My next 30 years…

So my Dirty-30 birthday is fast approaching. Yeah, I am totally thrilled…. let me just tell you.

After spending a fantastic week on the beach for my bestie’s 30th I started to do a little life-reflecting. I started asking myself questions like, am I where I wanted to be at this point in life? As always the answer is, I dunno. I have asked myself where am I headed, and I dunno that either! Of course the usual stuff comes to mind, like I want my kids to grow up and be functional adults. I want my husband’s business to succeed. I am sure I will be dedicated to those two tasks for the next several years. However, I have no direction outside of that. You see, these I dunno answers aren’t new to me. That is because I really had no plans past getting to the age of 21. And even though I ask myself every year if I am where I wanted to be, I still give no thought as to what the future has in store for me. In fact I try not to make any plans past the coming weekend. I sound like I really have it together, don’t I?

I want to change this little fact about myself, starting now! In order to do this I feel that I should first make sure I have come to terms with my past and have a clear vision of where I have been.

So, to make sure I have a good grasp on my past I list what I see as milestones in my frist 29 years. I will start at the age of 18 since that is when life really starts to come at you fast. Plus learning to walk, talk and all that jazz is pretty standard.

  • Graduated High School – wasn’t sure that would actually happen at one point.
  • Graduated College – the first in my family to do so.
  • Moved out on my own – at the age of 20 and I haven’t had to move back in so far!!!
  • Turned 21 – I really didn’t drink but a handful of times before I become of age. Promise.
  • Purchased first motorcycle at age 24.
  • 7/7/08 – Tyler Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Married at age 25
  • Purchased first house at age 26.
  • Helped Husband start his first business at age 27.
  • Promoted to Manager at my day job at age 27.
  • Quit day job to work with Huband less-than-full time at age 29.
  • Took my first international trip at age 29.

Not too shabby, considering! Ok, so now I know that I have been sucesful this past decade by accomplishing goals I set as a child. Being the first in my family to graduate college was a goal of mine since middle school. Obviously in my formative years I was capable of making decision for my future. Why can’t I do that now? Why were buying a house and starting a business not part of a plan? Well, now that I think about it, those might have been “on a whim” ideas but they did require plotting and planning. We saved for about six months to buy our house. Starting a business never happens over night. My husband did act on his idea almost immediately, we did have to plan certain things out. We had to rearrange quite a bit to make that happen and are still doing so two years later.

See I knew this list idea would help me! I know now that I do actually plan things out. So maybe my problem is that I just don’t have a life plan. But since I am in the listing mood, how about I still start my “Next 30 Years” list. I don’t want to call it a bucket list because that makes me feel like I am giving in to the fact that we all die at some point. I am still too young to worry about death, even though I know it is inevitable. Next 30 Years sound less grim. So here goes nothing.

My Next 30 Years – TO DO

  • Visit all note-worthy dance halls and honkey tonks in Texas. Maybe even a few less note-worthy joints too.
  • Go to see at least one concert on the last leg of George Strait’s final tour.
  • Visit Australia
  • Take my boys to see:
    • The Grand Canyon
    • Snow in Montana
    • The Ocean
  • Watch my boys grown into men – and hopefully graduate high school and maybe college (and Mom always has hope)
  • Go parasailing
  • Watch the sun set and see the green flash at sunset
  • Visit something related to Pricness Diana
  • MEET GEORGE STRAIT – there goes that hope again 😉
  • Have my youngest son give me away at my wedding
  • See a real cure for Diabetes

I think this is a good start! How about you, do you have a “bucket list”?

Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Love / Love-Not-So-Much

My youngest son, Tyler, has been using his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for about a month now. I have stated before that I love it. I still love it, but some times not so much.

I love the fact that I can “peak in” on his blood sugar levels without having him poke his finger.

I love that it lets him know he should check his blood sugar because his levels are either too high or too low.

I love that I can keep the receiver in my room at night and it will alert me for the same reasons. This way he can stay a sleep and not be bothered by it.

I love that it will keep alerting me until I do something about his sugar levels.

I ultimately love the peace of mind it affords and the tighter control we have on Tyler’s glucose levels.

But some times it makes me no so happy…..

I don’t like it when it alerts that his blood sugar is low/high when in fact it is the opposite.

I don’t like it when it alerts me all night long, even though I know it is only doing its job and the real problem is I can’t get Tyler’s glucose in range for whatever reason.

I don’t like that he has to have another device stuck on him and the he has to carry around another electronic device. He already has to carry his pump and meter with him all the time.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this new tool will keep his numbers under better control. I know that this tool is helping him with his “Duh – I’m a teenager” moments, and me with my “diabetic care team blues”. It is just too much info at times.

DIABETES SUCKS

Don’t let my little rant discourage you from trying out this new tool. It really has changed our lives for the better. I do sleep better at night, when it isn’t alarming. The alarming is a good thing. It is letting you know there is an issue that needs to be resolved.

Any advice on raising a teenage boy with T1 diabetes? Or experiences with CGMs that you would like to share?

Cowboy Rides Away

Sigh. I have been wanting to write this post since I purchase my tickets to George Strait’s “Cowboy Rides Away” tour stop in Houston. I knew this would be a historic moment and it was. I knew I would get upset and I did. I knew I would want to write about it and I do. However, I am finding it very difficult to put my feelings into words and onto paper (virtual paper, whatever). I will do my best…. here goes nothing!

I remember the day I read the headline about George having a press conference. It sounded strange, as I hadn’t heard of him doing this before. I immediately expected the worst and knew deep down in my bones that the ending of an era was immanent. I hate it when I am right, some times. I tuned into the live press conference via the internet. I sat there in shock as I listened to what was said. I was shocked to hear the announcement, even though I knew it was coming. George has been singing longer than I have been alive and nothing can last forever. Troubadour   was my first clue. Then came  I Will Always Remember You. That one just about did me in. I still have a hard time listening to it. So I saw the proverbial writing on the wall, but I still didn’t want to hear the words that came from George’s mouth.

As soon as the press conference was over I headed strait over to George’s website and purchased my first ever fan club membership. Why I never did it before now I’ll never know, and I am kicking myself in the arse for my mistake. I purchased the membership for a couple of reasons. 1. I wanted anything GS related during his last tour. 2. I wanted to be able to purchase tickets before the general public. I knew this would be the hottest ticket in town for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Heck, it would have been the hottest ticket in town with out the rodeo being involved. FYI there was no rodeo that night, the floor of the stadium was filled with seats. After I purchased the tickets for my bestie and I, I felt a little better. I would actually get to see him at least one more time. (the cities and dates have not been released for the second leg of his final tour – so I might get to see him one more time, good lord willing)

Lucky for me I had lots going on from the time of purchase until the day of the concert. I would have gone nuts in anticipation, had I not. Finally the day of the concert was upon us! I was so consumed with the importance of seeing George one more time that I failed to notice that the concert was on St. Patty’s Day. A few days before, my bestie told me to wear green to the concert. I looked at her and told her I already was. I didn’t understand her reason for the order but I didn’t question it. The morning of the concert I noticed why it was important I wear green. It was a real DUH moment for me. Since I am still in my twenties (for a few more weeks, at least) it was imperative that we take in the day’s festivities….. so we did….

St-Pattys-Day-Celebration

Before we made it to this particular part of our day we stopped at Torchy’s Tacos and look, we were blessed with more green stuffs…..

Brushfire

Aside from spending five minutes with the King himself, that there is pure heaven. You see that little container of orangy-red stuff. That is called diablo sauce, for a reason. It took a few days for my insides to recover from that container! But like I said, it was pure heaven consuming that darn taco.

After we ate and partook in St. Patty’s Day we made our way to the stadium. We were giddy with excitement and I am sure we looked and acted like little school girls….. but we didn’t care. We were a little late to the show, but several thousand others were too. There was a mob of people on the ramps. But the funny part is that as soon as we got to our floor and got in line for drinks, we looked out and there wasn’t a sole on the ramps. Great minds think a like, I guess. So we purchased our drinks and headed to our seat to see Martina McBride sing (Randy Rogers Band was on first and already off the stage by the time we made it inside). Martina is a lovely singer and really belted out the tunes. I like her and all but I was there to see one person and one person only, so she needed to exit the stage with a quickness. Once she was gone, the stage had been readied for the Ace in the Hole Band the lights dimmed and the stadium became electrified. I can still feel it now, it was almost un-containable.

View-from-seats

The announcer did his job and ushered in the man of the evening, King George Strait….

here-comes-the-king

God I love the was he just saunters around like he is at total easy and in no hurry at all. Maybe that is just how he is.

George played for two full hours. Two glorious hours. He sang songs I haven’t heard live since the late 80’s. My Mother would say he sang songs I was born singing. I can’t remember the last time I was able to sing along with Live George to 80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper, and A Fire I Can’t Put Out. I was transferred back in time to when I first realized how much I truly loved George’s music. I was 4, maybe 5, and I had received a tape player and his Ocean Front Property album for my birthday (my first on both accounts). I am still so grateful that Gloria gifted me those items so long ago. I would sit in my Great-Grandma’s drive way, in a lawn chair and listen to that tape over and over again. I was also reminded of the memory of me watching TV, at my Great-Grandma’s house, and a music video came on. I didn’t know it was a music video at the time, as it was the first one I ever saw. The song was new on the radio and I wasn’t positive  that I knew who sang it at the time. The voice was familiar, then again I thought every male singer was George back then. But then I saw THE HAT, and I knew. I could pick out his Resistol hat a mile away, even at that age. The video was Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye.

Singing-Angled

Oh how the memories kept flooding in with each song. I was reminded of various stages in my life. It was so neat how I could be taken back to an exact point in time and relive it while he was up there singing. To say the least I was in heaven for those two hours. Well almost. He burst my happy bubble when he played I’ll Always Remember You. The tears started and their was no stopping them. For a moment I was reminded of the dreaded future. The future with no more live George. But when he came back for his encore I was back in my bubble and able to keep my tears at bay. I stood, well the entire stadium stood on its feet for the entire encore. The crowd went absolutely bonkers when he sang All My Ex’s Live in Texas, as they should. We are a proud group of people, us Texans. 😉 But like all good things, the concert came to and end. Of course he sang The Cowboy Rides Away. He has sung this song at the conclusion of most of the concerts I have been to, but this time it was different. For all of us.

His goodbye definitely hit me in the heart. I have been quite down and out since the show. Pandora isn’t making it any better. I have my Sawyer Brown station playing but I swear it is playing more George than normal. Maybe it is because George knows I am sad and is sending his voodoo to Pandora and making them play his songs for me. But more than likely it is just me being a bit more sensitive to his music right now. Either way, I really am not complaining. The more George the merrier! It is a love with out end, Amen!

Anyhoot, the show was amazing and I am truely bless to have seen it. I highly recommend anyone and everyone to try to get to go see history in the making.

I should dry my tears and remenance in my memories of George…… until next time!

Psssst….. how many lyric/song titiles/quotes did I through into this post? Anyone……anyone…..

Finished Reading…..

I finsihed reading Being Henry David by Cal Armistead, last night. I have to agree with Tara over at The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shh…., this book is a little hard to categorize and will leave you wanting just a tad bit more. Having said that, it is still a good book and I will definately recomend it to others. I originally purchased the book to share with my Step-son, but I ended up reading it first. He will read the whole thing in a day, so I don’t feel too bad for making him wait two days before turning it over to him.

This book is about a teenage boy named Hank, or Henry David depending on who he is interating with. He wakes up at Penn Station with only Henry David Thureau’s book, Walden at his side and no memory of how he arrived at that spot. This book with take you through his journey to figure out how and why he is in his current predicament. He meets some interesting and inspirational people along the way. Well they inspired me, at least. The ending isn’t quite what I expected and it definately left me wanting to know more. So maybe we can expect a short story that will tie the ending into a nice neat bow for us?!?!? Probably not, but a girl can hope can’t she?

This book is an easy read. Not a suspensful page turner but your interest will definately be peeked and keep you wanting to read more.

On to the next book…….

Ready For The Rodeo and Missing Football

It’s football time in Houston…… on wait, crap. I mean its rodeo time in Houston. Yeah football sounds better, and Clay Walker sounds better singing that line then I do. Any Texans fans out there?

Er…Ok, so today will be my first trip to the Houston Rodeo this year. I have been trying to protest the rodeo for several years now, but people keep giving me tickets. I am just too cheap to let a good set of tickets go to waste. And I am too jealous of a person to let someone else have them. But I refuse to buy tickets because the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) has become a big corporate event and quite frankly the venue sucks for an event with live musical entertainment. You see, the prices went up when they moved the rodeo to Reliant stadium, which was somewhat expected – even though Reliant holds more people. When they moved the rodeo to Reliant I did attend the first year in its new home I went to see none other than the King himself – George Strait. As is usually the case with George tickets, we had several of us online at moment the tickets went on sale. That is just how it is when George comes to town, so I am used to it. However, once George tickets were confirmed I attempted to purchase other tickets. Fat chance! It is becoming harder and harder to get tickets to the rodeo, unless you want to hang in the nose bleeds. I get really bad vertigo when I am in Reliant Stadium so I try to stick to the lower levels. I have heard a rumor, from a reliable source, several years ago. She told me that the reason you can only purchase tickets in the nose bleeds is because most of the other tickets are reserved for large companies, fan clubs, volunteers, board members, season ticket holders, and performers. I think that is a big bunch of crap, on Reliant’s part. I do not disagree with reserving tickets for people who fit into that category, except for the large companies. I do have problem with reserving such a large number of tickets. Before I started refusing to purchase tickets to the rodeo I would only find tickets in the 600’s, 500’s and on the floor. This means that all tickets in the 100’s thru 400’s have been reserved. Reliant holds over 70,000 people, not counting those who sit on the floor for performances. Keep in mind those who sit on the floor actually have a seat in the stadium and only go to the floor for the music performance. By my calculation that is roughly 11,600 something seats per section. Some sections have more and some have less. This means that only 22,000 or so tickets are made available to the public for each night of the rodeo. The Houston area has over 2 million people, which means only 10% of the Houston area population can purchase tickets to each show. When you factor in the number of folks who travel to the area just for this event, then even less locals are able to attend. The only upside to this situation is that the rodeo lasts for about two weeks and there is a different performer each night. Thus, if you don’t care who is singing at the rodeo, then you can pick the least popular night to get your rodeo fix.

As for the live musical entertainment compatibility issue, I will refer back to my first trip to Reliant to see George. As soon as I was in my seat I noticed two things; all the seats have a crappy view and the sound is horrible. I immediately wanted the rodeo moved back to the Astrodome. The dome is round, of course, so everyone has basically the same view since the stage rotated and their were four screens in the center of the arena. The sound was simply awesome, well as good as it could be for such a large area. Again, this is because the stadium is round. The stage still rotates at Reliant, but I think we are further from the stage. There are multiple screens in the new stadium, which is nice. However, the seats are stacked almost vertically so you feel as though you are looking down into the depths when trying to focus on the performer. Maybe it is just my vertigo issue, I don’t know.

Anyhoot, even thought I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling when it come to Reliant Stadium I am still excited about tonight. Blake Shelton is performing…. yummmmm. He is my new George Strait. I remember the first time I saw him in concert. It was at Reliant at the George Strait Music Festival, and I instantly fell in love. He was about 150 yards and 20 feet below me, but I know he saw me and felt the same exact way!!!!! I am going with my hubby, his friend, and my bestie. She is ready for tonight too, see….

Jess new boots

Get it gurl!

So when I am in Reliant Stadium tonight I will enjoy the show, I promise Blake. However, I will also be thinking about the Houston Texans. I will contemplate how, in just three days, we have lost James Casey, Glover Quinn, Connor Barwin and Kevin Walter. Two of these guys are headed to the same team. Do the Eagles have something we don’t? More than likely it is money. All these guys are worth their weight in gold and I am happy they are getting PAID. But it still hurts to see them leave. I do hope Kevin Walter was released to free up cap money, and that he will be back on the roster soon. Heck, the chick in the boots above just bought her first Texans jersey this year and it was Walter’s. I would like to see her in it again this year because #83 rocks!!! Not as much as #81, Owen Daniels, but still a great player.

It’s almost time to head home to get beautiful for Blake. Y’all have a fantastic Friday!

If anyone can shed some light onto what is going on in the Texans’ camp, please enlighten me.

And Spring Break Begins

Alamo

My family and I decided to take a quick trip to San Antonio for the first weekend of the boy’s Spring Break. Usually our trips are hit and miss. Meaning some of us enjoy the trip and some of us hate it. This is the first time in history that everyone loved the vacation. The only complaint was the drive. But it was a much shorter drive than our trips to Arkansas so I didn’t really understand that what the problem was. I guess we will have to find a portal and just transport ourselves to our vacation destination. I wonder if they have those on eBay?

I wish.

Saturday was our first full day in town and we actually spent most of it outside of San Antonio and the Serengeti Resort. They were having a Wine and Wildlife Festival. The day started off a bit rough. First Tyler forgot to reload his pump with insulin so we had to turn around and go back to the hotel when we were about halfway to the resort. Then when we got to the resort it was drizzling just enough to make us want to head home. Even this guy wasn’t thrilled with the moisture.

Camal

The lemurs were content to stay indoors through the inclement weather.

Leemer

We planned to just stay there long enough to go through our food/drink and event tickets, but about two hours into the trip the sun decided to come out and play. By this time our boys had taken up residence in the “casino”. Boy did they clean house. At one point Gage was up to several hundred chips. Here is a picture of some of their winnings.

Chips

The ladies loved playing Black Jack with the boys. One dealer stopped me to say how well-behaved and personable they were. She even told me, “good job”. Wow! How come the boys don’t act like that at home? I really shouldn’t complain because they are minding their manners when it matters most. Good job guys, Mom is super proud.

Ok, enough gloating….

We were only in San Antonio for a total of three days and nights, so we did as much as we could. San Antonio has tons to offer. It is a city rich in history, great food, and friendly people. We visited the Tower of Americas in Hemisphere park, which was built in 1968 for the World’s Fair. We also visited Market Square for some shopping, the Alamo, Mirror Maze and Lazer Challenge at Alamo Plaza, walked all over the River Walk, and even squeezed in a Ghost and Legends tour Sunday evening. I do believe the tour was one of the high points of our trip. Randy is a great story-teller.

I am really pleased that everyone had such a good time on our mini-vacation. It was nice to spend time together with no school or work worries. The kids next stop for their Spring Break is Mimaw’s house. I must admit I am looking forward to a few kid-free days.

Teenagers…. oh my!

So I have two teenage boys who I am sure are becoming less mature each day. So last night I chose to leave the boys at home so I can visit a friend. I thought this would be an easy event, but I was wrong. When the boys and I got home I instructed them on what needed to be done. I didn’t need them to do much in the way of chores but I did need them to pack everything for our quick trip this weekend. I stayed until the chores were done, since I figured this particular item on their to-do list would most likely not get done. Once I was satisfied with the vacuuming and sweeping they had done I grabbed my things and headed for the door. I reminded my oldest that his laundry had to be finished so he would have clean clothes to take on the trip. I let him know that my clothes weren’t quite finished in the dryer and to please leave them in the near by basket when he moved  his over. The last thing I said before I shut the door was that they needed to eat in an hour, which would be right around 6 pm.

Then I high tailed it! I wanted just a couple of hours of kid free adult time. The last little bit I could get before we head out today. I love my boys but they have really been working my nerves lately. I thought I would do us all a favor and get some separation before we to spend the next 71 or so hours together.

I am here to tell you that they must have really enjoyed my idea and used the free time to do absolutely nothing. I had to call my diabetic son around 6:45 pm, to make sure he had eaten and to find out how his blood sugars were doing. He hadn’t even thought about eating. I instructed him to immediately feed himself and let me know what his blood sugar was before he ate. I left the conversation at that since I could already tell I would not be a happy person when I returned home. If the boy could be bothered to feed himself, then him and his step-brother must be occupied with doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing, like watching TV. You see, both my boys thought it would be a great idea to bring home progress reports with C’s and D’s. How did they get those C’s and D’s you ask? Simple, they just didn’t feel the need to turn in some of their assignments. Zeros are never tolerated in our house. C’s and D’s are only acceptable if they are having a hard time in a particular subject, but only after going to tutorials and studying. None of those applied to either child for this particular progress report.

When I returned home I found that my oldest hadn’t moved any clothes around in the washer and dryer, my youngest hadn’t packed his bag with the clothes I had already approved earlier, and I could tell the TV had been recently on. I let them know that I was completely disappointed with them for doing NOTHING while I was gone and that they will continue to be under 24/7 adult supervision for the rest of their lives.

The trip is today and I am dreading it. I do not understand why I have to hold the hand of a 13 and 15 year old in order to get them to do what they are told. At this rate I am afraid they will never be able to move out of my house when they become adults. It will not be from my lack of instruction, but from their complete laziness.

I know I can not be the only one with brain-dead teenage boys…… am I?  Anyone…….anyone…

January Vacations are Bad for You

So it was a little chilly this morning, as it has been for the last week or so. I really don’t like the cold, at all….nope. Actually I can honestly say I hate it. This year’s winter has really been messing with my head, even more so than normal. I know I live in Texas so I must always have a jacket handy while I wear tank tops and flip flops 24/7. However, this unusual warm winter, coupled with my vacation to Turks in January, has me begging for Spring to show up. I really think the vacation has more to do with my eagerness for spring than anything else.

My best friend, her co-best friend, her immediate family, myself and a few other of her family members took off to Turks & Caicos in the middle of January for her 30th birthday. It was a trip and a half for many, many reason. When we left Houston it was in the 40’s. I think. It was 4 in the morning so my brain was not quite functioning at it’s normal level. I think I have a picture of that dreadful clock…..

Ok, so at some point I was in the car at 3:30 am. I really need to plan my flights better, geez.

So we get our sleepy behinds on the plane and head to Georgia to pick up the co-best friend, then head to Turks. I do my best to catch a little sleep on this flight because I know I have a long-fun-filled 8 days ahead of me. I sleep a little here and there, get a drink as we get closer, try to nap one more time but I can see land so that is a no-go. I catch this awesome picture of our plane flying over Chaulk Sound right before we land.

And when we got to our rental house this is what greeted us from the backdoor…..

We spent our days doing things like this…..

And this…..

And this……

That poor statue got molested…but I’ll keep those photos off the web!
We also spent our time looking at things like this…
And this…
Don’t worry. No animals were harmed during this vacation!
Yes, I am completely convinced now that it is the January vacation that has me begging for Spring. I do have a tan to maintain, hello!
Here’s to you Jess, Glad You Born!