Wednesday, December 17, 2008

wanna know a secret?

well, let me take a look at the calendar...

yep - it's wednesday. so, that means we are officially at 11 weeks.

11 weeks is one week shy of the so-called "safe sharing zone" but truth be told our doctor said that when he heard a solid heartbeat 2 weeks ago the chance of miscarriage drops from 25% to less than 1%. I told him that 96% of all percentages were made up. He didn't laugh.

point being - we are pregnant!

and i am one sick woman. sick in the morning. sick in the evening. ravenously hungry & yet, nothing sounds good - except my husband's incredible homemade hamburgers. seriously - he's had to cook me 3 in the last 2 days.

you know what else? i suffered from post-partum depression after stroman's birth and had been taking some medication for it. the doc and i were discussing if i needed to keep on something. there are dangers for the baby if the medication was continued into the third trimester. i told him i had decided to just tough my way through it for the benefit of the baby.

he informed me that he would guide his patients to keep on their meds or find a safe alternative if being off the meds meant they might turn to recreational drugs or excessive alcohol to squash the pain of depression.

and i jokingly said, 'the only redeeming quality i have as a mother is that i'm not a crack-whore."
again, he didn't laugh.

note for next sure to find a doc who gets my jacked-up sense of humor.

no offense to the crack-whore fans of my blog.

Monday, December 1, 2008

knock. knock...

anyone still there?

i agree, it has been forever! glad to see you again & i hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

i didn't.

sick. massively sick. the entire time. for 3 weeks now. sinus infection. stomach bug. and generally, a ticked off attitude.

it got so bad that when drew left for his final football road game of the season, i called my mom...explained the situation and cried when she said she would head to roswell that afternoon. a mere 5-hour drive! for me! sick, stinky, exhausted, me. i was worthy of a 5-hour drive! okay, it was probably those grandkids that were the bait, but let me feel overly loved for crying out loud!

back to the point.

i've discovered - with the help of my overly honest husband - that i would enjoy holidays much, much more if it weren't for all the people...people everywhere. dreadful. it's hard to discuss why i don't care to leave the house much to the very people who kinda make me wanna stay in my house. but then, you might call. perhaps i should just show up. we know what i think about phone calls.

this isn't just because i was ill. remember last year? this! i was serious about this for MULTIPLE REASONS!

but this year - we are having Christmas in Roswell...the kids will actually open gifts at home for once and the roadtrips will be limited. we can partially blame the economy. partially blame the distance to all the various relatives. mostly, we can blame me.

more to come this holiday season!

Monday, September 8, 2008

We Won!!!

Here's the write-up from our recent football trip to Alpine...

Broncos open season with 24-14 victory
Staff Reports

ALPINE, TEXAS (Staff reports) - Class is now in session at the New Mexico Military Institute, and the Bronco football team has already passed their first test, downing Sul Ross State University 24-14.

Head coach Jeff Lynn and his Bronco footballers traveled to Alpine, Texas this weekend, their first of four straight road games, to face the Lobos in the season openers for both squads.

Adding a bit of hype to the match-up, Drew Bridges, NMMI's new offensive coordinator, is not only a Sul Ross alumnus, he also coached there from 2002 to 2006.

After an auspicious start of, "one, two, three, punt," for their first three offensive series and only one first down in their first four possessions, it looked like it could be a long night for coach Bridges and new freshman QB Ryan Perez. Perez was 0-4 in passing, and the NMMI running game had netted only three yards in eight tries. Adding insult to injury, Sul Ross managed to score a touchdown on their first possession, and narrowly missed a 36-yard field goal on their next. At the end of the first quarter, Sul Ross led 7-0.

The fourth straight NMMI punt started the 2nd quarter, and after two Sul Ross first downs drove the ball deep into NMMI territory at the 34-yard line, the Bronco Black Swarm defense got a huge stop on a fourth-and-4. This seemed to inspire the offense, as they put together a 15 play, 66-yard drive into the end zone, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run on fourth down by Darien Crawford. Freshman kicker Brandon Posey, from Rio Rancho High School, tied things up at seven, with a successful point after.

At halftime it was tied, 7-7.

The Bronco 'D' again got a quick stop of the Lobo offense, after the kickoff to begin the second half. Linebacker Ronald Pierre picked up his first sack of the year on a third and 13, and again the Bronco offense responded to the inspired play of its defense. This time they put together a 17 play, 75-yard drive, eating 6:30 seconds off the clock. QB Ryan Perez threw a 5-yard strike to Darien Crawford for the touchdown. Posey again made the point after and the Broncos were now up 14-7. At the end of the third, the score was still 14-7, but NMMI was threatening to score again.And score again, they did, only five plays into the fourth quarter.

Running back Anthony Landrum punched the ball in from the 1-yard line, completing another 75-yard drive by the Broncos. Posey hit the point after and it was now 21-7. A forced fumble by the NMMI defense caused by safety Travis Silafau and corner Ty Hendrix set up NMMI's final score, a 35-yard field goal by Posey.

Sul Ross' final score was set up by some poor punt coverage and missed tackles, allowing the Lobos a start from the NMMI 42-yard line. The Lobos needed only five plays themselves to score, but it was perhaps already too late, as only 3:44 remained after an 8-yard touchdown run. A final drive by the Bronco offense left no doubt about the offensive capabilities of the Red Strike offense and erased any uneasiness of its initial shaky start. They took the ball from their 29, all the way to the Sul Ross 1-yard line before time ran out.

"We've just got to learn to come ready to play and start out strong," said head coach Lynn, with a slight smile and look of relief on his face. He'll have some time to help coax and coach, as the Bronco are off next week. Their next game will be 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13, against Cisco Junior College in Midland, Texas.

The BEST parts of the trip: winning, singing with the kids in the car on the 5 1/2 hour drive, spending the night w/ Mr. Bic and Miss Meredith, seeing Ava & the Wrights, the kids napping on the way home.

Now, the honest truth from the trip. I miss Alpine. I miss the area. I miss the people. I miss the weather. I miss the whole stinkin' place. I didn't realize it until we were driving into town. The stadium is an important part of my history with Drew. Watching him coach the Sul Ross Lobos was a huge part of our dating. I'd go to a game, he'd coach, we'd go out after. And Alpine is where we set up our first home. Welcomed home our son. Found friends. Fell in love with a church family. And I miss it.

But now we are in Roswell & learning to find our way here.

Last night, we joined a church.

Here's to making new memories!

Friday, August 22, 2008

really, my life is so messy that i lost a blog entry....

the following post is actually from the week of mother's day. i never published it. just found it...oddly enough, while i was waiting for a load of socks to dry.

yesterday marked a day of incredible amounts of self-induced stress. i was finishing up a project and was blind to everything but the task at hand. blind to my son, 15 months, climbing onto our bed and sliding off on his belly. (okay, not blind, but a good enough typist to watch his death defying feats and continue to work.)

at one point, i almost gave up - the kids had found my last nerve and were jumping like it would save my soul. at just that moment, my husband rode up on his white steed and swept the kids out of the house for 3 hours!

and that helped me finish my work. it did not enable me to visit here, here, or here. no matter what the blog traffic trackers say.

drew took the kids to the park...where i can just imagine cydney was everywhere (cyd: "first, i did the climbing thing. then i went on the ropes all the way to the top and then i went down the slide. ober and ober. and there were some boys that dad said not to play with. so i didn't.) and stroman was cautiously approaching the swing, a device that makes him cackle (think my cackle, only cuter) with sheer delight.

i was about to wrap up the work & realized it was 6. NO DINNER PLANNED. crap. he saved me & i didn't even manage to defrost? crap. so i continued to work.

HERE'S THE DREAMY PART: cyd walks in from the park and comes to me holding a take & bake pizza. "Happy Mother's Day, Mommmma. We got you pizza!" Solid. They took care of dinner.

"I've got wine!" He's holding several bottles of one of my favorite brands. Lovely. Just what I need.

"Stroman," says my hubby. "Bring momma her bag."

Little comes to me with a terribly small black bag. "MaMa," he shoves the bag at me, kinda sideways, as if he wants to pour out the contents.

I dig. A little dismayed. Inside, a beautiful ring - early Mother's Day gift! What?

OUTSTANDING! I had mentioned, in passing, that I really enjoy beautiful jewelry, but hadn't ever purchased for myself. AND HUSBAND WAS LISTENING!!! A picture of it? Not now.

I'm going to tell you what I was mulling over in my busy head right before I heard the garage door open. really, 3 hours at the park? as i continued to type, i wondered what could have happened? did they run into friends? was there an accident? did someone crack a skull & drew just wasn't ready to break it to me?

nope - he was taking care of me. just like he always does.

note to self : wash that lovely man some socks.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Damn Calendar

i realize it is the end of July & this is only my second post in 2 months. you might not be disappointed, but i am. my goal was to have at least 4 - hopefully 10 posts for this month. mainly because we have so much going on and it's fun to when your aunt edith and uncle ernest used to make everyone come over for liver & onions and they just happened to have the slide show from their trip to the mountains up on the wall in the den.

so grab some popcorn and settle in - we're going to do a run-down of whatsagoinon.
the end of may, we were the photogs for a fabulous wedding down at cibolo creek ranch south of marfa, texas.lovely backdrop, fabulous people, tasty dining & several large glasses of wine made for a terrific wedding and weekend. note that the bride was patient through a downed AC in her suite, a small afternoon rain shower that turned into a full blown hail storm only hours prior to the ceremony and the stress of not seeing the love of her life the entire day of the wedding! she was classy through it all. and this couple made drew and i feel more like guests than hired help. if i were to remarry drew, this is the dress i would want. she was stunning...

More to come...that's a threat.

Monday, June 16, 2008

i apologize...

do you ever go through a phase where you feel like all you do is apologize?

i'm in it. deep.

the lab i use for photos has been painfully slow fulfilling orders...tense calls about the whereabouts of photos.

i apologize.

i can't seem to get my cell phone to work for more than, oh, say, 45 days...without some strange glitch that leaves 25 messages/calls lost in space. i never know until someone makes a second pissed off call to me. 

i apologize.

i traversed to the local post office to mail some packages. i hadn't filled out address labels before approaching the window - b/c the last time i mailed a package, let's's how it went down. cyd was tugging on my jeans, asking if she could say hi to the people standing directly behind us. sure cyd. me: "yes, she is very outgoing." (filling out the label while holding stroman who is screaming because i won't let him down to tear all the posters off the walls and set the mailing boxes on fire. stroman grabs the pen i'm using and suddenly the label has a strange diagonal line from the X in TX. hey, maybe my customer won't notice the 10 inch mark across the package. maybe.)  in response to the delightful comments from the couple behind me: "yes, she's really only three. yes, she is very tall for her age." (step up to the window...yeah! our turn. the pain is almost over!) a quick tally of the packages results in this: "what? $45? how is that possible?" 

turns out, i had filled out the priority mail address labels, which can only be used to mail things priority. apparently, priority packages get a deep-tissue massage and are gently laid on piles of soft blankets in warm, fragrant rooms while first-class packages are stuffed into a dark closet laden with old packages. one has a runny nose and an unusual cough. another is a chain-smoker. that's what causes the price difference.

so, i didn't want to make the same mistake, but i thought i might need priority shipping to get the packages to my customer who was already ticked because of the slow lab turnaround (see note above) as fast as possible. this time, stroman in stroller. cyd out of town. and a line of 20 behind me. the postal worker looks over the packages and cites the lack of labels. we clarify that in fact, first-class will work just as fast as priority. i fill out the labels. slap 'em on while juggling the toys that stroman is propelling from the stroller. i go to get my wallet. 


after extensive digging, an old, crusty checkbook surfaces. THANK GOD THE USPS WILL STILL TAKE A PERSONAL CHECK!

finally i escape from the postal services clutches.

to those in line behind me who had to personally witness this process.

i apologize!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Discussing Heaven with a 3-year-old...

Recently, my grandfather, Gordon, died. Officially, he was my step-grandfather...but he was very good to our family & most importantly, he was a great companion for my grandmother since 1999, when they both lost their respective spouses. Ruth (my grandmother) had been married to Bill Wyche for 55 years when he died in '99. They have a terrific story that I'll have to share another time. I think some of my humor & spice come from Bill. Ruth & Bill trudged through Bill's health issues toward the end of his life...strokes, the inability to speak, wheel-chair bound...terrible life change for a rancher who just wanted to be outside on the land. Ruth cared for Bill for years before his wore on her, but her love and commitment to him and to the life God had planned for her got her through.

Gordon and Ruth married and life was good for them. He died quickly as they were getting ready for bed one Saturday night. The day had been good. Family was visiting. Gordon felt good...even cracked some jokes about how he would probably outlive us all. When Mom called to tell me, I was sad for Ruth & Gordon's kids, but relieved that a) it wasn't a drawn out event & therefore hard for Ruth to physically & emotionally tackle, b) Gordon was in a better place because of his solid faith in Christ.

Drew and I had to tell Cydney. Summary - In heaven with God...not in pain...we'll miss him but we are glad that we'll see him someday...and we can be sad that Ruth won't have him around. but we have to thank God for eternal life & for taking care of Gordon.

We went to the funeral. And I have to say, some people might think me cold, but I wasn't moved to tears. I was content...content that Gordon is safe & his soul not in torment.

Cyd was sweet after the funeral--telling Ruth that Gordon was with God and we didn't need to worry. Giving out hugs, etc.

Fast forward a few weeks...Cyd and Stroman were playing and she banged (accident) his head into the edge of the tiled kitchen counters. He loses it. And who could blame him, it hurt. Drew is holding him to get him to calm down & I notice the blood. The accident had split his eyelid and my little baby was hurt. I wanted to convey to Cyd that we had to be more careful with the little ones. She felt remorseful & helped round up the items to tend to the wounds.

While in the bathroom washing the cut and applying an adhesive bandage, Drew (a First Aid instructor, what do I have to worry about? He's going to calmly explain what he's doing to Cyd and help her with the situation, right? wrong.) explained to Cyd that Stroman would end up with a scar.

Cyd : "But it will go away, right?"

Drew: "No, a scar stays on our skin forever."

Cyd: "But when the scab comes off, it'll be all healed up, huh?"

Drew: "No, Cyd. A scar will be there forever...until he goes up to be with Jesus in heaven."

Cyd: shocked "Stroman's going to heaven to be with Gordon?!?!"

Drew: holding back a laugh "No honey, but when he does go to heaven, he'll have a scar."

Cyd: not hearing a thing he said "But I don't want Stroman to go yet!" cue tear....

As is only fitting with the TITLE OF THIS BLOG...the next day we were changing the bandage:

Cyd: "Is it all healed up?"

Me: "No, not yet."

Cyd: in that anticipatory voice of a child who might be sharing a secret... "He's fixin' to go be with Gordon in heaven."

Me: "DREW!"

I think we got it all figured out and when Stroman wakes up from his nap, I'll get a photo of his black eye & the scar (tiny, probably won't even show in a few weeks) but worthy because Cyd thinks it could lead to Stroman's demise...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lost Blog - Remember Mother's Day??

yesterday marked a day of incredible amounts of self-induced stress. i was finishing up a project and was blind to everything but the task at hand. blind to my son, 15 months, climbing onto our bed and sliding off on his belly. (okay, not blind, but a good enough typist to watch his death defying feats and continue to work.)

at one point, i almost gave up - the kids had found my last nerve and were jumping like it would save my soul. at just that moment, my husband rode up on his white steed and swept the kids out of the house for 3 hours! and that helped me finish my work. it did not enable me to visit here, here, or here. no matter what the blog traffic trackers say.

drew took the kids to the park...where i can just imagine cydney was everywhere (cyd: "first, i did the climbing thing. then i went on the ropes all the way to the top and then i went down the slide. ober and ober. and there were some boys that dad said not to play with. so i didn't.) and stroman was cautiously approaching the swing, a device that makes him cackle (think my cackle, only cuter) with sheer delight.

i was about to wrap up the work & realized it was 6. NO DINNER PLANNED. crap. he saved me & i didn't even manage to defrost? crap. so i continued to work.


cyd walks in from the park and comes to me holding a take & bake pizza. "Happy Mother's Day, Mommmma. We got you pizza!" Solid. They took care of dinner.

"I've got wine!" He's holding several bottles of one of my favorite brands. Lovely. Just what I need.

"Stroman," says my hubby. "Bring momma her bag."

Little comes to me with a terribly small black bag. "MaMa," he shoves the bag at me, kinda sideways, as if he wants to pour out the contents.

I dig. A little dismayed.

Inside, a beautiful ring - early Mother's Day gift! What? OUTSTANDING! I had mentioned, in passing, that I really enjoy beautiful jewelry, but hadn't ever purchased for myself. AND HUSBAND WAS LISTENING!!!

A picture of it? Not now. I'm going to tell you what I was mulling over in my busy head right before I heard the garage door open.

really, 3 hours at the park? as i continued to type, i wondered what could have happened? did they run into friends? was there an accident? did someone crack a skull & drew just wasn't ready to break it to me?

nope - he was taking care of me. just like he always does.

note to self : wash that lovely man some socks.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Love is in the Air

It's the time of year for brides and all things bridal...the photos of the lovely blonde are how I was blessed to kick off this year's wedding season. We met up with Kellye G at the historic Paisano Hotel in Marfa recently to do her bridal portraits. The generous staff granted us access to a brilliant balcony room.The funny thing is how Kellye G and I were introduced. Drew, Meredith and I were loading a moving truck at the storage unit in Alpine and Kellye G called to see if she could bring me a deposit which reserves me for the date of the wedding. I'm not exactly sure how she heard about me, but she was certain she wanted us to do her wedding photography. In no time, she pulls up at the storage unit and hands me a check for twice the normal deposit. That's trusting. To hand money to a woman who is obviously leaving town & to know that you still want this crazy lady to do your wedding photos! After working with Kellye G on the bridals, I know we will have a fabulous time with this bride & her groom Cody at the June event.

and now, if my crazy website hosting issues will go away, Kellye G. will get to see how beautiful she is and envision living her very own happily ever after.

Monday, April 14, 2008

i digress...which is really hard for me to do.

After thinking about Lori & Trace's responses to my last blog, I have to admit some things.

a) my response to Drew's schedule was TOTALLY SELFISH! 

b) Lori mentioned that when I get the chance to do my own thing, I should and enjoy it. After much consideration, it has come to the attention of our household that I don't ever get to do my own thing. Because I don't allow myself to do my own thing. No wonder I'm stressed! 

So, we evaluated why...we being, me & the voices in my head.

Something happened when we moved to Roswell - a switch in my faulty little brain flicked off the idea that I can't do anything by myself. This hasn't ever been part of my life. I've LOVED to go do things alone. Hell, the majority of my favorite things are loner activities.

But, I've relied on Drew for so much that I've created a "way out" for myself. Then, allowing myself to be trapped at the house creates tension.  So, I've decided to eliminate the pessimistic attitude & go out there & do things by myself.

Don't forget that we are still relatively new at this married stuff - our second anniversary is coming up in July. I hadn't factored in that we NEED to experience some growing pains.

Oh, and any idea how many new friends I have in Roswell?


well, one or maybe two, but we haven't been able to get together for weeks...

Saturday, Drew had to go watch a scrimmage & I was home alone. But - in an effort to prove to myself that I'm capable of anything, I packed up the kids. We went to the store. We went to McD's. We went to the park and had a picnic. We even tried to get Stroman's haircut, but the barber shop was closed. Back to the park - taking those muchkins to the park by myself is a challenge...but I changed my attitude and loved every joyous second of it! 

And Drew and talked about the things I want us to MAKE time for -- and he didn't realize I was shorting myself those things...he just figured I didn't want to do them, or I would be doing them.

In the next week, Stroman is going to start going to the preschool for 2 - maybe 3 days a week - for 1/2 days. That way, I'll have time to - read, get my hair cut, work out - and even shave my crazy legs! I have to say, it's going to be hard not to have my little guy with me 24/7! but he needs the exposure to other caretakers...

Which leads to action #2 - We are incorporating the use of a babysitter into our home. Mind you, this might sound like we are just going to start handing over care of kids all of the time to someone else. But Stroman is 14 months old and has been with caretakers other than church nursery & grandparents a total of 4 times - no longer than 3 hours each time! The other day I wanted to go workout but the kids had scarlet fever and couldn't be in the offered child care at the gym & CYDNEY actually asked me to get them a sitter so I could go...

I have the sitter's name, number and I'm prepared to use it for just such events.

#3 - This summer, Drew & I are going to take advantage of a family property in Cabo & go on a much-needed, adult-only, bring on the Mojitos- vacation!

I'll have another post today...stay tuned.

Friday, April 11, 2008

pissed off.

Classy title, don't you think.

Let me start with the disclaimers - I believe marriage is a commitment, not just the happy-go-lucky feelings that first accompanied our initial dates. I love my husband. I'm committed to our marriage but sometimes I feel like I should just be committed - padded walls, timely doses of little blue, pink and yellow pills.

Last week, I had the blessing of wrestling two kids in hideously tiny room at doctor's office. We love our doctor so I kindly dismissed the hour we sat in HTR. Sat is an interesting word. No one sat. Cyd climbed. Stroman ran from wall to wall. I chased them.

I called dear husband 3 times, in search of backup. The assailants had me cornered. Holding Stroman, who weighs in at 26 pounds in one arm while trying to lift Cyd (43 pounds) onto the exam table required my innate super-human strength. But after a while, holding a 26 pound muscle who is attempting to kick his way free is equivalent to Kryptonite! Meanwhile, Cyd is feeling quite punk, but still finds the energy to ask, point, question, touch, etc. & I love her curious nature, so I'm attempting to answer. Get it? Craziness X2. And don't forget that both had runny noses - so I'm wiping constantly to keep doc from walking in on boogie land heathens. 

My calls were in vain. I knew he was on the football field because his team had practice. I also knew that Cyd was sick & HAD to see the doc. But I was ready to ask if there was anyone - a hurt player, one of the player's girlfriends, a wife of another coach, someones nosey neighbor, ANYONE that might come help me. I just needed Stroman entertained for 20 minutes so I could answer Doc's questions without having to yell over his screaming! Nothing. No answer to my calls.

Note the title of this blog.

That read, fast forward to this afternoon. I've been working all day. Stroman took a decent nap. House is relatively under control. Family plans are to go to the gym. We haven't made it all week & I'm pumped. I NEED to workout right now to relieve some stress. After picking up Cydney at school we have errands to run & then, plan to meet DH at house. At 5:30, we see the practice field is clear & head home, expecting DH any moment.

5:45 - nothing. decide to plant the geraniums we bought this weekend.

6:15 - phone rings. DH. At emergency room. Player hurt. No one with player. DH is going to stay and sit with him so he's not alone. 

This is when my good witch personality is supposed to say, "Honey, you do whatever you need to do."

But that wicked witch snatched the mic away from good witch and snarled, "What!?!"


"I need to stay here with him."

My brain is bombarded by reasons DH shouldn't have to stay at the ER - i.e. this is a college kid, not an infant ; where is the trainer? ; doesn't he have any friends who don't have families waiting at home for them?, etc.

"We can go to the gym when I get home."

"No we can't. You won't be here until 7:00 at the earliest. The kids need to be in bed by 8 & have dinner. I guess I could feed them right It won't work. Just stay. But don't forget that you couldn't leave the guys for us last week when I needed you at the doctor. It sure is easy to leave us for them."

Okay - Did you see how I was doing decently - you know, rational thought, right up until the last two lines where I just acted like a selfish twit?

I hate it when my words hurt others. I know it is part of his job & I know he'd rather be home with us. But I hate that sometimes he's forced to make a choice.

Forced by me. 

I'd apologize to him right now, but he's at the ER picking the kid up to take him back to the dorm & get him settled in. And that's the right thing to do. So why am I still pissed off?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

To Do List:

1. Share past week with blog family.
  • scarlet fever - cyd & stroman
  • stroman being full-body sanitized, then bathed due to curious hands in the potty while sister was using the toilet. (remember to describe the screaming and laughter from Cyd as she tried to get me to come to the bathroom)
  • new marketing research job
  • new health/wellness opportunity - my skin is gorgeous for the first time ever!

2. Post new photos

  • stroman going up & down slide without help
  • cydney's new bicycle
  • anything else on all those digital cards you haven't cleared off

3. Explain why inept people who pass the buck make your tongue itch -- examples : Walgreens Pharmacy, BCBS insurance, WTU. That should be enough examples.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


a) we did our taxes. after one day of sorting through all of my record-keeping for laren bridges : photography & deciphering all the medical receipts, the taxes are done. filed. yeah!

um...our 2007 medical records are quite interesting to me. let's see - feb. 12th, child born. said child diagnosed with severe acid reflux a few months later. i had to be checked for blood clots after stroman's birth because i'd lost feeling/control in my left leg...ER visit & a follow-up ultrasound exam of legs. other child, cydney, had 2 ER visits for what has been determined to be PFAPA (periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, cervical adenitis) syndrome. we're talking 103-104 degree fever, but not lethargic or complaining. one night at 2 a.m. in the ER i'm quite positive that we were not treated quickly because her behavior (other than vomiting on the nurse) was normal. she was waving to other patients and saying hello to all the doctors. drew and i almost wanted to bribe her to act a little sicker. the end of that visit? 5:30 a.m - they asked ME TO GIVE HER A DOSE OF MOTRIN! that's what i'd been doing at home. thanks for your time. curse word. harsh curse word. disbelief. more cursing.

then we did lab work to have a guide to her blood when she's not having symptoms - and of course, she hasn't had another dramatic attack.

i was bitten by a poisonous spider following a photo shoot and had to have an ER visit myself. leg was inflamed, raised, etc. the nice nurse broke out a sharpie and circled the area so we could monitor any changes. the bite had developed overnight from a small circle (size of a pencil eraser) to larger than my man hand (seriously - had my schedule been clear, i totally had that guest appearance on Seinfield). the next day i had to meet with the surgeon...b/c many spider bites like this (WARNING - GRAPHIC!) require a surgeon to piece your flesh back together. she put me on meds for leprosy & another double-strength antibiotic. a few weeks later, life was better - still have a red spot where the infection was attempting to claim my leg.

b) photography is going well. and i'm meeting with jodi tomorrow to discuss a new job. it would be PT/work from home...research for marketing about ranch properties. i'm amazed to be offered an opportunity like this!

c) my friend, lori, is embarking on a vlog of her adventures in losing weight. ladies, most of us know that our weight/measurements/true feelings about how we look are hard to open up about. i think lori is a delightful woman and she'll keep it real during her journey, so read, watch & support as you will. also, drew and i are trying to get in shape & i'm trying to lose pounds - watching what we eat based on the plan & we're working out 3-5 times a week. in the past week, i've dropped 4 pounds, but i have to say, i'm fighting those cravings for carbs & sweets. the basics of the eating plan for our body type - no salt, no added sugar, no cooking in oil or butter, eat 6 times a day, small portions. it makes sense - quick changes, etc. whatever works for you, do it.

d) my friend meredith can keep you up to date on American Idol, but I have to admit last night I watched it for the first time...while on the elliptical machine. David Cook - there's my vote.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

going grey

or do you spell it gray?

well, for me aging is just part of life. it's like having a birthday - i can't stop it, so why lose sleep over it.

but, as you all know, my life is never normal.

i'm going grey. i'm 31 with 2 kids, a fabulous husband, yadda yadda.

but you'll never notice the grey.

because it's solely on my eyelashes.

NO KIDDING - so far, i've removed 3 solid white hairs from my lash line - ladies, you wanna feel pain, skip the bikini wax & tweeze out an eyelash. it'll make you consider having your next child w/o painkillers - b/c you'd rather have them for the day you have to pull out your next grey lash.

anyone else out there ever had this issue?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

look out spring breakers!!

i'm dangerous.

ladies, don't cry for me! all the comments on the last blog made me realize that i came off sounding down.


v. happy with life, just frustrated with my attitude towards life.

and, trace & tracy, for those of us who have been through a know that every decision, every day A.D. involves an element of rebuilding yourself. this is true if you had a nasty divorce or gave each other hi-fives on the courthouse steps! but the result *taking back the power* is undeniably powerful!

so - tidbits from cydney -

1. when we went to her specialist in Albuquerque, i was nervous. telling the details of cydney's health i wrapped up with - "and other than that, she likes to eat lots of candy when i'm not looking." the appropriate smattering of laughter from the nurse.

cyd: "i eat my boogers when you aren't looking too, Mom."

HOLY COW! SUCH TIMING! and honesty. she's only 3. but holy crap - that was the perfect tension breaker! i don't even have time to go into how many times we've told her that nose picking is gross.

2. cydlio & stromiester play WAY TOO MUCH. stroman had his 1 year immunizations today & cyd cried because she wanted to be there when he got shots. yesterday, she said, "Well, momma, stroman doesn't like shots. They hurt. They will make him cry. I better go with him."

3. stroman is now saying words. daddy, momma, ister (not a typo- he's calling her ister) and tonight he busted out with ball.

any cool things your families are up to now? or pets? or anything?

oh - the reason the spring breakers are in trouble is because i can purchase alcohol legally & behave just as immaturely as they do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


as a control freak, i sometimes find it hard to let life situations be & let God handle them. as my mother used to tell me, it does no good to hand something to God but hang on to the corner & not let Him have full control.

to be honest, in the face of challenges i often just ignore them. last week, while frustrated over business, i finally voiced my real issue. "i'm sick of having to start over. i had to start over in Sweetwater (where i moved after the divorce and suddenly realized i HAD to make a living for cyd & self). i had to start over in Alpine & then, just when things are going along at a nice clip, we move. now i'm having to start over in Roswell."

husband immediately gave me a hug and reminded me that I GET TO START OVER! some people never get this opportunity. i can reinvent my business, learning from past mistakes and go forward. also, i did a top job of making him feel horrible for moving us here. not the intention. must learn to monitor speech more.

and here's where the quarter-life crisis falls into place...i was successful in high school in almost everything, sports, UIL events, state debate qualifier, etc. college was rather easy as well, good grades, sorority president, lots of friends, etc. first marriage fails and my confidence goes through the floor. oddly, it was obvious from oh, the first 23 hours or so, that it wouldn't work...but stubborn me pushed along and thought i could make it. now, it seems any bump in the road and i'm ready to throw-up my hands and quit. THIS IS NOT MY USUAL APPROACH TO LIFE. and yet, i give in so easily. afraid that failing again will be the -- the what, really? the end to my career? the ruination of my reputation?

just to let anyone who doesn't already know...i'm a photographer. started as a magazine field editor/photographer, now i do mainly portraits, kids, engagements (my favorite people to work with!) weddings, sports, action, etc. i've been beating the bushes here to get a job. just any ol' job, something. and no takers. cue the crickets.

here's why this post is labeled blessings: when i back off and look at my calendar, i actually have 3 shoots with large paychecks booked in the next 3 months - 2 weddings and a prom. in addition, i have a bridal portrait shoot and i'm getting orders from a wedding we did in January. true, these events are back in the alpine, texas-area, but we are looking forward to going back that way & catching up with you, you and hopefully you.

drew convinced me to spend a little money on marketing and we're taking part in a contest where we enter any child's portrait for a chance to win up to $5,000! E-mail me if you are in NM or West Texas and let's get your children scheduled a session during this time.

in the meantime, i've revamped all of my pricing & we're implementing some new marketing strategies just to get people to know about my services.

in the personal life, we've been looking to sell our house in alpine. TODAY WE GOT AN OFFER ON IT! Thank you God for this blessing. If we can sell that house, we can buy a home we found here in Roswell & get out of the excessively high rent we are paying! What a blessing!

and, cydney had a simple day surgery a few weeks ago & everything is going well! she was totally brave & didn't show any worries about going to a room with the doctors and not us.

plus, that time at the hospital was the first extended exposure we had to cyd's biological father and stepmother. it was tense at first, but we all talked - even laughed! - and got along beautifully! anyone who shares a child of divorce has the fear of having to be civil to the other know you do! you envision what life is like for the kids on visits - unlimited Slurpees & gallon size bags of M&M's followed by no schedule and the TV as a baby-sitter. it was so refreshing to know that's not what cyd gets when she goes for her visits!

what a nice step towards peace when she has soccer games, graduates from high school, gets married, etc. and summer visitation is being scheduled & we're so excited that Chas and Sunnie are wanting several two-week periods vs. a block of 42 days! everyone will get substantial summer time & cyd won't be too homesick.
this weekend, another blessing of our new location allowed us to take a day-trip to Ruidoso and take cyd tubing! we've had nice snow recently & we'd love to get her on skis but decided to start with tubin' - we all had a blast, except for little stroman who couldn't tolerate being kept behind the fences & away from the fun!
thanks, trace, for reminding me to post!

Friday, February 15, 2008

not kidnapped by aliens...just crazy busy

and once again, i've scratched out a few minutes to blog....

well - this week, Stroman turned a year old! i'm stunned how quickly time passed. it makes me long for another baby. but perhaps not another toddler quite yet. he started walking Christmas Day and is a champ at a) not sharing, b) screaming when sister takes something from him and c) throwing the most outrageous fits when he doesn't get his way. yet, he's wonderful!

Cydney is loving the new house (we're renting) and she's terribly fun to take house hunting. if we find a house that is new or empty, she's the first to ask if we can go "peeking and looking" to see if we like it. oddly, she loves every house we see!

this weekend, the grandparents will come to Roswell to celebrate with Stroman. forecast: snow. lots of snow!

also, the first week we were here we got to know a FANTASTIC pediatrician, dr beverley elliott - who treated stroman's ear infection & established cydney as a patient. it's nice to be 10 minutes from the doctor vs. the 2 1/2 hours from the doctor as we were in alpine.

we joined a gym and are loving the opportunity to work out together...which is fabulous now, b/c sweet husband got me an ipod for valentine's day and my days are once again FILLED with music. i'm addicted.

i miss alpine. i miss my friends. sometimes i miss the slowness of that little place. however, drew's job is so much more enjoyable for him. the administration is supportive, informed, involved & the students are focused - must be the military influence here at NMMI.

pictures from playing outside on Stroman's birthday - the ones with the ball, stick & cinderblock fence remind me of a prison yard! Cydney is becoming quite talented at soccer-ball, as she calls it. look at that perfect running form!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tag - I'm IT!

Meredith tagged me to divulge some sordid details from my past...and when i began to think of "little known facts" about me, i realized that i talk too much to too many people for there to be much that is unknown. regardless, here we go:

1. around 4th grade i decided that my name should have been laren annedrea barns, rather than anne as my middle name. so i started writing it on my school papers, etc. even told people that was the name my mother wanted me to have but my father messed it up on the birth certificate.

2. in 3rd grade i experienced my first best friends, jamie and courtney (twins), told me i had to quit cussing to remain friends with them. it was hard...especially the jitters and when i snubbed my toe on the end of the bed and stuff. but i got through it. thanks girls. (unfortunately, it didn't stick. i still cuss like a well-educated sailor in my head.)

3. i was the first Agri-Business Reporter for KCBD, Newschannel 11 while in college at Texas Tech University. i had a 2-minute package every sunday dealing with the ag news around the high plains area. 2-minutes is a big deal in TV time. i was also a producer for the 5/6/10 o'clock news and filled in on a few live shots while i worked at the station. KCBD is where i met one of the best women i know, Ashley Stacy Rodriquez.

4. if given the choice of any work, i would be a ranch hand...or owner. i spent summers working for my father and it was the most exhilarating, exhausting job i've ever had other than motherhood. i've built miles of 5-strand barbed wire fence, driven big John Deere tractors, worked cattle horseback and through a chute since i was 4. i've helped pull calves during calving season. dehorn, castrate, vaccinate, palpate, you name it. now, my family will tell you that i'm not a good hand, i'm only good for when the truck rolled into me while i was opening a gate and i was trapped between the farm truck and a 12-inch pipe that made up the brace for the gate. my dad says, "i'm just glad it was you and not your brother. you're mean enough to push the truck off of you and get out of the mess." true. however, my brother is smart enough to use the emergency brake and not get himself into the mess in the first place. i did push the truck off of me and escape to tell the tale. that same day i ran out of gas 10 miles from anywhere. it was snowing. it sucked.

5. my friend alison and i were once the victims of an attempted carjacking. long story short we were duped by some jerks in dallas while we were lost. one of the guys tried to get into the car while he helped us with 'directions'. the doors were locked and he was unsuccessful. meanwhile another guy pulled a sawed-off shotgun on us and demanded all our money. yeah, right. we were college kids on spring break...we didn't have any money. i sped away and the gunshot landed right in the doorpost between the front and back seat. had it been a few inches forward, it would have hit me. a few inches behind and it would have hit alison. they chased us but we got away due to my many years of watching the Duke Brothers execute some nice chase moves. anyone scared of getting on a freeway at the exit ramp and heading the wrong way?

6. i'm the world's worst at keeping up with friends. it isn't intentional. i promise to get better.

so, there...6 things you didn't know about me. and now, i tag - Lori, Caneel, and Trace

Sunday, January 13, 2008

consequences of your words

one of my goals this year is to blog more.

why would i continue to drag you through the mundane rut that is my life with more incessant babble, you ask? now, that's your issue. i just write it. it's there. read it if you want to.

for me, writing is a release. i need to write more.

but tonight, my post is later than anticipated because we are packing up our 3-year-old's room. all toys, items used for play and all but 3 books are being removed from the little angel's room...because she is learning to suffer the consequences of her words.

i might be overreacting a's how it went down...

-crash-from the bathroom

drew, "cyd, what did you throw away?"
cyd, "i don't want my shovel anymore." (toy shovel that came with extensively decorated 3-story doll house that we gave her for Christmas)
drew, "no ma'am. get it out of the trash. and please go play in your room until dinner is ready."
cyd, "yes sir."

-sullen girl grabs shovel and throws it into her dollhouse. she then begins to dismantle the beds and other furniture. enter mom.

me, "excuse me? what are you doing? tearing up your dollhouse?"
cyd, "i don't like it. i only like Barbie dollhouses."

-here, mother refrains from screaming - barbie's a slut and slamming the door in a swift exit.

me, "barbie is for older girls. this dollhouse is perfect for you & you have played with it for hours every day since Christmas."

cyd, "i don't want it."

me, "fine. tonight, i'm removing all toys and books from your room. you will keep one stuffed animal and three books-"
cyd,"i want--"
me, "absolutely not. i will decide what stays and what goes!"

we discussed why she won't have her toys. we discussed how words can be used in a mean way and hurt feelings.

and i'm sure we failed to discuss many things that will someday make a therapist LOADS of money!

any thoughts, comments, advice, similar situations to share???

Saturday, January 12, 2008

stink eye

this a.m. we woke with the mission of capturing some cheerful holiday photos before we took the lovely Christmas tree down.

no such luck.

kids were gripe-a-licious - wait, you say, holiday photos?? it's freaking January 12th! normal people head to the studio around the beginning of November to get their professional pics done for the holidays...

yeah, well, look - i'm a photographer and i have no professional photos of my own kids...the cobblers child has no shoes...

and this seemed to be the day.

so, drew and i got up early*while on vacation* fought through the "i don't wanna take photos. i'm cold. not in front of the tree..." - whine, whine, whine.

meanwhile, Stroman wouldn't even think about acting like his normal, happy self. jerk.

so, after 3 spankings for cyd and 1 v. stern look for stroman, this is what i got.

the stink eye. see how they have both perfected the teenage angst/who the hell are you? look...

fyi, 8-ft. pre-lit Christmas tree is for give-away. we are moving. i'm not taking it with us. any takers?
and, comments about the evil of spanking are NOT welcome here, unless you are in agreement w/ discipline and have found other methods. let me say, if it works, it works. and spanking works for us. so for the haters, back off.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

new year. new plans.

I was often bewildered by the task of motherhood, that precarious balance between total surrender and totalitarianism.
(J. Nozipo Maraire)
Remember my boycott for Thanksgiving? I think we all saw that as the first step toward the inevitable…and now, the time has come to acknowledge that next Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, we, the Drew Bridges family, will be gathered casually around our own tree in our own home.

This Christmas we did the normal “run around the state like crazy to try to keep everyone happy” thing. Let’s see…Christmas Eve night Stroman screamed for 2 ½ hours straight while one side of the family was together to try to celebrate (Drew & I were able to catch up with … no one! b/c we were trying to help soothe Stroman), I got a sinus infection, Stroman has suffered through an ear infection during the whole thing, I think Drew and I managed to work 2 pretty serious arguments into the mix and I was angry almost the entire time…

Prior to leaving Alpine we were in the pharmacy to get Rx’s filled for the 3 weeks on the road and saw a friend whose daughter is a former school-mate of Cyd’s. She asked if we were going or staying & then said that she had put her foot down and they were staying home. She said she was tired of spending the holidays pissed off. Well, me too!

I allow myself to get totally worked up over comments people make (like the insensitive crap my sister-in-law, Linda, says…I can hardly stand to talk to her, much less handle her commentary on my child-rearing) see – worked up, just typing about it my heart-rate increases. I get tired of living out of a suitcase and having the kids off-schedule and having people expect me to be “on” 24/7. I have work to do and keep up with. I have a schedule for the kids that flies out the window and when I try to enforce it, I hear “oh, just let them play.”

Do I continue to be the bitch and say, no, I’m the mother and I say, bed –now? Or should I cave so that…so, what? So that someone might like me? They won’t like me b/c I let Cyd stay up 20 more minutes. They definitely don’t respect me for swatting Stroman’s hand for touching something he shouldn’t. But does the world not realize that good kids are made, not born? Wanna know why Brit Spears & her sassy little sister are a mess? She wasn’t disciplined. Ever. Not gonna happen on my watch. These kids might end up being big-ass messes, but not because I was an absent parent.

I digress.

Next Christmas, if it makes your year to watch the kids open gifts and rummage through stockings, you are welcome to get a hotel room in Alpine or wherever we happen to be living and come over around 9 on Christmas morning. I’ll have coffee ready. Probably won’t cook breakfast. If you hang around for dinner, we’ll have whatever I make and I don’t want any help. I love to cook. It’s not a hassle, it is fun. However, you are welcome to do the dishes. RSVP by December 1, 2008.

P.S. I am not an activity coordinator. If you want to find things to do in Alpine, look around and pick something. I’m sure it will be thrilling.

again, we end with pics. stroman, cyd & aunt alex, dad shows stroman the fine art of ripping open packages, cyd & cousin jacee enjoy the dollhouse, stroman & momma