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!