Thursday, February 09, 2012

See ya!

With a new life and a new blog, I'm leaving this one. You can find me over at Sanders In Stitches. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I know, I know... updates, Bren?

Not a lot to update on: Tons of Girl Scouts, gardening, working out, blah blah blah. And since this auto-feeds into Facebook, most of my daily life is on there anyway with the kids, the dogs and Rick. But well... poor Blogger is feeling neglected.

Having lost 48 lbs to date since May 2010 and with just 21 pounds left to go to hit my goal, I thought I'd post a new photo. By the way, who knew how fun shopping would be in this new small size? I LOVE IT! I used to hate hate hate shopping but now, it's amazing. So, well, here's the newest photo, taken this afternoon. Wish I'd done my hair, etc., but hey, the life of a mom, right? Right!

Hope you're all well and happy and living life to the fullest. My new motto:
Just for today, I can do anything.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diamonds Are Forever

Awhile ago, I posted the ring we'd picked out, but the photo I had was for a smaller sized diamond. Here's The Ring, in all of it's 1.25 carat glory.

I love it!

I think he maybe loves me!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Skirts Refashioned

So in between getting ready for the craft fair, the girls have wanted a little somethingsomething of their own. Actually, my youngest daughter did. So I started with her:

This is a basic $5 skort. So boring.

This is after we added $5 of fabric to it (she wasn't home when it was finished, thus no model):

Then my older two daughters wanted their own. Nothing says YES! quite like having your 16 and 20 year old daughters asking for something homemade. Although Daughter #1 did hers in pinks, as 10 year olds are prone to do, Daughter #2 wanted tans and blacks:

The 20 year old wanted a "rockabilly" feel to hers (although she's borrowed the tan and black one from her sister a few times already). I love the Elvis aqua print in the middle!

So 3 skirts, all unique to each girl, and each only costing a total of $10 each and an afternoon of sewing.

Pretty neat!

This post is linked over to Tea Rose Home as part of a link party -- check it all out!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I haven't updated this blog in quite awhile -- excuses or reasons aren't really necessary. RWA National is in full swing in Orlando and I hate that I'm missing it, and reading everyone's Facebook updates is great and equally agonizing. Rick and I had planned to go when it was in Nashville -- not only go but get married there as well -- and so I sit here and think of what classes or book signings I may have been at if the venue hadn't changed, and if I'd be Brenda Sanders by now or not. Sigh.

A couple of nights ago, I finished my skirt. I'm so thrilled at how it turned out. It's really full, so if you spin, it'll twirl around. It's a perfect fit and first clothes I've made myself since I was 13 and Mom first taught me how to sew. I'm SO happy with how it turned out. Here's a pic:

Then today, Wednesday, was a day for heart issues. I went to let the 5 dogs back inside, and no dogs to be found. The gate was opened. My heart dropped. I yelled and two of our big dogs returned immediately. I walked around the front, still yelling, and turned around to see Casanova, the basset, who I was really worried about because he's so skittish, but he darted right in. So two to go: Keiko the Akita, and Oliver, the little black pug.

So I go back inside, tell Rick, and we load up in the van to drive and look. Nothing. After several times around the neighborhood, there was Keiko in the yard. No Oliver.

Now I'm seriously concerned because Oliver was out on his own. We decide to take Sassy and Keiko out on leashes, thinking (hoping) they'd lead us to Oliver if he was hurt. We walked around and nothing.

Shandie and Sydney load up in her car. I post on Facebook to see if someone knows something. We'd asked everyone we passed and nothing. I knew he wasn't ran over because we'd covered all the streets already. My greatest fear was someone took him, and would keep him. He's so outgoing and cute and funny and well-trained. We would never get him back.

And all the time, Carly was at work, having no idea this turmoil was happening. I had no idea what I'd tell her. Oliver is hers, and they are inseparable. He's like her child, and I'd have to tell her he was gone. Of all the five dogs, THAT one was missing and there was nothing Mommy could do to make it okay again.

Rick asks if I want to drive around in his truck with him, looking. I felt there was no need -- we'd covered everywhere. He. Was. Gone. But I loaded up, and we drove.

And drove.

And drove.

Peering into shadows, driving in areas we knew he couldn't be. We kept going. And that's when fear and sadness sank in and I made my bargain with God: Let me find this dog, LEAD me to wherever he is, and I promise I will be in church TONIGHT.

And I opened my eyes, and there he was in a driveway. Rick hadn't even seen him and I said: There he is!

Rick still didn't see him but stopped the truck and I jumped down and grabbed Oliver up and I twirled, holding that fat little black dog so hard.

We got home and he darted into the backyard, and Casanova, his best buddy, danced around him. Then Oliver jumped in the dog pool and plopped his bottom down to cool off while lapping up the water around him, so hot and tired from his adventures.

I don't know if it was coincidence. I can't swear it was something divine. I just know neither of us saw him just a few feet down from that spot. I just know I opened my eyes after my desperate prayer and there he suddenly stood. And I cried with such relief.

My daughter's heart would not be broken.

And guess where I'll be tonight.

Saying "thank you".

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday's Five

I know, it's been awhile. Bad, bad Brenda. But now I'm back, and today's Friday Five are

Five Things That Made Me Happy This Week:

1) Okay, I know I'm SEVERAL years behind here, but I just started watching Sex in the City on DVD (the series) starting with the first year. This week has been SO funny watching these. Gotta love me some Netflix to bring me all the series tv shows I've missed over the years, eh?

2) My hibiscus in the front flowerbed now has HUGE hot pink flowers on it. They're simply gorgeous.

3) Over at my favorite blog, Lucy March, all the Betties, as we like to call ourselves, are putting up their personal blogs so our Bettiness can grow and expand. Watch here for a Betty Blog Section to be built soon. Swear.

4) Finishing a certain book last night, which I won't name, but it was painful to get through. It wasn't quite bad enough for me to give up on all together, but it so hard to muster through it. Finally I finished it last night. Usually with a book, I'm sad when it's over and often times read it again in the near future, but this one? This ending brought relief. Just goes to show that not every New York Times Bestseller should BE a NYT Best Seller.

5) Dad called yesterday to tell me that the children then grandchildren will be going to Granny's to divide up her stuff, so if I wanted anything, I needed to be up there Sunday afternoon. No, there's nothing I need. Several years ago, I received her coo-coo clock. Dad had actually bought it overseas decades ago and gave it to Gran as a gift, and so it has double special meaning to me -- Dad picked it out and Granny owned it forever. I already have that, and I'm glad it's here safe and sound. I still need to hang it up. I didn't hang it up for years and years because Sydney and Cooper were little and I didn't want to fight over them messing with the parts that hang low, but now they're older so it'll be okay. And a coo-coo clock? Are you kidding me?!

It'll fit right in.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The House That Built Me

I truly love this song. Although they say you can't go home again, you can. If some things are so constant, you really can go home, even if you yourself have changed. Yesterday, Rick took the kids and me to my parents, and we drove by Tracy's -- well, where her house used to be before the city wiped it away -- and there's part of the fence that surrounded her backyard pool, and I desperately want to go and get a section and bring it to my own house and keep it, and in keeping it, keep the memories of her house that's now gone, and of us swimming in her backyard. But to do that, I think I'd need a blow torch or something to break the wrought iron free enough for me to snag it and then run.

And we got to my parents' house, and the huge live oak from the front yard is gone thanks to the Snow Day of 2010, but it's the same. Mom and Dad are at the door, ushering us in with hugs, and food is everywhere -- brisket and pecan pie -- it's the same. And you go out in the backyard and see their flowers growing better and bigger than a commercial ever could and even though he's not doing it right then, the picture of my dad in his overalls watering the backyard is the same -- the same it has been for so long that it's etched in my mind forever. Like Granny Souder and the hoe and her garden in the front yard, even though she's been gone for 15 years, the memory is the same, branded in our minds, and anyone who knew Granny or remembers any time at my house at all with Dad knows exactly what memories and pictures in the mind that I mean.

But it's not just me that was built with that house. I think anyone close to me growing up as a memory -- a STRONG memory -- of my parents' house. We had the pool table and the ping-pong table and the basketball hoop and a yard full of kids sometimes. Or going to my parents' house just to raid the fridge and cabinets, because it was always stocked. The memories there aren't just memories for me, but memories for so many people, this constant never changing world of The Bobo House. When people ask about my parents, I say, "They're great -- they're just the same" and people know instantly what I mean, transported to their own memory of the home my parents created.

I've moved 17 times since leaving that house. Even for my own kids, their house is the "home", the constant, the safe place. The idea of them moving, or the house belonging to anyone outside of the family leaves me mentally crippled. My mind can't grasp the idea. That wouldn't be a good change. Life needs certain guarantees and that's one of them.

Now that Rick and I are together and building our new future, with our new house and our gardens and our own holidays, I can only hope I'm able to create a home that builds up others the way my parents' house built us, even if I'm 20 years late getting started. If I can give others a fraction the memories my parents gave me and so many others out there, I know I'll have accomplished something spectacular.

I just hope my parents know how significant they are as well as the house they loved and nurtured, and what their home has meant: It's the House the Built So Many.

I love you, Mom & Dad!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Yikes! Nashville Floods!

It's been flooding in Nashville, and the Gaylord Hotel is where the RWA National Conference is schedule to be held. According to the emails I've received today, we're apparently in a wait-and-see, although one email did suggest that the Gaylord and RWA are working on finding an alternative location. Makes the most sense because I cannot fathom they'd have all of the mess from the video fixed by July. However, after such devastation, I'm sure they hope to fix it in time because it would generate a lot of cash after being closed. Such a horrible situation. I hope everyone is safe.

I know the Board of RWA does the scouting and locations of our national conference years in advance. They put in such long hours and hard work. I hate to imagine them scrambling around now trying to find a solution but I know it has to be done.

Rick had suggested we get married in Nashville. I guess I should tell him about the flooding and possible/probable rescheduling. He'll think he's off the hook.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

Today is April 28th. You know what today is? The Day Between the Birthdays.

Brett, my brother, and I had just a day apart from our birthdays. Well, 2 years and 363 days. I'm October 11th, and he's October 13th, and man oh man, there hath no sin committed by my mother greater than forcing Brenda to share a party with Brett. Well, at least until I grew up and saw the convenience of it. When he and I were little, it made even more sense; it's not like we went to school yet, so all of our friends were from church, and therefore, friends with both of us. Yet I hated it all the same. I specially remember one birthday in particular. It was a rare birthday in which my parents bought a store-made cake (Mom usually made our cakes) and it was split right down the middle, decorated in two themes, one for him... one for me.

He played peewee football, so his side had little football players all over it with goal posts and everything. Made sense... he was a little football player.

My side was done in Halloween, with witches. Made sense, right... since I was a little... wait a minute!! *indignant pause inserted here*

I don't remember many shared birthdays after that, and please do not get me wrong here, in fact, if I'd been Mom, I'd forced shared birthdays forever.

I can say that because I find myself in the same situation, but instead of just three years apart, my two are SIX YEARS apart. And well... (sighs) Okay, I admit it: it's my fault their birthdays are only separated by one day.

Little Miss Carly Victoria was born five days late, induced on April 29th, 1994. YAY! Pizza anyone? (Inside story). Then, six years later, I was in the most horrific pregnancy ever, and having 5 pregnancies, I can say that. So the doctor gave me two dates in which to induce Baby #3: April 27th, or May 5th.

Well... in hindsight, being the Beast that hindsight IS, I should have held out for May 5th, but the pain got the best of me, so on April 27th, 2000, Sydney Elizabeth burst forth into the world.

So April 28th is the Day Between.

I've tried pretty hard since Syd was born not to "share" the birthdays. Unfortunately, Syd came home from the hospital on Carly's 6th birthday, and of course, people in their sweetness and ignorance told Carly she got a new baby sister for her birthday. Well Carly didn't ASK for a new baby sister -- she just wanted a Barney video or Barbie or cash to hide in her room (another inside story). So after that, I did my best to keep the birthdays as individual as the girls themselves.

Then this year came.

My goal is to always give the weekend before the birthdays to Sydney, and the weekend afterward to Carly. For traveling family (like Mom and Dad, plus friends, like Margaret and company) this doesn't always mean you get the visit ON the birthday because it's a bit to travel two weekends in a row. But this year is unique. The weekend after the birthdays, on Friday, Carly and Sydney and me and a few girl scouts all head to Girl Scout Camp at Texlake in Austin to camp in treehouses, so there's no way to party the weekend after.

So we partied the weekend before. Combined.

We had about 25 people here. Shandie came up from Texas State (a 2 hours drive), Mom and Dad and Margaret and Charlie and Cari all came down from Ft Worth (a 2.5 hours drive). Neighbors came over for the cookout (about a 20 second drive in Cameron), and Sydney had NO. IDEA. AT. ALL.

I'd told her last year that from now on, all birthdays were family only. No more friends invited who never show up and never RSVP (so irksome). So she thought there was NOTHING. In fact, her father told me the following:

Sydney to her dad: Can we buy me some party favors?
Brian: Why?
Sydney: Because Mom said no more parties, but if I can buy some favors, at least it'll FEEL like my birthday.

Guilt much, Sydney? Geeze, child.
Thankfully, Brian knew of the plans already made and did not give in to the favors.

Instead, Sydney walked into the backyard to hear everyone say SURPRISE and get showered with gifts and love. It was also for Carly, but she knew about it, and didn't seem to mind sharing it with Sydney.

At least this one time...
So Happy Decade Old for Sydney Elizabeth and Happy Sweet Sixteen to Carly Victoria. I love you both more than you will ever realize until you're blessed with your own beautiful daughters. (In 30 years or so, of course.)

As for Brenda, Happy April 28th -- my day of nothingness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'll Have What She's Having

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.

I’m fascinated by this idea. Unfortunately, I’m apparently like Sally Albright, because it appears that even though I don’t view myself as High Maintenance, others DO. I’m not sure why, but they do. So… I did some research.

On Facebook, I put it in my status, asking others what they thought High Maintenance meant to them. Several said the way I view it: Perfect hair and make-up, designer clothing, wanting only the best of material things, blah blah blah.

One friend said when he and I dated, I was pretty laid back. Which is funny, since I was only 19 at the time and 19 in general is a living, breathing hell, but given who his girlfriend was before me, that may be why he viewed me a “laid back”. I just know I wasn’t going to argue since he’s apparently one of the very few who think of me as low maintenance.

A few years ago, in fact, it was 2007 because I remember it vividly, it dawned on me that there is emotional high maintenance so very different from how I’d viewed high maintenance in materialistic ways. Needing reassurance, mental stimulation, the spark and connection. I could see me high maintenance that way. Of course, it was also pointed out to me by someone else that those things weren’t high maintenance in their opinion, but just basic human necessities to feel needed and wanted and loved, and if those things were not being fulfilled and thus creating the high maintenance fallout, that was on the other person to not provide as promised. Which makes sense; I’ve always claimed Love is a verb, an action, so if those actions aren’t made and the love isn’t evident, then yeah, the questions and insecurities would definitely flair up. Anyone can say they love someone else. But showing love – that’s worth much more than diluted words someone may utter just to float by in life to maintain a status quo.

Anyway, back to topic:

Another friend said: It’s like a high performance car. If you want the best out of it, you have feed the best into it. (paraphrased)

A third friend said I’m a drama magnet, which used to be very true. But note the magnet – it somehow finds me, but isn’t generated by me. That was good news. And I think it’s the Libran in me attempting to fix and balance others and then getting dragged into it, but… (shrugs) That friend also said that the good thing about my brand of high maintenance is that it’s never boring.

Um. Thanks. I think.

I know I’m definitely not the materialistic high maintenance. I like to shop as much as the next person, but I really like finding good deals, etc, and name brands are not my thing. But the emotional high maintenance, I think if it’s being nurtured and fed and reinforced, that’s not high maintenance at all: That’s what I call Happily Ever After.