Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cops and Robbers

I just witnessed a robbery. It shook me up a little. I was out grilling when I heard a strange cracking noise. I thought something was falling on top of the covered parking in our complex. Then I heard more cracking and glass breaking. I followed the noise to the apartment building facing us and I watched a man shatter the sliding glass door on a ground-level balcony. I quietly backed into my own house, hoping he didn't notice me, and called 911. As I did, I heard what I think was the apartment's alarm system going off.
Steven was at the grocery store so after I phoned the police I called him to tell him to be careful when he pulled in as he was already on his way home. As I spoke with him, I noticed a car pulling out of the parking lot awfully fast. Though I'm pretty sure that was the guy(s) in the car, the H* police made me proud as they got there within minutes from my phone call. Steven happened to pull in right in front of the police and pointed to the apartment where I had described.
I, meanwhile, was hiding out in my children's room with the lights out watching the whole thing. When Steven knocked on our front door, I think I jumped about 4 feet. We watched the police as they waited outside to make sure the person had gone, brought the k-9 unit, and actually went in to make sure no "bad guy" was still inside. They later came to ask me what I saw.
I was mostly just a little flushed and excited about the whole thing. But I noticed the rest of the evening was shot. I was in a terrible mood, yelling at my kids for the lamest reasons. I even brokedown and cried when I noticed water on the bathroom floor from who-knows-what?. And kept crying. And crying (and I'm not a huge crier). That's when I realized, it bothered me more than I thought to watch the vulnerability of our home. Though we hadn't been broken into, it just as easily could have been us. The only thing we have going for us is being on the third floor - not an easy getaway for anyone. We've been blessed with safety for this long in this city, I pray that our little home will continue to be so.
Anyway, I knew writing about it would help me cope, so you poor people get to hear about my drama.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Nutcracker

Two nights ago, Steven and I were lucky recipients of two excellent tickets to The Nutcracker performed by none other than the H* Ballet. I felt very cosmopolitan as we rubbed elbows with other theater regulars.

Though I took ballet lessons as a child and have always loved the ballet, I've never been to a performance of The Nutcracker. Nope, not even by elementary school-aged children. My parents were never really into that sort of cultural thing. They found it dry and dull. Maybe it's the background and training, but I thought it was fabulous! I think my own children are still too young to appreciate it (or even sit through it for that matter), but it will definitely be something I introduce them to.

Thanks to John and Elizabeth for the tickets! We're only sorry we couldn't all go together.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Name Nonsense

Now that we've decided that we aren't finding out the gender, the name issue has reared its ugly head. We have weekly familly discussions involving everyone's opinion on naming the baby. Before I go any further, as much as I would love to share my name ideas, I just don't have the stomach to. Responses to name ideas are never good (especially from my mother - sorry Ma, it's true). Here are some of my favorite responses from people:

  • Oh, I had a dog named that once...
  • Man! I was going to use that name. Great! Thanks alot!
  • The "smelly kid" in my 5th grade class was named that.
  • Wo, never heard that one. So, uh, how would you spell it?
  • Isn't that's a boy's name?
So don't bother asking us what we are thinking of. I won't break. If you want to know more about what and why we named our other kids, see my entry November 2nd. Maybe from that you can guess, but until that fateful day in May, you will await yet another surprise from the Mick Monkeys.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Yet another decision has been made in our house. We are NOT finding out the gender of the baby. I was pretty wishy-washy there for a while but we've finalized and decided that we're up for the challenge (of not finding out) and the surprise that will occur in the delivery room. Even as I type this, I'm dying to know -- but I can be strong, right?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Travel Plans

We've made our big decision on our Christmas plans. We've decided to postpone our trip to Utah until further notice. I now realize that I'm so relieved to have finally decided. I felt like everyone was waiting around to see what we were doing and when we were doing it. Though most are leaving elsewhere to visit their own family, we're happy to have a few select sticking it out here in H* with us.
Everything is just too up-in-the-air right now. I can't bear the thought of making that drive twice within a month. And getting tickets right now is ridiculously expensive. So I'm very happy to be staying. I know I'll see my family soon enough.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trading Places

I can't tell you the irony of the past two days. Steven and I have truly traded roles in the home. He's taking care of meals, bills, and cleaning. Meanwhile I work all day, come home, bathe the kids and feel pretty tired. My favorite of all this was this morning as I left, Steven called down to me as I was getting into the car and wanted to make sure I had taken the right keys. I double checked and sure enough, I had my keys and Steven has misplaced his. For any of you that know me, I'm a chronic key-loser. I laughed the whole way to work knowing Steven had become me.
I will say that our house hasn't been this clean in a while. I had lost all motivation when we decided to move. Steven's been doing an excellent job at something I wasn't too sure about. I'm not sure, however, how long both of us will last in our new roles. The kids are enjoying their time with Daddy and I'm enjoying my lunch breaks where I get to go Christmas shopping without using the art of stealth-shopping so the kids don't know that I've slipped their wishes into the cart.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Job Announcement

We are very happy to announce that today we received a wonderful job offer we can't refuse. Ironically, it's not for my husband, it's for myself.
After all of Steven's efforts to obtain a job, his ego was somewhat thwarted yesterday when a friend called me out of the blue and asked me if I could do some temporary work in a local doctor's office to help with billing. It paid well and wouldn't last more than a couple weeks. Since Steven's home and we could always use some extra cash (especially since Christmas is around the corner), I couldn't help but jump at the offer. So I'm off to work for the common good of our household starting tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Late Thanksgiving Report

I have a bit of catching up to do. Our best friends John and Elizabeth invited us (again) to John's parent's ranch in/near B*. We, like last time, had a wonderful time and were able to stay three days instead of only one. Here are the highlights of our wonderful Thanksgiving:

Even though we could cook here (indoors), we decided to mostly cook here (open flame is always preferred).

The ranch had 10 cows that we were able to feed. They were all female and pregnant. Bradley, being all-too-wise for his years, knew about pregnant women because of his mother. And learned a thing or two more from Uncle John. Here are a few treasures out of that monkey's mouth:

  • "Okay ladies, come to Papa." (Calling them to the feeding pens.)
  • "John, they can't move that fast, they're pregnant!" (After John told the cows to hurry up.)
  • "Moooooooooooo!!!" (We like to stress communication - even if it is with the animal kingdom.)
  • "Mom, I think being pregnant means that you're going to have a baby and your mean." (Yesterday, after I got mad over something small and unnecessary to get angry over.)

Emmy being VERY brave - thanks to LeeLee!

Bradley on John's shoulders being, well, less brave.

Emmy giving John some extra needed love. Emmy has him wrapped around that chunky little finger of hers.

Bradley and his treasures (various animal bones) found on the 300+ acre ranch.

Not all were found by him, but the next picture is definitely his favorite find considering his history of broken elbows.

Real highlights:

From L to R: John, LeeLee (Elizabeth), Steven, Mindy, Emmy, Bradley, Harriett & Frank (owners of the ranch). Thanks for the memorable time.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Oh how I've missed my blog. It's so therapeutic! Graduation was so much fun and a great experience. Jon and Domie were able to visit from SF* for a grand ol' time. There was lots of sightseeing and even more eating! (Ummm, I need to do something about that extra 3 lbs.)
Speaking of which, my little - or not so little - tummy seemed to have popped out this weekend. I noticed Friday night at the commencement ceremony that my skirt fit, just not nearly as well as before. By Sunday, my blouse wasn't enjoying its time buttoned up. Those poor threads were hanging on for dear life. I guess I just have to accept it at some point during my pregnancy. The only problem is that it's still way too early for maternity clothes, so I'll either look like a vagabond in roomy warm-ups/pj's or red in the face with eyes popping out because I'm sucking it in.
Here is Steven walking across the stage. My camera wasn't able to get it's flash clear across the room so you could see him really well. If I turned off the flash, it was miserably blurry. Earlier in the day, Baylor held an awards ceremony for the Allied Health Program. This includes his Physician Assistant class as well as the Nurse Anesthetist class. Steven was one of 1/2 dozen students to receive an award for maintaing honors grades throughout his 1 1/2 years of rotations. Way to go, Babe! We were all (yes, including Steven) very proud of him. We had no idea he was going to receive it. Besides, he'd never tell anyone, so this is my chance to brag about him.

As most graduations go, this one was slightly too dry for my kid's taste. Apparently there wasn't enough animation or candy involved. They decided to take a quick snooze on my lap. Besides that they were surprisingly well-behaved for a 7pm commencement.

Here's a picture of our little celebrating group. Though lots of our family was unable to make it, they've been super supportive in many other ways. Thanks Jon and Domie for a wonderful time in H-town.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Images Worthwhile

And this is why I have babies...

Thanks, Natalie, for a surprisingly successful shoot.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I'm not dead - not all the way at least. I've been getting frantic calls and emails from readers asking if I'm okay. First of all, I had no idea of such a fan base - sort of flattering. Secondly, all is well in the household, I'm just exhausted from a truly, insane week (er, I mean weeks). More later, I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Loved Ones

I'm going to lunch with Eli (aunt Leelee) today. She's one of my dearest friends. She reminds me so much of my wonderful MIL (I got lucky with mine). Thinking of these two very sweet women made me think of a few other people here in H* that I've become extremely close with. I've learned that you can still have a family while family is nearly 2000 miles away. Today I'm grateful for my wonderful friends and loved ones that treat me like family even though we aren't related to one another. I feel very blessed.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
~ Elbert Hubbard

Monday, November 20, 2006

Deck the Halls

Okay, okay....I know this may seem ridiculous to some (all) of you, but I have my reasons - my very good, sane, normal reasons.
I'm putting up my Christmas Tree today. I'm almost sure I'm not the only one that wants to, but I may be the only one that actually does it. Now before I go on, I love Thanksgiving and plan on celebrating it as much as the next person. Believe me, I love turkey with all the trimmings and I have so much to be thankful for this season that it might make you sick! I'm not blowing it off like the rest of the commercial/retail world. But here are my top 10 reasons I'm giving into my Christmas decorating urgency:

  1. I don't know where we will be come Christmas Day.
  2. We may even move before Christmas - and I can't just put everything on hiatus until we know what we're doing.
  3. We're traveling for Thanksgiving and I need time with my Christmas tree and decorations.
  4. Steven will let me ; ). It's sweet how he thinks he has a say in the matter.
  5. Bradley's begging.
  6. It makes me happy.
  7. My kids don't take off the decorations - lucky me. Everything will stay in its place.
  8. It's finally cold enough (below 70 degrees) that it doesn't seem nearly as ludicrous.
  9. The entire family is home (no school for anyone), what else are we going to do that isn't going to require us to spend money?
  10. Because it's my house and I can - my favorite reason.
So they're not great reasons, but I'm doing it nonetheless. Growing up my family was always the-day-after or the-Saturday-after Thanksgiving type of people. But I know that if we end up moving and I wait until after Thanksgiving, I'll feel sad and guilty for not having it up more of the holiday season. So if any of you out there are sitting on the fence, join me on the dark side - or better said - the pre-lit, glass-blown, smiling, tinsel-filled, fa-la-la-la-la side.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Student Gratitude

Our time as students is quickly coming to a close. I never thought I'd say this, but there will be things about being a student (and the wife of a student) that I will miss. Right now I feel too young, or maybe a better word is naive, to be a real adult with a mortgage and membership in my child's PTO. It sometimes frightens me that I feel that I may be too ignorant to be in the real world. So, until I learn that I'm just overreacting, I'm going to list the things I'm grateful for when it comes to being a student.

  • Financial Aid (there is NO way we would have made it without some support from "the man").
  • Being the dutifully supportive wife. Mostly because I'm happy I'm done with school.
  • Gaining a new family with each move we make. Not to mention an actual family member with our last move.
  • Appreciating a dollar - and how dang good I am at stretching it.
  • Knowing that I'll remember this as one of the best times in our lives.
  • Watching Bradley light up when we tell him he goes to school just like Daddy does.
  • Our family's support....even when we moved far away from all of them.
  • Friends we've made at each stop.
  • Being on our own and making our own decisions.
  • Knowing that it's healthy for us to know what it's like to be poor.
  • It being over....
A year and a half ago Steven had his official white coat ceremony. Here's a picture from that day. Two weeks from now, he will graduate and we'll have new pictures, new coats, and new lives.

Indeed one of the ultimate advantages of an education is simply coming to the end of it. ~ B. F. Skinner

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Life Without Email & Avery

Goodness, it's been too long. I do have good reasons, however. Steven has been uber-busy with his research paper. Because of this, he's been taking our computer (we're a laptop only sort of family at the moment) up to campus and to the doctor helping him do his research. A day without my email is like a day without electricity. I can't believe I'm so attached! Plus, by the time Steven did get home at nights, I was so exhausted, I would usually crash into bed without even opening the laptop. Needless to say, when I opened my account this afternoon, my inbox was feeling a little swollen.
Also, for the past 8 weeks I've been working about 6 hours a day. My friend needed someone to watch her 3 1/2 month (now 5 months) old for her while she went back to work and decided on a more permanent situation for her daughter. Her husband is in the same program as Steven so their lives are up in the air at this point and they didn't want to put her in a daycare for only a few weeks when they could find a home they could trust to put her in. So I was asked and gratefully accepted watching after little Avery. The extra money is coming in handy and it's been quite the eye-opener to what 3 kids will be like (I guess three carseats do fit in the back of a Honda Accord - though I'll still pine for an SUV when the time comes). Though I'm looking forward to having time alone with my little ones again, we'll sure miss our Avery. She is a delightfully happy child and I think Bradley and Emmy will miss her the most.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Where, Oh Where?

This mid-term election has reminded me of something. I remember during the last presidential election, Steven and I discussed how it would be exciting to move to a "swing state" and try and make a difference. If you don't know what that is, it's a state that is not always Republican or Democrat (NOT a kinky trade-ya-partners state).It's funny how minds change and how decisions are made, because when we were moving from Utah to Texas, we swore we'd never live in a place where we had to own a snow shovel again, which was ironic considering we each own at least one snowboard and love the sport to death. Since then, we've endured 3 hideous summers full of muggy, 104 degree, indoor-only weather. Right now I'd give about anything for four seasons again.
I'm starting to believe that though I'm usually an optomistic person, I'm also an idealist. The grass has to be greener somewhere, right? What's my problem? Maybe it's because I knew this was going to be a temporary move. Grad school would be done in 2 1/2 years, then we'd be gone. Now that our plans may be differnt than we had originally thought, I think I'm getting frustrated. My priorities right now are so skewed. One minute I think "all I need is a house with a backyard somewhere I feel safe." The next minute I think, "I need this and that and the other with sunshine and a quarter of a million dollars in my bank account." Now, is that so much ask?
We're in the middle of deciding where we should live. Actually, we're hoping to get a job that will make that decision for us, because it's become a tedious, and possibly unnecessary task. For if we can't find a job in the "ideal" city, I might just go insane. Whatever. This is quite the tangent. Hopefully this won't be habitual. I had to vent somewhere.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween & Other Celebrations

Halloween was too much fun for the family. We're widdling down the candy supply and coming off a week long sugar high. Bradley has the whole family on Harry Potter patrol and talked Emmy into going as Hermione Granger and Steven and I took the easy (ahem, lazy) road and went as "muggles" - this actually means we didn't need to dress up. Here are pictures of Bradley's long, dyed hair (since been buzzed and rinsed back to blonde) and Emmy with her crimped hair (I'm very proud she was so willing to sit still for me!). I'm also happy I was able to make their costumes again this year. I know they'll soon think it's not cool to have your mom make your costume. Until then, I'll take full advantage.

Little Hermione....

Mr. Potter...

And my favorite and most magical of them all....

As for other such celebrations, the cat's out of the least it's peaking it's head out of the bag. We're very excited to announce to everyone that we're expecting a baby. I'm only 12 weeks along, but we were dying to share the news. Thanks to everyone that found out earlier than the rest. We appreciate you keeping our precious secret until we were ready to tell all. Here are some t-shirts the kids and I made to announce to family and friends.

I know there somewhat difficult to read, but they say: I'm going to be a big brother/sister. Then on the back of Bradley's it says: AGAIN. While the back of Emmy's says: FINALLY!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why Blog?

My BIL, Brian, has begun a family history podcast called Family History Minute. If you're not familiar with a podcast, it's similar to talk radio, but you don't have to tune in at the exact time of your favorite program, you just download it, or better yet, subscribe to it. Then every time your favorite podcast(s) come out, it will automatically download to your computer and you can listen to it whenever and however you want.

Anyway, he called me to ask me why I blogged. I explained to him this is my way of keeping a journal (his latest episode of Family History Minute promoted journaling). I explained to him that I have tried countless times to begin a journal. I've tried everything from spiral notebooks to hard-backed & bound journals with my name inscribed very nicely in gold-leafing across the front. I've tried using word processors. I've tried many different venues and I always give up. It becomes either becomes tedious, unsavory or simply forgotten on a shelf.

Using a blog, specifically this blog gave me an attractive pallette to work with; and it's not the same one everyone else is using. There are dozens of color choices, layouts, etc. This website allows me to illustrate each blog if I choose with pictures of my choice. Never would I have taken the time to grab a 4x6 picture and glued it into one of my journals.

I'm on my computer daily....and lots during that day - even if it's just checking my e-mail. I'm am reminded to keep it up. My computer doesn't get lost under a bed or left on a bookshelf to gain dust.

One other reason I love blogging is it gives me the opportunity to share my writing. Rarely did I have the occasion to share my writing with others. Never would I hand my personal journal to my friend and said, "here, check this out. I wrote something about you." It's just not done. both of us would feel uncomfortable in this scenario. This gives me a creative outlet and allows people to see it and even comment on it. Plus, the fact that I know people are reading it gives me extra motivation to keep it up. Before no one would know I hadn't made an entry for months at a time.

I LOVE IT! I'm definitely addicted. I've never been able to keep a journal up this consistently OR for this long. Thanks to my girls for inspiring me to start one. I will also say, if you aren't doing either, give something a try. Your family will thank you one day for keeping records of your life.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's In a Name?

Yes, I've been tagged. The initial question, I think, was what did you name your kid(s) and why?

Naming a child is surprisingly an overwhelming responsibility. I always made name lists growing up - not kidding, like since I was 12 and never thought it would be such a big deal when I was older. I loved the unusual, the gender un-specific, all those names that my future husband would hate. It wasn't until we were actually pregnant when we decided that we loved the idea of using our ancestor's names. This was a double positive because it made me fascinated with my own family history. Side note: we have records of one of my maternal lines goes back to the year 6 AD...crazy, eh?

Anyway, my eldest, Bradley Steven, wasn't decided on until 2 days after he was born. We went to the hospital with a list of four names and he just looked like a Bradley to us. Though Bradley isn't in our heritage, we had loved the name all throughout the pregnancy and Steven's best friend from childhood to college days was named Bradley. From the beginning I wanted Steven to be apart of his name, whether it was 1st or 2nd, I didn't care. I just didn't want a Jr. So if Steven were the first name, he would have gone by his middle name.

Bradley makes sure he goes by just that: Bradley; NOT Brad. He's very quick to correct you if you by chance forget -- even if you're his mother.

My little one, Emmy, is actually Amelia Maree. Her name was decided on before we got pregnant. Her middle name is the same as my middle name while her first name is after my great grandmother. Bradley couldn't say Amelia while I was pregnant, so for some reason Emmy stuck. It wasn't until a few months after she was born that Grandma R* (the daughter of Emmy's namesake) called me and told me that her mother's nickname was Emmy as well. We had no idea and I felt an even closer kinship with my great grandmother.

Emmy still has a difficult time saying Amelia. We're not sure when we'll begin calling her that, or if we ever will. It's just too pretty of a name to just be found only on a birth certificate.

As for future children, we'll hopefully will be having to think of one soon if all goes as planned .... wink, wink. We feel very blessed with what we have and feel lucky and priveledged to be parents of such wonderful monkeys.

Now it's my turn to tag you. I'm not sure who's been tagged, but I'm going to tag Terica and Laura, mostly because they're non-Texans and are less likely to have been tagged by the Texas Ring of Bloggers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Falling Back

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." -Benjamin Franklin

I LOVE the time change that occurs every Fall. Maybe that's even another reason why I love Autumn so much. My father always told me "only a fool wouldn't take advantage of this time change." I love this extra hour. Some years I'm much better at taking advantage of it than others, but I love it nonetheless. If only my children didn't also take advantage of it. I'd have a much easier time making it to the gym if they weren't awake at 6 am, too.

Friday, October 27, 2006

God Bless Nabisco

How's this for trivial? I've been on the South Beach diet for months....and though it's been successful, and definitely an easy thing for me to do, I still occasionally have a hankering for some good ol' sweet-tooth-quenching. We don't own any white flour and no regular sugar or brown sugar. Everything is whole wheat (pasta, bread, brown rice, etc). The family has been super supportive with this decision. I have restricted all my "goodies" to sugar free items and I have had enough of Splenda products to last a lifetime. While I was at the grocery store last week, I saw Bradley eye-balling some Oreos. The halloween version with the orange know what I'm talking about. He didn't say a word about them when I impulsively asked, "Should we get those since it's Halloween?" Well naturally he said, "Sure, Mom!"

I had the grand opportunity to teach the monkeys how to dip the Oreos in ice-cold milk and enjoy. You sometimes forget who teaches you these basic survival skills. I'm proud to be documenting this one. The next lesson will be twisting them apart to enjoy each piece of the cookie one at a time.
It had been 5 1/2 years since I had bought Oreos. Steven doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. If you ask him, he'd much rather have a Dr Pepper and Red Vines before any sort of dessert item. Werido. I enjoyed the sugar rush and would recommend everyone go and do the same. One must divulge once in while to remain sain. And, yes, the term "once in a while" is up for interpretation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life Goes On

I've been thinking about what to write, but everything seemed so trivial after learning about a friend's death Sunday evening. It's difficult to put things in perspective when the ONLY thing that seems important after news like that is being with loved ones and making sure that every moment counts. But, like everything else, it passes and we somehow continue on.
Steven's a man on a mission to find a job. I was a little worried for a while when he was stalling to send out resumes to anyone. I realized that it may be a bit early when he still had months to go before he was hireable. That time has passed and so has the laid-back ways of Steven. All day, every day, it seems he's emailing recruiters and hospitals all over the place seeking out that perfect job that will pay him great, have excellent benefits and wonderful hours.....oh, and in a place we can afford a house. Really, is that so much to ask? Ironically, all those things are in a number of jobs right here, but we're both ready to get out of this sauna. It's just too humid and hot outside. It's October for goodness sake!

Speaking of job opportunities, Audra has gone and left me. I'm sure she's happy as can be in her new situation, but I'm depressed and can't believe she didn't invite me to come with her. It's a good thing I have her blog to rely on. I wish them the best and will miss her terribly. I am a better woman for knowing her. Your new neighbors have no idea how good they have it. Love you, Audra.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Will Come

One of my good friends from high school just lost her younger brother in a tragic car accident last night. He was a senior in high school and the loss, as always, was sudden and abrupt. It made me think about the people in my own life. It made me realize their important role and reminded me to not take anything for granted. It also reminded me of a talk given in this last session of General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Wirthlin spoke of dealing with his own grief and gave wonderful advice. It's a wonderful article and all I can say to her is Sunday will come. Here is an excerpt from the talk:
"When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow that gnaws at the souls of those who have lost precious loved ones.
"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.
On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

"Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.
"I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest.
"But the doom of that day did not endure.
"The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
"And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
"But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
"No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Remember Moms

My mother turned 55 yesterday. I'm sure she appreciates me announcing that to the world, but I think she looks fabulous and your age should be celebrated (though, I'm slow to admit mine for the exact opposite reason!). She gave me a great childhood full of joy and love and I'm so grateful for all the things she taught me. I hope I can offer my children the same experiences and life skills. I have been reminiscing since I spoke with her yesterday. Here are some of my favorite things I remember:
∑ Coming home to fresh, hot scones on rainy days.
∑ Letting me make my own mistakes as she taught me to sew.
∑ Feeling loved and important.
∑ Letting me take countless hours of dance and piano lessons when money wasn't always easy to come by.
∑ Always feeling safe and secure in our home.
∑ Allowing me to talk her into taking a free puppy home (yes, we still have the dog.)
∑ Teaching me values and morals.
∑ Showing me how to wear make-up -- and letting me make mistakes with that!
∑ Not letting me date until I was 16.
∑ Never reciting a cliché correctly.
There comes a point in your life when you realize that your parents aren't perfect. For some it happens too early that they lose sight of the great memories their parents afforded them. My mom and I live several hundred miles apart now, which may be the reason our relationship is still so good. But I miss her terribly sometimes. It's like pulling teeth to get that woman to travel. My feelings are sometimes hurt because of her unwillingness, but then I call her and we talk just like we're next-door neighbors and I feel better about the situation. I'll be forever grateful for her example and friendship. Families are forever and I'm grateful for that knowledge. This is but a moment in the span of eternity.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hot Days Finally Gone?

The weather is finally coming around. As of this morning at about 7:30, a cold front moved in and right now it's a most lovely 68 degrees. As much as I love it, I still don't have amnesia from the rest of this wretched week. Monday and Wednesday were dreadfully humid (raising the heat index by 10 degrees) and in between the humidity, several cells passed us by dumping inch after inch of rain on us. Here are some pictures Audra took of my kids earlier last month. The photo shoot was miserabley hot and the last few days had reminded me of that morning. It left us all worn out, sweaty and ready to go home to re-bathe. Somehow she managed to hide it. These pictures will be a reminder of hotter days. Hopefully they'll be gone for the most part -- at least until early spring.

My little princess and the most charming little man will always pull of the "adorable" look amidst any weather. Yes, I'm sure I'm biased...but what are mothers for?

As for Last night's season finale of Project Runway.....Jeffrey? Can we have a recount? I will say he is definitely the most fashion forward of the group, but come on!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Television Worth My Time

Finding a television show that has the ability to addict me is rather a challenge for any network. A major reason being I just don't have time, or the insanity level in my home sometimes causes me to forget that it's on that day, or it's simply not tantalizing enough for my senses. The few that have proved me wrong are ER (though I fell away for a while, but now I'm back!), The Office - BBC or American; I'd take either, and my all-time favorite: Arrested Development - it's definitely the best written television show I've ever's just not always entirely appropriate. I'm so sad it's not on the air anymore. I dabble with Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives - not because they are well-written, but because they both have insane drama that makes me feel grounded and normal. With that said, tonight is the season finale for Project Runway, my current obsession. All I have to say is: you know where I'll be at front of the TV, rooting for my designer. Don't call me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


It's terribly difficult to imagine Cinderella truly feeling like a princess in one of these squashes....but nonetheless, they bring our house great joy come this time of year. Growing up in a small town with lots of farming fields surrounding us, we found ourselves at an inumerable amount of pumpkin walks, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted fields, etc., etc. .
Houston leaves much to be desired in that reguard, so when we heard of a nearby pumpkin patch last Saturday at the DC*, we decided it was a must! Ste and I took the kids and stayed and played for hours. Though nothing can live up to my own childhood memories, I was happy to know that my children were gaining theirs.

I learned the history behind the oh-so-famous Jack-O-Lantern and I'd thought I'd share it with any other urban myth/history fans.
People have been making jack-o-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o’lanterns.

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