Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of Year Reflections

It's the last day of 2011.  What a year!  As there are less than 5 hours remaining of it, I believe it's time for  some thoughtful reflections about this year.

First, I've learned you can't "go back home" no matter how hard you try.  I thought when my hubby's new job turned out to be in TEXAS that I was going back home.  I had built up in my mind how perfect and wonderful it was going to be.  I had friends all over the state who couldn't wait to see me.  I was going to have this lovely life full of friends in and out of town.  Lots of visiting.  Lots of fun.  Lots of chats over coffee with neighbors.  People to shop with.  The list goes on.  Unfortunately, reality and my dreams were light years apart.  I am in Texas again, which makes me happy.  But, it's not what I imagined and it's taking time for me to adapt.  More time than I thought it would.  More time than I want it to take. 

Second, I've learned you can't make people happy.  And, even more so, people can't make you happy either.  Happiness is one of those intangibles you have to find within yourself.  Happiness is fleeting.  You can't hold onto it and make it stay.  However, contentment is another story.  My current goal is to learn from the Apostle Paul and to be content no matter where I am or the circumstances I find myself in.  Not easy, but definitely worth it.  Contentment breeds peace, love and joy.  These are all so much better than the transient "happiness" we all talk about and can never attain.

Third, I've learned how not to pray.  Sound crazy?  Not really.  This year I've spent a lot of time in prayer.  One of the biggies over the summer was that I would NOT have to do a certain thing.  Please, anything else, but don't make me do THIS....  Guess what I had to humble myself to do?  Yup.  That one thing... In doing so I learned to be grateful for the people in my life who love me whether I deserve it or not. 

Fourth, I learned I am not alone.  Ever.  People come and go all the time, but Jesus is with me always.  Helping me, holding me, guiding me.  The big questions are, am I accepting the help, continuing to hold onto Him and allowing him to lead?  Some days yes, some days no.  My prayer is that over the next year, there will be more days where I can answer "yes" to those questions.  I once heard someone say, it isn't God that moves, but us.  It's true.  He's always there.  Always. 

Fifth, I learned that letting go hurts.  My eldest graduated high school this spring and then joined the Air Force this fall.  He's not my little boy anymore.  He's a man.  One with a life of his own.  He's happy.  I am happy for him.  Really, truly, I am.  But, I miss my son. 

Sixth, I learned that hurt can bring joy.  It's true I hurt because my son isn't living at home now.  But, when I see him and look into his eyes as we talk about what he's doing now, I see how happy, no, how content and proud he is.  These have been good choices for him.  This brings great joy to my heart. 

Moving from Virginia Beach to Waco, TX was difficult.  It hurt to leave friends, "family" and our church to come to an unknown area where we knew no one in town.  It still hurts, but we have such peace about being here.  We have joy as we truly believe this is where God wants us.  It doesn't detract from our feeling of loss, but it makes it bearable. I am reminded of the Psalm that say weeping my endure for the night but JOY cometh in the morning. 

Seventh, I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.  Nuff said.  :)

Funny, I intended this post to be a basic recap of the year and it turned into something different entirely.  But, that's okay.  I am learning to enjoy the journey, one step at a time. 

Coffee:  Yup.  From my new Bunn coffee maker. is good -  and so is the coffee.  :)

Speaking of coffee, last night I dreamed about ordering coffee on-line. It was a strange dream.  A very thrifty Virginia friend who moved to TN was in it and recommended a service to me that was "very reasonably priced" - they deliver a month's worth of coffee to your home for $400. ROFL....did I say it was a dream?  That price is a nightmare!!  LOL  Hmmm...come to think of it, I woke up just as I was about to take a drink of this very reasonably priced coffee.....  Too bad I'll never know how it tasted.  ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Appearances....are they REALLY everything?

If you are a Facebook friend, you may have seen that today I was being super duper comfy.  It's getting colder.  It's raining.  It's a blah, dreary day outside.  So, I put on a pair of old, faded, threadbare in spots 5 year old jeans.  They are so soft and comfy, I could sleep in them.  Seriously.  On top, I put on a Disney sweatshirt I've had for longer than I want to admit.  As in, I bought it a couple months before son #3 was born....and he just turned 15.  Before you faint, please note I didn't wear it at all for a few years....  So, although it's old and a bit faded, it could be worse.  Wow, am I justifying or what??? 

Anyway, I went out in these two pieces of clothing.  Granted, they are old and faded, but there were clean and spot free....and worn with 9 West boots and my new Nautica rain jacket and I was carrying my 9 West purse.  So, obviously, I am not destitute.  No one treated me badly until my very last stop of the day - at my son's school, where I was dropping off a few things. 

The tone of voice she used was so incredibly condescending. Especially when she told me how LUCKY I am to be able to go to this game at Cowboy stadium.  And, then she tells me that "parking MUST be paid.  It's TEN dollars, so be sure and have it."  I laughed and said "that's better than the $30 I paid to park for the Cowboys game my friend and I attended this fall."  The look of surprise on her face was priceless....and then she says "Oh, how lucky for YOU that you got to go to a Cowboys game.  THOSE tickets are VERY expensive. You must have a very nice friend."  All the while she is looking at me like she's wondering what I had to pawn to buy three tickets to a high school football game. 

Once I stepped away to wait for my son to pick up his things, I decided to see if it was "just me" or if she treated everyone this way.  In the 5 minutes I waited, several people came in to buy tickets for the game.  Those who were dressed VERY nicely were treated with respect and spoken to in a nice tone of voice.  If you were black, hispanic or sloppily dressed, she was condescending and *almost* rude. 

Okay, now that my blood pressure has gone down a bit, I will announce that my darling second son will be part of the Color Guard for the Championship game on Friday night at Cowboy Stadium!  Woo hoo!!  I'm so proud of him.  We will be there to see him out on the field and up on the jumbotron!  We even plan to watch the game.  :) Looking forward to it so much.  This has been a month of trips to Dallas for me, and I've loved it!  Go Midway Panthers!!!! now you are wondering how I looked today.  This is it.....  I didn't think it was THAT bad, but obviously, I was wrong....

I took this immediately after I got home, so it would be an accurate representation of how I looked at school.

My son took this after he came home so you can see the entire outfit. 

This makes me think about how I treat other people.  Do I treat them differently because they are dressed better, the same or worse than I?  It's my sincere desire to see people as all the same, no matter how they are dressed.  We are all people no matter our economic status and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  Definitely food for thought....

Speaking of coffee,I know, I wasn't really, IS me and I haven't had nearly enough today.  What I've had was fabulous.  Coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer.  YUM.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Counting down....the pounds :)

Wow, what a busy time we've had lately.  JROTC military ball, Rick Springfield concert, a son's birthday, shopping.... Some days I've felt too busy to breathe.  However, I've enjoyed every single minute of it!  Here are some pictures (minus the birthday - son doesn't wanna be on my blog.  *sigh*)

I tried this belt on at Anthropologie recently, but didn't buy it.
I regretted that decision until TODAY when Debra (thanks again, btw!!) texted to say
it was on sale plus another 30% off. 
It has been ordered and will be part of my OOTDs soon.  :)

This is what I wore to the Air Force JROTC Ball Friday night. 
I loved it and it must have been a good choice.
Even the teen girls said how cute it looked!!  :)

Me and the Mr. waiting for the Rick Springfield concert to start.
The doors opened at 7. 
The opening band started at 8:30.
Rick went on at 10 and sang till almost midnight!
Long wait, but well worth it.
We shared a table with a couple we met in line. 
What a hoot they were!!!
The guys sat at the table when the show started
while she and I hit the floor to dance and sing along with Rick.  :)
BTW, the Glass Cactus in Grapevine, TX is awesome. 

Rick Springfield.
He's still got it. 
Oh yes..... Yes, indeed.

Rick does this cool thing with a dozen roses at the end of some songs.
He strums them across the guitar strings and petals fly everywhere.
Really cool.
Wish the pic turned out better.  Oh well....

Action shot of Rick playing guitar. 
See the rose petals on the stage? 

One of the better close up shots.
Most were a bit blurry....
either because I was moving - or he was - or both.
Who can stop dancing when the music is good and the performance is awesome??

Rick bowing at the end of a song. 
This was close to the end of the concert.
Included this one because it was clear and you can see the rose petals.
Funny fact:  women  were gathering all the rose petals they could reach on the stage to take home.
I'm a Rick fan, but that's a bit much. If I was still a teenager, maybe.... 
Whatever, takes all types, right?  :)

So...another funny. If you didn't catch it earlier, the concert was in a bar.  A nice bar, but a bar, nonetheless.  After the concert, the doors opened to the general public.  All us mature women who love Rick are in the restroom because we didn't leave the room for 2 hours while he was performing and by this point we NEEDED the facilities...  There was this cute young girl waiting in line who had the audacity to say "Rick Springfield.... he performed here tonight right?  I THINK I've heard of him, but who IS he?"  I was on my way past when she said that and my response was "you were born about the time he became famous honey" and I kept walking as she started laughing.  You know, Southern women use "honey" in several different ways.....IF you assume this was not used as a term of endearment in this instance, you would be correct.  :)

Over the past few months, due to stress, I have gained some weight.  I knew this was a problem when suddenly my jeans were too tight - as in I couldn't zip them and breathe.  Thus, I did what any rational human would do as the holidays are beginning - I went on a diet and lost 4 pounds. Then we made our Southern Tour and I promptly regained all 4 pounds. Hey, it was Thanksgiving and I was HOME.  Anyway, those pounds plus another are now gone thanks to an awesome app on my new iPhone.  I use it to track every morsel (and sip) that goes past my lips.  You can link the website with your phone and stay up to date whether you are home or out to eat.  It's   I highly recommend them.  I haven't been using it long and am already down 5 pounds.  It could be more if I was exercising, but who has time??  Don't answer that.  I know I have the time.  It's "just an excuse"...... 

Coffee....yes, indeed.  A pot per day.  Basic stuff.  But good.  Mostly with peppermint mocha creamer.  Yum.  LOVE that stuff.  Measuring it though to make sure I don't overindulge.  *sigh*  I can't wait to lose these next few pounds....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tis the Season....

It has been a few days since my last post.  I have been thinking through things. I don't claim to have any answers.  However, that being said, I have decided to "fake it till I can make it."  Therefore, I finally decorated a bit in our living room and kitchen.  Hubby and the boys are thrilled (something about it FINALLY looking like we've moved in). I think it makes the house look cluttered.  I suppose I was accustomed to the clean (bare) look from before.  You know, the whole "less is more" idea. 

So, what do you think?

The entry as seen from the middle of the living room.
To the left as you come inside.
The picture is the one we gave my hubby for his birthday last year.

To the right as you enter the house.
I love these little snowmen. 
The sitting area.  That is a Thomas Kincaid print from Home Interiors.  Love the colors in it.
Needs some more things around it to complete the grouping. 
However, those items are still in the garage in boxes. 
I AM working on it though.... 
Across from the sofa, of course.
I love the contrast of the antique shelves with the more modern photos.
Of course, the shelves are decorated for Christmas now.
Wonder what I'll find to put on them after the holidays.
Hmmm....I see another post for the future.  :)
To the left of the tv.

To the right of the tv...
Looking into the kitchen from the sofa.
Love my nutcrackers...need more of them....
I love this picture.
Need to accessorize it also.
The dining area. 

Another Thomas Kincaid print from Home Interiors.
Love this lighthouse picture (sorry it's not clear).

The table is festive...and not so much "stuff" that it's difficult to clear when it's time to eat.  :)
My new MC Coffee Maker...
and my new cup from Anthropologie. 
Hey, it wouldn't be ME if I didn't have a picture of my favorite part of the house!
Took this photo a couple days ago in my back yard.
Isn't this maple tree gorgeous??? 

Hubby was so pleased to see the house semi decorated. I'm so glad I was able to do something to make him happy. 

Speaking of hubby, a couple weeks ago he asked me if I had anything planned for tomorrow night.  I didn't and he asked me to keep it that way so we could have a date night.  Of course, I agreed!!!  When I asked what we were doing, he said it was a surprise.  He finally told me this morning.... he bought tickets for us to see Rick Springfield in concert in Dallas (well, Grapevine actually)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I knew my hubby loves me, but I didn't know he loved me enough to take me to a concert of my teenage heart throb!!!  Wow...  All I could do was throw my arms around hubby, kiss him and keep saying "You DO love me!!!!"   

Yes, I'm a bit excited.  Already have my outfit picked out and ready to go.  PLUS, hubby is taking me to one of my favorite stores - Anthropologie - to shop, or rather browse.  I doubt I will buy anything unless it is super awesome and on clearance.  But, that's okay. This time of the year, I prefer buying for others.  (Debra, I know what you are thinking...and the answer is "no".  LOL) Plus, afterwards we will go to dinner and then see RICK SPRINGFIELD in concert!!!!!!  :) :) :)  Excited?  Who? Me?  Nah............

This is a month of fun for us.  Tonight we have an Air Force JROTC Ball to attend.  Wait till you see my dress.  It's super cute and comfy and I can wear it to several upcoming events.  :) Then, tomorrow we have the concert (I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!  Did I mention being excited about going??).  On Sunday we are celebrating Daniel's 15th birthday.  Monday is actually his birthday, but it's also Patrick's Christmas Band concert (I know THEY don't call it that, but *I* do).... Then the following week is our 20th anniversary (where did the time go??) and the day we pick up Justin at the airport for his Christmas Leave.  Of course, after that we have Christmas and New Years....and then everyone goes back to school.  

This morning I am drinking Gevalia coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.  YUM!  I would share, but I'm not that nice.  Shhhhhhh....don't tell Santa.  ;) 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Emotional overload....

Wonders if I'm alone in how I feel sometimes.  I know I'm probably not, but it certainly seems that way when there is no one around to discuss my feeling with on a semi regular basis. 

How do I feel?  Out of place and scared to be "in place"...particularly with where we live at the moment.  I'm referenceing the house where we currently live.  I love it.  I really do.  But, we are renting. I can't paint, paper or otherwise make changes.  I even have to be careful about how many pictures we hang (ie, nail holes in the wall) and other decorating decisions.  It's difficult to feel "at home" in a place that isn't my home.  We still need to purchase (or build) bookshelves and a tv stand (or two or three) plus some chairs, side tables, etc.  The bookshelves are definite necessities no matter where we live.  The other things we "need" to fit this house. 

But, what if we don't stay here past our year lease?  What if we move across the country again?  What if, what if, what if???  I'm so tired of the "what ifs".  Seriously tired of them.  But, how do I get past them?  I know there is no getting rid of them.  Life is full of changes.  There will always be unknowns.  I need to push past my current fears of the upcoming unknowns and do what needs to be done for now.

Am I strange for feeling this way?  I suppose the reason I question these feelings is because I've with this before.  I typically move into a place and immediately make it home. Typically, by the end of the second week everything is in place, all the pictures are hung and the boxes of unused items are tucked into the attic.  We have been in this house since August 1 and the garage is still full of furniture and boxes.  It's now December 2....that's more than 4 months and it, LOOKS like we just got our stuff last week.  I don't even have all the curtains up yet.  What????

You know, I'm feeling really anxious just typing this out.  Being 100% honest is a scary thing....the fear of being misunderstood, for putting my feelings totally out there, wow....  scary.

It's not lack of coffee.  I'm on my fourth 10 oz cup of coffee.  It's almost gone.  Soon I will be pouring my fifth cup.  :)  Don't you dare suggest it's too much coffee....  That is not open for discussion!

That is all for today.  I have lots of things to "catch up" on in the blog world....but not right now. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's time.....

I'm feeling it.  Most definitely.  It's time for a change.  The question is, what am I going to change?  I've recently cut my hair and am wearing it straight vs my usual curls.  This means I'm taking time EVERY day to fix my hair instead of doing the happy "scrunch and go" that has been my go-to style for the past 10 years or longer.  I like it.  I don't like the time it takes, but I'm dealing with it.  So, that's one change.  But, it's not enough.

My closet is making me crazy.  I definitely need to make some changes in there.  It is definitely time to weed through my wardrobe and delete a LOT of what is in there.  The problem is, I will then have to go shopping and buy new clothing.  I have somehow lost my love of shopping.  Maybe it's becasue all my shopping buddies live so far away.  I like having a second opinion when I try a new look.  Being totally transparent here - sales associates do not count.  Since you never know if the one outside your dressing room door is honest or not, it's just too risky.  *sigh*

I need new shoes too.  Winter shoes, to be precise.  I am seriously lacking in shoes.  My hubby would disagree with that statement.  However, it does not change the fact that I need more shoes. 

Work out wear.  UGH!!!  I thought I had plenty, but last week when we went to the Y, I realized that everything I own to work out in is too small or too short or too *something*.  I had to borrow a t-shirt from hubby so it wasn't too clingy or too loose.  I wore a pair of yoga pants that I later found had a small hole.  No more wearing those outside the house!  My other pair of yoga pants are EXTREMELY tight, so no wearing them until I lose at least 15 pounds.  This is why I haven't been back to the Y since last week.  I really need to work out.  I know it would improve my mood and general outlook.  Exercise does that....  Strange how something so horrible can make you feel so good.  LOL

So, along with my fashion needs, I need to buy workout wear also.  Actually, I need to invest in workout wear FIRST and lose the weight I want/plan to lose before augmenting my fashion desires/needs/wants. 

To top it off, my allergies and the fact that thus far I haven't found the correct meds to help me breathe and have a sense of taste/smell is really beginning to get to me. I don't know how to phrase it.  I'm just not "me" right now. 

I feel stagnant, predictable, boring. The list goes on, but it's more of the same.  Thus, it's time for a change.  Where to start is the question....

Coffee?  Of course.  Today I'm drinking the lovely Vermont Maple Crunch coffee from the Texas Cheese House in Lorena, TX.  Yummy!  A little sweetener and a splash of half and half.  It's a pot full of pure bliss.  Try it.  They ship. :)  Don't know their shipping costs as I make the 8 mile drive to pick up my favorite culinary delights. 

BTW, Kara...I saw your comment on my last post.  Welcome to the "dark side" where flavored coffee creamers are a delight and a way of life.  My favorites are Peppermint Mocha (Christmas in a cup of coffee year round!!!!) and Italian Sweet Cream (oh, so sweet and wonderful).  Coconut Cream is third runner up.  You have to be in the right mood for it, however.  :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dogs, birds, OOTD, furniture and Food Network...

What do these have in common?  ME!!  :)  That's it.  Just me, Susan, nothing special - except they all are a huge part of my life at the moment.  So....on to the blog so you can learn what I've been doing since my last post. 

First is my dog, Benji.  He's a miniature Schnauzer and once saved my life, literally.  He's a darling...and desperately needs a haircut.  Look at that pic.  Isn't he cute?  But, isn't he shaggy?  Poor puppy.  His Mommy needs to give him a trim - or take him to the groomer - soon. 

Why am I talking about Benji today?  Because he's heavy on my heart at the moment.  He is losing his eye sight.  It's really very sad.  He loves to run and play.  Fetch is his favorite.  But, with his failing eyesight, he no longer brings us a toy to throw for him.  He's too afraid of running headfirst into furniture or walls.  He learned to be afraid by doing this and hurting himself a few times.  He now has problems navigating the house if the lighting is dim.  I have turned into his "seeing eye human".  Thank goodness for those puppy classes at PetsMart.  He knows to stay to my left and follow my verbal commands as he can no longer see the handmotions.  "Wait" has become a primary command for him.  He's learning to stop when he hears it.  It hurts my heart to see him have these problems.  However, with TLC and lots of help, he's active and happy. 

Birds.... Have you noticed how birds are simply EVERYWHERE lately?  I love birds.  They make me happy inside.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's the country girl in me coming out.  Whatever the reason, I'm loving finding them everywhere from clothing to decorative items.  While I've not bought any clothing to showcase them, I have these in my house and plan to buy more.  My dream is to have at least one bird in each room.  I love to "hide" them for people to find and be surprised.  None of these are hiding....but my decorating is evolving.

From Anthropologie.  I LOVE this adorable bluebird sitting on a grapefruit. 
It is a sugar bowl and has an adorable blue spoon.  So cute and lives by my trusty coffee maker.

These adorable Salt and Pepper shakers were purchased by me a few years ago when I wanted to do a farm yard theme in my kitchen.  It didn't get much farther than this purchase, thankfully.  LOL

Daniel found this bird when we went to Lorena a few weeks ago. 
It now lives in his room along with the penguin pictured below.
Daniel loves penguins.  I love birds. How could I NOT buy this?
Isn't it adorable??  Poor penguin has to live on Daniel's messy desk instead of a clean iceburg.  Oh well...

This is my bird.  I just love the expression on it's face.  So cute!!

LOVE this platter.  That it has a bird on it AND matches the colors I want to do in my kitchen made it a perfect purchase. 

These chickens are a sentimental item.  My paternal Grandmother gave them to me when I was in my teens.
She said every girl should have a collection and gave me these to begin a salt and pepper shaker collection.  :)  These chickens have been all over the country with me:  Five Points, TN; Huntsville, AL; El Cajon, CA; Loretto, TN; Corpus Christi, TX; Portland, TX; Virginia Beach, VA and now Waco, TX.  I'd say they are a couple of well travelled chickens!  LOL  I'm so sad that the red is flaking off their combs, but that's what happens when they need to be washed. 

OOTD....  Wow, I've been really remiss in taking pictures.  Of course, jeans and sweatshirts aren't too exciting.  As I've not felt well lately, that's what I've been wearing.  Hey, be happy they are clean!  LOL  Sunday was a bit chilly and I put this outfit together.  I liked it.  Hubby did too and offered to take a picture.  What do you think? 

Not going to detail the OOTD.  You've seen all these pieces before.  Just not all together.  :)

Furniture.....  *sigh*  I still do not have my living room put together.  Why?  Because when we moved  several pieces of furniture were broken and we still haven't replaced them.  So, after searching the local furniture stores and getting ideas, hubby and I have decided to do the unthinkable.  NO, we aren't selling our tv and book collection.  We are going to build our own tv stand and shelves.  Now to buy the wood and various finishing products.  Wish me luck.  Pictures will be forthcoming when the project starts.  Did I mention I still have to go buy all the stuff????  I have a feeling that, for me, purchasing everything will be the hardest part. 

Food Network.  Ahhhhh....just saying the name makes me salivate.  I've been spending a LOT of time watching and getting awesome ideas.  I think we are currently running out of paper and ink for the printer due to the number of recipes I've printed recently.  Hubby isn't complaining however.  He's enjoying the fruits of my tv watching labor.  :)  Thank goodness for the membership at the Y...I'm going to need it to keep from gaining 20 pounds over the next few months!  I spend a crazy amount of time in the kitchen during the cold months. 

Hope you are having a great day. final picture.  I tried this dress on during my Anthropologie trip last month....  Um, er, my DALLAS trip.  Just because I spent most of my time in all the different Anthro stores.....  I think I need to buy this one.... 
I know you can't really see them...but it has birds all over it.  :)

Coffee:  Gevalia Creme Brulee.  Ahhhhhhh.....yes, please pour another cup.  :)  Ahhhhhhh......  Just need to make some muffins to go along with it...  Kitchen time!!!  :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Need suggestions please...

I've been pondering a question for days. It's time to get it out in the open and deal with it. First, have you ever moved to a new place where the ONLY people you know are your family?  For those of you who answered "yes" HOW did you make friends once you moved?  How long did it take?  How long until you got over being lonely?  Did it bother you that you didn't have friends immediately?  Or, did you suddenly have a group of friends?  How?

We moved to Waco at the end of July.  It's now (almost) the end of October. That equals three months.  Three very long lonely months.  I know three months isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things and that it takes time to meet people and develop friendships.  I know this from previous moves.  But, for some reason, I decided things would be different "this time" and I would immediately meet people and begin going places, doing things, meeting for coffee, sharing stories and recipes...and generally "doing life" with at least 2-3 friends. 

This has not happened.  I have friends all over the US. Some of them even live in TX.  However, none of them live in Waco.  They do things and even invite me to attend (like a dinner being held soon) but these events usually conflict with family obligations and I'm unable to participate, which leaves me feeling even more lonely and left out.

Before you think I'm not trying, let me assure you that I am.  One of the first things I did was find a Bible study to meet with other like minded women and possibly make at least one friend there.  Nope. Not so far.  The few ladies near my age are either home schooling their children and rushing back home immediately afterwards to get back to classes (a responsible, wonderful thing to do) or they have toddlers and only seem to want to do things with other parents who have small ones too (I understand, they want others with a common frame of reference).  The remainder of the ladies are older, with children my age.  While I love being with those older and wiser, they don't seem to want to add another "kid" to their families. 

We live in an awesome neighborhood.  The homes are beautiful.  The people seem nice as they pull into their driveways, open their garage doors, drive in and immediately close the door and go inside.  Sometimes, they even WAVE - if I wave first.  The few neighbors I have met all work.  This means when they come home, they have to cook, clean,  do laundry, errands, etc.  And, they want to spend time with their family. Totally understandable.  I want to do the same in the evening. The few neighbors I've seen at home during the day are generally older men out working on their yards.  Not quite what I had in mind as friends.

I hope this post isn't coming across as whiny or complaining. I truly LOVE living in Texas in general and Waco in particular.  My family is happy here.  My husband has a job.  We have a lovely home.  I am thankful for it all.  I feel very blessed to be here.  And, I know in time, I will have friends.  What I really want are suggestions of what else I can do to find a friend.  Do I force it or do I wait for it to happen?  I've invited people to lunch or to meet for coffee - and neither offer has been accepted.

What have you done?  What would you do in my shoes?  Am I some crazy lady who no one wants to get to know?  Am I going about it all wrong?  Am I too desperate?  Some days I wonder if it's my lot in life to be alone.  I know it isn't....but I have days of doubting. 

Wow...what a depressing post.  It was supposed to be light and funny, with some witty comments and a kernel of truth dropped in here and there.  Instead it's a bare piece of my heart.  Be gentle with it.

On top of everything else, allergy season has hit hard.  I have an appointment with an allergist next week for testing, so no more antihistamines until afterwards.  It's going to be a long four days.

Coffee:  Yes, not enough, but what I've had was delicious.  I am drinking peppermint tea this evening, hoping to soothe my throat and stomach.  Love it, but would rather have coffee.  *sigh*

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Joy of the Lord

Once upon a time I purchased a necklace during a Women's Conference morning with Renee Crosse.  It was on a black nylon adjustable cord and had a clay "stone" that said "JOY".  Renee told us she wore hers as a physical reminder that the joy of the Lord is her strength. I loved this idea and happily purchased one to wear often.  Then, one day I gave it to a dear friend who was passing through a difficult time and needed a tangible reminder that the joy of the Lord could indeed be HER strength.  I have never regretted loosening the necklace and draping it over her head. 

"What does that have to do with anything?" you ask.  Nothing and everything.  I loved wearing my JOY necklace as a reminder that I, too, can claim the joy of the Lord is MY strength.  Mine. Susan Terry's.  It can be yours too. Jesus patiently waits at your heart's door.  But, he's a gentleman who will only enter if sincerely invited inside.  If you have questions and want to know more about Jesus, please feel free to ask.  I would love to tell you about my friend and saviour.

Today the kids were out of school for Columbus Day.  They marked this auspicious holiday by sleeping in, eating junk food and playing video games.  I marked it by sleeping in until 0730, going to Bible study, shopping, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.  YES!!!  Hubby fixed my dryer tonight!  I am a lucky woman to have such a handy man for a hubby.  Yes indeed!  I am excited and happy to be able to do laundry at home.  :) 

This is what I wore to Bible study.  The ladies all love my shoes...and agree when wearing them I have "Barbie feet".  LOL

I call this my 1950's housewife meets 2011 SAHM look.
Patrick took this photo after lunch today in front of our house. 
Don't you love the flowers?

I have another highlight for today.  I purchased a Shark steam cleaner!!  It works like a dream.  The best part was Patrick getting excited about it and taking over the cleaning.  The floors are clean and I only did 2 minutes of work.  Seriously loving that!!  He may have a new chore.  :)

Dinner tonight was super easy.  I was not in the mood to make anything "big" so we had western bacon cheeseburgers (thanks to Top Secret Recipes) and french fries.  Yummy!! 

Sad news from my kitchen.  My trusty friend is slowly dying.  For a few weeks he has been making louder than normal noises while faithfully brewing the elixer of life (aka, coffee).  Then, a few days ago, the electronics started resetting causing me to daily reset the clock and program the morning brew start time.  Thus, the search for a replacement begins.  I want a Bunn.  The question is which model and where can I get the best price? 

Today's coffee was the usual Sam's Choice Fair Trade Medium Roast.  What can I say, it's good coffee.  Especially when enhanced by splenda and Peppermint Mocha creamer.  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Overcoming Difficulties

Overcoming difficulties.  Yes, that seems to be the theme for this week.  It has been a week of trials for our family.  Nothing BIG....just lots of little annoyances that added up to a difficult week. 

Where to start?  How about when I got home from Dallas Sunday afternoon to learn that our dryer stopped working over the weekend.  Hubby ordered the part and it arrived on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it was sort of"the wrong one".  Just slightly.  It needs different hook ups. *sigh*  Annoying.  Very annoying.  But, I can still wash the clothes and air dry them for a few days until he can get the right part.

Hubby was very busy all week.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday he had bus driving classes in the evening.  Thursday was a carnival.  Friday was a home football game.  Saturday was an all day bus driving class.  We barely saw him.  It was difficult and very tiring.

On Thursday, Patrick had a band concert.  It was good.  However, he didn't have any black pants so I had to make a rushed shopping trip to buy pants for him (another minor annoyance). 

While out shopping, I saw myself in a mirror and was shocked at how OLD I looked (due to my hair style).  Can we say, I found a SuperCuts immediately and took care of that problem.  Thank goodness THAT annoyance didn't last long.  :)

Friday wasn't awesome. Actually, it WAS until I went to have dinner with my hubby since he wouldn't be home until almost midnight (home football game).  I got there, turned off the car....and when I tried to start it, NOTHING.  Not even a click.  Great.  Had a wonderful dinner, drove the van home and worried about "WHAT NOW?" 

Saturday was spent driving hubby back and forth to his class and home, washing ALL the laundry and dealing with my ever increasing allergy problems.  (This means, I felt horrible.)  FINALLY got all the laundry washed and headed out with the three boys to find a coin laundry to dry them.  En route, hubby texts for me to come get him - EARLY.  I change directions (2 turns from the laundry) and go to get him....and wait....and wait...and wait. It is now an hour from the Baylor/Iowa State game to which we have tickets.  We have the boys and 6 loads of WET laundry.  Take the boys home, go to the coin laundry and dry the clothes.  It's about halfway through the first quarter when we arrive.  Long story short (too late) the Bears win!!  Woo hoo! 

Sunday morning, I wake up feeling horrible.  My head hurts. My ears hurt. My throat is KILLING me. I am coughing like crazy.  I can't breathe through my nose. It was awful.  I got up and took a couple of ibuprofen and drank copious amounts of coffee and said I was NOT going to church this morning.  After the medicine kicked in, I felt better and went to church.  I am SO glad I went!! Time for our daily dose of difficulty.  Right after we got into the sanctuary, the power went out.  Apparently someone skidded into a power pole and knocked out power to several blocks.  Thankfully, there were candles they lit more and worship happened. Those college students arrived and EXPECTED to have service, power or no power.  It was incredible.  There was a guy playing an acoustic guitar who led the music.  No words on a screen.  No hymn books.  Just a room filled with people lifting their voices in song in praise of their Saviour.  Tears were coursing down my face during the music. It was awesome.  Awesome worship to an Awesome King.  The best was singing How Great Thou Art with a guitar and those pure beautiful voices.  Then the minister spoke - halfway through his message, the power returned - and challenged us about the clothes we wear.  Not literally, but our heart clothing...and if we are known by the clothing we wear - ie, our attitudes and actions.  He told us about a t-shirt his brother in law has that boldly declares on front "I AM A CHRISTIAN" and on the back asks "How am I doing?"  Wow.  Challenging!  I love being uncomfortable.

Did I mention I have had an overwhelming week filled with difficulties?  Did I always act like a Christian?  What would people have said to me if I had worn that shirt this week?  Time to take a good long look at my heart and my attitude.  I fear I am failing in many areas.  Part of my Bible study this week reminded me that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  Ouch. 

The good news (on our homefront) is that the car is fixed (only needed a battery), the dryer will be fixed (hubby is buying the part after work tomorrow) and we will get to spend family time together this week. 

OOTD time.  This is what a girl wears to church on a rainy Sunday morning in Texas.  :)

Coffee:  Oh yes.  Lots.  Sams Choice, Free Trade, Medium Roast.  Yummy!  Even took a travel mug full to church.  Love being able to do that!!  Now it's time for hot tea.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Did It!!

What did I do?  I went shopping for the weekend in Dallas with my friend Debra, who I met in Virginia Beach four years ago when we moved there from Corpus Christi.  Both of us left Virginia in late June 2011 for the West.  Me to TX, she to KS.  Dallas is "in the middle" and a great place to meet.  :)  We did lots of shopping, lots of talking, some eating and coffee drinking....and even went to a Dallas Cowboys Game!!!  They were winning when we left.  Apparently, we were their lucky charm because right after we left the building, their momentum tanked.  Here are a couple of pictures from the game. 
This is Debra, decked out in her Cowboys gear.  She is a true fan....and has the jersey's to prove it. :)
We were sitting in the nosebleed section.  See the two rows behind her? 
That's how close we were to the top of the stadium.  Seriously.
However, they were great seats.  You can see the field pretty well and the jumbotron is "right there". 
The next picture shows a view of the stadium and the screen. 

These are my purchases in one pile. I stayed within my budget and stuck to my rules:  I only bought things if I LOVED them and if they were reduced. (Only ONE thing was full price!!)  I did good.  :)

Here are some of the things I actually purchased... I don't have any pictures of the jewelry or shoes I purchased. 

Bought this at Anthropologie.  I also bought another blue top that is VERY cute, but I didn't take a picture.  Crazy!!

I bought both the sweater and top at Banana Republic. 
Aren't they cute?? 

These aren't clothing, but I bought them at Anthropologie too:
This is the sugar bowl I have wanted for a very long time. 
It was such a pleasure to purchase it in person.
Oh...and this was my full price item - in case you were wondering.  :)

These are some adorable measuring cups I saw on the Anthropologie website that were marked waaaaaayyyyyyy down.  I looked for them at every Anthro store we shopped that weekend (all 4).  Debra spotted them in the last one.  WHEW!  I didn't want to go home without them.  Thanks to Debra, I didn't. 

This was a surprise purchase for my hubby who wanted a "Texas Star" for our house.
I found this one.

We hung it in our entry, centered over our front door. 
Cute, huh?

Are you tired yet from all our shopping?  I have not yet begun to show you everything I tried on.  Let me tell you, I tried on LOTS.....and lots....and lots...  Four Anthro Stores, One Banana Republic, One J. Crew, Dillards (where I bought shoes and jewelry, but don't have pics, *sigh*) and I don't remember where else!  It was crazy fun!  I won't put all the pictures in today....but I do have other pictures of outfits I tried on.  Some I loved. Some I want.  Some I didn't like at all.  Those are for another day.  This post is getting too long as it is...and I've yet to reveal my big surprise...

I DID IT!!!  I got tired of my hair.  I saw a SuperCuts.  I went in and confessed my trust issues and asked for someone who is good with curly hair and short cuts.  They told me to wait for the manager.  I did.  It was worth the wait.  :)  You saw the hair from the weekend.  Typically pulled back and not very attractive.  Well, I'm going to have to relearn how to work it (again) but the cut is adorable.  The pictures do NOT do it justice at all.  Here it is....

I took this at home after my initial cut. 
She blew it dry and straightened it a bit.
Cute.  But, we all know that it will NEVER be straight again.  LOL

This was me in my "Mom Uniform" heading to the Middle School Band Concert last night.
Wearing one of my recent Ross purchases (the cream cardi) and carrying my new travel mug. 

And, this is me today - just a few minutes ago - with my hair curly as usual.
Love the bangs.  Love the length.  Love how SOFT it feels. 
Love having the frizzy ends gone.  :)
Will love it more when I get the hang of styling it....
But I seriously like it now.

Coffee:  Oh yes.  An entire pot of Sam's Choice Fair Trade Arabica Medium Roast GONE before noon today.  Probably gone before 11:00.  It was one of those days.  Wrote Justin letter #25 on the computer today.  However, there are days when I handwrite a letter that doesn't get numbered.  Here is a snapshot of one I wrote before leaving for Dallas.  I wonder if he read it.  LOL

If you look closely, in the very middle of the page it says "Turn over please."  I was nice.  On the back of the page I wrote on the lines, left to right, properly.  However, next letter....who knows?  :)

See you next time!!! 
Keep drinking coffee!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Going MIA.... for the weekend. :)

Hello All!!

You read it right.  I am going to Dallas this weekend with a friend from my Virginia Beach days.  We will be doing SIX things (she only listed five).  1.  Shopping (Anthropologie, of course, because it's awesome) 2.  Eating (because ya gotta and because it's YUMMY) 3. Sleeping  (again, because ya gotta, not to mention I love sleep) 4.  Thrifting (because we love bargains) 5.  Going to a Cowboys game!!!!!  (because we WANNA) and 6.  Drinking LOTS of Coffee (because we LOVE TO!!!)  :)  Debra left off the coffee....maybe she was including it as part of eating...  *shrug* 

If you can't tell, I am super duper excited to get out of town this weekend sans kids - both her and mine - for a girls weekend. At my house they are planning "Man Cave" time.  That's their phrase, not mine. My hope is to return to a semi-clean house.  This means dishes clean, laundry waiting in baskets and not too much stuff cluttering the living room.  :) Oh, and not too many pizza boxes.  I am leaving food cooking in the crock pot and plenty of other supplies in the pantry and freezer.

So, my plan for tomorrow is to get up bright and early and begin baking.  It's Day 10 for my Amish Friendship Bread which means baking day.  I am making Lemon Muffins.  Hopefully they will be ready for the boys breakfast.  But that means getting up really early....  Maybe they would be better as an after school snack.  :)  Once they are off to school, I will finish packing, quickly clean house and get dinner started in the crock and head South to Lorena.  I MUST buy some coffee at the Texas Cheese House for the weekend. While in Lorena, I plan to shop and drink plenty coffee before heading North on 35 to Dallas for a weekend of FUN and FRIENDSHIP!!! 

I don't plan to BUY a lot this weekend, but I do plan to SHOP a lot.  I'm looking for personal style inspiration at the Anthro stores that I will attempt to duplicate elsewhere this Fall.  However, I've been snooping the sales on their site and may bring a couple of items home.  :) While there I will compile a wishlist of favorites to wait for second cuts.  There will be pictures of the ones I like.  Look for them next week.  :) 

Have a wonderful weekend and watch the Cowboys game Sunday afternoon.  Maybe you'll see me!!  :)  I can't believe I'm getting to go to a Cowboys game.  Dream come true!!!  Seriously.  Even though I'm now a Colts fan, the Cowboys are my second favorite. This Southern girl loves football.  I fully expect to lose my voice at the game screaming instructions from my seat....  Maybe it will work better in person.  They don't seem to hear me when I yell at the tv.....  

This was today's project....
I FINALLY have books in a bookshelf!!  It took two hours to find the ones I wanted - only had to go through about 15 boxes.  I've rearranged the remaining boxes in the garage so you can actually walk through there without fearing for your life.  Okay, it wasn't that bad, but close! 

This is going to be my project next week:

Cute, isn't it?  I will be sanding and refinishing it next week.  It's solid wood and totally adorable.  Someone decided to paint it black and attempt distressing it... NOT a good idea and not well done either. However, that's soon to be a thing of the past.  I can't wait to see the natural wood gleaming as I bring it back to life.  Ahhhhhh....  It is sitting here as a trial run to see how it will fit with the rest of the room.  It's going to be perfect.  :)

Today's work was done under the inspiration of coffee:  To be precise, Gevalia German Chocolate Cake with coconut cream flavored creamer.  Oh my, but it was delicious!