Sunday, December 30, 2012


New Years will always be special to me even if I don't stay up past midnight or watch the ball drop in NY or see family to ring in the new year.  One of the most momentous occasions that a girl can experience happened to me just after midnight January 1, 1993.  (Now for those of you with dirty minds, get them out of the gutter - and pull mine out while you are at it please) The Shooter asked me to marry him that night/morning!

We'd only been dating for just over 2 months but here we are 20 years and five kids later and still going strong. (Married for 18 1/2 years as of Christmas day 2012).

Would I have gotten married that day? Oh heck yeah, and after all we were living in the Vegas area so that would just have been too easy! But The Shooter had promised his mother that he wouldn't get married until he finished college.  So  began our long engagement - it  was okay though because we were bad kids and moved in together ;).

In all actuality, the engagement went by quickly because we had to finish school and the semester before the wedding was spent with him student teaching and me trying to figure out what in the heck I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It was around this time that I made the definite decision to stay as far away from my degree field of Public Relations as possible.

Of course, when you need to slow things down to make sure you get everything done, especially something as large and momentous as a wedding, it never works out that way. I remember wondering how the heck I was going to get clear across town to pick up the invitations with our busy schedules.  I thought for sure I was going to have to buy blank cards and do the invites myself on our old Mac computer.  But you know, things always seem to have a way of working out.  The shooter and I were timing a track meet at the school he student taught at and there was a delay so we were able to run and grab the invites and be back in time to help with the big race. For some reason this is one of my most vivid memories of the engagement. Maybe because the invitations, all printed and pretty, are just so definitive of the celebration about to happen.

Another of the more vivid memories involves the dress.  You know over the years you look at bridal magazines (or online nowadays) and you find the perfect dress, you know THE DRESS.  Well, my mother in law and I went out in search of that dress, trying on many different varieties along the way.  I remember finally finding it in my size and trying it on...and crying when it just was not as pretty as the picture and did not look the least bit good on me or the girl in the next dressing room who was trying one on too.  IT WAS HIDEOUS!!! Thank goodness for my MIL's friend who was a seamstress, she offered to make a dress for me.  The best decision I ever made (aside from saying yes to The Shooter, hehe).

Now that I think about it, ordering the invitations was pretty exciting too.  We walked into the Tuxedo rental store (This was one thing I really couldn't care less about) and low and behold they had a deal that if we ordered enough tuxedo's we could get our invites for free.  Boy did we take them up on that deal quick.  A boring trip to look at suits turned into the fun of pouring over albums of available invitations. I was in heaven because as most of you know I love all things paper and pen, etc. Their selection was outstanding for being free and we found gorgeous invites and announcements.

Another thing I loved about the engagement/wedding planning was that a lot of it was just so easy which allowed us more time to just enjoy each other.  The venue, the minister, the photographer and the reception were all pretty much taken care of by MIL, her friends, and her boss at the church she worked at. It was smooth sailing!

So, did we have a good engagement? Yes I would say we did and it didn't really seem like it lasted that long.  I have many great memories, you know, all of the normal stuff like watching my dress take shape, picking out the food and almost passing out at the final dress fitting ;). We even managed to accomplish a lot in that year and a half.  I decided to try to start my own business, The Shooter graduated from college and we had succeeded in planning a wedding that would be absolutely wonderful. (Kudo's to my mother in law because she  helped plan and pay for everything) I guess you could say we had an engagement worth celebrating!

To celebrate the anniversary of our engagement every year at New Years, I don't have to do something special to commemorate it as long as I remember it and smile. Through 20 years of good, bad and ugly in a relationship and having a family, I have always remembered and smiled.  I guess that says something about my relationship. . . I am happy.  A mere six months later we were on to our next adventure - Step one was 9 months, step two is going on 18 years now. :)

Until next time. . . Happy New Year!!! And remember, not everything needs to be "celebrated". A simple smile is all that is needed to remember and commemorate days that are important to you.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


About the time my kiddos turn two I write them a poem of sorts. Well, Little Butt will be two in just over a month so I decided to write hers tonight.  When I couldn't decide which topic to write about for this blog, I decided to share these poems with you.  I hope you love them as much as I do.

To my Gennie the Pooh Bear - My first born                                  
From the moment I first saw you
I knew that being a mother would change me for the better.  

To be allowed to have you with me and healthy is a dream come true.
To hold you in my arms is the scariest yet most profound thing I’ve ever done.
To kiss your round cheeks brings tears to my eyes.
To wonder if what I’m doing is right keeps me awake at night.
To hold you when you are sick reminds me how much you truly need me still.
To give you the ability to be the leader of the pack made our bond even stronger.
But most of all…
To be your mother makes me the luckiest person in the world.
To my Bubba - My second born
From the moment I first saw you
I knew being your mother would be 

the adventure of a lifetime.

To add you to our family was the best surprise I ever had.
To hold you as you screamed, not knowing how to calm you was the most defining moment of my life.
To kiss your little chubby chin brings tears to my eyes.
To wonder if I would ever be able to make you happy keeps me awake at night.
To hold you when you are sick reminds me how much you truly need me still.
To help you fight this monster (called Autism) has made our bond even stronger.

But Most of all…
be your mother makes me the luckiest person in the world.

To my Pookie- My third born
From the moment I first saw you
I knew the extra love I’d been 

missing all those years.

To have you in my life made me realize motherhood get’s better with age.
To hold you in my arms when you weren’t supposed to be here yet was so unreal.
To kiss your little button nose brings tears to my eyes.
To marvel that you are truly okay despite how sick we were keeps me awake at night.
To hold you when you are sick reminds me how much you truly need me still.
To be my first child as an older mother has made our bond even stronger.

But most of all…
To be your mother makes me the luckiest person in the world
To my Mini-Man: - My fourth born 
and my one and only boy,
From the moment I first saw you
I knew my one and only wish 
had finally come true.

To be allowed to love you was a one in a million chance for me.
To hold you in my arms feels like nothing I’ve ever known.
To kiss your sweet forehead brings tears to my eyes.
To worry over you because you are one of a kind keeps me awake at night.
To hold you when you are sick reminds me how much you truly need me still.
To nurse you beyond your first year made our bond even stronger.

But most of all…
To be your mother makes me the luckiest person in the world.

To my Dee Dee - My final baby
From the moment I first saw you
I knew that despite all of the 
hardships, I could  never 
regret having you

To have one last child to love and raise was a surprise I could never have guessed
To hold you while we co-sleep is the sweetest feeling I’ve ever known
To kiss your chubby tummy to hear you laugh brings tears to my eyes
To hold you when you are sick reminds me how much you truly need me still
To have you be my last child means more to me than you will ever know

But most of all…
To be your mother makes me the luckiest person in the world


When it is hard to deal with the pain I find things I can do to take my mind off of it.  These pictures represent one of the things I used to do.  (Now I just blog ;)) I hope you enjoy them and get a good laugh.
She is still like that 3 years later!

Aww <3

Those of you who read my previous blog posts will get this one :)

She used to rock this look a lot!

She actually did! haha


Again, for those of you who read my previous blog posts ;)

I made this one for my mom when she was feeling down.

She often rocked this look too :)

I sneezed while taking pictures and scared her.  Oops!

I'm sure she said this quite often ;)

Yeah, this happens a lot. lol

I just love this one although more likely she was praying to the  Boobie Gods :/

Had to be fast!


She is a very contemplative child :)

They are best friends :D

She absolutely hated her crib!  She slept in it for a total of 6 hours her first year and a half :/

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The #1 complaint I hear on my social networking sites is about family drama during the holidays.  I admit that if we spent holidays with extended family there might be some drama in there somewhere (with tons of people, there usually is) and it would probably drive me nuts.  And yes, there is always some drama with kids around. The senior taking over the holiday celebration like she is a mom- enjoy yourself kid, the freshman getting a  bit overwhelmed occasionally, Miss Crazy getting into everything she isn't supposed to mess with, Mr. Insane getting way too tired and loud and Little Butt claiming that everything is 'mine'. Yep it all sure can get annoying, but it really isn't all that bad. I guess you could say it's normal.

My #1 holiday complaint this year - Toy pieces everywhere!!! This may sound familiar to some of you who read my Board Games Banned blog. In it I was freaking out about my kids always losing and misusing small game/toy pieces. I thought this year I would have to worry only about the Candy Land board game that Santa brought for Miss Crazy. I must have been stoned out of my mind to not realize how much more stuff I would have to worry about getting lost and misused  And I don't go anywhere near drugs! This mommy brain crap is getting way out of hand. I want to think straight again! Now what was I talking about? Easter presents? Making a sandwich? Oh no wait, I remember, Christmas presents with lots of small pieces!

Now, just a note, Lego's have never bothered me before. . .yeah, that is over now. Mr. Insane got a tub of Lego's and a toy tool set with about a billion screws and bolts and such. Miss Crazy got the board game and a 250 piece art set with a million (okay only 250) crayons, paints, pencils and chalk. Little Butt got her own bucket of Lego's  and all three of them share a kitchen with tons of play food and pots and pans. [I'll be right back, I have to go see if I have some Valium. I'm starting to shake and maybe hyperventilate] Okay, so the above mentioned toys are only the ones they got from Santa, I won't go into the ones from family to spare myself the nervous breakdown that would follow.

When I walked out to the living room from taking a nap, I saw pieces parts laying everywhere - from the kitchen to the living room. I swear there were Lego's, crayons and plastic fruit calling out to me 'save us, we don't want to get lost' Okay, not really, but I have a good imagination.

So far, all is well and we haven't lost much...yet. An occasional marker tip or notepad I can live with. I really am not looking forward to the next few weeks though, watching as one by one each multi- piece toy becomes unusable. I will probably wish I had a real prescription for Valium because YES it bothers me that much when toys aren't taken care of. Or maybe I just hate kids whining about not being able to play with their new toys anymore. . . Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that.

I say "hips, heal thyself so I can make sure toys are kept and put away properly." Yes, I am nuts, but my family loves me and I hope you do too.

Until next time. . .I hope you are looking forward to a fabulous new year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Time for a Tuesday picture blog even if it is Christmas :)  This is the last in the Alaska cruise picture series. These pictures were taken in Victoria British Columbia from our tour of Craigderroch Castle and Butchart Gardens.  Enjoy!

Craigderroch Castle

Inside Craigderroch Castle

Inside Craigderroch Castle

Castle Exterior

Castle Exterior

Beautiful view of Victoria

Victoria from above

Breathtaking beauty

Butchart Gardens

Bright Red Flowers!

All different kinds of flowers and plants

More garden beauty


I love purple flowers

Beautiful view

More Gardens

A lot of colors

Yellow Roses!

More pathway

Look at that view!

Pretty flowers

More roses!

My favorite flower



Multi colored beauty

White Rose!

Love the lamp posts

Water fountain

Pretty in Pink

Beautiful Gardens

Fountain in the Japanese Garden

More Japanese Garden

Love it!

Japanese Garden

Beautiful Japanese Garden


Water feature!

More water feature

More Japanese Garden

Water feature



Love this fountain

More purple flowers

Japanese Garden