Saturday, January 31, 2009


[Note:  This post was started over the weekend, but wasn't published immediately because we were all working.]

First, everyone is okay.

I was at work at about 3:45 Friday when I got a call on my cell from Kristi.  She said "come home.  Mom and Dad's house in on fire."  She had gotten a call from her mom at 3:40.  And we were on the road within minutes headed to Houston.

Kristi's mom and dad lived in a townhouse complex.  It looks like the outside breaker box at the neighbor's townhouse caught on fire.  It traveled up the fence to the building and engulfed both the neighbor's unit and her mom and dad's.  The fire pretty much gutted the neighbor's house, but luckily only seriously damaged one room - Janet's sewing room - in their house.  The rest of the damage was caused by water and smoke.

It could've been really, really bad.  Tim and Janet were taking naps at the time the fire started.  In fact, they were sleeping so hard that the fire department had to kick in their back door to get them out.  But they did get out, luckily.

So the rest of the weekend was spent moving furniture and possessions out of their house and moving them to Austin where Kristi's brother, Ron, has a couple of storage units.  We tried to air everything out, clean it off and wash the clothes, but most everything still smalls like a campfire.  Luckily, their expensive items - the electronics, washer, dryer, etc. - were unhurt, as were most of their furniture.

This weekend has been so surreal, frustrating, emotional and draining.  Amazing how in the blink, one's world can shift forever.

So now the focus turns to finding Tim and Janet a place to stay for awhile and to Tim's surgery on Tuesday.  More on that later...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Voracious Reader, Aspiring Writer

Kayci had the Headleys over for a playdate yesterday afternoon, and while they were in her room playing Noble spent a lot of time at the gate, just watching them.  And then he decided to read...

This morning, Kayci got up and got ready in record time, so she had free time before going to school.  She came to me and asked how to spell "Valentines" so I told her...and then a few minutes later, she brought me this picture and she'd made for her teacher.   Go on, you know you wanna say, "aww..."  She's a sweetie!  Of course, I wish I were her Valentine, but hey...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sweet Girl

It was supposed to be icy overnight/this morning in Brenham, so James and I decided I'd go ahead and come into Houston last night.  (I have some meetings today that I absolutely CANNOT miss--great things happening in PPCD!)  Anyway, Kayci was very upset at the change in plans and cried quite a bit.  At one point, she asked me if I'd packed my bag yet, and I told her which bag.

This morning as I was getting dressed I noticed an envelope in the bag, "To:  Mommy."

If you don't read kindergartener, it says (the hearts are actually o's--her new thing!):
"I mad this for you. I love you mommy. Love Kayci, yor dodr."

I've gotta run--Grandpa and Noble are downstairs arguing over who can hold the hot malt o' meal.  Hope Grandpa wins...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

That's my boy!

I got up early this morning to clean (the house was a DISASTER--when we came in Sunday night we just dropped a whole carload of crap in the kitchen...not to mention the food Noble had smeared on the floor...yikes!).  I'd just mopped the last little bit of floor when everyone else woke up--great timing!  So I'm a happy girl!  The reason I mention any of this...I left the Swiffer mop out so I didn't have to walk back across the wet floor and leave footprints.  The kids and I have been sitting on the couch watching the news and hanging out while the floor dried, and I just put Noble down...before I knew it, he had hightailed it across the living room to the mop and was "mopping" his way across the dining room.

Now that's my boy.  

Monday, January 26, 2009

Get Your Kicks...

The Red Hots had their first practice tonight...that's right, Kayci is going to play spring soccer! We'll see how it goes...there are 4 girls on the team.  If you're counting, it takes 4 to play soccer.  Sigh.  This could be a big ol' waste of money and time, but we'll smile until it stops being funny...

Happy Birthday, John!

Today is John Weseloh's birthday!  I'm afraid I'll forget to call him tonight once we go to soccer this is my way of reminding ME and anyone else reading who needs to know to stop today and take a minute to send him happy thoughts.  :)  

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What it's about...

Grandpa's too sick to do much with the kids, but it looks like he and Noble and found a way to get around it--watching westerns. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Boat Ride!

It's too windy and rough for Dad to get out on the boat, but Don took us out for a short ride today.  It was Noble's first boat ride...and he LOVED it!  Bummed that Grandpa couldn't be there, but grateful for the opportunity.  :)  We saw a dolphin right when we got to open water, and Kayci yelled, "this is the best day of my LIFE!"

Deja Vu...Again!

Angus merged the 2 photos of Katie and Noble--cool!  :)  

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We're in Rockport--yea!!--and so far, great little unexpected winter vacation. :) Kayci ate with the old folks while we were at the grocery store buying...wait for it...chicken necks (yes, folks, that's so us sophisticated folks can catch crabs on a string), so she didn't want to go out with us but we wanted seafood, darn it! We'd seen this cool restaurant earlier and decided to head out and give it a shot--oh, my! It wasn't like, Bill Miller backyard crawfish boil good...but it was close enough that we'd have called Peggy to say "hi" if not for the metal roof...

Anyway, great restaurant, great food, great company. Bubby (the little guy with the beard there) gives the key lime tart a thumbs up--way up! We'll see what we can dig up around here tomorrow...this is my first time in this part of Texas (well, there was that weekend in Corpus once...) and so far, I'm a big fan! Can't wait to see what we find...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Grandpa Update

Thank you all for your thoughts & prayers--Grandpa is very grateful!  He met with Dr. Rodriguez, his surgeon, last week and yesterday they confirmed that his surgery will be on Tuesday, February 3rd.  He'll be in the hospital for a few weeks after the surgery and then will be home several months recovering, so please keep on thinking those happy, healthy thoughts and praying!  We'll keep you posted...

A few pictures...

We've been laying kind of low lately--James and I have both been pretty busy with freelance work (well, he's been actively busy while I've been planning and designing in my head more than on the I've got to knock it out pretty quick, so wish me luck!). Anyway, neither of us has had a lot of time to blog. We've taken some fun pictures in the past few days, so thought I'd share. Enjoy! They are very random, so just bear with me...

Haitham ran some errands with us on Sunday morning; here we are at Academy, buying the kids life jackets. Nobley went for a of his new favorite activities! Some of you will remember pictures of Kayci with Amy & the kids at Washington on the Brazos the Good Friday before she turned one...he's about that age here. Amy, if you're reading this--that's still one of our FAVORITE days ever! :)  

Here are the 4 of us at Johnny Carino's Saturday night...

...celebrating Grandma Hagler's 80th birthday!   Here's Kayci telling Great Grandma how our gift was actually all her idea...

Hey, remember that pic of Nobley and Katie from Kayci's birthday? Angus caught the same pose again...deja vu!

Makes your heart melt a little, doesn't it?

Alrighty, we're HUGE Buc-ee's fans...the new one in Cypress opened this week, so the kids and I had to stop yesterday for a picture while we were out shopping with Auntie Lauren.  :)

Just a swingin'...

This was actually Noble's first time in his new swing...Daddy finished hanging it on Sunday while Kayci and I were at Awana, so he and Nobley gave it a whirl. Yep, it's a big hit!

Angus snapped this one of Noble napping at the restaurant...makes me laugh!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, James introduced me to the wonder that is Amazon over Christmas--we did the majority of our Christmas shopping online this year, and I fell in love!  It definitely helped us stay in budget, as there's no room for impulse buying (theoretically, but I'll find a way) and you can comparison shop until you get the best price, free shipping, etc.  I know, I know, everyone but me knows this stuff!  

Well, I'm hooked.  :)  Now that we have a Noble, shopping isn't quite as relaxing as it used to be.  And since we're actually THINKING before we spend money, it's not as fun, quite frankly.  But, online shopping is fun because I feel like I'm getting a great deal on stuff I need to buy anyway!  And not having to get a baby out of the carseat?  Priceless!

So that's the background.  We spent Noble's Christmas money online at Target and Amazon, bought Paula's baby gift online, ordered a new cup/snack ball for Nobley, spent my birthday money on dishes...there's been lots of stuff coming and going around here lately.  My new craze?  Buying gifts ahead of time!  So yep, I've ordered a few of those, too.  Well, today we were sitting on the couch during James' lunch and there was a knock at the door.  You stay at home folks know "the" knock...UPS and FedEx guys have the same bang-bang-bang! knock.  (Our mailman tries it, but there's a reason he's USPS and not the other guys.  Kinda sad.)  Anyway, I hop up..."ooh, it's our dishes!"  Then when I opened the door and saw the size of the box..."maybe it's my shoes.  Nah, too flat.  Ooh!  Noble's socks.  Wal-Mart?  Oh!  Paula's bibs!!"  So I open the box, as James' head is spinning (yes we talked about all of these purchases, boy, and no, you weren't asleep!)...and this is what we find.

 A cup.  In a whole big box, with a whole big wad of paper.  Come ON, Wal-Mart--what a waste of resources!  Sadly, Amazon did this with Noble's socks, too--big box empty save for two bitty boxes of socks...anyway, I hope this isn't an epidemic.  I have to say, it stole some of the joy from the moment.  Not all, mind you, as it's a perfectly wonderful Boon cup for Noble, but still, would have been more satisfying to get the WHOLE order in a box that size.  

Monday, January 12, 2009

You just never know what you'll find

This evening, I noticed Noble under the desk--not unusual--and then I realized that he was saying "ut, ut" (translates to up, out, down...wherever he wants to be that he's NOT).  So I looked more closely...

The other day, I came into the living room to find him hanging out of his toy tub by one leg and holding on for dear life (he wasn't hurt at all)...he tried to climb ONTO the tub to reach the window and apparently slipped.  I realize this makes me sound like a deadbeat parent who can't keep half an eye on her own kid, but I invite anyone who's judging to spend a day with the little tyke.  (Insert evil giggle here.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Somebody's son

This morning I took a walk about seven blocks or so because I needed to go to the bank. It was early- about 7:45, and not much was happening on the streets of austin that early. It was about 40 degrees outside, which was brisk, but once I started walking it wasn't so bad.

There were only two things going on that early in downtown Austin. There were runners everywhere clad in underarmor and wool caps. Then there were the homeless guys either still curled up in a blanket in a doorstep or walking around. I watched a couple of scraggly, bearded guys shuffle down the sidewalk - one with his hands full of bags and the other carrying a hiking backpack. I guess because of my lonely state of mind and missing my family (see my previous post) I thought "wow. Those men used to be babies just like Noble. At some time they were somebody's son. ". I actually felt really sad when I looked at these guys through a father's eyes. It would kill me to think of my baby boy ending up like that.

But the more I thought about it as I walked, the more I thought about the parents of these homeless men. Did they even know that their sons are homeless? What kind of parents would leave their child in such a state? I made a lot if assumptions, and I know that every person has their own circumstances and history. I know that some of these men choose to live this way. I know that some men have fallen to this after losing everything. I know this. But I still can't help but think that if their parents had done a better job of providing for them, that many wouldn't be in the states they're in today. Notice I didn't say raising them. That's only half the job. My job as a parent is to make sure that my family will be okay if (God forbid) anything should happen to me. The parents of those men obviously didn't - or couldn't. No life insurance no college fund. No house. No security.

No judgement here- just an observation. And again, a generalization for the purpose of this thought stream...

But it just reinforced to me why it's so important to do the hard- and expensive things that we've been trying to do. It's important to me to know that when I'm gone that my kids will be left with something. And it will be equally as important that Kristi and I teach good stewardship of the money and things that we'll leave to our kids someday so that they don't just go blow it and be left shuffling through life carrying their bags around.

I think if parents did more of that, then there would be a lot fewer wayward former sons and daughters on the streets.


One more thing...we moved our blog off of our server, so the new address is:

If you have us as a link on your blog, you'll want to change that or it will never look updated.  :)  Speaking of, I'd better go change it on mine...

Sunday Morning--We MADE It!

So you know James is out of town.  My goal today was to get to 8:30 church (our preferred service as it's Nobley nap time and Mr. Wiggles will actually sleep through the sermon most days...).  Well, the kids and I got up at 6:10 (yup, they were in bed with me, bite me) and kind of just hung out.  So many people have bugged me about Facebook and yesterday a friend mentioned it at a baby shower and I was like, I'm gonna just do it.  So I did this morning while Kayci watched special features (her favorite part of any DVD) and Noble played mass destruction.  I got in the shower at 8:00 AM, and it started...well, maybe we'll go to 10:30 church.  Well, maybe it'll be okay, James is out of town, just this once...and I got past that.  Then I remembered that it's communion Sunday, and I was thinking about juggling communion and 2 kiddos.  I almost--almost--gave in and thought, we'll just skip it.  Just this once.  But then it came to me--who in that church could we possibly sit by who WOULDN'T help me through communion?  So that got me moving again, and we all got around and got out the door with no stress (yea!!).  Made it to church on time, walked in and saw a new friend from Bible Study, Jean.  She invited us to sit with her, and I got so much out of church this morning.  Kayci went off to Sunday School as happy as can be, Noble slept and I enjoyed a powerful sermon (1 Corinthians--Corinth as the Vegas of the Bible).  Afterward, I told Jean about how I almost let myself NOT go to church today, and thanked her for being such a blessing to us.  God is good!

Now we're home, have been for 3 hours.  Kayci and I are back in PJs (she loves, loves pajama days).  We had a Kayci lunch, fish & mac n cheese & green beans.  Both kids are napping and I'm kind of working on finances, kind of surfing friends' blogs...I know, I know.  Back to it--one of them will be up soon!  :)

3am family perspective

I'm in Austin for the next several days for a conference. It's a yearly thing, and this is the fourth year, so you'd think I'd be used to it by now. But I'm always amazed at how quiet and awkward the nights are while I'm here. I'm usually running for about 16 hours during the day, but when I come back to my room I usually just .... Sit. I have no idea what to do with myself. I try to read, but it doesn't hold my attention. There's usually nothing worth watching on tv. I brought movies on my iPhone to watch, bit don't feel like it. So I just sit and check my e-mail or look out my window at the conference center across the street. Luckily last night I went out to dinner with the Marketing Department, which was actually fun.

But last night I woke up about 3:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. I lay there really missing a snuggly Bubby or cold Kristi feet. It was probably only 30 minutes or so before I drifted back to sleep, but without some of those little things that are comfort things, it felt like hours. It's amazing to me how clear one's perspective on life and family can be at 3:30 in the morning.

For as much as I dislike the nightime disruptions - feedings and diapers and bedhogs - I'll take them all over a lonely hotel room any day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Fun...

 Hope you're having a GREAT weekend!  It's pretty blustery here, but beautiful!  

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Girls Night Out!

(They're actually getting change for the gumball machine at El Charro T...don't call CPS.)


Noble is 10 months old today!  
Happy Birthday, Bubby!
It's crazy to think that it's time to start planning his first birthday party...this year has absolutely flown by.  He's so much fun--and has so much ENERGY!  My iphone doesn't take good pics of him at all because he moves too fast, but today definitely calls for a picture.  Maybe I can snap a better one later...we're going to the park when he wakes up.  I think--you just never know where the day will take us!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A funny name...

To backtrack a bit, Dick and Jane have been big in our house since we did Noble's crib in Dick and Jane fabrics.  Kayci recently checked out a Dick and Jane library book, and Nana also gave her one for Christmas.  But, we hadn't actually read Dick and Jane with her until yesterday.  She went to storage with James to get the boxes for Christmas takedown, and entertained him by reading Dick and Jane aloud in the car.  And last night before bed, she wanted to finish reading the Dick and Jane book before we return it to the library today.  So she starts...

Dicken Jane...

Dicken.  That's a funny name...