Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

We had a FANTASTIC Christmas. The kids got the things they wanted so badly - biggest hits - Morgan - Wii, Michael - Laptop, Katie - Laptop, Chris - CASH. :) Mike and Amy also made out like bandits with Santa's pack. :) The kids woke at 8am sharp (we told them they needed to wait until at least 8). They rushed downstairs and ripped through the presents so fast it was a blur. Michael, Chris, and Mike made us omelets for breakfast in their new omelet maker. They were delicious. For several hours, we played on the Wii. I have to admit, I was skeptical. I LOVE IT. It is amazing. We played it for hours. We picked our our "Miis", and we played mainly the sports games. Morgan and I played (if you can call mainly failing playing) Dance, Dance Revolution. We loved it, but we have a long way to go to be good at it. :) Abhijeet and Mark came over for dinner and more Wii play. I think Mark liked the massage chair more than the Wii, but we had fun playing.

We are heading to Grams and Papa's tomorrow morning bright and early, so I am signing off. Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Eve

We had a fantastic Christmas Eve. After work, Mike, the kids, Krishan, Abhijeet, and Mark went to see National Treasure 2. It was really good. In fact, I liked it better than the first one. Krishan thought there weren't enough clues to solve in the second one, but I really liked the story better I guess.

After the movie, we went through a Carrollwood neighborhood to see the Christmas luminaries. It was just beginning. They were pretty, but we couldn't figure out why they used brown bags instead of white ones. The white ones would have been spectacular. After the luminaries, we went to Idlewild Baptist Church for Christmas Eve. I haven't been to a Baptist church in a LONG time, and it was somewhat nice to go to a new place. It is ENORMOUS. I had heard it was big, but even the street going to it (a private road I guess) is huge. The santuary has 3 levels. It was very nice. However, it loses some of the personal feeling and I like being able to actually see the minister's face without seeing a jumbotron. It was a really nice service though, and he dedicated it to the miliary, police, and firefighters who are protecting our peace. He spoke about peace through Christ the Prince of Peace. It was a nice message. The kids had a story abou St. Nicholas. It was all about feeling good about giving and not just about receiving. I was glad that they had that message for my kids to hear and remember. :) Several times, the minister seemed finished and then he would put his stuff back down and begin again with what seemed like the same thing but phrased a little differently. That is when I remembered the number one reason why I am a Methodist. In Methodist churches, they know how to start and stop a service on time and still deliver their message. It made me think of my old minister who used to end his sermons with "We will finish here so we can beat the Baptists to the restaurants." I always got a big kick out of that. :) Anyway, I really enjoyed seeing the church, loved the message, glad the kids could see it. Then, we all lit the candles and the huge church was glowing. It was SO beautiful. We were in the balcony, so we could see it all. There was a Soldier's Silent Night poem set to music and then everyone sang Silent Night. It was very, very nice.

We came home and had dinner. The kids FINALLY got to open their one Christmas Eve present. Morgan opened her DS Game Catz. Katie got High School Musical 2 on DVD (the EXENDED version). Michael got Ratatouille, and Chris got Pro Street. We played Apples to Apples and made chocolate chip cookies (3 points EACH - I had 2). It was a really nice day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in Florida

This Florida weather just doesn't really feel like Christmas. As many benefits as there are to living in the warm weather, I would not say Christmas is one of them. It is really hard to get that "Christmas feeling" with 80 degree temps. Not that I am really complaining, but it is just weird. I went shopping yesterday to wrap up my shopping. I was actually very surprised as the stores weren't even bad. I went in Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Dick's Sporting Goods, Toys R Us, Walreens, and Target. Whew! I don't usually like to shop, but this kind of shopping is actually fun to me. I LOVE having the new stores in Wesley Chapel. It is so nice to drive 4.3 miles and be in the parking lot of these stores instead of driving 30 minutes. :)

Today, Mike and the boys made Taco Soup. I debated going to the doctor as I am still struggling with this stupid cough and chest cold. So much for stopping smoking having an effect. I thought it was supposed to be easier to shake these stupid coughs if you didn't smoke? Not that there aren't other benefits to not smoking and I will not ever let myself go back, but I am saddened that it didn't help the cough. :( Mike got the kids a gingerbread house to make. Obviously, I was the only one who remembers doing this last year. After they drove him crazy to eat it, he told them to eat it or he was going to break it. Smart kids. They ate it.

I decided that maybe avoiding exercise wasn't helping the stupid cough, so I asked the kids if they wanted to go ride bikes. We went for about 5 miles in about 38 minutes. On one turn through the neighborhood, this kid was playing with a skaeboard and it went flying in front of Katie's bike. Chris yelled a warning, but it didn't register with me until I saw the skateboard going next to her tire. She did a good job of reacting and turned sharply onto the sidewalk. She almost hit the electrical post and then swerved and almost hit a mailbox. I thought for sure that we were on our way to the ER. Thankfully, she reacted well. Later in the ride, she ran over something plastic and it made a loud noise and it went flying in the air. Of course, I nearly had a heart attack again. I think Katie just administered her version of a stress test.

After the ride, Morgan, Katie, and I went for a walk. We went a little over 2 miles in 50 minutes. They thought that was fast. :) It was fun though, and we enjoyed looking at the Christmas lights as they started to turn on. This one house in our neighborhood always has the best decorations. They have an amazing haunted house at Halloween, and at Christmas they have several blown up things, the grinch, and several others. Of course, they also have a lot of lights. Morgan keeps asking for snow in Nashville. Of course, I checked the weather and it looks like it will be in the 60's during the day most days. I think after all of us leave except for Morgan it MIGHT snow a little. I certainly hope it does. :)

I have to work tomorrow. At Bond, we either get the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve off. We don't get both. We do usually get to leave around 2:00. Mike thinks this is the worst thing in the world and asked what it was like to work at a third world company. Apparently, he has forgotten that I moved to Tampa and took this job for him. Of course, I would much rather have both off, but I did come from the hospital and before that the theater. Both of those jobs require you to work every other holiday at a minimum. So, give me your opinions. Is it that odd to have to work Christmas Eve?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Feeling Icky

I am still not feeling well. I was going to go to the doctor, but I had to go pick up a package for Mike. I got lost, and it took almost 2 hours. Morgan finished practice early, so I was very late to pick her up. The urgent care was closed. :( Hopefully, I will make it there tomorrow. This is such a busy time of year. I so need some down time!

We did our holiday lunch today at work, and we did the "White Elephant" or whatever name you call it. It is where everyone brings a gift and then draws a number. One by one people pick a present in order. Of course, the catch is that you can steal another present that has already been opened and each present can be stolen 3 times. We had relatively little stealing until the end. When there was ONE present left, we had stealing going on for about 10 minutes. I had a picture frame, and then I had picture frame coasters. Those were stolen, and I ended up with the movie "Sneakers." I have seen it, but it has been a long time. I can't wait to see it again (sorry Diane!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Parties and Ears Pierced

The Youth Gold team had its holiday party. They had a fantastic time making earrings and decorating cookies. They did a secret santa gift exchange, and I am the lucky parent of a child with perfume and fragrant body lotion. She decided to try it in my car yesterday, so you now need a gas mask to ride in my car. :) Their gift from the coaches were wildcat pants as shown in the team picture. :) Of course, while we are there, Morgan is the ONLY kid who can't wear the earrings they made because she is the only one without her ears pierced. So, I finally break and decide that she can get them pierced.

Little Alexis also wanted hers pierced, so off we went to the Piercing Pagoda at Citrus Park Mall 10 days before Christmas. :) We had an entourage of Alexis K, Christina, Victoria, Coach Kelly, and Uncle Mark. Of course Denise, Mike, and I were there as the crazy parents. Kelly was our consultant. She was great at comparing the marks on the ears to make sure they were even. She held Alexis' hand, and she was so adorable as little silent tears came down. Morgan was next. I held her hand, but she was very stoic and didn't flinch or cry. I was shocked. I love how they say they are going to do it on 3, but then they really do it on 1 and 2. :) No chance to chicken out or move. :) Morgan is thrilled, and I have to admit she looks adorable with the earrings. I didn't make it to 12, but at least she made it to 9+. :)

Mara and Kraig had a holiday party at their house later in the night. There was a festive crew. Kraig was manning the Margarita machine. It was HOT. I am pretty sure I need one. :) Later in the night, Chris and Andrea (the girls coaches from Cheer Champs) came over. It was so wonderful to see them as the girls really miss them a lot. We tried to gang up on Chris to get him to come to the Wildcats, but I am not sure if we made any progress. :) Andrea is happily coaching in Brandon, so we didn't have any luck with her. The girls showed off their tumbling outside, and it was fun to watch them get so excited to show off their progress. The coaches really have an amazing impact on the kids in ways that are much greater than cheer and tumbling. They help them with goals, confidence, believing you can do it with hard work, positive attitude, and just having fun.

I was having my 2 point drinks of Bacardi and Diet Coke, and I must have had a few more than I thought. :) My purse left in great condtion, so it was immediately better than the last holiday party I attended. :) Thanks Mara and Kraig!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mini Gold Party

Tonight, the Mini Gold team had their Christmas party at Pump it up! Here are some pics from there. They decided to collect toys for needy children instead of doing a gift exchange. It was really nice.


Obviously, I have been a bad blogger. This week was so crazy busy. First, I had client meetings in the office on Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday I traveled to Colorado and flew back on Thursday. Today, I have barely survived the day. Whew. On Wednesday, I got up at 3:15am to shower and get ready for the airport. Fun, Fun. I felt like Mike. I made sure to kiss him goodbye at 4am as he does when he is leaving before dawn. :) Of course, I was asked by our out of town client if I could pick them up on the way to the airport, and I said sure. I found out later that my flight actually was an hour later than I thought, so I could have actually slept an extra hour. Oh well. I hadn't prepared for my two demos in Colorado yet, so I did that at the airport and then on the plane until the battery died.

Colorado is COLD. BRRRRRR. There was all this white stuff all over the ground. :) I was so hungry after the first demo that I caved and had Mexican food. :) It was SO good. I didn't do that badly, but I felt guilty enough to do good at dinner. I went to this Italian restaurant by my hotel late that night (I had two rounds of demos so it was late evening by the time I finished. In the bar area of the restaurant, there were 4 guys who were very passionately talking politics. I haven't gotten to talk about politics in a long time. I even got to tell the "democrats raise taxes which means mommy has less money which means that I get less toys" story. :)

Morgan's mini cheer team had their Christmas party today at Pump it Up. What a great concept that place is. They have it down from taking belongings from one room to another to having hand sanitizer ready for each kid as they go to the party room. Impressive. Tomorrow is her Youth Gold team's party. She also has her India project due on Tuesday. Should be a fun weekend!

Today we celebrated Travis' FORTIETH birthday since it is on Sunday. :) Wow. Happy Birthday Travis (you old man). :) To make him feel at home, we all wore sixties attire. :)

Josh ordered me a phone from ebay and it is here and on. Please send me your contact phone numbers here.

Lordy, Lordy, Travis is Forty (well, he is on Sunday)

In honor of Travis turning 40, we had "60's day" at work so that he could feel at home. :) It was fun and worked well since Mark and I were hippies for Halloween. :) He got the wonderful birthday song, and we took him to his choice of Steak and Shake for his lunch (yes, he picked it). Unfortunately, he ended up on the phone with a client and missed most of the lunch. We will have to do it over. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Tree

We finally got our Christmas tree decorated. :) As usual, we went with the sandollar and burgandy theme. Our tree is a little shorter this year, so we packed some ornaments on.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


So, I walked some of it - well, a lot of it. :) My original plan was to run 15 minutes, walk a couple, run 15 minutes, walk a couple, finish. So, I ran the 15 minutes. And I walked a couple. But, my plan fell apart from there. So, I just ran/walked the rest of the time as bes I could. It was fun. I am so glad I did it. I can so feel the running in my legs. We had a great time. Mike was ahead of me at the end, but he waited so we could finish together. That was very sweet of him. Michael, Chris, and Morgan all finished as well. Morgan even got 3rd for the 9 and under girls. She got a Dick's $10 gift certicate and a pedometer/mp3 player. :) Michael and Morgan even did the Kids 600m dash AFTER doing the 5k so that they could get a pair of TB Lightning crocs. Mark was the fastest of the bunch and came in earlier than all of us. :) I am proud that I did it. As we were leaving, a lady told us about one in St. Pete on Jan 19th in St. Pete. So, I guess I will give that one a try next. It is just a little over a month. Maybe I can run that whole one? That would be cool. :) It was amazing to see the first, second, and third place runners. They finished in around 15 minutes. WOW. We preferred 46 minutes. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Arm, Dinner, Purse Update

Today, Morgan had a doctor's appointment for her arm. Her arm has healed well, but they want to see her back in 6 weeks to see what is up with the bone piece that is still hanging out and unsure of where it is going to go. She is having some snapping in her elbow that is bothering her some but not a lot. Still very impressed with Shriner's.

Phil has been in town for the past few days, and it is great to have him in the dev lab. We all went to Millie and Tony's restaurant, Nova Steakhouse, for dinner. It was VERY good. I was impressed. We had some mushroom soup as a tease, and then I had the 8oz filet with blue cheese and a potato thing. I saved a bunch of points for dinner, so I was SO hungry. Maybe not the smartest idea for a fancy steak place. However, the decorations were very nice. The waiter was good. The food was excellent. I will definitely return. Great anniversary restaurant or a great place to take a client.

Update on the purse incident: Josh was able to get the camera exchanged, so I had to exchange that one for the original type I had. I am happy to have my camera back. :) The memory card was ok, so it is working well. :) I will post some pics tomorrow. He has also ordered me a replacement phone from ebay. Should be interesting. I do appreciate the effort, time, and money that Josh (and Lauren) have spent. Even though the experience has been extremely frustrating (and disgusting), I am thankful that Josh is trying to make it right. I bought a new purse today. It is weird having a different purse. You have to figure out where to put all of your stuff. I still haven't gotten a wallet. I need to try to find one like the one I had. It was working well for me and keeping my stuff somewhat organized. I had only had it for a few weeks (of course), so I should be able to find an exact match. I haven't heard anything on the insurance on the Bond phone. :(

I did get up this morning and do week 6 #3 of the couch to 5k program. It is 25 minutes straight of jogging! WOO HOO!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The purse incident!

WARNING - This is disgusting. If you are a wimp or have a weak stomach or are eating, this is probably not the post for you.

Non-disgusting part of the story

So, Saturday, started off kind of hectic. I knew that with the Christmas Party I needed to exercise. But, we needed to leave by 8:30 to go to Orlando for Morgan's cheer competition at Dr. Phillips High School. Mike, Michael, and I got up and went jogging (week 6 #2 of the couch to 5k plan for me). This one was two 10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk in the middle. With the warm up and cool down, it was 35 minutes. I had to rush into the shower, so I asked Mike to get Morgan's hair up in a pony tail. I am in the shower and Morgan comes in with her hair leaning to one side and with two humps. She is near tears so I tell her that I will fix it. I am giggling at this because usually Mike is the one who is good with hair. I am so NOT a good hair person.

We arrive at the cheer competition, and I get Morgan dressed and in make-up. Of course, we got there about 30 minutes early and we still weren't ready at 10:30. Typical. Morgan got changed, but then she decided that her brand new shoes were the wrong size. Since they are $50, you can imagine my joy. Then, she decides that it was just the tongue in the way and they are fine. Whew. Then, I need to fix her hair again. I spray it and spray it and spray it. Now, it is the dreaded make up time. Since I wear very little make up, I am always dreading this part. Morgan immediately starts looking for someone else to do her make up. :) I get it started, but the eye liner is where I am not so good. :) Thankfully Sarah's mom did it for her and did a fantastic job. Then, I was brave and did the lipstick. Maybe by the end of the year I will have the whole thing down. Go Mom!

Her mini team ROCKED. They did so well. Kelly and Jason certainly have done a good job of getting them prepared. They win first place!!!!! I rush her off to get her changed for her next team (thinking I am doing a good job). We are looking for her team and can't find them. Finally, we see them outside. As we walk out, one of her coaches tells us that we weren't supposed to change her and that the coaches would do it. Morgan feels like she is in trouble and starts to cry. Alice and Kelly reassure her that she is not in trouble. I told her that we know now, so she shouldn't be worrying about it. A team they were competing against went first. Whoa....are they really level 3? Every person on the team could do a punch front. It looked really great. They nailed their stunts and tumbling. Uh oh. Morgan's team did well, but they had a few bobbles and a few tumbling errors. Morgan did well. I was proud.

After the competition, I hurried out so I could meet the Raleigh/Boston/Philly crew for the Bond Christmas Party. As soon as I pull out onto I4, it is a parking lot. I start to freak. It is 4:00. Party starts at 7. I have to get dressed and everything and drive there. Uh oh. Cutting it close. About 5:15, I talk to Mark. He says the party starts at 6. UH OH. I am SO not going to make it. I drive faster than I should, and I arrive at the hotel around 5:50. I decide that there is no time to take another shower (thank GOD I took one in the morning). Mike and I rush out to hurry to the Christmas Party. Oh wait. We need liquor. They only serve wine and beer, and that is too many points. So, we go to the liquor store to get some rum. We arrive at the party around 6:45. Not too bad. We order a diet coke in a tall glass. The bartender says, "I thought you two drank last year." I ignore her. She says to Mike, "Didn't you drink last year?" I am wondering what that says about us that the bartender knows that we drink when we only see her once a year. Odd. Mike keeps going to the bathroom to make drinks. I wonder if anyone noticed? :)

After the party, we head for Whisky Park North. This is not my usual type of place to go, but what the hell? We go upstairs, and we see most of the Bond crew. We notice that the Boston/Raleigh/Philly connection is not there. We find out later that they didn't meet the dress code since they changed clothes. Bummer. We do catch up with them once they are back in party attire. Glad I didn't change! We have a great time dancing (everyone formed a circle and people went in and out of the middle). Of course, I wasn't surprised when Mike went into the middle or even when Travis did. I WAS surprised when TONY went in the middle. He never dances. I forgot to mention that Tony had a date set up by Millie. :) Good job Millie. Of course, he almost missed it since Phil had to go buy pants and have them taken in (he said his wife would have killed him if he bought off the rack pants lol).

Ok, now is the gross part. Stop reading if you don't want to know (you really probably don't want to know but I can't resist it. I have to show).

Josh and Lauren were also at Whiskey Park. We were having a grand old time with them until...Josh picked up my purse and PUKED IN IT. Let me repeat that. He picked up my purse and vomitted IN my purse. Not like accidentally puked on it instead of the floor. Oh no! He AIMED for it. So, I am furious. Josh has to leave (which was probably good). We leave thereafter as I am disgusted. We take Travis home, and head to the hotel. I remember being SO thirsty but I really didn't want to wade through the puke to get a diet coke. Mike didn't have any cash, so I was out of luck. I tried to clean off the phones and camera that night, but I kept gagging. I got most of it off, but I finally surrendered and went to bed. Of course, it is very late by now. I wake up at 6:00. I start freaking out because my phone doesn't work. Morgan is spending the night with a friend from the gym, and their phone number is in my phone. UGH. I try and try and try to get the phone to work. No dice. I finally think about changing my phone greeting to leave Mike's cell number. Whew. I start going through my purse. OH MY GOSH...I CANNOT EVEN DESCRIBE HOW NASTY IT IS. I start puking because it is so totally digusting to reach into my purse that has someone else's vomit all over my stuff. Mike is trying to sleep and keeps telling me that he loves me and asking if I am ok. I am in tears many times. Finally, I get everything out that I am going to get. Let me tell you that everything had at least some puke on it, but the half of my purse that had all the electronics was the part that got 90% of it. My wallet even had it inside it - even in the coin area. I wash everything that I can. I try to dry things out with the hair dryer and the air conditioner. Finally, I am as done as I will be. The worst part is that it was in a purse that my mom brought me from Italy. I loved that purse.

Josh has so far worked on the camera and has taken it back to get a new one. Neither of my cell phones work, so he is working on my personal cell phone now. I know he feels awful. I know that one day I will forgive him. I am thankful that he is trying to make it right. I will keep you posted.

Party dress: $100
Hotel room: 20,000 points
Bacardi Rum: $12
Cell Phone: $300
Cell Phone: $200
Camera: $225
Wallet: $25
Italian Purse: Priceless :(

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wow, 6 months smoke free!!!!!!!!!

WOOO HOOO!!! I made it 6 months without smoking.
Amy - smoke free for Six Months, One Day, 5 Hours and 33 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Days and 8 Hours, by avoiding the use of 4422 cigs that would have cost me $757.38.

Now, look at those numbers for a minute. SIX months and 4422 cigs!!!! That is a LOT. $757!!! Whoaahh.... I am not sure the 15 days is that impressive. I would think in 6 months it would be more. 15 days is just long enough to be in a coma for a miserable 2 weeks. :) However, it is all still amazing to me. I am so thankful that I was the nurse at Camp Chattooga for a week. I don't know that I ever would have made it without being forced to do it. Amazing.