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11/19/18

I Did It!

Well, after 6 years of dealing with 3 degenerated/cracked discs, I finally (with the unbelievable support from my family) had THE procedure.  I had stem cells taken from bone marrow in my hip, and they injected that into each of my discs.  The 3 days after the procedure...well...it sucked.  But it was so worth doing this instead of fusing 3 discs in my lower back.  

We ended up recouperating at our timeshare at National Harbor, because the house was on the market, and I didn't want to have to pull it for the week.  Which ended up being a good thing, because we got an offer and accepted!  It can still fall through, but our fingers and toes are crossed.  We have found a home that is a much better fit for our needs, so we hope to move forward on that home tomorrow.

I am getting really anxious for Christmas! I love this time of year, and this year we signed up to do Wreaths Across America!  I have always seen on TV the volunteers that lay the wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery, and I am thrilled to be able to do it as a family.  




Eli's Writing Workshop ended, and with the holidays and upcoming move, we pulled Chase out of his program at the same time.  He hated the dance part, but he loves the voice and drama classes, so as soon as we get settled, we plan on finding a program that offers those things closer to us.  

Norman is still Loving being back in DC.  We all are.  We have a lot of neat things coming up in 2019, and we just realize we are incredibly blessed to have this time together.  We are also looking forward to a trip to Disney and Universal Studios...ummm hello! Harry Potter World is better than alllll of Disney 😜.  It will be so neat because my parents are going, as are my brother, sister-in-law, and their two precious kiddos.  

Well, I guess that's about all I've got for now.  I've been recouperating from my surgery, so not much exciting to report on.  Hope all is well with you guys! 
Happy Thanksgiving!! Ciao peeps!

11/3/18

It's 5:58 a.m., and I reeaaaally wish I was asleep still, but such is life.  Fred has crawled under my pillow, but I'm holding my ground and not letting my dog push me out of my bed.  We have a long day ahead of us today, with at least one house showing scheduled at 11:30, and I am really hoping to get another couple more requests by the end of the day.  

Norman and I are really hoping to get a date night in tonight, but it's all up to my back.  I think it knows it's finally getting the surgery I have been needing on Friday, and the past few days have pretty much sucked.  

We took Eli to NYC for his 15th birthday two weeks ago, and although it was a quick trip, we had a great time.  We took the boys to see School of Rock before it goes off Broadway, and it was so good.  We also ate at Eli's favorite Olive Garden in Times Square, bought ornaments for the tree at the Christmas Shop, went to One World Observatory, visited the 9/11 reflecting pools, wandered around Rockefeller Center and ate some yummy NY pizza...it was a great trip! And taking the Amtrak up was nice.  We will definitely be making more weekend trips up that way!  It did make me realize just how badly this surgery is needed though, and I'm super thankful I have a full 6 months to recover before we hit up Disney World in May.  I'd like to be able to ski this season, but that remains to be seen.  I am not going to mess up the healing process by doing too much too soon.  

That's about all I have for now...I'm going to wrap this up with some photos of our trip and then go get something for breakfast.  I hope you all have a great weekend!!!


















 And that about sums it up!  Wish us luck on the showing today...prayers are much appreciated, along with crossed fingers and toes too!!! I will be so relieved when this is behind us and we are settled in a house better suited to our needs.  ♥️
Ciao Peeps!!

10/19/18

Confessions of an MLM Addict 😜

So, I thought I might do a different kind of post this morning.  My blogs are usually wrapped up little updates, which is totally fine, but I'm gonna let you guys in on a little secret 😜...I think I have a mlm addiction. I also struggle with low energy because of a chronic condition called POT Syndrome.  No, not THAT pot.  It has to do with heart rate and blood pressure, and it basically keeps me exhausted 100% of the time.  I've tried lots of stuff that hasn't worked, but today, I'm going to start a trial month of Thrive and see A. If I can even tolerate it, and B. If it actually works.  Like I said before, I have an mlm problem..just joking...sort of...so a lot of things I have tried have been fails.  I will keep you posted!  FYI...this is not a salesy post.  I'm not selling or promoting.  Just documenting.  I've already learned I can't SELL mlm stuff...I just have joined like 20 for the discounts. 😂

And on another note, since we are discussing mlm stuff...I used Senegence shampoo last night, and I went to bed with a wet, tangled head of hair, and I woke up to soft, non tangled hair.  I already am sold on their lipstick...hence my order of 5 more colors this week 🙈...but I am legitimately shocked at how great this shampoo is.  Now, let me put a disclaimer in here.  I am cheap.  So I will say I've been using Norman's guys shampoo for probably the past year at least, so it could just be the fact that my hair freaked out that I actually bought some good shampoo.  But maybe it really is that good.  Maybe.  I'm a skeptic.  Again.  Not selling.  Just thought it would be fun to do something different.  

We are headed to NYC this weekend, and we have an open house, so this will be a busy weekend for everybody!  We are checking our animals into their pet hotel today, buying coats and gloves since all of our winter stuff is packed up, and getting out of town to take a breather as a family.  

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Im sure I'll have lots of fun pics to post when we get home.  Ciao peeps!

10/16/18

105 Days




I just took the time to count how long we have been in this beautiful townhome of ours...and it has been 105 days.  Never in my wildest dreams when we moved here, did I contemplate ever leaving here.  The home is truly adorable, and it is bigger than a lot of townhomes in the area.  Granted, moving from 4,000 sq ft in Texas to 2000 is difficult no matter how you slice it, but it seemed perfect.  The commute for Norman was a breeze, and the proximity to Kingstowne is great...Soooo, you may be wondering where I'm headed with this. As if the picture didn't give it away.

For those of you following our journey for awhile, you might remember that I fell down a flight of stairs in a horrible accident in 2012.  My balance has never been great, but that concussion and TBI just did me in.  My balance is...well...let's just say I'm off kilter most of the time even on flat surfaces, so these steep stairs are causing me more problems than anticipated.  I have broken my tailbone just since we moved in from tripping on the stairs, and the other falls have made my other disc issues worse.  

I went in Tuesday for a discography, which totally sucks by the way, bc they insert needles into your discs and you have to tell them how badly it hurts.  Not fun.  I do have to have surgery to repair my discs, but it can't happen until I'm out of this townhome.  Soooo...on day 105 of ownership here, we have a coming soon sign in our yard, and professional photos are being taken tomorrow (well, technically today).  I am heartbroken and still in shock over all of this, but, I have to get my back taken care of and get into a more suitable environment for me regarding my balance issues.  

The house isn't the problem...it's the defective owner that's the problem.  We know that the market slows down considerably after Thanksgiving, so we are praying for a quick offer and an easy sale process.  Worst case scenario it drags out until spring, but given our proximity to Van Dorn Metro, I'm hoping that won't be the case.

So yep, we are moving again.  We have vowed that this will be the last time, because I'm tired. My body is tired and broken, the kids are needing to not move again, so it's time.  We are going to be more picky this time and make sure this next is it.  We are all so ready to finally unpack and get 100% settled.  Say a prayer for us...cross your fingers...whatever it is you do.  We would be so grateful.

And on a side note, I received a message asking how people can leave comments bc it's not clear.  If you look under this post, you will see "no comments". Click that to start the comment thread, then after that it will say 1 comment, and click there to leave comment #2 and so on.  This layout is weird.  I love the private messages, but come on guys, comments are cool too!!! 😁😁😁

I hope you have a fantastic week!  Drop me a line and let me know how you are!!!


9/18/18

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Well, it's not quite 7 am yet...not time to get up today, so I thought I'd blog a bit.  This past weekend we were able to go to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and we had a great time!  The last time we went, the boys were 2 and 5, so they have grown a lot.  Look at this side by side pic of them standing/sitting next to the same lion!

Time goes so fast, it's scary! We also listened to live music, ate fair food, and rode on elephants.  It took us 9 years, but we made it back!





Today the boys have their classes...Chase has his performing arts (jazz dance, voice, and acting), and Eli has his Creative Writing class.  I am praying I can find a formal gown for the first ball we have coming up.  It's in two weeks, and I know I'm pushing it, but man do I hate shopping.  

This time last week I was doing emergency shopping for Hurricane Florence, which didn't amount to anything in our area.  Better safe than sorry!  We were fortunate not to have had a direct hit like the Carolinas.  I cannot even begin to imagine.

Alright, that's all for this morning.  I have dogs jumping all over me needing to go outside.  I hope you all have a great week!

9/12/18

Remembering 9/11 and Pentagon Memorial

9-11 is THE date that we all know...we all understand, and for a moment, whether brief or all consuming, the thoughts and memories are there.  I always reflect back on the moment that I realized what I was seeing on the t.v. After realizing it wasn't a movie being played on every channel on television, I was hit with the deep realization that the way things were for the 22 year old girl who had gone to sleep the night before with no fears...only adventure and naive feelings of security, had suddenly changed and life would never be the same, not just for me, but for the world.  I had this moment of realizing that Norman would be deployed...and soon.  That terrified me.  But it was 9-11 that solidified for both Norman and me, that we had found the other piece of ourselves and we weren't letting go.  Everyone has a proposal story...a romantic gesture...some grand event.  What we had was the realization that we didn't need any of that, we needed to plan a wedding.  There were no questions to be asked.  I think for most of America, people each had their own moments and revelations about what was important to them. We hugged people tighter, prayed just a little bit longer, and made choices that would impact the rest of our lives.

Norman did get deployed to Afghanistan.  He found out the night before our wedding shower, and he left for Kandahar on Feb 12, 2002.



In 2008 Norman got to be a part of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial unveiling.  It was an honor for him to get to help, and I was fortunate to be able to go as well.  Being there was such an incredible experience.  I was so proud of him and all of his accomplishments, I was uplifted by the inspiring words spoken that day, but I was incredibly saddened to see the pictures and hear the stories of those who lost their lives.  If you ever get a chance to go, do not pass it up.
For more information about the memorial unveiling, please click HERE.
This first photo is not mine...it is an official one, but the rest are mine.













I decided to write this post on September 12th for a reason.  So many people have, over time, left the remembering of 9/11 ONLY on 9/11.  We need to rember the sacrifices that were made, the lives lost on that day, every single day.  We cannot take anything...any freedom, any privilege of living in this great country for granted.  It saddens me that we are forgetting.  It is disturbing to me when I visit the memorials and hear people being disrespectful.  We must always honor our fallen and remember them with the respect they so deserve.  

We have a trip planned for NYC next month, and we are looking forward to visiting the memorial and One World Observatory again.  The museum is amazing, and such an important place to visit, and One World Observatory is amazing as well.  Make it a point to visit, to remember, and to be thankful.  It's more than worth it...and the fallen deserve it. 

Remember that you are blessed!

8/21/18

Thankful for this Move

Moving is always difficult, no matter if you move to a different subdivision or if you move to the other side of the world.  In our case, we moved 1,325 miles from our home in Texas, to our new home in Washington D.C. (Alexandria, VA).

We did a lot of downsizing, but we are still needing additional storage, so we are having a second closet built in the master bedroom, we ordered a new entertainment center that has lots of storage for the living room, and we bought a smaller entertainment center with sliding barn doors (yay) that I am using instead of a dresser.

We still haven't unpacked, as we are waiting for these things to arrive and be installed so we are still living among the boxes...buuuuuttt...we are getting our feet wet and getting out and about.

We had the best weekend! We started Saturday off with a trip to an International Food Festival, but after eating some Chinese and Greek food, followed by the obligatory snow cone (see photos below), we headed over to the National Postal Museum for a living History performance of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  It was so neat.  And the postal museum was amazing.  As Eli would say...Fun Fact...Did you know the Pony Express ran for less than 2 years!??!  Seeing how quickly the mail system developed was amazing.  I never would have thought that a postal museum could be amazing, but this one absolutely is.  We got to see the pistols used in the duel between Hamilton and Burr, a preserved dog from the 1800's that was pretty much the equivalent to the postal system's mascot, walk through a mail train car and learned about the first mail route.  If you ever come to D.C., put the National Postal Museum on your list of "Must See Museums"!

I got confirmation of start dates for both the boys programs, and Chase's program at the performing arts academy has an open house Friday night.  I know they are both super excited to get plugged in and get involved in things with other kiddos.

I am almost done with my physical therapy, meaning it didn't work, and we are moving on to the next course of action.  I wish I could say it was this miraculous thing and praise the Lord I'm healed, but...nope.  if anything, it made my pain worse, so after Thursday, I'm calling it done and I'll meet with the surgeon and see what's next.  I will say that A. I did have the coolest PT guy ever, and B. I have a medical professional who could testify that under no circumstances could I pass a field sobriety test 😂.  I nearly came crashing down off the table today while trying to do an exercise that required just a small amount of balance, and that scared everyone in the room.  Over these past 6 sessions it's been apparent that my balance isn't stellar, but after today, he put me on a mat on the floor.  Lol! And this has nothing to do with my injury...it has to do with my parents passing down some defective balance genes or something.  Haha.  Sorry Mom and Dad, but it's your fault. 😂

Beyond that we are feeling more and more like this is home.  It's truly amazing to be able to wake up in my own bed, and anytime we want we can just hop on the metro and soak in all the culture that this beautiful city has to offer.   I'm so thankful that when this opportunity arose, we took this leap of faith.  We may have not been here that long, but we are so, so happy to be here - boxes and all!

Have a great rest of your week, and enjoy the pics!!

Food Festival Photos



FYI - I do NOT know this lady...I just had to take a picture because her snow cone was as big as her head!!! Apparently not everything is bigger in TX!!




Postal Museum Photos













And then there's this...picture of a monk, wearing shades, on a scooter thingy.  This photo is courtesy of Norman...he snapped it on his commute home from work one day.   I may not have started my strange photos in D.C., yet, but this is a pretty good intro photo.  Thanks Norman!