Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who wants a t.v.?

Go check out 5 Minutes for Mom where they are sponsoring a contest to give away an Insignia 37" Flat-Screen T.V. from Best Buy. Good luck! Let me know if you win.

100 posts and counting

Just noticed when I logged in this morning that I have 100 posts...yeah for me!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Loveliness of the Seashore

Don't forget to visit Elaine over at A Wink And A Smile for the Loveliness of Seashores Fair today. I can just smell the ocean air now...

Happy Birthday Dad!

This year is the first time in 10 years that I haven't spent my dad's birthday with him. So from all of us to you today; Happy Birthday Daddy/Grampa/Gene! We love you!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This little piggy went to market...

There's not much cuter than brothers sleeping next to each other, feet intertwined. I just love these moments.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Good-bye Club McD (sung to the tune of Good-bye Norma Jean)

Well, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and this certainly held true this past week. After 9+ years of living near my parents, they have finally cut the cord and left me and my boys. Okay, that was a little harsh. Actually what they did do is head south ahead of us to begin a new phase in their lives.

Growing up we never lived near grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. So for me, that was the norm. When I went to college I met a number of people who had lived in the same house their entire lives, and grew up seeing their extended family often. That was a foreign concept to me. So when I graduated from college, and ended up living far away from my family, I was sad, sure, but on the other hand, it seemed familiar.

So imagine my surprise when my dad called me at work 10 years ago. He asked me if I'd like my parents to come see me....Wow, I thought,that's great. I was the one who always flew home to see them, a visit from my parents would be wonderful. The following word out of my dad's mouth was..."permanently". BAM - oh my gosh, my dad's been fired, and he wants to come live with me. So, he wasn't fired, he got a promotion, they didn't live with me, but they did move near me.

I like to refer to the years between January '98 through July '07 as the "Golden Years". Originally, I would go over to my parents' house and spend the weekends there with them. They had good food and a pool - who wouldn't want to be there?

Allow me to interrupt this blog post to indulge you with a pictorial view of their backyard - the site of much merriment over the years and the place my mom loved - she loves her garden...

Finally, my dad said, "Cindy, we love you, but we aren't hiding any men in the air ducts of this house." Okay, I got the hint. Soon after that conversation, I was introduced to my future hubby, and a new phase of the "Golden Years" began - this time involving Chris, my family,good food, and the pool.

Sundays were generally reserved for dinner at my parents' house. We were always told that it was not a command performance however. If we had other plans, or stuff to do, we were not obligated to come. However, once the grandkids came on the scene, Mom & Dad were always a little more disappointed if we couldn't make it.

I got very used to having my parents just down the road from me. I know it's only been 3 days since they left the state, and that in only a little more than 6 weeks we'll be seeing them again, but it's still tough knowing that I won't be going over to their house tomorrow. I'm used to checking the weather forecast in the summer and seeing what the weather will be like on the weekend to determine if we should go over Saturday instead of Sunday so the kids can get some Grampa pool-time in. It hit me while watching the news this week, that I don't have to think about that now.

We spent our last Sunday with my parents and Kellie last week. We had a great time in the pool. We ate out on the deck one last time. Kellie and the big boys laid on the deck and looked at the stars (and then she got them all wound up!). Colin spent some time with Gramma. And everyone got teary when we left to go home.
So Mom & Dad - thanks for the memories. And we're looking forward to the new memories we'll be making with you down in Florida.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Could you pass high school?

You Passed High School with an A

You have the brains of a high school graduate... at least!

Don't know if I could do the whole high school thing again, but gives me a little confidence that I was at least paying some attention!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Grampa's Ocean

As far back as I can remember, the ocean has been a part of my life. That may sound strange coming from a girl who spent the first 13.5 years of her life smack-dab in the middle of this great country, but it's the truth.

When we were younger, my family would go east to visit relatives, and inevitably, we would go see my Gramma & Grampa McDonald. Now my grandparents either had a condo that they went to every year, or they were living in Florida, so we would spend glorious amounts of time frolicking in "Grampa's Ocean". You see, growing up, my grampa told us that it was his ocean, and of course, we believed him. Every day would find my grampa out in the ocean swimming parallel to the shore up and down the coast line. And every day would find my gramma watching anxiously for him to come back into view.

When we got a little older, my parents' bought a condo in Florida that we would go to in the summers. Eventually they sold that one and bought a condo down at South Padre Island, TX, which was much closer to us when we were living in Oklahoma. Oh the glorious times we had at the beach in Texas as well. I remember getting up early in the morning with my dad and going down to the shore. We would sit there in silence and watch the sun come up. One morning we decided to record the sunrise. Now keep in mind, these were the days of the BIG, HONKING camcorders.

We got a tri-pod and set that bad boy up to record the sunrise. While a sunrise is a beautiful thing to witness in person, not as enjoyable watching 30 minutes of kids running around the shore in the distance, waiting for the sun to rise. Actually, now that I think about it, we were probably ahead of our times. We should submit that footage to Discovery's Planet Earth - I think we could make a mint!

From the age of 16 to 26, my parents actually lived in Florida. We lived about 25 minutes from the beach, and as anyone can tell you, a teenage girl and the beach are very good friends! My friends and I could often be found lounging at the ocean's side (scoping out boys, of course!) and soaking in the rays. When I think back to those days, I cringe at the thought of putting baby oil on my skin to get a better tan! What was we thinking??? Can you say cooked skin?!

For a few years after my parents moved north, I didn't make it to the beach. But starting in the summer of 2000 through 2006, my family spent a glorious week each July down in Nags Head, NC. We would rent a large house right on the ocean and all of my siblings would come from hither and yon and we had a great time. Every year we would
play in the ocean, relax in the pool and hot tub, share cooking duty, drink lots of cherry limeades from Sonic, and light off fireworks (legal ones of course) on the beach. And of course, what beach vacation would be complete without celebratory cigars?
July 2000: I met Chris shortly before our first trip down there in July 2000. My family's memory of me on that trip is sitting outside every night on the cell phone talking to some man - little did they know (of course, I knew!) that he would be joining us in a couple of years.

July 2001: Chris and I missed this trip because we were saving our vacation time for our honeymoon in October to Young Island.

July 2002: Chris' first venture into a family vacation with the whole crew. God bless him, even after being surrounded by various aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, he stayed married to me! This year we spent half of Beach Week with my family in Nags Head, and the other half in Ocean City, MD with some of Chris' friends. July 2003: Once again, we had to miss Beach Week this year because we had a baby. I wasn't due until August 3rd, and my sister Lori told me that first babies NEVER come early, and that there are hospitals in Nags Head. Yeah, I could just imagine - Me: "I think I'm having a baby" Doctor: "Just rub some aloe on it, you'll be fine". Needless to say, we had Brian during Beach Week (at our hospital) . Lori says that I willed him to come early - if it's so easy, go on Lori, will little Cindy Lou on out!

July 2004: Now that grandkids arrived on the scene, Beach Week is so much more than it had been. It was great to get together with my family, but now, bringing my child to the beach and sharing these memories with him, well, that's just something even more special to me. We arrived to the beach this year with Brian toddling about, and Sean all tucked up inside me (of course we didn't know he was Sean at the time). Grampa's Ocean returned, but took on a new meaning with a new grampa. My dad just loved sitting on the deck overlooking the ocean, and telling Brian about Grampa's Ocean.

July 2005: Having 2 children at the beach this year was just too much fun. Chris and I could still play man-to-man coverage with the kids, and with aunts, uncles, and grandparents around to keep an eye out, I even got a little rest!

July 2006: This year saw the addition of my Uncle Jeff, Aunt Robin and cousin Megan as well as my cousin David and my friend (and David's wife), Daniella. We celebrated Brian's 3rd birthday at the beach - complete with a chocolate cake. What a merry old time we had. Let's just say it got very merry one evening, and I felt like the house-mother shushing the grown-ups so the babies could sleep. I know, I'm a killjoy! Shoot me, I was pregnant again and was probably grumpy that I couldn't join in on the merry-ness.

Little did we know at that time that that would be the last summer we spent in Nags Head. When my dad retired, my parents decided not to rent the house again since they would be trying to sell their house. But of course, they are moving to Florida, and so are we! Look out beach, here we come!

What would your biblical name be?

Your Biblical Name Is...

Joakima Atara

You will live to see the end of times.

Superhero Cindy to the Rescue...

Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading

You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.
You understand people better than they would like to be understood.
Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.
You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now