Friday, January 29, 2010

Adventures in Bowling

About a month ago, I received a text from my man asking if I'd like to join a bowling league. Now I must admit to first thinking he must have accidentally sent it to me instead of someone who could actually knock down a few pins in real life and not just on the Wii. However, he persisted and it quickly became apparent that he truly did mean for me to join him on this adventure.

He went straight to the point he felt would grab my attention and informed me that, upon completion of 15 weeks in the league, I would receive my own bowling shoes, bag and ball. Now I'm not a big bowling fan but I am a collector of accessories - whether they'll ever be put to use or not - so I was up to the challenge.

I did, however, do a bit o' negotiating first (what girl accepts the first offer, right?) and asked for a pink ball, sparkly shoes and a '50s style bedazzled bowling shirt - preferable in pink and black. He seemed to agree at the time but I will have you know last night was the first night of ye ol' bowling league and none of these items have arrived yet.

We arrived last evening a bit before the meeting (yes, there was actually a MEETING before you could begin bowling) and greeted Dave's friend from work, we'll call him BB, and his wife, CC. BB is actually a bowler. Like, a real bowler. One who has form. And can actually pick up a spare if need be. He is also the guy who severely hurt his ankle a couple of weeks ago, which precipitated Dave working 60 hours in one week (not that I really minded as Momma needs a new pair of shoes). BB had apparently been practicing his bowling walk/windup/whatever you call it in the hallway of his home all week and didn't experience a lick of problem.

We were stoked.

Then the practice rounds/frames/whatever you call them began. And I was taking over the world one gutter ball at a time, y'all. I was nothing if not consistent. Well, Bob's turn came around and he threw a beautiful strike (that one I'm sure of) and immediately hit the ground in pain. 

Not good.

Our leader was down. And he's still down for the count actually. He's now going to go to the doctor. Novel idea, eh? Seriously - I do not get why healthcare professionals won't seek help when sick or hurt. But that's another post for another time.

So Taylor joined the team for the night.

She was stoked.

I asked if we could now have bumpers since we were bowling with a child. They laughed. Apparently they thought I was kidding. Their mistake.

Then the real game began. Here's where I figured that, given my performance in the warm-up round, some goals really needed to be set. So I set a very specific goal for the night - to hit a pin before I left. I kid you not that, while approaching the lane for the first time, I asked the Lord to just let me hit some pins. 

And, y'all, I did.

He showed up BIG TIME. He guided my ball to a strike!

No one could believe it. Dave and BB were standing with their mouths hanging open. It was hilarious.

Then I heard one of the guys on the lane next to us whisper to his buddy, "She must be their wringer."

I kid you not. Could. Not. Make. That. Up.

The magic lasted for all of four frames before I apparently got too cocky and the good Lord sent a gutter ball my way to bring me back to reality. So I started praying upon approach again. And continued to every single time it was my turn for the rest of the night.

About this time my man looked at me and said, "Have you ever owned your own bowling ball before?"

It was like he didn't know me at all. Didn't even know what to say.

As the game came to a close, I realized that - much to my surprise - I was in the lead. As in first place, y'all. And, as the 10th frame came to a close, it was obvious a miracle had occurred on the Brazos. 

I had a triple digit score - 101 to be exact. I beat my man, CC and Taylor. I also - get this - beat every person on the lane next to us.
I did not think it was legal that an entire team could be worse than me. But apparently it is.

And then the strangest thing happened. They said it was time for the second game. This was where I began to think a question should be posed as too just how many games I was expected to play.

The answer was three.

Three games every Thursday night for 15 weeks.


I'll have you know I broke 80 during the second game and I broke 70 during the last time.

Clearly I had given that first game everything I had. Everything. I. Had. People.

I mean, seriously, every time I turned around it was my turn AGAIN.

The good news is that each of the adults won one game each. And Taylor won the kid's league. Or would have if there had been one.

So there you have it. My first adventure in bowling. The good news is that I saw a picture - during the previously mentioned meeting no less - of the ball we could choose from at the end of this torturous affair and one of the options is pink and black.

It will match my shirt. You know, if it ever shows up.

The end.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Taylor

My Dearest Taylor,

Last evening when I realized we were out of deodorant except for your brightly colored Degree in the package with all of the graffiti and asked you to be sure it had been located before going to bed so as to thwart any major argument this morning, I was so happy with your sweet disposition and willingness to do so. I was also impressed with the speedy recovery of your deodorant because I know how you like to hide it in a different place each and every day.

This morning when I woke you up and asked where it was, you sweetly told me it was on your nightstand immediately upon awakening. Except that it wasn't. Nor was it anywhere in the immediate vicinity of your nightstand. For all I know, it's not even in your bedroom because you never could find it this morning. 

And, while I appreciate your consistency in assuring me it was "right there on the nightstand when I went to bed" followed by "who could have taken it during the night?" I'm just not buying it, sweetheart. 

I cannot fathom how one just completely loses their deodorant when they clearly had to put it on just 24 hours prior and it does break my heart to take away a portion of your bowling alley fun money to teach you a lesson about lying but, really, I'm just wondering if you truly think that Mommy lacks in intelligence so severely that I wouldn't notice this morning that said hygiene product was lost.

Let me assure you, dear, that there are many things I do not notice regularly (laundry piling up, a floor needing a good vacuum, how close my car is to hitting the framing on the garage door, etc.) but have you ever known me not to enjoy a personal hygiene product like deodorant, hairspray, perfume, gel, more gel, more hairspray, etc.

It's like you don't know me at all. But don't worry, we have all weekend to reiterate these facts.


P.S. I'm happy to report the blood-pressure induced headache has almost waned. And Davey assured me at lunch that he truly didn't mind rushing to Walgreen's so early this morning to buy some deodorant. It's all good.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's that thing about the apple and the tree?

So, one of the sacrifices I generally have to make when it comes to getting good pictures of Miss Thang is that I have to allow her to take a couple of me as well. Then I have to promise to share them on the blog. And since she's now old enough to check out her own blog, let's just say she keeps me honest.

Quite frankly, that totally sounds like some bargain I would make so I really can't complain. And I'm embracing the times she actually wants to be photographed with me these days (or is even willing to talk to me) because we are smack dab in the middle of the 'tween attitude. I'd love to tell you that it's not that bad, doesn't sometimes make me want to pull my hair out and/or scream and/or cry but I can't. What I can tell you is that it makes me laugh (in an ironic sort of way) many times.

Because you know that ol' adage about the apple not falling far from the tree? It's sooooo true, y'all.

But I love my girl madly and I know she'll grow out of it. She'll eventually turn into a full blown teenager and then I'm not sure how many of these smiles I'll be able to muster.
But I'm confident it will all work out eventually. I mean, it only took until I turned 30 before my mom and I began seeing eye to eye again. I'd like to improve on that so I'm shooting for Tay being 29.

I know, such an over-achiever.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Puppy Posse Update

Since the blog has been taken up with a number of updates on Tay's arm, multiple illnesses and a few too many pity parties recently, I've neglected giving ample coverage to the third unit of our little fam - the Puppy Posse.

They've been in their fair share of scrapes lately as well. It would appear there remain an infinite number of ways to raise Mama's blood pressure. From chewing pencils into tiny pieces, ransacking the trash, busting out of the gated bedroom when we were nice enough to let them stay inside during the arctic cold snap, and just being generally messy, they find increasingly unique ways to add just the right amount of stress to each day.

Then they throw out the puppy eyes and kisses and all is right with the world.

Until the next time.

They remain cute, though. :-)

And Bo continues to love a good bone....

Prissy continues to lick literally everything in sight. This girl leaves a damp spot everywhere she decides to sit a spell. Lick, lick, lick, lick...I thought this picture that Miss Tay captured was absolutely hilarious...
See what I mean about the puppy eyes?
Bo also thinks he's a human. Can you tell?
And then there's little Perkie or, as I like to call her, she who evades the camera like the plague. Tay loves snuggling with this little one and Perk enjoys it as well. Not that you could tell from this photo...
But she really does, y'all. I promise. Unfortunately, someone performed camera flash torture on her in a previous life. Maybe one day she'll gladly pose like the other two. Until then, you'll just have to imagine her looking more comfortable.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Randomocity Like You've Never Before Seen

A couple of weekends ago, my girl needed some down time. And, by down time, I mean she needed to catch up on some major sleep. She's been battling allergies for quite some time now and has also entered into that glorious stage of childhood when you have bad dreams. While she doesn't have them that often right now, this particular week she'd had several in a row and had trouble getting back to sleep after each. 

Needless to say, she was a bit tired...

Pajama Day was also on its way so we picked up a new pair of SpongeBob PJ's and just let the little one catch zzzz's at her leisure. Let's just say she had a LOT of leisure this particular weekend. :-)

But she looked adorable...
Obviously pre-haircut, right? 
Another glorious thing happened recently as Tay's stuffed Snow Pup and Eddie arrived. We got her Snow Buddies and Snow White for Christmas and, apparently, when you buy both of them you get these two little guys for free. (And, by free, they mean you'll only have to pay $6 in shipping and handling.) 
They piled up in my bed along with Panda and Tay to watch a bit o' football. She kept telling me "they just want to see a touchdown." Isn't that true for all of us? Just want to see someone be victorious, live the dream, and have a bit o' integrity while doing so?

Ok, that was a serious rabbit trail.

But these guys are still adorable.
Ironically enough, we spent most of this past weekend doing the same activities as are shown here. I can't even describe how much better I feel after getting over strep (that is definitely a kid's illness - they're more resilient :-) but we are all suffering from cedar fever. It's brutal this year, y'all. 

So we took it easy and only made trips out of the house to have lunch on Saturday and then hit Wal-Mart (groceries were a necessity after Little Miss accidentally left the fridge door open all day Friday). We didn't even make it to church yesterday as Tay had another bad dream (first one in about 10 days) and was up several hours Saturday night. She slept until noon yesterday, Dave catnapped after taking some sinus meds and I did a great deal of work on my FB farm. 

Yes, you read that correctly. It was sorely needed.

We then all watched the Saints beat the Vikings last night for their first trip ever to the Superbowl. Yes, Lord. :-)

I must admit to having lost my religion a few times while watching the game. What can I say? I'm a passionate fan. And, by passionate, I mean that I lose my ever-lovin' mind when the one team I TRULY care about in the NFL almost allows someone to come into their house and make them look like fools.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Adorable Haircut

I am totally smitten!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Man Down

I'm sick.

Like, really sick.

In fact, I have strep throat.

My 5-minute strep test took a mere 25 seconds to show positive yesterday afternoon. What can I say, I am an overachiever. I am also, apparently, 12 years old again. (I should stop being overly dramatic. The last time I had strep was not when I was 12. I was actually 18. It was over Labor Day holiday of my first semester in college. It's only been 13 years.)

Have you ever had strep as an adult?

It's awful.

Take this one in slowly, friends. I. Cannot. Eat.

That's how swollen my throat is...

A diet of popsicles and juice is my norm for a couple of days.

But after a giant shot that contained medicine that's a cousin to penicillin, I should be able to head back to work tomorrow.

As for now, there's a man down in the Bowers' household and I'm going to take a nap.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On the Wings of a...Holiday

Look who's making progress on her therapy!!!! I had to share this picture (even though it's terrible quality because all pics in this post were taken with my Blackberry) because Tay has worked SO HARD on getting her arm straight again. We've made definite progress so thank you, thank you, thank you for the many prayers. (Note: I did not cut the child's head off because I wanted to. I did it because she told me that was a prerequisite to me being able to "send it off to the internet.")

We had a wonderful weekend. Truly fantastic. And desperately needed. For real. Davey had to work on Saturday and Sunday so Tay and I hung out, did laundry, attended the Baylor Bears basketball game against Oklahoma State (which we won, by the way!), went to church, got know, girl stuff.

Dave and I had planned to take the little one somewhere fun yesterday since we were all home for the MLK holiday but Miss Thang decided she'd rather hang out with her friends at daycare. It seems they don't get much "play time" during the week so she "just wanted to be with her friends...with no commitments..."

Yes, friends, the time has come where her friends are cooler than her mom.

And I'm ok with that. For the moment. 

Anyway, we dropped her off and headed to the gym. After a great workout we picked up some dog food (exciting, I KNOW) and went home to hang out together for the remainder of the day. Fantabulous doesn't even begin to describe it...

I did take some pics of Tay's new haircut but haven't downloaded them yet...I'll try to do that tonight, though. Right after I hit the Zumba circuit for the fourth day in a row. Don't even talk to me about my quads. They are rebelling.

Big time.

One more thing...

WHO DAT, Y'ALL!!!!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Inches Tall

Over the past couple of days, I have truly had to eat some of the words I said in my last post. It's not that those things aren't true as we have really had a rough season that began last June and intensified in October with Taylor's rather significant injury. 

It has been rough, I'm not going to lie. And I was feeling really bad about things earlier this week but you know what?

For the first time in our relationship, Dave and I haven't been at each other's throats constantly while enduring a trial. It's been two years since we had that type of dynamic going on in our house. The trials we've been through in the past six months have not splintered our marriage. They've actually brought us closer together.

We've worked things out together.

We've continued faithfully going to church together.

We stressed and cried together the weekend that Tay was in the hospital undergoing surgery.

Together, we wished we could take this burden from her.

We've struggled through Tay's therapy together.

And we've even just simply been together.

Those are things I prayed for and fought for through some times that were more rough than most people realize. Most of our good friends didn't even realize just how desperate things became before we finally decided to put our big kid pants on and deal with what was going on.

So I can sit here and lament the fact that Taylor's arm won't ever be the same, which it won't, or I can be thankful that my daughter still has a functioning arm. Even if it's not perfect. I can be sad that, because of choices we made before we were ever married, the size of our family will not grow until we have grandchildren. Or I can choose to enjoy the child who was given to me.

Because, in all honesty, the precious Haitian people would give anything in this world right now to have the problems I have. Or you have. As I look at this widespread destruction through photographs, it occurs to me that my life looked like that before I allowed Him to work in it. 

Good did come from what I like to call The Dark Period and good will come from what we've endured during this difficult season. This, too, will pass. My prayer is that unexplainable good will also come from the disaster in Haiti. That hundreds of thousands will come to know Jesus as their savior. That we will be shaken from our comfortable lives. Spurred into action.

Recently I found a journal entry of Taylor's. It went something like this:

Dear God and Jesus,

Please help me with my arm. I also hope lots more people will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.


When I read that, tears streamed down my face and I immediately told my husband, "Look - she's so worried about her arm that she includes it in all of her prayers. A 10-year-old should not have to make this their top priority."

He looked at me in utter disbelief. Understandably, right?

Because what I should have seen is that, even in a time of despair (we're talking about a 10-year-old; everything has much despair) when she has struggled immensely, cried lakes full of tears, faced fears that were way more grown up than she should have to be, my daughter was not consumed with her problems.

She was still able to look outside of herself. Praying that others would come to know the salvation she does because she knew that her faith was what was getting her through. She knew the Rock on which she stood and, while she wasn't afraid to ask for help for herself, she realized that wasn't even the most pressing issue of the moment.

And that's when I felt about two inches tall.

Thankfully, I have the opportunity to rectify that situation. I have a chance to do better. Be less selfish. Love more deeply. Strengthen relationships. Stop sweating the small stuff. Not all have that chance. 

I pray for the families of those lost in Haiti, for those left behind and are suffering through untold destruction and despair right now. Lord, be near and have mercy on us all.

"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn..."
Isaiah 61:1-2

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mandatory Christmas Decor Photo Essay (Taylor Said So)

We used my late mother-in-law's vintage aluminum trees this year for a bit of a change. They were a lot of fun though really hard to decorate because they can't hold much weight. That's why the large one looks a bit sparse. I usually decorate a tree within an inch of its life but had to show some restraint this year...

Taylor had to make a Christmas tree for her reading class as a project right before the holidays. She had to base the decorations on a book and chose Snowmen After Dark. She did a super job on it and got a perfect grade :-)
This concludes our Christmas-related posts as my little camera holds no additional photos :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have some news. It's probably news that you don't necessarily care to hear. But it's news just the same. What is this news, you ask? Well, while I told you yesterday that I was done with the Christmas posts, I lied. You see, I actually found some additional pictures that I've not shared yet and, because my scrapbooking went by the wayside about 5 years ago, I'm using the blog now to document memories.

All that to say that I'm sharing more Christmas pictures. And they're super cute.

How do you like my elf?

She asked to be called Hermie. That's actually kind of a big thing in our house. The season we're currently in dictates her nickname. For example, during the holiday season she generally pics a reindeer name (Rudolph, Comet, Donner, etc.). Once the New Year begins we transition over to Snowflake. February brings along get the point.

This year, though, we chose Hermie...because, well, I don't really know why. But it was festive, that's for sure!
She conned me out of this candy cane at Wal-Mart and used it as her elf walking cane. It was hilarious. Until it broke. Oops!

One of the things I love about Tay is that she's just cool. Much more so than I was at that age. Or even now, for that matter. She is still working hard at rehabbing her elbow but, I must admit, that things continue to move rather slowly. It's much better but there's a lot of scar tissue that will just take time to break through.

We're now doing exercises three times a day and, quite frankly, I'm just tired of watching her struggle. I'm tired of watching her cry. And I'm tired of dealing with this injury instead of watching her enjoy gymnastics twice a week. And I'm also just plain tired as I only got about two hours of sleep last night.

While life has been good lately, it's also been a rough season that started on October 2 when she we got the call from Tony that she'd hurt her arm at Parents' Night Out. It just seems like we've gone from one difficult thing to another for the past 3.5 months. I want to scream, "Enough already!" But I don' least not often anyway...because I know there are so many people who have it much worse.

Honestly, though, my heart is broken for my daughter. I don't know if her arm will ever be 100% again. I don't know for sure that she'll ever do gymnastics again. I don't know if her scar will ever fade or if it will look as bad as it does now. I don't know if another surgery to remove scar tissue is in her future. I just don't know...

And I don't like it.

While I'm thankful that Dave finally got an appointment with his original orthopedic surgeon for next month, I don't know that he'll be able to do anything to fix his knee. I'm also thankful that we seem to have (maybe) found the cause of some rather major (thus far) unexplained symptoms I've been experiencing since Taylor was born (10 YEARS!!!) and that I have an appointment with an endocrinologist next month. But I don't know if it the solution will be easy. Or if there's a long-term solution at all.

What I do know is that this too shall pass. Eventually. And I know He was sent to "bind up the brokenhearted." I'm so thankful for that because I'm counting on Him to help us through the remainder of this difficult season. However long that may be.

And, no matter what, we'll figure out a way to deal with the outcomes together. But, please Lord, I'm begging you to be with my baby girl. Because I would gladly continue to suffer without a solution than to watch her do so for the rest of her life.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Day

Ok, so I'm actually finishing up the Christmas posts (yes, I know you're incredibly happy about that) and this might actually be the last one. You're welcome.

Anyway, this picture is actually from Christmas Eve and Tay asked that I show everyone her hat. It has the caricatures of our family members just like her stationery. Who knew this would be one of her most favorite gifts? 
Her most fav gift was actually an 8x10 collage of pics of the Puppy Posse for her room in a pretty silver frame. We have a photo of each member of the family (yes, they are family) on the mantle in the living room and she kept asking me if I was "through with them yet" so she could snag the ones of the pups. This way she has her own and she LOVED it.

Wow, that was a rabbit trail...

Anyway, Christmas morning brought a sweet little girl (with obvious bed head) to my door very early. Apparently she had actually woken up at 3:30am and snuck into the living room where she tried to check out what was in her stocking. As luck (or karma) would have it, her stocking holder broke when she tried to grab it, which scared her into going back to bed.

We headed into the living room quietly so as to let Davey sleep as he'd been working some MAJOR hours during the preceding days. There was a premature baby boom here in Waco during the holidays so, needless to say, the NICU was hopping. Majorly hopping.

Santa brought Miss Thang a giant tin of gum, 12 candy canes, hot cocoa lip gloss, a white chocolate polar bear (yum!) and a few other small items. She loved them all but then we had to move on to the main event.

Miss Tay got her Wii!!
...and she was absolutely thrilled...
...and then she found the game she'd asked for - Toy Story Mania (her favorite ride from our Disney trip) and was just beside herself...


We hooked up the Wii all by ourselves and were doing a bit of bowling when Davey and the Puppy Posse woke up and joined us. I was so proud to have hooked it up and all Dave wanted to know was why I didn't wake him up so he could join in the fun. 


Anyway, we spent the morning playing multiple Wii Sports games and then headed to my mom's for Christmas lunch while Dave hung out with Logan.

Lunch was delicious, as per my mom's usual, and it was nice to just have a relaxed meal and enjoy each other's company as my grandmother was leaving to go back home the next day. Because she had a drive ahead of her, we forced her to go sit down while we cleaned up the kitchen. She fought us at first but I think it was the right decision in the end.

Don't you?
We headed back home shortly after this picture was sneakily taken so we could spend some time with Logan as well. Dave had made chili that morning so it could gel in the crockpot all afternoon...let's just say we had some amazing Frito pie that night. :-)

We also played much more Wii (and continue to do so until this day...a great way to spend active, quality family time) and just enjoyed our kiddos. Perfect!

I made an active decision before the holidays began to slow down and really enjoy the season this year. That's why we made the big trip to Grapevine, attended several parties, why I took off a few extra days to be with Tay, and spent purposeful time with our family. Last year I was recovering from surgery during December (a really bad decision to have it at that time, to be honest) and didn't get to make many Christmas-related memories with my girl.

I'm so glad that I had that little talk with myself this year because Christmas '09 will certainly go down in my book as one of the best ones ever. Thus far anyway. :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dashing Through the Snow

Christmas Eve was so incredibly special this year for a host of reasons not the least of which was the fact that it snowed. For most of the day. And, yes, we were still in Central Texas. :-)

Dave and I got up early that morning and headed to the gym to burn some last minute calories so we could enjoy the spread my mom and grandmother prepared for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Let's just say that we don't deprive ourselves during the holidays...

Anyway, after getting gussied up after the gym we headed down to my mom's house for presents and party food. Aunt Anna, of course, was there snapping away with her snazzy camera...

My mom read the meaning of each candle in the advent wreath...
...while Dave and Tay lit the candles...
...with Maw Maw and Bailey watching on.... front of Nana's revamped Christmas tree. Isn't it pretty?
A certain someone was a bit camera shy this day, which was ok because the lighting at Nana's house didn't really gel with either my or Aunt Anna's cameras...
This was about as good as it got...
This look is apparently genetic...
After enjoying a great afternoon of family time, we headed home and the snow really started coming down. In fact, when we got home, our little house looked just like this...
Miss Tay decided it was absolutely necessary to play in the snow which, of course, it was...
Snow actually got a smile out of her. Who knew?
The puppy posse decided to get in on the fun...
Can you tell Bo likes the cold about as much as Dave does?
After attending Candlelight Service at church (together, as a family - thank you, Jesus!) and building the previously mentioned gingerbread Christmas tree, Miss Tay sprinkled reindeer food in the yard so they would have something to munch on while Santa was inside.
New robe, jammies and boots received as gifts all had to be worn at the same time for this task...
We prepared a veritable feast for the big guy - cookies (without nuts - you did see Prep and Landing, right, Mom?), carrots for the reindeer and milk complete with snowman marshmallows in the s'mores mug. 

You'll also notice a card and note left for Santa in the photo. We gave Miss Tay some personalized stationery for Christmas and she absolutely loved it. So much, in fact, that Santa got more than one note. She asked for - and received - Santa's autograph again. I loved that one of them began with "Dear Santa, I'm so glad you decided to stop at this house..."
This girl cracks me up and makes me smile every day of the week. While she was mad at me after this morning's elbow rehab session and wouldn't speak to me all the way to school, I'm counting on her 'tween hormonal shift to have her laughing and cracking jokes again when I pick her up this evening. 

Please, Lord?!?!

Happy weekend to you, my friends - stay warm and enjoy time with your peeps :-)