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Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Feel Good...

It's Friday Feel Good time again and thank goodness because I have a few things I need to let go. Every Friday I will list the things that frustrated me the most during the week. I welcome you to dump your frustrations in my comments section, let your shoulders relax and your weekend begin.

So, here it comes people...watch out...the gates are open and its flooding!

1. Little girls that do EVERYTHING but get ready for school in the morning! Since when does brushing your teeth include an audition for "America's Got Talent"? I have seriously seen it all - dancing, singing, juggling, comedy routines, tight rope walking (along the grout line in the tile floor)...when all I really want to see are white, tartar free smiles!

2. Dishes! Why hasn't someone taken the idea of Rosey from The Jetsons and run with it?! I need a robot that does the dishes and puts them away. Yes, I have a dishwasher but I still rinse them before they go in and I still have to put them away. With three meals a day and snacks in between...it is just as bad as laundry. Sometimes the never ending cycle of doing the dishes and laundry makes me feel like I am in a whirlpool and will be sucked under at any moment. I do not want to be sucked under dirty dishes and laundry...YUCK!

3. Leaf blowers before 8:30AM on ANY day of the week. Seriously, that noise is already totally obnoxious but before 8:30AM when I don't have enough caffeine in my body to help me keep some composure, I could seriously open a can of whoop bum on these people. I DON'T NEED THE ADDED STRESS OF BEING OVER STIMULATED THAT EARLY IN THE MORNING. I HEARD IT LEADS TO HEART DISEASE. Help me beat those odds by waiting to rev up that little motor until 8:31AM...PLEASE!!!

4. Stink bugs! If you are not on the east or west coast, hopefully these creepy, clingy bugs have not made it to your area as of yet. They come in droves and hang all over the outside of your house and search for any entry they can find. Once they find a way in...it is an all out war. You either have to catch them (thankfully they are slow) to flush them down the toilet, suck them up with a shop vac or the worst option...squish them in a paper towel. They do have a yucky odor when you squish them and when you have a small trash can full of the squashed bugs...it will stink up your bathroom worse than someone who just took the Hot Wings challenge of eating 100 of the hottest wings in 5 minutes or less! STINK BUGS - THANKS FOR YOUR VISIT TO AMERICA BUT IT IS TIME TO GO HOME NOW!!!

5. Pants that hang below your bum so that I can see your underwear! A friend from high school actually posted a very funny comic about this very same thing this week. Who started this trend and why did so many people say "That looks good! I'm going to start buying my pants two sizes too big!"?! When I see teenage girls in the mall, holding hands with guys dressed like this, I want to shake them. Their clothing choices are not freedom of expression they are just wrong. I don't want/need to see anyone's underwear that isn't in the many million loads of laundry that I do. PULL UP YOUR PANTS! PUT YOUR BUM AWAY! It's time for someone to start a new trend...PLEASE!!!

Okay, I'm done! I even laughed a bit with this one. I hope you did too. I feel refreshed, recharged and ready to have a FANTASTIC weekend. It's Chris's (the hubs) birthday on Sunday and I am ready to help him get his party on!!!

Please feel free to drop your worries, gripes, rants, etc...in my comment section. Think of it as your free Friday therapy purging session ;-)

If you do not know how to leave a comment, please click on this for a fast and easy tutorial - http://www.thepreppygirlinpink.com/2011/09/how-to-post-comment.html 

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

American Girl Crafting Fun...


The schools in our area are closed today and instead of just hanging out on the couch all day, I decided to plan some fun things for us to do.  One of those things was getting our craft on...

I am not the best with crafts. I can be if I put A LOT of effort into it but then it isn't as much fun for me. I need simplicity. I need things that are all in one box. If I have to hit more than two aisles for a project...you've lost me. I'm not proud of this. It's just who I am.


Everything I need in one box. THANK YOU!!!

One day while strolling through Michaels craft store, I found the American Girl Craft section. Not only were my girls swooning, but I was too! These are adorable crafts and they have everything you need in either one box/kit or it is right there in their own pretty, organized section. When I see that they are on sale, I am like a tween rushing for a chance to meet Justin Bieber and I stock up for occasions just like today.

So, just a short while ago, we broke open one of these bad boys I had stored in my closet and got our craft on! We had a lot of fun together and yes, actually completed the project and already have it hanging up in their rooms. Take a look...


Ash figuring out her pattern and style

Bean working on hers

Ash placing her foam dots
to add layers to her shapes

Bean placing hers carefully

Designing and creating 3-D accents


Bean's project before connecting
with ribbon


Ash's waiting to be strung

Bean's hanging from her ceilingin a corner
of her bedroom

Ash wanted hers to run down the side
of her bedroom window

This was an easy project to do with the girls where we could still chit chat and not follow a million different steps. Even though it was a kit, it still gave them lots of design options to make it their own and be creative. They look great in their rooms too!

For those of you that can do all of this on your own from scratch...I applaud you! I'll just stick with the American Girl Craft aisle at my local Michaels. It's better for everyone that way. The world doesn't need anymore of my unfinished craft projects.

Do you prefer kits or patterns or do you prefer to go rogue and create freely without boundaries?

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for "Friday Feel Good". It is where I vent about what drove me crazy during the week so that I can let it go and enjoy my weekend. You can vent away tomorrow too. Just leave it in my comment section and move on. I want all of us to have a good weekend!

 
Oh, just so you know...American Girl did not pay me to say any of this. They don't even know that I exist.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I love Field Hockey...

Sometimes when you stop doing something you forget how much you love it until you get a chance to do it again. I love field hockey and my girls reminded me of that love.

When I was young (way back in the day), field hockey was not even available for me to play until 9th grade in high school. Now, girls are practically born with a pacifier in one hand and a field hockey stick in the other. They can actually start playing on an organized team at the age of five in our area. I waited until both of my girls reached the age of seven but that was more because I wasn't ready to give up my weeknights and weekends just yet. (I know, I can be selfish like that sometimes.)

At Ash's very first game, I felt the adrenaline rush just like I felt like when I was out on the field. She looks so much like me that it was like watching myself run around out there at the age of seven. With each game, I could feel the love of the game growing again. By the time her last game rolled around in her second season, I emailed the field hockey commissioner and asked to sign up to be a coach the following season. Yes, you read that right...I signed up a whole year in advance. I was ready. I was more than ready! I was actually kicking myself in the bum for not signing up for her second season!

Ash taking a shot on goal...GO GIRLIE!!!
Ash then moved her sports with seasons. Basketball in the winter and lacrosse in the spring. Bean played lacrosse for the first time in the spring. My girls had such AMAZING coaches that gave their time, patience and knowledge to help grow both of my daughters' skills. I was inspired by them. I watched them like I was a sponge. I wanted to absorb all of the positive and fun styles of their coaching and when it was my turn throw in my own personal twist. I also was excited to get underway because of the incredible support of a commissioner who knows the game and loves it just like me.

Well, I am one month into my turn of coaching field hockey and I LOVE IT!!! I am head coach for Ash's team and I am assistant coach for Bean's team. (Bean turned 7 in late 2011, so she is a field hockey player now too!) I have a fantastic assistant coach on my team and I assist a wonderful coach on Bean's team. It is a lot of work and our schedule is crazy but it is so rewarding to see all of these girls grow as a team and watch their skills improve at each practice. I put my heart into it. I want these girls to love this sport the way I do. I want these girls to know the confidence that comes from being part of a team. I want these girls to create friendships with their teammates. I WANT THESE GIRLS TO HAVE FUN!!!

Bean saving the ball from going out of bounds

Our last games are the last weekend in October. I don't know what life will be like without all of these girls in my day to day life but I know that they will remain close to my heart. I love all of them now just as much as I love the game!


That's me, in the tie dye, coaching my girls
at halftime

Do/Have you coached any sports? Do you want to? If you have, what is the most rewarding part for you? If you have a favorite coach, give them a shout out and recognize them here.


I received so many wonderful emails from this post that I decided to link up with Momma Made It Look Easy on her "sharing awesome" post. Thanks to everyone who sent me such kind words! It means so much to me!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Blogging Style...

I am happy to tell you that I don't really have a blogging style. I also don't really have a pattern to follow as to what I will write about next. But that is what I want my blog to be about. I just want to have something for myself where I can get out what I want/need to. It may not always be creative, fresh or upbeat but it will always be honest and it will always be me.




I keep searching for and reading tips on blogging. I am VERY new at this and need all the help I can get on the technical side. I also want to learn how to increase the viewers on my blog and the comments too but I want them to grow because people like who I am, how I write and what I write about not because I am copying the style of a popular blogger.

If I lock myself in to write about just one or two things that most people in the world want to read about, that doesn't leave much room for creativity and growth. I want to blog because I want to dump some of this stuff that is in my head, heart and day to day life down. I could write it in a journal but I want to know if other people share my feelings and thoughts. I want comments. I want some of the comments to turn into conversations. I want some of the conversations to turn into friendships.

I also don't want to lock myself into writing short posts. Don't get me wrong, a lot of bloggers can get the job done and get it done well with few words but I am not one of them. I am a girl of many words. Many of which you may feel you want to skim over...but I still need to get them down. So much of what we want/need to say is limited to how many characters a certain app, social network or text will allow us. This blog does not limit me and that makes me happy.

So, what I want to know is...Do you think I am crazy for sticking to my guns and not conforming to what most tips on blogging say I should do to increase my viewers and comments? Or do you support me in blogging the way I want to and have been for the last month?

I appreciate all of your thoughts and opinions.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Football Fan...


I grew up with a father that wasn't really into sports. He would much rather tinker with, wash, Armor All and/or wax one of his big boy toys (sports cars, trucks, boats and motorcycles). I never even really paid attention to football until high school.

And really, I didn't so much pay attention to football...I paid attention to the football players. Eventually, I started to date the QB of our high school team and since I didn't want to be a complete fool by just shouting his name constantly, I actually started to pay attention to football. I asked questions of the guys sitting beside me in the stands. I listened when the guys would talk about the game afterwards. I even ended up watching it on TV. My QB boyfriend and all of his guy friends even got me to WANT to pay attention to football. It was exciting to watch and fun to talk about and compare teams.

At that time, I became a fan of Penn State and the Dallas Cowboys. I was only really exposed to those teams through my QB boyfriend's total devotion to those teams. It was when the Dallas Cowboys were hot (and I mean both on and off the field...Troy Aikman...hello?!) and most of my guy friends cheered them on with their wins and suffered right along with them at any of their losses. I knew plenty of other guys that liked other teams but I loved hanging out with all of the guys watching a Cowboys game on TV. There was so much energy!

My following boyfriend played football too and even went off to play for a college team. It was fun watching high school games on a chilly Friday night but watching him play college football couldn't have been more thrilling for me. He played tight end and he was amazing to watch. He loved playing the game and it showed. His family was from PA and they were (are) die-hard Steelers fans. I didn't know what a terrible towel was before I met them, but I learned very quickly that I needed to respect it if I were to watch football with them. His family had a passion for all things black & yellow. I loved being a part of that! I have to say, to this day when I see Bill Cowher commenting on a game, I get that same rush of excitement I did when he was on the sidelines, chewing on his gum like a mad man, coaching the Steelers.

Now a days, you will find me hanging out on the coach with my husband (that didn't play football...he was on the UofM crew team), cheering for the Michigan Wolverines, in my totally cute UofM football apparel from Victoria's Secret. They have sweats, hoodies and t-shirts that still make you feel and look like a girl and are oh so comfy! Lately though, we have had to DVR the games because I have Field Hockey games to coach for both of my girls. It's not as much fun watching them on DVR. I feel kind of silly yelling at the TV when I know the guys are already showered and moving on from the day. Not that when I yell at the TV while watching them live is any less silly, right?! It's not like they can hear me and if they could...I am the last person they would listen to.

So, I went from Penn State and the Dallas Cowboys, to the Salisbury Sea Gulls and the Steelers to the University of Michigan. We watch NFL games too but haven't really settled on a team. We cheer for the Ravens because my 7 yr. old nephew loves them and I will do anything to make him happy (Although, I am not enjoying watching them as much without my favorite Tight End, Todd Heap. Seems like I like me some Tight Ends, doesn't it?!). We cheer for the Lions because my husband is from Michigan (3-0 baby...geez, I hope I didn't just jinx that). We cheer for the Patriots because Tom Brady is a UofM graduate (Well, that is why Chris cheers for them. I cheer for them because Tom Brady is a total cutie...when his hair is cut short...not like Shaggy's from Scooby Doo).

All of this history from the girl who grew up without watching football on Sundays. Now, I look forward to Saturdays and Sundays with a great game on the tube! So, thank you to the guys throughout my life that made me pay attention to football. I am happy to call myself a football fan!

Why do you cheer on the team you follow today? Were you born and raised into it? Have you stuck with your hometown/state? Was it through friends? Was it through school? Was it out of love?

Please leave a comment. I would love to know the answer.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Feel Good...

I've noticed that a lot of bloggers have "theme" days and that a lot of other bloggers connect with them on these days. A lot of them have to do with fashion, which I am not nearly as stylish and cute as all of them so I've decided to take a different route and hope to find some people who will connect on my "theme".

My "theme" is Friday Feel Good. I am going to vent about all of the things that made me grumpy, sad, overwhelmed, mad, frustrated, etc. throughout the week. I want to clear it all out of my head and heart and enjoy my weekend with my husband, girls, rest of the family and friends. I want to relax, people. I need to relax!

So, get ready. I'm letting it all out...

1. Safeway had Coca Cola products on sale and an additional coupon in their weekly flyer but what was the onlyCoke product that was empty on their shelves and end caps in not just one, but two of their stores?! COKE ZERO! I am a loyal shopper of both Safeway and Coke Zero. In my opinion, they should just set aside a whole pallet of it and mark it as "sold" with my name all over it.

2. I am over arguing with girls 10 years old and younger. Why is it that I can't be the adult in this situation?! Why can't I let them have the last sassy word and move on?! Because I am a sassy girl myself, that's why! Am I proud of it? No, and I am trying to work on it but sometimes I just want to come back at them and say, "I am rubber and you're glue and whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!".

3. Laundry! It never stops!!! Four people in this house and we are active. So, that means there are usually our presentable clothes for the functioning part of our days and then our athletic gear for workouts and sports. I'm thinking we should just raise our kids from birth in leaves to cover private areas and not even let them know what clothes are. You don't have to wash leaves, you just replace them with ones in your own backyard. Just think of the time and money saved with this concept!

4. Physicians who ban the use of cell phones in their waiting rooms!!! Really?! You're going to leave me waiting over an hour for an appointment with magazines that are of no interest to me?! Or if there is a People magazine it still has Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt as a happily married couple on the front?! And then tell me that I can't play a game, surf the web or check my Facebook account?! Really?!!!! 

5. PMS! Women's bodies already feel awful during this monthly physical process. Do we really need the emotional roller coaster ride that goes with it?! Why weren't we cut a break on this one?! Yes, the intelligent side of my brain tells me that it is all connected but the irrational side of my brain with PMS wants a different answer! NOW!!!

6. Mother Nature! I didn't choose to live in an area with this much rain and grey days that go along with it. I chose to live in area with mostly sunny days with beautiful views of the water surrounding us. I can't see those beautiful views through the fog, heavy rain and pessimism.

Whew! I could feel my mood lifting with each word I typed. I am feeling so much better. I guess this is why so many therapists prescribe writing your feelings down in a journal. It feels good to purge and let go! 

Okay, I'm off to enjoy my weekend. Please feel free to vent your negative feelings here and then GO ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND :-)

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Trap Fruit Flies...

Last night as I was cleaning up from dessert, I noticed that there were a few fruit flies hanging out in our kitchen. I clean the kitchen sink about a million times a day, so I knew they weren't coming from there. I went through the fruit bowl and found not one piece to be rotting. Still, I took everything out of the bowl, cleaned the bowl and washed the fruit down (again).

I went to bed thinking the little guys would be gone in search of something else. What I should have known was that while we were sleeping, they were just inviting more of their friends.

I can't find the source of how they got into my home but this morning, I was on a mission to let them know it is OUR fruit, not THEIRS!

So, I did some research and I set a trap. I got out a small, shallow baking dish, plastic wrap, two chunks of nectarine, fruit punch and a knife (no, the knife was not for stabbing at the intruders).


The nectarine that sacrificed itself for my sanity.

I put the two chunks of nectarine in the dish and poured enough fruit punch to fill the bottom. Then I wrapped the dish tightly in plastic wrap. Next, I poked a few very small holes in the plastic wrap (see, I told you the knife wasn't going to be used to slay the beasts).


I know if I was a fruit fly, I would definitely fall for this trap!

The small holes allow the fruit flies in but by the time they try to fly out, they are so doped up on sugar that they can't find or figure out how to get back through the holes from which they entered.


I even went one step further and rested the bowl on some sturdy fruit.
I really wanted to entice these annoying tiny things with wings!
This is set up is like a smorgasbord to them.

The sting was actually set up about an hour ago and let me just tell you...this bust may make it to the Fruits & Vegetables Times. I currently have 9 fruit flies trapped under the plastic wrap and I do not see anymore flying around. I'm not taking it as a win just yet, but I would definitely say I am on my way there.

I can't tell you how happy I am that the solution was this simple and I didn't have to use anything made from chemicals.

Are there any chemical free tips you use to keep your family, home, food and yard safe from unwanted intruders? Please share them with me. I would love to know and appreciate your comments!

If you do not know how to leave a comment, please check out one of my previous blogs on how to do so.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lunch with Friends at Lures

I just got back from meeting up with a few of my close friends today to celebrate two birthdays in the group and as always...our friendship.


Great food but even better company!
(That's me, far left, I flat ironed my hair with a 70% chance of rain.
I should've worn my "smart" glasses.)

We met at a restaurant that I have been wanting to check out but get intimidated because the parking lot is always so full. Today, I found out why. Lures Bar and Grille has a cozy, Annapolis feel. The only thing missing is the view of water and once you are inside...you don't miss it. The food, drinks and friendly staff made us never want to leave.

I wasn't looking to eat and run anyway. I only get to meet up with these girls every several weeks and sometimes a couple months go by before we actually see each other in person.

We basically met on average 8 years ago in a "Mommies" group. Not all of the group could make it today, since some have gone back to work, one has moved to Cali and well, life gets even busier as the babies turn into school age children.

Lunch ended up lasting two hours. It was chock full of catching up, venting, advice asking & advice giving and yes, my favorite...laughing.

One of my favorite moments though was when one of the birthday girls apologized while talking with her mouth full. As we all know, Moms can multi-task and as long as they shield their mouth with their hand while speaking (which she did) so food doesn't fly across the table...I am happy to hear all of their voices (even if they have a bit of Black & Bleu Burger in them). And I told her just that!

These are the girls (and the ones that couldn't make it) that I can call on and know that they will be there even when there has been some distance. Because we don't choose the distance...we choose to not let the distance separate us.

Thanks for a wonderful lunch, girls! Can't wait until next time and the whole crew can join us!

When was the last time you got together with a group of friends that you don't get to see often and what did you do? Eat, drink, play kickball, go dancing?! Or all of those things simultaneously?!





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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Am From...

One of the bloggers I read regularly not only for the laughs she brings me but the knowledge about blogging and writing as well just got back from SITS Bloggy Boot Camp and shared a writing prompt with all of us bloggers out there. I thought I would give it a shot...so, here goes...

I AM FROM...

I am from rain coats of navy blue with green whales, from Sperry Top-Sider duck shoes and argyle sweaters with matching knee socks.

I am from the bedroom that every little girl dreams of with soft lavender walls and even softer lavender carpet, with a canopy bed and Mickey Mouse telephone on the nightstand.

I am from the sunflower that brings warmth in the fall and the weeping willow that moves to the tune in my head.

I am from Christmas mornings waiting on the top of the stairs for the "all clear" to rush down to see what Santa left behind and Christmas dinners with a relish tray that constantly refilled itself after all of our nibbling, from two high school sweethearts who eloped and two big brothers who always protect(ed) me.

I am from the family that laughs too loud at the table next to yours in the restaurant and the family that will drop everything to help each other.

From the spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down and your nose will grow if you tell a lie.

I am from the church choir full of sweet little voices and Sunday school teachers who held class outside when the weather was nice because God is all around us.

I’m from Annapolis, Maryland, steamed crabs and raw oysters.

From a family of five to my own family of four. From a husband who supports me and loves me even on my worst days. From two daughters who melt my heart when they reach for my hand.

I am from love and laughter.


If you would like a copy of this writing template, please stop by http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/ and check out Kat's Writing Prompts page. Who knows, you may find out that there is a writer deep down inside of you that you haven't met yet.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning About Life Through Dr. Seuss

This afternoon I volunteered to read to Bean's 2nd grade classmates. It is a 25 minute shift, gives her wonderful teacher a bit of time to grade papers and the kids a bit of entertainment. I asked Bean if there was anything that she wanted me to bring to read and she said I could pick it out.


Bean headed off to school on this chilly fall morning

Naturally, I went right to the shelf on the girls' shared bookcase that holds all of the Dr. Seuss books. I remember liking Dr. Seuss books when I was little but I love them now that I am a grown up. I love that while rhyming the craziest of words that I am also teaching my girls how to be better people and that they totally get it.

Today, I chose to bring a Collector's Edition that includes the stories of "Yertle the Turtle", "Gertrude McFuzz" and "The Big Brag".  As I was reading them, each story brought out some of my own feelings.

"Yertle the Turtle" shows that you have to count on a lot of people to be at the "top" and that if you don't treat those people who helped get you to the "top" well, that it can all come tumbling down. This is kind of where I was last April. I was trying so hard to be the best I could be at being a wife, a mom and a career woman that I ended up taking some people for granted and I was miserable in the process. It all came to a head and instead of letting everything fall apart, my husband and I decided it was time for me to resign. Since then, I have been working on being a better wife, mom and friend. I may not be at the "top" I expected to be at this point in my life but I am at the "top" I want to be at this point in my life.

"Gertrude McFuzz" reminds us that we shouldn't compare ourselves to everyone else and/or try to "one up" them and to just accept who we are. This is kind of where I am now. I started blogging one month ago today and even though I am new at this I often feel defeated when my viewing stats aren't as high as I would like them to be. I look at my followers and I still have the same 16 that I have had since the first week I started blogging. I wonder why so many other bloggers have the amount of visitors and followers they do. I ask myself, "Why do they like them better than me?!" Then I had a friend on Facebook that I haven't seen in almost 20 years comment that she didn't know I was a writer and that she liked my blog. Me...a writer and she liked what I had written. That is what snapped me out of it. I didn't start this because I wanted mass followings (although, don't get me wrong...I would love it). I started this as a creative outlet and something to hopefully look back on in years to come for the memories, not to compete with the blogger on the next web page. Instead of comparing myself to other bloggers, I will just enjoy the time I set aside to blog.

"The Big Brag" explains that people who have to brag, really don't have anything to brag about and that they are just trying to make themselves seem better than they really are. I'm not a bragger. I actually doubt myself constantly so I would never want to set myself up for failure by bragging but what I took from this story is that you shouldn't invent things to brag about. What you should do is find something about yourself that you are proud of and enjoy that feeling.

After reading each of these stories to the class today, I felt good. The kids laughed, they made comments about how badly the main characters behaved and why and I reminded myself that at any age...we can always learn through the writings of Dr. Seuss.

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

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Friday, September 16, 2011

"Teachers are smart, Mommy."

In a post last week, I commented on how I ordered some new frames for my prescription glasses. Well, they came in and I loved them immediately. Just when I thought I couldn't love them anymore than I already did...

My IQ went up just with putting on these glasses
Ash told me that I looked like a teacher. I asked her what she meant by that and she said, "Teachers are smart, Mommy. You look really smart with those glasses on."

Sweet! Not only do I love these glasses for their style but I finally look smart. I guess for years I have been walking around looking not so smart ;-)

What stood out to me in this quick chat with her though was that she believes in teachers and respects them. That is a great feeling for a mommy!

So, for all you teachers out there...when you doubt yourself after a long, hard day...the girl below chose all of you for the definition of smart!

She looks smart with or without her glasses because of all you hard working teachers out there
Teachers, thank you for all of your effort, time, patience and knowledge!

Who was/is your favorite teacher and why? If you do not know how to leave a comment, please see my post titled "How to leave a comment". I would love to hear from you!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yes, I can do that...

Does your mouth ever say "yes" to the question, "Who can help with this?" when your brain is telling it to say "no"? I don't know what is going on but a lot of people that I am close to are doing so a lot within the past few weeks. I am too. Now, don't take that the wrong way if I have recently answered "yes" to you because it is kind of hard to explain...or maybe it isn't.

I think that sometimes our brains try to talk us out of things. Maybe because we are afraid of change, failing or making a complete fool of ourselves. Who wants to run the bake sale at school when the most they know about baking cookies is cutting the roll of already made cookie dough, throwing it on a cookie sheet and baking at 350 degrees for 15 mins?! (Yes, I have done this...more than I should admit.) Who wants to run the garden clean up at the common space in your neighborhood when you don't know the difference between a true plant and a weed?! Who wants to help at the preschool when you feel like you can't keep your own toddler under control, let alone 9 others that don't belong to you?!

It all seems a bit daunting at times when people ask things of us that we aren't sure we are capable of doing. But, I think that our mouths are actually trying to help us out. They are trying to get us to come out of our shells...to see and do more. Our mouths are what make us take that leap of faith when our brains are telling us no.

In the past few weeks, my mouth has said "yes" for me several times and I haven't regretted it one bit and neither have my friends who are in the same "yes" boat. We have signed on to do all kinds of different things. Some of those things we have done before but didn't think we would do again. Some of them are completely out of our element. But all of them have been to help someone or something out and we wouldn't take back our "yes" replies if you gave us another chance....because nothing feels better than helping.

What is the last thing you did to help someone out when your brain said "no" but your mouth said "yes"?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One Tired, Happy Mommy

How in the world is it 9:53PM already?! Really?! My afternoon has been a complete blur since 2:30PM when I left the house to pick up my girls from school early for an appointment with their pediatrician.

I put more miles on my car in this time span than we do on our family trips to Michigan (Go Blue!!! I had to slide that in there...Saturday's game against Notre Dame was crazy insane!!!) We went from the girls' school to the pediatrician's office, from the pediatrician's office to the eye doctor's office to pick up newly prescribed glasses for Ash, from that office to our house to grab two pairs of cleats, 3 field hockey sticks, snacks and water bottles, from our house right back to where we started...the school, where I assist coach for Bean's field hockey team and when that practice is over...head coach for Ash's field hockey team. Finally, when that was done we headed back home. All of these places are probably in a radius of about 10 miles but I feel like it was a 100!

As I write this though, my exhaustion is fading a bit. Maybe it's because as much as we had to accomplish this afternoon I think I only had to threaten to pull the car over once. I'm  kidding! I'm not sure if the girls sensed that today was a day that they had to keep it together or their mommy would fall apart or if they just left some good toys in the backseat to keep them busy during our travels. Either way, the more I think about it...I am incredibly thankful! They had great manners, offered to help me get things in and out of the car and even helped each other. This afternoon could have been a lot different. I'm tired now but it is a good tired..the one where you can rest your head on the pillow and fall asleep within minutes. The kind of tired that lets me know that I took great care of the two most important little girls in my life.

Ash & Bean
Goodnight, my little girlies...sweet dreams! Mommy loves you so very much!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Reflection of the Past

I went to my 20 year high school reunion this past weekend. Wow! 20 years! Still can't believe it! Feels like just yesterday that some of the guys I knew picked up my 1980 MGB convertible and moved it to the 50 yard line of our football field. Yes, they thought it was hysterical and no, I didn't...not at first anyway. At first I thought it was stolen. Then of course the laughter began when word spread through the senior parking lot and finally made it to me.

High school was full of memories for me. Most of them good but as with most of us...there were a few heartbreaks,  a few dozen mistakes made, losses to teams we despised (not very often mind you...our school rocked in the sports department), fights with friends over what now I wish I could go back in time and do over and just plain, yucky cafeteria food.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go my reunion. I know...silly, right?! Who doesn't want to see if that guy you thought would have 5 divorces by now really had them?! Or if the girl that you were certain due to her beauty alone would be married to a billionaire and driving a Porsche 911 that you can only dream about?! That wasn't enough to draw me in though. I still have a lot of the same qualities and characteristics that I had in high school but in the 20 years since then I have matured (a bit). I wasn't sure if I wanted to be reminded of the not so great qualities and characteristics that I had changed for the better over the years.

Then I thought of something that happened about two years ago when both Ash & Bean started at a new school. They each came home on the first day and said that they had already made a friend. You can't hope for anything better, right?! Well, as the first month passed and social events started steadily picking up on the girls' calendars I got to know these two girls that my daughters had claimed as friends. It also just so happened that these two girls were the daughters of two girls that I went to high school with and hadn't seen in close to 18 years. And once they realized that their daughters had become close to my daughters, they didn't shun them because of who I was 20 years ago. It actually gave them (and me) some comfort to know that we do have a past together. We know how we all grew up and we also now know who we have grown to be. 


Ash & her friend still smiling two years later

Bean & her friend celebrating with ice cream two years after that first day

It was the relationships that I have formed with both of these mommys that helped me change my mind to buy the ticket to the reunion. Well, that and the fact that one of those mommys happened to be in the same graduating class and basically kicked me in the bum, told me to stop being so shy, buy a ticket and go have a good time with her and the rest of the Class of 1991. You know what?! I am so happy I did! I saw old friends that I didn't even realize how much I missed until our first hello again in however many years. I also saw the old me from 20 years ago and I actually liked her a lot more than I remember I did. Do you know why? Because the classmates I caught up with at the reunion didn't point out my faults from 20 years ago, they pointed out what they liked about me 20 years ago.

So, from now on instead of trying to hide from the past...I am going to embrace it because my past is what made me who I am today and I like that person 9 out of 10 days.

Graduating Class of 1991...it was great to see all of you!

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to post a comment...

The Preppy Girl in Pink


Hi there! A lot of my friends are having a hard time posting comments due to their email provider not being on Google's accepted list. I have added "Anonymous" to the drop down list.

So, if you would like to leave a comment (and I would LOVE it if you did...hint, hint) and you have been having a hard time, this is what you will need to do:

  1. Click on "comments".
  2. Type in your comment - Add your name at the end of it (as if you were signing an email) if you want me to know who you are. If you prefer to stay anonymous there is no need to do this.
  3. Go to "Comment as:" box directly underneath of your comment and click on it.
  4. A drop list will appear - select "Anonymous" if you do not see an account name that you belong to.
  5. Click on "Post Comment" just underneath the "Comment as:" box.
  6. Word verification will come up. Type in the same exact letters directly below in the text box.
  7. Click on "Post Comment" and your comment will post to my blog.
I hope that helps because I would love to hear from all of my readers at some point in time. If you still have issues, please let me know through my contact page.

I can't thank all of you enough for supporting me on this adventure. I am incredibly excited that I have had over 1,400 visitors with only 18 posts before this one!! I am new at this and I may not be that good at it yet but it makes me incredibly happy to have this creative outlet!!

Thank you again...sincerely!

Kristen

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Flooding from Tropical Storm Lee

If you all thought I was done with the rain yesterday, lets just say that today pushed my sanity. Okay, it not only pushed it...it broke it!

We lost power again last night and it stormed something fierce...ALL NIGHT. I woke up thinking I could handle the no power thing for a day. I mean we did just wrap up 73 hours with no power after Hurricane Irene, but then I heard a noise. A noise I have not heard before in my house. It was early, dark and I was still a bit groggy from the sleepless night. I followed the noise and found out it was coming from the basement.

I went down the stairs with my flashlight in hand and aimed it at the power box for our cable. Took a step down from the last step and SPLASH!!! I landed in water up to my ankles!!! Yes, I know that I should have been shining the light at the ground but I was more interested in finding out what was causing the noise. Come to find out...it wasn't the cable power box. It was the alarm saying that the battery back up on our sump pump had died. Really?! Cause I think the water I was standing in would let me know that. Don't you think it should have gone off before the basement started to fill with water?! Not after it was already over my ankles?!


Can you see the waves rippling in the back?!

Why oh why didn't I buy those pink Hunter Wellies in Nordstrom the other day?

 Of course, Chris is out of town. (I won't even mention where he is but lets just say it is sunny, warm, there are palm trees and they upgraded him to a waterfront suite just because.) So, what's a girl to do? I called my mom and dad. They came up with a few ideas over the phone of what I could do but as all parents do...they recognized that I had not only crossed over the line of sanity into the area of insanity but that their grandchildren were with me, in the care of a crazy person. So, they activated emergency plan A and came over to help me get out from underneath the water.

These are my Dad's feet. I think he is looking for minnows swimming by.


These are my Mom's feet. She was pretending she was lakeside and went with flip flops instead of boots.

And truly...Thank God they came over to help me because I would have NEVER been able to take care of all of this water without them. Mom & Dad, You are the best!!! Thank you for saving me from drowning (literally and figuratively)!!!

Has Lee left you in the water too?!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A bowl of ice cream is a bowl of bliss

Does anyone want to take a stab in the dark and guess what the weather in Maryland was today?! Yep, you guessed it...RAIN!!! POURING DOWN RAIN!!!

Okay, besides the fact that the rain does terrible things to my hair, it also does terrible things to my mood. I should have been in a wonderful mood this evening. Once a week I try to take time for me while the girls are at school and Chris is at work. Today was that day for me...I had the hubs home with me for a bit this morning (he is usually off to work early...VERY early), I went to the mall and picked up my white Baby G watch, met up with some great friends for lunch at Zoe's Kitchen (Yum! If you haven't tried it...go...go now!), picked out some awesome new frames for my glasses (Thanks, Mom!) and even had time to play around with Facebook before the girls got home from school (which I am knew at, so playing around with it means clicking on the Help tab a lot).

Sounds like a totally easy & fun day, right?!

Well, all I can say is that by 5:30PM my girls and I were like slugs. It looked like it was midnight outside due to the dark rain clouds and we were laying down on the couch/floor. Four nights and three whole days of rain has just drained us!

So, what is the one thing that I know will always lift my spirits?! You know what I'm talking about...a big ol' bowl of ice cream!!! Seriously, just saying it lightens my mood. (I know, I have a problem...but it could be something WAY worse than ice cream!)

Here's a look at how I went from sad to glad and turned that frown upside down...


I started scooping out my favorite - Mint Chocolate Chip
Then I added some Hershey's chocolate syrup (please note it has added calcium, so I am getting some health benefits)

Then I put on the pastel sprinkles...preppy and yummy at the same time

Finally I got to take the first bite and enjoyed every one there after until...

The bowl was empty!

That's what I'm talking about...a bowl of bliss!!! 

What food brings you back to your happy place? 

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How do you tame frizzy hair?!

It has been raining since Sunday late night in Maryland. I may have to put the girls in their life jackets and the kayak to get them to the bus stop tomorrow morning. It has been the grey, heavy downpour, yucky kind of rain that makes you want to stay under the covers...

The only problem with doing so is my hair! You've seen how curly it is. Rain (moisture of any kind really) is not my hair's best friend. By 6:30AM my hair was taking over my husband's side of the bed just from letting Jamaica outside for a potty break. By noon I couldn't fit down the hallway between the bedrooms. I may have actually left some scratch marks along the walls!

So, just as I was about to throw it up into another ponytail and hide it under a sports headband I decided to try something different...

Self photo...another new trick I am trying to master. I know, I still need a lot of practice :-(
I went for something I have been seeing in all the magazines and actually do to my both of my daughters' hair but have only done on my own hair two times before. Mostly because I am not the most skilled at doing my own hair. So, I went for a french braid down the left side and then ended it with a braided bun on the left side of my neck. It worked out the very first try...WOOHOO!!!

It was a great way to keep the frizzies under control and out of my face (and everyone elses too!).

How do you tame your frizzies?! Ponytail? Baseball hat? A certain product you want to share? I'd love to know.

Rain rain go away...
Kristen wants to let her curls down to sway!  (Pretty please)

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Monday, September 5, 2011

The Best of Friends

My two girls have been playing together since they woke up at 7:30ish this morning. It is now 5:00PM as I write this.



Ash & Bean with their Zhu Zhu pets 2011
 They have brought out their Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, Zhu Zhu pets Silly Bandz and Legos. They have gone through an Oriental Trading Catalogue and cut out pictures of their favorite items. They have cleaned it all up when moving from one project to the next.

They have paused for breakfast, lunch, a quick swim and will shortly be wrapping it up for the day as we move onto dinner, a movie on the couch with the family and finally bedtime.

They have had a moment or two of brief frustration but they have had a great day together. These days happen more often than not in our house. I know on the days where they are arguing I tend to exaggerate and say "You two need to learn how to get along!". You know what though?! They do...and it is heart warming!!

Neither one of them remember life with out the other (they are just shy of being two years apart) and that is how I always want it to be.


Ash & Bean on the day Bean was born 2004


Ash & Bean having a blast in their play area 2005


Best friends headed out on a mission of fun 2005


Ash & Bean with their Curious George pals 2006


Testing the waters together 2007

Off on another adventure 2008


Teamwork at the beach...2009

and in the snow too 2009
Row, row, row your boat 2010

On a break while hiking Old Rag Mountain 2011

I hope you know that you will always have each other and never take each other for granted.

I love you, my little girls.
Mommy

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Hungarian Puli named Jamaica

There is one family member that I have left out of my blog so far. Not intentionally but more so because she is hard to capture in pictures where you can even tell what she is. So, without further delay, please meet Jamaica...
They are technically called cords, but we call them dreadlocks (and so does everyone else who passes by on a walk).

She is a pretty rare breed and draws lots of attention when we are out (which the girls absolutely love). The first question we always get is, "Does her hair naturally do that?!". This is where the hubs looks at me in a way that says, "Kristen, please don't give a sarcastic answer here. I'm sure most people have never even heard of this breed, let alone see one in person." I then bite my tongue, swallow the blood and say "Yes, it does that naturally with a bit of help to make sure it doesn't turn into one big matted mess." When I really want to say, "Really?! Do you think we are those crazy people that just decided to give our dog dreadlocks for the fun of it?!". The second question always warms me back up though because I know they are going to smile when they hear the answer. It is..."What's her name?" and when we say, "Jamaica" they love it!


Can you spot Jamaica in this pile of stuffed animals?


Jamaica has a heart as big as the Grinch's when he finds out the true meaning of Christmas. She knows when you need a friend, she knows when a storm is coming, she knows when a stranger is near. She always puts our family's wants and needs before hers. She may scratch at us a few times to remind us that she has some needs too but she is always gentle about it.

 It's hard to tell where her face is without her tongue sticking out!

Jamaica has captured our hearts. Do you have a pet or favorite animal that has captured yours? Please leave a comment or tweet me at KristenPGIP. I'd love to know :-)

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