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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


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
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



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!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Us on a Random Pier, Circa 2003)

Karsen Grace, Age 8

Karsen Grace, Age 2

I can't believe our little girl is turning 8. Where has the time gone? I remember it like it was yesterday, you were born looking like a little eskimo baby with a ton of hair. You spent the first few years of your life clinging to me. You did not like anyone else very much. The first year of your life was pretty much spent crying, and I am not exaggerating...I think they call it colic. Whatever it was, you definitely had it...and you and I were pretty much attached for a year. Not that I am complaining. I loved that you wanted to be with me and only me for a little while. It does just seem like a blink of an eye...and now you are 8!

Sweet, inquistive girl

Always smiling....

Turning 5...and becoming very sassy...

and quite competitive...(I think you get that from your Daddy).

You're not afraid to try new things...

and you are your happiest when you are singing and dancing!!

Two of Daddy's favorite girls!
Miley Ray and Karsen Grace

You love summer (just like your Momma)!

And you still let me braid your hair from time to time...

You are still a little girl is so many ways....

but you are also growing up very fast.
 I can see that you are starting to flex that independence...
and most of the time you have a sixteen-year old-attitude
 in the body of an eight year old!

But you're still our baby....and we love you very much!!
Happy Birthday, KG!

Friday, November 6, 2009

No Small Victory

We had an unwanted and unexpected guest arrive at our house this week.

Ye be forewarned, swine flu lurks within.

After the fact, I can say that there were some rather amusing moments.
One being, when Dylan got his diagnosis
and then looked at the Doctor
and said (oh so seriously),
"And thank you, for taking the swine flu seriously"
The doctor looked at me like

Dylan later went on to say something about
not eating so much bacon next time I make it.

I think the high fever was effecting him.
No, he is always like this. 

 Sarcastic, dry, and ever-so insightful
for a 10 year old.

Karsen was a little less dramatic about being sick.
But completely devastated that she would miss
a few days of school this week.

Poor thing.
Our social butterfly LOVES school.
She even makes up homework to do herself at home.
And tries to help Dylan do his home
(since he is so uninterested.)

The Swine Flu really put a dent
into her social calendar.

This morning she was ohhh so happy to brush her hair,
plan her wardrobe
and bounce out the door
on the way back to school!

NOT nearly as happy as I was....

Although, I almost went border-line bonkers...
(I definitely had my moments)
I cried, prayed, and just hoped we would all make it
through this week in one piece.

And somehow after 3+ days of QUARANTINE mode...

We made it out alive on the other side.
Fever-free for 36+ hours, enough chicken soup to last a lifetime,
and a lot of pent-up energy!
Yay to healthy, energetic children!

We made it.
It was ugly,
but we came, we saw, and we conquered
The Swine Flu.
It was no small victory.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Apple-Bobbing should be against the law during flu season (Happy Halloween!!)

Dylan is a very serious Anakin Skywalker as he decides to go to the dark side.
He is doing the "force choke" here.

He REALLY loves Halloween, it has always been his favorite holiday.
And STAR WARS is his latest obsession.

Here, he wanted me to make sure I got a picture of how his cape looks when he walks.
Dramatic, huh?

What a difference a year can make.
Last year Karsen was a sweet Indian Princess.
This year she wanted to be a wicked witch.
(Mission accomplished.)

With black lip stick....
(and spider around her neck)

And black streaks running through her hair.
To complete the total "look".

We were happy because Chris was home
and got to watch the kids..... have a great time at a Halloween party
and a blast bobbing for apples....

Karsen and Dylan BOTH got the apple they were going after!*
AND were successful at busting the witch pinata.

*Unfortunately, they may have gotten more than they
bargained for as they were bobbing for apples....
AND I am NOT the kind of wife that would EVER say
"I told you so"
But my anxiety and germaphobe tendencies
kicked into full force
(and words like H1N1, mucous, streptococcus)
starting flying through my paranoid, nerdy head,
as they started diving head-first, open mouthed
bobbing for the apples....

Fast forward 48 hours....
They are both in bed with flu-like symptoms.
I hope and pray they are both better in the morning.

Regardless, we had a very Happy Halloween.
Happy November, everyone!

P.S.  Chris, if you are reading...I love you very much....
(and I told you so. )

Deciduous Heather