Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Like Having Options...

I had a dream a couple nights ago about my dad. I think the best part about dreaming about someone that you have lost is that in your dream you have the option of  seeing them or talking to them or calling them. I like having options. Meaning, that in my dream, I really didn't talk to my dad much. I went to his house, which was nice, to know I could just go to his house and that he would be there. But I talked to someone else the whole time. I think maybe they were his daughters. I guess daughters from his new marriage. It was very Kardashian like - if you get what I'm saying. And I like the feeling of going to the house I grew up in and not feeling like a stranger. That wasn't the case in the last couple years of my dad's life. Things got a little....uncomfortable. Sort of shifted the wrong way. Knocking on the door to the home where I spent 15 years growing up and feeling like I didn't belong was very surreal to me. Like someone had knocked me on my ass and didn't know how to help me up.

My dad and mom had decided to split up for at least the third and final time when I was 17, fast approaching 18. At least that is what I recall in those 15 years in that house. I remember my dad leaving twice. I was too young to know why. I didn't get it. I didn't like it but I saw my dad enough that it didn't phase me too much. Also, my dad had some good years in him. He coached my soccer teams, he cheered me on and literally ran up and down those side lines at my high school and select games. He fixed my cars. All of them. He got me home when I would call him lost and this happened frequently. He built a big pool that created all sorts of memories for my sister and I growing up in our back yard. He took us on vacations and camping trips. He even attempted to talk to me about boys.  He did all of this with my mom by the way. They did it together. As our parents. I had a good childhood and I can't complain. My dad was goofy. All my friends liked him because he was always playing some sort of practical joke. He knew which boys weren't good for me. And I can't remember a time when it was my best friend, my sister, my dad and myself  when we were together that we were not laughing. Laughing until we cried. My parents would let me have little get togethers and watch scary movies (all of course just an excuse to cuddle with my current boyfriend on the couch) And he would take the screen off of the windows behind the couch and come crawling through like a Zombie looking for it's next victim. It worked. It scared the BeJeeezus out of my friends. My dad was cool like that.

When he left the last time I was annoyed. I was sort of over the back and forth of it all. Then they said they were actually getting a divorce and my annoyed state turned into anger. At this point my dad hadn't been around as much. He was always playing softball late at night. He always came home smelling of alcohol. He just wasn't around as much. I guess for me, because I needed him less, it wasn't THAT big of a deal....but being a wife now, I know that for my mom it had to have been awful. So I gravitated towards my mom more. I felt sorry for her. I don't know why either. My mom never acted like she was a victim or never spoke ill of him. I guess I was old enough to know that him leaving was kinda the coward thing to do.

And then I found out he had a girlfriend.

And then I hated him.

Like really hated him.

For a Very Long Time.

And my dad didn't know how to recover from that. He didn't know how to make it right. He didn't know how to say, "I'm sorry." And make it count. Truth be told, it was impossible. At that point I wanted everything that had happened to go away. And it wasn't going to. So whatever my dad tried to say to me, to plea to me (which he did - ugh...this part breaks my heart). I wasn't listening. I kinda disowned him. I was so disappointed in him. He was NOT the man that took me camping on a beach, he was NOT the man that was seriously a good fill in DAD to my best friend, Kim. He was not the dad that rooted me on my whole life. The last thing I yelled at my dad before pretending like he didn't exist for so long was, "What am I suppose to tell Lisa now?? How could you do this to her, to me, to our family!!"

And then I got in the car and left....

I didn't talk to my dad. I don't even know how long I went without talking to my dad. Without answering his phone calls. Avoiding his visits at my work. It's really devastating to think about it now actually. The way I treated him. I was young. He was my dad. I expected more, I suppose.

I have never regretted anything more in my life. Ever.

One day, my dad begged me to go to lunch with him. I figured free lunch and I'm poor, fine. But I'm not talking to him. It was awkward. Not how it should be with a parent. Especially someone I had been close to for so long. My dad then told me that him and his girlfriend  broke up. I thought, seriously? What the hell do I care? I don't. At all. And then I saw my dad trying not to cry. He was hurt. All of the sudden guilt coursed it's way through my body. All this time and I had forgotten that my dad was human. He's an idiot. But he's human all the same.

I wasn't excited about mending my relationship with my dad. But it wasn't completely off the table for me anymore.  If it worked, great, if not, then whatever. Nothing had changed. And maybe I won't let my mom know about what I'm thinking either. Just in case.

And slowly, very slowly, things started to change a bit.

I still couldn't forgive my dad. But I realized, this is my one and only Dad. The only one I get in this life. I can't not talk to him forever. I mean one day he's going to walk me down the aisle and be a grandpa to my kids. I can't hate him forever. Can I? Plus, I always thought it would be fun to go have a drink with my dad when I was of age. My mom wasn't/isn't much of a drinker, my dad may appreciate that outing a little more.

Let the healing begin....

Over time things got a little bit better. He took care of me when I had the worst case of strep I have ever had. He came over to our apartment and would smoke cigars with us. We went to bars with him in the Stockyards. He let me throw way cool parties at his house when he was gone for the weekend. And he would only get a small degree of pissed when things weren't put back in their rightful place. But even after all that things were not the same. It was like I was trying to fill a void that may never be filled. I was trying to fill this hole in my heart with a Dad but I was really just making a new friend.

And then he got a new girlfriend.

I had to close my eyes really tight and grit my teeth and figure out what I was going to do next. Because he really liked this girlfriend. He really liked this girlfriends daughter. And he really liked this girlfriends daughters' daughter. What? He was a grandpa and it wasn't my kid. WTF? It's like he got a whole new family overnight. {And you want me to come meet them? And see your new "house"? Whoooa....hold up here...I was okay with making things right when you were lonely and I felt like you needed me but now this? This isn't okay. This is too much to digest. What about Mom? Is Lisa okay with this? I am totally not okay with this. This makes my stomach hurt. No. No. No. I need some time.}

And there I was again. A selfish, desperate daughter back at it.

I think it was my sister that convinced me to meet them. To go to their house. To pretend like I was okay. So I did it. It was as bad as I thought it was going to be. But I missed my "friend". I missed talking to him and hanging out with him. I use to call him every Monday to see how his weekend was. I didn't want to stop that. I wasn't going to take two steps forward just to take a billion steps back. I was going to fake it. And that's just what I did. I faked it. I pretended to be happy all the time around him. I even invited him out to my 21st birthday (with the girlfriend) and excluded my Mom. Totally hurt my Mom's feelings by doing that. I suck.

After awhile the faking became easier. I started to believe it myself. Like maybe this could work. And maybe my dad would feel like my dad again. For a brief amount of time it was that way. I let go of all of my hurting and saw how happy he was. He was so good to his "grand daughter",  that I could only imagine how he would be with my own kids. We were going to be okay.

Monday Morning, January 10th, 2000 -
I'm at work, my dad calls me there.

"Hey Amy, I didn't think I would catch you at work on a Monday morning."
"I usually work Monday nights but I traded shifts so that I could go to Abilene tonight. What's up?"
"Well I'm going to be in the area around lunch time, do you think your ol' dad could take you to lunch today?"

At lunch my dad told me that he asked Annette to marry him. That they wanted Lisa and I to be in the wedding. He told me that he really wanted to make things right with people in his past. With family. With friends. He told me not to tell Lisa, that he was going to tell her later that day. I faked the biggest smile in the world and hugged him and told him I was excited about looking at dresses. When I got back to work I cried for what seemed like forever to my friend, Lee. He looked at me like I was crazy. Like what's the big deal. I don't even know what the big deal was to be honest. I don't even know. Because, looking back, it was the smallest deal in the world. Looking back I would do anything to see my dad get married to Annette. If it meant my dad was alive today he could have married her a thousand times.

On January 11th, 2000 my dad died. I was in Abilene. Far away from people that loved me. From people that needed me. From people that I needed.

 My Mom called my boyfriends house number. He went back in the bedroom and talked on the phone with her for a little while. I had only been with him for four months. He met my Dad once. My Dad met the wrong man in my life. My Dad knew it too. My Mom was crying. My Mom rarely cries. Her voice was shaking. She went on to tell me that Dad had an accident. Something with his heart she thought. And....I said...And...And He didn't make it, Amy. I'm so sorry. Where is my Sister?? Where is my Sister!!!! I yelled it. And my knees buckled and my body found a place on the floor where I would not move until daylight.

I layed on that floor and I cried and I cried and I cried. I couldn't stop crying. I had no one to console me. Even if he had tried, it wasn't genuine. He didn't know me. He didn't know my dad. He didn't know what to say.  No one really does. I cried until I couldn't anymore. I would start to doze off and then wake up suddenly. I thought it was a horrific nightmare. But the reality set in seconds later and I sobbed some more. You cannot shed enough tears when you lose a parent. I never moved from my spot on that floor. Unless it was to get up and get my own tissue.

The next morning my Mom called me and told me that we had to figure out a way for me to get home. I refused. I did not want to go home. I did not want to see him. I couldn't bare to see my sisters face so hurt. If I go home this will all be real. I will have to deal with it. I can't deal with this. I cannot deal with this. I won't deal with this. And then Kim, who had lost a father too, her husband and their friend drove to Abilene so that I would not have to drive home alone. So I sat and waited. I sat on the couch in a fog. I just stared into nothing. I sat and I waited for two hours. The things that I thought of in those moments crushed my little heart. Broke it into a billion pieces. Did my Dad know that I loved him? Did I tell him that on Monday when he left? Did he ever get to call my Sister? Oh God, please let that be the case. What did he mean he wanted to make things right with people in the past? Could my dad see right through me? Did he know I was faking it for so long? Did my Dad know that I loved him? I really did..I mean I really did. I hated him but I loved him. I loved him so much. He made me very angry but he was my Dad. Did he know that or did he think I was still mad at him after all this time? All this time...I lost so much time with him...How can this be real? This is not real. I am going to wake up any time now. I know it. What am I going to say to my sister. My poor sister. I was empty.

If Kim was good for anything in my life it was for the next two hour ride home. We laughed. We laughed so much together and had so many memories of my Dad. It was just what I needed. It was a cleansing. We cried some too but if there is anything that I learned on that ride home it was that there was hope for me yet. If you can find laughter in your darkest moments, you will surely find laughter when the sun is shining. And it will shine again.

It has been almost 13 years since we lost our Dad. 13 years. But when I think about it...when I think about all the things he has missed out on it hurts just as much now as it did then. That never changes. What changes is the frequency of the hurt. What changes is realizing how precious memories really are. What a gift life really is. I get angry when I think about how my Dad isn't around now to spend holiday with us. Or how I can't call him on a Monday morning to see how his weekend was. Or maybe I wouldn't have to call him because he came to Jackson's basketball game on Saturday and on Sunday he picked up Ella and gave her a big bear hug and pacified Landon by playing "tackle" football with him in our living room. My children are really the ones that got screwed. He would have made one heck of a Grandpa. I wonder what he would have done when I was going through my divorce. He would definitely enjoy hanging out with my husband and  brother-in-law. These are the kinds of thoughts that could make you go insane and put you at peace all at the same time if that is even possible. And who really knows if any of this would have actually taken place. Maybe he would have checked out when he got married. There is no way of ever knowing. It's a reality I created. My own made up version of how my life would have been different. How the lives of the people that I love would have taken a different turn. I have options in my conjured up reality.

I like having options.

The hurt never stops. The tears will always come. But it becomes fewer and far between. It's a good reminder for me. Let the little things go. Everyone is human. We all make mistakes. Time is not guaranteed. Make sure you spend it wisely.

With Love,

Amy Marie

Friday, September 28, 2012

Come, come! On the kick drum! Come, come!

"Yearbook Chalkboard"
In my opinion, the measure of success regarding a Pinterest Party is not how well your projects turned out but more so how bad your face hurts at the end of the night from laughing so hard. In that case, the party was a success.  And also, Thank God.

And then I read the paragraph above and realized...I'm old. Not cool. 

So there was lots of conversation, lots of laughing, lots of curious question asking, some moderate drinking and more food than Thanksgiving day. Oh...and the projects turned out pretty awesome too. Well....some of them did....some of them were...uhhh.....not so good. But that's okay, you live you learn. You say screw it!! 

So since there was so much food, I may post that on another day. Too much information at once can hurt your brain. But just to give you an idea, the hostess pretty much made Easter brunch for us.

I apologize in advance for the quality of some of these pics. They are literally pictures I took from my phone of Instagram pics. Also, I may feel the need to give out some awards to some of these projects. We shall see if anything inspires me.

This is my sister and her husband. It has absolutely nothing to do with the party. Other than she was there. I didn't get a picture of her craft and this picture is hilarious. They did get the idea for their "facial" off Pinterest. Not sure how it turned out but did I mention this pic is hilarious? Because it is. Hilarious. I would give Lisa the Award for "Longest Overdue" Project. She gets it.

P.S. Erin used glass bond but she said it sucks cause her $%&* fell off.
 So this is Erin B. The "B" stands for Bad AZZZZZ. And I know I mentioned our faces hurting from laughing so hard. This would be her fault.

She made a drinking glass out of a Mason jar. Then she made it super pretty. Then she drank beer out of it. Just one though. At a time. You can see how she made it here.

  Oh Crystal. When I said moderate drinking, I may have fibbed a tad. That's not just coke in that Sonic cup. We all loved Crystals wreath. (Did I mention we are all wreath hookstars - because we are) She, however, didn't like it. She threw it in the trash on the way out. You can see how to make Crystal's wreath here.

And then my friends turned into raccoons. Craft Raccoons rummaging through the trash. I'm not joking. This really happened. See exhibit A.

Exhibit A
Crystals discarded wreath.

This is Erin with a "P". She is looking very thuggish here...and can't be trusted with a glue gun. She attempted to make a Pebble mat. Attempted. What you can't see from this picture is that all of those rocks are falling off of the mat. After Erin with a "P" spent a good amount of time gluing them on. This didn't work out so well. If you attempt it, don't use hot glue. It requires contact adhesive. If you want to know how to make the Pebble Mat go here.

Erin wins the "Are we actually suppose to click on the link and read the directions on how to make it?" Award

This is my friend Stephanie. She is notorious for bringing laundry baskets full of crafts to do to these parties and then not really finishing any one thing. Mostly because Stephanie is just happy to get out of the house. Stephanie has 4 children. Stephanie is very happy here. And Stephanie made delicious shots for us. You can go here to see how she made the wreath.

Did I happen to mention we are wreath hookstars??

Laura made this super cute Halloween wreath for herself!! This is a big deal because Laura just started up a little crafting business called Doors Adorned, making all sorts of wreaths. REALLY CUTE ONES!!  And she has lots of wreath makin' to do! If you want to see how to make this wreath you can go here.

Side note: These wreaths can be really expensive on Etsy.

Here is some of the wreaths she has already made.

Aren't they adorbs!! If you like anything you see or want something specific you can contact Laura at

Lisa Marie made this cute little framed magnet board. I love it. I want to make one for myself but I don't have anywhere in my bathroom to hang it. It would have to be like a big picture frame on the counter and the point is to make space on the counter, right??? Anyways...I love gray and yellow together too!! Supa cute! Here is how to make it.

Lisa Marie gets "Hostess with the Mostest" Award. But seriously, she made ham.

 This is the best picture I could get of Alli's wreath. She was still cutting out orange felt circles when everyone else was finished. She had some really cute spiders to put on the wreath when she is done with it. Wreath took forever yo! Go here to see how to make her wreath.

Alli gets the "Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior" Award. She dropped the f bomb. It was shocking. Alli doesn't drop f bombs. Alli makes Halloween wreaths with orange felt.

There were a few other people there that I didn't get  pics of their projects. Crystal Barnhill had her stuff put away within 10 minutes of taking it out. I believe when she saw the 547, 391 holes that she was going to have to pull fabric through and tie she dropped an F* Bomb too. Girl cray cray! Natasha's had hers put away before I could get to it and you can see Leah in the background of the pic with Alli. I really wanted to see a picture of hers finished because it was for Christmas and it looked really cute so far.

And here is mine!! I loved it way more than I thought I would. Well the burlap banner thing. I have made a silhouette of Ella before but this one is for her room.  The burlap banner was really easy to make. Can't wait to get it hung up!! You can see how I made it here.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shut up already, it's Rude..

The best thing about having a blog is it's a place to vent. Whatever you want, whenever you want. The worst thing about having a blog is it's a place to vent. Whatever you want, Whenever you want.  I so badly want to vent ugly thoughts. Actually, none of you would think they are ugly thoughts. I'm guessing a lot of you could relate to my mean thoughts. I can just see the comments now..."Oh yeah, I have one of those in my life. Isn't it awful." or "Oh My Gosh, Amy, you are so hilarious (duh) and you just read my mind. I feel the same way you do about my *&^%$" You know something along those lines. I'm just sure of it. Today my ugly thoughts make me giggle...Well half of them do. The other half I just roll my eyes at. Ugh...this entire paragraph is pointless..It's like speaking in code. I hate code speakers. Shut up already, it's rude. I'm going to get text messages now....."What did he/she do now?" To my peeps: Remember, today I'm giggling. Sometimes karma has a way of working itself out. .... Bottom line, nothing is wrong. I'm still singing and skipping to Taylor Swift over here.

My mom should be calling me anytime now.

So today I got a coffee. Pierce, who took my money at the drive through window made conversation with me. Side Note: Did you know another word for 'conversation' is 'intercourse'. Really. Look it up. Today Pierce and I had a friendly 'intercourse'. Awkward. So.....yeah....The hot beverage wasn't quite ready yet so he did what any good employee would do, he made conversation. Pierce got skillzzzz. Also, Pierce had these magical green eyes and so, I felt compelled to talk back. This is how the conversation went down:

Pierce - "Your drink is almost ready. The countdown has begun. I'm just not sure what number the countdown started with."
Me - "That's okay, at least it's going down."
Pierce - "True, well except for the shots. Those stay at the top. Did you know that is what macchiatto meant?"
Me - "Actually,  yes I did. I Googled it." (Dork)
Pierce - .....................................................
Pierce - "Really? Are you one of those people that Googles everything before you try it or do it?"
Me - (insulted) "Pfffft...No. I just googled it okay. My friend had one and I was curious what it meant. So I googled it."

I felt a strong need to make sure this young man didn't think I was an old woman. I have no idea why. Maybe it was the green eyes. But seriously, I don't Google stuff before I do it. Who does that? Old,  boring people right? People that are afraid to try something new. (I apologize in advance if you are a Google before doing person) Like you can't Google statistics of sky diving accidents or shark attacks or Mexico Pirate abductions. Can you? Is this what happens the older you get? The more kids you have. The more you have to lose. You do things that aren't as fun or as adventurous. I couldn't tell you the last thing I did that was considered adventurous. Maybe I need to live on the edge a bit more. Come up with a master plan.  Maybe I should jump out of an airplane over the ocean in Mexico just to prove to Pierce I'm still fun and not an obsessive Googler. Maybe but Probably not.

Life's adventures just change. Having kids is an adventure in itself. And you miss out on all the fun stuff if you aren't playing close attention. Marriage is an adventure. The best kind. The kind where you learn more about yourself as a person than any other adventure you could be apart of. You learn what you are capable of and not. You learn your weaknesses and your strengths. You learn to be less about you and more about them. You learn to love someone more than you love yourself. Friendship is a huge undertaking. I get lost in that one sometimes. I don't know what to tell my daughter when she tells me girls are mean to her at school. I would like to tell her it gets better in time but I'm positive that it doesn't. Unless you have the right kind of relationships, the kind that teach you what a good friendship is. The kind that you want to aspire to be like. The kind that makes you want to be the best version of yourself. You have that and you have won gold.

P.S. I got skillzzzz too.....

In Mexico, over shark infested waters. ;-) 

Team Kenzley

Here are some of the pictures from the event we went to on Saturday for the ARKPD (autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease) walk. It was a huge success. Lindsey and Cal (and friends) raised a lot of money to go towards finding a cure for this rare disease. And it was inspiring seeing how many of their friends and families and even strangers came out to support them and the other family that also suffered a great loss. It feels good to be apart of something that is making a difference. Even if it's a small difference and even if it meant that we just walked!

They had lots of fun things for the kiddos to do!! It was a really nice family event. 

Mommy and Monkey

Lots of love here!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Believe in Mood Changers...

So lets start this day out right...or OVER

I Believe confidence and  humility are the two best things I can instill in my children. 

I  also Believe they are two of the most difficult things to instill in my children.

I Believe in having a relationship with God. 

I Believe if you first have Respect  in a Marriage, Love will always Follow. 

I Believe that there is nothing better than getting to hold the water hose on the trampoline.

 I Believe is green bean casserole and Pumpkin bread year round.

I Believe quality wins over quantity every time.

I Believe there are two sides to EVERY story. 

I Believe Paul Rudd and I were meant to be together in another life.

I Believe that killing them with kindness is always the way to go.

I Believe happy thoughts equals happy life. One day at a time.

I Believe in apologizing when you are wrong.

I Believe in keeping an open mind.

I Believe sisters are best friends for life.

I Believe Pomegranate Fro Yo with Cap N' Crunch Berries on top is Da Bomb.

I Believe in forgiving but forgetting is nearly impossible.

I Believe in Starbucks nonfat Carmel Macchiato. Just not every morning. Total bummer.

I Believe that when someone takes the time to read my blog and then takes even more time to leave me a comment I kinda, sorta get really giddy. 

I Believe there ain't no shame in that.

I Believe that crying is the only way to START healing when your heart is in pain.

I Believe we are meant to have a puzzle of friends. Each one is a different piece, with a different purpose and each one makes me feel more complete. 

Laura and Allison..I seriously have no group pics with you in them. WTH..

I Believe the best alone time is a long car ride with nowhere to go. 

I Believe in Fall. Any excuse to drink something hot and wear warm boots.

I Believe that you can absolutely marry your best friend and fall more in love every day. TRUTH.

I Believe Halloween rocks my socks off. 

I Believe Thanksgiving is the best holiday because it's focused around FAMILY. 

I Believe in the power of Prayer and Pinterest.

I Believe cousins make the best second siblings ever. For life yo...

 I Believe in music that makes you sing at the top of your lungs.

I Believe in working out. It is the best therapy you can get. 

 I Believe our children are our future. Teach them well.

I Believe that was just an excuse to put this adorable picture of my kids on here.

I Believe it's my blog and I don't need an excuse.

I Believe Honesty is not always the best policy. 

I Believe in my hair dresser. She makes my hair look hawt and my face hurt from laughing so damn hard.

 I Believe in long, passionate kisses.

I Believe big egos make small humans.

I Believe in making mistakes.

I Believe in trying everything at least once.

I believe all five sense are never so more cognizant than at the ocean. 

I believe in Big Bear Hugs. By this guy. 

I Believe that Faith gets you through anything. 

I Believe in standing up for yourself. Always. 

I Believe the courage to do that doesn't come easy. 

I Believe if you burn a bridge or two or three, I will politely wave at you from the other side. 

Because I Believe it's your mother lovin' loss.


I Believe you can link up here if you want to join on this BELIEVING stuff...

or Link Up Here: Living in Yellow

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Heart Math Nerds

Jackson and Ella are doing homework. Landon is watching Dora. I believe I have found myself a minute or two to write. Score!!

My sister-in-law just informed me that, in regards to grocery shopping, Targets prices are cheaper than Wal Marts. And if not cheaper, they are at least the same. And if not the same, then at least the difference isn't that significant at all. Are you serious right now? I have been shopping at Wal-Mart because I thought it was cheaper. This is huge. If this is true, I may never have to shop at a Wal-Mart again. Ever. And that would be a glorious thing people. I hate that place. With a passion. But, I am willing to sacrifice if it means my grocery bill every week is as cheap as it can be. (without being crazy coupon lady) My week keeps getting better.

Until......(dun...dun...duuuuuuun) Jackson brings home math homework. Which is every week. I hate math. Worse..I hate that I can't remember how to do 5th grade math. I usually have to Google it to remind myself. Of course, then the horror of it all comes rushing back to my brain and I can solve the problem with no issues. The matter of contention is no longer how to solve the problem but how to explain to my 5th grader how I solved it. "Just Google it" isn't going to help him learn a single thing. Thank God for my Nerd of a Husband. Times like these I get why he was put into my life. No joke. God knew what he was doing. Otherwise, my kids would be in trouble. Who am I kidding? We would ALL be in serious trouble. I heart math Nerds.

And this little man has a little bit of  "nerd" in him as well. Obviously, he gets that from his dad. 

But we are still in undies. Very little accidents. Moving forward. Most importantly, NO MORE DIAPERS!!!

So in three days I have a Pinterest Party. And what that means to anyone who has been hiding under a rock is that I have a crafty party with girlfriends and food and drinks. And although I am super duper excited about making my crafts, I am just as excited about eating. I get one cheat meal and I am going all out. It's not going to be pretty. Luckily, I am amongst friends. If they judge me, it will be subtle and in their own heads. I'm okay with that. 

But this is what I plan to contribute to the party. Or hoard all for myself. I haven't decided yet. 

 Caramel Apple Snickers Pie - I could eat this entire thing. I am considering making two of these. One for me and one for everyone else. You can find the recipe here.

And I know this looks disgusting but if you read the ingredients than you wouldn't think so. Actually, it looks really fattening. Which just means it is really good. Right?

If you're interested, you can find this recipe here.

 Awww...and then there is this. Doesn't it just look refreshing? It calls out with such conviction to me, "Try me... I'm perfect for a crafty, low-key, relaxing get together." Clearly I need to answer this call. If you want to try it out then you can find the recipe here. Easy Peasy.

I plan on blogging about all three of these that after the party to let you know what I think.

Oh yeah, and then there is my crafts that I am doing. I am not going to add pictures for those. I'm smarter than that. You see I could add the Pinspiration that I got my ideas from but then you would just have something to compare my finished products to. That isn't always good. At least not for me. So I will just wait until I complete them and post the pictures up then.

Have I mentioned how much I just LOVE baseball. Because I don't. We have baseball for the next 8 nights in a row. One night off and then the cycle continues. Yay!!! know what?? Jackson did really well in his game last night. Like better than I expected. (I know I'm horrible) It's just that baseball makes me nervous. But Jackson left that game last night feeling really good about himself. And that, my friends, is a good feeling. Especially for Momma. I did exactly what I try to teach  my kids NOT to do. I judged, like heavily judged, a book by it's cover. And I think I may be wrong about this 'Book'. I hope I am. And sorry for judging you really weird, really likes all the attention, really questionable motives 'Book'. Truly, I am.

*(Tooting my own Horn ALERT)
Hey guess's Wednesday and I have already run 10.5 miles this week. Daaaaaang....I'm awesome.

Also, I have walked in on two different women using the restroom this week. Not as awesome. But for real, use the lock. That's what it is there for. I'm pretty sure I was way more embarrassed than they were.

My daughter, Ella, loves playing with her cousin, Caleb. They are 10 days apart in age and are inseparable most of the time. This is largely due to Caleb's patience. I do not know another child that has the patience of my nephew. He is a Saint. He is the sweetest boy and they are the best of friends. Realistically it won't be this way too much longer. I get that.... but for now I am savoring the moments they are together. My bestest friends growing up were my cousins and they lived thousands of miles away. But they are all girls and it worked out for my sister and I. We played a lot of house when we were together. Had crackers with peanut butter and chocolate chips on them. Swam in my Grandpa's backyard. Learned the lyrics to 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' together. We had to have played that song over and over and over again. Literally...a gazillion times. We have made so many memories together and I have loved every single one of them. I hope my kids do the same with their cousins.

Best Friends

I started this post at 3 ish. It is now 5:40 and I have to go be a Mom. Cook dinner or something like that.

Later Alligator,

Amy Marie

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How do you prepare for that?

  I don't really know how you can prepare yourself for a funeral and the gauntlet of emotions that come along with it. Especially a funeral for a newborn child. A baby who wasn't even an entire day old. A little girl who never really had a fighting chance. It was the smallest casket I had ever seen. But it wasn't that aspect of it that I thought I would have to brace myself for, it was the parents. It was Lindsey and Cal. A husband and a wife who got to be parents for a fleeting moment. And then she was taken away. How do you prepare for that? 
 I took a deep breath as Cal, the husband and the dad, got up to speak. I was sure the moment the first word escaped his mouth he would crumble. He would cry. He would be angry. He would be confused. He would question everything he ever knew.  I was sure of that because I imagine that is what I would do after losing a child. 
 And everything Cal said had me in tears. But...they were NOT sad tears. I was so moved by him and by his wife. I was so inspired by these two people that were surely suffering. Suffering so bad that it had to hurt physically. But in that pain Cal asked us all to not be sad for them. He explained what a beautiful blessing his daughter was. Even in her short life. Even as she grew inside Lindsey's belly, this little girl had changed the world. This little girl, whom they named Kenzley, brought them closer to one another. She brought them closer to family. She brought them closer to God. She was working miracles before she even got here and she continues to do that even in death. Cal and Lindsey have never been so close to God as they are now in their life. When most people would blame God , they are praising Him. There was never a why me? Or why us? Or just a little more time, please? Only praise to Him and to his wife. And how he has never known a woman so strong. 
How do you prepare for that?
I suppose you don't. And please know I am not trying to offend anyone who handles death differently. I handle death differently. We all do I think. But I would be making light of it if I didn't tell you that I wasn't inspired by those two. If I didn't tell you that I felt God's presence in that room that day. I could hear Him through Cal as he spoke. Even the minister said he learned something from Cal and Lindsey that day. We all did.
"Kenzley Anne died from autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), which is a genetic disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys. The cysts replace a lot of the mass of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and leading to failure. Kenzley Anne's kidneys had many cysts and were enlarged. At the time of her birth, she weighed 10 pounds, two ounces." - Southlake Times Star Newspaper, Heather M. Goodwin

Follow this link to learn more about it.

Also, here is a link the Southlake Times Star Newspaper did with Lindsey and Cal on Kenzley's story. Please take the time to read this. 
  My Plea to YOU: 
The hospital that took such good care of Lindsey for so many months is sponsoring a 1 mile walk to raise awareness about this disease. It's in Southlake. It's free. It's family friendly. You can bring your kids in strollers or they can walk with you. It's a way to show a family support. To say to them, "I can't imagine going through what you did - but we are here for you. For your daughter. For all the other people that have to go through this pain. If it's the least we can do - We are here." Just show up. I know it would mean the world to me to have my friends and family there but more than that, just people. Friends of friends. Friends of Family. Just people. Because that is how we SHOW love. We SHOW up. Inconvenience or not. We SHOW up. 
You can follow the directions to register for the walk below. (posted by Kenzley's parents) If you have any questions let me know. The walk is free but donations are welcome and appreciated. They have already raised close to $4,500! That is amazing!!!!!!
 Hi guys. This is the info for the 5k walk to raise money for APKD. This is the disease that killed our beautiful angel Kenzley, and so many others. It is sponsored by the amazing hospital that took care of us medical city children's hospital. They are also recognizing and doing a special in memory of Jace Glenn. The amazing little boy that fought hard for three years to beat this horrible disease. Please keep there family in your prayers, they just lost him. He was the most incredible child, and touched our lives. They are very special people.
Scroll to the bottom and select Join a Team
Choose Dallas/ ft. Worth
Join, click Join
Hit I agree
Click join team
Select team Kenzley Graves
Feel out all personal info and just follow instructions from there.

Thank u all for your support. It really means a lot to us. 
You can make donations or join us. Hope to see you there. 
Please pass on to your friends and families. We would love to have you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mission Impossible

Guess What??

Wednesday of this week I had a challenge put before me. A challenge I gladly accepted. Although, nervous, I had confidence that I could pull this off. I also had TomTom. Besides the point. I had to get my kids to a new location for their doctors visit. *Insert Mission Impossible music here.* But I found it, no problem. And I didn't have to call one person in a panic or crying or angry at myself but taking it out on them. Not a single one.
Mission Impossible, accomplished.

Guess What else??

Last week, or maybe the week before, my sister called me in a panic. She needed some paperwork brought to her but could not leave the location where she was. I was happy to oblige. I got directions from Nick and started to head out the door. My phone rings. I answer.

Me: Hello
Mom: Hey, did you talk to Lisa?
Me: Yep, I'm coming by there to get the paperwork and then heading out there.
Mom: Are you sure? Because I'm off today and I can go.
Me:'s fine. Seriously. Lisa does a lot of stuff for me and I would like to be able to help her out.

One. Long. Pause.......

Mom: Well Lisa called me. She's worried you are going to get lost.
Me: (sigh) Fine.

Ummm...I have four words in response to that.
Rude. & I. Get. It.

So I couldn't decide if I was going to blog today or not. I ran 4 miles this morning. (I know...I'm awesome.) And I need a shower. But, obviously, I decided to sit down and write. Because, today was a good day. And I wanted to celebrate that.

Like I said, I started out my morning with a really good run. Slow run. But a good one nonetheless. When I was done running I had a text message from my MIL that put a smile on my face. And then I went to pretend shop at Hobby Lobby. What is pretend shopping you ask? Well, I'm not sure if you are all aware of this little fact, but I'm married to a financial advisor. What that means is I'm married to a man whose life revolves around budgeting money for hundreds of people.(this is the laymen definition of a financial advisers responsibilities)  And what that means is that I am included in one of those people. Lucky Me. So pretend shopping is going in with my list of things that I need/want and writing down how much all of that cost. And leaving. With nothing. Except I didn't. I had a basket with one projects worth of supplies in there that totaled $5. But when I went to check out I didn't have my debit card. I wasn't so devastated by the fact that I couldn't get my supplies as I knew in that moment, I wasn't going to get my coffee when I left there. People, I haven't had a coffee in like forever. Forever. And so I left. With nothing.

But that all turned into an opportunity to have lunch with Husband. And that created a chance for
Husband to take Landon into a restroom and watch him fall in the toilet. (ewwww but funny)  And that made my day even better. Just to clarify not the toilet sinking thing but the lunch with Husband thing.

And I love rain. I love a dark house in the middle of the day. It could be blistering hot outside but a gloomy sky and a somber house in the middle of the afternoon makes you want to cover up and watch a movie and drink something hot. Like a coffee, for instance. But it's not hot outside. It's amazeballs outside and I love it. But it's dangerous. Because it absolutely means I will be needing new boots sooner than later. Just sayin.

And I made my chevron board. Mom, I love you but you have no sense of taste. Not really. And chevron is the bomb right now and I think my board turned out pretty good. Not perfect. But good enough for me. Yeah, I pretty much love it.

 Some Randoms to finish out the week -

 I'm 34 years old. I have never liked tomatoes. They are disgusting. They were disgusting. Until now. Now, I can't eat a sandwich without them. This just got real people.

My friends brother has grown out a mustache. I'm not sure what to do with this.

One of the best times to be alone is in your car, on a long ride, with cool weather and loud music. 

My sister has crazy baby fever. Like, I think she may be crazy. I will get back to you on this one.

New favorite nail polish. Essie - No place like chrome. It's da bomb!!

Jackson told me he liked a girl in school but she was dating someone else. Pffffft...5th grade girls don't date.  What does that even mean?

 Crystal Michelle got me hooked. Hooked like a fish to Sons of Anarchy. It's literally a SOA marathon in this house every night after 9 p.m. I have bags under my eyes. But so worth it.

I discovered turkey sausage. It's so good with hot sauce on it. Like sooo good. And I forgot my love for pineapple. Wouldn't recommend the hot sauce on that.

Landon is my Rock Star!!! He is in big boy undies now and he knows what's up. He has only had a few accidents and on more than one occasion made it through an entire day with the same underoos on. Way to go Big Boy!!

For the sake of saving her from embarrassment I will not mention her name but I know a person, who knows a person who intentionally and purposefully watches Honey Boo Boo. I don't know what to make of this. It seriously confuses me.

I hope all of you are having a HAPPY day. Mine keeps getting better!!

With Love,

Amy Marie

Friday, September 7, 2012

Twilight Zone

It's Friday night and well I have been busy all day. And by busy I seriously pinning the crap out of stuff on Pinterest. What? Life is short. Gotta prioritize.

It's a little odd for me to be blogging on a Friday night. But...I figured I have two sick boys at home, and by home I mean at blockbuster with their dad, so why not. Remember, life is short. And I rarely have quiet.

I don't have much to blog about. I had a crazy, busy day yesterday and by crazy, busy I actually mean crazy, busy. Landon had to get chest x-rays done as a precautionary. I have been giving him breathing treatments for, at least, the last two weeks. So the doctor wanted to be sure he didn't have an infection in his lungs.  I knew it was his allergies. It's always his allergies. And we are on our 3rd ear infection in 6 weeks. X-Ray came up normal. Jackson waited for at least an hour and a half for me at the nurses office. We were all sure he has strep. He always has strep. So went to the doctor, no strep. Just a viral infection. Nothing we can do about that. Took my Grandma to the doctor. Her kidneys are not functioning properly. (due to diabetes) And she doesn't want to really do anything about it. (At 78, who could blame her) But man...I do not want to get old. Wait...I do not want my health to deteriorate. Getting old is out of my control. My health, for the most part, I can do something about.

Husband called. Wasted trip to BB. Jackson wants nothing there. Lame.

This means they will be home shortly. I'm hoping the guilt of me sitting here at the computer doesn't sink in until a good 30 minutes after they are home.

I am learning that sometimes it's just better to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes, peace is better than getting all crazy like and shouting out my opinions from the roof top. Actually...all the time and every time Peace trumps Opinions. Remember this Amy.

You know how every household has that "sock monster" ?? Missing socks galore before, during and after laundry is complete. (if in fact there is an actual time that laundry is complete) I have a different household monster. Mine likes towels. Bath towels specifically. It ate half of what I owned. Thanks idiot Bath Towel Monster. You suck.

Oh My Gosh...I just got a picture of my niece Abby in her first ever soccer uniform. May be the cutest thing I ever did see. Love it! (I feel old now - reminds me of when my younger sister started playing - Ewww)


Baseball is about to start for Jackson. . Baseball is about to consume 4 nights out of my 7 day week. FOUR. And it's not even select baseball.  Popped Collar, maybe takes it a little too seriously, old balls. 

That's okay because I will just gorge myself with these during each practice, batting practice or games.

These were da BOMB!!!

Hey hey...I am thinking that my little monkey is just about potty trained. We are purchasing the big boy undies this weekend people and he is going to rock the crap out of those undies. Hopefully literally. Crap out of undies...

So I am making this. I need all the backpacks to have a home up in this place. But... I don't have a clue how to do a Chevron pattern...or how to do it without it looking like my 2 year old painted it. I asked Crystal and she was no help. Her response was, "Oh's hard......" Thank you Crystal. And that's what she said.

My husband just walked into this house (after going to the garage) with a paint tray and brush. Am I in the Twilight Zone? I feel confused. I mean I know he has some painting to finish but I didn't tell him to do that right now. Seriously, what in the hell is happening? Obviously I'm entering delirium now. This may be my cue to wrap it up. Besides, my guilt may have taken over. Who can blame me... Look at that face...oh  Squinky Ninja, I adore you. Landon's pretty darn cute too.

Have a good weekend Peeps!!

And remember.....

Peace trumps Opinions