Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Five

1. I woke my kids up a little bit ago and told them we were going to hike, hit Costco, and then have lunch somewhere. They moaned and groaned about all of it, even lunch, which surprised me. They have a huge case of the lazies this week. I've indulged them almost every day. They're not thrilled that I'm making them hike today, but I'm not budging. It's too beautiful today to stay cooped up inside.

2. Why does the week of spring break seem to pass more quickly than regular weeks? This one has flown by. We still have a few days left though and I intend to milk every ounce of fun out of them!

3. This is the first spring break I can ever remember where the weather has been nice the whole week. It's not unusual to have snow and cold over spring break but it is definitely unusual to have warm temps for an entire week in March. I'm not complaining though. I've hiked in a tank top and capris several times this week. LOVE it!
(My friend and I hike the Incline yesterday. I'm completely addicted to that workout. I love it.)

4. I've been praying like crazy for a friend who had brain surgery on Wednesday. She just texted me a picture of herself up and walking around--amazing! I'm sooooo thankful that her surgery went well and that her initial pathology reports look good.

5. Sarah made those cake pops I mentioned the other day and they turned out so cute. I forgot to take a picture, but this is the tutorial she followed. They were a little too sweet for my taste, but everyone else loved them. I did however take a picture of our yarn eggs (we used embroidery floss) and I think they turned out really pretty!
Happy Friday, everyone!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One-on-one time

Yesterday I was able to spend some one on one time with each of my children. It was one of those days when things just fell into place perfectly and it all felt very right.

First up was Abbey. She had an appointment for an eye exam yesterday morning. About a month ago, her math teacher let me know that she seemed to be squinting quite a bit and she suspected that Abbey was having trouble seeing the board. I made an eye appointment for her that got bumped a few times due to TCAP testing and the optometrist being on vacation but we finally got her eyes checked and sure enough, she needed a prescription for her distance vision. She picked out some VERY cute frames and we got her glasses ordered. She can't wait for them to arrive and I know she'll look adorable in them. She chatted my ear off all the way there and all the way home (and all the time in between). That girl LOVES it when she has a captive audience.

Shortly after Abbey's eye appointment, I had to leave for an appointment of my own and Will wanted to tag along because I was headed to Colorado Springs and he wanted me to let him stop by the video game store. He was horrified when he found out my appointment was for a mammogram but he put on a brave face and waited patiently for me to finish. On the way to the game store, he asked me a few (tentative) questions about my appointment. Mostly he was concerned that I was okay (I had a biopsy last year after an abnormal mammogram) and we had a good conversation about the importance of preventative medicine and taking our health seriously. I thought it was sweet that he was worried about me. After our video game store errand, he was hinting around that he needed a snack so much to his delight we grabbed some hot wings and soda to-go and chatted over our favorite snack while I drove back home. He's fifteen and not super chatty these days so any time he spends talking to me is time I cherish. Needless to say, our afternoon together was really sweet for me.

Abbey spent the night with a friend last night so I told Sarah she was welcome to invite a friend or two to come for a sleepover. She thought about it but told me she'd rather go see The Hunger Games with me instead, so we had a movie date! I read the books and liked them but to be honest, I really had no desire to see the movie until she said she wanted to see it with me. It ended up being pretty good and true to the book, and I loved the time with Sarah. After the movie she wanted to go to Starbucks and I obliged, but by the time we got there it was closed. She was sad because she really wanted one of their cake pops. I told her we should figure out how to make them but she was already a step ahead of me. She'd found a recipe earlier and rattled off everything we needed to make our own. Since our Starbucks plan had failed, we headed to Walmart to buy the stuff to make cake pops later today. I'll let you know how they turn out. We also bought the stuff to make these yarn eggs that I saw on Deidre's blog. Sarah was chatty the entire night (except during the movie, of course) and I loved every minute of it. As did she. She loves attention as much as her sister. Must be a girl thing!

One-on-one time with each of them is so special to me and it was the PERFECT way to spend a day of our spring break! More fun is on tap today too! Have I mentioned that I love spring break? I really really do!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It all started with mashed potatoes...

On Saturday, I went to Denver with a group of friends to meet the Pioneer Woman at a book signing for her new cookbook. It was SO much fun!

I wasn't truly a fan of the Pioneer Woman until early last spring. Oh, I'd read her blog from time to time but I always ended up on her photography blog and to be honest I'm not a photographer OR a fan of dogs or horses or ranch life so I wasn't a regular reader. But sometime last year I used a Groupon I had for and bought her first cookbook and I became an immediate fan. Not only is she hilarious but that woman can cook! Pretty much all I have to do to ensure my family licks their dinner plates clean is say "this is a Pioneer Woman recipe."

Right before Thanksgiving I shared her recipe for Creamy Mashed Potatoes with a friend who was stressed about feeding the huge crowd of people she was hosting for Thanksgiving dinner. (The best thing about these mashed potatoes is that you can make them ahead.)(The second best thing is the butter, cream cheese, and half and half.) My friend tried them, loved them, and shared the recipe with a friend who shared with a friend, who shared with a friend, and voila! -- a group of fans willing to stand in line for a really long time to meet Ree Drummond was born.

We got there pretty early and I'm so glad we did because over 800 people came out to meet her. Luckily we were numbers 98-104 in that long, long line. It was crazy-packed and unless she stayed until the wee hours signing books I'm not sure everyone had the same opportunity we did.

Here are a few pics, which is the part I know you'd rather see anyway! They're all cell phone pics so sorry about the quality.
 She gave a hilarious presentation. And even SANG! It was awesome.
Someone needs to tell me to stand up straight. And suck my stomach in. Geez.

Our motley crew. One of us is slightly obsessed with all things Pioneer Woman. I won't name names, ahem, Terri (cough cough)(who had NINE books for Ree to sign), but I'm thankful she corralled all of us (get it? corralled? ranch humor--ha ha) for this fun day! 

The Pioneer Woman was gracious and kind (she complimented my necklace!) and there's no telling how much her mouth ached from smiling and her hand cramped up after signing all those books! And by the way, her newest cookbook is fabulous! John paged through it yesterday afternoon and he may or may not have been drooling by the time he got to the end. Seriously.

After we left the book signing, Terri took us all to NoNo's. Oh my gosh. If you live anywhere remotely close to Denver, you must eat there. I'm glad I got over my dislike of the LSU Tigers flag they were flying on the porch outside (Go Hogs!) because the food was amazing. I had the gumbo and it was delicious, but next time I'm having Catfish Monica because the owner brought us all a plate to try (after we had ordered, darn it!) and it was outstanding! I finished things off with a piece of strawberry cake which was still warm and out-of-this-world-delicious. Shouldn't a visit to meet the woman who makes your tummy happy on a regular basis be finished off with an evening of great food? Yep. We thought so too! Thanks, y'all. It was such a fun day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

weekend happies

gorgeous weather. flip flops. a favorite hike with my favorite guy. a sunday afternoon nap. meeting the pioneer woman (will post about that soon!) an amazing piece of strawberry cake at a newly discovered restaurant. a fun day with friends. a fun girls night out. a little more birthday celebrating. sleeping late-ish. sun-kissed shoulders and face. burgers on the grill. no school tomorrow so no sunday night blues. and the premiere of a new season of mad men. it's been a weekend full of good things.

The birthday girl and the cake she requested--a smiley face with a tongue sticking out. Easiest cake I've ever made! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Super Quick Friday Five

1. I am so sick of posting nothing but lists on my blog. But I'm soooooooooo uninspired lately. Ugh.

2. In regard to the post I wrote yesterday...believe me when I say I KNOW I am incredibly blessed.

3. Believe me when I also say that we are not perfect and neither is our marriage. We are a work in progress.

4. I have been to the grocery store every single day this week. And I have to go back again today for a few more things I forgot. Have you seen my brain? Maybe it's hiding out with my motivation and my creativity.

5. Less than four hours until SPRING BREAK begins. You have no idea how close I am to collapsing in an exhausted heap. This week has kicked my tail, but the end is in sight! Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

45 Reasons Why

I didn't buy my husband a birthday gift. Well, technically, I did buy something for him but it was from the kids and not me. He needs clothes and we're going Denver next week to do some shopping and he asked me to wait and let him pick some things out then. He knows me well though and knows that not having a gift for him on his birthday would be really hard for me so he specifically asked me to not spend money on "something he doesn't want or need". Working within the "don't spend money" parameter, I decided to make a list of forty-five reasons why I love him.

Drumroll, please.

1. Every time I get in my van after he's driven it, my radio station is set to an AM easy-listening station. Every single time. He jokes that he's analog in a digital world. It's true. I usually roll my eyes when that AM station comes on but it never fails to make me smile.

2. He helps me with laundry when I fall behind. And that happens often.

3. He works very hard to provide generously for our family. Lately he's been doing a ton of freelance work in addition to his full-time job so we can send our kids to camps and such this summer and take a really nice beach vacation! He's tired a lot of the time but he never complains.

4. He makes me laugh. Even when I don't necessarily want to. And his laugh is the BEST!

5. He keeps gas in my van. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've had to fill it up myself in the last twelve months. I love that he takes care of me in that way.

6. He still holds my hand. And opens doors for me. Sooooo chivalrous.

7. He calls and texts me throughout the day...just because.

8. He prays for me. All the time, but especially when I'm having a hard day or when I'm facing tough stuff.

9. He watches stuff I like on TV with me. And doesn't get mad when I speak of my infatuation with hunky actors. :)

10. He likes to hike with me. We don't get to go together as often as I'd like but when we do it's always nice.

11. He likes to surprise me and our children with fun things!

12. Every single time he helps me put clean sheets on our bed, he races me to get the pillowcases on our individual pillows. Every. Single. Time. We'be been doing that since our early married days. Sometimes I let him win. Sometimes.

13. He unloads the dishwasher for me every single morning. I gave him the day off today since it's his birthday and all. 

14. He is an amazing dad. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. He's incredibly patient and always engaged with our kids. When he gets home from work he is able to disengage from "work" and focus on them. I'm pretty sure if you asked Will, Sarah, and Abbey who their favorite parent is they'd all say, "DAD!" And I'm okay with that because watching him love them well brings me unspeakable joy.

15. He is generous beyond belief--with his money, his time, his praise, and his affection.

16. He rarely raises his voice to me or our children. I betcha I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen that happen in almost twenty-two years of marriage. Believe me, I know what a blessing that is.

17. He tells me I'm beautiful. Even when I feel anything BUT.

18. He listens to me try to work through personal stuff over and over and over with patience and grace.

19. He helps our kids with their homework. They prefer his help over mine because he's smarter and more patient. :)

20. He cleans the kitchen most nights after dinner. Sometimes by himself, sometimes with my help but ALWAYS cheerfully.

21. He stops by the store for me on his way home from work when I've forgotten something. I know he's just ready to come home and he doesn't really want to, but he does it anyway.

22. He hardly EVER says anything unkind about anyone and always finds the best in others. I could take a few lessons from him. 

23. Not only does he listen to that AM easy-listening station in the car, but he turns our television to the easy-listening music channel every night before dinner so we can have some easy listening background music. A couple of weeks ago, we were setting the table and Will automatically went and set the television to that station. I don't know if John has ever been prouder.

24. He takes our kids to the mall when they need something. He knows I don't love the mall and he knows we have teenagers who want to be hip and stylish and shop at cool stores so he takes them. He usually takes them one at a time for a little bit of "dad indulgence". I think it's very very sweet.

25. He calls his parents at least once a week to check in. He loves and honors them. It's not uncommon to see his eyes get a little leaky when they leave our home after a visit.

26. He's not afraid of his tears. You know when something stirs him.

27. He gets as excited about Christmas as our children do. Like a "kid-in-a-candy-store-excited". He LOVES Christmas.

28. More often than not, he offers to pick our kids up from their evening activities. The older our kids get the later our evenings have become and he knows I just want to get in my pjs and "be finished for the night" so he turns into the evening carpool king. It is a huge gift to me!

29. He pays attention. To things I say, to things I do, to appearance, and by doing so makes me feel valued and important.

30. He responds with grace instead of anger. I accidentally washed and DRIED one of his favorite (and expensive) shirts and it shrunk enough that he can't wear it any longer. That's a nice way of saying I ruined it. He just shrugged it off an accident and forgave me for making a mistake. Flash back to a couple of summers ago when he accidentally dried one of my tops and it shrunk to a too-small size. My response was quite the opposite and I'm pretty sure I reminded him of his mistake long enough for him to buy me replacement. (Hangs head in shame).

31. He is admired and respected by so many people.

32. He can string words together beautifully. God has gifted him with the ability to write and his writing has already touched so many lives. I pray that God continues to bless him and open doors for him. It is a gift to me to see him get to do something he loves.

33. He loves to linger around the dinner table with our family each evening. Talking. Laughing. Playing games. Whatever. I can just sense his peace and contentment when we are all together.

34. He locks up the house every night before bed. That brings me such a sense of security. Just knowing he's "got it under control" is one way he offers me his strength.

35. He always always offers wise advice. He is able to discern what is really going on when I come to him with questions or problems and he steers me in the right direction. Not just in some logical direction but in the direction of wisdom and truth, with a huge measure of grace.

36. He is quick to forgive and even apologize when he's wrong. He doesn't like it when things between us get wonky and he strives to rectify things quickly. Again, I could take a few lessons from him.

37. He plans dates for us and makes time together as a couple a priority.

38. He is always calm and rational. And even more so when I'm NOT.

39. He calls me "kiddo" all the time. I love that so much. It reminds me of Big and Carrie from SATC.

40. He always drives on long road trips. I only get nervous when he starts getting drowsy. :)

41. He gently tells me when to "back off" as a mom. I tend to hover, especially with our 15-year-old son. He was fifteen once and knows when I'm crossing a line I'll come to regret later. I don't always appreciate his frankness but because he's gentle about it I've come to respect it. I'm trying at least.

42. He keeps himself physically fit. He runs and lifts weights several times a week. He'll tell you it's to keep stress at bay but I'm grateful that he takes care of himself in that way.

43. He recognizes beauty and responds to it. I'm not necessarily talking about physical beauty here. He sees beauty in nature, in words, in song, and in simple, mundane things.

44. He is incredibly humble and puts others before himself day in and day out.

45. He is a beautiful human being--inside and out. He grows more and more handsome to me with each passing year. I love him simply because of who he is and am honored to journey through life as his wife and friend.

I love you, John. So very much. Thank you for choosing me. Happy Birthday.

Pushover Parents

So today is a double birthday day at our house. My husband is celebrating his 45th birthday (my, my) and our youngest daughter is celebrating her 10th--and her arrival into double digits! It's a fun day!

John told me this morning that he was sorry for making this a hard day for me. One birthday is hard, but two is harder. I told him there was no need for apology--because I truly love that they share a birthday--and reminded him that WE chose this day for her to be born. We chose it because my OB was in private practice and was leaving on the 23rd for a spring break trip. I really wanted him to deliver Abbey (and not some strange doctor) and since I was several days past my due date he agreed to induce. Abbey thinks it is super special to share a birthday with her dad. John is a good sport to share the spotlight.

ANYWAY... the title of this post is pushover parents. That's us. 

Abbey's birthday has never fallen on a school day; it has always always fallen during spring break. This year our district moved our spring break to a different week and consequently Abbey's birthday fell on a school day. And a day of standardized testing as well. BOOO!

She started begging a few weeks ago to let her open gifts on the night before her birthday. Her reasoning? Everyone is gone for work and school by the time she gets up in the mornings (she starts 1.5 hours after Will/Sarah) and she'd have to wait until after dinner on her actual birthday for us all to be home again. Evidently that is torture when you're turning ten years old.

We thought it over and it made sense. Will has a track meet this afternoon that will run into the dinner hour tonight and I actually have a meeting after dinner that I can't miss. So, we caved and had our family celebration last night.

Abbey chose Noodles & Co for a family dinner because her favorite food in the world is macaroni and cheese, and theirs is dee-lish-ous. We haven't eaten there in years (and Abbey reminds us of that frequently). 
Then we came home and let her open gifts! She got a bed for her American Girl dolls and let's just say she was VERY happy. John opened his gifts too, but they weren't nearly as exciting. Grin.

We had some ice cream and started making cupcakes for her to take to school to share with her class this afternoon. And then we just let her play with her stuff. 

I think she had a great night. And of course the celebrating continues today...
March 22 is a super fun day at our house! And obviously, March 21 is too. Smile.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Sometimes I need these kinds of blog posts to help my writer's block!

Current Books: I'm getting really ashamed of reporting how uninterested I am in any kind of book these days, but in the interest of keeping things real I'll just go ahead and tell you that I've read basically nothing besides my Lent devotional lately.

Current Playlist: A mix of 80s tunes. I loved the 80s. 

Current Color: Lime green! It's sooooo springy!

Current Drink: Water, and my expensive tea, of course. The good news is that I've used almost all of  that loose tea (it barely lasted two weeks) so I can quit talking/blogging about it. Aren't you glad? :)

Current Food: I bought some Tortilla Land uncooked flour tortillas at Costco the other day. OH MY WORD--they are the BEST TORTILLAS EVER! (Yes, I'm shouting! Because they're THAT good!) You have to cook them before you eat them but it only takes about a minute or so and they taste so much better than any kind you buy on the bread aisle. I couldn't help eating them straight from the pan with butter on them. I need to see if I can find someplace that sells their corn variety because the flour/gluten wasn't my friend. 

Current Favorite Favorite: This nail polish. Taupe on a rope. It goes with everything. (I would have taken a picture of my nails BUT my phone is telling me I have no more space for photos. Guess I need to upload the 899 photos on my phone to my computer.)(Am I the only one who never does that?)

Current Wish List: Can't think of one single thing.

Current Needs: Spring/summer workout attire. We got our REI dividend yesterday which should come in handy for that purchase. :)

Current Triumph: I have a fitness goal for myself of hiking the Incline 2x a month. Well, so far this month I've been THREE times. I consider that a triumph!

Current Annoyance: Every clock in my house (and our vehicles) is set to a different time. I'm just a teensy bit OCD and it's driving me cuh-razy! It doesn't seem to bother anyone else in my family though.

Current Indulgence: Gluten. I wish it made me violently ill so I'd quit eating it! I just can't help myself sometimes--tortillas, pizza crust, pie on Pi day--I'm paying for it but can't seem to care enough to stop! I sense a detox coming soon.

Current Mood: Happy!

Current Blessing: Will's track meet for this afternoon got moved to a different day so I'm off the hook for working concessions this afternoon AND I got some unexpected time at home with my family. Double blessing.

Current Outfit: I'm still in my workout clothes from the Inline this AM--black tights, lime green fleece, hiking shoes. I need to finish this post and shower!

Current Excitement: I get to celebrate two birthday peeps this week!

Current Link: I mentioned yesterday that I have some friends who are passionate about certain issues. One of those issues is fair trade and I've learned a WHOLE lot from this friend about how our purchasing patterns affect others around the globe. This website--SlaveryFootprint--is fascinating. When you have a minute (or five) take some time and read the main page, then take the survey. My results indicate that my buying habits keep about SIXTY slaves working for me. That literally makes me feel sick. Awareness is the first step to change.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Five...times five

Five things I'm enjoying today:
1. Not having to pack lunch for my 4th grader today! I think she's eaten at school three times in the last three years. Seriously.
2. Pioneer Woman's Restaurant-Style Salsa. You guys have GOT to try this stuff. A friend gave me some on Friday and we devoured it. I made a batch yesterday afternoon and I don't think I'll ever buy salsa again. My kids go through about a quart of salsa a week so I'm guessing I'll keep ingredients for this stuff on hand from now on. We all love it!
3. Smart Wool ballet flats socks. I am in love with these socks. They're small enough that you don't see them when wearing ballet shoes but are enough of a layer to keep my (always) cold feet warm!
4. Pebbles in my shoes. I know that sounds weird but I love it when I take off my hiking shoes and see all the small pebbles/grit in there. It gives me a weird sense of accomplishment. And makes me even more thankful for my Dyson!
5. This tea strainer. I bought this strainer the same day that I bought the ridiculously-expensive-tea and I was planning to return it because I felt sick about how much money I spent. John talked me into keeping it and now I'm glad because I really, really love it.

Five things I'm looking forward to:
1. Celebrating John and Abbey's birthday this week!
2. Will's track meet!
3. Spring Break! It begins Friday at 4pm!
4. A trip to Denver to The Pioneer Woman's book-signing!
5. The return of Don Draper on Sunday!
(Lots of exclamation points in that list!)(Smile!)

Five things on my to-do list:
1. Recruit and schedule volunteers for a school event next month.
2. Call and schedule a mammogram. I was waiting for them to send me a reminder card but it looks like that isn't going to happen.
3. Pull out Abbey's "First Year" scrapbook in anticipation of her birthday. Wrap her gifts and do a little birthday decorating. BUY a birthday gift for my husband who is incredibly hard to shop for and whose birthday is the same day as Abbey's! Running out of time and ideas!
4. Schedule haircuts for my kiddos.
5. Figure out what my kids are wearing for Easter. It's really the only day that we dress up for church here, but we always seem to find more than one occasion to wear those clothes again so it's money well spent.

Five people who are on my mind and in my prayers:
1. A friend who is having brain surgery next week. Praying for her family too. She's not sure if the mass they're removing is malignant or not.
2. A friend in Peru on a medical mission trip this week. She's hoping not to meet an anaconda. :)
3. My kids and a couple of situations they're facing--each situation is unique but all have interesting parallels.
4. Another friend facing an impossibly hard family situation.
5. For my friend, Joanne. ------------------------------>
I think about her and pray for her so often.

Five random things:
1. The week before spring break is cuh-razy!
2. There are a few days each month that I am a complete grump to live with. My husband is saint to put up with me and offer grace instead of anger in return for everything I dish out during those few days.
3. I hate it when our dog eats my lip balm. Yet another tube of Burt's Bees met it's demise yesterday afternoon. It was my last remaining tube (that I could actually locate when I needed it) and holy cow, it's been so dry here that I've been using it constantly. My lips are in desperate need of relief.
4. I'm pondering the idea of relationship without trust. Or more specifically, relationship without risk. I just don't think it can exist. Maybe it can but it's more along the lines of "familiarity" than relationship. That's a thinky thing I'm trying to sort out. It actually might be the subject of a good blog post once I unpack my thoughts a bit more.
5. I have some really beautiful and brave friends. Their passion for things like fair trade, trafficked girls, adopting foster children, working with special needs children, and just being a blessing to those around them INSPIRES me so much. I am so deeply thankful for the friendships God has given me.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A few words about today...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Y'all, I am T-I-R-E-D.
I love springing forward until I remember how long it takes me to feel caught up on sleep again. This week is kicking my tail.

However tired I am though, it's been a good week. It's been gorgeous here with springtime temps every single day. I've been able to get outside and get my daily dose of vitamin D and it's been soooooo good for my heart and mind! I love that it's staying light longer  and I love that the neighborhood kids have been outside playing almost every afternoon until they get called inside for dinner! Aside from one small patch in our backyard, almost every bit of snow has finally melted! THAT is probably the biggest delight of all for me. Buh-bye snow. [This is the part where my Colorado friends laugh hysterically at me. March and April are our snowiest months, and there's a chance of snow in next week's forecast. Sigh. A girl can dream though.]

Will had a track meet Wednesday afternoon. It might have been the nicest weather I've ever experienced at a track meet. NO kidding. I've been to so many where it's freezing cold and windy and just downright miserable but the weather that day was perfect. The only event he participated in at this meet was the triple jump and he did fantastic!!! This is his first year to jump and I loved watching his event. I think next time he wants to run the 200m as well. I'm so thankful he's enjoying it!

I was sitting at his meet and snapped this pic with my phone. I know I say this all the time, but I feel enormous gratitude that we get to live in a place of such spectacular beauty. Some days I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I look at the mountains--they simply undo me.
Sarah stayed home from school today because she hasn't been feeling well. She has a yucky sore throat and is losing her voice but doesn't seem to have any fever. She probably should have stayed home yesterday but they're taking TCAPs (Colorado standardized test) at school again this week and she didn't want to have to make anything up so she went. I'm debating whether to keep her home again tomorrow but they have another round of TCAPs (they didn't take any today so she felt okay about staying home) and she's feeling pressure not to miss. I loathe the pressure that kids feel in regard to these tests. Loathe may not even be a strong enough word. I try not to be too negative on here but this really gets me wound up!

Moving on...

Today I wore one of Sarah's tops that I love but that she rarely wears. I've asked her before if I could wear it and she's adamantly refused and I've respected her wishes. I decided to ask her again today and was reluctantly granted permission. Imagine my surprise when she told me this afternoon that her top looked cute on me. Wow. That was unexpected. She came and found me while I was making dinner and said, "I'd like to propose a trade, mom. You can have that top if you let me buy five songs on iTunes." I said yes before she could change her mind! Grin. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. Win-win.

Abbey is getting VERY excited about her birthday next week. I can't believe my baby will be ten years old--double digits. She's the only one of my kiddos that still fits in my lap and still wants to sit there. I wish I could freeze time for just a little longer. I love that girl so much.

I could keep rambling and rambling but you're probably bored by now and I'm ready to call it a night. I like to get in bed at night and watch an episode or two of Mad Men. I gifted myself with the dvd sets of Seasons 1, 2, and 3 for Christmas (I already had Season 4 on iTunes) and am trying to re-watch them all before Season 5 begins in a couple of weeks. I don't know if I'll get all the way through them but I'm sure going to try!

Peace out, peeps. Hope your Friday is fantastic!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday sundries

I'm sitting here sipping my exorbitant (yet delicious) tea and looking outside at the brilliant blue sky. The last few days have been near perfect and make me deliriously happy and thankful that we get to live in Colorado. I hiked with a friend yesterday and got up early to walk again today and I hope to goodness to squeeze in a hike with John tomorrow. Here's a pic from yesterday's hike. See? Why would I possibly want to stay indoors?
In other random news...
I bought some new socks the other day. Riveting, huh? I actually love new socks. I put a new pair on before I walked this morning and sighed a happy sigh. Little things make me so happy.

Know what else makes me happy? Winning at Bunco! I won $20 for most Buncos last night. So fun! Now to decide what to spend it on. $20 doesn't go very far these days, does it?

Moving on.

I've avoided Pinterest for a very, very long time, mainly because I don't need one more way to waste time online. I'm feeling pressure to cave though after listening to friend after friend talk about all of the great ideas, recipes, and crafts they get from there. A friend made the cutest "birthday book" for another friend in our Bunco group last night. Of course she got the idea from Pinterest. Of course. Am I the only Pinterest holdout??? I'm starting to believe I am.

Last weekend Abbey and I were driving somewhere and were talking about her cousins in Arkansas. Bottom line is that we miss them a lot and wish we didn't live so far away. I asked her if she thought she'd ever like to live in Arkansas again (and don't read anything into that because this was just a "what if" that came out of my mouth) and she said no. I asked her why and she said, "Because Colorado is so beautiful and we don't have very many natural disasters here." Well, there ya go. I should probably tell you that that girl is TERRIFIED of tornados. She's determined not to live anywhere near them.

I mentioned that this post was going to be random, right?

I think I just ran out of random.

Happy Saturday, peeps. If you live in the Co Springs area GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THIS GORGEOUS DAY. (Yes, I'm shouting in all caps because that's an order!)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

8 Confessions

How did it get to be March 8th already??? Wasn't it just yesterday I was talking about coasting into this month? I think someone pushed the fast forward button when I wasn't looking. 

So, since it's the 8th I have 8 things to confess...with commentary of course.

1. I'm addicted to Words With Friends. A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D. 

2. I rarely speed. Mainly because I'm afraid of getting a ticket. BUT every single day I wish that the big SUV that rides my tail on the way home from afternoon carpool would get a big, fat speeding ticket. I sometimes slow down on purpose just to irritate the driver. Yep. I'm sure that driver looooves me.

3. I hate, and I mean HATE politics. I'm pretty clueless about what's going on in the presidential race these days and I'm okay with that. I'll figure out who I want to vote for and why a little closer to November. 

4. I listen to my iPod with the volume turned up really loud. Like really, really loud. Which is probably why I have a bit of hearing loss in my left ear. 

5. I've mentioned a time or two that I'm not a fan of PCs. Today, I had a training meeting for work at the Microsoft store in Park Meadows mall. We frequent that mall at least once a month, but it was my first time to step foot inside that store. It was a really cool meeting venue and I have to confess that I actually enjoyed myself AND learning some features of the software I use. The Microsoft employees were friendly and super helpful. I confess I've been a little snobbish towards Microsoft. I'm not ready to convert to a PC or anything but I am willing to admit the store was awesome (even if they did pattern their entire store plan after Apple)!

6. Since I was at the mall, I decided to knock out a few errands after my meeting. My friend was telling me about this rooibos tea from Teavana that she really likes so I decided to bop in there and buy some. And while I was there I decided to buy two different teas that I could mix together. I guess I misunderstood the price of tea to be by the pound instead of the ounce so I ended up spending an INSANE (ungodly, horrific, shameful, astronomic, irresponsible, pick-your-adjective) amount of money on tea. I simultaneously wanted to cry and throw up when I realized my mistake in calculating the price. John was cool about it when I told him and I was thankful since he could have been quite upset. 

7. My kids are taking TCAP tests for the next few weeks. I intensely dislike standardized testing but I LOVE that teachers aren't allowed to assign homework during TCAPs. It's been so nice. I almost wish they took TCAPs every day just to get out of of homework. (I know. That's sick and twisted.)( I don't really wish that.)(I just wish homework would go away forever.)

8. I don't like basketball. At all. I love football. I like baseball, hockey, tennis, and almost every other sport. But basketball? I just don't like it. HOWEVER, Will's high school is in the state semi-finals today and has a great shot at winning the state championship so I'm trying to be interested in more than the score. Today, coming home from Denver, I met the basketball team's bus on the interstate as they were heading to Boulder for the game. There was a huge group of parents and students standing all along the last overpass before heading out of town and they were wearing our school colors and waving flags and holding a huge banner wishing the team good luck at their game. It was so cool that I got to see it. Unbelievable timing! And it made me really proud to be a part of this community. 

The last two Thursdays have been my Fridays. I'm not sure I remember how to handle a five day week. Guess I better figure it out because it's not over yet! :)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Five

I'm doing a little happy dance because today is Friday. I heart Fridays. I heart them even more when the kids have Friday off from school and we have a three-day weekend ahead of us. If you think my kids sure do have a lot of days off from school, it's true. It seems that way to me too, but I love it.

Thought I'd share five random things on this Friday morning.

1. It's supposed to snow today. I'm sure we need the moisture, but I'm kinda over snow and winter. It's March and I'm ready for spring! I took this picture after my morning walk. Did I mention how ready I am for warmer temps??? Looks like some good hiking weather next week though. That will keep me hanging in there until spring makes it's appearance. 

2. Yesterday morning I had some time at home (finally!) and spent the morning making soup and cleaning. I plugged my iPhone into my "poor man's sound dock" and had the best time just puttering around the house listening to playlist after playlist (Will figured out how to stop my songs from looping)(figured it out in about 5 seconds). I was feeling stressed yesterday about a couple of situations that were beyond my control but realized that cooking and cleaning are extremely therapeutic for me. Both are very calming and peaceful activities with huge dividends for my family!  

3. In order to plug my phone into my sound dock, I have to remove it from it's case. When I did that yesterday, I saw these two words inscribed on the back of my case: Have Courage. It was exactly what I needed to hear regarding those situations that were stressing me out. I spoke it out loud every time I felt anxious. Widsom from an iPhone case? Yep. I believe God uses any tool available to communicate with us!

4. I read an article this week on being too busy. Honestly, my life is busy and I don't see any other way around that. We're careful about what we allow our children to be involved in and believe it or not, I say no to many good things. By nature of being a wife and mom, having three kids at three schools, a part-time job, and a home to manage, my life is going to be full. BUT, I could NOT do all that I do without rest. That's why we're big believers in keeping weekend activity to a minimum. Our entire family needs unstructured time to rest and refuel. Last weekend, I was maxed out with commitments. I knew they were coming. I planned for them. And since I knew that my weekend would not involve much rest, I planned for Monday to be a down day--my "Sabbath" if you will. Thankfully this weekend is feeling pretty spacious and I am overjoyed. Seriously overjoyed. What about you? Do you make rest a priority?

5. Speaking of rest, it's after 9AM and all three of my kiddos are still sleeping! With a busy weekend last weekend, some early morning appointments this week, and a full week of track practice, all three of them needed the extra sleep. I hope they all wake up in a cheerful mood! Two of the three are teenagers though so I'm not crossing my fingers. Ha ha. Actually, most days they all wake up in a pretty decent mood and I'm thankful for that.

Happy weekend, everyone!