Thursday, February 7, 2013

random life

 This is my baby girl today. You would not know that she had been sick the past several days. Our house has had two rounds of the flu over the past couple of weeks. First the boys, then Megan. - and hopefully NOT me. Especially because tomorrow is airport day! Somebody is over the ocean right now, working their way home!

 above: Trevor one morning. I found him already showerd and ready for school...except that it was before 7:00, which is the time he usually wakes up. I'm guessing he fell asleep after getting up early to get ready for school. Sometimes he does like to get up early and play on his computer in the morning.

above: Matthew and one of his newer Lego creations. He is working on making a huge military scene. It goes between a WWII scene and zombies...I think he doesn't know what direction he is going with it quite yet. You can't see, but the helicopter is on two stacks of clear blocks to make it look like it is hovering. His cave is pretty cool too! (Mom, that is your cardboard piece that was meant for puzzles, but he has claimed it for his base.)
 There were a few days where the weather was too chilly for the turtles to be outside. I put their heat lamp inside and let them crawl around downstairs. They look cozy!
Piper enjoying the open windows and watching all of the activity outside. She still likes to sit and wait for the boys' bus. She used to do this in Kentucky too. She'll run downstairs when she hears it drive by before the boys come home. I indulged on her spoiling by getting the blinds out of the way!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beautiful day today

 Oh my gosh. Today was the definition of perfect weather, and a good day. I was trying out a new crock pot recipe (which actually turned out pretty good!) but I needed a couple of things from the store to go with dinner. Megan needed some green tea bags. We decided to ride down to Fresh & Easy (original plan was Target...I love having the options, how nice to have so many places withing biking distance. Thank you Gilbert.)

There is a local restaurant that Mike and I stopped in one time to look at, but we had already eaten and figured we'd go back some time. We hadn't made it back yet, but today as my stomach was growling on the bike ride, I thought it would be good to stop in. Especially since Megan is my splitter. She always splits things with me, which makes going out fun. (BTW, the boys didn't want to go, they were not left out!) We had a flatbread pizza with this amazing glaze on the top. It was huge too, so we still have plenty left. The portions there are crazy huge.

Then we split the BEST cheesecake I have ever had. It was a salted caramel...little piece of awesomeness.

 One thing I did miss like crazy while we were gone was Fresh & Easy. I always have good luck there. I go in not knowing what to make for dinner, and I always find something. They have amazing fresh bread for .98 pretty often I will get a loaf to have with a meal.

My mom and dad bought me the coolest basket for my bike for Christmas. It comes off easily and turns into a shopping basket. I felt so cool and European riding my bike home with  a long loaf of bread peeking out of the top of the basket, and the basil plant smelled so good all of the way home.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

 UGH. Still not doing too well on my hopes of being better about blogging! Really, how is it already the 18th of January? The good thing is, when time goes by this fast, it means that Mike will be home sooner. If I could find a way to slow it down once he gets home though, I will have found the perfect combination.

Just a fast recap of the first couple weeks of 2013. It seems like I am busy, but if you ask me with what I can't even remember. I guess just life stuff in general.

It has been a good start to the year.

Earlier this week Megan had an appointment to get her hair cut. The place where I go is over near the high school that I went to. Megan had been asking me to see it (before moving back here) so since we were a mile away I took her over to see it. I showed her the two exact spaces where I met Mike. I always parked in the same spot (I have always been a habitual park-er, and I am still like this. I had a 'spot' at Kohl's - sunshine or snow.) It was WEIRD and surreal to stand here looking at the exact spots, and see our daughter sitting on the curb between the two. It's one of those moments where you wish you could go back in time just so you could look forward and imagine. How do you even put into words...a product of a chance meeting, sitting in a spot where our history began, more years ago than I would like to admit.

This week Megan also was invited to an assembly at her school that she was officially an honors student! Of course we are so proud of her. I think her transition here after the move has been great. (Knock on wood...) She seems to really have adapted well to a new school and has immersed herself into high school life. She is excited about looking into tennis this coming week, and talks about clubs that she would like to join.

 Celebratory frozen yogurt after the assembly. - On a beautiful day where we were able to finally sit outside on a patio and enjoy the feeling of the sun on our backs. I felt like a basking turtle.

 We have really enjoyed Netflix. One series that we have been watching together is the Walking Dead. The boys love zombies. I was actually surprised at how much Megan has been into this show. After coming to the end of season 2, and the end of what is currently on Netflix...we both agreed that we feel like a part of us is missing. Desperately trying to look for a way to start watching season 3. Until then...Matthew felt inspired to build a Lego version.

(click photo to enlarge)

on top of motorhome Dale and T Dog. Always keeping watch. Bottom left to right: Shane (before going crazy and shaving his head.) Rick, Carl (CARL stay in the house!!) Lori, Andrea (finally given her gun back in this photo, and by the looks of her Lego body, apparently she is a flight attendant. lol.) Glenn, and then the most awesome Daryl...with his crossbow, and you can't see that he is wearing a backpack with more guns sticking out of the top) and his motorcycle. Coolest Lego set ever, don't you think?

More tomorrow. :) Promise. Going to bed now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy new year.

I probably say it every year, but this year it especially has new meaning for me...if you would have told me this time last year, where I would be starting 2013 at, I never would have believed it. It was nice wrapping up 2012. I'm excited about this new year.

I have been so bad about blogging in the past few months. Moving sucked a lot of energy out of me, and we are finally feeling much more settled. It also helps that the focus and chaos of Christmas is over. Mike left for Africa today, and even though it always takes a big adjustment when he's gone, I know more about where he is at and his day to day there while he is at work. The last time he left overseas, it was a new destination. It takes awhile to settle, and the past few years of contract work have made that difficult. Even though this is's a totally different direction. It all seems positive, and we feel like we can start breathing again. Whew.

His rotation home this past time was perfect. He was home in time for Christmas and was here through the holiday season. Everything worked out so well and the usual stress of past years was not an issue this year. I can say that this was the best Christmas that I can remember in a very long time. It felt like home again.

The kids are still home on winter break for the next few days. They have had two weeks off, which already is a bonus compared to winter break in Kentucky where it was only one week, but also snow days were figured into that. We definitely won't be anticipating those this year. I'm glad to have the two weeks off in one chunk instead of hoping for two weeks all together between break and snow days. Which...I am sure tomorrow will be one at our old house since it looks like they were getting snow today. It doesn't take much to call a snow day with the rural roads. I do kind of miss watching the news and hoping to see our school listed on the bottom...and the kids with their weird snow day rituals of sleeping with a spoon under a pillow and wearing jammies inside out. Those were fun nights, and even more fun when the kids would wake up late the next day and wonder why I hadn't gotten them up for school. As one of my friends posted on facebook, "The crisp silence of winter that comes with a good snow is beautiful." Yes, it is.

But hey, I was able to take the kids out for a bike ride today...which could not be done this time of year back east. I did get to wear a winter coat, scarf and boots to take the dog for a walk this evening though! Yay for coats!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

First day of school....round two.

I am so amazingly behind in blogging. It has been crazy. This time one month ago I had no idea how upside down everything would turn. Not upside down in a bad way, but I do admit, I am TIRED. lol. Really, a lot has been accomplished in that time.

I will have to go backwards in posting photos.

Today though, was the first day of school...again.  Photos above.

Going to bed. I am having a hard time adjusting to the time difference. I am tired early. One good thing is that getting up early is easy! I haven't seen 6:00 am with so much energy in a long time! (Sleeping in until 9 from what I am used to!)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Aaaaa! Anxiety!

I feel like I'm going to explode today. So, I posted this picture that I have seen on the internet that always makes me laugh. Poor Bono. Have to love some U2 humor. I'm listening to them right now too.....Achtung Baby. Always a great album.

Took boys to school. Today is their last day in Walton. They seemed very excited and not like it they had an emotion at all about it. Which is good. All week Trevor has been telling me little things like, "Today was my last day with Mr. Miller...etc." It has all been enthusiastic. I know he'll miss his friends, but he is very excited about moving. Matthew has been joking with me that he has been demoted to elementary school again. I was only kidding in the beginning of this year when I was torn about my baby starting middle school, about moving back to Phoenix so he'd still be in elementary school. In our district here, 5th grade is the first year of middle school. In Phoenix, 6th grade is the last year of elementary. He has been good about it and has even said that next year when all of the kids are nervous about middle school, switching classes and lockers, he'll be all, "Yeah. It's not a big deal. Lockers are easy." That's a pretty good attitude.

Honesly, I am glad he will be back in elementary school. I think 5th grade is so young. Heck, Matthew isn't even 10 years old yet, he still should be a kid, complete with recess time and a playground at school. Not outdoor time in a parking lot. It may feel strange to him at first, but I think he will actually enjoy being back in elementary school. He's had a glimpse of middle school, and even high school since they were attached buildings here.

Megan and I went for 'latte Friday' at Starbucks this morning. On Fridays the high school kids start later, so we started going out on Friday mornings before school to Starbucks. I even kept her a little longer this morning since yesterday she came home from school a little early because of a toe issue. A girl had accidentally slammed a heavy metal door open, not knowing Megan was on the other side. It hit Megan's foot and tore her big toe nail. She bled through her sock and boot and was limping all day. She has a Nazi P.E. coach (that I haven't been a fan of since the beginning) so since PE was her first class and it was shortened today anyway, I decided to keep her out of that class and take her when it was over. It's her last day anyway.

I took her in the office and said goodbye to my friend Betty who works in the office. I met her at Kohl's. I could feel the lump in my throat starting up again when the principal came out and told me how much he loves Megan and is going to miss her. Megan's friend Sommer walked by in the hallway and spotted Megan. She burst into the office and gave Megan a hug. I'm going to miss Megan's friends. I can't say it enough, they have been a great group and close for the past two years. They are amaazing girls that I thoroughly enjoyed watching grow for the past couple of years. I want to pack them in a box and take them with us. I will miss those girls.

Megan took her smash book to school with her today and is having people sign it. She has been busy taking pictures for the last week. That has to be one of the best purchases I have ever made. I think she has had fun with it.

Mike is also on his way home today! He is on a flight from Paris right now. I'm tracking his flight....and he will be getting in the same time that I am at the school picking up the kids. I will be able to see the plane in the parking lot, as I have done many times because the Paris flight is hard to miss here. Even when Mike isn't on it, I would sit there and watch it come in and wish that he was on it. So today will be perfect. Tonight everybody will be under one roof. That is always the best feeling in the world. (Including that I have a new Survivor to watch tonight with everybody too!)

My anxiety is through the roof today. I should go for a run or something to help with it, but I have a feeling I would end up flailing my arms and screaming down Main street like a crazy person. I'm ready to get going on this move. (I have a window up on my computer with pictures of my new house too, so I am already mentally placing things in it.) I'm still sad, and have been doing my own, "This is the last time I will ________" But once the ball gets rolling I just want to get started. I feel like a racehorse in the gate.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Not sure where the time has gone again...

I figured I better make a post so I don't forget everything going on in life. I hope to go back into detail in my album for the year.

Lots of things since my last post. Trip to Chicago with Mike for our anniversary, lots of busy life in between, seasons changing, trip to Lebanon KY to see TURTLE MAN, and preparing for a move across the country back to Phoenix.

I have been going between very excited about moving and getting on with things, and trying to take in as many things as I can that I know I am going to miss about Kentucky and my life here for the past several years. It was very difficult putting in my notice at work. I am really going to miss the people that I met and worked with there. Many friendships will continue, but it's not like being in the trenches together (especially as the Christmas season is approaching, and trees and other Christmas decorations are already up at the store!) So many of the people have become family and made my transition here amazing.

I am also excited about going back to Phoenix. To family, to friends I have missed there. Mexican food. Multiple Target locations, Fresh & Easy....each day I think of random things that I can't wait to be near again. (- and EAT.) Plus a new beautiful house (that Mike found and I can't wait to see in person.) that I think will be perfect.

So I have been trying to take in as much as I can here. The people, the scenery, the things unique to here. Today is my birthday, and as much as I wanted to come up with excuses not to go out and exercise I made an abrupt left turn into a church parking lot on Main street and decided to park my car. I was on my way home from taking the kids to school. I figured I better talk myself into it quickly, or I would have easily driven back home.

I'm so glad I got out of that car.

I ended up walking and running four miles today. Down Main, up Main, near the RR tracks, and through the old cemetary. The air was crisp which led to making me want to run to stay warm. I took in the sounds of crunching leaves, trains, traffic down Main street.(In between the sounds of my clunky stride and heavy breathing! I'm not a pretty runner.) I realized how pretty it is, and watching people leaving for work, dropping kids off at daycare, running by the silly "Walton...The Place To Be" water tower that I always think in my mind, "Yeah, if you've never been anywhere else!" - and the smell of Brook's Family Restaurant in the morning, that smells like bacon and pancakes for a mile radius.

A teacher that Matthew had in fourth grade, who lives in a historic house was out sweeping leaves off of her sidewalk. I'm not sure she remembers who I am, but she said "Good Morning!" as I ran by. Several people did. People are friendly. It is almost Mayberry like. The cute old lady inside the big Baptist church where I have volunteered with Kohl's over the past few years...I have wrapped presents, painted rooms and hallways, and stuffed backpacks for hundreds of kids for area school donations in there. Even though I don't go there, I have a friend who organizes a lot of charity events through work there. The mailman who has to get out of his truck, old school, and deliver letters up to front door mailboxes, the guys that water the flowers hanging in baskets on light poles down Main. It was cool. And what it is typically like here. I'm happy for the experience here.

The sky was blue with a pretty sunrise still in the east. Big puffy clouds. The old houses all have piles of pumpkins and potted mums on the front porches and steps.

I had one last stretch of road before I was going to head back to my car, and I turned Beautiful Day from U2 on my phone. It was a perfect moment. I'm sure I will remember this day.

Mike will be getting home in a couple of days from a trip to Africa, and then we'll start getting ready to head on out. For now I am going to drink my McDonald's unsweet tea, shower, wait for something that Mike told me not to go far from the house today, clean and whatever. (Do you have to specifically order UNsweet tea in Phoenix anymore??? I'm so used to "sweet or unsweet honey?")

Then I have an appointment to get my hair done, and a nice dinner out with the kids.