Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dear Santa, Help a Momma Out

Oh my mercy, my boy, my boy!

The last part of this year has been pretty darn difficult. Between my headaches and my grandpa passing away, Christmas decorating was pretty darn thrown together. I was feeling good I got it done though. Part of Christmas decorating, is each child gets to pick two things, they want to ask Santa for, and we write it on the plate. I love this because it allows my planner personality to get started on what, when and how I want to buy things.

My sweet girl child, picked her two things and has stuck with it the whole time. My boy child also picked two things. The sticking with it part.......oh I could just scream.

Jaxton asked for a lightsaber and a Spiderman web shooter toy. These both seemed simple enough. I get on Walmart online and see the lightsaber he wants. To my surprise they are actually sold out at most of the local Walmart's and sold out online. I see the Jane Walmart has them in stock. The next morning, I rush to the Jane Walmart and buy both the light saber and the spiderman web shooter.

I am feeling pretty good getting the two must haves taken care of. Well, I get to looking at the lightsaber and the darn thing doesn't light up. What kind of light saber doesn't light up? I make the decision that even though it it's the one Jaxton wanted, he would be disappointed that it didn't light up. I return it to Walmart and order a different one online.

Fast forward a month. My Christmas shopping is all done. Presents are wrapped, Santa 's gifts are organized in the attic. Life is good.

Saturday night we are sitting around at dinner and we're talking about going to see Santa on Sunday. Jaxton is a big talker. If you have ever been around him for more then two minutes, you know this is true. Because of this, I felt the need to talk to him about how other children will be waiting to see Santa and we need to keep our conversation with Santa to just a quick " I would like______for Christmas. " As we are having this conversation, Ashlynn starts telling Jaxton a what not to do scenario. Any way it leads to Jaxton telling Ashlynn in great detail about this Spiderman web shooter toy he wants. As he is doing this, I realize I bought the wrong toy. What he is describing is not at all what I bought. Well crap! As soon as I get the kids to bed I start quickly doing a Walmart search for the toy. Yep, sold out online and at every single Walmart within 50 miles except one. Pleasant Grove Walmart. I quick as I can reserve in online. Whew, dodged a bullet there. We can run by after church Sunday and all will be right in the world once again.

After church we go to Walmart. I have Marshal drop me off at the door, for what is sure to be a quick in and out trip. I don't have my cellphone with me, so I take Marshal's in to have the reference number for my order. I get back there just to find out the site-to-store website is completely down. They cannot look up my order. In fact they didn't even receive my order. No worries,we will just help you find the item on the self. Well, 45 minutes later, a complete walk through of the entire store, and I am still standing there without the spiderman web shooter action figure. Ugh! The lady had one last attempt to locate the toy. The store system says they have two in stock. She tells me if I have the time to wait, she can go look in the boxes in the deleted items trailer. Twenty minutes later, this poor Walmart employee comes back out covered in sweat and dirt holding my Spiderman Web Shooting Action figure. Awe, yes! Mother of the freaking year right here!

Now by this point Marshal is pretty sure I have been kidnapped from the Walmart by a crazy person, but I am too excited to get into his "I've been stuck in the car with two children for over an hour" mood.

We drive to the mall, wait in line for an hour to see Santa. It's finally our turn. Yay! Ashlynn goes first. Just like a perfect little angel,she tells Santa she wants American Girl doll clothes and Orbeez  spa stuff. Check and check!

Now Jaxton's turn. I am standing there with my chest puffed up, all proud that I fought the good fight to get my sweet little boy this perfect Spiderman toy he is going to ask Santa for. Santa turns and asked " What would you like for Christmas ? " Jaxton replies, " I want a Lego set and a transformer. "

WHAT! Oh my mercy whose child is that? You have got to be kidding me! For a month now it's been the same thing, a lightsaber and a Spiderman web shooter. Now four days before Christmas you decided nope, I want Legos and a transformer. Oh this is just perfect.

Well buddy, I hate to tell you, unless Santa decides to help a momma out, you are stuck with the lightsaber and Spiderman.

Surely to goodness my momma didn't have to shed blood, sweat and tears for Pound Puppies, Teddy Ruxpin and Cabbage Patch dolls. Kids these days....... Ha!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Got Me a Bear

So here's the deal, sometimes in life you do things, that you just never ever live down. Mine happened when I was eightish.

My aunt Arene and Uncle Ed used to live in Pennsylvania. Every summer they came down and went camping at Lake Atkins. We had some good family friends that owned some private campgrounds right on the lake. There was a dock, a screened in eating room and my parents and grandparents bought a camper that stayed parked there.

So anyway, it was summer, my mom and dad worked, but sometimes I got lucky enough to spend the day at the lake with my aunt and uncle. I say lucky, because the first $100 I ever earned was digging up worms for my uncle to fish with.

This particular day, my aunt decided to take me fishing. There was this cove off the other side of the campgrounds that my grandmother always had great luck catching fish at. It was called the snake pit.

Now, why I decided to trust my aunt to take me fishing at a place called the snake pit in the first place is beyond me. But off we went. It was a little bit of a walk. First you had to go through the field, then you curved back into the woods, followed this barely there path and ended up back at the waterfront.

This particular day we start walking, we make it into the field and I freeze. My heart starts thumping hard in my chest and I don't know wether to scream, cry, or run. There in the middle of the field is a bear. I can't think. I can't move. I can hardly talk. The only thing I manage to say is "go get the gun".

My aunt just stands there. What is wrong with this woman? Is she just frozen like I am? So I repeat it, "Go get the gun.". This time see hears me, but apparently she is still in shock because she replies with, "why ?". Ok, lady do you not see that bear? So this time I scream at her. " Just go get the gun!" I mean I am only a little girl, but if I have to shoot this thing myself I will. Oh my mercy, she is still standing there. I guess I am just going to die. I mean the bear hasn't moved a single muscle, but if I have to keep going over this gun thing, he is going to eventually hear me and swallow me whole.

I finally manage to mumble the word bear to her. Geez, having to spell this out is just ridiculous. Now, I don't remember if she actually laughed out loud or not. Perhaps she was loving and kind enough to hold it in, but she leans down and explains to me that my big, ferocious, going to attack me at any minute, bear, is simply a stump that someone had recently burned. Yep, a big black wooden stump.

Well,I can't tell you how many times that darn bear has come back to haunt me. Me and my bear story have been the brunt of many a joke. My dad has since built a cabin on Lake Atkins and even decorate my bathroom in bears.

The best though, is that recently my sweet daddy caught that bear for me.

And now he will forever be mine.

Hey, at least now you know why I am an inside kind of girl.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jaxton is FIVE

Wow! These five years have flown by. Five years ago, I didn't know how much I would love a November birthday, but let me tell you- I love it! I love the weather (well the weather we had Saturday, this cold blast not so much). I love the fact that I am needing more cake come November. And I love love love that my baby missed the cut off for kindergarten and he gets to be my baby just a little bit longer.

This year, I was super nervous that I wasn't going to be able to pull off his birthday party. He wanted it to be at home, which I love, and he wanted a superhero theme. Creativity is not my strong point,yet I knew this party had to be fabulous. Anyone remember Miss Ashlynn's fifth birthday party? (link to if you need a refresher or simply didn't know me then...Ashlynn's Fifth Birthday  )I mean come on, to die for princess party, that we hired a party coordinator for. I was major stressing about throwing Jaxton an equally amazing party. I am not sure I can compete with crystal dishes, princess make-up and all that bjazz, but I do think it came together and was indeed an amazing party. Ok maybe it's not ok to brag on your own party throwing skills. And maybe it's the fact that I had a killer headache and still managed to smile and participate in the party, but I was seriously impressed with how cute everything looked and how much fun Jaxton had.

Here are the party details:

Yes, I made that five all by myself. I know, impressive. Ha!

Before the beer and water got iced down in the tubs. Forgot to go back and get a picture. Oh well I think I saw my mom posted one on her FB if you just can't visualize it. Oh yes, it's me with the visualizing problems, not you.

Superhero capes and mask ( my sweet mom made all 30 of those adorable mask).

Cape and mask decorating station. Ashlynn must have done the marker design, because I had just thrown them out there.

My superhero!

Of course I made a wreath just for his birthday.

Oh these pumpkins- loved them, even though Marshal thought I was crazy!

I am so sad I didn't get to bounce this year. Epic Inflatable is the absolute best if you need a bounce house in NWA. We've used them the last two years and they have let us have the bounce house basically all day. My plan was to get in some good bouncing after the party. However, my head decided an ER trip was a much more exciting end to the day.

What's a party without a little silly string? 16 kids set free with silly string, makes for a very beautiful, fun colored backyard. Is it weird that I totally want to throw an adult party and include silly string now?

Present opening. I think if all of the kids could have fit in my lap, they would have completely climbed on in. I had no idea how exciting boy toys could be. These kiddos brought some major cool things!

Sweet Noah and Jaxton enjoying their cupcakes. Jaxton really, really wants Noah to live with us. Silly boy!

Izzie made me smile. Who needs to decorate a mask when you can stick a star straight on your head.

Miss Sass has been playing pretty hard it appears.

Superhero women! Not even kidding, each one of these ladies has some amazing super powers.

You didn't think, I actually forgot to get my child a Rick's cake did you?

Actual birthday day cake! Yum, yum! Serves 35 to 40 people or one Andrea with enough to share a bite or two with her kids.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marshal Gives Me " Strength "

I haven't blogged in so long, I hope I still remember how to do it. Ha!

You all know by now I have been struggling with a migraine. Maybe you do or maybe you don't know the ins and outs of the whole ordeal, but it goes something like this. September 16th, while at work, I start getting this terrible headache. I leave as soon as I can after school, get the kids, come home and take a nap. Any way long story short that night I end up having the worst pain of my entire life, not kidding, worse than unmedicated child birth(Ashlynn decided to not wait so I did everything but the final push with no meds), anything I have ever experienced. Now by no means has it stayed at that intensity, but I have had a headache non stop since. At times the pain gets to me more than others. It kind of depends on how tired I am, or how busy I am and if I can kind of keep my mind off of the pain. Today marks my 23rd day straight with a migraine.

After day five I made an appointment with my doctor. We tried a shot and some meds. By day seven, I was back at the doctor. New meds and a MRI. Thankfully the MRI showed nothing. However my pain continued. The next day still in misery, I was sent to the ER. Tons of shots and IV fluids. Still no relief. The weekend rolls around. It just so happens to be the weekend before my 34th birthday. Marshal has planned a birthday trip for me that he had to cancel. I am major bummed, but in so much pain, I can't even care.

Monday comes, it's my birthday. I am officially 34. I asked for a guitar for my birthday. If that is not the most ridiculous gift for a girl with a headache. This is just great. Ugh! Jaxton and Ashlynn of course are in love with my birthday gift and I can't get the box closed fast enough. My head is pounding. I am seeing neon lights and not the pretty kind you see when you are drunk and dancing and having a good time.

Then, Marshal walks over with this little green bag. I open it. Inside it has a key. A beautiful gold key with the word strength inscribed on it. It is hanging from a beautiful gold chain. Attached to the key is a card that reads. " The giving key, give this key away to someone when they need it more than you. "

I could have cried. I wanted to cry. Nothing could have been more perfect. It takes a lot to surprise me boys and girls. I am going to tell you what; I am one nosey little girl. I ruin surprises-always. It's just what I do. But this. This is what I needed. Marshal R. Watson, I could not love you more for giving me strength. I held that key so tight through both, four hour IV infusions. I still have a ways to go, no headache relief yet, so I am hanging on to my strength for now.

Picture, I took my first day back after my first infusion, to show a friend that I was feeling better. My headache was only at a two on the pain scale until that night when it came back. You can still see it in my eyes that I hurt. :-(

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Friday, August 8, 2014

New Orleans: A Bussinesscation

Marshal asked me serval months ago if I wanted to go to New Orleans with him. I of course jumped at the chance. Having lived in Baton Rouge as newlyweds, we went to New Orleans a lot. Honestly, it was the only way we could talk our friends into coming for a visit: a promise of a trip to Mardi Gras or weekend on Bourbon. I looked forward to visiting some of our favorite places and getting some of the yummy foods we used to eat. I had hoped to see some of our Louisiana friends while in town, but the trip was just too short.

The conference Marshal was attending was massive. Like 5,000 attendees. I didn't quite know what to do with all of those people. Teachers just don't get together in large numbers like that. Well at least not at any conference I have gotten to attend.

It made me totally laugh to see all the people Marshal "works" with. This is my mean part so close your ears if you don't want to hear my pretty little month talking so ugly. I can remember getting so jealous and upset with Marshal before kids. He would call me while he was at a conference and I would hear women laughing in the background. I would get super mad and give him all kinds of fits. Let's just say, I was waaaayyyyyy off base. The people at these conferences are absolutely nothing and I mean nothing to be jealous of. I know, I know, I am being sooooooo tacky, but for the most part, women in the dispatching/emergency services profession, just don't provide much to worry about. Not that there isn't an exception.... I'm just saying these people are a lot different than my silly little brain had picture. Plus they are into this crap. Like really excited about things I find super boring. Give me some fire, tornados, or hazmats and I can hang with you. But, how to implement a new dispatching software, you can totally keep to yourself.

Anyway, the trip was a lot of fun and I got to do quite a bit of fun stuff. We stayed on the Riverwalk, neat the convention center. I had never stayed in that part of town. I really never had a reason to. I was super lucky; they had just opened a new mall, in May of this year, right beside the convention center. Monday morning I spent shopping and exploring the Riverwalk area.

First stop at Cafe Du Monde. I went everyday that I was there to make sure I got my fill. French donuts! Yum!

I got introduced to peanut butter truffles, so I had to buy a massive bag.

Monday afternoon we set out to explore the Garden District, Jackson Square and the French Quarter.

I didn't know Marshal and I had our own teaching ministry, whatever that is.

I know this picture stinks, but I wanted to show you how all the trees on St. Charles have beads hanging from them (they get stuck during the parades and they just leave them). I think it is really pretty. I told Marshal we should decorate our tree at home with beads just for the fun of it.

Just to show you the Garden District style. This is the Fresh Market. A little different look than ours in NWA.

Jackson Square with St. Louis cathedral in the background.

I was sad because I used to love Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro. I was so looking forward to eating there. Sadly it was just ok. It wasn't anywhere near the fabulousness that it used to be. Luckily dinner Monday night was so incredibly beyond fabulous it made up for it. Like so so good! We ate at this restaurant off Bourbon called Court of Two Sisters. The place was also just absolutely adorable. The location was once home to five governors built back in the 1800's. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.

My dinner friend. Pretty baby! Marshal wouldn't let me bring her home. :-(

Dinner- Chicken Oscar

And of course a New Orleans original, Bananas Foster made table side. I swear I could have picked up the bowl and licked it.

After dinner we hung out on Bourbon for a little while. Nothing too crazy because there was an early morning breakfast the next morning. I did get to visit my favorite club ever, the Cat's Meow, where I danced and Marshal sat like a lump on a log.

Obviously the lightening in Cat's Meow doesn't make me look too good. Ha!

Another friend I made.

Look at the statue shadow. How cool is that.

Tuesday, we bought a ticket for the street cars. (Another tip if you find yourself wanting to explore New Orleans. Takes you all over the place and a day pass is only $3. I had no idea how easy peasy it was to get around.)

Anyway, we went down Canal to the historic cemeteries. Really super cool. If you didn't already know, the graves are all above ground in New Orleans because of the fact the town is located below sea level.

I liked this one. Some are designs while others are just above ground boxes.

It amazed me how many people they put in a single monument. Not sure I would want to be the person that opens these things up when it's time to add the next body.

This tree was pretty interesting. The inside is almost completely hollow.

My little cemetery friend.

Then Tuesday night , the conference hosted a block party at Mardi Gras World. I thought that was so fun! Getting to see the floats being made was really cool to me. I loved the Mardi Gras parades. They were so beautiful.

I had to get this one for Jaxton.

Another Jaxton must.

Look how big these floats really are.

They also had this area called The Swamp. I tried and tried to get a good picture, but it was just too dark in there. It was complete daylight outside, but when you walked into this area of the warehouse it looked like night time in a Louisiana swamp. So amazing!

They also had a jazz band playing for us.

After we had enough meet and greet we headed back down to Bourbon. This time we took the Streetcar so no one had to drive. No one had early morning breakfast meetings either so we got to stay and have a good time. Well, I had a good time. Not sure if sitting and watching everyone dance is fun or not. I love to dance and sing way too much to just sit around.

This guy was in the middle of he street yelling that everyone there was going to burn in hell. It was intense.

Ok now is he part where if you don't want to see sweet little me acting a fool, close your eyes.

Turns our my duck face looks just as stupid as everyone else's duck face. Ha!

Krazy Korner bar now has given Cat's Meow a run for their money with me.

It was amazing to me how much of a party that place is. I wasn't sure a random Monday or Tuesday night would be all that fun. Didn't seem to stop anyone down there. It might not have been quite up to the weekend crowd, but still enough people to have a great time. I just needed my girls, so I didn't have to dance alone and with random people. #myhusbandwon'tdance #Iwoulddancewithawall #musicismyhappyplace

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