Goodbye 2012…..Hallelujah!

I can’t say that I am sad to see 2012 go!  In fact, I am almost joyful about it.  There is something about saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new that is refreshing….a brand new start.  I have to admit that I think I spent more time praying for the Lord to come and get us this year than I ever have before; especially in the last two months when Obama got re-elected!  HA!

2012 wasn’t all bad….I have some good memories; but for the most part I could have gone without some of the things that happened in 2012.  Mainly, Hannah’s 3rd open-heart surgery and the 2 months leading up to it and also my lifelong friend, Angie’s passing.  Unfortunately, those are the 2 things that I will remember 2012 for; so because of that…..I am happy to see it come to a close.

My prayer for 2013 is that it is a year that is full of joy, happiness, peace and accomplishments.  I have set a couple of goals for 2013, which I never do….but, this year I want to feel fulfilled and to feel like I am more than just Dennis’ wife and Hannah’s mom.  Not that those are “bad” things to be….but, I think everyone needs to feel accomplished and to do something that gives them purpose….more than just cleaning, cooking, chauffering….well, you get the picture!

I am excited because for the first time since Hannah was born; actually for the first time since I married Dennis 11 1/2 years ago; one of my best friends, Kristin and I are going on a Girl’s Trip to New York City!  I am so excited about it.  I have been to New York City several times and it is by far my favorite place to go!  I love everything about it….the hustle and bustle; the shopping; the food…..EVERYTHING!  The only part of it I dread is the traveling as I HATE TO FLY!  I avoid it at all costs….but I have to if I want to go, so I am going to do it.  Kristin knows that I will be in panic-mode the entire time, and she is okay with that!  HA!  Fortunately, she will have a calming effect on me…..maybe I can get my doctor to prescribe something for me that will “put me in a zone.”  HA!  I am excited about it…..nervous about leaving Hannah and Dennis; but it is time and Dennis says he can handle it!  I have NEVER been away from Hannah in 7 1/2 years.  Dennis and I have NEVER taken a trip without her.  I have never been away from her at night… this is quite a HUGE step for me and I will doubt myself and want to change my mind about going even up to the point that I am stepping on the plane…..but, I am going to be strong and do this not only for Hannah; but for me.  I do think it will be good to give Hannah a break from me and let her see that mama can leave but will always come back like dada does every time that he has gone out-of-town.  Big steps for me, but I think I am ready!  Not to say that I won’t call and check on Hannah 20+ times a day!  HA!

So, big things at the beginning of 2013….excited, nervous and READY to put 2012 in the past!  So, Happy New Year to my readers and here’s hoping that 2013 is better than 2012!  See you next year!

YAY!  2012 is almost over.....

YAY! 2012 is almost over…..

Time For Your Check-Up, Simon

Yesterday Hannah and I went to my parents house.  They have this beautiful Siamese cat named Simon.  Now Simon is not your “typical Siamese” which means he DOES like people, he DOES want to be petted and have attention and he IS really sweet.  Don’t get me wrong, my favorite breed of cat is the Siamese.  That is the only cat I can EVER remember having.  Growing up, we had 2 Siamese cats, Duke and Dutch; they lived to be 18 and 16 years of age; respectively.  Then there was Cletus, Leroy and now Simon; who was a Father’s Day gift to my dad after Cletus went to live with Jesus.  All you cat haters can just keep your mouths shut….DENNIS…..yes, cats go to Heaven to live with Jesus too; they are not “of the devil,” as my husband thinks they are!  LOL!

Anyway, Simon is really a sweet cat and he is quite tolerant of Hannah despite the fact that she wants to hug him, kiss him and….well….for lack of a better description…..torture him!  Yesterday, while we were there Dr. Hannah Blankinchip with her new Doc McStuffins doctor kit decided it was time to give Simon a “check-up.”  I was surprised that Simon stayed for his heart and lungs to be listened to and I was quite impressed that he hung around for his ears and eyes to be checked.  But, then, all of a sudden, Hannah pulls out the thermometer and said “Mon (Simon) tempacuture (temperature)”….oh oh, I knew what was coming next and as soon as Hannah lifted Simon’s tail, apparently he did too.  He took off like a fire had been set under him….didn’t know that fat cat could run so fast.  I was dying laughing and Hannah just looked up at me and said, “Mon (Simon) all better now, mama.”  HA!

I seriously laughed about this all day yesterday.  Too bad mom and dad weren’t there to see it… would have probably gone and got Simon and made him endure the rest of the “check-up” with Dr. Blankinchip!  HA!

Here is a picture of Simon:

Pretty Simon

Pretty Simon

Last year's family Christmas picture.  Dad refused to have his picture made unless Simon was in the picture with him.

Last year’s family Christmas picture. Dad refused to have his picture made unless Simon was in the picture with him.

Simon's safety net....."that girl can't get me up here."

Simon’s safety net…..”that girl can’t get me up here.”


We had a WONDERFUL Christmas!  I hope you did too!  Hannah was so excited Christmas morning as we woke up and she realized that was the day she got to unwrap all those gifts under the tree!

Everything she opened her eyes were so big and the smile on her face was contagious.  It never gets old watching your child on Christmas morning!  Of course, after every present, she would say “more, more,” to which I finally had to reply….”that is all of them,” but she was okay with that and went to playing with her new toys and reading her new books.  That is when Dennis and I opened our presents from each other.  I have to say, Dennis got me EVERYTHING I asked for this year….listen ladies….MEN CAN LISTEN and HEAR when they need to!  I tease Dennis all the time that he has “selective hearing.”  You know….I could be telling him about my day and I know he isn’t really listening; so I throw out a word like “gun” or “hunting” or anything that interests him and all of a sudden he is listening again!  HA!  Anyway, he got me everything I asked for, so there is no excuse anymore for “selective hearing.”

The sweetest thing happened the morning after Christmas…..Hannah woke up and she threw her arms around my neck and said….”tank cue mama, Merry, Merry Chrima, tank cue.”  The interpretation is: ” Thank you mama for my Merry, Merry Christmas, thank you.”  Melted my heart!  So thankful for a little girl who knows how to be thankful and to say thank you!  I was thinking that day after she said that just how much we truly have to be thankful for and I had an overwhelming feeling of peace!  We have a nice home, reliable transportation, food to eat, clothes and shoes to wear, heat when it is cold and air conditioning when it is hot.  We have friends and family.  We have all of our needs met and even some of our wants.  Most importantly, we have a Heavenly Father that has prepared for us a place in Heaven to one day live with Him where there will be no more sickness, no more pain, no more sorrow and no more tears…..WOW…..I am blessed!

I am not one to set New Year’s Resolutions, but I actually have one this year.  I can’t share it as it is something near and dear to my heart right now, but I pray that 2013 is going to be a year of blessings, miracles, happiness and joy for all of us!

Thought I would leave you with a couple of pictures from Christmas……

Someone LOVES Nemo!

Someone LOVES Nemo!

Doctor Hannah  is in the house!

Doctor Hannah is in the house!

We made a mess!

We made a mess!



“A” Day

I didn’t think I was going to have another chance to blog because of the “lack of time” due to Christmas being here and we have so much going on.  But, sometimes you just have to take the time to document “cute things,” and this is one of those times.

At Hannah’s school, each day they send the kids home with a daily progress report.  On that report it informs the parents what they did that day and with each activity, whether it be circle time, library, computer lab, etc.; the child is given a grade….A, B, C, D….I don’t know if there is an E or F; as we haven’t received one of those but we have received A-D at one time or another.  Then at the bottom of the progress report, the grades are averaged and the child is given a grade for the entire day.

Hannah knows that at the end of each school day that if she gets an “A” or a “B,” she will get to play with her iPad for 1 hour when we get home.  I LOVE when I can give her the iPad as it gives me an hour each day of uninterrupted time to prepare dinner, etc.  Well, every day after school, the first thing we do is look for the grade average and if it is an “A” or a “B,” she gets her iPad.

Well, school got out last Friday, so everyday last week around 3 or 4 o’clock Hannah proceeded to inform me that she had an “A” day.  To which, several times I had to laugh and say….”oh no you didn’t.”  HA!  She would then argue with me that she had an “A” day and when I would say “try again,” she would happily say….”B day mama.”  Again, about 4 of the days last week I just laughed and said, “NO way.”

You see, she KNOWS right from wrong and she knows that being good gets her the iPad, which is by far the most favorite thing she has!  It truly is about the only thing I can actually take away from her that makes a lasting impression when she is bad.  I could take away her books too, but I try not to; as that is her other favorite thing and it is so good for her, so I try to avoid doing that.

With all that said, this morning about 10:45am, she informed me that she had an “A” day….guess she figured she better tell me earlier in the morning before she had time to misbehave!  HA!  This time, I said, “yes you have,” and proceeded to give her the iPad!

Merry Christmas

I know it is a couple of days early for a Christmas post, but the next few days are going to be very busy so I thought, just in case I don’t have a chance to blog I would go ahead and do my Christmas post.

I LOVE Christmas….I love the cooler weather, the Christmas trees, the presents, the music, Santa and everything else.  But, the older I have gotten the more I love Christmas because it truly represents the real reason we can have HOPE!  Hope for life and hope for eternity!  Jesus came to this earth as a baby, knowing that His sole purpose was to one day die on a cross to save me and you!  As a parent; could you sacrifice YOUR ONLY CHILD for the sins of the world?  I can’t say that is a sacrifice that I would be willing to make for ANYONE!  God did just that…..He sent His ONLY begotten son because He loved us so very much!  Jesus died for YOU and for ME and because of that we can one day live with Him in Heaven, if we just accept His gift of salvation!  John 3:16

I am so thankful for MANY things this Christmas.  I am thankful that I still have my little girl.  In August, when she had her 3rd open-heart surgery we could have so easily lost her; but God chose to let us keep her and I am so grateful for that!  There is nothing like seeing Christmas through your child’s eyes!  I am so thankful I get to do that again this year!  I am thankful for my husband who works hard to provide for us, take care of us and protect us!  I am thankful for family and friends that love us unconditionally!  I am thankful for Hannah’s school, the students, teachers and staff.  I could go on and on about the things I am thankful for as I have SO very much!  But, most of all…..I am thankful for JESUS, whose birthday we celebrate!  I long for Heaven more and more the older I get.  I have so many loved ones already there, but I am thankful for life and I pray that throughout my life that I reflect the love of Jesus to those I come in contact with!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  May you feel God’s love, peace, joy and happiness today and in the days ahead and I pray that the New Year brings you health and happiness!


Almost Wordless Wednesday

Okay, you should know by now that I cannot do much without talking alot.  I thought I would do something fun today though and where most people do “Wordless Wednesday,” I will do “Almost Wordless Wednesday……”

My Christmas gifts last year:  A Coach purse and a new gun… will Dennis do any better than this?  We shall see….to be continued until next Tuesday!



Not Just Any Thank You Card

I am beyond speechless as I sit here right now.  I have just cried a puddle of tears at the precious gift I received in the mail today.

I received a letter from Angie’s mom and in the envelope with her letter was a thank you note that Angie had written me and just not had a chance to mail.  As I read it, I could literally hear her sweet voice.  What a blessing, what a gift, what a precious reminder of the sweet and lifelong friendship that we shared.  I will forever have this card, in Angie’s own words, telling me how much our lifelong friendship has meant to her and that she loved me.  Not many people receive a gift like this after someone has passed away.  I am so grateful that I did.  What a wonderful reminder to me of my sweet friend…..and once again how she was thinking of others right before the Lord called her home.

Thank you Angie for your sweet card and thank you Mama Bowden for sending it to me.  It truly was the sweetest gift I could have been given!

In My Daughter’s Eyes

As I have mentioned before, Hannah LOVES music and she can be quite opinionated on who she is going to listen to in the car.  She doesn’t care what anyone else wants…..she quickly tells you what CD you are going to listen to!  HA!  She absolutely is in love with Martina McBride right now and so for the past 3 weeks ALL we have listened to is “Tina” as she calls her!  Hannah sings in the backseat and knows all the songs word for word….you have to listen closely as Hannah’s speech isn’t great, but she KNOWS the words and sings them loud and to the best of her ability.

I have to admit, I love “Tina” too, and one song especially makes me tear up every time I hear it.  It is “In My Daughter’s Eyes.”  The lyrics are:

In my daughter’s eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be in my daughter’s eyes
In my daughter’s eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me 
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe in my daughter’s eyes
And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh, it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It’s hangin’ on when your heart has had enough
It’s giving more when you feel like giving up
I’ve seen the light It’s in my daughter’s eyes
In my daughter’s eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
An’ though she’ll grow and someday leave, maybe raise a family
When I’m gone I hope you see how happy she made me
For I’ll be there in my daughter’s eyes
The words of this song are beautiful and I do feel this way about my Hannah!  She truly is God’s special miracle and when I look in her eyes I see who I want to be!

Not The Same Person and Contentment

I have done alot of thinking lately about who I am.  I know for a fact that I am not the same person that I was 11 years ago when I married Dennis and I am certainly not the same person 7 years ago when I gave birth to Hannah and I am pretty certain that I am not the person I will be 10 years from now.

It is amazing how life’s circumstances, good or bad, can mold you into the person you are.  Prior to marrying Dennis I was a “social butterfly,” and couldn’t stand to be alone.  I hated sitting in my apartment after work….I had to get out and be with people.  Seven years ago I went from that “social butterfly” to someone who HAD to stay home due to Hannah’s health issues.  I rarely went anywhere the first year of her life and when I did, it was after Dennis got home from work and I only went out because we needed groceries or things from Target.  I went from “needing” to be around people to where I am today that doesn’t care if I am around anyone!  I am perfectly content to stay at home.  I cannot stand crowds now and too many people doing too much talking makes me feel like I am on a crazy roller coaster ride and I can’t focus and almost feel like I cannot breathe!  It is really strange…..maybe anxiety, I don’t know but crowds and too many people freak me out!  It doesn’t help that I have become a MAJOR germaphobe over the last 7 years and anytime I am with more than 3 people all I can think about are the “plethora of germs” that are surrounding them.  Yes, I know what you are thinking…..”this girl needs help.”  But, when you have dealt with SO MUCH sickness as I have with Hannah, it is bound to happen.  I hate germs and I hate sickness!

When Dennis and I got married; Dennis was known as “Tamara’s husband.”  A few years later, I was known as “Dennis’ wife.”  Now, I am known as “Hannah’s mom” or “Dennis’ wife.”  Not sure where my identity is anymore, but it isn’t just Tamara!  HA!  I am okay with that…..I have LEARNED to be okay with that.  I have decided that as we grow older, things change…..we change.  The things that used to be “important” become less important and get replaced with what truly matters.  I am slowly learning about what really matters in life and growing content with that.

The things that really matter are not big homes, lots of money and nice cars.  They aren’t a gorgeous wardrobe and an obscene amount of shoes….(I know, I have seriously lost my mind by saying this).  The things that matter, as I have said before, is what is in your 4 walls….the confines of your home.  I have had to learn this the hard way.  It is a good thing that Dennis and I not only LOVE each other but LIKE each other as well, or the last 7 years would have been miserable!  HA!  There is nothing that this world can offer me that would change my circumstances for the better.  There is no amount of money that would keep Hannah well or fix her heart.  The only thing that I can do for Hannah is to protect her, love her and do what is ABSOLUTELY best for her and alot of time that means sacrificing to do it.  I don’t mind sacrificing for her or Dennis.  I don’t mind putting my needs or wants aside for them.  I am CONTENT in that and I know that kind of contentment comes only from the Lord.  I do what has to be done, as anyone else would hopefully do if they walked in my shoes.  Contentment is a glorious thing once you realize how blessed you are and once you accept your circumstances and once your heart, mind and soul realizes that sacrificing for those that you love is an honor and a privilege.

I haven’t always felt this way and don’t get me wrong there are days that I miss the “old Tamara,” but would I go back if I could…..absolutely NOT!  Would I give up what I have for the freedoms that most enjoy…..absolutely NOT!  Would I change anything I have done to protect Hannah…..absolutely NOT!  I have learned to be content and that my friends is a wonderful feeling!  Instead of looking at what you don’t have; focus on what you do… will be amazed at how blessed you truly are and in that lies the secret to contentment!