Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grandma's b-day

Just a quick post with pics from Grandma's party earlier this month. She had so much fun and really enjoyed seeing everyone. Almost all the kiddos were there (see picture to left). And, I recognized almost everyone! Some I hadn't seen in over 20 years.

I think she was pretty tired afterwards, but has since recovered and is enjoying looking at pictures from the wonderful day. I still can't believe that she's 100 years old. It seems like just yesterday she was sitting at the Thanksgiving table making sure everyone, especially my grandpa, had enough to eat and already asking if they wanted "seconds" before they had taken their first bite. And if you even looked like you needed something from the kitchen she was up and looking for whatever was needed. I swear, I don't know if she had a hot meal until she was in her 80's. :) Anywhoo - here's a couple of pics. Enjoy!

The birthday girl was escorted by her "baby" - my dad.

Great-Grandma and Braden. He was very proud to share her day with her! He loves a good birthday party!

Mom and Dad before the big party.

After the party we had to head back to Topeka for school and work the next day. I took these pictures while we (Brady) were driving on the highway. I thought the beautiful sunset was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Tax Dollars Hard at Work

Ok, picture it. I was driving home from a long day at work when my car started sputtering. I managed to get it off the highway and onto a less-busy street (so I thought). When I made the turn off the interstate my car DIED. I mean sputter, sputter, cough, cough….dead. Okay, so I just had the oil changed and everything looked okay. My gas gage was low, but the low gas light hadn’t been on. This is very important information.

Since it was “rush hour” traffic in Topeka – it took about one minute before a friendly highway patrol officer found me and stopped (with his lights on) to see if I was okay. I explained to him the aforementioned facts: no warning, sputtering, dead, battery light and oil light came on, etc. He asked how the gas gage was. I said it was low, but the gas light had never come on. I’m sure it couldn’t be that. Again, this is very important information.

He kindly asked me to try to start the car. I did and it chugged and died. He said, “Ummmm, Ma’am, you are out of gas.” After I finished cringing at the whole “ma’am” thing, I said, but that’s impossible – the LIGHT NEVER CAME ON, HELLLLLOOOO!!! He, very kindly, mentioned that my gas gage *was* rather low, and it *might be* possible that the light is not working properly. NAH, that can’t be it. I’ve never ran out of gas before in my life!!! He asked if I lived far, or if I had someone bringing me some gas. DUH, I am still trying to convince him that there MUST be something else wrong with my car. I am sure it’s not that simple.

In the meantime, imagine my luck when my husband came toodling by in his car and looked twice when he saw it was me holding up traffic with lights flashing from some of Kansas’ finest. (I swear it must have looked like a very high-powered drug bust by this time.) I counted at least five traffic violations as he turned around to come see if I was okay. I thought for sure he was going to get some kind of ticket. And, the supportive wife that I am, threw him under the bus and nervously said to Mr. Highway Patrolman, “What does he think he’s doing??!!” I think the guy in the uniform must have informed him of his theory behind my mishap as he just rolled his eyes when walked up next to my car. I tried to convince Brady that it must be the battery or something. The light NEVER came on! Helllloooooo - is anyone listening to me.

The officer had already asked Motor Vehicle Assistance (I’d always wondered what those trucks would do for someone stranded…now I know.) to fetch me some gas. Brady was on his way to get our son from daycare and asked if he should go get him, or stay with me a little while longer. I’m sure the look he got said you better not leave me here alone! He was blocking the view of most of the passers-by and I felt like I had somebody on my side. He reassured me that no more than 300 cars have gone past in the seven minutes it took to get gas back to my car. How many of them could have known it was my car?

As Mr. Motor Vehicle Assistance put four gallons of gas into my tank, I asked how much we owed him for the gas. Mr. Highway Patrol informed me that these are my tax dollars hard at work. Brady then whispered to me that they would just include a charge for the gas on my ticket for impeding traffic! A TICKET???!!!! NO WAY!! Mr. Highway Patrol thought that was HILARIOUS!

Then he said to me, “Ma’am,” (QUIT CALLING ME MA’AM!) “Go ahead and try to turn it over.” I was certain that it wouldn’t do anything. Low and behold – it purred like a kitten. DANGIT!

Before I had a chance to thank him one more time, he was already on his way to making I-70 a much safer highway for all those traveling through our fair city. Thank you Mr. Highway Patrolman and Mr. Motor Vehicle Assistance. I am eternally grateful!

Oh, and FYI - I’m still having my battery tested to make sure it’s not going to stop like that again. Oh yeah, and I’ll fill my tank at ½ tank from now on!

P.S. Pics from Grandma’s birthday party (with my 100 year old outfit coming this weekend!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

100 years old!

That's how old my grandma will be on Sunday. 100 years! Can you imagine? I wonder what she thinks of this election? I find it fascinating to ask her those kinds of questions. She's still able to hold a conversation and understands most of what you say. She lived in her own house until a little over a year ago when she went to live in a nursing home minutes from my dad and aunt. She has trouble getting around and is in a wheelchair now, but her mind - it's sharp as a tack!

We are going to Baxter Springs, Kansas, for a big celebration for her on Sunday at the church where she and my grandpa used to go. All of her granchildren (25+) will be there (except my oldest brother that lives in Japan) with their kids and, for a few, their kids! She's so excited - she's worrying about her hair and what she should wear. After all, the day will be all about her! (I wonder where I get it from???)

I will be the staff photographer (see, I brought it back to me). I'll post a few pictures next week after I get back. I spent my lunch hour today and 2 hours after work shopping and trying to find SOMETHING TO WEAR! (Again, all about moi!)

What is it about trying to find something special at the last minute and finding NOTHING. Do they wait to put the crappiest clothes out on the racks until they know someone will be looking for something "special?" I found two pairs of shoes that do not match the two pairs of slacks I bought, for which I do not have blouses that will match. I did find two pairs of jeans that sort of fit, but were on the clearance shelf. If you know me, you know I can't pass up a bargain - wait for's like leaving money on the table.

You know what I'll end up wearing, right? Something I already own! It's probably 100 years old. That should be appropriate.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I only had one thing to do today

Okay - I had two things to do today.

1) Yoga at 8:30 - actually ended up being more of a Tai Chi class. If you are interested in knowing about it - it totally kicked my butt!


2) Clean the frickin' bathroom.

Without giving away the whole story, the way I see it, I got half of my list accomplished today. A quick trip to Kohl's ended up taking me to Kohls, Tuesday Morning, The Dollar Tree, Westlake Hardware Store, and oh yeah, Sonic Happy Hour!

Somewhere around the Dollar Tree my butt started draggin' from class this morning and I haven't recouperated yet. I can clean the bathroom "tomorrow," right?

I'm thinking of going to bed - it' s 8:30 on a Saturday night. How old am I???? My parents probably aren't even in bed yet! I don't even think I can make it to 10:30 to watch SNL - Love TINA FEY!!

Hey, I know....I'll just TIVO it - it'll give me something to do tomorrow. Hee.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is this what "Zen" feels like?


Last night - YOGA.

My dear friend Sally talked me into going..ummm, I mean asked me if I would like to go with her.

I really liked it...However, I kinda sweated during certain parts I didn't expect too. My butt hurts today and there's a strange, uncomfortable feeling in my abdomen and upper torso. Huh, who knew? Maybe there's some muscle in there somewhere? I think I'll keep going to these classes. I feel better and more alert today. That could be the ibuprofen though.

I think I'll take tonight off. I need to get ready for my 12-hour crop this weekend!! WHOO HOO!!!

Wish me luck (with the exercise!).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Let's Get Physical...physical.

Thank you Olivia Newton John. No sweatband was harmed in the making of this post.

Okay. I have made a commitment to myself to take better care of myself (again). My body is going downhill at a faster rate than I ever imagined. The stress level of my work and life are going uphill at a rate faster than I ever planned. You do the math.

I pay for a family gym membership on the 15th of every month. Let’s see, Braden went swimming this summer once and Brady has yet to step inside the gym. Where’s the “family” membership again? I was going faithfully earlier this summer, but got bored. This gym has many, many great classes that I could take. From kickboxing and pilates to yoga and fit ball. It’s that last one that has recently peaked my interest. I have a yoga ball at home. I like to use it when my back is out. It’s comfy and it works my lower back muscles– and it has been in my basement for about 6 months. I blame my son for that. I have to blame someone other than myself, right? I swear he thinks it’s a $30 playground ball. I don’t think so. It's safer in the basement. The basement I do not visit. Ever.

So picture it (if you dare). I went to the class last night. I didn't know one person in the room. Not ONE! This is very brave of me. I’m actually proud of myself. I even have on my pink and black cropped yoga pants with matching pink t-shirt. I think I was about 25 minutes into the 60 minute class, sitting on the big round playground ball when it hits me... “Oh. My. GAWD. Has anyone ever popped one of these in a class?” YIKES, what is the weight limit of one of these things anyways? Surely the instructor wouldn't let me sit on one if she thought I would pop it, right? (It's pretty obvious I’m no lightweight – you don’t get this body by eating salads all the time.) In my mind I’m pushing this ball to it’s limits. I'm sure it's practically flat when I'm using it. Thank goodness there are no mirrors in this room.

How embarrassing. I’m picturing the whole scene. The ball bursting and me running out of the room and out the front door. Would they give me a refund on the rest of my membership for the year? Would they take pity on a fat girl? I’m sure there was a clause in my membership contract – something about not being able to perform the workouts because you’re fat does not constitute a reason for a refund. I’m screwed!

You’ll be glad to hear that I made it through the entire 60 minutes and actually enjoyed the class - except for that 15 or 20 minute anxiety attack in the middle of class. In addition, on the advice of my friend Barb, I have since Googled© these yoga balls and have found out, to my relief, the balls test out between 300-400 pounds. I think I’m safe as long as I don’t have that extra pickle at lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Clean Up Time - Not for the faint of heart

"It's Time to Clean Up"
performed by Cathy Bollinger

It’s time to clean up clean up
Everybody do your share
Clean up clean up

Soon the mess will not be there.
Clean up clean up
Look at this we’re almost done
Toys away -- hey hey hey
Clean-up can be fun.

Be Bop
I think I’ll put my ball in the toy chest
Be bop...
And this book goes in my bookshelf
Bee bop...
Oh no, Don’t push all your toys under the bed
Bee bop...

Toys away -- hey hey hey
Clean-up can be fun

So, what's all this singing and celebration about? I spent my Saturday afternoon cleaning my scrapbook room!! WHOO HOO!!! So long overdue it's not even funny. Like most people (I hope), our "spare room" (a.k.a. my crafty room) has become the catch all.

You know...
  • Company's coming over - throw it in there.
  • Can't find a place for it - throw it in there.
  • Maybe we'll sell that in the next garage sale - throw it in there.

Well, I suppose I had had enough, or hypothetically, I may have needed something in the back corner and couldn't squeeze my fat butt through the door! Hypothetically speaking, of course.

I thought I would share the before and after pics with you guys. Mostly for therapeutic reasons. Maybe this will hold me accountable. It's not perfect. But, I can certainly get in there to create - and no one will be injured trying to find me. I need my own time - and space (see last night's post).


Barb, are you closing your eyes?? FYI - She has already helped me clean this room twice. My darling husband thought it might be too much to ask her to come over again to help.

Special note - check out how things have not been balancing very well on my work station lately...should have been my first sign that I should have done this sooner. It is such a pit! Embarassing.


Note - you can see the television - and the TOP OF MY DESK! WHOOO HOOOO!!

Look at my shelf - it's almost pretty!! You didn't see the before of this pic. It was really bad because sometimes it was all we could reach from the door. There were a lot of things piled/balanced on this shelf.

Okay, so the up-side to cleaning my room:

I found this pile of stamps that either, (a) haven't been opened, or (b) I forgot I ever had.
Imagine the possibilities.

But that's not the only thing I found...

LOOK at this pile of ribbon!!! Seriously, everytime I opened a bag, or moved something, I found ribbon. This doesn't count the pile of ribbon that was nice and neat on the shelf. This truly is just the stuff I found. It's a sickness.

Doesn't it look all pretty in this little crate?

And, the downside?
Other than the obvious - now I have to cut out all those stamps...Brady finally saw everything nice and neat in my room and was a bit flabbergasted at the small scrapbook store that resides in our home. I don't think he truly understood my sickness until he saw it all picked up off the floor and out of the many, many bags.

I suppose tomorrow will be spent cutting out stamps in front of the television and getting ready for next weekend's 12-hour crop!! I can't wait.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Can you speak English, please?

Okay. I get it.

I’m a girl.

I am the only girl in my house. Not even a girl dog, cat, or goldfish.

But, for the love of Pete, can we talk about something other than if (insert name of team here) is in the “one-double-a” or the “one-a” or the “two-double-a” league, level or whatever you call it? If (insert name of player here) was traded, or did they retire? What was the score of that Monday night football game three years ago? Offsides, Roughing the Passer, Hacking, Three-point shot, First Down?

And, how exactly does my 7-year old know these terms and stats?? Is it normal? Seriously, he holds his own in the conversations with his father. He even knows that Duke doesn’t have a football team this year, or do they? Or did they say basketball team? Is that what they said? Maybe it wasn't even Duke - I can’t remember. We went to Kansas City last weekend (for what else? Shopping for Braden’s hockey equipment) and the whole way there all I heard was sports, sports, sports.

Don’t get me wrong – I like a good hockey or football, and even baseball, game. After all, how many moms and wives would VOLUNTARILY schedule their summer vacation around the schedule of a major league baseball game? But HOW ON EARTH can you talk about it for an hour and 15 minutes solid???

I guess they would probably say the same thing about my 12 hour scrap-a-thons. I guess I understand.

The boys are gone for the evening (at a hockey game!). I’m enjoying a girls-night-in. Dove chocolates, pink fuzzy slippers, diet coke, surfing crafty blogs and catching up on my soaps via my TIVO. It’s good to be a girl.

Even if I don't always understand what the heck they are talking about, I wouldn't trade these guys for anything!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've cheated....and it's not my first time

Here is my typical day:
6:45 a.m. Wake up after hitting the snooze for 15-20 minutes
7:00 a.m. Get the kiddo ready for school
7:45 a.m. Sonic drive-thru for morning Diet Coke
8 a.m. Arrive at the office
Noon-ish Go to lunch
12:45 p.m. Sonic drive-thru for afternoon Diet Coke
4:45/5:00 p.m. Leave the office
5:15 p.m. Pick up kiddo at daycare
5:35 p.m. Put on my jammies
6:45 p.m. Make dinner
7:00 p.m. Check TIVO

Today was not unlike many others I have - except for my afternoon activities.

I was out at lunch today searching for my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary present. (OK, so their anniversary was a month ago. But I’m going to see them this weekend and I can’t show up empty-handed!) I was headed towards the Sonic (see 12:45 p.m. above) on my way back to work and I had an out-of-body experience that led me into the Spangles drive-thru. Right. Across. The. Street. from where I’ve been caught before. Rumor has it that Spangles has the same pebble ice as my Sonic. I tried to talk myself into it – then talk myself out of it. No one needs to know I’m here, right? I don’t think anyone saw me pull in. What’s the harm? It’s only one time. If I don’t like it, I don’t ever have to do it again.

Well, it is no longer a rumor. I can confirm that it is semi-true. I did it. I had the large Diet Pepsi at Spangles. And a grilled cheese sandwich. While the ice is crushed, and, yes…I’ll say it, quite delightful, (not to mention, cheaper at lunchtime than Sonic), it is not Sonic pebble-like. Close, but not exactly. “What’s the big deal?,” you ask?

When I say the above is my typical dayI mean it. The Sonic drive thru is not negotiable. I will forego my conditioner treatment in the shower, neglect to comb my kid’s hair in the morning, or be late for work, before I would ever think missing Nikki’s face in the drive thru. That’s the name of the nicest Sonic girl on earth. She’s at the Sonic on 21st Street in Topeka. Tell her “the girl in the blue CRV” sent you!

As my blog title says, this is not my first time. The last time this happened, I innocently went to a Sonic in a different zip code - closer to my office. Only to find NIKKI at the drive-thru window when I pulled up!!! She called me out immediately. WHAT are you doing here??!! Are you going out on us??? I laughed nervously and tried to explain that this Sonic was actually closer to my office at lunch time. She gave me this look that said, yeah, sure. Then I panicked. WHAT IF NIKKI had moved locations? Would I have to start coming here, out of my way before work just to get my “G’morning” and smile from Nikki??? So, I asked. Good news, she was just there training some newbies.

I don’t know if it was worth the guilt I felt for “going out on” Nikki. I think I’ll just play it safe and keep going to my Sonic. I will try to be faithful, but I can’t promise it won’t happen again.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Matchy Matchy

First of all, before I get started on my second post, I want to thank everyone for all the great comments (on and off the blog). I have THE best friends and family!

I'm so excited! I'm 37 years old and I am going to have matching bedroom furniture today! I'll have to post pictures once I get it all arranged. My dear friend (and newlywed) Karla is getting rid of her 25-year old bedroom suit (minus the bed) and offered it to a good home. It's my chance to have a real, honest-to-goodness matching bedroom (except the bed). And for FREE!! I feel like such an adult. As long as the rain stays away we'll be moving later this morning.

Hubby left at 7:30 this morning to umpire a softball tourney for Harley riders to benefit MDA today (10+ games). He just called - with the rain, they may not start until after noon and then he has games scheduled for tomorrow too (5 or so games?). Good news: he's bringing home breakfast. Bad news: It may make for a long day (yes, he's also furniture moving in between all this). Poor guy! He's been umpiring all summer and is in need of a break. Next Friday is his last game for the summer. He won't umpire again until the Spring.

Braden is being a slacker and enjoying a morning full of Sponge Bob. UGH! I'm sure his brain is rotting. Hasn't he seen these episodes 100 times? I'm glad I'm not like that. :)

Not much else going on today. I'm going to go vacuum out the dust bunnies before we go get our furniture. It's always good to have one good cleaning when getting "new" furniture, right? Who knows when that furniture will get moved away from the wall again.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

OMG - What have I gotten myself into??

Okay - so one of my bf's just blogged her 100th entry on her blog and has inspired me to join the blogging community!! Thanks Barb for the inspiration! And thanks Laurie for the blog title - I was having a brain cramp trying to think of one. As usual, Laurie to the rescue - ahhh, my true Gemini twin!!

I don't really know what to write for my first blog. Should it be something serious, funny, witty, charming, or informational? Hopefully, all of the above.

A few things about me:

I love to scrapbook, and other crafting, but never have the time. I want to post some of my completed projects here. It will prove to myself (and my husband) that I am actually completing something once in awhile, instead of just being a collector of scrapbook and card-making supplies.

I have a wonderful husband of 12 years and a seven-year old son (sorry, 7 1/2 years old!). I'm certain there will be several pictures shared on this blog. Never of me. Well, almost never. And the ones that will be included (hopefully) have been cropped, photoshopped, and a bit blurred, so my thigh only looks like a small treetrunk, or makes you wonder if that's me or not.
Seriously, I hate having my picture taken!

I love to travel to places I've never been. We recently went to Seattle, WA, and then trained to Vancouver, BC. I had to attend the midyear conference of the national organization that I belong to for work. Okay, I'll use one picture of me here - only because there are shadows and you can't make out all of my chins. We are on top of the Space Needle!!!

Our next big trip will be to Albuquerque in January!!
I wonder where the scrapbook stores are?? I should start planning now.

I love to take pictures. My secret (?) ambition is to take a few (real) photography courses and become a semi-professional photographer. Not the weird, caffeine-induced, photographers with horned-rimmed glasses that take pictures of the uber-skinny runway models. But one of the nice, lady-around-the-corner photographers that your friend's friend's friend calls to ask if you can take their family Christmas photo with the dog by the mantle. (Not the cat - I'm horribly allergic to cats.)

I love TV - and I TIVO it! I love reality tv (especially the train-wreck reality stuff), soap operas on CBS, a few "old school" game shows, Bravo, the Style Network, Food Network and HGTV. I keep thinking if I watch enough shows on how to design an entire bedroom for $50 - it might just happen. All I ever get is a room that looks like $1.50 (say 'a buck-fifty)?? Or, if I watch Rachel Ray make an entire meal for a family in 30 minutes, I think one will just appear in my kitchen. So far, neither of these have happened, but I keep watching...and hoping.
Here's a pic with my favorite bachelor - Bob Guiney. I love his music!

Okay - I think this is a good start. What do you think? Now, do I post every hour, every day, once a week, bi-weekly, bi-daily...what is appropriate, and is that last one a real word???

OH MY!! What have I gotten myself into?