Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I laughed about this longer than I had laughed about anything lately. Amber continues to be my "try-anything on" girl...especially if it's ridiculous!
This outfit may not look extremely ridiculous...but the size is for a 6-9 month old!! She and Camryn wore these to their first Cincinnati Reds game when they were 10 months old. I'm not sure how she fit into it. All but 2 snaps got snapped.

8 Years & Counting....

Our adventure:

June 21, 1999
Best friend, Michele, challenged me to pray with her that I will meet the man I am going to marry within 3 months. Did I think she was crazy? Yes. Did I do it? Not right was awkward...but I finally allowed myself to start praying. A couple of weeks into the praying, Michele said she wanted to set me up with this guy from Ohio. I was traveling out there for an archery tournament and he agreed to meet me for lunch on the last day.

July 15, 1999
Day before I was to meet Eric - we talked on the phone finalizing plans and I tried to talk him out of coming up to meet me.

July 16, 1999
Woke up to get ready for the competition. Did my hair, did my make-up and stood back to look in the mirror. Realized that on any other tournament day - I wouldn't look like this. So I washed my face, threw my hair in a ponytail under a hat and walked out the door.

I remember sitting on the bleacher and seeing him walking up. He didn't know me or what I looked like. I thought about toying with him for a couple of minutes and letting him wander around trying to figure out which girl I was. But I didn't. We spent a couple of minutes chatting and then headed out for lunch.

I was instantly impressed with the black Ford Explorer that he drove...but even more so that he opened my door!!

He took me out for coneys at Skyline Chili (A totally Cincinnati thing!). Then he took me to a driving range to hit golf balls. All I remember is thinking, "Wow...I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone...I've never even swung a golf club before and now I'm doing this with a guy I just met!?" But it was fun. OH!...did I mentioned he paid for lunch and golf?!

He met my dad that day since I had traveled with my dad. They bonded instantly with their dislike of cats. He gave me a hug good-bye and said he'd be in touch.

July 17, 1999 - September 3, 1999
Many, many hours of talking on the phone. Early in August we made it known that we didn't want to date other people. Then we set up regular "date nights". Scheduled phone calls on Wednesday and Sunday nights. He always sent me calling cards so I didn't have to pay to talk to him...this was before unlimited calling plans!

It was so nice to get to know him on a true heart-level. No physical complications, no head games...just honest-to-goodness get-to-know-you time.

September 3, 1999
He flew out to Colorado for the Labor Day weekend. His parents lived in Estes Park, so he invited me up for the weekend. I remember picking him up at the airport. My roommates and I had gone shopping to find the perfect dress and shoes and I had practiced doing my hair just right. I remember waiting at the gate wondering if I'd recognize him since I'd only seen him once. I was so excited and so nervous all at the same time.

I met his family briefly, then he decided to drive me to Grand Lake. On the way there he asked if he could hold my hand. No guy had ever been thoughtful enough to ask me that before. I remember the awkwardness of trying to figure out the right hand-holding position that would work while driving in a car. heehee.

We sat by the lake and shared some wine in red plastic cups. Later that night we went with his family out to dinner. We went to the Bald Pate Inn, a homemade soup & salad place in Estes Park. I had to excuse myself to the restroom just after dessert where I proceeded to throw up everything I just ate. THAT'S how nervous I was!!..I just didn't realize it! It was the joke of the weekend. We still laugh about it.

That first night we sat on the couch watching Tommy Boy, and in what would become a true habit of mine...I started falling asleep on the couch. So instead of letting me him see me drool and hear me snore when we were still in the "impression" stage, I chose to say good night and go upstairs. He stopped me before I reached the stairs and gave me our first kiss. I could hardly believe it. I didn't really sleep much that night!

The next day we went hiking and had a picnic in the freezing cold wind and flurries, but it was fabulous. Later that night while sitting on the couch I remember asking, "So, does this mean I can call you my boyfriend?"

October 15-17, 1999
He flew me out to Cincinnati to visit. It was by far the best "date" I had ever had. I arrived during "Light Up Cincinnati"...where all the city turns on all their lights....very impressive!He took me shopping and bought me a beautiful outfit from Anne Taylor...blouse, pants, socks, shoes, perfume! Then...he had made me an appointment at a very high-end salon to get my hair done. Then he took me out for ribs (another Cincinnati thing), where I was too "Cool" for a bib, and I spilled BBQ sauce on my new blouse!

That Sunday he wanted to take me to the Bengals game but it was sold out....bummer! :O) Instead we drove to Bloomington, IN to Oliver Winery and did wine tasting and gourmet snacking. It was a blast. In fact, that is still our favorite winery.

By the time I left Cincinnati that weekend, I "knew". I knew he was the one for me.

November 26, 1999
Eric was back in Colorado for Thanksgiving and told me "I love you" for the first time. I was in such shock that I didn't say anything at first - just stared at him for what seemed like 5 minutes. But of course I told him I loved him too.

He was in Colorado until after New Years and I saw him on weekends and Wednesday night at Bennigans! The night before he left to fly back to Ohio he accepted a job in Boulder, CO!! Later that night I remember sitting on his lap and him telling me, "You know I want to marry you, right?" I, in classic romantic response, told him I wanted to throw up. In a good way of course!

At the end of January I flew out to Cincinnati and helped him pack up and drive back to Colorado. Little did I know "the rings" were in his coat pocket the whole time...I wondered why he was so attached to that coat!

February 11-13th
We were in Casper, WY visiting my parents. He remembers standing in the freezing cold Wyoming wind, no coat, with my dad...who kept him outside for 20 minutes...asking if he could marry me! We all "knew" what was going on, but Eric never told me, nor was it openly talked about that weekend, so the surprise "congratulations" cake that my sister made had to stay hidden!

On February 20th
After practically begging me to skiing with him, we ditched church and went to Breckenridge, CO to go skiing. I suspected it would happen that day, but I didn't know when or how. On the first run of the day, we had just started down the mountain. The sun was out, the clouds were few, the sky was Colorado blue. He pulled off the side of the run and asked me to come over...told me his foot hurt. hmmmm.... He popped off his skis, got down on one knee and said something sweet and sappy and perfect...then asked me to marry him.

Now - here's where this story is a bit unclear. His version is that "this" happened before I said "yes"...I swear it happened after I said "yes". Either way girls....refrain from asking how big the diamond is until LATER!!!...not when he's still down on one knee!

We were married almost 8 months later - October 21, 2000. Eric said he would always remember our anniversary because 21 is also Sammy Sosa's jersey number....whatever it takes!!

2 dogs and 3 children later....not necessarily in that order...I love him more than I ever thought I could and appreciate the friendship and relationship we share.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Picking

We had a great outing yesterday with our new friends. Hayride, cow milking (yes - they all did it!), animal feeding, tractor breaking down while pulling the hayride, pumpkin throwing (not a scheduled event - but they were the perfect size and ALL the kids were doing it...not just mine!), and last but not least, picking little pumpkins!

We are choosing to paint pumpkins this year instead of carve them - Eric and I will dig out seeds later. I'll post pictures when it's all done. Notice - I'm actually in one of these pictures with my kids!! amazing!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Camping mushrooms

Oh - one thing I found quite interesting was the wide variety and beauty of mushrooms they had there. Here were 3 of my favorites:

Camping pics - Finally

This was our view from our campsite:
Breakfast - yummo

There was this batch of trees they quickly realized they could climb:


When boredom stikes - paint rocks, leaves and pinecones!

Canoe trip... this waterfall:

Morning hot chocolate by the fire

My man making fire!

Enjoying some quiet time and a beautiful view:

temper tantrum


I don't know what it was about tonight...or the day. Camryn was emotional all day. Tyler was in his own world. Amber was just slightly defiant.

I was handling it ok. We had dinner at Camryn's school...we almost got out of there without spilling anything...almost. Luckily the lemonade stayed on the table and only took 20 napkins to wipe up...while my kids stood around asking what happened and while all the other parents watched.

Then there was the grocery store, where they were fine. Maybe it was the bribery of the ice cream we were buying.

Then there was the 2nd book request. PJs first....a welcomed phone call....but then it started. They wouldn't leave me alone while I was talking on the phone. I asked nicely then sent them to their rooms. Every 45 seconds one came out to see if they could come out yet.

I was SO frustrated. How hard is it to have a peaceful phone call? Then my temper had no fuse left and I started getting mad about little, stupid things. And then I started yelling. About stupid things. And then I threw things...backpacks...not at them, but just as a source of venting. Then they cried out of fear and confusion.

It was the kind of moment that if Dr. Phil's cameras had been in my house I'd be judged harshly.

Why do we do that? Because we are bigger than them and it makes us feel better? Absolutely not. I felt like sh*t. To see the looks on my daughter's faces was horrid. But I was SO frustrated...about nothing major. Nothing that should have caused me to loose my temper like that. Why do we, as moms, do that?

Can you imagine if God got frustrated at us like that, when we did stupid things? Thank goodness for His mercy.

I had a lot of apologizing to my kids, and to God.

Why do we get like that?
I'm saying "we" because I'm hoping some of you relate!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Camping Knowledge

Pictures will come in the next day or two, but right now let me tell you what I either learned or was reminded of during our camping trip over the last 4 days...which was FABULOUS by the way.

1) Pam cooking spray makes a great substitute for WD-40 when you have a squeaky camper door.
2) Black widow spiders get very large.
3) A pile of deer poop on the way to the bathroom is as fascinating the 203rd time as it was the 1st time.
4) Being a boy has benefits when the closest bathrooms are 75ish yards away and you need to go NOW.
5) The modern teenager doesn't use flashlights or lanterns to see the path in the dark...they use cell phone lights.
6) When camping with 3 kids for 4 days...make sure you pack 2 weeks worth of clothes per child...not just enough to "get by"...especially if there's a lake near by and/or if it has recently rained and there's wet dirt/mud around.
7) Campfire smoke really does follow people no matter where you move your chair to.
8) I really still don't like marshmellows...and I did try one. gag.
9) With a little bit of IS possible to make a campfire without lighter fluid.
10) 4 days and 3 night with my kids, dogs and husband, at a beautiful mountain lake, with amazing fall definitely something I want to do again.
11) One of my favorite moments...the girls sitting by themselves at the fire, making faces at each other, and thinking they were the funniest things ever.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

To the best Dad - who really isn't as weird as his wife! :O) HAHAHA!!
I love you - Happy Birthday...yesterday.

40 years and counting

Happy 40th Anniversary (last Friday) Mom and Dad!! Thank you for showing me a loving, Christ-like marriage is about...even if you are weird!

I'm honored to have parents who have survived so long in a world that doesn't have the patience for it.

I love you!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Curly girls

Need I say more?

(Although if anyone can tell me why this posting is not letting me rotate this image please enlighten me...because it's horizontal in my file!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A boy and his balloon

I know I've said it before - but it never stops making me giggle. Tyler LOVES balloons. I know that all kids usually like balloons and enjoy balloons....but Tyler LOVES balloons. Can't get enough of them - takes the responsibility of "holding" onto a balloon and keeping track of ballons...very seriously - and heaven forbid it pop or get away..or even someone elses balloon pop or get is very disturbing for him. We are pushing a 2-year obsession. Seriously.
Anyway - the other day I test drove a car and one of the guys at the dealership asked if he could give Tyler a balloon....duh. I thought it would be a normal of those BIG ones they tie to the cars....
Tyler's face was priceless...I wish I had my camera when he first saw it. These will have to do.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Creative Outlet

Sometimes I just get bored and I need a quick-fix change. What better to do that with than some hair dye, a pair of scissors, clippers, and some willing victims.
I cut the girls' hair, but I haven't taken's just bouncier...nothing fancy. I tried to give Tyler a mohawk and Eric and I just laughed....SO NOT Tyler!! Then there's me and the glowing red...which I've gotten compliments on from complete strangers. So I'll take it for awhile!
Well - he enjoyed it for the 15 minutes he had it.
This is as "tough-guy" as it gets with him...
aaahhh....there's the boy I know!
Then there's me with the almost glows in the sunlight.