navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
An update about me, eh? It seems so long ago that has happened. I received the sweetest email from [ profile] hearts_refuge a few months back asking for just such a thing, but it still has taken me so long to get here.

The truth is, my life really is about cookies. And sweets. And even foodie recipes, from time-to-time. I've become a "food blogger" over a "life blogger," and it almost happened without my consent. After all, I dearly love blogging, and have for almost a decade now (next month!). I suppose it has happened as my interests have changed, you know? Where I once was nothing more than a stay-at-home mom and my children were young, I had tales of creative afternoons, of butterfly kisses on boo-boo'd knees, and pictures of happy boys who always took a moment to smile for the camera. Now, however, I have been a work-out-of-home mother, and my boys have become independent young men that only ask for bandaids if there's blood and kisses in a "real" emergency, and who never have time to stop for a picture.

Life has changed, I suppose.

This month brings about the end of an era for me. In just three more days, my "baby" Jack will become ten. TEN! Oh, I cried and cried on that day when A.J. turned a decade milestone. I still don't know why... it's just a number even now. But, oh - it's THAT number. And once again, I'm faced with it, but this time? This time, my "baby" is TEN. YEARS. OLD.

And to add teardrops to teardrops, in just two more weeks, A.J. will officially become a teenager. THIRTEEN! Where has the time gone? Indeed, where have the three years gone since I lamented his babyhood?! I just cannot believe the young man he is becoming before my very eyes. In fact, he's almost above my very eyes, for we are spot-on in height with one another now (I'm 5'6"), and he is but one size away from Philip's shoe size already. I daresay that he will pass his dad in height (Philip is about 5'10"), and I do not think it will be very far in the future. Friends used to mistake A.J.'s voice for mine when he answered a call, but now they exhale in wild amazement, "That was A.J. on the phone? Not Philip?!"

It all happened so very fast. I do not want to speak of the days passing, for we have already realized that, though he only will attend 8th grade this year, it still means that next year we will have a HIGH SCHOOLER in our midst. *tears*

Those of you on my Facebook know more of the in's and out's of our days, and what falls here in my journal is not much more than a recap most times. The summer is passing, and with it, the days are becoming shorter. We're not yet to the point of "cooler," but I know that it is coming. School was scheduled to begin on August 24th, but the Minot school systems lost six schools to the massive flooding, and there has been a scramble to gain and provide enough portable trailer classrooms all over the city to recreate those that were lost. Therefore, school will not officially start here until September 6th. The governor was kind enough to grant Minot a 5-day loss of teaching days, and the students will attend on two planned holidays instead (ie. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) instead, but will end the year as scheduled on the 25th of May next year.

The flooding situation affects every part of our life, I'm afraid. On the military base, we are still not connected to the main water supply in town, as the line breaks that need repair are underwater even now. When we are connected once again, I'm sure there will be a longer process than normal to flush out over six weeks' worth of muck and sludge from the lines. Despite the water all around, we still have major thunderstorms every few days or so as well. While I wish that the city would not receive even one more drop right now as they try to dry out, I'm thankful for the water here on base. Without it, our filtration systems would not be running from the creek beds, and we would be in an even poorer situation. Finally, however, the state-issued "boil order" was lifted from the base, and that has been a welcome blessing.

The devastation downtown is unmeasurable. So many parts of town are still diked, and will likely not be "unearthed" before the fall season fully arrives. Many businesses and restaurants are still closed, their black windows haunting the main strip like sad skeletons. Friends post pictures of their homes, and they are nothing more than shells, walls barely standing and held together only by various layers of mold. It is such a sad, sad affair. :-(

I hope to keep writing on real life, but I won't make promises at this point. I thank my friends that have checked in here and there, and I still read almost daily, though I comment rarely. :-)


Oct. 5th, 2008 04:41 pm
navygreen: (Halloween: pumpkin)
I'm so busy lately, and I keep meaning to update, but then have no time to do so. As a result, here are some bullets of the going-ons in my life as of late:

  • Runza was burglarized on Friday, the 26th. No one was at the store at the time (it as early morning - about 6am), so we were all safe.

  • But it's an "inside job," as someone used a key and also was able to open the safe to empty the contents (and said safe has a pretty complex code).

  • This is causing me GREAT unease. I clearly don't know someone as well as I thought I did - whether it is one of us four current staff with such access (including myself), or one of the two staff who left in the last couple months (both of whom I consider to be friends).

  • The fingerprint dust from the detectives all over the office caused me to have several freak-outs. Too much of a trigger from the other robberies. *sigh*

  • Because of the burglary, we have been piecing the store back together in the past week. I have worked a lot of hours. A LOT. And this past week contained the "end of month" stuff for my monthly bookkeeping role anyway. It has been a really heavy week.

  • Next week looks to be about the same for the first three days. The four of us are also now required to travel to Lincoln, to the Runza National office, to be interviewed individually by a theft committee.

  • We're still waiting to hear the final word on taking polygraphs. We were told originally that we would need to, we all agreed to do so, and then they decided, "No, not just yet. Let's do the committee meetings first."

  • I received a lovely, super-duper surprise from [ profile] mostcurious! She knitted me my very own, PoA-style Slytherin scarf! I don't have pics to share yet, though. :-/

  • I got my hair cut on Friday night after work. I told the gal to do what she wanted, and it is VERY different! Again, no pics yet.

  • The boys' school pictures came in, and they are both good. A.J.'s pic is PHENOMENAL, in fact. I was very pleased, and I've been working on getting them mailed out.

  • I took family portraits for a friend visiting from Florida on very short notice, and she LOVES them. I'm very happy, and you can see those HERE, if you're interested. I still need to burn her a CD of the images and mail it to her...

  • Today is my little godson's birthday! Only he's not so little anymore - he's now TWO! Happy Birthday, Douglas!

  • It is OCTOBER already. How did that happen?! Seriously, Jack will have been 7 for two months already next week, and A.J.'s been 10 almost as long. That is insane! My little (not so much!) guys haven't yet decided on costumes for this year, though we keep looking...

  • I still need to get Halloween decorations up. Jack has been begging to put them up this year (I didn't decorate last year at all, as October was a difficult time), and I was just too darn busy this week. I'm hoping to get to it before...

  • [ profile] bigbrain61 comes to visit on Wednesday! Dude, I'm so stoked! I've known him online for about 5.5 years now, and we'll finally get to meet in person! He'll be here from Wednesday evening to early Friday afternoon - I can't wait!

  • Speaking of online friends, I passed my 6th LiveJournal anniversary on 09/22. Can you believe that? Craziness! Thanks to all of you who've made this such a great place for so many, many years. *hug*

  • Aaaaannnnnd, in BIGGER news, Philip and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on 9/12. We marked the occasion by renewing our vows, and a handful of very close friends celebrated with us at our church. There were tears, of course, but for the first time in about a year, they were really HAPPY tears! Heather took a few pics for me, but I don't have them up yet, either...

  • Also in the works, Philip and I are headed to Colorado in January for a ski trip! We will be gone for five days, and it will be only the second time we've ever been alone in our entire marriage (the first was for one night last December while we were in West Virginia). We've already paid our deposits, and we're really looking forward to it. Philip will be skiing and snowboarding, and I plan to veg out in the beautiful scenery with my camera, some tatting, and good hot cocoas. We'll spend our evenings in the condo with another couple, making homemade meals and chatting and playing games - I'm so excited!

I'm sure there's so much more I need to update about, but I've got to get moving and push some more laundry through. I've got leaves to rake in the backyard, laundry to put away, dinner to fix, and a mandatory full-staff employee meeting tonight to attend as well. Go, go, go - that's me!
navygreen: (Birthday!)
It's a really nice feeling when folks call to RSVP and make sure to completely "Wow!" over how nice the invitations look. It's heartwarming, and it makes me feel good, as I did put a lot of work into the invites.

A.J.'s birthday sleepover will be in two weeks, and his invites will be mailed out today. I've been hard at work, tracking down his intended guest list by phone to snag their home addresses to send the invitations. Because he is having a sleepover, we wanted to keep the list much smaller. And you're not allowed to bring invitations to school unless you're inviting the entire class, so we had to find another way to distribute the cards. He's super-excited about hosting his first big sleepover, and in just talking with the parents, it looks as if we have three definites (including two girls!), plus two that will stay until bedtime, then leave for home.

Jack's birthday party will be in four weeks, and the guest list is enormous! We worked hard at the end of school to get information from all the kiddos in his class, and it has paid off. We've invited his kindergarten classmates (the school year ended about a month ago now) by mail, a few of his indoor soccer buddies, his entire outdoor soccer team (the season ended two weeks ago), his entire summer school class (the program just ended yesterday, so he took these invites to school and handed them out), as well as several other family friends. Most of the invitations will be mailed, but from just the dozen or so he gave out in summer school on Thursday, he now has eight RSVP's already! Good thing I was expecting this party turnout to be BIG, right?!

Their birthday celebrations are being bumped up this year, since both of their birthdays are actually in August. Jack's birthday is the 9th, falling just three days before the first day of school. If we did a party on his birthday (Saturday), it would be hard to catch folks, as that's the last weekend for school shopping, last-minute summer vacations, etc. A.J.'s birthday is the 23rd, and that's no better. School is already in session, and everyone is getting so busy by then, including ourselves. Plus, to give the parents enough notice, we practically have to send home invites on the first day of school. Maybe it's just me, but I consider that kinda tacky. A couple years ago, we waited an extra month into school, having A.J.'s party in mid-September, but I've always felt badly for making him wait so long. So this year, we just decided to bump things up a bit and have true summer birthdays (which both of their birthdays *should* be - stupid school calendar).

But even that was easier said than done. Our high school reunion is the 26th of July, and we'll be in West Virginia for that. We're planning on leaving the 19th, and won't be back until the 31st. A.J. is in summer camp from the 13th-18th, and I really didn't want him to miss Jack's party, either (brothers are supposed to be there, you know?). So Jack's party is the 12th of July (almost a month early). And A.J.'s couldn't be the week prior because 1) it's 4th of July weekend, and people will be all over the place, and 2) it's the weekend of Buglet's birthday, as well as [ profile] marshmelococoa's visit. So A.J.'s celebration is the 28th-29th of June instead - almost two full months early!

See, there's reasoning behind my madness. ;-)
navygreen: (Lazytown: mailbox)
While doing nothing in particular today, I was struck by a shocking thought: [ profile] posthaste's little one, Sophie, is going to be 2 this summer! How is that possible already? It seems like I was *just* begging her not to have the babe while I was in West Virginia for a visit, as I didn't want to miss the big announcement (she did anyway, though - stinker).

Also, [ profile] welfy? I received your mail today, did my part, and am now off to shop for a postcard. I'm so honored to have now also touched something that your beloved friend Frances did as well - wow! Thanks for letting me participate. :-)
navygreen: (Tatting)
I finished a bookmark this evening. It's sad, really, as this is my first real finished piece of tatting since October or so. I began another pair of booties last week, but I only worked one morning on them, so only the sole of one shoe is complete. For a long, long while there, I just couldn't tat anymore. It feels nice to come back to it.

Philip and I watched Dan in Real Life tonight. It was a good, good movie. We've been watching a lot of movies lately, including the following: The Bucket List, Michael Clayton, Awake, Juno, and Enchanted (the latter two were both seen in the theatre, too). We've got several planned to watch as well: Happy Endings, We Own the Night, Run Fat Boy Run, Margot at the Wedding, The Heartbreak Kid, and Atonement. It feels good to be catching up, so to speak, on all the flicks out there.

I played the drums last night for a good while with Chris and Philip. We played online, and Chris was at his house with his RockBand as well. I averaged in the 80th percentile for most songs (on Easy), but there was one song that absolutely SUCKED. Philip selected the song too quickly, and I was stuck on Medium. I failed out twice, being saved and brought back in by my band members (either Philip or Chris), Philip failed out once, and Chris failed at least twice. Finally, the game just booed us out of the song. It was awful. I had 59% on that one, with only a 36-note streak. We ended on a good note, though: for "Say It Ain't So," I received 98% with a 220-note streak.

Easy, of course. ;-)

I made a blanket for Ryan yesterday, and I finished it up this evening (before I tatted). I chose Husker fabric for one side, and solid black for the other. His birthday is on Thursday, but he took the day off, so I wanted to give him his gift tomorrow. Philip bought him a little car, and I whipped up a special batch of chocolate chip cookies tonight per Ryan's request. I hope we're able to make him smile tomorrow.

I looked at products online for a friend's Tastefully Simple party. I think I've got my order planned out. I've not had their goodies in several years now.


This post is made of *yawn*, I think. Good night. :-)

On my own.

Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:17 am
navygreen: (Texas)
For Texas, that is. Today is Texas Independence Day, and I never forget to note that. :-) Also, that means it is the birthday of my cool cousin Diana!

*confetti all around*
navygreen: (Lazytown: mailbox)
I've been thinking a lot lately. Probably moreso than is good for my little mind, but it's hard to turn it off sometimes, too.

In unrelated news, I'm now married to "an older man." Philip turned 28 on Tuesday, and for eight blissful weeks, I can taunt him with being so much older than me. He's still just as sexy, though - maybe even more than he was ten years ago. :-)

I worry about my tatted gifts sometimes. I don't mail them in the safest of ways - usually tucking them into an envelope with a small note of some sort. Occasionally I use a padded envelope if the piece is a larger one, but not often. But I really worry about them after I mail them because I'm so afraid that someone will think I've mailed cash or something (the pieces are very light, but they put a certain bit of... I don't know, soft-ish bulk in the shape of the envelope). And so I worry from the moment the piece leaves me until I hear from the recipient that it has arrived intact.

Big worries, small worries - that's me. As JCPenney says, "It's all inside."
navygreen: (Kermit the Spaz)
Sooooo tired.

I'd really like to shave my legs, but I don't think I'm going to make it too much longer tonight. How sad is that? It's only just after 8:30pm!

I stayed up late the past two nights, and I'm dog-tired tonight because of it. In my defense, I planned to go to bed early last night, but I had unexpected company - six people that needed a bed/pallet/floor to sleep on, and I was up really late because of it. But I'm glad I could help out.

And I wanted a nap this afternoon so badly, but Jack asked ever-so-sweetly if I would help him build his new LEGO pirate ship (The Black Pearl), and since I spent all yesterday afternoon cleaning out and decluttering his room to make a space for said ship, it made sense to actually open the box today. That took almost two hours, but now he has two gigantic pirate ships, as well as the Isla Cruces playset on his train table. And then he and A.J. played quietly for an hour or so in his room while I tossed in some laundry and tatted a bit.

Speaking of tatting (and aren't I always?), I've been busting my tail completing pieces. I finished my mom's birthday present, plus my sister's, and I just finished up my sister-in-law's piece tonight during swim lessons. I need to take pictures of all of them. I finally wrote out a "to tat for" list, as the increasing number of requested projects was beginning to spin in my little brain. I split one skein or floss two nights ago (none of you showed up to help, by the way), and that took me very close to two hours. I've got two more skeins to split, and then I'll be using those three split skeins to make six certain projects.

And I'm dying to make another pair of baby booties. Seriously, now that the booties are completed, given away, loved and worn by the baby, I just want to make oodles and oodles more of them! Some people have baby fever or baby lust. I have baby bootie fever.

I've been folding Moravian stars in my "free" time after dinner and such at night, and I even took the strips of paper with me to swim lessons last week one night. I suppose it's clear that I can't just SIT there at swim lessons, isn't it? I really can't. I must be doing *something* all the time.

Me = Spazzy.

I'm going grocery shopping in the morning tomorrow after I drop the boys off at school. I had originally planned to go today, but there wasn't quite enough time after my guests left this morning. We had everything we needed for dinner tonight anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. Besides, when I go tomorrow, I'll be well-rested.

Mmmmmmm. Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
navygreen: (HP: Harry and the Potters - signed my BO)
This trio of posts has been causing me stress. LJ's Scrapbook feature wasn't working properly for me last night, and after much tearing-out-of-the-hair, I finally just gave up and resigned myself to finishing up today. But now... now, it can be completed.

** By the way... I cannot stress highly enough that clicking behind the LJ-cut (a bit down the page) would be EXTREMELY unfriendly to dial-up users!

I mentioned back in Part 1 that, "Jack had an idea to share his birthday cake." Well, we'd been planning for a very special event for a couple of days, and it just so happened that the event was to take place on Jack's birthday. And said special event? Harry & the Potters returning for a concert here in Omaha, but also bringing Draco & the Malfoys along!

And Jack wanted to share birthday cupcakes with them!

(insert big-time *SQUEEEEs* of all sorts here)

We're not new to "wizard rock." In fact, we're such old hats at rocking wizard-style that we've joined the craze that refers to it as "wrock." In our car - at any given point in time - there are at least two wrock CDs. In our house, at least one wrock album is in the bathroom CD player during bathtime. And, frequently, iTunes can be found jamming on the computer to... you guessed it: one of a variety of wrock songs.

Harry & the Potters, Draco & the Malfoys, Katerina (of Mugglenet's U-Bend parody fame), Cousin Wizardface, Dumbledore, Stubby Boardman, The Whomping Willows, Hermione & the Grangers -- you name it, we listen to it. There are TONS more wrock bands out there, and we can't turn them away. We're not even new to the wrocking concert scene: as a family, we all attended a Harry & the Potters show last year here in the Omaha area. They were spunky, charismatic and fun then, but things were bound to even better now, when we've spent the last fourteen months living and breathing by their songs. We were PUMPED!

While the cupcakes were baking, I tried calling the Omaha Public Library. The previous concert had been in the Ralston Public Library (I type "libarry" every time, by the way), and it was a much smaller venue, as well as very family- and kid-friendly. In the larger, more "official" library (ack - again!), I wasn't sure whether they'd even allow us to set foot in the door with foodstuffs, much less allow us to ask the bands whether they'd share them. Unfortunately, however, their website was down for a major portion of the day, and the only phone number I could find yielded a friendly, yet decidedly computerized, voice - reciting the day's hours and schedule of events, but unable to answer questions.

So we took a gamble. We made the cupcakes anyway, and it we crossed everything crossable, hoping that we'd be allowed to take them inside the library (ha!). Again, Jack had picked an Orange Supreme cake, frosted in Chocolate Fudge and decorating in orange icing. I had bought two disposable pans, and we put a dozen cupcakes in each one, decorating just a few of them to be special. We spelled out his name, of course, and we made a spiffy '6' on one cupcake, and then I decorated a few for the guys in the bands.


(And, in case you have trouble spotting it, there's also a pic of Jack pointing out the lightning bolt cupcake - that was his favorite. Note the "wrocking" hand!)

Once the cupcakes were ready to go, we dressed for the event. I decided not to wear the same things I'd worn to the movie and book releases this summer, only because I feared I would be too hot. Sadly, the boys each have only one HP-related shirt, and they're the same shirts they wore to the Harry concert last year (thank goodness they were big then!), but it made choosing outfits go quickly. Choosing items for possible autographing, however, was another story...

Last time, I had my copy of Book Six signed inside the cover. I decided to do the same with my copy of Book Seven. A.J. was going to take his paperback copy of Book One, but he changed his mind at the last second to his Book Seven release poster, and Jack followed suit with his own poster. It was a great idea for A.J., and I'm glad that it made Jack change his mind, as I had my doubts about how easy it would be to sign the sword of Godric Gryffindor (Jack's original choice).

So, we were dress'd, cupcake'd, and souvenir'd, and we were on our way. )
navygreen: (Boys: hug?)
This is pretty much one big picture post. :-)

Babysitting Catherine for the first time.

Many more! )

Now. Who's jealous of us? *grins*
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
On the morning of Jack's special day (this past Thursday), we ran around to pick up a bunch of things. Jack had an idea to share his birthday cake in the evening, and I helpfully suggested that sharing might work better if he had cupcakes. When given the choice, he picked out an Orange Supreme cake mix and Chocolate Fudge frosting, as well as orange icing for decorating. It sounded pretty good to me too, and I'd never had such a combination before.

We came home, and I whipped up another trifle dish of banana pudding for all the guys at Runza (Brett's little dish had been *inhaled* before he even got a chance to see it!) I set the pudding in the fridge while I made the cake batter and filled the little foil wrappers. I set Jack's cupcakes to baking, and I washed a few dishes and cleared the table while waiting. As soon as the timer went off, I pulled the cakes from the oven, and then I dashed into the shower.

After my shower, I dressed, and then we all set out to take the pudding to Runza. We picked up lunch there (Jack's choice), but we brought it home, expecting little Catherine in just minutes. We got to be her first-ever babysitters, and it was such a wonderful time. She was an absolute angel, but Heather came back to get her much too quickly. I've got a ton of pictures to post, but look for them over in this locked post (Jack's birthday: Part 2).

Next up, Part 3!
navygreen: (Birthday!)
Today is Jack's birthday, and he is now six years old. We have an exciting, eventful day ahead of us, and it will be a memorable way to usher in the new year for him.

Even so, as his Mama, it's really hard to believe that it's already been six years. Wowzers. Where does the time go?
navygreen: (Candle)
It's "almost" time. The boys have been telling anyone who asks their age that they are "almost": the answers differ just a tiny bit, of course, as Jack is "almost six," and A.J. is "almost nine." One month ago, they were both still telling the "-and-three-quarters" numbers to folks.

There's nothing like the anticipation of a birthday. I do the same thing myself, though I corral my enthusiasm to only include 1/2-birthdays. But I could never, ever say the new age unless it were really true - that's still a lie, in my opinion. Not only that, but it robs a bit of the fun from the actual birthday later on. So we'll enjoy the "almosts" around here for a bit longer, and then I'll be just as happy as my boys on their special day, changing my userinfo accordingly to reflect the new age.

Only five more days until Jack's birthday, and just nineteen days until A.J.'s big day. I see lots of cake in our future. ;-)
navygreen: (Philip)
*evil grin*

I picked up the phone and dialed Philip at work. As the phone was ringing, I noticed the time - 12:00am exactly. He answered in the Control Center, and I wished him a Happy Birthday. We talked for a few minutes, and then I let him go so that he could give his full attention to an exercise going on.


Except that I called the desk then - at 12:04am. An "Airman Hickey" answered the phone, and I explained to him who I was, and that I was calling to inform the flight of Philip's 27th birthday. I gave him my express permission to announce the occasion to any and all flight members, and that any embarrassing displays would be most welcomed.

At 12:06am - just now - the phone rang here. I picked it up, and Philip jokingly told me how much he hates me for telling the flight it's his birthday. Of course, I denied doing such a thing, but he knows me better. I gave in and asked what had happened in just two short minutes, and he told me that Hickey came across the radio for all stations, announcing to all posts that it was the Flight Chief's birthday and that everyone needed to be advised.

I love it. :-D
navygreen: (Draco - yearbook)

Happy Birthday, Draco!

Going from a birthdate of June 5, 1980, my beloved Slytherin is now 26... just like me. :-D

(Yeah, yeah - it's the same basic post as last year... but it's important to remember it!)
navygreen: (Snape's Worst Memory)
Today was my parents' anniversary and also my dad's birthday.

I forgot to call them.

I am a bad, bad daughter. :-(

I don't know how I forgot, either. I mean, I was just telling hetterrific Heather last night about how I'd be calling them. Of course, I was also telling her this afternoon about how I needed to make another call, but I just wasn't feeling like talking on the phone today (and we hung up shortly afterwards).

I feel like scum. :-(

The index and middle fingers on my right hand have been twitching off and on for the past 2-3 days. I've noticed it getting worse, but today it's nearly unbearable. I was trying to eat leftover enchiladas for dinner, and I found myself having a difficult time directing the fork to my mouth because of the twitching. I'm certain it's from spending too much time mouse-ing at the computer, so I've tried to back off the past few nights and then for a large portion of today. I do hope it doesn't get any worse...

I guess that's all *twitch, twitch* for *twitch* now.


navygreen: (Default)

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