Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Catchy title here.....

Nope, no catchy or interesting title here. Probably because this post is a whole lot of nothing. Well, not nothing really, but just a lot of random happenings around here.

Back a few weeks ago we bought  a new couch and loveseat. Then we decided it was high time to replace our throw pillows. Between the dog and two kids those things had seen better days. Then we decided why not get a new end table? Well, a viscous cycle ensued and pretty soon we ended up with the couches, pillows, new accessories, two end tables and new coffee table (on order), a new rug and probably a new lamp. Basically, a whole new living room. Don't get me wrong here, I have been dying to do some re-decorating and it is even better that not only is hubby on board with it, but that we somehow managed to pick out every piece together! It is a miracle, people!

I can not wait to show it to you once all the pieces are here! The rug won't arrive for another few weeks! Dang having to order them from warehouses out of state. :(

Kendra sacked out after book club/playdate

Did I tell you I joined a book club? I have been dying to be a part of a book club for years. Some of us moms from my MOPS and playgroup decided to start one last month. Our first book was Gone Girl, which I had previously read and had been antsy over having someone to discuss this book with. Because, boy, is there ALOT to discuss with this book. If you haven't read it, do it. There were a lot of plot twists that I never even saw coming. Somehow I managed to like the book, but not really any of the characters in it or even the ending. That makes you wonder, doesn't it?! Be warned though, there is a lot of strong language in the book.

I hosted our book club meeting today and had 7 women and ten kids in my little house. Holy cow! That sure keeps a momma on her toes. I was exhausted by 11 am and so were my kids. :)

Jaxson has been dying to make a volcano and when I saw a kit on sale at Michaels (and I had a coupon) I couldn't resist. These are the types of things I LOVE doing with my kids. Yes, I know I probably could have made one at home with all the ingredients, but this had everything I needed and very detailed instructions. It was something the whole family could do and it was so fun!

On a very unrelated topic, I have decided to go dairy free for awhile and see how my body copes. I have been having a lot of stomach "issues" and suspect that dairy may be the culprit. I am trying to cut it out for at least a few weeks and see if my symptoms improve. I already drank soy milk and used a soy creamer but I am struggling with cheese! I love cheese and there is just no good substitute for it. I don't care what anyone says. I love cheese! :(

That really was a whole lot of random! I commend you if you got this far without falling asleep!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paying It Forward

A few years ago when I pulled up to the Starbucks window for my regular drink I was told that someone had paid for it (this is the second time this has happened to me, the first time was when I was still in high school). I wanted to pay it forward and keep it going, but surprisingly  no one was in line behind me. I still remember the feeling I got that day and how that little gesture made my day.

I have since paid it forward a few times at different drive throughs and at the car repair shop when someone couldn't afford to fill up his tire that had a slow leak in it. Obviously, I didn't do it for the attention or the thanks (he didn't even know it was me) but I did it because I feel like even if there is a small thing I can do to help someone then I want to do it. I remember how good it felt when someone had gone out of their way to do something for me.  I guess it isn't completely selfless either, because I do love the feeling I get knowing I could have helped put a smile on someone's face.

So, last month Megan over at Absolute Mommy offered a pay it forward chain of sorts that she was participating in. The first three people that commented on her blog post with their email address would receive something from her (by mail) in the next 6 months as long as we did our part to pay it forward to three people. So, that  is where you all come in. The first three people that leave me their email address( we will email to get your physical address, no need posting it on here for all to see) will receive something from me in the next 6 months; could be next week or a few months from now.

Then all you need to do is offer the same!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Love Looks Like (In OUR Home)

1.a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

To each person, love can mean something entirely different. I know, for me, over the years, the meaning of love has changed.

When I was younger, and perhaps a bit naive and unaware of what it REALLY took to make a marriage work, love was all about the BIG gestures. Now, I wasn't immune to ,or unaware of the small things, but I was really into the big gestures. I got caught up in the  box office romantic movies and epic novels where there was always always big gestures! I expected these things from my relationship and my expectations were a cause of conflict at times. 
Don't get me wrong here, big gestures can go a long way and they are amazing, but it's the everyday little moments of our relationships that make the bigger picture!  

I don't need to be constantly swept off my feet (but from time to time it would be nice....just saying!)  when everyday there can be little ways to show one another our love. 
I know it can make my day when I wake up to see little notes from my husband or that he has made me coffee so it is warm when I wake up. It's the fact that he rubs my feet with lotion because my feet are so dry!! We always wait to watch the new episode of The Office together, even if it means having to wait days!! 

I constantly go through wiper fluid and he always remembers to replace it for me. He stops off and grabs me coffee on his way from his 24 hour shifts in the morning so I can have it when I wake up. He buys the Sunday paper so I have coupon inserts. I can go on and on, but won't. My point is that we each need to try do the little things that that show the other we care. It is not always easy, but a little effort goes a long way. As busy parents we are stretched thin. He is working two jobs right now and close to 70 hours a week. It has been tough. If we can remember to make even ten minutes for each other a night it can help us to reconnect.

On the other hand, after becoming a mom I knew a deeper love than I ever knew possible.  I am not saying I love my husband less, but if you are a mom you know the love you feel for your child is different. It encompasses all of your being! 

To me, showing my love to them is all about the simple little things! I could tell my kids a million times a day that I love them (and I probably do) but showing them with actions and undivided attention is the best way for me to do so. 

Love is decorating the house at 11:00 pm the night before Valentine's Day even though I wanted to be sleeping. 
worth it to see their eyes light up!
Love is spontaneously stopping at the traveling pony rides so someone can have a pony fix. :) 

Love is skipping meetings to be with my little boy for his first time being VIP at preschool!


Love doesn't have to be BIG, LOUD or GRAND.
It stands alone.
It's a look, a touch, a glance across a room, a recording of a movie they know you like, unexpected notes or cards, an inside joke or an impromptu dance party! Love is what you make it! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Crockpot Beef Stew

I am always on the look out for (easy) crockpot recipes. Recently (after it was pointed out to me) I realized that I have never made beef stew before! Don't ask me why....I guess we don't eat a whole lot of it. I researched a few recipes and some sounded good and some I didn't have the ingredients on hand so, basically a little here and a little there and I came up with my own. :)

Beef Stew:

Stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
2-3 stalks of celery
1/3 cup flour (can substitute with 2 packs of beef gravy)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 onion chopped
chopped potatoes (we go heavy on the potatoes so I just kept dumping them in!)
4 cups beef broth
diced carrots
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pack of stew seasoning

Put your beef in crockpot and sprinkle the flour(or gravy)  on and stir to coat the meat.
Add all other ingredients, cover and cook on low 6- 8 hours

I may add some gravy and the flour next time because I like it a little thicker but it was just to my hubby's liking!

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Cup Is Full........

              We had such a busy weekend!

Saturday morning I attended my 10 year (where does time go?!) reunion planning meeting. I can't believe it has already been 10 years gone in the blink of an eye. We are really going all out for this reunion and I am super excited about it. I am helping with decor and since I have Pinterest, I am sure to find some fun ideas!

Straight from there I headed home to gather up the troops and head to a celebration of life for Brandon's Great Grandma who passed away a few weeks ago. We sent up 20  paper lanterns in her honor. It was such a beautiful, moving experience.

My sister in law sending up a lantern

After we sent the lanterns up we said our goodbyes and left the kids with my mother in law. Brandon's fire department usually has their holiday party in February because they know that December is crazy busy. This year it was a catered event held at a local casino. We had an amazing dinner and drinks, gambled a little (doubled our money at the blackjack table and cashed out!) and even did some dancing! It was such a fun night. We only stayed out till 10:00 since we didn't have a sitter all night, so we are already planning this again when we can stay out later.

Sunday we declared it a much needed family day for the four of us. We visited the "hunting store", as Jax likes to call it and looked at all the animals. We then went to the mall to look at possibly getting Kendra's ears pierced. I didn't realize how expensive it was if you want good quality earrings. Kendra has super sensitive skin and I wasn't about to buy some cheap ones. So, we will wait awhile. It was still fun to look, though.

There was a traveling pony ride in the mall parking lot, so we took advantage. Kendra, of course, hopped right on while Jaxson stayed to the side with me to watch. Amazing how different their personalities are.

Ever the diva that she is, she requested the black pony.

We had pizza for lunch and played some arcade games and had plans to go to the park, but Jaxson lost that  privilege because he wouldn't listen.

He was so tired he fell asleep mid coloring, clutching his crayon!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's Ok.........

It must be Thursday since I am linking up again for It's Ok!

It's ok that at this very moment my mouth is full of m&ms

It's ok that Jaxson told me I probably should put make up on before we went anywhere. Umm... thanks buddy, I already have it on! I must be getting old. :(

It's ok that I totally didn't stick to my menu plan tonight and made a fast meal instead, so there was plenty of time to have a disco dance party in the living room. Lights off and dream lights on! So much fun! Jaxson made up all these silly animal dances and had me do them. I was cracking up. Just try to do the camel dance followed by giraffe and then the kangaroo! It's a work out, I tell you!

It's ok that I have decided to drastically cut down my caffeine intake. I have done it before (had no caffeine for three years!) and I lived.

It's ok that hubby had to stay late at work again. Okay, this one kinda sucks, but he was out saving lives, so I guess I can forgive him. ;)

It's ok that my ten year reunion planning meeting is this weekend. Seriously, ten years?! Where has the time gone?

It's ok that Hansel & Gretel was kind of stupid in some parts, but that I still liked it!

So, what's ok with you this week?!
Its Ok Thursdays

Monday, February 4, 2013


I have seen these currently posts floating around for some time now and don't know where they originated at so I can't give credit where credit is due. :(


Drinking- Stash peppermint tea with sliced lemon and honey. I feel a cold coming on. 
Listening to - Literally I am listening to the whir of the dishwasher. On Pandora my favorite stations are Mumford & Sons and Ingrid Michelson. Oh, and can't forget about The Ants Go Marching station for the kids.

Wanting-  This dress and the weather to wear it in!


Looking forward to- Well, lots of things to look forward to. My dad is coming in this weekend and it has been awhile since I have seen him. Also, just got tickets to The New Kids On The Block, 98 degrees and Boys 2 Men concert! That's right, it's like I am in 7th grade again and I don't even care!

Reading- 7 by Jen Hatamaker. If you haven't read it, do! It's a really easy read and gets you thinking about things. I know it has made me rethink and evaluate some of my choices.

Watching- Ugh... lots of things. You know me, too much tv! I have been watching the Bachelor. Every season I say I am not going to and then every season I get sucked in! I am a hopeless romantic and hope that it does work out!

Feeling- Frustrated and helpless. Not a good combo. Kendra is sick (again) and this time it is a nasty cold. Poor thing is coughing something fierce and her voice is almost gone and this girl gets mad when she is sick, because she just doesn't understand and get's soo frustrated!

At least she has Kona to snuggle her. 

Hoping- That Kendra starts feeling better and that I can somehow stay immune to it! Yeah right. When you have spent the day wiping snot and being coughed all over I don't know how you could manage that!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (on a Sunday)

It's been awhile since I have done a menu planning post. Mainly because I have really been slacking in that department, lately.

One of my resolutions was to get back on the ball and stop wasting money and food because of poor planning on my part. Plus, I have been feeling more adventurous lately and have been wanting to try new recipes. We all know I am not the world's greatest cook and I tend to stay in my comfort zone, but I have been branching out.

Crockpot beef stew (post to come on this later)

Carne asada tacos (cooked up enough meat while putting the stew together so I wouldn't have to cook meat two days in a row) and Spanish rice

Mini meatloafs and cauliflower mashed potatoes (this will be a new recipe for me and I am very excited to try it out!)

Leftovers (I try to have one night a week where we eat leftovers; less waste and less planning)

Spinach mozzarella pasta and steamed veggies

Family dinner

Hubby's "after the holidays"  holiday dinner

Mini pizzas