Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute - My Dad

Tuesday's Tribute

I have been reading Angie's (at Seven Clown Circus---love her!!) blog for a while now.... she makes me feel not quite so crazy with four kids, seeing as she has 5 and wow, how does she do it??? (something people often ask me.... ). Anyway, she hosts this super cool blog carnival that I have decided to join in..... Tuesday's Tribute-- a time to showcase somebody other than myself.....hmmm, how do I do THAT?? (j/k... I am really not that self-absorbed or narcisstic).

Today, I will showcase..................... MY DAD. I didn't get to do a Father's Day post because I was too busy talking about being a mom to a teenager, so I will share my thoughts today!!

I am definitely Daddy's girl..... even at 34 years old, I still love to be with my Dad, love to get his approval and advice, love to just sit and talk, love to watch him with my kids as he acts like "one of them". My Dad is such an easy going, laid back, genuine kind of guy.... it takes ALOT to get him angry (which I know I did LOTS of during my teenage years)... and he has a sort of dry sense of humor (sorry Dad). He is an incredibly smart engineer, who likes to devote his time to teaching others and mentoring "troubled" kids. He is a good husband who always tries to make sure his wife his happy and taken care of. And of course he is a WONDERFUL daddy to me.... I don't know what I would do without him!!! He is my rock when I need strength, my comic when I need a laugh, my shoulder when I need to cry, my ear when I need to vent.... he is MY.DAD.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random Thoughts & My "Reality Check"

I'm sorry that I have been a bad blogger lately..... with the kids out of school for summer, things have just been busy, busy, busy and BUSY!!! :) And I have also been struggling with BAD back issues!!
I finally have a few minutes to sit down and share some thoughts......

*My first "reality check" as a mom to a teenager-- yesterday I took CJ and a few friends to lunch and a movie to celebrate his birthday...... now, normally I think I am a pretty cool mom; I dress in fashion, listen to cool music , like to party, drive a cool Durango and am fun.... but as I sat in the car with those 4 teenagers (girls & boys), I realized I.AM.NOT.COOL. to them.... they probably look at me like the nerdy mom.... wow, reality bites!!!

*Technology is going to be the death of interaction in our new generation of kids..... eventually they won't even talk in person to anybody, as they will be too busy on their ipods or computers or texting each other.... They won't learn to communicate properly and then won't be able to conduct themselves in an interview to get a job and further their careers..... enough already!!!

*My boys are going to their dads for the month of July (like they do every summer)..... I am already missing them and they haven;t even left..... I do enjoy the quiet, but after a few days I get bored!!!

*I didn't think I cared much for Michael Jackson anymore..... you know, he did get a bit "out there" in his more recent years..... but since his death, I have felt kind of down about it. Maybe it's just because since his death they have been playing his music over and over again, and that brings up alot of memories for me....

*Am I being irrational or overbearing in thinking that my 13 year old is TOO young to be on MySpace and Facebook?? Seriously....shouldn't he be outside playing still.... I know he is 13, but yet he is 13.....isn't that still a kid??

* It is 10:38am and all three of my boys are still asleep..... Forget breakfast--- by the time they get up, it will be lunch time!!

* We saw the movie UP yesterday.... very cute movie!!!

* I am so irritated at my dog, Eddie.... He absolutely will not take his pills from me... I wrap them in meat or cheese or any other appealing food for him and he will turn his head, every.time. Yet, if Joe or CJ or anybody else tries he takes it right up.... why is that?? He can't be that smart...?

* I am ready to get back to the beach.... I have to keep up my summer tan.... :)

Ok, I guess that is enough for now..... anything else you want to know about me??? Ask away...... I love to talk!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's Official.............

I am a mom of a T-E-E-N-A-G-E-R..... yikes!!!!

This time 13 years ago, I was a first time mommy..... holding my baby boy, CJ, in my arms....gazing into his eyes wondering what he would be like as he grew up!!!
And here I am now, 13 years later..... he is such a big boy now....such a sweet, loving, caring boy..... and such a big helper!!! Now, don't get me wrong-- he does have his "teenage moments", with that "teenage attitude"..... but for the most part he is a very good boy!!

Happy 13th birthday, CJ..... I am so proud of all you have accomplished so far and I love you very, very much!!!

Such a good BIG brother....
Wow, has he grown....
And now almost as tall as mom...
Enjoy your day, son!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Brush with Fame & Our Orlando Magic

First and foremost...... my BIG BOYS ARE HOME....yipppppeeee!!! Wow, I sure have missed them and am so glad they are back home to their mama!!!! This coming Sunday, my big boy....my first born will be turning 13..... that is T-H-I-R-T-E-E-N...... CAN.YOU.BELIEVE.IT?

On to my Wordful Wednesday..... As many of you already know, our Orlando Magic basketball team got their tails handed to them by the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals. We are season ticket holders (we share them with Joe's partners of his company), so we were able to be at alot of the games.....in-season and post-season....nothing was more fun than watching them win the Eastern Conference finals against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.....especially since the NBA "higher-ups" were doing their best to "make" it be a Lebron vs. Kobe Final.

As with most big sporting events, you will always see some type of celebrity..... A) because they are trying to get noticed or B) because they actually like that team.... either way, it is fun to scan the crowd and "star-gaze". At most of the Magic games we would see Chris Brown & Warrick Dunn...sometimes Rihanna, Serena Williams, Hulk Hogan and John Cena....among others!!!

This past Sunday, we went to Game 5 of he NBA Finals......yea, the game that LA easily won the championship..... and while waiting for our players to head into the locker room and hand out "fist-pumps" (which are always fun), we came across Chris Tucker.....
He was much bigger in person...much more muscular....and very friendly!!!! Wow, a brush with fame.....aren't I lucky....? :)
And just for fun....just to show support for our Orlando Magic....even if they didn't win the Finals..... here are some pics of our favorite players!!!
Dwight Howard
Coach Stan Van Gundy (with Asst Coach Patrick Ewing behind him)
Rafer Alston
Hedo Turkoglu
GO MAGIC.... see you next season!!!!
I'm off to go take care of my sick big boy---- Joe!!! :(

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where Do I Want to be Right Now......?

I am late, I know..... but I still made it..... I couldn't miss another assignment, so I walked uphill both ways in the rain to get my Writer's Workshop assignment done....... Where do I want to be???

It would be really easy for me to say that I would much rather be on the beach somewhere....sitting in a lounge chair, sipping a Corona, running my fingers and toes through the sand, watching my kids build sand castles......yes, I would like that right now..... I am truly a beach girl.......
BUT, where I would really, really, REALLY like to be is sitting in my mom's living room, WITH HER ALIVE, talking to her...telling her about what the kids have been doing, telling her about Julie and how I hate cancer.... telling her my problems and the things that are bothering me and listening to her tell me that everything will be ok!!!!
Yes, I would much rather be visiting with my momma than sitting on the beach relaxing...... my mom could make everything feel better.....and I would give anything to have an evenign with her again........... until we meet again in Heaven, I will just dream......and write to her in my journal!!! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Babies are Growing

I am not a green thumb.... in fact, I'm probably a brown thumb. I always have great intentions....and I read the "directions" on the seed packages; but I never seem to get it right!!! I can raise children..... but not plants or flowers or veggies or anything that grows from the ground!!

So, imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find this:
That's right my friends, those are SUNFLOWERS and they are blooming.....and not just on one plant....but two.....that's right TWO!!!! I can.not.believe.it.
I have tried before, but never made it this far......
Now, this is where I need your help...... How do I transport my sweet babies into the ground without killing them....? Or do I just leave them in the pots?? Will they still grow big if they just stay in the pots?? Help me, help me my green thumb friends!!!

Wordful Wednesday - My Beach Babes

Busy, busy day for me..... started off at 5:45am, when I got up to take my big boys (CJ and Ethan) to the airport... They are flying to Indiana to visit my Nana for a week; and while they have done this before, it is still hard to let them go and entrust them into somebody else's care.....

Then I came home and am sitting in a non-A/C house while we are having a new one installed.... I can't wait to see if this new, more-efficient unit is actually......well, more efficient.....and will lower my electric bill and cool my house adequately!!

So, while I am sitting here.....waiting and waiting....which if you know me well, you know that I am.not.a.waiter(and by "waiter" I mean a patient person)....... I will do my Wordful Wednesday post..... My beach babes!!!
I just LOVE this picture..... I am not a braggard, but I really do have cute kids.... :) This picture was taken while we were in Key West.... we always drive the boat out to a little island and while the tide is out, we hang out on the sand bars swimming, sunning, eating, drinking playing etc.... I love going there....it is so relaxing!! And the kids love going because it is shallow enough for them to stand and feel comfortable; yet at the same time deep enough to swim too!!
I love the water looks so crystal clear..... awwwww, it takes me away...... hmmm, for a minute I forgot I was sitting in my house with no A/C.....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Party & Memorial.... How did it go???

I'm sure you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting....wondering how my weekend filled with emotions went..... Ok, so I'm reaching there....but just humor me and pretend like you are concerned.... :)

I am going to go backwards, as to end on a high/happy note......... So, about the memorial on Sunday-- it went great.... it was very informal, but very touching. Alot of people came to remember and memorialize Julie; and it was so nice to hear all the nice things everyone had to say about her!! We eneded it with her husband singing some songs that he had written her....and promised her that he would sing at her funeral. He was so worried that he wouldn't make it through without choking up, but we were all so proud of him that he did it and sounded great!!! Of course the rest of us could hardly get through his songs....but at least he did!!

Anyway, Saturday was Joseph's (and his half-brother Aiden's) birthday party. We did it at this dad's house since he has a pool and it turned out really nice!! We had a thunderstorm threatening for most of the afternoon....but "threaten" is all that it did, so we survived with a little bit of rain and alot of fun!!
"D" (my ex's fiance') did a great job decorating and baking and everything else party related.... I was so relieved to walk in and see evrything all set up and looking so perfect for the kids!!

Everything Star Wars.... and yes, that is a Darth Vader pinata....
My kids and "A" (the other birthday boy).... And yes, she even themed the pool rafts....gosh, she's good!!
Joseph and his buddy with 3-D glasses on.... the plates and napkins were 3-D....
Happy Birthday to you guys....
Everyone eating their cupcakes..... and yes, Joseph does have chocalte frosting everywhere (that's his standard M.O.)
He had a blast opening all his gifts..... gosh, I still don't know where I will put everything....
All in all, we had a good weekend...... and now, I am preparing myself to send my big boys to Indiana for a week....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Party & Memorial...... Happy & Sad

These next two days are going to bring a range of emotions for me......

For starters, today is my mom's birthday.... and if she were still alive, we would be spending the day together....out shopping and lunch and then I'm sure we would have a dinner for her with all of the family..... Instead, I sit here and just "remember" all of the fun we used to have!!! Happy Birthday, Mommy!!! I miss you and love you dearly!!

Anyway, today we are having Joseph's birthday party..... yes, his birthday was two weeks ago, but because of everyone's schedules, we had to plan the party for today. It will be a fun day of Star Wars, friends and family swimming and bouncing (in the bounce house) and just plain partying!!! We are having a "co-party", meaning the party is for Joseph and his half-brother Aiden (his dad's son with his fiance'), meaning I actually have help with this party..... and actually, she has done most of the work planning and setting up, which has been a nice, welcomed change/help!!! Thanks, Danielle!!


Tomorrow we are having Julie's memorial here at my house..... we will have most of her friends and neighbors over here for a day filled with memories, laughs and tears.... a day to remember a wonderful friend!!

I will tell you all about both of them later....but for now I have to run off and get ready!!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

PhotoStory Friday - 7 Mile Bridge

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I think I have finally gotten back into the groove with blogging..... things have been so hectic and crazy these past couple of months, but I feel more organized now; thus I am back for my daily blog carnivals....... and today it's PhotoStory Friday..... I sure have missed my PSF friends!!!

Have any of you ever been to Key West....? Or better yet, have any of you ever driven to Key West....? The last part of the drive is about 150 (i can't remember the exact number) miles on US 1 as you drive through all the Florida Keys.... Sometimes it can take the same amount of time from Florida City (right at the end of the turnpike....and at the beginning of US 1) to KW as it does to get from our home to Florida City.
For the most part it is a nice drive, as there is alot to look at as we go through each Key..... but if you get there at the wrong time, it can be long and boring sitting in traffic...moving 15 mph!!

Right past Marathon Key you get on the 7 Mile Bridge.... and it is a long bridge connecting one key to the next and it is.... you guessed it... 7 miles long. They have a new, wider, updated, much nicer bridge now; but they still have the old, historic bridge still standing that people stop at...... for scenic reasons or to fish off of!!

In all of the times that we have driven down, I have never stopped.... usually I am tired of driving and just.want.to.get.there. But this past time, the kids were begging to stop, so we obliged.....
The kids had fun "running in the street" (by that I mean they were running on what used to be the street), and seeing lots of scenery and animals..... I don't if anyone has ever heard this, but iguanas (BIG iguanas) are very prevalant down there...you can see them anywhere, anytime..... and we actually saw a SUPER big one while we were on the bridge..... and Joseph thought that was the.coolest.thing.ever.
I think we might continue to make that stop every time we drive down there now.... It was a nice break.... nice to get out of the car, stratch our longs.... breaking the monotony of that drive!!!
I can't believe I just wrote this whole post about a bridge....... Oh well, HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Writer's Workshop --- Gifts!!!

Wow, things are so quiet around here right now….. too quiet…. the boys went to stay with their Abuela for a few days and it is way too quiet!! Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some silence……but only for a few minutes and then I miss the hustle & bustle that is my life!!!

Oh well....I guess it gives me time to finish my “assignment” for MamaKat, who probably thinks I am a terrible student….. seeing as I have been skipping class and forgetting to do my “homework”.....… I will make it up to you MamaKat…. I will try to hook you up with my BFF Ellen DeGeneres!! :)

Anyway, this is an easy one for me this week because of the recent loss of my great friend, Julie…I have chosen prompt #3... to describe a memorable gift and why it is important to me!!! Obviously this is easy for me, as it is a gift (gifts) from her that I will tell you about....

On this table, it may not seem like alot of things..... but there is a alot of meaning in it all.... These are the gifts I received for my birthday this year (in addition to the awesome shopping spree that Joe took me on); and just about every one of them came from Julie.

She loved giving gifts.... she loved to make people happy.... every Christmas (and other holidays) and every birthday anyone had (especially the neighborhood children), she would go out and get something for that person.

While my mom was alive, she started a collection (for me) of "Willow Tree" figurines/angels... I love them... I have a few from my mom and then a few more from my friends; and each and every one of them means something to me.
I am also a big fan of Bath & Body Works... I could spend all day in there looking around and smelling new scents etc...

Actually, in one of the bigger shopping plaza's by us, there is a B&BW and a Hallmark right next to each other....... and on M-A-N-Y occasions, Julie and I would go shopping (or "window" shopping) together. She used to joke that she wanted to catch up with me on her own collection of Willow Tree angels, so if any of mine ever went missing "I would know where to look"!!!

So, on this past birthday, she went ALL OUT... she gave me a gift bag full of Bath & Body Works soaps, hand gels/foams, and lotions. And she gave me 3 (three....yes, three......) Willow Tree's: 1)The Birthday Girl, 2) The Angel of Giving and 3) Sisters at Heart.....

The "Sisters at Heart" meant (means) SO,SO, SO much to me..... it made her and I feel that we were more than just friends.... I loved her more than just my buddy..... She was like a sister to me.... we were "Sisters in Heart"!!!! I Miss You Honey!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Gone Fishin'

It's Wednesday.... half way through the week.... the last.day.of.school. WOW, where does the time go??? I just got back from the boy's school, where I watched my Ethan "graduate" 5th grade..... WOW, where does the time go??? I will now have T-W-O middle schoolers....

I just spent the last 45 minutes crying through the whole ceremony.... watching my boy walk on stage and get his awards.... thinking about how big and mature he is now..... remembering him as a baby, toddler, young boy, and now a pre-teen.... WOW, where does the time go???

Anyway, Wednesday also means "Wordful Wednesday".... I have been a bad blogger and have missed the past few Wednesdays.... but I.AM.BACK.

Because of everything that has been going on personally.... home stuff, end of the year stuff, and losing my friend...I haven't shared my Key West photos...sorry.... but you understand, right??
Today, I will share our "Fishing Tale".....

We drove the boat out to a small reef/rock area where we knew their would be loads of fish....threw out our chum and baited our lines....
Angie and Joseph went first.......

...and one after the other they were just pulling them up....
and up....
and up....
Then I took my turn and I thought "this looks too easy....the kids can do it and I should have no problem, right???" WRONG....
I tried and tried and tried.... I threw out my line over and over again.... I would feel the fish nibble on the bait... I would get so excited and then try to "set the hook", and that's where it all went downhill... I just could.not.get.it.
But I didn't give up.... and after 10 or so tries (yes, that is embarassing), I finally caught a fish.... and a grouper at that....
It was too small to keep....and I never did catch another one.... but I did catch one.... and I will take it!! :)