Monday, December 30, 2013

A Brief Announcement...

It's no secret that we decided we are ready for a new dog after having a furry houseguest for over a week!
Well... Just today we found out that we will be adding a new member to our family! She's only 3 weeks old right now, so she can't come home until the end of January! She's a tan Mastiff & St. Bernard mix... Yes, we know she will be enormous! And we've only seen pictures of her, but we're already in love! 
We hope to meet her this weekend! We're in the process of choosing a name, but we all have different opinions! 
I'm kind of scared that something will happen and that she won't be able to come home, but for now I am excited!!!

2013 Year in Review

This will be short since I sucked at blogging a lot this year. I am ready for this year to be over!!

January - Everything is shiny and new, guest blogger, hanging with K5, deer accidents, the birth of Baby B!, Feel Good Friday lists, water bed leaks, moving mother-in-laws, baby holding, learner's permit snafu, impromptu gatherings, girl's weekend, snow, cooking, boil water advisory, work presentations.

February - Work stress, K5, Les Mis, sucky taxes, broken 'burban, driving permit obtained, crazy weekends, grandkids, scout functions.

March - Bridal shower planning, writing, starting the wedding stuff, retreat planning, dying 'burban, catching up on stuff. (I only posted 3 times in March! Yikes)

April - Brutal day job, undisclosed kid issues, wedding planning, retreat planning, Effort, prep for visitors, me not feeling so great. stressing over the diet, girl's weekend, chaos.

May - Dinner and shopping with my boys, retreat planning, things evening out some, shower planning, date night, projects, hanging in The Wilds, RETREAT!, retreat craziness.

June - Awesome bridal shower, out of town company, barbershopping, summer vacation, wedding planning, drive in movies, hanging with family, grandkids, visitors leaving, street fair, hanging with the neighbors, yard work, Summer Survival Journal.

July - Summer Survival Journal, crazy wedding prep, still writing, K3 being a man of the world, summer camp prep, making wedding flowers, still looking for my dress.

August - My girl gets married, Summer Survival Journal.

September - Sucking as a blogger, death of the clown car, crazy kids, hanging with K5 and seeing her catch her first fish, Baby B time, stressful weeks, writing time, baby showers, movie watching, Renn Faire awesomeness, general chaos.

October - Wedding picture, hanging with friends, Draumr closing, big brother sticking up for little sister awesomeness, writing conference, contract signing, Feel Good Friday, Dear..., Halloween with all of the K's.

November - Tall Tale Tuesday, day job stress, the loss of the day job, a brand new driver, trying to find my happy place, author photo, K3's play - awesome stuff!, the death of my sister's fiance and the absolutely brutal funeral, moving K1 & J, being cold, another funeral, Thanksgiving.

December - More moving people, Internet Trolls, free Christmas trees, puppy sitting, snow!, changing isp's, Ugly Sweater Party, Christmas Eve, job search progress.

...and that brings us to today! One more day left of this weird year. I'm not sure how I feel about how this year went down - there was a lot of good stuff, and much stuff I could do without.

Here's to hoping 2014 is an awesome year!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Feel Good Friday - The Post Christmas Edition

Hey! I'm actually on time for a change!
Here's the list in no particular order:
1. Spending time with both grand kids!
2. Christmas Eve and Christmas day being very good.
3. New Internet Service Provider - yes, we switched. The new company made us an offer we couldn't refuse with a much cheaper payment, faster internet, more channels, and a big huge credit we can use for future bills.
4. Sleeping in every day except Christmas day.
5. Weekend plans, or mostly lack thereof.
6. Naps!
7. New Year's Eve plans.
8. Baby B turning 1 in 2 weeks!
9. Making progress in the job search - even though the initial position I was recommended for didn't come through. There's another one I've very excited about. *Fingers Crossed*
10. Comfy pants!
That is all. Nap time is calling me...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry, Happy....

Happy Birthday to my baby girl! She won't see this because she doesn't look at my blog, but she is the very best present I have ever gotten. She may have been a little unexpected, but she has been totally loved and wanted from the very beginning. She's amazing and I can't imagine ever being without this kid! Her sarcasm and imagination are epic and she is just...the best! I love her so much... Even when she doesn't love me....
We have had a pretty fantastic day at Casa Smith. The big presents for the kids never showed, but they now know what they are and are patiently awaiting the arrival... who knows when that will be (but it better be soon or I will be very angry) We had a lot of fun... just the four of us... with presents, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. We were up as early as days past... before the sun... K4 followed me to the bathroom at 4 am asking why we had to wait so long until morning. I patted her head and said Happy Birthday and told her to go back to bed. She texted me at 6:05 and asked me why she couldn't wake me up... And then I was up... Making coffee, tea, and hot chocolate...
We opened presents... The two at home got some from their lists and some from ours... That's the thing... these kids are grateful no matter what... They know. They get it. They are awesome people! They know this Christmas sucks because of my job loss and the subsequent half income thing... They don't care... They accept what they get with a smile and a thank you. And don't even seem to realize this Christmas is different.  (Except for the fact that we should have a new TV)
I have some pretty awesome kids....
Not just the ones here this morning, but all of them...
We have had a very blessed Christmas! I hope you have had the same!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve...

As I sit here at the dining room table with K4, trading funny videos and discussing the plans for today, I find myself looking at Christmas's past and at how much my family has changed.
Fourteen years ago I was heavy with child. It was K4's due date. I was running around like a crazy person trying to make Christmas as perfect as possible - cleaning (again, because it was constant), doing laundry (also constant), cooking, herding three kids ages 3, 8, and 10 and being in the early stages of labor. (and not taking the time to realize it since I was so busy)
This year I am not heavy with child. (ha ha) I am not running around like a crazy person trying to make Christmas as perfect as possible in an attempt to be Superwoman. The house is clean, the laundry is done, the food for today and tomorrow is prepped. I have to pack up the items for going to my parents later, shower, and possibly run the vacuum, but that's all I have to do. The presents are wrapped (except for two things, really four, but That Man is finishing up last minute details on two, and two will most likely not arrive in time) - most are already under the tree, except for K3's and K4's.
This is not the Christmas I envisioned two months ago, but I think it's still going to be a good one. I am blessed beyond words with great kids, awesome grandkids, fantastic family, great friends, and the best friend in the world. We don't have a lot in the way of presents, but we have more than many people - maybe not material things, but with love and a mutual enjoyment of each other's company.
I am looking forward to hanging out at my parents later and the kids coming back here after to do their Secret Santa exchange. We'll also have Christmas with K2 and J since they are with J's family this year.
In the morning, we'll have Christmas with our down-sized family. Just the four of us for the first time ever. We'll have presents, good coffee, tea, breakfast, That Man and I will have mimosa's. K1 & J will arrive and we'll do Christmas with them before switching gears for K4's 14th birthday. Tacos, friends, family, more presents for K4...
I am looking forward to it.
Many blessings upon your family!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ugly Sweater Head....

We had our First Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party tonight... It was low key due to funds. We weren't able to invite as many people as we would have liked. It was family this time! We're hoping next year is way better! (So if you didn't get invited, you most likely will next time!) It's going to be a tradition! Because... We had a blast!
This is That Man's Ugly Sweater Head... He and K4 had this secret scheme cooked up shortly after we decided to have this party. They went shopping for paints Friday night - hiding the whole process from me because it was a surprise. I died laughing. K4 did such a good job painting this ugly sweater on her dad's head. Yes. His head is shaved to look like male pattern baldness. It was epic!
There was a lot of food. A lot of good food. Not much booze, which was absolutely fine. (it was byob and it's Sunday night. Most people have to work tomorrow!)
The winners of the Ugliest Sweater Contest were divided into several groups.... Cutest. Most Creative. Ugliest, New Category.
My niece's boyfriend went all out. He had a really ugly sweater that included battery operated lights. He won first prize. My not-biological sister's (but should be) boyfriend won for most creative. My adorable grandson won for cutest with his elephant sweater that included a trunk and a tail. The new category was created by my awesome brother-in-law who showed up looking like an identical copy of Eddie from Christmas Vacation. Perfect and AWESOME!! (I would post the picture, but my phone is not dropping photos to iCloud like it's supposed to and I can't access the pictures! Something is wrong with my new iPhone! Yikes!)
Besides the ugly sweaters, we had a ton of fun! A ton!
I can't believe Christmas is in less than three days! That Man and I had a blast yesterday during our day mostly alone in honor of our 27th anniversary. We had K5 in the am...for breakfast and shopping for her momma - which has been our tradition with her. K5 wanted to buy her mom a razor to shave her face! LOL! Silly and no, S does not need to ever shave her face. K5 found some good and some silly gifts after not eating the pancake she was dying for... We had a snowball fight, a lot of selfies, Great-grandma visiting, pretending we were sleeping, bunny slippers, plan making, and fun. God. I love that kid. So much.
After we dropped K5 off, That Man and I tackled our immense shopping list while K1 & J took the younger K's home with them (because they are awesome!). And we got the shopping done, except for two things... Two things that are stressing me out! I hope to take care of that stress tomorrow!
Other than that, we're ready. Presents are purchased (even though some might not make it under the tree in time! Dammit!) We took care of the wrapping and had a fantastic day alone with Chinese food, adult beverages, watching movies that were then wrapped and put under the tree! LOL! I missed being with him like that! It was so good! We slept in this morning, cleaned, grocery shopped from now until Christmas, cooked, and laughed a whole hell of a lot.
So... It was a good weekend!
I hope your pre-Christmas weekend was good as well!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feel Good Friday - The Anniversary Edition!!

Here's the list!
1. Celebrating 27 years married to the love of my life today! Not going to get sappy, but....
2. Christmas break... for however long it lasts for me!
3. Very good interviews! Waiting for a call!
4. Other good news I cannot disclose yet!
5. Picking up K5 tomorrow for breakfast and shopping! Yay! I miss my baby girl!
6. A semi clean house. It's passable.
7. Tomorrow's plans with just That Man and I. (After we safely deposit K5 with her momma and figure out what the younger K's are doing in our absence.)
8. Hopefully getting a handle on the shopping tomorrow!
9. Looking forward to Sunday!
10. Shrimp and mushroom rice for dinner. Tomorrow night is our night out, which may be fast food, but it doesn't matter as long as we get some time alone.
That's all for now...
Let the final weekend before the holiday begin! Woooo.....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Madness...

Our furry-legged baby is leaving tonight. We are all very sad. And yes, we are on the search for a puppy! I wish we could find one for Christmas, but I don't think that's going to happen. We've really loved having her, even though there were moments I could have done without. You'll have stuff like that with a puppy though...
I'm trying really hard not to stress about next week. I have one present currently under construction, one in transit, and nothing else. I don't even have a complete list - just a few scraps of paper with ideas written down. My kids are doing a "Secret Santa" exchange between the four of them and spouses, only it's not a secret because everyone knows who the other has. They put a $5.00 limit on it - silly or serious gifts. We have to take care of that, too. But this weekend is our wedding anniversary and the younger K's will be hanging at their cousin's so That Man and I can have some alone time. I am very much looking forward to it, even with the metric crapton of stuff we have to do. 
This Sunday is our First Annual Ugly Sweater Party. I'm looking forward to it, but need to make a list of things to do for that as well! AND it's impossible to find ugly sweaters at the second hand store because everyone must have had the same idea! 
I am making progress on the writing front. My writing chapter does "Blast Week" every other month - basically we sign up to host and then run timed blasts in our chat room. It's always a good thing - not only do you get a chance to chat with writing friends, but there's a challenge to actually get something done. No one wants to come back at the end of the time to say they washed dishes or answered email. Plus, there's a drawing for prizes at the meeting following blast week, so there's an incentive to attend. I ran one this morning and got a lot done. 
I am not making progress on the job front. This is a very sucky time of year to be looking. There's nothing being posted on any of the job sites. I have dozens of resumes out there. I'm discouraged and kind of freaking out, but trying really hard not to. I think it'll open up after the first of the year. At least I hope so. 
And that is all for now...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow Day!

I was a little worried at first....
It's snowing like crazy out there! Love it!
We've been hunkered down all day since the forecast cancelled all of our plans (not our choice). K4 and I plan to make cookies, but her older brother asked her to go shopping for his wife with him. Don't know if we'll get that done or not now.
K4 and I had a writing challenge earlier and maybe we'll have another when she gets home. She's working on a project and so am I. We were both being dorks about actually writing, so I suggested a fifteen minute blast. It was fun and we both made progress, but then chaos erupted. The cable guy stopped by to see if we were interested in switching providers. We were, especially for a savings of $60.00 a month, plus a $300.00 credit. Can't beat that! K1, J, & Baby B showed up. The dog went nuts. I was going to take a nap... that never happened. But I got cuddle time with Baby B, so it was worth it.
That man and K3 are plowing snow. Don't have any idea when they'll be home, though they'll probably stop in for dinner at some point. For now, I'm hanging with my d-i-l. Baby B is napping. The puppy is whining to go outside, even though we've already been out 3 times and she's done her business.
Nice day!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Feel Good Friday!

Here's the list!
1. 5-8" of snow in the forecast! Whoot!
2. Grocery shopping done. Proper snack foods for a winter storm purchased as well as everything else we needed.
3. House straightened and laundry almost done.
4. Fantastic middle school concerts.
5. Spending time with my grandson.
6. Feeling like I'm getting my mojo back. At least a little.
7. Snazzy new ideas!!!
8. Ordering a Christmas present. Yes. One. That's as far as I've gotten.
9. Comfy pants, a warm house, sparkling Christmas lights, and the adult beverage in my near future.
The bad side of the forecast is that they've rescheduled K3's midyear performance for his theater school. We were all really looking forward to it. The other bad side, with a good twist, is that That Man will be plowing snow. (bad side = he's not here. good twist = paycheck)
I plan to spend my day watching the snow.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Adventures in Puppy Sitting - Day Five

We're at five out of ten days in with this puppy sitting gig. She's a very very sweet dog. Very sweet and super smart. We've all decided we're ready for a new dog - a puppy, preferably. We've been talking about what type of dog we would like, how to train it, and all of that stuff...
Yesterday was a different kind of day though...
1. The puppy puked all over K4's floor.
2. I took this country dog for a walk. Our second one and our longest one. She doesn't do well with sidewalk walking and listening. She's too interested in smells, sounds, and other stuff. We went to the park and once we got on the trail, she did well. Until... I'd walked past her as she studiously sniffed out something. I called her and she ran. Right past me, and ended up knocking my on my butt. I hit my head. My glasses went flying. I'm sore and bruised, worse today than yesterday. Luckily, no one saw me fall. I don't know if there will be a walk today. (Plus, it's really freaking cold outside)
3. We're in the yard so she can potty. She finally decides to go number two and it's not working well. She's got something hanging from her behind and it won't come off. Probably due to the stuffed animal she tried to ingest the day before. Luckily, I had a plastic bag in my pocket... Yeah. You can imagine the rest.
4. My grandson came over today. He's sick and had to go to the doctor. The puppy scared him because she would not calm down and stop trying to greet him. Baby B is crying. The dog is out of control trying to jump on him and kiss him. Crate time.
5. That Man took the puppy for an evening walk to tire her out since yesterday was the longest time she'd spent in the crate. I was out for most of the day - first helping my mother-in-law and the grocery store, then helping J with Baby B at the docs. It went a little better than my walk with her.
Today has been better so far. She's sacked on the floor at my feet and hasn't tried to kill me yet.
That is all...

Saturday, December 07, 2013


Here's our guest...
She's sacked on the couch. Totally sacked.
I didn't realize how much I missed having a dog until Jordan came. The weird thing is that she's only been here a few hours. She's sweet and bad and obnoxious, but smart and funny and she listens most of the time.
And we're spoiling her. She's on the couch. She'll sleep with K4.
My kids are in love. That Man and I are in love.
K4 keeps saying "I want a puppy". I want a puppy, too.
We'll see what happens next...

Feel Good Friday - The Saturday Edition

Always late..
Here's the list:
1. Spending all day with That Man.
2. Grocery shopping done.
3. Writing group Christmas party today! So excited!
4. Stromboli for dinner tonight.
5. The furry four-legged friend who will be staying with us for 10 days. That Man's sister's puppy. She's about 7 months old. This will be the deciding factor in whether we get a puppy or an older dog. The kids are very excited.
6. Tomorrow's plans - cookie making, tree decorating, turkey eating. I really, really hope it snows!
7. Teenagers hanging out here last night.
8. The fact that K3 can drive K4 where she needs to be. It was kind of a weird moment when they drove away this morning. Weird, but cool.
9. Anniversary plans with That Man. The only thing I know right now is that we will have some time alone and that's fantastic.
That's enough for now...
I need to get ready for my party!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

This & That...

Cool Things...
I won a really beautiful Christmas tree in a raffle. It's tall and one I would have picked myself. So cool!
I *think* I have a handle on this Christmas present business.
I *might* have found a nugget of Christmas spirit, too.
My kid actually seems to care about her homework. Today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Actually, both kids appear to be homework machines right now. I wonder if aliens have invaded?
There was a big and beautiful hawk in my backyard this morning.
Catching up on and organizing stuff is a good feeling.
Giving blood.
Soon I will make my way to the thrift store to look for ugly Christmas sweaters.

Other Things...
Do you know that commercial where the guy is attacked by squirrels? I fear that will happen to me. There are squirrels all over my backyard. And I feed them.
I can't keep up with Twitter any more. It makes my eyes bleed.
Our anniversary is in 15 days. Our 27th. What I want most of all is to have alone time with That Man. We don't have to go away. We don't have to go out to dinner. We just need to be alone. Seriously.
I threw a chicken in the oven earlier and forgot to pull the guts out. Imagine me gagging and removing the uncooked bits with a spoon while trying not to burn myself. (No, they weren't in a bag, just tossed in the cavity. Gross) I'm not sure I'm going to be able to eat this chicken now...
My intent was to begin decorating today. I didn't. (I still have pumpkins out)

That's enough...

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Internet & Trolls...

Excuse me while I rant a little...
Since when does the fact that no one can see you or know your true identity on the web give you the right to act like a complete and total jerk? Does being safely hidden behind your keyboard really mean you can purposefully cut people down, make fun of them, say evil things, and insult people? Would you say those things to your family, friends, or a total stranger in person?
I've seen a lot of nasty things posted as "anonymous" lately. Hurtful, mean things that shouldn't, but do, have the power to really impact people in a negative way. A lot of the time, that is the impact. It's human nature to sometimes remember the bad stuff and forget the good - ignore the ones who love us and support us in favor of the people who make us feel like crap about ourselves. I'm not sure why we do that to ourselves, but we do and it's a hard place to get out of.
I guess your power as a troll is that - putting people down and living high on your obnoxious behavior. How do you sleep? How do you look at yourself in the mirror? I hope you can't.
I hope one day you realize what you've done...
Sidenote - This isn't meant to be cryptic. It's regarding an incident that happened to a friend of mine's family and past events that one of my kids have dealt with.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Feel Good Friday - The Sunday Edition

Here's the list:
1. A wonderful Thanksgiving. We had breakfast with all of the kids, including the married ones. It was chaos, but fun. Dinner was spent with That Man's family, also chaos and fun.
2. The tree lighting in our town. It was so cold, but fun, as usual.
3. My sister's beautiful new home. Helping people move isn't high on my list of fun things to do, but obviously, I'll do it. Round 2 is today. Her new house is perfect and gorgeous.
4. Seeing old friends and laughing hysterically.
5. The cousins getting some hang out time.
6. Sleeping in for all of the days the kids are on school break.
7. Free movie weekends.
That's enough for now!