Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ok, so these are really silly. You too, probably have gotten these in an email like I did. I thought why not, something light every once in a while is good!
12 Reasons to Smile > >
Marriage changes passion. > Suddenly you're in bed with a relative.
I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with > "Guess" on it.So I said," Implants?" She hit me.
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America ? >
A good friend will come and bail you out of > jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, > "Wow...that was fun!"
I signed up for an exercise class and was told > to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place! >
When I was young we used to go "skinny dipping," now I just, "chunky dunk."
Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up in our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?
Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?
Wouldn't you know it... Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever!
Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court > when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed outside?
Bumper sticker of the year: "If you can read this,thank a teacher -and, since it's in English, thank a soldier"
And remember: life is like a roll of toilet paper. > The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

Friday, December 29, 2006

FINALLY back......
WHEW!!! What a Christmas rush! Am I the only one that feels, that you prepare, and prepare, and then in this whirlwind, its all over? It was a good whirlwind, but boy, it left me really sick! Lack of sleep, tons of junkfood (btw why does everyone celebrate holidays with food that's bad for you? pies, cakes, cookies, frosting, candy, drinks, chips and dips, and hams, and gravies...ughhhhh I've eaten enough fat and sugar these last 2 weeks to last all of 2007~funny, we don't show up with carrots and say,"Dig in, and Merry Christmas!"), not much sleep, and a tad bit of stress. That combination, plus let's get everyone together in warm houses and hug...has let the virus bugs fly here in my house, and recovery has been rough! I'm still feeling like, OK, that's it, it's over, and now the New Year? And the next party and the next big shopping sale, then the Valentine's day rush, which before it's even Feb. 14th we'll be pressured to decorate and be ready for my last 3 days in bed were good, just to get a breather!
I've been down and out for 3 days and I'm actually excited to go to Albertson's and get some groceries today!:) Madalyne has taken care of me incredibly! Luckily for me, being that I got so sick right after Christmas, she had plenty of new toys to occupy her time! She's been so cute though, playing "doctor" for mommy! She came to the bed yesterday afternoon and brought a whole collection of Disney Princess jewelry and pretend makeup, as "medicine" that was gonna make me better! I tell you this, I don't care HOW sick anyone would've been at that moment, YOU would have been better! I was just cracking up......each little toy had a sound effect when she "used it on me". Sound effects were incredible and she kept saying," Don't laugh, I'm fixing you!" I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep her from seeing my giggle, I can not put here in black & white the sounds coming out of that kid. She then adorned me with all the jewelry a plastic blue pinky ring, one large clip on earring, 2 beaded necklaces and 8 bracelets later, I'm all better!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

After the Holiday rush, I need one more day here to clean up my house!
I have several things to talk about, and lots of cute Christmas pictures to back soon!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Meet Mark.....He desperately needs your prayers!
This young man and his family need our love and support right now. This is Darlene's son, I mentioned a couple of days ago that he was in a serious car accident. So serious, that is a miracle that he is alive right now! He is in the ICU still internally bleeding, learning the extent of injuries, and more than miserable. His family is by his side still unable to comprehend the devastation that is happening. He goes in for more surgery soon, and they still can't even get to the broken back! The details are ugly, the pain emotionally, physically, and spiritually is the kind that makes every inch of us cry out to our Maker WHY WHY WHY!!! I have felt so heavy about this tragedy for many reasons. One I do know is to pray, and two,support Darlene in any way I can. This woman is so incredible that it pains me to my utter core that she is going through this. (and her family!) She encourages me, loves on me, and accepts me, she has become a mentor to me and I appreciate her. I also believe she needs our support because she lives a daily battle with Lupus. Please pray for some miracles here- this family could use some, and God knows, deserves them!
Details and updates are on Darlenes blog at:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This letter was emailed to me by my aunt! I cracked up, hope you do too!
Dear Santa,
I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.
If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Yours Always, MOM...!
P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A dear friend of my heart is going through a tragedy....she wrote on her blog, "there will be no Christmas for this family this year". Her son was in a tragic car accident and his condition has been touch and go. You'll recognize her from the encouraging quotes she leaves here on my blog. She is my sweet friend, Darlene. Please pray for her, her son and her family this week and Christmas.
It's amazing how stressed we get this time of year, really at the most ridiculous things. We get so wrapped up in trite and silly details. Something like this happens and puts perspective back in place. My heart has been heavy all day, and I want to send out this reminder: This year, this time, this season lets all STOP and be truly thankful for our loved ones, and let them know how you feel. Put your energy back into your family, not the wrapping paper and bows and dinner menus, and price tags. Life is so much more precious than we know, and at any, any moment it can all change......... Hug and love and cherish your children, your parents, your spouse, your friends. Make this Christmas mean something in your home this year, because there are those that aren't getting one this year.
You can visit Darlene and see what is happening with her son Mark by clicking here

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thinking about Ashley.....

Ashley was 17 when we took her in to raise her. This was 2 years ago. The first picture is us 2 years ago out hunting for the perfect Christmas tree. The second is Ash holding Maddy. She was all dressed up and ready to go to school. She grew up in a lot of heartache, to say the least. She ended up at 17, dropped out of school, dad incapable of handling her, and a mom headed back into state mandated rehab. We had only known her a short time, but had a love for this young gal, and a desire to show her a stable loving home. We signed the paperwork to become temporary guardians, put her back in school, and took her home! What an adventure it truly was....lots of tears for me, and her.... tough times with us all. It was not easy for her to switch into a loving home, she was a fish out of water, and she was trying with all her might to follow our structure. She loved us dearly, but still had some "stuff" of her own to figure out. We had a lot of smiles and good times too! Like Christmas traditions, learning how to cook, being a part of church, helping me with Maddy, our extended family accepting her, celebrating her 18th b-day with all the special touches! I told her my goal for her, was to finish high school, that's it. Well, it didn't happen. She only had one month to go and the tempations of the wrong things took over no matter how much we fought it and prayed desperately. She dropped out and ran, like a typical sad story, things for her were awful, living in this place and that place, we lost contact for awhile, but grieved for her, and hoped that we showed her just something that she could take with her. She got pregnant and had her baby right after her 19th birthday, I was there at the hospital the day after. We shed tears, and hugged and patched everything back up.

So fast forward to now..... She married a guy who wants to raise the baby as his own, Zach was best man and I, maid of honor. We are their mentors, and its just so precious. They are trying so hard to pedal against the odds stacked upon them. Tough backgrounds, being poor, and little educated. They attend church, take incredible care of their baby, and have a little apartment that they take good care of.

They came over for dinner this last week, and I took many pictures of her gorgeous baby, Gabriella. It just struck me, that when she was living with us Maddy was the exact age that Gabby is now. It's a strange full circle, but I'm happy to be a part of it. Ashley tells me that she wants to be the mom to Gabby as I am a mom to Maddy. That she has watched me, and wants the home that Zach and I have created together. She wants to emulate me! Wow, that's quite a thought for me. I am truly blessed to be given such a sacred responsibility, and all the tears and grieving I experienced for Ashley now feels so worth it. The full circle of having the opportunity to change little Gabriella's future! WOW again.
"Thank you Lord for showing me that I do matter in ways far reaching, and only You know..."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What my daughter thinks Disneyland is!
Last night we headed up to Zach's parents house for a double family birthday celebration. It was definitely," Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go"! The windstorm the northwest had yesterday had made for some interesting scenery, more trees and branches and on the ground then standing. Zach kept saying, " hey, need another Christmas tree, how bout some more greenery for the mantel". It made for an interesting trek up, not to mention the ice on the roads on the way back! Even more interesting, my in-laws insisted that we all still come over to their house even though they didn't have power. YUP< you read that right, clearly I was thrilled. Let's just say my sister in law and I thru just a few little fits over this. My in laws truly live in the boondocks, and the boondocks dark.....not my idea of a good time. That's a whole other I'll just skip to the good part, and spare you all my thoughts on this subject! Along the way the Pepsi Cola Co. has this annual light show in drive thru form. It's free, so we were thrilled and decided to take Maddy thru for a little fun on our way home. ( Uhh, we quickly figured out why it was free :) he-he, still fabulous for the little ones!) Maddy was sooooo excited by these little set ups, that I made the remark wow, its like having Disneyland right here in Oregon! To that Maddy replied,"no, it IS Disneyland". Me, "maybe it's like it, but this is not quite as big". Her, " this IS this IS Disneyland, lets go AGAIN!" So we drove thru again, and we decided this was the cheapest trip to Disneyland we have ever taken. ( AND our child is totally content with that!)

Friday, December 15, 2006

WHOOPS! too much fun...... the sender of this gift had no idea that this would be the true fun, or did they? this is what happened when I left her to use the computer to put up the first photo of the box :( Way to go mom, huh!

Joy and Fun from UPS!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Maddy's first "big girl" haicut!
Well, I finally did it. I got Maddy a real haircut! Here wispy little mullet she was sporting before was just so difficult to manage! My hair dresser kept telling me that if you cut it right it will look better! Her bangs would stay out of her eyes, and her hair would look thicker. She was right! It looks great and she loves that the hair stays out of her face. AND she doesn't look like a boy, like I feared would happen :). She just looks so grown up! She jumped right into the stylists chair without a question, got her cherry sucker and sat perfectly still the entire time! It was pretty cute, and of course, I saved a lock of the baby hair!

HI to my readers!!
Having trouble with blogger!I've really missed my comments, but apparently blogger just won't let anyone post comments! I'm not the only one, lots of "bloggers" are suffering right now. hmm hope to have more success publishing and getting my comments again soon!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A letter Zach recieved from Ransomed Heart Ministries...very moving

Dearest Friends,
Advent season is upon us. (How did that happen? What happened to the fall?) Ready or not, December is here. It really can be a beautiful time of year, spiritually speaking, if we don’t let the madness of the world crowd the Spirit out. With that hope in mind, let me offer a few thoughts about what Advent might mean for us. Advent means “coming.” To celebrate Advent means to celebrate God keeping his promise. He came. Just as he said he would. For thousands of years God promised his people that he would come and rescue them. He promised it in the Garden, and kept promising it all through the Old Testament. It was a long time to wait, from their point of view. But he did come, as Jesus of Nazareth. God came, and rescued us, and brought us to his heart, to be his own forever.
It’s good to stop and remember. He kept his promise. He came. We can trust him. We need this season to remember God came because so much of life seems to shout at us, “He’s not coming now. Not in this. You are on your own.” Doesn’t it? I mean, my personal crises of faith are in the here and now. Yes, I know God has come through for me in the past. But for some reason, doubt and fear rush in with the next crisis. Will he come now? In this? That is where Advent can help us. We look at the evidence: God keeps his word. He came. He can be trusted. Whatever the evidence of the moment seems to say, God promises never to leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5, which is best understood in the light of Joshua 1:1-9).
So we can say to ourselves, This moment is no exception. God came for me. He will come for me now. But there is even more to Advent. Not only is it an opportunity to reflect – for several weeks – on the fact that God came, it is also an opportunity to lift our eyes towards his return. He will come again. This story is rapidly moving towards a climax, when Jesus returns in bodily form, mounted on a white horse, to usher in the Kingdom of God. There is a Second Advent we are waiting for. Thus in many churches the “Mystery of Faith” is pronounced every week: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. He will come again.
Reassurance, and a time of longing and hope. Reassurance because God comes. He doesn’t abandon us. Not now. Not ever. It can be a time of hope and longing when we say to ourselves, And he is coming back. And all shall be well. I do pray this is a wonderful season for you with God. Whatever else may be going on – dreams realized, dreams seemingly lost – we have God. We have his word that he will come for us. Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

Friday, December 08, 2006

My little laundry helper...... it was cute, I found her in the basket waiting to suprise me, so I pushed the basket to the dryer and started filling it! She got the biggest kick out of it! So great, the tiny moments of silliness that mean so very much to her. Play with your kids, they don't want you to be so serious about life...... I'm learning from her all the time!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You Are Dancer
Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.
Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.
Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.

Ok, have to admit, spent quite a bit of time laughing this morning when I found this site, off a friends blog. There are all sorts of funny little quizzes, I'll definitely find some more for us. I found out what my birthdate meant (which suprise suprise was soooo not true about me!) Oh, then I found names for my ( dad stop reading at this point!) boobies.....the answer that I was given: Sigfreid and Roy..... ummmm what the heck?! Well, they do seem to magically disappear, but gay men? whatever, it's good for a on the link and paste your answer in my comments so I can see what reindeer you are, and whatever else you come up with!

Which reindeer are you?

A Perfectionistic Mommy learning to let go!

My idea of a Christmas tree......

Maddy's idea of a Christmas tree......

As a mother you have to learn to let go of a lot of things, have patience and self- control. This was one I didn't quite anticipate...AND I am constantly telling myself, "just leave it,just leave it alone". I'm not sure all that is even stuck in here, I've found baby Jesus from the nativity set, several animals from her "little people" zoo, childhood pictures of myself, and a cat toy. She is so enamored by this tree, she doesn't need anything for Christmas, this is it! It's the new toy in the house, and she plays under it all day! I'm glad for safey sake we have it wired to the wall ( we have 3 cats, who equally share Maddy's excitement for the tree!) . We're planning on getting a small 'real' tree this weekend, and it will be Maddy's to decorate however she sees fit. I think it'll be fun to make paper chains, and string popcorn ( which maybe not, cuz if I do, it will become the dog's favorite new toy?!) Hmmm.... fun to have kids!!! Then maybe I can run back to this tree and live out my perfectionistic fairy tale of perfectly spaced ornaments( ohhhhhh, that gets me excited..... sick, huh....? I guess there are worse obesessions........ )

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm back! Left town for 3 days for a marriage conference in Portland. Our church sponsored us to go, the pastor believed it was meant for us to go spend some time together! Too many words and emotions I have to try to put in down here in a nutshell. So I'll just let a little bit leak out at a time through the next couple of weeks! This is something every married couple should go to!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow Angel !
We celebrated the snowy morning with snow angels, snowballs, and making "snow dinner". Click on the picture to see some of our snow fun!

Monday, November 27, 2006

A hush has fallen over the world, it is one of great inspire
I've poured myself a cup of tea, and lit the fire
It brings up a childlike joy from my inner core
The promise of all things beautiful once more
The barren branches once a beautiful golden, are now covered with flakes of crystal white
A soft blanket of snow has gently covered my earth tonight

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A New Week

I'm thankful that today is the start of a new week! I'm starting it with a better attitude, and back on track for taking it one day at a time! We had a very nice time at Thanksgiving dinner, and I had a great weekend with a couple of friends. I also conquered a project that has been nagging me for some time.I repainted our bedroom a super sunny warm and golden color!. Here are some classic quotes from my daughter this week that brought me much joy!

  • "It's raining, it's pouring, some guy is snoring!" ( ohhh, I love what her little ears pick up!)
  • when driving by a mill on our way to do some shopping, on a very cloudy day...... "Look, they're making more clouds!" (that would be the steam billowing out, she had a point, it did look like the other clouds, unable to explain this easily, I just agreed!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sebastian sportin' an afro
Our own little "Annie" with a fro

Meet: Marilyn Gordo& Pilgrim Pumpkinhead
and I believe Maddy named hers Bebo & HaHa

Thanksgiving Eve

My week has been quite a downer, its left me tired, stressed and without any inspiration for anything else. I haven't written anything on the blog this week because of this. I find it odd, that this is the week of Thanksgiving, the time of counting our blessings, and what we're thankful for,how much we have......and I'm struggling. So yesterday evening I decided that it was time for a little fun. Instead of just throwing out the pumpkins to get ready for Christmas, I thought it would be more fun to play with them first. I got out paint and brushes, turned on happy music, and gathered the family for a little creativity and laughter! The pictures pretty much tell it all, after a lot of stress, you finally just flip to the other side of zaniness, and it was a blast. We painted our pumpkins, named them, and seemed to find that everyone, and I mean, everyone, looked downright hilarious wearing a crazy wig! When Zach came out to join us and found me putting the wig on everything in sight, he asked "Have you been drinking?" No, I was just getting great comic relief! Today I will be counting my family, my home, my pets, my friends, my freedom to worship, to vote, to be in this country. I wish everyone a day of reflection of the positive in your life!
I'm off to make coffee cake and watch the Macy's Parade!
More pics on Flickr!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Upcoming Movies......
I did see a couple of movie trailers that looked great and worth a date night for me and Zach.
  • "Evan Almighty".... it's Bruce Almighty 2, but with Steve Carroll as Evan who is chosen by god/Morgan Freeman to be Noah and build an ark and collect all the animals. It looked hilarious! ( ok, sidenote, yup this will not be a perfect representation of christianity, but for an adult movie, I'm ok with this one. I personally did not find Bruce A offensive)
  • "The Nativity"....according to the trailer ( I will research a little more) this looked incredibly well done! So real looking, like the movie Passion ,in the sense of real characters that really bring it to life. I'm definitely interested\
  • another Christmas one set to come out 2007. It's Vince Vaughn playing the brother of Santa Claus. Looked like a funny perspective, we'll see.
  • Oh, and lastly Dakota Fanning stars as Fern in real life , as in its not a cartoon, movie of Charlotte's Web. It looked awesome! Julia Roberts plays Charlotte, Wilbur's adorable, and the rat Templeton, was very funny! Looks like a winner!..........(of course from now on before I take any child into a theater I will be doing my research first!)
My Movie Review (warning, this entry classified as a rant!)
My mom and I took Maddy to see the new cartoon movie about penguins called "Happy Feet". More or Less, it was awful! My child is traumatized my the movie, and quite frankly I'm now depressed. So beware to all those with young children, I do not reccomend this film. Now my mom's friend met us there and she also brought her 2 girls. One was 15, enjoyed the movie and said that all her friends are seeing it. The other girl was about 6 and she was scared and hated it too. The previews alone were what nightmares are made out of for little ones, dragons, and some evil and scary new Harry Potter, etc. We had to put Maddy's coat up to block her eyes for those! I should've known then to go ask what was the age level for this movie. My mom and I had seen the commercials wherein there are these adorable fluffy penguins singing and dancing, but that's not the whole truth. I learned my lesson, I will do much more homework before taking my 3 year old into a movie theater!
So what's the big deal you're wondering? Well , not anything for older kids, although its the most political cartoon I've ever seen. They even have the U.N. fighting at the end! My mom and I joked afterwards if Al Gore was the producer! Not that I totally disagree with the politics, I'm a major conservationist and animal nut, it was just way too serious and politcal for a cartoon supposedly for kids. If I wanted to see a documentary on how humans are killing all the animal species on earth I would've chosen another route. After you've personified animals to that degree, then show how we kill them, and cage them, NOT so happy feet at all! It has its usual good morals for older kids to learn, acceptance when someone is different, be responsible for what you do on earth, have courage..... You could also really read into some of the other agendas about religion. I get the thing where years ago there was a generation that thought rock'n roll was the "devil's music", and we've moved on from that. But this took it a little far. Anyone ever see Waterboy, where Bobby Bouchet (played by Adam Sandler)'s mama told him that football was from the devil, ok.... funny. We shouldn't trust our Almighty because the power is all in ourselves, and completely go a different way? I dunno suppose I'm just being sensitive but whatever, supposed to be a cartoon about happy feet for cryin' out loud! It could've been cute, but they made the mean animals soooo scary, and really most of the movie your are so sad for the penguin and its really long and depressing, that they just ruined it. A 2 year old in front of us, cried, and cried during a couple scenes, the family finally left, and the kids next to me kept asking there dad what was going on. My child is a little traumatized for 2 reasons. One, the whole ,animals in captivity was hard for her& to see the penguin so devastated by it. And 2 ,the scary seal lions and orcas.
At lunch today she said several times, " no, I can't the sea lion will get me!" At the mall she hid in all the clothing racks saying dinosaurs and lions were gonna get her. Oh boy, some mom and grammy we turned out to be today.:(
So, yup I'm opinionated about this one maybe because I'm sensitive about my child's reaction. You'll see it, love it, and wonder what my problem is....SORRY,this one hit a nerve.For teenagers, fine: cute music, good animation,& learning about global responsibility.
P.S. after reading reviews I remembered that I forgot to mention the amount of sexuality thrown in, several nasty little things with that too!
P.S.S>this guy reviewed pretty much as I saw it(except for the gay thing,I didn't get that)
A few interesting facts about me....
  • As I have mentioned, I LOVE dark chocolate! Really, I just don't find any need for milk chocolate in this world!
  • I really like silly slapstick comedic movies...kind of a dark secret. I wouldn't want anyone to know I really do enjoy the following for fear of thinking different of me. Dumb & Dumber,Elf, UHF, Napolean Dynamite, and of course Princess Bride. All of these are true classics, and I could watch them over and over, and they will never fail to cheer me up!
  • I've travelled to several other countries, all for missionary purposes and someday would like to travel for pure indulgent pleasure. Mexico, England, France, Austria, and from back in the day : Czhecklosavakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia.
  • I'm allergic to rodents, and long haired cats.
  • I love Christmas and happy the season is almost here!
  • Growing up I always wanted to work at a zoo and take care of animals, or Sea World and be a dolphin trainer (btw, still find it to be one of my dream jobs!)
  • Also growing up I wanted to have a monkey as a pet...!?
  • The two previous bring to this point: I've often been nicknamed "Snow White" for my intense love and passion for animals, and the attraction they seem to have for me.
  • I've been married for 8 years.
  • I grew up in Southern California and used to watch the Disneyland fireworks from our house nightly, and the sound of the booms always meant bedtime!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Here's the cutie- patootie with her little bandaged hand with a Barbie bandaid on it...isn't she pretty?! Amazing how kids just bounce back from anything, and just wanna play, play, play! I love it. She can really teach me alot!

The Fireplace

....this last week I really got ready for winter. We had a lot of heavy rain, and blustery wind! It was obvious that fall was turning into winter. Inspired by the storms outside I decided it was time to get the fireplace up and running. I vaccumed out the old soot, and cleaned the glass, rearranged the fake logs and turned on the pilot light (btw this is a gas fireplace!) I turned it on with a cozy joy. I lit other candles around the house, pulled out the chenille blanket, and started baking a dinner. This little corner of the house was my new little spot of "zen". You know, a place you like to just stare, it brings you peace, it brings you joy. Even the kitties, as seen here, instantly found it to be there favorite spot too. Zach came home and was immediately thrilled by the yummy sights and smells. We planned that our evening would be a movie and dinner in front of the fireplace. WELL...... to know a little about my life is to know that usually if bad things can happen, they will happen to me and my family! I know that's a very "the glass is half empty" way of putting things, but all joking aside those who know me, will totally get it! SO, my moment of zen was interupted when my husband came into the office with a screaming toddler in tow, to inform me that she was just burned by the fireplace. Now, mind you, all day she knew not to ever touch the fireplace, she even informed Zach upon his homecoming that the fireplace was hot, and not to touch it. I was here in the office when it happened, and Zach was playing his guitar in the living room. My theory is that she was dancing around to the music and accidently brushed the back of her hand on the glass front. We soaked her red little hand in water and called the nurse hotline at our doctor's office. Sure enough, at 7:30 at night, the nurse thought we should bring her in based on the amount of white on top of the burn. The poor little thing, her little hand just shook, and swelled! Zach ran out to the garage and put up the fireplace screen, we actually already owned.........but I had failed to put up yet [enter the intense mother guilt here]. We blew out all the candles threw on jackets and rushed down to the "after hours" doctor's office. (very thankful, they offer this service in the evenings, to prevent a trip to the emergency room) So there it was, my cozy joy, my place of peace, my corner of zen.......destroyed, scarred, not to be looked at the same. Little Maddy was a trooper, she sustained a second degree burn on the back of her pointer finger knuckle down to the knuckles on the hand, then over almost to her ring finger. The doctor slathered silver cream all over wrapped her hand to look like a boxing glove and gave her juice, graham crackers and advil. We then took her out for ice cream, maybe to ease our guilt a little, I dunno, just seems the thing to do, when the little one suffers so. She's healing up quite well, and she doesn't even go near the fireplace. I think I'll be left more scarred than her, and I'm working on my healing of the guilt complex and trying to like my fireplace again......

Monday, November 13, 2006

Will post soon.....having computer trouble :(!
Internet Explorer keeps shutting me down!
I'm heading out to get my mammogram ....oh yippee
(have you gotten yours this year??!!)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thankfulness part 2

I'm super- duper thankful for my adorable, comicable, precious daughter! She is currently behind me doing all she can thank of to get my attention while using a small tupperware container. She is doing the following: She's made it a hat, using it as a microphone, putting it on my head as a hat, playing peek a boo with it, giggling, yelling, and being as silly as possible to distract me from this computer. She may really make me mad sometimes, and certain moments I wonder how I can continue another moment in my day with her. And then the next moment I'm cracking up, or looking at her with intense admiration for her little mind, or feeling so much love inside me it physically hurts! I could go on and on with all my feelings for her, memories, special times, and how much my life would be empty and meaningless without her. I'll just leave some of her recent quotes that bring a smile to my face every time I think of them.

" I need some mammograms! " ( what? I ask) " I NEED A MAMMOGRAM!" she insists... As I'm totally cracking up, I realize that she wants some of the Teddy Grahams that we got earlier that day. I guess she really does listen to me, because I'm scheduled for my mammogram later this month.

This summer we took in 2 Chinese exchange students for 2 weeks. In preparation, I had spent a lot of time explaining to her that these kids were coming to stay with us, that they were from another country, and that they spoke a different language. As we pulled into the parking lot at our local University to pick up the students, from the backseat she shouts very excitedly, " Is this China?" I'm still chuckling over her precious innocence, and the very small, simplistic world she lives in.

Maddy kept insisting every time we were on the backyard swing that she could see pineapples. I never could under stand what she was talking about, so I eventually began arguing with her. She always was insistent and never backed down. Finally, one day, she pointed to the very large pine tree behind our backyard fence and said, " See mom, look at all the pineapples!" Laughing I realized, there were a lot of PINECONES on the tree, and yeah, she's right they do look a bit like little pineapples.

I love this little girl!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's raining, it's pouring..........
this is our dog Sebastian helping me show how much rain is covering our street!
These beautiful orange and brown fall leaves, are the main culprit for the flooding all around town! I captured this red one floating by on the other side of the sidewalk.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Making Traditions
Today I went to my "moms group". It's a group of mother's of young children led by women who's children have already grown up. They meet twice a month at our church and their purpose is to encourage and help us young moms. It has been a blessing to me for the last 2 and 1/2 years. Today we got a history lesson from a lady who used to be a second grade teacher. It was the history of Thanksgiving, and how the first pilgrims came to this new land, and what their experience really was. She then gave us ideas on how to teach these things to our children and inspire us to start Thanksgiving traditions. We often overlook this holiday as it is smashed between Halloween and Christmas. Listening to the entire story today really was inspiring! I had forgotten some of the great things that had happened. And I now am throwing around ideas in my head to make this thanksgiving memorable. Zach and I have talked about Christmas traditions for this year already. Maddy is now at a really fun age to start special holiday memories! Here is a great one that someone mentioned for Thanksgiving: buy a light colored tablecloth and with permanent markers have your child write ( or you for them....) on the tablecloth what they are thankful for this year. Have them write on it yearly.
I love it! How sweet, fun and memorable for all of us. I'm definitely doing this one! Anyone else have a special tradition you could share? I'll update here with any other ones we decide to do!
Just a friendly reminder....... many people died for us to have a chance to throw in our opinion, please make sure to do it! As much as politics can be stinky, we are blessed to be in a country that lets us be a part!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Quotes from "Little Classics"...
As I read to Madalyne tonight from one of the books in a series of the above name. I found a couple of quotes worthy of sharing!

  • Dear Lord, Please give me what I ask, if you'd be glad about it. But if you think it's not for me, please help me to do without it. Amen
  • Lord, grant me a simple, kind, open, believing, loving, and generous heart, worthy of being Your dwelling place. John Sergieff
  • The lessons of life are found in the love of Jesus.

So here is a mother's attempt to trick her child into eating a healthy breakfast! It's a banana slug! Sounds disgusting, but it totally worked! If I would of asked her if she would like bananas or raisins in her cereal, the answer would have been no. BUT, look what I can do!! Call it clever manipulation, the power of suggestion, whatever....I call it antioxidants, iron,& potassium down the hatch! She giggled with delight, promptly chowed it down, and even asked for seconds! You know those moments of parenthood, where you want to shout, " HA, I win!". Yes, I'm feeling very proud of myself right now........... :)
Halloween 2006
Look at this beautiful fairy princess! So sweet, so innocent. Hmmm, well at least half the time. As we stayed with friends this last week, she proved she is changing, and becoming her own self! It's amazing and strange to watch your child change. She's definitely letting everyone around her know that she has an opinion, and knows what she wants to happen. That's good, I know, but can't I just keep the sweet little cherub instead?
Maddy and I had a lot of fun on our "girls trip". It was 10 degrees outside when we woke up on Tuesday morning, so that really dictated when and what we were going to do. So finally, it hit 34 and we ventured out! We walked around beautiful downtown, got coffees, stopped at a bakery ant got free leftover bread to go feed the ducks with. It was sunny and beautiful. We crunched golden leaves under our feet, and felt the cold air in our lungs when we breathed. We walked to the river and fed some very cold and hungry ducks! That night we got ready to go to a local church Harvest Carnival for Halloween festivities. There was pizza, and face painting, and plenty of games for the little ones to play and win candy.
Our trip was good, but it's always good to come home too. Zach was so thrilled to see us Wed. night that he had planned his own little welcome home for us! ( He had been so bored without us he had watched lame movies on TV which included Planet of the Apes, and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes....WOW, was my trip WAY better!) He picked up a pizza and a movie, and bought me flowers and champagne, and an "I love you" card. Boy, does this guy know how to make points!!I was completely amazed, and a very glad to know he really missed me, it was only 2 nights, 3 days!
(Click on the Flickr box to see more pictures of our trip. )

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My thought for the day....

Maddy and I took off for an adventure yesterday. A road trip to see friends that live 3 hours away. It was the absolute perfect day for travelling! The temperature was cool, the sun was shining, and the leaves on the trees were gorgeous! Maddy and I played games finding red, orange, brown, and golden trees. Some leaves were dancing just above the river, some flying along the road. I even opened the sun roof to allow some fesh air and sunlight to stream through. I brought a lovely collection of music to play for us too. We had children's praise music, Disney songs done by an orchestra, and a compilation of romantic jazz. Even with all this beauty surrounding me, all I could think about was my stress on the road. I was in the rush, rush, rush mode, and angry at traffic, slow moving cars, and the road construction! I had to sit at a complete stop for 15 minutes, then had to follow a line of cars for 7 miles at 35mph. I was fit to be tied, as they say. My tension had created knots in my stomach. I had made a schedule of exactly where I should be at exact times and was infuriated that I was not going to make those goals! Yes, I was very excited to get to my friend, so the anticipation added to the emotions. But really there was no neccessary time line, just my own impatience. I realized this and suddenly said out loud, " breathe, just enjoy the journey!" Why not take these moments that I have in this car and appreciate the beauty arround me? Amazing how we get caught up in our heads, with our own little agendas, and miss the big picture around us! My journey on the road was just breathtaking, and I almost missed it entirely. So my thought for all of us this week...

" Look around, and just enjoy the journey!"

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A REAL date!
Last night was so much fun for this desperate housewife! I actually had a chance to be wined and dined by my hubby! AND the best part is, my mom took Maddy overnight! WOO- HOO! (insert the dance of joy!!) We had a fabulous time sitting by the fireplace inside of El Torrito. It was happy hour so we enjoyed half price margaritas, and appetizers! Which was a ton of food, and our bill was only $18.00 ( with the tip)!! Of course, soon as we got home I had to call my mom and check on Maddy. She was like, "Why are you calling, she's fine, go spend time with your husband!" It really is funny, I complain about how much I need to get away, just need a break etc. Then at about 2 hours in, all I can think about is her! I was fine after I checked in, but amazing how those little things are so connected to us! :)
Zach and I really needed the time too. Lately its been one of those, "oh, you live here too, don't you?" As I was falling asleep last night, I got that happy peaceful feeling come over me, that said, "Hey, I do like this guy, I did marry him for a reason, yea!"

Friday, October 27, 2006

Closet Space
There just hasn't been anything eventful happening the last couple of days, so I felt at a loss for what to write about. Therefore, we're gonna talk about my closet. I know, really exciting! Can someone really have much to say about their closet? Of course I do, so read on!
I feel like I finally conquered the dragon! My closet has driven me nuts since we've moved here. My stacked sweaters and pants, always fell over, my shoes always ended up in a heap, and I had tossed lots of random stuff in there when "cleaning up" for company. With all this mess, I began ignoring the problem, and tried to live around it, all the time it totally stressed me out. It was one of those things I knew I had to attack, I needed a plan, and a whole day to it. Well, that day was yesterday.
Really, I'm only semi-satisfied, and here's why. I'm a very visual person, hence, I am an interior decorator, and an artist. So when it comes to the closet, it's just not pretty, and I want it to be! Is that too much to ask for? Someday, I want all wooden hangers, nicely spaced on the rods. I want matching baskets to line the shelves. I've seen the pictures in the magazines, all the clothes color coordinated, perfectly pressed hanging from wooden hangers. How lovely! A nice area rug, ditch the fluorescent light and put in some nice incadescants that point different directions, a full length mirror, and a place to sit. Hmmm... I could hang some pictures on the wall, and light candles....just kidding. Now, this might sound crazy, but I know that people do this kind of thing, not in my little closet, but the big rich houses with the closets that are the size of our bedrooms. When I owned a gift and antique store I had a lady come in who wanted to buy this darling little antique couch that I had. It matched perfectly to the picture of this gorgeous italian chandelier that she had brought with her. As I inquired more, she informed me that she was redecorating her closet! Now, mind you, the couch alone was $1200.00! Wow! I just had to have details, she explained exactly what she was doing, and I've never looked at my closet the same since. I really do spend time in there. I go in there several times a day, and it is my little space, it would make the perfect retreat spot! Of course the little 3x4 carpet space I have just wouldn't work, but I can dream!
If I had my dream closet, along with the items I already mentioned, I'd add a window, and a chaise lounge. On the lounge would be a creamy white chenille throw, and one of my cats to snuggle with while I laid back and read. So there would need to be a small bookshelf with my books and letter writing materials. The chandelier that I would hang would have a dimmer switch of course, and maybe I just would light that candle. A small white stereo system playing instrumentals and jazz, and maybe a mini fridge with chilled fruit, wine, and dark chocolate. Okay, maybe that's taking it too far, I might as well throw in the beautiful, shirtless man fanning me! (I can see this now on the cover of a housewives romance novel!)

Maybe I need to go remeasure my closet..................

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Since we are approaching the Thanksgiving season, I'm going to devote an entry a week to what I'm thankful for.

This week friends are on my mind! I'm soooooo thankful for true friendship! I had a very long season in life without any real and true friends, now I have a couple that mean so much to me!
I've learned a lot about nurturing these relationships, and knowing what it means to really be in a true friendship. Here are a couple of quotes that speak what's on my mind.

" I keep my friends as misers do their treasure,because,of all the things granted us by wisdom, none is greater or better than friendship." -Pietro Aretino

"I always felt that the great high privilege, relief, and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing." -Katherine Mansfield

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." -Jane Austen

"When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it." -Edgar Watson Howe

Monday, October 23, 2006

The need for Caffeine!
Just recently I began drinking coffee as a daily routine. It seems so strange, just a few months ago I rarely had a cup, and it had to be froofy, with lots of chocolate and flavoring if I did. Now, just get me something with caffiene! I wasn't even tempted in the past. It wasn't good for you, didn't taste that great, so what's the point. Everywhere I went people had their coffee. People joked about it, " I not awake untill I finish this cup," or, " don't bother me untill I get my coffee", etc. I never got it...........untill this summer.
I blame my husband first. He decided a couple of years ago that he had to have it every morning, and I still wasn't interested. Then the coffee shops, and drive thrus really started. He started working a really tough job, and needed the pick-me-up in the afternoons, or weekends. So while I'd be in the car, it was ok, how 'bout something with chocolate, mmm how 'bout a shake.... Then there were the playdates. My friends all served coffee at playdates, and met at coffee houses to chat. It was all over for me by this point. I realized how much happier and productive I could be, it felt good. This drug called " caffeine" really has a good side, I'm now "getting" why people have caffeine addictions.
I know this is no new revelation for those that started drinking it years ago. I have finally given in to the fact that life is draining, tiring, and demanding, so why not supplement a little:) This afternoon my 3 year old had just driven me into the ground. (you'd think just having one wouldn't be such a problem, but I'm telling ya, this kid NEVER sleeps, ALWAYS talks, and NEVER stops!! I'm too scared to have another because she is just exhausting!) My house was a mess, I needed to do laundry, make dinner, and just organize my own thoughts, but it just wasn't gonna happen with the energy levels I had. And I just couldn't handle Maddy anymore! I called my honey who was on his way home for a late lunch, and I pleaded with him to stop and get me a serious cup of caffeine. I felt defeated that I couldn't do it on my own, but really, you should've seen what I got done those next couple of hours! So now, I get it, I really do.....why the need for caffeine is multi-billion dollar industry!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

feeding carrots

eating pink cake

ponies: Applejacks & Tater tot

My friend Liz eating one of the
carrot treats for the ponies!

Ridin' Pardners!

Sportin' the shades & ridin' in style!

Turning "Fwee" !

Maddy turned 3 on Fri. and we had the
party on Sat. afternoon with 10 of her
friends at a local barn. It was the most
gorgeous day! It was a : pony riding,
trail mix eating, kitty petting, puddle
jumping, caterpillar hunting, picture
coloring, Happy birthday singing, candle
blowing, pink cake eating, flies buzzing, present opening, carrot & apple feeding,
juice drinking, getting dirty, exciting
kind of day!

(My flickr site says I've met my limit of pic sharing,
so I need to upgrade, so there are a few pics there,
and I'll put a few more here on the blog.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Yum-O Rachael Ray!

I'm totally recommending Rachael Ray's recipes, and her magazine, Everyday, that comes out monthly is great! Lots of yummy recipes, practical, easy to make, and even has a pull out shopping list with a week of recipes in it. I've made 5 of her meals so far, and everyone of them has been a BIG hit. Here's a picture of one of them I made. It was, Beef and Potato Stroganoff, with mashed potatoes. I replaced the beef with diced portabello mushroom burgers, and it was awesome, both of us were wishing there was more! Here's the site:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

" Many things in life will catch your eye, but few will catch your heart.......Pursue those." Anon
You've got to stand for something....

After a phone call with my dad yesterday, I've been thinking over some of my convictions. Somehow the topic came up, that he is now boycotting Wal-Mart. My first thought was, " Oh, here we go, someone else making their 'stand', which will never work, because there are millions not paying attention. And no one on the inside is really gonna care anyway!" I often get those emails saying we should as moral citizens be boycotting this company or that company. Target refused to do say Merry Christmas, Proctor & Gamble supports abortions somehow, GM motors is donating tons of $ to Pornography, the Starbucks logo means something about lesbian witches.

Okay so, of course I do not support those kinds of things personally, but years ago, I just gave up in trying to join a bandwagon of much of anything, because I never ever saw results. I got tired of being put down for my opinions, or no matter how much you protested, wrote letters, etc., things just didn't change. Pretty much everything is corrupt these days it seems. Someone on the "top" of so many companies is lying, cheating, stealing, and supporting nasty things. How do we know who really to boycott? I might boycott Wal-mart for child labor issues, but what's the truth about Old Navy clothes, or Nike's? Where does it stop, where do you start, and what's really the truth? Should I just become Amish and make everything myself, and hide myself from the world? ( somedays, that sounds really good!) I gave my little "spiel" to my dad and he agrees that's a common frustration, but is ignoring it altogether really the right thing to do?

Next, I got the quote. "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything!" Fine dad, I get it....but some days it's just overwhelming. (Some of you might me humming the Aaron Tippin song by now.... you've got to be your own man, not a puppet on a string. Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name... ) We all know this quote, it is true, and what are we doing about it? I got to thinking about the lines I've drawn, and what lines I need to go research myself. We as a nation have gotten a whole lot more ignorant these days ( to put it nicely..).
"Ignorance is bliss", ( I agree, I enjoy it!) but is that the quote we are going to teach our children? Is that the right quote to use for my life? I decided I'd start out by listing here a few things that I do take a stand on, then I'm going to do a little internet research on a couple of other things. We do have choices to make, and every little one is important.

  • I have a bumper sticker that says " Equal rights for unborn women" . I totally love it! After seeing my 10 week old baby jumping around in my stomach, the first thing out of my mouth was, " how can anyone kill that?" And I firmly put my foot down.
  • I only buy organic or free range animal products. I can go on and on about this one, (hey dad, wait to you hear my soapbox about this one!) It's extremely disgusting on several levels. I'll spare you this time, but ask me and I'll sure let you know!
  • I do think marriage should be between a man and woman only.
  • I am all for equal rights, but not special rights.
  • I believe in financial frugality. You will never catch me buying some brand name purse for $2500.00, when I could go down to Macy's and get a great one for $25.oo, THEN give the rest to starving, or homeless, or orphans, etc. That is just absolutey ridiculous! The waste in this country infuriates me!
  • I stand firmly for Jesus as the only Way, Truth, & Life.
  • I only eat dark chocolate! ( okay this isn't vastly important, I just prefer it!)

Okay, I've also decided to lighten the blog up a bit, and tomorrow I'll write something fun!

Monday, October 16, 2006

When the old becomes new again!
Today said, "You're all grown up". I have created a new generation by having Maddy. (Not that that's any news, She'll be 3 this Friday.) And now I'm the adult telling the, "when I was a kid" stories.
There are just certain moments as a parent that are milestones. The moment today has provided me with great joy, and many forgotten memories. Today I opened up a special box that has been in storage for many years, with the hopes that someday someone else will like it too. In the box was my cherished "My Little Pony Show Barn." Maddy loves horses, ponies, and anything to do with riding and taking care of horses. Included in that list is My Little Ponies. It just so happened that MLP's were one of my favorites growing up, I even had the really 'cool' barn. It also just so happened that along with all the Barbie's, I kept all the Ponies ( and the clothes, brushes, saddles, etc).
My husband hasn't been all that thrilled carting this extra kind of stuff from house to house through the years. I had my good reasons, my little dreams of passing on from one generation to the next. Passing on plastic toys made in China might sound a little shallow at first glance, its not like grandma's jewelry or an antique worth alot of money, but it's what it represents. How many hours I played, dreamed, and pretended with that little barn, the joy it brought me as a child. You should hear Maddy now. Behind me she has the whole thing set up, brought out all her other horsies to play, and is carrying on full conversations between the new stablemates. Her little face, when I told her what I had for her was expressed with the greatest joy she could muster, is one I won't soon forget. You can see on my Flickr sight a few of the pictures I took as we carefully cleaned up the barn and ponies for their new owner! True joy, I can feel it in my stomach now, and will carry it in my heart forever!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lip gloss kisses reminding me of her innonence
and her love, and her joy of life in the little things!
CONFESSIONS of a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend........

I figured the best way to start out, is to first confess that I am truly fallible. We do not enjoy facing our failures, or the fact that our expectations were not correct. We often believe we are very different, then suddenly, we say something, or do something, and wonder, " where did that come from"? So here is a list of a few things I wish I could say are just not me, but the reality is, we are just not perfect!
1. I have bribed my child with candy. (did I think 2 yr olds would just listen to reason?)
2. I have uttered aloud a bad word in front of my child, whom then repeated it back to me.
( oh the shame!)
3. I have called my husband unkind names. (did I just admit to this?)
4. In high school I once told my dad that I hated him! (oooh, ouch!)
5. Just last year a friend told me something in confidence, I in turn accidently blabbed it.
(I immediately beat myself up, and sent an I'm sorry card!)
6. When my brother and I were left alone growing up, I chased him once with scissors, while singing the Wizard of Oz wicked witch anthem, which deathly scared him as a child. ( I still here about it!)
7. I have used the TV as a babysitter
8. I have witheld from my husband because of anger. ( I think the Bible directly says not to do that!)
9. I have been in counseling/ "therapy", more times than I can count right now, and have been known to take an antidepressant. ( are you sure, you still want to keep reading?)
10. I drive 60 in a 55, and 40 in a 35.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Me, my Hunny, and our little Bunny

Me & My hunky hunny!
For years I've been told to journal. Write your thoughts, your dreams, your problems, even things that maybe shouldn't even be spoken. Every time it was suggested I cringed. I have my own 'good' reasons not to put all my thoughts on paper.
First, it would be a novel, I would have writer's cramp, and might not even finish. I'm too detail oriented, don't want anything to be missed, then the story might just not be the same. This is just not practical for day to day living. Second, I'm reluctant to see it on paper, like putting it on paper makes things real. There have been a lot of things in my life I don't want to be real, and I don't want to go back and read it about it later. Thus, I have refused to journal, or keep a diary of my life. ( even though they have the cutest journals out there now!)
My conclusion is this, I do feel I'm missing out on a wonderful aspect of writing.... Reflecting.... Moments that make you laugh, or feel deeply may go forgotten all too easily. Whether they are good or bad memories, they're my memories, and my families memories, and that's what makes this so important now. Some days my blog entries may be brief, some days they may be a book, some days they may be funny, some days they may be sad, serious, or controversial. That's ok with me because they are days lived, full of life, life given to us by God. So here it is, the official embarkment of my blog journey. I shall throw caution to the wind and rant, rave, reminisce, rejoice in the things that are "my life".