Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You drive me crazy!

This post is dedicated to things that drive me crazy on a daily basis. And although you may have heard some of them already, I just need to vent this, so go with it.

Things that drive me crazy:

*when people sigh after they come out of the bathroom. Ew.

* when people drive in the fast lane for any reason other than passing.

*when my bobbin runs out of thread.

*when I use a public restroom and the toilet seat is warm. 

*when people show up late to their appointments. And they haven't called to let us know they'll be late and to ask if they can still be seen. And they just saunter in like they own the place and without an apology or care in the world.

*when my family (ahem...Nick) puts dirty dishes right BESIDE the dishwasher or dirty clothes right ON TOP of the clothes hamper instead of putting them IN the dishwasher or the hamper.

*when I have to pull forward for food at a drive-thru. One time, I had to pull forward to wait on my iced tea. Huh?!?

*when people use the wrong form of a word. As in they're, their, there. Who's, whose. Etc. (I just reread my whole post to make sure I hadn't done this ;)

*when the toilet paper roll hasn't been started yet and you have to shove your hand up into the toilet paper holder and try to pull it out and it just comes out in tiny little shreds and your wrist gets scratched up on the metal teeth things that are supposed to cut the toilet paper and you find yourself trying to clean up with a handful of toilet paper confetti (don't try to act like this hasn't happened to you).

*when my table paper runs out on my exam beds.

*when people type in all caps.

*when you type something absolutely witty and hilarious in a text and realize AFTER pushing send that something auto corrected and your hilarious, witty text no longer makes any sense. Epic fail.

*when I only need one thing from the store, but it's something vital like toilet paper or chocolate, so I HAVE to stop.

What drives YOU crazy?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Marriage is sacred, dang it!

I have always, ALWAYS had a strong opinion about marriage. I grew up never really seeing an example of a good marriage because my mom has been single most of my life. My real dad left our family when I was just around 2 because he was cheating on my mom. Then several years later, my step-dad left our family for the same reason. Because it's SO hard to stay faithful to somebody........right? (Hope ya'll picked up the sarcasm there)

I wish I could say I had marriage examples elsewhere in my life, but that's not the case. Even marriages I thought were okayish in my childhood have since fallen apart. People are cheating or somebody just isn't happy or they're tired of being "tied down."

And although nobody really close to me had a happy, healthy marriage that I could learn from, I did take away a few things from the marriages I saw that didn't work out. I learned a lot about what kind of spouse I DIDN'T want to be. I read the Bible to figure out characteristics a good husband and wife should have.

And I took a class in college about family/marriage (I have NO idea why I took this class and what it added to my degree, but if nothing else, I got this one thing out of it). The professor said something that struck me and has really helped me when I struggle. He was talking about his marriage and he said, "I don't wake up every day overflowing with love for my wife. Sometimes, I roll over in the morning and see her and think, "Oh, shit. She's still here." But I choose to stay married anyway. I choose to keep loving her, even when I don't want to."

I remember being shocked when he said that and thinking how terrible it was that he could say something like that about his wife. But then at that point in my life, I'd never been married. I'd never even been in a really serious relationship. I think our minds fantasize and create this mental picture of what a marriage is--passionate, exciting, fulfilling, erotic, joyful, amazing, perfect. And while it is each of those things at different points, it's NEVER that way all the time. And to think so and expect that only leads to disappointment and broken expectations.

Now that I have been married, I can SO see what he was saying. There are days that I don't want to crawl into the same bed as my husband. There are days that I KNOW he sees my name on caller ID and rolls his eyes before he answers. There are times my pride and stubbornness makes me SO mad at him that I can't think about anything else. I am sure there are days he dreads walking through the door after work because he knows he's got a moody wife and slightly crazy children waiting for him.

But we both made a commitment. We both stood before our family and friends and promised to each other that when things got hard, when things were rough, when things were SO discouraging that it would've been easier to give up.......we would stick together. We wouldn't lay down and let the world walk all over us. We would choose to hold hands when we really wanted to punch each other. We would talk about things instead of running way. Our marriage has not been perfect by any means, but it has been amazing in every way possible--because we TRY. We work REALLY hard at it. We don't give up.

Which is why I get devastated when I hear about another divorce. Another spouse cheating. Another spouse lying. We recently found out that somebody we know is cheating. Somebody that I never in a million years would have suspected would do that. Somebody who's been married for YEARS. Because of their selfishness, lives are changed forever. Because they wanted that moment of happiness, trust is gone. Because they weren't "happy," that sweet feeling of being safe with the one who knows everything about you and loves you anyways has been rocked to it's core. Marriage is not for selfish people. Period. I truly don't feel you can be selfish AND be in a happy marriage. When people are cheating on their husband/wife, they're only thinking of themselves and what they want and what they feel. I can only say that I hope that moment---those few FLEETING moments where something felt new and exciting and left you breathless--was worth losing a marriage it took years to build.

I stop and think about how easily people quit on their marriages. I know people who HATE their jobs and their boss but work their ass off every day for them and stay at that job for years upon years. Why? Why can people commit to a boss and a job they despise, but not to the person they chose to marry? People have friends who have hurt them so badly and who have done terrible things to them and yet, they're still willing to forgive and work on that friendship. But not their marriage. WHY? It's so irritating to me. So frustrating.So heartbreaking! I feel like very few people value their marriages any more. It's so EASY to get a divorce now. So easy to walk away. It's socially acceptable. It's legal. Marriage can be too hard. So why not?!

Some people's arguments are that they just aren't happy any more. All I can say to that is suck it up. Don't get me wrong--there are some instances where I totally understand getting out of a marriage. But if you aren't being abused (mentally or physically) or cheated on and you're 'unhappy' because life isn't rainbows and butterflies all the time and you choose to blame being married for that......then suck it up. Instead of telling your spouse you want a divorce, tell them you aren't happy and you want to work together to figure it out. Instead of walking away, grab hold of their hand and fight TOGETHER for happiness.

As far as cheating goes, I feel like so much of it comes out of one person's quest to feel wanted again. To feel sought after and loved and to feel the giddiness and excitement that comes with a new relationship. And sometimes it's done out of sheer lust. But the thing I fail to understand in all of that is, AGAIN, why don't people talk to their spouse? Why don't they TELL them they're feeling neglected? Why not SAY something instead of going behind their back and betraying them and your marriage vow?

I try really hard not to judge because every circumstance is different, but after being in a family that was broken by infidelity and seeing what it does to the other spouse and to the children, I have a VERY low tolerance level for it. I will never, EVER understand how a person can walk away from someone they vowed their life to and the children they helped bring into this world.

If you are divorced, please don't take this as a personal vendetta against you. I don't think everyone who's ever been divorced is horrible. It's not necessarily the divorce I hate, but the reasons behind it. I know there are some people who tried and tried and TRIED to keep their marriage together and it just wasn't working. I know some are on the innocent side of divorce--you had no say in whether you got divorced or not. Your spouse made the decision for you. I know some have divorced due to addiction. This is mostly me processing the information about our friends (and being SUPER disappointed in the person I thought I knew) and hoping to encourage anyone in a tough marriage to keep going. Keep trying. Keep working at it. You CAN get through it. Pursue your spouse adamantly. Woo them. Treat them the way you treated them while you were dating. Heck, fake it until you make it! If you have to just go through the motions of marriage for awhile to get to the wonderful, rewarding part--do it!

Because while there WILL be mornings you roll over and say, "Oh shit, they're still here," there will also be mornings that you roll over and say, "I am so blessed." There are days you will look at your husband/wife and be overwhelmed by the love you feel for them. There will be times you are SO glad you have someone beside you that's been through hell and high water with you. And those are the times worth holding on for.

Nick, if you're reading this, please know that I fully believe our marriage is sacred. Rest assured that I will never walk away from you. I will never give up on you. I will never cheat on you. I will tell you when I'm struggling and hope that we can figure it out as a team.

And I vow to never, ever, EVER make you meatloaf again (trust me, it's for the good of us all if I stay away from meatloaf). 

Love you, babe!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine's Day 2015---I gotta say, it was the MOST romantic Valentine's Day I've ever had.


Ok, so we were lacking a little in the romance department this Valentine's Day. BUT, my man was definitely speaking my love language!

When we moved into our house, our kitchen........well....let's just say it wasn't desirable. The counter tops were really old--white formica with gold flecks (you can kind of see it in the picture on the right). There's paneling on the walls that's faux brick. The 'bricks' were tan with white 'mortar.' And there was a LOT of it, so the walls were very.....busy. And there was a little nook with green and white tile (the rest of the floor was wood) that wasn't really big enough to put anything in. When we moved in, we were broke because we'd just spent a lot of money on a house! So I slapped some random curtains on the windows, threw a random side table in the nook and tried to ignore that my counter tops were from the 70's. It worked for a few years. And then I started getting the itch. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. When you get to the point where you just can't STAND to look at those gold-flecked counter tops for ONE MORE SECOND!!!

But we were still broke. Well, not broke, but frugal. Sure, we could've spent thousands of dollars buying granite counter tops and tearing down the brick paneling and installing drywall. But there are definitely other ways we wanted to spend our money--like paying off baby bills and buying diapers for tiny tooshies. So I painted. When all else fails, I paint. I wasn't sure how the paneling would handle paint, but I have no fear when it comes to slapping paint on something. And it handled it just fine! I went with a neutral gray and put up white curtains and hung some turquoise/minty colored decorations on the wall. Nick put in some shelves in the nook and we covered the floor with some peel and stick tile (trust me, it's better than what was there).

And it worked to appease my anger at the counters. For awhile.

But I recently read on somebody's blog that they bought prefabricated counter tops at Ikea. Our closest Ikea is almost 3 hours away and I looked online and shipping was ridiculous (like 3 times the cost of the counter). I did a little online shopping, but then my family got hit with the death plague, so EVERYTHING was on hold for a few weeks. But last weekend, they started feeling better, so on Saturday, Nick and I ran to Menards to get a few things for the barn and you'll never believe what I just happened to walk past that made me stop in my tracks.

PREFABRICATED COUNTER TOPS!!! Woo-hoo! I didn't even THINK about looking locally at hardware stores (duh). As soon as Nick saw the look in my eye, I think he saw his next few weekends waving goodbye. I was SO excited to see that it was only going to be about $80 for the size we needed and they are laminate, but MAN--laminate counters have come a looooooong way since they were made to be white and gold-flecked! They were so nice! And being the SUPER patient person that I was, I insisted we go back with the truck and get them the next day.....and install them the next day(Sunday).

And being the wonderful, generous, amazing, kind, loving, sweet and SUPER understanding man that my husband is (have to do a little buttering up for the next project!), he obliged. We decided on a tan color with brownish/blackish flecks (that I'm sure in 40 years somebody will be saying is SOOOO ugly!) and it looks very similar to the pattern of granite without the MONEY for granite! So last weekend, we installed the counter tops.......and then I decided we needed a backsplash. Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Isn't it crazy how when you start doing one thing, eeeeeverything else in your house starts to look so crappy? We didn't really ever have a backsplash. We just had the brick paneling behind the counters.

So THIS weekend, my hubby made my 'shiny, white subway tiles' dreams come true! I helped by using the tile saw to cut them all down and wiping the grout off after Nick put it in. Nick did everything else. He's such a handy fella. I'm so grateful he knows what he's doing when it comes to most home renovations!
 And of course, once I had my beautiful backsplash up with the tan counters, I no longer felt the gray walls matched. So I stayed up until 2:30am painting my kitchen white! And I LOVE it! I bought some really bright fabric to make curtains so it wouldn't be too white (white walls, white cabinets, white trim). And then kept the turquoise/minty decorations I had up and added a few more small things.

So for under $200, it feels like we have a whole new kitchen!

And THAT is my kind of Valentine's Day. He may not be full of poetry and mushy-gushy feelings, but man, he knows how to love me (and he DID get me flowers:)! Thanks, babe!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A case of the sickies

The last 2 1/2 weeks have been hell on earth a little hard. My kids have been sick before. But they have NEVER been this sick and for this long.

The night I came back (Saturday) from being out of town for my mom's birthday (see previous post), I got a text from Nick that Tommy had thrown up, but was acting okay. When I got home that night, I gave him lots of cuddles, but he seemed fine. We tucked him into bed and no sooner than I laid down my head....I heard the vomit. Yuck.

I hate vomit. Like, I smell it and gag. I see it and gag. I hear it.....I gag. I ran into his room praying to God that it wouldn't be the chunky, gross, smelly kind of vomit and I lucked out. We got him all cleaned up and got the sheets changed and went back to bed. An hour later....he got sick again. Put that on repeat for the next several hours.

I felt SO bad for the little guy. He was miserable and by the end of the night was just dry heaving. For a four year old that doesn't understand what the heck his body is doing, it was traumatic. But with the rising of the sun, that seemed to be the end of his illness. Sunday passed without incident.

I held my breath, just KNOWING Tessa was going to get it soon. Tuesday night, we laid down in bed. Not 10 minutes later I heard throwing up and thought, "Oh great, here she goes." But I went in their bedroom and Tommy had gotten sick again. What the what?!? Not fair for him to be going through a SECOND round of it! We got everything cleaned up and put extra sheets and towels all over his bed. We went back to bed again and twenty minutes after closing our eyes, our door slammed open and Tommy screamed, "Mommy! Tessa is pukin' alllllll over!"


The problem with Tessa getting sick is she doesn't realize what's happening and just lays there while she gets sick. I was SO afraid she was going to choke. I slept on their floor that night and held her head while she got sick every hour for the next several hours. I called in to work the next day (Wednesday). Both of the kids rested and seemed to be feeling better. Tessa didn't get sick for most of the afternoon, so I thought we were in the clear.

But alas, we were not. They took turns getting sick Wednesday night. I called in AGAIN (on Thursday). At this point, they were both having other tummy issues (I won't go into detail). They spent most of the day either in the restroom or in bed. When my kids are laying still, I KNOW how horrible they feel. It was sad, but we got in lots of snuggles and I got in lots of housework while they were napping!

They both slept all of Thursday night without incident and woke up feeling okay Friday morning. However, I had a text on my phone when I woke up from my husband saying that he was downstairs and had been up all night getting sick. And he stayed sick alllllllllll weekend. I felt so bad for him. My family was going down one by one!

He felt well enough to go to work Monday for a few hours, but had to come home mid-morning. Around noon, I got a text from my sister that Tommy felt warm and asking if she should give him ibuprofen.

My stomach sank and I knew we were in for more illness. I picked them up from Brooke's and he was still hot after having ibuprofen. He ran a fever all night and all day Tuesday. I had to stay home from work AGAIN on Tuesday. His fever stayed under control if we alternated tylenol and ibuprofen, but as soon as it started wearing off, he would be burning hot again. He had a fever and horrible cough all week, so we scheduled an appt for Friday morning.

And I'm SO glad we did. He has pneumonia.

No good.

They prescribed an antibiotic and within 2 doses, I could tell he was feeling SO much better. But Tessa started going down hill. Because, of COURSE! She got a fever and sounded junky  and was coughing non-stop. I called our doctor's office on Monday to see if they could just call something out since Tommy was diagnosed with pneumonia and we could tell Tessa was heading that direction quickly. But they never called me back. Not even to say that we needed to be seen before prescribing anything.

That was the push we needed to find a new doctor. I've been on the fence about switching because I like our doctor for the most part and I love his staff. They're friendly and competent and usually pretty quick about returning our calls. However, our doctor is just SO hesitant and stingy on handing out meds.

And don't get me wrong. I don't WANT my kids on antibiotics all the time and I don't need something to give them just because they blink funny. But they both have asthma and Nick and I feel like their illness has to be worst case scenario and we have to go to their office a minimum of two or three times before he'll prescribe anything. And even then, he's hesitant to prescribe it. And the illnesses he thinks could be viral but FINALLY prescribes an antibiotic for ALWAYS clear up after a few days on an antibiotic. It just gets really frustrating and time consuming and I hate seeing our kids be sick for weeks at a time before anything will be done. 

So we decided to see a new doctor on Tuesday. We knew we wanted to go to somebody in Andover and there's like a total of 4 clinics in Andover. We'd already tried two and have ruled out one from the start, so we went with the one that was left. And I am SO glad we did. His name is Jason Hampl and he seemed so great! Of course, I know everyone puts their best foot forward when being introduced for the first time, but he listened to all of our concerns about our previous doctor. He assured us that he doesn't like to overly medicate, but is usually quicker to prescribe something for kids with asthma because their illness seems to escalate quickly and last forever (which is SO true). His office was clean and new and modern and the staff was great with Tessa. AND they have a killer train table in the kids area of the waiting room that Tommy will love ;) Bonus!

They took an x-ray of Tessa and said she doesn't have pneumonia, but did have bronchitis. He prescribed her an antibiotic and a steroid and after just two doses, we've seen improvement.

I'm really hoping this is the end our illness roller coaster. Praise God, I've managed to be the only one in the house that didn't come down with something. Which is good, because then there would have been nobody left to take care of everybody else! Praying that we keep being happy with our new doctor and that my kids are soon-to-be illness free!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Get your kicks!!

My mom's birthday is on January 3rd and we had planned to take her on a surprise, over-night birthday trip. Unfortunately, on the weekend of her birthday, they fore-casted horrible weather for here and for where we were taking her. So we called it off and rescheduled for last weekend!

We decided to take her from Tulsa to Oklahoma City on Route 66. We left as soon as we could after work on Friday and headed to Tulsa. Mom had to stop at the casino on the way, of course! I stayed in the car and read while her and Whit and Brooke gambled for 20 minutes or so. Then we were on the road! We got to Tulsa around 9:30pm or 10. After we checked in and jumped on the beds for awhile, we headed out for something to eat!

We ended up at a restaurant that was completely empty except for us. But they had some DELICIOUS pasta!! It was so good. After we finished dinner, we headed to the hotel and talked until 4am. I have the best time with those girls! We always find SOMETHING crazy to talk about :)

The next morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed (except for Brooke) and went down to get our free continental breakfast! It was good. After breakfast, Brooke and mom went swimming and I took a loooooong bath while Whitney took a little nap.

Then we loaded up and hit Route 66! I'm gonna be honest and say I thought there would be a lot more to it. Before we left Tulsa, we went downtown to the "center of the universe." It's a spot in Tulsa and if you stand in one exact spot, it sounds like you're in a well even though you're out in the open. It kinds of echos in your ear. It's the craziest thing! And it just happened to be in a district with the most AMAZING name!

My name is never on anything, so I tend to get a little excited when I see it :)

Once we were on Route 66, we decided to just stop anyplace that looked interesting! We found a few thrift stores/antique stores along the way........and to be honest, that was it. I don't know why I was picturing a road bustling with shops, but there wasn't much! But we had a good time driving! And the thrift stores were fun, of course. We ended our drive at Pop's and that was pretty neat. They have over 600 flavors of soda. It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but the front of the store was lined with soda bottles!
 There was a huge pop bottle out front that lit up at night....
 We had dinner there and it was really good! Not quite the "home cooked" feeling I thought it would have, but still good.

After dinner, we started the drive home. I was really starting to miss my babies (and husband, of course!). Nick had texted me while we were eating dinner that Tommy threw up. I was anxious to get home and get some cuddles from me sweet guy! We pulled up to the house and when I walked in, Tommy said, "Mommy!!!!! I threwed up in daddy's barn!" 

Welcome home, Mom. Welcome home. 

It was a wonderful late-birthday weekend for my mom and while Route 66 wasn't QUITE as exciting as we all pictured, she loved it and each of their company is entertainment enough to make ANYTHING fun! Happy birthday, Mom!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Our special day

We had Tommy's birthday party the weekend before his birthday, so on his actual birthday, I decided to take the afternoon off work and spend time with him doing whatever he wanted to. He had preschool in the morning AND we had the snack basket, so he chose to take chocolate graham crackers and bananas as his birthday treat. Nana picked him up from preschool and took him to Brooke's so they could have a little party there with all the baby-sitting kids.  When I got to her house to pick him up, he was stuffing down a cupcake and sporting his birthday crown from school!

Cutest birthday boy EVER!

He had decided he wanted to eat lunch at the mall and then go shopping with his own money (a boy after my own heart!). We headed to Town East and of COURSE we went in the entrance where they rent out those dang strollers. Tommy spotted them immediately and begged for one. And who can tell the birthday boy no?!? And what mom doesn't want to spend FIVE FREAKIN DOLLARS on a STROLLER?!? Ridiculous! But it was his special day, so I choked down my "you don't need it" response and swiped my debit card for that blasted stroller. 

Then we got him a slice of pizza the size of his head.

Then we hit all the stores! I usually buy the kids' clothes without them there, so they don't have a lot of say in what they wear. I've REALLY been trying to let go of that area in my life--being so particular about what they wear and making sure everything's just right. I know I can't control that forever, so I'm trying one baby step at a time! And let me tell you, that boy picked some......interesting stuff. 
He LOVED these camo aviators (and I agree). We bought those and a bright yellow t-shirt with Olaf and Sven on it (which I did NOT love, but smiled and told him it was wonderful). 

Then we went to Sears and found a Spiderman shirt and a Batman zip-up hoodie.

Our "biggest" purchase for the day was me and Nick's present to him. He LOVES tennis shoes, so we decided to buy him a nice new pair of shoes. That was the most hilarious process ever. He was picking out the UGLIEST shoes--high tops and bright colors.
  I gently steered him in a different (more neutral) direction. He had fun shopping all day, but as we were waiting for them to bring out the shoe he decided on so he could try it on, he sat down and sighed and said, "Mooooommmmyyy..........I don't like this place anymore." I about died laughing. 

But when they brought out his shoes, he LIT UP. He was in love. He tried them on and they fit great, so the salesman said he could wear them out of the store after we paid. I wish SO bad I had my video camera going. It was the best moment ever. He was walking with a swagger and he was SO proud of those shoes! I'm all about saving money and buying things used, but seeing him feel so good about his shoes made every penny worth it!!
After we were done shopping, he wanted to get some ice cream. We headed to Braum's and he kept asking for "ice cream in the pointy thing." I was confused until we saw the waffle cones and he said, "Yes! THAT pointy thing is what I want!" He get peppermint and I got cappuccino chunky chocolate. 

When we got done with ice cream, he said, "Mommy, I want to go to Goodwill!" I almost fainted. He is SO my child. So we went to Goodwill and shopped some more. After that, we went and picked up Tessa and headed home. Dad brought home chicken nuggets and french fries from McDonalds and we ended his birthday night by cuddling on the couch and watching Planes.

I had a PERFECT day with my boy and it was so much fun getting one on one time with him. I loved seeing the stuff he picked while we shopped and listening to all his crazy stories. We couldn't have asked for a better day!