The wrong accessory

April 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm (random) (, )

For the last couple of months my knee has been making a horrible “snap, crackle, pop” noise every time I bend my knee or step up a step (how do you say that – not every step, but every time I climb up a step … I don’t know step up a step just sounds more complicated than what I’m trying to say … oh wow … that probably made it much more complicated!).

Anyhow, it doesn’t really hurt it just sounds horrible.  I just wanted to make sure it was doing damage by walking around like that & more specifically it was driving my husband absolutely crazy!!!  So to appease him & basically shut him up I scheduled an appointment with an Orthopedic. 

Apparently he’s a really good Orthopedic or there’s just a lot of messed up people around my parts, because it took 3 months for his first available appointment!   So finally, the day of my appointment rolls around.  I was able to pawn Evan off, but Megan was stuck with me.  As I check in, the receptionist explains that they’ve been incredibly busy today and are running about 45 minutes behind – forty. five. minutes. behind – oh my word (with Megan in my arms)! 

We settle in nicely & I begin to look around.  I quickly notice the majority of those waiting with me have canes, not babies!  Or they’re in super short shorts with knee braces from their cheerleading falls, not (like me)  in what they probably consider “mom jeans”.  A baby is not a common accessory in an Orthopedic waiting room!!  Anyhow, the good news is that old people love babies & my baby seems to like old people so Megan did great all 60+ minutes in the waiting room – oh my word (with Megan still in my arms)!

I finally get called back & after some quick XRays and a total of One Hour & Thirty-One Minutes after checking in we finally get to see the Dr.  I would have rounded it to “an hour & a half”, but I didn’t want to discredit that additional minute of waiting!!!

At this point, I wanted him to tell me my knee was in “horrible condition”, “it’s a good thing you came in when you did”, “its’ pretty severe”, etc. etc. but I got nothin’.  Basically he gave me a sheet of “exercises” to do once a day so I can strengthen the muscles around my knee.  But he gave me absolutely nothing to make me feel better about a $55 co-pay, ninety-one minutes of my life, and a snappy doctor that at one point during his “prognosis” the phrase “yeah that’d be a good idea because I didn’t sit out in your waiting room for an hour & a half for that” came out of my mouth (don’t worry Dad – I didn’t tell him you referred me!!).

Doctors & Dr Offices … gotta love em!  Oh, and that exercise sheet … it’s still in the floorboard of my car!

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A decade later

April 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm (family, sisterchicks) (, )

It’s been ten years since my Aunt Sandy (Sissy) died from what originally started out as breast cancer.  An entire decade.   That’s crazy to me in so many ways.  Still to this day, I have mixed emotions when someone uses the phrase “beat cancer”.  By absolutely no dis-credit to their personal journey, what they’ve been through, or the fact that they’re still alive – I promise, I’m incredibly happy for anyone that “beats cancer”, but by saying or agreeing that someone “beat cancer”, I feel like I’d also be saying that Sissy lost her battle to cancer and I don’t see it that way at all.  She fought way too hard & put up with way too much for me to say she lost.  I probably have said it from time to time, but inside, I always catch myself & kick myself for doing it.   Maybe it’s just my competitive nature coming out or maybe it’s my spiritual nature knowing that the purpose of her having cancer wasn’t to lose a battle, but to win her eternity.

By Church of God standards she had a “who’s who” of celebrity preachers speak at her funeral service.  I forget which preacher said it, but I’ll never forget one line … “she enjoyed life, she ran out & touched all the bases, but in the end she came home”!  And I think that was true for her.  She was the Aunt that never took anything too seriously.  She went sky diving, traveled, lived at the beach for a while & never seemed to like long standing commitments like marriage, houses, or even jobs for that matter!  Those things kept her too busy from living life! 

But she was always consistent at being a great Aunt.  She never missed our birthdays, graduations or big events.  Even as I write this I can visually see her signature on cards.  It was distinct – long & slender.  I remember one of the last times we all got to hang out.  Just the girls went to “The Swan House” for brunch & then to the mall for a little shopping.  Her mind & memory were so bad at this point that you couldn’t ever be certain if she knew what she was talking about.  As we walked around the mall she was persistent about going to this one store.  Everyone thought it was in one direction, but she was absolutely certain it was in the opposite.  We followed along as she confidently walked in front of us.  She was right.  We were wrong.  I loved that!!  I was so happy for her to be right!  Just a few days after that she entered the hospital for what would be the last time.  I was actually the one that answered the phone at my parents house the day she passed away.  I remember so much about that day.  My Uncle James was on the other end.  I couldn’t get much out other than “ok” and passed the phone off to my Dad. 

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And now, a whole decade has passed that she has missed.  I hate cancer.  I hate that fact that my grandparents had to bury their daughter & that my mom no longer has her sister around – her only sibling.  I don’t want anyone to “beat it” because I don’t want anyone to have it!    Once again, I’ll be walking with my Mom, Sister & Sisterchicks at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event in Atlanta on Mother’s Day Weekend. 

I’ll walk in memory of my Aunt – she lived life, she fought hard, she won her battle for eternity!

 

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Top ten tuesday … etsy love

April 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm (random)

 

Don’t you love etsy!  Notice I didn’t put that in the form of a question, but rather – yes, I know you do!!  You can always find something neat & unique and typically everyone charges some really good prices.  I’ll have to make a Top Ten Wishlist one day, but for now here are some cute things I’ve recently purchased & felt like spreading some love on this Top Ten Tuesday.

1.  Herbal Shoulder Heat Wrap from Raspberry Baby – why I love it:  The print on this is adorable!  It fits super easy & is very comfortable.  And it’s made very well!

Herbal Shoulder Heat Wrap - ON SALE - READY TO SHIP priority shipping

2.  Newborn Infant Hairbow Starter Set from The Princess & Me – why I love it:  the bows (and any alligator clip bows) are interchangable & easily swap onto the headband.  Now keeping a bow on the little rascal is a different story, but that’s no fault of the bow!!  It’s the tiny little hands that keep pulling at the headband!

NEWBORN INFANT STARTER SET... 3 HAIR BOWS AND HEADBAND... ONE DOLLAR SHIPPING

3.  The Little Flapper hat from ZoelynnDesigns – why I love it:  Well just look at the picture!  How cute is that?!?!  And the quality was wonderful!

Reserved Listing for mlholcombe458

4.  Custom Monograms by Sticker Shop Gal – why I love it:  The final version was a running avator for OhAmanda herself!!  Can’t get much cooler than that (heeheehee)!  The Sticker Gal was also great to work with & came through in a pinch!

Car Monograms - Custom Design

5.  Hammered Heaven Guitar Pick by SkinzNhydez – why I love it:  it turned out great!   Now I don’t know much about picks, but this is certainly alot cuter than those plastic things!!  This was a Christmas Present for my husband & he like it alot! 

Hammered Heaven - Sterling silver Guitar pick - Great gift for the guitar player in your life -

6.  Custom SuperHero Cape by SuperFlyKidz – why I love it:  Every little boy wants to be a Super Hero!  This one can be customized with their initial & favorite colors!  It was a hit for my nephew this Christmas!

Childrens Custom Superhero Kid Cape

7.  Snuggly Wool Hat by My Market Stall – why I love it:  She makes fruit & veggie hats … how cute is that!!  Little eggplants, carrots, pumpkins, strawberries … the possibilities are endless!

Snuggly Wool Pumpkin 0-3 months

8.  Beanie with Earflaps by Crafting On the Court – this one’s on my “don’t forget to buy list” once fall rolls back around.  We have “ear issues” in our household & I like to keep them covered up!

6-12 month size Crocheted Earflap Beanie

9.   Ok, so this one I haven’t actually bought … but it’s just proof that you can find anything & everything on Etsy … and even though it may be a little odd, it’s still SUPER cute!!  This is from Cheezombie!

Cecily Garden Slug

 

10.  I’d love anything by this shop … sure wish they’d stock their store again!!!

sisterchicks

 

For more Top Ten Tuesday lists or to link to one of your own … visit OhAmanda.com.

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The big spring contest at dad blogs

April 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm (contest) ()

The other day I was visiting My Life as a Trailer Park Mom & got the scoop from her on an incredibly awesome contest that Dad Blogs is having.  It’s their “Big Spring Contest” in connection with Kid’s Creation – makers of quality redwood swing sets.  And guess what they’re giving away – a swing set!!  An entire quality redwood swing set!!!  It’s called the Three Ring Adventure & retails for $4995.00.  As in 4-THOUSAND-nine-HUNDRED-and-NINETY-five-DOLLARS!!!!  And they’ll ship it to the winner for free!!!  They believe in the quality of their work so much that their sets come with a lifetime gaurantee!! 

three-ring-adventure-sml

Isn’t that an incredible contest???  And if that weren’t enough (which if you won it, it should totally be enough!), they’re also including a Canon Powershot Digital Elf so you can tons of pics of the little ones on the new playset!!! 

canoncamera

My three-year old (like most others) absolutely LOVES to be outside!!  And he LOVES a good playground.  I think his favorites would be the rock climbing wall, the fort-thingy up top & of course the 10′ wave slide.  It’d be fine with me if he doesn’t dig the swing too much only because he still doesn’t have the hang of that down & it gets old for the pusher WAY before it gets old for the swinger!!!  When I think about my childhood playgrounds, I immediately think – WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!!!!  How could huge metal see-saws be safe?  Or super-sized tire swings?  We’ll the tire swing wasn’t.  My sister sent my flying off & I flew threw the dirt, bushes & had scrapes & bruises all over me!!  Thankfully for my children, playground makers have come a LONG way!!!

So go check out Kid’s Creations & then go check out Dad Blogs for your chance to win … but hurry, you only have a few hours left!!  Entries must be in by end of day EST on 4/21!  And also don’t forget to check out Amy at My Life as a Trailer Park Mom … she’s alot of fun!

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Remembering & creating

April 19, 2009 at 9:27 pm (family)

Last Saturday we got together with my husband’s family to celebrate the life of his brother Jeremy, as I mentioned in this earlier post.  It’s become a tradition that on his birthday we all get together, stay busy, have fun, & try to help the cousins learn more about the Uncle they didn’t get to meet along the way.  Since his birthday fell on Easter Weekend this year, I incorporated our “event clues” into an Egg Hunt.   

 

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 The clue in Egg #1 was some crackers … which to the boys mean we’re going to feed the ducks!!  There is a great pond, always full of ducks, at the cemetery.  The boys love to feed them & of course the ducks love to be fed!!  

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 We also did something that’s become a new tradition & released balloons – 24 this year for the age Jeremy would be turning.  This year I got 21 green balloons, 2 blue balloons in honor of his 2 nephews & 1 pink balloon in honor of his new niece. 

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The clue in Egg #2 was a golf ball.  We had planned to play miniature golf but it was SOOOO windy & pretty cool that we decided to stay indoors & bowl instead.  I hadn’t been bowling in YEARS & Evan hadn’t ever been so it was alot of fun.  Jeremy enjoyed bowling alot so it ended up being perfect!!  But something not perfect – my score!!!  After all frames (of which I did in fact roll the ball each time), I scored a *choke*choke* 25.  As in twenty-five.  Is that even possible?!?  Apparently it was.  Now remember, I did have a bad back & my goal was for everyone to have fun … so with that in mind, everyone did better than me!!  Even Evan!

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The final Egg had some cherries inside.  You can’t celebrate someone without some yummy treats, so we ended up back at our house for some banana splits – complete with all the toppings!!  I also had some fun gifts left for everyone!  I had been searching & searching for a puzzle maker that would make a 2-picture collage … and at a reasonable price!!  I finally found one at Up In Pieces.  I was so pleased with how it turned out!  It came in an adorable little tin to hold the pieces & they did a great job with the layout!  Each of the boys got a custom puzzle with a picture of them fishing & a picture of their Uncle J-Bird fishing just like them when he was a little boy! 

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For the adults – my Mother & Father In-Law, Sister-In-Law, & Husband … I gave each of them a picture “From Jeremy’s Nephews & Niece”.  They are laying on a blanket that my sister-in-law made for each of the boys after they were born.  The side you see in this picture is part of an old comforter that Jeremy loved alot as a kid.  The reverse side is a patchwork of some of his old shirts.  It’s of course our favorite blanket!!  

kids_p1 

 

Overall it was a nice day … we reflected & remembered and we also created some new fun, sweet memories!

We love you Jeremy!!!

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Easter weekend

April 15, 2009 at 10:35 pm (Easter, Easter Sunday, Egg Hunt, Evan, Megan, rodeo)

I love Easter weekend!   I love everything it’s about … Jesus on the cross – For. Me.  Then rising from the dead … again – For. Me.  So that he can be present & alive in my life today!  But to be completely honest, I also love all the fun stuff that goes along with the weekend – the egg hunts, the Spring-y clothes, and the Honey Baked Hams (at least that’s part of our tradition!). 

After an awesome church service, we headed to my parents house (with Potato Salad in tow) for a yummy lunch & a fun day!  Aunt Staci once again pulled off a really fun Egg Hunt – not the typical old egg hunt, but one with creativity!   I hope all little kids have an “Aunt Staci” in their life … she’s the best!!

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Afterwards, Evan & Pep went straight to a Rodeo (he’s at that stage, what can I say)!   Secretly, I think Aunt Staci wanted to go with him!

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The rest of us stayed watching Megan try to crawl … she’s currently at the scoot with my head stage – not sure if that’s really a stage, but no one’s told her that yet! And might I add the little girl racked up pretty good with FOUR super adorable Spring Dresses in Easter Baskets from her families!!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend … with the important stuff & the fun stuff!

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Tax deduction

April 15, 2009 at 10:04 am (Megan, random)

In honor of tax day …

tax-deduction

Updated Monday, April 20th for “Your Life, Your Blog” by Real Life.  Visit here for more “Your Life, Your Blog” or to link up to your own!

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Top ten tuesday … vacation style

April 14, 2009 at 10:01 am (Top Ten Tuesday, vacations)

Now that Spring Break is over, I’m in full vacation mode!  We’re taking our first “family of four” trip in June & I’m trying to weigh what’s on the agenda & what’s out.  I love vacations!!  And planning one makes me think about the places we’ve already been & other places that I really want to go.  Now granted, I haven’t traveled the world, by any means but I’ve been to some pretty cool places!

1.  Jamaica – We went here for our Honeymoon & stayed at a Sandals All-Inclusive Resort.  Absolutely Wonderful!!!  We loved Jamaica, loved Sandals & was of course in love … so it was perfect!

2.  Bahamas – I’ve been here twice.  Once on a cruise with my Sisterchicks & once just on a vacation with my husband.  The cruise was MUCH better than the trip on the island.  The Bahamas is actually not my favorite place.  It’s pretty, yes.  But I think the island itself is ridiculously over-priced & the people just weren’t that friendly!  I’m not going to hold that one against the island though.  I choose to believe it was just a couple of unhappy employees at our resort! 

3.  Hawaii – Absolutely wonderful!!!  My parents took our entire family on a cruise of the Islands about six years ago.  It was a really cool way to see a little bit of each island & know which ones I’d like to go back to & visit more.  Oahu, Kaui & Maui were my favorites – I know I’m probably spelling all of those wrong.  We also stayed in Honolulu for two nights, which was alot of fun.

4.  Mexico – well I’m glad we went there before now because things aren’t looking too good there these days!  We went to Puerto Vallerta & stayed at another all-inclusive for our five year anniversary. 

5.  Colorado – We’ve taken two skiing trips here.  One we were the complete tourists.  We stayed in Steamboat Springs & woke up just in time to hit the slopes & stayed on them all day & all night.  The second trip we went to Denver & stayed with some of Pepper’s really good friends.  That was a really fun trip because we got alot of skiing in but our friends took us around town, hiking & just got to see Colorado from the “locals’ perspective.

 6.  California – It’s fun having friends in cool cities … and I say, take advantage of it!!  We have some really good friends in San Diego – very fun, and some more in Carlsbad … super cool city.  We went to both in November of 2002 over my birthday.  We stayed with our friends most of the time, but one night we stayed in Beverly Hills at the Avalon – it was just on “The Hills” last week … boy did I feel cool!!

7.  North Dakota – Now Lord knows I would have never thought I’d be going to North Dakota, but some great friends of ours’ father owns a ranch up there.  YES – a whole entire ranch!!  Pep got to brand a cow, I went on a prairie dog hunt, we rode 4-wheelers, ate biscuits & gravy & slept in tiny little cabins.  Everything about that trip was so unique – the tiny (and that’s probably an exageration) airport that you fly into, the amount of time (and I do mean ALOT) it took to get from the mailbox to the front door, going “into town”, the beauty, etc. … very fun trip!

8.  Sunnyside, FL – this was an annual trip growing up.  We always went with my family & another family.  As we grew older, we’d bring friends, new families, etc.  We’d sleep in a 3 bedroom condo & have at least a dozen people in there … but most of the time we were pushing 20 or more!!  It was definitely NOT the Ritz, but it did have the BEST memories!!!

9.  First Family of 4 Trip – This year we’re going to Orlando.  We’re not doing a full-on Disney Trip – that’s crazy to some of you, I know!!!  Especially since we’re going to Orlando.  But honestly, I just got an awesome deal on the resort, we have a friend in town that we haven’t seen in about a year, it’s within driving distance, and we’ll hit a park while we’re there.  I’m looking forward to it!!

10.  Our Ten Year Anniversary Trip – this is coming up in August.  We’re still narrowing the search, but as of right now we’re looking at the Dominican Republic.  There’s a new resort called the Moon Palace that just opened in January – all inclusive, casino, golf, spa, etc.  It looks absolutely WONDERFUL!!  We’ll make a final decision soon & go for it.  I know the economy is really stinky right now, but it’s 10 years!!!  Stinky economy or not, we’re takin’ a stinkin’ awesome vacation!!

What about you?  What are some of your best vacation location memories?!?  For more Top Ten Lists or to Link to one of your own, visit ohAmanda.com.

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Understanding

April 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm (family)

Tomorrow I’ll be with my husband’s family and we’ll be celebrating the life of his brother, Jeremy.  We’ll have a good time being together & staying busy with fun activities for the kids.  Unfortunately though the guest of honor won’t be with us.  Later this month we’ll mark six years since we lost Jeremy.  Tomorrow he would be turning 24.  I think everyone has a “phrase” they use to describe the death of someone … we lost him, since he passed away, went home, etc.  I tend to always use “lost”, but I recently read someone hated that phrase because she didn’t lose her loved one – she knew exactly where he was!  Thankfully, we know exactly where Jeremy is too.  We know he’s with a God that loves him & celebrates him just like we will be tomorrow.  And we know he’s praising a God & celebrating a God that he loved with all his (young) heart!  Just a few days after Jeremy died, I wrote a poem as I tried to sort out my thoughts and feelings to a very unexpected and sudden loss.

Understanding always seems like the hardest thing to do

When things don’t make any sense & life doesn’t leave a clue.

When all that’s left is memories

With no chance to capture new moments,

We can’t help but want to understand

We can’t help but wonder how all this can be part of your plan.

 

To leave so many people hurting

To leave so many people in pain

To leave so many people not knowing, how they’ll ever live again.

 

Why couldn’t we say good-bye?

Why couldn’t we have that chance?

To express our love one last time

Before our heart’s final dance.

 

If only to see him strong like the trees

Or feel him like the gentle rain.

To hear him clear like thunder,

We might feel whole & sane.

 

Could it be that heaven wasn’t complete?

Or that your mighty love wanted to spare his future pain?

Could it be that you rejoiced that day,

For your child had come home to say?

And did you also mourn,

To see your children left behind in such pain?

 

We know his heart was ready – he was an angel here on earth.

So open & forgiving

Always loving & accepting.

Now we know our treasure in heaven

Is much greater than it could have ever been.

 

And as those left behind are faced with a world that’s new,

Understanding still seems like the hardest thing to do.

Happy Birthday Jeremy!  We’ll always love & miss you!!

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The worst sandwich in america

April 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm (random)

This is just disturbing!!!

WORST SANDWICH IN AMERICA
Quizno’s Tuna Melt, large
1,760 calories
133 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
92 g carbs
2,120 mg sodium
 
Tuna melts are scary because they sound so harmless—in almost all other forms, tuna is usually a smart and healthy choice. So what’s with the insane caloric overload? Blame the fat-packed mayo the tuna is mixed with, along with Quizno’s larger-than-life portion sizes. Even though they’ve managed to trim this melt down from the original 2,000-plus calorie mark when we first tested it, it still remains the worst sandwich we’ve found.  Source

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