Southern girl plowing her way through life making the rules up as she goes. Warning: likes to bake, curse, quote movies/literature, is tattooed, married to The Man and mother of two girls. We bring new meaning to the "griswald way of life". Come along for the ride!

Life is My Highway

Montana and North Dakota have become home.... dang it lol.

These Girls

Lord help me but these babies wear me out.... they are just perfect!


Yes, it's from last winter but I adore this us....


This kid glows from the inside out... my almost 11 year old!

We are so smexy!

Favorite sport: embarrassing our kids in public


My mini-me is finding her own way in life

Monday, November 30, 2009


I got nothing. We put him back on a plane and after dealing with a long day running on 3 hours of sleep, I had a very very sad crying little girl on my hands. And not Duchess who usually falls to pieces when daddy leaves, Princess hit a wall and her dam broke. Oh my poor baby.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

crash and burn

I've hit the wall, woke up today and immediately clear that it's a rough one. I was careful and took the holiday very easy but I'm still down for the count. In fact I'm still wearing the uber comfy pjs that Dave bought me (cause I think he was tired of my other two pairs) and have no intent to change until tomorrow.

The good news is gluten free cupcakes in the ovening. Strawberry icing ready to go on top. Thank you so much Betty Crocker for coming out with 4 gluten free boxed treats! Life is good! The cake is wonderful and we'll see if the cupcakes are too.

Dave has been a huge help this trip. Cleaning the oven, scrubbing tubs and helping with the things I can't do but can't ask anyone else too.......makes it easier on me to be good and not over do it.

Blood pressure was low again today, have my chart ready to go over with my doc on Tuesday. Hopefully will not have to use meds to regulate. An interesting side note, I'm still 17 lbs lighter since surgery. It's weird being 9 lbs away from my wedding dress. I keep thinking it'll all pop back on but so far it's holding. We'll see how that continues.

Hopefully returning to work this week. Will be nice to have something else to focus on rather than my inards. Promising everyone under the sun that I'll pace myself and be careful. I'm very blessed to have my support system.

This has brought about alot of changes for me and in me but one thing is consistant. My friends and family.....the true ones.......I can count on. Period. They go to the mat with me and that is something I'll never forget.

Now back to online shopping for kids' Christmas and birthdays. Crowds scare the ever loving crap out of me these days, bad enough getting run into full in the stomach in Walmart trying to grocery shop, can't image trying to do much actual store all the way baby!

Now I'm going to watch a movie and eat my cupcake. Then it's time to take my bp again.

Hope you had a great great Thanksgiving and are very thankful for the ones in your life. The Lord provides peeps.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sweet Jesus

I slept 10 hours last night, a first in quite some time. I think it's because Dave was home. I slept solidly and peacefully dead to the world snuggled up next to him. I hope to get a few more nights like that before he flies back to Houston.

I survived Thanksgiving with the help of several cooks and cleaners, but by 10 p.m. was still staring at the wall, drooling. So very thankful for my family, and the opportunity to share this holiday with the ones nearest and dearest to my heart.

This year I'm doing all holiday shopping online. quote me on that will ya.......

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Well since it's pretty obvious sleep isn't coming anytime soon, I figured I'd do my part. I got tagged. Here are my fav 5 Hope4Grace posts. Mainly because they are some of my funniest memories......

So if you're truly bored........take a peek. Sadly one two in the past two years........ I had to really search for the "after Utah" posts.......

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessing

I'm so lucky to have good friends. While several people have jumped in to help with Thanksgiving cooking, my bestest friend since birth (hi mom) was with me today to precook and prep most of the food. I have two broilers (1 for turkey and 1 for ham) so my oven is free for whenever the girls show up to help cook (no lifting for me). I'm planning on sitting down alot, energy levels are still low. However, huge note today my blood pressure was actually kinda normal.........yeah! I'm keeping an eye on it for now though.

However, in between naps I did turn out the best new recipe I've had in a long time. The kids slurped it up, I was in shock.....

Slice up two zucchini
Slice up two ripe tomatoes
Slice up a slice of onion, pop layers apart

Layer the veggies, sprinkle top with garlic salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil.

Repeat veggies, repeat seasonings.

Sprinkle thyme along the top, sprinkle some mozz cheese and toss in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.


Sorry no pics, we ate it standing up at the bar.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Damn It

Stomach has revolted. Listening to heavy metal hoping to pass out soon. Watching the Dancing with the Stars finale without sound to the beat of Metallica helps..... need to sleep this off soon. God help me. I hate my stomach, if only we could part ways........

This is what no sleep accomplishes...

when you have time on your hands after midnight, you can get a lot of sorting, scanning done.....

Princess was 3 months old (chubby baby) when we flew home for our first Louisiana visit. Mom finally got to show off her first grandbaby.

So before I had kids, I had curly hair. After kids, not so much so I straightened it alot. For the past year, the curl is coming back. Scary....and yes I'm wearing shorts under that shirt somewhere. Seem to recall I "borrowed" that shirt from somone way taller than me. This is what happens when high schoolers are made to work elementary track events. They show up with really short shorts. Can't for the life of me remember who is in this pic with me.

Junior prom, obviously I was ready but just relaxing. I grew up in a very small town...where we lived on main street but you see the garden behind me........yeah that was ours.....

Howdy sailor.......home for a visit.

Princess was six months and NOT on people food yet when mom came to visit. This is what happens when you go to a rib joint then go to the bathroom. Mom giving Princess her first "taste" of ribs.

8th grade me......I can't believe how much my kids favor the younger me. Surprises me alot.

Dave's first ship. Go Navy. I miss the lifestyle. Much better than being stuck in Utah.

On a long long time ago, Dave's first visit to meet my family in Louisiana. His first visit there period. Where I introduced him to shrimp eatting off a table covered in wax paper and a drive thru liquor store.

Damn honey. I really like this Memories like this make this whole living apart thing okay sometimes.

Sophomore year in high school.

Dave and my Nanny. No wonder she's always been nuts about him. When she found out I was dating a new guy while living in Tulsa, she and my aunt drove up without telling anyone to "check him out". I love my family.

First week in San Diego, six months preggers with Princess. The world was mine.........what the hell happened? Life seemed so much simpler then. Reality now is not to my liking.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Really there is nothing like having a computer on the fritz, and trying to fix it yourself and finding some pics you haven't seen in YEARS.... Lord have mercy on my soul but these gave me the laugh I really needed tonight. more to come tomorrow....

Our first real date: seriously, his grandmother was taking a pic of him and he yanked me into the photo which explains my very strange posture......I look like an alien standing there

So my grandmother used to do glamour shots and makeup, so at 14 (YES! 14!) this was my glamour shot. I checked the dates, I'm positive I was 14.

And this is what happens when I get bored and Dave went on deployment, fire engine red hair with a huge blonde streak and red lipstick. This was me actually just home from my job which required me to represent my attorney at the courthouse when he wasn't able to be there. SOOOOO professional.
Now I've laughed, and it hurt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Tomorrow's to-do list
  • call doc about not sleeping
  • call stomach doc about stomach

Long long day yesterday that finally ended at 3 am. Sucks. Worse part is that when I'm down, my kids have to be such troopers. No fun for them. They are excited b/c we HAVE to go to Walmart today as we have run out of a few very important things. Poor kids, wally world is the height of their day.

However, yesterday during a not so bad time frame, I sat in a chair in the garage and direct traffic. With Dave being done and only home for short periods of time, the garage has become no man's land. Crap everywhere, tools everywhere, kids bikes, go kart and wagon everywhere. So I sat and direct my little worker bees. After about 10 minutes, they got into the swing of things, singing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go" with some very badly done whistling, they cleaned and gutted that garage with a quickness. Even went to far as to hook up the air compressor and blow it out so they could sweep up all the trash and little debris that gets eveywhere. I can now safely park one of my two vehicles in there. Woohoo.

Then I went and sat in the big leather castoff chair in the basement while they did the same thing down there. Not one word of complaint from those two, probably helped that I "looked" the other way when the were pushing each other around on our dolly. Fun times. But it's all cleaned up and back in normal shape.

Maybe I should reward that on our trip to Walmart, then maybe they'll clean out my vehicles today. I could probably stay on the couch the whole time too........ hmmmm

Excited about Thanksgiving. Dave coming home for a long weekend and the kiddos are out for a five day weekend. Gonna have lots of help to cook Thanksgiving dinner and I'm def thankful for many things this year!

Today is the last day of the autumn semester and I have four essays to write and I'm done. Next classes up in about a week or so. Give me strength to write another two papers on the 18th century. Cause I'm really really tired of history, this was my last one, luckily I have no more math or english anymore either. I'm now a JUNIOR. Yeah baby!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What would you say?

Might not be your cup of tea, but made me cry tonight..... take a sec and watch

Wishing and Hoping

So slept some last night and some today, much better. And started my Christmas list...

Hope4Grace Santa Wish List: edition 1 - 2009
  • black boots
  • new bed

Remember this list, it'll explain things later.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009


It's what I'm not doing. 5.15 hours of sleep in the past two days. Call into doc to see why I'm exhausted but just can't sleep. It's like I'm walking in a vague fog. Frankly it's not so bad, everything is really vague, lol.

I beat you all. My mom and the kids got together tonight and put up my tree (albetit **yes it's a word, I looked it up, yeah!*** a smaller version, different location this year and couldn't cover up the security system but it's still purty) and wrapped my house in Christmas decorations. Since I'm still on restrictions this way I wouldn't be tempted to drag boxes up from the basement, I love you guys but seriously I am in no way tempted to drag anything. Still waiting for the energy to rise! So it'll be a very merry Thanksgiving.

So took time of my day to call and speak to the principal of my kids' school. Duchess came home from school with lots of homework and let it slip that during a nurse presentation, they were told not to eat bad foods so they wouldn't get chubby like everyone else. This plus her recent checking of calories on apple juice all kinda came to a head.

First off, I'm raising two girls in this insane world. It's bad enough that kids are growing so fast now, but body image just isn't something I'm prepared to work with in my first grader. Luckily the principal agreed with me and tomorrow the first grade will be readdressed regarding the food pyramid without the mention of calories or chubby/fat people. Cause I'm sorry but when your six, you kinda get fixated on certain parts of a know that whole attention span thing. For example:

Me: Honey, pick up your shoes...
Me: Did you hear me?
Me: Hey, shoes?
Duchess: Mommy did you want me?
Me: (bang head on wall)

So the whole part she gets from a presentation of good eating?



P.S. need new music, give me some ideas peeps...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Check list





off pain pills for good?


answering my phone?

maybe, depends


all A's, all three classes, woohoo!

kids' grades?

all A's, they rock

things are moving along at warp speed. Birthdays and Christmas coming so fast. Not to mention Thanksgiving. I've lost 5 weeks in a blur. That part is okay though, it's the stuff that's left that is driving me nuts.

tv drives me nuts now. When I realized I was watching a soap the other day, I emptied my ipod and filled it with new stuff. Now it's all about music. Which is why I didn't hear the phone when you called, sorry.......I'll call you next month. Still not in the mood. Which could explain my conversation with my doc....went like this...:

Doc: So how are the moods?
me: (snort)
Doc: that good huh?
me: I'm mean and I know it and I don't give a shit
Doc: at least you're honest, it could be worse
me: really? how?
Doc: How's everyone taking that?
me: who the *^%$ cares?
Doc: alright then

Doc is blaming that on my extremely low blood pressure. Which surprises me! I've always had perfect bp. Always. This past week at my appointment it took five trys with two different machines and then manual just to get my bp to read. Then it was seriously so low they took my pulse. So if that doesn't change next week then I'll get some lovely meds. Yeah! meds :( Turns out I had a pulse though, which is good cause that would have been awkward as shit huh? Managed to make it all afternoon without throwing up too, last couple of days have been rough as stomach stuff has been interfering.

Well that is all depressing as hell huh?

So the good news?

All my blue jeans are hanging on me. I keep this up and I'll be able to wear my wedding dress again. Cause nothing says hot like prancing around in your wedding dress twelve years later. I guess since I'll be returning to work soon I should try on my work pants and make sure they will stay up, I've always worn a size or two bigger so that could be really not good if they won't stay up.

Other good news, my kids are amazing. They are doing alot of the bigger chores and happily sweet about it. My baby (6 and still my baby) is all about helping mommy and when I crash for my afternoon nap, she tucks me in and then creeps out the door to go watch cartoons. Sweet baby. My big one wants to shave her legs and needs a shopping trip but is otherwise being quite an amazing kid right now. I am so very blessed with those kids. Even if they sing "Rocking the beer gut" on the way to school.

House is still on hiatus just cause I have enough on my plate. Walking on faith and what will be will be.

My goal for tomorrow is to work a little, manage the day on one nap and walk the entire street on my exercise outing in the morning without having to stop and curb rest. Oh and to call at least one friend. Well the list of people stalking me quite long but I'm gonna try and call one a day so they know I'm alive. I may not be anywhere close to normal yet but that's okay.

Normal is boring. (my new motto)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reality Bites

Dave was home this weekend. Being that it's my first week out of bed, that was a treat. Big help. I'm slowly working on getting energy back. I'm good in the mornings but after 2 or so, I'm done for. Wiped out and can barely get up off my butt. Not good, doc says by Christmas I'll be back to 90% so I'm holding out for that. I can make it till Christmas, right?

My poor mom is back at her place. Finally get back in the swing of her schedule, her life.

Since the daycare is caput, we've found a solution. We spent all Satuday interviewing nannies. Found a good one, Nichole is a former military lady, has kids of her own (who are very well behaved) and will be coming with her in the afternoons so the kids have playmates. Plus Nichole is all about MY schedule, MY rules, and MY way. Dude, that is totally what I need. Plus she does laundry, washes dishes, and will start dinner (mental note, make menus). She starts part time for now until I go back to work so that I have help around the house since I'm on major restrictions. Fun times. Cross fingers that this works out.

Today we had visitors. Dave and I have been together since we were in our late late teens. One of the first people I met through him was his best friend from high school. Although they keep in touch by phone, it's been awhile since we've sat down and visited with him and his family. Today they were in the area and we all got to sit down for several hours. That was so fun.

Then when they left, it was time for Dave to leave. Why was it so much harder to watch him walk away? It has been tougher than usual. It's like my mood got packed in his suitcase and my mom took it to the airport with him.

It's just hormones right?

Dinner is leftovers and the kids are cooking it themselves. Yes!!!! Very much fun. Too bad they are as sad as I am.........maybe they'll do my homework too.......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

To Do:

Busy weekend coming up!

  • get kids off to school
  • get dressed for post op (2nd op) check up - pray get released to drive self!!!!!!
  • make list of movies I want to watch now that my school is caught up
  • make chore lists so the kids can do more help
  • prepare list for sat interviews


  • all day interviews with Nannies (since daycare closed doors for good)
  • snow
  • get Murphy to the groomers, omgawd the hair he's grown, looks like a mini sheep


  • school work due
  • call for hair appointment, maybe she'll come here!! Need a change.

I finally got off my arse this morning and washed my hair. We'll see how long that lasted.

Duchess got pushed around at recess by a bully, going to see principal in the morning. Poor principal, we've had run ins before - he knows my name - but now addresses me properly with a Mrs in front of my last night, moron!

Princess had to go to school with a big ole white headed pimp of doom, her very first, next to her mouth. The little meat head who opened his mouth and was ugly, got in trouble cause the teacher had one too, right next to her mouth as

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Times They A Change

I must say that its disappointing how electonic we have become. Emails, texts, phone calls. No body writes letters anymore. The thrill of waiting for a letter, watching for the mailman, grasping that letter finally and tearing through it immediately, literally eating the words up. Then finding somewhere private to pour through it slowly.

No more long nights talking into the wee hours of the morning about everything under the sun.

No more long winding drives to nowhere, sitting as close as you can next to somebody who makes your heart beat wildly, just because they are there.

Noone singing along to the radio to you while staring deep in your if that song was just about you

No surprise visits, out of the blue popping up somewhere you shouldn't be. Just to see them smile.

The effort seems to diminish.

I guess that makes sense in this fast, responsibility full life.

This is what makes me curl up with some of my favorites.........

Emma. Sigh..........

Pride and Prejudice. Oh there are no words for Mr. Darcy and just get the feeling that 40 years later, those two will still be quipping and longing.

Anthing Karen Marie Moning. Highlanders even make breakfast yummy.....

Even Wurthing Heights.......Heathcliff might be evil incarnate and Cathy might be nuts but together they were redeemable and love was the only answer.

Real life gets too hectic. We make too many things important. We collect things. We have way too many facebook friends. We complicate things.

Is growing older the problem? Or are we as a whole growing away from the important stuff?

So I'm alone during the days now. Daddy gone back to hunting camp, mom is back to work, kids in school, me shuffling around in my bathrobe trying to do too much but still move around and work on getting some energy back. Dinner kicked my arse tonight, I'm exhausted.

Otherwise, complications gone, getting healed up and better.

Moody as HELL.

Haven't worn anything but pjs for a month now and I'm pretty sure I haven't washed my hair in four days.........

If you've called and I haven't answered the phone, it's cause I'm reading and I have nothing to say, lol...........who really wants to talk about how awful they feel?

But the worst part?

The nightsweats and the day chills.........

They suck some major ........well you get the idea.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Send books and a nanny

Slowly, very slowly regaining my land legs. Turns out complication wasn't as tiny as I thought. Getting back to normal though, only had two naps today and no narcs, yeah me! Worse part is not being able to take a bath and soak away the aches and pains, oh yea, also wish Dave was here for big hugs, those make the day better. He'll be here this weekend though and that will be nice. Once again, couldn't have lived through this week without my parents, including the photo-elusive stepdaddy who came in from his hunting camp to be with me while my mom went back to work. I'm so blessed.