Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Walk from Obesity

Many of you know that for the past several months I have been on Weight Watchers in hopes of losing weight to be able to try to get pregnant. The past 12 weeks have been very successful and I really enjoy the program. I have even met my Labor Day goal 4 days ahead of schedule. I've worked hard to eat healthy and exercise. And the hard work has paid off.

What some of you may not know, is that I have battled obesity for a very very long time. I have struggled with being overweight for as long as I can remember. I've tried to keep it hidden under baggy clothes and tried to live the lifestyle of someone who is care-free and can participate in the same activities that all of my friends and family do. But what many of those friends and family don't know is that, I am tormented with the fear everyday of not being able to do all that I want to.

I have anxiety when I meet new people or go to a place I've never been. "What will they think?," "Are they staring at me?," "What if I'm put in an embarrassing position?" These thoughts creep into everyone every once in awhile, I know. But, in my case, it's an all day - every day affair. It's exhausting trying to play out in my head every scenario or situation in my head beforehand trying to think of anything that could go wrong or could potentially mortify me.

I'm revealing all of this, not because I want your sympathy or because I'm feeling extremely confident this evening. I'm writing this because I need your help. I don't want one more little girl growing up thinking that she will always be overweight and there's nothing she can do about it. I don't want one more teenager feeling isolated because all of her friends can eat pizza and candy-bars while she starves to fit in that prom dress. I don't want one more woman to sit in a class and feel like she is the only one that will never find that special someone that can see past her XL shirt and love the person underneath. I don't want one more person that is scared to try a new restaurant for fear that they may not fit in the booth. Our nation has a problem. A BIG one. Obesity kills over 300,000 people per year. I think obesity actually kills more than that if you include all of the lives of men and women who stop living like "normal" people and become trapped by their weight, either physically or mentally. I want to stop these deaths.

Nathan and I have signed up for this year's Walk from Obesity. I'm going to walk not only for me, but also for all of those that I know can't walk. I'm going to walk to celebrate my freedom from letting my weight control my life. I'm going to walk with my husband to show him that he is worth me fighting to stay healthy for our 50th wedding anniversary. I'm going to walk to celebrate my mom's own conquer with obesity. I'm going to walk to raise money for the education, the research, and the treatment of obesity for me and so many others.

On September 29th, Nathan, my mom and I are going to walk away from obesity. Together, we have formed The Blais Belly Busters to walk around the OKC Zoo and are accepting sponsors to help raise money to fight this epidemic. Our goal is to raise $332. Why this amount? Because, that was my starting weight when I began this journey a few months ago. I haven't admitted my weight to anyone, including my husband, in I don't know how long. But, at least for tonight, at this moment, I don't care who knows. Because, I will NEVER be that weight again.

So now, I ask that you pick your jaw off of the floor and click the link to sponsor or join Nathan and I in our journey. Not just a walk at the Zoo for one day; but on the journey of the rest of our lives fighting the disease, MY disease, of obesity.

For more information on the Walk from Obesity click HERE!!

To join Nathan and I, or to support us in meeting our personal fundraising goal, click HERE!!!!!!

Hey, if you donate, you can have your name in blinking lights on our Team Page Honor Roll. And, I'm pretty near positive that you could have a very cool and very wordy (I'll write it) blog entry all about You and how wonderful and caring you are. AND, If you get other people to support us too, I'll make you some WW brownies. Nathan eats 'em so they can't be that bad.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Caught between a porcupine and a very hungry goat!

Have you ever wondered if anything good can come from those MySpace spam messages that pop up from time to time? The answer is yes! I won't go into the long story of how I know, err should I say my husband knows, but those scammy memos can bring something positive to your life AND your ears.

Nathan and I have discovered a band that we kinda like and we think you all should check it out. They have some catchy beats and some interesting word-play much like our beloved Ladies...Barenaked ones that is. We downloaded the 18 song-cd and enjoyed it most of Saturday. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Maybe I can get my work-buddy from Salad Days Music to give me props on a good find. We'll see! One of my faves is #7: "It's Strange" Here are the beginning lines:
Caught between a porcupine and a very hungry goat
Left out in a boggy marsh with a paper mache boat
That's the way I feel when I'm alone here with you
I know it seems strange but every word I say is true

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend Update!

This weekend was a great ending to a not so fabulous week. On Friday, Nathan and I saved money and ate dinner at home and then went to see Live Free or Die Hard at the dollar movies. The movie was great and the price was right. After the movie, we came home and watched a lightning show on our patio for about 2 minutes until we were attacked by mosquitoes.

On Saturday, I went to WW as usual and then came home and did a new workout video while Nathan sat on the couch and ate a Totinos pizza (it's 18 WW points btw, for anyone counting) and then a bowl of cereal for dessert. Go figure! He's the one with a good one. I finished the video and my husband proceeded to state, "That made me tired." Sheesh!

After we both got cleaned up, we went on a hunt to find foam egg-crate mattresses for us to use in the tent next weekend. We find they are more comfortable to sleep on than an air mattress, plus you can stand on them when your trying to carefully slip out of a wet swim-suit into clean clothes while crouching down in a 4 foot tall 110 degree tent without stubbing your toe. After the 3rd stop and the 2nd phone call to directory assistance we found a good substitute at Wal-Mart.

I would like it noted that I had to cancel my reservations at the motel near the lake because my very own weather fanatic said it would not rain. I would also like it noted that we are in agreement that if it does rain (which there is a 100% it will, since we are staying in a tent), I have free reign to gripe the entire three hours back home. PLUS, I do not have to help re-pitch the tent in our backyard to dry out when this "rain-free weekend" does not go as forecasted.

Fun with friends proceeded our shopping extravaganza. We had dinner with Jessica while her husband was out of town and then we had dessert at Starbucks with Renee and Zach. We have the best friends. I learn so much from all of them. Sometimes, I learn that I need to spend a little less time watching Big Brother and a little more time reading interesting books and keeping up to date on the upcoming football season or the latest headlines. That Jessica has way too much time spent in lay-overs and delays while on her way to fancy-schmancy hotels.

Today, we went to Mass and then had a quick lunch with a now back-in-town and wifeless John. Then Nathan and I came home and took a nap. Exciting! Even more exciting, I took a walk after dinner and was ecstatic over the fact that my normal two-mile walk had to be extended a little further because I was ahead of pace. I had to continue because you can't just leave Justin hangin'. All workouts MUST end with "Sexy Back". Oh, I'm gonna bring sexy back all right! YEAH! ! There's gonna be so much sexy that the person reading a hurricane book beside me right now might turn out to be a different someone who might have a little interest in hurricanes too. I can pick 'em can't I! And yes, I will refer to my AT post any chance I get. He even commented back! It's love at first phone call and mutual. I'm sure of it!

If you've read this far, Thanks! I've discovered I tend to ramble and I'm not as consise and talented at writing like some of my friends. They can say everything I've said but in a better and shorter way. But, they love me still the same.

That's our weekend in a nutshell. Hope yours was a good one too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Little Perspective

I overheard a familiar song coming from a friend's cubicle at work yesterday. I wandered over to see what she was watching. Somehow, God always knows exactly what you need at exactly the time you need it. I needed a little perspective on my life and a little awakening to some of my choices for awhile now.

Life throws so many "distractions" at us that try to tear us from the really important things in life. These distractions also try to tempt us away from the truth and who we really want to be close too. This video reminded me of what I think is important and who I want to be close too. Sometimes we just need a good smack in the face and then a good cry to realize what's really been missing. This video was my smack in the face:

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.
You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose...you're everything.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Zoned Out and Tuned In

I think I've had an out-of-body experience...for two weeks. I feel as though for the past two weeks I have been completely disconnected from the world around me. I've reached the point of complacency about everything. I don't care what we're having for dinner. I don't care that I haven't done laundry all week. I don't care that every pair of shoes I've worn for the past 4 days have piled up in my dining room. And I don't care that I don't care about having any intention of picking them up anytime soon.

I think a stressful and disappointing time at work combined with lots of other random thoughts going through my brain have finally taken their toll. I don't particularly like this feeling. I don't particularly like this post as I'm writing it. But, we all can't be happy-go-lucky all the time. So, I'm coming out of the closet now and letting you all know that this is me sometimes. This is me ... on bummed.

I have, however, been able to use this time of brain-fuzziness to catch up on some TV shows that I have missed. I would agree that multiple episodes of The Hills and My Super Sweet 16 are probably not the most positive content-filled viewing opportunities. But, I would agree that they do require NO brain power whatsoever to watch. Nothing like spoiled brats seeking stardom to provide a good coma-inducing evening to bide time until you can go to bed.

Geez, I sound really pathetic. This I know. But, considering my lack of blog participation this past week, I thought you may want to know what the heck is up in our little part of the world. Things will be better next week. I'll jump back to normal. I just hope my understanding husband will have keep his patience and know that I'll be better by Friday. Apparently, we "should do something REALLY fun." If it involves Starbucks and buying a FM transmitter for my Ipod, I'm pretty sure I can be lured back into "Liz normalcy."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weather Quiz Time

The correct answer to last week's question is......Canada! My wonderful wife changed her correct answer mid-week, but she will still get a point for saying Djibouti......hehe. Derek gets a point for the UK because they actually get more tornadoes relative to land area than any other country in the world. Mark and Pam get a point since Bangladesh has the second highest frequency of violent tornadoes. And in fact the deadliest tornado in recorded history occured there in 1989, killing 1,300 people (thanks Wikipedia).








The next question is a fun one but an easy one to look up, so see how close you can get by guessing......what are the answers to the following world records:

1) Hottest temperature ever recorded
2) Coldest temperature ever recorded
3) Highest wind speed ever recorded
4) Most rain in one minute (in inches)
5) Most rain in one day
6) Most rain in one year

Remember, these are WORLD records......and you don't have to post the location they occured. Happy guessing!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Move Over Maggie Carlo...There's a New Girl in Town!

First of all let me get this out of the way: OH - MY - GOSH!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 13th will now go down in my book as one of the all time best nights EVER. I would do dishes every single night if I knew that when I started to clean off the counters, the phone would ring and it would be one of the top five hunks on my list of men that Nathan would have to allow me to run away with without any hard feelings. I never do dishes unless he's out of town, but I may have to start!

The phone rings and the voice on the other line knows my name and asks how I'm doing. I answer politely, "fine"; and get ready for a big long spill about how I've been chosen to receive a discount coupon for a Kraft-Matic Adjustable Bed (I've received the same call every night last week). Instead, I get the wonderful surprise of talking to the number three guy on my list; only to be topped by Tim McGraw and Will Smith. Not too shabby in my opinion. Aaron Tuttle from Eyewitness News 5 is on the other line and talking to me like it's no big deal. I can assure you, it was a VERY big deal. Did I mention that I was talking to AT. Okay, just thought I made need to emphasize that one more time.

So I'm talking on the phone to AARON TUTTLE!!! and thank goodness he keeps the conversation going because at this point I'm pacing the living room and looking out my window to make sure my house is not being surrounded by people about to jump out and say Gothcha!

He mentions that he thought it would be good to call since I was home for a few days while my husband was out of town. Oh yeah, I have a husband. Hmmph. Then we talk about my job and Nate's job. And we talk about how Nathan loves weather. Then I reply with "yeah he's kind of a nerd" and then I quickly realize I just called my husband a weather-nerd to OKC's hottest meteorologist. Smooth, Elizabeth, real smooth.

Then Aaron talks about his wife and how long they've been married and blah blah blah, let's talk a little less about her and a little more about You and Me! hehe... He mentions that he heard about Nathan's Weekly Weather Quizzes and I convince him that he and Rick will have to post a comment on at least one. Although, I wouldn't want my real husband to get too jealous since Aaron and I are definitely on close terms now.

It was the most star-struck and fabulous 7 minutes of my life. I can't even believe it. My friend, Jessica, who knows all the right people, set the whole thing up. She even kept it quiet for three whole weeks. I know for a fact I've mentioned Aaron on at least two occasions since she set it up and she never peeped a word. The girl is a vault. AND my new best friend!

After a good four minutes of jumping around in pure elation, I manage to give her a call and thank her. "Oh but there's more," she says. The she's on my front porch and I open the door and she's there with two pictures of my new boyfriend, err I mean Aaron, signed for both me and what was his name?? Oh yeah, Nathan. I posted my pic below. In case you couldn't read the love message, I typed it out for you.

I can see that this was just a start to a beautiful relationship. And hey, maybe it will make our Weekly Weather Quizzes a little more exciting with some real experts chiming in. You can also check out AT's blog here and his bio here. To see him in all his weather-cuteness just tune into Channel 5. If Nathan and I get the chance of a lifetime to actually go storm chasing, I'm pretty sure Aaron will be the ONLY one on my list...for the rest of my life!

(Dear Liz, Thanks for putting me on the list! Aaron Tuttle)
No prob Aaron...You'll remain on my Advantage Doppler HD for a long, long time!

Gary England WHO?!?!

I just couldn't resist...

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My weekend with NO PLANS

Nathan and I have always had a Thursday evening ritual of running down the list of plans for our upcoming weekend. This past Thursday was no different...until about 8:30pm. I had asked if we had any plans, and we both agreed that nothing was on the schedule. Then the phone rings and my weekend with no plans begins to diminish with a series of about 8 other phone calls. Here's a glimpse into "what we've been up to" the past couple of days.

We both meet my family at BJs for a nice dinner to celebrate Pam's bday after having run to pick up a last minute card and gift at the mall. Notice, I say we meet and not actually eat. We got seated relatively fast and I began ranting about my stressful!!! week at work. Then we start to order and in a flash I'm leaving the restaurant in tears over a misunderstanding about ordering for my mom. Sheesh! I felt so stupid, and stressed, and infuriated all at the same time.

I got to the car and decided I wasn't turning back. So, I left my confused husband at the restaurant with MY family and came home. Lovingly, he caught a ride and brought my untouched meal home. Unlovingly, he's now threatening to leave me behind the next time we go out to eat. Whatever you do, don't ask me or my mom what kind of dressing we want. You will be liable to having gift bags and management books thrown in your face. We're such a warm-hearted and drama-free family. HA!

I weighed in at Weight Watchers. 20 lbs gone so far. Woo-Hoo! I heart WW!
Hehe... then I went and ate pancakes! Nathan and I stopped by his parents' house for breakfast to celebrate his brother's bday. We talked a little politics and then we were off.

I was tired from all that pancake eating so I took a nap while Nate watched golf. YAWN!! If you ever need a nap, find a channel with the PGA on it. That'll put you right into R.E.M.
After my nap, I made a WW friendly HungryGirl Oreo Pie to take to Brooke and Derek's for dinner.

Derek scored a meat smoker for $1.25 from a client of his and we offered to be test dummies on his first batch of ribs. The ribs were tasty, but the real treat was the selection of side-items Brooke put out. We stuffed ourselves on salad, fried okra, Mexican cornbread and these lemon-pepper green beans that were AWESOME! Then Brooke and I started planning a wedding shower for a girl in our book club while the guys played with Derek's Wii .......... controllers! hehe ... What were you thinkin'?!! Then Brooke and I had "an incident" when putting Van-The-Man in his jammies and Nate and I were sent home.

and finally....SUNDAY:
I woke up and folded Nathan's clothes and packed them for his trip to Tennessee. I told him not to get too wild and crazy at the Internal Auditor's Conference. We all know those 10-key speed contests can get a little out of hand late at night.

I dropped him off at the airport and then went to Target to buy the ingredients to make those dang green beans. I'm telling you, they were THAT good.

I watched a couple of TV movies and then met some friends for sushi. I love my sushi buddies. Mainly, because we always follow sushi up with Starbucks. And what's there not to love about Starbucks. Seriously!

So that was our weekend with NO PLANS! I wonder what next weekend's plan-less-ness will bring our way. I hope it involves seeing our friends Jessica and John who have been snubbing us the past few.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Nate 101

I thought I would give this a crack after seeing John's list of 100 things. I made an adjustment and cut down to 50 things. Here goes!

1) I love my current job more than any other job I have held. It isn't even close.

2) I shot 98 on the golf course last Saturday. I wasn't happy. Ask John & Derek.

3) Since I am unhappy with both political parties I am changing from my current registration of Republican to an Independent.

4) I can't believe that I now like sushi.

5) I can't believe that I now like Starbucks.

6) I will NEVER like Wal-Mart.

7) I can name more Weather Channel personalities than actors/actresses in Ocean's Thirteen.

8) Last winter we were supposed to have an ice storm that would knock out power for weeks and snap every tree in our neighborhood, but it didn't happen. I was disappointed.

9) Who doesn't love Liz?

10) My idea of vacation: Liz, road trip, mountains, secluded lodge, fireplace, no TV, no pollution......and beer.

11) Liz truly makes me a better person. Honestly.

12) I might have been a different person had I not met Derek in Middle School.

13) Brooke is funny, down-to-earth, an excellent mom, and I wish I could write as well as her.

14) John & Jessica are sincere and just downright good people. I'm happy we're now friends.

15) Adam and I are closer now than ever. I guess you do grow closer to your siblings as you age.

16) Brandon truly is the older brother I never had growing up. Our humor is so similar, it's scary.

17) Osama Bin Laden is........evil.

18) I should probably just delete my MySpace page. I don't want to bother with it anymore.

19) Liz and I might be going on vacation next year to Banff National Park in Canada.

20) Liz's smile makes me smile, and her laugh makes me laugh.

21) Most vivid memory with Liz(besides wedding): standing on the cliffs of Acadia National Park in Maine at sunset with mist & fog rolling in off the ocean and not another person in sight.

22) Most vivid memory with Derek: hitting another car at 40MPH and riding in an ambulance.

23) Stop asking me why I like BNL!

24) Here's the answer to 23.......incredible musicianship, clever wordplay, catchy beats, and the 100th time I hear a song I hear something new.

25) I have seen them 4 times.....in Dallas twice, in Stillwater, and Boston.....each concert has gotten better.

26) Worst concerts I've been to: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rick Springfield.

27) Best concerts other than BNL: Third Eye Blind and Foo Fighters.

28) Worst habit: I crave fast food.

29) Another bad habit: I crave Dr. Pepper.

30) Hence, my last meal would be a Big Mac, fries (salty and crispy), and Dr. Pepper.

31) Something you might not know: Depression runs in my family.....it's nothing to be ashamed of and I haven't dealt with it yet but is something I have to be aware of.

32) If I could stay up until 2 every night and wake up at 10AM I would.

33) I am nervous about my first business trip next week. I'm going to Nashville.

34) My most comfortable social situation is in a conversation with a couple of other close friends.

35) I used to be very uncomfortable in large group settings, but have gotten a lot better, especially with practice in my recent jobs.

36) I can sometimes overthink things, but my new job is teaching me to go with my gut feelings in certain situations.

37) Liz would be fantastic as a party planner/coordinator.

38) I am definitely a cat person.

39) If I could go to one sporting event, it would be The Masters.

40) If I could only watch one sporting event on TV, it would be March Madness.

41) It literally hurt when I watched the Titans come up just feet short of winning the Super Bowl to the St. Louis Rams in 2000......see, I even remember the year.

42) I have never bowled a 300 but hope to someday. Closest I have come is 296.

43) I would say the sport I am worst at personally is basketball.

44) I hope that Liz and I have one boy and one girl.

45) We can only hope that they will be half as cute as Van.

46) Someday I will see a tornado up close and personal, hopefully when I am storm chasing and not when I am at the house.

47) My favorite season is tornado season.....I mean Spring.

48) My first job was a sacker at Albertson's. Now they are no longer around. Wow.

49) Liz's family is the coolest family I have met.......and the loudest.

50) I am happy that Liz and I are going to grow old together.......in age, not actions.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Weekly Weather Quiz

The correct answer to last week's question is 5 years, 8 months. The period was October 1992 through June 1998. Mark and Pam receive 1 point. 2 points are for agreeing that Katherine Hiegl is hot, but -1 point for Googling the correct answer! I'll give Derek a point for guessing 5 years and Liz a point for listing the second longest period of time OKC has gone without a tornado.

K. Hiegl........2

Here is this week's question: We all know that the U.S. has more tornadoes per year than any other country in the world. Which country has the second most tornadoes in the world?

A 10 Year Impression

Everyone talks about the importance of making a good first impression. But even more important than making a good FIRST impression would be to make a good 10-YEARS LATER impression. Yesterday evening I met up with some folks from my high school to start planning our 10 year reunion. And boy did I make an impression!; good one or not is questionable.

I really didn't want to go. We were supposed to be going to my nieces' bday party. I didn't know what to wear. And I had already vowed to myself and my husband that I wasn't going to get too involved. WHY! OH WHY! do I have to get involved?! Why can't I just attend an event and not have to plan the darn thing. But, I was a senior-class officer and felt somewhat of an obligation to help organize our reunion.

A-N-Y-Way... I show up and of course nominate myself to help out and am voted to be the secretary and also part of the committee for researching venues for our main event. SEE! I held myself back; no chairman or co-chair for me. I figured that was a good balance and acceptable to tell Nathan. Everything was going fine and we were all coming up with ideas and making meeting plans etc. And then it happens. My good 10-year impression is tainted.

I reached over to grab my calendar out of my purse and I somersaulted out of my chair onto the floor of the restaurant with my feet in the air. Horrific memories of sophomore year in geometry class when I reached for a pencil on the floor came back to me. Everyone was just looking at me below them in awe. Sooo... I got up and "brushed my shoulder off" and continued with looking to see if I was free in Sept. Good grief! How embarrassing. My friend Courtney leaned over and told me that that was payback for when I pulled the chair out from under her on the drama stage our Junior year. Maybe.

Not exactly the 10-year impression I wanted to make. Oh well. Maybe my cute house will make a better impression when the committee meets here next month. If anyone has ideas for what works and doesn't work for reunions let me know. Obviously! I need all the help I can get.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I'll Admit...

It was really hard dropping my nephews off at day-care for the last time this morning. Nathan and I are really gonna miss those two. Part of me wants to steal them from my sister's house and go into hiding and play UNO all day. The other part of me remembers the donut-icing all over the back seat of our "new" car. Eh, jail time is over-rated.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Not the Mama...Not the Mama

I may be dating myself, but does anyone else remember the good 'ole days of spending every Friday night in front of the tube, anxiously waiting to hear the theme song from Full House to start the TGIF lineup? Does anyone else remember the show Dinosaurs that was part of the lineup for several years? Well, I do. And this week, my life has been that show.

For those not familiar, or for those lucky enough for it to have been "before your time", I'll clue you in. The premise of the show was a family of dinosaurs that were a bit on the dysfunctional side. The Sinclairs, if I remember correctly, consisted of a Mom and a Dad dino raising their two teen dinos and a baby dino. I think there was also a Grandma dino, but let's focus on the baby for the sake of my sanity. The baby dino was always giving the Dad dino a hard time when the Mom dino was out. He would try to feed the baby and love the baby, but never succeeded without the baby beating d0wn the Dad until he couldn't take it anymore.

One of the things that I never forgot about that show was when the baby dino would hit the Dad repeatedly over the head with a frying pan screaming "Not the Mama!! Not the Mama!!" While seemingly funny to me at the time, I'm no longer laughing. I'm the "Dad" now, and I feel as though I have been knocked over the head with a frying pan. How come no one warned me that this parenting thing was so hard? How come no one told me that everyday I would come to the realization over and over that I was NOT THE MAMA!!!?

Is it easier when they start out small and unable to talk back? Is it easier when you have some time to get in a routine and they have time to realize that you DO have the ability to strangle them? I have a whole new respect for EVERY parent I know, and EVERY parent I don't know. This nine days was hard. I was happy to do it and I would do it again in a heartbeat, but I now know the true ups & downs of being a Mom; even if just a faux-one at that.

So here are a couple checklist that I've compiled over the nine days of obviously being NOT THE MAMA!!

10 Things I need to remember when it happens for real:

1. Always, Always, Always carry wet wipes or tissues in your car.
2. If bedtime is at 8:30pm, start getting ready for bed at noon.
3. Don't put pepper on ANYTHING!
4. Not everything on Cartoon Network is age-appropriate.
5. "Crazy-Diseased eyeballs" taste good when you go out to eat with Grandma.
6. Just let him wear the dang Crocs. It's just NOT worth it!
7. Dessert is not optional. (I already knew this, but now I'm glad to know I will have back-up)
8. There's no such thing as "running late" in the morning. It's the same speed no matter how many minutes you slept through the alarm.
9. Bribery doesn't work. They're smarter than that, darn them.
10. Bulk laundry detergent and paper plates are the ONLY ways-to-go.

Total damages done:
1. 1 pudding-stained towel.
2. 1 broken mirror.
3. 1 freaked out cat.
4. 0 100-calorie packs left
5. 1 aunt and 1 uncle sitting on the couch figuring out what to do now that those two boys that brought so much laughter and fun to our last nine days are gone.

Although challenging and tiresome, we're both gonna miss Donut-Fridays, off-the-wall car conversations, Kelly Clarkson karaoke, and those wonderful and warm goodnight hugs. We love you Jacob and Josh! and we can't wait to do it again. Right after your real Mom and Dad send US on a vacation to Hawaii!!