~my thoughts about life~

Saturday, August 13, 2016

August is like the Sunday of Summer

It's been a great summer, and far too long since I've updated!  It makes me sad to notice that it's getting darker earlier and that the kids' school stuff has claimed residency all over my dining room.  It's hard to believe that summer is nearly over.  It seemed to last an eternity when I was a kid!

It's still in the 90s here and far too humid to be outside.  The upstairs of my house is too warm to make sleeping comfortable, but we're thankful for the ceiling fan!  I think the area where I live has some of the most extreme weather in the country.  Thankfully, we didn't break 100 degrees this year, even though we typically do.  Winters drop down below zero by 20-25 degrees.  I'm trying to enjoy the heat while it lasts!

Steak, Lobster, Escargot, & Ice Cream!
Even though it wasn't in our budget, we found a way to take the kids on a family vacation this year!  We technically hadn't been on a real vacation in 3 years.  (I do not count driving to New Orleans for a wedding a vacation!)  I knew the only way we could go was to go on a cruise.  Trying to feed and entertain this family for a week, after paying for flights and hotel accommodations, was definitely something we couldn't afford.

We chose a 5-day cruise on Royal Caribbean out of Miami.  We stopped at Grand Cayman Island and Key West.  I'd never been to either port before and really enjoyed both!  The ship was a little disappointing as far as things to do, but I still had a great time.  Big Sis was caught right between the little kids and the teens.  I wish there had been more for her.  She's a trouper though.  Baby Girl had a blast in the little kids club!  The boys didn't do much aside from eating.  They were disappointed there wasn't basketball or putt-putt golf.  The teen club fell a little short too.  You get what you pay for and the smallest boat in the fleet was all we could afford.  I read several books and had lots of fun!

She was voted
Queen of the Night!
Right before we left for the trip, I quit Hubby's side job.  We had talked about quitting part of it because it was getting unreasonable.  We had been cleaning an apartment job for 3 years and never got an increase of wages.  One of the owners did nothing but complain about our work, which was very degrading to us.  He kept demanding more and more out of us and was never happy.  For what we were getting paid, it was ludicrous.  We cleaned the laundry rooms and parking lot areas once a week.  It took the Hubby and I and both girls 1 to 1 1/2 hours to finish the job well.  Afterward, we always went to our favorite pizza joint.  What we got paid was $3 short of even paying for our dinner.  Yeah, not worth it.

Anyhow, when Hubby got home, I nervously proclaimed, "I quit your job."  He asked, "Which one?"  (He knew we were only talking about cleaning and mowing the apartments.)  "All of them," I answered.  He wasn't too happy.  He was hung up on the money and didn't see how we could afford to quit.  It turned out to be the best decision ever.  He ended up being so relaxed on vacation and mentioned time after time that it was perfect timing.  Whew!!!

We got home on a Sunday and he started his part-time job with the police department on Tuesday!  His training officer is an army vet who we suspect to be part robot!  He's amazing and a perfect fit for Hubby!  He loves this job so much and is finally living out his dream!!!  He's realized, even though pay is very minimal as a part-time officer, that he's making very close to the same as the jobs I just quit, doing something he loves!!  I am so thankful, I can't even put it into words!  And you should see him in his full uniform!  He's quite dashing!!!

THEN- since there weren't enough changes in our lives yet.  I went out and got me one of them there jobs!  I signed up to be on the sub list as a teacher's aide at our home school district.  The woman who interviewed me laughed and said that I had quite an impressive resume'.  Most people applying for this job don't have teaching degrees.  I explained that this is exactly what I want right now.  I haven't worked outside the home in almost 18 years.  To go back full time could possibly kill me.  I still have all those responsibilities, kids, and side jobs at home to manage.  Most teacher aide positions here are 4-5 hours a day.  I think that's great.  The pay is absolutely insulting (minimum wage) but it's more than I'm making now!  I would enjoy staying on as a sub for a while, but they let me know that I would likely get hired right away.  She said she may call as early as the first day of school and will probably call most days.  Yikes...makes me kind of nervous!  I'm a little rusty...

So, school starts in 4 days.  I need to get my act together in case I have to go to work!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What I'm Reading

At what point does this constitute as an obsession?  I've read 21 books so far this year.  I've never been that kind of a reader.  I know there are people who have a goal of 100 books in a year.  I'm not that person.  I actually feel guilty about reading because it's a hobby that takes the place of something more important that I should be doing!  One thing that helps with my guilt is that I only read after I've finished my daily Bible reading.  So, if you count the 66 books of the Bible, I may be pretty close to that 100 mark by the end of the year!

A lot of the books I've read lately aren't great and I realize that's because I'm buying the Kindle deals on Amazon.  Most of those deals offer a cheap price on the first book in a series, hoping you'll buy the remaining books.  Sadly, it's not usually worth reading the sequels.

I've contemplated signing back up for Amazon Prime so that I can take advantage of the free Kindle books.  Has anyone ever done that who can offer advice?  I would like to know if it's worth it or if the selection is very minimal.  As of now, I'm spending more money than I would like to because I'm reading some of these books in only 3 days.  I might as well have the free shipping to go along with it!

Here's what I've been reading:

  • Party Girl by Rachel Hollis
This book was just OK.  It's almost like the author finished watching The Devil Wears Prada, thought to herself "Hmm....I liked that," and then decided to write a book with the same theme.  It's about a party planner and it has the same components of Prada.  The boss is highly sought after, condescending, and trendy.  The main character is just too good to be true.  I purchased this book because it was a good deal and because there are two others that follow it.  I did enjoy reading it, but not enough to read the next two.  There wasn't enough depth.  There was harsh language and mild sexual content (for my wholesome readers).  

  • Maid for Love by Marie Force
This one was not worth reading.  It had the depth of what I imagine a Playboy article would have.  It dwelt much more on the size of the woman's jugs and the endowment of the man's genitalia than a good story line.  I would have guessed the author to have been in high school because of the writing quality.  She mentions the woman's "caramel eyes" and "flowery scent" way too many times to count.  I'm guessing her English teacher never taught her to use a variety of adjectives.  There are very graphic sex scenes that I had to skip over and the story isn't believable at all.  Save your time and skip this one.  

  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
This book was better than the last two.  It's about a woman who returns to her home town following a divorce and loss of a child.  Her brother is going through a rough period with drug addiction and she feels the need to move home to help him out.  I know that sounds like the book has an overwhelming sad theme, but it's not a complete tearjerker.  The brother and sister are close, despite their dysfunction, but neither is close with their overbearing, rich mother.  As they are sorting through things, they find evidence that suggests they used to have an older sister.  I don't want to give away any more than that.  There is some explicit material and language.  (Why do all of these books include a man teaching a woman how to have better sex?  She always thoroughly enjoys it and thanks him for it.  Gag.)  Anyway, this book is worth reading, if you find a good deal on it.  

  • The Marryin' Kind by Nancy J. Parra
OK, finally a book that I really enjoyed!  This is part of a series, but it doesn't end in a cliffhanger.  You don't have to read the next book to find out what happens.  It's just about the same characters.  I can't say I picked up on the actual time period of this book.  The women wear hoop skirts and pump water into the house, but there seem to be very modern things discussed.  Anyway, it's about an independent woman who has no desire to marry.  She wants to stay single and live alone, much to the dismay of her father and sisters.  Similar to Pride & Prejudice, the younger sister is a flirt who can't understand someone's desire to not marry.  The older brother comes up with an elaborate plan to help his sister achieve everything she wants in life.  This book is very light, yet entertaining.  There's plenty going on and you can't wait to see what's going to happen next.  The best part is that it's very clean with no language or explicit material.  I enjoyed it so much that I bought the next two.

  • The Bettin' Kind by Nancy J. Parra

This is the second book of the series and is about the younger sister.  I thought the first was better, but that's probably because I read it first.  I did finish this one in two days though.  It was very similar to the first book, which might be why I didn't enjoy it quite as much.  I decided not to read the third right away.  The book was still very enjoyable, clean, and romantic.  The heroine from the first book is mentioned, but isn't a key character.  I would still recommend reading them in order or you'll get a few spoilers.  There is even a little action in this one and I had a hard time putting it down.

  • The Songbird and the Soldier by Wendy Lou Jones

I immediately fell in love with this book.  It's about a man in the service who begins exchanging letters with someone he met briefly while at home.  The author shares the letters with you and they're quite enjoyable to read.  Then chapters go by where nothing happens.  Seriously, it's like describing my daily life.  She goes to the grocery store.  They have tea.  She walks through the park.  They have a picnic.  She cooks dinner.  My eyes kept drooping and this book became a quick cure for insomnia.  It gets a little better, and things start happening, but it never really picks up again.   There are several dramatic events in the last third of the book.  But frankly, by that point, I didn't care about the characters any more.  I just wanted to finish.  The writing was dull and lifeless.  When I picked up my very next book, the words jumped out at me like sugar to someone on a diet.  It had some language, but otherwise was pretty clean.  I'd say skip this one.

...and I'm still going.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Randomness of Life

I'm having such difficulty dealing with the news and current issues of today.  I don't want to log onto social media or turn on the television.  I don't want to know the details of the horrific events of the last few days; I'd rather be ignorant.  Does that mean I don't care?  No, it means I care too much.  If I think about it too much, it consumes me.  I have to continue living my life.  Getting overwhelmed with grief won't help make anything better.


This was in our local paper!
Son #1 is getting involved with a summer job program.  Our church secretary (my cousin) told me about it.  This agency will pay #1 to work at the church over the summer!  The church gets to use his services for free, but will provide some mentoring and help him establish work skills.  He already has great work skills and he's involved in the church anyway.  He has a key to get in (as he unlocks the doors before services), so she said he can pretty much go up and work whenever he wants.  It's so flexible and he'll get a dollar more an hour than he's making at his current job!  He'll keep the other job too; he only works Monday and Saturday evenings.  He needs something to occupy him this summer....I'm afraid he's going to wear out the pads of his thumbs on that stupid iPad.


I, on the other hand, have plenty to do to keep myself busy.  My basement, people, is simply disgusting.  It's overwhelming and there are hours worth of work awaiting me.  Anyone want to come help me?

It's time to start getting this house organized and into shape.  I'm doing a great job of keeping it "drop in ready" at most times.  If anyone knocks on my door, I'm comfortable inviting them in.  However, the nooks and crannies, like the basement, garage, and closets are hideous.  I can't take it any more.

Years ago, when I only had the two boys, my family bought a very large parcel of land.  Our dream was to construct a development where everyone could build homes together.  Yeah, it didn't work.  My uncle spent over a decade trying to get permits and sewers and water lines.  He finally kind of gave up.  But he decided to put his home up for sale anyway.  It's a very unique, historical house, so it's not like some ordinary Joe would happen by to purchase it.  Built in the early 1900s, it was part of a farm.  The caretaker lived in the front part of the house.  It has 4 bedrooms and 2 kitchens.  The back half of the house was renovated by my grandfather.  My mom and uncle lived there from birth.  It has 4 bedrooms also and a fabulous great room.  Because of this, they're asking a pretty penny.  A few corporations have looked through it, as well as a couple multi-generational families.  It's been on the market off and on for 7 years now.  Nothing.  This week, the metropolitan housing company in our area contacted my uncle to see if all of the family members on the street would be interested in talking numbers.  SO- even though we've never listed our house, it may finally be looked at.  It's nerve-wracking and very exciting at the same time.  So that's why I need to get busy in my basement.  Seriously....looking for eager volunteers!!!  :D


I adore the expression on
her face! 
Maybe it's finally our "Season."  Hubby was involved in a class action suit against his company that was filed a dozen years ago.  He's a named plaintiff on the suit, which means he's given testimonies and whatnot.  Back then, they said if it all pans out, we could be awarded with well over six figures.  We've patiently anticipated the settlement of this lawsuit for over a decade.  It settled.  Sadly, it didn't even come close to what Hubby hoped for.  Me, I would have been thrilled with a $20 gift card to Outback.  He really hoped we could pay off the house.  Um, nope.  The actual amount isn't set in stone because they're having difficulty locating all 300+ people who are affected.  No matter what happens, we'll get some money, which is fantastic!  Hopefully it won't take another decade though!


Oh, it is suddenly pouring rain here!  With lightning!  We really need that.  It finally got hot here today; I broke down and turned on the A/C.  I like it so much better with a natural breeze blowing through the house.  The humidity did me in though.  We tried to swim at my cousin's Monday, but it was just too cool.  


Does anyone else think my ice cream cone looks like the poop emoji?


I hope things are going well in the lives of all my readers!  I love it when y'all post comments or occasionally email me.  I enjoy hearing from you!  I'll leave you with one random thought.  What's one food from your childhood you'd just love to have again?  Maybe a meal your mom used to make or something from a restaurant that went out of business?  I'd have to say the chicken nachos, chips, and salsa from Chi-Chi's.  I really miss that place...it was our date night go-to place.  :(

Friday, June 10, 2016

What's Happening--

I am truly enjoying the summer!  I work so hard throughout the spring that, when summer comes, I take relaxation to a whole new level!  I've been reading, walking, cooking, and enjoying life.  I could really get used to this lifestyle.


Hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary!  I don't feel old enough to have been married that long.  We enjoyed a short cruise that was heavenly!  We ate, fell asleep in the sun, played mini golf, read books, and tried out the water slide.  I was so sad to see it end.  Another lifestyle I could get used to...


Son #2 is on the left.
I am so relieved that school is out.  I am very tired of pestering the kids to work hard and keep their grades up.  Big Sis did fantastic her last quarter.  Son #1's grades were disappointing and Son #2 dropped the ball in the last week of school.  He's carried a 4.0 since 7th grade and finally lost it.  His Destination Imagination team traveled to Knoxville, TN for Globals the last full week of school and he missed too much class.  He had to write his final paper in the car.  This one paper counted for his English, Science, and History grades.  I don't really get the reasoning behind that.  Well, he bombed the paper.  Each section was worth 20 points.  He got 20/20 on Science, 15/20 on History, and 5/20 in English for doing his citations wrong.  Because of that, he got a poor grade in all three subjects.  I don't quite see the fairness in that.  He should have gotten a poor grade in English only.  Because of this, he lost his 4.0.  I'm pretty ticked about it.  His older brother never had any assignments that were cross-curricular like that.  I just don't get it.  And Baby Girl graduated 1st grade on a high note.  She's picked up in her reading and math and I'm quite pleased with her progress.


Hubby's police career is moving slowly, but he finally got his uniforms this week.  He looks quite dashing!  OK, the hat is a little dorky, but he's not required to wear it.  He has to "qualify" with his weapon and then he can begin.  He's more than anxious to start because he's totally fed up with his current job.

For example, Son #1 had to go to traffic court tonight.  (Speeding on the highway....I about killed him!)  I had to take him alone because Hubby couldn't get off in time.  They won't accommodate him in any way.  Other drivers were off well before 5:00 that he could have switched with, but they will not give him any slack.  He works every Saturday and has gotten home after 7:30 this week.  He doesn't get paid enough to not have a life because of work.  Fortunately, he has a new career ahead of him.  Hopefully full-time employment at the PD will come soon!


The tooth fairy has been
visiting lately!
Every other Saturday, I am alternating between teaching a couponing class and a cooking class.  I really enjoy it....when people show up.  It's quite frustrating to have 25 people sign up for a class and only 1 shows up.  If you don't want to attend, don't sign up.


We unexpectedly came into $1000!  It was such a shock and surprise, we don't know what to do with it yet.  There are so many things we could use it for, but we're contemplating investing it for a rainy day.  Hmmm.....


The boys had physicals this week.  Son #1 is 5'10 1/2" and 139 lbs.!  Son #2 is 5'7 1/2" and 110 lbs.  Boy, are they going to look just like their dad!!!  I feel like a midget around here.


That's about all that's going on and I'm so happy about it!  Golf starts soon and Son #1 is going to join his brother on the team this year.  He's entering his Senior year (yikes!) and taking way too strenuous of a schedule.  I honestly don't think he can pull it off.  

I feel like I've aged a lot since I started this blog.  Instead of a home with four kids, I have two little girls and three grown men living here.  It's weird.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Reading, Reading, Reading...

I've read a lot of books since I last updated.  I'm still on the no TV kick, although I do occasionally watch an episode of The Middle or The Goldbergs online.  I'm not even sure I'll be able to list all the books I've read without forgetting something, but I'll try to give an accurate review.

1.  Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
I did not care for this book at all.  I was swept in by the synopsis on the book jacket.  It was a story about a ring and the engagements that followed over 100 years.  I thought that sounded romantic.  A great deal of the book was a true story about the woman who coined the phrase A Diamond is Forever.  Unfortunately, it was boring.  The best part of the book was that it was several individual stories that ended up being tied together at the end.  One of the stories was about two gay men that got married.  I don't support that so it definitely put a damper on the book for me.

2.  Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
This was one of those bargain books picked up on the clearance table at the book store.  It's historical fiction and involves a woman dealing with amnesia during the war.  It's been a little while since I read it, but I remember it being quite clean and language free.  I enjoyed it and would recommend anyone who enjoys historical fiction to read it.

3.  A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
I've ready this book a few times before.  It's totally unrealistic and very light reading, but it's so enjoyable to read.  If you liked the movie Kate & Leopold, you'll love this book.  They have a very similar story line.  It has some graphic detail in it, but I suffered through it.  (Ha!)  There's also a bit of language.  If you want to relax and get lost in romance without having to think too much, this is the book for you.

4.  Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble
This was a Kindle deal I got for a good price.  I had read all the actual books I had lying around here, so I decided to pick up my Kindle after a long hiatus.  It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was worth the $1.99 I paid for it.  It's a reunion of the past with a lot of secrets that are gradually revealed. Some parts were predictable, but most of the secrets turned out differently than I'd guessed.  It's a little over-dramatic, but I guess that's needed to hold your attention.  It was worth reading but nothing I'd strongly recommend.

5.  The Lake by Annalisa Grant
What a mistake!  I didn't realize this was young adult until after I started it.  It was another Kindle deal.  (Free, I think.)  I justified reading it by thinking that it could still be enjoyable and would be clean and free from too much sex or language.  Maybe it's because I'm not a teen, but the plot was horrible, the characters weren't believable, and it was quite boring.  Worst of all, it ends in a cliffhanger.  It like totally stops.  Then it tells you to buy the next book.  With the first book being so horrible, I certainly didn't want to waste time reading the second (which I hear also ends in a cliffhanger)!  So, I ended up googling to find out what happens to one of the main characters.  I found out and called it quits.  I won't give any spoilers here, but if you want to know, email me and I'll tell you what happens!

6.  The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Another Kindle purchase, I enjoyed this one.  It has some religious themes to it, which means that it's very clean and wholesome.  I wouldn't recommend reading the synopsis, as it gives away way too much of the plot.  I'll tell you that it's about an engaged wedding planner with no family to call her own.  It has flashbacks to a couple different time periods, which is interesting.  I definitely connected with the characters and felt like I knew them.  Another lighthearted book, I would recommend this one.

7.  The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery
This was the best of all the books I've read recently.  My mom bought the book for me because she liked the cover.  (She obviously doesn't know you're not supposed to judge a book that way.)  It's about three 30-something women and the stress and struggles of everyday life.  They rely on one another through their trials.  There's a lot going on and there's no time to get bored.  There's no way anyone in real life has this much drama going on at one time, but that's why books are more interesting than real life.  Some of the outcomes are different than I guessed, so it wasn't too predictable.  It ends just a little too quickly, but things are definitely resolved in the epilogue.  I enjoyed the writing style of the author and plan on looking for more things by her.  This is a good read.  Give it a try.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've read any of these.  What have you been reading lately?  I just started another Kindle deal that is, unfortunately, part of a series.  (I think all those Kindle deals are parts of a series to get you to buy more down the road.)  But since all 3 books are $1.99 each, I figured I'd give the first one a try.  I'm always game for good Kindle deals, if anyone has any recommendations.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Update on the Crazy

Whew!  The worst part of my year is finally over!  Each year, I have a ridiculously crazy life from the end of March until the beginning of May.  I'm in charge of our annual Mother Daughter Banquet and I seem to make it a bigger deal each year.  (Plus, my help gets less and less each year.)

Added to the crazy of MD Banquet, I'm still babysitting, harping on the kids to study and keep their grades up, trying to keep a clean house, managing the rental properties, teaching Sunday School, singing at church, and trying to keep a strong marriage.  It's exhausting, I tell ya!

Fortunately, God has had my back through all of it.  I crammed 15 hours of work into 10, got adequate sleep, and kept healthy.  I managed to cook supper most nights, make stupid phone calls about medical bills, and get Son #1 through the ACT.

Even though my banquet was a success and we pulled it all off, there was major chaos involved.  We found out a couple days before that Hubby was going to be sworn in to the police department the very same night!  Eek!  I realized that it wouldn't be possible for me to see it.  I think I might have cried.  When I told my mom, she insisted that I go.  She said the Banquet comes once a year, being sworn in is once in a lifetime.  She managed this banquet for 20 years before me, so I knew she could hack it.  THEN- her uncle one state over died.  Guess when the funeral was?  Yep, same night.  I told her she absolutely had to go to that.  His daughter was the same age as my mom and they were very best friends growing up.  SO....we moved on to my cousin, our youth pastor's wife.  She volunteered to step in and do whatever needed done.  Bless her heart!

So, the Banquet started at 6:30.  (My day started much, much earlier, and I was going on 4 hours of sleep.)  I opened up the Banquet, ran a quick song, and announced dinner.  I chatted very quickly with a friend I invited, who came only to see me.  Then I hightailed it down to the police department, which was only about 10 minutes away.  My sweet brother was waiting on me and jumped in to park my car.  There on the sidewalk stood my incredibly handsome Hubby, looking as dapper as ever.  It was hard not to cry.  (OK, I'm totally tearing up right now just remembering it.)

We filed into the packed courtroom and found the last empty seats.  They knew I was in a time crunch and actually started early!  The mayor swore him in and I was grinning like a proud mama.  The police chief interrupted and said he had to say a few words.  He said that V was a native of the city and loved the community.  He said he was such a great guy, that at the board interview, one of the members said that they thought he might actually be too nice of a guy to be a cop.  He said some other flattering things and then invited us outside for photos.  I snapped a few and headed back to the banquet.  I wasn't quite as worried about my speed on the way back because, hey, I'm a cop's wife now!!!  Haha!

I actually made it back in time before dinner was over and got to finish out the Banquet on my own!
We only had a couple mess ups, which no one seemed to care about.  It was all in fun and most people knew my situation.  I enjoyed carrying around my camera, showing off the photos.

Also, my best friend told me the same day that she's expecting her first baby!  It was such a perfect day!  My girls presented me with a spa gift card as a thank you!  What could be a better gift???

I would like to mention that my last post was not about me.  Thank you to those of you who expressed concern.  It's about a couple that Hubby and I are very close to.  It's been going on since the end of last summer, but it keeps getting worse and worse.  It's killing me to see how this friend of mine and mentor to Hubby is behaving.  Our kids are very close and we interact with them through many different things (DI, band, school plays, sports, and work).  It's just breaking my heart.  I pray that they can at least learn to be civil around one another.

So to wrap up, things have been so great around here.  Hubby is ready to start his training, which he is so excited about!  He carries his badge with him wherever he goes, just in case!  We celebrated 20 years of marriage over the weekend with a 3-day cruise all by ourselves!  It was just what I needed after a very stressful couple of months year!!!

School is out in a couple of weeks and life can be normal again.  Hopefully I can pop on to my blog more often and update.  I hope everything is going well for all of you that continue to follow me!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

An Open Letter to The Other Woman

To You--

I know you.  You are that person who dates other women's husbands.  You are a mom at my kids' school.  You are a co-worker.  You are the barista who takes his order every day.  On the outside, you are a normal, average person.  You even have a great personality and lots of friends.  You volunteer; you're active in the community.  You put on a convincing charade.  But I know who you really are.

You are incredibly self-centered.  You are vicious; you are evil.  You have no morals, no scruples, and you care only about yourself.

You sat down and weighed the pros and cons.  At the end of it, you decided that you are totally fine with destroying a family.  You're willing to do it because it makes you happy.  You don't care about the people you hurt.  It's only about you.

You don't care about that woman, the one who gave her blood, sweat, and tears to building a home and a family with this man.  She bore his children.  She took care of him when he was sick.  She shared her deepest, most personal experiences with him.  She helped him become what he is, the man you're attracted to.  You are perfectly fine to be the reason for her excruciating pain.

You aren't bothered by the fact that his children are tucked into bed at night by a weeping mother.  They cry into their pillows, trying to make sense of why their dad, their hero, chose you over them.  Their young minds don't understand lust or its power.  All they know is that Daddy cares more about some other lady and her kids than he does about his own.  You don't care that this experience will haunt them for decades.  It will affect their future relationships.  These children will have trust issues, nightmares, and feelings that they're unloved.  They will struggle in school.  They will lose their appetites; their health will decline.  You don't mind though.  As long as you're happy.

How any person could knowingly and consciously make these decisions proves that they are a monster.  Oh, I know- he was unhappy in his life.  He hasn't loved her for years.  She's not the same person he married.  He was going to leave anyhow.  He assured you that you didn't do anything wrong.  It was his decision.  Sorry, honey, that's not true.  He was unhappy in his marriage because you came on to him, giving him thoughts and feelings he forgot he could have.  You stirred it up.  You flirted with him.  You touched him, you smiled, you did something sweet and thoughtful to grab his attention.  You wanted to see if you could attract him.  You wanted to get his heart racing.  It was a game.  You wanted to feel good about yourself.

You won.  You got what you wanted.  Your prize is a middle-aged man who is overworked and stressed, whose best days are behind him.  Feeling proud yet?  Well, my purpose for writing this letter today is to give you a little dose of reality.

The first and most obvious thing is that he's a cheater.  He cheated with you.  Guess what?  He's going to cheat on you too.  If you honestly believe that he loves you more than he ever loved her, you're delusional.  Your day will come...just wait.

You love this secret romance.  You get a high from sneaking around, the late night texts, the planned meetings.  The excitement that comes from exchanging a smile that no one else notices lights a fire inside you.  You do realize that fire is going to burn out, don't you?  Pretty soon, you're no longer forbidden fruit.  You're not tempting.  You're simply the new ball and chain.  You'll be old hat soon enough.

To go along with that, your little love god is going to lose his luster too.  He's going to start taking his bad work days out on you, now that he no longer has his wife to vent to.  He's going to get sick, gain weight, and pass gas.  He's going to develop little quirks that will quickly get on your nerves.  His flaws and irritations are going to start coming out of the woodwork.  The annoyances he used to hide are going to start surfacing, now that he's so comfortable with you.  Wait and see just how human he actually is.

You know your reputation will follow you for life.  People know about you.  They talk.  That old, scorned wife has told stories about you.  Her friends know; their friends know.  People who have never met you know all about what you did.  When you meet someone in the future and they get a sudden, odd look on their face, it's because they just realized who you are.  You're labeled.  You might as well start wearing that scarlet A on your chest.

Maybe he's a great dad.  Maybe he's been there for you and your kids.  I'm sure you love seeing his relationship with them, how they tease one another and play together.  They're going to get attached.  After all, isn't that what you were trying to do anyway?  Find them a baby daddy?  The first time he says to you that these aren't his kids, and you realize he doesn't love them, it's going to crush you.  When he does finally move on, you're going to be alone again, trying to console these children who have lost another man in their lives.

Eventually, things are going to come full circle for you.  You're going to be the victim, the one hurt.  You're going to be left alone, crying into your pillow at night.  I'm sure it won't last long though.  You'll go find another woman's husband and start all over again.  Have fun with that.  Enjoy the rest of your life as The Other Woman.  Because you'll never, ever be a real woman.

Someone who is sick and tired of seeing people like you destroying so many lives

P.S.  Stay away from my husband.  I'm not as kind as the last woman you ravaged.  I will take you down.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Confessions of an OCD Mom

The older I get, the more persnickety I become.  (Do people still use that word?)  While I don't consider myself as having a full fledged case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I am getting much closer.  I remember back to my early days of motherhood when the sink was full of dishes, toys were strewn all over the floor (making each room of the house its own obstacle course), dirty laundry piled up, clean laundry piled up, and at some point of each day, I stared into both the refrigerator and freezer at the same time, trying to find something edible to cook for supper.  (I would often end up ordering out.)  That person has died.

Now I have become a scheduled, organized, routine person who is bothered immensely by something as small as the forks in the silverware drawer being askew.  Seriously, it gets under my skin.  A typical day for me involves:
  • Picking up the throw pillows 72 times.  Seriously, I will straighten them, walk out of the room, come right back in, and they're on the floor again.  It's like my kids aren't happy if the throw pillows are in place.  They are far more comfortable for all of them to be on the floor at all times.
  • Hanging up the hand towel in the kitchen 48 times.  I like to keep a hand towel draped over the oven door, like most people.  Fortunately, I have instilled the importance of frequent handwashing to my kids.  Because of that, they pull the towel off the oven door handle, dry their hands, and toss it on top of the stove burners.  EVERY TIME.  Why?  I don't have to pull it off the handle to use it. I dry my hands while allowing the towel to continue to hang.  Why can't other people get that?
  • Reorganizing the shoes 103 times.  The people who live in my house think that every pair of shoes they own needs to be beside the front door at all times.  I don't know...I guess they might be planning to make a quick escape.  Multiply that times six people and we have a huge (stinky) pile of shoes that causes mass chaos for people trying to come down the stairs.  So, I straighten the shoes over and over.  No matter how many times I fix the pile, it's destroyed and multiplied within minutes.  
  • Changing the toilet paper roll 3 times.  Seriously, we go through A LOT of toilet paper here!  I am no longer comfortable allowing a roll to sit on the sink countertop or on the back of the toilet.  We've lost too many rolls that way.  Scooping out a dripping wet, nearly full roll of Charmin from the toilet bowl forces you to learn to always keep the paper on the holder.  And of course, no one here knows how to do that.  It's a very complicated device to use, I suppose.  (On a side note, I now have a supply of 3-12 extra rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom at all times.  I got way too tired of getting caught with no supplies in awkward situations.)
  • Pushing in the dining room chairs 83 times.  I seriously cannot take it when the chairs aren't pushed in.  They're big, heavy chairs and, unfortunately, they fit under the table like a puzzle.  So, pushing one in often requires another chair to be pulled out before the first chair can be put in place.  Since the other occupants here can't seem to figure out the puzzle, another task is left up to me.  We use our table a lot...for meals, snacks, homework, coloring, playing, and watching Netflix on the iPad, which explains why I have to push in the chairs so often.  
I love this guy and I want to meet him!
These are just a few of the things that drive me crazy, and that's just when the house is in its normal form.  If the house is like really clean, I'm much worse.  If I've just swept the floor and someone drops a crumb, you know I'm going to swoop down like a seagull nabbing a fish to pick up that crumb.  (If the floor is already dirty, I don't care as much.)  If I've just Windexed the windows and one of those sweet, sticky-fingered children touches the glass, I get slightly crazy like an erratic mental patient.  When the bed is made and Hubby sits down on it for a moment, I must straighten the covers and pillows immediately before my head explodes.  (My bed is made every day, by the way.)  And don't even think of putting a dirty dish in a clean sink when the dishwasher is empty.  That is grounds for flogging.  

So what's your verdict?  Am I too obsessive or am I just a typical, red-blooded American mom?  Do most wives straighten their husbands desks and dressers multiple times a day because they can't take papers, bills, and dollar bills strewn all over?  Do most moms rush to push the toaster and butter dish back into place because someone left it all pulled out after making a piece of toast?  How normal is it to remove the coats hung on the coat tree and reorganize them to specific hooks?  OK, that one might be a slightly over the top, but the short hooks must be reserved for the girls.  They can't reach the tall hooks.  Hubby is 6'2"....he has no need to take all the short hooks with his multitude of coats for every type of weather. Plus, I like everyone to keep all their coats together on the same hook.  They can't use more than one.  

If you think that's weird, you should see how I organize the dishwasher.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Why I Love Language Arts

Son #1 is getting an F.  In Pre-Calc.  I'm ticked.

He's always been a smart boy....takes honors classes, catches on fairly quickly (when he applies himself), and gets mostly As with a couple Bs here and there.

Now he's getting an F.

I had a parent-teacher conference last week with this woman who is teaching Pre-Calc for the first time.  The following are words that actually came out of her mouth:
"I just don't know how to teach this."

Hmmm...  What I wanted to reply but didn't (because I'm much snarkier in my head than I am in real life) was, "Then you should not be teaching this class," or "Why are you a math teacher?" or "So my son has to suffer and struggle because you don't know what you're doing?"  But I didn't.  She also said, "I know how to do this type of math, I just don't know how to explain it."  Isn't that kind of the hard part of a teacher's job?  Knowing how to explain it to others?

The teacher also told me that anyone getting an A or a B in the class is staying after school daily for help. She suggested that Son #1 request help from another math teacher, who happens to be the chair of the math department.  She didn't even suggest that he come to her for help.

Since then, we've sought out two separate math tutors for him.  One is a college student who is currently enrolled in Calc 3.  The other is a peer who reads calculus books over summer break for pleasure.  I decided to give it just a bit more time, even though my gut told me it's already too late.  You see, in math, one concept must be mastered before a student can move on to the next concept.  Since Son #1 hasn't fully grasped the last 39 concepts, moving onto the next concept is like trying to brush your teeth while eating an Oreo cookie.

His last two test scores were 23% and 27%.  The class took a test yesterday and, according to #1, everyone failed it.  Even the kid who reads calc textbooks for fun failed the test.  So, I decided I've had it.  I called the principal.  Why should my son be the guinea pig for this teacher who is trying to figure out how to be a teacher?  This experiment of putting her into a class she can't teach has screwed up my kid's academic career.  Not only has his GPA plunged, now we're hesitant to allow him to move onto higher math for his Senior year.  If he can't get pre-calc, how is he going to get Calculus or Physics?  And move on another year or two....how is he going to grasp college level math when he never learned it properly in high school?  Mama Bear is not happy.

While I'm all riled up, I'll go ahead and let you know that the principal wasn't available and I had to leave a message.  So, I'll be a nervous wreck anticipating his return call.  I don't know what I want him to do about the situation, if anything, but I think he needs to be aware that he's employing a teacher who can't teach.

Wish me luck.  I hate confrontation more than spiders.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hubby Passed

My friend is one of the school nurses in our district.  She travels from school to school.  Yesterday, she was at the middle school and Big Sis came in to see her.  Big Sis and the nurse's daughter are great friends, just like her mom and I were at that age.  I love it.  Anyhow, Big Sis said to the nurse, "My dad passed!"  The nurse answered, "Oh great, I didn't know if I'd heard that!"  Her daughter scolded her, "MOM!  Why are you acting happy that her dad passed away???  That's horrible!"  Both the nurse and Big Sis laughed.  The girl thought her friend's dad had died and her mom wasn't sympathetic enough.  

It turns out, Hubby passed his state police exam!  He is now trained and qualified to be a police officer!  He sat on pins and needles for two days, waiting to get the phone call.  We were doing an inspection at one of our tenant's apartments when he found out.  We explained to her that Hubby was expecting a very important phone call and would step out if he received it.  By the way, we call her Crazy Lady because she is one fry shy of a Happy Meal.  So, Hubby got the call and stepped outside into the snow.  I had to stand there talking to Crazy Lady about her bad teeth and iron levels while I was dying to be by Hubby's side.  He walked in the door, right past me and said, "OK, what do we have here...?" I called his name and he ignored me.  I said, "Did you pass?"  He ignored me again.  The unthinkable finally hit me...he must have failed!  I didn't think there was any chance he would fail...he studied his tail off!  So I rephrased my question, You failed?"  He looked back at me, pointed at my face, and said exuberantly, "No, I did not!"  I exclaimed, "You passed?!?!?"  He replied, "Yep!"  I gave him a playful slug on the arm, upset that I couldn't properly congratulate him.  This moment was a couple years in the making and we had to spend it with Crazy Lady and her crazy dog!!!

He breezed through the inspection and came back into the empty adjoining duplex.  I was able to give him a big hug and talk for a few seconds.  We had a new tenant arriving briefly to fill the vacant apartment.  It was not the magical moment I had hoped for, but since the results were positive, that's all I cared about!

Now he's up to his armpits in background and security checks.  Our local department wants to take him on part time!  He knows everyone down there and they all love him.  One of the female cops he knows well is pregnant and taking a break from patrol.  They've moved her into the detective bureau and she's the one assigned to his case.  She's coming over next week to interview me.  I'm kind of nervous about it...I tend to ramble when I get nervous and I try to be funny.  I'm scared I'll end up saying something stupid.  

It's amazing the things they need to know about you to be a cop.  I'm glad though...if all the cops in my community passed a thorough check like this, they all must be pretty decent people!  They need to know every car accident you've ever been involved in, all your financial information, every job, every home, and they require a list of contacts.  They will interview our family, friends, and neighbors.  I guess that's not too big of a deal for a 21-year old...but when you're 41, you have a lot more history to go through!  

Anyway, we are both so relieved that it's all over!  It's actually weird having him here in the evenings and on weekends!  I know that will all change again when he's working a second job, but at least he'll finally be getting paid for it!  

When I announced this on Facebook, I got some of the most positive and comforting comments.  They really meant a lot to me!  A lady from church said she has been praying for him recently and didn't know why.  Another said she will be praying a hedge of protection around him.  Several people mentioned they will pray for his protection.  I was blown away by the support!  

The 8-year old boy who lives inside my husband is finally getting his dream come true.  He's a policeman.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Random Question

Here's something totally random for today...

Do you wash your ear lobes?

As I was showering the other day, and obviously thinking too deeply, I realized I don't actually wash my ears.  I guess I just assume that the shampoo and soap running down from my face and hair takes care of cleansing a part of my body that, let's admit, probably doesn't get too dirty anyway.

So, to answer this question that I asked myself, no, I didn't used to wash my ear lobes, but I do now.  It just seems the right thing to do.

I'm sure you'll all sleep better now that you're privy to this information.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Still Reading...

I finished The Prize Winner since I last posted. Like many of you commented, it was just OK. I didn't realize it was a movie too but I would definitely be interested in seeing it.

After that, I read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoyed that. My mom had steered me away from his books because she said they always left you crying. I don't like to cry. This book had sad parts but it didn't leave you sobbing. It had romance, but wasn't too smutty. It had a handful of choice words, but nothing too awful. It's a book I would definitely recommend. 

Finally, I read Lake News by Barbara Delinsky. It's something my mom had lying around and I gravitate to anything in hardback. (Kind of a snobby book thing, I guess.). My verdict: Eh...  The last 1/4 of the book was good, but the rest of it was too wordy and too dramatic without enough actually happening. It turns out, I didn't really care for the main character all that much. I enjoyed the parts about her sister and wished the book had been more about her. It's not a book I would read again. 

Since I just finished the last book, I don't have anything else ready yet. I guess it's time to make a trip over to Mom's. She recently spent a Barnes & Noble gift card, which means I get to read all 3 of the new books she picked up from the bargain table. I'll let you know what I pick next. 

What are you reading???

Monday, February 1, 2016


As I discussed in my last post, there is nothing on TV any more.  Because of this, I have taken to reading.  I don't remember the last time I sat down and watched a show (excepting my Sunday night Downtown fix).  I used to take a half hour at breakfast (well, 22 minutes) and another at lunch time to watch one show with my meal.  Now, I sit on the couch, balance my Stouffer's pizza and Diet Dr. Pepper, and try to keep my book open to the right page.  I still haven't mastered the process yet.  Sure, sitting at the table would be easier, but who wants to do that?

Because of my increase in reading, I've already read several books since Christmas.  This coming from someone who reads one or two books a year.  Here's what I've been reading so far:

1.  Tara Road by Maeve Binchy - It's my favorite book.  I think I've read it 4 times now.  It's a great story, not smutty, lots of characters, and plenty long enough that it's not over in 2 days.  Maeve Binchy is my favorite writer and I love her Irish voice.  Sadly, she recently passed away, so I'll miss anticipating new Maeve stories.  I love how she details a great number of characters and then brings them all together at some point of the story.  It's kind of her calling card.  Either Tara Road or Circle of Friends are her best works, in my opinion.

2.  Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers - My mom bought both books in this series because she had a gift card to a Christian book store.  Francine Rivers is my favorite Christian author.  (Give Redeeming Love a try.)  This book is loosely based on Francine's history, but is a work of fiction.  I really enjoyed it and was anxious to begin the sequel.  It starts with a character based on her grandmother.  The series spans several generations and ends in present day.  It left me wondering what was real and how much was fictionalized.

3.  Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers - This is the second book in the series.  I was glad I had both of them on hand because you can't read one without the other.  This series did not disappoint.

4.  Quentins by Maeve Binchy - Because I didn't get enough Maeve at Christmastime, I had to reread this book too.  I had only read this one once before.  If you want to give it a go, I would recommend reading Tara Road, Evening Class, and Scarlet Feather first.  She brilliantly brings back a lot of those characters.  We lost our copy of Evening Class, but I'd love to read that again too.  Again, Maeve always comes through.

5.  The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan - This is what I'm currently reading.  I tend to totally judge a book by its cover (or its title, as in this case) and I was less than excited to read this one.  My mom made me promise to try it and I'm actually enjoying it.  The subtitle is "How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less."  It's a true story about a hard-up housewife who took care of her family by entering contests, writing poetry, and developing catchy tag lines.  

I keep a little end table next to my reading couch and it's stacked with a selection of the next few books I plan to read.   I can't read anything with too much smut, but I like a little romance.  Fiction is my preference, but I'll read a true story if it's interesting enough.  Nothing educational (ha!).  

What are you reading right now?  Anyone read any of the books on my list before?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Evolution of Television

When I was a kid, we had a big, square TV that sat on a stand.  You had to turn the dial to get one of 4 or 5 stations.  We got channels 3, 5, and 8...the big networks.  There was PBS in the middle and then our favorite, channel 43.  That was the one that had cartoons after school.  We were very limited in our TV watching.  After school, we were allowed to watch one show.  That meant that my brother and I had to agree on something to watch together.  Anyone under the age of 30 has no idea the significance of Saturday mornings to a 1980's kid!  We had free reign on Saturday mornings.  We got up, probably around 8:00 and watched cartoons until they went off.  It seems like that happened around 10:00.  We were even allowed to eat breakfast in front of the TV.  That was a huge deal and made us love Saturdays so much more!  On Saturday nights, we ate dinner, took our baths, and I got pink sponge curlers in my hair for church the next morning.  My brother and I had to learn our memory verses.  We had to have all this done by the time The Muppet Show came on at 7:00 PM.  It was the best show of the whole week!  When it was over, we went to bed!  It was routine.  It was expected.  It was normal.

On occasion, something magical would happen on an unusual night.  There would be a SPECIAL on!  I can still remember the animated graphic of the word "Special" that would turn around on the screen.  It had some sort of techno/drum music that played with it.  When you saw that graphic come on, your anticipation heightened nearly to the extent of Christmas morning!  There were going to be cartoons on at night!  It might have been Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin.  It might have been The Cat in the Hat.  Whatever it was, it was pure bliss.  We would usually get with our cousins so we could all watch The Special together.  

My kids don't get that excited about anything in life!  They don't understand how spoiled they are!

When I got a little older, we were the first in the neighborhood to get a TV with a remote!  Wow, we were big time!  My dad broke his back and was confined to a hospital bed for six months.  My mom went out and bought him a TV.  I guess it was around that time, when I was 10, that we got a VCR!  Oh wow....the history of television changed forever!  I was always slightly jealous because we didn't have Beta Max, but VHS was perfectly acceptable.  Everyone wanted to come to our house to watch TV because my dad had a huge antenna on the roof.  We didn't mess with rabbit ears on top of our TV set...no ma'am.  That was small potatoes.  We also had added channels 61 and 19 by this time!  There was also channel 17, but I think that was mostly a Hispanic religious station.

On Sunday nights, the Disney Sunday Movie came on with host Michael Eisner.  We had church on Sunday nights, so we videotaped it.  My brother and I would watch those movies over and over.  We got to the point where we could quote them.  Some of our personal favorites were The B.R.A.T. Patrol, Mr. Boogedy, and Ask Max.  If anyone else has ever heard of any of those movies, I would really love for you to comment about it!!!

At this point of my life, I only knew two people who had cable.  One was a poor family in our church.  They lived in a crummy house, had shabby clothes, and even smelled bad.  But they had cable!  They would videotape countless movies and let us borrow them.  No matter how bad they smelled, I was willing to borrow those tapes!  The other person who had cable was my grandmother.  She lived next to a high-rise apartment building and could get no stations with an antenna.  She was forced to get cable.  This made going over to grandma's even more exciting!  She watched her "stories" during the day while she ironed.  As the World Turns was her program of choice.  But in the evenings, the cousins and I would watch Nickelodeon!  That was the greatest thing since sliced bread!  There was a show called You Can't Do that on Television where they would slime people for saying "I don't know."  More than anything, I wanted to meet Allister and get slimed!

As a teenager, the world of sitcoms broke out.  There were shows like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains.  There was never a shortage of a good, family show to watch in the evenings.  A couple of my favorites were Small Wonder and Alf.  A couple years later, The Wonder Years premiered and it was our go-to Saturday night entertainment.

I miss those wholesome shows.

My parents never got cable.  They felt that it was an unnecessary expense.  After I got married, I felt I was grown up enough to make my own decisions about television viewing.  We got satellite.  Now, I'm not talking about the enormous, swimming pool sized dish that stood on a huge base in the back yard.  (My great uncle in Indiana had one of those....we could never actually find anything to watch on it, but we sure did enjoy seeing the dish rotate around to pick up different stations!)  Hubby and I got DirecTV.  Over the years, the cost grew and grew.  I eventually turned into my mother and realized that this expense was totally unnecessary!  I cancelled it.

Now, I don't think you can call it full circle, but we're back to having only the stations that we can pick up with our digital antenna.  To be honest, it's not much greater than that huge contraption my dad had anchored to the roof of our house.  It cuts in and out quite often, so we just don't watch TV much any more.  I've taken to reading instead.  Life is better, I'm happier.  TV is garbage.

Except for Downton Abbey.  Don't mess with my Downton Abbey!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Happy Ending to a Crappy Story

Something great happened to me a couple months ago and I've been dying to share it on my blog for a while now!

You may or may not remember all the problems we've had with our plumbing over the past two years.  If you scroll down for a while (or click that tag that says "irritating"), it won't take you long to find a post or two about it.  We ended up spending over $10K to fix these issues and they were never resolved.  We finally decided to pursue legal action.

We hired a new attorney, who was just setting up shop in our community.  She came recommended to me by the law director of our town (a friend of mine).  She was young, ambitious, and ready for a fight.  When I explained the circumstance to her and asked if she did this kind of work, she excitedly exclaimed, "Oh yes, I do!"  That's the attitude I wanted.  I hate it when a hired professional acts like they're doing you a favor.  This woman, Angelina, was very grateful for the work and was anxious to begin.

Angelina and I met and we discussed every detail related to the situation.  She commended my organizational skills (which is one of the best compliments a person could give me) and was ready to dive in.  She wasn't haughty and asked my opinion on how I thought things should be handled.  We agreed that she would write a letter to the head guy of the plumbing company.

A quick recap will remind you that, after the plumbers messed up the job, I called them back out.  Instead of admitting their own mistake and fixing it, they tried to charge me $5000 more to fix it.  They also charged me $400 to tell me that they were going to charge me $5000 to fix their mistake.  We declined and they got snarky.  We hired another plumber (who caught their mistake) and a contractor to gut the bathroom and fix the issues.

When Angelina wrote the letter, she requested that they pay for the new plumbing job and the contractor's bill, refund the $400 for doing nothing, pay our family for the hardships of not having a bathroom for over a year, and refund part of the money for grossly overcharging us for the initial $9000 job.  When I tried to settle with the company, I asked for $8K.  He scoffed.  He offered me $2800, I think it was.  Angelina went a little hog wild and asked for $16K in the letter!  I was almost too scared to send it.  She mailed it and they countered with something insulting.  I actually can't remember at this point.,,I think it was somewhere between $5K-$6K.  She countered back at $13K and told them we were prepared to move into court.

Are you ready for this?  They accepted!  I got a check a month later for $13,000!  I wept.  After the worst financial year in our adult lives, we were just thrown a life raft!  We paid the plumber, paid the contractor, and paid the credit cards that were carrying a balance from this mess!  But the best part is, we got a stunning new bathroom out of it!  I'm working on it a bit at a time.  It's nearly done now...I still need to find a mirror for above the sink and a ceiling light.  I'd like to hang some artwork, but I have to find or create it first.

It was a long, painful battle, but we won!  Honestly, I would have rather had the 1970s ugly bathroom we originally had if I wouldn't have had to deal with all this.  But now that it's over, let me say that I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend in there.  Can you say that about your bathroom???  Fights in our house have decreased now that two people can potty at the same time.  God has been good.

Treasure your bathroom today and consider the alternative if you find yourself perched on the throne for a while.  It's a luxury we all take for granted.  Thankfully, this story finally has a happy ending!