Sunday, September 29, 2013

Waiting Between Events at a Swim Meet

This weekend was my daughter's first swim meet of the season.   Her brother does his best to entertain himself between her events.  This is what siblings look like in the crash area of a swim meet.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Letter to Michaela

Michaela next to the sign that my senior class donated to the school 
as our class gift the year I graduated.  Class of 2017 standing next to Class of 1987.

Dear Michaela,

There are times I look at you and I really have a hard time believing you are my daughter.  I don't feel old enough to have a teen age daughter about to start high school.  Just thinking about all the time that has passed since my own freshman year in high school makes my head spin.  How could it have been so long ago?

You know that the day you were born my biggest dream came true.  Being a wife and mother may not seem like a lot to some people, but it's what I wanted most out of life and the day you were born you gave me the mother part of that.  

From that first moment when you looked up at me and you forehead wrinkled like your daddy's I've not been able to breath the same since.  My whole world tipped over and slid around like a carnival ride and hasn't stopped since.  

You've been a source of constant worry and constant joy.  You are more beautiful than you will ever know, my "fabulous" girl.  And, you are more loved than you even begin to comprehend at this point in time.  

I admire your passion for those things that interest you.  I love your kindness and gentleness.  I envy your sassiness in standing up for yourself.  I am proud of your tenacity and loyalty.  You are a composite of your parents, but you are also definitely uniquely YOU.  

Your first day of high school begins a whole new adventure for you.  I am excited and nervous for you.  Just remember to enjoy every second of it while you can.  These next four years are going to fly by faster than you can fathom.  There is so much to experience and so much to learn, I don't want you to miss any of it.  I know your high school years are going to be amazing and I am so looking forward to experiencing them with you.

Because I love you and because I'm your mom and because you're a teenager (even though you have a good head on your shoulders) I have to give you advice before you begin high school.  It's mandated by the mother handbook.

Don't forget to stay focused on your academics.  Do take a couple fun classes.  Don't mess around with drugs or alcohol.  Do find ways to party and have fun responsibly.  Don't let any guy treat you like you are unworthy.  Do have fun on dates with guys that deserve you.  Don't let any guy pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do.  Do feel comfortable talking to Mom when in doubt about those types of thing.

Don't let any other girl make you feel less than amazing.  Do surround yourself with friends who love and appreciate you for who you are and not who they think you should be.  Don't shy away from your teachers and other adults at school.  Do take time to talk with them and get to know them and let them get to know you.  

Don't get in a car with someone who's been drinking or doing drugs.  Do take keys away from friends who try to drive under the influence.  Don't take on too many things.  Do try new things.  Don't take things or yourself too seriously.  Do take other's feelings seriously. Don't let these four years slide by unnoticed.  Do live it up and love every minute of it!

My incredible, smart, talented, athletic, compassionate girl, sometimes my heart aches for the little girl who ran to Santa with her arms outstretched saying "Santa, Santa, I LOVE you!"  But, mostly I am in awe of the young woman you are becoming.  Every day my life is more valuable because I get to be your mom. Always remember you are my amazing miracle and that your daddy and I love you more than words can say.

Have a wonderful high school experience at the best high school around!  Go Pirates!

Love you always and forever!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Visions of the 4th Wordless Wednesday

This Week's Wordless Wednesday:
Pictures Taken During our 4th of July 2013

Our's town's parade

Waiting for the Fireworks
(we watched from the top of our city hall parking garage)

And the show began!

My daughter enjoying the fireworks

Oooooooo, ahhhhhhhh

Part of the finale!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Experience the Normal

         I take a deep breath and just try to absorb the moment.  Nothing special is going on, I'm just making some lunch and my son is playing on the computer in the other room.  It’s just the two of us home right now as his sister is at Girl Scout Camp for two weeks and his dad is at work.  It’s just that lately I've become all too aware that days like this will be gone way before I'm ready for them to end.
            My daughter is 14 and my son is 11 ½ .  Each summer seems to mean I have less and less time with them as they are more inclined to be doing things with friends or pursuing their own interests.  We dropped my daughter off at Girl Scout Camp about an hour away from home two days ago.  She will be there for two weeks.  She’s gone to camp before, but this is the first time it’s been longer than a week.  I missed her before we even got to the camp.  She starts high school in August and of course at this point it’s about spending as much time with her friends and boyfriend as she can.
            Last night my son spent the night with a friend.  It meant that it was just my husband and me at home with the dogs.  I usually love having that alone time with my husband.  Last night it just felt like the house was empty.  This morning when he went to work, it felt even emptier.  I was so relieved when it was time to go pick my son up from his sleep over. 
            It’s just a normal week day during summer break.  I’m doing things around the house and trying to get some of my own things done.  He’s finished eating his lunch and is now downstairs playing on his Xbox.  I’ll be going to the grocery store soon.  But, the fact that we're in the same house for most of the day is really all that matters.   

        So, again I just close my eyes and only focus on the sound of his voice as he’s talking to his friends over his Xbox and the feel of the house when he’s home.  I try to focus all my senses on the simple experience of doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen and preparing to go to the store while he’s here in the house with me.  All too soon it'll be over and we'll be building memories with our children as adults instead of as kids.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bedtime or Not

Chrystal Mccoy (@crickle1969) tweeted at 10:11 PM on Sun, Jun 30, 2013: It is 10 pm and Izzy decides it is playtime. #therestofthehouseissleeping #bedtime #crazydog ( Get the official Twitter app at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fun Close To Home: The Gateway Arch

     I have lived in the St. Louis Metropolitan area for all but the first two years of my life.  This is where I grew up.  Going into downtown St. Louis is a normal occurrence for me.  And, yet every time we get close to downtown and I see the Arch it still excites me.  It is an awesome site to see even from a distance.  You can see it when you are approaching most of the attractions in the city of St. Louis.   And, yet there is nothing like getting right up close to it and inside it.


     Standing 630 feet tall, The Gateway Arch (or The Arch) is not only a St. Louis icon, but a national icon.  It was erected to symbolize the westward expansion of our country that came during and after the Lewis & Clark Expedition.  After a nation wide competition was held in the late 40's, an architect by the name of Eero Saarinen was chosen to build our stainless steel beauty on the St. Louis Riverfront as a gateway beckoning people to travel west over the Mississippi River and into the opportunities offered by the newer states of the union.  

     The construction on the Arch began in August of 1963 and was completed in just a little over two years time in October of 1965.  The foundations of the Arch are sunk into the ground 60 feet.  It is built to withstand earthquakes and high winds.  There are 142 sections to the Arch.  There are 630 feet between the outer edges of each leg.  It is built of concrete and steel, with stainless steel being the outer covering.  The legs are 54 feet wide at their bases and the top is 17 feet wide.

     When you travel up into the Arch, you take one of two trams.  Each car of a tram holds about 5 people.  They are egg shaped and travel about 3 miles an hour.  The observation deck of the Arch is 7' 2" feet wide, 65' long and 6' 9" tall.  There are 16 observation windows on each side of the Arch.  They are made of 3/4 inch plate glass and are 7" x 27".  

     The Arch is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which is a park in our national parks system.  It not only includes the Arch, but the Museum of Westward Expansion (located under the Arch) and the Old Courthouse.  The Old Courthouse is across highway 70 and can be seen from the observation windows of The Arch.

     When you are on the observation deck of the Arch you can see 30 miles in all directions.  This offers great views of Downtown St. Louis and it's surrounding area.  You can also see down the legs of the Arch and the grounds below. 

     When you enter the Arch, you enter the base and what is the lobby of not only the Arch itself, but the Museum of Westward Expansion which is free to visit.  There are also two small shops off the lobby.  One is set up like an old fashioned general store and the other is just a modern touristy gift shop.  The Museum of Westward Expansion depicts the progress of our nation's west from wilderness to developed cities.  

     It is very easy to spend most of a day exploring The Arch, The Museum of Westward Expansion and The Old Courthouse.  And if those do not take up all your allotted time, there are riverboat cruises, helicopter rides, and Laclede's Landing to explore all within walking distance.  It really is an amazing way to get into some of the culture of our nation and to spend some relaxation time.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Outpatient Experience

    I am not a person who is very gracious about having her sleep interrupted.  I do not like waking up and I am not a morning person at all.  Quite frankly I find the whole waking up process a bit painful.

     After two months of constant pain, I went in to have an ovary and a tube removed laparoscopically on June 11th.  While this was only an outpatient procedure, it is still a surgery that required local anesthesia which is something that has always made me nervous.  But, I've been in pain for so long I was just really wanted to have this done.

     So, we get to the hospital on the morning of my surgery and get checked into the surgery center.  This included lots of waiting, an i.v. insertion and lots of redundant questions.  They took me down to this waiting area before my surgery, which was just an alcove with other patients waiting for surgery.  
     They gave me a relaxing drug there, but I was fully aware when they wheeled me into the operating room.  You know, those rooms are really boring.  It was like a scene from an alien abduction movie.  It is just white, white and more white and bright light.

          Lying there on the operating table, I could see the operating light, which was not on yet.  Thank goodness because with all those bulbs I'm sure it would burn a retina if it had been on.  Next came, the oxygen mask.  I know the anesthesiologist said something, but I don't remember what it was.  I was just determined to make sure my eyes were wide open as long as I was alert.

     Well, it must have done the job it was supposed to do because the next thing I know a nurse was calling my name and yanking me out of a nice, contented sleep.  Of course, the minute my eyes started fluttering the nurse was asking me questions.  Really?

Nurse:  Mrs. McCoy, Mrs. McCoy

Me: Fluttering eyes trying to focus wondering why someone is calling my name.

: Your surgery is over.  How are you feeling?

Me Thinking: Annoyed you are waking me up!

Nurse: Are you awake yet?

Me: My throat hurts.

Nurse: Would you like some water?

Me Thinking: No I want to go back to sleep but saying, "Yes, please."

     She went to get my water and I became a little more alert.   So, when she comes back with my water:

Me: My incision hurts.

Nurse: Yes, it will hurt.

Me Thinking: Really?  I had no idea.  Maybe if you let me sleep I can ignore it for a while.

    At that point I close my eyes trying to go back to sleep.  But, this wonderful nurse would have none of it.  She starts talking about taking me back to my "room".  But, I still just wanted to sleep.

     I have to go back for major surgery to remove everything on July 10.  I get to stay in the hospital that time.  Oh joy, more time with people who will not let me sleep!

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Made It Monday: Decorative Apothecary Jar

     It is summer break for me and so I have more time to do things that I want.  I've done a lot of surfing around the Net, looking at crafty type things and recipes because for some reason this undomesticated goddess has gotten the urge to create.  So, I'm going to try to post something that I made every Monday, at least for the summer.

    This week, I'm starting out with an apothecary jar that I made.  These things are so cool and can be used for so many different things.  Making this first one (yes I plan on making more) has given me so many ideas for the uses and designs of other jars.  This was very simple and did not cost much to make.  I made this one as a smelly good decoration for our front bathroom.

What is needed?

  • Glass candlestick
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Decorative rocks
  • 5 Minute Epoxy 
  • Silk flowers
  • Scented oil
  • Ribbon

     I made sure the candlestick and jar were clean and free of all stickers.  The epoxy I used had to be mixed.  So, I took a sheet of aluminum foil and put some of the epoxy on it.  I mixed it with a large flat toothpick that I just happened to have on hand from a party.

     I used the stick to apply the epoxy to the candle stick.  I then sat the jar on top of the candlestick and let the epoxy dry for a few hours.

     When I was sure the epoxy was dry and the glass parts were securely attached to each other I filled the jar about 3/4 full with the decorative rocks.  I took some of the individual flowers off the stems of silk flowers and placed them on top of the rocks.  Then, I sprinkled some scented oil over all of that.  I also tied a ribbon to the stem of the apothecary jar to match the color of the flowers.  Finally, I put the lid on the jar.  And, there you have it, my decorative apothecary jar.

     When the lid is removed the aroma of the scented oil fills the room with good smelly scent.  It will have to be refreshed every now and again, but that's no big deal.  I really love the way it turned out and cannot wait to make more.  I'm thinking my daughter needs one for something in her room.  I'm sure.