Wednesday, May 28, 2008

While I have a moment...

Here is an awesome recipe for meatloaf.

Instead of pineapple preserves, I pureed fresh pineapple. It was so yummy!

Internet Issues

Sorry I have gone missing lately but I am having trouble with my cable internet. Considering that I never have had problems before, I am not sure what it is going to take to fix it. I can only get on here for a few minutes and the speed is ridiculously slow. Most of the time I can't even get a connection at all. Just thought that I would let everyone know. Hopefully we will get this fixed and I will be blogging regularly again.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We are okay...

Clayton got home safe and sound at 4:30pm. Thank the Lord! His car has substantial damage though-3 windows got blown out, the driver side mirror got busted, the gas cover is missing, there are tons of dents from hail damage and the right tail light is completely gone. Hopefully the insurance company will count it is a total loss.
Just thought that I would jump on here and let you all know that we are doing okay despite having 6 local tornados today. I had no idea what was going on until I tried to take Hayden to school at 11:45am. We had just pulled into the McDonald's drive-thru for happy meals when they lost all of their power. They gave us our meals for free and I began to drive away. When I got out onto the main road, I heard someone yelling my name. I realized that Hayden's teacher was over in the McDonald's parking lot along with several other people. They were all standing outside looking towards where the school is. I pulled back in and asked what was going on. That's when I was told that there was a large tornado near the school. I took off for home (only about a mile up the street) but pulled over for a brief moment to see if I could see anything. My fear became realized when I noticed alot of ugly dark clouds looming over the direction where Clayton works. It was close to lunch time so I was praying that he didn't go out to eat. I tried to call him but the lines were tied and I got his voicemail when I did get through. I continued on my way home but got caught in a long line of cars at the railroad crossing. Apparently the storm messed up the guard rails and they were down for no reason. Once I finally got around the rails, it only took me another minute to get home. Once I turned on the tv I realized that this particular tornado that just went through was no joke. It was about 3/4 mile wide and they are still working to determine the strength (possibly EF2 or EF3). Judging from the footage I saw, it was a monster storm. I am soooo glad that it skipped my neighborhood. I would have completely freaked out.

Shortly after arriving home, Clayton called me to make sure that we were okay. He was stuck inside a tornado shelter area in his office building and couldn't see anything outside because there were no windows. Some of his co-workers got to walk around and check on things. He said that it didn't sound very good. Their building made it through the storm with minimal damage but there were several structures outside that were destroyed. He was told that if you have a car outside in the parking lot then you could count on it being damaged. Oh well, at least hubby is okay. That's what really matters.

Clayton called me again a little while ago and he still hadn't been released from the tornado shelter. Their building was without power and I don't think that it will be restored anytime soon. The town of Windsor took the brunt of the storm (which is where he works). I am just wondering how he is going to get home. We are still under a tornado watch until 8pm as the conditions are right for more storms. I hate not being with him. :(

I will keep my blog updated as long as I have internet access.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Sentimental Day (Warning-Mushy Post Ahead)

I woke up this morning in a cruddy mood and decided to just lay around in the bed until the kids demanded that I get up. They were playing so good in the play room that I laid there for a long time pondering how lucky I am to be in the position that I am (even if I am in a bad mood). I decided to make a list of the things that I am thankful for in my life:

My Choice To Go To College

I never wanted a career. My goal in life in high school was to get my MRS (ha, that would be my Mrs. title). I have always wanted to be a housewife and thank God that I went to college anyway just to find my wonderful husband. When I found Mr. Perfect (and he is indeed, PERFECT), I just knew it. I let him know from the get-go that I wanted nothing to do with a career. I am so glad that he is the breadwinner and allows me to stay home just like I have always dreamed of. As soon as we moved to Atlanta after getting married in 1999, I began my life as a housewife and have never looked back. I thank God that Clayton has a great career and can allow me to do this.

My Extended Family

They help me get through the tough times by lending an ear and helping us with the kiddos whenever possible. I don't know what I would do without their love and support. If I ever need anything, I always have them to back me up.

My Children

I am the most high strung person I know so my kiddos do tend to drive me a bit batty, BUT I will say that I am lucky to have 2 good ones. I am also blessed that we got the two boys that we dreamed of. We always hoped that if we had kids (we weren't planning for any, lol) that we would have boys and I am so glad that we got them. Yes, girls are okay but they just aren't for me. I love my boys and I love being the Queen of my castle, lol. People out in public tend to offend me by asking if we are going to try for a little girl (like it is a perfect stranger's business to know if we plan to procreate again). It makes me sooo mad. What is wrong with just wanting boys? Sheesh. My response is, "If I had 10 more kids, I would pray for all of them to be boys". That usually shuts them up.

Relationships Gone Bad
Thank God for relationships that have gone bad. Both Clayton and I were engaged to others before we met. My previous fiance was a raging and jealous guy. Yes, I encouraged it so it wasn't totally his fault. I thrived on conflict and it always brought out the worst in him. Our relationship was explosive and would never have worked in the long run. I thank God everyday that I ran into Clayton while working at Abercrombie during college. If I hadn't of, I may not have had the courage to leave my relationship. No, I did not cheat with Clayton while still being engaged. We started going out after the break-up.

As for hubby, he was a week out before his marriage date when he got the news that she was postponing everything. He was heartbroken. He later found out that she was cheating with a married man (who also had children). Clayton felt horrible and ended up not dating anyone for over a year while in college. This gal had steamrolled him and he didn't trust any girls at that point. When he met me, he wouldn't open doors, hold my hand or even look me in the eye. It was so weird. I think that it took him a year or so to finally trust me and see that I wasn't going to do the same crap to him. I hate what happened to him and his ability to trust but I thank God everyday that she left him (otherwise I wouldn't have been able to scoop him up, lol).

My Remarkable Husband

And this is who I am most thankful for. I would do anything for him and vice versa. He does laundry, bathes the kids, cleans toilets and washes dishes without any griping. He does his part in the household and I realize that makes him a gem. Several of my friends have hubbies that don't do their part to help out. That would completely blow to have the whole household for me to contend with alone.

This man always makes me laugh. He knows how to get me to smile even when I am totally down. He is there for me through thick and thin. Love him to death!!

Don't laugh but I am thankful for the way he smells. His skin smells so good to me. His scent has a weird effect on me. Maybe it is pheromones?? lol

I love the fact that he lets me buy pretty much anything without giving me grief. He likes for me to have things and actually encourages it. If I need something and refuse to buy it, he will end up surprising me with it later. How awesome is that?!

I LOVE how into holidays my hubby is. He likes to be the first to put out seasonal decor on our street. Every holiday/anniversary/birthday is a big deal around here. He is such a kid at heart when it comes to those things. Who wouldn't love that?

My hubby stands behind me in all of my crazy schemes and ideas. I have had several bad ideas but he was always there in my corner. The biggest thing that he stands behind is surrogacy and I am extremely thankful for that. I will never forget the time that I went to meet my first potential couple in Atlanta. He kept telling me beforehand that he hasn't agreed to anything and he would see how he felt after meeting the couple (for me to be a surrogate, all fertility clinics require spouses to consent to the deal by doing blood tests and signing the contract). Without his support, I couldn't be a surro. Well, after meeting my couple he told me that he hoped that it all would work out and that we got pregnant on the first try. He finally understood that I wanted to help people in a big way and this was a great way for me to do it. From that moment on, he was behind me all the way.

Ok, I can say a million more gushy things but I will spare you all. I have alot to be thankful for in my life and I need to start appreciating these things a bit more. It is so easy for me to write my feelings out but talking tends to be hard for me. Anyhoo, be thinking about what you are thankful for and if you post it to your blog, email me a link. I would love to read. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sneak Peek for The ScrapRoom

After taking a few months off from designing for TSR, I am so glad to be back! I missed completing design team projects for them but I really needed the break. Now I am ready to rock out my June assignments and this layout was the first one I did today. I just love the Pink Paislee papers (Spring Fling line).

The pic was taken 4/2/07 at Fletcher Park in NC. From left to right-Harper & Cole Bolick, Emerson & Hayden. I so miss the Bolick family! Hopefully I will make my way out to Asheville soon so that I pay them a visit (and Joanna can make me some of her awesome cookies that I don't seem to have the ability to duplicate, lol).
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our surrogacy journey is about to officially move forward...

I am so excited! I got an email yesterday from the fertility clinic and we are set to begin injectibles on 6/8 with our embryo transfer being somewhere in the first week of July. Yay!! My IPs rock and I can't wait to make them parents. How cool is that?! Being a surro is soooo rewarding. While I am in San Francisco, my Mom will be flown in to watch the kiddos while I am gone. She is really looking forward to that since she hasn't seen them since December. Wish us luck! I will keep you all updated. ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to me!

The boys woke me up Sunday morning with cards that they had gotten for me. They were the new Hallmark ones that play back a recorded message for the sender and then they play music. Emerson's said, "I love your kisses Mama" (which he says all the time, lol) and Hayden's said, "Happy Mother's Day-I love you Mama". How sweet are they?! Both boys also gave me some yummy organic chocolate bars.

Clayton made me and the boys breakfast-chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter syrup (he makes the BEST pancakes!). He also gave me a present and I was thrilled to see what it was. He bought me a new set of Kitchenaid Cookware that I have really been wanting. My cookware has seen better days and so I started hinting to him a little while back that I wanted to replace my old ones. He actually ruined one of my old pans with non-stick spray making his famous pancakes, lol.

We took off around lunch to Estes Park. It was so gorgeous up there! We went to the local brewery for lunch. When we were leaving, I noticed some big animals near a fence in the lot next to us. I decided to get closer and then realized that it was elk. It looked like they were fenced in but they were free-roaming. I couldn't believe how they just walked about like they owned the place, lol. Clayton then remembered hearing something about the elk walking all over the town. It was really cool.

The local wildlife
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My boys

This river cut all through the town. It was so pretty!

My herb garden that I planted over the weekend. We took a trip out to Lowe's and Clayton bought me the supplies to start one up. I love having fresh herbs so that I can make all kinds of yummy dishes. I got basil, cilantro (one of our faves), parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, dill, and mint (for Kala's yummy mojitos).

I heard the kids and Clayton going nuts outside so I took a look out the back door to see this little guy. He was adorable! I threw some carrots (organic, of course-lol) out to him. He stayed for a little while and then Hayden got too close for his comfort. Bunny made a mad dash out the gate. I hope we get to see him again. :)
***Someone asked me how far apart my boys are in my last post and I cannot reply through email so I will answer here. They are 21 months apart. Hayden was born in January of '03 and Emerson was born in November of '04. To answer the question of what that age spacing is like, I will try to be nice, lol. It is extremely challenging at times and the bickering is annoying. My kiddos were super easy the first 2 years because Emerson was such an easy baby and Hayden was an easy-going kid. Once E got old enough to play with H, that's when it all went downhill. They are so close in age that they simply cannot get along. They want to fight over anything and everything! I swear somedays I just want to pull all my hair out. When Hayden hit 3.5 is when it really hit rock bottom and it was miserable until he turned 5. Now it isn't quite so bad but they still fight ALOT. I separate them when they drive me crazy and then it is easy. As long as they aren't together, I get peace. One will get sent to the play area or their bedroom and the other will go downstairs to the living room. My sanity comes first so if I feel the need to separate, I do it.
I will say that I mentioned to hubby yesterday that maybe I should have spaced them further but he made a good point. If I would have waited, then I would have had to start over just as soon as I gained more freedom from Hayden going to school. That would have sucked. Basically, I got through the diaper/baby phase rather quickly since they were back-to-back. Once Hayden begins school in Fall, E will only be 2 years behind him. I can't wait to have my days back to myself. Yes, I am spoiled and I miss having "me" time during the day. I was a Stay-at-home Wife before I was ever a Stay-at-home Mom. Believe me, being a SAHW was a slice of heaven, lol.
So, I know I sounded a bit discouraging in the age spacing but I am glad that I did it. My boys will hopefully grow close as they get older. I am glad to be done with the baby phase and I am glad that I went the quicker route. It was simply out of the question for me to only have one kid (as I am an only child and DO NOT recommend it) so I wanted to get the baby part over with quickly.***

Friday, May 09, 2008

In honor of Mother's Day being around the corner...

I wanna show off some preggo pics from the past. I just love belly shots. :)

Here I am 34 weeks preggo with Emerson back in 2004:

Here I am at 35 weeks with Hayden in 2003:

I was huge during my first pregnancy. I had gained 47 pounds and my legs had cankles like Fred Flintstone, lol. I still enjoyed every moment of it though.

Clayton took this by our bedroom window. I think that he did a great job. We had more photos done outside but I cannot seem to find them right now. Hmmmm...

Anyhoo, I just felt the need to reminisce over these special phases of my life. I hope that you all enjoy your Mother's Day weekend as I know I will. I am sure that Clayton is up to something considering that he always makes such a big deal of each holiday/anniversary/birthday. He is the greatest!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What have you got going on for summer?

My kiddos are totally driving me bezerk and I just know that this summer is going to be one big test of patience, lol. I have been working on a weekly schedule of activities and field trips to keep them from being too bored (which in turn will help me keep my sanity). So far we have purchased season passes to the Denver Zoo and I am signing the kids up for swim lessons today. I am also considering getting season passes to Elitch Gardens (an amusement park), Water World (a huge water park), and the Children's Museum in Denver. Can you tell that I am desperate? LOL. Anyhoo, I am also working on scheduling little things that we can do around here such as planting seeds, making homemade ice cream, having a picnic at the neighborhood playground, etc. Anyone have any advice on things we can do or websites I can go to for ideas?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Our Weekend-A Recap

Clayton and I watched Juno Friday night and we both really liked it. It ended up a bit different than I imagined but it was a really good movie. Ellen Page reminds me of a young Janine Garafalo. If you haven't seen it, go get it. It won't disappoint.

I had to go have a blood test done on Saturday morning for the surrogacy. What really sucked was that I had to fast beforehand. I was soooo hungry. As soon as I left the office, I took off to Panera Bread. Emerson and I both ate some yummy stuff and then we took some back to the soccer fields for Hayden and Clayton. Hayden had 2 games since one was canceled the week before. This was the last weekend of soccer so he really made it count. He didn't score a goal but he came really close. We were so proud. Emerson played his final game that afternoon. He did a great job and got 2 ribbons to bring home.

After soccer, we went back home so Clayton could work on painting the living room. While he was busy, I scrapped the rest of my 2006 album since it was National Scrapbooking Day. I just had to celebrate it somehow, lol.

Sunday was a doozy. For one thing, the kids were driving me bonkers. It didn't help that I had tons of chores to catch up on. I cooked dinner for the family of 11 across the street so that took up a good portion of my day (BTW, it wasn't too bad cooking for a large family but I can't imagine spending that much on every meal-eek!). Afterward, I managed to organize all of my scrapbook kits and I now have idea pages ready to print out for each one. That took me forever to put together but it was well worth it. Today I will print everything out and add the pages to my idea binder for future reference.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Boys

Since the weather was so warm yesterday, I was finally able to pull out all the Spring/Summer stuff that I bought with my Gymbucks back in January. Aren't their matching baseball outfits cute?
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