Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Day of Mothers

Around the end of April, I realized that Mother's Day was looming up pretty quick. Normally, I take that day for my own. I mean, come on, I've given birth three times and I think I deserve that day. Add in the fact that every four years my birthday falls on Mother's Day, and you got the perfect time to claim a weekend. Some times I go all out and claim the whole week.

This year was different. I had my Mama and my Grandma on my mind a lot. My Grandma is bedridden and she is far from being a spring chicken. My Mama hasn't had the best of health as she's battled strokes, diabetes, and high blood pressure. I thought and thought about it and decided it just wasn't about me this year. It had to be about my Mama and Grandma. These two women are so very important in my life....they're the ones who have shaped who I am (for better or worse!). I told my husband that I wanted a quick day trip to South Carolina to see them for my Mother's Day gift. Without hesitation, he agreed. Lord, I love that Man of Mine.

I awoke to find on my chair a new pink fuzzy tiara and cape. That Paige. Of course, I put that tiara on for the ride to South Carolina and pretty much wore it the rest of the day. We hit the road so as to make it by lunch time. I knew there was going to be some steak and gravy going on at Mama's and I wanted to make sure I got some!

We had the bestest visit. Mama was happily surprised to see us drive up. I do believe she might have had an inkling we were coming as Daddy told her to cook some extra. She laughed and told me if we hadn't shown up? She was going to be upset! We spent the entire afternoon on the front porch while the kids played. My son and nephew played and got dirty as can be. My city kid discovered that stickers in the grass can hurt some bare feet something fierce. He ended up having to change clothes before leaving, but that just means he had a wonderful time. Makenna discovered the bunny rabbits my brother had in a pen and she spent quite a bit of time holding one and begging for one of her own. ( Time flew by and we hated to leave, but I needed to see my Grandma some before we made the drive back to Georgia.

My Grandma lives with my Aunt and their front door has a ramp going into the house. I was walking up the ramp and I could see my Grandma in her hospital bed craning her head to look out (like a turtle!) Both she and my Aunt were so happy to see us and we visited with them for an hour or so. It's not good to stay too long as it tires Grandma out. The kids raided the freezer and scored some ice cream and I got to just sit and talk with the two of them. Time flew too quickly again and it was time for us to head it on home.

We were exhausted from driving around 5 hours in one day, but it was so worth it to spend the day with my Mama, my Sister-in-Law, and Grandma. Grandma has always told me: "We're not promised tomorrow." I believe that fully now so I want to make sure I have some amazing yesterdays with the ones I love.

I took a few pictures while we were there because I am the Camera Queen and I'm so afraid I'm going to miss a memory if I don't take a bunch of pictures.

This may be late, but thank you to all the women out there who love. I am a firm believer in that you don't have to give birth to be a mother. Mama's are all types and kinds and all are needed to help raise and love the children of this world. I claim many other women's children as my own and love them dearly..along with my precious three children.

A girl and her Nana.

The Boy brought his Kindergarten binder so he could show his Nana and Aunt all his work. He explained each page to them so they were sure to understand!

You enjoy holding that rabbit, girl. I'm not getting one. Ain't happening. Nope.

My lovely Sister-in-Law. She is tops in my book. She loves my parents so good and really looks out for them and I am so grateful for all she does.

The Mamas. Why, yes, I am wearing a fuzzy pink tiara. What a cool group of gals to hang out with.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Good Neighbors

I got fussed at a little bit yesterday. I was on the phone with Neighbor Debbie, checking in, when Neighbor Greg expressed his disappointment in the fact that I didn't blog about their visit a few weeks ago. I promised right then and there to rectify that slip on my part.

Neighbors. They can be good or they can be bad. I've had both, that's for sure. Living in military housing will expose you to all kinds of neighbors. Little did I know when I moved into my own home on Eagle Court, that next door would be one of my goodest friends ever.

The phrase "partners in crime" come to mind when I think of Neighbor Debbie. She stepped up to help me run a spouse program at the base chapel when I really needed the help. That meant spending lots of time together planning activities months in advance, shopping for materials and such. While planning our weekly sessions, she took it upon herself to refresh my crocheting skills and sewing skills. Her ability and mad crafting skills really impressed me and I could only hope to do a fraction of what she was capable of doing.

Carla Girl, Neighbor Debbie, and the rest of our Chief's Wives Club really had a great year that year. We met up no matter what once a month and there was always someone to do something with. Shopping trips, lunches, vent name it, we had a good time. Hold on a second whilst I get a little homesick.


Well, that Neighbor Greg thought he would be slick and move that Neighbor Debbie out of base housing. They found a really nice house out in the country in a good neighborhood and they packed it all up and away they went. How dare he. I was lost for week? What Neighbor Greg didn't take into consideration was that I come from the country. Driving to get somewhere isn't a big deal for me. Neighbor Debbie comes from the country and driving to get somewhere isn't a big deal for her, either. It was sixteen miles one way to get to each other and we weren't afraid to drive the distance when the need arose. Bless Neighbor Greg's heart, he knew The Man's retirement was coming up and we were going to have to leave so he thought he put a little separation in there. Okay, man.

Time flew by at an alarming rate after their move. Next thing I knew? It was time for us to move away. It's the suckiest part of living a military lifestyle. I am so glad I only had to do it one time because I just don't know if my nerves could take a full 20 years plus of that mess. Carla Girl and I were/are thrilled to pieces that we won't be separated forever as her husband and The Man got a job with the same company. We are now making it our mission to get Neighbor Greg a job with the same company so he can bring Neighbor Debbie to us upon his retirement the first of 2011. We have more kids than Kate and her 8 between us and they all act like cousins of a sort which thrills us to no end.

Neighbor Debbie called a month or so ago and informed me she was coming for a visit to see the New Edge. It was to be a kid free weekend for them and we were ten kinds of excited. Oh, how happy I was to see that woman drive up in my yard. I'm not even sure their Suburban was fully stopped before she out running to hug me. It was a wonderful weekend of playing catch-up and laughing. Brother John (Carla Girl's husband) spent a majority of the weekend with us (Carla Girl was in Virginia with her parents so he was alone) as he and Neighbor Greg worked together a long while before Brother John's retirement. We took them around the area and showed them perfect places to buy a home (not far from mine!).

I also discovered that if I want to keep that Neighbor Greg happy? Just keep some Hot Fresh Now Krispy Kreme doughnuts available. Oh, and marshmallows. The man can't eat just one. I now promise that if he'll come visit and bring his lovely wife? I will keep him supplied with doughnuts. I think it's a fair trade, don't you? I might even buy a few bags of marshmallows as an extra treat!

I am so ready to get everyone here and settled in for the long haul. Mine and Carla Girl's husbands have a school in Pittsburgh they have to attend. Brother John is there now (The Man goes later) and hopefully after he's done, he'll bring Carla Girl and the kids to Georgia to settle in. She's taking this opportunity to have a long visit with her parents in Virginia and it's easy for her to do since she started homeschooling the kids. I don't blame her one bit for doing this, either.

My sister Lu and her better half are also talking about maybe moving to Georgia. Wouldn't that just make life perfect for me??? To have friends right here that I know I can do things with would just be heavenly for me. I want to get on my knees and beg Lu to hurry up and get here, but I know things take time and if she can? She'll be right down the road from me.

I am ever so grateful for the technology that helps me keep in constant contact with all the people I love. The computer has been a lifesaver as I adjust to this new town and life. As much as I love the communication? There's nothing better than sitting across the table from each other sharing a cup of coffee.

Neighbor Greg? Hurry up and retire and bring your wife here to live happily ever after!!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Just some Thoughts

A few things have crossed my mind that I've considered sharing with my Internets. Don't go thinking I'm going to get all deep and philosophical on you. I have those kind of moments occasionally and can carry on a right decent conversation of that nature, but for now? It's just basic stuff.

Let's talk bathrooms, shall we? That half bath of mine is going to drive me crazy. I know you all have asked for pictures, but I have nothing to show as of yet! I just can't decide on the wall color and all the little sample containers on the vanity prove that. I have the ceiling color and we all just love it. I just can't find that perfect color to work with it. If someone comes to visit, I apologize for the state of my little half bath, and ask for understanding and sympathy. While surfing on the computer a week or so ago, I came across some monograms. Now, I'm Southern as they come and I just adore a monogram. I intend on having one up in my house somewhere (again with decisions) but I was right tickled over the monogram I found that day. I don't know about you, but I just don't think I want the first letter of my last name on my toilet. I kid you not. A monogram for a toilet. And ya know? That might be a cute idea...minus the letter part. I found myself seriously considering it for a moment.

The master bathroom is a delight. I have never had a master bathroom. I kid you not. I've had a bathroom off of my bedroom, but not CONNECTED to my room. That's high living for me, folks. It's big and nice and big and all double sinked up. It's got one of those cute little "water closets" where the toilet is hidden from sight. Thaaaat's right....high living, my friends. Whatever. My husband and I had to come to an understanding real quick over this bathroom. I know I have to share my bedroom and bathroom with him. I truly don't mind as he is my husband and I just flat out adore him. See, though, I'm Baptist. Well, maybe being Baptist doesn't have a whole lot to do with it, but I'm a tad on the modest side. When I close that bathroom door? I'm wanting some privacy with going about my business. This has never been an issue before as previous bathrooms haven't encouraged multiple occupancy with the size issue. I'm not saying I'm a prude and I don't always close the door, but if I do? Then keep it closed. Well, That Man of Mine would just bop right on up in that bathroom, closed door or not. By the second or third time? I realized he was seriously oblivious to The Look I was giving him. I gently told him that on occasion, I'd like to just hang out in the bathroom by myself. You know, be one with the universe and all that. Bless him, he just didn't realize my intentions and being a man, couldn't read my mind. We have to laugh at ourselves over the whole thing. We've been married for six years now and this is just becoming an issue? It's all good and now I get bathroom respect. Bathroom respect is very important, you know.

That sixteen year old child of mine ordered her class ring yesterday. ~sigh~ Last week when she brought home the brochure, we both sat and looked at it and admired some rings and laughed at others. What an exciting time it was for her! Boy, have times changed. I don't remember what it was like when my class ordered rings as I didn't get one, but I'm pretty sure we didn't get to go on the computer and "make" rings to our liking. She has had the best time making rings the past week. I've been sick the past few days and yesterday was the day for the parent's to go to the school and hand over the money. Of course The Man was glad to take her for such an important occasion. Before they left, she kept asking me to help her figure out what she wanted. I wouldn't do it. This is her ring. She's the one that has to wear it and love it. She had made a few online and I gave my honest opinion. Finally, a decision was made (and she picked my favorite! shhh) and off they went. I hated that I wasn't there for this really cool teenagery deal. The Man was, though. That'll definitely do if I can't be there.

Back to the house one more time. I really wish I had paid more attention to this blasted living room when we decided to buy this house. Maybe it appealed to me because we're both odd? The room is an odd size/shape and I'm just odd. I just can't find the zen with furniture placement as of yet. I know when I finally put each piece where it is supposed to be, I'll suddenly see rainbows and be able to take a deep breath, but I just ain't feeling it right now. I am that person who walks around the room to see it from every angle. I squint my eyes (and how does that help?), and purse my lips, tap my cheek with my fingertip, and just sigh. I walk up the stairs to look down and see if maybe I'm missing something. Nope. I just can't quite get it. But, I will. It will be good when I do. I just wish I was already there.

Right now, our focus has to be on the flower bed in front of the house. I am so ashamed to say we are "that house". The one with the overgrown flower bed that should embarrass us (and it does!). I do not have a green thumb. My parents can touch a plant and it flourishes right in front of your eyes. I did purchase gardening gloves to protect all the plants from my black thumb. The past couple of weekends we have seen rain...which puts a halt on yard work. We are determined to accomplish something this week. I am working hard to get over my sickness so I can supervise sufficiently when work commences by end of the week. The Man and I have already visited Lowe's (totally endorse Lowe's as they give military discount every day of the week for active and retired- GO LOWE'S!) and pretty much have an idea of what we want to purchase to make our flower bed look lovely and presentable. I'm not too thrilled or excited about having to work out there, but I just can't stand how it looks. My Daddy has always raised me to take care of what's yours and to make it look the best you possible can. ~sigh~ He would be so upset with me right now if he could see that flower bed. Yes sir, definitely going to work on that this week.

So, you see a little of what's been going around in my head. I told you it was basic stuff! I have been taking pictures to keep up with projects and you know I'm not stingy with my sharing them so I promise when I get to the finish line with a project, I'll be more than happy to share.

Now, I'm off to look at those toilet monograms again.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

She's Sixteen

You won't believe how hard this post has been for me. I feel like a really bad Mom because I haven't written this before now, but it's just been too hard for me to find the words that would make for an amazing post and tribute to my daughter.

So many times I've sat down to write and just sat here with my hands on the keyboard. So many times I've had amazing thoughts that, of course, happen when I'm nowhere near my computer to write them down.

I've finally decided to just wing it.

My oldest child turned 16. Wow. She's sixteen. It's one of those milestone birthdays that mark great and wonderful things. Drivers licenses, single dates, and Independence.

That makes me start breathing hard with anxiety right there.

This is my baby girl. The baby that laid in an incubator for almost a month because of being premature. The baby that changed my entire world and taught me the meaning of unconditional love. My heart grew a thousand times larger than possible the first time I laid eyes on her.

I remember sitting by her incubator recovering from my c-section and promising that I would always love her and look out for her. The love part has been easy, but looking out for her? Well, sister is making that harder to do the older she gets. She has a mind of her own and sometimes Mama is old fashioned and stubborn.

I feel so guilty that we moved her in the middle of her high school life, in the middle of her tenth grade year, right before turning sixteen. She hasn't has time enough to make great friendships here in her new home so a party wasn't really the best idea. We had family and friends come visit around her birthday and they surely helped make up for the lack of a Sweet Sixteen party.

It was my goal to hopefully make Paige's birthday as special as I could. She wore a very cute outfit to school that day. I always get the morning birthday picture, but that girl runs late every single morning and I was lucky enough to get a "Bye, Mama! I love you!" before she headed out the door to run meet a waiting bus. Each person gets to pick out where we eat when it comes to the birthday. I have to admit to loving this new home area as the choices are many. Paige chose Carrabas for her supper and I applaud her good taste.

That afternoon, I had some presents wrapped for my girl and they graced our hearth beautifully. One present went with us out to eat and she was allowed to open the others before we left. Being the Mama I am, I had to snap a few pictures of her with the siblings and the parents because I wanted her to always remember this day that was all about her.

We had an amazing supper with the best server in the world. Our server was so awesome, she finagled two free desserts for for each of the candles I had brought with me. It was the perfect meal that we enjoyed to the fullest. The Man and I are on the evil side, though. The one thing that girl has asked for, and has wanted for years is an Ipod touch. We've been hesitant because of the internet abilities it has. We finally decided to get her one that came with rules. When we went to purchase it, we noticed the Zune and had a great salesperson who knew their geeky junk explain the difference. We decided to go with the Zune with the option of bringing it back if she didn't like it. When supper was almost done, I solemnly told Paige that we finally decided NOT to get her an Ipod touch. Even though she tried not to, her face fell. I could tell her enthusiasm for that last gift (that she just KNEW was the Ipod) was gone. Finally, I gave her the go ahead to open her gift. When she finally realized what she opened, it was hilarious. Seriously, kid, we do stuff like that all the time! You know you should only halfway believe us when it comes time for gifts!

Paige, you are amazing. You are such a bright light in our lives. I feel so blessed that God has let you be in our lives and He gave me the gift of raising you. From your naturally curly hair to your feet that look like your Nana's...I love you. When you tell me your plans for the future, I almost burst inside because no matter what you decide to do, you're going to rule it and love it with a passion. While we know that right now I am your mother and not your friend (it's the way it has to be at this point and time), I look so forward to our future when we can be friends...because I know you will be one that I treasure. I am a little sad that it won't be too long before you spread those gorgeous wings of yours and fly from our nest. I do have to say I'm proud as heck, though, because you'll know how to wash your clothes and cook the best omelet in the world. You will go far and you will go the distance with your head held high looking the world right in the eye. One thing I ask? Never get tired of hugging me and telling me you love me.

Let that light of yours shine, Baby Girl. You're sixteen and beautiful.


*Now for the picture show that we all love!* I apologize in advance for dark pictures. I was able to lighten them up in a photo program I use, but for some reason, am unable to access that program to get the fixed ones to use on here. What can I say? I got a new camera and so far, it has gotten the best of me.

I love these bags! Found them at Walmart and had to get the matching set because it was just so cute!

Perfect bag for Miss Thang. I pray that she realizes that she truly is fabulous.

I was able to lighten this up and make it pretty in my picture program. My girls. My beautiful girls.

One of my favorite pictures. They are starting to become friends and this picture shows the love they have for each other. This is one I treasure.

When you have a wild child and a puppy to photograph? A good picture might be hard to come by.

This is what you usually end up with when everyone is in the picture.

Me and my girl. Can I just say I'm so glad I got my hair done and that yucky deal I had going on is gone! Whew.

Love love this picture! I did get a great one of the two of them, but you have to love this one the best. Yep, I got the perfect teenage look here.

Every lady should have a special birthday hat. Wait until you see mine. Heh heh. Yes, she wore this out and she put it on in the restaurant. We are cool like that.

Oh yes. Two fabulous desserts we all thoroughly enjoyed. Very proud of myself for remembering candles and for having an amazing server who went above and beyond the call of duty to help us make this a very special occasion for our girl.