Monday, May 26, 2008


Makes Me Smile Monday
This is a blog carnival in which I am always wanting to participate but rarely fin the time on my busy Mondays (okay, so I usually just forget, and when I do remember I don't have anything witty or thought provoking to write about, not that today is any different in that regards...)

"However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do want society." -Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I really like this quote. There are so many different parts, I probably won't cover them all. The very first sentence hits me like a ton of bricks. How many times have I complained about my lot in life. The truth is I don't think I would change anything. Well, I might bring Ethan back, but I know even that has shaped who I am today, and when you get right down to it, I thin I like who I am. I certainly enjoy helping people, and it helps to have an idea of what they are feeling. I love that I can understand people and the depths of their grief, because I have been at rock bottom (still hit it every now and then). And this so goes with our gospel and having a good attitude and staying positive.

The next line I am not sure I like. Not that it doesn't make sense, but I don't know many people who would choose poverty. Although, I do agree with living frugally (not that I succeed here either), and only taking what a person needs (Mom's for years have been trying to cultivate this in their children, "Take what you'll eat, and eat what you take!"). Scott and I are actually embarking on a new road in the neighborhood of this line. We are getting rid of cable *shock*, and eventually getting rid of our land line phone (they gave us two months free and we have to pay an amount we can't afford right now to get rid of it). We are determined to get out of debt and start saving more. The "Twilight" Party was my last "hurrah" before the poverty living begins. Not that I plan on missing our lady's nights at restaurants, I will just be eating dinner at home before hand and ordering water, must to have my social ;).

As for the next line, I like new clothes and I like meeting new people. I will make new friends, but I won't be getting any new clothes for a while :(. Although, if I lose enough weight and my clothes are falling off me, my hubby might have t relent... then again he may just tell me to start sewing (taking the clothes in).

Anyway, I don't have any thoughts on the rest. I am not quite sure what the last line means. Perhaps I should read "Walden."

Friday, May 23, 2008


This quote has been on my mind for some time.

"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I saw this quote first when I was a junior in high school. It has plagued me recently when a friend of mine complimented me on a characteristic I wasn't sure I liked. She said I handled people with the thought that they would act like me, or that they think like me, so I expect them to act in situations the way I would act. My friend on the other hand sees people with their faults and recognizes those and so doesn't expect more of them than who they really are.

So this quote has come back to haunt me. I am not even sure it is even pertinent to this particular situation. He could mean a person's faith, or deeper thoughts than just expectations of another person's actions. But it has really bothered me, I want to see people for who they are and not expect them to act and behave like I do for myself.

Just last night I was giving a massage to someone who told me that they hadn't known how to handle me when they first met me and it wasn't until later after I had borne my testimony about my son's death that they saw how real I was, and were able to approach me. I don't mean to make people uncomfortable with who I am, but I really hate "fake" people and try to stay as real to who I am, or who I think I am, as I can.

Anyway, I can see how both personalities would be good in different situations. It would be good to expect more of people and not limit them by what you think they can handle, say, while at work. While in situations where someone is acting contrary to what I would do and insulting people unintentionally and I tell them what they are doing, and they storm out and insist to everyone that I was attacking them, well in that situation it might have been better to have a little more flexibility in your thoughts of people so as to keep my big mouth shut... hypothetically of course.

So, what are your thoughts on this quote and what Emerson really meant by it?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monkey Bumps

Five little monkey's jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Momma called the Dr. and the Dr. said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Okay, so there is actually only one little monkey, but he gets into plenty on his own! I am trying to be more modest now that Nathan is three, but he refuses to be in a room without me. He stands at the bathroom door whining until I am done and unlock the door, and he refuses to watch a movie while I shower. So today I tried something different. I actually told him to go jump on our bed while I left the bathroom door open and took a shower. He has been jumping on our bed for a while and never had any problems, that is of course until today.

Luckily I was almost done when I heard a huge, "Bam!" I stopped and stood still while I waited for the accompanying, "WHAAAAAAAAAH!" Yep, it came. I grabbed Nathan who was surprisingly still on the bed and held him while he screamed. He finally calmed down enough to tell me he bumped his head. I peaked at it as much as I could with his head still on my shouldered and his little body glued to me, arms and legs wrapped unrelentingly around my neck and waist. I didn't see anything until a few minutes later when he pulled back and I saw red on his eyelid. Here is what I found:

So it seems my little monkey didn't actually fall off the bed, but it might have been better if he had. He gashed his eye on the edge of our foot board and it bled pretty well. I am surprised by my own reaction. My heart jumped, but I swallowed the anxiety and pulled Nathan over to a mirror and started raving about his cool cut. I saw a moment of worry in his own eyes, but he glanced up at me and I was smiling so big he couldn't help but follow my example. "Let's go get the camera," and that was the end of it. He does keep asking me to hold him up so he can look at his eye in the mirror.

Now let me reiterate the Doc's wise advice to the Monkey's Mama,
"No more monkey's jumping on the bed!!!"

*wipe beads of sweat off forehead for the relief that a potentially worse outcome was avoided*

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cute Kate!

My friend Lyssa's baby girl is a finalist in a cute baby competition! I need everyone to go to Sassy Babies to vote. You are more than welcome to look through all the babies, but Kate from Texas is definitely the cutest!

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Friend Karrie...

I am saying good bye to yet another friend this month. Karrie Shirley moved into our apartment complex the summer of 2004. Her and her hubby moved her to go to Dental school (like most of that ward). They moved into an apartment right across the street from us and Karries and I became good friends. I did my best to invite her to do the most mundane of things, like going shopping with me to HEB. We had just bought a second car and Karrie and Andy were still only living with one, and I knew how it felt to be carless.

We ended up both having boys three months apart. I didn't know until Nathan was almost a year old that they had planned on naming their little guy Nathan. That's what you get for not telling anyone the name! They named him Bradley, and I think it fits him better than Nathan anyway. We threw Bradley and Nathan together so often they had no choice but to become friends. And then I went back to school and Karrie ended up watching Nathan for me for a semester. He and Bradley taught each other all sorts of things, like how to not fall off the bed face first, or how to stick up for yourself. It was great to see how Nathan and Bradley have continued to bond as they got older and more social. And Karrie and I have become closer and closer. Even Andy seemed to like Scott and I ;).

Here is how they started out.

This is Bradley at Nathan's first birthday party.

This is at Nathan's second birthday party.

At one point I even dared let Andy into my mouth to fix some cavities. He did a great job and even got an -A- on fixing my teeth! I'm not sure how I feel with him having pictures of my mouth on his computer, though... j/k.

Then we bought a house. I was afraid Karrie and Andy would disown us. They didn't and despite the fact that they actually have to get into a car to see us now, they still come. And of course to top it off, Karrie and I both had another boy, three months apart. This time hers is older than mine. Daniel is a little doll, and Caden seems very interested in him.

Sweet boys.

Look at that big boy. Go Daniel!!!

These were from our last play date. I think it is funny, because Daniel is big for his age and Caden is small. It worked well with Bradley and Nathan because it made them about the same size.
I love this picture of Andy walking with both boys. The Shirley's were our Sea World friends all summer!

We had our last play day with them last Friday and it was so fun, but so sad. I will miss this fabulous family so much. Andy and I are a lot a like, and Karrie and Scott are a lot alike, which, I think, is why Karrie and I get along so well. She is my down to earth, rational friend who I can always count on to tell me the truth (and if it is going to hurt she handles it very tactfully). They are off to spend a year in California at Travis AFB to do something like a Dental residency and then who know where the AF will send them dyring their pay back time. I miss you guys already, take care!!!

USAA Family Day

I just have to rave again about what an amazing company USAA is. Scott has been treated so well, and so have we. They have all kinds of family days, and benefits for us. During the many days adventure while the Jamers (I can't call them the Jaime's or Jamie's, hence the Jamers, hopefully they don't mind ;) ) and Katie were in town Scott was able to convince me to spend a couple of hours at the USAA family day. Here are some magnificent and/or slightly fuzzy pictures from our fun!

Here Caden is trying to look everywhere at once. He did have a good time watching his brother try crazy new things!
Here Nathan is waiting in line for his turn at the GUNS!

Nathan got to pretend to shoot the gun on top of the tank. I'm not sure how I felt about that...

The wheel is huge!

Here is what Scott thought about our day....
Another massive tank. The line was long to get in this one we decided to skip it.

They also had fire trucks, ambulances, and my favorite... A HELICOPTER!!!

I tried to get Nathan to come sit in the fire truck with me, but he refused.

Here he is in the EMS truck (not an ambulance). The passenger side of all the vehicles didn't have anyone waiting in line :).

My boys in the back of the helicopter.

It was massive!

I think Nathan had a good time, what do you think?

The ambulance was not nearly as scary as the fire truck, although I had a little bit of a panic seize my chest when he got in the back of it. Funny the things that bother me now....

Nathan is doing so good with potty training, unfortunately his bladder is so little he has to go ALL the time. So Daddy and Caden took a break on the grass while they waited for us.

They had two soccer fields filled with all the different blow up houses. It was incredible. The lines were super long, so we just did one. It wasn't a very tall one, but Nathan still had fun.

I also have to mention the FREE FOOD! Yup, that's right, free. They had roasted corn, turkey legs, hot dogs, BBQ chicken sandwiches, bottled sodas and water, snow cones, and more I'm sure. Thanks so much USAA for treating your employees and their families so well!

Happy Mother's Day to me!

So, unlike my own mother, I love mother's day! It means I can get away with being lazy (it's not that I am not lazy on other days, I just have an excuse on Mother's Day!), and cott does lots of fun stuff for me and I get presents! I also get to whine and groan about the children I've had, and complain about their labors.

Okay, so I don't really, but sometimes I wish I could. So this mother's day I got to sleep in and then woke up to Nathan telling me it was breakfast time and we were having "Birthday Cake" (translation: pancakes).

Then Scott brought out my Mother's Day gift. So, two years ago for Mother's Day he bought two canvas prints, one of Nathan and I, and one of Ethan. I have them up on my living room wall with a sears family portrait. Scott has been saying we needed a third canvas print, but I have wanted to wait until we could get my Dad to take another family picture. So, for Mother's day here is what I got:

I was so surprised. I had always complained that Scott wasn't in any of the canvas prints, so while I was off with girly friends during the Twilight party he picked up the kids and went to his work and got a coworker to take this picture. He is so sweet and so thoughtful. He remembers when I tell him things I would like, just in passing.

We decided to go to church with my parents mostly because I know they always get chocolate bars instead of flowers ;). I just had to post what we got so everyone else could take this idea to their ward for next year. This is the wrapping that covered our HUGE symphony bars.

I have no idea why they loaded sideways, but you get the idea. Just in case you can't read everything here is what it says:
Mother's Day
11 May 08
Net Weight
(Full Of Love)

Mother's Day Chocolate
For only the Best Moms
Designed specifically for those with the following qualifications: Plenty of love, compassion, caring, good listener, care taker, chauffeur, gardener, house cleaner, nurse, coach, good shoulders to cry on, teacher, math tutor, life giver, hugger, wife, eternal companion, mother.
Best if Eaten Today!
calories, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carb-none.
Mfg. by San Pedro Ward Candy Co.
San Antonio, Texas USA

Anyway, hope everyone had a fabulous Mother's Day!

Deal or No Deal

So, this is not one of my favorite game shows (that title is reserved by Wheel of Fortune), but I am so excited to tell everyone... you have to watch the show on June 11th at 7pm! A friend of mine and Scott's (from the singles ward, although he is married now), Adam Hansen (we knew him as Spanky, but I think he is trying to pretend he has matured what with marriage and all) is going to be on! I saw a preview on my friend Kara Charlton's blog, but I couldn't find it to put it on mine. I don't know if her blog is private, but you could try and check it out at

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Twilight Party '08

"Friends come and go, but some stay for a while and leave footprints on your heart and you are never ever the same." -Author Unknown

It all started with an invite from a girl in our ward that I didn't know all that well. It was about two years ago and she invited me out for ice cream. She had invited quite a few people but there were only four of us that were able to make it. Jaime picked us all up in her car and we drove to the local marble slab and proceeded to have one of the funnest nights of my life. All four of us had been feeling a bit lonely and we found in each other something that we had not been expecting. We were an odd group, but we clicked. I became the queen (I won't tell you of what), Emily the story teller, Jaime the party girl, and Lyssa the funny one. Our group soon expanded to include more girls from our ward and we started the ultimate party group. We had Christmas parties, girls nights out, dinner groups, and sometimes just sit around and chat times. We worked out together, laughed together, and some of us acted like immature, moody, high school girls (I won't mention names;)). While some of us found our soul sisters, we were all friends.

A year ago Jaime, and Emily left our group and headed off to Idaho and South Carolina respectively. We had 8 crazy nights before they left (okay so the only really crazy thing we did was go to hooters and I couldn't be there since Nathan was having ear tubes put in), but we had a Will Ferrel SNL night, Pizookie night, Spa/Smoothie/Surprise Baby Shower for Bobbi night, Fondue night, Caso Rio on the River walk night, and more.

And then our friend Emily recommended the Twilight books. We didn't expect the results the readings of those books would create. We fell in love with Edward and decided we had to have a twilight party. The party planning started almost a year ago.

During this last year many of us have gone different directions. Jamie moved across Texas, I bought a house about 20 minutes away, and the ward we had all been in, split. I don't see the friend's I made that are still in town as much as I wished I could. I have had really mixed feelings about attending fun times with them and getting to know the gals in my new ward. I have been doing pretty good at balancing, but it means a lot less time with my party girls.

But this past weekend (starting on Thursday) I was all about my old girl friends (Although Emily, who started all the fun could not be with us, she was in our hearts!). Jaime flew in late Wednesday night, Jamie drove in Thursday and Katie flew in Friday. Thursday morning our three very full, exceptionally fun days began.

Thursday morning we met at Hillery's house and Lyssa, Kate and Emma, Jaime, Hillery and Sadie, and Caden and I headed about 45minutes away to the San Marcos outlet malls. The outlet mall there was ranked the number two shopping place in the country by some magazine (sorry I don't remember). We spent about three hours there hitting only the most important of stores (Gap, Children's Place, etc.) before we headed back home to get ready for our couples dinner group that night.

We headed out to Rudy's (The Worst BBQ in Texas!!!) and met there at 6:30pm. After that we sent the hubby's home with children while the rest of us attended a headband party. I didn't think I would be interested in the headbands, but I was amazed, they are so awesome. You'll recognize mine in some of the future pics.

Here we are at Rudy's. I had bought matching oufits for the boys (first time ever!) and of course Caden's are too big for him.

Jill and Quin Rupp.

Jami and Brain Black

Lyssa and Jaime

Hillery, Andy and Sadie Ray

Jamie, Paul and Eric Smith

David and Amber Martin

Joe and Lyssa Zimmerman

The whole group

Friday morning we had an "emergency playgroup" so that the out of towner's could meet all the new babes born while they were gone, and see how much the other's have grown. And then the work began.

I like to be in charge of things (shocked? nope, didn't think so ;)), and during the initial stages of Twilight planning I volunteered to make a fabulous Italian Dinner, and a Twilight Jeopardy game. The game was ready to go, but the food, unfortunately could not be made too much ahead of time. I spent the next three hours tenderizing and frying chicken (I beat the heck out of the chicken, I cannot stand a dry, thick chicken), frying Italian sausage, chopping pepper's, onions and garlic, and shredding cheese. I also had to try and get gussied up during this time and have to say I think I did pretty well. I left for our hostess with mostess' house (Jami you are amazing, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the hosting!). I baked the chicken parmigian, mixed the fruity red punch, Boiled the noodles, heated the sauce and sausage and sauteed the veggies. While I did that Hillery set and decorated the table, made the Caesar salad, Jamie buttered and broiled the French bread, Jaime decorated with the amazing Jazmin inspired decorations, and Lyssa's matted quotes from the books. I am a bit childish in that I tend to get over excited (some might call it giddy) when people really like my accomplishments. Everyone loved the dinner, and later the jeopardy game. I had so much fun planning all of it I am so glad it went so well.

The books that started it all.

Crazy decorations.

Hillery, Jaime and Jami helping to prepare for dinner.

Wall Quote.

Waiting for me to hurry it up and get dinner on!

Hillery's fab place settings with Jaz's menu cards. Awesome ladies!

The menu.

Eating dinner... mmmmm....

Jaime made these fabulous bags with items in it representing each character. Can you guess which character goes with what?
-cake mix (fudge marble)

-jaw breakers

-eclipse gum

-red finger nail polish

-vampire teeth

-tennis ball which says it is the greatest and strongest toy for a dog

-belle perfume

Lyssa, Katie and Jaime

Please, don't look too closely. I was wearing a very sparkly dress.

Our three Jeopardy finalists. Jaime got a gift certificate to Olive Garden (I am still waiting for it Jamers!). Jami is getting a massage from me and Jazmin got some amber made jewelry and book mark.

All the crazies together.
Starting in the back from left to right are:
Jill, me, Jazmin, Amber, Jami, and Jamie
Front: Lyssa, Katie, Jaime, and Hillery

And then, the craziest of the bunch decided to go see "Baby Mama" at 11:55pm. It was so much fun.

Me, Katie and Lyssa. Jaime and Jill were also there. Like my PJ's?!

Saturday morning I woke up at 7am after only 4 1/2 hours of sleep and headed over to Jill's favorite bakery for breakfast. After breakfast we headed down to the riverwalk to take our newest friend (and a fabulous addition to the group), Katie, Lyssa's older sister, to see the San Antonio sights. Our first adventure was on the river tour boats in which we became a bit too loud and were told by a stern, grumpy old guide that, "this is a narrated tour," and that we needed to be quiet. We felt like a bunch of high school students caught being naughty. Needless to say, he didn't get a tip from any of us, even if we were being a bit loud.... I will never forget the expression on Katie's face when she asked, "Is that the Alamo?!" It is pretty small, and not what anyone ever expects. Next we stopped at our favorite and most popular Riverwalk restaurant, Casa Rio's, the same one we ate at a year ago during our crazy nights.

Katie shushing us after the driver's rude comment.

Lyssa, Jami, Me, Jill, Jamie, Katie and Kate (Jaime behind the camera)

Me (I have got to git rid of the crinkle nose smile!), Katie, Jami and Jaime

Eating at Casa Rio's
Katie, Lyssa, Kate, Jami
Jaime, Jamie, Me and Jill

Kate was such a good baby! I kept forgetting she was even there.

On the boat ride, trying to be good.
Jamie, Jill, Kate and Lyssa

We spent quite a while talking and chatting at lunch (although the waiter was still even slower at getting our checks to us and we eventually had to hunt him down). I had been quizzing Katie about her life (she had assured us she was fine with us asking questions), and her difficulties since her car accident five years ago that left her paralyzed from the hips down. I won't go into too many details, but if you would like to know more you can visit her blog that I will be posting on the side. At one point she was saying, "I was sitting in sacrament and asking 'Why, why, why, why...' When it hit me that we are not here to know why, we are only here to endure it." Okay, so those are not her exact word's, but you get the gist. I had already been feeling overwhelmed by this wonderful person's accomplishments, but that hit closer to home and I had to leave the table for a moment. I rarely have public break downs, and I can usually escape to the bathroom, but not this time. Jaime came over and held me until I quit crying and shaking. It only lasted a short time before I was back to normal, but she really has made me realize some new things about myself. But that will be for another post.

After lunch we headed our separate ways and I went to the USAA family day for a couple of hours with Scott and the boys (I will post pictures soon) before heading back to Jami's to regroup to go get pedicures. The pedicures were fun, but also a ruse to get Jamie, and Jaime out of the house while we decorated for a surprise baby shower for both of them. Jamie is expecting her second and another boy and Jaime is expecting (what she thinks is) her last baby and is not finding out what it is. We had little decorated cans to donate money since we didn't want to load them down with presents to pack home. We made cards and ate cake and ice cream and just had a fun lazy night (seeing as we were all exhausted). We spent the last half hour there eating popcorn and watching the latest "Office" which I was a bit disappointed by. I packed up and hugged my dear friends, and prayed that I would see these special girls again sometime in my life.

Jamers getting pedi's. On a side note, they are all expecting :)!

Katie and I relaxing.

Card making.

Jami, Jaime, Hillery and Lyssa

Prego Jamers again!

Exhausted from so much partying.

Getting ready to watch "The Office".

And so here I sit, sleep deprived, with an amazing pile of laundry ready to be folded behind me on the couch, and feeling a bit emotional. I love these girls so much, but I know that we are all in very transitional times in our lives and will be scattered throughout the country in no time at all. I know some of them have created very close and special bonds and won't easily lose touch, but will I? I only new Katie for a couple short days, and am so inspired by her. Lyssa and I are close, but have grown apart this past year. I love Jaime, we are a lot alike, and sometimes that makes for a great time, but sometimes we are on different pages. Jami is amazing, but I haven't had a lot of time to get to know her. Jamie married a good friend of mine, and I love her tons, but she is off to Houston and her new life there. Jill is so quiet, but we also have a lot in common. Amber is so sweet and does a great job cutting my hair :), but I feel like I only know the smallest things about her. Hillery is hilarious, Jazmin is awesome and fun to tease, but I wish I had the chance to get to know them all better. Is this end? Of course I have links to their blogs, but I know a group like this doesn't come along very often., and I hurt to lose even the smallest friendships we have made. I wish being a military brat had made it easier for me to let things go, but if anything it has done the opposite. I know friendships like these are few and far between, I wish it didn't have to end.

I love you guys, thanks so much for an over the top, packed to the brim few days. Let's do it again sometime....