welcome, 2010

Thursday, December 31, 2009

'i do think new year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on new year's day, don't you? since, because it's an extension of new year's eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. also dieting on new year's day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. i think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on january the second.
~helen fielding, bridget jones's diary

makes a lot of sense, huh???

this is how we welcomed in the new year...posed in front of our dining room window watching a seriously monsterous display of fireworks!! who knew?? love it.

happy 2010 to each of you!!!

resolutions suggested...

'character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.'
~ cavett robert

what a great quote. well spoken, mr. robert.

i am so bad at resolutions. especially for me, it seems that they are quite simply meant to be broken. perhaps i set the bar too high for myself sometimes, but that's a whole different story.

i do know that i met one of my resolutions last year, and it was huge. to be honest, i can't remember the others; they fell by the wayside pretty quickly. the biggie: i did manage to start my own life and make it as normal as possible for the girls. i don't do it often enough, but i owe my self a big ol' pat on the back for that one. mission majorly accomplished!!

i am pretty sure that it was my friend kelly who unknowingly motivated me to start blogging. i stuck with it. i did not stick to it with the same gusto as her, but i am all about baby steps. and speaking of kelly...

she accomplished a major goal in 2009:
she blogged. every. single. day. and she took a picture of each of her beautiful girls to go along with her posts.

every. single. day.

this is such an impressive and inspirational feat to me, and one that i don't yet dare to add to my to-do list. i really can't express how proud of her i am!! way to go, kelly!!

i am totally going to keep blogging. it is a good outlet for me. i do like to talk, but i have kind of had a year of hiding and emotional hibernation which means that blogging has been my primary way of talking (it probably helps me not be such a motor mouth, too). blogging is something that i'm consistent with and i've been more diligent with it than i ever expected. i hope you'll keep following along with me.

my two main focuses for 2010 are:

budgeting - it seems lately like my bank account has a leak in it. this does not make me happy at all. i did so good with budgeting through october. i have no earthly idea what happened in november and december, but it was not good.

awe-manac - this is a change-your-life kinda book. i received it as a gift from a very dear friend (who has, coincidentally, also changed my life). you have to get it. you have to do it. get it today. i promise, you'll thank me for it later. the 'book' isn't my resolution because that wouldn't really be a resolution. it would be like getting a fortune cookie that should really be called a statement cookie.

so my resolution is to use awe-manac as a springboard to keep me writing throughout the year. i did a so-so job this year, and i can do better. with the help of my two writing buddies, i think i will have some good motivation on my side.

isn't it the just cutest book ever?

and of course, i want to keep doing the best job that i am able to do for my girls and for myself. that's a requirement, not a resolution. it's like inhaling and exhaling. or blinking. or making sure your bones show up on xrays. or making your heart beat every now and then.

tonight is going to be a wild one...me and the girls, some pasta, a movie or two, and many good times. our party pants are in full-force, and they just might be flannel with matching button up flannel tops. be afraid, the henry girls are some serious party princesses.

2010, i look forward to meeting you. 2009, it's been great.

i wish each of you and your families a very blessed and prosperous year.


twenty questions (give or take)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

i love the 'why' questions, like 'why is the sky blue?' and 'why do dogs have four legs?' and 'why do trees have leaves instead of hair?'...these are easy to answer. my favorite response is 'why not?' it's kind of a conversation-stopper, but sometimes that's what you want.

jay has been chock full of intriguing questions lately, and they are not your garden variety 'why' questions. it is really catching me off guard. it's like somebody turned her 'deep thoughts' switch on over the weekend. i have tried my best to answer her, but it hasn't been easy.

does it hurt to get your tonsils out?

have you had your tonsils out?

how many did you have taken out?

does everybody only have two?

is that painting a picture of your earth angel?

does she really watch over you?

how many eyes do angels have?

how many do you have to be so you can be an angel?

do you think i'd be a good angel when i grow up?

what happens if both of your parents die and you're a little kid?

so a kid gets to pick who takes care of them after their parents die?

what if you don't like the people that your parents picked for you?

does the earth angel know the God parents?

do i have an earth angel yet?

what if the people the parents picked don't want the kids?

would the new people ever child abuse?

do the kids get to take their toys and stuff with them?

how many days is it until my birthday?

how long is thirty-four more night nights?

do i get to go to kindergarten the next day?

how long is six months?

do we get to stay home with you this summer?

do kids have to go to school?

what happens if moms don't work?

can we homeschool?

can my earth angel go to school with me?

well, that was twenty-six questions. those are just the ones that immediately came floating back to me. it makes me nervous and sad and curious and perplexed to answer these questions. i want to give her honest answers, but of course she isn't looking for dissertations, either. i don't remember cee asking questions this deep so young.

i have been amazed at jay's level of empathy for a really long time. she can read my face better than anyone i know. she gets really sad in movies...we had to leave 'up' before it was over because she was sobbing uncontrollably. she cries in 'the parent trap' when one lohan pierces the other lohan's ears. she worries about people that look sad or upset, even if she doesn't know them.

my first reaction is to wonder why she is such a deep thinker so young.

my inner monologue replies to me, 'why not?'

i think this gift that she has is incredible. i would give anything to have had as much empathy for others when i was her age...my kids never seem to surprise me when they share one of their many gifts with me. getting a peek into their talents and blessings makes being a mom seem like christmas every single day.

best ever?

Friday, December 25, 2009

okay, this seriously might have been the best christmas ever! i don't know if it's because the girls are both at the perfect age for loving santa or if it was just a great ending to this year, but it was absolutely fabulous. i have lots of pictures...

they actually slept until 7:30, which worked out well because santa was hard at work until 1:30...and santa requires six hours of sleep at a bare minimum.

this pretty much sums up the look that jay had on her face all morning. it's kind of the same sugared up face that she gets on halloween, except there was no sugar involved.

cee wanted a ds so, so bad. she was just as happy with her didj. she had it figured out way before i could ever have put the batteries in it.

we had an environmentally-friendly christmas...remote control cars that are solar powered. the funny part to me is that if you let it 'charge' for 4 hours, you get 10 minutes of remote time.

and for my big gift, i got a stuffed rudolph. technically, this negates the environmentally friendly christmas that i just touted; however, i promise this is the first *and* the second-to-last deer that i ever shot. it was two years ago. it's texas...it takes awhile to mount all the dead deer heads. i was very happy to see him again. i think i named him hank, so i will have to think of a better name for him. if it makes you feel better, he was really old. if that makes you feel worse, then forget i said it.

the girls have now left (sniffles) to go spend time with their dad's parents for a couple of days, so it is really quiet at my house. browning and hank are sound asleep. my mom and i are watching movies, and i am pretty sure that we will have wicked battles of connect four, operation, and maybe even minature golf in a little while. i might even convince her to watch the hangover...such a heart-warming holiday tale.

i hope that everyone had a very happy, prosperous, and blessed christmas. to me, it's all about family, friends, and love. merry christmas to each of you!!


the eve

Thursday, December 24, 2009

it's the eve. this might be the most exciting Christmas that i can ever remember. the girls are seriously psyched. they received video messages from santa, we tracked the big man on norad, and we saw rudolph's nose flying through the sky. they waved at rudolph and blew kisses to him.
the cookies are out, the milk has been poured, and the carrots, celery & oatmeal are waiting for the reindeer. ahhhh....their little faces just light up every single time anything new happens, and i can't get enough of it.

they begged and begged to open *one* gift tonight, and of course i gave in because i'm a sucker for the puppy dog eyes. i let them open a gift from jerry the tiny elf. i was shocked to find out that jerry got them their own sock monkeys!!! this was great news for us all, because now i get my *monkey monkey* back...he's been my bud for about 10 years, and it was really getting difficult to share him.

side note: it's jerry's last night with us. cee cried when she laid down to go to sleep because she's going to miss him so much. they made cards and pictures for him to keep so he won't forget about us.

i am seriously tempted to wake them up right this very second so they can open their gifts. much like happy hour and five o'clock, it's Christmas day somewhere. :)

merry Christmas to you and yours. peace & joy to all, and to all a good night.

lights? camera? action!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

i am smitten with christmas spirit!! yippie! i took the girls to a super fun light display last night. it's starting to be a tradition (if you count going for 2 years in a row the birth of a tradition). we missed the laser light 3d show, but we caught the regular one...i think seeing their faces light up with happiness is what put me over the edge.

of course i had my camera, so i snapped away and i feel good about the shots i got. the girls have finally resigned themselves to the fact that i will always have my camera in their faces and they may as well smile. this makes it easier for us all. :)

when we went last year, i got a cute pic of the girls bundled in coats. last night, it was a balmy 72 degrees. go figure, it's texas. we just roll with the meteorological punches. much like the girls and my camera, it's just easier that way.

santa sent them an email message yesterday. the looks on their faces were absolutely priceless. jerry the elf is still up to his usual antics. i finished our christmas memory book, and now all we need is a visit from santa.

hurry, santa. don't be late...

merry christmas eve eve, everyone!

dear santa,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

we wrote our letters to the big man in red today...they melted my heart!!!

dear santa,

hi! i miss you and love you. how have you been? have lots of people been bad this year? i was good this year. i promise. and i love you so so so so so much. like all the way to my mom’s school and back. if you don’t know, that’s a whole lot.

we love jerry so so much. he was kinda spooky at first. do you mind leaving a note next time you bring us something before christmas so we don’t get all spooked and stuff?

for Christmas, i want jewelry, a puppy, a phone, and a car. i also want a necklace, and i want all of my family (mom and cee and me and dad and browning and hank) to have a recipe for a fun party and yummy cocoa. and i want a cd of all the disney songs and i want my family to keep being happy. and maybe a barbie jeep, too. i like the escalade lots. and that is all. oh, and i want an ipod and an iphone.

thank you very much, but you may not get me what i want. if you don’t, it’s still okay. i hope your reindeer stay okay and i hope nobody gets on the naughty list.


and part 2 - courtesy of cee...

dear santa,

hi. i miss you. jerry is really safe at our house. the first night, we were kind of freaking out because we had no idea what he was. we were kind of wondering if he was from you. i have been good, good, good. my sister has also been good, good, good. jerry helped us be good at the beginning and now it’s so fun to find him. today we found him in the kitchen. i think we are going to miss him a lot when he has to leave with you. i can’t wait until next year when i see him again. and a book came with him and we learned a lot about him.

we saw my teacher's elf yourself dance and it was so funny that we joined in. is rudolph and all the other reindeers ready to fly? before i tell you what I want for christmas, what would you want for christmas?

i want a ds, a dsi, games for both, a case for both, an ipod with ear buds, and a make up kit and a stuffed animal, a fake phone, and some new babies and a baby carrier and baby things. i also want my sister to be the kid in school when we play school. oh, and ten candy canes and a picture of rudolph and picture of you. oh, and i would love some ornaments for the christmas trees in our bedrooms, too. and i want my family to be happy forever and ever and ever and that is all i want.

i hope that mrs. claus and you are very safe this year. make sure you don’t wake us up if you bring the ornaments into our rooms for our trees. i love you so much, and i hope you have a merry christmas.


my new favorite Christmas song...

Monday, December 21, 2009

to me, this is just a little bit irresistible! we are headed to jay's Christmas performance in a bit.

disclaimer: i am new to youtube, and this takes awhile to load. but it's totally worth it!

i'm gonna go ahead and call this my new fave song for the holidays. i am hoping to get lots of cute pics tonight...brace yourselves. :)

happy hippo holidays!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

browning is my dog. he's pretty much a rock star. if we didn't have kids, then i totally would have requested custody of him in the divorce. however, cee and jay come first for me, so browning stayed with the ex. he came over to visit for the weekend. i love him so much - i have posted before about how cool he is.


merry christmas! this is my sweet browning. think of this as his 'senior pic'...in his cap. no gown.

on december 31, 1999, i went to new orleans for new years and stayed up all night playing craps. browning's dad and i ended up running the tables that night!! when we got ready to leave, we decided that a dog was one thing we'd purchase with our loot.

you know how when you have kids people say it will change your life? this dog changed my life before i had cee and jay in his own special way. he was the cutest, chubbiest pup in his litter. his litter name was 'fat boy'. i wanted to name him harrah for the casino, but it seemed kind of fluffy & way too feminine, so we flipped a coin between 'browning' and 'wesson'. i'm going to have to find one of his many baby pictures so you can see how irresistible he was.

he is seriously like the kid that i got to practice on to learn how to be a half way decent mom. cee and jay should be very thankful that he was my 'guinea pig'. i know i'm thankful...i made lots of mistakes.

he was overfed many times. he got in lots of trouble, and he got away with lots of things. he once crashed a birthday party at my neighbor's house. he ate the WHOLE cake. it was one of those amazing charm city cakes kind of cakes and it had been custom made for someone's 40th birthday. he crashed that same neighbor's crawfish boil another time. he ate so many crawfish (the nasty ones that had been tossed aside) that the next day i thought he was going to die. he wouldn't move any part of his body except his eyes. his eyes were so miserable.
i am embarassed to even begin to count all the times he devoured ungodly amounts of human food. i can at least say that 50% of it was healthy: lettuce, grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, apples, pears, figs... he is a canine garbage can. in fact, tonight, he ate a sock. i swear. and if i hadn't seen it with my own eyes and tried to fish it out with my bare hands, i probably wouldn't believe it. but that's just how he rolls.

the reason i'm writing about him is because his co-owner told me that he has heartworm. sure, it's treatable, but this was sort of my wake up call that my brown dog is getting old. what on earth will i do without him? he has literally been a part of my whole adult life. what will the girls do without him? he has literally been a part of their lives since they were born. he never once ate any of their toys; he has cleaned their plates for them more times than i can count and eaten their veggies for them more times than i can fathom; he has fallen asleep with them in bed more times than i could dream; and he has protected them from harm's way more times than i honestly care to know.
he has survived porcupine encounters. he got stabbed by a deer. twice. same deer, but we all live and learn. he's had more stitches than necessary. he has battled obesity most of his adult life. he is a trooper.

i found a few pictures of him (okay - albums and albums of pictures) and i am now pretty sure that i will never scold him again. ever. he has had a really, really good run at life. he's a super hero. he should pretty much be allowed to do whatever he wants for...the rest of his life. if dogs were knighted, then he would be sir browning.

(sniff, sniff)

i know that everyone has their own special relationship with their dog. that's why they're called man's best friend, right? so i guess this is just random old me showing you how much i love my dog and how much i can't believe that he is really 10 (which, as we all know, is 70) and that he's in his final dog years of life.

this is browning with cee - she was about 15 months old here. she's attempting to hand him a gigantic tennis ball animal. i am pretty sure that he devoured this indestructible toy within a week of its purchase ...

this is browning with jay - she was about 7 months old here. i like to think of this as puppy love...

browning with jay - summer of 2007...

browning last christmas...

i guess you get the 'picture'. browning is the coolest dog i have ever had. he is so sweet. and large. and noisy & smelly. and i love him tons and tons and tons.

the. end.

(oh, p.s. - this is him when we first got hank. he is pretending not to scowl in disgust, but he really doesn't have a very good poker face.)


Sunday, December 13, 2009

i just had to go to urban dictionary to clarify the meaning of the lyrics in my last post because i am just that cool.

guess what the word of the day is on urban dictionary?


how cute is that!?!

here's the definition, and i am sure that all my mom friends can totally relate:

**the feeling of being overworked, underappreciated and like you don't exist to others during the holidays, while in actuality the season's success depends on you.

**the sense of being 3 feet small when others would view you in high stature if they realized all you do to make the holidays happen.

ahhh, it's the little things that make me smile.

(ha. get it? little. like an elf.)

and speaking of elves, jerry may or may not have forgotten to relocate himself last night. ooops. elf master needs to get with it!!


cee and jay are going to start their first basketball season in january. i am very excited about this; they, however, are not. they totally get stage fright with all things new, but once they're past the newness, they embrace things warmly. hopefully this will be true for basketball.

cee's dad is coaching her team, and their name is 'the spurs'. this is a cool name (i played on the spurs when i was younger).

jay's team name is 'the ballers'. this is not a cool name (in my humble opinion). ballers? really? to me, it's sort of like calling your kid a 'cute little gangster' or something.

i have already devised a plan to get me mentally prepared to be the mom of a female baller.

enter lil' troy.

oh yeah. 'wanna be a baller'.

i am going to purchase a gigantic boom box and a track suit (sue sylvester-esque) and chill in the bleachers with lil' troy blaring. that will be their theme song.

go ballers, go!!

wanna be a baller -- shot caller
20 inch blades -- on the impalla
a caller getting *#&$ tonight
swisher rolled tight
gotta spray my ice
i hit the highway
making money the fly way
but there's gotta be a better way
a better way
a better way

yeah. that's why i am not crazy about having my four year old on a team called 'the ballers'.

also, i find it interesting to note that the use of punctuation is very loosely used in rap. i am not judging because, after all, my capital letter usage is few and far between. i am simply making an observation.

alright - happy balling. watch out for the 20 inch blades on your impalla, yo.

(another interesting note: spell check does not recognize 'baller' as a valid word. we'll call that exhibit b.)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

i have a new love in my life. his name is jerry, and he is the cutest thing you have ever laid eyes on, trust me.

properly know as 'jerry the tiny elf,' he is our 'elf on the shelf' and he arrived at our house today. he is so incredibly cute, and i would swear that he really has magical powers. the girls have been absolutely angelic today.

so here's the deal: jerry is our special visitor from the north pole. he is basically santa's mole. he travels back to the north pole each night to report to santa, and he's back by the next morning. every time he comes back, he lands in a new place.

on christmas eve, he leaves with santa in the sleigh and returns again the following year.

absolutely briliant.

the girls left a granola bar out for him just in case he gets hungry, but i am pretty sure that he only eats special elf food at the north pole each night.

and our christmas tree...

this is my favorite decoration. it was my grandmother's and it is still in perfect shape.

hank is in the christmas spirit, too.

make believe parenting?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

i love it when the girls ask me if i want to play 'mom and kids.'

they lay out their parameters for this game very carefully:

'you can be the mom, and we can be the kids. okay?'

it's a big stretch for my acting repertoire, but i am more than willing to give it a shot.

every single day.

the best part of playing this 'game' is that after we finish, they tell me that i'm the best mom ever. i don't know if they are referring to my alter-ego mom from the game or to my real life mom skills, but either way works for me.

in case you were wondering, this game is merely an extension of the good old standby known as 'katie and stacey' where jay stars as ashley and cee stars as halley. this game is always played right after we get home from school each day, which leaves me with the role of 'the office lady' who has to work on her computer for a few minutes (translation: check facebook & yahoo). :)

such creative little minds.

happy saturday!!

cloudy with a chance...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

...of snow.

it *might* snow tomorrow.

this is central texas.

we don't see lots of snow.

therefore, everyone is in quite the frenzy with anticipation of fluffy white flakes.

i'll keep you posted.

to my friends who live anywhere north of here, please don't laugh.

we take snow seriously. :)

hee hee!!!

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