Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Rewind Part 1

Happy New Year!

I spent some time yesterday looking through old pictures on Facebook and reading old blogs.  And then I spent a little time regretting that I had not blogged in so long, because so many amazing, marvelous, ordinary, beautiful things happen here daily and while I'm in them everyday - living them - I wish I had spent more time documenting.  I'm thankful for Facebook - while I get a lot of ribbing for being on there too much, at least it documents some of the day-to-day that I want to remember.

So, in 2013 - with a little more time on my hands than I'm use to - I'm going to document more.  I don't enjoy scrapbooking so I need to be putting this stuff somewhere!

I'll start with a best-of for 2012, part one. 

January -  obviously never happened because I can't find any pictures of it.

(somehow I didn't get a picture from Joe's 40th party...which is probably for the best...)

February brought Valentine's Parties and meeting new cousins...


March brought both kids acting in a live action thriller - Spiders from Space 2, produced by a good friend (who happens to be an amazing dad and clearly a pillar of patience as he directed a movie starring all our turkey friends)

And a ski trip to Crested Butte...

In April, we played lots of baseball...

Chilled at Starbucks...

Enjoyed the fresh air...

In May, we hosted our best friends on a trip of a lifetime to St. Thomas

 Had a 4th grade recorder concert...

4th grade awards...

And preschool graduation...

June was awesome after a free trip to the Ranger's game and Mexican food for Father's Day

And a trip to the river for our family reunion...

my happy place...


Stay tuned for part 2...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dealing with Storms

Massive tornadoes tore up our city yesterday - 15 is the "unofficial count".  15 is too many.

I have some serious storm anxiety, dating back to when I was only 4.  I carry very few true memories from preschool, but one day has stayed with me my whole life.  I can play it out in my head moment by moment.  We had massive tornadoes that day, and my mom came early to get me at preschool, and then to my brother's school to grab him.  We arrived at his school, and it was pouring rain.  Like in buckets.  She said to me, "we need to run for it, okay?".  And then we prayed for safety.  Once we were inside, we were put in the teacher's lounge where they put the couch over us - like made a triangle and we crawled inside.  Sirens going off and all.  The principal told us we could not stay there, so we went to my brother's classroom, where I got under a desk with him.  Seriously, I can play this out like it was yesterday.

I have storm anxiety, and yesterday was no exception.  I ate about 100 pounds of Robin Eggs, prayed, paced and watched the radar like a crazy woman.  Both kids were at school and I was freaking out.  Thankfully, the storms passed with few injuries and no fatalities.  I find it a true miracle since these storms were tossing around 40 foot containers and 18 wheelers like Tonka toys.   I saw a picture of an 18 wheeler flattened like a pancake!  Many have major, major damage and lost lots of stuff, but stuff can be replaced.  We are praising God today for protecting the people of our city.

Once I had both kids and came down from my sugar high, I told my oldest I was sorry he had to be at school during the storm.  I asked him if he was scared.  He said, "No, I was fine.  I told my teacher that in the Bible it says if we all pray together, miracles can happen.  So the whole class prayed for our safety.   I prayed 3 times!"

Ah, sweet words that I must blog and never forget.  I love that kid.  I pray he always has that strong faith.  Lord, help me to foster his growth and strengthen his faith.

And today, the sun shines.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Really Should Be Journaling

Hello world.  It's been a long time.  A looong time.  I'm easily distracted - it's a fact.  I log on to my blog every day to pop over to the blogs I love to read, but I rarely (ok, never) actually blog.

We are in Crested Butte, CO this week with our best friends.  3 families - 6 kids.  It's completely awesome.  This is our 3rd spring break to have the pleasure of coming to Crested Butte.  We are blessed to have friends who love us enough to invite us to stay in their family home.   Blessed. 

But, I can't tell you how many conversations have started out with "when did we (insert event name)?  Was it last year?  Two years ago?  I really need to journal!"  Seriously this has happened about 25 times in 3 days.  I have this cool blog with *six* whole subscribers.  And if I don't try to keep the bar too high, it really only takes about 5 minutes to knock out a day's events. 

I really should journal our days.  They are quite humorous, and when we wonder when something happened, we'll have it here to remember.

So to catch up on Spring Break.  Sweet mercy it's gorgeous here.  The mountains are breathtaking.  I honestly don't know how one could question the existence of God when staring at the Rocky Mountains. 

Our Gorgeous View
 We arrived on a loaded down flight on Monday.  I was so thankful for the rainy weekend to get ready for this trip.  If you think I'm a distracted blogger, you should see my laundry room.  I'm too easily distracted to do laundry.  I had to wash literally every piece of clothing we own.  It was bad.  So bad that I think it might have snapped me out of my laundry distraction phase.  I could have really enjoyed my weekend if I had not been chained to the washing machine.

But I digress...

We arrived Monday in Gunnison, and made our way to Crested Butte.  The dads and kids got fitted for skis.  I don't ski.  I want to ski, but it's a whip.  I have not skied in 5 years after a horrible lesson with a very mean instructor.  I did, however, catch up on some HGTV.  Did you know Candy Spelling sold The Manor?  We watched as she unloaded that enormous house full of hundreds of Madame Alexander dolls, Beanie Babies, furniture, art and other assorted junk.  She had this huge storage facility full of her junk, but they had it all logged in a huge binder so she knows what is in each box, complete with pictures of each item.  Unbelievable.    She has so much junk.  She's renovating a 16000 sq ft condo on the top of a high rise in LA.  She's calling it the Manor in the Sky. 

And our lives are much fuller for knowing this.

On Tuesday the dads and kids headed to the mountain for a little ski school.  B is still too little to really enjoy skiing.  He cried a little and wanted to go home. 

Biggie B at Ski School
 P and his buddy mastered their level in no time and hit the mountain.  Meanwhile, the moms drove out to Gunnison to pick up family #3 from the airport and get some groceries for the week.  We stopped for lunch and I had quite possibly the world's greatest hot ham and swiss with just enough mayo to make it a little vulgar.  And a cup of Savannah bisque - which was a sweet potato base.  Sweet mercy.    For dinner, TV Joe grilled some steak and we had a 5 star meal for dinner - the kids demolished 6 ribeyes.  The mountains make you hungry!

Dinner for six - ribeyes, potatoes and green beans
Wednesday came with more ski school for the little kids, and mountain time for the dads and big boys.  They have gotten so good at skiing, which is cool because I didn't learn to ski until I was 16.  The earlier you learn, the less scared you are, I think.  After watching Biggie B ski at ski school, I headed over to this fantastic rooftop bar to soak up some sun and watch the skiers in action.  Everyone had a blast.  We have a sweet babysitter in Crested Butte, who came to watch the kids while we went to dinner.  It was an awesome time of deep conversation, lots of laughing and planning for our adult-only trip to the Caribbean.  That can't get here soon enough. 

So here's to journaling.  At least we'll remember these two days! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RACK'd - December 14th Edition

Man, it is a nasty day outside.  It's 64 degrees and rainy.  Not really rainy, more heavy drizzle.  Drizzle is *the* worst.   I despise the drizzle!  It gets your glasses all drizzly and ruins my hair way faster than real rain.  Just nasty.  But, it's winter in Texas, so get use to it!  And we do need any type of moisture desperately.

I just made one more trip to Hobby Lobby.  I hope it was my last.  Whew.  I've learned a few things about Hobby Lobby.  I should always just get the hand basket instead of the push cart because there is less room and therefore I buy less.  When will I learn?  I am hosting Bergen's Christmas party at his preschool next week and needed an ornament idea.  I love their cutie ceramic ornaments - fifty cents each - and then glue their little faces on them.  Such a keepsake.  Parents want an ornament with their little faces on it to keep.  Please don't send home a foam ornament.  Yuck.  Last year I got adorable snow men and had them paint their hats black, then glue on some buttons and I drew a face.  They were cute, but I have such severe control issues when it comes to crafts that I found myself getting edgy when the paint went over the neatly drawn hat line, or the buttons ended up on the snowman face.  I know, this is bad.  They are four - let it go.  So this year I'm doing angels, and I'm spray painting them in advance a sparkly blue.  Then we'll glue their little faces on the angel head, and I got lots of colored sparkle sequins and I'll let them go hog wild.  Turn a blind eye to the mayhem.  Ha - we'll see.

When I went to check out there were 2 lines open, so I chose one and began to wait.  I had no idea I was in the return or buy line and how long it would take.  Other lines opened up, but I was not really in a position to get out of my line, so I just waited and read my email.  A gal came back in to complain that she had paid too much for her Christmas candy - "It said 50% off".  Candy is never marked down.  I don't know how much candy she had in there, but she decided to return it, and gets in line behind me and another guy.  She asked 3 times if she had to stand in line to return the candy.  Then when she saw my basket load of frames and ceramic ornaments, she really started to fidget!  Hobby Lobby will wrap up every last bit of your breakables.  And this cashier, bless her heart, was so slow.  I could feel the laser eyes in the back of my head.  Like bad.  I'm pretty sure she killed me three times in her head.  It's kind of fun to cause irritation to Scrooges at Christmas. 

As I was leaving, I decided to RACK* the Salvation Army bell guy.  We've been trying to RACK the one at the grocery store for 2 weeks, but every time we drive by, he's on break.  Finally I found one and went for it.  But what to get him?  It's not really cold out, it's really rather warm.  So no hot chocolate.  And what if he's diabetic?  Or lactose intolerant?  Would he like a coke?  Diet coke?  Is he sensitive to caffeine?   I tend to over-think things.

I ran through the McD's drive through and ordered a large unsweet tea.  And let me tell you, I had conflicting feelings the entire time.  Doubts.  I think when you are trying so hard to listen to the Holy Spirit, your thoughts (Satan's plant), can throw doubts.  I fought through it and got the large iced tea and 2 packs of sugar and sweetener.  I drove back to the Hobby Lobby and gave it to him, saying "Merry Christmas!"  He was very thankful, and I'm sure was wondering if I was going to ask him for his number.  

This was by far the hardest RACK for me.  I had to face to face with the recipient.  And I know I've said before that I crave the hug.  The pat on the back.  But when placed face to face with a stranger, I really get nervous and shy.  But that nervous feeling is good.  It's the Holy Spirit telling me to either "go for it this is good!" or "back out and don't do this, it's not right".

I really wanted a picture of him with his drink, but I thought that might be odd to ask.  Sometimes it's best to just retain a memory.  I want the kids to experience this as well.  And I really hope he likes iced tea.

Have a wonderful day, y'all!  11 days until Christmas!

*DISCLAIMER - You really have to know that a tiny piece of the joy in this project is saying RACK.  I RACKed the Salvation Army guy.  Really?  That's comedy to me.  So mature...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

RACK'd - December 13th Edition - Sometimes it's better not to know

Hope y'all are having a great start to the week.  I shoveled out my office yesterday in preparation for Christmas guests.  It was so bad.  I have about 500 expired catalogs from work - boxes stacked high.  General chaos in no organized fashion.  I put everything up, dusted, cleaned the floors and even decorated the mantle.  Been here 8 years, first time to decorate this mantle for Christmas.

We overslept this morning.  By an hour.  We woke up about 2 minutes before the bus came.  Poor Preston.  He was so upset.  He just doesn't understand what's so hard about waking up on time.  Sweet child - did not see the 3 loads of laundry and dishes I did after I put him to bed at 9pm.  Someday he'll get it.  And...I will likely be there to say "told ya so!!!".  I'm kind like that.

So we rushed to get breakfast and loaded in the car for the school.  Man, there is nothing like missing the bus that really makes you appreciate the bus!  With 2 minutes to spare (poor kid will need therapy!), Bergen and I made our way to Starbucks.  I feel I earned it this morning.

Oh good - a RACKing opportunity!

I love paying for the car behind me at Starbucks!  I do it periodically all year long.  So fun.  But I have to admit, the selfish side of me really wants to see their face when they get their free coffee.  I want to hug them and say "oh, it's my pleasure!"  But then it would not be a random act of kindness.  It would be Amy trying to get a pat on the back.  And that's not what RACKs are all about.

So I order my venti Pikes with room for cream and a box of chocolate milk for the turkey in the backseat.

Let me veer off subject real quick to tell you that I'm totally hooked on Coconut milk creamer.  I don't like my coffee sweet.  Half & half has loads of points - I was using 2 - 3 points a day on creamer.  So I switched to coconut creamer.  Love it.  And when I want a little sweet in it, I load it with coconut creamer, then put a little splash of flavored creamer.  So good.  Just don't drink the last sip - there's some sort of residue that I don't want to address - kind of gritty.  I think it's best I don't know what it is.

So I get my coffee and chocolate milk and tell the cashier I want to pay for the car behind me.  "Cool - that's so nice.  Would you like a receipt?"  I tell him "no, but how much was her coffee?"


I'm not going to mention the price of her order, because it's not like she ordered a lobster, but let's just say, this might have been a group order.  Ding dong.  Don't ever ask the total, or it might just spoil your heart for a moment.   It's just best not to know.

Hope your day is great - do something kind today!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

RACK'd - December 9th Edition

My kids have been weird lately.  Have yours?  I'm not sure if it's Christmas-itis, or if my 10 year old is starting the moody preteens early.  But it's been weird around here.  Honestly, this is where these random acts of kindness really come in handy.  When we are feeling snarky, doing something nice always helps turn it around.

Friday was no exception.  We were all a little tense Friday night waiting for dad to get home from work.  We loaded up in the car to take the dry cleaning and find a RACK to recover us from our attitudes.  I've been saving this RACK for a nice day - it rained for like a whole week here, and this needed a nice, dry day.

We drove up to the main grocery store close to our home and attached candy canes to car doors with a little note.  We got the note from the original RACKer, found on Pinterest.  If you are so inclined, please use for your own family's RACKing.  But know I'm not the author, this lady is. 

I tied the note to candy canes and we ran through the parking lot attaching them to doors of cars.  It was really very fun.  Preston was so worried we were going to get into trouble for touching other people's cars.  Such a rule follower, just like his momma.  We ran back to the car and waited to see a shopper find their candy canes.  But since it was dark, we could not really see.  We imagine that they were all *very* happy and felt *very* blessed and decided to pass it on.  And that's what we'll continue to imagine. 

This was a very fun RACK! 

We left the store to head to dinner.  The restaurant had video games and a crane lift game to win balls.  What a waste of, I mean fun time.  $.20 balls now cost $5.00!  Anyway, Preston comes running over to tell me he did a RACK!  He won a ball, and gave it to the 2 year old watching him.  Oh, this momma's heart swelled up with pride - so proud of Preston and what he's learning from helping others.  A Merry Christmas, indeed.  I hope y'all had a great weekend and enjoy your week!