Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final blog of 2008

The last day of 2008...where did this year go??

We've been through so much this year and I am grateful for it all. The health of my family. A roof over our head. A stable income. 2 vehicles in perfect condition. The luxury of cable television with DVR. Food in the fridge. A wonderful son. And so much more. We've had some ups and downs this year, but in the end we look back and realize that we have been abundantly blessed. I'm looking forward to what 2009 will bring for me and my little family!

Happy 2009 everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

10 on Tuesday

1. Can't believe that 2008 is almost over...already?!?! Where has this year gone??
2. I got a new look for 2009. Cut my hair off and wearing it natural. However, I found out today that the Lupron left a nice sized bald spot in my head...the size of a half dollar =( Everytime I stick my hand back there and touch it, I feel sick! Lupron sucks.
3. My husband got orders today. They want us to be in IL by April 30, 2009...
4. So that would give us less than 4 months to get this house on the market and sold, and I'd have to slap all of my photography clients in the face with the insane news.
5. My husband is "technically" on leave until after the New Year, so he can still submit his retirement paperwork on the 1st and just pray that it's accepted. If not, then we have to get to work, immediately...
6. If he cannot retire, it looks like he will be going to IL alone for a few months and J and I will stay behind until the house sells.
7. Not how we hope to start the New Year, but we do trust in God's plan and we are aware that there are people who are going through things SO MUCH WORSE than we are. We are actually blessed.
8. I just think my husband is tired and ready to be done...He deserves to be done. But our God knows better.
9. Going to the store today to get a few heads of cabbage and some black eyed peas for our NYE dinner.
10. Probably a few stiff drinks as well... they may be needed!

Monday, December 29, 2008

This and That...

First of all, Emilie passed away on Christmas Eve. Her services were today and I have not been able to stop thinking of her and her family. Please say a prayer for her family, as they cope with the loss of a mother and a wife.

Christmas for us was very laid back, but I'm so thankful for that! J does not completely understand Christmas yet, anyway, so we didn't feel the need to make a big deal out of getting him loads of gifts this year. He also already has a toybox filled to the reams with toys that he is just now learning to play with, so I couldn't imagine adding more to the mix. We did get him a train table, some trains, and a leapster game that he LOVES...My mom also gave him more trains, so his train collection has grown this past week! So far, he has James, Gordon, Skarloey, Splatter, Lady, Percy, Henry, and Diesel. He also has $75 in giftcards to Walmart so I know he'll want to add more trains to the mix! LOL! I am so glad that everyone else listened to my request and got him either clothes or books this year. We will be moving within the next year so we definitely didn't want to add to the load we will have to carry! He had a great day opening gifts and playing with his trains and he behaved really well. He even started to use three new words, "More" which sounds more like "mUUUUUHHH!", "Open", and "Help". He's also started to say "drink" although it sounds more like "Sway", but I know what he means. I think J is mainly having trouble pronouncing his words, which is why he hardly talks, but he's trying and I'm doing better at listening to him and understanding what it is he wants. As of right now, I am the only person who can understand most of anything that he says. Maybe that's why he's such a momma's boy??

As for me, I have been so exhausted. I am convinced that Lupron is hell in a syringe!! I have been out of commision ever since Christmas morning. It took forever for me to drag myself out of bed. Then on Friday, nothing I did could wake me up and I felt like crap. I kept having hot flashes and sweating through all of my tops, so we just packed up and came home so I could at least try to be comfortable. HA!! That was a joke! There was no getting comfortable for me. I kept having the hot flashes and needing to change my shirt and I cannot sleep, even though I'm DEAD tired!! And once I finally get to sleep, I have another darn hot flash and soak through my shirt and have to wake up and change. And then spend the next hour or so counting to try and fall alseep. Yeah...last night I think I counted to 3,499 and then I just stopped, but I wasn't asleep yet! UGH! My appt to check on the cyst was this morning and the cyst is definitely smaller and almost completely gone. So I didn't need another injection...PRAISE GOD!! Now I just have to wait until the rest of the drug is out of my system. I can't wait to get my energy back. I have so much on my to do list, including editing a photo shoot and then a newborn shoot at the end of this week!

So, Thursday is the big day. We will find out whether or not my husband can retire from the Air Force. He is very anxious and I know NYE will be spent sitting at home, watching the clock and making sure there are no issues with our internet connection b/c at 12:01am, Jan 1, my husband wants to try and submit his retirement paperwork. If it doesn't work from our home computer, he will go into the office later that morning to submit. We are prepared for whatever comes at us, but of course, we would be so happy if he could just retire and be done with the military.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Prayers for a friend.

Through the years of battling infertility, I joined several online forums for advice and support. One of the greatest sources of support was the MSN forum for women who had been trying to conceive for 6 months or more. One of the members there was Emilie. She went through IVF and gave birth to a little boy who is now 3 yrs old. She was also blessed with another son who is now 9 months old. And, she is dying of cancer. Last week she was sent home on hospice care. I found out last week and not a day has gone by that I haven't stopped thinking about her. Several times a day I stop what I'm doing to say a prayer for Emilie and her family. I often have to fight back tears as I watch J go about his day and several times he stops what he's doing to come and give me a hug and a kiss. How would that feel to know that soon, you won't be there for your child to hug and kiss? It breaks my heart. I cannot begin to imagine the pain she and her family are feeling right now. Here we are, worried about my husband's retirement request being denied, yet there are two little boys and a loving father who are about to lose a mother and a wife. Our situation is so minute.

So I post here to ask everyone who reads this blog to please stop and say a prayer for Emilie.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Johnson Family Luck

Ever since my husband and I got married, we joke about having the "Johnson Family Luck". And it's not good luck either! For instance, we look at 4 didfferent houses for rent and we choose the one with horrible plumbing issues and the worst landlord ever! There are 5 boxes of a single item we want from the store, we choose the ONE box with missing or broken parts. We are in a Drs office filled with people and our chart is the ONLY one that gets lost. All of the above are true and has happened to us at least once before. So why would we expect a break from such luck during the holidays?? That would be silly wouldn't it??
On the weekend after Thanksgiving, we headed out, as a family, to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. We found a beautiful tree and choked up $60 for it. But we were satisfied with it.

Nice tree huh? Well, it died less than 2 weeks later. I was watering it and all. It sucked up so much water in the first week that I believe it was already dying when we purchased it. It stopped drinking water and dried up very quickly and was soon a fire hazard so we couldn't even light it up. We went to the tree tent on Sunday and told them about our dead tree and the guy told us to come back on Tuesday to get a new tree. Good deal. Well good deal if you don't have the Johnson Family Luck!! I had a feeling the transaction wouldn't go as smoothly as planned. We drove in traffic for 35 minutes in 40 degree weather, with the back of the truck open b/c the dead tree was in the back. We get to the tent and guess what?? It is completely EMPTY!!! They packed up and left! My husband left the number home, so we had to sit in traffic again to get home. I was just about in tears over this crap. Thinking my son will not have a tree this year on Christmas morning, even though we paid for one. We get home and my husband called the guy and he said they packed up and left b/c they completely sold out of trees. He said he would make a few calls to find us a tree and give us a call back. He called back and said he got in touch with the owner and the owner saved us a tree. Oh Joy!! Yeah sure, remember, the Johnson Family Luck! LOL! We were told to meet him at the tent at 7pm. We went to dinner and then drove to the tent. Got there at 6:45. My husband immediately noticed a tree, lying on the ground under the tent. "That's probably our tree", I say. "No, it can't be." My husband says. I love how he gives even the most unprofessional people the benefit of the doubt. I need to try that. However, I didn't expect anything more from these people at this point. I wouldn't have been surprised to find out that he just threw our tree under the tent, in the mud and left it there for us to put in the truck, with no help, no apology, no nothing. My husband wanted to sit there, so we sat until 7:20 and no one ever showed up. That was our tree. So we open the truck and get ready to pull out the dead tree and it just keeps getting better! A cop pulls up!! We told him what was going on and the cop told us that they were gone ever since early Monday! Which led me to believe that on Sunday, the guy had no intentions of giving us another tree. He knew they would be gone by Tuesday. This just angers me to no end! So the cop waited while we picked up and carried our tree through the mud and into our truck. We drove home and pulled out the tree and layed our eyes on the ugliest, mishapened tree ever. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it certainly wasn't the tree we paid $60 for, or a tree that we would even consider paying $60 for! It was lopsided, has several bald spots and one HUGE spot that takes up half the tree. It was alse growing what looked like another tree out of one side. Obviously, it was a tree that they could not sell, so they gave it to us.

So, first we were angry...VERY ANGRY! In fact, I still have a little anger left over. Just thinking that a person would try to cheat another right around the holidays. And he knew we had a little boy! However, we are experts at making lemonade when life gives you lemons! I mean, we've had years of experience in that area ;) So after maybe an hour of ranting and complaining and writing out a plan of revenge (lol!) we got to work on that lemonade. First thing's first...Chopping off the extra tree our tree was growing and making this thing resemble a Christmas tree.

This took well over 2 hours. My husband even had to take the tree outside (at 11pm) to saw off some extra limbs. Oh, don't let me forget to mention that the weight from the extra branches broke our tree stand! So this tree that we didn't think was worth $60 ended up costing us more money in the end. Finally, we brought the tree inside and creatively positioned it to hide the bald spot and the turned in limbs on the tree. That took alot of creativity and some well thought out positioning of ornaments ;) But in the end, I'd like to think that we made this tree look like a star and it is no longer a misfit!

So, I had so many plans for revenge, seriously. I wanted to call the newstation. I wanted to make plans to stand outside their tent next year with pictures of the dead tree they sold us and the pictures of the tree they gave us in exchange. I wanted to ensure that they do not sell out so soon next year, b/c I know we aren;t the only people who were cheated by them. But in the end, it's just not worth all of my energy. Life is too short and I'm thankful that we do now have a Christmas tree...a live on at that, even though it isn't the one we paid for. However, to any locals reading my blog, I feel like the least I can do is warn you against purchasing from these people next year, to save you the stress we were put through this year. The name of the place is Valley Farms/Paul's Trees, located in Richland, MS. They set up their tent on Lakeland, near the Golden Corral in Flowood, MS. Do yourself a huge favor next year and ride right past their tent next year. And to the owner of Valley Farms, if you come across this blog, shame on you for cheating a family during the holiday season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Southern Snow Day!

Well the meteoroligists were correct! We woke up to some snow and J was happy to go out and play in it. We didn't stay out too long though b/c the snow was quickly turning into a nasty, wet mess!

This should read "2008" but my 8 was slipping away and I was too cold and wet to take the time to fix it ;)

I know it snowed here in Jackson earlier this year in January, but I had a phone FILLED with missed calls and texts letting me know that New Orleans had snow also. Well today is Maw Maw's birthday. She passed away in May of last year. The last time New Orleans had snow like this was on Christmas Day 2004 and the entire family was at Maw Maw's house enjoying it! We miss you Maw Maw!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Magic of Christmas

Train Party Success!!!

So, this started out as just a regular train party, not Thomas the Tank Engine. Then I realized just how hard it was to find coordinating items for a basic train theme, so Thomas it was. I did, however, take it upon myself to create a train out of cupcakes, what do you think??

Friday, December 5, 2008

Birthday recap...

Disclaimer: Yesterday I decided not to be a photographer...instead I became a MWAC (Mom With A Camera) so please excuse the quality of these pics!!

Yesterday was a pretty good day for the new 2 yr old in our house. That morning, we watched his favorite movie, Finding Nemo, and had a picnic style lunch on the living room floor...

Sweet potatoe fries for lunch...his favorite and one of the only things I can be sure he will eat. FWIW, He had V-8 Fusion in his sippy, so he did get a serving of fruit and veggies, unbeknownst to him ;) I was going to let him skip his nap if he wanted, but when he started to get irritable and bang his head on things, I knew he needed his nap, so to his room he went and I went to the kitchen to bake his cupcakes...

Daddy got home soon after. J usually takes 3-3.5 hour naps (lucky me, I know!!) but I thought it would be sad for him to sleep so long on his birthday, especially since he went to sleep at 1:30 meaning he probably wouldn't be up until 5. I figured a 2 hour nap would be enough for him, so I decided to wake up a child who HATES having his sleep disturbed, thinking that the sight of cupcakes and gifts would take away the sting. be the judge of how that worked out...

So, I did video some of the scene, but I will spare you the footage b/c it's full of crying!! He wanted to be happy and smile, but his sleep was interrupted and he was just not a happy camper. So I hope my mom sees this b/c she thinks I'm joking when I tell her to leave him in his room, even if you believe he's been napping too long!! He gets up when he's ready, even on his birthday! lol!

So he played with his new train set for about an hour before we got him dressed to go to Santa's Wonderland at The Bass Pro Shop. After a small mishap and a fall from the dining room chair (which was miraculously healed by some Nemo fruits snacks) we headed out the door to Santa's Wonderland. It was BEAUTIFUL.

First, J wrote a letter to Santa...

Then Daddy helped him to mail it to Santa...

Then he got to sit on the big guy's lap!

Then he just ran free in that beautiful wonderland! He played games, hid in tents and even got to sit in Santa's rocking chair.

Then he caught a ride on a 4 wheeler, which I warned Daddy I will never allow at our home!

Finally, to end a perfect night, we took J to Cracker Barrel for some pancakes for dinner! He cleaned his plate :) His tummy was so full that he barely made it home with both eyes open. What a great day! Today we head out to my parents' house for his big train party on tomorrow!! Happy Birthday J! Thank you for filling our lives with so much joy!