Monday, June 15, 2009

Watercolor In Pictures

I'm certain you don't want too much commentary on our beach vacation to Watercolor. Sometimes absolute paradise is best left undescribed, right?

Here's the gist of it: We flew to Florida. We sat on the beach. Sand entered all our crevices. Our babies were whiney. We had fun. I got a tan. We went home. Still friends with the Stevens. Laundry. Laundry. The end.

So, here is a photo recap of our family adventure:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beachy Thoughts

Hi! We're at the beach this week as most of you know from my constant stream of Facebook status updates.

We returned to Watercolor once again and made one minor change. We replaced my sister and her family with some local Waco friends -- not intentionally, of course, but Flo has a new baby and didn't think that Sophie Rose was up for a 14 hour car ride. Apparently, Miss Sophie doesn't even like 5 minute car rides because she hates her car seat so much.

However, we chose to fly to Florida because no one really wanted to be in the car with each other that long....and here we are.

Unfortunately for you, I left my cable connector thingy at home, which allows me to transfer photos from my camera to my computer. I guess you'll have to wait for a second post once we return home.

I will share with you a few highlights and parting thoughts as we enter day #4 at the beach:

1. My babies don't like sand.
2. My littlest baby did not receive the memo that vacations mean sleeping late. She has blessed us each morning at 6:45 am with her demands for the day. Keep in mind, this is the child who routinely sleeps until 8:15 am every morning since her birth.
3. My babies don't like sand that hides in their "nooks and crannies."
4. Being on vacation does not mean that people will put up their cell phones, laptops and ipods. In fact, this has become a breeding ground for increased use of above mentioned items.
5. Traveling with the Steven's is nice. There aren't too many people who can hang together for six days straight and still remain friends. We are, however, only on day 4. I'll update you at the end of the trip.
6. We will be building a pool at our next home. The girls completely prefer the pool to the beach (see #'s 1 and 3). And why we chose to travel four states away only to listen to repeated requests to go to the pool is beyond me. The La Quinta in Dallas would have been waaaaaaay cheaper.
7. I have completely lost track of what day it is, and I have no concept of time.
8. It has now started thunder storming and is supposed to do so until we leave. Now what?
9. A 10 year old child turned to me on the plane and asked: "Are you vacationing in Watercolor or do you own a house there?" To which I replied, "Yes, we are" To which she replied, "We own a house there." These houses are upwards of 1.5 million dollar homes. And this 10 year old just put me in my place.
10. I've got a really rockin' tan and am ready for the summer.
11. There aren't many places I'd move to...but Watercolor is one place I'd pack my boxes and leave my friends for. (Oh, come on! You know you'd visit!)
12. Not only do my babies dislike sand, but they also dislike each other.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Price of Fame

So yesterday I had coffee with Shemane Nugent. I know that statement sounds rather casual, and I wish it was. Truth be known, I was dying with excitement. Giddy even.

Shemane is, like, a big deal. And her husband, Ted Nugent, is an even bigger deal. Famous, in fact. And I had the privilege to sit with her at Starbucks for over an though we were BFF.

I will be helping Shemane and several others with the new Zumba website that will launch pretty soon. My role will be that of a guest blogger, and it all started because my sweet friends, Heather and Stephanie, printed out my "Why I Enjoy Shaking My Booty" post and brought it to Zumba class to give to Shemane. One thing led to another, and before I knew it...I was sitting with Shemane at Starbucks.

Honestly speaking, the fame associated with the Nugent family is not really why I was so giddy. I was mesmerized by the fact that I was drinking coffee with my Zumba instructor. I'll be the first to admit, though, that I can get quite starstruck....pretty easily. In elementary school, I wrote a letter to Johnny Depp professing my never-ending love for him, and I was mildly surprised when all I received in return was an autographed letter from his fan club. In Junior High, I traveled with some friends to see New Kids On The Block. I sat in that stadium actually believing that Jordan or Jonathan Knight would choose me out of a crowd of thousands to ask me to be his girlfriend. (In case you're wondering, it never happened, and I'm still upset about it.) In college, I agreed to go on a date with a music store manager whom I had no romantic interested in whatsoever, just so I could go backstage with him to meet Clint Black. And the fun doesn't end there. Just this past year, I had the honor of helping our church host Phil Wickham and Steve Fee in concert. All of my coolness was thrown aside when my sister called and I thrust the cell phone in Phil's hands and shrieked, "Will you say hi to my sister?" Gary Rhodes has asked that I never volunteer in this position ever again.

So as you can see, people with any amount of fame are SuperStars in my book. And I'm not too ashamed to let them know. But with Shemane...things were different. As much as I'd love to give you the "dirt" -- that she's super snobby.....that up close she's not that attractive....that she treated people around her like servants--it just wasn't true. She was friendly. She was warm. She was interested in my thoughts and opinions. She was real. The fame associated with her name did not define her. It was simply a blessing in her life that she seemed humbled by and grateful for.

The price of fame is high, as is evidenced by fallen stars such as Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Corey Haim, and Heath Ledger just to name a few. It's a big responsibility and one that is often abused.

I was reminded of a scripture out of Luke, "to whom much is given, much is required." Shemane Nugent seems to have a pretty good grip on what she is called to do with the life she leads. A friend of mine recently shared with me a heart-warming story of a little girl with brain cancer. She was part of the Make-A-Wish foundation, and her wish was to spend the day with Ted Nugent. I asked Shemane about this story and as she shared some of the details, I think I saw tears in her eyes. The Nugents have been given much...and they give back even more.

From that coffee date, my eyes were exposed to a different side of that will impact me forever. And to think that this realization came about all because I chose to shake my booty.

Go figure....

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh, No She DIDN'T!

I sat down to check my blog comments this evening to find this little jewel posted by "Anonymous":

It amazes me how shallow your posts are compared to most. It always revolves around things about what (you) like and want and not real world issues....guess thats why its YOUR blog. As far as being a writer I guess if it was a book all about you it may be enjoyable for you, because anything with substance would be above you.

I'll be the first to admit that upon first read, I felt a little heat rise in my chest and face. And then, I laughed and snorted.

This is my first (unsolicited) negative comment, and I honestly wasn't quite sure how to react....or respond. You see, those of us who blog (and allow anonymous comments) are somewhat gluttons for punishment. We knowingly and willingly tell stories about our lives that leave room for judgement, criticism and complaint. 99 percent of the time, my comments are positive and encouraging, and this negative nugget puts a blemish on my comment record. Tsk, Tsk!

For the record, I would like to apologize to those of you who read my blog to get information regarding social injustices, world economics, politcal viewpoints, Taliban intelligence, historical information, or neuroscientific evidence supporting the Big Bang Theory. It just ain't happenin' on this blog, sweetie.

You see, on my blog I write about, My life, my family, my friends. Sorry for the disappointment. It's kind of my online journal....a way of documenting my feelings, frustrations and phase of life here in my "real world." I guess it's like keeping a diary of sorts, and the subject matter of a diary--any one's diary--is usually about oneself. Seriously, would the Diary of Anne Frank have had such significance if the entire diary was written about her sweaty-lipped neighbor, Claus? I think not.

Now, I will concede to one statement the naughty, negative commenter made, and that is my posts have been rather shallow lately. I read back through some of my older posts and realized that I have taken the "easy road" approach to blogging by using some of those silly memes in place of an actual post. And to my true and faithful readers, I apologize. I have not given this blog the effort it, or you, deserves. I will try to do better, write stronger, and come up with issues of substance.

In the meantime, you can catch up on a few of my personal favorite all-about-me-and-my-shallow-non-real-world life by reading about Emerie's experience guzzling torch fuel, Landrie's happy hiney-wiping display at church, or my most popular post to date about the definition of a Stay at Home Mom, which tied with this post about Kellie-Laine's future dating life (or lack thereof.)

Stay tuned, negative commenter. You may find that the post you've been waiting for is just around the corner.....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why I Enjoy Shaking My Booty

I'm breaking my blogging silence to inform you that I have recently discovered the fountain of youth. As a 34 year old mother of three girls, there's not a whole lot that makes me feel "young" these days. And, let's admit it, ladies. We all like to feel young every now and again.

Well, my now-and-again is coming a bit more frequently thanks to my Zumba class. And feeling young is a weekly occurence.

First of all, let me explain that Zumba is a new form of exercise that involves hip-hop or samba-type music, as well as associated dance moves. The best way I can describe it is: high-school-cheerleader meets inner-pole-dancer.

I'll admit that my "inner pole dancer" has surfaced a few times in my adult existence. It usually happens when my kids are in Mother's Day Out and I'm cleaning the kitchen with the music turned up loudly. I have a set of double ovens that provide a pretty good reflection....and sometimes I'll choose to "break it down" right then and know, unleash those pole dancing moves I saw on Oprah. Only, then I catch myself in the reflection of my ovens, and I'm reminded why pole dancers are pole dancers....and why I should stick to being a mother cleaning the kitchen.

So back to Zumba. I love Zumba for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is that many of my friends are in class with me. It reminds me of the very reasons why I loved cheerleading camp so much. We laugh and giggle our way through the awkward hip thrusts, as well as encourage one another by saying things like, "Make sure you show your husband that move tonight!"

The second reason why I love Zumba is because I can actually do it. Listen, I am not an athletic person -- at all. It all started in Jr. High. Suffice it to say that my athletic career started and ended with my first volleyball game. I served the ball; said "owie," and that was the end of that. I have tried various exercise regimens over the years only to lack the discipline to stick to any of them. I can't do any form of exercise for a whole hour, honestly. I broke out in hives after 10 minutes of Nicki Wilson's kick boxing class. I puked after 30 minutes of body shaping. I really was beginning to think I was allergic to exercise. Enter Zumba. I can shake my booty for a whole hour. I sweat like a pig, and I love it.

The third reason I love Zumba is because I love the music. Songs like, "Right Round" by Flo Rida, "Krazy" by Pit Bull, and the Pussy Cat Dolls. I spent one afternoon downloading my favorite Zumba songs and excitedly showed my dance moves to my oldest gal, Kellie-Laine. "Mom!" she shrieked, "do you know what those songs say?!" To which I thought: No, I don't and I don't care. All I know is that when when this guy sings that lyric, I am to shake my booty to the beat. And doesn't mommy look so cute doing this move? (Incidentally, Kellie-Laine ran out of the room mortified at my less-than-mommy-like behavior.)

I also love Zumba because I am doing things for Zumba that I wouldn't normally putting my children in the gym childcare so I can attend the class. I really dislike the childcare, but Zumba has helped me overcome my fear and guilt....oh, okay, and my pitiful excuse not to exercise. I have also beefed up my exercise wardrobe. While this is usually something I do to try and motivate myself to actually work out, I have invested in a few "Zumba appropriate" clothing items. If you're not careful, you might actually confuse me for a Zumba instructor. Also, I'm not normally a front-row-joe kind of person, but in Zumba I am. Front and center, baby. It also helps that I'm able to see our instructor, Ted Nugent's beautiful wife, more clearly. (She, incidentally, brings new meaning to the word "Hot Mama" .....oh, if I could only look that good when I'm her age!)

The final reason I love Zumba is because it makes me feel young again. It's silly, really, but for some reason shakin' my booty makes me smile and giggle. And smiling and giggling makes me feel young. It's a much needed break from my reality of changing diapers, waiting in carpool, or loading the dishwasher. A few times today, I even played my Zumba CD to help me get through some of the mundane household chores I needed to do. I smiled and danced the whole time.

So tonight our family went to the Y. The kids and dear husband swam while I Zumba-ed. My middle girl, Landrie, watched us through the viewing window for a few moments. When I picked her up she asked, "Are you going to perform for a show?"

"No, baby" I laughed. But for those few minutes when people peer in the window to see what we're doing, it kind of feels like a show. And I am the star performer.... shakin' my booty for all the world to see.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just Checkin' In

It's been almost a month since I've last blogged....A MONTH! I never thought that I'd be this much of a slacker, but guess what? I am.

I guess the topic most talked about in my circle of friends is this danged economy. What do you guys think about it? I think it sucks. And I'm scared.

I need to remind those of you who didn't know me back in 1999 that I was one of those crazy gals who stocked up on powdered milk and jugs of water and demanded that all my extended family members spend New Year's Eve at my house. Y2K, baby. Suffice it to say that Y2K never happened. And my powdered milk? Thrown out in January of 2001.

But this thing we're going through now is a different kind of situation. It's not a computer glitch. It's not the prophetic end of the world. It's plain and simple "Many-Americans-Were-Stupid-With-Their-Money" and "Banks-Gave -Loans-To-Every-Man-Or-Donkey-That -Walked-Through-The-Door". And here we are.

The economic sky is falling, and I've become Chicken Little.

Even though I didn't vote for him, I do believe Obama is trying to sort through this mess we're in. I think we are expecting too much to see a few stimulus packages clean up years worth of debt, stupidity, and greed. I want to see him succeed for the simple fact of turning things around for our future. Republican or not, we need his help and leadership.

Now, on a local level.....I'm wondering if you guys are seeing local effects of this economic train wreck. Here are just a few I've noticed:

1. Many retailers have cut back their hours. Ann Taylor Loft now closes at 7 pm instead of 9pm.
Hollywood video is no longer open 24 hours a day. They close at 10 pm.
2. Several people we know have lost jobs.
3. The local housing market....enough said!
4. Mommies are having to return to the workforce.
5. Private schooling parents are having to consider options like public school or home school.
6. Spring Break vacations were almost non-existent within my circle of friends. We didn't plan any type of vacation, and I didn't even mind.
7. More retail stores are having sales.

What about you? What are you noticing in response to the economic downfall? Are you doing anything as a family to prepare for worse times? Are you turning a blind eye? Storing food? Buying guns? Praying more? Anyone? Anyone?

As a side story, a friend of mine was returning to Waco and stopped at a Subway in Corsicana. She bought a meal deal, you know, 6-inch sub with drink and chips. When she went to check out, the cashier told her it would be $9.49 for her meal. She, of course, protested this price and the cashier told her that "since they were the only Subway in town, they went up $3 on all their meal deals." Isn't this price gauging? My friend is planning to report this incident tomorrow to the Subway manager, but wouldn't you know that the cashier conveniently left out the receipt from her purchase? No proof that she over-paid.

And I think my friend just gave that cashier a $3 tip.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yoo-Hoo....My New Do....

So whatcha think? (sorry for the amateur self-portraits! I look more like a camera model.)

After a looooong several months of going without a haircut, I began to feel pretty shaggy. One of my blogging friends, Nicksterland, posted a recent photo of her new do and I was inspired.
According to my fabulous hair stylist (Hippie Chic Salon), this new style is very "in" with the Baylor girls. She called it the today's version of the "punk 80's mullet" and I immediately started sweating in my armpits.
However, when she spun me around in the salon chair and said, "Voila!". I squealed with glee! It's a fun Joan Jett meets Florence Henderson.....meets Asian SuperMom.
Now if I could just figure out how to style this do tomorrow.......