Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Read at midnight...and consider yourself kissed!

I pray that 2009 is a year full of good changes, more peace, less worries, better or continued good health, less pounds, more laughter, and a closer relationship with God. If I could give one good bit of advice to you or would be to stay in the present day and turn to God for strength and thanks in the small moments.

A note about the card....

Jordan came home for the Thanksgiving weekend and I had a photographer take some pictures of the kids. Chuck and I even got into a few poses. The photographer is Lisa Morris....a mom of the cutest twin girls that attend the school where I work. She is loaded with talent and very easy to work with. If you're anywhere in the Houston area, you should give her a call.

A Silver Bella sister, Cristina Sequino, whom I met in Omaha has her very own online stationery business...Sweet Pea Ink. I loved her holiday card selections and chose the one above....only changing the wording to Happy New give myself a little more time to get them mailed out. Check out her site here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's 5:45 pm and I'm still in my pj's......

My mom gave me new pj's for Christmas and they are so incredibly comfortable that I have stayed in them all day. I had good intentions a couple of times to get dressed and get out but then started packing up the Christmas stuff and here it is 5:45. STILL home, still in my pajamas. Check out the cute red & white print of my new pj's.

I did accomplish alot today. And I am going to give all the credit to staying in my pajamas. I highly recommend it. I don't know about you....but if I get dressed, chances are I'm hitting the streets.

The house always looks bare after the "Christmas" is taken away.......but it's refreshing to get it put away and wipe away the dusty glittery layer on everything. (Thank you God that no one in this family is allergic to dust or glitter. Amen) So after putting things away and getting some order back to the rooms, I took some photos.

Here's my ode to the New Year.........on the buffet by the stairs, of course. I know the photo looks a little blurry. I think I've finally convinced Chuck to shop for a new camera. One that can override incompetent operators.

Click on the photo below to see the detail in the teacup collage housed in an old drawer. The artist.....Stephanie George childhood friend. That girl has an eye for finding odds and ends and marrying them together in a collage.

Here's a great new find from Half Price Books....a vintage (1964) Bible....perfect green cover, very large print, great old's about 9 x 11 so perfect for my coffee table....only $10.00.

Jesus at the age of 12.

The inside cover needs a little repair as a mother wrote a note to her son Ronald in very large, very poor she needed to write large because the book was large. And since Ronald didn't want this bible......I will cover up his name with some pretty scrapbook paper. You can't blame Ronald's mother for trying to set him on the right path.......heehee. There was a scrap of paper in the Bible that had Warrenton, TX on I am thinking Ronald's mom found it there.

And my little Fine Feathered Friends Book made from 25 ATC's in a swap that took place at Silver Bella and hosted by Gina Grable. This is one of my new treasures.

The little book sits in a tray from my friend Kathy amidst other things and now that Christmas is gone, I can enjoy these things again.

I moved the round table into the dining room for Thanksgiving. It's not the perfect fit because it needs to be centered under the chandelier which makes for way too much wall space showing.......but until I get served with papers from the Decorating Police, I'm leaving it in here awhile. I love a round table. There's never a bad seat.

Now that I see this picture on here, I'm thinking I need something big in the corner to balance things......uhhhmmmm.....but if you were to see this in REAL LIFE, it doesn't look this off.

Here's another picture for a better perspective.

Okay.....tomorrow is December 31. I will get up and get dressed and perhaps get out for awhile. Then take a nap so I can stay up 'til midnight. Wherever you are tomorrow at midnight....I hope you're not drinking and driving. Yes....I am talking to YOU. It happens even to people like YOU.

a lifetime in a day......

On Sunday evening, the phone rang and my childhood friend Stephanie asked me what I would be doing around 10 am on Monday. "uhhhhh.......why, do you need something?".....Yep, she was flying into Houston Hobby and needed a ride to College Station. It seems her oldest son Lucas and his girlfriend Kristen were needing some parental help with some living arrangements so she was booked on a Monday morning flight.

I picked her up and with a stop at my house to get the camera and a stop at Whataburger (she saw the orange & white striped roof and started moaning......I'm NOT kidding) we headed to College Station. Before the day was over, we went by her childhood home, my childhood home (actually 3 of father was at A&M getting his Masters and PhD and we were renters for awhile during my first years there) then reunited with another friend of ours from the past...Cindy....who after living in Sugarland for 26 years moved back to College Station last year.

Stephanie is a cryer. I am not. She cried several times .........well if several = 5 to 7, she cried MORE than several times. She cried when the plane was landing in Houston, when we were on the freeway, when she saw my get the point. Very sentimental. Very.

Here she is crying in front of her old house.....trying to call her they could cry together.

This was taken by the tree in Stephanie's old front yard. She is not crying here........but I think if you look closely you will see her tear ducts filling up. (just kidding S....I'm just jealous I don't cry.)

My sweetest, favorite moment of the day was walking down to the creek that ran behind my house. I lived in this particular house from about 4th grade through 9th grade. I spent hours down by this creek. Making mud pies, playing in the shallow water, making up my life's future. Hours and hours. I should have been afraid of snakes.....but for some reason I wasn't. I just loved the solitude.......just me and the mud and my thoughts. It's a pretty steep drop down there and this isn't the greatest photo but I had to try to capture it. Just know that this creek is a magical place. Every child should have a place like this. That's my shadow up on the banks.

Cindy, Stephanie and I are all 51....turning that age from November 5 to December within 6 weeks of each other. But let me assure you that when the 3 of us were together yesterday in our childhood hometown.......we were no more mature than 13 year old girls. We were talking about old crushes within minutes of reuniting. Just seeing the mall conjured up images of us walking the 2 miles there barefoot with a comb in our back pocket. Stephanie's memory is unbelievable. She can recall vivid details......of even my childhood. So I love hearing her tell me things that took place that I have long forgotten.

Anyway......I went from 51 back to 7 and all the years forward in a day. Needless to say I was worn out last night.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27.....

This sweet baby was born 2 days after Christmas in 1956.

Here is the sweet baby helping decorate the tree.....

Here is the tree surrounded by all the presents left for the sweet baby...

We call this "vintage" now........

Here's that sweet baby now......we call him "vintage." Happy 52nd Birthday, Chuck!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Tanta Taws Cama My House..."

When Cameron was little, we have her on video saying "Tanta Taws cama my house...." with a huge wad of gum in her mouth already retrieved from her stocking. A Christmas morning doesn't go by without us imitating her.

Tanta Taws always brings new pj's and perfume for the girls....

Will's going skiing with a good friend and his he received some cash in a box full of fake snow and glitter. Of course, Cameron had to go across the room to flip the box over and pour the snow on his head.

We watched Jordan open her gifts via the webcam. We were given strict orders not to call and wake her up but by 11:00 we couldn't wait any longer. She had the day off and was looking forward to sleeping in. The next 12 days are what her event planning is all will be non-stop, 18 hour we were trying to leave her alone. But you know how it is...when you're up, everyone else should be too.

And in case you've never seen one of the newest creatures around's the rat that 2 teenage girls gave Will for his 18th birthday. He joined us for the opening of the gifts.

When he wasn't being held, he was put in a laundry basket.

Maggie is thinking "these new dog toys look soooo real."

Do you see the sticker that says Sterilite? That is the dang rat tail underlining the word.

I'm going to wait a few months, then I'm giving this rat to Carol's boys.

Hope your Christmas was as merry and relaxing as ours was....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I believe....

I believe in Santa....

who brings us gifts

to remind us of that night

when God gave us

the greatest gift of all.

She believes......

She believes that her bark and chasing is what makes the airplanes keep flying over our backyard rather than landing and getting us. She believes that she can protect us from the squirrels. She will win the stare contest with them everytime. All in the name of duty. She believes that she can save us from the big, black Lab that moved in next door. And she believes that she will be the first one to see Santa's sleigh flying over Cypress tonight. She is already at her post and it's only 2 in the afternoon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My world's been hit by a holiday ball!

Debbie Downer ain't got nothing on me. I'm feeling a little stressed. Like that's a surprise. Who isn't just a little stressed this last week before Christmas? But I believe in purging ....not if that isn't obvious...but the internal stress and getting it out of my body. Just ask Chuck. He was the recipient of a little of my stress purging just last night.

I married a flatliner. You may know one....they absorb their stress and just seem to shut down at times. You don't really think they are experiencing the same things you are because they are just This same type may never really belly laugh either. So although they appear calm they could very well be dead. Chuck handles stress this way. But I do not.

I am a panic stricken word vomiting stress purger. I start by blurting out all that I have to do in the next 48 hours. The list grows and grows as I shout louder and louder. My voice becomes screechy and irritating (even to me....) and I get that sore throat and headache that comes when you're screeching. I am probably not taking in enough oxygen. So my eyeballs hurt and God only knows what my blood pressure is.

I follow this by bringing up every time in the last 2 decades I have been this stressed and all the things that I had to do then. By now, I am really running low on air intake and I am wearing myself out. The end is near. Not of me, but of my fit.

I usually wind it up with walking off or hanging up if I'm doing all of this on the phone. I bet I look prettier on the phone. Then I feel better...while the train wreck I caused is laying in a puddle ....Chuck the puddle. Chuck who never word vomited in his life. We would have to go in with some kind of tube to get his words out.

Here's my list that's causing me stress and the reason the planets in my universe seem completely out of alignment.....

1. We are in the last few days of school before the holiday break and the kids are climbing the walls. Some are downright airborne. Why would talking about, reading about and making Santa out of construction paper cause them to fly? I spend 50 minutes each day in large group (PE, Art or Music) with 40 - 80 of these flying kids in a room. Today in PE, the teachers are trying to teach these 5 year olds how to square dance and my job is to help with behavior and crowd control. Hahahahahaha. Good one.

2. We've been helping make ornaments and Santas and reindeer and Mr. Grinches for about 180 kindergarteners. In addition to teaching them to write and read novels. (yes, novels....that's the expectations these days. Somebody needs to tell the higher-ups that kindergarteners are 5. They just got here 5 years ago. And they haven't quite accomplished standing in a line yet....much less reading a novel.)

3. Cameron is home with her new kitty (a stray she adopted a couple of weeks ago). That makes about 28 animals we have to feed. Maybe I'm exagerating a little...but it's my blog. Love Cameron, will probably end up loving the cat....but it's driving my dogs crazy right now so they are out of sync. The dogs are whining at the closed door where they know a new cat is being kept just out of their reach. The sound of whining anything = STRESS

4. Make a breakfast casserole for a staff breakfast tomorrow morning. Which will make me feel a little guilty for not cooking supper for my family. So I will need to go in there and cook something for supper. Which will be hard to do since I'm not really hungry since I had about 8 cookies today....because we were all treated with a tin of cookies from our students' families.

5. We are expected to go to Chuck's parents this time each year. The trip is planned for Saturday through Tuesday. Will has a job... a seasonal, retail job at Abercrombie & Fitch. I have a stomach ache thinking about leaving him here so he can work while we're 500 miles away. I am not an over protective type of mother...but this is the kid who jumped out of a moving car....and had his first wreck this summer while we were out of town. I will probably stay which will make Chuck's family upset. No good answer to this one.

6. I gave Chuck 3 names on our list to take care of. He got online and ordered gift certificates. I took care of the other 3000 gifts. At the mall with 55, 438 other people. Stood in mile long lines. Got the worst shoulder ache from the 15 pound purse I carried on my shoulder all day. Still have to wrap all these gifts. The piles of sacks are staring at me. I'm staring back.

7. Will is going skiing with a good friend and his family for 10 days....leaving on Dec. 26. He owns nothing that you could wear skiing. So I spent last night in Academy trying to pick out the least amount of clothing one would need. Ski boots, ski gloves, ski bib, hat and 2 sets of long underwear. He will borrow a jacket. It added up and this is for things that he will not use after Jan. 1. Lots of money spent on items only needed for 7 days but are really a Christmas present so it had to be done = STRESS

8. My blonde hair has a one inch gray border near my scalp...what's that about? And when the heck will I find time to fix it?

9. Really, do I need to go on? Are you still here? Somebody slap me. If you're reading this and you are sick or in pain or heartbroken or in deep financial stress, I apologize. I know it could be way worse. But I am seeking peace. Peace at this time. Why have we made this time of year so wacked out crazy? Couldn't we spread it out a little? Couldn't we let go of some of this stuff that we have brought on ourself?

Okay.......good things, positive things. I will focus on those and get back in this moment. Only this moment.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I met her on a cold day in 1992 as I was walking down the street. Her youngest child had just taken a tumble in the yard of a neighbor and we exchanged a quick remark and look. I don't remember the exact remark, but I'm sure it was sarcastic as we both laughed. I felt a instant our souls were already friends.

The next 3 years were filled with lots and lots of laughs, furniture rearranging, shopping, eating out and sitting in the driveways until we moved inside to play Pictionary and drink margaritas with our husbands. Many Friday nights were spent this way, while our kids played hard in the designated playrooms of whoever's house we landed in. Our husbands got along and our kids were like siblings. There was a larger group of neighborhood families that got together...but we were the best of friends.

But it was more than that. Much more than that. She was the little sister I had always begged my mother to have. She was Lucy to me, Ethel. She shared the same scar where we had been separated at birth. She made me laugh harder than I can ever remember laughing. And then she made me cry harder than I have ever cried........when she told me they were moving to Atlanta. Neither of us realized how good we had it until it ended. So the 3 years of living with my best friend down the street was over.

For months after they moved away, Chuck and I didn't know what to do with our weekends. There was a huge hole...something big missing. It took a long time to fill that up with other things. It was like a death. And I was grieving.

Oh, we promised to stay in touch and that we would always be best friends and blah, blah, blah. And our friendship does still exist. But it's in memory only. In our hearts only. In a once year birthday and Christmas gift only. In a rare phone call now and then. In a hand written card maybe every couple of years. Because while we still love each other as great friends do, we live too far apart and our daily lives have come between us. She was my daily life and that was the great part about our friendship. I could walk over to her house and be there in less than a minute.

The very fact that I met the best friend of my life when I was almost 35 gives me hope that life is full of surprises and another great friend could be out there, I just haven't met her yet. And while I had to lose her (to Atlanta) I wouldn't trade those 3 years for a trillion dollars. She will always be my friend but the years have flown by while raising kids and all those trips we should have taken to see each other just never quite happened. What I wouldn't give to have her down the street again.

Her name is Debbie and she sent me a package this week for my birthday. Thank you Debbie. For this "too cute" bag with my name on it. And for your lasting friendship that remains one of my greatest treasures.