Monday, December 28, 2009

Exactly What I've Been Looking For!

I was so excited to see this, I just had to share it with you! I started scrapbooking a few years ago and love how I can preserve my memories and show them in a beautiful, fun, and creative way. I finally have my own office/scrapbook room that is not shared with anyone or any other activities. It's a smaller converted spare bedroom, not as large a work studio as I dream about, (I have drooled over Amanda's on her page, and when I win the lottery, I'll have one just like it! lol) but it works for me right now. I have also been drawn to ditigal scrapbooking in the last 1-2 years. And now I'm starting to create my own ditigal papers and embellishments with Photoshop/Photoshop Elements. One added plus to digital is using the same papers/embellishments/alpha's/etc. over and over again - which means and endless supply of scrapping materials and less money spent replinshing supplies. (hubby's like this benefit) But even though I have really been drawn to digital scrappin' recently, I do still love the 3D look and feel as well as the work (yes I said the "w" word lol) that goes into a traditional scrapbook page. Because with that comes the feelings of pride, accomplishment and a better legacy to leave... something you've poured your heart and hands into to pass on to others. I just need one more important necessity to create this way.... time! Simple Stories by Memory Works is exactly what I've been looking for!

Memory Works already offers the best  in scrapbooking supplies and I am happy to be a part of them. Simple Stories is more than a kit. It's a quick, simple way to document your life and that of your family, but with such stunning results. I cannot wait to get my Simple Stories ordered and be able to Document Life for me and my family. Visit the Simple Stories site and view the video introduction of what is sure to be a popular item. Let me know how I can help you start creating your own Simple Stories.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My favorite gift...

It's been quiet here as "life" has been happening in overtime. With working (and the office being understaffed for a while now but the workload still going strong), going to school (which thankfully is on a short break til mid January) and in the midst of work, school, Thanksgiving holiday there were a few days of down-time recuperating from surgery. With a break from school underway and a few days off of work,I plan to take some time to reflect on this year and enjoy the time with my wonderful family. I hope everyone had as wonderful a holiday as I did with my family. My mom got all five of her children sketched for Christmas. Here are me and my 2 sisters and my 2 brothers with our sketches. I was very comfy in my jammies but I wish my hair would have looked as good as it did in the pic. lol

My younger sister (and the baby of the family) Sonya, me, and my older sister, Bev.

 Danny and Tony

There is nothing better than having all of your family together to celebrate. Everyone was there safe and sound this year. So many have lost loved ones and my heart goes out to them. I can't imagine their pain. I am truly blessed to have all of my family together at mom's this year once again. It was the best gift I received. I sit looking at my tree at the end of the day back at home giving an humble thank you for the blessed day and for the wonderful gift He gave to us.

My skinny primitive tree in the little cubby hole next to the entertainment center. It's decorated with snowmen.

The rusty tin star on the top of the tree.

I introduced a couple of new things (hopefully future traditions) this year. My little family (me, hubby and my son Adam) all showed up at mom's in PJ's. It wasn't really planned but I was *so* busy running around all morning getting things ready to go to mom's for Christmas that it was fast approaching time to leave and I was still in my pink fleece pajamas. I just announced... "I'm going just like I am!" So without a second thought my hubby and son both said, 'me too.' They were still in flannel pj's that I'd gotten for both of them and given them on Christmas Eve. We also played the Dirty Santa game. I'd brought 20 inexpensive small ornaments inside small gift bags. Each of us drew a number and proceeded to pick an unknown, bagged ornament, or steal something already picked and opened. Everyone played and from the youngest to the oldest, everyone had a great time. So next year everyone is bringing their name draw gift and a $5 gift or ornament for the Dirty Santa game.

Abby in her Christmas sweater.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Primitive Ornament Give-Away

Since the last post I have had to backup all my files and reformat my computer. I got everything saved with the exception of my Favorites list and it had so many great sites. I really hate that. I'll have a lot of searching to do to get them back and I'm sure with the large list I had I'll never acquire them all again *sigh*. I have lost my jump drive that had all my school lectures, notes, assignments saved on it. I had to re-download quite a few files in such a short time to prepare for the mid term in Medical Science last night. My weekend will be spent finishing up a couple of assignments in other classes now, not to mention the housework and errands that typically fill my weekends. But first I had to sit down this morning with a cup of coffee and enjoy some 'me time' seeing what some of my favorite blogs have new.

Luckily I have some great blogs listed on my own page so those are still there waiting for me to check in on.One of my followed blogs is having a great give-away you'll have to check out. White Sheep Primitive has the cutest vintage baby shoe Christmas ornament that one lucky winner will receive.

I decorate my Christmas tree in the primitive style so this would go just perfect. (I'm crossing my fingers for a win.)  Teri also has an Etsy store with some great handmade items. I love the gingerbread men and primitive christmas tree bowl fillers. Check out Teri's blog and Etsy store.

Those gingerbread men would look great in a bowl on my old barnwood stand that sits on the front porch. I'll have to get a picture of it to share with you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Playing with PSE & PSP

I have wished so many times that I could just spend unlimited time playing with my Photoshop Elements 7 and Paint Shop Pro X2 programs and just be creative. I know that wish can't (and honestly shouldn't) come true. If so I'd never get any else done... no more cooking - just quick snacks and finger foods, easy stuff to nibble on while playing with PSE, no more cleaning - the dust bunnies would grow and multiply faster than any forest bunny, no more homework - that would be totally unacceptable after the investment put into my continuing education. So that is why all our wishes cannot come true. He knows better than me, as usual. :)

But I did get to play around a little bit yesterday letting some creative juices flow. I found a great tutorial in my mailbox (a CD I received from DSE) on creating a beautiful bow. The steps were tedious but I am very please with the results. Here is the one I made yesterday.

This bow was made with PSE. I need to go back now and make some more, as well as some ribbons to get the steps down and committed to memory without relying on the step-by-step instructions. But before I do that I am curious to see what else DSE can teach me. The tutorials are great and easy to follow. And you can pause the video as often as you need to perform your own steps as you go. I know I learn faster by 'doing' than by just reading or watching. I also receive the tutorials as PDF to so I can stop reading at any point and put the steps I just learned to use. I look forward to sharing my new creations with you soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hand Made Cards

I just finished some more hand made cards. My supervisor at work asked me today to make some cards for Boss's day on Thursday. I love to make them but haven't had the time lately (with work and school looming over my head) to get any made. I am out of birthday cards now and need to stock up again. They decided at work on a fall theme. Actually I think a Halloween theme was mentioned but I don't keep a stock of Halloween theme scarpbooking/cardmaking supplies. Now Fall, I can do that. It helps that it's my favorite season of they year. Maybe my love for crawling between cool bed sheets at night makes me connect with the crisp cool autumn air. It's also the beauty of the colors that nature's brings us in only this time of year.

So my cards took on the colors of Fall instead of Halloween. I was hoping to just get some idea in my head this evening and put it all together but once I got started I didn't want to break the inspiring mood, so I kept going and soon they were finished. I was asked to make 4 cards. I tend to do cards for occasions in an assembly-line fashion. I add all like pieces to each card base then go back to the starting card and start adhering  the next item. This makes each card alike but these have a personal touch on each with the initial of each recipient in a metal ring tag.

This is Vonda's card with the V tag.

Stephanie just started working for us this week but we couldn't celebrate the boss's and not include them all.

Julie and Angie are our Administrators and lead the whole team.

the inside of each card is the same.

Happy Boss's Day (early) to all of you and thanks for leading this great team of ours!! Be Blessed!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Okay, so yesterday afternoon was "Mammo: Take 2". Once again I arranged for an early leave from work to get the 6-month followup. I've decided that I'm putting this on hold. Not because I take this issue lightly. The fear I experienced... and he prayers I prayed... in March this year were and still are real. Not a fear that has any power over me, but a healthy fear... one of caution. I arrived this time with the order in hand to give them. Things were looking up this time. At least I got further into the process before I was sent home, without the mammogram, once again. Yep, you read that right. I was checked in, wristband in place and waiting for my name to be called. The wait was a short, but interesting one. The lady at the registration desk had stepped away to take my paperwork to the technicians in the back, when in walked this smiley, friendly lady. She looked like she was about my age or older but had these little girl blonde braids hanging over each shoulder. I thought to myself now there is a woman who is comfortable with herself. She and I were the only two in the waiting room. She promptly removed her jacket, laid her insurance card on the registration desk and chose a seat just feet from me where she laid her things. Without a second thought she said (and almost without taking a breath before she was done)...

"When she (pointing toward the registration desk) returns, tell her I just left my insurance card for her - I'm leaving my phone and purse here (pointing to her seat) - and it's your job to watch them - I gotta pee." As she walked away toward the door she'd just entered, she looked back over her shoulder at me, feeling the need to explain her quick getaway and said, "I drank coffee." Then she was gone. I sit there wondering if I'd just imagined that whole scene. Who leaves their things with a complete stranger to watch? And then I was wondering... what do I do if they call my name before she returns and I have to decide, wait and watch her things? or leave them in the waiting room alone? I marveled at her comfort level. I remember days of trusting your neighbors and the community you lived in. Leaving your doors unlocked at night because you didn't have to be afraid. And I missed them.

I love the whole idea of the Primitive/Country theme I love decorating in. The theme I see around me makes me think of the country, where I was raised and the values and morals people used to live by. Slowly but surely I want to transform my surroundings with things that remind me of simpler life. I stumbled upon a great site today that I've enjoyed going through. She may seem over the top to some but Aunt Ruthie shares in some things I enjoy and believe in as well.

I can't wait to try her Hillbilly Spaghetti Pie!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Abby!

I'm just a little late in posting this but we did celebrate her birthday this week. Abby turned 1 year old this week on the 6th of October... exactly 8 months after she became a part of our family. HAPPY  BIRTHDAY ABBY! You'll never see a baby anywhere (human, canine or feline) that is more spoiled. She got a few things that you can see below... 

Abby got a cute pink wishbone, a squeaking Booda flamingo, an Everylasting treat ball (with refills), and the most adorable baby blue elephant. Doesn't sound too bad huh? Here's where the spoiled part comes in...

When I come home from work in the evenings, Abby is wild! After having not seen me all day long she is trying to climb up my legs, whining to be picked up. I have to set down anything I'm carrying and then it's all about Abby. If I have my hair pulled back with a scrunchie, it has got to come out and she won't stop pulling til it does. For some reason she loves to play with these things. So that too was on the list. Tommy wanted me to pick up a new package of hair scrunchies for her to play with. Nevermind that it's a chore for me to find any now to actually use in my hair because she's taken them all. But at daddy's request, Abby got a new package of scrunchies...

She love to play fetch with them, though it's me that has to fetch when she throws her head to the side, slinging whatever is in her mouth then looks at me with that 'are you gonna get that?' look on her face. A time or two I will (she has me well trained).

Here are a couple of more shots of her playing... one with her new birthday elephant (Ellie... because they all get names), and jumping up on the couch with me. We call the mid-air shot "Mighty Dog".

We love her like any parents love their baby, and have the same frustrations and 'demands' that a baby's parents have as well. Although I do have a small advantage. I just set her food and water out on the floor and her puppy pad is always there for her to 'go' on... which let me soak uninterruped last night in a tub full of water with a good book... water so hot your skin turns a pale pink... something I hadn't done in quite some time. :)


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome To Your Mammogram!

Well, today was supposed to be 'the day'. The six-month recheck for an abnormal mammogram done in March this year. I wait and watch the clock all day to leave work early and get this done. The drive alone was dreadful. No one drives like you think they should when you are in a hurry. So I spend nearly an hour weaving in and out of traffic, trying to get ahead of the pack. I finally arrive at 5:04pm to my 5pm appointment. Let me add here I HATE to be late for anything. I'd rather be an hour early and sit and wait than be a minute late. So I walk at a brisk pace to the front door of the Advanced Imaging Center.

Just inside the door to the right is the elevator to take me to the 2nd floor. As soon as the elevator door opens and I step inside I hear a PA system announcement... that must have been heard by some of the people waiting in the downstairs lobby... "Welcome to the Advanced Imaging Center. The Breast Center is on the 2nd floor." Of course that is the ONLY thing on the second floor so no secrets to the onlookers as to why I am there. The door closes and I go up. As the elevator stops and the door opens, once again the PA system announces "WELCOME TO THE BREAST CENTER!". So now anyone in ear shot on the 2nd floor is alerted to my arrival for my mammogram. I almost felt like there should be a pink carpet runway with confetti and applause at the over-zealous welcome. Of course there was none, just little 'ole me waltzing out of the elevator, alone, shyly looking around to see how many people heard the announcement of my arrival.

Immediately upon checking in at the window I am asked, "Do you have an order?" This is where it all goes downhill from the grand welcome that made you feel it was 'all about you' today. I had no order. When this thing was pre-scheduled some time ago, and the doctor's office was supposed to fax the order to the imaging center. They had not. A call to the doctor's office proved fruitless. They'd closed at 4:30pm. I stood at the window while the nervous young girl clicked away on her computer mouse, trying desperately to find some hidden instructions in the computer to appease and hopefully lower the emotional temperature of the new arrival. My reply prompted her call to another department or two.

"Are you telling me that you are NOT going to do this mammogram today? After I took off work early and drove nearly an hour to get here?" 

At this point I was no longer feeling bad about being a tad late. Her calls confirmed there was nothing that we could do... except reschedule. It didn't help to question their protocol in whether to be sure each morning that THEY had received orders for all appointments schedule for the day. She didn't seem to care for the suggestion but she got it anyway. So now I have to go back to work tomorrow, explain to my supervisor that someone screwed up and we had to do it all over again on Friday. I left only after requesting an 'excuse' confirming my arrival for a scheduled appointment and explanation of the error and necessity to reschedule. The poor girl not only heard but felt my frustration as she nervously wrote out the paper and asked for my approval of what she'd written. Once again I hear the friendly voice in the elevator "Welcome To The Breast Center!"... thank you, come again. Never fear, I'll be back before you know it!

So now it's up to me to make sure that the order is sent. Before relying on the system again, I will stop in the doctor's office myself tomorrow for the order and hand deliver myself on Friday. Maybe I'll even add a big pink ribbon. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

How "fit" can you get in 2 weeks... REALLY?

I have a routine appointment with my Family Doctor two weeks from tomorrow on the 20th. I hate the scales more than anything else. I wonder just how much difference I can make in 2 weeks? I'm thinking maybe I can distract him with reports of the 2 6-month repeat test appts I've had. He's great and covers his bases to be sure we don't overlook something. So many doctor appointments these days are rushed. They barely have time to shake your hand and write a short note in your chart before they are out the door and headed down the hall. Dr Gilbert gets comfortable and listens til you are done talking. I'm sure his time is still limited but he doesn't let it show. 

I just don't see me forming the necessary relationship with my treadmill in a two span that I should. When I get up between 6:30am & 7:00am work til 5:00pm (and most of the time straight through breaks and lunch to keep up), head home at 5pm and a few nights a week stopping at the store for something one of us thinks we need. Then the domestic responsibilities and schoolwork are waiting. By 10pm or 11pm I'm so tired I welcome the cold sheets I crawl into. I'm not sure where I fit the "Fit" part into. I know I procrastinate and the whole "if you really wanted to, you'd find/make the time" but I just plain feel TOO TIRED to think about it, let alone follow through. And waiting until two weeks before an appointment. When I do get a few meager minutes free I'd much rather spend it doing something enjoyable, not sweating on a treadmill. 

On the upside, my trips to the doctor are a self esteem booster. Because of the difference in my health in the last few years I am still way ahead of where I would have been. I look and feel younger and I particularly enjoy the doctor's comments when I go to Tommy's appointments with him and Doc says he's glad Tommy's daughter (or granddaughter) could come with him. :) 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tests and more tests

My first year in my 40's wasn't so bad. It wasn't nearly the tragedy I'd played over in my head the morning I woke up to "40!" After thinking about it I was healthier than I was at 30 (thanks to surgery and a 100+ lbs weight loss), I look MUCH better than I did at 30 (see previous reason), I wasn't a struggling single parent as I had been at 30. This 40-thing wasn't so bad after all. What a tease year # 40 was. Shortly after turning 41 (in January this year) I started falling apart... physically, not emotionally as you might think (I'd beat that part). My very first abnormal PAP was at 41, in March. So I was scheduled for a 6 month repeat. That appointment was last wee and I received the "all clear" postcard in the mail yesterday... false alarm. My very first abnormal Mammogram was at 41, also around March. I have the 6 month repeat for that scheduled for Oct 6th (2 days from now). I'll let you know how that goes. I find my faith and prayer life get stronger in times like these.

Speaking of Mammograms. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I found some great buys at the grocery store that not only helped my budget, those purchases were in support of breast cancer awareness. I got 2 really cute pink butterfly/ribbon reusable grocery "bags" that I couldn't resist... helping the environment and breast cancer research all for only $1.99! I didn't actually have M&M's on my grocery list and certainly didn't need them but with the purchase of two bags of peanut M&M's I got a beautiful Pink Promise Bouquet free. Another thing I couldn't pass up.

Aren't they lovely? I remember now though why I rarely have fresh flowers in a vase in my house. The cat likes to eat them... not a healthy supplement for him either. And now with Abby in our home, we've found that he assists her in struggles for "no-no's" that are out of her reach. I'm thinking after admiring the flowers for a couple of days on the buffet, I need to take them to the office, or give to my mother before I wake some morning (or the middle of the night) and find a puddle of water on the floor, overturned vase and 2 happy little babies sniffing and nibbling away.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I guess I don't know my own strength

Yesterday evening Tommy asked me to 'pop' his back. I do it frequently as he does mine. He laid on the living room floor and I positioned myself above him. I always do it the same way but I never get the results I did last night. As I pushed on the middle of his back we head the LOUD pop! All in the same second, I pulled my hands back and froze, as Tommy screamed out and slowly sank the rest of the way to the floor, moaning. It was definitely a different sound than the usual popping vertebrae we hear. Adam was sitting in the floor close by, and was as shocked as we were and the look on his face said he had the same question I had. I looked at Adam and asked, "What was THAT?!" I was afraid to move. I asked Tommy if he needed to go to the hospital, his only reply was a deep, low moan. I had to help him to bed and checked on him a few times. I heard him all evening from the other room (til I knocked myself out with Ambien at bedtime) moaning and groaning... one of us needed to sleep right? :)

Today wasn't any better after what I thought would be a night's rest. He hurt just as bad when I left for work, grimacing and wincing from the pain each time he tried to cough, turn or walk across the floor. I finally convinced him he needed to see a Doctor, just to get it checked out and get something for the pain he was in. An X-ray confirmed that nothing was broken but just dislocated. Still haven't figured out how you dislocate a rib but I'll be checking into that.

I got him back into the car and home with a couple of prescriptions to get him through the next few days. He'd asked the nurse at the Urgent Care if he should call the police and file a domestic abuse report. I told him on the way home, be careful or I'd break the other side. We all know what I'm capable of now. :)

Not sure how I feel about letting him popping my back now either. That'll take a lot of thought.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quilt Festival

This past weekend was the South Shore Quilt Festival. I didn't venture out Friday evening after work or even on Saturday because of the rain. But today me, mom and Amber decided to stroll through the streets and see what the crafters had for sale. I LOVE Fall. The beautiful foliage. An artist could never paint the beauty I see in the hills around our small town. 

We viewed all the quilts on display. There are some wonderful quilters here that are not recognized for their work nearly enough. It was hard to choose a favorite but I took a couple of pictures of the two that really caught my eye the most. This is definitely a craft I'd love to get into. Not that I have the spare time now for something else... work, school, wife, mother. The demands of all I do now keep me busier than one person should be.


It's amazing to me that I can find such beauty in a period of endings... leaves are turning color as they are dying, autumn ushers in cooler air and announces the end of the hot summer days. God chose to create the most beautiful of nature's paintings in this season.

Our Story

I've heard more times than I can count how fascinating "our story" is. I see people looking back at me with smiles of wonder on their faces as I tell how my husband and I got married. So I thought I'd start from that beginning here and share it with you. Each time I have the opportunity to share my story, I am reminded how very special this union is and what a gift I have been given.

The questions I get most times are quiet, puzzled looks when one part of a conversation reveals my son's age (18 now) and then a few sentences later, or in another conversation on another day, they hear me say we have been married for 6 years. Most people do not dare to ask the obvious question, "Is he your son's real father?" (except for Pastor George in the Hospice Dept at work, but then again he's an exception to all the rules =) I usually end up volunteering the information, followed by our story. Partly to save them the embarrassment of asking... and partly because I love to tell it. (I'll try to keep it brief.)

I met Tommy through a friend in 1989 when he was visiting his sister in Ohio. He visited her around Thanksgiving each year. It was love at first site for me. I'd never met anyone so sweet, kind, considerate, thoughtful, funny, and HANDSOME! We spent some time together while he was in town but it wasn't nearly enough for either of us. We spent hours each week talking by phone. Mailed letters and cards (I still have those.) He would even play his guitar and sing to me on the phone. I was IN LOVE! But long distance relationships are hard, with just a handful of face-to-face time together in a year. 

In that first short week we knew each other, we connected on a deeper level than either of us realized. But Tommy had been burned badly twice before and would not let himself risk that again. When he made a trip to Ohio in November, 1990, we spent some time together, sort of a 'goodbye', realizing that the odds were against us with such a great distance between us and his fears of the past. Two months later in January 1991, I found out I was pregnant. Fast forward.... 

Tommy and I did not get back together because of the baby. Adam was born in July 1991 and Tommy did the right thing in supporting his child. But he faithfully paid the state of Oklahoma, who in turn sent it to the state of Kentucky before it reached us. Because of this process, and the fact that he was living with someone who was controlling, manipulative and jealous (who did everything she could to hinder out contact with him), Tommy and I eventually lost contact. 

I never stopped loving Tommy and did not date anyone for 10 years... since saying goodbye to him in 1990. I focused on working and raising my son and for a while that was enough for me. In 2000 I decided I'd been alone too long and started dating again. I eventually became engaged. I thought I had it all planned out. I was wrong.

When I met Tommy he was a single father raising his two daughters, Traci and Mandy. The youngest, Mandy, was a daddy's girl and the cutest little freckled-faced, red haired thing you ever saw. She and I both were equally heartbroken when I had to say goodbye to her too. It was her that found us in March 2001. She was about to be married herself and wanted to reconnect with me (so that I could be a part of her happiness) and she also wanted to meet her little brother she'd only seen pictures of and talked to briefly on the phone with a few years before. 

After Mandy pulled the family back together, and Adam and I went to Oklahoma to see his dad and 2 sisters I knew immediately that I still loved him. I had to do some thinking and make the decision to break off my engagement because I knew Tommy was still the love of my life. We continued visiting as often as possible and Tommy and I renewed our relationship with each other. We married in January 2003 and I know it was 'meant to be'. After so many years apart, and neither of us marrying other people, I believe we were meant for each other... soul mates. And I thank God for His plan. Sometimes you don't understand why things happen the way they do. And it could take days, months, or as in our case years to see the plan that God had.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's now "another day"

Excerpt from Dec. 2007 post Whippin' the Cat "...I always wanted a dog. (We'll get to that another day.)..."

Well... it's now 'another day' and I have my dog! On Feb 6th 2009 we brought home a 2.5 lb baby chihuahua. Her papers say Abigail Caitlyn Turner aka Abby.

I've never seen anything move so fast in my life! Who'd have thunk it would take 3 full grown adults (me, hubby and the vet) to hold a 3 lb chihuahua still enough for shots. I managed to come out on top. I held the 'back end' hidden from view so her daddy and the vet were the bad guys she saw when that needle went in. I'll remember that position in the future too, since daddy came away with a bloody hand from her wrath. LOL

She is nearly a year old and about 5 lbs but don't mistake her tiny body. She's still 'finding her bark' and it's fun to get her going and listen to the various level changes. And she's howled just a few times, accidentally of course because she seems to surprise herself and us when she does and can't do it again. Right now we are in the Terrible Two stage. And she's teething, so just like any other baby, everything goes in her mouth. Sometimes you pull back and injured or bloody stump too if she gets her teeth sinked in enough before you jerk back. Night time... bedtime she comes alive no matter how tired and sleepy she is just minutes before we walked into the bedroom. She sleeps with us and the bed is her playground. She isn't allowed in there all day so she the bed is her playground. And when she has run a few laps and played with a toy or two (she brings them to bed every night) she will crawl under the cover, most nights to the bottom close to our feet and sleep. It's peaceful again. But Abby always wakes up first and when she does, everyone gets up. She will crawl out from under the covers, do her 'shake & stretch' routine then she starts pulling the covers off of us with her teeth... and Abby will not be ignored. But it is still a thrill to see her face when I wake each morning and running to greet me each evening... full of love.