Friday, September 23, 2011


My birthday is Saturday. I'll be 27... woo hoo...  Birthdays don't seem to be a big deal anymore when you've become an adult.

Alta Vista's yearly "Old Settler's Day" celebration is Saturday and we'll be partaking in the festivities here in AV. I'll have to pretend it's my b-day celebration too...  Parade, turtle races, craft/flea market, and sand volleyball tournament will be on our list of things to do. We'll also try to watch the game and possibly hit up the Bam-a-Lam bar & grill for dinner and karaoke.

A couple of years ago, I decided to make my birthday the time where I sit back and look at my life for the past year and make goals and  resolutions for myself. I've always thought that New Year's resolutions were kinda wrong. I mean.... everyone in the country and the world sits back and says "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to save more money", etc. Why wouldn't you take your birthday, which is really your new year, to make some personal goals and resolutions that fit more closely to who you are?

Without further ado... a few of my goals and resolutions.

  • Learn to do woodworking (added bonus of bonding with my dad who will have to help me out!). Growing up, I was in 4-H and was in the woodworking project. I refinished and fixed a wardrobe and two chairs. I loved doing it but never actually worked on building anything. This year I would love to learn to build a bookcase for the boys. I realize it will take "practicing" on a few things first, but eventually I'd love to be able to build something we could have forever. The downside to this is that I'd like to do everything in oak. Which is considerably more expensive than trying to build something out of a wood that we would just want to paint. The bookcase I want to make is here.

    Mine would be a little different because they would be a stained oak, not painted.

  • Take time for myself. I remember telling my mom shortly after Dillon was born that I could tell I was going to be a better example to the boys and take some personal time for myself sooner than I did with David. This is not the case. It's so easy to get wrapped up in what the boys need or want, that I often forget to take some much needed "me" time. Jeremy and I have been good about taking time with each other but alone time... not so much. I think it is very important to children to see their parents as not only parents and caregivers, but as people too. Obviously - my boys are quite a ways away from understanding this but nonetheless I think it's important. I want Dave and Dillon to see me as their momma, their daddy's wife, a friend to them and others and as a person who has hobbies and activities she likes to do. Even though I want my boys to see me this way, I want it for myself too. I'll be a much happier person if I remember to take some time for myself on a regular basis.

  • Think before speaking. Over the past few years, this has become a weakness of mine. Unfortunately, I've become much more comfortable with everyone and anyone knowing exactly what I think. I'm an open book. I think most people can tell how I feel without me even saying it  BUT it would be a little more appropriate for me to keep some things to myself. I'm a classic over-sharer. But I am taking a vow to try to slow down the over-sharing.

  • Give up chips. If you know me very well... you know that my one (food) weakness is chips. I could seriously eat a whole bag at one sitting. Gross, I know, but very truthful. This year, if I give up chips, I feel like I'll have other options at lunch such as a fruit or vegetable. So in a roundabout way... I'm trying to be healthier too. I'm still trying to decide if giving up chips includes chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants. I'm thinking no. :)
I'm sure I'll come up with some other ways to improve myself but maybe those will have to wait until next year and these four are tackled!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love and Marriage

Today is Jeremy and I's three year anniversary. Sometimes I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to have found the perfect person for me. It's not a lot of people that meet the person they are supposed to marry at age 15. Here's a bit of our love story...

Jeremy and I started dating shortly after the first dance my freshman year. After that, there was no separating us.

Some of my favorite memories from dating him in high school...

  • We would pool our money together to buy a family order of breadsticks at Pizza Hut during his lunch break on Sundays. I would often just dig change out of the bottom of my purse!
  • The first time he took me on a date out-of-town, he was buying shoes at Foot Locker and realized that was the only check he had. So I ended up buying us dinner.
  • Our first kiss was in my parent's driveway after he had met my dad for the first time. He was so nervous!
  • Our first anniversary he got me a diamond heart necklace and we saw Tim McGraw & Faith Hill in Kansas City.
I could go on and on. I pretty much thought Jeremy was the best thing ever in high school. And still do...
This was my senior year prom. Please ignore my hair... we had Classy Cat tryouts that day and I didn't have time to do anything else to my hair but this!

This was prom my sophomore year and Jeremy's senior year. Don't we look so young?

In college, we dated on and off. It was hard on both of us but I think we both agree in the end it was the best. We realized then, that besides loving each other romantically, we loved each other truly as best friends. When any little thing came up... we called each other for advice. Even when we weren't together.

We moved in together after I graduated and got engaged shortly thereafter. I can honestly say these past three years haven't been a piece of cake. We've fought and slammed doors, but we've also listened to each other and worked our little tiffs out. To me, the working through things and compromise is what makes a marriage work. There is no one else I'd rather be with to argue, debate, grill steaks on Sunday nights, make up, laugh, and raise our two little boys.

Jeremy, I love you. You are the best man to put me in my place, support me, and pick me up when I'm down. You are an awesome father and I'm proud to call you my husband. Happy 3rd Anniversary!

In Memphis - With Elvis

My High School Graduation

Also in Memphis, different trip

Aggieville when in College.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I'm teaching dance this year. This is not new. I've have taught and helped with dance classes in Council Grove every year except one since I have been in third grade.  I'm teaching the newest baby tap class and some high school classes. On my way to dance on Wednesday night, as I was boogieing to the radio, I got to thinking about how imporatant dance was in my life and how it's such a wonderful tool for little girls, teenagers and young ladies to learn so much about themselves and to express themselves.

When I was growing up, the dance studio was owned by Jill Fitzgerald. She taught all the classes with some tough love. She loved all her students but was the first to come down on someone for not putting forth enough effort or living up to what she knew they were capable of. At each class Jill would give the younger girls glitter, lip gloss or sometimes spray them with perfume that she always sprayed around the room. Not only did the "babies" learn rythmn and dance steps but they learned how to be little girls and like all the glitzy stuff that little girls should love. Now I don't mean that all girls should love glitter, there is nothing wrong with making mud pies... I did a ton of that... but all girls should get to play with all that's girly.

This is a page from my dance scrapbook. Pictures of Jill and I growing up. If you can't tell, Jill is one of those people who never goes out with out her hair and makeup done. Even to this day... if you see her out and about she is completely embarrassed if she's not all made up.

This was my senior year... I danced to "Have you Ever Been In Love" by Celine Dion. I mostly put this picture on here because of those abs! Unfortunatley, I don't think I'll ever have those again!

This picture was taken after Jill's last dance recital. This was while I was in college. If you can't tell... I had been crying that night. Jill was and still is a very special person in my life... and after seeing her muliple times a week for at least 16 years - I was sad to see her go...

Jill's husband Eldon was always one of my favorite people. He passed away last year. When I was in high school I would sometimes meet Jill & Eldon at the Hays House for dinner and chat with them. Eldon and Jill would bicker back and forth and Eldon always ended up saying something along the lines of, "All dance teachers think they are better than everyone else" or something along those lines. That was always his best way to try to put Jill in her place... And Jill would always say, "Now don't be saying that stuff about Amanda!" Those two would always make me laugh.

When I graduated high school, I had the priviledge of dancing on the Classy Cats at Kansas State University. I LOVED being a Classy Cat. I loved all of it but especially loved the football games. I loved being on the field and marching out with the band, cheering for 4 hours at the game and just the feeling of being a part of something so big. I loved dancing at basketball games as well, but football season always was my favorite.

This was the team my freshman year. I still remember my first game and the rush of hearing the wabash cannonball and doing pre-game in front of 50,000 KSU fans. Jeremy, Dillon and I went to the opening game last week with our friends Jeffery and Joni. I was so excited because we got into the game by pregame and got to watch all of it. There isn't a time that I hear the pledge of allegiance, star spangled banner, and alma mater that I don't tear up.

 There is a picture similar to this of me on the NCAA College Football video game. I still get calls from people wondering if I knew I was on a video game! :) Too bad I don't get any royalties from that!

The dance studio in Council Grove is still going strong. After Jill left, Mary Myers took over. It's been kinda neat to watch how it's changed and how different it is. There are new teachers that bring new ideas and the recital is always great. The little girls still get to play little girly games and tap their toes and the older girls still bust a move every Wednesday night in May in preparation for the recital... it's nice to know that some things never change.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The McDiffett Boys Love Camping!

A couple of weekends ago we went camping in Council Grove. The boys had a blast and Jeremy deemed me the worst camper ever... here's a rundown of our weekend.

Friday night
Jeremy only worked half a day on Friday so when I got to Council Grove, the camper was all set up and everything was ready. Have a mentioned before how awesome my husband is? Well... his setting up the camper was great but then he decided to be a social butterfly and forget about grilling dinner. I realize I could grill but I know NOTHING about grilling, nor do I aspire to be a great griller. I'll leave that up to my manly husband. So... we didn't start to grill dinner until it was twilight. Dillon was being such a good sport and Dave was playing with all the other kiddos. Not long after we started grilling, David hurt himself for the first out of three times that weekend.

Dave was playing over by the Wells' camper and started to trip. He put his hands down to catch himself, smack dab in the center of the grill. (It was one of those grills that sits a few inches off the ground.) It took him a second to figure out what happened then he screamed and cried for the next hour. I felt so bad for him, tried to get him to hold an ice pack but he was in so much pain, super tired, and not in his usual surroundings that he was pretty much inconsolable. We finally got him to bed and Dillon ready for bed and Jeremy and I decided we would just hit the hay too - even though it was only 9:30. What losers we are!

Saturday morning was not much better. The boys were up around 6:45 and we went for a walk while we waited for everyone else to get up. All the men, except for one, were fishing in a tournament at the city lake so they were already gone. Unfortunately, we were up for about 2 hours before we had any friends to play with but we made do wandering the campsite area. Dave had his two other injuries that morning. He ran into a pole and got a small goose egg on his head and tripped and fell onto the concrete where he proceeded to cut his lip and bleed for about 15 minutes. At that point, I figured we were done on the camping.

Saturday afternoon we went to Dave's cousin's birthday party in Council Grove and I left the boys at the lake with Jeremy while I ran to Alta Vista to send food with Priscilla to take to Lyndse. Now - why I am the worst camper ever - according to Jeremy. I took a shower while I was at home... I know... why would anyone shower at home when there is a perfectly good shower in the camper? Jeremy just couldn't believe I showered at home.

That evening, I took Dave swimming and we had a blast. We had hamburgers and smores. I might have had Jeremy's, mine and Dillon's share of the smores. That is seriously the best part of camping.

Jeremy was supposed to fish on Sunday morning as well. I guess there was one to many non-boaters so he was a gentleman and said he would come back and hang out with the ladies and kids. I was so glad he came back to hang out. He was in and out during the day running errands to get ice for everyone's coolers and to get adult beverages when needed.

We took the kiddos on a wagon ride. It was too much for me to pull by myself so Carly Wells (who is a third grader) went along and pushed it behind when it got too heavy.

I took Dave swimming again that afternoon. While we were swimming we had the best babysitter. Everytime our friend R.J. would hold Dill he would fall asleep so comfortably.

We went home that night to sleep in our own beds as it would be quite the challenge getting the boys ready and off to work/daycare at a reasonable time Monday morning.

Camping was great but I definitely enjoy it being a once or twice a summer thing!

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