Monday, December 31, 2012

My goals for 2013

I finally nailed some goals down for sure last night.

I started with this idea that I found via pinterest.  
I mean, it's pretty basic and should be easy right?

Then I thought about all the things I wanted to do,  as I have a list of about 250 things I'd LIKE to do...
And this made me think of my sister Leigh Anne and her swift ability to decide, well, nothing... ever....

via pinterest as well

I am hoping that my resolutions will stick a little bit better than this picture indicates.
Bleh for getting older and not following through with commitments.
Found this gem via pinterest as well, alarming and so sad!
I vow not to be the old people who accomplish nothing this year!

So, its 2013.
I vow to complete at LEAST 13 tasks.

1.  Run one race a month.  Half marathon, 5k, 10k, something.  Every month.
I'm going to need a small loan to finance all those races.

2.  Pay off all the medical bills.
Between the summer of ear infections and Daryk's gall bladder... we have a handful.
Thankfully, we also have jobs to pay for them.
And auto pay through our bank which is all set up and should be done paying in August.

3.  Pay off Daryk's truck.... and buy a minivan.
There, I said it.
We're buying a minivan.
Daniel says I should make Daryk drive it.
I think he would do it with pride.
And he would rock it.

4.  Learn to focus on the task at hand.
Stop spending time trying to accomplish 14 things at once, do one thing.
Finish that task and move to the next one.
This will be the biggest struggle for me.

5.  Grow a summer garden consisting of tomatoes and herbs.
I love tomatoes in the summer.
And I'd LOVE to be able to cook with fresh herbs all summer.

6.  Create or craft something new every month.
Doesn't have to be a HUGE craft or creation, but something,  nonetheless.

7.  Play soccer with grown ups.
And have fun.
This should start around spring-ish.

8.  Read one book every month for fun.
Grand total of 12 books.
If I read MORE than that, I'll make myself cupcakes.

9.  Use my food dehydrator for fruit and such.
New adventures for healthy snacks for me and the kiddos.

10.  Blog at least four times a week.

11.  Print pictures of my kids every month to give or mail to my family.

12.  Paint and decorate.  this.  house.  
Starting with the kitchen.  
Like, yesterday.

13.  Organize the bleeping garage.
Will be the death of me and a never ending task, but alas, it must be done.

And these are the others that are floating in my head....

clean out the closets and storage areas of my home

reward my fitness efforts with yoga pants, not for yoga, just lounging because I love those pants.

potty train Libby James late summer

I shall update you all every month on how the list is coming along and what I get done, or not...
Obviously, some of these things will not get done until later in the year.
They are my goals.
My tasks to complete.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meanwhile, at breakfast...

I'm working on my 'New Year's Resolution/goal list' for 2013 today.  
What are your goals?
What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?
How to plan to achieve your goals?  

I'll post my list tomorrow.  
I'd link up to Evan and show y'all who I'm modeling my list after, but she's all fancy and private!
Love you Evan!

Meanwhile, I had breakfast with these kids...

Libs gets fruit loops, because they are easier for her to eat with a spoon.
Hayes asked for rainbow cereal, aka, fruity pebbles.  
He realized Libs has the loops and demanded that I fix him some immediately.
He told me that I heard him wrong.
Imagine that.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Also, a parade.

 Well, the parade itself was kinda pitiful.
In the sense that there were about 10 things to look at, and the police came first.
The blue lights were quite a spectacular thing according to my kids!
 She is so nosy curious about everything.
We ran into my sweet girl Hope and she entertained held Elizabeth the whole time!

 When we pulled into the parking place we spotted Lucas and Toni!
Hayes was SO excited to see Lucas and I think Lucas shared the excitement!
Those boys sure do love each other a lot.
My sweet baby girl.
 City truck.
 Grinch and Scrooge.

This float had some cheerleaders and some of my cheer parents!
It also had goats in the back.
Weeks after the parade Hayes still talks about the goats he saw that night.  
If you ask him what he remembers about the parade that's the FIRST thing he talks about.
 Candace and Morgan!

 Frosty the Snowman.
And the giant green truck.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Prep Pink Pig Style

Earlier in December we visited The Pink Pig at Lenox.  
Last year when we went to ride it was freezing and rainy.
This year we had on short sleeves and we were still sweating.
It was an awesome day.
 Miss Priss had about had enough of waiting in line.  
She began her slow meltdown...

 I gave her my necklace for entertainment.  
It didn't work.  
See the sassy face?

 Daddy was mimicking her and poking fun at her.
She was not amused.
 Big brother was quite taken with his itouch and played on it for a good while.

 Still mad.

A picture of all of us.  
This never happens.
 On the actual pink pig.  
 He was more than pleased.

This was the original Pink Pig , who's name is Priscilla.
It is so tiny.
I can't imagine sitting in that thing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Allllllll the junk

This is PART of the pile of goodies my students brought me today!
I got one more tin of peanut butter yummies later in the day.
I also got a $10 Target card--holllllllla! 

Giant Hersheys Kiss replica via rice krispies treat!
I was saddened but excited that it stuck to the foil so I couldn't eat much of it.

Some sort of Chex mix chocolate stuff that I'll be eating in bed later while I watch a movie or read.

Just straight chocolate.
And a snowglobe.

A pasta soup that I add tomatoes and beef to.
This is a first and I'm REALLY excited to try it!

This one is a baggie of chocolatey chex mix stuff with marshmellows, and Santa hats!
So cute!
This red container has these amazing thin cookie wafer things that just melt in your mouth.

And lastly, I got the peanut buttery goodness.
I don't know what this one is yet, but it smells like I would expect heaven to smell.

And I wonder why my pants won't fit come January.
I don't even make it to Christmas before I'm bombarded by all the goodies!
Hope y'all have a great weekend preparing for Christmas with your families.
I can't wait to share with y'all about that after we open all our gifts!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Family is Awesome

Last night we went to work the Delta Military Lounge at the ATL airport.
After a much longer drive than I planned, we finally arrived at Concourse B.
I seriously had a hard time finding the airport on the route I chose.
I was having a moment and it was embarrassing.
But the new international concourse is SUPER nice and very pretty.
Y'all should go check it out.
It's on the OPPOSITE side of the domestic side of the airport.
That's where Concourse B is.

So, after driving adventures we arrived.
Dealt with a not smart gate agent...
And finally got our gate passes to proceed through security.
Seamless, finally.

I freaking love the tram.
Like, it is my favorite part of the airport.
Would ride for hours if I had the time.
I know, I know.  Lame.

Daryk and I were thrilled to be there.
To be able to offer a smile, a chair, a thank you to these people.
We met a few fun folks and some little kiddos last night.
We had a great time talking with a few of them.
About halfway through our time there we noticed that one of our patrons had missed their flight.
We were all heartbroken.
They had spent just a little too much time with us and mom and son missed their flight home.
I cried for them.
They cried much harder than I did.
Uncle Dan and Aunt Cindy were instrumental in making sure that those folks were taken care of.
He got them on the next available flight this morning.
He made sure Delta took care of their hotel.
He got them meal vouchers.
He also got them overnight kits from the airport.
They even drove them over to the hotel.
He's an amazing human being.
So proud of him.

When we were heading out of the airport we got to ride the tram with them!
The little boy wasn't really little.
His mom was a tiny lady and he is almost her size.
They both had tear stained faces and were just so tired.
They were more than ready to get home, but the hotel would have to do for the night.
We talked and laughed with them on the tram.
At one point in time the boy looked at his mother and just touched her face.
He cupped her cheek in his little boy hand and just smiled at her.
I do believe my heart just squealed and my eyes leaked tears for a minute.
He was so sweet and he loved her so much.

I cannot imagine what these people go through.
Just to get home to see their mommas and their family.
I love my momma.
Can't live without her.
I cannot imagine traveling with my two small children to go visit our family.
I cannot imagine staying up all hours of the night to fly across the country to get 'home.'
Watching them trudge across concourses and still smile was just breathtaking.
Men, women, families, a couple of puppies, and lots of luggage.

I'll never, ever be able to express how much I appreciate those folks.
Verbally I lack the ability.
Well, actually, I just cry.
I can barely muster up a 'thank you' before I turn into a blubbering fool.
Those are someone's babies.
That woman is a daughter.
That man is a son.
They might even be parents or grandparents.
They have friends and family who miss them daily.

I just hope that all the soliders who are serving our great country are able to enjoy Christmas.
Regardless of location, I hope they can celebrate where they are.
I'll be thinking of them while my family gathers at my house to celebrate.

So thankful.
Merry Christmas.
God Bless America.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Military Lounge

Today my family and I are volunteering at the Delta Military loung at the ATL airport. 
I am going to try not to cry all day while I think about it. 
And refrain from crying while I'm there. 
But I make no promises. 
I cannot wait to tell y'all all about it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Owl Party

We partied hard today.  She played jingle bells with her bells inside plastic cups.
I giggled as she ran to any adult in the room to talk with them. 
She's such a ham and has so much personality.

She sent her love to Daddy since he was busy this morning at school!
I love catching glimpses of my kiddies at school.
I tried to sneak down to Hayes' class to watch him play for a little bit before her party.
I was doing SO good until one of his friends told on me!
She saw me and her eyes lit up!
I put my finger up to my mouth and shoooshed her....
Then she grinned REAL big and said, "HAYES!  I see your mom!"

Monday, December 17, 2012


My other kids spent the night on Friday.
I hosted 15 of my cheerleaders and we had a blast.
Between the gift swap, pizza, and the footed jammies we laughed a lot.
And I got a snowman that is a cheerleader!
I love this group of girls--they are my MOST favorites ever!

These are my Christmas toes.
I love them.

And this is my very own kiddo.
With her Christmas tree and her hair sprout and her beloved paci.
Don't try to take that away.
She cries.
I love her too.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Giggles and Tears

These kids were supposed to go to the lake with my parents this weekend.
After a really long day Friday of not having internet at school, I finally learned about the tragedy in CT.
I cried a lot at my desk on Friday.
Thankfully I had planned on the students watching a brain development video, so I could cry.
I asked my step mom to bring the kiddos by before she left for Alabama Friday.
I just wanted to double check them.
To look at them one more time and give them a kiss.
I wanted to hear their laugh and squeeze their chunky thighs before they left me for a day or two.
I wanted to love on them just a little bit.
Most importantly, I wanted to tell them that I loved them.
Not that I didn't tell them before I left for school or because they would have forgotten.
But because I wanted to and because I could.
And because I needed to have a chance to laugh at them before I cried some more.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Liebester Award

 Thanks to Kellan @ My Life as Kellan for nominating me for this and helping me every day in class. 
Love you sweet girl.
My favorite thing about blogs is that I feel like I'm friends with the people I read every day.
They don't know me, but I know them... that sounds a bit like I'm a stalker... hmmm...


 The Rules:

1. You must thank the person who nominated you for the award.

2. You must write eleven facts/things/tidbits about yourself.

3. You must answer eleven questions that were given to you from your nominator.

4. You must nominate eleven other bloggers who have 200 or less followers and tag them in your acceptance post.

5. You must create eleven new questions for your nominees to answer in their acceptance post.

6. You must notify your eleven nominees on their blog, so they can accept their award and pay it forward.

7. You must not nominate the person who nominated you.

8. After all of this is done, you may add the Liebster Award Button to your blog.

Eleven things about me...
  1. I'm the oldest of seven siblings.  3 original ones and 4 step siblings.
  2. I am seriously bossy and nosy almost to a fault.
  3. I like to organize stuff.  The cabinets in my home are always being rearranged to be more efficient.
  4. I love my job and cannot imagine another profession for myself.  Should have listened to my mother...
  5. I hate raw onions with a deep passion.
  6. I don't like folding laundry at all. 
  7. I developed a checklist for things I want to do in 2013.  Thanks Evan for the idea!
  8. I really, really love sweet tea with lemon.  It is my diet pitfall.
  9. I'd prefer a salad over just about anything, except bread.  I freaking love bread.
  10. I want to hire a cleaning lady at home.  I don't care that it costs money.  I would rather spend time with my kids than scrub toilets, wash sheets, and do dishes.
  11. My favorite Disney Princess of all time is Cinderella. 
My 11 Questions courtesy of Kellan....

1. Diamonds or Pearls?
Pearls.  Classy and casual.  I love my pearls.

2. If you could trade lives with any person for one day, who would it be and why? Trading lives... crap.  This one is hard. 
I think I'd love to change lives with Jaqueline Kennedy O'Nassis. 
Glamourous lady who conducted herself with such grace.

3. What is your favorite scent? (Perfume)I love Clinique Happy Heart
Suits me just fine and makes me so happy.

4. What is your favorite scent (Candle)
I love fresh linen from BBW
I love that clean laundry smell.

5. You can't leave home without which 3 things?
Chapstick, a water bottle, and sunglasses.

6. What's your most favorite part of your day? Why?BEDTIME.  My kids bedtime and then mine.
I love laying in bed and reading or watching tv with Daryk.

7. What are the three most important things in your life?Hubs, kids, the rest of the family...
I'm gonna pretend those THINGS are important. 
If I was actually choosing things... I would pick my iPhone, my camera, and my computer.

8. Do you take morning showers or night? I bathe when I have the time and want to.
I hate taking showers... I'm weird.  I know.

9. What's your favorite holiday?
Christmas.  It has a whole new gleam since I have two little people!

10. What is your favorite word?

11. What shampoo and conditioner do you use?
I use Pureology

Last but not least.... I nominate....
Kassie @ Southern Girl Gets Fit.  I love her blog.  She's hilarious and beautiful to boot!
Bethany @ New Beginnings.  She's my sarcastic sister in law.
Mike @ Start Wanting.  His transformation has been amazing and he's very witty.
Kim @ No, I'm not Kim Possible.  One of my dearest friends. 
The other Kim @ A Love Letter to my Son because I have a lot of friends named Kim.
Lindsey Ray @ Getting There because she is a beautiful writer and she has two names.
Brooke @ Is It Bedtime Yet? because she's a mom who loves Jesus and her babies.
Macy @ Isaiah 40.  My lovely student who's all grown up and a lady in her own these days.
Karlye @ Keep Calm and Have Some Hummus, well because she's Barbara Jean incarnate.
Beth @ Life This Side of Heaven because she's my momma and she's fabulous.
Chelley @ Keeping up with the Williams who is wandering through God's journey for her life.

Your 11 questions...

1. What is YOUR favorite make-up product?

2. What is one thing you did in 2012 that you are proud of?

3. What is one of your goals for 2013?

4. Your favorite fat kid food is….

5. What is your hidden talent?

6. Your plastic surgery of choice would be….

7. What is your favorite household chore?

8. What is the TV you love that you are ashamed of?

9. Your first concert was….

10. How many chirrens did you want/do want?

11. What is the best thing about your family holiday traditions?

Stroke Progress: 1 year out

My mother in law had a stroke almost a year ago.
We had a really scary Christmas because of it.
She has diabetes, COPD, and doesn't take care of herself the way she should.
We acknowledge that, but cannot change it.
Last year around Christmas we noticed she was acting a little slower than normal.
I think most of us attributed that to her COPD and likely bronchitis.
It was the season for sickness and that was usually how she started.

On Christmas Eve we were celebrating at my grandmother's house and we got a call.
My husband rushed around gathering things to throw in the car and just kept repeating to me,
"We have to to go to my mother's house."
I was very angry with him because he wouldn't explain and I was having to leave my family celebration.
Once we arrived, I noticed that we had called an ambulance to assist her.
Thankfully, my children were asleep in the car and didn't see any of this.
Inside the house were my brother and sister in law and the paramedics.
Her blood sugar was alarmingly low, so they gave her medication for that.
Everything else seemed okay.
As we attempted to move her from her chair we noticed that she had an accident in her chair.
I knew immediately that she would be mortified at that fact and I also knew that was NOT normal for her.
She was coming to with the medication for her blood sugar and KNEW it was Christmas Eve.
She did NOT want to go to the hospital.

I can vividly remember the look on Sean's face when he realized that she had an accident in her chair.
He was terrified and his face said so much in that moment.
My husband played it so cool that day and I wouldn't know anything he thought or felt until much later.
Anette did not want to leave her house, but I insisted that she go.
Daryk and Sean were very hesitant to send her to the hospital that day, and I felt like the bad guy for insisting upon it, but I did.
She pleaded with me not to send her.
I remember her crying when I told her that she had to go because she was sick.
I held it together until I got in my car.
On my drive home I sobbed.
I took my kids home and Anette went to the hospital.
I don't remember much else from that day. 
I don't think Daryk was there much.
I do remember going to the hospital late that evening.
I sat with Sean some while he was with her at the hospital.
Mom (that's what I call Anette, my mother in law) was very quiet at the hospital.
Anette and quiet and two words that should never go in the same sentence.
She was unusally quiet.
Multiple tests later and they were all inconclusive.
She was sent home on Christmas Day. 
Christmas was very chaotic and we had Taco Mac for dinner.  :)  Yummo!
But she was home.

It didn't last long.
A few days later the same thing happened, back to the hospital she went.
At this point I was scared.
Her family has a very strong history of cancer and several instances of brain cancer.
She was transferred twice to different hospitals to receive treatment and have tests.
The initial diagnosis was a brain tumor, so we prepared for the worst after we were given news that she had 6 months to a year to live.
Thankfully that diagnosis wasn't accurate. 
She had a stroke.
A slow moving, weird, not normal stroke.
That went misdiagnosed and untreated for too long.
A stroke is the stoppage of blood flow to brain: a sudden blockage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain resulting in, e.g. loss of consciousness, partial loss of movement, or loss of speech.  SOURCE

This seemed to fit her much better.
But she hasn't been the same since then.
I cannot believe it has been a year.
She is strong and has made a great recovery, considering it took almost a month to diagnose her.
I think if she had been diagnosed appropriately closer to the incidence of stroke she would have been able to recover better.
She still doesn't talk as much as she used to.
She isn't as active as she used to be.
She doesn't leave the house as much as she did before the stroke.
Her movements aren't as steady and her endurance is not what it was when she first moved up.
She still does everything she did before the stroke, it is just slower.
Her brain still processes things slowly and her response to questions isn't always what you expect. 

Oh, and she's mean as hell... but I'm not sure that's new.  :)

But she's here.
And she's mostly healthy, all things considered.
I know most people don't absolutely love their mother in law.
And I don't love everything about her.  She drives me crazy most days.
But I wouldn't trade her for the world. 
She loves my kids with a force that only God could stop.
She loves me and has taken me as her own.
She loves her own children with a love that makes them choose her time and time again.
I pray every day that my own children feel that same kind of love from me.
Watching her choose to live every day is remarkable.