Jan 30, 2010


At about eight last night it started to snow and it continued most of the night. This morning around eight it started to sleet. It sleeted until this afternoon. It is cold outside - 21, cold and windy.

#3 could not wait to get outside, she had big plans. Since #1 and #2 decided to stay at school and get snowed in, she had to settle with her dad and me as her snow buddies. (Yay for me!) So early this morning I was digging through the cedar closet looking for snow gear that would fit me. I did finally end up finding some old ski pants and after five hours of layering, pulling, yanking and working up a sweat, I was ready to go outside.

We didn't get very far on our igloo because the snow was so powdery it wouldn't stick together. After we finally gave up, The Man shoveled off the front porch steps and #3 and I came inside and made hot tea and chili. We also painted a little. She has an art project due this coming week and I decided it would be easier for her to sit at the table if I sat and painted with her. When our projects are finished I will let you see them. I painted a sunflower and she painted a lilly. I guess deep down we are wanting warmer weather and spring to get here!

She has to enter hers into the Art Extravaganza at school for a grade,
thank goodness I do not!

Jan 28, 2010


We celebrated #3's birthday last week by going to her favorite restaurant, Mura, for sushi.
They have great rolls. We are regulars there.
I left my camera in the car and it was a bitter cold and windy night so noone volunteered
to go and get it, so
I took a few pictures with my phone.

#1 and the BF

Back at home....

#1 brought home cupcakes from a bakery in Chapel Hill.
This is the Ice Cream Sundae cupcake.
I don't know if it this was my favorite or the Grasshopper, with dark chocolate and mint.
Tough decision.

#2 and I made a (pitiful) cake. I have never had a cake literally fall apart everytime I touched it.
There were so many crumbs mixed into the icing it was funny.
I do not know what happened or what was wrong. It tasted just fine, so I guess that is the most important thing.
I love decorating cakes, but I am not a baker.
We decorated it with fondant flowers that we made, pipe cleaners and butterflies we found at Michael's.

One butter fly didn't make it past the candles!

The girls always take a birthday picture holding up a sign of how old they are.

#1 and I made this banner the night before. We had a lot of fun doing it together.

I am going to use it for everybody's birthday this year.

Remember #3's birthday wish list?

Well, she did get that Longchamp she was hoping for and these cute Steve Madden shoes!
The rest were surprises.
No Tori Birch flats for this 13 year old this year,
sorry #3!

No set of birthday pictures would be complete without
Mr. Bubbles posing inside a brand new box!
#3 got a new sleeping bag from LL Bean and Bubbles was very glad about that.

Having a birthday party in January is very limiting. We have done just about everything
for #3's birthday that you can do. So this year we have decided to wait until it gets warm enough outside and she is going to have a camp out in the backyard and watch movies by a bonfire.
We have a projector and some nights in the summer we will watch movies outside while we are sitting by the pool or grilling out.
She loves doing that.
I hate that she has to wait to celebrate her birthday with her friends, but when I suggested it, she got really excited about it. I think it was because it was something different for her.
There are only so many times you can go bowling or to a movie for your birthday and look forward to it.
We'll just have to it up BIG in the Spring.

Thanks for all of your prayers and comments!
Keep on praying!

Today is the calm before the storm around here.
We are expecting ice and snow tonight and all day tomorrow. We are right on the line so we do not know what exactly to expect.
During the last ice storm here, we lost power for four days.

If you do not hear from me in for a while....
send someone!

Jan 27, 2010


I had a busy day today.

After Bible Study, I went to Duke University Hospital to meet my mom and her entourage. My dad of course was there, along with my brother and my aunt. My mom's sister, from Texas, has been here this past week staying with her. What a blessing it has been for her to be staying with my mom. I am really having a hard time balancing being at home and being at my parent's house. I have a lot of guilt when I am at home (my house) having a normal-busy day. Right now, my dad is handling everything and honestly , isn't interested in letting anybody do too much. My husband will be traveling out of town for the next few weeks so I am tied to home. I call my mom several times a day, but really am feeling the need for me to be there, but realistically I cannot.

July 09
My dad's 70th b'day

My mom is weak, frail and very tired. I cannot believe the change in her since October and her diagnosis. She was able to get her chemo treatment but her red blood count was very low so she needed blood also. The first thing they give her when she gets back into the chemo treatment area is a drip bag of Benadryl. That pretty much knocks her out. Five minutes after the drip started, she said she felt like she was in the "Twighlight Zone". I had to giggle, because she is a Southern Baptist lady and I know that "feeling" goes against the grain that she and the little ladies in her sunday school class would deem appropriate . She slept soundly during the rest of her treatment and blood transfusion and I was glad about that and did not pass judgement on her enjoying her Benadryl.

I was the only one with her during most of the treatment. While she was sleeping I just kept staring at her wanting to see my mom, the vibrant lady she was just a few months ago. The mom that couldn't wait to go to TJ Maxx as soon as she got to Raleigh , or the g'ma that drove carpool and went to go pick up #3 after school as a surprise. Now I only see a cancer patient. Someone whose every waking minute is focused on getting through not just the day, but the next hour. I know sadly, at some point she will get too tired of the fight and change her focus and look in a different direction. I have wondered if I would be ready when she was.

I was running a few minutes late for Bible Study today. We all meet in the main hall for a speaker, prayers and songs before splitting up into our little groups. Since I was running late, I went straight to my group's room to sit and wait for the rest of my group to join me. We are studying a Beth Moore series on Paul and are about 1/2 of the way through our study book. While I was waiting I flipped through my book, just kind of skimming. My pages feel open on the pages discussing Paul's death. I found myself wondering if I was sitting in this church, in this room all by myself reading these pages coincidentally . I know I was not. There on the page in front of me was the explanation of death not being the result of God failing to act to rescue us. It is to be looked at as God actually rescuing us from what we are going through. I read and reread over and over the part that discussed that death is a victory over our battles not a defeat. For when we die, the things we are battling, whether it be a disease or not, it dies too and no longer has any hold on us and we victoriously go on to better things and its battle is lost and it is left behind. I hold tight to these thoughts. I know there was a reason I was sitting by myself reading this at this moment. I needed to hear it.

I had to leave the hospital early because #3 was home alone doing her homework. I do not like her being home by herself when it starts getting dark. She has grown up having two older sisters staying home with her and now this year since they are both in college, this is the first time she has had to come home to an empty house and stay by herself for long periods of time.
We are still adjusting to that. As I was leaving the hospital I quietly said good-bye to my mom without waking her and then I just stood there and watched her for a few minutes. I had soooo much I wanted to say to her and sooo much I wanted her to say to me, but actually I would have settled for a hug, a big long one. But I just slowly made my way out of the room, thanking her nurse as I left.

Christmas day with her grandchildren
my three girls
and my niece (shorter hair)

Blogging is kind of a funny thing. I have tried so hard to not let what I am going through become a heavy part of my blog. I started this post out by wanting to tell you how busy my day was with the Bible Study and going to Duke. I then was going to post all of the pictures from #3's birthday. I think the birthday pictures will need to wait until tomorrow.

I just want to thank all of you for your prayers and emails. You DO
NOT know how much it means to me and how much strength and understanding I have gained from my "blends" (friends +blog=blends). I know we would all be BFF's if we lived in the same neighborhood! We still could! ;0


Jan 25, 2010


While I was in a book store Christmas shopping,
the title of this book caught my attention:

I ended up bringing the book home.
I haven't taken the time to read it from cover to cover, but I leave it on my nightstand and look through it before going to bed.

We all get in our slumps and need a refresher course every now and then. If you are a mom and are like me, you end up taking care and buying for your children (plus your hubbie) and rarely take the time to take care of yourself . I fall victim to this every holiday season/every winter. Except for a cardigan or two, I haven't updated my wardrobe (or myself) since it was warm outside.

My husband is as good as gold.
He encourages me to do things for and spend money on myself. He thinks that I have been taking care of others for so long and have forgotten about myself.
I do have a hard time with this.
I am much more comfortable doing for others.

The MAN goes shopping with me and just patiently stands, shuffles, blackberries and doesn't understand the whole process of having to shop for a pair of jeans.... try on 10 pair and end up buying nothing. Is there anything worse than shopping for jeans? If I were shopping by myself, this would be where I would go to the Lilly or Free People section and buy something for one of daughters.
Everything looks good on them!

I am certainly not a frump, but I definitely am not the person I ever imagined I would be.
I just need fine tuning, a little age camouflaging.

So back to the book:

According to the book, here are some things that everyone can do from to keep from looking like an OL
(old lady):

They are instant chic and hide your forehead.
I have always had bangs -
I have inherited a few lines that all the Botox
in the world cannot correct.

Hair color is our friend and as long as there is hair color, I will use it.
I get low lights and high lights every other month. I don't know how I feel about going lighter all over.... maybe this summer I'll give it a try.

I have been wearing readers for just over a year - I don't know if they are considered chic, but I definitely keep them fun.

The book suggested to not line under your eyes if they are puffy or if you have dark circles.
Since puffy eyes are my signature look these days :), I tried this and didn't line underneath them yesterday.
Everytime I looked in the mirror, I felt like I looked very plain.

(and don't line your lips with a darker color)
I am (was) more of a burgundy/berry girl, but I did try this today. I bought a pink glossy lipcolor and I love it!

100% true in my book - this one of the first things that I notice about a person

no "mom jeans"
I don't wear mom jeans, but I still am searching for that perfect pair!
I do like being able to sit while wearing jeans... without cutting off my circulation.

It ain't happening,
I gave up the tanning bed many, many years ago.

Do Danskos count?

One of my biggest pet peeves is bad posture,
just ask my girls and my husband, bless his heart.
People think you own the world when walk into the room standing up straight.

So these are a few of the things I've taken from the book so far.
What do you think?
There are a number of others I am curious to try.
I need to clean out my closet and get rid of a lot of things
and then
go shopping.


Jan 21, 2010


Happy Birthday #3!

Here's a salute to the brand new teenager in our house!

A is for straight A's

B is for Barrett Elizabeth

C is for carpet surfer

D is for Dr. Seuss

E is for EVERYBODY is included

F is for flexible (?)

G is for gambler

H is for hat and headphones

I is for intense

J is for jumper

K is for kick me!

L is for love

M is for mini kicker

N is for noodles

O is for "I am ONLY pulling for the Tarheels this one time....
since you are my sister and you go here!"
(Go Pack)

P is for pretty

Q is for queen

R is for reader

S is for swimmer

T is for tree climber

U is for umbrella

V is for vacation loving

W is for witch

X is for the X-ray in November and two broken bones

Y is for student of the Year

Z is for Zoolander

You are the best 13 year old in the world


I love you lots!


This sweet girl is turning 13 tomorrow!

She entered this world at 12:22 AM,
on 1/22,
weighing in at 9 1/2 pounds.

She is a great person and I expect great things from her.

So are you curious what a 13 year old (who has two sisters in college) puts on her
birthday wish list?
(notice the use of the word "wish" in the previous sentence)

Longchamp purse
Tory Burch flats
Pandora beads
more shoes, like Jack Rogers or Steve Maddens

Quite a list from a soon to be teenager, don't cha think?

She obviously expects great things from us too!

She is just kidding... she knows she isn't getting all of these things tomorrow,
but you can't blame her for trying!

Black and White Wednesdays started over at The Long Road to China blog.
There are some beautiful photos to look at.
Go see for yourself.


Jan 19, 2010


the view near the soccer fields

We took #3 out of school early on Friday to get a head start to Charleston. Her soccer team was playing in a tournament over the long weekend. I love Charleston. It is one of my favorite places to visit and with it being only about a five hour drive from Raleigh it is a great place to visit on a long weekend.

During soccer tournaments, we usually have an itinerary to follow with meeting times, curfews and team dinners. That is why we wanted to get to Charleston early on Friday so that we could visit the downtown area and have dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants, before needing to meet the team at the hotel Friday evening.

We went to Hanks

and it did not disappoint!

I am so thankful that we have children that love food and trying new things as much as we do. I am not sure how we did it, but all three of our girls are great dining partners. #3 had the grouper served over a five spice powder flavored risotto. She wasn't too crazy about the licorice flavor, but she ate around that without complaining and carried on conversation with us the entire meal, never complaining about the wait or the crowd. I guess I am mentioning this and getting off track here because at the team dinner on Saturday we went to an Italian place downtown and a lot of the girls turned their nose up at all of the fresh seafood and pasta dishes and ordered cheese pizza. Some of them ended up even not liking their pizzas because there was a different kind of cheese on it than they were used to. On top of that, half way through dinner, the majority of the kids were out of their chairs and running around, dancing and squealing in the restaurant. They did give us a room to ourselves upstairs, but I don't know what disturbed me the most..... that (some) the parents were grateful there was room for them to run around or that the 12/13 year old girls were not capable of sitting through a dinner and socializing in their seats and didn't think twice about their behavior.

Don't get me wrong, I love these families and really enjoy their company.
Maybe my girls have just spoiled me.

Anyhow, it rained almost the entire time we were in Charleston. The girls played (soccer) in the rain and we all huddled on the sideline with our raincoats and umbrellas. It tried to fool us and occasionally the sun would come out and warm us up, but as soon as we were dry, it would start up again.

The girls ended up winning the tournament.
That is a great way to start off the season.
Of course, as soon as the tournament was over, the rain stopped, the sun came out and it was so bright and beautiful the girls couldn't keep their eyes open for the pictures.

headed home

The view as we drove over the bridge...

... was beautiful!