Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tanning, Poker and Grapes

Last Saturday my Papa Bear had the once in a lifetime opportunity of playing a home game of poker with two time WSOP bracelet winner Howard Lederer. He was so excited!!!
He woke me up when he came home and was bubbling over with excitement and stories.
I think it was one of the best nights of his life.
Sunday he and I went to go see Hangover was so funny!
I liked it much better than the second one....definitely less raunchy, which is probably why the reviews weren't as good....such a shame.
This was probably the funniest one. Emil laughed until he cried!
I love getting some color on my skin, but now with my neck and shoulder issues that's out of the picture as well....
A girl at work was passing around an Avon book and I found their self-tanners on sale.
I have never tried a self tanning lotion and the stories I've heard about them are just down right scary.
I thought I'd be brave and order Avon' Skin So Soft tanning lotion.
It promised results in four days.
This is before any application.
Scary huh?
After two applications.... 
And after four applications...
My skin had a healthy glow, no staining of the hands or clothes.
It dries quickly and smells nice and it moisturizes my skin.
I like it!
We've been hit with some crazy rain!
Lots of the city has been flooded and one highway shut down for a few days.
My grapes love it though... 
They're getting so big and heavy.
This rain has done them good.
It has even brought a little life back to my Peace Rose. I was so worried that I was going to lose it.
CC and I needed a little break and went for a drive...
She drove, I sat....evening driving isn't easy with my neck and shoulder some days.
We found this house and loved the way it looked all lit up at night. 
Lena's last day of school is tomorrow...then she's on to 7th grade...where does the time go?
Charlie has been an unimaginable cry baby and is rarely off my lap once I get home.
Work is work and my school it out too.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 2013 Birchbox Product Review

I was so excited to get my Birchbox this month. It's really like a box full of lots of
little presents just waiting for you!!
I have tried each product and LOVE them all.....
My absolute favorite is the Sumita eyeliner.
I have been wearing eyeliner for quiet some time and I have NEVER,
NEVER, EVER had an eyeliner like this.
It feels like velvet going on. It's a true, deep black and it stays on all day.
It gives you clean lines or can be smudged for a smoky look.
You can get it here now at Birchbox with free shipping!! 
My second favorite and also another product I will certainly be purchasing the full size of is this Marvis brand Italian toothpaste that cleans AND polishes. It is truly the best toothpaste I have ever
tried hands down. I love it. My whole family loves it.
Your mouth feels so clean and fresh and the freshness lasts.
I have seriously never tried a toothpaste like this.
I can't sing it's praises enough!
Get it here at Birchbox with free shipping. 
There was a small sample of Isaac Mizrahi's FABULOUS Eau de Parfum.
I really did enjoy it. The small sample had enough for two light uses.
It has a very fresh and sweet smell. Definitely a wonderful scent for spring and summer.
This perfume also has free shipping now on Birchbox. 
There was also a sample of COOLA Classic SPF30 Cucumber Moisturizer for the face.
I do not wear sunscreen everyday, like I should, but this moisturizing sunscreen felt so good going on and had such a fresh (cucumber) smell. It's made from 70% certified organic ingredients and it too has free shipping when purchased at 
I gave CC this Amika nourishing mask for the hair to try out.
She has much more and fuller hair than I do and I thought I'd get better feedback from her.
She really liked it and it left her hair feeling great and looking healthy.
Purchase it here on Birchbox. 
There was also a Pilot Acroball pen included. I really liked it.
I saw others complaining that they received a pen in their box this month, but I really like it.
It write so well and smooth. There was also a coupon for it. I plan to purchase some as soon as I can find it. I like pens...I believe you can never have enough. This is one pen I really do like! 
And last month they provided a couple of bags of Mighty Leaf tea.
I tried the Chamomile Citrus tea the other night...
it was THE BEST hot tea I have ever had.
The flavor and the aroma were just amazing and it came in such a cute little pouch! 
And if you haven't signed up for it here....try it for a month or so, see how you like it.
I bet you'll get hooked!
We had massive amounts of rain last night and today.
I love hearing the sound of rain and the way it smells.
I used to look forward to the rain coming.
My neck and shoulder have been hurting me something terrible and I told Emil the weather must be changing because it's hurting more than normal.
He thought I was crazy....and sure enough....we had flash flood and flood warnings through out the city.
My grapevine sure loved the rain.

I can't believe how fast and big it's getting!
Those grapes are going to be ripened so soon!
I have never seen my grapevine this luscious and productive! 
CC bathed the cats today.
I blogged...
and that's about it.
I'm trying to talk my girls into watching Silver Bullet on Netflix...
let's see if I get anywhere!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Missing Mom - One Year Later

Today marks 365 days since I have seen my mother's face....365 days since I kissed her cheek...365 days since I touched her hands or stroked her hair.

One year later it's still hard.

Going back to that day....horrible...sitting in the hospital room, looking at your mom, someone always so strong, weak, pale and fighting to live. The Bible says "Time indefinite was put in their hearts" and Mom showed that. She fought hard...we wiped sweat from above her lip...she struggled to breathe...she fought as long as she could and then her body gave out.

I wasn't there when Mom died. I went to pick up Emil and the girls so they could tell her goodbye. In a way I am so thankful I didn't see her take her last breath. I think I would have died right there beside her. I never, ever in my 34 years of life thought I would be living with out her. Here I am one year later still trying to make sense of it.

I remember we went to her apartment later that evening and just sat there. Just sat. Took it all in. Her smells...where she left her housecoat, her house shoes, her crossword puzzles. We looked at all the life in that little apartment. It was begging for her, screaming for her to walk back in it....just like my heart was screaming for this not to be real. How could any of us have known that when I took her to the emergency room for coughing up blood, she would never again step foot in her apartment? How could we know that only 41 days later she would be gone.

I remember reading that broken heart disease is a real thing. People have died from it. It usually happens within two weeks of the traumatic event. I remember thinking to myself, willing myself to live, despite how badly it didn't really matter. I knew I had a family and it was my job to be strong for them. How could I? I didn't know how to live with out my mom.

For the next few months I told myself she was on a vacation...on a tropical island with big elephant ear plants and no allergies. I told myself she couldn't get cell phone reception there. That's how I survived. I couldn't allow myself to accept that my mommy was dead. That just wasn't possible. Sometimes I would get angry. Mad that she didn't want chemo, upset that she left us. Couldn't she understand how we needed her? How I needed her? She helped me through every aspect of my life. There was nothing too big that she couldn't handle. And now she was gone and I was left to make my way through the pain and hurt and trials ahead...make my way without her. I had to grow up literally over night. I didn't know how to be me without her. I still don't.

I hate to say this, because I know I have so much to be thankful for, but I feel that such a huge part of my heart, part of me, died with her one year ago. I feel that though I will be happy and will smile, it's not 100% of me in it, because part of me is gone too now. I don't know if that will ever change or if I will just learn to handle it better.

My first dream of Mom was just a week or so after she passed. I dreamed we were all sitting on my, my sisters, my girls and Mom. Mom got up and walked to the kitchen and I got up and ran after her and I said, "I knew it wasn't true. I knew it was all a dream. I knew it! I knew you couldn't really leave us! Mom it was so terrible...I had a bad dream..." I reached out to touch her and she vanished away like smoke. I woke myself up crying.

One night on my way home from work I was listening to a song and it hit me....Mom is dead...she is really dead...she's gone...this is real...she's not on vacation, she's not just gone away. Mom is dead. I cried like I've never cried before. I screamed out for her several times as loud as I could....screamed for my mom. beating my fists on the steering wheel. I tried to drive through tear filled eyes and a pounding heart. It was then that I slowly started to accept the facts.

My heart is so completely broken, shattered a year later. I miss her so much. There are still times when I grab my phone to call her or tell her something. Just a few weeks ago on my break at work I grabbed my phone and said, "I haven't talked to Mom in a while...I need to call her." I turned my phone on, went to the key pad...then the pain struck my stomach and my wasn't going to happen. I wasn't going to call Mom. Not that day...not ever. I'm never going to hear her voice again. That's MY can this be possible?

In my opinion, Mom was the greatest mother in the world. Perfect? No. But I know she did her best. We spent several hours, her crying, me listening...that she knows some of the choices she made were wrong, but there was no other way for a woman with six children and no education. Her hurting because others didn't understand or didn't care to understand. I knew her pain. I saw it in her eyes...heard it in her voice. She loved still. She didn't let that stop her, but she had limitations. She was often sick and couldn't do all that she wanted. When we were young, she worked odd jobs, cash jobs, doing what she had to do to put clothes on our back and food on our table. I can honestly say there was never one thing I ever needed...wanted maybe...but

CC put this video together for her. Looking back I can see that she knew she was sick. I don't think she knew how bad it was. She started telling us about a year or so before she passed, "I'm not going to be here forever. When I'm gone, you're going to wish you spent more time with me." She started giving us things, little things. I should have known then. One night in particular, I remember she sat us down to look at old pictures. She was telling us who was in each picture and little stories behind it. She said she wanted us to remember.

I love my mama. I love her so much. I miss my mama. I wish she was here, especially with all this neck and back crap I'm going through. I want her back so bad. I just wish I could crawl in bed with her, lay on her arm and listen to her heart beat one more time. I wish I had my mama.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Need More Like It

Yesterday was one of those rare days where everything pretty much just went right. Work was good. Traffic was good. Coffee was good.

Yesterday evening I came home and rested on the couch. We watched some My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding episodes I had DVR'd.

I love that show. Papa Bear doesn't "get" why I watch it...but honestly, who wouldn't like to look at pretty dresses like these...

We ordered Pizza Hut's Cheesy Pocket Pizza...

It was soooo good....
And CC made a delicious spinach salad...

I got to bed around 10:30 which is SUPER early and I only woke up once.
I could definitely use more evenings like these!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Birchbox Product Reviews...

I read about Birchbox on several other blogs and decided to try it out...
once you receive your email, you pay $10 per month to receive a box full of sample
and occasionally full size products to try out.
The products range from hair products to make up to accessories to body wash, lotions and perfumes.
Basically what you do to sign up is complete some profile questions, likes and dislikes
and as soon as a spot becomes available, you are sent an email.
It's a fun, inexpensive way to try new products and you get a cute little "gift" in the mail each  month! 
I'm a little behind on my reviews...
but here are the ones I use the most....
This MAKE brand Dual Phase Eye Make Remover worked very well with light to moderate amounts of eye makeup. It didn't remove my mascara that well and I still had to use an make up remover pad, but otherwise it was good and it didn't feel oily afterwards.
I really, really like this Supergoop anti-aging eyecream with 37 SPF.
It went on and absorbed easily AND didn't make my eyes burn or hurt.
I plan on using quite a bit of this this summer!
I absolutely love this MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick in Taffy.
It goes on easy, doesn't feel greasy and lasted several hours.
I will be purchasing the full size and using it this spring/summer as well.
I can't say enough good things about it! 
I was really happy they sent dry shampoo because I have been wanting to try it for some time, but didn't want to spend money on something I wasn't sure I would like.
You spray it on, let it sit, then blow dry and brush it out.
This stuff really works AND it adds volume!!!
I loved it!
My hair looked so good, not greasy or powdery. It didn't leave behind any residue.
It was wonderful. I have used it several times on day old hair.
I received a few other items... like a mood color changing nail polish, herbal hot teas, a shave cream and Sicilian body gel. My girls used these products and haven't yet given feedback, so they must have been pretty good!
Sooooo....if you haven't signed up for Birchbox do it here...
It's a great way to build up a little collection, try new items and get a little something fun in the mail each month.
My May 2013 Birchbox is coming today and I cannot wait!
We've had some rainy and cool weather the past few days.
I used to absolutely LOVE this type of weather, however, now with my neck and shoulder
this weather just aggravates it even more and I end up spending most of my day in pain and with a migraine headache.
Anyway, this weather makes me want to bake!
I made sausage rolls for breakfast one morning.
They are no where near how mama used to make them
but they were good and hit the spot!
I'm back to the doctor for a second day in a row later today.
I am getting so tired of this.
Here's to hoping something can be done to make me feel like me again!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Playing Catch Up Again

With the one year anniversary of Mom's death coming so soon...gosh, I can't even believe I just typed still seems so unreal...
I have been really sad...couple that with my neck and shoulder pain...
I've been one unhappy person.
I needed fresh air.
So I went to my happy place....
and took my babies with me.
There is nothing about this place that doesn't make me happy.
I love feeling the sun on my skin, hearing the water run over the rapids....
it soothes my soul. 
While it did nothing to ease the pain in my neck and shoulder,
it did calm the ache in my heart. 
My Papa Bear went to Oklahoma with his friend and on the way back he brought me a little present.
Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE Elvis!!!
He and his friend stopped at an antique store on the way home and he brought me two Elvis records and a framed picture.
Ahhhhh....he knows what makes my heart happy!
And I was just thinking how I would love to find a record player and buy some old records. 
When I was little Mom would always have something playing on her record player.
I love the clicks and pops on it.
We listed to Abracadabra and Leo Sayer probably thousands of times!
My red cutter rose gave me some beautiful blooms. 
I found an old glass jar and filled it with water for my roses.
My friend Pam came over and told me how pretty they were.
They went home with her. 
I've been enjoying more than I should of these....
my jeans aren't going to thank me later!! 
When did my baby get so big???
She's going to be a teenager next year.
Where did the time go??? 
And speaking of my baby....
she and CC have this obsession with me and Shaq.
They call him Shaq daddy.
She was snickering and giggling on her computer one evening
and this is what she created..... 
We also visited the Botanical Gardens.
I have always wanted to go. It was so beautiful!
There are just too many pictures for this will need one of it's own.
I did my first spinal injection.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, however, it didn't deliver the desired results.