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Friday, December 30, 2011

My Year in Photos...

I don't make New Year's resolutions because it just seems like a surefire way for setting myself up for disappointment.  I mean every time I say I'm going to watch what I eat I suddenly become obsessed with all things chocolate.  I've found that the best way for me to drop a few pounds is to stay busy and to exercise.  I managed to not gain any weight over the holidays by doing jumping jacks, push ups and dips randomly throughout the day and then going on about my business.  

This thoroughly frustrates the Darling wieners since they'd prefer me to sit in one place all day long.  If I'm not sitting still they are on my heels.  But this all becomes a little difficult for them when I'm in the middle of a jumping jack session.  

Anyway, I got off the subject totally.  I was talking about New Year's resolutions and the fact that I don't make them and that therefore, this, my last post of the year 2011 will not be about all the ways I'm going to improve upon myself in the coming year.  Nope.  Instead I think I'll share a photo from each month of what has shaped up to be a pretty good year here in my little corner of the world...

Here we have Big Boy and Li'l Bit squirrel watching in the sunroom after their visit from the mobile pet groomer.

And here we have that squirrel I named Tuesday because it seemed to show up every Tuesday for a few weeks and terrorize the wieners on the other side of the sunroom windows.

The days were getting longer and warmer as the first signs of spring began popping up around the house.  I love this shot of the sunbeams shining down on the daffodils and my little angel Dachshund that memorializes my little Dachsies in heaven.

This was a big month for us....Easter, our road trip to Virginia, baseball for the boys, and I turned the big 40!  There were so many great photos from this month so I just picked one that I don't think I shared here.  It was taken on Easter morning and while it is certainly not a picture perfect shot, I think the looks on the boys' faces pretty much sum up our reality and while I was frustrated that day, I'm already seeing the humor in it now!

I know I've shared this photo before but I just love it.  It was taken at the North Carolina Wiener Roast in Jamestown.  Li'l Bit was working it big time and soaking up all that attention from all those Dachshund lovers.  And it also reminds me of how Charlie always says he never thought he could love a little dog so much and how he used to make fun of men who carried around little dogs. He's eatin' those words!

It seems I didn't take many pictures in the month of June.  The one I chose here is of Dracen on award's day in his second grade classroom on the last day of school.  He was highly upset that he did not get one of the awards he thought he deserved and is telling his friend all about it.  We had us a good talk about humility and sportsmanship on the way home.

July was another busy month for us around here with our trip to the mountains over the Fourth and the boys' birthdays on the 17th and 18th. This one was taken on our hike to the top of Mount Mitchell on July 4th.  My boys and my dogs... :)

This was another big photo month with the weekend beach trip and the trip Charlie and I took to Maine.  But I chose a picture from an ordinary day. Dracen began trying on hats while wearing nothing but his blue jeans one night and asking me to take pictures of him.  I just thought this one was hilarious.  But I realize this may just be one of those things where you just had to be there.

This was taken through the glass door in the kitchen.  I just looked out and saw him sitting there with that baseball with the saddest little look on his face, like he wanted someone to play with him.  But he wouldn't fetch a ball if his very life depended on it...Unless it was being carried by a squirrel.

Of all the great photos I could have chosen from this month, I chose this one that I took at my mother's house one Sunday afternoon because, Look!...Is that a hint of a smile?  I think it is...It really is!

I got a lot of really good shots on this November day and shared many of them here.  I shared a similar shot of Dracen and Brisco but not this particular one.  There's just something extra special about a boy, a dog and the perfect fall day... 

And finally, our 2011 Christmas tree in all her glory.

Thanks, 2011.  You've been a good one.  

And thanks to all of you who come here and read my words each week. This blogging thing would be a whole lot less fun without you.

See ya next year!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cowboy Boots and Tutus

I hope you all had a good Christmas.  Apparently I'm still trying to recuperate since I just slept 'til 10:30.  Dracen is still sleeping and Devin left yesterday morning on a youth retreat and won't return until sometime tomorrow. 

Dracen, unbeknownst to us, set his alarm clock on Christmas Eve for 4:30 a.m. but was sleeping so hard that it woke us up before it did him. Charlie sprang from the bed to see what was the matter and to shut down the obnoxious blaring and was coming back to bed...

But I, of course, couldn't leave it alone since the worry wart in me was kicked into overdrive and I just had to go check to make sure he was still breathing since he clearly was not fazed by the ruckus. So I followed suit by springing from the bed and dashing across the hall where I blew past Charlie and flung my hand toward the sleeping boy's forehead and he stirred which meant he was indeed still breathing so I was relieved but also realized that...Oh crap!  I'd done it now!  

We tried to tiptoe back to bed in hopes that he would go back to sleep but no longer had we nestled back in to complete our long winter's nap when we heard the feet hit the floor.  He was up and he was headed to his brother's room to wake him up too.  I think I had had about two hours of sleep at this point but I got up to join them in the dead of dark as they checked out their Christmas loot.  

Charlie soon followed.  Devin was the first to go back to bed followed by Charlie, me and  Li'l Bit.  Dracen was not having any part of going back to bed so he and Brisco Darling settled in on the couch with the remote. He was in it for the long haul because he didn't finally settle down until nearly midnight on Christmas Day.    

Yesterday it was just the two of us here since Devin had left for his trip and Charlie had gone back to work and somehow the t.v. ended up on a marathon of that show about extreme couponing which was stressing me out immensely so I suggested we go to a movie later, perhaps The Adventures of Tintin. We watched the trailer and I thought he'd be all over seeing it but he insisted we watch the trailer of the Chipmunks movie and he was sold.  

"But...but...this one is about a boy and his dog and...and, pirate ships! Hadn't you rather see it?"   

His response was, "I like bright movies."  

And how could I argue with that?  Alvin and the Chipwrecked Chipmunks it would be.  

After Charlie got home, I told Dracen to go take a shower and get ready for the movie.  He wore jeans, his new cowboys boots that Santa came through on, his new flannel shirt and was packing his survival tool and new iPod touch (that Santa also came through on) in his pockets.  But one very important thing was missing...that pocket watch Santa brought (that Santa is a mighty good man).  He had left it at his Momaw and Popaw's house the day before and informed me that we just had to go get it before the movie.  

Of course we obliged because duh, everyone knows a  cowboy boot wearing man must have a good pocket watch in order to go see a very bright film about singing chipmunks...  

Everyone also knows that every good little Dachshund needs her very own dress complete with a pink tutu.  Thanks, Santa!  I know that one was for me. ;)

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All I Want for Christmas...

So I just cleaned out my linen closet and have determined that we are in serious need of some new towels. I don't think I've bought a new set in ten years or so with the exception of holiday hand towels.  I apparently have some sort of fetish with those that I did not even know I had.  Especially Halloween towels because I have a mile high stack of those as opposed to about three or four decent everyday ones.  And I'm not sure what that says about me but I admit it's a little weird.  Why did I think I needed a dozen Halloween towels?  

Before that I finally got around to moving the dvd's into the entertainment center we've had for several weeks now. Oh yes, we are having tons of fun at my house today. Try not to hate.  

In other news, progress reports came home from the middle school yesterday and let's just say I shouted and lectured so much that I wore myself flat out because I slept until 10:00 this morning. Could they not have waited until after the break?  Because now I'm in a predicament.  Do I lift the total lockdown for a couple of days in the spirit of Christmas or do I proceed with my "you're going to straighten up and fly right if it kills us both" wrath? 

I have definitely come to the conclusion that it is harder to parent a middle schooler than it was to be one myself.  I keep telling myself that this too shall pass and dear Lord, I hope it passes soon!  I'm also hoping that Santa leaves a good dose of patience in my stocking. Which brings me to the subject of this post... 

You know you're a mom when all you want for Christmas is...

~Lots and lots of patience.

~Noise cancelling headphones.

~For someone to clean something, anything, without you having to ask, beg or threaten.

~A day without bickering. 
(I don't even remember what that's like).

~For homework to be done willingly without you having to ask, beg, or threaten.  

~A day, hour, minute or second without worry.

~A fat free, calorie free, chocolate bar bigger than your head. (for those moments when deep breathing just doesn't cut it.)

~For both your children to appease you by smiling kindly and like they mean it for one little Christmas picture without you having to ask, beg or threaten.

~A manual from God himself explaining exactly what to do in each and every parenting challenge/situation that arises.

~A guarantee that your children will be kept safe for at least the next 90 years or so...

Would that be too much to ask?  

*Post inspired by Mama Kat's Writing Prompt "You know you're a mother when..."

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fragments...

~My light-up reindeer did not manage to make it through hunting season this year.  I noticed the buck was not lit up a few nights ago so Charlie brought him in, gave him a thorough examination and determined that his fuses were blown.  We (and by we I mean Charlie) replaced the fuses only to have them blow again immediately.  Turns out Buck's transformer had gone bad. Then last night we noticed that Mrs. Buck had gone dark and it seems as though she may just be in the same predicament.  So unless someone can tell me how we can get our hands on two good reindeer transformers (without stealing them from a neighbor's yard), we may be needing the number of a good taxidermist.  

~Dracen took it upon his eight year old self to go into my Amazon account and use the one click button to order me a Christmas present.  It is an antique style phone (black with gold flowers on the side and a shiny brass receiver cradle) to replace the vintage rotary phone of mine that he pulled off the counter and broke.  How do you get mad over something like that?  I couldn't.  I thanked him but gave him a little talking to about how he cannot order things by himself anymore.  He had already had Charlie order me one gift he found online and it has managed to stay secret.  I can't wait to see what it is... I love his thoughtful nature.  
~Another Dracen story... He told me, just out of the blue, in the car the other day that he wants to have a summer wedding when he grows up so he can, you know, have it on the lake or something.  Who knew little boys thought about their weddings?!  

~I dropped my hand mirror on the tile floor Wednesday morning and it didn't so much as crack.  Does this mean I have seven years of good luck ahead?   :)

~I thought my jeans were getting a little snug so I broke down and got on the scales yesterday.  Doing so crushed my dream that it was all the dryer's fault. I've gained back 3.5 of the 7 pounds I lost over the spring and summer.  You'd be surprised how much of an effect 3.5 little pounds can have on a 5'4" frame. Ugh. Looks like I'm back to counting calories again.  Bah, Humbug!  Oh was fun while it lasted, Nutella. 

~I was out of Zyrtec D so I bought some at Target Wednesday. It seems the law has gotten even tougher because it nearly took an act of congress to get checked out.  They took my prints, a blood sample, asked for my driver's license, birth certificate, passport, social security card, three references and my firstborn child. I hate that trying to get a little relief for my allergies now makes me feel like a murder suspect. Do I look like I have a meth lab in my basement?  

~Did y'all see Barbara Walter's most fascinating people of the year show Wednesday night? It's the first time ever that the person of the year, Steve Jobs, died before she got a chance to interview him.  His sister said that just before he left this earth his final words were, "Oh wow...Oh wow...Oh wow."  Now if that doesn't make you a believer then I don't know what will.  

**Joining in for another round of Friday Fragments over at Half Past Kissin' Time!

Mommy's Idea

Happy Friday, Y'all!  

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Childhood Wishes...

When I was a kid there was nothing much more exciting or magical than getting the Sears Christmas Wish Book in the mail.  I would spend hours and hours poring through those catalog pages, dreaming and folding and circling and hoping and wishing and deciding which items I realistically thought I could get Santa to bring me each year...
And while Santa was always good to me and never left me empty-handed or in a state of disappointment, there were a few things I asked for or sometimes only secretly wished for (because I knew hell would have to freeze over first) that I never did get...

My own place.  And by my own place, I mean my very own playhouse in the backyard.  A place I could play with my dolls, read my books, listen to my records, play board games and just hang with my bff.  You know? A little pink house...

A genie bottle/magical powers/magic wand! Maybe I watched too many old episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched but I had all sorts of plans for the day Santa finally delivered this one.  I was going to rule the world.  Or at least just marry Shaun Cassidy.

Miniature horse.  I'm pretty sure this was one of those wishlist items I placed in the when hell freezes over category and never actually asked for but oh, how I wanted one! And I've never completely gotten over this one... The cuteness overwhelms me!

My own phone/private line in my room. Because what the heck was a cell phone or even a cordless phone? If you wanted phone privacy, you pulled that curly cord as far as you could, sneaked around the corner, and closed that door shut tight on that sucker.  And if someone else was talking on the phone and there was something you just had to talk to your bestie about right that minute?  You were just S.O.L!  

Pink carpet.  I had daydreams about pink carpet...

Persian or Siamese cat. While I've always been an animal of all kinds lover, when I was a kid I was obsessed with cats and while we did have a few when I was very young, once they were gone we never got another one.  But I always wanted me a big ol' fluffy Persian or an exotic Siamese of my very own.  I wonder what the Darling wieners would think of that? Hmm...

Swatch watch. I can't really say why it is I didn't get one of these because they were all the rage for a time in the 80s and I remember wanting one or two or three (to stack on my arm) pretty bad at one point.  Maybe I had asked for a lot of other stuff from Santa that year or maybe I didn't realize I wanted it until after Christmas... Who knows?  But I never had one...

A pool. Georgia summers were hot and running through the sprinklers just didn't satisfy our urge to get wet.  And I'm sure this wasn't something I ever thought to ask Santa for in the month of December but it definitely stands out in my mind as something I always longed for.  My best friend and I once had the genius idea to build one ourselves by stacking bricks along the edges of the patio.  I don't think you have to ask how that turned out...
A puppy in my stocking. Some things never change!
Snow on Christmas Day. Living my entire life in the south, I never did get that one. Until last year... Last year, at the age of 39, that wish was finally delivered and I don't think it could have been any more magical had it happened thirty years earlier...

And to me, that is a perfect example of how the best, most cherished gifts of all are always those that no amount of money could ever buy...  

Though I would jump for joy and shout with glee if I woke up Christmas morning to find one of those itty bitty horses in my backyard or another li'l wiener dog in my stocking... 

I'm just sayin'.   

*This post is part of Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin' It.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Family Christmas Past

Through the Years...

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.~ Joan Winmill Brown
What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.  It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.  ~Agnes M. Pahro

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness.  ~Bob Hope

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.  ~Deborah Whipp

Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. ~ Augusta E. Rundel

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most. ~ Ruth Carter Stapleton

Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words. ~ Harlan Miller

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~ Janice Maeditere

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.  ~Alexander Smith

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  Don't clean it up too quickly.  ~Andy Rooney

At Christmas, all roads lead home.  ~Marjorie Holmes

*Linking to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday's Letter F!

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