"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched-they must be felt with the heart." Hellen Keller

Monday, January 30, 2012

PICTURES

We had a good weekend! Busy, but good! We had the kid's pictures taken on Sunday and I could NOT have been more happy with them. They turned out so great! Of course, when you have kids that darn cute, I mean, what do you expect! Hee, hee. Anyway, it was kind of cold and so I was worried that poor Bryson would freeze. He is so small and doesn't have much fat, but he had so much fun he didn't care. The pictures really did turn out great. I bought the entire CD but I haven't gotten it yet so I am going to go ahead and post the proofs because I can't wait! I had to laugh though because of Kory. That kid! I swear, he always has to be different! LOL! You will see when I post the "real" pictures. These are just some of them. He has had a shaved head for a while, which I don't love but what am I gonna do? And, he wears black all the time, he has done that for a really, really long time. So here we have these two little kids wearing cute, bright colors and smiling and then BAM! there is a bald-headed convict dressed in black hanging out near them. No smiles either so it really adds to it! LOL! I know some people would MAKE their 16 year old wear something else or grow out his hair or blah, blah, blah but this is my thought. I want my kid's pictures to look...well....like them....like WHO they are! I want it to truly reflect their personality! I don't want to look back and say, "Kory looks so weird in that picture, he never looks like that!" And, truth is, it just makes me laugh. It will be a much talked about photo session for years to come when anyone sees the pictures. I did get one picture of him just cracking up and I LOVE IT! I am sure the photographer was wondering who this large man belonged to. Good stuff! Oh, and speaking of the photographer, I want to give her MAD props. Her name is Krista and her business is called Kiss Me Goodnight Photography. She is great and super nice! Anyway, here are some of the pics....I will post more later!
ENJOY!





And these are just some funny pictures I took a few weeks ago. We were getting ready for a garage sale (hence the big mess in the background) and he found this dinosaur costume that we had that NEVER fit him and he insisted on wearing it and having a fudge pop....and also sharing with my elderly cat. So cute!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Grateful

I know you are going to be shocked to hear this next statement....I read this on another blog and I liked it so I am going to do it as well! LOL!

So here goes!

Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for
1. I am grateful to be alive. I am a fairly healthy and strong person that is able to do what some others are not.
2. I am grateful that I can breathe. There are many who have heart problems and lung problems and breathing is such a struggle. My grandmother had COPD and she found it hard to breathe at times. It is not something to be taken for granted.
3. I am grateful (beyond words) that I can bear children. I was born to be a mother. I knew from an early age that I would have three children. While some little girls dream of big wedding, I didn’t, I dreamed of being a mother and it has FAR surpassed all I have ever imagined. I know that many women struggle with infertility…I did too for a while, and it is heartbreaking. Every woman should have the opportunity to feel a baby kick inside of her.
4. I am grateful that I don’t have chronic pain. I know many people who suffer every day with chronic pain and I know it can be debilitating. I know it can make everything else in life seem a little bit harder. I am lucky that I wake up most days feeling great!
5. I am grateful I can see. I am blessed with the ability to see my kid’s sweet faces every day and I know for some that is not a real possibility. I cannot imagine what that world must be like.
6. I am grateful I can hear. I have family members who wear hearing aids, and at a young age and I realize that it isn’t just about not hearing well. It is about communication…about not being able to hear the tone of people’s voices and creating problems with “hearing” humor. It is far more difficult than any of us can imagine.
7. I am grateful that I can think. I think of all the sweet, sweet babies who have had so much brain damage from strokes and seizures and simple things are so hard for them. We should never take our brains for granted and we should constantly strive to learn more. Besides, my senior citizen friends tell me it is all downhill from here. LOL
8. I am grateful to be free of disease. There are soooo many sick and hurting people in the world….children and adults….babies…..so much sickness. I will never, ever forget what it is like to be healthy because we all know we won’t be that way forever.
9. I am grateful for my youth. I know I am no spring chicken but I still feel relatively young. I know that aging comes whether I want it to or not and I do see my loved ones aging very gracefully and beautifully….but I have to admit that sometimes it is nice to still be the “young” one. hee, hee. I better enjoy that one too, not gonna last forever, huh?
10. I am grateful that I don’t get headaches. I know so many people suffer from them and it is honestly so very, very rare for me to have one. I am blessed for that!

Write 10 materials possessions you are grateful for
1. My vacuum cleaner….I know it sounds silly but I love my vaccum cleaner. I bought cheap ones my whole life and I finally bit the bullet and got a nice one and I really, really love it. And it is pretty and purple too! 
2. My house….I love my house…It is funny because today is our One Year Anniversary in our house. We moved in exactly one year ago today. I feel like I have lived there for many, many years. It is comfortable and big and cozy and warm. I love it!
3. My car….I really do like my car. It is dependable…it may not be brand new or the fanciest thing out there, but it is dependable and lately I feel like not many things in my life fit into that category so I am loving my car right now.
4. My necklace….I have a cross necklace from James Avery that my husband bought me years ago. That cross has seen me through some of the toughest times of my life. It is large (sometimes I think I look like a rapper with it on, lol!) The cross is rather large and the chain is rather thick but I constantly touch it. It is so funny to me that I can be in the middle of something that is bothering me, or thinking, or praying and without even knowing it…I touch my necklace and hold the cross to my lips. If I don’t have it on I honestly feel naked, really naked. It is a treasure to me!
5. My music! I love music! I have nearly 1000 songs on my IPod and I love them all! Each one speaks to me in different ways at different time. I can’t tell you the times I have shut off the world, turned on my music and let the healing begin!
6. Cell Phone….yes, I am a cell phone addict. I am constantly looking at it or on it. I love my phone and feel naked without it as well. It has become more important than even my purse!
7. My blog…I love my blog. I honestly don’t know if one single soul reads it….but it is so very therapeutic for me to write. Sometimes if I can’t write I feel like I am going to burst. And my “writing” probably doesn’t match my actual “talking” one bit. I write 10,000 more words on paper (or computer) than I would ever begin to say. I get to say whatever I want, however I want. I love it!
8. My bed…..my bed has housed three different children for years. Since I gave birth the first time in October of 1994 there has been a child either “in” my bed or at the foot of it. Some of our very best times have been in that bed, giggling in the dark. My bed is my safe place. Oh, and Bryson thinks it is a really good place to wrestle!
9. My pets….not sure if they count as material possessions (probably not) but either way I sure do love em! Especially my super old black, manx cat. She is spry, young thing at the ripe, ole’ age of 18. She has literally helped me raise my babies. She is there for every bath (no matter how wet she gets), every nap, you name it. She truly thinks she is their mother too. It is going to BREAK my heart when she passes.
10. This one is probably near the very top of this list…..Bryson’s belongings from his five-month long CICU stay. These things are absolutely, without-a-doubt, utterly and completely irreplaceable. They mean so much to! They tell the most amazing story of my son. I wouldn’t have to say a word to anyone, lay those things out and they would see it with their very own eyes. It contains blankets, mobiles, stuffed animals, journals, letters, documents, stickers nurses put on machines, Christmas decorations….it goes on and on. I wouldn’t trade those precious memories for a moment. Those things are what make that time REAL in the times that it seems like it happened to someone else.
Write 10 living people you are grateful for
Where do I start?!?!?!

1. My momma…..every girl is glad to have their mama but mine is a step above the rest. She is my rock, my very best friend and one of the few people I can truly lean on in times of doubt. When Bryson got sick she was willing and ready to do anything…and she did….she quit a really good job and volunteered to stay home and take care of him. It has been so great for us. I cannot image what we would have done.
2. My husband….now don’t read into the fact that I wrote my momma first. My husband is my best friend as well but it is in a different way. We have been together forever and I can’t imagine my life without him. He makes me laugh, holds me when I cry and just sometimes I wanna choke him….but it is rare! LOL! He was my true salvation at the hospital. For months it was me and him and we were like newlyweds (on the honeymoon from hell!) and we bonded so very much. We have been through a lot together and I know that our love can outlast anything.
3. My family….my brothers are very special to me. They are funny, and quirky and protective. They are like night and day!
4. My in-laws….I know some people don’t love their in-laws but I do. They are funny and supportive. Secretly I think they love me more than they do Mark! Shhhh!
5. My friends….I love my friends. We laugh together, we cry together. I feel like my group of friends gets larger and larger as I venture into different avenues of my life and I like that. But I still have my “core” group that I wouldn’t change for the world!
6. My kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As you can tell this list is NOT in any specific order. My kids are my WORLD! I can’t believe that you can love anyone like you do your kids. They can do no wrong in my eyes! They are precious and kind and lovable and perfect in every way! 
7. In fact, they are so special, I am going to add them separately in the next three numbers. I will start with the oldest first. My Kory! I had Kory when I was young (19) and we essentially grew up together. He is so kind and so funny. We just “click”! He is the BEST big brother in the world and he fits the first born category like none I have ever seen! I am so very proud of him!
8. Riley…my Riley….that kid is just funny. I had so many problems when I was pregnant with him, then when I was in labor I thought he was gas (true story!) and so I held him in (hey there were people around, I didn’t want to just let it rip!) and when he was born his head was bruised pretty bad. Poor kid! He was colicky and asthmatic and just SICK all the time. At one point he literally had every single tooth in his head filled or pulled or replaced because breathing treatments had ruined them before they even came up! He is so funny and quirky and so determined and I know he is going to be so very successful in life!
9. Bryson…oh, my Bryson. Here I was thinking I didn’t really want a third child. What was I gonna do with 3 kids…and so far apart! But wow, he came into this world like a flash of lightning and our lives changed forever. He is a gift to our entire family. He has made us all better people. He is a warrior, a fighter and he is PROOF that prayer works. He is a treasure!
10. My long distance family…..truth be told they are all Mark’s family but now they are mine as well. And when Bryson was sick boy, oh boy did they come out of the woodwork. I have never felt as much support as I did with these people. They came up to the hospital in droves, they bought the baby things, they sent us food and goodies, they sat with Bryson so I could get sleep….the list goes on and on and on. You know who you are and I LOVE YA!
Write 10 deceased people you are grateful for (this is gonna be tough!)
1. My Savior and Lord! I need not say more! 
2. My grandma…..Meemaw…or as she liked to be called at one point “Puddy”. Not sure why she wanted to change her name all of a sudden but Meemaw got what she wanted! She was a funny woman who said what she thought ALL the time but I know she loved me and I miss her every day.
3. My Pampaw…..he was not married to my Meemaw, he was my dad’s stepdad but I sure loved him. He made me feel so very loved all the time. The man was a saint! He wound up divorcing my grandma and moved down the street from me and when I was a young mom he would come to my house to see me nearly everyday! He would light my furnace, fix things, whatever he needed. The funny thing is that the man at beans EVERY SINGLE DAY of his life! I miss him so much!

See I told you it would be tough! I am glad to say that most of the people I am grateful for are alive! I hope it stays that way for a long time!

Write 10 things about today that you are grateful for
I am grateful for
1. the shining sun
2. for my wonderful family
3. for a roof over my head
4. for a job for me and my husband
5. because it is the weekend
6. my kids are doing well in school
7. my kids are happy
8. Superbowl is coming up soon!
9. I can sleep late tomorrow!
10. Bryson peed in the pot!!!!!!!!!
Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for
1. Children’s Medical Center
2. My home
3. My childhood home
4. Our school district
5. My place of employment
6. The lake
7. The beach
8. The mountains
9. First Baptist Daycare center
10. UTPB
Write 10 things about the gospel that you are grateful for
1. My testimony
2. Prayer
3. Forgiveness
4. The scriptures
5. Bible study
6. Trials
7. Storms
8. Eternal families
9. Eternal life
10. Unconditional love

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WOW

I had seen this on another person's blog and I thought it would be interesting to work out and see for myself. I know one day I found a piece of paper that had all of Bryson's "conditions" listed...not heart conditions but OTHER conditions. It was so crazy! This kid has seen some stuff! You would never know it now though. Here is the list, all of them are approximations. At the very least Bryson has had:
1 cardiac catheterization (balloon atrial septostomy)
1 Open heart surgery
1 bedside heart surgery (due to excessive bleeding)
2 heart caths (I think)
1 swallow study
1 circumcision at 9 months of age (OUCH!)
1tongue frenulum surgery (cut in two spots, OUCH!)
Over 200 x-rays (twice a day for a long time and then once a day, every single day)
15 ECHOs (at the very least)
141 days in the hospital (ALL but 10 of those days in CICU)
105 days on a ventilator
6 Intubation/Extubation events
Unknown days of TPN (this one is hard to decipher)
6 drainage tubes (at one point he had that many at one time)
1 dialysis catheter placed (but never used)
Misc…..ng tubes insertion and removal (countless times), labs drawn twice a day for each day he was in ICU, and OH the meds! The meds! I would like to see that list!
Total cost of care: SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS (yep, that much!)

MAN, this kid is a warrior! Speaking of being a warrior, he sure is loving that cape that was sent to him from Heart Kids. It has the big B on the back. He puts it on and runs through the house like a crazy man. It is so funny! I really plan on taking some video to put on the website. It is of Bryson on my IPad. It is TOTALLY AMAZING what this kid can do. He matches stuff, picks the smallest and the biggest, finds letters and on and on. I could not believe it! After I see him do those things I just can't help but ask him, "if you are really that smart...how come you won't talk and you still poop in your pants!" LOL! I am going to be looking for a potty training app as well!
Anyway, just wanted to share my list! I am always in awe of my little man! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thoughts

For some reason my mind has been working in overtime. I recently read about a mom who was 18 weeks along and found out her son has transposition of the great arteries and VSD (maybe some other issues but just now getting information) and it really got my mind working. I wonder why it is that no one was able to see Bryson's heart conditions. I don't blame anyone and I know that "plumbing" issues are hard to see, they only look for the four chambers and leave it at that. But my, oh my, how things would have been different if Bryson had not been in "profound shock" when he was airlifted to the Children's Hospital. I just know the story would have been a different one but I am also happy with the outcome of the "real story".
I also recently read on a person's blog (you know me, soooo obsessed with reading blogs!) and she made a reference to the fact that she thinks about her child's condition and hospital stay EVERY, SINGLE DAY! EVERY, SINGLE DAY! and her child had been completely healed for years, close to five. And I thought to myself...I do that...I think about it every, single day...without fail. And somedays it is all I can think about (especially at night). I find myself wanting to talk about it, all the time...but it isn't appropriate to say, "oh, when my child was in the hospital this happened...and on and on". And I know it isn't particularly healthy for me to do that either. The thoughts aren't all bad...at least once a day...I just look at him and kind of smile and melt inside because he is SUCH a blessing. Honestly! But then I fixate on other things. I will explain it like this...it runs like a movie through my head. I can see it, I can smell it...it is like it happened yesterday. I wouldn't say it upsetting as much as it is time-consuming. I don't understand WHY I think about it all the time! And I know that people probably get so tired of me starting sentences with, "When Bryson was in the hospital...." but I can't help it. It seems like it defines my life but mostly it defines who he is. I once read an article where they stated that you have to be careful not to let your child's heart condition define who they are, don't let that be all that they are. I pray I don't do that! I am not sure how to handle it once he understand and I can tell him about it. I am afraid it will define him and me forever and that I will never be able to push those memories out of my head. I pray that I stop and fill my head with the wonderful memories that we are currently making. I wish there was ONE DAY that I didn't think about it, just one day!
Bryson is as always complete cuteness....with a little toddler tantrum thrown in. He is talking more and more...and eating like a horse! He is the master of the IPhone and IPad, I mean seriously! The kid has mad skills! He got new shoes in the mail yesterday and he could not have been more excited. He wanted them on right away and the only way I could get them off of him was to put him in the bath. He is so silly!
Riley is well.....Riley. He is always has his nose in a book or a finger on his IPad. Or watching a football game! The other day he was watching the Ravens vs Texans game and he was wearing a Ravens jersey and cheering for the Texans! Dork! He is currently reading Old Yeller at school and he informed me that he skipped ahead and read the end to see what happens to the dog. Ugh!
Kory is doing great. He is loving computer science at school and I think he has found his career choice. I love having a computer person in the family...all we need now is a mechanic and air conditioner fixer and a contractor...and a chef....:)
We are busy but happy. We are looking forward to spring and all the warm weather and we are dreading summer and the TERRIBLE HEAT! We also have some awesome vacations planned this summer and I cannot wait for them! :) :) :) :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blessed


Well so far the beast of anger has not reared its ugly head this week. Yea, it is only Monday but I gotta start somewhere! :) We had a great weekend. We just chilled and my husband and I even had a date night! So fun! We ate at a fancy restaurant with friends and I didn't have to ask for a booster seat or tell one of my kids to quit smacking. LOL! Then we saw "War Horse"....geez, most depressing movie EVER...geez, I swear at one point I looked at my husband and said,"if someone else dies or gets beaten in the next 10 minutes I am leaving the theater!" It did have a happy ending but I swear I was exhausted when we left from being so upset. Anyway, all in all....good times. We have been spending so much time watching football in our house. I never really got into it before but now I LOVE it! I can't get enough...and how bout those Broncos! Love me some Tebow! What a great, inspirational man. My son said he read online that they put a mic on him on the sidelines and he sings praise worship music and old church hymns on the sidelines. :) Truly amazing.....
Speaking of amazing....you have to check out the story of Ben Breedlove. He was a normal Texas teen except he had a heart condition his entire life that on Christmas day took his life. However, he before he passed (just days before) he posted his story online in the most amazing way. Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmlTHfVaU9o&NR=1&feature=endscreen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=a4LSEXsvRAI&NR=1

It touched my heart so much because of Bryson and all of his heart friends. There are so many and we talk about them at the "kid" level but at the teen level it is a whole different ballgame. Plus, when Ben spoke of the bright light I was so moved. I truly think Bryson has seen that light...and was invited to come...but for some reason, he stayed here with us. That is something I thank God for every, single day.
Please pray for Ben's family as they learn to live without that beautiful smile. Also pray for Haven Grace's family, as she passed recently as well after her heart gave out (post transplant). It is so sad that these children have to be taken from their parents. I cannot imagine. Yesterday as I sat and watched Bryson play in the tub this strange feeling came over me. I even posted it on facebook saying "have you ever had that time in your life when everything slows down and you think, WOW! I am so truly, truly blessed!" That is the feeling I got! I think to myself, how could it get any better than this! Normally, I would think, "oh no, what is gonna happen...things are going too good!" but I didn't do that....and I am not going to do that. I am going to ride this wave and enjoy this time, PERIOD! I am going to enjoy lazy Saturday morning with hot coffee and a sweet, baby boy in my lap....watching football with my boys.....long awaited date nights with my hubby...all of it! I can't live my life in fear, in worry....because it really isn't true that "if I worry about it, it won't happen!" Granted, right before Bryson was born I was worried sick that after he was born he would get the flu....and lo and behold he didn't get the flu.....yea, he got A LOT WORSE! LOL! :) You have to laugh, cause if you didnt'....you would cry. And whose got time for tears....especially when your looking at this sweet face! :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Prom pictures!!! (WARNING....LONG POST!)

Ok so I seriously have to laugh at myself! I was just thinking yesterday how easy it has been so far this year (yes I know it was only January 4th yesterday) but still people, four days is dang good! Anyway, I was thinking that it was a chillin' kinda year so far and well.......today I am irritated....just plain mad....wanna choke someone. THAT didn't last long!!!!!!!!!!! LOL! And it isn't just a few people, it is many people, several I should say. So instead of literally choking people (or cussing a lot, which is the way I would normally deal with this sort of anger)...I am going to write something cutesy and fun. I am going to write about my kids and their funnies! My hope is that I get so immersed in writing about that, my anger will subside and I can make it through the day. I told you writing was therapy for me!!!!!!!!! Ok so let's start with Bryson...just cause he is so dang cute! And so dang funny! He cracks himself up and he cracks up at just about everything we do too. I think what I love about him the most is that he is just so easily amused! Picture this...last night he got a sucker (for which he was very happy!) and then he found a truck with a loader on the back and he also found a circular container that I had for Christmas that he LOVES to wear on his head. One thing about this kid, he LOVES makeshift hats. At any given time you can see him sporting large measurement devices, bowls, lampshades...anything that fits on his head. He even goes through ALL my drawers and tries each and every one on his head until he gets the right fit. So here he is last night running through the house pushing this truck, sucker in mouth (dangerous I know!) and a red, circular container on his head....laughing hysterically. Hilarious! The container was so big that it covered his eyes so he couldn't even see. Let's see.....Bryson facts...... -he still is on NO medications which to me is soooo crazy! -he is NOT interested in potty training in ANY fashion. Guess he will go to prom in a diaper...whatever -he still takes a bottle at night (I know, terrible....but he doesn't eat enough during the day hardly to hit a good caloric intake and he only started his bottle at 10 months so he is on a major curve!) he will give it up when he is ready! -he sleeps with my husband and I. He crawls up in our bed, green blanket in tow and shoves it in his mouth and sticks his rear up in the air and passes smooth out! So funny! -He sleeps late most of the time....lazy bones! When we get up one of us carries him to the palate in front of the tv in his playroom and he sleeps until he is ready to get up. Some days I wake him up at 11!!!!! I know you are jealous! :) -Along with his obsession for all things hat-related....he has BOWL issues...yea, I said it, BOWL issues. He thinks the fridge and the pantry are just huge buffets set up to his liking and when he feels a hankerin' for something he goes to his drawer and gets one of his many bowls and takes it to you and then he instructs you to head to either the pantry or the refrigerator and get him what he wants. If you cannot understand what he is saying you have to hold him up and let him point the item out to you. Whatever item he has chosen then goes into his bowl. He will eat NOTHING if it is not in the BOWL. Specific instructions people!!!!!! The funny thing is that he knows that he is not supposed to handle the glass or ceramic bowls and he knows it. So if the drawer does not have his plastic bowls...he will lift up all the bowls to see if they are breakable and if he can't find HIS bowls, he comes and gets you and lets you know. Now mind you all this is done in true grunting fashion. He speaks...don't get me wrong, but he speaks when HE wants to. We have a hard time making him ask specifically for things and the older boys talk for him too. So he may go to prom...in a diaper...with a bottle and green blanket...and unable to speak for himself. Can you picture it? I can.....and he is still so cute, even in that manner! LOL! Let's see....what else (remember I am trying to keep distracted so if you are tired of reading...you may move on!) He loves to play!!! He loves plastic animals and cars. We are all forced to "battle" all day. He gets one animal and he gives you the other one and you fight to the death....over and over and over...his deaths just aren't final, not sure why. He also loves trains and trains sets and even though he will bring toys to you sometimes (and books! OH the books!) he also has specific instructions as to when and where we play trains and other stuff. He seats himself in front of the train set and pats on the floor for you to sit down and play. He is BOSSY! He is so funny with the patting. He pats on the floor. He likes to wrestle in our bed and if he catches you in teh bedroom before bedtime he races in there and crawls on the bed and "pats" for you to come and wrestle him. He LOVES to wrestle!!! He even has these really scrawny, plastic, little kid chairs that he brings out and he sits in one and "pats" for me to sit in the other. I tell him that unless he wants to never see that chair again he best not encourage me to sit in it. LOL! So basically, for Bryson....everything he does is cute. His fits are even cute! When he gets really mad he starts crying and then he dashes off looking for Lloyd (the green blanket). Once he has the blanket positioned in mouth....all is long forgotten! As you can see, he rules our household in every sense of the word! And...speaking of words....you know I can't go on without telling you what all he says..... Mom, Mamaw, mommy, dad, daddy, Kory, Riley, kitty, Lloyd, car, NO!(he knows that one really good!), yes, cmon, shoes (hilarious because he really enuciates it..shOOOOOOes), hmmmm...I know I am forgetting some but anyway you get the jist of it and he is also starting to make 2-3 word sentences. I swear he says Chiuhahua too! No one believes me! Riley This kid is so quirky! I NEVER know what is going to come out of his mouth!! He can be soooo sweet and charming and then BAM! he has a razor-sharp tongue and you better look out! He is so precarious...always, always asking questions. And beware he is ALWAYS listening as well.....taking it ALL in! When he gets up in the morning he is very gripey so just don't talk to him and you will never know. Just leave him be! He gets ready quickly and sits in front of the Today show with my mom. He still has not yet learned to tie his shoes! OMG, I have tried EVERYTHING to teach him but he gets all mad at us and irritated and he is done. I have offered to pay Kory to teach him and still NO. He wore Vans for such a long time that it never mattered but now it is getting to be a little much. This summer he is GOING to learn! I drop him off at school and without fail every morning he says, "I love you!". The funny thing is that about half the time after that he says, "see ya tomorrow!" and then he catches himself and smiles and says, "oh, I mean later!" and he scoots off to school. When he gets home from school...well....that is when the eating begins! SO MUCH FOOD! Apples, bananas, sandwiches, lefotvers....all generally healthy but this kid can put some food away! He does any homework and eats and either watches tv or plays in his room until I get home. We have to FORCE him to take a bath and every, single night...without fail...he says, "but I took a bath yesterday and I didn't even do anything to get dirty todaY!" Oh Lordy! He is smart, he is very social, he is a leader and not a follower, he hates showboating and bragging, he is really good at football and I tell you.....he is gonna be a looker! No lie! He is very good at helping me around the house...as long as I let him know what I need. He is a good babysitter but he tends to be too rough with Bryson. Case in point..last week he was supposed to watch him while I bathed and next thing I know him, Kory and a bleeding Bryson are all in the bathroom with me! So great! Love that kid and I can't WAIT to see what is in store for him! Kory Oh, my Kory! My Kory! My husband teases that me and Kory have a special "language" that no one can understand. He claims that I love Kory more than the others. And while that is not true (and he has a lot of room to talk with his "mini-me" Riley! LOL)what is true is that Kory and I kind of grew up together. I had him when I had just turned 19 and he was my first, and I was just a kid myself. And, yea, we click! We are a lot alike. If Riley gets mad at someone, he gets really mad and can blow up and then after that he lets it roll off of his back and he is done....much like his dad. But not me and Kory....make us mad and we won't say a thing to you for days and we can hold a grudge for a long time. We are pouters...but it takes a lot to make us mad. Kory acts so tough and he wears all black and shaves his head and acts like he could take on anyone but the truth is he is a huge teddy bear. He truly does have the kindest heart! If I am mad or upset he can sense it over anyone in the house and he goes out of his way to help me a little bit more or make me laugh...never letting on what he is doing but I know anyways. He is soooo good with the baby...so sweet and kind and playful. Both of my boys are going to be great dads....that is if Riley doesn't get turned into CPS for being so rough! LOL, just kidding! Kory is also NOT a morning person but he never is gripey. He just REFUSES to talk in the morning...under any circumstances. There could be an early morning fire and instead of screaming "fire" Kory would calmly walk to each room and poke us with a finger...never speaking. When he was in daycare they SWORE that he never spoke before 10am and he is still that way and believe me I try my best. I get him up, he gets going and heads to school. He takes all of his friends to lunch since he is the only one with a car and then heads home after school. He calls everyday after school, without fail, to ask what we are having for dinner and to tell me about his day. He too is super smart, taking all accelerated classes and he is soooo good about taking care of his own stuff. I have never had to worry about him because he has always been an adult in a kid's body. When he was little bitty he would remind me to get my purse and things. I hear oldest kids are like that a lot of the time. The rest of the night we don't see him too much...he is on the computer, doing homework, or playing video games but he comes out occasionally and asks us to watch tv with him. He is such a good kid, especially for a 16 year old boy. My only complaint is he is lazy.....that could probably be blamed on me somewhere down the road. If you ask him to do a chore...you ask 50 times and once you get mad...he takes care of it. TURD! Truth be told I know I am sooooo blessed to have such great kids. They are all mature and wise beyond their years. They are kind and sweet and I didn't even mention how HILARIOUS they are. Seriously, we all laugh soooo very, very much at our house. I swear our life could be a sitcom! And people would watch it and love every minute. Heck, sometimes it is hard for me to keep up with the witty banter! We just spend a lot of time together and we have a lot of fun. The kids don't really ask to go to friend's houses because we have so much fun on our own and I love that. That is what I always dreamed my house would be like....full of laughter!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who hung on until the end, may I say I am IMPRESSED! Whew, get a drink and most of all.....thanks for listening!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)
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Monday, January 2, 2012

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes - how do you measure a year in the life? How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love... " from Rent So many minutes in a year, so many moments, so many memories! And each one filled with its own brand of crazy! I always like to do a "year in review" so let's do the short version! January 2011 WE MOVED! Talk about crazy! However it was fun and exciting and liberating and I LOVE my new place. We plan on staying forever! Thanks Goodness because over Christmas I realized we have filled our attic up and I am NOT moving that stuff! LOL February 2011 February we spent time still settling in to our house (especially since we only moved on January 27th) but we did have a snow day in February and it was so much fun!!!!! I LOVE snow days! March 2011 I turned 35!!!! UGH! But the real kicker is that I got laid off from my job of 18 plus years! I had that job since I was 17!!! Such a tough, tough month! We did take a fun Spring Break trip so that was fun! April 2011 April was spent worrying non-stop about my job status and what to do with my life!!! it was a hot month too so that didn't help! May 2011 Riley turned 10! We took Bryson on our boat for the first time! That was well....um.....fun??? LOL! That month I made the big and terrifying decision to go back to school to become a teacher! EKKK!!!! June 2011 School for me!!!!! and the hottest summer on record (at least it felt like it!) July 2011 Bad, bad, bad month! I didn't post it but I failed my teaching test by one point and lost a really, really good position at the school I wanted to be at. July was one of the roughest months of the year. Finished school and then was again, stuck in the throes of "what" to do for my job!! August 2011 Kory started HIGH SCHOOL! Riley started PUBLIC SCHOOL! I got offered a JOB! Crazy stuff! But all good too! :) September 2011 Started my new job and sweet baby Bryson turned TWO! Things are really starting to look up! October 2011 Things are REALLY starting to look up now! This month I passed my teaching exam!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!! So great! Bryson was the Grand Marshall for the Odessa Heart Walk too, which was such an honor! Kory turned 16 and started driving!!!! WOW! What a crazy month! November 2011 Lots of hunting on my boy's part! Lots of quiet time for me and sweet Bryson! Thanksgiving was so quiet and calm and it was exactly what I needed!!! December 2011 December was.....well....uneventful. And boy was I ever glad for that! We had a great Christmas...and a WHITE CHRISTMAS! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! It is officially 2012! That is hard to believe! So far, I have started my weight watchers and even though it hasn't been a full week, it has been good and I feel proud of myself for the first time in a long time. I went to church on Sunday with my mom and it felt great! I forgot how much I missed it. Sunday was a good day all around because I let my self "chill". Me and Riley played in the backyard with Bryson and the dogs and really enjoyed it. I guess in all my OCD planning and New Years Resolutions I failed to see the pure simplicity of it all. I don't have to write down all these crazy resolutions. I don't have to plan every minute and worry and be crazy. The truth is that I need to just simply live. I may want to live a little better (i.e. watch my weight, go to church, chill out more) but the simple version is just that. I too, need to measure my year in love! Pure, simple, crazy, in-your-face LOVE! And that is precisely what I plan to do!
I wish you all a wonderful new year!!!! Enjoy the following video!

here is a funny video of Bryson outside. His fake laugh is hysterical!!!
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