A Summer Recap

By | Posted October 30, 2015

Posted in Family Life, pictures, Summer | No Comments »

It’s been a while.  A long while.  But it’s been good.

The last four months have been nonstop living and loving.  We’ve seen family and friends and it’s been better than I could have imagined. For my own records, I’ve attempted to jot it all down here.  This post is more than likely way too similar to being forced to look at someone’s European vacation.  Sorry for that.  But I want to remember it all.  We just had so much fun from traveling to swimming at the neighborhood pool to playing Legos to visiting family.  My absolute favorite night of the summer- the cousins’ night. IMG_7611
I had a girls’ weekend in Austin with Sarah.  First?  I don’t do girls’ weekends.  Like this is the first one ever in my marriage.  And I loved it!  We decided on Austin and went before it got too hot.  We had so much fun.  The kids wanted me to take her to Shady Grove which I did as soon as she arrived.  We ate our way through Austin, went on an electric bike tour, hung out at Deep Eddy, ran town lake, toured the University, purchased too many t-shirts and just had a blast.  It was so much fun.  We ended the trip with hopes of making this a yearly thing. IMG_5773IMG_5894

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Then there was NYC with Lance.  
We spent a lot of time away from each other the first five months of 2015.  That is so unlike us.  We’ve always spent an unusual amount of time together having what I call a college dating situation.  He would be done with his show early enough for us to spend the entire day together.  But with his gig for NFL Network, he was traveling quite a bit and he was just gone all day long.  He’d leave for his morning show and then come home after dinner.  It really stunk. IMG_6056
So he totally spoiled me.  We settled on NYC because we hadn’t been in 12 years.  12 years!!!  Random fun fact, I’ve never gone that long without going there.  I’m not sure how we let this happen. IMG_6129
This trip was awesome.  He found the best hotel bathtubs in the city for me.  We ran into friends from Chicago and spent an afternoon at the Whitney with them.  We went to Sleep No More which was so freaking cool.  We saw Something Rotten, which I loved so much I went back and saw again two weeks ago!  And honestly, had I not just returned home, I would have gone back to see it again while Lance went for the playoff game against the Yankees.  We went through the Moma, I ran Central Park a few times, had fabulous food and cocktails and just enjoyed the amazing city.  We left trying to figure just what we needed to do to move there.  Then we remembered we have five kids and my mother to move, so it looks like that isn’t happening.  Because you know, NYC real estate. FullSizeRender-4

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That time with Lance was needed.  It’s just hard to get any time alone.  Even when we go on dates it can be stressful because we’re rushed or dealing with the kids as we’re walking out the door.  Our trips are just so important to us.  Our trip budget is pretty big, and we miss out on other things, but its worth it.  We’re beyond blessed to be able to take them. FullSizeRender-5

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Once we were home from that trip we were able to settle in a bit and just swim.  We hung out, slept in and the kids played Legos and just enjoyed the break from school. IMG_7896
I took the kids to see Lance’s parents for a few days.  While there we toured the Texas White House.  It was a great tour, and the kids asked so many questions.  I loved it. FullSizeRender-12

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We celebrated my two July boys.  My birthday letters are almost done, maybe… the days were so special.  I love how excited the kids get on their special day.  I love how Lance decorates their cake according to their wishes.  And I love to see what meal they choose. FullSizeRender-7
I’ve already blogged about our summer trip.  But I have to repeat it again, it was amazing.  The entire trip was great.  But the road trip?  Just so awesome!  People asked how I could go with my mom.  She was fabulous.  We talked about everything and enjoyed each other’s company.  I don’t think either of us will forget that trip.  She was game to go anywhere I wanted to take the kids.  She only once requested a specific place once and that was Biltmore Estate.  The kids managed to snag an audio guide a piece which made the tour all the better.  Driving though North Carolina is so beautiful too. IMG_6871
During the trip, I was able to see my Goddaughter in Atlanta.  I can’t explain the joy I had spending time with her.  She is just such a great kid.  Actually, she’s a teenager and a freshman in high school.  I hadn’t seen her in several years and she has grown into such a lovely young lady.  I loved spending time with my friends and sitting around their tables drinking and catching up on life and hearing my mom ask questions and just being so at ease with people I love.  We had the same experience in Virgina seeing Sarah, Chris and Finnian.  It’s always a bit of a worry for me to bring my crew into someone’s house.  My kids are good.  But we are just a loud crew.  But these two friends totally opened their homes to us, and I’m forever grateful for their hospitality and the memories. IMG_6948

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We went to Austin for my granny’s birthday party in August.  Her party was a success, but the best part for me was the cousins’ night.  A couple of of cousins and myself have been throwing around the idea of a cousins’ reunion for a while.  We love family get togethers and hanging out, but there is just so much drama with the other generation that it’s hard for us.  We’re not ready to split on our own quite yet so a night out was the next best idea.  We left our kids with our parents and went to dinner.  It was a wonderful night.  By the time we got home, pictures from the evening had been circulated among our parents.  I think they were pretty proud of us.  I’m proud of us. IMG_7593

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Summer break ended with Goose rushing to finish his school packets.  Does anyone wonder what I think about summer packets?  Probably not.  On principal, I don’t even go over math facts.  I told this to one of the math teachers and she was glad.  She said she wanted the kids to enjoy their summers.  And we did.  We ended the summer like we always do- at the pool and eating pizza. IMG_7913

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School started and I have a sixth grader!  How the heck did that happen?  I can’t even believe it.  We’re trying not to micromanage, but also make sure his work gets done.  So far, so good.  (updated to add, I just discovered he has two zeros.)  It’s funny, when I went to open house, I had my own opinions about his teachers.  Turns out we have the same taste in teachers.  Having a middle schooler makes things easier for the other kids.  I don’t even think about what they are doing.  I sent the same text twice tonight asking if we had tests for second or third.  We don’t.  They are tomorrow and Friday.  Hopefully, I’ll remember that tomorrow and not send the same texts. FullSizeRender-8
Lance and I went to Chicago for Labor Day.  It was my first trip to Chicago without seeing Paul, and now Brian.  But we had a blast.  Great food, great friends and a sea of burnt orange throughout the city.  What’s not to like?  Hands down the best burger I’ve had is in Chicago.  It’s worth waiting in line.  Running Lake Shore was even better because I passed so many Longhorns out running as well.  Now it would have been much sweeter had we actually come to play against Notre Dame, but the limo ride was a blast.  And I would pay the money for the tickets again and again. IMG_8162
Finally at the end of September, I took the kids to see the Pope.  That trip gets a post of it’s own.  One day, someday.  But if I never post about it?  (Pictures posted on IG.) I will say it was amazing.  Honestly, the best trip of the summer.  That Pope Francis, he’s something special.  I truly believe the HS knew what he was doing during that conclave.  Add in a day in  NYC and it’s a no brainer why that trip rocked. And this is why it’s taken until this week for me to be settled into school and have a routine at home.  I’m still exhausted from our summer and most recent trip.  Since returning, we’ve been laying low, watching football and baseball.  Baseball in October?  The kids are pretty psyched.  Just like watching basketball the past two years with the kids, they have made watching baseball a blast.  Especially Snax.  That kid.  I wish I could bottle him.  They even had me listening to the playoff games on the radio. IMG_6047

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Random summer vacation fact: We toured five important houses this summer.  Graceland almost tops the list as the best house.  But really, I just can’t have Elvis’s house be my top pick.  Absolute worst: Mount Vernon.  The property is beautiful, but the guides were awful.  It was so bad, I wouldn’t go back again.  Monticello was such a contrast~we went there September 2014 and took the children’s tour for Sunshine.  It was fabulous, just so well done.  I was worried that taking a regular tour wouldn’t be as good with the rest of the kids.  I was wrong.  The guide catered to both kids and adults and answered all of the questions my kids asked and never got annoyed by them.  LBJ’s house, the Texas White House was really nice. The ranger guide was so knowledgable, and the house is really nice.  Biltmore Estate is such a massive estate, its kind of shameful.  But it’s beautiful and pretty interesting to see how the ridiculously wealthy lived.  Plus, the audio guide is really well done.  And you can’t beat the grounds.  Graceland isn’t tacky and it looks just like a regular house when you drive up to it.  Well, maybe one or two rooms are tacky, but overall?  It’s pretty cool.  They had a great iPad tour.  It was awesome when the kids pointed out how Elvis had three television sets like LJB did.  Mom’s favorite- Monticello, Goose- Biltmore Estate and Monticello, Baby Hulk- Graceland, Snax- The Texas White House but really Tristan and Briton’s house was the top, Sunshine-Monticello and me?  I think The Texas White House may be at the top, but maybe Monticello or Graceland… IMG_6947
This summer?  It was great.  We travelled way more than usual, though I’m not complaining.  I could travel year round which is why I’m already thinking ahead to next summer.  We saw fabulous sites, learned a lot, had some great food and enjoyed each other’s company.  And now, I’m cruising Pinterest for How to Lose the Pooch. IMG_5812

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Mob Mentaility

By | Posted August 17, 2015

Posted in Random | 2 Comments »

I’m not a FBer except in the stalking sense.  I sometimes like a picture, rarely comment and never post.  FB just isn’t for me.  Truthfully, I don’t care about most of the shit people post, I don’t want to see millions of their pictures and mainly I don’t care about people’s opinions.  Reading their rantings makes me realize how few people I really like on this earth.  It also makes me really sad for mankind.

I definitely have my own ideas about this president and certainly past presidents.  Some of my thoughts aren’t nice.  But never would I write them for the entire world to see.  (In fact, I don’t tell my kids the bad thoughts I have about certain presidents because it’s the office of the president, I want them to respect that and not be jaded.)  I don’t understand how so many people can say the shit they do about the president.  It’s just so disrespectful.  And it’s not that I expect people to line up and agree.  It’s about not being a hateful piece of shit on FB about the president.  Or really, anyone else.

This social media thing is amazing to me.  It makes people a lot more brazen than they would ever be in real life.  Maybe it makes them feel important.  I think it just makes them assholes.

Recently, the mob of FB had a new demon- the hunter who killed Cecil the Lion.  To be clear, I don’t like hunting of any form.  I don’t understand it at all and I certainly don’t understand hunting wildlife like lions, rhinos and elephants.  Seeing the images makes me sick.  Knowing how there are only a certain number of rhinos left is heartbreaking.  And hearing the details of this particular hunt were hard because this lion was lured out of the park for the kill.  Here’s my issue- the mob who thinks it okay to close down a business.  The mob who thinks its okay to give out a home address online and send death threats.  People, he killed a lion.  The government of the country where the lion was killed actually allows this to happen.  Yes, it sounds like this kill was illegal, but how the hell does that warrant this kind of response?  It’s not okay to create this type of frenzy and shut down a business and force people into hiding.

What this man did was awful to me.   Zimbabwe has laws and a justice system to deal with him.  We actually have laws as well in this country.  Why can’t we let the justice system actually deal with him instead of the mob?

This isn’t the first time it’s happened.  Somebody says something dumb and everybody wants vengeance.  Right. This. Second.

It makes me sad that people can line up and behave this way.  That they literally have no problem with this type of behavior.  It’s sad because one day they could be on the receiving end of the mob.  Then what?

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Daybook~ Summertime

By | Posted July 30, 2015

Posted in Daybook, pictures | 1 Comment »

For Today~ July 30, 2015

Outside my window~ the sun is shining.  It’s Houston.  It’s hot.  It’s humid.  And man, it sucks.

I’m listening to~ Something Rotten.  Lance and I saw this show while in NYC and LOVED it.  It’s better than Book of Mormon.  Better.  I know, how is that possible?  But here’s the thing, when BOM got boring at times in the second act, this one doesn’t.  The kids heard one of the songs which led to downloading the entire show.  They know all the songs by heart and I’ve decided that one of my children must be a Broadway star.  I’ll be sending them to Barry at HITS.

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I’m wearing~ workout clothes.  It’s been so hard getting up after vacation so I’ll be heading to spin this evening.

I’m praying for~ an end to Duchenne and the success of Sam’s new drug trial, my parents, patience and for time to stop.

Grace all around~it’s there.  My life is proof of that!  But the last two weeks was further proof.  Driving to DC with my kids and mom showed that.  Vacationing in weather as miserable as Houston wasn’t easy, but we had great time.  And God carried us the entire trip.

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Around the house~ I got a new washer and dryer.  Here’s the issue- the back is so ridiculously big on the dryer that it causes it to stick out. Like a lot. Like so much that it’s been months, and I still hate it. I can’t take how ranch my laundry room looks.  Lance wants a patio so it looks like we’re getting one soon.  I just want landscaping but we have that pesky little dog.  Pesky medium dog who bolts out the gate and always comes back.  I don’t understand it, I used to have three dogs at once.  I generally like my friends’ dogs, but Lola…I just can’t take her either.

Thankful for~ our vacation.  It might not have been completely relaxing, which isn’t a complaint for me, I don’t sit while on vacation, but it was fun.  We really had a great time.  And I can’t wait for our next trip.

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Next trip~ is to Philadelphia to see the Holy Father!  So excited about this, but this trip promises to be a bit of a logistical nightmare.  The trains in Philly are making things extremely difficult for Saturday and Sunday.  I’m spending a ton of money getting there and want to at least to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father, but I’d like to show the kids the city on Friday.  Not sure that will happen.  It seems like the city is pretty much shutting down.  This is getting really frustrating.

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Running the National Mall~ I’m trying to rest my ankles, but how could I pass up a chance to run the National Mall?  So I ran and it was so nice.  In fact, it was easy to keep running.  On my birthday, I ran 7.5 and then went to mass and received a blessing.  So happy for that time alone to reflect.

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Learning all the time~ the kids learned a lot about Civil Rights during our trip.  Our first stop was Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.  This was a great NHS.  The kids had tons of questions and don’t quite understand why people would ever want segregation.  We saw a couple of exhibits in DC with civil rights exhibits and then ended up in Memphis at the National Civl Rights Museum which is where MLK was assassinated.  Our last stop before heading home was Central High in Little Rock.  This entire trip has our family talking.  Especially Snax and Baby Hulk, they have lots of questions.  I have to say I was super excited to return home and remember I had purchased this book.  I had been saving it for the right time and Tuesday was perfect.  The kids learned that Mexicans weren’t allowed to attend white schools in California.  The learned about the fight against segregation there for Mexican children.  It was a case I had never learned about even during law school, and I’m proud of the parents and their kids and proud to be Mexican.

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What’s in a name~ random, but I wonder why people think it’s bad to call me Mexican.  Yes, I’m American, Catholic, Texan and a Longhorn.  But my race is Mexican.  It’s not Hispanic.  And I’m not sure why people think it’s a big deal to refer to me as such, why they persist in using Hispanic.  Being Mexican isn’t a bad thing.

One of my favorite things~ road trips!  Sure, I hate to fly, but I love the road.  And I love the sites we saw along the way.  We toured Atlanta- MLKNHS, World of Coca Cola, Aquarium, Asheville- Biltmore Estate, Virginia- Monticello, Memphis- Graceland (which is pronounced grace-lund which was a total surprise to me) and Nat’l Civil Rights Museum, and Little Rock- Clinton Library (so good!!) and Central High.  Lots of driving, little fussing, lots of snacking and lots of memories.

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Plans for the week~ well the week is almost over, but I’d like to detox a bit, have a date with my husband, Ive got a baby shower on Saturday along with four basketball games, a musical on Sunday and my MIL is brining my nieces over tomorrow.

Sad, sad, sad~ we have three weeks until school starts.  My stomach is already in knots.  Like the kind I get when I fly.  Not only does Alec have a ton of work to start, but I don’t want them back at school.  This summer has flown by so fast.  I’ve appreciated every second, the good and the bad.  We’ve gone swimming a lot, taken some good trips and relaxed.  We’ve got one more quick trip to Austin and then we’re done.  I almost want to skip that trip because the more time we’re gone the faster summer seems to fly.  Sigh, why can’t they just stay home?!

Best trip picture~

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I never want to forget

By | Posted April 26, 2015

Posted in Family Life, kids | 3 Comments »

This life?  It’s awesome.

Truth?  It’s not always great.  It has it’s moments when I’m madly texting a friend about something one of the kids did.  Or I’m apologizing to Lance for something I did.  Or I’m pouting because he pissed me off and I’m waiting for his apology.  Life, it’s not always fun.  But really it is great.  I’m blessed beyond words and hope to always be thankful.

This year has been another reminder of just how fast time goes by.  Those old women who remind you to enjoy every second, I don’t get annoyed with them at all.  It literally goes by so fast.  I am very aware of this fact.  I live it.

So in no certain order, these are some things that have happened lately that I never want to forget.

Mason teaching Marianna to write an R.  Mari turned 4 in December.  I’ve been a huge proponent of teaching writing at about 4 1/2 for the past two kids, with this one, I’m pushing things as far out as I can.  But one day, she came to me and showed me a few letters.  I decided I better try and teach the correct form if she was going to write.  Of course, she wants to write her name.  She always came to me to write her R’s.  One day she showed me her own R.   And then she went to the drawing board and wrote a ton of them.  She told me Mason taught her how to write them.  That Mason has a quick temper and is highly sensitive, but he may just be my sweetest, most giving and patient child.

The Friday before the Rockets’ season ended, they played the Spurs.  I took Mason to the game while Lance stayed home and watched with the rest of the family.  It was a tough loss.  At the end of the game, I got a call from a highly emotional Mari.  I could’t understand a word she said.  Turns out she was crying over Josh Smith and his play.  She cried for over 20 minutes and couldn’t be consoled.  My daughter, my four year old daughter, cried over sports!  I feel like a failure as a parent most of the time.  But this?  I feel like I won the lottery with this kid.

Speaking of Rockets and Mari, last week she was wearing her new playoffs shirt at swim club.  Some kid said he liked the Rockets.  He totally caught her attention until he tried to tell her something about her team.  What he said was factually incorrect, and she knew that.  And she couldn’t let it slide.  She basically got into an argument with this kid.  She didn’t back down one bit.  Which makes me happy too.

All of Easter.  I have a post in the works, which may or may not ever get published…so a note here about how amazing my kids were and how I hope the days of the Triduum remain etched in their memories like they will for me.  I didn’t grow up attending these masses, and how I wish we had.  They are beautiful, long masses.  Very long, but worth it.  A visual feast for kids.  And so much is answered in these masses, the priesthood, the Eucharist, etc.  It’s a reminder of what Easter is about and our faith.  And the kids are just so good, from Squirt and Goose serving during Holy Thursday mass and Good Friday to the other three just behaving.  The prayers at the Grotto, the pretzels and Squirt coming out of his room to have one with us.  I just love it.  Attending Holy Saturday mass with my mom, checking the score to the Final Four game during that long mass and finding out Kentucky lost.  My mom and I staying up until 4 am for who knows what reason except I guess to spend some time together.  Just sharing Easter with my family the next day.  It was a wonderful celebration after a tough, but ultimately rewarding Lent. And the floor…that dirty floor that showed we really celebrated.

Speaking of Easter, about the sweetest thing was Squirt asking me on Good Friday if he was getting a basket.  Such a random question, but in my mind it was kind of dumb.  Of course, he was getting basket.  In fact, I was pretty excited about his basket.  It’s not always easy getting him gifts and I am not fan of giving cash (neither are my parents so we’re always trying to come up with actual ideas for him), but I found some good stuff.  Plus, this child loves peeps and Reeces eggs.  And dark chocolate.  It was one I was excited about presenting.  On Sunday morning as we were leaving, he pointed out his basket to my mom, excited!  Still grateful at almost 20.

Marianna and the passion.  You could say my kids know Bible stories and saint stories pretty well.  There are kids who know more, but they can hold their own.  The week after Easter, Marianna was pretty obsessed with the Passion and resurrection.  She marched into the gym one day talking all about it.  She told her care giver just all about those soldiers and Judas taking the money, the heavy cross and the death.  But that we didn’t have to be sad because Jesus won.  We all won.  To here her little voice tell it, well, it makes a mom proud and if I cried, I might over this.

I did want to cry when Mason prayed for my friend Greg the other night at dinner.  Greg lost his partner Ray.  And while Mason doesn’t know who Ray was to Greg other than someone very important and his best friend, he knows enough to realize he is very unhappy.  And so at dinner he said he wanted to pray and prayed for Greg.  What followed was a heartfelt, meaningful prayer for a dear friend.  It reminded me of when the kids used to pray at dinner for Ray.  They faithfully prayed for Ray during some of his worst moments with cancer.  I am so humbled that he thought to pray for my friend, that he knew that prayer would help.

Snax is playing baseball. He’s in coach pitch and is a decent little hitter.  However, his first at bat of the season he struck out.  He was pissed, and when the umpire said three strikes, he yelled, “that wasn’t a strike, didn’t you see he hit me with the ball?!”  Oh that kid.  He is so fucking real.  There is just no other way to say it.

I am so shamed to admit that my kids have horrid taste in music.  Their choice of music- Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift.  Where did I go wrong?  I can admit that certain pop songs can be catchy, but seriously, their taste sucks.  I don’t have XM in the car so there is a lot of switching that goes on while I am driving.  I’ve starting going back to old rock.  Which is fine, I used to love Rock- 101 and 96.5..those used to be rock stations!  The other day I had turned on some random station and Scorpions were playing…Rock you like a hurricane.  And Alec asked “is this the kind of rock you used to like?”  It was, I love,  love, loved the Scorpions!  So now every time we drive and a rock song is on, he asks if I used to like it.  It’s sweet, and honestly, I love that he wants to know.

I am constantly going through closets and toys.  Trying to find clothes to donate, pass onto the next boy and basically minimize.  It’s never ending.  And just when I think I’m done with boy clothes, Snax says that one little phrase, “Mari can have them.”  How can I donate something when he just wants his sister to share?  This girl is a girly girl.  She is all about her clothes.  And she has a few people who love to spoil her with new clothes.  But she’s also tough and can hang with the boys.  Yesterday, BH had her dressed as bumblebee.  It used to be his costume, but fit her perfectly.  So when I went to have her put it away, she kept it in her room.  She lovingly wears Snax’s hand me downs.  I love that he thinks of her, and she isn’t too fussy to wear his old clothes.

Snax has always walked to his own beat.  With a nickname that my friends use as well as teachers who have yet to have him in class yet, this kid has a reputation.  When the entire family is out, listeners always want to meet Snax.  This is my kid with a twinkle in his eye.  A loving, sweet boy who loves his sister a lot.  They fight like an old married couple.  He has the best cheeks and when I say, “cheek”, he immediately runs over and nuzzles me.  Best thing ever.  He also constantly asks me who I think is better.  It used to be about football teams, now it’s about basketball players and teams.  He wakes up and first thing he asks is who won the game.  I constantly catch him on the computer.  Not playing games, but looking up scores.  It has taken me by surprise, but I love it.  We used to say Alec would be the GM of the family, but it may just be Snax.  This kid knows sports and is really good at math.

Squirt got a car last December.  This child loves cars.  It sucks for him because Lance and I have no interest in or knowledge of cars.  He tries to teach his little brothers and some info sinks in, but probably not as much as he wants.  Yesterday, I looked out the window and all five kids were outside cleaning Squirt’s car.  All helping and having a blast.  It makes me so happy seeing my kids play together.

My deepest desire is kids who are close one day.  My brother has been there for me countless times.  I can’t imagine not having him to talk to over the years.  I have friends with relationships like I have and others who never talk to their siblings.   They love their siblings, they just don’t talk.  I don’t get that.  As a parent, I wonder what I can do to make sure they are all close.  I’m not sure there is a magic solution.  But when I see them all together doing something, I think it will happen.  Or when Mari tells me she wants a family day and Drake and Daddy have to come, I realize they will also make it happen.  It’s usually just me and the four younger kids on excursions due to Lance and Drake’s schedules.  But after listening to Mari, I’ve decided to make sure and have weekends like the last two where even the almost 20 year old spends time with all of us.  It’s just making the plan and letting everyone know.  Because they all have a blast, from the oldest to the youngest.

It’s Sunday and the Rockets play tonight.  Every kid in this house is ready for the game.  You know, parenting is so hard most of the time.  If not for times like these, I might give up.

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Daybook~ Towards Joy

By | Posted March 9, 2015

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For today:: March 9, 2015

Outside my window:: it’s raining.  It’s been raining all day long.

I am wearing:: jeans, rain boots, black UT t-shirt with my L necklace!

I am praying for:: patience (and I’m hearing a response!), my friend who has been having some heart issues~ best friend, my age, WTF.  And my granny.  She’s been having some pain.  We also have extra prayers for Lent which I love.

Each night our family prays:: For everyone to appreciate that Jesus gave up his life for us, for all priests and especially the Holy Father, for all people to be healthy, for everyone to make good and moral choices even if hard, for end end to the death penalty, for all souls in purgatory to get into Heaven, and for everyone to love each other and stop racism and religious persecution.   We pray a specific prayer for each day of the week and we all came up with these prayers.  Mine is for an end to the death penalty.  I love them and plan to continue with these after Lent.

I am grateful for:: the grace that seems to be coming my way these days.  Things aren’t perfect, and honestly, quite hard a lot of the time, but grace, I feel it.  And then, BAM…reality comes spiraling in and hits you with something.  Seeking grace big time.

I am reading:: The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared.  It’s a memoir written by a young girl about a 9 year reading streak.  Every. Single. Night. For 9 years.  Can you imagine?  I read to the kids nightly.  But we miss a night once every ten days or so.  It’s a goal though.  But I have so many goals that I can’t start a streak now.  The book itself isn’t great.  She doesn’t have tons of insight into what this meant for her.  She doesn’t say what books touched her and so on.  But the idea and the fact that they went 9 years…Well, I’m inspired and in.  Her father read to her until she left for college.  I’m the reader in the family and the one thing this book did was make me wonder if my sons will read to their kids.  How I pray for this.  Reading aloud provides such a bond.  Trust me.  The kids have their favorites and so do I.  We have picture books, seasonal books, liturgical books  and chapter books.  Truly, it’s a gift.  My kids miss bedtime almost daily so we can read aloud.

We are reading:: well, I have three baskets going…we have our Lent basket out, and the kids have their favorites.  A couple of weeks ago we had a friend staying with us for the week.  He loved our reading time and our Lent books.  It was sweet to have another kid cuddle with me while I read.  He was a perfect kid while I read, shushing the others when they got loud.  We’re also finishing up our winter basket.  I love our winter books, and I hate to put them away, but soon, very soon, we’ll be changing seasons.  And because of that, I’m reading those books every night.  Alec and I are reading the newest Newbery Winner, Crossover.  And soon we’ll start his next and LAST AR project.

Interesting to note that as I’ve listed my triggers for losing my cool with my kids…reading aloud is a huge trigger.  It frustrates me so much that something that I believe in so much and that in general, brings so much pleasure brings me such stress.  But alas, it does.  Why?  The kids fight over who gets to sit next to me.  Seriously, that’s it.  They fight and one stomps off and there it goes.  We’re trying something new and hopefully that helps with this time that I feel is so very important.

Around the house::  seriously, there are so many things I want done around this house.  I need the foundation fixed, and then bathroom tile and painting done.  I wish our dog would stop digging in my yard so that I could have a nice backyard.  So many things that require lots of money.  And it will happen. It may stop a big family vacation this summer.  But this stuff needs to be done.

BUT…I heard this quote and while I still want the above finished…I truly love it.

A clean house is not the sign of good homemaker.  A good homemaker provides a loving, safe and nurturing environment for her children.  A place where her children can be creative and feel safe. 

Seriously??  I love this quote.  I mean, I still need a clean house.  I personally can’t function in a messy house.  I can’t deal with clutter, but that means it’s okay if I leave something until tomorrow or the weekend or next week so that my kid can live and be nurtured and grow.

Towards fitness and health:: still running and spinning.  I really enjoy running and have plans to run the Austin half to check out the full, Chicago full and …I just don’t know.  A gym friend just moved to Cincinnati and wants me to run their marathon.  I’d love to go, but how do you do that with five kids?  Just not sure.  But overall, I love running and my goal is to improve my time.  A lot.

On the menu:: Quinoa chili- a favorite of Mason’s, chicken thighs, pulled pork, spaghetti and some meatless meal on Friday.  I think everyone will be happy this week.

I never want to forget:: the week Marianna learned to whistle.  Last week, I hear whistling and its during the day.  As far as I know, Mari, Snax and I are the only ones who can’t whistle in this house.  Turns out it was her.  And now?  She just whistles.  All.  The.  Time.  And then she looks at me and says, “it’s me, mom.”  She is so darn cute.  She sure likes giving Snax a hard time because he can’t whistle.

I also can’t forget the day Alec grabbed my hand on the way the school.  That kid.  He knows how to make me melt.  He is insanely jealous of his siblings, and that makes me sad.  But that gesture, I can understand him.  I hope he never stops wanting to hold my hand.

One of my favorite things:: the chance to do better.  We all have it.  Each day is a new day.  I’m so not a pollyanna, but I am feeling refreshed.

A few plans for the week:: workout, Audubon with Mari, story time with Mari and get ready for Spring Break.

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Five For Friday

By | Posted March 6, 2015

Posted in Five For Friday | No Comments »

I haven’t mentioned it (because I never write here anymore) but my amazing husband has been working for the NFL on the side.  Anyone who knows him says it’s about time.  And it is.  He was made for this.  He was hired to write draft analysis for their website.  Every player going into the draft.  Every one.  He went to the Combine and was on their online show and did an amazing job.  Compliments all around from loyal listeners who know just how smart he is to his bosses to new fans.  It’s been a long journey to get here.  It’s overdue, really.  Really overdue.

Lance has always been into the draft.  Always gone to the Senior Bowl and written about players entering the draft.  He’s been invited to participate in mock drafts with the best of them.  So this job was made for him.  It was so cool to hit NFL.com and see his name under each player analysis.

The only downside is that it’s a lot of work.  We are spoiled  We’re used to spending a lot of time together.  This “side job” has him renting office space and working until 7pm most nights and weekends.  He missed most of the boys’ basketball games this season.  Has been out of town several times with another trip on the horizon.  It’s been tough.  But so worth it.  I hope it opens more doors for him because he deserves it.  He works hard and has such a passion for this.  I am so proud of him!!!

I’m always working on yelling less.  I guess really the virtue of patience.  And I have five kids with which to practice.  Man, it’s rough sometimes.  We don’t spank, but that isn’t anything to brag about because we yell.  A lot.  Too much.  Recently, at story time someone told me that they yelled too much and they were taking some challenge to stop.  I couldn’t believe this lady yelled at her precious little kids.  But she described some scenes, and wow, they sounded just like me.

I vowed to make a real effort, with prayer and support. So far, it’s working.  I mean, I’m only two weeks in, but yelling has decreased a lot.  I’ve journaled in my own private diary~God, how I love to write my private thoughts down.  When I die, I pray to God Sarah and Stacy are still around to destroy all written evidence of my inner thoughts.  These diaries go back…way back.  But I digress…SO, I’ve been writing about triggers and what’s worked and what hasn’t and what I need to work on with the kids.  It has resulted in leaving Marianna alone while she had a total meltdown that included throwing her babies against the wall and having a grownup talk with Drake about something I was really pissed about.  All without yelling or being a mean bitch.

I’ve found someone to hold me accountable and that is helping a lot.  Then last night I was listening  to a podcast, and the speaker said she forced herself to think of three things she was grateful for in the moment when she gets stressed.  Wow.  Seriously, if I could train myself to do that…Game changer.

I’ve also stopped sending Lance text messages when his kids are acting unruly.  Usually the text messages are pretty viscous and only stress him out while he’s trying to work.  Nothing was working with those messages except he would get mad at me.  Me!  The only reasonable one.  Right?  Anyway, he noticed and asked if the kids were behaving better.  I told him nope, I just didn’t want to stress him out.  I had to be honest.  He thanked me for the honestly and leaving him out of the mess.

Speaking of kids, am I the only parent who worries about their future?  Not in a “the world sucks” kind of way, but in a “are they going to be good, moral people” way.  I worry about this all the time.  I see a lot of traits that really worry me.  One of them being dishonestly.  They lie over shit constantly.  I literally have two kids I don’t trust at all.  Seriously, not one word that comes out of their mouth.  So what am I supposed to do?  These are things that keep me up at night.  Where did I go wrong?  How am I failing?  I don’t lie to them.  So why do they lie.  And honestly, they aren’t even good at it.

I went to an amazing talk last week with a mom who I follow online.  I rarely read blogs anymore, but I love this lady and still follow her.  She has six kids, five boys and one girl.  She’s Catholic and I just know she and I would be great friends if she lived in Houston.  Except maybe she doesn’t cuss as much as me.  She is so real~ when it’s good and when it’s hard.  Her talk was on friendship, but I went in and introduced myself and asked how she had gotten to the place she was right now~ completely enjoying her crew.  She assured me that it’s not all roses and gave some helpful hints.  One of them being to find a mentor that I could turn to in times of stress.  She said it has helped her so much to call on an older mom that has been through it all.  I loved that idea and when I was telling a mom from story time about the talk she asked if I could be her older mom.  Because I’m the old mom at story time.  I’m not sure anyone would ever need me as a mentor! The actual topic of her talk was friendship.  And it was good.  It made me appreciate the friends I have and realize the importance of  having friends that bring you up instead of down.   I pray for my friends all the time, and I pray that I’m a good friend to them.

Marianna and I go to daily mass every Thursday and Friday.  We try for other days, but we always hit those two.  Mari loves Monsignor Rossi.  So do I.  He gives great sermons, and he loves my little girl.  He presides over mass those two days.  Except if something comes up.  When something does come up, I sigh a little and Marianna sighs a lot.  Last week was one of those days.  But was I blessed.  The other priest who I like okay, but not a ton, said that each morning he prays for the goodness he needs for the day.  A simple little prayer, but a powerful one.  I’ve always heard God gives us the grace we need if only we ask for it or accept it.  I feel like this prayer has been a lifesaver for me.  So while Mari was upset that day, I feel like it was meant to be.

And lastly, I have to say I have made some amazing friends via Lance’s show.  I have three friends I am extremely close to and can’t imagine not having them in my life.  I rely on these people like I’ve known them all my life.  I have other people I know from his show that I’m not as close to yet, but feel lucky to have met them.  Who would have ever thought that I would find friends from his show!?!

Happy weekend!  I’m off to bed by ten so I can run 12 tomorrow!

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Marathon Mix 2015

By | Posted January 31, 2015

Posted in exercise, Random | 5 Comments »

I love listening to music.  Most especially while I run.  In fact, I can’t imagine working out without music and if I happen to go to the gym without my headphones, I leave.

I have friends who run marathons without music.

I can’t even imagine.

Seriously, I couldn’t make it to the first mile.

Generally, my playlists are carefully selected and my marathon mix was no exception.  I have some other workout mixes that include songs not on here.  There are a few songs that  make any mix I make no matter what the occasion.  (Jessie’s Girl and Somebody’s Baby- always.)  Some random older songs and songs that might not seem like running songs (Liz Phair Never Said).  But they are all songs that make me happy.

Jill asked for my list in hopes of finding something new.  I’m not sure this will do it, since some songs are 20 years old.  Man, that just made me feel old.  Regardless, I love them.  And they got me through four hours and eighteen minutes.

  1. The Seed-The Roots
  2. S-Express-S Express, long ago clubbing days
  3. The One-Foo Fighters, favorite FF’s song
  4. Satisfy You-Cracker, long ago favorite song of mine
  5. Seven Days-Cracker, love the beat of this one
  6. Ten Minutes- The Get Up Kids, listened to this before every game the year Texas won the National Championship
  7. Bird In A Cage-Old 97’s, totally random song that probably nobody else likes but I. love. it.
  8. World Class Far-Paul Westerberg
  9. Don’t Hate Me- The Get Up Kids
  10. Daft Punk Is Playing At my House- LCD Soundsystem, how could this not be on a workout mix
  11. Where Are We Runnin?-Lenny Kravitz, Lance put on for me and I love it
  12. No Love-The Get Up Kids
  13. Head Like A Hole-Nine Inch Nails
  14. Holiday-The Get Up Kids, clearly I love this band.  I have great memories seeing them (b/c I never ever got concert tickets beforehand yet managed to sneak in, pay my way in or beg my way in) and they just pump me up
  15. Sit On my Face-Lords Of Acid- always a pump me up song
  16. Enough-Gravity Kills
  17. Celebrity Skin-Hole
  18. Somebody’s Baby-Jackson Browne, I can’t explain it, but I guess this is one of my all time favorite songs
  19. Swan Song-Juliana Hatfield, I love her and this song is just so good for many reasons
  20. North American Scum-LCD Soundsystem
  21. Walk-Foo Fighters, I picture my kids during this song
  22. Here and Now-Letters to Cleo
  23. The Good Life-Cracker, another old band I just like a lot
  24. Never Said-Liz Phair, I can’t emphasize just how much I used to love her and this particular album.  This song doesn’t deserve to be on a running mix, much less a marathon mix, but I can’t make a mix without it.
  25. Supernova-Liz Phair
  26. The Way She Dances-N*E*R*D
  27. Johnny Feelgood-Liz Phair
  28. Rough Sex-Lords of Acid
  29. What Girls Want-Material Issue, I love this song, but can’t listen with my kids in the car
  30. Uprising-Muse
  31. Kinda I Want To-Nine Inch Nails, probably my favorite NIN songs
  32. Big Brown Eyes-Old 97’s
  33. She Showed Up-Pamper The Madman
  34. You’ve Had It With You-Paul Westerberg
  35. Cut Your Hair-Pavement, another song that’s not really a running song, but it makes me smile
  36. Renegade of Funk-Rage Against the Machine, perfect marathon song
  37. Jessie’s Girl-Rick Springfield, always, always
  38. Only Girl-Rihanna, don’t judge me, such a peppy workout song
  39. Brand New Baby-Semisonic
  40. Pictures-Sneaky Sound System
  41. Seether-Veruca Salt
  42. Buddy Holly-Weezer, another song that makes me happy
  43. Love Machine-Junkie XL, spin song for climbs and reminds me to push harder
  44. The Walker-Fitz & The Tantrums
  45. Fever-The Black Keys
  46. Love Runs Out-One Republic
  47. Time-David Guetta
  48. Heads Will Roll- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  49. The Hand That Feeds-Nine Inch Nails
  50. Sanctified-Nine Inch Nails
  51. Pretty Fly-The Offspring
  52. Mudshovel-Staind
  53. Self-Estreem-The Offspring
  54. Enter Sandman-Metallica
  55. Volvo Driving Soccer Mom-Everclear
  56. Anyway-Dynamite Hack
  57. Tainted Love-Marilyn Manson
  58. She Wants to move-N*E*R*D
  59. Impressed-The Glitter Kicks
  60. Let’s Groove-Earth Wind & Fire
  61. Unbelievable-EMF
  62. Never Win-Fisherspooner, Colorado Road trip song from 2007, reminds me of Drake
  63. Pumped Up Kicks-Foster The People, the boys loved this song
  64. Long View-Green Day
  65. The Movement-Kid Ink, Lance put this on the playlist saying I must have it b/c it’s his and Peter’s song.  That really came out of his mouth.  I put up with Peter b/c he lives in another state.  HA!
  66. Calling Dr. Love-Kiss, I love Kiss
  67. Battleflag-Lo Fidelity All Stars
  68. Lithium-Nirvana

Typing this list, I really wonder how helpful this will be…mot of my playlist is so old.  I should be embarrassed, but these songs make me happy.  And most importantly, they got me through the marathon.  I’m such a creature of habit, I wonder how much I will change for next year.  I also noticed while typing it out that my order is not very good.  I had a boyfriend that used to make mix tapes for me.  He agonized over song placement.  I think he would be pretty disappointed in my lazy placement!

I didn’t start the mix from the beginning but instead with The Walker.  Not unusual for me to start at a random place when I run.  I only skipped a few songs during the marathon and at the end, I went towards the end again to find something that would keep me going that last mile.  I wanted to cross the line listening to something I really, really liked.  Now?  I can’t even remember what I was listening to as I crossed the finish line.

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Marathon 2015

By | Posted January 19, 2015

Posted in exercise | 11 Comments »

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WOW!  That’s just about all I can say.  WOW!

Yesterday was pretty incredible.  I remember when I decided to run the marathon and somebody asked if I had ever run a marathon before, and I answered no, only the half, once.  She said, a marathon was really different.  Honestly, I thought she was being kind of a bitch with that comment, but now that I am finished, I realize what she meant.  It’s just freaking far.  Really far.

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But I finished!  Never walked except through the last water station.  Towards the last three miles, you saw a lot of people walking.  People even walked through the finish line.  First, I wasn’t going to walk unless I had an injury, but second, what the heck?  Even if you did walk some, why wouldn’t you run through the finish?  Seems weird to me.  But not my business, I guess.

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The excitement of seeing 25,000 people in one place to run is overwhelming.  I didn’t arrive until 6 am and the time just flew.  A friend had told me that it does.  As I walking around in a daze, I ran into Carl and it just made my morning.  Carl is a friend of ours who lives in New York, but was in town to run the half.  He had come over Saturday to catch up and wish me well for the marathon.  Carl is one of those people who is just genuine and has an infectiously happy personality.  So seeing him before the start was what I needed.

The time flew, I walked out with a friend and saw my parents.  They drove in from Kingwood to see me!  They left before 6 am!  I am so grateful.  Since I’ve had children, everything is about the kids so it was awesome to see the pride in their eyes about me!

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Right before I started, I sent Emily a text saying, “For Sam”.  Because that’s what it was about – doing something to help someone who needs it.  With that thought and seeing those crowds, I got a bit emotional before I crossed the starting line.

And then I ran easy for a while.  Within ten minutes, I knew it would be too hot.  Everyone was tossing their clothes and gloves.  My friend said she sent her husband a text saying bring me a tank within the first mile.  I saw Lance and the kids at mile 9 along with Laura and her family.  The kids were hilarious, running on the sidewalk with me.  Except Mari who couldn’t keep up, she cried so I had to stop and hug her.

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West U is where it’s at, those people get into the marathon offering food for runners.  It’s a party for them.

Then I saw Nicole and her kids at 13.5.  Homemade poster for me!

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My parents were waiting at 15ish and then all of a sudden I see Lance and kids and Laura’s family again!  Was perfect!  Jessica was waiting at Chimney Rock and Woodway.  And then nothing for what seemed like forever.  Memorial Drive was about the worst part of the route.  There were people cheering, but not a ton, and it was just long and lonely.  I had received several encouraging texts from people during the run and one was from Nikki.  I sent a frantic text asking where the eff was she!  I thought I had missed her.  Thankfully, I saw her and ran over for a big hug then she shoved me off with promises of being at the finish!  I needed that hug. Lance surprised me at Shepherd with the kids and my parents.  A last pick me up before the final stretch.

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Allen Parkway- sucked.  I think I was running at a crawl, but I never walked.  Just kept going, going.  Once I got downtown, I kept trying to remember how many blocks, I changed music and found something to keep me pumped for that last mile.

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The second I crossed the finish line, texts came in from Chelsea, Paul and Jill!  Chelsea and Jill saw me cross the line and Paul and Brian had been tracking me from Chicago.  I got my medal and saw Nikki and my brother and his family.  Then a text from Laura with a picture of me crossing the finish. And more texts…Nicole telling me I could go eat and drink now, my in-laws who were tracking me, sending congratulations and love, I had 27 text messages and a dying phone.  And a husband who couldn’t find me!

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It couldn’t get much better!  4 hours and 18 minutes!  26.2 miles!

Mom of five does it!

And then came the family!  My dad bought flowers, Alec asked for a Gatorade- really???, Just a proud family standing all around me.  And friends who took time out of their Sunday to watch.  It couldn’t get much better.  Well, walking to the car…I could have done without that.

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Seriously, I have the best family.  I was thinking that I hoped the kids enjoyed themselves seeing their mom train and follow through.  We always watch our kids, but rarely do they watch us.  I hope they learned something.  Lance made it with the kids to see me three different times before the finish despite road closures and traffic.  That was another marathon in and of itself!

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Last April, I told my brother I might want to run the whole marathon this January instead of just the half.  He said he had no doubt I could do it.  I had doubts.  But I ran all summer, getting up early while Drake stayed home with the kids.  He continued to keep Mari every Wednesday morning so I could run the park instead of at the gym.  Lance was the best cheerleader encouraging me as my runs got longer and longer and not letting me give up when my knee sidelined me for two weeks.  And each Saturday my dad called checking the progress of my long runs, remembering what it was like to love running.  I couldn’t have done it without these three.

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I came home to a goodie box from my friend Sarah who has also been cheering me on all fall.  She sent Snoopy pants, a quote her father used to have in his office about being a fighter and cookies.  With coconut.  Then Desiree made me an Coconut Cream Pie.  Amazing.  Less than 24 hours and half the pie is gone.

I am still basking in the glow of it all.  I asked Jill this morning how long I could milk this thing.  She said a month!

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What a day!  Could I have run faster?  Maybe.  The weather could have been colder for the runners.  But really, overall it was a fabulous day!  I raised a little over $7000 to help fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy! Overall, our team raised $88,000!  It’s a start to help fight DMD.  There’s still time to donate if you haven’t!  Once again, my fundraising page is here.

First marathon is in the books!

Will I do it again?  I’m thinking yes.

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Daybook~ the beginning of 2015

By | Posted January 17, 2015

Posted in Daybook | No Comments »

For today:: Friday, January 16, 2015

Outside my window:: It’s dark outside.  And cold.  And I love it.  Lance and I always wonder if we could really handle cold weather.  Sometimes I feel like such a wimp when it gets chilly, but I assume if we lived in the North we would have clothes suitable for cold weather.

I am wearing:: Pajama pants and a black shirt.

I am praying for:: a special intention, that my husband gets home safely and patience.  Always patience.  At some point, can’t God just grant that one to me?  This house would be a lot happier if I were more patient!

Grateful for:: family.  The good and the bad.  I have an amazing husband who loves me and wants to spend time with me; kids who are funny, smart, kind and love to be out of doors.  Parents who are generous with their time and gifts and who love me, maybe my kids more, but they support me.  It’s not picture perfect, not even close, we all bicker and get on each other’s nerves, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

From the kitchen:: a couple of months ago, Snax said it’s: fish, chicken and pork.  That’s it, never mind the fact that we had had pizza and burgers the nights leading up to that statement.  In an effort to change things, I’m actually going through my Pinterest boards and finding recipes.  The past several weeks, I’ve made 4  new recipes a week.  And they’ve mostly been great.  Even Snax approves.  Don’t count this week.  With Lance out of town, I don’t make new meals, I go for easy, easy, easy.

I am reading:: Mere Christianity.  Finally.  I’ve heard of this book for years, but over the last year, it’s been thrown at me so to speak.  I have four other books I’m dying to read right now, but I refuse to start anything else until this is done.  I’ve read two pages so far.  Does that really count as reading a book?

On blogging::  I have so many intentions, then just can’t ever find the time.  I even have a notes section full of blog ideas, cute stories of the kids or just my random musings.  But at the end of the day, I never type them out.  I find that I rarely read blogs anymore either which goes back to that whole no time thing.

On fitness and health::  there is this little thing I’m running on Sunday called the marathon.  I can not wait.  I’m nervous and anxious and ready to go.  Partly, because I’ve had to taper (can you imagine me using that word?) and am still eating my usual amount and that just drives me crazy.  But mostly, I’m just ready to go!  I’ve trained, had one issue, but seem fine now.  It’s for a good cause and I’ve managed to raise some money for PPMD.  Anyone else want to donate???  Here is my fundraising page.

Finding a rhythm::  it’s so hard to get back into a routine after a break.  We were up so late every night.  Even the four year old.  (yes, I have a four year old now!)  The kids would play all day and then we’d finally sit for books around 8:45 and read until 10.  We have such a great collection of Advent/Christmas books, and it was great reading them.  But now we’ve moved onto to our Winter basket which I must say is pretty damn good.  I love the kids’ faces when I pull out a favorite.  We’re reading The Long Winter as our family read aloud as well.  I think this week we’ve settled somewhat.  At least the kids were in bed by 9 the past two days.  A start for us.  We’ve got basketball Mondays and Tuesdays and the rest of the week is open to us.  I like it that way.

One of my favorite things:: so I always say this, but trips with Lance.  Actually, we don’t have anything planned beyond Chicago this May when he goes to the draft.  I’ll join and we’ll see Paul and Brian as well.  We’ve got next fall already planned, so we just need something soon.

A few plans for the week:: the week is mostly gone, but we’ve still got some plans- Rocket’s game against Ok City, birthday dinner with friends, movie, marathon, day off with the kids.  Oh and start science fair experiments.  God, I beg you to help us on that one.

Loving the moments:: when a child asks me to snuggle him.  You always say yes to a child that wants to snuggle.  Always.

I am always wanting family pictures.  I think it stems from the fact that we never took family photos growing up.  Whatever the reason, I am always a PITA about taking pictures on big occasions.  Christmas morning at mass, we took our usual picture and I messed it up by doing some closed mouth smile.  To be fair to me, it wasn’t that good of a picture, but clearly, I ruined it.  Then later that evening, our neighbor came over to take a picture of my entire family.  I was so interested in getting that picture that I forgot to take another picture of just my immediate family.  I figured no big deal, we’ll take one on the Feast of the Holy Family, pictured below.  My mom took the picture, we’re not centered, Alec was pissed at me because I wanted him to wear his coat.  And there you have it, our family picture for this Christmas season.

Taken on the Feast of the Holy Family~ we are so not the Holy Family and this picture clearly reflects that, but shows a bit of who we are.

Taken on the Feast of the Holy Family~ we are so not the Holy Family and this picture clearly reflects that, but shows a bit of who we are.

 

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A small blogging effort

By | Posted January 14, 2015

Posted in Random | 4 Comments »

I can’t say just how many posts I start and then never finish.  One day, I’m finishing them all.  Despite the fact that some of them are over a year old.  For my memories, or the kids.  All I can say is the money I spent for this site this year has been wasted.  Do I bother renewing next year at the rate I’m writing?

So what’s new?

I got a new phone!  Finally!  A phone that doesn’t speed up while I’m listening to music while running, that isn’t the slowest thing ever.  It’s so sleek.  I feel so special until Lance tells me he is getting a new one too.  I mean, really?  I can’t have the new phone first for a while?

This second I’m attempting to study for the spelling bee with Alec.  The bee is Friday.  He’s known that he qualified for almost a month.  Has he studied?  Not one bit.  I am trying to remember that his refusal to study isn’t a reflection on me.  Or really him.  There are some pretty random words on the list.  I’m having to have the computer pronounce words for me because I’ve got no clue what they mean or how to say them.

*** I started this on a Monday night.  Friday was the spelling bee.  He got third place.  Third freaking place.  At TH Rogers.  If you don’t know what this means, well, I’m not saying.  Just know, he fucking rocked it.  And had he bothered to ask for the definition, he would have stayed in even longer.  Possibly won.  Regardless, I’m proud.  And while, the definition may have assisted him on the word that knocked him out, I’m happy he wasn’t one of those kids asking for a definition for each word.  One girl, the winner in fact, asked for the definition, the word origin and to use in a sentence every. single. time.  Really???  Give me a fucking break.  Except she did win.

Can I say how much I hate fifth grade so far?  Not the teachers,  just the work.  Projects nonstop.  With no educational benefit.  Only thing that happens is I get pissed.  I yell.  I apologize and Goose finishes his project.  The science teacher had the nerve to tell me that “science fair was driving her crazy.”  I asked how her she thought the parents felt.  She had no answer.

Things have gotten so bad that Alec is spending part of his break completing an AR project.  IF he chooses not to complete it  by Sunday, he loses basketball for 2015.  All of it.  He’s pretty good, so I can only hope he gets it together.  Why?  Let’s just say the last two projects have had him up until almost midnight the before the due dates.  While I think the projects themselves are dumb and without value, his grades depend on them and they aren’t difficult.

***Yet another post, I can’t finish.

Let’s see- Christmas vacation was wonderful.  Too short.  But we had a blast.  Doing nothing, just hanging together.  That makes me happy.

Best present ever- stay at the Houstonian with my husband.  We watched three movies and had a wonderful dinner at Caracol.  Fabulous drink and food to die for.  AND…I even woke up super early and ran 20 miles one of the mornings.  I literally left my sleeping husband at the Houstonian to run 20 miles.  Who does that???  Someone training for the marathon.  Not what I wanted, but needed to get one last long run before the marathon.

That gift was the absolute best present.  I am always telling my husband and parents that memories or events are the best gifts.  Maybe not at the time, especially to kids who like to unwrap gifts over and over.  But in the end, what they remember is the event.  The day after Christmas I took the kids to see the Rockettes.  Another gift for me because it’s super pricey to take five people to Hobby Center, especially if you like sitting in the Orchestra section.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  And since it was a present for me, I have to say it was totally worth every penny and I am glad I had that over something else.

Next year Snax wants to hit NYC for winter break.  He says he understands that a trip like that in December would mean no Christmas gifts, but I’m not sure.  His reason for going?  He wants to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.  We read a new book this year titled, The Carpenter’s Gift and it was about the Rockefeller tree.  One morning, Snax saw the tree on the Today show and is now obsessed.  I love that kid.

Speaking of Snax, man, has he moved up in the power rankings.  Last year we noticed he started having an interest in sports.  My dad has season tickets to the Rockets so we took him to some games, and he always paid attention unlike some of his older brothers.  It was the same way at the Longhorn game we went to this Fall.  And now it’s morphed into the NFL.  God, I love this kid.  For many, many reasons, but listening to him while watching the games is so much fun.  He knows a lot for his age and cares.  Tells brothers to move out of the way so he can watch.  AND..the best part, he wakes up asking for scores.  Can you say top of the list?

Ok, our power rankings change all the time, hourly, by the minute, BUT, let’s just say he’s had a strong year.  While others haven’t.  (No names.)

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