Monday, July 5, 2010

33. Plant a Vegetable Garden

Don't know how I missed this but I have another thing to cross off my list - can I get a Woot Woot! I did plant a vegetable garden - a nice big one! Unfortunately between Jay's ACL surgery, me going back to work and this record rainfall, it hasn't been a huge success with one small exception. My tomatoes are awesome!! I have always viewed tomato growing as something of an artform. Probably because my dad is the Picasso of tomatoes. Seriously, the man could write a book. Well, he has, just not about tomatoes. Sorry. Small tangent. Anyway, my tomatoes are doing awesome. I have picked enough to share and each one is picture perfect!


Feels good to be blogging again - looks like I will "ketchup" soon! HAHAHA green thumb and funny too! I AM almost 40 and fabulous!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

19. Kiss in the rain

Another one bites the dust! Our family celebrated our Country's independence in grand style at Bethany, Oklahoma's Freedom Festival. What a great night. It had rained off and on most of the day but it really just made for a nice cool evening. By nightfall, we found a perfect spot in the grass to lay out our blanket - perfect viewing for fireworks! And then it started to rain. It was the perfect (and romantic) moment to cross another thing off my 40x40 - so i grabbed my husband of 12 years and kissed him in the rain. Mission accomplished!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A little known fact...

I was the roller disco queen of Wheatland Ave circa 1980. There was an "Official" contest with all the kids on the block. While i was far from the only entrant into the contest as the oldest participant, I was the natural choice for the sole (and soul) judge. I won the contest hands down in a unanimous decision. I am pretty sure I also fabricated a sash out of a pillowcase to crown my achievement. If only my mother would have been as present with the camera as I am with my own children. Although perhaps it's best that the 10 yr old version of me with tight pants, halter top and a pillowcase draped over me is one image that is better left to the imagination! Fast forward 30 years (wow - how is that possible) to the current version of me. We were invited to a birthday party for the son of one of our nearest and dearest. The party was held at the local roller rink!! I was a little nervous but excited to showcase my roller disco skills. Yeah, not so much. Apparently if you hang up your skates for 30 years, it's nothing like riding a bike, you just can't get back on and go! And - imagine my surprise (and disgust) when they didn't play Funky Town one time!!! Seriously, that's just wrong. How am I supposed to skate to Eminem's Shake that A$$? That was probably my problem, the music. Yea, it was the music. There were no crowns to be handed out last night and no pillow case sashes but I did put on my skates and make a valliant attempt and for that, I consider myself the reigning roller disco queen of Roff Ave. Officially.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Man, it's not easy being this goal-oriented

So just knowing that I made these goals for myself and I have not achieved them is killing me. I don't know if I will get to every one but I don't know that I won't. So every once in a while, you might check in and see some progress. Maybe.

10. Take my family to my grandmother's grave.
I did this on Memorial Day and it was so special. I shared so many stories and memories of my grandmother. I thought I might make me sad at the thought of missing so many things with my grandmother, mostly sad at the thought that she never got to meet my husband or my children. But instead, I found myself filled with joy! Standing there, sharing stories of her and laughing with my children was something I won't soon forget. I don't know if I will go back again, I know in my heart, she isn't there. She is definitely smiling down at us and probably always has been.

Monday, May 3, 2010

For whatever reason...

I have decided to discontinue my 40x40 quest. Whereas there are lots of excuses errr i mean reasons, here is my official response. Part of turning 40 means I need to prove nothing to anyone including myself. I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman and each day I live my life trying to be the best mom, wife, sister, friend, and daughter I can be. I challenge myself on a daily basis. Always have - always will. If you choose to follow something really worthwhile, i encourage you to check out my family blog. It will be updated, soon. It can be found by visting,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bad Blogger, forgive me Oprah...

Sorry I have been such a bad blogger, I promise to have a full update soon. I have been busy helping my sister organize a walk team for March for Babies. If you would like to learn more about why we are doing this or even sponsor us in our efforts, please visit my family blog by clicking here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Challenging myself

I think i mentioned in my first post that I am not Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, Catholic Lite. We are now happy Methodists. So while I am not sure that Methodists as a rule give up something for lent but I've done it for so many years, I can't imagine not. Of course, I DO eat meat, even on Fridays, so I'm not exactly "hard core." It seems the last several years I have given up something like ice cream or soda or chocolate. For 40 days and 40 nights it's not exactly easy but it is definitely not a sacrifice either. The last church we went to in Wichita subscribed to the belief that instead of giving something up you should do something to better yourself. In keeping with my 40x40 I decided to give it a try. I decided to spend time everyday walking and/or running. This would go towards (hopefully) accomplishing two of my goals, losing 40 lbs and walking/running my first 5k. I purposely sat out to run everyday. I know myself better than anybody and if i would have challenged myself to 2-3 days a week it would be easy to put off today's run hoping for a better tomorrow so I challenged myself to do it everday. I have to admit, I haven't done it. But, i think i have done better than I expected. I am out atleast 5 days per week. I have been out in rain and cold and very windy conditions. I have had to walk around hospitals, my sister's neighborhood and out at a soccer complex - believe me it would have been easy to skip but I didn't. So today after the rain cleared, I decided to hit it again. My body is starting to crave it, how awesome is that? It's not my mind reminding me to get out and hit the streets it's my body asking me to! I was feeling confident tonight and asked my husband to join me. Big mistake. I sat out to prove something to him but really to myself. I failed. I took a longer path than normal and had a great walking pace. I decided to run. Why not? My heart is pumping to the music and I feel great! I pat my husband on the back, give him a flirty smile and say, "let's run." He took off and ran right past me. I tried to keep up but I couldn't. I wish I wasn't so damn competitive. I wish I wasn't so damned out of shape. I wish I wasn't so damn old. I am so so angry with myself, I can hardly see through my tears. But I'm not giving up. I am going to run that 5k and then I am going to run another one and another one. I am craving the freedom and the rush I am just beginning to feel. Today was rough but tomorrow is another day. And just for the record, after my husband came in, I went around the block one more time. BECAUSE I CAN!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3. Feed or prepare meals for the homeless

While I am very excited to cross another 40x40 off the list, this one makes me particularly happy. I don't think it's any secret I love our church. We went to just about every church in Oklahoma City when we moved here trying to find our church home. I wanted small and traditional. We ended up with HUGE and forward thinking yet rooted in the traditional. It's a great church for our kids to grow up in - on any given day you can hear children's laughter echoing up and down the hallways - The Holy Spirit is so present it's practically palpable! So when our church decided to be part of the Stop Hunger Mission, Jay and I knew we wanted to be a part of it. The plan was to raise enough money to assemble meals for 50,000 people. Financially, the last couple of months have been rough on us, we weren't sure how to increase our giving but figured our time was just as valuable. But then, the youth of our church had a great idea, one Sunday they handed out tubes of mini M&M's - a quarter, coincedentally fits perfect in one. Our task was to enjoy the M&M's and return the tube filled with quarters. Each tube held $14.00 worth of quarters, or the equivalent of 56 meals! It was actually pretty easy and much more fun than just writing a check. I cleaned out purses and cars and coin jars until each of us had filled a mini M&M tube of quarters! We were not alone. As a church we raised enough to assemble 176,000 meals!! They had quite the system, there was an assembly line rivaling anything i have seen! I took on the role of weigher. Each bag filled with rice, veggies, seasonings and a vitamin pack had to weigh between 380-385 grams. It was my job to add or subtract ingredients based on that goal. Brooke and Jay both served as runners although we did try and alternate roles some! During our shift alone, we assembled, packaged and prepared for shipping 25,000 meals! These meals will be making their way to Africa where they will be prepared and served as school lunches. I hope that these children are atleast half as Blessed to receive the meals as we were preparing them!

SO yes, I cross another thing off my list today but really, this was about so much more. About spending time as a family and imagining other families, much like ours, miles away with worries much different than ours. I am really enjoying my Meditations for a Busy mom, just yesterday I bookmarked a verse I plan to visit often, Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22. I wish I could share His word and His message with our brothers and sisters in Africa, maybe in some way today, I did.

ps. How cool would it be if the school these meals were going to was one that Oprah built? I'm just sayin.....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Official!!

Number 31 on my list is crossed off! I was offered and i accepted a position today. I am so excited. This feels like exactly like what I am supposed to be doing. It takes my 20 years experience and gives it a purpose for a cause I am crazy passionate about!
I don't want to share every detail now but rest assured, you will know soon enough because this is in non-profit and everyone knows friends and family make the best volunteers! :)
My first day is March 22nd - right after Spring Break! Guess I need to get a little more serious about finding a GOOD daycare for Kate since she won't start school until August!
Also I want to give a BIG HUGE Happy Birthday Shout Out to my friend Leslie! Leslie and I went to high school together and reconnected last year through the magic of social networking and now this crazy blogging circle. Today she celebrates her 40th birthday, I am so Blessed to once again call her my friend! And let me assure you friends, and Oprah she is most definitely 40 and fabulous! Love ya Leslie! Happy Happy Birthday - can't wait to celebrate in September!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

# 31. On my list...

is seriously haunting me! Days like today make me want to CROSS. IT. OFF. What a beautiful and glorious day! Kate and I had lunch with my sister and then took our littlest kids and biggest dogs to the park!

How happy is this face?

I am still waiting to hear back from the one and only job I have interviewed for. If it doesn't pan out (i really should know soon) I'm not sure what I'm going to do! I wonder if Oprah is hiring...

Sorry this isn't much of an update but I really wanted to share this picture I took today at the park. It is so peaceful, I feel like if you stare at it long enough, you can actually here this bible verse, "Today is the day the Lord hath made, Rejoice and Be Glad in it!" Which is exactly what we did!


Monday, March 1, 2010

I'm not a quitter, I'm a resignor.....

So #25 on my 40x40 list was to finish designing Brooke's yearbook. When Brooke started attending this school 3 years ago, I was anxious to fit in as a new parent. It's an excellent school in a good district, people do not leave this school so Brooke was the new kid and I was the new mom. It was a bit of a struggle and to be honest, Brooke found her way in a lot quicker than I did. This last year the PTA board shifted a bit and I was asked to run for office. I actually declined but did take the position of yearbook chair. I was excited - it fell right in line with my line of work. Or so I thought. At every turn it was a challenge. There were obstacles thrown at me from every direction not to mention a huge internal battle raging. But yesterday I finished all 48 pages. There are edits to be made, proofs to check, etc but for all intents and purposes my role as yearbook chair is complete. Finally. FINALLY!! This process has reminded me of a very important lesson, sometimes NOT fitting in is ok and seriously.....wait for it....not everybody has to like me! I have turned everything in including my letter of resignation. I accomplished what i intended to the best of my ability and learned a valuable lesson in the process. I guess I would call that a success. So check another 40x40 off my list, I am sooooooooo ready to move on!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Me? A security threat? Help me Oprah!

Dear Oprah Scouts, I continue to give you show idea after show idea and still no call, no e-mail not even one single comment! Where's the love I ask you, where is the love? Perhaps you have not found something Oprah-worthy. I'm catching what you're tossing. So I present yet one more potential show topic. Almost middle age (yet they look much younger) stay at home moms being profiled at DMV's. . You can call the show, "They are called STAY AT HOME moms because the DMV won't give them a driver's license." What? too long? it's a working title. work with me and stay focused please.

Informally yours,

Jennifer O. Lacy (if i legally change my middle name to Oprah will it help at all, cause I'll do it!)

Number 40 on my list is to obtain an Oklahoma driver's license. Simple enough. Apparently, not so. I have a valid Kansas driver's license so I haven't been in a huge rush to obtain one in the "great" state of Oklahoma. However, i needed to present one to Brooke's school.
So Tuesday morning Kate and I showered and made ourselves "ID picture ready" (you know, make-up, hair, cute top, then sweats and flip flops on the bottom) and headed to the DMV. I called in advance to make sure I had everything I needed, I did. I got there and had to take a number. Is there anything more humbling? Seriously, take a number and have a seat. It was so quiet (just the kind of place you do NOT want to be waiting at with a hungry/tired three yr old!) and GASP! they made me turn off my cell phone. Not silence it. TURN. IT. OFF. That meant I couldn't even facebook my way through the wait! Almost two hours later - NUMBER 44!! WooHoo! I gave my best brightest smile to the obviously, underworked and overpaid "attendant." I presented her my Texas birth certificate, not ideal in this sooner obsessed state. She gave me the horns down sign and told me it was a hospital certificate and she couldn't accept it. My smile widened and I am pretty sure my accent became a little more southern while I gushed, "I understand, a lot of people make the same mistake, it's happened my whole life! It is a hospital certificate, but see that little seal. That makes it ok. It's a state seal. I have dealt with this my whole life, it's fine. Thanks." She responded coldly and abruptly, "not since 9-11 it ain't." Hmmmm didn't see that coming. Especially since I renewed my license in 2006 which was about 5 years after 9-11. When I tried to explain that to the woman. She just kept shaking her head and saying, "9-11." I offered an alternative. I brought my marriage license, sometimes that helps. Not so. "9-11." Please know I am not making light of 9-11 at all. It is the single most reprehensible event in our lifetime but I am not sure what is has to do with me updating my driver's license. Personally, I think it is because I am living in Oklahoma with a Kansas driver license and a Texas birth certificate, she felt i was attacking from both borders! Plus, I have shifty eyes, or so I am told. Needless to say, I left defeated which doesn't happen often but didn't really see the need to risk jail time over it. Good news is, i threw myself at the mercy of the school, and they are letting me slide! so although I am not crossing it off, i do have a plan B and plan C so stay tuned!

I am very excited about one of my next cross off attempts - create a signature cupcake recipe! I have spent a lot of time coming up with the perfect idea and i LOVE it! It's a flavor inspired by one of my husband's great loves (flavor loves, sicko) so as a bonus - I won't even want to eat them, just bake them! Next week i will take the recipe out for a test drive. I think it's going to take quite a bit of trial and error. Anyone want to be a volunteer taster? Oprah?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not even Oprah is this busy....

Whew!! I am loving this list. I do things with such purpose these days - I hope all my fellow bloggers are enjoying this as much as I am. I can't believe it has been a week since I updated! I normally am a pretty good about updating more frequently - that is the secret to good blogging isn't it? update! update! update! It helps when people leave comments (hint hint) it let's the blogger know someone is reading and wants to know more!
So most of you know that my father-in-law has been in the hospital last week and had quadruple bypass surgery. It has kept my family running and away from home. He is doing well and should be out in the next coule of days. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers! In the process, we managed to take Jay's mom dinner. I always feel that when someone is in the hospital, they are being cared for but the one who is left at home often goes forgotten. So with that being said, number 13. take dinner to a sick friend or neighbor - check it off the list! I'm sure it won't be the last time but I'm crossing it off for now.
Number 25. Design Brooke's yearbook. I can't cross this off yet but the last time I updated on this, I think i had 2 pages designed and now i have 39 of 48 so there is a lot of progress! Of course my deadline is March 1st with a little wiggle room.

I am officially crossing #26, start a prayer journal. It is already getting filled with prayers and answers! If you have a prayer request, feel free to leave it in my comments.

#2 submit a short story for publication. I didn't submit a full story just a story idea, not crossing this one off the list yet just updating some progress!

#31. re-enter the workforce. I know I spent my entire last post discussing my Hannah Montana plan but......I am being pulled yet again, in another direction. The job I declined is pursuing me again so we have re-opened negotiations, if you will. Just have to keep you posted on this one, it's complicated.

#1. Run or walk a 5k. No, i have not done this, yet. BUT I am laying the foundation. I am totally giving my brother credit for this. He is inspiring. He has become a full fledge multi-marathon runner. His last marathon in Flordida, he officially became a "3 something" meaning he ran the marathon in 3 hours and some minutes versus a 4 something. Impressive! Perhaps more impressive is his mile streak. I can't tell you how many days it has been but I am pretty sure it is over 1,000 consecutive days he has run atleast a mile. I realize a mile isn't much but believe me to do it everyday without fail, crazy! He travels a lot so it might be in strange cities, in the rain, snow, cold, excessive heat, etc. On Christmas Eve he was stranded at our house during the worst blizzard in our state's history. No running clothes or shoes to be found yet he kept his streak alive. i was worried at the end of it he wouldn't be - it was crazy yet I imagined his what his sense of accomplishment must have been (while i also pondered his mental stability.) The point is I am not ready to jump into a marathon or even a 5k so i am starting my own streak. Every day during lent I am going to walk atleast around our big block which is more like 2 or 3 blocks. At the end of lent, I am officially going to start working towards the 5k. I have started the couch to the 5k program before but i always did the longer version and got bored with it, this time i have a new approach so we will see. You will happy to know that even though we were in the hospital most of the week and away from home, i have managed to keep my streak alive! I am on day 6 - you got start somewhere, right? So again, no officially crossing off but progress!
My big cross off for the week was # 30. Have a mammogram. I did it. It didn't hurt. Wasn't too bad. Of course, the worry has set in just a bit. They went back to check tht "spot" a couple of extra times and said I might get a phone call wanting yet another look. I just want to encourage any of my fellow bloggers, if you haven't done it, please do. It's really not that bad and if you are within an hour of OKC, I will be happy to take you and hold your hand. You just have to ask!

I have a busy, busy week this week. Friday is my daughter's Winter Carnival, one of PTA's largest fundraisers and a LOT of work! I also have yearbook deadline, school photos to take, ads to build, a driver's license to obtain, a job to negotiate, a father in law in the hospital, a feverish three year old, a middle school application to complete and submit, and Thursday spring soccer begins which means I am picking up half the team from school and taking them to the field! I wonder who I see about a raise? I think I deserve one!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hannah Montana and Oprah Winfrey

Number 31 on my list - re-enter the workforce. I have to admit this one was kind of a "gimme." Back in October, an organization that I do a lot of pro-bono work for approached me with a proposition. They wanted to add me as full time staff. I have to admit I was flattered and intrigued. They are a top 100 company for working moms and while the job wasn't going to make me rich, it offered a lot of perks including flexible scheduling. I started the interview process in November and then everything changed. Due to several unforseen circumstances, things kept getting drawn out. I definitely started seeing thing in a different light. Turns out I am a pretty structured person. Chaos and I have never been friends and this opportunity was chaos-central! Finally last week, I received a call saying a formal offer was in the works. 5 days later, I officially removed my name for consideration. It really wasn't that easy of a decision but it was the right one for my family.

So # 31, huh? Cant really cross that off now can I? But like Oprah always taught me, have a plan! (probably not the best time to bring this up, but i actually don't watch Oprah - i think she's awesome and inspiring and gracious and generous beyond measure but it's really hard for me to sit down for a hour and watch tv, especially during the middle of the day - whew, i feel better. Don't hate me Oprah, i still have mad love for ya!)

So this brings me to my new plan - i call it my "Hannah Montana" plan! I want "the best of both worlds!" If you have tweens, I am sorry, I have no doubt permenently placed this song in your head for the day. Don't worry sisters - I'll be singing it with you. Has anyone seen my adderall - i seem to be seriously ADD this morning! I am officially quitting (read, cutting back) on my FREElance business and starting my YOUREALLYSHOULDPAYMESOMETHINGlance business. There is a lot of opportunity out there, I have some great contacts I just need to Be Aggressive - Be Be Aggressive! So my plan and yes, I ALWAYS have a plan, is to get through March, finish Brooke's yearbook, finish winter carnival and then Viola - Jennifer Lacy by night - Hannah Montana by day. Just to clarify, I am a freelance writer not singer - just in case all the Hannah Montana references threw you off!

Update on #30. Mammogram. Seriously want to cancel. Trying not to. How sad is it that the only reason or at least a BIG reason while I am not cancelling is so I can cross it off my list?? Maybe this blogging has some benefits after all......

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's going to be a hot time in the old town tonight...

When my youngest daughter was 8 months old, I had to have a hysterectomy. I was just 36 at the time. It sucked. Completely. They took everything - it was too risky to leave anything. Dealing with hormone replacement therapy, hot flashes, mood swings was definitely not in my plans at that age! It has been a rough road. Emotionally, it was devestating. Physically, it was draining. For the first year the side effects were horrible. The hot flashes and night sweats were all but unbearable! When my husband and i would fight, in his mind it was because of the surgery and subsequent hormonal imbalances. I told him sometimes, it was just because he was wrong. No surgery would keep ME from being right, all the time! HAHA!
So now I am completely hormone free, I have become increasingly worried about the side effects of the hormone and the increased risk of breast cancer. So here I am facing a mammogram. My first. I want to cancel. REALLY WANT TO CANCEL. But I won't - damn blogging and being accountable. Sometimes I wish I was the kind of person that says they are going to do things and not do them. I blame my dad. If only he hadn't instilled those darn ethics into us!
SO the question is, why in this time of hot flashes and night sweats have i turned into a Mom-cicle? I am freezing all the time - our fireplace burns constantly and when I am not hovered around it, I am submerged in a hot bubble bath, not that i am complaining about that! It just seems that as the big 4-0 approaches I notice more and more changes going on. It's interesting watching my oldest daughter who is ten start going through changes and development while I seem to be on the decline. Never thought I would ever consider plastic surgery and still don't but what is up with the wrinkle neck and old hands? Maybe I will ask Oprah when I see her, she is over 40 and fabulous. So Oprah, what is your secret - any tips for this 40 and fabulous group?

Justfor Oprah - i don't know if you have noticed but I have given you several possible show topics. I know you are super busy so I will outline them here!

1. Young women and hysterectomies
2. Hormone replacement therapy
3. fighting with your husband - is it hormones or is he just wrong?
4. Choosing to live hormone free
5. why can't i get warm - are bubble baths the only answer?
6. Menopausal moms with pre-pubescent daughters
7. Plastic surgery, is it right for you?
8. Oprah shares her secrets for looking young
9. Classmates from 1988 reunited by a life-changing blogging experience as one by one they hit the big 4-0

Ok Oprah, or Oprah's producers, let's be real here, Oprah interns, I have really tried to take out some of the legwork and research out of your way and cut to the chase. That is nine great show ideas, don't make me take this to Ellen! Call me. I'll be waiting and yes, I do take my phone with me in the bathtub!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby stepping to progress...

I am really enjoying having a written list of goals - I feel so responsible, so accountable! Almost, like a grown up! Although, i believe technically, I have a few more months before I reach official "grown up status!"
So while I have just one thing to officially cross off my list today I do want to update on my progress on others!
I have a prayer journal! I am very excited about this because it seems every week I am asked to pray for this or for that. I always take a moment and pray about it but sometimes, don't go back and pray again. I think this journal will help me be better at that. I also feel that one on one time with God is so important. In Sunday school class yesterday, I challenged the students to write a letter to their friend, Jesus. I am challenging myself with the same thing through my prayer journal. Since I have not actually written anything in it yet, I am not allowing myself to cross it off but will soon!
Next on the list - Brooke's yearbook! I am making some serious progress on this. It has been more of a challenge than you can imagine! I spent SIX hours yesterday just organizing kids school portraits by classroom! It was a nightmare but it's done! Hopefully the design aspect will be more fun and a little less challenging! The entire thing all 48 pages have to be complete by March 1st - right now, I have THREE pages done! Long way to go but I'll get there!
I do have one thing to cross off my list - meditations for a busy mom! I love this book - it just takes a few minutes and really has helped me take a moment to feed my spirit! I have been reading it faithfully for more than a month with no signs of stopping - so CHECK it off the list!

I have one more thing in progress. I made an appointment for a mammogram. I have seriously debated about putting this out there but here it goes. Because of my history, I have always been diligent in BSE's. A couple of months ago i found something odd, I have a history of cysts and know they can come and go. It hasn't. I am sure it's fine, really. But it's on the list and 40 is looming. It's time. My appointment is next Thursday. My awesome sister is watching Kate so I have one less thing to worry about - so who wants to go with me and hold my hand? I promise to return the favor!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

# 14 Surprise my husband!

So this isn't the grand surprise I dreamed of when I challenged myself to this but October 27th is getting closer and closer so I am giving myself a bit of a break - shocking!
Yesterday, my loving husband, Jay, turned 35! Jay and I have been married almost 12 years. Our first year of marriage, we experienced everything imaginable - job change, job loss, moving out of state, 2 surgeries, the worst tornado in Oklahoma history right in our neighborhood and more I am sure! We always joke that when it came to the For Better or For Worse part of our vows, we decided to get the worst out of the way! Jay is a hard-working, extremely devoted husband and an amazing father. When we agree (read, i talked him into) me staying home with the girls for a bit, he didn't hesitate. He has been incredibly supportive even when things have gotten tough. So while I wish I had the time and the resources to surprise him with a grand gesture, this was actually pretty simple but the thought behind it was filled with admiration, appreciation and lots of love!

I planned a small dinner party for 6. Me, Jay the girls and his parents. Jay had no idea - we normally keep his birthday and my birthday very simple. I made shrimp scampi, a pretty big deal since it is his favorite and I am allergic. The girls and I made sweet signs to decorate the house and baked cupcakes in the color of Brooke's soccer team since Jay is the "#1 soccer dad!"
I think everyone had a great time! My precious 10 year old questioned me about why I spent so much time making a fancy dinner and setting a nice table - she said she thought we always had pizza for birthdays! I didn't realize I had become so predictable! I just tried to explain that as you get older, you start to realize how special birthdays are and when someone you love so much gets another year older, it's important to recognize it and to show them just how much they are loved! Ihope that is just what we did!
Here are some pics from the party!

And just to make it extra special, i created my own ice sculpture centerpiece!

Ok so technically, that is an icicle from our roof but I do get points for creativity, right??

One more thing - i just want to add I am so excited about our blogging circle get-a-way! Kind of ironic that I haven't even attended one single class reunion and now i am planning a mini-vacation with some of my new found friends - do you realize how many things I am going to be able to cross off my list in just that one trip - woohoo!

ps I promise it won't be the skinny-dipping. Well, I'm not going to promise - you better just hope I get that crossed off before we get there!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

32. Accept an invitation that is out of my comfort zone

In the middle of conquering number 32 on my list, i found myself experiencing a minor ephiphany (is that even possible?)! I'm getting ahead of myself, sorry, I do that. At first glance, this seems like a blow-off challenge - poor little 40 year old has to go to a party. BooHoo.
But let me explain.
I admit it I am a sociable person. I love people and I like to have a good time. BUT, i prefer to do it in my comfortable group of friends. I am infamous, i am embarrassed to admit, for accepting invitations and then cancelling last minute. I don't know why. I guess if i am honest, it is some deeply hidden feelings of self-doubt and inadequacies. How Oprah is that?! Whew! I feel a little better. Kids have made the situation even easier for me. When my daughter, Kate was born, my sister used to call her my "excuse." She was right. Many times over the last several years, I have used them as a reason not to do the things I was afraid to do. Pathetic. Sitting here typing that I see that. Help me Oprah Winfrey!
So while # 32 seems like a blow-off challenge, it wasn't. I was invited to a birthday party. For a 29 year old. A beautiful, intelligent, vivacious 29 year old.

I should probably hate her but I don't. She jokingly calls me her "life coach" although if she reads this, I'm thinking I might just be out of that position! The party was pink-themed. As luck would have it, pink is my signature color! The guest list was mostly unfamiliar to me, the names I did know, i didn't know well. And then it snowed. And then my mom didn't want to babysit. And yada, yada, yads, very easy to cancel. But I didn't. My mom changed her mind, the roads improved and luckily, I look pretty hot in pink!

At the party, I was chatting with one of my many new friends and explaining my blog. Talking about it, out loud, to a stranger. It sounded so stupid. Like I was trying to prove something to somebody. Like I needed people to know that I am not that shy, quiet girl afraid of her own shadow. It freaks me out when people act like they are still in high school, like the cliqs of yesterday ever meant a damn. But how am I any different? Am I doing this to prove that I am not that person, that now, i should be accepted into this or that group? How is that any different. The realization stopped me mid-sentence. This isn't about high school, about fitting in or being accepted. It's really, not even about Oprah (gasp!). It's about me. Me being me. For me. So if you are looking for a life coach, you might check somewhere else, because I am just getting started. Life begins at 40 baby and I am ready to start living!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dear Oprah, maybe I should edit my list...

I realize that we have just begun this journey but I already see myself changing! Although, not "officially" on my list, I am pushing myself to try things I normally wouldn't. I know I mentioned that I grew up being shy - probably most of the readers here remember me as that "shy girl." That is if you remember me at all. I was seriously afraid of my own shadow, afraid to try anything new, afraid to step out of the box for even a minute. Now don't get too excited, I am not going to start a brand new kind of X-treme sport or start jumping out of airplanes but I am taking baby steps.

Today, i did something I have never done before. It is embarrassing to admit but I had never been sledding before. I have taken my kids numerous times and laughed as my husband raced them down the hill but I have always stood at the bottom, watching. As a kid, it was my fear of heights, of getting hurt, of the unknown. As an adult, those fears magnified. Ridiculous, I realize. But today, I did it. I climbed up the hill, sat criss-cross applesauce on a sled and slid over the bumps, over the ice to the beautiful glorious bottom, laughing the entire way. Over and over again! It may not have been much but somedays even a molehill can feel like a mountain!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Little Baby Lacy

Just thought I would mention I also keep a family blog - have for years! If you want to check it out, just click here!

Tomorrow is a new day and I hope to be crossing one more thing off my list! Come back soon to see which one it will be!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Number 42 - invent a new game!

With today's icy weather, I took it upon myself to invent a new game. It wasn't on the list but thought it was worth mentioning. Feel free to play along at home!

The David Payne Drinking Game
In honor of the 2010 “Big Time Ice Storm!”

1. Every time Marc Dillard “rolls up on an accident,” take one drink.

2. Take three drinks any time anyone uses the word “bullseye” in reference to OKC.

3. Take one drink anytime a highway closes.

4. Take 2 drinks every time an interstate closes.

5. If David defines sleet, take a drink.

6. Take 5 drinks every time an anchor mentions where you can still spend two thousand of your hard earned dollars to buy a generator.

7. If an attractive young intern is standing on the side of a city street checking to see if the roads are frozen, take a drink.

8. Every time an anchor asks you to send in weather pics, take 3 drinks then take a picture of your drunk ass and send it in.

9. Take one drink for pics from any town with a Native American name.

10. Take 2 drinks every time David says “I-44 corridor”

11. Take 2 drinks every time David says “major ice storm.”

12. Every time David says “Big time ice storm” take three drinks.

13. Take one drink and roll your eyes, every time David says or shows 100% chance of precip today.

14. Take 2 drinks for “wide-spread” power outages.

15. Anytime someone says “ODOT” take a drink.

16. Any mention of sand, salt or pre-treating the interstates earns you one drink.

17. If David asks you to “hang on,” take a drink.

18. Take a drink if you are asked to stay home unless you HAVE to get out. Running out of alcohol does not justify getting out. You were warned to stock up people – let’s be responsible!

19. If David explains what the “pink” means, take a drink!

20. Anytime your city’s temperature is mentioned, take a drink.

21. If you lose power, take 10 drinks and use your i-phone to update your facebook status.

22. Every time David says “Hobart” take a drink.

23. Take 2 drinks every time David says “watch out!”

24. Anytime someone says “Slick and Hazzardous” add “that’s what she said” and take a drink.

25. If you see your child’s school closed for the rest of the week finish the bottle. Game over.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Number 4 - volunteer for a church ministry...

CHECK! Yay!! I am officially crossing one of my 40x40's off my list! Sunday, Jay and I taught our very first Sunday School Class at church. We had observed the week before but I didn't want to cross it off until it was official.
Years ago, I taught Sunday school for my small little church in Edmond. Now I go to one of the biggest churches in the city. What a difference! I got a little freaked out when they tried to "mic" me to teach! Luckily, I have a loud voice and we had a great bunch of kids that were good listeners!
We had 23 (yes twenty three!!) kids in our combined 4th and 5th grade class! We are teaching the early class so I was surprised to have so many kids! The curriculum is called "Grapple" basically it uses bible teachings to help pre-teens grapple with their daily lives! The lesson this week was how is the Bible different from any other book or is it? We got into this lengthy discussion on the Twilight book series and whether or not they were appropriate to read. I am telling you, I have never felt more exhilerated! Everyone was so grateful that Jay and I volunteered to teach this class but I am telling you, we were the ones who were Blessed! We are teaching on a rotating schedule and just committed to teach till summer but my hope is we will continue and follow this group as they move into confirmation and youth group over the next couple of years, Brooke included!
I wanted to say thanks to everyone participating in this, I hope you all are finding great rewards and our continual support of one another leads us all to the "BIG O!" Of course, I'm talking about Oprah - what did you think i meant??

Friday, January 22, 2010

Posing a question...

Dear 40 yr old friends,

I have a question. I am sure that I am not the only one noticing ummmm, certain changes as the big 4-0 approaches. But today, I had something happen that is not just puzzling but extremely disturbing to me. I was cleaning the kitchen and loading the dishwasher when I noticed we are now out of butter. Without thinking I grabbed the empty butter dish, rinsed it out and started to place it in the dishwasher. You can just imagine my horror!! I took a deep breath and tried to regroup from this near disaster. So it is with baited breath I pose this question to you, my almost 40 and fabulous friends! When you turn 40 is it required you start saving butter dishes and lids that you will NEVER use only to be discovered years from now in a cupboard you had forgotten about or is that a 50 things at 50 requirement?

Thanks in advance from your fabulous at almost 40 friend,


(oh and by the way OPRAH)

Ground Zero

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the list continues...and The Oprah Effect!

21. Go dancing at a country bar
22. Host an "open forum" for Brooke and friends and their moms before they start middle school next fall.
23. Go fishing
24. Create a signature cupcake recipe
25. Design Brooke's school yearbook (obviously this is ongoing but totally deserves a spot on my list!)
26. Start a Prayer journal
27. Read Minute Meditations for Busy Moms
28. Lose weight (with a goal of 40lbs)
29. Visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
30. Have a mammogram
31. Re-enter the workforce
32. Accept an invitation that is out of my comfort zone
33. Plant a vegetable garden
34. Go to or host a scrapbook party
35. Visit my friends in Kansas
36. Get together with some of my '88 classmates!
37. Go to a GHS football game
38. Make a will
39. Take the girls to a baseball game
40. Get an Oklahoma's Drivers license and become an organ donor

OK, ladies and gents, it's official! My 40x40 list is complete! I am ready to hit it and start crossing some of these off! I am so excited that so many of you are joining in this blogging circle. I think a lot of us feel the same way, that we are beginning something life-changing. I hope so. A good friend of mine (even though she is just turning 35) suggested we all start adding OPRAH to our blog. She thinks Oprah would be intrigued by so many woman with really just 2 basic commonalitites, going to high school together and turning 40, are coming together to share their lives, encourage one another and better themselves. Wow - that really is up Oprah's alley! it goes, my number 41 - let's take this to Oprah! You know her staff crawls the web looking for stories, why not ours? If you want to mention Oprah in your blog, go for it! That will help her producers find us and of course, we can write a letter too! This is exciting already! Go team Oprah!

ps. just thought i would add, the Oprah thing is truly just for fun, this is not why i am doing this. My real goal here is to challenge myself to be a better person, mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The list...

Let me just start by saying, there are excuses and there are reasons. This is a little bit of both. I have the daunting task of designing my daughter's school yearbook. Although I have spent 20 years around some of the world's most talented graphic desigers, I have never done ANY of the actual design work. I consider myself a terribly creative person lacking any useful skills whatsoever! So this is indeed a challenge. I have 24 pages due the end of this month and up until Saturday I had exactly ZERO of them done! Proudly, i now have TWO complete. So while I am quite proud of that fact, I am a little disappointed that my 40 things list did not get complete! Because time is clicking away, I am going to share half my list today and will have the other half by the end of the week! A friend of mine was calculating my time the other day and apparently I have to complete more than one per week to make it before my October 27th deadline. With that being said, I give you the first half of Jenn Lacy's 40 Things by 40 Years List!

1. Run (or walk) a 5k
2. Submit a short story for publication to atleast 3 national periodicals
3. Feed or prepare meals for the homeless
4. Volunteer for a chuch ministry
5. Join a Sunday School class or Mom Group at church
7. Go to a movie alone
8. Take my children camping in a tent
9. Cook a 4 course dinner for 4 friends
10. Take my family to my grandmother's grave.
11. Host a 40 is fabulous slumber party
12. Play Blackjack at a casino
13. Take dinner to a sick friend or neighbor
14. Surprise my husband
15. Have budoir photos taken
16. Go skinning dipping
17. Take a dance class
18. Spend a day taking landmark photos
19. Kiss in the rain
20. Take an Oklahoma wine tour

So there you go, dear friends, I am ready to start my journey. I am so excited to see so many friends joining in - what a great adventure we are beginning! If you haven't signed up, it's not too late! Leave a comment or send me a facebook message and I will help you get started!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Forty and Fabulous

This is my quest to be forty and fabulous! It would be much easier if someone had a plan all mapped out for me or perhaps a book entitled - Jenn Lacy, So Your Turning 40 - here's how to be (more) fabulous!. Wouldn't that be nice? I can't complain too much, this was my idea afterall. So my plan, dear readers, is to spend the weekend compiling my list of my 40 goals. So if you see me standing alone, writing in a notebook at Brooke's soccer game or Lillie's birthday party, please don't stare and don't interrupt, it's official 40yr old business!

I haven't made it this far in life without making some pretty good friends along the way. Thanks to the beauty of social networking, I have reconnected with some High School buddies! While we may not have been close 20+ years ago and our paths have all been different, many of us find ourselves in a familiar place, standing in front of a mirror and wondering, who on earth is this almost 40 year old face staring back at us? So of course, I have invited my friends, some new and some ummmmm....."not new" to join me! I expect my sidebar to be filled with 40 yr old bloggers soon. Please check them out, I imagine they will be filled with many triumphs, perhaps a few tears and plenty of smiles!

In the meantime, I think i am going to make a cocktail to get the creative juices flowing...

Cheers, Ya'll!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

October 27, 1970..

I was born. It was a beautiful fall day in Killeen, Texas. The jewel-toned leaves fell softly to the ground. The heavens rejoiced at the arrival of earth's newest angel. Oh who am I kidding....I have no idea what happend but the Killeen, Texas part is true enough. My father was serving in the United States Army at Fort Hood, Texas. For as long as I can remember my father has introduced me as his daughter, Jennifer, the one who was born in Texas, but don't hold it against her!

I grew up with a younger brother and younger sister. We didn't stay in Texas long. No, my parents were and also will be sooners. Growing up, I was a good kid. I was too afraid of getting into trouble so I rarely muddied the waters. I was shy. Painfully shy. People that know me now will call me an out and out liar but it's true. So now I ask you.....

Would this face lie to you?

I think not.

I was shy but always competitive and extremely goal-oriented. From the time I was born I knew I was destined for one of two careers. Choreographer. Or Nun. A serious car accident my senior year in high school ended my dance career abruptly. As far as the nun thing? Well.......turns out I'm not what you might call "nun material." my mother always reminded me, I'm not Catholic. So there you go. I remember once being described as "having a flair." Not sure what the intended meaning was but I took it as a compliment. A flair for the dramatics, maybe? I did spend a semester in college as a music theatre major. That ended when I figured out they expected me to sing. Turns out, not such a good idea. Eventually I turned my aspirations to writing. Through a round about way, I ended up in communications. I think I took every speech class the university offered. Turned out, I wasn't so shy afterall.

I remember having an assigment once where we had to write a paper about our goals. What did we envision our life looking like at various stages in our life. I wrote about my life at 25. I wanted to have just been married and be a crazy successful writer. In actuality, I was very single (and loving it) and I WAS working for the state's largest newspaper (in advertising). My paper also took me five more years down the road into my magical crystal ball to see my life at 30. I was still so happily married, 2 kids, a boy and a girl (obviously!) and now a pretty successful author by New York Times standards (as if any other standards matter). Actually, when I was 30, i was still working at the state's largest newspaper - (for a newspaper a lot like the New York Times, except it was small, not well-respected and in Wichita, KS), Atleast I was very happily married and a proud momma, not to a boy and a girl but 2 girls, the second one not being born until I was 35.
I don't know why I never looked beyond that 30th year. I guess I thought what was the point, by 30, I would be ruling MY world. Yeah, cause that's the way the world works, right?
So here I sit. 39 years old. 39 years and 3 months wondering what to do next. Where will this road lead me? I've taken several right turns in the last couple of years. My family and I have moved home to Oklahoma, my career is on hiatus. My dream of becoming a best-selling author has faded into becoming the best mother I can be. So I had an idea. This shy girl from Killeen, Texas (go ahead and hold it against me, i can take it!) has some things to accomplish and it starts right now. Over the next couple days I am going to be compiling a list. 40 things to accomplish by my 40th birthday. I am going to be realistic - you won't see any, "i want to cure the common cold, bring peace to the world or even run a marathon but I AM going to challenge myself to break these binding ties, to be a better me. I hope along the way, to meet new friends, learn a thing or two about myself and prove once and for all, life really does begin at 40!