Braving the Nasty Weather...

It was beautiful weather Friday night. The Snow was coming down in nice billowy large flakes that make you want to stick out your tongue with your mouth open and re-capture your inner child... which I did during my trips unloading my event stuff from my van into the store... hopefully no one was looking, but honestly, some probably were... I could not help it!

I left at 11pm to go home... all was well... no sticking. Got up the next morning. Sticking...
Our neighborhood roads looked bad, but they never plow those. But surely they would plow the main roads... right?! And of course any self-respecting shop would open no matter the weather... right?! And if my gym is open, it should not be too bad... right?!

So, I decide to hit the gym before work. So get in my little lime-green mini-cargo-van-with-a-industrial size-light-bar-on-top work van (the booger mobile) and slide out of our driveway. Our driveway is on a hill, so I literally just released the emergency break, did not even put it in reverse, and slid... that should have been my sign.

I get to the main roads of our neighborhood... of course the are bad, they have not had time to plow. Then I turn onto the side road that leads to the main road... of course it is bad, it is just a side road. Then I get to Albemarle Road (a big busy road around Charlotte), and it is yucky. Slushy, but only slightly slidy. But of course they would clear off 485.... no sense turning back now. So I get on the interstate and...

My 15 min trip to the gym took 40 minutes. But after an hour+ there, maybe it would be better. Nope. I slipped and slided all the way to work where I was greeted by this:

Not too bad. They had plowed, it looked nice, and it was starting to rain... not snow... so most of this should be going away... right? The snow under the van was just slush.
Then I notice all the other small businesses are not open. Even the Chinese food place... which never takes a day off... EVER! Maybe a self-respecting business would stay closed on a day like today... silly me. I needed to come out anyway though because my signs are on a timer and if I did not come out they would have been blazing the words "Open" and "Snoballs" and "Ice Cream" from 12 noon to 11pm.
So, I get to work and of course NO ONE comes. Maybe later. Then about an hour later I look out the window to see a big ol' truck doing donuts in the parking lot. Immature... whatever...
Then Levi calls an hour later and said I should probably come home. He said the temp was dropping and the roads were turning to ice. So, then I look outside and now a 4-wheeler comes out of nowhere and starts doing donuts. Where do these people come from and why are they using my parking lot. Then I notice... he is not kicking up slush... he is not even breaking the ICE!!!
So, I do a few last-minute things before going home. I go to put a letter in the mailbox and end up ice skating across a solid sheet of ice. Then I go to the grocery store and all the snow from my shop to the store is solid as well. Then I have to warm-up the car because the rain on the windshield turned into a 1/2 inch of ice. And SLIDE out of my parking space. When I left their was a guy in a Volvo doing donuts in the parking lot. Maybe he was living out some Edward rescuing Bella fantasy. Weirdos.
So, I venture home... slowly... and now THIS is what the roads looked like:
The thing I found funny was I did not see one car or van in the ditch. But I DID see about 6 4x4 trucks and SUVs off in the ditch. It is like my dad told me once. You do not need 4x4 in snow unless you just want 4 wheels spinning on black ice instead of 2. I felt a little smug driving my booger mobile past their blunders.
But the kids have had fun in the snow and ice. Here they are drying their carnage from their 2 days of fun!

I really did not mean for this to be so long... oops!

Be prepared to die of cuteness!

Seriously... hold onto your hearts folks!

Callie is a singer! Levi and I laugh because she is always singing under her breath, out loud, as she is going to sleep, when she is coloring... she just always has a song in her head. And this song is very special, so we recorded it for Carrie...

It is just so stinkin' cute!

I love how she sings "you'll never nosie" because we call Escimo kisses "nosies". Also, the way she says "love you" as "yuv you" just melts me heart!


The Beast Within...

I am trying to be consistent with my gym participation and started a new program...

I know... I know...

I seem to have something new I am always trying, but I think this one will stick. For awhile at least.
Which I know I have said before... but... yeah... don't rub it in...

I have been reading a book entitled:
"The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift like a man, look like a Goddess"

I have been doing it 3 weeks and already feel myself getting stronger, lifting heavier weights, and I have dropped 10 lbs without depriving myself.

But... I seem to be the only woman in what I lovingly call the "meathead" area of the gym. It is full of weight-dropping, grunting, neck as big as my thighs men. And there I am in the middle of them since I am not using machines or teenie weights because I am lifting like a man. And looking around, I really do not "fit in".

So, I embraced the lameness of my current physique and bought this shirt:
It is from 6dollarshirts.com. You chose the design, then chose a man or girl cut, and then a color. I do not think this particular image was meant for a size Large pink girl cut Tee, but I ordered it anyway and embraced the irony. So, when I look in the mirror at myself doing shoulder presses with 20 lbs in each arm and my muscles are screaming for mercy, I just look at my shirt and reassure myself that I am "Unleashing the Beast" within!


Do I really have to sell it?

Because of this resolution...

I took the kids by McDonalds. I know... I know. They had a long car ride back from the mountains and I thought it was a nice treat. Did I get myself anything... of course not! But did I take a bite out of the 2 chicken sandwiches laid out, barely touched, looking so yummy, tempting, and sinfully delicious that I knew Lettie and Jovie would never eat more than 1/4 of... did I?...

No one is getting my Wicked ticket... no one!!!

By the way... I have lost 10 lbs!


3653 Prayers

This post is a little late in coming, but I have been insanely busy. But I did not want my anniversary to pass for but so long before I acknowledged it. It was a big one!

One December 28, 2009, Levi and I celebrated 10 years of marriage!

Man we are getting old!

I sad part is, I kind of forgot. I was working that day and quite distracted. We had "celebrated" by going to Florida, so it was easy to let the day slip. I know it is usually the husbands job to forget these things, but in our family... I am the forgetful one.

So, I am at work and tired and hungry and I call Levi and tell him I am going to pick up a cheeseburger and come home. He insisted I come right home, which is not like him. He was really sweet about it. I get into the car wondering what was up with him when it hits me... IT IS OUR ANNIVERSARY! My sweetness of a husband bought me Chinese food, had it out on our nice plates, with candles, the laptop playing 'dinner music', a bottle of sparkling grape juice, and a beautiful new vase with gorgeous daises in them.
And what makes it even more special, is I know he has orchestrated a lot of it with 7 kids in tow. That is an amazing feat of strength, skill, and love! He bought the vase with Lettie and for a 5 year old she is a super-dooper secret keeper, she never let a peep slip.

After we ate... he pulled up a selection of 350 pictures throughout our life (thought I stopped using Shutterfly, so it got a little sparse towards the end) and we watched it and reminisced about how far we have come and all we have accomplished in 10 years! It has been an amazing journey.

And do you want to know the coolest part, there is one thing we have done that I can brag about...

We have never missed a day of saying prayers with each other for 10 years!

That is:

Three Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Three Prayers

We have prayed over the phone, we have prayed with the other half conscious, we have said prayers while I was calling from the custodian closet at one of my earlier jobs, we have prayed in hospitals, on vacation, on an airplane, in California, in Ethiopia, we have prayed from the one hot spot in the middle of the woods I could find when I was at girls camp... but we have not missed a day! I even called my mom at 11pm to drive to the McCall house in the mountains that has no phone or cell phone service to get Levi and watch the kids while he drove back and prayed with me! And he was worrying about it just as much as I was!

I love my "match"! He is my soul mate and match in every way. I could not have accomplished my life's purpose without him and vice versa. That is why Life is Wonderful, because of my Mr. Levi, my husband, my rock, my love, my match, my better half, my advocate, and my best friend!!! We have so much fun together... that is what life's all about!

Here is the slideshow


Rationalizing a Purchase

Here's the story-

So, Katie sends me an e-mail that says, "Are you interested?" I open it and it is a forwarded e-mail from the Blumenthal Theater (which is basically the company by which all plays are brought to Charlotte) that says: Special Pre-sale on Wicked Tickets.

This is not an e-mail that you forward. This is an e-mail that you open and then immediately call you sister-in-law and say: Oh my gosh! Pre-sale for Wicked tickets! Lets get on the computer and buy them now now now!

So, I call Katie and ask if she is going, she says she does not know, needs to talk to Chad. So, while waiting for her to call I look up the available tickets. The best seats are $125, the next best are $75. But for some reason on the opening night, even the best tickets are $75. THEN, if you buy 1 ticket on it's own you can sit in row E, but if you buy 2 tickets, you sit in row Z! So, what is a good sister-in-law to do? Throw the whole good sister-in-law thing out the window...

So, I buy my 5th row ticket and call Katie and say the next single ticket available is for row G in the center and she can go the same night as me if you wants! But we will obviously be sitting by our lonesomes. Yes, I felt like I terrible person... but I do not want to go if I have Row Z. I am weird like that. Which Katie already knows, so she probably just shakes her head and thinkg, "There she goes again!"

She said she just could not rationalize the purchase right now. And so I said, "Yeah, I figured I would cut back in some area to compensate for it." I say this with almost every big-ish purchase, but really, I never do it! But she was right. Truthfully, I do not need to be spending the money now either. So, I thought: What do I spend the most unnecessary $ on? I am determined I will cut back on something.

And then the answer came and I did not want to admit it... but... I LOVE fast food! And I have been so busy that I rationalize picking up a $1 burger on the way to work, or home, or to the distributors, or to the grocery store.... And not only does it take my $, it makes me "squishy" if you know what I mean!

So, I proclaimed to myself that in the New Year I would not eat fast food until May 19, when I go to Wicked. If I give in, I would sell my ticket. The problem is if I proclaim it only to myself, then I can change the "rules" at any time and no one would know.

So, now I am proclaiming it to you. The rules are simple. No fast food! Anything that I can acquire through the window of my car. And, no, that does not mean I will be going inside. No fast food "period". Pizza does not count, but we do not order pizza. We make it at our house. But if I go to someones house and they order Papa Johns I am still allowed to eat it. Pizza is not my weakness because I can not just order it and 1 min later have it and never have to get out of the comfort of my own car. Fast food... gone!!!

And yes, all the way until May 19, or this little beauty is going on Craigslist: