Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas with a touch of tears

It's the second day after Christmas and I'm feeling a little sad. Not just because another Christmas has come and gone but because in just a few days we will load the car up and drive back to Illinois. A few days that will pass much too quickly. Coming home for the Christmas holiday only confirms my feeling that we belong here and not there. We miss out on so much being so far away. Watching Noah play with his cousins is so bittersweet right now because I know soon we will leave and who knows when we will be back. We still have lots of things planned with family and friends before we leave. I know I'll enjoy every moment but there will be this underlying sadness that I will suppress until we're on the road home. I expect many many tears will be shed on that long drive away from my true home.   

But for now I need to go start packing boxes to take to the post office. There is just no way we will fit all of this stuff in the car. 

This has been the best Christmas. I have lots of photos to share but unfortunately my moms computer isn't really set up to edit anything so I'll wait until were back UP the cold. =)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

We Left our house in IL at 6pm and arrived at my moms house at 9am. That is 15 hours of driving overnight. I do NOT recommend it. Joey drove for a little bit while I slept and then we switched...and switched again. It was a very long night and we were exhausted when we got here. 

I am so happy to be back in Louisiana! I want to hug random people and tell them that I love this state. But I don't. They would probably think I was a wee bit crazy. We've only been here a few days and we are having the best time. I know when the time comes to leave I am going to be very sad. For now I'll just enjoy the time I have, take lots of pictures, and of course share them with you later.

I hope all of you have an amazing holiday!

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday's Letters

Linking up with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds.

Dear Louisiana,
HERE I COME! I can't wait to be back in your glorious state filled with my family and friends. I know our time there will go by way too quickly but don't worry I plan to come back this summer for a much longer stay!

Dear Winter,
You are definitely here...
The snow outside is so pretty. Noah had a blast playing in it yesterday. I could do without the insane wind though. I can't wait for school to be over today so I can play outside with Noah and Bella. Bella actually seems to love the snow. She likes to run around in it and looks like shes smiling. She doesn't like when the wind blows though. As soon as that freezing wind starts she's at the back door ready to go inside.

Dear Fellow Drivers,
I apologize in advance for my driving. Yes we get ice on the roads in Louisiana but I'm sure that the icy roads here will be in a whole different league of danger. Therefore that lady driving 5 miles an hour, gripping the steering wheel, and praying loudly is probably me. 

Enjoy these quick pics I took this morning. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Packing...made a little easier

I am beginning to pack for our trip to Louisiana. I can not wait to be back home again. It's only been about six months but it feels like much longer. I'm excited to see my family and spend some much needed time with friends. 

I hate packing. It takes forever. I always feel like I'm forgetting something even though I'm a HUGE list maker. Everything gets crossed off the list but it never fails that as we pull out of the driveway I have a nagging feeling that something was left behind. I quiet this fear by telling myself that IF I did forget something I'm sure Walmart has it and there are Walmarts everywhere. 

The hardest part of packing for me is deciding what clothes to bring. We all have outfits that we love. So naturally I want to take my favorite outfits with me but when I stand in front of the closet staring at my options my mind goes blank. To make the process easier I made a clothing album on my phone. Every time I picked out clothes for the day and really liked the outfit I laid the outfit out and snapped a quick picture. When it came time to pack I could just open that album on my phone, scroll through all of the outfits, and pick the ones I liked the best. It made it easier because I could see all of the pieces I needed and quickly pull them out of the closet. In fact all of my clothes are already packed for our trip. It took me a total 20 minutes to pull it all out, fold it, and put it in the bag. Fantastic!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is my mom's birthday! I love my mom and I miss her very much. We talk on the phone and text a lot but it's not the same as seeing her. I'm so happy that in just a few days I'll be back in her house again. My mom is crazy. My mom is funny. My mom is full of love. I can't wait to give her a big hug!

Happy Birthday Mom!


I started a post last night to wish my mom a very happy birthday. I'm still going to post that birthday wish but I needed to post this as well. This morning I dropped Noah off at school and had all these thoughts running through my head and I just can't keep them in. There were police officers parked in the parking lot. I don't know if they were already scheduled to be there for something or if this was to make us parents feel a little better. It did make me feel better. At Noah's old school you could walk into the office but you could not go down the hallway unless someone buzzed you in through the bullet proof doors. At Noah's new school you can't enter the office. You have to be buzzed into the office and then you can enter the school. They keep the other school doors locked. I like that. I remember one day in Louisiana we were driving to school and the weather was pretty nasty. Noah said to me, "Will there be a tornado?" I said, "Probably not, but if there is your teachers know what to do to protect you. You guys practice tornado drills right?" He replied, "Yep! And fire drills and emergency drills."
Never having heard of an emergency drill I said, "What is an emergency drill?"
The horror that consumed my body as he explained to me that an emergency drill was when the teacher turns the lights off, locks the door, and gets all of the kids to stand away from the door against the wall. I didn't really know what to say. I was glad that if something ever happened they would be prepared but deeply saddened that there was even a need to prepare kindergartners for a school shooting. I still cant wrap my mind around what happened on Friday. It brings me to tears when I think about it even for a moment. It is moments like this that shake our faith. Moments when we question and cry out for answers. We either turn from God or cling to him and ask for peace and guidance.  I have such a deep ache in my heart for the people taken that day and for the ones left behind. 

Prayer of St. Francis

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tuesday Will Be A Day Of Silence

When I tucked Noah into bed last night I thought of all the mothers who wouldn't kiss their babies goodnight. And so as we said our prayers, goodnights, and I love yous, I cried sad silent tears. This is not something I will tell him. I don't want him to be afraid or worry about school.   I still think he's too young to know that things like this happen. I have such deep sorrow for all of the families, children, and just everyone touched by this tragedy. I pray for their healing and peace.

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

 We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to: 

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

 We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Reviewing- East of the Mountains and The Key to Rebecca

Image via GoodReads

This book fulfilled the "choose a book set in the state you were born in" category for the Winter Book Challenge
East of the Mountains is a story about a man dying of cancer. He doesn't want to wait for the cancer to kill him ans decides to take one last hunting trip. At the end of the trip he plans to kill himself. He has everything planned out. On his journey to end his life his plan gets messed up more than a few times and he finds himself questioning his decision.

This book was hard for me to really get interested in. I was of course interested in whether or not he would go through with his plan. That's what really kept me reading. He used a lot of hunting, physician, and hiking lingo that I was not familiar with. I would read several pages and then go back and re read them because I had no idea what he was talking about. I think that's what kept me from really enjoying the book. 

Image via GoodReads

This book fulfilled the "choose a book that was written in the decade you were born in" category for the Winter Book Challenge

The Key to Rebecca is set in 1942. The German Marshall Rommel seems to be unbeatable. His secret weapon is a spy named Alex Wolf. Major Vandam has been tracking Wolf for quite some time and would like nothing better than to stop him from helping the Germans. We meet Sonja a sultry belly dancer, Elene an Egyptian Jew who uses her good looks to get men to provide for her, and lots of other sneaky backstabbing characters. 

I really didn't expect to like The Key to Rebecca as much as I did. I don't normally read mystery books. At first I was a little overwhelmed by all of the characters in the story. After I was able to keep everyone straight (who was good, who was bad, and most of the time who was supposed to be good but turned out to be bad!) I couldn't stop reading. One minute Vandam is so close to catching Wolf and the next his efforts seem hopeless. The story really picks up near the middle and keeps throwing twists and turns at you until the very end.

Maybe now I like mysteries?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Book Chat- Book Lovers Confessions


Linking up with Jessica for The Book Chat.

~ Something amazing just happened to me. I found out that The Host will be in Theaters March 2013! This was the first dystopian book I ever read and I LOVED it. I am sitting here freaking out because I MUST see this movie! I may or may not have just squealed loudly...This book really opened the door for me to read other dystopian books. Here is the trailer that I stumbled across. Enjoy!...Oh, and go read the book!

~ I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I started out reading The Babysitter's Club books. I collected almost all of them. I have no idea where they are now. 

~ In high school I pretended to hate reading those awful classics along with everyone else but secretly enjoyed soaking up every page of amazing literature. I had awesome grades in Literature and English...not so much in Math and Science. =)

~ My favorite book is a book I just read recently, The Book Thief. I borrowed it from the library. I need to buy it because I want to read it again...and of course OWN it.

~ I would rather read a good book than do anything else. I love books that suck you in and you think about them long after you've read the last page.

~ I didn't really like Fifty Shades of Grey. I read it because women were raving about it but maybe they raved about it because of all of the sex? The story to me..sucked...and if the story line isn't good there really isn't a point in reading it.

~ As much as I love books my collection is not that large. I get most of my books from the library.

And courtesy of Pinterest:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My how things change

I've been thinking a lot lately how different Noah's childhood and growing up will be from mine. When I was six I know I couldn't use a computer. Did we even have one? Did most people have one? I really don't know.  Noah knows how to log in to the computer, open the internet, and find his favorite websites. He likes reading eggs, Disney  and now we watch Santa's Reindeer here.

When Joey got a new lap top we set his old one up so that it would be kid friendly for Noah. When Joey got a new iPhone we gave Noah Joey's old one. Don't worry it doesn't work. All he can do is play games on it. I don't know how old he will be when I let him have an actual working phone. I was 16. I'm sure once he starts doing after school activities and spends more time at friends house I'll want him to have one so that I can reach him or he can reach me. But we aren't there yet.


At the library one day I realized that Noah will never know what a card catalog is. He knows we search for books on the computer. I can remember walking up to the giant square full of tiny boxes that pulled WAY out. Each box was filled with tons of tiny cards. I'd flip through them until I found what I was looking for and write it down on a spare piece of paper with a teeny tiny library pencil.


He will never know the agonizing wait and annoying sound the computer makes when trying desperately to connect to the internet. He'll never click a link and then go grab a snack while he waits for it to load. You click and MOST of the time are rewarded immediately with a new web page. I get angry when the computer doesn't do what I want it to do RIGHT AWAY! I think it's funny that it used to be no big deal for me to sit patiently and wait as my pages loaded ever so slowly. 

I used to have so much fun when my mom would take us to the video store on a Friday night and let each of us pick a movie. I'd stroll the aisles searching for the perfect movie often finding something I had never even heard of before. Noah went to a video store a few times but he was very young and doesn't remember going. Now you get your movies from a redbox standing in the cold or rent them online and wait for them to arrive...

I guess things have always changed and they always will. My childhood was not like my mom's childhood. Noah's children will have an experience different from his. I can't imagine how different things will be by then...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Memory Lane - Germany

Recently I found out that my friend Jessica is moving back to Germany. We were stationed there together years ago and it was an amazing experience. I'm insanely jealous that she gets to go back! I started thinking about all of the fun times I had there and began looking through old photos. I loved it there!

I love you Germany!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday's Letters


Dear USPS,
I am disappointed in the substitute mailman you sent yesterday... 
Yesterday something a little disturbing happened. I was sitting in the living room and saw a mail truck pull in my driveway, heard a thud, and then saw the truck pull out of the driveway. I thought hmm that was odd. Maybe they left a package? I opened the front door and no package. Oh but what is that...way over on the opposite side of the garage? It's a package. So the mailman,thankfully this is NOT our regular mail person, pulled in the driveway and did not even bother to bring it to my door. He didn't even exit the truck. He just dumped it out the door of the truck. RUDE! If I hadn't looked outside and seen the package I would have run it over when I backed the car out. 
It could have been worse:

Dear Bella,
I am so glad you are back from boot camp! That was a long two weeks! It was definitely worth it though. I'm glad we can actually walk by another dog now without the barking and growling. Success!

Dear Noah,
I'm glad you share my enthusiasm for all things Christmas. I had a blast last night driving home and looking at all the Christmas lights with you. =)

Dear Amazing Friend of Mine,
I am so excited for you! Moving back to Germany! I am jealous. We had such an awesome time there together and I know you'll love it all over again. However it will probably not be as fun because I won't be there ;)

Dear Chuck E Cheese,
Please be kind. Noah's birthday party is tomorrow and I'm hoping to hold onto some of my sanity. Tons of screaming hyped up children all confined in one building is not my idea of fun.
*Side note- I worked at Chuck E Cheese in high school....for 2 1/2 YEARS! I'm not sure how I managed that.

Have A Great Weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Book Chat- Wish List!


Christmas is coming and this week Jessica wants to know what books are on our Christmas wish list.

I love books! I love all kinds of books. I thought at first that it would be hard for me to come up with a list of books I'd like because normally I go to a book store or library without a list in mind. I just browse the aisles and peek inside book after book until I find one I want to take home. I love receiving gift cards to book stores. I just really like the experience of finding and buying a book.
But this post is about a wish list so...

I'm a Harry Potter nerd, yes. I just love those books and that magical world. I do not own the books though...

The Divergent books are on my to read list. I've heard great things about them.

I've read the first book, Shiver, in the Wolves of Mercy Falls books. I want to read the other two!

Last but DEFINITELY not least I want the Delirium series Book1, Book2, and Book3. I LOVED the first book. The last book doesn't come out until March. I'm trying to wait to read the second book because I've heard it has a huge cliffhanger ending and I know I'll go crazy if I read it and have to wait until March to find out what happens. 

Happy reading friends!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas is coming!

Christmas will be here before we know it. Thankfully we are almost done Christmas shopping. The gifts we have left are for those oh so hard to buy for people. We've been decorating, wrapping, and planning. I can not wait to see our families! Trust me I am counting down the days! Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love unpacking the decorations and remembering that the little snowman candy dish was one of the first things I bought for our first apartment at Christmas time or flipping through the old Christmas books and remembering when my mom read them to me.  I think this Christmas will be a little more hectic than the last few but I don't care one bit.

I drew the Santa chair for him...or tried to.

I think Bella is tired of posing for photos...


Monday, December 3, 2012

7 years

Seven years ago today at 6:44 pm Noah was born. I really can't believe that he is seven. It really feels like just yesterday I was calling my mom in tears freaking out because I was sure his umbilical cord stump had fallen off to early. I'm flipping through his baby scrapbook and looking at his tiny hospital bracelet. How did that itty bitty baby turn into this little man? I miss his squishy cheeks and hilarious baby laugh. I'm so glad that I made the scrapbook. I have journal entries on each page. I'm glad I can read them anytime I want and remember all the little things I've forgotten over the years.

I didn't know loving someone so much was possible. He is my world. He is growing up faster than I'd like him too. I wish I could slow time down a little bit but I know that just isn't possible.

Happy Birthday Noah!

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