True Love

For all of my kids' birthdays, I always make their favorite meal for dinner. Yesterday, T-bone requested chicken & dumplings.
I love chicken & dumplings.
I can't eat chicken & dumplings.
But of course, I made them for him. I boiled the chicken and rolled out the dough, knowing I couldn't even eat one little dumpling.
And I said to him, "This, my son, is true love."
It was so worth it; he loved them.
This is him, well after dinner, going to the stove and eating them straight out of the pot.


That's true love.
ETA: I am blog-hopping today, and I'm going through everyone's blogroll to find new blogs to read. So if I hover on your blog or visit it 1000 times today, please don't be alarmed!

~31 lbs. gone forever!


On Birth, and 15 Years, and more...

Last week, I got very sad news. My friend had a baby. Her fourth baby, her first girl. She gave birth on March 20th.
Her baby died on March 26th.
I know no other details, but it is weighing so heavily on my heart. I can't get it out of my mind. My heart just breaks for all of them.
I keep thinking, why? Just why?
My son turned 15 years old this morning at 1:16 am. It feels bizarre to type that. 15 years old?? How could that have happened? I'd love to share his whole birth story, but right now I just can't do that. But for those of you with younger children, let me just say....when you BLINK, you will be sitting here typing a post saying your child is 15 years old. I know everyone says this, but it goes by so incredibly fast. I miss his toddler-hood so much, he was delightful. He still is, of course, but he won't indulge me by talking like he did back then.
I got him a card that says "I love you with all my heart", because when he was very small, he'd say "Mommy." I'd say, "Yes?" He'd say, "I love you." I'd say, "I love you too." And then he'd say "I love you all your heart." Only it sounded like, "I love you all youw heawt." It was so sweet! I wish I could have frozen those moments.
I'm very proud of him. He's smart, funny, and confident. I like the person he has become. We have the same sense of humor. We both love icanhascheezburger.com.
I taught him well!


A Random Girl Like Meme

I have decided to do a "7 Random Things" Meme.
I know that a lot of peeps don't like meme's, so I'm not going to tag anyone. I'm just going to meme. That is all.

1. I hate feet. This is usually at the top of any random list I do about myself. I posted about feet and their utter nastiness way back when I started this blog.
They're icky, clammy, and GROSS. Nobody is allowed to touch me with their feet, ever. I go insane if it happens by accident!

2. I obessively frequently smell my hands, and if they smell weird, I have to wash them immediately. They can't smell like food, or anything odd, or anything strong at all.

3. I love turtles. They're one of my favorite animals. To me, they are totally cute, and something about the way they just draw up into their shell is interesting and appealing to me. BUT....if a turtle loses his shell, is he naked or homeless? Hmmm...

4. I drive a mini-van and I HATE it. I never wanted to be a "mini-van mama". (no offense!) But when we had all four kids living with us, we had to have the room. My mini-van knows that I hate it, and it does things to embarass me. Right now, the serpentine belt is squeaky. We've taken it to the mechanic FOUR times, he 'fixes' it, and within a few days, it's squeaking again. LOUDLY. The brakes squeak too. It's goal in life is to humiliate me. We're trading it in. SOON.

5. My best girlfriend has been my best girlfriend since I was 16 years old. (I'm now 34!) She was the first person to ride in my first car. We have been to hell and back together. We don't talk often, but when we do we pick right back up. She is family to me.

6. My niece is one of my best friends. She was born when I was 14, and we've always been close, even when she was a bratty little kid that drove me insane. She even lived with me for a little while. We have a lot in common and I love to spend time with her.

7. My numero uno best friend is my husband. I always heard the saying "Happiness is being married to your best friend", and now I know that it's true. I tell him everything, and when anything happens to me, good or bad, he's the first person I want to call. And he makes me laugh just like my best girlfriend always has. We have a ton of fun together and I don't know how I lived for 30 years without him!

So there's my meme. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged. If you hate memes, consider yourself un-tagged!


My Easter Post

Our Easter was uneventful. We'd hoped to go camping, but Mr Wonderful couldn't get off work. I was bummed.
So, we went to my parents' house for lunch, which was not exactly fun but that's another post for another time. Hubby and I decided to walk to the lake near my parents' house. While we were there, my niece, her boyfriend, and my sister drove up and wanted us to go with them further down the lake where there's a dock and park. So, off we went.
And that was the most fun part of the day!
Next year, we're camping all weekend. FOR SURE.
Spiderman is on a houseboat with my out in-laws, so he wasn't with us this Easter.

This is Ladybug & The Princess. Princess was looking like Punky Brewster! LOL

T-bone....my "baby boy" who will be 15 in less than a week.

Me & Mr Wonderful

This is a crane who was relaxing by the lake.....

....until I terrorized him terrified him ran him off got a little too close and he flew away.

Hope your Easter was Happy and less DysFUNctional than mine (and mine wasn't even in the FUN way!)
-29.5 lbs. !!!!


A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small.

You guessed it, we saw Horton Hears a Who this weekend.
I loved the book, and the movie was wonderful. I heard a critic say that Dr. Seuss would be proud, and I have to agree.
I love the messages in Dr. Seuss's books. I talked to The Princess about it before we went, so every time they said "a person's a person, no matter how small" she got all excited. The way he wove his lessons into such entertaining stories totally amazes me.
And this man has some amazing quotes! Some of my favorites are from his stories are:

"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent."

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

"You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

And some others are:

"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room."

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

I just love the way his brained worked.
R.I.P, Dr. Seuss!



Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday
Today, I am thankful that I live in Florida. I promise, I'm not posting this to make my Northern friends jealous. But when I was in St Augustine this weekend, with my toes in the sand...
this is what I was thinking about.
When I was a child, I had no idea why people vacationed in Florida. I lived in a relatively small, inland college town. And my parents are total homebodies. We very rarely went anywhere.
At all.
We visited relatives, but even when we visited the ones who lived on the coast, we didn't go to the beach or attractions.
I lived in this town my entire childhood without knowing about some of the beautiful things here like....
The Devil's Millhopper:


Kanapaha Botanical Gardens:


Lake Alice:



And so much more, just in my town!

Just outside of my town, a few miles down the road, we have amazing natural springs.
At Ginnie Springs, if you're brave, you can cave-dive. Or if you're a chicken like me, you can snorkel. This is what you'll see:


Or if you want a smaller, quieter place to hang out, you can choose beautiful Poe Springs.


Then there's St Augustine, about an hour and a half's drive from us, where you can walk right on the beach and see things like this:

Starfish on the beach of St. Augustine.

or walk in the downtown historic district and see this:


My brother lives here now:


on the beautiful white sand beaches of Pensacola, Florida.
Hubby and I visited here last year:


A quaint little town called Mount Dora, Florida.

I still have much to discover about my beautiful state, and I love that my children have already swam in these beaches, explored Devil's Millhopper, and so much more. I like to get out and experience life! And I hope I'm teaching my children the same thing. There is so much beauty around us, and for that I am so thankful.


Do I Get An "E" for Effort?

Last night was my first night back at work after surgery. I had 3 weeks off. I really do like my job, so I was ready to go back. I got my scrubs on, packed my little lunch bag, and off I went.
I got to work and proceeded to get ill. For the first time since surgery, I felt awful. I had Potty Problems. Digestive Dilemmas. I won't go into further detail (although Krissy and her Diva would probably like it!). I was in pain, and I was running to the bathroom every few minutes. I made it four hours (at least 2 of which were spent on the throne!). And then I gave up and came home.
I am really bummed! But tomorrow night, I will go back. Armed with medications to help out in case it strikes again.
(and now that I'm home, I feel FINE! What the heck?)
At least I tried!
Our mini-vacation was FANTASTIC. Here are a couple of pictures.

This is our cabin.....


The Squatter. He apparently lives behind the window frame and was quite curious about the weirdos on the front porch swing. He watched us for a good long time.


The lake is called Turtle Lake, and it was FULL of turtles, which I love. There were also lots of ducks. I'd love to post pics, but Photobucket is being a real jerk right now. Maybe we'll make up tomorrow and I'll add them on.
But we had a truly wonderful time and can't wait to go back!

~22 lbs.


Our Favorite Place in the World

Sunday is Mr. Wonderful's birthday. So, to celebrate, we are visiting our Favorite Place in the World this weekend.





St. Augustine, Florida.
There is nowhere on this earth I'd rather be. It's our second home. We only live about an hour and half away, and we visit often. We never tire of it. We'd love to live there, but the time is not right. Maybe one day.
Being there is soothing to the soul. It's such a nice break from day-to-day life. We usually stay in a hotel, but this time we are staying in a cabin. We were actually going to tent-camp, but there were no sites available. So, we will rough it in a cabin this time. No kids, just the two of us. The weather is predicted to be beautiful. I cannot wait! We leave in the morning. Happy Birthday, Mr Wonderful!

And on another subject......I ate a pickle today. Hardly blog-worthy for most people, but I have been on Full Liquids, and then Purees, since my surgery on February 25th. I've done ok with it, but a couple of days ago I started craving a pickle. A nice, sour, salty pickle. I ignored it as long as I could. Tonight, nothing was open but the convenience stores, and I NEEDED a pickle! So, I got one of those huge ones that are in weird plastic bags full of juice. I opened it up, avoided the 'skin', ate the inside and just chewed the bejeezus out of it.
It was truly one of the best things I'd ever eaten in my entire life.



-19½ lbs. since surgery


I got a Present!

Look! See that up there? I got a Blogger Award! This is my very first award and I am SO happy to have received it! I got this award from TWO wonderful blogging friends; Alison and Coleen. I make them smile, and that makes ME smile, because they make me smile, too.
So now I am passing this award to some other peeps who make me smile!
Caffeine Court
Firecracker Mama!
Groovy Mom
Seeking Sanity
PB&J In a Bowl
Shamelessly Sassy

Hey, I smile a LOT, what can I say??

Sasha Plays

Sasha is the newest addition to our dog family. She's a wirehaired dachshund. We adopted her from a shelter in December. I found her on Petfinder.com, and Mr Wonderful and I drove about 2 hours to get her that same day. There was something about her that just called out to me, and the shelter she was in was awful....a very high-kill shelter, no vet on staff, no real requirements or even questions to adopt. Just fork over the money (I think it was a whopping $60 bucks), and you have a new pet.
The shelter thought she was very old. They were purely guessing, and basing it on her gray hair. (I guess by that logic, all schnauzers are old.) They had picked her up as a stray, and she looked like she may have recently had puppies. They said she was probably sick, and if so I could bring her back for a refund.
Um, no thanks.
When we took her to our vet, we discovered that she was only a year or two old. She was actually still producing milk, and at first they thought she was pregnant, but thankfully she wasn't. She's healthy and in great shape.
I was a little surprised that she was that young, because she's a very mellow dog. The only thing she really gets excited about is food, and 'loves'. Anytime Mr Wonderful or I sit down, she hops on our lap and tries to give our face a bath. Otherwise, she follows me around loyally and just sleeps. She never plays with the other dogs, or shows any interest in toys.
Until the other night.
I found a stuffed, squeaky hedgehog toy that one of the dogs had brought to bed, so I'd taken it away from them and hid it in a drawer. I pulled it out and tossed it to the dogs, and shortly after, I heard it very quietly and slowly squeaking.
When the other dogs have a toy, it's always SQUEAKSQUEAKSQUEAK!!! But this time, it was squeak......squeak....squeak. I looked down, and it was Sasha! Her first time ever playing with a toy, and she played with that thing for hours. squeak.....squeak....squeak. She eventually fell asleep with this hedgehog.
I finally realized that she probably never played with our toys, not due to a lack of interest, but because she didn't know how. She'd probably never even seen a toy before, so she didn't know what to do with them. I strongly suspect she was from a puppy mill, and this confirms it even more.
I'm just so glad that her life is better now, full of love, care, plenty of food....and toys to play with.


Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Ultimate Blog Party 2008
I decided at the last minute to join this BLOG PAR-TAYYY!! It's hosted by the ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom, and just looks like a lotta fun.
I haven't partied in a LONG time. Not the cool, grown-up kind of partying, anyway. So I'm going to let loose, peeps! It's PARTY TIME!!

I'm so not hardcore. My drinks of choice look something like this.
And lately, the parties I go to serve more of this type of fare.
Birthday Cake
And ya know what, it's all good with me.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Take a look around. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

-17.5 lbs since surgery


The Princess and the Peepee

Sometimes, when I pick the Princess up from school, she has to pee. But she doesn't tell me this while we're still at the school. Oh no! That would be far too easy. She waits until we're stuck in traffic. It doesn't happen as much lately, but last year it was way too frequent, and accidents happened. It was frustrating! So, while trying to think of solutions, one thing we did was make up Pee-pee songs, to distract her. Whatever song popped into our heads, we'd change the words and make it a pee-pee song.

a-b-c-d-e-f-g, I have really got to pee.
q-r-s-t-u-v, it makes me want to climb a tree.

Hey, we're not songwriters or anything. We're just rolling with it.

So, that princess of mine is a huge fan of Taylor Swift, a young country artist. WAY better than Hannah Montana, so I encourage this. She knows all of her songs, but her favorite is called "Our Song", and she knows every word. Which is great. Except.........the other day on the way home, she had to pee. So, she's trying to take her mind off of it by singing a song. And she started singing "Our Song". Which starts like this:

"I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car.
He had a one-hand feel on the steering wheel, the other on my hea-a-art!"

But The Princess's pee-pee version made us all jump out of our seats and yell.
She burst out with:

"I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car.
He had a one-hand feel on the PEE-PEE........."

I don't know what the rest would've been because our reaction cut her off before she could finish. Poor thing, she was so embarassed! But we all got a good laugh out of it.
That princess! You never know what's going to come out of her mouth!


-13.5 lbs since surgery


Thankful Thursday 3.6.2008

From Another Chance Ranch

Today has been a little rough for me. I am on day 11 of nothing but "full liquids" and I.am.so.sick.of.it.!!! I just want to fast forward....just a little while!
But Mr Wonderful......he makes it all better.
He was so worried about me tonight, and kept trying to say encouraging things, while I curled up in the fetal position on the sofa, full of self-pity. I refused to eat (really, drink) any of the crap I've been "eating" for the last 11 days. Broth, jello, pudding. Blech! I've had enough!
He kept begging me to eat, and then finally made me some egg drop soup. (which had to be STRAINED in a fine mesh strainer. blech blech blech) I told him it was good. It kind of tasted like eggie water. But I love him so much, and he rocks for all that he does for me.
I have no idea how I'd have gotten through this surgery without him, truly. And as much as I know the whole procedure terrified him, he was so wonderful. Supportive, encouraging, and helpful. He is my rock, my cheerleader, my biggest fan, and my best friend. He has done everything while I was recovering, and encouraged me to do absolutely nothing. For the most part, I needed very little encouragement for that! It's been nice to kick back and be taken care of by the man who God put on this Earth for ME.
I am so thankful for my husband!


A Beautiful Day

This morning I woke up feeling great. (ok, it was almost afternoon, but I digress...) I felt better than I had since before the surgery. Just a little soreness and plenty of energy. When I weighed, I had lost a total of 6.5 lbs since surgery.
I decided to clean. Mr Wonderful has been trying hard, but he did have to work this weekend and he got a little behind. We have dogs and tile floors. We mop a LOT. So, I proceeded to mop the entire house. I also picked up, and washed the few dishes that were hanging out in the sink.
But when I walked outside to pour out the mop water, that's when I really knew it was going to be a beautiful day. I saw a butterfly, sitting in the grass. It looked a lot like this.
yellow n black butterfly
It was HUGE. And it just stayed there, gently waving its wings, and letting me admire it for the longest time. Eventually, it slowly flitted away.
Butterflies are so symbolic for me, and it was like this beautiful creature was just waiting there for me to come outside. Right outside my door.
And it was a beautiful day.