Monday, December 13, 2010

it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Stressed.Overwhelmed.Behind.Yep, it's Christmas time. It seems like one day you wake up and, BAM, it's the middle of December. You remember last Christmas like it was yesterday and yet it was almost a year ago. I used to think that some days just fly by, now I am starting to think that about years, too.

I love this season, yet it makes me crazy. If I stop to think about how little shopping I have done, I worry. If I stop to think about what to get everyone, I go blank. If I stop to think about all of the things that have to be "in place" (Christmas tree, presents wrapped), I get overwhelmed. But, when I stop and take time to enjoy the smiles, the laughter, the friends, the kids and know that by December 25th what's done will be done and what's not won't make or break the holiday, I remember that I am blessed. I am too blessed to be stressed, I keep reminding myself of that.

Here's what's happened in the month of December, so far.

SantaLand: While on a quick "road trip" we stopped in Lindale to drive through this land of lights. What normally has you backed up on the service road for an hour, had not one car in line or one car going through. We took our time, enjoyed the Christmas music, shopped in the gift shop and even sat in Santa's lap.

Kid pictures: epic fail. I really should get someone else to take their pictures and I probably should not wait until just before dark to decide that it's now or never if I want to send out Christmas cards with their picture on it. I gave it my best shot and, as I like to say, it is what it is.

(I'm not ready to post these pictures yet but will be soon as I mail out my cards.)

Shopping marathon: Joey and I devoted Saturday to a day of shopping, trying to knock out as much as possible to at least have something wrapped under the tree. He did better than I did - his kids gave him a list. Me, I did some random shopping and better keep my receipts for random returns. We enjoyed the day together at Grapevine Mills, Toys R Us, Bass Pro Shop,the Whataburger drive-thru and the WalMart.

Naughty or Nice party: I was ready to bail on the party that I had been planning for a month. Why does everything seem like fun until it's actually time for it? I didn't bail and we had a BLAST! So many friends and so many laughs. And, of course, I capitalize on photo opportunities.

Family Christmas #1: Every year we get together with my Papaw's sister's family. This year we went to Ennis. There are so many people there and always a lot of fun. Poor Kayla got sick so we left a little earlier than everyone else. The girls could not wait to open their presents, Trey opened his while the "cool" 13 year olds, Clayson and Matt, checked his out before opening their same gift. They decided it was worth tearing into and headed straight outside to rev up their RC cars. And, only one broke in the first 20 minutes, I'd say it was $10 well spent.

So far, so good on the Christmas season ... I look forward to making 2010 the most wonderful time of the year because there are still many fun things left on our agenda.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a huntin' we will go

I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the great outdoors. I never thought that hunting would be a "vacation" that I'd want to go on. Instead, hunting season has always been a nice break for me - until this year. The boy has gone every weekend, except one or two, in October and November. It makes for long weekends, especially when my kids are gone.So, for my Thanksgiving break, instead of staying home, fighting shopping crowds, cleaning, doing laundry and stressing over my lost (but finally found) Christmas decor, I decided to pack my bags and head south with the boy and his daughter.

I almost waited too late to find a place to stay. (It's baby steps, I'd go to the deer lease by day but needed running water and a comfortable bed by night.) Lisa, another girl going, found us a Days Inn in Brady that had a vacancy for the two nights that we needed. Shew!We left Thanksgiving day around 6:45. The four and a half hour drive was nice. I love to sit and talk to the boy with no interruptions, that's the nice thing about us - we love to talk to each other. If I have learned anything, it's that communication is a crucial part of every relationship. We've got that part covered. We arrived in the woods around 10:45, joining the others. After visiting for a bit in the freezing cold night air, Lisa and I headed to Brady for the night.

We slept in on Friday morning, giving them time to go on their morning hunt. By the time we got there, they were finishing up breakfast and ready to just hang out until the afternoon hunt at 3:00. I decided to be adventuresome and go on this hunt with Joey and Kayla. I brought my magazine along and almost got in trouble because it was too loud turning the pages. Oops. We didn't see any deer ... booooring.

Friday night we drove into Brady for dinner and it was back to the Inn for Lisa, her son, Kayla and I. The two kids needed a good night of rest so they decided to join us. We got up early Saturday morning because one of the guys had shot a nine point deer. We headed out to see it and to watch that one and three other deer be gutted ... gross. Joey took me into Brady to look for my great-grandmother's old place and for a few groceries that afternoon. At 3:00 it was time to hunt again but this time there was some sunset action; a doe, a baby deer. Kayla aimed her gun at the doe and shot it in the leg but we couldn't find it because it had gotten too dark. It was my first time to hear a gun shot and to witness all that. It wasn't too bad.

Lisa and her crew left Saturday night and Kayla and I stayed in the camper. Yes, for one night I decided I could rough it. I slept through the Sunday morning hunt, got up and cleaned up the camper and got bags packed and ready to head home. I wasn't ready to leave and get back to reality but it was time. They found Kayla's doe, gutted it and we were on the road by 10:30, Crandall bound. We ate Chicken Express for lunch and from I20 on I drove us on home.

It was a great get-away. He may regret taking me because I did enjoy it and want to go back :) I am glad that I gave nature a chance.

the blogs of Fall - part II


I have been crazy, busy with photo shoots every weekend (Saturdays and Sundays) and some weekdays. It's been a lot of fun meeting new families and mingling with the families I've taken pictures of before.

Clayson turned 13, which seems so surreal. First of all, I should not be old enough to have a teenager. Second of all, it seems like just yesterday he was my first baby, then a biting toddler, a daddy's boy infatuated with tractors, a mouthy preteen and now a 5'7", 127 1b. grown boy. He is such a help to me. His new thing is to just pick me up and carry me off somewhere else when I am getting after him - it's so crazy. He got a 30*6 gun for his birthday - he chose this big gift over a birthday party and has big hopes and dreams for this gift to kill him a nice buck at the deer lease.

We spent our annual Saturday-before-Thanksgving over at Mamaw's making candy and playing games. My job was to make chocolate covered cherries and I did just that and they were tasty.

And then there was Thanksgiving. I have so, so much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for my kids; Clayson, Trey and Ashlyn - they are my biggest blessings and are the littlest loves of my life. I'm thankful for my family that may not agree with all my decisions but love me unconditionally. I'm thankful for my friends that knew behind my smile was a broken heart . I could not have made it through many rough times without their encouragement, support and for the many, many times that they listened to me moan and groan over bad decisions, the divorce and all the of the emotional struggles that came my way. I've got some pretty great friends. And, of course, I am thankful for the boy who came along at just the right time, swept me off my feet and has brought me months of happiness.
We had a Thanksgiving Eve feast at my house with all my kids, Joey and his three kids, his grandaughter and her mom, along with my parents and his mom. We had the whole gang and had so much fun. I gave cooking a whirl with a turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, rolls, fudge and a chess pie. Everyone said that it all tasted good and I have to say I thought that I did a pretty good job for my first big holiday meal. I enjoyed the company of my cousin Angela and her two kiddos while I prepared and cooked. I'm becoming a fan of being in the kitchen.
That night the kids left to go to their dad's and it left me with tears. In 13 years this was my first Thanksgiving without my kids and it was hard. I kept in touch with them often. I spent Thanksgiving day over at Mamaw and Papaw's and had such a great time with the family. We laughed, we threw rolls, spilled some tea and listened to Joey make up crazy stories. It was a great day (minus my three kiddos). It was Joey's first time to meet most of the family but he fit right in and they all liked him ... what's not to like about someone like him?!
Another month has come and gone ... bring on December and the Christmas season. I can't wait to make new memories.

the blogs of Fall

Wow! Time flies when you are having fun. Last I remember we were preparing to go back to school for a new year and now we are preparing for Christmas in just 25 days. At least I can say that I have something to show for all this time, a great big smile. So much has been going on since October (my last post): an injury, a surgery, a birthday, the holidays have arrived and I have stepped out of my comfort zone. Due to time, I'm going to let the picture collage do most of the talking. After all, pictures are worth more than a thousand words, right?

Clayson had elbow surgery due to a football practice injury. His football season ended almost as quickly as it started. He broke a bone off of his elbow which required a screw being put in so that it would heal correctly and wouldn't affect his future in sports. It was a day surgery and momma held up pretty good until it was all over and then I passed out - literally. Clayson did awesome- his biggest fear, the IV, was not put in until he had taken the "silly juice" and fallen asleep. He was a trooper and soon we hope that he will be released back into the world of athletics.
I turned 35 (see previous blog) and had an amazing birthday weekend. It's so crazy to be 35 and starting life all over again. But, I am thankful for second chances.
We also got all dressed up for Halloween and had a Fall Festival at school and then trick-or-treated with friends in their neighborhood on Halloween night. Clayson was a scarecrow, Trey a hobo and Ashlyn a ladybug.

(Due to technical difficulties, what was meant to be one long blog will be turned into two blogs. Stay tuned for November happenings.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

wishes can come true

Before I blew my birthday candles out, I had already made a wish. Between the constant distractions at work, busy time with the kids, sporting events, the beginning of bow season and other things that came up, there had been no time to catch our breath. I made a wish for time away with the boy – going somewhere with no worries, no laundry, no dishes, no settling arguments, no school work and no business matters. No distractions, period.

I searched for two weeks, enlisted the advice of facebook friends and could not decide where to go. There were cabins in east Texas but I felt like with them having kitchens we’d have to cook there, there were bed and breakfasts all around, which is what he had been researching – but that would put us in a house and I wanted away from reality. I considered Ft. Worth because there are so many things to do there but then I came across Granbury. There was a lake – something about being near the water makes me happy. And, I found a hotel with a “bed and breakfast” special. This gave us the best of both worlds – the luxury of being in a hotel (with housekeeping) and a breakfast buffet. I googled the town and it looked inviting. I had been to Glen Rose and knew that it was also a neat place to go. So, I made reservations. I was ready to get outta town.

Friday, October 15th was my birthday. 35 used to seem so old (now the closer I get to 40 – it is sounding younger and younger). It’s hard to believe that I am in my mid-30s and practically starting life over. Dating again is just like I remembered it – fun and it makes me happy. Throughout the day I taught my class and at lunch and conference I tried to thank everyone for my birthday wishes on facebook. Jared’s mom picked the kids up from school so I was “free” for the weekend. I went home, got ready for the football game, went and picked up the boy and we headed out to Kemp. In Kemp we ate dinner with four good friends and then it was on to the game where the Crandall Pirates battled the Kemp Yellowjackets under the Friday night lights.

Saturday morning we headed to Granbury. It took about an hour and 45 minutes. We got to check-in early so we dropped off our stuff and drove around on a mission looking for a place to eat some down home BBQ. We found the perfect place in Glen Rose but I ended up too full for the hot cobbler and ice cream that sounded so good. (One of these days I will learn to eat dessert first.) After lunch we decided to drive around and followed a sign that said “Fossils”. We ended up on some back roads, where most of the time there was no cell service – which was okay until I needed to check the GPS for directions. We came across Dinosaur Valley and decided that would be a fun place to bring the kids. It was such a pretty drive, perfect for stopping along the way and attempting to set the self-timer for pictures. Joey looked for deer, I looked for picture spots. Along the way I decided that this would be a great place to live. A rock house on the hill; in a hunter’s paradise; water in ponds, lakes and rivers and so peaceful. (And not to mention the downtown squares – so full of life in the past). We drove for over an hour. I told him that it was a good thing that we got along so well because between our drive there and our back road adventure, we spent hours in the car together. We laughed, we teased, we dreamed … it was a great drive and as cheesy at it seems – it strengthened our relationship even more. (Sometimes it is hard to find things to do that haven’t already been done before … with someone else. I knew that this trip would be filled with new memories and that was a good thing.) Our drive led us back to the main road to Granbury and back to our hotel.

We took an hour long nap and then away we went to the Granbury square. Shoppy shops, take your dog trick-or-treating (seriously, people had their dogs dressed in costumes and store workers were passing out candy), catching TV screens in stores along the way to get the updated Rangers score, looking at signs posted in windows for fun things to do and shockingly – not buying anything. I was disappointed not to find a Granbury ornament for the tree. We stopped and talked to a “peddler” selling tickets for the cemetery tour – it would have been fun if it was a scary hayride but instead it started at 10:45 p.m., lasted an hour and it was a historical tour in which you got to carry a flashlight around and look at graves – yeah, no thanks. We decided to look for a haunted house. The receptionist at the hotel said there was one up the road – we drove past and decided it didn’t look appealing. Joey headed to Stephenville thinking there would be a good one in the college town but not so much. More driving, more talking. I was craving the hot cobbler and ice cream that I didn’t have room for at lunch. We found a Spring Creek BBQ and enjoyed dessert. That was a sweet ending to a sweet day.

On Sunday, we weren’t in any hurry to get back to reality. The breakfast buffet was open until 1:00. We got up, got ready, packed up, loaded the car and headed to the lobby for breakfast. I love a breakfast buffet that has a ton of crispy bacon. We ate and ate and ate some more. We walked along the “beach” and across the boardwalk. Then, we hit the road again. Joey called his sister, who lives on Lake Granbury, and we went over there for a nice visit. After spending a couple hours there, we headed back to Glen Rose. I told him that we needed to move and start over. But, realistically, with five of our children still in school, we know it can’t happen right now. But maybe in ten years…

We went searching for the Glen Rose town square and the river where there are big rocks to climb on and shallow water to walk around in. We found the square – deserted. Everything there was locked up tight. Sunday must literally be the day of rest in this community. We found the big rocks and river and had some fun there. Joey took off his shoes and rolled up his jeans (like capris), I rolled up my jeans – but not enough. There were so many great places for pictures but no props to hold the camera … until I spotted a trash can in the distance. Joey went on the journey to fetch it but it was chained up. He went on walking through the river and I went over to the trash can. Where there is a will, there is a way … a beer bottle cap helped me wedge the chain link apart and by golly, I took the trash can right where I wanted it. Sweet! I found the perfect rock (out in the water) with a small fountain background. The problem – me setting the camera timer and wading back to the rock in ten seconds. So, we reversed roles. I got things all set up and Joey pushed the button. It proved to be challenging to him, too – we laughed as he couldn’t get steady on the rock in time and we had to have a “redo”. We got a few good snapshots – I was happy and my pant legs were soaked! Joey returned and rechained the trash can so we could go rock climbing. The rocks were huge! Easy steps for him (up, down, across) were giant for me. We stayed together but on different rocks because I couldn’t get to him. At the end we ended up on the same rock. (And, you guessed it – another picture.) Back in the car, I realized that I was starving. Nothing sounded better than Whataburger. We passed the turn off for the first one – grrrr – but, lucky for the boy, not far down the road, we found another one. From there, it was homeward bound … booooo.

We had such a great weekend. It was the perfect birthday wish come true. Not only was it my birthday but it marked six months of learning all about true happiness and falling in love again. I am so glad that Joey came into my life when he did, he helped me find my smile and my hope for a brighter future and for this, I am so very thankful.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

just a bloggin'

We have settled in and our house has become a home for my little family of four. We’ve settled into school and our weekdays and weeknights have become routine – early to bed and early to rise.

Around the house: The kids love to be at home. There is no more running the streets looking for somewhere to go, something to do or something to eat. As soon as we get home from school, I don’t see the boys until it’s time for dinner. There are neighborhood kids always ready to play or the PS3 in the game room – which Clayson has learned to play “live” through the internet. Ashlyn has a friend next door so the girls are typically back and forth playing dolls. I have gotten back into the habit of cooking (even using the grill and the crock pot on occasion) and cleaning (I am still obsessed with having a clean house). I love mowing the yard and cannot wait to go buy Fall flowers and add some color. Now I wish I would have paid a little more attention to my mom as she worked in her flower beds and went flower shopping. There are pictures that need to be hung on the wall but I am a little hesitant, waiting on someone to come and tell me where to hang them. I still have a few furniture items to buy but other than that, we are good to go. As of Saturday, we added two more mouths to feed. For someone who is not too crazy about dogs, I am a sucker for cute little puppies. Trey is also a good little beggar. He and I went to First Monday to shop for decorative stuff. Joey asked me to look at the yellow labs for him, this landed us in Dog Alley (where you see all walks of life, might I mention). I knew that we would not walk away empty handed. As it turns out, we bought an “off brand” dog – Rat Terrier/ Pug – and decided it needed a Beagle for a playmate. So, two puppies later, we headed home to surprise Ashlyn and Clayson. They were both so excited. I guess from now on when we mow the back yard, we will have to watch where we step…

The kids are happy in our new little world, I am super happy and I am so thankful that, once again, God has brought us out of the valley and into happiness. I count my blessings every day.

In the classroom: Trey is in 5th grade, right across the hall from me, with one of my very best friends as his teacher. He does not get away with anything – he’s thrown food and not completed homework and I knew immediately both times. Ashlyn is in 2nd grade and one of our closest family friends is her teacher. Patti Mitchell has known me since I was little and was always my very favorite VBS teacher. She has always been a big part of my life due to her friendship with my mom. Ashlyn has always known her and may have been a little too comfortable at first – two frowning faces in her folder for not obeying and leaving the classroom without permission…what?! Clayson is in 7th grade and has learned the relationship between academics and athletics. We are having to watch his Math grades and make sure he is doing all that he can do to keep that grade up. I am thankful for the motivation. He made the “B” football team as a starter. This works for me, that just means more playing time. Being aggressive (in sports) is not one of his strengths. (At home it is just the opposite.) I am hoping that he will gain confidence and become a great athlete, like his dad.

It’s hard to believe that I am starting my tenth year of teaching – all at Crandall and all in the 5th grade. It has been an awesome ten years and I know that I am right where I am supposed to be, living out my childhood dream. We did face big changes this year. We went from teaching two subjects and switching classes to being self-contained – all subjects, same kids all day. I have such a great class this year and am enjoying having them with me all of the time and I enjoy teaching Reading – the only subject that I have never taught.

So, school is going great and all is well on the home front. We stay pretty busy and pretty tired. I am ready for a change in the weather, a change in wardrobe and a change in scenery.

About the boy: Joey and I are just perfect. In four and a half months, he has made me happier than I have (ever) been. (I don’t mean to discredit anyone when I say this, I have been happy many times, thanks to many people – with him, it’s just been a constant four months of happiness and that’s a long streak for me.) He came along when I needed someone and whether he realizes it or not, he carried me through an emotional time due to unfortunate circumstances. Geez, I didn’t mean to backtrack. Okay, what I really had in mind to say here is that we are still having so much fun together and it’s even more fun when we add all of our kids into the mix. My kids love to be around him. Ashlyn always manages to sit near him, Trey is always teasing him and Clayson likes to talk football with him. One of my favorite memories was last night – Joey was talking smack (shocker) and Clayson was smiling, laughing and agging it on. I love to see that kid happy. (Because when he is not happy, he is backtalking or being mean to Ashlyn and Trey.) So, even though he was poking fun at me… it was worth it to see the happiness in Clayson. (And, I knew he was kidding.) My kids know that there is never a dull moment when Joey is around. I love being around him, too. He’s everything I could want in someone – fun, outgoing, loves kids and loves me. It’s also very important that my kids like him and he likes them – thank goodness we all like each other. His family has become very special to me, too. Our kids are friends and have many things in common. We all look forward to our times together. A table for seven… it’s a good thing.

Despite how close we get and how serious we become we promise to always keep it real, keep it simple and keep it fun.

About the week: This week is Cotton Fest. Woohoo for the carnies coming to town. It’s also Clayson’s first football game. Go Pirates!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

spinning back into reality

The past two weeks have been somewhat of a blur. I feel like I have been on the Tilt-A-Whirl spinning so fast that it is hard to think or see clearly.

Here is how my ride has gone:

Monday, August 16th: learned four new dance routines for our district inservice so that we could surprise Coach Martin with a “30 years at Crandall” dance off; closed on my house; loaded up the back of my car, the back of Sharon’s truck, Joey’s trailer and moved stuff (twice). I got enough put up, unpacked and put together to be able to stay the night.

Tuesday, August 17th – Thursday, August 19th : It was back to work from 8:00 until 4:00. Refrigerator, washer, dryer, TV, Direct TV, the boys’ beds – all delivered, assembled and ready to use. Evenings were spent unpacking, accumulating trash, trying to find new places for everything and more unpacking. In the meantime, I also had to go buy a ton of groceries, a vacuum cleaner and a trash can.

Friday, August 20th: We had a half work day, I went home to help my mom get things put up, decorated, washed and dried for school. She took the kids home with her so that Joey and I could go shopping for house stuff and school stuff. For dinner, he made me try Genghis Grill. I have to admit, I became a fan. (I guess I should practice what I preach to Ashlyn … how do you know you don’t like something if you don’t try it?) The only purchase of the night was a lesson plan book… and dinner.

Saturday, August 21st: Had to get up early for the Direct TV installer to come back and in the meantime we found out that we could go ahead and take Matt and Clayson up to the field house to pick up their football gear. It’s hard to think that I have a child old enough to be on a real football team (instead of “daddy ball” teams). We got helmets, pads, fundraiser cards and a game / practice schedule. From there the boys went their way and Joey and I headed back to Mesquite on a mission – pick out and purchase a grill and lawn mower. Thank goodness with the dual purchase at Lowe’s. From there we met my dad and Clayson at Academy to buy size 13.5 cleats and a mouth guard. From Academy it was time for lunch at El Fenix – my dad and Clayson met us there and before we could order, my mom and Ashlyn showed up. We had a good lunch and enjoyed the company. After lunch we took Clayson with us because he was ready to mow. (Instead of grounding Clayson and making him mow, I’ll have to ground him from mowing. He loves doing yard work and insists that he needs a blower and a weed eater for our yard and the side jobs he has accumulated.) Eventually, all of my kids ended up with their dad and Joey’s kids with their mom so we decided to get away from it all. Away from the house, the cardboard, the putting together and the mess. We met up with some friends and had fun but I think we were both too tired to have too much fun.

Sunday, I got up and went to church, Joey started putting the grill together, I wrote lesson plans and waited on the kids to get back home. Once they got back home we were quickly thrown back into the routine of getting showers and getting to bed early. They have settled into their new rooms and look forward to being in their beds with their radios on, or in Ashlyn’s case – she gets her little flashlight out and reads every night.

Monday it was back to reality; sending Clayson to 7th grade, Ashlyn to 2nd grade and Trey to 5th grade and I started my 10th year of teaching 5th grade. They are growing up right before my eyes and time is passing us by. Things have gone smoothly this week except for Trey getting in trouble the first day for throwing food (twice) and Ashlyn getting in trouble the second day for trying to “manipulate” a situation so that she could line up with her friend. Clayson has late football practice on A days and early morning practice on B days … my calendar is crucial. It’s going to be a super busy year but it is going to be so much fun. The 2010 – 2011 school year has had the perfect start and I have a feeling that it will just keep on getting better.

Friday, July 30, 2010

barefoot & crazy

Six friends loaded up and flew on out to Riviera Maya, Mexico for four nights and three days of some fun in the sun. For now, here is our vacation in pictures. One day I hope to add words.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

just a blog

I honestly don't know where this blog is going, I just felt the urge to write one. I can almost guarantee that it will be random and pointless.

As my house is just a little more than a month away from being completed, I have thought of some things that relate.
*For one, I will have to try and remember how to cook. In all honesty, I have probably only cooked ten times in the last four months and that might be a stretch. Before we moved in with my parents, things were crazy and I was a bit depressed (due to circumstances and jerks) so it was sandwiches, cereal, oatmeal or whatever you could fix yourself. Since we have moved in with my parents, they cook some but we eat at Taco Casa more. You know it's bad when nothing sounds good anymore because you have abused all of the fast food restaurants. Convenience has totally taken over our lunch and dinner eating habits. I think I should stock up on Hamburger Helper so that I can ease myself back into the kitchen arena once I have a kitchen to cook in. Oh, and brownies - gotta have those for dessert and breakfast.
* I have continued to clean and do laundry throughout the past four months so that should not be too big of a problem. I'd rather do those chores than cook any day.
* It will be the first time that I am really on my own. After the divorce/ before the house sold, Jared was still there and when we moved out, I moved into the parent's house while the new one is being built. So, I look forward to being independent for the first time in 34 years. (I'm pretty sure that the one month I lived in a dorm doesn't count as being independent because I drove home from there at least two nights a week and every weekend). I won't have any "rules", anyone to answer to and if I don't make my bed - no one will be disappointed. Freedom, I can almost taste it. (Disclaimer: I am not saying any of this negatively towards my parents - they have graciously opened up their home to my kids and I and we are thankful to have spent this time with them.)
* Here I go again with having to come up with themes, color, decor, wants/needs. Didn't I just do all of this two years ago? Oh yeah, but this time I am not limited to dead animals and rustic stuff. I have been looking at "stuff" but the minute I start, I get overwhelmed and can't make a single decision. I sense a focus issue.
* I'm sure I will be moving in right about the time I start back to school. Timing isn't everything, I guess.

We stop by almost every day to see what's happening and are starting to see an end in sight. It's down to flooring, electric fixtures, appliances, pouring the driveway and sidewalks, bathroom countertops and other piddly stuff. Soon we will be making this house a home.

The house is the biggest event in our life but other than that we are still carrying on with the fun stuff - volleyball, friends, swimming, sleeping late and dating the boy. Most importantly, we are all still smilin'.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a birthday, a bachelorette party and the birth of a nation celebration

Here you will find three blogs for the price of one. I have fallen behind in my blogging, big time. I have found other things that take up my time and leave me no time to think and type such as: sand volleyball, swimming night and day, hanging with my boy, hanging with my friends, frequenting Taco Casa and doing things with the kids. We are super busy and having an awesome summer.

Blog #1:

Every year it gets harder and harder to believe that Ashlyn is turning that age. Seven seems like such a big number for such a little girl. She is closer to being a teenager than she was to being a baby. Okay, I don't want to think about that. We spent her birthday morning making a peace cake - because peace signs are her absolute favorite right now. For lunch she wanted El Fenix and the birthday sopapillas - with just the strawberries and whip cream, not the sopapilla. After lunch we did a little shopping and then she went to her daddy's house. Her birthday party was the following Friday at Chuck E. Cheese and she went through her tokens like crazy and picked out prizes that were broken before we left. Nevertheless, she had a great time with her friends.

Blog #2:

*bAChElOrEtTe PaRtY*
One of my best teaching friends, Sharon, is tying the knot and we are always looking for a reason to get together. We were excited to have the opportunity to hang out and get to see some friends that we haven't seen in a long time. Most of us met at the Holiday Inn to talk and get ready for the big night of dinner and dancing. We laughed, we went through our suitcases until we found just the right thing to wear, we took pictures and we voted on dinner. I lost the vote for some steak (well really I just wanted the fried pickles) at Texas Land and Cattle to mexican food at Papasitas. I reminded myself that it wasn't my day :) Dinner was good - the homemade tortillas were amazing. We talked, laughed and took some more pictures. After dinner we went back to the hotel to freshen up our makeup and hair and then headed out to Red River. We spent hours at Red River - dancing, watching Sharon use her bachelorette coupons, people watching, taking pictures and laughing ... a lot. Back at the hotel, we were ready to crash. Being in bed at 1:45 might be a sign of aging. We had a great time and I think the bride-to-be enjoyed the event.

Blog #3:
*It's *Independence* Day*
The boys love the 4th of July. What's better than watching your money go up in flames with the lighting of a punk? The smiles and the danger could be considered money well spent ... by boys of all ages. We spent the 3rd of July at mom and dad's eating burgers and brownies and waiting for the sun to go down so that the sparks could fly. We also lit up the sky on the 4th of July at Joey's house with friends. Both nights were a lot of fun and left a lot of remains scattered all over the place.

I've run out of fuel to add many details on any of my blogs. You get the jist. Now, I can mark this off of my list of things to do.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the living is easy

It's summertime and the living is easy. It's about to get even easier as I wrap up my final day of teaching summer school tomorrow. Baseball season is over for me and the boy (or so I thought... now he tells me that his oldest son will be playing in Mesquite for a couple of weeks - oh well, there are good places to eat in Mesquite and places to shop. It's all good.) The kids and I are in a good routine of going back and forth between their dad and I. We are all getting quality time with them and making things work. It has been great to see Clayson, Trey and Ashlyn so happy and well adjusted. I know that it's because they see how happy we are in our new lives. We have both moved on and found happiness and the result is three happy children.

My dad told me last week that I needed new tires or a new car ... the result, a new SUV that gets double the gas mileage and costs half the price to fill up with gas. Clayson has washed and vacuumed the new car and is forcing me to buy better speakers. He promises me he will not argue with me or his brother if I will get some "kickers". Joey heard him say that so we will be holding him accountable. He is becoming a teenager and I am so glad to have him for a son, he's my little man of the house.

It's time to plan another birthday party for Ashlyn, I can't believe that she is turning seven on Saturday. She has enjoyed her lazy mornings, Science camp this week and looks forward to VBS next week. I have recently noticed how much she talks - the girl never shuts up :0)

Trey is just being Trey - sleeping late, talking about football and basketball camps but not really motivated to go and doing as little as possible every single day. He's my sweet one and always gives me the greatest hugs with a huge crooked teeth smile. He is hounding me about getting braces. He went to a swimming party last week with all girls - Clayson called him gay, I corrected him and told him that Trey was a stud :0)

My brother married an amazing girl last weekend and the wedding was just perfect. Megan was a gorgeous bride and will be the sister that I have always wanted. The reception was a lot of fun - hanging with family, friends and getting our groove on out on the dance floor. Joey was a trooper getting to meet everyone at once. He's a people person so events don't bother him, he doesn't meet a stranger.

Speaking of the boy, we are having so much fun together. People want to know if we are going to get married and what the plans are, but the truth of the matter is that yes, we like each other a lot, but as far as the future - why worry about tomorrow, today has enough worries of it's own. Dwelling on what might happen tends to take the fun out of it and we have so much fun together that we would hate to mess up a good thing. We spend time together every day, we talk, we text, (we watch the Bachelorette) and most importantly we are always laughing. He has his friends, I have friends and we all get along real well. He has his kids, I have my kids and we never mind doing things with all of them. It's a very well-rounded relationship and he keeps me smiling and looking forward to new adventures. It's fun, it's new, it's exciting, it's real, it's simple.

Things are going great at the parent's house but I will say that I was happy to see them framing up the new house today. They promise me that I will be in before school starts. I will post pictures of the construction soon.

So, there you have it. Things are good and they just keep getting better ... and easier.