Saturday, December 10, 2011

A 'Berry' Special Birthday

I can't believe how fast 5 years can go by. 

Since M's birthday actually fell on Thanksgiving this year, we had her party at the beginning of November at our local pumpkin patch. 

M wanted a costume birthday party along with the Strawberry Shortcake theme.  (hence why some of the kiddos are in costume)  The day was filled with lots of friends and family, a train ride, a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch, a pinata filled with candy, and of course cake and presents.  The guests got to take home yummy strawberry shaped cookies as favors. 

On her actual birthday on Thanksgiving, M woke up to birthday donuts! 

(no, my kids don't wear pajamas)

And of course she was spoiled at each of the grandparents' house as we made our thanksgiving rounds. 

No words can express or describe the love I have for this baby girl. 

Christmas Wreath

Happy December everyone!  I hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit! 

We had a great fall....I started several posts the past couple of months, but never finished them (obviously).  Like everyone, we have been busy, busy. 

As far as our holiday decor goes this year, our christmas tree went up the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I have been piddling around the house with other decor when I get the chance.  M is my mini-me-decorator and has helped a lot!

Our front door christmas wreath has left much to be desired the past couple of years.  By the time I make new ones for other people, I don't have the gumption to make a new one for us.  Until this year.  

I was inspired by these two wreaths I saw on Pinterest a few months ago... 

I had bought the oval grapevine back in the fall, and everything else was leftover remnants from other wreaths and arrangements I have made in the past.  I love it when things come together so easy (and cheap)!


Merry Merry!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Like any girl, I've always been up and down in my weight.  In high school, you really take for granted that thing called metabolism.  In college, I discovered beer. (sorry Mom)  After graduation, I quit drinking beer every night and lost some of that weight.  I got skinny for my wedding, then put on some pounds after. 

Then came kids.  With both pregnancies, I gained 60lbs each time.  After Moose, I went back down a little, and I was about 25lbs overweight when I started taking adderall for my shopping compulsions.  The adderall definitely helped with the eating compulsions as well, and helped with portion control, and I got back down to my wedding weight. 

I have worked out a few times in the 3 years since Moose has been around.  I joined a 24hr. gym after he was born, and would work out at 10pm.  That didn't last very long.  So I basically have done nothing for almost 5 years, since the Princess has been born. 

My only form of exercise lately has been climbing 4 flights of stairs in the garage when I leave work.  I am reminded each day that even though I may look skinny, I am probably the most unhealthy and out-of-shape 'skinny' you could be.  When I get to the top of that 4th flight, my heart is beating out of my chest, and I am out of breath for the next 10 minutes.  Sad.  Very sad. 

And on top of that, I have just felt like crap, and haven't felt good in my own skin.  I have been proud of my 'moose pouch', but lately, I can't say that the pouch is from the Moose, it's from not moving!  I know what gets rid of 'the pouch'.  I hear and see Dr. Oz on an Oprah show in head, holding up pounds of fat, saying, "Cardio, cardio, cardio!"  ewww.  

Mentally I have also felt 'blah', and I hear Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) in the courtroom scene in my head, "Exercise gives you endorphins!  Endorphines make you happy!"

In the back of my head, I knew that it's time to do something.  But when?  I work full-time, and don't want to do any classes that interfere with the 3-4 hours I have with the kids.  And lord knows that a 10pm workout isn't going to cut it right now.

So what is the obvious choice?  A 5am workout?  Um, as Whitney Houston would say, 'Hell to the no!'  (excuse my french)

I have never been a morning person.  I am known to snooze at least 10 times in my sleep before I even hear the alarm.  I was late for high school almost every day.  I even had a t-shirt that looked just like this:


So what I have I done?  I've signed up for a 5:15am bootcamp, for 5 weeks, on MWFs. 

Yep. I know.  I'm crazy.  But it's the only choice I have. 

I set my phone alarm for 4:30am and leave it in the kitchen.  So I have to get up and turn it off.  I keep my clothes in the den, so I have no reason to walk back into the bedroom.  Once I change my clothes, I am ok. 

This is my 2nd week.  The bootcamp is great, in that it is different everyday, and I get an awesome workout before my brain and body comprehends what is going on.  There are about 20 women in my class, which is like peer pressure in a positive way.  I push myself a lot more than I would working out by myself.  I'm not sure I could do what we do at 7pm at night, when my brain and body are already tired.  To say that I am sore is an understatement.  But even after 3 work-outs, I can see my body changing.  And I've even thought about signing up for a 5k.  WTH?

Our 'drill sergeant', Adina, is motivating in a nice way. I have 'planked' more in 3 sessions than I have ever dreamed about planking.  It's hard to explain what we do...a lot of circuit training for sure.  I will tell you I do a lot of cussing in my head during that 1 hour (sorry again Mom).  It's horrible, but great at the same time.

I missed this morning's session.  I went to bed too late, and 4:30am came really early.  I went back to bed, but have regretted it all day.  Adina sent me an email to see when I was coming back.  I definitely need the accountability, for sure. 

Don't worry, you won't hear me talk about this bootcamp stuff a lot.  Who wants to hear about a girl exercising to get healthy and feel good for grins & giggles, and not really to lose weight?  Not me for sure.  But I'll let you know how it goes at the end of the 5 weeks.

Happy bootcamping!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Mommy Guilt

Today the MOPs group at church is having a Kid Day Out at My Big Backyard in Botanic Gardens.  My Big Backyard is my favorite place to take the kids to let them run around, and I can relax just being outside and watching them play.  I would love to be with the other mommies today, but I'm at work. 

Could I have taken the day off?  Sure.  Do I have enough PTO time to take off?  Um, a little.  I only have 20-ish hours in my bank.  But with the holidays coming up, I need to use my time off sparingly.  This time of year, when the weather is perfect, REALLY makes it hard to come to work.  I just want to play hooky and be outside with the kids.  But I can't. 

Although all moms are working moms, and we all have our share of mommy guilts, I think that us moms who work outside the home have it tougher, and have more guilt.

It sucks. I know I am providing for them, but I can't help but think what I'm NOT providing them. Be it time with them, or more hugs, more trips to the zoo, etc.  But I know that the time I DO have with them from 6pm-9pm on weekdays, and the weekends is my time to make it count, and spoil the heck out of them with hugs and kisses.

I had a conversation recently with my Dad about raising kids.  All my life he worked the night shift at the main Post Office downtown...11pm-7am.  I can't tell you how many times in my life I heard my mom say, "Shhhh...Daddy is sleeping!"  I guess he still has his share of Daddy guilt, too, even though we are all grown.

He apologized to me for not being around.  I started crying and told him not to feel that way, because I felt just the opposite!   Even though he did work the night shift, he was always at the football games and basketball games watching me cheer.  He was always at church on Sunday mornings, even though he worked the night before.  Sure, sometimes with his eyes closed during the sermon ;)  But he was THERE.  I told him that I admired him for that.  I knew that he was exhausted sometimes, but he was there.  I have no memory of anything he might have missed.

My friend posted this interview with Sarah Jessica Parker about the upcoming movie 'I Don't Know How She Does It' and it was just the little nugget of encouragement I needed for the day.  We put a lot of (un-needed) pressure on ourselves.  And we have to remember that kids remember things different than we do. 

Anyhoo...didn't mean to get all heavy on a Friday. 

I can't wait to go see the movie.  A lot of people say the same thing to me:  'How do you do it?'  My unashamed answer to them?  Medication!  God bless Adderall.  (not forever.  just for now ;)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Funky Fall Wreath

I am loving all the modern wreaths everyone is making now.  There are a ton out there on Pinterest. 

But I really haven't thought about doing one because 1) it's called a modern wreath.  I'm a traditional girl.  I think the word 'modern' scares me; and 2) those felt flowers.  Sure, they are way cute.  But I'm not so much a craft girl, to sit down and cut out circles to make those felt flowers.  Not going to happen.

But last week I saw Decor Chick's new yarn wreath, and it all came together in my head.

Rewind to 3 weeks ago:  I bought some things to make to make a new fall wreath, along with a grapevine wreath like I ususally use.   I REALLY went out of my comfort zone and even bought an OVAL grapevine wreath, instead of a round one.  (am I a rebel, or what?!)  I was going to copy this one I saw on Pinterest.  But make it oval, instead of round.  Yeah.  I'm a rebel.

But for some reason, the grapevine wreath wasn't working for me this time.  I think I was having a wreath-block, if there is such a thing.  A creative block for sure.  My flowers and wreath have been sitting on my dining room table for almost a month.  But after I saw Decor Chick incorporate silk on her modern wreath, it clicked, and I decided to give it a go.  (geez I think about things way too much). 

I went to Michaels's to get another wreath, plus some yarn.  While walking around, looking at the yarn in my basket, I got to thinking.... (there I go again)  thinking about my attention span, and if I really had the patience to wrap a wreath in yarn.  Yeah, I'm thinking no.

Keep in mind, it's late on Labor Day, and Hobby Lobby and the other fabric stores are closed.  My choices were limited, and I wanted to finish this wreath that night!  My thoughts shifted gears, and I thought about wrapping the wreath in a feather boa, but would need several.  At $9 a pop at Michaels, I thought the dollar store would have some boas in the kids section. 

Off to the dollar store, and of course, negative on the black boas.  BUT, I did come across this stuff...Creepy Cloth.  I bought 3.  I'm down with 3 bucks.

Before I wrapped, I spray painted the wreath black...

then wrapped the wreath... 
I kinda like the creepy cloth. It's basically black gauze, which gives it some texture, and a little funk? 

Ok...enough talky...

Here is my modern, funky, fall wreath.  I love it. 
(Forgive my night-time pics.)

(don't look too close at my M.  It's a looks good from a distance, but close up, it's a mess.  I painted it with M's crayola craft paint :)

I'll probably add another green feather at the top. 
And I'm sure an owl will find his way in there, too.

But for now, I'm so stinkin excited that I finished a project!!!

Linking up to:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Diary of a Working Mom {August Edition}

As with many other areas of my life, I have not been consistent with my Diary of a Working Mom posts.  My last one was in February

I talked about being in a rut---a chicken nugget rut, that is.  I re-read that post, and said that my mission in March was to break the picky eater out of her habits. 

Um, well....I remember starting it.  I think we made progress for a week.  It doesn't take much to get off a schedule in our house.  And I haven't returned to fighting that battle.  Sigh. 

I know I need to.  And don't get me wrong--I want to.  It drives me nuts.  But with our schedule, I can't do everything, and I have to let some things go.  And right now, that is just one of those things.  And I refuse to beat myself up about it.

On the subject of the Princess, I did enroll her in gymnastics once a week.  We did dance at school last year, but it ended up being a fight on dance day mornings.   M is more of a free-style girl...she likes to do her own thing.  She wasn't really excited about the idea of soccer, but perked up at the mention of gymnastics.  She likes to 'put on shows', and dance and flip around and make up routines to music.  The gymnastic center offers a trial lesson, so we tried it, and she was hooked. 

Unfortunately, gymnastics has made her a little bit too brave on our swingset!

She is my little artist.  She would go through a ream of paper in a week if she could.  When I pick her up everyday, she hands me a stack of drawings.  I keep her paints out on the kitchen table.  One day I found this painting...

Ummm...looks like mommy has let someone play angry birds a little too much!

Moose on the other hand, doesn't really care about art.  He's not into that.  He's my engineer.  And my good eater.  Moose loves him some tomatoes!!!  (sorry for the cell phone pic)

We are pretty much potty-trained, as it relates to going #1.  But I need some help on training on this #2 business.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.  Ugh, boys!

And speaking of boys.....The teenager started his junior year.  And he got a car.  I was leary of him driving at first.  But after a few times out on his own, I'm loving the idea now.  Especially with theatre rehearsals coming up.  woo hoo!

As far as 'creating balance' goes, I had several chances in August to break out of my mommy role, and revert to my high school days!  A new honky tonk has opened up, so I've gotten a chance to put on my boots and go dancing!

There are several things on my 'What makes me happy' list. 1. Jesus. 2. Family. 3. Dancing.

Growing up, there weren't many opportunities to dance. I went to a private Christian high school, so dances were not allowed. Dancing was taboo. (note to parents: when things are taboo, kids/teenagers want to do them even more. just sayin) We had a Jr./Sr. Banquet. The after the banquet, there was a 'parent-sponsored' dance.

During high school we frequented a family friendly place called Casper Creek to country line dance. No alcohol was served....just line dancing all night. It was an easy sell to the parents---even my Nana and her husband C.D. went to Casper Creek!

Around 16 or 17, a few of us got fake IDs so we could go to the real country club called Neon Moon. (sorry mom & dad)  Not to drink. Because I was a good girl. But to line dance! Watermelon Crawl, Tennesee Twister, Flying 8, Cotton-eye Joe, name it. And of course I would dart out at 11:50pm to be home at midnight!

In short, college could be summed up as a dance party several nights a week at whatever frat house had a party. The ATO and Pike house were next door to each other. So if both were having a party, me and my other sorority sisters would go 'up and down the hill' all night. If you didn't like a song at the ATO house, you could just run up the hill to the Pike house and join another group of sisters on the dancefloor. Not a whole lot of 'line dancing' going on, per se. Unless they played '7' by Prince, then all the Chi O's rushed the floor for the Chi Omega line dance. Good times.

But fast-forward 11 years into the real world, and not a whole lot of dancing opportunities are had anymore. No more bachelorette parties at the clubs, and no more wedding receptions.

But thank goodness Electric Cowboy has come to town! For years, a lot of the honky tonks were not in very good areas of town. And there hasn't really been a country bar in town for a while. But EC is just 7 minutes away, next door to the Bass Pro.

I've been a few times now. It's fun to reach back to those line dances stored way back in the memory bank.  It's like riding a bike. This old married momma has still got it! And I just learned 'the Wobble'.  Apparently it's been around for about a year, but I'm just now learning it?  Obviously I need to get out more.  Watch this video and learn.  Then you can be a cool mommy, too.  I can't wait to put my boots on and go again.

And on another random, but related note....since I've posted about some "celebrity" encounters the past couple of weeks, I thought I would post of picture of another local and national celebrity that was at EC the other night-- Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

I love wrestling. Growing up, we would watch Jerry 'The King' wrestle every Saturday Morning Wrestling on Channel 5.  And guess who was the announcer for Saturday morning wrestling?  My Dave Brown

August was a fun and busy month!  It seems as though the heat spell is broken, and fall is here!  I'm so ready to bust out the jeans and boots!  I love this weather! 

September is shaping up to be a busy month...plenty of blog fodder to be had. 

Hope everyone has a great short week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunflower Family Pics

I have always loved the idea of getting family pictures made while the sunflowers are in bloom.  A photographer I have used in the past, Southern Style Photography, was doing mini-sessions in the sunflower fields at the Agricenter a few weeks ago.  The 20 minute mini-session was $55, and we got a CD of about 60 edited pics.  I love that I get the CD, and I can print wherever I want, and how many I want, in whatever size I want.   I also love that I get the CD of pics, and I can play with them on Picasa, too.

Of course, the day of the photo session, the heat index was 110 degrees with the humidity of 50%.  I really thought it wouldn't be too bad---it was only 20 minutes.  But OMG.  It was ridiculous.

We got a few shots...only one good family shot.  Take a look-see...

You may notice that there are no pictures of Will.  Of course he got a summer cold that week, and was not a happy camper and pretty much cried the whole time.  And the heat did not help matters.  Also in attendance was Wriggly.  The heat was too much for him, too, so no good family pics with the dog.  

I think the heat was affecting our photographer, too, bless her heart.  I wish we could have done more family poses, and wish we were directed more.  But it was so stinkin hot, you couldn't even think straight. 

Oh well....dont' tell hubby and the teenager, but we will try again in the fall.  :)