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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Well, that wasn't on the agenda....

I knew that today was going to be crazy - I just knew it. But I really had no idea just how crazy it was going to be!

I had planned to take the kids to the local Kid Fest that was happening today, and so we were getting ready for that. While I was in the shower, I missed a phone call from a good friend of mine, Kelly. In case you don't remember, or you weren't following me then, you can see a road trip that Kelly and I took together last year here (and for several posts after that).

Anyway, I didn't listen to her voice mail until we were on the way out the door to go to Kid Fest, and she said something to the effect of "I'm getting married at 4:00 today and I would love it if you could come down for it!"

Wait....she's doing what when? Today? Like, in 6 hours? I called her back to get the details, thought about it for about 2.5 seconds, and assured her that I would be there, kids in tow.

So, we went to Kid Fest first...

Then we came home, grabbed a few things, used the bathroom, and took off - Kelly said "come as you are" so we did just that! We stopped and grabbed some Lunchables for the kids and a Snickers and water for me (see? no caffeine!) and headed south. It's about a 3 hour drive to get to her place, and the wedding was in a nearby park. The kids played for a bit before things got started.

Then there was the wedding. It was a simple ceremony, but very beautiful. Kelly made a gorgeous bride, and although this was the first time that I had met her husband, I could tell that they were a perfect match. The kids ran around and played during the ceremony, and then we all went out for Mexican food afterwards. We had a great time and it was so nice to see her so happy!

Then we drove home - another 3 hours. Unfortunately, the kids were too tired and I ended up having to take the van from 75 to 0 along the side of the highway to make them understand that I was NOT going to tolerate the behavior coming from behind me - I was not impressed. But we made the rest of the drive in relative peace and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery.

We got home at about 9:30 and everyone (except me) went straight to bed. Now, I get to do all of the laundry tonight that I didn't do today - but it was worth it!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Just another day...

This was one of the days where I had to get up super-early to get the older 3 kids off to school, so we were in the van and heading out by 7:15 this morning. I got them to school on time (miracle of miracles) and then managed to get these shots as I was taking Alex to his school...

This morning and afternoon were spent mowing. I got my yard done, and then went over to The Dude's and did his since he's still not up to doing anything that strenuous yet. Honestly, I love to mow, so I was not complaining one bit!

We were supposed to get some massive storms tonight, and well, that didn't happen. I was disappointed - I love a good thunderstorm. We did get some (needed) rain, but no wind or hail or anything. There's a beautiful light show going on right now with the cloud-to-cloud lightning, but I know I'm not good enough to get pictures of that...not saying that I won't go outside and try though at some point.

Nothing terribly exciting going on at this point in time - and I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The little things

It's no secret that I spend a lot of time running - both literally and figuratively. Sometimes it seems like I am constantly on the go - running kids back and forth to school or activities or appointments or whatever, running errands, running here, running there...and then the actual "running" when I go and get some exercise and have a good brain dump.

It's amazing how much we miss when we run constantly. This week, I've been walking the boys back and forth to school as much as I can. It's giving me some extra exercise, it's saving gas in the van, it's giving them exercise - and I'm seeing things that I pass by every day that I've never noticed before.

Whether it's the reflection of the clouds in the water, a redbud tree in full bloom, the rising sun, or just a child's curiosity, sometimes the most amazing things can be seen when we stop running.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Six years ago today, I got married for the second time. I never even dreamed that things would turn out the way that they did. I never imagined that we would end up getting divorced and that he would pass away so soon after it was final.

It still seems surreal at times. People ask me questions, and I answer like it happened to someone else. I tell them the details if they want to know them, and I share some very happy - but also very painful - memories.

I was never sure about that whole "time heals all wounds" concept. When he first died, I never imagined being able to talk about it without breaking down into tears. For months after it happened, I felt like I was in a fog.

But slowly, the fog began to lift. The pain did subside. And while I'm not going to lie and say that it never bothers me, it has gotten easier. I can look back at things that happened, and I can do so with the understanding and clarity that comes with the passage of time. The anger that was directed at him for the choices that he made is gone.

I don't know how it happened. I never thought that I would be able to let go of the anger - but I did. It took time and a lot of introspection to get to this point. And I can honestly say that right now, I am happier than I ever thought that I could be. Things did not turn out the way that I had planned 6 years ago - and I'm ok with that.

I couldn't be happier with where my life is taking me, and I can't wait to see where it leads.

March 27, 2006 - our wedding "portrait"
Hard to believe that the little baby is Alex!

RIP, Jeff.

Monday, March 26, 2012

One more thing crossed off of the to-do list.

And I'm doing my part to keep the postal service in business too.

Yes, I finally sat down tonight to do my taxes. I've started working on them about 87 times so far, but I really, truly, officially finished them tonight.

I had to jump through a few hoops in attempts to get them filed online, but after falling through the hoops I finally just gave up, printed them out, and I will stick them in the mailbox tomorrow. Sometimes, it's just easier that way. At least they are done and I won't have to worry about them anymore. It was a little trickier this year since I've never dealt with Social Security income before, but it was a learning experience, and next year will be much easier. I hope.

Oh and today was the first day back to school after Spring Break. I didn't get up early enough to walk Alex to school (go figure) but I did walk Daniel to school, and then got both of the boys from school on foot. Hopefully we'll be able to keep doing that - it's good exercise for all of us, and we might as well enjoy the nice weather as much as possible!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And Spring Break is over.....

Finally. The kids go back to school tomorrow. As much as I love them, I am so ready for them to go back and for us to get back into a good routine again.

We've had a good break. It started out with fabulous weather for the first weekend, then rained for 4 days straight. But once the sun came back out, we spent lots of time outside playing, working in the yard, and going for walks. But, the boys are itching to go back to school. When I told them today that they were going back tomorrow, they both started jumping up and down with excitement.

We went to church this morning, and then this afternoon we went over to The Dude's house to help him work on a car. As it turned out, it didn't need as much work as we thought, but it started running again, so all is good in that department for now. After that we came back home and just hung out and relaxed for a while. Alex finished up some homework that he had forgotten to do before the break, so his backpack is ready to go by the front door.

While we were outside for a little bit earlier, I got some more pictures of the tulips that are blooming.

I can't get over the size of this one...that's my hand holding it.

Anyway, nothing very exciting going on around here. I'm hoping to be able to walk the boys to school tomorrow - Alex's training wheels got the better of him and I ended up having to take them off of his bike because they kept bending so badly, and he just can't get the hang of riding without them, so riding to school won't be an option until I can get him to ride on 2 wheels. So we'll see how it goes if we walk tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be decent all week, so hopefully we can pull it off with minimal whining.

Oh, and since I eliminated the caffeine last week? Down 2.2 pounds. Interesting....

Time for haircuts!

We walked to the library earlier today, and every now and then the boys will actually act like they like each other....they actually held hands almost the whole way there. And I only had to carry Daniel for about the last 2 blocks on the way back.


I got tired of the boys looking scruffy, so I took matters into my own hands tonight.

Daniel went first, and for the first time ever, didn't fight it.

Then it was Alex's turn.

They definitely look less scruffy now!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A day in the dirt

After 4 days of pretty solid rain, we were ready to get outside when we saw that the sun was shining this morning. I love the rain - don't get me wrong - but having that much rain when the kids are off school for Spring Break is really kind of a downer - not to mention that getting that much at a time makes my body hurt.

Anyway, my number one priority today was to tackle the flowerbed - again. This time I actually worked on digging up the weeds instead of pulling them, because these suckers have deep roots. I still didn't do a stellar job, but I figure if I keep working on it little by little, eventually I'll get rid of the weeds.

All in all, by the end, it definitely looked better, although the pounding rain did take a toll on some of the tulip plants.

More tulips are starting to bloom, while the first batch of pale yellow ones are just about spent. The sedum is growing out quite nicely too.

While I worked, I tried to keep the boys occupied in the front yard, but they were bored. They tried riding their bikes for a while but got frustrated with that and got even more bored. Finally, I came up with the brilliant(?) idea to let them play in a big puddle in the driveway. I even moved the van back out of the way just to keep them occupied.

It worked.

After we were done outside, I stripped the boys naked on the front porch (literally) and then chased them inside and straight to the bathtub. That was easily one of the most disgusting baths that I've ever had the opportunity to give - but they eventually got clean and then ate supper, and I took a shower since they nonchalantly flung a handful of mud in my direction and got me right upside the face with it. Then we strolled down the street to the grocery store, and I caught a few shots on the way back.

Now they are playing and watching a movie, and will be heading to bed soon, and I am going to work on some sewing that I have been trying to do for weeks....we'll see how far I get on that one!