Tuesday, September 7, 2010

where to begin?

Wow, I thought keeping up with my blog this year was going to be easy. Apparently not so much seeing the last posted date....

But as of last week, I have had some free time dropped in my lap. So maybe now I can get back to the world of blogging!

According to my calendar - I have been doing some traveling.... :) Oh and the fact that the suitcase has never been completely unpacked since January.

I have been traveling to the scrapbook conventions across the country with Boxer Scrapbooks. We have been to Costa Mesa, CA, Portland, Louisville, KY, Pleasanton, CA, Collinsville, IL, Mesa, AZ, Manchester, NH, Novi, MI, Arlington, TX, Chantilly, VA, Des Moines, IA, Puyallup, WA, Valley Forge, PA, Santa Clara, CA, Charlotte, NC, Tulsa, OK, and Virginia Beach, VA!!!! Those last 5 were right in a row - making August a total blur. We have 6 more for the year. A little behind on the postcards apparently. I found a few collections from a few destinations that never got mailed... Might have to send those this month as I don't have any travel in September. I won't be going to Ohio this week so have the weekend off. Not sure what to do with myself... Oh but I will get over it.

Between Manchester and Novi, I got to spend a couple days in Chicago with Kathy Jo and Tony. That was so much fun. Got the express day tour of the city and even taught KJ to make chicken enchiladas one night. :) Have the photos to prove it!

Spring Break - Tom and I took the boys and a couple of their friends to a beach house on the Oregon Coast. Was nice to just get away and relax.

I continued to work full time with Hot Off the Press until last week. I got a call notifying me that my position had been eliminated due to cut backs. That was and still is hard to take. So not really sure what the next step is as far as the work thing. Might have to think of a new adventure....

Lucas is cleared for football this year. He has been participating in the summer conditioning all summer and now they are in full swing practice. First game is this friday and he is excited and I am camera ready! I can't wait to see him on the field. It has been two years since he has suited up and a rough two years with all that he has been through.

Jake played lacrosse this spring and also a short summer league. He had a great spring season. He had several buddies from school on the team and even made it into the penalty box a few times - proud lacrosse mom moments. :)

Today, the boys are back in school. Lucas started 9th grade - wow, high school already... And Jake is in 8th grade. One year again of two schools and two different schedules, but somehow it all works out.

So think that brings us up to date.... Life is a crazy ride and I am just hanging on. Hope to be back here on the blog again soon!

Til next time...

Monday, January 4, 2010

a new year...

so time to keep up with the blog again.... it has been so neglected. This just might be a resolution I can keep up with.

so today was a day filled with outings... I met up with friends for bagels where I often met Shauna for our playdates.

Sherry and I. She is such an amazing person that I am blessed to have her as a friend.

Then from the left, Paris, Sue, Shanna and I. Paris and Shanna: I met both online about 10 years ago. And Sue, I only met last week as we put programs together for Shauna's service. But because of Shauna - I know these beautiful souls and can call them friends.

Then Shanna and I stopped one more time at the cemetery to visit Shauna. SB was off to the airport so it was time for one more picture. Paris gave me the hat that I gave Shauna at the hat shower just before she started chemo and would lose her hair the first time. So it was appropriate to wear. Shauna looked much cuter in the hat than I did though.... But she was such a fighter I may just have to make this a regular hat for me... be perfect for set up days at the conventions this year....
I also had more tests today. MRI to look at the discs pinching the nerves in my back and an ultrasound on my thyroid. Should have results in a couple days. 2010 is going to be a good year, right? I keep telling myself that - I hope to believe it soon.

So now Lucas is waiting to teach me how to play some video game - probably because he can beat me.... But hey, if he wants to hang out with Mom - that is ok with me.

'Til next time....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

today I celebrate the life of my friend, Shauna...

On December 3rd, my friend, Shauna Immel, lost her battle to cancer. I can't even begin to say how much this girl has effected me - especially over the past 3 1/2 years. She showed me an inner strength a person could have. She showed me that life is a privilege and we should cherish each day. She showed me to tell people how we feel about them every day and every time we see them. She showed me how a person can touch another's life, just in an instance. She showed me a zest for life through the sparkle in her eye and and ever bright smile, no matter how terrible she was feeling. That smile was there. She showed me a beauty through her talent of writing and amazing photography. She showed me an artistic talent of scrapbooking that not only was spectacular design, but all of her heart into each project.

I met Shauna online through a scrapbooking group about 10 years ago. She was always there to chat no matter what time of night or day. I can't remember the first time exactly we met in person. It was either at a crop or a scrapbook store event. But she wasn't one to share her talents with anyone. If you asked her about something on your page, her response was in a soft voice, well what do you think would be good? After a terrible shuttle driver experience, she became my driver to and from the airport for my trips. She was an avid contest contestant. She would finish her projects just in time to make it to the 24 hour post office at the airport to have it postmarked by midnight. I made a couple of those runs with her. So when I was offered a position at HOTP, I was thrilled to get the chance to work with her daily, even if it was just supposed to be for the summer. But shortly after that, she was diagnosed with cancer. I ended up working at her desk due to space and it was such a hard spot for me. It was never my spot, and to this day, even though someone else sits there, that is her spot to me. I always held out hope that she would be coming back and sitting at that desk creating her masterpieces. But instead of working beside her, we became playdaters! Meeting for coffee at Borders, grabbing a funny movie at Bridgeport, bagels at Noah's and happy toes at V & V Nails. She was never to busy to meet up - it just took a quick text to her to see if she was up for it. Because of her, I had to increase my text plan! She had a way of making you feel like you were the only friend she had whether you just met her or have been friends for 10 years.

I could go on and on.... she touched my life in such a special way that I will cherish always. Today we celebrate her life and it is going to be a happy day through so many tears. We have a bright star looking over us with her smile watching over us. She will forever be my guardian angel.

I have come across the lyrics for this song by Toby Keith.... Really sums it all up.

Cryin' for me
Got the news on Friday morning, but a tear I couldn't find
You showed me how I am supposed to live
And now you showed me how to die.

I was lost 'til Sunday morning, I woke up to face my fear
While writing you this goodbye song, I found a tear.

I'm gonna miss that smile, I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven 'cause that's right where you wanna be
I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm cryin' for me

I got up and dialed your number, and your voice came on the line
With that old familiar message I heard a thousand times
It just said, sorry that I missed you, leave a message and God bless
I know you think I'm crazy, but I had to hear your voice I guess

I'm gonna miss that smile, I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven 'cause that's right where you wanna be
I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm cryin' for me

So play your upside-down, left-handed, backwards bass guitar
I'll see you on the other side, superstar

I'm gonna miss that smile, I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven 'cause that's right where you wanna be
I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm cryin' for me
I'm still cryin', I'm still cryin' for me, I'm still cryin'.

Thank you, Shauna, for your lessons, your kind spirit, your bright smile, and most of all your friendship. You will always be in my heart. I miss you.... Today we will stand up and celebrate your life because you fought tough each and every day for it. You loved your family and friends with all you could give. Live sweet in heaven, my friend.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

sit back, grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up - it is going to be a long one....

Wow - August 18th was the last post from me - guess we are very past due for an update....

Ok, where to start.

On Aug 19th - I left for Tulsa, OK with Angie and Vicki for a scrapbook convention. We had a great time as usual - those girls always keep me laughing. Getting home was a little tricky. We had some flight delays so actually spent a night in Phoenix and got home Monday.

After I got home from OK, I just did some hanging out time with my boys. We went to the go-karts. Wow - puts these boys in a go-kart for two hours and they go round and round! They were vibrating when they finally got out. Think the unlimited laps for a time frame isn't such a good idea.... Rough on the boys - and the track! And the grass that is on the sides of the track! But they had fun and it was a good time watching them. Then we did some school shopping and just got that last week of summer in.

August 29th - Was Jamboree for football. So the day was filled with football games. It is hard to go to the games and not see Lucas playing but he is sure liking the coaching. I love to hear his comments to the team after games and practice. Most the time it is things that the coaches have told him when he was playing.... hmmm - he remembers that but not to make his bed...

September 4th was Nick's (Tom's Dad) birthday. He turned 85 and wasn't doing too well. He had been in a care facility for a couple weeks and now was in the hospital with an infection. So we thought we better go down and see him. We drove down to Reno after Lucas' football game on the 5th. Made it to Reno Sunday afternoon and spent that with Nick. He was not doing well at all. It was lots of conflicting info from the nurses and doctor. But we left Sunday with the impression that he was getting cleared up of the infection and would be going back to the care facility in a couple days. Monday when Tom called him, he was moved to ICU. Very confused and disoriented. Later that week, I went to Nashville for another convention. Talked to Tom on Friday night and he had taken another turn. Sounded like he didn't have long. And then he passed away that night. So it was another road trip for us to Reno the next weekend for the service.

September 8th - the boys started school. Yeah! Summer is over.... Ooops, did I say that out loud??? Anyway - Lucas in 8th grade and Jake in 7th grade.

Then I was home for awhile. Lucas' birthday was on the 26th. Wow - 14! He is as tall as I am now - but I am stretching everyday and puffin up my hair as much as I can to have a little advantage over him.... I might have to start wearing heels pretty soon. I won't be able to walk but I will be taller...

Jake is growing like a weed too. We just bought school clothes a month ago and he is already grown out of them. And the voices dropping! oh boy - they are turning into young men... I can't tell who I am talking to anymore on the phone... Jake is doing good in school. We have had some bumps already this year. I don't understand why teachers do not have the info on their students before they start the year. We had the discussion about the year back in May with his team.... What is the problem? So frustrating for Jake... But he is still showing them that no matter what - he can do it and still come out with good grades.

September 30th - I was on a plane again to Arizona. We had a show in Glendale. Was great to be in the sunshine. Was starting to get cold at home - and our furnace is done! The warm weather was good... Show was good. Always great to see the other "carnies" on the show floor. (Kris - missed you!) Then home on Oct. 4th. That should be it for the air plane rides for me this year. I will be going to Seattle in November - maybe two weekends in a row... Have a play weekend planned and will be great to just hang with my buddy, Vicki M. Who knows, maybe I will actually get Christmas cards done... Been too many years since I have sent those out...

Things seem to be just as insane in my life as ever. But the past month just seemed like it is taking it's toll. My friend, Shauna, was in the hospital for 12 days. So glad she is home and I hope that she gets the rest she needs. You are always in my thoughts - S. My friend, Paris - she is such a trooper. I call her Martha Dukes for a reason. She takes care of everyone! Her Dad just recently had a triple by-pass and she has been there for Shauna and her family. So her life is spinning. P - so glad you are letting me bring dinner over tomorrow night! Let some one else take care of you for a change. And when ever you need a ride... I have the Tahoe fully gassed up at all times! I am trying to find us a new furnace and heat pump. Set up appts and then they don't show up. Don't these people need the business? I have had 6 appts scheduled and only have 2 quotes. I have another 5 set up now so we will see if they start showing up starting today at noon. Lucas is keeping us busy with football. Practices during the week and game every saturday. I also took him for some x-rays. He is having pain with his left ankle. X-rays were fine so not sure what is up there. So another doc appt on Tuesday for him. We also need to have a scan done to measure his legs. This will help us get a lift for his shoe that is accurate. Will help even out his legs and hopefully help him get more active and back into things. I went to the doc yesterday - going to have some tests done next week. Apparently not going to the doc in the last 5-6 years is not a good thing... :) Hoping it is not anything to worry about - mostly check up stuff - that whole turning 40 thing, ok 41.... It is time to see that I am healthy and start feeling good.

So think that brings us up to date with the Nicholas family.... Angie and Vicki continued their trip from AZ to Kansas City for another show. Angie's grandma passed away yesterday so they may be staying in Kansas a little longer for the service. Miss you girls... Wish I was there to help with the show and anything you need. But if you need anything from here - just let me know....

Well, better get to my Saturday chores before the furnace guy comes. Tom and Jake are off on a scout camp out. Hope they stayed warm last night. They will be out riding horses today so I know they will have a good day. Both of them were really looking forward to that.

Til next time.... Hope everything is well with you that read this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

hitting the road again.... or actually up into the air!

Well, I am heading off to Tulsa, OK tomorrow. 6 am is going to be here before I know it - so this will have to be somewhat of a short catch up. Well, actually, I need to be up much earlier than that - my flight is at 6.

Anyway, what has been happening around here....

Lucas had his 6 week post op last week. X-rays show bone growth is good and going as planned. He can stop using the crutches and work on working that leg again to full strength. He is walking with quite a limp because of that leg still being so weak. He uses the crutches now and then for stability. I can already see a difference with his foot turned back in -so that is good. He can't play football again this season. So the Coach he had when he played in 6th grade (who is also president of the league) asked Lucas to be on his coaching staff. I think he will learn more from this experience than if he played. He is really looking forward to that. He is hoping he will get a coaches hat and shirt... :) So we will be spending time at the football field again this season.

Jake is growing like a weed. It feels like he is taller every morning when he wakes up. Like he has a growth spurt when he sleeps. He has gone on some camping trips this summer with scouts. The latest trip was a 39 mile hike that Tom and Jake did around the Three Sisters in Sisters, OR. They had it planned to be a 5 day hike and they did it in 4. Think they just wanted to get home and shower! And to sleep on a real bed... Other than that, he has been a huge help this summer with mowing the lawn and doing things around the house and helping Lucas when he was still on crutches.

School is going to start in a couple weeks. I think the boys are actually looking forward to it. Better get buying those supplies. Only have paper and shoes so far!

Other than that - we are just doing our everyday thing. Speaking of which - I need to finish laundry and packing so better call it for now.

Til next time...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

where did I leave off???

Well, looks like I have been away for awhile....

So time for another catch up post here on the blog...

Go back aways... The boys finished up school on the 12th. They ended up with an extra day to make up for snow days. Also on the morning of the 12th, we met with an attorney to look into an investigation about medical negligence. Not sure if we even have a case. But Lucas is facing a rough summer with this surgery and it may of been avoided. The slipped growth plate was missed in x-rays last January. Anyway, we will see what comes of that.

Then Tom and Jake went that weekend on a camp out with the boy scouts.

Then on the 20th - my brother and sis-in-law and Tom and I threw a surprise 50th anniversary party for our parents. They were starting to put things together but think we pulled off the surprise pretty well. Had a nice turn out. We had 2 roasted pigs and tons of food. Thanks to my aunts who helped bring salads and such. Lorraine did an awesome job on the slide show and so many other behind the scenes things... She is what made the event happen! Everyone seemed to have a nice time. Was great to see family and friends for a happy occasion.Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad.

On Father's Day, we went out to Hagg Lake. Tom and the boys went out in the canoe . We packed a picnic lunch and just had a nice afternoon at the lake.

On the 24th, Lucas had his surgery. (He didn't like me taking pictures while we waited.) They went in to correct the damage from the slipped growth plate. It was pretty extreme and he was supposed to be in the hospital til Friday. But he was in so much pain and didn't really have any time with the Physical Therapists to get ready to go home, so we ended up staying til Saturday. Thank goodness Tom and Jake didn't go hiking that weekend because I never would of been able to get him home by myself. Overall, he is doing pretty good though now. Pain seems to be under control and he isn't taking as many pain meds. Bored so trying to find things for him to do.. Seems like as soon as I get started doing something - he needs something.... How many weeks is this??? It has only been 1 week and 1 day and I feel like it has been a month.... Then to top it off, we are having a heat wave right now and my house is like an oven. Sleeping on a too short loveseat is doing me in and I have no patience... Not a good thing.Angie and Vicki sent him a cookie bouquet today. That perked up his morning. Thanks Girls!

Sorry - don't mean to whine... Just wiped out. So should probably just hang out in my scrap room - there is AC in there - just not a bed though. A good nap would hit the spot!

Anyway, will come back again with something good to say...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

need to do an update....

Well, this blog has been neglected for some time....

Where do I begin?

We made it home from a wonderful weekend in Maple Valley over Memorial Day weekend. We stayed at my personal B&B - thank you so much, Vicki! You certainly spoiled us. Now Jake wants fresh strawberries and whipped cream on his toaster waffles in the morning! He thinks he is having belgium waffles... Don't tell him.

The pictures are a bit out of order - but think you will see that we had a great time...

We walked through the Pike Street Market after having lunch on the Pier. Ended up buying a salmon from the flying fish guys to bring home.
Of course, we went to the Space Needle.

The aquarium.
The flowers were so beautiful at Pike's Place - or is it Street????
We loved the otters at the aquarium - this guy was so cute just floating in the sun. He would even push himself off the rocks if he got too close...
Don't these just look yummy???
We went to Snoqualmie Falls. Very pretty spot - need to check into staying at that lodge sometime - off season.
The boys found some appropriate gear to wear.
They loved playing with Majic and the kitties at Vicki's.
Lucas says, "hats off to a good trip!"

We went to the Museum of Flight. That was very cool.

The boys even went in the simulator and got it backwards and upside down. I could hear Lucas inside saying - Whoa!

It was a wonderful trip with the boys. Just really didn't want to come home. But we had to....

After being home a day - almost had a trip to New York.... but ended up not going. Was kind of glad in the end because I then had another trip to Arlington, TX. Which I just got back from.

Sending out some birthday wishes this week. My sister in law, Lorraine - celebrated her birthday on Monday. My good friend, June - celebrated hers yesterday. And my brother, Mark - celebrates his on friday. So happy birthday to you all!

So stuff is keeping us busy around here... More to fill you in on but now I should be heading off to work. Will have to work on my update more later.

Have a good day.
Til next time....