Monday, April 28, 2008
Well, in true Angie form, I have waited until the morning of class to tackle this project. I've spent the entire morning running around trying to figure out how on earth to make a giraffe mask. Yes, of all the animals that my daughter could have chosen, she wants a giraffe. Oh the humanity! After cutting and measuring and trying my best not to micromanage my child's creativity, here are the results. I never said I was an artist.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Another shot from the master bathroom (Before)
Ok, so things didn't quite work out today as I had hoped. It's now 7:45pm and the kids are in bed and I'm beat. The clothing purge project took way longer than I anticipated and then I got sidetracked with other things, which is the story of my life. Anyway, I plan to pick this bedroom project back up tomorrow and hopefully have a "Marvelous Monday" post to show my fab results. Stay tuned!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Two days ago, I was semi-enjoying this dish of sweet & sour chicken from my favorite local Chinese restaurant. I cracked open my fortune cookie to see what pearls of wisdom it had for me and was delighted to read the following: "This coming Friday will be an exciting time for you." Well, I kind of shrugged it off until about 15 minutes later, when I hopped on the scale for my daily (keeping up with things) weigh in. I was STUNNED to see my weight was 3 lbs less than it was last Friday. Forget stunned, I was ECSTATIC! Not only was this going to get me to my first big milestone of losing 20 lbs, but it was also going to put me back in the 100's, where I haven't been for a VERY LONG TIME. It was all I could do not to shout from the rooftop with excitement.
Well, in true Angie form, I couldn't take that weigh in and learn from it and try to maintain it. No, I took the opportunity to indulge in a cookie here and there and enjoy that cheeseburger and fries for dinner last night. So, at the weigh in this morning, I in fact only reported a 1.2lb loss. Bummer. The good news is that I did hit my goal of losing 20 lbs so far and I'm only .7 lbs away from my next big goal, which I will DEFINITELY hit next week! Woo hoo! Oh, and I'm still winning the contest overall. That makes me the biggest winner in my own book!
My brother-in-law is doing better. He's still in a lot of pain, but I think the danger of death has passed. He had surgery today to insert a catheter into his heart, which should catch any clots that form due to his immobility from paralysis. The doctors are already formulating a rehab plan and he might be going to Atlanta for that. (About a 2 hour drive from here) I'll keep you guys posted on this developing story. Thanks for all the well-wishes and zen you all have sent our way! We really appreciate it!
Happy Friday everyone! Friday is the one day of the week that I purposely have no activities scheduled, so that if I want to stay home and veg with the kids, I can do so without guilt. You know the guilt of working hard to pay for a class and then when class day comes, you would rather staple your head to the carpet than drive the kids to one more activity. I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment.
Anyway, anyone with small children is quite familiar with Thomas the Tank Engine. Well, the suits behind this genius marketing giant have branched out to all sorts of avenues in which they attempt to take your hard earned money. Today, I fell prey to the machine for the 3rd YEAR IN A ROW. When will I learn? Actually, I'm really not as bitter as I'm playing this up. I'm more frustrated from the 25 minute car ride with 2 cranky toddlers fighting over the single mylar balloon that I purchased. Again, I ask, when will I learn?
Our local railroad museum hosts a Day Out with Thomas event every year around this time and our first attendance was when Ashlyn was only 18 months old. We return every year because both girls really have a love for trains and it's a huge fundraiser for our little museum. They have tons of free activities for the kids and my girls are among the very few children who are actually cool with just seeing the trains and not riding on them. (My wallet is ecstatic about this!) Where they get you is in the gift shop depot tent on your way out to the car. You know, your kids are exhausted and running on the cotton candy sugar high, when out of the corner of their eye, they see this enormous quasi-store full of every Thomas licensed thing you could possibly imagine. It's Thomas Heaven!
Lucky for us, my mom tagged along for this train adventure. She was powerless over the pleading eyes and pitiful looks of my girls holding these little train cars that they just couldn't live without. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because I was lucky enough to come home with a scrapbooking kit from the Thomas tent, thanks to my mom! Bless her heart, she's a really sweet grandma!
We had another fun trip to see Thomas and his friends and we're already planning to attend next year! I guess I had better start saving now for the next onslaught of new & improved Thomas merchandise, because I'll bet my mom doesn't fall for this one again. Just kidding mom!
Ashlyn is quite proud of her Percy tattoo
Thursday, April 24, 2008
So, after 2 hours in the vet's office yesterday, I was very disheartened to find out that she either has a tick-borne disease (such as Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever) or the beginning of an auto-immune disease. We're praying for option A because if it's option B, we're in a lot of trouble. So, with a lot of tears, I left her at the vet's office to begin a 3 day stay where she'll start a new round of antibiotics and we'll keep our fingers crossed that she'll respond to them. Ailey & I visited Chloe this morning and she is so ready to come home. We're actually thinking of trying to spring her out tomorrow night, because we're all missing her terribly.
4 different bags of dog food in hopes of finding 1 she'll eat..........................................$100
2 trips to the veterinarian to treat illnesses received from previous homes............$560
Canine kisses of gratitude.................................................................................................Priceless
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
On Monday, my husband's youngest brother was nearly killed by a hit & run driver in our town. He's now in the hospital ICU, 23 years old and been given the news that he'll likely never walk again. I know that I'm going to anger someone by saying this, but those of you who know me and love me, will know where I'm coming from. Motorcycles should be outlawed. I think people, especially those with young children and families, are just waiting for imminent death if they ride them. I know way too many people who have been injured on them, but this case with my brother-in-law is the worst I've seen so far. How heartbreaking that someone who has their whole life ahead of them, gets such a major detour on that road and now basically has to start over. Now, those of you who are already getting upset and ready to say "well, you could also be injured just as badly in a car!" My response to that is that far more people are injured way more severely and often in motorcycle crashes than they are in auto crashes. At least if I'm in a car, I've got a huge cage of metal surrounding me that will more often than not, protect me. A plastic helmet and a leather jacket aren't going to do me much good if a car hits me broadside on a motorcycle. One of my oldest friends told me on Monday morning of this week that she had totaled her car over the weekend. She was driving a Ford Explorer. The car is totaled, but she walked away with a black eye. I wish my brother-in-law had been driving an Explorer.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I love German Shepherd Dogs. I might have mentioned that once or twice before. I had a GSD as a young child and I think that's where my love of the breed emerged. They have such power and grace all at the same time. I could gush for an hour, but I digress.
When Jake & I purchased our first home in 1999, we immediately fenced in the backyard and added 2 puppies to our home. Meeko, was our GSD and Val, was our Boxer. When the furkids grew to be about 2 yrs old, I came across another GSD named Dakota that was in desperate need of a good home. After many tears, I convinced hubby that she just had to move in with us...and so she did. Both of our GSD's suffered from severe hip dysplasia (which is very common in the breed unfortunately) and they each developed a condition called degenerative myelopathy (also common in the breed). We lost Meeko in January of 2007 and then Dakota in August of 2007. It was a very hard year and heartbreaking to lose both of my GSD's that close together. Our Boxer then very unexpectedly passed away in February of this year, which left our house very quiet. There's nothing like the "tic tic tic" of doggie nails walking along the wood floors in the middle of the night.
Before Val passed away, we had made plans to purchase a GSD puppy from a local breeder in June. Due to mother nature's hand in the matter, the puppy was never conceived and we were left wondering how we were going to fill in the empty hole that this family had. And then the miracle of the internet appeared.
Craigslist has got to be one of the coolest sites ever! You can buy/sell/trade/giveaway/locate anything that you can imagine on that site. One evening, while feeling especially low, I found an ad asking for help to find a home for a pair of GSDs. Hallelujah!! I emailed the person and was soon on the phone with a guy who gave me quite a sob story about the plight of this brother/sister pair. After a very long weekend, we made our way to the local Humane Society and met these 2 adorable creatures.
They both had the exact coloring of my Meeko that had passed, which immediately made me want to pack them up and take them home. Their dispositions were so docile and they desperately needed to get out of the shelter situation. So, we decided to adopt them immediately and take them home! Ashlyn & I headed for the pet store to purchase all the necessities, while hubby took the new furkids home. The first 24 hours were pretty shaky as we soon discovered that the female was not particularly happy with sharing her new home with her brother. After a couple of days of this aggressive behavior, we knew that the situation was not going to work out and that someone was bound for a new home. Little did we know that we were now going to be put into a position that we never wanted to be in...rehoming an animal.
We were now in full swing to get these dogs fully vetted (they got a lovely case of kennel cough from the humane society) and make the decision on who would stay and who would go. By this time, we had given our new houseguests names that we thought fit them quite well. The female would be called Chloe and the male would be Asher. Chloe was a sweetheart who loves people. She's not fond of other animals and she has a leg injury to a front leg, courtesy of a tangle up with a cow at her previous home. Asher was a gentle giant. Weighing in at close to 100 lbs, he was content to lay on his bed or sidle up next to me for all the rubs and hugs he could stand. This was an excruciating decision, but we finally settled on finding Asher a new home, since he would be the easier of the 2 to place.
We distributed flyers, made lots of calls and utilized the internet to the best of our ability. Thankfully, after a week, the right family came along! They had lost their male GSD (Asher's lookalike twin) just recently and really wanted another GSD in their house. It was meant to be. With a lot of tears and a broken heart, we said goodbye to Asher and focused all of our energy on making sure Chloe fit into our house just right.
It's been 10 days since we said goodbye to Asher and Chloe has really become a wonderful dog! She's more at ease and playful. She's finally eating with consistency and almost over her horrible kennel cough. She's getting used to having 2 little girls who just want to love her. And she finally has her silver charm on her collar that proudly displays her name, address and phone number. Chloe is finally home for good!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Seven Ate Nine
Washington D.C. is quickly becoming one of my most fave places to visit. There is so much history there and as I grow older, I've really started developing a love of architecture. I'm especially enthralled with buildings that have tremendous historical significance. D.C., of course, has no shortage of monuments, which are neat to visit, but it's buildings like the National Cathedral and the Smithsonian Castle that I'm just in love with. Thankfully, I got glimpses of both before I headed back home. We visited a really cool museum about the history of news and how it's delivered. It is appropriately named the Newseum. We also visited the National Portrait Gallery. My favorite part of that adventure was a courtyard that they've constructed in the middle of the buildings. It has a very cool water feature that several kids (and adults) were having lots of fun with, while we watched.
After 32 hours of being away from home, I was welcomed with hugs and kisses from everyone (including our new dog), which reminds why "There's no place like home". Enjoy these few pics from the trip!
My Sis-in-law, Justine, playing in the fountain
My "little" brother & I on top of the Newseum with the Capitol in the background
The Washington Monument
Friday, April 18, 2008
Nothing terribly exciting is on the agenda, aside from finally getting to see their new home (a condo they purchased last year) and to have a few yummy meals at places much different than the fare I enjoy in East TN. I've already put my foot down and refused to darken the doorsteps of any sushi bars. I am a picky eater, there's no doubt about it. However, in my defense, I have tried really hard to broaden my food horizons as I get older.
I'll try to post some pics when I return. Have a great weekend!
Big Sister had to get in on some camera action
When Ashlyn turned a year old, Jake started this tradition of giving a rose to the birthday girl. He also gives me flowers, for being mommy. Very sweet! So, when Ailey came long, he started giving the birthday girl and mommy a rose and the sister gets a special flower of her own. Below is Jake giving Ailey her birthday flowers.
- My weight, exercise and diet
- My incredibly cluttered house
- My inability to finish these grandiose craft projects that I begin
So, with lots of gusto, I began to tackle each of these items. I'll focus on #1 this morning because it's provided the most awesome results so far.
A friend of mine & I hatched this plan in January to start our own Biggest Loser competition. She & I are both very competitive and the smack talking began almost immediately. It grew to 6 participants pretty quickly and the only real rules were that we had to weigh in every Friday on the same scale. Whatever diet & exercise plan you wanted to engage in, was your business. It really made us accountable for our own outcomes, but we still had the support of the other participants.
I ended up becoming kind of the leader of this group, because of my natural control-freak tendencies and the fact that I had created this crazy spreadsheet to keep up with all of our progress. The other girls in the contest have made fun of it, but I know they secretly wait with bated breath each week to get the results. I also try to be a cheerleader on the weekly email to keep us motivated. Today marks the end of Week 15 and our weekly weigh in is in an hour. If my home scale is correct, I didn't lose anything this week. While disappointing, it wasn't unexpected. I've not eaten well over the last week and there's been a lot of stress in my life over the last 2 weeks. (Look for an entry about that soon)
Anyway, wish me luck this morning at the weigh in. I'm hoping to at least retain my lead position overall in the contest. Yes, I'm winning!! So far, in 15 weeks, I've lost 19.2 lbs and 3 jeans sizes. Woo hoo! Expect to see some before and after pics later this year once I've lost way more weight and get increasingly closer to my goal weight/size.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
1. I consider myself an optimist.
2. Nine times out of ten, people say that the thing they remember most about me is my smile. I do tend to smile a lot, out in public anyway.
3. Both of my parents and my brother are bilingual. Sadly, the only language I’m fluent in is English.
4. I love to travel!
5. If I could live anywhere else in the United States, it would be in Maine, close to the eastern coast. “Maine: The Way Life Should Be”
6. I cry almost every single day.
7. I am crazy about German Shepherd Dogs!
8. I have always wanted to live in London, England for a time.
9. I was scrapbooking long before it was the “in” hobby. I think my first scrapbook was in junior high school. (circa 1988)
10. I have had a body image problem since I was in elementary school. When I’m thin, I see a fat person in the mirror and vice-versa.
11. Cake is my most FAVORITE dessert in the world!
12. I have been madly in love twice in my life.
13. I am terrified of needles.
14. I loved running cross country in elementary school.
15. My parents let me dress up as a French maid for Halloween when I was about 12 years old. It was a pretty racy costume for a 12 year old.
16. My favorite holiday used to be Christmas hands down, but now it’s shifting to Thanksgiving.
17. I found out that true friendship CAN endure the test of time.
18. I secretly fantasize about running a marathon.
19. I can hold a grudge better than anyone I know, which is not something I’m proud of.
20. I harbor great resentment against both The University of Georgia and the Chi Omega sorority because neither saw fit to extend me an invitation to join them.
21. I decided to major in accounting in college because a childhood crush’s dad was a CPA and he showed me how cool it could be to work in that field.
22. I have never lived by myself.
23. I’ve been pregnant 5 times. I have 2 beautiful daughters. I also have 3 guardian angels whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting.
24. I have visited 30 of the 50 states.
25. I love to collect new recipes to try, but I don’t really cook that often.
26. I have played the piano since I was about 7 years old.
27. I yearn to own a BMW.
28. My dream car as a teenager was an Alfa Romeo Spider convertible. Sweet car.
29. I would love to have dinner with Jon Stewart and Oprah Winfrey.
30. I have owned a sewing machine for 4 years and never taken it out of the package.
31. My grandmother is an amazing seamstress.
32. I was named for my father’s mother and my mother’s twin sister.
33. My mother wanted to name me Myrtle Agnes, but thank god, my grandmother talked her out of it.
34. I love to cross stitch.
35. I would love to cook with Paula Deen.
36. I want to see Josh Groban in concert. He’s probably in my Top 5 favorite artists of all time. His voice makes my heart race.
37. I have always wanted to go whale watching.
38. I have a long standing fascination with dolphins.
39. I almost got a tattoo when I was 18, but the fear of needles kept me from going through with it. I would like to get a tattoo before I leave the earth.
40. I would say the religious category that I probably fit best into is Agnostic.
41. I didn’t attend a public school until college.
42. I went to an all girls school for 6 years and lived to tell about it.
43. I am a very giving person.
44. I am very possessive of the people that I love the most.
45. My brother is 5 years younger than me, but I’ll always see him as a kindergartner on his first day of school.
46. The top 3 foreign destinations that I would like to visit before I die are Australia, Japan, and Scotland.
47. I am an obsessive list-maker.
48. My very first pet cat, when I was a kid, was a black and white mixed breed named Amber.
49. I can watch the same movies and tv shows over and over and over again and not get bored with them.
50. My favorite movie is The American President. I’ve seen it over 100 times.
51. My favorite tv shows are Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls.
52. I have had a crush on Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey since 1987.
53. If I could afford it, I would buy a time-share at Disney World in Florida because I would LOVE to vacation there every year.
54. The first dog that I owned as an adult was a German Shepherd named Meeko. She was a handful and tried my patience, but I loved her dearly. She passed away last year and I miss her so much that it hurts my heart.
55. I love to sing, but I know I’m not very good at it. A tape of me performing as a teenager confirms it.
56. I do not enjoy being outdoors.
57. I’m a computer addict. If I’m not on the computer at least once every day, I’m not a happy person.
58. I am a bit obsessed with finding, legitimate and good, free things on the internet.
59. My favorite clothing is from Old Navy.
60. My oldest child’s middle name is for my brother, only with a feminine spelling.
61. My youngest child’s first name is inspired from a friend from high school.
62. I have a deep desire to do an extensive family genealogy of both sides of my family.
63. I don’t like beer, but I love a good Pomegranate Martini.
64. I LOVE LOVE LOVE music. It’s a hugely integral part of my life. Many of my most cherished memories have a song that goes along with them.
65. I have only been to 2 normal concerts in my life: Jimmy Buffett when I was 15 and Pearl Jam when I was 21. I’ve seen acts at Riverbend, but that doesn’t really count in my book.
66. I bought tickets to a Def Leppard concert when I was 15, but my parents wouldn’t let me attend because they thought I was too young to go with my friends.
67. When I was 13, my cousin & I begged my grandmother to let us see B.B. King in concert because (rumor had it) U2 was going to join him onstage. That didn’t happen and we subsequently were forced to sit in a major rain downpour before and throughout the concert in order to “learn our lesson”.
68. I always wanted a job that would include travel, but was disappointed when my destinations included Farmerville, LA, Moorefield, W.V. and Milan, MO. The people were great, but that wasn’t my idea of great places to visit.
69. The thing I cherish most in this world is hearing my daughters’ voices say “I love you mommy”.
70. I would definitely be called a collector. I used to collect Longaberger baskets and Disney figurines. Now, I collect scrapbooking & cross stitching supplies and cameras.
71. I have recently developed an interest in SLR cameras and the amazing pictures you can take with them. I received a really nice digital one for my birthday last year, and am hoping to actually start using it to its full potential soon.
72. I stay away from office supply stores because I have an addiction to purchasing supplies that I really don’t need. It’s the organizational freak in me.
73. I aspire to have a really organized house, but first I need to do a MAJOR de-cluttering. I’ve tried and failed at this effort more times than I can count.
74. I’m pretty certain I would have a major panic attack if I lost my day-runner. I’m obsessive about my calendar.
75. I’m a stickler for great customer service and am not afraid to let people know when I’m really happy and really not happy about the service I’ve received. It’s gotten me into hot water a few times.
76. I hate the way my teeth look.
77. I’ve kept a journal inconsistently since junior high school.
78. I enjoy writing and would really like to author a children’s book some day.
79. I am a workaholic. I inherited that from my father and maternal grandfather.
80. I miss my granddad immensely. He would have loved seeing my girls.
81. I have been para-sailing and would love to do it again!
82. I’m an impulse shopper. Great for retailers…not so great for my wallet.
83. My favorite color is red. And I look great in it.
84. I have 2 of the 3 pieces of diamond jewelry that I want. I really want a diamond eternity band.
85. Other than my wedding rings, my diamond stud earrings, and silver locket necklace, I rarely wear any other jewelry.
86. I have never done anything more, color-wise, than put a few highlights in my hair.
87. I hate having long hair, but now refuse to cut it until I lose a ton of weight.
88. My most vivid memory from early childhood is when my grandma took me to see the trains when I was about 3 years old.
89. I have only had 1 actual birthday party in my lifetime. It was my 8th birthday and the destination was Showbiz Pizza Place. It was a lot of fun!
90. I pulled off an awesome surprise birthday party for my hubby’s 30th. The real feather in my cap was that I was 8 months pregnant at the time also.
91. I lost my coveted high school class ring less than a year after I graduated. I’m hoping to replace it sooner than later.
92. My favorite food is cheese pizza. The more cheese the better.
93. I have given up drinking carbonated drinks and I feel so much better as a result.
94. I have recently become obsessed with text messaging.
95. As tech-savvy as I am, I still pay bills by mailing checks through snail-mail.
96. I rarely carry cash.
97. I have had to replace my checkcard 3 times in the last 18 months. I keep losing it.
98. The only kind of ice cream that I enjoy eating is plain old chocolate.
99. I totaled my first car less than a year after I got my license. We were lucky to walk away from that accident. I’m now very paranoid about making left hand turns.
100.I despise the word “closure”.