Sunday, March 29, 2009

True Friendship

So, what makes a true friend?

What qualities in a friendship make it last?

I've been thinking about that a lot this week because my best girlfriend since fourth grade, Marianne, came to visit. We've been hanging out since 1986, people. Twenty three years! It was so fun introducing her as my friend from elementary school and seeing the different reactions. I take it not many people keep in touch with friends from way back then.

Here are some of the reasons why our friendship has been so close for so long:

*When we talk, we know that the other person is willing to listen. So we end up sharing every little detail. Which can lead to hours-long phone conversations. But it's so much fun! (Thank goodness for Vonage's free long distance.)

Senior portraits 1995

*She has forgiven me for dogging her for boyfriends back in the day.

*She knows all my dirty laundry and loves me anyway.

*We still have a lot of similarities, but can also enjoy and learn from our differences.

Photo booth circa 1993

*We can laugh together. And cry together. (OK, I don't really cry much, but if I did, I know I could cry in front of Marianne and not feel like a dork.)

*We've gone through so many nerdy phases together and yet could still see the inner beauty hiding in there.

Jr. High Graduation 1991
Monika, Marianne, Me

*We've visited each other all across the country. She has come to see me in UT, NV, and NC. I visited her in MS and will stop by her place in KS this summer.

When did we grow up?
Out to dinner NC 2009

It has taken time and effort to keep our friendship up over all this time, but it's so wonderful to have a friend who knows me so well.

What have been the keys to your lasting friendships?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Right now

Blogging has taken a backseat to the craziness of life that seems to be the norm lately. Rather than try to catch up, I'll just share a few highlights.

Right now...

*Andrew's back is STILL bugging him. He has good days, but they're outnumbered by the bad ones. He goes to physical therapy, usually once a week. (We just got a bill from our insurance for two thousand dollars saying it's not covered....I hope it's a mistake!) He does lots of stretching at home and is getting some nice biceps as a result. Good thing there's at least some silver lining to this big ol' cloud.

*Caroline is so much fun. She has all of wrapped around her chubby little finger. She loves to eat. I only nurse her 2-3 times a day. She prefers regular table food to baby food. Some of her favorites include: broccoli cheddar soup, strawberry yogurt, string cheese, waffles, and Honeycomb cereal.

But she'll still put anything and everything in her mouth.

*I am feverishly working to renew my dental hygiene license. I am only licensed to practice in AZ, but let that expire last year. I can pay a late fee and still renew it by June. I have A LOT of continuing ed credits to finish up before then. I've done as many on-line classes as I'm allowed and spent all day yesterday getting

CPR certified.
I'll be attending a dental convention in May which will cover most of the remaining credits and just need to squeeze in one or two more classes. It has been fun to get back into my specialty. I love teeth! And gums!

*Whitney is taking dance class again. It includes tap and ballet.

She is a beautiful little ballerina.
Her teacher is a lot of fun and

her best little girlfriend is in the class, too.
They have a blast every week.

*Brandon's favorite thing to do with his free time right now is to play basketball in the backyard. He asks Andrew to join him every chance he gets, but is happy to just shoot around by himself, too. Too bad all the neighbor kids his age have moved away. :( I guess I'm not a big enough challenge.

*We are having the hardest time finding a new TV that will work with our Singstar video games. It is SOOOO frustrating! We have tried three different brands of LCD's and all of them have an audio lag that completely ruins the scoring of the game. Annoying. At this point, I'm anti-new-technology. The game has no issues on our little 10-year-old TV. I'd be happy to just leave things as they were, but our 20-year-old TV that we've had in our bedroom finally kicked the bucket and I wanted a replacement. Maybe I just need to keep my eye on Craig's list and buy another old one.

*I'm having fun slowly spending our tax refund on home improvement projects. (So far they've all gone much smoother than the first doorknob fiasco.) My favorite one so far has been

our family theme.
With help from my SIL Cindy and vinyl letters from Kelly, I put this together. Very fittingly, it makes me happy... even though I'm not completely in love with the frame.

*I'm looking forward to a visit from my BFF Marianne later this week, a long weekend road trip to DC next month, and a month-long road trip out to Utah this summer. I am so spoiled.

*Caroline's eyes are still grayish blue, but I'm starting to see the slightest hint of brown flecks. Dang. I was hoping the gray would last. I tried to take a close up picture to illustrate and ended up with this:

Isn't that cool how you can see the reflection of me and my
camera? Unfortunately, you can't see the brown flecks.
Are her top eyelashes to die for?
I'm jealous.

*Brandon finally has glasses again. He lost them sometime in the last six weeks, but I kept thinking they would turn up. We finally gave up, bit the bullet, and paid out of pocket for another pair. We told him this pair better last AT LEAST until June when insurance will pay for more. It's nice that he doesn't have to squint all the time any more. I think his teacher was beginning to think I was an unfit parent.

AND he lost his front tooth after weeks of having it wobbling around. He came up with the most creative way of getting it out and I videotaped it, but am having issues getting uploaded. Boo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pay it Forward

So I was a lucky winner on Sandy's blog and now I get to pay it forward. Here's how it works:

The first three people to comment on this post will get something made by me!

Please keep in mind the following information which applies to this offer:
1-It will be a surprise and I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
2- It will be homemade.
3-You will receive your gift sometime this year (as in - sometime in the next 9 months!)

HERE'S THE CATCH: You must post this on your blog and offer the same to the first three people who follow the directions. (If a winner does not have a blog, you still agree to pay it forward in your own non-bloggy way.)

Got it? Go!

**Edit** The winners are....

(drumroll, please)

and Angie (who didn't even realize she was a winner because Sandy and Andrew didn't count.)

So, I guess I better get my creative crafty-type juices flowing.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lion to a week

In NC, March definitely came in like a lion.
This is what we woke up to last Monday morning:

Isn't it pretty?
The kids got a snow day (of course).

But the surprise of the day was that Andrew's car
couldn't make it up the little hill to take him out of
our neighborhood, so he got a snow day, too.
Woo hoo!
We didn't play out in the snow much.
We decided to hunker down and keep warm.
The kids had couch cushion olympics.
No necks were broken.

And to keep things exciting, we got a red velvet
cake, threw some candles on the top and sang,
"Happy snow day to you!"
Mmm....I wish I was eating it right now....

By Friday, it was feeling more like a lamb and
then Saturday and Sunday were GLORIOUS.
I think it was in the 80's.

We took pics of the spring flowers at the local gardens,

visited the animals at the Natural Science Center,
(where B and W kept complaining, "It's too hot!
Can we go home now?" Wait until I get my wish
to move them back to the desert!)

It doesn't get better than 75 degrees at mid-morning kids!

And played in the backyard a lot.
I've found that Brandon and I are a pretty
good match-up in basketball. We've each
won a game of one-on-one and he beat me at Horse.

Caroline hadn't really spent much time outside,
except in the stroller during walks.
I think she likes it, don't you?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes--February

This is what it looks like outside my door right now:

What is this white fluffy substance falling from the sky?
Talk about March coming in like a lion!
And school is already canceled for tomorrow.
So, while I'm figuring out how we're going to
entertain ourselves stuck in the house all day,
you enjoy this month's post.

2/1--Here are the lyrics to the latest original song by Whitney:
"I love water.
It helps me to grow.
I love healthy things.
But my mom feeds me unhealthy things.
So I force them away!"
What kind of dream world is she living in? If anything, I'm the mom accused of being stingy with the treats.


2/5--We were having a family discussion about North Carolina being in "The South"
Here was Brandon's argument, "Then how come we're called NORTH Carolina? In your face!"

I'm never wrong! In your face!

2/5--Andrew baked a frozen pizza so I could go on a Girl's Night Out tonight. He kinda overcooked it and Whit said, "My pizza tastes like batteries." Ewww.

2/6--Here's something you don't expect to hear about your baby, "Mom! Caroline's breakdancing!" Or at least that's what Whitney thought.

Check out her moves!

2/16--Confessions of a four year old girl: "Once I ate my sleepy dust."
Me: Ewwww
Her: (in a defensive tone) "It didn't taste like cement!"

Yea, I think I'd eat it again.

2/21--We talked about what the kids want to be when they grow up.
Whitney: "I want to be a cook, a gymnast, and of course a Lego designer."
Well, of course. Why didn't I think of that?
Brandon: "I don't know. I guess I want to be a math teacher. Or someone who finds the ships that wrecked in the Bermuda Triangle."

Why not a BMX stunt rider?

2/22--In the middle of church, B leaned over to me and said, "I remember Gigi's[my mom's] old house. Do you?"
Me: Yes, that's the house where I grew up.
Him: I remember being in the room with the big bed. I was laying down and you were trying to get a raisin out of my nose.
Where did he pull that from? He's right, though. I totally remember doing that. I think he was 3...that would've been almost 5 years ago!

He has moved on from raisins in the nose
to tape over the eyes.

2/22--Out of the mouth of Andrew... He can sometimes talk in his sleep and that happened tonight. He fell asleep, but was still trying to carry on a conversation with me. He could tell he was incoherent and said, "I'll just stop talking. I'm such a cornbread." Cracked me up.

2/23--W's random thought for the day: "I mostly like eating and playing around."
Pretty much sums up the life of a happy 4-yr-old girl.

She also likes to have book club in the bathtub
while dressed up as a princess. Go figure.

2/27--When I was saying goodnight to Brandon in his room tonight he shared this plan with me: "What if we turned my bed into a starship? We could put metal all around and paint it silver. And I"d have an anti-gravity switch. And another switch to control the temperature so it wouldn't get too hot if we were close to the sun or too cold if we were far away from it."
Sounds like he's got all the details worked out. I better add it to my list of home improvement projects.

Future astronaut?

2/27--Whitney likes to use fancy words. Today she said, "I have several shoes. Mom, I know what 'several' means. It means 'a lot.' So, I love you several!"

And we love YOU several as well, Whit.

2/28--We were at the science center today and watching some fish in an aquarium. Whit said, "I wish I was a fish."
"So you wouldn't have to tell me what to do and I wouldn't have to go to a corner."
And I thought we were having a GOOD day.

Lucky Nemo.
I bet he never has to go in time out.

And a bonus picture of sweet Caroline:
Nine months old now.
Getting so big!