Saturday, December 13, 2014

mama's day in

Nothing says Merry Christmas to a mom like a kid-less day.

That's right. I said it. I had to take care of a total of zero kids today and it was glorious.

What did I do with my time?

Well...

There was some reality TV watching.

There was some sleeping.

There was some Christmas movie action.

There was this video that I watched multiple times {again} and laughed... out loud.


There was some de-cluttering of the house. I found several treausres: my blood type card, cash, and sonogram photos of my now 13 month old child.

There was a long shower. There was also the cleaning of my son's training potty in said shower which was utterly disgusting.

There was the reorganization of my craft room. There was some picture frame filling {is that a thing?}.

There was Christmas present wrapping, quickly & sloppily thanks to my children who don't know any better {hallelujah}. And of course Christmas music.

There was a visit to my favorite local restaurant to place a carryout order 2 minutes before closing time {whoops}. It included caramel choco-latte ice cream.

There was some reading.

There was some closet reorganization. 

And now... there is some blogging.


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Monday, November 3, 2014

H & H: weekly challenge #2

Well look at me. I did something for an entire week! Excuse me while I pat my fully-committed-for-a-whole-week-self on the back.

Score!

Last Sunday, I restarted my series on Health and Happiness. I decided to do a weekly challenge that focuses on one SIMPLE goal for mental, physical, and spiritual health.




 


My goals last week were very simple. Drinking 64 ounces of water a day was not as difficult as I thought it would be, provided I remembered to fill my water bottle. If you struggle with remembering to drink water {or remembering anything at all, like myself}, buy the biggest water bottle you can find. I have to just fill mine twice to get my daily allotment of water.

I will admit that getting up 15 minutes early for devotions//prayer was the biggest challenge for me this week. Isn't that sad? I am not a morning person, which is a lame excuse, so my 15 minutes ended up surfacing mid-afternoon or in the evening.

Listening to more music was an enjoyable piece of cake. In fact, I'm listening right now. Pandora is a wonderful invention and satisfies my extreme spectrum of musical tastes.

So bring on week 2.

Week 2

Physical: Use more natural//healthy food in daily meals. I already have a head start on this goal by visiting the grocery store this morning.

Mental: Blog more. If you don't have a blog, then just write. Or type. Or talk to yourself.

Spiritual: List one "small thing" to thank God for each day on my chalkboard {I choose not to use paper for this goal due to my problems with clutter and losing things}. By "small things" I mean not the easy, obvious ones {i.e. kids, hubster, food, etc...}.


Happy Monday!

Current music: "Each Coming Night" by Iron & Wine

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

H & H: weekly challenge #1

I haven't blogged in almost two months. Apparently when you open a new small business with two of your friends, you become quite busy. Who knew?

To welcome myself back to my dear little blog, I'm restarting//refreshing a series I once had, Health and Happiness.



 

And if my past performance on blog series has taught me anything, it's that you may see this series for a few weeks at best.

I hope my blog can forgive my commitment issues.

In my experience as a mom, my health has been one of the easiest things to cross off my priority list. I use all the typical excuses: time, money, exhaustion, and my hatred of vegetables and exercise. But I've also learned that to be a high-quality mother//wife, I have to take care of myself, both physically, mentally, and spiritually.

So... starting this week, and hopefully continuing for longer than two weeks, I will be giving myself three simple challenges to focus on each week: one physical, one mental//emotional, and one spiritual. I'll let you know how it goes the following Sunday, report on my progress or incredible lack of willpower, and introduce the next week's challenges. Feel free to join me!

Week #1

Physical: Drink at least 64 oz. of water each day

Mental: Listen to more music {music does a lot for my emotional state}

Spiritual: Wake up, just 15 minutes earlier, for a little prayer or Bible reading each morning.


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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

poker face

Don't worry... this post is not about Lady Gaga. If I ever get to that point, please put me out of my misery.

My hubster has been 'blessed' with this ridiculously maddening ability to have the same expression on his face 24/7. Seriously, I can't tell if he won the lottery, ran over a dog, or is preparing for a colonoscopy. Most of the time I am envious of this mysterious trait of his... except when it involves wedding//family photos.

Luckily for him, he married a women who is an expert in non-verbal communication. If I played poker, I would lose all my money in about five minutes. I'm pretty sure I have a face for every feeling from "boy that chocolate cake tastes good" to "I'm going to kick the next person that tells me I look tired". Want to know how I'm feeling? Just look at me.

feel free to caption this loveliness
Somebody once told me I have the facial expressions of Claire on Modern Family, and I can't say I disagree. I like to say it keeps my honest. Unfortunately, it at times means being a little too brutally honest. Like the other day when I loudly announced across the cafe to my boss that a group of teenage boys {who were still in the cafe} left me 5 pennies. I didn't have a mirror, but pretty sure the look on my face was not pleasantness.

There are a lot of verses in the Bible about being slow to show your anger or exhibit your frustrations.

Whoops.

Fail.

The only time I would use the word 'slow' to describe myself would be while running.

Unfortunately, my son seems to have inherited my talent for the non-poker face. While it has been nice in terms of knowing when something is wrong or when he's guilty, it probably isn't the greatest trait to have in terms of quick-temperedness {pretty sure that's not a word}.

I don't know that I will ever physically be able to get rid of some of my less-than-friendly facial expressions. However, I definitely need to work on having a 'calmer' spirit {my friends right now are laughing hysterically} that perhaps slows my reaction time and promotes some thinking time.

That counting to 10 thing? I definitely need to try that. Except, I better start with 5.



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Monday, September 1, 2014

top 5 reasons to scrapbook

Scrapbooking has become an incredible hobby for me. I enjoyed it a bit in high school and college but have really come to appreciate it since having children. Tonight I was editing my photos and getting extremely pumped for my next scrapping weekend in just 4 days.


Scrapbooking can be very intimidating for those who do not consider themselves the 'creative' type or who have never tried it before. Rest assured... if I can do it, a monkey can do it. I still draw with stick figures and get any creative 'ideas' from Pinterest and even I can make a presentable, display-worthy scrapbook.


Before you discount scrapbooking as lame and falsely describe it as a bunch of old women saving locks of their children's hair and noting their children's daily poop schedule {was I the only one who thought this?}, allow me to convince you otherwise.


Top 5 Reasons to Scrapbook... Now!

5. It helps you capture the moments you won't remember. I do not put a massive amount of pictures in each scrapbook. Instead of just using photos from special occasions, scrapbooking has become a way to capture everyday moments consisting of facial expressions, playtime, giggles, or even nap time. These are the moments that are so easy to forget and scrapping helps me ensure that I am capturing their true personalities and everyday life.

can you feel their love for each other?
4. Scrapbooking is a great way to ensure time with girlfriends. My scrapping took off after spending my first 'scrapbooking weekend' with a group of ladies from my former workplace. I was hooked. Now that I no longer work at school, it also means a chance to see ladies that I so badly miss. We laugh, we eat {a lot}, we sleep in, we wear yoga pants, and we do it all in a beautiful facility. These two weekends a year are exactly what this mama needs.


3. Technology is there for you. I have made three valuable investments when it comes to scrapbooking: a nice DSLR camera, a photo-editing program, and a printer that prints high-quality photos. I have never taken any sort of photography class or editing class nor do I consider myself 'tech savvy'. Yet, thanks to these three investments, my scrapbooks have lovely photos without a lot of extra effort. Do they look as good as professionals? Nope. But I think they look pretty darn good considering my lack of photography background. Also, the Internet is an excellent place to find simple tutorials {remember, so easy a monkey can do it} to help with such tasks. I have learned everything either from my scrapping ladies, particularly Jen, and//or the Internet. There are also tons of album kits, paper sets, and photo layouts to assist you should you not feel confident in your abilities.

pretty good photo for someone who knows nothing about taking pictures

2. Scrapbooking helps with your long term memory. I don't know about you, but there are many days where I wonder how I'm every going to remember anything by the time I'm over 50. Scrapbooking has helped me mark milestones in my children's lives, remember little things that are so easy to forget, and keep a chronological, photo-journal of times I want to remember forever.

who wouldn't want to remember this?
 Side note: It is also a great way to do some journaling. You can include as much or as little journaling as you like in your albums.

1. I hope that one day, my children will appreciate the gift {if they don't, they're out of the will}. I love looking at old photo albums of me or my relatives. They stir up so many memories and emotions and keep us connected to the places we came from and the people who surrounded us. My prayer is that my children will see the albums someday as reminders of the love I had for them, the joy they brought to my life, and the importance of family.


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Friday, August 29, 2014

rewind

There are a lot of intelligent people in this world... Bill Gates, scientists, and whoever invented the Snuggie. We've managed to design robots, master genetics, research causes and in some cases cures for terrible diseases, and create a cookie pizza. So why... why has no one created a rewind button for parents these days?

If there's anything I've learned in almost 4 years of parenting experience, it's that I know nothing and that just when I think I've figured out something, God sends a whole new serving of humble pie my way. He's quite speedy and creative with his delivery.

Junior is approaching 4 years old.



Some of our biggest battles with the little fella have been over potty training and hitting {sometimes simultaneously}. Usually our battles began with the assumption that "he should be" or "he shouldn't be", which let me tell you, are a dangerous couple of phrases. When Junior neared the age of 3, I fought with him for months to get him to use the potty. He and I duked it out for hours with lots of tears while he sat on the pot and I assumed the fetal position on the bathroom floor. I was sure my son had some sort of social//emotional disorder in which he would forever pee himself, never learn to poop in the toilet, and never be able to spend the night at a friend's house.

Lo and behold, about 4 months after the age of 3, junior used the potty. On his own. Without any battles.

Duh.

At the same time, the hitting out of frustration began to disappear. Most likely due to the fact that his perfectionist, over-achieving mother was not constantly pushing him to do things he was not ready for.

Why do we constantly push our kids? Why do we always seem to want to make them older than what they really are {and then wish them to be younger when they are older}?

People, I think we're losing it.

Lately, junior, hubster, and I have participated in WW III over the concepts of 'sharing' and 'obeying'. I have been convinced that my child will never make any friends, because he will always be saying 'no' and grabbing things out of every one's hands. We also had a bust with swim lessons in which he was forced to jump in the water and go under. The instructors convinced me his fear would subside, and it probably would have, but after a month of it getting worse and worse, I decided it was not worth it.

He's 3.
Three.

Will he learn to swim someday? Probably. Will he one day play nicely with little sis? I sure hope so. Will he still be grabbing everything in sight when he's 18? Most likely not.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that these concepts cannot and should not be taught to toddlers. I am not saying that there should not be discipline involved. But why am I pushing him so hard to master something that most children do not master until they are several years older? I've seen many a first grader who couldn't share a darn thing so clearly expecting a 3 year old to do it and understand it perfectly is a little ridiculous.

There are many recent moments I wish I could rewind. Moments where I lost my temper. Moments where I worried about junior becoming a social misfit. Moments where I was completely unappreciative of the age he is and how fast he is growing up.

Moral of the story... Know your child. Know what is developmentally appropriate for your child. Help them excel in their strengths. Encourage them in their lesser strengths. Most of all, enjoy them for the age that they're at. Enjoy them for their God-given unique personality.

And rewind as best you can. My rewind button usually comes with a fresh "I'm sorry" and "I love you". 




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Thursday, August 28, 2014

15

I am a huge tennis fan. It was the one sport I found success at growing up due to my white-girl jumping inabilities that prohibited my play in basketball and volleyball.

I've been watching the U.S. Open all week and am sitting here watching some 15-year-old American play in the second round. She beat the #12 seed in the first round.

15.
Are.
You.
Kidding.
Me.?

In honor of #TBT, I thought I would bless you all with some photos and memories of what I was achieving at 15.

rockin it
When I was 15, I was getting my hair highlighted by paying a hairdresser to stab my head and pull hair, in a non-gentle manner, through holes in a cap. Am I right ladies? When I was 15, I was deliberating every few months on what color to put around my braces. Oh yeah. I was also lamenting the fact that I had to wear rubber bands all over my mouth in intricate patterns. To school. In public.

When I was 15, I spent a good hour getting ready every morning and had many a hormonal breakdown over a hair out of place or clumpy mascara. I wore my Roxy tank top with pride along with my Silver jeans and Dr. Martens. I wore a size 4 at Abercrombie and thought I was fat. I changed approximately 11 times each day before leaving the house and spent each night living it up with homework so I could be co-valedictorian and get very little scholarship money for it.


This post is reminding me why I was and am terrified of parenting a teenage girl.

CiCi Bellis is currently working it out on the tennis court, on prime time television, in classy Nike tennis-wear {and a fancy looking bracelet}, with well defined leg muscles.

I wish I could say the same...

go get em
The saddest part of this photo is not the middle part, squinty eyes, frizzy hair, or braces. It is the fact that those rippling arms played #1 singles for my high school tennis team at the time. Intimidation at its best. 


Thank you, CiCi Bellis, on behalf of all current and former 15-year-old girls, for making us look significantly sub-par.



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