Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Update! And "Month of Thanks"

Well, hello blogging world, it has been awhile!  How is everyone? Things are going fabulously here in California!  We are slowly, but surely getting settled and acclimated. (Although, I’m still on Texas time and am reminded every night about 8:00 when I think to myself, “It’s only 8? Crap!”)

Addy continues to thrive at her preschool.  It was a huge adjustment not just for her, but for Dusty and I too.  We were spoiled at Ms. Rachael’s back in Sachse!  Addy was one of only about 10 kids with 2-3 teachers.  She got lots of attention and LOVE.  Here at her new school, it’s not so small.  She is in a normal size class—I think about 20 kids her age with 3-4 teachers. And it is much more like a school setting, which the teacher in me loves because that will get her that much more ready for Kindergarten in a few years.  (Yikes!) She is potty training…some days are better than others.  M&M’s are our gold to get her to sit on the potty!  Some days she wants nothing to do with it, though.  We do our best to keep it routine and consistent, but she is really good at testing that. J  Any suggestions out there?!  She talks like CRAZY! Oh my word.  She never stops.  Full on conversations with this girl and we LOVE it.  She keeps us entertained and on our toes all the time.  She had a great Halloween and dressed up as Minnie Mouse.  We took her to a Trunk or Treat at one of the churches down in Porterville where she got to meet “Cinderella”.  Oh my word was this girl star struck.  She was still talking about it this morning. LOL.

Dusty and I are doing well also.  I’m getting the hang of my job more and more and really am enjoying it…most days. J  I am serving a completely different population of kids than I used to, but I love it.  I do miss my days in DP though and can’t wait to go home in the summer to work at HEROES!!  I think I’ll be home with Addy for at least a few weeks and Dusty will be there for part of it depending on his work schedule.  Can’t wait!

We are in love with our house and the beautiful country in which we get to live now.  We are lucky. We are blessed beyond measure.  It doesn’t matter what stress our day might have caused us, as soon as we turn onto our little road, it melts away.  It is simply breathtaking where we are.  As much as I love it, I’m still struggling with being homesick.  I just miss so much about Texas.  No place like it.  I miss my family.  No one like them.  And I miss my friends.  They are the best.  With all of that being said, we are happy.  I am happy.

Speaking of happy…my parents are coming to visit on Friday!! I couldn’t be more excited!!!!!!  I will post about that next week!

In honor of November and the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving, I’m going to start my “Month of Thanks” a day late.  Today, I am thankful for the beautiful land we get to look at every single day.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I know I have been MIA for almost 2 months now, but bare with me, I will be getting back to this soon. I promise. Life has been crazy, but in the best way. We have yet to get Internet in our new house--a little bit harder when you live in the country like we do now--and when I do, I'll be blogging regularly again. Don't forget about us!!!

Life is good!!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


**Pictures are randomnly placed throughout post. :)**

Hello! It has been awhile since my last post and my, how things have changed! We are California. It took us two full days of driving and one hotel stop in Grants, NM, but we made it! The kids, Addy and Duke, did great. The first day was the hardest on both of them, but by day two, they were old pros.
I am happy to be here. I am. Really. Leaving Texas was one of the hardest, most gut wrenching experiences of my life. It goes without saying that leaving my family, especially my mom and my dad, ripped my heart out. They have all lifted us up through prayer, love, and support and I feel it. The morning we left, I was able to calm my crying (sobbing, more like it) a few miles down the road from my parents' house, but started up again when we crossed over the TX/ NM border. I watched Texas disappear behind me in the rear view mirror and felt that aching in my heart again.
~~Oh have been a good friend, but I know we will see each other soon. You have my heart. I am a proud Texan through and through and don't think I won't brag about you to my new friend, California.~~
The arrival here was made much easier by Toni's welcome! She transformed what was her room to Addy's room. When I walked in, Addy's crib was put together, her changing table was in there, her dresser painted by her Daddy was in there, her toy chest, and her rug were all in there making me feel like a piece of "home" was waiting on us. I don't think Toni will ever know how much that meant. I shed many a tear leaving our home, but more specifically, Addy's bedroom. SO many memories.

As hard as it was to say goodbye to family, friends, and our first home full of memories...I still feel that this is right. So many things are falling into place with ease. I have a job, I start tomorrow. Addy has a preschool, she loves it already. Dusty continues to exceed at his job, loving it more everyday.
I am nervously excited about my job. I will no longer be a classroom teacher. I am the new Transition Specialist for the Lindsay Unified School District-a town about 10 miles from here. I will be coordinating the transitions of kids entering preschool and exiting high school under the SPED umbrella as well as writing all the IEP's and facilitating meetings. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but that's all I know at the point! I start tomorrow. (the street I work on is lined with palm trees with a backdrop of mountains! No forgetting where I am!) I think I may even have an office! Crazy!
This summer was a whirlwind. I know a lot of people that love us had doubts about this move...some may still have those doubts. Something is telling me that this is right for our family. I feel like we have been "led" this way. It did happen fast, but the signs were there. Dusty and I talked about that on our long trip and we both said that we feel God puts these signs in front of us and leaves it up to us to make heads or tails of it. We did just that...we called "heads"!
When Dusty left Texas six or seven weeks ago, it tore me up. Tore him up too. But he said something to calm me that still rings in my ear that I will leave you with...he said,
"Babe, think about the story we are writing...think about years from now when we can look back and say how brave we were then and that there won't be anything that can stop us once we get through it."
And I think he is right...what a cool story...

Friday, July 22, 2011


This summer has been full of change. Full of ups and downs. Full of stress, anxiety, craziness. It has been a blur.

As most of you know, we are heading to California. A move of immense proportion. A change that is much more than just a simple "change of address" form. We are moving our entire life to the west coast. Why? Because it feels right. Because it feels we are being led this way. Because we feel it is what is meant for us.

So let me digress...

At the beginning of the summer, Dusty was laid off. The company he worked for, which was full of immense potential, was not being managed appropriately and was suddenly--without warning--closing its doors. This job was finally the job that he had been looking for. It fed his artistic creative side like none other. Needless to say that when it closed its doors, it was a hard pill to swallow.

The irony here was that we learned of this lay off at the exact moment we were landing in Dallas from our trip to California. A trip that was different than others. During this most recent trip, I had found myself thinking about how I could live there and actually saying out loud to Dusty at one point, "I could do this...I could live here...I like it." I am someone who has always believed in "everything happens for a reason" of the many gems I learned from my mom. It felt like someone was trying to tell us something. Was this our opportunity to make this move?

The very next morning, Dusty began his job search in the Dallas area--with not much luck. He kept looking. He kept making calls. He kept trying. Through all of this, he received a job offer in California--in his home town of Porterville working for a steel company as a welder. (let me just say, welding is husband makes it look easy...he is amazing) Decisions had to be made quickly because this job couldn't be held for long. We discussed, argued, prayed...and decided he needed to head out to see if this was going to be THE opportunity. On July 2, he headed to California.

He has been there for the past three weeks working his tail off. Addy, Duke, and I have been here missing him terribly. I have purposely kept it all quiet because we wanted to make sure it was right before I blasted it on facebook and this blog! Dusty has landed a great job and it feels RIGHT. He will fly here August 1 and will be greeted by myself and his little girl...both of us bursting at the seems with excitement!!!! We will spend a week getting things packed up, the house listed, and my finishing up my summer camp and then head to California on August 7.

We are scared, excited, anxious, hopeful, terrified, and optimistic all rolled into one! This, as you can guess, is and will be hard for me as I have never lived further than 3 hours from my family my whole life. I will be homesick, no doubt about it. But I feel in my heart of hearts, as does Dusty, that this is the best thing for us.

I leave you all with a quote that I have loved forever and was reminded of in an email from my parents this morning...

"To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did."

Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Head Wound

We made it two years.  Two whole years before we had to take our girl to the ER...

Last night, Addy slipped on our bed and crashed forehead first into the corner of the bedframe.  The bedframe won.

Dusty was just steps away when we heard the thud immediately followed by the ear piercing screams.  We rushed to her and when Dusty grabbed for her, we saw our poor girl's face completely covered in blood.  I had never seen anything like it...looked like something out of a horror film.  I freaked.  We didn't know where the blood was coming from.  Dusty took over and was cool as a cucumber.  He cleaned it up best as he could, but the blood just kept coming.  He bandaged it and we headed to the nearest ER.

Once we arrived, Addy had calmed down a bit.  Luckily they were able to glue it shut without the use of stitches.  The process of them glueing it was tough to watch.  They had to strap her little body down to the bed, hold her head down, lean her back feet in the air, and cover her eyes.  Despite all of that, she was a trooper.  She cried, but didn't try to get free.  She is one tough princess! 

We were able to come home quickly after that and had her in bed by 9:30.  It was truly the scariest thing I have ever seen.  I have seen some nasty stuff and been through some very scary things at work with my students plenty of times and I am ALWAYS the calm one taking the lead.  However, seeing Addy so injured...nothing could have prepared me for that image.  It keeps flashing in my head.  Thank the heavens for Dusty...he was cool, calm, and collected and took care of our girl.

When I was 17, I cracked my forehead wide open in a soccer was pretty nasty and I had to be rushed to the hospital for numerous stitches.  I have a scar to this day that most people don't even notice.  Not exactly what I had in mind when wanting Addy to resemble her Mommy.  ;-)

She woke up this morning at her regular time and was ready for breakfast and playtime.  She is definately tired today and her head is sore.  But she is OKAY and we are so thankful. 

Tough little princess...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And then she was two...

Our little girl is two.  Two whole years old.  Who knew it would fly by this fast?  I sure didn't believe other parents (especially my own) when they all said "Enjoy it.  Its gone before you know it."  Luckily, I listened to the first part of that statement..."Enjoy it."  I have.  And always will. 

I will say that there have been MAJOR changes in Addy over the past couple of months.... 

She is a non stop talker.  I have to admit, when she was about 18 months, I was concerned that she wasn't attempting 'enough' verbally.  ('Enough' according to other parents' blogs...parenting magazines...websites.  Its enough to make you crazy.)  I probably wouldn't have been as worried on the inside if I wasn't a Special Education teacher--I mean, I work with kids who have speech impairments on a daily basis!  I was worried for nothing.  In the last couple of months this girl has become downright assertive with her language.  She knows what she wants and how to ask for it!  Some of our favorites are "peace out",  "addy, momma, dadda aipane",  "bubba kiss", and "horseeees eat cawwots".  She is a chatterbox!

Can we say social butterfly?  Good lord!  There isn't a shy bone in her little body.  She tells everyone "hiiiiiiiiii" everywhere we go and loves to pass out hugs.  She LOVES her friends and teachers and I'm pretty sure she is a "ringleader" of sorts at school.  She is definately "Little Miss Independent" and very confident.  I so love that about her...I hope that these qualities will stick with her as she grows up.

She also has recently developed some pretty major temper tantrums...we like to call it "Addy-tude".  I'm pretty sure we have entered the "dark period" I was warned about from other parents.  Eating out a restaurants has become tricky at times.  Dusty has more than once had to be that daddy escorting his girl out of the front door during a meal.  Just this week I left a full shopping cart in the middle of Target to leave due to her tantrum.  I was that mom.  It is definately not a daily occurence, but when it does happen I find myself looking for the nearest glass of wine or bottle of beer! ;)

She loves her Mickey Mouse and Handy Manny...bee (her pillow pet) is her bestie...and babydolls are becoming more prevalent.  Unfrotunately, her paci is also still very dear to her.  Dusty and I will be attempting to tackle that this summer.  Wish us luck! 

We love you sweet girl.  You are what our world revolves around.
This song wraps up how we feel about you...

"Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III.

Everything she sees
she says she wants.
Everything she wants
I see she gets.

That's my daughter in the water
everything she owns I bought her
Everything she owns.
That's my daughter in the water,
everything she knows I taught her.
Everything she knows.

Everything I say
she takes to heart.
Everything she takes
she takes apart.

That's my daughter in the water
every time she fell I caught her.
Every time she fell.
That's my daughter in the water,
I lost every time I fought her.
I lost every time.

Every time she blinks
she strikes somebody blind.
Everything she thinks
blows her tiny mind.

That's my daughter in the water,
who'd have ever thought her?
Who'd have ever thought?
That's my daughter in the water,
I lost everytime I fought her
Yea, I lost every time.
Birth to 2 years...


Sunday, June 19, 2011


Today is Addy's actual birthday, although her party was yesterday. (will post later)  She is the big 2!  And she knows it! ;)

Blogs from 2 years ago...

Happy birthday, sweet girl.  You have our hearts.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 years ago today...

We were getting ready for the arrival of our little angel.  It is so very hard to believe that 2 years have come and gone...where does the time go?  Miss Addy will be 2 on Sunday...can hardly believe it.  :) 

2 years ago today...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

California Dreamin'...

What a fun filled whirlwind of a week we had in California!  We haven't even been back 24 hours yet!  We spent 8 magical days away from reality with our Cali family.  It is simply too much to tell so I will share our trip with you through a story of photo collages from the trip!

First things first...we were greeted by Nana in the airport and Addy was SO excited!!

This was our first night in California.  We hadn't been at Nana's house longer than 10 minutes and family came bursting in the door!  We had so much fun this awesome to have everyone together under one roof!  Wiffle ball tournaments were played...hugs were was had...and the laughs kept coming!

Addy now has a new affinity for horses.  Or "Horseeeeees" as she called them!  Nana has two horses, Red and Rocky.  Addy was fast friends with both of them, but had a special bond with Rocky.  We got to ride them, feed them, brush was so exciting for our girl.  Midway through the week, it became Addy and Nana time with just the two of them going together twice everyday.  I know it was special for both of them. :)

Addy had a GREAT time with her cousins!  She was smitten with Victoria (8 years her elder!) right off the bat.  (center pic)  I kept seeing Addy just watching what she was doing and wanting to be just like her.  Addy was also fast friends with her cousin, Corey Dain. (bottom left pic)  By the end of the week Addy couldn't stop herself from telling him hi and showering him with hugs!

Mountains!!  Everytime I'm in California I am amazed by the mountains.  Pure beauty.  The drive up to the camp (at 6000 ft elevation!) always puts me at long as I've had my Dramamine! ;)  We spent the day fishing at Dusty's Aunt Pam's cabin.  Addy had a BLAST! That is, until she got carsick on the way down the mountain.  Fun was over at that point! ;)

Addy got her first haircut from Nana while we were there!  We've got bangs in the front and trimmed ends in the back.  Addy did such a great job during the cut--we were SO proud.  And yes, I did bring home some of her hair.  Mommy was a little emotional. ;)

Since Addy's birthday is on Father's Day, Nana surprised her with a fun pool to play in!  It was so cool...had a slide, sprayers, basketball, and rings.  She loved it and played in it all afternoon after the haircut.

Towards the end of the week we did a little searching through Toni's (Nana's) old pictures.  We had a blast and found her baby book and tons of albums and photos from her childhood.  A little bit of Addy shined through in Nana's baby photos.  We also happened upon Dusty's high school scrap book.  These were a few of my faves.  Wasn't he adorable?!

On our last night, everyone came by for one last visit.

We got home late last night and were all feeling pretty tired.  We had an amazing time in California and loved the 'break from reality.'  We happened upon some not so good news when we got home regarding Dusty's job.  We are trying to figure out our next step and welcome any prayers or good thoughts you could send our way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wee bit Wednesday...

{one} what profession have you always admired?

Policemen, firefighters, our military.  They all make huge sacrifices and don't get the recgonition they deserve.  My cousin, Sean, is a Marine and I can honestly say that what he does is something to be admired.

{two} what would the title of your memoir/biography be if it was written today?

"Work in Progress"..because, really, aren't we all?  I have a lot of things to work on and I have a whole lot more I want to do with this life of mine. :)

{three} how far do you commute to work?

Ugh...30 miles roundtrip which equals to about 40 minutes each way.  Bleh.  I'm working on a remedy for that as we speak...stay tuned...and say a prayer.


{four} are your earlobes attached or detached?



{five} do you eat the unpopped kernels of popcorn at the bottom of the bag?


{six} what is the strangest gift you’ve ever received?

Geez..I don't know that I can think of anything.

{seven} what is one tv show that you wish hadn’t been cancelled?

I don't know about cancelled...but a show that ended...Friends.  I absolutely adored that show.  We had a watching party in college the day of the final episode and I remember sobbing uncontrollably. 

{eight} what is something that you are saving money for right now?

Nothing in particular.  I know we are doing our best to get in a better financial place right now because we want more than anything to have more kids.  We can't afford two daycare tuitions and we can't afford to have either of us stay home at this point.  But we are working on it!  Our dream is for Dusty to be able to stay home as Mr. Mom and work out of our garage in his art studio.  He definately has the skills!


{nine} what hobby would you like to take up?

Photography. I like to think I have a pretty good eye…and I love to edit!

{ten} how many times a year do you get really dressed up?

Unless there is a wedding that I am in, then none. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Before I Was a Mom

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another 'Fest Come and Gone...

Last weekend we headed up to my home away from home, Muenster, for the 2011 Germanfest.  (can I get a woo-hoo!?)  This festival celebrates all that is German; lederhosen, games of Nagelschlagen, saurkraut, streudel, sausage, and most of all beer.  I got to see some, not all, of my family which always makes for a fun time.  Have I mentioned before how much I love my family?  If not, well I do.  A lot.  A whole lot. Nuff' said.  They are let's celebrate the Fest last weekend accompanied by the lyrics of my favorite song...

Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma & Pa
Not the way that I do love you
Holy roly, me, oh my, you’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you’re my best friend, I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothin’ that I need
Well, hot & heavy, pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
There ain’t nothin’ please me more than you

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is wherever I’m with you

I’ll follow you into the park, through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you
Moats & boats & waterfalls, alley ways & pay phone calls
I’ve been everywhere with you

We laugh until we think we’ll die, barefoot on a summer night
Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you
And in the sticks we’re running free like it’s only you and me
Geez, you’re something to see.

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is whenever I’m with you
"Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

What a fun day! The day began with Easter service with my parents at St. Joseph's. Addy ended up serving as entertainment for those around us with her singing. My mom has an AMAZING voice and sings in the choir...I always wished I could sing half as good as her. Maybe the singing chops skipped me and went straght to Addy. :) Enjoy our little songbird.

We went to brunch at Blue Mesa afterwards...yummy!! We almost had to be rolled out of the restaurant because we ate so much. We headed home and put the girl down for a nap so the Easter Bunny could come visit. She awoke to a basket full of goodies and Easter egg hunt awaiting her in the backyard.

Happy Easter, everyone!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fun, fun, fun!

Yesterday was a busy day for our girl, one big birthday party and dinner with friends afterwards.  Addy's friend, Sophie, had a birthday party yesterday--she turned 2!  Minnie Mouse themed, bounce house havin', cake and ice cream eatin' kind of party.  She had a blast.  All of her friends from daycare were there too--so much fun to watch her play with them.

After the party, Addy and I rushed home to get Dusty and head to our friends' house--The Clarkes.  I met Rachel through school--she is a fellow teacher in our district...or was. ;)  Read their story here.  She is also heavily involved with HEROES camp.  Addy finally got to meet Isaiah--their 10 month old linebacker. :)  We had such a good time...they cooked a really yummy dinner for us and we brought really yummy beer to go with it!   
Our girl hung in there for her mommy and daddy and played hard until 10!  Once she hit that wall, it was time for us to go.  We weren't even in the car more than a minute and she was in dreamland.
  What a fun day!