Saturday, April 30, 2016


Oh, what a wonderful night!
We had the privilege of attending a wedding of two very special people.
Ok, well I've written and deleted a few times here.  I think the best thing to say is that, I've known the bride for many years.  I've seen life try it's best to kick the crap out of her, and she has stood strong, loving, and open hearted thru it all.  I've known the groom for just a few years.  And I've seen how much he loves his bride and their family.  It's heartwarming and inspiring to watch these two from a distance and know that there are people out there that make good decisions because they are the right decisions to make.
There was a time that I assumed that my involvement with their family was over.  It wasn't anything I had done personally.  But if I were in her shoes, I don't know as if I'd have wanted me around.  Yet she's welcomed me at every corner and left no question that family is defined only by love and not by blood.
Tonight I am thankful for being able to witness such a wonderful celebration of love!  I've thought for years that the smiles on the bride and groom as they walk down the aisle at the end of the ceremony is a good indication of the years to come.  And tonight had both with radiating smiles that lit up the room!

Friday, April 29, 2016


I've made reference on here before about this nifty little time sheet app on my phone.
In the past I haven't wanted to know how much I work.  I knew it was a lot.  And that was really enough for me.  Well, this week I stayed diligent and entered in my hours every day.  It is a little sickening.  BUT, this was the busiest of busy weeks.
You want to know the number don't you?  Morbid curiosity, is it?  Maybe I shouldn't tell you.  Maybe I should make you bribe me with candy?  Well, ok, I'll tell:  71.33 hours this past week.  Sad, isn't it?
I'm not crazy.  Really, I'm not.  Besides all our Dave Ramsey budgeting plans, we got a little screwed with taxes this year.  I won't go in to details because I don't like discussing politics with people.  I'll just say that I'd like to pay Uncle Sam off as soon as possible . . . greedy uncle that he is.
Anyway, so it wasn't all a horrible, grueling week.  I did get to attend the fourth grade field trip this week.  I did go have lunch and spent some time with my grandma this week.  I did have very important talks with the kids.  And I had some very important laughs with the kids as well.
Working that much makes bad habits.  I didn't sleep near enough.  And I ate absolutely horribly.  I over ate.  I ate crappy foods.  I didn't work out.  It wasn't pretty.
Tonight I thought I would have a little "I survived the week" celebration!  I made myself a scalding hot bath with nice smelling bath salts.  I bought myself a bag of cheesy popcorn and some Smirnoff's.  And I brought in a fiction book with absolutely no educational or real life relevancy.  And I had a good ten minutes of relaxing before children started knocking on the door.  Silly children!
Tonight I am thankful that I made it thru this week.  Next week will be better.  I knew going in to this week that it would be rough.  I had just pushed too much in to the week.  Next week looks better on paper so far, anyway!
I am thankful for my 10 minutes of relaxation and junk food tonight too!  Next week I must eat better and exercise more.  There are no "maybe"s on this one for sure!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Story

Once upon a time there was a little boy who took everything to heart.  He had the biggest, most sensitive heart in the whole world.
Whenever someone had a frowny face or just seemed upset, it bothered this boy.  He wanted everyone to be happy.  He started crying in the store before simply because he saw another child upset and crying.
When this boy was very little, he got to spend lots of time with his mommy.  His mommy tried to explain people to him a little bit, so that he could understand that people have bad days, and are scared, or nervous, just like the little boy.  And that all of those feelings, are just normal feelings that people have.  It wasn't a reflection of how the people felt towards the little boy.  And if it ever was a reflection of that sort, it really was the other person's problem and not the little boy's.
The little boy kept growing, as little boys do, and soon the little boy went to school.  The little boy made friends.  And the little boy enjoyed school.
Not far in to the little boy's second year of school, he started coming home from school very upset.  He was throwing tantrums and yelling.  He was so very upset.  But when he talked with his mommy, he couldn't tell her why he was so upset.  His mommy called and talked to his teacher; only to find out that the little boy was happy at school.  Finally his mommy realized that the little boy was getting so upset during the bus ride home.  There were some boys on the bus that were mean to other children.  They hadn't been mean to the little boy, but just being around that behavior made the little boy upset.  The little boy didn't even realize that this was what was making him so upset.  The mommy started picking the little boy up from school and driving him home.  And the boy got better.
The next year seemed to be going better for the little boy.  His mommy was still picking him up from school.  So his mommy became concerned when one day, the little boy started throwing tantrums and yelling again.  The teacher this time said the same thing, that the little boy was happy and well behaved in class.  The mommy asked the little boy what was wrong.  And the little boy, again, could not tell her what was wrong.
The little boy kept behaving worse and worse.  Then one day the teacher talked to the mommy because the little boy had been acting up at school too.  The teacher, the mommy, and the little boy all had a talk together.  They found out that there were little things that were bothering the little boy; like when other kids told him "shhh", or to stop doing things.  The little boy took these words and sounds as being mean to him.  But he didn't tell anyone.  He just kept it inside and moved on with his day.  The teacher and the mommy explained to the little boy that it isn't good to just keep bad feelings tucked away inside.  So the teacher, the mommy, and the little boy all made a plan for the little boy to talk to the teacher when he felt someone was being mean.  And the teacher would help the boy to understand if the other person was really being mean, or not; just like the mommy used to do when the little boy was younger.
The next day after the talk was a good day for the little boy.  He was happier at home and at school.  Of course that was only one day, but there will be more days.  And the little boy will learn to deal with people and with situations because the teacher and the mommy care enough to help him.
Tonight I (the mommy) am so thankful to have my children attend a school where the adults care so much for the children.  This is not the first time that I have met with staff from the school about individual needs of my children that are not at all academic; and had these needs recognized, taken to heart, and worked with to help my children grow positively.  As a mommy who can't be with her children all day long anymore to work on these things with them, I am so very thankful that the other adults in their lives love them too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Everything has been so busy lately.
With work, spring sports, rehearsals, meetings, and life itself, I don't know if I'm coming or going!
Today was a field trip.  I could have easily spent all day at my desk or going to the pile of houses I have here.  But this field trip was important to my baby.
We went inside the capitol.  We went thru the museum.  I felt a little rude at times answering urgent messages on my phone.
My favorite though, my absolute favorite was the bus ride.  My baby gets car sick.  But she's been conditioning for these field trip bus rides.  Today she could have sat with her friends.  She could have been goofy with them.  But she wanted to sit with me, both ways. :)  And she snuggled right up to me both ways :)
Tonight I am thankful for snuggling with my baby on a bus :)  It was my favorite part of the day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Not Good Enough

Sometimes people will talk to you like you aren't good enough.  Sometimes it won't be words.  Sometimes it will be actions.  Sometimes it will cut you deep.  Sometimes it will just bother you.  Sometimes you'll be able to shrug it off.
The worst that I've found is the voice in my own head.  The voice inside my head tells me I'm not good enough.  It's a liar.  That voice tells me that if I were more of something, than the other person wouldn't have treated me that way.  That is such a lie; my actions are my actions and the other person's actions are the other person's actions.
That voice tells me that if I had done this differently or said that differently, that things might be different, different and better.  That voice lies.  I did the best I could with whatever I had at the time.  That lying voice looks back, after the fact and passes judgment with present knowledge.
That voice sides with the people that find fault with me.  It agrees with them that I wasn't enough or that maybe I was too much. I was too annoying.  I was too aggressive.  I was too much of myself.  That voice lies, siding with opposition just to tear me down.
That voice is not true.  That voice is not from God.  That voice cannot be trusted.
I know my faults.  I don't need that voice throwing them in my face and blaming my short-comings for all the bad things in life.
The reality is that I am enough.  I am good how I am.  I am not to blame for other's faults or other's wrong choices.  I am forgiven for my shortcomings.  I am human.  I have faults.  But I am enough.
Tonight I am thankful to start each day being enough, just as I am.  That is a good place to start each day.  And then I strive to be better!  But not out of regret for how I've been.  I strive to be better because I know that God's plans for me are to always grow and become the best version of myself!

Monday, April 25, 2016

She's Ba-ack!

A year and a half ago, when the hubster got his in the company truck and subsequently lost his job, we took a look at our finances and where we could tighten things up for awhile.  One of the measures taken was for me to do all my work myself.  It sucked because I really liked the girl working with me.  She is a very wonderful person and of course understood the situation.  But it still sucked.
It was finally time to bring her back.  I am so thankful that she was happy to help again!  And this couldn't have came at a more perfect time!  I was playing catch up all last week.  And I got a few extensions on some files that added even more to my already packed Monday.  I worked both days this weekend . . a little too much in my opinion.
I have been so excited today, flying along so much faster than I could on my own!!  My time clock app on my phone has me clocked at 14 hours and counting.  But by midnight, I will have all of Monday's stuff done on Monday!  Hooray!  There is positively no way I could have done this by myself.
Tonight I am thankful for help!  My business is going strong and very busy.  And I am a sucker that has a very hard time turning down work.  So here we go!  Now I'm ready!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Voice

I wonder sometimes if it was the tomboy side of me that saved me from the awkward, young woman phase of wanting to be entirely pleasing to the opposite sex.  Even during my middle school years, when I was more of an outcast and quiet . . even then, there was a big side of me that wasn't going to change just so boys would like me more.
On to high school, it was even more cemented for myself that I was not about to turn my life upside down to attract affection.  I had other things to do.  I think I wore a few outfits for the boyfriend my senior year, that I knew he liked.  But that was about it.  And I think I wore the outfits maybe like four or five times.  The boyfriend and I actually had many fights because he thought we should be a certain way together; mostly involving myself being more compliant to what he deemed as our course of action.  Sadly for him, I had my own opinions and my own voice, and I was using them.  I guess he didn't mind too much after all, since he's in the living room right now ;)
But the point is that somehow, while growing up, my Mom and Mark, and some others around me, impressed upon me that being myself was always enough.  That message is good for romantic relationships, and every other relationship a person will have.
So it has bothered me to no end when I heard some things about some teenage girls.  At thirteen years old, one girl keeps her phone without a lock screen because her boyfriend won't allow it.  He needs her phone unlocked so he knows that she isn't cheating on him.  EXCUSE ME!  My response was, if he doesn't trust her, why are they together?  Why?  Why?  Why at 13 years old would a girl think so little of herself that she has to continually prove to her "boyfriend" that she is trustworthy?  And why would a boy want to be with a "girlfriend" that he couldn't trust?  And why would he think that he has any type of authority over what she does and does not do?
Another girl was talking at school about a couple that are dating.  The conversation went something like, so you are going to hug, then kiss, then make-out, then have sex?  Like that should be the way that a relationship should be?  As if a relationship should be based and graded solely on the physical intimacy between two people?  And at middle school age to believe this?
Now I could go on about how tv and movies and magazines paint a picture for kids that this is the way that it is.  But that would be incomplete.  There is a voice out there that the kids listen to more than the movies, and more than the tv, and more than the magazine.  Parents, you may feel like they aren't listening.  And they may roll their eyes and not want to listen.  But if you talk, they will listen!  A child needs to hear that their value is so much more than just physical, and that any relationship worth having should reflect that!  They need to hear that the progression in a relationship, a real relationship, isn't based on what you do physically, but on trust and respect.  Any person can become physically intimate.  That really is no skill and no achievement.  But building trust and caring with another person; that takes time and work - and that is an achievement.
And honestly, at 12 and 13 years old, that shouldn't even be a short-term goal!!  I tell my daughter, and I hope she listens, that she needs to work on who she is and who she wants to be.  This is the time to explore her interests.  This is the time to work on her goals and her dreams.  This is the time to simply relax and have fun!  This is the time for herself.  She does not answer to anyone (except her father and I).
I know crushes happen.  I know this is normal.  I remember having big crushes.  We talk about having crushes on people.  We talk about how love is something so much more different than a crush.  And that the word love shouldn't be thrown around loosely because if you say it, the other person believes it.  I tell her that she should never do anything that she'd be ashamed to tell her father and I about.  Because it's true.  At this age, she should be able to talk to us.  Five years from now, she should be able to talk to us.  Ten years from now, she should be able to talk to us.  I will try and be reasonable.  And I will try and be patient.  And I will always be her biggest supporter that she is enough, just as she is.  That goes for my other three that will soon be this age and going thru these things.
Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to talk to my children and build them up.  And I pray.  I pray.  And I pray some more.  Because when I am not with them, God is always with them.  And he knows better than I how to reach their hearts and how to guide them.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

One of Those

Today was busy.  According to my time clock app on my phone, I worked 7 hours today.  It should have been more actually.
Last night, when I went to bed I set my alarm for 4:30 this morning.  BUT, when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining.  Turns out, if you use your cell phone for your alarm clock, it is a good idea to have the volume up . . . oops!
So . . . yeah . . . I jumped out of bed and got right to work.  I had a 9:30 appointment and several stops after that.
When I got home, I went down to the basement gym.  I really haven't spent enough time down there this week.  I got an ok workout in before I had to get ready for a wedding.
The wedding was beautiful!  The reception was nice.  I stepped outside to take a phone call and saw the beautiful sunset over the lake.  It was one of those moments when time stands still.  The dj was thumping inside.  But outside was quiet and peaceful.  I was fortunate enough to slip in to a moment where the pace of the day just melted away and the beauty around me was overwhelming.
Tonight I am thankful for a day of getting things done.  But I am more thankful for the moments to remember to be still and enjoy the beautiful works of God that are around us every day!

Good For The Soul

My musical Gracie has been taking piano lessons for a few years now.  Something happened to her this year, I'm not sure how.
I haven't had to hound her to practice.  I haven't had to push or pull at all.  I'll be here in my office and hear some sweet songs pouring from the keys.  It has truly been a joy to see!
Tonight was an exciting night, going to see a play with the Girl Scout troop.  And it was just a very nice surprise to find a piano in the walk way from the parking ramp to the Wharton entrance.  My darling daughter sat down and played a couple tunes :)
That piano also inspired me!  See, our piano was in the basement and got pretty damaged last year with our Lake Basement.  (This year, most practicing has been done on my old keyboard that the girl has claimed as hers now.)  I've gotten the mold cleaned off the big piano.  But the water damage is evident on a good deal of the wood.  So guess what?!  We're going to paint it!!  It was a second hand piano anyway.  The insides just need a good tuning again.  And we'll have some fun on the outside!
Tonight I am thankful first for a wonderful night seeing Matilda with my daughter and our friends.  I am also thankful for an open piano that served as a fun stop tonight and for inspiration for our own piano which has been in need of a second chance at life for awhile now!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

VIP Customer

When you think of a VIP customer, what do you think of?  At a restaurant, maybe someone who gets the best table in the house.  At a store, maybe someone who gets all the help they may need with their purchases.  At a theme park, maybe they get to jump to the front of the line.
I have some customers that I definitely prefer to others.  Some are just a pain in the fanny.  But some trust me and appreciate my work.  Those customers are some of my best customers, but they aren't my VIP's.
Sometimes I lose sight of my VIP's.  My family.  Having my office in the house creates a need for boundaries.  Boundaries that sometimes have to bend.  Seriously, they have to for life to go the way I want.  The kids know that there are some nights when I have to work.  But they know that in exchange for sharing me with my computer, they also get to have me at their disposal a lot more.  I can attend field trips.  I can drive them to doctor's appointments.  They get to come with me to houses sometimes.  And they can come in and talk to me while I work . . most of the time.
Even with that though, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of what is most important.  Well maybe the title of this blog is a little misleading because my family is obviously not customers.  But they share my time with my customers; so in that sense, they are the VIP's.
I've been very, very busy with work lately.  And I've lost sight a little bit, on when to switch off my computer, when to ignore my phone, and when to walk away from my office.  It's easiest to see in my youngest.  He's a good little alarm.  He has grown up so much lately, but he still reacts to feelings instead of acknowledging them.  I first ignored his flare of temper and increase in fits.  I thought maybe he was just tired.  It dawned on me a couple days ago though.  He doesn't know why he's acting out.  But I can see it.
So I'm working on making sure I have uninterrupted time for my VIP's.  Any phone call can be returned.  Emails can sit there.  Texts aren't going anywhere.  My VIP's do realize that sometimes I have to deal with the other customers.  But I don't want them to ever doubt that they are the VIPs!
Tonight I am thankful for little reminders that whatever job I do, Mom is always the most important one.  It's not that I truly forget that.  It's just that, that fact falls to the back sometimes with everything else trying to press in front of it.  Hmm . . . I just had an idea!  I think I'll make a flow chart and hang it in my office . . not just to remind me, but also to remind my VIP's of how things rate!


I have had my license to sell real estate for almost 10 years.  I think I told someone 9 years the other day, but it is almost 10 years.  I had a goal before I had Gracie to get my Real Estate Salesperson license and my Certified Residential Appraiser license.  I had been an appraiser for almost two years at that time and was setting some good goals.
After baby #3 and baby #4, I kept setting goals.  After some big life hiccups and mess-ups, I kept setting goals.  Some goals were realistic, some were not.  Some were made out of frustration or exhaustion; and those weren't the best goals.
So I've been spending some time lately to make some good next goals.  At the beginning of this year I had set a goal for me to get my last appraiser license by the end of this year.  Honestly though, that wasn't very realistic for my life right now.  Because last year I had made a goal to have my own Real Estate Brokerage company up and running by the end of the year (2015).  And that goal was reached . . to a point.
It takes awhile to do something like this.  I have some plans for this company.  I have some goals and some strategies that I want implemented.  I have a wonderful agent working with me, who probably doesn't even realize how much she's helping me right now to form the flow of this company.  It needs a bit of time still and some experimenting with procedures.
I've been reminding myself lately that I can't do it all . . . and that doesn't make me a failure.  So the next appraiser license goal is delayed.  I'm ok with that.  I want to build this brokerage strong and steady first.  And at this moment, it needs more of my work time.
There are 24 hours in a day.  And I am working on setting goals in a way that leaves enough of those hours for taking care of me and spending time with my family as well.  It sounds easy enough I suppose.  But I have troubles with implementation of time boundaries!
Tonight I am thankful for the chance to change goals and to re-prioritize them with a clear and clean conscious.  I think I've spent enough time now believing that I could have possibly squeezed any more effort out myself before exhaustion has set in.  I'm learning my limits . . . I know I'll always push them . . . but I'll keep them in mind when I make my goals!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Beer for Breakfast

I enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage now and then.  For my own personal reasons, I rarely drink in front of the children.  I have no problem with an occasional drink while working.  My boss is pretty cool like that.  I call it a job perk of having a home office and myself as a boss!
I don't know if I ever have ever had a drink before 8am though.  Today was a good day for that.  I don't know what happened in our house, but everyone was exhausted and cranky this morning.  And I was simply not "mom" enough to handle it this morning.  I was nervous and trying hard not to be nervous, but to be bold about my doctor's appointment.  For some reason, it just didn't seem possible for everyone just to get ready nicely and let me have a morning off to myself to do some deep, calming breathing.  So yes, I drank a beer this morning as my breakfast. I can honestly report that it was not nearly as good as eggs and toast for the first meal of the day!
At the doctor's office, my morning turned around.  I had brought my manila folder with my research and I pulled a chair up to the examination table, like it was a conference table.  My very wonderful doctor pulled up his chair, and we talked it all over.  He is such a good man!  I skipped over some papers, and he was curious: did I have more questions?
We now have a game plan.  Yes, all the things I'm looking at are very connected.  So it can be difficult to tell where things first went wrong.  So we are going to try one thing for a few months.  If it doesn't work, we'll delve deeper with tests until we find whatever we need to find.  I gave the man a hug with tears swelling up in my eyes and thanked him for not thinking I was crazy.  He smiled and reassured me that we will get me back to normal.
I didn't tell the good doctor about my beer for breakfast.  I don't think he'd care.  He's a very understanding man who cares about his patients and understands they are human.
Tonight I am thankful for a game plan.  I am trying not to get too excited.  This first step might not work.  If that is the case, we have a Plan B to try a step another direction.  Hopefully this first plan will work.  I hope, I hope!  If it doesn't though, I am thankful that I have a doctor that I trust that is going to work with me and not stop until we get things right!

Monday, April 18, 2016


My brave, brave girl!  She had been waiting for her braces.  I think she was excited about having the colors in her mouth :)  And her expander has pulled her mouth apart a bit.  I know she hasn't liked what it has done to her front teeth.
All last month, she was waiting for April.  She knew in April, she'd get her braces.  She was up and excited this morning!  When we got in the car, she started to get a little nervous.  In the parking lot, her excitement came back.  She ran from the van to the building.  She sprinted up the stairs.  Then she the nervousness came back a little.
She handled it all like a pro!  They even twisted her expander two times - which we weren't expecting.  And she handled that well.  :)
As the day went on, her mouth got more and more sore.  By this evening, she was pretty wore out.  But she still seems to like the braces :)
Tonight I am thankful that my baby girl was so excited to get her braces!  And I am thankful that they are only on her front four teeth for now.  She'll get tired of them eventually.  Since this is such a shorter term deal, maybe they'll be ready to come off when she's ready to evict them from her mouth!

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Sometimes I go back and forth about some content for this blog.  I always kind of end up with the same thought that, Hey, it's my blog about what I am thankful for.  So to be true to the intent of this blog, I may sometimes go a little out of my comfort zone.  Now on to the blog:
Last year was when I first had suspicions about my thyroid.  I went to my doctor at the time and blood work was done.  Although my levels were not right, I was not taken very seriously.  This is also the doctor's office that sent me home and told me to wait a few months when I had, in fact, torn my PCL and it was almost completely disconnected.  Then I dumped them.
But ya know, I'm not a big doctor person.  I don't like to keep trying new doctors or keep going back to doctors that I have to throw a fit to be listened to with.  It took quite a bit to make me fight to get to a specialist about my knee.  And with the thyroid thing, I knew it wasn't right.  But I didn't want to fight about it.  And I wasn't really excited about the idea of medication.  So I did a little research, found some natural things that should help and let the rest go.
And things have gotten worse.  So, as I wrote about a week or so ago, I asked for help.  My old doctor, whom I trust, has opened back up his practice.  The timing just seemed perfect.  Well I waited last week to get a call to go over my blood results.  And no one called.  So I called them on Friday.  My results hadn't gotten to the doctor's office.  I got them in the mail on Wednesday.  I was going to fax them over and then I'd hear from the doctor on Monday.
In the meantime, I looked over the results myself and did some internet searching.  There are different levels of blood work for thyroids, and my two different tests were not the same.  One was more in depth than the other.  The more I've read online, the more questions I have.
There have been some things that just haven't added up.  Primarily is Mt. Dew.  I drank Mt Dew for decades.  I love the taste.  I finally was able to give it up when I learned about the brominated vegetable oil and how it coats the thyroid - making the thyroid unable to absorb iodine, which it needs to function.  So I finally gave it up.  And I expected my body to improve.  But it didn't.  It went the other way.  I had made this huge, difficult life change and I got worse.  Why?  It didn't make sense.  Until today.
Today I read about the pituitary gland.  I remember hearing about this gland in science class during school.  From what I'm reading, a low T4, but normal TSH in blood work, often signifies a thyroid problem stemming from the pituitary gland.  So I started reading about this very important part of a human body.  And everything else started falling in to place.  All the other issues that I've been having, seem to all point back to one place.
I am a pretty picky person.  I don't like a lot of different foods and drinks.  So when I gave up Mt Dew, I increased drinking other sugary drinks.  One specific fruit juice that I could tolerate, two other kind of pop, always milk and about two flavors of kool-aid.  On occasional days I would try and drink more water.  Guess what makes the pituitary gland slow way down?  Sugar.
I am calling the doctor's office tomorrow and making an appointment with my doctor that I trust.  I am bringing my research.  And I am going to ask questions.  At first with all this, I just wanted something to make the symptoms better.  I am tired of all of it, and I just want it better.  Now I'm thinking that I don't want to take a medicine that just treats the symptoms.  I want to know what is causing my body to go haywire.  I am not going to settle.
Tonight I am thankful for the internet.  There is no way I would have been motivated to dig thru medical book upon medical book upon medical book; but a few correct keyword searches and I have a wealth of information at my fingertips.   I am thankful that I have a doctor around right now that I trust and that will listen and talk to me.  I am thankful that I am finding the motivation to fight for ME.  It's easier sometimes just to let it go and hope for the best.  But I won't do it this time.  I don't like hating myself or feeling like I'm broken.  And I'll keep digging and questioning until it all makes sense and there is a game plan to fix the real problem!

Saturday, April 16, 2016


So I'll admit it, I felt like the absolute worst mother in the world when I realized that I scheduled a DCAA Cheerleading fundraiser on my son's birthday.  It seriously didn't even dawn on me.  I had looked at the calendar, and saw that nothing was scheduled, so we went with it.  I wasn't even paying attention to the date itself.
Then my son saw the flier and made a little sound that was half-heart broken.  He didn't even have to say it.  I saw his eyes staring at the screen, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I asked if he wanted to come and learn cartwheels.  He said no.  I said, well maybe Daddy can take you and Sam to Toys-R-Us then.  And that was a good plan.  He had a coupon in the mail for his birthday.  He emptied his Spend and Save envelopes and bought himself some Pokemon!  And he got the royal Toys-R-Us birthday treatment complete with a crown and balloon!  Whew!  But I still feel crappy about it.
Then his sister had a soccer game.  He was ok with that too.  There was a playground there.  And it was such a nice day!
Back home we played outside for awhile.  We let the birthday boy get one present before his cake celebration . . . a new bike!  It was such a wonderful day to go riding around the yard!
We finished the day with his dinner pick of pancakes, bacon, and hash browns.  He even took it easy on me this year with his cake pick.  It was a Pokemon who looks like a pink blob.  I think it was the fastest cake I've ever done!
Tonight I am thankful for a Happy Birthday for Cody!  I was worried when I realized my scheduling mistake.  But it turned out to be a wonderful day to turn 8 after all!

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Hubster

This is yes another Dave Ramsey post.  BUT, this one has a twist!
When I first read The Total Money Makeover, I read certain passages to the hubster.  I was so excited!  And he was . . well, a little less than thrilled.  But, being the good sport that he is, he said he'd go along with it.
It was a little bumpy at first.  We made a few compromises to keep going in the right direction.  We did buy the go-kart last year.  We had talked about one for awhile.  And we did that in lieu of a vacation, since we do budget vacation savings in our monthly budget.  So there were a few things like that.
Over time he started getting more and more on board.  Like when we paid cash for our used-but-still-good vehicles.  And when we paid cash for some home repairs.  I think it also made him feel good that when our spending was analyzed . . I was more of a problem than he was.  That almost hurts to write that because I am such a deal shopper!!!!  But, that can be an issue.  There are some things I was buying just because they were deals.  And if we don't need the things, then a cheaper price isn't really a deal after all.  (p.s. I have been working on that!)
Well I had to make a business decision to bring in some help.  Business is good, which is fantastic . . and exhausting!  Finally I had the realization that I just can't keep going like I have been.  So I chatted with a woman who used to work for me.  And thankfully, she is interested in working with me again!  I updated the hubster on this change.  And his first response was so budget-conscious that it floored me!  He said, "Well, you know that will take some off our bottom line."  That was so great to hear him thinking that way!!!  Of course I discussed with him that I have some very good client right now and I want to keep them, and keep them happy.  And that this is a needed change for continued business growth.  So he was on board with this decision as well.
It still makes me smile though that his first thought was the budget!  I won't nickname him Dave or anything yet.  But it's great to see that he's on this journey with me at a good pace, and not dragging his feet along behind me.
Tonight I am thankful that the hubster is excited to blaze down this trail with me!  It'll be so great to finish the path!  I'm starting to think about planning a trip to the Dave Ramsey studio to do a debt free scream one day!!  I'd want the house paid off for that trip!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Socially UnAcceptable

Some days a person just feels like they are rocking life!  Today was a day like that for me.  I had this awesome energy flowing.  And I was just knocking my to-do list out of the park!
Unfortunately, I ran out of steam.  Now here it is, quarter after 11, I'm not going to get this last report done tonight.  And I'm really not sure if I have any clean pants to wear tomorrow.
Well, I know I have clean pants.  But somehow, I think people would frown at me if I arrived to appraise their house wearing my Christmas Story fleece pants with Ralphie dressed in his bunny suit.  It's strange, almost everyone loves the movie . . and yet the pants are not acceptable to wear outside the house . . . strange.
Anyway, I will not beat myself up for this unfinished report or the possibility of early morning laundry tomorrow.  I will end this day on the good note of the many, many things that I did get done today!
Tonight I am thankful for all that I did get done!  The things that I didn't will be here tomorrow.  I mean, I keep hoping for the housework and appraisal work fairy to come and take care of things for me while I sleep; but it never happens.  Maybe I'll dream that this did come true!  That'd be cool!  I better go try and see!  Night everyone ;)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

No Colors

I've never been superstitious.  That is a very good thing because there is something about this house that seems partial to black cats.
When we moved in here about 3 1/2 years ago we brought our barn cats.  We moved two black cats, one orange & white cat, and one black & white mixed cat.  It can be hard to move barn cats.  But they all seemed to do ok after a few days.
Somehow over the years, all of the cats with colored fur have disappeared except for one gray fluffy cat.  The other 5 out there are all black.  Two of my pregnant cats had me a little hopeful.  The neighbor's multi-colored tom cat had been over visiting my promiscuous little kitties.  And I was hoping for some stripes or at the very least, more gray.
This morning, my two momma cats were nowhere to be seen.  I went out to the barn and found them both.  They had their kittens together.  In the same place.  And they are all black.  Seven little black kittens.  I don't know whose kittens are whose, and I guess it doesn't matter.  Somehow these two mommas have decided to tag team this parenting deal.  They are both feeding the babies and keeping them warm.
I may have to start ear tagging these cats or something.  Since they refuse to integrate any different looking traits in to their fur.  *sigh*  I do love them all!  But they are definitely making this difficult!
I think I may make a sign for the front yard "Black Cat Farm".
Tonight I am thankful for all my little matching kitties.  I cross their paths.  They cross my path.  We're all ok.  But seriously, I'm brainstorming over here on how to tell all these guys apart!!
P.S.  I took a picture for this blog.  But guess what?  9 black cats in a picture (the 2 mommas, and 7 babies) looks like a big black blob of fur.  I could also take a picture of a pair of pants on the floor in a pile and it would look a little similar.  They are cuter in person, thankfully!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


When I was 17, I loaded up my truck with a bunch of boxes and took off for Oklahoma.  It was my freshman year of college and I had been so excited.  I was excited until I left.  I was leaving behind this guy that I had grown pretty attached to.  I cried for about 14 hours of the 16/17 hour trip.  My wonderful mother offered to drive.  But I didn't want to.  I thought if I was just sitting there in the passenger seat, that I would surely cry even more.  Besides the emotional aspect, I made the drive just fine.
When I was 24 I had two babies at home and I took off on a one and a half hour drive to take my first classes towards becoming an appraiser.  I really hadn't driven anywhere more than our small towns and back roads for the past many years.  Driving in the urban sprawl with snow and slush had me trembling with fear.  I almost turned around.  I was so scared.  I saw a SUV going the opposite way on the highway spin out and hit the concrete median with a huge crash.  If the concrete hadn't been there, the SUV would have hit me.  I was so shaken.  I pulled to the side of the highway and called my mom, who was home with my babies, and told her that I might be coming home.
Long story short, I kept driving.  I made it to my class.  And I made it to the next classes after that.
Sometimes I think about things like that; about how one long, life changing drive was difficult, but I didn't waiver because all I could see was the goal in front of me.  And how one, much shorter life changing drive almost had me turning around because I let fear sit down in the passenger seat.
I've never been a fan of fear.  In fact, I tend to get very angry when I realize that I let fear creep in.  Anger can be a good motivator, when channeled correctly.  And knowing where fear comes from, reminding myself that fear is not from God, remembering that fear is a weapon of the enemy to stop me from getting where I'm going . . . well, that makes me angry.  I get mad at that.  And when a person gets mad enough, they do something about it.
Tonight I am thankful for the times that I didn't turn around.  I'm thankful for the times that fear didn't change my mind.  And I'm thankful for getting mad at that fear and pushing farther and harder towards the goal!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Girly Girls

I'm not the girliest-girl out there.  I've never had my hair colored or even professionally cut.  I like to do my nails, but I don't like the maintenance, so it looks horrible  before I take off the polish and do it again.  There are lots of instances, but I really don't want to list them all.
Before babies I was more girly I think.  I stopped wearing perfume when Elaina was a baby because it made her cry.  I stopped wearing earrings with so many babies yanking them off my ears.  I have not gotten back in the habit of either of those.  I schedule things so tight that I don't put on make-up half the time.  I forget to do my hair sometimes.
But these girls of mine are gonna drag me back to more of the feminine extras that I have let fall by the way side.  Tonight, on a Monday no less, we did a fruit mud mask to make our skin . . better.  We read the package and I didn't really catch anything specific that we were accomplishing.  But it was fun to put it on and take silly selfies!
Tonight I am thankful for some silly, girly time with my girls! :)  I'll probably never thread my eyebrows or own an eye lash curler, but I'll play around with these gals any day!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Good Pep Talk

The older I get, the more I am certain that an important part of life is learning to give a good pep talk.  It seems in any area of life, this is just a very good skill to have.
A good pep talk has some grounding to it.  I've heard pep talks that just seem fabricated, and they do little to encourage anyone.  A good pep talk starts with something of substance.  Like with my kids, if I am giving them a pep talk to get their chores done, I may bring up how they cleaned so awesome before when they tried their best and set a challenging time limit for themselves!  There's some substance to that.  There's some ownership there for them, that they can have a good base here.  I'm not just throwing them in to something unknown and telling them to master it.  We connect the encouragement to something personal with them that gives them some beginning pride and inspiration.
Then the pep talk evolves a little in to a plan.  It doesn't have to be a big plan.  In fact it's better to be an overview for a pep talk.  In the case of the kids again, if the chore was to clean the living room, it seems a big task as a whole.  So we make a little plan, "You can do this!  You'll just take care of the clothes (I don't know why they always undress a little in the living room, but there are ALWAYS clothes in my living room), then you'll take care of the trash, and then you'll take care of your own stuff.  Boom, a plan, right there.  Easy Peasy.  The pep talk is walking them thru how they can get this done.
Then I wrap up the talk with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  For the kids, "And then when you finish, you'll have all that time left to go play!"  Or eat ice cream.  Or whatever inspires them to keep trying their best to get done.  Now sometimes there isn't a big prize, of course.  Sometimes the prize is just getting it done.  And for the kids especially, just being done with the dreaded "chore" is a prize.  I'm pretty sure I could call eating candy a chore, and it wouldn't taste as good to them because of that word "chore"!
Although my references were of the kids here, what inspired this blog was myself.  I've been having to give myself quite a few pep talks lately.  I've just felt like a slug for weeks.  I know I'm getting a lot done.  I can see that.  But it doesn't feel like it.  And all I really want to do is go lay in my bed and read a good book.
So I've been working on motivating myself, about work, about being the mommy-taxi cab, and even about standing upright to talk to my kiddos.  I've had to give myself a pep talk about our Dave Ramsey stuff too, which usually is very inspirational.  I was reading some posts out loud to the hubster this morning.  I thought maybe it would be motivational for both of us to hear out loud how this road we are on is boring right now, but leading to a wonderful destination!  It worked a little.  Then I looked back at how far we've came.  My place of beginning for my pep talk.  Right now our rear view mirror looks pretty good at what we've accomplished on this journey.  It is good motivation to keep going.
Tonight I am thankful for a good pep talk.  Sometimes a person goes thru a valley, where the sun just keeps staying hidden beyond that next hill.  But we'll keep pushing forward.  There isn't another option here.  I know the sun is up ahead somewhere, we'll find it!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Asked For Help

It all started maybe, one and a half to two years ago or so.  And, I think I know how it started.
For years and years I worked too much and slept too little.  I hung on with a Mt. Dew in my hand and five minute power naps when I simply couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  But I could still do it.  Then it started getting harder and harder to keep up.  I think it started then, after too many years of wearing myself down too much.
I had read about the brominated vegetable oil used in Mt Dew and how it coats a thyroid and does not allow the thyroid to absorb iodine - which a thyroid needs greatly to run correctly.  I thought maybe that was part of the problem.  So I gave up my life-long friend in the green bottle.  I expected things to get better for me.  But they got worse.  I think at that point, I took away something that my body was used to and just threw it for a loop.
Last year started my research on the thyroid.  I wanted to fix it naturally.  I've added supplements.  I've increased my sleep amount considerably.  And I have finally admitted that I can't fix this myself. I don't admit defeat easily.  From what I've read and studied, I do still believe it is possible.  But, I just don't have the lifestyle of rest that is needed to help repair the damage that I've done to myself.
So last week I met with my doctor.  We've made a plan.  I am going to be starting thyroid medication.  And I honestly didn't expect to feel this excited.  I really am.  I made a good effort to fix this naturally.  But it just keeps getting worse.  And I am tired of suffering.  My suffering is mild compared to many, and I realize this.  So I try not to complain.  But it is constant.
I want to make it through an entire day and not be completely exhausted.  I want to look in the mirror and see me; not the zombie-like me that always looks like she is months behind on sleep.  I want to not be afraid to eat a full meal because I know I'll gain two pounds.  I want to exercise and see the results from it - not just have it make me gain more weight and zap all my energy from the day.  I want to look at my skin and not have it always look like I've just walked five miles in a desert's blazing sun.  The list goes on and on, but it comes down to the fact that I want myself back.
So I'll work with the doctor and hopefully this won't be forever.  If medicine can help fix everything and get me back to normal; maybe over time I can wean off the medicine in keeping with a healthy lifestyle.  Because I know that the fault here is my own.  I inadvertently started my body on this downward spiral.  And hopefully once it's all fixed, I can do good things to keep my body going strong this time.
Tonight I am thankful for finally asking for help.  I am stubborn.  I put it off for awhile now.  But now, things will change.  And I can't wait to see them change!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Other People

Sometimes other people can surprise you.  Today was one of those days.
I went this morning to get some blood drawn.  I had intentions of getting there early.  But I didn't make it.  So it was packed when I got there.  I took a number and got a chair.  There were only a few chairs left.  People kept coming in.  Soon there were no chairs left.
Then a woman came in holding a baby.  She took a number too and looked around.  I was about to get up and offer her my seat, and two other people were doing the same thing!  That was good thing #1.
There was a man in there, who had been seated since I got there.  When it came close to his number, his wife went over and suggested to him that he start getting up out of his chair because it would take him awhile.  He said no.  And when it was his turn, it was apparent that moving around for him was very difficult.  He had two forearm crutches to help him.  Later he came back out and was putting on his coat.  As you can imagine, that was difficult for him.  A woman's number was called for her turn.  And on her way back, she stopped and helped the man with his coat. Good thing #2.
As he made his way to the door, he was eyeing the handicap button to open the door.  Instead a younger person jumped up from their seat and held the door for him.  Good thing #3.
I'll admit I was not very excited about sitting in that waiting room for a half hour this morning.  But tonight I am thankful that I did.  I am thankful that in a 30 minute window, on a Friday morning in Mason, I saw three different people prove that other people still have a lot of good in them!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fab Four

One of the best sounds in the entire world is the sound of my children laughing together.  Today the house found many of these wonderful sounds!
This has been a very laid back break for the kids.  Hanging with a sick mom this week who has been struggling to keep up with work, has not left a lot of get-away opportunities for my fabulous four.  But that hasn't stopped them!  In fact, I think it has been a great thing for them to be here at home with no pressing schedules for several days.
The first couple days were touch and go:  some moments of getting-along, and many moments of fighting.  The next couple days were a little better.  Then there was today.  I did have to play referee a little bit today.  But for the most part, my babies spent the day actually reconnecting with the special bond between them.
There are many days where they get along.  But then there are days like today when they are a team again; when they remember they can be silly with each other; when they feel safe to let down the guards that the world is slowly building in them.  And these are the moments that I love the best.
Tonight I am thankful for days like today when the kids connect so well and seem to go back to the days when it was just these four in their own little world :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

10 Years

I remember glancing to the back seat.  There was a one year old boy in a car seat staring at him.  And there was a three year old girl chatting his ear off.  He loved it.  He loved being their uncle.  He answered all her questions and listened intently while she told him stories.
When we got back to the house she took his hand and showed him her favorite toys - again.  He smiled at her and said hi to her toys.  He picked her up when she asked and whirled her around.
She thought it wasn't fair that only he and daddy were going away to see a game.  She wanted to go with Jamie too!
He and I chatted a little before the boys left for the game.  He had been making some plans for the future.  He was turning some things around.  He was feeling so confident.
We didn't know then that those would be the last memories made.  There was no way to have known.  I can't believe it's been ten years.  It seems like yesterday.  And yet, sometimes it seems longer.  He never got to meet his other niece and nephew.  He did know another one was coming at the time.  We didn't even know she was a girl yet.
The kids love hearing stories about dad and his brothers when they were kids.  I feel the need to censor some certain stories; because those boys got a little crazy and we don't need to be encouraging BB gun wars, or stabbing siblings with forks!  But they still get to hear a lot of the other stories for sure!
Tonight I am thankful for the memories.  I am thankful for time somehow sifting out the sad stuff that clouded the memories a while ago.  There are still times of sadness.  But there are many more times when the good memories shine thru and eclipse the rest.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Two nights ago I wrote about my idea for spring break outings with the kids.  Yeah, that isn't happening.
I sat down with the kids and talked to them about choosing a place and planning the route.  I left out the book of places, a paper, and a pen.  The kids were to take turns looking thru the book and write down their pick.  Monday, the paper had been written on by two children.  It had Potter Park Zoo and Race Track written on it.  Hmm.
I went over with the kids again that the point was to pick a place we hadn't been; someplace that was in this county or the following county; and someplace that had some kind of neat story with it.  So I threw out some more suggestions.  Two children picked two of the suggestions and then started talking and being loud.  One child just sat staring blankly.  And the fourth child kept trying to walk away.  So I just ended the whole plan.  And no one seemed to notice.
I was upset at them.  Then I was upset at me.  I forget sometimes that they keep growing up.  Five years or so ago I could have thrown out an idea like that and they would have loved it.  Those were the days when doing everything with mom was wonderful because it was with mom.  I really only have one left who feels that way.  The other three aren't mean or anything though.  They do like some of my ideas.  They are pickier now though.
I really have come to terms with the way things are.  But sometimes I forget.  Sometimes it plays out in my head that I bring up these ideas and they all love it.  Then we have these wonderful excursions no one argues, and we all have a wonderful time.
I am not over here in tears that my children are growing.  I'm not sitting here depressed that they are becoming their own people with their own inclinations.  No, in fact I'm planning a day to put them in the van and take them to the some of these areas that are close by that we haven't seen!  Sometimes I feel the need to pull rank around here!
As these children get a little older, they seem content to sit on the couch and watch tv for countless hours.  They want to play video games or play on the computer.  They have played un-electronically with each other more today, which was great!  I love when they enjoy each other's company.  They do seem content to spend all of spring break at the house.  And I am thankful that the kids love their home!  But I'm still going to pull them from their comfort zone this week!
Tonight I am thankful for the times when the kids were younger and thought that time with mom was always magical.  I am thankful for the times now when they are happy and content without constant direction.  I am thankful for when they have fun together.  I am thankful for how they love their home.  And I am thankful that as Mom, I can still lean towards the side of dictatorship ruling and force outings upon them . . . they'll have fun though I promise!

Monday, April 4, 2016


I am crabby today.  Day 3 or 4 of this stupid fever.  I have made it out of bed today . . and out to my desk.  I couldn't keep my appointments.  I can't work fast enough to get my reports done.  But I made it out of bed.
I was inspired to create the following:

Fever, fever, go Away
Don't come back another Day
Because I hate You
You're not welcome Here and I'm Tired

Ta-Da!  Impressive, eh?  See why I stick to narratives now instead of prose?  ;)

Tonight I am thankful that I made it out of bed today.  I'll be thankful for that at least.  And I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.  I'm thankful for that too.

Sunday, April 3, 2016


While laying around today in and out of consciousness I've had some pretty good ideas!  Apparently I've also said some fairly incoherent sentences, per the hubby.  I guess it all equals out at the end of the day, right?
Well I've been looking for an idea for spring break.  A couple years ago the kids and I dressed up and set scenes like we went someplace different on each day of spring break.  The kids had fun with that.  Although, the oldest one had to be cajoled a few times to get in on the make believe.  Last year we were going to do something similar.  But it just didn't have the same  spirit to it.  So I've been trying to think of something to do this year.
I've had some criteria.  I want it to be something fairly local.  I'd like it to have a theme, but be something different each day.  And it has to be something that all ages will enjoy.
Today, I came up with it!
I bought a book a few years ago that has (I think) all the towns/cities in Michigan and what they are all famous for.  It even had something as tiny as the Organ Museum in Hanover in it.  So each day, each child will take a turn deciding where we will go within about a half mile radius.  It can be something from the book or a maybe a park we've never been to.  AND, the child will plan how to get there, using our map reading lessons from last summer.  Then on Friday, it will be my choice.
I think this will be fun!  I hope the kids think so too!
Tonight I am thankful for finally finding inspiration for our summer break!  I'll pitch the idea to the kids in a little while . . as soon as I crawl out of bed and find that book.  They will have such fun planning!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hard Headed

A few years ago it seemed I was sick all winter long.
In my experience, kindergarten and first grade are the worst for kids bringing home germs.  And I had a kid in those grades for seven years straight.  Perhaps an oversight on my part when planning how close to have the children . . . not really, it wouldn't have changed anything.  Anyway, during those years I was working incessantly.  The majority of my nights were far less than eight hours of sleep.  I would take care of kids and do appointments during the day and then type up reports at night.  Well, running on not enough sleep and being around all sorts of bad germs was not a good mix and I caught everything brought in to this house.
I found out about apple cider vinegar capsules - because drinking the stuff is plain nasty!  And I am still a fan!  They work great for sinuses . . . when a person remembers to take them.  Sadly, they don't do anything sitting on the shelf.
I also worked hard the past year or so to allow myself more time to sleep.  It was very apparent the damage that I was doing to my body.  And I have been trying to fix it.
However, this week I worked like my old self of years gone by.  I wasn't taking my apple cider vinegar.  I wasn't taking my multi-vitamin.  I was working, sleeping a little, and working some more.  So, it is safe to say that I did this to myself.
Today I did keep my appointments this morning.  Then I came home, climbed in to bed, and stayed here.  I have diffused Thieves and now Eucalyptus.  I think the Eucalyptus has helped with the coughing already.  I have rested.  I have slept.  I have buried my head under my pillow because my house is LOUD!
Tonight I am thankful that my bed is so comfortable and that I have so many blankets to keep me warm.  I will be thankful that at least this isn't the flu.  It could definitely be worse than it is.  And I will take this reminder to heart to keep taking care of myself.  I thought one work wouldn't hurt.  I could do just one week like my old schedule, right?  It wouldn't hurt anything, right?  Wrong . . I have been reflecting on that while in and out of consciousness today!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Still Over Flowing

Well, this is not the way I was planning on spending tonight.  I am missing my cousin's funeral.
I made everything fit on the calendar.  Two weeks worth of work in one week - no problem.  Extreme exhaustion - nothing a little caffeine won't fix.  Sick kid - I can handle that.  Multiple last minute doctor's appointments - sure, we can fit that in.  All four children waking up on the first day of spring break with hacking coughs - we can push through that.
I had a little scratchy throat this morning when I woke up.  But, I didn't over-think it.  Multiple nights this week of not enough sleep can do that to a person.  Then I started the cough.  The hacking, splitting headache inducing cough.  And by the time I got done with my appointments and got back home, I was feeling absolutely horrible.  Then the hubster called and said he had to go to the hospital to visit a very close relative who was asking for him.   I had first dibs on leaving home tonight.  But all signs pointed to the suggestion that I should stay home.
So I'm home.  I'm in the chair, sitting next to the oil diffuser, sniffing Thieves in like crazy.  The kids have been running the Thieves all day, and two of them are starting to feel better already.  I've got the kiddos all here, we just watched the new Alvin and The Chipmunk movie on pay-per-view.
Tonight I am thankful for the few memories that I have of my cousin.  I wish I would have known her longer than just a couple years online.  But a couple years is better than no years at all.  I pray that she has peace now.  And I pray that those closest to her find peace.  I am thankful that even when meaningful plans don't work out, my cup still overfills with the love here in my living room with these wonderful people that God has blessed me with.


Midnight . . . well March is done now.  So my blog is technically a few minutes late here.  But I'm ok with that.
I've had my busiest of weeks thrown way off track by a boy not feeling good.  Two doctors later and we still don't know what is going on exactly.  I'm giving the boy a few more days and I'll really start raising a raucous!  Maybe he'll rest and get better himself.  I think whatever is going on was made worse by the cold that his brother home earlier this week.  Tomorrow they will be here at home, breathing in Thieves all day long!  That should help!
Tonight I am thankful that I'm throwing in the towel for the night!  I keep slipping behind on work and racing to catch up.  But since it is midnight, what reports aren't submitted yet will show late at 12:01am, just the same as they will at 6:00 am.  So I'm for a few hours of sleep before I get up again.  I'll be putting my phone alarm on the other side of the room tonight to ensure I get up!  We'll make it thru this week!  We can do it!