Tuesday, November 18, 2008


These are real images. They have not been altered in any way.

It's time for a new one, isn't it?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Swim Videos

I thought I'd share a few videos of the kids' races from last weekend:

The first one is Will's 50 Free. He has kind of chosen the freestyle as his "thing". For now, anyway. He has definitely come a long way since being a swimming-newbie last fall. He's actually under 2 seconds from his Champ time (state-qualifying) in this event.

This video is kind of funny as you see one of the little swimmers get up on the blocks a bit late. The official then tells them to "stand down", meaning - get off the blocks. Well, the timing of his announcement was exactly when the starting-buzzer usually goes off, so almost every kid (except for the late one) ends up falling off the blocks, into the pool.

It's probably only funny if you have a weird sense of humor like I do:)

The second video is Maddie's 100 IM. This means Individual Medley. This season, the IM is her most improved race. She's been working on butterfly and breaststroke technique a lot - - after all, she's my little "thinker". Her hard work is really paying off.

We've been at this swim-thing for over 3 years, and for some reason - I still have problems remembering the order of strokes in the IM. It goes: fly - back - breast - free. This is not to be confused with the Medley Relay which goes: back - breast - fly - free.

I think.

See! I'm still not sure of the order! Someone help! Angela...Heather...Maddie...anyone...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blurry, fuzzy, double vision

This is a synopsis of Will's eye doctor appointment yesterday:

Hi Will, good to see you. How have you been doing?
I can't see too good.
Really? Far away or close up?
Wow. How long has this been going on?
For awhile.
Do you ever get itchy eyes?
Do you ever get watery eyes?
Do you ever get blurry eyes?
Does your vision every get fuzzy?
Do you ever have double vision?

As this conversation goes on (and on...), I'm totally laughing to myself! That little turkey wanted a new pair of glasses and apparently will do whatever it takes to get them. After I assured the eye doctor of his ulterior motive, his eyes turned out just fine. He needed a slightly stronger lens, developed a bit of astigmatism, and is anxiously awaiting his new, cool glasses.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Trust issue

I think I'm scarred for life by those stupid scary videos in disguise. You know - the ones that your "friends" email to you. The ones where your looking at a fancy car driving through the lovely countryside when all of a sudden a yucky monster-thing jumps out at you and screams. And then you scream. Really loud. And then your throat is sore for 2 days.

These type of videos have changed the way I view any email attachments. I either have to play the clip and not actually watch it - like turn around and do something else, or actually leave the room while it plays. On my really brave days, I'll watch the thing from across the room.

There was a time a few years ago, whenever my kids would happen to walk into our office and notice that I was opening an email attachment, they would turn around and leave.

The latest incident happened yesterday when my friend Dee sent en email with an attached video called "Irish Blessings". It started with some beautiful pictures of Ireland and soothing Celtic music. You know...the classic set-up for a huge scare. But there was nothing. Just Ireland. And some blessings. I did get to enjoy it during the second play. Of course on the first play, I was across the room watching between my fingers.

I don't trust anyone.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Here are a few pictures from Halloween. Better late than never, huh?

Army-guy Will, Rock-Star Maddie, and Wise-guy Henry

Here's some of the neighborhood gang. There is definitely a shortage of girls on our street.

Here they are...reaping their hard-earned rewards.

Both kids had sleep-overs and all four of them saved the "sorting" for the following morning.

Can I share a crazy little pet-peeve of mine with you all?

It absolutely drives me insane when there are empty candy wrappers mixed in with the new, uneaten candy. After scoping out all their bowls and bags of treats - they ALL do it! And they told me they do in ON PURPOSE so they can see how much candy they've eaten.

I guess when you think of it like that, it makes perfect sense.

But it still drives my crazy.

I can't quite remember the last time I've been this emotional about something so historic, something so important, something so earth-moving. If you haven't seen or heard Obama's acceptance speech, I think it's important that you do. I doesn't matter if you're a Republican or Democrat. What matters is that you're an American.

I listen to his gracious speech and I'm moved to tears.

I look at the pictures of the people across this great country and throughout the world as we are celebrating in hope for something better, and I get goosebumps.

I look at the faces of my kids as I tell them that we are all are part of important history, and I am humbled.

But mostly, I'm just proud of what we've done.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Oh, Happy Day

..I'm feeling very giddy right now.

Another election season with the Gallaghers

The signage in our front yard has prompted some questions from friends, neighbors, and even a few trick or treaters recently. You see, historically we've always been a "split household". It's not that we ever fight about it. We just like to have healthy, spirited political discussions. Really. We both love it. I like to think that it's good for our marriage. Heck, I even think it's good for the kids. It displays the importance of identifying your own beliefs and the importance of learning about others beliefs. And it really shows them that we all can actually live in harmony and peace.

I've never had a doubt about who I was going to vote for. There are just some certain that things that I feel absolutely, whole-heartedly, incredibly strongly about. And even though I may not agree with every single thing that my chosen candidate stands for; it trumps all others because of the passion I feel about those issues. And that is why I vote the way that I do.

My poor husband, on the other hand, has been one of those Undecided voters. He's been taking countless political quizzes and questionnaires to assist in his decision. He's been torturing himself with his own political history and his evolution of beliefs on the issues. He literally was undecided until he stepped up to that voting desk this afternoon.

And I'm not going to tell you which way he went. If you want to know, you'll just have to ask him that yourself :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Early morning

This morning I awoke at 4:45. My first thought was: OhmyGod...is this what menopause feels like??? I was so hot, my lungs were burning. I was so hot, my neck was sweaty. I was so hot, my feet were swollen. My second thought was : Great. This is my only day I get to sleep-in between October 12 and November 15.

So, I pulled my sweaty, feverish self out of bed, over Maddie's feet which were sticking out from under a blanket at the foot of my bed, down the stairs, and across the hard wood floor that felt like it was on fire. When I glanced at the thermostat. It was programed to be 66 degrees. And then when I looked at the house temperature (3 times) it was set at 93 degrees.

Yes, 93 degrees.

Holy sweaty cow! Do you know what a house feels like at 93 degrees? Did you know that a house could get to 93 degrees in a matter of several hours? I even have a hard time tolerating outside summer days at 93 degrees.

After waking my hot :) husband, and opening every window in the house; we discovered that the thermostat was broken. Maddie woke up amidst the early-morning chaos and told me that she woke up at 2:30 "feeling really warm", and checked her temperature because she thought she was getting sick.

Poor thing - glad there was no school today!

Suggestions would be appreciated

We had a pretty bad hail storm back in May and have some big holes in the siding in the back of our house and some badly bruised shingles. And since the siding color that we currently have, has been discontinued, guess what???

Yep, all new siding. All new roof. While the option is extremely exciting for me, I'm so stressed out about the choices. You see, this isn't just paint that you can re-do the next day if you decide you hate the color. This is siding. Permanent siding. And paint in far up high places that I'm too scared to reach all by myself. So, it's kind of like permanent paint, too. Well, permanent until the next hail storm, I guess.

So, this is what I know for sure:
- charcoal black shingles
- keep/repaint the same black front door
- dark chocolate brown siding (hard to see the siding on this picture - only the small triangle-shaped thing above the garage; and then all around the house)
- shakes that will be just a shade lighter than the siding on all the peaks (just as it is now)
- linen (not quite white) trim, fascia, and gutters (like on all the peaks and along all the roof lines)

This is what I have absolutely no idea about:
- What the heck color should I paint the garage doors and all the cedar wood around the front door, the fake upstairs garage window and the upstairs bathroom window???? Some linen, some dark brown, some lighter brown??? Should I pull out some trim pieces on the wood and do those a different color (in the same scheme)???

This exterior paint is stressing me out!!!

Can you tell???

Back in the swim of things

Last weekend, the kids had their first swim meet of the season. We were all really looking forward to it! They have been practicing for 6 or 7 weeks, 3-4 times a week, for 60-120 minutes a practice. They have been working on dryland training at home. They've arranged their ribbon displays and Michael Phelps cut-outs all their walls. (Well, that would actually be Maddie's deal...)

The meet was great! Both kids dropped a lot of time and still have their eyes on state-qualifying time goals. We'll just have to wait and see how the season unfolds.

I have no photos to share since my ability to operate a big, fancy camera totally sucks. I was really trying to NOT use the automatic setting (aka Moron Mode). And for that, the result was a bunch of fuzzy, blurred, yellow pictures. Honestly, nothing in this world makes me feel as incompetent as that damn camera does.

Anyway, it's great to be back in the swim meet routine again. We've really become close to many of the swimmers/families that we've spent so many weekends with during the past year. Bill said it best Saturday morning when he sat down on those hard bleachers and looked around: "It's great to have the family back together again."

It's almost time...

OK...I promise I'll blog about something today. I'll give you pictures of Halloween, I'll tell you about the kids' first swim meet this season. I'll even tell you why I was awake at 4:45 this morning.:)

But right now, I just couldn't pass up posting this video that I found on Jill's blog:

So, tomorrow - - - GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!

...and if you are still undecided. For gosh sake - you got some homework to do!