On Your First Day of School

By | Posted August 27, 2012

Posted in Baby Hulk | 8 Comments »

Baby Hulk,

Last night I packed your Wookie t-shirt.  It’s too small for you.  I didn’t put it in the attic for your brother or in the donation pile.  It’s yours.  But it’s starting to look a bit too short on you.  Your dad says it’s time.

And it is.

Time to move in another direction.

It’s your first day of school.  Your first day of somebody other than me teaching you.

Academically, you’re ready.  More than ready.  (You’re welcome to any teacher you have in the next three years.)  I do have concerns, not the typical “no school will be good enough” concerns.  Concerns I won’t write here.  Concerns I take to the altar, to Mary.

I pray that your teacher appreciates the amazing, sensitive and quite honestly, brilliant boy that you are.  I hope she embraces the bit of quirkiness you have.  I pray that she has patience with you and that she keeps the fire going that I started in you.  I hope she finds ways to keep you engaged and interested.  I hope you find friends that are kind and interesting.  I hope that you flourish in school.

And every day, I will be waiting to hear all about your day.

My sweet, handsome, smart little boy, I love you so much.  I’ll miss learning with you and teaching you.  A secret, thus far, you are my best student.  I already miss your sweet little face.  I pray that God watches over you, that Mary mothers you when I’m not there and that those five little saints known as your sisters storm heaven to keep you happy and safe.  Maybe they can throw a few prayers my way too, that I stay sane while you’re gone.

Happy First Day of School, BH.

St. Gerard pray for my boy.

PS…that bitch who didn’t let me say goodbye this morning, well, she’ll pay.  I promise you that.  SHE. WILL. PAY.

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Five For Friday

By | Posted August 24, 2012

Posted in Five For Friday | 1 Comment »

Yes, a break from vacation pictures.  Am I finished posting pictures from the trip?  Not even close.

:: Football season is starting.  As is fantasy football.  Last year, Lance had his big auction during the week.  I was sick.  Puking sick.  SO what did Lance do?  Left me home with five kids.  He won the league.  It’s a decent amount of money, so I have been waiting for him to collect.  As of today, he has yet to collect his money from his win.  I assume when he goes to this year’s auction in the very near future, he’ll be collecting.  He says he ins’t sharing.  That’s fine, just expect a withdrawal from me for the amount of the league fee.  Because I am not paying for a league in which I don’t receive a benefit.

:: Baby Hulk told me today that he wanted to go to Trulucks for his back to school meal.  I love that kid.  Not enough to take him there tomorrow, but still, I love him.

:: I took the boys to mass at St. Michael’s today at noon.  Although we attend another church on Sundays and Holy Days, our closest parish is St. Michael’s so that’s where we go for daily mass.  The boys love Monsignor and have seen him quite a bit over the years.  I thought they deserved a blessing from him today before starting school, especially BH.  So what did they do?  Got into a fight while at church.  In front of the priest.

:: I had one thing to buy BH today at Old Navy.  I heard a lady talk about how it was going to be long sleeved weather soon.  WTH?  I know she can’t possibly live here.

:: I am still dreaming about last night’s amazing show.  Brings a smile to my face.

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Rollerskate Skinny To Timebomb

By | Posted August 24, 2012

Posted in Chelsea, Old 97's, pictures | 6 Comments »

Last night was amazing.  Simply amazing.

Another killer Old 97’s show.

Yes, another.  They just do such a great job every single time I see them, I can’t decide which show is best.

Okay, I admit, that show almost two years was probably the best ever…You just can’t beat getting tickets to a sold out show from Rhett Miller himself!

Last night was the anniversary show of Too Far To Care, an incredible, beloved album.  But for me it was a chance to FINALLY see the band with Chelsea.

Ten years ago, I introduced Chelsea to the band via Satellite Rides.  What 12 year old wouldn’t love Rollerskate Skinny and Bird in a Cage?  Of course, there was Question and my personal, all time favorite song, Designs On You.

She became an instant fan and over the years we’ve shared our taste in music despite our age difference.  We discussed each new album, and I sent text messages from the last several shows while she was in college.

You can only imagine the text messages that flew between us when I was able to meet the band with the boys.

When we heard the band was coming to Houston someone gave Lance tickets so he gave Chelsea two tickets to use.  We arrived right as the show started.

I could hear Timebomb.

And the guy at the window couldn’t find our tickets.

Do you think I went postal?  Maybe.  When Barrier Reef started, I finally shouted, “why aren’t we just buying tickets????!!!”  We did, and while Lance stayed behind to get over being slightly upset with me, I walked to the middle close to the front where I knew Cory was.  I’m sure he was more than annoyed to hear me scream my story in his ear while the band was playing.

Meanwhile, they found the tickets, and Lance got his money back for one ticket, they needed mine and I wasn’t going back outside.

Overall, an incredible show.  The band didn’t disappoint and played some additional songs and the ending: Timebomb again which was perfect because I had missed it.

Chel and I were like kids once we found each other.  The first thing we did this morning was text about the show and how great it was.

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Petroglyph National Monument

By | Posted August 22, 2012

Posted in pictures, vacations | 7 Comments »

We took the kids hiking at Petroglyph in Albuquerque Sunday morning.  You can tell we’re inexperienced hikers because Lance and I are constantly calling out to the kids to be careful.  At one point BH climbed over rocks and I couldn’t find him.  Squirt and Goose followed, but still, I was pretty nervous.

Snax didn’t seem to mind this hike.

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Wordless Wednesday~ Oldest to Youngest

By | Posted August 22, 2012

Posted in pictures | 14 Comments »

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Hiking is just walking…

By | Posted August 21, 2012

Posted in pictures, Snax, vacations | 4 Comments »

And it’s boring…

You would have thought we were hiking this instead of a child friendly trail.

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White Sands National Monument

By | Posted August 21, 2012

Posted in pictures, vacations | 5 Comments »

We power drove after Lance got off work last Friday to Las Cruces, New Mexico so that we could go here.

Someone randomly mentioned White Sands thinking that we would be driving in that direction on our way to Durango.  We weren’t supposed to drive in that direction.

After researching White Sands, it became a must that we get there.

We were not disappointed in the least.

Before arriving, we learned about how the park was formed and the plants and animals that live there.  We weren’t prepared for just how nice it was.

We took a one mile hike in the hot, hot heat.  The boys loved it.  We forgot water.  For someone who loves hiking, I am not very good at it.  Who forgets water in the blazing heat beating down on white freaking sand???

We survived.  We saw animal tracks, took a great family picture and the kids earned their Junior Ranger badges as well.

A great start to our vacation.

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Vacation Notes

By | Posted August 20, 2012

Posted in vacations | 1 Comment »

We just returned from vacation, and while the pictures will do most of the talking, here are some tidbits about the trip.

  • With seven people traveling, we mostly drive.  So yes, we drove to Colorado.
  • No, my kids don’t watch television much while we drive, in fact we don’t have a television in any car we own, nor will we ever.  (I am sure I will regret this statement one day.)
  • They watched one movie on the computer the entire trip, that happened on day 2
  • My kids are freaking rock stars.  I’d like to really call them fucking rock stars, but I don’t think you are supposed to refer to your kids as fucking anything.
  • 38 hours total in the car.  Crying time for Sunshine?  40 minutes.
  • I’ll say it, she fucking rocks.  (But we all knew that.)
  • The kids listen to music, books on audio, read, draw, talk, check out scenery
  • Our favorite time as a family~ Would You Rather cards
  • Lance and mine~ trivial pursuit.
  • We played the 80’s version this time.  It was a tie.
  • LZ and I also play guess the artist; our car had XM, and I kicked his ass this time.  Every time I win, he always tells me that Solis would kick my ass.  Then I remind him that he always knows the 90’s shit songs while I get all the 90’s Lithium ones.
  • I loved listening to XM again.  There were songs I hadn’t heard in years.  Some I will probably never hear again, which is more than fine.
  • I don’t love it enough to ever subscribe again.  XM Radio still sucks.
  • I made three full batches of cookies for the trip.  Plus two loaves of Pumpkin Bread.  Most of it was gone by the time we arrived in Colorado.
  • I worried a bit about the fact that the whole family would be together in one house.
  • It’s hard to some degree to parent with your own parents around.  Mine go two ways: one thinks the kids are fine no matter what they do, the other parrots me while I am disciplining.
  • By the end of the week, the one that thinks the kids are fine was over Snax and his BS.  Of course, now he is back to thinking Snax is perfect.
  • I didn’t yell at them all week though.  I think I should pretend my parents are around all the time.
  • On the subject of parents, I have some pretty great ones.  And not just because of their generosity.  They both have that down perfectly, from money to time.  Really, it’s the fact that they are generous enough to me and my brother to take a vacation together.  Anyone who has divorced parents or has been divorced knows this is huge.  Huge.
  • Is it terrible to admit that the one time I heard my brother fuss at his daughter I was kind of relieved?  If only because it always seems like Lance and I are the only ones who fuss at their kids.
  • We only had to pull over once so a kid could pee on the side of the road.  All other bathroom breaks came at scheduled stops.
  • Highlights from the week include: my mom zip lining and my dad riding a horse, Goose going first zip lining and deer just walking down the street close enough to touch.
  • Really, the big highlight was getting to wear a freaking sweatshirt and walking outside to a beautiful view of the mountains.
  • I think everyone had a great time from my dad to the baby girl.  Not a bad thing!

Truthfully, if school wasn’t starting next week, I would be planning our next vacation right now.

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The Final Leg

By | Posted August 20, 2012

Posted in pictures, vacations | 1 Comment »

I’m documenting our vacation backwards.  For today.  Tomorrow I’ll probably skip back to the beginning, but I was just so anxious to see the photos Lance took today.

And they are great.

The Dallas Arboretum is such a beautiful place and with the Chihuly exhibit, it’s even better.

I’ve been dying to see this garden exhibit for years.  Despite frequenting Chicago, Atlanta and St. Louis fairly regularly over the years, I have missed this exhibit in each of their gardens.  Once I found out the exhibit was going to Dallas, I wanted to see it so badly, I suggested we celebrate our anniversary there.

I was so torn between seeing this exhibit and White Sands on the way to Durango.  I gave this up, but somehow managed to convince Lance to stop by on the way back to Houston.

 It’s so beautiful and though pretty hot outside, we enjoyed the exhibit.  The boys managed to keep their hands to themselves.  Mostly.

I even got one more family picture, not really Christmas card quality, but family nonetheless.

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A Fitting End

By | Posted August 19, 2012

Posted in vacations | 2 Comments »

I have much to document, but little time before our wonderful adventure ends.

I love vacations.  Small, big, but in general, I like an actual destination.  It can be San Antonio or something like Colorado.  I just like to “do things”.   Spending time together is important, but I feel like you can spend time doing stuff together.  (Plus everything is a learning opportunity to me.)

I have wonderful memories of vacations growing up.  Lance says my memories are evident in my planning and my desire to make vacations “perfect”.

It’s true.  Vacations were the best.  I remember the drive to California, stopping at Carlsbad and seeing a tarantula walking, hitting the Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon, Circus Circus in Vegas before getting stuck on the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland with my dad (can you imagine just how mad my dad was sitting at the highest point of the ride for over an hour waiting and waiting…) San Fransisco and Lombard Street, the Redwoods.

That trip was in second grade.  One trip.  Probably my favorite ever, even over Europe.  Maybe it’s the divorced parent thing, I don’t know.  I just know my vacations meant so much to me and instilled a love of traveling that has yet to stop.

I have a lot of hopes for my kids, one is a sense of adventure.  It might not be the same as mine, but I hope they enjoy this beautiful earth, whether they travel down the street or across the world.

This trip was really good, some great memories and fun times.  Was it perfect?  No.  I had to change plans more than once, but I am getting more flexible.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

As summer comes to an end, I am grateful for this chance to spend time with my kids, my parents and brother.  And always, with my wonderful husband.

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