Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

2011 has been quite a ride....many life events that lead to nothing but change. Some of these that I will treasure forever....and others that I wished would never had made an appearance. Either will be a year that will always have a mark in my will be part of my story and journey....a part of what makes me....well me.

So I have chose a variety of pictures from the past particular order.

After doing zumba for a year...I got into the best shape and became pretty fit. Sadly, since my foot incident...I will have to work my hiney off and get here once again. At this time...that appears to not be for at least another month.

I turned 40

I had some girl time in Balboa this past summer. Met some new people and reconnected with some old friends.

Foot surgery December 8th after dealing with a non healing broken foot since October. It was time for a screw, the inability to work and the generosity of some very great people. But don't worry I will get it together and be able to pay the niceness forward this next year.

We became parents to a high school graduate this June.

I made my yearly visit to Seattle to see Jodie and the kids this past winter.

One of my besties came to visit in September....more girl time and a great support during what would turn out to a very sad part of my year..

A Halloween party and a chance to just be me...goofy.

I became a college mom to the boy who went off to the University of Houston

And then I found this quote and will make it a part of the life to which I am now headed for.

As I reflect here...I am grateful for the many good memories...the ability to learn from the not so good...and look forward to 2012...and hopefully the peace and happiness that will come with the choices that have been made.

Happy New Years Eve Day!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day

I received many wonderful gifts and generosity this Christmas. But I have to show off what was my most anticipated and (will be most) used gift. The afghan that my mom made for me. She has quite a knack for creating such beauties that we all have loved. This past year, my old one acquired a whole with the help of a certain dog, a grown sons big feet and a little nephew who loves to put his head through it.

The colors are totally me...the fuzzys are the best...and she added rows of miniature pom poms..
too cute

And  I was able to get my Christmas day picture with Nathan. He is sporting the leather jacket that I gave him and his Tyrolean that he got from his grandparents.

This is a gift that I made for my great friends Jeanette and Rod. I think the block turned out pretty nice. I may have to make one for myself.

Merry Christmas until next year!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A very different Christmas

opening his yearly popcorn tin
I am sure life would not be the same if this was not a gift received
I never thought that Nathaniel would not be around for every holiday until after he was married or graduated from college. Last night it hit me at how different life now I went to our friends house (as we have done for the past 7 or 8 years) by myself. Nathan spent Christmas Eve with his dad. I am happy he chose to spend Christmas Day with his mom and the family. This morning, I made sure to let him know that we all missed him and that he missed out on a fun game of Texas Hold'em.

Actually, this whole Christmas season has just been a little off {frown}. I thought about the many holiday things that I missed or almost missed. My foot surgery added a little kink into life's mix. I did not go to the mall or town center even once (yes I like doing this). I was lucky that I could make it to Target and kind of hobble around. I did watch more than my share of sappy Hallmark shows. And since I became crutch free mid week....I was able to continue my tradition of having all the nephews over to bake. I also made one last trip to a very wiped out Target.

We got up this morning like every Christmas before to see what Santa delivered...a stocking full of stuff for the now adult kid. Exchanged a few gifts and I made breakfast. It seemed all too quick {SIGH}. And no one to snap a photo of Nathaniel and I....maybe later in the day we will get one.

I am so glad that the family will be coming over in a few hours. To have some normalcy of what Christmas has been. My mouth is  already drooling for the ham and other tasty foods that will land upon our palettes....the throwing of wrapping paper at each other which always drives my mother crazy {giggle}. And the pleasure of being with family.

I am extra grateful for the support and kindness of my close friends and family this season. For all the help, support and true friendship provided. I truly was been a recipient of the light of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Let There Be Light

Stephanie and Me
This past week my sister-in-law and brother invited me to go to Christmas Eve service with them at their church. With all the changes in life right now, I happily agreed to go tonight, believing that a Christmas service was exactly what I needed. Brody (brother) did give me a heads up that the service would be totally different from the church that we grew up in (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints). The dress was far more casual and the church has a band. And wow....what a nursery these kiddos have to play in.

The first half of the service was the band and congregation singing Christmas hymns. I must say that they had a strong sounding resemblance to Cold Play. There were also little video clips portraying the message and theme of Christmas and the intended thought. Then the pastor spoke. He was extremely energetic and spoke very differently than what I am used to...but his message was strong. To summarize his thoughts....God provided light, Jesus Christ is the light and we need embrace both of these. To place our burdens upon Jesus and to let go of our errors or errors that unwillingly came our way. To embrace God in our everyday actions and let healing begin. The service concluded with a little prayer and a couple more songs.

I spoke with the pastor afterwards. We had a short conversation as I thanked him for welcoming me to his church. He asked about my faith, was very respectful and never tried to sway me of that being wrong. I would feel very comfortable visiting again if the season or series that they offered felt right.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Freedom from Crutches

I had my second post op appointment today....the fracture is still not totally closed but looking better (I can only imagine how long this would go on if I hadn't opted for surgery). Fortunately, I have been cleared to walk in my frankenstein shoe crutch free....and drive. Good times! After all the driving that Nathan has had to do the past two days...he was real glad to hear the news (teenagers).
However, I was only cleared to return to work next Wednesday, and with the restrictions of desk work only for the following two weeks. At least I should be able to get a few hours in and a pitiful size paycheck in the near future. Thank goodness I have been blessed with a few friends and family that are willing to help me out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One week Post Op and Collision

I went for my one week post op appointment this past Friday. I only had one stitch and my incision is about 1/8 inch. But I must say that my foot is definitely swollen and a bit more sore now.A much needed pedicure will be in order once the healing is done. Dr Taylor did not feel comfortable repeating an xray quite yet...meaning one more weak of being totally non weight bearing and pretty dependent on help. Thank goodness Nathaniel is home from school and able to help provide some relief to those who have been helping me.

As if life is not challenging enough right now, Sunday, Nathan and I were involved in a motor vehicle collision (with us being the middle car that got smashed). I received a sore back of the head and my foot was rammed up into the dash board....SIGH. Xrays were all good and other than a little more discomfort...all is well...except for the car needing a back and front bumper.

Life challenges are said to make us better people....well all I can say.... I am thinking that I can do without too many more unforeseen events at this time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

foot surgery and crutches

notice the cute and festive painted toe nails

Ten weeks ago, I tripped over a portion of uneven sidewalk and broke my foot. Unfortunately, the bone/joint decided it did not want to heal and surgery was in order.Time was running out as I will soon be without insurance and my deductible happened to be met. Last Thursday I opted to have a pin placed and assist the healing process along.

This lovely and nuisance of a boot is my new attire and going to be with me almost every moment for the next four to six weeks. I am totally nonweight bearing at this time and have now become dependent on those kind enough to help me....I have had a few great friends with this...but...thank goodness for moms! I am normally very independent and am so in need of the motherly help at this time. It is hard to come to the realization of now being dependent on others for a time.

Crutches are now apart of my every ambulatory movement. We are slowly becoming friends as I have only tried to break the rest of my body two or three times. It is quite a site to see at times...especially when I get myself into my parents 4x4 truck.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Girlfriend Times

Life is sometimes hard and full of unexpected challenges.  It is times like this when girlfriends need to stick together....and this is what Melissa did for me three weeks ago. No small feat when one has a special needs daughter and another in 1st grade. But some how the stars aligned and Melissa was able to arrange sitters and transportation for six days and a last minute trip to Texas.
we spent a crazy night with another friend and 16 other women driving around in an extended van
How one of them convinced their boyfriend to drive is beyond me
She arrived on a Friday evening and stayed for a long weekend and a variety of activities. Everything from appetizers, going on an all girl (19 in all)  night out on the town, shopping, site seeing and a lot of eating and talking.

Heather and i both like Fuzzys Taco's so we had to show it off to Melissa

Having two great friends here, Melissa had to occasionally divide her time. Then Heather and I also shared her together for some of the time...How special M must feel to be a wanted woman...hehe. But the company was fantastic and on our last evening out, Heather bought us dinner.

I was sad and teary eyed to send one of my best girlfriends back to Arizona. But how grateful I am that she came to spend some time fun time with me and to help me figure out the challenges to which I face.

A visit to the son and UH

It was family weekend at the University of Houston this past weekend. I was so excited to go see my college boy. Nathan has totally adapted to college life and his studies...and I do not think it is on his mind to come home and see his mother any time soon. Damon and I made the drive Friday morning and arrived after Nathan was done with class. Damon had never stayed in a hotel before and was totally thrilled. Friday we attended the BBQ and then watched Damon climb the rock wall. The evening was ended at the House of Pies.

That spec of a human is Damon conquering the wall

Saturday we arrived to get Nathan around his new time of functioning....noon. We participated in a text-message scavenger hunt. It was a neat way to see the whole campus....but I must say that Houstonis HUMID. We spent some time in the billiards hall and then made our way to the tailgate party. Totally crazy with people...Damon's name was drawn in a raffle...there were so many great prizes with quite a bit....and Damon won a girly picture frame and photo album. It was really quite funny. We ended the day at the first college football game for all of us. All I have to say is that I would go to one again. Nate...well he was bored stiff for the most part.  A late night dinner and we dropped the kiddo off to work on a paper.

Sunday Steve had to convince a RA to let him into the dorm so he could wake up our son. An odd thing as Nathan never used to sleep all day. Chilis for lunch and a drive to find a Super Cuts for Nathan and the weekend was over. I was sad to leave him once again....However...I do not think that Nathan could get rid of us quick enough. He is truly getting along well with this independence.

It was a hard down pour of rain all the way home. But a fun drive that will be filled with a few inside jokes. Damon was a very fun traveling partner...and well...he and Steve were quite a hoot.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Broken Foot

I went for a simple walk and my foot met a part of the sidewalk that should not have been there. Blunt force equals a broken foot and a torn ligament. No cast or surgery for socks allowed...and don't even think about trying to put a shoe on. It isn't going to happen any time soon.

My fancy tape job 

And lets not forget my stylish shoe for at least the next month.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

UH Move

It has been 19 days since we drove Nathan to the University of Houston.....who says I am counting. will be too long and hard to remember how long my baby has been gone. I miss Nathan terribly and still find myself with tears in my eyes at times. The house is far too lonely. Even when I think about how he drove me utterly crazy at times his last few weeks at home.

Poor Nathan was crammed in the back of the blazer with all of his stuff. At least the drive is only around 5 hours.

I helped Nathan arrange his room while Steve unloaded most of his stuff. This is how Nathans half of the room looked when we left. I am curious to see what the place will look like when I go down for family week in October. I do know that I will have to get these boys some stuff decor for the walls if they are still this bare.

I have actually talked with Nathan more than I thought I would have. But it is me calling him....he has sent me a few texts...usually telling me he needs something. I would feel horrible about my son never calling me, if it wasn't for a few of my coworkers who also have boys away, and they too have the same sad story.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The kiddo is ready for UH

who would have thought the boy scout foot locker would come in use again
  It did not look like much once we started packing everything up

The past two weeks have been spent collecting STUFF for Nathaniel and his dorm. Thanks to graduation gift cards and money...many much needed items were easily purchased. It was pretty impressive, as the items started piling up on the dining room table and floor. I meant to take a picture of that and of course forgot. I can only imagine how it is to get a girl ready to leave the nest with the amount of supplies, clothing and anything else they can think of would be. Nathan was a little too easy and unconcerned with packing. I am sure that once we get to the college and leave our son to his dorm...that one of us will remember something that was forgotten. And hopefully, that will not be the only reason he decides to call his mom.

So renters insurance is taken care of and first payment of the semester made today. The blazer is packed and ready to go.It is about a five hour drive to Houston. Early check-in (for those going to Honors Retreat) is tomorrow from 10-7. The meal cards will not work until the weekend, therefore, the kiddo has asked that we feed him dinner before we leave.

I can not believe that my son is of age to embark on this new adventure. I know that he is ready...too bad his mom is not quite sure that she is. No choice UH awaits him.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Steve Graduates

After seven years in school...four for the Bachelors (a two year break) and another three for his masters program....Steve graduated last week with his Masters in Public Administration from University of North Texas. This was not an easy thing for him to do...and at times...a down right struggle with time...but he accomplished his goal. That alone deserves a big congrats!

Everyone asks if he is done with his schooling. Steve will tell you yes at this time. Nate and I say probably not. Time will only tell.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A smile upon my face

Sometimes a smile will sneak up on you when you least expect it...and...sometimes there were no physical pictures taken {sigh}...leaving those moments to reside in the memory only. it is okay. I have that fresh picture and felt the smile!

I had a fun Saturday evening....and an even better Sunday afternoon. My grin truly gives thanks to those who made this occur.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

California family

   Part of my reasoning for my impromptu trip to California was just to hide from life. Well, I guess that is only somewhat possible when you have a tendency to post on facebook. 
My Aunt Kandy had seen one of my posts while I was on the sand and contacted me asking if we could have a visit. Not a real easy thing to arrange on such a short stay. After working out the details, we were able to spend the evening together. We had a nice drive along PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in her convertible.....LOVED IT! We then picked up my cousin Becky and her little Libby and headed for a very tasty dinner at Pickup Stix. We finished the evening off at her house with a nice visit with my Uncle Terry. The conversation seemed so one-sided {all about me and my family} plus a nice quick version from Becky's husband Brad. 
I really enjoyed being able to spend the evening with good food, conversation and family that I don't see nearly enough.

Girl Time in Balboa

Last week I was lucky enough to go visit one of my best girlfriends (at her parents beach house) in Balboa. Three days and four nights was definitely not long enough...especially when we haven't seen each other in three years. Sadly, airfare just would not cooperate with a longer trip. 

The weather was in the mid 70's....a nice break from the heat wave we are having here in Texas. I was actually pretty cold at night and had to sleep with a sweatshirt.

Our days and nights were packed with everything from eating Mexican, dancing, painting seashells, walking the peninsula and visiting an old friend and family.

Tessa and her fabulous personality
Tessa and  I spent time together looking for crabs...taking walks...and just acting silly like almost six year olds and crazy adults do.

We went to the beach one afternoon to play in the waves and sand. I totally miss being close to the ocean. Tessa and I had a blast. Melissa stayed beach side and took pictures. Hopefully some will come my way after her vacation is over.
Devon (Phoebes aid), Melissa and me
a little goofy in the late night hours
Stacy and me on the waterfrontold high school friends
Stacy and I had reconnected this last year on facebook. I contacted her last minute from the airport to say I was headed her way. I was one lucky girl as she was able to pick me up one afternoon for a nice catching up session.
the crew at the Balboa Candy Store
we definitely spent a lot of time here