Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Queen B!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Bridget Bee!

Oh, how I could go on and on about what you're doing these days now that you've reached the big 0-2. Many things are an absolute delight, while others I'm already hoping move along to be filed away as mere memories like, say, the nasal aspirator days.

While life around you has encountered many obstacles and changes over the last few weeks, you've continued to perservere through it all and manage to keep your family and friends ever grateful for the amazing gift we've been given. You give all of our lives purpose and do so with a smile on your face and a joyful spirit in your heart (that is, unless you are throwing a kicking and screaming tantrum like you do so professionally these days!).

I'll include some specifics after your doctor's appointment tomorrow, assuming I have some down time (hahahaha!) while I'm getting ready for your big shindig this weekend. All in all, I love you with all of my heart and can't wait for every new day that we have together that brings yet another opportunity to make special memories. Hugs!

Love always,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Most Important Person in the World is...


-Martin Camp, Dean of Students - SMU's Dedman School of Law

It has begun, my friends. My journey in the evening program of SMU's Law School started this week with orientation sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and tonight (Wednesday). Exhaustion set in this morning, but I'm glad to report that a) there were plenty of students less prepared than me, b) I used my sorority recruitment skills more than once to help force myself to meet others and make friends, and c) I haven't fallen asleep in a session yet! Oh, me. You jest.

Back to my quote from Dean Camp. He gave the most memorable of the all the welcome addresses delivered Monday night and I wanted to share a small portion of his thoughts with you. He told many stories of his time in law school, included a nice Chinese proverb, but most memorably of all he mentioned two stories from his life growing up with blue collar working parents. During a scolding session by his father for crossing the street unaccompanied, Dean Camp mentioned a life lesson his dad imparted on him that he's continued to reflect upon throughout his many successful years. His dad: "Son, the most important person in this world is you. If you don't take care of yourself, you can never really take care of anyone else in your life so you'd better start thinking about yourself now and get used to it." (paraphrased, of course. I've been told that law students have to quickly learn not to bother taking extensive notes in class writing every word one can that leaves a professor's mouth...there's just too many words!)

This was a pleasant reminder to me of why I'm doing what I'm doing. Yes, as stated in my application's personal statement, I'm returning to school for the betterment of my family's future but I'm also taking care of myself and my needs, too. In doing so, I'm showing Bridget that Mommy cares for Mommy's life as well as Bridget's and that though she is loosing a few hours per week of Mommytime its all for the best. A nice breath of fresh air for me and my extreme guilt :).

Also, this message is important for all of you, whether you are a full-time working adult, single college student, stay-at-home mom, etc. Many professors and alumni stressed the importance of finding a healthy outlet for the stressors that we were all about to indure over the next semester. Exercise, hobbies, shopping (is that really healthy?? hehehe), time with friends. All of these are healthy alternatives to the oft-used stress relievers of alcohol, drugs, and the like. I hope all of you out there have found healthy ways to relieve stress in your lives and are sure to make yourself a priority in what is certainly a crazy life you lead. Don't forget to think about yourself! It's not being selfish. It's bettering yourself so you can be the best you can be for those who rely on you and turn to you for love and support. Take this thought with you today and decide what you are going to do for yourself right now (or as soon as you can find a free moment! those exist).

In addition to the pic of me, my Dad (SMU Law '77), and Bridget you saw above, here a few pics of her visit to the campus yesterday before she went to play at Mimi and Pop's house for the night (which, by the way, found her still awake at 9pm when I came to pick her up...doesn't being a grandparent look SO FUN?!?!). Here's we are playing "hide" from Pop, her favorite game:

While Dad and I wandered through the halls of his past for a bit, Mimi and B went down to visit the fountain at the heart of the campus. Isn't this picture adorable?? I may try to petition to get it added to the front of some SMU publication or something. Biased? Perhaps...

Look out everyone, she's behind the wheel! "Wheel" is a new favorite word right now and she wasn't going to pass up to opportunity to commendere a vehicle just waiting for a driver. At least we've got 14 more years before this crazy one hits the real streets...

This is a group pic of the girls in my small mentor group whom I'll share class sections with throughout my first year. Everyone is so friendly and I'm thankful I already know I have the best mentor group of all. At dinner last night, our table was certainly the most fun looking of them all. Go us! (on a side note: the blonde next to me in the pic is totally my twin - well, I wish I looked like her, but... - she's a Pi Phi from A&M, moved with her family from Dallas to Southlake when she was 3 - just like me! - and proceeded to complete K-12 in Carroll ISD - shout out old school Southlakers!, and her house was in Southridge Lakes...right across from my S-town neighborhood! We couldn't get over the connections. Love her already!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fare-freakin'-well, weight!

Yes, yes...this is the first post in over a month...more to come on that another day when I can actually post about that. For now, let's just get this out there:

I've finally lost all my baby weight! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I know, I know. Most people loose it within 6 months (or 3 for you lucky b's! - love ya!) of having little ones and my "little one" is about to turn 2. Let me say first that I flat out didn't really try for the whole first year I had Bridget. As my good friend, Mandy, just posted on her blog: I was happy! I was accomplished! I loved my life! Apparently, I was also convincing myself that the girl in the mirror wasn't a hot, fat mess. Oh, the woes of having a good self-esteem. Thanks, Mom and Dad :).

October 2009: Look at me next to preciously 8 months pregnant Lydia. Agh! My belly is bigger than her's! Ugh. It was a month after having Bridget and believe it or not, a good 20 lbs had already evaporated. It goes without saying that I have a new plan when baby #2 decides to come into existence :). I went into baby #1 with the allowance that I would let this pregnancy be a little more "fun". Poor choice? Perhaps. Would I do it differently if I could go back? Who knows.

Thankfully, my real weight loss journey started nearly exactly one year from today. My mom and I went to a Weight Watchers meeting (her passive way to telling me I need to loose weight - love ya, Mom, but that's what you do!) and I LOVED the meeting leader. Talk about motivating! Pretty sure I wrote a very enthusiastic post about loosing weight and being healthy a few weeks after that first meeting, in fact. All was well and I was loosing...

Then that girl up and quit working at WW! Thanks a lot, Carla! Honestly, I was wishing her well on her new journey with a new job but man did that slow me down. I stopped going to WW (I've been a member 3 times and its never been my best way to works for many, but its just not for me) and stalled for a number of months. Not much gaining, but not any loosing.

My mom helped me with a gym membership that also included day care (again, passive Mom telling me to loose weight) near the start of this year and Voila! Weight flies off, right? Eh. At least I was enjoying my exercise time and showing B that mom cares about her body and heath (remember that post, too? I don't have time to find it...). Some started to come off and once I knew I had to buy a JCrew bridesmaids' dress that only went up so high in sizes I was motivated.

Though it wasn't until late Spring when my good pal and partner in crime started working really hard on her weight loss, too, that we really started seeing results. When you're as big as I was, 10 pounds isn't anything to write home about.

Summer started and my trips to the gym waned (who wants to go to the gym when your husband is home all summer and your friends want to play everyday?! Combine that with 3 full days of work and vacations and you've got a long sabatical from 24 Hour Fitness...oh, and they cancelled my favorite class...bastards!). But my eating was good and my activity level was up with a stir-crazy toddler running about. So...I'm proud to say.....

I've lost 35 lbs this year! That means all the baby weight is officially off, I've got a whole closet full of "new clothes" that I haven't worn in over 2 years, and I've got a nice summer tan 'cause I'm not afraid to go to the pool! Wahoo!

August 2011: Not the best current pic I have, but since my computer SUCKS right now (again, a whole different post, but just fyi) I'm using this instead. Maybe I'll get time to upload something better. Recent times tell me not to hold my breath :). You get the idea, though!

Sure. I'm already working on my next weight goal (15 more pounds...come on!), but this really was a big moment. All of you who've done the same know how it feels. Whether you've got 60 baby pounds (no comment on whether that was me or not) or 15. Whether you're working to loose 30 to notice a difference or 5. We've all got our struggles and we all know how it feels to come out on top of the weight/body image battle. Congrats to everyone else who lost their weight and much encouragement to anyone else who's struggling out there. Man, does it feel good!

Now on to those next 15 lbs...dammit...

(and have I mentioned that B's birthday is in T-23 days?! A 2 year old!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bittersweet Goodbye

I truly feel that I'm being tested right now. We all go through chapters in our lives that we wonder why things are so challenging and why there just isn't enough time in our day to get everything done, let alone done well. It's often during these overwhelming periods that we find ourselves being faced with obstacles, tragedies, and downfalls. Unfortunately, my time of being tested must have reached it peak. I got the call last night saying my grandmother passed away.

My grandma was the most delightful, loving, loyal, and sweet woman you'd ever know and I like to think I got a tiny bit of her unique light she shed on those who were lucky enough to know her. So many memories of spending time with both her and my Grandpa have been going through my mind today...summers on the Lake Jewitt in Minnesota, horseback riding (and breaking my arm!) on the farm in Council Bluffs, IA, delicious breakfasts every single morning we stayed with them in Colorado...nothing but smiles have come up on my face as these moments speed through my head.

Since my Grandpa's accident 6 years ago (it happened right after our wedding, nearly 6 years to the day, when he was hit from behind by an out-of-control older driver and pinned between his car and her's...both legs were amputated and he almost died from a diabetes-induced coma), my Grandma's aphasia (a mental deterioration similar to Alzheimer's) took a rapid downhill turn and never really looked back. It's been a tough few years, especially for my Grandpa and my mother, so some feelings of relief are also flooding through our entire family. I'm doing my best to think of the millions of wonderful memories of healthy days instead of the few years of illness she experienced recently, as a way to honor her. You have no idea how many amazing pictures I have of me as a kid on adventures with my fun-loving grandparents...its probably for the best that I don't have a scanner!

So, I've already been struggling with optimism of late and this was a rather crushing blow, even if it was expected. However, I take comfort knowing my Grandpa can sleep soundly tonight knowing that his love of 62 years is at peace. It's hard to type a sentence like that and not tear up. I'll leave you with some images of my beautiful Grandpa, Beth, from the last 6 years:

At my wedding, while her illness was still quite manageable and before my Grandpa's accident. This is one of the last photo's we have of him without his wheelchair. A cherished memory:

This is a self-timer pic taken on New Year's Eve before 2009. That day, Jonathan and I had found out we were pregnant (SURPRISE!). We weren't ready to tell anyone, but we'd stopped down into town to see my grandparents one more time before heading back home the next day. The last thing my Grandpa said as Jonathan and I walked out the door was, "I'd better get a call about babies soon from you two!" and we just couldn't close the door fast enough before we broke into giggles! I know that baby talk was really coming from my Grandma, but since aphasia destroys one's ability to communicate (its not so much about memory loss as it is about communication - processing words, speaking, writing, etc), he did most of the talking for her over the last few years. I'll never forget that night. So special for me!

Meeting Bridget for the first time in October 2009. Though she was already in pretty poor mental health, she was determined to come down to Texas to meet her first and only great-grandchild. What a special time for me and my mom:

Her sister, Catherine, traveled with her on that 2009 trip (her last one to Texas) to make sure my mom had a helper on hand. No matter how bad of an aphasia day Grandma was having, her sister always knew exactly what to say to calm her down. Though Catherine was in impeccable health for a woman in her 80's, we lost her suddenly this Spring when she passed peacefully in her sleep. We knew that was a very difficult loss for my Grandma:

Bridget's first visit to Colorado for Christmas in 2009. This was my Grandpa's first chance to meet her, but my Grandma wanted all the snuggles for herself :) Seeing the joy a child can bring to such a sad situation is truly remarkable. I really believe that Bridget breathed a little bit more life into both my grandparents each time they got to see her. I'm lucky to have these memories of my baby with them, as well as having them at my wedding, since neither of my sisters will get those chances. I really am blessed.

So, hard times but I'm glad she's finally at peace. Now to go sneak into Bridget's room for a little middle of the night hug for Mommy. Bridget snuggles always make everything better. Thanks for your thoughts.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Are you there, blog? It's me, Anna.

Dear Preciously Patient Blog,

Well, as you can imagine by my 3 week break from blogging, life has been rather overwhelming. I've got so much to say, so much to catch up on, so many raises my blood pressure just typing it this sentence.

Here are a few reasons why I've been away:

1. Work (yes, this is my first summer EVER to not have a "summer break").
2. Playdates (though I don't have a summer break, all my teacher mommy friends do and I'm trying to keep up with my playdates while I can with them on my days off...if you know me, you know I can't say NO).
3. Social life (see previous number - I can't say NO, nor do I want to, honestly. My friends are so special to me and are pretty much priority number one when it comes to maintaining my sanity so I just have to make time for them even when there isn't any time)
4. Computer meltdown (our computer is over-worked, too, apparently because it developed a nasty virus while away in Hilton Head with us - when I intended on catch up on posts! - and demanded an immediate doctor's visit upon return)
5. Life (need I say more?)

I'm not taking a break on purpose, I fully intend on keeping up the blog because its so cathartic for me. Organizing my thoughts, sharing Bridget news, just makes me feel better and I can tell by my current stress level that its been missing. Our computer is all well and good thanks to my office's tech angels, so let's do this!

Just now I tried my best to go through my dashboard and look at all your new posts, too, bloggy friends. Unfortunately, it just stressed me out when I'd skimmed through about 20 new posts and realized I'd only gotten through 2 days worth. Sadly, this just means I'm going to have to start fresh from here and become a loyal follower of each of you again starting now. I miss reading about your adventures and seeing your tips, news, opinions and thoughts. That's another reason I love blogging and I believe it makes me a fuller soul - YOU! How's that for a hug today?

All in all, I hope to return soon with posts about books I've read recently, our Hilton Head trip (ahhhhhh-mazing!), summer adventures, stress about my journey into law school that's nigh upon me, yada yada yada. I need this outlet in my life, but my "me" time continues to shrink into the abyss. Anyone for adding more hours to the day? Or perhaps a personal assistant? Know of anyone who a) will be at my beck and call without pay, and b) will also promise to be invisible on a whim so as to avoid annoying me at all cost? I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?

I know things will fall into the place their designed to be at the moment they're supposed to. That's just how is always works because there's a plan for all of us. Sometimes it's harder to see it, but we have to trust that it's truckin' just as we all are (ps I'm a grammar freak and seeing all these phrases end in prepositions is killing me but I'm just too tired and busy to rework them...arg!).

Let's all raise a glass to living each day to its fullest, grabbing on to life as hard as we can and really making the most of each moment we're blessed to have. That's what I'm doing today. Are you?

Thanks for giving me my time, blog. I look forward to overloading you with pics of my blessings as soon as I can.

Hugs and kisses,

Anna :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

My heart is full today!

So, I'm sitting here at my desk at the office trying to be inconspicuous as I write this post while I should be researching, transcribing, copying, organizing, etc. However, I just couldn't hold myself back from sharing a little bit about my morning today.

Summer classes begin this week for Kindermusik and I had the most fulfilling morning with my kiddos and parents today. Sure, I'd love to say I didn't have to work at all and could be with my Bridget all day everyday (not that doing so is all its cracked up to be, right?! Hard work!), but this Mommy has to bring home some bacon. Honestly, after such a wild weekend of activities I was not in the mood to prep for classes at all last night. I pouted about the house this morning, begrudgingly drove down to Coppell, rushed around to get things in order just in time for one of my mommies to show up early. Mondays! Agh!

I had a smaller group today for the baby class (only 4 little ones), two of which were with me in the Spring and two new ones. Well, let me just say that my heart was so full throughout the entire class while watching these mommies and babies bond together and experience a joy of music that will continue to grow and flourish in the days, weeks and years to come. One new mommy of a 6 month old little guy seemed a little flustered at the start, and who wouldn't be if your 6 month old already weighed nearly 20 pounds, was CRAWLING, and didn't sleep through the night?! We all kept giggling about how mobile and agile he already is, though Mom didn't seem to find it quite so giggle-worthy. Can you relate?? :) However, I told her in advance how much she'd love "Quiet Time" and let me just say that after that portion of class was over I noticed her wiping tears of joy from her eyes as she'd watched her sweet, precious son creep right over to Miss Anna, climb up into my arms, and smile and hug me while she enjoyed a few well-earned moments of relaxation. I almost broke down in tears of my own right then and there.

It's a precious gift I've been given to continue to use my talents, even though I'm no longer teaching full time. Sharing the joy of music with children has always been a passion of mine, and being a Kindermusik teacher allows me to do the same all the while also showing parents all the benefits of music for the growing and developing youngster. The sweet, exhausted young mother this morning was yet another glowing reminder of why I do what I do. I hope all of you are able to channel your special talents in such a rewarding and uplifting way.

Now on to bigger and better...I can't WAIT to go home and scoop up my own little glow worm and snuggle her for hours on end! Have I mentioned that she's in a total MOMMY phase right now? She doesn't even care to go to Daddy. It's Mommy, Mommy, Mommy all the time. Tiring? Of course. Do I love every minute? You bet! I know the tides will turn soon and the curtain will close on Mommy for a while so Act II (Daddy!!!) can be enjoyed. Look for more pictures then. It's really hard to take pictures of your sweet one when they refuse to be anywhere but your loving arms. More to come soon!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Dream Came True (6 years ago, today!)











I used to say this was the best day of my life. It still is! But now thanks to my amazing husband and daughter, I’m happy to say I have TWO best days of my life. I truly am blessed and I’m so thankful. Happy anniversary, Jonathan!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm scared...

Blogger has seriously been freaking out of me the last day or home, I tried signing on and it pretended that I didn't exist. Thankfully, I could still load posts from my Live Writer and view the blog, just not through my dashboard. Then I was able to using Internet Explorer, just not Firefox like normal...

Now I'm at work and its allowing me to sign in, but I can't post a comment without signing in again and it's playing the same damn game of not recognizing me! I'm really getting nervous that my posts are going to go away forever as is the blog itself. Eek! Let me know if you notice anything weird about my page anytime so I can keep checking it as I find a way to back things up and keep posts safe. So sad! Boo to you, blogger. Boo!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wow! Could this day be any nicer? (Better not get used to it)

Since this could very well be the last perfect day of the before summer (weather-wise), so we made sure to take full advantage of the morning sun! Off to the Coppell Kids’ Country Playgroud we went!


Running into the playground. We couldn’t get inside fast enough!


I’ve mentioned before how much I love this park, but seriously, its awesome. There’s pretty much not a single weak spot in the structure where I’m worried she’ll fall out (like most playgrounds…when you have an adventurous one like me, you fear the open walls of the play structure!)…

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Eventually she spied the “whees” (aka swing), so playtime was all over at that point. Bring on the swing!

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She’s way into doing stuff on her own these days (the tricycle, walking without Mommy’s hand, swinging without a push), and she’s started saying the most hilarious things. Check out her quote in this video:

After a while on the “whee” we headed to the sandbox to get a feel for the sand before we head to the beach next month. I didn’t get any pics because the introduction didn’t go well…have I mentioned that B hates having dirty ANYTHING? Hmm…gonna have to bring Jonathan in as reinforcements for that. Please offer any suggestions for getting her comfortable with sand before beachtime!

Following the sandbox failure, we scampered over to the duck pond to feed some “quah quahs”. Much more running was involved! First, running after a pesky squirrel:


Then running through the field on our way to the water. Mommy: “Bridget, where are the ducks??”


We saw this beautiful crane as well as a majestic blue heron. Teachable moments!

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Finally we found an adorable family of ducks who weren’t too keen on B at first. She chased them right into the water :)


But stopped for just a moment to ask me to “listen” to some interesting duck sounds:


Yep, these bad boys were right on our tails! By now I’ve learned how to shoo away some aggressive geese and wasn’t afraid for one moment of these two. Stay away from my duckling, crazies!!!


She’s starting to get the idea of tossing bread into the water, but with even the slightest breeze like we had today, her’s never quite make it in so Mommy took charge on the tossing. These little ones loved the treats!



Of course, time for more running on the way back to the car (its time to get nervous about sunscreen application, that’s for sure!):


But even the most energetic of runners gets pooped eventually! Taking a moment to soak up some sun. I have so much fun making the most of every second with my little best friend…she’s the tops!


Introducing: Our family’s new baby, Arnie!

Well, its not technically OUR family…he belongs to Grammy and Pop…but he’s pretty much Bridget’s newest cousin :). Here he is!

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Isn’t he just the cutest thing since this???:


(I know, its so hard to believe Penny used to look like this!)

Back to Arnie (full name: Arnold Palmer Williams…Dad loves him so golf). Bridget was so excited to meet him and got tickled as soon as she saw him in his little puppy kennel…


Finally Grammy helps him out so she can have her first chance to love on Arnie:


Then it was time to play outside together!!! (Well, play for Bridget but run and hide for Arnie!)

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“Arr-Ruff, where are you??” (her new favorite phrase!)


Love him!!!


They’re going to be the best of friends and I love it so much!


Arnie was thankful for a break once Bridget discovered Grammy’s new bird bath she got for Mother’s Day:


Then Pop came home! This was his first time to meet Arnie since he’d been out of town for work :)


We had so much fun meeting Arnie that we came back to Grammy and Pop’s again the other day to spend some more time together:


She loved playing with some of his new toys…


And even wanted to take a few for herself :)


He loved her sparkly skirt, too!

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Man, was someone ever tired after all that fun puppy playing!

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