Friday, December 13, 2013

Chritmas 2013

My babies are growing up!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sixteen Days, By Numbers

The next 16 days are as follows--

  • 1 play for the 8 year old
  • 1 birthday for a seriously awesome 86 year old
  • 1 trip to see the big guy for 2 little girls
  • 2 trips to Oklahoma--military family lunch and choir concert for 11 and 15
  • 135 speaking exams to grade
  • 45 essays to finish grading
  • 5 tutorial sessions with stressed out teenagers
  • 75 Christmas cards to address and mail
  • 6 semester exams to administer
  • 1 chocolate cake to deliver to Dr. Goldman for Allie's 10th birthday
  • 1 Girl Scouts meeting with our troop of 7 cool girls
  • 2 people picking up a marriage license
  • 3 family Christmas events
  • 1 wedding for 2 people madly in love and their 4 daughters
All equaling the best December ever.  Can't wait for December 27th!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Maggie's Hogwarts Experience

 
 
At the end of October, my sweet Maggie turned 8.  I had intended to blog this about a week ago but our family was struck with strep, which then turned to Scarlet Fever for Katie.  Everyone is on the mend now, but it was a long week.  So, here we go...
 
Maggie developed a love of all things Harry Potter this summer when she and I read the first two books.  We are still on book three, Prisoner of Azkaban, right now.  Taking it a bit slowly now that 2nd grade is in full swing with the homework (oh, the homework!).  So, Maggie's request was a Harry Potter birthday party.  She took to Pinterest and researched exactly what she wanted.  She planned out every detail of the party.  We turned our home into our little Hogwarts with various classes.  No Quidditch as I don't have a backyard in the townhome but a patch of dog poop grass.  Maggie really enjoying the planning aspect and would get so excited for it all.  I just carried it out for her.  My mom made tickets for the Hogwarts Express as her invitations with "All Muggles Welcome." 
 
 Here are a few snapshots of Maggie's Hogwarts world--

 
Herbology class


 
Care of Magical Creatures
 


Divination with the Magic 8 Ball
 
Not pictured--Charms class with Shrinky Dinks and Transfiguration Class with the shape changing pills you put in water (no clue what they are called).
 

 
Platform 9 3/4 entrance to our home.  Kids had to walk through the brick wall!

 
Maggie's AMAZING cake!!!  Thanks to The Cake Junkie for this incredible cake.  Check out the details!



The food table.  I borrowed the chocolate frog mold from a friend
 




Look at the happy on her face.  Worth it all. 
 

 
 




We were so tired by the end of the party!
 
Happy birthday to my beautiful, fashion loving, kind, funny, tender hearted, Hermione loving, diva, Maggie!!
 

 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mean Mama

Below is a post from my mom's Facebook account the other day.  I love her words and the wisdom she has.  Katie recently told me "You know, some people are actually nice to they kids"  (yes, she said they).  We were driving to school and running late due to some unacceptable morning behavior.  I was going to be late for work and I wasn't pleased with Maggie.  She had to pay me $2 for my tardiness.  This is not the first time and I told her she had to pay me since she was now affecting my job.  I told her that her attitude and behavior that morning were completely unacceptable when my little peanut gallery decided to interject.  A few days later, I told Katie she couldn't have "zert" if she didn't finish her chicken and vegetables from dinner.  GaGa and Mom Mom were there visiting for our Sunday four generations dinner.  Sissy then declared me a Mean Mama.  How horrible I was for expecting her to eat her healthy meal and not allowing her to just consume junk!  Didn't I know better?!?

So, here you have GaGa's wisdom--

This message is for my daughter, but I'm posting it here because many others of you may relate to this. I just have to tell you, Jen, that when your 3 year old said you were a "mean mama" the other night, it really made me smile. I smiled because I looked over at you and saw a cute little blonde haired girl who also would have said those same words (along with your brother). And, at that moment, I was so proud of you! I know that your "meanness" means that you are doing your job. Please continue to be "mean." Be mean about not letting them have dessert if they don't eat their healthy food, be mean when they don't want to hold your hand when crossing the parking lot, be mean when they don't want to clean their room, do their homework, go to church, study for a test, wear inappropriate clothing, watch an R-rated movie, stay out late, go to a party that you aren't comfortable about, and thousands of other things that are coming down the pike. Your "meanness" means that you are setting boundaries and providing them with structure that will help them mature and become productive adults. I'll thank you again when we attend their college graduations, but for now I'll just say... good job! P.S. please don't me mad at me when I offset some of that meanness, with a little grandmotherly TLC. I've earned it! 

Blog friends--what do you think?  Are you a Mean Mama like me?  I think I'll wear my badge proudly!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Two Years

This man, y'all.  He is the best gift in my life.  Friday, we celebrated our second anniversary together.  So much of what I wrote in this blog post a year ago is still true.  The car door?  Still hasn't gotten old.  :)  We have two to four kids most weekends.  That has been the biggest transition we've made over the past year--having our children come together.

Since Wednesday night is our date night each week, we designated last Wednesday as our night to celebrate and had a romantic night out.  It could not have been a better night.   Friday night, we drove to pick up 11 and 15 an hour and a half away and had dinner with them on the way home.  We exchanged gifts before we left (love my infinity necklace!) and he sent a gorgeous arrangement of flowers to my classroom during the day. 

I truly love any time I get to spend with Rob, even if it is just driving in the car.  We laugh so much together.  He is really quick witted and loves to say random stuff to catch me off guard too.  We have been having more home dates lately on Wednesday nights.  He grills and we watch movies with the dogs.  It's perfect.  I don't need big romantic date nights frequently.  I just need him and our time together just us.

Our schedules with the kids are off over the next few weekends so we don't have them together much.  My girls absolutely worship the big girls.  Sadly, I think there is only one night in all of October that all six are together.   This weekend, we had the big girls.  I was gone with some friends to Oklahoma City for a day trip on Saturday to visit a friend, but I spent the day with them today.  We took the girls to an arts festival.  My favorite moment was when 11 excitedly called me over to the jewelry she was looking at, showing me a necklace in the shape of a heart that said "I love my family of 6."  She happily said "You need this because that's our family!"  My heart could not have been happier.  Rob and I looked at each other and smiled.  We've come a long way.  Trust me on that.

Two years and so many things are better than ever.  We've been through a lot together; some tough times, hard emotions, obstacles that felt too big at times.  We've created some really terrific memories along the way.  We've loved each other more and stronger than I knew was possible, and we've supported each other through everything.  No doubt in my mind, he is my best friend. 

I'm a better person because Rob is in my life. 

Happy anniversary, honey.  I love you so much!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

All About My Mama

Mother's Day, 2013.  A little book by Maggie....

What is a mother? 
A mother is a careing, sweet, pretty, loving, snuggleing personThat's what a mother is!

My favorite time with my mother is...
Going to get our nails done.  I loved it and you must loved it too! 

[Editor's note--we did this last Wednesday after Field Day and I took the day off work.  Haven't done it for at least a year or more before that.]

My mother looks the prettiest when...
She goes to the millitery ball and when you went to heros for children meetings.  That when you look pretty. 

The funniest thing that ever happened to my mother is...
When you got stuck on top of a fence.  That was funny.

[Editor's note number 2--I was either 11 or 12 and I got scared on top of a fence that friends and I were climbing over.  All my friends scaled it with no problem.  I have a fear of falling.  Got to the top and cried immobilized with fear.  Girls love to beg "tell us a story when you were a kid."  This is a favorite, along with the Christmas tree my mother planted in our front yard when I was in the third grade.]

The most important thing in my mother's life is...
me, Allie and Katie.  Espeashily Allie.  

My favorite dish that my mother makes is choklet chip pancakes.  She makes it like this...
First, she mixes the batter up.  Then, she puts the batter on the pan.  Third, she puts cholcet chips on it.  Last she put it on our plates and we get to eat it! From:Maggie


All of the above came with a handmade card with her handprint coming out of a vase with flowers on the fingers.  It says
Love my mom because...
She always lends a helping hand.  I love her!  It is so good to be her daughter!
Love, Maggie 2013

Tell you what, it is SO GOOD to be her mom!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The way he makes me smile...

Photo by Ann Beck Photography

It's safe to say that he makes me happier than I could ever put into words.  Just look at how I light up around him.  And the way he looks at me?  A true reflection of how he loves me. 

I couldn't be happier.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Old Lady

Phew, glad I got that off my chest.  Thanks for all the great comments!  You know, I get excited when I see a particular name on my e-mail because after this long, I do feel like I know many of the people who comment.  So, thank you.  You're sweet and I appreciate your words. 

On to an important topic--my old girl, Brandy.  Nicknames include BB (most popular), B, Beebles, Branny, and most recently, Old Lady. 


This week, we celebrated Brandy's 12th birthday.  My first baby has gotten so old! She came home with us when she was only five weeks old and she's been my love ever since.  Brandy drives me crazy at times with her ridiculous habits of getting into the trash, eating paper towels and toilet paper, and stealing all socks, clean or dirty, to carry throughout the house. I wouldn't trade it for the world though.  This dog has been my constant companion and not a day goes by that I don't at least give her a little loving and attention.

I wouldn't necessarily say she adores my children, but I think she loves them.  She definitely puts up with a lot from them....

She gets benefits too.  I can't tell you how many bits of food have made it into her mouth thanks to hoarding over the little ones.

In truth, B is MY dog.  She loves the children.  She loves MM and loves when we have visitors, but that girl will step over just about anyone to get to her Mama.  She's been through it all with me--birth of all my children, Allie's death, career changes, changes in friendships, divorce.  She loves me unconditionally, as I do her.  Stinky breathe and all. 

Who she doesn't love?  This guy


This is Bandit.  He is technically Military Man's puppy, but lives at my house most of the time.  This week, MM has been gone for work and was gone last weekend for National Guard drill. You get the point. So, Bandit chills with us A LOT.  B is not a fan.  Not even a little bit.  Poor old girl is so used to being a one dog family and does not appreciate this attention loving ball of energy stealing attention and jumping on her.  She puts him in his place.  Often.  That pic is actually old.  He's bigger now, close to about 30 lbs. 

Happiest of birthdays to my favorite four legged friend.  I'm grateful for my years of companionship and friendship she has given me and hope to have more time together.  I love you, B!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This Lady Does Not

Comment from Kelly....

I used to enjoy this blog, but c'mon ladies, this isn't a blog anymore. It's a journal. It's not a bad thing, it just is. Every blogger I know responds to comments and/or questions from their readers. This lady does not. Stop commenting. Stop reading. There is nothing but one-sided convos here. What a shame, it wasn't always that way.

Kelly, you're right.  It is a journal.  It always has been.  I have been journaling here or on other locations on the internet such as my original Scotthousehold for almost ten years.  I have never considered myself a "blogger."  No, I don't often comment though sometimes I privately am in touch with commenters.  I comment or respond when I can in later posts.  I don't do this blog for the entertainment of others and I'm often baffled as to why in the world anyone still reads the ramblings in my head.  This is simply that.  My ramblings.  I'm humbled by those who have followed me through the years and the crazy journey this life has taken me on.  I'm truly inspired by those who have written to me saying that my experiences have helped them in their past.

But please, stop reading and commenting if this blog brings you such negative feelings, Kelly. 

This lady does not mind. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February

This month sure has gotten ahead of me.  There is SO much going on!  Home today with my Katiebug because poor Sis has the flu.  Thankfully, she handles sick really well.  So thankful for Boyfriend helping me Monday and Tuesday and staying home with Sissy.  I am home today and tomorrow.

Work is crazy busy these days.  We have a big fundraiser benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society going on.  As the NJHS co-sponsor, I'm in charge of it with another teacher.  We've raised over $7,000 to help blood cancer research, but it's consumed my life at work.  As always, I love my job more than I could have imagined after coming back seven years later.  It challenges me, stresses me out, and makes me work hard, but I love it all.

What's really been the best part of February?  The WEEKENDS.  Every weekend has been something terrific with my family.  Just crossing my fingers that this sickness at my house doesn't affect what we are hoping for this weekend.

First Weekend--
Boyfriend has two beautiful, smart, funny daughters who I have not known until very recently.  I met them during the Christmas break for the first time, 15 months after he and I started dating.  I can't begin to tell you how scared I was.  Of course, for their privacy, I will not use their names.  Let's call them 10 and 15 based on their ages.  They have been slowing getting more willing to know more about me and my girls and have been so sweet to Maggie and Katie.  That weekend was different A had my girls, so MM asked me to hang out with them.  It was the first time I was around 10 and 15 without the chaos of my children too.  It could not have been better!  The four of us had brunch, watched 15's favorite TV show that I have now gotten hooked on (Seriously, if you don't watch Psych, you need to!), apartment hunted for Boyfriend to move into a 2 bedroom apartment on this side of the metroplex (PLEASE!), and chilled out.  On Sunday, we went to church, lunch with our close friends and apartment hunted more.  I got a chance to really get to know the girls and them learning more about me.  We laughed and joked a lot.  15 rode with me in my car while 10 stayed with her dad in his as we drove around apartment hunting.  It gave me a really good opportunity to talk.  I'm sure it's weird and awkward for them, but I appreciate and love that they are opening up to me.  I fell in love that weekend with two more girls in my life.

Second Weekend--
Heroes for Children hosted their annual Valentine's Dinner for the cancer families in this area.  It's a date night for the parents with a fancy three course dinner and then free on-site childcare for the patients and siblings.  I love this night!  A girlfriend of mine from school volunteered with me while the girls had a sleepover at my mom's.  Since the divorce, she's had less time alone with them since my weekends with Maggie and Katie are limited.  She loves when she can have them and my girls are in absolute heaven.  That Saturday, my mom and I took them to Ft. Worth to see a play, Rapunzel.  I love that Sissy is now old enough to behave properly and enjoy shows like this.  Maggie and I love to go see a show and now we can take Sissy with us most of the time (Mary Poppins is the big one next that's just me and Maggie in March for a special date night).  Sunday, the girls and I hosted our playgroup at our house.  Our playgroup is six families.  We met at Gymboree when the girls were right at a year old.  We started with six little girls and now there are thirteen children amongst us.  Six years later, we still have playgroup once a month, moms' nights a few times a year, and we added one overnight mom's trip two years ago.  Neat women and fun kids.  By the end of the weekend, we were all happily exhausted!

Third Weekend--
A rarity happened--I had a weekend WITH Boyfriend .  The next weekend we have with no kids and no military commitments is the third weekend of AUGUST.  There is a weekend in April and one in May like the first of February where he has his girls but I don't have mine.  Hopefully, I will be able to hang with them a lot.  We've even talked about camping just the four of us (because, really, my girls camping? Doesn't sound like so much fun for me).  Besides a brunch on Saturday with some friends,  Boyfriend and I spent the weekend just the two of us.  It was so nice and felt decadent to have him alone on a Saturday night!  The girls came home Sunday night, with poor Katie coming home not feeling so hot.

Now that puts us at the Fourth Weekend coming up--
Both of us have girls.  Due to the stomach flu in our house in January TWICE and the flu for his girls, we didn't get the kids together at all.  They haven't hung out all four together since the day after Christmas.  Our plan is to hang out Saturday night and Sunday. 15 and I talked about taking her and Maggie shopping since they are the fashionistas while 10 and Sis stay here with MM and play.  Maggie is really excited about this and talks a lot about how she thinks 15 is the coolest kid and 10 is the most fun.  I REALLY hope that we are able to all be together.

February would end perfectly if my loves could all be together as a new, growing, blended family.  We have so much to get to know about each other and new memories to make.  I'm just grateful that we are finally moving in that positive direction for us. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thirty-Five

On Thursday, I officially entered my mid-thirties.  I don't know where the time has gone since I turned thirty, but I am now thirty-five.  Last year, I did a list of thirty-four things about myself.  Most of it still rings true, though my French is not as rusty, I've all but cut out the Diet Coke, and I actually read about four books last year.  I won't bore you with another list of things about myself.  Instead, I will write about a few things I am seeking this year.

Stability
After two years of major change in my life, I am above all else seeking stability this year.  I was recently offered a new job that would be another change.  It was basically a dream job teaching higher level French with someone I respect and admire.  I declined the job offer.  It was a long decision process because I really wanted it.  However, it meant a huge change again.  New coworkers, new lessons, new content level to teach, new boss.  It was a slight pay decrease as well.  As much as I would like that type of position five years from now, I can't fathom another change now.  I love my school and have finally found my niche with friends and colleagues there.  It's becoming a family. Stability with my finances, home, work, relationships.  This is what I need.  A year with no major change and no life altering situations.  After the past few years, that simply sounds divine. 


Family Time
I want to focus more and more on QUALITY family time.  First and foremost, continued time just me and my girls to focus on the family of three we have built.  I love our girl time and the way we love each other.  I want more time to craft, snuggle over a movie night, or go play at the park.  I want us to have more family time with my mom and my granmda "Mom Mom."  We try to have our Four Generations dinner of me, the girls, and the grandmas at least once or twice a month.  This is so important to all of us.  I want more time with all five of us together, as well as time with my mom.  I love her so and she is such a great influence on my life.  Finally, I want more time with Boyfriend and his two girls as we learn and navigate becoming this new family.  It wasn't until very recently that we got to be together and hang out.  It was so much fun. It's not easy to find activities that work for four girls ranging 3 to 15.  We don't get much time together since the big girls live over three hours away.  I have no expectation for them to accept me as anything but their dad's girlfriend, but I hope they will see, in time, how I care for them as well.  I hope that we are able to build a friendship together and have fun as the six of us as we go.

Focus on Me
Boyfriend recently got on my case about not taking time for me or taking care of my needs.  That I put everything in front of myself.  I have really been trying to make a conscious effort to make this a change.  First, I try to focus my one weekend a month without kids or boyfriend on doing things *I* like and seeing people I want to see.  I took an overnight trip with my playgroup moms.  I am allowing myself to be lazy at night after I put the kids to bed and I'm home alone.  Granted, it means that the dishes don't always get done and the laundry pile can get a bit higher, but my stress level is getting better.  Next up is exercise.  I am currently at the best weight/size of my life.  At 35 years old, I look better than I did at 25 and most certainly at 30.  Two and a half years after losing most of my weight, I still find myself surprised over my size.  I still reach for the large or extra large top before I gradually pick up the small.  With all that said, I am FLABBY.  As I once heard a friend describe it, I'm "skinny fat."  I'm not toned.  I had to cut the yoga studio from my budget last year.  I need to find something that works from home and make it a priority.  I haven't.  I haven't made that a necessity and I feel the difference.  I don't want to be saying the same thing in 2014 as I'm saying now.  Time to make that change for me. 

Happiness
Plain and simple--I want more smiles and less tears.

I think that completes it for this year.  There's lots going on and plenty of work to do.  I'm volunteering a lot with Heroes for Children on the Board of Directors this year.  Boyfriend is extremely busy over the next few weeks. I always miss him whenever we're away from each other for more than a night but I wholeheartedly support his work.  He's been working double time lately with his company too.  It will be SO nice when he doesn't live an hour away.  He's looking to move closer in a few months and it can't come soon enough for me!  Would be nice to actually be able to go to his place, something I very rarely do.  I haven't been there since November!

Hoping 35 is my year...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last day she's two!

The wild child turns three tomorrow and continues to bless (terrorize, exhaust, love) our world at all times.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bring it, 2013

2011 was NOT my year.  It was the year that my heart broke.  I fell to pieces.  I made some very bad decisions financially, emotionally, psychically.  I lost myself.  I changed careers.  I struggled.  Frankly, I wouldn't mind forgetting that year entirely. 

2012 was better.  It still had lots of overwhelming stress.  Selling the house made this summer one of the most exhausting and overwhelming experiences.  I'd rather not do that again for a while.  Chairing a 5K when I was in the middle of it all-not my brightest idea.  Boyfriend had some rough times that caused emotional strain on us and our relationship.  I loved and supported him as best as I could through it, and we've come through.  There was plenty of good in the year too.  I found a smoother transition as a teacher in my second year back to teaching.  Started to get my stride this year.  Our new home has given us so much and we're very happy here.  I still had my struggles emotionally from the divorce from time to time, but I found those becoming more spaced out this past year.  I learned to love and be loved deeper than I ever have before.

The year ended with one of the best two weeks I could imagined for us.  Something that was a long time in the making finally happened and Boyfriend and I couldn't have been happier for how it all went.  Our Christmas was perfect and my girls were so happy.  Moving to this new home and changing my finances meant I was able to provide them a really good Christmas on my own.  I cried when I finished wrapping the gifts and getting them all set under the tree because I knew that *I* did that for them.  New Year's was quiet and low key with another couple. So, last night as 2012 was coming to a close, I wasn't sad to see it go.  However, I think I'll look back on it and know it was a pretty good year.  All in all, I have no complaints.

And now for 2013--what I truly want this year is stability.   I'd love to have a year where no major life event occurs.  No move, heartbreak (please, no heartbreak), change in career, or loss of those I love.  I'd like that "happy hum" of life this year.  I do have a few goals, or resolutions I guess you can call them.  Nothing major or life altering.  Maybe I'll share my list in a different post. 

I've survived both 2011 and 2012 and look to 2013 with hope and optimism.  All I want for this year is love, happiness and stability in my life.  I wish that for you and your family as well.

Happy New Year.