Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Night Out!

Saturday night Keith and I went to III Forks. It's a very elegant restaurant that I have been wanting to try for years and years. With the inevitable event approaching (the big one) this week, we decided to take the night off and enjoy.

The atmosphere was amazing. Walking into low lighting, elegant jazz music from a small band playing near the bar, there was an aura of class. We had to wait for a short time, and got a drink. When our table was ready, the hostess approached us directly (no beeper), and she offered to carry my drink.

We sat in the "courtyard" dining room. It was romantic and nice. I ordered a salad and the salmon with vegetables, potatoes and corn. It was wonderful. Keith and I got to sit and relax, and enjoy good food and good conversation.

Not only did I get to try a new place, but I get to check it off my list of things to do!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

OK is OK!

I give it two thumbs up!

Keith and I had a night alone on Sunday, so we decided to drive up to Oklahoma and gamble! The place was pretty nice- and big. I think the average age was 63, but the machines were nice, the tables had good table minimums, and the people were friendly.

I didn't find a 3 credit max double-diamond machine where the diamonds move to the bar line on the end of an aisle in a highly trafficked area...but I would definitely go back!

Nickolas Says Mom-Mom

video

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Email Etiquette

I have a huge pet peeve that I have to get off my chest, and it has to do with one of my favorite things-email!

Have you ever wondered how someone was doing, so you decided to email them, keep them in the loop, write and check in, and never get a response? Time goes on, you try again...nothing. It's been months and months, sometimes over a year. One random day you open your inbox and WHALA-A FORWARDED JOKE from that person who you thought had fallen off the face of the earth. You take a closer look and yes, you have 6 FORWARDED emails from that person.

In the amount of time it takes to read them all, hit forward, skim the address book and send them all, it could have been a personal email with a small note saying "I'm Okay".

Please don't do this to your friends.

Monday, September 24, 2007

7:15 A.M.

This is what it looks like in Dallas at 7:15am.

I'm usually just waking up about this time, so what a pleasant surprise to see such a beautiful sunrise. I feel it's wrong to be up before the light of day, but with this view, it sure was worth it today.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Welcome Baby Hank!

Hank was born on Thursday, September 20th, and he is absolutely perfect! Congratulations to one of my best friends Nikki, and to proud dad Nate!

They are going to be wonderful parents, and are a beautiful family!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My GrandMother

Had her knee replaced. She is doing great.

This is the second time she's had this procedure. The first time was about 7 years ago and she has had no problems with that one. For the last several years she has had major problems with the other one, and has been in constant pain for years with repeated cortisone shots, scraping, draining, you name it. But she feared going "under" and she also didn't want to be laid up in bed and doing physical therapy. Well, she finally gave in and did it.

It's funny how times like these allow you to see things in your own family that you usually either take for granted or don't stop to acknowledge. My grandmother is so strong-physically and mentally. She is 75 years old, and does amazing things.

My grandfather has been there by her side for the whole thing. I get butterflies in my stomach watching them. Him holding her hand, encouraging her, helping her walk, getting her anything she needs. Yes, they bicker-quite a bit. But it's times like these where the true emotions come out, and they love each other so much, they joke with each other and make each other laugh. All these years, and they are right there for each other-that is what a true marriage is all about.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Best Moment of My Life

I'm not sure if it's the song I'm listening to, or some events going on in my friend's lives, but I have been reflecting tonight on that small window of time that changed me forever, the birth of my first son.

I remember as if it just happened, I can see the details like I am still there. Amazing how I know I will never forget anything about that day, yet I can't even remember details from yesterday.

Keith and I didn't know whether we were having a boy or a girl, what to expect, how the day would go, how we would feel. I remember laying there, hearing the doctor say how many minutes until we had a baby. Lots of pressure, feeling like it was taking forever, bright lights, lots of foreign sounds. Excitement building up and doctor's getting ready as the time came closer. Everyone gets moving and I hear a strong cry...the doctor says "It's a boy", and I start crying uncontrollably. The emotions are pouring through me and I have never felt anything more powerful in my life.

Keith brought him to me after just barely a minute. He was the most perfect thing I have ever seen. My heart is now walking around outside of my body, and I am a better person because of it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Taking Things For Granted

As I was driving today, I noticed a bus stopped up ahead of me. The line of cars starting to pile up behind it. It's obvious people are eager to get around, and very impatient. I see onto the sidewalk and notice it's a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get up the bus ramp. She is missing her one leg from the knee down.

How difficult are her daily tasks? I wonder what she's like. How did she lose her leg? What nerve do I have to complain about how far it takes to walk somewhere, or how slow traffic is moving, or having to wait on anything.

Just yesterday, I had so much tension and stress built up inside of me, and didn't know how or what to do. I had no reason for how I was feeling, or any room for complaints. It was a wonderful day with my kids, my health and my basic needs met.

I have no point...it's just another observation that will hopefully help me to be more thankful and able to give rather than receive, more rather than less.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thank You

Thank You to those I learn from and who touch my life:

Keith-For teaching me forgiveness, patience and letting me see how good of a father and role model he is every single day to our boys.

Kolbe & Nickolas- For showing me pure love, innocence and unconditional happiness.

My Mom- For listening and always checking in on me.

My Sister- For coming to me for advice and sharing what is going on in her life.

My Friend, Anne- For having an excellent memory, genuinely caring about what is going on with her friends and family, and her courage.

My Friend, Jill- For being charismatic, intelligent and reliable.

My Friend, Brandon- For listening and taking the time to discuss non-superficial topics about life.

My Grandmother- For always being there no matter what. For being strong and caring.

My Grandfather- For taking the time to ask about my work, home life and encouraging me unconditionally.

My Mother-In-Law- For showing me sincerity, hospitality and for raising an amazing son.

My Father-In-Law- For being a good communicator, sharing his wisdom and being a gentleman (and teaching that).

My Aunt, Steph- For making me laugh, and for showing me kindness to all people.

My Friend, Jeremy- For taking the time to check in on me, and have an open-mind.

My Friend, Melina- For making me laugh, and giving me a comfort in our neighborhood I never knew I could have.

My Friend, Andi- For showing me a positive attitude and how caring someone can be.

My Boss, Tim- For teaching me how to listen, sharing his knowledge and being supportive and professional.

My Friend, Nikki- For showing me strength, support and how to relax.

My Friend, Jennifer- For showing me that a true friend will always be a true friend, even with time apart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

7 Inches Gone

Boy how I wish that was from my thighs, but it's my hair!

You have to have a chunk of hair in a ponytail that measures 10 inches in order to donate to lock of love, so I am 3 inches short. Darn.

I decided to make the beard I've always wanted out of it. Plus, I checked it off my list of things to do.

Rising Costs of College *Gulp

This chart is deceiving. When I first looked at it, I looked to the bottom and thought yes, my kids will be 18 when they go to college, so about 40k, not too bad....Another look...........

Nope.

Kolbe is 3 (almost), so it will cost a mere 80k to attend a public in-state university. Wait a minute, we decided to have another, so let's tack on another 90k for the second baby we popped out, making the tab a minimum of 170k.

I have been putting a lot of time looking at the costs of college, and planning on how to save. I think the event that really got me interested in the topic is the huge ordeal my sister just had getting ready for her first year at UNT. She has had the toughest time getting all of her expenses taken care of. The government couldn't even provide her with adequate loan money. How do they expect a very motivated and eager student to be successful without funds and assistance that they will ultimately still need to pay for on their own?

So, I have finally decided to open up a 529 plan for both of my boys, but according to their calculations:

"In order for Kolbe Mueller to attend University of North Texas in the year 2022 it will cost $105,509 for 4 years in college. You can either make a lump sum payment of $42,993 now or an initial investment of $50 now and monthly payments of $362."

But then multiply that by 2 for each son. I think I should rethink having a 3rd.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yes, It's a Duct-Tape Diaper

Nickolas spent the night with Oma and Opa on Sunday night. Opa is notorious for fixing things, and for using duct tape on items such as pipes, bikes, books, etc. Anything that can still be fixed and serve a purpose at some level.

When I opened the diaper bag on Monday night, I realized a single diaper must be a very hot commodity...it has Opa's seal of approval!

Nickolas is Crawling-Now It Starts

Now there will be TWO of them on the go. Chasing after a 3 year old and an 8 month old! It was kind of nice being able to lay one on the floor and it was pretty much a guarantee he would be there when I returned.

I can already see the fights. Kolbe doesn't want Nickolas touching him, or crawling on him, or taking his toys. But at the same time, they can play even more together, and chase each other and....and....and.....

Wish me luck.

Update 09.05.07: Morning. Nickolas crawled and picked up one of Kolbe's trains. Kolbe pushes his head. Nickolas is crawling towards door to follow Kolbe. Kolbe closes door so he can't get out. I get things ready to go in the kitchen-can't find Nickolas. He's crawled down the hall to his bedroom closet. Yikes.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Baby Hank's Nursery

It's finished!

Baby Hank's Nursery is done as of today. I had a lot of fun doing it and I hope, hope, hope that Nikki and Nate and Baby Hank love it!

We had fun and this is my 3rd mural to complete (also the first item to be checked off my "to do's" until next year).

Nikki is going to add the letters H-A-N-K across the middle. They are red wood and I think will look really nice in an arch that mimics the top of the crib shape.

We battled about the pink monkey with the banana-but I think it turned out okay. Hank-Thanks for letting me paint in your nice room!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Don't Take Medicine at The In-Laws

Online Source: Medications are safe until their expiration date. After this time, they can deteriorate and do not work or can be harmful. Medicine (over-the-counter and prescribed) can become poisonous when it ages and result in death.

Always keep your medicine in its original container as this was meant to keep it safe and this will make it easier to know if medicine has expired.

I love my in-laws, but you gotta check their meds.