Sunday, May 29, 2011

After the Move Out

I finally got back up to Cameron's room and set up the full bed that has been "the college bed" for the girls. It may just live in here until August when Will moves back to Stephen F. Austin as he is moving in to an apartment and will need a bed. But for now it's out of the gameroom and made up. So I took a few after pictures as promised.





And a few more "after".....


This is a picture of my sweet daddy placed in a vase of button flowers sitting next to Cameron's baby shoes.  These are the shoes she had on in her one year old portrait. 

The vase with button flowers was a gift I gave to  Lora Joy, neighbor and good friend of Chuck's family, one year for Christmas.  Right after she died, the daughter gave it back to me....saying she thought I should have it.  Some things I miss Daddy, my one year old Cameron and sweet Lora Joy.

You Silver Bella girls may recognize a couple of the things on here....a sachet from a Swap and a project made in a class in the green frame.  The family in the photo on the left, is Chuck's great grandparents with 2 of their 9 children.  I think Chuck looks so much like this man through the brow and eyes...and this is Chuck's nose for sure.  I spent the first few years of our marriage trying to identify where his nose came from.

Stored American Girl magazines and children's books waiting for some grandchildren. 
 Yes, that's a hint.

Cameron brought me two magnets from her trip that reminded her of me.

Humor is big in this I find the magnets funny....but I do want the world to know I did cook many, many meals for my kids.  Too bad they were too young to remember...ha. 

Our refrigerator and pantry are pretty empty these days with just me and Chuck around.  Everytime the kids come home, I just hand them cash and
ask them to go fill it up with what they want to eat.

And this one? 

I'm not going to lie....I can remember those hectic days of babies and toddlers and preschoolers and kindergartners.....chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese and diapers and bottles.  Cooking and cleaning up the kitchen only to realize it was time to do it all again for the next meal.

Little sleep and lots and lots of needs to meet for others before my own.

Maybe I did wake up every morning thinking about how good my gown and a glass of wine were going to feel when I got through the day.

But I got through the day first.

I really did.

Taken from my back porch.

For some reason, looking at this makes me want to cry.

Because it's so beautiful.

Because I want to see a message in it.

Or maybe it's that my second child is on her own and out of the house.

Or that by the end of the week, I don't work with my good friends anymore.

Or that I had 3 pieces of banana bread for breakfast and I am having a little sugar low.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cute Apartment and Monkey

I asked Cameron to send me a few pictures of her apartment and along with those pictures were a few more of Sasha, the monkey.

Cameron was almost all unpacked when we left there yesterday evening.  Just her closet (5 large boxes!) and a few accessories and various other stuff to store away.  The good news is it's all at her new place ~ and not here.  ha.

As you can see, her loft apartment is rather open but yet separated. She bought a dark wicker screen to use as a door when necessary. 

The kitchen is all unpacked and set up.  The only thing missing is food. 

Okay....I'm going to admit this on here.  I miss her already...and I haven't gone in to her room to take an AFTER picture.  I'll do that this weekend.  It might hit me that she's really all grown up and moved out when I see that empty room.

So for a "baby" fix, here's some more sweet monkey Sasha.

This is my makeup bag that she reached in my purse and grabbed.  It was zipped closed, she opened it immediately and started digging around in it.

I tried to distract her with my cell phone.  She messed with it a little then went back to my purse.

Eating the apple....and posing for a picture.


There's only 4 more days of school.  I haven't been thinking about the number of days because I am leaving the parking lot that day for the last a full time employee.  I honestly just want to sneak out on my own that afternoon....and act as if nothing is changing.

Today, at 3:00 pm when the kindergarteners are packed up and ready to pick a Free Center (Developmental Learning....blocks, art, kitchen, doll babies) one little boy asked his teacher if I was available for him to choose for Free Centers.

And she sent him to me and he asked, "Are you available today for me to come in here for Free Centers?"

And I responded, "Absolutely......what shall we do?"
He said, "You pick."

As I said, I am not giving the last day a lot of thought.
I am going to miss this part terribly.

I may have to go buy something at Gallery Furniture on a weekly basis so I can play with Sasha.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Plan B as in Busy

We had a family reunion on Chuck's side of the family to attend this past weekend.  It's been on the calendar for several months.  We were to drive 600 miles to a small town in Eastern Mississippi on Friday....reunite with family on Saturday until about 3:00 pm, then get in the car and head home making it as far as possible on Saturday night. 

Chuck got sick on Thursday evening.  So trip cancelled.   I might have done a cartwheel or two in my head when he made the decision to cancel.  But he's the one that made the decision.

It's really a good thing that we didn't go because the weekend was packed with all the Plan B things on the calendar.  The end of the year staff party for my school was on Friday evening so I was able to attend that.  Then a graduation party was held for 2 beautiful girls graduating from high school.......that I taught in Mother's Day Out.  When they were 2.  And now they're graduating from high school. 

I forgot to take my camera to the Friday evening staff party...but remembered to take it to the graduation party.  However, my camera wouldn't take pictures...a message showed up that said my memory chip was locked.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out what that meant or what to do about it.  So I took one pitiful cell phone picture. 

Lindsey and Kendall
Now LSU Tigers!
Geaux Tigers!

Fuzzy cell phone picture of these 2 precious girls. 
LSU will be much prettier in the fall.

Sunday was spent painting some pieces of furniture for Cameron's new apartment....while she packed and packed and packed.  Twenty boxes later she's ready to move.

And this is after sorting and throwing away and giving away.
And this is going in to a 693 sq. foot apartment.

Cameron painted that black and white picture of her and Jordan
....from a photograph taken of them when they were about 4 1/2 and 2.

2 mismatched chairs I painted black for Cameron's kitchen table.
She may never cook or eat at her apartment, but she will have a table and 2 chairs.

Today, after picking up the keys to her new place, we went to Gallery Furniture to find a sofa.  For those not from around here...Gallery Furniture is famous for

"Buy It Today, We Deliver It Today!"

"Gallery Furniture SAVES YOU MONEY!"

If you're in the viewing area of Houston, you've heard this a million times.

When one needs a sofa, it's nice to get it that's where we shopped first. Thankfully, we were successful and the sofa was delivered this evening. This store...a Houston landmark... was destroyed by a fire a couple of years ago and has been rebuilt.  It's bigger and better and along with thousands of square feet of furniture, it has huge cages of exotic parrots.

And free cookies.

And monkeys. 

Yes, monkeys.  And if you make a purchase, you can have your picture taken with a monkey.
There are about 5 or 6 of them that live in a glass cage in the center of the store. 


Again with the fuzzy cell phone pictures.

Eating cheerios.

So after Cameron paid up, she had her picture taken and we got to play with one of the monkeys. 
We sat on the floor and this monkey started digging through my purse. 

That's my purse.  Sasha (the monkey) took out my makeup bag and unzipped it! Then started pulling out my eye drops, some eye shadow and some concealer. She put the eye drop bottle in her mouth and tried to open it with her teeth.  She knew to unscrew the top but she couldn't get it open. 
I guess I should probably throw that bottle away.

Cute monkey germs.

Here's Sasha with my eye makeup in her mouth.

I had a cut up apple in a baggie in my purse...Sasha found it, so I gave it to her.

Yum.  That's what she wanted.
She would take a bite, chew, chew, then spit out the apple peel.
All over the floor. 

It's worth a trip to Gallery Furniture
 just to see these cute things. 

Oh, and after our purchase they asked us if we would like a free lunch. Today's menu was fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and hot rolls. We passed on the offer because we were full from the free cookies we had already eaten.


A little story about Gallery Furniture.  The owner, Jim McIngvale, is referred to as "Mattress Mac"... he is a Houston Icon.....and his commercials run all the time. One time when Will was about 5 or 6, we were shopping in the store and "Mattress Mac" walked past us.

I said, "Look's Mattress Mac!

I thought Will might recognize him from the TV know because he watched a lot of TV...and those commercials were inescapable.

Will just looked at him and kept walking. 

A few minutes go by.

Then Will asks, "What kind of mama would name her kid Mattress?"


Tomorrow is officially the Moving Day.
Check out the view from Cameron's new place....

See the cars?  That's Target's parking lot.  I would be in big trouble.

After pictures soon.

Sorry about the fuzzy cell phone pictures. Chuck fixed my real camera but I didn't have it with me today. The problem?  On the memory chip, there is a small yellow tab that needed to be flipped to the other side. Who knew?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Move Out Week

Cameron's home from her week long adventure before heading in to Grown Up Land.  She had a fun trip but admitted she got a little homesick towards the end.  I suspect she was more Blakesick or her-own-bedsick....

This is Move Out Week for Cameron.

In the last 8 days, Cameron has moved out of her duplex in College Station, graduated, celebrated, rode in an airplane, train and car to Chicago then Seattle and back to Houston and dumped all her stuff in her bedroom. 

So today she begins the process of sorting piles....Keep, Throw Away, Give Away. Yes, I watch a lot of those shows on HGTV.  I know the drill.  Let's see if she does. 
While fixing her coffee, I was standing by her giving her advice about going through it all...and a timeline that will get us to 8:30 am on Tuesday morning when the movers get here. 

Basically, telling her to leave her room empty with the exception of 2 large tubs I purchased for her keepsake stuff.  Knowing there is already several boxes in the attic full of childhood keepsakes.

She fake cries, "waaaaaaaaaaaaa,  I don't have a home anymore."
To which I say and she posted on facebook.....

Said to me as I'm about to start packing to move out:
"You will always have a home here, but your sh*t can't stay here."

I did say that but as I read her post on fb it sounded a little harsh.  Hear me out. 

Actually, take a walk with me.......through these before pictures.  I think you will see what "sh*t" I'm talking about.

That's a Dan Fogelberg coffee mug that Cameron gave me for Christmas.  She's a great gift giver.  I carried that cup to work one day and one of the teachers caught a glimpse of it.
 She asked me why I had a cup with Jesus on it.  ha. 

While Jesus is my Lord and Saviour, Dan Fogelberg is a very close second. wink wink

Wonder if that Twilight poster is going to the Grown Up apartment.

Wait.....what the heck is that?

Uh, Throw Away.

Keep Calm. 

Keep Calm.

Keep Calm.

Dixie:  Is there a chance somebody
 will have time to throw my ball today?

Dining room is now Move Central.

Consider this the Before Post. 
Wait for the After Post.
It may take days....weeks. 
But it's happening.

A little plug for Lowe's.....their boxes are $1.37 each. 

Friday, May 20, 2011


When I was halfway through first grade, my father made the decision to quit his job as a chemist at Shell Oil Company in Midland, Texas, and go back to school to get his Masters and PhD at Texas A&M.  So my childhood was spent living in this college town and listening to my father play the Texas Aggie War Hymn on his trombone in our living room, listening to the football games on the radio and watching my father kiss my mother every time the Aggies scored.

I grew up as an Aggie because my father was an Aggie.  So it is with great pride that I can say my two daughters are Aggies.  I have seen the traditions instilled in them with my own eyes.  I have watched them fall in love with Texas A&M and the town of College Station. 

I have a few friends that are Texas Longhorns.  And while I personally don't hold that against them, I know that this post will make them somewhat cringe. ha. 

I admire anyone who goes to any college  because the reality is, all colleges are steeped in their own traditions and anybody that makes it through college and
receives a diploma deserves a standing ovation.
You have my admiration.

The years spent in college will impact a soul for the rest of their days.
It's a time of growing in to one's self....becoming independent.....trying to figure life out....trying to figure the future out.  It's a time of poor nutrition, over indulgences, sleepless days and nights.
I can't imagine anything more stressful than the week of finals.

I didn't finish college but rather than dwell on that regret, my goal as a mother has been to see my children finish college.  I have said many times, "I don't care if you get your degree in Basket Weaving....just go and finish."

Two down, one to go. 


Words of impact carved in granite.