Down Memory Lane...

Every family has their little stories that they laugh about for years and years to come.

I was just talking, tonight, to a friend and one of my family's stories came to mind that I had to share with her. And now you.

It goes back a little more than 10 years to my aunt's house in Kansas. The whole family was in for my cousin's wedding.

My mom and dad were in one room upstairs, sleeping. And my Grandma and Pa were in the other room upstairs, sleeping.

Us kids were all downstairs scattered throughout rooms on couches, in chairs, and on air-mattresses.

We had just settled into one of those long moments of silence when we heard the voice of my Grandpa overhead happily shouting, "YEEEEEE-HAW!"

It was one of those mortifying "Oh my gosh...." moments where you hope that what you're afraid is going on isn't actually what's going on.

Turns out, it wasn't. He was asleep.

But we've laughed about it for years ever since!


My eyebrow is twitching.

Apparently that's a sign of Not-Enough-Sleepitis.

Good news, it's not contagious.

Symptoms include feeling like you're dragging around a 1 tonne weight, your body attempts to reject your eyes (as your eyes certainly wouldn't be trying to open when the body is still so very tired), frequent head-jerk reactions as you realize you're drowsing and snap to as much alertness as you can, drool stains on your shirt, and at least one or more mismatched or forgotten clothing items.

Oh yeah, and that feeling that you've forgotten something (other than aforementioned clothing item) but you just can't make your brain focus enough to remember what.

And the possibility that you'll spend at least part of the day with your keyboard imprinted on the side of your face or forehead.

This is the second time in as many weeks where my eyes refuse to open simply because the alarm is going off. I hear the alarm, the alarm is annoying me, but I cannot move to shut the alarm off.

And thus I hear the voice of Albert Brooks with a line from Finding Nemo in my head.

"I'm dead. I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dying, I'm dead!"

What a way to start a week.

But don't let that statement deceive you into thinking it will be a bad week.

Cause that ain't happening. Good weekends can't help but spawn good weeks. And this week, hopefully, will be sandwiched between two good weekends.

Thus the smile.

And the lazy, twitchy left eye.

But still....the smile.

Dear Me

Dear Face,

You're not 13. You haven't been 13 for more than a few days now. What the heck is up with the breaking out and the oiliness?


Too Old for This

Dear Butt, Waist, Legs, and Metabolism

Face is acting like she's 13 again....feel free to join her.


Softer than I Used to Be

P.S.--who the heck invited Love Handles to join the party! Disinvite!!

Dear Heart,

Though you're not acting completely like you're 13 again (thank goodness), I'm glad you remembered how to do flips and that whole pitter-patter thing.


Young at Heart Again

Dear Life,

Thanks for all the surprises you've been throwing my way.


Blissfully Happy

Holding my Breath

Ty broached a subject yesterday that made me more than a little nervous. Most single moms fear the subjects of Daddies and where he is and does he love them and why is he not there.

Not me.

The blood drained from my face and my palms got all sweaty and my heart stopped in its tracks yesterday when Ty uttered the words, "All my friends have brothers and sisters, but I don't."

This is where I started praying for divine intervention, not only for my words but also so I wouldn't run off the road.

And suddenly the fact that my brother-in-law has taught my nephew to tell my sister "Want baby" is just a little less funny to me. But still funny, it's always a little more funny when it's someone else.


Thank the heavens above he never mentioned or asked for a baby brother or sister.

I don't always think of the best way to word things in situations like that and Baby Boy would have gotten his feelings hurt.

But he let it go. He just sent me into a full-blown panic over what, to him, was just a casual mentioning of a fact.

And I let out a gush of air and resumed breathing again.

Some things Mama might be ready for....but another baby is not currently one of them.

Technologically Dependent

My DVR crashed this morning.

Ty turned it on to watch Disney and it popped up a message that said something to the effect of "Na ne na ne boo boo! I've erased the 50+ hours of DVR'd movies and shows you trusted me to store for you. Just so you know, I did it simply because it makes me feel better. Toodles!"

It was harsh.

I'd DVR'd that new show, The Vampire Diaries, too. I was told I should watch it. So I DVR'd it. But I spent the evening flirting via text instead of watching it. So...I've missed the first two episodes.

Thank goodness the Grey's Season Premiere isn't till next week!

Because I love you.

I spent the last three evenings at my sister's house painting my love for my nephew onto the wall of his room, which is under transformation from a baby room to a Big Boy room.

A big boy pirate room!

Complete now with a pirate ship painted onto the wall that Aunt Shashey certainly wouldn't do for just anyone!!

Only sweet, cute, smiley little boys who greet me with "SHASHEY!! Choo-choo? Choo-choo!!"

I'm surprised I'm not Aunt Choo-choo! Not that I would ever dream of complaining if I were!

So here is where it all started, the pirate ship is projected so I could sketch it out onto the wall.

Due to paint complications and an accidental shift in the projection (after which it was forbidden that anyone step within a certain perimeter of the projector that I had to leave on the floor in order to get the picture right), that's as much as I was able to get done Monday night.

The next night started with the paint going up.

And finished with the ship about 3/4 done.

My sister repainted the letters that were on the wall in his little boy room to match the new decor in Caden's big boy room!

Yesterday after church, Ty and I went back to my sister's house and I finally completed it!!

The room isn't completed yet, so I'll have to post more pictures when it is. My sister is going to do a super-cute Pirate quilt for his room and my dad is working on a bed for him.

Just to let you know that we don't necessarily do things the traditional way....this is the bed he made for Ty for his big boy room.

So expect great things....but I'll leave it to be a surprise!

Everything changes....

I love writing.

I have always loved writing.

I love blogging, too.

For five years I've written in a private diary on an internet site that has become a home for my heart in so many ways. About three years ago I started writing regularly on my MySpace blog, and then last year I started one blog on Blogger that simply mimicked the MySpace blog. Earlier this year I basically abandoned both of those blogs and moved to this one, my public blog, and my still-private diary.

For several months I've kept this blog under the radar in my personal life just because I didn't know what kind of an outlet I would use it for. Sometimes I can get more personal and expressive in my diary site simply because I don't have to worry about people I know taking something and running with it. Small towns generate big talk and that's always a concern for me as I've seen in the past how little things that really don't amount to much can be taken and stretched and skewed into something that they never were to begin with.

So I was wary.

In the months since I've started this blog I have come to reach a comfortable spot where I decided I'd be fine with people I know reading this. I can only think of a few blogs I would have been more reserved on, but there's nothing bad about them. I'm just not usually as open with my feelings and thoughts in a public posting.

But sometimes that openness is a good thing. Sometimes it's suffocating to live under the covers for fear of people knowing what you truly think or feel.

So I've let down my guard and I've allowed a few people I know to know about this blog and the address of it. People I trust. People who love me.

But I'm still trying to find a balance between what I want to post and what I feel comfortable posting.

I've made few vague mentions of The Guy Who Shall Not Be Named (yet, at least) and while we're in that gray zone between mutual feelings of admiration and an actual relationship I don't really know what to write or how to write it. I have a good idea where all of this is heading, but it's all still up in the air, too.

And even still, if or when things develop into something more will he feel about his or our business being on the world wide web? Different people have different feelings on this.

But my writing and my blog have reached the point where it's part of who I am. I don't know if I could differentiate within myself between my online persona and my real-life persona. Why should I have to? Not that it's been expressed in any way that I should. I'd just rather be too cautious of the feelings of others than not cautious enough.

For those of you who have experienced this or already dealt with it, I'm definitely open to hearing about what you did to resolve the conflict of feelings it created in you.

But, in the meantime, bear with me, please, while I test the new ground I feel like I'm stepping out on. While I trust it to hold my's still new and a little scary and exciting at the same time, too.


It's only fitting to title this "Magic". Afterall, I was outed at church on Wednesday night by the youth for having Selena Gomez's remake of "Magic" as my ringtone.

Fortunately it didn't make me too uncool as I blue-toothed it to one of the girls.

But magic seems to be the pattern my brain is following at the moment.

Except I know that things really aren't magic. As a Christian I know what "magic" really is, but it's still a fun concept.

Friday was an absolutely magical day for me.

I'm sure you've all read this by now and discovered one of the primary sources of my excitement. If you haven't, you must!

Another source of jittery smiles came that evening in the form of a conversation where I was happy to find I smiled at the knowledge that, finally, I could know that a guy likes me and not want to run or hide or find a million little faults or reasons why things would never work with him.

That's my defense mechanism.

One of several, actually.

First is the one where I keep everything absolutely to myself.

Because most guys don't stick around, or haven't in the past at least. So the fewer people that know I'm even talking to anyone, the fewer the people know of my disappointment or share in it with me.

Second is the one where I downplay everything. Because then if things go downhill, my disappointment can be made to seem less than it actually is.

Third is the way I keep a watchful eye out for any faults that give me reason to turn tail and run before he does, because--historically speaking--the guys always find a reason to run.

Which had me wondering for a while what was wrong with me. But (and I'm not saying this to make myself feel better, if you know this you know I'm saying this because it's the truth) it turned out to be more of a case of "what's wrong with him!". Because I'm a rockstar, I'm told.

So I had a little magic Friday night in that I'm learning and growing beyond the knee-jerk reactions I've allowed of myself in the past.

Saturday was even more magic because Ty had a birthday party he went to where there was a magician! And he was great! His attitude and demeanor and the way he interacted with the kids was wonderful! I think the adults enjoyed his silliness as much as the kids enjoyed his slight-of-hand!

So my weekend was magical. And I'm hoping it will carrying on into the coming week.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my blogger friend, Canadian Bald Guy, whose weekend seems to have been pretty magical as well (His girlfriend, Momma Sunshine, threw him his first surprise party ever!)! You two inspire me to continue believing in fairy tales and happily ever after!

Pigs with wings..

So, I'm sitting at my computer right now and I'm trying not to cry.

A good cry.

A giddy, thrilled, happy cry.

This day has just been the medicine I needed.

Monday was awesome. Monday, I can't complain about.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, however.

They kinda stank.

I've been in an emotional rut this week and I just kinda reached a place where things felt stagnant. I hate waiting and that seems to be the loop I'm stuck in the past few years.

I also got a really bad phone call last night that blindsided me and resulted in the official, long-overdue termination of a friendship. So it's been more of a challenge to get my smile and my heart to where I needed it to be today.

Let's skip forward to the source of the happiness...
For those of you who have been around since the conception of this might remember this post.

In it, I talked about this little piggy ring called Fern.

You see, I've come to really and truly wonder if me finding The Man I'm going to marry is going to happen before or after pigs fly. That's been my thing for a couple of years now.

But while wish-listing one day, I came across another ring and knew instantly that I wanted to wear that ring on my wedding day because it just fit where my heart is right now about love and finding a good guy.

So I decided that he, whoever he turns out to be, would have to buy me this ring as a promise ring. If he buy me this ring just to see how it would make me smile....yeah, that's the kind of guy I dream about.

Well, Emitations (the site that sells this ring) read my blog and actually blogged about me blogging about their ring (which of course, I had to blog about their blogging about me blogging about their ring).

I subscribed to their blog and read it regularly. A few weeks back they blogged about their cocktail rings, asking which one you like the most and why.

So of course, I had to chime-in in favor of my favorite little piggy.

Fern is and always will be my favorite!!

She (in complete honesty) has given me SO much hope! After a broken engagement and a string of bad relationships or relationship attempts, I found myself thinking “When pigs fly” as far as love was concerned. I became slightly bitter and very jaded as far as love, dating, and everything related to those two went.

And then two years ago maybe…maybe a little less than that…I found and was looking at all the jewelery that I’d love to own someday and there was Fern.

And the thought came into my head that I would wear that ring on my wedding day. Not as my wedding ring, but as my right-hand ring. As my symbol that sometimes the impossible is really possible after all.

So Fern completely changed my view of love. I went from thinking “that guy doesn’t exist” to thinking “he’ll buy me that ring…..he’ll love me so much that he’ll take joy in buying me a silly little piggy ring just to see me light up”.

I’m sure if you were to really analyze it, Fern didn’t really DO all of this for me, but she was the trigger that got the ball rolling. She was exactly what I needed at exactly that time to convince me that love is real and that it will happen at the right time and the right place and with the right guy.

So I want Fern for my own someday, whether a guy buys her for me or not, because I know that someday my version of pigs flying is going to happen, and until then, she’ll give me hope. And after they fly? She’ll become something of a celebrity in our house as I’ll be more than glad to tell my kids and my kids kids and on down the line what Fern is and what she stands for!

Wellllll.....Fern will be joining the family.

Courtesy of Emitations.

And the timing of it couldn't be more perfect. I needed an extra nudge, an extra source of hope to remind me that someday....someday the wait will be worth it.

Fern has given me hope before. She renews that hope today.

Thank you, Emitations. I'm sure you expected I'd be thrilled, I doubt you realized you'd be a much-needed blessing.

Giveaway: Winners!

Just to make an randomly selected for the Business Card giveaway announced on September 2nd are:

Warren Baldwin

I have Warren's email address, so Cat, if you will, get me your email address and both of you can expect an email from shortly with details and a coupon code on how to get your free business cards!!


My Home Sweet Home

Tomorrow at lunch time I will sing "God Bless America".

I will have these waves of excitement and nerves in my stomach as I wait my turn at the microphone. I will hear the words spoken and the prayers said, but in my head I'll also be making mental notes, ticking off songs and speakers until I finish the prayer service with such a powerful anthem of patriotism and faith.
And it's such a simple song with simple words.

God bless America, land that I love!
Stand beside Her and guide Her through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains to the valleys to the oceans white with foam,
God bless America, my home sweet home!
Tomorrow our community is hosting Cry Out America on the lawn of our local courthouse. We're doing this in remembrance of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, but also to pray for a Christ-awakening in our communities, churches, and our nations.

Check your communities out....see if your local area is hosting a service tomorrow.

It's one hour.

From noon to 1 p.m.

One hour.

It's free.

But you'll leave with more than you realize.

Lover of my Soul

Today was not the best day of my life. Today wasn't even the second best day of my life. Today wouldn't really even fit into the "best" category of the days of my life. It was difficult and challenging and so very tiring. It very well may have spawned the best realization of my life, though.

Last night I had two dreams that have weighed very heavily on me all day today. My dreams are almost always extremely vivid and last night one of them was so very gruesome and heart-wrenching that I've carried the pain and the stress and the emotional fallout of it with me all day long. Because it was so real that it was difficult to realize that it wasn't even real at all.

My day didn't even get started well and two different drivers almost sent me into cardiac arrest within minutes and miles of each other. Thank the stars for good brakes. I will never again complain about the insane amounts of black brake dust that coat my front wheels ever again.

I got to work and first thing this morning the network freaked out on me just as I went to check my messages. The one good and shining part of my morning, sharing videos of Ty's soccer tryouts with a friend, was interrupted in a less-than-polite fashion dousing the smile of pride that had spread across my face.

And from there the list could go on and on of all the reasons why today will not be remembered as any great or wonderful day.

My day did pick up this evening when I went to church. On Wednesday nights I sit in with the youth group. Though I serve no apparent functional purpose most of the time, I sit in with them and I hope that at least the teens will know that I'm there. There's no denying that I've been there and done that with some of the temptations they're facing and decisions they're making. I'm on the other side of all of that now and I have a much better understanding of why God and our parents want us to conduct ourselves the way they do. It is not simply because they want to restrict our fun. It's because life is so complex as it is....doing wrong things or even doing the right things at the wrong time and in the wrong way only complicates things more and makes life harder. That's not what our parents want for us and that's not what God wants for us.

Back to the point.

So I go to church and I'm sitting in with the youth and the lesson tonight is on dating.

Christian Dating.

Which, of course, peaked my interest because there's a guy I'd definitely be interested in dating on a more regular basis if things work out that way.

So I'm thinking this is a good lesson to brush up on.

Except our youth director didn't exactly hit all the same old points.

Where I was expecting to nod my head in agreement, I found myself thinking "Ouch!" as my toes got figuratively stepped on.

Especially when Matthew 10:37 was mentioned where Jesus says, "The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of Me." Now, it wasn't exactly this verse that lead to the sore toes but the fact that I realized how much focus and thought I put on relationships or relationship potentials or even hopes for a relationship when there is no relationship potential in sight. It's something I want. To quote the song, I love love. I love being in love.

And it dawned on many times a day do I think of Ty? How many times a day have I thought about the current crush? How many times a day have I thought about just my future relationship hopes and goals for the future?

And then on the other side of many times a day do I pray? How many times a day do I thank God and praise God and bless God? How many times a day do I even speak about God and all the great and wonderful things He's done?


And the youth director said, "Don't make who you're dating bigger than God. Don't put them before your relationship with God."

I was mulling over that thought tonight as I laid in bed.

My mind goes towards the current crush because he's physically present in my life. He texts me, he makes me smile. I may not be able to physically see him at any given moment, but I know I could see him if I wanted and I have recent memories of having spent time with him.

And there's some anxiety and insecurity there on my part right now because I don't know where things stand or where things are going or what he feels or thinks or wants. He could vanish on me as easily tonight as happened six or seven months ago. And don't think that doesn't cross my mind. I'm human. I'm emotional. Occasionally insecurity and anxiety are emotions I deal with.

Ty, however, I don't have those emotions with him. I think of him constantly and continually because I love him and I adore him and he makes my heart so full of joy and pride and happiness. He comes to me and hugs me and tells me he loves me. I think of him all the time because he's there all the time. Because he's always doing something thoughtful to show me he loves me.

But so does God.

I've let myself get so wrapped up these relationships or potential relationships that I let them come before the relationship that truly matters.....the relationship that makes all my other relationships possible.

I don't even pay attention to the messages God sends me. I see the car that pulls out in front of me and slam on my brakes, sending my purse and everything in it flying into the passenger floorboard and I'm mad at the car for inconveniencing me instead of thanking God for protecting me and stopping my vehicle.

Minutes later the car in front of me screeches to a halt and everything that wasn't already in the floorboard makes a breathtakingly fast trip to join all the other items in my car. Again, I fume and mentally scream at the person in the car in front of me who--in my mind--instantly falls into that "Stupid People" category.

I don't, again, thank God for my protection and pray that He helps them with whatever they're dealing with to make them so erratic. I don't even pray for the other drivers that their recklessness is endangering.

I don't even think of God at all.

I go to work and the lack of smile and cheer in my voice seems to cue everyone into the fact that Ashley's having a bad day.

In spite of that, one of the inmates braves his way up to my office and offers to get me a cup of coffee if I don't already have one. I thank him for the thought (as I already had my cup), but I don't thank God for the thoughtfulness He gave this man.

Almost every phone call I got today was started with someone genuinely asking how I'm doing. Several of them asked after my health to make sure I was over my sickness from late July and a few asked about Ty and his tonsillitis he had a few weeks back. I thank them for their thoughts and concern but I don't thank The One who put that love and concern in their hearts and minds.

I spend my day texting a man because his messages make me smile.

I spend a day not even realizing all the messages and blessings my God sends me that makes me smile.

I spend a day wondering what this man is thinking.....wondering what will come of whatever is going on with me and him.

I spend a day not even appreciating that I never have to wonder that about God.

I spend a day thinking that no matter what happens with the guy....I'm glad we're getting to hang out and get to know each other now.

I spend a day without even appreciating or acknowledging that I never have to think about God ever not being there.

I spend a day thanking my son for each little I Love You and all the sweet things he does for me.....drawing me a picture, opening my car door for me, picking up his clothes.....and yet no Thank You is said to The One who gave me another day....a roof over my head, a son to enjoy, a guy that makes me smile for whatever period of time he's meant to be in my life, friends that love me....the list goes on and on of all the things He does for me.

And what thanks have I given? What praise have I sang?

What a fool have I become...

Insider Edition

My day started out pretty bad.

::wrinkles nose::

I had bad dreams all night and they were so vivid that I'm having a hard time really making myself understand they weren't actually real.

But it's thrown me all out of whack.

So has the lack or organization in my kitchen, too. I hope to fix that tonight.

But something else that threw me off this morning was my laundry room.

I tried those new Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry sheets when they first came out a few months back. (Read about it here if you like). So I tried them and I loved them! Particularly the Pure & Clean scent that I tried.

Well, our little Walmart here locally has this habit of carrying a product long enough for me to try it and like it and then they never carry it again.

So, after I used up my first 3 boxes of laundry sheets, I go to buy some more and guess what?


I wasn't in the position to wait until I could go get some more so I fell back on Gain tropical scent I'd previously used. Meanwhile, I'd stock up on more of the Purex Pure & Clean and return to it after using the Gain up.

And I've returned to the same problem I had before I used the Purex sheets in the first place.

I smell my laundry and it just doesn't smell clean. Have you ever forgotten a load in the washer and found it a day later and it smelled soured?

That's the smell I smelled today.

Except the load of clothes went directly from the washer to the dryer as soon as the washer stopped spinning.

But they still smell like the little boy sweat that was on them when they went into the washer.

I had this problem for weeks before switching to Purex and then it suddenly vanished. Now I'm temporarily back to my other detergent and the problem resurfaces.

So I decided this morning that it's not me, it's not my washer, it's not the's the detergent. It's just not doing what I need it to. If the load consists only of my clothes, it's no problem. But half of my laundry is my son's clothes and it doesn't do the job on his.

But that was just something that occurred to me this morning. No real reason to blog on it, right? Laundry doesn't always equate to blogworthy.

So I went home at lunch and pulled another load out of the dryer with the same problem.

And tossed them right back into the washer.

Hopefully the dollar stores might have my Purex Laundry sheets since Walmart doesn't.

Then I came back to work to find that I've been selected as a Purex Insider.



And perhaps a sign.

But of all the days to get that email....maybe it's kismet.

Want to try Purex Complete 3-in-1 sheets yourself? Go here for a coupon. I recommended them even before they asked me to. And I'll continue to recommend them because they do what my other detergent wasn't doing and it doesn't leave a mess of powder or soapy drips behind that I have to clean up.

Kicking it up a notch....

I registered Ty for soccer today.

"Tryouts" are tonight.

I'm not sure what they mean by 'tryouts' as 4-year-olds surely can't be expected to be of 'tryout' material.


Stranger things have happened.

So my weekend was slow and lazy and peaceful. My Monday was wonderful.

And my

Let's just go back to Monday, shall we?

Never thought I'd ever type those words.

Expect pictures and/or video tomorrow though. I'm certain I'll snap a million of them tonight of my future soccer star!

Make a Mistake With Me

I'm a country girl.

It's a fault to many of you, I'm sure, but that's okay. I love me and you love me inspite of it.

But the good thing that comes from being a country girl?

My fabulous taste in country music!

(Hey! I saw you rolling your eyes, missy!)

But seriously, not all country music is as bad as it's far-and-wide proclaimed to be.

One of my favorite country artists is Brad Paisley, who stays truer to country roots and styles than most other artists in the genre.

And today I have one of his songs stuck in my head.

Not for any real reason other than I've come to suspect that the universe might be trying to tell me something.

Cause the words going through my head are,

"You overthink things, you say what if we're not meant to be...well you know what? So what! Make a mistake with me!

Nobody goes through this life and does everything perfectly. We're all gonna fail, so you might as well make a mistake with me!

Sometimes, baby, when we take a chance that has this much at stake, we look back and in hindsight what seems wrong looks more like right.

So I say worst case we'll be left with lots of good memories! This chance we have, well it's worth that, make a mistake with me!

I'm telling you, the right thing to do is make a mistake--make a mistake--make a mistake with me!"
I think this is all stemming from a conversation I had last night with my inmate friend. I have no life, so I went to work at 9:30 pm to get a file off my computer and then hung around upstairs painting and just letting my mind mellow out.

One of the guys at the facility (we'll call him T), who has actually become a good friend and confidant over the past six years, saw me and came and sat with me for the two hours I was there. All the while my phone is going off with text messages.

He then started to pick at me because apparently I'd get this certain, silly look that indicated clearly to him who I was texting.

And the girl-talk ensued. I told him he missed his calling as a gay-guy because he definitely had the girl-talk, guy interest interrogation down pat.

And he's completely all for this guy. Which is the first and only guy in my friendship with T that he hasn't immediately stuffed into a category of loser or jerk or simply not-for-me. So he's really telling me that I need to open up and give this guy a chance.

Which I plan to.

I'd forever kick myself and regret it if I let my past experiences with bad guys keep me from checking out the potential with this really good guy.

And so far I'm proud that I've not built any walls around myself with this guy. But I still keep getting these urges to guard myself, to watch my words, to smile a little less, to resist getting excited and giddy like every girl should get when there's a new guy in the picture that makes her smile and treats her like she's important and special and valuable.

And T called me on it. Because he'd only been seeing glimpses of smiles and excitement when he said I should be allowing myself to get all-out girly if I wanted.

But, while the walls aren't there right now, the foundations where they were are still intact. And I think ready to spring up at any moment. And I don't know how to override that.

Because in the last five years only one guy I was really serious about wanted to stick around. And eventually he turned and walked away, too. Sure, he regretted it. But it doesn't change the hurt I felt when he walked away.

So I'm used to thinking "He could be someone I could eventually give my heart to" only to have a guy turn around and say "Don't bother, I wouldn't want it."

But I can't let my past predict my future because life is full of all the best kinds of surprises. And because there's no sense in holding out for a fairy-tale prince if I never give any guys to be exactly that.

So I'm in the mindset of that song. Or trying to be, at least.

Because, worst case, there's a lesson to always be learned and memories to be made and cherished.

In the meantime, there's a little boy who wants to write his Christmas List of Thomas the Train Engines he still needs for Santa. Guess we're getting an early start on things this year!

Take a Chance

Over the past few years I've been trying to make myself step outside of the box. I hate that saying because it's so overused sometimes, but that's the only way I know how to describe it.

I've learned not to live in my own self-prescribed confines. Sure, I am who I am, but that doesn't mean I can't change things up once in a while.

Sometimes good things come from little risks.

You'd laugh if you knew that this whole train of thought was brought on by black and grey argyle knee socks, which I wore to work today.

I saw them and wanted to wear them but didn't feel like wearing slacks, so I threw on some black shorts, a black tank and a green striped v-neck tee and pulled my hair back in a spikey bun.

And voila.

I'm outside of the box.

It's definitely a change up from my favorite ivory brocade Jackie-O style dress and ivory T-pumps. But it's fun. It's unexpected.

And so far it's well received! No negative comment has been made (yet, at least, I have one coworker that I know I can depend on for that, though). Everyone has made comments on how cute I look, I even had one coworker (a 75-year-old man) who called down to tell me that he likes my outfit today!

And I almost didn't wear it because I let the fact that one person would make an ugly comment stop me from receiving the happiness and pride of everyone else's nice comments!

Why is that? Why do we let one little, tiny negative thing cancel out the potential for a whole lot of positive?

So I've been trying to step out and take chances and change things up a bit. Even if I look or act silly, I'm having fun!

And you never know, you might inspire someone else to step outside of their comfort zone, too.

Life as it should be.

I love my life!

I'm all ooey-gooey and smiley this morning for a million reasons.

Mostly my little boy.

Because he's just been so full of quirks and cuteness the past week.

Yesterday he told me, "Mama, I certainly am hungry!"

And when we were leaving church and I caught him watching and smiling at his little girlfriend, I asked him if Kendall was a cutie and he said "Kendall's a sweetheart!"

Say it with me now, "Awww!"

And I love our new routine with school. I dislike getting up at 6, but I like that I have time to shower or bathe, read a few messages on the computer, and get all my hair styling devices plugged in and heated up before I wake him, get him in the tub and go start his breakfast.

I really thought I was not going to like this new routine because I like my mornings simple, but I love, love, love getting up and cooking my boy his eggs and bacon and doing some dishes and laundry before I go get myself ready for the day.

I feel more productive that way.

Speaking of mom and sister are professional photographers and we're working on redoing their website plus I'm adding a blog for them to use to announce things and share pictures and such.

The website is basically a skeleton of what it will be. It's a main page to enter through and then a construction page of what it will look like.

But check it out if you will and check out the blog, too and give me some feedback, I've only set up blogs through blogger and MySpace and such, being relatively new to this world, so it was a shock to me to see that instead of having one page with one centralized code to change things....I might have to change 5 different files to get the desired effect I wanted.

Sooooo, I'm still tweaking and playing with the whole look, but please feel free to go look and give me some feedback on it!

That's about it for now, I'm heading back upstairs to paint some more on the wall-logo!

Down to business....

Guess what?

It's that time again! has offered me another giveaway to my readers!! And as excited as I was before about the 16x20 Rolled Canvas Print, I'm really excited about this new giveaway because it's something I can both enjoy and use!

There are so many times that I run into someone that asks for my cell number or my email address or my website, and what do I do then? Well, since I don't ever remember to put a notepad in my purse, I have to pull out a business card from work that's all black and white and kinda dull all over and write the information they requested on it.

Which is why I'm totally all for this giveaway!! is offering five-hundred business cards to me and two of my readers! That's right! Last time it was one reader, but this time two readers will get free business cards!

Plus they promise not to follow suite of other business card sites who print their logo on the backs of their 'free' cards. These cards will be you and only you!

And the winners don't just get 500 free cards of limited options, colors, or designs.

That's not how does thing.

They'll get to choose between 14pt cardstock (matte or gloss) or a 13pt uncoated cardstock. And for color, they can get color on both sides, color on one side and a black and white backside, or color on one side and a blank backside. And as far as sizes, the winners will have their choice from three different business card sizes, 2"x3.5", 2"x3", or 2"x2".

I'm leaning towards the 2"x2" for myself because it's unique and separates itself from all the other cards.

If you want to stand out, that's a good way to do it!

If you really want to stand out....check out their die cut business cards!

While I'm at it, let me say that I'm not just talking up because they're offering me business cards, I'm bragging on them because I've ordered items through them for my work and was so very pleased with the products I got.

I recently ordered some door-hangers for the office and couldn't be more pleased with them, plus the process was extremely simple.

I created the design I wanted and uploaded the image. They offer a free proof of the product (if you want it), which I selected. The resolution of the image I sent wasn't within the range of resolution they thought would give me the best results, so they called me up, told me what to do, and we got the ball rolling! I uploaded a new file and they sent me a link for the proof. Just a few days later we I got the door-hangers in the mail and couldn't be happier with how great they look!

SO, this is not me as a blogger talking, this is me as a customer talking.

Now, all you have to do to win these business cards is leave me a comment telling me what you would do with your business cards if you won.

On September 11, 2009 I will randomly select the winners and send their name and email address to who will then email the winners instructions and a coupon code to use to get their business cards for free.

That's it!

So get to it!

Oh, and just so you isn't just giving to us....they're doing their best to take as little from the planet as possible.

How great is that!

*The only catch is that the winners will have to pay shipping on the cards, but the shipping rates are very reasonable and definitely worth it for the quality you'll get! If you want to know how much shipping will cost before you enter, you can go to their site and enter a shipping zip code and see how much it will cost.*