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Happy New Year

So much for that come back to blogging. Life always gets crazy as soon as you make a commitment to something. I will keep my house clean. We start a new project. I will lose weight . There’s an event at church or a party with delicious goodies. I will exercise. I fall on the ice and hurt my back. I will write more. I start another new job.  Okay, now I am just making excuses.

This morning on the way to work I heard the song The Climb by Miley Cyrus on the radio. Why does that song always make me cry? Not a good thing while you’re driving on the freeway doing 75 mph.

So it is a new year. Time for renewed vigor and energy and zest for our goals. I made A huge list of all the all the things I want to accomplish this year. Huge. I will accomplish at least one of them.

AmI the only one that finally cam to the realization that life is about change and I should just get used to it and accept it. Every year I think it will stop but every year we have big changes in our life. So this year I am all about the change. Change is good will be my mantra.

No more excuses. I will enjoy the climb and changing scenery of life.



It Is Time

I have been thinking about this little place called The Daily Castle lately. I miss coming here and writing down my thoughts or as a friend called them my “secrets.” I guess if you don’t talk to me every day they are secrets. I am not one to tell everyone my deepest thoughts. I try to be a person that talks more about the other person than myself. I don’t always succeed but I try. Other people are so much more interesting.

So why am I here? Why keep this little space in the blog world that people click on every once in awhile to use the links I have left on the side?

I used to write because I wanted to remember all the cute things the kids said. Now that they are bigger they don’t say cute things anymore. They are still funny but I am not sure they want me sharing those events that make me laugh till I cry. I used to think I wrote just for me. But then I started getting feedback from real life people that I see all the time. It  made me uncomfortable. It changed my writing voice. I could not stop thinking about who was reading this. It should not have mattered but to me it did. I used to write to prove to myself I could still think. This was several years ago after I had all three kids and I was not working outside of our home. I am not saying it does not take a lot of thought to run a household and train three little kids, in fact it takes more than that some days. But my brain was not being stretched. Writing was just the push I needed to make my brain think just a little bit more.

So maybe I am back. My life situation has changed again. I am only working a couple of days a week. My kids are all at school and I once again find my brain needing some extra stretching. It is getting lazy. It is time to start writing again.

They are too young for this

While trying on a gazillion jeans at the big Back-To-School sale at Old Navy last night:

Ten year old daughter: These jeans make my butt look big.

Eleven year old daughter: Yeah. They do.

The First Date

High School to me can be summed up into one word: drama. More than any other time in life, drama is at an all time high in High School.

I was no different. My memories of High School are filled with some great and not so great moments. My first date with Larry falls into the great catergory. What lead up to the date falls into the latter.

The Christian school I attended did not have proms. We had banquets because what says fun to high schoolers more than sitting around uncomfortably eating with a boy you barely know. The first banquet is in the winter of ninth grade. All the girls are hoping to get a date and the boys are terrified of asking a girl. I was no different. I did not really think I would get a date and probably wouldn’t have had it not been for my mother.

No, my mother did not ask a boy for me, which would have been bad. It was worse. She forced a boy to go with me. Larry was “going with” a girl in January. As High School relationships go, they broke up after about two weeks. Larry needed a date for the banquet. I remember sitting on my basement stairs when he called and asked if I could go with him. I was so excited. I asked my parents and they were okay with it as long as they drove us around. Yeah! I had a date for the Winter banquet.

Until two weeks later when Larry and his ex decided they still liked each other. I had already bought my dress, plans were made for afterwards, rides had been arranged and now he wanted out. He wanted to go with this other girl. My Mom, bless her, called Larry’s mom and insisted that he had made a commitment to take me to the banquet and that was just what he was going to do. I had know idea she had done this or I might have dug a hole and buried myself in it. The Drama.

What might have been a nightmare actually turned into a very nice night. Larry and his girlfriend had broken up again so it worked out. My parents arranged for 8 of us to ride together in our sweet 80’s conversion van. They set up folding chairs in the back so we could fit more kids. Ah, the days before seatbelt laws. Mrs. Ragsdale arranged for Larry to get a bouquet for me. I knew it was her because Jessica, Andy’s date for the night and I had the exact same flowers. After the uncomfortable banquet where I had the same exact dress as Wendy Varga, a gray taffeta Jessica McClintock bought on clearance at Hudson’s, we all crammed into the van and got dessert at The Cafe in the Hyatt. We ate quickly and then rode the elevators up and down. I guess it was exciting to go in glass elevators. We walked around one of the floors and looked out the windows at the night sky. So romantic. Smirk.

After terrorizing the guests at the Hyatt, my parents picked us all up and we went to the Pauley’s house where all the other parents were waiting for us. We took a bunch a pictures (I will have to dig those up!) and had some snacks. I remember trying kiwi for the first time. We went downstairs and played pool.

I am sure my Mom never imagined she would set up my first date with my future husband.

Thanks Mom for making Larry take me to the banquet. He has been a great date, every night, for 15 years.

A Series: How We Met

My ninth grade year I was Vice President or something like that of my class. I don’t remember many of my my responsibilities of being class Vice President of a class of 36 kids, but the most important one was on the first day of school. I got to sit in the lobby and pass out class schedules to all my classmates. I wasn’t really interested in any of my old classmates schedules, I was interested in checking out the new boys that would be entering my class that year. There were quite a few new students coming into our ninth grade class and some of them were boys.

One new name that I did not recognize was Larry Castle.

He came in and I gave him his class schedule. I vaguely remembered seeing him around the school at games and events with the Zimmerman boys, but I had never met him. And I don’t know if handing him a schedule actually counts as an official meeting. But I knew who he was.

I had know idea the adventures we were to have.


I still get a few people coming to the site hoping the Daily Castle is daily again. Or maybe they just like to use the links on the side bar. Not sure.

I need to change the picture in the header.  Valentine’s day is way gone. Maybe I should just leave it up till next year.

The girls are gone on their first over night trip with some friends. They went to Irish Hills with the neighbor kids for a couple of days. Larry and I don’t know what to do with ourselves with all the finished thoughts and conversations.

Emma texted Larry goodnight last night.

We went to the Dollar show. It smelled.


I will be back.

10 Years

A few nights ago Claire and I were snuggling in bed watching Jeopardy! together. We burrowed down into the covers like bears ready to hibernate and decided we were not ever leaving. It was just too cozy snuggled up like that. 

She has always been a little cuddle bug. When she was a baby she was a little chubbers and she was so smushy you just couldn’t help but squeeze her. Her cheeks were little kiss magnets. 

She is no longer chubby. She is so long she barely fits on my lap anymore. Her limbs are getting to that gangly stage and she smelled like she might need a little deodorant last week.  It is hard to believe she is ten years old. 

Ten years ago yesterday I went to the hospital to be induced to have my second child. Compared to the first go around it was very uneventful. I was going to try to have this second the child the old-fashioned way, meaning to push her out instead of going under the knife. The doctor did not want her to get too big so he scheduled an induction on her due date. 

Claire, being a people pleaser, decided to get the show on the road early on the morning of the induction, so by the time I got to the hospital at nine, I was already in labor and dilated to three. The doctor still gave me the dreaded pictocin to keep things moving along and the blessed epidural to keep me comfortable. I think I felt one contraction. 

Some highlights I remember from the day:

1. I was surprised the doctor still wanted to induce labor. I thought he would let nature take its course. Ha!

2. Larry did not pack any food to eat for the day. We arrived at the hospital at 9 in the morning and he did  not eat breakfast. Around noon he finally had to leave to get something to eat. What does he bring back? A Rodeo burger from Burger King. Some super stinky hamburger to make his wife sick from the stench. Ha!

3. I had a really nice nurse this time. I wish I could remember her name. 

4. My doctor was delivering another lady’s baby in the room next to mine at the same time as me. He kept running back and forth between the two rooms. He made into a little competition as to who could deliver first. I won. She won the loudest screamer award. 

5. I had several medical students in the room during delivery. I was a vbac delivery so it was special. Ha! One that I remember was a little Chinese girl that was so timid and so excited to see a birth. On of the interns actually delivered Claire. As I was pushing her out I was thinking I did not pay you to do this I am paying him (meaning the doctor)!

6. I had to push for an hour. Enough said. 

7. Larry picked Claire’s name out. He just liked it. No other reason than that. 

8. I wanted to name her Margaret May after our grandmothers. Claire is glad it was Larry’s turn to pick the name. 

9. As soon as Claire came out Larry said, “She looks like you.”

10. My parents brought Emma up to see her new little sister and she called her “Clow”. 

Happy Birthday Claire.

Anyone Have Some Hand Sanitizer?

Why do parents take their kids to the doctors when they are not really that sick? Is it really necessary to have someone tell you your kid has a cold, drink some fluids and get plenty of rest? Apparently, I am that parent. Because why else would I have spent two hours at the Pediatricians yesterday? I must feel the need for validation. Yes, I was right! You are sick! And now that I have made you sit in this germ infested waiting room filled with screaming, hacking kids for two hours you should have pink eye and strep by Monday.  

Sign me up for Mother of the Year. 

So Claire is sick. She had a fever for three days and has been laying on the couch for four. She has barley eaten anything and if she opens her mouth and says Ah! you can see her tonsils from across the room. Her glands are so swollen they look like rocks on the side of her neck. I got a little worried. She’s not my whiner so you don’t really think about how bad she must be feeling. But she had Mono when she was almost 5. And after looking up on the internet about reoccurrence of Mono I thought I had better take her. The doctor did not take blood or feel her spleen. She told her to eat oranges and rest for three days. 

Two hours for that. Next time I may just stick with WebMD.

Dude! I Won Something!

I can not tell you how many contests I have entered on blogs to try to win an awesome prize. Bloggy Giveaways and Pioneer Woman and Rocks in My Dryer are just a few places I have entered. And I have never won. Until now!

Sarah over at Shortstop had a contest for a Blurb photo book. I started reading her blog when she had the 12 days of cookies at Christmas. I made several of the recipes and they all turned out great.

She had made a cookbook at Blurb for her sister-in-law for Christmas and it looked awesome. So I entered and I won a photobook! And like a dummy I forgot to go back and check until today. Yeah! 

I am a winner. Thanks Blurb and Sarah!

Voting Day

Today is the day we as Americans get to cast our vote for who we think would be best to lead our country. Today, history will be made either way. 

Every morning when I get to work I deliver the Wall Street Journal to a co-worker. This morning the Headline was something like ” New challenges for the new President.” They were already setting the scene for failure. And my first thought was “What kind of crazy person wants to be President?” 

Seriously. It has to take a special person to believe they can lead the entire country. I respect both of the candidates and their families for the sacrifices they are making for our country. They spend very little time with their spouses. They are attacked by the media. Some are attacked by their own party. How exhausting it must be to be on the road for months shaking all those hands and kissing all those babies. 

And yet we complain because we are tired of the ads and the calls and the signs. 

So today, I will be part of history and cast my vote. And either way there will be change.