Thursday, December 23, 2010


It's been a long time since anybody has called you that. The name Savannah is quite a mouthful for someone who is just learning to talk so you shortened it to "Nina" and that nickname stuck for many years. Eventually you grew into your name and it has been such a blessing to be your mother all these years. You are proof that my prayers did not fall on deaf ears. Happy Birthday Nina! We love you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tis The Season

Yesterday I went shopping with the bestie. Our intention was to shop with purpose and knock off some of the names on our Christmas lists. I don't know what we were thinking because we don't shop well together. Oh we have a good time laughing, sampling yummy things we shouldn't be sampling, and talking each other into buying things for ourselves, but doing productive Christmas shopping for others just never seems to work out on our excursions. While I came home last night with two really cute shirts for myself, I didn't put much of a dent in my Christmas list so I ventured out this morning to conquer the mall.

And it was awful.

The first stop was Target. It was quiet and surprisingly not crowded. In hindsight I should have made that my only stop and just bought everyone on my list Target gift cards Oh hindsight you are so smart.

Shortly after I exited the Target parking lot en route to the mall, I noticed a man in a truck next to me trying to get me to roll down my window. Thinking something was wrong with my car I rolled down the window so I could hear what he was saying and this is what he said: " Hey baby what's your name?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? Thinking this guy was either smoking crack or just coming out of prison and seeing a woman for the first time in years, I gave him a not so nice look and took off. He must have mistook that not so nice look for a come- hither look because he continued to follow me and try to get me to tell him my name. Seriously does that really work for anybody? Looking back I should have been more alarmed than I was ( there's that hindsight again) but I was actually just getting ticked off so I took out my cell phone and acted like I was taking his picture and then slowed down to get behind his truck to take a picture of his license plate. I say acted like because I really don't know how to use the camera on my phone but I must have looked convincing to him because he took off and I continued on to my destination.

Ahhh the mall on a Saturday right before Christmas..... need I say more? Probably not... but I will.

After finally finding a parking spot and while walking a mile to get into the mall I mentally mapped out where I would go, and what I would get while spending the least possible amount of time in the mall. Basically I was shopping like a man.

What is that saying about the best laid plans?

Yeah, my plans were not in line with the hundreds of other people clogging every square inch of the mall. As I made my way through the throngs of people, I was assaulted by smells that I swear were not human, sprayed by a line of barbie dolls selling perfume, and run into by a toddler who's parents thought it was adorable that he wanted to push his own the middle of a mall filled with hundreds of people. Yeah.

As soon as I left the mall I headed to the liquor store.

I must say the liquor store is the ideal place to shop. There were no funky smells, no toddlers with deranged parents, and I didn't get sprayed with anything. I was in and out of there in five minutes and I was able to scratch my brothers name off of my list.

I was definetly in the Christmas spirit when I left there and I'm sure it had nothing to do with the samples they were handing out.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful, Melancholy and Rockin the Turkey Shirt

Yes I busted out the turkey shirt much to the dismay of my family. Well most of my family. Ciara has seen the light and decided she wants a turkey shirt of her own and since my daughter and my niece are both talented seamstresses, I'm thinking I will be hitting one of them up to make some Christmas presents. Hmmm....

While I'm certainly dressed for the occasion and the house looks and smells like Thanksgiving this year is again tinged with sadness as it is the first anniversary of my mother-in-laws passing as well as our first Thanksgiving without my dad.

It will be difficult to not have my father sitting at our table with us but I know for a fact he would not like his family to dwell on his absence, or to pass up a good meal because he is not here to enjoy it with us. So with that in mind, we will stuff ourselves until we are miserably uncomfortable, catch up on each others lives, share a lot of laughs and it will be good. Just the way my mother-in-law and father would want it to be.

There are so many things that I am thankful for in my life. I have truly been blessed. But today I am especially thankful for the two people that are not physically with us any more because without them my life would not be what it is today.

So take a minute to thank God for all of the people he has brought into your life ( yes even the ones that make you a little crazy at times) because his ways are so much better than our ways.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Today is my best friends’ birthday so in honor of this momentous occassion I thought I would write a blog post. Plus I haven’t gotten her present yet so hopefully this will suffice until I can get to the store but don’t tell her okay!

Kelli and I met in high school but since we went to rival schools, we really didn’t connect until after graduation. Perhaps it was because we were both northern transplants to a smallish town or perhaps it was because we were both just too cool for said smallish town, but whatever the reason we seemed to have an instant rapport and we formed a friendship that has lasted longer than most marriages. Like a marriage we have been through our share of highs and lows and there is no other cohort that I would rather sail through life with.

We have seen each other through births, and deaths, proms and weddings. From our children’s first days of school to their graduations and every stage of growth in between. Our families have been on week long vacations together and one particularly funny vacation that lasted only a few hours. She is always the first person I call when I have news that needs to be shared, if I need advice or if I simply need to vent. I know I could tell her anything and she would still stand by me and defend me against any of my adversaries. I know she always has my back!

At this season in our lives we are sometimes so busy with family/work/friend commitments that we can go for a week or more before we get a chance to talk. Our friendship is comfortable enough that we can pick up right where we left off no matter how long we go before reconnecting. That’s a good feeling.

Many years ago while we were on vacation, Kelli bought me plaque that is in my kitchen where I see it everyday. It reads “You will always be my best friend, you know too much”. That pretty much sums us up. We have been through a lot together and we know a lot about one another. I hope one day when we are old and grey between the two of us we will remember all the good the bad and the ugly because having a friend to go through the bad and the ugly with makes the good all that much better.

Happy Birthday my dear friend! Remember you will always be older than me!!!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

That all depends on who you ask around here.

There was a time when I would have never dreamed of having a Facebook account. In fact I even blogged about it here . But then I ate my words and ended up getting an account which I blogged about here. So now I am a dyed-in-the-wool Facebook fan. My initial aversion to this particular form of social networking was in part due to the few times I would check out what my daughters were doing on Facebook and from my vantage point all I could see were senseless bits of drivel such as "OMG Sushi is so good!" or "I want a cute puppy". No thanks! I have enough senseless drivel in my everyday life, I don't want to log onto some website to get more. However after delving into Facebook ( and learning how to block useless drivel) I have found that I love being able to reconnect with people, keep up with friends, and communicate with my children.

That is where Facebook becomes a foe, at least to one of my children.

For the most part the girls have no issues with me being their friend on Facebook or commenting on their walls. At least they have never voiced the fact that they have a problem with it. Trey on the other hand - well let's just say he has a big problem with it.

Trey only recently obtained a Facebook account as he was an avid My Space user, but apparently there is a mass exodus from My Space to Facebook, and he eventually followed the trend. I of course immediately friend requested him because I just knew he couldn't wait to be my online friend! I thought it was odd that I had to remind him a few times that he never accepted my friend request, but eventually he did and I was able to view and comment on his posts. For the record I only commented on two of his posts, but in his book that was two too many and after a very short period of time he un-friended me. What???? When I mentioned to him that it is a violation of Facebook rules to un-friend your own mother ( no he didn't buy that) he said "Mom! You keep commenting on my stuff". Oh how silly of me! So I told him he would make me his friend again or I would never do his laundry or cook him another meal and he begrudgingly told me he would next time he logged on.

Sure you will dude!

I actually didn't have to wait to see if he would be true to his word, because he inadvertently left his account logged in on my computer so I took it upon my self to re-friend me for him.

I like being helpful like that.

So for the most part I have kept my comments to myself as not to put our fragile online friendship in jeopardy. I did make him remove a comment from one of his sisters posts that I thought could be perceived as derogatory. But other than that I have been the perfect silent friend. Until last night when I logged onto my home page and saw that Trey had commented on someones post and he used an acronym that made me cringe. Oh I suppose he could have meant Where's The Fun? or Want To Fish? But I'm pretty sure he didn't mean either of those things. So I played dumb and casually asked "Hey Trey, What does WTF mean"? He said "Huh?" I guess he was playing dumb as well but when he saw that I was logged on to the computer my question suddenly made sense to him and the best he could come up with was "Oh".

Now I don't think my son makes it a regular practice to go around spewing foul language when he is not in my presence. I would like to think he used that acronym to try and add some street creds to a cool guy reputation he is trying to cultivate, but nonetheless he used it, so he immediately had to remove it and listen to my sermon on how cursing is really just lazy speech, makes a person appear uneducated, yada, yada, yada. When I was finished his response was "see mom this is why I un-friended you in the first place". To which my response was "no, this is why you will never un-friend me again or all of our computers will be password protected and you will have to communicate with your friends via smoke signals and carrier pigeon".

With that we came to an agreement.... or at least I feel we did.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Motherly Advice

Waiting in the car for Trey the other night, I tuned into the radio long enough to hear something about "the best advice your mother ever gave you". That started the wheels in my brain turning.

I know my mother must have given me a lot of advice. But I also know the type of child/teenager I was so that good advice was purged from my mind shortly after it was given to me. I do remember her telling me that if I read at the table I would marry a drunk, but I believe that really couldn't be classified as advice and would be more of an old wives tale because I read all the time at the table and other than the occasional margarita at a Mexican restaurant, P is not much of a drinker at all. Needless to say, I didn't pass that useless tidbit down to my family.

Seeing as I could not immediately remember any sage advice that I had received from my own mother I decided to text my daughters and ask them what the best advice I had ever given them was. While I was waiting to hear back from them I mentally made a list of the things that I thought I had effectively harped on counseled them about:

* Be who God made you to be. Don't pretend to be something you are not to try to impress someone or fit into a certain group. You are wonderful just the way you are.

* There is a lesson to be learned in everything that happens in life. Even in the not so good stuff that happens to us.

* Never wait in line for a guy to decide if he likes you or not. (This one comes from my disdain for shows like The Bachelor. I never wanted my girls to be just another "item" on some guys "buffet".

* Trust me, one day you will like your siblings

Surprisingly when I got the messages back from the girls, they were almost the same. They both said the best advice I ever gave them was "Be who God made you to be". Yay! I imparted some good advice! Savannah also remembered the advice "never wrap your BRAND NEW $150.00 retainer in a napkin because you might throw it away and then your mom will freak out and you will swear she is a creature from a horror movie" which was really not advice that I verbally gave her but it was definitely a life lesson she will never forget and is sure to pass on to her children one day.

Shortly after getting the texts back from the girls, Trey got into the car and since I was feeling pretty darn good about my motherly advice skills, I asked him what the best advice I had ever given him was. His exact words were "ummm I guess the best advice you have ever given me is be a man because girls don't like weenies". Okay then....not exactly the feather in my cap I was hoping for but it did bring to mind one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received which happens to come straight out of Proverbs - "Pride comes before the fall"

I guess the best advice isn't "motherly advice" at all but straight from The Father.

Oh and thanks for helping me keep it real Trey!

Friday, September 3, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Obviously I didn't blog on my summer vacation!

I thought about it, I really did! But for some reason I couldn't bring my self to put my thoughts down. I would call it a case of writers block but since I am not a writer, that term doesn't fit. Perhaps bloggers block? Yeah I like that!

This summer I suffered from a severe case of bloggers block.

I actually toyed with the idea of discontinuing the blog all together but then I read my last post and realized that I could not leave the blogosphere and have that last post as my swan song. I sounded a bit despondant in it don't you think?

So here I am to recap my summer so all those future generations I hope to reach one day won't think I jumped off a cliff in a desperate suicidal frenzy in June of 2010.

Our summer started with the kind of drama that you can only experience if you have a teenage girl in your house. Lots of crying and storming upstairs over an incident that now seems trivial but at the time was a source of much turmoil around here. I can say however after the storm cleared, I had the most enjoyable summer with my youngest daughter. We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together and we shared many laughs and made some great memories that made it well worth the bit of turbulence we had to experience at the start of the summer.

In July we made a very long very fun car ride to Michigan. Unfortunately Greg was not able to join us as he broke his ankle in mid-June and was not able to make the long trek with us. We had a lovely celebration of my fathers life while we were there. I know he would have been humbled by the friends and family that came to reminisce about how he touched their lives. It was so wonderful to see family and friends that I haven't seen since I was a girl and it really made me realize that the people that are brought into our lives, even if it's only for a short time, are truly blessings to be cherished.

August found us preparing to send Ciara off to college and Trey to High School. Preparing for college i.e shopping for dorm paraphenalia took some serious time and effort in finding the perfect marriage of colors, print, and textures to make Ciara's home away from home the kind of place that will inspire much studying. Ummm Yeah.... Preparing Trey for High School required purchasing one pair of jeans. No worries about the perfect marriage of colors or patterns for him!

So here it is September. As promised, God has provided for all of our needs. He has provided a job for Paul and at this moment in life things are on an even keel. No, I'm not lulled into a false sense of security that things will be peachy from here on out. If there is one thing I have learned in my many years of living is that change is going to happen. Sometimes it's good change, and sometimes it's change that brings you to your knees. But we serve an unchanging God that helps us navigate lifes ups and downs and really that's all the reassurance we need.

Hopefully I will be inspired to blog again soon. I think prior to my self imposed hiatus, I had at least three people that read my blog. I'm sure they had given up hope that there would be another post and have since moved on. But I know my husband checks on occassion, and hopefully with this post he will stop saying "hey you haven't updated your blog in a while". I hope you enjoyed this update honey, but you were kind of there through it all so I'm afraid this might be a little anti-climactic for you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Rollercoaster That Is Life

Back in the day when I had a lot of time on my hands, I was an avid reader of novels. During the aftermath of hurricane Ike when we went without power for days and days, I actually read a novel a day for four days straight. (It's amazing how much time you have on your hands when you can not go to work, thouroghly clean your house, go to the store or do any other time zapping activities that makes up an average day.) I especially liked the books that followed a family through ups and downs and in the end everything usually works out and life goes on.

Okay, I'm a nerd... I admit it.

While I love reading how fictitious heroines shoulder lifes burdens and come out victorious in the end, this past year and a half has been a rollercoaster ride that has left me feeling less like a heroine in a novel and more like someone who is on the verge of losing her grip on reality. Okay that might be a little dramatic as I don't think I'm quite ready for a padded room, but man, I don't think I can take much more drama in my life!

Here is what has happened in the past year and a half:

We saw daughter number one get engaged, and planned said wedding in four months.

A few months later daughter number one graduated from college.

In November we unexpectedly lost my mother-in-law.

A little over a month later we unexpectedly lost my father.

Two days later I started a new full time job and was promoted to a more stressful position within two months.

Spring time found us visiting colleges and preparing for the graduation of daughter number two.

This summer started with us preparing to send our son to high school and daughter number two off to college.

And now we are dealing with Paul's job loss and anticipating all that we will be facing in the near future.

Sprinkled in the midst of all of these major life happenings are the mini-happenings that make life so sweet. Things like family weddings and births, family vacations, making new friends and relaxing with old friends...etc.. etc..

When my children were growing up and something that they percieved to be major in their lives would happen, I would always remind them that there is a lesson to be learned from everything.

I suppose that is what my heavenly father is telling me right now. I think it might be the lesson to just sit back and trust in his soverienty.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Doesn't Everyone Name Their Cars?

We bought a new car today.

Well let me re-phrase that..... we bought a "new to us" car today. You see we haven't actually bought a brand-spankin right off the car lot car since 1991 but we have bought a few "pre-owned" vehicles through the years and the one thing the girls in the family find it necessary to do once we get a new car is to give it a name. I say the girls in the family because for some reason the guys in the family don't think giving names to inanimate objects is important. But we girls feel that they have to have names so we can coax them to start when they are a little hesitant to fire up or prod them along when they aren't picking up speed as quickly as we think they should. Okay that sounds slightly off.... but I know some of you talk to your cars and know what I mean even if you don't want to admit it.

I'm not sure when we started naming our cars but I think is started with Savannah's old beetle which was called "doodle". As a side note, about the same time she had doodle her cousin had a green truck that she named "Booger" thus proving that car naming is either a universal practice or at least a genetic trait. After doodle came a newer beetle that was also called doodle because we just think all beetles should be called doodle. It seems to fit their personalities.

Our volvo is called the "loser cruiser" by the kids and it kind of fits since it is a station wagon and well in my kids eyes it doesn't get much dorkier than that.

My car aquired it's name a few summers ago when the air-conditioner went out and we decided "Hot Flash" was a great name for it. Even though the air has since been fixed the name has stuck for various other reasons.

When Ciara got her truck it was aptly named "Mater" after the character in the Cars movie. We named it that because it is an old red truck and we are quite sure if it could talk it would sound like a goofy hillbilly just like the truck in the movie.

So a few weeks ago my mom decided that she was going to buy a new car and we decided to buy her old one so Ciara would have something a little more reliable than Mater when she goes off to college. This car should be more reliable because it is the epitomy of a "little old lady's" car. While it is older ( 2001) it only has 42,000 miles on it, has been kept in the garage it's whole life and the maintenence on it has been like clock work. So as we were driving over there to pick it up we were mulling over name possiblities. In the past 10 years there are three places that the car has been driven to consistently every week.... Church, Walmart, and the bingo hall.

So.. Ciara is now proudly driving her new car ... "Bingo".

Monday, April 26, 2010

The City Of Brotherly Love

This week finds me in Philadelphia. I'm so happy that I actually made it through the plane trip since seriously I would rather have a root canal than fly. But since I had to be here for work and not for pleasure, driving wasn't an option. I have however met some other women that are here for the same training and our hotel happens to offer complimentary wine and snacks each evening, we had a great time sharing "war" stories about or respective jobs. Since Philly is famous for its Cheese Steak, our group is on a quest to find the perfect one. Asking a native of Philadelphia where to find the best cheese steak is like asking a Houstonian where to get the best barbecue. Everyone has their own opinion. With this in mind, we may just have to sacrifice and try a couple of different places. Oh and there happens to be an ice cream parlor/chocolate factory right across the street from the hotel.

Traveling is hard work!

Remember the movie Rocky when he ran up those stairs as part of his training? I found out today that was filmed here in Philly. Instead of participating in the planned mall outing later this week, I think I will follow the "Rocky Workout", and run up those stairs a couple or twenty times so I won't have to buy an extra seat for the flight home.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today I Was Cool For Almost Five Minutes

For exactly four minutes and fifty eight seconds this morning my son thought I was cool.

Today being cleaning day, I logged onto my Rhapsody account and cranked up my play list to make my cleaning a little more bearable. As I dusted to Michael Buble, sang along with Beyonce while vacuuming, and mopped the floor while dancing to Madonna, my son continuously made it known that he considered my taste in music "lame" and "old school".

Then it happened..... A classic ( albeit darkly disturbing) song - "Hell Is For Children" by Pat Benatar came on and he stopped and said "MOM! You Like This Song? This song's cool. The guitar is great in it"

... OH Pish Posh my boy... I've was jamming to Pat Benatar long before I became a middle-aged mother of three!

So for almost five minutes we shared a common bond as we listened to that song. He enjoying the talented guitar playing of Neil Giraldo, and me enjoying the fact that my son realized that I wasn't born a "mom" and I had a little shred of "coolness" in me. The spell was quickly broken when the next song came on and I was once again a relic with poor taste in music in his eyes, but it was good while it lasted.

One of these days I'm going to tell him about the time when I was eighteen and some girlfriends and I just happened to be staying in the same hotel and on the same floor as a couple of popular eighties bands...... on second thought he doesn't need to know about that. Some things are just better left unsaid.

Hi ... Remember Me???

No I haven't disappeared into a black hole.....well wait....It IS kind of like that.... I have disappeared into the black hole of work! Back in January I started working full-time and since I stink at time managment, my blog has been relegated to the proverbial "back burner" status. But I have so missed my little online diary and I'm going to make a point of trying to post at least more than once every two months! Really???? Has it been that long??? I'll be back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's Your Birthday!

Oh my poor neglected blog! This post is quite overdue but it seems I was having trouble logging into my blog and fixing my computer was low on the list of things my IT guy (hubs) had to do. It was behind finishing the tile in the kitchen, replacing axels on the car, and reassembling a guitar that is going through a face lift. So guess what? I fixed it myself!!! Yep it only took me three weeks to figure out I just had to use a different browser to get into my blog. This post was supposed to be up on February 4th.

Happy Birthday Ciara! Eighteen years old! It seems like yesterday you were that little girl who used to drag "Mr. Blankie" around everywhere and couldn't wait to help me in the kitchen. You still have the remnants of that beloved blanket, and occassionally you still join me in the kitchen but now your focus is on graduating and heading off to college. You have been a blessing to us, and I can't wait to watch your future unfold. We love you!

You have to appreciate how Trey tries to interfere with every picture we take by making goofy faces in the background. He can't outgrow that trait fast enough for us!

And, lest we forget my "labor of love" that was your cake that day, I'm including a photo because I may never put forth that much time and energy on a cake again!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brains Beauty and Brawn

I can't say she gets any of those attributes from me. Ciara is the spitting image of her dad. Last week she was inducted into the National Honors Society. It was only after she started the application process did I realize how much is involved in getting into the NHS. Not only do you have to maintain a high grade point average but they require you to have had numerous leadership roles and volunteer positions as well as recommendations from teachers. We are very proud of her!

While beauty and brains can get you pretty far in life, her dad wants to be sure that she is the type of girl that any guy would want to take home to mother. Because really, being too smart can get you into trouble, and beauty is only skin deep, but a girl that can change her own brake pads?? Well she is definitely a keeper!

Friday, January 1, 2010


When I was a little girl I used to think my dad could do anything. When he would let me sit on his lap and "drive" the car I just knew he was the most fun dad in the world,when he would take me to the store with him and buy me a comic book and some candy I was sure that he was the best dad ever and when he would carry me up to my bed and tuck me in after I had fallen asleep on the couch, I knew that nothing bad would ever happen to me as long as he was around. Like every little girl I grew up and realized my dad was just an average guy with flaws like everybody else, but the little girl in me still treasures the times when he was invincible to me.

My dad had a huge heart. He would give the shirt off of his back to help someone in need. Each year at Christmas he would find out about a family in need and anonymously make sure that they had an extra special Christmas. Even this year, although he was in the hospital, he gave me the money to purchase toys, gift cards and groceries for a single mother who is trying hard to make ends meet. He believed in working hard and instilled a strong work ethic into his children at an early age. He loved his country and his family and would have laid down his life for both. To him his grandchildren could do no wrong and he was never happier than when his kids and grandchildren were all gathered together. Since we all live in different parts of the U.S, this didn't happen as much as my dad would have liked, but he always made sure to plan a special trip every two years so that we could all be together. He loved his family more than anything.

A few years ago after he suffered a stroke, and out of frustration from his limited mobility my dad told me how it saddened him that he used to be superman to his kids but now he was nothing. He couldn't have been farther from the truth. The fictitious superman may have been judged by his physical strength but the real superman that I saw in my dad was found in his strength of character and dedication to his family. Those attributes won't fade like the physical ones, they will be passed on to future generations.

I remember when I was younger I naively thought that losing a parent would be easier when I was older and had a family of my own. I guess I thought that I wouldn't feel the loss as much but I was wrong. No matter how old you are when your parent dies it is never easy. Yes it helps that I have a wonderful immediate and extended family as well as terrific friends that have helped during this time, but that little girl who could see no wrong in her invincible dad has a hard time saying goodbye.

I love you dad!