Friday, December 28, 2012

Pinned it and Did it- Holiday

What did I ever do without Pinterest? Yes, this isn't deja vu. You have "heard" me utter this phrase a time or two on the blog.

Seriously, though... I am obsessed.

Up until the dreaded flu bug hit our house we were quite the busy bees when it came to crafting and baking this season and I loved every second of it. I am not usually one who gets into ALOT of baking and usually I like my hubby nearby so he can help in case of an emergency ( and let's face it....he is just better at some things than I am and baking is one of those things).

We made these stove top potpourri as teacher's gifts for Jaxson to take to preschool. Super simple and a really fun gift. Here is where you can find the directions.

We made some Peppermint Stick Hot Cocoa in jars.


We made cinnamon applesauce ornaments for the first time and they smelled heavenly. They are so easy to make and make your home smell wonderful. I seriously think I should keep a batch of dough on hand and just pop it in the oven when company comes over.

We made quite a few to use as a tie on for our packages. I have some leftover and am thinking of using them as air fresheners in my car. What do you think?

Jaxson and I made  all natural dog treats for the first time and they are Kona approved. He loved them. We made up  a few gift bags and gave them to the special dogs in our lives. :)
I think these are something I will start making regularly. Cheaper than buying them and I may add some crumbled bacon in next time.
You can find the recipe here

We made reindeer cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They looked awfully cute before I baked them......then they spread out and ran together and looked more like teddy bear heads, but they were still cute!

recipe here
Last, but certainly not least, we made peppermint bark.  Tutorial to come on that later. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Christmas Blur

Remember when I said the kids were sick? Well, they got better just in time. Just in time for hubby and I to get sick. :(

On Christmas Eve we had decided to forgo our normal plans and take another day for the kids to get more rest. Evening rolled around and hubby came down with the flu. It came on fast and furious.

So, I tried my hardest to keep the kids occupied.

We made reindeer cookies for Santas and left carrots for the reindeer.

We had cocoa and watched a Christmas movie. It would have been great had I not started feeling the waves of nausea washing over me. Luckily, I got the kids down and managed to get the presents and stockings out.

I crawled into bed hoping and praying I wouldn't be sick. At one point though I hoped I would get sick so I could get it over with. Well, I didn't have to hope for long. We have one bathroom in our house and two sick adults having to share it is not fun. I have had the flu in the past, but nothing like this, people. I slept on the bathroom floor (if you can call it that). It's a wonder all the commotion didn't wake the kids up. I finally stopped "being sick" at around 4 am and got about 4 hours of sleep until the kids woke up around 8. Hubby and I could hardly get out of bed, but we did. We put on happy faces and sat on the couch while they opened presents. It really was a magical morning because they both really understood and appreciated what was going on.  If only we had felt better.

I loved seeing their excitement and hearing them exclaim " I really wanted this, this is just what I always wanted!". 

Hubby and I knew that we were down for the count so we called in reinforcements (his mom and sister) and they took them for a few hours to enjoy Christmas with the whole family. This broke my heart. I knew I physically was unable to care for them but it made me so sad to think that I wouldn't be there to see them with their cousins and opening their presents.

After the kids left we climbed back in bed and dozed off and on for four hours. The only thing I ate was pedialyte pops and saltines. At one point we remarked that we had wanted a quiet Christmas, but not this quiet. It just never felt like Christmas.

Kids came home around naptime and hubby was feeling a bit better. I, on the other hand, was miserable. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Body aches, chills, headache, name it, I had it. So, I stayed in bed all day. Brandon tried to contain the mess, but after four days of the flu and then Christmas our house was a disaster. I can't believe my poor babies endured what I was feeling. I feel so bad...but I am so thankful hubby and I were healthy when they were sick and vice versa. It made it easier to handle. While I hated being sick on Christmas, in a way, I am thankful that it happened then because Brandon has a busy week back at work and it would have been hard to find a replacement and I wouldn't have been able to take care of the kids alone.

We are almost back to 100% and have to venture out today because our fridge is empty!

I hope you all had great Christmas spent with your loved ones and that you got a spoiled a bit. :)

I will leave you with a few more pictures of our Christmas celebration a few days before and our trip to the lights of Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

This Christmas is not how I envisioned it to be

All month long I had this sinking feeling that we would come down with the flu right before Christmas. Don't ask me why I thought this. Maybe because everyone around us was and that we were sick on Christmas last year and it would just be my luck.

Well, Saturday night the kids both got sick and continued to be sick for 7 hours every 20 minutes. Their poor little bodies were having such a hard time handling it and they didn't understand what was going on. Sunday was spent trying to rehydrate them and cleaning and cleaning and recleaning lots of laundry. I spent my days covered in way too much puke and poop (t.m.i). Fast forward to last night and all of a sudden they are sick again.

While I am thankful that this did not happen on Christmas I am bummed because we had to skip a family gathering last night to watch the Seahawks (yeah. go Hawks!) and now we have decided to forgo our Christmas Eve celebration tonight. Our house is a war zone and I am praying that hubby and I don't get sick.

We have been so excite to host Christmas dinner here for the first time but that is all up in the air.

However, despite all of this I am still really excited about Christmas. This is the first year that my kids understand the true meaning of Christmas and I can not wait for them to wake up and see all their presents. I know it is not fun to be sick but I am so thankful that my little family will be together in sickness and in health. So, while it is not going as planned it will still be wonderful.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Hope to be back later this week. I have lots of posts lined up.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

For Sandy Hook

I have been silent the past few days and have yet to touch upon what happened last Friday. 

I have been trying to take it all in and process it, yet my brain can not. How can any of us ever process what happened? I thought that maybe I wouldn't write at all because, after all, what can I say that hasn't already been said?

Here is what I can say.

I grieve for those families and those babies that left this Earth far too soon.
After becoming a mom I have spent every day of my life worried about my children and I can not even begin to understand this senseless tragedy.

I  kept thinking that I wish there was something that I could do to directly impact these families and show them that I am thinking of them. I realize, now though, that I can try to live my life to it's fullest and not take another second with my children for granted.

I can honor these children and adults by living my life. I can stop thinking in terms of tomorrow and think in terms of today.

What if tomorrow never comes? It is a sad thought to even think, but our time here is limited and I want to choose joy and happiness in my life.
I want to surround myself with loved ones and spend my time doing the things I love to do.
I want to protect and nurture my children and my first instinct is of course shelter them from this cruel world.

In fact, Sunday afternoon as I was watching the news a story came on about my town. My tiny little town. A man had been taken into custody because he had made threats against the schools and all the children inside!! He said some terrible things I don't even want to repeat and posted them on Facebook. Countless people turned him in and he was arrested. He is being held in jail on a quarter of a million dollars bail. This boy, I should say, went to school with my brother and lives not far from my house. I would like to think that I am immune to these evils of the world but it can be anywhere and live within anyone. I still can't even let my mind go there. Had he not posted this (for attention, I believe) would he have followed through? 

I am having a hard time and don't even know what to think. I am scared for my children more and more everyday because of the world we live in.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For Brandon

Dear Brandon,
Today is your 29th birthday! It's hard to believe that this is your tenth birthday I will be celebrating with you. Ten years; a decade. So much has happened in those ten years and not a single thing I would want to change (okay, maybe a few fights here and there).

Three countries visited, 5 years of marriage, one really fun road trip, two amazing children, one home bought, countless holidays and new family traditions.

I knew the moment we saw each other (again)  that you were it for me. You felt the same and it is hard to believe that at the age of 18 I met the person I would choose to be with forever.  We have never looked back. That isn't to say it hasn't been easy. It has been TOUGH, but all things that are worth it can be tough. 

I fall in love with you a little bit more every time I see the way your face lights up when you see your kids after a long day of work. Nothing is more wonderful to me then the father that you are.

You are very unselfish and work so hard for our family to give us all that we need and want. I am forever grateful that I have the chance to be home with my kids.

Anytime someone needs something you are there to help. Even complete strangers. I love that if you see someone struggling with lifting something or if their car is broken down you stop and offer help. You have a very giving heart and aren't afraid to wear it on your sleeve.

You are also sarcastic and a little annoying when you get a few drinks in you (well, it's true and you know it) ;) You seem to think that you are the life of the party, which I guess you kind of are. You hate confrontation and can be a little shy. I have watched you become more sure of yourself over the years and become more confident in yourself and your opinions.

You are unbelievably handy and can fix just about anything and the best thing is that you aren't too stubborn to admit when you can't fix it. I think that comes from your love of learning how things work and taking things apart just to put them back together.

You love football and beer (who doesn't). You like action movies and comedies and anything on the history channel or NatGeo.

Most of all you love our family and it shows in all that you do. You are very loved and we plan on spoiling you today!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tuesday Topic- Instagram

Hi everyone! I know I have been a bit absent around these parts lately, but I promise to be a bit better this week. I have been soaking up every minute possible of this holiday season and checking things off of our Christmas bucket list.

I am linking up over here for Tuesday's topic. This weeks topic happens to be instagram.  Some of you already know I love instagram! Let's face it I can be a bit lazy when it comes to picture taking and I love having it right at my fingertips and the fact that I can edit my pics too. Plus, since I am nosy I love to see other people's photos, as well. :)

My Instagram username is ashdiane1224
Feel free to follow along and leave me your name as well.

Today I am sharing with you my six favorite instagram photos and let me tell you this is hard! I have way more than six favorite photos.

Jaxson's first school photo!

our five year anniversary!
My birthday diva!
My babies in awe of the Christmas tree
Our annual trip to the pumpkin patch
Our annual apple picking trip. :)


Monday, December 3, 2012

This Weekend I.............

      This weekend was spent doing some of my most favorite things!

The hubby and I stole away for awhile and while we were supposed to be Christmas shopping we splurged a little on ourselves instead. We power shopped for a couple hours and updated our wardrobes, which was much needed! There were so many good sales!

That night we went to our town's Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony, which we have actually never done. I foresee a new family tradition. After we got home we dug into some Chinese food and decorated our tree. The kids were very into it this year.

Earlier in the week I sat hunched over for way too long and made some felt Christmas trees for the kids, complete with ornaments. They may not be the prettiest (or straightest), but the kids sure love them. :)

 If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen what Johnny B. Snickerdoodles has been up to. Johnny is our Elf on the Shelf and this is his first year visiting us.

Watching some TV

Out for an early morning ride

Reading to his friends. I don't think they got the memo that he is a nice elf.

Drawing on Mommy and Daddy's picture

Having a nutritious breakfast of marshmallows 

Linking up here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Soundtrack of My Day

I thought I would give you another glimpse into our days via conversations heard throughout the day.

My voice is in italics. Jaxson's is bold and Kendra's is regular text.


"I want you to get up. I'm awake and so is the sun, it's not time for sleeping"

"Okay. Okay, Jax.... Wait, why is my sheet wet?"

"Oops, I peed through my pull up (again)"

"Mom... I up! I up! I want out!"

"Mom, sissy's up, sissy's up, Let's go get her"

"Hi Princess... did you sleep good?"

"Hi Princess"

"Momma,  I woke up. I need puppy and blankie and other blankie and pink puppy"

"Sissy, let's snuggle on the couch and watch princess Sofia"

"Jax....don't! That's my blankie. I don't snuggle. Stop taking puppy!"

"You guys! Jaxson don't touch her. She just woke up and is still tired. Don't take her blanket...go get your own. Kendra you don't need to yell. Ask him nicely. He just wants to snuggle you."

"I'm hungry. I want breakfast"   "I don't want to eat. I want to watch princess fia!"

"Don't eat your cheerios with your finger, use your spoon." 
"No, don't feed Kona your apples" "Please don't stick your whole hand in your milk"

"Clear your plates and wash your hands in the bathroom sink"

"Mom I want to do the map puzzle with you"  "Okay, let's all do it together"

"I wanna do the horsey puzzle with the castle and princess" "No, we are doing the map puzzle!"

"We can do both. We will do one and then the other and we can all help each other"

"Mom, I'm hungry again. Can I have fruitsnacks?"  "Can I have an orange?" "Can I have an apple?" "Can I have a banana?"

"Okay, time for nap Sissy. Get your blankies and puppy."

"Momma...snuggle me up please. Sing me one more song" "One more song" "One more song"

"I wanna wake up sissy"    "I think sissy is awake, I will go check"  "No, she is still sleeping, please do NOT wake her up." "But mom........I am bored!"

"Daddy is home!"    "Hi daddy. I missed you. Come tackle me. I already have my football."

"Arr..... I tackle too!!"

"Okay, time for baths!"

"Time for snack and bedtime story"

" I don't want you to brush my teeth. I want DADDY to do it. I want Daddy to change me."
"Now I want mommy to snuggle me in and sing to me"

"Goodnight Kendra, love you" 

"Love you so much momma" "Love you momma!" " I wake up in the morning and we do girlie stuff together?" " Momma, I still awake, come snuggle me in again" "Can I have one more song?!"

"Mom, can we snuggle on the couch together?" "Just for a little bit"

Sounds of snoring....

"Phew...finally! Me time!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where have I been?

The days (and weeks) seem to just be flying by around here. Minutes turn to hours and those hours tick by and turn to days, and I fall more and more behind on all that I had hoped to accomplish.

I feel as though I have so much to say and not enough time to say it. So, let's just catch up, shall we?

One of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends is to catch up over coffee and treats or wine and dinner without the kiddos....that way we can really have some uninterrupted time. I love playdates, don't get me wrong, but you don't really get a chance to "talk", ya know?

So, let's pretend for a moment that we are sharing a bottle of about 14 Hands Hot to Trot Merlot?

I would probably ask how your Thanksgiving was and how you spent it? We spent ours at my mom's in the morning with all the siblings for a breakfast of roll-ups (Swedish pancakes; crepes).

Jaxson ate three roll ups complete with strawberries, powdered sugar and syrup! Kendra ate one and three sausage patties!

After that we headed an hour south to celebrate with my dad's side of the family. My dad doesn't live locally and we don't get together near enough so it is nice to have the day with him. :)

I was too busy eating way too much of all of the good food that I took no pictures! Blogger fail!

I did snap one of this cutie real quick!

Because it was dark when we headed home (but still early) Jaxson slept for an hour, which meant that Thanksgiving evening was terrible! Not gonna lie probably one of, if not the hardest nights of parenthood so far. His schedule was so thrown off and there was no getting him to sleep. I was so exhausted, out of patience and beyond frustrated. Not to mention a little sad hubby was leaving late that night to go out of town, so he was catching some sleep. Long story short and sparing all the details; I lost it! I yelled, screamed and threw an adult version of a tantrum. Not proud of it, but I will own it.

I would be telling you at this point, while holding back tears, that I cried myself to sleep that night because Jaxson told me he hated me and didn't want me near him. :( Yeah.... that really happened and it broke my heart. It still does. Mothering is not for the faint of heart. I am not proud of my actions and I tried not to yell, but I had hit my breaking point. Thankfully the next day we had a fresh start and with some grace we made it through. It's been tough, though. Jaxson has become more defiant and his threes are definitely worse than his terrible twos.

I consider myself a good mom, but I am most definitely human, flaws and all. What I think this reminded me of was to just take time for me and walk away. It's okay to cry and get mad. We have needs and feelings too that too often get pushed aside and put on the backburner. My kids are my top priority, but if I don't make myself a priority I am not being a good example and I am certainly not as good of a momma to them. Phew....that was long winded. Still with me? :)

The last few days I have been trying to catch up on all of the housework that has gotten neglected. That is okay by me because we have spent it doing other fun things!

If you hadn't zoned out listening to me drone on and on about myself then I would nicely ask you for your prayers and/or kind thoughts regarding my grandmother. She fell for the second time a few weeks ago and broke her ankle in two spots. She had undergone surgery and now has to start the rehabilitation and physical therapy to hopefully get her strength back. It's going to be a long road and she is in a care facility and sad to not be at home. :(

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful Turkeys.....

I had been scouring Pinterest for some fun Thanksgiving crafts involving turkeys. I was super excited thinking that the kids would be really excited too. I cut out all the little pieces and had glue sticks laid out.
They were not into it at all.  It was pretty much a total fail. :(
I had my hopes up high, but in the end all they wanted to do was color on construction paper. After being frustrated and a bit angry I quickly got over it. So what if they didn't do what I thought they would want to do? So, they colored on paper and I assembled the turkeys. But, when it was time to fill out what we were thankful for, they actually both put a lot of thought (as much as you can when you are 2 and 3 1/2 ) and gave me some good answers.

Here is what Jaxson is thankful for:
His toys and room
Mommy and Daddy (heart swell)
Boats (?)
Lions (also ?)

Here is what Kendra is thankful for:
Jaxson :)

 Notice how Brandon and I aren't on the list? I was a little sad but I realize it is just a given in her little heart.  I do love that she said purses and dresses and am honestly shocked she didn't say shoes. She is such a little diva. :)

I love that the first thing Jaxson said he was thankful for was his house and that mommy and daddy were second. I must be doing something right, huh?