Friday, November 28, 2008

Black celebration

“Let’s have a black celebration tonight
To celebrate the fact
That we’ve seen the back
Of another black day” ~Depeche Mode

So I woke up at 4:45 this morning, got dressed and went to Wal-Mart. Being a Black Friday virgin, I thought it would be busy but Oh. My. Goodness! It was insane! The parking lot was full and I had to park in the parking lot used for the strip mall beside Wal-Mart. I was told to go stake out what I wanted the night before and I should have listened to that advice. I was having trouble finding what I wanted at first. I started out without a cart because I wasn’t too hopeful that I would find anything on my list. I was able to zig and zag fairly easily. I grabbed some small things and then I saw the big things I wanted (I won’t mention what they are incase the recipients of said gifts happen to read the blog) so I grabbed an empty cart. I was ready to check out so I stood in what appeared to be the line. After about 15 minutes of not moving the woman in front of me decided to try and get in a line in the middle of the store (we were in the 20 items or less line) so I followed her. It was a great choice. The only real excitement was that the woman in front of me and one to the side of me were having panic attacks. I got home and was back in bed by 6:10. It wasn’t a horrible experience but I don’t know that I will do it again next year…

All the Christmas decorations went up at work today. We have a 15 foot tree that is just FAB and a Teddy Bear Tree from The Salvation Army. Locals dress up bears and donate them to The Salvation Army who then gives the bears to kids in need. It makes me cry every time they put the tree up. If I get a sewing machine for Christmas, I want to dress a bear for next year.

Sorry for the poopy camera phone photo!

100 Things I am Thankful for
In no specific order:

1. No matter what crappy thing I do, God still loves me
2. I will get to see my Dad in Heaven some day
3. My family
4. My Sweetie
5. My Sweetie’s family
6. Growing up in California
7. MySpace (because that’s where I met A)
8. My two jobs (I hate working so much but I am still thankful to have my jobs) and
9. I am physically able to work two jobs AND
10. I am darn good at them
11. My house
12. That my car is paid for
13. My Blue eyes
14. My natural boobs
15. That I have my dad's nose
16. and my mom's eyes
17. That no matter how much my sister and I fight, we still love each other at the end of the day 18. My kitty and
19. My pooch
20. That I have sight
21. hearing
22. smell
23. touch and
24. taste
25. The calendar on my BB Pearl
26. Chocolate milk
27. The leaves in fall in the Ozarks
28. Springtime
29. Redbox
30. Even though Bess Kitty has cancer, she doesn’t act sick
31. Lukeran (Bess’ meds)
32. I have a se*y phone voice
33. I have rhythm
34. I never started smoking
35. or doing drugs
36. My Mom’s neighbors because they help her when I can’t
37. The internet
38. Bloggers!
39. Freedom of Religion
40. Freedom of speech
41. 80’s & 90’s gothic
42. new wave and
43. industrial music
44. Reality TV
45. Canadian TV
46. DVR
47. My sense of humor
48. A's laugh
49. That I am literate
50. Though I may be in “want” I am not in “need”
51. My Opa is moving to Arkansas
52. Having a day off all to myself
53. That R and I reconnected
54. My true friends
55. Brownies with vanilla ice cream
56. My roof repair only cost $45 (thought I was going to need a new roof!)
57. The ocean
58. The Sims
59. The Sims Online (Now defunct but that’s where I met J)
60. That “Pepe” was a made up person and didn’t really have the struggles she claimed to have with Cystic Fibrosis. Although I pray she gets help for her Munchausen’s or whatever her real deal is.
61. That my asthma has improved significantly since moving out here
62. Timbaland
63. Unlimited mobile to mobile texting
64. That no matter how far I bite these fingernails down, they always grow back
65. Wikipedia
66. Pumpkin pie
67. That I am almost done with Christmas shopping and it’s not even December yet
68. A good nights sleep
69. My health
70. Shawn received new lungs
71. Baby Abby is doing amazing since having her brain surgery
72. Baby Jackie is also doing amazing after her heart surgery
73. I am finally in real love
74. That I learn something new each day
75. A hot shower and
76. clean sheets
77. I am a quick learner
78. A good massage
79. That I can give a good massage
80. Old photos
81. Family recipes
82. Hugs
83. This Italian Chicken Club I am eating right now
84. The fact that no matter how long it's been since we talked, DC and I can always pick up where we left off
85. Wednesday nights with cousin C
86. The color blue
87. Rainy nights snuggled up next to my sweetie
88. Playing in the snow with my pooch
89. Craft time with D
90. When I come home from work and my sweetie has washed the dishes
91. or did the laundry for me
92. Having someone to cook breakfast for
93. Mom's printer that prints photo quality copies
94. That I live within 5 minutes of one job
95. and 10 minutes from the other
96. Spell check
97. Sis took some awesome photos of A, D & me
98. I am a woman
99. My life
100. That I have 100 things (any many more) to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Mom found the photo of my favorite Christmas gift I received as a child. Oh man, I was so excited to get that doll.

I have a ton to be thankful for this year. I started a list that I was going to post today but I left it at work. BOO! We had Thanksgiving with A's dad's side of the family. The food was fantastic! Here is my contribution to the meal;

This is the only other photo I took of the day! LOL!

I didn't get to eat with Mom and Sis because A's family's Turkey Day plans got changed at 9:30 the night before. Mom and Sis went out to eat because nobody felt like cooking.

Uncle B is coming over later tonight but I am going to bed early. I got the crazy idea to wake up super early and go to the Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart. Let's see if my lazy butt actually wakes up in time...


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm the

Tonight I was ironing clothes while D was on the bed watching a movie. Out of nowhere she says,
"Layne, I missed you all week." (I just dropped her off at school on Monday)
Me: I missed you too Sweetie.
D: I just want to hug you.
(We hug for a few minutes and I put her back on the bed)
D: Layne, you're the best... um... what are you?
Me: Well, right now I am your Daddy's girlfriend.
D: Well, you are the best... What do I call you then?
Me: What would you like to call me?
D: I don't know.
L: Well, you can think about it for a while and let me know, okay?
D: Okay.

I can see where the lines get muddied and not just for her. I'm not technically her Stepmom (yet) but I am a whole heck of a lot more then "The Baby Sitter" (What she called me when A and I first got together). Who am I right now? I love this child. I feed and clothe her. I want the absolute best for her. I can't wait for the day when she can say that I'm the best Stepmom.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Terrible 6’s and crafts gone bad

It seems as though someone has a case of the Terrible 6’s. “Please” and “Thank you” are often forgotten and things are demanded instead of asked for.
I have no idea where this behavior came from! Where did our sweet child go? What were we doing wrong? Needless to say it has been stressing me out. I am so emotionally driven (yeah, I am a woman but I think I have the emotions of a hundred women!) and my feelings were being hurt.
I came up with a set of 4 house rules with “Please and Thank you” being number one. I went over the rules with A and he agreed. He told BM about the rules and she asked for a copy for her home and suggested a 5th rule. I added the 5th rule to both our lists so that we have consistency between the two homes. I made a cute little collage in Photoshop, added the rules and D and I painted and glittered some frames! Problem solved right? WRONG!
The manners flowed last weekend but this weekend we were back to square one. Mid panic attack I emailed The Wicked Stepmom for some advice. Hoping to not come off as a total loony I told her what has been going on. She told me that it may just be a normal 6 year old thing. I won’t quote her response since I did not ask permission but she made me feel so much better.
I also talked to my Mom and she said Sis had a phase just like it when she turned 6. She also told me that I just can’t let it hurt my feelings because it’s not about ME.
Thank God for Mom’s and strangers I meet on the Internet LOL! I will just grow a thicker skin while waiting for this phase to pass. Hey, didn’t I request a copy of “What to expect when you are expecting a 6 year old”?? Oh, that book doesn’t exist you say? Pfft!

On to a different topic; Crafts.
I love doing crafts with D. She always asks to make something with me so I try to have at least one craft planned for our weekends together.I remember making “Stained Glass” when I was little so I thought I’d try it with D this weekend.

WARNING: Do not attempt while surfing the crimson wave! TMI, I know but holy cannoli, the prep work about killed me.

I was too afraid to let D help me grate the crayons so I did it on my own. Every five minutes I heard “Are we ready yet?” It took me forever. Not kidding. I was grouchy. We finally started our project and it made a huge mess. The green shavings exploded on us (due to static electricity I guess?) and the wax bled on the towel and our table cloth. D had a good time and really, that is all that matters to me. We just won’t be doing this project again.

Sorry for the sucktastic photo. It's been cold and gloomy here so I used inside light.

This weekend was defiantly a learning experience for me!

P.S. I also started kitting that scarf for #47 on my list.

You love my man hands right?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Keeping my finger's crossed

My Sweetie just informed me that as of 5:00pm tonight, he smoked his last cigarette. So please say your prayers & send good vibes his way. I would love for this to be the last time he quits! Come on Sweetie, you can do it!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Kitchen

As promised, here are some photos of the fugly kitchen. I had a full view shot but the kitchen was still messy and I am far too embarrassed to post it. I'll have to take another one.

Looks think we have the table situation solved. A has a bumper pool/poker table like this (fun!) but with a glass top. I haven't seen it in person but I think it will work just fine for a dining table. If so, I may keep the chairs I have now and reupholster them myself. I'd like some new chairs so I may look around and see what's out there...

I haven't made much progress in tearing down the wallpaper. We have D three weekends in a row and I like to use that time doing fun family stuff. I have a feeling a 6 year old isn't going to want to help me peel wallpaper.

On a side note, A brought home some paint for the bathroom. I may try and do that next weekend. The bathroom is the size of a walk in closet so painting it should be quick and painless.

Holy canoli it is way past my bed time!

Good night.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is what fall is all about

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's snowing!!

It's not sticking but it is snowing and it is stinking cold outside!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's get it started!

I love finding a blog that I like enough to read it from the beginning. I’ve done that with Stepmother’s Milk, Blonde Lawyer, Wicked Stepmom and now apartment tbd, etc. The only down side is when I am done, I have to wait for an update like everyone else!! I have learned so much from each woman respectively. They are classy, funny and talented each in their own ways.

Thanks to Kay at apartment tbd, etc. I am totally inspired to start some DIY projects. Two years ago, when I purchased my home, I wanted to do the master bedroom in black and white with blue accents (Kay, I know you don’t care much for blue but I LOVE blue). I painted the walls Jamaica Bay and I wanted a bold black on white print for the curtains and a throw pillow or two. I couldn’t find anything I wanted so I kind-of gave up. It didn’t even occur to me that I could MAKE the curtains & pillows! I took sewing in high school and my mom sews all the time. DUH!

Just walking around the fabric department in Wal-Mart I spotted a few things I could have used. I think I will try and achieve that look I originally wanted. So, (or sew) I am asking for a sewing machine for Christmas. I hope I can hold out because I really, really want to go buy one tonight but my budget won’t allow it.

I think I am going to attempt taking down the wall paper in the kitchen (again) this weekend. I picked up some products tonight that should help me. There are like 4 layers of hideous paper I have to get through. The kitchen is by far the ugliest room in the house. The floors are dark, old and just plain nasty. The wall paper is the same. I want something bright. Maybe yellow? The living room is painted Ryegrass so I may do the adjoining wall in Ryegrass and then the rest of the walls white and use color in the utensils like Kay showed us many times in her blog.

I want to get rid of the table and chairs ASAP but I need to decide what I want to replace them with. I do want something small since the space is small. Maybe a circle table with removable leaves?

I was going to post some photos but it will have to wait until later. I haven't washed the dishes yet...

64. Organize my "favorites" list on the computer

Why is this on my list?: I have old links, broken links and some duplicates saved under different names. It’s a hot mess.

How did I do it?: I sat there and tested & renamed them, then organized them into folders (while watching Real Housewives of Atlanta).

How did it feel?:Well, getting organized always feels good to me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fallen Soldier

Photo by ladybugbkt on Flickr

I just received this email at work;

"I was just notified that Mellissa’s husband Jimmy was killed while on duty in Iraq. That’s all I know at this time. PLEASE keep her and the family in your prayers."

Melissa is a coworker of mine. She is a very sweet, young lady. I know I should say something super patriotic right now but all I can do is cry and tell my family how much I love them.

Christmas Survey from Amy

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real if possible. I do have a fake one for back up
3. When do you put up the tree? ASAP but probably after or ON Thanksgiving
4. Do you like eggnog? Can’t say that I have ever tried it
5. Favorite gift received as a child? When I was small, all I really wanted was a Cabbage Patch Kid. At the time my folks couldn’t afford the real deal so they got me a knock off. I didn’t care; I was so excited I cried my eyes out.
6. Hardest person to buy for? It used to be my Dad. I don’t have to worry about that any more… 7. Easiest person to buy for? My mom, she makes a list of exactly what she wants and reminds my Sis and I of the list frequently.
8. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a couple actually
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I’d like to make home made cards this year.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Earrings that look like Pez candy. I got them from my boyfriend at the time. Not sure what he was thinking…
11. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story
12. When do you start shopping? I am bad. If it is too early and I buy something for Christmas, I can’t wait. I end up giving the gift early and then have to go buy something else right before Christmas…
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, some bath soap ensemble in a scent that just wasn’t me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person I gave it to re-gifted as well...
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey and pumpkin pie. Just like at Thanksgiving
15. Lights on the tree? Lights everywhere!!!
16. Favorite Christmas song? O’ Holy Night and Drummer Boy bring me to tears every time.
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I usually stay in town but I am not apposed to travel
18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? If I sing the song…
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I did a bow last year. The angel I have is WAY too big to be a tree topper on a tree in my little house.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? When I was a kid we read the bible Christmas Story and opened one gift on Christmas Eve then all the rest on Christmas day. Now that I am older, it all depends on where I’ll be and who I’m with.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Not having enough money to do all the things I want to do.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Eclectic. New and old, store bought and hand made, just a Hodge Podge of stuff.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? Liposuction! Seriously, I don’t want to say what I am hoping for because I don’t want to jinx it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

43. Stop working so much

Due to stupid decisions I have made and continue to make regarding credit card use, I have backed myself into a corner with my finances. Therefore I need to work two jobs. Last year I was working 6 days a week around 11 hours a day (only 3 to 4 on Saturday). I am down to working a second job 3 nights a week. Working my tail off was just fine as a swinging single but bring A & D into the equation and working two jobs just plain sucks… I miss out on time with people I adore because I am either at work or so tired from working that I am in a grumpy mood.

Today I am wracking my brain as to what I can do so I only have to work one job.

The hours at my primary job were (voluntarily) cut to 37.5 hours per week. The mortgage business is crappy right now so work is slow. Plus, I really enjoy the extra time to sleep in. Things are about to start picking up for me because I am helping out our mother branch. I am going to try and get in 40 hours a week and see what that does to my paycheck.

I also go credit card crazy. I have Obsessive Shopping Disorder. Some call it a disease, some call it lack of self control, either way, it’s what I’ve got. I make lists upon lists and then go shopping. Clothes, cleaning supplies, food, crafts… anything. It is a short term fix for whatever I am stressed or anxious about at that moment. It’s like crack. Once I realize what I have done, and especially when I get the bill, I feel ill but I can’t seem to stop. The thought of cutting up my credit card scares the s*it out of me.

I am going to try…try and only use my card if I absolutely need it (unexpected costs). I also need to quit eating out. I only do it because it is easier than cooking. Eating out all the time is preventing me from #36. Lose at LEAST 20 lbs.

It looks like I have a huge domino effect going on; Quit the compulsive spending – bills are lower – no second job and possibly loose some weight and stress in the process.

Please say a prayer for me. I am not good in the self control area. This is going to take a lot of work but I think it will be worth it. I say I will start today but Christmas is coming up and I don’t want to set myself up for failure so soon!


On an up side, A and I went to The Marines 233rd birthday party (all the men in his family are Marines) and we had a great time. Don't we look cute?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

79. See a play with Mom once a year

Why is this on my list?: I know my mom loves to see plays and since both of our schedules are busy, I thought seeing at least one play a year would be possible. My treat.

How did I do it?: Our little (I mean tiny) local theatre has a website. I looked it up and saw that "Butterflies Are Free" was the last play of the year! It just so happens that the lead role is played by Ryan who was one of A's coworkers. This weekend is their opening weekend so I picked Mom up last night and drove on over.

How did it feel?: The play was great. Ryan was AWESOME!!!! I laughed, I cried (yes I really did and so did Mom) and I cheered the loudest out of the 15 or so people who were there. It was a good time and a great way to bond with my Mommy.
No cameras were allowed so I snapped these photos with my cell..


I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my blog layout. Hallelujah! Now I just need to re-do my blog header and background the way I want them. I am going to take my time to make sure it is how I want it though...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Under construction

Messing with the layout again. Trying to get comments to work so I won't need that stupid shout box...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grandpa is commin’ to town!

My Opa, my only living Grandparent, is moving to my town.
I am very excited about this because I was never able to spend a lot of time with him growing up. He and my Oma lived in Santa Barbara and we lived in the Monterey area. In my adult years I was in Sacramento. I was selfish and didn’t really care to make an effort to go visit. When my Oma passed away, Opa went to live near my Uncle in the San Diego area and we were in Arkansas by that time. Well, my Uncle got an amazing job offer in Washington and everyone decided that my Opa should come to Arkansas and live.
My mom is ecstatic because he will only be 10 minutes away from her and I and only two hours away from Sis.
I think he will be moving some time in December.

On a totally unrelated note...
Have you heard Jason Mraz’ new song “I’m Yours”? Well I’m in love with it. It makes me glad I am in love but I wish I was on the beach with my love drinking Mai Tai…

Monday, November 3, 2008

Book Review: The Single Girl’s Guide to Marrying A Man, His Kids, and His Ex-Wife

Photo from

I was looking for a book to help me with what challenges I might be facing as a Step-mom-to-be. I did a search on and even though I didn’t find “What to expect when you are expecting a six year old stepchild”, I did find “The Single Girl’s Guide to Marrying A Man, His Kids, and His Ex-Wife” by Sally Bjornsen.

The cover was cute, the summery was interesting and the reviews were good. I purchased it without hesitation.

I loved this book. Within the first 20 pages I was in tears because I realized that all the feelings I’d been having, good and bad, are normal. I am not evil and I am not alone. Bjornsen has a wonderful way of making a point with humor and class. She touches base on issues such as “The Ex”, finances and whether or not to go “Bio”.

I learned that my situation is actually a pretty good one. Although it isn’t “perfect” it could be a hellofalot worse! I have a feeling that I will keep rereading the book to remind myself that things are going to be okay and that “it isn’t always about me”. I recommend this book to any new stepmother or step-mother-to-be.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Killed two birds with one fun filled night

My boss at my night job gave me the evening off to take D trick-or-treating and I was so stoked! I was able to accomplish two things on my list last night.

37. Dress up for Halloween

Why is this on my list?:
I haven’t dressed up for Halloween (in real life) in YEARS!

How did I do it?: I was searching for a Hannah Montana wig online and came across this super cute "Love Spell Witch" costume.

How did it feel?: Well, bad because I used my credit card to buy it but good to get all dolled up! I receive a lot of compliments. (Everyone LOVED A's costume and the whole thing cost less than $10 to put together!)

38. Go trick or treating if we have D and if not, hand out candy

Why is this on my list?:
The last time I went trick or treating was with my niece and nephew ages ago. Last year I stuck a bowl of candy on my door step and hid inside. This year I have a 6 year old Hannah Montana and a sexy spider bitten man to take door-to-door with me.

How did I do it?: Got in the car and drove to the hot spots. We also went Trick-or-trunking at a local church. The members of the church park their cars in the lot of the church, have games and hand out candy from thier trunks. "Trick or trunk, smell my funk..."

How did it feel?:
It was great exercise and a good bonding experience. My favorite part was when D asked me to carry her because her legs were tired. At that moment she saw another house with the porch light on and took off running up a hill. Wait... didn't you say your legs were tired?? LOL!

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