Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Jace and I spotted this gorgeous cloud on our way to take some movies back last night... The weather was much milder yesterday, with temps in the mid-80s; we went on a bike ride with Brian and Daniel last night, too. This evening we went to ride the go-carts, first time in a few years for me. Brian had taken both boys a few weeks ago when I had a girls' night, so I was excited to join them tonight and see if I could keep up!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rain... On the way!

We did have a bit of rain on Saturday, and it was AMAZING to feel the change on temperature outside after the rain started. We're thrilled to even see temps back in the low 90s, and this week we will apparently see some days with temps in the 80s - bliss! My flowers were so glad for the rain on Saturday - I have been watering them intermittently, but gave up on my lawn a couple of weeks ago... It looks as bad as it usually does in late August!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

At the fair...

Headed to the Christian County Fair on Friday night, and it was an enjoyable evening once the sun went down and it cooled off a bit. Brian needed to go and help campaign for the county sheriff's re-election; Brian is the chief deputy for the county, second in command under the sheriff. So we spent some time with him at the Republican booth, handing out information and talking to the public.

We also enjoyed some time with Daniel, riding a few of the rides. He was with his mom, but we all walked around the fairgrounds together - I really appreciate that Brian and his ex-wife get along, and that we can all spend time together with Daniel in situations like this.

The photo of the day was "chair", and I thought this was a little more exciting than the work chair I sat in for eighth hours on Friday!

Friday, July 6, 2012

On the floor

Yep, that tile floor is the coolest place for the dogs these days, with temps in the 100s for the past couple of weeks. Rocky just walks in and flops down on the floor, so getting a photo of him was pretty simple. He's right there, most of the time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fireworks and fun, 2012

We enjoyed a low-key holiday and grilled out with friends Gail and Dan, and their kids. I've spent several years with them on the 4th, since they just live the next neighborhood over AND their driveway is nice and flat! We were pretty low-key on the fireworks as well this year, with the extremely dry weather and warnings about fireworks. Daniel enjoyed a few of the safer fireworks- snappers, smoke bombs and these long sparklers!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Best part of my day

One of my favorite things about Saturdays is getting up early, before anyone else is awake; I love the quiet, enjoying the morning with my coffee, some music and my book/iPad. Yesterday was my second of three vacation days this week, and it was like a deliciously relaxing Saturday morning!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Photo update

A few more photos to post...
Jace at tournament last weekend

Daniel - he was in having fun in his
bounce house that Brian set up,
and less than three minutes later -
clothes wet with bubbles, and naked
on the back deck.  Hilarious!

Coffee!  Sinless Pastry from
Churchill Coffee, to be exact

The annual luncheon for
GYN Cancers Alliance; I
chaired the event again this
year, AND was a model!  Fun!

Pink impatiens for my birthday, from
my good friend Laura

Almost done!

Phew!! I’ve almost made it through the week - a long, crazy, full of too many issues, lots of meetings and budget preparation week … but TODAY is Friday, and the Friday before a 3-day, holiday, going to the lake, awesome weather kind of weekend! And tonight we’re headed with friends to eat dinner down at the Landing in Branson… a special place for me and Brian. Here was our photo from this past winter, taken with my camera and new tripod, down in front of the water/light display.  Brian gave me the frame for my birthday, and I love it - very modern, with magnets to affix the photo - this picture doesn't do it justice, I've received several compliments on both the frame and the photo.

Looking forward to our dinner with friends, and then tomorrow we’re headed with Jacey up to Stockton, to spend a couple of days with my sister Susan and her family out on the lake – couldn’t ask for better weather! Jace is soooo excited about waterskiing again, after his one and only time out on the lake last August. Brian and I will probably get out on the tube, but I really am planning to just sit on the boat or in the water, enjoying the sun and the water and RELAXING!

Jace finished school this week, and will be an 8th grader in just a few months. He has had a good year – although helping a 13-year-old boy learn the skills to consistently be organized so that he can turn his assignments in (and, let’s be honest - even know and remember he has assignments!) has been difficult – and honestly, I don’t think we’re there yet. But Brian has been a big help with this, and sometimes Jace seemed to listen to him better than he did to me or to Jim. In addition, Brian and Jim have gotten to know each other some, at all of Jace’s baseball games, so that has been a good thing, too.

Today Jace is out helping Brian as he campaigns for the sheriff of one of the counties outside of Springfield. Brian has been in law enforcement for 20 years, a good part of it in Charlotte, NC. He has been the chief deputy of the sheriff’s department here in MO for the last four years, and the sheriff is up for re-election in August. So Jace is walking neighborhoods with Brian and other supporters today, passing out information to people. Jace has to pay for a social studies textbook that he somehow lost during the last few weeks of school, and today’s work will help him earn money to pay that back, and Brian will also be able to teach him some about the election process.

Looking forward to a great weekend with friends and family, and some much-needed relaxation before I head back to work AND budget week in a few short days!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Glad it is Friday, has been SUCH a long week at work.  Jace has a baseball tournament this weekend again, but we will miss the Saturday games because Brian's boss' daughter is getting married.  Then we'll drive the two hours on Sunday to see his games that day.

And now for a few more photos!

Word of the day was "snack"...
This snack reminds me of when I was
little- one of the snacks our mother
made for us, with homemade frosting.

Daniel wanted to help me plant some irises and
lilies in my front flower bed - I didn't let him
man the shovel, but he did scoop plenty of dirt!

"Love" is a boy and his doggie...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Photo Updates

I now have the mobile version of Blogger on my iPhone and iPad- not sure why I didn't think about checking on that until last week! I have been having so much fun with my daily photos on FB, and now I can easily post them on here! Here are a few from May...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring Update

No, I'm not starting to just post seasonally - although I know it may seem that way, to regular readers of my blog.  :)   It is already May, and I'm just getting around to posting our family Easter photos. It was a great weekend, with all the siblings home for the holidays except Ann and Thomas - we missed them very much! We had our family dinner on Saturday evening, and church on Sunday morning, but other than that it was nice and simple - an enjoyable, relaxing weekend.

The little grandkids were big enough now that they enjoyed lots of outside fun, including the jump house Brian brought, dyeing eggs, and an Easter egg hunt. The older grandsons also enjoyed their own Easter egg hunt in the back yard, as well as a game of whiffle ball with Brian, Luke and Ron.

Here are a few photos from the weekend. It isn't ALL of the photos, because I have somehow lost them, somewhere in my little red laptop that quit working, and the external hard drive that I tried to load everything on. I am enjoying my new iPad, but the downside to it is that I cannot upload photos to my blog on it, which doesn't make it as convenient to blog - I'm using Brian's laptop right now to finish this post, and to get some photos from our KC weekend on here as well, sometime soon.

Daniel, Eva Sam and Isaac ready for the hunt!

Brian and Daniel

The guys relaxing out on the patio


Grandpa Nick and the boys

All the grandsons

I'm missing my photos of whiffle ball, as well as some great photos of Rob, Michele and their family - but we were all taking plenty of photos at that point, so I'm sure they still have some great ones!   Looks like we'll be getting together a couple more times in the next few months - for Grandpa Lawson's 80th birthday in June, as well as the July 4th holiday - it is amazing how much the kids - big and little ones- grow between our gatherings - can't wait to see them all again soon.

In the meantime, baseball is in full swing for us, with tournaments the last several weekends - Jace is counting the days left in school (7) and we just got home from going to watch The Hunger Games with Brian, as part of my Mother's Day.  Now Brian is cooking dinner for us, another part of my Mother's Day - it has been a very special day for me.  Thinking of my mother Catherine today, of course; and also called to talk to my grandmother and mother in Poplar Bluff.   Hope it has been a special day all of the other mothers reading this, as well, and you've been able to spend it with those you love, like I have.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Play Ball!

It is that time of year - and I love it!  Jace has been playing baseball during the week (doubleheaders on Wednesday nights) for the last several weeks, but we've just started the tournament portion of the season.  Last weekend's games were in Branson, and this weekend we're in Joplin - actually on the road to Joplin as I write this, thanks to the wonders of technology.  On the laptop in the car, with a wireless internet card - coffee in the console beside me, and Brian driving.  A nice way to start the morning, and the second day of baseball games.  Jace's team won both games yesterday, and Brian and Daniel were with me to help cheer them on.  Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks:

Almost to the game - I've also (finally) uploaded all of my photos from Easter to my blog site, so I'll hopefully be able to keep working on that today during the breaks between games.... we had such a wonderful time at my parents' home a few weekends ago, and lots of fun photos to tell the story.  More soon!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring has sprung in Missouri - we've been blessed with beautiful weather and unseasonably high temperatures throughout the month.  The weatherman keeps saying it is more like May, and I love it!    The trees and bushes are all in bloom, and our spring flowers are quickly making their appearances, seems like something new is popping up every day.  I just hope we don't have a cold snap in April, that would be brutal.  And, as some people are saying, if it is this nice in March, are we in for a miserably hot summer?  I hope not, but I really am enjoying the weather we're having right now, so I will just be grateful and enjoy what we have.

We are also seeing a late influx of the flu throughout the United States, and in our local area as well.  Our general region has been on red alert the past two weeks, and all our employees had to show proof of vaccination in order to be able to work within the hospital and areas directly related to the hospital.   The discussion for next year is that all employees will be required to have the flu shot as a part of employment, unless they have an allergy against it.  And knowing that we have had several patients in hospital die from the flu, I do understand why health systems are mandating this for employees, so that we aren't spreading it unintentionally.

I haven't had the flu in several years, but I did come down with a very nasty upper respiratory infection this week.  I wondered if it might be the flu, but I never had a fever more than 100 degrees, which is one of the determining factors for the flu.  My bout started with a scratchy throat on Monday, and went from there; first time I've missed work for more than a day because of illness in quite awhile.   Several friends on Facebook say that they've had the same thing, and it lingers for weeks.  I can see that may be the case, as it is Saturday and while I'm up and function again, I still have the whole cough and congestion thing in full force.  Yuck.

 I'm enjoying a quiet weekend, getting my strength back and preparing for the week ahead.  Enjoying my favorite kind of Saturday morning, with a freshly brewed pot of coffee, some music playing on Pandora, and catching up on the computer.  Later this morning I have a massage - and the best part is that it is paid for through my flex savings plan, with a prescription from my physician.   One of the best uses of my money- helps relieve that stress that I tend to carry in my back, and it is still within my budget and Dave Ramsey approved!

As you can see,  I have still been having fun this month with the Photo-a-Day challenge on Facebook.  All of my photos are taken with my iPhone, and then I use some finishing tools on my phone to add filters, frames, etc.   I've also started posting my photos on Instagram, so if any of my family/friends would want to follow me on there, it is fun!   Instagram is a photo-sharing site, kind of like FB but without all of the other junk - my username on there is nancycatherine71, if you are interested in doing it, and posting some yourself!   But in the meantime, I will still post some on here.

This one I took in the grocery store on my lunch break one day - the word of the day was "fruit", and I had hoped to buy some strawberries to eat, and take a photo of them when I did.  But it was not yet strawberry season, and they were very puny-looking.  So Brian and I were skulking through the produce while I snapped photos with my phone.  This was one of my favorites for the whole month:

I enjoyed a visit from my dad earlier this month; he was in town for a judge's conference and stayed with me on a Thursday night and then we all enjoyed Friday evening together at Susan and Ron's home in Stockton.  Brian and I grilled out for dinner Thursday night, and then Dad assumed his usual position later in the evening and so did Rocky... I was the only one awake in the living room, at 8:30 at night!

Let's see, what else - oh, we enjoyed a trip down to see friends Chris and Jana in Kimberling City, at their bar and grill, Fishtales.  Brian loves their burgers - says they are a close second to his favorite burger joint, Five Guys Burgers and Fries...

Last weekend we spent Sunday afternoon at friends' home near Springfield, for a birthday barbecue.  They had two little donkeys, Pebbles and Bam Bam.  Daniel was very excited about them on the way to the house, but once we got there and heard them loudly braying, he wanted nothing to do with petting them!

Things have been going great with Brian, he is very down-to-earth and grounded.   One of the best things is that in addition to our relationship as a couple, Brian has also been such a positive person in Jace's life over the past several months, something for which I am so thankful. Jace and his dad are close, and Jim is very involved with Jace in sports, etc.   But I remember being 13, and having another adult besides your parents is sometimes what you need - someone else who can tell you the same things your parents are saying about school, grades, friends, peer pressure, etc. - Jace seems to really listen to Brian, and Brian has the background and experience in working with kids and teens, it is just a very natural thing.

(flowers from Brian, "just because")

Looking forward to the upcoming Easter weekend, and time with my family in St. Clair.  Annie and Matt will not be able to join us because of timing and airfare; we will miss them so much!   But we'll take plenty of photos and know we'll see them soon, hopefully this summer.

My coffee's cold and my massage is in less than an hour, so better close and get this Saturday going!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Eyes Are Smiling - 2012

Three days after a date that always makes me reflect back on both happy and sad times, comes a date that makes me nothing but HAPPY!!   My sister Annie turns - ahem - "30-something" today, on St. Patty's Day - and it is so appropriate, with her beautiful auburn hair!

Ann and Matt - 2010

Ann and Mom - 1980 
And here's a photo of Ann in 1980, when she was just three or four.  I love these photos of her - I am probably a bit biased by my memories, but I think our niece, Eva (Rob's daughter, the only granddaughter) looks a lot like Annie did when she was little.  That petite frame and beautiful features, they really do favor each other.

Annie is way out in North Carolina now - she was tired of the Midwest winters, and decided that she'd make the move somewhere warm about five years ago (or probably more- time gets away so quickly!) and she and Matt live out in Charlotte where she is a pediatric speech therapist.  But she and Matt travel back to visit both of their families a couple times a year at least, AND we keep up with her via her blog Adventures in NC

Ann is the "quiet" one of the family - although she can certainly speak her mind if she needs to do so.  She and I love to share book recommendations - and, she will also drink my red wine with me when we're all home for holidays!  But I'm sure that today will find her celebrating with her hubby and a good Jack and Coke - what any Irish lassie would enjoy on St. Patty's Day!  

We love you, Annie - will miss you and Matt on Easter, but hope to see you both this summer - either here in MO, or perhaps I'll be heading out to see you in NC!  Love you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom...

You would have been 72 today - hard to believe.  And I'm getting ready to turn 41; the same age you were when we lost you.  That's even harder to believe.   Today I listened to one of my favorite songs, a song that always makes me think of you - "Finally Home" by MercyMe.    As much as I love my life here on this earth, one of the things that I can't wait for is to see you again someday...  the first verse of this song reminds me of how good that will feel...

I'm gonna wrap my arms around my Daddy's neck
And tell him that I've missed him

And tell him all about the man that I became
And hope that it pleased him

There's so much I want to say
There's so much I want you to know

When I finally make it home, when I finally make it home...

I love this song, and knowing that I will see you again and be able to talk to you about our lives.  Happy Birthday, Mom.  Thinking of you today and always.