On The Lookout

For five long years, I’ve waited.

I’ve dreamed

I’ve wished

And I’ve begged

I’ve been on the lookout.

I’ve pulled over to snap pictures.

I’ve researched online.

I’ve aggravated the daylights out of McDaddy.

Somewhere out there, a bright, beautiful baby is waiting to come home.

And I think she will make a beautiful addition to our family. Wherever she is….

Just Relax

As part of BlogHer’s feature on “Getting Happy”, the folks at BlogHer have asked its Life Well Lived writers (that’s me, in case you were wondering!) to share my response to their feature question:

What are your favorite relaxation techniques? And what benefits do you see from practicing them?

McDaddy could answer this question in a heartbeat. In fact, he would tell you that I bug the ever-livin’ daylights out of him several times a day to scratch my back. Or tickle. Or rub. In fact, having my back rubbed, tickled or scratched is my favorite thing of all the things. There are several benefits to practicing this technique, just ask McDaddy.

I have announced on more than one occasion that if I hit the lottery, the first thing I would splurge on, (besides a Saturn Sky, of course), is a round-the-clock masseuse to attend to my every whim.

And you should know that if you are ever shopping for the perfect gift for me, a massage is always number two on my list. (A Saturn Sky being the first). In fact, I need to make an appointment for a massage because that’s what McDaddy got me for our anniversary.

Other relaxation techniques that I practice are

  • A bubble bath, complete with candles.
  • A nice long ride in the JEEP on a sunny day
  • Sitting on our front porch in the evenings.
  • Watching beach sunsets (Oh how I wish I were doing that right now)

The main benefit I see to practicing any of these techniques is the break my blood pressure gets. And Lord knows, I need all the help I can get.

To see the main blog post, and read about ways others relax, you can visit the main post.

You can also enter to win the Life Well Lived sweetpstakes, here.

 

 

 

What I Learned This Week

I spent the afternoon at the pool with the boys. They were both in bed by 10:30 PM without any urging or insistence from me. I’d say this is shaping up to be a great summer.

I’ve learned a lot of things this week, some of which are not suitable for the blog, mostly because I would be fifty shades of red sharing them with you.

Here’s what I can share:

1. It is perfectly LEGAL to slide into first base on the little league level. I was surprised to learn this after three seasons of little league baseball. (And, as I shared last week, it is NOT legal to slide head-first into any base).

2. For a diet drink, diet Mountain Dew is pretty good.

3. It is possible to apply sunscreen three times within a seven hour period, and still get a mild sunburn.

4. When your third grader comes home all excited because his teacher has announced that tomorrow is “game day” and that electronic devices will be permitted in school, you should take all but one stylus, and all but, maybe two games out of the case so that those things will not get “lost” and find their way to a new home.

5. I have really come to enjoy the sport of baseball. So much so, that the boys and I actually watched a MLB game on television last night.

6. Microfiber furniture is easy to clean, thankfully.

7. The iPad comes with a great Books APP installed on it. It is user friendly with lots of options.

8. I love options.

9. I STILL WANT A SATURN SKY BADLY. (Anybody wanna buy a van?)

Now, what did YOU learn this week?

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For complete carnival rules, click here.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link back to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates. If you don’t know how to link, feel free to ask me.

3. Then link up with Mr. Linky down below.

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

My Favorite Day Of The Year

Today is my favorite day of the year.

It is the day that I say goodbye alarm clock and HELLO lover summer.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been emotional today thinking that I am old enough to have a fourth (4th!) grader. But, at the end of the day (like RIGHT now), all I can think about is the fact that I don’t have to set an alarm to get my hind-end up out of bed at the butt-crack of dawn.

In fact, the butt-crack of dawn is dead to me.

Until, August anyway.

It’s been a crazy, busy day. I worked at the school all day (I’m the PTA Treasurer and the end of year means lots of reimbursements and receipts) and enjoyed visiting the boys in their classrooms to take end of the year pictures with teachers and friends. After school, we stopped at Wendys for Frostys to celebrate the last day of school, and of course Stevie and his best buddy concocted a plan for him to spend the night with us. I made them promise that they would not wake the beast me before 9:00 AM unless they are bleeding or dying.

After dinner, I reported for duty at the ballfield to fulfill my parental obligation in the concession stand. It was a slow night, and plus it was 108 degrees in there.

But enough about that, because summer is right around the corner, and really I should be enjoying the 75 degree days, because here in just a few days, the heat will no doubt join its BFF humidity and unleash its wrath on the unsuspecting people of West Virginia. In fact, its supposed to be 96 friggin degrees this weekend. Which is about 15 degrees hotter than my ideal temperature.

I intend to find a comfortable air-conditioned place to wait it out.

In the meantime, here are a few thoughts rolling around in my brain.

1. I have a serious case of heartburn. In fact, I’ve had bad heartburn for the past month. The last time I experienced heartburn, I was pregnant. The only eggs I want to talk about right now are the ones you scramble in a skillet.

2. I have committed to watching The Bachelor this season. Mainly because Emily is a West Virginia girl, but also because the summer television lineup usually stinks, and you have to take entertainment where you can get it.

3. I am so happy that Phillip Phillips (or as I call him P-Squared) won American Idol last night. He is so unique and talented. I’m happy for him. I love that he cried and walked off of the stage to hug his mama.

4. I am sick of hearing people use the word epic. Most things are NOT epic.

5. Same thing for the phrase, “I know, right?”

6. The iPad functions as a Kindle. I realize I’m probably the last person in the free world to know this.

7.  My ‘eczema of the inner ear” is slowly driving me insane.

8. I have, somehow, managed to buy the noisiest hamster cage on the planet. 

9. Did I mention I won’t be setting an alarm tonight?

10. Since report cards had to be turned in on Monday, what was the purpose of the last three days of school?

At this point, who cares?

Summer, here we come!

Living Our Happily Ever After

Twenty years ago, that poofy-headed, bedazzled girl pined away for that boy when he spent weeks at boot camp, and then tech school. She knew he was the boy for her, the question was how would she convince him of such craziness?

He was the nicest boy she had ever met, and she was sure he would make somebody a good husband someday.

Four years later, they were walking on the riverbank (in the rain) at the University of Charleston, when he asked if she would marry him.

Of course she said yes.

She drove him crazy planning a wedding, dragging him to bridal expos, looking through magazines, and shopping for stuff.

Two years later, on May 23, 1998 at 4:30 PM they pledged their love to one another in a stuffy church full of family and friends.

(I’m the big blob of white in the middle)

She had so many dreams for their future.

Children

Travel

Adventure

And being there, even when times are tough.

The life that these two share has surpassed anything that girl could have dreamed up in her head.

And they live their happily ever after daily.

Happy 14th Anniversary, McDaddy!

Here’s to another 50 more

Exciting

 Romantic,

Crazy,

years!

American Idol Final 2

Somehow I missed that American Idol would be on tonight.

I was on Facebook when I saw all the Idol hoopla. I switched my TiVo over to my daily docket and sure enough, there it was. Sheesh. McDaddy even asked me earlier in the evening if Idol was on. I was all wrapped up in Dancing With The Stars and quickly dismissed his question, and replied, “No, it’s on tomorrow.”

[Hey McDaddy: It’s never a good idea to ask me a question while I’m watching my boyfriend dance, mkay?]

The contestants will sing three songs this evening. I’ll dispense with the commentary and get this show on the road. 

Round 1:  Simon Fuller’s choice.

Jessica: (I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston) – Not a whole lot to say about this performance. Jessica sang well (as she always does), but for me, it is the same ballady performance we’ve seen 417 times this season.

Phillip: (Stand By Me – Ben E King) – I would love to know how the song pickers choose the songs for the contestants, because this song? Genuis. Pure genuis, my friends. Perfect songs choice for him AND  my favorite performance of his this season. I am so happy for Phillip, he is such a great entertainer. He sat on a stool and did his thang. And I am smiling from ear to ear thinking I need to add this song to my iPod.

Round 2: Contestant’s Favorite Song of the Season

Jessica: (The Prayer – Celine Dion) – I felt sure Jess would choose  “I Will Always Love You” and sing the heck out of it. I was in awe of her the night she sang that and I’m thinking that might have made a greater impact than this performance. We’ll see, I suppose. This girl is talented, no doubt about that, but I think she got an unfair shake when they handed her this song.

Phillip: (Movin’ Out – Billy Joel) – Week after week I wonder what kind of spin P Squared will put on the song he has chosen. And each week, he does NOT disappoint. I love this performance and I think he is well on his way to winning this thing.

Round 3: Possible First Single

Jessica: (Change Nothing) – This song is just okay to me. Maybe I’m a little biased toward P Squared, or maybe I’m just bored of the ballads. I can’t help but wonder why Jessica wouldn’t have chosen something that would have showcased more of her range. This seemed forced and strained. She is capable of more, but I’ll take it if it means a win for Phillip.

Phillip: (Home) – OH HECK YEAH. Phillip is KILLIN’ IT. I love the percussion section accompanying him on the stage. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. Did I mention that I love it? I think he just sealed the deal.

ROUND 1, 2 and 3: PHILLIP BY A MILE

And now, I’m off to vote

A Sweet Treat

One day while snooping around on Pinterest I found a neat teacher appreciation gift. I am proud to announce that with two days left in the school year, our three teacher appreciation gifts are ready to give.

Here’s what I purchased today.

The three cans are actually clear paint-type cans that I purchased at Michael’s.

As I began to fill the cans, I discovered that I needed more items to fill the can because I wanted the candybars to keep their form in the cans.

So, I searched our cabinets to see what else I had on hand.

I held the first can on its side. Starting on the flat side, I placed the candy bars side-by side until I covered the flat side. Then, I started to fill the middle. Once the middle was full, I placed the remaining candy bars around the top and kept filling the middle so that the candy bars would stay in place.

And then, I typed up a little story on the computer, leaving a couple of blanks because I wanted the kids to fill in the story to make it personal. (Unfortunately, I used my phone instead of my beloved Canon Rebel, so the lighting, or the color, or whatever is shot.)

Because Alex’s Kindergarten room is called Rainbowland, I changed the colors on his letter.

I think Alex’s teacher will smile when she reads this.

They turned out really cute.

 This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

What I Learned This Week

There are only three days of school left. I am ready for summer, but SO sad that this school year is over.

It has flown by and it’s hard to believe that it’s just about over. This has been a great year for both boys, as they have been blessed with wonderful teachers who really know them, and care about them. I am already praying about the next school year.

Alex and I spent the evening at the T-Ball field and I am one proud mama. My boy caught a pop-fly on the pitcher’s mound. We saw three double-plays in the first two innings, which is weird because it’s T-BALL, and because how often do you see that?

McDaddy spent the evening at scouts with Stevie where he finished up his scouting year. He is now a Webelos I. Seriously, where IN THE HECK does the time go? My little, cubby cheek tiger was here just yesterday.

Ugh, TIME SLOW DOWN.

If I don’t get started on the things I learned this week, I’ll end up doing the ugly cry, and then my nose will run, and then I won’t be able to breath. So… let’s do it, shall we?

1. I need to wear earring backs on my favorite “slide through” earrings, or chance losing them again.

2. A pencil eraser makes a great impromptu earring back.

3. A sure way to get me hooked on The Bachlorette again is to cast a West Virginia girl as the bacholorette.

4. The keypad on the garage has batteries in it. Dang, who knew?

5. Even T-Ball can be exciting to watch.

6. A little league runner cannot slide into home plate head first.

7. Regardless of how careful I am, it is impossible for me to paint without getting it somewhere it isn’t intended to be.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

You Capture – Life

The secret to having it all, is believing that you do.

And yes, I believe that I do.

Life is sweet.

And so is this smile.

Life is serious.

And so is this kid.

Life is fun.

And so is driving this.

Life is rocky sometimes.

Just like this

Life is full of choices.

Not usually as simple as these, though.

Life is a beautiful journey.

And most of all, life is exciting.

You know that was coming, right?

This post is linked to You Capture, where this week’s challenge is life.

American Idol – Top 3

It is 11:00 PM and I just spent the last twenty minutes crying my eyes out. For days (weeks even) I’ve been working on memory books for every single child in Alex’s Kindergarten class. I have spent quite a bit of time volunteering in his classroom, so I know each of the kids personally. It has been so much fun looking over their artwork and deciphering their stories. It’s hard to believe my sweet boy is just five days away from being a first-grader.

Are you ready?

THIS! Is American Idol, and THIS should be a great night of singing. We’ll hear songs chosen by the judges, songs chosen by the contestants and then songs chosen by Jimmy Iovine.

Round 1: Songs chosen by the Judges.

Joshua Ledet (I’d Rather Be Blind – Etta James) Well, it’s no surprise that Joshua is singing the heck out of this song. It sounds strangely familiar to me, but then, why wouldn’t it? Joshua seems to have found his niche singing The Blues. It fits him like a glove and I think Randy made a great choice in choosing this song for him.

Oh, there’s Colton. Dang, I just remembered that he got robbed.

Jessica Sanchez (My All – Mariah Carey) – For starters, this song seems way too low for Jessica. I am not the least bit impressed and I’m wondering why Jennifer wouldn’t have picked Vision of Love to showcase Jessica’s pipes. This song is just blah for me, which is unfortunate because I know that Jessica is capable of so much more.

The judges are falling all over themselves with praise. I don’t agree with any of it.

Really? Am I the only ONE who doesn’t get this performance?

Oh well. Let’s move along little doggies.

Phillip Phillips (Beggin’ – Madcon) – This song is PERFECT for P Squared because he leaves me beggin’ for more each time he sings. I don’t know this song or the group who sings it, but I am enjoying it. To me, that translates to awesome entertainer. Way to go P, round one goes to you!

Round 1: Phillip

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Round 2: Contestant’s Choice

Joshua Ledet (Imagine – John Lennon) – Oh my heck, I absolutely love this performance. I hope with everything in me that I hear Joshua rockin it out on KLOVE someday. His big ol gospel voice thrills my heart. Absolutely beautiful.

Jessica Sanchez (I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith) – Well, this performance is much better than the first. By miles. Still, I feel like something is missing. It’s missing the wow factor for me.

These hometown visits always make me squall like a big baby.

Phillip Phillips (Disease – Matchbox 20) – If I’m being honest, this song was just alright for me. I liked it. I thought he did a good job on it. It was no different from any of the other songs he’s ever done on the Idol Stage, except that this is THE FINAL THREE YO! Phillip, dude, you need to BRING IT in the next round.

Round 2: Joshua

—–

Joshua Ledet (No More Drama – Mary J. Blige) – Y’ALL. THIS IS THE TUNE from The Young And The Restless. OH MY SWEET MOSES, I love it already. Yo, I’ll still be talking about this performance tomorrow, probably when I’m in the workroom at the school binding memory books. It’s funny to me that I’m hearing the Y&R theme, and the words NO MORE DRAMA together. I’m gonna have to do some researching, but I love, love, love this song. He is ON IT tonight.

I just realized I used all kinds of capital letters up there.

Jessica Sanchez (I’ll Be There – Jackson 5) – This song brings tears to my eyes because it reminds me of McDaddy going to Basic Training. The night before he left, I declared this “our song”. Now granted, it was Mariah Carey’s version of the song that I really remember from 1992 – but still, every time I hear it, I am reminded of the six-weeks he spent in San Antonio, Texas. This is a good song choice for Jessica, and it is easily her best performance of the night which is good because this is the one she’ll want “the voters” to remember. I think Mariah’s version might have been a better fit for her voice, but whatever.

Phillip Phillips (We’ve Got Tonight – Bob Seger) – As I sit here with my eyes close, I can hear a touch of Rod Stewart and I LOVE IT! In fact, this is my favorite performance of P Squared EVER in the history of the season. He held back. He did this thang. And I was lovin’ it. HEY PHILLIP, awesome, awesome, and more awesome. Or just awesome cubed.

Round 3: Phillip (with Joshua right on his heels)

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Best Performance of the Night: Phillip

Going Home: Jessica

Totally going out on a limb here. And crossing my fingers that P Squared and J-Dawg are battling it out in the final.