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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Summer? Can you hear me?

It's the end of February and there's snow all over the place.  Not as much as the winter 2 years ago when the Metro Dome roof caved in on itself, but enough that I miss the grass.

I was looking through some older pictures tonight and came across 4 pictures from the summer of 2011.  And it made me itchy for this summer to get a move on.

When Button was back in 1st grade, their class went to the MN Arboretum.  And all of the kids attending, and the chaperones, got to take home sunflower seeds in little plastic planters.  This was in the first few days of May, as I recall.

The sunflowers quickly started to grow and we had to take them and plant them in the garden, which was void of any plant life at that point.

Those suckers were HUGE at the end of the year.  One was over 11 feet tall!  And from the heads of those flowers, we plucked some more seeds to plant the next year.

Every summer, we plant a few seeds and watch the sunflowers grow faster than Peanut.

These pics were taken in the summer of 2011 and I believe the sunflower closest to the garage did get up to 11 feet or taller.  It dwarfed the kids.

Peanut is on the left, Button is on the right

Yeah, those sunflowers can get REALLY tall.  The tallest one each year is always referred to as "Fat Head" since it usually has the largest leaves and head.

And these pics I edited using a cool little app on my iPhone, Color Splash.  It's free!  And it's fairly easy to the get the hang of and use.  I edited quite a few pics that year using the app.

Peanut, demonstrating what little sisters are supposed to do:

Peanut, making the sunflower look even larger:

March will be here Friday and with usually comes warmer temps and the "great thaw".  Here's hoping for some quickly warming days and weeks so that we can get back outside and play.
Until then, stay warm my friends up north!

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's been HOW long?

Wow.  Next month, I will have lived in Minnesota for 5 years.  That time seems to have flown by!

So this post is the how and why I decided to leave the humidity infested southeastern part of the US for the occasionally humid for a few days but snowy and cold part of the US.

I was born and raised in Tennessee.  I did quite a bit of traveling with my mom and stepdad when I was younger, seeing places like Colorado, New York, and Boston.

But for the most part, I was hangin' in the south, sweatin' and trying to control my curly hair.

I met my husband online.  Yes, my mother was convinced that he was a serial killer.  We met because we both posted on a message board on Myspace (wow, Myspace) about the show on NBC, Heroes.

For months, it was friendship and nothing more.  We got along and made each other laugh.  My best friend also posted so they became friends as well.

One day, the friendship seemed to veer towards possibly more.  In short, we met and decided we shouldn't be without one another.

Since David was living in MN with his two little girls, we did have a discussion about who might move where.  I refused to even entertain the idea of him moving away from them nor bring them down to me.  (I have issues with the school systems down south.)

So, I took the plunge.
I left the only place that I had ever lived.
I left my mother and friends.
And I left my best friend and her twin girls, whom I have known since the girls were only 7 months old.  (They are now almost 14.)
It was hard.  I cried.  A lot.  And so did they.

But I wasn't happy there.  I hate excessive heat for long periods of time.  I loathe humidity since I was born with natural curls/frizz.

Moving here turned out to be the best decision of my life.  Being with David and the girls makes me happy.  I found a new place in life being a wife, a stepmom/mom, and a daughter-in-law.

And even though my mom and best friend said that they would rather I stay there, they now admit that it was the best thing for me.

I have changed a lot since moving here.  I see things in life from a new angle.

I used to be a slob.  Seriously, I had more clothes on my floor than in my closet.

But now?  I am not OCD about cleaning, yet.  But I am so much better than I used to be.  Before, I only had my junk and clutter to take care of and I never cared much.

You can't think that way when you are one of 4 people living in a home that we already don't fit into.

Yes, the winters can seem everlasting.  And yes, those days that the Weather Channel calls for "dangerous windchills" make me want to drive as quickly as possible to a warmer spot.

But you get used to it.  Seriously, you do.

When I first opened a checking account here, the bank guy was from South Africa.  And he told me the first winter is always the worst.  He was right.

Minnesota is my home now and will be for many years to come.

And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

P.S.  It does help thatI grew up in an area where you are taught manners along with your first words and then moved to a place that it known as "Minnesota Nice".

P.P.S.  I don't have road rage in MN.  It only comes out once we hit the TN state line.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nostalgia strikes

On FB yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to make Blurb books for the kids.  It started out as a simple idea.  Just upload some of the thousands of pictures that I seem to have of the kids.

But my life never seems to travel on the "simple" path very long.

I quickly realized that I had photos in a ton of folders.  A few weeks ago, I had started to go through them and make an folder for each kid.  And in each folder, there are sub folders by age.  So for Peanut, her folders are 2 years old to 7 years old.

A few nights ago, I was going through pics on my FB and saw pics of the kids that I had forgotten about and those photos were NOT in their folders.  Crap.  There were 100's of pics on our external hard drive that were not on my laptop.

So, I started putting those in their appropriate folders and while looking through them, I found a few gems from when the kids were 2 and 4, when I first met them.

First up, Button at 4 years old, showing off the icing on her finger from a cupcake that she had just eaten.  And no, she had no idea she was giving this salute.

And not to be outdone, Peanut at 2 years old did a sort of "drive by" salute as she was running around the house one day.

The next one is Button, just one day after we first met.  Yeah, she'll warm up to me one of these days.

And of course, at dinner this same night, she decided that her chair at dinner needed to be as close to mine as possible.  And she took great pride in showing me her "mash-a-tate-as".

And then we have probably the one photo that sums up Peanut's 2nd year on this earth... and 3rd year.  And a little of the 4th. (She fell asleep this way.  Seriously, passed out in the car with that lower lip so far out, she could have tripped on it.)

 And then we have Button again, this time coloring a picture and making sure that we knew not to look until she was finished.  

Here we have Peanut in her cast.  We are never going to know exactly what happened to her wrist.  The doctor didn't even see a fracture but it was hurt.  My theory is that the "game" they were playing that day (jerking each other up off of the floor while pretending to be Dora and Boots and chanting 1,2,3!) was the reason for the injury.  Whatever it was, Peanut had a pretty blue cast for 8 weeks.  But after a day with it, she was back to her usual self.... flying.  Her feet were rarely on the ground.  The kid had SERIOUS calf muscles by 4 years old.

Last but never least, my most favorite pic of Peanut.  Something about this just makes me feel all lovey inside.  And I miss those curls.

 Don't you just love pics like these?  It  makes you miss those older days because they make you forget all about the tantrums that you never captured.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Obsession, Part 1: Wipeout!

The Obsession posts will be ongoing posts, making their way onto the blog when I can write about them.

I am a little late to the game(show) on this one, I know.  I rarely watch ABC so I didn't know much about it.  But thanks to Wipeout Fridays on TruTV, I have been able to see what some people make such a fuss about this show.


Seriously.  The people that go on this show are nuts.  Basically, you willingly go onto a game show and get the crap beaten out of yourself, all to try and win $50,000.

I would never be a contestant.  No way.  For one thing, I've watched enough episodes to know that I like my body in one piece.  Second, I couldn't go on it due to having lower back problems.  I would end up paralyzed.

The show starts with 24 contestants and they get narrowed down to 12 after they go through the Qualifier Course.  (Just a heads up, little to no one EVER makes it through that course without wiping out.  The first obstacle is usually designed to knock you out of your shoes (which has happened on numerous occasions).

After that, the 12 get reduced down to 6.  And depending on the week, the 6 get whittled down to 3-4.  The 3 or 4 final contestants get to go to the Wipeout Zone, where the winner wins $50,000.

Throughout the show, the commentary is performed by John Anderson (watched him for years on SportsCenter on ESPN) and John Henson (the first host of Talk Soup on E!).  And on the field talking to the contestants and adding commentary is Jill Wagner (remember the "You gotta put Mercury on your list" girl?).  Jill was there for the first 4 seasons and then for season 5, the field commentary was done by Vanessa Lachey.  For season 6, Jill is BACK!  I really liked Vanessa but I MISSED Jill.

I see a lot of painful looking falls on this show but the worst has to be the "scorpion".  Seriously, bodies aren't supposed to bend that way.  Watch this VIDEO and pay attention about 15-17 seconds in and see if if doesn't make you cringe.  Ouch.

But since it's not MY body getting bent backwards, it's really therapeutic.  Does that make me a sadist?

Also, those obstacles?  They are thought up and TESTED.  Yes, there is a group of people that work for Wipeout called the Black and Blue Crew.  (I am going to assume that you can figure out why they have that name.)  They test these obstacles for months sometimes to make sure they are contestant ready/safe.  Last week, they were testing in 34 degree weather at around 1am.  Yuck!

Wipeout is filming season 6 now and is due to air on ABC this summer, early June I believe.  But you can catch TONS of reruns on TruTV on Friday and Saturday nights.  And, TBS just started airing reruns as well, Monday through Friday at 2:00pm EST.

So, if you're having a bad day or trying to find a little bit of sanity that you thought was gone, tune into Wipeout and get a dose of therapy.

It's time for my therapy.