Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Everything Is Not Always Roses and That is Ok!


Have you ever had a bad day where you were less than your normal sunshiny self and said something that was maybe less than friendly? Maybe you were having a case of the Monday Blues or just not feeling well and so you said something out loud that you normally keep to yourself... Then, without notice everyone in the room turns on you and says something smart alecky in retort or reminds you of how ungrateful you are being. Ouch! That really feels like a slap in the face... When did everyone become the sunshine and grateful police?!!

Do we really need to go around and hand out ungrateful tickets to all our friends and co-workers when they may just be having an off moment or day?

I am here to say that unfortunately we are all human on this Earth and like it or not, No one and I do mean NO ONE can be like a lovely princess every minute of the day. We make mistakes. We say things we may not really mean. We also say harmless things that others often try to interpret as being negative or a specific attack against another person.

If you hear someone who you know to be a nice person say an off remark every once in awhile how about offering them a bit a grace instead of a lesson on how they should be more appreciative of the good things they have in their life?

Maybe, just maybe, if a normally cheerful person says something less than cheerful it could be because they are going through a difficult time and could use some support, a hug, or a good dose of cheering up for themselves.

Why must we be so hard on each other?  So today as you go about your day and you encounter a situation where someone complains about something instead of instantly retorting back and putting that person "in their place" please offer that person a bit of grace and maybe a listening ear or even a shoulder to cry on...

We all could use more grace.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Filling in the Gaps...

 This blog became a thing of serious neglect the day we decided we were going to sell our house.

In the Fall of 2012 we began finishing up some long drawn out projects and did some sprucing up of our cute little house to get it ready to put on the market.  We listed it at almost exactly this time last year and after two weeks of me FREAKING out trying to keep the house spotlessly clean while chasing around a young three year old and an 18 month old toddler we got an offer and sold our home of 7.5 years. It was bittersweet. We had lots of great memories in that little house, some unpleasant ones, and both our sweet little girls had come home from the hospital to that house.

Then, pure chaos ensued! We moved into a tiny two bedroom apartment and spent the 2012 holiday season in that tiny, tiny place. The girls shared a room and no one and I repeat no one got ANY sleep during this period of time. Both girls were SO used to a very strict routine and sleeping in their own rooms... so moving and sharing a room was a bit much for their sweet little hearts. It was a wild, crazy time of which I only remember bits and pieces of because I must have purposely blocked out some of the monkey business that occured to keep my sanity;)

We drove around and around and around looking at houses until we found a winner and the transition into our new house was MUCH smoother than that of the exit of our old house. The girls were glad to have their own rooms again(their parents were even more happy!) and sleep soon followed after we managed to get all of our belongings that had been literally scattered to the four corners of the Earth retrieved and put back in their rightful places! I mean seriously... we had a storage unit, a POD, an apartment, and other miscellaneous things stashed at various friends' houses. It was ridiculous!

All during this whole moving business we suffered from several bouts of illness and my health was really starting to deteriorate. I sort of went on this alternative health journey by visiting lots of different kinds of Doctors, doing lots of different tests, and trying lots of new things. The conclusion to this soul search was that I needed to remove all Soy, Sugar, and Gluten from my diet. I removed those things and added in some various supplements and came out feeling like a whole new person! I lost another 20 lbs. (I still have more to go) and am feeling the best health wise that I have felt in years and years and years! I have stuck to my guns and stayed Gluten and Soy free for about 6 months now but the sugar has slowly crept its way back into my diet and I will be writing more about my plans to deal with this later!.

Also, during this past year we made the decision to officially start homeschooling my oldest child for Pre-Kindergarten. I had grand plans last year to post the things I was doing with Monkey for Preschool but we honestly just moved to survival mode with all the moving and health issues that were going on. I really do wish that I could have followed through with all the plans I had laid out for her last year but looking back she learned a whole new skill set:)

I must confess that moving with toddlers and going on a crazy health journey was just not enough... So, I had to go and become a Socialite. In all seriousness, it was not a planned thing it just kind of happened. I went from a lonely stay at home Mommy who only had her blog and cyberspace as a friend to having my schedule booked solid every week with play dates and excursions with Mommy friends and their kiddos. Last year, the girls and I simply did not have time for a formalized Preschool because we were just too busy having fun!

So, that is a very simplified version of what has been going on since I last checked in with you all. Can't wait to hear from some of my old friends:)



Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm Back!!!

Oh. My. Stars! I really CANNOT believe that it has been over a year since I last blogged! Well, SO much has gone on since I last talked to you guys and I have tons of posts in mind to share in the upcoming weeks. I also have some general upkeep and updating to do here around the blog so I hope you will join me for all the new content I will be sharing:)

One of the main reasons I have stayed absent for so long is because I burnt myself out the first time around by trying to write too many posts and include too much content in each post... I plan to simplify things this go around so that it is more manageable for me. This is just my personality I tend to go big or go home! I usually overthink and overdo everything and I am hoping that I can reign myself in a bit;)

Here's to new beginnings, old acquaintances, hopefully lots of new friends, and BIG fun!



Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our First Family Trip to Walt Disney World!



We went on vacation in late May to Walt Disney World and had an awesome time! 
The Girls packing the most important things!
We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort within the Disney Parks and I must say we found it to be a very decent place to stay:)





We hit three parks in three days and the girls were total troopers! 



Monkey and Baby Red LOVED riding the buses to the parks!




Monkey wanted to do everything! Her favorites were the Dumbo ride and the Goofy Roller Coaster at Magic Kingdom.


Monkey and her Daddy in line for the Dumbo Ride.
It is hard to say what Baby Red liked the best but I know she loved the carousel  and meeting Goofy, Mickey, and Piglet. I personally loved the Lion King show and Mickey's Jungle Jammin' parade at Animal Kingdom!





We went all out and bought the dining plan and we certainly never went hungry! They give you so much food!!! It is really kind of ridiculous! My favorite meal while there was actually at the sit down restaurant located at the Caribbean Beach Resort. 
She is one Happy Girl!
We took the girls to several character dining experiences and they had a blast! We saw Pooh, Tigger, and the gang at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom and we dined with Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy at the Tusker House located inside Animal Kingdom.



Baby Red did NOT like Tigger!

But She LOVED Piglet!



The girls scored tons of autographs and photo ops with the characters which I loved because the one time I had been to Disney World before we hardly saw a single character...
Monkey was scared of them because she knew what they did to Cinderella!




So stinkin' Excited!







We took advantage of all the Fast Passes for rides and hardly waited in line for anything! I think the longest wait we had was about 30 minutes. The weather was pretty much perfect and we only got rained one afternoon while at Magic Kingdom and it was short lived.




Basically, the vacation was fantastic until it wasn't...


The last full day we were there I woke up to the sound of Baby Red throwing up! She had caught her first stomach virus from somewhere and was SO sick! We took turns on sick patrol and took Monkey to swim and play on the playground at the resort. Thankfully, we hit a lull in the sickness long enough to make it home before she started up again. The poor thing had the virus for about 6 days! Monkey and my husband both caught it as well but it was over quickly for them.







Overall, we had a great vacation! We of course didn't get to see and do it all but that is ok because... little did we know that we will be headed back to Disney in August! My Sister and Brother- In-Law have a time share and have invited us to come with them when they go for their summer vacation :)


My favorite part of all was seeing the ridiculously huge, cute smile plastered on Monkey's face while she was meeting the all of the characters. It was truly priceless!








Friday, July 6, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey Continues...

I am proud to say that I have been keep, keep, keeping on at the gym. I have been going to my personal training sessions two times a week and mostly keeping up with my cardio on my days at home.



I had another measurement check-in last week and lost another 4 1/4 inches with the biggest loss of 1 1/2 inches being in my hips! That brings my total inches lost to 18 1/4 inches since February. 


I am definitely noticing that all of my clothes are fitting better and some are even quite loose. Even with all those inches lost I still haven't gone down a pants size yet... but I do think I am close. What does that say? I'm not really sure but I think it says that I was STUFFED in my pants before, lol :)


I can tell that I am still gaining muscle especially in my legs and thighs. I feel stronger which I have to say is a very nice feeling! 

I am definitely struggling in the eating department though. I have only lost about one lb. since last I checked in with you and my weight seem to be stuck kind of bouncing up and down around the same five lbs. which is SUPER frustrating. I think the downward spiral really started when we went on vacation in late May. 



I have been not only neglectful to the blog as of late but also in keeping up with tracking my calories on livestrong.com






                                                               Source: beta.primal-palate.com via Lacey on Pinterest



So, to jump start my weight loss my husband and I both started on a 21 day Sugar detox. Basically, it means we are eating meat and veggies and THAT.IS.IT. No breads, pastas, beans, potatoes, fruit, dairy, or anything else that remotely tastes good! We are on day 7 and all I can say is that I want a cupcake I am really hungry! I will give a full report on the detox when we finish up in about two weeks!



I am a good American and I want it  yesterday now!I really am a bit frustrated that I haven't gotten farther than I have in the five months that I have been consciously trying to loss weight but I am not giving up and I am going to keep fighting until I win!





Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm Alive!

Well.... I honestly can't believe it has been so long since I have blogged! The girls and I decided to take a very early Summer Break and haven't been up to our usual Tot School and craftiness. Instead, we have been just chilling out and relaxing enjoying the kiddie pool, the park, the library, and the beautiful weather!

We have had an unbelievable Spring here with the weather being just about perfect! We have taken advantage of the gorgeous days and spent a lot of time by the water table, the sandbox, the swings, and on our bikes and ride-along toys.

Truth be told... I got a little burnt out on the blogging and photography end of things and was suffering a bit of blogger block!

I have really missed all my bloggy friends though and I have finally thought of a few new things to share. I also have some things about the girls that I would like to chronicle so expect to hear a lot more from me in the coming weeks!

Some things I want to get caught up on are Monkey's birthday, our vacation, my weight loss journey, and some of our plans for the new school year!

So glad to be back!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day!



Father's Day is always a bittersweet celebration at our house. I lost my Dad to a sudden stroke in 2004 just one month before my graduation from college. It was a huge blow to me because my Dad and I had not always gotten along... However we had just started to become close shortly before his death. We would talk on the phone with each other for hours about nothing really. Just silly stuff like t.v. shows, the weather, his baby calves, politics, my school and work. In fact, I talked to him on the phone the night before he died and he seemed to be so happy and in such great spirits. He told me about his doctor visit and how his heart test results had come back really great.


He told me after my niece was born that he was ready to be a grandpa again and wanted to know when I was going to have kids...


My Dad as a little boy
It really stinks that he never got to meet the girls because I know he would have been head over heels in love with them! He would have been such a great grandpa and my heart still hurts every time I think about the memories my girls will never get to have with my Dad...
My Dad
My Dad was passionate about things he believed in and often wrote letters to his congressmen and other officials. He believed in aliens, loved the history channel, and watching wrestling. He was an entrepreneur and was always getting my Mom and I caught up in the middle of his next project. I spent one horribly, hot summer as a teenager serving up waffle dogs to people out of a food truck at festivals and carnivals and another time I spent hours at the flea market helping my Dad sell purses and carved wooden animals!


My Dad was into the couponing and the sweepstakes craze way before it was ever posh and he was always waiting by the door for his million dollar check to show up. He would actually slick back his hair, get dressed up, and make me get dressed up too on the day that Publishers Clearing House was supposed to be surprising one lucky family with the big check. We never won big but he did win about forty boxes of cereal one time...


The year before my Dad's death we lost my husband's Dad to a long slow death from a disease that causes all of your vital organs to harden. He slowly wasted away enduring countless days of pain and misery. He was only 42 when he died...




He was one of the most charismatic men I have ever encountered. He could light up a room in two seconds flat and could turn anyone's frown into a smile. Everybody loved him and I know the girls would have been crazy about him! He was a hard worker and he loved fishing, hunting, and causing mischief!


A year after my Dad past away I lost my Grandpa R. He was eaten up with cancer inside and they didn't find it until it was too late for treatment. He lived only a few short weeks after they diagnosed him with the cancer...


My Grandpa R.




I have so many wonderful childhood memories tied up with my Grandpa R. He was always so fun and he and I were the best of buds! I loved when he would make me sausage and biscuit sandwiches for breakfast. He always kept extras in the freezer for anyone stopping by. He helped teach me to drive by letting me drive his car in loops around an old airport hanger and he taught me how to play tennis. He always smelled of onions because they were his favorite food!


After he retired from his state job he became a teacher and one year our school got out before his school did and my sister and I got to go to school with him for a week. I remember being like seven or so and thinking I was so cool because I was sitting in class with a bunch of 8th graders! 


In 2006, the week I was supposed to start my first real job as a First Grade teacher I lost my last Grandpa. He was my Dad's Dad and it really hurt because He and my Dad had always been so very close. In fact, my Grandma and Grandpa had always lived with us off and on and when I was a teenager they put in a house right next to ours and so I was only ever a quick walk down the driveway from them.


My Grandpa S.


My Grandpa S. was a man of many words and a great story teller. He had so many fascinating stories to tell to anyone who would listen and even a few stories for those who didn't want to listen! He had been to all fifty states and had run away from home at the age of 15 to join the circus! He was trained to take care of the horses and soon he had learned to ride bareback and could make a horse do just about any kind of trick such as counting and rolling over. Later on, he became one of the main acts in the circus and could spin three lassos at once, use a bull whip to cut a cigarette in half out of someone's mouth, and threw knifes at my Grandma! He was all cowboy and he had two great loves old Western movies and Wrestling! He was once asked to star in a Western film when he was young and he turned them down because he thought he wouldn't get paid!


My Grandma and Grandpa in their Western Gear
In later years, he was awarded a big recognition by the Chicago Zoo for being one of the first people to effectively raise Chimpanzees and Orangutans in captivity. The girls would have loved his stories...


Thankfully, we still have both of my husband's Grandpas and both of the girls adore their Papa Y! He is a real cowboy, smart as they come, runs miles every morning in his cowboy boots, and has such a powerful love of God that I have rarely witnessed in a human being. We have tons of great pictures of him but I won't post them since I did not ask permission.


I couldn't write about all these Fathers without mentioning my husband in there somewhere too! He is a great Dad and the girls are extremely blessed to have such a loving Father in their lives. He doesn't embarrass easily and would do just about anything for his girls.


Monkey in the Ergo with Daddy
With all that said... We are going to enjoy Father's Day by making a picnic lunch for my husband and the girls and I have worked hard the last few weeks creating a few fun homemade presents for him.


Here are a few pictures that we did as two of our projects... Enjoy and I hope you all have a wonderful Father's Day!







Wearing Daddy's boots

Wearing Daddy's Boots





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