Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trying To See The Future

This past summer, I did something a little out of the ordinary. And actually, it turned out to be something extraordinary for me. The reason I did it was for fun, and also because I’d always wanted to do it. But until this particular summer day, I had never had the courage. Or maybe the opportunity never arose for me. Who knows? Probably the psychic I saw…

Yes! I admit it! I saw a psychic, and it was an experience I will never forget! And it opened my mind up to a whole new realm of thinking.

I know, I know! I’m a Catholic, and I shouldn’t be doing things like that. Before you judge me, let me tell you how it all unfolded…

So it happened at a rodeo, one that had a fair with it. And there were actually two psychics at this venue - they were set up right across from one another. They each had their own booth with their own paraphernalia displayed. The one I ended up going to also happened to be sitting right next to the toy booth. I was waiting for Brady and Britt to get done looking at the toy guns – Brailey wasn’t with me, because she was spending the day with her teacher, who lives near the town we were in. So anyway, the psychic saw me looking at her booth, and she invited me to come in for a reading. I said, “No, I can’t. I’m Catholic.” And she said, “So am I.” I have to say, this did take me by surprise. So then I got honest, and I said, “Well, I’m too scared.” And she said, “No, no, no – there’s nothing to be scared of. You have really good energy around you, a LOT of positive energy, and I see good things happening for you.” This, of course, intrigued me. She went on to say that my husband did as well. She said, “The two of you really have a lot of energy, but it’s all positive, so don’t worry.” I told her I would think about it.

I did think about it. Brady encouraged me to do it, and I figured, why not? It was something I’d always wanted to do, and it would be fun. So later on, when I had Brailey back with me, she and I went to the psychic, and the psychic did a reading for me. Britt stayed with Brady, so it was just Brailey and I. And it was way cool!

I won’t go into all the details of what she said, but I will share a couple of things with you. One of the first things she talked about was Brady - she told me he is my soul mate. This made me feel good, because I have always said and felt this about him. We just celebrated our ten year anniversary  – albeit our celebration was at Britt’s end-of-year football party, but still, we made it! We’ve been together for eleven years, now, married for ten.

The other thing she talked about was my career. She said, “Hmmmm, what is going on with your career? You’re very unhappy with your work right now… But that’s changing. You’re going to be doing something new that’s in the same line of work, but different, and you’re going to be very happy with it.” Well, guess what? I was unhappy with my work, and my job has changed in the past month, and things are going great! It is, like she said it would be, the same, but different! And I am feeling much happier with my new work life.

There were other amazing things she told me, which are too personal to share, and I try to keep what she said in perspective, because, after all, I am a Catholic girl. I have to say, though, it was a wonderful experience for me, and sometimes I think about doing it again. And I do feel like my mind is much more open to the spiritual world. So, who knows if I'll ever do it again or what the future holds? Besides God and Jesus and a few psychics, that is…

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 4 B's Style

It’s been said that I am one who needs a lot of attention… In all reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I try to live my life incognito as much as possible, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that the person who said this is the one who needs a lot of attention. In any case, it is all water under the bridge, right? The reason I am bringing it up again is because I want to point out something I don’t need a lot of attention for – cooking.

I am happy to give the glory of cooking to the ones who truly enjoy doing it. Thankfully, my family doesn’t hold this against me, and we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner without a bird. Instead? We had pork chops, which Brady barbecued to perfection, and I fixed several side dishes to go with them. It was a perfect feast for The 4 B’s! However, I can see that my kids are getting to the age where they are going to start appreciating a bigger, more traditional feast.

The reason Brady and I decided on pork this year is because we didn’t want to waste a big old turkey on the four of us. We didn’t have any family to share the vittles with this year, and so we decided to save it for a time when we do have people to enjoy it. To be honest, we were thrilled to have a low-key day at home with just our little family. We have been so busy this past summer and fall and we are on the road so often, it is truly a luxury for us to stay at home and chill. On the rare occasion when we are at home, we rarely chill. We are always busy doing something. If I’m being totally honest, we didn’t even spend all day Thanksgiving Day relaxing. But for us? It was as close as we could get. We had planned on going to a movie, today, but Brailey came down with an ear infection, a sore spine and a rash on her tummy and back that look suspiciously like strep throat a couple of days ago, and so she is on antibiotics and has been ordered by her doctor to lay low.

Ironically, we watched a show called Swampsgiving. It showcases the families from Swamp People catching their Thanksgiving meals and then preparing them. Guess what they had? One family ate a wild hog, one family had rabbit and turtle stew with potato salad, one family had two wild turkeys with a million different side dishes, and family one had a rare fish called "gar" and frog legs. So I guess our little deviation from tradition wasn’t such a novel idea after all. What can we say? A feast is a feast, no matter what it is.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fictional Characters I'd Like to Have Lunch With

My friend Kristin turned me on to her sister's blog, (melissablanco.com) and her post about having lunch with a fictional character. I've never thought about his before, so it is requiring some deep on-the-spot thinking... I usually think of celebrities, to be honest, and there are a million famous folks I'd love to have lunch with. Maybe I'll save that for my next post. In the meantime...

Captain Jack Sparrow. And Captain Barbossa, too. I'd love to hear about all their fascinating pirate adventures! I would ply them with lots of rum and good food and draw out every secret I could possibly get. Then I would share their stories with my own pirate, Captain Brittster Man.

Daffy Duck. The new one, that is. I love how self-absorbed he is and how much he has in common with so many people in the world today. Everything he says makes me laugh, so it would be great to have lunch with someone who would keep me in stitches the entire time.

Hannah Montana, A.K.A. Miley Stewart. And her dad, Robbie Ray Stewart. Yah! I still like her! I would love to sit and talk with her about the pressures of being famous and yet incognito and how she picks out all those rockin' outfits. And I would definitely bring my own rock star daughter along for the lunch, too. I love how they were grounded and famous at the same time in the show, and I love their father/daughter relationship. That show made me cry more than once!

Peter from Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes, my most favorite Jodi Picoult book. I've always had a soft spot for the underdog and picked upon kids in the world, and I would let him know he's okay and that life will  get better for him down the road if he just hangs in there a little longer...

Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, because I love her hair and her sense of fashion and her New York lifestyle, which is so different from my own background. Plus, she's a writer and she MADE IT! I would ask her all about Big and Aiden and try to talk her in to having a kid, because I think the woman needs to be a mother. It would be good for her!

Samantha from Bewitched. I would ask her all about being a good witch and her spells and if one can  become a good witch, and if not if she could help me cast some spells...

Now it's your turn - what fictional characters would you like to have lunch with?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Facebook Reactivated

Well, I did it. I'm "back on!" Facebook, that is... Can you believe it? I didn't see this day coming until my kids got their own accounts -  in the way-far-far-FAR distant future (damn sure after they are 13 - more like 15 or 16, if I can help it). Alas! Here I am, back in the land of Facebook!

Man, it has gone through some changes since I was last on! All good changes, though. It took me a good six months to actually come to terms with the idea of getting back on Facebook. What really helped my decision was having to be on Facebook for my job, which was, believe it or not, a big step for me. I was surprised with how little I cared - I didn't jump back into my unhealthy habits of looking for this and that and the other. Believe it or not, I didn't even care! And so far, I still don't. And THAT, my friends, is how I know I'm in a much healthier place today than I was before. So YAY ME!

You might be wondering why I make such a big deal out of Facebook and what all the drama and fuss is about... While I can't go into the details, I can tell you that when I look back on the situation, it is clear to me that I was bullied. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Facebook can be used as a weapon. And this is what happened to me. I'm not trying to play the victim or to feel sorry for myself - those days are over. However, what happened to me was devastating at the time, and there are still repercussions today from the whole mess. Most importantly, though, I learned a big lesson, and it helped me grow, so believe it or not, I'm actually grateful for the entire experience. I'm a better person today because of it.

I can see how kids all over the world are killing themselves over the bullying they are forced to endure on Facebook and through social media in general - I wasn't to that point, myself, but it was absolutely devastating to be treated with such malice. My biggest fear today is for my children, and if I could keep them off the Internet and Facebook and cell phones forever, I would... It is far too easy for people to use social media as a weapon, and as a mother, of course I never want that to happen to my little B's.

In any case, I'm grateful to everyone who has "friended" me, and I'm excited to learn that I don't feel the same way I did. Which means I've grown! And that means I'm healthier! And that means I'm making progress. So YAY ME again! And HELLO, FACEBOOK WORLD - it's good to see you again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aut-zen Stad-i-um! Aut-zen Stad-i-um! (Written In Chant)

Oh yes! Saturday found us at the world famous (one of Brady's favorite phrases) Autzen Stadium, bright and early in the morning! 6:50 AM bright and early, as a matter of fact. But guess what? The weather was perfect - it wasn't unbearably cold and it didn't rain. What more could we ask for? The boys had a great time playing their final game, and they were thrilled with the Pop Warner Football medals they received afterwards. And the parents were thrilled to hear their boy's names called on the loudspeaker as they ran from the tunnel onto the field. It was super  cool!
Hanging outside the gates before the game.
Look at my Mama's Boy, smiling at his mother with her camera...
 Their coach said, "Goofy Smile!" Our boys were the CUTEST, of course! (Hey - my blog, remember?)
Brady got to be part of the "Chain Gang," and so he was down on the field with Britt. As you can see, he took his job very seriously. So cute!
 After the game with their medals. So proud!
 Little Mama and her superstar Mama's Boy!
 Big Mama and her sweet Mama's Boy!
Head Coach Jeremy with the two Mama's Boys, who were, by the way, the absolute BEST LISTENERS on the team. OH yah!

 Final poses from Brittster Man.

 And NOW, we are on to VOLLEYBALL! YAY BRAILEY SHAYE! She has been pretty darn sick, and she was still puny on this day, but she rallied and made it through her two games in the afternoon. This after getting up BEFORE the crack of dawn to attend her brother's game at Autzen. She only had one practice going into these games, but by the end of the second game, she had her "bump on." She did great!

Britt with his teammate Isaac, who is also the brother of one of Brailey's teammates. They were thrilled with themselves!
And this is Britt's Yosemite Sam turkey we decorated for his class project. What do you think? Does it look like "Sippity Sam" to you?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day 11.11.11

Words cannot even begin to express the amount of gratitude I feel for our Veteran's... My dad served in Vietnam, and it is only recently that he has felt comfortable enough to tell us some of the stories from his time spent in the hell of his station there. He is the only surviving member of his platoon - his supervisor noticed my dad was sitting down a lot on one of his watches, and knowing that my dad never sat down and was always on the move, the Sergeant or Major or whatever he was had my dad checked out by the medics. Turns out he had malaria, and consequently he was sent home. That same day, his entire platoon was killed, including that wonderful boss that had noticed my dad was ill. Yes, all of them. And my dad would have been killed right along with them, had he not come down with malaria and had he not had that guardian angel watching over him. Thanks to that man, I'm here today, along with my own babies.

I know my dad is haunted by what he went through in Vietnam. I can't even imagine the horror of what he saw and lived through. Yet my dad is a rare success - it is a miracle he isn't an alcoholic or drug addict, which is sadly what happens to so many of our Veterans as they try to hide from that emotional pain. My dad could have easily fallen into those traps of despair, but thankfully, he didn't. He's been married for over 40 years to the same woman (my beloved mother, of course), he provided and raised for his family (two kids, me being the oldest), and he was able to push all those memories out of his head and live his life as a cattle rancher. What my dad did do was become a workaholic, which he still is today. So really, he succumbed to the same disease, but a different "drug of choice." For my dad, work is his comfort.

And now, my dad has prostate cancer. We found out about three weeks ago. Thankfully, they caught it early, and his chances of recovery and survival are really good. As far as cancers go, prostate cancer is apparently one of the better ones to have, whatever that means... He is like all the Vietnam Veterans who were exposed to that awful Agent Orange. I guess almost every single Vietnam Veteran has some form of cancer from this awful chemical. And I've heard all our Desert Storm troops are dealing with the same thing, because Saddam Hussein sprayed them with the same chemical. What a horrible act of evil...!

In any case, I am so proud of my dad for what he's done with his life, for what he's been through and for how he's survived. He's always been the underdog, and he's always done his best. Thanks to him, I have a college degree - he took an enormous amount of pride in paying for every cent of my higher education. So I dedicate this blog post to my dad, who has always been there for me and who is the greatest example of a survivor I know. He likes to make fun of himself and say he was always "the angel of the family." Yes, he was a classic middle child and more rowdy than he perhaps should have been. Truth be told, though, he was an angel to countless Americans, and to his family, as well. My dad and every single Veteran is an angel, and I hope they can somehow find the appreciation they so deserve for everything they've done for America, the greatest nation on God's green earth.

Happy Veteran's Day, 11.11.11, Dad. Thanks for everything you've done for me and for our great nation. I love you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sheldon Eagles Mitey Mite Bowl Game 2011

I asked the boys to give me a "mean" look, and this is what they gave me...
Then I asked them to put their helmets together, thinking I would get a nice cheek-to-cheek shot, and THIS is what they gave me...
The entire team got to run through this awesome sign the coach's wife made and bust it wide open - great fun!
Little Mama with her girlies...
 Big Daddy with his girlies (minus me, since I took the picture)...
 Coach Dad and Coach Uncle Brian with his boys...
The two nicest Mitey Mite boys on the team...
And my handsome boy, trying to smile through the pain. I didn't realize he had been injured in the last play of the game... He has a huge goose-egg and missing skin from his shin bone. He tried so hard not to cry (unlike some of the other boys on this team who were total crybabies all season long!). I let him take a nice, hot bath with Epsom salt when we got home, and that seemed to take most of the soreness right out. They didn't win their game, but they still got these super cool medals, and now Britt is ready for another season - just so he can earn another medal! It was an early morning game, but we totally lucked out on the weather and didn't even get so much as a drop of rain on our heads. Next weekend? We head to the famous Autzen Stadium for our last game! And guess what else starts this week? Volleyball!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Big Barn Sale Details

{Big Barn Sale{

Saturday – December 3rd

Featuring TONS of AFFORDABLE MERCHANDISE, including…

    {New and Used Tack – Clothes – Boots – Plants  Blankets – Jewelry - Knitted Scarves/Hats/Glovies

Western Home Décor – Christmas – And much, much more!

    {Pet and/or brush a live horse!

    {The first 50 people get an autographed picture of Oregon’s very own PBR superstar, Cody Ford!

    {Enjoy a nice cup of FREE coffee and a treat while you shop for Christmas gifts or splurge on yourself!

    {Don’t miss out – there will definitely be something fun for everyone. This is a BIG, FUN, COOL SALE!



¾Time: 8:00AM – 4:00 PM º

Date: Saturday, December 3rd - The First Saturday in December

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NOT "The Best Halloween Ever" Like Last Year, But Good Enough

No, it wasn't the best Halloween ever, like last year, but it was still okay. We've just been too busy, this year, and it seems like the more we try to slow things down, the faster they go! We were late with everything this year, from getting our costumes to carving our pumpkins to getting out the door to trick-or-treat. And sadly, Britt came down with a fever and chills an hour before we left for trick-or-treating. But we persevered, and we still had a great time going to the different houses (one man lost his hand - he said "they cut it off!" and another funny guy offered them carrots OR candy - can you guess what they chose?). The weather was perfect, so that was a major plus, and we got some really delicious candy, so even though it wasn't the "best" Halloween, it was more than adequate.
These are the little puggly-wugglies... My mom's pug, Bucky, is in the pumpkin costume, and our pug, Rosin, is the Bee. They weren't too impressed, but we got a big charge out of dressing them up!
My parents came down for the weekend, just to watch Britt play football. It rained on us, but it was such a light, misty rain, it wasn't cold. We went out for hot fudge sundaes afterwards - Papa's reward to Britt for making tackles!

The Mad Hatter... (with her pumpkin)
The Joker... (with his pumpkin)
The Cutest Kids on the Block!
They always come trick-or-treating to my house, first. Brady takes them from the back door to the front, and they ring the doorbell. Our Halloween tradition!

April - Here and Gone in the Blink of an Eye

It seems crazy to think Easter Sunday was on April Fool's Day this year, but it totally was. We started our Easter at mass with our fa...