Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 is OUT!

So here we are on the cusp of a new year, and I, like everyone else, sits back and reflects upon the events of the 365 days that just zoomed past.  I have to admit that, while I am indescribably grateful for the life I've been blessed with and the opportunity to live this last year, it wasn't my favorite year by any stretch of the imagination.  I've been frank about our difficulties, our challenges, our "opportunity to grow" (as an optimist would phrase it).  But with all that said, I'm not sorry to put this year in our rear view mirror. It was difficult.  Nonetheless, as I type this entry, I can look at my beloved husband who is slumbering loudly next to me, and know that my family is all that matters.  And to add a little cherry to the top of my family, I have to admit that I have some pretty damn awesome friends.  I'm beyond blessed.

Sure, this isn't what y'all come here to read.  I know that the funny shit that is my life drives traffic to this blog (or at least, it used to drive traffic to the blog when I posted regularly), but why hide who I am and what's going through my head?  Truth be told, my life really could be a reality TV show.  I'm not sure how funny shit happens to us all the time, but it does.  For example, my kids were discussing "Pole-Dancing Barbie" yesterday.  With wide eyes, I listened to them question why she could only wear underwear.  George literally asked, "Why can't she wear clothes?"  My only question was, "Where in the world did you guys hear about this?"  Luke promptly answered with true joy and innocence in his voice, "The internet!"  Anyone got any suggestions for a good parental control software/device/whatever?

I hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Christmas and that your new year is absolutely AMAZING!  I plan for mine to be awesome, but we'll see how it goes.  I'll be back with pictures sometime soon!  Hugs and love to all!

And don't forget to eat  your black eyed peas on New Year's Day!  (Anyone have any other traditions I should follow to guarantee a wonderful 2015?)


Saturday, December 13, 2014

That doesn't sound good at all.

One of my dear friends just had her second baby!  She brought home a sweet little brother for her daughter.  Absolutely cannot wait to go visit and see Mason in all his sweet-smelling babiness!

Anyway, I volunteered to bring a meal to her on Monday.  We all know that cooking isn't my greatest gift.  No, it's okay; we can all say it out loud.  I know.  Anyhow, I decided to go ahead and look up "meals to bring to new moms".  I mean, surely the internet knows more about these things than I do.  I had a few meals brought to us when we had babies, but not many.  To be honest, we made most of our local friends after we had kids.  So, when we received a bag full of casseroles and meals from our friend who owns McKinley's Bakery, I almost fainted in relief!  That girl is quite a gift in my life even if we don't see each other as much as we'd like.

Anyway, the point of this post is to mention how crazy the suggested meals are.  I mean, I have to tell you that the last thing I would have wanted delivered to my house postpartum was a vat of Lentil and Kale Soup or Moroccan Hand Pies with Eggplant and Apricots.  Seriously, people?  WTF?  Now there are some good things on there, but I ended up just opting for a recipe I already know and love from Emeril.  Check it out; this stuff is amazing: Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna.

What did you guys like when you had kids?  Anything in particular that I should drop off to please a nursing, sleep-deprived mother of two???

Friday, December 12, 2014

What? What?

I am so excited to tell you that I'm updating this blog from the comfort of my living room couch.  I know this may seem silly and inconsequential to all of you, but this is HUGE news.  I am using my new (well, refurbished) MacBook Air to post this.  It is an amazing thing!  It took no time at all to set up!  I opened the box 10 minutes ago!  Isn't this amazing?!  I haven't had a working laptop in years.  I'm so dang excited!

Maybe now I'll update more often!  Maybe more movie quotes because I'll be able to post while watching TV!  Maybe, just maybe, I'll work more - which is actually why I made the purchase in the first place!

Okay, so that's it!  Just had to get this out there and tell you all how freaking amazing this is!!!  Welcome to the 21st century, Professional Mother!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Movie Quote #5

I'm late!!! Here is is. I'm pretty sure this may be my favorite Christmas movie. Yup. Enjoy!

My dear partner, when what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting, whatever it is you've got left.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Yes, that happened.

I think I must be on some crazy pre-menopausal hormone trip because I am getting teary eyed over just about everything - movies, books, newspaper articles, YouTube videos...  It's really pretty ridiculous.  Chuck caught me yesterday watching my phone with tears in my eyes as I watched this video: Merry Christmas Proposal

and then this video: Dad Sits His Blind Baby at the Piano Then a Miracle Happens

and then after this video I gave up trying to keep it in: Thank You Project

All the ladies can take a moment to fix their eye makeup now.  I'll wait.

On a happier, funnier note, we played the board game Beat the Parents last night and the kids won, of course.  But George was the ultimate winner, when he came up to me with Hobbes in his arms and said, "Mom, I want to ask you a question that isn't on the cards."  This happens all the time, so I said without any question or hesitation, "Okay."  And then he dropped this on me, and I had to record it and share it on Facebook.  Since two of my very important readers are not on FB, I had to share it here too.  Plus, damnit, it's freaking hilarious.

video
 
As of right now, this video has been viewed on FB 710 times since last night.  Our dear vet (and my wonderful friend, Lauren) posted the very best answer we could have ever asked for.  I'm pretty sure I have the best friends in the entire world.
 
 
This kid amazes me with his questions every day. He's also pretty amazing when it comes to trivia because he was pulling out answers to the questions in Beat the Parents that Luke and Evie didn't even know! I'm very impressed. If only I could get him to wipe his butt successfully!

On a final note, I would have never guessed that I'd post a picture of a cat's testicles on my blog.  Life is strange and unexpected.

Holiday Movie Quote #3 and #4

Okay, so I missed a couple days I guess.  Boo for me on Movie Quotes.  Here are some easy ones to get you all in the spirit!

Holiday Movie Quote #3: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.

Oh my goodness, I LOVE this movie so much!  So many quotes from Movie #3, so I'm giving you another one that I think is fabulous: A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.

I swear, I'm tearing up just thinking about this movie.  I'll have to make time to watch it soon!

And then here's the next one:

Holiday Movie Quote #4: Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.

Alrighty, time to send me your answers!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Did y'all have a happy Thanksgiving?

We did!  Lots of travel for us. We spent our Thanksgiving tailgating with Chucky Love and his closest 200 friends in College Station.  Luckily, we actually had Wednesday entirely to ourselves just as one big happy family.  Most of the day was spent getting ready for the tailgate the next day, but I'll take it.  We still had a great time and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful for tailgating!

Hanging out at the Dixie Chicken for lunch.


 
Learning to play dominoes at the Dixie Chicken.

 
Grandpa Chuck showing the kids where he lived.

 
Our Monkeys at the Century Tree.







 
Playing piano in the MSC.  I learned that George can play Mary Had Little Lamb! I had no idea!

 
Setting up the tailgate with the entire family in tow.



That night we took the kids to the Student Bonfire off campus.  It was really a great thing, although much smaller than it was when it was on campus.  That's probably a good thing.  The kids thought it was pretty cool - amazing how hot it gets!  I think we all had a great time! I'm so glad we took them to see it!

 

 
Before:
 
After: 


The next day there was soooo much food!  We ate tons of turkey, stuffing, and all the fixin's!  So delicious!!!!  I didn't really even lift a finger, so thank you to all those wonderful people who cooked! Yum!

Here are Chuck and Tim posing like sorority sisters.

 
Kids on top of the Army Truck which I ended after George climbed up there.

 
Of course, they were not very happy that I ended their fun!

 
But at least Luke still liked me.

 
And later we got to see some wrestling.

 
Plus, fun with the family - my brother Mike and my sister-in-law Lisa
(who is really more like a sister - no "law" needed)!

 
And then at the game!  I swear we are closer than if we went to a high school football game. 
I love it!







 
Such a wonderful holiday!
 
We topped the whole trip off with a visit to my mom's house and a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner on Friday evening at my Tom & Jennifer's House (my brother and my sister-in-law - no "law" needed there either).  Lordy, but that woman can cook! 
 
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!  Now time for my favorite holiday of the year!!!

Holiday Movie Quote #2

We watched this fun one with the kids last night.  It is not really a classic, so I'm going to give you a couple of quotes in hopes that someone out there has any inkling of what this movie is.  If after two days, no one has gotten it, I'll try to remember to post the answer.  If you haven't seen this movie, I recommend it.  It's a fun one for the family! Plus, I love the main character!

This is from the end of the movie:
You're all fired, in the morning you'll all be on a bus back to Elfistan!

This is from the beginning of the movie (and yes, I copied and pasted because it's hilarious!):
You're gonna get hooked on that thing. I can see it now. Sixteen thousand bags of Cheetos later, you'll wake up, you're thirty-five, you're overweight, you're crying about your life in front of the soaps. I just did you a favor. You get outside, play around, make some friends, play kick the can, do some athletic stuff, go to school, you're comfortable enough to play sports, you get a partial scholarship, you got any ethnic in your background, any ethnicity in your background? I bet you do. It's America, you know what I mean? Find out what it is and put that down on the application for college. Now all the sudden you get a little extra money on the side, Uncle Sam's none the wiser for it. You take that extra money, you buy a motorcycle with it or something. Be a lady. Maybe meet a guy while you're at school. And then you'll get pregnant with child, it works out with the guy, it doesn't work out with the guy, who cares? You're blessed to have that kid in your life. You're going to be athletic, you're going to be a moderate to lukewarm student, and you're gonna have a child before you graduate college. And who are you going to have to thank for all that? Not the big guy in the red suit, but your pal Fred.

If you have absolutely no idea, just picture Vince Vaughn speaking the last big quote. Hilarious!  Seriously, I love that guy!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Movie Quote #1

Buckle your seatbelts!! I'm bringing back Movie Quotes for the holidays since it is, after all, my favorite time of year! Tonight we are watching this movie (kids' choice):

"If I could work my will, every idiot who goes around with "a Merry Christmas" on his lips would be cooked with his own turkey and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!"

 Any guesses?

Well, if not, here is something fun: our yummy dinner recipe!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/perfect-potato-soup/


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Each and Every Day is a Gift

I'm absolutely unmotivated today.  It's really pretty ridiculous. 

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and how much I miss it.  I regret not having posted several times a week for the last couple years.  It was/is such a big part of my life.  I've watched my family grow on this blog, and adored every moment of it.  I've even gone back a few times and just picked a random month from sometime in the past and read through the events - some big, but a lot of them very minor.  I adore my family and I'm pretty sure I mention it on every single blog post.  I just can't help myself.  And, of course, when you see me with my kids or ask me about them on the street, I probably respond by rolling my eyes, shaking my head, and griping about whatever most recent thing they've done - forgetting homework, shitting their pants, refusing to wear deodorant - and yes, those all happened this week.  Lucky me.  But the truth, is that despite every single shitty moment (literally and figuratively), my family is my everything. They are perfect as they are, with chewed off fingernails, tangled hair that looks like a rat's nest, and poop-streaked underroos.  I absolutely wouldn't trade these days of loud little kids and backseat arguments for anything in the world! 

 
Each day is truly a precious gem.  I certainly know that tomorrow is not promised.  I know that today is a gift.  But the ability to remember the gifts of yesterday and yesteryear is truly amazing through the words and pictures posted on this blog.  And so, as I usually do when I'm here, I'm hoping to recommit to documenting the amazing adventures that Chuck and I are going through as parents and as professionals.  There have been unbelievably big changes in our lives this year, and yet, so much of our beautiful life has remained the same. Soccer practices, church on Sunday, piano lessons, laundry, school work, bills -- it all continues in a beautiful circle.  So, today, I want to tell you (and God) how grateful I am for all of it.  Perhaps I'm feeling a little sentimental, perhaps all the Thanksgiving posts are prompting my wistfulness, but here I am remember how much the love and friendship in my life means and how little the "things" in my life will ever mean.  Blessings abound, and those blessings can't be purchased. 

I hope that this will lead me to blog more, to share my life with you, and remember how amazing my family and friends are each and every day.  To each of you reading this (which I'm amazed that you all are still out there), please don't hesitate to send me reminders that it's time for a post.  I will absolutely appreciate any reminder you give me, because the stuff in this blog is who I am, what I'm made of, and absolutely something to hold onto forever.

Hugs to you all today - even if it's bromantic hug like the one below!



My animal whisperer (that's an injured butterfly).


 Eyes like Puss in Boots.
 

Our Halloween celebrations which seemed to go on and on this year. I loved it!
 




 
Toasting our family!
 

Two future presidents (or so they've declared)!
 

Time with my best friend and co-CEO in our nonprofit business (aka Our Family).
 

Sports for all of us!
 


 
 
 
 
 

 
I don't have a picture of Chuck running (which he's doing regularly now and I'm not), but his mom sent this to me and it's absolutely breathtaking, so I had to include it!
 
 
And even in our underwear.
 
 
Every moment is worth it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

6:08:47

It's official.  I checked off a bucket list item and a New Year's Resolution.  I can't remember ever having done that, and for this to be the first time, it's really impressive.  I ran 26.2 miles.  Seriously. Now, I know that people do this shit all the time, but I don't.  Ever.  Never.  I don't even like to run.  It was one of the stupidest things I've done because it took a ridiculous amount of time, discipline, and effort (and money, but I won't mention that).  To top it off, my training has been subpar at best.  Nonetheless, it happened and I finished within the allotted time.  I also got a medal. 

So, here's the run down.  We flew in on Friday morning at the butt-crack of dawn.  Later that day we went to the Expo with all the healthy people who made me feel really inferior just by looking at them.  Not a single person was mean, but I just felt that bad about my own ability to complete this monumental task.  Still, I had a good time!



I spent Friday and Saturday doing nothing but eating and enjoying time with our friend Bill and Patricia who housed us and gave up their bed so I could sleep on something other than the couch. They are better friends than I am!  I did squeeze in a light two-mile jog on Saturday, and it was beautiful!!!

That night I ate homemade fettuccine alfredo and headed to bed by 9:30 which Chuck watched the Aggies lose to Ole Miss.  I hated that for him, but obviously, I had other things on my mind - like what to wear for the big race!


And then the day was upon me.
 

It was cold when we showed up at 5:30 AM in downtown Chicago.  I had a banana for breakfast and a cup of coffee which adequately moved things along (...if you know what I mean, and I'm sure  you do). I was berating myself for not wearing pants in the cold weather. 

I figured it wouldn't be that cold.  It was a low in the 50s and high in the 60s.  Absolutely perfect weather.  Just look at this skyline!

 
Sunny until late afternoon when the clouds rolled in with a small chance of rain.  By the time the race started, the sun was finally in the sky, but still cold and windy. 

The first wave of racers started at 7:45.  The second set of racers started at 8:00.  I was literally one of the last people across the start line at around 8:30.  This is what it looked like behind me.

And yes, it took me almost thirty minutes to get to the start line from my corral (corral K - the very last corral for beginners, elderly, injured, and amputees - not kidding).  Luckily, I was ready to take off my jacket at the start line and handed it off to Chuck on the sidelines the second time I saw him.  The weather was beautiful. I started out with a pace group that did a combination of running and walking.  They ran 5 minutes and then walked one minute throughout the entire race.  I kept up with them until mile 16 when I hit a wall.  I have to tell you that I felt pretty freakin' fabulous all the way through the first half.  But, then it seemed like maybe I failed to hydrate properly and failed to take the energy goo that I was supposed to ingest every 40 minutes.  So, I had a really, really hard time at mile 16.  Nonetheless, I kept pushing because I am nothing if not determined.

Plus, I had the most amazing group of people cheering me on!  Sweet Chuck skipped a huge Texas A&M home game to fly to Chicago and cheer me on - even when he thought there was a good chance that I wouldn't finish. He and our friends Bill and Patricia (and their two little boys - ages 9 and under 1) trudged out to the sidelines to watch me pass them all by at mile 14 and mile 16.  As for Chuck and Bill, they hauled their asses all over the city to see me at no less than 12 different spots along the race.  That is absolutely unbelievable!  I think most people have friends and family at only a couple places along the course, but I was blessed to have support almost every other mile.  It was so amazing and humbling.  And then, when they couldn't be there with me and they knew I was having trouble and feeling bad, I had to most amazing thing happen.  I started receiving text messages from friends and family all over this country - and even one person in Canada!  I was overwhelmed and close to tears because who would have thought that many people would make an effort to support me in such a way.  I was blown away!  So, please accept my humblest appreciation for everything everyone did to get me across this finish line.  Here are some of the pictures Chuck took (starting at Mile 11.5):

Mile 11.5


Mile 13.1


Mile 16 (feeling bad)


Mile 21


Mile 23

 
My view of the Finish Line
 


Most importantly, Chuck deserves so much praise!  He even walked with me for part of Mile 25 when I was pretty much hobbled up and not sure how much more my body could take.  After I crossed the line, I hobbled a couple blocks trying to find a way out of the protected area, but my feet were killing me.  I sat down and took off my shoes, then put them back on and hobbled another block, until I reached a grassy area and plopped down in relief.  I absolutely could not walk another step.  I iced my feet and struggled to give directions to Chuck to come help me.  That amazing man talked to multiple security guards trying to get back in the secured area to find me.  Eventually, he walked up with a security guard and then helped me back to the car (several city blocks) by letting me piggy back on him.  I absolutely would have accepted a wheelchair if one had been available.

So, here's the moral of the story.  Yeah, there isn't one.  I finished. That's it.  Out of sheer will power, I crossed that finish line.  And there is only one scenario where I can ever see myself doing that ever again.

Thank you a million times over to everyone who helped me get through this event.  It was incredible and I can still barely believe that it happened!

Eventually, I ended up on a couch with pizza and a sub sandwich and the sweetest people surrounding me!



The next day we headed to the airport where we drank beer each time our flight was delayed (3 times).  And I wore my medal the whole damn time even though the other marathoners were not so vain.  The truth is that I'd still have it on if it people wouldn't give me strange looks.  And my favorite part was finishing in 6 hours, 8 minutes, 47 seconds with an overall place 16,967th among females.  I don't think I'll ever forget those numbers.  What a weekend!