Thursday, December 29, 2011


Labels. We all wear them. Some we've had all of our lives while others come and go. Daughter. Mother. Son. Father. Those are the easy labels.

Failure, unworthy, unlovable. Those come too easy as well. It's easy to look at small things in our lives and make them bigger than they really are. We think that because we didn't get that job or that person didn't fall in love with us we are any or all of those labels. Sometimes those labels stick with us through our whole lives, coloring our perceptions every day.

But each of us has the potential to wear better labels. Loving, kind, friend, lover. Those are all easy to wear as well. My goal moving forward is to wear those positive labels more than I wear the negative.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa, is that you?

The Monster will be 9 this Friday.  I really can't believe that.  It seems like just the other day he was my little toddler monster.

Santa called to speak to him this evening.  He spent about 2 minutes discussing his wish list and whether he should be on the naughty or nice list.  It made my heart so happy to listen to him.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Finding me.

I was feeling like this every day for a while.  And while I chuckled while I read that, it wasn't really funny.

But you know what?  I've snapped out of it.  I sat myself down and told her to grow the heck up.  It was time to put up or shut up.  And any of those other cliche's you can think of.

This process actually started a year or so ago.  I started realizing that I wasn't really happy.  I was snappy, and grumpy, and fat, and feeling like a slug all the time.  I had a procedure last year that helped with my endo, and I was starting to feel better.  But I was still cranky, lazy, and fat.

At the end of July, I started Weight Watchers at work.  After a few weeks, I realized that I needed to get moving in order to maximize my weight loss and feel better.  I started going to Zumba at least twice a week.  I started attending a weekly strength and toning class at work during one lunch hour.

Since July 26th, I have lost 35 pounds.  I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel every day.  I have more energy, feel better, sleep better, and feel more like me every day.  I like putting on clothes, and am working on trying to allow myself to be in more pictures.

But I also realized that I needed to get healthier in every aspect, not just with my weight.  So I've been working on my outlook and feelings.  And I'm becoming more like me...the me of years ago.

But the journey is far from over.  I have at least 40 more pounds to lose...possibly even more.  I have found my voice again.  I want to talk.  The little things aren't as likely to send me into the spiral anymore. I've found my strength.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I've been feeling chatty lately.  Facebook friends are probably ready to kill me.  I realized today that I need to start blogging these thoughts.  Maybe I found my voice again?  They're gonna be rough, but I'm gonna try to put them out there.

Today was a day of cooking...I made italian wedding soup for lunch and steak, scalloped potatoes and roasted broccoli and cauliflower for dinner.  I also made Kale Chips for the first time...oh my, those are delicious!  I also roasted chestnuts in the oven for the first time.  I don't really like them, but I'm glad I tried them.

I also managed to get several Christmas projects knocked out.  I have a lot more to go, but it felt good to have something done.

And I managed to get all of the family to put their clothes away.  It's a Christmas miracle.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What to talk about this month.

Today's post isn't going to be too exciting, but here it goes.

I am going to make a list of some of the things I want to blog about.  Maybe if I put it out there for public consumption, I'll start working on it.

Weight loss and healthy eating
Parenting a college student who still lives at home
The visit to the fall fest
holiday traditions
my craft space
my thoughts on the recent protests

There are more...I know there are.  But it's a start.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November? Already?

I'm full of cliche's today.  I can't believe it's November.  It seems like it was just the first day of school, and the first marking period is already over.  We are as busy as ever with the kids and their activities, and I went and signed up to do a craft show.  Silly me.

In other news, here they are in all of their Halloween glory.
Bug as a witch to hand out candy.
PB...I'm not sure what she was?  It started out wanting a mask,
 then saw the wins and tutu, then the pantyhose.  She's cute though.
The super stealthy ninja boy known as Monster.
 Yes, we had him wear his martial arts uniform.  I'm cheap, okay?
And off on another tangent, I signed up for NaBloPoMo...let's see how long I last.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

31 days; day 4 - Family dinners

Tuesday night has been martial arts night for a long time (although that is about to change...more on that later.) This means that I leave work, pick the Monster up, drive to martial arts, then finally get home around 6:15.  Someone else is responsible for dinner, so that it's on the table when we get home.

When we came home last night, Monster asked if he could change the station, and Bug snapped at him.  She was finishing up dinner, and I could tell that she was frustrated about something.  I was giving her some space to work on a better mood, and trying not to get snappy with her.

We sat down to eat, and she had burned the side dish, so what was supposed to be white was more beige.  There was some conversation about the brown flecks, and she was moping a little.  Her father told her it was fine, she just infused the flavor of camping over a wood fire.

I bought the Monster a Would You Rather book at the book fair yesterday.  He started talking about them with us at the table.

By the end of dinner, we were all laughing and joking, and grumpiness was banished.

I love our family dinners.  They are the one thing that I strive to have almost every night.  Sometimes we may not all be sitting there, but those that are home are expected to join us.  Sometimes they end up in grumpiness still, but the majority of the time, they end up in laughter and family togetherness.

Monday, October 03, 2011

31 days; day 3 Blessings - time with my honey

My honey and I got to spend the day together today, and a nap was included on the schedule.  Today was a great day!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

31 days, day 2 - The house is still standing

My husband was away with cub scouts this weekend, working on his Woodbadge training.  The dog has been having stomach issues for the last few nights, which means much cleaning of feces.  Tonight, the Monster stopped up the toilet, and decided to flush it twice to try and make it unstop.  Needless to say, water and feces went everywhere.  Bug and I are sick of cleaning up poop.

But I cleaned it up, the dog is on a strict water only diet until tomorrow to try and clean out his system, and the house is still standing.  My husband came home and we had a yummy dinner with much laughing and chatting.  All in all, not a bad day.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

31 days; Day 1

Today was a good day.  PB had her 13th birthday party last night/today, and that generates my blessing today.

I am blessed to have a daughter, but I'm even more blessed to have a daughter that I love dearly, and love to spend time with.  She is a sweet girl, and the circle of friends she has developed is strong.  Watching her open the gifts they gave, you could tell these girls knew her.  The amount of giggling and laughing that went on in this house in the approximately 17 hours they were here was amazing, and the feeling that they aren't uncomfortable if an adult is nearby is sweet.  After they left, we created fabric backings for two of her shelves.  We worked together comfortably with some giggling, and her bookshelves look great now.

I never want to take this girl for granted.  She can drive me crazy, but overall, she is a sweet, smart and caring girl.

Friday, September 30, 2011

31 days

I've joined the 31 days challenge.  Every day for the month of October, I will be posting about Blessings.  I know I live a blessed life, and I want to make sure that I'm looking for them every day.  Join me?  I even made myself a little button...see it over there?  I'm learning new things every day :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I'm trying to get back into the mood to make my blog pretty.  I'm not sure about this background...I think it's too busy.  I need to sit down and work on a header, but I just haven't had the time.  I am behind in a ton of areas, and I don't see it getting better.

Fall weather is on its way, and I am so ready.

I've been doing Weight Watchers for 10 weeks, and I've lost 20 lbs.  That's a little more than 2 lbs a week (week one doesn't count) so I'm excited.  I've been going to Zumba at least a couple of times a week as well, and I'm enjoying the extra energy I've acquired.  I have a long way to go.  I've been hesitant to blog about my weight loss journey, but I think I will begin.

I also want to make some blog buttons. I'm loving Pinterest and want lots of people to follow me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Phoning it in

I'm trying out some apps in hopes I'll blog more if I can post from my phone.

7 days is coming!

I'm posting to help me remember that 7 days starts on Saturday.  I will participate this time, I will participate this get the idea.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Update on the Craziness

We discovered Saturday that the car didn't just break on it's broke when it collided with the driver's side rear tire on our jeep.  Since it's been over a week, they won't do an accident report, only an incident report.  Our only recourse, except our own insurance, is to find out who owned the car and sue them.  Yay.  The police officer did tow the car, so at least it's no longer causing problems getting in and out of our driveway.

The Heroin House drama continues.  The renters are from another country, and at least one is being deported.  We lock our house and cars and set our alarm now and try not to stare when we go out front.  They've recently moved some furniture out of the house.  I hope they are truly moving, and not just moving product!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Military needs

Earlier this week, the husband had to go to Walter Reed for a medical appointment and I decided to ride along.  This isn't the first time we've had to go there, but this time was a bit more bittersweet than the last.  As we were winding our way through the crazy corridors trying to locate the correct office, all around were people packing up offices, searching for boxes, talking about moving schedules.  The next time we have to go for a special medical appointment, we'll be heading to Bethesda instead.  It's amazing to think about the legacy of that building, and of the history that has been contained within it's walls.

The military medical system is a difficult system to use.  The logistics of doctors, nurses, and technicians relocating every few years guarantees that your care will be routinely handled by a different person, and sometimes it affects the consistency of care you receive.  In recent years, the military health system has come under greater scrutiny, and Walter Reed was at the center of that scrutiny. Changes were made, and are still being made.  I'm hopeful that these changes bring about a greater level of care for our wounded soldiers. I appreciate the many people who work within this system daily, trying to provide the needed services for those who have sacrificed for their fellow man.

Sometimes it's hard to see what the members of America's military do to protect us here at home.  We hear about them fighting the war overseas and we hear people's opinion on those wars. We hear about the casualties and the bad things that happen.  And occasionally we hear about the good things they are doing over there. And then those men and women come home, hopefully safely, and try to live their everyday lives.  Many of those serving overseas are members of the Guard or Reserves.  The military is not their normal life, and no matter how they serve, normal life has continued while they were away.  They have to learn to live a life that has changed.  They may not bear physical wounds, but anyone that has deployed to a war zone will tell you that they have a new reality when they return home.  Some of them bear scars that no one will ever see.

Our country struggles to handle these wounded veterans.  The system wants to point fingers and cover up blame.  Our elected officials worry more about the next election than the do the quality of life for our military members and their families.  Sure, it's nice to attend Easter egg hunts and ballgames and concerts.  And those events make great photo ops.  But what our service members need is care.  They need to know that they will receive their pay on time.  They need to know that they will receive the best medical treatments available, both for them and their families.  They need to know that the equipment and buildings they use are built to the highest standard, not the lowest.  They need to know that the retirement benefits they've been counting on will be there when they retire.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where I make up new seasons

It's beautiful here right now...sort of like Indian Fall in the middle of August (what?  That isn't a real thing?  We have Indian Summer in the fall, why can't we have Indian Fall in the Summer?)  Temps in the low 80's with no humidity.  Lows at night in the high 60's/low 70's.  It's like a little blessing in the middle of all the heat we've been living through. I plan on enjoying it for all it's glory, until the next heat wave crushes us.  Probably in September :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strolling through the craziness...

Around 3 am on Friday morning, I woke from a deep sleep to the sound of metal clanging along blacktop.  I jumped out of bed to look out the window, and see someone parked next to our Jeep on the road, getting out and walking around.  I tell my husband that it looks like someone is messing with our car.

He jumps out of bed, throws on some shorts and runs out front to see what is going on.  He comes in a few minutes later to get a flashlight.  The guy was leaving his friends house in our development when his car broke...the front tire is rubbing against the wheel well, and he destroyed his transmission.  In the midst of this, his beer spilled all over him and his car.  I'm sure it wasn't his first or only.  My husband tries to help him move the car out of the middle of the road, but drunk guy isn't really cooperating, and keeps refusing to call a tow truck.  Around 3:45 we give up on him and try to go back to bed.

Friday afternoon, the neighbor comes out to tell us that he helped push the guys car off the street.  Which is nice, except it's perfectly lined up with our driveway now, and makes getting in and out of our driveway difficult.  He also told us that a major drug bust occurred in the rental house located diagonally from us.  The tenants have lived there for a month...we live in a nice development.

On Saturday, Monster and I had a little stroll through the woods.  Well, actually, it was a leave no trace hike with his cub scout pack.  We took the short trail, and 3 miles later we finally were hot and thirsty and ready to go.  But first, Monster and I had to take a visit to the nature center.  I loved the displays in there, but these two were my favorites.

After that, we went to our local orchard for the annual festival, enjoyed some free peach ice cream and a hay ride.  My mil invited the kids over to swim, so I took Monster home to get his bathing suit.  As I pulled into my drive, there was a police officer parked behind the car and in front of the drug bust house.  I did a few things in the yard while he ran inside, then had a discussion with the officer about the car.  Unfortunately, they can't tow it, but can only continue to ticket it for being parked the wrong direction.  As I was leaving, my mom pulled up and joined me.  We were almost out of the development when I realized I had left my phone on the bumper of my car.  I turned around to go home and prayed that it wasn't destroyed.  I couldn't find it.  We finally found it where I had turned around, and the screen was shattered.  I was sick...I literally thought I would throw up. My mom took Monster over to swim, and I googled trying to figure out what my options were.

I stayed home Sunday and finished rearranging and cleaning my craft area.  (more to come on this!) I needed to soothe my nerves.

On Monday, we drove the hour north to the nearest Apple Store, and the awesome Genius offered me a one time replacement on my phone for free.  I wanted to hug him!

The car is still sitting there, and the drug bust house is still occupied, now with a new member and a pit bull...oh yay!  Hopefully I don't have another weekend like that anytime soon!

Friday, July 01, 2011


As of today, I am on vacation until Tuesday, July 12th.  I plan on doing a lot of sleeping and cleaning of the pigsty we call a house over the next few days, and then?  I don't know, but it won't be work related, I can tell you that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


That didn't last long, huh?

Anyway.  Here's the thing.  I'm trying to live my life, not just bounce between blog posts.  And I spend way too much time on Facebook and stupid games, and this other site that I feels like a guilty pleasure (no I'm not sharing.) I've cut back on those items, and I'm trying to spend more time being productive.  I don't just mean in the get the house cleaned and bills paid way.  I mean in tickling my kids, going blueberry picking, making jam, etc.  All the things I love to do.  And here's where I struggle.  I want to blog about some of these things.  I want this to be like a diary of sorts of our days.  But I've always sucked at keeping a diary.  And it seems like I spend so much time doing the things that I enjoy, and working, that there just isn't time for the blogging stuff.  I'm okay with that to a certain extent, but something has got to give a little.  Because now I'm slowly losing my time to do fun stuff, and it seems all I'm doing is work, chores, chauffeuring, etc. And it's taking it's toll on my mind and body.

So I'm not going to apologize for being a bad blogger.  I've come to realize that most of the people I enjoy reading don't have jobs outside of their homes.  They are either freelancers or stay at home moms.  And I'm not. I work a full time job with three kids.  The simple fact is that I have to be up at 5:45 every morning to take my kids to school or camp or whatever and get to work on time.  And then I have to leave work and spend the rest of my free time taking care of the things that need taken care of.  This is the season I'm in, and it's probably not going to end for quite a few more years.  I have to come to terms with this, or I have to figure out how to no longer be a worker bee.

This is a work in progress. We shall see.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I'm trying

to be a better blogger.  I want to blog.  I have tons of things I want to share.  And then I can never find the gumption to actually write the words.  But I'm going to try. So for the rest of this week, I've told myself that there is no pressure to write great posts.   So I'm just going to throw some words up here each day.

It is hot here. We normally don't have 100 degree days until July or August.  But yesterday was 95 and today is supposed to be even hotter.  We've had ozone action days for the last week.  My 12 year old's gym teacher decided they should still go outside for gym.  He's lucky she didn't end up in an asthma attack...argh.

I'm so ready for school to be over.  4 more days, and three of those are half days.  I'm tired of homework.  The 12 year old was up until almost 11 finishing an assignment tonight.

I made potato skins tonight.  My kids were amazed!  Silly kids.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Things I've been enjoying...

Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson stations on Pandora.

Getting a long awaited sewing project underway, and hopefully done soon.

Camping with my family.

Hiking up a mountain, including a rock scramble.

Seeing my oldest graduate from high school in the top 5% of her class, and anticipating her new future.

Seeing my oldest enjoying her friends at her graduation party, and seeing how effortlessly they include the younger kids in their group.

Seeing activities starting to come to an end, so that we have some nights at home again.

Watching my middle child as she is inducted into NJHS.  She is such a smart one...and so loved by everyone.

Watching my baby excel in reading and being a friend and baseball.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The weekly roundup

I may start trying to do this.  I find a lot of well written thoughts on the various blogs, and usually want to just add a little blurb, so I'll share here.

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry wrote the most beautiful words about grace and gratitude the other day:

I begin to question myself. Is it something I did? Have I become less of a person? Is my heart not as grateful as it used to be? I hope not but it’s possible. So, I’m watching myself, I’m trying to be careful. I want to live with grace and gratitude, I don’t want to be bitter and wear ugliness on my sleeve and I try to be aware of this at all times but maybe I’ve let it slip past me.

Seriously, go read the whole post.  Then read the rest of her site. She is such a sweet woman, and I love getting a little taste of my (sort of) home state that I miss so much.

Mir at Woulda Coulda Shoulda always makes me laugh and cry, usually in one post.  She also writes at Off Our Chests, and I loved this post.  I struggle with my body image, and I've been trying so hard to change my habits.  Having girl children has helped, as I never want them to feel about their bodies like I have about mine, so I bite my tongue so much about my body when they are around.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Random thoughts

I suck right now.  I can't keep anything together.  Part of me realizes I'm like this every spring, but it does seem to get worse every year.  Work is a crazy mess, our schedule is a crazy mess, I'm not doing any of the things I want to do (because I like to sleep...the 6 or so hours I'm eeking out these days isn't enough, so I definitely can't decrease that number any.)

I started blogging to share, and to record.  And I'm sucking hugely at that.  So, I'm going to start throwing some little random thoughts up.  I'm trying to slowly clean up some of the parts of these here space as well.

Last night Monster had his third baseball game.  Can I just tell you that 7-8 year old boys are the sweetest age for baseball.  (Girls are probably cute at that age with baseball as well, but we don't have any on our team.)  They are really starting to understand the fundamentals of the game, but they are still so excited when something works right, and aren't afraid to show their enthusiasm.  Of course it helps that we have an awesome team with a great coach.  Really, I've been very impressed with our coach this year. He has worked hard on teaching the fundamentals to these kids, making sure that they do things the correct way without sounding like he is harping.  And you see that when you watch them play another team.  Our boys know what they are supposed to be doing.  They aren't perfect, and they still miss a lot, but the basic principles are there. And of course, they are just so sweet looking in their uniforms.

PB (I need new nicknames...hmm, have to work on that) is doing so great.  She was selected to participate in Mandarin Chinese classes through the school next year.  She is so excited, and so am I.  She's going to end up being so smart it's expensive :)

Bug is graduating in a little over a month.  She was accepted into several schools, but will probably be going to the in state school and living at home.  She has a sweet set up and knows  Seriously, besides saving us some cash, it gives us a chance to help her mature some more.  She has the academics down, but some of those life skills need a little work.

Wow, that sounds like a Christmas

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring last?

Today was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, I went for a walk, I had windows open, it was gorgeous.  Unfortunately, we only have these every 7 or 8 days for the last several weeks.  I need real spring to get here now!

The trees are blooming though.  We've spent time at the park, and working in the yard, and gone for some walks.  Now to get the back porch cleaned off so we can hang out there, eating dinner or enjoying a fire.

What's your favorite part of spring?

Monday, February 28, 2011

dealing with death

Growing up, I was doted on by all four of my grandparents.  On my dad's side of the family, I was the baby, born of the baby.  I spent a month every summer with my grandparents, visited them several times a year, and was the apple of their eye.  I practically lived with my mom's parents until I was 9, when my grandfather died.  My grandmother was a homemaker, and watched me while my mom worked.  Since my mom was a single mom and my dad wasn't very good about sending the meager child support he was supposed to pay, sometimes that would be my mom working 2 or 3 jobs at a time.  The majority of the time that I wasn't in school, I was at my grandparent's house.  And on weekends we were together, camping, going to boat or camper shows, etc.  I adored my grandfather, and I loved my grandmother.

Once my grandfather died, we moved back to my parent's home state, and over the next several year my dad's parents passed.  I was sad, I loved them so much, but I was young and resilient.

In early January, my grandmother went into the hospital with a collapsed lung.  After three weeks, a minor heart attack, a bit of time on the ventilator, and a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis, she was released to my mother's house with hospice on a Saturday.  On Wednesday evening she passed away.

Her passing was bittersweet.  She was 86 years old, and had lived a full life.  She wasn't in much pain, and she wasn't suffering for a long time....but it's always sad when people pass.

It's amazing the work that goes into burying the dead.  Three weeks and lots of work later, it seems to mostly be resolved, but wow has it been a lot.  

In a few months, my mother and I will be sitting down to discuss her wishes.  My grandmother refused to do this, and I really feel that it made it harder for my mom.

RIP Grandma.  I do love you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Life is hectic

I've been enjoying a much needed visit with my Best Friend in the whole world.  Work is going crazy, my husbands job is driving him nuts, the weather sucks majorly, but life sure does look better after a few days with here here :)

Now if I could figure out a way to get her closer more often...