Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I see ME in them

If you didn't already know, I have two kids who are the lights of my life! Everyday is a new adventure and experience with these two. I am so blessed to be a stay at home momma and getting the chance to be present in their early years. Now, that's not to say that this isn't an extremely challenging job. Even more so now that the terrible two's (for Jaxson) are in FULL swing. More often than not, I feel like ripping my hair out. I have had a lot of moments lately where self doubt and feelings of inadequacy have crept up. Obviously this is uncharted territory for me and we are just taking things a day at a time.
I have kinda veered off topic here, though. What I really wanted to say is that even on these challenging days, where I am ready to go back to bed by nine am, is that I can't help but still be amazed at these little beings that my hubby and I have created. I see so much of myself in them that it is downright SCARY!

Now, I have often prided myself in my determination. When I want something I go after it and I go after it with all I have. My children are the same way. I think this is a great quality to posses however when you are 2 and have that much determination you give your mother a run for her money. Perfect example of that was when Kendra wanted up the stairs at my mother's. I will spare you all the details but she found a way after trying and trying. She had to push her small chair up to another larger chair and boost herself up to the shelf which was blocking the stairs and then she attempted shimming down the back of the shelf ( yes I was close by watching... I just had to see how she had done it so I could prevent her from doing it again.... I had already caught her climbing  the stairs once). Jaxson is very determined as well but not to that degree.  He is very sensitive which some of you might have noticed that I can be. Disciplining him when he was younger was so hard because he was so devastated when you told him no. You didn't even have to raise your voice it was merely the tone that set him off. Not anymore, though!
Kendra, on the other hand is a little instigator just like her father. You tell her no and she giggles and smiles. Then she turns right back around and does it again. I will be the first to admit that it is kind of cute and hard not to laugh ( I know I know, I am asking for it) .
There's that mischievous grin

I am a very stubborn individual as is my hubby (makes for some interesting arguments!) Well, all that stubbornness went right into these two! My mom says that until Kendra and Jaxson, she had never seen a child as stubborn as I was (or is) .  Tonight, my parents and step brother were over for dinner. Jax really wanted his "guncle", as he calls him, to come play in his room. Guncle was tired and watching some t.v. He then asked my mom to make guncle come in his room. When that tactic didn't work he simply went to the tv, shut it off and took the remote. Did I mention I can be a little spiteful too?! Ha!

Now, my children did get SOME good qualities from me too. They love to learn.... reading is their favorite activity and I am so proud of that. They are outgoing and seem, even at this young age, to be empathetic and sympathetic toward others. They both seem to love animals and thrive in social environments.  I could go on and on about all the amazing little qualities they have but I will stop here and not continue to bore you..... :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday Ten ( I am _____ Right Now)

I am joining in the fun again today with Miss Mommy!

I am _____ right now:

I am - feeling anxious about the holidays. Stressed about the money aspect.
I wonder - where we will be five years from now
I see - the best in people even when no one else does or doesn't even try to
I want - a weekend away to reconnect with my hubby. It is long overdue!
I pretend - That I am happy sometimes when I am not. I guess it is easier to tell myself that I am than to face the reality sometimes
I worry - all the time! About everything! I know I worry way too much for my own good and need to learn to relax more.
I cry - when I am sad, when I am happy, when I am tired and at ridiculous commercials! I cry a lot!
I hope - I can always provide for my children and give them unconditional love and all the guidance they need to become happy individuals.
I dream- of so many different things. Being financially and emotionally secure.
I feel - overwhelmed and anxious a lot!

Festival of Trees

One of our family traditions is to head over to the Festival of Trees the weekend after Thanksgiving. The trees are very extravagant and so much fun to look at. All the trees have been purchased at an auction the evening before and benefit our local hospital. The trees can go for anywhere between $2,000 and as high as $10,000.00! I have never been to the auction but love to see the trees when they are on display. :)

Getting his face painted

icing a cookie, only to have it devoured afterwards!
This year they had lots of fun children's activities and Jaxson was able to participate. I have tried before to have him get his face painted but he was scared. This time, however, we had them start with a candycane on his hand. He loved it! When the girl was finished he just stood there and looked at her. He then asked if he could have more. So, he had a snowman on his face. I was impressed at his ability to stand perfectly still. He was so proud of it!

One of our favorite trees!
Seahawks tree! This was Jaxson's favorite!
I like the mirror at the top of the tree! Such a fun idea.

 After leaving here we were in such a festive mood that we decided to put up our tree. We only put the ornaments part way up to hopefully prevent Kendra from reaching up and grabbing them but we underestimated her determinedness (so that isn't a word apparently)  and height!!

Not quite as extravagant but I love it!

All that is missing is our stockings! I need to find some fun stocking holders.

There you have it. Part one of our decorating is complete. Hopefully we will get to the outside this week!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all my friends, both old and new! If you are here from the follower's fest, welcome!
I took a few days off from blogging to concentrate on my family the past few days. We are set to have our THIRD Thanksgiving this afternoon. I am so blessed to have such a large extended family and get to partake in three Thanksgivings (especially since my duties include minimal cooking)!

We did a little bit of shopping yesterday (nothing crazy) and a bit more today. I was able to check a few things off my list. Every year we try to sponsor a local child and this year Jaxson got to help pick out the child's presents. It was fun to teach him that giving can be just as great as receiving. 
Tomorrow we are headed to the festival of trees , which has kind of become a new tradition for our little family. Which brings me to my original post idea. I thought I would share some of our family traditions with you and then you can share some of yours with me. I love hearing about other people's traditions.

- My husband and I started the tradition of hiding the pickle ornament (don't know where this originates from..... I have heard it was a German tradition) from each other. Generally whoever finds it first gets to open the first present. Since it was just the two of us for a long time we hid two!
- At Thanksgiving we always say what we are thankful for... I think most families do this. :)
- We let the kids open one present from us on Christmas Eve, which is always some sort of holiday pajamas.
- On Christmas morning my step dad turns on the train which runs around the tree and then plays Christmas music. This is our signal that we can get out of bed and come down.
- Santa always fills our stockings with wooden brain teaser puzzles. I can never solve them, my husband always does!
- We try to decorate a gingerbread house every year. This year the kids will actually get to help and I am  so excited to let them go wild and decorate.
- We generally spend an afternoon baking all sorts of yummy treats which usually includes peppermint bark, cranberry orange muffins, brownies, banana bread, rice krispie treats and sometimes cookies.
- We always, even if money is tight, budget to sponsor an individual child and a family. We feel we have been blessed with so much that we need to give back. We always try to sponsor an older child because I feel like sometimes they get overlooked.
- We take a trip to a local church camp where they decorate with over one million lights! So fun to see the kids' faces light up with wonder.

- Our list of "must see" holiday movies has really grown over the years. I love the classics and my hubby likes some of the newer movies. Usually takes us all month to get through all of them!

So, what are some of your traditions? I would love to hear them!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm blank because...........

Today's post is inspired by Little Miss Momma.... I am sure most of you have seen it floating around on someone's blog. I thought it looked fun. I do apologize in advance, though, for making it long!

I'm weird because...
I read my magazines from back to front
I think chewing gum is gross!
I almost always never pay full price for clothing but have no problem paying WAY too much on designer handbags. :)
If something is expired, by even a day, I refuse to eat it.
I like cottage cheese as a dip for doritos, but only the cheese kind
I skip to the end of books... 

I'm a bad friend because...
I am overly sensitive and take things too seriously
I sometimes forget to call or text back....
I have a hard time really opening up because I have had a few friends really hurt me
I don't have as much time as I used to to hang out. :(

I'm a good friend because...
I love my friends and think of them as family
I will usually drop what I am doing to help you out
I am pretty good at giving advice
I will always have your back
I will call you out on your BS

I'm sad because...
I don't get to see my dad for the holidays
I have gained even more weight and have really low self esteem right now :(
There are so many people struggling financially and I wish I could do more to help
My fantasy football team is doing horribly.... ( I know, there are worse things to be sad about, but I am just being honest here... I am a little too competitive)
A few of my friends no longer speak to eachother
My anxiety and stress levels have been at an all time high the past few months

I'm happy because...
My hubby should be home in a few hours! He has been gone for almost a week.
We have three Thanksgiving celebrations!
My kids are both napping!
I am surrounded by love all the time!
For the first time in my life... I feel complete
I get to eat cherry pie tonight

I'm excited for...
Christmas.... decorating, shopping and time with family
To see my kids open presents.
Opening up my Etsy Shop soon!
Our trip to Whistler in January and for getting to try skiing for the first time
Fingers crossed... but hopefully renewing our vows for our 5 year anniversary. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ten characters I would want to play

So, if you are like me at all you sometimes get WAY too caught up in books or movies and catch yourself wondering What If? What if I were her/him? Okay.... maybe I am the only one. ;)

So, here they are; my top ten characters I would love to play:

  1. The character of Emma played by Gwyneth Paltrow in "Emma". So many reasons I would choose this one. I love Gwyneth, love the movie, love the leading men  and dressing up in the period clothing and having a fake accent would be fun too!
  2. Erin Brokavich played by Julia Roberts. I think the story was amazing and to portray a strong women would be really cool.
  3. I am gonna say it...... but I would want to play Bella Swan in Twilight strictly for the purpose of getting to steal some kisses with "Edward". :)
  4. Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. I know you are starting to wonder about my sanity. I don't actually mean being the character but more like getting to experience what goes into making a scary movie. I love scary movies, especially older ones and I think being in one and seeing the process of how they are made would make them a lot less scary.
  5. Maria, from "The Sound of Music". I love this movie and how fun would it be to sing your heart out and actually be GOOD at it?!
  6. Gabrielle Anwar's character in "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken". I think it is amazing how she triumphed over tragedy and continued to do what she loved most. I wish I had half her passion for something. Plus, I have always been a bit afraid of horses so it would be neat to feel at ease with them.
  7. Betty,played by Rosemary Clooney in "White Christmas". Once again, I could sing my heart out and be good and she got to dance, a lot! Also, just being on set of a classic movie and mingling with such stars....
  8. Mia, in "Princess Diaries", because who doesn't want to find out she is secretly a princess?
  9. Bridget in "Bridget Jones' Diary". Maybe she doesn't have it all together, but who does? She has great friends and has her pick between two good looking guys. I am partial to Colin Firth, by the way!
  10. So, I wasn't a fan of the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic" but I loved the books. I wouldn't mind having the wardrobe of Rebecca Bloomwood!

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    T- Shirt Scarf

    So, lately I have been seeing  gorgeous t-shirt scarves all over Pinterest. I thought that they looked simple enough for even ME to be able to do them.

    Last night my Mom and I gave it a go and I am pretty happy with how my first one turned out. Have a look!

    Yes, I cut off my head. Bad hair day and no make-up. :(

    Overall I am pretty satisfied with it. I think next time I will use a bigger shirt so I have a bit more fabric to work with and maybe add another color in too.  I am heading to Goodwill today to hopefully find some fun inexpensive shirts so I can get going on some more.

    Stay tuned for a tutorial!

    Saturday, November 19, 2011


    So, my thoughts are a bit jumbled this morning and I have a lot swirling through my mind. Consequently, this post may come out a little choppy and be random.

    I thought I would just share some funny things Jaxson has said and done the last week. This little guy certainly is a source of entertainment.
    Jaxson loves to be a helper in the kitchen. I must confess that I am not much of a cook and don't generally enjoy cooking. However, in the past few years I have come to enjoy it more and hopefully, I am getting better at it. I hope to teach my children to cook. So far, though, Jaxson loves to "cook" . It always puts a smile on my face when he says he wants to cook cheese and juice for dinner. You are wondering about my cooking skills at this point, aren't you?

    Over the weekend, he was being watched by his Tam Tam(my mother in law) and during his bath he turns to her and says rather loudly "DJ, turn it up!" Ha... this is from a popular song. Didn't know he was paying that much attention to the lyrics.

    Yesterday morning, upon waking up and noticing the snow, he says "HOLY COW". I think he gets that from me.

    Both my children are like goats, they seek out the tallest thing they can find and climb it. Jaxson likes to announce himself by screaming his name and then serenading whoever is around with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I think it is pretty adorable, until it is being repeated for the tenth time. We sing it so much in this house that both my children's first phrase was "up above". :)

    While in the car running errands with Tam Tam, Jaxson says in an alarmed voice that there was a spider in Tam Tam's hair. There wasn't. He got a good laugh out of it. Apparently, he is going to be a jokester like his dad.

    A few months ago while shopping in a nearby mall Jaxson was getting antsy and the mannequins in the window caught his attention. Instead of touching them like most kids, at the prompting of his grandpa, he proceeded to stand perfectly still and pretended to be one. He was so still and posed in fact that people stopped to look. He never even twitched or blinked. I was impressed, but it also left me wondering why on Earth can he not stand that still any other time, like, say when he is waiting for me to put him in his car seat.

    On our drive to the coffee stand (which I am ashamed to admit, I frequent far too often) there is a statue of a horse which Jax likes to point out. One day I asked him what the horse's name should be. He thought for quite a while and then said "Salmon". Where did that even come from?!

    Yesterday, once we were in Target and kids were secured in the cart I noticed a friend had come in right behind me. I scooted the cart over to the side so we could stand and chat a bit. A few minutes into our conversation I heard someone say, " well... you will have to ask your mom if it is ok."  He was literally ordering from the back of the shopping cart to the barista at Starbucks. Apparently, he asked for two pink cake pops, please. One for him and one for his sissy. I got a good laugh at that one.... and yes, I did get two pink cake pops. I am a bad mom with a sweet tooth.

    I could literally go on and on, but I won't! Have a fantastic weekend!

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Be sure to head over to Mom2MemphisAndRuby today because that is where I am guest posting!

    I am beyond tired today. Yes, I was one of the many people who went out for the Breaking Dawn midnight showing last night. Even though I have had caffeinated coffee today (gasp! caffeine and I do not mesh well) it was totally worth it!  Today I just plan on being lazy and laying around with the kiddos having a movie day.

    Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday!!

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Thankful Thursday

    As I am sitting here in my bedroom listening to the rain pour, and I mean POUR, I was struck by the fact that I have yet to do a thankful post. Everyone else has been doing them and I have been meaning to. It's not that I am not thankful, it is more that I am thankful for so much that I don't even know where to begin and how to adequately express my thankfulness.

    Tonight, I am thankful for simply having a roof over my head and a warm bed to crawl into. Instead of dwelling on the fact that my bed is super uncomfortable (I have backaches and headaches from it) I am choosing to focus on the fact that I even have a bed at all.

    Maybe my house is older and is a little outdated in some areas (i.e. the kitchen) but it is MY house and more importantly it is our home. Our first home we  have owned and the place we brought our babies to. I am thankful everyday for our house.We are making memories here that we will look back on for years to come.

    I may be self conscious quite a bit and too concerned with my excess baby weight, but I am thankful that I have my health. I may not be in the best physical shape but I can work on that and I am fortunate enough to be able to do so.

    Although, I may have lost a few friends along the way the last few years I am so incredibly thankful for all the new ones I have made. I have had the opportunity to meet lots of new inspiring, uplifting, positive people.

    Being a stay at home momma is an incredibly difficult and overwhelming job at times, but it is by far, the most rewarding thing I have yet to do. I am thankful everyday that I get to be home with my kids.
    Sure, we struggle and have to make concessions to do so and some months are harder than others (like December) but I would not have it any other way. My husband works so hard day in and day out to provide for us and is so selfless in doing so. I am thankful to have him in my life.

    I am thankful for my family; mine and my husbands', for being an unending source of support and love. I could not ask for better examples for my children.

    Last, but not least, I am so thankful to God for entrusting me with my two children. They are the loves of my life and even when they are on my last nerve I will always be grateful to have them in my life.

    What I Wore Wednesday!

    Just a few pics today. I wasn't so good about having some one around to take my picture, unless you count my 2 1/2 year old.

    Sweater , Vanity, Jeans Big Star via Nordstrom Rack and yellow striped shirt Target clearance rack for $3.48!

    Scarf NY & Company, Shirt Old Navy, Hat ?, polka dot boots gift from my hubby!
    So, as you can probably tell from my less than enthused looks on my face I don't enjoy having my picture taken. I have put on quite a bit of weight in the last few years and I am very self conscious. I am really taking a big step out of my comfort zone by doing these What I Wore posts. However, I need to stop beating myself up so much about it and this is a tiny step in that direction. :)

    pleated poppy

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Our Weekend

    I feel like I was a bit of a crazy women this weekend. I had a lot going on but it was all so much fun. I attended a fundraising event for my MOPS group that ran Friday evening through Saturday evening.  I was able to spend some time with some amazing women and get alot of crafting done too. I feel like I created quite a few Christmas presents. Pics to come soon. :)

    This morning, my mom took the hubby and I to the Seahawks game and we had a blast! The weather cooperated, the rain held off and we even had a win! One of the most amazing things of the day was when we participated in a "card stunt". It is where different sections of the stadium hold up colored cards to form letters or pictures. We did a salute to the veterans. I wish I had a picture because it was breathtaking. The national anthem was playing, the flag was flying and the stadium was color coordinated to form a flag, stars and a message to the veterans. All the while, jets were flying overhead and fireworks were going off. It gave us chills.

    Kinda loving this pic right now!

    I even got to pet the Seahawk
    Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Getting to Know my husband!
    Feel free to copy and paste, and fill out your own survey on your blog ( I took this from Jen at Making Our Life Matter. )
    1. Who is your man?
    Brandon.... who is a full-time firefighter here in our hometown.

    2. How long have you been together?
    Together 8 1/2 years and married for four and a half

    3. How long dated?
    We dated for 3 years and were engaged roughly a year and a half

    4. How old is your man?
    He will be 28 on December 13th

    5. Who eats more?
    He does, hands down.

    6. Who said “I love you” first?
    I did, pretty soon into the relationship. He didn't tell me for almost another month but I knew that it was genuine when he did and not just something he said because I had. I knew he meant it. :)

    7. Who is taller?
    Him, by quite a bit. I am a shorty. Makes dancing difficult. Always get a kink in my neck.

    8. Who sings better?
    Me, which isn't saying a lot, because I am not much of a singer, either.

    9. Who is smarter?
    Depends on what you are talking about. I would say I am more "book smart" but he has a lot more common sense.

    10. Whose temper is worse?

    11. Who does the laundry?
    We both do, equally.

    12. Who takes out the garbage?
    Generally him, but if I have to, I will. :)

    13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?

    14. Who pays the bills?

    15. Who is better with the computer?

    16. Who mows the lawn?
    Usually him because someone has to watch the kids. If we have a sitter I will get out there and help him.

    17. Who cooks dinner?
    Me on nights that he works and him when he is home, so he probably cooks more nights a week than I do.

    18. Who drives when you are together?

    19. Who pays when you go out?
    Me... geeze, I do a lot! :)

    20. Who is most stubborn?
    Oh, me, for sure!

    21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
    Him, I am too stubborn and I can admit that.

    22. Whose parents do you see the most?
    Pretty equally each

    23. Who kissed who first?
       I kissed him.

    24. Who asked who out?
    Ha! I asked him out too.

    25. Who proposed?
      He did, but it wasn't really a surprise.... I knew it was going to happen. Still amazing, none the less.

    26. Who is the most sensitive?

    27. Who has more friends?
     Probably me, most of which I have made within the last 8-10 years but his friends are friends from grade school.

    28. Who has more siblings?
    Me, I have one older brother and 3 younger step-brothers. He has one younger sister.

    29. Who wears the pants in the family?
    I do, and he will admit that too. :) He is such a good sport.

    30. How did you meet?
    His friend had a crush on me and wanted me to go hang out with him and another friend. The friend he brought was my hubby.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Home made Playdough!

    I have had this recipe for playdough sitting around for awhile now and when I pulled out our playdough today and realized how gross and hard it had gotten I  thought I would give this a whirl! (that was a long run on sentence!)

    Here is what you need:
    - 1 cup flour
    - 1/2 cup salt 
    - 1 cup boiling water
    - 1 tablespoon oil
    - 1 tablespoon Alum(a pickling spice, which is a white powder, found in the spice aisle)
    - Food coloring (optional)

    In a bowl, mix together 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup boiling water, your oil, alum and food coloring. Mix your wet ingredients into your dry and begin mixing and kneading the dough. The recipe says to mix more flour in until it is the consistency that you want. I had to add quite a bit. Lasts for a long time in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

    we made pink!
    Here they are enjoying it!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    What I Wore Wednesday!

    I scored some really good deals at Target this last week on the clearance rack and I am excited for you to check out one of the outfits I created from it!

    Sweater Old Navy, Shirt/dress Target, leggings Forever 21, and boots from Macy's
    I just love a good deal and the dress (prob shirt for most because I am so short) from Target was only $6.00. I wasn't sure how I was going to wear it but I am happy with the leggings and long sweater.
    Terrible picture quality, I know! I had nothing but a cell phone and no one to take the pic, however, I really love my ruffled sweater from Nordstrom Rack.


    pleated poppy

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Ten things off of my bucket list

    I have quite a few things I hope to accomplish in this life and lots of fun, exciting things I want to do along the way and places I would love to see.  Here are just ten of those things. :)

    1. Travel all across Europe
    2. Participate in a shark feeding
    3. Run a half marathon ( I am nowhere near that but would love to be)
    4. Write a novel
    5. Renew my wedding vows on the beach in Cancun (where we had our honeymoon)
    6. Cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner and host it at our house (sounds simple, but would mean a lot to me)
    7. Go white water rafting
    8. Learn how to sew! ( I am working on this right now)
    9. Go on an African safari
    10. Learn to play an instrument

      Linking up over here today!

      Sunday, November 6, 2011

      Sunday Stealing Link up

      Today I am linking up over here for the first time!

      1. Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?
         nope....haven't heard of doing that before

      2. What’s the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?
      2 years

      3. Ever been in a car wreck?
      yes, nothing major , though

      4. Were you popular in high school?
      I wasn't unpopular but I certainly wasn't the most well known.

      5. Have you ever been on a blind date?

      6. Are looks important?
      When it comes to initial attraction yes, but looks are not the most important thing.

      7. Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 10 years or more?
      yes, quite a few, actually

      8. By what age would you like to be married?
      I always thought I would be married by 25 but we were married when I was 22.

      9. Does the number of people a person’s slept with affect your view of them?
      no, it is one's personal choice and I don't judge them for that

      10. Have you ever made a mistake?
      Yes! Who hasn't?

      11. Are you a good tipper?
      I think so

      12. What’s the most you have spent for a haircut?
      Hmm... I really can't remember exactly, but for cut and color over $100.00

      13. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?
      yes... :)

       14. Have you ever peed in public?
      In public bathrooms

      15. What song do you want played at your funeral?
      I don't like to think of my funeral but maybe Priscilla Ahn's Dream

      16. Would you tell your parents if you were gay?

      17. What would your last meal be before getting executed?
      This is a hard one for me. Maybe Pad Thai, Caesar salad and a chocolate torte. ( they don't go together, I know)

      18. Beatles or Stones?
      Depends on my mood

      19. If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who would it be?
      I am not sure....

      20. Beer, wine or hard liquor?
      This also depends on my mood. Some foods are better with beer and some with wine.

      21. Do you have any phobias?
      I get claustrophobic sometimes but nothing that I would classify as a phobia.

      22. What are your plans for the future?
      Right now I am trying to just get through each day and live in the moment. However, long term I hope to go back to school and travel through Europe with my family.

      Friday, November 4, 2011

      Inspiring family connections

      Quite awhile ago I was reading through a few couponing blogs ( I like to coupon) and came across a link for free scholastic books. All I had to do was submit an essay and every entry won free books. I thought I would go ahead and give it a try, because who doesn't like free books?!

      When I followed the link it led me to Scholastic's Parent Child Magazine and the contest was being sponsored by Seaworld. The topic was family connections and the subject they wanted you to write about was a special time of bonding with your family.

      It made me think a bit and before I knew it I had typed out my essay and pressed submit. I was really looking forward to some books for the kiddos. Imagine my surprise when a few months later I received a phone call from the magazine informing me that I was one of the runners-up. I couldn't believe it! I had pretty much completely forgotten about the contest. I never really even considered the prospect of winning.

      I am really excited to see my essay published in their online magazine and even more excited that I won four free tickets to SeaWorld. Hubby and I were already planning a mini trip to San Diego this spring and now we have something fun to take the kids to.

      Here is the link if you would like to take a look :

      I am the third entry, listed under Ashley Bond

      Thursday, November 3, 2011

      Ending Friendships

      Friendships have been on my mind a lot lately, in fact for a good long time.
      I have come to realize that people I thought would always be in my life, sadly are not, and people who I didn't expect to be in my life are now firmly cemented into it.

      Sometimes it is so hard to let go of friendships. I think even harder than letting go of relationships, sometimes. I have had a few friends over the last few years kinda fade out of my life and it has left me wondering what I have done wrong and what I could have done differently.
      I realize that people change over time and the things that once bonded you together may not remain anymore. But still, it hurts. I didn't have any "falling outs", per say, but more a gradual loss of friendship.
      Do you have that friend where you feel like you try, try and try but it is never reciprocated and eventually you just give up trying?
      For awhile, I acted like I didn't care but then I just wondered why? It is hard not to get closure on these things.

      Lately, though, I have come to accept the fact that God places certain people in our lives at certain times for specific reasons. I find comfort in that and I know that although, we may not be friends now, that they will always hold a special place in my heart for all the "old times" we shared.

      I have been focusing more on the people I do have in my life now and not dwelling on those that I don't anymore. I have a lot of amazing friends that I am so thankful for.  I feel like, as you get older you have less and less friends and it is harder "to put yourself out there", so to speak, and make new friends.  But, I cherish each and every one that I do have.

      Like the saying goes "Quality over quantity". I would rather have a few great friends than a lot of friends who aren't really "there" for me when I need them.

      Wednesday, November 2, 2011

      Giveaway Winner

      Hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday! I know I am and it will be even better when I hear my oven DING and I can dig into my dinner. It smells so yummy!

      Okay, with that said, I have a winner from my giveaway over at And Nothing Else Matters.
      According to the true random number generator ( I still don't know how to post it in my blog.... someone help me please. ) the winning comment is number 2 !

      Maureen said:
      I follow And Nothing Else it!

      What I wore Wednesday ( my first ever)

      Okay, so here is my first attempt at what I wore Wednesday..... notice the word attempt. :)

      The picture quality is not good..... I desperately need a new camera but it is just not in the budget at this time. :(

      Black shirt NY & Company, Boots Funky Monkey Via Macys, vest from Ross

      Black shirt from Old Navy, scarf from NY & Company, Coach bucket hat ( love), Banana Republic pants (thrifted!)
      Jacket and shirt NY & Company clearance rack, Joes jeans

      Purple Silk shirt from NY & Company (see a theme here?) and my banana republic pants again!

      So, there you have it! I know the pictures don't show too much detail.... but I gave it a shot! I really need to branch out from so much black but it is so good at hiding all those imperfections!

      Momma Go Round

      pleated poppy

      Tuesday, November 1, 2011

      Halloween Fun

      Halloween was pretty fun around here. I  thought that Kendra would be the difficult one when it came time to put costumes on, but it turns out it was Jaxson. He refused to wear various pieces of his costume. We were lucky to get these two photos of him!

      Stick em up!

      He was Woody from Toy Story
      All week he had been really excited to dress up as Woody then all of a sudden the day of, he says he wants to be Batman. That may have contributed to his resistance to dress up a bit.  I think he makes a pretty handsome cowboy, though. :)

      Happy little Ladybug!
      playing the piano at grandmas!    

      We didn't do too much trick or treating. I only occasionally allow small pieces of candy but I wanted them to get the experience of trick or treating. We went to a few relatives and neighbors houses, but we spent most of the evening handing out candy at home. It was the perfect relaxing Halloween. How was yours?

      Oh, and before I forget, here's what we had for dinner.
      Mummy dogs!