Wednesday, September 28, 2011

new job!!!

Today my dear husband starts his new job.

While it's easy for me to be so happy for this new chapter in our life (it's been a rough couple years, and I miss my man...), I have realized today that there are going to be a few things I'm gonna miss.

like, seeing him all dressed up in a suit and tie everyday.
and having a perfectly smooth face every morning.
and free parking downtown.
and sweet rates at Hilton brand hotels.

but oh my heavens, there are things I"m so glad to be done with.

like, paying for those suits and ties.
and paying for them to be dry cleaned.
and wondering if he'll be home for supper. or bedtime. or ever.
and waiting almost a half hour to see his handsome face after I find out he's left work.
and the middle of the night phone calls.
and the middle of the night text messages. actually, let's make that all day and all evening and all through the night no matter what we're doing, if we're eating, sleeping, or you-know-what-ing, the phone....oh the phone....I'm NOT gonna miss that dumb phone.

It's so weird. I don't even know what to think about my husband being home. And having most weekends off. I actually think it's going to be a bit more challenging for me than I realize.

See, I have kinda ruled the roost here the last few years. I do what I do when I want to do it, because I'm the one who makes the decisions. so he might do things a bit differently than I do and it might just take a little getting used to. but I think I can manage.

The Hilton was sad to see him go. It was a better place because of him, if you ask me. And the new place will be too. He has that effect on people and places. He just makes them better. So I can't wait to see how our family gets better too. :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

party time

In the last year, we've been invited to parties at the very coolest places. the pizza machine, the bouncy house, chuck e. cheese, p.e. 101, Skate Daze, and probably even more that I'm forgetting about.

But....see....the problem with that is it makes my kids think that's just what everybody does for birthday parties. Invite all your friends and your whole class, rent a place out, and have your party taken care of.

and trust me, if I had tons of money, I'd love to have a party somewhere where they do the planning and the cleanup for you.

but it's just not gonna happen. we can't do that.

So, for Lillian's party, I was determined to make it tons of fun but super cheap. She's the only one who really gets it that other kids do the fancy parties, so it sort of matters to her.

so here's what i did....

(I'm assuming that most of you have seen my facebook photos, but here's the link since I can't post any more pictures on here yet...grrr...

first, I convinced her to NOT have a princess party. Ha-le-to the lu-jah! because seriosuly....been there, done that.

and I love owls, probably because they're really popular right now in fabric and other crafty types of things. so I see tons of cute owl things in my world. so after showing her a cupcake topper idea, she was sold. :) we had a theme and we ran with it.

so first, let me tell you what we did, and then I'll tell you what I spent.

two days before her bday, we passed out invitations that I had made on the computer to the kids at the bus stop, and delivered a couple to the neighborhood kids who don't ride the bus.

on her actual bday, we had the neighborhood kids over (about 30 or so in all) for a cupcake and a cup of raspberry lemonade. they ate their cupcake, took a few pictures in the "photo booth" and headed back home. short and sweet. This part could have certainly been skipped to save more money. but I've got a hidden agenda. Next summer I plan on hosting a backyard Bible club at my house. And I want to invite all the neighborhood kids. But I want them (and their parents) to feel comfortable at my house, and have a few non-Bible club related experiences here so that they think it's really awesome at my house and beg their parents to come next summer.:) so, I'll buy a couple extra boxes of cake mix for the greater goal of teaching them about JESUS! :)

She also brought little 100 calorie bags of fudge striped cookies for her class. (they looked like owl eyes.) :)

can I get on my soap box here a second while I'm thinking about school snacks?? I've seen a few facebook comments and other things about parents kind of making a fuss about having to buy packaged snacks for birthday treats. I don't know, maybe if I didn't have the kid with the peanut allergy I'd be annoyed too. But let me just say that as a parent of a food allergy kid, I REALLY appreciate it when people make the extra effort so that my daughter can enjoy the same things other kids do. She spends most of her life being different from everyone else. Sitting at a different table, bringing her own lunch, not being allowed to eat the snacks that the rest of the class has, etc. It's her way of life, I know. She's used to it. But when she gets to eat the same thing that everyone else is eating it's really special for her. and she's not at risk, which makes me feel much better. So, even though there might be more preservatives and high fructose corn syrup and other crap that's found in processed foods, it's safe. and your kitchen may not be. ok, thanks. I'll be done now.

so, back to the birthday, we went out to eat after all the chaos was over, I mean, after the kids left. because I'd rather spend money on myself for a bday party than a bunch of other people. I'm selfish that way. :)

then on Saturday, we had our families over for supper and presents, and more owl pictures of course.

she also gets to choose ONE friend to go to a movie with her on Friday night. at the cheap theater. that's the really special part, because she gets to take a really close friend. All the neighborhood kids coming over is fun, but they aren't her closest friends. so this will be really special. and $5 gets them a movie ticket, candy, popcorn, and juice box. love that nasty little theater! :)

so, to me, that seems like a pretty decent birthday!!!

but the best part, is here's what I bought:
2 pieces of cardstock (.50 each maybe)
3 boxes of cake mix
2 boxes of cream cheese
1 bag powdered sugar
cupcake liners
mini chocolate chips (used maybe half a bag, and already had the white sprinkle things)
1 pkg sucker stick things ($2-$3 maybe?)
4 pieces of felt for the owl masks (.25 each)
a couple yards of owl fabric ($12?)
school snacks ($12, because you have to bring a prepackaged item, so that's a little more money)
3 balloons (the $1 kind, not the mylar ones)
raspberry lemonade mix. (.50 total)
food for our family party: sloppy joes, watermelon, chips, really really awesome spinach salad that you have GOT to try if you haven't already

Now, I realize that I might have somethings on hand that other people would have to buy, like, hot glue gun and glue sticks, wooden dowels for the mask handles, ribbon to cover the dowels, white cardstock to make the invitations, owl masks, bday treat labels, etc., a circle punch and a scallop circle punch for the toppers, and scrapbook paper for the treat labels. and I also have digital scrapbooking software so I can make the cute little invites and cupcake topper things myself. that helps. :)

OH, and I made her a little birthday shirt (didn't really post a picture bc it didn't turn out quite like I wanted...oh well. bought the shirt for 3.50 (score!) and the owl embroidery file for $3.)

ok, so...I think that's all? I know it wasn't fancy, but it was FUN. and Lillian loved it just as much as she would have loved any other party where you pay hundreds of dollars to rent a place out. so I call it a success.

since I'm a celebrater, crafter, and cheapskate at heart, it was the perfect party for me. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

rewind: Brielle's 3rd birthday

Last year in the fall I realized there were a million things that I never blogged about, so I did a few "rewind:" posts. and I'm pretty sure Brielle's birthday (which is actually in July) was finally posted about in September. and looks like that happened again.

But tomorrow is Lillian's birthday, and before I post about that, I want to post about Brielle's!

This year we were camping in Paulina again, which was super fun, but hard to plan any sort of special event for her party. the whole weekend ends up being special, which is a pretty good deal after all.

Miss B chose "mickey mouse" for her theme, which actually means Minnie Mouse, she just makes that mistake EVERY time. So, I took it upon myself to make Minnie Mouse cupcakes. Now, normally I order a cake that someone else makes because my philosophy on life is this: the less time spent in the kitchen the better. But then there's this whole money thing... Cupcakes are my thing lately because I can actually figure out ways to make them cute, and then I don't have to spend the money on a cake. Although, I will say, that every time I do it, I think the next time I'll just order one from Sara Crane Cakes. But it's fun to try be creative in a new way, and it's saved me lots of money. Time, on the other hand...

ok, and here's why it takes me so much time. When I made these cute little cupcakes for Brielle, I had to follow a recipe, and I also made the frosting. I think I had to use facebook THREE times to ask people what something meant, or what to do, or who knows what else. It's because there is nothing natural about me being in the kitchen. So I don't know things that maybe most other people know. Blame my mom. I always have. :) and Lillian and Brielle can blame me. Full permission granted.

so anyway, I finally got the dumb things baked, and then it was really fun to decorate them.

and see how cute they turned out???

OH WAIT. Blogger won't let me upload any more pictures onto my blog because I've exceeded my photo limit based on my picasa space or something dumb like that.

so that means I'm going to quit this post and edit it later. I'm SO SAD but don't have time to figure this out right now.


Monday, September 19, 2011

the diet coke diaries: miracle of miracles

ok, well, I went to my dreaded dentist appointment. I was so embarassed (remember it had been 7 years since I'd been there, and I drank 2-3 diet cokes a day during those 7 years) that I gave a little warning to the dental hygienist, and apologized profusely for what she might find in there.

and then she went about her ways scraping the crap out of (or off of I guess) my teeth.

her job took a while. I will not wait that long again. I promise.

After that the dentist came in with the xrays and my stomach dropped. I told him I was ready for the bad news, but he was just like, "oh, let's hope it's not bad news!" so I warned him the same way I warned the d.h. But it turns out I don't have a single cavity! holy moly!

I must be a really good brusher.
and my YEARLY new year's resolution to floss every day (which has only lasted 6 weeks at my longest run) worked better than I thought it did.

yeah, either that, or God still performs miracles, which he does. and this might be one of them!

ok, so for the update:

it's been over 6 weeks since I have purchased diet coke for my home.

what I'm drinking: a bit more water, though still some lemonades, and other crystal light types of drinks. I just really don't WANT to drink that as a replacement for diet coke, because it still has aspartame and stuff in it. but I am drinking more water. just still not enjoying it like I want to. and I only have an occasional "coffee drink" now, as opposed to every day like I was a few weeks ago. progress people, I see progress.

how I'm feeling: well, now that I'm mostly past it, I feel okay talking about my major mood I was in. If you read my blog regularly, you may have noticed I got REALLY mad at one of my children for refusing to let me floss their teeth. dumb, I realize, but after fighting that for a week, I just lost it. One of my childhood friends commented that it was the diet coke withdrawal, and actually I think she might have been joking. or maybe not. but that wasn't the only little thing that made me crazy, and I think it really does play a big part. the last few weeks have actually been really hard, and I even considered going to the doctor. I just feel like my body is going totally out of whack. I don't sleep well, I'm crabby, I'm tired, and please DON'T tick me off, or I just might lose it. (thankfully, I think I'm on the upswing. I got some prenatal vitamins just to make sure my body has what it needs while it deals with not getting what it wants. not sure if it was just PMS, or chemical imbalance stuff, or vitamin deficiency, or what, but I'm glad I feel like it's getting under control.)

I'm still really tired too, probably because I don't sleep well. but I'm less tired during the day and don't feel the need to fall asleep at 7 pm anymore.

so, there you have it. 6 week update. I've decided this is a real addiction recovery. Maybe not quite as serious as other addictions, and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone who is recovering from something much more life altering. But if you ask my husband and my closest friends, they'll agree that it's much more major than we all expected.

I think I'll start feeling GOOD soon. I really do.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Tonight we were at Hobby Lobby getting a few things to make the decorations for Lillian's party. As we were shopping, we walked into an aisle where there was another customer shopping. This customer was DECKED OUT. I mean, really fancy looking to be in Hobby Lobby. Like, big tall black boots with tight jeans and a bedazzled shirt. Bedazzled everything now that I think about it. Really fancy, dyed blonde hair, TONS of makeup, the sparkly eyeshadow and such, a fancy lookin hat, the works. and get this: all the stuff she was buying matched her outfit. Black and silver and BEDAZZALED. even her scissors. no joke.

And as I'm standing there in my sweats (why yes, it does happen to be the same pair of sweats I was wearing yesterday and slept in last night, thankyouverymuch) searching for the right package of cupcake stick things, Lillian just turns and looks at her. She's like 2 feet away, mind you. And she just STARED. for a LONG TIME. But I didn't tell her to stop, because obviously, the lady wants to draw attention to herself, which she did.

but MAN I wanted to know what Lillian was thinking.

So I waited til we got all the way to the car before I mentioned it. Didn't want the lady showing up in our aisle while we were conversing about her. not that I wouldn't see her coming, but...

OK, so we get in the van and I say, "did you guys see that really fancy lady in there?"

and she says "yes. I did. EVEN HER SCISSORS WAS SPARKLY! why do you ask?"

not really sure how to word it nicely, I say, "well, I'm just thinking about her. and wondering what she looks like just the way God made her. and wondering why she wants to look so fancy, and if she doesn't like the way she looks without all that."

and Lillian, bless her heart, says, "yeah, because sometimes wearing too much makeup actually doesn't make you look good."

and I say, "yeah, and it's just so different from the way God made her that it kinda makes me sad."

and then, DOUBLE bless her heart, she says, "well, yeah, mom. and look at YOU! You don't have ANNNYYYY of that on and you still look BEAUTIFUL!"

that, on the day I noticed these bags under my eyes are sure getting bigger and blacker...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

self control

can I tell you about my self control?

I don't have very much very often.

but, right now I have some. lots actually.

you won't believe this: I'm not on pinterest. If you know me, and you know pinterest, that is probably baffling to you. in fact, it is to me too. But I am POSITIVE that once I get signed up on that darn thing, it's going to suck time away from me that I don't even have to be sucked anyway.

so, there's my brag. I've known about it for a LONG time, and I'm refusing to join, for the sake of time management. (which is another baffling thing if you know me.)

go TIME! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

be better

Tonight's one of those nights where my kids really deserve a better mom.

a small battle about flossing turned into a potential Dr. Phil episode. I am so embarrassed at myself. By the end of it we were all in tears.

I took a break, to collect my sanity which had spewed out all over the house, gather my self control that I just abandoned in a pile in the hallway, and scrounge up some humility to go ask for forgiveness.

My kids don't handle my tears very well. They were so very forgiving, especially "the one" who got it the worst. But I wanted to be forgiven because I messed up and asked for forgiveness, not because I was crying about it. But they were all quick to forgive, and respond with "it's OKAY Mommy!" even when it's NOT okay, because they want their mommy to stop crying.

They deserve better.

so tomorrow, I'll be better.

Because for me, it's really just a decision. When I "make a good choice" to be better, I can be.

so tomorrow, I'll be better. for them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

the diet coke diaries: un-friendship

well, I'm about four weeks in now.

wow, it sure feels a lot longer than that.

I spoiled myself on my birthday and let myself have TWO diet cokes. and I also had one on the drive home from OC on Sunday. and, also, I had one today. :)

you probably think that none of it really counts when I have that many in a week still. BUT IT DOES, because I never really had the goal of never drinking it ever again. my goal is to not buy it for our house anymore, because when it's around I drink 2 or 3 a day.

and by golly, I've been to the store a bajillion times in the last 4 weeks and not a single box came home with me. or bottle. or can. :) I'm pretty sure our recycling guys are confused. (we don't get refunds for our cans here, so we just recycle them.) there used to be boxes and cans blowing up and down our street on Tuesdays, and now, it's just cereal boxes.

here's how I feel: totally crappy and tired....STILL.
when I have one: I thankfully DON'T find myself up til 3am anymore.
what I drink instead: wish it was just water, but more often it's like lemonade or my iced "coffee" drink, which steve doesn't think I should be allowed to call it, because it's really just ice with milk and a glug of coffee creamer and only a splash of coffee. But what I realized i miss most is just FLAVOR. water doesn't have any FLAVOR! (it's growing on me though.)

and now, for the big news...

I un-friended diet coke. it's true.

every day on facebook the stupid diet coke people would ask me what I"m doing while I enjoy my ice cold diet coke that day. and I just couldn't stand it anymore. so I un-friended it. or un-liked it or whatever.

so, I carry on.

til next time...