Thursday, March 31, 2011

Movin' out. read that correctly.

Movin' out.

Little by little

during the day,

I've been preparing to move.




We're preparing to move our kitchen over this spring (more like summer),

And the first step is to clear out the pantry.

So, other than some xanthan gum, gluten free pasta, Carnation Instant Breakfast and straws,
we've moved out.

From here:

Into here:

My new walk-in pantry

Everything organized and within view!

I never knew someone so type B (me) could enjoy a little organization!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The post in which I am horribly pride-ful about my husband's talent. Please forgive me.


I really don't mean to be so braggadocious...

...but I'm very proud of that man I married.

You see, five  years ago when we moved into the Love Shack, we lived in the nasty basement.

It was nasty, dirty, and I had a primed cinder block wall for a head board.

I shared a bedroom with a furnace, washer and dryer and my husbands archaic work computer
(that hummed louder than any snoring I've ever heard)

Before that?

We had a set of old windows. 

There was no room for a head board.

Growing up, I had a head board.


To me, beds without them look just so........ unfinished.
At least, in my house.

(However, a few of you have prooved me wrong with well placed pillows in your own homes)

So, we had a customer approach D. about making a head-board for her daughter and son-in-law.

I was more than happy to oblige this customer by showing her a building plan
I had my eye on for some time.

Fortuanely, she loved it...

...and while he was building one...

....I talked him into building two.

One for us!


And the large money shot!

The hope chest was inherited from my grandmother.
The afghan was knit by my aunt who passed away about 10 years ago.
My uncle found two when cleaning out her storage area and called me to see if I wanted one.

Wasn't that awesome?!?!?

I love it.

Big shot with full ensemble:

Yes, I know the cross is off-center.

We moved the bed over to accommodate the treadmill:

And that ultra cute picture in the corner?

That's our kindergarten pictures!

Sorry, I just couldn't resist putting up a shot of my cute Strawberry Shortcake dress...
...and absolutely adorable husband as a boy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The imposter night stand revealed

This the original.

This is part of a suite that my parents purchased for me as a graduation present.

That was a long long (really long) time ago.

So, by the time we had enough room in our bedroom to accommodate another night stand, well....this manufacturer is long gone.

So, my husband pulls out some (SCRAP!) wood, and starts to build. 

And he comes up with this:

Really, the stain matches better than in these pictures, they're just in two totally different lighted areas.

He decided to take an "easy way out."

Instead of drawers, like those shown here...

He went for a door.

Which was totally nice of him, becasue my big photo box doesn't fit anywhere else!

I love that man of mine!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

i am...

...the meanest mom in the world.

...keeping the TV off until after dinner (reference previous statement)

...drinking cold coffee

...starting to feel better (knock on wood)

...lamenting that we couldn't go see my parents today because my mom was sick (feel better, mom!)

...sad that the boys have not have grand-parent time in over 2 weeks.

I am...

...cheating on my diet today (and yesterday...oops).

...planning on getting back on track tomorrow right now.

...enjoying that my jeans fit looser.

I am...

...missing my workouts.

...watching my boys try to fly their new dollar store kites.

...procrastinating work

...behind in my work

I am...

...realizing that my "procrastinating issue" is causing the "behind issue."

...feeling a little less overwhelmed with life

...feeling a little more overwhelmed with the small stuff

I am...

...doing well at my Lenten initiatives

...feeling freed by my lack of judgement for myself and others.

...realizing that some people don't necessarily appreciate when you establish some boundaries.

...wondering if I know where the wii fit disc went...

I am...

...dealing with a sick, grumpy (but still terribly sexy) husband.

...not enjoying the "grumpy" part.

...thawing chicken and broccoli for Chicken Divan tonight.

I am...


Friday, March 25, 2011

Random Friday List

Five question Friday is on hiatus this week.  My dear friend, Mama M. is in the hospital with a sick little lady.  Go give her some love, would ya?  Thanks.

And since I'm not sitting in a hospital room (knock on wood), Random Friday List plugs on...

1.  I'm 40 comments away from a comment goal on the other blog I work on.

2.  My Advanced Nutrition class drew to a close last night.

3.  I was the biggest looser in the class.

4.  So grateful. (that something is FINALLY working!)

5.  My secret goal has been put on "hold" for the week. (we have influenza)

6.  I'm not sure its much of a secret anymore.

7.  I'm working on obtaining plants for inside my house.

8.  So far, I have two that I've managed to keep alive for more than 3 weeks.

9.  The boys are off school today.

10.  Wish me luck for a productive day at work (psssh).

Thursday, March 24, 2011


It seems like everything is back for an encore performance.

I thought we were done with winter.

Encore:  One more round of ice storms (complete with thunder and lightning?!?!) and snow days/delays.

I thought we were done with sickness.

Encore:  The super mega cold ended up as influenza.  And has now spread to my husband.

I thought I was getting better from the influenza, and talked myself into a workout on Monday.

Encore:  Backslide.  I'm not very smart sometimes.

I thought we were all potty trained.

Encore:  Someone  *cough, cough, C. cough cough* peed on my new couch because he didn't want to miss his show on TV.

Sometimes the encore isn't worth clapping over.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Everyday when you're walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view...

I found out yesterday morning that a national children's author was in town...that day.

While I wasn't feeling the best (allergy attack turned super mega cold...ugh),

I knew the boys would really enjoy a trip to the big downtown library to see him.

Except, by afternoon, I had exhausted all my energy.

So, I gave myself an "escape plan."

I'd ask A. if he knew who this author was.

If he didn't...I was home free.

Me:  "A, do you know who Marc Brown is?"

A.:  "Yeah!  He's the author of Arthur!" the library we go!

And, I'm actually soooo glad we went.

It was a packed house by the time we go there, so we had to sit on the floor by the front door.

This is the 35th anniversary of Arthur, so he's stopping at 35 libraries in 35 days.

He drew the first image of Arthur from 35 years ago.

Then, he showed us how to draw the Arthur we know and love today.

There was a slide show of things to teach us about his life.

The slide below is the latest "fix and flip" that he did.

Apparently, he's really into that.

He also showed pictures of his wife's art, his "work zone", and the class composite of his 3rd grade class that many of the characters are based on.

Including Binky Barnes.

Seriously, that 3rd grader looked like the teacher!

Then, he read us the "Arthur goes green" story that hits the bookstores this week,
and "Zoosical" which he illustrated - which doesn't come out until fall.

Then...since we had to sit by the door, we were fortunate enough to get in line for the booksigning quickly.
Thank goodness!

My friend, who was toward the rear of the line got out 90 minutes AFTER we did!

(We were already home, had eaten dinner,
done homework and were popping popcorn for a bedtime snack)

He was very patient with all the children, and asked the boys a few questions before
I asked for a picture of him with the boys.

He gladly obliged.

A. was amazed the whole time.

He even stammered a bit at the book signing, and couldn't find his voice. 
Once the picture was taken, he wanted to sit down and chat it up with him.  :)

A. came home and started drawing a book.

I'm sooo glad we went.
Reserve energy well spent, I tell ya.  :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  I'm looking forward to a LOW KEY weekend.

2.  Hooray!

3.  Except my to-do list is long and distinguished.

4.  Oh well, what doesn't get done...just doesn't get done.

5.  I'm making note that we need to teach C. about appropriate urination in public this summer.

6.  I think he came in to use the bathroom once yesterday.

7.  I'm making strides toward my "secret goal," and I'm quite jazzed about it.

8.  I need to make a dentist appointment.

9.  It's been too long since my last check up.

10.  I'm craving blueberries and strawberries.

1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?

No.  I guess I don't hang with the right crowd for that.

2. Do you still have your wedding dress?

Yes.  It's been preserved, and is residing in a box at my parent's house until our house is finished and deemed moisture free.

3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?

Ummm, back to bed?  Well, that's for the sad or stressed. 

Or, just asking my boys for a cuddle session on the couch...that's pretty awesome too.

4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?

Before kids, we ALWAYS said that we won't allow kids in our bed.  We stuck to it really well with A.  But with C's asthma...well, it's just a different story.  When you hear your child gasping for breath over a baby monitor, its a scary 2-story stair climb.  (Especially for a mama who has little to no adrenal function!)  We've been pretty good at seeing the triggers before bedtime and just pulling him into bed with us.  That way we can just deal with the asthma when/if it comes throughout the night.

BUT, we didn't even THINK about this until C. was at least 2 years old.  I'm not a fan of co-cleeping with infants.  Not judging, just not a fan for our situation.

5. Do you watch late night TV?

Not usually.  If there's a special on or something, I can stay up late...but always regret it the next day.  Sleep is a hot commodity in our house, and not something I'm really eager to give up!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A "certain" little someone...

...found a flower in our backyard today.

And picked it for his mommy.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One of things is doing its own of these things does not belong...

One of these nightstands is original.

One is not.

Other than the wierd lighting
(one is next to the window, the other is shoved in a darker corner)

Can you tell which one is not the original?

P.S.  My husband ROCKS!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'm still detoxing from the busiest weekend ever.

Funny thing, though.  Last Wednesday I literally prayed about my schedule.

I gave it all to God, and let Him help me prioritize everything.

And, the only thing I missed was nutrition class on Thursday evening.

We even found time to visit my parents on Saturday afternoon.

D. even had a "stomach thing" on Sunday, and we still made all our committments.

And then, Monday came...

...and I thought we were "home free."

Except everything we put off all weekend (and last week) was still there waiting to be done.

And the schedule doesn't let up.

So...what I learned last week is that I can find peace with a crazy schedule.

But the peace is not in the "control" of the schedule.

It's in the surrender.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  This weekend's schedule is JAM PACKED.

2.  I'm not a JAM PACKED schedule person by nature.

3.  It stresses me out.

4.  I need to remind myself to enjoy where I'm at this weekend.

5.  Instead of stressing about where I need to get to in the next x-minutes.

6.  Today is Daddy Day at C's preschool.

7.  They're both excited.

8.  C is MOST excited about riding in daddy's work van coming home.

9.  He even wore his "daddy shirt" today - since it has tools on it.

10.  I think I'll wear a "daddy shirt" to our date on Saturday...but it doesn't have tools on it.  :)

Ok, Five Question Friday!!!

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?

Yes, I do thankyouverymuch.  It's a dirty dish water blond.  I used to complain about it, but having that kind of base color is actually the perfect foundation for any highlight or lowlight I choose. 

I used to go all high lights, and then after I saw the brassy-ness of my hair in C's baptism pictures, we started gradually going darker with more lowlights.  This last time...well, I totally committed to all low lights and a little red.  :)  Makes me happy.

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?

Ummmm...both.  I try to have a planned activity for the boys at least once a month - camp, vbs, camping, basketball, zoo school, whatever.

Then, we have other smaller activities that we fill in with:  zoo, swimming, hiking, play dates, etc.

3. What is your favorite meal to cook?

Cream Cheese stuffed Bacon wrapped Chicken Breast.  Sends me into a low-carb frenzy.  Yum.

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?

Not really "offended." 

But I think that the receiver of my gift isn't very appreciative of it or the effort I put into getting that gift.  But, on the other hand, I LOVE giving...I'm a giver by nature, and we're taught to have servant's hearts too.

I just think that we're not impressing on our children a feeling of gratitude and thankfulness.  We're already battling a generation of entitlement coming into the workforce right now.  I, for one, don't want my children thinking they're entitled to anything and need to show come common courtesy to say "thank you."

5. How did you meet your best friend?

I have two.

I met Gina in 9th grade.  We actually didn't like each other at first.  She had transferred in from a place she loved and had quite the chip on her shoulder.   And I was fresh out of parochial school - wwwwaaayyyy too eager to make new friends.  We warmed up to each other throughout Algebra in 9th grade, and were acquaintances until Senior year.  The summer after senior year, we were inseparable.  We've managed to maintain a very close relationship even though many miles separate us.

I met Melody at a wedding rehearsal a few years ago.  She was the only one that noticed I wasn't eating or drinking the beer and pizza offered.  So, I explained to her everything that was happening with me being gluten free, and we talked for about the whole 3 hours we were there.  After the wedding, I didn't see her much until she started the nutrition classes with me.  Now we text at least 20 times a day, and try to see each other as much as possible with our crazy lives.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


My friends, I've been to the mountain top, and I'm on my way back down.

But this is a great valley to be in.

I hit the peak weight...

...and am now sliding downwards.


And today...

...after being down 25.9 pounds down from my highest weight...

...I mustered the courage to try on a pair of (non-stretchy!) jeans
 that haven't seen the light of day in over 2 years.

And they slid right on.

Talk about starting the day with a smile.

So, when my husband gets home tonight and asks me if this is a new pair of jeans, I can say,

"not new....just again."


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I could also title this post, "I'm free!"

But, today I'm mourning.

Our MOPS Consignment sale is this weekend.

This is something I dread every year. 

Not because it's a lot of work.

Because I'm letting go.

I'm letting go of the baby.

That phase when everything smells of gum drops and spit up.

The cuddles.

The sleepers.

The deep breathing that comes when they've fallen asleep on your chest.

That euphoria you feel when they smile as you walk into the room.

I'm going through boxes.

I'm seeing the outfit that C. wore for his 6 month pictures,
and the sleepers that I used to rock the boys to sleep in.

Or the shirt that C. wore to A's Valentine's Day Party at Preschool

And A's ( and C's) first Easter sweater vest.

And the overalls A was wearing when he took his first steps.

I'm very at peace with the fact that we're not having anymore children.

I'm ok with that.

I'm sleeping through the night. (most of the time)

I have no more diapers or wipes in my house.

I have no baby gates in the house.

I'm not on a "constant state of alert."

I don't need to worry about nap schedules and feeding times.

I'm really ok with that.

But letting go of the things that remind me of this phase.

It's almost like loosing part of my own youth.

And I'm not the only one who's mourning.
Except I have no problem letting go of the toys.  :)

I'm ok.

I'll be ok.

It's just stuff, right?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Too thin

I'm coming to the realization that I'm stretched too thin.

Usually, it doesn't all converge on one weekend.

But, this weekend is the culmination of "over-committed."

And while I sit here in a confused cloud over who to disappoint more.

...I'm realizing that there's need for prioritization in my life.

And with Ash Wednesday right around the corner,

I think its high time I prioritize things quickly,

Pray about them,

And work my way through Lent.

With lots and lots of prayer.


So, here's the things that I'm going to work on:

1.  Stop being judgemental.  Gosh, I'm going to struggle with this one.  I'm so horribly judgemental.  This is a sin I've committed against just about everybody at some point in time.  Seriously, I need to work on this.  I do NOT want to live like a pious pharisee.  BUT, included in this is also the ability to stop judging myself in an unhealthy way.

2.  Being intentional about movement.  Physical movement.  Exercisal excursion.  Minimum of 20 minutes per day.  Minimum.

3.  Establish boundaries.  Healthy boundaries.  Between volunteer projects, work, home life, kids, friends, etc.  I recently had a friend establish a boundary with me that had not originally been there.  I won't lie and say it didn't hurt.  It did.  But these are healthy growing pains, and in the end, our relationship will be better for it once we redevelop healthy expectations.    But it's also made me realize that I've let work overpower my time with my family.  I've let volunteer work push the boundary of time with my family.  I've let friends overpower time with my family.  See a pattern here?  It's something that needs to be fixed.

Normally, I wouldn't post something so personal on here- such a public forum.  But, I've learned that this blog is a good way to keep my support system active.  All you who pray for me, and care about me...well, this is a way I can reach out to you.  This is the most direct means of getting my prayer warriors into action.

Which brings me back to the original question:  which boundary am I going to set, and who am I going to choose to disappoint this weekend?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Slapped by middle age

A few weeks ago, D and I attended the wedding of one of the Four Tre posse.

This was actually only the third wedding we've attended together since we started dating.

All others have included one or both of us in the wedding party.

Since the groom and D go so far back, some thought that he would be hurt for not getting "chosen."

He (and I) were ever so grateful.

We avoided the $200 tux rental, bachelor party drama,
and were able to just enjoy each other's company at the wedding and reception.

And we had a blast.

It was great to reconnect with people I haven't seen since a wedding last year.

Some I haven't seen since our own wedding.

Some since we were dating.

It's also the first wedding we've attended since D. stopped drinking.

And since I went low carb.

Really, it was a totally different experience.

Here's some pics:

The centerpieces.

They were actually quite lovely.
My camera didn't do them justice.

This is actually the only picture I got of the bride and groom.


Wedding guest: fail.

This lady is Carol.
She's the mom of a friend of D's.
I hadn't seen her since her son's wedding the year prior.
It was great to catch up.

D's friend, whose mother is shown above.

We love these two.


Well into the night.

My hair was much curlier earlier.

And my makeup was much darker.

I actually attempted a "smokey eye" look, and kinda (?) pulled it off.

And then I had two glasses of wine.

And started rubbing my eyes.

Then, I just looked normal.

Merlot glass #2.

At every wedding, there is a sparkly dress.

This wedding was no exception.


Ohhhhh, what to say about John.



Well...moving on...

Lots of blurry pictures were taken.

Ahhh, the alcohol flowed.

Well, for some of us.

Case in point:

And, because I know you're wondering...

(for those of you who know my husband is notorious for this)

Yes...Kevin Bacon did make an (abbreviated) appearance that night.

Apparently, it's hard to channel Kevin while sober.  :)

Live band.

Capable of everything from Billy Joel to Lady ga-ga.

We definitely came away from the evening realizing that the

Four-Tre' Posse

has been slapped across the face by Middle Age.

Drinking was done in moderation.

Muffin tops and beer bellies made an appearance.

Women talking of their child birth stories and toddler woes.

Men talking of house projects and jobs.

Hairlines are receeding,

wrinkles are abundant.

But with all the changes, some things have not.

They still have good hearts.

They all still respect each other (well, everyone but DeeWee),

There's no pre-tenses with each other.

They're all just happy to be there together.

No one cared about the type of car everyone else drove.

Or who had the fancier house.

Or the best labeled shirt.

No one cared.

We were just all happy to be in each other's company that night.

I love that group.

And, last...but not least...our favors.

There was a photo booth.

Each couple got a turn in the booth.

4 pictures - 15 seconds apart.

Two strips printed out.

One for us, the other for their guest book.

My scanner didn't pick up the 4th picture...but that's ok, cause it didn't turn out.

(I have a really smart scanner that just doesn't pick up bad pics of me.)

All in all, a VERY fun evening.

Until next time, four tre'

Friday, March 4, 2011

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  C. is sick.

2.  It's never "just a cold" for an asthmatic child.

3.  I'm carrying on two conversations via text right now.

4.  One with my friend, Melody and the other with my cousin, Kris.

5.  Both are talking about magnesium.

6.  Love chemistry!

7.  I'm drinking Michigan Maple coffee.

8.  If the whole world could drink Michigan Maple coffee, the world would be a better place.

9.  You'll remember that I'm also addicted to Amaretto and White Heather coffee.

10.  As Homer Simpson would say, "mmmmm, coffee."

Ok, 5QF.
If you want to play along, simply click on the icon below and head over to link up!

1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school?

No, thankfully I can say that I haven't.  I have forgotten to "watch" my children while at school/church...and they've wondered off....which then results in 3-4 staff members who are looking for my child....but I always remember to leave with them in tow.

2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like...first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)

Oh gosh...I honestly don't remember.  And, to me at least, it really doesn't matter.  They were all just "means to an end" to find my awesome husband.

3. What's your "silly" fear? (We're not talking water and heights.)

Beetles.  I hate beetles.

4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away?

At some point in my life, I've done all three. 

BUT, on a regular basis...I'd have to say I'm a "deal with it as it comes" kind of person.  It doesn't scare me in the slightest - and I have no problem holding my ground.

I wish I could also say I have no problem also admitting when I'm wrong....

....grr, stupid pride.

5. Wood floors or carpet?

You know, if I could, I'd do nothing but wood throughout the house.  Yes, throughout.

First, I have an asthmatic child.  Carpet holds dust, hair, etc.

Also, I'm reading all these books about nutrition and toxins, etc.  ALL of them talk about the dangers of plastic in our lives.  All of them.  The plastics in the fibers of the carpet ... well, the lists kinda scare me.

I just keep reminding myself that we live in a modern society and it's all a continuum, right? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He'z got skillz

Ever since we were married,

I've asked him to build me some end tables.

He was busy...

You know,

redoing our old house...

building me a curio cabinet...

...and a bookshelf....

...and a shelf/cubby for the nursery...

...and an entertainment center....

...and a pole barn....

...and an addition.

But, now...

he finally determinted that he had enough scrap wood.

(Yes, scrap wood)

And he built them.

Yep...he'z got skillz.