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Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Madness

As March Madness is in full swing, people start to get a little more mouthy about teams. Sometimes that calls for good rivarly, as long as its in good taste. I don't know what it is about basketball, but from my stand point the state of Kentucky has some awesome fans. Now, granite, I am not a huge sport fanatic, but for as long as I can remember the University of Kentucky has always been a huge part of my life. My father is a season ticket holder and when it's game time all focus is on that. God forbid some one talk. I can still hear my poor mother trying to hold four kids down, which usually was a ton more because we always had friends over and she would say "Hold all questions and comments until commercial." Of course when we didn't listen, the next comment wasn't usually so sweet. (laughing) With that being said, I was happy to cheer on my Kentucky Wildcats at today's game. John Calipari, the head coach is so hot! UK is ranked #1 and they played #22 Florida with a win 74-71.

Another one of our teams is the University of Louisville, in which they are playing Cincinnati right now as I type this - and winning, I might add! I love how the mascot is a Cardinal and it has teeth! Awesome! I guess I'm one of the very few, rare individuals in this town that cheers for both teams. The only time I don't is when they play each other (in that case I'm for the C-A-T-S). So, no offense to the other teams out there, but this girl is cheering on my two teams.

This has been a good weekend. My brother and his wife came over last night and we played cards. Today was kind of a relaxer day. The weather was beautiful, so the kids played outside most of the day. I was checking out Pinterest and came across a donut recipe and instantly thought of a fond childhood memory and wanted to experience it with my kids. As a child, every now and then, my parents and all the kids would make home made donuts. I remember it always being so fun. However, my kids didn't share the same opinion. Marissa pushed her chair up to the sink and played in the water the whole time. Casie was dumping a ton of sugar in the cinnamon mix. And when Tommy wasn't climbing up the counter, he was running wild through the kitchen. I stepped out on the front porch for something and was then locked out. Note to self, no more sugar for these kids! I didn't freak out, instead I sat down and enjoyed the silence and this beautiful weather. That moment was short lived. (laughing)

Rumor around town is that Brent has a few charges pending against him. I can't confirm or deny this at this time, but I have to admit when I hear these things I feel a sigh of relief of being away from him. So, as it stands right now our final divorce trial is in May. I ended up signing the Quit Claim Deed because I was court ordered too. But, considering the house is in foreclosure from failure to pay since May 2011 I'm not too worried about it. The "Gamblin' Granny" (aka Brent's Mom) sent Casie a birthday present, so I had her call to thank her. It was weird. They don't know each other, so it was hard to hold a conversation. After a few seconds she asked if she could talk to me. Casie responded "No, she doesn't really want to talk but here's my Granny." She was right, I didn't want to talk, but it should have been handled more appropriately. But, I let it slide. My Mom talked to her about typical things and actually found out that my father-in-law was color blind. That might be the reason that Tommy isn't grasping his colors. Anyway, there was no mentioning of Brent and the conversation didn't last very long. So, I felt that since Brent's brothers' reached out in the past that I would let them know about the charges I've been hearing about. So, I sent a text page. Guess what? Neither responded. It's no big deal really. Like I've said a million times: (1) Blood is thicker then water. (2) I never knew them before and I really don't want to know them now. I just thought if I was in their shoes, I would want to know. Even though Brent is a monster, I still care about him. It's in my best interest to stop communicating at all with that family though. The divorce will be final in May. And besides Brent - my children don't even know the rest of them. I will keep in contact with my step-daughter, hopefully forever, and even though my children don't get to see their other siblings - they know them and love them!

Good luck to all the teams in the tournament and may the best one win!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Whole New Perspective

I know I shouldn't be writing, but for some reason I'm drawn to my blog this morning. So, I figured what the hell! Since the last time I wrote, a lot has happened.

I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert and had a blast. Our seats were awesome, but more importantly I was with family - and if you know my family, they are a blast! My nephew and his friend came to town and was staying at my sisters. It was only natural that the "pre-party" started there. After a few frosty mugs, my brother-in-law dropped us off downtown for all the parrothead festivities! We bounced around to the different bars, street parties, and saw some interesting sights to say the least. My wild, crazy cousin from my Mom's side of the family was there with her husband and their friends. And to add madness to the mix, my wild, crazy cousin from my Dad's side of the family was there with her friends. Not to mention, most of Louisville! It seemed like everyone was there! Keep in mind that as a single mother, I have fell into the routine of having no social life and on the same sleep schedule as my children. Needless to say when I made the switch to draft beer and 9:00 came around, I had it. I know what you are thinking and you're right I'm such a loser! Thank God I have the best brother-in-law in the world and he came to my rescue. I snuck out of the concert and scooped me up and dropped me off at home. Although I had a freaking awesome time, I was glad to be home with my three little loves!

On a sad note, I have to pay my respects to the residents and their loved ones to the victims in Henryville, Indiana and surrounding areas that suffered serious devastation in the March 2nd tornadoes. Wind speeds were clocked at 175 mpg, which according to the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale makes it a category 4. For 49 miles through Indiana to Kentucky the tornado stayed on the ground. But, that wasn't it ... Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia were also affected with 45 confirmed tornadoes. Everyone has their stories of what happened that day, some more tragic then others. All of the stories you hear from surviving relatives, footage on the news channels, or stories you read online or in the paper is so heart wrenching that it doesn't even seem real. The events leading up to that day were so weird! Here's my story:

A few days before the storm hit, my oldest niece started making grown up decisions. Yes, she's almost 19 but I feel very protective over her, and her decisions started to affect me. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't going off the deep end or anything. More of less common "issues" of a 19 year old that thinks she has life and the world figured out. I've been there and done that, so I felt that maybe I could get through to her. She's such a beautiful, intelligent girl, and has so much going for her. Considering my oldest just turned five, I haven't experienced the "letting go" part of parenthood. But, I can see from my sister's eye's its very hard to do. You just want to trap them in a bubble and keep them safe from the outside world. But, you can't. And I guess that's why I got so angry when she wouldn't listen and I relived some of my past experiences. Anyway, my oldest sister showed up and was showing me on her Smart Phone the storms that were heading our way. It was expected to be very big and heading straight for us. Storm chasers from around the country were headed our way and it was about that time my niece confirmed her move to a different town about 2 hours away from Louisville. My other sister was in Orlando on a business trip and her little girl was at home with me.

The following morning (the day of the storms), it was a Friday, I went to breakfast with my Mom and children. They were out of school because of conferences. The skies just looked weird. In fact, I remember on some occasions snapping a photo and posting it on Facebook. My Mom's phone rang about the usual time my Dad gets out of church - only this time, a very worried look came across my mother's face. Without saying a word, she fumbled through her purse and found a business card and quickly dialed the number listed. She started to explain to the person on the other end that my father was a patient to their practice and was having chest pains. The woman on the other end told her to get him to the Emergency Room, but she knew he was too stubborn to go and the lady was able to work him in the doctor's schedule. I took her home and off they went to the Cardiologist office. In the meantime, I left for an appointment that I had scheduled and then hung out at my sister's for awhile. The storms were quickly approaching and the local schools started to dismiss early, which is very unusual. I left to go pick up my niece from her school and finally received word about my father. He had to have a Cardiac Catherization and found out there's a 50% blockage. As of right now, they haven't moved forward with placing a stint inside the artery. Although, both of my parents have had heart attacks in the past and have stints in place, it's still a scary thing. As I sat in the basement with four curious kids, some of the divorce procedings started to unravel and my nerves had it at that point. Yes, unfortuately, I'm still legally married. But, when the storms were there - none of that mattered. You get a whole new prospective on life watching it all unfold.

Henryville, Indiana is about 29 miles from Louisville and that community was one of the hardest hit with these storms. Another area happened to be where my niece had relocated. It seemed like forever before anyone heard that she was ok. As it saddens me to say, many, many other's weren't as lucky. The current death toll is 39. However, two days later several inches of snow were dumped on Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky which challenged the clean up efforts.

With that being said, don't take life for granite. Even if you are thrown a curve ball, live life to the fullest, treat others the way you expect to be treated, don't sweat the small stuff, and more importantly tell your loved ones how you feel. Because, honestly, you never know if its the last time you will have that opportunity.

As I told you before, I started this whole couponing thing. I won't lie, at first it was frusterating when I would hear these stories about people buying $300 worth of groceries and only paying like $20 and then here I was only saving $6 or $7 dollars. I googled more about it and got an idea to buy a big binder and baseball card sleeves, divide into each department, and place the coupons from the Sunday paper into these. Organizing these was a little time consuming, but saved time in the long run. I went from saving $60-$75 to, on my last trip, $101.54. I was so excited!!

I need to be saving and cutting corners every way I can because ... I'm thrilled to announce that I received notification that Marissa was accepted into the Private School that Casie and Tommy are attending. Considering their father doesn't help with tuition, I've accepted full responsibility in keeping my children at this place by myself. I've been asked a million times why I don't just put them in public school and avoid the whole tuition thing. First of all, there is nothing wrong with the public school system. If you consider what my children have been through having their lives ripped from underneath them. They've been through more in 5 years then some 80 year olds have experienced. This school is familiar to them. It's what they know - their friends are there, we know the teachers, the families, the priest, and besides the educational benefits, it's just a great place. Sure, I'm only 5 seconds from other schools. But, it's worth the extra 10 minute drive to keep them there. So, if I have to work my fingers to the bone to make this happen - I will!

I'm in a crazy rush typing this, so I don't have the opportunity to proof read, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes.

Have a good day! I missed you guys!