Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: WHAT A YEAR!!!

I'm jumping on the perverbial bandwagon and posting my year in review.  It really helps to look back over the year and see what all we've come through.  Having a blog is very telling.  For instance, I was looking back through all my posts in 2009, and the very first one dealt with Commitments, Not Resolutions.  Well, I made three that I have NOT stuck with!  I guess this is why I am not even going to bother with the whole resolution thing this year.  I'm just going to enjoy the new year and what it holds for me, and I'm just going to do the best I can. That's good enough for me.

The rest of January's posts dealt with me trying to help my husband get through a major onset of depression.  It was a very low point in our lives where I could not help him, no matter what I tried.  We dealt with this off and on throughout the year.  Things really hit rock bottom for him before they got better just a couple of months ago. Since then he as been doing well. I think they finally got his medication correct.

February started with a post about how our beloved Shitzu, Marsh, came up missing.  It was like losing a member of our family.  We still wonder if he's out there somewhere. :*(  It was also this month that I posted about my feeling about turning 40.  I also began a series on "Monday Memories" posts in which each Monday I would copy a letter that I had written to my children beginning 15 years ago.  I got a lot of nice feedback from my readers on these posts.  If you haven't read them, you may want to check them out and maybe do the same for your children. These letters are priceless, and I only wish I had continued writing them back then.  Make sure you look through all of them, as I posted one each Monday until they ran out.

In March I voiced my feelings about my struggle with giving tough love to my oldest son who would not grow up, gain responsibility, and get a job.  Little did I know that life was going to hit him smack dab in the face and force him to become responsible.  But even as I write this, he is still out of work.  True, the economy is pretty bad when it comes to new jobs.  I'm still holding out hope that he will be able to find a good one after the first of the year.

My April posts reflect me going through daily activities that go along with life.  We saw Justin's band play at he local coffee shop.  We went on trips to hear Jordan play bass guitar with the high school show choir.  He also turned 15 on April 24.  (Now the fun is REALLY about to begin when he turns 16!!)  Chase went to his first prom, and I put together a slideshow with the pictures.

In May, I had an epiphany about myself.  We also got the first picture of our first grandchild via ultrasound.  And, I could not let the month go by without acknowledging the 1-year anniversary of the passing of my mother-in-law whom we still miss oh so very much! 

We became bikers in June and had a few subsequent posts about roadtrips that we took.  We celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.  I became a mother-in-law on June 26 when Justin and Chelsea went to the courthouse and got married. 

In July, we found out that we were going to be grandparents of a granddaughter!!  This was great news, as I have been outnumbered by males for way too long.  The girls are catching up, slowly but surely!  Then I posted about my grandma name.  I have since come up with "Granda" as my grandma name.  Later in the month, I did a light-hearted post, courtesy of my sons, about what they would like on their grocery list. Then, onto a more serious post about how we never stop worrying about our children, no matter how old they are.

My August posts seem to reflect lows and highs of different things I was going through in the course of daily life.  Kevin's dad got some really great news in that he found out that, after battling bladder cancer for the last few months, he was cancer free

We were full-fledged into school, work, football, and band in September.  Chase had a very disappointing game when he missed the pass that would have won the game against Southside.  He also turned 18 on September 15th, and I posted the story about how I gave birth to him in the car on the way to the hospital!

Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasedena, Californina, January 1, 2011:  That's the news the Albertville High School band received in October!! Since Jordan is part of the band, he will be going, which means that we will have the opportunity to go with him!  I'm so excited. I hope we can afford to pull this one off! 

October also saw Chase being recognized in the senior show at half-time at the last home football game.  It was a sad time indeed as I contemplated on where all the time has gone.

The big news of October was the BIRTH OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER, AMELIA JAYNE!!!  Nothing could top that.  That WAS my November. :)

And well, for December, you can just look back over the last few posts.  Nothing major.  Just Christmas planning and such.  On my very last post before this one I contemplated what a difference a year makes.  Well, if you have read any of what I've said in this post, you will see that just one year can bring many changes.

So, to all my readers, I wish you a very Happy New 2010.  May it hold happiness and love for you and your families.


Monday, December 28, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

It's Monday after Christmas, and I must say that I have been on a de-cluttering mission!  It started yesterday when I decided to take down the tree.  That almost wore me out!  We opted for a real tree this year, and it had gotten to the point that if you touched it, you could hear the pine needles falling and hitting the floor!  I took special care this time to wind the lights in a way that will, hopefully, keep them from getting all tangled.  I had to buy lights this year because my others were tangled beyond straightening out!  I should know.  I must have spent 2 hours trying to get them straightened out!  I finally gave up.  I surmised that it would probably be worth it to just buy new lights each year, and be done with it.  We'll see how next year goes.  We'll see if I did a good job on winding up this year's lights.

Christmas was good all around.  Kevin kept saying that he didn't like shopping for me, so I finally gave in and printed a list of things that I wouldn't mind having.  He must have been relieved because he took my list, and he did very well with it.  Of course, I would have liked for him to surprise me.  But hey, let's face it, it's better to get something than nothing!!!  I was very pleased.  Chase and Jordan's main presents were Ipod Touches.  They were very pleased, as well.  We bought Justin an acoustic guitar.  Chelsea got a nice clock to hang on the wall, and a zebra-printed pillow and vase.  We got Millie a "light-show" toy that shines on the ceiling and plays either music or ocean sounds.  I wouldn't mind having one of those, myself!  Well, I'll take the ocean sounds.  I can do without the light show.

So now we look forward to 2010.  May it be just a little less eventful than this year was!  I had no idea at this time last year that my son would be married and have a child!  What a difference a year makes!  Looking forward to 2010 will see Jordan turning 16, which means another driver in the house.  My boys are growing up.  Chase will be graduating from high school.  He is probably going to go to the local community college.  He has no firm plans as of yet, though.  Me, I'll still be workin' for the man...or women, in my case. :) hehe!

Bring on the new year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009: We Survived!

Here I sit on Saturday night.  The festivities of Christmas are over.  I was worried about hosting a Christmas get-together with my side of the family, but things turned out great.  There was no fussing, and we had a great time together.  Everyone was not able to come, though.  My brother was sick, so my mom fixed a plate to carry to him.  My mom and dad came, as well as my sister and brother-in-law.  A little later, one of my nieces showed up with her husband and daughter.  That was it.  We had plenty of food.

After they left, I set in to wrapping presents.  I made a mental note to myselft to not wait until Christmas Eve night next year!!  I wrapped presents until after midnight!  I seem to recall doing the same thing last year.  So, two years of that has taught me better!  I was exhausted! 

We woke up early Christmas morning (around 6:30).  The main present that my boys (ages 15 & 18) got was and Ipod Touch.  They loved them!  Well, Chase had a hard time getting his iTunes to cooperate, but he eventually got it, with a little help from mom, of course!  At 8 a.m. we headed over to the community building where Kevin's dad lives.  The guys got "volunteered" to cook breakfast this year. 

Hubby, Kevin can cook!!

Above & Below: Kevin's brothers cooking their part!

We had pancakes, sausage, and bacon. The food turned out really well!  Everyone decided to dig in!

Here's the bunch enjoying the food and fellowship. I told them to look. (Pardon the train wrecks!)

Later that evening we reconvened at Kevin's dad's (Ray a.k.a. Pops) house so that Justin could celebrate with the Rowell family.  We had finger foods and dessert.  Everyone sat around talking and telling funny stories and laughing.  We had a great time.  I could tell that Pops was really enjoying having the family over there, however crowded it was.  If you've been reading my blog, you will recall that my mother-in-law passed away in 2008.  This was our second Christmas without her.  I know that she would love knowing that we were all there enjoying Christmas.  I just wish she were still here...

All this brings me to today.  Justin, Chelsea, and Millie just left for home a little while ago.  Millie is growing and changing everytime I see her.  She is such a precious little doll.  The house becomes lonesome for awhile after they leave.  How I wish they lived closer!

  Now, on to 2010!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Just Another Dysfunctional Family Christmas

As far as I know, I have all the food and most of the presents bought for Christmas.  I have to get just one more gift this evening, and that part will be done.  I've decided to have Christmas Eve supper for my side of the family at my house.  I'm a bit nervous about this because my side of the family is the dysfunctional side.  We all seem to have one, don't we?  Well, my mom never plans anything.  She just says something like, "I may cook a ham, and people can stop by if they want to."  We used to get together at her house every Christmas Eve night.  That was back when things were simpler.  Everyone's kids were young.  Everyone was still married.  People would lay off the booze for the day.  Now, the kids are older.  There are great-grandchildren now.  Couples are separated.  Some are just living together.  Most of them are down on their luck.  Mom is gripey, as usual.  She doesn't care what she says to us.  She will use the opportunity to cut down those who make her mad throughout the year.  We all try to ignore it, and hold our tongues, but a person can only take so much!  I told her that we were going to do this at my house, and I didn't want any fussing, or I wouldn't do this again.  She said, "Well, if you're gonna be that way about it, let's just call it off!"  She TOTALLY missed the point!!  Does that mean that she plans on fussing?  Probably.  It's ingrained in her.  She's always done it.  I even bought her a little sign one time that said, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"  Boy, they hit the nail on the head with THAT one!  I think she did that little sign.  She can't take a joke either.  Everything has to be so serious all the time.

Anyway, she called this morning and said that she didn't guess that they would come, that she would just cook at her house on Christmas Day.  She tried to attribute her change in attitude to the weather because it is supposed to be stormy.  But, I knew that something was up.  I believe that my mom is depressed and needs medication.  Believe me, I've been around it enough to know!  She's feeling sorry for herself, and she wants everyone else to feel the same.  But, you know what?  I told her that we were still having it at my house on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m.  I talked to my dad later, and I told him about my conversation with her.  I told him to make sure that he comes and brings her with him.

This should be interesting...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's on Your Christmas List?

Isn't it funny how the types of items on our Christmas lists change over the years of marriage?  When we were first married, I DID NOT want to get any type of household items from my husband. (i.e. vacuum cleaners, coffee pots, toasters, etc.)  I felt that he should get me some type of personal gift. (i.e. jewelry, jewelry, or jewelry)  :)  But, I'm here to tell you, after 22 years of marriage, I want a dishwasher for Christmas!!!  I wouldn't mind some jewelry, too.  But, after years of hand washing dishes, a dishwasher would be heaven!!  It would save me so much time.  Time that I can spend blogging or on Facebook or catching up on some DVR shows.

Well, this evening I set the plan into motion.  I'm not very picky.  I just want a dishwasher that will work.  I went to Facebook and posted, "I want a dishwasher for Christmas.  Anyone know of a good deal on one?"  Later tonight, one of my former co-workers commented my post and said that she had one for sale for $50 that still works fine.  She had just gotten a new one.  I jumped on that mighty quick!  We are going to pick it up tomorrow!!!!  I have an idea where it will go, I just hope that it is not too hard to get it all situated and working.  It will be an early Christmas present, but hey, I've been waiting for this for years!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Tough Decision

Jordan is facing a tough decision, and I am not sure how to guide him in making the right one.  There's no cut and dry here.  He is contemplating playing football next year.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but he would have to give up A LOT in order to play.  Jordan is in band.  He has been in band since 7th grade, which makes 4 years.  You cannot play football AND be in band. I mean, the logistics of that make it impossible.  How are you going to go into the locker room at half-time for your butt-chewing, if you need to be out on the field performing the half-time show?  :)  I'm making light of it, but my heart goes out to him. 

I know what I want him to do. I know what his dad wants him to do.  Band.  But, it's not our decision to make.  You see, Jordan played football in 7th grade.  I say that he played, but he was lucky to get into the game for a total of 2 minutes!  I love our football team, too.  But, around here, you go will go farther with band than you will with football.  Our band is AWESOME!!  As I have mentioned in previous posts, they have been to Macy's about 4 times, been on a Bahamas cruise twice, been to Hollywood, California once, and they consistently get top honors in all competitions that they enter.  In 9th grade, the senior band members voted Jordan as the "Most Outstanding Rookie."  Before his 8th grade year, the middle school band director asked Jordan if he would learn to play bass guitar so that he could play bass when he got into high school (he initially played alto sax).  Jordan also plays bass guitar in the jazz band, which is about 20 members chosen from the 200+ member regular band.  He played alto sax in the marching band in 9th grade.  This year, the band director asked Jordan to go ahead and begin learning the bass guitar music for the half-time show because he "needed someone he could depend on."  The current bass player is not very reliable.

So, you see my hesitation at the thought of him giving all of that up to play football, in which there are so many unknowns. Will he get to play? Or, will he stand on the sidelines hoping that they will put him in? Wishing he had not quit band. 

 I talked to Jordan about this.  I asked him what he wanted to do.  He isn't sure.  He has quite a few friends that play football who are trying to talk him into playing.  But, they don't really know Jordan's experiences with the band.  Jordan said that if he didn't play football, then he will never know if he was good or not.  He will always wonder.  I told him that I wanted for him to decide and NOT because he knows what his dad and I want. 

This is so hard.  I gave him a suggestion.  I told him to go talk to his counselor at school because that's what she does.  Provides guidance.  He said that he might do that.  I just want him to make a decision that he can live with.

Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Notes To Self

Do you tweet?  I do.  I'm talkng about Twitter.  If you tweet, you can follow me.  Just look up "sandysmile".  You can "follow" celebrites who tweet, which is pretty neat.  Some that I follow are: Dr. Phil, Ryan Seacrest, The Ellen Show, Taylor Swift, and many more.  But now, back to the title of this post.  Today, while waiting at a Redbox kiosk to return a movie, I tweeted, "Note to self...Don't wait until 8:30 to turn in your DVD's at the only Redbox in your city."  Later, I found that NoteRobot retweeted my post.  It seems that NoteRobot's sole purpose is to retweet others' "notes to self."  So, I thought it would be fun to post some of the notes of what people are making to themselves.  The name after the @ symbol is the Twitter name of the person posting.  Some of these are hilarious.  Here goes...

(@shannonbigalke) Note to self. Coffee at 8pm = tasty, but not wise.  (I agree, especially if you are planning to go to bed anytime soon.  ~Me)

(@AlexxxCastro) note to self: never put hairspray in hair. leads to hair falling and looking Indian. (I would love to see that!    ~Me)

(@shazeinidris) Note to self ; Never love in vain

(@bnbllngsly) Note to self. Don't make fun of NJ at a holiday party in NJ. Not everyone shares your POV on the garden state.

(@sereeena) Note to self: never ever wear a "talk nerdy to me" t-shirt to work. EVER.   (Did this person get beat up?! ~Me)

(@razzberries) thats it! i am offically giving up on trying to be a ballet dancer! note to self: where did i even get tht idea?     (Never give up your dream!!   ~Me)

(@Busymom) Note to self: a little food coloring goes a long way.

(@amyjrocks) Note to self: marry someone decisive. Otherwise we will get nowhere in life.

(@luvskinnyjeans9) note to self: u hav got to stop stuffing finger sandwhiches in ur purse. XD   (Too many office parties, maybe???    ~Me)

(@HelenMelon27) Note to self: if the dust bunnies sit up and beg, you've let vacuuming go for too long...
(HA! I can relate!!! ~Me)

And the best note of all:

(@phelippa) Note to Self: Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. (Amen!    ~Me) 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What's on Your Christmas List?

Hey all! How does this fine Tuesday find you?  I'm makin' it.  We're gearing up for Christmas.  I haven't bought the first gift yet.  There's nothing like waiting until the last minute, is there?  I told my boys that I wanted them to make a list of some things that they want for Christmas.  It doesn't mean that we are going to get them everything on the list, but it will insure that they get things that they want.  As for me, I thought might like to have a Nintendo Wii.  Yes, you heard me right.  I thought that the Wii Fit would be something that I could get into.  Anyway, after really stopping to think about it, I need a more practical gift.  A dishwasher.  I hate to wash dishes, and this would be something that would help me out tremendously.  So, that's what's on my Christmas list. 

What is the one thing that you really want for Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009