Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weight Loss Wisdom

Whenever I undertake some daunting task, such as losing a large amount of weight, studying for a final exam, raising children, training dogs... I try to come up with a mental gimmick to help myself through the hard times and to help myself remember what works.

I have lost over 27 pounds since mid-September, following the Weight Watchers plan. I eat candy bars and brownies and Olive Garden dinners and movie theater snacks. In short, I eat like a normal person. No meal replacement shakes. No bars. No pills.

I was thinking of what has been working for me, and I realized that I had a mental gimmick. Only, it's not a gimmick at all.

It's just that five things that are most important to weight loss for me all start with the letter F. So I call them the Five F's of Weight Loss.

(and, no, "eff it all" isn't one of them)

Here they are...

The Five Fs of Weight Loss

  1. Filling Breakfast. Protein and fiber in the morning keep me full until lunch and keep me from needing a snack. My favorite breakfast is a cup of Greek vanilla low fat yogurt mixed with a sliced banana and a half-cup of granola. If I eat that, I'm full until noon. And I eat breakfast at 6 a.m.
  2. Fruit. Fruit is FREE on Weight Watchers! All fresh fruits have a Points Plus value of ZERO! So, I reach for a fruit instead of a snack with a higher Points Plus value. It sounds so easy but it really makes all the difference. When I'm starving before cooking dinner, I eat some grapes -- without measuring them, just eat them until satisfied. The fruit fills me up and lets me get through cooking dinner without sampling my ingredients.
  3. Fiber. Always reach for whole grain. Also, I eat broccoli every single day. I love broccoli, so that's easy for me. Lots of veggies and whole wheat, whole oats, oh, and fruits are full of fiber, too! Fiber fills me up. I hate being very hungry, so I'm all about the fiber.
  4. Fluid. Keeping hydrated helps me feel better, look better, and lose weight. Fluid helps me flush my body. It makes my skin pretty. It helps keep me fuller. Anything works: milk, water, Crystal Light, diet really doesn't matter! Just drink to your health!
  5. Forgiveness. This is the most important one of all. I had to learn to forgive myself for slip-ups and mistakes. If I decided to go off the plan and eat too much, I had to be able to forgive myself, dust myself off, and get back on the right track. Otherwise, guilt would eat me up and I would quit. Forgive your mistakes. We all make them. Just keep trying. The only way to fail is to stop trying.
I hope my little bit of wisdom helps someone, some day. It's what's working for me. If your New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, keep these five tips in mind. And best of luck!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This Precious Girl

...started puppy training classes today.

I was so nervous.

I was afraid we'd have the bad kid in class.

You know the one.

The kid who makes too much noise.

The kid who doesn't pay attention to the teacher.

We took her to the dog park this afternoon to let off some steam.

...So she'd be good during class.

She barked.

And barked.

And barked.

And barked at another dog there.

She freaked out.

But I pushed aside my worries, because dogs can sense that, you know.

And I gathered my supplies for class:

Shot records

Treat pouch




Payment receipt

Husband (Oh, no way am I doing this alone!)

And away we went to Petsmart.

To fetch a good dog.

Off to Petsmart we went.

When we got there, Sacha started barking.


Loudly enough that the whole store turned to see what that bad dog was doing.

I thought for sure we would be evicted from the store.

But we weren't.

We met our trainer. He introduced us to a gentle leader, which went over Sacha's nose.

She resisted at first.

She hated it.

But it did help.


We got her to sort of calm down.

We got her to focus on us, rather than the other dogs and people in the room.

Most of the time.

She learned two commands:

Watch me


Calm down.

We have a long road ahead of us.

But we're going to tough it out.

Whatever it takes to make this girl a wonderful dog, we'll do.

Because I know she's got it in her.

I can see it in her eyes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas at My House

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Here are some glimpses into my life at Christmas. Unedited. Uncropped. Real. You'll note the messy hair on my children. And on me.

Army Man got a new desk & chair. Also, an electric guitar and a laptop computer. And a steering wheel for his PS3 game.

The Family got a red loveseat for our family room / eat-in kitchen combo room. It looks great in here and makes this the best room in the house to hang out.

A sneak peek of Christmas. We had just finished putting the presents under the tree. The kids were sound asleep. Thanks to modern technology, Facebook saw my children's Christmas before they did.

Our kids got less this year than in any year in our family's past. However, they were major gifts. The Wii was one such gift. Two weeks after we moved to Fort Benning, our home was burglarized and our Wii, all the games, controllers, and accessories, all our cash, our cell phones, and more were all stolen from us. Also stolen from us: the feeling of security. This Christmas, we replaced the Wii and got several cool games for it.

This was Sacha's first Christmas with us. Since she just turned a year old on December 16th, it's technically her 2nd Christmas, but her first one with presents. She caught on quick and liked opening her presents.

She gave cuddles as an expression of thanks.

An old pro at present opening!

Diego needs a little more coaxing, despite having been in the family for several years now. But he enjoys Christmas, too.

I never like pictures of me. This one is terrible. But like I said: real. Squinty eyes, messy hair, and all. For Christmas, I got this crock pot along with an ipod and ipad! Spoiled!

The girls each got a netbook computer. In purple.

Bayberry took her new bike out for a spin. Tuna was too sick to do so.


This made my whole day. It was snowing! Big, fat, sticky flakes! They did stick, too...for a few minutes.

Tuna is sick with cough and fever. That's Flat Stanley, if you didn't notice. We have a homework assignment involving him over school break.  I'll talk about him more later.

It was a great Christmas. Quiet. Unhurried. No schedules. No agendas. No worries. No commitments. Just the four of us and our two pooches, playing video games, relaxing, eating, and enjoying each other's company. I hope every Christmas can be as successful as this one was.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mothers Beware! This Could Happen to YOU!

One day, you're going about your business, wiping dirty faces, applying Band-Aids to boo-boos, scolding naughty children for tantruming in stores, and helping with spelling homework. When, seemingly out of the blue, your daughter marches down the stairs and looks like this:

You won't see it coming. But there she'll be. Hips and waist and big eyes and all.

I'm not sure when it happened, but my little Bayberry turned into a beautiful young lady. Wasn't it just last week she was tantruming at the playground?

Oh, wait -- she's a tween. Yes, yes it was just last week that she was tantruming.

I digress...

Parents, this will happen to you. You will wake up and your little one will be big. Your little bundle of joy will be texting on her phone and listening to Taylor Swift and will know more about pop culture than you.

Yes. It will happen.

It's already happening to me.

Bayberry had her winter semi-formal school dance last week. Wasn't she beautiful? She had a great time. Even got to -- gulp! -- dance with her crush, who then asked her "out" (to be his "girlfriend" I surmise).

Heaven help me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Childlike Excitement

Christmas is coming. Are you ready? I've always loved Christmas morning. I was the kid who woke up the household before the sun came up every year.

Now, I'm the Mom who wakes up the kids Christmas morning.

I love the looks on the kids' faces when they come downstairs to the living room and see what's under the tree.

It's much like this look on Tuna's face:

Pure glee.

That picture was taken at her school on Friday. I spent the day working with her class (that's her teacher...the blurry blonde behind her...wonderful sweet woman). Here's how our day went:

When I arrived at the school, I helped make hot chocolate for the students. They were watching The Polar Express. They drank their hot chocolate and began construction on some milk carton gingerbread houses. It was so much fun to sit at Tuna's desk with her and her desk mate and help them construct their houses!

Next, it was time for a special surprise! All the students in the entire school (roughly 340, I think) lined up on the sidewalk outside for a special visitor.

The excitement was contagious. Little Tuna doesn't believe in Santa Claus, never really did, because the idea upset her, so we went with the truth for her.

Anyway, even Little Tuna was giddy with excitement.

I'm so glad I was there to catch her reactions:

Looking and waiting... What's going to happen? None of the kids knew! this joyful smile and giggle

...and finally a shy Tuna accepts a candy cane from The Man in Red. That's Army Man right behind her--- he got off work in time to come play with us at school, which was lovely. She certainly loves it when we can spend school days with her, and it's encouraged at her school.

I'm so thankful, on days like these, that I get to stay home and be Mom. I appreciate every moment. I love making memories like these. No Christmas present's memory will outlast having Mom (and Dad) come to her second grade Christmas party all day long. It's stuff like that which gives me those wonderful Christmas morning butterflies in my tummy: spending time making my kids' holidays brighter.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The dishwasher is humming away. The dogs are resting at my side. My oldest daughter is resting on the couch (tonsillitis!). And what I was thinking about writing here on my blog is a list of random gripes. I do have several right now. But then I got to thinking.

Maybe I'll write a list of gripes, but for each one, I'll also write a simple pleasure, in an effort to -- I don't know...cancel out the gripes.

Then I thought some more.

(dangerous, that!)

Maybe I'll just talk about simple pleasures.

At Christmastime, do you find that people are generally more stressed out? I know that's the case everywhere *I* go! People are angry! People are pushy! And people are under tremendous stress.

Sometimes, I wonder why we do that to ourselves at a time of year (anytime, really, but a time of year that) we're supposed to be kind and gentle and loving and giving and selfless.

To stay in that happy place, I bring you my list of simple pleasures.


Sneaking up behind Tuna (my youngest daughter) in her lunchroom at school and kissing her sweet head.


Knowing that my girls are going to love their Christmas presents.


Knowing that we didn't go into debt to make Christmas special.


Going shopping in my closet -- because I lost a pants size during the holiday season!


The tiny flurries that floated through the air for about five minutes here in Georgia last night.


The woman in the pharmacy waiting room who sat beside me smelled like fireplace. (would it have been bad manners to lean in and sniff her clothes? probably)


Feeling giddy about my gift recipients opening their presents. Knowing I chose wisely.


Belting out such classics as Feliz Navidad, Christmas Wrapping, and All I Want for Christmas while driving down the road.


Family game nights with family and friends.


The way hot chocolate warms your throat and tummy instantly. Plus, it's delicious.

Christmastime can be stressful. Please stay sane. There's no need to be in a need to have the latest and greatest everything. Johnnie's every whim need not be met on this one day a year.

Be present. Be still. Be.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

1. I wish I had a robot that would pick up messes with the push of a button. I mean, I already have a Roomba and love it. I want a Scooba. I will likely buy myself one in 2011 (twenny-eleven, not two thousand eleven) The next logical step is a Pick Uppa. Then a Dusta. Then a Window Scrubba. I think I'll write to the iRobot company and make those suggestions.

2. You see how I did that? See how I took the "a" from Roomba and Scooba and used it on my new inventions. I'm so witty. I slay sleigh me. Yes, sleigh. Because it's almost Christmas. And I'm Mrs. Claus. ...that's what I'm thinking.

3. Please bring snow. I mean, if we have to endure temperatures in the teens, why not throw in a little of the pretty white stuff for me to enjoy? I miss Colorado very much this time of year. I could use a white Christmas.

4. Tuna's teacher is so amazing. She has been through a lot. She carried to term a baby with anecephely, gave birth to him, and had to say goodbye to him. The whole time, she was worried about, and thought about, her second grade class. She comes to school every morning and takes such great care of our students. She nurtures them and loves them and has a smile on her face the whole time. I know she's still hurting. I hope she knows how much she's loved and that we hurt right along with her. She's the most amazing teacher I've ever known.

5. One of my fondest hopes is that my children grow up with compassion in their hearts.

6. I just love my Weight Watchers meeting people. Both my receptionists and my leader are incredible ladies. And the people I've met there are wonderful and I just wanted to say thank you to each of them for the roles they play in my life.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to vegging out in front of the television, finishing my Christmas wreath (I'll share pictures when it's done), tomorrow my plans include my Weight Watchers meeting and cleaning house (boring, huh?) and Sunday, I want to get ready for the week ahead and finish one last homemade Christmas present!


10. YKDADAPAVCACADAB:  You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen...

11. ISMKSCUTMLN: I saw Mommy kisssing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe last night...

12. CSBSDIHS: City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style...

13. HTHASGTTNK: Hark! the herald angels sing. Glory to the newborn King!

14. GGROBAR: Grandma got run over by a reindeer...

15. OHNTSASB: Oh Holy Night, the stars are (brightly shining, isn't it? not shining brightly?)

16. AIWFCIMTFT: All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...

17. DTTSIAOHOS: Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh...

18. WTKOOA: We three kings of Orient are...

Phew! That was taxing! Can you tell I've been listening to the All Christmas Station on the radio since the day after Halloween?

Wanna play along? Go here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

Are you ready for it? I realize I'm early, but that's just me. I've always been early for things. I arrive twenty minutes early to all medical appointments. I get my children to school at least ten minutes before the bell rings. I step into the movie theater fifteen minutes before showtime. I'm the early bird. Hold the worm.

I'm going through some things right now that brought about a harsh realization.

I'm a people pleaser.

That's a nice way of saying that I have, in the past, allowed myself to be used as a doormat.

My resolution for 2011 (twenny-eleven, I call it, not two thousand eleven) is to no longer be a people pleaser.

What does that mean, exactly?

It means that I will make plans as I see fit. I will do things that I want to do. I will accommodate only what I feel inclined to accommodate. I'll cook what I want to cook, and I won't feel guilty when I order Chinese instead. I'll blog when I want to blog, and write what I want to write.

And I won't let anyone -- ANYONE-- tell me what to do, how to do it, or why I'm doing it wrong.

And if they don't like that? I'll be happy to show them the door.

What's your resolution? Are you starting early, like me?

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words...

I love the way this picture captures the love between my husband and daughter. Holding hands, him looking down at her. Her looking up to her dad, her hero. Both looking beautiful in their formal attire. They were leaving on a date. Tonight was the Father-Daughter Winter Wonderland Ball.

I took her to get her hair done today, at a lovely children's salon called Pigtails & Crew Cuts. The stylist curled her hair and pinned part of it up. She chose this dress out of many she tried on. It was fun to get her all dolled up.

The sweet child told me, as she was leaving with Daddy, that she hopes the Army hosts a Mother Daughter ball, because she would love to go dancing with Momma.

Isn't she precious? I certainly believe so.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Yesterday, I volunteered at my youngest daughter's school (elementary school). It was "preview" day for our annual Santa shop, a shopping experience where the kids get to choose and purchase gifts for their family members without their parents around. I thought I'd share with you a couple of the conversations I had with some of the students that came.

Boy #1 (Third grade)

Boy: Excuse me.

Me: What can I do for you?

Boy: Do men where rings?

Me: (tries not to laugh) Well, some men like to wear rings. Other men don't. What sort of ring did you have in mind?

Boy: Well, one like this. (points to a delicate birthstone ring with a tiny band)

Me: (tried harder not to laugh) Do you think your Dad would enjoy getting this ring for Christmas?

Boy: (deadpan) My Dad? Who says I'm talking about my Dad? I'm talking about ME.

Me: Oh. (tries really really hard not to fall out laughing at the boy who wants to buy himself a ring and refers to himself as a man in third grade). Well (best grownup voice), I think maybe you should focus on buying for your family before you buy for yourself. Don't you agree?

Boy: (nods)


Boy #2 (pre-K or Kindergarten)

Boy: Hey.

Me: How about "excuse me" instead of "hey"?

Boy: Hey, excuse me.

Me: Yes?

Boy: (deadpan) I've been married before.

Me: (giggle escapes) You have? Who is your wife?

Boy: (totally put off by this notion) Wife? I don't have no wife!

Me: Usually, when a man (hey it worked for the third grader) gets married, he has a wife.

Boy: I don't have a wife! I have a GIRLFRIEND. We got married before.

Me: Oh. Okay.


Other funnies:

Girl: My mom can't give me any money because she can't make her car payment. (Not a funny situation. Just funny because kids should not be told these things. They repeat them.)

Boy: My mother is CHEAP. She REALLY likes things that are fifty cents or a dollar.

Boy: I'll tell her I went to Jarred.

Girl: Are you _____'s mom?
Me: Yes, I am.
Girl: (whispers loudly) I TOLD you she was ___'s mom!
Other girl: Nuh uh!
Girl: Uh huh. I just did!
Other girl: Excuse me. Are you ____'s mom?
Me: (wants to say NO and really mess them up) Yes.
Other girl: (hugs me) HI ___'s Mom!

I tied four shoes.
Said "bless you" three times.
Wanted to run away screaming from the girl with messy hair who kept scratching her head. I think she might have bugs.
Held my breath a dozen times when kids coughed at me.
 Got annoyed at a teacher who kept taking things out of the packages after we told her class there was to be NO TOUCHING today (way to set an example, Teach).
Thwarted more than one theft attempt.
Figured out how to use the cash register.
And spent hours with a wonderful woman named Becky whom I wish I'd met a year ago. I think she could be a good friend.

I'm off again, to go work Santa shop. Today, the kids get to bring their money and make purchases. It promises to be an interesting day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Mommier-than-Thou

I've got some pretty awesome kids. My oldest, Bayberry, well...she's twelve years old and tells me everything. Everything. Good, bad, and ugly. I hear it all. I've met my goal of being approachable for her. She knows she can come to me with any issue at all, and I will help her sort through it. I'm her amnesty box. It's my goal to keep our lines of communication that way always.

Make no mistake: I'm not her Buddy. I'm Mom, and she knows it. I'm a pretty strict parent, as far as that goes, too. But she still opens up to me. Always. I love that, and I take credit for it, too. It's something I set out to do early in parenthood. I was always going to be the kind of mother a child felt she could talk to about stuff: school, friend trouble, boys, drugs, makeup, hair, religion, politics, you name it. Nothing's off-limits when it comes to talking to Mom.

And that's why I'm Mommier-than-thou.

Think you're Mommier-than-thou? Link up at Brae's blog and tell us all about it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Camera Critters

This is my first time participating in Camera Critters. I thought I'd start off with a picture I took this summer of my favorite animal: The Giraffe.

I took this picture at Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida.

This post is linked to Camera Critters.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

What are you doing this Black Friday? I'm vegging out at home, playing on my computer, tinkering around the house, and not going shopping.

Oh, I'm not boycotting the biggest shopping day of the season. No, I'm not celebrating Buy Nothing Day. I do need to make a quick trip to the grocery store. But I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping, so there's no point in stressing out today. I'm going to relax.

And maybe I'll put up some Christmas decorations.

For now, here's something fun to do. Friday Fill-Ins. You should play along, too. It's like Mad Libs for grown ups.

You know you want to. So go here and play along.

1. Three things I must have on my Thanksgiving table: OMG I can't think about food right now. Too much cooking yesterday. I'll go with plates, forks, and elbows. ;)

2. This morning, I woke up, stumbled downstairs, saw piles of blankets and toys scattered about the living room, and spied my daughters, a tangle of limbs and blankets, sacked out on the couch.

3. This is my last Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day in the United States for at least a few years!

4. My plan for today is to decorate the living room and front door for Christmas. I don't need to go overboard in one day, but I could see myself at least pulling out the wreath and tree today.

5. Oh, man, thankfully it's supposed to be cooling off outside soon. Enough with the hot weather in late November.

6. I think my tween is trying to perfect the art of rolling her eyes as soon as I look away.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing in front of the television, tomorrow my plans include schlepping over to my weight watchers meeting and hoping for no gain, and Sunday, I want to get totally prepared for the week ahead. Man, I'm a boring grown up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Two Pictures of my Baby Girl

These pictures didn't come out exactly as I had planned when I was peeking through the camera at my daughter, but I played with them and sort of like how they came out.

ABCs of Thanksgiving

In alphabetical order, here are a few of the things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. Also, some pictures from my home today.
a) Army

b) Bargains

c) Charles, my husband
Charles makes the gravy for our turkey dinner

d) Daughters. Also Diego, my precious doggy. Also, dishwashers. Mine is out of order today of all days!
Fancy was a big help with the apple crisp!

e) Enough to eat, for my whole family, every single day
Apples for my apple crisp

f) Family -- My entire family. My mother, my sisters, my grandparents, my husband, my daughters, and the entire Army family we've built up over the years.

g) Germany. We finally get to go!

h) Harry Potter

i) Icy Hot, for when the cook wakes up with a sore neck & shoulder Thanksgiving morning (true story!)

j) January. Generally the coldest month. Also my birth month.

k) Kisses

l) Lollipops. Low in Weight Watchers points. :)

m) Meals with my family

n) Nap time on a lazy afternoon.

o) Organic produce

p) Playing outside with my kids

q) Quiet time alone

r) Reading -- books, blogs, newspapers, and instruction manuals.

s) Sisters, who become friends when you grow up

t) Time. A precious gift.
A lovely whirl of pumpkin batter and flour flying everywhere!

u) United States. Though from you I shall soon depart, you will remain in my heart and I will always return.

v) Velour blankets on cold winter mornings

w) Writing -- on my blogs, especially

x) Who votes we eliminate this letter from the alphabet? Me!

y) Yesterday, because it prepares me for tomorrow.

z) Zippers. Five-button flies are a pain in the ass.

My little helper measures the flour.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Queen's Meme: Thanksgiving Edition

I'm having fun playing along with memes this week. Here's another Thanksgiving-themed one:

{If you knew this would be the last Thanksgiving holiday with your family, what would you do differently?}

I wouldn't cook. I would savor each moment. I'd make a point to spend time individually with each of them. I'd make a point of laughing. And I'd do something to make a memory with each member of my family.

{What is your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish?}

This corn pudding recipe. It's delicious. It's my own creation. I highly recommend you try it.

{Why did John Smith fall in love with Pocahontas? Was it her beauty or her bravery?}

Neither. It was her scantily-clad, muscular body and her exotic appearance after being stuck on a ship with very pale, very sickly, very prudish pilgrims.

{Fill in the blank: Over the river and through the woods to ________________ 's blog we go.}

Haniela's. Eye candy. Food porn. Worthy of a trip over a river and through the woods. Barefoot, even.

{What is a cornucopia?A. A foot ailment  B. Freud's hidden coping strategy  C. a Enuch with a very large vocabulary D. third cousin of Onomatopoeia}

It's what you do when you're plagued by foot problems but still want to run a 5k. You have a corn, you cope. Eee-uh.

{Find a word that rhymes with Thanksgiving}

No, thank you. I actually tried white pages to see if there was a Hank Skiving. Did you know that skiving is the process in which you split strips of leather? I learn something useless new every day!

{Do you have any holiday traditions you'd like to share with us?}

We do NOT dress in fancy clothes. We do NOT use fancy dishes. We cook only what we love. We eat. A lot. And we usually put up our tree that night. After we're good and stuffed. Our tradition is to keep Thanksgiving pleasant for everyone, including the cook. And that's me. So I like it that way.

This post is linked to The Queen's Meme.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Straight Out of the Camera

Friday was my daughter's birthday party. I made strawberry cupcakes and frosted some with chocolate frosting and others with buttercream. I love the way cupcakes photograph. Here they are, straight out of the camera:

This post is linked to SOOC Sunday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday Stealing

Cheers to all of us thieves!

I don't love long posts, but this one sounded like fun to do. If you make it to the end, you rock. =)

{What was the last thing you put in your mouth?}

Diet Coke. Icy cold Diet Coke.

{How late did you stay up last night and why?}

Way too late. I think I fell asleep around one a.m. Yesterday was my daughter's birthday party-- a slumber party. We had ten kids, ranging in age from six to fourteen, all squealing with delight for hours last night. In fact, for most of the hours last night.

 {If you could move somewhere else, would you?}

Most definitely. In a heart beat. I am so done with this duty station.

{Have you ever been kissed under fireworks?}

Is it bad that I don't remember? I mean, I think so. Probably. I'm almost sure of it, actually.

{Do you believe ex’s can be friends?}

No. I don't think it's a good idea. Too much baggage.

{When was the last time you cried really hard?}

Uh... a few months after we moved to Georgia. I had a really hard time adjusting and cried frequently.

{What items could you not go without during the day?}

My computer. My cell phone. Caffeine.

{Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?}

My grandfather, last summer.

{How do you feel about your life right now?}

Excited about the future. Sort of treading water until recently, but looking forward to moving to Germany next summer!

{If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?}

A whole bunch of messages that I just leave in there instead of deleting. Sort of like my email inbox. And my desk drawer.

{Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?}

Yes. I don't use drugs.

{Has anyone ever called you perfect before?}

<chuckle> If anyone ever has, I've forgotten. It wouldn't stick in my mind because it's not a truth.

{Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m.: who do you want it to be?}

If someone is knocking on my second-story window at 2 a.m., it damn well better be the fire department or they're gonna get knocked off their ladder.

{Do you think too much or too little?}

Far too much. I over-plan and over-think everything. Always.

{Do you believe in fairy tales?}

No. Do you normally climb long blonde braids into tall, doorless castle towers? How about kissing dead chicks to wake them up? No? How about reassembling broken eggs? Me neither.

{Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?}

Yes. Back in the day. Now, I don't use CDs.

{What’s the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?}

I was 18 and dating a 29 year old. And come to find out, I was far more mature than him.

{Have you ever been on a blind date?)


{Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 10 years or more?}

Nope. Either they get tired of me, or I get tired of them. I change too much to keep the same people around me for that long. The only exception is my dear sweet husband who can handle all of my changes.

{Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?}

Mr. St. Laurent in sixth grade. And he wasn't even cute. But there you have it.

{What song do you want played at your funeral?}

I'm Walkin' on Sunshine

{Would you tell your parents if you were gay?}

Eventually. I think I would have an inner struggle for a while. I would be afraid to disappoint my mother. But eventually, I would need to. And I would feel better afterword. So I think. I'm not in that position, so I can just speculate. I think it would be hard.

{What would your last meal be before getting executed?}

I've always wondered how people can eat at a time like that. I lose my appetite when I'm stressed out. If I was told that people were going to kill me in a little while and then told to eat something, I would be physically unable. I would rather spend my last moments with family or outdoors. Food would be the last thing on my mind. I think.

{Do you walk around the house naked?}

No. I keep my windows open, not my drawers.

{What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?}

Say hi to anyone home. Kisses. Hugs.

{Who is the person you can count on the most?}

My husband.

{What is your favorite Holiday?}

Toss up between Thanksgiving and Fourth of July.

{Would you ever get plastic surgery?}

Hell yes. Tummy tuck. Boob lift. Liposuction.

{Have you ever caught a fish?}

Yes. Poor little things. I no longer fish. I don't eat fish. I can't justify impaling them on hooks for my entertainment.

{What is the first thing you notice about people?}

Their teeth.

{What is the farthest you’ve been from home?}

Home is where my family is. So I'm never far from home.

{How did you meet your spouse or significant other (or most recent one)?}

Long story. Frat party. Drunken stairs falling. I like to say that he fell for me at first sight. :)

{Where was the last place you drove (other than home/school/work)?}

I drove my daughter to Justice to spend some of her birthday money this afternoon.

This post is linked to Sunday Stealing. Embrace your inner thief and play along.

Happy Birthday Bayberry

Dear Bayberry,

On this day, twelve years ago, you entered the world, kicking and screaming and making sure everyone knew you had arrived. You've been making grand entrances ever since.

You were almost ten pounds, and almost 22 inches of absolute confidence. You knew what you wanted from the beginning, and you've never been shy about asking.  

It's been such an honor to be your mother. It's been a crazy ride. Sometimes, it's all I can do to hold on as tight as my fingers will allow and fly along with you. Other times, we coast quietly. There's never been a dull moment, though!

I'm so proud of the lovely young woman you're becoming. You're beautiful, energetic, loving, kind, smart, funny, and full of good ideas. I'm proud of the hard work you're putting into your school work. Your goal of straight As on your report card is great! You're doing so well in band. I look forward to your concerts and seeing you progress further.

We've celebrated twelve birthdays with you. As I look ahead, I wonder what the next twelve will bring. I'm looking forward to seeing you grow into yourself -- into the life in store for you. Enjoy your year -- it's the last year before you're a real teenager!

I love you very much, Bayberry. Always remember that. And like it or not, you will always be my baby.

All my love,