Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Purple shoes

I'm not a fashion blogger, but I just have to show you (especially Hayley) my new shoes.  I follow a fashion blog called "I'm Clothed Much".  I love her style.  Of course, she's a young 20 something and darling.  I can't dress like her, but it does give me ideas of how to put things together, and I like that she's fashionable and modest and does it on an extremely limited budget. Under her pictures of her outfits she always puts the cost of each item.  I'm always amazed at how good she looks and spends so little.  She also has links to items that are the same or similar as she wears and I frequently will click on those links and I have found several new favorite online stores.

Recently Elaine (yes, she has the same name, so you know she's a great person) put a link to these purple pumps because she has a similar pair.  I think the link stated that they were no longer available but I clicked anyway.  The shoes were adorable and on sale for..get this...$7.35! No, really! I checked and there were only two pairs left-a size 7 and a size 9.  I wear size 9!  I clicked buy and it said they were sold out. No!! I don't know why, but I clicked buy again and it went through.  I filled out the form and paid for it, but all the time I was thinking, "I'm going to get an email that these really are sold out."  Instead, in a few days I received the package in the mail and now these are my new favorite shoes!
 And here they are with two different outfits.  Am I styling, or what?

Hayley, notice I'm wearing "our" bracelet? It still looks better on you.

Counting down the weeks til I'm through with swimming

I can't remember when I started officiating swim meets. I remember how we got involved in swimming. My dear friend, Toni Z., signed my kids up for the Coronado Country Club summer league swim team when we were out of town. She had tried to get us to sign up the year before, but I never got around to it. Spaces filled up fast and we wouldn't have made it in that year either, but for Toni. Drew was 11 and extremely shy. He almost quit after that first day, but bravely kept at it and became a very fast swimmer that the coaches counted on. Hayley was 8 and Michelle 6. Their coach was Jeff, who is still a swim coach on their club team today. We love him!
So 11 years ago last summer we entered the swimming world. Eventually we started swimming year-round with a club team (Aqua Posse) and then when the kids entered high school they swam for their school team. By then, each had progressed to a level where they were very good and a great addition to their teams. Mike even joined them when he was a senior and turned out to be a naturally talented swimmer who could have been amazing if he'd started sooner and really cared. :)
I became a swimming official about seven or eight years ago for USA swimming and because I enjoyed it and was good at it, worked up to becoming a referee, the highest official. For the last three years I've been in charge of all the officials for UIL high school swimming for the three school districts in our town. Not all of it has been enjoyable, but I'm glad I did it. I'm also glad that it's almost over. Michelle is a senior and swim season is one month from being over. District championships were held for three days this past week and I spent long hours at the pool, but, it's over now and I'll never see that pool again (although life holds no guarantees). In two weeks we'll travel to Lubbock for Regionals. Michelle qualified in all four of her events. If things go well, we should be going to state (in Austin) two weeks later. The two relays Michelle swam on made new meet record times. And, Michelle was sick all week and on antibiotics. They should do even better in Lubbock. Here are a few pictures from the meet.
The crowd at Tigua
Michelle and her team on the winners' block
Michelle's high school girls' team won District Champs.
These are the seniors holding the trophy.
My favorite picture! Between the morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday I got my own personal foot massage from one of the other referees, Jim.  What a guy! Of course later he called me a princess, but if the glass slipper fits, well...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh, look, another picture collage!

I know. I'm getting carried away with the whole picture collage thing. I just had to do it one more time. There were so many cute pictures I wanted to show you from our extended family home evening at the bowling alley last Monday. Mir and Isaac and Sarah left this past weekend to go to Utah so before they left we wanted to get together with everyone. We're none of us any good, but it was still a lot of fun. The grandkids especially enjoyed it.
Mike insisted that we bring in food from outside, against the rules, so we had to sneak that in in big Sam's bags. Just kidding. I asked Dad to pick up Sonic for us and then we found out it was against the rules, so yeah, we snuck it in. I think it was a little obvious. There were 13 of us. Finally someone came over to tell us that it was against the rules, but by that time we had pretty much finished. When I paid afterwards for 11 people to bowl and rent shoes, I didn't feel one bit guilty for bringing in our own food. Ouch!
By the way, if you double-click on the collage it opens up in a new, larger page so that you can see the pictures better.

I'm so proud of you... really.

Yesterday, (it was "yesterday when I started writing this, but it took me over two weeks to make the picture collage) I spoke with our oldest daughter, Hayley.  She's away at school for the second semester of her freshman year at college.  It's been an adjustment for all of us to have her so far away.  I'm always glad to see my children progress in life and even move away from home, though that's hard, because that is as it should be.  Having Hayley home for the holidays was wonderful, but when she left it felt as if she were taking another piece of my heart with her. It seemed as if maybe it were a bit difficult for her, too.  Yesterday, when she called she said, "You would be so proud of me."  Then she proceeded to tell me of all that she had accomplished.  It was a great list.  I could see she had found her "sea legs" again and was moving forward with her life.

I'm not sure, but I think you have to have children of your own before you realize how proud your parents are of you ...for nothing.  You don't have to do anything to earn their pride. Oh, sure, they feel extra proud of you when you accomplish something or overcome something because of that extra effort you're making.  But, you don't have to earn their love or pride.  It's just because they love you so much and think you're so wonderful just being you.  And it's not to say that they don't worry about you sometimes, the choices you make, or people or paths you choose, but all in all, parents love you at all times and in all circumstances.  At least that's what I've felt and I know now that my parents felt the same. 

So, kids, you never have to wonder: I am so proud of you... really.
How could I not be proud?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

More on Christmas Day...and more and more...

Paper Jamz Guitar-the current craze
Thankfully, Christmas Day doesn't start too early at our house anymore. I remember when Bill and I would stay up late, really late, getting everyone's "Santa" gifts put together and in place, stuffing 9 stockings and finally, before falling in bed exhausted, setting all of the clocks back an hour or more so that we could get more sleep. We had a rule that you couldn't wake Mom and Dad before the set hour (whatever that was) and you couldn't peak into the living room where everything was laid out. We always put a sheet over the doorway(s) leading into la sala and when it was time to go in the kids lined up from youngest to oldest, Dad got ready with the camera (in later years a video camera) and filmed everyone coming in and the smiles of delight on their faces. One year we had bought the girls those pop-up tubes and tents and we made everyone crawl through the tunnel into the living room. Those were the days!
This year no one got "Santa" presents and I only hurriedly stuffed the girls stockings that morning as Bill and I had gone to bed sick. We still had them come in youngest to oldest (minus Matt and Mir and their kids). Also, we didn't get started until close to nine (that I like!) But there are so many of us now that it took close to two hours to open all the presents. We could have gone a lot faster, but after all that shopping I insist they open one at a time so that I can see everyone's reactions. This year I did most of my shopping online and I loved it. The only thing we didn't receive was one of Jen's presents, but she was a sport about it, said she'd have an extended Christmas:). Now, here are some pictures of the festivities. Add your own music, noise, rustling of paper, occasional crying babies, etc, and you'll get the general feel of it.

Michelle's obligitory frog-I wonder how many she has now?

She loves to read-now of whom does that remind you?

Yea! an iPod!

Her new purse!
I bought soft swords and shield for the three grandkids and super hero costumes. They loved them and so did Uncle Drew!

Mike in his onesies-they spent the night with us

Mom, remember the musical bear family you gave us years ago? It still works and the grandkids love it.
A few more pictures:

Cool Cole!

Drew showing off his new skinny jeans and tie-what a fashionisto!

Showing Grandma her new puzzle

Hayley in her new beret, but "I don't have make-up on!"

I can't resist adding a couple more:
WEllll, maybe just a couple more:
And, finally our Christmas day feast and the little angel who graced us with her presence:
There were many more, but you get the idea, and the idea in case you didn't get it is: You need to join us next year for Christmas!
Love you, Mom!

And, Happy New Year to everyone!