Friday, February 26, 2010

friday frivolity...

It is 9:20 on a Friday night and the girls are in bed...

Does that give you any indication as to how the day has gone????

But it is Friday...

so yeah for the weekend...

and more of my ramblings about nothing!

Which isn't really different from any other day is it:)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So this week I have...

registered my baby for high school...

cried because I registered my baby for high school...

found our dream home--in the worst location...

started looking for houses again...

cooked, swept, did a few loads of laundry...

failed epically as a parent...

lost my mind...

gained a few more gray hairs...

taken my first DMS quiz...

scanned my first DMS study...

performed toothfairy duties...

failed epically as a parent...

lost my mind...

gained a few more gray hairs...

found another house in a better location...

reaffirmed how much I HATE group projects...

heard that I need new tires for the 126,497th time...

saw old friends...

purged toys and clothes...

was told that the CVC joints ??? on Steve's car need replaced...

taken pencils/socks/paper/from the dog too many times to count...

drove Michaela a bazillion miles back and forth between play practice and dance practice...

failed epically as a parent...

lost my mind...

gained a few more gray hairs...

just another ordinary week!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

what's in your ipod..

Having seen that one of my friends had as his F@ceb**k status to name a lyric or song title that best describes you, I decided to steal the idea and do my day in musical lyrics and verse...

So, if today was a playlist on my ipod it would look something like....

To emphasize the brilliant choice to procrastinate and then stay up the entire night studying for my first DMS quiz, my playlist would begin with a reading from the ever loved Forrest Gump...

Stupid is as stupid does!

Next up, with a dusting of snow and an hour delay, would have to be the chart topper from Alice in Wonderland...

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!

Having dropped Emma off at school, and having to rush to the highway to try to make it to my test on time, my third selection would certainly have to be the 80s hit....

I can't drive 55!

I make it to class--late of course--take the test between lecture and lab and only miss one point, so of course next on my playlist would have to be...

Can't touch this! :)

After standing for over two hours in scan lab, and the effects of no sleep hitting me hard, the song for the drive home definitely...

Living on a Prayer!

I sneak 10 minutes of sleep and then Emma is home from school. I feel awful, have no patience because I feel so exhausted, and Emma decides to test how tired I really am---with very bad results. To express her feelings about the tired monster that has invaded her house, she sneaks onto the ipod and adds...

Ding dong the witch is dead!

5:30 rolls around. Exhaustion is still my partner. Mac's play practice is over...dance team practice begins at 6:00...it is over at 9:00....run run run! What better song to hum than the classic from the abominable snowman...

Put one foot in front of the other!

The day is ending. My bed is calling--LOUDLY. The playlist concludes with what else but...

Mr. Sandman!
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Let's hope tomorrow's playlist begins with...

Oh what a beautiful morning!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

dear ANG...

To the ANG,

I am writing this letter because I have a few complaints I would like to express to your office.

My first complaint is in regards to the reimbursement of the SGLI funds that was authorized almost a year ago. We have been patient, but after multiple phone calls and continually being told that the paperwork was being processed we are at the end of our rope. The double standards that seem to exist in your office are appalling. Do you remember a few years back when we were in England? You sent us an email stating that an error had been made in your office with the per diem payments over a 6 month period. The email went on to say that we owed you over $5000.00 which needed to be paid promptly. The following month, without any further correspondence from your office, you collected on your debt by not paying the per diem for the month and not paying the monthly housing allotment. Your office made a mistake, we owed you, you promptly collected. Debt paid in full. Yet we have had to wait almost a year to be reimbursed the $1200.00 you owe us. We have had to make call after call asking for the funds that you have told us have been approved! Does this double standard seem fair to you?

My second complaint is in regards to Stephen's retirement from the Ohio National Guard. Back in November,2009 6 month extension papers were signed to make sure Steve was in the system long enough after his retirement date of Dec. 28, 2009 for the paperwork to be finalized. His retirement date approached and he was then told that the paperwork had not been completely processed so he would have to continue to attend weekend drills until April, 2010. The new year rolled around. He attended the January drill. His pay was deposited. And then, a week before the February drill, an email is sent informing him that his official retirement date is December 28, 2009. After jumping through hoops, doing everything you told him to do, and getting no conclusive answers, you send an email telling him his 23 year military career is over? Officially over on his original retirement date? The indecisiveness and lack of communication certainly doesn't give me much comfort in the military's effectiveness.

My final grievance is also in regards to Stephen's retirement. Stephen gave his country 23 years of his life. 23 years of being part of the military efforts to ensure freedom for all. Do you think that after 23 years the letter sent to him congratulating him on his retirement could have possibly had his name on it? Do you think that instead of sending a letter addressed "Dear Sir or Madame," to thank him for his years of service you could have taken the time to insert his name and rank? Would a small effort towards those that have worn the uniform honorably be too much ask for? It would have been less offensive for no letter to have been sent at all.

"Above All"----yeah not so much.

Disgruntled,
the wife of a veteran.

Monday, February 22, 2010

don't blink...

The clock said 6:00pm and I could not put off the inevitable any longer. I picked up the necessary paperwork, kissed Emma and Steve goodbye and headed out to the van. With each step, the lump in my throat grew and the tears threatened to spill over. As much as I would like to postpone the meeting, I knew that there was no avoiding this next step; it was going to occur whether or not I backed out of the driveway or I ran inside and buried myself under my covers. Life was going to go on. So I took a deep breath, put the car in reverse, and I drove away. With each click of the odometer, each mile closer to my destination, the memories flooded my heart and I allowed the tears to fall.

With each tear I wondered how did I get here? Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital? Didn't she just learn to walk and talk? I know it couldn't have been that long ago that I watched her, weighted down with her big backpack, get onto that big yellow school bus for the first time (and then follow it the mile to the school and secretly watch her get off and head into Kindergarten). Surely the baby we tried so long for is still my baby girl!

But somewhere between bringing her home from the hospital, the midnight feedings and the diaper changes, her learning to walk and talk, the dance recitals and birthday parties, I blinked.

I Blinked...

and my little girl stopped playing with baby dolls and started texting...

I Blinked...

and the years of her being home everyday and telling me about her day are dwindling.

I Blinked...

and I had reached my destination.

I Blinked...

and found myself standing in front of the large doors of Ryle High School-- holding registration forms for 9th grade in my hands-trying to hold the tears that once again were threatening to spill over onto my cheeks as I prepared myself for the inevitable.

I Blinked...

and my baby grew up!

I Blinked.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

i could see it!!!!....

You know when you are pregnant and you have an ultrasound...

or you watch while your wife is having an ultrasound if you happen to be the two guys that read this:)

and the ultrasound tech is identifying 'parts'---"There's the liver/kidney/etc." You are relieved to hear that all of the important parts are developed, but you have no idea if that odd shaped blob is actually the pancreas. You nod your head and pretend like you can actually make out the organs, but they truthfully all look like grey blobs!

Well today I got to scan for the first time!! I was so nervous (because I do not like to be in situations where I am unsure and could make mistakes), but excited to finally get to do the thing I have been working towards for the last year.

I am happy to report that I was actually able to find and recognize the items for today's lab!!

Good to know that the headaches and sleeplessness for the last 12 months haven't been for naught :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

not quite wordless wednesday...

TWO WORDS...
ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

sticks and stones...

As the snow piles up outside, the phone rings. On the other end is Mr. Hummel letting parents know that Boone County schools will be closed again due to the road conditions. As I hang up the phone, I turn to the girls, and with frustration in my voice pass on the information. "Errr.. You guys have another snow day tomorrow. I am so tired of this. I want you guys in school!" The girls cheer as they leave the room. Not another thought is given to the words I spoke.

One of the complications with verbal communication is the distortion of the meaning of the words spoken. Often the receiver constructs a very different meaning to the message than was actually meant by the sender. Words are spoken and misunderstandings occur. Without clarification of the true meaning of the conversation, people often get angry or feelings get hurt.

A few hours after we received the call about the school closing, Emma came into the room looking heavyhearted. "Mommy I am happy I get to stay home tomorrow, but you don't want me here. You want me to be in school all day."

{Insert sound of my heart breaking.}

As I scooped her up and hugged her, I tried to explain that I did not mean that I wanted her at school because I did not want her home with me, but because I wanted her in school so that we could be home together longer in the summer. After a few minutes of cuddles her broken heart was mended and she went back to playing. My heart is still mending!

Words are powerful. They have the ability to build up and the ability to break down; the ability to bring happiness and the ability to cause sorrow. Words spoken innocently in a brief moment can be misunderstood and cause hours of sadness. Diligence in the messages we convey with our words--whether intentional or not--must always be taken.

Because despite the children's verse about sticks and stones... words can hurt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!!...

To all of you that say snow is pretty...and that it makes everything so peaceful and calm...Obviously are seeing it through a window while snuggled next to a roaring fire...and are not the ones out shoveling the 12 inches off of the driveway!! ....walking stuck inside because of a winter wonderland!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

upon the first day of the week...

I Corinthians 13:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

nothing quite like demolition to show your luv....

Today I received the best Valentine's Day gift...

It isn't a gift everyone would appreciate...

no money was needed...

just a saw and hammer...

but I couldn't think of anything I would rather have!!!

Steve took shower walls that looked like this...

and made them look like this!!!
Isn't it pretty!!!!!And he was able to save all of the tiles I wanted!!!

Happy Valentine's Day to me!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

friday frivolity...

Ahhhhhh!!!!

The end of another week...

A week filled with snow and school closings.

And we get to do it all again next week!

Snow and all!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BLOGGER....

would you please fix my blog?????

It has been weeks!!!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My new classes began this week...

A&P online...

My first Sonography class on Thursdays...

I am generally not intimidated by classes...

but I do not like being unsure...

and this one has me thinking!

Guess I should get more comfortable since this is the field I am studying to work in!
~~~~~~~~~~
Steve has completed his 90 day probationary period at Raytheon...

his reviews have all been excellent...

and he is loving what he does!

Which is always a plus when you have to go somewhere 5 days a week!
~~~~~~~~~~~
He is actually home all day tomorrow...

and I am sure he would like to lie around and do nothing...

but I have other things in mind for him...

like...DEMOLITION!!!

the girls' shower walls are coming down.

and we will be down to one shower until the walls go back up:(
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nothing exciting happened with Mac and Emma this week...

snow days and lounging!

What a life!
~~~~~~~~~~~~
So I have discovered Cr@igslist...

and I love it...

Already sold two items!

If it isn't nailed down it may end up for sale:)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Two more days until Valentine's Day...

Do you have something special for your sweetie?

Steve, think Dave Ramsey...

There is no Valentine Day envelope!
~~~~~~~~~~~~
For those of you not in a relationship...

Sunday is S.A.D. (Single Awareness Day)...

Take yourself out for a nice dinner...

Pamper yourself with a gift...

because at least if you go out with yourself, you know you will like your date!

At least I hope so:)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Off to search for items to sell:)

Longaberger baskets...

a couch...

a Weider...

oooo, the van!

I wonder what I can sell that Steve will never miss????

Can you list children???

.........
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Have a great Saturday!

I know I will...

sleeping in (Steve can take Mac to dance at 8:30!)...

no homework...

and of course demolition!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

***smooch***

With a free spirit like Emma Shea life is never dull. We never know what off the wall activity she will come up with or what topic of conversation we will be engaged in. Her mind is working all of the time and she comes up with some of the most random statements--it almost makes me fear the thoughts she has that she doesn't share! She definitely brings spontaneity to our life!! The night of the last teen class was no exception.

After dropping Michaela off, Steve, Emma, and I headed over to Steve's 'Louisville home' for dinner. As we drove over a sweet little voice from the backseat asks,

"Mommy, how old do you have to be to kiss a boy?"

" 80." Steve immediately answers.

"*80!!!! that is too old. How old were you when you kissed Daddy?"

"I was 18."

"18!!! That is too long to."

"Emma, I kissed other boys before Daddy."

"Oh. And you just gave up on them?" ~~~~~~~
Ai yi yi... we are going to have to watch this girl!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

not quite wordless wednesday...

One 35th 41st birthday :)....
A gathering of friends...
An abundance of food...
AND...
the most delicious homemade cheesecake...
with caramel sauce...
ALL FOR ME!!!!

Thank you to all me friends for surprising me with a birthday celebration!!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

a tradeoff...

The snows came last night and blanketed the ground with a nice 4 inches of fluffy white snow.It was a morning of lounging in bed and watching movies.

The roads are clear, but the snow continues to fall, so dance classes were canceled tonight.

Which makes me very sad :(

Steve took the day off because tonight was supposed to be Emma's daddy/daughter dance during her class...

and I was so looking forward to watching him do ballet and tap with Emma---maybe even getting a few pictures of him wearing a tutu :)

I can always hope for a rescheduling!

And while I did not get to see Steve's ballet debut...

I did get my driveway and sidewalks shoveled!!!
I just wonder who is going to shovel the 3 inches we are supposed to get tonight????

Monday, February 08, 2010

just dance...

When Michaela was 2 years old, Steve's boss kept pushing us to get a portfolio and start her in pageants. So in order to stop the barrage from Sandy, we entered Michaela in a local beauty pageant. The pageant was held on a Sunday afternoon, so we headed over to the auditorium after church services--hair curled under and a simple church dress. We kept it simple, it was just for fun. As we entered the pageant room, the eyes of the mothers immediately turned to us to determine if she was competition. With their daughters in huge pageant dresses, tackle boxes full of make-up, and rollers in their hair, they immediately looked away from us and towards the next contestant to enter the room, convinced that we were in no way competition for the Little Miss Sunshine title. We did not have the pageant 'look'. This spectacle continued until the pageant began--grown adults sizing up 2 and 3 year old children; pointing out 'flaws' that would make that child unworthy of competing with their daughters. Snarls and eye rolls when the winners were crowned could be seen throughout the room. That pageant was our first...and last pageant we ever entered. Teaching my child that looks and the value placed on them by others is what defined you was not a lesson I wanted Michaela to learn. Imposing that much ugliness and hatred on the innocent heart of my child was inconceivable to me. Our tiara was put into retirement--NEVER to be dusted off.

As a side note....Michaela won the Little Miss Sunshine title in her age group :p

This weekend was the first competition for Michaela's dance team. Having never attended a dance competition I was not sure what to expect. I was certainly unprepared for the attitudes and arrogance that were exhibited by many of the dancers. But more surprising was the superior attitudes of some of the mothers. It was like the beauty pageant all over again. The looks. The inspections. The sizing up of worthiness. Often you could see them observe a little closer. And often you could see them write us off and move on to the next team.

Another side note... Junior team earned 2nd places in all three of their dances :)

Maybe I am seen as having the wrong attitude, but it's JUST DANCE. It is an activity that should be done for enjoyment. It is a great team sport. But it is just dance. I understand wanting to score well after the hours of rehearsals and the hard work that is put into each dance. Wanting to showcase your talents is only natural. But scoring well does not make you successful. Nor does scoring poorly make you less of a winner. Your 'worthiness' should not be defined by your talents. Your worth is defined by the attitude you exhibit as you do your best--whether your best results in a trophy or not. Winning is achieved by exerting a 100% effort, maintaining a humble attitude, and by showing others respect and kindness. Success is being the best you can be and being meek as you get there.

So while I may risk the wrath of 'dance moms' everywhere, it is JUST DANCE---it is not who we are; it does not determine our worth. Whether or not Michaela walks away with a trophy, as long as she is able to laugh with her teammates and smile as she walks off the stage she is a winner. And while others will determine her 'worthiness' by the level of competition they feel she poses as a dancer, I will continue to define her 'worth' by the pure heart that she possesses and the unconditional love that she shows others.

As a dancer, as long as she remembers that it is just dance, she will walk off every stage a winner!

Friday, February 05, 2010

friday frivolity...

Okay, first of all, there is something wrong with my blog page---blogger is looking into it because it seems to be happening to a lot of blogs!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The winter weather is on the way...

it has been raining all day...

and soon it will turn into ice...

and then 4 to 6 inches of snow...

Of course... because Michaela has her first dance team competition in Lexington this weekend!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had to run around and get the last few items for the competition...

and as I gathered my items at the store I came to the realization that Wal-M*rt seems to be a large classroom for homeschoolers...

who knew that so much teaching could be done as you walk around a store with your children following behind.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And since W*l-M*rt seems to be a large classroom, there are a few lessons I would like to teach...

**to the woman who just shoved past me in the hair accessory aisle, a simple "Excuse me." does wonders.

*** to the man and women who about knocked me over trying to get to the register before me, I really wasn't in that big of a hurry. If you needed to check out quickly, I would have gladly let you go ahead of me. Just use your words!

*** to the woman who walked around the store coughing all over the place, please cover your mouth. I really do not need your germs sprayed all over me. Cover your cough!

*** to the mother who let her child scream for what seemed like HOURS...
he was not screaming because he was tired... he was screaming because he wanted that toy...which surprise, surprise you let him have to stop his tantrum. ( Not hard to figure out who has who trained in your relationship!)

*** and a lesson to myself... don't shop at W*l-M*art in the middle of the afternoon!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My late winter term ended...

with much relief from me.

That was an eternal term...

with boring classes...

but I am 3 classes closer to completion!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, since the snow is falling...

and our plans have changed for about the millionth time...

I better get going.

Because Michaela and I are now driving to Lexington tonight rather than in the morning...

I wonder if Steve has finalized his and Emma's plans for the weekend?

Camellia or Gena...Steve, Emma, and Cali are heading down there tonight!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Have a great weekend and be safe!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

offense, not defense...

On January 12, 2010 an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the Caribbean country of Haiti, leaving catastrophic destruction in it's path. The capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas have been reduced to piles of concrete rubble, with an estimated 100,000 people dead. The estimated 3million people that were affected by the earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks have been left in complete devastation. While they mourn the loss of loved ones, there is the uncertainty of where, or if, the basic needs for survival will be available to them. Their lives are now in the hands of strangers. Their survival lies in the generosity of their 'neighbors'.

And neighbors have stepped up and shown the Haitian people love and generosity. 57 million dollars was raised by the telethon organized by George Clooney. The proceeds from the remake of 'We are the World' will go to help Haiti rebuild. President Obama said the U.S. government would "stand ready to assist the people of Haiti. Former President Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, said the world body was ""committed to do whatever we can to assist the people of Haiti in their relief, rebuilding and recovery efforts. Organizations, schools, and businesses throughout the world are gathering supplies and donations to do all that can be done to aid in the support of Haiti.

And while I completely agree with supporting the efforts of recovery in Haiti, my question is why did it take a catastrophe for the world to step up and 'help'? As one of poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has always had needs. Haiti is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries in the Western Hemisphere. 80% of it's residents live in poverty. The need was there before January 12, 2010! The living conditions of the Haitians were substandard before the walls collapsed around them. And now, with the tears of the loved ones of the 100,000 killed spilling onto the rubble, the world has stood up and taken notice. We have reacted.

But why does it take a catastrophe for the hearts of people to feel the hurt of others? Why do we react to a dilemma rather than plan to avoid. If 57 million dollars could be raised to help with the recovery of Haiti after the earthquake, than why couldn't 57 million dollars have been raised to improve the substandard conditions before lives were loss and families were heartbroken? If we can send provisions to defend against further loss after the devastation, then why can't provisions be collected and sent to offset and prevent the devastation? Why is our sense of 'neighborly love' only affected when our neighbor is in need?

As we see the horrific images of the destruction and loss in Haiti, certainly let your hearts be pierced with sadness. But as the news reports about Haiti are replaced by new dilemmas and the outcry for help from celebrities fades away, let us remember that the needs are still there. Let us not wait for a calamity to occur to help. Let our hearts be open to the needs of others in times of calm as well as times of turmoil. Let us help those less fortunate than us to be prepared for life's calamities, rather than only aiding them as they are forced to react after life's calamities.

Let us love our neighbors as ourselves---in times of rejoicing... and in times of sorrow.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

sigh of relief....

Finals are over!

o.V.e.R....OvEr.....OVER!!!

and I could not be happier (insert goofy grin spreading from ear to ear).

It was a rough term.

But I am looking forward to the four (yes count them) entire days I have off before the Winter term begins...

only having to drive into Cincinnati one day a week....

and finally taking my first DMS class!!!

And I am sure you will be thrilled to know that I am not in a class that requires pages and pages of writing...

so I will be able to once again bless you with my wit and insight (insert accolades and cheers of joy:)

But first on my list is to find out why my comment and name are on the top of my posts?