Wordful Wednesday ~ Shouldn't Have to Be

We shouldn't have to put this Christmas tree on a cold little grave.

We shouldn't have to glue cars onto a hard slab.

We shouldn't have to see the brand-new grave beside his, of a baby who only lived for one day.

There shouldn't have to be a baby section in a cemetery.

There shouldn't have to be parents with empty arms.

There shouldn't have to be parents wondering what their kids would be doing that Christmas, if only they had lived.

I shouldn't have to kneel down and tell that baby how wonderful his father is.

I shouldn't have to tell him that he will see him again in Heaven, of this I have no doubt.

I shouldn't have to tell him about his little brother, and how I wish they could play together.

He shouldn't have to wonder what his son would be like today.

He shouldn't have to visit his firstborn son in a cemetery.

He shouldn't have to miss his son, every single day.


Thanks, Mr Walgreens, for spoiling me in the manner in which I am accustomed.

You may remember last week or so, I complained about Walgreens no longer offering my the Cinnamon Bun Coffee. I knew it was seasonal (although I was in denial), but I was shocked that they stopped selling it that early in the season! So, I emailed Walgreens, not really expecting a response or to be taken seriously, but it made me feel better.

Then I got an email from Mr Walgreens. (ok, not really, but he works for Walgreens.)
He made a bunch of phone calls and emails, and got some more Cinnamon Bun Coffee....for me!! He said it is seasonal (:cries:) and although they're trying to find someone to make it for them year-round, right now they only have a limited amount, and when it's gone, (:sob:) it's gone.

But for now, my Cinnamon Bun Coffee is BACK.

I felt so totally special when I walked into my Walgreens and saw this.

You can't tell from the picture, but those white stickers say "Cinnamon Bun" and "Cinnamon Bun Latte".
They temporarily replaced Chai Tea with my Cinnamon Bun Coffee.
Seriously, who drinks Chai Tea anyway?
Oh, you? Sorry.

Mr. Walgreens, you are my hero.


Wii had a great Christmas!

OK, corny title, but I had to do it.
We actually ended up getting two Wiis. Santa brought one, and the in-laws brought another. So, we returned one but kept the extra controllers & game that they also bought. Score!
We are totally loving this thing. It is SO much fun! If you don't have one, I highly recommend it. I'm so not a gamer but I really enjoy the Wii.
The kids also each got new bicycles, so they've enjoyed those also.
We got a laptop from the IL's, which we haven't hooked up yet but I can't wait to play with it! Yay, posting from the sofa!
My favorite (material) gift? An electric blanket from J. I didn't ask for it, but my body temperature has changed drastically with the weight loss, and I get really cold. It was the sweetest gift! I love those surprise gifts he gets for me the most. He always asks for a list, but gets other things too, things he just knows I'll like. I love it!
We had a yummy Christmas dinner of fresh seafood, and then spent the afternoon and evening with our families. We had a birthday cake for Jesus. It was really a wonderful time.
And now we're already planning a vacation for Christmas next year. Sweet!
I hope you all had a lovely holiday!


A Very Merry Christmas

For the past four years, every Christmas has gotten better and better for me. I haven't enjoyed Christmas this much since I was a child. This year is better than ever. I am so blessed with my husband, children, family, friends, and pets. I know it's really hard this year for so many people, and I am so grateful for everything that we have.

Because we have Enough. We don't have extravagances, we don't have many luxuries. But we have Enough. And to all of my blog friends, this Christmas...I wish you Enough.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

~Bob Perks

Merry Christmas!

This Girl Rocks!

I've written about Meaghan before. She is truly an inspiration to me, and now she is celebrating a huge accomplishment. I wanted to share her latest news with you all. You can read her story here...


Here's a snippet:

Two years ago, law school student Meaghan Edelstein was on a hospital bed in Boston ready to embrace death. Diagnosed with cervical cancer, her kidney had ripped open and fluid was seeping into her body. A doctor gave her a 20 percent chance to survive. On Sunday, Edelstein, 30, will pick up her diploma from Nova Southeastern University.

Click the link to read the rest...it's worth it!
Congrats again, Meaghan. I can't wait to share your story with my daughters!


I am unique. Just like everybody else.

OK, I know I'm not the only one who is very busy at this time of year. But I still feel like I have to let y'all know that I love you dearly, and it's not that I don't want to visit your blogs. I truly do. But there is just.no.time. And, I don't see it getting better very soon. So, I at least wanted to explain myself! It's not you, it's me, and all that stuff.

Oh, and I'll throw out some randomness while I'm at it.

* We are almost done with Christmas shopping. I just have to pick up a couple of things for my niece. We were able to get everything my kids wanted and more, thanks to my husband. His hard work paid off in the form of several bonuses. Which really helped out since their father is over a month behind on child support.

I am so grateful that this man I married doesn't hesitate to use all of his Christmas bonuses on "my" kids (when I told him that, he said honey, they're all our kids).
We are blessed.

* We also got gifts for the child we chose from the Salvation Army tree. It's important to us to share our blessings, and it's an important lesson to teach our kids.

* The kids will be with their Dad until Christmas afternoon, so right now it's just me and the hubby. We're going to throw tradition out the window and have seafood for Christmas dinner. We got these amazing, enormous shrimp at the Farmer's Market, and we're going to have fish and as yet undetermined side dishes. And I think this is going to be the beginning of a new tradition!

* Spiderman has gained seven pounds since moving back with us. Seven pounds. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy that he's putting on weight, sad that he was obviously underweight to begin with. He has a huge appetite for such a little guy!

* I went to the little kids' school on Friday and did Gingerbread & Cocoa with both the Princess and Spiderman. They both loved it, and one of the kids told Spiderman that he looks just like ME. Which is funny considering that (a) I'm his stepmother and (b) it's actually kind of true.


There's definitely a resemblance, and why the hell are my eyes so huge?

* J's aunt took this picture and I just love it, so I wanted to share it with you.

That's the Princess, Spiderman, and a dog that J's aunt was dogsitting, on a tree at the park.

* Time for a little brag. Those of you who have been reading for a while, know of my weight loss journey I've been on for nearly a year now. And you know that I have lost over 110 lbs. So, I'm entitled to a small brag, right? Good.
My mom got me a new scrub outfit for Christmas. My current scrub size?
Extra small petite. If you know how far I've come, you'll allow this little brag! I think I've earned it. I'm still amazed by the changes.

* That's all the randomness my brain will produce at this moment. I know there's more stuff in there, but it will have to wait for another day. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season, and I can't wait to catch up with everyone....probably next year!


FFFF ~ Ladybug's Birthday

Today, the Ladybug is 13 years old. She is officially a teenager, although she has acted like a teenager for at least the past year. I am now officially the mom of two teens.
I feel old.
I'm not so much into birth stories or a big long story of her past thirteen years. So I present to you a few of the reasons I'm proud of my daughter (in her favorite colors). I already had this ready for a gift I'm making for Ladybug and the other three kids for Christmas this year.

caring kind
confident friendly

loyal hardworking

stubborn devoted

We're going to have some special time together this afternoon, then my kids will be off to their Dad's until Christmas afternoon.
Happy Friday to you all!
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Fx4 posts at Candid Carrie's!


Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here........

crazy Pictures, Images and Photos

It is crazy over here at the DysFUNctional House! It's a good kinda crazy, but crazy nevertheless.
The slumber party went very well. I totally expected the other three kids to drive their sister crazy, even though I threatened their lives warned them not to. But, they didn't! They did really well. The girls ate an astounding amount of food, but thankfully one of my buddies had given me that one piece of advice: have PLENTY of food, so I did, and they ate it all. Some of these girls are about as big around as my pinky, but they can pack in the groceries!
The rest of the weekend was busy, followed by a very busy week.
I know the holidays are always busy for everyone, but for me it's compounded by lots of birthdays in my immediate family. Ladybug's actual birthday is this Friday, the 19th. My sister's is the 22nd, and my mother's is Christmas Day. My nephew's is the 31st. And we already had a few earlier in the month. Insanity!
Tomorrow is the little kids' Holiday Party at school. Since I'm the homeroom mom for the Princess's class, I'll be there. Who needs sleep anyway, right? And Walgreen's is no longer selling my cinnamon bun cappucinos. I knew they were seasonal, but the season is not over yet! I think I need to send them a calendar. WTH, Walgreens?! I need my caffeine fix!
I really need to catch up here and on all of your blogs as well. I'm hoping I actually have time to do so before the New Year!

crazy Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday Fragments 12.12.08

It's Friday again, and I've got some Fragments for ya!
Friday Fragments are courtesy of Half Past Kissin' Time.

One Dog Down

One of our fosters got picked up yesterday, and is on her way to her (hopefully) Forever Home. I say hopefully because I didn't have any communication with the adopter at all, and this is not your ordinary dog. After being with us for several months, she's still extremely timid, and scared of her own shadow. She has issues, and she's not a happy, playful dog. She's a sweet, fearful dog. I have no idea if these potentional adopters know this or anything else about her. When we started fostering for this group, we were told that we would have contact with any potential adopter of our fosters and whether or not we thought it was the right fit. I've gotten none of that this time, and I am not happy. Between that and some other things that have been bugging me, we're not going to foster for them any more. There are several local non-breed-specific rescues and we're in the process of choosing which one to volunteer with.
This is one of the first pics we took of her (on the left, with a former foster we adopted, Suzie). You can tell by her body language how frightened and defensive she is.

We sure will miss our Honey. Suzie will, too.
Slumber Party
My almost-teenager, Ladybug, is having a slumber party for her birthday tonight. She was reasonable with the invites, and then with it being holiday season, it looks like she'll have around 5 girls. That should be pretty manageable. We're planning on grilling out hot dogs and having a fire and roasting marshmallows. Then the girls are going to watch Chick Flicks all night. I think we're going to have a fun time!
Dysfunctional Family Update

So, my mom called me yesterday and was as happy and pleasant as could be. It's like a roller coaster ride, sometimes! I'm just going with the flow, for now...

We have another busy weekend coming up; Christmas Parades, church events, and another birthday party for a friend. I probably won't be around the bloggy world, so, I hope you all have a great weekend! See ya Monday.


I'm Not That Girl

I'm not "that girl" who always wears the perfect, expensively tailored, matching outfit.

I am "that girl" who loves a comfy pair of jeans.

I'm not "that girl" who loves to go shoe shopping.

I am "that girl" who loves flip flops.

I'm not "that girl" who spends lots of money on her hair, nails, and makeup.

I am "that girl" who clips coupons and loves a good bargain.

I'm not "that girl" who carries designer purses.

I am "that girl" who buys bags from thrift and consignment shops...and all sorts of other things, too.

I'm not "that girl" who takes things for granted.

I am "that girl" who appreciates what she has.

I'm not "that girl" who always wants more than what she has.

I am "that girl" who is very content with her life.

I'm not "that girl" who has to keep up with the neighbors.

I am "that girl" who will help out a neighbor.

I'm not"that girl" whose house is always neat and clean.

I am "that girl" whose home is warm, happy, and full of love.

I'm not "that girl" who has it all together.

I am "that girl" who, together with her family....has it all.


The DysFUNctional Part of the Family

I don't usually post twice in one day, but I am so stressed and I have to get this out.
My mom is mad at me. She tends to stay mad at me about half of the time, maybe even 3/4. It's usually because I don't call often enough, and I don't always answer the phone when she calls, usually because I'M SLEEPING.
Quick recap for my newer readers: I have four kids. Three live here full time, my oldest son lives with his dad and spends 4 days here every other week, at a minimum. Two of these kids are teenagers, which has taught me why many animals eat their young. Another one has ADHD, just been quite literally abandoned by his natural "mother", and can be a handful - who wouldn't be in that situation? Oh, and that job thing! I work at least 40 hours per week. My husband does as well. We have responsibilities. We have lives.
We are busy.
But my mother doesn't get that, and when she calls and I do answer, I'm trapped on the phone for eternities while she asks me about every detail of my life.
So, when I texted her this weekend and she ignored me, I figured she was mad because I hadn't called recently. Then she called me today and was very short with me, and between that and her all-too-familiar tone, I knew she was mad.
I asked my niece if she'd talked to her and knew why she was mad, and she sort of vaguely hinted that it may be due to our plans for Christmas.
Which we don't actually have any yet.
But, we spent all of Thanksgiving with my family. We literally didn't see J's family at all. So obviously, we'll be spending some time with them for Christmas. And, call us crazy, selfish, or whatever, but since the kids are with their Dad this year for Christmas, we'd like to spend some time A.L.O.N.E. Just the two of us. We would still spend time with my parents at some point around the holiday...just not Christmas Day.
But the thing is, every single year, it's drama. First of all, every other Thanksgiving, the kids are with their Dad. You'd think by now, five years after my ex and I split, my parents would've accepted that. But no, every other year, I hear crap about it because my family wants them there. Too bad! This is how divorce works. Every year I hear "Can't they just come for a little while one day? Can't you do this, that, whatever?" And every year the answer is "NO. It's their Dad's year. Period." And still, they complain.
Then, even though we always go to my parents' house for Christmas Eve, as is our tradition, and exchange gifts, they expect us to come back Christmas Day for dinner. I have in-laws, people! We have to split our time. And I would like to do my OWN family thing, and have our own family traditions. Not just going to my parents' or his parents' or whoever's house every single year!
And I won't even get into what generally happens when we do spend time with my parents; the yelling at the kids, the offensive things my dad says......
Please don't misunderstand me, I love my parents. I know there are some of you out there who have lost your parents and would love to be able to call them, or have just one more holiday to spend with them. I truly get that. But there is only one of me, I'm being pulled apart and it happens every single year. I am ready to start the tradition of not going over there at all! I don't understand why it has to be such an issue every year. I'm tired of walking on eggshells wondering if my mother is mad at me this week. I don't get why she expects so much of me, knowing what all I have on my plate!
If you've read this far, thanks for reading my whining. And please send me a ticket to China for this Christmas!

Weekend Wrap-up

Another busy weekend here! It seems like they're all that way, lately. I haven't blogged or read blogs since Friday, and I have 334 posts in my reader.
We shopped and bargain hunted on Friday night and Saturday. Then on Saturday afternoon, we watched the Gator SEC Championship game. We won!! WOOHOO It was an amazing game and both teams truly played their hearts out. Now we'll go to the National Championship game in January!
On Saturday night, we went to my work Christmas party. That was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend a drink called Holiday Breeze. 'Nuff said!
Sunday was church, errands, and picking up kids. And we went to a Pet Adopt-a-Thon, where J fell in love with a St Bernard!
We also got our Christmas tree, only to come home and discover that our tree stand is missing! So I'm going to pick one up today. Tonight we'll decorate the tree and do fun holiday stuff.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!

~*~*~*~*~ETA: I'm a weiner!*~*~*~*~
I won the Twilight contest on Stephanie's blog! WOOHOO Yay me!


Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

It's time for Fx4, Candid Carrie style!

We had a photo shoot at our house last night. I thought I was going to lose.my.mind! The kids acted crazy and complained about their itchy sweaters. I was all, whatever! Deal with it! AND SMILE!! It was great.

Really, we had fun but I was really hoping to get some good shots. In the end, I think we did!

(Spiderman is CRACKING UP in this picture. I'm pretty sure someone had said the word "fart".)

Have a GREAT weekend!


Mama Kat's Writing Assignment

I was trying to decide what to post on this Thursday. Thankful Thursday? Thursday Thirteen? Something random?
Then I read Mama Kat's post and was so happy! Finally, I get to participate in Mama Kat's writing assignment, because she has the perfect prompt for me.

It was prompt number two, to be exact.

"2.) Are you still friends with your high school friends? Describe them."

I'm actually still friends with several of my high school friends. They're on my myspace and we keep in touch.
But the one I'm talking about today is my bestest friend in the whole world, Danielle.

Danielle and I met when I was 15 and she was about 13. We met in church and hit it off immediately. The next year, she was a freshman at my high school and we got even closer. We have been through everything together. She was the first person to ride in my new car when I was 16, a 1984 Mustang (oh, how I miss that car). She was also the first (and only) person to pee in my car.

(I made her laugh. A lot. Good times!)

I watched her high school boyfriend physically and emotionally abuse her, and told him off and dumped him out of my car. I was very protective over her. I skipped school to take care of her. She didn't really have a mother to speak of. I kind of took over that role.

Later, we both got married and pregnant. Our boys are just over one month apart in age. Then we had our girls....18 days apart (but they were due only ONE day apart! Her baby girl was early). She went through a divorce and a bad relationship. I hung on to my bad marriage, always confiding in her and only her. We were both SAHMs for many years, and we talked on the phone every day. I honestly don't know what I would've done without her in those years.

When I started working in day care, she was going through her second divorce. I got her a job with me. We always tried to take care of each other.
When she married the third (and final!!) time, she had a church wedding, and I was a bridesmaid. Her husband is a great guy, and in 2000, they had a little boy together. For the first time, she was pregnant...and I wasn't! But she took care of that. Within days of giving her giving birth to her youngest son, I found out I was pregnant with my Princess. I swear she jinxed me! But I'm so glad she did. So, our youngest kids are less than a year apart in age. And we're currently arranging their marriage.

All of our kids are still friends, although we live one town apart from each other and they don't see each other often. The girls especially are very close.

When the major event that ended my first marriage occured, we happened to already have a lunch date the next day. We were meeting at a park so the kids could play. She had no idea the condition that I would be in. We sat down at a picnic table and I let it all out. She cried with me. I know that if she could've, she'd have committed a serious felony that day. Again, I don't know what I'd have done without her during that time.
She's always had the knack for calling me at just the right time. The first time I had to drop my kids off for visitation and they were meeting their father's girlfriend (now wife) for the first time, I had just driven down the road when the phone rang.

It was Danielle, of course, asking me, 'Are you okay?'

And the answer, of course, was 'no'. That was so hard to get used to, at first.

She always told me that I would be so much better off in the long run, and she was so right. She loves my hubby, because he is so good to me. She encouraged me to further my relationship with him, even when some people in my life were telling me that I should stay single and just take care of my kids. Danielle told me that for once in my life, it was time to do something for me. I'm so glad I did!

We don't talk or see each other as often as we'd like. We both stay so busy. But we stay in touch, and we're there for the important things. She was at my second wedding, I was at her recent graduation from college. I know I can always come to her when I need her. For twenty years, we have been best friends. What we have is special. There will never be anyone else in my life like Danielle. We are more than friends, more than family. We have a bond like no other.

I love my best friend!

Our girls when they were about three. They're both thirteen this month!

Our boys when they were around 3 or 4. They're both 15 now.


Wordless Wednesday 12.3.08

I can haz make-ur-own pizza night?
I don't know why the Princess looks so shocked. But Spiderman sure was concentrating on getting his sauce just right.
Silly little goofballs!