Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kindle 2 - How Have I Survived Without It

Ok - I have typically been behind on the "latest and greatest" of technology. Partly I guess because I'm 36 and partly I think because it's just not "my thing". But I have never been behind on reading. I love to read - it is my number 1 favorite thing to do in the world. I read every type of book imaginable - just depending on my mood. The main thing I don't like about books is they take up space - LOL. I had always dreamt of having a library, but it is not in the cards (home offices and kids toys took over). So I am constantly stacking books hither and yonder and cluttering up my house. Another problem is when I travel or go somewhere that involves waiting I carry an extra shoulder bag or suitcase full of books so I won't run out. (I speed read.) So I finally decided to splurge and buy myself a Kindle. OM gosh! It is the most amazing thing ever invented. If you don't know what it is - go to Amazon - it's on their front page as they are the developer and exclusive seller. My kindle arrived just in time for me to go to Birmingham for dad's surgery and it was great. It is lightweight (ounces) and just slips in my purse. I read the whole time without having to lug around heavy books.

David thinks it's funny and he thinks it's a computer. He told me the other day, "mommy you already have two computers - why do you need that little one?" Well - I guess I really don't "need" it, but boy I sure did want it and sure do love it LOL.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras - It's Fat Tuesday!!

Ok so I think I've told you guys that David is going to school 5 days a week now. Work is getting busier and busier and Dan's acquiring new property right and left so I needed the time to get things done. Well the school morning session ends at 12:30 and that's when I had typically picked David up. However, on random occasions I would leave him for afternoon session. It turns out that my sleep-deprived son who hasn't napped for me in over a year will nap at school. He said "Ms. Vicky says we can sleep in the sun." Which means in the daylight. So I started leaving him more often for nap time. Still niggling guilt at the back of my mind though because I'm away from him all day. But in all actuality if he was here and still napping we'd still be "apart" for the same amount of time. Then yesterday and today when I picked him up in the afternoon he didn't want to leave and this afternoon his teacher pulled me aside to tell me how great he does in the afternoons. Great attitude, receptive to everything they do, etc. Different from how he is in the morning. Well this tells me three things - 1) he is sleep deprived!! (of course I knew that) 2) he loves being at school 3) being happy at school is much better than watching TV here while mommy works.

Today was Fat Tuesday - the final day of Mardi Gras celebration and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Growing up in Mobile and then Montgomery I have experienced my share of Mardi Gras in Mobile. When I was little my grandmother's organization used to do a parade and she rode on a float - it was awesome as a little kid!!!! I haven't celebrated much Mardi Gras since my grandparents and mom passed away and I've gotten older, etc. But today my friend Lauren (who is from Mobile) threw a Mardi Gras party. I went without David because I still love seeing all my mommy friends. It was such a fun gathering. Food served was traditional: King Cake, red beans & rice and shrimp & grits and Krispy Kreme bread pudding and lots of other snacks. There were beads and moon pies and masks for the kids. I am so thankful to have such great friends and I really enjoyed the party today. Aside from the good friends, great food and cute kids, it was a bit nostalgic for me and brought back some great memories. And it seemed appropriate to have some good memories because this Friday is the 10-year-anniversary of my mom's death and she was a Mardi Gras nut!! I need to see if I can find some old pics of her and my dad getting dressed up to go to the balls. If I can find them I'll scan them in so you can see them. So thanks Lauren for helping remember and celebrate and not just be sad this week!!

Tonight was boot camp and boy was Lucy (trainer) kicking butt tonight. We focused on upper body with some abs and cardio thrown in for good measure. My arms are already killing me and I usually don't get sore until the next day. I hope I can move tomorrow :-) because I have a ton of work to do.

Emily is trying out for cheerleader this week at her school. They practice every afternoon from 3:15 - 5:30. She enjoyed it yesterday, but was tired!! I didn't talk to her tonight. The actual try-outs are this Friday afternoon. She's really excited and I am too. I had alot of fun cheerleading and I think it's great exercise and teamwork, etc. She wants to do this instead of softball so I hope it works out. They'll post the results sometime after 7:00 on Friday night.

Well I think that's enough for tonight. I need to go concentrate on the President's speech and Jindal's speech after. I recorded them while at boot camp tonight.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

What a Great Weekend!

There are many ways to define a great weekend. I'm sure if you close your eyes for a minute you can think of your "dream" weekend or you can remember one that was really special. This weekend for me is not one that would exemplify my dream weekend nor was it one with any real special memories. Nonetheless it was a great weekend.

Friday night I cooked Tequila Lime Chicken for Dan and I. David went to bed early and my friend Leslie came over to hang out and to ride with me to Best Buy. You're probably thinking, ok - what's the catch? HA HA - there's not one. It was a great night in it's simplicity. A good meal, a little O'Reilly Factor while we ate, some talking with a dear friend and then a little shopping.

Before I tell you about Saturday let me tell you about our house of chaos and clutter. Dan and I are both notorious pack rats, granted of different type stuff, but we are both guilty of keeping too much and I must admit I like to shop and I pre-buy stuff all the time when I find it on sale. Add to that, we have a 3-year-old and a dog in the house who have many possessions of their own. Combine all this with the fact that we would much rather play and hang out or even work than organize... Don't misunderstand - our house is clean, it's just cluttered! So Dan came up with an idea that we each pick a "corner" per day and organize that area. I thought it was a great idea because it made it seem less overwhelming and more of the "eat the elephant one bite at a time" plan. He came up with this plan towards the end of the week so I piddled at something on Friday, but didn't really "jump in". His whole philosophy is everything needs a "home", which is so simple. Our problem is too much junk so when you bring something else into the house - even groceries - there is no room for it to have a home. Isn't that sad - and we live in a nice-sized-home, like 2500+ sq. ft.

So Saturday we slept late, as we do most weekends. David is such a sweetie now that he's gotten to be a "big boy" in regards to letting us sleep. He wakes around 7:00 or so and as long as you give him chocolate milk and turn on my TV he'll lay here and cuddle and let me sleep or he'll ask me can he play trains in his room. Now that extra few hours of sleep are not undisturbed or terribly peaceful, HA HA, we are talking about a 3 & 1/2-year-old boy, but it is still some great dozing and drifting in and out of sleep. And for the luxury of sleeping in - I'll take it!!

So when we finally got up on Saturday I made whole wheat pancakes for breakfast and then we decided to pick a corner and get started. I'm not great at the corner or the little area concept, I tend to get into it when I start. So, I ended up doing the kitchen and dining room, while Dan worked out in his shop. It took several hours and I filled a large rolling trash can with recycling and another with actual trash. I was so excited and when Dan came in to check it out he was like a little boy at Christmas. For those of you that don't know, we have a small galley style kitchen so space is at a true premium - most of our cabinet space ends up being full of cooking items and small appliances - we love to cook so we have a whole assortment. And the big thing is - we don't have a pantry!! How I missed that when we looked at this house, I'll never know HA HA. But it is quite a challenge. The only way to function is with organization. And since we had been failing at that, everything that didn't fit in the cabinets was piled on my dining room table. You can imagine how "attractive" that was when someone entered my home. Well after hours of working on it and sorting and organizing, etc. It works!! It looks great, everything has a home, you can open cabinets and find things and see what you have and my dining room table is empty except for a flower arrangement!!!!!!

David was such a good kid during all this - he would come in the kitchen periodically and "help me". He loves to take something somewhere - like "David put this in your room, the laundry room, my study", etc. He feels like such a big-boy helper when he gets to do this. He also played trains and cars and watched a movie and went outside to help daddy make fire (Dan was welding) and his favorite thing of the day was digging shells. He found the bucket of shells that he and Emily had picked up at the beach and he took them out to his sandbox and buried them and dug them back up. It doesn't take much to thrill a little boy :-). Despite our kitchen being small it has one redeeming factor in it's view of our backyard. I could watch him playing in the sandbox while I kept at my organizing.

Later that afternoon we "called it a day" and then got ready to go out. Our sitter arrived and Dan and I headed out to a party with some friends. We all brought munchies and played Wii and Rummy and visited. It was a really fun time and so nice to be out with all adults. None of our friends in this particular group have small kids - there kids are all grown so we didn't even spend all night talking about kids!! Amazing. Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE talking about David and really enjoy talking with my friends who have small kids too, but Saturday night had a charm all it's own. I think the adult beverages helped too :-). It was 2:00am by the time we got home and the sitter left so we knew we were going to be worn out on Sunday.

I stayed in bed until after 11:00!!! Absolutely sinful and wonderful. Once we got up though and got moving we decided to pick another "corner". Dan headed to the garage and I headed into the master bedroom. I admit - I had a little bit of an ulterior motive in choosing the bedroom because my DVR is in there and I knew I could watch some of my shows while I worked. And boy I worked - so many hours in fact that I watched 8 shows!!!!! But - our bedroom looks great. I have just been sitting here and looking around the room and grinning. Dan kicked butt in the garage and actually in two corners of the Florida room as well. He even organized my stuff from those two rooms and "set-me-up" with a closet all my own for the stuff I pre-buy when I find deals!!! Oddly enough there are closets in our garage, but he's been using them all for "man stuff" - until today. Now one of them is mine - yay!! That's true love!

David was great today as well. Pretty much doing what he did yesterday, with the exception of not going outside today (too cold). His favorite thing of the day was exercising with daddy - it was so cute. Then he picked up my hand weights and said he was doing mommy exercise and he started bouncing around like I do during Step Aerobics on the Wii and pumping his arms up and down. Really cute - should have taken video!!!

Now it's Monday and David's at school and I'm getting the laundry going and then I'll spend the day working. My desk is full again - I swear Dan adds to it when I'm not looking :-)


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Republican's Rant

I am a Republican and proud of it. I am also a Christian and a conservative. I love God, my family and my country. I believe in church, charity and community service.

So it's probably no surprise that I've been a little ticked off and appalled at some of the happenings coming out of our nation's capital here lately. And since this my blog - I can vent my frustrations here!!!!!!!!!!

First the whole foreclosure/mortgage situation. I don't want to help these people out. And don't bother commenting about catastrophic illness, lay-offs, etc. I'm not a monster - obviously I think these people need help. But that is not the government's job. That's the job of community, charity, family, church. I'm talking about the people that were more worried about "keeping up with the Jones'" and living in "the" neighborhood in their city. So they do a budget and decide they can pay $50 (made up #) a month for a house. They talk to the bank and get pre-approved for a loan. The bank will pre-approve you for more than you need - then you decide you can afford that because the bank said you could. Then you go house hunting and you look at things in a range. That has you looking at houses between $50 a month and $75 a month. Which house do you think "looks" better. Probably the house for 1/3 more money. So you buy it. You are now living at or more than likely above your means. That may mean you can't put any money into savings. Something happens to your car or the kids have a stretch of sickness that has you paying co-pays and buying prescriptions like crazy. You think I'll just put this on the credit card since we're a little tight this month. Then next month you have a higher credit card bill to go along with that mortgage payment and the cycle begins. You've also bought new furniture for this new bigger house so you have a furniture payment. Perhaps a new TV? New decor for the bedrooms? Maybe you have a Starbucks or movie habit... So you are strapped for cash but don't want to change your behavior so you miss a mortgage payment and then another.

And now my tax dollars are going to bail you out? That is the biggest baloney I have ever heard. Our new administration is in essence saying, "Work hard, make responsible decisions and we'll take some of your money to help out this loser over here!" Well - I can assure you I don't want a reward from the government or anyone for that matter for being responsible and living within my means and savings, etc. But I'll be danged if I think someone irresponsible deserves my money. I am steamed!!!!!

Add to this the fact that "theoretically" Emily can go get an abortion at 12 and that's supported by my government. And I don't have to be notified and better yet my tax dollars will help pay for it. So I would be paying to murder innocent children and my immature daughter would have made a horrible decision that she would live with the rest of her life. And I don't understand Christians voting for this administration knowing this would happen.

Then comes the Gitmo thing - I think that if/when the terrorists are released that one should be hired as a houseman for each member of the administration. Let's see how they like that. And I don't understand military people that voted for this administration knowing this would happen.

Then the fairness doctrine. Give me a break - can I help that the Liberal talk radio shows have failed. They can try again and hope their shows are successful and get syndicated. If they are not successful too bad. Hannity and Rush are successful... But because they are right wing the administration doesn't like it so they are devising a way to get them off the air. I don't know where you grew up, but in my world that is a violation of free speech.

Well, that felt good to get off my chest. I'm going to turn off this computer and say a prayer for our country... Our becoming socialist country - ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Out of the Mouth of David

David is constantly entertaining me with the things he says, so I thought I would share some of his statements from today.

His sense of direction is excellent and he often remembers who lives where as we are driving through town. I mess him up though if we go a different way than usual, which is what I did today. We were heading to Leslie's so David and Jace could play this afternoon and since I was already out and about we weren't going the way we normally do. David starts inquiring is this the "path" to Jace's house? Yes I say. But mom this isn't the path to Jace's house - I don't know where this path goes, but it's not to Jace's. Imagine his surprise when we pull up to Jace's house. Then on the way home he's pointing and telling me when to turn left and right on the path to go home.

David is a pretty strong-willed child as most kids are at this age, especially ones who are spoiled as mine is :-). He has mixed emotions when you tell him what to do and threaten to spank him and then actually do spank him. Sometimes he's totally indifferent, sometimes compliant, but often mad. He used to say to me, "I'm the boss of you," and "I'm gonna spank you!". We've gotten past that, so now if he's frustrated by me and the particular order I'm giving him he will turn his head and make a little exasperated sound and say, "but I'm the boss of my trains!!!". And I'll say yes you are, but I'm the boss of David. This afternoon in particular he was in the kitchen with his tricycle and "crashing" Teddy's food bowl. I got on to him and he said, "well, well... I'm the boss of my tricycle!!!". It is so hard not to laugh. Then I realized I must threaten spanking too much (and probably not enough actual doing). Because I was helping him get dressed and I accidentally elbowed him in the lip - not hard enough to cry, but it hurt. He says to me, "mommy you don't hurt lips, if you do that again I'm gonna spank you, do you understand me?!!".

Another thing I must do alot of is tell him "it's ok"... maybe I do this when he's hurt or scared or whatever. Twice today as I was talking to him about something he said, "mommy, it's ok." And the tone of voice he uses is the sweetest and most compassionate thing you've ever heard coming out of a three-year-old boy's mouth.

Last is on manners. Like most Southern girls manners were a MAJOR MAJOR part of my upbringing and of course I want the same for David. At this age and actually for quite a while now, we've been working on please, thank-you, no thank you, yes mam, yes sir, etc. David knows his manners, but is not consistent with all of them. The one he knows the best though is "no thank you". What's sad, in a funny kind of way, is that he used to say "no hank you" and now he says it correctly. I miss the hank way of saying it!!

All for now - I have Bunco tonight and need to go finish Dan's dinner before I head out for a fun night with the girls.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Facebook, Storms, Friends and Sprite

Say what you want about Facebook - believe me I did :). I used to think it was silly and make fun of people who used it. Then Christy convinced me to join and I love it. A perfect example of why it is so great: tonight I was talking to my best friend from 1st and 2nd grade when I lived in Pass Christian, MS. We've seen each other 2 or 3 times since we were young. But lost touch and haven't seen each other in 20 years. And guess what else - she lives a little over an hour away from me. How cool is that! Thank you facebook! I've also found friends from junior high, high school, college, etc. It is such a great way to have daily contact with people you never get to see and to find out about their lives and their families, etc. It's amazing how once you marry and have kids you become consumed with your own life and you get so busy!! Well facebook gives you the chance to "see" them and if fits into any schedule.

We've had storms in our area this evening and tonight. Tornado warnings, thunderstorm warnings... The latest one ended about 1/2 an hour ago. I truly hope that's it for the night. I hate being woken by tornado sirens. The first round we all got in the hallway - even the dog LOL. The second round was too late and the storm moving too fast so everybody stayed where they were. I guess I've lived here long enough I don't want to say I'm complacent, I just know the drill and this last one was such a fast mover it would (and was) be gone before I could even get David situated.

Today has been a good day. I worked on paperwork this morning, picked up Emily from school (seeing her during the week is always a nice surprise!), came home and started dinner and then moved in the hallway HA HA. Thankfully dinner was not ruined and when we came out of the hallway we sat down and had dinner. David was thrilled that Emily was here. Everyday he tells me he misses her :(.

After dinner Kim came over and rode with me to take Emily back. Then she and I rode around and looked at houses and chatted. So nice to have conversations without our kids around. We LOVE our kids, but sometimes you just need girl time!!

I'm reading the best book, Rescuing Sprite. It was recommended by my high school Assistant Principal (thanks again facebook!). If you are a dog lover this is the best book you will ever read. I can't wait to pass it on to dad and Barbara and my brother and Leslie!!


Sleep Eludes Me Tonight

Well it's the wee morning hours of Tuesday night / Wednesday morning and I am having a hard time getting "settled". Of course this happens when I have a busy day planned tomorrow. The paperwork is piled on my desk and I have to finish the tax stuff and get it off the the accountant. And yes, I know, this sleeplessness happens because I have that type of day coming up tomorrow; and I'm thinking about it rather than sleeping. Combine this with thoughts of my dad's upcoming cancer surgery and the 10-year-anniversary of my mom's death by cancer, which are going to be on the same day... So, I'm just having a reflective night.

On a lighter note David just cracks me up. He is truly an interesting kid. This morning he wanted his Leapster in the car on the way to school. He starts playing it in the house and carries it outside. It's in his hands as I'm maneuvering the straps on his car seat (still in 5-point-harness) and since he's trying to concentrate on his game I'm kind of in the way. Nevertheless, I think he's indifferent to me. Wrong... He turns to me and says to me in a mildly exasperated tone, "Goodness gracious, mommy. You're driving me crazy!". I just had to laugh. I mean what do you say to that. I know he got it from me - they repeat EVERYTHING you say!! David had a fun day at school today - this week is "R". Rockets and robots abound... Since he inherited his dad's love of rockets and Wall-E is his favorite movie right now - this is a big week for him. Other than his true love of trains - this stuff is his favorite.

Emily is having a good week too. She's gearing up for cheer and dance try-outs next week. This past Saturday we went shopping for white tennis shoes and black shorts. You have to wear a "uniform" each day. Her favorite thing of this week though is a new phone. Hers is horrible - will not hold a charge at all. And in her opinion OLD because it doesn't have a camera and other fun features and it is "old-style" texting. So for Valentine's her mom and step-dad got her a LG Scoop. She is thrilled!! We get to see her tomorrow and have her through dinner. She called yesterday and asked would I pick her up after school one day this week and let her come over for a little while.

I'm watching American Idol from earlier tonight - the first 12 of the 36 are performing tonight. I must say this has been a disappointing night to me. I like two of the guys and that's it. Hopefully the other 24 will be better - otherwise it's going to be a long season.

On a rambly note tonight I have a little something to vent about. Or maybe a few little somethings. Actually as I'm typing this I'm deciding maybe I'll just do a little list of things that irritate me.
  • making a commitment and then breaking it at the last minute without a "real" reason
  • complaining about something over and over, but doing NOTHING to fix it
  • deciding to not be friends with someone over their political views
  • demeaning southern culture - you can think it's different, interesting, etc. but don't demean it
  • not listening when someone is talking to you - especially when they are telling you of something important to them - pretending you're listening is just as bad - you can always tell
  • not taking care of your family in regards to the little things; learn their love language and perform according
  • negativity
  • a sense of entitlement
  • biased media (I'm a mass comm major so this really gets me)
  • talking to people in a condescending manner
  • lack of empathy

Well I guess that's enough venting for one night. Sorry to be so blah tonight, it's just one of those times.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I am one of those mom's that believe in picking my battles. I'm really lenient on the little stuff if it makes you laugh and fosters your imagination. There is enough structure and control in life that I like moments where we can just enjoy.

Today has become one of those days with David. He would normally be at school, but still had a fever yesterday from strep so I kept him home one more day. I have a lot of work to do today for the business so David has been playing on his own in his room - trains, movies, etc.

I went in there just a minute ago to tell him it was time to get settled for quiet time and there are baby wipes on the train track on the train table... These are "parachutes" and they are protecting the trains from the "rain" that is coming down. ok!?! I'm like that's nice sweetie and secretly checking to make sure he hasn't found the baby wipe refill pack :). I told him that it looked great and what a good idea to protect his trains! He has also been playing with my exercise ball today and wanted to put it in his bed (by himself, mind you). He said he needed it for quiet time. Again ok!?! sounds good to mommy...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weight Loss & Food

There are only two ways to lose weight and they involve exercise and food. Tonight I want to talk about food. So what phrase do you use during that stage? Do you say:

I'm dieting
I'm watching what I eat
I'm eating healthier
I'm making a lifestyle change
I'm eating to live instead of living to eat
I'm doing Atkins
I'm doing Weight Watchers
I'm doing Nutri-System
...the list goes on

During my journey with weight loss I have said each phrase, some more than once. For a time each one of these worked. Maybe it's the excitement of something new, the "high" you get when you think of how it's going to go and how you'll look in that swimsuit. You think of how easy it's going to be and how fast it'll happen. Then the first week or two goes by and it's not so easy after all. The "new" wears off and it seems everyone else is eating what they want. Next you go to a party, a celebratory dinner, a shower, a wedding, a ballgame and you are surrounded by all this food. Have you noticed the opportunities in our culture for over-eating are endless. The next thing you know, you've lost your willpower. You justify it to yourself in any way possible:
I deserve a break
I've worked hard
It's a party
I'll just enjoy myself today
I like to eat - I shouldn't have to deny myself

The cycle starts again. You "fall of the wagon" and stay off for awhile and then time passes and you move on to the next diet. The problem is you're more discouraged so you subconsciously won't have as much confidence to succeed the next time around. Furthermore, when you lose weight in this style as soon as you quit what you were doing you gain it back along with a little more.

So how do you break this and make true, sustainable changes in your life that you can stick with and that truly work? Leave a comment if you feel like sharing - I'd love to hear about your successes and failures.

My "attempt" this time is to change the type of groceries we buy and experiment with recipes to make semi-gourmet meals that are healthier. Stay away from processed and packaged food and spend more time at the perimeter of the grocery store. And my whole family is part of it. No more special meals for each member. We are all eating the same stuff (well expect for the 3-year-old). My hope is this just becomes our lifestyle and thus it will be easier to sustain. I'll keep you posted - we've been doing this about 5 weeks now and so far pretty good. I have had some "splurge" moments, but I think that's ok on occasion and I've not beat myself up for it like I would do in the past. And I'm doing the boot-camp, which helps me stay motivated in regards to food. I'm also praying about it this time and asking for God's help - I know he wants us to treat our bodies as temples and I truly want to live that way!!


And It Begins...

Well, we've been lucky for quite a while and and it happened over here alot later than it has for most... but Emily is officially "boy-crazy" now...

I know those of you with young daughters are reading this and cringing and saying "NO", "she's too young", "mine won't start that young", etc. Sorry to say - yes they will!

And what's even worse about Emily's generation, and heaven help us will be worse yet with David's generation, is technology. The texting, cell phones, My Space, Facebook - they are inundated with ways to communicate and access to their friends and boys. Of course you limit it and monitor it and all the things a "good concerned parent" does. And believe me - we do this. It's done here and at her mom's house too... But we don't keep her in a cage or a bubble. She has a cell phone as does EVERY other child in her 7th grade class and they text each other the way we used to write notes in the '80's. They talk to each other on the social networking sites, share pictures, the music they like, the movies they've seen, hairstyles, clothes, etc.

You know what though - I'm confident in Emily and in myself and Dan and Arlene & Danny (her mom and step-dad). We love her, monitor her, give her boundaries, set expectations, talk to her about God and ultimately we trust her. The "boy-crazy", social butterfly phase is something we all go through. It's fun and heartbreaking and dramatic and silly and just part of growing up. I want her to experience life and all that it has to offer. Would I rather her not be hurt by a jealous girlfriend a creepy guy, etc. of course I would. I would do anything to protect her, but ultimately the best way to protect her is to let her live with loving boundaries and to PRAY and pray often.

So we're "buckling up for the ride"... It's gonna be an interesting one.

Overflowing With Love on V' Day - A List

As I wind down tonight I've been reading updates on the blogs that I follow and alot of tonight's posts had lists. It seemed like a good idea and a nice way to put all the thoughts in my head down on paper - or virtual paper anyway.

It's a little too late at night to be perfectly organized in my list so I'll tell you right up front it's going to be random, but it's going to contain little quips about the special people in my life. Things they do that make me feel good and whether they realize it or not, let me know they love me...

1) Dan loves when I cook dinner for him - eating at home is his favorite. But whenever I don't feel like cooking he is always happy to pick up dinner or agree for me to pick up something. No griping, no complaints about money, just a smile and our inside joke of "you cooked a great dinner!" This is said to whichever of us picked it up.
2) He gives me time alone alot. He never complains about giving me time away from home or most specifically away from David. I go shopping, for coffee, to boot camp, bible study, ball games, dinner with friends, take naps, shop some more, etc. Every time he has a smile on his face, never complains and just enjoys his time with David.
3) He loves to play with our kids and our friends kids. He has filled our home, and continues to do so, with things that are fun for the kids and their friends. The thing that is cool about though is not that he's bought the stuff - it's that he plays too. He has a ball spending time playing with the kids and their friends. (As long as it's not board games LOL)
4) He spoils me rotten. I have the GREATEST life and all he wants in return is some clean underwear, dinner and cuddle time on the couch... oh and I do have to listen to some stories about space stuff HA HA.
5) Emily is the most amazing daughter and God blessed me so much when he put me together with a man who had such a special daughter.
6) She has a smile on her face every time I see her. She always kisses me hello and good-bye and good-night and always says I love you.
7) She is always respectful, does her chores without complaint and truly seems to appreciate the things we do for her. And she makes me laugh :)
8) David gives me his trust, faith and love.
9) He often comes up and hugs me or hugs my leg and says "Mommy I love you so much"!! And his smile when he sees me... priceless.
10) My dad is my rock. He is so much to "blame" for making me the person I am today. He is always there for me. Unconditional love and support and consistency make for a fabulous parent. If I can be 1/2 the parent to my kids that he is to me - they will turn out great.
11) Barbara is amazing. God blessed me again when he put her and my dad together. I know they think he blessed them :-) but I got in on that blessing too. She is such a light in our family and is always there for a question, a sob story, some gossip, baby-sitting, hanging out, a good meal, loving the kids, taking care of my dad...
12) Boyd, my brother, calls me several times a week to check-in and see how we're doing, what the kids are up to, how Dan's business is going, tell me about a good book and just to say I love you.
13) My "sister" Christy. Who would have guessed that when my dad got married I would gain a sister and one that is so much like me. She teaches me patience, understanding, deal shopping, Wiggles and Gymboree appreciation and much more. She is my personal therapist (at a great rate), takes care of my son, takes me to Auburn games and makes me laugh.
14) My friends Kim and Bill and their kids Hope and Hayden are just such lights in my life. Kim is the sister you've always dreamed of. It always feels like family when she's around. The way she moves around my kitchen and interacts with my kids and knows my past and my quirks and still loves me... Bill is the easygoing rock - he is always thinking of me in little ways that he probably doesn't even realize because he's just that kind of guy. Hope is always happy and smiling and Hayden will always make you laugh.
15) My friend Leslie is my coffee, shopping, boot camp buddy. We have so much fun together and I couldn't imagine not spending time with her every week.
16) My friends Lauren and Jessica are such amazing women. The pray for me and my family, ask about us and support me in so many ways.
17) My friend Jennifer moved to Texas and left me... HA HA JK, but I know she loves me because she calls me and e-mails me and shops for me even when I'm not with her.
18) My dog Teddy follows me everywhere and looks at me with those adoring eyes that make you think she really knows what's going on.
19) There are so many other people in my life who have touched my heart in many ways. As your life goes in phases there are different people who God puts in your path to help you through the tough times. When I lost my mom, got married, had David, transitioned from working to staying home, fought the cancer battle with Dan, as I deal with my dad being sick... The prayers, "check-ins", meals, cards - all the little things that were done.

Whew - that turned out to be alot longer and quite a bit more "rambly" than I planned. But all these special people are such important parts of my life and make me feel so loved! And since this is holiday to talk about love...

Thank you God for blessing me with such wonderful family and friends and animals.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Sick Boy and A "Wii-static" Family

David had a rough day yesterday of not feeling well. He took a morning nap and a late afternoon nap (until 9pm). Due to this it was midnight before he fell asleep. This morning when he woke up he was crying and telling me about all the various things that hurt. This was topped off with a choking cough from all the mucous drainage. I called and made an appointment with his pediatrician. We got right in and didn't have to wait at all - I LOVE his doctor!!! He has a bad case of strep throat... What's so unusual for him, and for me and Dan, is how miserable he feels. You would think after his bazillion ear infections and 3 ear tube surgeries we would be used to a sick boy, but he is never very bothered by his ears. Sadly I think that is because he's never really known what it's like for his ears to not hurt... His throat on the other hand is new and evidently very painful to him because he has had a HORRIBLE day. I've been alternating Tylenol and Motrin to help with the pain. I can get him to drink milk, but nothing else and he has not eaten a single bite of food in two days... Hopefully tomorrow he will feel alot better and we can get him to eat a bite of something.

We have become a Wii family, which is funny to me because until this point we have never been into video games. Dan's never owned one and I shared one with my brother for a couple of years in the '80's when we lived in WV and it was too cold to go outside and play. We have always believed that it could be too violent, too sedentary, too addictive, etc. Well we have been proven wrong. The Wii is just good family fun and good exercise too (I love my Wii Fit!!!). We've gone on Safari with Diego, played baseball, tennis, bowling and boxing, gone snow-boarding & snow-skiing, raced cars and played Mario... It's such a mix of fun and has something for all of us individually and as a group. We've become addicted at buying games and have developed quite a collection - Emily and I decided we are going to play all the new ones tomorrow while it's raining; after we do our chores - she doesn't know that part yet HA HA.

Good night!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

David's New Big-Boy Room

Can you believe that David is almost 4. He is such a big boy now. We had to move him out of the toddler bed and into a twin bed because he was too big. I bought new bedding, actually splurged on a quilt from Pottery Barn Kids - love it!! The quilt is a madras plaid - more of a classic boy look rather than a specific theme. And it has tons of colors in it so it will go with anything I decide to do.

His room theme since he was a baby started as moon and stars and then moved onto space and rockets. Before he was born Dan painted his walls as a night sky, complete with clouds, the moon, stars, planets and constellations. The painting is to scale and fairly subtle - not "babyish". The walls look so good we didn't want to change them and hoped whatever we changed in his room would go well with the walls.

David is very obsessed with trains. All trains - Lionel, Thomas, etc. He has a train table and almost of all of the trains that go with Thomas and a nice electric Lionel train. The idea for this new room theme started with the Lionel train, which Santa brought this past Christmas. He is actually still a little young for it so Dan was trying to figure out a way for David to enjoy it, but not damage it. He decided to put it on the wall in David's room - up high. That way David could see it and run it, but not actually touch it and damage the engine and cars. So with thta, the whole train theme idea starting taking hold... We started talking to David about it and he was THRILLED. The idea of turning his room from "space" into "trains" was right up his alley. It's funny to me and such a milestone because he is truly involved in this decision.

Dan worked hard for the last few weeks on the track for the train and I started shopping :). With help from David (looking at pictures) we found sheets, a shelf, a rocking chair, wall prints and a basket, all with trains. No little boy train accessories, no Thomas accessories - all "big boy" type real trains. For example I found several sets of cute sheets online, but the trains weren't on tracks - David said no - those weren't real trains...

So now we have a train room and a night sky! There are a few more finishing touches to do, but it's essentially done and looks great (or at least we think so) and David loves it! My friend Leslie came by Monday evening and David grabbed her hand so he could show off his train. And last night Uncle Chuck and Aunt Jenny came over for dinner and he did the same with them. He told his teacher and all his friends at school and he asked me could he take it to "show & share" on Friday - I'm going to print out some pictures for him.

Here are some pictures of the room.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Late Night "Wind Down"

I have missed blogging the last couple of days. It's amazing what relaxation therapy it has become for me in such a very short time. It's funny to me how each of us have our own unique way of relaxing or winding down. Give me the heating pad, a show on the DVR and my laptop and I'm happy.

David and I had a fun day today with some friends. We met up for coffee and play and then a couple of us went shopping after that. We don't get to play as much as we used to now that David is older and in school more often, so it was a real treat for us to see everyone today. We've all been friends since our kids were very small and it's really amazing to watch how much they have grown and to see the new ones in the group. Well I say new - they are all almost 1 now. My how time flies as my great-grandmother used to say.

Tonight I have the added plus of a sweet little warm body against my leg. David is having a hard time sleeping so he climbed in here with me. David's essentially given up naps for over a year now, but on occasion when he stays at preschool through nap time he will actually sleep and oddly the past two days here at home he has napped. But what that means is he can't fall asleep at night. And then tomorrow morning at 7:00 when we get up to get ready for school he'll be tired and cranky and then need the afternoon nap tomorrow and then won't sleep tomorrow night... Vicious cycle. We have had a myriad of sleep problems with David since he gave up his naps - to the point of numerous consultations with his pediatrician, trying melatonin supplements and even trying prescriptions - nothing works. We do the whole bedtime routine - the same exact routine we have done since he was a baby. It worked wonders until he moved from his crib to his bed. I stressed about this for quite awhile, but have realized he'll sleep when he's tired. And 99% of the time he goes to sleep on his own, in his own bed. The rare nights he ends up sleeping in here are as much a special treat for me as for him. He also, on occasion, comes in here during the wee hours of the morning and cuddles with me. I must admit - I enjoy those mornings. So I've decided to enjoy these special sweet times with my normally wild and active little boy because I know they'll be gone all too soon.

Boot camp is going great. The sense of accomplishment is such a high. And the amazing energy I have now that I am exercising is wonderful. And the best part - I have lost 5 & 1/2 pounds in 2 weeks!! There is of course a bad side - SORE MUSCLES... but they get better and the heating pad and alieve are great inventions. I think I mentioned to you guys about having back surgery not to long ago - well I have been worried how boot camp would go due to that. It's not really a problem!! There have only been a couple things that really hurt and scared me, so I just don't do those. Overall it's just great total body and core strengthening and cardio.

Valentine's Day is coming up and I'm a "sucker" for holiday's so I'm looking forward to it. I've gotten Dan and the kids their cards and gifts and now I'm trying to decide on a fun family meal for Saturday night. Emily's all-time favorite is Dan's homemade chicken fingers - we only have them a couple of times a year so I think they'll make a fun special meal for this Valentine's. I think the reason I love all holidays is because of my mom. She passed away when I was 26 and prior to that she made every holiday special. Even when I was grown and owned my own home she still had something for me on every holiday and even made me an Easter basket every year! So I plan to do the same with the kids. Family traditions are great, especially fun ones like this :). Do you guys have any special things planned for Valentine's? With the kids? With the hubby? Leave me a comment and tell me about them.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chocolate, Pizza and Coughing

Do you guys watch Food Network? What a great channel. My favorite shows are all the challenges. Tonight there is a marathon on chocolate - how awesome is that. Thank heavens I have no chocolate in the house though because I would be committing a little gluttony :).

I am still fighting this insane cold and I cannot stop coughing. No medicine yet tonight, but I am about to get up and find some. This coughing is horrible - the tickle in my throat sensation will not go away. To keep from coughing constantly I am holding my breath. How crazy is that!

Dan was tired from being outside "building the train bridge" with David all afternoon and he didn't feel like cooking. I had cooked breakfast and lunch and just didn't have anymore in me. So he decided he had a craving for Domino's... Heart stop - temptation... I've been so good on this new eating lifestyle and boot camp, etc. But I must admit that deep down I was cheering - I would LOVE to "sin" a little and pizza sounded GREAT. So I acted a little sad - have to keep up appearances HA HA. Then I ordered our pizza. I did not do as bad as I could have - I ordered for myself a small, thin crust, veggie pizza. And it was wonderful, melt in your mouth wonderful. It is amazing how much you appreciate the really "bad" foods when you don't have them all the time.

David was so worn out from being outside with daddy that he was asleep before 7:00. Thank you Lord for a beautiful day!! Finally weather warm enough for the kids to be outside. A funny thing David did today. Around the house and out back he always wears his crocs (and don't make the mistake of calling them shoes - he gets offended... they are CROCS). The reason for this is he can take them on and off at will and since he is in and out a bazillion times this is very valuable. So anyway, he and Dan are outside doing their thing and I'm asleep. I wake to this voice saying, "MOMMY, Mommy, you are a good finder." I'm like what?? I'm sick and asleep - go away... He says again, "Mommy, you are a good finder." Ok - I'll play, a good finder of what. "Crocs!", he says. Oh... Well I know I found them already that morning because he had them on when I went to sleep. I open my eyes and see one foot nicely parked in a red Lightning McQueen croc and one foot naked... Ok what happened. He doesn't know, but I do manage to understand that he went outside just then with his one croc and daddy sent him back in. So I get up and 'lo and behold the missing croc is right beside his race track on the living room floor - shining like a beacon. I didn't even "look" for it - it just jumped out at me. I point, he sheepishly says "Oh!", puts in on and runs outside. So I ask you - is it in the DNA? Is it a gender thing? Why can't they look? But, time will go by and I'll get over this cold and catch up on my sleep, but I won't be able to get back these cute little things he says. So I'll let you in on a little secret, being a "good finder" warms my heart!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Various Ramblings From a Medicated Mind

So this has been a crappy day. I woke up feeling like death - I mean I didn't feel great last night after boot camp, but this is worse. Sinus stuff, sore throat, chest heavy, productive cough, headache... I've taken a handful of cold medicine tonight so my mind is going everywhere HA HA. I just want to sleep tonight, hence the medicine.

A funny thing David said on the way home from school today - "Mommy, your hair is upside down!" To which I was like what? say that again? My mind racing trying to interpret 3-year-old conversation skills. I finally realized it was because my hair was down and not in a pony-tail. Evidently I wear my hair up way too much if he finds it weird when it's down. I wonder if daddy has been brain-washing him HA HA... Dan prefers my hair down, go figure.

Thank goodness for pre-school!! I slept the whole time David was at school today. Had he been home I would have had to park him in front of the TV today. Instead he went to school and had show and share (today was "P" day). They also were talking about community helpers and his favorite is a fireman - that is what he's decided to be when he gets "bigger than sissy" (which by the way is his goal in life). So rather than be a TV babysat kid today he had fun, learned something, used his imagination, had a hot lunch and got to play outside twice!! Can I say again, thank goodness for pre-school.

Dan called late this afternoon to see if he could take me out to dinner tonight. But then he heard my voice and realized how sick I was and decided to come home a little early. I had stopped by Fresh Market and picked up dinner for him - I can throw something in the oven when I'm sick, just not prep and clean up :). He walked in and "took over" David for me and I crawled in the bed After dinner he and David watched "Space Buddies". Poor Dan - he told me after the movie that it was the lamest movie he had ever seen! I just cracked up - the things we watch for our kids.

I don't know if I've mentioned to you guys yet - but I am seriously addicted to my DVR. I truly do not understand how people live without them. I would give up my microwave before giving up my DVR. We like them so much we actually have two. One in the living room for family movies, space shows, history, discovery, etc. and the second in our bedroom for tv series. Today as I lay in bed I started flipping through daytime TV - ok I have just one word: HORRIBLE. There is Nothing on during the daytime. Which you would think since I stay at home I would know that, but I don't watch TV during the day - there is a TV in my study for David to watch movies and if he's not here then I have it on Fox News for noise... So today as I lay in bed nursing my cold and dozing in and out I watched some great food network shows I had recorded and a couple of my many prime-time shows. I think I would have been driven to drink had I only had regular daytime tv to watch.

Well I guess that's enough to bore you with right now. I'll blog you later.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

What Happens at Boot Camp?

I think I mentioned that I'm going to boot camp, well lots of people have asked me what we do there, so here goes...

To start with, our trainer is Lucy and she is certified and all that jazz. She has a website too, but it's down right now - should be back up in a couple of days if you want to check it out.

The class is three nights a week (for six weeks). Each class meets for an hour. There are 8 people in the class.

We meet on Monday nights and start with a weigh-in. Each class member has a weight-loss goal of 5% of their body weight. Of course we all hope to lose more. There is a biggest loser of the week and for the whole six weeks. After the "fun" of weighing in we do some serious core and ab exercises and then run or power walk for 1/2 mile. Then repeat. We use bands, exercise balls, medicine balls, gravity LOL... Monday night is 1/2 outside and 1/2 inside.

We next meet on Tuesday nights and do total body workout with some cardio. We do lot's of hellacious things, similar to what I've seen on the Biggest Loser ha ha!! Tuesday nights is outside at a little park area that has a few items for exercise and Lucy brings bands and cones and medicine balls and her imagination :)

The last class of the week is on Thursday nights and it's cardio, but Lucy still sneaks in some leg and ab work. We are outside on Thursday nights and we make a 2-mile walk/run around her neighborhood. Throughout this she has stations set up where we stop and do more intense cardio and muscle work.

In addition to this we are supposed to do two 30-minute cardio sessions each week on our own. There is also a diet that we follow (more about that another night).

I have to say I am freezing, sore - REALLY sore and my back is killing me, but I love boot camp!! I think it is quite possibly the best thing I have ever done for ME!!! Tonight we completed week 2. I'm excited for the weigh-in Monday night. I really feel like I am doing well.

Now I'm sure some of you are reading this and thinking, "oh there is now way I could do that," or "I could never keep up," or "people would laugh at me," or "I have no stamina, no strenght, etc;" or "I need to lose weight first" - the list goes on... Let me tell you about me. I have had multiple knee surgeries and always have pain. I have serious lower back issues and had surgery a few months ago. I haven't exercised in YEARS!! I am about 135 pounds overweight... my list goes on. But I'm doing it and making it through. No I can't run as fast as some or even run as much as they do and I can't do a true push-up and lots of other things. But I can work hard and do my best. The mental high and the physical high from exercise is FABULOUS!!!!!!

I'll close with a prayer request. Pray that I continue to enjoy the class and get stronger and that my stamina increases.

How Did I End Up With Such a Wonderful Man?

Well it's midnight and as usual I can't sleep. I'm watching some shows on the DVR and eating a clementine, which I always thought was a tangerine. Is there actually a difference? Either way they are really good and a much better late night snack that I ate before I started boot camp and this new lifestyle LOL

I am one of those people that can't just watch TV. In my life there has only been one or two shows that have ever kept my attention enough to just "watch". These days I have to be working on a project, reading a book, talking on the phone or thinking while I watch TV. Tonight my mind keeps wandering to Dan. Not something rare - I do think of my husband often, but tonight in particular I keep thinking what a wonderful man he is. With that in mind I decided to share some things about him so you can get to know him a little better.

Dan and I met in November of 1999. He was divorced with a 3-year-old daughter. I almost "ran" - I could just hear my mom up in heaven saying watch out :). But I gave it a chance anyway and fell in love twice - once with him and again with Emily.

When we met Dan was working as a restaurant manager and had a few rental properties. I was working at the time as an Outside Sales Rep. for a local manufacturing company and did a lot of traveling. Over the next year our relationship strengthened and we were married in June of 2001. During this time Dan began acquiring additional rental property. He would get up each morning and go work on the properties - repairs, remodeling, leasing, collections, bill payments, etc. Each afternoon he would go to work at the restaurant at 4:00 and work there until the wee hours of the morning. The next day he would do it again. I was still working and growing my career and traveling alot. We didn't see much of each other and to say the least it was hard on a new marriage.

Time went on and the business continued to grow. Sometime in 2004 we realized it was time for time to quit his job and focus on the property management full time. We were blessed that I made a really good salary so we invested all the rental property profits back into the business and utilized my salary for regular expenses (mortgage, household, etc.). This enabled Dan to grow the business even more.

All of a sudden, with Dan only working 1 job, we were able to start having a marriage. That was another transistion for us, but thankfully a much better one than being apart all the time! Dan was amazing with how he grew our business. He had less than 10 units when we met and now we are close to 80!!

As time went on we decided to have a child. We only wanted two total and since we already had Emily we knew we would only have one child or should I say one pregnancy LOL - if God had wanted it to be multiples - well then we would have had more. God blessed us with David in the spring of 2005. I was still working and planned to continue - we had discussed hiring a nanny, but never me staying at home. I loved my career and had worked my way up to Executive Management before David was born. I stayed home 12 weeks after his birth and then off he went to daycare and off I went to work. And everything was different... I'm sure alot of you reading this can recall those feelings!! So about 2 or 3 months after I went back - it was over. David was 5 months old and I became a SAHM. The best thing that has ever happened to me and my family. I took over all the paperwork, statements, budgets, taxes, payroll, etc. from Dan. That enabled him to have more time to grow the business and for me to still keep my mind in something besides mommy HA HA.

Life went on and couldn't have been better. The kids were thriving, Dan and I were happy, the business was growing... Then in February of 2008 we found out that Dan had Stage IV Adenocarcinoma of the Parotid. I won't give you pages and pages of details on that - if you are interested you can read our CaringBridge site:

Against the odds, literally, my amazingly strong husband beat the cancer!! He is officially in remission now and has repeat scans and oncology appointments every 3 months. This type of cancer can recur, quite commonly actually so we are still praying daily. But we are living and enjoying life and all God has blessed us with. I believe Dan is truly a modern day miracle. During the battle seeing what I saw and hearing what the doctors said - he shouldn't be here today. But he is and doing great. It took quite a while to get back to normal, but he's fully back now.

He's actually even better than before. I mean I always felt he was a great husband and father and provider, but this new, "post-cancer" Dan is amazing. He has a new joy for life and for me and the kids. He is still growing the business and working hard, but taking alot more time for himself and the family.

He and Emily spend their time together riding go-karts, painting (they are both really good artists), playing pool or watching How It's Made. He and David spend their time playing trains, building stuff, tickling and watching anything with vehicles or something blowing up. He has so much patience with them it amazes me. It gets to a point where they are driving me batty and I need a break and he's still going strong. I guess that's why I have my weekly and monthly girls night activities LOL.
As I read back through this I feel I haven't even come close to talking about what a wonderful man Dan is, but now you have the background. I'll have lots of Dan stories in the time to come because he is always doing something that I'll want to share.

Here are a few pictures of some things that Dan has done for David's room. There is only one shot of his walls, but they all have something on them - Dan did all the painting. The car track & garage was several months ago. And the final shots are of the train track and bridge he is building to go on David's bedroom wall (above the windows/doors and right below the ceiling).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Sore Back and School Prayers

It's freezing outside and I am so happy that I don't have boot camp tonight. Last night for class we were outside in the cold and wind and it was a pretty miserable experience. I'm marginally sore from class, but the main problem is my horrible back. I had surgery late last year and it has been doing better, but this afternoon it is crippling!!! Now there is a little one climbing on me reaching to get something on my desk - why can they not understand to just ask for it. You don't have to climb on mommy...

Dan is taking advantage of my "no boot camp" night and working late. I'm so ready for him to get home and take over so I can get in the bed and turn on my heating pad. I'm also excited for him to try the new recipe I made for dinner. It's an Italian Soup and it is delicious and the perfect entree for this cold night. We are having a salad with it, but no bread :( I guess we'll get used to cutting back on the bread... There are truly worse things :)

David has his "Playdate" at Holy Cross tomorrow at 1:00. He'll be observed interacting and playing with the other children. I assume things like attitude, participation, following directions, sharing, etc. I truly pray he does well. You just never know with 3-year-olds. Some of you reading this are probably like what the heck?? The city we live in has some of the worst public schools in the country so private schools are in high demand here. I narrowed my list down to 4 (out of about 15) and then picked Holy Cross as my first choice. Since the demand is so high they have to have some way to select students. For 4k they do this playdate, review the application and review the form submitted by his current preschool teacher. As they get older entrance is determined by transcripts and testing. I have several other options available for David, including keeping him where he currently attends for 3k, but this is my top choice so of course I really want him to get in!!!

I took a break and am back now. Dan made it home and we ate dinner. Now the kitchen is "closed" and David is winding down with his trains before bedtime. We have tried a range of times for him and have settled on 9:00 as his best time for a variety of reasons. Plus he couldn't sleep without his train time. He plays with them EVERY day and creates stories and voices. It's really cute. He has the wooden ones so no sounds or lights - it's all "powered by" his imagination.
Here's a cute picture of David that Emily took this past weekend - she was supposed to be sorting laundry LOL.
You're probably wondering why not any update on Emily tonight and that is because she stays at her mom's on school nights. We have had her the past two weekends and she'll stay with her mom this weekend. It's tough for us during this time of year because we see her less.
Off to the heating pad for me!

Getting to Know Us

Good afternoon all. I decided recently that I am full of useless random thoughts and stories and mini-dramas and funny escapades and need an outlet to share! So here we are. My name is Michelle and I have a wonderful husband, Dan. We have been married for 8 years. We have a little boy, David who will be 4 in May. We also have a girl, Emily who will be 13 in April - she is Dan's daughter from his first marriage. We are very blessed by God to have a wonderful family and we see Emily all the time - she only lives about 20 minutes away.
Another way we are blessed is through our business. We have 75+ units of rental/investment property and are adding to that this month. Dan handles all the maintenance (with a crew) and the leasing, purchasing, remodeling, etc. I handle the payments, statements, budgets, taxes and other basic office work. Prior to this Dan and I both had full-time careers. Mine was in manufacturing (sales and purchasing) and his was in food-service. Everything fell into place around the time David came into our lives and we were both able to dive into the business full-time and let the other jobs go.

A big thing that is going on in my life right now is Boot Camp. 3 nights a week I meet with a class and trainer and she gives us a heck of a work-out!! I am trying to combine this with several trips to the Y per week. I am on a long journey to be healthier and try to help insure that I can be around one day to see my grandkids. And looking better in a bathing suit would be great too! Through this process Dan is working out as well and we are experimenting with grocery changes and healthier menus. It's been a lot of hard work, but also alot of fun - especially the cooking part. I love to try new recipes.

Through the days of this blog I am apt to post multiple times a day or go several days without posting. But I must warn you - I like to talk or type rather LOL.

Another thing I am very proud to say is that I am a Conservative Christian Republican!!! And I am VERY VERY VERY pro-life.

Here are a few pictures of our family.

I am looking forward to getting to know you all. Please comment - feedback is a great motivator.