Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Christmas in February

Many of you know that my Dad went into the hospital the middle December and finally got out just over a week ago. Because of this much of our lives were put on hold - including Christmas. Well Sunday we finally got to celebrate Christmas at my parent's house. And while we didn't have the turkey that we planned - we did have spaghetti, mostly made by my Dad! Besides us and my parents; my brother and his two friends - Katie and Corey - were over to celebrate.
And of course, I have pictures!!!
Here is the guest of honor - my Dad - and his girl - Samantha

Me, Dad, & the kids - Aaron's friend Katie

The Kids playing with the Elmo Uncle Aaron (pictured) gave them - Dad, the kids, and Mom taking down the Christmas tree

Samantha playing with Katie - Mom & Samantha reading

Nick and I (w/ the scarf my younger cousin made me)

Merry Christmas in this season of Lent!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Countdown - Part 2

Scrapshare's blog challenge this weekend is a new kind of countdown...here goes:

10 Favorites

Color: Purple
Food: French Fries
Month: July
Song: "If you are going through hell"
Movie: Coyote Ugly
Season: Summer
Day of the Week: Saturday
Ice Cream Flavor: Peanut Butter & Chocolate
Time of Day: Evening
9 Currents
Mood: Little tired and a tinge bit sick
Clothes: Green 3/4 sleeved shirt, black workout pants and white socks
Taste: Ice Tea?
Desktop: Sorta messy
Toenail Color: Way leftover goldish color on some
Time: 2:30pm
Surroundings: Kitchen
Thoughts: I hope Samantha keeps telling me if she needs to go potty.
Wonderings: What the kids are doing, why I have a headache, what is going to happen on GH.
8 Firsts
Best Friend: Lindsey (eek, did I just type her name "outloud"?)
Kiss: S.W.
Screen Name: Empress
Pet: Klinger the cat
Piercing: Ears
Crush: ??
Computer: TRS80 from Radio Shack
Home Location: St. Paul
7 Lasts
Cigarette: NEVER
Drink: Last weekend - I think it was wine
Kiss: Today from my kids. Yesterday from Nick.
Movie seen at the theater: American Wedding (can you tell it has been awhile)
Phone Call: My Dad yesterday
CD played: Brooks & Dunn - though most are things on my ipod
Gift received: Cookbook
6 Have You Evers
Dated One Of Your Best Friends: Nope
Broken the Law: Speeding is the closest I get
Been Arrested: Nope
Skinny Dipped: Nope (though I wouldn't be against it)
Been on TV: Yep.. commercials, news
Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: Nope
5 Things
You've Eaten Today: Waffles, chicken, stuffing, corn
You've Done Today: Cleaned dishes, done laundry
You Can Hear Right Now: TV, kids
You Can't Live Without: Phone, music, camera
You Do When You're Bored: Sleep, hang out on the computer, watch TV
4 places you've been today
1. Jeffrey's preschool
2. Curves
3. Downstairs
4. Bank
3 people you can tell anything to
1. Nick
2. Dad
3. Mom
2 Choices
1. Black or White: Both
2. Hot or Cold: Hot
1 thing you wanna do before you die
I want to see my kids grow up and have their own families.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Potty Training and Scrapbooking!

Well we have done it.. we have officially started potty training Samantha. Even though it feels like Jeffrey was just trained (he started last July and was dry during the day by the end of August and has been dry throughout the night since November). She has to be potty trained for preschool - and that starts in just over 6 months - so we have started. Our first step was convincing her that she wanted to be potty trained. She has a mind of her own and that can be quite difficult. Well, I don't know what did it - but she said she wanted to be. We did tell her that if she got trained we would repaint their room in Dora and Diego. And we did tell her she could try to beat Aidan - her friend that is also starting preschool. And we just kept asking her. So we started her in underwear today (with the promise of more when she gets trained). So far she has peed twice and pood once. And then she had a #2 accident. Ah well, I cleaned her up and put on a new pair of underwear. She can do it!!
I have actually scrapbooked the past couple days. I think with everything that has gone on the past 3-4 months I have not really been inspired. Though I have gone to a friend's church a couple times and scrapped. Well I have 2 layouts that I am particularlly proud of and have posted them on my scrapbooking blog: http://empress4cmc.blogspot.com/2007/02/layouts-sunflowers-kids.html
Well a winter storm is heading for the Twin Cities this weekend. We don't have many plans - I am ok with hunkering down and hanging out. I hope everyone in the area stays safe.
Have a Good Weekend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

February Heat Wave!

We have been lucky here in the Twin Cities, after a cold stretch, the past couple days we have had a heat wave. It has been in the forties the past couple days and today is the first day I don't think we reached that mark. This has meant time to hang out outside. Nick was cleaning out the garage, the kids got to play (and get muddy) and we (except Nick) got to take the dogs out for a walk.
So what does a February Heat Wave look like... here are some pictures:
In our backyard/driveway on Monday:

On the lake on Wednesday:

Well it all is going to come to an end this weekend with an early "March Madness" snowstorm. Ah well.. the Groundhog predicted and early Spring.. so maybe it will come true.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Daytona 500 - 2007

As I last posted, yesterday was the start of the NASCAR season with the Daytona 500!
Congratulations to the winner - Kevin Harvick.
The race started out slow and boring... but with about 50 laps to go it got GOOD.
Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart were running 1 and 2 and crashed out. Then one of my faves - Jimmie Johnson was in a big accident that brought out the green-white-checkered. Then, on the last lap, with Mark Martin in the lead, Kevin came on strong. At the same time a big accident happened - it took out much of the field - including Jeff Gordon.. and had Clint Bowyer skidding across the finish line on his hood!

Thankfully everyone was fine, and Jeff Gordon still finished 10th!
The top 5 were:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Mark Martin

3. Jeff Burton
4. Mike Wallace
5. David Ragan
And since this is the first race, the points leaders are the same as the top 5!
Next stop - California on Sunday!


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Start your engines!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen... START YOUR ENGINES!

Today is the official start of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Season.

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity... Let's go racing

Today is the Daytona 500!

Go Jeff Gordon!


Out of the hospital!!

Well after just over 2 months in the hospital - including 5 weeks under sedation and just over a week in the rehab unit - my Dad is OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!!!
Can you tell I am excited?
At one point I wondered if we were going to make it to this day. Gosh, I thought we were going to lose him. But he pulled through and yesterday my Mom got to bring him home.
We were going to go yesterday to see him, but getting out wore him out.. so we will hopefully see him tonight or tomorrow.
Here is him last Thanksgiving... just under a month before he went in the hospital. Right now he has less hair and has lost some weight.. but his spirits are up.

We Love You Dad/Bapa/Ken!!


Friday, February 16, 2007

More kids?

Having two kids, with the youngest being 3, one of the inevitable questions is, "Are you having more kids?" My stock response is, "I am not done, but Nick is." Right now it is not in the picture with my friend, Roxanne's, wedding in the Bahamas at the end of the year.. and with our new health insurance we have to wait till we have it a certain amount of time till birth is covered.
Honestly in my heart, I think it is crazy to want more.. yet I still do. I do love the new baby stage, for a short while I am ok with the sleepless nights that newborns bring. But since I now have two preschoolers, the discipline issues are a lot harder to deal with. And right now the kids drive me crazy.
I just don't feel like our home is full... yet will that fullness but me in the loony bin?


On another note, Jeffrey sure thinks we are having more. He tells me all the time I am going to have 2 babies (even though I am NOT pregnant). I am going to have them at the same time.. a little Jeffrey and a little Samantha. And Jeffrey will help with one kid while Samantha and I will deal with the other. Too funny.
The thing is the chances of me having twins are slim to none.. because they don't run in our family and I wouldn't take fertility drugs (not that I am against them, just, because I have 2, I couldn't see us going to those measures). And I guess Jeffrey is a little right since as women we have all of the eggs we will have.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

RIP Mollie

I have been holding off posting this - for awhile it was too hard to deal with.

On Thursday, December 28, 2006 we lost one of our fur babies. Mollie was 5 1/2 years old.. so as you can imagine this was a shock to us.
The night before we heard her whining.. we went out to the kennel to check her out. Her stomach was bloated. We thought that since both her and our male lab weren't fixed that she was pregnant. We had seen her getting some "action" so that would have made sense.
When Nick went to check on her the next morning she was still whining.. but we thought it was just pregnancy pains some more. We had to go out of town that day for a couple days, so we asked our neighbor to look in on the big dogs (the little ones were going with us). When she came home that afternoon from work she went in and checked and Mollie was already dead. Laying exactly where she was laying when Nick put her back in the kennel.
Our neighbor's son lives next door to a Vet, so they called her and she said it was a twisted stomach/intestines. Something fairly common in dogs that live with another dog.
This is my third pet to die. First was Mandi (Nick's Lab) who died at age 14, next was Klinger (parent's cat) who died at age 23... for some reason this one was the hardest. I think because this was my first puppy. When we got her over 5 years ago, I went with Nick and my fil to Nebraska to pick her up. I have pictures of her as a puppy laying on my lap. She never did get to live a full life. And that is the tragedy.
Here is Mollie

Now she is up in heaven driving my fil nuts, playing with Mandi.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!!

"I have found that to love and be loved is the most empowering of all human emotions." -- Jane Goodall

A Happy Valentines Day to all.
May love be with you.

And here are my 3 Valentines


Monday, February 12, 2007

Dear Cupid....

For the Scrapshare blog challenge this week this is the challenge:
Write a letter to Cupid.
Say what's on your mind about Valentine's Day.
Is it a bunch of bunk?
Another chance for Hallmark to make some money?
Are you a romantic at heart?
Do you have hints for your Valentine?
Do you have a Valentine's memory to reminisce about?

Dear Cupid....
It is funny that this is the challenge this week (though of course this is all not coincidental since Valentines Day is in 2 days). I saw these two quotes in
Oprah's "Mission Calendar Inspiration" email I get every day:
On Feb 9: "Love is my decision to make your problem my concern." -- Robert Schuller
On Feb 12: "Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone--we find it with another." -- Thomas Merton
Of course those of us with a love understand these quotes. One of the factors of marriage that Nick still is not so used to is that to have romantic love towards and with another person, you lose a sense of independence. No longer does every step you take impact just one person (not discounting those close to you - like your parents - of course). He has actually said to me he was not scared of dying till he fell in love with me. This of course has gotten compounded since we have had two kids. You walk through life together. And when the kids are grown - you hope that both of you will still be walking together, holding each other up.
Many people discount Valentines Day as a "Hallmark Holiday". I truly don't feel that way. For some, you show those that love you that you love and appreciate them all the time. For others, you need V Day so that you can be told "I Love You". Now Nick is probably in the middle.. and as we have gotten older I don't expect candle lit dinners and fancy jewelry. But I do expect a card. A card to me shows that you love someone enough that you took time out of your day (sometimes just 5 extra minutes) to pick out a thoughtful card (or make one) so that you show your love. I mean, I wouldn't turn down a nice gift.. I just don't expect it.
Of course I wish life was more romantic... but it is so hard to get to the romance through all the stress of life.

As for V Day memories. Nine years ago this V Day, Nick had his first "family trip" with my family. Funny, because Nick was my boss when we met.. and I knew I was going off to college but was going to try to come back and work on the weekends I was in town.. and on our first date (July 27, 1997) I told Nick I would need that day off (just for conversation).. well he was joking that I couldn't take it off. Fast forward over 6 months later.. not only do we both not work there.. he is with us on this trip for a family occasion.
The next V Day (1999) was actually the day I converted to Catholicism.

This V Day.. it will be me and the kids because Nick has to teach religion Wednesday night.. ah well!!
I just hope that this V Day, you tell your loved ones that you truly Love them!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Super Bowl Proposal!

Ok... so it was all over the news ... a guy wanted to propose to his girlfriend during the Super Bowl. Well, he didn't get his wish.. but I guess he got to do it during her favorite show "Veronica Mars" the other day.
So I found this clip through his blog mysuperproposal.com and thought some of my friends may want to see.
His Proposal:

Her Response:

*Disclaimer: I don't know this person... I just thought it was very creative.. my proposal was nothing like this!!

Also..just a note.. I have now written a leap year's worth of blog postings!



Let's go Flinging!
What is Flinging?
Well Flinging is throwing out stuff.. espeically when you throw out a bunch at once.
We have been in the flinging mood here. We have a lot of stuff, some we don't need, so we are trying to either throw it out or give it away or save it for the church garage sale Nick says he is going to organize.
Flinging feels so good. Seeing bags and bags of trash leave the house is like having a weight lifted off of our shoulders.
So far I have worked on my closet and we worked on the front closet. But of course we have a ton more to do.
So here is my challenge to you... from now till the first day of Spring (officially - not seasonally), get to flinging... challenge yourself; fling 5 things a day or 20 things a week or whatever... start your Spring cleaning early. I know when it starts warming up here.. the last place I want to be is inside!!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I admit... I have been CRABBY lately.
Maybe it is because it is around that time of the month... maybe it is the touch of Seasonal Affect Disorder the majority of Minnesotans have this time of the year... maybe it is just life stresses that are doing it to me. But basically don't cross me right now.
And of course, the kids and Nick deal with the brunt of it. Especially the kids. I give kudos to some parents out there that have patience.. because I rarely have it.. especially when it comes to something I know the kids can do (like clean up, get dressed, etc.)

It just sucks though.
Maybe I am just crabby because lately I have had a lot of feelings of inadequecy. At least when I was working I made some money for the family.. and even though it wasn't a ton of money, it was something. Now I am a Stay At Home Mom. Too bad I suck at the housekeeping part of it, not so great at the Mom part of it, and could definetly work at being a better wife. What does that make me?
Nick and I are working together to start a little web design business... something I could do a good job at since I am great with computers.. but yet I still doubt myself.

So where does that leave me?
I guess I am a floundering fish... too bad the lakes are all froze and I cannot reach the top!