Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve...and

I've had several post ideas that just didn't flesh out.  I've got 7 days shots backed up.  I have projects to finish and wrapping to complete and there is still church this evening.

But first, I have to tell you how I've cried so many tears this year.  So many bad things exist in the world.  My teenager and I had a discussion about this recently...she feels that there is way more wrong with the world than there is good, and that made me so sad.

I wish she knew people like Jenny, and Heather.  And all the people that responded to their requests...all the people who really cared, and believed that one small act can make a big difference.

I'm so happy to hear about things like this.  I'm happy when I hear about people helping people.  Maybe we can't fix the big things that are wrong, but we can make the world better for at least a few.

Merry Christmas everyone.  Please cherish all that you have in your life!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brenda is one of the first people I met through the internet.  I've read her blog for years, and I was so pleased to find her as wonderful in person as she seems on her blog.  The last month has seen some big changes for her and her bug.  To make Christmas a little sweeter, and working to earn money so much easier, Heather is running a sweet program.  If you could squeeze a few extra dollars from your budget, check out the great project to make Brenda feel the love!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Doctor's Visit- growing up version

So I took the kids to the doctor's earlier this week for their annual well-visits, with a side of shots.  I really can't remember if I posted about this before, but taking my kids for shots is akin to wrestling an octopus while someone tries to tranquilize it.  To say that they hate getting shots would be an understatement. 

Several years ago, PB had to get shots unexpectedly.  While we waited for the nurse to come back in, she chanted "I'll do it tomorrow" over and over working herself into a frenzy.  By the time the nurse came in (10 minutes later), we had to have another nurse come help hold her down so that the first nurse could give her a the shot.  She screamed and cried and thrashed about.  It was hell, and I was crying by the end of it.  The Monster's next visit wasn't as bad, but was still hard.

So the next year, I didn't tell them they were getting shots.  They didn't ask, and I didn't tell (I am a military wife you know ).  When the nurse brought the shots in, my sons look could have killed me.  It was still hard, but at least it was only hard for a minute or so.

This year, I was upfront. I told them earlier in the week that they had doctor's appts, and that they would be getting shots.  My mom offered to go with us, and I thought that would be great.  Normally, I'm busy trying to help the child currently getting shots and I feel like I'm not "there" for the other one.  But of course, this time, both of them took them like champs.  Figures.  The nurses have gotten smart, and they give the kids those frozen Popsicle tubes.  They have them hold them where they are going to give the shot for a few minutes, and once the shots are done they can eat them.  That helped A LOT!

I had quite a few chuckles in that room though.  My son has a toe that makes a popping noise.  It is one of his greatest pleasures in life to sit with his sisters, put his foot on them and make his toe pop.  This elicits great shrieks of "ew gross, get it off me!" from the girls, which of course sends him into great gales of laughter. Being the mama, I was concerned and asked the doctor about it.  She confirmed that it seemed okay, that we all have joints that popped.  She then told him he shouldn't torment his sisters like that, as it was bad for his toe.  He said darn, and she told him he would have to find another way to torment her.  Much giggling ensued.

After it was all over, I had to praise them.  I often tell my kids that sometimes we have to do things we don't like, and they may even hurt, but if it's necessary to stay healthy, we just have to suck it up and deal.  And that is what they did with the shots, and I am so proud of them.

And so happy I don't need the flask to get through an appointment any longer.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday morning outlook

Yay, it's Friday!  Only 4 more working days until my mini-vacation.  Not going anywhere, just not going to work.  Yay!

Friday's are so nice.  Work is always quiet since a lot of people take Friday's off.  Of course, productivity could go either way on Friday.  Sometimes we all just want to stand around's Friday!  Sometimes it's nose to the grindstone...I don't want to have to deal with this next week.  I'm hoping today is a good blend of both.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Trying to get on track

The last few months have taken a toll on me.  My house is a mess (it's clean thanks to bi-weekly cleaning lady visits.)  My schedule is a mess.  My eating and exercising ae sad.

So, tonight I went to my first Zumba class.  It's some me time and I really enjoyed it.  I was working up a sweat in about 10 minutes.  Next week I tackle the eating habits.

And maybe this weekend I can get some cleaning done in the house.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Not a Wordless Wednesday

I wanted to do a Wordless Wednesday today, but my camera and I haven't been friends much lately.  I hope that changes soon.

Life has been way to hectic lately.  I've found myself wishing I had the time to stop and capture the beauty of fall.  This weekend I will carve out time to do just that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Civic Duties

1. I voted today. I am very blessed to be able to do so, and I totally get that.
2. Luckily, I did not have the feeling of panic that I endured while voting two years ago.  Not because I felt so strongly about any of the candidates, but because the positions we were voting for didn't seem so important.  I understand that government at all levels is important.  The decisions that the elected officials make have a major impact on all parts of my life...from the trash pick up for my house to the paycheck I receive.  But when we vote for the Governor and President, it truly makes me sick to my stomach.  I didn't want to vote for either of the candidates in either of those races. 
3. I still didn't really care for the majority of the people listed on that ballot.  Most of the ones I wanted to (and some I did) vote for weren't going to win.  They were the Independent people...they just aren't going to win here.
4.  I voted for those people anyway.  I crossed my fingers, sent my wishes up high, and figured at the least, I wasn't voting for either of the people I really disliked.
5. I'm tired of the campaigning.  It isn't really about what anyone believes or is going to do for us, it's about what dirt they can dig up on their opponents.  Seriously, I'm from the state that has now been a joke on Saturday Night Live because there were reports that one of the candidates was a witch.  Really?  That's what is most important in the election?  How about we talk about the economy? Unemployment? Health care? Military spending...I could go on and on about the topics that should be covered. 
6.  I thought news outlets were supposed to be fair and impartial.  Hah.
7.  Campaign reform needs to happen.  Not just about fundraising and spending, but about how people campaign.
8.  I really don't care that you dabbled in witchcraft, that you are a Mormon or Christian or Agnostic, that you were divorced, that you like to have a glass of wine every night.  Those things (for the most part) don't matter.  None of us is perfect, and we have all done things in our life that we are not proud of.  If we learned from those things, grew and changed our ways, then we've lived a good life.  Move on and tell me what you are going to do in the future.  And then do it.
9.  Watching the results pour in, I'm sick to my stomach.  People talk about wanting change, that the system we have isn't working, but when push comes to shove, they vote the same way they always have, at least in the state I live in.
10.  I will wake up tomorrow, and nothing will have changed.  I will wake up in January and nothing will have changed.  While I truly believe that Democracy is a great thing, I am saddened by the direction our country is heading now.

Monday, November 01, 2010

On love and life and all the stuff in between

I married my husband thirteen years ago.  We met almost fourteen years ago.  We knew each other less than three months when he asked me to marry him and I agreed.  Eight months later we were married.  We almost gave up several times in those first five years.  There was love and happiness, but there was a lot of stress as well.  We were so poor, and struggling just to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and heat in the house.  We'd be so happy if we could make it to store without kids.  Jobs were lost, money was tight, life happened.  Somehow, we stuck it out.  And life got easier.  Marriage was easier. 

Then we prepared for a year apart, spent that year apart, and the last year getting readjusted.  Again it hasn't been easy.  I am not the best at long distance relationships of any kind.  I have a hard time with the work that goes into staying connected and involved.  Perhaps that's why I am only close to one person from my college days, and only stay in touch with others from high school and college by Facebook.  I want to do better, but the time and energy are used up elsewhere.  But with my husband, I worked.  I worked hard that year.

And it's still not easy.  The relationship changed.  We've had our struggles this year.  After being the sole person in charge of the household for a year, it's hard to reintegrate another adult.  After a year of only being responsible for himself and some basic chores besides work, it's hard to reintegrate into life with kids, household responsibilities, and less freedom.  And I'll admit, for a while there, we sucked.  It wasn't working.  And it was hard.

But through it all, I tried to remember one fact.  I love this man.  Even during the hardest times, when I want to scream and yell and cry and fight, I love him. I committed to being his wife, through all of the times, not just the good or easy ones.  And what sort of role model would I be for my children if I just quit whenever the going got rough.

It's still not easy.  He's going to school full time at night while also working full time. He misses things, he can't help out as much around the house and with the kids.  I get frustrated...I need a break, and I don't see him offering one, and I get mad.  He gets frustrated for the same reasons.  But I take a deep breath, and remind myself that this too shall pass.

Let me clarify here, I am not saying that you should never consider divorce, that YOU should stick it out no matter what.  There are many situations in which you should leave.  Each person deserves to be happy, to live their best life.  And if divorce is the only way to do so, then so be it.  I will do my best to not judge you, especially if I know how hard you've worked, how much you struggled.  But I will be sad for you, and I will wish that things could be different. 

As for me, I've told my husband this before, and I post it here for all the world to see.  I am committed to our marriage.  I am committed to making it be all that it can be, to working through the hard times, enjoying the fun times, and to still be doing so when we are old.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wow, do I have stories to tell

I had a small procedure, ended up with pneumonia, got an (old) iPhone, had the screen crack, our hot water heater broke, and my laptop is possessed.  I also went on a really cool tour of a bridge being built.  Hopefully, I'll feel up to blogging shortly...I have lots to share!

Monday, August 30, 2010

We all like to Do Fun Stuff!

I've been reading Ryan over at Pacing the Panic Room for close to two years now.  I love the way he writes, and his photography is amazing.  I got hooked when he did a maternity series with his wife, Cole.  It's amazing to see how much he wants to change the world, and how motivated he is.

His step-son, LB, has SMS.  This is a disease that won't go away, and that will cause him issues through out the rest of his life.  Unfortunately, it's a very rare disease, and therefore there isn't a lot of information out there. This past week was his 6th birthday, and in honor of that occasion, Ryan worked over the last year to put together an Album to raise funds for SMS research.  The proceeds from Do Fun Stuff go into a fund which will provide grants to grad students who choose to make this disease their area of study.  And the music is great for Kids and Adults, so we can enjoy it with our children!

Today, this album launches on Itunes.  And all over the blogosphere, people are writing about it.  But the best write up at all can be found at PTPR, written by Ryan himself.  You can also click the really cut widget below to go to the Do Fun Stuff website.

Please, if you have kids, or just love pop music, here's a way to help and have some enjoyment at the same time.  And you never know, you might find a new favorite band!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The end of the freedom days.

I can't believe August is over half over...summer is coming to an end.  The kids start school later this week.  I wonder where the summer went?  Didn't it just start last week? 

I try to remind myself that going back to school doesn't signal the real end of summer...the weather will stay hot, and then warm, through all of September, and even into October.  We'll have days in November that you can be outside in a long sleeve shirt and still be comfortable.  But for some reason, summer signifies freedom.  And with school starting back, that freedom is limited to the weekend.  I'm just not ready for that.  Neither is my boy...he's wishing for more swimming, more sand castle building and wave riding, more sleeping late and watching tv and hanging out in pj's a bunch.  This week will be bittersweet for sure.

I've not written much the last few weeks, heck the last few months.  I've been going through one of those seasons of life...the ones that feel a bit melancholy, and that sap your will to do much.  I'm feeling like I'm starting to wake up from it, but I also feel like I missed summer...a month or two gone to this melancholy.

Perhaps I can cram a few more summer experiences in before the weather reminds me that fall is here.

Monday, August 09, 2010


So the trailer is gone, the yard is mowed and trimmed, I actually planted a few (clearance) bedding plants, the back deck is usable.  Yay for us!  It looks like we actually care about the house we own again!

Good thing I'm not inviting you inside.  Goodness, I need some motivation and time off at the same time. Problem is that doesn't seem to be happening much lately.

Now, we're off to get Bug from the airport, with a stop at Ikea.  Whoo hoo, I love going to Ikea.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Cleaning it up

Hubby and I have several big-ish projects we've been working on around the house this summer. Unfortunately, with all the extra things and beach time, these projects haven't made it to the finished stage just yet. We've been remodeling our back deck, and cleaning out the garage and sprucing it up with paint and epoxy.

So, for the last couple of months, we've had an awning in our back yard housing the saw (see here) and a large trailer in our front yard.

We went through a period with high heat and no rain, so we weren't mowing. Then it rained, and we couldn't mow. As we're finishing up moving everything out of the garage into the trailer so we can expoxy the floor, I realize that the yard is out of control. And suddenly, I start laughing.

It looked like we were going into foreclosure.

I'm not going to lie, times are tight in our household. But the mortgage is the one thing that always gets paid and paid on time...we have it come right out of my hubby's paycheck. We aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So last week I mowed. But the weedeater was in the storage trailer...way at the front. So it still looked scraggly.

This weekend I mowed and began pulling weeds. Last night, hubby trimmed with the weedeater and I finished pulling weeds.

By the end of this week, the trailer will be gone. And hopefully in the next few weeks, the back porch will be done. Just in time to enjoy the cooler weather that will be coming with back to school.

And I still want to put a sign in the, we aren't leaving!

Monday, August 02, 2010


Oh my, it's been a busy month! We've gone on vacation, the kids have had camp and camping, we celebrated National Ice Cream Day, met the internet again, and have just been busy. I have a ton of posts to sit down and type, but no stinking time right now. So this is my post. Later tonight, I hope to get moving with all the updates!

Friday, June 25, 2010

7 days, day 7 - It's Friday!

7 days, day 7 - It's Friday!
Originally uploaded by mamalang

I was trying to get a picture of Nate, Boris and myself but it wasn't working..this was the first try, but I actually just really like this shot. Which I very rarely say about pictures of me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

7 days, day 6, me and my hubby.

7 days, day 6, me and my hubby.
Originally uploaded by mamalang

This picture was taken on the plane ride home from Disney last fall, and my SIL framed it for us for Christmas. It sits on our kitchen counter, just a small reminder :) I'm also lightly reflected in the glass :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

7 days, day 5 - Keeping it Cool

7 days, day 5 - Keeping it Cool
Originally uploaded by mamalang

It's even hotter, and tomorrow is supposed to be record breaking. One of my favorite meals to make when it's too hot to cook is this one, completely cooked on the grill. Very little dishes, and the house stays cool. Loose interpretation of the theme...but there you go. I like to bend the rules sometimes :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

7 days, day 4 -shadows in the rain

7 days, day 4 -shadows in the rain
Originally uploaded by mamalang

It was hot here today...and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter. But tonight, a strong thunderstorm went through and the temp fell 20 degrees. And yes, it looks like the tent is there for very small people, but it's covering the saw that we are using to work on our back deck.

Monday, June 21, 2010

7 days, day 3 - reflections

7 days, day 3 - reflections
Originally uploaded by mamalang

When I opened my laptop on Christmas in 2008, I said "ooohhhh my shiny." And I still love it...:) Taken in my basement after a shower to wash off the stink of a bike ride in 90 degree weather. Now I'm ready for bed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 2

We're heading home today, and today's 7 days theme was hot.

7 days, day 2 - Heading home in the heat

The weather was beautiful while we were at the beach, but whenever we called home they kept saying how hot it was (only an hour and a half away.) We were confused...until we started driving home. Suddenly we hit the wall of heat...oh my. But driving along with the top down and the sun shining was heavenly!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer 7 days, day 1

The summer run of 7 days began today, and I had to take advantage of the awesome scenery for my photo!

7 days, day 1 - Chillin at the beach

DDS and I were able to sneak away for a weekend at the beach tied to a marriage retreat.  It was relaxing, and the weather was gorgeous.  I spent some down time sitting on the balcony enjoying the sights and sounds of the beach below.

Friday, June 04, 2010

This week, I've been busy...

Working...working, and working.  It's the end of our fiscal year and I'm swamped.

Painting, painting, and painting.  We are sprucing up our deck and screened porch, and it's been non-stop painting the last few nights.  Hopefully tomorrow we'll be finishing up.

Hanging at the beach.  Last Sunday was a gorgeous day of sun and sand.

Checking out the animals at the local zoo with first graders.  It was sweltering hot, but they were so cute!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Popularity? No thanks.

Remember when you were in school?  Everyone wanted to be the cool kid, hang with the right crowd, be popular.  If only you had the right clothes, the right hair cut, the right stuff. 

And then we grow up.  And that wanting, the urge, it never goes away.  We want to be part of the "in" crowd at work, in organizations, etc.  Even in the blogosphere.

But you know what I've learned?  It's not all it's cracked up to be.

For years, I watched the group at work, longing to be invited to their happy hours, to their lunches, etc.  And then, several of them were (wrongly) fired, and we all breathed a sigh of relief that we weren't included in those email chains.  Don't get me wrong, we felt bad for those people, we were scared, worried that it could happen to us, but we started to realize that being part of the popular group isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

Those people were reinstated.  Life moved on.  And suddenly, I was included on those happy hours, lunches, and emails.

But in the interim, I learned a lot.  Those people?  Their lives aren't perfect. They are struggling with many significant life events.  Divorce, separation, sick family members.  They have all of those just like you and I.  And a lot of what seems so glamorous isn't.

I'm watching someone I would consider a friend as they make choices that worry me.  I sense an unhappiness in their life, and they're casting about, trying to find that "thing" that will make them happy.  And the "thing" currently involves people and choices that I don't think are wise.  But I've learned that it doesn't pay to share, or they just accuse you of being jealous. I'm just praying this doesn't blow up in their face.

And thanking my lucky stars that I've matured. That I've been able to see that being popular isn't what makes you happy. 

Popularity?  The only people I want to be popular with think I'm the greatest thing...their own super hero.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What a day...

Things that made today interesting...

...Boris turned 1.  I really need to use all the blog fodder he keeps giving me.  He's a silly pup.
...We saw a "high speed" chase (okay, they weren't driving that fast really, but the cops were chasing them, and they weren't stopping.)  on the road out in front of our development.  I mean really...where do you think you are going to go? orthotics for my shoes...hopefully my feet will stop hurting.
...the youth group at church possibly cancelling their mission trip because of safety concerns.
...Beau Biden had a stroke.  This man is my husbands age.  He spent a year in Iraq as part of my husbands unit.  He has two young children. And I think we all stop and wonder.  Him and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Blogger has these new blog templates that allow you to really customize your blog.  I love it!  I've been feeling antsy to get out there and start planting, so this one spoke to me!  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring is here

Our tree has lost it's bloom, which tells me summer isn't far away.  Concerts and performances and award banquets are appearing on the schedule. We're moving forward.

Gardening, flowers, trips to the beach, walks around the neighborhood and time in the hammock...I'm ready for all of that and more.

My flower beds look neglected, our porch needs cleaned, painted and the screen fixed (thank you Boris.)  This weekend, I plan on tackling a lot of these items.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The finish line is there...

Turns out I knew what I was talking about when I wrote this post on the first day of school.  This year has been a whirlwind...and I'm still hanging on for dear life.  Bug has her license, although it is still in the graduated stage of having another adult driver in the car with her.  I'm nervous about her driving by herself this summer, but I'm also ready for the break it will give me.  Issy has aced her classes so far...and she's bored in some of them.  Moving her up just isn't an option, so it's off to talk to the principal soon.  Have to find some way to challenge her.  Monster has found the key, and has realized that he can read.  It's funny how excited I am about this.  He is literally reading on his own in the car, reading signs, words on tv.  His teacher asked for a conference last week just to tell us "wow! Whatever you are doing, keep it up!"  I can't stress how big a break through this was for us...and what a load off my stress level it has been.  We went from knowing less than 30 words to reading 92 words in a minute in 8 months. 

Now we're in the "busy season" of the school year.  Concerts, award ceremonies, etc will fill the schedule when there is blank time left from soccer, martial arts, and all those fun events.  But then it will be over, and I will suddenly have a senior!!!!!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

On Blogging and Emotions

I started this blog 3 1/2 years ago. I was reading a few other blogs and found inspiration. Some of these bloggers were funny and witty, some moved me to tears, and some did both within one post. I found validation in reading about other people's struggles and joys. Other people locked their children in the back yard, struggled with tantrums, bodily fluids on the floor...I felt a sense of camaraderie.

I've never had a lot of readers or comments. After a few months, I had "the itch." I saw other people with 30, 70, hundreds of comments daily. I wanted that. Bloggers started getting sponsors, swag, give-aways, ad networks, and suddenly, I found myself antsy and unhappy with my blog. I wanted it to grow. I wanted comments, sponsors, etc. I vowed to blog every day for a year (and almost did.) I read blogs, commenting every where, signed up for an ad name it, I was trying it. I was dissatisfied with my blog and contemplating quitting.

Then…burn out. My blog posting was sporadic, and when I did post, it seemed like I was doing was apologizing. I felt guilty for not posting, but didn’t feel like writing. And that cycle just kept growing.

During the last Holiday season, I had my own Epiphany. I didn’t want to be one of those bloggers…the ones that weigh everything they post with the click potential, that worry what their followers will think if that post that, the ones that aren’t any more than a character in a fictional story. That wasn’t why I started blogging, but I had lost sight of that.

So I set about releasing the guilt. I decided to spend more time living life, enjoying my children, modeling the behaviors I expect from them and less time worried about the computer. I stopped worrying about the reviews, give aways and such that I always felt I was missing out on. And I felt better.

But then…then, I felt the niggling again.

I’ve envied the people who were able to travel to Blogher, Mom 2.0, Blissdom, etc. for the last three years. Watching all the posts, tweets and status updates about swag and parties, all the fun they were having made me jealous. I wanted to be one of the cool kids that I saw in pictures. I wanted to go to the conferences, go to the parties, be inspired. I started trying to find the time and justify the costs. I would go to Blogher this year, period.

When Blogher put out their call for volunteers, I applied immediately. I waited, day dreaming about my experience, who I would meet…etc. Imagine my disappointment when I found out I hadn’t been chosen. And there was a little anger in there. Why wasn’t I good enough? I’d been in the ad network for quite some time. I had worked so hard…

The next day, a good friend told us they were getting married. In the Florida Keys, the same weekend as Blogher. And we were one of a few friends they were inviting.

Perspective. I’m sure I will still feel a twinge as I read about the great parties and swag, the connections and friendships. But I’ll be serving up my own connections and friendships, as well as enjoying a nice tropical breeze, instead of a hot subway.

And this blog? One day it might be the work of art I picture, but for now, it’s mine. And it’s just what I need.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I've been...

driving, working, cleaning, playing with the dog, playing with my kids, crocheting, chatting with my hubby on line, going to a choir festival and a band festival, sick, walking the dog, raising a teenager, driving, going to martial arts, crocheting, cooking, cleaning, arguing with kids, meeting the internet, taking self-portraits, and...

just living life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

7 days make for a busy week

So far this week, I've met the internet, explored ikea, threw a birthday party and not slept enough. One of these days, I'll find time to write about it. But DDS is away for a couple of weeks, so I'm it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welcome home Boris...

We have a new member in our family. His name is Boris. He is 10 months old, and weighs 80 lbs...and pictures will be forthcoming as soon as he sits or stands still long enough.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Brightening up my day

This morning, the day was quickly becoming one of "those" days.  Numerous things, all minor, were piling up and making me miserable.  I called my husband to whine, while driving through the slushly, nasty snow.  I vented, and whined, and was not as nice as I could have been.  Then I called my mom, and whined to her.  I finally got to work, and I whined to my co-workers.

And then, I got a phone call to come to the front desk for a delivery.

My hubby had sent me these...
brightening my day

And suddenly, the day was brighter.

Now, we just need to remember to put in our request for the beach house in July, and life will be better.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things I'm currently enjoying...

Wow, where do the days go? I have a half dozen posts started, but don't seem to be getting them done. Argh.

That said, here a few things I've found that I love...

Ryan at Pacing the Panic Room did a cool maternity series when his wife Cole was pregnant...and now he has a new one going for a client.  I love this whole concept in general, but the walk along the street adds something even cooler to it.  I enjoy his other writing as well!

Amanda at Soule Mama.  The beauty and simplicity of her

Moleskine notebooks and the blog related to all things Moleskine.  I love that they have "hacks" and displays of so many cool uses.  I hacked one of mine into a calendar and I'm actually keeping up with it.  I love them, love them, love them.

What are you enjoying?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy 14th of February...

This morning dawned bright and early...before the sun rose. At 5:30 this morning PB was crying hard in the bathroom with sharp pains in her lower abdomen and right lower back. After a quick discussion with a friend that used to be a nurse in our Pediatricians office, off to the ER room we went. I'm a night owl...I stay up way to late, and last night was no different. I was working on 5 or so hours of sleep...the roads still had large chunks of ice and it was freezing cold outside. And while driving there, she started singing along with the radio. A quick check confirmed that her pain threshold had lowered.

We rolled into the ER at 6:05, and were immediately triaged and placed in a room. Hope sprang into my heart. Oh, but it shouldn't have. Shift change occured, and apparently the overnight doctor was waiting for them to come in before seeing any new patients. The overnight nurse asked for a sample, and no one came to test it until the next shift came on. Finally at 8:30, the doctor came in, and he was very nice. Of course, by this time she was no longer in pain. The quick test came back negative for any UTI's. So after an exam, it was determined it was probably a muscle spasm or such,and we were finally sent home. We got home and I immediately left to pick up Bug from her return trip from Florida.

Brunch, gifts, school projects and valentines with Monster. Grocery shopping, dishes, laundry, cooking dinner. It was never ending, and I'm exhausted.

But my hubby did good and bought me a new piece of jewelry. And I did good and scheduled us to go get massages.

I hope you had a great 14th of February...I'm going to go to bed a little earlier tonight.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let it snow? NO!

For those of you that have lived under a rock for the last two weeks, it's snowed a little here in the Mid-Atlantic states this year. Our first big snowstorm came in December, a week or so before Christmas. Then again the second weekend in January. Again the last weekend of January, then the Blizzards hit. Over last weekend, we received approximately 3 feet of snow. No, that isn't a typo. 3 feet.
Blizzard 2010
Blizzard 2010

Hubby and I spent 3 hours Sunday shoveling our driveway and sidewalk, while the kids played hard in the yard. We created a small hill with all the snow, and they used skim boards to slide down. Schools and businesses closed Monday to allow people to finish all the shoveling and plowing. And then hubby was called to work.
My hubby as savior of the development...

Tuesday I worked from home in the morning, as the kids didn't have school again. Then we went shopping for last minute storm and activities. As we came home that evening, the plows had finally come through, making it so we had to shovel our driveway out again. Then we all came in and prepared for the next wave. Wednesday morning I woke up early, ready to go to work. I looked out and there was an inch or two of new snow on the ground, but it didn't look so bad. I checked and found out work and schools were closed, so I went back to bed. I woke up a couple of hours later to our second blizzard. It was white outside...the house across the street was just a shadow through the snow! By late that night, another foot and half of snow had fallen. Schools announced they would be closed until next Tuesday, and work was closed.
Blizzard 2010

Thursday dawned, and out I went to shovel. This time I was all alone, as hubby was still at work. 2 hours later, and the car was free and a spot was available for whenever he could finally get home. But the state was still in a State of Emergency and travel restrictions weren't lifted until 6 pm, so it was another day at home.

Finally on Friday hubby got to come home, and I went into work. I was never so excited to go to was nice to talk to other adults again!

Now they're predicting another wave to hit Monday night, and possibly more next week. I'm so sick of snow. We are usually lucky to get a few feet the whole winter, and normally not until this time of year...and I know we aren't the only ones. Currently there is snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 states. But I really can't wait for spring to get here...I'm dreaming of sandy beaches and warm breezes!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DIY - Jewelry Holder

In the last few years, I've developed a fondness for accessories...purses, shoes and jewelry. They can really make an outfit, and generally (with the exception of shoes) size doesn't really matter. I have quite a few shoes, although compared to many closets I've seen on House Hunters, I don't have many at I have a dozen or so purses. But I have a ton of jewelry. I have a few pieces of nice, expensive jewelry that I keep in a jewelry armoire. But my day to day jewelry needed a better organization system. It was too big to add to the armoire, and not accessible enough. So, I decided to create my own system.

First, we found these great door pulls and hanging bars from Ikea (OMG, I love Ikea. Really, it's a sickness.)
DIY Jewelry Holder Project
Then, I purchased a length of board from a home improvement center and had my husband cut it down to 6 inch strips, and he drilled the appropriate holes for the handles to attach.  He even fixed the back so the screws would be flush on the back.  If I wasn't so impatient, he would have added strips to the back so that they could hang flush on the wall.  But I'm impatient and didn't want to wait more days.

After all the items were together, I painted all the wood.  It was easier to paint than to try and match it, and it was cheap wood, so I don't feel too bad about painting it. 
DIY Jewelry Holder Project
Hmmm, just let me take a moment here to mourn the loss of my cheap Iraqi docking station.  Sadly, it was no match for my son...sigh.

Anyway, these are for my room as well as my daughters room.  I love the colors cheerful!  Once the paint was dry, I simply screwed the pulls on, and added a hanger on the back.  I also chose to add ribbon to make it cuter, as you can see in the after pics below.
DIY Jewelry Holder Project
DIY Jewelry Holder Project
Earring Holder
Earring Holder
For the earring holder, I used an idea I found somewhere using Mr. Google.  I'm sorry I forgot to book mark the site, but there were lots of them out there anyway.  I simply put screen over the glass of a picture frame, and a piece of scrapbook paper behind it.  You could also put fabric back there.  Then simply slip the earrings through the holes of the screen.  I hang my post earrings through a piece of ribbon below. 

I love this system.  My jewelry is always accesible and visible now, and it looks pretty as well!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grace in small thing, version 2, #4

I'm going to start posting my grace in small things post separately from any other post.

Today my grace is my family, and the safety and security I've been able to givve them.


For so many, 2009 was a hard and difficult year.  Jobs, houses, cars were lost.  People struggled.  We struggled with my husband being gone and his return, but mostly life was okay.  The last part of 2009 and first month of 2010 have shown me so much sorrow.  From our friends passing in October, so many more sad things have happened.  It helps to put your life into shocking perspective.

In December, a pediatrician in a local town was arrested on charges of child molestation.   The things that have come out are sickening and shocking.  Knowing that you've driven past that office, wondered about the crazy stuff all over, that brings it even closer to home. 

Right before Christmas, a young girl was abducted from her home where she lived with her aunt.  The aunt's ex-boyfriend, a known sex offender, took the little girl.  Police apprehended the suspect quickly, but it took them several days to locate her, and when they finally found her on Christmas day, she had been killed.  This hit everyone hard...she is the same age as PB, and from all accounts a happy little girl. 

There have been several attempted abductions in our school district in the last few months.  All have happened when children were walking home alone, either from the school or the bus stop.  Luckily, all the kids ran, yelled or resisted and were able to get away.  But it feels like a ticking time bomb, waiting to go off.  PB and Monster never ride the bus, as they go to school on the Air Base and I have to take them since we no longer live there.  But occasionally Bug has to walk a short distance from the bus stop.  She is 16, and almost an adult, but it still concerns me.  We've talked to our kids, and make sure our house is locked and the alarm set if we aren't home, or if they are home without us.  And we try not to live in fear, but are definitely more cautious.

And lastly is this little boy.  Ethan's dad works at the same agency as I do, and although I don't know him well, I can not imagine the hell he has been living for the last 14 months.  Unfortunately, it appears as if his time with Ethan is very short, and it breaks my heart. 

I read a quote on a pop bands web page recently that related to how fast our kids are growing up these days.  DDS and I have always tried to find a balance between allowing our kids to be children, while also instilling personal responsibility and an appropriate level of maturity in them.  I'm finding it harder and harder to allow them some of the freedoms they need to grow, wanting instead to shelter them here at home. It's not always easy, but I'm trying.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Busy little bee

In the last week, I've travelled to Baltimore, watched my husband look at a car while the guy selling blew up the motor, was overwhelmed at Barnes & Noble, got several DIY projects done here at home (a post coming about one of those), made breakfast for a week (recipe coming for this), made potato soup out of 15 lbs of potatos for work, went to bellydancing class, plus all the other things our life needs done daily.  I'm pooped.

Today we did a soup sale to raise funds for Haiti.  Our little section of 95 people managed to raise over $600...10 types of soup, donated bread and breadsticks, sold out in 20 minutes.  It was an awesome turnout with some delicious food.  And although it doesn't seem like much, it's something.

I've also started dabbling with learning code (finally...I know) so my site will hopefully begin to look better soon.  Maybe.  We'll see.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

not a good start

Two weeks in, and my laptop is in the shop again.  I'm slowly dying without all my favorites.  I know there are places I want to check in, but can't remember them all.  My pictures, my photoshop, my itunes.  I'm dying. 

I have been using the time to work on my long time goal of learning how to redo my blog myself.  I really need a better looking blog design. I want to update my blogroll and make some changes, but I'm too poor (and cheap) to pay someone to fix up my hobby.  The sparse amount of money I get from this blog isn't enough to justify it at this time.

I was so cranky yesterday.  I have a post brewing about loss, and I kept trying to remember how blessed I am.  But it was really difficult.  Today was better, but I still felt the crankiness trying to sneak back.

We purchased a Wii Fit Plus this weekend.  I love it.  I love that I can get some exercise while having fun.  And the games aer pure silliness. 

And there is more.  But that's it for today.

Oh, blessing for today.

The ability and funds to have a nice haircut and order a pair of boots I've wanted for a while (on sale).  So many can't afford to have niceties, and I'm blessed that I can.

Monday, January 04, 2010

And the birthday/holiday frenzy ends for a few more months...

Today was my MIL's birthday.  My SIL was taking her out to dinner, and we joined them, then drug her over to the big box home improvement store, not telling her where she was going or why.  While there, we bought her a new dishwasher.  It was probably better than a diamond ring.  Hubby took it to her house and hooked up while I came home and got the kids ready for bed.  He said she jumped up and down and squealed like PB when it was all done.  That is the best money we've spent in a while.  It was nice being able to do something for a member of the family that has always done for us. 

Happy Birthday, Nana.

Grace in Small Things #2 - The joy a heartfelt gift can bring, and the joy you get from watching that other person's happiness.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

cleaning out the old

We have been on a major decluttering kick around here for the last few months, and it's continuing on today. As the Christmas decorations are removed, there is a realization that there are some things we've outgrown. They don't fit with our decorating scheme, and they don't hold the meaning for me that I thought they did. So some will go on ebay, and some will go to Goodwill. And our house will be a bit less cluttered for it.

The outside decorations may take a bit to come's bitter cold outside, and DDS is on his way to pick up Bug from the airport.

I've slept way too much during the last week. Apparently I needed the sleep, as I'm just now starting to not yawn my way through the day. Hopefully I don't wipe out this week of sleep too quickly.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I'm not resolved...but I'm counting my blessings.

So it's a few days into the New Year, and all over the internet people are posting their resolutions. This year, I'm not. I'm not posting, because I'm not resolving. I'm simply going to keep living life, loving my babies and my husband, and trying to live the healthiest and simplest life possible. This isn't anything new for me, so it isn't a resolution. It's the journey I chose several years ago, and sometimes I'm awesome at it, and sometimes I'm not. That's life, and I've learned to go with the tides.

The year of travel will continue. In the next three weeks, we will be in both NYC and Baltimore. We already have a spring trip to DC scheduled. DDS has to travel for work three or four times in the next 6 months, and we (or just I) may be meeting him some to explore new areas. I'm excited that our children are finally at ages to appreciate and enjoy exploring with us.

Projects will be completed, new projects started, days spent at home, days spent away. Every day I will awake and try to be the best person I can. Some days I will fail, and that's okay. My overall goal is to have more days that I succeed.

Happy 2010. I hope that we all enjoy each day we are given, and each blessing that falls in every day.

I'm going to modify my grace in small thing posting, and simply look for one blessing. And today, January 2nd, will be my first posting. I'm going to shoot for posting at least 4 a week, and if I manage more, great! My ultimate goal will be to have over 200 by the end of the year.

Today my grace is the ability to enjoy my family, and my friends. Bowling with my husband and youngest two kidlins was pleasant and fun. Then a night out with my friends that included good food and great conversation. That is a bountiful blessing!