Sunday, October 31, 2010

Show me the money

Campfire talk with Levi (8) and Me (31)

Me - Levi, what is the hardest thing about being a kid?

Levi - Math and Spelling

I have him spell a couple words and answer a few math problems.  He does this with ease and you can see the moment on his face that it all clicks and he realizes that math and spelling are not so hard

Levi - Oh, I meant math and spelling are the most boring. 

Me -  What is the hardest thing about being a kid?

Levi - Worrying that mom won't give me my allowance

Me - Has she ever done that ?

Levi - No, but someday she might. 

Me - What do you think the hardest part of being an adult is?

Levi - Going to work!

Me - ...and worrying that your boss you will give you a paycheck. 

Thank goodness Levi and I both got paid this weekend so there was enough money for marshmallows! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

So long heated blanket

Entertaining ourselves with an at home spa day in our first apartment. 

I can't sleep because I'm mad at a blanket.  My heated blanket decided tonight was the night to call it quits and give up on life and it's absolutely ridiculous how upset I am over a stupid blanket.  I've tossed and turned for way too long thinking about how much money it cost and how much I'm going to miss climbing into a warm bed every night.  My mind eventually wandered to another topic and then another and after a long string of random topics in my head I ended up at the beginning of me and Troy.  I can't get the story out of my head so I'm writing it down (or typing it out) in an effort to clear my thoughts.

The day after our first date Troy emailed me to let me know he could not afford to take me out and so he expected me to pay my half in the future.  I hadn't even agreed to a second date and he was already telling me that I needed to come up with some money!  I went out with him again and paid for the 2nd date.  On our 3rd date (which didn't cost anything) I really started to fall for him.

Troy would not let me visit his apartment because his furniture consisted of an air mattress, a card table, and a folding chair.  He had no where for me to sit and no matter how much I begged he refused to show me where he lived.  This was Troy's first lesson in dealing with me: don't tell me I can't do something, because I will show up with a free couch to get myself in that door!  He now had a place for me to sit, so there were no more excuses to keep me out! As an added bonus for him the couch showed up just in time because his air mattress bit the dust right around then too. 

The majority of our dates didn't cost anything.  We spent many many nights just the park, on a walk, on that free couch.  The night before our first road trip to Iowa to meet his family we slept on the hard floor of his apartment together.  Well, we laid on the hard floor together and talked...I'm not so sure we did  much sleeping that night, but we did do a lot of talking.  The thrill of being able to lay next to each other for the whole night made it so we didn't even notice the painfully hard floor.  We couldn't spend enough time together. 

My parents (God bless them) eventually gave Troy a bed and told me I better not break up with him the next day.  Shortly after that I moved in to the 275 square foot apartment with Troy. I brought a dresser and a desk with me so it was like we were living the rich life!  We lived together for 8 months in that small studio apartment before moving into our huge (450 square feet) apartment. 

I can't imagine that anyone ever questioned our love for each other during that time.  We didn't have a lot of "things" and it didn't matter.  We were so incredibly happy to just be able to spend time together, to sleep next to each other, even if it was on a hard floor. 

My heated blanket is just a thing.  Now that I've laid in bed pouting for hours, and then sitting alone at the computer typing away, I'm finally ok with losing one of my favorite things.  I didn't need a heated blanket when we lived in that first apartment and I don't need one now.  I'm going to crawl back in bed and cuddle up with Troy.  A heated blanket is just a thing, one I love, but still just a thing.  It's much more important to have Troy next to me all night long than to have my electric powered warmth. 

Scoot over Troy, here I come.  (Plus his side of the heated blanket still works!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Opposite of Nerd

Happy  Halloween, Love Troy (the nerd)

Two things I've done in the past 24 hours that make me NOT a nerd!  

1. Turn my car into party hopping good time!
  • Hear first few notes of my favorite song and turn the volume up to 100%
  • Sing as loud as I can...causing a slightly sore throat
  • Immediately pat self on back for knowing every single word and never missing a beat! 
  • When the radio is turned up that loud I actually sound just like Bruno Mars.  Turn the volume down and I just sound like I am screaming. 
2. Join in someone else's car party!
  • See a car full of teenage girls cruising down the highway singing and dancing (to what must have been a routine because they were all in sync with their movements)
  • Zig Zag our way through traffic to get beside them (this is not not try this)
  • Roll down window and make complete fool out of myself immitating the teenagers
  • Smile huge smile and wave at the girls who have now seen me and are so excited to have been caught in the act. 
  • I'm sure the other cars around us (it was rush hour) must have thought that we knew each other...or that there was a car dance-a-thon breaking out!
Imitation is the highest form of flattery...right?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful for what????

The view from my lunch table shows the fall leaves changing colors. 

"What a wonderful thing it is to spend a solid hour just being thankful.  It throws all of life into a new perspective." -David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade

All of the sweet moments I write about are things that I am thankful for.  The phrasing may be different, but the idea is the same.  When I first read this quote I thought I would sit down and spend one full hour writing out a list.  Shortly into that process I realized that my list was going to be so long that no one would take the time to read it.  I stopped writing my list down (didn't want to get writers cramp), but I did spend my whole lunch hour thinking about how blessed my life is.

It's so easy to get depressed when I think about those weeks where we struggle to pay our bills, but then I realize how lucky I am to have those bills.  Yes, I just said that I am lucky to have bills!  I may struggle to make that house payment one month, but I am able to make it happen and that means I have a house - my very own house!  I have a wonderful 3 bedroom house with electricity and running water.  I have indoor plumbing with not one, but two toilets.  I have food on my table every day, even if it isn't what I really want, at least I have something to eat.  I have clothes in my closet and although they have been mended and patched back together over and over, they still keep me warm.  I have a job that provides me with enough money to have these luxuries in my life. 

How many people in the world, in the United States, in your town, or even on your street are struggling to provide those same items for their families?  There have been several foreclosures in my neighborhood in the past year.  How many people on my very own street were struggling to keep their house while I was adding a deck onto the back of mine? 

On my street: I am thankful that I am able to keep my house

In my town: I am thankful that I live very close to my family and my church

In the United States: I am thankful to have a job in these tough times when so many have lost theirs.

In the world: I am thankful and so blessed to be living a life where I have choices.  I get to choose my food, my house, tap water or bottled water (tap please), my medical care...  I even get to choose what toilet I want!

Today's sweet moment came from reading the blog 52 Beginnings and being reminded to stop and think about everything I have to be thankful for.  If you can't take an hour, then take 30 minutes, or 15 and write down as many things to be thankful for as you can in that time frame.  How long is your list?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Triangle Eyes

I remember carving pumpkins when I was a kid.  I would draw a design on the pumpkin iteself with a black marker and it was almost always the same design: triangle eyes, triangle nose, and triangle teeth in a smile formation.  Now they have all sorts of fancy designs you can use to make just about anything on your pumpkin.  One of these years I am going to cave in and let go of all the pressure to do a "fancy" pumpkin and go back to those triangle eyes. 

Troy and I look forward to carving pumpkins every year.  We always pick out a design that looks way too complicated, but super cool (on paper) and then regret our decision about half way through the carving when things don't look like they are going so well.  Somehow it all magically comes together when you stand around in a dark room with the tiny candle lighting up your creation from the inside out. 

I received news today that left me feeling very frustrated and I spent a good portion of the remainder of my day trying to find those happy moments to get over my frustration.  Standing next to my husband in a pitch black room with only the glow of two jack-o-lanterns was what finally gave me a moment of peace.  We each chose designs that were more complicated than triangle eyes, and we each made a few cutting mistakes ( long teeth...or eyeball).   We got frustrated many times as we worked on our pumpkins, but we pushed through knowing that a half finished pumpkin was just not worth the effort.  Triangle eyes may have been easier, but the end result would not have been the same.  Sometimes you have to force yourself to work through the frustration to find the sweet moment at the end. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good Mood Blog

Blogging for a living would be amazing.  Blogging about what I already love, sweet moments, would be even better.  Help me get paid to do what I love!

Sam-e is looking for the next Good Mood Blogger for their website and I would be beyond ecstatic to have the chance to do this.  In order to make it past the first round of applicants I need your vote.  Use this link to vote for me.  You can vote 1 time per day per computer.  Vote for me at work and again when you get home.  Knock on your neighbors door and ask to borrow their computer.  Vote for me on your phone.  Go to the library and vote for me there.  Borrow someone elses computer while you at work and vote for me there as well.  Email your friends and family and get them to vote for me (and their neighbors too).  Send the link out through your email, share it on Facebook, and tweet it out to all of your loyal followers. 

You can also vote for me by coming right here to my blog every day and using the link in the top right corner.   

When I decided to start a blog I knew I wanted to limit myself to just the joyful moments.  I did not want to create a place where I would store all of the negative thoughts I had in my head.  I wanted a collection of happy moments!

In college I wrote a list of "5 Things to be Happy About" every day for 4 years and posted it for all the women on my hall to read.  Happiness is contagious.  People were constantly submitting their own list of happy things to me, hoping to have their personal sweet moment make it onto my posted list.  I want to be the person you think of when you notice a sweet moment of joy in your life and want to share it with someone.  Writing a blog for Sam-e about Good Mood's would be such a wonderful way to share the joy!

Welcome to those of you who are reading my blog for the first time.  Here are some of my favorite post to get you started.
Thank you for taking the time to vote for me today, and tomorrow, and every day for the next 2 weeks!

Hot tub!

What you need to know:  This thermometer is INSIDE our house, and this was not the coldest room we had!  I don't have a thermometer in our bedroom but it was freezing in there.  We had both windows open and that was the side of the house where those strong winds were blowing in from, plus we had the fan on because Troy thinks he needs the fan on all year round.  It was chilly!

Lucky for us we got our hot tub hooked up this weekend!  As soon as I got into that warm water I regretted every second I spent thinking about selling it.  The hot tub is a perfect way to start my morning.  I climb in and spend a few minutes checking out the stars while absorbing the warmth.  The world is still asleep (or at least still hiding inside the warmth of their houses) and it's just me and stars.  Before I get out I stretch out my muscles.  Stretching is so much easier and a lot more fun when you get to do it in a hot tub!

10-15 minutes in the hot tub on a cold morning is actually more energizing than a cup of coffee.  What a sweet way to start my day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Halloween (cookie) Surprise

About a month ago I saw this cute Halloween cupcake cookie jar at Kohls and thought it was adorable!  This morning when I got to work there was a huge gift on my desk and inside was the same cookie jar I had been drooling over at Kohls.  Yippee!!!  The cookie jar is a gift from Tyler (and his mom) for helping him get his own blog started.

When I was in high school I was lucky enough to get to go on a trip to Europe with the Foreign Language Club.  My parents could not afford to pay for my trip and I did not have rich grandparents to write me a fat check.  I had to do anything I could to get that money.  I remember ironing my neighbors clothes in exchange for a monetary donation to my trip, and thinking it was very odd that he wanted his jeans ironed...but I would have ironed his underwear in exchange for some money!  I don't remember everything I did, or everyone who donated to help me out.  I do remember that trip very well though and it was a huge moment in my life.

I got to see the Mona Lisa, watched my friend get pooped on by a bird, viewed Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower, watched another friend get pooped on by a bird, ate pasta in Italy and fondue in Switzerland.  I got a passport and took my first plane ride and my first train ride.  I saw my first topless beach (and blushed like crazy) and learned how perfume was made (not on the beach though).  I went on the trip of a lifetime because of many small donations and there are not enough thank you cards in the world to express how much that trip meant to me. 

Tyler was chosen to represent his school on a science trip to Florida next year.  He will get to visit Kennedy Space Center and see the space shuttle launch, as well as other Science themed activites around Orlando.  This is a huge honor for him to be one of the lucky few chosen to attend this trip and you can read more about it in his blog.   

Thank you Tyler, for my cookie jar and I'm sure you will earn the money you need to make that dream a reality.  Keep knocking on doors and calling friends and family.  I guess I better get busy making some cookies before Halloween has passed right on by us!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yucky Face

Levi's yucky face while cleaning out the pumpkin

Yesterday Troy and I ate a late lunch at Pizza Street.  I spent the majority of my meal annoyed, making my "yucky" face.  I was annoyed at my camera for not cooperating with me before we left the house.  I was annoyed by everyone in the restaurant because I assumed the place would be empty at 3pm and I was was very busy.  I was annoyed with Troy because his eyes were glued to the tv that had the football scores on it.  I was annoyed by the lady who rushed the buffet line when the fresh hot dessert pizza came out (even though I did the same thing 10 minutes later).  Then the king of all annoyances showed up just as we were finishing our meal: a hard, sideways, can't see 10 feet in front you kind of rain.  Great, could this afternoon get any worse?

When the rain started Troy and I immediately agreed that the rest of our afternoon plans could wait and we would hang out in Pizza Street until the heavy downpour at least lightened up enough for us to get to our cars without needing a life vest.  It didn't rain for long and we were able to make the mad dash to our car not too much later.  I don't believe God sent rain down on all of Blue Springs just for me, but in retrospect it sure seemed that way. 

I was already finished with my meal and so I just sat there and took in my surroundings while we waited out the storm.  There was a man there with his family and he was wearing a shirt stating that he was a football coach.  To me he was just another dad sharing a meal with his family, but to someone else he was a reason to stand a little taller.  I saw a high school kid approach him and nervously attempt to start up a conversation with the man, the football coach, that he did not know.  For whatever reason this kid was drawn to this man and he looked at him as someone to be admired and looked up to.  I'm not sure that the football coach ever realized what an impact he was making on that young mans life, but because I was so far removed from the situation I was able to see the whole scene play out from an unbiased view, and it was obvious that he touched that kid in that moment.  He treated a stranger with respect and took the time to listen to and answer the questions he asked.  He made that kid feel important and his opinions valued. 

People are watching.  You are someone to be looked up all times.  This man was just enjoying an easy meal with his family, minding his own business, and had no clue that a high school kid was watching him and looking up to him with admiration.  Yesterday God blessed with me with a heavy downpour of rain causing me to stay in my seat and witness a life being touched, even if it was just a small moment. 

Who was watching me as I stormed around and pouted my way through my meal in my annoyed state?  Just like Levi (who jokingly) is making a yucky face in the above picture, I was making a yucky face with my yucky attitude.  I had a lot of sweet reasons to celebrate yesterday, but it was in the middle of my worst moment that I found the sweetest moment of all.  I let go of the small pidly things I was allowing to annoy me and celebrated the fact that I was spending a rainy afternoon eating pizza with my husband. 

Yesterday I was thankful for a strong storm that caused me to stop and remember that I choose my attitude and that I needed to choose the right attitude because I never know when someone may be standing a little taller watching me just as that kid did as he watched the football coach. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CCC sweetens the day

Cupcake Construction Company

There are days when you have to search for those sweet moments that gave you reason to smile and then there are days when the moments are so big you want to shout it from the rooftops.  Yeseterday was a climb up the roof and scream with all you've got kind of day. 

If you spread enough cupcake love it will eventually come full circle back to you.  Yesterday I was able to enjoy a return on my cupcake love. 

A few weeks ago I used the wonderful world of Facebook to sign my office up to win free cupcakes from Cupcake Construction Company.  Yesterday was our lucky day because we won those 12 beautiful cupcakes in the above picture.  I was not in the office when the call came through announcing that we were the winners, but I imagine there was plenty of squealing!  It was like we had won the lottery...the cupcake lottery. 

Michael and Megan delivered the cupcakes and were just as sweet as can be.  You can read more about my opinion of them and their cupcakes on my Yelp review.  They even remembered meeting me at Cupcake Camp which impressed me.  I love finding companies that excel in customer service and take a genuine interest in their customers (fans).  Meeting them was a sweet moment all by itself. 

After the cupcakes had been safely set on my desk and I had taken a picture of them looking all sorts of fabulous we just stood in a semi circle around the little bundles of joy with goofy grins on our faces!  What a great moment of joy! 

Thank you Cupcake Construction Company for providing 12 sweet moments of joy and giving 7 people a reason (or two) to smile.  You made our day even sweeter and we will always think of you with a smile on our faces and a rumble in our tummies as we remember how much we enjoyed your cupcakes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Random kisses

Crazy in love in 2006

Walking to our car this evening and stopping in the middle of a parking lot to kiss my husband.  Cars driving around looking for a spot and people walking in/out of the store, but it doesn't matter because in that moment it is just me and him...and I am in sweet sweet love.

Monday, October 18, 2010

An early Halloween

Last year I bought some Halloween decorations for 90% off.  I spent very little money, and did not buy anything of great quality, so if they only last for one year it will be ok.  Troy has been waiting for Halloween to get here for the past 378 days so he can put out the decorations.  About a week ago he pulled all of our spooky stuff out of the garage and began thinking about where to put things.

Tonight was the night!   We assembled 2 tombstones and found the perfect spot for them in the yard...not too close to the street, yet close enough that people can read the writing.  We stuffed 18 ghosts, attached them to sticks and lined them up like soldiers along our driveway.  We pulled out the spiderwebs and the caution tape and then it hit us: none of our stuff is sturdy enough to last the 2 weeks until the big day.  So we pulled the tombstones back out of the ground and moved the ghosts to a safe resting place until Halloween gets closer. 

You may be thinking that we wasted our time, and for a brief second I would have agreed with you.  But you know what...we had fun!  We were rushing around the yard trying to get the decorations in the ground before it got too dark to see what we were doing.  We were working together to stuff paper towels into little bity ghosts.  We were wondering out loud how long it would take the neighbors dog to eat or pee on our precious decorations.  We were even still smiling as we picked everything back up and dragged it back in the house. 

No time is wasted that is spent with a smile.  I enjoyed a cool fall evening hurrying to put up Halloween decorations and then immediatly hurrying to take them down...but I was smiling the whole time.  When we put them back up in a couple weeks there will be no debating over the perfect spot for the tombstones because we already decided that this evening. 

When we came back in the house we ate some pumpkin spice pancakes for dinner and admired our cute inside decorations by the fireplace.  The outside of our house may still need some work, but inside we are smiling and laughing at ourselves.  I'm positive that next Halloween we will share some more laughs as we remind each other of this night.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Inhaling Stain Fumes

Troy had a dream of owning a house with a big deck in the back yard.  We bought a house with no deck at all and after moving in Troy was constantly talking about and wondering when we would get to build our outdoor living space that he so badly wanted.  I'm pretty sure he wished for a deck on every birthday candle he blew out for the past couple of years. 

This summer his dream finally came alive when we built a  12' x 24' deck on the back of our house.  When I say "we" I mean that Dad built a deck on our house with the occasional help of Brian, Troy, and myself (order of names is according to how much "help" we were).  While building a deck is not cheap, it does cost significantly less if you do it yourself (or bribe your dad with the promise of a steak and some shrimp).  It took the whole summer to complete the deck and Troy and I made more mistakes than anyone could keep count of. 

Today Troy and I brought the 6 month process to a finish when we stained the deck.  Our deck is not a showpiece.  No one is going to put a picture of it in a magazine, and when we sell this house someday I wouldn't blame the owners if they completely had it redone.  There are bowed boards, bent nails, and countless marks in the wood from the failed attempts at putting screws in, but it's up and we can now say that we have built a deck.

Working outside, pounding nails, inhaling fumes from the can of stain is not my idea of a fun Saturday, but when it's all done and I stand back and look across the 24' of dark brown wood it is all worth it.  It sure would have been easier to hire someone to come build it for us but then we would have missed out on the great memories, the never ending learning experiences, and the amazing feeling of satisfaction on a job (well) done. 

There is nothing that compares to feeling all the dirt and sweat wash off you in the cold shower after a hard day of manual labor.  My body hurts and I have brown stains under my fingernails that will be there for days, but we finally have the deck Troy has been wishing for. 

Sweet moment: watching Troy get to learn and experience countless new things in the pursuit of making one of his wishes come true.  In this case the final product is even sweeter when you have some cuts and bruises to show for it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finally free to hug

The Chilean Miners are free!  I have only seen smalls bits and pieces of them emerging one by one from that small hole, but I am looking forward to watching their rescue in more depth when I have time.  Can you just imagine the list of sweet moments they must have had yesterday as they came out into the open air after 2 months of being trapped underground?  I can't even begin to make a list of all the moments I have taken for granted while those men were waiting to be rescued.  What a huge reminder to the rest of us to appreciate those small moments that take place in our lives every single day. 

For me the sweet moment was watching as they wrapped their arms around their wives and hugged like they were never going to let go.  I am incredibly grateful that I get to see and hug my husband every day.  While I always appreciate a hug from Troy, I often take them for granted.  There are many couples who do not get to see their partner every day and would give anything to be able to wrap their arms around him/her for just a moment before heading to bed. 

Tonight I will hug him just a little longer and a little tighter and be thankful I am able to end my day in such a loving way. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A view from the outside

I was not in the greatest mood when I went to lunch today.  I had removed my rose colored glasses and was choosing to see only the negative things in my day.  There was nothing worth being upset over, but I was choosing to let the small things bother me and I was choosing to have a bad attitude.

I was walking through a beautiful park, on a beautiful day, and was so wrapped up in the negative thoughts in my head that I didn't even notice the beauty all around me.   Finally I was forced to stop and stand still as I waited in a line, and when I finally took a deep breath and looked around me I realized I was standing in the prettiest spot in the whole park.  How had I gotten to this beautiful place without seeing it as I was approaching? 

It made me wonder how many sweet moments I had missed while I was so busy being upset.  There are probably hundreds of small moments every day that are worth taking note of, but sometimes I'm so wrapped up in the negative ones that I miss the sweet ones. 

Next time I'm forced to stand in line I'm going to remember to use that moment to really take in my surroundings, because I won't know what sweet moments I may be missing out on until I put the rose colored glasses back on and take a look around. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cookies made for sharing

Today was one of those rainy fall days that make me want to curl up under a blanket and read.  I did not do either one of those things, but I did make Pumpkin Chocolate Chips cookies!!!  I am not a fancy cook, or even a half way decent cook most of the time, but I am going to start sharing some of my recipes with you from time to time.  I have added a link to "Food Misty Makes" on the right side of my blog where I will post recipes I use.  I make no promises that they will be any good, but I will try and I will give you my honest opinion. These cookies are, in my opinion, a perfect fall treat (especially on a rainy fall day), and since the recipe makes 7 dozen they are perfect for sharing!

I love to bake.  I grew up in a house where we always had the ingredients to bake cookies from scratch, a cake mix in the cupboard, and several boxes of jello and pudding in the drawer.  I didn't have to go to the store if I wanted to try out a new recipe, or if I got the urge to bake chocolate chips cookies in the middle of the day, because everything I needed was waiting for me in the kitchen.  Flour, baking soda, eggs, butter, vanilla, and sugar are all staples in my kitchen as an adult as well.  I don't need a special recipe to make me put almond extract on my shopping list because it is something I keep in the cupboard at all times. 

I love how you can take ingredients that are so blah on their own and mix them together to create something so amazing.  Have you tried vanilla extract straight from the bottle?  It's not good! 

Unfortunately I lose interest once the batter is made.  I don't really want to bake the cookies because it's a long and boring process.  I actually prefer the taste of the batter over the baked product most of the time.  I absolutely do not want to clean up the mess!  These are the moments I wish I had married a man who was obsessed about cleaning and thought it was fun to get the kitchen back to being squeaky clean. 

I get through it every time and am rewarded by the "mmmmm" sound people make when they walk into my house and smell warm cookies just out of the oven.  Now that we live close to my family I enjoy baking even more often because I can share the sweets with them.  I usually don't want the baked goods after I've sampled the batter one too many times, and there are just the 2 of us so we don't need 7 dozen cookies!  Thank goodness we have family who is willing to take them of our hands! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Yes, I know it's not New Years Eve, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate like it is. This weekend has been busy and overflowing with sweet moments.  I am a lucky girl. 

Last night I was recognized as one of the top 25 Ikon "Elite" employee's in the Great Plains area.  The above picture was taken at the awards dinner which was held at Ameristar. Troy and I (mostly me) are probably the biggest home bodies you will ever meet, so this was a pretty big deal for us. Ikon provided us with dinner, a hotel room, breakfast, and a small cash prize to celebrate my "elite" status.  We even went a little wild and crazy and spent some of my award money on a late (9:45) movie.  (I didn't go to bed until midnight, and I only do that like twice a year!)

We got tiara's with flashing multi colored lights on them, top hats, noise makers, and bubbles.  We posed for pictures like we were at a high school dance.  We watched other people sing their hearts out at karaoke.  We forgot we were at an event sponsored by work and we relaxed and had fun.  I even wore my tiara, flashing lights and all, around the casino. 
  • Thank you to the girl working the concession stand at the theater who told us that the bottled water was really expensive but she would give us a glass of water for free.
  • I'm thankful for the comfy bed that allowed me to get a good nights sleep so that I would be well rested able to make it to church on time this morning.  I got to hear Brylly say my name for the first in the middle of the church service today.  He may have said it before, but this was the first time I got to hear it!!!
  • Thank you to the Ameristar employee working at the dessert table who didn't question me when I decided I needed a piece of chocolate pie AND a brownie to finish off my .... breakfast.
  • Thank you to lady who told me I looked pretty in my tiara.
  • I'm thankful for the cool weather that made the long walk to our car a littler easier this morning.
  • Thank you to whoever decided that catfish and fried okra were appropriate buffet items at 9am.  I really didn't want to eat french toast or pancakes.
  • I'm thankful for Mom, Dad, and Levi for dog sitting Mya so we could go away for the night. 
  • Thank you to Maggie for keeping us entertained during the down times last night. 
  • Thank you to Ikon for providing us with a reason to get dressed up and have a date night.
  • Thank you to my wonderful husband for loving me so much he is still willing to hold my hand in a crowded casino when I look like a preschooler playing dress up with a flashing tiara on my head and a noise maker in my mouth.  
I am a lucky girl to have so many wonderful things to be thankful for. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes toast makes all the difference

I love the smell of toast.  It's a comforting scent.  I love walking by the kitchen at work in the morning and smelling the bread in the toaster.  It is really just bread being warmed up so I guess it's not all that different than bread baking, and who doesn't love the smell of bread right out of the oven?

Warm bread is one of those great scents that most people agree on.  What is it about the smell of bread that makes us smile?  We buy a loaf of bread at the store every week because it's one of those staple items, but few of us get the luxury of actually smelling the bread bake.

Homemade bread makes me think of the Amish, or Little House on the Prairie.  I know several people who have tried to bring out their inner baker with the purchase of one of those fancy bread machines.  In my experience those expensive machines rarely get used.  For the most part we all go with the convenience of store brought bread.  (Although Ma Ingles is welcome at my house to bake bread anytime she wants!)

Toast is very popular at my office.  The scent of bread being warmed radiates through the halls all morning long.  This morning as I was commenting on the wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen a coworker offered me her last two slices of bread so I could make my own toast. 

What she didn't know is that I had an upset stomach and dry toast was just what I needed to help calm it down.  I was sick last night and was debating on whether or not to go to work all morning.  I finally decided that I could tough it out and hoped I would start feeling better soon.  Since Troy and I carpool one of us can not go home sick without the other one also having to leave work, so when my stomach ache started getting worse after I got to work I became a little anxious.  Lucky for me a friend just happened to offer me 2 pieces of toast when I needed it most. 

Two piece of bread was probably not a big deal to her, but to me it meant that I was able to make it through the rest of my work day.  You can make a difference in someones day and not even know it.  Who brought a sweet moment to your day?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Smiling behind the mask

We had an issue come up at work today that required us to all put on our safety masks.  They suck!  It gets hot really fast when you have to wear a piece of cotton over your mouth for an extended amount of time.  The rubber bands pull your hair, adding to the discomfort.  There was a time when we had to wear the mask, goggles, gown, and gloves every time we opened the mail.  In case you don't alreay know, I am a "mail handler" at work so having to dress up like a surgeon every time I handled the mail was a pain in my bootie.  Thankfully today turned out to be a false (although crazy) alarm.  I am thankful I do not have to wear surgical masks on a regular basis. 

Last night Troy told me that if you build a shelter that is 5 (I think) bricks deep you will be safe from the radiation that comes with a nuclear bomb...that's if you survive the blast.  We talked about this for a while and then both agreed that if there was a nuclear bomb we don't want to be one of the few that survive becuase it would be very hard to go on after that.  Although Troy did say that if we were one of the few survivors it would increase his chances of becoming President some day!  Guess we better stock up on bricks just in case...

Today I have no reason to fear for my life.  Someone could send something in the mail to do harm or a bomb could go off when I'm not in my brick cave.  You can't go through life worried about what might happen. 

Today I enjoyed the warm sun on my face and gentle breeze as I sat in the park on this beautiful October day.  Today I enjoyed some good laughs with a friend.  Today I smiled when I opened up my pb&j sandwich and realized that the jelly did NOT leak through the bread this time!  Today I got excited when I realized I still had a pack of instant oatmeal in my desk that I could eat for breakfast.  Today I am excited because we are having chili dogs for dinner and that means I don't have to cook.  Later today I will sit with my husband and listen to him tell me about his day as he eats the (free) cupcake I got him.

Today is a good day! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Iron Man plays guitar

Iron Man playing a homemade guitar. 

Levi has always enjoyed dressing up in costumes.  He is very creative and has a great imagination.  In fact this homemade guitar was a leprachaun trap just a couple days ago.  Way to recycle Levi!!!!

Two things I love about this picture.
1. Halloween is 26 days away and he is already enjoying his costume. 
2. He created his own happiness with an old (kleenex?) box. 

Kids are so great about fnding the sweet moments in life.  Sure, they want lots of expensive stuff and might (occassionally) throw fits when they don't get it, but they are masters at creating their own happy moments with what they have. 

I don't know any adults who could have found hours of happiness with an old box.  Levi took what he had and created his own happy moment with a leprachaun trap, and when he was done with that he created yet another happy moment with a guitar. 

You may not get the same joy out of a leprachuan trap that Levi did, but what do you have around your house that you could use to create a happy moment for yourself today? 

Puffs Plus with Lotion

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Puffs were introduced to the US in 1958.  It wasn't until 1987 that they finally figured out how to get the lotion inside them.  The world has never been the same since...

I suffer from fall allergies.  My nose will start running without warning.  I feel a sneeze coming all day long and live for that split moment of relief it provides from the building pressure.  I have itchy, red, watery eyes.  It feels like someone is blowing a balloon up inside my head and it is one breath away from bursting.  I have about as much energy as a baby that has just filled their belly full of warm milk (and am envious that they get to nap every time they eat).  If you have allergies you understand that you do not simply "have" allergies; you suffer with allergies. 

I go through a lot of kleenex this time of year.  I try to buy generic and save as much money as I can.  Walmart's version of a soft kleenex works for the occasional use, but when I'm going through a box every day or two they start to feel like sandpaper.  Puffs Plus with Lotion is my facial tissue of choice when my nose starts to feel like a broken water faucet that won't stop dripping. 

I forgot to take my pillowy soft kleenex to work yesterday and was stuck using the work version of a not so soft kleenex.  Newspaper would have been softer, but since it leaves black ink all over my face I stuck with the hard kleenex.  My nose was red and sore by the end of the day.  Today I have the good stuff!  When my nose started running this morning and I was able to use a Puffs Plus with Lotion I felt like I had died and gone to heaven....well allergy heaven anyway. 

I've had several good moments today (including a shoulder massage!), but nothing was able to top having my favorite kleenex when I needed it this morning. 

Find happiness in the small things.

Monday, October 4, 2010


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We use the dewrinkle setting on our dryer a lot.  In the summer I try to use the good old fashioned iron and ironing board to get my wrinkles my out, but once the cold weather sets in I'm back to using the dryer.

I know the dryer is hard on your clothes with the extreme heat and tumbling around but that's not going to stop me.  My clothes may not last as long and my electric bill may be a little bit higher, but it's so worth it when you pull a pair of warm pants over your goose bumped legs.  Besides, my clothes are going to go out of style before the dryer wears them out anyway. 

This morning my clothes were not even wrinkled, but I still tossed them in for a few minutes.  No amount of layering, hot cocoa, or even the warmest blanket can compare to the instant gratification I get from clothes straight out of the dryer. 

Ehow has instructions on how to use a case you were wondering.  Or you can be like us and throw everything in the dryer and take it out when we get around to it...which then gives us a perfect excuse to use the dewrinkle option on our dryer.  We're not perfect, but our clothes sure do feel good when we put them on!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Coffee on a cold morning

I should start off by letting you know that I do not like coffee.  I love the smell of coffee.  I love the thought of getting up every morning and starting my day with a cup of coffee.  I sometimes walk down the coffee aisle at the store just because it makes me happy.  Unfortunately I do not enjoy the taste of coffee. 

After we bought our house Troy insisted on getting a coffee pot, even though he doesn't drink coffee either.  As a compromise to spending money on something I knew we would get very little use out of I insisted he buy the smallest/cheapest coffee pot they had.  I headed over to my favorite aisle with a big smile; I finally had a legit reason to stop and smell the coffee.  We bought the smallest container of Folgers they had and some yummy sounding vanilla caramel creamer. 

This morning I used the last bit of coffee out of our original Folgers purchase from over a year ago.  I have no idea how long coffee is good for (we kept in the in fridge), but it tasted the same amount of yucky that it did a year ago.  Of course I put a lot of milk and a good healthy spoonful of sugar in my coffee so I'm not really sure if I would even notice if it was stale or not.  To be fair I should also admit that I don't measure the coffee.  I did in the beginning, but now I just dump some in until it looks about right.  I figure we are both going to load it up with so much other stuff that it doesn't matter if I make it too strong or too weak.  We are really just trying to choke it down while we get the boosted energy from the caffeine.  My small cup of 1/2 milk and 1/2 coffee gives me more energy than anything else I've found. 

Some days drinking coffee just feels right.  There is something very "grown up" about a cup of coffee.  Kids have hot chocolate, but adults drink coffee.  Most of the time I choose the chocolaty drink, but some days I just want to feel like a grown up and start my day with a cup of coffee.  It was downright cold in the house this morning and making a hot cup of coffee (who am I was a luke warm cup of coffee by the time I added all that cold milk to it) seemed like the right thing to do.  Perhaps I should get some chocolate flavored creamer to assist in making my grown up drink taste more child like. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thankful for ice

Troy and I both took a vacation day today.  We spent it in the most wild and crazy way we know how: at the dentist office.  Yep, we're cool like that. 

To celebrate the fact that Troy got excellent lab results from his Dr this morning and that neither one of us had any cavities at the Dentist we went out to eat.  We finally cashed in our Groupon to B:2 in Lee's Summit.  This restaurant is called the "little sister" to Blanc, which we have eaten at before and loved.  We had mixed reviews on B:2 which I have already posted to Yelp! but I really can't complain because we only ended up spending $6.52 on a $25 meal (thank you Groupon). 

The above picture is of the fried house made pickles.  Troy was in the restroom when these came and I guess I'm just rude because I started eating without him.  I picked one up with my hands, dipped it in the chipotle ranch and took a bite.  The scalding hot pickle slid out of the breading and landed on my bottom lip.  It's really a shame that Troy was not there to witness what happened next.  I spit the pickle across the table and started shaking my head like a dog who just got out of the bath, trying to make sure I had every last piece of that pickle out of my mouth.  This was not like when you take a drink of hot chocolate that's too hot, or biting into a mozzarella stick that's steaming and you burn your tongue.  I had a piping hot pickle stuck to the very sensitive skin of my lip, and that HURTS! 

Once the whole pickle ordeal was over I was too embarrassed to lift my head to check out just how many other nearby customers saw my seizure like moment.  I sat there with my head down until Troy returned and then casually warned him that the pickles just came out of the fryer so he might want to blow on them before biting into one.  Take note that I cut the rest of mine in half with a fork and blew on them until they were cold before they were allowed to go anywhere near my precious lips. 

The sweetest moment of the day was digging ice cubes out of my water glass and holding them on my bottom lip until it went numb.  Thank goodness we live in America where they automatically put ice in your drink.  The lukewarm tap water they give you in Europe wouldn't have helped my blistering lip any at all.