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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Holiday Grinches...

I'm not one of those people who is crazy about Christmas. I don't decorate, put my tree up, listen to Christmas music or even start shopping until Thanksgiving is over.

However, once Thanksgiving is over...the decorations and the tree go up while I am listening to Christmas music and shopping online!

I love the excitement that Christmas brings with it. I love the bright colors, the twinkling lights and the smell of pine in my home. I love the sense of community, friendship and family that comes out as we all prepare to celebrate. I love that my girls can't wait to leave cookies for Santa and carrots and oats for his reindeer.

Here is what upsets me this time of year...The Holiday Grinches! I appreciate the fact that there are people who can find this holiday overstimulating, greedy, commercialized and just plain annoying but I don't appreciate it when they let it all out in front of my girls.

We are only six days after Thanksgiving and I have had to divert my girls' eyes and ears away from four different people!!

Please find The Holiday Grinch encounters below.

1. At Michaels Craft Store - A lady was complaining (with naughty swear words) that the store was too crowded and that if people who shopped here on a regular basis, like her, were only allowed in it would be empty and peaceful.
Uh, hello?! Empty?! If it was as slow as she would like it year round...the store would be out of business. Christmas brings in a lot of money for stores to help them keep their doors open year round. I didn't really mind the complaining about the store being too crowded but the swear words in front of my girls and A LOT of other children really upset me.

2. At Target - A parking space argument that involved the screaming of swear words, hand gestures and honking. I told my girls that they were just excited to see each other and rushed them along.
Come on people, don't come to the stores on the busiest days after Thanksgiving if you can't be polite in the parking lot. Wait and go later or shop online where you can swear all you want!

3. The Mall - Two totally cute teenage girls that had to start talking about how all of these "little brats" waiting in line for Santa were "so stupid" ( a word we are not allowed to say in our home).
I was a teenager once too and I wasn't into little kids but there are such things as manners and apparently these two did not have any. I told the girls that Santa would probably bring them coal for Christmas.

4. At Church - Yes, you read that correctly. We went to church on Saturday to make our Advent wreath as a family and the lady at the table next to ours was talking about how she can't stand when the church gets crowded during Advent season and there are so many "strangers" beside her in the pews.
Are you kidding me?! As Christians we should welcome people into our churches with open arms. It doesn't matter if they come every Sunday. We have no idea what their life is like or how they practice their religion throughout the year. We should just embrace the time they do join us. The more the merrier, right?!

So, the next time you are out and about between now and Christmas, please think about what you say and do in front of people. It is one thing to think it, it is another thing to speak it and act upon it. There are a lot more Whos than there are Grinches...and really, do you want coal in your stocking?!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Real Vs. Fake Christmas Tree...

Last year, I saved up a good amount of vacation days to use around Christmas. The year prior to that, I was too busy to take off from work. I told my family that I wanted to "DO IT UP!". I wanted to deck the halls with boughs of holly. I wanted lots of decorations on the front of the house. I wanted decorations to cover every surface on the inside of the house but most of all I wanted a real Christmas tree.

When I was younger, my asthma made things very hard for me. All kinds of random things would trigger a full blown attack. Christmas trees happened to be one of those random things. Now that I am older, my asthma is more controlled and usually a quick puff or two from my inhaler and I am all good (or at least not on my way to the ER). This year though, I was bound and determined to find a real tree so that the smell of Christmas would take over our home.

Our real Christmas tree from 2010
A home to hundreds of baby bugs!!
We only went to one lot and after a walk through the rows of trees...we found the "perfect" one. We all agreed on it and it didn't cost a small fortune (maybe just a small car payment). We strapped it to the roof of the car. We brought it home. It went into the tree stand with ease (how many people can say that?!). We strung our lights, hung our decorations and stared at it in awe. We had a real Christmas tree! Mommy and Daddy were both going to be off for several days around Christmas. Our holiday was turning what I had pictured in my head into a reality...until Christmas day.

My family came to celebrate at our house for lots of good food, present unwrapping and plenty of Wii playing. At one point I was sitting on the carpet watching my niece unwrap a present when I noticed a tiny bug on the carpet. I thought it was a tick. It wasn't, thankfully. I squished it in a napkin and didn't give it a second thought...until I saw a few more of them as the day went on.

We had a roaring fire that day (remember, I was trying to go for the perfect Christmas setting) so I thought that some bugs had come in with the logs. We moved our copper log container to the garage and again didn't give it a second thought...until the next morning.

We had a bunch of baby bugs crawling all over the floor. By the time my in-laws arrived to celebrate a belated Christmas with us, there were hundreds crawling around (no kidding!). We pulled those ornaments and lights down faster than Speedy Gonzales! Chris took the tree out to our bonfire pit and set it a blaze. I got out the shop vac and started sucking up any and all bugs that I could find. I couldn't rest. I was constantly searching the floor for movement for days! I would even wake in the middle of the night to see if I could catch any of the sneaky ones that knew it was safest to move in the dark! (Yes, the bugs did drive me a bit insane...I admit it!)

Apparently, you should check a tree for eggs on the branches before you purchase it. When you bring a tree in to the warmth of your home it tricks the eggs into thinking it is time to hatch. I never knew this or even thought about it as my fake tree was always care free. If I had known all of this, that tree would have been left on the lot! I can't even describe what we saw on that thing after close inspection. I have the heebie jeebies right now just thinking about it! It was AWFUL!!!

Needless to say, we are back to our good ol', bug-free, fake Christmas tree this year!

Do you prefer fake or real? Do you have any tree horror stories?

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Family Made Advent Wreath...

It feels good to be back on my blog for the first time in a week. So much happened over the Thanksgiving holiday but I will leave that to memory (or block some of it from memory) and move forward with the excitement that fills me right now and that is getting ready for Christmas!!

On Saturday, we went to our church and made our first Advent wreath as a family. I don't know why we waited so long to do this. We walked into the social hall and the smell and music of Christmas was in the air. I could feel the change in my mood. I went from turkey, pumpkin and brown leaves overload to fresh pine, holly and sugar cookie joy!

I love the symbolism of the Advent wreath. The circle shape has always been symbolic of eternity and the evergreens represent life and hope. There are three purple candles and one pink candle. The candles are the first light of this joyous season. You light a purple candle each week until you progress to the final week of Advent season where you light the pink candle. The pink candle is a symbol for the rejoicing to be had around the world.

If you would like to make your own Advent wreath you will need:
  • Oasis wreath form (wet floral foam)
  • Candle holders designed for floral foam
  • 3 purple taper candles
  • 1 pink taper candle
  • Assorted evergreens such as pine, holly, boxwood and if you would like...some special touches such as sage, rosemary and/or lavender

Our beautiful smelling greens

The family working out the plan for
our wreath design

Candle holders placed at 12, 3, 6 & 9
Ash & Bean following the circular
pattern of inserting the greens
so they will lay nicely
Almost done! I wish you could smell
this thing!!

Holly is going in near the candle holders
for that "special" touch

The girls putting the candles into
the wreath
Ash & Bean with the finished
Advent wreath
Note - sugar cookies in their hands :-)
I think this will become a new tradition in our home. It was so much fun, so simple and the girls couldn't wait to light the first candle at dinner last night. It also reminds us that Christmas isn't just about packages with pretty wrapping and bows. It reminds us that Christmas is the celebration of the life that has been given to us. A life we should cherish and be thankful for!

Now, if we can only remember to water it every 4-5 days...

Do you have a holiday tradition (no matter what holiday you celebrate) in your family to start the season off on a meaningful note?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

I Am Thankful For Time...

It's that time of year where people are sifting through their minds and hearts for all that they are thankful for. This year there is one word that sums it all up for me. That word is "time".


Time used to be something I only noticed on my watch
I would wish for the minutes to fly by
One day my heart reminded me to look up and
 I shuttered at what was right before my eye

My children that once needed me for everything
didn't need me so much
They had grown bigger and more confident and
didn't need me to hold their hands and such

My children that used to fall asleep so comfortably
with their head upon my chest
now look for their own bed and pillow
for a good night's rest

I missed so many details and moments
by rushing through my days lightning fast
I never took the time to stop and realize
 how quickly it would all fall to my past

With my heart's gentle reminder to slow down
and savor each flavorful day
I promise to no longer take time for granted
nor allow it to stray

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you and your family slow down and enjoy yourselves. Time goes by too quickly if we allow it.

I'm taking the rest of the week off from my blog. I'll be on Twitter (KristenPGIP) or on The Preppy Girl in Pink's Facebook page here and there but I am going to take this week to soak up the time with my family. See you all next Monday!!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Sick Day for Bean...

I was awoken several times last night with what I thought was a seal in our house. I know, most people do not usually have seals in their homes but when you are deep in slumber and the noise you hear sounds like a look for a seal.

Unfortunately, it was Bean. She had this awful cough when I went in to check on her. By this morning, she had a fever as well. So, she stayed home with me today while her big sis, Ash, went off to school.

Within two hours, Bean was already asking what time Ash would be home. Within three hours, Bean was asking what I thought Ash was doing at school at that very moment. Within four hours, she was constantly looking at the clock and asking me what time I head to the bus stop. After five hours, Bean was constantly looking out the window for any sign of a bus with Ash on it.

In the 6th hour, she happened to catch sight of the middle school bus and I saw her face light up with excitement. She started to squeal, "Ash's home! Ash's home!". I think I broke a small piece of her heart by telling her it was the wrong bus. She looked like she lost all of her Littlest Pet Shop toys.

Finally, she heard the "beep, beep, beep" of a bus backing up and she knew it was the right bus. She looked at me and said, "Mommy, she's really home this time. I missed her so much today. May I PLEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEE go open the door for her?"

So, even though it was colder than a popsicle outside, I let her go downstairs and open the door to greet her big sister with a smile. They have been side by side ever since Ash walked through the door.

Ash & Bean

I love these two girlies!!!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Love Letter to Coke Zero...

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop has challenged us bloggers once again with some great writing prompts. The very last prompt on the list was to write a love letter to an inanimate object. I think I've got this one covered...

My dearest Coke Zero,

I never believed in love at first taste until I met you. At the first feel of your icy, cold can in my hand I had goosebumps from the anticipation (and partly from you being an icy, cold can). As I lifted your metal tab top and heard the rush of carbonation mixed with the pop of the metal, I felt dizzy.

As I brought you up to my mouth, I giggled from your little carbonated bubbles tickling my nose. With just a tilt of the can, I knew you would be all mine and no one else's (mostly because I am not good at sharing and well, it is only 12 ounces and I have no problem drinking that down!). The rush that came with that first was one of confusion, a new found love and soda goodness all wrapped into one.

I felt like I was drinking my x-soda, Coke, but I knew in my heart you were different somehow. I knew you weren't going to weigh me down like Coke did. He was so full of sweet talk (yes, I'm talking about the sugar)! I just couldn't handle it anymore. Over the years, as much as I loved him, I knew it wouldn't last. I knew I could never stay with someone that couldn't bring me the satisfaction without bringing all the extra stuff that I didn't want or need with it (like calories).

With you, I have all the taste I desire and none of the baggage (zero calories, people! this stuff is amazing!) that has come with my past relationships with soda. You are a fresh start. You are my new love. Some may even say my addiction (mainly my husband & close friends).

I can tell you this, Coke Zero, we will be together forever. I have a need for you like I have never had for another soda before (I'm pretty sure I have a caffeine problem). This relationship was built to last. I thank the Coca-Cola Gods for you every day. Please don't ever leave my fridge or my heart empty!

I love you like crazy!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Finally Feel at Home...

It's hard to make friends in a new town. It's even harder to make friends in a new town when you work full time. As of this month, we have been in our home for three years.

View from our front walkway

For the last six months...
  • I have had the privilege of being a stay at home
  • I have been able to be more involved at my girls' school
  • I have been able to RSVP yes instead of no
  • I have been able to hang out at the bus stop before and after the bus arrives

A view from our front porch

In the last six months...
  • I have had the time to be an assistant coach for my youngest daughter's lacrosse team
  • I have had the time to not only head coach my oldest daughter's field hockey team but assist the head coach of my youngest daughter's field hockey team
  • I have had the time to help other parents by covering things for their children while they have work commitments

A view from our backyard after a snowfall

I have made some wonderful friendships with amazing people. I have come to adore the girls on all of the teams I have supported. I feel that my friends that are working know that I understand that things get crazy at times and that I am happy to help them in any way that I can. I believe that I can count on people to help me or my family and I believe they feel the same way about me.

  • My heart feels full and happy
  • I finally feel at home
  • I know I wouldn't want to live anywhere else but here

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Migraines Are A Pain...

Wish I had this smile on my
face today!

I went to bed last night with a migraine and guess what?! I woke up with one too! I was on the calendar to work the school store at 8:45AM and since my good friend works it too...I took some Excedrin and was on my way. I felt pretty good and love being with my friend so all seemed right with the world.

I left the school feeling like I was keeping my migraine at bay. I even met up with another friend after working the school store to go for a walk. At the end of the walk, I could feel it trying to break through the Excedrin.

I came home and wanted to take my prescription medication but knew that in less than two hours I had to be in Ash's classroom for an hour. I had promised I would come to her classroom observation in honor of National Education Week. I missed so many things while I was working that I really want to be there while I am not.

So, I took some more Excedrin. Don't worry, it was time...I'm not looking to overdose...just ward off a migraine. I made it through the class and on my drive home I started to see floaters. If you have migraines, you know what I am talking about. If you do not...floaters look like little things floating across your eyeball. Sometimes they are pretty intense. When you see these and you are a person that suffers from migraines, it means get to your prescription drugs ASAP, turn off the lights, shut out any noise and hope and pray that you can get it under control.

Some days like today it works. I am thankfully back out of bed and functioning. It may not be pretty, fast or even productive but I am functioning. My girls have too much they need help with this afternoon. I will not let this migraine win!

Do you suffer from migraines? If so, what works for you when you feel one coming on? I don't always like to reach for my prescription and I would love some suggestions.

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The Versatile Blogger Award...

I am definitely one of those people who loves praise. Are there really that many of us out there that do not? I may not necessarily need it but I do love it when I get it! So, when my friend, Maren of the blog From Cow to Wow!, passed on The Versatile Blogger Award along to me...I WAS THRILLED!!! Thank you, Maren! If I could pin my computer up with a magnet on my fridge I would display this proudly until it yellowed and rolled up on the corners! (Hmmm...I guess I could print this out and do that or is that going a little overboard?!)

Life is full of rules and regulations, and the Versatile Blogger Award is no different. So let’s get that out of the way first:
1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

I've covered rule #1. Now it is time for rule #2. This should be easy but I am still in a migraine fog. I'll do my best...

1. I love tacos! Beef, Steak & Chicken. You serve them, I will eat them...A LOT OF THEM! Not those soft ones though. I'm a crunchy taco kinda girl.

2. I was one of two class clowns voted my senior year of high school. Still not sure if that was a joke from the other class clown.

3. I am terrified of anyone that is close to me dying. I don't think this needs a lot of explanation. I believe that there is somewhere better than this world that we go to after we die but I am greedy and I want everyone close to me to stay here on earth with me...FOREVER!

4. I can't stand mismatched day at my girls' school. Mismatching clothes is one of the hardest things you can ask me to do. It goes against every grain of mild OCD in my body. I almost have to leave the house, let the girls put their mismatched outfits on, get on the bus and not let me see them to make it through the day. That is illegal, I have to fight my inner insanity and let them have fun without having a nervous breakdown.

5. I love sports cars! New, doesn't really matter. I think their design is take your breath away beautiful. Oh and if it has an awesome engine like a Mustang Cobra or Chevy Camaro...please note that I will have drool on the side of my mouth.

6. Clean, fresh laundry is one of my most favorite smells. Which is sort of funny since I can't stand the actual process of doing laundry.

7. I have a page on Facebook for my blog. I think I have finally figured it out. Take a look if you want...The Preppy Girl in Pink/Facebook.

Now, for rule #3, I must award this to 15 (16 for me because I couldn't leave off one of my favorite bloggers) other bloggers that I have recently discovered. That doesn't mean they have to be new bloggers...just new to me.

1. Chaos Wrapped in Chocolate Covered Grins
2. Memoirs of a Mama
3. Things I Can't Say
4. What She Said
5. Making it Work Mom
6. There's Just One Mommy
7. The Mommy Therapy
8. Mere Words of Love
9. Fractured Family Tales
10. The Incomplete Works of Anselm
11. I Delight In You
12. Momma Made It Look Easy
13. Illusion of Sanity
14. Mommy Inconsistent
15. Jen Has a Pen
16. Diaries of a Grumpy Grateful Mom

11/17/11 - I wrote this post late at night and I left off one of my most favorite blogs. I was working from a hand-written list and somehow crossed off the blog but didn't type it in. I don't want to leave it off because it is a blog I check daily for new posts. Dear Grumpy Gratefu Mom, please know that you are in my "favorites" and I hope you know from my comments that I adore you & your blog. XOXO, The Preppy Girl in Pink

After I post this, I will take care of rule #4. I will email all of those wonderful bloggers and let them know all about their award. I hope they are as tickled as I was!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Question Friday...Linky Good Times

I had so much fun participating in Five Question Friday last week that I am doing it again today! I stopped over to Mamma M's My Little Life several times and found out that I like reading everyone's answers as much as I like reading the covers of the magazines while in line at the grocery store. Good times to be had!

So, here we go with this week's five questions!

1. What's the last thing you spent too much money on?
Ummm...hello?! My husband reads this! Just kidding!
This is a hard one to answer since I have been trying to watch my spending since resigning from my job in April to stay at home with our girls.
I'm going to have to put this one in a bit of perspective that works for me right now. I'm going to go with any drink that I purchase at Starbucks. I love you, Starbucks but some of your drinks cost as much as my sushi lunch from Fresh Market. Seriously, what is your profit margin?!
Sad thing is...I'll be back again. They've got me right where they want me. With our new budget though, they won't have me as often!

2. What celeb chef would you want to make you dinner?
This one is super easy for me and may shock quite a few of you when you read this (not my husband though...he totally gets it).
Hands down...Anthony Bourdain!!! I know...he swears, has lived a very wild life but I love who he has settled into as a person and when I get the rare chance to see him cook on TV always looks so darn delicious!!! I also adore his wife. Tony would definitely have to bring her so she could join us for a table for four when he was all done with all of the cooking.
Now, what celebrity would I like to have clean it all up???

3. Where do you hide things when visitors pop over or do you let them see the real deal?
Since we moved into our home three years ago, I have to say that there is not a lot of hiding. I am also not a fan of clutter around our everyday living spaces. Thankfully, we have a good amount of storage space but if the visitors were to look into those storage spaces...well, they would see a somewhat organized chaos. What I mean by that is that it started out organized and now has become complete chaos!!

4. Who is your oldest living family member?
My Great Uncle Art is my oldest living family member at 82 years of age. He is seriously the cutest and sweetest Great Uncle out there. He wears his jeans rolled up at the bottom like he did way back when in his hay day and I love it. It fits him so well. He is also incredibly kind to my mom (his niece).

5. What is your favorite DQ treat and/or Sonic drink combo (ie: cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper)?
Neither one of these places is close to where we live but they are building a Sonic not too far from here and I am super giddy about it! The first time I went to a Sonic though was complete disappointment. I was so excited to finally try one of the drinks that I had seen dozens of commercials for but could never taste. So, while I was in Kentucky, my friend and I stopped at one and instead of going with the drinks that had tempted me for at least a year on the big screen, I went off of the beaten path. I went with a chocolate crushed ice drink. It was gross! It tasted like chocolate water and not good chocolate water like a Yoohoo. It tasted like bad chocolate water. If you ever go there, I highly recommend you do not order that! YUCK!!
Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL weekend!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Poem to my Mom...

In previous blogs, I have written that my oldest, Ash, tends to let her bad moods come out on me. Everyone tells me that this is where she feels safest to let it all out and that it is because she knows that I will always love her no matter what...

Well, even though I am an adult, I was reminded last week that I tend to do the same thing to my mom. When I am ready to explode from the stress of life...I sometimes dump it all on her.

My husband travels a lot for business and sometimes I feel like I am doing everything on my own. I'm not blaming him. Please do not read this in any way against my husband. I just don't have the skills or strength to handle it all on certain days.

I try to bottle some of it up. I try to walk away. I try to vent some of it to my friends. Other days...when my mom just happens to be here at our house when it seems like my world is coming undone. I let it out on her...just like Ash does with me.

I am an adult and I should filter what comes out of my mouth. When I am at that breaking point, I just can't stop matter how hard I try. I lose it...just like Ash.

Thankfully, just like Ash knows that I will always love her I know that my mom will always love me. I know she doesn't like it when I explode on her but I also know she understands that I am at a very low point when this happens and that she will do whatever she can to help me feel better.

So, without further ado...

A Poem to my Mom

I awake with thoughts screaming in my head
I don't want to take one step out of bed

The stress of the last few months has been too much to take
It is much easier to sleep than to stay awake

I can feel the tension of the day starting to rise
I don't want to go out to the bus stop with wet, crying eyes

I get so worried about my daughter drifting away
I want to reach out, take her hand and tell her to stay

In my heart, I know she is there
In my mind, I wish she could know how much I care

I want her to know that even though I do not always understand
that she will always have a safe place to land

I have always been given that second chance,
from my Mom, without a second glance

It was my Mom that had days like I do now...way back when
It is days like now that I know I can always count on her as my friend

Mom, Thank you for putting up with my sass, my meltdowns, my not-so-good moments. Thank you for always letting me know that I will have a safe place to land. I hope that Ash will one day find a friendship with me like I have in you. I love you!

I'm sharing my poem on Mama Kat's Famous Writing Prompts...check it out at Mama's Losin' It. You'll find lots of great blogs to read while you're there!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Note to Self- Put Down That Smart Phone...

Do you ever shut down your computer to only find yourself picking up your smart phone just a few minutes later? Do you ever really pay attention to how much time you are spending on it?

I know I have fallen into a habit of reaching for my smart phone anytime there seems to be a "down" moment. Half the time, I probably don't even have one of the many alarms going off to let me know I have a new email, text, tweet and/or phone call. Why do I keep grabbing for it?

I think I've figured some of it out while on vacation. Even though it is a vacation for me, my husband has had to work a very good portion of it. We've had plenty of alone time, don't get me wrong but I have realized something while he was off at work...I am not good at being alone anymore.

I used to be the girl that would jump on the US Air shuttle from DC to NY for business and catch the latest flight home so I could walk the city and shop by myself. I used to be the girl that would jump into her car and drive to a childhood park just to take a stroll down memory lane. I used to rent movies that I wanted to watch and no one else did, cuddle up with my blankie and laugh and/or cry all by myself and love every minute of it.

I'm pretty sure that girl got lost somewhere when I became a mom. It's go go go right from the start and for the longest time...well, you are never really alone. You go from having a baby who constantly needs you to a toddler that constantly needs you and you are also a wife, career woman and good friend. Your days are filled. Your head hits the pillow in exhaustion and you wake up exhausted.

Now that I have made the change to being a stay at home mom and my life isn't moving at a million miles an hour because both of my girls are in school full time, I feel guilty when I have a free moment and if I don't feel guilty...I feel lonely. So, I pick up my smart phone trying to fill those gaps of time, those times when I feel like I should be busy or times when I feel alone.

It took me a while to put my smart phone down while I was at the resort by myself while Chris was working but I got the hang of it. I enjoyed my alone time. I remember that I actually like hanging out with myself and my thoughts. I remembered that I don't always have to be "on".

So, the next thing I will be working on to improve myself, my family time and my time with the hubs will be to put my smart phone down and enjoy the down time. I know I'll be a better me, mommy and wife because of it!

I'm linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say for her Pour Your Heart Out meme. You should too! I've met a lot of great blogfers on her link up at Shell is an amazing writer and person!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remembering Why We Fell In Love...

Chris worked all day yesterday so I took advantage of some relaxing time at the beach & pool. I wasn't on a schedule. I didn't have to take care of anyone. I just had to force myself to stop and enjoy the alone time. I tend to not do well when I have nothing to do but I knew that really was just what I needed.

So, I read a book on a hammock, walked in the ocean, swam in the pool and ate both my breakfast and lunch beachside. The views made the stress of my day to day life melt away. Chris had a really productive day at work too and when we met up at the hotel to head out for dinner, I saw smiles on both of our faces that I hadn't seen in a long time. We leaned in for a kiss very quickly. We reached for each other's hands in unison. I could feel that he was relaxed and I knew I felt the same.

We went out to dinner with a group of the team that Chris is working with. We ate on the water, had great conversation and enjoyed each other's company. After dinner we went to a few of the local bars. Chris loves live music so we hit two places with very good bands that had you jumping up out of your seats to find a place on the dance floor. Chris and I danced until the bar closed. We laughed and smiled so much my cheeks were hurting!

This couple I am writing about fell in love with fun & enthusiasm. Last night we were reminded of that. Today, I still feel it and I am going to hold onto that feeling and live it everyday instead of just trapping it to memory. We were given this rare opportunity to spend this quality time together for a reason and I will not let it go to waste.

I am sharing this AWESOME feeling with Momma Made it Look Easy because she loves to spread the feeling of AWESOME and I think that is a very good thing!

Share Your Awesome

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Couple Time in Key West...

Chris and I have been letting life get in the way of living lately. We have let his job, the girls' activities and mine get in the way of us being a couple. When Chris got word that he needed to go back down to Key West for business...we jumped on it!

My parents love to have Ash & Bean and they love to be with their Grandma & Papa. All we had to do was pack everyone up (Jamaica too...she loves to go to my parents' too where she gets lots of belly rubs and treats).

We headed for the airport in the early afternoon on Saturday and have been laughing and smiling since. It's wonderful to have the time to stroll down memory lane and remind each other of how we fell in love in the first place. We have been holding hands, Chris has been opening doors for me (I know, call me old fashioned...but I love that), I have offered suitcase space for him (big deal in our house...I'm not the best at sharing suitcase space or ice cream) and we have talked about way more things than just our children.

In the two days that we have been away from our everyday lives, we have found that it is a lot easier to fall back into place than we thought it was. We are going to take better advantage of my parents only living 30 minutes away. (They offer to take our girls but our schedules can be so crammed that we often say no or use it as a cop out.)

We are going to put ourselves in the top three things on our "to-do" list. We'll be right up there with Ash & Bean. We know that being happier with each other makes us happier at home and that is something we don't want to lose sight of ever again. We were given this opportunity for a reason and we are going to make it count!

Mom & Dad, Thank you for making this possible! This was a much needed break on both the couple side of things as well as the parenting side.

Chris, I love you! Thank you for always telling me to order whatever I want off of the menu even though I tend to have very expensive taste in red meat!

When was the last time you put yourself first? Are you still holding on to it or have you let yourself fall to the bottom of the priority list again?

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Question Friday...Linky Good Times

Today, I am linking up with Mama M. at My Little Life. I ran across her Five Question Friday and thought it would be fun to try it out. You really can learn a lot about someone in 5 questions...

1. What movie do you love to quote? The Goonies

"HEY YOUUUU GUUUYYYYSSS!!" "That's what I said, that's what I said...I'm setting bootie traps!" "This is ridiculous! It's crazy. I feel like I am babysitting, except that I'm not getting paid." "Mikey, this ain't the kind of place you want to go to the bathroom in." "Goonies never say die!"

2. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?, but they used to call me Evil Knievel on my moped!

3. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
My favorite thing to do on a rainy day is to complain that it is a rainy day. I can't stand rainy days. The grey skies make me depressed and I throw a big ol' pity party! Anyone want to join me next time it rains?! Open invitation...its lots of fun in a depressing, pouty kind of way!

4. Do you prefer a bunch of small gifts, or one really big, (expensive) gift?
I love a bunch of really expensive small gifts! Just kidding...I like a bunch of small gifts unless someone wants to give me a really big, expensive gift. I am totally open to that. Besides, I wouldn't want to be rude and hurt any one's feelings by saying "No, thank you. I prefer a bunch of small gifts over your really big, expensive gift." I'm nice that way ;-)

5. Do you ever lose track of days and show up somewhere wrong?
Ummm...I feel like this question should ask "Do you ever show up anywhere on time and/or on the right day or place?" I am getting better now that I have everything set on alarms on my Droid. (Yes, I wrote alarms because I set a week reminder, then a 2 day reminder, then a 24 hour reminder, then a 12 hour reminder then finally a 2 hour reminder. If I don't make it there after all of just wasn't meant to be.

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rude or Acceptable?

I met up with a friend this afternoon in Target. Once we were inside, had a whiff of the coffee and shared how we both needed a quick bit of caffeine, we headed straight to the Starbucks counter. (Seriously, I have to give whomever came up with these two joining forces a lot of credit! Just when you think you are getting out of the store without spending a hundred go over it with that Salted Caramel Mocha.) The counter was was our turn for caffeine! 
Salted Caramel Mocha
Salted Caramel Mocha

Or so we thought...until my friend started placing her order with the barista and a lady who strolled up behind us in line pulled a "no-no" in my book. Here is how it all went down...

Rude Stranger - "Hey, Do you mind if I go in front of you I just need two iced coffees?" She begins walking to the barista with her money in hand and tells the barista, "Two tall iced coffees." (no "please" from her mouth the question to us...or the order to the barista)

My friend - "Well, I guess so..." because obviously Rude Stranger was already going in front of us.

Me - Standing still with my jaw dropped to the floor. Yes, the sticky floor at Target where all of the people spill their drinks and they pretend to take a mop over it to clean it.

Rude Stranger - "Well, I have to get home to get my kids off the bus."

Me - Standing still with my jaw dropped to the floor.

My friend - "Really?! Did that just happen?!" in a whisper to me.

Me - Standing still with my jaw dropped to the floor.

My friend - Places her order, receives it and starts drinking within three minutes.

Me - I place my order, receive it, pick my jaw up from the floor (it was stuck so it may have taken a few seconds or so) and start drinking my drink within those same minutes.

Rude Stranger - Stands by the coffee fixing station and chats it up with her friend.

My friend - "Can you believe that?! She took even longer than we did and is still standing there!"

Me - "Well, at least she has her priorities before kids!"

So, what do you think? Was that rude or acceptable? You can obviously tell my vote! Would you ever have the guts to do that for a simple iced coffee? I mean its not like she needed a blood transfusion while we just needed a band-aid!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas Music Already?!

Yesterday, in the mall, while shopping for Ash (she has grown yet again and nothing fits) with a friend, not only did we see the sales associates setting up Christmas trees, wreaths and giant, fake present stacks...we heard Christmas music.

Bean & Ash - Christmas 2005
I love Christmas music as much as the next girl but the day after Halloween?! Really?! What happened to Thanksgiving?! I guess that doesn't "sell" as well and the stores just decide to skip over it.

I'm not ready for Christmas! I don't want to think about it, hear about it and/or sing about it! But what did I find myself doing while making dinner this evening?! SINGING RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER...THAT'S WHAT!!

I want to slow it down. I want to enjoy Fall. I want to see hues of orange and yellow not red and green. I want to bake pumpkin pies (well, really I just want to eat them...I want someone else to bake them) not sugar cookies in the shapes of Christmas trees, stockings and holly leaves. I want to eat Reese's PB cups in the shapes of pumpkins not Christmas trees. (How do I always end up talking about sweets?!) I want to light my Yankee Candles scented like Autumn Fruit and Autumn Leaves not Christmas at the Beach or Deck the Halls.

Most importantly, I want time to think about what I am thankful for and share it with my loved ones. Why would anyone want to skip over such an important holiday?

Do you think that Christmas decorations and music are brought out too early or do you get excited about it?

I've linked up with Shell again at Things I Can't Say for her weekly Pour Your Heart Out. You can too! Head on over, leave a comment and link up!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ewww..Kissing is Gross...

Last week I participated in Mama Kat's writing workshop and wrote about 22 things I have done in my lifetime. I got a few comments and emails about #4 & #5 (as they went together), so I am going to elaborate on them. Here they are below, just in case you missed them.

#4. Summer before 7th grade had my first real kiss. Wasn't expecting it, knee jerk reaction later & #5.  I punched the boy in the face. (How you like those apples?! Two covered in one shot) I should probably explain this a little bit. I thought it was going to be a sweet kiss not a kiss I had seen the teenagers doing in the hallways. I really didn't mean to punch him. It truly was a grossed out/knee jerk reaction. Needless to say...we were no longer girlfriend & boyfriend.

Let me take you back to the warm summer of 1984. The surf look was all the rage. You could always find me in a tank top, board shorts and pink Converse high tops. I was "going out" with this boy I will call "Perv". We had a mutual close friend that I will call "Set up". The three of us always hung out together. We walked & rode our bikes all over the neighborhood (remember we are back in could do those things way back then). We played on the fields at the school, we watched movies, we went to the neighborhood snowball stand (daily) and we also tended to talk Set up's mom into taking us to McDonald's on Friday afternoons for dinner.

So, what I thought would be a regular Friday afternoon with a plain cheeseburger, fries and a Coke turned into an afternoon that will be forever stuck in my memory.

After eating, Set up's mom told us we could go get some energy out on the playground outside while the parents finished eating. Yes, it was for little ones but no little ones were using it so we took advantage of it...we were kids, ya know! We were running around playing tag when Perv ran over to Set up and started whispering. I thought they were working a strategy to catch me. Little did I know that Perv was working with Set up to corner and trap me for another reason.

I crawled inside the two gigantic cheeseburgers connected at the side to form a cave thinking that I would have a quick escape to the other side. Well, I was wrong...Set up was blocking the exit and wouldn't let me out while laughing hysterically. At the other end, Perv had followed me in.

I could feel my palms starting to sweat, my face start to turn red and my heart racing. I knew the moment of my first kiss was upon me. I was ready too! Perv was one of the cutest boys in our grade and he was so much to hang out with. As Perv crawled up closer to me, my belly began to do flips and I closed my eyes to stop the light headed feeling that had suddenly come over me. Any second I was going to feel his cute, pink lips on mine for a sweet kiss.

Only, it didn't happen that way. Perv came up to me alright but it wasn't his cute, pink lips I was his chicken nugget tasting tongue!!! I was so grossed out that I jerked my face away from his and punch him square in the cheek. It was a total knee-jerk reaction. I had no idea that I had even done it until he started to cry and call me a prude. (You guessed it...he had an older brother whom not only told him to shove his tongue down my throat but told him I was a prude if I didn't let him. Lovely, right?!)

That was obviously the end of our relationship and my first "real" kiss, didn't come until I was ready...a few years later.

So, the next time you hear someone say, "Ewww...kissing is gross!!", think of me and know that they are right. Until you are ready...kissing is gross!!

Mama’s Losin’ It

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