Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Feeling The Love! (Updated!)

My first handmade card from my daughter! (With some help from Daddy, of course)
Inside view where she wrote her name. Am I just a proud Momma or can you also see the "R" and "U" there? My big girl. So sweet.

What a nice birthday! I had 85 birthday wishes on Facebook, countless emails, and calls. I got greetings from Thailand, England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and all over this great big country. My wishes came in 8 different languages this year: English, Thai, Croatian, Cebuano, Spanish, Japanese, Zulu, and Dutch. How fun! Yes, I am feeling the love today...especially at home.

The hubs gave me the best gift ever...a free day! Ruby had a Thanksgiving feast at school today, then he picked her up, took her to the park, took her for ice cream, then played with her at home. Me, I walked the dog in the park, got a massage, and did a little shopping. More like looking and getting ideas for Christmas, but I did score a nice sweater on sale at Macy's and some stocking stuffers for Ruby. It was a nice break. Can't remember the last time I had a whole day to myself. The massage was awesome and SO needed. But you know the funny thing? I could hardly wait to get back and see my family. My favorite 2 people on the planet. I almost came home early but then I thought I better take advantage of it while I can! Jeff had somehow managed to entertain our 3 year old and clean the house a bit. He gave me beautiful orange roses this morning, too. How I love him! He asked me what I wanted him to make for dinner but really I was in the mood for quiche so I made one myself. Came home and whipped one up with my favorite Ella CD playing while Ruby & Daddy were dancing and hanging in the kitchen with me. So nice. Ruby was so wound up and silly tonight. She was cracking us up. A great night and now time to get her off to bed!

Thank you everyone for thinking of me and sending nice thoughts and wishes. Wishing you all a wonderful, warm, peaceful, and YUMMY Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

สุขสันต์วันเกิด เจน`= Happy Birthday, Jen

Hey! My first Thai birthday message! Compliments of my dear friend, Anna, in Nakhon Si Thammarat. I feel so lucky to know this wonderful person and call her friend. Life is always a blessing when you have loving people to share it with!

UPDATE: What a great surprise I got tonight! Anna skyped me from Thailand and had the whole gang sing Happy Birthday to me! Her whole family and staff were there - our extended family in Thailand - all singing very animatedly. It was so darn sweet but the first time they sang I couldn't hear them at all! Felt so bad yet it was the sweetest thing. They broke into another song and I had to make a gesture to my ear to let them know I hadn't heard them. They looked SO disappointed. So I hung up and tried back until I got them and had a good connection. Anna yelled out and got them back in to sing again. LOL. They are just the best. She sent me a birthday card to our home address but it got send back for some reason so she held it up for me to see. They all had signed it. Can't think of a nicer thing for me to have received on my birthday! Anna and I chatted happily for HOURS through disconnections and re-dials, but boy it was such a nice  talk. Funny how we can be sitting on opposite sides of the globe - me in my pj's ready for bed and her dressed and ready to start her day - just sitting around chatting like girlfriends pouring over tea at the same table. It was wonderful and just made my night! Thank you, Anna! A happy birthday indeed. And hey, I can say that now cause it's midnight!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brighter Days Ahead

Well, I am feeling more like myself tonight and more confident that it's only gonna get brighter around here. Today was a very nice day. It started with a call from my mom. After a week of scary high blood sugar levels, she finally had a read of only 207. The insulin and new medication are working and she's gonna be okay. Whew! She's on a new diet, too, and so far so good. Thanks for all your kind emails and comments. As far as everything else in our life...we all have bad days - or weeks as the case may be - but we also know it could be a lot worse. We are lucky to have all we have. Most importantly, we are lucky to have so many wonderful family members and friends.

But back to today...The last month has flown by and we hadn't seen much of my brother or nephew. This is in stark contrast to the days where we'd trip over each other this summer. You'd think we would have been sick of each other - but no - we missed those guys! So today was really a nice time. Jason and Ryan came over for lunch and spent the whole day. The kids played, the adults talked and snacked. We all kicked some balls around the yard and then Ruby & Ryan watched a movie together, snuggled close on the couch. It was really a nice relaxing day.

Oh, and I got the most WONDERFUL early birthday and Christmas present! Jason gave them to me early in case I wanted to use them for Thanksgiving. A Le Creuset French oven and skillet!
Aren't they just beautiful? (Yes, I did just call cookware beautiful.) Cast iron and enamel, non-stick, dishwasher safe cookware that goes from stovetop to oven to table. Love the color, too. Been drooling over these for a long time and when a winery was giving this out for the top salesmen my bro pulled out all the stops! He could have received cash but instead he got these for me! Is that sweet or what? Can hardly wait to whip something up in these bad boys! My bro rocks!

So the celebration has begun. My birthday isn't until Tuesday and although I wasn't excited much about it this year, it sure has been nice so far. Friday night I went out with 2 great friends for dinner and drinks and the dads watched the kids. A very fun night and next up we have Jeff's family all coming on Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving. Should be a wonderful time! Counting my blessings and realizing there are many!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Speed bumps

Things have been rather bumpy around here. My mom's health went from not great to worse. She ended up in the hospital on Monday with an alarming blood sugar level of 587. Before this Jeff's work stress hit an all time high. Both situations have given me anxiety attacks, but thankfully, my mom's blood sugar has stabilized for now and she has a new doctor and new meds. Feeling like she is gonna be okay now, thank God. Finances I am not sure about. I guess we will just have to wait and see. Jeff is working so hard and staying so positive. I love that about him. Strong and hard working and yet such a honest to goodness good guy. I think how a man handles adversity speaks volumes about his character. And, well, I can safely say that Jeff's character is INCREDIBLE. I love how he never gives up and I love how his determination is stronger than ever when under pressure. I'm not sure how he does it.

His parents came down last weekend and it was such a nice relaxing break from the hellish week we had around here. His mom and I cooked a good fall dinner together on Saturday. A small turkey and a butternut squash au gratin recipe Jeff saw in his Wine Spectator magazine. We'd been dying to try it and it turned out really good.

Ruby has been an absolute doll. A constant reminder in my life that I did something right somewhere at some point. We went to see my mom in Hbg on Tuesday and stayed the night. She came along to all her Grandma's appointments yesterday like a little trouper. Sweet, concerned, but not bothered. She had us (and all the staff and onlookers) smiling all day. She just spreads her little sunshine wherever she goes. Today I took her to the mall to go to the bounce house as a special treat. When we got there were passing the nail salon and stopped to talk to the guy who usually does my nails. "NAIL PAINTING!!!" Ruby exclaimed to him while pointing to her nails. I told her "maybe" and took her to the Disney store for a look and then the bounce house. All she wanted was to get her nails done. Yes, my daughter would rather get her nails painted pink then bounce and jump and climb till her hearts content. LOL, she couldn't be more my daughter if she tried. Ha, ha, sad, but true. :-)

So off to get our nails done we went. Mine in a nice bronze for Thanksgiving and Rubes got pink with purple sparkles on top. You should have see the glee emanating from this little person when she saw the sparkles. Like I gave her a big mound of chocolate! So funny. My nail guy, Danny, was cracking up. Mother and daughter had a nice hour at the mall then headed home. How much joy this girl gives me! Every day. It makes the bumpy stuff look like just speed bumps. Okay, except for Mom's health. Still very much on my mind, but thinking good thoughts and having faith.

Don't remember when I last had time (and energy) to check blogs. Hope to get caught up with you all soon. Still have to have Jeff scan that old wedding pic, too!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Early Modern Toddler

Yes, this is what I am calling my home decor these days. Funny how particular I used to be and how much I've changed. Things are not picture perfect. Things do not always match. Stuff laying around is a common occurance, although I try my best to keep the clutter to a minimum. I could have fancy decorations up for fall but none would have the same unique qualities that my current fall art has. Seeing my little girls art work and crafts brings all 3 of us pride and joy and I couldn't think of a better way to show that but to have it drapped all over the kitchen and playroom.
I love the way she says "write your name" and scribbles on the paper. I love her coloring or painting in which she sees boats and letters and things on them that I "sort of" see. I love her little imagination coming out and the beauty of it all. Through her art and her sweet smile. I can't imagine a better home decor right now, can you?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Special Anniversary

Fifteen years married. Through thick and thin. Good and bad. Sickness and health. For better and for worse. For worse and for wonderful. From childless to having our every dream come true with Ruby. From having it all to having financial stress and up and down again. Through sleepless nights and awesome days. Through just about everything...we have been together. We have weathered life's storms and joys and all that is in between. And I wouldn't have it any other way or alter one second of it if it meant we would not be exactly where we are, right now today.

I love you my husband. For the wonderful person you are and all you have added to my life. Happy Anniversary!

(Look back here for our wedding pic. Haven't had time to scan yet, but it will be worth a look to see how much we have changed. You won't recognize me at all!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Many Looks of This Year's Halloween

Thursday: Fairy Princess for Little Gym Halloween Party
I think Rubes has a crush on her teacher. Look at that face! She followed him around a lot, batting her eyes at him and tugging on his costume.
Ruby and her BFF, Brie, as a lady bug. All the kids were just so cute in their costumes.
Loving on Daddy after a hayride and dinner Thursday night.
Friday: Abby Caddaby for school parade
 It got real cold on Friday so I made Ruby's fairy costume warmer with some layers. She really wanted to wear it again but Mommy was dying to update it a bit. So I added yarn to her pig tails and called her Abby Caddaby. She loved it. The parade was really cute. Almost all the girls in Ruby's class were a princess of some sort. Such a sweet little group. 
Each class did a Halloween song. All were adorable! Ruby's been singing the Pumpkin Patch song at home for weeks but on this day she was so excited she just smiled and watched everyone in awe. Too funny.
Ruby with one of her teachers and classmates.
A little impromptu costume we made at home. hahaha
Saturday: Thai Princesss for Harvest Day festival in our town.
This was my FAVORITE! It was very chilly so we bundled her up in layers. The fairy princess costume was dirty at this point so I got her excited about this one by telling her it looked like princess Jasmine. I even put some sparkly eye shadow on her and lip gloss. She was giddy and ended up really liking it. AND all the attention she got. Even though I know she was (is) a Thai Princess, everyone kept saying "Oh! Look at the little geisha!" LOL. Oh, well, we didn't care. I was just so thrilled she enjoyed wearing it. I guess the parasol made it look geisha?  Even though, actually, these umbrellas are used in many Asian countries. This one was made in China and I bought it at the festival that morning when I saw it matched. hee hee I am a sucker for a matching ensemble! But then, if you are a regular follower, you know that already. :-)
All the kids did a parade. She didn't win the contest, but she sure got our vote! 
Little princesses Ruby & Ava petting a princess doggie.
Looking much like the marti gras parader after the layers were off. 
Sunday: Snow White for Halloween trick or treating
This actually fits her better this year than last. Disney store had a big sale last week so I got her a new head band and wand. Wa la! Snow White was fun and new again!
Doing a little curtsey.
Alice in Wonderland and Snow having a little chat. LOVED Brie's outfit and so did SHE. (Her mommy hit the Disney Store sale too!) Brie didn't want to take it off for 2 days after her mom gave it to her. So cute! We are just having a ball with these girlie girls! Already planning Ruby's princess birthday bash for next year. Scored a gorgeous Jasmine Costume at Disney for only $19.99! Can I hear a woo-hoo for pre-holiday sales???
BFF's ready for trick or treating! We went to my friend Dawn's neighborhood since we don't get much action around here. It was a fun night and a fun weekend all around. But now- as they say - it's a wrap! Dress up fun will still be plentiful, but the running around (in the cold) will not. Now....what to do with all that candy????