Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Look Back

Twenty-thirteen was a GREAT year! Here's a look back at some of my favorite things from this past year!

A family ski trip to Winter Park over Valentine's Day.
Summiting two 14ers-- Mount Bierstadt and Pikes Peak--with some really great friends!

Spending a week in GORGEOUS Telluride, Colorado!
 We went to Branson and had a crazy-fun time!
 I went to my first ever NFL game!
Will turned SIXTEEN this year, Sarah turned FIFTEEN, and Abbey turned ELEVEN!

We celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary!

I got to do The Color Run again with some fun friends!
We also traveled to Arkansas to celebrate with John's parents on their 50th wedding anniversary. 50 years!!!
 Sarah and I went to the One Direction concert in Denver!
John had a new book published--Know When To Hold 'Em!
Will spent a month working at Crooked Creek Young Life Camp in Winter Park, CO.
Sarah spent 10 days in Puerto Rico with a group from our church on a mission trip.

Said goodbye to Minnie-the-Van and said hello to new car payments. :)

Abbey and I went up in the Arch on a visit to St. Louis. 
 Got to spend time with more family in Arkansas!
I am so very, very blessed!
I will leave you with my favorite photo of the year--the one that makes me laugh harder than ANY other. I think it was Whimzie who titled it for me: WHITE GIRL CAN'T JUMP! 

Happy New Year, friends!!!!! May 2014 be filled with love, laughter, and a whole lot of LIFE. Blessings to you all.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some 2014 Goals

Yesterday morning I was trying to find something that I'd misplaced and came across a list of "dreams" I compiled at a women's conference last April. We were encouraged to write down any and all dreams that came to mind--things we hoped for, wanted to see realized--no matter how big or seemingly insignificant they might be. As I read over my dream list, I was amazed at how closely it matched my list of goals for this upcoming year!

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it's some of what I want to aim for in the new year.

1. Do something that scares me! I've got something in mind here, something I've been mulling over for awhile now that I really believe I'm supposed to do but that is WAY outside of my comfort zone. I'm not ready to disclose it all in a blog post, but soon….

2. Climb at least two 14ers! For Christmas, John gave me these geological marker pins for the ones I have already climbed. I'm very motivated and have a group ready to go with me... just waiting for the snow to melt.

3. Strive for healthier relationships. I could write a book here but the bottom line is that I'm realizing more and more what I do and don't want in my relationships…and I'm moving towards health this year.

4. Use my giftedness. I had an "aha" moment several weeks ago about how I can use my unique giftedness to bless other people. Again, not ready to fully flesh this out on the blog but this dream/goal is taking shape and I'm excited about it. I've sat in church for years and listened to our pastor talk/teach about calling and giftedness and honestly, I think I've been over thinking it and making it seem harder than it is. This is something so simple but it feels important to me and I'm excited about it. More soon. I promise. 

5. I also want to log 1000 walking/hiking miles this year. Notice I did not say RUNNING. I accomplished this two years ago and probably came close again last year but I didn't keep track of my miles. Got my pedometer app ready to go for January 1. Hmmmmm, wonder if skiing miles count? 

Goals? Resolutions? I don't think it matters what you call them as long as you know and NAME something you want to work towards and then actually do it! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Six on Saturday

1. My Christmas tree is still up. I am so ready to put all of my Christmas stuff away but my husband is not ready at all. I'm trying to be nice and strike a compromise but to be honest I'm getting a bit twitchy. And probably a little grumpy too.

2. I spent some time yesterday sorting out everyone's ski gear. We're heading west for Christmas with John's family and some outdoor winter adventures are in our near future. YAY!

3. Speaking of YAY! I ordered some of these magnets for John for Christmas. They arrived yesterday (I had two items that didn't make it here on time this season--boo!) and as soon as I brought the box in from the mailbox, John said: YAY! Presents! The funny thing is that he had absolutely no idea what was in the box. We both laughed really hard when he opened it and put two and two together. We joke about the YAY! stuff all the time but it's all in fun. :)

4. A friend and I were talking over fro-yo yesterday afternoon about some of our goals for 2014. I am a pretty goal oriented person and mine are starting to take shape. What about y'all? Do you set goals? Do you see them through? Hoping to share mine soon.

5. I took the girls to see Frozen last night. Abbey saw it with a friend the day it released and so I figured I was off the hook for this movie. Initially I wasn't interested in seeing it but I kept hearing how good it was and Sarah wanted to see it too so we had a girl movie night and we LOVED it. Abbey came home and immediately used her iTunes gift card to buy the soundtrack. I can't wait to listen to it today. I'll be listening while I clean because my house is a wreck.

6. I've got to sign off and get dressed. I'm going to yoga with a friend this morning. Yay! Yoga!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Soup's On: Zuppa Toscana

My friend, April, gave me this recipe last year and it has quickly become one of our favorites. The recipe is supposedly from Olive Garden restaurant. It's definitely a keeper!

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb ground Italian sausage
1.5 tsp crushed red pepper (I use less)
1 large white onion
4 Tbsp bacon pieces
2 tsp garlic puree
10 cups water
5 cubes chicken bouillion
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced Russet potatoes (or about 3 large potatoes)
1/4 of a bunch of kale

Brown the sausage and crushed red pepper in large stockpot. Drain excess fat and set aside. Refrigerate while preparing the other ingredients.
In the same pan, sauté onion, bacon, and garlic for about 15 minutes or until the onions are soft. Mix together the water and bouillon and add to the bacon, onion, and garlic mixture. Bring to a boil. 
Add sliced potatoes and cook until tender, around thirty minutes.
Add heavy cream and cook until heated through. 
Stir in the sausage and add the kale just before serving. 

My notes:
Go easy on the red pepper. I start with 1/2 tsp and adjust from there. 
I am allergic to something in the peeling of potatoes that triggers a full-blown asthma attack whenever I peel them. Which means I haven't peeled a potato in years. My favorite substitute is a bag of frozen, diced, hash brown potatoes. It's a great time-saver! No peeling and half the cooking time. I probably use 3-4 cups of the diced potatoes in this soup. And I like kale so I use the entire bunch. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

SMP 12.26.13

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Our Christmas was wonderful. It was a slow, relaxed day at home and everyone in my family was happy! We woke up (early) and opened gifts, then just ate and lazed around all day. A perfect day in my opinion.

I only had one meltdown moment on Christmas Eve…

Abbey fell on her wrist when we were leaving the ice rink on Sunday night. She wasn't miserable but she kept complaining about it hurting so John and I realized that we probably needed to take her for an x-ray just to be sure it wasn't broken. On Christmas Eve. If you've ever taken your child in for an x-ray you know it's not a quick trip. I wasn't sure how I was going to fit that into my day and so a mini-meltdown ensued.

The good news is that her wrist wasn't broken--just sprained!
The other good news is that I adjusted my Christmas Eve baking plans and sent John to the grocery store to buy this…
…and felt my stress melt away and the world didn't end. Win-win! I guess Santa liked the pre-cut, pull-apart-and-bake cookies because the ones we set out for him were gone the next morning. And barring any trips to the ER, I'll make him the homemade kind next year.

We are laying low again today. We might go see a movie. We might just stay home in our pjs. That's the beauty of Christmas break--every day is wide open.

Hope your Christmas was merry!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

All is Calm, All is Bright

Christmas break officially began for us last Friday. John is home with us until the Monday after New Years so I am definitely in my happy place for the next two weeks!

Things are calm around here. The only thing left on my to-do list is to wrap gifts. I have a handful of gifts under the tree and my littlest is beginning to wonder if I've forgotten her. She's even offering to help me wrap so I think it might be time.

Our first few days of break have been fun.

We've stayed up WAY too late at night but have been able to sleep in most mornings. That is truly decadent to me.

We've been to one of our favorite Christmas parties of the year. So fun!

We've been surprised by snow! Not a lot, but a beautiful dusting. I like snow in December!
I took this on my snowy walk yesterday morning.

Yesterday afternoon we drove up to 16th Street Mall in Denver for our annual Christmas Eve Eve Eve outing. We enjoyed a great Italian dinner, did a little shopping, and went ice-skating at the outdoor rink. It was so much fun--really just a perfect day all the way around.

The Broncos jersey hanging from the middle of the outdoor shopping center cracked me up. 
 Waiting to board the trolley!

 At one point they had to clean the ice…so we watched the Zamboni and made silly videos to send my nephews. I think the lights reflected in the wet ice are beautiful!

My picture isn't great but Santa was driving this carriage. Lots of little kids were watching him pass by! 
 This song came on the radio on the way home. It cracked us up. We don't really call Will "Willie" but I was playing along and singing this to him from the front seat…and let's just say there was a lot of eye-rolling going on in the back! I don't think he was as amused as I was. 

I love Christmas break! Hoping to make many more memories with my family in the upcoming days!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Through the eyes of a child...

I've been asking God this Advent season to help me stay present. To help me slow down and pay attention. To not let my to-do list be a distraction. To not miss the "moments".

Allow me to share a few of the "moments" I experienced through the eyes of children last week. 

I was strolling through Target (ummmm yeah, my debit card was one of the 40 million that was compromised--grrrr) and noticed a little boy looking intently at the snow globes on the end of an aisle. He would gently pick one up, turn it over to make the snow fall, then set it carefully back on the shelf and stand back to watch it with the biggest smile on his face. His mother knelt down next to him and let him repeat this over and over. It was just the sweetest thing. They were oohing and ahhing the entire few minutes I watched them. My heart melted. That mother didn't miss the moment with her son. And I was blessed by that child's delight over the simplicity of a snow globe.

Earlier that day I'd been at the mall. I was on a mission to purchase the last two items on my holiday list. As I was striding purposefully towards a tween girl mecca, I noticed a cute little pig-tailed girl, probably about three years old, holding her daddy's hand and scanning Santaland for the man in the red suit. I knew the minute she spotted him because her eyes widened and the biggest smile you've ever seen lit up her small face. She said, "Daddy, it's Santa!" and was pointing and smiling and waving while jumping up and down. Pure delight. I left the mall that day with empty hands but a full heart.

One more story. We were walking into church last week and I happened to look over and see one of my favorite little friends standing in front of the table that holds our church's nativity set. This sweet little girl had her back to me but I caught her face in the mirror behind the table and she was looking and talking to the characters in the nativity. I have no idea what she was saying but it was a beautiful moment of watching a tender little soul and her childlike faith take in the fullness of that scene. We were rushing to get into the sanctuary and find a seat that morning but the intention in that precious little face quieted my heart and mind.

Christmas through the eyes of a child is magical, isn't it?

I'm so thankful for these moments that weren't lost on me this week!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Know what you want

I had a big "aha" moment several months ago that has had tremendous influence on the way I live my life. I was in the middle of some personal stress and quite honestly had a lot of unhealthy things affecting my thinking. In the midst of all of that I came to the realization (my "aha") that it is SO SO SO important to simply know what you want. 
Knowing what you want shapes your choices and decisions.
Knowing what you want motivates you to action.
Knowing what you want feels decisive and intentional.
Knowing what you want can move you in a forward direction when otherwise it might be tempting to just stay in the midst of muck.

As I've thought about this, I've been able to identify some areas of my life where I needed to figure out what I wanted. My top five:

1. Know what I want from my relationships. Faith. Family. Friends.
2. Know what I want to invest myself in. People. Ministry. Work.
3. Know what I want to accomplish. Goals. Dreams. 
4. Know what I want my home to be. A place of peace. Order. Love. Laughter. Forgiveness.
5. Know what I want my free time to be filled with. Rest. Relationships. Fun. 

Knowing what you want gives you a framework and a set of boundaries to work within. Recently a friend invited me to do something that really didn't appeal to me. Because I knew what I wanted, I didn't have to revert to my normal behavior of over-thinking it and over-analyzing the choice/consequences of saying yes or no. I simply responded with a polite "No, that doesn't really sound like something I can do". It was so very freeing. 

I think for me, the "knowing what you want" is often preceded by knowing what you don't want.

Some examples…
I don't want negativity in my relationships.
I don't want to leave Colorado unexplored.
I don't want my stress to become my family's stress. Hence, my job change this year.
I don't want my free time or my family's free time to be chock-full of activity.
I don't want my life to be defined by "shoulds".
I don't want to be consumed with unimportant things.
And the list could go on and on and on...

It sounds so simple, really, and maybe it took me a really long time to get to that "aha" place but as I've continued to think about this, asking myself "What do I want?" no matter how big or how small the decision is slowing becoming a habit for me. Sometimes my answers come easily. Other times my answers are surprising. And sometimes it takes me a while to figure out what I want and if it lines up with what God wants for me as well.

The year 2013 is drawing to a close and I've been turning over the question "What do I want" in my mind for the year ahead. I've got some ideas….
What about you?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Spaghetti Soup

I've gotten behind on my soup posts lately, but here's another good one!

Spaghetti Soup

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup each, chopped: green pepper, onion, carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2.5 cups water
2 14oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 oz dry spaghetti noodles, broken in 2-inch pieces
fresh basil, optional

Brown the ground beef in dutch oven or large stock pot with the chopped veggies and garlic. Drain grease if needed. Add remaining ingredients, except spaghetti. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add spaghetti noodles and reduce to gentle boil until noodles are tender. This is great with a green salad and french bread. 

My notes:
Don't skip the green pepper unless you can't stand green pepper. It gives this soup amazing flavor! 
My favorite jarred spaghetti sauce for this soup is the Ragu chunky garden style. Typically I buy Muir Glen tomato-basil but for this soup, we like the Ragu best.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Meme 2013

I saw this on Stephanie's blog a few days ago and immediately wanted to borrow it! Let me know if you do too.

Q: What is your favorite Christmas song?
Hark the Herald Angels Sing is my very favorite but how can you pick just one? I also love O Come All Ye Faithful. As for modern Christmas songs, I really like Hope Is Born Again by Point of Grace and Welcome to Our World by Chris Rice.

Q: What is your favorite Christmas special/movie?
Hmmmmm, well, I've watched Elf three times in the last three weeks so that ranks pretty high. I also love Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life. I could keep going…

Q: What sort of goodies do you make in December?
Homemade Chex mix, pecan dreams (aka mexican wedding cookies), and iced sugar cookies for Santa, and sausage balls. I usually try a few new things each year but those four are on my wouldn't-be-Christmas-without-them list. I should also mention that as of today I haven't done any holiday baking. That changes this weekend though!

Q: Favorite Christmas beverage?
Gingerbread lattes from Starbucks have been high on my list this year. I always ask for decaf and half the syrup. I don't like my coffee too sweet.

Q: How many Christmas parties do you usually attend?
Usually one or two. We have one this weekend that I'm really looking forward to!

Q: Do you go Christmas caroling? Does anyone carol at your house?
Yes to both! In the past we've gone caroling in our neighborhood with our neighbors but the past year or two we haven't been able to join them so they've come to sing to us! John and I went last year with a group from church and we'll be doing that again this weekend!

Q: What's on your front door at Christmas?
A simple wreath. I usually also hang a garland with white lights around the door frame but we didn't get that done this year.

Q: When do you put your tree up and take it down?
I like to get my tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving but that doesn't always happen, especially if we travel. In those cases I get it up as soon as possible! As for taking it down? I'm usually ready for it to come down the day after Christmas, much to my family's chagrin. I get a little twitchy if it's up too long.

Q: Do you decorate with traditional red and green? Or with other colors?
I'm a pretty traditional girl, so yes, red and green. I've never been bold enough to go for blue or purple. I do love lime green though and that adds a fun pop!

Q: How many Christmas trees do you put up? 
ONE! If my house was bigger I might do more because I'm certain we have enough ornaments to  decorate a small forest.

Q: Are your Christmas decorations themed or hodgepodge?
Hodge-podge and I LOVE it!

Q: Ham, turkey, both, or something else for Christmas dinner?
If we stay home for Christmas (and we usually do) I made a dish called Chicken Eden Isle for Christmas lunch. It's easy to make ahead of time and pop in the oven when needed, plus my family loves it, if feels fancy and decadent, and it's not something we have very often throughout the year.

Q: Do you have any traditions that are unusual or out of the ordinary?
Hmmmmm, unusual? I don't think so. We do the stuff most families do I think. Put together a gingerbread house, drive around and look at lights, buy gifts from The Giving Tree at church, send Christmas cards, church on Christmas Eve, etc. A few years ago, we started going to Denver on Christmas Eve Eve and having a nice dinner and walking around 16th Street Mall. That's been something new and fun for us now that our kids are older.

Q: Do you display Christmas cards in a particular way?
A couple of years ago, my sister gave me a cute over-the-door-thingy that holds/displays them. I pull that out every year but this year I couldn't find it so I've been adding them to basket under my Christmas tree. I usually check our mail in the afternoon and open them first so I've been passing them around at dinner so each of us can look at and read them.

Q: What do you do with Christmas cards you have received after the holidays are over?
I've done a number of different things over the years--saved them, put them in scrapbooks, kept them in a bowl on the kitchen table and picked a few each night and prayed over them. Typically though, I toss them. It kills me, but I'm just not a clutter girl and don't have a place to store them (we send a lot and we receive a LOT!) Please don't let that confession be the reason you take me off of your list!

Q: Christmas newsletters? Love 'em or hate 'em? 
L-O-V-E them! You might think that in this day and age where we're all connected via social media that Christmas newsletters aren't necessary. Perhaps that's true but I love receiving them and hearing news about those we love. I let the writer in our family take care of ours each year because it wouldn't feel "enough" to me to just send a family photo.

Meme credit goes to Carrie and Barbara. Thank you, ladies!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SMP 12.17.13

SMP = Seven Minute Post

This morning I got up, threw on my workout clothes + winter gear, and went outside to meet my neighbors to walk. I was out there for about thirty seconds before realizing that I could have slept in because it's only me one other friend who go on Tuesday mornings and she texted me last night to tell me she wasn't able to come. I forgot that my other neighbor does a different workout on Tuesdays. Man. I was frustrated with myself for not putting that together last night and turning off my alarm. I'm not always able to sleep in but I'm quite certain I would have had no problem doing so this morning. Sigh.

I went to bed last night and woke up this morning with a heavy heart for three friends. They're each facing very different situations with enormous courage. I'm praying peace for them today…and for God to infuse HOPE in their circumstances. I just keep hearing the line from "O Holy Night" in my head: The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn! I so want each of these friends to experience the thrill of turning to a brand new hope-filled chapter in their stories.

Also praying today for my kiddos taking finals. They are growing weary of studying and are excited about their upcoming break. Perhaps not as excited as I am though. I'm looking forward so much to some slow days at home with my favorite people in the world.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Need some last minute Christmas ideas? I put together a list of some of my favorite things that I either have and love OR would love to have. Happy shopping!

For the sporty girl:
I love this hat from Lululemon specifically because of the opening in the back for a ponytail! Cute AND functional right?
I also love this WristSTASH for when you're hiking or running or skiing and don't have pockets to stash your cash/keys/ID.

A few beauty essentials:
EOS Lip Balm is awesome. I love the shape of it because it's easier to find in my purse than a tube! I saw a 5-pk at Costco for a phenomenal price ($11). Where I live you can't have too much lip balm. I have it stashed everywhere!
Like lip balm, we go through lotion like c-r-a-z-y around here. I really like this True Blue super rich hand cream for daily use.

Years ago, I invested in a pair of Tweezerman tweezers. They are amazing. They've stayed sharp and "grippy" and in perfect condition. I'll just go ahead and tell you I get frustrated if my kids run off with them for their own personal use. I'm a wee bit protective of my Tweezermans. :)

Some ideas for the clotheshorse:
This scarf hanger/organizer from The Container Store is brilliant! It holds 28 scarves and is only $6!

A fabric shaver is a great little gadget for de-pilling and de-fuzzing sweaters and other knits. You can spend a lot or a little but I found a cheap one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond a few years ago that works great.

SmartWool socks are seriously the best socks in the world. Pricey? Yes, but so worth it. My feet are rarely cold when I wear them and they hold up very well over time. I consider each pair an investment. I've tried similar brands (KBell and REI) but I always go back to SmartWool.

I think these felted wool belts are so cute! I saw one on sale in Telluride this summer…and now I wish I had bought it.
For the tech-savvy girl (or guy):
This tripod for the iPhone (compatible with other smartphones too) is pretty clever. My phone is pretty much the only camera I use these days and there have been times a tripod would have come in handy! 

However, it's a bit of a "if you give a mouse a cookie" thing, because if you use a tripod for your iPhone you'd probably need this wireless shutter remote. 

Some things for the kitchen:
This OXO herb mincer is a handy little gadget for cutting cilantro, basil, any other herb you can think of.
These Zipzicle bags are fun for making your own popsicles! A set of these would be a cute stocking stuffer for your kids. They would also be fun in a "welcome to summer" basket or something.

I tend to be picky about mugs but these monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie are wonderful. My boss has a set and I love drinking tea from them at her house! They're just cheery and feminine and a perfect volume for a cup of hot tea or coffee.
My friend, Joanne, used to have one of these happy little pie birds. You put it in the center of the pie and the steam vents through the beak. I think it is adorable and I'm quite certain if I had one it would inspire me to bake pies all the time.

I gave John a set of wine punts for Christmas last year and he LOVES them. A punt is the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle and a wine punt is a bottle cut in half and used as a drinking glass. They're fun and different and come in different colors and sizes. We use our set all the time! Don't let the wine part throw you. Sure, you could drink wine from them but we use ours for all sorts of beverages.

For correspondence:
I'm a Colorado girl now, but my roots are deeply southern and every good Southern girl needs a set of monogrammed stationery. Etsy is a great place to find all sorts of customizable options. I happen to like this set. 
And to go with your monogrammed stationery, how about a self-inking customized return address stamp? I see so many cute ones on the cards that arrive in our mailbox this time of year. Again, Etsy is a great place to find one!

And two final ideas for the home:
I'm a big fan of flameless candle sets. They're battery operated candles that look (and sometimes smell) real and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! Some sets even come with a remote control and/or timer setting. They're really wonderful!

I am pretty much in love with these Starry String Lights from Restoration hardware. They're LED lights strung on bendable copper wire. They are battery operated and can be woven in a garland, around a mirror, in a wreath, even along the top of your countertops. So many ideas!

SOOOOOOOOOO much good stuff in this post!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Six on Saturday

1. John and I went on a date last night. This week was one where we were each a bit distracted by all we had going on and we weren't connecting. John recognized that and asked me one morning if I'd like to go out with him on Friday night. Sweet, huh? We went to dinner at a mexican place we've been wanting to try and it was amazing (local friends: you must order the tequila-lime chicken!) and then we knocked around a few stores trying to finish up some Christmas shopping. It was a nice, unhurried evening and we both need that time together more than we realized. I'm so thankful for my husband--he is a good man.

2. A few days ago, my friend gave me a stove-top potpourri kit that she'd put together and OH MY GOSH! My house smells amazing! People, you've got to make this. I promise you, you will love this and won't believe how heavenly your house will smell. Here are some cute ways you could package it and give it as a gift!
Photo credit: Calli from Make It Do blog. 

3. Thank you for all of your skinny jeans feedback. I bought a pair of Rockstar skinny jeans at Old Navy and I like them. I think I could probably find a more flattering fit, but I was smitten with the $18 price tag. I always feel guilty spending money on myself in December; it's a month that we seem to bleed money. But jeans under $20? I can go for that.
One of my commenters sent me this Pinterest link showing how to tuck non-skinny jeans into boots. It is brilliant! I tried it the very day she sent me the link and it worked GREAT. Nice to have an option for the jeans I already have. Thank you, Ginger!!!

4. I got to spend some time with one of my favorite friends yesterday. I met this particular friend last year after Will briefly dated her daughter. Isn't it amazing how God uses different ways to bring people into our lives? I told Will this week: Thank you for dating Maddi so I could meet and become friends with her mom! The blessing of that short-lived dating relationship was all MINE! 

5. I'm super sore this morning after trying a Pilates class yesterday with my friend. I haven't worked out in ages and I overestimated my fitness level when I chose a set of "light" weights to use during the class. My arms and shoulders might never be the same. It even hurts to type. I liked Pilates though! 

6. Thursday is the last day of school before Christmas break begins! I am giddy and my kids are sooooooooo ready. My older two have finals next week and I know they will be relieved once their exams are behind them. Bring on the family togetherness!!!!

Well, it's another December Saturday for us--full of fun and function. Hope yours is MERRY! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Brain Stream...

Random nothingness is all I've got today, folks.

I am working from home this week because my boss is out of town. I get much more done when I work away from home. I think it's because I'm easily distracted.

I ate lunch today at 10:25AM. I was ready for it at 9:45AM but was able to hold my growling stomach off a bit. That's what happens when I eat breakfast at six-something. I'll need another meal around one this afternoon and dinner will feel like a bedtime snack, er, feast.

I love December. L-O-V-E. So many fun things and traditions to look forward to.

Our temps climbed above freezing yesterday for the first time in a week. It felt like a heat wave. Seriously. It was 12 degrees when I walked this morning and I had frost in my hair but I wasn't complaining because that was about 25 degrees warmer than it was at the same time last week.

I went to the Broncos game on Sunday with some friends. Like my Broncos jester hat? That's what I ordered from Amazon last week so I'd look like a true fan. It was a cold game but we were prepared (SO many layers + feet and hand warmers) and I stayed pretty warm. It was a fun day for sure, especially since they won!

I'm trying to talk myself into a pair of skinny jeans. Mainly because I bought the boots I'd been saving for (found them for a ridiculously awesome sale price and snatched them up!) and John let me have them before Christmas because he's the best husband ever. Most of my jeans are boot cut and I can't tuck them in properly. My teen and tween, both of who have more fashion sense than me have stated over and over that I need skinny jeans with them. I'm starting to agree but I'm 100% sure they won't be flattering. Any help here from friends? Do you have a brand you like that is inexpensive? Do you feel ridiculous in them? Should I just get over myself and buy some and wear LONG sweaters with them? Thoughts? I would love some some feedback.

Our mailbox has been filling up with Christmas cards this week and that makes me so happy! I love hearing from friends this time of year. We are SO behind the ball on our own cards. We were supposed to have family photos made last weekend but the high temp was 10 degrees so we postponed until this weekend. It's going to be a Christmas miracle if I get them mailed on time, but it's definitely my goal. I have a lot of address collecting to do in the next week or so. I dread that…

This post has been a nice distraction but I must get back to work! Hope the rest of your day is merry and bright!