Thursday, December 29, 2011

Well hello there!

I seem to have forgotten that I have a blog.

Actually, my hiatus from blogging wasn't planned but it was nice. Our family of five has been enjoying a lot of family time and it's been wonderful. Because I try to keep a chronological record of things here on my blog, I'm going to fill you in on some of what we've been up to.

We enjoyed a visit with John's parents the week before Christmas. One night we opened gifts with them and one afternoon we drove up to Denver to see White Christmas, which by the way, was superb! They also helped us get our Christmas cards and letter stuffed, sealed, and stamped in record time and they kept the kids while we went to a Christmas party. It was a short visit but it was a really nice one.

The kids got out of school SO late this year. Their last day was December 21st. Abbey's winter break began a couple of days early because of fever and a stomach bug. Yuck. I felt so sorry for her having to miss her Christmas party at school. She seems to have a knack for missing school parties, but thankfully she didn't share that bug with the rest of us!

We got a really big snow last week. I never heard the final snow totals but it was at least a foot (on top of the 3-4 inches that fell earlier in the week). I love snow in December but it definitely gets in the way of my morning walk with friends! We keep plowing through it anyway...and it's always worth it.
On Christmas Eve Eve (I love saying that) we drove up to the 16th Street Mall in Denver. We'd hoped to take John's parents when they were here but we ran out of time. We walked around and looked at the lights, shopped a little, and enjoyed a delicious dinner. It was a nice family day!

Our Christmas Eve was very low key. The kids played outside in the snow, we cleaned and cooked, watched holiday movies, and stayed in our pjs until church that evening. Abbey kept saying all day that it just didn't feel like Christmas Eve. John and I agreed that it really sort of didn't and we just figured it was because school got out so late this year and no one really had time to relax and let the anticipation build. Abbey leaned over to John in the middle of Christmas Eve worship and said, "Now it feels like Christmas, Dad." I'd be lying if I told you that our eyes stayed dry.

Christmas day was perfect! The kids got up SUPER EARLY to open gifts and I must say that Santa was VERY good to all of us this year. We made the choice to stay home this year--and it was the right choice--but it was sad for us not to be with our families. On Christmas afternoon, we played around with a pocket camcorder and made this video for our family in Arkansas. The people who live in my house may disown me for embarrassing them sharing it with you but I'm going to anyway because I think it's fun...and yet slightly embarrassing. If you watch "The Middle" on television then you'll get the ending...if not, then you need to watch that show because it is seriously funny!

John has been on vacation this week and we've been out and about almost every day since Christmas doing something fun--the movies, the mall, and a DATE!
I'm so thankful that after twenty-one years of marriage, we still love spending time together. The kids and I have another week of him at home with us and we couldn't be happier! School  doesn't start back until JANUARY 10. You know I'm loving that, right? I really truly am!

John asked each of us at dinner the other night to think of one word that would describe 2011. I've been thinking about my word and I hope to be back to share it with you all soon. He also came up with a fun family slogan for 2012 and I'll probably share that too!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things I learned over the weekend...

1. Your keyless remote will NOT work if you're pointing it at the wrong car. Yep. A true senior moment. Go ahead, laugh. I did too.

2. I don't need to watch the entire Broncos game. I can tune in for the fourth quarter and catch all the excitement. Side note: I haven't really been much of a Tebow fan...until now. I'm a believer!

3. Lunar eclipses are worth getting up for. In the past I've just kinda been "eh" when I've heard one was happening. I got up early to walk with my neighbors on Saturday and to our surprise and delight we got to see the eclipse from start to finish while we were walking. It was AMAZING! Did you see it?

4. If you accidentally rip an entire toenail off it will hurt. It will hurt a LOT.

5. These enchiladas are fantastic. I usually prefer to eat enchiladas at a mexican joint because I can't ever get the taste quite right at home. Not anymore. This recipe is a game changer.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Currents. Not to be confused with Holiday Currants!

My December currents...

Current Books: How pathetic is it that I haven't read a book in ages!?! Even if I had time to sit and read, I don't think I have the attention span to finish a book. L-A-M-E.

Current Playlist: Anything Christmas! I'm especially loving Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Point of Grace, Jim Brickman, and Glee Christmas!

Current Color: Black, red, gray, and lime green. Though not necessarily together!

Current Drink: Same 'ole, same 'ole--Good Earth tea, water, and occasionally Zevia soda.

Current Food: I really, really love red meat and seem to crave it all the time. And this time of year those clementine "Cuties" are soooooo yummy.

Current Favorite Favorite: THIS CANDLE from Bath and Body Works. It makes my house smell so good and Christmasy!

Current Wishlist: Yaktrax and Cotton Bowl tickets. Santa has been informed.

Current Needs: More hours in my days! And someone to do my laundry.

Current Triumph: Well, I've got several. 1. I survived an insane week. 2. John and I got our basement cleaned and organized last weekend! 3. I found a unique gift for my very-hard-to-buy-for husband and have successfully hidden it from him. 4. I've blogged more in one week than I have in a very long time. TRIUMPH!

Current Bane of my Existence: The snow plows that bank snow in front of our driveway AFTER we have cleared it all away make me want to say really bad words. Huge piles of heavy, wet, snow got pushed up against the curb two days ago and now we have this frozen hump of snow that we have to drive over when we pull into our driveway. It's gonna be there awhile because it's so packed that it won't be melting anytime soon. Such a pain. Grrrrrr.

Current Indulgence: Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses! I love those things.

Current Mood: Most of the time I think I'm pretty merry and jolly--just like the season. But every once in awhile Grinchy Mer pops in for a visit

Current #1 Blessing: It's hard to list only one so here are a few: a warm house, vehicles that start faithfully every morning, children that love each other, a fulfilling marriage, and good health!

Current Outfit: Well, my favorite part of any outfit these days is a scarf because it instantly adds color and interest to an otherwise plain outfit. My favorite place to buy scarves is Forever 21 because they're cute and they're cheap! I bought this one the other day and I'm loving it.

Current Excitement: John got tickets to the stage production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas in Denver next weekend. SOOOOOOOO stinkin' excited! His parents will be here and they're going with us. YAY!

Current Link: I posted a bunch of links yesterday but came across this one last night for some great teacher gift ideas, and these peppermint cookies look pretty yummy too! 

Happy weekend, y'all! 

Friday, December 09, 2011


Got a few links to share with you guys today. Links to things that inspire me or are too good not to share!

My real-life friend, Angie, made these ADORABLE and (very inexpensive!) leg warmers to wear with boots. Sarah and I want to try making some this weekend! If you only click on one link in this post make it THIS one!

We also hope to make some of these rice-heat bags. I bought one a few weeks ago and I use it daily because it's been so stinkin' cold here! The one I have is wonderful.

This feta dip is sooooo good and sooooo easy. Make it! Seriously! I made a small bowl of it for lunch yesterday. I ate it with some leftover pita chips we had because I didn't that kind of bread on hand. Pita chips aren't gluten-free but I've found I can tolerate small amounts of wheat once or twice a week. It's just the everyday consumption that really affects me.

Another friend directed me to this blog last week and I LOVE it. She has some really great gluten-free recipes and I made these steak tacos with cilantro lime rice one night this week and they were delicious! My family gave them two thumbs up.

These chewy gingerbread bars are not gluten-free but they look wonderful! Maybe I'll find some time to bake soon because these are definitely on my list!

Raise your hand if you're glad it's FRIDAY!!!! Yep, me too! Have a great weekend, people!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

thirteen minutes...

I have thirteen minutes before I have to leave for my afternoon carpool round so I thought I'd sit here and spill the random contents of my brain.

1. This is so superficial. I got my hair cut and colored yesterday. The last time I had my hair highlighted, my stylist went really light. I liked it but I didn't like my dark roots when my hair started growing out. I told her yesterday that I didn't want to go that light again so she suggested I go a little more natural. I thought that sounded like a good idea but wowza, I didn't realize how dark my natural color was. It's dark, y'all. I'm not sure I like it. At least I don't have to worry about dark roots when my hair grows. I don't go very often for color so I'm guessing maybe around Easter I can lighten it up again. I'll probably be counting the days...

2. John took the day off yesterday and we went to Denver to do some Christmas shopping. I did a little bit prior to yesterday (on Black Friday) but we bought everything on yesterday's list and only have a few more things left to buy before Christmas. YAY!!! It was a fun day!

3. The "check engine" light came on in my van at the end of last week. We took it to our wonderful mechanic yesterday before we left for Denver and we stopped back by there on our way into town to pick it up. Something was clogging the air filter and guess what? They didn't charge me a dime to clean it! I heart our mechanic. Especially when he saves me money in December!

4. I'm excited about our Advent service at church tonight. Our entire church staff is at a conference in California and so they asked John to teach tonight. I can't wait. He's my favorite speaker EVER. I'm also excited that I don't have to cook tonight because we have a soup supper before the service. I signed up to bring two pies but between our trip to Denver yesterday and volunteering all morning at the elementary school I ran out of time to bake. Thank goodness for the Village Inn. I picked up a cherry and a chocolate pie to bring tonight. They'll probably be better than any pie I could have made from scratch! time is up. Minnie-the-van is calling. Happy Wednesday, peeps.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tell About It Tuesday: 3 Things

It's been awhile since I've done a Tell About It Tuesday post so today you're getting three in one. My blog readers are sooooo lucky.

1. New-Skin Liquid Bandage. Y'all. This stuff is amazing! It's exactly what it says--a liquid bandage. Over Thanksgiving break I got a small cut on my index finger that would not heal. Between cooking all week and the constant washing of hands (I'm an admitted germaphobe and wash my hands obsessively) and the need to do normal things that require the use of your index finger (like buttoning jeans) my cut kept splitting open. And it was painful. I remembered that I'd bought this liquid bandage for John when his knuckles kept splitting open from our cold, dry air and would not/could not heal either and so I tried it. You simply brush it on with the applicator and let it dry. It burned like crazy for a few minutes because it has an antiseptic in it, but then the New-Skin dried and formed a waterproof seal for my cut. You can reapply if you need to, but one application did the trick and lasted for four to five days--long enough for my cut to completely heal despite the all the cooking and hand-washing and jean-buttoning. I LOVE this stuff. It retails for around $4. Two other things to note. One, it stinks. It works great, but it smells bad. Two, it comes in a glass bottle which isn't shatterproof when dropped on a tile bathroom floor. Not that I'd know anything about that. 

2. Emergen-C. I swear by this stuff. Last week I started coming down with a cold. Stuffy head, headache, congestion, runny nose and one night I even felt achy all over. I immediately started chugging Emergen-C. And you know what? I kicked that cold to the curb! It didn't happen instantly (or even overnight) but by drinking Emergen-C a few times a day my symptoms never worsened and were completely gone within three days, which is great because who has time to be sick during the holidays?

Basically, it's a packet of flavored powder that you dissolve in water that turns into a fizzy, vitamin-packed drink. Each packet has 1000mg of Vitamin C (plus other vitamins and minerals) and I've found that the B vitamins give me a little burst of energy (bonus)! You can buy it at Walmart, most drugstores, and health food stores. My health food store sells individual packets which is nice if you're trying to find a flavor you like, but it's much cheaper to buy a box. It'd be terrible though to be stuck with a box in a flavor you can't tolerate. Personally, I like the Tropical flavor best, though the Orange and Tangerine aren't too bad. The packets are usually around .50 each and the box retails for around $8. When I feel myself starting to get sick, I usually mix and drink three packets a day--morning, noon, and evening.

3. Microfiber cleaning cloths. I'm a clean freak. I wish I could deny it but I can't. My friend, Molly, told me about these cloths last summer and I am crazy addicted to them. They are amazing. I use them for so many things--cleaning my computer screen and electronics, cleaning stainless steel, polishing faucet fixtures, windows, countertops, and any dusting any surface imaginable. They pick up dust and trap it so you're not spreading it all around and the fibers leave glass and stainless steel shiny and perfectly streak free. Seriously. STREAK-FREE! They're super absorbent too which makes them perfect for cleaning up spills. I bought several of the ones I linked to above (because they were cheap!) but they're so big that I ended up cutting each large square into four smaller ones making them the perfect size for dusting or cleaning. Note: If you cut your microfiber down to a smaller size, you'll need to "seal" the edges so they won't fray. I just ran a lighted match around the edges to kinda melt/seal the edges and have had zero problems
Yes, I really just blogged about liquid bandages, vitamin drinks, and CLEANING cloths. I'm a dork. A liquid-bandaged, cold-free, and cleaning obsessed DORK.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A snow day and a mystery solved!

If I had to choose a word to describe December (so far) it would be SNOWY! We're only five days into this merry month but we've had snow almost every one of those five days. Since December began, the kids haven't had a full day of school thanks to weather delays or closures and today is ANOTHER snow day--let the celebrating begin! I'm actually glad that it worked out this way. Sarah was at a Wyldlife Winter Camp all weekend and came home very tired and Will isn't feeling super great. They could both use a down day and I was thinking yesterday how nice a three day weekend would be!

Yesterday, Abbey helped solve a perplexing mystery. I picked her up from a birthday party yesterday afternoon and as we were getting in the car, she said, "Mom, I kept feeling some kind of metal thing in my snow boots and when I pulled it out it was an iPhone." HUH? An iPhone? In your snow boots? Hooray! I knew immediately that it belonged to my niece. When we were leaving Winter Park last New Years, Mikenzie could not find her iPhone. All eleven of us searched every inch of our condo, our cars, our luggage, etc and could NOT find that phone. I guess I never thought to look in Abbey's boots, though I did look in every other nook and cranny for most of January. Abbey was so proud of herself for solving the mystery some forty-eight weeks later. Thankfully the iPhone still works despite Abbey walking all over Walmart and ArtSports with it in her boot because she thought having something metal inside snow boots was perfectly normal. Sorry about that Mikenzie! Case closed.

Friday, December 02, 2011


I flipped my calendar to December yesterday--a happy thing for me. I'm determined to have a stellar attitude about this wonderful, fun, activity-filled month! The kids get out of school for Christmas much later than they ever have and so our weekends are packed with activity, and if you've read this blog for any length of time you probably know how I feel about weekends that leave no room for rest. I'm going to stay positive though...I think I can I think I can I think I can. Smile.

I've got some scattered thoughts in my head this morning. Lucky you.

I think I have a sensitivity to gluten. I eliminated a whole bunch of things from my diet back in May, including gluten. I've added everything back at this point with no problem except for gluten. It just makes me feel YUCK! Things flared up for me over Thanksgiving break so I eliminated it again and felt 100% better until yesterday when I ate something with regular flour in it. I guess I'm going to join the ranks of gluten-free friends. Will you please leave me a comment if you're gluten-free? I'd like to have some people to dialogue with and share recipes!

You know yesterday when I mentioned that we had to have our heater repaired this week? Yeah. We found a leaky pipe in our basement yesterday afternoon and had to have that repaired as well. It's been a costly week for home repairs. Sigh. Seems like something big either breaks or needs to be replaced at our house every year in December. Last year it was our refrigerator. Again though, I'm thankful we had the money to take care of things, thankful things are working now, and thankful things weren't worse!

The only reason I have time to blog this morning is because our schools are on a two-hour delay. We had snow and icy roads yesterday and things are still slick this morning. My kids are still sleeping--hallelujah!!! They are so wiped by the time Friday rolls around. This extra sleeping time is a gift for them. (And it would have been for me too if the text message relaying the delay hadn't woken me up at 4:24AM! Drat!)

Oh oh oh! Remember that earring I thought I lost at Kohl's last month? I was sitting in the pick up line at school one day this week and decided it was time to clean all the trash out of my van. I reached down in the door pocket to grab some trash and something caught my eye. I might have squealed when I realized it was my earring! I'm sure the lady in customer service at Kohl's will be relieved to know I found it. I've checked the lost and found there um, several times lately. It's always the same employee and she always looks at me with a sad and slightly annoyed face and says, "Sorry, no earring has been turned in." 

I thought of several other things earlier that I wanted to mention but now I'm drawing a blank. I should probably get up and get moving though. Two-hour delays are great but that means fewer hours in my day to get all my Friday things finished up! Happy weekend, peeps!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Twenty-Eight. Twenty-Nine. Thirty!

I guess technically I should have finished this series yesterday.

#28 I am thankful for a heater that works. We woke up Monday to no heat in the house. Honestly, it wasn't that cold outside so it wasn't too big of a deal. The repairman came and replaced a part...a teeny-tiny part that cost a small fortune...and voila! we had heat again. I'm thankful we had money for the repair in our checking account, thankful for jobs that keep money in our checking account, and I'm SUPER thankful we have heat today because it's snowy and frrrrreeeeeeeezing cold outside. 

#29 I am thankful for small things that bring BIG joy! A sweet text message from a friend, a friend bringing me my favorite candy (Bit-O-Honey--thank you, T!), a phone call from a friend I haven't talked to in awhile, a FOUND earring, a "thanks, mom" from one of my kiddos.

#30 I am thankful for our church's soup suppers and Advent services. We went to our first Advent service at church last night and it was beautiful. There's something about sitting in a quiet, candle-lit sanctuary that really stirs me. The music we sing and and the scriptures we read are very centering and I love the opportunity to quiet my heart and mind and REALLY focus on what's important this season. It's sooooo good. And I'm sooooo thankful for that time.

Gratitude is something I believe we can (and should) express every single day of our lives!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Twenty-Two. Twenty-Three. Twenty-Four. Twenty-Five. Twenty-Six. Twenty-Seven.

I am doing a poor job of blogging lately. Sorry!!! I keep finding things I'd rather be doing but I still have so many things I want to give thanks for!

#22 I am thankful for family! I am so blessed to be a part of a big family and I am so blessed to be a part of John's family too! It was a little sad not to spend Thanksgiving in Arkansas and we definitely missed seeing all of those that we love, but we were deeply thankful for a week of rest and relaxation at home.

#23 I am thankful for perspective. A friend told me last week that her cancer is back--her brain cancer. Understandably she's not doing so well. Another friend is watching her marriage crumble before her very eyes and struggling to understand how this could be happening to her. It's sad and gut-wrenching and I feel so helpless. All the things in my life that seem difficult don't even register on the scale compared to these two. Perspective makes gratitude easier. Much easier.

#24 I am thankful that my sister taught me how to make homemade cranberry sauce last year. Oh my word. It's delicious and easy-peasy and was a great addition to our turkey dinner on Thursday. I was also grateful that I could share a delicious meal with my family (and some yummy desserts with friends) and grateful for a pre-meal hike with my husband!

#25 I am thankful for my wonderful neighbors! I've told y'all before (many, many times) how much we love our neighborhood and it's all because of the people we call neighbors. They're the kind of folks who will watch your dog when you're out of town or will let you borrow a cup of sugar when you're in the middle of baking cookies or will shovel your driveway for you when your husband is out of town or will take you Black Friday shopping and make it so much fun that you forget how tired you are! They've become dear friends to us in the time we have lived here and I'm quite certain that they will all be our friends for LIFE! We are so blessed by them.

#26 I am thankful for a fun day with my family. Yesterday we trekked up to Denver for some shopping at our favorite mall. We didn't end up buying a single thing (except lunch!) but it was fun and I think John and I have a very good idea of what our kids need/want for Christmas. We came home for a couple of hours and I managed to squeeze in a most wonderful nap before we headed down to meet some friends at the Broadmoor hotel for their Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It was GORGEOUS but it was so so so so so so cold! I loved the heat lamps scattered all around the grounds! I really should have taken pictures of the gingerbread houses made by the hotel chefs and of the ice sculptures. I think our family has a new tradition!

#27 I am thankful for my church family! 
I was sitting in church this morning and started looking at all the people around me and I really just felt grateful for the way that the lives of those people overlap with ours and grateful for a shared faith in Christ. Today was the first Sunday of Advent and I'm grateful for this season that quiets our hearts and minds and helps us focus on the meaning of this holiday season.

Happy Sunday, y'all. And GO BRONCOS!

Monday, November 21, 2011


#21 I am thankful for my (faux) wood floors!
Honestly, we waited sooooooooo long to replace the ugly vinyl  and carpet throughout our house but this summer that flooring came up and new flooring was laid and I am grateful for it every single day. It looks clean even when it's filthy (a huge improvement over the white vinyl and light carpet!) and it's super easy to clean. As I was cleaning those floors today I knew exactly what I wanted to blog about being thankful for!

I'm also thankful for clean sheets! Climbing into a freshly made bed at the end of the day is one of my favorite things ever. AND...clean sheets are even better when they're washed, dried, and put back on the bed by my sweet husband!

Did you hear that? My bed is calling. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sixteen. Seventeen. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty.

Continuing my Thirty Thankful days...

#16 I am thankful for our mechanic. John's car has been doing weird things since May. Something has been causing the battery to drain overnight but neither our local mechanic or the dealership could figure out what it was. John thought he had figured it out a couple of months ago, but with our first big snow it started acting up again and he began having to jump his car every single morning. What a pain! Last week he took his car to the shop to have new tires put on. The mechanic called the next morning and said he found the electrical problem and it was less than $100 to fix! His car has started perfectly since then. It was such a random thing that the mechanic even found it but we are very grateful!

#17 I am thankful for my girls!
I love these two so much. They are sweet and funny and smart (they both have straight A's right now!) and creative and big-hearted and just a joy to be around! I love that they love and enjoy each other. It is such a gift to have a sister and I don't think that is lost on them. Last night, they gave each other facials and Sarah rolled their hair before bed using a sock and instructions from a video she saw on YouTube. It turned out cute...and curly...this morning but their smiles and giggles last night were music to this mama's ears. I am thankful for the privilege of being their mom!

#18 I'm thankful for my bifocals. You might remember I had to get bifocals after my visit to the eye doctor this summer. I don't love wearing glasses but I love that I can actually SEE when I do. I've been relying on them more and more--to read, to drive, to watch television or movies. They help tremendously and I'm thankful for them!

#19 This is kinda superficial but I am thankful for my new boots. Last month John gifted me with a pair that I'd been wanting and I really really love them. They're super casual but they're very comfy and VERY warm! My feet are happy these days.

#20 I am thankful for my couch and our big comfy sofa pillow. Those two things together make for the perfect Sunday afternoon nap! It was wonderful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Catching up...

I feel like I'm playing catch up in all areas of life right now...including THE BLOG! But, it's easy to catch up when you have things to be thankful for.

#12 Last Friday I made my big grocery run to two grocery stores plus Costco. Therefore I am thankful for a full fridge and pantry. I really don't know if I can convey how grateful I am when I open the pantry or refrigerator door and see full shelves. Some of the twenty-one years of our marriage have been leaner than others and I know how to pinch a penny pretty hard. I pray that I will never take the blessing of provision for granted.

#13 I am thankful for dear friends. Our weekend was very friend-centric. Some highlights include a very fun 50th birthday party for a fun friend and getting to see some other dear friends who recently had a baby. We got to meet their sweet baby and spend a little bit of time catching up over Pinkberry! We also had a delicious dinner with friends on Sunday evening and I even managed to squeeze another friend's holiday party in there too. Friends make life so much sweeter, don't ya think? We feel so blessed to call some of the most amazing people on the planet our friends!

#14 I am thankful for a slower-paced week! Yesterday was really nice. I spent some time at home yesterday morning restoring order after a full weekend. I spent some time working. And then I went to Target just for fun. Can't tell you the last time I went somewhere "just because". It was very, very nice! I have some things scheduled for the rest of the week but honestly, I'm finally feeling like I'm not going full speed 24/7 and it's a beautiful feeling!

#15 I am thankful for my mom. I talked to her for a long time yesterday and it turns out that we're both facing some similar stuff--some similar hard stuff. I think we both sort of helped each other process some of it. It was good and I'm thankful for her! And hate we live so far away from each other.

Alright. My blog time is up. Hope you're all having a good week! Peace out, peeps.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five on Friday

I'm copying my friend, Susan (aka CarpoolQueen), and her Five on Friday idea. I'll resume the thankfulness tomorrow...

1. I am sooooooooo glad it's Friday. Our weekend is going to be full of good things and good friends and I'm excited about it! Let the goodness begin!

2. Abbey and I ran to Kohl's last night to return some things. I guess while I was there I lost one of my favorite earrings. I'm so sad about it. I'm going to call them later and see if they possibly found it. Don't you hate it when you lose things you love!?! My earring might be lost, but I found some adorable Christmas pjs for my nephew while there last night. Gotta get them packaged up and mailed to my sister today!

3. We're not traveling for Thanksgiving. I'm sad to not be with our family but I know it was the best decision for us. John recently finished some big book projects and he's mentally, physically, and creatively drained. He wanted us to have the holiday break to spend time resting and recharging as a family (and let's face it, driving 2000 miles isn't really all that restful). So we're staying put. I'm cooking a big turkey dinner and we've invited some friends to join us. I'm looking forward to a week of family togetherness, and football, and possibly a trip to the mountains. And NO homework. Man, am I ready for a week of that!

4. This time change has really messed up my sleeping pattern. I usually wake up around 5-5:30 but since the time changed it's been more like 4-4:30. NOT COOL! Not cool at all. The good news is that I get a lot done in the mornings. The bad news is that I'm toast by 7:30pm. It's pathetic.

5. Today, I'm thankful for a lunch date with my favorite person in the whole wide world (#11)! I'm meeting John after I finish some stuff for work. We had to reschedule from earlier in the week and so I've been anticipating this all week. Yay, yay, yay!

Happy Friday, peeps! Hope your weekend is fallish and fun and full of things you love!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


#10: I'm thankful for these teenage girls. 

Sarah brought some friends over after school today. They're staying for dinner and I'm taking them to Wyldlife tonight. I love listening to them laugh and talk. They're sweet girls and they've been Sarah's friends for a while now. I love that they're comfortable at our house (like comfortable enough to open the pantry and grab a handful of chocolate chips)(or get a drink from the fridge) and that they talk to me! I enjoy having them around so much and I'm grateful for their presence in the life of our family!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

#7, #8, #9

Blogging every day is not easy, y'all--which is why I find myself playing catch up with these Thankful Days posts.

#7 (Monday): I was thankful for an extra day of weekend!
The kids were out of school Monday. {Big happy sigh}Will spent Friday-Sunday at a Young Life Winter Camp so it was nice for him to have a catch-up day at home. We did homework, cleaned rooms, shopped, got haircuts, and just enjoyed the day together. I love three-day weekends! I wish we had three days of weekend all the time!

#8 (yesterday): I'm thankful for my son.
Will is a great kid. We've been pretty hard on him lately about grades and responsibility. He's still adjusting to the workload and expectations of high school and we're trying to help him him navigate some of this stuff. I'll be honest and tell you it's been pretty hard. Yesterday, however, I think we made a small breakthrough and it was so encouraging. For all of us.

I loved listening to him late Sunday afternoon telling us all about his weekend at camp. After he finished telling us his stories (a mix of hilarious and spiritual), he said "Thanks for letting me go, Mom and Dad." That was priceless.

Will is smart, funny, courageous, compassionate, and a great brother to his little sisters. I love that kid so much and am grateful I get to be his mom. 

#9: I'm thankful for my kids' teachers and for my Bible study group at church!
Today I'm helping with a teacher appreciation luncheon at the elementary school. I love that school and I L-O-V-E the teachers there. They've invested so much in my childrens' lives and I'm grateful.

Also grateful for the ladies in my Bible study group at church. I love Bible study days! We're studying The Patriarchs (love Old Testament!) and I'm continually amazed by how relevant these narratives are to my everyday life. 

It's gonna be a great (but very, very full) day. Are you grateful for anything in particular today?

*This post needs some pictures, but I'm out of time! Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

#4, #5, and #6

I'm playing catch up with my Thirty Thankful Days...

#4: I'm thankful for a strong, healthy body, for good friends, and for the amazing beauty of Colorado!
Also thankful for new fleece pj pants! So warm and comfy.

#5: I'm thankful for a lazy day at home with my family. 

#6: I'm thankful for an extra hour of sleep last night. And I'm beyond grateful for daylight on my morning walks thanks to Daylight Saving Time. I've been walking in the pitch dark since September!

We've had a great weekend! Hope you have too!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Feathers and HOME!

Yesterday as I was putting away some Halloween decorations, I was reminded that I need to cut some feathers for our thankful turkey so that my entire family can participate in Thirty Thankful Days. Our tradition has always been to write things we're thankful for on slips of colored cardstock and stapling them together to make a simple chain but last year I came up with the turkey idea and it was a hit! 

#3: I'm thankful for our home.
I'm not always content within these walls but it is home and I'm grateful for it. I am happiest when all five of us are together in this place. Today, I'm particularly grateful for the warmth it provides from a wintry morning! 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Husbands and Snow Days

I was walking with some friends earlier this week and our conversation turned to gratitude. We all agreed that an attitude of thankfulness isn't always first and foremost in our thoughts which is silly because we've all been given SO much. I was inspired by some friends yesterday who are participating in Thirty Thankful Days (on Facebook or on their blogs) and decided before bed that I want to try to do this too. I'm not promising a post every single day in November (that thought instantly overwhelms me) but I will try to post thirty things this month!

Here goes.

#1: I'm thankful for my husband. 
I'm continually blessed by my husband. He's the most generous person I know. He makes me laugh each and every day. He unloads the dishwasher every single morning and fills my van up with gas so I don't have to. He helps me when I get behind on the laundry. He tells me I'm beautiful. He listens to me talk and talk and talk about everything (and nothing) and doesn't sigh or act bored; he gives me his full attention. When he comes home from work, he puts work behind him and is engaged with his family. He's quick to forgive. He works hard to provide for our family. He's a good friend to his friends. He's extremely gifted with words. He's insightful and wise. He rarely complains. He's honest. He listens to our children and he truly "sees" them. He's respected by many. He's handsome and rugged. He makes life fun! He's my favorite person in the world to spend time with and I honestly can't imagine sharing life with anyone else. I am so deeply thankful for him.

#2: I'm thankful for a (snow) day at home with my family.
It's snowing here today. Actually, it's blizzarding! I learned several years ago that a blizzard isn't necessarily massive amounts of snow as much as it is snow + wind. We have CRAZY wind right now which is making a mess of the nominal amount of snow out there. Our district cancelled classes for the day which is a huge gift for this tired mama. Halloween-ing all weekend long is exhausting! I'm extremely thankful for a day at home with my peeps and snow days are my absolute favorite kind of day. John is working from home this morning, our kids are still sleeping, and I'm hoping the rest of today is slow and lazy!

If you want to participate in Thirty Thankful Days, please do! My friend Dawn even has a linky up on her blog so that you can share your daily gratitude. I love that idea!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Rats! Not one single Bit-O-Honey.

I'm not really tempted by Halloween candy. It's probably because I don't like chocolate. HOWEVER, I really do love Bit-O-Honey and Hot Tamales and Sour Patch Kids and ahem, we won't even mention candy corn. My kiddos dutifully dole out those treats from their Halloween haul to their sugar-deprived mother and I gladly receive them. But this year? Not one single Bit-O-Honey. Not one single pack of Hot Tamales. I walked away with one (ONE!) little packet of Sour Patch Kids. What is this world coming to? Ha! It's okay though. I'm still very careful about my sugar intake so I guess I should be thankful.

Here's some pics from our night of trick-or-treating.

Will was a Razorback fan (because in an effort to drive his mother crazy, he changed his mind at the last minute and we had to throw something/anything together) and Sarah was a yellow crayon. I made her costume and it was super easy! I think it turned out cute!

Abbey was a pirate (a really cute one, I might add) and I think her favorite part of the costume were the gold hoop earrings I let her wear.

Will and Sarah trick-or-treated with a posse of friends so I took Abbey around our neighborhood while John (aka Harry Potter) stayed home and passed out candy.

Yesterday was a day of fun and exhaustion. Can't believe today is November 1st, but I'm ready for the craziness of October to be behind me. October rivals December and May in terms of calendar busy-ness and I love how November lets me catch my breath a little before we head into the holidays!

Gotta run. Gotta fend off the kids wanting CANDY for breakfast! Have a great day, peeps.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Photos on Friday

I'm trying to get back in the swing of regular blogging so I'm sharing three photos with you today--three photos related to yesterday morning's hike with a friend.

I mentioned that we got some snow this week. One thing I've learned after living in Colorado is that snow on the ground drops overnight temps drastically. When we started at 9am, this was the actual temp...Brrrrrrrrr!

 I hate being cold. I wore three layers plus my coat and hat and gloves. By the mid-way point, I was burning up even though it had only warmed up to about 20 degrees. Twenty degrees and sun makes for some beautiful Colorado days! And with views like these who wants to stay inside?
I'd forgotten what a mess melting snow on a dirt trail makes. My shoes and pants were covered with mud splatters when I got home.
I wish you could have seen me trying to bend over and take this picture. I was laughing so hard at myself.

Okay. That's all I've got. Hope your Friday is sunny and happy and mud-free!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Currents

Two blog posts in two'd think I just finished up a big project and found some extra time or something. Grin.

Current Books: I haven't been doing much reading lately, but I did love this book

Current Playlist: John brought David Crowder's Christmas album home the other day so I've been listening to it and it's really good. And after the Chris Tomlin concert I went to last week, he's getting a lot of play time too. 

Current Color: dark gray

Current Drink: Good Earth sweet and spicy tea (the caffeine free one) and Zevia caffeine-free cola. And of course WATER.

Current Food: Sweet potatoes. And green chilies. But not sweet potatoes and green chilies together.

Current Favorite Favorite: Gray nail polish. Ooh-la-la. And a cute brown knit hat that my friend, Terri, gave me.

Current Wishlist: A new fleece pullover.

Current Needs: Absolutely nothing!

Current Triumph: I had to buy new dress pants for our banquet the other night because all my others were too big! I bought a pair THREE sizes smaller than the ones hanging in my closet! That felt good. And one more triumph? I finished the girls' Halloween costumes last weekend. Glad to have that checked off of of my list. Pictures soon...

Current Bane of my Existence: Laundry. If it would only stop multiplying. Sigh.

Current Indulgence: Napping!

Current Mood: Happy and relaxed!

Current Blessing: My "snow day" yesterday. Oh, and another blessing? I forgot to tell y'all that the issue with my car last week WAS the battery after all so it was a quick and fairly inexpensive fix.

Current Outfit: Jeans, sweater, clogs, and SmartWool socks (of course)! It's cold here today!

Current Excitement: Well, it's Thursday which means it's almost the weekend! Which means it's almost time for football! 

Current Link: This post has some amazing candy corn ideas. And I sorta want to try this white-chocolate and candy corn popcorn. I don't have a candy corn addiction. I don't have a candy corn addiction. I don't have a candy corn addiction. I'm hoping candy corn disappears from grocery stores soon because it's getting harder and harder to keep passing it by.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I've Done Today

Today was the first day in a very, very long time that I didn't make a to-do list. I don't even have words to describe the wonderfulness of that statement.

Even without a list I managed to get some stuff accomplished.

Here's a little of what I've done today:

Slept late. Six-thirty is BLISS for me!

Ate breakfast.

Went back to bed. Can't even tell you the last time I did that.

Showered and put clean pjs on.

Made lunch.

Ate a few spoonfuls of Snickerdoodle cookie dough. Yup, RAW cookie dough. It was very sugary and it was very good!

Took an afternoon nap.

Watched some television.

Helped Will study for a Spanish test.

And I think that's pretty much it.

It was an amazingly stress-free day and you have no idea how much I've needed it.

I've been going pretty much non-stop for the last four to five weeks. Last night we had the annual fundraising banquet for our area Young Life chapter and I had a key role in organizing the event. The banquet was a great success and we met our financial goal but I was completely wiped out.

The weathermen were predicting "significant snowfall" for today so I was REALLY counting on today being a snow day. There was great disappointment when I woke up this morning to maybe an inch or two of snow on the grass but not a stitch on the roads. Our district ended up calling a two-hour delay but I made an executive decision and let the students in my house have a snow day! Snow has continued to fall all day long so the kids and I have had a pretty cozy day. To be honest, we all needed it.

Sarah made cookies (AND cleaned up the kitchen!) in between episodes of her favorite show, What Not To Wear. Abbey has been playing, reading, and snuggling up next to me. Will has been studying (he has three tests tomorrow) in between playing video games. And me? I think you gathered from my list that I've been LAZY and HAPPY.

Life will return to normal tomorrow, but thankfully the insane busy-ness is behind me for a good while. I kinda like not making a to-do list...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Just popping in for a few minutes with some random news from mi casa.

We had a great long weekend! I definitely felt rested by the time Monday rolled around. I think we all did!

I went to all the kids' parent-teacher conferences last week. I know a lot of parents dread them but I actually enjoy those conferences. I always leave with a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for my kids and their unique strengths and gratitude for the teachers who pour into them daily.

Will had a great time at his Homecoming dance. His friend's parents hosted the entire cross-country team for dinner before the dance and it was so nice. They invited parents to drop the kids off but stay as long as they liked to take pictures. Then they shuttled kids to the dance. I loved that set up. Here's a pic of Will with his "date". You can see their feet but he had on his Vans and she had on a cute pair of sparkly Toms. They're all about comfort! 

Yesterday morning I was driving carpool and it was cold and drizzly. The kids piped up from the back seat and asked if I had any Christmas music in the car. I found a lone Christmas cd (Jim Brickman) but that wasn't really doing it for them so Abbey found some Glee Christmas on my iPhone. I dropped them off and listened to Christmas music all the way to Denver. It made me happy!

I had to be in Denver yesterday for a training meeting for my J-O-B. I hinted at that in an earlier post but it's official now. I'm going to be the administrative assistant for our area Young Life director. It's part-time but it's a perfect job for me and a way to get my feet wet after many years of not working. I think it's going to be a good fit!

In other news van is dead. I got back from Denver with about 25 minutes to spare before picking Sarah up from school. I pulled in the school parking lot to wait and catch up on email and phone calls. When Sarah got in the van it wouldn't start! My sweet friend took us home until John could break  away from work to help me jump the van. Turns out we couldn't jump it so I don't think it's the battery. We had it towed to the auto repair place and should find out what's going on soon. I AM SO THANKFUL that none of this happened while I was in Denver yesterday morning! SO SO SO SO THANKFUL!

Things I'm looking forward to this week? A beautiful hike with friends, crisp fall days, a Chris Tomlin concert, getting some big things knocked off of my to-do list, and a couple of mornings at home! Those little things make me crazy happy!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


hello, friends (and family)(and the rest of you who lurk around here).

life is (crazy) busy these days. busyness isn't something i choose but rather seems to come with the territory of having growing children! i'll survive. i don't love it, but i love that our weekends are very low-key and unstructured. i love weekends more than ever right now.

speaking of weekends...

will and i went to arkansas last weekend for a mini family reunion and the arkansas-auburn game. we had a BLAST! we saw my brother and sister and lots and lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. we also saw a fantastic football game. i love razorback football!!!

know what happened while we were gone? it snowed at our house in colorado. it was the first snow of the season and we missed it. can't say that i was sad. we had absolutely gorgeous football weather in arkansas.

we were in st. louis part of the time. in fact, we flew in and out of there and drove down to fayetteville. i think st. louis is a fun city! we ate some really great pizza at pi (evidently our president loves pi too) and i finally got to go in charming charlie. such a neat store and really great prices! there are a couple in denver but they are not really in the neck of the woods that we frequent.

this is a short week of school for my kiddos. the girls are out tomorrow and everyone is out on friday. can you say LONG weekend? i am beyond thrilled about that.

let's see...what else is going on???

well, i'm cooking dinner for church tonight. i love being able to eat dinner at church but we've had such crazy evening schedules that it hasn't worked until tonight. we're having chili tonight which is appropriate for our cool fall weather.

will has a date for homecoming this weekend at his school. he asked her a few weeks ago. he was so non-chalant about it. i was running to the store for something and he asked if i'd buy him a rose so he could give it to the girl he was planning to ask. she said yes and evidently carried the rose around all day long. anyway, the dance is this weekend (as is the game) and he and his date are going with their whole cross-country team. fun! i'll take pics, don't you worry.

it's almost time to start my afternoon kid-pick-up round(s) so i suppose i should sign off.

happy wednesday, peeps.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Two great loves...

I love lots of things but two of my great loves are FALL and HIKING.

I hiked yesterday with two friends (that I also love!) and was stunned by the beauty of that hike, particularly the aspen grove near the summit of Eagle Peak. It was simply gorgeous. So gorgeous that I want to share a couple of photos here.

Yesterday's hike stirred my heart in both physical and spiritual ways. The beauty that surrounds me in this place I call home is something I cannot take for granted!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Rule Breaker

This meme is called Fill in the Blank Friday. Today is Tuesday. I guess that makes me a rule-breaker.

I'm either a rule-breaker or one busy girl who can't seem to find time to blog without some kind of prompts.

Both are true. So without further adieu, here are my Tuesday blanks...

1. My current obsession is football. My poor family groans when the weekends roll around. We only have one television that is hooked up to our cable receiver and it's a fight for control of the remote around here on weekends. Thankfully my family got to watch whatever they wanted on Saturday because I went to Boulder with some friends for the CU game--so FUN! (I listened to the AR game on the drive up until half-time and then turned it off in thorough disgust. Imagine my surprise when I got to the Folsom Field and saw the score! It was a good day for the Hogs; not so much for the Buffs.)
Aren't the mountains behind this field awesome? Here's the view from the other end of the field. I have to say that those views are slightly distracting for me. I almost want to stare at the scenery instead of watching the field action. Almost. 

2. Hiking makes me happy. Can't wait to hike this morning with some friends! We're doing a very challenging hike that I haven't done in awhile and I am really excited about it.

3. My greatest strength is responsibility. You can count on me.

4. Responsibility is my greatest weakness. You can count on me to get things done...which also means that I end up picking up others' slack because I NEED things to be done and be done well. It's hard to find balance sometimes.

5. My life is very VERY blessed. 

6. In high school I was awkward, but surrounded by a GREAT group of friends that remain very dear to me!

7. When I'm super tired I seem to cry at the slightest thing. Also when I'm super tired (like I have been the last week or so) I try to take naps! I took a short one yesterday afternoon and it was just what I needed!

Alrighty! Hope your day is a good one.


Friday, September 30, 2011

My Favorite Place on Earth!

Here are some photos from our little getaway to Estes Park last weekend. Sit back and enjoy (and wish you lived in Colorado too!)
Sliding down the rainbow slide and riding go-carts at Fun City are absolutely must-dos for us when in EP! The girls also did the bungee-jump-thingy this time but I only have videos of that and no time to upload them. Besides, all the up and down motion would probably make you dizzy. 

Love this pic so much!!!

The weather and the colors were GORGEOUS on Sunday. Most of these pics were taken at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. I also want to note that all of these pics were taken with my iPhone camera...using the Camera+ app which I adore!!!

Don't be surprised if you see one of those two family pics on our Christmas card this year!

Happy Friday everyone!