Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bring Back the Words Week 6

Prompt 1: What’s your very earliest childhood memory?
(Courtesy of Kristina)
This one is actually easy for me.  I was two and it was during Hurricane Frederick.  Frederick was the last direct hit to Mobile and it occurred in September 1979.  It actually hit on my cousin's first birthday.  However, that isn't the memory.  I have heard lots of stories about that storm but what I remember is sitting on the couch watching my dad and my oldest brother, Vincent, walking out the back door of our house to check the damage to our house. (A tree fell on the house and did a number on the roof over my parents' room.)  I was sitting on the couch right across from the door and all I could see outside was gray.  (I'm not sure if it was early morning or why it was so gray.)  I remember thinking they weren't going to coming back because it looked like the had been swallowed up by the grayness.

Prompt 2: Do you have a habit that wouldn’t make sense to most people?
(Courtesy of Jessica)

I am sure I have several habits that most people don't get.  Like I cough when I finish brushing my teeth.  I picked this up from my mom and I do it to clear my throat.  I've had people think I am choking the first couple of times they hear me do it.  I have to follow the same order in the shower (face, body, hair) or I will forget to do something.  But the one thing I do that most people don't understand until I explain it to them is how I get on escalators.  I have to wait and watch one full stair roll by before I will step on to the escalator.  You see, escalators are a major source of anxiety for me.  When I was 6, I witness a little girl about my age fall down the escalator in our Gayfers and slice her head open.  She was crying and there was blood all over the back of her head and my mom leaned over to me and said, "See...that's what happens when you play around on escalators."  So now I am terrified of escalators which of course means there is one at our church to get to the second floor where the married adults and children's Bible Life classes are.  So escalators and heels on Sunday morning are fun for me.  I'm OK going up but going down freaks me out.  Chris knows this and just goes ahead of me until I work up the courage to step on (there is an elevator and we took it regularly when I was pregnant but the escalator is faster).   But yeah...I hate escalators.

I am participating in Ginger's Bring Back the Words Link up...check it out!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

To Jackson on Your 2nd Birthday

Dear Jackson,

Two years ago you entered this world in your own stubborn way after a couple of long, tiring days for your daddy and me.  At that moment, my life changed and it has remained that way ever since.  I never realized you were the missing piece of the puzzle I had waited 34 years to plug into my life.  Not a day goes by that I am not amazed by you.  You surprise me all the time with things you know that I didn't teach but you learned somewhere.  And I am so excited to see what is in store for you next.

I will say that not every day is a picnic.  Some days you are very much 2 years old and that is the only way to describe your behavior.  Some days you are my sweet boy who gives me kisses and wants to snuggle.  Either way you are still my baby and I wouldn't trade you for the world.  I want to cherish all these moments because I know they won't last for long.

Right now you love Cars and Memo but Elmo is still your buddy.  Puppy goes everywhere we will let you take him (and some places that we don't).  Macky (Maverick) loves you very much and you love him although you get tired of his constant licking.  You ask us almost daily to go swim even though we don't have access to a pool.  Your curiosity is always on display and frequently gets you in trouble.  You love to sing, especially at bedtime when you should be going to sleep.  You are fascinated with the fish tanks at church and run to check them out every Sunday when we get there.

Oh little boy, how I can't wait to see what the next year brings for us.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Bring Back the Words Week 5

Prompt 1: What’s something you believe/support that 20 year old you would be surprised about, and why?
20 year old me would be surprised that I am a mom and I love it.  In college, I was always the one who said I didn't want kids.  I was going to be everyone's favorite aunt.  Even through my first marriage, I had no desire to have children.  Until I turned 30 and everything changed and then I got divorced and it started to look like having a baby would never be an option.  Even more so, I loved being pregnant.  I would go through pregnancy again.  I just don't really want another child.  This is not a surprise to me. Nor was the fact that labor was miserable.  And if I go back and think about it, that was always my issue with having kids.  But now I have and it wasn't fun but I'm glad I did because then my little J wouldn't be here.
Prompt 2: Tell us the most ridiculous moment of your week.

We are traveling this week so it hasn't been a typical week for us so I thought I'd share a story from a couple of weeks ago.  I have a 35 mile commute to work every day on one of the toll roads.  It's long and boring and I want to change it but it is what it is right now.  Well, I was rolling a long one day about 2 weeks ago when I noticed this bird off to left side of my car.  The bird kind of swooped down into my line of sight and caught my attention.  Then about 5 seconds later, it flew into my windshield.  There was a thump and then the bird was gone.  All I can figure was that the bird bounced off my car and into the road.  I'm pretty sure it died but I really have no way of knowing.  But man, did it freak me out.    

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Catch Up Post: Week 2

Week 2 Prompt 1: Tell us a favorite summer memory.

My mom and I actually talked about this on the 4th of July. Growing up my extended family would get together would get together somewhere near a body of water to celebrate. As we all grew older and got busier, we stopped having these celebrations. I miss sitting on the dock of my step-grandfather's beach house, eating watermelon, and spitting the seeds into the water.  Those were the days! Spent in and out of the water and in a bathing suit all day. That was the way I wanted to live life and, if I had my way, I would live near the water now (and I don't mean a lake like we have here). There is nothing like early morning with the sun rising over the water or the calm of the waves at night. So that is summer to me. 

Week 2 Prompt 2: What is your quintessential summer supply list?

One of the things about summer growing up is that it was the start of hurricane season so summer always meant that we made sure we had all the supplies we would need if a storm started heading our way before the stores were overrun with last minutes shoppers.  That meant batteries, flashlights, candles, etc.  So I don't know if could really count that as a summer supply list but I remember many a summer tracking storms and waiting them out when all they did is rain a lot but everything was closed so there was no leaving the house.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013


So today is my birthday. Yay!  I'm at the point in life where birthdays aren't really a big deal anymore so it is nice when you end up with little surprises like this:
One of my coworkers had decorated my desk before I got to work this morning.  Plus there was also a fun card and a box of donuts waiting for me.  Then they took me out to lunch and we shared a cake at the office afterwards.  The morning had started off pretty rough with Jackson being crabby (which is why he wore his crabby but cute shirt to school) and Chris taking something I said the wrong way.  So I needed a little pick me up and I got just that when I arrive to see my coworker's handy work.  It was a nice day and the great start to a long weekend.

I really wasn't expecting much out of today and my mood the last week or so has been evident of that.  Pretty much since my mid 20s my birthdays have been a bit of a let down.  My ex was never big on birthdays and, even though I would tell him it was a big deal to me, he never tried to do much of anything for me.  I was lucky to get whatever gift he found at the store the day of that he thought was neat or cool regardless of whether I'd like it or not.  After I got divorced, I spent my next couple of birthdays alone which was no big deal really but it wasn't much fun either.  Now my birthday is kind of skipped over in favor of Jackson's which is a week from Saturday and Sean's which is 9 days after Jackson's.  (As a matter of fact, J's party is Saturday since we are traveling on his actual birthday next week.)  After all, once you reach adulthood, birthdays are just another day.  You still have to go to work (although I worked somewhere once that gave you a day off for your birthday only I didn't work there on my birthday).  You still have to pay bills and clean house and take care of all your responsibilities.  The only thing that is different is you turn another year older.  So today was a nice surprise and it makes me feel good to know that I work with people who try to make me feel special on my day even when they don't have to.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bring Back the Words: Week 4

I’m participating in Ginger‘s Bring Back the Words (BBTW) link-up!

Prompt 1: What is your best dating story?

I can't really think of a best date because I was never a fan of dating.  Not in high school, not in college, not after college, and especially not post divorce.  I know I should probably say that Chris and I had a wonderful first date and while it was nice, it was nothing special (sorry, Honey!)  It was just dinner out and time to talk and it was good for us.  I didn't need anything fancy.  But what I will say is that Chris has been trying this year to find opportunities for us to "date."  About once a month we try to get a night out without the kids when we can get the chance (and preferably free babysitting) so we can spend a little quality time together.  It has been good for us as a couple because it is easy to get stressed out by work and home responsibilities and forget why we are together in the first place.  Apparently he has a date planned for us for Friday night to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow) since we never got to go out for our anniversary (I was in DC).  I am kind of excited because he has planned all the details of this date and made the arrangements which is something I normally have to do so it is a bit of a break for me.
Prompt 2: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
So in my wild and crazy single days (ha...if you know me, you know that's a joke), I decided to get a tattoo.  I'm still not sure why I wanted to get one but I did and I have thought about getting more.  To the point of going to the tattoo parlor but leaving without one because I didn't know what I wanted.  I know in comparison that isn't as crazy what some people have done but for little ole conservative me, it was pretty out there.  Of course, I had a few crazy days in college but those might be another topic for another time.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Catch Up Posts: Week 1

Since I was late to the party for Ginger's Bring Back the Words link-ups, I decided to go back and do a catch up post for the prompts that I missed.  Here we go!

Week 1 Prompt 1: Why’d you start blogging?
I originally started blogging some time in 2005 when I moved to Texas because I thought it would be a great way to let my family and friends back home know what was going on with us.  I closed that blog and didn't save any of the posts unfortunately so I can't show what I posted back then.  This makes me sad because we did some fun stuff when we first moved and it was all documented there.  Then I started blogging on MySpace (ha!) when they added that feature.  I moved those posts over here after I setup this blog.  I decided to setup this blog because I like writing and, while I am not super consistent with it, I love having the option to get my thoughts on to paper so to speak.

Week 1 Prompt 2: What’s the best decision you ever made?
Definitely moving to Austin.  I have talked about it before but it is worth saying again.  My life wouldn't be what it is today if I hadn't made that decision.  It was scary and totally took me out of my comfort zone but it was so worth it.  I met Chris because I moved here and I have Jackson because of that.  My career also really took off as a result of moving to Austin. So as hard as it was not to move home after the divorce, I definitely think I made the right decision.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

2013 Goals Mid-Year Review

Now that we are half way through 2013, I thought it would be a good time to review the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year.  Things have changed a lot around here since I set these goal in January so a lot of them don't apply anymore.

  1. Actually attend The Blathering this year. I am sad to say that this isn't going to happen. When the attendance cap was reduced, we had just moved and we just didn't have the money for it at the time.  I am still chatting with my Blathering buddies on twitter so I am sure I will make it back one year.
  2. Take Jackson to his first football game. This has happened yet since football season hasn't started but I found out my hometown college will be playing here this fall so that might be a great game to take him to.
  3. Buy a new rug for the living room. Bought it. Loved it. It's in my garage right now because the new house has carpet and we don't need rugs like we did over the hardwood in the old house.
  4. Read The Great Gatsby before seeing the movie. I tried, I really did but I just couldn't get in to it.  I haven't seen the movie yet either so there is still time. If I can get the book from the library again, I might try again.
  5. Get another tattoo as a tribute to Jackson. Still haven't been able to come up with a design or location so this may not happen this year.
  6. Take a trip that doesn't include visiting my parents. I have come up with several ideas of places to go but moving really did a number on our funds.  I'd like to make it down to Sea World before the season ends but we will see. 
  7. Pay off another credit card. (Maybe even two!) This I did. Two cards even. Then we moved and we need stuff so the cards got used again but I am still working and making a dent in all of our cards.
  8. Go on at least 1 date a month with Chris. We were doing pretty good until May. We sort of had a date in May while Sean was at a Lock-In but we did have Jackson with us. No date in June, not even for our anniversary. Hoping to get in two this month: 1 for my birthday next week (hopefully Melting Pot to us our Groupon) and 1 while we are in Alabama.
  9. Spend more time outdoors with the boys. This is easier with the playground across the street from our house now. It is now the too hot to be outside for long time of the year but once fall hits I expect to spend more time at the park.
  10. Make more time for myself. I found an activity to be involved in that I am pretty excited about: Susan G. Komen Young Professionals for the Cure.  Great organization and it gives me something to look forward to.
  11. Replace the fence. This didn't happen before we moved since we could never find someone who would return our calls to do the work.  Now it doesn't matter.  The new owner can worry about that.
  12. Repair the driveway. Sort of the same as above except that we couldn't afford the $7k they wanted to charge us to make this happen so it didn't happen and now we don't live there anymore.
  13. Get the exterior of the house painted. We didn't even look into having this done. The main reason I wanted to do this was to cover the spot where the breaker box had been replaced. But that was in the back of the house and didn't matter when we sold the house.
  14. Increase our charitable giving. Still working on this.  We have a huge pile of stuff to donate since the move and we donated a lot before we listed the house.  That counts, right?
  15. Read 24 books. So I just checked my books to be read list and I realized I haven't read anything since November.  Can that be right? Probably.  I have started several books but haven't finished anything. Unless I kick it into gear in 2013 H2 (as we call it at work), this isn't going to happen.
  16. Blog at least once a week. Yeah, you already know I suck at this. So there's that.
  17. Spend an entire weekend kid free. Yep, this probably won't happen this year. 
  18. See Alabama play in Bryant-Denny Stadium. A girl can dream, right?
  19. Run a 5k. I am signed up for the Race for the Cure in November.  There is still time for me to get my butt in gear and prepare to run this.  It might happen.
  20. Visit Chris's Grandmother. Done!  We went to Wichita Falls last weekend and it was great.  I enjoyed meeting Chris's extended family and they all seemed to love Little Man.  We will definitely be going up there more.
  21. Visit my brother's family in Houston. Still trying to find a time to make this happen. I know we will be stopping in Houston on our way to Alabama in a couple of weeks but just to pick something up, not to visit.
  22. Setup Savings Accounts for the boys.  This I really need to get on.  We have their money in the safe right now and I will feel better once it is at the bank.
  23. Keep money in our savings account all year. So far, so good on this one.  The account got a little slim during the move but we have kept it going and it is back up to a happy level.  Plus we have a Holiday Savings this year to help with Christmas.
  24. Go to the gun range with Chris. You know, we haven't even talked about this.  Will have to try to make it happen this summer while I still have Fridays off.
  25. Clear out the excess stuff in our storage unit.  Well, we ended up adding more to storage when we staged the house. Now I am still waiting to get all of our stuff out that we want at the new house. Then we will get rid of stuff because I am not taking it with us when we move again. 
  26. Update mortgage, house, and bills to married name. Um, yeah...still need to make this happen.  I've been married 3 years now.
  27. Participate in NaBloPoMo. We will see how this goes come November.
  28. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge. So far, so good.  We are 27 weeks in now and I have managed to make the deposits every week.  This is funding our Holiday Savings and I am loving this idea so much that I think I am going to do it every year from now on.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bring Back the Words: Week 3 Prompt 2

I’m participating in Ginger‘s Bring Back the Words (BBTW) link-up!

Prompt 2: Share a small moment of happiness and/or peace from your week.
While trolling through my blogs on Wednesday night, I happened upon a post for our local 4th of July celebration.  I had forgotten that the city puts on a pretty big event for the day.  With Chris working most holidays, I normally don't really plan for us to do anything.  However, I sent a text to Chris this morning asking if he wanted to head down to the parade after he got home.  I thought the boys would enjoy it and it would be nice to get out of the house for a little while. So we loaded up, grabbed some breakfast, and headed downtown to find a spot to watch the parade.  Jackson got a bit testy waiting for the parade to start but he really seemed to enjoy sitting on his daddy's shoulders watch the parade go by.  I had so much fun watching him point and wave at the different sights he saw.  I love watching the world through that little boy's eyes seeing everything for the first time.

Bring Back the Words: Week 3 Prompt 1

I’m participating in Ginger‘s Bring Back the Words (BBTW) link-up!

I am a little late to the game on Ginger's BBTW challenge but I think it will be good for me to give me something to write about and a deadline to get the post up.

Prompt 1: What is your worst dating story?

Oh, there are many bad dating stories in my past but I think the most appropriate thing to mention here would be how my anxiety would effect my dating in high school and college.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I understood what caused all my issues.  You see when I was younger, I would get so excited about something that it would make me nervous and would cause me to get sick.  I pretty much didn't go on a date in high school or college that didn't require me to run to the bathroom or else I'd get sick in front of my date.  Somewhere around my junior year in college, I finally got over this problem but man, was it miserable while it lasted.  I remember one date my sophomore year with this really hot guy from the military school and having to beg him to pull over on our drive back from dinner so I could throw up.  How embarrassing!  Yet he asked me out again and we dated for a couple of months before he went home for Christmas and decided to get back together with his ex-girlfriend and then became best friends with my ex-boyfriend after returning to school.  I glad I grew out of the issue because I ended up dating a lot more in my adult life than I had planned or hoped to.  Divorcing at 30 will do that to you.