Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Exercise Log

Day 1: worked out 30 minutes using Beginning Exercises
Day 2: worked out 36 minutes using Beginning Exercises
Day 3: could really feel it. Worked out 20 minute using Advanced Exercises
Day 4: I was in a lot of pain so only worked out 15 minutes using Advanced Exercises
Day 5: 20 minutes Advanced. My arms don't hurt nearly as bad today, but I am tired.
Day 6: Skipped: I had a staff meeting so I couldn't exercise, but I did a LOT of heavy duty work at work yesterday so my arms are killing me this morning. So it's like I exercised!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yearbook Photos

So I found this funny thing. You've heard of the infamous Elf Yourself. Well .. how about Yearbook yourself?

So I did this. And look what happened to me in the year 1952.

And 1984:

And 1992

Just so you're keeping track .. this is what I look like in 2009

Prayers for Stellan


Plans are for them to airlift Stellan to Boston. Please pray for the MckMama family!!!!


Please read these on Stellan. Before you read, pray. While you're reading, pray. After you've read, pray.

MckMama's Twitter

MckMama's Blog

The long and short story of Stellan is that while in utero he was in SVT (heart stuff). He was born and no SVT was found. Shortly later, SVT "came back" with a vengeance. He's been hospitalized several times and has had one heart ablation. He has even flown out east to see one of the top doctors in the US. He just turned 9 months old and the words "vent" "blood transfusions" soon to be "congestive heart failure" have been twittered by his MckMama in the last five hours.

Please pray for Stellan, please pray for his mother and entire MckMama clan (including Many Small Children and one Prince Charming).

Prayers for Stellan

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Exercise Challenge

I have decided that August is going to be exercise challenge month! I challenge each one of you to get off the couch and "do" something more than you're doing now! I began early by working out with this:

So far I have only unlocked "Boxing" activities, but let me tell you ... it has made the muscles in my shoulders and arms sore! I also sweated (in a good way and not in that Babesia way). I highly recommend this Wii game that's for sure! Right now on Amazing, it's only 19.99. Normally it's 29.99. You can also use it with your Wii Balance Board, but I haven't done that yet.

I want to start a reasonable goal which is one that I think I can obtain. My goal is to work out 3 days a week. I'm not going to set a time amount per work out because once I actually start working out ... I tend to go for at least 30 minutes. Wish me luck!

I'm hoping that jumping on this exercise wagon will encourage Rob to join in as well. He needs to work on losing weight to help his heart health.

Rob's LLMD appointment

It's today! We leave at 9:45 to arrive at 10:15 (how fortunate are we to have such a close LLMD?). His appointment begins at 10:30 and suspect will run until noon or so. I'm not sure how much time they have slated for him. Majority of the time, the first office visits are with his nurse, but I specifically requested that we go ahead and start off with our LLMD since he knows Rob's situation already during my appointments. Rob's already had the microscope test too and my doctor was sitting in during part of that.

So pray that I get through this day without major tear production. It's scary knowing we're about to embark on another very expensive adventure and hopefully we'll be able to handle this. We just had to "handle" the last bit of my medical bills by doing something drastic. Since selling our vehicles isn't an option (we've had the truck on the market for the last 6 months without so much as an offer), we decided to let the credit union buy it back. So now we're back to monthly payments on the truck.

Not to talk to much about the financial end of things because that is not why I created this blog, but the debt was overwhelming. We were paying in interest on our credit card each month about 300 dollars. By letting the credit union buy our car so we could buy it back, we will be able to pay off most of the credit card (and by next month the balance will be ZERO!!!!! Praise God for having such a smart husband who knew such thing could be done), we will probably save a ton each month even if you add in the car payment.

So we're back to Zero and now we're starting the beginning treatment for Rob. I just want to say WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Hopefully his treatment won't be anywhere near the expense that mine was. If it is, so help us. God will Provide ... I just don't know where it will come from. The last time we needed God to provide, he provided it in the form of NC WAGES check. NC Legislature how now removed that from Smart Start Funding.

With all the changes at work lately, I've had to repeat the following ...

When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something else. ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

difficult time

I am having an extremely difficult time through this change at work.

I just hope everything works out in the end.

I'm so sad to lose my best friends.

I didn't even want to leave work today.

I cried all the way home.

I think by Monday I will be at the other center.

I went today to take my massive amounts of things into my class.

I have lots of cleaning to do once I start there.

The room was DISGUSTING! (to me .. b/c I have a little problem of OCD at work).

I have to figure out how to change it to my liking and not hurt the feelings of the other teacher in the room.


Pity Party over now.

Okay maybe not. :o(

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog Hop Recipe

First of all, I am pretty much an idiot in the kitchen. It has to be very simple for me to be able to make it. Years and years ago I wanted to "surprise" Rob by making something. So I dug through the depths of the internet and found an easy Peach Cobbler.

Simple Peach Cobbler

2 Large Cans of Peaches (sliced)
1 box of Yellow Cake Mix
1/4 to 1/2 a stick of butter

Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees

Drain the peaches and save all the juice in a container for later use. Place some of the peaches to cover the bottom of a square glass baking dish. It's not necessary to cover the entire bottom of the square dish.

Sprinkle some cake mix onto the peaches. Once you've covered the peaches with a small layer of cake mix, pour a bit of the peach juice over the top of the cake mix to make it moist. Then cut the butter into pats and place these on top of the peach/cake mixture. Stab a fork into the mixture in about 10 places so that the peach juice can flow towards the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle Cinnamon (as much or as little as you prefer) on top.

You will want to repeat this whole process at least once. If you use another can of peaches, you can fill the baking dish more. You will find that you have extra cake mix left over at the end of the process. You can save this for future recipes. You will also not need to use the entire container of peach juice. You'll probably want to toss this unless you plan on making another batch right away. :o)

Place baking dish into oven at 350. I find that it's ready after about 30 minutes, but sometimes it takes as long as 45 minutes to be done. It's not a "normal" peach cobbler, but it sure is yummy. I hope ya'll enjoy.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 20, 2009

Manic Monday

Back to life, back to reality!

I had to go back to work today for the first time in 9 days. The building was practically empty. Until 9am, we only had 6 children with a slew of teachers. When I left, there were probably 15 children. The majority of the teachers and children said their goodbyes on Friday and moved to their new buildings today. I missed my opportunity to say goodbye to some teachers, but I don't do goodbyes so well.

I spent the day tearing love off the walls, floors and tables. I removed contact paper, pictures and things that other teachers had put their heart and souls into. It was quite painful, yet I know these are the things I must do in order to handle this change.

When I arrived to work today, I was told that one of our friends was losing her baby. I talked to her on the phone and they were about to take her to surgery. I know this will be a painful time for her especially since her friends won't be there when she is able to return. Please pray for my friend A.

Only a few minutes after hearing about my friend's tragedy, my other friend announced she's pregnant. The highs and lows of the day were awful. I will be in "charge" tomorrow for a good portion of my day. Please pray that only good things happen on my watch tomorrow. Today when I was left in "charge" the phone must have run 20 times in the span of an hour. Many times two lines would ring at the same time! *ahhhhhh*

Friday, July 17, 2009

One Year Ago Today

It is hard to believe that one year ago today that I came home with my PICC Line. I remember the days and months leading up to that moment clearly.

Every once in a while, I remember the "taste" and "smell" of saline, heparin and Vitamin C.

Tomorrow morning I will be going on a road trip with my mom. We're leaving for a memorial service honoring the life of my Great Aunt. I won't be back until Sunday afternoon/evening.

Former Friday ~ Car Experience II

Wrote this one on August 18, 2007. Again it has been edited for grammar issues. I've almost had this car for TWO WHOLE YEARS. :D I still love it!

Car Buying Experience II

I mentioned in my previous blog that my mother in law's car was on it's last leg. Now we've known for a while that it was dying a slow death, but we really weren't in the market for a new car. This past week it got up to over 100 degrees every day and my MIL's car does not have air conditioning. That's not conducive to anybody driving much less an older woman with some health issues. So, we had a decision to make. What kind of car would I be getting so that I could give her my car.

My old cars: Chevy Nova, Toyota Camry, Chevy Cavalier. If you're anything like me, you notice the ABAB pattern of this crazy car ride, my next obvious choice would be another Toyota. Hmph, I wasn't sure that I wanted another Toyota so I decided to go check out the Honda dealership. I figured if I wasn't going to go with the ABAB pattern, then I was going to go with the C pattern. Chevy, Camry, Cavalier, CIVIC. That was going to be my new car. So I went to the dealer and sat in one. I didn't like the way I felt when I sat in it and I don't know you guys, but since I have to commute 90 minutes a day I wasn't about to get a car that I didn't like how the seats felt. So off to the Toyota dealership.

I had decided since it was going to be a C name that I would be getting a Toyota Corolla. There was a beautiful blue baby on the website that had my name written on it because if you recall from the previous blog all of my cars have been blue. So I walked around the found the "perfect" car. This so called perfect car was TOO BRIGHT. It was burning my retinas kind of bright. So I walked around and had almost decided to get the almost exact colored blue that I already had when I saw it. The most beautiful color I had ever seen. This car was absolutely radiant. I had to have it. I walked over and it was too expensive. We had already decided on the much more sensible 18,000 dollar car so this one at 26,000 was way too much.

We went home and I couldn't stop thinking about this car. Sky Blue Pearl! (so close to Carolina Blue that well it's perfect for me). So I did a little research. First there was financial research. Could I afford this car? Could I afford this car with few options? Were there any of this car in this color with fewer options? I discovered a car on the dealers website that was about 22,000. I could afford that one.

So we went back to the dearlership to look for it. We could not find it anywhere, but my darling hubby asked the salesman about it (can you believe that?). We ordered the car sight unseen and during the week I did my part (pre-financing, all the paperwork at the dealer, and got the check from the bank) and on Thursday I picked up my brand new car!

So now in my driveway, I have a 2007 Toyota Camry LE in Sky Blue Pearl! It is absolutely beautiful.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I actually watched this live last night! I love all five ladies. I'm not as fond of all five guys, but they are just so good.

Group Bollywood Routine:

The ladies had a phenomenal execution of a beautiful routine. It was hard to pick out which girls didn't execute as well as the others because it was just so in sync. I'm sure if I dissected it by watching one girl through five views I'd be able to pick out which one did it best and which one did it work, but why ruin the phenomenal perfection that I just saw. I think I know which lady will go home and it's so sad because she is one of my favorite and if she were on another season I think she'd go all the way. However, in this group of ladies she may not stick out in the viewer's minds as America's Favorite Dancer.

I put the critiques in order of my least favorite routine (performance) to my favorite routine instead of by order that they performed.

Randi & Kupono: Paso Doble: I love Randi, but I think it's probably time for her to go home. I don't know that she's shown any improvement over the last few weeks. I know this is a new partnership, but everyone had new partners. This may very well be my least favorite performance of the whole season. (eeks) They did not meet my expectations nor the judges. Extremely disappointed.

Kayla & Evan: Shortest Guy partners with the Tallest Lady. Because Evan's stature doesn't match up with Kayla, it could be easy for him to get lost in this routine of the Viennese Waltz. So they had Kayla dance pretty much barefooted and Evan some shoes that gave him some height. Evan needed to use a "taller" carriage. Some of his arm movements seemed sloppy and not as extended as it could be. His lifts were beautiful. He was able to use his power to get Kayla up in the area and Kayla performed very well. I never would guess that she's not a ball room dancer.

Melissa & Brandon: They did an excellent job with the routine they were given. I am not fond of that style of dancing so it's hard for me to really give my "honest" opinion because of that, but technically it was superb.

Janette & Ade: Ade has to get Janette funky in the hip hop routine. I don't know why Janette worries. I often forget she's a Salsa dancer. They did a phenomenal job. I could go back and pick (no pun intended) this routine apart, but I won't. Their routine was extremely synchronized. They did well with their new partnership. I can't express how much I just love the judges. Nigel: I'm going to try to talk Mary out of her clothes later.

Jeanine & Jason: Jeanine finally gets to dance with someone with technique. She's been partnered with one of my favorite's Phillip, but he's not experienced with any other dance style other than his own. I couldn't keep my eyes off of this Contemporary Routine. What an amazing routine and I got chill bumps! I fell right into their "Conversation" and wanted to know more. It increased Jason's value in my eyes. (and Mary was too flustered for words)

** based on couple dance and couple dance alone: I'd get rid of Kupono or Evan
** based on couple dance and couple dance alone: I'd get rid of Randi or Randi. :( Sorry Randi

Brandon Solo: I'm not fond of Brandon's solo at all. :( (Fortunately I love his couple dancing)
Kupono Solo: Kupono has grown on me in the last few weeks, but not up to the other solos.
Ade Solo: I love how strong he looks. He's a powerhouse of a dancer.
Evan Solo: I just LOVE him when he's performing his style of dance.
Jason Solo: Uh oh .. he's moved to the top of my list.

*** based on solo and solo alone: I'd get rid of Brandon or Kupono.

Randi Solo: I wish I could see her face more when she dances. I enjoyed her solo. :)
Melissa Solo: Of course I Loved this routine. She's a ballerina! :o)
Kayla Solo: Her legs go on forever. Loved it!
Janette Solo: Hard to do a salsa solo .. but I still love her so go ahead put her near the top! :o)
Jeanine Solo: Fabulous! :o)

*** based on solo and solo alone: I'd get rid of Randi. :(

Male Group Dance: Phenomenal. That is all I have to say!

Combining Solo & Couple dance:
My female that should go would be Randi
My male that should go is a toss up between Kupono or Evan.

My biggest thrill would be if they did an All Star Season using the Top 12 dancers from all seasons.

IN all the years

In all the years that I have worked and in all the years that I have been sick with Lyme Disease. I have *never* taken 5 days off in a row (including when I had Gallbladder surgery). In between jobs, yes there have been some time taken. However, I have never purposefully requested and been paid for 5 days off in a row.

Applaud now, for today is day number 4. Technically it's Day number 6 (if you're including Saturday and Sunday). I have not left the house even once since Saturday upon returning from the beach. I had some things that I should have done, but I decided that I was going to be lazy and rest. After all, that is what I needed more than anything.

So *clap* for me. I saw that I needed a "staycation" and took it. It will actually be a total of 9 days off in a row including the two weekends. I'm so glad I started my staycation with a day trip because it has caused me to relax. That is something I actually don't do very well. Even if my body relaxes, my mind just doesn't stop.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Versus Old

The story of my engagement.

When Rob and I started dating, we knew almost right away we were perfect for each other. Our joke was that we were so different that no one else could possibly understand us. We had finally found a person that maybe didn't understand the flaws, but accepted each other for who they were and all flaws were accepted as "normal." We discussed this probably after only a month of dating. In all of my other relationships, the word marriage was never discussed. Here I was in a long distance relationship with a man and we were talking about marriage on our 4th date.

Eventually (after about a year), we started talking rings. What kind of ring would I like? I was like "Honey surprise me." He informed me that he didn't want to surprise me because he feared picking out a ring that I would hate and that I would hate this ring the rest of my life. So would I please go with him to pick out styles of rings that I would like. So a shopping we went. One weekend (probably another 4 to 5 months later) we shopped and I saw one I really liked. It was "Oval" with three diamonds on each side to form a triangle. The band tapered in to meet the " 3 diamond triangle." The setting was also cut low (meaning for me that the diamonds didn't stick way out).

He was fairly certain he would buy this ring since the smile on my face resembled an upside down rainbow. The following weekend, he encouraged me to come back home so that I could look at it one last time. Since we had gone in so many places and seen so many diamonds, he wanted to ensure he picked out the one I had in my head.

Now keep in mind this is a 5 hour drive TO get to him and a 5 hour drive to get BACK to school. So I drove back to him for the 2nd weekend and we went straight to the jewelry store. I couldn't find the ring. I was in an immediate panic thinking someone had bought the ring I loved. I was disappointed. I described it to the jeweler and she informed me that they had NEVER had a ring like that. It sounded unique and different, but it just wasn't something they sold.

Of course it was that moment, Rob looked down and said "what is that?" There it was .... my ring. We walked out and within 2 minutes we walked back in. He didn't want to chance that it would move out of there before he could buy it. So he whipped out his credit card and bought it on the spot. They measured my tiny fingers and commented on my tiny hands. They told him it would be a few weeks until it was ready due to the huge difference between my hands and the actual ring (remember I wear a 3 and 3/4 and it was a standard 7).

Well the next Friday, he calls and begs for me to come back down. I fuss and am extremely upset about the 10 hour trip for the third weekend in a row. I had lots to do that weekend for my studies and I was getting behind. Finally, I remembered I had to come home sometime anyways for my parents to sign some school loan paperwork. So it wouldn't have been a wasted trip. So I booked it on down there and tell him that I have to go home to get my parents to sign the papers.

So he takes me the rest of the way home (which was another hour & a half) and passes the house. I start fussing again. "Where are we going?" "I said I needed to go home." We eventually wind up at Golden Corral. We eat and he tells me the first joke he told me before we were even dating. I'm thinking it's so nice, but on the other hand .. I had a lot to do and I needed to get back to college. I'm concentrating on the time and not looking at what's really going on. We leave there and he starts driving.

Again, I'm like "Where are we going?" "I need to get home." He mumbles something about wanting to take me to the lake just to relax before I head back to college. So we wind up at Kerr Lake. We walk around and it dawns on me that we are essentially redoing exactly what we did a few days before we started dating (including the whole "Where are we going ... I need to go home." ironically enough). We stayed there a little bit and get back in the car. He then drives me to the rock quarry and while I'm standing there thinking I need to take all of this in and stop thinking about the time ... he pops down on one knee and pulls out the ring. Now the rest is kind of a blur, but I had to say YES twice because he was so nervous that he didn't hear me say yes the first time! :o) He places the ring on my finger and we both realize it's way too big.

We want to go tell my parents right away and we arrive at their home and they aren't there. I was shocked. Where were they? It took them both quite a while to get home and the story of me telling them is priceless. It's a day I will never forget. Unfortunately because the ring was so large, I couldn't take it back to college with me. Here is the photo of our hands on our wedding day. I'm sorry you can't see the ring that well.

Sorry that you can't see it that well. This is the best picture of my original ring and I can see the ring in the picture better in person. I took lots of photos of my OER (original Engagement Ring), but this was before the digital age and none of them turned out well. I wish they had, but we weren't going to waste all of our 35mm film on taking photos of my hands. Now I wish we had since all I have is my memories of that ring.

I love my new ring though. It reminds me of me. It's got all the old "bits," but with new bits too. I am the same me from 2000, but I have only gotten better since then. My engagement ring "grew up." :o)

And here is another view of my NER (New Engagement Ring)

and the view you saw earlier

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog Hop 3 Things You don't know

Today's blog hop is Three things you don't know about me!

1. My favorite vacation spot of all time is the Grove Park Inn in Asheville North Carolina. I have been able to go one time with my husband for our 5 year anniversary in 2005.

2. While I was at the Grove Park Inn, my husband gave me the lovely gift of 2 massages and 1 great facial. One of the massages I had was in this which was outside!

3. I am not wearing have my original engagement ring. I absolutely adored my engagement ring. I was the picker outter of said engagement ring. However, the jeweler insisted that no woman could wear a 3 and 3/4's so they made it a size bigger. In making this mistake, it had to be sized down twice. So I had to go engagement ring-less for the first week of my engagement. This apparently made the gold week and sometime between 2002 and 2003 the band cracked. The jeweler would not make a repair on it even though we had a warranty so we had to take it to an alterate place (where we had purchased our wedding bands) and they helped me pick out a band that would allow my diamonds to be placed into a new setting. While it is not my original ring, I still love it! :o)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I had a full and busy week so I did not get a chance to see this week's episodes until today. I will be keeping it short & sweet again. I love all of the dancers now so it's hard for me to suggest who might stay and who might go. I won't even suggest bottom 3 dancers because well they are all so superb. I love all of the girls.

Melissa & Ade: 1st dance Disco: I think Ade's strength lies in his strength. He can really get his lifts up high and it makes it look effortless. A couple of weeks ago the judges said something about "leaning so far" that if you "drop her, you drop her." Was that a little foreshadowing to Melissa falling at the end of this routine.

Melissa & Ade: 2nd Dance Waltz: Melissa is eloquent and Ade could have been a bit stronger in his performance. Overall an excellent routine, but there could have been a little more "oomph."

Favorite Mary Murphy Phrase: Pipe down English Muffin

total MPC: 4
Kayla & Kupono: Contemporary: These dancers are so extremely fortunate to be able to dance with the best choreographers in the world. Mia Michaels is only one of them and there is no one like her. Even though Kupono is one of my least favorite male dancers, he really pulled this routine off for me.

Kayla & Kupono: Broadway: Excellent Choreography. They were really lucky with two wonderful routines on this show. They could have put a little more into it because with the couples that are remaining ... great routine isn't going to cut it. They need to be superb!

Total MPC: 1

Caitlyn & Jason: Fox Trot: The judges liked it, but I actually didn't like it at all. I don't have much to say anything about the routine.

Caitlyn & Jason: Lyrical Jazz: This should be excellent since it is their own style. It was beautiful, but between the last dance and this one ... I fear for them.

Total MPC: 0

Phillip & Jeanine: Russian Folk Dance: Poor Phillip is all I have to say. I tell you that Jeanine can do anything that they throw at her. She is amazing.

Phillip & Jeanine: Jive: I seriously thought that Phillip rocked this. Too bad the RFD wasn't up to par. While Phillip isn't technically the best dancer, he is my favorite male. I think he's improved the most of all the dancers.

Total MPC: 3
Favorite phrase of the show by Tyce: Call 1-888-fan-friggen-tastic

Randi & Evan: Hip Hop: I love these two. They make my heart melt. They have thrown everything at these two. Poodles Butt, Pregnant Lady ... Remember the beginning when Evan was just worried about Randi's husband when he had to touch her?

Randi & Evan: Sumba: Randi has had to be way out of her comfort zone this whole season. They must have gotten wind she didn't wanna show skin and shake her groove thing and just ran with it. Not my favorite Sumba, but I love thes too. They make me smile.

Total MPC: 1

Brandon & Janette: Argentine Tango: Brandon has become one of my favorite male dancers. He can do just about anything. In fact, I don't know if he has not been able to do anything that they've given him. I'd have to go back and review my reviews, but what an amazing dancer. And Jeanette is awesome as well. They were fortunate to get paired with each other. I think they have allowed each other to grow so much as dancers.

Hysterical watching Nigel wait for the "Train."

Brandon & Janette: Jazz: These two are amazing dancers. I really think they can dance (Yes I do).

Total MPC: 4

Can't wait for next week's show. Top 10 dancers really are superb. They have to bring it to stay. And at this point I do know that one of my favorite male dancers left and then which lady left. It's good that they will be able to participate in the tour.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We're back from the beach

It was spontaneous and quick. On Thursday, I suggested that it might be nice if we took a day trip to the beach one day this weekend. I didn't think it would happen because we're not into spontaneous trips. Last night, we decided we would go this morning. I still wasn't quite sure it would happen. Well this morning when my alarm went off I seriously considered changing my mind. I was so tired, but I got my butt out of bed and began to get ready. Normally when we leave on a "trip." We so over plan it's not even funny. There are maps out of the wazoo and enough clothes for a month! Okay maybe not quite a month, but you get my drift.

We had a "mini" plan in place. Get on 40 and drive east until we hit the beach. When we got tired, turn around and come home. So at 7:15 we left with a small backpack and two beach towels. The backpack had two swim suits in it just in case we got the urge to get in the ocean if there were appropriate facilities to change (since we've never done a spur trip like this .. we've never not gone and spent the night so we weren't sure if there would be a place or not).

We got hungry near a little city so we stopped for breakfast on the way. Decided we better make a trip to the rest room just in case we couldn't find one later and I saw one of my online friends in the rest room. What a small world. Since we don't chat often and I wasn't sure she recognized me ... and of course since she was with other people I couldn't just say, "HEY KRYSTAL." We're both from my "little town" and this little town was well over an hour away. So odd.

Back on the road. We decided to skip Wrightsville Beach and head straight to Carolina Beach. We weren't sure which would be better, but gambled that if we didn't like Carolina Beach we could always come back towards "home" and hit Wrightsville on the way back. We stepped out onto the beach and it was as if all my worries over this last week were wiped away. I felt relaxed for the first time in probably two weeks. It was such a relief after the work week I've had.

We walked towards the Boardwalk

and I saw a Ferris Wheel

that I wanted to photograph. So we walked up and photographed a variety of things. The colors were so beautiful I found myself photographing the most random things (Bikes, Flower Pots, other amusement rides).

Eventually we made it back down to the beach and let the waves crash over our feet. After standing out there for a bit, we thought about getting our swim suits for actually getting into the water. We made our way to the public restroom to discover there were no doors in the stalls! I was NOT getting naked in that bathroom. Spontaneous trip or not, I still have my dignity and modesty to maintain. We made our way to the car to "plan" the rest of our trip.

One idea I had on the way down was to stop by UNCW to photograph the clock tower. I don't know if you know this about me (stop laughing), but I love photographing clock towers (I still hear you laughing!!!). So we stopped by and got many photos of the campus on the way to the clock tower.

Rob even took the "new" standard of me sitting on a bench on a college campus. (does this mean I'm going to have to go to UNCP, UNC and WCU to take photos of me on a bench?)

We made the decision that food was probably in our near future and we'd drive towards Wrightsville Beach to find that food. While we were being spontaneous .. why not go to TWO beaches in one day?!? Um I'll tell you why! Because by the time we got to WB, it was so crazy hectic that .. well HECTIC is not the way to spend your spontaneous relaxing day! :o) We decided that the quicker we could get away from WB the better. At this point I was so extremely parched that we stopped by a convenient store to get me some water. It rang up for 4 cents for 2 liters of water! What a Bargain!?! Oops. Cashier mistake. It was supposed to be 4.04 which we kindly paid. :P

We were trying to find an Aquarium, but decided if we couldn't it wouldn't be a big deal. We stopped off at Wendy's to eat lunch. We had just arrived when a huge bus showed up with college students. Great timing. We got in just before they did! I expressed my feelings that I had already achieved exactly what I was wanting. To feel the waves crash over my feet

and to have stress wiped away by God's Creation! If we couldn't find the Aquarium, I would not be disappointed. I laid my seat back and fell asleep. Next thing I know, it's two hours later and we're back home! I feel 1,000 percent better than I have in the last week. I am so blessed to have a husband that loves me so much just to take me on a random day trip. We were both out of our comfort zone of planning and it almost felt good!

So in essence, we left at 7:15 this morning and got back at 3:15. In 8 hours, I turned from a crushed box into a spring. If you don't know what this means, I'll explain. On Wednesday, I expressed to a friend (probably more than one) that I had so much turmoil going on that I felt crushed ... like a box. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to "fix" myself because I was under so much strain. However, I wasn't sure if I was a crushed box or a spring. In other words, a box that's been crushed really can't be fixed. However, a spring once some of the pressure is removed bounces back into shape ... Today in 8 hours, I changed from a crushed box into a spring. I am bouncing back into shape! :o)


Today .. we are being spontaneous. We are getting in the car with shorts and a sleeveless shirt and sandals and driving to the beach. Which beach? Don't know. We're getting on 40 and heading east and when we hit sand.. we're there! OMG. I've never done this before!

Hope I don't wig out too bad.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Only constant

Almost five years ago, I wrote this in regards to a change that was taking place in my life. This change caught me off guard and in doing so caused me great pain. This change would cause me to lose touch with some of my best friends and children that I watched grow over that last year. I thought that this change was the worst thing that would ever happen to me.

Now nearly five years later, I realize that change also brought me happiness, joy, new best friends and new children to watch grow. I teach in childcare. It is more than a career to me. Although I feared this change, I knew in my heart of hearts that it must be a good thing and I wrote this message. Once again, I am facing changes. Those changes are painful and I will lose some of my best friends. However I also know that these changes will create happiness, joy, new best friends and new children to watch grow. So as I am going through these major changes, I would like to share with you all the message I wrote to myself in October 2004.


The only constant in life is change. Change is inevitable in everything that we do. John Henry Newman wrote, "Growth is the only evidence of life." Infants become toddlers, toddlers turn into preschoolers, preschoolers to children, children to tweens, tweens to teens, teens to young adults, young adults to ... well you get the point.

Some changes in our lives are so gradual that you don't even notice that they are taking place. Others are a bit more abrupt. Those sudden changes can be quite painful, but it's during those moments that we must maintain stability. It is important to stand tall and strong even during this time of uncertainty. It's not the destination, but the journey that makes us who we are. We will arrive at our destination separate yet together.

Someone once said, "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for a while." It is my hope that all of us will be apart of each others lives forever. People grow and things change because growth is evidence of life. Let us arrive at our new destinations to make new memories, but never forget the journey.

As Jimmy Dean says, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." Our destination is to teach. Every occasion is a teachable moment. Let us take our moments and teach our children about change because change is steadfast. Let us be their stability and be strong for each other.

P.s. Former Friday will return one last time next Friday.
If I am quiet this week, it is because I am having an unbelievably difficult time with this huge change.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

don't miss

don't miss the post I wrote late last night.

Click "coming soon"

Blog Hop

I'm Jennifer. I'm a 33 year old wife and mother of two dogs. I work in childcare and I have Lyme Disease. This week's blog hop theme is Favorite Photos.

My favorite thing to do in HS and in college was to participate in marching band. This is my absolute favorite photo that I took last year watching my favorite marching band! Western Carolina's Pride of the Mountain Marching Band! It just reminds me of some of the best moments in my life and looking at these young men and women knowing that in a few years they will say, "Those were the best moments of my life." How can it not be my favorite photo if it's the best moment of their life?

Join in on the MckLinky fun by posting a photo of your own. Make sure you link in to MckLinky! :o)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 6, 2009

Coming soon ...

In a few days, I will posting a message on change. With that said, I leave you with a few quotes:

Arnold Bennett said: Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.

Gail Sheehy said: If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.

Irene Peter said: Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed.

An unknown author said: If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.

And finally the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
My own person song to a tune that's in my head that I have no idea how or where I heard it:

A change is a coming, oh yeah
A change is a coming, oh yeah
A change is a coming, a change is a coming, a change is a coming, oh yeah!

I don't like it, oh no
I don't like it, oh no
I don't like it, I don't like it, I don't like it, oh no!

My heart is aching, oh yeah
My heart is a breaking, oh yeah
My heart is a aching, and it's a breaking, my heart is a aching, oh yeah!

A change is a coming, oh yeah
A change is a coming, oh yeah
A change is a coming, a change is a coming, a change is a coming, oh yeah!

I will accept it, oh yeah
I will accept it, oh yeah
I will accept it, I will accept it, I will accept it, oh yeah

Though my heart is aching, oh yeah
my heart is a breaking, oh yeah
My heart is a aching, and it's a breaking, my heart is a aching, oh yeah!

A change is a coming, oh yeah
A change is a coming, oh yeah
A change is a coming, a change is a coming, a change is a coming, oh yeah!


All of this will make sense in a few days. There is a change a coming my way soon. I am not big fan of changes. I never have been. It typically takes me years to make adjustments to abrupt changes. Almost 5 years ago I wrote this "journal" after a sudden change. I dug through old files to find it today because I found out that a change is a coming.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I have to start this post with a youtube video of the Cactus Cuties a few years ago singing our National Anthem. Gives me the chills that children can sing this better than most adults! I hope you are all being safe on the birthday of our country!

I'd like to introduce something completely awesome that has recently happened to all in the blog world. Brent Riggs and MckMama got together recently to create a new, free and easy to use linky service for all of their blog friends. It's appropriately called MckLinky!

So if you've ever wanted your readers to add their links to the bottom of your posts, this is a new way to do so! MckMama uses MckLinky for her "Not Me Monday" posts. Brent uses MckLinky for "Laughter Lives Tuesday." They are also in the process of creating withint MckLinky a photo caption list as well. I think it's going to be extremely cool. Check it out by going to their new website:

I am testing out this new MckLinky on this post. Click on the spot where it says "click to add your link" in order to add your blog name and your blog URL to this post. :o)

Tick Borne Illness Education

I've written a lot on Lyme Disease, but not on the other things that ticks can cause.

Website Information:
Click on each name of Tick Borne Illness and you will find a website about each illness.

Babesiosis: This is an infection that comes from the Western Black-legged tick and the black-legged tick and possibly mosquito. There are arguments about whether other ticks can carry this illness as well. The symptoms of Babesia may include: fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, jaundice and anemia. This disease can be fatal for the elderly and those without spleens.

Tick Mumbo Jumbo of Babesia: The tick gives cells to it's host. Once that cell enters the red blood cell of the rodent. It then begins producing a new type of cell and the tick takes back those bad cells. Those are fertilized in the gut of the tick and develop into the tick's salivary glands. It's introduced into the human upon inoculation at the bite of an infected tick. The same kind of phase happens again only into the humans.

Colorado Tick Fever: This is a viral disease transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the Pacific Coast tick. The symptoms may include: high fever, chills, severe headache, muscle aches and sometimes a faint rash that lasts a week or less. Complications of this infection include encephalitis, heart problems and severe bleeding. First signs of symptoms can occur about 3–6 days after the initial tick bite, although it can have incubation periods of up to 20 days. Patients usually experience a two-staged fever and illness which can continue for three days, diminish, and then return for another episode of 1–3 days. The virus has the ability to live in the blood stream for up to 120 days; therefore coming in contact without proper precautions and the donation of blood are prohibited.

Ehrlichia: This is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by the American dog, brown dog, lone star, black-legged and Western black-legged tick. The symptoms may include: fever, malaise, headache, chills, severe muscle aches or pain, vomiting, anemia, lung infection, decrease in white blood cells, elevated liver enzymes and neurological symptoms include seizures, meningitis, confusion, ataxia, cranial nerve palsy, and decline in mental status. This can be fatal if treatment is delayed.

Relapsing Fever: This is a multi-system disease transmitted by soft tick. Symptoms include: bouts of fever and chills, headache, muscle and joint pain that alternates with the fever. The infection can be detected during the fever stage. It one species of Borrelia. There are 36 species of Borrelia. 12 can cause Lyme ... this particular Borrelia (Borrelia Recurrentis) causes Relapsing Fever.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: This is most prevalent in the eastern U.S., but has also been reported all across the nation. The Rocky Mountain wood, Brown Dog Tick, American dog and Pacific Coast ticks transmit the disease. Rickettsia is a similar disease with similar symptoms. Symptoms include: Flu-like aches, headache, chills, confusion, light sensitivity, high fever, a reddish-black measle-like rash that may spread over the entire body. This is fatal if proper treatment is delayed.

Tick Paralysis:It is the only tick illness NOT caused by an infection, but caused by a toxin in the saliva of a female tick and is potentially fatal. Rocky Mountain wood, American dog and lone star ticks can transmit this disease. Symptoms include: headache, vomiting, general malaise, loss of motor function and reflexes, paralysis in the lower body that spreads to the rest of the body. Respiratory failure and death can occur and young children can die in one or two days after being infected.

Tularemia: This bacterial infection is transmitted by the American dog, lone star, Rocky Mountain wood, Pacific Coast tick as well as deerflies and contact with infected animals or contaminated water. Symptoms include: repeated bouts of severe fever, swollen lymph nodes that can develop into skin ulcers, conjunctivitis and pneumonia.


More information:

All of the above infections can be transmitted by ticks in the nymph stage, which means no tick will be seen. If the individual has been in areas where wildlife frequents, ticks in all stages of development are present. If the individual has dogs, the possibility of infection from incorrectly removing a dog tick exists.

Fleas from small mammals like mice, squirrels, chipmunks can also transmit tick borne diseases. Blood transfusions are also possible sources of transmission. So someone who has no history of outdoor activities can have one of the above infections.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Michael Jackson

I'm bumping this up from a post in the past. While some may not appreciate Michael Jackson's personal life, he had a huge impact in the world of music. He's never had an easy life and I hope he is finally resting in peace. I often sang Michael Jackson's tunes when I was little in the 80's. His talent is amazing. It is so sad that he had so many traumatic events in his life. It's sad that his death has to also be a spectacle. I just would rather think of him in the mid to late 80's.

There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Former Friday ~ Car Experience

Wrote this on August 17, 2007. I will also edit part of this for grammar mistakes I made.

I went from thinking of buying a new car to actually owning a new car. I never thought that this day would happen, but it has arrived. When my husband first proposed getting me a new car, I had some decisions to make. What kind of car would I get and what color and what options? So I took a look back at my past cars to determine my future car.

My first car was not so swell. My father bought me a beautiful (cough cough) 1988 Chevy Nova for Christmas of 1995. It was not attractive, but it was light blue AND more importantly
it got me back and forth from Western Carolina to home. That car met it's death in a drunk driving accident. My poor little Cassie (yes ... Cassie Nova ... SAD) met her untimely death while sitting in the Harrill Parking lot at Western. A drunk teenager flew down the hill and plowed right into her in 1999.

My second car was born. Since my car was totaled and the kid's father wanted to avoid insurance issues, he paid my Dad money for the Nova. It helped buy me another car. My husband (boyfriend at the time) put in money to help buy the wonderful 1989 Toyota Camry. Again, it was light blue. It had a sunroof and I loved the car. Fun fact about this car was that it was previously owned by a classmate from my high school. A few years later, the car was making me upset. The automatic seat belts weren't working properly and occasionally the car wouldn't start. I swore if she didn't start one more time, I would go to the dealership and buy a new car.

Thus, my third car was born. I found one on the internet and drove straight to the Hertz dealer and bought my current 2000 Chevy Cavalier. It was dark blue with remote keyless entry. How fun was that?!? I had bypassed the 90's and went straight for the 2000's. Now this car has been wonderful to me. I have enjoyed driving her. I was only given the opportunity to buy a new car based on the fact that my mother in law's 1988 model car is on it's last leg. We're planning on giving her my Cavalier.

I am out of time, but give me a few days (or less) and I'll write the experiences of buying the new car.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


My messages will be short and sweet this week:
Mary wasn't making her usual statement and affirmation statements this week. It was weird. She was very subdued. (a little disappointing for this MM fan)

1. Brandon & Janette: Cha Cha Cha ~ Considering Mia is on the panel, Brandon should be VERY nervous. I have to say that the slow backbend wasn't as hot as Evan & Randi's slow backbend from last week, but and there is a but ... this was a very hot routine. Very fast and very accurate and honestly very good. They got on the hot tamale train.

2. Kayla & Kupono: Contemporary ~ This is a very dark number with deep choregraphy. This was a very difficult number to perform and they did very well with it. They both took the storyline and they stuck to it. YES THEY DID! :P

Mary Murphy: Remained on the hot tamale train (without a whooo). Mary didn't use her Phrases, but NIGEL DID ... Nigel: Yes they are Yes they are :o) Haa haa

3. Randi & Evan: Broadway ~ First thing I think is how lucky they are. They get Broadway .. seriously?!? Jazz, Jive, Mia Michaels and now ... Broadway. I seriously hope that they knock this out of the park. Watching the rehearsal makes me nervous. I hope it's not a hot mess. I was slightly disappointed, but (and as the audience said .. and there is a but) I still love them! I expected a whole bunch more. Like Mia said, it was a bit heavy. Depending on what the others do, I fear that they will dip in the bottom 3 unless their fans call in for them. And I hate that because I adore them.

4. Kaitlin & Jason: Jazz ~ Oh great ... Alien finding last man to procreate with ... Am I going to go on this train ride? Why Yes, Yes I am! Some won't get it and some won't enjoy it, but I did.

5. Phillip & Janine: Hip Hop. Again ... how lucky are they? Phillip gets hip hop. They did this once already and rocked it. They had an added element of the chain. This could go terribly wrong, but it didn't. I think I'll be rewatching this because I enjoyed it so much. :o) Janine has turned into my favorite female. And I loved it when Phillip threw the key over his shoulder after Mary reminded them they would not be partners much longer. Last week Phillip's pants rip .. this week Janine's slip of the tongue. I love these two.

6. Melissa & Ade: Pas De Deux ... I can't WAIT to see this. Melissa en pointe. :o) So glad that the naughty ballerina gets to wear her pointes. :D She's very lucky to be able to dance in her element. I know for a fact that the other ladies wouldn't be able to dance en pointe. Okay maybe I don't know that, but .. I would have loved to have seen them try! I hope the viewers picked up the phone for them last night. They have no clue how extremely difficult that was not only for Melissa, but for Ade too. I hope a ballet company picks Melissa up after this show. She is SUPERB.

Mary said, "It certainly is a day (Ade) for firsts." I know she didn't mean the pun, but I chuckled a little remembering Nigel's pun from before.

7. Karla & Vitalio: Quick Step ~ My favorite dancing song Puttin on the Ritz. I actually did not enjoy it. Nigel and Mary loved it so I guess they know what they are talking about, but I didn't like it at all. I enjoy the Quick Step, but there is something about them that I'm just not fond of. I enjoyed the choreography, but I think I'd prefer another couple performing it.