Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals for the New Year!

Taking a look back at last year's goals I set for myself, I didn't do too bad.  I had two goals mainly, 1. to continue working out regularly, which I did a good job of.  There were a few weeks where I didn't go at all, but I am continuing to maintain a healthier lifestyle, and have kept the weight off.  I wont beat myself up for not going to the gym every where this past year because let's face it, the times I didn't go during the week, I was busy with family/kid activities such as swim team stuff, or doing other things.  I still did great!

I kinda sorta set another goal of doing a 8k. I didn't lol.  When it came time to sign up for the race in April, I just didn't think I could do it without stopping to walk.    So I did the 5k instead.  I like the idea of being a runner, but I think a 5k is about my limit, and I am ok with that.  I am doing another race in April, and it's just a 5k =)

My second set in stone goal was to read 25 books this year.  I read 29, which I thought was awesome as I did not read much this fall or winter.  I have a account and I kept track of the books I read there which helped monitor if I met my goal or not.  Some of my favorite books from this past year included Gone Girl, Still Alice, 11/22/1963, The 50 Shades of Grey books (hangs head in shame),  Dark Places, and Sharp Objects, OH and of course the Hunger Games series.   Those were good too!

Soooo..... goals for this year.....  I would like set similar goals such, as to maintain keeping the weight off, with working out regularly, etc.  I would love to read at least 25 books again this year too.  I thought about increasing the goal since I beat it, but 25 is still  a great number to aim for.  I think for my third goal, I would like to run my house hold more smoothly. With the girls staying busy with school and swimming, I feel like my house has been disorganized this year, and I am always behind on cleaning and laundry.  I know there are more important things besides cleaning all day, and I don't want to take time away from my family, but I feel I need to get strict with sticking to a cleaning schedule, which would end spending an entire weekend doing laundry and cleaning.  I am researching different ideas, and I have thought about Fly Lady, but I really really, don't want to shine my damn sink every day.  No offense. =)  If I find a good system I will let you know. =)  I also want this home organization to encompass better meal planning.

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that Christmas is over!  We had a lot of fun this year, and enjoyed time with our family.  I felt pretty prepared this year, and tried to keep things simple and not stress so much.  I did a pretty good job not stressing for the most part ;).

I have enjoyed spending time with the girls and husband, it was great to have him home so much this Christmas.  I sure do love that man!  Santa brought two pet Guinea pigs, we are enjoying them so far, and they seem like pretty cool pets!

 A few pictures from Christmas and other time over the holidays.......


Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 15 a day later...

Yesterday I was thankful I was able to get my family Christmas Town tickets to Busch Gardens.  The last two years I was able to score some for $5 during special deals, but this year they announced they would not have that, and the best deal was a buy one for half off get one free (still a great deal).  It was a limited offer on Wednesday, and I tried for hours, but their website was wonky and wouldn't complete my order.  I was sad as with a family of 5 I don't feel like it's wise spending a lot on an outing that close to Christmas at full price, especially since mine usually only last an hour or two outside in the cold there.

Luckily the next day they extended the offer and I was able to get out tickets!  I know we will have a great time together as a family!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankfulness catch up...

I am sooo behind.... sorry about that.   I am going to do a quick catch up.  I have been crazy stick with apparently food poisoning from eating chicken wings at a restaurant.  You just don't even want to know what my poor daughter and I went through these last few days.

Day 7: I am thankful for my job.  It's not perfect, and it drives me crazy, but the bottom line is, I am thankful to have one, and I am thankful to work with good people.

Day 8: I am thankful for coffee.  Sometimes a coffee break, or just having one in the morning on my way to work is just what I need to relax, and wake up.

Day 9: I am thankful for new tires for my cars.  Both of my cars needed them, and let's face it they are not cheap, and I am thankful my hubby took care of getting them put on to keep us all safe.

Day 10: I am thankful for the new shop near my house called Clothes Mentor.  This is a great consignment shop that recently openend and I love it!  I got a dress from there that I wore to my husbands police awards dinner, some great Stella and Dot jewelry,  some jeans, and a few other odds and ends.  Great prices!  I also took a few of my own items in and got cash on the spot and was pleased with what they gave me.  I love a bargain!

Day 11: I am grateful that my children have such great friends.  On November 11th we went to two fun birthday parties for some sweet kiddos that my kids play with .  I love seeing my children laughing and playing with their buds.  Sometimes I feel like all we do is go to birthday parties, but it's a blessing that my children have so many good friends.

Day 12:  I am thankful for a new hair product I got when I got my hair done last week called Crack.  It puts Moroccan Oil to shame, and that was my great love for the longest time.  Great product and an appropriate name.

Day 13: I am thankful that all of my girls have great teachers this year.  We have usually been very lucky in this area,  but last year we had a doozy of an experience with my youngest that has me all kinds of amped up still.  So thankful that our children are in great hands this year.

Day 14:  I am thankful that my older children go to St. Andrews.  This school is just amazing.  The teachers and staff are so caring.  A little girl in 5th grade lost her father to cancer this fall, and the care that the school took in comforting this little girl and her family was just amazing.   For the funeral they did a half day so the faculty could attend.  Where else would that happen at???  I love everything that this school stands for, and for what they are teaching out kids.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6 of Thankfulness...

Today I am thankful for the right to vote!    We all rocked the vote in my family!  Go Romney!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day five of Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for my children.   I have three beautiful, healthy girls.  I never in my life pictured myself having three kids, but I would not change it for the world.   Shoot, I even worried that I would never be able to have children, and then look who was pregnant for basically three years straight.....  The happiest days of my life were the days that each of them were born.  There is no love, like the love for a child.  Being a mom is tough, but it's also the most amazing job in the world.  I am so proud of them, and just want to do what's best for them.  I panic and stress over the smallest things, but it's all for them, and me just caring about how it could impact them.   My children hold me together without even knowing it.  When I am down, and think I can't go on, they are what makes me.  You just don't know unconditional love, until you look in your child's eyes.

All I can hope for is, that I raise happy, confident children, who know without a doubt that their mom and dad love them, and would give them the world if I could.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day Four of Thankfulness....

Today I am thankful for the fact that my husband, myself, and children are healthy.  I stress about their every move.  Get worried over anything, but the fact is we are so lucky to have our health.  Even though in the winter it feels like someone always has a cold, ear ache, fever, cough, etc etc, we are still in good health.  I feel for the family who have had to have battles serious illnesses, or live with every day chronic illnesses.  Makes everything seem so small.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day three of Thankfulness....

Today I am thankful for my amazing husband.  We have been married for 9 years this past September, and have been together since December 2000, when we starting dating in college.  Dave is an amazing father and husband.  He is always there for myself the kiddos.  He coaches them in sports when he's able (coaching tball is no easy feat.  I rather do manual labor then do that), he arranges his schedule to make it or at least give every effort to make it to school conferences, activities, etc.   He even puts up with me which I know isn't easy.  I can be terribly selfish, needy, and demanding, and he deals with it, and brings me back to reality when I need it.  He just completes me, and my girls are so lucky to have such a loving daddy.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2

Today I am thankful for my parents.  They help out so much with the girls when we are working, and spoil them silly.  My girls are so lucky that we live so close to them (next door =) ).  My mom acts as a carpool driver for the kids for school most days, runs Emily to her speech therapy,  and anything else that goes on during working hours so we can pay the bills and put food on the table =)   We couldn't do it without their help!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness...

My friend Grace is doing a 30 days of Thankful on her blog and invited others to play along.
Click here to check out her blog!  I think this would be great for me, as I really need this.  Life gets so crazy and overwhelming, and we all need to slow down and focus on what really matters.  Also, it seems like these days everyone skips over Thanksgiving just goes from Halloween straight to Christmas.  I want to slow time down a little, and enjoy every moment of the season.

For Day 1 I am thankful for my close friend Polly.  She has three kiddos just like myself, and she's just one of those people who is accepting and real, and never judges anyone.  I don't have to stress if she or her family is coming by about cleaning my house, and our families really enjoy hanging out and enjoying each others company.
(Polly normally isn't dressed up like a vampire, but hey it was Halloween)

Another reason her friendship sticks out with me is because she helped talk me "down" Tuesday evening.  I have been super stressed lately, the last week I was trying my best to get everything done, attempt to be a super mom and have a pumpkin party for my kids, run everyone to their needed appointments, while being overwhelmed with work, and attempting to get ready for a hurricane.  I also knew I had a UTI, but kept trying to deal with it or put off, or tell myself it was in my head.  Not the best thing to do.  I would up at Urgent Care Sunday, and it turned into a kidney infection as I let it go on way too long.  Not a good thing to do.  Despite putting my own health at risk, I was feeling exhausted but accomplished, and so at the end of my work day Tuesday, when I find out that a coworker was mad that I wasn't at work on Friday, on a schedule day off of mine that I needed to be off to take my daughter to an eye specialist let's just say I lost it.  I felt like I had busted my butt all week with work, went beyond the call of duty on several things, and still couldn't make everyone happy.  I bawled at work.  I walked to my car still crying and drove my hour commute home still ballistic. Polly called me, and talked some sense into me.  She helped by telling me that I am a awesome mom, and proof that I was so upset and cared enough to be upset was just another reason why I am an awesome mom and worker.  After talking to her I felt so much better, and was able to clearly examine the situation, and realize I did nothing wrong and just need to continue to take care of what's important and just ignore the others.  Not rocket science, but when your a stress ball like me, I found the talk pretty encouraging considering how bonkers I was feeling.  Friendships are super important, and for hers I am thankful!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Party 2012

Hurricane Sandy or not, we went forth with our little pumpkin party for our kids and some of our friends.  Everyone was out Hurricane prepping, and I was just getting ready for a party....  This is the 3rd year I have had this.  This year with work and life being crazy it was hard to find time to get stuff done, and there was so many things I wanted to make or do for the party that I didn't get to do, but all in all it was still fun.  We had to move the time up for the party which worked well as we were able to dodge the rain.  I love having kids over, and doing crafts, but I did not want to have a pumpkin painting party in my house for young kiddos.  Call me crazy.  

It went well and I think everyone had a good time.  I made nutterbutter truffles with halloween colored sprinkles, some cupcakes, and dipped pretzel rods and oreos.  This always looks impressive but really is super easy. It's been my go to for the last few parties we have had.  The nutterbutter truffles were new, but delicious! Tastes like peanut butter balls pretty much.
 So my cupcakes were from a box, I wanted to make them from scratch but time was limited.  No one seemed to care.  I got the cupcake toppers and wrappers at TJMAXX earlier this season for a steal.
The kiddos went out side, painted, glittered and carved.

Once again I made a simple piƱata.  I go with the balloon method and equal parts of water and flour for the paste with scrap paper.  Never looks that pretty, but it does the job.

I do love some Halloween!  Love having this party for the kids and know they will look back one day with great memories.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Right  now I am in survival mode as I finish my last week of dealing with being on opposite schedules with my husband.  For the month anyways.  I will relish for a month of having my lovely husband home more for the next month before we do this all over again.  I am thankful for jobs, and job security, but I am not a flexible type b personality type person who can just go with the flow.  I like timeliness, organization, planning for things ahead of time, and getting things done right.  I like these things in my personal life, work life, etc, and when they don't go that way I tend to melt down.  I can not relax if my house is a wreck and I am even further behind on laundry (I am never caught up, but when I am 5 loads behind then I panic).  I know when I am single parenting that things will get behind and I try to relax but I end up killing myself to attempt to get it all done.  

I am pretty much in melt down mode this week. I am trying to tell myself I can only do my best and control my actions, and reactions.  But it seems I can tell myself this all month long, I even do a pretty good job at first, and then the last few days I need someone to just hug me and tell me it's ok.

I don't know how single moms do this.  I don't know how someone can work a demanding job, keep a clean house, and parent appropriately.   But millions of women do it. Every day.  They are my heroes, and I am so thankful I have great help from my husband.  I am not a super mom.  I try so hard to be there for every event for the kids, keep them involved in activities, ensure they have all their needs met, and I have to realize that my kids are not going to understand the sacrifices and always show appreciation like I want them to.   If they don't get it today, one day they will.  They might be 30 years old, and not get it until they have kids of their own, but one day they will hopefully thank me.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Vinyl obsessed...

I have been having way to much fun with vinyl.  The theme of my weekend was vinyl projects...I did stop to have some fun with my family.  Dave and I had a nice date night, and had dinner and a movie, the girls had a tball game and a play date, and we went to a birthday party.  In between though I stayed busy... Here is what I made:

I wanted to do one of those cool glass blocks, and I came across them at AC Moore.  We have an AC Moore where Ben Franklin's used to be.  I had not been there until this Saturday, and OH MY GOODNESS!  This place puts Michael's to shame.  They have the glass blocks, the nice rolls of mesh that you can make wreaths with in a slew of colors, and just a bunch of the great craft stuff.  I could have spent forever in there!

So anyways, I cut out this design and put it on the glass block, shoved a strand of Christmas lights in there.  I think it's adorable!

 In preparation of movie night at the girls school next week, I decided to decorate my beverage dispenser for the movie theme.  I think it turned out cute, and the kiddos will like it.  It peels right off, so when movie night is over, I will just rip off and throw away.
My sister gave me her large pool tub that she puts beach towels, and what not in.  I added the words, and stuck some flip flops on there and called it a day =)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Craft adventures with Vinyl

Once upon a time I was a hard core scrapbooker.  I scrapbooked all the time, all of my extra money went to supplies, I even went on many weekend trips where we just rented places and scrapbooked around the clock.   I also did year books on each year of our family.  Then I discovered digital scrapbooking, which was easier with our busy schedules and kids.  But even then it's been hard to find time, and now I just do them for the grandparents for Christmas gifts.  I need to work on changing that, and get on the ball with doing them for us.

When I was pregnant with Laura I got a Cricuit for Christmas from my parents.  That was about 7 years ago, so it's an old Cricuit.  I used it a lot for printing out stuff on paper for scrapbooking, then about 5 years ago my mom got me a Silhouette.  This one is more complicated but works well with a computer.   Sadly I never really used much these last few years, and I always saw cool vinyl ideas but always shyed away from it.  I didn't know where to buy vinyl, and was just too scared to try it.  My blog friend Jenny sent me a cool G for my pumpkin that she made with her machine, and that got me inspired to try to figure this vinyl thing out.

 Oh. my. goodness.  I have been missing out!  Since Wednesday I have made, name decals for the girls doors, monogram for my work planner, two stickers for two of our cars, name buckets for my sisters,  and Trick or Treat buckets for trick or treating for my 3 kids.

I did the project both with my old Cricuit and Silhouette, and I am hooked!  I prefer the Silhouette as there is so much more freedom with designs.  My Silhouette is an original, but I am able to use the updated software that you can download for free online.  I am sure the newer one is cooler, but I can still do a lot!  What I don't like about the Silhouette is that the supplies for it are not around here.  We just have a Michaels and a AC Moore, and they just carry Cricuit supplies.   I had to order a new blade online already as I dulled it already.   Vinyl around here is also hard to find... Michael's is lacking in colors, so I plan on ordering that online as well as soon as I price it.

My husband already has a list of stickers he wants me to make for his truck, kayak, etc. My sister wants me to do a beverage tub for her, and I know what I will be giving now for all of those kid birthday parties that we will go to this year.  So stinking excited!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend recap....

It's starting to feel somewhat like fall around here.  It's been a little less humid, and we have had some nice cool days.  Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch in Surry, VA the first weekend they were open to stock up on our pumpkins and goards.   I love that pumpkin patch so much!  We have been staying busy lately.  Dave is on evening shift most of this month, which can be good and bad.  Good because he's home during the day and can do school activities with the kids, but bad because by the time I get home he's gone to work, which always puts me in sad mood.  I try to stay upbeat and be happy he only has the do this every other month, but I sure do miss him during the week.

We took advantage of the weekend and packed it full of fun family activities.  We went back to Hallow-scream at Busch Gardens, after going last weekend for a little bit.  Friday the girls had half days, so we got there right after lunch and didn't have to worry with crowds or long lines.  We had a such a good time we didn't leave until late that evening, and only left as it started to storm.  The girls handled the scary stuff pretty well, we just kept reminding them it was all "dress up".

Saturday we had a tball game that got rained out early on, so we used a Groupon for Regal theatres, and took the girls to see Hotel Transylvania.  We all really enjoyed the movie and the awesome deal.  I just love those daily deal sites!

We spent the rest of the evening and night at our good friends house for their daughters birthday party.  We always have a good time at The Dame household, and every time we hang out with them I get sad knowing that one day they will be transferred away since they are Coast Guard.  I know they will eventually come back, but when ever they have to move I am not going to handle it well.  Our kids all love each other, and Dave and I have really enjoyed a Polly and Jason's friendship and love how we all can tell each other anything and be real with each other.   They are friends that I don't feel the rush to clean my house up before they come over.

So other then that my other big news is I took a leave from Junior League this year.  I don't know if I will go back.  I thought about doing it this year, and last year, but thought I would hang in there again.  Right away though it's been too hard.  This time I wasn't going to make myself go crazy about it, and miserable. Right away it was harder with the kids in more activities, and having more homework, harder with my own work schedule, and harder with the husbands, and with me selling ThirtyOne now, that adds some schedule conflicts too.  Also, when I was busy with it I wasn't enjoying it as I was bummed I was missing out with something with my family, and though I know the League does amazing things, I didn't feel like I was doing much good or contributing.  I just went with my gut this time.  To be honest I have not even told Dave yet,  that I took a leave, as I know he would encourage me to still do it, and I don't want him to think it's his job stopping me.

The good part of all of this is now I can be there for all of the kids activities now, I have time to volunteer more for the schools.  I am now heading up labels for education at my older girls school, and I am chairing movie night.  Also, later this winter swim team boosters starts up, and I am helping out with that as well.  I already feel like I am making more of a difference, and I don't miss out with anything as it's all things that help my children.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DC Recap

I am so behind on posting about our DC trip, but better late then never.  We had fun, did everything we set out to do (we didn't eat at the cupcake shop, we went but the line was out the door and around the block!).

First of all, our hotel was perfection.  Great location, had secure parking (we did have to pay, but worth it), we also had a metro station underneath our hotel, so we just had to take an elevator down stairs to get to it.  I found the hotel with a Groupon, and it did not disappoint!

We left early Saturday morning, checked in, and hopped on the metro for the Zoo.  We had some confusion with figuring out how to purchase metro tickets (you have to get them from a machine rather then a person), but we figured it out, after some people felt sorry for us, and showed us.  The girls loved the metro, and thought it was super cool to ride a train under the ground!  The Zoo was fun, honestly though, the Norfolk Zoo is better.  Not as crowded, and seemed like there was more animals to see.  It was a good Zoo, I guess I was just expecting more.  Everything there is super spread out too at the DC Zoo, and easy to get lost in there.  The Panda gave birth the day after we left, but sadly the baby cub recently passed away.  We didn't see the momma Panda when we were there though. She was no where to be seen, but maybe she was nesting or whatever momma pandas do when they are about to give birth.  So sad to hear about the loss of her cub though.

We rode the metro back, and walked to the White House to see that.  On our walk back we saw the Ford Theatre where Abraham Lincoln was shot, and then had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.  We grabbed some frozen yogurt, and headed back for the night to the hotel where the kids swam on the roof top pool for a little bit.

The next morning we hit up two museums - The American History one, and Natural History one.  We then did some site seeing with the monuments, Washington Monument, WW2 Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial Wall, etc.

It was a ton of walking, so I am glad my kids survived with little whining.  It was a good family trip, lots to see, and all of the museums are free to visit.  We all went back to school and work the next day, which was rough as we were zonked.  The girls have really enjoyed looking at their DC books since we have gotten back.  I am sure we will do the trip again one day!  I think we are going to start looking into more Groupon get aways though that are not too far away, to do with the kids  in the future.