Saturday, March 31, 2018

Slice of Life — March 31: A Good Day

Today was a good day!  It started early with a 6:15 trip to Walmart this morning to buy candy for Wesley’s Easter eggs. It then continued with frantically cleaning house in preparation for my parents’ arrival. I got done cleaning and getting ready just in time before my parents arrived. Wesley was so excited to see them! My parents bought him a book and a lot of clothes for Easter. He was most excited, however, about hunting Easter eggs. My mom and I hid them in our backyard. Wesley had so much fun running around and tossing the eggs in his basket. When we came inside, he had to eat a few pieces of candy before we left to eat lunch.

We ate lunch at Cantina Bravo and then came back home in time for Wesley’s nap. After a little coaxing, he fell asleep and the rest of us decided to take a nap, too. After our naps, my dad and I watched a little basketball while my mom and Wesley played in Wesley’s room. My parents then left to go back to Springfield, so Wesley and I headed to Target while Stephen went to work to get caught up on a few things. Wesley was really good at Target and we picked out a few things for his Easter basket. We then stopped at Wendy’s to pick up dinner. Wesley enjoyed his hamburger and then it was time to start getting ready for bed. We watched one of his favorite shows and snuggled on the couch before bedtime.

It was then time for me to get a few things done. I picked up our dinner mess, straightened up our family room, figured out my clothes for church in the morning, and started a load of laundry. I’m now relaxing on the couch, watching basketball, and feeling happy after a great day with my family.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Slice of Life — March 30: Visiting Mema

Tonight we went and visited my grandma, better known to her great grandkids as Mema. She’s 94 years old and has 28 great grandkids with number 29 on the way. As I watched her play with Wesley tonight, I couldn’t help but think of some of my favorite memories with my Grandma. Here are a few:

• The time she tried to order a dozen “big cookies” for my brother and me at Hardee’s, but finally settled on half a dozen (their cookies were huge, which she didn’t realize, and my brother and I could barely eat one)
• Playing in her backyard, having walnut fights and hiding in the drainage ditch with my cousins
• Marking our heights in the groove in the paneling in the hallway
• Superman capes made out of tea towels and clothespins
• Walking with her to the IGA grocery store and stopping at 7-11 for a Slurpee on the way home
• The smell of vinegar when she was making pickles
• Christmas morning when all of us opened all our gifts at Grandma and Grandpa’s house
• Singing an alphabet song passed down by my mom and her siblings that we knew drove Grandma crazy
• Going to Vacation Bible School at Grandma’s church
• Playing cards and dominoes at the dining room table
• Imitating my Grandpa by jokingly shaking the ice in our glasses to let Grandma know we needed more to drink

I love her so much and am so thankful for the wonderful example she and my grandpa set for our family. They truly have created a tremendous legacy and I am so blessed!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Slice of Life — March 29: The Easter Bunny

Oh, the Easter Bunny.

Trips to visit him are a lot like trips to visit Santa. They usually go as follows:

•I stress out about what Wesley should wear and search for the perfect outfit (after all, those picture packages are expensive).
•Take Wesley to get a haircut in advance of his picture with the bunny or Santa (did I mention how expensive those pictures are?).
•Talk up the visit with Wesley so he is excited to go, hoping this will squelch any potential fear.
•Dress Wesley and then do our best not to wrinkle his outfit in the car seat straps and refrain from eating or drinking until after purchasing the aforementioned overpriced pictures.
•Arrive to meet the bunny or Santa and stand in line with the other parents who make this ritual part of their yearly holiday routine.
•Frantically straighten Wesley’s hair, pants, shirt, etc. that has somehow gotten disheveled.
•Deal with some sort of potential fear of the bunny or Santa that may result in bribery in order to get Wesley to actually take the picture that you spent hours preparing for.
•Stand by the camera lady and make faces, silly noises, and do all the crazy things parents do to get their kids to smile.
•Purchase said overpriced pictures and wonder why you make this such a big deal each year.
•Then remember you’re making a memory with your son, that you will cherish the overpriced picture forever, that the imperfections in his outfit and his lack of a smile actually give you something to reminisce about now and in the future, and feel thankful you took the time to share his childhood tradition with the ones you love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Slice of Life — March 28: Coffee

I love coffee.

There’s something about the warmth, the smell, the taste, and the morning “pick me up” it provides. It’s part of my morning routine and my day doesn’t seem quite right until I’ve had my morning dose of coffee.

Now that I’m pregnant I’ve switched to decaf. It’s got the same warmth, smell, and taste without the dose of “pick me up.”  I try to convince myself that it helps wake me up in the morning, but I know that I am only fooling myself. Nonetheless, each morning I brew a cup or stop for coffee on the way to work if I want a special treat. It’s become part of my routine, and caffeine or not, it’s something I look forward to each morning.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Slice of Life — March 27: Random Facts About Me

I’m struggling to come up with an interesting topic tonight, so for your reading pleasure, here are some more fun facts about me:

1. I played volleyball and basketball in high school. I loved both sports, but volleyball became my favorite. I loved it so much that I continued playing throughout college on an intramural team and played almost year round at the YMCA where I worked, playing on women’s, co-ed, and sand volleyball teams. I coached eighth grade volleyball for three years while I was teaching.

2.  My husband and I had four vehicles between the two of us when we got married. I had a two-seater sports car at the time and had purchased an older Dodge Durango SUV to drive in the winter when the weather was bad or when I needed to haul more than one other person around with me. My husband had a new truck and an old Ford Ranger he had had for years. It was the truck he drove when he was hauling brush, when the weather was bad, or when he wanted to keep miles off his new truck. We sold my Durango not long after we got married and sold his Ranger a few months later.

3. We also had two houses when we got married. We thought we had his house sold while we were vacationing on our honeymoon and even spent one morning while in Hawaii filling out paperwork for the realtor and faxing it back to Missouri at the cost of $1 a page. That deal and another fell through before we finally sold his house almost a year after we were married right after the Joplin tornado.

4. This fact is just kind of interesting (in my opinion) and I’m not sure what made my mom think of it years ago. My dad is exactly three years, one month, and one day older than my mom. I lack one month and one day from being exactly three years younger than my brother.

5. I lived at the Lake of the Ozarks for three years while I was in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. It was a pretty fun place to live. Our house was on the lake, so we spent our summers fishing, boating, and riding our wave runner.

So there you have it — some random facts about me!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Slice of Life — March 26: First Day Back

It was a little shocking when my alarm went off at 5:10 this morning. I snoozed as long as I could, just like normal, and finally got up to head to work. I was feeling a little overwhelmed this morning. I had several meetings scheduled today and a long to-do list. I was worried about how everything would get done and was already feeling behind before my day started.

Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised at what I got done today. I was able to check a few things off my to-do list and actually got a jump start on a couple of things that I assumed would have to wait until later in the week. I didn’t get home until late, but it felt nice coming home feeling less overwhelmed by my still lengthy to-do list.

It’s still easy to get caught up in all I have to do and I often wonder how it will all get done. That’s when I have to remind myself to take things one day at a time and simply do the best job I can.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Slice of Life — March 25: The Run is Over

One shot that went in and one that didn’t. That was the difference this afternoon as Duke lost to KU in the Elite Eight to end their run in the NCAA tournament. With 25 second left and the game tied after KU hit a three pointer, Duke had the ball. I felt pretty confident that they would surely score and win the game at the end of regulation in dramatic fashion. Instead, Duke’s shot rolled around the rim, almost falling in the basket twice, before finally falling out of the cylinder, sending the game into overtime.

For the first few minutes the game remained close, but KU soon developed a lead, Duke continued to miss shots, and was finally forced to foul KU in hopes they would miss their free throws down the stretch. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and as the buzzer sounded, KU began to celebrate and I hung my head.

I’ve been a Duke fan for years. But as a long-time Mizzou fan, KU has always been the rival I have cheered against. To lose to KU made this afternoon’s loss even more difficult.

Now that Duke’s run is over, I can officially begin cheering for Loyola, the underdog from Chicago. Go Ramblers!