Sunday, February 26, 2006


My fever broke at 10:30 this morning, and I've been fever-free ever since. YAY!! After 5 days of non-stop fever and chills and body aches, I'd almost forgotten what normal feels like. I'm still weak and I tire easily, but WHOA baby, I feel a LOT better! :)

To celebrate, Darren went out tonight after the boys were in bed. Darren HATES to leave the house once he's home, but he grabbed his keys and said, "I'm gonna go drive around." I knew what he was up to, though, and it was confirmed 10 minutes later when he returned with a Diet Vanilla Coke from Sonic. WHAT a MAN! I picked it up and the 44-ounce cup split right down the middle, dumping straight down into the intake vent in the floor. I was distraught. Seriously. I threw a mini temper-tantrum right there in the kitchen, first letting out a dramatic fake sob, then beating the wall with my fist. Aren't you proud of me? Darren picked up the cup and drove back to Sonic, told them that the cup split wide open for no reason, and they replaced it for free. Did I mention that Darren hates to go out once he's home for the night? He did it twice tonight. Twue wuv, and all that. :)

The only OTHER time I had a Sonic cup split on me was last March in Austin. I was flying down the highway in a big white van, riding shotgun. Six other friends were riding along, talking, sipping their Sonic drinks...but when I reached for my Sonic cup, it split right down the middle. My first thought was, "I can't let 44 ounces of Diet Vanilla Coke unload all over me and this dumb rental van!"... so I rolled down the window and let the cup fly. Well, that's not entirely accurate. What I actually did was try to pour the Coke OUT of the cup, but when you're flying 75 miles per hour down I-35, that's not a real bright move. Unbeknownst to me was the man in my blind spot, with his window down. My tidal wave of Coke went right into his window. Everyone is the back of the van watched the whole thing in slow motion. The van was ROCKING with laughter. "Sorry, dude. I had to do it!"


Tonight, I tried to retrieve some photos off of my compact flash disk. Imagine my horror when I opened the drive only to find that the disk was empty. I knew I had over 200 photos on it, so I went into a state of panic. I immediately googled "missing photos on compact flash disk", and the first thing it brought up was a testimonial from a professional photographer who had lost 1200 images, but was able to retrieve them with this software. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I downloaded the free trial version, which retrieved over 700 thumbnail photos off my disk (including photos that I'd long ago deleted). I was sold, and immediately typed in my CC # to buy the software and recover my photos for real.

I was completely and totally impressed, and gushed on and on about how amazing it was. Darren cooly said, "If you understood anything about how hard disks work, you wouldn't be so impressed." Hmpf. Well, I DON"T know a thing about how they work, and I AM impressed.

Recovery... from the flu, of a wasted Diet Vanilla Coke, and of lost photos. 'Twas a good day!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Still sick

My nose is clear now, but everything has settled in my chest.
I'm living on Mucinex, Tylenol and Advil.
The fever keeps coming back. I actually slept in full clothes last night, under 3 blankets, and still couldn't chase away the chills.
I'm weak, sore from coughing, have a raging headache that hasn't gone away in days, and feel generally miserable.

This week, I cancelled every single activity I had planned.
Tuesday lunch with Jerica,
Wednesday play date with Cara and Kristi,
Wednesday night work meeting with Dale,
Thursday WW meeting with Cara,
Friday night date with Darren to see a friend of ours play with his band at 4 Star Coffee Bar (was REALLY looking forward to that. They're on stage as I type.)

And then the WORST thing of all, a friend who lives in New Mexico (Terri - lidsmom for those who know her) called this afternoon... from HERE in Fort Worth! She's visiting for the weekend with her daughter who's checking out TCU. And I was too sick to meet up with her.

And finally, to prove just how really rotten I've felt, I haven't returned phone calls or emails, and I haven't spent more than 10 minutes online at a time for the last 3 days. That, my friends, is probably what's ailing me. LOL!!

Darren took off the last two days to take care of the kids and me 'cause I've been useless. He's precious. Tonight, he did all the grocery shopping - even clipped coupons, made a menu and put it all away when he got home. The boys have been super sweet. THey're not used to seein' Mom layin' on the couch all day, so they know somethin's up. And Dani has been Dani - mostly keeping to herself up in her room. I miss that kid, actually. I think she's steering clear of me so she won't get sick again herself.

I'm headed back to the couch. Later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


The flu sucks.
Hacking cough strips my throat raw.
Every breath seems to trigger a coughing fit.

Forget dainty sneezes. I sneeze like a big hairy man.
Loogies in an array of greenish yellows stick in my throat Laughing hurts.
Until I hack them out. Useless is the medicine I take.

Sniffle, gork, snarf, glurb.
Cough, sputter, shudder, shiver.
Knitted afghan does little to chase away the chills.
Stacy wants her Mommy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

take me as i am

Darren and I are small group leaders at the Fortress Youth Development Center on Sunday afternoons. We participate in a high-energy praise and worship time with the kids, then break into small groups to discuss biblical principles on a teenaged, inner-city level. Before breaking into groups, one of the youth ministers always leads us in a big group activity.

Last Sunday, he told the leaders to come forward and sit in the chairs. Then he gave our small groups a pile of STUFF: hair gel, blue eye shadows, red and hot pink lipsticks... and told them to give us all an extreme makeover, and that the team with the best made-over leader would win a prize. You should've heard the squeals of delight when the kids heard that. They attacked us with much zeal and gusto, and this was the end result:

Personally, I think the Darth Maul-look that Jake's team gave HIM should've won, but the judges gave the prize to Darren's team.
It took 2 shampoos to get all the slimy gel out of my hair. You can't tell from the picture, but there were two huge GOBS of it plastered on the back of my head. Naaaaaasty. Darren, Jake and Boy George Michael were good sports and kept their makeup on for the full hour, but they all three hit the bathroom and scrubbed with cold water and paper towels the very second it was over. Crack. Me. UP! The purpose of it all was to open up this topic: does God accept you as you are? Does He want you to be all made up and with your best face on when you come before Him? Will He acknowledge you if you look like Darth Maul on the outside? What if you look good on the outside, but you're skanky on the inside? Does He care? Will He reject you?
What things do you try to "make over" when you remember to acknowledge God? What things to do you try to hide?

It opened up a very frank talk with my 4 girls. They're wise in so many ways. I mean, they're STREETwise, that's certain. They've seen more ugliness and shame and downright filthy sin in their lives than I have in twice the amount of time -the kind of stuff that just comes with the territory when you live in the projects.

But they're also SOULwise. They realize that God accepts them as they are. They understand that He doesn't expect perfection, and that He welcomes them with open arms, no matter how tattered and torn and dirty they are. He just wants them to come. They understand that it's THEM God values, not their good deeds or their extreme makeovers. He may not like the baggage they're dragging, he may abhor the sinfulness they're wallowing in, but let me tell you: these girls understand that DESPITE it ALL, they serve a God who accepts and loves them just the way they are, and wants the very best for them today, tomorrow, and for all eternity. They GET it. THAT makes my heart soar.

airport barbecue and betrothal

Last Tuesday, while driving to the airport to have a barbecue picnic on the floor next to the baggage claim during the Poplins' layover...

Ian said to me, "Mom. I think you can't spell very good."
"Why is that, Ian?" I asked.
"Because you spell my name wrong. You never write a "E" in it. But my name is EEEE-uhn."

I could hardly argue with that. Smartypants.
But isn't he CUTE?

He's gonna marry Alice Poplin, and Aidan's gonna marry Helen. Elaine and I have already arranged it all. Too bad that the girls will both be 6-foot willowy beauties and my boys will hover around 5 and a half feet. Is it THEIR fault that their parents are short? I'm gonna start workin' on their self-esteem early, so that being married to tall women won't intimidate them. Elaine says she'll work on her girls' too, so that they won't feel like they need to hunch over when they're the tallest in the room. :)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

deep freeze

It was 85 degrees Thursday afternoon. Today, it was 25. No wonder I'm sick!

I stayed in my jammies all day, snuggled under an afghan on the couch, watching the Olympics. I was glad to hear cutie pie Lindsey Jacobellis admit that she WAS showboating yesterday in the Snowboard Cross. But you know what? Haven't we ALL done that? Who here hasn't at some point in their life looked back, gloated a bit, then turned around just in time to run smack into a telephone pole or something? It happened to my little brother back in 1981.

I was 12, he was 10. We lived on a boomerang-shaped street, and our house was right on the curve. The driveway was long and wide, and flanked by two gray brick flower beds that stood about 3 feet off the ground. On a glorious afternoon that I'll never forget, David and I were racing our bikes. Mom and her friend Ann were sitting on the porch watching, and all the neighborhood kids lined the street as we flew past. David was winning, the little turd. I was standing as I peddled, pumping my legs as hard as I could, but I still couldn't catch him on his black Huffy. Just as he entered the curve, he turned to see how much he had gained on me, and when he saw that I wasn't catching him, he started acting a fool, howling and laughing and taunting and BAM!!! A terrific crash into the brick planter, hard enough to bend the wheel on his bike. He went flying over the handlebars and right through the holly bushes that filled it, landing on the other side in a crumpled, whimpering heap. I laughed. It's true, I did. I'm laughing now as I think about it. He was SUCH a show-off, and SUCH a punk to us his whole life. It was sorta fun to watch him make a fool of himself. Am I heartless? Not usually. But in this instance, yes. I was. The most pathetic part of all was that forevermore, he claimed to have hit a pebble in the street that caused him to lose control and steer into the planter. My big white behind. There was no rock, save for the one rolling around in his head after he plowed through the prickly holly. :)

So yesterday, when Jacobellis said she'd lost control during that last jump which caused her to crash, I hung my head. No, Lindsey, don't be like David. You grabbed that snowboard in a celebratory "Look at me, I'm AWESOME and I'm winning and I'm gonna win in STYLE, baby!" grab. It was cool. No one blames you. Youth and inexperience give you a free pass on that idiotic split-second decision. Today, when you admitted it, I applauded.

I love the Winter Olympics! This year, Snowboard Cross and the Halfpipe have been my favorite events. I always love the speed skating, so today was fun. And I'm looking forward to Ski Jumping. I get chills watching those jumpers flyyyyyyyyy. It's magical.

Tonight, I added something to my list of things to do before I die: attend a Winter Olympics. Vancouver 2010, baby! Methinks I need to grow a thicker hide, though. I bet it'll be a smidge colder than what I'm experiencing here today, and I sure have whined enough about THAT.


Part of the reason I've been so cold today is that I'm getting sick. Body aches, fatigue, and chills all day. But at 6:30, something happened that warmed my soul to its very core. My brother-in-law, in town briefly from Tennessee, stopped by with grocery sacks full of soup, crackers, Sprite and Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. And in the other hand..... a Sonic diet vanilla coke with my name on it. My seester must've told him that we're all puny. I love my seester. And I love my seester's husband. Thanks, Santos! MUAH!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

50 questions

These questions courtesy of npetercmway, :)

1. FIRST NAME? Stacy
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No. I was supposed to be a Stephanie, but my Grandma (Dad's Mom) hated the name. So when the nurse came in to do the birth certificate, my Mom was asleep, and Grandma took the opportunity to change my name to Stacy. My Mom never forgave her, but I'm forever indebted. Thanks Grandma! :)
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last night in the Walgreens parking lot when I found out that the medicines the pediatrician prescribed aren't fully covered by my insurance and were going to cost me $470.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Chicken salad. Oh. You mean actual LUNCH MEAT? Smoked turkey.
6. KIDS? 3
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? My blog. And I have a quote book that I keep in my purse...I jot quotes down in it when I hear or come across one I like or think I could use somehow.
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? let's just say that when my Callyfornya friend said she loved me, I thought it was because I had said something sarcastic that she was thinking. :)
10. Do you still have your tonsils? yup
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? no. I would've 5 years ago, though.
12. What is your favorite cereal? Special K with strawberries
13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I don't wear shoes that have to be tied. :)
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Strong-willed, yes. Strong of faith? Definitely. Emotionally strong, I suppose I CAN be. Physically strong? mercy, no.
16. SHOE SIZE? 8 1/2 wide
17. RED OR PINK? Dark Red
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Kristi and Cara. We haven't hung out as a trio in a long while
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? pink flowery pajama pants, blue stripey supersoft socks
22. LAST THING YOU ATE? Darren's homemade chicken noodle sloup
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Darren has the Weather channel on. *sigh*
25. What is your FAVORITE SMELL? freshly mown grass
26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Darren, when he called from the grocery store earlier
27. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? I always notice a guy's calves. But I'm attracted to ANYone who laughs with gusto.
28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I've never met her in person, but I like her on the internet. :) And I know we'd get along 'cause so many of our answers are the same! (the ones in red are identical)
29. Favorite drink? Diet Coke with vanilla in a big ol' Route 44 cup from Sonic
30. FAVORITE SPORT? to play? volleyball. to watch? HOCKEY!
31. HAIR COLOR? too-broke-to-get-it- colored brown
32. EYE COLOR? Brown
34. FAVORITE FOOD? Tex-Mex. Specifically, chicken fajitas from Don Pablos, and avacado enchiladas from Abuelo's, and chipotle shrimp from Pappasito's.
35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? hate scary movies, love happy ending movies
36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? At the theatre, Chronicles of Narnia
39. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs
40. FAVORITE DESSERT? gooey brownies
43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? I'm between books. Just finished Hemingway's complete short stories... am looking for Fitzgerald's on Jenny's recommendation.
44. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSEPAD? Folio - a freebie that Darren got at some convention
46. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Children Laughing, acappella singing, the text message beep on my phone going off, the squeaky sproing of mail coming through the slot
47. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles (but five year's ago, I'd have said the Stones)
48. THE FURTHEST YOU BEEN FROM HOME? Amsterdam, The Netherlands
49. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? so I'm told. :)
50. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? summer of '69 in a podunky Kansas town.

Friday, February 17, 2006

God in the little things

Monday, I got an e-card from a friend in Oregon. It let me know that a donation to children's cancer research had been made in my name. It made my day.

Tuesday, friends from Alabama texted me to say, "We'll be at DFW between 5 and 7. Wave as we fly over." Instead, I met up with them at baggage claim and shared a picnic dinner on the floor with my two boys and their two girls, who are all betrothed, by the way. It was a pain for them to go through security again, but they were willing to do it. Spending time with was the highlight of my day.

Later that night, I opened a letter from a friend in Wisconsin. It contained a newspaper article featuring the house we lived in last summer in Ireland. "I was reading the paper, and I saw this house, and I said, "WOW! That's the house Stacy and Darren stayed in this summer!", she wrote. "My husband didn't believe me, so I pulled up the photo on your scrapbook site and showed him. Proof that I DO look at all your layouts!" The note and the clipping made me giggle. I love that she went to the trouble to send it to me.

Yesterday, a friend in Indiana graciously re-cut some sizzix letters for me and mailed them directly to my client in Nebraska, after I had asked for the wrong letters in the first place. She's so willing and eager to help - always - and her kindness warms my heart.

Also yesterday, I received another letter from my brother in Washington. Some horrible circumstances brought us to this letter-writing relationship, but I rejoice in those circumstances, for I'm convinced that God is using them for good. Our relationship is stronger and more meaningful than it ever has been. I weep when I read his letters. He does the same when he reads mine. Thank God for trials and tribulations of all kinds. That verse finally makes sense to me now.

Today, my friend in California texted me. She couldn't have possibly known that I was in the midst of a crying fit in the parking lot of Walgreen's pharmacy at the time. Her text said, "I just texted to say 'I love you'." I called her later to ask what had prompted her message. She said, "Nothing. I was just sitting at work, and I thought, "I love Stacy." So I decided to tell you." "Wow," I replied. "It must've been a God thing, 'cause at that very moment, it was exactly what I needed to hear."

Most believing people believe that when you're tempted to do something bad, it's Satan working on you. But fewer of them take this in to consideration: when you're promted to do GOOD, it's a God thing. I'm lucky to have so many friends who listen to that voice. 'Cause the truth is, God's not only present in the BIG THINGS. He's all wrapped up in the little things, too.

UBER post

It's true. Sometimes (okay, MOST times), when Darren is droning on talking about his work, my eyeballs roll back in my head. I try to follow for about .17 seconds, but really, tables and charts put me straight to sleep. I realize that it's UBER COOL (Dani will hate me for using HER PHRASE) for tax people to be able to clicky inside a table and add numbers and then clicky again to make those numbers negative and then clicky again and have all the numbers add up correctly and then clicky again to add a title which then automatically causes the whole table to wrap correctly and all kinds of other cool stuff. I realize that this whole project has been an UBER BIG deal. He worked 70 hours a week on it for 6 weeks, learning how to code in some particular language as he went, which according to his boss, is an UBER AMAZING skill. And I realize that as excited as I get about some of my scrapbook ideas turning out on paper the way I saw them in my head, that's the same excitement Darren feels when something in HIS head actually works when he clicks it.

But I didn't REALLY understand until today, when Darren emailed me:

I got some really positive feedback on the Financial Table tool I’ve been working on. The teachers of the training class said that someone said Darren for President” after it was demonstrated. They said everyone was really positive about it. I guess that makes me feel better about the long hours.

Just thought I’d share that with you to make you feel a little better too.

Hope your day is OK with all the sickies in the house.

Love, Me
Congratulations, Darren! I'm proud of you! (And yes, it DOES make me feel better about not seeing you for the entire month of January. UBER better!)

In other news.... Dani and Ian are sick puppies. Dani has a respiratory infection and Ian has a double ear infection, with, oddly, NO PAIN. Both have been running medium-high fever and can barely breathe when they're lying down. They both also have the old-fashioned flu. Did you know that there's a culture you can take for flu? They swab way up in your nostril and lab it. Both of their nasal swabs came back positive for flu. No wonder they've been glassy-eyed and lethargic. Dani's mad because she'll have to miss end-of-six-week exams tomorrow. MAD? She'd rather GO? She is not my kid. Uber freak! Uber freak! (she's uber freaky...)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

10 Reasons Nadya should move to Fort Worth

10. Sundance Square. Our downtown is HOPPIN', baby! Even on a Wednesday night, you can find live music - GOOD live music. Then there's the gorgeous Bass Performance Hall (that building with the huge honkin' angels for you tourists), the theaters (live and film), and all the fabulous eateries.

9. The Stockyards! I'll admit that I don't venture up that way as often as I should - mostly only when I'm playing tour guide to out-of-town guests. But every time I go, I'm reminded that I SHOULD go more often! Steak houses on every corner, a live longhorn cattle drive (actually, cattle mosey is more accurate) twice a day, a cool walking tour that's interesting every time I go, the smell of leather in the boot and saddle shops, Western kitcsh, and oh, let's not forget the cowboys. Real, live ones. :)
On horseback patroling the brick-paved streets, and rodeoin' at the Cowtown Coliseum every Friday and Saturday night.

8. The Cultural District. We're known as "Cowtown" and "Where the West Begins", 'tis true. But we're more cultured than that overgrown botoxed city to our east; the proof is all the Dallas-area cars in our parking lots! The world-renowned Kimbell Art Museum, The Modern Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, the Museum of Science and History, and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum... all within 5 blocks of each other.

7. The Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked as the No.1 attraction in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area and No.19 among the "50 Overall Top-Rated Attractions" in the entire United States by the Zagat Survey U.S. Family Guide. With shady, tree-lined paths, roaring waterfalls, African Savannahs and tropical jungles, it's easy to forget that you're smack in the middle of a large city. (In fact, you're less than a mile from my house!) Texas Wild is an 8-acre exhibit that features all the different habitats and animals of this great state, from the coastal plains to the piney woods to the blackland prairies to the West Texas desert.

6. Public Art. It's free! From the famed Chisholm Trail mural downtown to the anatomically correct topiary bull (well, he WAS anatomically correct until a few years ago, when someone complained that his, uh... anatomy was offensive. Now he's anatomic-correctly castrated), to the bronze "Texas Gold" statues near the Stockyards...and everywhere in between.

5. Trinity River Trails and Park. Bikers, rollerbladers and joggers populate the trails which snake along the Trinity River from far southwest Fort Worth through the Museum/Parks area and north toward the stockyards. Mayfest, which promotes community awareness and funding for the park, is one of our family's favorite annual events.

6. Botanic Gardens and Japanese Gardens. Lush, well-kept, serene, beautiful. We love to picnic here, where balls and frisbees aren't allowed. The Gardens force you to slow down and (literally) smell the roses. In the summer, we always take in at least one Concert in the Garden - outdoor concerts performed by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The Gardens, due south of our house about a mile or so, put on a spectatular fireworks show after each concert, so twice a week in June, we're jolted aware about 10 o'clock, at which time we run outside to watch through the pecan trees. (Truth be told, it always catches us by surprise, and takes us a minute to realize what that POPPING noise is!)

5. Shopping. There's a brand new Super Target 6 minutes from my driveway. Even closer is University Park Village, with its hip shops (Gap, William-Sonoma, White House/Black Market, Harold's, Pottery Barn, Barnes and Noble) and eateries (Celebration, Panera, Cafe Express, Blue Mesa). Scrapbook stores are an easy drive, too, including Recollections, Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann's!

4. It's safe! We're ranked #9 on the list of "safest cities with 500,000 or more population."

3. We're friendly! It's true: Texas is known as "the friendly state", and that includes our drivers. Well, sorta. Texans are in just as big a hurry as anyone anywhere. Venture outside the boundary created by Loop 820 and you'll enter a whole new world of tailgaters and cutter-offers. But in Fort Worth proper, driving is relatively painless. The city is laid out in such a way that it's even possible to go ANYwhere within Fort Worth without ever having to drive on a freeway. This I know is true, because my friend Dela, who is 70+, has NEVER driven on a Fort Worth freeway, and that woman's been all over creation. :)

2. Neighborhoods. For a city our size, we still feel like a small hometown! That's because we have pockets of neighborhoods instead of ugly urban sprawl. Oh, okay. So we have urban sprawl too. But only if you head south or north. Avoid those developing areas. Instead, search out the established neighborhoods near the city's center... Bluebonnet Hills, University Place, Monticello, Berkeley Place, Mistletoe Heights, Tanglewood, Ryan Place, Arlington Heights. These aren't subdivisions. They're neighborhoods. And yes, there's a difference.

1. Me. I live here! And I can never have too many scrapping friends nearby. :)

Monday, February 13, 2006

15 years, 36 inches

I got this idea from Kristi, who doesn't read my blog (loser nerd), so I don't HAVE to give her credit, but I'm a good friend that way....

ANYWAY. I got this idea from Kristi who scrapped a double page timeline of her marriage. I don't know how she crammed 18 years onto 2 12x12 sheets of paper, because I had a VERY hard time cramming 15 years onto 3 sheets!

Our anniversary celebration this year was decidedly low-key. What'd we do, you ask? Well. You'll be jealous when I tell you! First, we went to the mall to have our portrait made at that place next to Build-a-Bear that specializes in children's portraiture because Darren and I have never EVER had a professional portrait done of just the two of us, not even at our wedding, and I had a coupon for a free 8x10 and was determined to USE it. So we showed up just in time to find - I am not making this up - that the group just ahead of us had ten kids! If you count the Build-A-Bears they all had in tow, there were 20 of 'em. It was mayhem. So we high-tailed it outta there to wait out our 35 minutes in the Food Court. WHEE!

For our fancy anniversary dinner, we shared a big honkin' slice of gooey, undercooked pizza from the Italian place, and ate it with a fork to avoid sloppage. It is widely known that I can't eat without glopping a big hunk of something right smack on my boob shelf. Happens every time. So to avoid any chance of that happening, I only ate two bites, and I ate them very carefully. It worked. No glops! :)

Back at the studio, our photographer asked, "Is there any certain pose you want?" Thinking she was the professional, I said, "Nothing in particular, but I don't want stiff, formal, boring portraits. I want our poses to be casual, relaxed and fun."

Okey doke. She didn't get it. Our portraits looked like really, really bad church directory pictures. You know... me sitting on a stool, Darren standing behind me with his hand on my shoulder. I knew something was amiss with the photographer when she said to me, "Look down. I'm getting a glare on your glasses."... and I said, "But now I'm looking out over the top of my frames. Won't that look silly?".... and she said, "No, you won't be able to tell."

Yah. You could tell. You could tell that I was looking down to avoid glasses glare and that I was staring over the top of my glasses. Not a good look. Plus, when one looks DOWN, one's double chin(s) (oooooh how I hate having to add that nasty S!) take center stage and sing at the tops of their lungs, OFF KEY. Hmpf.

The good news is, I got out of there for only $12, buying only a sheet of wallets of the single almost-decent pose and taking my free 8x10. Thank goodness for the coupon. Dani saw the photo and said, "I could've done better than that."

"Yes, and you will. Tomorrow afternoon," I answered.

"I wasn't offering," she retorted.

"Yes you were," I countered.

Darren and I stayed up til the wee hours that night shuffling through boxes and boxes of old photos, remembering silly things, laughing at funny stories, and having a grand ol' time. As we perused the photos, we also made a timeline of the big events in our 15+ years together, pulling photos as we came across them. Today, I assembled it all and framed it. I love, love, LOVE how it turned out! It will hang on our bedroom wall.

I'd thank Kristi for the inspiration, but since she's a loser nerd who doesn't read my blog, I won't bother. :)

Thursday, February 09, 2006


When we were expecting Aidan in 2000, we knew his middle name would be Lane, after my beloved cousin. We had NO CLUE what first name we would choose, except that we didn't want something trendy or cute. One afternoon, while driving to Oklahoma (I can still remember WHERE we were between here and Oklahoma when it happened... passing through the north Texas town of Sanger.), a song that I'd known for years came on the CD player. It was "Let Mercy Lead" by Rich Mullins. I'd listened to it a hundred times, but never closely enough to pick up on the fact that the little boy he was singing to was named "Aidan". I loved the message in the song, and I loved the name. I'd only heard it once, EVER (the actor Aidan Quinn);I'd never heard of another kid with the name.

Darren liked it, too, because Aidan was the name of the hero in "Byzantium", a book about Irish Monks that he'd recently read and enjoyed. When we looked up the meaning of the name, the deal was sealed. "Little Fire". At first, I balked. "I'm not sure I want my son to be a little ball of fire," I worried. But Darren threw a different perspective on it when he answered. "Unless he has fire for God. That'd be a good thing."

So we named him Aidan Lane. For the first year, no one could pronounce it. The old ladies at church couldn't even remember it! "What's his name again? Adrian? Adien? Adam?" Then, out of NOWHERE, People Magazine listed it as the number one baby name of 2001. I was CRUSHED. The name I'd so carefully picked out to be unique - the name I'd never heard before - was now the trendiest name in the nation.

I soon learned the reason: Aidan was Carrie's boyfriend on Sex and the City.

"AGH!" I cried upon hearing that. "That's disgusting! I don't want people to think I named my baby after some man slut on Sex and the City!" Laughing, Sherilyn assured me that Aidan was the one GOOD, LIKABLE, RESPECTABLE guy on the show. It did little to lift my spirits, though. I still had a baby with a trendy name.

He's 5 now. There are Aidans everywhere. I fear that he'll start Kindergarten with Aiden, Aden, Ayden, Aidyn and Aydyn in his classroom.

Today, I learned that it's the number one baby name for 2005. There's this blog that I sometimes check in on. I don't know the author; in fact, I don't even remember how I came to stumble on her musings. She's expecting a boy, and has asked for name suggestions. Check out her post today, and you'll understand why I'm pouting. :)Amy's Humble Musings. Thing is, I can't argue with her. It's the same blog I'd have written about the name "McKenzie" back in 2000, had blogging been my thang then.

Aidan. Trendy? Yah.
Maybe this just means he'll be the cool kid in the class - the one who makes great grades but is also a popular athlete. The one who the teachers like even though he's the class clown. The one who earns the respect of his peers because he's fair and fun at the same time. And maybe, just maybe, he'll have such a fiery faith that the whole school will know it's cool to be a Christian.

Aidan. Trendy name or not, he's my classic little man.
And may I just say: when he starts Kindergarten next fall, he'll be the CUTEST, SMARTEST, coolest Aidan in the school!

Monday, February 06, 2006


I rented a sewer snake today. 100 feet of one. And yes, size does matter.

HOW does a pecan tree send tiny, angel-hair-pasta-looking roots THROUGH PVC pipe? Not once, but over and over and over again until the angel hairs meet inside and become one giant, overcooked, starchy BLOB?

Dunno. It's a miracle of nature. But the blob is out now, the sewer snake has been returned to The Home Depot, and all is well.

I know you were on the edge of your seat wondering how it all came out.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Saturday Shmaturday

1 gallon AMAZING! Liquid Fire! - $20
1 cheap auger - $11
countless trips out the front door with buckets of backed up sewer water, a week's worth of laundry sorted on the kitchen floor ready to be laundered, a whole day scheduled HEAVY with stuff that NEEDED to be done but wasn't because we dealt with the first Old House Issue of the year of our Lord 2006 - aw, shuddup.

Friday, February 03, 2006

How Stacy Got Her Groove Back

Tomorrow, I'm sending a package to Utah. It contains scrapbook layouts. They're not for a client, but I've sweated and fretted over them as if they were. They feature my own kids' photos, and photos of friends, and photos of my sister's family. See, I'm entering my first scrapbook publishing contest: Creating Keepsakes' Hall of Fame. Twenty-five winners will be announced. Last year, over 750 people entered. I don't stand much of a chance!

I'd become bored and lazy about scrapbooking. I'd worked so much for clients that I'd completely neglected my own photos. In fact, at the Fortress scrapbooking retreat, I didn't even TAKE my own. I was trying to finish a client job. Is that CRAZY or what?! lol

I decided about mid-way through January to give this contest a shot. The deadline was less than a month away when I started. But I've always worked best under pressure, and for the last two weeks, every time I finished a few client pages, I rewarded myself with a page of my own. I've stretched my limits, experimented with new products, tried new techniques... and I've had a BLAST! I'm completely enamored with scrapbooking again.

I decided to enter because I've been coveting the newest, neatest die cut machine, the Wishblade. It would save hours of cutting time, and it would be a lot more versatile and easier to use than the old-fashioned steel dies I currently use. But there's a drawback: it costs $500. It so happens that the prize money for Hall of Fame is $500. I decided to go for it!

Tonight, Darren made the snide comment, "You could've EARNED $500 with the time you've spent on the phone talking about this contest." Punk. He doesn't get it. It's become bigger than the money. Even if I don't win a spot in the Hall of Fame, I have some fantastic layouts that I love (and I didn't compromise my style in the pursuit for publication, so these will be layouts that I'll always love). And, I got my groove back! That's prize enough! :)

Pray for Logan

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about Logan, the son of my friend Sherlyn. Logan has leukemia. Tonight, the local CBS station did a feature story about him. You can view it here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

word cloud

I love words. If you've been to my house, you know that I have use words as decor. My scrapbook pages are never complete without lots of words. And so I think this is just about the coolest thing to hit blogging since the celebrity look-a-like software of last night. heh.

How cool to have the history of my blog all typed up in a nice little box. I think I'll print it and hang it above my desk. :)

Wanna do yours?
Clicky Clicky.