Today I Might Visit The WalMart

So no pedicure. I started thinking about all the things that could go wrong with getting my toenails done here in small town USA and words like “fungus” and “ingrown toenails” kept me from braving the whole host of new nail places that have popped up here in my former hometown.

Apparently Pearsall is on its way up.

Of course, the new nail places are not the only changes to the landscape here. Thanks to the South Texas oil boom, Pearsall now has not one, but TWO restaurants named Jalisco’s. That must be some kind of record. There are also three dollar stores in a town with two grocery stores. Actually, it may be down to one grocery store – I’ll have to ask. But it was that way long before aforementioned oil boom.

So back to me – no pedicure but I did buy another pair of cute sandals and make a run to The WalMart. After WalMart there is only one thing you can do, and that’s run across the street to Sonic. And by run, I of course mean drive.

Fun fact: when I was in High School, we had an open campus, which meant no one stuck around to eat lunch. Either my Junior or Senior year (can’t remember which), I ate at that Sonic every single day. I always parked on the left side because it was a well-known fact that only gay people parked on the right. This is something I have learned to be true of most Texas small town Sonics, in varying formats. Sometimes it’s the “gay side”, sometimes it’s the “nerd side”, but there’s usually a preferred side that the locals park on. So lunch hour that year found me parked in the exact same spot, eating exactly the same meal: Number 2 cheeseburger, no onions, French Fries and a Vanilla Coke.

I would have gone home but I lived about 15 minutes from the High School. It was just too much to drive all that way then turn right around and drive back again. Besides, I needed every spare minute to complete whatever homework was due that afternoon.

My freshman year, before I could drive, I was friends with some upper classmen so I was invited to participate in a group called the Lunch Bunch. We would take turns hosting, which meant that we had a daily rotation of homes we went to. The hostess would usually provide lunch, chips, soda and (this was most important) – access to Days of Our Lives. We spent the hour discussing what was going to happen to Bo & Hope during commercial breaks, as well as whatever gossip we happened to hear at school. I considered my hour with those girls a greater part of my education than anything I learned in class.

Recently, I was flipping channels and came across an episode of Day of Our Lives. And there were all those same actors. Just older and with faces frozen from too much Botox. I couldn’t help but gawk at them for a few minutes. Then I realized the story line was exactly the same as it was in 1984.

Which, given what I have been doing these last few days, appears to be true of my life as well.

R & R

R & R

Well, today has more than made up for all the stress of our car dying and having to purchase a new one toot sweet. Or is it toot suite? I am unsure and I find myself less than concerned about proper spelling, which can only mean one thing: I’m finally in full vacation mode.

Oh summer vacation, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

So this morning, I slept late, drank coffee that I didn’t have to make, took what was perhaps the most wonderful, most relaxing hot shower I’ve ever taken – which might have been related to the fact I had not showered since Sunday morning. And it’s now Wednesday.

Next mom & I went shopping in the cutest little shop in town, where mom bought me an adorable shirt on sale for $9! Their sandals are also some of the prettiest I’ve seen, and ridiculously comfortable, a fact that was never proven more than yesterday when I wore them all over the San Antonio car lots. I’ve already picked out my next pair but am waiting to see if they go on sale before we leave town.

After shopping, I had the best massage of my entire life. There’s a lady here – a young mom named Dora – who is absolutely incredible. I’ve never had one that came even close – not in Dallas, Frisco, Austin – never. And I was sore from yesterday so it was especially welcome.

I picked up lunch for everybody, then after lunch, we all collapsed for several hours of nappy time bliss. We’ve now finished eating yet another meal I didn’t have to make and I’m debating between reading my new book or playing a round of Candy Crunch. I’ll probably find a way to do both, because I’m all about a well-balanced life.

And this concludes another episode of The Not-So-Young And Well-Rested. Tune in tomorrow when we discuss whether or not I go get a pedicure!!!


We Interrupt This Blog To Bring You This Special Announcement!

Okay, so you know how I’ve been writing about Hawaii and have been, well, kind of obsessed with the whole trip thing?  Guess what – it hit me today that it’s December.  And I have NOT ONE DECORATION up yet.  I have no Christmas cards mailed, addressed, stamped, or even signed.  I have only a handful of gifts bought – a mere drop in the proverbial bucket.  AND IT’S DECEMBER 5TH!!!!  TWENTY DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!

Not that I’m panicking or anything.

So I got an email from Creative Memories reminding me that I have to order any gifts by December 8th in order to get them in time for Christmas, so I clicked through to their digital center and my mind drifted to someone – who shall remain nameless – who I think would really love some note cards.  I’m not going to order them because I already have too many ideas for that person but it occurred to me that many of you who read my blog may not know about the CM digital center.

The CM digital center is not like the site where you order scrapbooking products.  On this site, you can print photos, create all kinds of photo gifts, design and print Christmas cards, invitations – you name it.  In fact, while I was on my trip, our Christmas cards were delivered.  I debated whether or not to post it here, knowing that probably all of you will be on our card list, but ultimately I decided it was too cute not to share.  And not to brag (okay, maybe I’m bragging a little), but I designed the entire card this year!  In other words, I created it from scratch, mostly using some of the new techniques I’ve been learning from Pixels 2 Pages (you can purchase a subscription on my CM page).

Of course, anything you buy on the digital site will be credited to me, if you just put my name in as your consultant.  Don’t worry – I promise not to put you on any list or anything!  I’m not into all that pressure marketing stuff, and truthfully, I don’t like that CM is a direct marketing company.  The reason I don’t like that is because I don’t like it when people try to sell ME stuff through direct marketing.  But don’t tell them I said that.  I might lose my status as a consultant, and my discount along with it.

So, this concludes our special announcement.  Now back to your regularly scheduled program.  That’s right.  I have a video from my vacation, taken with an underwater camera off the coast of Maui.  It’s hard to believe that just a week and a half ago, I was snorkeling and today we had snow flurries.  Go figure.


Want To Hear About Hawaii?

I’m aware that I’ve been a little, um, preoccupied with myself this week. And that I’ve been blogging about mundane matters like laundry and how tired I am and jet lag – so on and so forth. So to make up for it, here’s a little about our trip.

Wednesday: flew to San Antonio; spent the night with Bethany, Mom & Meredith close to the airport.

Thursday: got up early to head to the airport. Flew to DFW, where we had our last taste of Mexican Food…

…then willingly climbed into a tiny seat where we stayed for EIGHT HOURS.

I may or may not have kissed the ground as we stepped onto the jetway in Honolulu.

One thing I did do was start immediately taking pictures. Because pictures of the airport are always so meaningful.


At least I wasn’t the only one.

When we got into the terminal, we were met by two people: a lady holding three leis and a man from Norwegian Cruise Lines. The leis were from mom! (Technically, so was the Norwegian Cruise Lines guy, but that’s irrelevant.)

We took a leisurely stroll through the airport straight to the ladies room. Then we identified our luggage so that a very nice, very strong Hawaiian man could load it from baggage claim onto our transport van. By the time we reached the Waikiki Marriott, it was dark.

(View from our balcony of Waikiki at night.)


The very nice man who worked at the front desk at the Marriott upgraded our room so that we each had our own bed. It was awesome! I never even knew rooms existed with four beds!

I was so exhausted by the time we got to our room, I seriously couldn’t decide between eating or sleeping or showering first. In fact, I can’t remember now what we did that night, but I do remember being so so so happy to fall into that bed, and I remember how incredible the shower felt after all the traveling.

Our time on Oahu was not wasted, as mom had arranged an early morning tour the day after we arrived. I think we were initially worried about the fact that it left at 6:45am, but once Friday morning arrived and we were all awake at 4:30am, we realized how great the 4 hour time change was. Instead of it being 4:30am, to us it felt like 8:30am! By the time our tour bus left, it felt like 11am – which was a good thing since our tour bus driver was incredibly cheerful for that time of day. He could have been seriously annoying, but instead we enjoyed him thoroughly and by the time we returned back to our hotel around 6pm, we felt like we had a wonderful working knowledge of Hawaii and Oahu, in particular. But more importantly, we spotted a mall with a Nordstrom in it not far from our hotel!!!!

Here are just a few of the pictures I took that day on Oahu.

Here we all are looking chipper and happy before starting our tour of Oahu!



Wall of names at Pearl Harbor:


Greg, our tour guide:


Greg said he actually had someone ask once if this model of the airplanes the Japanese flew over Pearl Harbor was life size. Seriously???







I think the thing that most surprised me about Oahu – and all of the islands – were the mountains. I expected beautiful beaches and greenery and flowers. But I was not prepared for the majesty of the mountains. Just caught me off guard. Our tour guide on Hilo actually said the two volcanoes that make up that side of the big island (Hawaii) are the two tallest in the world – if you measure from the base to the peak. The reason this is true is because the base is rooted in the earth’s crust, way below sea level. But even though it doesn’t look that tall, they do get snow from time to time so they can actually ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon! But it’s difficult to ski since there are no ski lifts and you have to HIKE up to the top of the mountain.

I think I’ll stick to surfing.

Home…Sort Of

Beginning Saturday at 5:40am (Hawaii time), we started our long journey back to Texas.

At 5:40am, I woke up in my bed on the cruise ship and couldn’t go back to sleep…

My bed on the cruise ship (fold out couch)

…so I watched Oahu grow bigger and bigger on the horizon from our balcony, until we docked around 7:30am. We finished packing, went to breakfast one last time at the Lazy J…

Mom in the Lazy J

…then headed down to the port where the rest of our luggage awaited.

Our flight from Oahu to the Mainland wasn’t until 9:35pm, so we took the airport shuttle, checked in our luggage at the Delta Kiosk, then rented a car for the rest of the day. Despite a little rain, it turned out to be a GREAT last day in Hawaii. We had massages, saw a movie, ate a wonderful lunch, and shopped at the Honolulu Vera Bradley store!

But the time eventually came when we had to return our car and board that sardine can airplane for our 5 hour flight to LAX.  At LAX, we had about an hour before we boarded our 2 hour flight to Salt Lake City, where we had to run to make a connection (33 minutes from the time we landed in Salt Lake City until the flight to San Antonio took off)…

View of Salt Lake City from window of airplane

…then another 2 hours until we landed in San Antonio.

That’s when it got really hard. After 10 days together, our foursome had to part ways.

Mom, Bethany & Meredith went to get their cars out of security parking and find somewhere to eat lunch before Bethany headed to Austin and Mom and Meredith headed to Pearsall. Meanwhile, I switched airlines from Delta to Southwest, which meant claiming then rechecking my bags, going back through security, then boarding yet another airplane for the last leg home.  Thankfully, because we made the Salt Lake City connection, I was able to get on a much earlier flight to Dallas. I was landing at Love Field by around 4:30pm Sunday.

The highlight of my day was when I exited past security and four familiar faces were waiting to surprise me.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in all my life. In a heartbeat, I had thrown my bag on the ground and had three little boys hugging and kissing me, with all our tears mixing in the blur of cheeks and lips and foreheads and little arms wrapped around my neck.

Then I spotted my sexy husband, standing back, waiting for the boys to finish their reunion with me. He looked amazing in his navy sweatshirt and jeans – I don’t think I’ve ever loved him more – or been more grateful to have him all to myself.

We went to eat Bar-B-Que – pure nirvana after eating Hawaiian food for almost 2 weeks – then headed home. It was very odd to see all the Christmas lights and experience the cold weather dressed in my t-shirt, jeans and sandals, but I guess it’s time to face the truth – Christmas is just around the corner.

And so, after what felt like a week of not sleeping, last night I fell into bed and thanked God for seeing me safely home.

At 7am this morning, I woke up with only one question going through my  mind: WHY IS IT SO DANG BRIGHT OUTSIDE THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING???

But despite my exhaustion and confusion over all the time change, I managed to get the boys – clothes on – to the door of the school just a second or two shy of being tardy.  Which I consider to be a major victory, given the jet lag and all.

Then I came home and drank two cups of Kona coffee and when I couldn’t stay upright another minute, crawled back under the covers and slept until the dog forced me to get out of bed at 11:30am.

That was 2 hours ago and I’m still up, so I guess that means I’m on my way to conquering the jet lag.

Excuse me while I just put my head down here on the keyboard for just a second…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

[Update: I wrote this post Monday, and almost got it up before my computer crashed.  After fighting with my computer for a while, I gave up and decided to try again Tuesday…when I discovered our internet access was down.  Now it’s Wednesday and I’ve just gotten up from another 2 hour nap and I think if the stars are aligned correctly, this might even go live today.]



Pu Pu Means Cows

Our first full day in Hawaii was spent touring Oahu. So after traveling from 9am to what would have been 9:30pm CST, we got up at 4:30am local time for a 6:15 tour.

Our tour lasted approximately 12 hours.

We saw Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation, some temple, a Macadamia nut store, some spectacular scenery and some other stuff I can’t remember right now.

But the highlight of my trip so far came when we were at the top of the mountain at some lookout point and I got to see the actual island where they filmed Gilligan’s Island and sing with my sister and mother (my SIL is too young to remember the show), “The ship set sail on the shore of this uncharted desert isle, with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his wife, the Movie Star! The Professor and Mary Ann HERE ON GILLIGAN’S ISLE!”

To say I was a fan would be an understatement.

And to say I am completely exhausted would be an even bigger understatement.

Which is why I’m going to post a few pictures and call it a night. Good-night all. And since the only Hawaiian I can remember right now is that Pu Pu means cows, i will not try to say good-night in Hawaiian.

It would probably just end up being some version of the word “Aloha” anyway.