Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Everything!

Tis the season!

We've been sitting by the fireplace, sipping a mimosa (or two) and watching holiday movies both serious and silly, but the best part of all is spending the day with my family.

♪ ♫ We wish you a Merry Christmas ♪
♫ We wish you a Merry Christmas
♪ ♫ We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! ♪ ♫

Today and EVERY day, hope you and yours are merry!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thankful Things

I was reminded of the November "thankful things" status challenge. I am thankful for 1: Ty; 2: Evan, 3: Eli. 'Nuff said :).

Day 4 of "Thankful Things": my parents. Funny, loving, hard working, and just plain nice. I couldn't have asked for 2 better people to show me how the world works and how I could navigate it with humor and kindness; couldn't have imagined how lucky my kiddos would be to have them as grandparents.

Day 5 of "Thankful Things": They laugh with you, listen to you, accept your flaws and celebrate your strengths. 'Cheers' to you and here's to you-- I am thankful for my FRIENDS.

Day 6 of "Thankful Things": my dogs. Companionship for a walk? Check. Wet, snuffly kisses when we come home? Check. An ear to listen without the mouth to judge; a happy tail wagging just because; a pillow for Da Boyz as they watch TV? Check, check, check. And puppy softness of the fur on their cheeks is just about the nicest feeling in the world.

Day 7 of "Thankful Things": How great is it that somewhere along the line, someone decided that putting words on paper was a good idea, and now we have BOOKS. Silly books, scary books, fantastic books, funny books... I couldn't go a day without reading. Look at that-- you're reading right now. :)

Day 8 of "Thankful Things":
It's like a magic trick;
with one little click
it's suddenly seeming
like I do my best dreaming.
...Hooray for the SNOOZE BUTTON!

Day 9: This year's football season. My Longhorns have been plagued with slippery hands and inaccurate passing; the Cowboys simply seem to be cursed . But it's seasons like this that remind you win or lose, what's important is the GAME. You stick with your team(s), no matter what! And if you're wondering about our local... high school team... well, they are 10 and 0! Thank you, LV Vikings! And to everyone-- GOOD GAME. :)

Day 10: so thankful to have a house in which I love to spend time. Scattered toys, dog fur tumbleweeds, random piles of paper and stacks of books everywhere-- there truly is no place like HOME. And at night, when I tuck myself in to my cozy bed with my best friend (after we've bedtime storied and happy dream wished Da Boyz), I know that I am blessed.

Day 11: THANK YOU to all of the brave men and women who have served in the military and protect our freedom. Our flag will be flying and we'll take a moment at 11:11 to send you our respect and gratitude.

Day 12: No better way to say it-- TGIF! I am thankful for Fridays, but not for exactly the same reasons as most folks. Fridays are perfectly balanced days; I get to spend time with my students at a job I absolutely love, all the while knowing that I am about to get extra time to spend with my family (about whom I'm a little smitten). There's just no such thing as a bad Friday!

Day 13: Oh, coffee. You warm my hands and cheer my soul. As the clouds of cream billow swirlingly through your dark depths of aromatic glow, I can sense that soon all will be right with the world. Mmmmmmm...

Day 14: I am thankful for BRAIN CANDY. The Twilight series, Adam Sandler movies... there's nothing quite like the belly laugh or little spine chill that comes from something you just enjoy with no perceived importance or consequence. Sure, I can hang with "Citizen Kane" or To Kill a Mockingbird, but I jes' loves me some Jack Black and VH1 CelebReality, too. Don't you?

Day 15: I am thankful for the community in which I live. Yes, there's gossip and drama occasionally, but there's also meals during illnesses and new babies, prayers in times of trouble and rejoicing, and no matter what, you can always find someone to join you for a beverage and a grill down by the lake. Livin' la vida LAGO!

Day 16: You can mock me if you want to, but I am thankful for Facebook. I love getting reconnected with folks I knew long ago; I love getting more deeply connected with friends past and present with whom I don't get enough real face time. And the pictures! Can't get enough of your pictures. So "POKE"! Glad to see you here!

Day 17: very thankful for my friend, Dane Ciarlo. Dane, you make me laugh. You are loyal to your friends. You've even helped me become more effective as a teacher. I am so very grateful to have the chance to know you, and I hope you have a very happy birthday!

Day 18: Hooray for medical science! For all the traditional and alternative methods of care we have to keep our beings well. And feeling very grateful today for the final round of chemo that's helping my HS buddy Tom Hogan kick cancer's a$$!

Day 19: The world is even more wonderful because of my SISTERS. Smart, funny, insightful, beautiful. Thankful that we know we don't always have to agree to love each other; thankful that they'll always laugh at my jokes just because. Only wish we didn't live so far apart.

Day 20: feeling very thankful for this lazy, pajama'd and kid shows Saturday. I will unfurl from my UT snuggie eventually, but sure am enjoying the soft sweetness of the day so far.

Day 21: We have a pet snake. Her name is Charlotte. Evan feeds her, holds her, fills her water and cleans her habitat. Thankful for his opportunity to learn responsibility; also thankful that he is empathetic enough to keep Charlotte away from his mom. :)

Day 22: My sons are immaculately mannered and perfectly postured at all times. They read & understand the complete works of Shakespeare and concoct egg white omelets with remoulade sauces. Well, at least they are when they are not dropping socks and boxers in the living room, covered with undetermined stickiness & laughing hysterically at "pull my finger". Oh, so thankful for being the mother of BOYS!

Day 23: Watching the sunset last night-- so many shades of orange and pink and violet-- I felt the presence of benevolence and acceptance. And whatever your religion/creed/spiritual belief, I hope that all of you know the solace and love of some sort of faith. Personally, I am thankful for GOD.

Day 24: I have never been a big concert goer. When folks are trying to come up with the name of a band, I am no help. There is no mental discography of any artist, genre, regional tradition, etc. But still, I am thankful for MUSIC. Listening, singing, dancing... it sets a mood and is an integral part of almost every memory. What would be on the soundtrack of your life?

Day 25: It's Thanksgiving Day! Gobble till you wobble! Our plan is to try the Ross Geller "Super Soaker" turkey sandwich later... :)

Hope you all get to enjoy your favorite traditions with your favorite people today.

Day 26: When you tend to wake up at 3:30 (2:30, 1:30, 12:30...) many mornings as I do, you come to appreciate those mornings when you wake up realizing you did not wake up all night. So thankful for a good night's SLEEP. Zzzzzzzz... :)

Day 27: As we drove through our town last night, many folks had already started decorating their homes. Tiny white candles flickering in the windows, trees wrapped from roots up with strings of lights, Griswold inspired monstrosities of inflatable Santas and chasing roof rainbows, multicolored lights like a mischievous elf had sprinkled glowing candies on every shrub. Thankful for HOLIDAY SPIRIT. Ooh, ahh!

Day 28: Go, Vikings! Thankful for a football team that's doing well; love seeing the pride and support throughout the town. LV#1! [Thanks for keeping us updated, y'all! And thanks Mike Hartnagel for the audio link! Worked great!]

Day 29: Been thinking back to Thanksgivings past, and I realized how thankful I am for my extended FAMILY. Even though we don't see each other as frequently as we used to, I have such great memories of playing with my cousins, breaking bread with my aunts and uncles, and just laughing almost all the time. My family is funny!

Day 30 of “Thankful Things”: I am so very thankful for you. Yes, YOU. You are my favorite—don’t tell the others :).

Monday, November 22, 2010


I kinda heart Facebook. And every year for the month of November, you can accept the challenge of writing something different each day for which you are thankful.

I like this challenge. Perfectly fits my "glass overflowing" philosophy. When this month is over, I will list those things here. I never want to forget all things, great and small, for which I am grateful.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


That wonderful, handsome, eloquent gent at the end? Mine. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did I mention summer's almost over?

I love my job. LOVE it. LL-OO-VV-EE. And this year (like every other year) I am excited about the new possibilities, the new group of kiddos who will make me laugh every day, the new school supplies (!) that all come with Back to School time.

But Da Boyz are of the ages right now that I like to call the "Sweet Spot"-- neither so young that we have to carry 17 extra bags of equipment everywhere we go; neither so old that spending time with the fam is no longer "cool". And despite the fact that there has been a bit of bickery behavior lately, I have so thoroughly enjoyed spending this summer with them that I am not quite ready to go back. I don't want this moment in time to end.

And when I stop and realize how much my family means to me, I lose my breath. This might just have been my favorite summer ever.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It All Started With A Mouse

We just got back from possibly our best vacation EVER. Family, good food, swimming... DISNEY.

My uncle treated a bunch of us to 3 days in Disney World and 4 days on the Disney Wonder. All we had to do was get to Orlando. GENEROUS! It was delightful to see cousins and to watch Da Boyz frolic through the magical kingdom that Mickey Mouse has built. I don't think I have the words to describe this past week-- if you've been there, you know, and if you haven't, GO. There is a little chewing from the machination, but it was SO WORTH IT. When I am able to wrap my mind around it some more (and once the laundry is finished) I'll try to write more. In the meantime:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fish Food

1st Swim Meet; June 19, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summa Time!

And so it begins...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If there is a silver lining...

I've been struggling with a recent event in my community. I've wanted this blog to focus on the happy: the blessings, grand and small, that I want never to take for granted. But we've lost one of our neatest young men in our town and the grief is almost too heavy.

But if there is a silver lining in his death, however slight, it is this: the love and care the folks of this town are showing to his family, friends, and each other is a true blessing to behold. I give thanks to God that we are all coming together with love and prayer to help lift this burden from each other, carrying it together until it is not so crushing.

And if there is another silver lining in this dark, dark cloud, it is the reinforcement that celebrating the "marie-ment" of day to day life is a worthwhile task with many benefits.

Still, this is hard.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Shock. Light headed-ness. Amazement.

In other words, a surprise party.

Oh, no you di'int! Oh, yes you DID! One of the greatest and most unbelievable moments of my LIFE.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Birthday Girl!

There's this one:

Or this one:

But I really like this one:

Oh! I just LOVE my birthday!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Your Momma!

It's Mother's Day! Hope you've had a chance to celebrate a special woman in your life; and if it's your own mommy, all the better!

May is a special month for me... not only is it generally breathtakingly wonderful weather and holds Mother's Day, it's also my birthday! I am perpetually eight years old when I think of my birthday. I get a little giddy at the thought of balloons and cake and cards, and totally embrace my inner Birthday Girl.

My very first Mother's Day after becoming a mother was also my birthday that year. These holidays coincide fairly regularly but for it to happen THAT year was a miraculous treat. I was so happy when I became a mom; thrilled to be a part of the club of mothers, and to be the birthday girl too? Bliss.

So hugs for you and hugs (and cake) for me :). And go call your mom.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You'll Never Guess Who Biked the MS150!

If you guessed me, we've obviously never met :).

My Mister did it. He did it! He set a goal and he trained and he biked over 150 miles: making new friends, checking an item off his life list, AND raising money for research all in one weekend. SO proud of you, Gorgeous! Da Boyz & I sure did miss you, and we are SO PROUD of you!

We've ordered you a cape, Super Hero. Hope it fits.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dreaming Big

Yesterday in the car, the Rascal and I had this little exchange:

Rascal: Mommy, when I grow up, can I borrow your wallet?
Me: Why do you want my wallet?
R: So I can have some money.
M: Well, you'll probably have your own wallet.
R: Where will I get money?
M: You'll probably have a job and earn money.
R: What will my job be?
M: What would you like it to be?
R: Well, I could go live with Gran and Grandad in Kingsland. And I could work at Duckwall's [kind of like a Five & Dime shop]. Yeah. If I can't find your wallet, I can get a job at Duckwall's.

Go get it, son. Save some beef jerky for me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

'Cause Ya Gotta Have Friends!

The Rascal turned 5 this week (!) and he celebrated in several ways. The first thing we did was have a Christmas birthday with his class [his brother's birthday is Halloween, so he felt it only fair :)]. We went out to dinner with my folks and he got to "ride the saddle" while the whole place sang to him. Later in the week, we joined a friend who also turned 5 this month for a Build-A-Bear excursion.

It's been just plain neat to see him interact with all his buddies and even with the people around us in public places. He has this smile that lights up from within, and he generally treats others with kindness, empathy, and humor. Many of the kiddos he knows have been together since birth, and have known him since he was 18 months old, so they're all pretty tightly connected.

And I think about my Elder-- he's pretty independent, but he is able to get along with all kinds of kiddos. Want to talk about drawing and art? Can do. Learn about snakes or other animals? Yep. Run around like a Tasmanian devil, climbing trees, throwing rocks at the lake, getting dirty? Absolutely. And I LOVE the comments I hear from the parents of friends he visits. They always tell me how polite he is, how kind, how easily he finds compromise to keep the activity of choice moving forward... all things that make a mom's heart full to bursting.

So three cheers for friends! Life made more interesting!

at the Pumpkin Patch, 2007

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Hope everyone has a most merry St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Suppa Club!

For the past few months, we have been having a most delicious feast with 2 other couples, trading off hosting responsibilities and "visiting" epicurean delights of other regions and countries. Tonight the theme is "French Fowl".

Anyone who knows me is fully aware of my hopelessness inadequacy absolutely dreadful need for further practice in the culinary arts. So tonight my contribution to the whole meal (other than the wine) will be a bottle of the cheapest French dressing I could find. Palate pleasing? Not so much. But it's bringing me a giggle. Mais oui!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pullin' That Wagon

I have strep. Big, swollen, yucky strep. I feel absolutely LOUSY. Where's the marie-ment in that?

Well, I'll tell ya. The Mister is SO AMAZING. He is the chief cook and bottle washer, boy wrangler, and general keeps-the-house-going most of the time, but when I am down for the count, he steps it up even more. I don't have to do ANYTHING but take my antibiotics and get better. That's IT.

I've said before that things work better when all the horses in our family are pulling that wagon in the same direction. I'm so grateful that right now, when I'm just riding on the hay, our wagon keeps rolling forward. Thank you, Gorgeous! When I get disentangled from this sweaty lump, I owe you BIG TIME.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Puppy 500!

So Mister got up early to fit in a gym work-out before a long bike ride (I know!)and right after he left, the pooches decided to start running laps on, under, and around the bed. ZOOM! Puppy across the head! BANG! Rasslin' dogs slam into the footboard! BUH-DA BUH-DA BUH-DA the pounding of 8 paws on every inch of space in the room!

Well! Sounds like my precious little darlings need to be tossed into the yard a little outside time, so I stumble downstairs and let them out. BOTH of them immediately sat on the deck by the back door to be let back in. I give them a few minutes to TCB and then in they come. ZOOM! BANG! BUH-DA BUH-DA BUH-DA! Back outside. Sitting so sweetly. Back in. ZOOM! BANG! BUH-DA BUH-DA BUH-DA! Wha-at?!? Back outside. Sitting so sweetly! Lather, rinse, repeat!

And now?

The pooches are sleeping very sweetly. OUTSIDE. Awwww... :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Play Ball!

After much discussion, the Rascal has been signed up for tee ball. Is it wrong that I am looking more forward to watching his bench-warming shenanigans more than his hitting, running, and fielding?

More as the season unfolds!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Balloon Boy Bounces!

subtitle "Chimps Use Tools"

The Rascal discovered a balloon in his Valentine loot this morning, and has been having more fun than a barrel of monkeys trying to keep it from hitting the ground:

At one point it drifted to the top of the TV, and he needed a little help getting it down (which I happily gave). Pretty soon, of course, it floated up there again. I said, "guess it will have to live there for a while", thinking he might be more careful with it from then on. But that little chimp found an unsharpened pencil and used the eraser end to coax the balloon to the edge where it fell off, bringing it within his reach. You go on, Curious George. Good on ya!

[And yes, he is still in his jammies and there is a day-old heart painted on his face. What? That's how we roll on a Saturday!]

Friday, February 5, 2010

It Takes a Village

Several years ago, we decided we wanted to be closer to family. A 28 hour car ride for a hurricane evacuation kind of sealed our decision. And here we are-- not right next door, but easily a day trip from both sides of our families.

What a blessing it is to have folks nearby who love our kiddos as much as we do. What a delight to see the excitement when we announce a visit is coming up. What a comfort to not even think about calling to check up because our confidence and faith in the well being of our children is so absolute given the company they keep.

I would like to think that ALL families are so supportive and caring; what a shame that isn't the case. I always hope that folks who do not have the same lovin' spoonful that we do at least have a core group of friends who are even better than blood related. Whatever type of village you live in, {{hugs}} to you. And three cheers for family!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lila and Molly

our Molly girl with her new pup

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Tomorrow we are going to bring home a new puppy. An adorable, fuzzy, butter yellow lab puppy girl. We plan on naming her Lila.

We have known about this puppy all month long, and it has been KILLING me but Mister wants it to be a surprise so I haven't told the kiddos. I have wanted to SO BADLY. I want them to have this excitement, this anticipation... I want them to pick up their toys so the puppy doesn't "mouth" them :). But mostly, I am happy to go back to being a two dog family.

We started out our dog life with Greta, a German Shepherd who was just naughty enough to be charming, beautiful, sweet, a great dog. For her 1st birthday, she got Sophie-- a black lab/shepherd mix with the most loving brown eyes and pleasant disposition. We always joked that Sophie was Greta's dog.

Our hearts were broken when it was discovered that Greta had a type of blood cancer near Christmas 2006. For a while, Sophie was our only dog. But it didn't seem quite right, and when we had the opportunity to bring Molly into our family, we were happy to do so. As our oldest said, "We wanted a chocolate but we got a vanilla." A joyful 2-dog family once again!

Then this past New Year's Eve, we stayed with Sophie as she rapidly declined and unexpectedly died. No pain, no blood-- just... died. This entire month the kiddos have been very sad on Molly's behalf because now she spends her days alone while we are at school. And we have all been quite down as we sadly miss the great dog that Sophie was. We are not quite ready for Sophie to be gone, and yet when our friend offered our family one of her dog's puppies, we couldn't resist. And thus, starting tomorrow, we are again a family of six!

Will Molly get along with Lila? Maybe not right away, but soon enough. Will the kiddos be thrilled with the new puppy? Probably, although there will be bittersweet on ALL of our parts as we think about what we had to let go. Still, tomorrow we are going to bring home a new puppy. There will be photos.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Apples from Apple Trees (or Oak Trees Start as Nuts!)

I get a huge laugh out of watching my hubbadoo with my sons. They try to outsmart him with the remote, take him down in wrestling, race to get to the car first, and they NEVER DO. Sometimes, as their mom, I want to step in and somehow protect them, help them "win", get the upper hand-- but I don't. And I won't. Part of what shapes us is the fact that different people treat us differently, and Mister NEVER gives them more than they can handle; he also doesn't cheat them by letting them "win".

One of my current favorite boy-man exchanges was the booty kick fest known as December 2009. Mister would up-kick the Rascal in the behind. To those of you who can't imagine, the up-kick is when you bend your leg at the knee and swing around until you lightly (or perhaps not so lightly) sideswipe someone else in the caboose. It's definitely not intended to harm and is quite silly. Every time he booted the Rascal in the fanny, Mister would say, "Merry Christmas!" Finally, Rascal responded, "Worst. Present. EVER!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It all starts with a speeling mistaek...

Scoring the UIL 5th Grade spelling tests, I noticed that one of the contestants spelled "merriment" as "mariement". My name being Marie, I couldn't help but laugh at the similarity and then I realized-- what a perfect word for me. I try to live each day as not only "glass half full" but "glass overflowing with something really scrumptious" and MERRIMENT is a perfect word to describe my attempted daily attitude. Granted, there are days when the heaviness of "boo hoo" feels impossibly crushing, but generally I try (and succeed) to find the bright side.

Do I have enough to say to start a blog? Probably not. But I intend to share a little bit of my merriment mariement with you. Enjoy :).