Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just the Good Ol Boys...

...Never meanin' no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born.

Staightnin' the curves
Flatnin the hills
Someday the mountain might get 'em
But the law never will.

Makin' their way
The only way they know how
That's just a little bit more
Than the law will allow.

I had a Dukes of Hazzard experience this morning on my way to work. The roads were a complete mess until I got to Crawford County. It looked fairly clear. I was driving through Galion, going about 45 (the speed limit was 50 thank-you-very-much) and the mini van in front of me started fish tailing. I tapped my breaks and bing bam boom I started to slide all over the place.

Quick decision: A. Go left of center and hit the oncoming vehicle. B. Straighten out the fish tail and hit the van in front of me because I ain't stoppin'...or...C. Hunker down, grip the wheel, and jump the ditch like Bo Duke.

I chose the Bo Duke option.

The ditch was probably 4 feet deep. I soared through the air, too petrified to yell "Yee Haw" like my mother would have.

I landed over the ditch and hit a snow bank. The car was covered in snow but still running. My rear wheels were too far buried in snow for me to just drive away.

After doing the "put it in reverse" "put it in drive" series, I decided I wasn't getting out and called Anita and asked her for a number for a tow truck in Galion. She couldn't find anything...

...and as I looked up 3 very fine gentlemen in carhardts and work boots came walking towards my car... Thank you Jesus! These Good Ol Boys just saved me $100 towing fee!

I am going to make some cupcakes tonight and drop them off at that place on my way in tomorrow morning...provided we don't have another snow storm...

Yee. Haw.

xoxox

Monday, December 14, 2009

Is it Summertime, yet?

I don't care about Christmas this year. Which saddens me, because I normally LOVE this time of year. But seriously, things have just become too busy and I'm tired of all the mania.

It's fine on Black Friday...Jenny and I shopped from midnight on Thursday until 3:00 p.m. on Friday. I got TONS of good deals. I do my shopping and dad's shopping for the grandkids so I definately have a lot to buy. My best deals were at Target this year. We hit the Polaris location after the came from the Jefferson Outlets with Sammy and Brittany.

Since then, I have not cared much about Christmas. I think it is because I gone from home 11 hours a day and when you calculate in the 3 Christmas programs Bae is in, (school, daycare and church) and laundry on top of all that, I am just plain old tired.

I can't wait to go to Michigan next year. Ty and Jenny came up last Saturday and all talked about it. I love not having any responsiblities. I love not having to do laundry for one whole week (even though it takes me two whole weeks to catch it back up when we get home...) . And I LOVE supporting the Kewadian Community! But most of all, I love spending time with the family that helped raised me - the Russell's. Ralph and Patty are second parents to me and it's great to hear them them tell stories...like Patty hiding the Ho Ho's because she knew I was on my way over... True story.

Jamie desperately needs a week off of work. He freezes to death during the winter. Why they make him work in a building with no walls in the wintertime is beyond me.

We did finally get the tree up last night.

The only thing I am looking forward to is the stockings that Santa does every year. They are stuffed over the rim, full of my favorite usuals: chapstick, Andes Mints and the best thing...scratch off lottery tickets!

Grandma Shoup started the Santa Stockings and now Deb has kept up the tradition. We get some really unique things too and stupid me, every year, "Deb, where in the world did you find that!?!" Deb: " I don't know, Santa picked it up somewhere..."

I tend to forget that the kids still beleive in Santa.

I am also looking forward to staying home for Christmas. We are doing dinners early this year starting tonight...so we will be home for the entire weekend. The only thing missing will be my friend Schwen...I wish she was coming home this year. Then maybe I would be excited about Christmas~!

xoxox





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Friday, November 20, 2009

New Phone ... Yippee!



FINALLY...I have a new phone! My old one was JuNk!!! To be fair, I am extra rough on the equipment, just ask my mother-in-law. She gave us a car and I've dented in the side, (twice), knocked a piece of the muffler off (so it's loud...gets louder by the day), I got hair color on the console (it's purple) and I've burned up the brakes (they are clanking at every stop sign). But all of the sounds are okay because the stereo still blares over top of them. So I'm not whining at all...until I blow the speakers up like I did in the Jeep...

Yes, I'm taking full blame for my Samsung Alias turning in to junk after only 9 months of use. I wore out the piece that takes the charger so I had to buy an external battery charger. Then the battery wouldn't hold a charge for more than a few hours so I bought another battery. I guess I talk too much (or text too much rather) and burned that baby up too. Needless to say, when Verizon sent the email to upgrade 6 months early I couldn't get online fast enough! I got an LG EnV3 and so far, I really really like it. It is maroon. And it has a keyboard which I like. The Alias was a flip phone and I liked that but I wanted a change.

Change is good, although Jamie would disagree with me. I can prove this because I offered him the Alias but he declined. He still has Lesi Jarrell's FIRST EvEr phone from 5 years ago. That phone has made it through the washer and dryer. The flash wouldn't turn off so Jamie just poked it out with a screwdriver. That phone looks like it did it's tour of duty in Vietnam. He hates change. Me, not so much.

Here are the only pictures that I saved from the old phone... (plus the one at the top...)


Isn't she beautiful? I am a proud Ma Muh that's for sure.

So, next time you call me, or I call you, I will not have to say..."Shoot, I have to go, my battery is..." and then it dies.

Have a great weekend.

" 11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." 1 Thessalonians 11-12

Love,
Natalie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's a Rhinestone Cow Girl...twang twang...


We had fun trick-or-treating, as always. Bae walked around for about a half an hour with Grandma, and then she decided to come back and pass out candy for the last half hour. Itwas quite chilly outside but she was cozy in her cowboy boots, thermal top and furry vest. Her light-up pink hat was the hit of the neighborhood.

Of course, her favorite accessory to her costume was her blacked out tooth. She thought that was just so funny. We used to do that all the time at Halloween when we were kids. We would use Brenda's mascara. I was a Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleader every year and then to change it up a little bit, mom blacked out a tooth or two. Grandma Adams made me a real blue cheerleading skirt with white pleats. I wore that thing to death.

After work on Friday, we all headed down to The Olde Well for our weekly staff meeting at 4:00 p.m. I made the comment to Dave that the Fonz turned 64 years old. That brought up the conversation of Halloween costumes. He said, "Yeah, I had the leather jacket and my sister put Vaseline in my hair... I was the Fonz for about 3 weeks!" What really makes that funny now is that Dave is bald...

Doug couldn't remember at all what he was for Halloween...until it struck him..."I remember being a grandfather clock, once." I am laughing out loud writing this. A grandfather clock, seriously? I guess he won the creativity award in Stuebenville that year.

Kevin said that he was a super hero one year and his mother made him a special cape. He was so excited about it and his mom kept carrying on about making sure the door was locked. Everyone took off and left him behind and he, being the last one, locked the door and then slammed it shut ...only to lock his cape in the door. He struggled with it for a while and then decided...he had to take off the cape...it was a near tragedy. What kind of a super hero roams the streets of Millersburg without a cape? Lol.

Then Dave proceeded to us that he dressed up as Frankenstein last year and super glued a bolt directly to his neck. Ouch.

These guys I work for are quite the craziness...but that's what makes this job so much fun. I like the concept of work hard, play harder. Because life is too short not to enjoy every aspect of whatever is thrown your way. We deal with a lot of tragedy each day, but to get through it, we have to laugh at the funny things and be thankful for what God has given us.

I wouldn't trade these times for the world. Thanks my Lord, for always taking care of me and putting me right where I belong.

xoxo
N.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kettle Corn, Wisdom Teeth and Sleep.

Anita, the office manager, bought a new fangled gadget that makes kettle corn. And boy does it ever! She brought me in a big ol bag today and it is wonderful. It makes me teeth hurt but still is ti so good.

Speaking of teeth...I get two wisdom teeth pulled on Saturday. Then, a lower molar also. My face will be the size of Texas. But I have to recover quickly because Jenny is having a "Last Chemo" party at Red Lobster on Tuesday! Ty just confirmed my reservation. I am pretty sure I will feel like NOT going but dear girlfriend has been out and about with me two to three times a week in her baldness. So if I have to go to Red Lobster all fat-faced, I can handle that for one day. I will probably see every ex I have ever had but G.G., you are worth it.

Tonight is Trick-or-Treat at Grandma Debbies house. I wish someone would let me just take a nap before hand, I am sooooooooo zzzz.......zzz... see, I fell asleep typing again. This is proof positive that I am under nourished when it comes to sleep.

Bae is going to be a cowgirl. This all came about this summer when we were at Dollywood with the Mullins clan. She wanted this big pink cowboy hat that lights up in the front. I said, very clearly, "No." She said, "Well, it can be my halloween costume!" Oh, alright. I guess if it has more than one use, why not.

She is insisiting on freckles, pigtails, and one blacked out tooth.

Atta girl. Nothing like making a costume all your own.

Hopefully the batteries do not run out on the hat...

xoxo
N.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Barclay. Fred. Petey. Whoooo?? Whooo??

Last night, Jamie and Bae came home from church and Bae saw "something that looked like an eagle" flapping across the road. Of course, JP had to get the flashlight and I had to run and get the bird book and the binoculars!

It was a barred owl, aka screech owl. He was bEaUtIFuL!!! He was dark brown with white and grey lateral markings. He didn't make any noise, but his poor eyes turned red when shined the light in his eyes.

Back when we first moved in, I heard him, but never saw him. It was a haunting whoooo sound and I loved it! I named him Barclay. Then, last night, Baeleigh decided his name was Fred.

Fred? C'mon kid, you are more creative than that.

Okay. Petey.

Petey it is.

Why do I constantly give in to my 7 year old diva? Exactly right. Because she is 7 and she's a diva. (Granny, diva is a nice word for "spoiled brat." ha ha!)

xoxo
N.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves–there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. -Joan Didion

I saw this quote the other day and it just really stuck with me.

I have a crazy horrible problem with people pleasing. I hate it when I do not meet the expectations of others. But come to think of it...when my expectations aren't met, I don't hear anyone beating down my door to apologize or to try harder or to try to make me happy. Sometimes I get "I'm human, I made a mistake" or "my family or my friends or my dog or insert whatever here... comes first". Which, incidentally means, I'm at the bottom of the list so take a number.

Self respect is a great thing ~ I have noticed that when there were times that I was too busy catering to other people that I let my self respect take a back seat to what they wanted/needed/expected.

I'm over that now.

At my class reunion, my very dear friend Amy said,
"I'm not dating anyone because i can't find anyone that treats me as well as I do."
Wow. She treats herself well and doesn't put up with anyone not treating her well. She is smart, confident and overly concerned when it comes to her family and friends. She and I had a talk about loving yourself enough to take care of yourself.

Since then, I have been making an effort to treat myself nicely. I have a list of things that I do to take care of me:

1. Put my clothes (socks and under wear included) in a warm dryer on high...this is awesome at 5:30 in the morning.
2. Read Psalm 139 even though I have it memorized.
3. Sing in the car regardless of my mood.
4. Wave and smile at the person flipping me off for reasons that I probably deserved.
5. Check this website: http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html . It's seriously life changing.
6. Pray with the girls in the car ~ every morning I drop Bae and sometimes if we are on time, Haley and Alexis jump in and we chat for a few. I pray for them and their day and that no one will pull a clip that day...
7. Text Jamie. My favorite ones are about what he is cooking for dinner. Yum.
8. Rockin' out on Bae's stage. We have wayyyy tooo much fun at our house.
9. Call Grandma. It's the best form of unconditional love and I always feel so much better.
10. Remember where I was a year ago and be thankful to God for where He's put me today.

Be nice to you today. You deserve it.

xoxo
nrp

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last Weekend

Are these not the cutest rug rats you've ever seen?? Birthday girl, Maddie Mae is on the left, Baeleigh "I want to be a Mae" is on the right. Baeleigh feels like she has been short changed because Mackenzie and Maddie have the middle name "Mae" and she got stuck with "Quinn".

We had so much fun on Saturday at Maddie's Pumpkin Patch Birthday Party. This is the 6th year running and it is the only party I look forward to, b
ecause if you know me at all, you know I hate birthday parties. The only other exception is Allison's party because they had a huge sound system and Steph made me do the electric slide. It was fun once I forgot that I was 38 years old dancing with a bunch of 13 year olds. Poor kids.

Maddie was excited to see Mackenzie. Weren't we all??!! I must have hugged her 15 times! Her family went out to eat after the party at Logan's Steakhouse and we crashed their party! I didn't want to miss out on all the fun!

I do hope that Bae goes to Christian college...however...I'm not sure what I think about them locking up the television from the girls. I guess at least they HAVE television. Wendy Lou said that at Word of Life there was no music listening or t.v. watching whatsoever! I do like the idea that she has a Dorm Mom that lives just upstairs. That's nice to have an adult that can be around if they need them. Because really, 18 is still a kid in a lot of ways.

So until Thanksgiving, we have to go back to missing Mackenzie again!


Hugs.
N.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Missing Mackenzie

We have been missing Mackenzie a lot lately...she is in Pennsylvania away at College. She sent Baeleigh a birthday card and a scarf as you can see from the picture. It was so much fun getting mail from her but made us miss her more! I am excited that finally today she is making her journey home for the weekend!

It's funny because every morning when I pass the Lex-Springmill Exit, I see the Target sign and I always think of shopping which makes me think of Amber and Mackenzie. So then I pray for them.

I have just really been blessed to have these girls in my life. The first time I met Mik, she was 8 years old and we were on a group vacation in Myrtle Beach. She was so sweet and I remember hoping that if I ever had a daughter, that they would listen as well as she does! (That wish didn't come true, LOL, my daughter doesn't take orders very well...)

When I got pregnant with Baeleigh, Mackenzie made me a Congrats card that said "I will babysit for free". She was 11 but so mature for her age. Then to find out that Maddie was on the way too, that put that girl in hog heaven! A few years later, I talked Mackenzie into Teens-N-Talents and she has been a star ever since. One of my favorite skits that I wrote especially for her was called "Cool Crowd or Cool Christian?" and she was the lead role. Adam Bennette gave her a hard time about it, made her cry, so I kicked him out of there. My favorite part in teh skit is where Steven Gamble got down on one knee and sang "My Girl" to her. It was so cute but hilarously funny. All of her friends were in the skit (I did that on purpose too): Katy, Mark, Allie and Andre'.

Amber headed up the other group of teens. She and I would stay up for hours at night trying to write her drama so it would be ready for the first practice. She always memorized her lines immediately, so she could beat everyone else. Yes, my girl was just as competitive as I was...guess that's why we won the Drama Competition every year...for six years!

If nothing else ever came out of my ten year drama coach reign, I would hope that the kids learned that they were capable of doing something great. Even the kids that hated speaking in front of people and I let them off easy by giving them a wordless part, they were still part of the group and their contribution was important even though small.

Isn't that what life is all about? Regardless of how "big our part is", or how glamourous or non-glamourous our lives may be ~ as long as we are part of the team, we are important.

I try to explain to Baeleigh that it's okay to have a small part in Jan's plays at Crestview because all of the kids can't have big parts, and if you want to be a part of the team, you have to go where you are needed.

So any contribution, be it big or small, really doesn't matter. It's how well you contribute, and what condition your heart is in and what attitude you bear that makes a difference.

As I look forward to hugging Mackenzie to death on Saturday, I look at her and see big things in her future. She is always willing to take back stage to help someone else out or to sacrfice what she really wants to help someone else. Coaching Upward with her was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and as her shoes are getting filled by someone else this year my heart aches...but I know that she is spreading her wings and flying in God's direction...which is the only place to be.

Happy Birthday to Jack IV, Maddie, Payton & Jaydyn.

xoxo
N.




Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm a train wreck. Toothache. Headache. Earache. Neck ache. Seriously. Every day this week save one I have taken a nap over lunch hour because I am so miserable.

The note above is from Baeleigh, of course. This is why I am against the phonetic teaching of words. She spells things phonetically rather than from memory. That's why it's "Hay" and not "Hey".

I remember when I was the exact same age as Bae, I was in second grade and my mom found a note that said "I want to be President of the United States." Nothing was spelled wrong because Teachers back then were ruler whackers! You had to be proficient in reading and writing by 3rd grade or your knuckles would pay the price.

Speaking of third grade, at my 20th year reunion my friend Jeremy and I were in the same 3rd grade class. We talked about "Klep" aka Mrs. Kleppinger. She was mean and hateful. I was a straight A student until I walked her dreadful path...I still have the grade card: Straight A's and one C. It might was well been an F. I didn't get C's and rarely B's. I was LIVID with anger. Yes, it was her fault that I got a C in READING of all subjects (I am an excellent reader - have NEVER had problems with it) and she told my mother the reason I got a C was because I was in the top reading group and I did just enough to "get along." I was "average". I still loathe that woman. How could I be "average" in reading, if I were an A student in writing and language?? Good question. She just didn't like me because I talked too much.

So about my aches and pains, I went all to heck in one week. Started out with a head cold that traveled to my lungs, then my tooth started hurting from the crown leaking, which I think led to my ear ache. My neck hurts from holding my jaw. When it all starts hurting at the same time, I am a mean woman.

I go to the dentist on Monday.

Regardless of the outcome, I am hoping for good pain killers.

xoxo
N.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"To be a butterfly, you must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar..."


I was getting ready for bed and the text came in from Ty. Before I opened it, I was like, oh no, something is wrong with Geege.

Nothing is wrong. The stinkin' crazies were having a party! Yes, you read right. A PARTY. The whole fam damily got together to shave mom's head. Madi started it...Gage mohawked it...and Ty finished it. Then they made Jersey Mud desserts to finish off the party.

What's a Jersey Mud?? I had to hear about Jersey Mud's for years from Jen ~ every year in Michigan they would all go to the little dairy bar and get the world famed "Jersey Mud" It consists of one scoop of vanilla icecream, one scoop of chocolate ice cream, malt, marshmallow cream - all topped with whipcream and a cherry. I finally got to eat one for myself this summer. It was delicious.

I stared at the picture above and laughed out loud. Then the pic of her completely bald, I smiled so big ~ she looks ADORABLE. Cute as a button, I swear.

And then I laid in bed and cried all night...and really haven't stopped yet.

Me: You look so cute! Do you keep rubbing your head?!?
G.: Yes! But it feels so good! I just couldn't handle pulling it out.
Me: YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE PULLING IT OUT. is what I thought, but I said, "Bae said Awesome Mohawk!
G: Tell her I know where she can get one!
Me: We laughed and then had a good cry about it.
G: Oh! It's only hair! Hopefully by March I will be wig-free!
Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S ONLY HAIR! IT SIGNIFIES THAT YOU HAVE CANCER! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T DIE! DON'T LEAVE ME! EVER! EVEN THOUGH YOU AND MY MOTHER WOULD HAVE ONE HECK OF PARTY, I STILL WANT YOU HERE WITH ME is what I thought, but I said, "I love you Geege. You look adorable. Call me tomorrow. G'nite."
G: i Love you too. Goodnight.

On that note, please continue to pray for G.G. She has another round of chemo coming up.

N.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stop Pulling Your Hair OUT.

The coolest thing happened last night; I met Patti for dinner and then I stopped to get gas at Meijer. I was driving past Julie's house on Pole Lane and I was thinking about Jenny, wondering if Madi had practice for Cheerleading or what was going on..if Jenny was resting at Julie's or whatever, and then right in front me...There she is! I was so excited to see G.G.

She pulled over at McKinley Park and I got out and sat in her car for ten minutes so she wouldn't be late getting Madi from practice. I hugged her and said "You have no idea how much I love you" and then I heard something rustle in the back seat and it scared me TO DEATH. I screamed. Ahhh! What is it??!!

It was just Gage! I am a paranoid freak anymore. So then, G.G. had to show me her latest development with her hair...as she pulled out a handful...I cried the whole way home.

I have other issues going on as well, but I think I am more upset about her hair falling out than she is. I wish I had her mental clarity and toughness. I guess that's what you get when you grow up on a dairy farm where you have to work from dawn to dusk every day in the barns. I always loved doing chores and Geege hated it. I guess if I had to to do it every day too, I would hate it.

Imagine how messy my room was...can you imagine if my parents owned a barn?? Not a good thought.

I hardly get on Baeleigh for her pig pen of a room, I just close the door...

Steph called me this morning and said "Hey, I'm not going to keep you" and then we both started laughing. We don't know why that was so darn funny. But we laughed because the other one was laughing and finally, after ten minutes of laughing and remembering that Steph's not "keeping me" she finally says: I want you to speak at my funeral when I die.

DIE??? Is there something YOU'RE NOT TELLING ME!??!

I said, I can't watch you die! I thought all of us girls would live together at the nursing home, where we can sit around and do group therapy and then partake in Jack Kevorkian's group euthansia! Then we all go at the same time!

We laughed and laughed and then she had to get all serious on me again.

"Seriously. If I die, you have to stand up and tell everybody all the great stories."

What the heck!!?? I thought I was the funeral singer? Now I'm the funeral singer and the funeral talker??

Good grief. How do these people expect me to pull this stuff off.

My friend Gigi (not to be confused with G.G.) said something that is sticking in my brain: "It is what it is. You have to accept it." I hate acceptance of anything that i don't want to accept. Why can't everybody just act and do as I say and love me all the while? Why do people have problems and issues and baggage and drama and all that nonsense??

It is what it is.

We all die. We all have problems. We all fail in some area of our lives. We are ever changing every day.

So, okay, Stephanie Norton Rayburn aka "Information Station" I will do your funeral. But I hope more than anything, that I go first...because I can't stand the thought of losing one more person in this life that I love.

On that depressing note...I'll make sure at your funeral that I tell everyone about the night we went to the popcorn festival and you laughed so hard water came squirting out your nose! And then you tried to wipe your nonsense on me and I said "Don't get that on my shirt!" What a good friend I am! Friend of the Year for Natalie Powers! I accept this award with humbleness and great honor!

You guys keep me around for free comedy, admit it.

xoxox
N.R.P.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Underwear Post

Okay, I couldn't find a decent pic to post of the new Victoria Secret BioFit bra (I didn't want grannie's panties in a wad) BUT! it is AMAZINGINGLY COMFORTABLE! I ordered it a size smaller than usual because it has lift in it and Lord knows I don't need anymore lift.

What is so great about it that is has MEMORY FOAM in it. MEMORY FOAM. Like your pillow. Well, like my pillow, I guess if you are still in to feather pillows like JP.

Anyhoo ~ I had to tell you about this because it's my duty as your friend and your sister and your grand daughter.

Gran, I know you hate "talkin' about under duds" but seriously, I love you.

So, until next time, may your shoulders not ache, your back feel good...and may your chest be cradled in memory foam. (There, I said 'chest' instead of boobs. Happy?)

:)

Natalie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bucket List Update

Summer is coming to end and I did get a good start on my Bucket List. Here is the latest:

5. Visit the Statue of Liberty ~ Patti and I have planned a trip for November. We are going to do our Christmas Shopping, catch a Broadway show and head out to the Statue of Liberty. It's going to be an awesome birthday this year!

14. Go to MI with Jenny & Kattie ~ well, Kattie didn't quite make it, but I spent a week with Jenny in the Upper Peninsula, so I am counting this as completed.

43. Go to Gatlinburg w/ Grannie ~ we did this and it was amazing to spend 5 days with her and my family! AWWESOMENESS

44. Vacation in the Florida Keys ~ well, it just so happens that Jamie's cousin, Farrell, sent us an invitation to her Wedding in the Florida Keys on April 11! Woo hoo! It's on a Sunday so we will go from Friday to Monday I'm guessing.

That's it. Nothing overly exciting, but if I don't hold myself accountable I won't do all the things on the list.

Happy Monday...next week is the fair...which means more "heart attack waiting to happen" food. So I better accomplish more things on my list in case my heart gets all clogged up. LOL

Much love,
Natalie

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To My Beautiful Daugther...

You are the greatest gift ever given to me. You give give give every second of every day. Your sweet voice gives me hope for a future generation of kind, compassionate and empathetic people.

Your child-like faith reminds me that when we see only one set of footprints ~ God is carrying us.

And when we are sitting in the sand, it's not because God dropped us...it's because we flopped out on our own. And we always have His warm, loving arms to crawl back in to.

You remind me that life is only life if it is lived for today...not yesterday or tomorrow...but NOW.

I need you to know that my lap and my arms will never be unavailable to you. I hope when you are 30 you still sit with me under a warm cozy blanket and watch movies.

The curls in your hair remind of me of my own...we have Brenda's eyes...we have her free spirit...we have her lovely voice...but you have inherited your best traits from your Daddy...your giving heart, your long eyelashes and your strong, intelligent mind.

I write these things because we never know when Jesus is going to call us home...and as long as it's written down somewhere, you can read it whenever you want to.

So, whatever you do...

Never stop...

...Reading your bible ~ it is the road map for your life.

...Singing ~ it will quench the ache of a thirsty soul.

...Appreciating your grandparents... they offer a deep love like no other.
...Encouraging others ~ you will make a positive difference in someone else's life.

...Giggling...your belly laugh brings me more joy than you will ever know.

...Writing Stories...it makes your creative mind think and empathize with others...

...Loving people...even when they are different from you ~ God created us all ~ and regardless of who or where we are in life, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Should they not return the favor to you, do not compromise your behavior but do not tolerate theirs...being respectful does not mean that you have to be friends with everyone.

...Investing your time and energy into those people who love you and care for you. Don't waste your time trying to change people...it's their responsibility. You are only responsible for you.

...Being nice to old people ~ you will be old some day too.

...Talking to me...I will be true to you and protect you the best I can...I am always on your side...and I will always be your biggest fan.
I love you!

Forever and ever.

Mama




Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If Underwear Embarrasess You, Do Not Read This Post.

Things may get a little personal on here today. If you know me, you know that I am sitting here laughing out loud at myself...Luther and I (my birdy) are having a great day. I needed to take a break from a HUGE GIGANTIC domestic case I've been devoting all of my time and energy to the last 48 hours.

So about the personal issues... Schwen, Remember when you used to come to Crop Night with your Victoria's Secret bag?? I wonder if Kerri and Gigi remember that??


It was way back when you were saving money to buy a Creative Memories tote. I think I had an Old Navy bag for awhile. I am still giggling...

Anyhoo...awhile back, Victoria was having a big brassiere sale so I stocked up but now that I've lost some weight...what a wonderful reason to shop more!! I had a $15 off coupon and the internet store didn't give me my coupon credit at the check out. Makes me crazy ~ they try to gyp me out of the darn coupon every month and it is making me mad. The people at customer service probably all fight over who has to answer my disgruntled emails.

But darnit, times are tough, and bras are expensive and $15 is a lot of money to me.

In my mind, (and this is how Jamie says "they get ya") I think, Okay, I was going to spend the whole amount BEFORE the coupon, so I might as well get some matching underwear! You know, the underwear they charge $15 a pair for that only co
sts them .50 cents because they pay some poor puerto ricans a whopping .10 cents an hour. But! They put the panties on SALE for 3 for $30. That's more savings! I can't pass up a sale!

Did I get the most out of my $15 coupon???? Well...no, because I spent $30 more dollars on under duds!!!

Expected delivery date is Sept. 12. Jamie and I just talked last night how broke I am but he mistakenly made a snide remark: "Hey, your bra and your underwear don't match today" Ha!Magic words! I'll show him! I decided to make my under-roos match and spent $63.00 on undergarments! I am so spiteful. Well, actually, it is $78 because the idiots forgot to take off my coupon AGAIN. Which brings us back to my original gripe that started this rant.

Thank you for listening to me obsessively rage about my underwear problems. I appreciate it.
After all...that's what friends are for...right?

xoxo
Nat.

P.S. Sorry Grandma, I know you are dying of humiliaton, but seriously, it's going to be okay. Only 3 people read this anyways (if I'm lucky) and all three of them have seen my underwear. And hopefully when they did...I matched...

Oh, and P.S.S. I just got a text from Gee Gee ~ she just finished her first round of chemo. She feels pretty good so far...but they told her that she would be out of hair in ten days....below is her "new" hair and I truly LOVE it! I love the high lights and it looks really real. When she came home from shopping, the kids didn't even know it was fake! So keep praying for our girl. She is tough, she'll do fine I'm sure. xoxo



Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday...Finally!



I am pretty sure I feel a cold comin' on. I am still recovering from the RockStar Weekend. Bae had a great party ~ she ended up with a real stage, a sound board (good 'ol dad, the sound man) a stage, a guitar, $70 and a hand full of gift cards! She is elated!

I will have to post some pics of the stage after we get it painted. Of course, the paint is purple and pink!

Jenny starts Chemo on Tuesday. Please keep her lifted in prayer.

Lisa is doing extremely well. She is up and around and starting to drive...even though she's not supposed to!

Steph is coming up for a visit on Saturday and we are going to make some Wall Words with my Cri-cut machine.

Wendy Lou is starting her new job as a 1st grade teacher on Sept. 1. I am excited for her and envious all at the same time ~ I've always wanted to teach primary age.

Mackenize Mae made it off to college in Pennsylvania. I am so crazy proud of that kid! She is amazingly beautiful, smart, talented, all those awesome things. I can't wait to hear all of her stories when she comes back at Thanksgiving time.

I will get to see Amber next weekend as we travel to Mary Miller's wedding in Lynchburg, Va. Bae is the flower girl. Amber sent me a text this morning ~ she is excited about having company in her new apartment! I think she is past the point of getting homesick.

I am silly crazy insanely busy at work. The boss just flipped me a crisp $20 for "doing a great job". They are awesome here. I love this place!

I am off to lunch with Jenny ~ we are doing Panera today. I'm jones'n a chai latte!

Other than that, I have no further comments at this time.

Love,
Natalie

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ching ching ching ching ching ching ching ching ching


I love the sound of a slot machine...especially when I'm hitting the jackpot! Woo hoo! I was a vacation crasher last week. Jenny's family has been going to Michigan ever since she was a child. The whole fam damily goes and all I've heard about my entire life of knowing her is how great wonderful and fun it is up North. Well...she wasn't lying!


I got invited along this year and Bae and I had a BLAST! Jenny's parents have a home up there now, so besides us, Ty and Madi and Gage was her sister Julie and her husband Bryon, their daughter Brittany and her bf Sam, and then her brother Mike and his wife Kara, stayed at a different resort close by, with their two kids Jillian and Max. Six miles away, Jenny's mom, Patty, took us on a field trip to the Casino on an Indian Reservation. CASINOS ROCK!!!

We made sure to support the Kawedian community by visiting every day for at least two hours...sometimes three! The fun thing about it was...I hit a jackpot! Well, several, but only one that is worth mentioning. It was a quarter slot for Triple Diamonds. I hit a seven and two triple diamonds, for a total of 1800 quarters! Thank you Lord that I placed a max bet or I would have only gotton half that! It totaled up to $450.00! I was stoked! All together I won around $1,000.00 but only brought home $400.00. I started with $20 so that's not bad! But I kept winning and giving Gigi money and she kept losing! My favorite slot was Wheel of Fortune. I ran $50 through and got nothing. I told Gigi to hang tough, that I was going to put in another $20 and whatever I won, she would get half. Well, she got nervous and said "I'm going back to my nickel machine!" So she left me. And I hit a bar jackpot of $130.00! She shoulda stuck around!!! Other highlights of the week were the guys catching huge-gigantic pike. Gage was the PIKE SLAYER! His fish was about 32 inches. It was the ugliest fish I've ever seen! And when they cut the head off the mouth kept moving! DISGUSTING!! Bae loved playing on the beach. Our favorite thing to do was sit on the dock and listen to my ipod and watch the sail boats go by. It was amazingly beautiful. Every night we had a campfire, thanks to Bryon. Well, I actually got it going one night...but! We were up late laughing and hoopin' it up and enjoying our Yellow Tail Reisling. Jenny and Julie and I talked and until our faces hurt. It's hard to be home when mentally, I am still on vacation. I learned a few things and I am going to hold to these things until I get to detox next year (I am totally going again next year and I already have a cabin booked!)


1. A week without internet did me good. I am going to not get it at home. I can survive.

2. A week with bad cell service did me good as well ~ I called home a few times to check-in; called Steph and that was it! and it was nice not to have drama and problems and issues and all the stuff that comes with phones and texting.

3. Breathing good air: I am going to make it a point to be outside more. I live in forest for Lord's sake, I don't have any excuses whatsoever!

4. My favorite times were when Geege and I were lying on the beach, with our bed head hair and glasses of wine. I want to spend more time with my friends and not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

5. My daugther was so much fun ~ she is growing up incredibily fast. I am going to make a point to spend time with just her and me. She told me that I was her best friend ~ those days are numbered!


6. I realized that I have the best friends in the world ~ remembering all the good times in my life throughout the years made me realize that I need to make important people a priority. And loser, non-important people ~ I need to steer clear of them completely in my life.

On the weighloss subject ~ I only gained a coupla pounds on vacation. So I am back on the healthy eating plan as of noon o'clock today.

Until next time ~ drink your Reisling ~ it's good for the heart, mind and soul.

xxx
N.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

**Big Sigh**

Just got back from lunch at Red Lobster with Steph and Ronnie and Allie, for Steph's birthday. We were nice and didn't make them come out and sing to her! We had a good time. With Steph, it would be impossible to NOT have a good time.

My personal trainer left for vacation today...he is going to Myrtle Beach for a week which means...I GET THE WHOLE WEEK OFF! Woo hoo.

We are seriously insanely busy at work so I have to make this short and sweet ~ but Wendy Lou, I love you and I'm thinking about you.

I have to get back to negotiating a settlement for a credit card (interest rates for credit cards suck. seriously, it's insanity).

I have another client on their way to sign papers...another on their way to fill out forms...and I can't remember what I was going to say in this blog...

OH! I wanted to tell a couple crazy things that Baeleigh said yesterday! I brought a big cucumber home from work from Dave & Amber's garden. It was sitting on the counter and she asked Jamie "Are you going to open that cucumber any time soon?" We laughed. "Open it ~ you mean peel it?" "No," she said, I want you to open it so I can try it."

Then 8:00 p.m. rolled around and I fell asleep in our bedroom. Jamie fell asleep on the couch. At 10:30 p.m. Bae comes in my room and says "I am sleeping in here" and I said, "Go to your own bed please. And why are you still up at 10:30 at night??"

"I'm still on vacation." She says and then proceeded to crawl into bed with me.

I love this age. It is hilarious!

xoxo

N. Powers


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We think we are 17 again...How does that happen??

Whenever Lisa and Steph and I get together, it is insanity. They make me laugh so hard, my face hurts. Throw Julie in the mix, (Lisa's sister) and it's unstoppable.

Yesterday was a crazy day at work. Well, it's been a crazy month at work -- but I love it. We have just been so busy and we keep getting these clients that call 50 times a day. The attorneys are in Court a lot, so when they get sick of not getting through, they decide "Okay, I will talk to the Paralegal...at least someone will listen to me..."
So, I get to hear all about how Mr. Ex did this and that and Mrs. Ex has a boyfriend and her new man peed all over his stuff... INSANITY.



I have decided that the reason I like this job so much (glad I didn't go for the TV-VCR repair certificate Schwen) is because I don't hold a candle to the dysfunction in these other peoples lives!! My crazy life is more normal than one day of some of these folks.

I have also decided that I love normal.

On my weight loss subject, I did finally hit negative 20 pounds. So I've been slacking...haven't been getting up to work out..last night Jamie and I met at the G&R for a beer and a bologna sandwich but I did get Miller Lite so I'm not beating myself up too badly! I am jumping back in full throttle today.

From my date w/ the Hubs I went to Lisa's Junk Jewelry party. Her daughter-in-law is selling that lia sophia. It is pretty...pretty darn expensive! They wanted $130 for the necklace I liked. Needless to say, as much as I'm a fan of the family, I couldn't splurge on the jewels.

No, I'm not having a party to get free junk jewelry - I arleady have tons of that crap.

So after the party, Steph, Jules, LDP and I started our own party...like always...the Sistas had to stay up til late...I was actually up until 2:00 a.m. Lisa reminded me that when we get together, we somehow think that we are 17 again and stay up all stinkin' night. Uggghhh...I feel miserable.

We enjoyed checking the criminal records of people we don't particularly care for...isn't that awful?? And see, I live in Ashland County so all of my speeding tickets aren't on the Marion website LOL. Steph's daughter, Allison was in awe. I said "Now Allie, you better not get in trouble or everyone will know about it and talk about you!" She was mortified.

The funniest thing was Steph's speeding ticket...when I read it off her face dropped ~ I can't believe that is on there!! I said, "Well, if you don't want to be in the public eye, don't break the law!" We laughed our heads off.


I broke the news to them (and I"m breaking it to you now, Schwen) that I'm not having a funeral. They were in shock a little bit, but I seriously do not want anyone to see me dead. I think it's disgusting anyways. So I want to be cremated and they can divy up my ashes if they want too. The way I see it, a funeral is $10,000.00, plus another $5,000 for a head stone. That is ridiculous when no one will ever visit any ways.

Lisa said, "You can't die first, who is going to sing at our funerals??"

"And if you do die, first, who is going to sing at yours?"

Good question. Might I suggest Van Halen?? And then you can burn me in my 1994 concert t-shirt that says "Van Halen Kicks Ass" LOL. Sanders can organize a Poker Run, (at least we know Jr. will show up ha ha!) and we can have an Oorang Bang revisited (and we know Hot Shot will come! Double ha ha).

The long and short of it is, I'm having a memorial service, or better yet, a stay-up-all-night party. I want everyone to just be comfortable -- don't dress up -- wear your favorite black biker t-shirt for all I care. I want everyone to just remember the good times. I want laughing...I want my friends to hoop it up. For singing, I say rent a Karaoke machine or better yet, just let Eddie and Alex Van Halen play back up. I seriously don't care if anyone sings, all I care about is that the Sistas will pick out my best beach photo shot and blow it up to a fat 16x20 portrait. Then Jamie can take it home and put on the wall for his next wife to be jealous of (LOL).

I don't want to be remembered as lying in a coffin with a plastic face and bad hair...I want to be remembered as a happy, energetic, alive soul that drives her convertible to spy on Wendy's boyfriend in the middle of the night!~~

Why the talk about funerals...well, we figured out last night that my mom was our age when she got sick...and now Jenny is going thru her deal and Lisa is going thru a deal but she won't let anyone make an issue of it...but I seriously feel like the walls of anxiety are starting to fold in on me that my two best friends have cancer. I can't imagine what they are going through. I love them SOOOOO much ~ I cannot even begin to explain my sisterhood with these people. Lisa literally has the responsibility of keeping me sane - so if she goes everyone else is going to have to deal with me and that is not good! She has such patience and trust, and she always knows what to say to get me to crack up.

I seriously can't imagine life without them. Like Jenny says, "I don't want to be a part of this club." But, unfortunately, they are a part of the club. And I'm joining too just because of them. I'm not going to be left out! LOL

Schwen: you already left me geographically ~ if you even think about getting sick I'm going to kill you.

xoxo
N.

P.S. I miss Beebs ~ I'm ready for her to come home now.






Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tattoos and Ipods

Every person has someone that they have known the deepest...that they trust the most...that they love endlessly no matter how many seconds, minutes, days, months and years go by.

I am blessed with many wonderful friends. My first friend was Kent Morgan in first grade. We have remained friends. My newest friend would be Anita here at work. She is so kind that she gave me her pizza from yesterday for my lunch today! (Because i forgot to pack my lunch ~ it was Patti, Denise and April day at Patti's Patio).

There are many people who have made lasting impressions on my life. Mostly good, but some bad things in there. For the most part, the bad has made me stronger and has increased my faith even more.

But there is one person that sits deep, deep in my heart. When we were twelve, we used to sign our letters V.V.V.B.F.F. Of course, standing for very, very, very, best friends forever. One time I even made a contract (in which I still have) stating that I would not be V.V.V.B.F.F.'s with Marla, to prove undying loyalty. I could be a b.f.f. but not a V.V.V.B.F.F.!

27 years later we are still V.V.V.B.F.F.'s even though we don't talk every day on the phone like we used to (my parents had many problems because of our outrageous phone bills!). My favorite memory is when she came home on the bus to my house (we forged a note) and I didn't even tell my mom! We came to my house and ate chicken pot pies. It was freezing cold out and it was getting ready to storm but we didn't care. We walked all the way out to the LaRue park. Our legs were welted, that's how cold it was. Then dark black storm clouds started rolling in...we decided it was a tornado and we named it the JenNat. (Ja-Nat). Of course because it had both of our names in it.

We went back to my house and called Jenny's mom and informed her of Jenny's whereabouts (nice of us to TELL our parents what we were going to do...) and my mother wouldn't let Geege spend the night (her name is also Gee Gee or Geege...long story for a later blog...) and so I was not happy at all on the car ride home. We were all crammed in the front seat of Old Grey (Dad's work truck): Dad, Keith, Mom, Jack, Meagan, Jen, Me. I sta
rted getting a little mouthy and mom reached over to back hand me and she got Jenny in the arm! I wailed "You hit Jenny!" And of course my mom is apologizing and Gee Gee is saying "that's okay" and it was Total Chaos!! Like it always was when she and I were together!

I could list years or memories on here...but that's something that was consistent -- total chaos!

Probably the funniest thing when we were in high school, Patti (Geege's mom) let us the take the Grasshopper (the green station wagon) into Marion because she THOUGHT (because Jenny told her) that I had my drivers license! ( Jenny only had her temps.). So away we went, neither of us legal drivers. I called Brenda (my mom) from the pay pho
ne at the mall and told on myself. She didn't get mad, of course, she was cool like that, but instructed us to "get your crazy asses home before you get pulled over by a pig." Can you tell my mother grew up with 5 brothers on a farm and was the only girl??!!

At any rate, in our adult lives, we went to eat at Olive Garden and decided to have a bottle of our favorite wine, Ste. Michelle Riesling. After we finished off the bottle we were feeling that liquid courage...and decided to get tattoos! Aren't we so adventurous??

Since I have returned home for my job, it has been great going to lunch and being able to hang out with Geege. She runs a summer kids program and I
drop Baeleigh off there on my way to work. She is so good to my daughter and I am so lucky that our kids get to spend time together since we live an hour apart.

Not long ago, Jen was diagnosed with cancer. Just typing that, my heart sank, my stomach turned and my eyes watered. She has surgery soon, and her prognosis is amazing, so we are very thankful to God about that, but it just catches my mind that I could lose her.

We all lose each other some day...I get that. But Jenny is the best friend I've ever had, the closest person I've ever been to, the person that I am most proud of as she is an honest, loving, successful caring person.


I dig that. She lives her life to the highest standards (something I've always fallen short of) and I so admire that.

Tomorrow we are having lunch together. She doesn't know it, but I have a surprise.

I love surprises!! I almost told her today but I didn't!!!

I have been ipod shopping because my died from 3 years ago. It was right when the black ones came out (remember the old days when ipods were only
white? and then black was the new trend!) Anyhow, I got it my mind that she and I needed ipods. She will never spend any money on herself. And God knows I don't have ANY problem spending money!!!

So I text her and asked her if she had an ipod. No. She wanted to know why. I couldn't lie: "Well, mine died and I'm wanting to get a new one." Then I asked her what color I should get, I couldn't decide between pink or blue. She text back "pink for breast cancer awareness! lol".

I ordered 2 pink ipods. The engraving on the back s
ays:

Jen + Nat
V.V.V.B.F.F.

They arrived today at work and I had to tell somebody! So, thank you for listening ;).

Lord, thank you for my friends and my family. They are my reason for getting up in the morning. They have carried me through the deepest, darkest hours of my life. And thanks for Geege ~ she is part of my soul. Please make her well for a thousand more years.

xoxo
N.R.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back to life...Back to reality...

I am stuck at negative 19.5. Been there for a week now. GRRRRR.... I was advised that it was a plateau... not happy about that!

My class reunion is Aug. 23 (Bae and Gig's birthdays!) so I at least want to lose 5 more! But the reality of it is: is that 5 lbs. won't make much of a difference. So maybe I should go for 10...

...sadly, I think I am getting obsessed. But that's okay - better than shopping or eating or gymboreeing!

We are supposed to go to Virgina Beach this weekend -- don't know if we will make the trip or not. Bae is definitely going with or without us. Good ol' grandma and grandpa -- they are the best!

Today is my very dear friend's birthday.... Patti is 29 today. LOL.

Ryan, Steph and I worked out last Thursday. We used a medicine ball and I felt it in my arms for days...and he made me run 1.5 miles...still griping about that...then I get a text at 11:45 p.m. (yes Ryan, old people like myself are in a deep deep sleep by almost midnight!) asking when we are working out again...my answer....I DIDN"T ANSWER I WAS ZONKED! I was going to text him back at 5:30 a.m. this morning but he probably didn't get to bed until 3:00 a.m. !

Kevin had trial yesterday...we had a good day. Our witness did great -- he finishes up today. The opposing counselor admitted 37 exhibits as evidence...it took 3 hours! I was going to follow suit of the bailiff and take a snooze...thank the Lord no one attacked the judge!

I guess Kev and I looked intimidating considering that the opposing party requested that security "wand us down" for weapons. Thank you Jesus my underwire didn't set the thing off! LOL.

Oh, I was told to post my workout: Sorry I almost forgot!

Ryan has me run one mile on the treadmill and then run one half mile on the elliptical. Then we do weights: 3 sets of 10 on each: arms (biceps & triceps) legs, abs, shoulders. Then I have to do 10 more mins. on the elliptical, then 3 sets of the medicine ball. To top it off, I have to do these 5 lb. arm weights on my hands and knees and raise my arms to the side. I do not know what those are called, but it is definetely defining the back of my arms.

I talked Ryan out of the push ups this week as he threw my back out last time. Glad he had some sympathy for me....

Until next time...no baby snickers...


xoxo
NRP






Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WHY DO LIGHTNING BUGS FLASH?

"Flashing Lightning Bugs are trying to attract mates. Among most but not all species of North American Lightning Bugs, males fly about flashing while females perch on vegetation, usually near the ground. If the female sees a flasher and she's ready to mate she responds by flashing right after the male's last flash. A short flash dialogue takes place as the male flies closer and closer, and then, if all goes well, they mate."

Now don't you feel better knowing that? This summer, my MOST favorite thing to do is sit out on the deck and watch the fireflies. It is best when the moon is behind a cloud and all the lights are out in the house. It's whimsical and magical all at the same time.

What has crossed my mind...how do they know which ones are girls and which ones are boys in the pitch dark!?! There must be some difference in the female and male flashes.

I have decided that the lightening bugs flashing is God's gift especially to me. Every night before I go to sleep, I look out the window and see them flashing. Even when it rains, they are still there. And I always thank Him for such a beautiful sight.

Now that you got your science tidbit of education today, go enjoy the flash of the lightening bugs...

Happy Summer.

xoxo
Nat. Renee




Monday, July 6, 2009

Plus two...uh oh...

I disobeyed orders....I gained two stinkin' pounds! I don't know why...I walked my butt off on Saturday. Our cabin was right in the side of a mountain and the vehicles could hardly make it up...but I was persistant and I walked up and downhill for 45 minutes. My butt and my legs were killing me for the remainder of the trip!

Maybe it was that Butterfinger Blizzard...or the Sour Cream & Onion Pringles...or the fried shrimp at the Steer House...so when I had lunch with Sanders today I got a boring old chicken salad while he ate pizza, spaghetti and apple crisp off the Wa
rehouse bar. I was foaming at the mouth over the apple crisp...

Regardless, I gotta get these two pounds off by Thursday or Ryan will be complaining...but I didn't eat any noodles...

Our deck is still under construction. We are going to hit it hard this week to finish it up. We have another vacation coming up at the end of July and then in September.

Life is lovely...

Except I miss my Granny and my Schwen!

Unti next time...keep smiling...

xxoo
Nat.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Boom Boom Boom

The craziest thing happened to us on Saturday... we were all dressed up and ready to go to a wedding in Mansfield...and we could not find the place!! We thought we knew where it was - we didn't.

We made 6 phone calls...no one answered. So what do we do?? Go to Red Lobster! It was the best ever! I had (close your ears Ryan...) fried shrimp and shrimp scampi!! Bae had clam chowder and James had the same as me along with shrimp pasta.

Oh, and the calamari appetizer...forgot about that...


Needless to say I had not eaten breakfast or lunch so I didn't guilt myself too badly.

So since we missed the wedding we were on time for Allison's birthday party! There were probably 20 kids. They had loud music, kickball and basketball - every kid's dream. Steph, of course, made me do the Electric Slide and a bunch of other dances I had no clue how to do.

Those kids must've listened to the Boom song at least 10 times. Seriously. So it's been in my head ever since.


Ryan commended my weight loss , he said he could tell. He and his friend Darren were showing the little kids how to play basket ball. Steph and I were the cheerleaders, imagine that. It was a fun night.




Ryan gave me my strict vacation orders: You can eat nothing that will make you gain anything...no noodles!

Do I look like a noodle lover?

Regardless, I will stick to the no noodle rule!

Happy summer friends.

Until next time...look in the window sill for your wedding ring and it will most likely be there :)

Nat.




Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh, and another thing!

Something else I forgot to complain about... since the 18.9 pounds have left me I am soooo cold! I am a freeze pop! I wear a sweater all day at work because I am so cold! I guess that poundage gave me some insulation.

Anyhoo, aside from that, I am feeling wonderful emotionally. I am looking forward to vacation coming up with my real father, grandmother and aunts/cousins, etc. We are going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The last time Pam and I were there, we were 12 and 13 years old. It was so much fun. Jr. (my dad) gave us our own room. Well...my brother Keith was in with us but we ran him out in a hurry! LOL.

Until next time...Keep singing...

Natalie

Doesn't make sense...

I am triple disappointed.

Well, I got on the scales...I lost 1.4 pounds. So, I am getting close to 20. I decided I am not telling Ryan until I hit 20 - he is getting tired of hearing about me losing something when I'm not working out LOL. I wore a pair of pants today that I haven't worn in forever and they are extra loose...so that's awesome. However...


...I went to Dunkin' Donuts to get my most favorite Cinnamon Latte (sweetened) and I thought heck, I might as well get a blueberry cake donut...

So, I did...

...and I took 2 bites... it tasted horrible. Too incredibly sweet. I tried to force feed myself and I gagged.

So, now I don't like sweets?? I quit eating junk and now I don't like junk?? What the heck is that all about?? I am not happy in the least about this.

Last night I got several texts from Ryan wanting to know my next work out ETA. We firmed that up and he is raring to go. I still have a crazy bac
k ache! He has been working with my uncle Steve up at his office and he lets Ryan work on him. So I am going to let Ryan work on my back. If he's good enough for uncle Steve, he's good enough for me.

I guess one good thing about working out again is that it will give me an appetite. I haven't hardly eaten much because I'm not just feelin' it.


Before I close, I must report my YAHTZEE victory!! Last night Schwen came over and when it started to storm...lots of lightening and pounding thunder...I had to get out the dice! I used to always make her play Yahtzee. I love it! I did beat her two out of three games and on the first game I got a YAHTZEE! with 6's. I was thrilled. Jamie and Wendy looked at me like I was crazy because I do tend to get a little wound up.



Oh well. They think that's bad they should see me in Vegas.

Until next time...

N.




Thursday, June 25, 2009

100% Pure Adrenaline

Confession: I starved for two days so I could eat Bailey Lakes Pizza last night. I wolfed down two pieces and almost threw up. I was so disappointed. Although, I did get on the scales this morning and I am....negative 17.5.

Clothes are getting loose, things are looking sloppy. I guess I will just have to go on a shopping spree! Darn!

I have been working on a list this summer. It's my Bucket List. You know, all the things I am going to do before I kick the bucket. Some things are completed, some in progress, some not even started yet!

NATALIE'S BUCKET LIST:
1. Sky diving. - in progress. I have the phone number to call and I am doing that soon.

2. Scuba Diving Certification - in progress.

3. Finish up my bachelor's degree.

4. Go to an Indians game ALONE (so I can pay attention) and score the entire game and sit RIGHT behind the plate. (I love to hear the ball hit the mit).

5. Visit the Statue of Liberty (been to NYC 2x and still have yet to do this).

6. See another Broadway production.

7. Go to Vegas with Wendy Lou, Jenny & Coby.

8. Swim with dolphins w Patti. (no sharks!)

9. Get my very own jet ski. (preferably purple)

10. Camp at Dad's this summer with all the grand kids - in progress.

11. Visit all the waterfalls in Ohio - two down, several to go.

12. Meet Brady Quinn (and hug him and ... sorry Grandma...she reads this...I need to cut that out).

13. Take a Winnebago trip out west for the WHOLE summer.

14. Go to Michigan with Jenny and Kattie.

15. Build a snowman with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal. (seriously).

16. Take Baeleigh to American Girl New York and let her get WHATEVER she wants - in progress.

17. Go to Kings Island with Maddie & Gigi.

18. Scrapbook with Kerri Rae, Gigi and Wendy Lou all at the same time. (Thank the Lord there is no deadline on this list other than my death).

19. Take Bae to Niagara Falls.

20. Be in another play.

21. Girls trip with Leasey, Steph and Marla Lynn.

23. Surprise trip to Chicago with Amber.

24. Own a motorcycle. - in progress.

25. Buy a camper (with a shower and air conditioning, of course).

26. Finish my book...and get it published!

27. Get my poetry published.

28. Dance in the pouring down rain.

29. Go to China with Missie, Kieran, Debbie and Baeleigh for an orphanage mission's trip.

30. Find the thief that stole our television - in progress. (Smith & Wesson are on watch...)

31. Get all my junk out of the old house - in progress!

32. Lay on the beach for a few days - in progress.

33. Learn to ski.

34. Tour Europe.

35. Go to my friend Jim's wedding.

36. Kidnap my girlfriends unexpectedly and take them on a trip.

37. Get a milkshake and cheese stix at the Green Camp Dairy Bar.

38. Sing at my sister's wedding.

39. Have a summer car (of course a convertible).

40. Go golfing with dad.

41. Visit Wendy in Washington State.

42. Take Jamie to Aruba.

43. Go w/ Grannie and the Mullins' to Gatlinburg - in progress.

44. Vacation in the Florida Keys.

45. Never go to Disney World in the Summer again! - in progress!

46. Have my own barn with a horse, a billy goat and a pot belly pig.

47. Get a go cart.

48. Learn a second language.

49. Make amends with everyone that I need to make amends with.

50. Love and live like I've never loved or lived before...- in progress.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where did the TV go??

After last week's killer workout, I have still been recovering with a back and foot injury.

But I lost another pound so I am not worrying about it. Currently at minus 16.

Jamie and I built a deck on the new house over Memorial Weekend. Actually, Jamie and his Dad did most of the work, I just drilled the fastener things. We invested in an awesome hidden fastener system so there are no screws on the top ( and I am reluctant to say "we" because really it was Jamie's idea.)


Anyhoo, we also bought a nice big outdoor fireplace that has a foresty theme.



Every night we have a fire and generally a marshmallow...or two...or three...

The only bad thing...we noticed the wood on the deck was getting a little brown from the heat so we decided to get some stone pavers at Menard's when we went to get the deck railing...

On Sunday, aka Father's Day, we went to eat with Roger and Christa after church and then headed to Mansfield. We got home around 7:00 p.m. We were carrying pavers from the garage through to Kitchen to the deck...and then after passing through 4 or 5 times, Jamie looked over in the living room and said....

"The T.V. is gone!"

And that, it was. Some crook came in our house while we were gone that afternoon and took our 50" plasma. They left the Wii and thank you Jesus they left my Dyson vacuum.

So, now that the T.V. is gone, we spend even MORE time out by the fire! Jamie is cussing about the T.V. being gone, but that is beside the point.

I'm not mad at the crooks...God knows who, what and where they are! And I am clinging to: "Do not take revenge but leave room for God's wrath." Not that my wrath isn't as hateful (probably more) but I have made a personal goal of not wasting my time and energy on worthless people.

At any rate, if you see my T.V., don't tell Jamie because I like him sitting with me out by the fire :)

NRP








Friday, June 19, 2009

I hit 15!


I had to text Ryan this morning to tell him that I finally hit the 15 pound mark! All I could think about was..."I can't wait to eat some chocolate!"

Chocolate is my downfall. Chocolate is divine. Chocolate...makes...me...fat...
So, I need to keep holding off on the chocolate.

I must admit that I have not worked out since last Saturday. Ryan kicked my butt so badly that I am just now overcoming the abdominal pain and lower back pain. I'm not even kidding. I think I pulled something.

We are working out next week one day - haven't figured it out yet. But one thing is certain...I do have muscles under there -trust me - I felt the pain!

I have made some daily changes wherein I only order "skinny" lattes at Starbucks and I only do Tuesdays and Fridays. I also have promised myself to always take the stairs instead of the elevator over at the courthouses.

Speaking of which...Kevin had a civil trial on Wednesday... I got to do two days of witness prep...it was awesome! Then I got to go to Court and we won! The family was an extra nice group of people and it was great to see them get what they deserved. Cases where justice is served keeps us going through the bad days...

Which, honestly, bad days at the office are few and far between. That's why I love it!

So keep your fingers crossed for me that I make it negative 20 before the middle of July.

Hugs,
NRP

Monday, June 15, 2009

Negative 14 ~ It hurts to breathe...

It was a good weekend. Since "da girlz" didn't have appropriate funds to go on a girlz trip this year, we decided on a girlz weekend. It was a lot of fun! Lisa and I spent the night at Steph's. Marla came out after Alexa's game (in which we were the cheerleading section for 2.5 innings and embarrassed poor Lex to death!) Steph made a slide show with all our pictures from past vacation and also our outing to Taylor Swift/Rascal Flatts.

On Saturday, Ryan decided to kill me. We worked out in the afternoon and since, I can't breathe wihout it hurting immensely. I'm not kidding. We ran, lifted (might I add he increased my reps to 20 from 10) and still, today, my core is crazy hurting. Below is our pic after running 1.5 miles:


Notice that my face is beet red. Notice that Ryan's is not. Notice that I am a dripping wet sweat-hog. Notice that Ryan is not. Notice that I am 38 years old...obviously...Ryan is not! Trying to keep up with an 18 year old is nuttyness.

So, while we -- excuse me -- while I am killing myself -- my dearly beloved friend Steph is...

SLEEPING....or "cat-napping" as she calls it. Okay, to be fair, she just had kidney stone surgery - the same one that I had back in 2001. Remember that Schwen??? It was awful lying in your car, calling grandma Sharon, thinking that I had a pinched nerve in my back!

Well, I'm negative 14 pounds...I guess that counts for something...

Until next time...Rock on...

N.