctor and they'll mess with it. I did take her in yesterday and she flipped when they tried to pull out the disolvable stitches so they are still there. The doctor didn't think it was infected but guessed that one of the stitches was the cause of the new hole so we got some prescription ointment to put on it just in case. Other than that she's doing great. Reading more and more each day which is always so much fun to watch. She's still doing gymnastics too and even pronounces it correctly most of the time now. I much prefer when she was excited to go to "june-nastics".

Sadie: She got braces yesterday. Just one the front 4 teeth. It's phase 1. First we had the palate expander and now the 4 braces with the wire connecting back to the bands that are attached to the expander. Did I mention this is just phase 1? I'd love to say that she'll just need this but I'm guessing phase 2 will be a must. Good times right? Yep. She's still dancing away and recently took a hip hop masters class. The girl can seriously wiggle. At least one of my kiddos got my hip shakin' ability, right?

Eli: He's got braces now. Did you know that? It's been a while but I can't remember how long it's been since I've updated. He's still got the same girlfriend too. A year and a half. And he's 12. Man. Talk about long term. He's still going strong with his piano and trumpet. Not making his piano teacher too happy because instead of practicing the music she gives him he finds a song that he'd rather learn and dives in deep. I love to hear him play.

Madi: She got her braces off. Her hair has grown and is long and beautiful. She told us the other day that when they filled out the Pioneer Picks for the yearbook last week that everyone was telling her they voted her "best hair". Who would have thought that the little girl who didn't have more than a wisp of hair until she was 18 months old would now have such wonderful thick blonde hair. She's had a couple boyfriends but nothing that ever really seemed to be more than a special friend to her. Until now. She now has a 9th grade boyfriend and she is smitten! I'm pleased to say that I approve. He seems like a really nice kid and is cute too!

Brad and myself: Well, we're just busy running the Stewart household and keeping up with all the activities and everyday happenings! Brad just sold a house and has another couple interested in having him build a custom home for them after the new year. I'm so proud of him. He really is a cool guy. We will celebrate 15 years together in marraige in January. Wow, time really DOES fly! We traveled to San Francisco in the beginning of this month to run in the USA Half marathon. It was a really fun trip with friends and we stayed with SueAnn which was an extra bonus.

And then there is my new business venture which is what has truly been keeping me the busiest. I finally took the plunge and started a photography business. You can find me at www.madiganephotography.com I've been busy for the last several weekends with sessions and then spend a lot of time in the evening editing my photos. It's really taken off and I'm looking forward to what it may (or may not) bring. I don't know that I could ever leave the comfort of the full-time guaranteed job I currently have but I have to admit that I do dream of one day doing photography full time.

So there ya go. That's what's been going on. I promise to at least try to post more. I miss blogging about my daily life. It really is neat to have a record of what goes on around here. Maybe that can be one of my new year resolutions. I'll tag it right along with "eat better" and "exercise".

Oh, and just because I have to add a photo to my posts or they don't feel complete, here's one of Madi schlepping some of my photography stuff for me after a recent shoot.



Our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

The day started off nicely enough. Madi and Eli are away at a church retreat because it's fall break. I took yesterday and today off to stay home with Sadie and Teagan. Yesterday we had a blast...shopping, lunch together, pumpkin patch. Good times. This morning we got up and did some cleaning and then went to lunch with Hubby. Then we picked up some new OSU apparel cause it's homecoming weekend. HUGE deal in these parts.

We came home after lunch and were finishing up some cleaning in hopes to surprise Daddy when he got home. I had just changed my Facebook status to say...cleaning, then running, then walk-a-round! We were really looking forward to the walk-a-round where we have the opportunity to see all the house decks that the sororities and fraternities on campus have made over the last several weeks.

My sweet little Tea pot was in my bathroom with me and asked if she could organize my shoes in my closet. It's a little bit like a shoe store in there. Empty boxes on the shelves with shoes littering the floor. I told her that would be fine and thought I'd take a few minutes to do some photo editing.

As I'm sitting here on the computer I thought I heard her scream. Sadie was here next to me and I asked her if she heard something and so then we both sat quietly waiting. Yep. Screaming for sure.

I ran back to my bathroom to find Teagan sitting in the middle of my bathroom floor. She said she had fallen in my closet and her leg hurt. She was holding her left leg and wearing jeans and I didn't see anything out of place so I started to lift her jeans up. I honestly expected to see a little scrape or bump that I would easily be able to kiss away. Instead, as I lifted the jeans past her little knee all of the skin covering her knee cap lifted as well. Her knee cap was completely exposed and there lay the deepest cut from one side of her knee to the other. Sadie had run in behind me and I immediately told her to call Hubby and tell him to meet me at the emergency room. Teagan was screaming, especially after seeing what her knee looked like, and she just kept saying things like, "Why did this happen Mommy?!" "Why did this have to happen?!".

I've seen my kids in pain before. I've seen them with ear aches and strep throat. But I didn't see the infection inside their body and the changes it had made. I've witnessed Teagan break her arm and held her as we had x-rays done. But I couldn't see the shattered bone inside her body. This was absolutely unreal. I don't know that I'll ever get the image of her bone uncovered by her skin out of my head. I don't know that I've ever felt that helpless in my life. To not have any answers for her when she just kept asking why. To not be able to just tell her that it would all be ok because I was so beside myself with what I saw that I couldn't be sure that it WOULD be ok.

Luckily my neighbors were home and were able to watch Sadie for me. I had wrapped Teagan's leg in a towel and we headed to the emergency room. On the ride there she must have told me 5 times that it felt fine. She just needed some band aids. She didn't need stitches. Bless her heart.

Hubby was waiting for us when we got there. Once we got in the room the nurse came in and unwrapped her leg and Hubby saw it for the first time. I had told him it was bad but I don't know that he realized how serious I was. He had to leave the room and get a drink of water and some fresh air.

Three hours later we were finally sent home. The doctors knew that it was such a deep cut that it would take a while to stitch up so they had to clear up all the other patients first. Holding Teagan down while they numbed her leg was awful. They ended up having to numb her three times because it just didn't seem to be working. She ended up with 24 stitches across her knee, in two layers because it was so deep. She can walk but won't bend her knee. We missed the homecoming walk-a-round but grabbed some dinner afterwards. By the time we got home her numbness was starting to wear off and she was complaining so I gave her some of the Tylenol 3 we got. Not long ago she came in crying because it hurt so much.

Bless her heart. She honestly seems to have the worst luck ever. This was SUCH a freak accident. It turns out that when she fell, her knee hit the handle on my jewelry box. It stuck in her knee on one side and just tore itself across. She was wearing a pair of jeans we bought yesterday and although there are a few little bloody spots from when I pulled the jeans up, for the most part they are in fine shape. Just one small little hole where the handle poked through.

Please pray for quick healing for our little Tea pot. There is honestly nothing worse than seeing your child in pain and not being able to take it away.


How'd that happen?

How has it been nearly 3 weeks since I've written on my blog? It's amazing how the time seems to be just flying by. Remember when we were little and it would take like 12 years for our birthday to come back around each year?

So I started the previous entry last week I think. Then I got too busy at work to finish it. That's how it's been lately. Too busy to accomplish anything really.

So I have a million things to talk about but just not nearly enough time so I'll just give you some highlights of what's been going on in my crazy life.

-Eli got braces.
-Madi got her braces off.
-Sadie started the 5 week process at the orthodontist to get her palate expander
-We've filed bankruptcy after all the money we've spent at the orthodontist. (Not really, but hubby did ask if they had a buy 3 get 1 free special since Teagan will undoubtedly need treatment as well.)
-Hubby and I took a long weekend trip to Pheonix to get away and relax.
-Hubby came down with strep throat while we were on our long relaxing weekend which made it not as relaxing.
-My boss/friend Leah at work quit and left me here to fend for myself among the mentally ill.
-I have become increasingly unhappy with my job and am giving serious thought to trying to build a photography business.
-I had a small secret stash of money in my PayPal account from some PrettyMat sales so I spent a bit on a new photography website that I have no idea how to set up.
-Madi and I flew to Houston to stay with Brent and Rhonda and their new precious boy Eddie!
-I took nearly 700 photos over the course of three days in Houston and might be editing them for the rest of my life.

Also, I had a dream the other night about my sister Emily who is having a birthday tomorrow. Her boyfriend Brian recently sold his home in New Mexico and Emily and I have discussed whether or not he might be using some of that profit on a shiny and sparkly gift for her. With her birthday just around the corner I've been wondering lately if I might not get an "I'm engaged!" phone call in the near future.

So a couple nights ago I dreamed that it was the day before her birthday and I was talking to her on the phone. I asked her if she thought she might be getting anything shiny and sparkly for her birthday. She said she didn't think so. She'd looked around the house that she and Brian share and all she found was some books about building a home. I asked her if they were old books that were from when they were building and she said no. She was sure they weren't because they were with all his other stuff. I asked what "stuff" she meant and she said that it was with his hospital stuff...the books, his night clothes, his cane. ???? Apparently he had been in or was going in for hernia surgery. And so he had a cane. And new pj's. And some reading material. We discussed whether or not he was secretly building another home somewhere.

Tomorrow is Emily's birthday. Here's hoping she gets something shiny and sparkly! And if she doesn't, let's just all hope that Brian isn't secretly building another house. Oh, and that he is in good health.

And maybe that I don't have anymore really random dreams!


I didn't wanna watch anyway. So there!

Monday was Labor Day and the kids were off school on Tuesday for a "professional" day. Not sure what that means other than the kids would be home and I wouldn't be. Madi had a volleyball game in Broken Arrow (about an hour and a half away) and had to load the bus at 1:30. (It was actually 1:15 but I thought it was 1:30 and I had some major pms-teen-drama in my front seat trying to get to the junior high before the bus left. Good times.)

So since I was leaving work early to go to the game and since I had a stomach ache I just opted out of work that day. I loaded up the other 3 kiddos and we headed to Broken Arrow. The game was to start at 4:00 but Madi plays on the "A" team and up until that day, the "B" team always played before her. So I figured I had a little bit of time before they started. I'm looking around this store that I just ran into really quick and my cellie rings and it's Madi saying, "We play in 15 minutes". It's currently 3:45.

Apparently there are two gyms at this place so I hustle over to watch her play thinking I'll just zoom across town and then I remember I'm not in Stillwater anymore. Stupid traffic. It takes a while to get to where I'm going and then I find the gym but her team isn't playing there. I ask the man at the door taking money where she is and he says, "Go through there, out the doors, and then it's one of the big square buildings outside." Um, ok. Except that there are several big square buildings. Thanks for your help there mister.

I finally do find her gym at about 4:15. I go in and pay $5 for myself and $3 each for the kiddos. Not that they are going to actually watch the games. They still make me pay though. That's fine. It's not there fault that I have a big family. I don't mind being responsible for them. You know what I do mind though? I mind finding out that they already won a game and we're halfway through game 2 and kickin' hiney which means I just payed $14 for about 10 minutes! Seriously?!

On the advice of my fellow parents I marched right over to the lady who took my $14 check and asked if I could have it back and just wait outside. So we did. Wait outside. And a few short minutes later the 'neers beat the Bulldogs and we got to go home.

So my goal of taking pictures of every game and tournament hasn't been broken. Cause look. I did get a photo! A crappy one...but hey! It's a photo!


Madi's photoshoot


So there's this little field near my house and every time I drive by there I think about how I'd like to take pictures there. Actually, I think about how I'd like to drag a barstool and/or my Grandmother's chair there and take pictures of Madi. I mentioned this not long ago and Madi was all for it so this weekend we finally made the trek over and "got 'er done".

The original area where I wanted to shoot turned out not to be so great. It was a lot more overgrown then I realized and a little bit creepy. At one point I was squatting down to take a picture and noticed there was a little frog right in front of me. I wonder how many snakes and bugs were out there with us. *shudder*


The light in that area wasn't as nice as I'd hoped it would be either so we wandered over to where I could see better light and I hit the jackpot. I knew this pond was there but I didn't know there was a little area at the back of the pond that was perfect for taking pictures. Score! This property was sold recently and I'm not sure what the new owner will end up doing with it or when they'll do it. So until then I'm just going to keep trespassing and hoping I don't get caught!

Hold up

Madi was a good sport and did everything I asked. She was only distracted by her cell phone, which I had to take away when I convinced her to change into a skirt and she didn't have a pocket for it. Man, that thing rings nonstop! She also got a bit distracted when her friend Kiley and dog Sadie showed up from around the corner. Sadie got to have her picture taken too but I couldn't convince Kiley to let me take any shots of her. There's always next time though!


I had a lot of fun editing these photos using some new Photoshop actions I found. It's amazing how different you can make the photos look in post processing! Feel free to mosey on over to flickr to check them out here. Enjoy!


Keepin' busy

So lots and lots and lots of stuff going on. So much stuff that I'm starting to have a bit of an issue with keeping it all straight. Yeah. That much stuff.

School has started again. Piano has started. Volleyball. Fusion. Cheerleading. Gymnastics. Dance. Yep, full swing. Serious full swingage.

Last weekend Madilee had her first volleyball tournament with her 8th grade school team. They won every single match in just two games and ended up getting first place in the gold bracket. Super fun to watch them win after not always winning during the club volleyball season. They've had 2 games since then and I'm pleased to say that they are still undefeated. Go Pioneers!

I didn't get to watch the bracket play on Saturday because my sister Emily came back to Oklahoma and she and our sister Amy and I had our 3rd Annual Sister Sleepover. Lots of fun staying up late gabbing and eating cookie dough. Pictures to follow soon. I promise!

On Monday Eli went in to the orthodontist to get braces. He was not a happy camper Monday night. Or Tuesday for that matter. Thank goodness God made him a boy. He never would have survived life as a girl with monthly pain and then labor. Seriously.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend. Except that I'm doing a 5K tomorrow in Norman which means I have to wake up early early to get there and I don't wanna. I don't wanna. I don't wanna!

There. Now I'm done.

Enjoy the long weekend!



Poor poor little Liza Jayne!

Liza is our Chihuahua/Poodle mix and she is awfully wobbly these days. I was in the shower yesterday morning after my run and Hubby came in and said, "There's something wrong with Liza". I looked out to see her just laying on her left side, looking all limp. We'd try to stand her on her legs and she'd do the wet noodle thing and just fall over onto her left side. Hubby felt around on her legs and she didn't whimper or yelp like she was in pain.

So I finished getting ready and headed to the vet with her. Of course, by the time we got there she was 10 times better. Just like the kids. Sicker than a dog (pun intended!) at home and then you take them to the doctor and they are miraculously healed. So frustrating!

I didn't have an appointment so I was prepared to wait but they got me right in and examined her. The vet decided that she had an inner ear infection and she basically had vertigo. Bless her heart! They had to keep her there for the day to do an ear flush. Then they tested the goop they got out to see what sort of bacteria it was so they knew what medications to prescribe. These meds are pretty cute with the little paw print on top. I guess that's so I don't accidentally try to feed them to the kids?

They said that the first 24-48 hours she may actually be worse and she really is. It's pretty pitiful. She prefers laying in her comfy bed in her crate. I did get her out last night before bed so she could take her medicine. Hubby would say her name and she'd look towards him and her little head just wobbles all around. I'm hoping that she'll feel better by tomorrow. It's hard to see her so puny when she's usually such a happy peppy little thing!


Yo Candice!

Where's your blog? I just realized I never added you to my friends area so I clicked on your name from my comment but I don't see a blog. Do you no longer have it? Is it private? Come on girl, let me link up wit choo! (Like my Ebonics?)

Made it through the first day

Look! I'm back already. With pictures! Everyone survived the first day of school for the most part. Here's a rundown...

Madi loves her new math teacher. She doesn't struggle in math like I did when I was younger but I think having a math teacher that you really enjoy is always a bonus. She's taking Spanish this year and said that her teacher wouldn't speak in English. So Madi turned around to ask her friend sitting behind her if she understood and then the teacher started getting onto her for talking in class. Except that she was getting onto her in Spanish, which of course Madi didn't understand. She actually really does know quite a bit of the language, seeing as how El Vaquero is her second home. She really didn't have a lot to report other than that.

Eli called me as soon as he got home from school with a report of a great first day at the middle school. He said he thought that the day would go by slower but it went really quickly. He liked all of his classes and all of his teachers. When we picked up his schedule last week we realized he wasn't placed in the Extended Studies class and so he requested that it be added. It is a semester long course so he knew he would lose one of his electives and was hoping it wouldn't be Spanish. He was thrilled to find out that he'd been added to Extended Studies during the second semester and that this semester he got art and Spanish. Yeah!

Little Miss Sheradyn had a fantastic day. She said she made 2 new friends on the bus. She loves her new teacher and got to go to music class yesterday which was fun. She also says the new playground is "soooooo much fun!". Can't beat that, right? I asked her if everyone called her Sheradyn and she said, "Yes, but some of my close friends kept forgetting and called me Sadie". Well, of course they did!

Then there's my little Teagers. The two little girls that I sat her with when they were lined up in the gym ended up being nice. Thank goodness! She said she made friends with those two girls and then one other girl that was sitting at her table. She couldn't remember any of their names though. So Brad's instructions to her before he left this morning were to find out her new friends names. She called me after school when she got off the bus and I asked her how her first day was. She said, "It was good. But the bus wasn't." I asked her what happened on the bus and she started crying and said she didn't want to say it because it was embarassing. It really wasn't that big of a deal. But the fact that my little baby came home from her first day of school crying and was so upset about it just broke my heart! Apparently, she sat near the back of the bus. Big mistake, cause everyone knows the bad kids sit in the back. I obviously need to teach my 6 year old where the good kids sit! So, her panties were showing above the waistband of her jeans in the back and I guess a group of older boys all counted to three and then yelled something like "Your pants are falling down!" at her. And then of course they all giggled and laughed and pointed. Bless her heart. I can't tell you how much I wanted to beat up some little 3rd grade boys when she was trying to tell me this story through her little sobs. Mean kids. They really suck.

So there ya go. The whole rundown of the first day of school for my kiddos. Hopefully today was better for little Teagan. And if it wasn't then I'm beating up some little boys. Oh, I've got more photos too if you'd like to see them. Cause you know how I love to take me some photos! You can find them
here. Enjoy!


And they're off...

Today is the first day. I don't like it. I think I don't like the first day because it means that they are a year older and that much closer to being grown and gone. I have some serious issues with the kids getting older.

Madi's in 8th grade. She made the Volleyball "A" team. She's at the junior high. JUNIOR HIGH! How the heck did that happen?

Eli's in middle school. I told him to impress the teachers and not to kiss girls in the hallway. His girlfriend of over a year (yep, that's what I said) is finally at his school. I think their relationship has lasted this long because they didn't go to the same school and rarely saw each other. Now they'll see each other every day. I give 'em two months TOPS before they go their seperate ways.

The little girls are at a new elementary school because our districts were rezoned. The building is new. The classmates are new. The teachers are all new. Sadie actually has a few people in her class that she knows and one girl is one of her best little friends. I put her full name on all her paperwork so the teacher was expecting Sheradyn. Monday night at the meet-your-teacher night Sadie said, "I want to be Sheradyn this year!" so Sheradyn it is. We'll see how long it lasts.

I'm most worried about Teagan. There was only one little boy in her class that she new from her old school and he is a little trouble maker! She was really sad that she didn't know anyone in her class. So this morning when I took her everyone was in the gym lined up by class. I found her class, then found the cutest little girl I could find and introduced her to Teagan and plopped her down. There were actually 2 little girls there together and I think they may have known each other already. Then I followed them to class and Teagan sat at a table with those 2 girls and another 2 girls that looked nice. I also met another Mom who was worried about her daughter not knowing anyone. Her daughter's name is Kennedy and she was a little cutie with dark hair cut the same way Teagan's is cut. After sitting at their little desks for a few minutes, the teacher had them all get a book to sit and read and Teagan came back to her desk with The Runaway Bunny.

It was at that point that I started tearing up. I don't remember a lot from my very early childhood but one thing I remember is my Mom reading me The Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon. It just sort of hit me then how old I am and how my kids are growing up so quickly and making their own memories. I don't know why it's so hard for me. I know there are many many wonderful days and experiences ahead for us. I just miss them being small and home with me all the time. I guess that's a good thing. I know there are a lot of parents who can't wait for school to start back up. I'm just not one of them.

I took pictures but only had time to upload the ones of Madi. I'll post a link soon with all of their photos. Promise.


Double Tag

It's no secret that I haven't been blogging like a good blogger should. Oh well. Right? However, I was just catching up on Brooke's blog and see that she tagged me. Twice. Oops.

So here ya go. Tag 1...or everything-you-probably-already-know-or-don't-want-to-know-about-Margo:

Name: Margo Elizabeth Stewart
Maiden name: Hein
Eye Color: Butterscotch (that's basically brown, but my mom always said Butterscotch)
Hair Color: Naturally? It's a really dark muddy looking blonde.
Height: 5'9"ish, I think I've shrunk down to about 5'8" actually but I still say 5'9"
How would you describe yourself? First thing that popped in my mind...loud
Either/Or Shy or Outgoing? Outgoing
Spender or Saver? Um...spender. *blush*
Truth or Dare? Dare. The truth can be kinda scary sometimes.
Books or Movies? Books
Romantic Comedy or Action/Adventure? Romantic Comedy
Cats or Dogs? Hmmmm, neither really. I love our Liza and my Inu was awesome. Hmmmm, guess I'd say dogs.
Mountain or Beach? Are there cabana boys at the mountain? Beach!
Sweet or Salty? Sweet
Do you...Get Annoyed Easily? Seriously? What kind of question is that! (Does that give you the answer?
Like to Travel? LOVE to travel
Like to drive fast? Yes, because I'm usually in a hurry
Sing Well? I like to think I'm a fairly good singer
Have a Talent? I can wiggle my ears
Watch Scary Movies? Yep
Shave your legs everyday? Nope
Floss regularly? ROFL
Get Motion Sickness? Yep
Have you ever...Performed on Stage? Yep
Been out of the country? Where? Yep...Japan, London, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman
Had any body hair waxed? Yep
Lied about your age? Yep
Used a fake ID? I tried to use Denise's just so I could get into a club when I was 17Gotten a Speeding ticket? Yep
What is...The last CD you bought? Paul Wright
The last movie you saw in the Theater? Wall.E
The last Movie you rented? Vantage Point
Your Greatest Fear? Losing my children or Brad
Your Greatest Strength? I don't know. ???
Your Greatest Weakness? I an think of many more weaknesses than strengths.
Your Happiest Memory? I have lots of them. Anything involving my mom. My wedding day. The days my kids were born.
Your Favorite...Movie: Princess Bride
TV Show: Hmmm, right now I'm enjoying Swingtown.
Actor: Can't think of just one.
Actress: Hmmm, I just don't know
Food: Anything
Drink: Diet Pepsi
Color: green
Scent: lilac
Season and WHY: Fall, the trees change and the air gets cool and it just feels like everything is starting over
Day of the Week and WHY: Friday, the weekend is here!
Favorite Stores: Bookstores, I can get lost in them forever. I also really love New York and Company but I rarely get to go there.
Quote: "Whether you believe you can or you believe you can't, you're absolutely right"
What do you Think About....
Miracles: They happen
Astrology: Don't follow it but I know I'm a Leo.
War: It'll always happen
Ghosts: I don't know
Reincarnation: Not a believer
Karma: What goes around comes around.
Luck: I think some people do seem to have a lot of luck but I'm sure it's more than that.
Aliens: Who knows
Tell us one of your most embarrassing moments: Doing a summer sault at Brooke Martin's birthday party in the 7th grade and farting. Her mom and brother came in from the other room it was so loud. I played it off and laughed with everyone but I was pretty embarassed.

Tag 2: How Quirky are you?

1. Link the person who tagged you... Brooke
2. Post these rules.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them

Okay, you asked for them...

1. I have this thing where I have to sit with something solid on my left side. Like on the airplane, I need to be on the left side of the plane by the window. In a booth at a restaurant, I need to be on the left side of the booth. Preferably by the way unless the kids are with us then I get the aisle. At church, I need Brad on my left side. I feel completely off balance if I'm sorry else.

2. For as long as I can remember I have twirled my hair. I like to sift through the top layers to the really soft stuff underneath that doesn't have hair spray on it. Then I run it through my thumb and first two fingers until I eventually wrap it around my index finger to make a loop. Then I sit and rub the loop for a minute before I finally put it between my nail and the tip of my finger. Then I start the process all over again.

3. I don't do this as much anymore because I'm getting old and my bones hurt. But there was a time when I always had my left leg propped up. If I was sitting in a chair it was tucked up under me. Standing in the bathroom drying my hair I would have it up on the counter. Driving down the street, it's bent at the knee and my left foot is on the seat with my knee touching the window. I do still do this sometimes but I rarely sit with it under me because my knees hurt. :(

4. I have to brush my teeth first thing in the morning. The very first thing I do when I wake up is pee and then I brush my teeth. I sometimes have to stray from that but there is pretty much never a time that I go more than about 15 minutes of being awake without brushing my teeth. I can't stand that morning breath taste. Ugh.

5. I'm a really slow eater and I want to enjoy it. Especially my dinner. If I have something to do in the evening, like take a kid somewhere then I prefer to do that first and then eat. Otherwise I feel rushed and I don't enjoy my meal. I want to be able to sit down, relax, and eat and be done with the day.

6. I take a really long time to tell a story. Brad hates this. (Actually, there are a lot of these quirks that really drive him crazy.) When I tell a story I want to paint the picture for you. Like when I told Brad that I was at Goody's and my phone rang and it was a girl I used to work with. Which was weird because I haven't talked to her in ages but there she was calling me. So I answered it and she said, "Hey Margo, it's Kimberly. Do you have rental property?" I told her yes I did and she said she was out looking for a duplex to rent and saw the sign in the yard of one of ours and plugged the number into her phone to call and it started dailing me which she thought was really really weird. Then Brad asked if she wanted to rent it and I said no. He would have been happy with me just saying, "Someone called about the duplex but it didn't work out for them." But that wouldn't have been nearly the story that mine ended up being. Right?

Ok, I'm too lazy to tag anyone else. If you read this and you have a blog then...TAG you're it!

There, how's that?


Mother Nature

One day this spring after Eli's baseball game, as the boys sat in a team huddle hearing about all the mistakes they made during that nights game, Brad leaned over to me and whispered, "Why does that tree have girl parts?" (He actually used the correct anatomical word for it but I have issues with that word and prefer "girl parts".)

Being the friend that I am, I promptly told Brook about the tree. Then, while on vacation in Mexico earlier this summer she happened to find the
perfect match for our Stillwater tree.

So Father Nature lives in Mexico, huh? Who knew!



We're home. Good times in Arizona. I uploaded one good picture to share. Hopefully I'll have a chance tomorrow to share. Not about our trip, but something funny. Something to look forward to. Yippee!



That's how my chest looks today. A bit crispy and red. Gotta love the hot Arizona sun.

Yesterday we had a big huge breakfast and then spent some time out at the pool. Afterwards we were planning on going to Oregano's for lunch but my stomach hurt from too much for breakfast. I was looking forward to the big huge cookie dessert and knew that I couldn't go there if I wasn't able to have a good full meal. *wink*

So we hit the Kierland shopping area and visited the Victoria's Secret, the Lucy store, and a couple other places just for window shipping before we hopped in the car to head back to the hotel.

After spending more time at the pool we retired to our room and played a couple games before heading to bed.

Today we pretty much did the same thing. Breakfast, pool, shopping at a nearby mall...OREGANO'S for lunch YUM!, more pool. Now we're chillin' in the room before bed.

We leave late tomorrow night. I'm not looking forward to work on Monday. This seems like the last hoorah of summer. And summer seems to have just started. I don't know where the time goes these days!


It's HOT!

So I've been scarce. I went to Branson with the Jr. High group at church and followed it up with a short week at work, getting out on Friday for the 4th of July celebrations. Then we had a 3 day weekend followed by another short week as I finished up an order I had to do, cleaned, did laundry, and worked. (Have I mentioned lately how inconvenient this J.O.B. is?) I was up until 2:00 in the morning getting us all packed so that we could head out for our summer family vacation today.

We left Oklahoma City at around 12:00 and arrived in Phoenix at 12:15. Short flight?! Nope, time change. *wink*

We had free tickets (courtesy of our mega-spending on our Southwest Visa), got a great rate at an Embassy Suites (government jobs rock!) and we're having a blast in Phoenix! It's HOT here. And actually, it's COOL! Apparently it's monsoon season so it's rainy but we didn't have any until tonight after we were done at the pool. Unfortunately, that means the "dry heat" isn't really all that dry. I think perhaps we brought some of the humidity with us from Oklahoma. We just can't seem to escape it!

So we're just chillin'. Relaxing. And when we get home in a few days I'll hopefully have an album full of pictures to share. Until then, I'll just update with fun stories of our days in this fun HOT place they call Arizona!


Just stuff

Summer has hit us full force and we are in the midst of the craziness that it brings. I thought I'd just do a quick update post for the very few people who regularly check my blog and are probably currently wondering if I'm still alive. I am alive but I sure am tired!

~Madi and Eli went to Camp Cyokamo a couple weeks ago for a week with the Jr. High group at church. They had an absolute blast and came home with a renewed desire to learn about Christ which is, of course, always awesome! Madi met a boy named Luke from Missouri who she quickly hit if off with. While they were "going out" at camp they have since decided that they should probably just be friends since they live so far away.

~The next week all 4 kiddos headed to Collinsville for Nana and Grandpa camp. Although they were bummed that their cousins were only there with them for a couple of days, they still all had a terrific time. Madi even talked Rachel into driving her to Tulsa on Tuesday to meet up with Luke who was in town visiting friends. Everyone but the two little girls went and had lunch with him and then they all went roller skating. Sounds like they had a fun time. However, on Thursday Madi learned that Luke's mother had passed away after a long battle with cancer the night before. Say a prayer for him and his family if you have a chance. I know how difficult it is to lose your mother.

~I picked the kids up in Collinsville on Saturday and then we hit Target and Kohl's in Owasso for some retail therapy. While at Target I ran into Krista, who I haven't seen in 5 years! She actually saw Eli and Sadie while they were looking in the book section and even though it had been years since seeing them she knew exactly who they were. They were initially a little freaked out that some stranger knew so much about them (especially when Krista told Sadie that she helped name her!) but then Eli recognized the name Krista and told her where to find me in the store. We visited for a bit there in the clothing department and exchanged cell phone numbers so we could at least text and keep up with each other a bit better. And of course Madi got Hagen's number and they've already become texting friends with each other.

~This past weekend I went with Madi and Eli to Branson with the jr. high group from church. Sunday night we watched The Promise which was an amazing show about the life of Christ. We spent all day Monday at Silver Dollar City and followed it up with a huge meal from Lamberts where the kids all enjoyed having rolls thrown at them. Then after a stop at the flagship Bass Pro Shop in Springfield yesterday morning we headed home. Man did it feel good to sleep in my own bed last night!

~Brad has been superman lately finishing up 2 homes that both close this week. He works all day at his "real" job and then heads over to the lots to make sure everything is running smoothly and on schedule. That boy deserves a break!

~It's now been a full month since I've run and I feel like a slug. Seriously, just like a big slug needing some salt poured on it's back! I just can't get in the groove. With all the craziness in our schedule it's so hard for me to find a consistent time to do it. I hate getting up early but I think that's what I'm going to have to just break down and do because it's just too steamy to do it in the afternoon after work. I've got to get back on track before I blow up like a balloon!

~Although I didn't get to take pictures with my camera in Branson (because stupid me left the battery at home!) I have been taking quite a bit lately. My desire to do photography continues to grow but I still worry about whether or not I'm capable of it. I guess I'll just keep on keeping on and see where it takes me.

So, I guess that's about it. Work has been mad crazy so I'm not able to really get on as much. Hopefully soon I'll have some fun pictures and posts to share with you. Until then, enjoy the summer!


Are you kidding me?!

For the last 7 years, my children have attended Sangre Ridge Elementary school. Teagan will be in 1st grade next year so by the time she's finishing her 5th grade year we will have been at Sangre for 13 consecutive years.

So Stillwater is growing. Apparently growing so much that Sangre is overflowing with students compared to the other schools in town. So there have been some changes made to the boundary lines and those changes were announced today.

According to the map Sadie and Teagan will no longer be Sangre Ridge students. I don't like change. I really don't. I know this will be fine but it's change and I just don't like it.

We are less than a block from the boundary line for Sangre, but it doesn't matter. We're now in the Westwood district and the girls will travel past their old school to get to their new one.

This affects lots of kids so they'll know people at Westwood. I still don't like it though. Sangre is like home. I know all the teachers. I know the staff. I know where everything is. I'm comfortable having my kids there. I'm comfortable there. It's not about me though. Right? This is going to be fine. Right?


Marathon Highlights

Yep, slacker. That's right. I got sidetracked reading some books and working and well...just with life in general I guess and haven't had a chance to blog. Oh well, what can ya do?!

I have been meaning to update with the rest of my Vermont 1/2 marathon details. So here ya go...

On Saturday we went into one of the small towns that we were to run through where there was a small tent set up with 1 guy answering questions about the run. It was a far cry from the huge expo we attend the day before the OCK Memorial Marathon but that run has 16,000 entrants and this one was like 2,700 so that makes sense. The guy drew the course on a map and Brad and I drove it to see what was in store.

The elevation looked really good on the computer but let me tell you...Vermont is hill-y! There was only one really super steep hill but the entire course was winding and up and down quite a bit.

On Sunday, we had to be at the run by 8:00 in order to catch a bus to the start of the run. So then we get there, to the start, and we wait. And wait and wait and wait. Seriously, that was the worst. I think I just had my mind all focused and ready but we got there at about 8:30 or a little before and it didn't even start until 10:15! And there was no cell phone service in the mountains so I just had to sit there. And wait.

Brooke on my running blog recently told me about a trick from Glen-the-trainer for shin splints. So I did my regimen of applying Icy Hot to my shins and am happy to report that my shins felt great throughout the run. By mile 7 though my left knee started hurting a bit, I think from the downhill work. Then by mile 10 my hips started feeling like they might fall off. You know like a chicken that you cook and it's so tender that you just barely touch it and the leg comes off? That's what I thought would happen to my legs. Honestly.

Brad ran with me and bless his heart he pushed me as hard as he could but I honestly just finally gave up on myself. It was a hard course, he even said it before I did. Near the end we were walking and he asked if I could walk fast and I told him no but I could run slow. And seriously, my running pace at that point was his walking pace. That's how bad it was. And then there was this crazy lady named Sue from Chicago that we'd met under the tent the day before and she was loud and obnoxious and we passed her near the end and I just could NOT let her beat me and she did. (Although, according to her net time I actually did beat her so there Crazy Sue!)

The worst was the nausea. I always tend to get sick to my stomach in the last mile. Especially when I do a bit of a sprint towards the finish line. This time though, it started at about mile 6 and just got worse and worse. I was on the verge of throwing up for at least an hour after the run.

Looking at my time, it really wasn't nearly as bad as I feel it could have been considering how I felt. I am just disappointed in my results and the fact that I felt so "off" for basically the entire run. I am hoping to really get on track with cross training and building all my other muscles so that I at least FEEL decent for my next half in November!

The good news is that Vermont was beautiful and now we can say we've been there. I love traveling and seeing places we've never visited before. I took a lot of photos (or course!) that you can see in my
flickr album. Enjoy!


Wedding Shower

We had the wedding shower for Tarissa yesterday. You remember, the one that I sent out the invites for and put the
wrong day of the week on them? Yep, that one. Well, it was yesterday and it was a nice time.

I actually went on Saturday too because one of the other hostesses called me all frantic because the restaurant where it was to be held called her all frantic saying that someone had dropped off a gift for the shower that afternoon and they thought it was on Sunday. At least that's the story I got from her. I'm wondering if they were really that frantic because when I went up there they all acted like it hadn't been that big of a deal to them. Um, ok. At any rate, she was concerned that all sorts of people would show up on Saturday instead of Sunday and since that would have been my fault I offered to go sit up there for a bit to turn away anyone that came and encourage them to come again Sunday. Luckily, no one showed and it gave me a chance to get out and run some errands so it all worked out.

I still can't believe Tarissa is getting married in a couple of weeks. I remember when she couldn't drive yet and we couldn't wait for her to start so we didn't have to drive her back to her house that was so far away. Now she's not only driving but she's graduated both high school and college and is going to be tying the knot! I told her yesterday not to be having kids anytime soon because it would probably just throw me over the edge.

For the rest of the photos you can view them here.


Sadie Bug turns 8

Once again...Wow!

Sadie turned 8 today. Unbelievable. I'll have to post more about it another time because right now we're picking up the living room so the kids can sleep downstairs. We got home from dinner to find that the upstairs a/c is not working and it's currently 88 degrees!

I'll leave you with this though. A screaming 2 month old Sadie with me and my Mom hair and post-pregnancy body. A far cry from how we've both grown over the last 8 years!


Exhausted with a capital E

I just told Hubby that I thought I could sleep for the next week. He said that I got a good amount of sleep last night. Which is true. But I think the week leading up to this trip and then some late nights before the run have just hit me hard.

I'm actually sitting in Chicago Midway airport right now and having bought a new book because I finished the other one I brought, I'm getting ready to start it. We had a light breakfast at the hotel this morning and then McD's for lunch before leaving the airport in New Hamphshire. We got her a while ago and I was dying for some nachos so Hubby and I split some but they just didn't do the trick. So here I sit hungry, sore, and exhausted. I miss my bed.

Vermont was just beautiful but the run was awful. No injuries to speak of but it was really hard. The course was hard. And I was very disappointed in my attempt. I did manage to finish but not because I wanted to. If Hubby hadn't been there with me I think I would have probably just walked to the finish line. I didn't even have a final push for that sprint to the finish line once it came in to view.

I'll update again in the next couple of days with more details about the trip and Vermont. Thanks to those of you who were thinking about me on Sunday. Without your thoughts and prayers there's no telling how poorly I might have done!


Vermont or Bust!

This evening after work the family is headed out to Collinsville. We'll spend the night and then in the morning hubby and I will be hopping on a jet plane and leaving for Vermont. We'll have a couple days to relax and see the area (neither of us have been there before) and then on Sunday we'll be running in the Covered Bridges Half Marathon.

I'm gonna go ahead and be honest and admit that I really haven't trained like I should have. I planned on it. Just didn't. After my run in April I promised myself that I would do my weekly mileage and cross-train twice a week as well. I was lucky to do even 2 runs a week. I've had shoe issues, shin splint issues, and just flat out motivation issues. But oh well, at least I'm doing it right?

This will be my 3rd 1/2 and although I haven't trained like I should I'm still hoping to improve on my time. My 1st time last year was 2:58. According to last years CBHM times that would put me in at 14 from the end of the pack! I know I'm not gonna win but I'd sure like to be more towards the middle. This April my time was 2:48 (which moves me up to 35th from the end). Brad is going to run with me which is a great motivation for me because he doesn't let me quit. I'm really hoping to finish in 2:45. And the course map shows a mostly downhill elevation with the exception of one steep hill so I'm hoping that will help and not hinder my time.

Hopefully I'll be back next week to report a wonderful mini-vacation with Hubby and a great run!


ABC Tag!

Is it sad that I was reading Brooke's blog and got a little bit too excited to have been tagged? Seriously, that's no lie. I've seen people tagged before in blogs but I've never been tagged for anything myself. It's the little things really...

(Be sure to scroll down to the letter T to see if you've been tagged!)

A. Attached or Single- Attached

B. Best Friend(s)- Best friends from high school (that I sadly don't get to see that much) are Shannon, Sue Ann, and Denise. Then there is my little sister Emily, she's pretty special. I'd have to say my best friends here in town these days are probably Leah and Brooke.

C. Cake or Pie- Cherry Pie is the best!

D. Day of Choice- It'd probably be Friday now that I'm working full time!

E. Essential Item- Computer with internet. Seriously, how sad is that?!

F. Flavor of Ice Cream- I'm not a huge ice cream fan. So I'm gonna say German Chocolate concrete from Shakey's.

G. Gummy Bears or Worms- Bears, I don't think I've ever had a worm.

H. Hometown- Hmmmm... Originally from Loveland, Colorado...grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma...have been in Stillwater, Oklahoma since 92. So I guess at this point Stillwater is probably my hometown.

I. Indulgences- Magazines. And shoes. And purses. It's kind of a sickness.

J. January or July- July, definitely July

K. Kids- Madi (13), Eli (11), Sadie (7), and Teagan (6)

L. Last movie I saw in a theater- I'm not sure I remember. I think we went to see one for Tea's birthday back in March. Yep, we did. Horton Hears a Who.

M: Musician: I don't really have a favorite because I listen to a lot of different types of music. Although I did recently get to meet Paul Wright at his concert in Ponca City and he's awesome. He even wrote a song for me that I gave to Brad for Valentine's Day.

N. Number of siblings- 1 sister, 1 step-sister, 1 brother, 2 step-brothers

O. Orange or Apples- Apples

P. Phobias or Fears- Bridges and heights

Q. Quote- Lot's of them really. I guess the one that comes to my mind first is "Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can't,
you're absolutely right." ~Henry Ford

R. Reasons to smile- My husband, my kids, my God...

S. Season- Spring and Fall, I always love the in between hot and cold times.

T. Tag 4- Let's see, how about Eren, Ame, Jana, and Sandi. We'll see if any of them read this!

U. Unknown fact about me- I can wiggle my ears. Without using my hands.

V. Vegetarian or oppressor of Animals- I'm a carnivore. Although there was a period of about a year back in college when I wouldn't eat beef because I fell in love with Norman the Cow from City Slickers.

W. Worst Habit- My negative attitude about things. Why can't I just make the most of things and not get so down?

X. X-rays or Ultrasounds- Huh? For what? Neither of them bother me.

Y. Your favorite Food- Anything Mexican


Tiny Dancer

Madi took tap and ballet classes when she was about 4 or 5 but only lasted a year before I realized it just wasn't her thing. Sadie is my super girly-girl and I put her in tap and ballet a couple years ago but ended up pulling her out after just a couple of months. At the time, she was just too self-conscience about messing up and not doing things the right way. But boy did she like looking at herself in the mirror!

So this year she decided she really wanted to try dance again. Only she didn't want to do tap and ballet. She wanted jazz and hip hop. So we did it. And she loved it! She may be the only child to inherit my rhythm. At least one of them did!

Last weekend was her dance recital and she just loved it. She was really nervous the week before and was worried about how many people would be watching her. I assured her that because of the lights she wouldn't be able to see much more than the first couple of rows. After her rehearsal she was so excited to tell me that I was right. Of course I was sweetie! *grin*

Nana and Grandpa came up for the special event and we all got dressed up to watch our own little Tiny Dancer. She did a great job. I picked her up backstage after her second dance was done and although everyone else was ready to head home she wanted to stay and watch the "big girls" dance a bit. She didn't last long because she was so tired but the small amount of time that we stayed she was a joy to watch. She just loved it!

Her face when we gave her flowers (from us and then Nana and Grandpa) was just amazing. It sure has paid off to have worked at a flower shop back in college. I still have my connections and Steve at Little Shop of Flowers totally came through. They were gorgeous!

In the car on the way home she told me she wanted to do more than just jazz and hip hop next year. Now she wants to add tap and ballet in too. As well as staying on the SYFA cheer squad. Wow. We're gonna be busy. She is definitely all girl!


Proofreading isn't always enough

Way back when I just had Madi and Eli and they were both under 3 years old there was this sweet little girl at church named Tarissa that watched Eli's class in the nursery. One Sunday she approached me and introduced herself and said that if we ever needed a babysitter she'd be glad to do it. She was just 11 or 12 at the time.

Now sweet Tarissa is 22 (or maybe 23?) and has graduated college and will be getting married next month. I can't believe how the time has flown! I am co-hosting her wedding shower and offered to be in charge of the invitations. I've been working on them all week. I've stayed up late each night to put them together and get them ready so that I could get them in the mail. I proofread, had Hubby proofread, and proofread again. I was certain that everything was in order.

I mailed all 100 invitations out yesterday and received a call from Tarissa this afternoon. She said her uncle received their invitation and wanted to know if the shower was on Saturday June 7th or Sunday June 8th. Yep. I put Saturday, June 8th as the date. Ugh. It's actually a Sunday. I knew it was a Sunday. I'm so frustrated with myself!

All the proofreading in the world wouldn't have caught that mistake. I need some bon-bons. Lots and lots of bon-bons.


And so it begins

Apparently the kids called hubby several times this morning to tattle on each other. He got each one of them on the phone and told them that if we needed to we would make a rule where they sat in a room by themselves all day long while we were working and they could just read a book. That seemed to get them motivated to be nicer to each other. At least for a little bit.

Right around noon Madi called to say that Eli was being really rotten. Apparently he was making himself Ramen for lunch and Sadie asked if he would make her some too. Would that be much trouble? I mean, it's just boiling extra water ya know? Well he refused too and was being a turd so Madi called me. I asked to talk to him and he gets on the phone and says he was going to have Ramen but then he decided not to because he thinks since Madi is the babysitter she should make him lunch. Are you kidding me?! I told him that he needed to help out too and he balked about how Madi was going to be getting paid so he shouldn't have to do anything so I said if he helped out as much as Madi was going to then I'd pay him too.

Then get this, in the worst-ever na-ne-na-ne-boo-boo voice he says, "Well, how
much are you going to pay me?!"

I'm not sure we're going to make it through this summer.


Is this anything?

I noticed this morning at Eli's graduation that Teagan had a bit of a rash. Just on her chest area under her chin. I've heard of several kids around school that have had fifth disease so I sort of wondered if that's what it was.

This afternoon when I got home from work Tea was passed out on the couch. Apparently she came home from school and cried and cried because she missed her teacher's so much already. Bless her heart! Anyway, she was sleeping on the couch and I noticed that her cheeks and arms were covered in a rash.

Her cheeks don't have the "slapped" look like fifth disease describes but if that's not what it is I just don't know what it could be. Then at Eli's baseball game tonight I had a couple people look at it and um, they saw nothing. No rash. Seriously? Can you not see this? I know it's not the best picture, I had trouble focusing on her back but click on it and it'll get bigger. It's all over her face, trunk, and arms. She's covered in it, I swear. Are my eyes broken?


Yep. It's here. The start of summertime.

Today was the last day of school and I spent most of the morning at the elementary school for Eli's 5th grade graduation. He was pretty excited about it. We went yesterday and got a new hair cut for him and some new duds to wear. Poor guy, the girls always seem to be getting new clothes and he's always wearing just the same old t-shirt and jeans/shorts. Dressing guys just isn't nearly as fun!

The ceremony was nice and I love that our school gives the parents time to come take photos of the kids after an award or diploma is handed out. You'd think this would add a lot of time to the program but it really didn't, which was an added bonus. Eli received the President's Eduction Award for having a 3.5 gpa for 3 semesters. He was also the recipient of a Student of Today award presented byt the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma. The Student of Today is one who has demonstrated outstanding scholarship, leadership, citizenship and integrity. Go Eli! I can't tell you how my face must have been beaming when they announced his name.

After graduation the entire 5th grade had a big celebration with moon bounces, a caricature artist, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I was able to stay for a bit but then had to get back to work. Then Eli was invited by a girl in his class to be picked up from school in a limo and drive around for 45 minutes before going out to dinner. I can't imagine what that must have cost with the price of gas as high as it is! I figured this girl had invited a big mix of kids but found out last night that it was tons of girls and...Eli. That boy! He's definitely well liked by the girls.

I went back to work this afternoon with a bit of a heavy heart. I have been with the kids every summer until last year when I worked part time. I started my current job just a couple weeks before school started last August so I was still pretty much with them all summer. So this will be the first year that I'll be working full time since just after Madi was born. I'm having a hard time dealing with it. I want to be home with them. They can sure drive me insane but it makes me sad to think of all the things we won't be doing this summer because I'm at work all day. I have them all enrolled in some fun summer camps but it's just not going to be the same.

This morning as Tea was getting ready for school and her usual grumpy morning state I tried to encourage her by saying, "Today is the last day of school!". She started crying and said, "I wish it was your last day of work. I want you to stay home with me." Man. Way to break a Mom's heart!


May 15

How is it that when you're a child the time just creeps by but then as we get older years are gone in the blink of an eye? I'll never understand that. Today marks 15 years since my Mother passed away. Looking back through the May 15th entries here on my blog it seems as though the most common word or phrase I have when talking about how long she's been gone is just "wow". That's how I still feel. Fifteen years. Wow.

Coming back from Madi's volleyball tournament back in February, we stopped in Tulsa to eat and I decided to make a visit to the cemetary. I hadn't been there in years and my children have never been there. At least not that they can remember. I had Madi, Eli and Sadie with me and they were all so sweet. I told them some stories about the Grandma they never got to meet and how much fun they would have had with her. They asked questions both about her life and her death and it was just nice to talk with them about her in a way that we hadn't really done ever before.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole BRCA gene issue that I
discussed a few weeks ago. I received my copy of Jessica Queller's new book and have now finished reading it. In her book she mentions the FORCE website and I have since been there to look around. I'm still uncertain as to what steps I want to take but I plan on getting as much information as I can and making a decision soon. I just know that I want to be here for my kids and my future grandkids. I want to be with Brad as long as I can. I don't want my life ended early by something I could possibly prevent.


A good giggle

It's been quite a day. Heck, it's been quite a couple of weeks. The last days of school are always this way but I think it's been even more crazy than lately usually. I started out this morning knowing that I had a million and one things to do today and also knowing there was no way to accomplish everything. I've made it through though and just got home and have a very limited amount of time before I have to get Sadie from dance and head to Madi's volleyball banquet (while Brad is with the other two in another town at a baseball game...divide and conquer!). I sit down to check my email and I find this from my friend Terri. Man, did I need this today. I'm not sure where the email originated and it could be a spoof for all I know but it sure made me giggle. Probably for the most part because this sounds exactly like something I might actually do.



All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The Epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax.

Read on...

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours:

'Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet' So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. It was one of those 'cold wax' kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be?

I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!) So I pull one of the thin strips out.
It's two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ('Cold wax,' yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works!

OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire. With my next wax strip I move north.

After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the wax strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my hoo-ha and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself....RRRRRRIIIIPPP!!!

I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!! OH MY GAWD!!!

Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!

Another deep breath and RIPP! Everything is spinning and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...must stay conscious.

Do I hear crashing drums!?! Breathe, breathe...

OK, back to normal. I want to see my trophy - a wax-covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair? WHERE IS THE WAX!?!

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip...it's not! I touch. I am touching wax. I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped upon the toilet! I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down.

Sealed shut! My butt is sealed shut. Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself. 'Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!'

What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right? *WRONG!!!*

I get in the tub - The water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit. Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together, is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub...in scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax.

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cemented myself to the porcelain!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter 'So, my butt and hoo-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!'

There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal, but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, 'Are we talking cheeks or hole or hoo-ha?'

She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!! Right! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions. I resort to trying to scrape the wax off with a razor Nothing feels better than to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event. My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace ... the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax.

What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY STARS!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. 'IT WORKS!!!

It works!' I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair. THE HAIR IS STILL THERE...ALL OF IT!

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color...


And the doctor said

No more monkies jumping on the bed!

Oh wait, wrong doctor.

So I went to the doctor. He looked at my foot, examined it, pushed around, asked some questions. Then he said it could just be a really bad sprain but he was concerned that it might be a stress fracture because of the way I described it. So he took an x-ray which thankfully looked ok. Although he said he wanted his "ortho buddy" to take a look at it just to be sure because a lot of times it's hard to see stress fractures on x-rays.

He gave me a steroid pack to take, some Lortab for the pain, and told me to wear really supportive shoes. He'll call me after ortho buddy looks at the film just to let me know what he said. Then if I'm not better by Monday I have to get a bone scan. Good times.

I'm really hoping and praying that Emily is right in her comments from my last entry. I think that sounds a lot more easy to recover from. I don't have time for stress fractures.

Why is this so hard? I just want to be a runner. Why won't my body cooperate? Ugh. I think I definitely need some bon bons.

Vini Vidi Vici

Yep. That's right. I came, I saw, I conquered.

Actually I'm not sure that there was much conquering going on but I finished the run and that's what counts. Right?

So Sunday we got up at 5:00 (in the am...ugh!) and headed out to the starting post for the half marathon. As we were driving towards downtown with our windshield wipers on Hubby and I were both considering backing out. I think it's a really good thing that we were both running because we had each other as support. Seriously, it would have been really easy to just say, "Seriously, it's cold and rainy and who wants to run in that?!" Ya know?

I started getting a little bit worried about Eli too because he was going to just do the 5K and then he'd be done and just hanging by himself. I got him a fanny pack, much to his dismay. Apparently fanny packs aren't cool. Who knew! So he had Hubby's phone with him, a little cash, and his PSP. I told him to call me as soon as he finished so I would know he was safe.

Prior to the run Hubby said we needed to really take it easy since we hadn't been training like we should. He said he was going to run with me which would be great for him but um, how do I slow down and take it easy? I think actually it was a good thing that he ran with me because he really encouraged me and kept me on pace.

My time last year was 2 hours and 58 minutes. This January when we decided to run it again my goal was to make it in 2:45. Of course, you know that I didn't stick with my training at all so going into it on Sunday I really just hoped to be not too far after my time from last year.

I felt great for the first 10 miles. Seriously. It was kind of an amazing feeling because I just prayed that if I hurt it would just be normal long-distance running pain. Ya know? No IT band pain, no shin splints, etc. Just that normal soreness from running. Well, that's what happened and it was awesome. I really did feel great. The last 3 miles were tough. I was having trouble transitioning from my walking to running again. My thighs and calves were killing me. But Hubby pushed me forward and encouraged me to keep going. Knowing that poor Eli was waiting for us at the finish line and was "freezing cold" (as he told me on the phone) I knew I had to keep running to get to him. Then Hubby told me that there was a possibility I could actually make my original 2:45 goal. Wow.

I didn't quite make that goal but I did finish in 2:48:58. Almost 10 minutes better than last year! Go me! So I know that I can reach that 2:45 goal and I just pray that during our next run I can reach that goal.

So the good news is...I get to wear my new shoes. No, I didn't make my original goal of 2:45 but I figure beating my time at all from last year when I haven't been training deserved a pair of blingy shoes. Am I right?

The bad news is...something is wrong with my foot. I just had soreness all day on Sunday after the run and nothing in particular hurt. Then Monday morning I put on my new shoes and walked down the hallway and the outside of my left foot started hurting. I thought maybe it was the new shoes so I changed but it hurt in that shoe as well. It's gotten progressively worse and today I can barely put any weight on it. Not cool. I'm going to the doctor this afternoon and hopefully he can give me some insight. I've been taking Ibuprofen and icing it but it's just not helping. With just 31 days until the Vermont run I really need to get it fixed now!

By the way, if you'd like to see me running you can view pictures by clicking here. Then click on "pictures" and another window will pop up. If you'll search by BIB number you can view a few photos of Hubby and me running. My bib was kind of scrunched so you have to search Hubby's numbe which is H3874. I'm hoping that by Thursday maybe there will be a few more photos up. I may just have to order one of us crossing the finish line though. Pretty cool.


run 5, walk 2, repeat

How do you spell slacker?


Yep that's me, big time slacker here. The OCK Memorial Marathon is quickly approaching. Quickly as in less than a week. This Sunday. A mere 6 days away.

Have I been training? Um, no. Do I have a good excuse, or even any excuse at all? Um, no. I really don't know what's wrong with me. I just can't seem to get it together. Last January I joined Weight Watchers and committed to it and lost 20 pounds. That's also the point where we decided we'd run the half marathon and I knew I couldn't just go out and run 13.1 miles without training so I trained. I ran every Tuesday and Thursday and on Sunday's I did a long run, working my way up to 12 miles so that I would be strong and ready for the big run.

This January, after regaining those 20 pounds plus 5 extra (I'm a human yo-yo, I swear) I decided to get back on track with my Weight Watcher's program and I even mentioned how I was going to stay motivated by scheduling several runs throughout the year so I would keep training. A lot of good that's done me!

Hubby and I have both just not been training at all like we should be. We both keep saying that we'll do the run on the 27th but I'm not sure how we're going to manage just walking out there and running that distance without just dying. So on Saturday he told me he thought that we should probably do at least 8 miles this weekend just to see where we stand. If we made it through we could go ahead and do the 13.1, if it killed us we should just count that money as lost and aim for the next run in June. As nice as it would be to just back out of next weeks run though I know that I'll never get back into training if I don't just dive in. I don't want to be sitting here the week before our June run and still not have trained at all.

So yesterday, despite both of us fighting some nasty cold/allergy thing, we set off on our 8 mile run. The first 4 miles went ok. Miles 5 and 6 were exhausting. Miles 7 and 8 were absolutely awful. And those last 2 miles were uphill, which made it doubly worse. It stunk, it really did. But I did it, all 8 miles, and afterward although I felt like I wanted to die I was proud of what I'd accomplished.

So I'll be there on Sunday with bells on and I'll do my run 5 minutes/walk 2 minutes until I reach 13.1 miles and I'll get that finishers medal and t-shirt and hopefully that will be what I need to keep on running.


Rock on

Nearly 20 years ago Skid Row opened for Bon Jovi and Hubby was there to see them. So when I found out late last year that Bon Jovi would be coming to Oklahoma City I decided to get us tickets. I gave them to Hubby for Christmas and the concert was last night and it was awesome! Seriously awesome.

This was my first ever rock concert actually. My first concert ever was Conway Twitty and the Twitty Birds. Yep, you read that right. It was at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming and my Dad and Step-Mom bribed me to go in by saying that they'd buy me this absurb flashing visor if I would be good for the rest of the show. It had already started when we got there so we went in the arena, found some seats, listened to about half a song and the concert was over. Score 1 for me and my new flashing hat!

When Hubby and I were dating and newlyweds we used to go to see George Strait in October. I think we went 3 years in a row and then just got too busy with kids and life to take a night out to go to a concert.

So I was pretty stoked to be going to my first rock concert last night and it was awesome having my best friend there with me. Chris Daughtry was opening last night but we didn't get to hear that much of him. We were running late as it was and then I tried to take my camera in but they wouldn't let me, which really ticked me off. I had my 28-75 lens on and the security guy said my lens couldn't be longer than 3 inches. So I took off the lens hood hoping he'd go for it but he wouldn't. So poor Hubby had to run all the way back to the car to put the camera away. What really ticked me off was sitting down and seeing the girl right next to me with the same exact camera as mine just shooting away! She even had a longer lens on her's! I made friends with her and wrote my email addy on a page from my Weight Watcher's journal (goodness knows I could afford to lose a page since I'm not tracking my points these days!). She said she'd email me photos and I hope she does. I really really hope she does. I did have Madi take a few shots of Hubby and me before we left the house. At least I have those. I still really really really hope that girl sends me her pics.

I think the funniest thing that happened last night was when I decided to try to call Madilee and let her hear Bon Jovi singing. I started to dial her number and then waited because I wanted to wait until a song came on that I was sure she would know. Then something came on I thought I'd recognize and I started to call her. Hubby leaned over and told me to look at the girl in front of me and there she was calling someone too. The readout on her phone showed she was calling Dad. Here I am calling my kid to let her listen and this young 20-something in front of me is calling her Dad. Man I feel old!


Sweet 13

Wow. Yep, that's right. Madi turned 13 today. I'm not sure how it's possible. Wasn't I just trying to convince her to wear clippies on her 2 little strands of hair the other day? Where'd the time go?

She had school today and was pleased to have a boy "ask her out". Basically that means that everyone knows they officially like each other. There's no actually going anywhere together. At least not for Madi.

She had practice after school and then we picked her up a bit early and took her Kyoto's where we had hibachi Japanese food. Funny that's her choice since that was always my choice as a little girl. She really is a lot like me. Scary.

I ordered a couple things for her online but they didn't all come in. Bummed about that. The other things should be here tomorrow though so that's not too bad. We did get her a charm bracelet and a #13 charm from James Avery. It's a bit extra special to me since my own Mother got one for me when I was about Madi's age. Then we also got her a pair of shoes she had wanted from Payless. Just like her momma, she loves her some shoes!

We'll have her party on Saturday with her friends and I'll be sure to share pictures after that. For tonight though I'm just trying to figure out how on earth she's now a teenager. I feel as shocked as she looks in the first photo!

Happy Birthday sweet girl. Now stop that growing!


Portrait of a strong woman

I recently went to Colorado for a spring break ski trip and had the opportunity to visit my Grandmother. It's been a few years at least since I've seen her and although I knew she was suffering from dementia I don't think anything could have prepared me for her condition. Prior to my trip, there was some question about whether or not I would be able to even visit her. In speaking with my Dad one day I told him I couldn't be that close to her (in the same state) and not go visit her. He told me, "She won't even know who you are." Maybe not, but I still had to go. And in my mind I thought that surely she would recognize me. Surely there was something I could say to her that would cause her to have some sort of memory of me.

Grandma Hein was born on February 21, 1914. She and Grandpa lived on "the farm" in Colorado and after my parents divorced I spent a lot of time at her house. Not nearly as much as my little sister Emily did since she wasn't in school but Grandma and Grandpa were local babysitters for us when we lived in Loveland with my Dad. I remember her always working hard in her garden. She grew and canned everything imaginable. Some of my favorites were her raspberries and cucumbers. String beans were plentiful too and I can remember sitting on the front porch helping her clean them.

Grandma gathered eggs and milked the cows and seemed to fear nothing. Her skin was wrinkled from her time in the sun. Her thumb scarred from cutting it in the oscilating fan one night when she was trying to cool us off. Her smile, always present as far as I can remember, was sometimes toothless if you caught her too early in the day before she had a chance to put her dentures in.

When Grandpa died (I think I was about 9 or 10 then?), Grandma continued keeping up with the farm. She still made us home made noodles and chicken soup with her delicious butterballs. Macaroni and cheese, apple butter, and cinnamon rolls I taste to this day are still compared to Grandma's home made versions. Nothing ever comes close to them either. We often went to visit my Great-Grandma, where Grandma would talk with her sister and mother in fluent German while Matt and Emily and I sat and devoured fresh cinnamon rolls.

The memories have faded some but they are still there; for me at least. Grandma is now a frail 94 year old woman. It's so difficult to look at her and know that she was once such a strong woman. At our visit she did not remember who I was. There wasn't a memory I could come up with that could make her remember my name, to show some sort of spark that helped me to know she recognized me.

Instead, she sat and watched my family while I spoke to her. She commented over and over again at what "a beautiful family" I had. She may not have known us but she was happy to have us there. And the biggest heart break came when it was time to go. Looking at my children, her Great-Grandchildren, she started crying and said, "They grow up so fast. And then they're gone." She said she wished we didn't have to leave and then she broke down and looked into my face with her kind blue eyes and asked, "Do you really have to leave?"

It was a truly heart-breaking afternoon. When I asked my father if she still spoke in German sometimes he turned and asked her if she remembered anything in her first language. She thought for just a second and then said, "Ich will nach hause gehen". I asked her what that meant and through her tears she said, "I want to go home." As hard as it will be when the Lord takes her from this world, I know she will be at peace and will truly be Home.