Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Before I die I want to...

Travel to all 50 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connnecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia


Learn to scuba dive

Take a tropical cruise

Take an Alaskan cruise

Swim with dolphins

Live 100% debt-free except mortgage

Visit Disneyworld

Go on an African Safari

See a concentration camp

Visit Pearl Harbor

Run a ½ marathon

Walk across the Great Wall of China

Cross-country road trip: West coast, East coast

Travel to: Ireland, England, France, Italy, Holland, Mexico, Germany, Greece, Costa Rica

Travel to 6 continents: Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, Africa

Go to a taping of the Rachel Ray show

Present at an English conference

Go to a Nora Roberts’ book signing

Go to Le Tour de France

Ride in a helicopter (but you know, not in a ‘life flight’ kind of way)

Attend a Beth Moore bible study in person

Celebrate my 60th anniversary with Stan

Go on a mission trip

Monday, July 28, 2008


Guess whose favorite doctor now accepts Scott & White insurance???


I already have an appointment.


(Should I really be this excited about going to the doctor?)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Like mother, like son

So Caden falls in the pool today. 6 feet of water. Just like me.

They had gone to the deep end with lifejackets & Caden climbed out and was sitting on the side. His teacher had just taken his lifejacket off and was helping another kid up the ladder when he just slid in. She grabbed him within 2 seconds & he popped up grinning.

It was right at the end of lessons, so he ran over to us shouting, "That was fun!"

Seriously? Probably the best thing that could've happened. He's been so scared of going under water & now he isn't.

But it sure did take a few minutes for my heart to start beating right again!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Swim lessons!

Swim lessons started this past Monday. Caden's the youngest one in the 'frog' group, but he's got a great teacher who's letting him go at his own pace. He's doing everything the other kids are, but he really doesn't want to put his face underwater. The first day, they lined up all of the kids on the side & then let their teachers come get them. Stan was wondering why I was so nervous, and I told him that when I was 4 (Nana - is that right?) I was sitting on the side of the pool for lessons, when all of a sudden, "Poof!" I slid right in - (the deep end. Weren't people just really intelligent back in the 70s?) A nice woman grabbed hold of my hair and pulled me back up. I looked at Stan and said, "Caden doesn't have any hair to grab" Luckily it's only 2 feet where they're sitting.
It took a bit of coaxing to get him in...

but once he was in, he wouldn't stop grinning!

The other kids would jump in on their own, but Caden gets a little help from 'teacher'

He is so proud of himself, walking around on his own. Calm down Nana, it's only 2 feet deep.

Once more, I'm reminded that he's no longer a baby or even a toddler, but a little boy now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christian the Lion

This video was on the Today show. Apparently these 2 guys bought a lion and then realized they couldn't take care of it so they released him into the African wild. This is their visit with him a year later...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

H, I, ... K?

We discovered tonight that Caden has a problem with the letter 'J'.

He has this wooden alphabet book & this evening, he picked up the letter 'J', walked over to my living room chair, and put it under the cushion.

"I don't like the letter 'J'", he says to Stan.

I immediately crack up. I mean, what the heck is he thinking?

Stan gets a little irritated because it doesn't make sense. Stan likes things to make sense.

He tells Caden to get the letter out from under the cushion and put it back where it belongs.

"But I don't like it!"

By this point, I'm holding a towel in front of my face because I'm laughing so hard.

Stan tells him, "I don't care if you like it or not - put it in the book where it goes."

Caden walks over to the book (holding the offending letter as carefully as possible) and throws it down on the plastic cover.

He looks at me and says, "I don't like it and that's where I'm putting it."

What in the world did the letter 'J' ever do to him???

Monday, July 14, 2008

Working it for 12 years

I love this picture because even though it was the most stressful time of my life, and I look horrible, and feel worse, Stan is still looking at me with the most adoring expression. I love this man.

A few weeks ago I posted about the realities of marriage, at least my marriage - it's not always pretty, but it's real - for us, anyway. A few days later I was reading a Hollywood gossip magazine (I know, I know) and this one young starlet stated (about her boyfriend), "If it's real love, you shouldn't have to work at it". Shouldn't have to work at it? Sister, if that's how you feel, you are in for a world of hurt. And sorrow. Because "working at it" rocks.

This past weekend, we celebrated 12 years of marriage. A little history. I met my man on Christmas Day 1993, 2 weeks after breaking off a serious relationship. (We were working at McDonalds and if you were a manager, you had to work either Thanksgiving or Christmas.) One of my friends had (unbeknownst to me) told Stan that he could take it easy since he had been there all day already. I, not knowing this & being in a bad mood anyway, just saw some guy taking it easy while I worked my tookie off. I didn't like him & I honestly can't remember saying even 2 words to him. I vaguely remember standing close to him in the office counting money, but again, I'm not sure we talked. I told someone a few days after we worked together that he was lazy and obnoxious. Their response? "He's not lazy!"

Fast forward a couple of years. There are four of us who are planning on going to McDonalds management class* in January of 1996 & we are meeting together 3-4 times beforehand to study up. My friend Kristin is heading up our training and after one of these sessions, she invites Stan to go eat with us. She told me later, she thought we'd make a cute couple. I barely looked up at him when he told her he couldn't. I still didn't like him and wasn't crazy about going to Houston with him to the class. Around this time, I was having dinner with my friend Kristin and we actually saw him out on a date!

Then an odd thing happened. I was late to one of the prep sessions and I walked in after the other 3 people were there. Now the chairs are in a horseshoe shape in a room designed to hold approximately 20 people and the other 3 people are spaced out with many chairs between them. Where do I sit? Right next to Stan the man. I have no idea why.

January 25(ish) comes and we are off to Houston. The first night we go out to eat and sparks begin flying. The next day, we can't stop staring at each other. That night we drive all over Houston, getting lost, and then finally seeing a movie. We are inseparable.

At the end of the weeklong class, Stan drove me and another coworker back home. I believe it was a Thursday. He told me I wouldn't see him Friday, but he would call me and we could get together on Saturday. True to his word, he had flowers delivered to me at work on Saturday & we went to Oxford Street for dinner that night.

On Valentine's Day (2 weeks later) he picked me up from work (really Feb. 13, but after midnight 2/14) and drove me out to Peach Creek Rd. where he proposed to me in the bed of his pickup.

We were married 5 months later on July 13, 1996!

A lot of people are shocked by how fast we got engaged and married. At first we had people telling us, well it's your first marriage & you're so young you'll be OK if it doesn't work out. People told us that we didn't know how to work at marriage because both of our parents were still married. Excuse me? Doesn't that mean we've seen 2 marriages become successful because they worked at it?

We've gone through money troubles, job issues, health issues - both Stan & my dad, family dynamic issues, me going back to school, having a child of our own, and having our house break in half. (Some of these things were good, but still stressful)

If we hadn't learned to "work at it", we'd've been divorced long ago.

I don't want to harp on the bad stuff; there's been a lot of good.

~We both love road trips and traveling.
~We laugh at the same things.
~We've had a child together and we get to see each other be a parent.
~We want the same things out of life.
~He loves my parents and I love his.
~He 'gets' me and he's my best cheerleader. If it weren't for him, I may not be teaching now. I don't think I would've made it past that first year.

So...2 weeks of dating, 5 months of fianceing, 12 years of marriage.

There's nothing better than working at being married to your best friend.

*McDonalds management class was a very serious and competitive thing; that's why we met so much beforehand to prepare. And I have to say - in ALL of my jobs, I have never had more competent supervisors than at McDonalds. I've worked in retail, in banking, at a computer business, and at 2 schools. They were the best managers of people & I learned a majority of my skills there in my early 20s.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's not you, it's me

To whom it may concern:

Once upon a time at the delicious age of 19, I was innocently walking in the mall when a new store caught my attention. I stopped when the salesperson/demo-goddess asked if she could give me a demonstration of this awesome new product. I, having nowhere to go (ah, to be 19 again!), said that would be fine.

She took my hand and I was forever changed. I had to have the product - Juniper Breeze liquid soap. I bought it and the lotion and went back to my apartment and giddily put them in my bathroom. It took me about 4 1/2 minutes to convince myself that the shower I had taken a mere 2 hours before had surely worn off and it was time to cleanse again.

My love affair began that day. The freshness...the was fantastic.

And now, 15 years later, Juniper Breeze is breaking up with me.

We've both grown, changed, and evolved over the years, but our connection has always remained tight. I thought we were at that dreamed of 'home free' place where nothing could go wrong. I was horribly mistaken.

Last week, I found out Juniper Breeze was moving on. It's being discontinued - so there's room for the NEW fragrances. Oh, the salesgirl tried to fix me up with a couple of scents, but I wasn't in the mood. How could I want someone new so soon? I was inconsolable, sick with regret. Remember, this is a relationship I've had longer than my marriage!

And now I cry the lament of the brokenhearted girl - Why, Juniper Breeze? Why can't we go back to the way we were before? I'll change! I'll come in more often and purchase more of your products. I said I was sorry about Green Clover & Aloe! It didn't mean anything & it was just that one bottle!

Please, please come back. Don't go.

I love you.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Where's the kleenex when you need it?

We took Caden to visit Oma & Opa Thursday night and the plan was for him to stay until Sunday afternoon. He cried a bit when we were getting in the truck, but we were assured with a phone call Friday morning that he did just fine after we left.

Friday night we got the call that Caden was not doing so well; he missed his mommy & daddy. And the only way they could get him to stop crying was to tell him that he would see us the next day.

Stan went to get him this morning and he was VERY happy to see his dad. When they got home, I asked him if he missed us and his eyes got real big and he said, "Mommy & Daddy got in the truck. And Caden wasn't in it!"

We felt horrible! I teared up and Stan said it just about broke him down.

Needless to say, Caden got lots and lots of hugs and attention today.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Attack of the Insomnia

I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I am still up. Haven't slept a wink all night. I read a bit, watched TV, played on the computer - nothing.

So all you friends of mine who just had babies, give me a call. I'll be glad to talk or come by and let you catch a catnap while I watch your little one.

Ahhhh, I hope this is temporary!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Caden is very proud of himself when he goes poo poo on the potty - or as he says, 'poo poot'.

Tonight he called me in there when he was done so I could wipe his booty & he turned around and said, "Wow! That's a big snake one! No - that's a hippopotamus one!!"

So gross.

But I gave him a sticker anyway.