Monday, February 21, 2011

A Sudden Loss

This morning when I walked into work, my co-worker Gina asked if our other co-worker Cindy had called me.  I looked puzzled for a second and then got scared.  I said, "Why?"

Well, apparently, Cindy's 31 year old stepson was talking to his wife on the phone while turning onto a highway and was involved in a car wreck.  They life flighted him to the nearest hospital on Friday night but he passed away on Saturday. 

He leaves a wife and young son. 

I didn't know her stepson but nonetheless, I'm devastated for her family.  I'm devastated for his wife, who was a stay-at-home mom.  I just don't understand why senseless things have to happen to good people. 

I honestly don't even know what to say in a situation like this.  Nothing will make them feel better.  They'll suffer from the shock for a long time and all I can ask is that they eventually come to grips with the situation and find peace. 

It just hits so close to home.  My Dad was killed in a car accident on January 12, 2005 on the way home from office.  The office that I shared with him and was his business partner.  I had actually left the building at the same time as him, but pulled out before him and got a couple of minutes ahead of him.  One of the small blessings was that I was ahead of him and not behind him, witnessing it all.  I would have never made it if that had happened. 

So, while I can imagine how the shock of the loss felt, I still feel so devastated for my friend Cindy and her family.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Basketball, Brooms and Big Test

Basketball was the first order of business this morning.  We had a game in Collinsville, playing our last game of the tournament we're in this week.  We lost our game by two points, but the boys did such a great job.  We're finally figuring out how to pass to teammates and work together to score points.  I think they've done terrific, considering they're only 9 years old!

We picked Small Fry's teammate Matthew and took him to the game for his parents.  He came home with us after the game to play for a while.  Luckily, my mountain bike was in the garage so he was able to ride bikes with the boys.  They had a ball riding around the neighborhood.  Matthew lives in the country so he doesn't get to ride a bike very much.  He loved scooting around our small little neighborhood.  I guess it's more fun doing tricks and stuff on the cement instead of gravel and dirt. 

While the boys were outside playing, I did some deep cleaning.  The snow storm last week has resulted in a ton of sand being brought into the house.  I love to walk around the house barefoot and that sand drives me nuts.  It just seems that I can't keep up with the amount being brought in with the boys shoes. 

I swept and mopped the entire house and even went outside into the garage and swept the sand out.  That's the only thing bad about using sand to melt the snow on the roads.

Tater Tot accomplished something terrific last night.  He had been attending a soccer referee class this past week, three hours a night.  He's really enjoyed it and learned so much.  Last night was the qualifying test and he passed.  He's now an official recreational soccer referee!  He'll start on the 4-5 year olds games and progress into older games as he gets more experience.  He'll make $8 a game and is so excited to have his first real job!  I'm so proud of him!   

Mr. H was out of town today for a Masonic event and just got home.  He's watching a basketball Slam Dunk contest in the living room with Tater Tot and I can hear them yelling everytime someone does a great dunk.  It's hilarious!  Small Fry and I have been in the bedroom watching Ghost Hunters.  I have no idea why but he loves Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters.  It doesn't scare him at all.  He just thinks its funny and they probably stage everything on the show. But, nonetheless, we watch it everytime it's on.

I'm catching up on my blogs, trying to get my March menu plan done and making sure everything we have scheduled is in my planner for the next couple of weeks.  Springs coming and with it, a ton of activities.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Small Town Living

As I've mentioned several times before, we live in a town of about 6,500 people.  It's near a lake so the population has grown by a couple thousand in the last five or six years.  Most of the town though grew up here just like their parents and grandparents. 

My husband was born and raised in this town and he's calls himself a "lifer". When we go to the high school for events, he likes to show me the pictures of all of the graduating classes that have graduated in our town.  You see, he's lucky enough that he can show me his Great-Grandparents, Grandparent and his Parents in those senior pictures. His parents were high school sweethearts.  That is a fact that simply amazes me.  I love it and wish I could have a place where everyone in my family for generations went to the same school. 

Mr. H's Mom, Stepdad, Dad, Sister and her Daughter and Brother and his son and daughter all live within 3 miles of us almost on a square.  In other words, we have family at every corner of a big square around us. 

We built and moved into our house three years ago.  Our neighbors to the east of us had never been really friendly to us and that was fine.  Everyone else in the neighborhood was so friendly and helpful that I never thought a thing about it.  I mean, the unfriendly neighbors would sometimes wave at us, but that was it.  They actually caused the closing of our house to be held back three days because they complained about our fence placement.  Luckily, I was the Marketing Director for a survey company at the time and my surveyors ran out to our new house and surveyed our property lines, finding out that the unfriendly neighbor had actually put his fence 10" over in our yard. HA!  Nothing like a disagreement with your new neighbor!  I think that started the tone of our relationship with those neighbors.

The first Thanksgiving at our new house, everyone in Mr. H's family and my Mom came over to our house to celebrate.  When Mr. H's sister came in, she said, "Hey, is that the Cor*** family next door?"
My hubby said that he thought it was.  She then replied, "You know that's our cousin, right?!"
Mr. H had the craziest look on his face.  He was stunned. 
Apparently, Mr. H's Stepdad is first cousins with the "unfriendly" neighbor, making us second cousins.  We never even had a clue!

Another story happened the other day when it had snowed so heavily.  I looked out our front door at the neighbor's house across the street.  Our neighbor is a single mom so I was looking to see if anyone had come to her aid and shoveled the snow out of her driveway.  Well, I noticed a man with a truck was shoveling for her.  When I told Mr. H to look, that Alane the neighbor had someone helping her, he said, "Yep, that's Chris, he's my stepdad's cousin." 
I said, "What?'
He simply stated, "I guess that makes him my cousin too."
I thought, "What???"

Living in a small town is so funny sometimes.  It's just commonplace that you would live in a neighborhood of 60 houses and two of the houses have people related to you. 

When I grew up in Tulsa, I would never have imagined that.  I barely knew any of the people that lived around me. 

Talk about having to watch what you do....everyone's either related to you or knows your husband.  It defintely makes it interesting going out to eat.  You have to stop five times to talk to people you know when you go to the pizza place.

In other words, I love it.  It makes it feel so comfortable to know that you will always know someone every place you go in town.  Every teacher in town has either gone to school with your husband or one of his relatives or they live near you.  Maybe that's why we're lucky enough to get our teachers home phone number every year.  I guess they have to be that available because you're probably gonna run into them at Wal-mart at least once every few weeks. HA!

Beauty Secrets from a Hair and Makeup Fanatic!

I'm a day late with the Kellys Korner - Show Us Your Life Beauty Secrets but I have so much to share!

First off - HAIR

Let me start with the facts;  I have very fine hair but a ton of it.  I also have very, very curly hair.  I dye my hair a very dark brown, which is my natural color (after being a blonde for YEARS) but it covers the little glistening grey hairs I have here and there. 

I also straighten or curl my hair with a flat iron everyday.  I don't like my curly hair at all, but I think most girls with curly hair fight it for some reason.  I grew up with a sister who had the perfect blonde, straight hair and always wanted to have hers, so it's her fault I hate my curly hair-ha!

Recently I had been fighting losing my hair when I had a super stressful job.  My friend said she heard Tresemme would help that.  I tried it and it worked!

Shampoo & Conditioner - Tresemme' but I also add Biolage Conditioner also

After my shower, I towel dry my hair and apply Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Serum.

I blowdry my hair with a round brush, then I flat iron it with a Chi - the best I've ever used. And...I've used a ton with my curly hair.  Do not buy a flat iron at Wal-Mart. They just don't get hot enough.  Spend the money for a professional iron.

I spritz my hair with a heat protectant - Chi Silk Infusion (smells phenomenal!)

I then either curl my hair in waves with the flat iron or just straighten it.  Youtube has great tips on curling with a flat iron.  It's easy once you get the hang of it.

After I finish with my hair, I spray it with Chi Shine Infusion.  It only takes a small amount, but makes your hair so shiny and smooth looking.
To finish, I just use the general Shaper or the Freeze It from Wal-mart.

MAKEUP - Here's where my obsession begins:

Face Primer - Bare Essentials Face Primer

Foundation - Smashbox - stays put all day and doesn't make my face greasy looking.
 Powder to set the foundation - Sephora Mattifying Foundation Powder

Blush - I typically use a bronzing powder for blush and contouring. 

Eyes - I am obsessed with eye makeup.  I love MAC, Kat Von D from Sephora, Urban Decay, Sephora - these are the shadows that have really good pigment and glide on easily. 

I love, love, love Kim Kardashian's eye makeup!

Here's a picture with Mac makeup.

With my favorite MAC girls, Taylor and Deandra

I also use Maybelline Falsies Mascara in Black.  It is the BEST mascara I've ever used.

For lipstick, I use too many to list.  If I do smokey eyes, I do nude lips.  If I do lighter eyes, I use more lipstick color.  Clinique has great lipsticks and I also use MAC lipsticks and gloss.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughts for a Thursday

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~ Elizabeth Stone

I found this quote in a notebook I kept when my first son was a newborn.  I was floored when I had my first sweet baby.  I never knew you could love someone as much as I loved that baby when I saw him. 

I could actually spend hours just watching him breath.  I never even wanted him to sleep in his crib because I wanted to feel him breathing deeply next to me while I slept. 

I always told my friends that hadn't had children yet that they thought they loved their husband, but they had no idea what love was until they had children.  When I laid eyes on my baby he looked exactly like I thought.  I remember thinking, yep, that's him.  That's my baby.  I don't know what it was.  It was the overwhelming feeling that I already knew him, that he was the perfect being that I was hoping he would be.  I also told everyone that I never understood what the term "Mama Lion" really meant, until I had a baby.  I instantly became a "Mama Lion".  I then understood that completely overprotective feeling in regards to my perfect, vulnerable son.  I would have done anything to keep him safe, warm and happy.  I wanted him to never experience hurt or sadness or fear. 

If you know the story of my son, you know that he suffered a birth injury and his right arm was paralyzed.  It's called brachial plexus birth palsy and it is devastating.  From the second the doctor told me, I kicked into overdrive, trying to figure out a way to help him.  I spent the entire first three weeks of my son's life researching all night long on the internet.  I was looking for anything I could about brachial plexus injuries.  The internet was new and there wasn't much information available.  I did find a few sights, but they made it clear to me that this was a rare disability.  I was heartbroken. 

I think the Mama Lion in me was thrown for a loop.  I felt alone and confused but understood that God gave my baby to me because I could handle it.  I was a strong person and I was going to be a great champion for my child.  I've never felt any different in his twelve years of life.

I was so overwhelmed with love for my child that I kept a notebook about my thoughts and wishes for him.  It's so heartwarming to go back through that journal and read everything I was feeling.  As they say, "it was the best of times and the worst of times."  Actually, I was just trying to get my head wrapped around the idea that I was completely and utterly in love with my baby but totally confused and upset about his physical condition.

Through the last twelve years, I've watched my heart walk outside my body and it's been the greatest experience.  I'm so proud of the person he's become and everything he's overcome.  He's always remained positive and never let anything, much less a physical problem, get in his way.  He thinks he's going to play pro football someday and that makes me proud.  I look at his confidence and realize that I did something right.  I always encouraged and provided a positive outlook for my child (and his younger brother). 
This Valentine's Day, I'm proud to say that having children has been the greatest decision I've ever made and I'm thankful each day to have the opportunity to love such amazing children.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Day Before.....AKA Snowmeggeden Preparation II

We are under another Winter Storm Warning and expecting up to 18" of snow tonight.  They've already cancelled school for tomorrow.  I'm starting to think I live in Minnesota. 


Our little town was the only school to hold classes on Monday and then today.  Every other school in the Tulsa area has been out since last Tuesday.  We have never cancelled school for more than three days in a row. Never.  Amazing.

Since the entire state of Oklahoma is terrified of another snow storm, everyone's been in survival mode.  I woke up and immediately started making a list in my head of all the things I needed to get done for the rest of the week.  I'm assuming I'll be housebound once again for the rest of the week.

First, I remembered that I have a baby shower on Sunday so I needed to get to Target and pick up the gift.  I seriously doubt they'll have the shower because it's the Masonic wives and some of them are older, which worries me.  I don't want the older women walking on an icy driveway and falling.  That would be horrible.  I did get to Target at lunch and did the quickest shopping trip ever.  I bought the Boppy Newborn Lounger, which is sooo super cute!

I think Kathryn will really like it for little Emma.

Second thing on the list was finding a way to keep my mother's bills organized.  I desperately needed a way to file them and be able to bring them into the office or living room where I'm paying them.  Yes, I pay my mother's bills for her online.  I'm that lovely sandwich generation that has small kids and an older mom.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

At Target, they had the cutest accordion file.  I was so excited when I finally found one.  It's slim enough to just file in the closet in our office and not take up too much space.

Third, I had to get to the office and finish all of my daily activities in case it started to snow early.  I'm terrified to drive in the snow and would have had a panic attack if the roads started getting slick.

I did get to finish most of the work I needed to do but I'm worried I won't be at work for the rest of the week, resulting in tons of stuff to get done next week. Yuck!

I came home after work this afternoon and fixed chili.  I tried a new chili soup mix and it was different but good.  The mix had rice in it and in Oklahoma, we don't put rice in our chili.  I looked at the package and it was made in New York.  New York!......get a rope!  Ha!

I'm putting a roast in the crockpot overnight just in case our electricity goes out.  We live in a small town and our electric blinks out when the stinking wind blows.  Hopefully, our snowstorm doesn't cause any power loss but just in case, I've prepared enough food for an army.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Things I've Learned Since The Blizzard

I've had a full 4 days to sit in this house and think. 
-Think about warm beaches in the carribean.
-Think about how nice it is to be able to jump in your rear wheel drive car and drive on clear roads, not icy ones.
-Think about how I would like to go walking down the nature trail when it gets warm this Spring.
-Think about how hard it is to not snack all day when you are trapped in your house with a ton of snow outside.
-Think about how I'm probably not going to get a paycheck for the month of February at the rate this month is going. 
-Think about how long the kids are going to be in school this summer since they've missed 7 school days so far with a foot more snow coming this next week.

I've learned a few things during this "relaxing period" at home:

1.  My menu planning is really a great thing.  We already had the groceries for the week because I bought them last Sunday before the blizzard hit.  I had planned to buy them for meals anyway.  I cooked exactly what I had planned and we were great with our grocery supply.  Well, not really-see #2

2.  When you forget to buy toilet paper before a blizzard hits and you run down to just two rolls in the house, you will start to panic.  We have two little boys, not a great thing with a small supply of toilet paper.  I even resorted to asking Mr. H to bring some home from his office building when he finally got out to work on Friday.  He actually came home and took me to Walmart though.  What a great guy!

3.  When you don't wear makeup or do your hair for 4 days straight, your self-esteem will plummet.  Sitting around the house with just sweats, a t-shirt and a hoodie on will destroy every single confidence you have in your appearance.  A woman can only sit in her house with no bra on for so long. Ha!  By Friday, I had to get dressed and do my hair.  I could feel the low self-esteem hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Hence, the great thing The Pleated Poppy has done with What I Wore Wednesday-you have to check out the postings.  Great outfits!

4.  If your puppy dogs only get to go out to the back porch to poop and pee, you will be amazed at how long they will hold it.  I think our boxer Allie held her poo for a good three days.  It was a doozy when she finally went out and did her business.  I think the dogs were feeling a little depressed so we took them out to walk them for a little while.  They were so excited, it was actually sad.

5.  Even if you adore your husband and children, after four days of looking at them, you will get sick of them.  They will get on your nerves and you will start separating into different rooms to watch TV.  Yes, we turned into the "separating into different rooms" family.  I hate that feeling, but you can only stand so much togetherness.  Just being real.  You know you would feel this way too! Tee-hee!

6.  I've spent the time at home trying to be crafty to make myself not panic due to cabin fever.  I made a few super cute flower pins to wear on my cardigans. 

7.  When your kids go in and out all day to play in the snow....your entryway in your house will end up looking like a war zone.

8.  When your baby comes down with a low grade fever, you will feel terrible that
a. he doesn't get to go outside to play in the snow anymore
b.  that maybe you made him sick by letting him play in the snow

He's trying to look sick in the pic

9.  Even blogs, online shopping and facebook get extremely boring when thats all you do for days on end.  We live in a small town and everyone is posting the exact same thing everyday.  My entire facebook photos page is of snow.  Yes, I've seen the record breaking snow that hit the Tulsa area, 200 pictures of it has definitely confirmed to me that everyone got snow!

10.  After griping in #9, I will say that I appreciate the Wal-Mart postings on Facebook.  You know it's bad when people start posting on FB that the milk truck just arrived at our local Wally World.  This is probably the reason why there was ZERO bread, beef of any kind or eggs when we went yesterday.  Oklahoma is definitely a meat eating place.

11.  Last but not least.....I hate Wal-Mart.  They are our only option for food and I feel like they control the world.  Ugh.  Wal-Mart ticks me off everytime the weather gets bad.  There...I feel better...I reiterated my dislike for the monopoly that is Wally World!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


It's been three days since the Blizzard of 2011, which dumped 2 feet of snow on the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.  We spent yesterday shoveling snow off of the driveway, all the way to the ruts in the streets so that Mr. H could try to get to work this morning.  He's an accountant and he needs to be at work to pay bills.  He works in the middle of downtown Tulsa, which can be really tricky in snowy weather because all of the skyscrapers cause shadows on the streets and the snow doesn't melt easily.  He did make it this morning but said there was still a ton of snow on the streets in downtown.  My back wheel drive Jeep would do horrible in that.  Luckily, his Honda Accord drives really well in the snow. 

The horrible thing about today is that its -18 degree windchill right now.  The actual air temperature is -3 degrees.  That stinks because the boys are out of school and now they can't even go outside to play in the snow.  Guess what that means. 

A lot more of this:
Playing XBox Live.  I have a rule in our house that the boys can't play XBox unless the weather is bad.  In other words, if the weather is nice outside, they need to be playing outside in the sunshine.  I've always been scared the boys would turn into those kids that never leave the TV and only play video games.  Not in our casa!

But when the weather stinks like it does, they get sooo bored.  At least this way, they can play video games with their buddies who are also stuck at home.  They've also been playing with a kid in Kansas and a kid in Chicago.  The kid in Chicago was telling them that the other night they had a blizzard with thunder and lightening.  It said it was crazy!

Small Fry has been working on the state report he was assigned the last day they had school.  He thought it was awesome that randomly his teacher gave him the state of Alabama.  We live in Oklahoma but absolutely love the state of Alabama and anything associated with it.  See, my Momma is one of 12 kids. She  was born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama, a small town just south of Birmingham.  She was the 10th child, which means I have aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins all over the entire state.  My Momma even has a nephew older than her. Big families are so funny that way!  Anyway, we are huge University of Alabama fans and our dog is even named Alabama Tide "Allie" for short. 

So, we've had fun researching everything about Alabama.  It's even the place we always vacation, Gulf Shores, Alabama.  If you've never been there, you have to go.  It is unbelievably beautiful.  I could sure use a beach vacation after sitting here stuck in the house with 2 feet of snow on the ground all week. 

I've actually been really good about being stuck.  The only thing I'm starting to panic about is the toilet paper.  We are down to 4 rolls and I've warned the boys about wasting it if you know what I mean ;).  It's the little things you take for granted.  Also, my fat free half and half for my coffee is running out.  That could result in a dire situation.

Apparently, our Wal-mart has been closed and its the only grocery store we have here in smalltown, Oklahoma.  A lot of people here in town work at the Wal-Mart distribution center 30 minutes from here and it is closed until Friday, which means no new deliveries until tomorrow.  Ugh.  You don't realize how dependent you are on Wal-mart until the trucks can't get here.  I hate that feeling of being dependent on one store for everything.  I wish small towns would thrive again with stores each offering different things.  Our Wally World is the only store with anything at all here.  Scary.

I'm not about to ask Mr. H to drive even further than he has already.  There is nothing between our small town and downtown Tulsa.  Well, there is north Tulsa and I don't care to send him to a store there as its not the best area of town. 

Guess, we'll make due with what we have here in the house.  It's a good thing I'm a freak about having enough food at all times.  We're pretty covered in the food department.  We'll just have to use some creativity! HA!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SNOmeggedan Oklahoma 2011

Yesterday we experienced the second blizzard ever in Oklahoma.  Our little town was inundated by 20 inches of snow.  If you know anything about Oklahoma, you know that we never get that much snow.  I think the most I've ever seen is 12 inches and that paralyzed us for a week.  Now we have almost 2 FEET of snow and it's horrible.  They think our schools will be closed for up to 7 school days.  My neighborhood has six foot snow drifts and there's no way my back wheel drive Jeep Cherokee is going to get through that kind of snow.

Most of the snow fell overnight Monday and we woke up to horrible 40 - 50 mile an hour winds.  Overnight about 8 inches fell and it continued to snow throughout the day Tuesday.  It only stopped last night at about 7 or 8pm.

The kids think it's great but Momma is starting to panic.  We are down to 6 rolls of toilet paper!!! Help!

Our back porch- we have the coolest snow drifts.

Outside our front door

Notice the snowdrift almost covering the neighbors van

Allie, our white boxer, is not liking the snow.  She refuses to go out into it to use the bathroom-she's a spoiled puppy

4 ft. snowdrift covering our front flowerbed

The kids made snow tunnels for the first time in their lives...we've never had this much snow.

A lot of Xbox Live is being played while we are housebound. 

Thats a 10 foot basketball goal!