2.28.2009

Flashback Friday: What I was Doing 6 Years Ago

Once again - Flashback Friday, hosted by My Tiny Kingdom! (Yes, I know, it's Saturday, not Friday. Yesterday was just a bit busy. Better late than never, right?).

Six years ago, I was living in sunny, warm, Southern California. (Did I mention it was sunny and warm?) I was only going to be living in L.A. for a year, so I decided to enjoy my year by being a good tourist from the East Coast and taking in all that L.A. (& the surrounding sunny, warm, areas had to offer). I went to see shows, studied at the beach, took walks outside in December, wrote Merry Christmas in the sand for Christmas cards, and of course, enjoyed a year-long season pass to Disneyland!

My first trip to Disneyland was in October with my Dad and friend, Christy. (Christy is also from the East Coast and would be in L.A. for a year, too. She and I 'lived it up' together.). Anyway, that trip to see the Mouse in October was just the first of many many sunny, warm days spend at Disneyland.

On one such trip, we were so very excited to be able to meet and get our photograph taken with non other than Mr. Mouse himself! It was obviously around Christmas due to the decorations in the back...but you can bet, on a sunny, warm Sunday in February we would have been at Disneyland too!


Did I mention, it was sunny and warm?

2.25.2009

For Today, 2/25/09

A glimpse into my day, just an ordinary day.

For Today, February 25, 2009:

Outside my window....sunshine, LOTS of sunshine.

I am thinking....that I sure am going to miss ice cream for the next 40 days. I guess that's the point.

I am thankful for...friends. New. and. Old.

From the kitchen...not much, it's Ash Wednesday. I'll probably make The Man a small salad and peanut butter sandwich later for dinner. Because I'm just that nice.

I am wearing....jeans and a Mountaineers long-sleeved shirt.

I am creating...plans for a visit from N. this weekend. It's the last time she will be able to travel until after Baby Girl arrives - and she's coming to see me!!

I am going...to meet a good good friend for a small lunch. It's been at least 5 years since we've seen each other. I get to meet her baby. He's 4 months old. I can't wait. And after that, it's off to see my Mom for her birthday (& use her washing machine & dryer).

I am reading...Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire. Still. Seriously, this is taking a long time.

I am hoping...to finish this book by the end of the weekend.

I am hearing...my 'Favorites' play list from my iPod.

Around the house...dust. Lots of dust. Where does it come from????

One of my favorite things...exciting emails from Consultants on my team when they reach their goals.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a surprise for my mom for her birthday tomorrow. Birthday is today. Surprise is tomorrow. A visit from N. Candle parties. It's a full, full week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

2.21.2009

Fast & Swift

To my Guardian Angel:

Thanks for being fast enough to keep up with me while I drive and swift enough to block the eyes of not one, but two police officers who somehow missed that I was driving a little faster than the posted speed limit signs on my way home from Frederick today.

Sincerely,
ME

PS I hope you got a little break when I took the hint and decided not to test your skills should a third cop be waiting by slowing down to the speed limit. It did take longer to get home that way though....

2.20.2009

Flashback Friday: Free for All, Puppy Love, Stolen

Yep, it's Friday, so it's time for some Flashbacks courtesy of My Tiny Kingdom :).

This week, I'm Flashing back to they day we brought home our first child puppy (okay, so only puppy right now, but I know they'll be more).

The Man and I had been married for almost a month and he had been hinting about wanting a dog since before the vows. I was up for it. A puppy sounded like fun. I might even lose a few pounds walking it. BUT, I was very concerned about my sleep schedule. I need my sleep. I don't even like to get up in the middle of the night to take myself to the bathroom, let alone a dog. So, I agreed to a dog if the man agreed to waking up with it at night. But it would be his puppy.

In the man's hints of wanting a dog, were also hints of a specific breed. A Chinese Shar-Pei. A wrinkly, medium-sized dog. A dog with a BIG price tag if it's a pure bred.

So through my 'sures' and my 'no problems, we'll get a dog', and my 'promise you'll get up at night with its', I was thinking "there's no way we'll be getting a dog anytime soon because it will be too expensive."

In the meantime, I started a subscription to our local newspaper. You know, newly married, living in a new town, put down roots, get to know the community, etc., etc. One day, scanning the classifieds, I see under Pets for Sale an ad for Shar-Pei-mix puppies, for $50!! In my disbelief, I call the number listed and inquire:

'Mixed with what'

'Dalmatian'

(in my head I picture a wrinkly little dog with spots) 'What do they look like?'

'Shar Pei Puppies'

'How many are there?'

'4 - 2 males, 2 females'

'Great, we'll be up tomorrow afternoon.'

So, the next day, The Man and I head out to go pick up the man's puppy - a male! We arrive at the Dairy Farm and are told there are only 2 left. 1 male. 1 female. The man points out the father (a brown Shar Pei) and the mother (a Dalmatian sitting off in the distance in the shade) and then leads us over to the puppies.

There they were. One brown. One black. One male. One female. Both with BIG brown eyes. I scoop down and pick up the little black one. It was fuzzy and oh so cute. As I scoop down, the man has the sense to ask "Which one is the male?"

"The one there." Pointing to the one still on the ground. I was holding the female.

"But, I want this one." I say, as I feel my shirt get warm and wet. This cute little puppy just peed all over me.

So, the man agrees. We pay our $50 and head to PetsMart to get all of the necessary items for a new puppy. A crate. Food. Food bowl. Water bowl. Leash. Collar. Toys. Treats.

We head home and introduce our new little, furry family member to our two cats. Seriously, the looks on their faces was as if to say "I did NOT agree to this, did you???" But they quickly realized that this little thing was here to stay and pretty much moved on...although, to this day, if Kali would just spontaneously combust I think it would make Max's day!

Anyway, our little puppy took a while to get used to her new surroundings and eventually came out of her new crate to get to know us. That night, we headed to bed and put Kali in her crate in the kitchen. 2 hours later - whining. The man? He doesn't even stir. I get up, take the new puppy outside. Back to bed. 2 hours later - more whining. The man? Again, doesn't even stir. This continues all night.

Day 2: The man teaches the new puppy about toys, treats, food, and walks (tries to anyway, she's not sure what to do on a leash just yet). He's so smitten with her and her with him...it's just so sweet.

Night 2: Repeat Night 1 - only it's every hour instead of every 2 hours that she whines. Remember what I said about sleep? I'm just about ready to take this cute little puppy back.

Day 3: More fun with the puppy - NO accidents in the house. Really, she is very cute.

Night 3: I need to sleep. So, I move the crate from the kitchen to the bedroom thinking the man might hear the whines and get up with her.

Morning 3: Huh? It's morning? I slept all night? Oh no, did the puppy die???? (Seriously, I thought she'd died in her sleep.) I roll over to look in the crate, and there 2 big, brown eyes look up at me. I get up, we go outside. She potties - LOTS. That sweet, little, 8 week old puppy held it ALL night. Not a peep.

From that moment on, she's slept beside my side of the bed. She's slept all night every night since, short of an unfortunate incident involving a moose with rope arms and legs being eaten....

I took her everywhere with me the next few weeks. Enrolled her in puppy class when I realized my puppy parenting skills were not so good.

And when asked whose puppy she is? The Man replies. "It's Rebecca's. She stole my dog." With a smile of course.

Here's one of the first pictures we ever took of her and some favorites too:


2.13.2009

Contrasts

Over the past few days the contrasts that God places in our lives have been more clear to me than I could have imagined.

Some Examples:

On Wednesday night: A take-out pizza for dinner. The Man and I engaged in a very 'adult' conversation (sorry people, my lips are sealed - NO Mom, that's not it, not even close!) and then watched "Lost" - not exactly children's programming.

Then, last night: A home-made dinner of chicken and pasta while watching "Sleeping Beauty" on Blu-Ray (yep, I own it. I even requested it as a Christmas present. Really.). The colors are amazing in HD. Anyway...

Last week: A plane crashes in the Hudson River in East New York State. More than 200 people survived. Some of them reunited with the captain on Larry King to thank him and his crew.

Last night: A plane crashes in Buffalo in West New York State. Forty-nine people on board and 1 on the ground lost their lives. We'll see their family members remembering them on Larry King next week.

A week ago: -2 degree temperatures, frozen ground, snow everywhere

Wednesday: 68 degree temperatures. Sunny, warm, no sign of snow.

There are so many contrasts that occur in our lives every day: Babies are born. People pass on. Dogs bark. Cats purr. The sun shines. The winds roar. Week-old towels. Fresh, clean, fluffy towels.

I am grateful for these contrasts. I'm also grateful that maybe, just maybe, I'm really starting to 'get' this concept of God's Grace. That maybe I'm seeing Him in the little things that I so often missed Him in.

Sure, there are bigger contrasts. Wealth and Poverty. War and Peace. But, it's these everyday contrasts that are speaking to me. It's these everyday contrasts that are teaching me. Or rather, it is through these everyday contrasts that He is speaking to me, that He is teaching me.

I am grateful.

Flasback Friday: Love, Look at the 2 of Us

Once again, I'm participating in Flashback Friday, over at My Tiny Kingdom. This week's theme is: Love, Look at the 2 of Us.

This is a perfect day for this post because 7 years ago today - The Man proposed. He caught me completely off-guard with a day before Valentine's Day, in my sweats, turn an ordinary moment into an extraordinary moment proposal. It was perfect!

He was already my best friend. I was already so in love. I had no idea how much better life was going to get when we were married. I'm so grateful for this man and this life we have.

I have so many many pictures of the 2 of us, I decided to create a slideshow of some of my favorites for you all :). Some are old. Some are new. Enjoy!


2.11.2009

If You Take a Dog for a Walk

If you take a dog for a walk, she'll probably find a mud puddle to play in.
And if she finds a mud puddle to play in, you'll probably let her run it off in the field.

And if you let her run it off in the field, she'll find something stinky to roll in. Really stinky. Dead animal stinky.

And if she finds something really stinky to roll in, you'll probably decide it's time to head home.

When you get home, she'll remind you of the stink while you dry her paws off.
(The brown flecks are not highlights)

And then, she'll need a bath.
And after that bath, you'll realize that there is mud in the bath tub. Lots. of. mud. So, while the dog rests, you'll have to clean the shower.

And since you're going to clean the shower, you might as well just clean the whole bathroom.

And now that you've cleaned the whole bathroom, you realize that The Man is going to be home soon and dinner hasn't even been started.

So, you send a text requesting The Man picks up $5 Little Ceasars Pizza for dinner. Yum.

And if the man is bringing home Little Ceasar's for dinner, he'll probably pick up some Italian Cheesy Bread too. Double yum.And tomorrow, when the weather is warm again, the dog is probably going to want a walk.

And if you take a dog for walk....

2.09.2009

For Today, 2/9/09

For Today, February 9, 2009....

Outside my window....sunshine, WARM air.

I am thinking....maybe Spring has come early? That groundhog can't be right every year.

I am thankful for...friends and family close by.

From the kitchen...hmm, good question.

I am wearing....exercise pants and a black PartyLite T-shirt.

I am creating...a 'to do' list.

I am going...to the bank, the gym, Barnes and Noble, and the grocery store.

I am reading...Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire. Still.

I am hoping...for inspiration at the grocery store.

I am hearing...birds chirping.

Around the house...quiet.

One of my favorite things...a furry head, with big brown eyes looking up at me. Saying, "Let's take a walk."

A few plans for the rest of the week...cleaning and organizing. Lots of dog walking.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...proof they really do like each other.


2.06.2009

Flashback Friday: It's the Inner Beauty that Counts

For this week's Flashback Friday (hosted by My Tiny Kingdom), I've decided to jump on a little soap box of mine. This is partly because it will fit in well with this theme and partly because I'm just not ready to post pictures of my pre-teen and teenage self for all the internet to see (frankly, if all said pictures could just be burned, that would be okay...but that's clearly missing the point here, huh?).

Anyway, I've stepped on my soapbox, so here goes:

It IS the Inner Beauty that Counts! As a former teacher of children with disabilities - hearing loss specifically - this is a lesson I wish we could all learn and teach others, young and old alike.

Have you ever spent time with a person with Cerebral Palsy? Or Down's Syndrome? or Hearing Loss (let's just skip the whole Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing/hearing impaired argument for today, ok?)? Or Autism? Or...I could go on forever?

If you have not - do it! Get to know them. You'll learn very quickly that inner beauty is where it's at (and frankly, some of the cutest kids I've ever met come with a hearing aid or cochlear implant on each ear - but again, that's not the point).

The lesson that needs to be learned, is that it's OK to ask about a person's disability. It's OK to ask a mother what's in her son's ears. It's OK to ask a father about his daughter who uses a walker. It's OK to teach children to be curious and say "What's that?". Wouldn't you want someone to ask you? Wouldn't you want someone to be interested in your child, sibling, parent, friend? Wouldn't you love your child just as much if s/he wasn't able to talk well?

Inner beauty - people who look, walk, or talk differently than us have so much to teach us. Let's learn from them and from those who care for them. I challenge you, the next time you want to look away because someone is different, don't do it. Take a moment to learn about them. You might just be surprised.

And because I could go on for hours and never make my point, I'll let someone else make it for you. Read here about what you are missing.

And I'm stepping off my soapbox now. Have a great weekend!

2.05.2009

Harper is HOME!

Remember baby Harper??? She's HOME!


Click here to see pictures of this beautiful little miracle! Thank-you God.

Permission Granted

I’ve been wanting to blog on this topic since I started this little venture of mine. As you all know, there are no children in our home…at least not the 2 legged, human kind. However, a very dear friend of mine, N., is preparing to welcome a child into her home.

I’ve wanted to blog about her since I started, but I didn’t want to share her information until those who might read my blog were ‘in the know’ since we have common friends and acquaintances. Well, this week N. and I were able to meet for lunch. So, I took my camera along and asked permission to post about her – she said YES! So, I’d like to introduce you to N. as she looked on Tuesday, exactly 26 weeks pregnant.

26 Weeks. That’s it? Really. Are you sure? I ask that, NOT because she does not look amazing, she does, but because I’ve been honored to share this journey with her since BEFORE she was pregnant. Honored that she considered me as close a friend as I consider her. Honored that she trusted me with a very personal issue in her life. Honored that she gave me permission to share her story with you. I’ve prayed for her every day since that day last May when she shared what she was going through. I hope that I’ve said and done the right things. I hope I’ve been a good friend to her. Most of all, now, I am SO excited for her!!! And I can’t wait to meet the little girl that is due in May!

What can I say about N. She has walked through what I can only imagine to be one of the toughest times of her life with such grace. She has remained hopeful. She has remained positive. She has never wavered in her desire to be her mom. Or in her belief that she is meant to be a Mom.

N. – thank-you for giving me permission to share. Thank-you for being such a great friend. You are going to be an amazing Mom and I can’t wait to meet your little girl!

2.04.2009

Super Bowl Champs - SIX Times Over!

A few days late - but I've been a busy girl...still not at home either, looking forward to heading back tomorrow.
Late, but no less FABULOUS!

Super Bowl XLIII
Feb. 1, 2009 Tampa Bay, FL
Steelers 27 Cardinals 23
MVP Santonio Holmes (and Big Ben too in my humble opinion)

Some photos of our fun....

Gearing up for game time.
Me and The Man.
New friends and old - and a first trip to Primanti Bros for Kandy!
Outside SouthSide 86
Celebrating in the streets of "Sixburgh" after the win!