Monday, December 27, 2004


So, I've always wondered when it would happen, 25, 30, 40??? Well, here I am at 27 watching weight pile on as if I sat around and ate bon bons all day. I've never had a weight problem in my entire life, I've had 2 kids and bounced back from each of them, but unfortunately my metabolism is slowing down. I've gained 5 pounds in the last month. I'm now 165 lbs at 5' 9". I refuse to let myself get fat, REFUSE! I've been reading a little bit about Dr. Phils weighloss challenge and I can see how it would work, but I have ONE issue with it. He claims that when I over eat and endulge in junk, that I'm really masking an emotional issue. I don't see it. I ate 3 Hershey's kisses and a resses a few minutes ago because they taste so damn good. I don't have an emotional issue, I'm not hiding from anything or masking an emotional need, I LOVE CHOCOLATE, it makes the receptors in my brain happy. What can I say? The nights when I eat too much dinner, once again, I'm overeating because food tastes GOOD!

Anyway, so my plan of attack is to workout, and watch my portion control a little better. I refuse to go low carb, and I refuse to cut out sugars. I CAN overcome this without taking drastic measures, I just know it. Tomorrow I'm meeting with Chris who will figure my body fat, BMR and how many calories I need to be taking in, in order to loose weight. I'm anxious, but nervous. I just can't get excited about learning what my body fat percentage is.

I am thankful for the way I could be worse.

I am thankful that my husband loves me for ME.

I am thankful that Chris is generous enough to help me learn how to stay fit.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Day

It's Christmas day at the Urben's, the day is coming to an end, presents are all unwrapped, the food is all eaten, the mess is all cleaned up and here we sit reflecting on all that we have. The simple things are larger than life on this special day. Family, friends, health and happiness...we have it all really.

Last night Nana got to our house at about 5:00, and Jason arrived a few hours later. I had originally planned on making broccoli chicken casserole, but after opening the box of freezer burned broccoli, we decided we just munch on appetizers and eggnog instead. Ruthie started her homemade spagetti for us to eat for lunch on Christmas Day while everyone watched The Incredibles. The kids went to bed around 9:30. As soon as they were out, I started the last of my wrapping. We finished up and got to bed around 12:30. Mark and I woke up bright and early at 6:30 this morning, got ready, lit the candles, started the wassle, turned on the Christmas music while Nana started our traditional cream chip beef on biscuits (Shit on shingles). The kids finally rolled out of bed around 8. They did a wonderful job of taking turns opening presents and thanking everyone. Dad arrived around 8:30, just in time to watch the last presents get opened. We had a wonderful time together as a family, but wished uncle Dave could have been there with us. Uncle Frank showed up shortly after Dad, and Melissa, Aleena, and family showed up around 9:30. We all ate breakfast, while chatting and having a wonderful time together while the kids ran around the house playing with all their new toys. After the Garcia's left, around 12:30, we ate Nana's homemade spagetti, which was WONDERFUL! Nana and Big Daddy left around 1:30, Alex went down for a nap, and Uncle Steve showed up. Mark, Steve, Jason, Ashley and I, all laid around the living room watching A Christmas Story. Apparently I was a tad bit tired. I was awoke in the recliner by the doorbell at about 4:45 and looked around to see everyone snoozing away all over the living room. " What a beautiful sight.

At the door was Mom, Andy, and Trish. I had no idea that Aunt Trish was coming, so it was such a pleasant surprise to see her!! We hung out, munched on the Honey Baked Ham that they brought, and pigged out on all the Christmas goodies that I had left over and had a super time together once again. Everyone left around 8:00, and here we are enjoying the last of this wonderful day together. It has truly been a wonderful day at the Urben's.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Adoption Update, meet the judge

This Tuesday December 14th, we had our hearing for the termination of Rick's parental rights. I was soooooo nervous sitting in the courtroom waiting for our turn, it took about 20 min. for the judge to get to our case. Our attorney said "lets cross our fingers", and I thought, @#%$, I have to cross my fingers?? I was hoping she was going to be more reassuring. My tummy was just a mess. I thought I was going to have to run for the bathroom!! We sat through case after case of divorce. I cannot believe how many divorces go on! Our attorney said that at least 50% of the cases that go before the judge are divorces, so by the time it was our turn, the judge actually smiled! We had to testify, my sweetie got so misty eyed talking about his daughter and how he plans to adopt her. It was emotional. As soon as the judge said "I'm granting this petetion for termination of Mr. Acuna's rights.", Mark and I were overcome with emotion. It was an awesome moment, a moment that we had been waiting for, for a very long time. Just as the judge spoke granting the petition, Alex lets out several huge toots! I was so embarassed, a courtroom FULL of QUIET people and my son blows one. He was very proud of his work and just giggled and giggled. We left a nice little odor for the honorable judge Higginbotham. I had a hard time turning around and not RUNNING out the door!!

Our home study is Thursday and I can't wait to get it done, that will bring us one step closer to the big day!

I'm so thankful that our wait is almost over.

I'm thankful that Judge Higginbotham understands that blood is not always thicker than water.

Once again, I am so thankful that I have the most wonderful husband in the entire universe.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Valium anyone?

Have I mentioned that being a stay at home mom is the toughest job I've ever had. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having 2 children and being a SAHM would be this trying. Don't get me wrong I love my job, but there are days like today, that I'm ready to throw my hands up and run. If anymore energy or emotion is sucked out of me today I feel like I will turn inside out. There is never a quiet moment in this house. Most days I enjoy this, but today, I wouldn't mind a white room with padded walls...errrr wait, maybe that's where they will take me when my head spins around and my eyeballs pop out of their sockets...(As Alex dumps his entire basket of play food out on the living room floor and the dryer buzzes in the background.) lol I have christmas lights half way up on the rail in front of the house, the vaccuum for the stairs is sitting on the counter waiting for me, the bike, the trike and the pogo stick are in the driveway and need to be moved before Mark pulls in the driveway. Don't even get me started about dinner. My todo list has turned in to the "to do SOMEDAY" list. Poor poor pitiful me.


I'm so thankful that there is such thing as a sense of humor.

I'm so thankful that there are NOT more hours in a day.

I'm so thankful that tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Adoption update home study

Friday evening our Home Study was cancelled. Apparently, it's going to be next to impossible to get one done so quickly, unless we're willing to pay double the normal rate. That's ok though, this will get done soon, nothing is going to change except for the measley old date. We found out that we have a lot more to do than we realized for this home study. Mark has to get a document from a doctor saying that he is physically capable of being a father. ( ) We also have to get letters of recommendation from non-family members. I sent out an email to all of our friends requesting letters and within a few hours I had already received one. It was very touching. I think I'm going to add it to my blog. So, now we get to be a little picky about who we choose to conduct our home study. We're getting rates and references from several right now. We should be ready for the adoption hearing by January, or possibly February.

Letter of recommendation from the Zuniga's:

To whom it may concern,

I am so happy to have the chance to talk about my experiences with Mark Urben and Ashley Rogers. My daughter, Aubree Zuniga and Ashley are best friends. They met about 2 years ago when we were lucky enough to have moved to a house on the same street as the Urben family. When I first met Ashley, she struck me as a very sweet, confident, well-adjusted, smart and responsible child. She is surprisingly mature for her age.

She bragged about her mommy, daddy and baby brother on the first day she came to play. We quickly became friends with the rest of the family and have since had many dinners, parties, shopping trips, walks around the neighborhood and have even been on a few family trips together. I have witnessed so much love between Mark and Ashley, so much respect and admiration. Whether it’s the way Mark looks at her, hugs her, talks to her or even disciplines her, he always does it with a patient, respectful, loving, and compassionate hand.

Ashley loves Mark and has always referred to him as “Daddy” because that is just what he is to her. Mark makes time for Ashley and even takes her out on Daddy/Daughter dates. He makes her a priority in his life and goes out of his way to make her feel special.

I have said this over and over, and I know it’s something that Ashley’s mommy, Jamie thinks about many times in a day, but Jamie and Ashley were so very lucky to have found a man like Mark - a man that is a pillar for his family, providing a solid foundation for growth and a soft place to land when someone falls.

Mark is also truly and deeply in love with his wife, Jamie and it shows. Whether he knows it or not, he is setting an excellent example for the kind of husband that Ashley will seek out when she is older. Because of his example, Ashley will demand someone that is respectful, loving, affectionate and dedicated. I truly believe that there is no better daddy in the world for Ashley.

Thank you for your time.


Friday, November 19, 2004

Adoption Update

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! When will we get the return of service back you know?

-----Original Message-----
From: CPS []
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 10:44 AM
To: Christine Stelzer
Subject: IIO Rogers Child

Christine: I just learned that Respondent Rick Acuna was personally
served November 7th at 4:45 p.m. in CA.


Monday, November 15, 2004


Men are not emotional beings, men are not emotional beings, men are not emotional beings. Why is it that no matter how much I tell myself that, I just can't seem to accept it? Mark and I have the most wonderful relationship I've ever experienced in my life. Why is it that I can't just leave good enough alone? I want to know what goes on up in that head of his. There are several things going on in his life right now, and I don't have a clue what's going on in his head. For instance, last week...he came home early from work because of the death of his friend and the emotions that it was bringing up. Mark NEVER misses work. He drags himself to work no matter how much pain he's in. Him leaving work tells me that he was very sad and hurting inside. The only time he ever spoke to me about it was when he called to tell me he was coming home. He said it brought up feelings of his father and he couldn't stay at work anymore. That's it. We spent the entire day together, and that's the only thing he ever mentioned about it. I asked him several times how he was doing and he said he was ok. Why can't he talk to me? Doesn't he NEED to talk about these things? Isn't that part of why I'm here?

Lastnight I asked him about another emotional subject that came up after he received a phone call from an old friend of his. I asked if he wanted to talk about it and of course he said no. It hurts when you feel like an outsider to your husbands inner being. I worry that if he can't talk to me about what's inside of him, how would I ever know if he was to become unhappy in our marraige? Would he talk about it then? Would he tell me his needs, would he let me in?

Three thankfuls:

I'm thankful that Mark ALWAYS makes me feel loved.
I'm thankful that he has a soft heart.
I'm thankful that I have the desire to make our relationship stronger.

Weekend at Dads

My dad and stepmom met my brother and his girlfriend in Vegas this weekend, while we stayed at dad's and dog sat. It was a VERY relaxing weekend for all of us. On Saturday we all went Sesame Street Live and had such a wonderful time together. We filled up on popcorn, cotton candy and coke. What more could we ask for. After that we went home and did absolutely nothing for the rest of the weekend, which was EXACTLY what we needed. I'm anxious for Thanksgiving, I really miss my dad and stepmom and look forward to spending some time with them.

(Mark is STILL smoke free!!!)

3 thankfuls:

My safe warm home on this cold rainy day.
My sweet daughter who's mission in life is to please others.
My drive and determination to head off to the gym this morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Mark came home from work yesterday, he walked through the door, I greeted him with the same loving hug that I always do, but this one was different. At the time I didn't know exactly WHAT was different, I just know it was delicious. We made our way to the kitchen, and he took me aside and said "listen, I want to tell you something, but DON'T get your hopes up". Um, ok? He proceeds..."I haven't had a cigarette since Friday, and I just wanted you to understand if I get a little short fused, that's why." I was so excited that I could not contain myself, I was jumping up and down screaming with excitement in the middle of the kitchen. I realized that he was delicious because he smelled like my husband and not the Marlboro man.

Mark has been a smoker since the day I met him. I married him as a smoker and as much as I want to change that about him, I know that I cannot force the issue, I've been there. You cannont "tell" someone to quit and expect that they will. Mark has NEVER had any desire to quit smoking, even after sharing all the revalations I had when I quit smoking. I told him the way I felt about it, the reasons for me quitting, and told him how awesome it would be if he could too. He wouldn't give it a second thought. I respected the fact that he wasn't ready.

I don't know if this will stick, even though I know he can do it. I just know that he has taken the first step. This is the first time he has EVER mentioned the act of quitting on his own. This is HUGE for him. HUGE! I am so proud of him and I hope he continues down this path

Monday, November 08, 2004


I just found a picture of myself from just over a year ago. What happened to me!? Oh my gosh, I look so good in that picture! I have gained 2-3 pounds, but how in the world is 2-3 pounds so obvious!? I'm trying to blame the weight on the fact that I quit smoking in Oct. of 2003, but that's not cutting it. I taped the picture up on my bathroom mirror to remind me each day what I am supposed to look like. I'm going to work my rear off, literally. I'm 5' 9.5" 162 lbs and hope to loose 5-10 lbs right smack dab in the middle of weight gaining season. lol Here goes!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Vertical sleeping

My poor honey! Mark is "laying" in bed trying to sleep vertically right now. He had surgery to repair his deviated septum and sinusitis this morning. He's so sad looking. He has a chunk of gauze taped under his nose to catch the blood, nothing could look more pathetic than that. He could probably ask me for anything right about now, and I would deliver. (Except for that suppository in my fridge, not sure I'm ready for that) Last night we went to the grocery store and bought all of his favorite lay in bed all weekend foods...sour Skittles, beef jerky, slim jim and cashews. I rolled my eyes watching him load up the cart, while telling me that Doctors orders were to stay in bed for a week. AS IF! "How much did you pay that Dr.?" Now, as I look at him, laid up, all pathetic like, in his sweatpants and blood stained gauze all I want is for him to eat his goodies and be normal again.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Letters and Sponges

I'm just amazed at how much Alex has learned in such a short period of time. I wish that I could learn as quickly as this little sponge! He can now identify every letter of the alphabet and tell me what each letter says. I can ask him what letter something starts with and he will get it right 99% of the time. I hate to sound like a bragging parent, because let me tell you, his ability to learn doesn't have much to do with me. He's just so interested in letters and learning and I have no control over his interest. The other day he looked up at the sky and said "momma, it's a "D" " I had no idea what he was talking about until he said "the moon momma, it's the letter D." Well, it was a half moon that evening. Today he pulls a Z off the fridge brings it to me and says "look momma, it's a Z and a N!" as he turns the Z sideways. Then he brings me the W, and does the same thing, "look momma it's a W and a M!" My genius is all of 3 years old though, he can be a genius one minute, and the next minute I look over and see him licking the wall, or eating his boogers. That's my boy!

Adoption Update

Apparently serving someone with papers in a different state is more difficult than our Attorney realized. California has changed the way they do things and they no longer have constables serve civil process, so they had to file a Rule 103, which allows process servers in CA to serve him. This obviously takes a bit longer than we originally thought it would. We just received an email update from our Attorney, apparently they are having a hard time serving him. He's either not there often or is avoiding the process server. (More than like the later is true for this case). Email received:

" Christine: I just heard back from the CA process server. He's made
several attempts & has verified the address with a person nearby. I
directed him to prepare and mail to me an affidavit of attempted
service, so we can 106 this guy.

Sheri', CPS

Our attorney's explanation of a Rule 106:

Basically, the Rule 106 Affidavit sets out all the times the Cal. process servers have attempted to serve Rick to no avail and it allows the notice/Petition to be posted on his door instead of physically handing/serving our Petition on him.

I am so friggin nervous!!! Why is he avoiding them? Who knows. It makes my stomach turn not knowing what will happen next. In the meantime we have to get a Home Study done. This is done in any adoption to ensure that the home is safe and the child is in good hands. I hate that we have to prove ourselves, but I understand the reasoning behind it. It's really in the best interest of the child. Obviously we will have no problem with this, but it's nerve racking to think that a stranger will be spending the most part of a day observing our routines and family life. I have been dreaming about Rick a lot lately and I'm ready for this to be over and out of my mind.


Fall finally found us...I think those Canadians were hording all of our cool weather. We had our first cold day right at Nov. 1. That seems very late in the season to me. It's 8:30 AM and 45 degrees F. The leaves are still attached to the trees, some are beginning to change colors, but not many. I woke up this morning to frost on the GREEN grass. It's very strange! I'm usually not ready for the cold weather, since I'm chilled so easily, but this year I'm ready for hot cocoa, hot tea, and SOUP! I love making Ashley hotcocoa after she's walked home from school in the cold. I think that will be a lasting memory for her. Just yesterday as we were walking Ash up to the school Alex realized how cold it was getting and asked me "where is the cold coming from?" Boy, that is one hard question to answer! Obviously he doesn't quite get it just yet.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

How can I NOT say something

The election is finally over. I don't have a lot to say. I just hope the next 4 years are better than the last. Yep, that's about it.

I feel like dirt. Throat hurts, body aches, mind aches and I'm ready to have some peace and quiet. I just want a small piece of the day where there is complete silence. No kids yelling my name, no questions to be answered, no dog barking, no whining, no crying. Just a teensy tinsy piece. Maybe when I'm 40. And when I'm 40 I'll post an entry begging for noise.

Monday, November 01, 2004

We had such a wonderful weekend, but I must say, I am SO glad it's over. We spent all day Saturday preparing for Alex's 3rd Birthday Party, which turned out to be a really good time. We had over 20 adults and at least 10 kids show up. Mark made fajitas and all the fixins and Nana brought the beans. The house was decorated Spongebob style, with balloons and streamers everywhere, Mark and I did a pretty good job if I must say so myself. For goody bags we let the kids loose in a huge area of hay in the front yard. We had buried toys and candy throughout the hay. The kids had a blast tearing through it (some the adults did too, lol). Alex opened enough gifts to last him through this Christmas and his 4th birthday as well. It was CRAZY to see how many gifts he got. I really thought about putting some of them away and giving them to him for Christmas, but I soon realized that Alex had already taken some sort of 3 year old inventory and would ask where a toy was. I had some bit of guilt about all the gifts, but when it comes down to it, this was a celebration of Life, 3 years of it. So be it. All of my family was there, Grams, Pops, Nana, Big Daddy, Uncle David, and Uncle Jason and even 90 year old Grandma Aura. It was nice to see everyone in the same place at once. We don't do that too often and when we do, we always have a good time. It was nice to look around and see all the people who love our son. He is a very lucky boy to have so many wonderful people in his life.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


They really are gone. For good. There is nothing I can do to bring them back. I quit smoking a year ago this month, I have no idea what the date was. My journal had it all. My reflections on my children's lives, my entries from the day I met some of my best friends. How do I get over this? Rum and coke will help tonight. Tomorrow I will feel better. Maybe this will inspire me to go back to that creative time.

Good things:

My wonderful loving best friend who happens to be my husband

The relationship my children have with each other

My ability to move on and focus on all the wonderful things in my life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Memories Seep

Shanda brought me a burned copy of Mazzi Starr the other day. I have not listened to that CD in almost 10 years. High School memories overflow. Yearbook class. Chris' POS car. Skipping school and laying in bed with my CD player and Mazzi spinning. Garden Ridge. Brandi's Crx at lunch. Mazzi Starr's songs were able to weigh on my mind all day. My how life has changed. Here I sit at my kitchen table on my laptop with the Alex's unfinished lunch lurking in the corner of my eye. The hot iron and ironing board perched behind me. Mark's work clothes waiting to be pressed. My almost 3 year old son upstairs asleep in his Bob the Builder Bed. I hear the hum of the dryer, and the swoosh of the washer. Behind me on the white board is a to do list longer than I know what to do with. Planning Alex's birthday party, winterizing the lawn for winter, cleaning the windows etc. Meanwhile Mazzi Starr, strangely out of place plays in the distance. For a moment I am consumed in me, and only me, in my own private thoughts. Ahh, the silence, the bittersweet silence, the blank easel of my mind awaits.

Sick to my stomach

I just realized that i have lost over 20 journal entries from last year. I'm so so sad. That was a very creative time. I had some very special moments that I was able to write about creatively. Those were my inspiration and my memories and I'm just ill. I just can't believe it.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Tubby, Tubby, Tubby

We've always wondered how long we'd be able to put off the inevitable ER visits. Our luck ran out today. While volunteering up at Sissy's school, he managed to fall on a small table and cut open his precious little chin. My son cries easily and often, but when I heard THIS cry, I knew immediately that something was hurt pretty bad. When I saw the gash in his chin, my first reaction was to run to the nurses office accross the hall. Unfortuantely, nurses are allowed to take sick days, and she was not there. Go figure. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful friend who came to get us without hesitation so that I could sit with Alex in the back. Daddy got to the Round Rock ER before us and was able to do the paperwork before we ever arrived. Within a few min. of walking in the door they called us back. Alex got liquid stitches and did very well with no tears. $75 later, we're home and doing fine.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The invitations are out

I have FINALLY addressed all the envelopes and sent them on their way! I'm not quite sure how I managed to put this off for so long, but I did it. In the past I've actually put these sort of things off for so long that I've just nixed the entire idea. Here's the front of my masterpiece (or I should say ALEX'S masterpiece):

This picture is a very good representation of his 3rd year of life, this boy has dropped his pants for everyone I know. He's peed in the front yard dozens of times, in neighbors yards just as often and in parking lots on 3 different occasions. It is not uncommon to have friends over when Alex's clothes suddenly disappear. This invitation went out to close friends and family, so this is definitely not a sight they have not seen. I'm hoping this picture will surface in about 15 years.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Grandparents Day Lunch

Ashley's school had a Grandparents Day lunch in the cafeteria today. Nana, Big Daddy and Pops showed up and made her day. We all had fried chicken, and then Ashley showed us around her school. It was nice, and Alex was a good little bunny for us too! I wish grams could have been there.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Women's Adventure Race

Yesterday my friend Jen and I ran in The Women's Adventure Race. Some of the proceeds of the race go to the Young Survival Coallition, which benifits breast cancer reseach and support for young women affected by breast cancer. This was our first race, and up until I started preparing for this race, running was the last thing I EVER imagined myself doing. As a teenager in athletics I began to associate running with punishment, so up until now I always wondered what in the world could be so FUN about RUNNING! Well, now I know. Prior to the beginning of the race, the national anthem was sung and a full pipe band played. I was lost in the moment looking in front of me at the 600 plus women there with me. It was amazing to actually be a part of something so great and to know that this was the opening ceremony to an event that I was about to participate in. Wow.

Yesterday, I ran, biked and swam my heart out and enjoyed every minute of it. We screamed in excitement, pain, and support along the rocky trails, the steep inclines and in the muggy water. There were times when we rode in complete silence as well, each lost in our own determination. If one of us needed a boost, the other would sense it and the silence would break and the cheers would begin. Through it all, we never stopped, we never gave up and we never lost sight of our goal, which was to complete the race like so many cancer survivors have, and we were finishing the race for those who could not. It was such an emotional experience to look up through the sweat and see a sign on someones back "In memory of mom." How COULD we stop? We couldn't. As we crossed the finish line hand in hand, seeing our kids and loved ones cheering us on, it became so much more than we ever imagined it would be. It wasn't just for them, it wasn't just for the Survival Coallition, it was for us. We did something we never imagined we could and we gave 110%. We looked up and saw the the clock, and realized we had been racing our hearts out for 2 hours. I had no idea how I had done it, and I still don't. I have NEVER done anything so trying in my life. We didn't finish in first or even 10th place, and I honestly don't know what place we finished. I know that an hour later there were still awesome women crossing that finish line. The results were posted for everyone to see later that day, but I really don't have an interest in knowing where we stand. I'm just so thrilled to have finished that race, there is no number that could change the way I feel about yesterday. No, it wasn't the Olympics, but to us and our families, it came pretty damn close.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

My husband

I'm laying in bed trying to come up with the words to write in a card that I bought for Mark the other day. He's in Tennesee on business and will be home just before midnight tonight and I wanted to leave the card out for him to read when he gets home. On the front of the card is the back of a man wearing a trench coat and black socks, he's obviously flashing everyone in front of him. YOu open the card and it says "You showed em a thing or two! Congratulations!" Mark will get a kick out ot that. It's sooo hard to come up with the perfect words for a man that comes so close to perfection himself. He just got a big promotion and will now be managing a group of 10. For me this promotion is not surprising at all. Next to my father he has the best work ethic I've ever known. I have always looked up to Mark, and always known that he could do whatever his heart desired, so when he told me that his goal was to be a project manager someday, I knew it would happen. He's very intelligent, much more than he gives himself credit for, this is part of what has always drawn me to him. He does not have a hint of arrogance about him, god I love that. He works just as hard at his job as he does his relationships. This is what I want him to know, I don't want to just congratulate him on a promotion at work, it goes much deeper than that. He received this promotion because he is a wonderful, hardworking, dedicated man that I'm sure many look up to. I am so proud that this amazing man has a place in my life, and I hope I can show him just how special he is.

My husband

I'm laying in bed trying to come up with the words to write in a card that I bought for Mark the other day. He's in Tennesee on business and will be home just before midnight tonight and I wanted to leave the card out for him to read when he gets home. On the front of the card is the back of a man wearing a trench coat and black socks, he's obviously flashing everyone in front of him. YOu open the card and it says "You showed em a thing or two! Congratulations!" Mark will get a kick out ot that. It's sooo hard to come up with the perfect words for a man that comes so close to perfection himself. He just got a big promotion and will now be managing a group of 10. For me this promotion is not surprising at all. Next to my father he has the best work ethic I've ever known. I have always looked up to Mark, and always known that he could do whatever his heart desired, so when he told me that his goal was to be a project manager someday, I knew it would happen. He's very intelligent, much more than he gives himself credit for, this is part of what has always drawn me to him. He does not have a hint of arrogance about him, god I love that. He works just as hard at his job as he does his relationships. This is what I want him to know, I don't want to just congratulate him on a promotion at work, it goes much deeper than that. He received this promotion because he is a wonderful, hardworking, dedicated man that I'm sure many look up to. I am so proud that this amazing man has a place in my life, and I hope I can show him just how special he is.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Sperm Donor Update

I mailed Rick's father a letter asking for his contact info. and a few weeks later I received a letter from Rick. It was very typical of the Rick I remember from the past. He has not had contact with any of us for over 5 years and not once in the letter did he ask how Ashley was. He's still just as pathetic as ever.

Our attorney sent him a letter last week asking him to sign over his rights. The letter also mentioned the fact that Mark is the only father she has ever known and that we have been married for 5 years now. I'm hoping that will help. I'm so nervous and anxious that all I can do is give the facts. If I say much more than this little entry will turn in to a novel. I'm crossing my fingers that he signs the papers. This is a very big milestone in our lives and it could go the wrong direction if we're not lucky.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Take a deep breath

Oh man I could spit fire right now. What in the world is going on with customer service these days!!!??? No, wait, why do I even ask that, I'll tell you what happened...corporations and franchises have taken over and there is no accountability for poor customer service. Why should they care how happy you are, they are still going to get a paycheck whether or not you bring your business back. Grrrrrr. It just fires me up, and I have mucho patience with people that make mistakes, I understand that they happen. I really and truly feel that a businesses #1 priority should be good customer service. I don't care how good your product is, if you are not going to treat me with respect then your product means nothing to me. I am going to make a POINT to avoid big businesses as much as possible and go straight to the mom and pop shops, I don't care if I spend a few extra bucks. At least they have a vested interest in being KIND. And yes, that's all I ask, is for kindness. I'm not pissed off or anything lol.

Monday, August 23, 2004


I'm putting Ashley to bed tonight, kisses, hugs, twinkle twinkle little start etc. Chelsea the cat jumps on the bed to say goodnight as she always does, only tonight I notice a little something "extra" sticking out from behind her. It was very strange, so strange that I had to take her out in the hall where the light was to analyze this "extra" piece of her. Prepare yourself...I finally reailze that it's not just sticking out of nowhere, it's actually coming from her rear, it's sticking out about 5 inches and looks identical to my pony tail palm (plant) that just happens to be balding. Eeewww gross! Can someone please tell me how this plant got there?? I mean, I'm not dumb, but I really cannot seem to explain how it looks EXACTLY like it did on the plant. Should I have pulled it out Mark thinks I might get more than I bargained for if I did that, so I will sleep on it and hope it works itself out. Literally.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

My 2 year old pre-teen

So lastnight at dinnertime, I'm preforming my usual routine of telling Alex to finish his dinner so that he can have something for dessert. He'll normally eat most of it, but some veggies he won't touch. My biggest obstacle is getting him to TASTE things. He claims to think they're "disgusting" before he's ever tasted them. So I'm at the table begging, "Take one bite of your salad and you can have a popscicle...come on, you can do it, it's just one bite..." and this little booger looks at me and ROLLS HIS EYES!!!!! I had to leave the room to laugh it was so funny. He definitely does not have the rolling of the eyes perfected quite yet, he looks more like he's dying than anything. The eyes get stuck about midway around and just kind of hang there looking up, while he puckers his lips so as not to laugh. So, I leave the room giggle a bit and then come back in as "well behaved mommy" with my straight face put back determined not to laugh. Sure enough the booger does it again!! I try to get Mark and Ashley's attention, because they HAVE to see this, but the moment they look, Alex plays dumb. He acts like he was doing nothing and refuses to "show daddy what he just did". He looks at me like I'm crazy, shrugs his shoulders and Mark continues to clean the kitchen. As soon as Mark walks away, he does it yet AGAIN! I try to get him to do it for Mark several times after that, but he adamantly refused. What am I going to do with this boy!!??

Monday, August 09, 2004

Summer is coming to an end

The hottest month of the year has arrived. With August comes a new school year, and a new routine. I'm looking forward to the change, but I will miss my girl so much. This has been such an important summer in my children's lives. They have grown SO close over these past few months, it has been amazing to watch them grow together. They have laughed and played and fought and cuddled the summer away. It has been a beautiful summer for us all. We have spent a lot of time with Nana and Big Daddy, with going Schlitterbahn, wakeboard lessons and sleepovers we've made lots of precious memories together.

Ashley is almost 8 years old and is starting the 3rd grade in 8 days. It's unbelieveable how the time has flown by. It's amazing when you realize just how fast it all goes by. Wasn't I just potty training her, and wasn't grams and pops just swinging her by the arms while they walked down the street together? Weren't we just living in our own little apartment, just the two of us? Ahhh, it's crazy! Now look at us, look how much has changed. We have daddy, and Alex and Sadie and Chelsea. We have so much more than I ever dreamed we would.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Mom's final Hep C test

The test results are in...the Hep C is back. The entire last year of chemo was a waste. Mom found out almost a week ago, but couldn't talk about it without crying until now. I am just numb right now.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Adoption update

Adoption update

We received a letter in the mail from the attorney today, it was a duplicate of the letter they received in response to the request to sign over rights that we sent to Rick. It turns out we had the wrong person. This man just HAPPENS to have the same first name, last name and middle initial. We now know that his middle name is different. We struck out that this time, but we are hoping to find him soon and get this all over with!

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Summer Days

We have been so busy this summer, so busy that I have pretty much taken June off, as far as growing my Mary Kay business goes. I will probably kick off July with bang, and get back in the groove again, but for now, I'm enjoying my family. We took a trip to Schlitterbahn this week, and we had so much fun together! Alex and Ashley enjoyed the trip as much as we did. Ash ended up staying out at dads, and I will return to pick her up on Sunday.

In super duper wonderful news, we just booked our very first cruise!!! I'm beside myself with excitement! We have the most wonderful group of friends that we will be going with, which will make this trip just THAT much more fun for us. There are 4 (possibly 5) couples going, and we are all neighbors. We have had the best luck with our neighbors, not only do we get along, we are all GREAT friends. There are 8 of us that get together every other Wednesday for girls game night. We alternate houses each time, and everyone brings munchies. We have a BLAST together, and the best part about it that we are all just steps away from each other. Our husbands have taken our lead and are now getting together on the alternating Wed.'s that we are not doing girls game night. They usually come to our house and play poker on the back porch while they bond in their maleish ways. I go hang out at my friend Angie's and when it's time for Alex to go to bed, I bring him home, put him to bed, hand Mark the monitor, and I'm out the door to hang out with Angie until the guys are done playing poker. We are all very happy and enjoying each other imensely. I'm sooo looking forward to our cruise in October!!!

I also have to mention one more thing...On Mark's birthday (the day before father's day) we received our first letter from our Attorney regarding our case for termination and adoption of Ashley. It was a copy of the letter that her biological father received. It was a wonderful letter, very professional, and factual. To Mark, this was THE most wonderful Birthday, and Father's Day gift he could possibly receive. We are all very anxious and nervous about what's yet to come. It is a mystery to us wheter or not he's going to fight for his rights. He was asked to respond to this letter by July 15, or we would be filing suit. I'm EXTREMELY nervous, but so ready to get this done! I will update as soon as I can!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

We're rolling with it!

Mark made an appointment with an attorney to start the termination/adoption process. I am absolutely THRILLED! I spoke with Ruthie this morning and she offered to foot the bill for us. I'm in shock...I was expecting to have to forego the lawyer and do my own paperwork, which was already beginning to overwhelm me. I'm not sure what I did to deserve such wonderful parents, I could NOT ask for a more wonderful set of parents. They love me unconditionally, and are there for me even when I least expect it. I don't mean this in just a financial way, I mean this in all aspects of my life.

Our appointment is set for May 26th, which happens to be the day before my 27th birthday. Before our appointment, my mission is to find Rick. First I'm going to call up a few old friends and see if they can help me track him down. If I'm not successful with that, I will contact his father and ask him for his sons contact information. Last I heard he had married, had a child and moved to California. If that's the case, then I really think he will be likely to give up his rights without a fight. Afterall, he's out of state, with a family and children to support. Is he willing to come back to Texas to fight a legal battle? Does he have the money to do this? Not likely. He has made ZERO efforts for the past 6 years, so I'm not sure that a letter from an attorney is going to make him change his ways. If he truly wants the best for his biological child, he will sign over his rights and allow Ashley to continue to live the only life she's ever know with the only daddy she has ever know. Although, in the past, he has proven to not have conscience when it comes to these matters, so it wouldn't completely surprise me if he puts up at least a small fight.

All I know is that I am married to the most wonderful man any woman could ever ask for, and we have the most amazing 7 1/2 year old daughter together. Blood or not, we are a family, no different than the little girl next door who happens to live with her flesh and blood. So no matter what the outcome is, we will always be a family, and Mark will always be daddy to Ashley. Paperwork will not change what is already a truth.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Mother's Day

Yesterday was such a nice and relaxing day! Mark let me sleep in, and I didn't end up getting out of bed until 9:30!!! When I woke up he made special chocolate chip pancakes just for me! Ashley made me many special mother's day cards, and had made the cutest little banner for me too. Mark told me that we could do whatever I wanted that day. I decided that we needed a second set of sheets for our bed, so we ended up going to Bed Bath and Beyond and getting some. We went to mom's later that day, and ate dinner with them and ate the cake that I made for dessert. It was a great day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

New member of the family

New Member of the family!

Sunday afternoon we welcomed a new member to our family! We are the proud new owners to Sadie. She's a 1.5 year old black lab, with the sweetest little personality you could imagine. So far she will sit, lay down, heel, and fetch. We don't know where she came from, since we got her from the local humane society, but I do know that she was probably neglected if not abused. She's extremely timid, and is very protective of her new home. She has barked and growled at a few visitors. I'm hoping that in time she will feel more comfortable in her surroundings and not feel so paranoid. She is definitely an indoor dog, and has YET to have an accident in the house. Today is Tuesday, so we've gone almost 2 full days! She sleeps on a palate at the foot of our bed, but would much rather be IN the bed with us. Mark had to lay in her bed with her for a little while last night so that she wouldn't jump back up with us again. Poor thing!

Aside from that, not a whole lot is going on right now. I had my visit with my Mary Kay customer, Sarah, and that was great! We had so much fun. As it turned out her friend did not end up showing, but that's ok, it was a blast. She wants me to come back again soon to try more colors, and also wants to introduce me to her mom, who happens to be a faithful Mary Kay user in need of a consultant. Sarah is an aspiring makeup artist and taught ME so much. It was really quite funny to hear how our appt. went. She actually told ME what colors I should try!!! It was great! We'll definitely be getting together a lot in the future.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Big Sentences

Big Sentences!

Alex said his two longest sentences ever this past week. On Sunday we went out to dinner at Applebees. We were all done eating, and as always, Alex still had a full plate of Mac and cheese when it was time to go. The server came and took all of our plates, including Alex's. As he was walking away, Alex looked at the man as if he'd seen a ghost! His expression was priceless. After the immediate shock of someone taking his food away wore off his sweet little bottom lip began to stick out and his chin started to quiver. That quiver where you want to laugh and cry and hug him all at the same time because it's so cute yet so sad. He then looks over to me and says (now remember this is a little guy voice, and he has never said any sentence this long in his entire little 2 year life) "Mommy, why did that man take my plate away" My jaw all but hit the floor! We laughed so hard, and somehow managed to distract him from getting to upset with that "man".

Just yesterday, Alex and I were eating lunch together at the kitchen table. I was sitting accross from him and stood with my bowl to look at the kitchen calendar to see what was going on this week. As soon as I did so, Alex pointed his little crooked finger at me and shook it while saying his next longest sentence "No mommy, you sit down on your bottom now" followed by the "count". "Wooonnn, tooooooo, phreeeee"
THAT was priceless! I wonder where he got that line?

Monday, March 22, 2004

Spring is here

Spring is here!

The grass is turning green, trees are sprouting new leaves, the Bradford Pear trees are blossoming, and I actually saw Bluebonnetts a few days ago! Yay! Time for walks and parks, and sunshine, all the things that make me happy!

It's been well over a month since I last updated my journal, so much has changed! We just got home from spending Spring Break week in Alabama with Mark's Mother, Stepfather and Grandmother. I love visiting them so much, and always come home feeling motivated to make changes in my life. I see how his mother and stepfather treat each other and I see how pure their lives are and it really inspires me to be the best that I can be for my husband and my family. This trip was by far the best road trip we have ever taken with both kids, they did so well! Ashley was such a wonderful help with keeping Alex occupied that I did not have to climb in the back even ONCE! Round trip is over 24 hours, so that was a major accomplishment!

A few weeks ago I informed Jess that I could no longer keep Nicholas. I absolutely hated having to do that, but I really had no choice. Keeping 2 infants (even just part time), really puts a strain on my time to focus on Alex. I was guilt ridden most everyday about negleting my son...the whole reason I intended to stay home in the first place! I got in over my head and had to re-evaluate what my goals were. I realized that no matter how much I was getting paid, it was not worth the sacrafice I was having to make. I feel so much better knowing that I made the right decision, even if it does mean that I "gave up".

My neighbor and friend just bought a childrens consignment store here in town, and I am just THRILLED about that! Opening a consignment store has always been something that I dreamed of doing, so now I'm able to actually see first hand if it's something I'd really be interested in doing myself. She has invited me to come up most any day to work with her for a few hours each day, and offered to put me on the payroll. I don't think I'll be going up there that often, and definitely won't be letting her put me on the payroll, but I did tell her that I'd be willing to come in and lend a hand whenever possible.

That's all for now, I have to get myself a shower before the day begins!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

My crazy self

My crazy self

I guess it's about time I update my journal with all the new happenings in my life. Less than two weeks ago I made the decision to become a Mary Kay Independant Beauty Consultant. Those who know me are having one heck of a time trying to figure out what in the world is going on. This is completely out of character for me. I've never used skin care products of any brand, and the makeup I've always used has been whatever happens to be on sale. I've always said that I would make a horrible sales person, because I'd end up giving things away. Well, that is changing as we speak. I love the products, and feel very strongly about what I do, so it's actually much easier than I imagined.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go

Well, it looks like I'm going to start keeping another little one part time. His name is Nicholas and he's a whopping 3 weeks old!!!! His mom started our local Fly Lady group here in Cedar Park, and this is her first baby. She and her husband came over lastnight for the first time to chat about it, but all we could talk about was that tiny little guy. Can ya blame us? He's sooooo teensy! He's only 7lbs and he's 3 weeks old. 0-3 month clothes swallow him, it's amazing! I was probably around 8 months pregnant with Alex when he was that size! Of course, he was almost 10 pounds at birth, so I really shouldn't compare. So anyway, now I will have 2 part timers, which is great, because I'm not ready to give up my time with Alex to "full time" care. I really don't want to take away from our time together too much, and I really don't think that this will. Right now money is very tight, so this will really, really help us out a lot.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Sweetest Words

Mark and I tell our children many times a day how much we love them, with only one intention, letting them know that they are loved. Up until recently, those words have never been uttered back to us by our wild and crazy toddler. I'm not sure what took so long, maybe it was because this was the one phrase in which he continuously heard, that he was never prompted to echo back to us. Or maybe the time just wasn't right. Well, Friday night those three words made their debut out of his sweet little mouth, unprompted and unexpectedly.

I woke up that morning with a fever and an upset stomach and spent all day in bed away from my babies. By Friday evening, I had had just about enough of staring at the accumulation of dust on my ceiling fan blades, and trying to decipher the echo of little voices outside my door, so I made my way to the living room couch. I must have been laying there for all of 30 seconds before I was turned in to a human jungle gym. Although this may not sound pleasant, believe it or not, I was feeling slightly more human than I had all day. I was being distracted and no longer wallowing in the aches and pains that a fever can cause. So, in the middle of Alex's mommy-acrobatics he paused, looked me in the eye with his devilish grin and said slowly and precisely, "I-love-you." As I took down my toddler defense shields (the palms of my hands) my little human numchuck followed through with the BIGGEST toddler hug imaginable. He didn't get me over my bug by doing so, but he sure did help get me through it.