Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Ever had one of "those" days? You know, the ones where you wake up late (perhaps because you stayed up until 2 or 3 am), have a ton to do (because you didn't do it yesterday when you should have), and have absolutely noooooo motivation (perhaps due to an hour long workout before crawling into bed or just after crawling out of bed)? Now what? You do the only thing you can do...put one foot in front of the other.... jump in the shower, wash your face, then begin to wash your hair realizing you grabbed the wrong bottle in your haste. So rinse and begin again. Then you try to shave as quickly as possible....yep that results in razor burn but you don't have time to think about it.. Finish up in the shower, get out, dry off and realize you didn't bring all your clothes into the bathroom with ya. Now you run back to the bedroom, and can't find the clothes you wanted to wear so you rummage through the closet, then each of the dresser drawers until you go back to the closet and grab the first thing you can find. After throwing those on and mumbling something about wishing someone would nominate you for "What NOT to Wear", you head back to the bathroom and start on the hair and make-up. Now, some of you may not need the make-up..I DO. (A wise man once said, "IF the barn needs painting, paint it.") So you rush to slap on some paint and realize you are about 20 minutes behind already.

**switching to first person here because..well it's just plain easier to type it in first person. :)

I run upstairs to see if the boys are dressed and ready to go. They are. At least they think they are. My youngest son doesn't match and has a hole in his right pant leg. My oldest has hair sticking out in every direction but is content to sit at the table eating dry cereal. (I know-ewww.)

Seeing they are good to go, I run back down the stairs and realize I haven't switched the loads of laundry that I put in around 1 am. So I stop in the laundry room and do that while it's on my mind. Then off to the bathroom to 'fix' my hair. Absolutely out of time, I borrow the boys' gel, scrunch it in my hair and go. We head out to the Jeep, which my oldest has so thoughtfully taken the time to start for me. As I am backing out of the drive, I realize I forgot something I would definitely need for the day. I dash back into the house and snatch it off the kitchen counter- you know- the place you set everything so you won't forget to take it with you when you go. Ha! RIIIGHT.

Anyway, by now I am STILL running late. By the time I get back in the Jeep, the boys are fighting and the music is cranked up and all I can hear is "Silly Songs with Larry" intermixed with "stop it! Give it back!"... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.. (Wow--my frustration is growing even as I type. deep breath in, deep breath out.. I'm good now. :)

I head south on North 5th and turn onto 15th. After reprimanding the boys, and switching the cd to something a little less annoying, I take a deep breath and apologize to the boys for yelling at them. By the time I reach G36, I have decided I look like a bum. Feeling stressed and frustrated I go about my day.

**I'll spare you the boredom of that half of my day. :)

On the return trip, I realize I am once again, running late. Nate leaves for work at 4:30 and I need to be home so I can prepare his meals. So, I pull in the garage, park the Jeep and ask the boys to carry things in while I start on the food. Time to pull the hair back in a rubber band...cuz nobody wants hair in their food, right?? I open the refrigerator and begin gathering the fresh fruit and veggies I will need to make Nate's salads. Romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, avocado, pepper, apples, oranges, pineapple, red grapes, green grapes, blueberries. Placing my favorite wooden cutting board( compliments of P&G) on the counter, I set to work using an incredibly sharp Pampered Chef knife. Fifteen minutes later, I am elbow deep in salads and realize I haven't started the rice yet. Oops, it only takes 45 minutes to cook, no big deal. It's about 3:30, I still have time. Barely, but I do. Before long, the chicken broth is boiling and the rice is simmering. The salads are done, his lunchbox is packed. I turn back to the meat and beans and ro*tel...wondering in my mind what I will fix for the boys to eat... Oh GOODNESS! I forgot to start the coffee.. Get out the dunkin donuts coffee and make a pot. (Mmmm smells amazing, but ewwww tastes disgusting.) Back to the food.. I can tell he is nearly ready to leave for work so I heat the tortilla shells and begin filling them. Pour on the hot sauce and he's good to go. While he is eating, he tells me he's gonna need clean socks tomorrow. And then asks if I was able to schedule an oil change for "Old Blue." I tell him I did, and the socks are in the dryer waiting to be matched and put away.

As he gathers his "tackle box" (a story all of it's own), keys, badge, hat and gloves, he stands by the door and the boys run over to say goodbye. Ry gives him a hug and tells him to have a good night. Reed leaps from the top of the stairs and lands in daddy's arms. He hugs and kisses daddy bye. My turn. No, I am not leaping from the top of the stairs...tried that once :) or twice :).. but as I wrap my arms around his neck, he kisses me goodbye and tells me he loves me. HE LOVES ME. He kisses me again and says "thanks for supper, Babe. It was really good." And just before he walks out the door, he smiles and says, "You look pretty today."

SERIOUSLY??????????? I feel like a bum. I have been stressed and rushed all day. But he loves me. And he appreciated supper. And he thinks I look pretty. (Even with my hair all scrunchy and back in a rubber band.) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.... That, my friends, makes me smile. And I have forgotten all about the razor burn (almost). Those compliments are what keeps me going. Not that I would quit doing laundry, or cooking his meals if he didn't show his appreciation. But it sure makes the whole stressful day worth it for me. Just to hear his compliments.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Arizona, December 2011

Still haven't quite figured out how to blog correctly so to read the story, look below the first picture. This top picture is a place called JumpStreet. It is a place with large, wall to wall trampolines, trampoline dodgeball courts, a foam pit, ect.. everything Nate, Ryan and Reed would love to have in our back yard.. (Besides the skatepark of course.) We only jumped for less than an hour, but was totally worth having to go to Target and buy new shirts, and a few things to freshen up before our flight back home on Saturday. :)Nathan spent several years in Oklahoma as a child and was a Boomer Sooner fan before moving to Iowa. He then became a Hawkeye fan as well. (Not a problem, they are in different conferences, and haven't played each other since 1974.) That is until this year's Insight Bowl Game. He had always told me he would love to see them play each other, just never thought it would actually happen. On the day the game was announced, I posted a status on my Facebook page about it and mentioned in passing that I would love to get tickets and book a flight to Arizona, never thinking for a moment I could actually do just that. But that's how little I know, and how BIG my God is!! Greg (Pastor Hawkeye) and Teresa Fairow are former clients of mine who moved to Oregon this past year. They were my favorite clients ever. Always encouraging and uplifting. The first day I met them, I realized he is a HAWKEYE fan, and she a cyclone. He is a (stinky) Cubbies fan, and she a CARDINALS fan. So what better combo? He's my favorite during football season, and she is during baseball season. (At least that was the on-going joke.) NOW. Back to Arizona....
After posting that status, I got a message on my FB page from Teresa saying she knew where I could get tickets... after several days of getting things in order, we had plane tickets bought, a hotel and rental car booked and we were thrilled to be heading south in December. We flew down on Thursday and flew home on New Year's Eve. It was a wonderful trip we will never forget. (And did I mention...somebody wouldn't let us pay for the tickets to the bowl game?? How awesome is that???!!)
Pastor Hawkeye (Greg), Teresa, me, and Nathan
Iowa Hawkeyes vs Oklahoma Sooners -good game, gorgeous weather-Insight Bowl 2011
Nathan and I at the top of Camel Back Mountain. We hiked this on Friday, before the game. It was a great workout, about 75*, and when we got to the top, there was a Christmas tree... Somebody is very creative.. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Boys

As you know, we have two boys. Ryan is now 11 and a half and in the 6th grade, and Reed is 8, in 2nd grade. They are so different from each other. Sure, they both like to play and be loud and goofy. But when it comes right down to it, they have completely different personalities. Training them and teaching them takes time and patience. Two things very few parents nowadays seem to take the time to do. Anyone reading this, probably knows me well enough to know that I am always rushed and rarely patient. So.. how do I change that?
These past few days, I have thought so much about how quickly the boys are growing up. I was chatting with a friend of mine last week, and learned that his three sons had a 15 year old friend that committed suicide. Less than 24 hours later, another 15 year old friend ended his own life... For whatever reason, these two 15 year old boys felt they had nothing to live for. When something like that happens, I think parents should take a step back and examine their own children. Not through our own eyes, but through theirs. This chat with my friend left me asking myself these questions...
Do I really know my boys?
Do I spend enough time with them. together? individually?
Do they know that I love them? Do I say it enough?
Do I ask their forgiveness when I have treated them wrongly?
Do I teach and train them or just scold them when they don't do things just the way I would?
Do I point them to Jesus or do I make God and church a mockery to them?
Am I raising gentlemen or just another couple of guys?
Do I hold their Daddy up in the way I should to them?
What can I do to help them daily?
How can I encourage them to be happy and content with where God leads them throughout their lives?
Do they KNOW that they can ALWAYS talk to Mama or Daddy about ANYTHING?
Do I pray for them like I should?
Have I taught them how to pray and the power of prayer?
The list goes on and on my friends. Ryan and Reed need my time. They need my undivided attention. They need my patience (what little I have). And they need my love. Yes, they need training and discipline. But that alone, will not suffice. God has placed these two boys in my life. They are mine. Mine and Nathan's. God gave them to us to raise them and train them for Him. Too soon these two boys will be young men. They will graduate from highschool and perhaps go on to college. Then one day, they will marry and have children of their own.
I want to spend every day between now and then doing exactly what every parent should. Loving, training, enjoying, teaching, disciplining, praying for and with, encouraging, guiding, playing with, supporting... Because. THEY. ARE. WORTH. IT.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Long Time Comin'

Hello my old friends! It's been awhile. A LONNNNG while. I am not as computer literate as most of you so I have not blogged in quite some time. Now that I have figured out a bit of the picture thing on the laptop, I will try to blog more often. Let's face it, blogs-pictures=boring. (Yes, I'm the kind of gal that looked at the pictures in books instead of reading them.)

The above picture was taken at the St. Louis Cardinals Stadium this past June. The Cards have been my favorite team since I was in the 4th grade, however; I had never been to a game until this time. It worked out great because Nate's favorite team is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are in the American League and the Cards are in the National League, so they rarely ever play each other. Just so happened they played in St Louis last year so we took the opportunity to make it a mini vacation for our 12th anniversary. The Cards won so it was a great trip!! Actually everything about the trip was so great that we bought tickets and booked the same hotel to go back this June. CAN'T WAIT!!

The "Swaffer Clan"

You know how hard it is to get family pictures taken? Especially if the family doesn't live together? Heidi and Stephen were out in California for college this year but while they were home for Christmas break, we decided to get some snapshots of all the kids and grandkids for Mom and Dad Swaffer. Not an ideal setting, but we all happened to be there at the same time and Mom Hoffert had her camera on-hand to grab a few shots.

The Runners

Nathan has been running for a while now and has recruited a few other people. This was the 5K Demon Dash in Washington. Nate finished 2nd in his age division and 4th overall. Ryan ran for the first time and finished in 30 minutes and 7 seconds. #217 in the background is Gabe. He has become Nate's running partner. This was also his first 5K. He got first place in his age division and finished 8th overall. They push each other pretty hard and they are both crazy enough to run for miles just because they want to. Glad it's them and not me!

Homeowners Finally

After 12 years of marriage, we finally bought a house. But not just A house. THE house. We had prayed for many years about purchasing a home but nothing worked out. We just kept waiting and looking and praying. And what do ya know? TA DA! We found a house that we both love. God gave us the perfect house for us. We've been here almost a year and love it a little more all the time.

I know it's been a long time comin' with this blog update. Like I said, I will TRY to do better. Not making any promises here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Blues Are Gone!!

In February, our landlord finally agreed to have someone come in and replace the toilet and the floor around it in the main bathroom. Andy, the construction man, said when he tried to remove the stool, his foot went through the floor. It was quite the disgusting job, but I was so thankful to get it done. Our house was originally a school, and then built onto to make it a home. It still had the original ***UGLY*** blue stool and sink, right along with the horrific pink plastic tile walls. The landlord would not allow us to tear off the tiles, but in the end, the sink had to be replaced as well. Bummer, huh? NO MORE BLUE!!! I was told there is a special paint that can be used to cover the tiles and then regular bath paint will adhere to them without scraping right off. Lord willing, I will eventually get to paint over the nasty pink. But for now, I am so thankful to be able to use the downstairs bathroom, without the possibility of falling through the floor when you sit on the toilet. :-)

The new sink even has room to set things on the edges. Can't wait to paint in here. Any color suggestions?
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hawkeye Wrestling Meet

For Valentine's Day every year, our church has a banquet. Once again this year, Nate had to work. Another couple in our church had invited us to go to the Hawkeye Wrestling Meet that same night. They later decided to go to the banquet since Nate couldn't go, and then they asked if I wanted the tickets to the meet. They had gotten them for free so just passed them onto us. The boys were so excited and to top it off, a neighbor boy Ryan's age got to go with us. We enjoed the meet and then went to McDonald's for supper and ice cream afterward. (That was my favorite part of the night.) :-)

Ryan and Russell
Mom and Reed
Coaching staff Tom and Terry Brands

Hawkeyes Win.....BIG....49 to 0

We had a great evening. Thanks Steve and Kelly!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Snow Day

This morning we awoke to several inches of snow. Nathan has had to work quite a bit as of late and today is the only full day he will have off until next week sometime. He and the boys have been looking forward to spending some time together. They had planned to drive to Iowa City and go to the Field House, to play basketball.
With that in mind, the boys got up and started their day. After breakfast, Reed asked Ryan to go out to the garage and shoot hoops. Ryan's reply was 'I can't bud, I got to do school.' (Sounds as though he may need a bit of work on his grammar:) I then called the boys into the kitchen and explained that the public schools were once again having a snow day. So..... Mama decided that we were taking one too. Wow! If you could have seen Ryan's face!! You know the expression...the one that a kid gets when he opens a gift at Christmas and he actually got what he wanted...yep, that was the one on Ryan's face.

Nathan and I spent some time shoveling our very long driveway. It was great exercise, but I am afraid I will be sore come tomorrow morning. It was great to build a memory of us working along side one another. Being partners. I would rather have been mowing the yard, but if we had been, we couldn't have been taking a snow day, huh?

The snow kept falling and Nathan was a bit worried about driving on the roads. So he decided to take the boys into town instead. They spent the evening at Uncle Zach's with him and the cousins.

I got to stay home and CLEAN the house. It's so much easier to do that when I am the only one here. So dishes are done. Laundry is done, folded and put away. Bathrooms are scrubbed, floors are swept. Light bulbs are replaced. Candles are burning. Ahhh.

And then the guys get home.... I hadn't even had the chance to sit down and enjoy it. Not to worry. They all headed off to bed and I am now curled up on the couch figuring out how to blog from my BlackBerry for the first time!

I love snow days! Although, I would rather not have to make them up later!