I featured these shoes once before, but since I have had them for several years and I am wearing them for the first time today I figured it was worth showing them again!

date August 31, 2010

Aren't they adorable? I know it isn't right to covet things, but...

date August 24, 2010

Today is the beginning of the lasts. The last time I will have a child go on the first day of school at Laurens-Marathon. The last time I take a first day of school picture. Everything Kayla does at school will now be for the last time. Her last winter concert, her last try-out for All-State, her last prom...it goes on and on.

In exactly nine months from today Kayla will graduate high school. She asked me the other day which would seem faster, the nine months it took to make her or the nine months it will take until she graduates. The nine months waiting for her to arrive seemed like forever and I am sure the nine months of her senior year will be gone way before I am ready.

date August 23, 2010

Today is a day of many celebrations in my family. It is the 26th wedding anniversary of my favorite brother and his lovely wife, the 30th birthday of my nephew-in-law and also would have been the 96th birthday of my Grandma Roberta.

Grandma died almost 21 years ago, just a few weeks after Brian's first birthday. I still miss her.

I can remember going to her house in Waterloo to visit. She lived near a busy highway and had a small two bedroom house. The backyard lead to the garage where the "little nigger boy" (so politically incorrect!) opened and closed the garage door. She even had a squirrel that was somewhat tamed and would come to the back door for treats. I also remember walking to the nearest drugstore to buy candy after she snuck me some money. Her purse always had a little change purse with gum and lifesavers in it, which of course she always shared.

I remember she ate "madeerian" oranges and stored her leftovers in her "tooperware". The last Halloween she was alive I answered the door at her house for the trick or treaters...I was 9 days away from having Brian but could still get up from the chair faster than her :)

In my living room sits a white angel and a little boy on a toy horse...both figurines from her. When we used to live at Marathon I could feel her presence every time I was in the kitchen washing dishes...weird, I know, but I still felt like she was watching me. I often think how much she would enjoy Becky and Kayla, just like she adored Brian.

There were times she was hard-headed and stubborn, but she always loved me. From that last pan of cookies that were always burnt to the crazy driving to the kisses she always gave me I miss her. Have a happy birthday in heaven Grandma...I love you!

date August 18, 2010

I am in love with these shoes, but sadly they are not mine. I found them on a website while looking for pink shoes of all things! They have many good points such as they are pink (my favorite color), the heel isn't too high, the toe isn't pointy and they are shiny! But they also have some bad points such as they are pink and therefore really go with nothing I own (I would have to match the exact shade and that would be near impossible), they are not in my size and they are not in my price range. Oh well, at least they are pretty to look at!

date August 17, 2010

Parents defend their children, just a fact of life. The question is, why do they have to? Shouldn't all parents be proud of their kids no matter what they are doing? Shouldn't we as parents realize this and not ask questions to make other parents feel as if they have to defend their children? Apparently not.

I have no problem when people ask me how my kids are or what they are doing now. The problem comes when they ask about Brian. Brian is the age where he should be in college. Brian is not in college. So when people ask what he is doing now I say he is working at Arby's and will soon be promoted to shift manager. To me he is successful. He has finally realized that college is not right for him at this time and he loves his job. He is working hard and the boss likes him. He has made new friends, learned new things and is happy. Therefore Brian is successful. But people don't see it that way. As soon as I say what he is doing I get the "oh" and the look of sympathy. Wait a minute...what? Just because you think he should be in college or you think he should have a "better" job doesn't mean you are right.

Ask me about Becky and I will tell you where she is going to college and what she is majoring in. Ask me about Kayla and I will tell you she is a senior and where she is looking to go to college. Those answers are okay because that is what people expect to hear. But no one expects to hear the truth about Brian and that really ticks me off. Brian is just as good as his sisters, he is just as successful and just as happy. So what if he is living at home (for now), so what if he is working in a job that people think is dead-end (it isn't), so what if he is not in college. Don't judge my son on what you think he should be doing, in fact don't judge him at all.

I am proud of all three of my kids, not matter what they have done, are doing, or will do. I will defend them until my dying breath and if people continue to look down on any of them for some reason that is wrong I will be more than happy to defend them louder and longer. Watch out, no one messes with my kids!

date August 13, 2010

If you had to pick five things you couldn't live without what would they be? Of course, not counting your family, your house, basic wardrobe or your car...

My five? Tough to narrow it down to just five, but here goes, in no particular order!
1. Hair straightener
2. Basic make-up (mascara, blush, chapstick)
3. Comfortable black shoes
4. Tennis shoes
5. My camera

Funny how two of my basics are shoes...but what did you expect? Black shoes go with everything and what they don't go with the tennis shoes do! Used to be all I wanted was curls in my hair, now the very thought of curly hair makes me shudder. The make-up is just a given, the older I get the more I need to cover :) As for the camera...I seldom go far from home without it and as I tell the kids, you will never be in this moment again so you need a picture to document it! My motto is you can never have too many shoes or too many photos!

So, what would your five necessities be?


These are Kayla's tootsies..notice the music note shoe laces! :)

date August 10, 2010

Have you ever done something and then looked back and wondered what you were thinking? Everyone does, because no one is perfect. But...have you ever wanted a "do-over"? Not me!

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. Some big, some small. But if I hadn't done those stupid or silly things I would not be the person I am today. When I was little I used to wish and wish that I would get some toy that I wanted or candy or new clothes. Yet if I had been given everything I wanted can you imagine what a spoiled brat I would be today? As I got older I did some dumb things...chased boys that I had no right to have, cruised in my parent's car when I was told not to, skipped class once to hang out with my friends in the gym. Nothing major, just dumb little things...but they are part of who I am.

No one should live in the past. You can't base your future on what you have or have not done in the past. You can't judge yourself on whether or not you have achieved all your dreams and expectations. If you have reached all your goals then you didn't set very high goals! No one should ever quit dreaming and no one should regret things they have done. Regrets get you no where and dreams make you get moving!

Learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them. Don't regret them either. Like the sign on my kitchen wall says "Hope Wish Dream Then Make It Happen". Just don't beat yourself up along the way...you are who you are and I am who I am because of the things we have done. I wouldn't change a thing...


Final college visit with Kayla was to Augustana in Sioux Falls. We got there about 5 minutes late, but since it was a private visit that was not a big problem. Started the visit by talking to the admissions counselor, she was very knowledgeable and "sold" the college well. She was also very energetic and excited to hear that it was Kayla's birthday! Even gave Kayla a free Augustana t-shirt as a birthday gift, so that was cool.
Next we got a tour of the campus, this tour guide actually knew a lot and a was happy to admit when she didn't know something! We saw all the buildings but didn't get to see much in the music area because the tour guide had never really spent much time in that building and didn't have any idea where the band room even was :) The campus is beautiful and easy to get around...the freshman dorm rooms are really good sized and with the beds lofted there is a lot of room! Only down side is no air conditioning in the freshman dorms, but even yesterday, at 90 degrees, the room wasn't very warm. This is the first campus I have seen where there is a parking lot right outside the door of the dorm...that would be handy!
So now Kayla has the tough choice of choosing between three colleges! She has already applied to USD and Drake and plans to apply to Augustana as well. Then, in the fall she will go to each school and sit in on a "normal" day in the life of a band student. After that she decides which one or ones she wants to audition at for admission into the music department. (College admission and music department admission are two different things). Then the tough choice of which one to finalize admission to. It is going to be a busy year!

date August 7, 2010

Dutch (for my side)and Swedish (for Dan's side) versions of happy birthday.

Some stats for the birthday girl, who is 17 years old today!

Name: Kayla Jean
Named after her maternal grandmother

Weight when born: 9lbs 3.5 oz
Weight now: Not telling

Height when born: 20 inches
Height now: 66 inches

Current relatives:
One mother, one father
One brother, one sister
One grandfather, two grandmothers
Five aunts, five uncles, nine cousins, five second-cousins

Surgeries since birth: 3
Days in hospital for surgeries: 3

Musical instruments able to play: 6
Clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, guitar, piano, saxophone

Houses lived in: 2

Schools attended: 1

Favorite color: Orange
Favorite thing to drink: Water
Favorite thing to do: Play her instruments or read
Favorite animal: Fuzzers (Cat)

Bands played in while in high school:
L-M Concert Band
L-M Jazz Band
L-M Marching Band
Iowa All-State Band
Cherokee Symphony
Pocahontas Community Band
Albert City Community Band
Storm Lake Community Band
Upper Midwest Music Camp Jazz Band
Upper Midwest Music Camp Concert Band

Best friends who have moved to other states: 2

Proms attended: 2

Class offices held: 1
Junior class president

Other things done and accomplished in life: Uncountable

Happy birthday to my beautiful, funny, crazy, shy, loud, soon to be high school senior, favorite 17 year old band nerd!

date August 6, 2010

No, this is not shoes. But I had to get a new purse because my old one has a broken zipper. I actually kept a purse long enough to wear it out! Becky went with me to buy a new one so I would be sure to get one that was "age appropriate"...not sure how I should take that comment! (Once again, I need to take better pictures!)

date August 3, 2010

Twenty three years ago there was a street dance in Laurens. I put on my best denim mini skirt, a sleeveless sweater vest, scrunchy socks and un-tied high top tennis shoes (gotta love 80's fashions) and headed over to it. I hung out with my friends and then I saw him...the guy that I had been meeting on the road for the past month as I drove home from work almost every day. I didn't have any idea who he was, where he lived or what he did...all I knew was that he was cute.

My older sister was also at the dance, so I mentioned to her that I thought this guy was cute. She walked right up to him and told him just that! I wanted to crawl into a hole, I was so embarrassed! But he just pulled a comb out of his back pocket, combed his hair and said to send me over.

I went and talked to him and his friends, I was incredibly nervous and was sure he could tell. The girlfriend of his friend asked me what I was doing Monday night (this was a Saturday) and I said nothing so she told me that Dan would be at my house to pick me up for a date. Fine by me! I found out later that another one of his friends had moved all the stuff from the back of Dan's truck to the front that night...just in case he took me home I would have to sit in the middle next to him.

Monday night he picked me up, we went to Spencer for a movie and pizza. By September we were engaged, married in March and the rest is history...

Just to set the record straight...I still think he is cute :-)

date August 1, 2010
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