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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve To-Do List

I have a day sans children, and as most mothers know.... these days can be few and far between, they must be used wisely and cannot be taken for granted. Whatever shall one do when they find themselves with unexpected alone time? Hmmmmm, I'm at a loss...

After I do a few things around the house.....

I think I will go get my toes did because they look like they have been attacked by wild pit bulls and all the polish is chipped off....it ain't pretty. I am sporting total winter feet, these toes have not seen daylight in months. But I still want to feel pretty, so I think I will go get pampered for a little bit.

Sidenote here: Does it freak anyone else out when people touch your feet?  I find myself writhing in discomfort half the time I am getting the pedicure. I am sure that pretty much makes me a complete weirdo, but thought I would ask? And, thanks to my wonderful husband, I have a gift card to the spa (that I got for Christmas) that I will use to get my feet pampered/tortured! Thanks, Bay!

Also, I have alluded to the fact that I am heading to a pretty big graduation very soon....and I really need something pretty to wear. I generally work myself into a tither (does anyone outside of NC understand what I just said?) and generally end the day in a self-loathing funk whenever I am forced to shop and try on clothes, but I will have to bite the bullet and do that today. Please pray I find something in my size, that flatters my non-curves, that is not too expensive, and accentuates my January, mid-winter, non-tan having skin. Thanks so much. 

Because we all know it's of utmost importance to bring in the New Year with pretty toes and a new outfit, gotta start things off right for a great 2010!  Cheers!



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Year of Change

A New Year...a NEW look for my blog. Exciting stuff, huh?.......Oh, but it doesn't stop there. This year will be bringing tons of changes and new things our way (whether we are ready or not).



"Change" scares the bee-jeezus out of me, Imma be honest with you, it always has.  I hope and pray that I will learn to embrace change as it comes, accept that change could be a good fantabulous blessing in disguise for our family, and approach all the crazy upheavel transition that is coming our way with a big ol' glad and happy heart.



What in the world are you babbling about already, Heather? I heard you thinking it, so I will go ahead and address the burning question for everyone else besides those two people who are regular readers of the normal OCD semantics that is my blog .


Chris got a great new job this past summer and has been away training for this job since August. Soon and very soon he will graduate from training (look for pics of the happy day coming soon...) and will embark to a whole 'nother state without us to start his new, exciting job.


It will surely be tough-going for a bit for all of us, but time has a way of working things out, and we hope to all be reunited in the exciting metropolis of Columbus, OHIO later in the year. Adios to NC.....Hello to the great Midwest!



Until then, pray for me. Please pray that I can handle 10 more months (but whose counting?) in single mom mode*(*hear scary music playing in the background)   Over the last 5 months, I have definitely had my moments that have shown me that I am just not cut out for this single mommy business. My hats off to the wonderful women that do it~Y'all rock! and I admire you so much.

But ME???  I really really really stink at it.  I don't have Daddy's deep, scary voice (or firm hand), and the kids know just how and when to push all of my buttons.....and sometimes I just want to call it quits & run and find some much-needed R&R in the closest mental ward.

Ok, I am exaggerating there, I have never, ever only thought about doing that a few times. All jokes aside, I know I fall short on many a'day, and some days the mommy-guilt kicks in bigtime.


Like when my patience runs out, or when I am really tired, or when I just feel desperate for help with the dreaded homework time* (cue the scary music yet again)....I could go on and on....but somehow we have managed so far, we have even flourished in many ways....the kids are still growing like weeds and seem to be no worse for the wear....that's a good sign, right?

I am sure we will make it through the next challenge that the new year brings all in one piece as well. Here's to 2010 and everything that comes our way.....bring it on, I'm ready!

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Revision to Christmas 2009 post

Per King Dylan's request, I am uploading a different family picture since (according to him) he looks "demonic and possessed" in the last one I loaded of the whole family in front of the Christmas tree.

BTW, I DID tell him that it was not nice to use the words "demonic and possessed" and "Christmas" in the same sentence...but that's neither here nor there.

This family picture earned his seal of approval.



And just because I think this is funny... and because this is my blog and I am tha Momma and I can post whatever pics I want thank you very much King Dylan!!  I will share the following picture as well.

Dylan got his first deodorant in his stocking and here he is opening it!



Right after this, he runs out the room and puts some of the deodorant on and comes back in and says "Ahhh, I really needed that!" LOL  It was the most memorable moment of Christmas morning.  Consider this Christmas 2009 post revised.

Christmas 2009

It feels like I have not posted in forever. We had a whirlwind of a Christmas. It was wonderfully busy and full of quality time with loved ones. Santa was good to the kids this year, and I think they would agree with me when I say that we are very blessed.

Here are a few pics to catch you up with the happenings of the last week or so.


Sleepy eyes, early Christmas morning



 Here we are in our Christmas morning pic in front of the tree before we hit the road to the in-law's house.

This Christmas felt extra special because Chris has been working out of the state since August, and we have really been obsessively counting down the days looking forward to having 5 days in a row back together again.  Can you tell how happy I was?



MWAHHH!!

Ok, ok...sorry, I am sure I am killing you with my mushy lovey-dovey pics, but I just couldn't resist. What you don't see in the pic is my sister dry-heaving as she is taking the picture and making fun of us. Here is one more G-rated pic of the kids for your viewing pleasure.



Round 2 of present opening at their grandparent's house

Dylan's face says it all~the early morning awakening was starting to tell on them at this point. Karsen was still all smiles! Fast forward one hour later: we are back in the car on the way home, and they are both fast asleep in the backseat. Very tired AND very happy.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, from our family to your's!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

A simple, (extraordinary) kinda day

"If you're a bird, I'm a bird"

Do I have any kindred spirits out there that happen to maybe know what movie this line is from? It is one of my favorite movies ever.....Anyone? Anyone?!

OK, I'll give you a hint!! The movie is based on a book, the author of said book is from NC, and the setting of the book is on the coast of NC. So, of course I love it!

Who doesn't love Noah & Allie?


The Notebook

So, today is the last full day before the kids come home for Christmas vacation...and while I am oh-so excited that the crazy kids and I will have two weeks of insane down-time together, I am also treasuring my last day of quiet, alone time. Ahhhh!

This would be my idea of a perfect day...



But since I can't do this today...Instead, to make the most of my last day of solitude I decided to watch The Notebook this morning, and drink a nice cup of coffee as I mentally check off my Christmas list and decide what absolutely must be done today before the kids are home.  A perfect, simple day.


My favorite quote from the movie. <3

So, after I watch the movie:

1.  I will make one last trek to the evil place called Walmart


2.  Make another sneaky trip up into the attic without (re)breaking my toe


3.  Hit the grocery store (before everyone else and their mother will be there) later this weekend


4.  Remember to keep it simple, SIMPLE, simple as I am out and about amidst the chaos


5.  Avoid getting consumed with road rage when competing for parking spaces (did I just admit that?)


6.  Remember what Christmas is all about...

A simple movie about a simple (extraordinary) kinda love, a simple day getting ready for a simple (extraordinary) kinda Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

He misses summer too...



This song speaks to my heart...
It reminds me of countless summers spent at the beach
when I was much younger.
Little summer romances that faded away...
Walking through the pavillion with sunburned skin
and cut-off blue jean shorts...
playing skee-ball and eating cherry sno-cones
with my sisters~making so many memories on
the coast of NC.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Summer Nostalgia Part II

I am posting an old picture today for several reasons.
I am missing some of my favorite things...


Us, A family wedding, June '08

It is cold outside (at least by my standards) and it is making my deciduous ways flare up some kinda bad. I was hoping and praying to get well into the winter months of January or February before I said the following words, but I can't make it. I can't help it....I am so weak...And it isn't even officially Winter yet. Blah! but....I gotta say it.... I miss Summer already!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Sweet Sixteen x 2

Happy 32nd Birthday to me!

 I have almost everything I want for my birthday.



 My brother and sisters and Daddy are coming over tonight and we are going to have a major feast. We plan to grill out (if it stops raining) steaks, and have salad and baked potatoes...with all the fixins'. My lil' brother is coming over a little earlier and is going to make me a pound cake. It's my favorite. Yum!! Happy Birthday to me...and many more.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My (Silly) Dylan


My Dylan.... oh how you challenge me daily as a Mommy. Dylan is the funniest person I know, he is so quirky and has the driest sense of humor of any 5th grader...he also has the deepest thoughts and is always coming up with new "theories" to test me ask me about. He asks the most random questions, and is constantly shares intriguing tidbits of knowledge about all things boy; You know... undiscovered planets, extinct species, Star Wars trivia, and the present climate crisis in Iceland (no kidding) and what my thoughts are...usually I am speechless.. He is full of so many facts and statistics and whenever he wants to launch into a topic that is (usually) over my head...which is more often than I am actually willing to confess on my blog I am forced to resort to the following phrase


"I don't know, Dylan, but we can google it!"
I remember way back in the day, circa 1985, when we could NOT "google it" ....I had to rely on the old-fashioned and reliable "Encycolpedia Brittanica"...and I loved them! Part of me is very thankful that google exists and that Dylan is privvy to soooo much information right there at his fingertips, but the nostalgic part of me wishes we could look it up the the ol' trustworthy Encyclopedia. Obviously, I am showing my age. But, I digress...


Dylan is not only inquisitive and intelligent...but he is also "quick-on-his-toes" in any argument. I imgaine he will be a future debate club president or a very successful prosecuting attorney. If I am not careful, I often find myself in the midst of an argument with him, and unfortunately he usually has the upper-hand due to his solid rationale and research that he has done on said given topic. Again, I am speechless. His brain and logical thought processes drive me crazy and challenge me daily. I know that he is 10 and he is flexing his wings of independence, and as his Mommy it is my job to nurture, guide, and give him the appropriate outlets (ie. google, books, books, books, and the Discovery Channel*) to funnel all those deep thoughts and epiphanies that he has on a daily basis. It is no easy feat.
*The Discovery Channel is his all-time fave right now (and thankfully very kid-friendly)!



Dylan exploring the local eco-system at the beach.


And then there is his funny side....I had to share this today. Today, we got a Christmas card in the mail from one of my online friends. He wanted to know who she and her kids were, and I explained to him that I met her online......and he says, "Yeh I told my teacher about your website"..and I asked "Do you mean my blog?" He replies

"Yep. I told her you had a website called 'Delicious Heather'
OMG~DELICIOUS Heather???  Through my laughter, I said "Dylan, don't you mean DECIDUOUS HEATHER " and he says "yeh, same difference".

Great, his teacher thinks I have a porn website, called Delicious Heather~! I am sure of it! Oh my!! Then as my anxiety was mounting about how many other teachers may hear that I have such a site...he starts talking about the Math homework I helped him with last night and informs me that "we" only got an 88 on it. Then he says,

"Mom, I have one question for you.... Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"
My silly Dylan leaves me speechless once again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Five Question Friday

I happened upon the cutest blog this week, Mama M. and her Five Crooked Halos, and something she wrote made me laugh. Today when she posted her weekly Five Question Friday link, I decided to join in the fun. Feel free to visit her too if you want to join in the BlogHop fun!




1. Favorite gift you are GIVING this year?
I am going to give alot of books this year. It has been a crazy past few months, so we are going to try to keep it simple for the Holidays. I love books, and my kids do too. All the little kids are getting books this year. Plus, in the past years I think they truly get overwhelmed with toys toys toys and they don't know what to play with first. It feels like a waste sometimes.....Plus, a book is a gift that keeps on giving. (Did that sound cliche'? ) Good thing my kids LOVE to read and LOVE Barnes and Noble and beg to go there. They won't be dissapointed.


2. How many parties are you attending between now and Christmas?
There are a couple of parties plan that we will attend. With my birthday coming up next week and then the holidays, it is sure to be a busy, festive month! Our fave friends are having a party next weekend, the next day our neighbors are doing the same...and before we know it we will be celebrating Christmas.


3. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I LOVE Faith Hill's rendition of "Where Are you Christmas?" from the Grinch soundtrack. I love this song, and if I am being honest with you I have been singing or humming this song for a few weeks now. My children are officially being tortured by it. lol~Here it is...




4. Who was your favorite elementary school teacher and why?
OMG Am I supposed to actually remember any of elementary school teachers? Seriously? I'm OLD! Um.....I don't remember their names, is that awful? I remember (weird) hair-dos and the books that they assigned me to read, but I don't really remember any names. I do remember my 4th grade teacher, because she let me read all the time just to keep me out of trouble. Her name was Mrs. Stewart. I guess she wins my award for fave teacher. Congrats!


5. If you had a choice to live in any other period of time (other than now) what era would you choose and why? Have you seen or read Cold Mountain? I would love to live in the mountains of NC with Chris, in a huge farm house with a ginormous porch, and raise and grow all of our food and children. Late 1800s, simple days, without the War....but, if and only if, there was a mall nearby, and a Panera Bread when I did not feel like cooking...ok, hmmm, maybe I need to re-think my answer...

TGIF, everyone!

Phantom of the Opera



I first saw the Phantom of the Opera in New York City during the Summer of 1996. My best friend and I had just graduated high school and her Mom gave her an awesome 4 day trip to NYC as her graduation present and allowed her to bring a friend. She picked me.

So I took my first airplane flight with her and took a taxi from La Guardia Airport to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It was like a dream! I can not believe that it was over 13 years ago now....
                                        
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC

We went shopping on 5th Avenue, went to SAKS and ate at fancy-smancy restaraunts (that looked at me funny when I asked for sweet tea). We saw the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers and did all the things tourists were supposed to do when in the city. We saw not one, but 4 celebrities....whose names I don't even remember now.  My favorite part of the city was Times Square and seeing all the lights, people, and theater pictures that lined Broadway.

We saw not one, but 3 plays on Broadway during this wonderful trip. I fell in love when we saw Phantom....I sat there the whole time, mesmerized by the songs, the music, the lyrics, the passion and when it was over I just cried. It was so beautiful.

The play is now on tour and is coming through Raleigh over the Holiday season, and although I would love to go see it this December, what I would love even more is to go back to NYC and see it on Broadway again. So, that is what I plan to do. Now that I am a mere 17 months from graduating not that I am counting or anything I think I can go ahead and plan my next graduation celebration ~It will be exactly 15 years since the last one (!!!) That sounds perfect.


I would love for Chris and I to escape to NYC for a long weekend to see the city and to see Phantom. As we know, time sure does have a way of flying by...so I am going to go ahead and start planning and dreaming about it now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Summer Nostalgia, 2008
Karsen, Miley Ray, and Daddy


Monday, November 30, 2009

O' Christmas Tree!

For some reason, it does not feel like the Holidays should be here already. Time has been playing tricks on me lately...at times it feels like the weeks are dragging by, and then all of a sudden before I know it we are eating turkey and dressing at the in-laws. And then it was time to start thinking about some Christmas decorating! So, we ended our wonderful Thanksgiving weekend by putting up our Christmas tree!



It really was a whirl-wind of a weekend. We spent alot of down-time together; sleeping late, watching movies, eating left-overs, talking about everything in the world and then some. Who knew that a long weekend could fly by so fast?!


Chris is nursing a knee injury, so it was very tricky dragging out this 9 foot monster of a tree from our attic. Of course, I tried to help, but I am not nearly as strong as he is. (*wink wink*) Plus, I think I broke my toe in the process. Now we are both limping....niiiice. He enjoyed some home-made hot chocolate and relaxation after all his hard work.


O' Christmas Tree....


O' Christmas Tree....


How lovely are your branches!




In the end, we were very thankful to have our whole family together and we really enjoyed our restful, 5 days together....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Holiday Memory

Our destination was Pigeon Forge, TN, and we took the long winding roads through the mountains of NC, because I wanted to take the scenic route.



We stayed in an awesome cabin with the most beautiful views that was tucked up into the hills of TN with some of our very best friends.


A whole day was spent at Dollywood, the kids had a blast. I froze the whole time, and could not wait to get back to the cabin and snuggle in front of the fireplace. Dollywood was decked out with holiday decorations galore, and it was really beginning to feel alot like Christmas!





We left Dollywood and went to a country restaurant that had the best food. You know a place is good when you remember specifics about exactly what you ate 2+ years later. It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I hope we can go back soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sisters

This week I am spending some time reflecting on what I am thankful for in my life. I am so blessed to have such a long list. On that list, I would definitely have to have my sisters....I am so thanful for them. There are 3 of us, each about 20 months or so apart in age.



Stair-step Sisters
Circa 1981
Heather (4), Crystal (2), & Suzanne (6)

We grew up sharing toys, clothes, and everything else in between. As we got older we shared books, cars, and even on a few occasions boyfriends (!!!)....on that note we even shared a few fights, ya know the hair-pulling, screaming fights that only sisters can have. We are each very different in our own way, but we care about each other very much. When the whole world feels like it is falling apart, I know I can count on my sisters.



Going out! Here we are before heading to the Reba McEntire/Kelly Clarkson concert last year. (Look at Karsen posing!), October 2008

I depend on my older sister, Suzanne, so much right now. She is great with the kids and they love their "Aunt Suzy".  She regularly picks them up from school, helps them with their homework and she even watches them when I have a night class. She listens to Dylan talk about his favorite "Myth Busters" episode, and she plays music for Karsen as they sing all kinds of songs for hours. It means so much to me to be able to count on her right now. When something, anything happens I usually call her first, and she is right there to help.



I don't know what I would do without her.



""You can kid the world. But not your sister.""  Author: Charlotte Gray
"Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other." Author: Carol Saline

Yeahhh, It's a Party in the US--A!

Ok, you all know the song and many of you are guilty of singing and dancing to it. We recently had a birthday party/sleep-over for Karsen and had FIVE 8 year olds belting out Miley Cyrus' song, "Party in the USA" at the top of their lungs, and it has been in my head ever since.

So I put my hands up
they're playing my song
the butterflies fly away
Nodding my head like YEAH
Moving my hips like YEAH
I put my hands up
they're playing song
and I know it's gonna be ok
YEAHHHH
It's a Party in the USA!

And they sang it over and over and over again. They had even choreographed the whole song by the time the night was over. She was so excited about her party and her very first sleep-over.



Shopping with Mommy getting ready for the party....



She was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friends.




Best Friends Forever
Her best friend, A, got her another Webkinz that she loved and some gold-fish, her favorite snack. Sweet!


I think it was safe to say that Dylan was absolutely miserable. He kept calling the girls "aggravating little rascals", but at some point he realized that this might be an opportunity to impress some of the Karsen's friends. Here he is in "silly mode". Charming the girls, just like his Daddy.



You can't see it, but he is smiling really big under that birthday hat.

All in all, it was a great success, for our first sleep-over. Only 1 episode of tears, 2 mild disagreements, and 3 bouts of DRAMA between friends. Not too bad!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy


Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Today is my last day of class for the whole year!!
I won't go back to school until January 2010!


*Insert Happy Dance HERE*
I have one more semester left in the classroom! In May I start my P-4 rotations which basically will consist of working in 9 different health-care settings (long tern care, hospital, Doctor's office, community pharmacy, drug information center..etc...) each for a month at a time, and learning a ton along the way!




I am excited about transitioning from sitting on my BUM all day, listening to lecturers, feeling brain dead while looking at powerpoint slides (with Immunology algorithms like the one above-bleh!), and taking notes....to actually having the chance to jump in and use what I hopefully have learned during the last 3.5 years! I'm ready to JUST DO IT!



It should be a intense but rewarding learning experience. Many students find their future employers during one of these month long rotations, so I look forward to making connections, meeting people, and potentially finding my future niche in the world of Pharmacy.

That's not all I am excited about. I am looking forward to having some down time.  I love the idea of spending more time with the kids, hanging out and watching movies, not thinking about what I *should* be studying or *need* to be doing instead...there will be plenty of nights of just being lazy or making cookies just cause we want to. And let's not forget that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there will be plenty of time for family, food, friends, reunions.

5 days with our whole family back together again
I also hope to have a little time set aside for me. In the midst of all the transiton and craziness that has been this past semester, I think know I may  have lost sight of what it means to relax, rest, and unwind.


I'm running on fumes. On E. Empty. Nada. Zilch.
It's time to rest, renew, recharge, and remember that I can't take care of anyone else unless I take care of myself first. I would love to just chill and maybe read a few books, maybe, just maybe start running again, have a day or two of aimlessly Christmas shopping in some of my favorite stores (while the kids are in school), oh and also have a few days where I have nothing planned...oh the possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Before and After


BEFORE



AFTER

Did you notice anything different?

Scroll back up and look again......

For Karsen's 8th birthday her one and only wish was to get her ears pierced (at Claire's of course, which is her absolute favorite, prissiest store right now). And in case you were wondering, YES, I almost cried.

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Your Eyes

My friend reminded me earlier this week just how much I love this song. (Thanks, Lisa!)

Just because I heard it on the radio today AND just because I am feeling all lovey-dovey because Chris will be home in T-9 hours AND just because I happen to think this song is the most romantic song of all times--I wanted to post it! The video is a little odd, but the song lyrics are beautiful.

 

The song is from Say Anything, and it is also one of the most romantic, well-written movies of all time. I love it! It is also celebrating it's 20th anniversary this week. John Cusack plays Lloyd Dobbler and falls in love with Diane Court, a girl that is out of his league. The movie is full of classic lines and this line may very well be my most favorite movie line ever!

Lloyd Dobler: I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.


I love Lloyd Dobbler!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You are My Sunshine

 This was going to start out as a sweet post about my nightly routine with the kids. We always do the same bedtime ritual, brush teeth, lay down, and Mommy will be in to tuck you in and sing
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey!"



Some nights I sing it silly, some nights I sing it sweet, some nights I sing it even when they are grumpy and mad. And tonight was one of those nights. Major stinky-tudes as I like to call them.  Tonight's version could have gone a little differently. Something along the lines of...

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, with major attitudes, on this grey day!"

 Especially our little 8 year old diva.



Little Miss Sunshine Attidude
So, tonight I as I was lovingly tucking Karsen in, I talked to her about her attitude and how I knew she was tired but I really hoped tomorrow would be a better day...etc....the whole time she is glaring at me and then She looks at me and says,
" Well, Momma, why don't you let me just work through my feelings?"
Can we say drama-queen? Where do they come up with these things! I am hoping my little sunshines are a little less grumpy tomorrow!!

Deciduous Heather