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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

E is for End (as in over)

That's right's the end of April's NaBloPoMo. And NO, I'm not doing another month of this for now. Whew, I'm tired, but I've learned a lot about blogging these last two months. Hopefully there are some things that I can take with me.

I still have two more "letter" posts to make. I will do them asap. I just did not feel like writing today, and I think both of the ideas those lovely ladies gave me will take some time to compose. I will be working on them, though.

How you seen the contests Swistle has going on? I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities, but I will participate. I just need some time to mull over my choices. But I can't wait to learn more about her. She was one of the first blogs I read.

Tonight has been a relaxing evening to myself. Matt is away overnight on business. Zachariah goes to bed early, so it's quiet and no one to get in my way. I've been writing letters, surfing the Internet, watching whatever I want on TV, and eating my own Chocolate Molten Cake (yes, I'm eating the whole thing too). It's a life of luxury I live. ;) Zachariah was really good for me today, but I had a bad headache. Ugh. I've taken something for it (which I don't do unless it's really bad), and I'm feeling better now.

I'm happy that NaBloPo is over, and it will be back to my regularly scheduled program from here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

L is for Lurker (where I lurk this time)

Today's question comes from a lurker, Blonde. She asks:
How about L for Lurker? Where do YOU lurk?
OK, I can do that. I need to update my links on the sidebar sometime anyway. (I will get to that soon.) Instead, I will show you what is on my Google reader. Then you'll know. ;)

Blogs I read:

A Shower Before Noon
Absolutely Bananas
Adventures in Imperfection
All & Sundry
All Dressed Up
All D's
Black Sheeped
Boy Crazy
Bubbie's Corner
Bugs on a blog
Carrie's Blog
Cerebral Palsy Baby
Chop. Stir. Mix.
Code Yellow Mom
Dress-Up and Diaper Changes
Forever Altered
Hack House
hello, self
I got out of bed for this?
Incubation Nation
Is This Home School??
I've Got Mommy Brain
Just One More...
Kitchens are No Place for Playgroupies
Laura's Zoo Up North, with Bears, Moose and Wolves
Lets go for a full house
Life with our Lad
Linoleum Dynamite
Living Life in Tx
Looking At Life
Maybe Painted Pink
Midwest Mom
MO Mommy
Money Saving Mom
monkeys and marbles
Mother Bunny
Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit
My Two Suns
never melts
No Whey, Mama
Ohio Mom Musings
Pass The Chocolate
Playgroups Are No Place For Children
Poot and Cubby
Rainy Day In May...
Rant Haven
Rogue Punchline
Scenic Overlook
Semi-desperate Housewife
Smiling Mom
so the fish said
Suburban Oblivion
Suburban Reviews
SundryBuzz advice you didn't ask for
Swistle: Baby Names
The ELFF Diet
The Queen of Shake-Shake
The Sun Is Always Shining for Samantha
Velveteen Mind
Who needs sleep?
Woman with a Hatchet

Some of these blogs I lurk at, some I comment once in a while, and some I comment regularly. Also, if your blog isn't listed on there, let me know so I can read yours. I did just find a few new ones through my delurking post. Thanks to those of you who commented. And there are a few blogs I read that are invite only, so I don't have them listed here (unless you want me to list it, then I'd be happy to). There you have my list of good reads!

Monday, April 28, 2008

R is for Relationship (bonus letter day)

SaLy has asked me a great question.
My letter is R for relationship. How did you and Matt end up together? What is
the story of MD and Matt?
Although I know I've answered some of it in various posts. I'll still tell you as much of the story as I can here. It's rather uneventful, but I'm OK with that. It was just meant to be with Matt and I.

As I mentioned in another post, Matt and I first met in junior high through a mutual friend. He was a pretty puny little guy then. I didn't notice him too much at that point. That was in 6th grade. In 7th grade we had a few classes together and we were both trumpet players in band together (which would be a big part of us being together). In such a small school, we did see each other often, but I didn't really give him a second thought. By the time 8th grade came around, we knew each other pretty well. We were involved in different things together and had several classes together. In one class he sat behind me the WHOLE year and picked on me NON-STOP. He picked to the point that one time I got in trouble (while taking a test in class) because of him picking on me. I turned around and told him to STOP IT. Then I got "the eye" (you teachers know the one) and a warning from the teacher not to talk while the tests were out. I still rub that in with him. Ha! Anyway, but the end of my 8th grade year I liked Matt a lot, but he was involved with my friend.

We spent a lot of time together that summer because of band. His "girlfriend" was a year younger, so she was never around. We developed a strong friendship, and I didn't mind that he was with my friend. The fall of our freshman year in high school was much of the same. We were good friends, we saw each other a lot. And he quickly broke it off with my friend. (We are still friends with her. She was one of my closest friends in high school, and she and Matt were still good friends too.) This was when I went to a dance with Jeremy. But otherwise I was having a good time with friends and just enjoying my entry into high school. I wasn't too worried about having a guy around.

In December of our freshman year in high school, Matt asked me "out". My first instinct was no way, I'm not ready for that. I consulted one of my closest friends, Jamie. She had known Matt for a lot longer than me. She thought I should not hook up with him, he was not right for me. I took this decision very seriously, and I made Matt wait for an answer for about two weeks. Then I came to my decision, I didn't want to ruin our friendship. (I still have a poem I wrote to him about just being friends. Mostly I was afraid if we dated that we couldn't be friends afterwards, and I really valued our friendship.) But for some reason at the last minute, I figured why not. So we started dating.

We were pretty shy around each other. We were good friends and talked a lot, but we weren't very touchy-feeling or anything like that for quite a while. We went to a lot of things with our families, probably mostly because neither of us could drive (he was 15, I was 14). We participated in each other's church youth groups and other things. The next fall Matt got his drivers license and access to a car. We were practically inseparable. I don't think he kissed me for at least 9 months. We were OK with taking physical things slow.

We had our ups and downs all the time. We had a lot of mutual friends, so we weren't away from each other often. Matt was a big flirt, and that caused a lot of hurt for me. I didn't get why he needed that attention. But he never meant anything by it. Looking back I now see that I was pretty flirty with other guys too. There was one friend (at least) who I did flirt with quite a bit. (In fact I remember saying something about this guy recently, and Matt had no idea that we were so flirty with each other. I think we mostly did it when he wasn't around.) But we always knew that we didn't want anything other than each other.

The spring of our junior year in HS was when Matt talked me into going on one date with "the other guy". I knew right away we would not work out and were better off as just friends. Matt and I became really serious with each other after that. I think at that point we knew that we'd be together forever. We each pursued our own career/college options our senior years preparing for the next year, but we never spoke of taking a break. We just knew if we could make it through college, then we'd be set for life.

We went to separate colleges and were lucky to see each other for a few hours on the weekends. Though we made a point to at least chat online for a little bit each night with each other. In the spring of our freshman year in college I went with my family to Paris, France. He really missed me while I was gone. I think at that point he knew he was going to marry me. We talked about it a lot that year. We'd glanced at engagement rings and dreamed about what if. We knew it was coming, but we just didn't know when yet. Our goal was for at least one of us to be finished with college and have a good job, then we'd be ready to start our lives together.

Matt and I took many little day trips as often as we could. We would go hiking for a whole Saturday, then shop and eat out together. We loved those times together. We'd started making it a tradition to take a hiking day trip around his birthday in October each year. It was a great time to see the fall foliage and enjoy one of our last chances to get out before it got too cool. I was shocked and amazed that on that day (during our Sophomore year in college) when Matt proposed. Up until then we'd talked about our future, but not with definite dates/times. He knew I didn't want a long engagement. 9 months - a year was about my maximum. So when he asked me to marry him, I knew he meant soon. We decided on the next summer. We were both still in college, but he'd just gotten hired at a full-time job that had a good future. (He is still working there today.)

So in the summer between my sophomore and junior year in college, I married Matt. July 29, 2000 is a date I'll never forget. We had a fairly simple wedding, but it was beautiful and we had many of our family and friends there. Matt still had one more year to go on his degree, but he was working full-time and taking classes in the evening. I continued going to school full-time and didn't work for a while. It was a great time for both of us. And the rest is history....I suppose.

I know there is probably plenty more about my life with Matt that I could share, but this has been long enough. If there is something more you'd like to know, just ask and it will be sure to help me tell more about our lives together. It's hard sometimes in one post to know where to start and stop. But I think each thing like this gives you more insight to who I am.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

C is for College (bonus letter day)

So, I'm trying to finish my last few days of April NaBloPo: Letters, with some suggestions I got from you guys. This question comes from Jana at Dress-Up and Diaper Changes:
I pick "C" for college. Tell us about your college experiences - wild parties,
dates gone bad, etc.

Not sure what you're expecting, but I lead a pretty boring life. Although you may have gathered that from my blog this far. ;) I'm a pretty laid back good girl...and I always have been, honestly.

I chose a college close to home. (I did look into a few Christian colleges that were a little ways from home, but I liked the program at the school I chose best.) Matt and I were already dating when I chose schools. I didn't completely choose my school based on being close to Matt, but it probably had a tiny bit to do with the decision. I knew it would be cheaper to attend there, because I had a good scholarship and I could live at home and commute.

I did get involved in some on campus activities (thanks to the prodding of a great friend [the one from Kindergarten I talked about here]) and I enjoyed it more my sophomore year. I think I just felt left out my freshman year since I lived off-campus. But ultimately I got started in the college newspaper, then ended up being an assistant editor and editor by the time I was a senior.

No wild parties. Sorry! Told you I was boring.

I got engaged and married and bought my first house while in college, but I'll talk about that more when I answer SaLy's question about my relationship with Matt.

I started out college as a Middle Childhood major (grades 4-9 with a concentration in Math and History). I quickly (after the first semester) switched the History to Reading. This was a new program the year I started college. The education majors in Ohio were divided K/1-8 and 9-12. When I started they had three programs PreK-3, 4-9, and 7-12. 4-9 picked two areas of concentration, and since that's the grades I was most interested in I chose that one. At the beginning on my junior year the education department director of my college gathered all the Middle Childhood majors and offered to grandfather us into the old K/1-8 program if we were able to get all the classes in on time. They were not quite ready for our program yet and thought this might help a few of us have a broader grade range if we wanted. Well, a close friend of mine and myself were both REALLY interested. That's the program I wanted in the first place (but the state had changed it's programs). So Jen and I switched together. Then we were Elementary Education majors with one concentration (mine was Math and hers was Science). I loved that program so much better, and that's the degree I graduated with.

That's all the excitement I had in college. I'm glad college is over. I subbed for one year right out of school (not many positions open then). Then I worked for a friend for a year (which is how I met Sarah). The next year I subbed again. And that summer I got pregnant (and had a few minor complications [that I'll tell you about when I answer Sarah's question]) and was only able to tutor. My teaching certificate is only good for 10 years. Before those 10 years are up I must start my Master's degree to keep it. At this point I have not taken any further classes. And for now I do not plan to. I have no desire to go back to college at this point in my life (nor do I have the time or money for it). We have considered home schooling (we'll see when the time comes). And I just want to be available to my kids as much as possible while they're young, even if we do put them in public/private school. So for the moment my sort of plan is to let my teaching certificate lapse, and then I may consider subbing for a while (in the state of Ohio, you can sub with a Bachelor anything) when the kids are in school. Maybe some day I'll go back to teaching full time. Who knows.

There, now you know my future career objectives too...if you can call them that.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Z is for Zachariah

K from Big Fat Secret said this when I asked for suggestions for future alphabet posts:
I don't think you'll have any trouble with Z for Zachariah. :)

You're right K, I shouldn't have any problems with that. And since I haven't thought of anything else with Z to fill this day, I will talk about Zachariah for a bit.

Some fun things that Zachariah is doing lately:

  • He says "right dere" or "over dere" when he's pointing something out to us. He totally sounds like a hillbilly when he says it, and it cracks us up. I'll ask him where something is just to hear him say it. (I am trying to get some of these things on video.)

  • This week he discovered the joys of sidewalk chalk, sand, and Play-Doh. I think he likes them all. He screams when I take any away or say it's time to go inside.

  • Whenever someone "new" (someone who isn't normally here- not Matt or I) comes over Zachariah warms up to them quickly. Then he starts dragging out all his toys to show them. Then he takes their hands and drags them to his room or to something else he wants to show them.

  • He's learning more songs and singing words from them randomly during the day.

  • I've been teaching him his full name. It's hilarious to hear him say (again it would be better seen on video). He's been able to say Zac for a while now, but it comes out "Gac". Fortunately he points to himself when saying it. It's even cuter to watch him try to say Zachariah - "Gac a I ah" he'll say as he bops his head. Then Matthew is "Mah hew" (not bad). But our last name is hilarious how he says that. I won't share that here, but it's funny.

  • He tries to count everything now. He starts with two.

  • He loves coloring pictures and putting stamps on paper.

  • He puts all the little toys he loves in his tractor Easter basket and drags it around the house with him.

  • He now has a children's CD he loves to listen to in the car. Before we even get in the car he starts requesting it. Makes for great driving music.

And now for some recent pictures. He's growing up so fast.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Y is for Youth

Today's topic is brought to you by Shelly at Scenic Overlook. Shelly asks:
Y - youth. Tell us some of your favorite childhood memories. Favorite toys, best
friends, favorite teacher, favorite family vacation - that sort of thing.

Hmm, you might be more bored with this than you think Shelly. But I'll give it a shot for you.

A while back I have a bright idea to do a long post about childhood memories, I have lots of great ones. But I quickly realized it was going to take me a long time to come up with as many as I wanted. I do have a list that I started, though, so I'll share some of those memories about my childhood.
  • When I was about 3 years old, my dad brought me a little Oscar the Grouch stuffed toy when we returned from his National Guard training. I think he’d been gone for an extended period of time (a long weekend? Two weeks? I don’t know.) I still have the toy.
  • On my first day of kindergarten my teacher met us in the hallway. She told me to find me locker with my name on it. I loved that. And I was the only one in my class that didn’t have to share a locker. I was so cool in Kindergarten.
  • My dad would take me with him to run errands on Saturday mornings, usually to the lumber yard or hardware store. I loved those days with him. I remember those more than times with my mom. Every beautiful Saturday, I reminisce about those days with my dad.
  • My mom got so mad at my sister one night (because she wouldn’t go to sleep), that she threatened to throw her out the window if she had to come up to our room to correct her again. I think Rachel went to sleep after that, but I laid awake worrying that Mom would really do it. I think I cried myself to sleep. Mom says she does not remember ever saying something that mean. I'm guessing Rachel was about 3-4, so I would have been 7-8 years old at the time.
  • I remember almost passing out on a field trip in 3rd grade. We were watching a demonstration in the blacksmith shop at this little village. It was really hot inside and I got dizzy. They pulled me out and sat me on a bench. My teacher was very glad that my mom was a chaperon that day. Mom just sat with me for a while, then we went on with our day.
  • I almost passed out on the risers in the gym when we were practicing for the school play in 5th grade. (Notice a problem yet?) Luckily my best friend was in front of me, so I put my hands on her shoulders until the dizziness passed. Then my teacher told me I was always “dizzy” (ha ha, he was quite the comedian) and let me go lay on the bed in the office for a while. I didn't think he was so funny then, but I did meet his daughter in high school. She's just like him, and she was a great friend through high school and college.
  • I only lost 2 baby teeth on my own. The dentist had to pull the rest, because they wouldn’t found out. I went to the dentist so much, I was not afraid of him. I wish I lived closer to "home" so I could still go to the same dentist. I don't like the one I have here.
  • My cousin and I used to blindfold each other and lead the other around my grandma’s yard. Then we had to guess where we were. It was fun. My friend and I did a similar thing in her neighborhood.
  • My sisters and I used to all crowd in my bed at night. That would have been fine, but my bed was a twin...on the top bunk!
  • A friend of my parents taught me this when I was 2. If someone asked me how my mouth went, I’d move my hand like it was talking and say “all the time”. It was the truth. They thought it was hilarious and asked me all the time to say it. I make Zachariah say it now. He laughs and thinks it's pretty funny. I can see why they found it so amusing.
  • My mom and I talked all the way to work in the mornings. On day she decided she’d see if I still talked if she didn’t respond. I did…for at least 15 minutes straight…with no responses at all from my mom, I just keep chattering. (Proof that the above was true.)
  • When I was about 4 years old, I would sneak in my parents’ room and scoop my baby sister out of her bassinet and stand there and hold her. My grandma caught me in there once. I turned around in a panic and dropped her right back into the bassinet. One step off, I would have dropped her on the floor. The next night my mom moved the baby into a crib and got rid of the bassinet. Apparently I'd been doing this a lot. Luckily I was careful. It explains a lot now about my sister. ;)
  • When I was 2 or 3 my parents sent me out to feed the dog. He would jump up on them, but not me.

Favorite toys:

  • We had lots of Barbie dolls and sets that went with them. I know I went through that phase for a while.
  • I always loved coloring or other crafty type things.
  • I know I had lots of toys, stuffed animals, and other things, but I don't remember any big particulars. We had My Little Ponies, a toy computer, Cabbage Patch Kids, and more.
  • Honestly, I remember playing outside more. Then the older I got the more I read. I would spend hours in my room by myself reading, writing pen pals, and things like that.

Ahh, my best friend. I totally had a best friend in Elementary School. Her name was Sara, and that's the first thing I liked about her. You see, we have the same name. ;) (Mine is spelled with an H on the end, which of course lead to many discussions about who's was right. Mine is, of course! We still pick about it when we get together. Her parents picked her spelling, because of ease of spelling. Mine picked mine, because it's the Biblical spelling.) Anyway, we also had matching boots. I noticed this in Kindergarten when our two classes were combined for a field trip. Then from 1st grade through 5th grade we were always in the same class. We were inseparable. We hung out in junior high and added more friends to our circle. (That's how I met Matt, actually, she was friends with him first.) In high school we drifted apart a little, but we still did things together with our friend group. We ended up going to college together too, so we saw each other a lot. We still keep in touch (as well as the other 3 friends who were close to us), and we had our baby boys a month apart. We even got a belly picture when she came to my baby shower. (Unfortunately I missed hers, because I was in the hospital right after having Zachariah.) I wish that we lived closer, because I still value her friendship.

My favorite teacher (I had many) is probably a toss up between Mrs. Penner, who taught high school chemistry, and Mr. Shininger, who taught high school math. Mrs. Penner was great, I've never thought of Chemistry in ways that she taught us, but it worked. I had her for two years since I took Chem I and Chem II. I would have had her for Physics the next year, but she retired so we had a new teacher for that. That was the year that Mr. Shininger came to our school. His kids already went there, but he'd been teaching at another school. I took 3 Math courses my senior year, so I was in his room a lot. And Matt was always by my side (good thing for him too, or he may not have gotten such good grades) and I helped him a lot that year. I'm a Math geek, so I loved all my classes that year. And Mr, Shininger made it fun. I loved that. It's funny that 3-4 years later my sister had him. At first she didn't like him at all. She was doing poorly in his class. Until I finally told her how to deal with him, she was struggling. I finally talked to her, she talked to him, he helped her our, and she did amazingly well.

Favorite family vacations is easy. There were several places that we loved to visit as a family. Matt and I now love those places too (most of them, there is one he hasn't been to).

  • We loved going to Hocking Hills as kids. We stayed in the state cabins and enjoyed the pool there. We often went with my parents friends, who had 3 kids close in age to all of us. We paired off and each had a friend. We hiked, ate ice cream, and played games at night in the cabins. Matt and I went here for our honeymoon. We stayed in different cabins from what I was used to, but it was great sharing that with the man I love. And we've gone back at least 3 times since then too.
  • We also went to the ocean a lot. We feel in love with North Carolina. We stayed in Atlantic Beach, NC for many years. The last few times we've gone we've stayed at a house in Emerald Isle (which is just on the other end of the island). We need more room now, because our family is bigger. This is where we went last year for vacation. As kids we would spend all day on the beach, visit the fort, shop in Beaufort, and visit our favorite restaurants. Now we pretty much do the same things. We love all the same places, and we go back about every other year. We're a little more adventurous now and try new places, but it's still fun to visit the old faithfuls. I could go on and on about NC. We just love it there.
  • The other favorite vacation I took was to Paris, France. I went with my parents and sisters when I was a freshman in college. (Matt and I were dating at the time.) While I was in high school, my dad's job changed. He did international travel for the company he worked (still works) for. They offered him a job in Paris, but as a family we decided we didn't want to make that life change. I was dating Matt and didn't want to leave him, plus I already had plans to go to a local college. He declined the move, but he traveled back and forth for years. He was in Paris for a few weeks on business, and we flew out after he was done to spend a week on vacation there. It was lovely. It was actually this time of year, and all the trees were blooming in the parks. We were there for May Day (May 1st) which is a work holiday just like Labor Day for us. It was neat to see that tradition that is different there. We went up in the Eiffel Tower, walked around Notre Dame, spent hours in the Louvre (seeing David and Mona Lisa), walked in the gardens, ate at sidewalk cafes (and McDonald's and Pizza Hut, my sisters weren't too adventurous), took a cruise down the Seine to take in the sites from that view, and really enjoyed our short time there. I would love to go back. Actually I'd love to tour all of Europe, but I'm not holding out hope that it will happen.

So, how was that book about my childhood? I'm sure there are many more revealing things I could tell you. And if I had time (or the determination) I have plenty of photos to go along with these things that I could scan. Not today.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

X is for The X Factor

I'd like to hear your dirt. Tell me about your eXes. Why did you date/marry/hook-up with them in the first place? How long did it last? Why did you get out? Who dumped who? Any other dirt about them?

What else could I do with "X"? Anyway, I don't have any eXes. Matt is the only guy I dated. I'm pretty boring like that. I went on a "date" two other times. The first time was to a high school dance with a guy Jeremy and that was before Matt and I were together. My best friend had a crush on him. He asked me to the dance. I thought he was cute, quiet, tall, and dreamy. It was fun. We got along and talked a lot. I don't know why neither of us never pursued it. Probably because my friend was devastated that I even went with him (even though we'd had a long talk before I went and she wanted me to go and talked me into going). High school drama, ahh. Then the other time was while Matt and I were dating. There was a guy friend of mine who was interested in me. He told me, but he knew we had to keep our distance because I was involved with Matt. I told Matt about it. He asked how I felt. I told him that I didn't know, so he persuaded me to go out one time with this guy. I did. It sucked. I never did it again. Matt was awesome about that whole situation. (And that's not the end of that story, but that's all the dating I did.)

So, dish!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

W is for Winner

I won a prize this week from Quick & Simple. They have something new to win each day and a big prize for the week.

We know that people win with the magazine prizes, because Matt's mom told us she's won several times. You just have to be loyal to signing up every day. They are usually fairly small prizes, so it's not like it's something huge. Sometimes the week's grand prize is something pretty cool.

Matt always makes sure we sign up each day. Well on Monday Matt remembered he hadn't yet entered the drawing. So I looked up the code for the day and went to sign up. I realized that the prize was for something I didn't want. Matt talked me into signing up anyway, because when you sign up you're entered for the weekly prize. This week's prize is a $600 gift card to Subway! Who wouldn't love that.

So of course the first time we actually win a prize from them is on Monday - WHEN I DON'T LIKE THE PRIZE! Here's why. It is something I can't/won't use. The prize is a Rapelle Hair Color Stain Shield Wand. It's supposed to help dodge hair-dye stains. I don't dye my hair and I never have. I used to highlight it a few times a year, but that only lasted about 2 years before I got pregnant and stopped. And now we're pinching pennies, so I don't indulge in that. And since I've never dyed all my hair, this is not something I will use.

So, if you are interested in this SIGN UP! I will give it away by random drawing to whoever wants it. When it arrives to me (in 10-12 weeks, ugh!) I will mail it straight to the winner! YEAH! So, let me know if this is something you can use or know someone who would love it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

V is for Vacation

In about 5 weeks (eek! just had a little panic attack) we'll be going on vacation. YEAH! We are going to Gatlinburg, TN. Matt and I went there 2 1/2 years ago (while I was pregnant) for a weekend. Since we were only there a few days we didn't get to do a whole lot. And there is a LOT to do there. We're still trying to decide what all we'd like to do.

We've had our cabin rented for months. There were so many great ones to choose from, but I think we'll love this one. I can't wait to relax in the hot tub or pretend to play pool while Zachariah is in bed.

One of the things we know for sure we'd like to do down there is take Zachariah to the Ripley's Aquarium. He has already stolen our brochure and looks at it a lot. He's excited. We've been telling him we'll take it there.

We already know there is plenty of great shopping in the area, and I hope to enhance our summer wardrobes while we're there.

There are lots of great places to eat. I definitely want to take Matt to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. I ate there in Chicago on navy Pier when I was 4 weeks pregnant and craving fish. ;) Matt's never been there, but he will love it more than me. We've also seen lots of other places to eat that catch our interest. We had originally planned to cook most of our meals, but now we're thinking we may eat out more.

I'd also love to hear from those of you who have been to this area before. What would you say we must do? Where are the places we should eat? (We may be taking a short trip to Greenville to eat a great BBQ place with Matt's uncle, aunt, and cousin.)

I'm sure I'll have plenty more to say about our trip before and after we go. For now I really should start jotting down a few ideas while they are fresh in my mind.

Monday, April 21, 2008

U is for Updates

After thinking about some of my recent posts, I realized that I often post about issues or things happening in my life (and other people I know) and I don't post updates to them. So after looking over my archives, here are some updates for you.

No one got all of my photos right, but a few of you guessed a couple right on. Thanks for the ones who played. It was fun.
Jana, nope, that is my sister Rachel.
Jen (I hope I got the right Jen), yes, that IS me with the cake and tie-shoulder tank; that was my 3rd birthday; my mom made that cake (she made them all, because she's awesome like that). I am also in two others you guessed. And Yes, that is me the tall girl in the one photo of me an my sisters (I'm the oldest by almost 4 years).
SaLy, you got 5 out of 7. I think you were closest. And the window background photo that you and Jen noticed is me. And it was taken in 1980 (maybe closer to 1981).

Click on the photo to enlarge. The red circles are me. The blue ones are my sister, Rachel, and the green ones are my youngest sister, Mary. (Also in the photos are my parents friends' kids- Shannon & Lucas, my dad [on his 24th birthday], my grandfather [now deceased], my cousins- Sandra & Nick, my parents together.)

I'm still working on some of these things here. I'm not drinking all the water I should, but it's getting better. I do make a point of drinking more each day. I have not been taking my vitamins. I did really well for the first week, then I got off track. I have not scheduled doctor appointments. My housework is going fine. I haven't started boxing up garage sale things though. Meal planning and calendar work are going well. Craft stuff has been a no go.

I never did get sick. Thank goodness.

The teeth brushing trick is still working well for us. Some of you said you might try it. Any successes? Now Zachariah tells me what I should brush out. As I start brushing his teeth, he'll say "raisins" brush, brush, brush "yogurt raisins". LOL. We still have too many toys though. We had a bad battle about not picking up toys this weekend. Ugh.

I haven't posted many new recipes in a while. Although I am still experimenting with new recipes for my family. We had a yummy rice/ground turkey/veggie casserole tonight. Mmm.

We did get a new TV. Well...a new to us TV. It's an old television that a couple Matt does computer work for had in their garage. Matt bought it from them for $15. It works. We can't use our sound system with it and it doesn't have a remote. We've hooked up the cable through the VCR, so we can change channels with that remote. But we have to get up off our butts to change the volume. For now it's working fine for us.

The boy who was shot where I tutor is fine. I've seen him a lot lately, and he is great.

Ha, this was a nice thought. Unfortunately it didn't last. I still have been unable to get back into exercising. I was feeling so much better when I was working out. I need to get back to it, but I'm afraid I'll hurt my back again. Something has got to give.

I got a few great deals over a week ago at TCP. I wanted to show you what I got but I keep forgetting to take pictures. Soon.

Zachariah hasn't tried this trick again. So when should we consider the great bed switch?

Cheryl's little girl is doing great. She's completely free of all monitors and able to finally leave the house now. She is 7 months old now. We're hoping to meet her on Memorial Day weekend.

Ha, ha, I never did anything special for my 200th post. By now I'm on my way to my 400th post. And I passed my 1 year blogiversary back in January.

My mom's friend, Cyndi, is still hanging in there. I talked about her in this post. She has been on hospice care since then. She has good and bad days, and she's hardly left the house since October (once or twice), but lately she's OK. It's hard knowing she won't get completely better, and she relies on others to completely take care of her. But my mother has valued this time she's been able to spend with Cyndi.


OK , those are all the updates I can think of for now. Anything you want me to update you on?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

T is for Top Twenty/Bottom Ten

Today's post suggestion comes from a de-lurked reader who blogs at More Gravy. Thank you for the fun idea. I had to go look at her Top 20/Bottom 10 posts to understand. It's a neat idea. And now I have a new blog to read. ;) Since tomorrow's Monday I think this post will be an appropriate way to start the week thinking about lovely things and venting about bad things.

Top 20
1. My family
2. Caring/loving/praying small group
3. Quiet, sleeping baby
4. A clean house
5. Sunshine
6. Old television favorites on DVD
7. Daffodils- the first spring flower
8. Mt. Dew
9. Playground visits
10. A loving family who we see often
11. Long, warm showers
12. New clothes
13. Photos
14. Kids who sleep in occasionally
15. New magazines
16. Blogging friends
17. Lazy Saturdays
18. A caring, loving husband
19. Clean laundry
20. A stash of Easter candy

Bottom 10
1. Toddler temper tantrums
2. Scary movies
3. Last year's spring/summer wardrobe that won't fit
4. A great mother-in-law who won't call (we'd love for her to call and let us know what's going on)
5. Books that take too long to read
6. Muddy dogs
7. Losing touch with friends
8. Dirty dishes in the sink
9. Dusting
10. Too many toys

So, what would you add to the Top 20/Bottom 10. Do your own, I'd love to read it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

S is for Service

My car! Ugh. It's always something. It's back at the dealership for service again. As I was driving home yesterday I rolled down the windows to get a little air. One of the windows made an awful noise and then would not move. By the time I got home I could see that it was completely loose in it's housing. Now it's at the dealership awaiting service. Luckily they are very nice and always give me a loaner car. I can't catch a break with cars. I could tell you many stories.

Friday, April 18, 2008

R is for Religion

Erica at All Dressed Up (If you don't read Erica's blog, go read it. She rocks!) gave me the word for today's post. (There were more suggestions for R and I will use them, but I'm going in the order of who gave them to me first.) Well, Erica, I hope that you're not too disappointed in my post about religion. It's probably rather boring.

I grew up in an amazing Christian home. I went to the same church almost all my life. When I was born my parents were attending a United Methodist church, so I was baptized as a baby there. After a while they found another church that is part of the Christian & Missionary Alliance (CMA, aka Alliance). They have been attending at the Alliance church near them ever since. Shortly after they started attending there, my sister was born. At the Alliance church we don't baptize babies, but instead we dedicate them. So, when my sister was dedicated, so was I.

I became a Christian at a young age. I was a bright one (too smart for my own good maybe?) young. I specifically remember asking Jesus into my heart when I was 4 years old. I loved going to Sunday School, learning about Jesus, and memorizing scripture from a young age. When I was 8 years old, I went to church camp for the first time. I remember asking to rededicate my life to God, because I had accepted him so young I wanted to be sure I was making that my choice. Shortly after that I was baptized at my church.

I have always been a pretty conservative Christian. I have never strayed from my Christian values and beliefs. To me my Christianity is about a relationship and not about religion. I live my life for God.*

When Matt and I got married and moved here (a little ways away from home), we looked for a new church together. There are two Alliance churches here, so we decided to check them out first. We fell in love with our current church immediately. Honestly, we were planning to check our other (non-CMA) churches, but something about this particular church drew us in. It is amazing and we've now been here for almost 8 years. We've seen our church go through good times and bad, and it's the people there that make us stay. As long as we stay in this area we will raise our children in this church too. When Zachariah was 2 months old he was dedicated here. When he's older and has accepted Jesus as his Savior, then he can decide if he'd like to be baptized here. I hope that we can pass our beliefs and values on to him, but ultimately it's his choice. We will love him, guide him, pray for him, and do the best we can to raise him.

Matt's father is a United Methodist pastor. Matt grew up in a UM church. He started coming to youth group events with me when we were in high school. We went to each other's churches for services occasionally, but mostly we stayed at our respective churches for our parents. In college, Matt started coming more to my church. He fell in love with it and he loves this church here as much as I do.

If you'd like to learn more about my church in particular, I'd be glad to tell you more. Our church website is an awesome resource and it explains "11 basic beliefs" and our churches views on baptism, communion, and baby dedication. I don't want to link here for just anyone, but I'd be glad to give it out to those of you who I "know".

I'd be happy to answer any more about this subject. I feel like I gave you a brief overview, but it's hard to know where to begin/end and what to include/not include. So there you go for now.

* Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q is for Quiet

Zachariah has been sleeping later this week. He does that, he'll go in spurts when he'll sleep later for weeks, then have a week or so when he gets up earlier. The few weeks before this he's been getting up fairly early for us. Now this week he's sleeping in. So my body is getting up without him. This is pretty nice most mornings. I'm enjoying being able to have breakfast on my own and just relish the peace and quiet for a while. I like my quiet time. This means I get it in the morning, and again when he naps in the afternoon.

How about you? Do you get up before your kids? Why do you? Can't sleep anymore? Gotta get ready for work? You get the family going? Or are you like I normally am and wait to get up until the kid/kids wake up? Does what you're doing work for you? Have you tried different things?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

P is for Please

My son is so polite. He says "Please", "thank you", "you're welcome", and even "bless you" when appropriate. I love it. Of course he does all of this because I instilled it in him at a young age. I think he should be polite to people. It just makes my day when I get something for Zachariah and he grins and says "Thank you, Mommy" so plainly. When he still isn't speaking in sentences (most of the time), it's amazing to hear that. And in the last week or so every time someone sneezes he says "bless you".

I love this sweet side of my son. Tonight Matt got his Micro Machine cars out to play with Zachariah for a while. This is the first time he's shown them to Zachariah. We decided they were still a bit small to be left out. But it would be a special toy that Daddy and Zac could play with together. Unfortunately they only played for about 1/2 an hour before it was bedtime for Zachariah. He cried and cried and was so sad that we had to put the cars away. He helped pick up nicely, but then he'd run to me crying. It was so sad to see him upset. Matt told him that they could display the cars on the wall in his room. They come in a little case that you can hang. That way he can see them but can't get to them without help.

Since I'm telling stories already, you have to hear this one. This afternoon while I was putting away clothes in Zachariah's room he was in there playing with toys. Pretty soon he started saying something (kind of singing) that I didn't recognize yet from him. After getting him to repeat it a few times I realize he's saying/singing "Three Blind Mice" over and over. It was so cute. I don't know exactly where he picked it up though. There is a kids sing-a-long CD that he listens to once in a while in his room. I had to go look and I saw that song IS on there. And Sunday on our way home from my parents' house, we let him listen to a CD in the car (which we don't normally do). It's a CD of Christian Mother Gooseland (I can't find it online; Matt bought a record on Ebay and transferred it to CD), something Matt remembers listening to as a kid. Anyway, it has a song on it to the tune of "Three Blind Mice" but it's called "Three Kind Mice". I can't tell for sure which song Zachariah is singing, but it's still funny. This isn't a song that I sing with him, so I was surprised that he picked it up like that.

These are some great moments about being a Mom.

O is for Outside

Outside has become one of Zachariah's new favorite words. Thanks to the teasing of spring we've been out a few times in the last few weeks. But one or two days of nice weather is always followed by a few days of cooler/rainy weather when we can't get outside. Today it was a bit warmer, so my mom and I stopped to let Zachariah run around at a local park for a while. I hope that it stays warm soon, so we can start doing that regularly. On the bad days, Zachariah has taken to running to me several times a day, tennis shoes in hand, yelling "outside, outside". I hate seeing the disappointment on his face when I say no. They he says "cold?", yes poor baby it's too cold out. Ahh, but we'll be back outside soon enough.
When we do go outside we try to visit a local playground. The problem with this is there isn't one in walking distance. So we have to pack up the car and drive there and back. I try to just stop if we're out and about for other things already.

Another favorite thing is watching the trucks working on a project down the road from us. Or there's the new beach ball that Zachariah likes to hit with a stick across the yard. Or just picking up sticks. And of course he enjoys riding in the new wagon he got from his grandparents for Christmas.

Monday, April 14, 2008

N is for Noon

Tomorrow (not exactly at noon, but close enough) my mom is coming over for a while. She had a business meeting here in town in the morning. Her boss (who is also a dear friend) told her to go, then take the rest of the day off to spend time with Zachariah and I since she was already here.

I have to say even though I just spend the weekend with my parents, I'm happy to spend more time with my mom. She's one of my best friends. And I was just at a funeral visitation tonight for a mother of my friend. She was only 50 years old (a little older than my mom). A week ago Friday she drove herself to the hospital because she wasn't feeling well. After some extensive testing, they found that she had lung cancer (very advanced already) and it had already started spreading to other parts of her body. They were discussing treatment options. She didn't even have a chance to try though. This last Friday, she passed away. So sad. The family is handling it well. They know that she was a Christian and loved God. They look forward to being reunited with her in heaven.

After we got home from the visitation, I called my parents. I called just to say "I love you". My dad just paused when I told him that's why I called. I said "Is that OK?" He said "Yes, I just thought there was a punchline." Ha, that's my dad always waiting for the joke. He understood once I told him why though. And I felt better just talking to them. It's hard knowing we can't predict the future. We don't know what day will be our last (or a loved one's last).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

M is for Mem'ries

This photo collage has been hanging in my parents' house for a long time. First it was in the house where I grew up, then a few years ago they brought it with them to their new house. It got put up right away. We love looking at all the memories on here, and guests love seeing all of us as young kids. If you click on the photo, you should be able to see it a little larger. I am on there 7 times. Anyone want to try to guess which ones are me?
***If someone can find me all 7 times, I will send you a prize. I will send a Pampered Chef item to the first person to do so correctly.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

L is for Lurking

Show me some love today. I think I probably have a fair amount of lurkers on this blog. If you would, please say hello and tell me how you got here. Plus if I don't already read your blog, I'd love to check yours out. :)

I'd also like for you to give me some things to write you. You see, I'm doing "letters" for April's NaBloPoMo and I'm going to run into a problem at the end of the month. I've been going through the alphabet with my posts, and if you haven't noticed there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and 30 days this month. That leaves me 4 extra days. Plus I'm not sure I'll be able to do a blog post with every letter (Hello: q, x, y, z? Maybe, but I'm not sure I'm that creative.) So, here's my idea: reader's choice. On the days that I'm stuck or out of letters, I'll use your suggestion. You give me any letter and word, ex. A is for A---- (or whatever letter you choose), and I'll go with your letter and word for the day. Make sense? So you can design a theme, or you can choose a word/letter and let me go with it. It might be a good way to ask questions or just to really challenge my creativity. If/when I pick your suggestion I will link to your blog that do too. Help a girl out, huh.

*And don't forget to leave me a comment!

Friday, April 11, 2008

K is for Kiss

Last night I went to the store by myself. I waited until we'd had dinner, so I cleaned up things from that then headed out. This meant that Matt would have to put Zachariah to bed. Before I left I told Zachariah goodnight and hugged and kissed him. Then I said bye to Matt and gave him a kiss too. Zachariah saw me kissing Matt, and he came running to me before I left and said "tiss tiss". He wanted another kiss. So sweet. He wrapped his little arms around my neck and gave me big kiss. Then he said "see see" and ran to the window. "Yes, baby, you can watch me leave. Now be good for Daddy. Good night." He watched at that window until I couldn't see him anymore. That sweet little boy melts my heart.

And he was good for his daddy. But when I got home Matt told me about a few problems. When he was getting pajamas on Zachariah he accidentally zipped up his belly. Poor guy, he has a little red spot there from it. It's just one of those things that's bound to happen. Then after he'd been in bed for a while, he started yelling for Matt. He went in his room, and Zachariah was sitting sideways with both legs hooked through the slats - stuck. Matt said it's a good thing he didn't break his legs the way he was stuck in there. He figures Zachariah must have been jumping on the bed to get in that position. By the time I got home all was quiet and Zachariah was finally sleeping peacefully. Thank goodness.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

J is for Just... (and an update)

Just a little rain
just a little cold
just a little spring is getting
just a little old. Blah!

Thanks for all the comments from yesterday. Some truly made me laugh (Jennifer, ha!), but really that IS the meanest thing I'd say (I'm serious). We did just let the issue drop, and I did take him to bed later. I didn't feel like I needed to apologize again, and all is well.

Honestly we are usually pretty nice to each other. We don't argue very often, and when we do we're pretty civil. I'm just not a mean person. It's just who I am. I wish once in a while I could get really mad, but it doesn't really happen. I suppose it's good, and it's me.

I think the reason I got so upset was it felt like it was a shot at my weight. I am overweight, and I know it, and Matt knows it, and he knows I know it. It's an issue, but it's not. I hope you know what I mean. Most times Matt says anything about it, I'm pretty touchy. I feel like I know my own problems, but I don't need to hear about them. Yet he most often means nothing by it or is just trying to be kind and encouraging. But it's one issue I get upset about. Anyway, I don't think this is the time to talk about that, but it does give a little insight as to why I jumped at my husband. Poor guy. I made it better though, I promise.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I is for I'm Sorry

I need your advice. I was very rude to my sweet husband last night. I said something very mean. He ignored me and acted like nothing happen. He gets big points for being the bigger person. I still haven't apologized, though, and I do feel bad. But I still feel justified in what I said to him.

I was debating whether or not to tell you what I said. It was pretty mean (about as mean as I get and I don't get that way often, which is probably why I'm still stewing about what I said). OK, OK. When I got home last night from tutoring, Matt was getting dinner finished and serving up plates so we could eat. He had made lobster pasta and lima beans. Well, with the pasta I didn't really feel like beans too. (Honestly I could see that the pasta was a little overcooked, and he'd just told me that the beans were a little dry and bland.
ME: Don't put any beans on my plate, I don't want any.
Matt: Why not? (Gives me a strange look.)
ME: I just don't want them.
Matt: (huffing) Well, then what kind of vegetable do you want me to make you?
ME: You don't have to make a different vegetable just for me.
(Supper was already ready to eat, so I didn't want to mess with making more stuff at that point. I'm not usually picky and it doesn't matter, they just didn't sound good.)
Matt: Well, you HAVE to have a vegetable.
ME: I had more vegetables than normal with lunch.
Matt: But you need more, you need some with supper too.
ME (here comes the nasty): When did YOU become my mother?

That's it. That's what I said. He just didn't talk to me for a few minutes and just finished making up the plates. I was still stewing about what he said for a while. I figured he'd be mean and rude to me for the rest of the evening (past experience talking), but he just let it roll off his back. We were fine the rest of the evening. But here I am the next day still thinking about it. I was truly offended by what he said (and how he acted) towards me, but I still don't think that justified me being rude to him. At this point Matt has forgotten about.

What would you have done in my shoes (when it happened)? What would you do now?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

H is for Hungry

My little boy can EAT. He sometimes has as much as I do at dinner/lunch/whatever we're eating. When my friend came over last Friday, I saw how much he can eat. This was not because he ate more than normal, but because she compared what I gave the kids to what she normally gives hers. She just keeps it more simple for lunch, I guess.

For lunch on Friday I gave the boys this:
  • peanut butter and honey sandwich pockets on wheat bread (I use honey so there's no mess with jelly. I cut off the crusts [he doesn't eat them anyway and the dog likes it] with my Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal.)
  • 3 baby carrots with ranch dip
  • a small handful of yogurt-covered raisins
  • a small graham cracker square
  • peach yogurt
  • milk

Zachariah ate all of that and more. Lucas ate maybe half of that or less, but he did ask for more carrots and raisins a few times.

That might be a little more than what I would typically give Zac, but he will eat it. Plus for lunch I let him pick out things he likes. He always has a sandwich (or chicken or pasta or something like that), a fruit (orange slices, peaches, plums, raisins, grapes, etc.), a veggie usually with dip (carrots, broccoli, celery), pretzels (or graham cracker or tortilla chips or something), and milk. He'll sometimes have yogurt, too.

For dinner Zachariah will eat whatever we're eating. I do some casseroles with meat/veggies/pasta/rice combinations, I make a lot of chicken, and Matt likes to make different creations with whatever is on hand. We always have a veggie with dinner too, and he'll eat that. Sometimes for dessert we'll have fruit. Most nights he eats a smaller portion of everything we're having. If he won't try something on his plate, he isn't allowed to have a snack later.

For breakfasts he will eat a small bowl of cereal and fruit. Or he'll have waffles or pancakes and fruit. If I make him frozen waffles he can eat about 1 1/2 easily sometimes 2 and the fruit and juice or milk.

For snacks in the afternoon after nap Zachariah will have a cereal bar or popcorn or fruit snacks or a banana or whatever I have laying around like that. And on most of my tutoring days he'll eat there with the kids (a cookie or crackers or something else small like that). For before bed snacks it's much lighter and usually a treat. We eat dinner late and usually within 1/2 hour after that's over it's already bath time. I let him pick something out of the snack box for that snack. Right now he has some little Easter chocolates that he's chosen. So he'll have one little Hershey's kiss or something similar. (Then of course we go brush all the chocolate out of his teeth.) I do not allow snacks in the morning. Breakfast and lunch seem close enough together. And if I allow morning snacks, he won't eat much for breakfast.

I don't feel like he's eating all the time or eats tons of food. But I know for his age, Zachariah is a pretty good eater. He likes to eat. And he's not too picky. Once in a while there are things he won't try, but we can usually convince him to take a few bites even if he doesn't finish it. It's important to us that he tries a wide variety of things. I will admitt, though, that I already worry about how I will feed this kid when he's a teenager. He already eats well, and I remember what Matt was like as a teen.

Monday, April 7, 2008

G is for Glorious

The weather has been so nice here for the last 3 days. It's been glorious. I wish we could have spent more time outside today, but it was still good.

I spent the morning trying to convince Zachariah to go pee-pee in the potty. We've been wanting to just try and potty train him already. I bought him big boy pants/underwear this weekend. But since he went to bed late and then got up early. Ugh. So I thought it might be a rough morning and decided to wait to try the new underwear tomorrow. Well, within an hour of being up, he told me he had to potty. I took him in there and he went poo-poo on the potty. (Well he started to, then I had to convince him to stay there to finish.) But he was so happy to see the results and get a treat for it too. After that I went ahead and put him in the undies. For more than two hours I tried to put him on the potty about every 15 minutes and talked to him about telling me when he needed to go. But it didn't happen. As I originally expected he was weepy and whiny today. He refused to even sit on the potty more than once the whole time. And he didn't manage to pee on it at all. We had 2 outfit changes, and then before lunch and nap time I went ahead and put him back into a diaper. I can see that he's not ready.

I don't get it. He knows when he has to poop and will do that on the potty. But he'll just pee any old time. Sometimes he tells me right after he's gone, but I don't think he knows yet before he goes. We'll keep trying though.

Anyway, that's not really what I wanted to talk about. It was such a nice day. This evening Matt took Zachariah out and they did a little work in the garden. Then after dinner we went out for ice cream. I'm not usually a big ice cream eater, but I always want it when the weather finally turns nice like this. We got home just after Zachariah's bedtime. He gawked at the neighbor kids all out riding their bikes.

I love days like that, and I can't wait for more warm wonderful weather.

F is for Family

I'm so lucky to have a wonderful family. My parents are wonderful people and two of my closest friends. I am grateful.

Yesterday my parents came over. My dad helped Matt with some projects in the bathroom that we've been working on for a while. My mom and I played with Zachariah. Then we went to Meijer for some groceries and looked around at other things. When we got back the guys were taking a break, so we gave them meat to grill. It was a gorgeous day, and my mom was excited to grill for the first time of the season. Good idea.

Later while Zachariah was napping my mom and I went shopping again. We ended up at Kohl's this time. She was looking for some new clothes. She tried on a lot, but she ended up with one outfit. Then we wandered by kids clothes and she ended up buying Zachariah some summer clothes that he needs. Fun! (I don't let her buy him clothes very often, because I buy him so much already.)

When all the work was done in the evening we went out to dinner at a little restaurant that I'd suggested. Make your own burritos, tasty! Anyway, Matt and I wanted to buy them dinner to thank them for everything (working, bringing/buying most of the stuff for lunch, buying Zac clothes). My dad fought me about it when it was time to pay (not bad fighting, just talking). I explained to him why we wanted to pay. He explained to me that he makes more money and can spend more and we can use that money for something else. Geesh, parents. They spoil us a little. But I can't complain about THAT. Plus I have the world's greatest parents.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

E is for Energy

I love when friends come to visit. I feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and energetic when they leave. My friend, Stephanie, came to visit Friday. We had an uh-mazing time. She was here for 4 whole hours, but it seemed like 1. We couldn't believe where the time went. We talked, cooked, chased kids, and talked some more.

Zachariah got along pretty well with her youngest son Lucas (almost 4). A few times Zachariah would bug Lucas or want to take a toy back, so we split it up. It was never anything major though.

I think Stephanie and I will do this more often. We're usually lucky to get together a few times a year. And at that we usually meet somewhere in between us to shop or grab lunch. This time there was nowhere to be, so we were able to relax and enjoy each other more.

We never ran out of anything to say. And after she left I thought of all the things we didn't talk about or do and could have. Next time. I hope it's sooner this time.

We've realized it worked well this way, because she came after her older boys were on the bus and left here to get home before they did.

As much as I value my friendships with other people, this particular friendship has been great. We actually first met before I had Zachariah, so it was different then. But we always hit it off despite our differences in families. We have so many other things in common. Then when I got pregnant (she was the first person to know, even before Matt) and had a baby, our friendship just developed that much more. I don't have many "mom" friends, so this is one I don't want to lose. We just get each other. And that's what's so great about it. Now I'm feeling completely energized.

D is for Discipline

I would like to tell you about my friend Lisa. I spoke with her in great length this week about a new development in her life. Lisa was a former big girl like myself, but she has been working hard in the last 8 months. She has lost 85 lbs. And she's lost that much that quickly because she has some serious Discipline with a capital D.

Lisa starting eating natural foods only in September 2007. She has undergone this amazing change with her eating habits only in a matter of 8 months! Amazing. She still has 25 lbs or so that she'd like to lose, so she is adding exercise.

But, you guys, this woman hasn't touched chocolate, ice cream, white bread, cookies, sweets, potatoes or anything otherwise indulgent for 8 months! Not one bite has gone into her mouth. Not THAT, my friends, is pure determination.

She looks amazing. I wish she could rub some of her will-power off on me. I need to get to work. For serious!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

C is for Crappy

I have no idea what to write today. I've been busy today trying to organize and clean my office. I've gotten a lot done in 2 days, but there is so much more to do. I really need Matt to sit down with me sometime and go through lots of things.

I'm still not feeling 100% better. Sometimes I feel like eating nothing, because my stomach is upset. Then I am hungry and do eat, and it's upset again right after. But I'm having more moments of feeling normal than I did a few days ago.

But my friend, Stephanie, is coming over tomorrow. I'm so excited about that. We don't get together very often, so we'll have lots to talk about. Stephanie is one of the few mom friends I have, so that is great. Even though her three boys are older than my son, it's still great to have someone to talk about mom things with. And she has more experience than me, so I love to bounce things off of her. Her older boys will be in school, but she's bringing her 4 year old along tomorrow. He and Zachariah have gotten along well the few times they've been together (it's usually just us girls getting away when we're together). I think it will be good for them to play. And I just can't tell you how thrilled I am to be able to spend some time in person with Steph. Fun!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

B is for Boredom

I've been too bored lately. The problem is that I have plenty of things to do. I would rather be lazy than be productive most days. So, I'm setting some goals for myself.

For my health:
*Drink 8 glasses of water each day.
*Take my vitamins twice daily.
*Find a family doctor and schedule a check-up.
*Eat a healthier lunch.

For my house:
*Do a little de-cluttering every day.
*Do one extra chore/task each day.
*Box up things I've been wanting to take to the garage sale.

For my family:
*Keep up the meal planning.
*Keep a calendar.

For Zachariah:
*Try doing at least one craft-type project each week.

I have started on some of these things, but I felt like I needed a list to see what's been running though my brain. Of course there are many more things, but this is a good start.

How about you? What can you do to be less lazy? Or maybe you're a very productive person. If that's the case, give me some advice. What is a great tip that you'd like to share?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A is for Ailment

I'm not sure yet what ails me, but I am not feeling well. Whenever I get sick it starts with a sore/scratchy throat, but then it can turn into anything. That's just my warning sign that I'm getting something. I have been really lucky not to get sick yet this winter. There were a few times that I thought I might be getting sick, but I never got worse and it went away quickly. This time, I don't know.

I wasn't as tired yesterday, but I didn't feel like eating much. Then I had some serious diarrhea problems in the afternoon. Then by evening I felt like eating, but I didn't want to overdo it. Today I just have an icky stomach, nothing else. Since yesterday a baked potato has sounded really good. I haven't eaten much today, but I did go to Wendy's and get a baked potato for lunch. It didn't help, but it didn't hurt. I still feel the same. I guess I will just wait and see what tomorrow holds for me.