Buyer’s remorse? Nikon D3000 DSLR

***Updated with captions, rude of me to assume you know***

Nope, not here. Not me. These are a few of my first shots with my new DSLR camera (aka new baby).  I can’t wait to dive into photo classes, but I have to admit the lighting at Jason’s house is phenomenal. Enjoy the photos. Happy Friday!

Sydney Elizabeth, my fifteen year old daughter

Molly, Jason’s oldest daughter age 5.

Bridget- Jason’s youngest. Age 3

Bridget’s million watt smile.

My puppy (who is now almost two years old) Anna. She is still my baby puppy.

Salem Dixie Elizabeth- 7 years old. This dog is my heart. She is precious to me. And she is still my baby too.

Molly in her Dora tube. Can you guess what she is? She is a tiger! Grrr!

Bridget and her gorgeous eyes and skin.

Molly and Sydney 10years and 10days apart. The reason for our 10-10-10 wedding date.

The girls. They LOVE doing silly faces. I laugh hysterically at them. Thank goodness the camera was on a tripod.

What do you think? Is it the new camera? Or the subjects?

A Stunning Christmas

I know Christmas falls on the 25th of December. I know a lot of you are still out shopping and scrambling and wrapping. Let me tell you….it feels GOOD to be done. I know! I am as blown over as you are. I am never done. NEVER. Not until Christmas Eve anyway. I am one of those – wild eyed, and frantic – picking through the scraps of the leftover endcaps. I abhor shopping. But I REALLY abhor the crowds of shopping.

But this year was different. See, I met Jason’s mom at the beginning of December at Kohls. It was about 1030pm at night. I was helping her shop for her son and naturally we ended up in the little girls section (ha). We shopped hardcore til MIDNIGHT. I broke my Christmas past buying a few presents before Christmas Eve.

Well then, Sydney was leaving for her Dad’s. He moved to the great state of Mississippi in July. Biloxi/Gulfport where his sister lives. It has been a BIG change for me and Sydney. He has always lived within a few miles of us. To suddenly be 9 hours away – WOW. It has been very difficult. Sydney is now a Southwest Rapids Rewards member. We have Love Field airport down pat. (even catching a flight with nary a minute to spare, but that’s another post – you have five minutes to get to the gate -aahhh!)

Christmas with Sydney would need to be on Friday evening the 18 December. Her flight was the 19DEC at 925am. As you know, with large families, and especially divorced families; children have many Christmases. This was the First Christmas of the season.  Jason got the little girls for the evening. I packed my car with LOADS of presents (and that’s not even all of them). I swear I don’t remember the shopping bug biting me, but it got me good. We headed their way.

Now imagine, Molly and Bridget, ages five and three helping cart inside bag after bag of presents (a lot of it was wrapped dollar store stuff). Their eyes were shining. They were giddy and hopping. I told them, “It’s Christmas. We get to open presents! Unless you want to wait until it’s actually Christmas? Do you want to wait?” Screams and cheers of Noooooooooo resounded.

Can you imagine the thrill of that? A whole week prior to Christmas? It was very exciting, as it should be – It’s freakin’ Christmas! We donned our Christmas hats for pictures. The girls weren’t having it. Molly wanted to pretend to be a dog. My “real” camera died, err the battery did.  We had to use the backup iPhone camera. I don’t know if you know much about the iPhone camera, but basically, it takes great pictures as long as you don’t move. Please note – impossible with a three and five year old – just sayin’.

And since we are talking about photos, I entered a GREAT giveaway on my friend, Weezer’s site. It’s for 100 photo postcards from This will open up a new window so please, CLICK away —->Post card giveaway.

Me, Salem, Sydney and Molly the hound dog.

Sydney with her pile.

Molly with her stash.

Bridget with her presents. By far, the most excited, happy child about opening presents. It is the greatest thing in the world when they hit that age of “gettin’ it”. Oh, she got it all right.  Every gift, she would exclaim out loud, then pick it up and hold it while grinning ear to ear. It was precious!

A book, some soap. See! It doesn’t matter what they open…They love it!

The aftermath was the girls burying themselves under pounds of tissue, bags, and wrapping paper.

Sydney opened ALL her gifts. She had asked for a new cell phone for Christmas. Her phone freezes up and she has to take the battery out to restart it. The keyboard doesn’t work very well either. She saw how much Jason and I love our iPhone. She really didn’t care what kind of phone, iPhone or not,  just as long as it was a phone that worked.  After much shopping, debating, and finding out neither account qualified for an iPhone upgrade. Grrr. We ended up getting her one anyway. We do LOVE our iPhones. We knew she would love it too. Jason bought it. We activated it the night before. So not only did Sydney’s phone freeze up previously, now it didn’t work AT ALL. She thought it had finally died and I agreed. Crappy phone!

So here she had opened all of her gifts up and guess what? No phone. She didn’t say a word. In fact, she looked happy and loved all her stuff. I said (like in The Christmas Story), “Is that all the presents? Because I think I see one more.” I pulled a little wrapped box out of the tree.  And she opened her iPhone 16GB 3GS with a pink cover. (no, he didn’t buy the cheaper one).

Well, that is a teenage girl’s Christmas dream.

Christmas was complete and happy. The girls first Christmas of the season. Wrappings all around. Opened boxes. The kids screeching and carrying on, hiding in their Dora tent, eating candy from their stockings.

I hear Jason say, “Is that all the presents? I think there is one more.”

I turn to see him next to me with a ring box in his hand. He opens it up to the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.  It literally took my breath away. He says, “Will you marry me?”

The tears flowed as I hugged him. Immediately Molly was there jumping up and down. It couldn’t have been more perfect. All our girls were  present.  This stunning gift, not just the ring, but our future.

Jason, I love you so much. I said from day one, you were perfect. Maybe not perfect for everyone, but perfect for me. I love your children and your family as I do my own. I am blessed beyond measure to be loved, and cared for by you.

All my life, I’ve seen the tragedies of divorce turn into triumphs of life altering relationships. I know this to be true. It is astounding what God has done to bring us to this place.

Merry Christmas. I’ll never forget it.

By the way, I said, “YES!”

The Cheshire Kid

Jason had the kids this weekend, but I didn’t get to see them until Sunday.

We get back from Church, then they arrive from Church with their Grandma (Jason’s Mom), and proceed to attack Jason.

Grabbing his legs, trying to pull him down, giggling madly, evil gleams in their beady innocent eyes. Scary, I tell you and they just came from CHURCH. Well, along with Sunday school snacks, which could include large doses of popcorn, skittles, and possibly liquid sugar shots? Yeah, I think that’s what it was.

Sydney was at home, she wasn’t able to go to Church, since she went to her boyfriends races the night before, and they ended late. I found out via Facebook she had a terrible night and possibly her boyfriend was cheating on her? What?!?! Her Dad even called me, once he got her update, to find out what was going on.

Oh my, is this how we parent? Of course back in my parents day, they had no CLUE what was going on. Unless you count the wailing sounds from my room, or Air Supply blaring from the speakers. I am grateful for Facebook and Twitter – I get to keep in touch with my teen. I actually know what’s going on or when something is going on (well at least more so).

I decide to go get her (right away) and immediately take her for chocolate, and guy bashing, aka The Cure.

The kids were so busy playing, they didn’t want to pack into the car again. J’s oldest wanted to stay home and kill Dad play with Dad. The plan was..I would go get Sydney and we would eat lunch, trash the no good cheater catch up, polish off desert and be good as new to reunite with everyone.

I had my keys in hand, and was saying good-bye, when I feel a tug at my pants. I look down to see the Cheshire kid. You know the one? Face of an angel, twinkling eyes, playful charming smile….yeah that one….the one that gets you.

J’s youngest, Bridget

Bridget: I go wit choo. (cocks head smiling sweetly)

Me: You want to go with me? (I point to myself, look around at J in incredulous wonder – J shrugs)

Bridget: Yesth, I go wit CHOO. (pokes me with her little pudgy finger)

Me: Ooookay. (still looking for help, getting none)

Don’t get me wrong, she asks to go with me all the time – it just usually doesn’t work out. Plus, she can get moody when she is hungry or tired (it’s so cute, it’s just like Jason). We had talked about doing separate things with the kids, so he could have some one on one time with each of them. This seemed as good a time as any. It’s just so strange to see her away from her older sister Molly. With them only two years apart, they are very close, they even sleep in the same room. Plus, she had never left alone with me. She is a Daddy’s girl through and through.

Alrighty then, I grab her car seat and off we go to get Sydney. She is happy, beaming her mega-watt charm of a smile. I end up taking them both to a restaurant. She was so good. Never cried, wasn’t bored, picked out exactly what she wanted to eat, and ate it. No fuss at all. I love this kid!

I had chicken nuggets, but I didn’t like the sauce, so I asked for gravy. I get my gravy and the Cheshire kid promptly dips her fries in it. I was shocked! I said, “Did you just dip your fry in MY GRAVY?” I give her the scary eye.

An eruption of delighted giggles burst forth, not scared at all, as she continued to dip every fry, cackling gleefully each joust. I immediately picked up the phone and text Jason. My text read:

Your daughter is country! She is dipping her fries in my gravy.

Oh my sweet Lord, the Cheshire kid is sucking me in. She likes gravy with her fries, just like a good ole girl from Oklahoma. We finish with dessert and come to find out, Sydney’s boyfriend thing? False alarm. Something about a fortune cookie on Sorority girls, huh? Whatever THAT means. Heh!

Back we go hand in hand to the car, Sydney helps belt her in. She hasn’t even asked about Daddy, little stink. She finally does in the car. We head back with her all grins and charming endearment.

Later that afternoon, as Sydney and I are preparing to leave, after we shopped at Wal-Mart for FIVE Operation Christmas Child boxes, with two still hyper banshees kids. THEN, stuffed them to the gills packed all of them. If that wasn’t a work out, I don’t know what is.

Here she came, the Cheshire kid, with those big eyes, and that sweet little face turned up to me, arms reaching.

Bridget: I go wit choo.

Me: But baby, I’m going home. (lifting her into my arms)

Bridget: I not Baby! I Bridget! I go WIT choo.

Me: You want to come home with me? Where will you sleep? With Sydney or me?

Bridget: Swedney.

Me: What about the closet? I can string you a hammock in the closet and you can live there.

She nods.

Bridget: I go wit choo. (lays her silky head on my shoulder)

That little Cheshire kid. I’d take her home in a heartbeat. She has charmed me out of my mind, take a three year old home with me? What? It’s like I’m hypnotized! Nodding my head, picking her up. Goodness gracious!

Me: One day, you can come visit me at my house, OK?

Bridget: Ochay.

Why do I get the feeling she is not going to forget that promise? What in the world am I getting myself into?

Oh, my heart.

Babe, This is better than a ring

This is a Costco membership card. MY membership card. Some of you know what this is, or maybe you are more familiar with Sam’s. They are actually similar, both are member only clubs to shop for bulk items at a great discount. Good deals. You can buy Sweet n Lo, in bulk,  it will last a YEAR. I’m not kidding.

I, usually, will buy toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags. Being a single mother, it makes sense to try and save where I can. Jason has a membership, and I would go with him. We would figure out how to pay the other back for things bought or what not. His membership, he has to pay, or I pay. Only one can pay – one card.

Going to Costco on a saturday is like an adventure – you never know what samples they might be serving. You never know what wonderful books, toys, equipment, seasonal and otherwise, that they might be carrying. I LOVE Costco. It’s so fun and I hate shopping, so this tells you a lot.

Earlier this year, on a Costco trip, Jason mentions that his X is still on his Costco membership. REALLY? WHY? He says it’s free for him and he just never bothered to take her off. REALLY?

Quite honestly, it upset me. If it were HER membership, I guarantee you – he would have been taken off immediately. She divorced HIM. Why is he still being nice to her?

He tells me, he is a nice guy. I agree, BUT come on…..after everything? If she likes Costco so much, let her buy her own membership. It can’t be that much. It still ties them together. It still seemed like he was honoring his wifely commitment (and you remember that whole drama) which I thought ended at his divorce in December, or so I thought. It bothered me – GREATLY.

He didn’t understand, and I get that. I do. It’s harmless right? She is buying stuff for the kids – his kids – that he pays child support for. A LOT of child support, like what I lived on as single parent working full time AND with my child support added in, child support. But I digress….

What I am saying is – I felt like he chose her over me. That no matter what, I would always be second. She was the mother of his children. She came first.

Now, I do tend to overanlayze and read more into something than I should. I KNOW. You are all shaking your head. This is how it felt at that time. I stewed a half hour, came to terms with it, realized all the nice things I did for my ex husband Sonny – and still would do. I would have felt better if she was as nice as Sonny but still – I was fine with it. Stop it, I WAS.

On my merry way I went, without another thought (usually). Oh, I’d feel a twinge when we’d visit Costco. My mind would want to holler to me – I was SECOND. I didn’t listen. I knew, I was first. Get behind thee, Satan.

One of our last visits, we had the kids. We are having a jolly old time. Goofing off, trying samples, and playing with everything. I do mean everything. girlsincart
At check out, I took the girls along with Sydney and Kyle to get drinks at the little concession. We were sipping our smoothies, when I see Jason waving at me. I leave Sydney with the kids and go to him. He is standing there at the back computer behind the check out, smiling.

Give her your info, I am adding you to my membership. My JAW dropped. Huh? Really? He was taking X off and adding me. I barely recovered enough to give her my name, then as if in a daze, we head over to get my picture taken for my new card. My new card.

I don’t understand why months, and months later he had this change of heart. I will say it made me feel very, very special. Such a simple thing, but it was an act of love for me. It filled my heart.

I said to Jason, “Babe, this is better than a ring!”.

He says to me, “We’ll see about that”.