We Are Back!

We're home.
We had a wonderful time & wished we didn't have to leave.
I'm tired.
One of my beloved doggies is on my lap.
The kids are still at their dad's house.
I'm enjoying a glass of wine.
I am happy.


Friday Foto Finish Fiesta ~ I'm outta here!

It's that time again! Time for ~~~

Today the favorite picture I chose is.......

Why that picture, you ask?
What's that, you didn't ask? Well too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.
That picture was taken in St. Augustine, Florida, one of the most wonderful places in the whole wide world. Not only are there beaches, shops, and lots of things to do, but somehow when we go there, my soul feels like it has come home. I swear I lived there in a past life.
And....we're going there this weekend! Just the two of us. We try to go every few months. After this past month of J working ridiculous amounts of overtime, getting everyone ready for back-to-school, etc.....we both really need this get-away. We.can't.wait!
Hope everyone in bloggy land has a great Labor Day Weekend!


Thursday Thirteen

...thirteen random things...

* This is our new Foster Dog, Missy. She's a sweetheart, and my new shadow. I can't walk without tripping over her. And for some reason known only to Missy...she has no tail!

* We didn't end up transporting the 4-day-old puppies this weekend. The rescue group decided they were too young to travel. Bummer!

* Wednesdays are early out days for my Princess. I have decided to start carving out individual Mom & kid time for all of the kids, so today before we picked up the Ladybug, I took the Princess out for ice cream, and we strolled down the historic district of our little town. We had a really good time!


(please do not be alarmed by my make-up-free face!)

* My kids got a new baby sister on Tuesday. No, I didn't have a baby, sillies! Their stepmother did. They are so excited, and Princess thinks it's great that she's a Big Sister, but she still gets to be MY baby.

* I have ran my butt off non-stop all night at work tonight and I'm ready to go home and crash!

* I just walked into a patient's room, looking for a piece of equipment, and he informed me that I better get my ass out of there! ha! So I did.

* I am having a very hard time thinking of 13 interesting things to post about. Sad but true!

* I'm already seeing Halloween merchandise in the stores and I love it! I love Halloween, and decorating for Halloween.

* My motto lately has been "just smile and nod". When one of the kids is saying something totally crazy, I tell everyone else "just smile and nod". Sometimes it works well for me at work, also. It comes in quite handy.

* The internet connection at work tonight is extremely slow and won't load my reader. So now that I have a few minutes of downtime, I can't read blogs. I am so bummed!

* We have a new member of our family. A shiny bluish purplish betta fish named Savannah. She's quite pretty!

* My reader finally loaded up! Woot!

* On Tuesday, when I got home, I was incredibly exhausted. I went straight to bed and crashed. Apparently I was sleeping very, very deeply. I had forgotten to call J and let him know I was home safely, so he tried to call me.

Fourteen times.

I never heard the phone. So, he took an early lunch and drove the hour round-trip home to make sure I was OK. My poor husband! I felt so badly for worrying him like that.

I think he loves me. =)


Wordless Wednesday ~ Talent

My Princess took all of these pictures.
She is seven.
I'm totally unbiased of course, and I think she did an awesome job.

(Our dog, Tater)

(Our foster dog, Kato)

(Our dog, Sasha)

(Our cat, Lilly)

I'm thinking she'll fit a Pet Photography career in her spare time between being a groomer AND a vet (her current career choices).


I go back....

There's a country song by Kenny Chesney with these lyrics:

"We all have a song that somehow stamped our lives
Takes us to another place and time...

So I go back to a pew,preacher, and a choir
Singin bout God, brimstone, and fire
And the smell of Sunday chicken after church
And I go back to the loss of a real good friend
And the sixteen summers I shared with him
Now "Only The Good Die Young" stops me in my tracks
Everytime I hear that song,
I go back..."

It's definitely true for me. There are plenty of songs that I love, but there are a select few that, as soon as I hear them, I'm transported back in time. I'm no longer riding down the road with my kids fighting in the backseat. I'm back in time, reliving a moment from years ago.

The one that takes me back in time the furthest is Hotel California by The Eagles. I'm four years old, sitting on my brother's bed, jamming out with him. My brother is fourteen. I'm feeling totally cool because I'm allowed in his room and allowed to listen to his music.
I still love that song.

Next is "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love Tonite" by The Outfield. I'm in 6th grade, sitting in class waiting for the teacher to come in. A girl starts singing..."Josie's on a vacation far away"... and then we all start singing. I've never forgotten that, it's jammed in my memory somehow.

Then it's 7th Grade. We had a Valentine's Dance, and the school got a local band to come in and perform. They did "Talking In Your Sleep" by the Romantics. I'm in the gym, we're all dressed up and acting silly. When the play this song, all of us girls were screaming like they were The Beatles. They'd sing "You tell me that you want me..." and we'd scream "I want you!!" It was crazy, but it was a lot of fun. My first 'concert'. (ha, ha)

When I hear "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger, I'm back in the 8th grade. The local college (University of Florida) had a huge talent contest. They called it RockAlike, and the participants had to dress up like the singer and really put on a show. I was with my best friend, and we were having a good time.
Then, they started playing "Old Time Rock and Roll", and out came a guy dressed like Tom Cruise in the Risky Business scene. A dress shirt, shades...and tighty whities. He ran around and danced and sang. We nearly passed out (remember, younger peeps, Tom Cruise was hot back then!) It's a fond memory.

All of you who are near my age will remember "Nothing Compares to You" by Sinead O'Connor. When I hear it, I'm in the 9th grade, skipping school, in a car with about 57 other girls. We're driving down the road when it comes on, and we all sing our hearts out. Because you know, we knew all about loving & losing at 15 years old. Heh.

Remember "Escapade" by Janet Jackson? When I hear that one, I'm in a car again, but this time it's me, my then-boyfriend, and our friends, going to the beach one Saturday. Good times!

The next one is bittersweet. Every time I hear "Angel" by Aerosmith, I'm at a friend's house. Her close friend, who she called a brother, liked me a lot. But I was hung up on some idiot who'd broken up with me. I sort of dated my friend's 'brother', but as soon as the other guy wanted me back, I ran back to him. We remained friends, but I kicked myself later for not making it last with him.
And he was SO good-looking!

"Shut Up & Drive" by Chely Wright (the old one, not the new one), I'm back with my best friend, before, during & after my divorce. If you haven't heard it, read the lyrics. 'Nough said.

Whenever I hear "Get Low" by Lil John & the Eastside Boys, I'm in my friend April's truck. We're all dressed up, getting ready for a night out (this is post-divorce). We played that every night on the way to the club. Good.Times.

And "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison takes me back to going clubbing with one of my best friends from high school. It's also post-divorce. We're drinking and dancing having a blast. It was both of our 'songs', we're both Brown-Eyed Girls. It's my ringtone now.

"I Love The Way You Love Me" by John Michael Montgomery takes me to the Christmas season of 2004. J and I & the kids were riding around looking at Christmas lights. I remember exactly where we were when this song came on, and as J was listening to the words, he said "This is it...this is our song." So sweet, and that was by far the best Christmas I'd ever had.

And last...."I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams takes me back to our wedding, walking down the aisle escorted by my son. That's the song that played instead of the traditional wedding march. My girls were flower girls and J's son was Ring Bearer. It was so important to me that our kids were a part of our wedding, and that song was dedicated to our kids. It was so beautiful, and I love reliving that moment.

I could go on and on; the more I think about it the more songs come back to me.

How about you? What songs transport you back in time?


Saturday Stuff

First, a brag. This fantastic award was bestowed upon me, and I totally LOVE it!

Kelly at Song for Whoever is a new bloggy friend of mine and a fellow GATOR fan! She has great taste in college sports teams...and blog friends! ha ha
I'd like to give the award to Kelly, but obviously, she already got it.
So now, it is my privilege to pass this kick-ass award on to 5 kick-ass bloggers!
All of my choices for this award are new & loyal bloggy friends of mine, either someone who found me or someone I found from various bloggy friend-finding sites like AllMediocre, SITS, or Candid Carrie's Fx4 feature!

#1. A Thorn Among Roses
#2. Taking What is Left
#3. The Fam Five
#4. On the Verge
#5. MamaHut

And I had such a hard time narrowing it down to five that I had to add just ONE more.
**Extra** Casey's Trio You have to go check out her triplets, and all of the other awarded bloggers. They're fantastic!

Second, what's up here.
Tomorrow, we have an adoption event here in my town. Most of the events for our rescue group are out of town and hard for us to get to, so I'm so glad we're having an event here! I'll get to see my fellow rescuers, meet some new fosters, and hubby & the kids will be along for the fun. We're taking one of our fosters and I hope he find his forever home.

Third, I'm going to enter a picture in a Pet Photo contest. I'm planning on entering this picture...

Whatcha think? It's one of our former foster puppies, snuggled up in J's work boot. I just love it!

Fourth, Fay. She seems to be done with us. She dumped a bunch of rain on us today and blew some major winds, but hopefully she has moved on and won't do much damage elsewhere. I'm just SO glad we never lost power! I hope to see sunshine tomorrow, it's been a while!

Peace Out!

***ETA*** I am one of the Saucy Blogs on The Secret is in the Sauce! WOOHOO!!

And, I found out that tomorrow after the adoption event, we're going to be transporting a Mama dog who was just rescued from a shelter...and her FOUR DAY OLD puppies! I will definitely be taking pictures.
Peace Out again! xoxo


Friday Foto Finish Fiesta ~ FUN

Today I'm all about FUN fotos. I hope you enjoy them!

We've been Warhol-ed!

T-bone in Night Vision.

X-ray dawg.

Me and Ladybug, cartooned!

Pink Magnolia

Princess in the Deep Blue Water

Ink Stamp Princess.

Happy Friday!


Wordless Wednesday ~ My Heart

This is my heart.
It's a locket that folds into a heart shape.
It's full of pictures of my kids when they were little.
My heart is full.


This Chick is ANNOYING!

I'm really getting annoyed by a certain female in my life.
First, she says she's coming to visit. Just a short stay, won't be a bother.
Then, she says she's not coming after all.
Then, she says she's coming today.
Then, she says she's coming tomorrow or Thursday, oh yeah and she may stay a while so I better stock up on supplies, the kids may have to miss school, and we may even have to miss work!
I mean, make up your mind, ya know? I'm really tired of her jerking us around like this.
Her name is Fay.
And it's starting to look like she's going to be a pain in the ass!

Here's her projected path:

She's making a beeline for us!


And the Buses Roll Again........

...although my kids won't be riding them. Budget cuts have forced them to 'streamline'. The only stops are too far away for me to let even my 7th grader walk home alone.
They also cut in half our music and art programs. Instead of having both all year, they'll have music for half of the year and art the other half.
But yet, our pro sports players make millions.
This country's value system is way screwed up.

On to happier things! Today was the kids' first day of school. The Princess was nervous but happy. She's shy until she gets to know people. The Ladybug is going into 7th grade, and therefore is way too cool to act excited.
But she was. I wanted to take more pictures of her, but she told me I was a geek and that I was embarrassing her. Mission accomplished!

The Princess had her eyes closed, but the picture was cute so I'm sharing it anyway.

Now my house is quiet. They are having fun and learning.


True Mom Confessions

I recently stumbled on a website called True Mom Confessions. On this site, anyone can anonymously leave a confession. There's everything from silly confessions, like a mom not wanting to match all of the socks together and going out and buying more, to serious stuff, like a mom having to get tested for STDs after discovering her husband had cheated.
It's sickly fascinating.
So I decided to do my own True Mom Confessions, and I invite you to leave me some confessions in my comments. If they're really deep, dark secrets, feel free to leave them anonymously. Free your mind, get the burden off of your shoulders...confess to me!

Here are mine.

1. I had Post Partum Depression after my first child was born, but I was so ashamed that I never admitted it or got help. Things were so different 15 years ago, it was so taboo back then. I thought if I had PPD it meant I wasn't happy to have my son, or to be a mother.

2. Some of you already know this, but I was not quite 20 when I had my first child. He was born in March, I turned 20 in May. I was married when he was conceived, and he was a sort-of planned pregnancy. (no BC used, we decided to see what happened for that month and go from there. T-bone happened!)

3. I had to go back to work when he was 6 weeks old and it ripped my heart out. I eventually got fired from that job because when he was sick, I stayed home with him. He had asthma and chronic ear infections, so I stayed home a lot. Losing that job was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

4. When my second child was born, my (now-ex) husband wanted me to go back to work when she was 6 weeks old, too. I couldn't do it. I stayed at home with my kids and I loved it. I also watched other children in my home for extra money.

5. Supposedly, my "refusal to work" was one of the things that my ex hated about me and contributed to the end of our marriage. I wouldn't change it for the world. I loved my time staying at home with all three of my kids, and the separation and then divorce from my ex was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

6. I had a lot of fun after my divorce, on the weekends that my kids were with their dad. Way too much fun. Partying, drinking, doing the things that most people do in college, which I never did because I was married and having kids. I look back upon that time fondly. I didn't expose my kids to any of that stuff. In fact, besides my now-husband, they only met one guy during that time, and he was just a friend.

7. A few months after I met my now-husband, he and his son moved in with me. My parents and sister were mortified. They thought it was horrible that I'd live with someone without being married, and 'expose my kids' to that. I don't regret that either. They now adore my husband and know that I wasn't just rushing into something stupid.

8. I am totally scatterbrained and disorganized in most ways. I forget things and lose things. I used to beat myself up over it. Now I just accept it and do the best I can.

9. I truly enjoy alone time. I do miss my kids, but I value time by myself, or with my husband. And I make the most of it.

10. I actually look forward to being a grandmother. Although I of course don't want it to happen any time soon, I think it'll be awesome to see my kids become parents, to be able to spoil my grandchildren, and to be able to play with babies and then give them back to their parents when they poop!

OK...spill your confessions to me!


Thankful Thursday

I have much to be thankful for this Thursday.

* A while back, I posted about some major work-related issues I was having. Thankfully, things are much, much better now. Everyone said that once things settled down in our brand new unit, it would get better. I didn't believe it. Now I do! The best thing about my job is my kick-ass schedule, and the fact that my boss is incredibly flexible. He switched my schedule this week with practically no notice, just to help me out since Dysfunctional Dad is still working insane hours. I'm very thankful for all of that!

* This hellish period called "Turn" is almost over. This is the reason my husband has worked every day, with no days off, for over two weeks now. It's also the reason he's went to work at 7am, and worked until 10pm. I have barely seen him. I could never be a military wife! It's almost over; hopefully this coming Monday is the last day. I am incredibly thankful for that!

* We're getting a new a/c unit installed (hopefully) tomorrow. It would've been today, but it was storming, and storms are predicted for tomorrow as well. But even if not tomorrow, it will be installed soon, and I am thankful for that.

* The kids are starting a new school year on Monday, finally at the schools I wanted all of them to attend. By moving here back in January, we reached a goal that we'd been working towards. We're very thankful for that.

* I'm thankful that, as I get older, I'm learning more and more every day. About myself, other people, relationships, and life. I like to think I'm getting wiser as I get older. I'm learning to take the Serenity Prayer to heart; "to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." There are certain things in this world that cannot be changed. But I can work hard on changing those things that are within my power. I am thankful for that.

* Ariel is continuing to improve. She gained half a pound, which is significant for a very small dog. She is getting wonderful care and love now. I am so very thankful for that.

* I'm thankful for the place I am in life right now. Everything I went through in the past, prepared me for this wonderful present. It gave me the ability to be thankful, and not take it for granted. Ours is a simple life, but it makes us very happy. I am wonderfully thankful for that.

What are you thankful for?


Tickling My Funny Bone

I have had the privilege of laughing my butt off the last few days, and I want to share the chuckles with you all, my imaginary friends!

First of all, I stumbled upon this blog, The Creative Junkie. I can't recall exactly how I found her.....SITS or AllMediocre? Oh yeah, 'twas SITS.
Anyway, she absolutely cracks me up and I have been reading her archives just to get my fix!

Then today, I clicked on Candid Carrie's latest post and nearly fell out of my chair. This has got to be one of the best songs EVER written! And is it ever timely. That Carrie is a genius.

And this chick, as much as she's suffering right now, still manages to make me laugh out loud.

The Fun House is another new find for me. This blog is funny, of course, and right now is also having a great give-away!
Check it out:

There are so many more, that I may just have to make this a weekly feature. I love to laugh, and I love to share the giggles!

“Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.” ~ Mort Walker


Sending the Summer Out with a SPLASH!

This weekend was the last weekend the kids will be with me, before school starts. So yesterday, I took them to the Springs. Hubby was working, so it was just the four of us.

T-bone...I'm pretty sure he was praying that I didn't kill him after he splashed me IN THE FACE.


The Princess, throwin' up the peace sign.


Moody Preteen Ladybug smiles for the camera...


I was hoping for ONE good pic of the three of them, but nooo, I get tongues stuck out, goofball faces, and some guy's ass in the background.


Jumping in!


Such a deceptively sweet, innocent smile. This is the Princess on the playground.


It was beautiful, relaxing, and a lot of fun.

And...I've mostly been posting my weight updates here, but as of today I've lost 92 lbs. (the last 2 lost even with Aunt Flo and her bitchy sisters visiting!). Doing great, feeling fantastic, and loving it!

Here's a recent pic:


Here's a before pic, for comparison. This was taken on Halloween of 2007.


8 Favorite Fotos

In honor of today being 08/08/08, I am posting 8 favorite pictures for the Friday Foto Finish Fiesta.
These pictures, like my life, are totally random.

This is Noodle. He was our very first foster dog, and I just love this picture.

This is me and my Princess, taken last week.

This is my stepson with his baby brother when he was first born. He is over a year old now.

This is my three kids and their cousin (far left), at Chipotle. The pic was taken from outside of the window.

This picture was taken at my parents' house. My parents do not have a dog, just a 'Bad Dog' sign, because they are weird. But one of our dogs and my brother's dog were in the yard, hanging out under the 'Bad Dog' sign, trying to act tough.

Dysfunctional Dad saw this raccoon in a palm tree at work one day. He took a pic with his cell phone and sent it to me. Adorable!

I took this pic one night outside of a church while the sun was setting.

Earlier this week, I took a basket of flowers to my hubby's firstborn baby's grave.

And there you have it, totally random pictures from my totally random brain.