Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween. day seventeen. hey. that rhymed.

Boo to you!

Challenging question number 17, on this chilly 31st day of October. 
All Hallow's Eve.

 ........... sPoOoKy ...........

17.  Something you are looking forward to

Hmmmm... something I am looking forward to....

Well, definitely Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite meal of the year.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed onions...  oh YUM.  Of course I am looking forward to being with my whole family in a warm, cozy house bustling with too many cooks in the kitchen and happy cousins.   I am definitely also looking forward to going out at the crack of dawn on Black Friday to watch all of the crazy people with Alex and a few of my sisters and their husbands.  And then the tradition of going to Denny's for some greasy breakfast after all of that shopping and people watching. 

And then Christmas.  I am looking forward to a white Christmas this year!  Wouldn't it be so great if it snowed on Christmas Eve??  That's like so magical.  With big fat snowflakes falling... luminaries all out lining the sidewalks...air smelling smoky and lights twinkling.  Kids snuggled up in their PJ's, anxiously waiting and excited.


I love Christmas Eve.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Day Challenge SiXtEeN

Oh one look at that header and you can tell I am feeling a little challenged with the challenge.  Ah well.  As challenges go, this is fairly innocuous.  It may even be fairly enlightening to me, doing this.  I am answering a pile of questions.  Being less windy than usual. 

Day 16-Dream house

Can I pick three?  I mean, everyone needs a country house, a city house and a beach house, right?  Right.  So my dreamiest dream house is this:

OK, OK, I know what you're thinking.  Sort of.  But it's not the design that is dreamy to me, it's what is behind the design.  For reals.  Because I hate a super modern looking house, but this house is off the grid.  100%.  Without relying on government entities or utility companies to provide electricity, heat, gas, and water.  Which is definitely a dream of mine.  In all honesty, even though this house is really weird on the outside, the interior is kind of amazing.  It actually looks like a pretty normal house in there.  And has everything you would want/need, like a washer and dryer, microwave, normal kitchen - you know - normal stuff.  It just relies on wind and solar energy.  Cool, huh?  The picture is actually only a representation of what I think would be the best house ever.  I actually thing it's ugly-ish.  I would definitely build a way more pleasing off the grid house.

City Dream House:

I la-la-love old brownstones.  The old brick, the steps, the iron railings.  I would definitely live in the city if I could afford a place like this.  Something with character.  Huge old mouldings, several levels, amazing kitchen, fireplaces in every room... ahh...

Country Dream House:

Yeah, this house probably doesn't look like it uses too much energy, does it?  Well.  I can just see the huge stone fireplace and amazing massive rustic-y kitchen.  I can just see it with my mind's eye.  Do you think there's room for a big pool in the back yard?

Dream Beach home:

Yeah.  Well.  I'm fairly certain that I could live happily ever after.  Right.  There.  Forever and ever amen.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Day Challenge Days 9-15

OK, so I just made the executive decision to combine some of these daily challenges.  Why?  Because I'm getting a little tired of writing two posts every day.  And also, because I just don't know if I have 30 days in me.

That's the story of my life.  I start a lot of crap and I never finish it.

Anyway, on to the challenge question things:

Day 9-A picture of your friends
Well that's easy enough.  Besides my friends that are my family, I have a little group of girl friends that I have known since about grade school.  So since we are all 40 this year (!), we have been getting together a lot to celebrate birth days.

Steph, Amy, Val, Diane, Patty, Heather and Holly

Day 10-Something you're afraid of
Oh gosh, it is safe to say that I am afraid of a lot of things... I am afraid of bad guys stealing my kids, one of my kids getting hit by a car,  me hitting a kid with my car, my husband getting in an accident while texting and driving his car, someone bullying my kids, failure, seeing people that I haven't seen in a long time, also I am afraid of sharks and swimming at night.   I know I am leaving out a ton of things here.

Day 11-Favorite TV shows
Oh sheesh.  Do I have a lot of favorites?  Yes, yes I do.  In no particular order:  House, Biggest Loser, Survivor, Survivor Man, Greys, VAMPIRE DIARIES, The Mentalist, Big Love, Dexter, Amazing Race, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Nurse Jackie.  Shoot.  There are definitely more and I am drawing a blank.

Day 12-What you believe
I believe that there are more good people than bad.  I believe that forgiving is hard and forgetting is harder. I believe that we are here for a reason. I believe that I am stronger than I look.  I believe that what comes around goes around.  I believe that you are responsible for your own happiness.  I believe that you need to make peace with your past so you can enjoy your present. 

Day 13-Goals
One of my long term goals is to complete an unfinished book.  I also want to get back into foster parenting.  I have a huge goal to get healthier, like right now.

Day 14-A picture you love
Oh man.  I have an abundance of pictures that I love.  Here are a few in particular:

i heart him
my boys
Me and my first baby
Little Blondie
Brenna and Meg dressing up

Big brother... again
Alex with a squirrel on his leg
Taking a "Nanny break"
Kara singing at a wedding

Day 15-Bible verse

Hm.  To be honest with you, I really don't know a lot of bible verses by heart except for the common ones.  But I don't like to be common. I do like this one:

Galatians 5:22-23
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

and this:

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

TO DO or not to do? That is the question.

When I say that my to-do list for today is as long as my arm, I am not exaggerating.  It may possibly be as long as my leg even.

First and FOREMOST on the list is running to the store to get Hazelnut creamer.  Yesterday, in a dumb thought process, I decided I was going to quit coffee and I knew if I didn't have creamer, I wouldn't drink the coffee without it.  So I finished the creamer and didn't replace it.

Who does that??  Yeah.  Well.  I changed my mind.  Sue me.  I'm not quitting coffee.  Not today anyway.  Do I sound cranky?  So anywho, I have to run to the other end of town to get the damn creamer because I refuse to go to the gas station around the corner because I hate the jerk lady who works there in the morning.  And when I say jerk lady, I mean idiot mean cheating jerky jerk lady.

So after I get my creamer, and stuff, I am going to sit down on my comfy red chair and drink it and finish this to-do list.  Just so I can see how very much I have to accomplish today to feel... accomplished.  And worthy of the stay-at-home-Mom title.

OK.  So in the magic of blogworld time standing-stillness, I am back!  And I am saying ahhhh and drinking my coffee.  Right.  Now.  I am drinking my coffee before the shit storm of a busy day gets in full swing.

To-Do Today or else

Shower CHECK!
Bring kids to school CHECK!
Get creamer from the damn store CHECK!
Drink coffee happily and relaxed-ly  CHECK!
Wash, dry, fold & put away 3 loads of laundry
Scrub 3 toilets
Load and start dishwasher
Straighten, sweep and vacuum family room and kitchen
Clean off counter tops
Open yesterday's mail and input bills
Clean/reorganize mud room.  Purge outgrown shoes and stuff.
Finish rearranging living room project
Freaking deal with the dining room and figure out how to rearrange it and just make it happen already
Purge and find places for all of the crap that is currently on the dining room floor
Patch wall holes and spot paint downstairs
Be annoyed by the workers in the basement not being on time CHECK!
Purge and reorganize family room cupboard
Purge and reorganize computer cabinet
Go through piano sheet music drawer
Vacuum the stairs
Neaten up girls rooms
Order a big girl bed for Brookie
Order mattresses for three twin beds
Get cider donuts and cider for kids school parties
Get kids costumes ready and packed for school parties tomorrow
Pick up girls from school
Go to Alex's away soccer game
Leave kids with their Dad when game is over
Drive 1 1/2 hours to Kara's college
Watch Kara's show
Get luggage from Kara and head back home
Don't fall asleep at the wheel and die a fiery death
Home by 1:30 am-ish and get my tired buns into bed.

Whoa.  That'a a lot of crap to accomplish.  I guess I better get off this comfy red chair and get moving.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Day Challenge - Day 8

A Place You've traveled to.

Well, I have traveled around the US a bit - not nearly enough to the west or mid-west or central US though.  I really really want to put my foot in every single state though.  That is definitely on my mental bucket list.  So far, I have put my foot in:  New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,  Texas, Arizona, Colorado,  and California.  Also, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. 

This is one of the very few things my husband and I fight over.  I want so much to travel, and he likes to only go to the same old places. I  WANT TO PUT MY FOOT IN EVERY STATE IN THE US!  There is so much to see!  I don't want to not see the world.  In fact, I am going to make it my mission to see all of the states I haven't seen.  And nobody can tell me no.  In all honesty, I could care less about traveling alone even.   I would totally do it.  And I will.  Actually.

So I've never been to any of these states: MAINE (can you believe that?  It's so close.), Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama,  Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana,  Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa,  N Dakota, S Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii.

OK.  OMG.  Here is where I actually get to answering the question.

My sister Jen and her husband were going to the Virgin Islands a few years ago because they had sold a yacht to the owner of this resort, and they bartered a deal - John put some extras on the boat, and the guy gave him a big credit for his all inclusive resort in St Thomas.  Jen asked us if we wanted to go along, all we would have to pay for was airfare -- so we were all over it.  The kids were so excited.  My Dad and Wendy went too.

We flew into this tiny little airport that was open - it was so different - like it was almost all outdoors.  It was so hot.  We had to get this taxi to our resort, and the driver drove really crazy.  Brooke was about 15 months and supposed to be in a car seat, and I was beside myself because there weren't any in the taxi.  I swear I was scared to death the whole ride.

The resort was so awesome.  The kids definitely got their money's worth on the free drinks - they got virgin daiquiris all day long.  We snorkeled and swam and ate our faces off.  We saw a tarantula.  There were freaking lizards all over the place.

My Dad took everyone on a day excursion around the islands, where they ended up on the beach of St. John, just snorkeling the day away -- could anything be better than that??  Brooke and I stayed back unfortunately, but it was great hearing about all of the cool things everyone else saw and did.

I would go back there in about two seconds.  One of these days, I definitely will.

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Bee in my bonnet

Do you ever just get this urge to do something drastic??

The other night after the kids were all showered and put to bed, just before my husband and I were about to sit down to eat dinner, I said, "Can you just help me turn this rug?"

And that's how it all started.

I have to admit, that he didn't even sigh.  He didn't grumble.  He only eyed his dinner longingly, but helped me move the rug.  Which lead to moving the couch.  Then the other couch.  Then out came the drill and we took a mantle off of the wall.  And from there, it just hasn't stopped.

Of course, eventually it stopped -- but only because we went up to bed.  (And we did take a quick break to eat our dinner and watch Dexter)  Since that night, I have been on this mission to rearrange the entire downstairs of my house.  Frankly, I have been a little obsessed.  When I finally figured out how I wanted to rearrange the living room, Alex was at work.  Lucky guy.  Because I single handedly had to move my piano.  And that freaking thing weighs a TON.  I used muscles that I didn't even remember I had.  I also turned my whole 10x12 rug so it was going in the other direction, moved the couch and chair and a bench and a table.  All by myself.  Phew.

I was on fire, let me tell you.  I was sweating.

So things are coming together, and I lovelovelove the way the family room turned out.   The family room is really more like a great room, with the kitchen table and kitchen all together on pretty much the whole backside of the house.  We have been here for six or seven years now, but that room has always made me feel like it was set up wrong.  

In my rush to keep things moving before Alex got annoyed with me, I didn't get the camera out for before and after pictures.  If you have your person standing there ready to move things around at your whim, taking a couple minutes to get the camera and take pictures is just too risky.

So I am sitting here in my freshly rearranged living room/dining room, trying to figure out how to pull this all together so it looks as nice as the rest of the downstairs.  Right about now it's half-way finished.

Anyway, sorry I haven't been my usual long-winded self.  I have been on a mission.  I'm almost done though - so please don't delete me from your blogroll! 

Sheesh.  With all of this crazy purging, organizing and rearranging going on, you'd think I was nesting. 

Oh bite your tongue!  I'm definitely not!
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jingle Bells?

Guess what?? I have something cool to tell you about, and the timing couldn't be more perfect! So I get to do my first ever review of a product from CSN! If you haven't already heard, CSN is an online retailer with over 200 stores, selling everything from counter stools, to a new pair of shoes! I've been perusing the site all weekend and I think I have found what I will be reviewing! So be sure to check back within the next few weeks...

So it was sort of fitting that Megan reminded me that yesterday was exactly TWO MONTHS from Christmas. 


I have been so busy buying new Halloween decorations (my stuff was getting old and dingy and worn and boring.  I needed new stuff) and decorating and organizing all over the place, I kind of forgot.  Right now we still have a ton of color - just a gazillion gorgeous fall leaves still hanging on the trees, and falling lazily into the yard.  Yesterday the kids and I walked home from school and collected a bunch of pretty leaves.  I don't really know what to do with them.  I'll google it.

Brooke decided to hide her leaves under her Dad's pillow.  Like a little surprise.  It was quite an interesting surprise when we went up to bed at 10:30 last night and had to clean the leave crumbs out of our bed.  Well, her heart was in the right place.

So because it is still so fall-y and colorful and warmish (it's supposed to be 72 today!), it doesn't feel like Christmas is just around the corner.

But trust me, I don't need snow and slush and a winter coat to get in the shopping mood.  I just need a warm cup of Hazelnut coffee and my computer!  I am on it!

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30 Day Challenge - Day seven

Day 7.  Your favorite movies.

Well.  I really have so many favorite movies.  Really.  But then, whenever my kids say their favorite is a lot of things, I say that they have to pick one favorite because a favorite means best and best is supposed to be best.  Not one of many.  But now that I think about it, that's pretty dumb. 

Who says we can't have more than one favorite?  I don't think there is a real rule about that.

So go fill up your coffee cups, because this could take a while.  Here are a smattering of my favorite movies, in no particular order:

The Breakfast Club,
Ferris Bueller's Day Off,
Better Off Dead,

The Lost Boys,
Sixteen Candles,

Pretty in Pink,

The Goonies,

Say Anything,

Back to the Future,
Dirty Dancing,
The Godfather,
Stand by Me,
What's Eating Gilbert Grape,
Forrest Gump,
Reservoir Dogs,
Risky Business,
The Terminator,
Pulp Fiction,
Shawshank Redemption,
Planes, Trains and Automobiles,
The Fugitive,
Boys on the Side,
True Romance,
Silence Of The Lambs,
Reality Bites,

Boys on the Side,

The Virgin Suicides,
Four Weddings and a Funeral,
Donnie Darko,
Fight Club,
Million Dollar Baby,
Pay It Forward,
Bridget Jones' Diary,
The Wedding Singer,
Happy Gilmore,
Something About Mary,
American Beauty,
Jerry Maguire,
Almost Famous,
Catch Me If You Can,
Wedding Crashers,
Old School,
The Family Stone,
Meet the Parents,
Brokeback Mountain,
The Bourne Trilogy,
The Departed,
Ocean's Trilogy, 

Slumdog Millionaire,

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Her forehead looks like a baby's ass.

*Reposted with my sister's permission because she was mad at me when I first posted it and said that if she were gay it would be like yanking her out of the closet without her consent.  I formally apologized.  And I solemnly swear that I will never yank her out of the closet without her consent again.  Because I don't want her to be mad at me, and also because she says a lot of funny things and has a lot of cool experiences and they are definitely worth sharing with the whole wide world.  With her permission of course.

My sister just got Botox in her forehead. 

She was so excited she called me up and said, "My forehead is as smooth as a baby's ass!"  She also said she is positive she looks 19.  Not a day over 20.  She also said she got looked at by a guy and he randomly told her he loved her as she was getting into her car after the botox.  Kind of like a cat call, which is very exciting for a 40+ year-old.  She knows it is because she looks so 19 now.

I'm JEALOUS.  I want a baby's ass forehead.  I want to get looked at with a cat call.  I think I mentioned my stupid forehead wrinkles the other day.  My sister is so lucky.  She just got fraxel on her face too and will have nice face skin to go with her smooth ass-head.  I actually thought her face skin and forehead was nice before, but I have to admit it looks very healthy and fresh lately.

I want get fraxel and botox!  That's what I am going to do because I hate my ugly wrinkles.  I have the fattest pockets after the holidays, so I am going to try to make that happen in January!   I will keep you posted.

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ps   Check out this amazing givewaway of Life. Camera. Actions. on Simple As That!

30 Day Challenge -- Day Six

Day 6.  A picture of something that makes you happy.

So I was going to go the typical, post a picture of your family or kids as something that makes you happy route, but then I started to think about what that challenge-maker must have really meant.  I mean, if the challenge-maker wanted just a picture of people, it wouldn't have said thing.  Right?

So then I thought, well, this really makes me happy:

a comfy bookstore
 But then again, so does this:

A big deep, warm bathtub 

And I feel just giddy when I think of this:

crunching leaves under my feet

Or when I look at this:

colorful Autumn trees

Or this:

The ocean

Or when I drink this:

a warm cup of coffee

Or eat this:

Thanksgiving dinner

But then I was thinking that really, the one thing that makes me the most happy, is looking that the smiles - the real, true smiles - of my kids.  So a smile is a thing.  Right?  And the challenge-maker can't argue with that.

Megan, Brooke, Kara and Alex

Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day Five

So today's question is about your siblings.

My sisters: Jen, India and Ali

I have one older sister, Jen, and two younger sisters, Ali and Indi.  We are all very close, and I consider them to be my best friends.

Joh, Jen, Kasey, Abby and Julian

Jen is married and has three kids.  She is a nurse, and she and her husband John own a marina.

Tyrone, Ali, Kieran, Bridgett and Brenna

Ali is married to her highschool sweetheart, Tyrone.  They have three kids.  She's a second grade teacher and lives right around the corner from me.

Indi, Kylie and Jillian

Indi is the youngest.  She is recently going through a divorce, and lives near my sister Jen with her two kids.  She works for my sister Jen at the marina. 

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day FOUR

Day Four is supposed to be about your parents.

So my parents had me when they were in their early twenties, I was the second of four girls.   They met through a mutual friend when my mother was in college.  My mom is a retired Dental Hygienist, and my Dad runs a part of one of our family businesses. 


When I was pretty young, my parents divorced, and they each ended up eventually remarrying. 

Mom and Steve

Dad and Wendy
I feel really lucky that we all live within 10 miles or so of each other.   We see them all often and do a lot of stuff together.  I love that my parents get to be a big part of my kids every day lives, and they really do everything they can to be there for them.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Spell check is a jerk

Have you ever noticed that when you blogger spellcheck SAHM it tries to turn it into SHAM.  Go ahead and try it for yourself, you'll be as shocked as I was.  I think it thinks it's funny.  Like it's trying to tell you that being a Stay-at-home-mom is really a sham.

I think spellchecker is a Jackass.

I love the word Jackass.  I am going to try to insert it into my everyday life more often.  Typically, I say Jackbutt, but really, it doesn't have as much oomph as Jackass.  I mean, one of my very favorite sisterly put downs is "You are such a horse-toothed Jackbutt."   I definitely find myself muttering "Horse-toothed Jackbutt" under my breath several times a day.  I've noticed though, that substituting "butt" for "ass" definitely tones it down.  So if you're trying to really make a point or be fresh to someone, you definitely have to go with Jackass.

Don't you think?

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