Saturday, December 31, 2011


I woke up to grey and cold this morning. The weather called for muffins. I have made muffins from scratch more than once, but Trader Joe's Pumpkin bread mix makes amazing muffins, and they more than suited my purpose, so as the coffee brewed, I stirred together the batter and put the muffins in to bake. I ate an orange, juicy and sweet, tingly to the tongue as the spicy scent of cinnamon and nutmeg filled the kitchen. I waited to drink my first cup of coffee until the muffins were ready. I pulled the paper from the bottom and split the muffin, inhaling the sweet steam. Cream cheese is best on pumpkin muffins, so I spread the insides with cream cheese, prepared my coffee, light and sweet, and sat to truly enjoy my meal. The muffin was perfect - warm and comforting, tasting both of sugar and spice, with just a slight tang from the cream cheese. I savored the quiet and the content. A perfect beginning to my day. I should have taken a picture, but I was too busy eating my muffin.

I started a new book last night - "The School of Essential Ingredients". The story began slowly, but I became engrossed in the characters and their tales. What I am most enjoying, though, is the way the author describes food. I can taste and smell everything, and I am hungrier at the end of each page, even when the food she is describing is something I don't like. I don't care for sausage or clams, but when she describes making a red sauce with sausage, or Pasta del Mar, it is exactly what I want to smell and taste at that moment. Reading this book made me want to sit and take notice of my breakfast this morning, which is why I decided to write it all down.

Happy New Year! May all your meals be noteworthy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quiet celebration

My Girl and I went to a dinner to celebrate the solstice tonight. It was lovely to take a break from all the Christmas craziness to celebrate such a quiet and natural moment as the return of the light. One of the women there read a poem that really spoke to me, and I want to share:

Winter's Pause
by Kaaren Whitney
Dark like the mole's black velvet back,
dark like Gaia's womb,
unwrapped as from deep boroughs of excavated earth,
Winter slows to the pace of a moon white icicle
as sun completes its final exhalation, and stops.
Savouring the pause, the freedom of emptiness,
the solstice half-yearly turning begins again,
revived, breathing in fresh rays of light and life and love.
A very blessed Yule to you all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The 3rd grade did a wax museum project this past week - they had to choose a historic figure, do research, write a 1-2 minute speech, and costume themselves. The Girl chose George Washington Carver. Fascinating guy - doesn't she look just like him?

I was pretty freaking proud of the mustache, though. I made it my very own self, from felt and elastic. And I made a very nice peanut pin out of felt, because, you know, he discovered over 300 different uses for the peanut.
It was a pretty cool project.
Tonight we had our annual Christmas celebration with one group of relatives, and tomorrow we go up for another annual family gathering. Lots of family fun this weekend. I hope you are all enjoying your's.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ways to stay warm

Today is cold and dark, with occasional wet, sleety snow. Sometimes this is the sort of day I want to curl up on my couch, under the sage gaze of my Yoda tree topper, snuggling with cats, drinking coffee and reading a good, if mindless, book.
Other gloomy days, however, call for coffee and conversation, and snuggle time with gorgeous, chunky babies. So when A called me over for coffee, how could I resist. She makes the loveliest coffee - light and sweet with vanilla-scented sugar. And these ladies are the snuggliest, most scrumptious babies - and they grin at me like I am the most amusing person on earth.
This was a very nice way to spend the morning.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some thoughts on a very good Sunday

Two posts ago I talked about religion. The next day I visited a Unitarian Universalist church, and enjoyed the people and the message very much. Today was my third visit, and my first time hearing their minister speak. She was a little fidgety, which drove me nuts - she kept messing with her mike, her necklaces, her hair...I wanted to tie her hands behind her back. But...she was an excellent speaker. Her sermon had me thinking the whole time, which is the point of a sermon, right?
"Half the fun of travel is the esthetic of lostness." Ray Bradbury
She began her sermon with this quote. The gist was, when you travel in a place where you are foreign - whether you don't speak the language, or the customs are different, or even just stepping out of your comfort zone - you are reminded of the very hugeness of humanity, and your own smallness in the midst of that humanity. It reminds you that you are only one of many, and this being "lost" is a reminder that you are not the center of the universe. She asserted that if people were to travel and become "lost" more often, perhaps there would be less war, because while when we are "lost" we are reminded of how very different we all are, we are also reminded of how we are all the same in very essential ways.
I haven't traveled much. I like to think I would be a good traveler - I respect most people and their cultures, I like to make friends, and I am pretty flexible. I would like to travel more than I have. I began to think, though, about how very lost I feel in a crowd. Most people who know me think of me as a very gregarious, outgoing person. The word "shy" is a word almost nobody would connect with me, but that is only because those people probably met me when I knew someone else in the room. If there is another person around with whom I feel comfortable, I can relax and talk to an entire room of strangers, and walk out friends with most of them. I'm not saying I'm the coolest, nicest person on earth - but I am ridiculously friendly, and I'm interested in what you think. That being said, if I don't know anyone else, or if I know half the room, but not well enough to be comfortable, I will shrink into a corner, blush a lot, and not talk to a soul. I found myself doing this very thing last Sunday - my friend A went with me to church the first week, and this week, and both weeks I felt very comfortable, went up to people and talked to them, and enjoyed myself very much. Last week, however, I didn't know anyone there, and after a few minutes of awkward half-smiles at perfect strangers, I turned around under the ruse of examining the row of bookshelves in the room. Thank goodness for bookshelves. How many times have I been saved from dying away from embarrassment by the ability to peruse somone's bookshelves. And oftentimes, a shared interest will spark a conversation, which kills the reason I was poring over the shelves so intently in the first place.
Anyway, I never relaxed. I said hello and goodbye to a few people, and nobody was rude to me, but I was ready to leave right away last week. I felt "lost" in a room full of people who spoke the same language and had the same sort of culture. This is such a common feeling for me, and I wonder if it's this very thing that has perpetuated in me a very liberal mindset. I very rarely feel myself the center of the universe, because my own shyness makes me so very aware of the existence of the vast rest of humanity.
She also remarked upon the fact that criticizing someone else's accent is another way of making ourselves feel superior, and making the other person feel lost, and so I suppose I have to stop constantly correcting my brother-in-law's grammar. Which will, of course take all the fun out of our interactions.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December: It's the most wonderful-crazy-ass time of the year...

Since we are about to start December, I thought this would be a fun time to make some lists. Holiday-type lists. What I want to do this month, things I need to do this month, present ideas for me...have I mentioned I love presents?
We gave up the traditional advent calendar a long time ago. For several years we did a paper chain - during Thanksgiving weekend we would come up with a list of 24 fun things we wanted to do during the holiday season, write one activity on each strip of paper, and make a paper chain out of it. Each day, one kid would get to take the link off the chain, read it, and we did that activity on that day. Some of our activities included: driving around and looking at lights, reading a holiday story together, make a holiday craft together. I tried to be mindful of the calendar as I made the chain, taking into account days off school, holidays such as Chanukah and St. Nicholas, family activities, etc. This was a big hit, but as the kids have gotten older, and our calendar has filled more quickly, we were forgetting to do our activities more often. So here is a small list of fun December-y activities I'm hoping we get to this month:
1. Look at lights. This is something we do every year, and often more than once. The most fun excursions are the impromptu ones - maybe we've gone out to dinner and we drive around on our way home. Or I make hot cocoa for everyone and we just go.
2. I did find a few holiday crafts I'd like to make, including the jar lanterns in this month's Family Fun. I'll take pictures of any I make.
3. Go to the Solstice dinner at the UU church downtown. I was very excited to see they had one. After the dinner, we'll come home, exchange our gifts (everyone is doing handmade this year) and probably have a fire outside, depending on the weather.
4. Bake cookies. I didn't do it last year. This one may not happen, as my weekends are getting very full.
5. Take lots of pictures of the everyday stuff this month. Ali Edwards always does a December scrapbook, and I've always loved the idea - it's generally a chipboard book, with one photo per page for each day of the month. A lot of the pages are holiday oriented, but not all of them. I like the idea of paying attention to each day during such a crazy busy month.
Things I still need to do! Soon!
1. Put up the tree. I'm not worried about this one - I refuse to put up my tree before Dec. 1.
2. Figure out who's getting what and doing the getting. Yikes, I hate waiting this long.
3. Figure out where we're going during the break. I know what we're doing the first few days, but I'm waiting on some family members' feedback regarding the rest.
4. Make a doctor's appt. I need to get my cholesterol checked. Not really holiday-related, but it needs to be done.
5. Finalize anything that has to be made. I stipulated that Yule gifts be handmade this year, but I still haven't figured out my gifts. Luckily I only do 2 - one for each kid. Makes it easier.
I'm going to think on my fun list - presents for ME! Whee! and post it tomorrow, as my hot chocolate is getting cold, and we just can't have that. After 3 years of never taking a sick day from school, my son was sent home with a nasty fever and feeling dizzy, so tomorrow will be a down day. I got my cards in today, so I think I'll work on those tomorrow. Have a good night, and stay warm.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!

How on earth did I let a Thanksgiving (on a Thursday, no less) get by without a Thank*ful Thursday post? It may have been the extraordinary amount of wine I drank. Which was really good, by the way - definitely on the list. Anyway, I am also disgusted with myself for not taking any pictures - see above-mentioned excuse. And I call myself a scrapbooker.
Anyway, without further ado, this week I am thankful for:
1. Thirsty Owl winery in New York. I'm not much of a wine drinker; my wine of choice tends to be Reisling, because it's relatively sweet. A friend introduced me to their moderately priced, and way delicious reisling and, even better, their Diamond, which is a little sweeter. I don't care if you wine snobs think I'm a wuss - it's good, and much of my Thankgiving evening passed by in a delicious, very affectionate buzz.
2. My dishwasher. Without which I would still probably be scouring things.
3. The fact that I'm off today, and that my family has allowed me to spend the day either napping or reading. The happy drunken buzz has translated itself to a woman of no energy today.
4. Carbs. Wonderful, delicious carbs. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, biscuits, pie. An Adkins follower, I am not.
5. All the friends and family I am blessed to know and love.
Thank you to all of you for reading. And I wish you and your's a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shh. We're going to talk about...religion.

I should preface this post by mentioning it is spiritual in nature, and while it is not judgmental, if you are uncomfortable with such personal topics, you should probably go ahead and leave now.
Religion is a taboo subject in polite company.
Bringing religion or spirituality into a conversation is akin to farting on a first date - you just don't do it. One should never discuss religion or politics if one wants to keep the peace.
The thing is, I like to talk about spirituality. I find most religions empirically interesting - even if have no interest in actually following your beliefs, I'll sit and listen to you talk about them. We had Mormon elders (young Mormon men leave home for two years when they are 19-20 years old and perform a "mission" - living together and performing acts of charity wherever they are sent. Not old men - which is what I thought they were when they were first mentioned.) volunteering twice a week at the office where I worked. I asked them endless questions about their beliefs, which they were kind enough to answer without trying to convert me. I enjoyed these conversations immensely, and learned a lot about a significant part of our population.
Our spirituality is such an important part of ourselves, it saddens me that many people do not feel comfortable having a mature conversation about it. I personally do not subscribe to any one religion, but consider myself on a journey - an exploration of my own spiritual self. When my friend S. suggested to me in the spring that we start a spiritual discussion group, I jumped at the chance. An opportunity to have respectful and informative discussions about what people believe, or don't believe...this spoke to me on the deepest level. We began the group only two months ago with only two rules - be respectful and do not judge. We are there to learn and explore, not to pass judgement on others. We call it "a safe space for spiritual exploration."
We are a small group so far, and we have no name, so I've been calling it "my spiritual discussion group" which is a bit cumbersome for my taste, but it's the best descriptor I've got. One of the things I miss most about organized religion is the fellowship and spiritual guidance for my children, and I've been wanting to visit a Unitarian Universalist church, but have not wanted to go alone. Since we are so small yet, and the idea appealed to the rest of our members, we are visiting the church as a group tomorrow.
I feel that over the past few years I've neglected this so important part of myself. This discussion group is helping me to address my spiritual needs, as well as giving me a chance to talk about something I'm truly interested in with like-minded people.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank*full Thursday: The "gosh it's cold" edition

It got mighty chilly today. We've enjoyed a few weeks of unseasonably warm weather lately, but today it dropped into the 30's and we saw flurries. I'm not a lover of cold weather, as regular readers of my winter whinings will attest, but the cold does make me want to nest, and I do love to nest. So, here are the lovelies to which I am grateful for keeping me warm:
1. My beige, mid-thigh length cardigan. I wear it. all. the. time. It has a few little holes, and spot of blue paint on the sleeve, but I do love it.
2. Fleece blankets, of which we have many. I went through a few years now where I've made fleece blankets as gifts. Many of these gifts are still in this house, and I wrap up in them often.
3. Bigelow's Dream Time tea. A lovely way to unwind at the end of a chilly day.
4. My slow cooker. Nothing compares to having a hot dinner ready at the end of the day. Today I made a new recipe from SparkPeople: a white chicken chili. The jury is still out on whether or not I like it - it is a little spicy for my taste, and it's missing something. I need to figure out what.
5. Crafty pursuits, Jane Eyre on my Kindle, my notebook, Christopher Paolini and the final installment in the Eragon series, which I bought tonight and will read as soon as I am done with Jane...and any other indoor activities which keep me stimulated and content when it's cold. My goal for this winter is to try and complete at least one project a week and post it here on my blog. I miss the sense of accomplishment I feel when I complete projects - it's been a while, what with working and looking for working and whatnot.
Sleep well and keep warm, friends.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thank*full Thursday

It's a bit early in the morning for this, but why not start the day off on the right foot. Besides, apparently it's National Blog Posting Month, so I should really be posting more.
Today I am thank*full for:
1. My daughter and her crazy ideas. She was the one who suggested I dress up like her dad for Halloween. The costume was a hit, even with him. He was amused.
2. 15 years with my guy. He got me a Kindle for our anniversary (which was yesterday) which is just proof that he actually listens to me occasionally.
3. Pixie twinlet nieces to cuddle and coo. I would be over there playing with them every minute if I could.
4. Coffee and good friends. I spent a very lovely morning chatting with some favorite friends over a mocha and muffin.
5. I'm sorry, it's early, I didn't get enough sleep, and I haven't had any coffee yet. My brain just quit working. I'll be thankful more later. With it being November, a month for Thanksgiving, people are posting gratitude status updates at Facebook, which is a nice way to end the day.
I'm going to go make coffee, before I forget my name.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Very Busy Week: Pictorial Review

This past week has been full and way fun. I thought you all might enjoy some pictures of the various activities:
Last week we attended our town's second annual Fall for All festival. Crafts and kid's activities, pumpkins, costume contests, bonfire, and food make up the festivities, plus a hay ride to FarmHaven, where you can pet a llama, play in the straw, tour a real log cabin, feed cows, and go through a corn maze. We love FarmHaven.

This is the baby llama. The farmer said he doesn't have a name yet, so I have named him Paco. The farmer doesn't like the name, apparently, as he just smiles indulgently every time I suggest it, but I think he looks like a Paco, don't you?
I got to spend a few days snuggling and gabbing with my favorite twin pixie nieces. I like to nuzzle their bellies and nibble the sweet meat behind their necks. They indulge me, mainly because they're too small to fight me off. Haha!
Tuesday night was pumpkin carving night. The Boy made another El Gapo - he just cannot carve mouths, it always looks like plastic surgery gone wrong. His is the one on the far left, mine is in the middle (it's supposed to be a skull, and it kind of looks like it in the dark when it's lit up) and the Girl's is the right one.
Friday was my Girl's 9th birthday. My favorite little surprise has grown up to be quite the lovely lady.
A very talented friend took pictures of the kiddles yesterday at Dinsmore Homestead in Burlington. It was an absolutely gorgeous place and the pictures are amazing. I wandered around taking pictures of the grounds during the shoot. I really need to mess with the settings on my camera, though - I haven't figured out how to balance the light well on a very bright day. It all comes out looking whitewashed.
Last night some of the family came over to sing happy birthday to the girl. Another very talented friend made the cake, starring the Girl's favorite animal - the flamingo! Gorgeous.
Tomorrow is Halloween, and I need to spend today prodding the Girl to write thank you notes and finishing her costume. I'm kind of wiped from the last weekend, so I'm glad for a day at home. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I thought I was supposed to change up the banner from time to time, but I have received many a complaint about the missing kitty butts. They are back, and I apologize for removing them. I do love my kittehs. OOh, let's find a kitteh funny to share:

funny pictures - FWENCH GURL
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lovely October-ness

I've spoken before about October being my favorite month.
Kentucky in October is amazing - the world is drenched in technicolor autumn-ness.
The temperatures have dropped - it's dipping below 50 at night, and I don't want to turn on the heat yet when I know the temperature will rise again.

It's more fun to burrow under blankets, wrap yourself in cats, and drink tea and hot cocoa with marshmallow fluff.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Rough Time of It.

Sigh of relief.
That is what I am uttering right now, because I have not had a panic attack in a few days.
Because I am a completely open book, mental issues are simply not much the stigma these days, and I already overshare on a relatively public forum, I have never been shy about sharing my experiences with mental illness here. I have mentioned before that I suffer from depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which I have mostly been controlling with medication for 8 years. Quite bluntly, as anyone dealing with this sort of thing knows, it sucks. Because an anxiety attack feels icky. Because if you're not shaking like a leaf, nauseous and sweaty, then you're on the verge of sobbing uncontrollably for no conceivable reason. Because there's always a chance your meds might decide to stop working, or your insurance will stop covering the medication, or some stress will be too much for your current dose. And you feel like "this is a mental issue. I should be able to handle this with some deep breathing and meditation." But I can't.
This past week, something happened and I started panicking on Saturday morning. And kept it up for awhile. I was able to mostly breathe through the attacks, but as someone who has gotten used to controlling the symptoms with medication, I was not dealing well. I lost 12 lbs in one week, because, let's face it, it's difficult to eat when you're nauseous. I talked to the doctor Monday and he said he didn't think it was a med issue, but he changed his mind on Wednesday and upped my dosage a bit. I feel better now. I feel, however, like each time I have another attack, it's a wake-up call that I need to take more control of my own mental health. The meds work great, and I'm thankful, but habitual meditation, better eating and exercize habits, and finally getting off my butt and seeing a psychologist will probably help even more. Something to think about.
Another thing that kills me about this particular disorder is how completely self-centered it makes me. Let's face it, I have to be pretty egotistical to think a bunch of people want to read a blog about me anyway, but when I'm dealing with this? I have friends who were having surgery this past week, and all I could think about was breathing through anxiety attacks and when would they finally stop? Which made me feel a bit like a jerk.
So many people are dealing with mental illness of some sort in their lives. If you suffer from any sort, I hope you realize you are not alone, and take the initiative and get the help you need.
On a lighter note, here is an amusing and apt quote from Rita Mae Brown:
"The statistics on insanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're ok, then it's you."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Evening in the Lap of Luxury

This is the Girl. With her peanut. The Girl won our school's PTA drawing for tickets to see the Reds play the Astros last night.
The tickets were in the Champion Club section, which pleased my people to no end. There are many buffets in the Champion Club. My people love buffets.
The seats had cushions! I love seat cushions! We also got to park at the park (never parked closer than a mile away,) and ride an elevator to the section. Apparently the two guys in the elevator who were chatting with my Girl were the announcers. My Guy was pretty amused that I had no idea who they were. I was irritated he didn't tell me - I would have taken pictures. Which is why he didn't tell me. Did I mention the seats had cushions?
Our PTA is awesome. How can we possibly go back?
Oh, yeah, and the Reds won.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 far

I love autumn, and I've always treated September as a sort of second New Year's - a time to revisit my life this year. I will go through my resolutions from January and see where I am, try and get things in order again. I didn't really make many resolutions this year; in fact I cut down on my resolution-making and tried to simplify a bit, since each time I blew a resolution, it was another chance to feel like a failure. Not exactly an uplifting way to live life. But lists are fun, and I can't seem to break the resolution habit:
I grew something from seed. See those cucumbers the Girl is holding? Yup. Grew them. And the beans from my last post. And they were mighty tasty. Check!
I did start an exercize program and worked very hard on getting some weight off. I did well for a few months, and then I stopped sleeping, so I stopped working out, and I gained back most of the weight. I'm starting again - adding a few healthy habits at a time. This week? 3 days of exercize, 48 oz water, and 8 hours of sleep. Every day.
I've been looking for a new job. My job at American Cancer Society was eliminated on August 31, and as of that time I only had one job offer, which I decided to turn down. Right now I am subbing for the school district (classified sub - staff support and paraeducation) which is interesting, but I would very much like to find something permanent. Fingers crossed, friends.
My efforts to add a bit of creativity each day have been an epic fail, however. Which is sad. You would think I would be more attentive to something so nurturing to my very soul, but alas. I will strive to move this item further up the list.
Some little summer list items - I will be attacking my storage room this week and adding things to my garage sale pile - which is growing exponentially. I believe the garage sale will have to be held in two weeks - I need to get this stuff out of my garage. It's supposed to be warm this week, so I will definitely make the popscicles. And did you see my cucumbers?
Other craziness: the kids are way busy since school started. The Boy is playing golf and baseball, and he's on the academic team, so I've been chauffering him about regularly. The Girl is playing soccer and loving it, and she is enjoying her new teacher. She got A's on her first science and math tests - go Girl! We do have to work on her reading a bit - she is good at it, but I have to remind her to do it. She would rather play outside with her friends, or draw, or teach school to our cat Finnegan, which is very amusing to watch. Last week he learned all about the phases of matter, and the difference between a physical property and chemical property. An odd one, my Girl.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I may have lost all my squash and pumpkins, but we finally had enough green beans for a side dish tonight. They didn't need a thing, I just steamed them and the rest of the family was lucky I didn't just eat them all with my fingers before dinner. Maybe I'll have to grow more next year. And get rid of the squash bugs before they kill everything, little punks.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


These are pictures of the kids on their first day of school. I know, the one of the Girl is terrible - I was in a hurry, and just took it with the sun in her face. The Boy is in high school - crazy. I asked him how he likes it so far, and he said he liked it better than middle school. I asked him what was better, and he responded, "the teachers aren't all up in our business."
He has "business" now?
The past two days have been good. I only have 3 days left at ACS, so the girls from the office took me out for lunch at Montgomery Inn (yum) and many laughs were had. Last night we had soccer practice, and one of the moms ordered pizza and we hung out after practice. The girls played more soccer and bonded, and the parents got to know each other a little better. Then I went to another friend's for a bonfire, some beer, and more chatting. Awesome day.
Today the Girl had a soccer game. They lost, 3-2, but they did so well. And my Girl did not let the ball pass her when she was playing defense - she rocked! I was very proud. The afternoon included haircuts, lunch, and a short nap before the Boy's baseball game. They lost. Really horribly. But one of the kids admitted to being 18, and several of the kids drove themselves. It is so odd that we're playing kids with facial hair now. I'm telling you, I am not old enough.
My eyes are feeling burny, now, and my mind is beginning to blank. Probably time for bed. Good night.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This morning...

I woke up to rain this morning. I love a rainy Sunday.

I drank my coffee on the back porch with the smells and sounds of rain.
Nobody else was awake.
It was a peaceful and lovely way to start the day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Very Busy Family

I was off work today. My children start back to school in less than a week; I would have liked to have spent the day hanging out with them - maybe a little cleaning, a little reading, and then out to play some disc golf or ride bikes. Instead, we:
- spent the morning at the pediatrician's office. Both kids had physicals, and they couldn't get them in at the same time, so we had 45 minutes after the Boy's appointment.
- off to the bike shop to get a new chain.
- I promised them I'd take them to lunch. We went to Mai Thai, in Florence, for our favorite Thai food. The place was packed, so that was another 90 minutes down.
- Grocery store. I dropped Buggy's insulin bottle last night and it broke, so we had to get another bottle of insulin. Of course our vet is a pain, and won't prescribe any refills, so we have to get the store to call the vet's office, who then has to check with the vet, and when he finally gets around to I had to pick up the food for our Girl Scout campout tomorrow night. 1 hour down.
- Drop the groceries and the Girl at home, the Boy gets changed for his golf match, and we rush to the high school to pick up schedules and pay fees (many fees.)
- Haul rear out to Covington for the Boy's golf match. Ran errands and came home to deal with dinner and making my sit-upon sample for Brownies tomorrow night. Back out to pick up the Boy, grab some food on our way home.

Ok, you may not have signed on here to get a look at my day - this chaos is only to illustrate how I've let this summer get away from me. We spent so little of it just chilling out together, and very little of it outside. Of course, a part of that was the heat - it was really freaking hot this summer, but still, I feel like I'm letting the few precious childhood years I have left with them get away from us. The Boy is already 14 and talking about having a job next summer!

Part of this is brought on, I think, by my most recent blog-crush, Beauty that Moves:
Her Unplugged Sundays are really inspiring to me, and I would like to try and convince my family to try something like that. At least for an afternoon, once a month maybe? Far be it for me to suggest we turn off college football for an entire Saturday, or whatever, but we should be able to disconnect from the technology and spend an afternoon together hiking or swimming, or something.

Maybe my head will stop hurting then. 'Cuz it really does right now.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Maybe I'll climb in with the Girl for a snuggle. 'Cuz I still can.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I love Fridays a blog that posts a fun new meme each Friday. we go!

1. How can I...write this blog when I can't seem to get the editing properties to work?

2. My front beds are full of ... weed(s)...but it's just going to have to wait. I've done my yard work for the day.

3. My hair ... needs trimmed and a good coloring. Soon, my pretties.

4. The mosquitoes had a ... reunion ... on my legs Monday night. They are covered in bites.

5. My favorite summer fruits ... are all of them. I love plums, peaches, berries of all kinds...yum, I'm drooling.

6. Something small just flew by my face ...what was that?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ... a good long snuggle with the girl (and trying not to scratch), tomorrow my plans include ... a serious cleaning (and trying not to scratch)... and Sunday, I want to ... sleep! I need it. I'll try not to scratch.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thank*full on a Tuesday

I've had a rough last two days. Nothing that really needs to be shared, but my confidence took a good shaking and I needed to stop and reevaluate some priorities. So, to try and lift my own spirits, I'm writing a Thank*full Thursday on Tuesday. Focusing on that for which we are grateful is a sure mood-booster. And maybe it will give a little grin to someone else who needs a boost. So this happy Tuesday, I am thankful for:
1. Our first harvest of the year. I'll post pics when I upload them, but we have 3 green beans and 6! cucumbers.
2. A very yummy dinner. The crazy heat wave is still a-wavin', so I made a Mediterranian salad for dinner - tomatoes, cucumbers (from our garden!), red onion, Romaine, chickpeas, feta, and kalamata olives with a red wine vinegrette. Very refreshing and tasty.
3. Pinterest. Oh yes. I have become addicted. It's like shopping without buying!
4. A good feeling after an interview for an interesting job. I don't know if I got the job, but I felt like I had some good answers, and the position is very interesting - something I would like to do.
5. Some decent, fun people to work with. I'm going to miss them when this job is over (finally got an end date - my last day is August 31.)
6. (oh yeah, 6 - I'm feeling thankful tonight.) The next two days off. Love my coworkers, love sleeping in and being with my kids. Days off are winning.
7. McDonald's vanilla cones. Need I say more?
Feeling a little better. Off to play on Pinterest. Have a splendid night.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Families are like fudge...

...mostly sweet with a few nuts." author unknownI'm in the aqua, big sis is in green, little sis in black and white, Mom is in blue and white, and the guy is little brother.
How do you describe the experience of meeting your long lost sister?
I have written about my big sister in the past here:
She and her 5(!) daughters drove up from the deep south (read with a drawl) to visit this week, and I had the pleasure (understatement) of meeting the whole crowd last night.
The girls are lovely - the eldest and my Boy get along great, the littlest girls love him, the Girl and girl 2 are inseparable, and girl 3 is delightful.
And my sister is...great. We agree on a lot. We both dislike eggs (and they make us sick.) We both have big feet and lament the fact that we can't sport the cute strappy shoes. We both have a goofy sense of humor. We love our children beyond measure and are demonstrative about it.
We played Boggle and Apples to Apples last night, and sat up late laughing hysterically at bizarre word combinations like "Cranky Beets" (best band name of the night.) We learned fascinating facts about George Washington - he was a fantastic dancer who was known for a spectacular minuet - and bonded over a shared love of ice cream and hatred of "innards" (as in, offal, or animal organs.) It was an excellent evening, and we have enjoyed their visit immensely.
Tonight we did Mexican, then came back here and I kicked the younger girls' butts in Just Dance 2, my new favorite game.
You all know I like to collect siblings like the Girl collects Pokemon cards, but really, when it comes to siblings I find the more the merrier. And this visit has just solidified that belief. Tomorrow we have a little more time before they all go back. The kids will be sad to see their cousins go home, and I will definitely miss them. But how very cool it is that we have new family - and they're stuck with us.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beans and squash

See item #5 in my fab list of super happy fun summer activities:
"Plant something and make it grow" (or something like that.)
I sent brother and kids out for spinach, lettuce, carrot, and radish seeds. They came back with green beans, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. We may be harvesting in November, but they are growing!
Also have spent some more time at the pool, where I did not apply my sunscreen like I should have and burned quite nastily. Because I lost track of time...doing a lot of reading! So I am working on that list, just with some painful side effects.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Ramblings

I saw this sign at the zoo last week. It really needs to be a t-shirt.
I took my kids to work with me today. They spent the first 3 hours fighting with each other, while I made phone calls and grew frustrated with the painters who would not let me get to my desk or computer. I realize how lucky I am that I can bring my kids to work with me occasionally, but I really wanted to knock their heads together. After lunch I put the Boy to work unpacking the new conference chairs and the Girl shredded documents for 3 hours. Stuff was done.
I would like to get a bunch of cleaning done quickly so I can spend the rest of the weekend chilling. My husband and I are having our first date since the start of baseball season, and I want to spend the rest of the weekend reading and sleeping. I love reading and sleeping.
Ooh, and maybe doing something arty-crafty. And taking some pictures, which I have not been doing enough of lately.
But now I'm going upstairs, where my bed is waiting, very impatiently.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's Sunday and I'm chilling with my bad self, and have not excuse not to blog, but I have just not been feeling the bloggy love lately. I think the main reason for that has been the fact that I have not managed to achieve anything lately, and I've been stressing about nothing. I'm doing nothing with all my fab health goals, and I've been totally lax with all my super-fun summer plans. Part of that might be the fact that I've been playing mama taxi constantly - the Girl was at 4 different day camps for each week of June:
(Spinning a plate at Circus Mojo camp while helping another girl)
This has left me with very little time for swimming and riding bikes. Don't get me wrong, I like my life fine, but sometimes I envy some of my other bloggy mommy friends who make an effort to make their summers easy and relaxed. I'm still working 3 days out of the week, so those two days I'm home, we're busting rear trying to clean the house and do all the things we don't get to do while I'm at work.
But July is here, and the Girl only has one week of daycamp this month, so I fully intend to take advantage of my 2 free days a week. We WILL camp before the summer is up.
Now that I'm sitting here typing, I'm remembering all the cool things that have been happening that I want to share: like Relay For Life 2 weeks ago. My MOMS Club has had a team for several years now, and we always try to make it a party. The more fun it is, the more people come, the more money we raise for cancer research and programs and services for cancer patients in our area. And the more attention we draw to the cause. It was a muggy one, though, and we were some sweaty girls. Especially when we did a Zumba session at 11:15PM. But the rain held off for a long time - we weren't chased away by storms until 2AM.
Last Friday night I took my Brownie troop to an overnight at the zoo. What a very cool program they run there - the theme was how animals adapt to function in their environment, especially those that are nocturnal. We enjoyed having the zoo almost completely to ourselves, seeing the Night Hunters exhibit at night, a night hike, and a bird show in the morning. Before we went to bed, the instructors brought some of their animals into our room so we could see them up close and touch:
(This is the cutest armadillo I have ever seen.)
The floor we slept on was very hard, my back hurt for two days after, and their were cockroaches in the sleeping area (not in a case or anything, real pests. They have an insect house, so they can't spray for bugs. In Chicago, cockroaches were gross, but small. Here they are really freaking big.) That kept some of us awake most of the night. But the trip was excellent, and I would definitely recommend it.
This past Friday, my MOMS Club walked in our town's first Independence parade. We had a great time - it was hot, sweaty, and a decently long parade route, but we will definitely be doing it again. After the parade, we went over to our community building for a festival. Not much there, just a firetruck for the kids to climb in, some inflateables, Kona Ice, of course, an Army band, and a lot of room to wander, socializing and eating with neighbors and friends. We loved every minute of it. Then we all sat and watched the fireworks, which were really was an awesome day. I have pictures...I'll have to post them later.
So you see, we've been busy, and I haven't been focusing on some things I really need to focus on. We will be going to Chicago for a visit in a couple of weeks, but other than that we will be able to relax, and really enjoy summer. And we will camp, darn it.
Oh, we have been hitting those superhero movies. Green Lantern wasn't awesome, but it was fun, and Ryan pretty. So unclothed for so much of the movie...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To make you giggle...

This clip slays me, so I thought I'd share. Nothing new or fascinating, but something I read on Facebook today (Samuel L. Jackson reading a "children's book") reminded me, and I wanted to share:

Also, if you are feeling it, please support my Relay For Life efforts this Friday night at Cooper High School, either by donating, or, if you're in the area, coming by to see us!

Hope you're having a fantastic week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Holy crap! Has it been a month?

I was informed the other day that I haven't blogged in over a month, which is mostly due to a heck of a lot of baseball. Enormous amounts of baseball. Both kids are playing this year, and the earliest games have been rescheduled, so we are playing several games a week. I also have to admit to a bit of shame - I posted that whole "I'm making changes, and this is what I've done so far" post, and then, very quickly, fell off the wagon. Started ditching the exercize, eating crap, and gained back several pounds. Not exactly the updates I was looking to post, so I didn't bother posting at all.
Ok, so I was being a whiny little girl.
And now I'm done whining. I like feeling strong, darn it, so I went to Zumba Monday night, and I've exercized each day since. I've also set up a standing walking date for Sunday mornings - I'm terrible about exercizing on weekends, which is dumb, since that's when I have the most time. I don't like to disappoint, so my friend Dee and I are going to walk Sunday mornings. I put my little notebook back in my purse - time to start writing down the food again. I pinky-swear, I will post an update here at least once a week. I certainly don't want to disappoint you lovely people, either.
Now, on another note, it's summer! And it has been a hot one already. My wonderful boss has allowed me to go part-time for the summer, so I can spend more time with the kiddles. The list-lover in me can't resist writing a list of things I want to do this summer:
1. Ride our bikes to a place we'd generally drive, at least once a week.
2. Go swimming - a lot.
3. See all the good superhero movies - so far we've seen Thor and X-Men: First Class. They were both pretty freaking good. You know the best part about superhero movies? The superheroes are always played by hotties.
4. Go camping.
5. Plant stuff - make them grow.
6. Go hiking
7. Visit the observatory for one of their family nights
8. Read a lot - signed up for the library program today.
9. Clean out the storage room
10. Another yard sale? Maybe?
11. Take a lot of pictures
12. Visit my family in Chicago
13. Make my own ice cream
14. Try to find fun, free things to do.
15. Spend time with friends
16. Make something cool
17. Paint my Girl's and my toes cool colors
18. Play golf with my Boy (I really don't like golf, but he really wants me to play.)
19. Do more yoga
20. Play with my kids
How about you? Any good summery plans?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A big day.

This is my guy. He turned 14 today.
I won't even say how old that makes me.
Happy birthday to my Boy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Mayday, blah blah

Ahh, Kentucky in the springtime. There is no more beautiful place, when it's not raining. And it's been raining a lot. Baseball season started almost a month ago and we finally managed to play our first game yesterday. We're going to be making up rained out games in July at the rate we're going. The Girl pitched for the first time. She walked a lot of kids, but she got the ball across the plate. So, way to go, Girl! And she hit awesomely! The Boy's game started 2 hours late, ugh. He pitched pretty well in the first 2 innings, but walked a lot of players in the third. He also was not hitting well, which surprised me. I have a lovely, painful sunburn to show for the day - my nose is really red. It has been so wet I haven't been able to mow in over 2 weeks and my yard seriously looked like a prairie. So my brother and I tag-teamed the front yard last night as it was getting very dark, and then I went out to do the back yard this morning, which was wet and clumping badly. Why am I telling you all this? No real reason, just reiterating how very rainy it has been. Seriously, people, a prairie. Speaking of the word "reiterating", I had to sit through a (very long, boring) training the other day and the woman running the training kept saying "reINerating". It was irritating.
I have a bunch of pictures to post, and some other updates, but I need to ponder and put my words together first. Enjoy your Mayday.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My focuses...foci?

I mentioned some time ago that I made a choice to focus on good health and fitness for this year. I have not spent much time blogging about it, mainly because I thought to keep my efforts in that area separate from this blog, and only writing about it on my Spark blog, but that leaves me with very little else to write about. Other than the usual family/work stuff, I've been pretty hyper focused on two things - job search and health/fitness. The job search is going pretty well - I was offered a job at a small elevator company, which I turned down, hoping for something with a little more mobility (and a few less drug dealers in the park across the street.) I have interviewed for three other positions in the past two weeks, and had a second interview at one. Not the one I really wanted, which was (mistakenly, of course) offered to someone else, but I am optimistic.
The health/fitness stuff...that is going well.
This is me, in November. I hate sharing, but hey, I'm all about honesty here. I had a great time at my sister's wedding, and I really did love that dress, but I'm a fat girl. And I'm tired of it.
I've made this sort of commitment before, trying to lose weight, get healthy, etc., but it feels different this time. I've been working out consistently for 2 months. I'm making progress weight-wise - slowly, but surely, but more importantly, I am feeling so so so much better. I have energy, and I can carry things further, move faster, and work harder than I have in years. And this is affecting my life so much, I really should share it here. So here are some of the things that are working for me right now:
1. Zumba! I started doing it once a week last year, and it really sparked a renewed interest in exercize for me. I started working out harder the rest of the week so as to have more fun during my classes. Lovin' my Zumba!
2. - free trackers, access to advice from personal trainers and nutritionists, and my favorite part - teams and challenges. I am part of two separate team challenges which are totally motivating. And it is all free! I just passed my first weight-loss goal - time to order my incentive - my Sparkpeople t-shirt.
3. Diet Dr. Pepper. Not exactly health food, but I have a real problem with drinking pop, and I'm not a fan of most diet pops. I like the tingly carbonation, ok?
4. Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Really good for you, I eat it for breakfast most days of the week with a banana. Completely fills me up for hours so I'm not noshing all morning.
5. Fit Bottomed Girls and The Great Fitness Experiment: Motivation and fun, the first is a website written by women who are really into fitness, the second is a blog by a woman who likes to try anything - exercize-wise. I'm particularly fond of FBG's DVD reviews - I read them and check them out from our library to try.
6. Speaking of DVD's, my favorites right now are the Element yoga dvd's (FBG Jenn says they have a high "hippity-dippity" factor, very new agey, and I've found I'm very drawn to that sort of thing. Big surprise, right?) and Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds Mile a day DVD, which I do all 5 miles in one day. But I'm finding the WATP dvd's are starting to only work for my easy days, and I need some tougher ones, which is great. I want to find a good kickboxing workout, but I'm not loving Tae Bo as much anymore - maybe someone knows a good one?
The weather is getting better, which does mean more outside workouts - loving that. I'll share more great things as I find them, and I'll share my progress, if you all don't mind, since it gives me someone else to be accountable to.
And now I'm going outside. It's too freaking nice to be in this basement anymore.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two Spectacular Reasons to Celebrate!


Some mommy friends of mine asked me to ditch work today and hit the Cock-n-Bull in Covington for green beer. Which sounded fabulous - but I have a buttload of work, and a skeleton office crew with which to complete it. Oh, and a phone interview - wish me luck! Is everyone wearing green?

And the second:

Happy Blogoversary to Me!

Yes, my friends, 4 adventure-filled years ago, I started this blog as a way to share, vent, deal with life, and today...that hasn't changed. A lot has changed in my life - kids in school full time, Mom and sister moved out, brother moved in, I started working full time...and this blog has remained a way for me to document my progress through life, as well as share with anyone who feels like reading. It's helped me keep track of my goals, my successes, and my failures. And I appreciate all of you who have stuck with me, or just joined the journey. Yay for 4 years!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

8 Things: Excess

I've read several posts about Lent, and what people are giving up for Lent, if they are. I don't observe Lent, but an interesting post on MagpieGirl got me thinking: For a girl who would like to live a cleaner, more meaningful life, I have a lot of crap, and giving up something would not be a particularly bad idea. She does mention that the first step is to become mindful of the excess, and that is definitely something I need to do. I find myself just going along day to day, understanding that I'm stressed and feel frazzled and full of brain-trash, but not sure as to why. Perhaps taking a look at the "too much" in my life will help me clear out that trash.

1. Shopping. I was thinking the other day that I don't go shopping nearly as often as I used to, and in part that is true. I don't spend hours at Target or Michael's, but I do stop at the grocery way more often than I need to, which makes for excess: excess food in the freezer and pantry, excess spending of money I don't need to spend, excess time spent at the grocery store. This morning I stopped on my way to work to pick up salad for lunch. I got salad, and yogurt, and 400 other things I didn't need. I should have just packed a pb&j.

2. Paper clutter. The desk I got for Christmas, that was to be used for bill paying and homework, is covered in paper clutter that I need to actually go through, file, pay, look at...This was the clutter I got that desk to avoid.

3. Body clutter (a much more pleasant term, as coined by Flylady, than fat). This, of course, is ongoing issue, and I am tackling it.

4. Reusable shopping bags. A very odd thing to have too much of, but I get them and forget about them. Need to just keep them stashed in the car, and write myself a note. On my forehead. In Sharpie.

5. T-shirts. Another odd one, but I have them for every charity event I've participated in, concert I've gone to, schools, activities, blank workout tees, sleeping tees...honestly, I have more than a drawer's worth. I hate throwing away the commemorative ones, and I like using the blank ones to exercize. And I'm a big girl, so the shirts take up a lot of room.

6. Craft supplies. I do have too much, I know it. It's a disease. That said, I haven't bought anything new since...January? That's a start, right?

7. Volunteer stuff. This is also something I'm working on. I've done away with one of my volunteer activities, and another will be over as soon as the school year is done. That will leave me with Girl Scouts...and the myriad little things that pop up from time to time. How do you say no when you can't do stuff at school during the day, and nobody else seems to be helping? Another disease. One too many of us tend to suffer from, I think.

8. Excuses. I'm too tired, I forgot, I'm not smart enough, not enough time, too much to do, they'd never hire me, blah blah blah. Enough.

I guess I'll start with the first two - giving up the excessive shopping and paper clutter for Lent. I'm too tired to deal with the rest for now (grin.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I find that is my standard title for a blog post I make when I just feel like rambling. Like today - I spent the day in the following way:
-woke up too early considering the late hour at which I went to bed. Drank too much coffee and got a stomachache, but very much enjoyed finishing the book I was reading, the second Sookie Stackhouse novel. Good fun. And my stomache feels better.
-put away some laundry, then ran errands - delivering Pampered Chef from my recent party and Girl Scout cookies. Which I really need to stop eating. Thin Mints are very addictive; even when I don't want to eat them, I do. Ran to the grocery to do the weekly shopping, and get Mom's stuff. She hurt her back this week and is having some major trouble functioning. She is getting an MRI tomorrow - hopefully whatever it is can be fixed quickly and with little complication.
-Got home, put away the groceries, and took out the sewing machine to (finally) sew my daughter's Girl Scout patches on her sash. Yeah, I'm the leader and my daughter is the last one to have her patches sewn on. Sadly, that is the only thing I've used my sewing machine for in a year. I need to get together with my friend A again; she always inspires me to sew.
We finished watching the Firefly series on Friday night, and watched the movie Serenity again last night (my son wanted to see it.) I am really sad - it was over too fast. It was really such a very good show, why on earth did they cancel it. Also, and I will apologize in advance for any sensitive males out there - I am about to start objectifying again - it was truly a very aesthetically pleasing show. Males and females both. Nathan Fillion was the captain, and you all know my thoughts on him. But the character of Jayne (my husband's favorite,) played by Adam Baldwin, had biceps the size of tree trunks that I just want to lick. And the doctor, Simon. Never thought much of him...until he was shirtless in the final episode, and in the movie. Oh. My. Goodness. Sean Maher, my dear, dear man, you have the finest sculpted torso. I must share with my lovely readers the glory that is your naked torso, for their own mental health, of course.

Seriously, did you even guess that that was hiding under all those clothes? Such lovely definition, beautiful tapering, sigh. I wish it was a better picture, but our sweet Sean has not spent much time posing. Thank you, kind Joss Whedon, for gifting the female watchers of the series with such a sight.

I thought I was done with the Pokemon when my son outgrew it. Unfortunately, he decided to share it with the Girl, who has become quite the fan. Of course, they spend hours playing the Pokemon, watching the Pokemon, sharing cards...and not fighting. I guess I will not dis the Pokemon.

Still looking for a new job. I applied recently for a position in which I am really desperately interested. Please send good, successful thoughts that the hiring manager call me for an interview. I think I will do well in an interview with this gentleman. He reminds me of my husband.

Speaking of the husband, he has kindly made dinner for me again - gumbo. Not my favorite, but he likes it, and I don't have to cook. This weekend has been a lazy one, lacking exercize or healthy food, but I do have a new workout DVD to try tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to getting back in a groove. You all have a spectacular Sunday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thank*full Thursday and some updates

I've been blogging more regularly over at my Sparkpeople blog, keeping it relatively updated with my healthy changes progress. Which is going pretty well - I've been trying out new workout DVD's, and while the weight is not falling off (eating habits have something to do with that,) I feel much better than when I started. That said, the creative ideas are just not a-flowin' here, hence the lack of timely updates.

But...some things I'm thankful for this week:

1. Firefly. And more specifically, Nathan Fillion. I watched the movie "Serenity" a few months ago with my husband, and decided to watch the series, and it rather rocks, which makes it a very sad thing that it was cancelled. Of course, I am not the first person to think that way, as is evidenced by the mass of fan websites, petitions, and Firefly references by Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. Mmm...Nathan Fillion. At least we still have Castle. He is such a fine Canadian.

2. My alarm clock, which diligently wakes me up each morning at 5:30AM to work out.

Yeah, not so thankful for that.

Coffee, though. Very thankful for coffee.

3. My public library. Such a wide variety of workout dvd's. Exercize is more fun with variety. And I do love the "reserve by computer" feature, which I use often. I think I may have rhapsodized about that before.

4. The books I've been loving this week, namely:

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

Not one intellectual giant or classic among them. Sometimes you just want something to enjoy. And I love these Kim Harrison books - they take place right here in northern Kentucky, and although it is an alternate reality she is describing, the characters do go to real places in the metro Cincinnati area. Lots of fun. Have to thank my friend E for recommending those.

5. Girl Scout Thin Mints. Not exactly fitting in with the healthier lifestyle, but they have been helpful this particular week, if you catch my drift. Helped me keep my temper in check.

And now, the bed for which I am ever thankful is calling my name. I will leave you with someone about whom to dream.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Year of Choice

I love a good blog challenge as much as the next person but Erin over at Bluebird Baby must have been spying through my windows lately when she came up with her own Year of Choice challenge for this year. Because in the past month I have been choosing to live more consciously- conscious of my own health and well-being, conscious of my attitude when I am with my kids, conscious of the way I behave when I am with friends. I'm tired of being snarky and irritated, and I truly believe these are the choices I need to make.

I've begun this conscious living choice with exercize. I have woken up each day and, rather than swearing at the alarm clock, gotten up and exercized. And what a difference in my sense of well-being just that change has made - more energy, more strength. I've been choosing water over soda (which is tough for me, let me tell you) and fruit and almonds over chips. Not always - sometimes I'm making the conscious choice to eat chocolate, but the choice is conscious, and that's the point.

Today, after nearly 2 hours of lovely, sweaty, butt-shaking Zumba, The Girl and I made Valentines. She has been asking, and today was the day. It was crafty and lovely.

Ooh, and I chose to let my husband do the cooking. Yum.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thank*full Thursday - the "I'm cold" version

It was a rough day - and not for any particular reason. Lots of little ones. So this is a much needed moment of reflection and gratitude.

This week I am thankful for:

1. Hot cocoa. Hot tea. Hot coffee. Hot beverages make a Missy warm.

2. Hot music. Especially loving the album "Brother" by the Black Keys. Could listen all day.

3. Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Tomato Soup. I drink a mug of it for lunch almost every day. It makes me happy.

4. My library's online reserve feature. I know, kind of boring, but it has made my life so much easier. I browse online, reserve a bunch of books, and just go in and pick them up at the desk. Of course, there is something wonderful about an hour spent in the stacks browsing, but I haven't had enough time lately. So, hurrah for the public library making my favorite habit/hobby a little more convenient!

5. Delish celebratory food with good friends tonight at Oriental Wok. It's my year, people, the Year of the Rabbit. Gung hay fat choy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Here in my car...

work, kid's schools, basketball.
Baseball, academic team, golf.
Soccer, PTA, more work.
Zumba, grocery store, gas station.
Out with friends, more work, library.

Like most modern moms, I spend more time in my car than I like. Several meals, the occasional clothing change, a lot of hauling happens in my car. I refer to my car as the pimpin' blue van, my husband refers to it as trash pit (I'm not exactly a neat freak. But, hey, I can usually find a tissue, a beverage, or a spare pair of socks if need be.)

Bizarre things I found in my car today:
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • 3 plastic containers of cat litter
  • a towel
  • a Barbie head (my daughter hasn't played with Barbies in 2 years.)
  • 3 perfectly brand new crayons
  • 4 empty water bottles (the refillable kind. They are washing right now.)
  • 3 baseballs, a soccer ball, 2 bowling balls, a football, and 1 - yes 1 - golf club. I'm thinking weapon.
  • 7 socks - from 7 different pairs - all dirty.

Favorite things about my car:
It used to be my grandparents', and I am convinced Grandma still haunts it on occasion, as the doors lock randomly without me pushing any buttons, or any automatic function. Which is rather inconvenient when I'm warming up the car.
It was free, and it's big enough to lug around my kids and their friends.
My Cubs fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror.
My Peace frog magnet - it causes people to come find me at the library or grocery store "I saw your van in the parking lot - it's the only one with the tie-dyed frog on the back." Definitely helps a social butterfly like myself.
I've "read" a lot of audio books while in that car.
It has been a means of transportation for a lot of family experiences - sports, vacations, life in general.

Now, keep your fingers crossed my well-used baby gives me a few more years...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here's what's going on in my neck of the woods:

This is Tar. The Girl made her.

She came to me the other day asking for paints. When I asked why, she held up this lovely paper stuffed doll. I was quite impressed with The Girl's ingenuity.

I've been wanting this mug for awhile, so I got myself a stocking gift.

She loves to be upside down. At least the fitness ball is used for something, right?
Tonight is my only free night in a week of busy - tomorrow night is MarketDay (yeah, still heading up that committee. We moms are so bad at saying no.) Thursday is fun - company happy hour and then a Mom's Night Out. It's supposed to snow that day, and all I can say is it had best not ruin my day, darn it. Friday is The Boy's (he has requested I do away with the MonkeyButt pseudonym, so he is henceforth known as The Boy. I never said I was creative.) academic team party. We have pizza and then square off, kids against adults, with 6th grade questions (so as not to embarrass the parents, I suppose.) I kick rear at those 6th grade literature questions. Go me.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New to me: This week

This week has been an adventure, my friends. So much, just in my little corner of Northern KY, to experience, and this has been a week of new experiences. And what kind of world dominator/friend would I be, if I didn't share these experiences with you...
So, beginning from the beginning of the week:

1. County Cafe: Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know my family and I tried the County Cafe, located in Florence, KY, on Tuesday. This used to be Double Decker, which we all know sold lovely, enormous sandwiches for decent prices, and was hugely popular, at least amongst my friends. They closed in the fall, and we all mourned. But mourn no longer, my lovelies, County Cafe sells the same food, same basic prices, just a new owner. We almost wept with relief. But we didn't. Because tears would have ruined our sandwiches.

2. "Despicable Me." Loved loved this movie. I found myself shushing my kids so I could hear the kids' movie.

3. Washed breast prostheses in the kitchen sink with a sponge and dish soap. Left to dry on a towel on the kitchen table. I know, this was also a Facebook update, but I felt it was such an odd part of my worklife, it should be repeated.

4. Saturday Sweets: a candy/ice cream shop who also sells gorgeous cupcakes, also in Florence, KY. They are tucked into an obscure strip mall on the Pleasant Valley side of the Oak Brook subdivision. I went in, just to check it out, and they were hosting their first kid's birthday party. I can imagine that may be something my daughter would enjoy - will definitely keep it in mind.

5. "The Social Network." Watched it tonight. Definitely made me think. I kind of felt dirty logging onto Facebook after that. I got over it, but still. Having had many superbly intelligent friends over the years who were perfectly capable of feeling mentally superior but still being able to maintain some semblance of a social life, I wonder - was Mark Zuckerberg's character just written to be an arrogant jerk who started Facebook out of a need to be popular and an inability to connect to other human being in the real world, or is that the way he is. I suppose a movie about a perfectly nice guy who has a cool idea would not be very interesting. Musings aside, the (1!) guy who plays the crew-rowing, lawsuit-bringing twins, Armie Hammer (fun name) is seriously hot.

This next week will also bring some interesting new fun: The office is closed on Monday so I'm taking the kiddles bowling at the new place in Newport (they have couches!) Thursday I have a happy hour AND a Mom's Night Out - it is a party time for Missy. I am still looking for a new job, by the way, if anyone is looking for a fabulous assistant, but I'm with the American Cancer Society for now. We are gearing up for Relay season, which means I will have plenty of work to do, which makes me happy.

Anywho, gotta go entertain my guy, so you all have a great night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

That which made me smile this weekend...

  • Watching the Girl rediscover her love for basketball. She played in her first game of the season yesterday, and she started out slow - timid, not going for the ball, letting the other kids push her out of the way. As the game progressed, however, she started running, defending, and actually shooting once in a while. She made two baskets, some decent passes - and, best of all, had a really good time.
  • Some time to sit in my craft area and actually finish a page. I haven't cropped in weeks, and I'm feeling the withdrawal. It was a much needed creative reprieve.

  • I took the kids to see the new Harry Potter movie today. Admittedly, I'm feeling rather lukewarm about the movie. I think the Twilight series has destroyed the supernatural adolescent genre - I understand teenagers are balls of highstrung hormones, ok, especially teenagers who are being chased down by Deatheaters who are intent on destroying the world as they know it, but honestly, they spent way too much time staring at each other in tents and focusing on their feelings, and way too little time moving the story along. I swear they did not stare at each other this much in the books. And not every single moment had to be fraught with sexual tension. This may sound rather adolescent of me, but I really wanted to "avada kadavra" all their asses. Except Snape's, who was in this movie way too little. I do love me some Alan Rickman. Nobody, and I mean nobody, swishes a black cloak like Alan Rickman. Speaking of which, does this make you giggle or what?

  • My Mother has introduced the Girl to her favorite movies - musicals. They have watched and loved Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Music Man, Holiday Inn, etc. Tonight's chosen showering song? "Sisters", from White Christmas. It is truly delightful to hear my 8 year-old belt out such lyrics as "Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my maaaaaaan!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Scenes from the holidays


I thought this looked cool - the lights of the Christmas tree reflected in the window with the snow...pretty. When we lived in Chicago, we were constantly driving to someone else's house for holidays. Now that we live here, we rarely travel on the holidays themselves. Thanksgiving and Christmas are always here, and family members are welcome to come stay as they please.

Mom, brother, sister, and brother-in-law were here Christmas day to eat much food, open presents, play games, and enjoy much holiday merriment.

We had a heck of a time keeping Finnegan out of the tree. He makes a lovely ornament. Although, kind of freaky with the eyeshine.

The day after Christmas we drove to Peoria to visit Marc's family. We spend a lot of time playing Uno and Rummy, while watching his 21 year old cousin text. They are fantastic people and we love them. We went bowling this time. I don't believe I even got to 100.

I asked very nicely for a desk at which I could do all my home and volunteer paperwork. And I have a lot - between Girl Scouts, Marketday, MOMS Club, bills, school kitchen table was constantly covered. So now I'm slightly more organized.

My niece came to visit from Louisiana for the week. We hung out New Year's Eve - did our nails, ate a lot of crap, played more games. I love the fact that having kids gives me an excuse to be a complete dork and not go out on New Year's Eve. Not that I don't enjoy a gathering of friends or something, but big bashes and crowded bars give me hives.
Dude. I am so not cool.