Friday, May 30, 2008

My friend Traci Root

I have to take a minute and tell you about my friend Traci. I've known Traci since she was 12 years old and I have a hard time thinking of her as anything but the scrawny little girl with the beautiful smile and huge heart, who I loved hanging out with because of her humor and intelligence way beyond her years. But when I watch this video - I marvel at her talent and I have to accept that she has grown up and is bound for great things.

I am so proud of how far she has come since "I knew her when", but mostly I am blessed that I can call Traci my friend. I am sharing this video with all of you here in hopes that you will check out her music, download her songs (available on iTunes), and support her amazing ministry.

I love you Traci. You go girl!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still here . . .

Just paying for having a four day weekend (I took last Friday off). I hope all of you had a great weekend and were able to get caught back up this week.

I hope to post some pictures tomorrow. I just wanted to take a quick second to let everyone know I was alive.

Keep smiling!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Time to get caught back up on my reading . . .

(image from

Okay, okay. I get the hint.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

I admit it. I'm an American Idol Freak. I haven't watched it consistently for 7 years, but Hunkahubby and I have been pretty big fans since the end of Season 3.

So I just had to take the chance to say -

Congratulations David Cook! I've been rooting for him since the beginning. (My other favorites were Carly Smithson (awesome voice) and Amanda Overmyer (fellow Hoosier).)

I got choked up in the end, watching he and his family overcome with emotion. I think he is going to make some great music and I'm really looking forward to what he comes up with. I mean seriously, anyone who can turn Mariah Carey's "Always be my Baby" into a relevant hit for a guy . . . he's a winner in my book!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Cherished Childhood Memories

A co-worker and I were discussing fun things from our childhood. I thought this would be another thing to share on my blog.

Several fun things from my childhood involved . . . money . . . not necessarily the money itself - because I have no remembrance of what I spent it on - but rather how I obtained the money.

We used to have an old brass lamp with a 'secret compartment' of sorts, contained in a decorative finial type of thing. (Hunkahubby will be so ashamed when he learns how little I know about decorative terminology.) My Dad used to hide money in it. We always knew that the rule was 'finders keepers.' Sometimes we would find change in there and sometimes we would find $20. It was always fun to look in the lamp to see if there was anything hiding in it. One memory is Dad telling us that we would be so sorry we hadn't checked the lamp lately - because there had been a $100 bill inside for several months and no one had found it. Dad got to keep it. :-(

We also had fun tipping over his recliner and watching all the change fall out. My brother often did this when he needed gas money.

Dad also liked to hide money places when my brother and I went to college. About the time we thought we were going to starve - we would find a twenty dollar bill hidden in the mini blinds or wrapped around the toilet paper holder.

The thrill of the hunt was always so much better than the reward.

What fun things do you remember from your childhood?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mother's Day Picture

I know - I'm late in posting this, but it's been hectic.

This Mother's Day was wonderful. Hunkahubby and kids made me breakfast in bed and got me cards. My son had made me a special one in school, it was very sweet. We got up, went to church and then went out to Applebee's for lunch. I then got to take an extra-long nap before Hunkahubby had to go to work.

It was a pretty great day - and now that it is over, I have to plan for Hunkahubby's special days that are coming up (Father's Day in June, Birthday in July). Heh. I love to plan things for other people . . .

And even though it has been a hectic and "off" week - I did have some good news this week.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Have you ever just had a really OFF week?

I have had one this week. I'm not sure why - but nothing has gone right. I hate it when that happens.

So today I'm making a conscious choice to have a better week from here on out. I went in search of some inspiration.

The first thing wasn't really inspiring - but it did make me laugh enough to get me out of the "funk" I was in.

Okay - so my days weren't THAT bad, not in that respect.

But the thing that really helped me was listening to music and this particular Amy Grant Medley really helped calm me down, give me peace, and remind me of what is really important.

Here are the lyrics:

Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain

Be still my soul, thy best, thy Heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake
All now mysterious will be bright at last

Delight yourselves in the Lord
Yes, and find your joy in Him
Be known for your gentleness
And never forget the nearness of our God
And don't worry - whatever is going to come
Just tell God every detail
And the peace of God that no one understands will come to you
No, don't worry
Just tell Him every detail and His peace will come to you

I tried to post the song so you could listen to it, but it isn't working correctly. I'll keep trying, but I think you can listen to it here if you download the free rhapsody player.

I hope all of you find peace today. (And I hope those office people eventually found some peace too!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Adoption Day/Mother's Day Fun

I think it is pretty cool that the anniversary of the children's adoption always comes close to Mother's Day. It makes it twice as special.

This weekend, we decided to celebrate our "family birthday" in an extra special way. When the kids got off the school bus, we piled in the van and took off for the weekend.

On the northside of Indianapolis, there is a Holiday Inn with a waterpark inside it. We had heard some great reviews about it and thought it would be a great place to go for a night and have fun together as a family. From the pictures below - you can see that a fun time was had by all . . .

Here they are squirting each other with water.

Here is HunkaHubby after going down the water slide in a tube.
(I even did it! It was great fun! But no one had a camera when I did it . . . heh)

Here are the three bathing beauties.

My youngest looking in fear at HunkaHubby who decided to keep the pizza to himself.
(Not really).

The next day, we took the children to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. We have a membership and we fully intend to use it!

Having fun outside with the children's statues.

The coolest part of the Children's Museum was they just opened a new exhibit dedicated entirely to comic books. HunkaHubby's inner geek came out and cried tears of joy. It was really cool - and is very close to turning me into a comic book geek as well.

I'm not sure what they're looking at . . . but it must be interesting . . .

It was a great weekend and we were all happily exhausted when we returned home Saturday night. I haven't uploaded my Mother's Day pictures yet - so my goal is to post those pictures tomorrow.

Happy Monday everyone and I hope you have a great week!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My UN-wicked Stepmother

A lot of people today are posting blogs about their relationships with their mothers - and I decided it was time to post about the unsung hero of a stepmother.

Granted, I was in college when my parents got divorced. I was in my twenties when Dad married my SuperStepMom. Getting a StepMom wasn't as traumatic as it might have been if I were younger. But I don't think I could have been anymore blessed than what I am.

Let me tell you a little bit about SuperStepMom. Her first husband died when her three boys were quite young. She fearlessly raised those boys on her own - never thinking about herself the entire time. Those boys were her world - and they knew it then and they especially know it now. You can tell from the respect they show her, what a great job she did with each of them. Only when her youngest son was close to graduating from high school, did she even consider taking time for herself and falling in love again.

My Dad was so lucky that she chose to love him. :-) And I am lucky as well. My Daddy deserved to be loved - and my SuperStepMom deserved someone to love her. It was (and is) a perfect fit!

One of my favorite stories was after she and Dad started dating: we went to the store and she wanted to buy me an outfit. She had never had a "girl" to buy clothes for . . . but me, in my "tomboy" stage, went right for the men's flannel shirts. ::sighs:: Sorry SuperStepMom - I'll take some girly clothes now!!

My SuperStepMom has always been there to talk to and give me advice - or kick me in the butt when I was feeling sorry for myself for no reason. They allowed me to crash on their couch during the college years, brought me groceries during the 'financially unstable' years, and loved me even when I was a major pain in the butt. I would not have made it where I am today without the support of Dad and SuperStepMom.

When I got married, my husband also felt very accepted into the family - much in part to SuperStepMom and her support of us.

When we decided to adopt - SuperGRANDMA emerged and my children think she is the GREATEST. She is becoming the Grandma to them that my Grandma was to me. This Christmas, she even made homemade chicken and dumplings WITH the kids. That was so touching to me, and brought back so many great memories. I am so thankful that my kids will have someone like SuperGRANDMA to do these things with.So today - on Mother's Day, I am saying thank you to one of the Greatest Women in the World. You raised three boys, you then married one of the orneriest men on the planet (and do a great job of keeping up with his humor) and you willingly took on his family as well. And although many StepMoms don't get portrayed in the best of manners - I have nothing but accolades for my SuperStepMom.

So thanks. Thanks for taking a chance on love. On Dad. On all of us.

We Love You!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

3 Years of Family

May 10, 2005

The day our 3 little blessings became an offical part of the family. I cannot believe how much they've changed in three years.

Our children are not ours because they share our genes...
they are ours because we have had the audacity to envision them.
That, at the end of the day...
or long sleepless night,
is how love really works.

--- Unknown

Friday, May 9, 2008

Daddy Humor #2

Okay - here is Daddy attempting to embarrass his daughter story number 2.

The Place: My Wedding Rehearsal at the Church.

(Yes, my soon-to-be-Hunkahubby and I had matching tie-dye shirts and I had a "practice" veil on my head.)

The Situation: This story is going to take a little bit of explaining . . .

My parents got divorced in 1994. I got married in 2001. My Dad was remarried by this time, and my Mom was engaged to be married the November after my August wedding. I was a little stressed about everyone getting along long enough to make it through the ceremony. I was pretty sure they would behave, but with my Dad and his sense of humor, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

We had discussed in the weeks leading up to the wedding what my Dad would say when the pastor asked "Who gives this woman to be married?" My Dad's suggestions ranged from: "Her MotherS and I" to "Me and the @#$%* in the front row." (You have to know my Dad to realize he wasn't being evil here, that is just his sense of humor.) We finally decided on "Her family and I."

At the rehearsal, we went through the ceremony a total of 3 times. The first 2 times, I was sure that he was going to say something ornery because he would pause before saying his "line." The 3rd time, which we knew was the LAST time to practice the order of the ceremony, we got to Dad's line and he paused for a long time . . . and I panicked.

The Dad Humor: Out of nowhere - he pulls a plastic hot dog out of his jacket and turns to my husband and says, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" (Remember those commercials?) I look over and my brother has another plastic hot dog and my husband pulls Grey Poupon out of his coat and says, "Yes, yes I do!"

I laughed hysterically - but mostly out of relief that it wasn't something worse than that! I'm not sure my pastor knew what to think of my Dad!

The wedding itself came off WITH a hitch (heh) but without any hot dogs, Grey Poupon, or rude lines inserted. (Although Dad did tell me later that on the way down the aisle, he really did forget what he was supposed to say!)

You gotta love my Dad though. He even paid someone $50 to marry me.

And got a picture to prove it.

And then, he did something he doesn't really like to do . . .

But he did it because he loves me . . . and he didn't even step on my feet!

Yep, I'm still Daddy's little girl. And every day . . . I'm realizing I married someone a LOT like my Dad.

And that is just fine . . . because it means my kids will learn that you can get through anything as long as you're able to laugh . . .

Thanks Dad.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Daddy Humor #1

My Dad has a great sense of humor . . . a little twisted sometimes, but he taught me how to use my sense of humor to get through the rough times. I often say that if I wasn't able to laugh - I wouldn't be able to live. I've spoken before about how I am Daddy's little girl, and how much my Dad means to me.

I often share funny stories of my Dad with people I work with, and they love hearing about my Dad and the pranks he's pulled and the stories he tells. And today, I thought . . . hmmmm . . . that would be a great thing to share on my blog!

So here is Daddy Humor Story #1:

My Dad loves to pull pranks. He loves to laugh. When I was little, he was really good at "getting me" by preying on my gullibility and asking me questions such as "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?" I was probably 16 before I finally was able to answer correctly with "Grant". Duh.

He also liked to scare me. His favorite thing when I was an adolescent was to say we were going to the store and then run outside. I would panic because I knew that somewhere between where I was standing and the car in the garage, Dad was waiting to jump out of the dark and say "Boo" so I would scream. It was a favorite game of his. One time, he got frustrated waiting for me in the car, and then cracked up when he realized I was peeking around every corner looking to see where he was hiding.

I never knew what he was going to come up with next . . .

Well - he had 2 great chances to prey on my gullible nature and also scare the pee out of me when my husband proposed to me and then when we got married several months later. I will share the engagement story first and the wedding story later . . .

As I've said before, Hunkahubby and I had a whirlwind romance. We met in March, were engaged in June, and got married in August. My family didn't really get a chance to know Hunkahubby a whole lot before we were married - and he didn't get a chance to know my family either (probably a good thing - he might have changed his mind!!) So needless to say, he was a little nervous when we went to Dad's house so he could ask Dad's permission to marry me.

Dad was pretty calm about the whole thing, and kind of surprised I think, that Hunkahubby was asking his permission. He said it was fine if he really wanted to marry me (I think he may have also asked if Hunkahubby was 'right in the head', thanks for the support DAD!). And then he turned to me and said, "Now that you're going to be getting married, there is something I need to tell you."

My heart started pounding, I had absolutely no idea what he was going to say. Was he dying? Was there some huge family fortune he was waiting until I was married to share with me . . . (HAHAHAHA, no I never thought that . . . I knew we didn't have any money!)

His next words actually made my heart stop for a few seconds. "I'm not really your father." Mind you - he said this with a completely dead serious expression on his face.

What? This isn't funny Dad. What?!

"Well, you see . . ." he goes on . . . his cheek starting to twitch just a little bit (I know to look for this sign, now that I'm older . . . I never caught on to it when I was younger), "9 months before you were born . . . your mother . . . [wait for it]. . . was abducted by aliens."

I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or punch him. I think I may have done all 3, now that I think about it.

My soon-to-be husband got a HUGE kick out of it and deemed my father his HERO from then on.

I knew then that I was doomed.

Stay tuned, for Part 2 of this Daddy Humor, Daughter Mortification Story . . .

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Office Cat

I just realized that I have not introduced everyone to the newest furry child in my life:

This is Lily. Isn't she beautiful?

Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking . . ."Are you NUTS? You already have FIVE CATS. Why do you need another one?"

Well, here is the story. A lady in our neighborhood posted a message (w/photo of course) of a cat she had taken in from a lady who had to find a home for her because of allergies. Unfortunately my neighbor lady already had several pets - including a couple of dogs who were none too fond of this new addition to their household. The poor kitty was perched on a towel on top of the dryer and very rarely came down because of the dogs. She looked so sad sitting on top of that dryer . . .

I spoke to one of the guys I work for and said, "Don't you think we need an office kitty?" He said I should bring her in for a "Date" to see how she did and how we all got along. So I went to meet the kitty and fell in love at first site. I had to talk to Hunkahubby to determine what we would do if things didn't go over well at the office - and he (of course, because he loves me) said if things didn't work out, we could keep her. :-)

Luckily, though - she is an AWESOME office cat. She sleeps under my desk.

She talks to us and she PURRRRRSSS. Even office visitors who admit to not being fond of cats, have fallen in love with Lily. I believe she was meant to be our cat. :-)

Here she is at a meeting:

And here she is after having a romp with her mouse.

Let me tell, you it is very relaxing to have a cat in the office when you are stressed! I think she is a calming influence for all of us . . .


But it's worth it . . .

Have any of you ever had an office pet? What are your experiences?