Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I've been flapping my gums, to anyone who will listen, with the words, "I sure would like to buy a Photoshop program...yada yada yada."

I was flapping to a friend on the topic and she told me she had a version she no longer used and still had downloads, so she gave it to me. (Wasn't that friendly? Thanks Betsy.)

So I've been 'messing' with it here and there when I feel enough energy to attempt to learn.

Let me tell you about my day today... I'm having one of those, 'I just want someone else to be the mommy today' days. Cooper has been an angel, as always, and Chloe has to. BUT Chloe has her Daddy's 'got to be doing something most all the time' type of personality. Cooper is like me, he's the 'I'm just fine being held, fed but enjoy the outdoors as long as it's warm' personality. So I'm in need of a challenge that doesn't involve getting poop off of the floor and out of the carpet. (Thank you Chloe for making sure NOT to use the toilet anymore. I sure do relish those moments when I am changing your decaying animal smelling diapers. MMMM I also savor those moments when I have to use a Lysol Disinfecting Wipe to get the lovely dead animal smell off of my hands. I love you honey.)

Moments ago I decided, "I need to use my brain." I had finished my 1000 piece puzzle yesterday during the kid's nap time, so I was in need of another challenge.

Challenge? Photoshop. I wanted to learn how to 'fix' a photo. If you remember I posted some of my pics I took of Big Cedar and Roaring River. They were my attempt at making the water look 'ooooo aahhh flowy.' I succeeded but wasn't satisfied with the coloring of the grass and leaves. Some were dull, which happens when the shutter is open for so long and some even turned out over-exposed looking.

Sooo, I began learning.

Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC)

Slightly edited.

Edited some more. I wanted the colors to stand out a little more.

Below is another SOOC. Boorrrrinnggg.

Enhanced. Oooo lala

Watch Out Below for over-exposure!!

Much better. It might be too 'enhanced' though. I did find the 'eraser' type thingy. Kind of neat.

I'm really not exactly sure the steps I took. I just kept playing the the lighting scales until I was happy. I can tell you I adjusted shadows/ highlights and messed with the color saturation. I wanted the green to be green(er and the browns to be brown(er).

Challenge complete.

Now it's back to being a mommy. Cooper is behind me staring at me with his wee beedy eyes and grunting. He is now peeping through his crib slats and smiling, oh and farting.

And now I smell it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Wind-Down

Wind(w-eye-nd)-Down(v.) to exhale air after a good laugh, to relax, to take it all in after a good time.

This is a word my college buddies patented while we were in school at the best college in Oklahoma; University of Central Oklahoma. People often ask me, "Do you like OU or OSU?" I tell them, "I don't care, I didn't go to either school." I digress.

So the infamous wind-down, not wind like the wind is blowing, but wind like you wind up a toy. In college, I had a great time, but I had great friends. We always were laughing, usually at someone's fart, a good poop conversation, a card game, telling a funny story, or just making fun of each other. After a good laugh, there is the moment when everyone exhales at the exact same time. Think about it... Remember a moment when you had a big belly laugh and then sighed. That is a wind-down as I pointed out above with 'Megan's definition.'

Today, is my wind-down day.

Christmas is over, Matt is back to work *tear*, I have to take down decorations *double tear*, and life is dredging on; into 2009 *triple tear & a nasal drip*.

When Christmas Day was over, I was so sad. (That sentence sounded very elementary.) This happens every year though. I get so excited for Christmas and when it's over it's like, "That's all? How can it be over just like that?"

Cooper had his first Christmas, Chloe had her third, Matt and I had our 7th our 'Charlie Brown Tree' made it through another year, and it was all really great.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and good luck with the wind-down.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Card

The picture at the top of my blog is our Christmas card for 2008.

I ordered 25. Let me tell you why that number.

1) 25 was the minimum order for the company I used.

2)Last year, I ordered 25 and ended up having 6-8 cards left. That was after I scrap paged one (I made that a verb), put one in Chloe's photo storage box and put one in my photo storage box AND put one on the refrigerator.

When I typed the number 25 in the order screen on their website I thought, "I sure hope I don't have any left. I don't want to be wasteful again this year."

When we got home from Big Cedar,my cards had arrived and I began addressing the envelopes so they could be in the mail on Saturday and hopefully arrive to most by Christmas.

Let me back track...Last year, I did a "Happy New Year" card along with a catchy *to me funny* letter. The letter contained the events from the previous year. Since Matt and I have been married, 6 years last October, we have had our share of ups and downs. Not within our marriage, but in life in general, so I usually have a lot to write about. This past November marked our 3 year anniversary in B'ville. This is the longest we have ever been in one place. Life is Good.

Because life is good, which means things could change very soon, I didn't feel the need to write a letter. But the real reason is timing. I didn't have time to write a letter and get the cards out BEFORE Christmas. (The cards were created by the photographer/friend and I liked them. I didn't want to change them.)

Here's the point. "This goes out to the people who didn't get a card." That mainly applies to my fellow Bartlesville friends. "You guys had to sacrifice so others, those that we don't see as often, could receive. I got your cards and love them!!! I apologize for not sending you one. It is because of you great people that ordering 25 cards was not enough and because of that you will have to go without this year. I promise next year you will get one. I am so thankful to all of you for loving us and being our friends!"

Next year, I'll have to order more. Thank you for your friendships.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Missing Balls

Yes, that type of 'balls.'

Cooper's in fact.

I was on my death bed yesterday and have been resurrected from the dead today. Point being, I haven't changed Cooper's diaper in over a day.

This morning I was changing Cooper's diaper and noticed his little ball sack area looked really wrinkled and prunish, like if your skin is wet for too long. I thought, "His diaper isn't that wet. I wonder why he looks funny?"

So I went about my business... An hour later, I had to change him again, he pooped. I noticed his balls looked the same-gone! I called Matt, "Matt, do a guy's balls disappear?"
"Umm, I can't find Cooper's."
"If his are gone GO TO THE ER!!!" He says very concerned for his son's manliness.

I go and check one more time. Yep, they are gone. I try to warm him up thinking my hands are so cold it is causing 'shrinkage.' Matt had told me there is such a thing and that the Seinfeld episode is correct.

I try to warm him up by blowing on his diaper. It un-wrinkles, but I still can't feel them.
I give him a warm bath. It again, un-wrinkles, but I still can't feel them anywhere!

The dr's office calls back, "What's the problem?"
"Cooper's balls have vanished!" I tell her. I know she's thinking how I'm crazy.
I tell her the mornings happenings and my attempts to locate them.
"Well, lets go ahead and make an appt. for in the morning."

My thoughts.."IN THE MORNING?! WHAT IF THEY ARE GONE FOREVER AND YOU DID NOTHING!" I call Matt and tell him what the nurse said, "So is it not that big of a deal?" He's very concerned as am I.
"I don't know babe. I think she doesn't believe me. I think she thinks I'm crazy. But Matt they seriously are gone."

Cooper's balls are normally very visible. This has never happened. I tried feeling around his groin area and I don't feel anything and he doesn't act like he is in pain. He's so hard to read b/c he's so easy-going.

He's had very runny diapers the past few days and has not really wanted to eat any 'food.' He just wants a bottle and even then he doesn't finish it.

So my fellow mom's... Should I take him to the ER or is this just 'normal?'

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Psychopath Grandma

I wasn't going to do another post for a few days so everyone would and could read about our trip to Big Cedar, but what just happened to me in the Hobby Lobby parking lot is just too rich not to share.

(This story contains full disclosure)

Here in Bartlesville ,there is a mini-Hobby Lobby. I usually park on the side of the building in between H.L and a furniture store. I parallel parked alongside H.L. in the first spot just after the sidewalk.

I'm talking to a friend named Lela on the phone, still buckled up and the car still running since it is like 100 degrees below zero outside.

I look in my rear view mirror and see a lady attempting to park behind me. Where she was parking IS NOT A SPOT. I'm still talking to Lela and thinking, "Who does this lady think she is parking there. If someone needs to use the ramp she's in their way!"

Then I felt it, "THUMP!"
I tell Lela, "Hey I have to go some lady just rear ended me!"
"Ok, call me back."

I get out of the car, "You just hit me!"
"Ohhh, there's nothing wrong." Says the psychopath Grandma as she exits her fancy gold colored Cadillac. She turns to shut the door while I am trying to see my back bumper but the view is hindered because she is so close to me. I can see a slight scratch, but didn't want to make a hasty decision before thoroughly inspecting my car. I watch Judge Milian people I know the drill.

I look up from my car to discuss this incident with the psycho and she is walking inside H.L.!!! She's just leaving, "You hit me!" She continues to leave. "Lady! You can't just walk away!" She is still walking. She grabs the doors to enter H.L. "I AM GOING TO CALL THE COPS!!!" She laughs and goes inside.

I call Matt and tell him what happened. "Call the police," he says. So I did.

Before they show up a man appears at my window and I think, "Great, psychopath Grandma has called her husband and he's here to plead her case and to explain her psychoness."
He says, "Did she do any damage?"
"She scratched my bumper!" I say slightly rude. "Are you related to her?"
"No I'm not, I just saw what she did and I'm a retired police officer and what she did was wrong."
"Ohh, ok," I say calming down now that I know he is NOT related to the enemy.
"If you need to talk to me here is my name and number." He proceeds to give me his info.

The police show up and they try to find her inside H.L. They look at my car and policeman #1 says, "Looks like she just knocked some dust off." He continues to rub my bumper.
"No, she put a dent in it."
"Ok," he says "do you want me to write a report?"
"You know what, I do." I wanted this lady to get into trouble for what she did.

She finally comes out. She must have finished her Christmas shopping because she had three bags of stuff! Officer #1 and #2 show her the 'damage.' She walks over to my car and says, "If you want to make a big deal of out this..."
"WHAT!" I yell in complete disbelief of her attitude, "a big deal? YOU HIT ME!!"
She went on and on to the officers with how I am over reacting!

Here's the deal. Realistically there is very very very minimal damage. Had this scenario happened,
She exits her car, "Oh my gosh ma'am I am so sorry. Are you ok? Did I hurt your car? Please look and tell me if I messed it up."

Had she said those things I would have finished my shopping as well, but the fact that she was so arrogant angered me and was wrong. I don't understand how people can be so rude and think they are better than others. Did her fancy gold caddy make her better than I? No, but to her it did.

I told Matt I couldn't tell if she was drunk or had a problem. Seeing as how I didn't know, I kept my mouth shut from making fun or calling her out. ]

It would be knit-picky of me to carry this on any further, but I just feel like she feels like she can do what ever she wants and get away with it. If she had gotten a ticket this whole thing would have been forgotten, if she had apologized this whole thing would have been forgotten.

I'm seriously at a loss. I want to be Christ-like about it, but I also want to be Christ-like about it-if you know what I mean. I don't want anything from her, but I want justice and for her to be knocked down off of her Cadillac horse for a minute!

So if anyone knows a Sandra Foster who drives a new model gold colored four door Cadillac stay away from her! (I told you 'full disclosure'. It's the only way I can think of right now to bring a hint of shame upon her.)

It took all I had not to pull a "Towanda" on her grandma behind. (You know from Fried Green Tomatoes.) The ages would have been different, but still would have been funny.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Cedar

Matt and I aren't the 'foo foo, lay on a beach' type people especially since I am now frightened of the sun. We're more of the 'curl up by a fire' type people or the 'take pictures of nature' people or even the 'drink coffee and hot tea in a "bar"' type people.

When we mention Big Cedar, people often ask us, "What is there to do there?" and "Do you bring your kids?" I think they are fully expecting us to ramble off a list of 'things to do' and for us to say yes. Our answer is and will always be, "Heck NO we don't (bring our kids) and we do nothing. And that is why we love it."

It was on our honeymoon, over 6 years ago, that Matt and I found our little piece of heaven on Earth. It lies in a little cove, off the beach of Table Rock lake and it goes by the name of Big Cedar Lodge. (angels singing)

This little slice of Heaven is located near Branson, which I am NOT a fan of by the way. I have to digress for a minute. On our way home, we had to go by Wal-Mart to pick up some personal items (yuck) for the ride home. Inside this particular Wal-Mart was a stand that said, "GET YOUR SHOW TICKETS HERE!" The lady was yelling, in a polite tone, at people to get them to buy show tickets. I did the whole, keep your hoodie up, look at the floor and pretend you don't speak 'Branson.' I think it worked because she shut up.
As we were leaving the arguably beautiful town, I told Matt, "Branson feels very 'den of theives-ish.'" With which he replied, "It feels very 'Costa Maya-ish' to you?" (Costa Maya was a stop on a cruise we went on in 2004, back in my sun goddess days.)

"Ya, that's exactly how I feel, like everyone is trying to 'sell' you on their painted penny. (In Costa Maya, there was a guy painting on pennies with his finger nail and a toothpick. *clears throat* I bought one)

I digressed to Hell, now back to Heaven.

In the past, we have taken the route through Miami, Oklahoma to Springfield and down to Ridgedale, Missouri. Since we were on vacation, we thought we'd take a more scenic route through the far northwestern most region of Arkansas and up into Ridgedale. And that is what we did.

Our first stop was Roaring River. We debated on whether or not to stop, but we did. We pulled into the first little parking area. I told Matt, "I want to try and take pictures of the flowing water. I saw a technique in a book and I want to try it." As we pulled into the parking lot, this is what I saw.
(*to the tune of 'Do You Hear What I Hear*) Do you see what I seeeeeeeee? An eagle an eagle perching in the tree he will get him a fish to eat, he will get him a fish to eat.

He didn't get a fish while we were there, but we got a few pictures. Don't worry this isn't my first rodeo. I am an expert Bald Eagle spotter. I see them everywhere! Just north of Branson, one flew over the highway in front of us. I see them all the time, it is a spiritual gift.

(Below is the technique I wanted to try. The shutter speed was super slow in order to get the water to look the way it does.)
(The picture below is a normal shot. I just went with the setting the camera picked.)

We paused for a photo opp. in which I decided I look very large. I am not large just the sweat pant look adds a good 10 lbs.

Not long after leaving Roaring River, we arrived to the earthly pearly gates made of rod iron.
(Our room. A view from the bed towards the door.)
The fire Matt started.

The bathroom! Do you see Matt on the far right? He has visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.
The bed and door into the bathroom.

The whole reason we came was to celebrate Matt's 35th birthday. I had them bake a cake and decorate it for me so I could surprise him. They made the sitting area like a picnic setting. So cute.

Going to dinner the first night at Devil's Pool Restaurant.

The next day, we ventured out of our cottage and took some pictures. I wanted to take more water pics.
(Normal speed above)

Truman House. A good place to get coffee.

The tree behind Matt is probably 20 feet tall. It is located inside the registration lodge.

The house behind Matt is made of gingerbread!
The ingredients. It's hard to read, but they used 150 lbs of flour!!
Another view. The trees are not gingerbread, just the house.
They modeled it after one of the buildings on the grounds., the Worman House. There is so much history to this place. It started with one building that was a lodge/ retreat for a man in the 1920's and has grown and changed and been many things since. It was around 1987, when the founder of Bass Pro Shops bought the area and made it what it is today-wonderful.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


November 11, 2008

I recently wrote about my melanoma scare. Well, kids here is an example of why tanning beds and basking in the sun is bad news. Keep in mind, I was not a regular at the tanning salon, but it was enough to have my chest sliced open. Black, white, green, purple or blue stay away from tanning beds and wear sunscreen.

I took the pictures today. I thought I'd spare you the dramatic pictures from right after. The yellowing is NOT the lighting, it's a bruise. She placed a stencil on me and traced a diamond shape laid on it side. It's a large area, but she (dr.) had orders from the pathologist.

I am not sharing to be like, "Oh, woe is me," but to tell you the sun, artificial or not, is very dangerous for you and your children.

Saturday, November 13, 2008

The family loaded up in the mini, to go look at Christmas lights. If you are ever in the Bartlesville area, please go to Woolaroc and visit. It's a diamond in the rough. It is such a nice place with so much history and artifacts. There are also shrunken heads, a highlight to most junior high students. I was one of them when I was in school.
(This was taken on Sat., on our way out of town, I had to document the low price of gas. Wouldn't you know by Monday it had risen 13c! I'll still take it though.)

They, Woolaroc, have a Christmas light extravaganza. It really is something. There is a tractor drawn hayride, tons of lights and if you do Santa, even he is there. AND he doesn't have a fake beard. We were blown down, by the wind, to Frank Phillip's lodge and had hot chocolate and cookies, listened to music and enjoyed the Oklahoma wind and the beautiful lights. The really cool thing was you can go into the museum area and look around just like if you came during regular business hours.

(In tungsten mode and the sun is barely up.)

I had read online that the key to photographing lights is to take them when the sun is either setting or rising. You have to have a little light for the Christmas ones to be visible. ALSO, if you are shooting towards the sky, turn the 'white balance' mode to tungsten.

(Also in tungsten mode, but I am loosing light)

(In front of the lodge still in tungsten. No light, hence the blurriness and you can only see the lights not what the lights are on. Enter the reason for the sun needing to be partially up.)

November 15, 2008

My baptism day. I was so nervous and to be honest, slightly embarrassed by the upcoming event. The baptism bash at my church,, is geared towards the 'new Christians.' It is definitely NOT geared for the long time followers of Christ, which is good, but was also part of my hesitation.

(The baptismal, if you will.)

No one in my family came, BUT Matt's Mom did make the trek. If you don't know my MIL, this is a huge deal. Our church is out of her 'comfort driving zone.' Not only was she out of her 'zone' but she came without my FIL. He's a preacher and he has a duty to preach, especially on Sundays.

I've been asked, "So how was it?"

(Posing for a camera. Matt is taking the pictures following. The lighting in there is horrendous. Sorry for the poor quality and lack of clarity.)

Let me tell you...

It was better than I imagined and well worth hearing, "Megan, or Megan as Eddie called me but God knew who he meant, I baptise you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of your sins."

Folks, I teared up. I've never heard those words and I honestly could feel and hear those words spewing out of His mouth. They spewed because the Lord has been holding on to those words for 11 years and He finally got to say it. And He said it to me...

despite the freezing cold water...
was absolutely amazing and worth it...
(Eddie is the man in the background. He is the campus pastor for the new campus coming to Owasso in February 09!)

On the way home Matt asked, "How do you feel?"

I said, "Like that monkey on my back has been killed."

He just smiled.

(Because I'm a pansy and didn't want to walk outside to take a picture, this is a view of our neighbors house.)

And for today? Well, it wouldn't be Oklahoma if on Saturday and Sunday it was in the 70's and on Monday and Tuesday it snows.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baptism Bash

Tomorrow's the big day.

I told my Dad on Friday that I was getting baptized on Sunday and this is the conversation.

"I'm leaving town on Saturday for a job in Colorado." He says at the start of the conversation. I begin to become slightly excited because that means he won't be there. Then I begin to feel feelings of guilt because if I had scheduled it for Saturday, he could make it. I knew the sentence I was about to spew out of my mouth would cause controversy and frustration between the both of us. He doesn't understand what I mean when I say, "I am a Christian." He feels he is one too because he reads his Bible, or "gives money to the church" or never misses a Sunday or visits a church when he's traveling or feeds the homeless or speaks to the Sunday school about his travels or prays before he eats.

"Oh, well, I'm getting baptized on Sunday night."
"You've already been baptiszed, Meg." He says very matter of fact like I am the one mistaken or perhaps I forgot.
"Well," I say with great caution, seeking the proper words to say, "it wasn't a baptism as I believe one should be."

I went on to explain how I had accepted Christ many years ago. And that if a child is 'sprinkled' that that doesn't keep them from Hell or give them the promise of Heaven. "Dad, Chloe and Cooper have the choice to believe in God and accept Him on their own. Matt and I will teach them and do our best to instill those values and morals in their lives but ultimately, they make their own decision. Neither Matt nor I can not make it for them. Do you remember when we dedicated the kids?"
"Ya, right what was that?" He asks thinking he 'got me' even though I have explained this already.

"That was Matt and I promising to do our very best to raise Chloe and Cooper in a God-filled home, teaching them about God in the hopes of them deciding to accept Christ in the future."

He pops off, "Well, in that idea, then why did you circumcise Cooper. If you believe it should be his decision, then why didn't you let him decide when he is older?"

"Because if Cooper is or isn't circumcised that doesn't determine his love for Christ, Dad. I just believe this is something I have to do to show people what I believe and who I believe in. It's symbolic. This alone will do nothing for me, but since I accepted Christ years ago, this is something that needs to be done in order for me to be obedient to what I believe. I believe what Mom did wasn't the 'correct' way of doing things."

"WELL, YOUR MOM DID WHAT SHE THOUGHT WAS BEST!!" He is very angry and is sticking up for my Mom, which was weird.
"Dad, I agree. Mom did what she thought she should do, you are right. Now that I'm older, I just feel like I need to do this."
"Sooo, what's Matt doing?" He changes the subject like we were just discussing the weather. He's not giving in and I am for darn sure not changing my mind either.

I have yet to tell my Mom. I'm scared of the same reaction, or worse. I'm scared she'll be offended and hurt. She has a hard time seeing the big picture, the one I am trying to show her but she wears blinders. I'm not sure what 'emotions' are her blinders, but I'm sure pain, anger, emptiness and confusion are a few. My Mom did her best with what she thought was the 'right' thing to do. I can remember that day, I had no idea what was happening. Ohh, the Episcopal church.

My Dad proclaims to be a Christian, but like I told Matt. "My Dad has traveled the world. He's been on every continent except Antarctica, he's seen a lot of different religions. My Dad wants to believe that there is a religion and a belief for everybody, you just have to find what's 'right' for you. He told me once that he believes just parts of the Bible. He can't believe it all because it was written by men and men are corrupt. He compares. My Dad is a 'good works' kind of guy. I'm afraid he'll never get that it's not a 'good works' kind of deal. He will see a story on TV and perhaps it's a person who says they are a Christian. Now the person has done something wrong, evil or against the law. My Dad will say, "You believe that guy is a Christian. Is that what YOU stand for Megan." I just tell him no. So Matt you see what I'm up against?"

Matt just shakes his head and we both pray that some day, some day soon my family will get it.

Pray that they do.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Full Moon

I read that the moon tonight will be the year's biggest full moon. Mr Moon will only be 221,560 miles away. Closer than his usual 238,885 miles.
Mr. Moon will also be 14% bigger.

And 30% brighter.

Must be his night to cause the ladies to swoon.

Watch out ladies, Mr. Moon's out tonight.