Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What does your medicine cabinet say about you?

I've been watching this meme go around for a few days now and was honestly a little disturbed by it at first. You mean friends/family that have been invited into my home, may possibly be and quite probably are, peeking in my medicine cabinets for no other purpose than to be nosey?? Seriously?? I swear on all that is any person reading this that has ever invited me over to your home....I have NEVER peeked in your medicine cabinet for the sole purpose of being nosey. Ever. Not because I'm above peeking in your cabinet, mind you, but because the thought honestly never even occurred to me. And not because I'm worried that your cabinet door might have squeeky hinges that may or may not alert you that I may be peeking in your cabinet. Just say'n....

Now that I'm finding out this is the thing to do....I will be....peeking in your cabinets that is. Consider yourself warned.

You know what? My medicine cabinet is in my master bathroom. A bathroom that only my husband and I use. So, I have nothing to be worried about. I have no medicine cabinet in the bathroom that is most likely being used by my company.

And so now I'm feeling guilty because, as I've just warned you, I'll be peeking in your medicine cabinets and you haven't had equal opportunity to peek in mine. So, Colleen tagged me for this meme and I'll be taking advantage of this opportunity to even the score between myself and any future guests.

I have 3 different areas in my home where medicine is kept so I'll share all three with you and follow up with some necessary explanations.

First on the list is the cabinet in my master bathroom.

This cabinet holds very little in terms of medicine.

Let's break this down.

Several points of interest in above photo:

The Clean Pore bottle in the back? Expired in 1999. I didn't realize pore cleansers expired. We bought this house in 2000. I had to have bought that cleanser sometime in 97 or 98, no? Which means that I had not used it in the 2 - 3 years prior to moving (note the completely full bottle)...but still chose to pack it for the move to this house....then unpacked it and stuck it in that medicine cabinet where it has remained ever since. I remember trying that cleanser and not liking it because it left a sticky (not clean) feeling on my face. So why did I keep it, pack it, unpack it, and keep it again....for 10 or 11 years?? Couldn't tell you.

The bottle of lotion in the back? I won it at my cousin's bridal shower. Like, twelve years ago. I love the smell of it (Lavendar & Thyme) but not the texture of it. So I kept it? Again, no clue why.

Neutragena shampoo bottles? Please note the rusted caps. That is all.

Hemorrhoid cream? Also expired several years ago. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.


These bottles of perfume? I've had them since high-school. I don't wear perfume. I don't like perfume. But I keep the bottles anyway. Why? I have no frick'n clue. But, back in college when I DID like perfume Dune and Passion were my favorites.

I prefer scented body sprays such as Victoria Secret's Vanilla Lace.

The above items are kept on stand by just. in. case. We've had several scares over the years that have resulted in quarantining the home for precautionary measures. The latest scare being last years lice epidemic at the kids' school that lasted a few months. We some how lucked out and haven't had to use the stocked supply of Nix...but one can never be too careful. Because, dudes, if lice should ever find it's way in my home? I'll need to be committed.

Now, let's take a peak in the kitchen cabinet. This is our catch-all kitchen junk & medicine cabinet. Are we the only one's that keep medicine in the kitchen? I'm realizing as I write this just how much this one cabinet says about me. I'm starting to understand the fascination with peeking.

For example, upon careful examination......

You will learn I like to buy in bulk. As evidenced by the 5 pound bottles of flaxseed oil and calcium. Both of which, by the way, have been in this cupboard for several years.

And, FYI, don't take the triple omega unless burping up the taste of fish for several hours appeals to you (has also been in this cupboard for several years....for that reason).

And lets just say I used to have some stomach issues and leave it at that....m'kay?

For the record? My stomach issues seem to be resolved (for the most part) ever since I took up running.

It seems I also have some body image / weight loss issues as evidenced by....

And sleeping issues.....

And three kids who are always sick with one virus or another......

And then there's the hallway bathroom pantry closet.

With more of the same.

I had hoped to use this meme as inspiration to clean these areas out and share the before and after pictures with you but I am now officially out of time and have spent the entire evening running around with the kids.'s not happening. Today, anyway. Maybe I'll get to it later and share my purging pictures with you. No promises.

If you are reading this concider yourself tagged. Play along if you like and let me take a peek in your medicine cabinet(s) so I won't have to feel guilty about peeking behind your back when you invite me over for a glass of wine next week.

Edited to add: I swear I'm convinced someone is messing with me. I've edited and re-edited this stupid post because pictures and paragraphs keep sporatically dissappearing. I give up. I'm still missing paragraphs and photos but I'm too frustrated to redo it. BAH! Spell check is not working right now either and I don't have the patience to edit or look things up. You're just gonna have to deal with it. =)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fabulous Weekend

Fabulous because we had no where to travel to and nothing in particular to do. I love lazy weekends like this.
Friday: Hubby and I had a hot date. My mom came by to stay with the kids and we spent the evening together. We don't do this nearly enough during these winter months because of the busy gymnastics schedule. We had a lovely dinner and then walked down the street to a bar for a couple drinks. We then walked over to the comedy club where a group of middle aged house wives (celebrating a 40th birthday dontchaknow) tried desperately to ruin the show by making a point to let the rest of the audience know that they were surely having a far better time than the rest of us because they were wild, obnoxious, and loud housewives who never get out of the house. They got kicked out after rendering the 2nd comedian speechless. He couldn't get a word in edgewise and didn't stand a chance next to these fine ladies. This sparked a whole conversation with comedian #3 who then proceeded to let the audience know that in his experience it's always the middle aged housewives that cause the problems. I'm guessing that's because many of us feel the need to prove to the world that we're just as young at heart and just as wild & crazy as we once were? Just a guess. It turned out to be a good show once we got past the disruption.

And, yes, we smoked. UGH. Broke the 18 day smoke free streak we had going. But we're back on and starting the count all over again. Once again. So here we are back at day 3 of "Breathing Free." We will forever be quitters. I said I wouldn't bore you with the redundant smoking updates. But you know what? This is my blog. And nicotine addiction is part of me.

Saturday: I spent most of the day doing laundry, cleaning house, and planning and filling out invitations for Dreamy's upcoming birthday party. After the boys returned from gym practice we took the kids to DQ for their report card reward (All "As" dontcha know). We went to the movie store and picked out Hancock. Not the most appropriate language for kids (it's PG-13 for a reason) but a good movie. Smurfette ended the day with 102 degree fever and "tummy ache."

Sunday: Smurfette was still spiking 102 degree fevers so we didn't do much. I spent the day hemming drapes. My Dad, a man with skillz, built us a custom made bench seat with storage for under our bay window in our office. It's not 100% complete yet. The moldings still need to be put up. This picture doesn't do it justice. Really. I wish I had a before and after photo to show what a difference it makes in the room. But I don't.

This required me to chop off a foot and a half from the drapes. And now he's gonna build us a custom made built in floor to ceiling cabinet to replace this book shelf. It's gonna be perty!

I'm trying to talk Papa Smurf into joining the gym with me. I had hoped to bring him with me to the gym for a work out while the boys were at gym practice but Smurfette's fever didn't allow that. So I went solo and got a run in. And that's it. Our weekend in a nutshell.

And now I leave you with some gymnastics bloopers photos from the last meet in Chicago.
Thou shalt not separate legs on pommel:

Thou shalt not bend body in half, flex the feet, or fall off (3 times) when on pommel:

Thou shalt not fall off Parallel Bars:

Thou shalt not fall out of hand stand (twice) on floor routine:

Thou shalt not take steps on landings:

Thou shalt THIS....EVER~!

Can't win'em all boys.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chillax'n in Chicago

It’s been over a week since I’ve last posted and almost as long since I’ve looked in my Google Reader. I miss reading about everyone’s days but I’m really enjoying this time off from the pressure of staying up to date. I hope to get caught up this weekend but I may have to just empty the reader and start fresh. I'm just not getting into this blogging thing anymore. If I'm being completely honest I'd have to say that this has become more or a chore lately than the enjoyable escape that it once was. I'm getting tired of wasting my days in front of this computer.

I have no less than twenty little notes written with things I’ve wanted to share but I’ve gotten so behind that I think I may just have to scrap those notes and, like the google reader, just start fresh.

Our family took a little road trip to Chicago this past weekend for a gymnastics meet. We left Thursday late afternoon and returned at 3am Monday morning. Both drives there and back were horrendous. White out blizzard icy conditions that turned what would have been a 5 hour drive into a 6 ½ - 7 hour drive. I was doped up on pain meds but still in pain and dreadfully uncomfortable. Hubby was cranky from the white knuckled driving conditions and the bitch speaking to him from behind the GPS screen. Once upon a time, it was the kids we had to worry about surviving a road trip with. But thanks to the geniuses at Chrysler who stuck DVD and satellite TV in their vans….the kids were perfect the entire trip. I am forever indebted to those Chrysler powers that be. And for those of you out there who are judging me for sticking my kids in front of the TV to shut them up and missing out a perfect "bonding moment" of a road trip? Bite me. And I mean that in a very kind way.
The weekend in a very brief nut shell.

Thursday - We arrived in Chicago sometime around 11pm. We were tired. We were cranky. We went immediately to sleep.

Friday - Dreamy competed and did not do very well. He had a rough start which stomped all over his confidence and he just couldn't pick it back up. We've chalked this meet up to a much needed lesson in humility. His little ego was crushed as he's become accustomed to sweeping all his meets. As awful as this may sound....he needed this. Sometimes a little beating of the ego is all it takes to remotivate.

Saturday - The kids spent a few hours in the pool while Papa Smurf and I took turns in the gym. Our hotel had a kick'n gym (Did I just say "kick'n" out loud? My kids are rub'n off on me). I actually worked out. And my back was actually feeling a little better. We then spent the afternoon at the Science and Industry Museum which we all really enjoyed. And it just happened to be a free admission day. Bonus. We then met up with the rest of the team at Hard Rock for little dinner and a whole lot of obnoxiousness (the parents ~ not the kids). That was fun. Then we divided and conquered ~ the boys/men headed over to the ESPN Zone for some bonding time (aka grunting and farting) while the girls headed to the American Girl Place to chillax with Kit. (I'm just throwing these pre-adolescent words in here to embarrass my boys...they just love when I try to be all cool like them) Fun was had by all. =)

Sunday - We spent the early afternoon walking up Michigan Ave. It was bitter cold which sucked all the fun right out of shopping. Hubby purchased a new pair of running shoes and we hit the sales at the Disney Store. And that's it. Sad. Hefty competed in the evening. He also had a rough meet but didn't take it as bad as Dreamy. A couple years make a world of difference in emotional maturity. Two years ago it was Hefty beating himself up and sulking over his mistakes and deductions. He's finally learning to let it go and move on.

I haven't down loaded any photos or video yet. I'll get to it eventually and share them with you.
My back is feeling much better. I'm sleeping again. Without the assistance of illegal drugs or stomach tearing NSAIDS I might add. That's always a good thing. There's a whole lotta crack'n and creak'n goin on down there now but I think that's a good thing as maybe that means everything is trying to work it's way back into place.
And now I must go and beautify myself as hubby and I have a hot date tonight. I also must clean my house as my mom is coming to babysit my kids and my house is a mess. Have I mentioned that I'm trying to go without my cleaning lady. It's not working out so well. She hasn't been here in over a month. She used to come, on average, 3 times per month. I can give up a lot of things but I just don't think I'm ready to give up the cleaning lady. My inner domestic goddess died the day I gave birth to my 3rd child. And I'm OK with that. But I'm NOT OK with having a filthy house. Thus, the cleaning lady.
I'm only human, people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trudging right along....

I'm muscling my way through yet another 6 y/o's knock knock joke phase. I'm a little disappointed that after her I won't have any more lame jokes to laugh at. Besides my own of course. It's funny that all kids seem to go through this somewhere between Kindergarten and 1st grade.

dd: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Me: To get to the other side?
dd: No, To save the world. MWAHAHAHAHA.....

dd: Why did the duck cross the road?
Me: I don't know.
dd: So he could fly and save the world like batman. MWAHAHAHA....

dd: Knock knock

Me: Who's there?
dd: paloopidoop

Me: paloopidoop who

dd: paloopidoop poop. MWAHAHAHA....

dd: Knock knock

Me: who's there?
dd: cha cha cha cha cha cha

Me: cha cha cha cha cha cha who

dd: cha cha cha cha cha cha doo doo. MWAHAHAHA....

dd: Knock knock
Me: Who's there

dd: Strawberry doo doo
Me: Strawberry doo doo who
dd: Strawberry doo doo mama's feet stink. MWAHAHAHA....

Clearly she gets her humor (or lack there of) and her potty mouth from me.

On another note: I forgot to mention in Monday's update how the boys did at their gymnastics meet in Lansing on Sunday. I was too busy ranting about my failed diet and sucky Michigan weather. Hefty had an incredible meet. He could do no wrong. Took home 6 gold medals. A gold in 5 out of 6 of the events and the All Around. Dreamy could only compete in 3 of the 6 events because of an injured finger. So he couldn't compete in the all around competition. But he took a gold and a silver in 2 of those 3 events. I am a proud mama.

On another note: Dreamy came home from school yesterday afternoon with 102 degree fever. Thus begins round 348 of the winter virus blues. Poor kid can't catch a break. He's missed more practices than he's actually attended in the last couple weeks because of the finger and now he's sick so he missed yesterday's practice as well....which was the last practice before he's scheduled to compete in Chicago on Friday. We still don't know how his finger will hold up on those 3 other events because he hasn't had a chance to test it out. So it should be an interesting meet. Hefty isn't scheduled to compete until the very last session on Sunday so we have all day Saturday and half the day on Sunday to meander around the city. Should be fun. Assuming, of course, I don't lose a nipple or two to frost bite.

Let's see. What else?

Ah. I finally bit the bullet and went to my doctor yesterday about my back. What a waste of time (and money) that was. I knew there wasn't much he could do for a pulled muscle but I wanted to get some drugs (pain killers or muscle relaxers) so I could sleep (I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep since last Thursday) and I've been over dosing on Motrin and Aleve for 5 days straight now. If I don't end up in the ER for the back pain then I'll surely end up there for an ulcer. I also wanted to make sure I could tolerate the 5 1/2 hour car ride to Chicago tomorrow. I can't imagine sitting in the car for that long with my back hurting like this. And then sitting in bleacher seats for 5 hours to watch a competition. Do you know that SOB wouldn't give me a prescription. Pissed me right off. So I'll be taking Leslie's advice (thank you Leslie) and bumming a couple more Vicodin from dear old dad and taking them with a benadryl chaser. Actually, my neighbor's an ER doc...maybe I'll hit him up for a script instead. Come to think of is my team fitness partner. I Should'a just done that to begin with. I think it's time to find a new doctor. Which is really a damn shame cuz he's awfully cute.

*After re-reading that last paragraph I feel I need to add a disclaimer....Just so ya'll know, I am NOT a drug seeking narcotic addict. The last time I took prescription pain medication was....years ago....probably with my last c-section. Just say'n.....

I just in 2 seconds ago....received a phone call. It was a Chrysler Financial automated message asking me to "please hold for an important message from the next available representative." Are you eff'n kidding me?!?

Before that? I received a phone call from my darling husband telling me that (another) "emergency" has arisen at work and he will be unable to attend Hefty's Dare Graduation at the school tonight. Are you eff'n kidding me?!?

I think I'll leave the phone off the hook for the rest of the afternoon.

On a brighter note....I'm starting to plan our annual girls' long weekend "group therapy" themed trip to Sanibel, Florida. 4 nights and 5 days sans husband or children. *sigh* Can't wait.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder is officially kick'n in.

I apologize in advance for this ridiculously boring and pissy post.
So, one week into my New Years declaration and I'm doing, OK. Just OK. I haven't dropped any pounds but I haven't gained any either and when you consider the fact that this is day 8 of "breathing free" that's really quite an accomplishment for me. Only a smoker can fully appreciate this. When the hand mouth oral fixation isn't being satisfied through smoking we replace the cigarette with food.
Note to self: Invest in an industrial size bag of suckers.
Don't judge. It's very unbecoming.
I was doing really good with the eating healthier until yesterday. We were at a competition and the food that was available to us didn't leave us with many choices. So I snacked on crap all day. And by "crap" I mean gigantic (and by gigantic I mean 8 inches in diameter) m&m sugar cookies and big buckets of popcorn. Our family also ended up at a fast food joint last night because it was late and we were out of town and we had a long drive home and we didn't have any healthier options. Yes, I could've chosen a healthier alternative than the crispy chicken club (fresh from the deep fryer) from Wendy's. But I didn't.
Sue me.
And this week Thursday we leave for another gymnastic's meet in Chicago and so eating healthy this weekend will be a (another) huge challenge. There's always something in the way, isn't there?
I worked out 5 days last week. Monday - Friday. Did something really awful to my lower back during Friday's Fitness class and was down and out in pain all weekend. I think I pulled a muscle. The pain progressively got worse all day Friday until I ended scamming a couple Vicodin from my dad so I could sleep. The Vicodin took the edge off but I was up all night anyway itching from the drugs. Figures. The pain is still there and I still can't sleep because of it and I'm just not a nice person to be around when I can't sleep. I'm over dosing on Motrin and Aleve, I smell like freak'n Bengay, and I walk around with a cold compress strapped around my waste all day. Still trying to decide if I should just suck it up until it heals or actually make a trip to my doctors.
I'm tired, I'm crabby, I'm in pain, and I am sick. to. death of winter. Seriously. I've had enough.
Forget yesterday's post. I was high on drugs. Michigan sucks.
Excuse me while I go take a hefty dose of Vitamin D.
And to add fuel to my fire I can't space my paragraphs apart in this post....or yesterday's post. WTH!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


When I first met my husband the summer after our first year in college he was majoring in International Marketing. I knew early on in our relationship that this was the guy for me but his major concerned me. I come from a large close knit Italian family and had absolutely no desire to move out of Michigan. None. I would not move. Period. My husband is an only child and his parents are divorced and live out of state. He has no family in Michigan so moving out of Michigan has never been a big deal to him. He knew this was important to me and eventually changed his major to Accounting.
Up until recent years I still held on to my "No-way, No-how" stubbornness. I. will. not. move. I never particularly cared for Michigan per say it was only my family that I refused to leave. I could do without the cold winters thankyouverymuch. I truly believe that I was meant to live in a warm climate. And by warm....I mean hot. Hot as in palm trees and sandy beaches. My family, however, is rooted here. I blame them for not getting the hell out of Dodge when they had the chance. Just kidding, Mom. =)
But in recent years I've begun to change my views. It's bad here in Michigan. In a way that only a fellow Michigander can understand. The morale in these parts is at a dismal low. The economy is all we talk about. 75% of my family work for one of the "Big Three". At every family gathering we take inventory on who still has jobs and who's worried about their job. Decreased home values, home foreclosures, and the down fall of the Detroit car companies is the conversation topic of choice when standing in line behind Joe Shmoe at the super market.
It's bad here.
Real bad.
So, I've been trying in recent years to be more open minded about "getting the hell out of Dodge." My husband has been trying to talk me into moving further south for years. He was considering calling the head-hunters and letting them know that a job out of state is no longer "out of the question."
But this morning? Things have changed. I think I have finally, after 36.75 years, fallen in love with Detroit.
Mitch Album recently wrote an article for Sports Illustrated and it was published in the Detroit Newspapers this morning. To my fellow Michiganders....."I love yah man." If you didn't pick up the papers and read it this morning you can read it in the link below. It is brilliant.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The house is silent and all I can hear is the loud rhythmic ticking of the clock in my kitchen and the zipper from a pair of jeans clanking against the walls of my dryer.

The kids are in school.

The dog is asleep in front of the fireplace.

The TV is off.

The sun is shining.

I haven't blogged or twitted a whole lot lately because I've been in this position.......

...for the past two weeks.

I'm almost done. I'm almost ready to say "good-bye" to Edward and Bella forever.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shedding the Fluff once and for all!

So, yesterday was a serious kick in my bee-hind. I needed that kick...bruises and all. Yesterday was the first day of my second session of the fitness class I joined. I've been going 3 days per week since the end of last October (minus a few days for holidays, snow days, and sick days....OK, maybe more than a "few" days) and am now officially 2 pounds heavier and 1.1% higher body fat than I was back in October when I first started. Seriously?

I suck.

So this is IT!

I'm coming clean to bloggy land. And if I don't make my goals by the end of this session I'm going don't know.....what do you all want? I'll have a giveaway or something. Any ideas? Share your ideas with me. Cuz I really need to get serious about this.

So here it goes
I was weighed at the gym this morning for our testing day (now, keep in mind, this is fully clothed, with shoes, after breakfast).....I weighed 151 pounds....*GASP*.....and had 32% body fat....double *GASP*.
Seriously, The last time I weighed this much I was pregnant. That sucks. I'm only 5' 3". That SO sucks. I used to be in very good physical shape. Very firm. Now I just feel fluffy and saggy. I hate it.
So! That's it! I'm losing this extra layer once and for all. And I'm taking you on my journey with me to keep me accountable.
I'm running the bayshore 1/2 marathon on May 23rd. My goal is to drop 20 pounds by that date. That gives me 16 weeks!
See these love handles?......they'll be GONE!
See this Budda gut? GONE!
This unsucked 4 - 5 month pseudo pregnancy? GONE!

Double chin? History!

This is me getting serious, folks!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I've gone full circle in less than 4 days.

I've spent the last 4 hours on the internet reading various frugal living blogs, printing online coupons, clipping newspaper coupons, going through grocery store sale papers, meal planning, and making grocery lists.

I'm almost certain I've developed a necrotic sore on my rump from sitting here and developing my new and improved frugal living ways.

I'm sure the doctor's visit to treat said necrotic sore will be far more costly than the money I'll save in my attempts.

Re-thinking the cost effectiveness of this way of life.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It was a good year.

As I mentioned yesterday, New Years Eve and New Years day are my 2 favorite days of the year. Not only because it marks the end of a stressful time of year but because I find myself reflecting on the blessings in my life more on those two days than any other.

2008 was a great year for my family. Arguably our best year yet. I tend to overlook the events in my life as they're happening and it's not until the turning of the year that I'm able to look back on many of those events with wistfulness and gratitude.

The best moments of 2008:

Our trip to the Atlantis resort in February 2008. This was our family's first middle of the winter vacation. I've never felt so relaxed and care free on any other family vacation we've gone on. I'm getting much better at travelling calmly with my kids. Or maybe it's just getting easier because they are now older. Either's good.

The boys' taking home the Gold and Bronze medals at their State meet in March.

My annual girl's trip to Florida in April. An entire 4.5 days of stress free, child free, husband free mommy glee. I love my friends and I love spending alone therapeutic time with them.

My daughter's first dance recital.

Weekend scrapbooking slumber party with my gal pals.

Our annual 4th of July party.

Completing my 2nd marathon in Chicago.

Our week long annual trip in August with our friends to Higgins Lake.

And, of course, another New Years Eve party spent with those we love.

Other Note worthy 2008 happenings:

The books Happiness Now and Eat Pray Love have both collectively changed my life forever....and I do mean that in the corniest way possible. The way I view and live my life has been completely transformed in the year 2008.

I officially resigned from my job as an RN this past May.

I recently ran into a former co-worker at the gym I work out at. We were having a very pleasant "How have you been" reunion conversation until the tone took a drastic turn...

her: We've missed you. Where have you been?

me: I resigned in May and am a SAHM now.

her: Oh. How can you afford to do that with this economy? (yes, she actually said that)

me: Um. We're doing just fine.

her: Oh. Well, better you than me. I could never stay home. I'd be bored stiff. What do you do all day, *said with pitiful cringe on her face*. (yes, she actually said that)

I'm not a quick thinker. It usually takes me several minutes to realize that I've been insulted. I'm sure she didn't mean to be insulting but I was insulted non-the-less. My immediate reaction resembled a stunned, slack jawed, deer in headlights. I honestly can't even remember how I responded but I know I walked away pissed at myself for not having a quick snarky reply.

I am not bored because I choose to not be bored. I do not feel unfulfilled because I choose to find fulfillment in other ways. I have many interests and many hobbies and friends in my life that keep me plenty busy. I enjoy being at home and feel grateful and enormously lucky that I am able to stay at home. And I hate, hate, HATE, that I feel the need to justify my SAHM status to other people. I view my SAHM status as an enormous blessing. Not because I didn't enjoy my job as an RN but because I enjoy the lack of stress in my life even more. I like that I don't have to worry every day who will take my kids to their extracurriculars after school, who will get dinner on my table, who will get my laundry caught up & when will I find time to clean my house. I don't have to worry about working holidays and weekends. I don't have to feel guilty for not being able to help out in my kids' classrooms on those special holiday party days.

So there! :-P

This was also the first year that I really didn't stress out about all the holiday parties we hosted. I am finally able to simply enjoy gathering my family and friends together in my home for the sake of the gathering. Once upon a time I would become a basket case at the thought of hosting parties. I would lose sleep and stress over making everything perfect. Worried about what everyone was thinking of me and my family and my home. What will they say about the food? What will they think if my faucet is spotted with water and toothpaste. What will they think if there's clothes on the floor of my laundry room. I've gotten over it. I can feel a transformation taking place in me. Which, I think, is the result of something much bigger. I am finely, at the age of 36, comfortable in my own skin. Comfortable with who I am as a person. Happy with my life and less reliant on the approval of others. Of course love and approval is important in my life. It's important in everyone's life. But I no longer feel my happiness is reliant on it.

2008 was a great year. It'll be hard to top. But I am truly looking forward to seeing what the year 2009 has in store for us.

I'm not going to set New Years resolutions this year as my track record for keeping those resolutions is really quite depressing. I thought about using reverse psychology on myself...I figured a New Years resolution like...say...."I will gain 20 pounds by the month of May" a much more attainable goal. But I decided that just wasn't healthy....on so many levels. But I will say that there are a few things I'm going to try harder to improve in my life.

1. I am going to make this the year I become successful at quiting smoking. I'm not going to call this a New Years resolution because that's just too much pressure. But I'm going back on Chantix tomorrow and I'm going to look into hypnosis and/or acupuncture for help. I'm desperate. I'm not going to update you on my progress because, again, that's just too much pressure...and since I've said all this don't want to keep hearing about it.

2. I am going to work harder at maintaining a healthier lifestyle. ie. eating healthier, staying away from fast food, and continuing with my regular workouts.

3. This one has been made FOR me by my dear hen pecking friend who insists she is going to run the 1/2 marathon in 2 hours. She is my running partner and I need to keep up with her so by default I guess I'll have to do the same. =)

4. This one has also been made for me because that same hen pecking friend won't stop pecking at me until I it looks like I'll be attempting my first mini-triathlon before the end of the year. =) I'll try (almost) anything once.

5. I hope, by being successful at #s 2, 3, & 4, to drop 20 pounds before summer swim suit season hits.

6. Suzy Orman inspired this one: Suzy says you should have an 8 -12 month "rainy day fund" for emergencies. We don't have that. We have no debt (except our mortgage). We'll be set when we retire, and our children's college will be paid for but we have only a small emergency fund. If hubby loses his job tomorrow....we're screwed. We'd be OK for a few months but certainly not least not without digging into the retirement and college savings. And I take a lot of the blame for that...not all of it mind you....but most. I like to shop. That's no secret. That's going to change. I'm putting myself on a budget and we're going to start saving money for our emergency fund. My goal is to save $12,000 by the end of the year. I'm going to start clipping coupons again, I'm going to start bargain shopping again, I'm going to try harder to stay away from fast food and eating out, and I'm going to start meal planning again! No more vending machine diet cokes! Do you know that I spend almost $100.00 in vending machine Diet Cokes each month!? It's a sickness. I'm giving up Diet Coke.

7. One Random act of kindness each day.

And that's it for now. I may add on to this list in the future if I come up with something else.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Shhhhh. Can you hear that? That, my friends, is the sound of relief. The sound of no more holiday parties, no more last minutes trips to the store, no more frantic 2am gift wrapping sessions, no more cooking, no more baking, no more more.


When people are asked what their favorite day of the year is I believe most respond with the typical "Christmas" answer.

Not me.

My favorite day of the year? New Years Day.

It follows my second favorite day of the year. New Years Eve.

These last couple weeks have just flown by in a whirlwind. In a good way. As much belly-aching as I do about my to-do lists and feeling overwhelmed I, believe it or not, truly do secretly enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Nov. and Dec. holiday season. I get overwhelmed at times and I have the occasional stressed out sleepless night but all-in-all I enjoy everything about it.

Our Christmas was wonderful.

I thought Christmas was ruined this year when Hefty found Santa's stash and showed Dreamy, who in turn showed Smurfette. I was devastated when my DD came up to me and said "Mama, the boys showed me a bunch of toys in the basement and said they were our Christmas presents and I think they were tricking me but the toys I saw were toys that I put on my list. Were they tricking me, mama?" I recovered quickly with a "Santa sometimes visits early to make Christmas day easier for him" explanation. "He hides the toys and then returns Christmas morning to finish wrapping the gifts and puts them under the tree." She bought it. And thankfully I had half the gifts wrapped already so they didn't see everything.

There was still excitement in the air on Christmas Eve. Carrots were left out for the reindeer and brownies and milk (and a lactaid) were left out for Santa. I was so disappointed and angry that the boys would ruin Christmas for each other that I told them all their toys would be returned (I'm cruel like that). When the boys woke up Christmas morning and saw that the gifts were not returned Dreamy got a little a teary eyed and actually kissed me on the mouth and gave me a huge hug. This may seem like no big deal to you but to put how huge this is into little Dreamy is a little OCD about kissing on the mouth. I haven't received a kiss from this child in YEARS. He'll allow me to kiss his cheek and he'll pretend kiss me on my cheek but that's it. But I got a voluntary smooch and a tearful & heart felt "thank you mom" when he saw that his gifts were under the tree. Made my day.

It was a rare treat to spend Christmas morning with Grandma & Grandpa. They have been staying with us for the past couple weeks visiting from Alabama. I'm sure she'll appreciate that I've put this photo on my blog.

The family arrived around 2pm for our Christmas celebration.

We ate LOTS of food.

We Jammed out to Rock Band on the WII. The boys' favorite Christmas gift.

My niece did the singing.

My Grandma with her most recently born Great Grandchild.....My cousin's baby.

Dreamy was glued to his coveted DS.

The kids all decorated gingerbread men.

My charming mother told me I look like Oprah.

Go ahead. Take a moment to let that sink in.

My MOTHER! Told me I look like Oprah.

Hmmm....What could it be?

The eyes?

The nose?

The lips?

The hair?

Skin color?

The only resemblance I can see is viewed from the rear. THANKS mom! =)

Two days later we had another Christmas party with my Dad's side of the family. More food. More fun.

My Grandma's reaction to the heritage story book I gave her was priceless. She loved it!

Last night was our annual New Years party. Nothing makes me happier than bringing in the new year surrounded by our closest friends. 20 adults and 20 kids. Unfortunately, I only got a few photos because I kept forgetting to grab the camera.

And now I can breathe. The holidays are officially over. The New Year has officially begun.

I sincerely hope that every one of you had a blessed holiday season and will enjoy a happy and healthy 2009.