Friday, December 31, 2010

How did you spend your Christmas day?

This is Kid1's last Christmas at home. Last Christmas as my little boy, a child at home. I can't believe he is grown. It just seems like a few days ago that he was just a little boy, playing with the paper, barely able to tear the paper, having no idea what Christmas was about… he's a grown up now. :(

Kid2 is on her way out too! FOR pete's sakes- my kids are growing TOO fast! She is at a fun and challenging age. She got a car for Christmas, which was sad because she wasn't furiously opening gifts… she was thrilled with her car, but her momma wanted to see her tear into boxes and throw paper… this growing up thing is sad.

My sweet kid3, he's home to stay. Having him home for good feels wonderful. We were just not whole without him. Seriously he is THE CUTEST THING EVER. This kid, kid3 will ALWAYS be the baby. He is so sweet, so kind and such a joy to have around.

My little love, my sweet goosey girl is SUCH a blessing to have around. The sounds of ripping paper, the sights of doll shoes, doll clothes, little girly books, necklaces and lipgloss is pure heaven on Christmas morning. She was the focus of our morning, the cream in our coffee, the carol in our hearts this Christmas morning…

my new favorite AND a great name!

I have discovered the greatest little town.
Milledgeville, Georgia.
I drive through this town while visiting my brother.
Bat Girl and I were hungry and a greatly named restaurant caught my eye.
For those of you who know me… you know WHY I love this name!
The food was great.
The company was greater.
The atmosphere was perfect.
It's my new favorite place to eat.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

crazy cousins

Do you have great memories with your cousins? I DO! I wish I could remember every single second with my cousins because no matter which cousins they were we ALWAYS had a blast! There was no better news than to know we were headed to Hillsboro to visit our cousins… they were SO FUN!

My kids and their cousins are simply NO exception- when cousins get together; there is always lots of giggling, joke telling and late night TV watching! We had the privilege of visiting ALL the cousins before Christmas this year and had a great time.

Cousins are such a blessing, they are built in best friends, family you might actually pick and loads of laughs!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a sister for Bitty Baby

Kid 4 got an American girl for Christmas this year… actually she got 2. She got another baby doll and a historic doll. I was telling a friend of mine about them today and she said “I get it, a doll’s a doll… right?” and I emphatically said “NO!”

American girl dolls ARE different. They are different for so many reasons and I’m not sure I can put it into words. I fell in love with Bitty Baby by the American girl doll company many many years when kid2’s best friend Olivia put her into my arms. She wanted me to hold her baby, to cuddle her near me… this little doll felt different to me, special. I will never forget the moment that Olivia put her in my arms because years later when Olivia was struggling I knew she was clinging tight to that doll, I knew that her little dolly was keeping her safe. These dolls are not only exclusive, well made and last forever they are a friend to many, comforting to countless and the holder of loads of memories.

For many years we lost Olivia and I thought about her doll and how she how she dressed her up and pushed her in a stroller, how she hugged and kissed her, and how she so carefully placed her in my arms that day. One day we received a catalog in the mail from American Girl Doll company and as I flipped through the pages of that magazine, my eyes filled with tears because there she was- a replica of Olivia’s doll. I looked at that magazine over and over wondering if ordering it for Kid2 would only remind her of losing her Olivia…?

Many years later I was blessed with another little girl, we wanted to name our Kid4 Olivia after our beloved girl but we knew it would be too hard to say her name every day while not having her… then miraculously one day Olivia came back to us. One day she was in our lives again and we felt overwhelmed as she handed her doll, her beloved American Girl doll, the very one I had held all those years earlier to Kid2. Kid2 stood in silence, she knew what this gift meant, and she knew this meant that she would never lose Olivia again. She clung to that doll as we left Olivia that day. Her American girl doll, the one that Olivia gave her sits in a basket day after day watching over her. It’s more than a doll, it’s a friend to her, that beloved baby doll got her best friend through hard times, it’s more than a toy, it’s a connection, it’s a heart string bonding one friend to another…

When Kid4 was three years old I ordered her a bitty baby, a friend, a companion to be by her side and she has loved her bitty baby every day. Bitty baby travels with us, she joins us for family events. She is well loved, held at night in the dark and the holder of tears when necessary. This amazingly well made doll is more than a simple plaything, she is the holder of my girls’ heart and I love her too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a Ft. Knox Christmas y'all!

I had a great idea…
I wanted to recycle.
I don't like wrapping paper.
I always ALWAYS tear it.
I REALLY don't like to wrap gifts.
I decided to use paper bags.
Seems simple….
when Kid1 got on my last nerve,
I used cutting the bags into sheets as a punishment!
I loved the way they turned out.
It was so cute.
I used hot glue to seal the gifts…
they were very difficult to open.
breaking into Fort Knox might have been easier…
Kid4 had the most presents and she really struggled to tear them open…
Will I use them next year?
They are totally peek proof!
cute, practical and hard to open!

Monday, December 27, 2010

my soon to be written blog ideas

its ridiculously cold.
we had a great christmas.
my presents were wrapped different this year and very hard to open.
I barely made it back to town.
I am more tired than a hibernating bear… Im sure of it.
I made scarves (17 of them) as teacher gifts this year- so cute.
how come cousins always have a great time together?
my GPS and I are having a secret love affair.
mr. B. leaves Sunday…
Kid4 and her beautiful dolls.
Kid3 is home for good.
STILL working of Kid4's room…
a going away party for Mr. B.
okay… so I'll be writing about these things soon…

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I hope..

I hope your Christmas was perfectly perfect.
I hope you got just what you wished for.
And if you wished for a shark with a big ol' pink smile--

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary to US! 19 years and counting...

Dear Mr. B.

My lifetime, long time and forever and ever partner Happy Anniversary to you. I often look back at our life and how we started so young and can’t believe we’re here… at this stage of our lives. I often look at our kids and can’t believe they are almost grown. Can you believe that time flew by this quickly?

I have always felt lucky to have you. It’s very hard to put nineteen years into words, to write on paper the things that we have witnessed, been through, loved and lost together… Its very hard for me to describe my love for you, a forever kind of love, a love we worked for and appreciate.

I love you Mr. B. I love you for the hard worker that you are, for the man that you have grown to be, for the father that you are to our children and to our children’s friends. I love you for loving me despite my many flaws and millions of quirks. I love you for being you, for being honest and for loving me back.

Thank you for nineteen years, for the best memories a woman could ask for and thank you in advance for a lifetime well spent on a good man.

I’ll always love you,

Mr. B.’s wife

Friday, December 24, 2010

on this farm...

I grew up here, playing, exploring, learning about the circle of life, cuddling baby piglets, kittens, bunnies and puppies. I spent my summers right there in that barn in hot sticky Oklahoma and loved every minute of it. My cousins, brother and I spent hours in the feed swimming in mounds of corn. We spent lazy summer afternoons laying in the pig pens watching the piglets nurse from their tired mommies and stole kisses from their teeny tiny perfectly pink snouts when they took a breath. We spent days and days running through the garden, gathering eggs and playing in mud. This place, this summer getaway was like heaven to us. It has aged, but so have we. There it stands still though, guarding my childhood memories like a soldier. I have always felt my memories were safe here at this barn, on this property under this red hot Oklahoma sun.

I love to bring my kids to this place. My Kid4 LOVES animals and was in heaven when she got to pet the new bull. She memorized his number so she could remember him better.

This picture is hanging on the "wall of fame" in my Grandfathers house. It hangs with the other family members and lets us see just how fast we grew. This picture seems like yesterday, I can still remember exactly everything about that day. Oh we have grown and changed. Isn't my sister a doll face? I treated her like my own personal little baby doll! She's still as cute as a button!

Here I am again…. "Two chins" in all her glory… I figure theres really no picture worse than the aquarium picture so I might as well share them all… OH DEAR- at least my second chin was smiling… ANYWHOOOO…. is my Grandpa cute or what? And NO! I do not have an antler growing out of my head… SHESH!

P.S. Happy Christmas Eve! I hope all your dreams come true!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the magnificent Dallas World Aquarium...


Is there anything better than spending the day at an aquarium with your grandparents? There were fish GALORE, sharks like crazy, one VERY FAT alligator, terrific turtles, magnificent monkeys and many many more things. We spent ALL day gazing, discovering, appreciating and loving on my parents.

Kid4 spent SO MUCH of her day with her finger in the air saying "LOOK, LOOK at THIS Nana" or "what is this called?" My dad enjoyed reading every sign and I enjoyed watching her every expression as she discovered more and more animals she never knew existed.

The sweet manatee fell in love with my mom. He kept coming up to her face and bouncing off of the window. Are manatees the sweetest things in the world OR WHAT?! I was thinking I might want a manatee for Christmas…. hmmmmm…….?

And this my friends is the epitome of what all our family photos looked like this trip… my moms eyes closed, Chase looking perfect and me and my chin family… in fact, I am considering changing my name and going by my obvious Indian name- TWO chins- we'll see if it sticks?

This is how my tuckered out gooses day ended. She was exhausted, in fact she met Kid2 back at the hotel before we were finished at the aquarium and she napped. She was so exhausted from the excitement, the pointing, and the walking. She picked a darling purple turtle from the gift shop and it's been her sleeping partner ever since.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yee HAW!

My friends,
We have done some serious traveling this week! The kids and I have been here there and everywhere doing a whole lot of this, that and the other… Our first stop was Dallas TEXAS! We met my parents downtown and visited the Dallas world aquarium. And can I just say- WOW! We had a great time, my parents brought Kid3 with them and it WAS SO AMAZING to hug him. I could have seriously stayed downtown Dallas the whole trip, but we were on to more adventures so it was 2 nights and 1 day in dazzling Dallas and onto Oklahoma and Missouri from here...

Are you wondering if things really ARE bigger in Texas? Yeah folks it's a true story everything but the eiffel tower is bigger in Texas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

travel brain

sometimes when I travel I have to remember to

A. Breathe
B. Eat healthier
C. Breathe
D. slow down
E. look at trees
F. listen to my children's laughter and stories
G. drink water
H. Breathe
I. rest
J. Did I say Breathe?

I miss my Mr. B and batgirl! See Y'all soon!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

road trippin' before the holidays!

(this is how THESE two would like ride on EVERY road trip!)

We’re road trippin’ again! Are you shocked? I know YOU are!! (since I never travel)

The kids and I are meeting my parents in Dallas up pick up Kid3 and have a little Christmas with them. We are heading out on our little adventure about noon and Kid1 and I are going to drive straight through to Dallas tonight.

Kid4 is VERY excited to see her Grandparents- she is SUCH a Grandparents girl!

Our trip looks like this- Dallas Saturday, Oklahoma Sunday and Mt PERFECT on Monday and Tuesday! You KNOW how I LOVE Mt. Perfect! I am excited to put my arms around my Granddaddy and feel his scratchy kiss on my check. I am looking forward to driving those roads that are etched in my mind so deeply. Mt Perfect makes me feel home, makes me feels safe and reminds me that I DO have roots.


We made it safely to Dallas and I am typing this from our hotel early this morning, I came downstairs to have a minute to myself before this day starts, you probably already know what it’s like to be in the car with 4 children ranging in ages from 18 to 6! If you don’t know what it feels like, I can hardly describe it. There are conversations ranging from the fastest car on the planet to what would be the best dress for our beloved baby Stella dolly.

We added another exciting adventure to this particular trip and we are SO excited! We are headed out of Mt Perfect on Tuesday and are going to visit my darling nieces in Missouri. I can’t tell you how much I love to be all stuffed up in my truck with the kids. The mountains of books, movies, pillows and blankets- THIS is the way I love to spend my days. All my chicks up under my wing, all buckled in and chatting away to each other and me…. Pure heaven.

Wish us luck on our travels and pray for good weather the whole way. And thank you my friends for reading my many adventures, I love sharing my life via with you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

oh what a night…..

“I HATE it when the right lane ends”…. These are the words from my baby’s mouth as he drives me and his sisters across the country to meet my parents and pick up our beloved Kid3…. As he chats on I want to throw up because it’s not AT ALL that he’s not a good driver… it’s VERY MUCH that I am a nervous Nellie.

I want to sleep.. Im tired but I just can’t. Partly because he is ME and chatting my ear off and partly because I am too nervous to sleep… will he drive off the road…? Will he text and drive? Will he try to reach a snack and kill us all? What if an armadillo runs out in front of us and he swerves…

He did great, but I didn’t sleep a wink because he said things like this to me ALL NIGHT…

“What if you receive a thousand dollar bill in the mail and it was postmarked Agent X, but you knew it was me… would you be worried or thankful for the money… ? “

“What if I told you that I was moving you out of the country because I had gotten mixed up in the cartel and I changed your name to Gloria shoesack…..? “

“MOM- what if you could pick anything you wanted to drive would you drive a Honda? Would you want a civic….? “

“MOM, what if I your car could drive 200 miles an hour, would you?”

“What if I become a spy and gauge my nose to I have a keen sense of smell?”

“Lets say the worlds about to end and Im the only one who could save it but I die…. BUT I manage to save it first, would you have a sense of pride knowing your son saved the world?”


Thursday, December 16, 2010

wordy thoughts...

Sometimes I think I’ll absolutely die without him… I know I know... I always say the sheets, the vacuuming, and the reading to kids…. But its so much more and I don’t even have the words…







All I want to be is mad... mad that he is leaving. Will I be okay?






Sure I will be. I WILL MAKE SURE I AM. I will lock my own doors, I will lock my own car, I will put myself to bed, turn out the lights and make sure my house is out of harms way…

I’ll be




And secure.

But I won’t be unscathed, I won’t be unharmed, I won’t be protected by him. He’s always protected me… I’ll be alone in a way. (Minus lots of kids- thank GOD)

And the shocking news is that my son, my baby, the other only man whom I truly trust is also leaving. Im thinking….

Gut wrenching




to me.

There is not one single thing I can do about it. Any of it… I can’t change it, not one minute, not one day, not one thing. They are leaving me and I’m going to have to be independent.



And privatized….

And I’m not really all that good at it.

I’ll make it, I know that I will.






(Whining DOES help … right?)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

not so beachy

Are you missing summer as much as we are?
It's REALLY cold in Georgia…
I love cold weather but WOW.
I have never


stay warm friends!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Bat Girl...

Dear BFF for ever and ever and ever,

Happy Birthday to you! You are so much more than just my friend; you are my better half, the filing cabinet in my head, the color in my cheeks and the giggle in my heart! I can’t imagine a single day without you, a single minute of you not being in my life. There just isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. You are the best friend every one should have.

Trying to describe you to anyone is almost impossible. How do you tell someone that your best friend is an extension of yourself, someone who’s heart broke with mine when my nephew was killed, someone who stood by my side as I watched my Grammie suffer and never had to say a word because she knew exactly how I felt. How can I possibly explain to anyone else how if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t even be the person I am right now, I wouldn’t exist as I am? How do you tell another person who doesn’t have their own personal “Bat Girl” how you were just as excited as I was to meet Kid4 when she was born, that you waited all night for her and held her the second she was born? How can I explain it?

The fact that I don’t even have to explain to you how my heart is breaking that my oldest child is grown, how kid3 melts my heart away, how I think kid2 is the most amazing human on earth and how I couldn’t even take a breath without my Kid4 gives me a peace that surpasses understanding. The mere certainty that you are mine to love and rely on is an honor.

YOU my friend, my Bat Girl, My BFF make every day a WHOLE lot better, you make the sun shine brighter and you make life not only worth living but exciting , new and amazing.

I love you Bat Girl, Happy Birthday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

my girl and her Kid3

Me and my girl, Kid4, she is a doll face!
This was her and I waiting for Kid3 to get off the plane.
We COULD NOT wait to see our Kid3.

She is a BIG fan of kid3, she has missed him terribly while he has been away at school.
Most of her little school journals are about him, dropping him off, visiting him, looking forward to writing him letters. I have always said I loved the relationships between brothers and sisters. There is something so amazing about raising boys and girls together. I love it, I love every minute of it and am thrilled beyond words to have boys AND girls!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

little STREP THROAT to make the weekend bright.

This little birdie pie is a sick girly!
She and I are waiting in the Urgent care clinic as I type.
I think she has strep throat… poor little baby.
She has a headache, she has a major case of the CRIES.
She is sleeping a little less at night and little more during the day.
I brought her a DVD player and guess what?
She wants to do math instead- wow- I hope that lasts!
Poor little sick goosey pie, I hope she gets better soon.
Shes so droopy when she's sick- it's a sad day when this merry little girl is puny.
Kid4, I hope you feel better and are back to your bouncy little self ASAP!

UPDATE- definitely strep
(and a little wheezing)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

time, blankets and bootcamp

This kid, my mechanic, my first love, and the one who made me a mother is leaving me soon. He’s leaving in a little more like 7 months and a little less like the 18 years that flew by like a bird in a hurricane.

Where did it go? Where did that little chubby baby go? When did he walk, run, go to school? When did this blonde haired beauty, this little silly boy turn into a man? How is it even possible for the hands of time to turn so quickly? Is it feasible that 220 months and 5 days have passed this quickly?

I remember the very second that he was born, the minute they laid him on my chest; I can still feel how heavy he was. I can still see his little swollen face, his eyes blinking opening and closing at me as if to say; “MAN, I hope you can do this next 18 years!”…

And here he is, grown, almost gone and here I am, wanting to hold on as tight as I possibly can. Here he is, fixing his own car and here I am, wanting to wrap him up in a blanket and hold him for hours like the old days.

Time has flown by and I don’t think this whirlwind will stop any time soon. He is grown and as he boards that plane to boot camp in July I think I will wrap myself in a blanket and sleep for a few days, closing my eyes and remembering that little toe headed boy running on the beach in a warm breeze just a little longer…

Friday, December 10, 2010

a relatively bad day

I had one of those days that would probably be best if it just ended…it’s not that my day was terrible… my days are never terrible. I think a bad day is relative thing. A bad day to me and a bad day to you could be very different.

All day my heart sank when I thought of Mr. B. leaving. So far it’s the little things that I am freaking out about… maybe it’s all 300,000 of the little things? WHO is going to put the sheets on the beds? (I DID tell you that Mr. B. was the official sheet putter on-er….. right?) Who is going to clean the kitchen after dinner? Who is going to read book after book to Kid4? Who is going to take care of the kids’ million questions when I have had enough at the end of the day? Who is going to put their foot down about grades, talking back and messy rooms? Who is going to point out that I need new tires? Who will mow the lawn? And 299,992 things?

I do realize this could be worse… I have some VERY EXCITING things to look forward to while Mr. B. is gone, you will be SO surprised when I tell you the things I have to look forward too. (or maybe you won’t be…. Who knows!)

Wish me luck as I dive into the endeavor and more importantly please keep Mr. B, in your thoughts as he defends our country for a year and misses some VERY big milestones!

Honey, I already can’t wait for you to get back and your not even gone yet!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a hearty helping of worry.

A few months ago this little lady had to have an echocardiogram and to be honest Mr. B. and I were freaking out! As soon as the Dr. said “significant heart murmur” I freaked out a little inside… it’s a sick feeling to think something might be wrong with your child. We didn’t have to wait too long to get the echo done, it was less than ten days, but we were on pins and needles every one of those days waiting. I caught myself looking at her and wondering how parents of VERY sick children can even sleep at night? I have a friend whose kids are often in the hospital and I admire her strength.

When the day of the echo came we were at the appointment early, coffee in hand ready to face this head on… I’m going to keep this short… we ended up switching hospitals and having a later appointment (mostly because I don’t check my voicemail). When my little goose climbed up on that big hospital bed and the nurse started looking at her heart with every swipe I looked hard at the machine, at the colors. I listened to her little heart beating away and wondered how I even made it through one single day without her before she came to me. I sat thinking about my children and how they have blessed my life, all in different ways. I thought about my big girl who lives so far away and how I could not love her more. I thought about how lucky I am to have children…

Her echocardiogram came out fine. Nothing. She’s fine, and I wonder how I am so lucky? I am so thankful to have a healthy child. She is MY heart.

Scare over. Heart healthy… and we can breath again!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

She's a ...

and I love it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

remembering a special place

Pearl Harbor Hawaii has a special place in my heart for many reasons.

My Grandpa B was on the USS Drexler and has always been a big Navy fan. On May 28th, 1945 at 7 am the USS Drexler was bombed. I grew up listening to Navy stories and have always admired my Grandpa B and loved his words and stories. I miss him daily.

December 7th, 1991 is the date that Mr. B. was planning to marry another woman and I’m glad he picked me… (I DID tell you he was engaged when we met right…?) I always think of her on December 7th and hope she’s happy too. She is a really sweet girl from an amazing family.

I grew up in Hawaii and spent many afternoons visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial and if you have never been I cannot truly describe it to you. It’s a watery grave, a solemn place, and a site to stand in awe pondering freedom and loss. Just looking at it from afar does no justice. You have to stand over it to understand.

In 1991 the USS Chosin sailed across Pearl Harbor along with many other ships stationed at Pearl Harbor that year as a tribute to the fallen sailors. Mr. B. was standing at attention in his whites along with many other sailors. Pearl Harbor, the ships so stoically swaying at the dock and the Navy causes a stirring in my heart.

On December 7th 1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed. You probably know the story, most Americans do. Hawaii along with Pearl Harbor lives in my heart as a special place to be, a place full of memories and my beloved home.

I hope you too can remember something special today.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to a very special blog reader!

I hope all your dreams come true C.T.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Have you ever had the feeling that things are going down the ol' toilet? Have you ever known things were headed south? Do you ever look ahead to what will certainly be a disaster but you aren't able to stop it. Do you ever wonder if you'll go stark raving mad in the future? Do you ever think your teens will be the death of you...? Somedays I wake up and my face looks like THIS.... just think how my eyes will look when Mr. B. is deployed.... YIKES!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

peas in a pod

I often call these two "the twins", they are so much alike and often mimic each other. Since they were little babies Kid2 always had to beat Kid1 at everything he did. The funny this is that Kid1 honestly rarely noticed and never really cared. When they were potty training Kid1 was perched on the little tiny pot while Kid2 was queen of the BIG potty, when Kid1 was learning to tie his shoes she was hiding in a corner with my shoe trying to learn first! Brothers and sisters often have a very special relationship and mine certainly do. They fuss and fight and go through hard times but when it gets right down to it they truly trust each other the most. I love pictures of them together, I love to see them standing near each other laughing and smiling. I have a great amount of peace knowing that these two will always have each other to depend on. They are two peas in a pod!

(guess what? now they even have matching cars... LOL)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

possum try #2

Look what Bat Girl got me today??
It's the friendly kind of possum!
Is THIS the perfect thing for me or what?
(this one doesn't have teeth and Im a little sad about it)