Saturday, November 17, 2012

This Really Happened!

For those of you who follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you know that I just spent an amazing week in Los Angeles, camping out in "Tent City" to see the world premiere of The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn Part 2 movie.

In order to mentally prepare myself for this trip, which there really is NO way to do, I started tweeting a list of things I hoped to accomplish...a bucket list, if you will.

So, to tell you all about my trip in the shortest way possible, I'm going to repeat part of the list here and let you know if I was able to scratch anything off of it.  If you'd like to know more about the best trip I've ever taken (besides my honeymoon, of course), feel free to ask in the comments.

MY BD2LA BUCKET LIST:

1. To make it to Tent City!  *CHECK*
It's an important item to list because you have to do TC to get to the Black Carpet!  Summit/Lionsgate had us all jumping through hoops and waiting for weeks but we finally received our confirmation email.  We, then, took that email with us to officially register and get our camping spot!



2. To see the Hollywood sign!  *CHECK*
It was far away but we saw it!




3. To watch a talk show being filmed!  *CHECK*
My group of friends and I were fortunate enough to be in the audience when Stephenie Meyer was on the Jimmy Kimmel Show!  It was so much fun!  During his opening monologue, Jimmy showed some footage that had been shot during the first day of TC and I was in it!  I actually screamed out loud during the filming!  LOL




4. To see The SHRINE, AKA, the hand and footprints of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner!  *CHECK* *CHECK* *CHECK*
For different reasons, we ended up seeing it THREE times!  It is a must-see for any Twi-fan!




5. To hug as many of my Twitter friends as possible AND get pics to prove it!  *CHECK*
I didn't get everyone but I got a lot!  I'll have to get the rest of my Tweeps at the next Twi get-together! ;-)  I won't post any pics here because I did not get permission beforehand.

6. Take pics of my bestie, JennyKate, planking!  *NO CHECK*
I have a nice collection of pics with JK planking in various settings and was really looking forward to adding a "Planking in LA" pic but, unfortunately it did not happen.  I did, though, get this gem! 




7. Reunite with my TwiTarded/Forks peeps!  *CHECK*
It makes me sad that I do not get to see these ladies every day so I was thrilled when I heard the group was meeting for dinner and drinks at our hotel!




8. Meet Stephenie Meyer!  *CHECK*
I still cannot believe this happened!  I was one of 700 campers who were chosen to get a personalized autograph from and take a picture with the woman who started it all!  And, yes, I cried after it was all over.



9. Get on that black carpet!  *CHECK*
My group was in the first 100 campers selected to be on the black carpet!  It was so exciting to be there and I am now completely prepared to do more premieres!




10. Get as many autographs of the Twi cast as possible!  *CHECK*
I didn't get everyone but I got enough to cover to photo mattes!




11. Get Kristen Stewart to sign a pair of pants that she wore as Bella in the first Twilight movie, that I just happen to own!  *NO CHECK*
I was very sad that I was unable to achieve this goal.  She, Robert, and Taylor were running very far behind because of all of the press they did on the black carpet.  They all tried very hard to get to as many fans as possible but, unfortunately, my group was skipped by, both, Kristen and Taylor.  Kristen did acknowledge the fans and was very apologetic.




12. Meet Robert Pattinson and offer to help him with his southern accent for his next role in the movie "The Rover!"  *CHECK and NO CHECK*
This was a moment I had fantasized about for a long time but, let me tell you, there is NOTHING you can do to prepare for when this happens:


Photo by JennyKate

JK took this pic of Rob looking at me and I swear, I don't even remember it happening!  I remember Rob giggling a lot and I remember asking him to sign two different things (which he did), and telling him "thank you so much" but that's it.  It was all such a blur that I completely forgot to mention the southern accent-thing!  Oh, well, I'm sure he'll do just fine without my help.  ;-)


13. Watch Breaking Dawn Part 2!  *CHECK*
OMGosh, y'all!  As if being on the black carpet wasn't intense enough, all of the TC campers got to see the movie before it was officially released!  I won't say anything to spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it yet (and, if you haven't seen it yet, what on earth are you waiting for??!) but I will say it is AH-MAZING!!  I don't think I've cried so hard at a movie since "Steel Magnolias" but it was worth it.  And, watching it with a theater full of hard-core TwiHards?  Priceless.  


My week in LA was truly an experience of a lifetime and I'm so thankful I was able to go!  The movies may be over now but the story and characters will live on forever in my heart.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My One and Only Spa Day

Wow, it's been 6 months since my last post?  I'm such a blog-failure!

The last time I blogged, I told you all about my horrifying experience getting a spray tan and I promised I'd tell you about my 'spa day' from years ago next.  I'm so sorry it has taken me this long to sit down and write.  Truth be told, I've been writing all summer.....I just haven't been writing for this blog.  I'll try very hard to manage my writing time better.  :-)

So, here it is.  My one and only day at the spa.  Please be warned: there are boobs and nakedness mentioned in this story.  I apologize in advance.

After Mackenzie was born, my husband, Scott, wanted to do something nice for me.  This was before the term 'push present' was commonly used, which is good, because I absolutely hate that term.  Anyway, Mackenzie was about 6 weeks old, which means I had spent those 6 weeks in a dazed stupor, sitting on the couch without a bra, breastfeeding constantly.  At least, that's how I remember it.

So, when Scott suggested a day to myself at a spa, I jumped at the chance.  Well, not literally.  Jumping without a bra, especially when you are breastfeeding, is not something I recommend.

My trip to a local Houston spa started off really well....once I got used to the robe I had to wear.  Apparently, they didn't have any 'plus sized' robes so, I had to do some major wrapping and tying to get their largest robe around my post-baby body.  And, even though I'd spent the last few weeks at home with my boobs all out, walking around a building with strangers everywhere while only wearing panties and a robe, did not make me feel relaxed.

I enjoyed most of my spa treatments so, I'll focus on the one I didn't enjoy:  the full-body massage.  This treatment took place later in the day and was something I was really looking forward to.  My only concern was that my boobs were going to explode because, at this point, it was the longest I had gone without feeding or pumping.

I walked into the dark room and met my masseuse.  I really wish I could remember this guy's name.  I've told this story so many times, he should get proper billing.  I was immediately uncomfortable with being given a post-baby massage by a guy but, of course, I didn't say anything.  I just wanted my massage so that I could go home.

I started off lying on my back.  My robe was off but my body was covered by a sheet.  The guy, let's call him Bob, would uncover a small part of my body, work his massage-magic, then cover it back up before moving to another part.  That I could handle and soon felt very relaxed.

The relaxation was gone as soon as Bob asked me to roll onto my stomach.  Panic started to set in as I realized how engorged my breasts were and I knew there was no way I could comfortably lie down on them.  I did the best I could but it was like trying to balance on a beach ball (or two), if you can imagine.  Sorry, for the visual.

My boobie-worries were quickly set aside, though, when I realized I was naked.  Yes, I was naked earlier, as well, but I was covered with a sheet.  Now that I was on my stomach, there was no sheet and images of my nude, post-baby body lying butt-up on a massage table was making me freak out just a bit.  In vain, I reached out like I was looking for the sheet or anything to cover my body.  Bob noticed and asked if I was cold.

Um, yeah, Bob.  That's it.  I'm cold.  Because I'm NAKED!  That's what I wanted to say but, instead, I give him a polite 'yes', thinking he will simply put the sheet back.

Guess what.

He didn't cover me with the sheet again.

He picked up a hand towel, yes, you read that correctly, and rolled it long-ways and....wait for it.....

Covered my butt-crack with it.  I.  KID.  YOU.  NOT.

Wow, thanks, Bob!  That towel on my crack really warms me up!  I might just break out in a sweat now!

Needless to say, I was frozen, not knowing what to do other than endure the rest of massage.

After it was over, Bob stepped out of the room so that I could put my robe back on and try to find my dignity.

I thought my time with Bob was done but, no.  Bob had more plans for me.

Bob wanted to talk.

He asked me how I enjoyed the massage and if I was relaxed or not.  Of course, I lied and said, yes, Bob.  It was great and I am very relaxed.  I was willing to say anything to get out of that room.

He then asked me to close my eyes and think of the first color that pops in my mind.  I did as he asked and said "Purple".  I'm not sure why I said "purple" other than the fact it is my favorite color but it was exactly what Bob wanted to hear.  He went on to tell me that the color purple signifies the most relaxed a person could be and the fact that I said "purple" meant he did an excellent job.  He was so happy with himself that he told me he was leaving the spa and starting his own business.  He even gave me a new business card and asked me not to tell the owners of the spa we were at.

When our chat was over, I went to the dressing room, quickly got dressed and left without getting the 'makeover' part of my spa package.  A few hours later, the spa called and asked if I wanted to reschedule and I politely declined.

I haven't been back to a spa since.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mystic Tan Mishaps!

I like to think of myself as being a fairly intelligent person.  Most days I function well, making smart decisions that affect, not only myself, but my family as well.  Today is not one of those days.

For those of you who know me really well or have known me for a long time, this will not be surprising to you.  I frequently make stupid decisions or put myself in stupid situations.  Let me see if I can think of some examples.

I remember being a pre-teen and going to the doctor.  I was beyond mortified when I was told I had to put on one of those paper-gowns in order for the doctor to do his exam.  That meant, I had to be NAKED!  The nurse and my mom stepped out of the room because, yes, I was so modest I could not undress in front of my own mother and, when my mom came back in the room, she found me clutching the gown to my body.  I was so nervous about getting undressed and putting the gown on that, when I put my right arm through the armhole, I ripped right through that sucker like I'd just turned into The Hulk.  And, then I did the same thing with my left arm.  So, I was basically sitting there with the gown covering my torso and my hands trying to hold up the sleeves.  Did my mom ask for another gown?  No, she laughed so hard she had mascara running to her chin...throughout the entire exam.

Then there was my first (and only) all-day spa experience, which really deserves it's own blog post.  Let's just say it was an equally embarrassing day featuring my breastfeeding boobs, the color purple, and a hand towel covering (or not covering) my hiney.  Its fine...go ahead and request it as a blog topic, if you really want to hear the story.

So, do you see what I mean about normal events becoming horrifically humiliating events in my life?

Well, read on to find out what happened today.

I am not a "tanned" kind of girl.  I am very pale and I burn easily, then I tan.  Unfortunately, the only places I seem to burn and tan equal the area commonly referred to as a "farmer's tan", especially if the farmer tends to wear short-sleeved V-neck t-shirts a lot.  I know that sunbathing and tanning beds are not good for you, which is why I have been interested in spray tans or "Mystic Tans" for many years now.  I don't want to be "bronze"; I'd just like to even out the tan I have on my arms (from mid-bicep down) and the deep V on my chest with the rest of my body...just a light "healthy" tan, nothing too fake looking.

I've known a few people who have gone the spray tan route and have had fairly good success but the main thing that has kept me from attempting it myself can be found in an episode of Friends.  You remember the one where Ross goes to get a spray tan and he misunderstands the directions and ends up getting sprayed 4 times...in the face.  Of course, he comes out with an orange face and there is nothing he can do about it until it fades.  EVERY time I consider getting sprayed, that is what enters my mind.  EVERY.  TIME.

Go ahead and consider the above paragraph as foreshadowing, ok?

I am having some professional pictures taken this weekend and they will be taken outside, so I thought now would be a great time to finally try out this spray tan thing.  Again, I want to look "healthy" not orange.  Even skin tone, not partially tanned.  I will also be spending the next few weeks at the beach and at the pool so I thought, a little tan would make me feel more confident in my bathing suit as well.

So, I'm in the room, talking with the helpful lady who works at my local tanning salon when she tells me that I need to wait 4 hrs, at least, before bathing.  Oh, and don't get in a chlorinated pool.  And, don't get in salty, ocean water.  Wait, what??  What is the point of getting a tan if you can't do those things?!  I explain to her about the pictures I am taking and that I, also, will be in ocean water, as well as, chlorinated pools next week.  She told me that I will be fine for the pictures but the pool and ocean waters will pretty much wipe out any spray tan I have.

I'm fine with this, since I mainly wanted to be tan for the pictures, but I honestly don't see the point of doing this very often.

The lady then shows me how to apply the protective cream to my hands and feet and then where I am to stand and how to hold my body while the spray is doing it's thing.  She tells me to push the green button when I'm ready and it will quickly begin spraying.  When it stops, I am to turn around and the spray will then get the back side of my body.  She also shows me these little nose-plug-things I can use so that I don't breathe in the spray.

I am usually a mouth-breather because I have a hard time breathing through my nose but I really don't want to breathe tanning fumes, so I choose to use the nose-things.

Ok, so I'm in the booth, standing the way I was told to stand, and I push the green button.  A few seconds later, I am bum-rushed with tanning spray and, guess what, I can't breathe.  It was horrible.  I couldn't take a deep breath with the nose plugs in and because of the spray attacking me, so I open my mouth to breathe and, of course, I'm now tasting the junk all over my tongue.

I am literally having a small panic attack when I realize the spray has stopped.  Then it starts again and I think to myself "Was I supposed to turn around already?  Maybe after this spray I'm supposed to turn around?"  I was so busy trying to calm down and breathe that, yes, I didn't turn around in time.  When I realized this, I quickly turned my back to the spray nozzles but then it stopped.  Like, stopped as in, it's over, thank you very much, get out, you idiot.  I was freaking out!  Not only did I just pay $20 for a one-sided tan but I just paid $20 for a double-dose one-sided tan!

Needless to say, I rushed home and immediately jumped in the shower, washing and willing the tan solution off my body.  So far, I haven't noticed any change to my skin tone and I hope it stays that way!

I know by tomorrow I'll be able to laugh about this but, for right now, I'm still trying to catch my breath!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My turn

Continuing the birthday post tradition, today I'm putting myself in the hot seat.  I've had a lot of fun and crazy experiences in my 37 (gasp) years and I thought it would be fun to share some with you.  Grab you some popcorn and laugh at my expense.  Just don't choke!  I cannot be held responsible for anything other my stories.

1. If you haven't already figured it out, my birthday is the day after Jack's birthday.  He was the best birthday gift ever!  Much better than the tubal ligation I had on my birthday, after he was born.

2. When I was very, very young, my favorite song was "Funkytown", my favorite movie was "Grease", and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) was my celebrity crush.

3. When I was in first grade, I wanted to be a comedian.  That quickly changed to being a rock star, which I still want to be when I grow up.

4. The first time I went to New Orleans, I was 11 or 12 years old.  We, unknowingly, arrived on Gay Pride Day and ended up seeing some pretty interesting things.  That night, New Orleans was put under a hurricane warning and our hotel was evacuated, so we just drove back home.

5. I went to my first concert when I was in 3rd grade and I've been rockin' out ever since.

6. I saw Sha Na Na when I was in college and was pulled on stage to slow dance with the lead singer during a song.  As we turned to where the singer's back was facing the audience, I grabbed his butt.  My mama told me to!

7. A few years back, my 2 high-school besties and I saw Jimmy Buffett in concert in Houston, Texas.  When we were leaving our hotel to walk to the show, we entered an elevator with about 10 other Parrottheads.  We were almost to the lobby when the elevator fell 1 1/2 stories and became stuck in between the lobby and basement.  We had to wait for the fire department to come and pull each of us out before we could make our way to the concert!

8. I've seen KISS in concert 3 times.  The last time, I painted my face to look like Peter Criss' face.  For those who don't know, he was the drummer with the cat make-up.  No one believes me when I tell them this but I have pictures to prove it!

9. It took me 5 1/2 years to graduate from college because I changed my major 3 times.  9 years later, I went back to school to get my teaching certificate because I never used my original major.

10. While I was in college, I was initiated into Phi Mu Fraternity.  It was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I love being a Phi Mu Lady.

11. When I was high school, I volunteered for Bill Clinton's first Presidential campaign.  He came to Lake Charles, La and I met him.  He had very soft hands, like he had never worked a day in his life.

12. I went to both home games when the Houston Astros played in the World Series.  The first game I attended is one of the longest World Series games ever...14 innings!  It was nerve-wrecking, to say the least.

13. I met Scott in a Louisiana video poker truck stop/restaurant when I was 20 and he was 27.  We dated off and on (more off than on) for the next 2 years.  July 25, 1997, he asked me to be his girlfriend.  The following month we drunkenly declared our love to each other on Bourbon Street and I started crying because I couldn't cook.  September 27, 1997, he asked me to be his wife.  December 31, 1997, we were married.  Best.  Decision.  Ever!

14. I rode on the back of Scott's motorcycle from Houston all the way to Sturgis, South Dakota for Bike Week, earning my Iron-Ass Award and bragging rights from my in-laws.  The truly amazing things is that I packed for an entire week in ONE SADDLE BAG!

15. I went to FORKS, y'all!!

16. And, this year, I'm going to LA to camp out in Tent City with thousands of other TwiHards for the Breaking Dawn 2 premiere!!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jack's Tribute

Today is Jack's 10th birthday.  This, of course, means he gets a post dedicated to him, just like I did for Mackenzie a couple of months ago.  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sweet goofiness that is my son!

1. Some of you may have heard of the blog and/or TV show called "S#@t My Dad Says."  Well, I should have started a blog called "Stuff Jack Says" because, over the years, he has said some of the funniest, craziest, and sweetest things I've ever heard.  If you're a Facebook friend of mine, you have more than likely read some his comments and observations and laughed along with me.  I"ll try to remember some as I type this tribute.

2. Jack used to say that he didn't want to grow up and leave me and that, when he gets married, he'll live next door to me.  Now, he says he wants to stay a bachelor so that he doesn't have to have S-E-X.  I can't wait to remind him of his words.

3. When Jack was born, he went through the birth canal so quickly and hit the vaginal wall so hard that he was born with 2 black eyes.  I know now that this incident set him up for a life-time of being accident prone in some of the most cringe-worthy and smack-your-head ways.  For example:

4. When Jack was 9 months old, he fell down the stairs in our house, from the very top to the tile floor on the bottom.  It truly was one of the worst days of my life.  He had a huge knot of his forehead and bruises on his head and face.  Exactly one year later, he did it AGAIN!  That time, he barely had time to bounce before I grabbed him off the floor.

5. When he was in preschool, he got his knee stuck between 2 wooden slats on the playground equipment.  It looked like his knee was out of socket but, after rushing to get X-rays, we learned that everything was fine.

6. He lost a tooth at a restaurant while biting into a hamburger and almost lost it forever when it fell on the floor under the table.

7. He swallowed a tooth once while he was sleeping.  A few days later, the Tooth Fairy left him $1 and a note, asking him to be more careful because she did not enjoy retrieving that particular tooth.  The note and dollar were found on the back of the toilet, BTW.  :-)

8. If you look back through my posts, you'll find one about our trip to Washington, D.C. last summer.  It was during this trip that Jack fell off the Lincoln Memorial porch and then vomited in the White House front lawn.  Yes, this really happened and it is a story that we will tell for the rest of our lives.

9. Jack doesn't ever want me to diet or exercise because he likes me "fluffy."  I let him live after saying that because he is my son.  And I love him.  And it's kind of cute.  And I use it as a reason not to diet and exercise.

10. Jack was born with a tongue-tie (like his Mama), which caused him to have low muscle tone in his mouth (unlike his Mama, who had a lisp).  This, in turn, caused him to have a speech delay.  After many years of speech therapy, I am thrilled to report that the boy NEVER shuts up.  EVER.  Sometimes Scott and I look at each other and ask "Remember when he couldn't talk?"

11. While we were visiting a church here in Oklahoma, he was so "into" his prayer, he fell out of his chair.  Seriously.  His eyes were closed and he simply leaned forward and fell onto the floor.  We almost had to leave early because we were laughing so hard.  And, when I say "we", I really mean "me".  I didn't think I'd ever stop laughing.  It was a million times funnier because we were supposed to be quiet.

12. He loves video games, Super Heroes, and dinosaurs and says he wants to be a paleontologist, as long as he can work in a museum close to his family.  He doesn't want to be gone for very long if he goes on an expedition.  Total sweetheart, I tell ya!

13. The other night he told me that he didn't want to grow.  When I asked him why, he said "because I'm perfect the way I am!"  I couldn't agree more, Jack.

Jack is my darling boy and I am trying not to spoil him too much because I want him to be a good husband to his wife.  I have a feeling I am failing, unfortunately.  He is such a goofy, smart, loving little boy and I can't wait to watch him grow up.  I am also looking forward to having to, literally, look up at him when he is older.

Happy Birthday, Jack!  Here's to an accident-free year!  Hey, I can dream, can't I?



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Self-acceptance

It's been a while since I have blogged about my weight loss.  That should clue you into the fact that there has been NO weight loss in quite some time.  At the beginning of last summer, I had lost 30 pounds while following the Jenny Craig diet plan.  It's been about 9 months since then and I, unfortunately, have gained all but 4 pounds back.

I've been trying to figure out how I feel about this.  I'm kind of wishy-washy about it, to be honest.  Of course, it is not good that I have gained weight and I am not happy about it but I really don't seem too bothered by it either.  When I first started Jenny Craig, I was miserable.  I was completely disgusted by myself and at an all-time low, self-esteem-wise.  Now, I am pretty much at the same weight I was then but I feel much better about myself.  Crazy, huh?

I know I should lose weight.  I know I am not at a healthy weight.  I know I should work harder.  I know.  I know.  I KNOW.  But, truth be told, I don't really want to right now.  Call me content.  Call me lazy.  I'm just not into dieting and exercising at the moment and, if I'm not feelin' it, it's not gonna happen.

I really think God has been leading me to be more accepting of myself, flaws and all.  I know He doesn't want me to be unhealthy but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm supposed to be this big forever!  I just feel more comfortable with myself now and that peace can only come from Him.

I'm slowly getting motivated again.  I'm starting to do Zumba through my Xbox Kinect and, occasionally, I make myself get on the treadmill while Mackenzie is at swim practice.  I can't stand the thought of "dieting" or watching every bite I take for the rest of my life so, I figure, it's best if I get active first.  Once exercise is more of a habit, I'll tackle my food issues.  It's been a life-long battle of mine and I don't want to battle it any more but I know I can't be a sloth forever.  I truly want to be active and healthy.  I just don't think "active and healthy" necessarily means I have to be a size 2, 6, or even 10.

This isn't meant to be a Debbie Downer post or a pity post at all.  Seriously, I am fat and happy right now.  I'm just trying to kick myself in the arse and get myself motivated to do more.  I believe it's always a good thing to grow and improve yourself whenever you can, as long as you are doing it for the right reasons.

God loves me unconditionally.  So do Scott, my family, and, hopefully, my friends. ;-) I even love myself, flab and all.  But if I could lose the big roll around my mid-section, I'd be even more content with myself.  I'm just sayin...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Breaking Dawn Part 1 DVD Midnight Release

I think my dream job, outside of being a rock star, would be Party Planner.  I love anything with a theme and I always over-do.  Case in point: my party for the midnight release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 DVD.  Just look at the pics!

Devil's Food Cupcakes
Very Cherry Volturi Shots and Lemon Venom Shots
Chocolate Chess Board 
Vampire Bite Cookies
Another chess board
More Lemon Venom Shots
Movie props
The table!
Bella's Bloody Punch

Now, guess how many people were at my party?  3!  Yep, all of that food was for my TwiBestie, JennyKate, my hubby, and myself!  I just couldn't help myself.  I was so excited for the DVD release and party that I went a little crazy.

Not pictured are the mushroom ravioli flown in from Bella Italia in Port Angeles, Washington that we had for dinner, the feathers I left on JK's bed (along with a sign that said "Edward can bite me any time"), and the canopy tent that my hubby set up in our living room, so that we could have our very own Tent City!

Even though I went a little overboard, we had a blast that night, watching all four Twilight movies and staying up until 5 AM talking about everything under the sun!


JK and me with our DVDs!

Did any of you celebrate?  If so, how?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Puppy Love

Because today is Valentine's Day, I thought I'd pay tribute to a couple of people that I spend every day with.  A couple, so cute, they deserve their own blog post: Bella and Harley.

Before you accuse me of losing my mind (again), I don't mean that Bella.  I am talking about my English Bulldog, Bella, and her canine bestie, Harley!


Aren't they adorable?!


Bella and Harley are about as opposite as they can be but they love each other, I am sure of it.  Harley was 12 years old when we brought Bella home and, over the past 2 years, he has graciously let her demonstrate her typical bulldog characteristics.  Basically, that means he lets her run all over (or bully) him.  They used to play fight and chase each other all the time but now that Harley is a very old dog, they sleep.  All.  The.  Time.  Here are some pictures to prove how much they love each other.  Or maybe, they are just really lazy!



Bella's first Spring, back when she still had loose skin!


A shaved Harley loving on Bella, who does not look happy to see me.


When Bella's tongue is stuck out like that, she is doing some serious sleeping!


This is how they spend every day...all snuggly and comfy!
I hope you have a had a wonderful Valentine's Day!  Happy Puppy Snuggles to you all!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spreading the Love!

Let me preface this post by saying the idea I am sharing below is NOT original.  I totally stole it from a friend's friend's blog post last week and tweaked it to fit my lifestyle, meaning I bought bowls from Hobby Lobby instead of mailboxes from Target.  Now that that is all clear, looky at what I've been up to!

Valentine's Day is not a big deal to me.  It is not nearly as important as Christmas and Easter, or even Mardi Gras, are to me.  That doesn't mean I don't like to participate, though.  For the past couple of years, I've been lazy with my Vday activities: buying the usual cards and candies for my family and making the kids pass out those dumb fold-over cards to their classmates.  Usually, the most thought I'd put into the holiday was making a special themed breakfast and/or dinner and that was it.  My family and I are very affectionate and tell each other how much we love and appreciate each other many times throughout the day, not just on February 14th.  This is why Vday doesn't mean much to me.

This year I wanted to do better.  I wanted to put more effort into the holiday and do something special, not just on the 14th, but every day in February leading up to Valentine's Day.  The idea is simple: write down something you love about your special someone and give it to them every day.  In the original blog post, the writer placed her love notes in the cute red mailboxes that you can find in the dollar bins at Target.  BTW, they are still available; I saw them today!  Unfortunately, my neck of the woods does not have a Target less than 45 miles away, so I bought adorable heart-shaped bowls from my local Hobby Lobby.  What you put the notes in is SO not the issue.  Use what works for you and your family.  The important thing is what you put in your notes.  I wrote 14 things I loved about each of my immediate family members, trying to personalize them as much as possible.  "I love the way your eyes sparkle when you smile" is much sweeter than "Your eyes are pretty", don't you think?

If you were wondering, yes, I did buy an extra bowl just in case someone would like to write a note to me but I did not expect them to.  This was something that I really just wanted to do for my husband and children; something special from me to them, letting them know that I love them for many reasons...not just because I "have" to.







I'm not very crafty but, this type of thing, I can handle!  I picked out a "filly" font to type my notes in, along with my family members' names, and printed them out.  I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, so I used craft scissors to cut a pretty edge around the notes.  Voila'!  Simple but sweet!

They immediately loved the idea and wanted to make some notes for me, as well.  I love sharing my notes with my family but I have really gotten a kick out of what they have written to me.  Some of my favorites so far are:

"I love that you hang out with kids (teach)" from Jack.  So sweet!
"I love how your eyes make me feel reassured" from Mackenzie.  Awwwww!
"You've got great legs!" from Scott.  *giggles*

I love this idea so much, I think I'm going to do it throughout the year!  It has definitely become a new Simpson tradition!

So, what are you waiting for?  There is still time to tell your loved ones how special they are to you, so do it!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Travel Wish List

2011 was a year full of traveling for me.  I traveled more last year than I ever have in my life.  So much so, I am now referring to it as The Year of the Suitcase.  Or maybe I'll call it The Year That I Finally Started Checking Off My Travel Wish List.  Ok, maybe that's a bit too long but you get my point.

I love to travel.  Love, love, love it!  Road trips, flying, family getaways, and girlfriend get-togethers...I love them all!  If I could (meaning: if I was rollin' in the dough) I would travel all the time!  I love exploring new places, staying in nice hotels, eating out, taking a ton of pictures...it makes me feel free.  I also love returning to favorite locations for the same reasons.

Because I love traveling so much, I have a "Travel Wish List."  This is a list that I've compiled throughout the years of all the places I want to visit, at least once, in my lifetime.  A Bucket Travel List, if you will.  Or is it a Travel Bucket List??

Last year, I was able to scratch off 2 locations, Washington, D.C. and Seattle/Forks, Washington!  I totally just realized I went to BOTH Washingtons in the same year!  SMH!  They were both dream-come-true vacations but, unfortunately, I wasn't able to do/see everything I wanted to, so I can't mark them off my list completely.

So, without further jibber-jabber, here is my Travel Wish List (in no particular order):

1. Washington, D.C. - We didn't get close to doing everything while we were there last summer.  Next time, we have to see the Library of Congress, the Declaration of Independence, a few more museums, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the inside of the Washington Monument.  I also would like to see the White House without my son vomiting in the front lawn.

2. Seattle and Forks, Washington - I'd love to go explore Seattle some more and see the Space Needle.  As far as Forks goes, I really don't have to go back for the Twilight stuff, except for when I take my mom.  She will never forgive me for going to Forks without her!  The next time I am in the Forks-area, I plan on renting a cabin on Second Beach and then take my time exploring more of La Push and seeing the Sol Duc waterfalls.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana - Yes, I have been to New Orleans many, many times but it has been 14 years since I was there and I am dying to go back!  I really want to take the kiddos and show them the beautiful culture the city has to offer...and then I want to leave them with family so that I can meet my NOLA-area Tweeps on Bourbon Street!

4. New York, NY - Of course, it has been a dream to go to NYC...all the sights, shopping, and excitement!  I'd love to go during the Christmas holidays to see Rockefeller Center and the big Christmas tree.  I also want to see as many Broadway shows as possible!

5. England/Ireland/Scotland - These three places have always been at the top of my list.  There are simply too many places to visit and things to do to mention here but, WHEN I go, it will be the trip of a lifetime!

6. Australia/New Zealand - Again, I've always wanted to travel to New Zealand but the desire is even stronger now that The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and both Hobbit movies have been filmed there.  And, since Australia is close-by, might as well mark that one of my list at the same time!

7. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida - I LOVE Disney World and it will always have a place on my list.

8. Los Angeles, California - Being a fan of music, TV, movies, and pop culture all of my life, I have been dying to travel to LA for as long as I can remember.  I have always wanted to see the famous "Hollywood" sign, Rodeo Drive, and movie sets, as well as, anything else that has to do with the entertainment industry.  This is the year that I MUST go.  I mean, REALLY.  As in, I'm gonna throw a very ugly 30-something year old fit, flailing and crying on the floor, if I can't go.  That might be a slight exaggeration but not by much.  For those of you who don't know, this year marks the end of the Twilight Saga.  The greatness that is The Saga will live on forever but this is the last time there will be a Twilight Saga movie premiere and I want to be there!  I know quite a few Tweeps that were there for the epicness last year and even more are going this year!  It will be a week of tents, Tweeps, celebs, and amazing fun!!  I know some of you think I'm crazy, including my husband, but this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that I hope I can take this November! *bats eyelashes at Hubby*

9. Hawaii - because everyone wants to go to Hawaii!

10. Cleveland, Ohio - because I want to see the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and I couldn't leave my list on an odd number.  :-)

What travel destinations do YOU dream about?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Ode to Mackenzie

In honor of my daughter turning 11 today, this post will celebrate the awesome-ness that is my Mackenzie Drew and highlight some of my favorite Mac moments and traits.  Enjoy!

1. When Mackenzie was just a day old, she would pick her head up and look at me as I held her and talked to her.  I imagine her thinking, "Ok, Mom, I'm out now.  You can highlight your hair again...soon, please."

2. When she was 2 or 3, she asked me why my "tee tee" had a beard.  This is probably be one of my all-time favorite Mackenzie stories ever.  I should be embarrassed but I just can't be...it's funny, pure and simple.

3. "Harry Potter" has been her boyfriend since she was 3 years old.  She would even say his name in a British accent like they do in the movies.  Also, in her preschool class, she had a "boyfriend" named Thomas....who had black hair, green eyes, and glasses!  The only thing missing was the lightening bolt scar, I swear!

4. I have always referred to her as "Scott with a vagina" because she looks and acts just like her daddy.  She does share some of my traits, though, like....umm...hold on, let me think of some....  Well, we both really like music and movies....we love staying in hotels.... Yeah, I'll have to come back to this one.

5. Mackenzie is quick witted and has an awesome sense of humor (there's something else we share!) but I do have to remind her occasionally that not everyone considers sarcasm as a form of entertainment.

6. She loves dogs almost as much as she loves her family.  I fear for when she moves out of the house and can have as many dogs as she wants...

7. Mackenzie loves to irritate her brother but she is very protective of him in that "I can mess with him but you better not" kind of way.  I can't wait for them to be teenagers! *sarcasm*

8. Although she likes watching those annoying Disney shows, her favorite TV channels are The Food Network and HGTV.

9. She says she hates Twilight and thinks Robert Pattinson is ugly.  I can forgive her because I KNOW that will change in 2-3 years.

10. Although, Mackenzie has never "lived" in Louisiana, she bleeds Purple & Gold through and through. That's simply good parenting skills, I'm just sayin'.

11. Of course, she's very tall for her age (5'3" and growing) and is very skinny but that does not mean she is weak.  Let her give you one of her rib-crushing hugs and you'll see what I mean!

12. She set her sights on joining the local swim team, worked hard during 3 months of lessons, and achieved her goal.  I was so proud to see her succeed.

13. She thinks I'm beautiful and should not wear make-up.  This is another trait she shares with Scott and not with me.  ;-)

Mackenzie is a beautiful young lady with an infectious laugh and loving heart.  She has blessed me in more ways than I can count.  I look forward to watching her change and grow and I can't wait to see what's in store for her.

Happy birthday, Precious Angel!!


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