Jan 30, 2009


I was tagged many days ago by All Things Southern and Preppy  to tell six things about myself. I am sorry it has taken me so long to sit down and do this.  I've had a couple of bad and busy weeks and the times I've posted something, I just didn't want to blog about myself . I am ready now, I'm going for it!  So, six things about me...?  Hmmmmmm

1. If I had a dollar for everytime someone told me that I looked like Shirley MacClaine I'd have a small fortune. Now mind you, she is 75 and I am 44!!!!!  So when I  hear this, this  is what I picture and THIS is what she is looking like these days:

(notice that this version comes with its own bottle of wine)

The majority of the people that I am approached by are all older and they usually start back peddling  when they see my eyes well up. They usually start to clarify......."young Shirley MacClaine, REALLY YOUNG Shirley MacClaine".  I don't really see it, but it happens too often to be a fluke. You decide. My kids think it has something to do with the mouth and the expressions I make. I don't really have pictures of my "expressions" though.

2.  I might possibly have an addiction to magazines. I cannot get past the checkout at Target or the grocery store without one. I love decorating magazines the most but there are a few fashion ones (Lucky) that I have trouble saying no to. I have tried to limit myself to just one a week, but it isn't really working. I do read them all, cover to cover. Also, I have a cabinet of Southern Living and Traditional Home that go way back. I love a good cold dreary day when I can get a stack of the old ones and make some hot tea. (I might be addicted to hot tea too!!)

3. I went on a 17 day riverboat cruise in Europe down the Danube River, 1 1/2 years ago. I went with my parents and other relatives and was the youngest one on the ship, oops, I mean barge. We started in Budapest, Hungary and ended up in Amsterdam. Austria and Germany were beautiful! 

Home Sweet Home

4. I have a little OCD in me. I can't pay attention to someone if my surroundings aren't just right! If there are books, magazines or whatever not stacked up all nice and square, largest to smallest or if they are not fanned out just right I get a little antsy. Even the pile of junk mail sitting on the counter has to organized. It DRIVES ME CRAZY to walk into the pantry, after "someone" has put the groceries away, and  see the cans and boxes not all organized, lined up, facing the same direction and turned just right. I want everything displayed, just like at a store. Don't get me started on the fridge and people not putting things in their assigned spot.

5. If I had to choose one type of food to eat everyday for the rest of my life I would choose sushi. I've never met a roll I didn't like. My favorite roll is the Piano Roll. It has shrimp, crab and avocado on it. Yum!

6. Speaking of food: I have raised three children that are not picky eaters at all. They all like everything and are well rehearsed  about menus and ethnic food.  Sushi is ALL of our favorites. My 12 year old has been eating it all her life. They are not big pork or beef eaters mostly because I cook only what I eat and usually I cook fish or chicken. (I could live off the sea!) My kids didn't grow up eating off the Children's Menu, with the predictable chicken fingers and grilled cheese, they have always ordered off the regular menu. It was/is expensive but very worth it in the long run.

So, that's me. I gotta go for now. I think there are some magazines out of place!!!!!

Jan 27, 2009


Last Thursday Princess #3 turned twelve. My how time flies. I had a difficult time shopping for her this year. Not only did we celebrate Christmas less than a month ago, it just seems that twelve is that in between age. There were no toys on her list, thank goodness she has lost interest in that Webkinz craze. Clothes? She wants them in her closet but has no interest in them being wrapped in pretty packages and bows. When they are, they have taken the place of something else. She requested Pancake Puffs as her breakfast in bed. (The Pancake Puff Pan, AS SEEN ON TV, was on the top of her Christmas list.) It is a shame that it was a school morning because all she heard was, "Happy Birthday Sweetie! You have five minutes to enjoy your extra special breakfast. Hurry up!". Oh well. She was wined and dined three nights in a row and had friends over Friday night for a slumber party, which just added more chaos to our traumatic event. Sigh :( 

 She is one sweet young lady!  Our family is so blessed to have her as a part of it. 

Love those Pancake Puffs!

Tiffany Blue Cupcakes
(as she requested)

Princesses love their flowers!

Jan 26, 2009


I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there [in Heaven], I believe he'll be there. (Rev. Billy Graham)

 Pets are family members in our home. They are a part of our daily lives, sitting right there beside us and joining in on our daily routine. From breakfast time, homework time, keeping me company in the laundry room to helping me check the mail, I've always had "someone" to keep me company. So this weekend when our sweet Cleo passed away (so quickly and unexpectedly), it left us all very empty and sad. Now that it is Monday morning and everyone is off doing their thing and I am here at home alone,  supposedly doing my thing, her absence is so much more evident and felt. I am really missing her, missing everything about her. 

We discovered that Cleo was sick and in pain Friday night around 11:45.  It was apparent that this was an emergency and she needed medical attention. After making some phone calls and getting a neighbor to come over and help lift her into our car, my husband took her to a 24 hour vet clinic. 

The diagnoses wasn't good. Cleo was suffering from Bloat. Bloat will kill a dog in as little as 2 hours if not treated and surgery is needed to reverse the complications. There are many things that can go wrong during surgery and chance of survival for her was 50/50. 

Cleo wasn't able to survive this. Our gentle giant is gone. She and my children grew up right beside each other. Quite often, she was like their Nana in Peter Pan, overseeing them and joining in on everything. From posing for sidewalk chalk drawings on the driveway many years ago to being the lifeguard last summer by the pool, she loved being in the middle of it all. Oh how she loved a slumber party! You couldn't convince that 180 pound baby that she wasn't the first on the invitation list. She loved family game night and movie night. She loved to play hide and seek with us outside, loved to go "bye-bye" and looked for "blankie" when she was ready for bed. Come Saturday mornings, she new that she and daddy were going to make a Starbucks run. I could go on and on and on....

Last night when I went to tuck #3 in bed she was crying so hard. She had all of her St. Bernard stuffed animals in bed with her. She was holding them in one great big bear hug. She and I just laid there together. 

Those of you who have pets know what we are going through and some of you may not understand all the emotional investment. 

We miss her and will be missing her for a long time. We love you sweet Clee-Clee and are so sorry that this happened to you.

Jan 24, 2009


I couldn't bare to come to my blog page because of my last post. My heart breaks just looking at the pictures. Our sweet sweet Cleo passed away and I just wrote about her being the happiest dog in our snow. My family and I are grieving. She was our furry princess, sister and best friend to our cat.  Right now I am just so sad. I  will write more about her later. On top of all of that, it is #3's birthday and we are really having to work at keeping it "happy" for her.  
Bare with me because I am going to need to write about my Cleopatra next time. She had the most beautiful soul.

Jan 20, 2009


We are having a snow day!!!

I haven't formally introduced Cleo and will do so soon, but here she is in her element!
The first thing she said this morning when she stepped outside......

She sat and patiently waited for someone to go and play with her.

still waiting....

and waiting....

That's one happy dog!

And what about the cat of the house?

Mr. Bubbles..... very confused!


Will it or won't it snow? We are waiting to see what tomorrow brings. The snow dances have all been danced. We haven't had a Snow Day in several years!  Too exciting!!

Jan 18, 2009


Do you remember what you were doing one year ago today? Here is what we were up to.

This is what our backyard looked like one year ago today. It was a misty and very cold day. There was ice on all of the trees and bushes. This is also the day our pool got started. This was not the ideal day to start this project.  It was also not the day to have to get up, get dressed and go stand outside at sunrise. 

This is the view from an upstairs window. That is my husband and the pool installers measuring out the exact location of the pool. This made me the most nervous because once it was started we could not decide to move it back a little or over a little. I was so worried about making a BIG mistake here. Of course, The Man of the House didn't/wouldn't make ANY of these decisions, he left them all up to me. He is too business minded and cannot visualize things (his words). I was ready to call the whole thing off at this point..... too much pressure!

The digging started.... too late to turn back now!

About an hour later this is what I saw.... you can't tell from the picture but the mound of "dirt" was almost as tall as our house (two stories).  As you can see, we do not have dirt here, it is all red clay. (YUCK) Red clay, wet weather and four Saint Bernard paws.....not the greatest combination!!

(looking innocent!)

The Man of the House had his hands full dealing with this all day. And this is what I was dealing with.............

Princess #1 had her wisdom teeth removed that morning!  She was either sleeping or giggling because of the meds she was taking. She remembers nothing and slept through the sounds of the dump trucks and back hoes. 

There was a lot of progress in one day. 
The view from the back porch...

About a week later.....

Early Spring....


Jan 13, 2009


Dancing Shoes

 Now and Then

Girl Bling



My oldest daughter had a month break from school and on Sunday it sadly came to an end. The Big Packing Event began sometime Saturday afternoon and continued up until the time she left on Sunday. I am still not sure why so many pairs of shoes and outfits had to come home for Christmas. I guess she is 100% girl and all of those things are like a security blanket. 

The Man of the House and I have had cleaning out the attic on our To Do list forever....embarrassingly too long. On Sunday we planned to spend a little time up there, to sort of get the ball rolling and hope to finish up over the next few weekends. There is A LOT of stuff to go through. It is stacked, crammed and unorganized. After taking inventory I realize that the majority of the stuff is child related, whether it be stuffed animals, toys, snow boots (unworn because it never snows here), clothes, furniture and so on. We have enough Little Tikes inventory up there to start a daycare! I have a hard time letting go of these things because I know their story. I remember exactly where they were all purchased or who gave it to us, which princess it belonged to and where it was worn. I for some reason just can't seem to remember to make the long over due doctor's appointment but I can remember the look on the little princesses when they unwrapped that toy that now sits in the attic all alone. I remember the look on their faces as they rounded the corner on Christmas morning discovering all of those things. I tucked in all of those stuffed animals as the princesses snuggled with them many years ago. I remember it all, or should I say, I feel it all. Although these are just things, junk to a lot of people, they bring back so many sweet memories for me and so many feelings. So perhaps I should understand my daughter a little more when it comes to HER security blankets (aka all of those  shoes she carts back and forth from school), the stuff that makes her feel good. The stuff in our attic is our history, it is MY security blanket. It is what makes me feel good. I guess that makes me 100% mom.

While I was in the attic I was going through a bag of  clothes....little princess clothes...trying to decide what I could part with and what I had to keep.  I could hear #1 below me, moving around in her room, while she packed up her things for school. I had one of those mom moments while holding up a little Kelly's Kids jumper that every one of my children wore.

 It was so tiny and sweet. I envisioned #1, one floor below me, holding up something and trying to decide if she could bare to leave home without it. There are many years that fall between those two pieces of clothing that we happened to be holding up at the same time. There was just one floor between us, but in that instance, so many years. Where did all the time go? Who stole all the years between that Kelly's Kids jumper and that college sweatshirt? All of those years are packed away, up there in the attic. Treasures no doubt!

Their Favorite Kindergarten  Dress

Sunday School Shoes


Getting It Together

Jan 7, 2009


Every morning, I am dragging myself to the gym...I will be healthy in 09 even if it kills me. It isn't  easy everyday. This morning I could not get the motivation, and after Princess #3 left for school I had to sit down and "rest my eyes". But God spoke to me. He was right there at the Good Morning America studio a spoke to me via Diane Sawyer. She was asking an exercise expert, "How do we motivate ourselves to get to the gym everyday?" The answer was delivered in a very expertly way, "You won't be motivated everyday, and even on those days you just get up and go anyway. You don't wait for the motivation." Well, even though my eyes were shut, I know that he was speaking directly to me. Dang it! I gotta go. I can't ignore God. 

So while I was there, I saw some interesting things. I could not even begin to try to make these things up. 

The Lady That Spews
There was this lady on an elliptical machine. She was obviously punishing herself for doing something really bad. But she literally had sweat spewing from every pore on her body like a fountain and trickling off of her body at every angle.  The elliptical trainer was soaked and dripping, really, the machine was dripping. On the floor was a puddle you almost had to jump over. I  would have to sit in the sauna for an hour to produce that much sweat, if not longer.  I will never ever use that machine again. 

Lost Granny
This lady puts everybody who makes up excuses to shame. She is old, like great grandma old. When I first saw her walk in front on the machines I thought she was looking for someone or was lost. She had on her heavy coat and a big purse on her shoulder. But she knew exactly where she was going. She crawled on one of the treadmills and away she went, slow and steady.  Go Granny! Hey, if she can do it.... no more excuses out there!!

"No She Didn't" Girl
There is this dark room at the gym. It has cardio machines on three different levels facing a wall of TV screens. You plug your IPOD earphones into the machine and watch movies in the dark while you workout. It is nice to get away from the noise of the regular gym atmosphere. It is obviously also a place to go workout if you have something to hide. Like the  30 something girl on a treadmill sucking down a large frothy Starbucks drink in the back corner. I don't know exactly which one she was drinking but embedded in my brain is the article I read on the calorie and fat content of these drinks, even the "skinny ones". I know they have over 500 calories. I also know that after 45 minutes on the elliptical, going full out, the little light tells me that the calories burned is between 325 and 350. So lets think this through. After she does her time, enjoys her coffee and crawls off the machine the lights flashing are going to say, "You have gained weight in the last 30 minutes, so get back on!" Why would you do that?