Wednesday, September 28, 2011

toilet paper husband

I was at a work training day today and I had an "ah ha" moment.  I work with children with special needs and their families. The trainer was going over family supports and the subject of duties of a husband came up. We were talking about family morning routines. Basically, our mock family had 4 children. 3 of which were either teens or tweens. Then there was the younger child that was under 2 years. We were talking about how crazy it is in the morning with getting everyone ready for school, breakfast, preparing lunches, carpool, and all the other things that happens when you have 4 kids. Our trainer then asked the mock mom "does your husband help or does he have certain responsibilities?"

During our debriefing, we went over that question and he called it the toilet paper person. Who is the person in the house that realizes that there is no more TP? Do they realize it when there is one sheet left? When there are 2 rolls left? Who is that person? In my family, that person is Kyle!

It is not that I had an "ah ha" moment. I had an "I need to brag on my husband" moment. First I need to thank my in-laws for raising an amazing man. They taught him well. I realize more and more each day how blessed I am. For example, I'll be on my way home and call Kyle to ask him if he can start a load of laundry. He says "I already did." Then he'll call me and say "what do you want for dinner?" Or, like yesterday, I knew I would not see him until 9pm due to his part-time job and wanted to ask how his day went. He proceeds to tell me he made me a salad and it is in the fridge. It is those little things that make a big difference! We are a team. He does his part without complaining. And without me asking. He says "this is our home and we both play a part....I want to do mine." I don't want you to think that we are peachy all the time. We are married, of course, and have our different way of thinking. But those are so few. And I think it is because I know that Kyle looks out for me and my needs and vise-versa.

Thanks Kyle for being my toilet paper husband. For the record, he beats me to the punch!!! 

FYI: I feel like men get a bad rap for not helping out their wives with house chores! This is for all you awesome husbands out there! We appreciate you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I am now 32. I'm ok with it. Don't I have to be?! I'm a spring my early 30s.

I wanted to be pool side for my b-day. So Kyle and I headed to Tunica for the heat wave party. Sounds pretty party-like aye? Wrong! It was pretty low key. They had a DJ playing some tunes, we got some sun, watched people play volleyball. I kinda felt like I was at an all inclusive resort for a while. They had the lawn chairs that were made out of beds in the cabanas, a wait staff, BUT then I came back down to reality when there was no sandy white beaches.  Then the party people came out....

...we got there early, around noon. We left around 4 and that is when the heat wave started to get heated! HA! My low key party was too good to be true. I had a great time people watching. As we were leaving, the world's sexiest DJ arrived.

Time to eat. We went over to Paula Dean's and met our friends Jen and Leon where I had 4 plates full of food. Jen was in shock. She'd never seen me in action.  It is a rare occasion, but you if see me and Kyle in Tunica, you can bet we are there to eat! It is an event. We're there for about 3 hours. I am not kidding either. We get full then we go home. We are wild I tell you! Then we eat healthy for about 4 months and do it all over again. Why would I waste my time on slots when I could be eating?!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

team 2

I work with a bunch of great ladies. Some of us started working around the same time. I personally think we all work very well together.

Team 2 at a training.

I am now a part of two teams and the good thing about being a part of team 4 is that I get to travel once a month to see them. And by travel I mean drive about 40 miles away but it is still fun to go on a mini-road trip to someones house to eat and work!  People who work where I do rarely leave. They suck you in and it is hard to get away. Especially now that we have a very swanky downtown office!

let's go cabining

Some of our friends went to Pickwick back in August. This time we decided to just go to the pool. So I guess we went to "the pool" not Pickwick.We didn't worry about renting a boat. We had the best time hanging out and of course, eating!

I didn't get a lot of photos but the pool was about a quater of a mile away. Shelly and Betsy rode in the back to the pool. They are brave souls.

We all ended up taking a nap on the lounge chairs at the pool. Kyle really enjoyed his!

 Jen and Leon came and Jen made this delish potato salad! Kristy was excited to have help in the kitchen this time.

Kyle grilled his famous "Kyle bugers." Maybe he'll put the recipe on here one day.

We had a great time relaxing, playing games, sunning, and spending time together doing nothing. I have some fun friends! Who needs a boat when we are this much fun!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

new arrival

It's not what you think. But I got your attention! We went to see Mimi in August. And we got to meet Annlea. Matt (Kyle's cousin) and Laura had their 1st baby! Well, we met her at Leah's wedding but we got to spend quality time with her this go round.

Isn't she cute?! Kyle and her have the same hair-do!

Somehow Mimi looks mad in this picture. Annlea loves her great-grandmother.

And she loves her great-great aunt! I tried to hold her and she didn't love me so much. Or at least she had a hard way of showing it! She is super cute and has the best hair of a 7-weeker I've seen.

So I've talked a lot about Mimi and her wine. It never fails. We got to Mimi's and she had Sutter Home wine for me and her, and a Bud Light for Kyle. And I can't forget about the chips & dip.

I have really enjoyed having her around! She is a very funny lady.
We had a great time, yet again, at Mimi's. My in-laws came up and we all went to eat at the Cock of the Walk on the reservoir. Ugh, it was hard to "walk" after that meal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

food for finance: i promise i cook

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

Somehow, I've been known as the girl that doesn't cook. Ok, "cooking" a salad does not count. Just because I make simple dishes doesn't mean I can't cook! Kyle enjoys it more than me. We definitely have role reversal in our household. He is the meal planner. He does a lot of the cooking. And don't get him started on grocery shopping. He loves it! But I will have you know that we are a TEAM! I cut....he cooks!

One night I cooked a whole meal by myself. Of course Kyle had to grab the camera.  

It is very easy to make and very healthy! 

The final product. It was a weight watchers recipe: Turkey Sausage and Peppers. However, I use the turkey sausage with nothing hot in it.

Mostly we eat at home. It is a great thing to do for many reasons.
1. We get to spend time together.
2. We know what we are putting in our food so we know it is healthy.
3. It is so much cheaper than eating out.
4. We have leftovers to bring lunch to work the next day.

Below is one of my favorite recipes: mini shepherds pie.

 We modified the recipe to make it heathier. We used turkey meat, light cressent rolls, reduced fat cheese, etc.

Look at me wearing an apron. This girl can cook!
Bon appetit!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I started volunteering as a counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp back when I was 16. Let's see, that was the summer of 1996. WHOA! My cousin Lyle has a non-progressive type of muscular dystrophy called central core disease. There are over 40 different neuro muscular diseases...MD is just an umbrella term.

So, Lyle is an only child and so am I. We were born 2 days apart. So we just say we are siblings. Ever since I can  remember, he'd talk about how much fun he'd have at camp. He loved it. And as soon as I turned 16, it was time for me to join in the MDA summer camp family. So I did. It was a week of meeting long lasting friends and helping kids to have as much fun as possible!

MDA has made a lot of changes in the last few years. Our summer camp at Brandon Springs was moved, volunteers were not asked back, and even Jerry Lewis was not allowed to host the tel-a-thon this year.
The only thing that doesn't change is change itself. Even if we think it is bad.

When the going gets tough....the tough has a camp REUNION!!! That's exactly what we did the 1st weekend in August. About 25 of us showed up and it was a blast! We went up on a Friday and came back on Sunday.

Betty brought old camp pictures...good memories!

Companion dog doing one of its tricks. It was amazing.

Lunch time. The food wasn't too bad.

Old friends and lots of memories were shared.

My cousin/brother Lyle. Every time I am around Lyle and Kyle, I have hard time!!!  "Hey come here Lyle, I mean Kyle." is hard!!

Joe Lee and his famous "tea pot" song and dance.

Camp is not camp without singing the YMCA at every meal. Here I am dancing with Dustin, one of my 1st has he grown!!!

I was so excited to show Lyle Kyle where I spent a week of my summers of over 10 years. (see, I'm doing it again!!!!)

Shawn, Kyle and I went on a tour of camp and saw some wildlife. Later, Kyle and I saw a skunk!! YIKES!

Pool time!

A camp tradition: singing "friends in low places."

we sang....

...and sang some more!

time for Kyle to be fish bait. just kidding!

Kevin and Kyle ready to catch some dinner.

J.R., you must cook it first!
Shawn has mad camera skills.

Joe Lee and Dustin caught a fish by talking to it...who knew!?

As always, Betty's candy stash. Some things never change!

we played apples to apples and I WON! we had a 16 person game going too.

And finally, Mrs. Norma....the lady that made camp happen for so many years. We love you!

It was so much fun to be back at camp, if only it was for the weekend.  Hopefully we can do a yearly reunion. I grew up at camp and I am so thankful to have the experience I did helping others and making friendships!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

happy birthday mom!

Since my mom heard that we took my mother-in-law to Como Steakhouse, she decided she wanted to go there for her birthday. That means that I had Como 2 times within 6 days. I'm not complaining!

I had the same thing I did the week prior. Mom and dad loved it. It's worth the drive!
Happy Birthday Mom!

food for finance: tj and his dj

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

It is so strange how things work out. How God acts in His mysterious ways. We're coming up on a year that we've really been tackling our financial plan to become completely debt-free. For the last few years, Kyle and I applied for part-time jobs. Nothing panned out. Nobody even called us in for an interview. We thought if we had part-time jobs, we could apply more money to our debt snowball. Right when we completed baby step 2, a part time job landed in Kyle's lap. How crazy is it that this happened after we were debt-free except the house?!

Meet your trivia jockey and disc jockey!

That's right! Kyle now hosts a live trivia show 2 nights a week. He's been doing this since last February. Basically, his old manager at his "day job" was moving and asked Kyle if he wanted to take over his shows (or maybe Kyle asked him) and voila!! Kyle works for a company called Challenge Entertainment where he gets all the questions for the shows.

Here is how it works in case you've never been to a live trivia show. Kyle reads a question, then plays a song while the team comes up with an answer. (This is where I come in. Every week I make the music playlists for the night.) You have to have your answer in before the song is over. He then reads the answer. Whoever has the most points at the end of the night wins! It is free to play and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners all get gift cards to the restaurant. Win-Win.  

Our friends have come out a couple of times to play. Team name: Shut the Front Door.  

I come to the shows some...depends on the week. This part-time job has helped us with baby step 3 or whatever unexpected emergency that comes up. And what a cool part time job! Much better than delivering pizzas or bagging groceries. Kyle really enjoys it and he has some serious teams that come out every week. They are hard core trivia players. He's met some pretty cool folks as well. It is something he enjoys doing week after week. Come on out if you're in the area! This job is another reason why it wasn't that hard for us to cut our cable. We're so busy now-a-days, especially with trivia. Any free time we have goes towards running. Did I mention Kyle is training for the St. Jude MARATHON?! Who has time for t.v? Well, maybe Kyle does on the weekends. It is football season after all.