Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Trails

This shall be my last post for several days. We are off to California in two days, and I can hardly contain myself.

I'll try to post from the road, but . . . well, imagine traveling for two days in a car with three kids under the age of five. I'll be lucky if I have any hair left when we get there, much less energy to blog.

My husband has made this drive before, with his family as a kid, so he has been telling me fascinating stories about the drive, including how hot it was driving through the desert. Apparently my father-in-law became concerned about their van overheating, and they had to kill the air conditioner through the Mojave Desert.


He said they roasted in the back of the van. I can only imagine, and pray we don't have that problem.

We are taking plenty of movies for the boys to watch, coloring books, and new glitter pens (we'll see how that one goes . . . we might have VERY pretty door handles in our vehicle before the trip is over). We also have books and toys, so hopefully the drive will be bearable.

I am so excited to spend time with family on this trip, and to welcome new members into our family as well. I guess it's safe to say that my family (me, my brother, my parents) have always been a little weird, and when someone marries in, EVERYBODY is IN! Their family, their in-laws, everybody! So I am totally thrilled that my brother, S-I-L, and Mom are going to get to meet Allison's family, as well. I adore her parents, would love to get to know her brother and his wife better, and can't wait for the next time they are in Oklahoma, too.

I'll post when I can. Happy Trails!

Friday, July 25, 2008

News and Events

Today is all about the random news and events happening in our lives right now.

I have officially driven my dear husband crazy. Yesterday, after a long day of work, DH comes home and wants to relax, and all I can do is talk about the trip. I've made three more lists since Wednesday, and I bombarded him with every detail of each list.

But I also have fabulous news: I am going to be signing books in the Mall of America in Minneapolis on Saturday, September 20.


Now, granted, this event will have over 100 authors and their books, but still . . . THE MALL OF AMERICA! Can't stop grinning!

And today is my mother's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! She will kill me if I tell anyone her age, so let's just say she's past the 39 1/2 mark. I called her at work to wish her happy birthday, and one of her co-workers informed me her desk was covered with HUGE, BRIGHT balloons, and diet Dr. Pepper (her favorite drink), and chocolate bars (so you can see I inherited my chocolate addiction). Mom was more than a little embarrassed. She prefers quiet birthdays, but my sister-in-law and I decided she needed a little splash, hence the balloons instead of flowers. We're also taking her to dinner tomorrow night, as well.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

California Dreamin'

I swear, I think the next three weeks will be all about our upcoming trip to California, how everything goes while we're there, and descriptions of everything when we get back.

I have California on the brain. I keep thinking of new things we need to do before we leave. Then I think of things we need to take with us. Then I think of what we're going to be doing while we're there.

It's getting kind of ridiculous. Laundry has become all about which clothes I'm taking. Dishes and cooking have become all about snack ideas for the trip. Watching TV reminds me of which DVD's we should take for the boys to watch on the way.

The problem with this is that I actually have work I need to be doing. I should have finished the first draft of my latest manuscript, and I'm nowhere close to finished. I have a synopsis to write, rewrites on another book, a proposal to get ready for conference in September, and I should have rewrites for the current WIP to tackle after the trip, but since I'm not finished with it, I obviously can't rewrite it.

And all I can think about is California.


This afternoon I will snap out of it and get to work, and not once will I think about you-know-where.

Yeah, right.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shopping Madness

Yet another weekend of crazy activity.

My family came to visit, and all the girls went shopping. And boy, did we shop!

I did, in fact, get my dress for the wedding. We got it at the first store we went to. As I tried dresses on, I kept getting tickled because my sister-in-law would examine the dress, and say, "Yeah, it looks good, but that color washes you out. Better let me try it on." Every dress I tried on she stole from me.

But we picked our dresses, my mom got a couple of tops, and we were off to look for shoes. My S-I-L got two pairs, I got one, and my mom got three.

I got to return the favor to my S-I-L when we shopped for purses, and took the one she was looking at, although that didn't stop her from getting it too, and another in a different color. Two purses each, and then we were off again.

Then we hit the mall. By this time we had eaten lunch and got our second wind. We found the most gorgeous dress at Dillard's for my mom, it made her look like a teenager again, but she refused to buy it. Said it was just a smidgen too tight (which meant it actually FIT, and didn't hang on her like a potato sack), and that she wanted to be comfortable and be able to breathe. I told her being able to breathe was overrated, but she wasn't buying, figuratively or literally.

Then we hit JC Penney's and they had mega-monster SALES going on.


We shopped and shopped and shopped. We started in the children's department for round one, hit the men's department for round two, and finished off in the ladies department for round three. The sales people began ringing up the children's clothing after we brought back the men's clothing, and they had to stop because the computer only allows 5o items per transaction.


But the bargains were amazing, and we saved a ton of money. The twins have new school clothes, my husband has nice, casual clothes for our vacation and to last into the fall, and I have comfy clothes for travel and to wear to a conference coming up in a couple of months.

So it was a great day. And now, for the promised photo. Have a great week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tomorrow is the Day

Well, things got a little crazier the last couple of days, and cleaning has ground to a screeching halt, but hopefully today we'll get back on track.

And silly as it sounds, I am SO excited about shopping tomorrow. Anyone who knows me is going to do a double take, and call to ask if I'm feeling okay. My dislike of shopping is well known among friends and family. But I am just thrilled about this trip, and looking forward to having everything ready to go.

I've been making lists of what we need to take with us: boys list, husband list, baby list, my list, general needs list.

I've been making lists of things we need to do before we go: haircuts, car serviced, car cleaned out, setting up the portable DVD player, and SHOPPING!

And I've been making a list of all the things I need to shop for: dress clothes for me, dress clothes for the boys, shoes for my husband, shoes for the baby, little extras for the long trip.

I think I'm also excited because, although I haven't met my weight loss goal yet, I am pleased to report that I am back into pre-pregnancy clothes. Clothes I was only able to wear two summers ago now fit again! This is thrilling news for me, and just encourages me to keep going with my exercise and diet routine.

Tomorrow I get to pick out a lovely dress for the wedding that will make me feel beautiful and fabulous. I get to show it off for my husband and make him proud I am his wife. And hopefully I can do all this for a steal!

When I have a picture, I'll post. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Days

Well, I wish I had an exciting, fabulous topic to write about today, but the truth is, life has been pretty tame the last couple of days.


I enjoy days of semi-peace and quiet (I have 4 year old twins and a 9 month old who has discovered she is mobile, so . . . ). We've been cleaning the house since Captain Clean (otherwise known as Uncle Dave) is coming for a visit on Saturday. I'll hear about the atrocious state of our house for the next . . . well . . . forever, if I don't have the house mostly clean.

No clutter allowed. Bathrooms must sparkle and shine. Floors must be swept and mopped (repeatedly) to a high gloss. Dishes and laundry must be washed and put away, no piles of clean laundry on an empty bed, no dishes waiting to be washed in the sink. Immaculate counter tops. You get the idea.

Otherwise, we have been having a great summer. The temperature has been super. We haven't broken 100 degrees yet, which is unusual for Oklahoma in July. The evenings have been perfect. It's nice to report things are going well.

I'll see you Friday. Have a wonderful week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Process of Elimination

What a wild weekend!

We are off to Disneyland in just over TWO WEEKS! SOOOOOO Excited! Anyway, next weekend my mom and sister-in-law are coming to the City, and we are going clothes shopping. Now, I don't really enjoy shopping for a specific reason . . . I am picky.

I might have mentioned this before. I know what I like, and I definitely know what I don't like. My tastes are simple, classic styles, solid colors that mix and match well, with an occasional touch of romance or whimsy (like my silver, sequin covered fedora hat from Las Vegas!). And usually my tastes run toward the expensive, not because I prefer shopping in high-end stores, but because the styles I tend to like for some reason are more expensive. So I have to hunt the sales racks to find bargains, and this can take a LONG time.

So for the last two days I have shopped and tried on, scrutinized and eliminated possibilities, all in the name of making next weekend's shopping trip less annoying for my family. And in the process I annoyed my dear hubby and our cranky children half to death. Sorry, honey!!!

But it was a valuable experience. I found out a couple of dress I thought were absolute winners weren't so great. I found one store with HUGE possibilities, and I got a fabulous pair of satin dress shoes on clearance for $13.50!

When I have the final selection, I'll be sure to post a picture. Happy shopping!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Commercials are Evil

No organization yet, but hoping to give it a shot this weekend.

I have decided commercials are evil! My twins have been watching their morning cartoons, and one of them looked at me as a commercial for a kids music CD came on.

"Mommy, can we get that?"


"Does it cost money?"


"And we don't have many money?" (Meaning they, the twins, don't have any money of their own)

"No, you don't."

"How many stickers do we have to earn before we can get many money?"

"Lots and lots of stickers."

Collective sigh, and back to watching commercials before their show starts again.

They say as a parent you get paid back for everything you ever did to your parents as a kid, and in this case, it's true. As a child, I was the queen of commercials. I spent hours in my bedroom, playing out commercials I had seen on TV. I helped my mom take clothes out of the dryer, and commented on how "April Soft" the clothes were, and rubbed them against my cheeks.

My brother and I pestered our mom relentlessly about what we wanted to buy, because we saw it on a commercial. And catalogs, too. We wanted everything we saw in catalogs and on TV.

Now my children are following in my footsteps. Oh, well. I guess it's to be expected. I just hope I can handle my kids with as much grace and patience as my mom handled me and my brother.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Searching for Organization

I've been thinking about it, and I have come to the conclusion that I need to get organized.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon (off and on) searching for a sheet of paper that needed to be mailed by TODAY! I hunted all over the house, through every stack of paper in every corner, and still couldn't find it. My hubby came home and I told him the sad tale of my diligent search. He walked over to my desk while I did another search of our bedroom. He appeared five seconds later with missing paper in hand!

"Where did you find that?!"

"On your desk."

"That's impossible. I search every stack of paper on that desk, and couldn't find that form."

He shrugged. "It was right there, folded on the desk."

Good grief.

I've been without my babysitter for the last two days, and with three kids in the house, I'm finding it difficult to schedule my time to get the house clean, keep the kids out of trouble, and get any writing done. I'm typing this as the boys are watching cartoons and eating breakfast, but I can hear the baby waking up, and she needs to be changed and fed.

One of the writer's groups I belong to has been posting questions on our e-mail loop about how to keep your writing life organized. I definitely need to find a schedule that works for me, and stick with it.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shopping Frenzy

Okay, I'm going to rant a little, so bear with me.

We went to Tulsa for the Fourth of July weekend. Had a great time with DH's family. Great fireworks display. The kids got to spend time with a cousin, an uncle and their grandparents. Well worth the trip.

However, on Friday afternoon, hubby and I went shopping for a couple of hours, and I gotta say, what happened to the price of everything?

We went to an average priced (or so I thought) store to look for a couple of new shirts and some shoes for the boys. Now, I'm cheap anyway, but it was ridiculous how much they wanted for a couple of shirts and some shoes . . . especially for little kids.

I have a hard time spending $20.00 on a shirt for me, but for two active kids, who are still growing, and get EVERYTHING dirty . . . come on.

I want my kids to have nice things, but not at prices I can't afford. And I know I'm not the only parent out there who bought something more expensive than they wanted to pay, justifying the cost by saying it will last a while, it will be for special occasions, etc. Then you get it home and 1.) your children destroy it within a day, 2.) it shrinks to doll size after the first wash, 3.) your kid hits a growth spurt overnight and it won't fit anymore.

My nine-month-old daughter is already wearing eighteen-month clothing because she is soooo long. She grew out of her three and six-month clothes withing a month of getting into each size. Some outfits (expensive gifts) she only got to wear once before they wouldn't fit anymore. I hated having to box those clothes up after only one use, but I had no choice.

That's why it makes me so crazy to pay that much money for children's clothing. They won't be in the clothes that long, and I never feel like I got my money's worth for expensive items.

I'm sure a lot of it is just me, but in this tough economy, I think we need all the help we can get.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So Long, T-Ball

T-Ball is officially OVER!!!

We had our last game yesterday evening, and the kids have made so much progress. The twins each got an out, their hitting has improved, and they even scored a couple of runs. We played the closest game of the year. It was like the last game and everything finally clicked in their heads. We almost won. It was great.

My family and my husband's family came to see the game, and we all had a wonderful time cheering the kids on. Super hot, but worth it. We have a pool party in a couple of weeks, and that's it.

I am so happy. No more rushed evenings, fighting to get them into their uniforms, making sure all their gear is loaded into the car, and making sure the baby is taken care of.

But I have to say, for their first team sport, this was an awesome group. The coach was amazing with the kids, and the assistant coaches were so helpful and willing to step in to lend a hand when needed, covering when the head coach couldn't be there. All the kids got along well, no bickering or squabbling, and they learned together.

This was, overall, a great experience for my kids, and I am glad we could be a part of such a fabulous team.