Pockets Full of Love

One day last week, J had taken the day off so that we could both take Spiderman to a doctor's appointment. We picked up the kids from school later in the afternoon, and we were all chatting while driving down the road.
At one point Spiderman said, "I wonder who the richest person in the world is right now."
And without hesitation, I replied, "Me."

He laughed like I was silly, and I said...

"Did you know that you can be rich in other ways besides having lots of money?
I have things that are so much more important than money. I have you kids, your daddy, and we have a nice home. We have all of the things we need. And most of all, we have lots and lots of love. We are very rich!
There are people out there who have lots of money, but they may not have a family and they may not have love. And money can't buy them those things. And they may not be happy.
But we are happy, because we are rich in the things that matter the most."
I asked Spiderman, "What do you have that makes you feel rich?" and he said "my family....and my friends....and you know what? I don't really like money that much anyway."

I hope you're having a Wonderful Weekend!



Darkness Pictures, Images and Photos

That's where I've been today.
I have dark times. Fortunately, not often. But today, everything collided. Things conspired together to push me down into that dark place.
This weekend I will go to the funeral of a child for the first time in my life. Sure, he was 18 years old, but still...he was a child.
I had one of the worst dreams of my life today. So bad, I am not ready to talk about it, not with anyone. I couldn't even tell J about it. I tear up just thinking about it. It was long, incredibly realistic, and horribly sad.
I got upset about something relatively stupid. Annoying, but I made a mountain of a molehill.
I took a long, hot bath.
Then I locked myself in my room and cried.
And tonight....J called me to tell me about Spiderman getting his heart broken.
His "mother" finally took time out of her busy schedule to call and check on how he's doing. I was at work when she called. She's only seen him once, for about 10 minutes, since he moved back with us on November 1st. She hasn't called, visited, nothing. Spiderman has told us in no uncertain terms that he does not want to see her nor talk to her.
He has taken it upon himself to start referring to her by her first name, "C", never "Mommy". Nothing we say will stop him from doing this. He has begged me to change biology or go back in time and be his "actual" Mom. He finally decided that he has a "feeling" that, although nobody knows it, I really gave birth to him.
So when she called tonight and begged to talk to him, J finally said he'd ask Spiderman if he wanted to talk to her. And what he said was, "Spiderman...do you want to talk to your Mommy?" And he immediately said "Yes!" Then he took the phone, said "Hello?"...and burst into tears. And said to J..."You told me it was my Mommy but it's not, it's C!!!" And proceeded to sob hysterically.
Grief, sympathy, terrible dreams, a black mood, more sympathy....brings about darkness.
And now I have to try to find my way back into the light.


Wordful Wednesday ~ What a Difference a Year Makes...

Today is one year since I had gastric bypass surgery.

In the past year, I have lost 113 pounds.

I have gained so, so much more. Health, far less risk of many diseases, self-confidence, and a better role model for my children.

So many things have improved in my life: I have more energy, I feel tremendously better physically, and I just feel so much better about myself. There are even some things in life that improved, which I thought had no room for improvement. If you catch my drift. (bow chicka wow wow!)

Not for one moment have I regretted my decision. I know that I could not have lost all of this weight without the surgery. Believe me, I tried. I have had no complications at all. I am the poster child for gastric bypass! No problems whatsoever, and the weight dropped right off.

At one year post-op, I can eat most anything I want, just in small portions. I still eat very healthy, but I do indulge on 'treats' on special occasions. For me, it's all about moderation, and this surgery enabled me to eat properly.

Here's a pic of me very shortly after the surgery:

and here's the most recent pic of me, a crappy cell phone pic taken on Valentine's Day, just before J and I went out for dinner:

If you have any questions regarding this surgery, I'd be happy to answer them for you. I am so thankful that this surgery exists, and that I made the decision to take control of my health, so that I will hopefully have many more years to spend with my family!

*Wordful Wednesday (courtesy of Seven Clown Circus) is for those of us that like to showcase a photo(s) but that just can't seem keep our mouths shut about it(them). If you'd like to play along, post a photo on your blog, and let the words roll.



My friend is making preparations for the burial of her son today.
She has known since he was a baby that this time would come. But I do not think this is something a parent can ever, ever prepare him or herself for.
She is my sister's close friend, and years ago, she and I worked together. Her son had cystic fibrosis. He has spent a good portion of his life in the hospital. Life was not easy for him.
He did graduate high school last year, which I posted about at the time....it was an especially poignant event for his family.
There is just something so unfathomable, so wrong, about a parent burying their child. I can't even wrap my brain around it.
It shouldn't have to be.

*don't be alarmed, or forget about me, if I'm not around much...I'm sort of taking a break and sort of crazy busy!*


The Stupid Thing I Did Today

I nearly titled this post, 'The Stupid Thing I Did Today, Part I', so certain am I that I will have many more stories to add to this. It will most definitely become a series.

I got a new pillar candle a couple of weeks ago and it's sitting in a pretty decorative candle holder on top of the big screen TV. Picture something like the photo below, only black iron, and prettier, with a sage green candle on top.

When we need to plug in the Wii or the DVD Player, we have to pull the TV out, switch around the plugs, and push it back in.

All weekend, J has been doing this and every time, my new pillar candle would fall down. And every time, I would fuss at him that he was going to mess up my new candle and for goodness sake, just take it down BEFORE it falls!

So today, I needed to plug the Wii in for Spiderman. I pushed the TV out, plugged the Wii in, and went to push the TV back. So you're thinking I did the same thing J's been doing all weekend, right? Oh no. I did him one better. See, I had a tart burning in my tart burner. Completely melted, a pool of hot wax. And that big pillar candle fell right on top of it.

Wax on the TV, wax on the Wii, wax on my clothes, my hair, MY FACE.

It was absolutely brilliant.

So...did you do something stupid today? Tell me it's not just me that does this stuff....


Marching for Babies

We're doing it again! Next month, we're Marching for Babies again. This is a bigger walk than we usually do; for the past few years we've done the Gator Walk, which is the University of Florida's March for Babies (formerly known as March of Dimes). But this time we've decided to do the walk that is sponsored by our town. It's an 8.6 mile walk and it's a much larger event than the Gator Walk.
And I got ambitious this time around. The unit I work on is a Neurosurgical/Neurological Intensive Care Unit. We just opened this unit less than a year ago. I asked a few co-workers if they'd be interested in doing the March for Babies as a team, and I got a great response. So, I'm the chairperson for my unit's first annual March for Babies! We have created our own t-shirts, we're selling candy, and on Friday, we had a Used Book Sale in the hospital atrium. It's fun to see everyone getting excited about such a wonderful cause! We're going to have a blast.
For those of you who are new to my blog, J and I have a very good reason for doing these walks. We walk in memory of my husband's firstborn son. You can read all about his short life here.
If you'd like to help us meet & exceed our goals, click on this widget. EVERY little bit counts and helps the babies!

Hope your Valentine's Day is full of love!


Friday Fragments

It's Friday again! This week went by verrry slowly for me.

Since my thoughts seem to be quite fragmented, I decided to join in Mrs 4444's Friday Fragments today. Check it out over at Half Past Kissin' Time.

* J and I decided to go out tonight for Valentine's Day and hopefully avoid the crowds that will be out on Saturday night.

* We are going to Manatee Springs tomorrow with hopes of actually seeing some manatees! The time is right, let's hope the manatees cooperate.

* We're planning on going to the Horse Sanctuary and the Flea Market this weekend, too. It'll be a nice weekend of doing things we enjoy. (I heard that thought, ya perv!)

* We are doing the March for Babies next month and I decided to start a team for the unit in which I work at the hospital. It's a big job, and it's keeping me busy, but it'll be worth it when we raise big money for the babies! Today we're having a Used Book Sale, I'll be running that while I should be sleeping. I will keep you posted on our progress, and if you'd like to donate, there's a widget on my sidebar. (that sounds funny. Widget in my sidebar. Is that painful? Is that a widget in your sidebar, or are you just happy to see me?) If you're new to my blog, read here to see why this is a very important cause for our family. Oh, and if you'd like to add my widget to your blog, you are more than welcome to do so!

* I made Octopus hot dogs for the kids' snack one day this week. They loved it! I served goldfish crackers 'swimming' on the side. So cute!

Have a GREAT weekend!


Thankful Thursday

I'm overdue for a Thankful post, and since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, this one is dedicated to my Valentine - my hubby, J.

1. I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for, I can't even decide where to begin!

2. I am thankful that my happiness is so important to J.

3. I am thankful that he loves me exactly the way I am.

4. I am thankful that he supports me in everything that I do.

5. I am thankful that we share the same interests and passions.

6. I am thankful that we have so much fun together.

7. I am thankful that he brings out the best in me.

8. I am thankful that J is a wonderful stepfather and provider.

9. I am thankful that J is totally unselfish and generous.

10. I am thankful that I could go on and on with this list!
Check it out!


Wordful Wednesday ~ Friends

Remember last week, when I told you that I thought our cat, Lilly, and the new kitten, Charley, would soon be friends?
I was right!

When I woke up this afternoon, they were snoozing together in the computer chair.
From enemies to snuggle-buddies in less than three weeks!
Oh, the cuteness.

Angie at Seven Clown Circus hosts WordFUL Wednesday every week, for those of us who like to showcase a photo but can't keep our mouths shut about it! It's a growing phenomenon and you should play, too!


Interview With a Dysfunctional Mom

My friend Tammie from Irregular Tammie participated in a blog project in which we interview each other. After her interview, she offered to interview willing readers. I thought, why not? It sounds much more fun than a job interview, and come on, how many times in life will anyone want to interview us for anything BUT a job? I don't know about you, but I am just not that interesting.
So, here are Tammie's questions and my answers.

*I know you love animals, but do you have your limits? Is there any animal you wouldn't want as a pet?
Oh yes ma'am, I have one big slithery limit. I am terrified of snakes and don't want to be anywhere near one. I will never, ever allow one in my home on purpose. However, I don't mind lizards, iguanas, geckos, etc. at all and personally, I think that's a very fair compromise.

*What is your favorite way to spend time with your kids?
Camping! We love camping and can't wait for it to get warm enough this year. We have a huge tent and we usually go to parks near rivers or springs.

*What is the best book you've ever read and why?
Now you know I love to read, how can I choose just one? SO hard!
Actually, one of the best books I've ever read is His Name is Ron, by Ron Goldman's family. It was so emotional, I've never cried like that reading a book.

*If I gave you $100 and told you that it must be spent on something frivalous for yourself, how would you choose to spend it?
On a spa day. Including a massage!

*If you could have dinner with any living celebrity, who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
This is hard too, because I'm not a big celebrity stalker. I would have to choose Joaquim Phoenix. I'd want to discuss his family, his childhood, his parents, and his siblings, especially River. And I'd also ask him the question I want to ask almost all celebrities: "if not acting (or singing or whatever the case may be), what would you be doing right now?"

So, I personally think I stink at coming up with questions like these, but if you want to be interviewed, drop me an email and I'll do my best!
Thanks for the interview, Tammie.


Friday Foto Finish Fiesta ~ Funny

I'm playing along with Candid Carries Fx4 today.

These pictures made me literally LOL tonight, so I wanted to share the laughter with you. Now I'm the first one to admit that I am easily amused, but these are just plain funny. I don't care who ya are!

Hope you all have a Phun Phriday and a Phantastic Weekend!


Honest Scrap

I've seen this meme floating around the blogosphere and decided to play along. I ripped it off from The Twisted Fencepost. The deal is, first you list 10 Honest things about yourself. Then, you tag 7 people to play along on their blog. And I will be tagging people, oh yes I will!
1. I'm currently on an 80's Rock kick and I'm loving every minute of it. I listen to the Classic Rock station in the van, and I'm listening to a Journey-based station on Pandora. Love it!
2. I drink way too much sweet tea. But it's so darned good!
3. I drink too much coffee, too. But that's to keep me awake on night shift, so I do have an excuse.
4. I wish I had more patience. If that were something I could buy, I'd stock up!
5. I wish I had more computer time. I'd buy that, too!
6. I wish I'd win the lottery so I could stay home and read books in the glider in my back yard. Seriously, I'd spend a ridiculous amount of time doing just that if I didn't have to work.
7. I'm always behind on housework. Sometimes I wear myself out trying to tackle it all, sometimes I just give up!
8. I usually put my make-up on in the car or van on my way to wherever I'm going. Tonight I left it in the car and drove the van, so I'm at work with no make-up. And I don't really care!
9. I can't stand for my nose to be cold, and if I could find a nose-warmer, I'd totally buy that too. My nose is cold right now and I am not happy!
10. I don't even own an iron. I'm such a slacker! Speaking of which, I'm reading Confessions of a Slacker Mom right now. Great book!
And I know I've been behind lately, so if you've already done this and I missed it...do it again! Or, not! :P


Wordful Wednesday ~ Our Zoo

This is the Princess with Charley, her birthday kitten.

She LOVES this little boy! And he has fit in so well at our zoo home.

This is Charley cuddling up with Suzie, our 14 year old dachshund girl who thinks she's Charley's new Mommy. They love each other!

Our girl cat, Lilly, HATED him on sight. She was also furious with all of us for allowing that little vermin into our home. She literally would not look at us or allow us to pet her! But she's come around, accepting our adoration now and tolerating Charley. I think they'll end up friends.

We're so glad we have Charley in our family. Now Ladybug wants a kitten, too! What's one more four-legged friend, at this point? (seven, if you're counting. haha!) And Spiderman wants an iguana. I love all different animals, so I think it's great! I always wanted a big enough house to have many different animals and now we have it. Who knows what animals lurk in our future!


Have You Ever Noticed?

* Have you ever noticed that some people are amazingly predictable? To the point that you know exactly what they're going to do and/or say before they do it? It's really quite funny.

* Have you ever noticed that some people are determined to see the negative, no matter what? And wallow in their own misery? It's actually sad.

* Have you ever noticed that some people can't stand to see other people happy? Misery loves company.

*Have you ever noticed that jealousy makes people nasty? It's not a pretty sight.

* Have you ever noticed that the good things you do, come back to you? And I've heard the bad things do as well....

* Have you ever noticed that the high road is often the hardest road to take? But I'm on it......bumping along......

* Have you ever noticed that "living well is the best revenge?" -George Herbert