Thursday, March 31, 2016

10 Things to Smile about March

Oh, can you believe it is the end of another month. This year is flying by! Now linking up with EmmyMom


10. I took my stab at writing poetry and laughed my butt off the whole time I did it.

9. We went to see my aunt and uncle.

8. Philly Cheesesteak Casserole. Need I say more?!?!

7. Supporting our local rescue team :)

6. A fun trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium.

5. Sometimes it is all about food... and try this Cherry Dump Cake!

4. Surprises on the first day of spring!

3. One of our newest purchases.

2. My squirrely girly is 21 months old. Ey ey ey!

1. Easter


Easter 2016 Recap

I have always wanted to be that mom that decorates the house up for every holiday, etc etc. I fall short most days. I'm not sure there is time for that when you're in grad school! I was lucky to remember that it was Easter weekend. Friday I studied for round 2 of comps and by the end of the day I was totally fried. I face planted on a bench and laid in the sun doing absolutely nothing. Oh wait... that was on Saturday, see I couldn't even keep my days straight. I swear, Grad school is fun. Someone told me that if you're working on your PhD and you're married, you'll probably be divorced before you graduate. Sadly I think I could see that although I'm not anywhere near being divorced right now. But if a PhD program is worse than a masters (which it has to be) then wow!

Okay I'm done rambling. Easter I took a bit of a break. I got up Sunday morning and we went to Church. It was Easter. It was the day before Comps. It all sounded good!

When we left church, it was time to go to my parents house. Abug had fallen asleep on our way there so I got her in the house and laid down on the couch with her and took a short snooze until I passed her off to hubby. It's fun to have baby snuggles/snoozes.

We didn't get breakfast so it was nice to have an appetizer of Artichoke dip. Yum! And homemade garlic toast.

Mom made a ham, corn casserole, potato casserole, Frog eye salad, rolls with strawberry jam and pear honey, and a salad that my grandma brought that I know nothing about.

And I snuck a fast one in on my mom making a Cherry Dump Cake for dessert.

And that was Easter. When you're studying all around easter there isn't much to do. I really wanted to do an Easter egg hunt but darn it was cold. #parentfail Like I said I want to be that mom who has her sh*t together... but I am me... a college grad student who is trying to get by. SIGH!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Brain Splat


My brain is all over the place. One such place... relief. At least last night's comps is over and it'll be a week before I hear results on either set, so that means a week of freedom, right? Please tell me I'm right. The stress the last few weeks kind of got to me. Ugh! I was talking to one of the professors last Thursday and said that grad school is more stressful than any job I've had and I've had some stressful jobs. She laughed and said, yeah, in grad school, you have a deadline and have to work on something until it is finished, where as long as your job is one of those you can walk away from at the end of the day, you're done until the next work day.

I think grad school is taking a toll on me... I look old. That's my opinion, but whatever.... Oh and gray hairs... they're multiplying, I swear. Seriously? I'm only 32 (I think.... don't ask me my age, ask me my birthday, I'm better at that number). And a tan, I'd like a tan... although I don't want wrinkly skin, I have enough of that... so there is that.... anyway like I said, my brain is all over the place right now.

Today I feel like it is Thursday (don't ask why, I don't know) and yesterday I swore it was Tuesday (that's because I sat at the school all day on a Monday which isn't typical). So let's see if I can impart some wisdom on you today... Here we go... if you have something that is bolded, italicized, or underlined and it is followed by punctuation, that punctuation carries the same bold, italics or underline. Although underlining words is a thing of the typewriter age when people couldn't bold or italicize words for whatever the word is I'm looking for.... um.... emphasis I guess might be it.

Today in my Writing the Memoir class we're discussing my 3rd essay. I'm a bit nervous. I hate days like this. I mean people aren't supposed to judge, but still... you really do put yourself out there writing these. Dr. Morris always says that more than likely we won't publish them so the only people who read are those of us in class and whoever we might share it with. The start of my third paper was a fight hubby and I had years ago. I can't tell you the fight, I just remember the hurtful words I said. They were bad. And I tried to get them out of it, but I couldn't figure out how to be able to jump back in time to the real meat of the story.... oh well... I guess people will know I cuss if they didn't know that before. It's a really bad habit that I try to give up and just as I do better, something happens and word vomit galore. Although I'm getting better about that too.

So when I got to the school today, let's back up to yesterday first... I've been on the search for a new swimsuit. I don't know why, I just have been. So I put some in hubby's cart so he could see them and tell me if he thought they'd look ok on me or not. So this morning when I got to the school he asked if I deleted some of them, maybe all I don't really know. I told him I didn't. But the funny thing is, sometimes we'll go to the store and I'll think about getting something. He'll put it in the cart and when he's not looking I put it back on the shelf. I am bad about that. But really today I didn't do that.

And why I'm having this coming clean session instead of doing an Easter recap today is beyond me. I think that is just how stressed out I have been from comps. Sadly I don't think the stress is over just yet... I'm hoping it is... but I just don't think it is.... not yet anyway.

By the way, does anyone know anything about Mining in Southeast Kansas they could impart some wisdom about?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Today

I woke up this morning tired, stiff, and dreading the morning. Why? Maybe because it is Monday, or maybe because I'm just not a morning person, or maybe, just maybe it was because I have to take my second set of Comps tonight. This is Set 2 attempt 1. And then D) it could be all of the above.

This is the specialty set. It focuses on Professional and Technical Writing, which is actually what I'm getting my degree in. I've been studying all weekend. I'm not sure who's brilliant idea it was to put this test right around Easter. Okay okay, so truth of the matter is that's just how it fell. Fall, it is the last Thursday/Monday of October and Spring it is the Thursday/Monday after Spring Break. It just so happened Easter was early this year and it fell the week after spring break. I'm still going with that wasn't brilliant planning.

Is it odd to admit that I'm not nearly as stressed about this set of comps as I am/was about the other set? When it comes down to English, my weakness is literature. It always has been and I'm not sure why. I like to read, although some of those authors are dark... I'm talking DARK! I'm not really crazy about that I guess. Life is too depressing, give me something upbeat. ha!

When I got home Thursday night after taking the other set, I was a mess. I'm not sure how it went as they said it'd be about a week for results, but I was a mess. I'm still not sure I passed because I didn't completely get finished. I left the graders a note that I wasn't finished and wanted to address this this and this.... we'll see what happens I guess....

But for now, it's time to focus on the next round. Friday I woke up and started studying for this round, read the sample questions that were sent to me and about freaked out again. I didn't feel like I could answer any of them. I felt overwhelmed and just down right in the dumps.

Today I have a different outlook. I read through the sample questions. There are 2 sections 4 questions in each. I can actually answer a couple in each section and only have to be able to answer 1. Now that's not to say that these are the questions I'll have tonight... so there is that little added stress of not knowing what is coming, but the best I can do is attempt to answer and see what happens.

But I'm not nearly as stressed out as I was Thursday. Maybe it was helpful that Easter happened this weekend... I guess we'll find out.

I needed to take a couple minutes and digest the 2 books I've already read this morning and just write, so that's what I'm doing now. One of the books I read was Digital Literacy for Technical Communication: 21st Century Theory and Practice edited by Rachel Spilka. The other I read was HTML & CSS for Beginners with HTML5 by Mark Lassoff. I can actually geek out on that kind of thing, heck I built my own photography website from the ground up. (not today though....) I did it to practice HTML for comps.

The next text I'm getting ready to digest... Usability Testing Essentials by Carol M. Barnum. Wish me luck! I think I might need it... ha. Although I conducted my own usability experiment last spring for a class.

So I'm going back to studying but I'll leave you with a family photo from yesterday, Easter. (and once life settles down, there will be more on Easter too :))


Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Peanut Post - A 21 Month Update


  • Oh kid, you light up my life and rock my world. You are so much fun
  • You are learning new things every day, and mommy needs to watch what she says... example oh crap. ha!
  • You love fruit and ice cream and really most food.
  • You eat about every other day really well and nit pick the off day.
  • When you want a drink it is Teat Tea (aka sweet tea) no matter what you are drinking.
  • I think we must visit Sonic too much because the minute we pull in to one you start in on the teat tea.
  • You love to ride. sometimes you'll call them hor (horse) and other times it's ride, ride, ride, ride.
  • You will drag anyone you can to the barn to ride and know exactly where oha (Aloha's) stall is.
  • If you're at Jared and Karen's you're pretty good at talking them into riding too.
  • You're not spoiled or anything :).
  • Shoes, you're outgrowing your size 6's but you can still just barely fit into them.
  • clothes, you're 18 months +.
  • diapers, size 5, but you're initiating the move to potty training very quickly. I know I've said that before but you're the one initiating this.
  • I still won't cut your hair. 
  • You love the outdoors.
  • You could be a Walmart greeter the way you tell everyone hi. 
  • You can't spell but you know how to use my phone and sent grandma a text message the other day.
  • You love your sissy (tissy)
  • I'm pretty sure you know all the major body parts now.
  • You love your pack pack and purses.
  • You tried carrying your diaper bag and it about pulled you over backwards.
  • Music... you love music.
  • Your favorite tv shows if you pay attention to anything are Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse Club House.
  • You can make a gloomy day bright
  • When you don't get your way you throw yourself on the floor for attention.
  • If someone says ow you ask, Okay? and will continue to ask until they respond they are okay.
  • If you fall, you'll stand up as long as you aren't hurt and yell I Okay. If you're hurt, then you cry.
  • You give the best kisses and hugs.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Take Two

Holy Cow! I just walked in from outside and it's freezing cold out there. Okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration because I just looked at weather.com and it said that it is 40, but that doesn't factor in that wind and that's what is excessively cold this morning. Okay, so it's 40˚ this morning, yet yesterday it was 70˚. Yes we had the wind but the weather was gorgeous. I was walking around in a t-shirt and comfortable. Today I have on a long sleeved t-shirt and my jacket and I'm still frickin cold! brrrr! I guess only in MO can (or maybe I should say the midwest?) you go from 70˚ one day to a freeze warning and a high of 50˚ the next and 60˚ or so the following. Yes Mother nature we get it, you're still in control!

Speaking of yesterday, by last night I was spent. Today marks my second attempt at Comps (plus I have to take a different set on Monday night.... ugh!) I've been studying hard, maybe not hard enough, we'll see, but I have been studying hard and last night I was just spent. I wanted to do something... anything. I didn't know what though. We finally went and wandered around Target because I just needed to walk I guess. We wound up down the hair coloring aisle and I decided to dye my hair pink, what do you think?

Oh wait, that's right... I only threatened... I didn't do it :). haha... sike! or not but whatever, it's my blog post today :). I also seriously debated dying my hair bright blonde. I have no idea why and I didn't do it, but I did threaten.

I drove the truck today. Why you might ask? Well... because I feel like a badass driving a truck. Seriously. I've always been a truck girl. In fact, my first vehicle was a truck.

It was a little truck but it was a truck no less. Boy the day we saw this at the dealership we were in my dad's 1998 F150 that I kept trying to talk him in to letting me have but he wouldn't budge. That was back when with the extended cab you had the jump door. And it just had the 1, not both so to get to the drivers side back seat you had to go through the passenger side jump door. Anyway we were driving through the Ford dealership in Springfield the day after my birthday and we saw this little gem. I about jumped over the top of my mom and her seat trying to get out of dad's truck to get out and see this truck. Then, I really thought we were going to lose out on buying it over $50. My mom could see me squirming in my seat and she knew I was ready to volunteer to pay the $50. Finally the dealership agreed with my dad and bam, the truck was mine. I've never kept such a poker face in all my life. So stressful as a 16 year old.

No, I don't drive a truck right now, unless I'm driving someone else's truck. I have my car. I like my car but it isn't a truck. Oh the pretty purr of a diesel engine or the nice hum of flowmaster's. Pure pleasure :). haha. Although have you heard the new diesel's now? They are almost as quiet as a gas engine and unless you're paying attention you might miss them. Sad but true statement.

Earlier this week I was joking with hubby that since I had to take comps tonight, can I drive his truck for inspiration. He said, "OK." I laughed and told him I was joking because I was... mostly. Then I guess when I got in the shower last night, he moved vehicles around and when I went to leave this morning he left me with the truck.

I got a sweet text from my dad too. Everyone believes in me, I just hope I don't let them down. That's my worst fear! Letting people down. Adds a little stress. But I got in the truck this morning and started driving down the road. I don't know, I think Joe Diffy was on to something when he said, "There's something women like about a pickup man." Although, I'm not a man... so maybe that doesn't totally count in this instance, but it's close enough!

Okay so speaking of the truck. Oh I shouldn't tell this on myself but I can't help it... It is too funny. Yesterday we were driving it and a bird flew past us. Neither of us saw the bird go anywhere else so hubby wondered if it got stuck in the grill. Hey weirder things have happened. So when we stopped, I got out and went up to the front to look. No bird and there was no grill guard. I about freaked out wondering where and when we dropped the grill guard and how did we not know that. Then I had a moment of clarity and realized that oh... it isn't our truck that has the grill guard, it's my dad's truck. Duh duh duh.

Comps has me where I'm just frazzled. I'm ready for some mental clarity! The night before we had been working on Jared and Karen's camper. When we were done I went to my parents and picked up the bug and then went home. At home I hopped in the shower. We have a speaker in our shower that hooks up to your phone via bluetooth. Hubby had his phone hooked up with a song for me to hear. So when I got out of the shower I went to turn the speaker off and instead hit the call button. Well that either answers a call if the phone is ringing while you're in a shower or calls the last person you talked to. The last person hubby called was Jared so I tried to call Jared from the shower. I about died laughing.

That is how life has been for me lately... and this weekend is Easter, but I won't get to enjoy that much because I'll be studying for my next round of comps on Monday night. Who decided Easter weekend would be a good weekend to put comps after. Geez.... anyway wish me luck please! And if all else fails, know that I feel like a badass driving a pick-up truck!

Over and out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Finally, the story


Let's see if I can diplomatically tell this post, finally about a month later.

As most of you know, we're a family of 4. Back in 2011 though, we were just a family of 3. In January of 2011 we traded my Mustang off for a 2011 Hyundai Elantra and Hubby's 3/4 Ford for a 2011 Hyundai Tucson. That was done within one week of each other and the truck was traded off just days before the 18 inches of snow that snowed us into our house.

That summer we discussed how practical the Tucson was because even though it got great gas mileage, we needed a truck more than we realized. Every time we needed a truck, we had to borrow my dad's which put him out of a truck. It was annoying for everyone involved.

So later that summer we went on a hunt for a truck again. It came down to the question do we need 4x4 or 4 doors more because for the price and what we could afford, both wasn't quite an option for us.

We decided since we were a family of 3, we'd go the 2 door but 4x4 route and wound up with a 2011 Chevy 1500 (half ton). It was a great truck and did most everything we wanted, except haul a horse trailer. But when we had to steal dad's truck to haul a trailer, at least he wasn't out a truck so it worked.

Well in 2014 our little bundle of joy came along making us a family of 4. May of 2015 my dad wound up buying a half ton 4x4, 4 door truck that we wound. This last winter wasn't bad and neither was the winter of 2013, but still, with 4 people and a 4x4 truck that seats 3, it just doesn't add up. In bad weather my car doesn't do well and his truck wouldn't haul all 4 of us. This last winter we started borrowing dad's half ton and leaving him ours so he had 2 different 4x4's to drive as an option.

But it was decided that we needed a new truck. One that had 4x4 but one that had 4 doors and seated either 5 or 6 depending on if the front was a bench seat or captains chairs. So we went on the hunt.

Can you guess where this story goes?

After a couple months of debating the size and whatever hubby had guidelines of what we could afford.

One afternoon he and my dad were cruising the internet and found one in Kansas City. It was a 2009 (or was it a 2011? I can't remember we talked so many trucks. oy!) Ford King Ranch F150. Very pretty. It was late on a Saturday so they had closed for the day, so first thing Monday morning hubby called up there and asked them if they still had the truck. They said yes. So he took a half day of vacation, swung by the house and picked Abug and me up to head to KC to look at this truck.

When we got up there, Abug and I stayed in the truck and hubby went to find the guy he spoke with. Then hubby came back to the truck and said, you're not going to guess this. I said what. Turns out they sold that truck on Saturday. So they had a little older F150 Platinum edition that they wanted us to look at. Hubby agreed. So therefore I agreed, grudgingly because we called specifically to save ourself a 300 mile trip.

Anyway we went in to talk to them after we test drove it and they insulted us. They knew what we owed on our truck still and they offered us $200 less for trade in on our truck than what we owed on it. I was pissed and walked out. Especially because we'd been offered more through no site auto trader plus $200 less, really? You couldn't have at least paid off what we owed... So we left. The salesman wanted to introduce us to the sales manager who insulted us and we walked out with our keys to our truck. We felt defeated.

That meant the search was still on.

Later in the week hubby found another truck in Aurora at the Ford dealer there. We went and test drove it, really liked it and tried to talk money. Because of the mileage, we couldn't get qualified for a truck loan on it. The guys there were super nice and offered us more for our truck than what we owed by a few hundred dollars and it was just a good experience, but sadly we weren't able to deal with them because of the mileage on the truck. They told us we had to start looking at vehicles with less than 100K.

Hubby and I were so disappointed and a little down on our luck to say the least. I kept telling him that it wasn't meant to be and when the right thing came along, we'd know it. That was very hard, but that's what we had to keep telling ourselves.

So the weekend that I went to Oklahoma to see my aunt, hubby found another truck. He and my dad made plans to go to Bentonville, AR, Showcase Cars and Trucks to look at a truck they had on their lot. I told hubby I trusted his judgement so do what he knew was right and if it wasn't, come home because at least we still had a truck.

Well hubby said they were excellent to work with, we were able to get approved, they gave us the right money for our truck and bam, we had a deal.

We wound up with a 2014 Ford F150. It had been one owner, owned by a corporation as a fleet vehicle. So the mileage was about 10,000 more than what was on our current truck but it is an F150, 4 door, and 4x4. All the things we needed. So I would like to thank all the businesses that were willing to work with us, including the dealerships that were willing to work with us but we couldn't find what we were looking for. Thank you!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy First Day of Spring

... yesterday!!...

So what did you do on your first day of spring?

This is what I woke up to.... Well technically it was a text telling us baby on the ground so hubby and I started annoying my dad for pictures :)

We weren't able to go over right away. There are two weekends a year hubby has to work, and this was one of them. We decided to go to church (8:15-9:15) and then he was scheduled to work at 10.

My job was to study for comps that are coming up this week. OY! But I wanted God on my side when I go to take them so we went to church! Then it was study study study (contrary to popular belief, I studied. I kind of don't like the southern American Writers... or really the writers in general on this comps list are a little freaky! And while I don't like them, they are intriguing...)

Hubby had to work Saturday night as well so Abug stayed with mom and dad while he worked and you guessed it, I studied. I'm tired of studying but it isn't over yet.... Wish me luck, PLEASE!

So anyway late afternoon we went to mom and dad's so we could see the baby and collect our rugrat. And that was my first day of spring... and the last day of spring break (sadly I studied all spring break so I didn't get to much enjoy my last spring break...)

Wish me luck on comps!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Meal Planning Adventures 3

Sunday
  • Breakfast: None
  • Lunch: Waterfront Grill - Smoked Turkey Ciabatta with Cheddar, Bacon, Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes
  • Dinner: Arby's Chicken Slider and Mozzarella sticks

Monday
  • Breakfast: None
  • Lunch: Mac & Cheese
  • Dinner: Hamburger Soup

Tuesday

Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Daylight Donuts 
  • Lunch: Fried Chicken Salad from Cheddars
  • Dinner: Steak, Potatoes, green beans, & Cherry Dump Cake

Thursday
  • Breakfast: Casey's sausage Pizza
  • Lunch: None
  • Dinner: Meatloaf & Cherry Dump Cake

Friday
  • Breakfast: Maple Cream of Wheat
  • Lunch: Sonic - Crispy Chicken sandwich & Mozzarella sticks
  • Dinner: Del Rio - Jalapeño Cream Cheese stuffed Chicken & Cheese dip/chips
Saturday
  • Breakfast: None
  • Lunch: Texas Roadhouse - Road Kill with Loaded French Fries
  • Dinner: Logan's - Blackened Chicken salad with Ranch dressing

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Waterfront Grill - Jenks OK

This weekend we took a group trip to Jenks, OK, outside of Tulsa to go to the Oklahoma Aquarium. We left right after church, so by the time we got to Tulsa it was noon and we were a hungry bunch. Our vehicle was the lead vehicle so they left it up to us to find the restaurant. Kimmy got on her cell phone and started researching restaurants in the area and that's when we came upon Waterfront Grill.

I'm oh so glad she found this restaurant too, as was everyone else. Totall awesome!

When we got there and told them it was 8 plus a high chair, they said it would be about a 30-45 minute wait. Then not even 5 minutes later they asked if we had a problem sitting outside. We told them no because the weather was great plus they had their heaters running. So we were seated within 5 minutes. And this was our view for the meal.

Hubby, Rachele, and Doug decided they were going to order sushi. We got one and they got the other. I say we, I asked them to save me a piece of each because even though I'm not crazy about it, I'm willing to try. You never know, someday I may just like sushi/fish....

They got the Bonzai Roll. Spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, & jalapeño topped with fresh eel and eel sauce. Served on a skillet that is on fire. (side note, wow I didn't know I was eating eel.... yikes!)

We got the Riverwalk Roll. Tempura asparagus, avocado, spicy crab, & tempora shrimp topped with eel, salmon, ahi tuna, eel sauce & Sriracha

I have to say theirs was better, but I still wasn't crazy about it.

So I got the Smoked Turkey Ciabatta. Warm shaved turkey, Havarti cheese, chipotle Mayo, roasted red bell peppers, arugula, & bacon. It was supposed to come with fries but I subbed in Cheddar, Bacon, Jalapeño mashed potatoes. So first off, the sandwich... totally awesome. I'd definitely get it again no question asked. The Mashed potatoes, definitely worth the swap, although I wish I'd have gotten Abug some fries. Long story.

So the kids menu was comprised of breakfast type food... it was brunch style food. So we got Abug waffles since that's close to pancakes and she loves pancakes. She ate them okay. I didn't try any but Tbug said they were oka.

Tbug went with the Catfish fillets. She said they were really good. She liked the fries too, but didn't care for the coleslaw. Again, long story.

Hubby got the Baja Burger. I can't find the description of it, but let me tell you, the description is YUM! So he subbed fries for the Mashed potatoes too. Again, darn, too bad we didn't get fries for Abug.

This was definitely worth the wait! I'm so glad Kimmy found this place!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Oklahoma Aquarium

Over the weekend we took a day trip to Tulsa. After church a bunch of us loaded up and headed to Tulsa, the rest of our group was already down there. Our destination was the Oklahoma Aquarium. At dive club we'd been talking about taking a trip somewhere and finally we decided on the Oklahoma Aquarium. I guess technically we were in Jenks.

Our group that loaded up didn't get breakfast so while we were supposed to meet the group already down there at noon, we stopped for a quick bite to eat at the Waterfront Grill and then headed to the aquarium, which put us there around 1ish. Sorry! Anyway the aquarium was a lot of fun.

Sadly because of our jump forward in time and going to church, Abug was up earlier than normal (equivalent to 5am for her). We then couldn't get her to nap on the ride down so she was a bit sleepy going through the aquarium (as were the rest of us) but she handled it great!

Our trip down was fairly uneventful but we actually saw that precip that falls out of the sky. It was a crazy! I had to document it. (We've been on burn bans for the last 2 months)

The rock fish. cool huh?

They got to crawl up inside one of the tanks.

Inside the Shark tank.

At 3 they had a tank where you could touch sharks and Stingray fish. Tbug was a little more thrilled than Abug was but I think Abug might have touched at least one. It was hard because even though it was a shallow area, Abug is still small. Tbug liked the feel the sharks more than the feel of the stingray.

Future Gator? Never know :)

And Tbug had to nap.


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