Tuesday, December 29, 2009

These Dreams

I had this horrible dream this morning before I woke for the day. I guess you could call it a recurring dream, as I have had it several times in recent weeks. I dreamt I went back to college and enrolled in a bunch of music classes.

Except, I didn't want to be a music major. But I had this overwhelming feeling that it was what everyone thought I should do, and so I was basically pressured into doing it. But, I found out (as I always do) that the required choir class was scheduled at a time that I couldn't attend it, because I had to take care of my kids. So I went to choir and made my appearance, then realized I needed to be home and so I left.

The weird/sad/twisted thing about it was, when I walked into the choir room, I had this attitude that I was somebody important or uber talented. I was some sort of choir big shot (lol yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that sounds.), or at least I thought I was. {Which is so incredibly laughable, as I was far from a key player in my college choir.} And I was waiting for people to react to my leaving.

...and no one did.

And for some reason it made me so frustrated; why, I am not sure. I didn't want to be there in the first place, so why would I care?

Dreams are so strange...

Speaking of dreams; I want to share some more of my real life dream, my beautiful children.

My oldest and his gorgeous, golden, sparkling eyes...

I can't get over how big he is getting. He is starting to look like a young man.
And the "baby", who is not much of a baby anymore; especially since he has decided to start talking some. He cracks me up. We can't understand a whole lot of what he says, but he will talk your ear off. And, he tells a great knock-knock joke. ;-)
My boys are always good-natured, reserved and calm. They are never goofy or cranky.

Meet Goofy...
And Cranky.
I don't know who they belong to.

Until,
D ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Home For the Holidays

Hello Everyone!
I trust you had a wonderful Christmas (or Friday if you don't celebrate. ;) ). We had a great day; the boys were excited and happy with their gifts. Santa brought Kiddo a new Star Wars Lego kit and Port got his first bicycle. Santa found a great deal on a used Huffy at Goodwill (only $5!!!) so we are excited to try and get both boys on bikes finally. Kiddo has had a bike for a couple of years, but he has never really taken to it. Port, on the other hand, has already cruised (assisted) around the house a few times on his and LOVES it! Now we just need to pick up some pads and a helmet for him (Santa forgot that) and he should be set to go.

Kiddo also got a Spiderman Xbox game and has not stepped away from the Xbox ever since. I hate that he is playing so much right now (it is a bit annoying) but I am hoping, as he has in the past, that he will wear himself out from it and we can all get an Xbox break. I am thinking that starting the new year we will be working on a tv/video game diet and so I am letting him get in what he can, when he can.

Even Port enjoys the xbox right now. When Kiddo plays, Port will pick up a controller, pull up a chair beside Kiddo and play right along with him. Of course, his controller isn't doing anything, but he doesn't know that. lol

Both boys got some much needed clothes (as did Hubby and I) and other smaller gifts. Kiddo loves his new Spiderman shaving set and his Leapster, Tag and V-Motion games and has already played with all of them. He kept saying over and over yesterday, "this is the bestest Christmas EVER!" It was super cute.

Kiddo woke us up yesterday morning bright and early, which was kind of a surprise for me because he didn't seem that excited the night before. It was torture for him to wait for Port to wake up. That 30 minutes of looking at all the presents but not being able to touch them just about killed him. Once Port was up we commenced to opening gifts, and the baby boy couldn't have cared less. He was more interested in Kiddo's toys, and honestly at one point Kiddo was more interested in Port's new bristle block set than his own things.

We headed out to the inlaw's property for our Fry family Christmas and we spent the day out there. The boys had fun playing and hanging out - though Kiddo mostly sat glued to the xbox.

Switching gears some here, we had some fun on Christmas eve. It snowed!!! All day, off and on we had flurries. The wind howled all day; it cleared out the massive piles of leaves we had covering our front yard and driveway (which was very nice) and it blew trashcans and flower pots all over the neighborhood. But in the midst of all that it made the air super cold and the rain clouds overhead had no choice but to drop little flakes all over. Nothing stuck, but it sure was cool driving out to the property with snow gusting all around. Port kept looking out the window and yelling "oooooo! preee!" (Port-speak for "ooh, pretty!"). He really loved it. It got super cold that night and we had a pretty good freeze. I haven't had a chance to look yet, but it may have wiped out what little is left of my garden.

Did I tell you my garden was destroyed a few weeks ago the last time it froze? Yeah. Sadness.

Today we have a day of rest before my parents come for their visit. We were supposed to go to Conroe for an extended family Christmas, but we decided last minute it was just too much to drive all the way out there and back in one day and then have visitors on Sunday. Plus, the $$ in gas made it even less practical. We will miss seeing the family though.

And speaking of seeing the family, I have some new family photos for you! If you are on my Christmas card list, you have already seen some of these, but I know many of you aren't so I will share them here.
{It appears we are very small people in front of a normal size fireplace.}

{Kiddo chewed through the log...no really. ;-) }

{My gorgeous boy #1}

{And the Cutie Patootie!}

I can't wait to hear all about your holiday! Leave me a comment and let me know how it went. :)

Until,
D :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

I know I haven't been around much lately, but I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
I will be back soon with lots to share! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Until,
D :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Face of Love

What a fantastic week it has been!

The holidays are in full swing, the Christmas "spirit" is in the air and people are ready to party!

On Friday I hosted the Musing Mommies holiday party at my house, and it was such a great experience! The ladies that came over were so fun! We did a cookie exchange and had lots of goodies to snack on throughout the evening.

I got my house looking pretty darn good; well, at least the parts my guests saw...lol! I did a lot of tossing things into baskets and boxes and moving them into the other rooms and the garage. It may take me a good long while to clean all that out, but in the mean time I am enjoying the clutter free living and office areas.

Saturday was a bit of a blur... I had planned on doing my Christmas shopping during nap time, but we got an unexpected call from my inlaws. They were in town looking at houses and they were sweet enough to stop by and take us to lunch! Unfortunately, the restaurant was slow, slow, slow, and by the time we got out of there we were 3 hours past nap time and the evening was coming fast.

I went shopping anyway, and got some things done, but man, it was a zoo out there. I hate shopping during the holidays. Next year, I am doing it all on line. The holiday madness is not for me.

I got home just in time to put the boys to bed, worked on our own family photos for holiday cards and crashed at a very late hour. Port woke me up at about 4am, and Hubby and I got to listen to him scream for a good 15 minutes after I changed his diaper and put him back in the crib. Thankfully he slept until after 8 so I got to recoup some of that lost sleep.

Church this morning was fantastic. Rick led the music {yes, I am on a first name basis with him. No, no not really. He doesn't know that I exist. ;-) } and I am so looking forward to watching him perform again at the Christmas eve service. It is such a blessing to have him in our church; he is just amazing.

I can't wait until our Christmas Eve service. Anyone want to come with us?

This afternoon I attended a holiday party with a wonderful group of ladies. I had so much fun! There was awesome food, great conversation, a little bit of poker playing (woo hoo! I won some money for Starbucks! ;-)) and, goodness gracious, Karaoke. Good Lord, that was a riot! Hopefully I didn't embarrass myself too much.

And hopefully we can do it again soon... :-D

Ok, back to editing and designing holiday cards. I think we are sending out New Years cards this year! ;-)

Until,
D ;)

ps. A little more holiday music for you! Love me some Jewel!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Greensleeves

Hello Everyone!

I know, NaBloPoMo ends and I drop off the planet. Well, it is just a crazy time for me, so blogging has kind of become something that gets forgotten a lot. I'm so sorry. I will get back to it soon enough. Thanks for hanging in there. I can't wait to talk with you again.

Can I just say, the little Port man ate something GREEN the other day! WAH HOO!! I can't believe it.

Wanna know what it was?

Spinach and eggs. Oh yea baby!

1 can spinach, 4 eggs, scramble in a skillet with a little seasoned salt and the kids gobble it up! YES!

Port says, "mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, goooooo (good)!"

Anyway, this is a quickie today, mostly because I wanted to check in and also because I wanted to tell you about a contest over at MyCharmingKids. MckMama is giving away an HP TouchSmart computer! Check it out and enter!

Much love and Holiday goodness to you all!
Until,
D :)

PS. In the spirit of the holidays, here is a little song for you. One of my favorites!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Sign Your Name

OMGosh I haven't been this excited in such a long time!

Last night

I got to meet

PIONEER WOMAN!

eeeeeee!!

Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, came to a local bookstore here in Austin for a book signing. Her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, went to #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, and she has been on a whirlwind book tour for the past few months.

I have had the date on my calendar ever since it was announced, but I honestly didn't think I would make it out.

Well I did, and I am so glad! The bookstore started passing out wrist bands at 4pm. I was able to make it there by 4:30, and they were already on the 3rd color group. My guess is there were approximately 100 bands per color group?? The first two groups, red and orange, were invited to a 6pm signing while the rest of us came back at the advertised time of 7pm.

After picking up my wristband, I sat in the parking lot waiting for Kim (my friend and Musing Mommies podcast co-host) and when she got there, we picked up a wrist band for her and then headed out for dinner.

We drove over to another local Austin joint, Shady Grove, and enjoyed a great dinner inside next to a huge fireplace. In all my visits to Shady Grove, I had never actually been inside. It is a really cute little place! Everything was cozy, dark and somewhat romantic, and the fire in the fireplace was absolutely perfect for the chilly evening. The food was great as always; I had a delicious turkey sandwich and salad with jalapeno lime ranch dressing, and Kim had a turkey club and fries.

Kim borrowed her hubby's iPhone so that we could record some snippets of the evening for our show. It was fun to be able to update facebook and twitter while we were there. Maybe someday I will have such awesome technology at my fingertips. It was kind of funny though, while she was a whiz at using all the cool iPhone apps, making a simple phone call on the thing was a bit of a challenge! lol ;)

We returned to the book store just before 7, and pushed our way through the crowd to a spot on the side in the back. It was standing room only on the second floor of the book store. As we were making our way back a group was making their way forward; 4 country kids and an icy blue-eyed cowboy. {wink} I yanked at Kim's arm as they passed, and when she looked at me like I had lost my mind I made the face. You know, the one that says "omg, look it's someone you should be looking at!". It was Marboro Man and the Punks, walking right past us!

At about 20 after 7, Ree finally made her entrance!

{See MM with the camera? I may end up in that picture! ;) }

She was super sweet and funny during the brief Q&A session. I had fun watching her kids, who were off to the side behind a rack of books, playing and sword fighting. It was kind of hard to hear from where we were standing, but for the most part the questions people asked were somewhat thoughtful. PW handled every question with grace.

After the Q&A she disappeared back upstairs, and the store employees began calling wrist band colors. Since I was in the yellow group, and Kim in the next group, green, we had a little wait before getting in line. Lucky for us, Marlboro Man was signing books at the podium area, so we hopped in that line first.

MM was super sweet too; soft spoken not very talkative, just like I imagined. Of course, I couldn't think of anything to say. I mean, how do you talk to someone you know so much about but who doesn't even know you exist? It is quite awkward.

{with Miss Kim...}

I made it into the official line as the last "yellow" person and Kim snuck in behind me just before they called green. It worked out perfectly! You would not believe the people cutting in line though. And amazingly enough, it was the older women in the group doing most of the cutting. I couldn't believe it! It's not like the lines were obnoxiously long or anything...

Once in the official line we only had to wait for maybe an hour or so. It was moving pretty steady so it wasn't bad at all. It seemed like PW's entire family was there; we saw her hubby and kids of course, her mom, and her sister and brother in law. Everyone was just as sweet as they could be, and you could tell they all enjoyed being there and being with each other.

When we finally got into the room my nervousness went into high gear. I know they are just regular people, but man, I really couldn't think of anything to say! I mean, the woman has the Midas touch! She has a ground breaking, blog world changing website, a #1 best selling book, a phenomenal family life, she home schools, runs a ranching household (oh the laundry!), she has successful dinner parties with other blogging super stars, she is interviewed by magazines and day time talk show hosts and she comes all this way...I get to see her in person and I can't come up with anything even remotely interesting to say!

Thankfully, I am a red head. Now.

lol

She said to me, "you know I used to be a red head."

And I should have said "well I used to be a blond!" but it got stuck in my head and I am pretty sure nothing but a grunt came out.

I do remember asking her if she was going to change her hair back to red. Beyond that, the conversation was a blur.

I just couldn't believe she was talking to me!

Thankfully, Kim tossed the iPhone up on the table and I think she recorded the whole conversation!

We also had her sign a book for a "Musing Mommy" - woo hoo! Giveaway time! ;-)

{Me and Ree. I luv her so much! I wanna be just like her when I grow up! ;) }

{Kim and Ree. Super cute!}

We scored a couple of cool PW t-shirts and had a nice little chat with her sister Betsy about the show. Betsy signed our books too, and she was so incredibly sweet about all our questions. We made our way out just before 10pm, and they had just called the last of the wrist band colors.

I don't know how they do it all with the signing for hours - my hands would have been nothing more than shriveled claws after just a couple of hours.

It was a wonderful experience and I hope she comes back in 2011 with her next book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Woo hoo!!

Maybe by then I can think of something interesting to say to her. ;)

Until,
D :)

PS. I had made a few of my mother's coconut balls to take to PW, but the boys didn't let me make very many and I didn't have time to package them up nicely so I ended up not giving them to her. They are so good though, so I want to share the recipe. My mom sent me the original recipe and I think, as with a lot of recipes, something got lost in translation over the years. So, I kind of had to wing it, but here is what I *think* it should be.

Coconut Balls

1 32oz bag powdered sugar
1 14oz bag shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk (the regular size can - 10 oz??)
1 stick of butter (just for you PW!)
1 qt Pecans chipped small (optional)
dipping chocolate or
melted chocolate chips mixed with a square of paraffin or a tbls (more or less) of crisco

Mix powdered sugar, coconut, condensed milk, melted butter and nuts (if desired) in a LARGE bowl. You may have to get your hands in it to really get it mixed up. You want the mixture to be moist enough to hold it's shape in the balls, but still slightly crumbly. (If it's too dry, add more condensed milk, if it's too wet, add more powdered sugar.)

Form into balls and dip each one in melted dipping chocolate or melted chips/paraffin or crisco mixture. Set on wax paper to harden or place in the refrigerator to set. Before setting, if desired, you can sprinkle some toasted coconut, sprinkles or little silve candy balls on top to gussy them up a bit.

Balls can be stored on wax paper in an air tight container and a cool place.

Enjoy!
~D


PPS. Hey there Company Girls! I didn't forget about you! Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Finish What You Started


Here it is, the last day of November, and the last day of NaBloPoMo. I can't believe I actually made it this year!

Hopefully now I can get back to more meaningful posts, rather than the play by play day to day stuff I've been writing. Though I have to say, I like having to write every day for the most part - I think it helps keep things flowing. So often during the rest of the year I think of all these great things to write about, and then have no motivation to sit down and write it. Perhaps I should challenge myself more with the blog.

Gratitude Monday


Speaking of challenges, since it is Monday, I am supposed to do a Gratitude Monday post.

There are so many people I can post about, I just don't know how to choose. God has placed so many amazing souls in my life. And to say something about them here simply won't be enough - I could never express in written word what they mean to me. They would have to hear my inner most self; they would have to feel the things I feel and get inside my head to truly understand. But still, I try. The post for Kim a few weeks ago was only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more I can say, but the words are never quite right. I will someday write about a life long friend, Rhonda, and a new friend, Rachel. When I can find the words that are right; when my head can focus and I can wrap my mind around something more than the immediate "to do" list on my desk, I will talk about them too.

On her private blog, Julia wrote a post about me and it was so moving and touching that I get weepy every time I read it (and yes, I go back and read it often). Her post encourages me to write one about her, and when I try to focus on Julia and the impact she has had on my life, my thoughts fly out in a million directions. She blows. my. mind. on a weekly basis. I have never known someone so giving, someone so brilliant, so intuitive and kind; someone so incredibly amazing. Julia has a heart that is immeasurable. Her soul is a soul of true giving and uninhibited charity. And her mind, my goodness, her mind is open to everything, full of ideas and thoughtfulness, facts and figures.

She speaks rapidly but with clarity and intelligence. She is funny and clever. Her body and mind knows no stillness, yet she is still able to make everyone around her feel welcome, relaxed, appreciated and wanted. She is an amazing hostess; thinking of everyone and everything and attending every need. She is a great mom to 2 amazing and gifted children and she beams with pride whenever she speaks of them. She is observant, a planner, a problem solver and critical thinker. And she has encouraged me and lifted me up on so very many occasions. She has shown me what giving really is. In observing her life, she makes me aware of how selfish I can be and how being charitable doesn't always mean giving "things" or money, but instead it can mean giving time, giving encouragement, giving knowledge and giving support.

She makes me want to be a better person.

She is a blessing to my life, and for that I am so grateful.

There is so much more I could say; so much more I want to say but I just can't find the words.

I hope that you, my readers, are able to find the words today about someone in your life. Pay forward the gratitude - tell them what they mean to you.

Bless someone with your thoughts and feelings today.

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Throw It Up

We drove back home from Houston yesterday, and walked in to our home to find a horror scene. Our cat, who usually is great with being left alone for a few days, completely destroyed our house, Linda Blaire style, by vomiting all over the living room, dining room (our office) and the bathroom. The only other room she had access to was the kitchen, and shockingly she didn't do anything in there.

And when I say she vomited everywhere, I mean everywhere! It was all over the 2 big area rugs we have in the living room, all over the hard wood floor, all over the dining room floor, Hubby's brand new office chair, my office chair, the kid's toys, the computer desks, the bathroom counter, the bathroom floor and all down the side of the cabinet. I don't know what the heck happened to her, but the house was like nothing I've ever seen. We had to pull up both rugs and a bunch of the kid's toys, throw what we could into the washing machine and hose down the rest in the driveway. It was absolutely disgusting, and totally not something anyone should ever have to come home to. We couldn't even let the kids in the house until most of it was cleaned up.

Today we decided to have a true day of rest. After 5 days on the go and the disaster we faced when we got home, Hubby and I both just wanted a day that we didn't have to worry about going anywhere or being anywhere on time. I worked on photography stuff and Hubby worked on his computer stuff. The boys played really well together most of the day. I think being away from the comforts of home and all of their toys made them appreciate everything more. They barely argued and actually played together as opposed to their usual parallel play.

Tonight I went with Kim and Shannon to see New Moon. The movie was excellent! I can't wait to see it again.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Strange

Ok so last night Hubby and I had ourselves a little date night. We left the kids with the inlaws and headed to downtown Houston to one of our favorite restaurants.

It was a place we used to go when we were dating, and a place we often went to on special occasions when we were in town. The place was always great; with amazing spiced tea, fried mushrooms and the best crawfish etouffee and fried crawfish around.

It had been about 4 years since we had been there, and it occurred to me on the way into town that we probably should have checked to make sure it was even still open. Thankfully, it was, but we were both surprised to find the parking lot practically empty when we got there. Now, it was just before 6:30, but it was also Friday night, so I really expected the lot to be it's normal, buzzing self. But then again, it was also the day after Thanksgiving...

We walked in, and there were only 2 other tables occupied in the entire place. The bar was completely empty and the patio was barren as well. We sat in a booth and ordered our "usual". One table left immediately after and by the time our food arrived the other table was gone too. At 7PM the entire restaurant was empty except for us. It was eerie. The food seemed about the same as we remembered, but we were slightly worried that we might be headed for food poisoning, just because there was no one else in the restaurant.

We were done and out of there in only about 40 minutes and tried to go over to Transco Tower to see the fountain, but the streets were blocked off. We decided instead to head to the opposite end of town for dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. The van was low on gas, but we had enough to get there and back home, so I didn't worry with stopping for a fill up. When we got on the freeway, the emergency alert signs were warning drivers of an accident ahead. We managed to exit the freeway just before the accident, and after sitting through several lights several times each, driving past 2 blocked entrance ramps and missing our highway exchange, we took a through street that cut over to the freeway we missed. We were stopped at the light in the turn lane to the freeway and I noticed there were panhandlers on every corner. Being from Austin, it was not an unfamiliar site, and Hubby and I were amusing ourselves by reading the sign one particular man was carrying. It was a strange mix of Spanish and English and really didn't make much sense. While Hubby was talking about it, I noticed another man on the corner, staggering around a real estate sign.

As I watched in disbelief, he turned toward the sign, unzipped his pants and assumed the stance...

We got back on the freeway and headed toward the Woodlands. The digital alert thingy on the van was telling us we had about 45 miles left on that tank of gas. We noticed it go down to 42 then 41 then it changed to "Low". The needle in the gas gage was well below the "E" line. But again, we discussed the fact that we didn't have far to go, and we headed straight for the restaurant. The Cheesecake Factory was great - fully seated and hoppin' as a restaurant should be. Hubby and I split a slice of lemon raspberry cheesecake and a slice of dutch apple, and were full, fat and sassy by the time we finished. We walked over to the Barnes and Noble to browse the books for a while - something we used to spend many evenings doing before we had kids. I picked up a thick book from the shelf that contained several hundred pages of business logos. It was in a different language, but the chapter headings were in English. I flipped through to the creative arts section and was perusing the many varied logos when one in particular caught my eye. It turns out, it is the logo for one of Hubby's friend's businesses! We tried to call him but were unable to reach him. He had no idea his logo had made it into a book containing the world's top 2000 logos!

We left the bookstore and walked back to the car. While driving through the parking lot, I noticed the digital gas display said there was 50 miles left on the tank. I looked down to the regular gage and the needle was resting comfortably on 1/4 of a tank. For a minute I really thought we had gotten into the wrong car! When we got back up on the freeway the digital display kept climbing. It was so strange that we decided to go ahead and stop for gas. We pulled off and into a Shell station and Hubby got out to pump the gas. He put his card in the reader, punched in our zip code and suddenly the pump started beeping. Then on the screen the words "ALL PUMPS ARE NOW SHUT DOWN" appeared. The entire gas station went silent. Patrons at the pumps looked at their screens and then to the clerk in the store. The clerk was going about his business, ringing someone up inside. There was no glance into the lot, no signal that things would be back to normal, nothing! So everyone got back in their cars and headed across the street to the Shell station on the opposite corner (why are they always on both corners??) and tried once again to get gas.

One full tank later and we were headed to the inlaws house. I exited the freeway to turn on to a street and as we rounded the corner at the turn, the van started dinging at me! "ding! ding! ding! ding!" No lights came on, nothing changed to indicate what the problem was; it just decided to ding.

Thankfully we made it home safely, shook our heads at such a bizarre night and went straight to bed.

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rest

After the most awesome night's sleep all week, Port woke me up at his "normal" 7AM this morning. I'm not sure if he was up in the night or not; I was so exhausted from the week that a freight train could have come through the room and I probably wouldn't have heard it. Kiddo did wake up coughing around 6AM, but a dose of benadryl put an end to that rather quickly.

I know it sounds like I give him benadryl a lot, but honestly, this week is the first time he's had any in months. Whatever is bothering his allergies is really doing a number on him this week.

Of course, it probably doesn't help that he has been sleeping on the floor everywhere we go. That can't be good for anybody for more than a day or two.

So today was just a lazy day. The bigger boys went to the autorama (car show) downtown and Grammy, Port and I just hung out most of the day. It was very nice not having an agenda, and it was even better knowing that I wouldn't have to pack everything up and drive for several hours.

Tonight my inlaws gave Hubby and I a chance at a date night. It was so great being able to get out and have dinner kidless, but it was by far one of the most bizarre night's I have ever had.

More on that, tomorrow.

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks That Was Fun

Well not long after last night's post, we went to bed, only to be woken up by the baby screaming at 3AM. Kiddo was still breathing erratically, and so neither one of us was sleeping very soundly to begin with.

So when the baby cranked up, I tried to comfort him and put him back down. No dice.

He was up, up. He didn't want to snooze in a chair or on the couch, he wanted to play and explore. My parent's house is extremely quiet and extremely well lit at night - the total opposite of the white noise blaring, pitch black house Port is used to. And just as I had given up and was about to put him back to bed, he spotted my mom's cat that had been hiding all day and all he wanted in this great big world was to pet that kitty.

Of course, when she heard his squeal, she promptly went back to her hiding place. This action, of course, sent Port into a tailspin of epic proportions.

The screaming went on. all. night. long.

*yawn*

A little after 8 we hit the road to head down to southern Louisiana to have lunch with Hubby's family. We stopped to get gas on the way out, and after an altercation between a cranky store clerk and Hubby, we ended up only getting about half a tank of gas*. According to the clerk, they "do things differently here in Shreveport." Soooooo, one ticked off Hubby, $30 in gas and a giant coffee for me later we were on our way. We took an old highway for a while to avoid any traffic that might be headed the same direction, and enjoyed a nice, scenic drive.

About an hour into the trip Kiddo started complaining that his eyes were itching, then his nose, and then the coughing started. I didn't have my children's liquid benadryl handy, so we had him swallow one capsule. It was his first ever attempt at swallowing pills, and he did great. He passed out sound asleep about 15 minutes later! lol

It took that seriously huge coffee for me to stay awake.

We made it to the family lunch just as everyone was gathering around the table. The food was great, the conversation was lively, and it was all a blur to me. I was so sleepy, I'm not even sure I spoke to anyone. After lunch, we headed over to Hubby's grandma's house to spend some time with her. 5 minutes in one of her comfy chairs and I was out. I'm not sure how long my family let me sit there, eyes closed and drooling on myself, but when I woke I felt much better.

We hung out with her for a couple of hours and then had to get back on the road to go to Houston. Since we were once again out of gas, we stopped at the nearest station to fill our tank. 10 minutes later, only $8 of gas had pumped. We decided that since we actually wanted to get to Houston within the next 24 hours we should probably find a different station. We went to the big station near the freeway, and I left the boys to pump the gas while I went inside in search of coffee. (ok, so the little boys stayed in their seats and the big boy got out to pump gas. ;) ) Coffee fetched, I was surprised to find Hubby already back in the van.

The station didn't take the type of credit card we use for gas purchases. doh!

So, back on the road and up the block to the next station, and we finally are able to fill the tank. Mercy!

We finally hit the freeway and Port decides the ride to Houston is the perfect time to practice his spontaneous yelling skills. Other than that, the trip was pretty uneventful. We enjoyed a late dinner, more cheesecake from lunch and are about to crash for the night.

It was a great but tiring Thanksgiving. I look forward to a lazy couple of days here.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!

Until,
D :)

*So the whole story with the gas station clerk... My parents gave us a gift card for gas, but I forgot to ask how much it was for. The card is only good in Louisiana and eastern states (not Texas) so we needed to use it while we were there. We went to the gas station and Hubby tried to use it at the pump but it didn't work so he went inside. I guess the clerk was cranky (I would be too if I had to work on Thanksgiving, but there was still no reason for him to act like this toward my husband); he asked Hubby how much was on the card and when Hubby said he didn't know, the guy gave him attitude about having to look it up. So then, he asked Hubby how much we wanted to use. Hubby again didn't have an answer because we needed to fill up and he didn't know exactly what total $ amount that would be. There was some tension in the exchange and when Hubby asked the guy if he could just pump till the tank was full and take that amount out of the total, the clerk told him that "no, we do things differently here in Shreveport." {and my question in response to that snide remark would have been "as opposed to where??" but alas, I wasn't in the store.) If Hubby told him we were using the full amount, and then pumped less in gas, the balance would be lost. So Hubby needed to tell him exactly how much he was going to spend. Not knowing how much we needed, and getting quite frustrated with the situation, Hubby told him $30 and so that is all we were able to use. It takes a lot to get Hubby riled up, and when I saw the look on his face (and the words he mumbled - eek!) as he came out of the store, I knew things were bad.

That's the long of it; just in case you wanted to know. ;)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rollin'

Morning came early today. Port woke me up just after 6. I should have let him fuss for a minute, but being in a foreign place (my SIL's house) I didn't want him to get freaked out when he woke up and didn't recognize his surroundings. I mindlessly went in the room he was staying in without listening first, and found him laying down to go back to sleep. Of course, that was the precise moment my ankle decided to pop, and the loud noise was enough to startle my baby back awake. Once he saw me, he was up for the day.

Aunt A took us all to breakfast this morning at this darling little hole-in-the-wall bagel & coffee shop near her house. If you are ever in that area, Iris Bagel and Coffee House is a must stop. The owners are so friendly, the service is great and the food is amazing.

We hit the road and headed for my parent's house. The kids did really well. Port slept most of the way and woke up cheerful. We made good time, hit no traffic and had no issues, except I kept trying to fall asleep (and I was driving). After a week+ of 6 hours or less of sleep a night, it was all finally catching up to me. We stopped at McDonald's so I could get something to drink and decided to get lunch while we were there. We ate in the car and not long after Kiddo alerted us that he needed to go to the bathroom.

Of course, we were in the middle of nowhere. And of course, he needed to go where he could sit down.

ugh

Thankfully, not long after we came upon a brand new road side rest stop. It was very nice, had lots of amenities and was very well kept.

Little did I know it was right outside of the town we were going to. lol! I didn't realize we were so close.

We made it to my parent's house, acquainted our dog with theirs and hung out in the back yard for a while so the boys and the dogs could play. We ate pecans right out of the yard and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Tonight we had our "Thanksgiving Dinner" at a semi-local Mexican food restaurant, Pasados. It was soooo good! That particular location has never been known for it's service, but we must have lucked out because we had a great time and the service was good. The boys enjoyed their dinner, and especially the complimentary ice cream afterward.

We got back and put the kids to bed. Kiddo woke up a little while ago coughing a lot. He was having a full on asthma attack. When he breathed, it sounded like someone was crumpling up tissue paper in his throat. After he's exhaled, this long wheeze comes out. It is slightly disturbing, especially since I have never heard something so bad, and both my husband and my best friend have asthma. It really scared me. I gave him a big dose of benadryl, and the coughing has stopped enough for him to sleep. We have decided to put him in bed with us so we can monitor him tonight.

Tomorrow, we shall hop in the car once again and head down state to southern Louisiana.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gotta Travel On

Last night Hubby and I were up until the wee hours, trying to do productive things for our trip this week, but sadly only made it through folding several thousand loads of laundry. The morning came early and we were dragging, trying to get out the door at a decent hour for the drive to my sister-in-law's house up near Dallas. We ended up leaving about 3 hours later than planned, but managed to hit very little traffic on the way. There was one place that had the freeway narrowed down to 1 lane, and that had traffic backed up for about a mile.

And seriously, why on earth would the highway department choose Thanksgiving week to patch a small section of the freeway?? Surely it could wait until after the busiest travel days of the year??

Anyway, the boys traveled well for the first half of the trip (re: the baby was sleeping) but then the ride got ugly as my 1 yr old launched into his favorite rendition of his very own original one man show, Scream (no, not the movie).

But, despite the screaming, we made it there safely and were greeted by my cute, bubbly sister in law. We spent some time at a local park so the boys could play. They climbed, slid and played on the swings while Hubby, Sister In Law (SIL) and I tried not to freeze to death. The wind was icy cold coming off the lake - it was chilling us to the bone.

At one point, Kiddo was talking to a little girl there that was probably a somewhere between 2 and 3, and I overheard him say to her, "don't worry, Jesus is with you always."

Oh mercy!

Back at the SIL's house, Kiddo played video games and we hung out. Then SIL made some yummy homemade pizza for dinner. Tonight we are going to hang out next to the fire pit out side for a bit and visit with them while we can. In the morning, we are off to my parent's house in Louisiana.

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Paint It Golden

Our Kiddo (5 yrs) is a bit of an odd kid. I am afraid he is destined for a childhood full of getting beat up a lot.

Don't get me wrong, he is an awesome kid and I love him to pieces, but he really is a bit odd in some ways.

He is very talkative (which amazes me daily considering Hubby and I are so NOT talkers) and inquisitive, and, uh...

dramatic.

So...I suppose it is only natural that Hubby and I have noticed his flair for the dramatic. And sometimes Kiddo will do things that seem a bit too feminine for our liking.

The other day I was painting my toenails a lovely shade of dark blue, and Kiddo was commenting on my "pretty toes" and how much he liked them.

On a whim, I decided to do something fun, and paint his thumbnail the same shade of blue.

I thought, given his tendencies, he would like it.

I was so wrong.

He flipped out! He seemed shocked at first; looked at it over and over with a perplexed look on his face. Then he seemed to panic a little and told me that he wanted me to take the polish off "right now!"

Apparently, according to my little drama king, painting nails is "girl stuff".

I guess he taught me a thing or two. ;-)

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Be Grateful

Our Sunday church service was so awesome today. The preacher is still preaching on the lost virtue of Gratitude. Our assignment for the week is to write a letter to someone telling them what they mean to you.

Of course, there are a couple of people who have been placed on my heart to write to. I have no idea when I am going to be able to do it. This week especially, we will be so busy...

One of the things I am so grateful for is the praise and worship team that performs every Sunday. Their music is always such a blessing. There are a couple of members that are my favorites; and when they are on the stage singing it makes my experience with the music that much better. One of my favorite girls was up today. I just love it when she is singing.

I was a blubbering mess today.

I am beginning to think I may never get over this affliction; whatever this is that causes me to cry like a baby now when singing praise music. I sang in a church choir for years - this shouldn't be happening.

But I have discussed this before.

I had another great night of editing. Hubby left me alone to work, Pandora radio was knocking it out of the ballpark and I was an editing mad woman. It was awesome. I looked up from the computer at one point and it was 1:30am. It went by so fast!

Hopefully tomorrow will be just as productive.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Music of the Night

I have seen friends talk about it on Facebook, but for some reason, for months I have avoided checking it out. I knew if I did, I would most likely be hooked.

And sure enough I was right. Today I checked out Pandora Radio.

O
M
G

All I did was plug in my favorite artist and Pandora created a station with all my favorite songs. It was amazing!

If you are a music buff and you spend a lot of time on or near the computer, this is the site for you.

Tonight I am having a mass editing session. The hubby is out with a friend, the kids are in bed, the house is quiet, I am sufficiently caffeinated and I have Pandora playing all my favorite songs. It is the first time in over a week I feel happy and joyful and content. I am tired, but I am absolutely loving the images I am producing and my passion for photography is being renewed rapidly.

It is a good night.

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Night Fever

Kiddo-speak for your Friday enjoyment...

After being house-bound with a sick Port all week, we were finally feeling well enough to get out and run some much needed errands. I was ready to go just as the PBS show Dinosaur Train was starting. It is one of Kiddo's favorites right now, and he was pretty upset that I was making him miss it. He pitched a mini fit on the way out, but seemed to forget about it by the time we got in the car. After hitting the bank, we pulled out of the parking lot and the whimpering began.

"Mommy I am crestfallen." {thank you Word Girl}
Why are you crestfallen?
"Mommyyyy...I am so crestfallen!" (whimper, whimper, whine)
Yes Kiddo, I heard you. I know you are upset and I am sorry but we have things we need to do today and we couldn't wait for your show to be over.
"But you made me leave! Now I am going to have nightmares!!" (much wailing and fake crying for several minutes; during which time I am trying not to sigh too loudly as I roll my eyes.)
Then suddenly it is quiet. A long pause and then...

"Mommy, what is a nightmare?"

~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~

I hit a wall today. After another sleepless night with Port, a 2AM scream fest from ear pain, and an extremely tired, upset, screaming boy all day today, I am just done. I have spent most of the day crying myself; feeling helpless to make the baby feel better and feeling like a bad mom for constantly brushing off Kiddo so I can try to care for Port.

Kiddo is really acting out about the lack of attention. All week I have been pushing him away and putting him off because if I am able to get the baby settled and off of me for only a minute (and it is never longer than that) I certainly don't want Kiddo all up in my face. I haven't slept all week and I am exhausted and worn out and I need a break. For most of the day Port wasn't eating, he was refusing pain meds and he was still running a 102+ fever. I am forcing him to take the meds, and the screaming and crying that task incurs prolongs the fussiness. He won't nap unless he is on me and I just know this is creating new bad habits that are going to be so hard to break.

After trying different foods all day in an attempt to get him eat and cursing every time he refused and I had to throw something out - I finally found something he would eat.

Mac-n-cheese.

Seriously! Why didn't I try that first?!? It's quintessential kid food! He gobbled it up.

Thank Goodness!

About 30 minutes later he was energized; running around and smiling! And then he ate everything in the house. I guess after not eating for a few days he had some catching up to do.

This evening has gone much better, but he started to crash again just before bedtime. I am hoping for a peaceful night, but I am not holding my breath.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sinking

Last night was a lot better. Port slept from 7pm until 5am and then he was basically up for the day. He didn't seem too feverish, but still a bit warm, so I gave him another dose of ibuprofen. He seemed fine this morning so we went out and ran a bunch of errands. I needed to stock up on disposable diapers (no way I am doing cloth with a baby on antibiotics. Ick!), yogurt and probiotics.

By lunch time he was pretty wiped out. He drank 1 1/2 of those drinkable yogurt things, but he wouldn't eat lunch so I put him down for a nap. He slept for about 45 minutes then woke up crying pretty hard. Usually I would just leave him in the crib to go back to sleep, but with him being sick I decided to check on him. He was burning up and holding his ear again. Poor guy. I gave him more ibuprofen, put some drops in his ears and he slept in my lap for about an hour.

He perked up for a while; he had lots of fun chasing the dog with his toy lawn mower, but then around 6:30 he cratered again. At dinner he was burning up and glassy eyed. He still won't eat. I put him to bed with a full strength bottle of formula, hoping it will make up some for the lack of food today.

{yeah, I don't want to talk about the bottles. I am picking my battles right now, and I would rather him stay hydrated than force him to drink from a sippy.}

I hope he gets some good rest tonight. It pains me to see him like this. I am worried about the fever still hanging around, but I guess his body is just fighting that infection. I was hoping that once the antibiotics were introduced, the fever would fall by the wayside. It's bad enough the poor baby is now dealing with the beginnings of diaper rash from all the pooping. I am doing my best to keep him clean and dry, but the darn poops don't smell and he's being sneaky about when he does them.

I just want my baby to feel better. All the attention I am giving him in effort to make him feel as decent as possible is starting to take it's toll. My work is suffering, the house is beyond destroyed and life in general is kind of sucking. Poor Kiddo is really suffering; acting out to get attention and doing things he never would do otherwise. I am never going to get caught up.

Until,
D

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ear Candy

Well I finally gave in and took Port to the doctor. After being up all night again and going through a 2AM scream fest where he was in absolute excruciating pain, I just couldn't risk putting him through another night of all that (and honestly, I needed the sleep). So I called the doctor at 8:30AM and we got an appointment for 10:45.

We pulled into the parking lot, I got Port out of the car and realized that after 3 full days and nights of 102+ fever and a temp check at 8:30 of 102.4, he felt.....cooler.

By the time the nurse checked his temp in the exam room, he didn't even have a fever.

STINKER!

Of course! But, there was still significant fluid in both ears, definite signs of infection (thankfully no perforation) and he was still extremely cranky. The doc swabbed him for a flu test just in case, because he was concerned with how high the fever had been. The flu test came back negative (thank God!) so he wrote us a script for a big antibiotic and some pain drops for the ears. Port actually did really well in the doctor's office; he screamed when he was examined but was relatively calm otherwise. He even learned a new word, "dot". lol! The exam room has all these goofy stickers on the walls; Nemo and Tinkerbell...and some flowers, mushrooms and different colored dots. Port took a liking to the orange dot behind the exam table, and after telling him it was a dot a couple of times, he started saying "dot, dot!". It was, of course, super cute.

And of course, the fever came back as soon as we left.

So we have a follow up exam 2 weeks from now, and the doc insisted that we do Port's missed 18 month well check at that time too. So much for putting that off in an effort to avoid doctors offices. *sigh*

On a side note, I found out our pediatrician is suffering from Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He looks great though and says he is "surviving". I can't imagine working as hard as a doctor does and suffering with the debilitating treatment from such a disease. He said he was stage 4, which makes me even more amazed at how great he looks.

But back to Port - one dose of antibiotic and some drops in his ears and he is like a new kid. He still isn't eating much and he refuses to nap in his crib, but otherwise he seems to be doing much better.

Hopefully we can get him to sleep in his crib tonight.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fever


This has been a miserable day. Port and I were up all night. He is still feverish (102 and over since Sunday morning) and pawing at his ears. They have been draining; I am thinking he either has 2 perforated ear drums or the fever is melting all the built up wax. I kept thinking I was going to take him to the doctor, especially after the night we had last night, but for the most part he is acting relatively normal; running around and playing, being silly and laughing. But every hour or so he quiets down and gets fussy. He wants to cuddle on the couch a lot. We fell asleep on the couch together a few times. He had a good nap between 10:30 and 12:30, but when he woke up he was burning up again.

Each time I resolve to call the doctor, he seems to get better. I don't want to take him unless I absolutely have to. Of course, he started going down hill this afternoon at about 4:45 and of course the doctor's office closed at 5. I suppose I should take him in tomorrow no matter what. Three days of 102 fever can't be good for anybody.

Until,
D

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sailor Song

I know today is supposed to be a Gratitude Monday, but I am dealing with a very sick and cranky boy today and no sleep last night so I just don't have it in me for a long post. I will try to get a GM post up some time this week, hopefully when we are all feeling better.

In the meantime, I will leave you with the cute little ditty I overheard Kiddo singing to himself as he was preparing to brush his teeth this morning. He was recently introduced to the Popeye movie by his Happy, and so now all day we hear variations on this tune.

"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man, toot toot!
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man, toot toot!
I always brush my teeth,
So I can be super strong.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man, toot toot!
I love to go swimmin wif bowlegged wimmen,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man! Toot toot!"

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In One Ear

This isn't going to be much of a post. But in the spirit of NaBloPoMo I have to publish something.

It's been a long day. Little Port woke up running a fever and pulling on his right ear. The poor guy is a mess.

Hubby took Kiddo to church without us and we've spent the day being miserable. This is his first ear infection that I know of. I have a feeling it's going to be a long night.

Thankfully I have my weekly Musing Mommies meeting at Starbucks tonight. This week we will be talking about the second book in the Twilight series, New Moon. I am excited about having some guests recording with us. We should have a great time.

And in the interest of entertainment, I will leave you with this amazing video. Enjoy!


Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Light Up The Sky

He's going to be a blast at Christmas!
video

This was taken a few weeks ago. It was the first time we had turned on the little stringed lights we have over our deck. Port was totally enamored with them and he kept doing that weird little laugh. It was hilarious!

We turned them on again recently so we could eat dinner out on the deck and it reminded me of this video. This time though, instead of the funny little laugh, he talked to them in the most peculiar voice.

I can't wait till we bring out the Christmas lights!

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Square One



Welcome Company Girls and Beloved Regulars!

I can't believe it is Friday again already! This week just flew by. Come on in, my fridge is stocked with Peppermint Mocha creamer and the coffee is always hot!

I posted these to facebook, but I don't think I shared them on here. I wasn't able to take the boys to a proper pumpkin patch this year due to all the rains, but we did venture with some friends over to the local YMCA. They had their own "pumpkin patch" {read: 10 pumpkins on a wood flat and then a gated yard area with a bunch of hay bails and decorations. lol} so we tried to take some pictures there. I had a hard time getting anything decent, but these were the best of the lot.
Port was not happy sitting amongst the pumpkins. Much like last year, he kept pushing them away from him. Then big brother jumped and and all I got was "the face".I can't believe how much Port has grown this year! Looking at last year's pictures - on my!

Oh well. Maybe I'll have better luck next year!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Go ahead, pull out the holiday cds, it's not too early!

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thoughts Before Me

Reposting an old post of mine from 2006. It has always been one of my favorites and I thought it deserved a rebirth.

Superstition, Joy and God's Whispers

Before I start, I want to apologize for being away for a few days. Our lap top is in the shop and therefore I am cut off from the world with no internet access. I pestered Hubby enough today that he signed us up for a 30 day free trial of dial up, just so I could feed my addiction and check email and such. The dry heaves have stopped, but it is taking everything I have not to log on to BabyCenter - I miss you mommas!


Anyway, I am sitting in the Junk room that is supposed to be our office, typing clumsily on the dinosaur of a desk top that we have in here. Oh, how I miss the effortlessness of lap top keys - but all is well, I have a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk and I am ready to begin!


This post has been swirling around in my head for some time now and it took something happening today for me to finally be motivated enough to sit down and write it out.


I have a hard time experiencing Joy.


There, I said it. Really, I do. Only a few times in my life I have had that feeling; when all is right in the world and I am content and peaceful and smiling; you know the one, right? I have rarely ever been just over the top happy - and I shall tell you why. Now, I am not a superstitious person per say; I don't avoid cracks in the sidewalk for fear I will break my mother's back, nor do I worry much when a black cat crosses my path. After all, I had black cats mainly when I was growing up so I actually thought of them as good luck. But some things tend to stick in the back of my mind that others would label as superstitious.

It seems like every time I have had that feeling, it was immediately followed by a tragedy. I can name a few times - when I was about 15, I had been reunited with a childhood friend and was able to spend the weekend with her at her parents house. We had a terrific time; talking, laughing, all that girlie stuff, and when we woke up the morning that I was to go home, I remember standing in the mirror brushing my hair and reflecting on the weekend. I had that feeling - the one of happiness and contentment, "joy" I guess. And I was so excited for the first time in a long time. About that moment was when her mother came into the room and told me to get my things and that my parents were picking me up early. Turns out, my cousin, whom I was very close to, had committed suicide.


I could go on and on with examples. I was given an amazing graduation gift of a trip to the Cayman Islands and the week after I got back my boyfriend (who I though was my soul mate) dumped me. Every time there was an extreme life high, I would get hit by an extreme low. When I had my son, a perfectly normal and happy pregnancy turned into a frightening delivery and a very sick child with no explanation for several days. My best friend, who was supposed to have her first born only 9 days before mine, tragically lost her baby at 38 weeks gestation.

I guess lately I have been trying to make sense of all of this. Trying to understand why every time I start to let my guard down and enjoy life something like this happens. I know everyone has ups and downs; that's how things work of course, but the fear of the downs is what keeps me from really allowing myself to experience the joys of life. I am always guarded, always afraid of the next thing that will come around the corner. And often times I can really spiral down into a depression. I try not to let it show, but I am sure people know.

In the past I could lock myself in my room and play depressing music and cry it all out until I felt better. But as an adult with a husband and a child, there is just not room for such things. It's no wonder to me that mothers are the silent sufferers. They are forced to take care of everyone first, and if there is time left in the day, maybe, just maybe we can cry in the shower or in the car on the way back from the grocery store...

I often cry in the car or in the shower. How sad is that?

But, in all of this, I have to say that I do have a saving grace. God whispers to me. He doesn't do it often, but when he does, his timing is perfect. (of course it is, right?) Shortly before I turned 21 I was at probably the lowest part of my life. The locked in the room nights were way outnumbering the normal and I was at the end of my rope. I was driving to work (crying in the car) and suddenly that feeling came over me. It was Joy - pure, untainted joy. All my troubles didn't exist and suddenly I heard a voice in my head saying "have faith" over and over. A warmth washed over me and filed all the empty places - it was like nothing I had ever experienced. That was the day I got saved; I called the preacher at the church I had been singing with through the university and asked for a meeting. I had no idea really of what being saved meant, but I knew it was what I need to do.

Fast forward to today, again driving in my car with Kiddo on the way to the grocery store. I have been down a lot lately. It gets worse around the glorious PMS time and then tends to subside a week or so after, but lately the sadness has been sticking around a lot. I don't know what it is; I can't explain it, other than the sheer fact that we, like most people, can never seem to get on top of finances; something it always breaking or in need of repair, or we have a medical bill or the insurance premium goes up AGAIN - it never ends, I know. But it has really gotten to me lately and I can't seem to shake the funk. So today we are driving and that feeling came over me - warm and fuzzy and inviting - and the song on the radio (it was Nickelback - "Far Away") played softly in the back ground. Now, the song is new and so I am not terribly familiar with the words yet, but what was loud enough to hear were the phrases "keep breathing", "hold on to me" and "I will love you". And, though it seems silly writing it now, I knew it was God, whispering - gently reminding me of His love and Grace. And I know that no matter the troubles I think I have, if I just keep breathing and hold on to Him, I will be alright.

And so I just want you all to know the same thing. Hold on, keep breathing. We will make it.

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.
Until,
D :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Climb

From the living room: "Mommy, Mommy look! We're friends!" I round the corner and see this...
Sweetest. Thing. EVER!

This morning, Port figured out how to climb up on the playscape in our yard so he could slide down the big slide.

Scared the buh-jeepers out of me!
{Yes, I know. Mismatched jammies again. It is a sickness.}

I had been lifting him up and putting him at the top and then helping him down. Then he decided he wanted me to set him on the end of the platform so he could walk over to the slide and sit down himself. Then he wanted me to put him at the top of the "rock wall" climbing side so he could take the last couple of steps up to the platform. Then he ran over and climbed up all the way by himself.
Look at that determination!
The boy is nothing if not organized and meticulous.

He still wants me to hold his hand on the way down the slide. I am ok with that. ;-)

It looks like we are going to have to put a safety bar back up on the platform. The drop down if he were to fall off the back (pretty likely considering how narrow the platform actually is and how open the back entrance from the monkey bars is) he could get seriously hurt.

At nap time today you can find me with hammer and nails in the back yard. {in my best Tim Allen man grunt} ahr, ahr, ahr!

The whole thing reminds me of the first time I caught Kiddo on top of the playscape. He was a bit over 2 years old though.

{awwww! vintage Kiddo pictures!! circa September 2006}

I guess Port is ahead of him in the climbing department.

So it looks like I get to play spotter for a couple of weeks until I am confident he isn't going to dive off the platform.

So much for getting any work done.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Picture Window

Some pictures (by Hubby) from carving pumpkins right before Halloween...

Port likes anything that is just the right height for him to sit on.
Cutie Patootie!
Yum! Pumpkin slime!!
Today is going to be one of those busy days so I think I will get my post out here earlier than usual. I posted a great sneak peek on my photography blog yesterday and I would love for you to check it out. It is about my latest senior rep. I am stepping out of my normal editing style and trying a little bit edgier treatment for Kyle, to go with his unique style. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Gratitude Monday, Week 2

Gratitude Monday

Well it's Monday again and since I started this thing I had better stick with it. Of course, this will probably post late because my head is just swimming right now with deadlines, client edits, client orders, bills, laundry and cranky children. After a few days away from home, the stuff I need to do is crashing down on me with brute force.

But there should always be time in my life for a little gratitude, right?

Today I am going to talk about someone I have never met, but who has impacted my life in a profound way.

Today I am talking about Baby Stellan and the MckMama family.

To know their blog and their story is to know
-how to use lots of tissues. You will cry when you read their story.
-true strength that comes only from the supernatural power of God
-miracles do happen
-that even the smallest of humans can invoke prayer and conversations with God all over the world
-that someone so incredibly cute and seemingly perfect can be so terribly sick, near death, and still amazingly perfect
-that God has the perfect plan for all of us, and that even as humans we can trust in His infinite wisdom and grace.

The MckMama and Stellan story is a world wide phenomenon that has reached people across the globe. It has brought people to their knees, started movements of picture taking and prayer gatherings, and touched so many lives that every time I check her blog I am blown away by the sheer magnitude of it. It is an amazing display of God reaching out to us, to spread His word, to reach the multitudes. It is a gift.

It has made me appreciate my babies even more. It has taught me to slow down, step away from the computer and appreciate the blessings I have. Because, it has taught me that you never know how long you have with someone.

Thank you MckMama for giving us all an amazing gift. For sharing your story with the world and allowing us into your lives so that we can lift you up in prayer, cry with you, cheer with you, and generally be involved in most every thing you do. You have taught me so much, and for that I am truly grateful.

Baby Stellan had an extremely risky surgery yesterday that, by all accounts so far, was completely successful at eradicating his SVT without any life long complications. Praise God for an amazing, mind blowing miracle!

Until,
D :)

If you participated in your own Gratitude Monday, leave me a comment in this post and I will come visit your blog. Thanks so much!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Accident Prone

We made it back home safe and sound. It was a wonderful weekend! I shot a couple of sessions and Hubby did as well.

Of course, it wouldn't be a road trip with the Fry's if everything had gone smoothly. During Hubby's photo shoot on Friday, he backed my van into a pole. We now have to replace the tail light. The bumper has some dents and a lovely smear of blue paint, and the fender is messed up a bit as well. Hubby seems to think he can buff out the majority of the scratches and straighten out the dent, but we shall see.

Port broke his car seat while we were there too. I had taken off the cover to wash it because he flooded it on the way to Houston. The bare seat was sitting on the floor in my inlaw's kitchen, and Port walked up to it and ripped a big section of the styrofoam right off the frame. *sigh*

The whole weekend was full of ups and downs, and I am now so exhausted that I can't even think straight. I will blog about it when I have had a good night's sleep and a couple cups of coffee.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Golden Light

Today was a nice day - pretty slow; no demands or important things to do until my session. I managed to get some work done on the computer. Editing on this laptop is almost completely impossible. As soon as I open up photoshop the whole thing starts running at about 1/4 speed (and it's already unreasonably slow). Any time I try to save or majorly alter a photo, the whole thing locks up for about 5 minutes. Needless to say, creating one thing takes for-evah!

My photo session this evening was fun. It was good catching up with an old friend and hanging out with her sweet boy. The botanical gardens we chose to shoot at were gorgeous; a fact driven home by the sheer multitude of professional photographers on the grounds. There was a bridal party, an engagement session, several family sessions and a baby session going on at the same time we were there. Finding space to shoot was quite the challenge.

The worst part though, was that the gardens closed promptly at 5:00. And the best light right now for sunset sessions is between 4:45 and 5:15. The obnoxious person on the loud speaker started barking at everyone to leave at 4:30, even though the parking lot and gated exit were only yards away. The announcement at 4:45 was borderline rude. I am tempted to send an email to the management. When most of the visitors are only 15-20 feet from the parking lot, a 15 minute "everyone needs to leave NOW" is not polite nor necessary. And the tone of the mysterious speaker made it even worse.

Maybe I was just cranky.

It was a bit humorous though that all the regular patrons had left, and only the photographers and their clients remained after the 15 minute warning. None of us were willing to give up that finally nice warm light.


We had dinner at a nearby Cheddar's restaurant with the family. Pretty decent food and great prices. The place was packed as usual. I have never seen so many women wearing bad makeup and gold lame'. And there were fake Coach purses everywhere! Gotta love North Houston!

Tomorrow I have another holiday session and then we are headed home.

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Visit The Moon


Happy Friday Company Girls and Beloved Readers!
I am kind of off today - we packed up the fam and drove to Houston last night and so all day today I have felt like it is Saturday. It wasn't until I saw MuMo Kim's coffee post over at Musing Mommies that I remembered it was actually in fact only Friday.

So come on in, we are visiting at my inlaws home today. I just made a wonderful smelling Carmel Glazed Apple Cake and I am thinking about skipping dinner and just diving into that cake pan with my own fork!

And yes, I bake at other people's houses too! I am a nut!

I hope you all had a good week. I am still on the busy train; trying to get all my sessions edited and all the orders in. I am still shooting too - this time of year is always a crazy ride with how busy I get. I can't seem to keep my head above water, but of course it is, in my opinion, the best kind of water treading.

So this weekend will be full of photo sessions and coffee with friends, apple cake and good visiting with the family. My boys will be spoiled and we will all be exhausted, but I look forward to the time away from home.

I hope you all also have a wonderful weekend! I look forward to reading your blogs.

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wrinkle In Time

Even though we have 2 professional photographers in the family (myself and Hubby), several very good hobbyists and various picture taking fanatics, it is very rare that anyone ever takes a picture of me. And when they do it is often terribly unflattering or embarrassing.

So most of the time I am forced to take pictures of myself. This task really leaves me the only option of producing the dreaded "myspace photo".

You know the one...

Hold the camera at arms length, point it at your face, strike a pose and hope for the best.

Yeah, so try that with a 4-5 pound camera/lens combo a few times and you can see how uncomfortable and annoying it can be.

Anyway, I was on a kick a while back with doing daily self portraits, but after about 15 I lost interest. It was just too difficult to get a decent one without a remote. There is only so much you can do from 2 1/2 feet away.

But every now and then I need to take one; in recognition of my birthday or a new hair color - such as the one I took last Thursday.
Not a bad shot - and I of course love my hair.

But unfortunately, the things I do see in this photo are kind of depressing.

I see my age creeping up on me.

Now, I know I am not that old yet, but I am definitely no spring chicken. It's just that my face is really starting to show it now. My once smooth skin has wrinkled in way more areas than I notice on a daily mirror inspection. If I zoom in to that image above the results are a bit frightening.

I know not everyone is going to get that close to me of course, but since I don't carry around a hand mirror and check my reflection in every possible light situation, I can only assume that sometimes (and probably more often than not) the "face" I am putting forward is probably somewhere close to the mid point or lower on the good skin day/bad skin day scale. The wrinkles, the dryness, the imperfections can not be hidden by good lighting and Photoshop fixes in my daily life (oh how I wish I could keep a clone tool in my make-up bag!).

So, I am left with a decision. Face my face and embrace it and learn to love my wrinkles, or fight like heck to delay the aging process for as long as possible.

I remember sitting on a restaurant patio one sunny afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona. A family was seated at the table next to us - mom, dad and a few kids. The kids were probably elementary and middle school aged, and the parents probably close to the age I am now. The mom was striking - long blond hair and beautiful features; her skin a rich, deep Arizona tan. She was extremely wrinkled on her face and arms, no doubt from years of sunning and outdoor living. And I recall mentioning to Hubby how pretty she was, despite the wrinkles, and how I hoped that if I were to wrinkle that way that I could make it look as good as she did.

My mom never really seemed to age much until recently. She held on to her smooth skin and youthful looks well into my college years. Even now she still doesn't look her age. I look at pictures of her from when she was my age and I think she looks a lot younger than I do now. And at that time my dad was a 3 pack a day, in the house/car/office smoker. So she was exposed to skin damaging chemicals all day and night. She still looked amazing.

I wonder if aging is all relative. I wonder if the reality is, it has nothing to do with genes or skin care or healthy lifestyle. I wonder if it is all in the way you carry yourself. Perhaps it is all in the attitude you take and you soul, your inner most being, whether aging is a graceful or disgraceful process.

The woman in the restaurant was happy; smiling, confident, joyful. She loved her life and it was evident in the way she talked and smiled and carried herself. It was obvious in the way the wrinkles had formed on her face. They were laugh lines and eye crinkles from lots of smiling and laughing. They were from happy days and a good life.

I don't know what kind of wrinkles I have. I hope they are from laughing at and with my children. I hope they are from the beaming smiles the kids bring to my face when I see them. I pray that I can one day wear them confidently and boldly show the world the good life I've had by wearing it on my skin.

But for now I look at the images and lament the wasted youth I once had. The smooth skin, the flat tummy and the natural blond hair are all gone. I rebel against the natural aging and darkening of my hair by transforming it to colors it was never meant to be. And I like it that way. But sometimes I wish I had appreciated my youth while I had it. And I hope that I can appreciate my middle age and my old age as they come.

I look at the pictures and I try to learn these lessons.

But I can't see past the imperfections just yet.

Until,
D :)

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