Friday, August 29, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

Kayla and I are headed north for the Razorbacks' season opener tomorrow night. It's an exciting time on the Hill with our new football coach and hopefully our young team can contend with the best of the SEC this year. We'll have a full weekend with the grandparents and nieces and nephews. I'm also looking forward to sleeping in and finding time to read and relax. It's the end of summer...and what a life-changing summer it's been.
I'm ready for Fall, though, and football season signals the arrival of my favorite season. Cool days and nights, sweaters and boots, pumpkins, holidays, colorful leaves, cider...the list goes on and on. Here's to a season of change....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunny days make for walking days

The sun is out today which I think has lifted my mood considerably. Too many cloudy days in a row and I'm ready to build a cave in my bed and hide from the world. I'm also on a mission to walk 30 minutes every day. I've been eating too much kid food--mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, hamburger helper, popsicles, popcorn, etc. It's taking a toll on me along with my allergies. I miss my gym! Before Kayla moved in, I was a dedicated gym goer and would be there every day after work. Since then, I have to get back on track with some sort of exercise program. The hard part is finding when to do it. Last night, I told Kayla we are going to walk the Big Dam Bridge and we did, along with Reba. It was a beautiful night and we capped it off with a Sonic Slush. So I am 2 for 2 on my walking days since Sunday. Hopefully, I can get a walk in this evening...but as you with a kid that's totally unpredictable.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday blues

I spent 24 hours this weekend with two 12-year-old girls. Needless to say I am exhausted!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Something is in the air...

I have a feeling the dreaded allergy season is upon us. Every year from late August to the first freeze, usually in November, I feel like crap. It started Saturday with a sore throat. Now it's constant sneezing and not being able to breathe every night and morning. And major fatigue. All I want to do is lay in my bed...something I no longer have the time to do. So I'm using my neti pot and taking my Zyrtec and praying for energy and looking forward to the cold weather so I can breathe again.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Picking up a kid from school will drive you crazy

So, we made it through the first day of school after I sat in traffic for half an hour to pick her up. Never again. I will find a different route. Whoever thought of putting an elementary school right next to a middle school in a heavily populated neighborhood served only by one way streets was a genius. Not. I think she did okay. She didn't talk much about it at first but I think she was tired of waiting on me to get through the traffic. Later she started talking all about it. She said her English teacher is mean. She's apparently foreign and hard to understand...I don't understand why a foreign person would be teaching ENGLISH? Sounds backward to me. But I think the kids bonded over trying to understand this teacher. One girl told her, "You're my favorite white girl..." She said she didn't know if that was a compliment or not. She's also one of two 7th graders in her math class--the rest are all 8th graders. I'm worried about this class being too hard for her--not really sure how she ended up in here. But, she did say she got two out of three of the problems right on the first day and hardly any of the other kids did. We had to go back and get more supplies last night--they're killing me. She didn't say much about other kids except for Miranda, a girl she had met previously and I am so glad she did. They appear to be getting close--eating lunch together and talking on the phone every night. And I know Miranda's family so I can rest assured that she is a good kid. She has a different set of classes today due to block scheduling so we will see how Round 2 goes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pray for the Gwatney family

I'm going to a funeral this afternoon for the father of two special girls who have been in my life for the past six years. Bill Gwatney, chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, was shot and killed last Wednesday. Please pray for Christian and Chase as they try to come to terms with the senseless loss of their "daddy" and for the rest of the Gwatney family.

First Day of School

Kayla spent all weekend anticipating the first day of school. She dressed in her new outfit and was ready to go 45 minutes before we left! I dropped her off in the midst of the madhouse surrounding the school. Tons of cars, school buses and children everywhere. Hopefully, it will calm down in a few days. I definitely have to leave earlier tomorrow. I hope she does well and makes some friends and likes her teachers. Oh how I don't envy being a 7th grader, especially in a new school!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Kayla gave me my birthday present and the best part about it was the card where she wrote "Mom" on the front of it. Mom as in me, I'm a mom, someone's calling me mom. It can't get much better than that. She did good on the present, too. She secretly conned a friend of mine to take her out shopping for me and came back with a Barnes & Noble gift card, a Starbucks gift card, and a DVD and book of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." It didn't take her long to figure out I love books.
I wanted sushi for my birthday because I hadn't had it since Kayla got here because she's never tried it or been interested in it. We went to my favorite place with a bunch of my friends and lo and behold Kayla tried some sushi and really liked it. I had a great night being with the people I love, eating the food that I love, and then coming home and watching Michael Phelps smash another world record. It doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm old!

Today I am officially out of the 18-34 age group demographic. I can no longer check off that box. I now have to check off the other one--you know, the one for the middle-aged people.

Our little vacation

Kayla and I went to Branson Friday for a back-to-school bonding mini vacation. I hadn't been to Branson in years and it is still just as crowded as ever. We loved our hotel, though, because it was off the main road with easy access to traffic relief routes. After checking in Friday, we went to Branson Landing--which was a very nice new outdoor shopping center on the lake. It had just about every store and chain restaurant you can think of and a huge water fountain show. We walked around for a while and then ate dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. Afterwards, we got in the traffic line and headed to our show. We saw The Haygood's and they were wonderful. They are seven brothers and one sister--all in their teens and twenties. Their harmony was incredible and they played all their own instruments. It was a very entertaining show. We left and sat in traffic again and decided we had done enough for one day and went back to the hotel and watched the end of the Olympic opening ceremonies.
Saturday, we got up really early and had the free breakfast at our hotel and then headed to Silver Dollar City. I made sure we left way before it opened to beat the traffic and it worked. We were in the park by 9:00 a.m. (it didn't open until 9:30) and got to look through some stores and listen to music before they opened the gates. Once we were in there, we were able to ride a bunch of rides without waiting too long. They had way too many spinning rides though and I started getting sick. I had to time-out on the rides for a while. After we got a little bit wet on Fire in the Hole, we decided to just go for it and ride the Log Ride and the Lost River. I thought we got really wet on those rides but then we rode the Toboggan and got drenched--drenched as in jumping into the pool fully clothed. At that time, it started pouring down rain which didn't matter to us except the temperature was only about 65-70 degrees. We were freezing and decided to head out...along with everybody else in the park. We got back to the hotel and I had the best shower of my life. We then headed out to eat and turned into the first restaurant we came to on the strip--a little Mexican place which turned out to have some of the best mexican food I've ever had. After dinner, we headed to our show, Spirit of the Dance. Kayla loved it because it was all dancing--Irish step dancing, tap and jazz. Then we fell into bed exhausted.
Sunday we slept in and missed our free breakfast so we ate brunch at a country buffet. We then decided to go to the Titanic museum before we left. Kayla loves the Titanic movie and asks questions about the real Titanic all the time so I thought she would enjoy it and she loved it. The museum was in a big ship that looked like the Titanic and it had a lot of artifacts from the real Titanic and a real iceberg you can touch, an exhibit with costumes and set designs from the movie, and lots of pictures and video of the real Titanic. Then we headed home and collapsed from exhaustion last night. But we came home with lots of good memories and good experiences.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

God and adoption

Read on to hear a wonderful message about God's love through adoption from one of my favorite singers, Steven Curtis Chapman, who lost his adopted daughter earlier this summer...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Registration and other nightmares

Registering for school is an arduous process. Going to the library to find your name on the list but no forms, waiting in the office and filling out more forms, talking to the school counselor and getting enrolled in the right classes, back to the library to fill out more forms, and then pay a bunch of money and have no idea what we've bought except for gym clothes and a PTA membership.

Kayla's really excited about school, though. Her counselor is someone I've known for years and after talking to her old middle school put her in all pre-AP classes. She also chose a creative writing elective as her first choice (yea! she wants to be a writer!). The school nurse, who I've also known for years, offered to give her rides home when she needs it. And the principal, who has done so much for us, gave us a personal tour of the school. She asked him if they had talent shows, if she could get a top locker, and if she can be tardy the first day of school. So I think she's in good hands. We go back next week for orientation and to pick up her schedule. But I ask you does a class schedule that goes from 8:35 to 3:45 supposed to help a working parent. I have no idea how I am going to manage all this....I have to work some time!

And dance registration was a whole other nightmare. Who knew finding an appropriate dance class could be so difficult?

And to add to our day, my caseworker calls at 10:30 a.m. to say "Oh by the way, can you be at court at 2:00 today?"

I'm glad this day is in the past....and we get to go on our mini-vacation in two days!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Batman, Back-to-School shopping...and power outages

We did not stop moving for one second this weekend. We got the car Friday, grabbed a quick cheeseburger and then went to see The Dark Knight. It was everything a movie should be and didn't scare me near as bad as I thought it would. I was worried about Kayla but she thought the Joker was hysterical. The worst part was Two-Face--I had to cover my eyes every time he came on the screen. That face will give you nightmares.

Saturday was back-to-school shopping day and Kayla needed a whole new wardrobe. We found some great deals at Old Navy, Target and Belk and she was so excited to get new clothes for school and already laid out what she is wearing the first week. We watched August Rush later that night and Kayla now wants to go to Juilliard. She looked it up and found out she needed $55,000 to go and vowed to save her allowance for the next six years.

Sunday we went to church and then to my best friend Mollie's little girl's 5th birthday. It's hard to believe Skylar is 5--I was there when she was born. Then Kayla went to youth group and we came home and I was so exhausted I could barely move. I was so looking forward to getting a good night's sleep. Then I was awoken at 11:30 at night to find the power out. The house was pitch black and getting warm fast. I lit a candle and laid on the couch waiting for it to come back on and bemoaning the fact that I just spent $100 on groceries that are now going bad in the powerless refrigerator. The power did not come back on until 5:30 this morning and I maybe got 3 or 4 hours of sleep. So I am now looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight and crossing my fingers that I get one.

Goodbye to living in luxury

I said goodbye to my Mercedes Friday. For two years, I got to pretend I was rich and beautiful driving around in my silver Merc. It was fun while it lasted but like all pretty things eventually the luster wears off. And boy did it ever. It was in the shop no less than seven times this summer. And Mercedes are not cheap to repair. So in addition to adjusting to a new daughter I was having to deal with a car that would not go anywhere and lived in the shop and took all my money. So I waved goodbye to the beautiful, luxurious Mercedes and to living the high-life, then hopped into my brand-new 2008 economical, practical, reliable and high gas mileage Honda Civic. And I love it. I just feel like a normal girl with a normal car...and that's alright to me.