"Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend."

Saturday, 31 December 2011

happy new year!

well, almost, anyway!  : )  does everyone have plans for parties tonight?  i'm just chilling at the hotel w/ mom, watching christmas movies & reading & playing cards.  : )  it's been a busy week, and this is our last night in maryland. 

i'll have pictures & a full description when i return, but thought i'd share some highlights! 

we stayed our first night in a holiday inn express in ohio, and it was a quite lovely hotel, nicely decorated still for christmas.  the tree was gorgeous!  we arrived in maryland tuesday night & met up w/ april & her family for dinner at red robin.  it was exceedingly nice to be out of the car and to spend time visiting!  wednesday, i joined april & her fam for a trip into DC.  we went to the spy museum - what a trip!  that place is amazing!  of course, they don't allow photography, so the only pictures i have are postcards.  heh.  it was neat to see all the gadgets & things on display, and to recognize some great ones from all my spy shows!  heh.  my favorite spy era has to be the cold war era, tho.  that is, in my opinion, the heyday of spies. 

after the museum, we visited the national archives, which i had not been to in my previous visits to DC.  to be in the room w/ the declaration, the bill of rights, the constitution... oh, amazing!  of course, this was another place where pictures were not allowed inside.  it was dark & cool in the room, the rotunda, and oh so nicely decorated... i felt like a ben gates, nick cage's character from national treasure.  just breathing in the history, i loved it! 

thursday mom & i took a little trip to find a roy rogers restaurant... it didn't work out so much.  it was kinda stressful - drivers are exceedingly rude here!  drivers from virginia seem to be the nicest, tho..

mom & i tried another trip into DC yesterday - more stress, and we did NOT get to see the white house, or even get out of the car, really.  we did glimpse the washington monument from the car... i got some good pictures of buildings, at least, i guess. 

i'd been hoping to get to the babe ruth museum, because my newest niece was born this week, and her name is ruth.  : )  i thought it would be neat to get that picture & frame it for her.  unfortunately, mom got sick late last night & so we just spent the day convelescing... i did make it out to target for a few things, tho.  *laugh*  had to get some new books as i went thru all the ones i brought w/ me! 

tomorrow, we leave, and begin our journey home.  i'm ready to be home but not ready for vacation to end!  i miss angel - phil has been taking care of her & the house, and he sent me a picture of her yesterday.  she looks alright, but i will have to give her lots of cuddles when i return!  : ) 

so, take care, my dear friends, and let me know all about your NYE plans, eh? 


Sunday, 25 December 2011

oh christmas lights

merry Christmas, y'all!  did you have a good one?  did the kids have fun opening presents?  did YOU have fun opening presents?  my day was very nice, then a little stressful, then very nice again.  

i got up early, about 8, to get started on laundry & dishes & things.  reallllly didn't want a pile of dishes to come home to!  *laugh*  i continued my tradition of a very buffy christmas, started many years ago when matthew sent me the first season of the show.  : )  i read Safekeeping (almost done!) & text-chatted w/ a couple ppl.  

mom picked me up at 3 & we stopped at aunt jan's so mom could give her a gift & i could give grammy a gift.  we basically did a "drive by gifting" - jan's family was having their christmas celebrations & we didn't want to interrupt!  plus, we had to get to our own festivities!  heh.  

it was a good turn out at our christmas.  i did miss my cousin gigi, tho.  :(  sorry, georgine.  but i always think of her as gigi!  *laugh*  especially since there's a gigi on OLTL, so ya know?  anyway, it was a really great time w/ family & food & fun!  i think i got to talk w/ everyone, except uncle john, d'oh!  a group of us played a couple hand of Phase 10, which we unfortunately didn't get to finish the game because it was time for the white elephant exchange!  that was a lot of fun - but it also caused me to have a slight breakdown... 

see, there is this print that has been in our family since i was born.  it's of a girl in a barn, and my aunt carol has the same print (or had, i guess idk if she still has it!).  i love that picture, but i guess never expressed that to mom?  i never thought she would try to get rid of it... well, she put it in the white elephant exchange, unbeknownst to me, and my cousin traci got it.  when she opened it, and i saw it (i was sitting right next to her, thank God), i didn't think at all i just reacted w/ a giant and possibly overly loud "NO!"  mom started arguing w/ me, "Yes," and i went into panic mode.  traci very kindly traded me for whatever my white elephant end gift was.  it was a big mess, tho, w/ mom, because she proceeded to argue w/ me about it IN FRONT OF MY ENTIRE FAMILY.  

she didn't know - I didn't know! - how much the picture meant to me.  i had never thought of the possibility that it wouldn't be there, ya know?  and then the fact that this all went down in front of everyone, and that i basically had freaked out in front of EVERYONE, i was shaking so badly... after everything went down, i had to go outside for a smoke, which i normally would NOT have done but it was like, i just had to get OUT of there.  anthony made a snide remark as i was leaving & i snapped at him (i apologized later) because my emotions were just raw & on the surface right then!  

i'm so grateful that traci ... i'm just grateful that she gave it to me.  and i tried to explain it to mom, on the drive home, but i'm not sure she really "got" it even then.  *sigh*  but i have it & i will have to put it up when i get home - i tried right when i got home but put the hooks too close to the thermostat so i have to re-do them.  oye!!  

anywhoo!  that was just a brief lil panicky thing & it's okay & i'm okay... 

the boys spent the night w/ gramma, so on the way home we looked at some christmas lights & it was a nice little hang out.  : )  sadly, i don't have pictures of tonight yet, because my camera fell out of my pocket - but thankfully it just fell out in mom's car, so i'll get it tomorrow.  idk that i'll have time to upload anything before we leave, tho, so i'll have to come back to this post & add them in later!  heh.  i got some really good ones, too!  especially of bentley, cousins matt & johnna's newest addition.  : )  

when i got home, after i called mom & she & anthony & leyton found the camera, i got to chat w/ april & my cousin baylee for a bit.  hooray!  and erin, because she called when she got home from her christmas in chicago.  : )  

now i must go finish packing & finish my book & get to bed!!  mom's picking me up around 9 & we have to stop at WM so i can pick up my Rx & the cd (yanni!) that joy sent me.  then we'll be driving east for 6 or 7 hours, and stop wherever we stop for the night!  heh.  

i am soooooo looking forward to this trip, to seeing april & her family & spending some quality time!!  i'm looking forward to hanging out w/ mom, and praying that we GET ALONG.  !!!  i'm looking forward to the spy museum & monuments & the aquarium & eating out!!!!  : )  God is good, and i am so grateful for His blessings!!!  

goodnight & stay tuned for pictures!  


Saturday, 24 December 2011

the best way to spread Christmas cheer...

...is singing loud for all to hear.  : )  

yep, watching ELF.  it makes me happy.  i would really like to watch White Christmas tomorrow, if i can ever FIND the darn thing!  why it's hiding, i've no idea.  *laugh*

today was a pretty nice day.  finished up ballykissangel, read Safekeeping again (it's one of my favorites!), and then went to church w/ mom (i really like her church for the most part, but tonight's service seemed a bit odd for a christmas eve service.  there was communion, tho, which i love!).  after church, we all met at mom's for presents & pizza.  : )  it was a really nice night!  

 anthony started out camera shy... LOL 

 thankfully, leyton is NOT camera shy!  ; )  

 and anthony warmed up when he opened pressies!   

love this picture!
it'll be on next year's calendar for sure!  : ) 

 phil was on his game tonight - he had LOTS of clever comments goin on!

 Little Drummer Boy  : )  

 mom got the LAST cheesecake variety pack available in the freezer case.
when she got it out & was serving it up, it was still pretty frozen.
she dropped phil's piece on her *clean* kitchen floor & was explaining how it wasn't TOO bad, and phil came back w/ SEVERAL hilarious comments, such as how the whipped cream wasn't even dented, but it probably took a chunk out of her linoleum.  LOL  
 agh should have edited these, sorry about the red eye! 

 he is such a good sport!

i want stripey christmas socks!!!  will have to check out WM after christmas... : ) 

there was some hilarity surrounding the gifts.  remember those calendars i worked so hard on?  well... apparently i worked so hard i forgot to double check that everything was in order - jen's calendar backgrounds did NOT match the seasons like they were supposed do.  and i forgot to put leyton's birthday on BOTH mom & phil's calendars.  WHAT?!  how does that even happen?  again, i've no idea.  oye!  poor kid!  i did remember anthony's birthday on everyone's calendars at least... *laugh*  

and leyton took a picture of me wearing the santa hat, but it didn't turn out.  as in - he didn't actually get the part of me wearing the hat!!  heh.  

everyone liked their ornaments, and phil, jen & the kids got me & mom movie giftcards, so hooray!  we can go to more movies in january!  heh. 

ahhh.  what a blessed night!  PTL!  : )  tomorrow is christmas w/ dad's side, which means more fun!!  : )  

what're your plans for christmas?  i hope it will be blessed & happy & amazingly beautiful.  


Friday, 23 December 2011


i'm not entirely sure what this show is about, other than a young priest comes to a new village & hijinks ensue.  no matter, the irish & british accents are enough for me to enjoy it!  ; )  thanks much, matthew!

today was quite an interesting friday!  leyton DID let me sleep til 8 - just barely.  *laugh*  then he was all about "time to get up!"  *laugh*  we watched thomas about 17 times & played w/ lego knights & also invented a fun game w/ dust.  i have some neat pictures of what happens when you spray airborne dust motes floating in sunlight with Endust... unfortunately, my computer is still not downloading my sd card. ?!?!  no idea what's wrong NOW.  oye.  but we had fun and hopefully i'll be able to share it w/ you sometime soon!  (next day edit: PTL, it works now, at least!)

 oh yes, we also got out the pooping penguin that meg got me a few years ago for christmas!  : )  leyton always asks to play w/ it as we're leaving or something, but yesterday he remembered to ask at the right time!  

this turtle arrived from debi, jacob & adam.  (and corey, i'm sure!  LOL)
so cute!  his name is tobias.  

we left about 12:30 for lunch - leyton chose to go to hardee's.  we had fun sitting at the counter to eat, and they also gave us some chocolate for dessert, which was nice!  : )  i so enjoy hanging out w/ leyton, talking and getting to know how his mind works.  : )  i brought him home at 1:15 & headed to my oil change at 1:30.  

the oil change was free because i had a coupon.  however, they came back & told me that i had a coolant line leak and to fix it would be $1060.  i was like, "uhh...i don't have a thousand dollars, so what's the workaround?"  the guy said he'd have them top off the antifreeze & that i would just need to make sure to keep an eye on the gauges & refill it at least once a week.  i thought, alright, this is better than a thousand dollars i don't have!  *laugh*  after a bit more of a wait, he came back & said his boss had offered to pay for the parts & i could just pay for labor, which would cut the cost in half.  a half which i still don't have - all my money is tied up in VACATION!  *laugh*  anyway, when i left i did some research (thanks, friends!) & found a mechanic who said he would charge $400, so i'll give him a call tomorrow... 

after all that, i picked erin up & we hung out for dinner.  good visit!  : )  then i went over to mom's to talk to her about the car thing & to watch Chuck.  *heart* that show so much!  : )  came home a little after 8 & chatted w/ april a bit.  also, she, her daughter kait, and april & my jr high math teacher had a FUN conversation on fb.  unfortunately, it got a little out of hand & some feelings were hurt & ... 

it's really amazing sometimes how quickly things can turn from good to bad.  and it's hard to tell what "crosses the line" sometimes when you're joking in IM/comments/texts/email/etc.  i mean, if you're joking around, assumedly you would think that everything written is in that spirit.  but when something hits a little too close to home or is about something you are sensitive about, it can just go downhill fast.  especially because you can't always tell "tone" in these mediums.  heck, sometimes ppl can't tell "tone" in face to face conversations, so it's not really surprising!  however, 99% of it could be avoided if ppl would just THINK while they're reading stuff & if something hurts their feelings SAY something about it right away.  don't get defensive, don't try to deflect, just ask - "hey, backing off from the joking for a minute, that last comment was harsh & really made me feel bad.  you didn't really mean it the way i'm reading it, did you?"  it puts you in a vulnerable position to say that, it's true.  but if you are friends w/ someone, that friendship should afford you the trust to say it.  

does that make sense?  it's almost 2 AM & i have been watching ballykissangel & i am really tired.  

i think my point is just that if your friend says something that hurts you, assume they didn't mean to hurt you & ask them about it.

and on that note, i really am logging off & going to bed!  8 hours of blessed sleep will get me up around 10.  : )  

ttfn!!  happy christmas eve!!!  

Thursday, 22 December 2011


today seemed to take forever.  you know, the way the last day before christmas break does?  cuz, well, it was the last day before christmas break!  *laugh*  i am so grateful to have a job that A) i love and B) gets off the week btwn christmas & new year's, plus christmas eve & nye.  : )  

i'm also grateful for friends, christmas gifts ($10 gc to WM from marty, diet coke ornament for marty, isabel bloom ornament from casie, twilight stuff for casie, Ballykissangel from matthew, JD stuff for matthew, stationery from sarahbug, cupcake snow globe for sarahbug, a turtle & gc from debi, ornaments for debi (i think, oh my heck, i have had a brain fart)... love love love my friends!!), my brother who will be watching the house & kitty while i'm away, my nephew who is fun to hang out w/, my mom who is awesomely helpful and will hopefully be in a good mood for our trip... 

i picked up leyton from godfather's where he & jen were eating dinner, and picked up subway for my dinner (and he talked me into buying him a cookie...).  we went to look at christmas lights & he took some pictures.  

it was really neat, and his gasps when he saw lights he really liked DELIGHTED me!  : )  

we came home & i picked up my mail - gift from matthew & card from taiwan & letter from cousin sue.  woot!  when we got to the house, i had to SPRINT inside because i'd had to go to the loo for the past hour.  poor leyton, he knew i had to go to the loo, but he didn't get out of the car when i told him to & so i had to go inside & then he ran out of the car & followed but he was crying because it was of course dark & i didn't mean for him to be scared, but i had to GO!  poor kid.  :(  of course, if he just would have listened when i told him to get out of the car, that would have been avoided... heh.  

we played for a bit & watched phineas & ferb & ate popcorn & vacuumed & then he had a hard time going to bed, but finally settled down & is sleeping soundly now.  : )  then i was able to chat w/ april for a little bit & watch terra nova & an ep of GH.woot!  

now i am super tired & am hoping leyton will let me sleep til 8, but we'll see!  

happy almost christmas, party peeps!  : )  what've you got going on this weekend??