Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas pics

Overall, it was a great holiday! We are so blessed to have so many gatherings. It's hard not to complain sometimes because of how stressful it can be to put it all together. But really, we are so blessed that it's silly to complain. Oh no - we have too much love to fit it all in one day!

Our New Year's celebration has been great as well. We were able to join *two* new year's eve parties yesterday, and we were able to see so many great friends that we haven't seen in much too long. And we have one more party to join today. It's a great way to catch up what we missed in 2008, and to get the new year off to a fabulous start.

Pictures from Christmas, as promised. I'm still missing some from the gathering with my mom. I'll have to post those when I get them. (hint, hint - mom!)

Christmas morning at our place, right when we walked down the stairs - her eyes grew wide and she ran right to the tree and laid down on the ground and pointed excitedly at the pile of presents. She was great throughout all the present escapade. She was excited, sure, but pretty contained. And I loved that she was having just as much fun giving presents to others as opening her own.

Christmas dinner at our place - Toby and Catherine playing

Christmas gathering at my dad's - Catherine having fun with one of her presents - her very own baby doll stroller. She loves it!


Oh my goodness, she is so gorgeous! Is she really mine?


Playing with her other present from Grandpa Pat and her abuelita (little grandmother en espanol, my stepmom Alicia)
Pop quiz - does anyone recognize the dress? ;) (Hint: Camille, look close!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

post Christmas blues

It seems like everyone is crabby today. We're tired, either from stressing or partying... or both. And for those of us that have to work today... yuck! But still - can we be nice to everyone? Does the time of peace and cheer have to end so abruptly?

I don't think I can really say that I have the post Christmas blues. Our Christmas isn't done yet. Yesterday was a great day, but I still don't feel complete. Tomorrow we'll be traveling to Vancouver to visit with my parents. I'll feel better once I'm sitting with my mom and sister, eating Val's delicious turkey and all of us laughing at Catherine (more than likely she'll be entertaining us with her delight in playing with the puppy), and perhaps singing along with John Denver and the Muppets! And then we still have more Christmas to share after that. Does it ever end? I hope not.

Pictures to follow, more than likely when we are done Christmasing. (ooo - new word!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Season of giving

The holiday season always makes me tear up with the good spirit that bubbles up in me. I love giving to friends and family, and I tend to make a pretty big deal about getting everything just right. The amount doesn't matter - the thought and the love is what matters.

I also cry as my heart breaks, remembering all of those that aren't as fortunate as us. This year especially, there are so many families in need. Many are concerned with getting food on the table, let alone having to explain to their children why Santa won't be visiting them. It just breaks my heart, and it compells me to go door to door ensuring that every child and family is taken care of.

If only we had the capability to do such good deeds. We are fortunate in our position, but things are still tight. But I am determined to not let that stop me. We may not be able to do much, but we can still do some. So I made a giving list. Primarily to ensure that I stick to only that, and I don't go overboard. That is only too easy to do.

- every time I pass the Salvation Army bucket and the ringing bell - give whatever change I have
- every time I go to the grocery store, pick up one extra food item and donate it before walking out the door
- donate 2 toys - one to the toy drive at work, and one to the giving tree

OK, so I did go a little beyond my plan. I got a hot chocolate for the incredibly nice man ringing the Salvation Army bell (it was so cold!). I cleared out our pantry of things that we won't use and I donated that as well. And I got a few more toys - they were on sale! I can't help it. But I didn't go completely overboard.

The best thing is that I can share this with Catherine now. I know she doesn't comprehend the situation - how needy other families really are. But she understands helping and sharing, and she had a lot of fun tossing the toys into the big donation bucket. I gave her a big hug and let her know that other children will be very happy with her helping. This is a tradition I hope to keep going with her.

As Christmas draws closer, let us all be reminded of helping others however we can, even if it is only in prayer. Let us pray for those that may not have everything they need or want on Christmas, but that they be filled with love and peace for everyone around them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter wonderland

We've been attacked by winter! And I fear it's partially our fault. Last Saturday we took our annual trek to the mountains to kill a few trees for the sake of decoration. We ran into a giant winter storm, and apparently we brought the snow back with us! The roads are covered in snow and ice (though kudos to the Tacoma DOT for keeping the main roads drivable) and it is COLD! It's not supposed to get above freezing until Sunday... maybe Monday. More snow is expected over the weekend, but then it should be warming up and turning into rain for the duration of the week (note for those expecting to travel in our area next week).

But then I feel pretty silly about complaining about this weather. We got (gasp!) 2 whole inches of snow and (gulp!) it's below freezing. My Aunt Karen in Lake Tahoe is reporting 2 feet of snow with temperatures below zero. Now *that's* winter!


Catherine loves the snow. We made a giant snowman last weekend when we were up playing in the snow, and now every time we talk about getting bundled up to go outside she exclaims "play snowman!" She scoops up snow with her large mittens and tosses it up in the air - or eats it. Big surprise - my girl that will eat practically anything you put in front of her loves eating snow. Oh well.


Stephen was trying to teach her to throw snowballs. He would give her a snowball and tell her "throw it at mommy!" She got the point, but she has her own way to do it. She walked over to me and dropped it on my foot, and then looked up at me with a huge grin.

OK, enough talk - pictures!


Pictures of Catherine bundled up, playing in the snow last weekend:








The rest of the snow-playing gang, with Busty the snowman





The beautiful Christmas tree farm that we visited when we couldn't get up the mountain far enough


Our backyard yesterday morning:

Catherine playing in the snow in our neighborhood:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back to "normal"

I just finished my final exam a couple of hours ago. I'm sitting here in my living room, the laundry is going, and I'm surrounded by a mountain of bills and other things that have been neglected in the last few weeks.

So, it will take a little bit, but I should be back to normal. Now I get to start unpacking and settling into our new house. And catching up on planning, scheduling and organizing that it seriously overdue. And decorating for Christmas. How did it become December suddenly?

Over the next few days I intend to find some time to catch up on updates and stories of what we've been up to. But for now, back to laundry and bills.
=)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

yea!

Back online! Yes!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Catching up

We haven't had internet yet in the new house, in case you're wondering about the absence. While I had a second here at school I thought I'd give an update.

We are out of the old house. Not officially as we haven't handed the keys over yet, but our stuff is all at the new house and the old house is cleaned and ready to be given back. Thanks to a continuing stream of helpers, we managed to get it all done. Now it's a matter of sorting through the chaos at our new house. Fun.

I never was able to find a home for my cats. All of the possible last minute leads were dead ends, and every single no kill shelter within a 50 mile radius was full. (thank you for your recommendation though, Camille. It did give me one more place to check, but they were full too) My mom has stepped up to save my cats, because I couldn't bear to take them to the humane society and not know their fate. For her sake I hope that it is just temporary, so we are continuing to find them good homes. Thanks again, mom, for saving me that unbearable heartache.

Catherine is feeling better and has really taken to the new house. She's sleeping through the night and seems to know where things are better than I do at times. She loves climbing up and down the stairs, and she's quite good at it! She and Toby have been having so much fun with the empty boxes. Toby will jump in them and on top of them and tip them over with him inside of it. Catherine like to put her toys in a box and then dump the whole box out and start over.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving - a small gathering over at Jen and Phil's. My favorite part was that my mom came up to join us. So we fell into our mother-daughter Thanksgiving traditions. We cooked a bit together to bring food over to the feast (my stove/oven works! yea!). We poured through shopping ads to plan our attack the following morning. And we woke up at 5am and shopped for nearly 6 hours until we were about to collapse. It was great, and I wish we could do it every year.

My class is nearly over. But that means that I'm in crunch time. At PLU we called it "dead week" - the week before finals. So I have 3 tests in the next 8 days. Don't be jealous.

More soon... I'll need study breaks and we'll have internet up soon.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Death to Ticketmaster

Had a mentioned that we were planning on seeing Robin Williams this next weekend?

Emphasis on the "were". Past tense.

I have been looking forward to this for so long. The six of us (me, Stephen, Jen, Phil, Mike and Heather) got tickets 2+ months ago and paid a few nice shiny pennies for them.

Then I checked my account yesterday. There's 2 separate refunds from Ticketmaster. I freaked because I originally thought that the show had been cancelled. That would be horrible.

I was wrong. It was worse.

I called them, furious of course. Ticketmaster cancelled both orders for our tickets. 8 days before the event. Without warning, without questioning.

OK, so I know there's a 4 ticket per household rule. I purchased 4 tickets on one order and 2 on the other. But it let me complete both transactions. I even got the tickets in my hands. If they weren't going to let me do it, they shouldn't have let me process that second transaction. I wouldn't have been surprised to see an error message pop up "you have passed your ticket limit". That would have been inconvient, but no big deal. I would have called one of the other guys and barked at them to get the tickets NOW so that we could still go together. But to let me purchase and pick up the tickets and then cancel both orders just days before the event. Totally, utterly, indisputably ridiculous.

The gal that I talked with was even baffled because she knows this happens, but she couldn't understand why both orders were cancelled. They should have let us keep at least the 4 tickets. But there's nothing they can do to reverse it because both shows are sold out. As soon as our tickets became "available" they were gone within minutes. She apologized, but offered me absolutely nothing in return.

I kept my cool with her, but I was audibly crying by the time I got off the phone. It took me over an hour to calm down, and I still feel like jumping in front of a bus when I think about it.

So we aren't going. Death to Ticketmaster.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day one

So we're into our new house. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of help, but we made it. We painted and fixed some basic things Thursday and Friday. And Saturday we and a small army moved our stuff into our new home.

Catherine is doing OK with the transition so far, though it's hard to tell because she's sick again... this time with a pretty bad upper respiratory infection. She's fine of course, but that means that she's up frequently during the night because she's coughing.

Thanks again to all of our happy helpers. Seriously, we could not have done everything in such a short time without your help and generousity.

After moving yesterday, we had our concert today, and I have an exam tomorrow morning. Yikes.

Also, FYI: we don't have internet set up at our new place yet, but we will hopefully soon. So if you don't hear from me in a couple of days, that would be why.

And when we get back online I will hopefully have tons of pictures to share!

=)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pinch me

I keep thinking that we're dreaming, but apparently we haven't woken up yet. We're still homeowners. Huh. I wonder if this dream is real? This picture might confirm it:

We got the keys on Tuesday. Last night we spent a *lot* of money at Home Depot, which from now on will likely be our home away from home. Top on our Christmas list (in case you want to or need to know) is gift cards to Home Depot. And now I need to go because I have a ton of work to do! But I really wanted to share this beautiful picture with you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Say hello to the home owners!

It happened! We finally signed closing papers on our house last night. We are officially home owners! After all of the problems that we had this week with it being delayed (we still won't get keys until next week), I still feel very grateful for how well the process came off. Our one problem- the loan officer. He dragged his feet. I don't even think it's really the bank. It's him. So, he won't be getting a referral. But everyone else that stepped in to assist us deserves a world of thanks.

And it all comes down to one person - Jaime, our realtor.

How do I love our realtor, let me count the ways:

1. Everyone that we loved came as a referral from her. We had a home insurance rep that did a house call. We had a title rep that helped us close papers on the house come into the office on 5pm on a Friday night... and he had the day off because he was *sick*. He came in as a favor to Jaime because he likes her and trusts her that much. We also now have recommendations for a roof guy and a different loan officer to help refinance when the time comes. Awesome.

2. She did everything in her power to help when things were dragging with the bank, including calling the bank every other day to get them rolling.

3. She was available nearly any time of the day when we were choosing which houses to see (Seriously - I remember some email conversations that went past midnight).

4. She was honest about everything that came into our path and did whatever was best for us, not anyone else.

5. When the delays with the bank made it so that we weren't able to get into our house this weekend, she agreed to let us into the house to make choices on paint, do measurements, and make an overall "to do" list. She's already sold us the house, but she's still taking time out for us.

6. Not only did she bring in wine and flowers for us last night for the closing as a "congratulations!", she is throwing us a house warming party. No kidding. She said pick the date and let me know who you want to invite and I'll take it from there. Holy cow!

7. She's simply a cool person. If we would have met her otherwise, she still would be someone that we would like to hang out with.

OK, enough boasting about our realtor, I know. I can't help it.

Over the next week we will be packing, cleaning, painting, planning, and moving. I'm making sure to take pictures during the whole process, so you'll definitely see more. Since it's finally official I can show you some pictures of our house!

Exterior, from the front

Kitchen - wow, a lot of wood panneling. It's not all staying.

Dining room with built in buffet.

Upstairs bathroom. No, we are *not* keeping the wallpaper!

Upstairs spare bedroom, which will be an office (for now), and that's Catherine's room across the hall. The closets are awesome - very deep, with additional storage cabinets above.
That's all for now... more to come!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Super crappy news

It's a strange day. I had an exam a couple of hours ago, which is always preceded by 24 hours of straight stress and craziness. This time was no exception - probably a bit more stress and insanity than normal. And we've been waiting on news for what's going on with our house - we were supposed to hear by today. Heck, we were told that we would be closing by today. It wasn't until 2pm that our loan officer called Stephen to say "yeah, it's not going to happen today, maybe tomorrow or Friday".

The super crappy part about this news is that means that there is no possible way that we will have the keys by this weekend. This weekend was the *only* weekend that we had enough time to do some decent work. The cleaning, the painting, the fixing. And now an entire weekend is going to be wasted. The only other chance that we have to be able to do *any*thing before the end of the month (as that's when we need to be out) is next Saturday, and because of our freakin' dress rehearsal that morning we can't start anything until 2pm. That gives us like, what, 4 hours? 4 hours to move, I wasn't all together TOO stressed about, but now it's 4 hours to do everything. And that Sunday is totally out because our concert will take up the entire freakin' day.

Sorry for the bitchy whining. I'm just in a really really pissy mood right now. I'm stressed enough as it is, you know?

But now I get to go to work and be all happy-smiley for 5 hours. Oh joy, oh rapture.

PS -- happy birthday to my dear "baby" sister, Valerie Joy. I promise I have a more heartfelt and positive birthday message for you. But I'll have to do that later. Sorry, sis.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's so hard to say goodbye

The time is coming, and I know it. I've been working on it for months, trying to find another option. But nothing has worked.

It's time that I need to say goodbye to my two feline friends.

We made the decision long ago that toddlers and cats don't mix - especially our cats. Catherine gets way too excited seeing them, chasing them and is aggressive with them, never letting down. And they freak out. They began acting out, showing their stress and their unhappiness. It's too much stress for them, and they deserve better than that.

So we separated them, and the cats have found a peaceful home downstairs, where Catherine doesn't go. It works, but I can't give them the love and attention that they need. They deserve better.

But our new home doesn't have a place like that. The cats would be everywhere. Catherine will be everywhere. There's not a peaceful place for them. And they deserve better than that.

I've tried placing ads, asking around... I've been doing it for a long time. Now that we're moving... and soon... my time is up. I need to find a no-kill shelter that can take them and find a good home for them (thinking about a non no-kill shelter just depresses me).

If anyone does know of someone that would be willing to take my two beautiful cats (or even just one), please let me know. I would be able to handle this so much better if they can go straight to a good home.

On top of everything, I don't want to deal with the sadness and depression that this brings on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Progress

The term "progress" means so much more now that we as a country have accomplished something so historic and... wonderful! Progress seems imminent now. I sense it around the corner. Maybe not right away - we have to give the guy some credit, especially when you take into consideration the mess that he is inheriting. But the possibilities of what he can accomplish, and what we can accomplish with him, is enormous. And I feel the warmth of hope around me.

President Obama. Mr. President. It sounds so good.

So there is progress in Washington, and I'm feeling progress at home, too. A big update on our country house: we should be signing the closing papers this week and getting the keys this Friday! I still use the word "should" because let's face it, we're dealing with banks here. I'm in the mind set of "I'll believe it when I see it". But I'm still being hopeful, and we have plans in place if (I mean when) we will be moving over the next couple of weekends. Prayers and good thoughts at this point are needed and would be appreciated. I don't know what to expect, and I'm dreading the news that it will be delayed.

I was feeling completely hopeless about everything that needs to be done with the packing and cleaning. I was already feeling stressed enough not having time for anything. But then my mom graced us with a few hours of her time over the weekend - and suddenly we have things done! I'm seeing lots of packed boxes and empty shelves. What a relief! Thanks again, mom.

So progress... it's on the way. I'm hoping that I will only have good news to share. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Impending hope

Did you think I was going to say impending doom? That's the saying of course. But today it's a different feeling. Today, the day that we, the people of the United States of America, put forth our ballots and elect a new president of our country. I do have mixed feelings, but not quite doom. Anxiousness, excitement, satisfaction, exasperation. What a day! But the feeling more than anything is hope.
But for me it's a cautious hope. I got my hopes up the last 2 elections, only to be devestated and shocked the next day with the results. Everything I'm hearing so far sounds like good news. But...
If the results are the way that I am hoping and praying, it is hopeful times. Still hard times, of course. And either way I feel sorry for the person inheriting the mess that is currently in the White House. The next president will enter the White House not knowing peace nor prosperity. But hope! What a great feeling! We have so much to worry about right now. Even thinking about hope for better things in the future is such a relief.
Did I vote? Heck yes! I was happy to see long lines - wow! Did you vote?
And one more thing I'll say about this crazy day - I am looking forward to something else that tomorrow will bring. No more campaign ads! I have never been so excited to see commercials for sugary snacks and male enhancements in my life!

Catherine and I getting ready this morning, proudly wearing the shirts that I made for us. Well, I was proud. She was upset that I was interupting her play time to take a picture. ;)

Cute thing about Catherine's shirt: if you asked her who's on her shirt, she would look down, point to her shirt and emphatically say "OBAMA!". And every once in while she would run around the room chanting in her little sing song voice "Obama, Obama, Obama!"

Monday, November 3, 2008

nostalgic drive

Driving by yourself has a way of making your mind wander. On my drive to Vancouver yesterday with only Catherine asleep in the backseat, I found myself admiring the colorful view. Trees line both sides of the freeway, a stream of gold dotted with green. That's one of the beauties of living in the Evergreen State - fall foliage will always include green.

I think to myself that I've always liked making the drive in the fall. Then I start to think about all of the times that I've made this drive. In the 11 years since I moved from Vancouver to Tacoma, I estimate that I've made this drive about 100 times. No, it must be more than that. 200 maybe? Well, a lot of times. Driving from school to visit my family, then once I graduated it was visiting my family from where I call home.

And driving in the fall... I think it most reminds me of driving home the first few times after I became a student at PLU. I was a freshman, uncertain in the world of where I was going or who I was. But I knew one thing for sure: my family loved me and they were always there for me to go home to. And they still are. Many, many changes have happened in the last 11 years. But it's still home, and there is still plenty of love to come home to.

This trip had a couple of special things in mind: seeing my mom's new house for the first time (which is so cute and perfect for her), and an early birthday dinner for my sister (she's turning 25 next Wednesday - holy cow!). The trip was full of reminders of the past, and feelings of the future. Here's some great pictures of the trip:


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or treat!

Halloween is finally fun again! We took Toby and Catherine trick or treating for the first time! Jen was able to find little China outfits for each of them and they were so cute.


I wasn't going to dress up, but I decided it would be fun and put together an old lady outfit - complete with wig, glasses, and a truly old lady dress. When I walked in to Theresa's to pick up Catherine, Stephen didn't recognize me at first. Even cuter was Catherine - she didn't even take notice of me coming in the room. I said hi to her and she looked at me like "who is this weird lady and why does she sound like my mommy?". I took off my glasses and she uncertainly said "mommy?". Then I took off the wig, and she ran over to me and gave me a big hug. I don't think I really frightened her, but I think I really confused her. It was really cute.

We took part in the trick or treating event that the Proctor District in North Tacoma does every year. All of the businesses shut down for two hours, and the kids can come trick or treating door to door there. They shut down the whole streets and everything, it's amazing. It's only about a mile from Jen and Phil's house so we walked there.


Catherine was pretty shy about saying "trick or treat", but she caught on really quickly that if she held up her bucket she would be given something. So I would encourage "say trick or treat Catherine" and she would just hold up her bucket. But she still said "thank you" when someone gave her a treat. And even though she doesn't get candy at all, she somehow knew that the stuff in the bucket was really good. She kept putting down her bucket in the middle of everyone walking to try to eat some of the candy. But she would take a bite with the wrapper then make a funny face and put it back in the bucket. And every time we would say "yeah, that doesn't taste very good, huh?". Silly girl.


PICTURES!



Catherine and I trick or treating. If you don't see me in the picture, I'm the old lady on the right. ;)
Toby in his uber-cute Chinese costume

Catherine in her equally uber-cute costume.


The kids strapped in the stroller on our way there.

Jen, in her inifite motherhood wisdom, blowing bubbles to keep the kids entertained on the walk there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Toby enters the "terrible" two's!

It's official - time has passed too quickly. Two years ago I was holding my brand new nephew in my arms enjoying the feeling of being an aunt for the first time. Now he's running around, talking, making his opinions and feelings known, and he can even climb onto a bicycle. Where has the time gone?

Sunday was Toby's birthday party. Lots of Toby's favorite people were there, including 3 other little kids between 1-2 years old (Catherine included). It was so entertaining to watch 4 toddlers running around the house, "sharing", and having a blast.

Jen had the best idea: cake before presents. Yeah, that's fabulous - let's get them hopped up on sugar, and THEN overwhelm them with tons of exciting new toys to play with. When the cake was brought out, Catherine's eyes grew wide and she ran over with an extremely expectant look on her face. Boy, did she know what was coming!

But really, the cake eating went quite well. 3 two year olds sitting at the table, eating quite nicely with their forks - wow! (the 4th little kid is quite a bit younger, so she was in the high chair) It was quite a change from their first birthday parties, you know? ;)

Catherine was quite the party girl. When Toby didn't want to have anything to do with opening presents, she helped me carry presents over to him - with a little party blower in her mouth. Too cute!
The best present, and certainly Toby's favorite - his very first bike! He doesn't have pedals on it yet, because he hasn't really learned that yet, but it's awesome for him to learn the balance that comes with riding. And he loved it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

another quick story to add...

I never have too many stories to tell!

We were at Toys R Us tonight getting a birthday present for Toby (he's turning TWO this weekend - heLLO!!!). Stephen had fun taking Catherine to the boys' section, because that's where all the CARS are! ;) He found the wall of hot wheels and started teaching Catherine about the different cars. He picked up a cool red one to show her, and I said "Catherine, can you say Ferrari?"

She paused. She looked at me quite seriously and said "VROOOM!"

Stephen smiled and said "that's my girl!"

=)

Funny Catherine stories, part 4

It's been a while since I've simply boasted and shared fun stories of what Catherine has been up to.

A couple of my favorite sounds: when she says "owie" but it's surrounded with giggling. Example: She'll be running around giggling and laughing, then fall down or something, then get right back up running and giggling again. It's the best.

My other favorite sound: she started singing yesterday! This was all on her own - I was folding clothes and she was playing by herself. She started singing to herself and then suddenly I realized - it was "twinkle twinkle little star"!!!! Wow!!!!! She got so excited when I started singing it with her, I think because she realized I recognized what she was singing, and then she "made" me do it 3 more times with her! And she knows a big part of the song, too! I thought the most adorable sound was her laughing - now it's her singing. It just warms my heart to no end.

She's learning her numbers, but in her own special way. She usually starts with 2, will sometimes repeat 3 after me, always misses 4... but 5 through 9 she has down. Her favorite number seems to be 5. If I ask "how many?", she sometimes shouts at the top of her lungs "FIVE!!!" And when we successfully start at 1, after I say 4 she will again shout at the top of her lungs "FIVE!!!"

Her favorite thing right now is Dora. Oh lordy does she love her Dora. She can say the names of all the characters, can start to sing the songs, and gets so excited talking about it or seeing Dora when we're out shopping. She does have a limit of how much TV she watches each day because we like to minimize that as much as we can, but when she has the option it's DORA, DORA, DORA!

There are so many great little stories to tell. I'll have to be sure to keep this going a bit more. I suppose I can only whine so much about how crazy my life is before I start to want to talk about how great my life is. =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Breakdown #3

Yes, another one. It's getting old. Seriously old.

If someone invents how to duplicate yourself, or create another 8 hours in the day, or... well, you get the picture. Would you let me know please? Maybe I should add that to my Christmas list - 8 more hours in each day.

Sigh.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A new beginning... again.

One of the things that has suffered with all of my craziness the last few weeks is my healthy eating and activity. Even though I wasn't doing all together that well and not really losing weight, I was still hanging on. But now - ugh. The comfort food when I'm stressed, the munchies when I'm studying, the sitting around - it has really added up. And it has only been adding to my stress because 1) knowing that I'm failing myself and 2) not feeling well due to not being healthy.

Along comes my knight in shining armor - my uber-supportive husband. He has been asking a lot how he can help with my maxed out level of stress. And although he doesn't like hearing that he can help by doing more housework (ha!), he has been really trying. Among his ways of showing support, I am most appreciative that he has managed to get me motivated again about being healthy. Get this - he is going to do my food plan with me! Not only simply not complaining that there's only healthy food in the house, but sticking to it outside the house too. Counting points and everything! And by teaching him about what's on the core list, how to calculate points, and which healthy guidelines to follow, it has pushed me to wanting to be back on the plan. Too cool.

We did a lot of grocery shopping over the weekend to get stocked with healthy food and we're getting committed to keeping each other in check. And I finally weighed myself to begin measuring my new success, which I haven't done in weeks. And... ha! Like I would write it hear for everyone to read! Honestly, I'm not really wanting to admit what the scale had to say. Just like I'm not really wanting to admit the score on my exam last week... oh boy...

So... as positive as I am trying to be, I still feel like "well, we'll wait and see how this goes". One way or the other, I am looking forward to hopefully feeling better. And the show of support just makes me love my husband even more.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

WE HAVE A HOUSE!!!

I can barely contain myself! We have a house!! I'm trying to control the excitement a little bit, because it's not officially offical. (read: it hasn't actually closed yet) But everything leading up to the closing has gone really well, and we say it's a go! We had our offer accepted, we have the financing all lined up and ready to go, and the inspection on the house actually went really well for being an older house. There's not much that will stand in our way now; it's just a waiting game to hear that it's official.

The inspection showed some concerns, but nothing really big. And certainly no deal breakers. It was all things that we expected. The roof looks good, but it needs cleaning. We need to update the drainage system from the gutters. The house is built partly into the hillside, so it's a big concern to get water away from the house. But that's if it ever rains, which it never does around here! ;)

We also need to get a couple of appliances, and a couple of windows need to be fixed. Besides the little bit of things that need to be done now, there's definitely a lot that we would like to do to the house during our time there. For example, the upstairs bathroom needs SERIOUS updating, but it's totally functional for now. There's a ton of cleaning to do, but really... it's ready to go.

OK, more details:

1832 sf (house), 7000 sf (lot)
3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
Full living room, dining room, PLUS a separate family room
1 car detached garage with power and a garage door opener (Stephen is thrilled of course)
Lots of storage everywhere - great space in the kitchen, master bedroom has his & hers closets, and the closets in the two other bedrooms are about 4 feet deep with equally wide storage cabinets above. It's near the end of a dead end street, so it's super quiet. And PAVED alley access (which doesn't happen very often in Tacoma).

There's so much more to say about it, and I can't wait to share more pictures and stories about the whole scary, exciting process. And of course, a house warming party will be a top priority once we get settled in.

Well, really I won't have too much of a problem controlling my excitement. All I need to do is start thinking of all of the packing and moving we get to do in the next 4-6 weeks, and that makes me look like this:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

fun with grandma and grandpa

Last weekend Catherine got to spend time with each of my parents - yeah!

First her Grandpa Pat and Abuelita (aka Alicia, my stepmom) came over Saturday afternoon. It was a couple of hours just hanging around the house - great fun! They got to see her in her true form, at home where she's the most comfortable. She was super, super shy at first and stuck very close to my lap. But she still talked with them, so they got to see how much she's talking now, and she started to get excited showing them her favorite things.
And then she really let loose - she initiated a chasing game with grandpa! She ran from one end of the house to the other, giggling constantly when he chased her. And then he was reminded of the energy took to chase down a toddler - she wore him out pretty quickly!

Catherine running in their chasing game - check out the hair blowing behind her!


The next day she got to spend a bunch of time with Grandma Trudy. My mom had spent the night after being out late with us at Bachtoberfest, our huge choir event. So Catherine got to see her first thing in the morning. It warmed my heart to see how excited she was to see grandma right off the bat. No shyness here! We played, we had breakfast, and then we got to do a little shopping for some good quality girl time. We had a great time watching Catherine go nuts at the little playground at the mall.

Catherine showing grandma how she can blow bubbles with me.


Before my mom had to go, Catherine made her cry (and me too) by saying "I love you" to her. So sweet!!!!

I would rather be...

... staring at a microscope for two hours than desperately trying to memorize all the bones - and all the names of each divet and process in each bone.

... at home doing dishes and scrubbing floors than studying for the exam.

... studying for 5 hours than earning 60 bucks at work for the same amount of time.

... on a tropical beach hearing the waves, feeling the sun, with a pina colada in my hand than studying.

... spending time with Catherine and Stephen than any of the above.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Study break

A quick update for this mother's load while I take a much-needed study break:

Thanks, friends, for the supportive words. No word yet if there are any drastic changes in the future. I had a second bit of a breakdown today. I have an exam tomorrow that I'm not feeling prepared for, I had to skip choir rehearsal just to study, I have to let my mom down because I have too much going on to help her move, and I had to cancel hanging out with friends this weekend too. I feel like I'm having to disappoint everyone around me, while I still don't feel like I'm getting everything done. Stephen is trying to understand and is being as supportive as possible. But I'm so stressed right now; I'm not sure what will happen.

House hunting - we might have a house! Not the first one that we put an offer on - that just wound up being too much in all the wrong places. This one really seems to be working. We put in an offer and they accepted! Next is the house inspection - unless they find something that is worth breaking the deal, we'll be moving in by Thanksgiving! Wow! We are so excited, but nervous for the inspection. It's an older house, so who knows what may show up.

I can't go into huge details about it now, but there will be more to come. We're calling it the country house because it has a great country feel about it. What do you think? No, seriously - what do you think? I'm excited to share, but nervous about making such a big decision. Any thoughts?

Anyways - that's enough for now. I'm not sure that my brain could handle much more at this time. I'm going to get back to studying now and hope that my head won't explode. WIsh me luck.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

time management

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize that you may be over your head? Oh boy...

Here's my attempt at organizing my life.

My current responsibilities (and I'm just going for bigger categories here, not individual items on my to do list):
- Catherine (being able to spend time with her, waking up, bed time, shuffling to and from daycare, and overall being the best mom possible)
- School (8-12 hours of class a week plus an additional 15-20 hours a week needed for studying)
- Home (daily chores, overall care, paying bills, food shopping - whatever is necessary to live in a clean and healthy home and have healthy food to eat. At least as much as possible. If you could see our home right now, you'd know that cleaning is not high on the prioroty list. But it needs to be healthy.)
- Work (20-25 hours a week, plus 1 hour a day minimum in commuting)

Not listed: choir, personal care, exercise (ha!), time with Stephen, time with friends and family, and never mind the things that I would prefer to do on my own if I ever had time to myself. Also coming up: holidays and - hello! - MOVING!

It's only the 3rd week of school, but I'm beginning to think "how much longer can I keep this up?" I'm feeling guilty about not spending enough time at home with Stephen and Catherine. Because my class is in the middle of the day, I work evenings and weekends - the only time that Stephen is home.

I generally get 1-2 hours with Catherine in the morning, which constitutes breakfast and getting ready. Then I drop her off before class and Stephen picks her up at the end of the day. After class I head to work with maybe a bit of time for studying in between. I get home between 9-10pm; Catherine of course is already asleep and there's barely time for a debriefing with Stephen before he gets to bed.

This isn't every single day, but it's often enough that I'm going out of my mind. What do I do? If I want to spend more time with Catherine, I often don't get to study as much as I need to. If I need more time to study, I might even call in sick to work. Where does it stop? I'm in school to get a good career and help support my family in the future. I'm working to help bring income in to help support my family now. And I'm with Catherine - well, that needs no explaining. I feel like either way I go, I'm betraying my family.

I told Stephen last night that I've been thinking about that time when I need to stop working to focus on Catherine and school, and realizing that time may be coming sooner than I planned. I think I freaked him out, and for good reason. I don't bring in much money, but we're talking about buying a house. I could see dollar figures pass through his head as the panic threatened to set in, but he was trying to be supportive with the words coming out of his mouth.

My priorities are clear - work is at the bottom of the list, but then I'm not helping with our family income like we need. What to do?

No, seriously. What do I do?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Name change

I love the new name I finally picked for my blog. It's all incompassing of my life at this time - the load of everything that comes with being a mom. Because even though I have so many plates on my table right now, the brightest and prettiest of those plates is my little girl. So "the mother load". That's my life. =)

results

So yeah, I kicked the exam's ass. Missed only one question - 98%. Not that I like tooting my own horn, though. ;) It's quite a relief considering that I have been pretty wound up about this class.

Update also on the house hunting. We're probably passing on the house that we first put an offer on. They still haven't given us an answer and really aren't being upfront about the process. Our realtor doesn't like it and neither do we. Stephen's dad came out to help with a pre-inspection inspection of sorts. It's the bonus of having a structural engineer in the family. He pointed out some things about the house that we didn't notice at first. And in discussing it more, we realized that all the "little" things that we wanted to do to the house were really adding up. The reality is that we don't have a lot of time or money to do a ton of work on a house.

So... back to the drawing board. But we hadn't really abandoned the drawing board in the first place. We've seen a handful more houses. We'll see some more and see how it goes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

first exam

I just finished my first exam for a&p about 15 minutes ago. We have a short break before resuming lecture (seriously - I'm brain dead enough right now). I feel like a true 21st century student. I am sitting cross-legged in the hallway with my laptop and wireless access. I'm enjoying jamming to some good Billy Joel tunes with my mp3 player that is clipped to my jacket. My cell lies beside me, as that's my primary timekeeper these days. I'm wired up and ready to go.

(end tangent)

Anyways, I was saying about my test. It was actually much less difficult than I thought it would be and I think I did pretty well. (crossing fingers) We'll see how that compares to the actual number on my score. It still doesn't change how much my brain is hurting right now. Ugh.

... we didn't start the fire... though we didn't light it but we tried to fight it...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

REGISTER

The election is only 33 days away! This may seem like you have plenty of time to register to take part in the voting, but did you know that many state's deadlines are VERY soon? For example, Washington state's deadline is in 2 DAYS!

If you're already registered, good for you! If not, it's time. I don't care who you vote for. OK, I care a little bit ;) But I certainly won't tell you who to vote for. I just think it's important that you get out there and vote.

Don't know where to go? Let me help!

State-by-state information for deadlines and links for registering:

http://www.eac.gov/voter/docs/state-reg-deadlines.xls/attachment_download/file

Not sure if you're registered? Washington state has a great site to check your status, and other states should too - you can follow those states at the link above. But here's Washington's link:

http://wei.secstate.wa.gov/OSOS/VoterVault/Pages/MyVote.aspx

A great site for voting women: links for registering, education, and checking issues:

http://www.lwv.org/Election2008/index.html

If you can't find information for how to vote through your state's site, here's the link for the national registration form:

http://www.eac.gov/files/voter/nvra_update.pdf

Get out there! Register! Vote! If you need help, answers, or support, it is out there. Let's make this a great turnout!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

update on offer

Just really quick so I can get to bed: we didn't hear an actual answer about the offer we put on the house. But we did get more information about it, and a bit of an explanation of why we didn't get an answer as expected. It turns out that the bank has a process with this particular type of sale. Nothing like a short sale, which can take months of waiting. But there's a review period of offers that's about 2 days to 2 weeks. So... not a long time to wait, but longer than we thought. Oh well. We'll see.
=)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Offer

We saw more houses Wednesday night, and we saw one that we like so much that we put an offer on the next night. I'd go into great detail about it, but I think I'll wait until we hear the result. I don't want to get my hopes up too much. How it works is that if the offer isn't accepted or if they counter offer, we may need to move on to the next house. And that's OK because there's plenty of good options out there. The house is already listed at $55,000 below the assessed value, and we put in an offer just a little below the listed price to make it in our budget. So we'll see.

We should hear by Monday or Tuesday. Very exciting either way!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fair fun

OK, so this has been a little overdue. It's been almost 2 weeks since we were able to go to the fair. But it was such a great time that I have to post it regardless.


My mom came up for the day, and we put Catherine in shorts and sandals (it was still warm then), and whisked her off to her first experience at a fair. Along the way we picked up my good friend Heather - what a fun girl day! And what an experience for Catherine. Huge crowds, concerts with cheering and loud music, tons of animals, food, games, rides - wow!


I probably had the most fun at the concert - my favorite local band that I've been following for 15 years - the Coats. It was so much fun for Catherine to hear them for the first time, but I can't tell if she had more fun with the music or climbing up and down on the bleachers.


Catherine's favorite part was the animals. Everywhere we went she saw animals larger than life. She knows her animals so well, but this was the first time really seeing the big ones in person. I can imagine her thoughts: "a cow is really that big? Wow!" She learned how to say "big horsey". This is a picture when she saw the cows for the first time. I asked her if she knew what that was. The picture is her saying "moo!" But not everything was very big; she got to pet a baby goat!

We got to ride on the little train that goes around the kiddy area. Catherine surprised me again - she was scared to go on it! But I coaxed her through it and she was smiling the whole time - and then didn't want to get off. Figures!


There was this fun game up where kids could take drum mallets and bang all over crazy metal things that were hanging or standing around. Catherine had a ball and practically threw a fit when I told her we had to move on.


A few games (all three of us won little frogs for her) and an elephant ear later, it was time to go home. More fun next year. The only thing I regret? Not getting a picture of grandma Trudy and Catherine together. But thanks again mom for these incredible pictures.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is in the air

I think it's more of a coincidence that I happen to be writing this on the first day of fall. The signs have been coming for a while now. The leaves are starting to turn color already, there are Halloween costumes and candy in the stores, and Jen is talking about Toby's birthday (2 already!). We've had beautiful sunshine for weeks, then last week was suddenly overcast and really chilly. Where did that come from? Suddenly I have to convince Catherine that she can't wear sandals outside anymore. She's going to be heartbroken because she spent all summer practicing putting them on herself and finally mastered the skill just last week. Now she has to put them away and instead begin practicing with her sneakers.

The other clue for me that fall has indeed graced our lives again - I started my fall quarter of classes this morning. This time it's anatomy and physiology, 2 hours a day, 4 days a week. I'm nervous about the level of difficulty and the high expectations, but I'm really excited for the subject matter. But from now until December, don't be surprised if I sound really, really tired and braindead every time you talk with me. Yes, more tired and brain dead than I already am!

I suppose winter will be here before we know it, and then we'll be talking about Catherine's 2nd birthday and my (gasp!) 30th birthday. I want to have an enormous birthday party, but I have no idea how we'll pay for that after getting a house. We shall see. That's still a few months away. OK, time to begin studying. Oh boy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A new frontier

It's a buyer's market. We don't have a home of our own. Stephen's job is doing well and is steadily receiving raises and has good stability. What does this add up to?

Well, truthfully it adds up to my head exploding, but that's all part of the game.

Yes, we have started the official process of getting our first house. It's scary. It's exciting. It's nerve-racking. It's frustrating.

But I can't complain all too much. For the enormous life changing event that this is, it's gone very smoothly so far. Almost as if someone up there is saying "finally! It's about time!"

It started Monday morning. Stephen and I had an appointment with a mortgage broker. We came out with a pre-approval for a loan with a great rate and excellent terms and a referral for a real estate agent. I called Jamie (the realtor, who we LOVE), and by the end of the day she had already emailed me our first list of homes to look at. Wow! We drove by some houses Wednesday night and had our first walk throughs today.

Wow! What a whirlwind! Now you can see why I said that my head is exploding.

Now, I have to point out that we're not really intentionally rushing into this. We've been talking about this for months now and have been scouting out homes on our own for weeks. So we had an idea what was out there and generally what to expect. What I couldn't have prepared for though was how well this has been going and how fast.

So what have we found? A lot of very different houses. Out of the 5 that we saw today, 2 were nos. One was a remodel that was never finished, so that would be way too much work for us to take on. And the other was a decent enough house, but it was on an incredibly busy road. Not cool. The 3 others:

House #1: Unbelievable location - totally ideal for us. 3 blocks away from Jen & Phil, across the street from a huge park and a great elementary schools, close to tons of shopping. Oh, and walking distance to a Starbucks. Yay! We actually weren't able to get inside the house to look at it because the key box was jammed. But we took a walk around and were able to see into most of the house. We'll see what we think once we can get inside.

House #2: Good things: good location, proximity wise. Good amount of space, great layout, fabulous kitchen, gorgeous yard, updated electricity and heating. Oh, and did I mention that I'm in love with the house? Seriously, it's amazing. Bad things: parking is funky. It's on a semi-busy street, and you're not allowed to park on the street. There is room for parking 2 cars next to the house, but you have to drive up a sloped driveway and then drive backwards back down it into the street or turn around in a fairly tight spot. But 2 cars - that's it. What happens when people come to visit us? What? No house warming party? No birthday parties? Ugh. It's also a short sale, but we're waiting to find out where we stand with that. We'll see.

House #3: In the Stadium district of North Tacoma. Ideal location in the way of I've always wanted to live there. It needs some serious work, but it's pretty much stuff that we can do. It has so much potential, it's great. The amount of work scares me a little and it means that we'll probably be living there for a while before some of the work gets done. But Stephen was all excited about it - we'll see.

One thing in common between the houses - "we'll see". And we still have many more houses to see. So, more to come.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

TBA

It's been such a busy week - there are 3 or 4 big blog entries that I've been wanting to put in, but I haven't had the time or focus or energy to sit down and actually do it. It seems like everything has happened this week - we've started looking for houses, I'm getting ready for class starting next week, choir started again, my mom came up to visit TWICE in a week (how cool is that?)... wow, what else? Need I say more? There's a lot going on. I'm hoping I'll have a chance to spell everything out a little clearer tomorrow. Plus, I have pictures to post!

So, to be announced... more coming soon!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another thought...

You've never truly seen a diaper at full absorbency until you've accidentally put one through the washer.

True story.

Special moment

There have been several times playing with Catherine that I lay down on the floor with her to play with her blocks. We stack them, count them, line them up and read the letters - all kinds of fun! It's a lot more comfortable for me to have a pillow laying on the hard floor, so I always grab one. And since I'm laying down, she thinks it's the best thing in the world to climb all over me.

I didn't think that I really did it very often, but a couple of times she would bring pillows down to the floor - one for each of us!

Then this morning I was in the kitchen finishing up the dishes and I peeked into the living room to check on her. She waved me over and said "come on!" She had set out two pillows on the floor and her box of blocks. She was all ready to go! How could I resist?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stuck in my head...

A disadvantage of being a mother of a toddler... and I'm sure every mother out there can identify... getting your kid's favorite song stuck in your head.

Catherine's latest favorite is the hippopotamus song. It's one of the songs that I play when she's in the car and now she fusses if I put anything else on. So now it's in my head and it won't get out.

So if you hear me singing it to myself, don't mind me. I'm just a mom.

... swimming in the river is the hippopotamus... splish splash stomp stomp...

Grrr...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Progress and setbacks

Ah... the joys of potty training. We've done pretty well over the last couple of weeks with it. She gets excited about it and even asks to use the potty. She will sit down with me for a pretty good length of time. But nothing's really "happened" yet. Not a problem. It's easy not to be disappointed when you go in with no expectations to begin with.

One big lesson learned:

Do not let her stand on the stool to wash her hands after "using" the potty without putting the diaper back on first. Not going potty + running water = big mess.

We're all learning. That's how it goes.

Pictures of our adventures so far:

I'm queen of the potties!

I think I get how this works...

Oh boy! New Dora training pants!

Wait, do I put these on before my pants?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Here we go

(This brings new meaning to the term "potty talk")

We are entering the new phase of toddler-hood: the dreaded potty training! Part of me is scared, thinking that it will be frustrating for us, scary for her, and stressful for all of us. But another part of me has confidence in her, that she will pick it up fairly easy and will love the independence aspect of it. I think if I sit her down and have a discussion about it and tell her NO MORE DIAPERS, she'll jump at it and never look back.

But one thing at a time; we aren't pressuring her at all. And not pressuring her is pretty easy considering that we, as parents, really aren't sure what to do. We've been talking about it for a while, but then Stephen brought up the ultimate question that we had been circling around: "where do we start?" So after some books and getting advice from a few sources and some common sense knowing Catherine as we do, I think we have a "plan":

Step one: talk with her about it and share books. Well, we've been doing this for a while. She's super interested in coming with me when I go and I tell her "soon you'll be using the potty like the big kids and grown ups do". And she smiles. Her favorite part is to flush, and then she says "bye bye" and waves at the water swirling down.

Step two: get her a potty of her very own. Done. That was on Monday. And oh was she excited! We had looked at them in the store before and talked with her about it. So when I brought out the box and told her it was just for her, she started dancing around. She could barely contain herself as I pulled it out of the box. We let her get acquainted with it, so she played with it - taking it apart and back together, putting her toys in it, and sitting on it! She figured that part out all by herself!

Step three: setting up a routine, sitting on it at regular times. This we haven't done yet. I don't want to force too much on her at once. But within the next couple of days we'll be trying it out to see how receptive of the idea she is. And then in the next few weeks we'll be getting the training pants and using diapers mainly at night or for trips or things like that. And then from there... we'll see. No deadline in mind, just going from her reactions.

Stay tuned... this is exciting stuff!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Genetics

It's pretty clear already that Catherine isn't a morning person. For being so little, she sleeps in until 8-8:30 when it's up to her. Big surprise. Her dad can sleep through anything and does. I was infamous growing up for being impossible to get up in the morning. So much so that my little sis would leave threatening notes on my bedroom door if we needed to get up early for something exciting (I believe it was getting soaked by a water gun that I was threatened with if I didn't get up when expected).

Little clues to our non-morning-liking little girl:

One morning Catherine was just starting to wake up. I happened to be up, so I went in when I heard her fussing. She was still laying down, but when she peeked open a single eye to see me she pulled herself to sitting. And then with a tired look of exasperation, she threw herself back down on the mattress.

Then yesterday morning, Stephen and I were up as he was getting ready for work. "Do you hear that?" Stephen asked. We quietly listened. It was the music from her GloWorm. (it plays a short little tune when its belly is pushed.) The song finished, and Catherine pushed the belly again and another song played. She did it several times, and then was quiet - she went back to sleep.

"Do you realize what she was doing?" Stephen asked.
"No. What?"
"She was hitting the snooze button!"

If there was any doubt before, it's proven now. She truly is our daughter.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sharing wisdom with all

Thank you to my cuz Brigette, who posted this on her site. I'm posting it here to not only share the wisdom, but to put it on file for myself. I need to post this in big bold letters on my front door so I will see it every day. Maybe tattoo it on my arm?

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked," how heavy is this glass of water?

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes. He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the Burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and Rest before holding it again.

When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home.

You can pick it up tomorrow. What ever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment If you can. Relax; then pick them up later after you've rested.

Life is short. Enjoy it! And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:
* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
* Never buy a car you can't push.
* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
* The second mouse gets the cheese. Don't always rush it!
* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once
* We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

*Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.