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Friday, April 30, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Because He Is Unfulfilled So I Can Be

Business is slow for Rick.

He's bored and stifled and it really starts to mess with him. He makes a really great salary, and any other man would just have the attitude that "Hey, I'll just come into the office, do absolutely nothing all day and make great money! Whatever!" But, that's not him.

He wants, he needs, to feel as though he is a part of something bigger. And it irritates him that the majority of the work force does not share in that passion. Most of the world is willing to sit back and do nothing and get paid for it.

There are things he could do, changes that he could make. But right now it might jeopardize our finances. So, he's sticking it out for now.

It makes me feel guilty sometimes. I get to be home every day doing what I want. I am doing what I was called to do, what I am passionate about. I get to take care of my family, volunteer at our school, tan, get my nails done, leisurely grocery shop, play with our puppies. There's not a lot of stress to my life, other than I am busy.

Rick is going to work every day, unfulfilled and bored, so that I can achieve my dream of being a stay-at-home wife and mom.

He's the kind of man who would rather me be happy than for himself to be. And I know that.

I don't want that for him and I desperately hope something changes soon for him so that he can experience the fulfillment I get to experience.

Until then, however, I want him to know how much I love and appreciate him for the sacrifices he makes for me and our family daily.

Rick Rocks ~ Because he's unfulfilled so I can be.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

52 Dates Update

Although I may be off by one or two, I believe Rick and I have had 16 of our 52 dates so far.

Things slacked up a bit for us because Rick has been traveling some, there's been lots of household projects and yard work to do and it is *ahem* golf season.

But, we are right on track!

With our cruise coming up, we will make up some time! That will be at least 10 dates wrapped up into one!

Asperger's Syndrome

We knew early on that something was up.

He was obsessed with light as an infant. I tried to hide the nightlight behind the rocking chair when I nursed him. But, he would squirm around me trying to look at it and wouldn't eat.

He would sit and stare at the t.v. when a commercial was on. He even had certain commercials the he would come from another room to watch. Most of the ones he loved were quiet, with an instructional sounding voice.

When he was a couple of years old he started methodically lining things up ... cars, trains, blocks, etc.

Then noises started to freak him out. But, it wasn't loud noises. It was strangely quiet noises, like when his baby sister would babble. He would hold his ears and cry. It got so bad that we had to keep them separated at times.

Then when it was time to start talking, he didn't.

So we had him evaluated. And we were told that he was likely on the Autism spectrum. We opted not to have him officially diagnosed {because what good would that have done anyway} and we were told by professionals that doctors would probably want to medicate him. We knew what the problems were: speech and social interaction. We would just work on those.

His problems were bad enough that he qualified for a state program that gave him a weekly speech pathologist. Then when he turned three he was accepted into our public school developmentally delayed preschool.

And that's when things took off.

His vocabulary increased steadily. They taught him how to complete tasks in steps, using picture prompts. They pushed him to be involved in group settings. They worked with him on tactile and texture issues. He increasingly got better.

Then when it was time for Pre-K they encouraged us to go ahead and mainstream him, with special services provided, which we did. He steadily improved more.

This year he went straight to kindergarten. He has been blessed with a phenomenal teacher, and continues to receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, peer counseling and sees the reading specialist. The school has loved him and embraced him and taught him and he is just a regular 'ol kindergarten student.

But, is he?

Not really.

He is more affectionate than most. He is smarter than most. He gets distracted easily. He doesn't like change or transition. He needs reward for completing tasks. He is a genius at video and computer games. Noise still bothers him. He stutters some. He is still delayed in his speech. He still loves commercials. He can memorize anything! He learns quickly! He overemphasizes rules and steps. He can quote entire passages of movies, television shows, books.

He is Eli.

Rick and I watch the sitcom Parenthood. There is a little boy on the show who has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism.

He is Eli.

We watch it and get teary. Because ...

He is Eli.

Thankfully, Eli does not have a lot (if any) behavior problems. He is so rule and boundary oriented that once the rules are established, he really doesn't break them. We are blessed with this.

We know that he will do something astounding someday with his life.

A mind and a personality like that was just destined for greatness.

Until then, he is just our Eli.

And we love him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday ~ Stinky House

If you have four puppies, a cat, four kids and a husband who works out in the yard, you are going to have a stinky house!

Although the puppies are now {mostly} potty trained, they still have that doggy smell! They love to play outside, so smell like outdoors when they come in. Then they sleep on the couch, on blankets, etc. The smell lingers.

Then, the kitty has a litter box that has it's own delightful odor, even when it's changed regularly.

The kids play outside and they have that "outside stinky smell" when they come in!

And, Rick works like a dog on the landscaping so has sweaty clothes that sit in laundry baskets until they are washed. Those add to the smell.

Have you noticed that you don't notice how your house smells until you are away for a while and then come home? So that means that anyone who comes to your house, who is not there everyday, smells the real smell of your house. When we have been gone for a weekend, I immediately walk in and say, "Gross!" and start cleaning immediately!

I have tried different things to get rid of the stinky house smells. Other than regular cleaning, and steam cleaning my carpets with vinegar water (to get out the pee pee smells), and dusting with good smelling stuff, I have also tried these things:

Carpet deoderizer. Honestly, the smell of that almost makes me gag!

Febreze Air Effects Wall Plugs. Those are the ones that have two fragrances that change every once in a while. For a while, those worked. But, I don't notice their fragrances at all anymore.

Candles. I love to burn candles! But, Yankee and other name brands are so expensive! And, again, when the same fragrance burns every day, it loses its effect.

So, what's a girl to do? What have I found that works for me?

The good 'ol Glade candles, that's what.

I went and purchased every small Glade candle that Wal-Mart has. They store neatly in a drawer in my kitchen, side by side. Each day, I choose a different one and burn it. I have about six fragrances right now. They are inexpensive (only $2.50 each) and I can really notice them all day! I was even outside on the back porch with the windows open and could smell it out there!

(And, if you're a prude and don't want anyone to know that you are burning a cheap Glade candle, you can peel the label off .. just like on the commercial.)

So, burning a different inexpensive Glade candle every day Works for Me to battle a stinky house.

For other great tips from other great women, go here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... it was windy and chilly, but in the 45 minutes since I got up the wind has calmed down and the sun is starting to peek out. Just another Oklahoma Spring day ahead! (Which means, unpredictable!)

I am thinking... about our cruise that's in 5 weeks. Cannot wait!

I am thankful ... for friends who know I'm a recluse (and even make fun of me because of it), but who will still call and invite us out.

I am wearing... gray fleece pants, a gray t-shirt, a zip up hoodie and Nike's (it's chilly this morning!)

I am remembering... how at a very early age I had an extreme need to be included, to be chosen, to feel special. Why is that? What makes people have the needs they have?

I am creating... my speech for the ladies at Windsor United Methodist Church that is this Sunday, teacher appreciation gifts, gift ideas for my mom and sister's birthdays and May Day baskets. Busy week!

I am going... to tan every day that I can between now and the cruise. Need to mask that cellulite while wearing a bikini!

I am reading... Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah.

I am hoping... that my puppies keep doing so well with their potty training! (I'm down to cleaning up maybe one accident a day between all four puppies. Some days there are none.)

On my mind... is how Rick and I see so much of our family situations in the sitcom Parenthood and how we actually learn some lessons by watching it. I've heard the ratings haven't been that great, so I hope it continues!

From the learning rooms... Brynne has an exciting week this week in Pre-K! Today a safari zoo is bringing animals to display and tomorrow their baby chicks are supposed to hatch! Eli gets to celebrate with his teacher on Friday at a special lunch for completing his year-long ABC spiral. Kyndal is "learning" while sitting in detention a couple of days this week for getting caught with her cell phone (hee .. hee) and Dawson's grades are really solid.

Noticing that ... I love my life right now! Could I have found the contentment I have been needing?

From the kitchen... still eating Weight Watchers, but loving what we are eating! It's amazing to me how much healthier and yummier our meals are. Doesn't even feel like we are dieting!

Around the house... is beauty.

One of my favorite things... is definitely my back porch. I love it! I sit on it so much that I am behind on just about everything else. But, to me, that's truly living. The other stuff just doesn't matter.

A few plans for the rest of the week... We have a busy week! Today I'm tanning, buying some birthday gifts and picking up Kyndal from school. Then she has a baseball game to go watch this evening. I'm hoping to sit down and watch The Biggest Loser with Dawson. Tomorrow Brynne's eggs hatch at school. That will have lots of excitement! I need to finish the projects for the Mother Daughter Banquet and write my speech. I need to make some May Day baskets so we can get them delivered before we leave for Missouri this weekend. I need to get laundry put away and seasonal clothes switched out. I need to get the house ready for Rick and Dawson to be here alone this weekend. Then this weekend most of us are heading to Missouri.

From my picture journal.

My little Oklahoma Land Runners. And, no, they are not SOONERS!

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ Cruise Countdown Weight Watchers Edition Part 2

Kyndal and the little kids and I are heading back to my parents' this next weekend for my mom's church's Mother Daughter Banquet that's on Sunday. So, our menu this week is rather short.

Rick and I are still on Weight Watchers, so our menu reflects that, as well.

Here's what we're having:

Monday ~ Grilled BBQ pepperjack chicken and grilled veggies and rice

Tuesday ~ Whole wheat tostadas with fat free refried beans, black beans and veggies (taco meat for kids)

Wednesday ~ Although FFY for the kids, making a grilled chicken salad for Rick and I

Thursday ~ Chicken spaghetti and breadsticks (Rick and I will have breadsticks made from Oroweat sandwich thins cut into strips and broiled with spray butter and garlic salt).

Friday, Saturday and Sunday ~ The big boys are on their own and the rest of us will be eating ala my daddy/their papa.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fun Times

Remember this group?

We went out with them last night for Berry's birthday (the blonde). We also had another couple with us this time.

The plan was to go to El Guapo's Cantina (a roof top restaurant in downtown Tulsa), meeting at 7:00.

Rick had been in New Jersey and New York this week and I had been home with the kids. The kids were just fine, but I was just ready for a night out! When he got home from his trip, mid-afternoon, he told me he was going to go work out in our yard and we would need to leave by 6:30 for dinner. I said, "The heck you say! Get in the shower! We're leaving as soon as you get ready!"

We ran a couple of errands and picked up a birthday gift and then headed to the restaurant. We got there around 5:30 and found a bar on the second floor. It was so nice to sit with Rick for a while and just have a couple of cocktails and some chips and salsa. Ahhhh! That was much-needed.

Then our friends showed up and the party began!

First of all, Berry's husband wore that ridiculous "I Love My Wife" shirt. (Seriously, I threw Rick's away after the Amazing Race.) But it certainly got the laughs started!

Then we went up to the roof to our table. We ate and drank and laughed harder than we have in a long, long time! What a fun night!!!

Here are a couple of pics of the girls. The only picture I have of the guys looks like we were eating dinner with a bunch of gay guys. Seriously, the picture was not flattering for any of them. But look how hot us girls are! (Thanks for these, Angela!)

After we left the restaurant, this late 30-something group decided we weren't ready to call it a night yet. So, we found another bar downtown. I've never gone to any of the bars there. This one was, um, interesting. Honestly, I looked around and thought about how thankful I am that hanging out in bars is not something I regularly do on Friday nights. It was fun! But, we're just too old for that!

We headed home around 11:00 p.m. and were in bed by midnight.

And I had something this morning that I haven't had in years, a real life hangover headache. And I only had four drinks all night.

I am old.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Because He Takes Care of Me

Several years ago Rick and I got Razor cell phones. Remember when those were all the rage? His was silver and mine was pink.

Well, along came the iPhone and Rick jumped on board. But not me. I still liked my little pink Razor.

The only problem? I couldn't text on it worth a darn. It would take me forever. And, I'm a grammar freak, so getting the sentence structure just right took too much time! By the time I edited and finalized my text, Rick or one of the kids had already texted me several times, finally ending with "Mom/Hon, are you there?"

So a couple of months ago, at my upgrade time, Rick bought me a new cell phone. It was a touch screen. I actually told him I didn't think I would want a touch screen because I am so hard on my phones. But, he traded in my pink Razor and got me a touch screen phone.

That was on a Saturday.

On Monday morning I put the kids in the car to go to school and remembered I forgot Eli's lunch in the house. I put my purse down on the ground {you see were this is going, right?}, grabbed his lunch and hopped in the car. I hit reverse and noticed some resistance. I immediately thought, "Oh, no." Oh, yes.

I had backed over my purse.

Did it crush my lipstick? Nope. Did it break my sunglasses? Nope. Did it crack the screen of my two day old cell phone to where it would no longer work? Yep! Did I have insurance? Well, what do you think???

I like to call these little mishaps some of my "endearing qualities" ... like running out of gas or locking my keys in my car. {I am the sole reason why AAA goes in the red every year, by the way.}

I know that when I call Rick, his first thought is, "What have you done?" and/or "How much is this going to cost me?"

Well, remember that Rick had traded in my pink Razor ... which left me with no phone. So, we pulled out his silver Razor {that blared "Take my Life" by Jeremy Camp every time a call came in} and that became my phone.

So, I have plinked away at the keys on this phone since then, annoying the poo out of anyone who dares to text me.

So, it was time for an upgrade and Rick was going to get me another phone. His iPhone had been cracked for well over a year and the screen was getting smaller and smaller. So, I insisted on him getting himself a new iPhone. He reluctantly did it. My next upgrade now isn't until next summer.

So, I have plinked away at the keys on this phone since then ... and the annoyances have gotten more intense! (on both ends, I assure you.)

The other day I was grocery shopping. Rick was texting me. All of a sudden he said, "Are you about done? Meet me at the AT&T store." I started laughing! He had taken all he could take.

So, I met him at the store and the clerk handed me this.

Isn't it cute? This is my new favorite thing!

I can text so easily! And, now I even like it!

But, wait, you say, this is a My Husband Rocks post and, as usual, this post has been all about you. Yes it is! And yes it has been so far. My Husband does Rock for getting me a new phone {and paying way more than the upgrade cost}!

But this is why he really rocks ....

When I thanked him for getting me the phone, he said, "I just like to take care of you."

That's why he really rocks!

Rick Rocks ~ Because he takes care of me!

(And, I've had the phone for a whole four days and haven't ruined it yet! But, we did opt to not trade in the silver Razor, just in case!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Take some time today and do something to appreciate this beautiful Earth! And why not do something to make it a little better?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why I Love Weight Watchers

A few years ago, I was at my heaviest. I decided to do Weight Watchers. In a matter of about six weeks, I lost 13 pounds, that I have kept off since then.

I love the Weight Watchers system for so many reasons!

My weight fluctuates about five pounds pretty consistently. When I start to head to the top of my normal weight, I just get a little conscious about my points and soon I have lost those couple of unwanted pounds.

Anytime Rick and I go on vacation, especially if we are going to be in a bathing suit, we will hit Weight Watchers pretty hard the month or so before so that we can be looking our best. We are leaving for Hawaii in a month and a half, so it's that time again!

The thing that I love most about Weight Watchers (other than it works!) is that we can do it fairly easy without having to completely change the way we eat. And, the food we eat is so much healthier.

For instance, Rick loves Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas. The main ingredients are chicken, flour tortillas, cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Most of those things are very fattening. So, by just modifying the recipe a tad, it's workable under the Weight Watchers system. I made these last night. I used our regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Then I bought the lowest point flour tortillas I could find, 98% fat free cream of chicken soup and fat free sour cream. It didn't take away from the taste at all.

On Rick and mine I just omitted the shredded cheddar cheese that you roll into the enchilada and just sprinkled some Kraft Free shredded cheddar on top instead.

All total each enchilada was about 6 points (mine were just 4 points each because I used whole wheat low carb tortillas).

When cooking your favorite meals it's just so easy to substitute fat free or low fat ingredients, stack up on the veggies, and still enjoy what you are eating. Sure beats eating something frozen out of a box!

And I try to work our points out so that we can eat a reasonably hefty dinner. For me, I'm only supposed to have about 21-22 points per day to lose weight. I try to have eaten no more than 10 points all day until dinner at night. At dinner I try to keep my points to about 8, then I can sneak in a bowl of cereal before I got to bed. So, for instance, last night I was able to have two enchiladas at dinner which completely filled me up. If I still would have been a little hungry, I could have eaten some carrots (0 points) or some yummy jalapeno dill pickle spears (0 points).

There are just so many things you can do and still not feel like you are dieting.

Plus, I love the way my fridge and pantry are stocked with lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Well, I'm off to eat some lunch ... a low point lunch, that is.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... another beautiful sunny day, after a rainy weekend.

I am thinking... about Eli's teeth. He has a permanent tooth coming in behind his first loose baby tooth that has shifted it way over. I am hoping he doesn't have to have that baby tooth pulled by the dentist. It's barely loose.

I am thankful ... for a teenage daughter with a relatively good head on her shoulders.

I am wearing... walking clothes.

I am remembering... my nurturing nature and what a need it is for me (my Acts of Service love language) ~ the puppies, my garden, my husband, my kids.

I am creating... more and more piles of outgrown clothes that need to be sorted and marked for a garage sale.

I am going... to clean the bathrooms, put away laundry, take a shower and go do some shopping this afternoon.

I am reading... Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah.

I am hoping... that I can find someone (hopefully my neighbor girls) to take care of the puppies while we are on vacation so that we don't have to board them for 10 days ... traumatic for them .. expensive for us!

On my mind... is me ... Rick ... a tropical location ... alone!

From the learning rooms... the countdown to the end is on!

Noticing that ... Spring weather brings out the desire in people to get out and exercise. Or, could it be the fear of putting on a bathing suit?

From the kitchen... we are back into Weight Watchers. The great thing about it is all of the fruits, veggies and whole grains I have stocked in the pantry and fridge. Even if we don't actually lose weight, we are certainly eating better!

Around the house... are so many Spring home improvement projects.

One of my favorite things... is caring for and watching my little vegetable garden, anxiously waiting for those first sprouts.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Today we are taking the puppies for their shots. I am hoping to actually sit down this evening and watch t.v. (we are at least one week behind on every show we watch!). Tomorrow I'm planning to get some mowing down in the afternoon. On Thursday, I have a planning meeting for Brynne's carnival day at school, and then will stay and do copies for kindergarten. On Friday, Eli is suppose to have an Oklahoma Land Run day, but there is a 70% chance of rain. This weekend we have no plans. I am sure Rick will spend the weekend outdoors working on the land bridge he is building over our creek. I will likely get out and do some deweeding (already!).

From my picture journal.

My vegetable garden ... sunflowers, tomatoes, marigolds, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, squash, peas, green beans and blueberries.

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ Cruise Countdown Weight Watchers Edition Part 1

We have about 6 weeks or so until we leave on our {much-needed} Hawaiian cruise. We always hit Weight Watchers hot and heavy right before a vacation (especially when we will be in bathing suits), so we can completely gorge ourselves on the cruise.

Here's the plan for this week:

Monday ~ Rosemary chicken kabobs with veggies and brown rice (didn't do this one last week)

Tuesday ~ Jalapeno chicken enchiladas

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Salisbury steak with steamed broccoli and linguini with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms

Friday ~ Turkey burgers on whole wheat buns and side salad / regular burgers for kids with chips

Saturday ~ Grilled chicken salad / popcorn chicken and mac for kids

Sunday ~ WW Santa Fe style soup with Baked Tostitos and Kraft Free shredded cheese / soup and grilled cheese for kids

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Needs the Y?

I am getting old.

I used to be able to pop up before 5 a.m. and drive into the Y to go to exercise classes.

I got to where I just couldn't do it anymore!

Then we got our puppies and their schedules really prevented me from being gone early in the morning.

For a short time I was doing Gilad at home. But I even stopped doing that after a time.

I haven't exercised in months.

And, I feel it.

I know that this has added to my depression. I'm not all scientific and technical and all, but exercise really does release that hormone in you that makes you happy. And as Elle Woods would say, "Endorphins make you happy. And happy people just don't kill their husbands." (My husband would be glad to know that.)

I have been feeling "fleshy" and yucky and out of shape.

But our Y membership has expired.

Who needs a gym membership when you have yard work to do?

Good grief! On Sunday I potted flower pots for three hours. On Monday I hand-tilled our vegetable garden box and mixed in peat moss and good soil and planted our garden. I was sore, exhausted and my heart rate was definitely up. It was a good aerobic exercise!

And, I have started getting up 30 minutes earlier and taking Crusoe for a walk around or neighborhood. It's 1.8 miles. He needs it as much as I do. It's been so nice.

I feel so much better ... clearer, more positive.

Exercising really does help with depression.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Depression Hurts

I don't think I have ever written about this topic on my blog. I am a little reluctant to do it now. But, I've always promised to be gut-wrenching honest on my blog. So, why stop now?

I've always suffered from a certain level of depression. It stays away for long periods of time and lurks around waiting for an opportune time to hit. Usually it's when I get tired. Then Wham!

I can remember times in my past where it hit so hard and so fast that I just didn't have the strength to battle it. I can remember telling myself, "I am too tired to fight it today. I'll do it on Monday." I would spend the weekend in bed, doing lots of crying, being completely exhausted. Then I'd pull up my bootstraps on Monday morning and send my depression packing.

My depression has never been the suicidal thought/pack up and leave my husband/drown my kids in a bathtub kind of depression. I just describe it as a major case of the glums. I cry at the drop of a hat. I am angry at nothing. I am extremely agitated at touch, sound and light.

As I have said a hundred times, this has been a situationally difficult year. Finally around the holidays I gave into what I have fought for years, and let my doctor put me on a mild anti-depressive. Life this year has been great! I didn't attribute it to the medication, however. I just knew that our situations had improved 100% and I just felt naturally more positive.

My prescription this month ran out and because I had been feeling so good, I decided not to refill it. I just didn't need it anymore. Seriously, within 48 hours I noticed that I was really agitated. Hearing the music to Super Mario Brothers was really annoying me. I was angry at the puppies if they were under my feet. I wasn't talking to anybody. I really wanted to be alone. I was having trouble going to sleep at night.

Last Saturday was a beautiful day! Rick and I had plans to take Eli and Brynne to the zoo. On the drive there Rick asked me what was wrong. I told him I didn't know. Because, honestly, I didn't. He could tell, too. I seriously burst into tears right there in the car, right in the middle of a sentence. It was so startling and unexpected that Rick even started laughing. I said "Don't laugh at me!" And then I started laughing. I had absolutely no reason to be down ... None!

That is what is so aggravating about depression. You can't stop it even when you know it's completely ridiculous!

I told Rick that I had stopped taking the medication and he asked me if I could link up the change in my feelings to that. I honestly had to say, "Yes."

So I refilled my prescription on Sunday.

Here's the thing. Depression hurts. (Just like the commercial says.) But, do you know who it hurts the most? It hurts those around you. (I really could be in a commercial.) Your husband and children can't understand what is wrong, so they naturally assume they are doing something to cause it. Your poor puppies just look at you with sadness when you push them away and yell at them.

It's not worth it.

The other thing depression does is make you completely incapable of having positive responses to situations when they do arise. You try to look through the cloud, but you can't. That happened to me this week. A situation that I might have been able to handle with clarity practically put me in the bed.

If a small, inexpensive medication can keep my husband, children and pets from feeling sad and lonely because of my depression, and make me able to respond with an ounce of positiveness to situations that arise, then it's worth it to me to take it.

I have learned that my depression is not as situational as I once thought.

It's true depression. It must be handled.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ramblings of a Wife Who Thinks Her Husband (Rick) Rocks

It hit me this morning while I was putting on my makeup.

I've been asking the wrong question all these years, or at least these years that I have been looking for answers.

I have been trying to always figure out how to make sure Rick knows I love him ... for him to be completely secure in it. But, it occurred to me that he knows that I love him. He doesn't doubt it for a second. What he doesn't know is whether I like him. And that's where the doubt and insecurities come in.

When I was a little girl, my parents were always going out with a big group of their friends. But they rarely went anywhere alone. I can remember a couple of times when they did, that I was worried about them. I can consciously and vividly remember feeling sorry for my parents that they were going to have to be alone with each other. I think I knew, even as a little girl, that my parents were not very compatible. I don't think they have ever been friends.

Within seconds of knowing Rick, I was in love with him. I was mostly in love with him because he tapped into me instantly. It's like he always knew me. It's like he knew exactly what made me tick. And, he still knows it. He can draw things out of me that I don't even know are there {or am too fearful to admit.}

I have had such a harder time doing the same for him. I think it's because he is always so giving to me, that I forget that he needs things from me too. And, his needs go beyond me being a good housekeeper, a good mother and his lover.

Rick has a strong need for me to be his best friend, his favorite companion. I have always thought that I was. But, I suck at being a friend. That's why I don't have any. I've been spending all of these years trying to find a good friend, and be a good friend to her. I have a good friend!!! I just need to figure out how to be a good friend to him! And that means learning what he needs from a friend and being that for him. Not every person has the same friendship needs. Not all men are the same when it comes to their favored companions. My job, as Rick's wife, is to determine his friendship needs and make sure that I am that friend to him.

And it's because I truly think Rick Rocks that I am determined to do just that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... The sun is shining. It's going to be another beautiful day!

I am thinking... about how I hit a wall this week with blogging, and I haven't felt in the mood to share any of my thoughts.

I am thankful ... for the absolutely gorgeous weather we are having!

I am wearing... black workout capris, an Eskimo Joes t-shirt, walking shoes.

I am remembering... a time in my life when I was that person that I am loathing so much right now.

I am creating... the wooden plaques for my mom's Mother Daughter Banquet at church. I started them last week, and worked on them more yesterday. They are coming together great!

I am going... to work on my To Do List today.

I am reading... Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah.

I am hoping... that the next two months fly by. I am ready for our cruise!

On my mind... are all of the things I just haven't felt like blogging about.

From the learning rooms... the older kids are doing state testing this week. The little guys are starting to do all of those really fun "end of the year" and "spring" things: hatching chick eggs, watching the development of butterflies and lady bugs, Oklahoma Land Run days, outside days.

Noticing that ... so many people spend so much time on appearances that don't matter to anybody but themselves.

From the kitchen... I am going to use my Rosemary stalks from my herb garden last summer as skewers for kabobs tonight.

Around the house... are piles and piles of spring and summer clothes that need to go into closets and dressers, winter clothes that need to be sorted and garage sale piles.

One of my favorite things... is freshly potted flower pots. I love how alive the flowers look {before the harsh Oklahoma heat bears down on them.}

A few plans for the rest of the week... I've gotten back on a much-needed schedule this week. Starting my morning with a long walk has been great! Them I'm ready to tackle the projects of the day. I've gardened a lot this week, and even take some time in the afternoons to sit out in the sun and read a book. The evenings are spent sitting on the back porch watching the kids and puppies play. Today we need to fit in a trip to the ortho and Kyndal's tanning appointment. I have tons of laundry to get done and other housework. Then tomorrow I need to pack for us to leave for the weekend. Kyndal is going to prom with a boy in Missouri, so after getting nails done tomorrow afternoon we'll head out for a fun weekend.

From my picture journal.

Just a swangin'.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Wow! What a beautiful weekend! We went to the zoo, Rick played golf, we spent tons of time outdoors on our back porch! Yesterday I planted flower pots for three hours while Rick mowed and worked on our landscaping. And then this morning while going for my walk, it was so great to round the corner and see the fruit of our labor. Amazing!

On to this week's menu ...

Monday ~ Meatball subs and chips

Tuesday ~ Chicken quesadillas

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Chicken kabobs on rosemary skewers and rice

Friday - Sunday ~ Rick will be on his own while the kids and I head to my parents' for the weekend.

The weather this week continues to be beautiful. I love Spring!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Check Me Out

I'm guest blogging on Or So She Says... today. I am really excited because this is the first time I have been asked to do a Guest Post. Go check it out!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Had a Great Idea! ... and so did half of Tulsa

Today was a beautiful day!

What a great day to go to the zoo!

And when we arrived we realized that half of Tulsa had the same great idea! Wowzer! It was busy!

But it was still fun!

We didn't have any agenda, so spent our time riding the carousel, riding the train to the playground, playing on the playground and stopping by to see a few animals on our walk back to the entrance. That's the beauty of having a yearly family pass ... you don't feel like you've wasted your time or money if all you really do is just play on the playground. And, every trip on the train is like the first time!

I hope you enjoyed your beautiful day, too!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Because He's an Idea Man

Sometimes our great ideas don't exactly pan out.

We had a bench on our front porch. It was actually supposed to be an indoor bench but I liked it outside. However, the weather had weakened it and it was about to break.

Here's Kyndal sitting on it on the first day of school.

Rick had an idea: Let's reinforce the broken part on the front, take off the lid to the storage compartment in the seat and use it for a flower bed in one of our front gardens. I loved the idea!

So, yesterday I planted all of the flowers.

Isn't it beautiful??

While standing there admiring my work, the bottom fell right out of it and the whole thing crashed to the ground. I couldn't believe it!

Rick was working from home, so he came out and we "fixed" it and I replanted all of the flowers.

While we were standing there admiring our work, the bottom fell right out of it again! and the whole thing crashed to the ground. We couldn't believe it!

So, now the bench is in a trash heap ...

the flowers have been planted in other pots ...

and he put together my new bench for our front porch.

He has great ideas! Sometimes, they just don't work out.

Ah, but sometimes they do ...

You have no idea what a huge project this has been (and still is). It looks awesome!

And, he's currently working on another one.

Rick Rocks ~ Because he's an idea man!