Wednesday, May 27, 2015

15 Birthdays

When we got engaged in February 2000, it was very unexpected. We both knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but Rick hadn't planned to propose to me atop Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas. But, he did and there was promise of a trip and an engagement ring in May.

With wedding expenses, a trip to TX in May was going to be a bit of a splurge, but we hadn't seen each other since February and there was a wedding and a baptism to attend and a ring to pick up at the jeweler's on Rick's birthday weekend. Even though, I was not thrilled about flying, especially by myself, I was looking forward to the trip.

Then, Rick's ex told him she expected him to pay for half of the trip she had planned for her and the children to Disney World. Not only was he expected to pay for at least one of the children's expenses, they would be leaving earlier than expected and would miss his birthday. This also would cancel our plans as the money for my plane ticket would now be going to one of the children. I was beyond heartbroken and Rick was very disappointed.

When my mom told me she had received a bonus at work and since most of the wedding expenses were covered, she was giving it to me for a plane ticket, I was elated and could not wait to tell Rick. But, I decided to keep it a secret from him and contacted his mother and sister instead to arrange for a ride to his house from the airport.

I was so excited that I pulled off the surprise of all surprises! He had no idea! We had a wonderful, world wind weekend and the ring he and Devin had picked out for me was stunning.

I wasn't sure I would ever be able to top that birthday surprise, but I realized something last year when I was able to get Rick two very special presents. It is not about topping one celebration or gift over another. And it is not about how much you spend. For one birthday, Rick got a $5 CD and a granola bar with a candle in it.

What it is about is spending time with Rick 354 days a year, listening to his dreams and wishes, the secret things he hides in his heart that I get the privilege of seeing and hearing when we spend time together. When you listen to the one you love, you will learn their likes and dislikes and even the smallest one can be a blessing.

I am so thankful that I have been blessed with spending the last 15 birthdays with my amazing husband. And I am thankful that sometimes I get to pull off a few surprises. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Final Countdown

We are nearing the end of the school year with only 21 full days and 4 half days left before summer vacation! Of course, for me, summer vacation lasts a few days, then I start working at summer school and then I have a few weeks before school starts up again.

"I have a dream! That one day I will not have to work during the summer!" LOL It could happen.

As the year winds down the activities seem to ramp up with spring concerts, vocal competitions, field trips and weekend events. We have off for Memorial Day, but I have a feeling that will be filled with around the house projects. The backyard really needs a clean out and a dump run. And the pool needs to be repaired. I am praying we can get the pool repaired. It will make this summer more socially enjoyable.

And of course, I would love to swap the kiddos' bedrooms soon. We participated in a yard sale at our church last weekend and we sold some of the kiddos' things - specifically Noah's bedding and d├ęcor, so it would be nice to get their rooms painted and swapped soon. 

The weekend was busy with the yard sale, a PVA event for Kari, a birthday party for Noah and an engagement party for some of our dearest friends. Mother's Day was a slower, calmer day that brought visits from my sister, Janie and her crew and Cody, Brianne and Hayden. Steve and Janie took Hayden's 3 month old pictures and Rick made an awesome dinner. The kiddos' bought me hanging plants for the porch and Cody gave me a really sweet card. Rick did the laundry, so it was an incredible day!

We got the news on Monday that Josh had been cleared of all the charges from last July that he was incarcerated for in November. Completely bogus charges that were proven to be unfounded. Unfortunately, he has not been released due to probation violations that have to be cleared up before he can come home. His attorneys are working hard to get his hearings scheduled, but it still could be a month or more before he is home. Praying for a quick release and that he is able to get a job once he is released.

These cuties had birthdays recently. Kiyah turned 3 on May 3 and Kaysen turned 5 on May 8. We will be celebrating with them in a few weeks. I am trying to decide if we should wait until Josh is home, but we will probably celebrate with them and then party again when Josh is home. How many parties are too many, really??

These two have stolen my heart!!
And this little miss is growing so fast! She came over for Mother's Day and was such a delight! She smiled and cooed and just entertained all of us. Janie and Steve were able to get some great shots of her. Here is one....
She is just an awesome mix of Cody and Brianne! Such a cutie!!
I absolutely love being MoMo to these three amazing miracles! I can not wait until Hayden can stay over at our house as well. It will be one big sleepover party at Granddad and MoMo's house! Rick is certainly smitten with all of the grandkiddos as well. They will certainly be spoiled!
I am at the brink of making a decision about my education. I have to decide this week and even though it will be a hard decision, I think I know what I have to do. I really do not want to redo my undergrad degree, but I can not get anyone to accept my degree. DBU said that they would, but I would have to take a history class, the GRE test and only 6 of the 13 classes I need are offered online. I would need to go to Dallas for summer courses and a few spring courses and I am not sure that would be the best use of my time and money. Although, having to redo my undergrad degree and then get my master's may end being just as expensive. Decisions, decisions. I hate decisions!
And of course, Rick is just a semester away from graduating! I can not wait to see him cross the stage in 2016! He is such an inspiration to me and our children for his determination and perseverance. I am so thankful for him.
And did I mention he did the laundry on Mother's Day? Husband of the Year!   



I am not sure how it started. I guess maybe it was a genuine illness at first. Then the teenager babysat a little late on a Saturday night. ...