Monday, June 9, 2008

And the packing begins!

Well, I am sure many of you were starting to think I had already abondoned my blog yet again, but have no fear - I am still going strong. As you may be able to see from the picture of the front of our house, our "For Sale" sign now has a "Contract Pending" sign added to it! Yes, I guess that makes it as official as it can get prior to closing day. Our closing day is set for June 25th! It is definitely a bittersweet time for me - on one hand it is sad since in just about 2 weeks I will be saying goodbye to our first home as well as the home we brought Taverly home to from the hospital; but it is also a very exciting time since we will be moving to a bigger home and more conveniently located for us - it will probably be about 5 minutes (max) from Trent's office. All contracts have been agreed upon and signed, just shy of coming to an agreement on inspection repairs for our new home (which I suspect will be agreed upon tomorrow). As all the negotiating is coming to an end (as well as the "sale pending" sign in our yard), it is all becoming a reality to me. So today, I did what most people I am certain do before beginning the packing up process (only kidding) - I took close to 100 pictures and probably a 30 minute narrative video of our house before loading up my first boxes. In the video, I made sure to point out things such as where Taverly's high chair once sat, where she fell off the couch last summer and fractured her arm, what curtains I sewed by hand, the patio that my dad helped us build, where the Christmas tree sat, etc. (I know, a little over the top :-)). Now to explain where this little obsession comes from: If you made it through my "101 things about me" entry, you know I have moved around quite a bit. In doing so, I have lived in numerous houses, which to this day, I love to think back to. The only problem is I am sure what I picture the house to look like is nothing close to its actual layout/appearance. I know there are other people out there like me - when I lived in California, a man brought his family to my house at the time asking if he could come in and show them his "childhood home". As wonderful as I thought this was, I don't know if I will ever have the courage to knock on someone's door in order to see inside one of my childhood homes. With all of this said, I decided to get as much of our house on film as possible before moving out so I not only can look back at it myself, but can share it with Taverly (since I am pretty certain she will have no memory of this home at all). So, that explains the pictures that preceded my entry - one final look at our house before the packing began. Since taking these pictures, I have removed most everything from the walls and have begun packing up drawers. I have yet to cry - but I know it is just a matter of time! :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

101 Things About Me

1. My birthday is April 19th. Typically every year around my birthday I become very anxious - having my birthday share anniversaries with the Oklahoma City Bombing and Branch Davidian, along with being within a week of the Columbine and Virginia Tech tragedies - I often worry as my birthday approaches, what could happen next?
2. On June 19, 1999, I married my high school sweetheart, Trent.
3. On September 7, 2005, my daughter Taverly Reese was born. What an amazing journey it has already been - I truly feel blessed.
4. Throughout my life, I have moved numerous times, calling home to Bartlesville and Stillwater, Oklahoma; Bettendorf, Iowa; Greensburg, Kansas; Harvey, Louisiana; Lillian, Alabama; Piedmont, California; Rogers, Arkansas; and Richardson, Sachse, and Plano, Texas.
5. I attended Stillwater High School (in Oklahoma) graduating with a 4.0 in 1995.
6. I attended Oklahoma State University majoring in Physiology and graduated with honors in 1999.
7. While in college I was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority.
8. In high school and college I was a pageant girl - competing in the Fairest of the Fair, Miss Oklahoma USA, and Miss Sorority Pledge. You can almost bet that if a pageant is on television, I am right there tuned in.
9. I was crowned Fairest of the Fair 1995.
10. My favorite flower is a gardenia.
11. The songs I would dedicate to my daughter would be: "Amazing" by Janelle, "True Colors" by Phil Collins, and "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack.
12. From 3rd grade through my first year of college one would typically find me at the dance studio. I took tap, jazz, and ballet - my favorite was definitey ballet.
13. I love taking pictures. I often get my ideas from photo studios in the mall or professional photographers' advertisements.
14. I consider myself very crafty. I love sewing, party planning, and making just about anything. Before buying things, I often think about whether it is something I could make.
15. I worked at Maurices (a clothing store) while in high school and college.
16. My first year out of college, I worked as a pediatric dental hygenist and office manager in Springdale, Arkansas.
17. After moving to Texas, I went through an alternative certification program and became an elementary special education teacher.
18. As a special education teacher (primarily working with students with learning disabilities) my greatest concern was helping my students realize their potential. I wanted them to feel safe, important, and smart in my classroom.
19. When gone, I hope people remember me as a genuine, honest, and warm person who loved everyone and wanted the best for them.
20. I consider myself to be a good listener. I love hearing people share their stories.
21. I love listening to music. I like most types, excluding heavy metal.
22. My IPod currently has songs such as: "Ever the Same" by Rob Thomas, "Far Away" by Nickelback, "Boston" by Augustana, "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain, "Today" by Joshua James, "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat, "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis, and just about the entire albums of Joshua Radin, James Blunt, and John Mayer.
23. I am a Christian. At birth and again at 19 (when it was a personal decision), I accepted the Lord as my Savior.
24. I also enjoy listening to Christian music. Some of my favorites include "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe and "Cry Out to Jesus" by Third Day.
25. My parents divorced when I was 13. Although hard then and at times now, I honestly believe it has made me a stonger person. It has also taught me to always focus on the positive in any situation.
26. My favorite foods are Mexican and Italian. I love spicy food.
27. Overall, I consider myself a vegetarian (it is a texture thing). Every so often, I will eat a chicken or turkey sandwich and pepperoni pizza. The meat has to either be breaded or very thin to help me overcome its texture.
28. My favorite exercises to do include crunches, lunges, dancing, running and walking.
29. A few years ago I, along with my husband, brother, and a couple of his friends ran the Oklahoma City Marathon as a relay team.
30. I have naturally curly hair but straighten it daily.
31. I love to reminisce - look at old pictures, watch old home videos, and think about stories and people from my past. I frequently wonder where old aquaintances are now. I get very excited when I see/talk to someone from my past or just hear a story about where they are now and what they are doing. If you happen to come across this site, and are someone from my past, I would love to hear from you and catch up.
32. I am a big fan of love stories. I enjoy hearing how people met and hearing about their engagement stories. As for mine: In October 1997, Trent and I went to visit my dad (in Connecticut at the time). We spent the day touring New York - the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty, etc. When we returned to my father's home that night (it was located on Long Island Sound), we walked down the beach and out on some rocks in the water, where he proposed. Needless to say, I was very surprised, almost knocked the ring into the water, and said "yes".
33. For our honeymoon, we went on a Caribbean Cruise to Haiti, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Jamaica - my favorite stop was Grand Cayman.
34. For our 5 year anniversary, we went to Hawaii - Maui and Oahu, another wonderful vacation.
35. My favorite thing to do with my daughter is to tuck her in bed at night. Our routine includes reading stories, singing songs, and saying prayers.
36. The most beautiful places I have seen to date include: Twin Falls and Red Sand Beach in Maui, sunrise on top of Mount Haleakala, also in Maui, and Yosemite.
37. My favorite TV shows (past and present) include: Wonder Years, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Ellen. Needless to say, having a toddler, I don't watch television very often these days.
38. My favorite movies include: "Meet the Parents", "Serendipity", "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", "Father of the Bride" 1 and 2, "The Polar Express", "Christmas Vacation", "Titanic". Overall, I really enjoy love stories, "chick flicks", and holiday movies. (my favorite snack to eat while watching movies - popcorn with M&Ms)
39. My favorite color - I honestly have trouble answering this one. I would say I like green, blue and red. But if I had to narrow it down, I would probably say a greenish-blue shade (this is the eye color of many of my family members, including my daughter and myself).
40. I am a strong believer in hard work and respecting others (particularly my elders).
41. My favorite books to read are biographies and true crime novels.
42. I love baking - cookies, cakes, brownies, pies... If it is something sweet - I love baking it!
43. I love chocolate - at times I think it is an addiction!
44. In college, I took over my family's Christmas Cookie Tradition. Every year (for about a solid week) I make probably 10 different types of cookies and candies - typically at least 50 of each (yes, your calculations are correct - that is at least 500 sweet items!) I then ice and decorate the sugar cut out cookies and gingerbread men with the same design that my grandmother once did. Our house literally becomes a bakery for about a week. I then give the goodies to family, friends, and neighbors. (Maybe this tradition could explain where my chocolate addiction originated.)
45. I save just about every single correspondence I receive - invitations, thank yous, Christmas cards, Birthday cards, and yes, if you are a school-aged friend of mine that means I most likely have notes you passed to me in class.
46. My favorite clothing store is Ann Taylor Loft.
47. In college, I went to Mexico on a Mission Trip with my church. It is something I am very proud of doing. We helped clear stones from a field where they eventually wanted to build, we held Sunday School for some children, along with many other helpful projects.
48. When studying/concentrating, I need complete silence.
49. The last movie I saw at the theater: The VeggieTales Movie. The last concert I attended: Sesame Street. Clearly I am the mother of a toddler!!
50. I prefer taking essay tests over Multiple Choice or True/False exams.
51. My favorite meal of the day is definitely breakfast.
52. I love to watch the news (Today Show and Fox News are my favorites).
53. I hate being the center of attention.
54. I love thunderstorms.
55. I have always been a dog owner and lover. The names of my dogs througout my life include: Shelly, Molly, Valor, Libby, Chelsey, and Snickers (my current dog).
56. I love meeting new people but I am a very shy person - sometimes to the point that I am afraid I come across to others as being rude.
57. I can juggle.
58. I worry too much about what others think of me.
59. I have never smoked.
60. I got my first haircut when I was in the 6th grade. For almost my entire life I have had long hair.
61. I pretty much only drink water and skim milk.
62. I love fruit - strawberries, bananas, grapes, kiwi, cantelope, blueberries, apples, raspberries (strawberries are my favorite).
63. I typically do not like to ask others for help.
64. I have one older brother (who lives very close to me), along with a step-brother and step-sister (who live in California).
65. My daughter's name, Taverly, came from the internet (many people expect me to tell them some exciting story for such an unusual name). I searched through books and the internet, making a list of my favorites, then had my husband narrow down the list to his favorites. We finally decided on Taverly Reese. In addition, we chose these two names so our daughter would have our initials.
66. I love celebrating holidays - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. I love decorating the house, watching movies from our holiday movie collections, and reading Taverly books from her holiday book collection.
67. Overall, I consider myself a healthy eater. I typically try to eat very healthy during the week and then splurge on the weekends. My only downfall is craving dessert (often chocolate, surprise, surprise) after lunch and dinner.
68. I love giving creative gifts - I search online and have a few books that I refer to when deciding on a gift. My most favorite gift I have given to date was to my husband for his 30th birthday. I arranged for every day of his birthday month for a particular person from his past and present to do something for him - give him a call, send him a card, take him golfing, etc. It was completely up to the person what they wanted to do for him - I was thrilled with all of the unusual things people came up with. He is very difficult to surprise, but I was very pleased that it took him about 3 days to figure out what was going on.
69. I am a perfectionist.
70. The perfume I currently wear is Juicy Couture.
71. My favorite season is definitely fall. I love the cooler weather, changing leaves, smells, watching football and celebrating the holidays associated with the season.
72. I have 3 nephews and 4 nieces (not mentioning the two others that are on their way)!
73. Things I still hope to accomplish/experience during my lifetime: successfully raise smart, independent, respectful and caring children, run in a marathon, start my own business, travel the world, ride in a hot air balloon and learn to play the guitar.
74. Everytime I look at a clock and see repetitive numbers (such as 4:44 or 11:11), I say a prayer.
75. My favorite Summer Olympic sport is gymnastics. My favorite Winter Olympic sport is ice skating.
76. My favorite subject in school was math.
77. My most embarassing moment to date: Living in Sachse (a very small town with very little in regards to restaurants and stores) I get very excited when I see new construction. For a few months, close to our housing addition, I anticipated the arrival of a new Kroger grocery store. One day, I noticed cars in the parking lot and people walking in and out. I was thrilled, parked my car, and went in to check it out. I walked through the store - through the bakery, produce, and started down a few aisles. The employees were very polite, asking me what they could do for me. I began noticing, in the aisles, quite a few boxes and many people stocking shelves. I began to feel a little uncomfortable. I quickly left the store and checked the advertisement, sitting in my car, for the opening day - it was still about a week away!!! Fortunately, I did not get a shopping cart and start loading it down with groceries!
78. My favorite game to play recently: Blokus.
79. I experienced firsthand the earthquake that hit Oakland during the World Series in 1989. That day my class went on a field trip and had just hours before rode across one of the bridges that collapsed. While living in California, I experienced a few earthquakes but most occured during the night when I was asleep. This is the only one I can vividly remember. I also have experienced a hurricane, blizzard, and ice storm (but never a tornado).
80. The most "rebellious" thing I have ever done: got my belly button pierced. It wasn't until I got pregnant with my daughter that I finally removed it.
81. In high school and college I drove a red Mazda Miata with a personalized tag that I intended to say "Lady in Red". Many people joked with me in high school that it read "Lady Nerd"! :-) I guess one could understand this joke after knowing I was always studying, made a 4.0, and never used my locker for fear I would be late to class - yes, I carried all of my books in my backpack. I have yet to experience back problems but I am concerned it is just a matter of time.
82. If given a choice between a vacation snow skiing or the beach - I would choose the beach hands down. I have only been snow skiing once - I was brought down the mountain in a rescue toboggan after hitting a snow blowing machine!
83. I was never officially a cheerleader, but always wanted to be one. In the 6th grade I tried out and made the advanced level squad, but ended up moving on the day of uniform fittings. I also tried out once in high school and college but didn't make it - at that point I decided it just wasn't meant to be.
84. My favorite place to buy Taverly's toys is Lakeshore Learning. I guess it is the teacher in me.
85. Smells that I like include pumpkin spice, cinnamon, cookies/brownies/cakes baking, bread baking, bacon cooking, and coffee.
86. I would like to have 2 children - preferably a boy and girl. Having already had a girl, I know if our 2nd child is also a girl, I would be fine with that - I would be comfortable since I feel like I know what to do with a girl. But, I know my husband would love having a boy and if we were not blessed with one I know I would also miss having that mother-son bond.
87. I am in no way a rule-breaker!
88. I love to organize things. I think it has something to do with me hating to lose things and just liking things to be clean and neat. Currently in the closets throughout my house, I have around 76 plastic (and labeled) bins. Some might say I am a little obsessive! :-)
89. One of my funniest stories to date: when I was preparing for the Miss Oklahoma pageant, I had my eyebrows waxed for the first time... and I passed out! I woke up to every woman in the salon standing over me (wet hair and curlers in all). I know some of you are thinking that should probably be my most embarrassing moment or you may be just starting to think that embarrassing moments must come naturally to me.
90. I get very queasy around blood and anything to do with pain (maybe giving a little more insight to #89). I once was grooming my dog, nicked her ear with the razor, saw blood (a trickle!), and had to sprawl out on the ground to avoid passing out! It did not phase my dog in the least. Maybe now some of you are understanding why I didn't do much with my physiology degree! :-)
91. I do not have any tatoos.
92. I love to get mail (particularly the snail mail variety).
93. I love to make lists and check things off.
94. When I was 15, I modeled for a clothing store (the one I later worked for). My favorite thing to do while modeling was standing in the store windows as a live mannequin.
95. I am a calligrapher. I addressed my own wedding invitations along with my cousins.
96.I once loved scary movies. I would say I still like them but they have become harder for me to watch since having a child.
97. I have trouble sitting still and doing nothing. I always want to be up and moving, on the go, doing a project, chores, etc.
98. I easily cry at "sappy sweet moments" - graduations, movies, etc. I even cried when I took Taverly to her first parade. Also, seeing other people cry typically gets me to shed tears as well.
99. I don't consider myself to be high maintenance although some of you may object. I do take a long time to get ready (typically around an hour) but having a toddler I don't do this on a daily basis. I would say most of the time you will find me in shorts and t-shirts with my hair in a ponytail. Depending on the makeup, I buy some at Walmart and other items at a department store. A trip to the spa is a big treat for me - nothing I do on a consistent basis. Having said all of this, I would consider myself a girly-girl - I do like makeup, dresses, skirts, jewelry, etc.
100. I love to be surprised.
101. I get stressed very easily - as a result, I am a nail biter.

Take Two!

Well, as you can see it has taken me just about 7 months to begin my blog. My husband set this up for me in November and not until just a few days ago did I decide to become serious about it. We are currently in the process of selling our first home and moving to our second - a bittersweet moment for us. I have found myself trying to send multiple emails and pictures of our house hunt to relatives and finally decided it was time to begin my blog. I can now post updates here and keep everyone informed. I not only hope to keep people updated on our current move, but hope to make blogging a daily (or at least frequent) habit in order to keep everyone informed on all of our news.

I have a friend who lives in Ohio that I admire when it comes to blogging. Ever since learning of her sight, I can honestly say I don't think a week has passed when she hasn't posted at least one blog - I am pretty sure she posts something at least every couple of days. I have added her link to my favorites and typically check up on her at least once a week and love it. I don't feel as though I have missed out on a single moment of her life.

With our relatives living various distances from us, I decided this would be the best and easiest way to keep everyone informed. I was pretty sure grandparents would particularly like it - especially when the posts include pictures of the granddaughter. I also thought it would be a wonderful idea for me since I love writing down milestones and funny stories relating to my daughter. When she was first born I did very well writing daily about our experiences. I would say I continued that until she was about a year old. Then I started to just jot things down here and there on the calendar (hoping to one day go back and journal those calendar notes). I would say it has been about 3 months since I have written anything down and know it is something I will one day regret. So like I said, if I can just make it a habit, it will be a win-win for all. Family and friends will love keeping up with us and I will have a record of all our experiences.

So with all of that said, I sign off on my first official blog entry.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My first blog - Welcome!

This is my first attempt at blogging. I would like to welcome all readers. More to come...