Monday, December 27, 2010


You would think that now that my classes have ended for a couple weeks I would have more time to blog & do all the things I couldn't get done during the semester...and, yet, I find myself just wanting to sit around & do nothing at all.  Today, I thought I'd just write a few random thoughts.  Maybe sometime before school starts back up I will get around to a put-together post...(but don't anyone hold their breath  ;) 

*I'm always glad to see Christmas come & I'm always glad to see it go. I finally got the Christmas stuff taken down today.  I say "finally" because I'm one of those people who start taking everything down Christmas Day if I can.  If not, then definitely by the 26th. I can't remember the last time my tree & decorations were up/out past the 26th...well, until today. 

*I have only been away from school for a little over a week & I'm already missing my girls.  I can't hardly wait to see them next week for a Girls' Day Out!

*I always thought I didn't do much on a daily basis when I was only a SAHM.  Now that I'm a full-time student AND a SAHM...I realize I did a lot more than I thought. This could explain why I feel like I'm cramming a week's worth of work into a few days on the weekends during the semester.  Maybe now that I see this, I can plan better & appreciate myself more =) 

*I love the look of a fresh, brand new calendar at the beginning of the year. It always makes me think of a clean slate.  A new start. Yeah, I'll probably make some New Year's Resolution that'll never make it to fruition, but I think just the process of "taking stock" is a healthy one.

*Speaking of New Year's big one this year is to once again spend at least 1 month drinking absolutely no soda.  Soda is so daggone addicting to me & once I get started it's like 1 glass is never enough to satisfy me.  So, once again I will be starting Jan. 1 with 30 days of no soda.  I will, however, include unsweetened tea this time so that I have something to change it up with once in a while.  

*Once again this year, Toby is going to take me away for a weekend for my birthday.  Suggestions, anyone?  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Livi Girl

12 years ago today, my life was changed forever.  It all started about 8 months prior to that when I heard those scary words "You're pregnant" from my doctor.  The next months would drag on & on while I anticipated what my baby would look like and how she would change our lives. 

A few months into my pregnancy, complications presented themselves & we had to face the very real possibility she might not make it. I can remember praying nonstop that God would not take her back so soon. I can't ever remember wanting anything as badly as I wanted to meet her & share my life with her. And then it was time...

I thought I loved her before she was born, but I had no idea what love really was until I held her.  At that moment, I fell head over heels for that precious little girl & time has only left me loving her more & more.  Time has a funny way of moving faster at the times we want it to slow down the most, though, and soon my little baby girl had grown in to this bouncing, curly-headed toddler...

12 years. When did that happen? From that tiny toddler into a young lady...I'm scared to death to blink for fear I will open my eyes & find a 20-something woman looking back at me...

My sweet, growing-up, preteen gal is my anchor, my focus, my strength & everything that makes me what I am and what I want to be.  What a blessing she is to us! 

Love you, Livi Girl & Happy, Happy 12th Birthday! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nearly done...

As I write this, semester 1 of nursing school is winding down.  Weather permitting, I'll take my anatomy final tomorrow & that'll be it until Jan.  It's been a tough 17 weeks.  Full of ups & downs. It's been hard & rewarding. More than anything I am amazed at the friends that I've made. 

I just want to say "Thank You" to all of my new friends for always being there when I needed a word (or words) of encouragement or just to laugh (or vent) for a little while.  My cheerleaders at home, Toby & Livi, are the best.  There is NO way I could do this without their blessing & support. But they don't sit in the lectures, endure the tests & skills check-offs, and doubt themselves daily like a nursing student does.  Having friends to go through this with has made such a difference!  You gals/guys are the greatest! 

I've wanted a college degree since I was a little girl and getting my Assoc. last year meant a lot to me. However, nothing compares to this nursing school experience. I guess I could see how people could hate nursing school, but my life is being so enriched by the people I am surrounded with that I can't be anything but grateful for the whole journey. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Time Passes By So Quickly

Last night we attended Livi's final annual music program at her elementary school.  Oh, there may be others throughout Jr. & Sr. High School, but tonight marked a milestone in Livi's life (& ours).  I love the school Christmas program anyway.  It's always the 6th & 1st grades that perform. The 1st graders are so stinkin' cute! And it's hard to not look at them & think about how it seems that only a blink of an eye ago Miss Livi was standing up there as a 1st grader instead of the 6th grader she is now.  It's a bittersweet kind of feeling for this ol' mom. 

Thought I'd share a few pics from last night....

Miss Livi performing in the dance number at the beginning of the program.
(She's the one farthest to the L in the green sequins :) 

Livi's 6th grade class
(She's in the far upper L corner of the pic - 2 in on the top row)

This ones kind of blurry but still a good pic of our princess :)

Performing with the 6th grade choir

My beautiful, growing-up-too-fast, baby girl :) 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What Happened to My Baby Girl?

Tonight I got this pic from my MIL. (Livi is staying the night with her & my FIL & they decorated Grandma's Christmas tree & made a batch of cookies.) It instantly reminded me of another picture taken just 2 years prior...

Christmas season 2008

When did my baby go from pic #2 to that beautiful young lady in pic #1 ?!?! *sniffle, sniffle*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What A Day!

My morning started around 5:00am & I finally sat down in my PJs a few minutes ago around 7:30pm.  There's dishes in BOTH sides of the sink & both hampers are overflowing, but for today: I'm done. 

Today we had IV training & TB certification classes for nursing. When that was over, I had to head straight to campus for a test in anatomy.  Thank goodness the first part of the day went well, because my anatomy test went horribly. Oh well, no sense in crying over spilled milk.  What's done is done.  Now I'll just have to pour my focus into the final & make it happen there.

As for the training, I got my first IV inserted into a real, live person after only the 2nd try.  I was plenty happy with that. Jenn did awesome with her IV attempts on me.  She got a good stick the 2nd try as well :) Both of us could have got it on the 1st try if we'd just been less concerned about hurting one another & went for the obvious, instead of the less painful, locations. Still, I think we were both just happy that we actually completed a successful stick! 

When it comes to TB testing, I'm going to be requesting Jenn every time!  We had to perform a TB test on one another (only using normal saline instead of actual tuberculin).  I HATE TB tests because for whatever reason I always find them very painful.  However, Jenn did it today like a pro & it was not bad at all.  
Jenn & Me
Many years ago & many times in the past years,  I had considered going to school to become a nurse, but I never could get past the needle sticks that I knew would be required.  Today, I did it.  I overcame a HUGE fear that I have had for years of being stuck & of sticking others with needles. As I sat there waiting for the final stick of the day, I thought, "I've came this far....nothing can stop me now!"  I know in the months to come many challenges will present themselves, but I have learned 2 HUGE lessons this semester that did not come out of my textbooks or lectures.  

1.  I can do anything I put my mind to if I want it bad enough.


2.  It is impossible to do #1 without the support of an awesome husband, incredible daughter & absolutely amazing friends. I've spent a large portion of my life feeling the need to bottle up my fears, emotions & thoughts & stand on my own - alone.  One of the biggest things I've learned from this journey so far is that life is easier, more enjoyable & much more enriched when shared with a support team.  Undoubtedly, my support system has made all the difference.

Tomorrow I have a much needed day off from classes. Just 8 class days left in this semester! EEK!!! I just wish I was as ready for Christmas as I am for my classes to be over...I've got to get busy on my Christmas shopping (& soon!)!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 30

Well, today is the final day of my Month of Thankful Thoughts.  I can't say that every day it was easy to find something to be thankful for, but it wasn't too hard either.  Hardest for me was the fact that my greatest blessings are wrapped up in things that have to do with my family & friends so I could have easily put my family & friends as my thankful thought every day! 

So my last thankful thought for the month...

Today I am thankful for my faith.  As many of you know, I don't go along with much of today's organized religions but I do believe in God & in the power of prayer. There is a kind of peace that comes with knowing I & those I love are being watched over & taken care of. For that peace & companionship, I am thankful. 

Even though my Month of Thankful Thoughts has come to an end, I urge all of you to stop daily & think of the things & the people that make your life special & complete.  I'm not a big George Strait fan (sorry, Sheena) but one of his recent songs has a line in that rings so true:

"Life's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away."

May we always be able to stop & savor those special moments and may we never forget the blessings that make our lives complete - from the big to the small! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 29

Today I am thankful for the internet.  I love that it brings information easily into my home & at my fingertips (because I'm a geek like that :). But mostly because it allows me to keep in touch with family & friends.  I love being able to see pics of my friends' kids & family that lives far away.  I know I lived many years without the internet, but I sure wouldn't want to do that now!  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 28

Today I am thankful for a warm bed to sleep in & heat in my house. I once worked with a woman who had no hot water & no heat in her house.  In the dead of winter, she still got up in this frigid house, took a cold shower & went off to work 3 jobs.  As poor as she was, she was the kind of woman who would have given you the shirt off her back without batting an eye. She always had a positive attitude & always found something to smile & laugh about each day. I'm pretty certain, under the circumstances, I wouldn't have been as jovial & giving as she was.  One Easter a couple years ago our hot water heater died & I had to take a cold shower 1 time.  That was enough for this gal.  And, every year I think we'll save on heating cost by just bundling up more, but I'm one of the first to turn up the heat when my toes start getting cold.  Having grown up always having the luxuries of heat, air conditioning, & hot water I think it's hard for me to comprehend how many people live every day without these things.  Today, I wanted to make a point of being thankful for all the "luxuries" (that I consider necessities) that I am blessed to have.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 27

Today I am thankful for safe, affordable, & reliable transportation.  It is an often overlooked & under appreciated luxury in our lives, but just having a reliable vehicle is such a blessing. We lived for many years with just one vehicle & it truly makes you appreciate that 2nd vehicle. There are so many things that I couldn't do if I didn't have my car - like go to school :) As much as I could use the exercise, I don't think walking to & from Jasper every day would be very practical - haha!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 26

Today I am thankful for the sunshine which means that we can get out our Christmas decorations!!!! I LOVE Christmas!!! I love the memories that come flooding back when I open the box of ornaments. I love the warm, fuzzy feelings that comes with Christmas. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 25

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today seems like an appropriate day to be thankful for the man who changed my life forever when we met one cold, rainy night almost 14 years ago.  

Today, I am thankful for my hubby.  Most of you know that Toby & I met on a blind date that we agreed to go on after 2+ weeks of badgering by some mutual friends.  If I remember correctly, the conversation that decided we'd go went something like this:

(via telephone)

Toby:  So, I don't think they're gonna shut up 'til we go out with them.
Me:  Yeah, I know.  I was thinking the same thing.
Toby: Well, you wanna just go out & get it over with.  Then we don't ever have to go out again & they'll shut up.
Me:  Fine by me.
Dec. 1997 (Our 1st Christmas together)
Yeah, little did I know how that one conversation would change my life forever.  I had no way of knowing that my life was about to change in a big way for the better.  Ironically, it really wasn't that great of a first date.  Due to some confusion on who was suppose to tell Toby when & where to be, he didn't show up on time.  It rained & we all looked like drowned rats by the end of the night, the movie we watched was awful (at least in my opinion) & I (unknowingly) laughed out loud at the kind of car he had before I realized he truly did drive a little, itsy, bitsy Geo Metro (Although I stand by my remark, "What do you do? Fold up like Gumby to get in it!").
(Not actually HIS Geo, but very similar :)
I remember that night telling Dad, "Well, he's probably never gonna call again."  But the next morning the phone rang & well, as they say, the rest is history....this gal - who wanted nothing more than to be left alone & left OUT of the dating pool for a while met this guy - who wanted nothing more than to be left alone & OUT of the dating pool for a while and nothing was ever the same again.

I wish I could say that it has all be fun & smiles & good times, but we all know real life doesn't go that way.  We've been through some incredibly wonderful times (the birth of Miss Livi always pops into my mind 1st) and we've weathered some terribly stormy times.  We've celebrated one another in health & we've held hands & cried together in sickness.  Through it all, we've grown.  

Toby took a broken, overly critical, cynical gal & he gave me hope & made me believe in myself.  He told me, "You CAN." when the rest of the world (& me) thought I couldn't. To this day, he is my #1 cheerleader, my confidante, my best friend; the one who knows me completely & understands me.  He listened to me dream & said, "Then make it your reality" and then he helped me do that by sacrificing of himself & putting his own ambitions on hold so I could pursue mine. He's given his all so I could be at home with Livi & go to school. It never fails when I say, "I can't do this." He's always standing there saying, "I believe in you & I know you can."

To say I am thankful for this man is such an understatement. I can think of nothing else in life that I am more thankful for, save my precious Livi, which he gave me as well.  The two of them saved me from myself, which was no small task, and have made me into someone I can stand to see reflecting back from the mirror. 

I can think of no one that I'd rather spend my years growing old with than this man who reminds me daily that coming home to me is the best part of his day. I may not live Cinderella's fairy tale life, but I live a life that is real with a man who treasures me, loves me completely, & supports me fully.  Really, what more could a girl ask for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 24

Today I am thankful for food.  
I'm thankful that I live in country where it's plentiful. 
I'm thankful that I can afford to purchase it for my family. 
I'm thankful that I was raised by lots of women who know how to cook it well:) 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 23

Today I am thankful for memories.  It may sound like a silly thing to be thankful for but many people have either already lost theirs or they are suffering from the processes that take our memories. 

We fill our homes & lives with material things, but in the end it's always the memories that truly fill our lives & make our home a home & our lives complete.  Think about it, given the next 2 minutes, how many items that you were given for Christmas last year can you name?  Now, how long does it take you to remember who you were with & what you did together?  For most of us, we struggle to remember a gift, but we remember who hugged us, who laughed with us, & who we watched smile.  It's easy to get caught up in the hustle & bustle of the season & lose sight of the importance of making memories. 

I couldn't tell you even a handful of the gifts I received for Christmas when I was a kid, but I can tell you what my house smelled like, what my dad & mom's hugs felt like, what my brother's eyes looked like & how their laughter sounded.  As an adult, I can't remember what we've bought Livi over the years, but I can clearly recall the bright sparkle in her eyes, her bouncing curls & toothy smile.  I've long since forgot many of the gifts that Toby & I have exchanged over the years, but I can easily recall the shared Christmas secrets, how it feels to cuddle up next to him & watch Livi open her gifts, & the sound of laughter in our home. 

Whether the memories are happy & joyous, a learning experience, wise words from a loved one who's passed on or sad & painful, memories are an important part of who we are.  They help us remember to hold close those we love & to never take 1 single day for granted & they remind us of why we love those we love even when times are trying. Memories give us a reason to hold on & a reason to move forward; and for that I am very thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 22

Today I am thankful for Puffs
A nose in need, needs Puffs indeed...enough said.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 21

Today I am thankful for the ability to take hot showers. I love taking a hot shower. Many people in the world don't have access to clean, hot water.  I'm grateful that this is a luxury that I do have.   

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Random Things

Those of you who read on here regularly will know that randomness is really nothing new for me, but for the sake of playing a long with all the FB notes I've been tagged in, I thought I'd follow Cris's lead & post my 30 Random Things on here :) 

1.  I simply loathe being sick. I know most people don't enjoy it, but it down right makes me mad to be sick.  I especially hate it when my mind is all "Let's do this & this & this" and my body is saying "Don't even think about it!".  Internal conflict is not fun and, as my daughter so kindly pointed out tonight, it makes me act like a "big baby & the only person in the world who's ever been sick."  I'd be mad at that statement except she's right...

2. I just realized the other day that I am 11 or 12 school days from being 1/4 of the way to my RN license.  WAHOO!!!  I can't believe how fast the time is going or the great friends I've made. 

3.  The more I go to nursing classes the more I realize that there are about a billion nursing careers out there & at least 1 million of those truly interest me.  I hope I can get that narrowed down in the next few years :) 

4. Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year.  I've always loved Christmas but that fact that Livi's birthday is right around that time too just makes it the ultimate best part of the year. I'm anxious to get my Christmas decorations out & put up. I am not anxious to have to find them among the tons of boxes we shoved in the shed when we moved...

5. On the Christmas note, I use to be the kind of person who had everything planned, picked out & bought by Dec. 1.  Now I'm the kind of person who starts & finishes in Dec. I usually end up spending less $$$ & it all ends up coming together in the end anyway so why stress over it?

6. When I complete my ASN, I will have driven at least 21,000 miles back & forth to school!

7.  I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year & really looking forward to it. I love to cook & I love to cook for other people. Since there's only 3 of us, it's rare that I get to go all out.

8.  I love good thought provoking quotes.  When I was a teenager I use to cut out quotes & keep them. As a young adult, I tossed my binder of all my original writings & quotes I'd kept.  I regret that now, but there's no going backwards.

9.  I've always wanted to write a book & I envy those who can.  I've never been good at descriptive writing.  As much as I LOVE to read, I doubt I'll ever get a real book written.

10.  I am not the same kind of person I was years ago & I think many people find that hard to come to terms with. The biggest change:  It's very unlikely that I won't tell you what I think if you ask and it's even more unlikely that I will tell you "yes" when I really mean "no" or "not really".  The 2 greatest things I've gained from this change:  less stress because I'm only me & not anyone else AND some great friends who are happy to accept me for me. 

11. Earlier this year I discovered I am an INTJ personality which is apparently a fairly rare personality type and even rarer for a female to be.  Realizing this helped me to understand why I've always felt different from others around me. Now I get it...and the best part is that I'm OK with it. 

12.  Even after nearly 14 yrs together & 13 yrs of marriage, I am still madly & deeply in love with my husband.  Our life is not always a fairy tale, but it's always real & honest & I love that.  I love that I'm married to my best friend and I love that he makes me a better person & that he truly knows & understands the real me...and still loves me! 

13.  When someone laughs, it's nearly impossible for me not to laugh. Which is fine, because laughing always makes me feel great. 

14. One of the most exciting things for me about becoming a nurse is that the possibility of living some where else in the U.S. is actually a real possibility. I've always wanted to travel & try out other states. 

15. I realized today that I will be getting my Masters just a year or two before Livi graduates high school.  This causes me many mixed feelings. 

16. I am not a crier, but it's hard for me not to cry when someone else cries...especially if it's Miss Livi.  

17. I always cry when I watch soldiers leave or come home on TV.  And I always cry when taps are played. 

18. I love Stephanie's "eyebrow" & can think of millions of times when I wish I could make mine do that :) 

19. For the rest of my life, I will never hear the word "herbs" & not think of Stephanie's stories of her Uncle Herb ;) (Girl, I can't even type that without laughing out loud!)

20. I recently realized how great a simple compliment can make a person feel & so I am trying to remember that when I think something nice about someone I should tell them rather than just think it. 

21. I wonder daily if I'm doing OK at being a mom.  I constantly second-guess myself because I feel such pressure to not make any really big screw-ups.  I fail many days, but I hope someday Livi looks back & knows I never gave less than a 110% for her. 

22. I think of my family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) daily even though it may be months between the times I talk to them or see them.

23. I would love to win the lottery, but even if I did I would live as simply as I do now.  I want to win so I could help unsuspecting strangers, make the lives of those I love easier & spend time with Toby & Livi without ever worrying about when we had to go to work. (I hope no one is counting on me though because I NEVER play).

24.  I want to host a foreign exchange student when Livi gets in high school.  

25.  Livi wants to BE a foreign exchange student which scares me to death. 

26. The French/Advanced teacher at school has promised to take Livi to France if she takes French in high school.  I am wondering how much medication they will have to give me in order for me to put her on that plane.

27. I wish I was a runner. I wish that I had stuck with running years ago when Dad had me running with him.  Runners always talk about "craving" running...I wish I "craved" any form of exercise as much as I crave McDonalds' Coca-Cola...just sayin'

28. I use to love ice cream than any other food.  I seldom eat or want ice cream now...I'm not sure why.

29.  I had my 1st pedicure just a month or two I want to go all the time!

30.  I HATE to shop in person, but I love to shop online. 

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 20

Today I am thankful for the special mom/daughter times that I get to share with Livi Girl.  I've been so blessed to have been able to stay at home with her for so many years & to be able to schedule my days so that I can be there for her & do things with her.  These times with her are some of my most precious memories.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 19

Today I am thankful for my mother & father-in-law.  It seems an appropriate day to mention them because today is my FIL's final treatment in this round of his cancer treatments. It's been a VERY long 6 weeks for him & my MIL, but it's completed. 

It's been nearly 14 years since Toby brought me home to "meet the parents".  Those years haven't been without ups & downs, good times & the not-so-good times, but through it all, we've become closer & we've become more than just "in-laws"...we're family. I married & got a husband, but I also gained another set of parents & for that I am thankful. 

Countless times, I've had to call them in the middle of the night or at really inconvenient times because I needed advice or help with something.  They've never lead me down a wrong path & they've never backed away from helping me.  I've lost count at the times that I was down & out & my goofy, joking FIL would crack a joke & make me smile or share some wise little saying that still carries me through tough times years later. 

The 2 loves of my life are Toby & my Livi Girl & it is a blessing to know that these two people love them deeply too & that I'm never alone when it comes to taking care of whatever they need. 

Many people complain about their MIL &/or FIL but I am very thankful for the set I have.  I'm grateful for all the positive ways they influence my life & support me.  I'm a fortunate gal! :) 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 18

Today I am thankful for understanding professors who make it possible for me to fulfill my educational dreams & goals and yet still be a mom to Miss Livi.  Being a mom is my #1 priority, so without the cooperation of these instructors, my career goals would be on the back burner indefinitely. Today, I'm thankful that my life has crossed paths with theirs. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 17

Today I'm thankful for the ability to hear.  I know it sounds crazy, but as I listened to Livi laugh & chatter last night & today, it hit me how horrible it would be if I couldn't hear her laughter & her voice. I think we take it for granted that we can hear the voices of those we love, listen to the music that touches us, and enjoy the laughter of the ones who make us smile.  Makes me really grateful for my sense of hearing...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 16

Today I am thankful for the rain which, 
although it makes it really cold & dreary out, 
we badly needed. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 15

Today I am thankful that I grew up in the country.  Oh, sure, as a kid I HATED it.  I felt like I lived 2000 miles from everything.  But, as I have gotten older, I find that I miss the sounds of the country; the crickets, bull frogs, whippoorwills & the sounds of quiet & peace that can only be heard in the country. Looking up at night & seeing the stars - not the lights of town (that's the 1st thing I noticed when we moved to where we are now...I can see stars again:)  Livi thinks I'm crazy, but there's a smell that goes with the country that I miss too.  Yeah, granted at certain times of the year it's not a pleasant smell, but it's still "country" and then there's the smell of fresh rain on a field & the fresh cut lawn...yep, today I'm thankful that I spent my childhood with my senses being filled with "country".

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 14

Today I am thankful for family.  I'm thankful that I grew up in a large extended family with lots of aunts, uncles & cousins.  I'm also thankful that I got to grow up having both a mom & a dad.  I'm thankful that I have great memories with my great-aunts & uncles, aunts & uncles, grandparents & cousins. I'm thankful that I married into an awesome & large family too.  I didn't gain just a husband, but a whole other slew of aunts & uncles - of whom I all love dearly. 

Life would be so lonely without family & I feel so blessed to have not only my own great family, but Toby's as well.  

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."  ~Joyce Brothers

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 13

Miss Bailey snuggling in my lap while I study :) 
Today I am thankful for my sweet doggie, Bailey.  She always seems to know just when I need her & I love that she keeps me company. She's the best little dog I've ever had.  The world might be a better place if we were as good to each other as our dogs are to us. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 12

Today I am thankful for my family's health. When we're healthy it's easy to take it for granted. So many people are suffering from diseases or watching those they love suffer with some illness.  I don't know of a single person who can say they don't know any one who has been diagnosed with cancer. That, too me, is so sad. 

Every day that I wake up & my Livi Girl is healthy & Toby & I are healthy, is a successful day in my book.  May we never take that blessing for granted.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 11

Happy Veterans' Day!  Today I am thankful for each & every veteran & their families that make (& have made) the sacrifices that keep me & my family free. What a wonderful & great country we live in & what incredible men & women we have to thank for our freedoms! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 10

Today I am thankful for being able to witness the beautiful sunrise over the lake on my drive to school each morning. It's such a peaceful sight & so beautiful.  It's a great start to my days!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 9

Today I am thankful for my grandparents.  I was blessed to grow up with great-grandparents & grandparents in my life.  I am thankful for all the times they have been there (& continue to be there) when I needed them & for all the great stories & wisdom they are able to pass along to me & Miss Livi Girl. I have fond memories of all of them & those are some of my most treasured memories.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 8

Today I'm thankful for the mechanism in my brain that tells me to keep my mouth shut.  Granted, sometimes it acts like it's broke, but most of the time it stops me from letting all my opinions & thoughts flow freely out my mouth...and for that, I am VERY appreciative :) 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 7

Today I am thankful for the roof over my head. I'm grateful we live in a safe neighborhood with great neighbors & that I am warm in the winter & cool in the summer. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 6

Today I am thankful for Toby's job. Sometimes we complain about it, but it has always taken good care of us. It has provided a way to pay our bills, let me stay home with Livi, & allowed me to go to college. His health insurance has enabled us to get the health care we need, when we need it & from whichever doc we choose.

All in all, he could do a lot worse & so I'm grateful that he's had the job he's had for nearly 10 1/2 yrs. now.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Month of Thankful Thoughts....Nov. 5

Today marks my Dad's 56th birthday. So, today, my thankful thought is of my Dad.

I'm amazed at how many times during the average week I hear Dad's voice in my head. I remember so many conversations we had while I was growing up.

Especially the conversations where he tried to make me understand he was only doing what he felt was best for me. I can remember clearly him getting exasperated with me & saying, "One of these days you'll have a child & you'll understand. There's just no words for me to explain how it feels to be a parent." And oh how true that has proven to be. Some nights when I go to bed with a heavy heart from a day of rough parenting challenges, I think of how many nights he must have done the same thing & I understand even more what he was trying to tell me back then.

From working on the Willy's to sitting at his feet while he played guitar to all the silly jingles he would make up on the fly to a CareBear birthday party with several giggly girls at a local restaurant where he was a good sport when everyone wanted him to wear the CareBear hat :), I'm thankful for the childhood memories I have of Dad. Today a single strum of the strings on that ol' guitar or a few notes of "Amarillo By Morning" and I am instantly taken back 25+ years.  Livi giggles at MY silly jingles now & I smile when she says, "Mom, you can make a song up about anything!"  I know a little girl who said that several years ago too :) 

I remember him working 2 jobs & trying to attend "correspondence" classes (what we'd call distance learning today - but long before high speed internet & 2-way video classes). I remember getting these big packets in the mail of his homework & being so proud of him when he opened it & I could see the A's on the papers. 

Over the past few years, when I thought I just didn't have it in me to continue my education, when I thought I'd let my chances past me by & I was too old to make it happen, I often thought of him & recalled how proud I was when he finally got his Surveyor's License after years of working toward it.  At those times, I reminded myself that if a man, working 2 jobs, supporting a family & going to school through the snail mail, could make his dream a reality then surely this SAHM with all this new technology available to her, could do the same thing. 

He probably has no idea how many times I've been uplifted & pushed forward just knowing that I share his blood & therefore must carry some of his courage & determination if only can tap into it. 
And, one of the most wonderful things in my adult life has been being able to witness his love for his grandchildren. I love watching the kids with him & I love watching him with them. 

Here's hoping this remarkable man has a remarkable birthday! Happy Birthday, Dad! Love You!