Monday, November 28, 2011


there are no pictures this year. I forgot my camera in the mad rush of getting out the door after figuring out that I had the wrong time in my head for Thanksgiving dinner.

no pictures, but let me at least take a few minutes to list a few things I'm thankful for this year.

as always, I'm so thankful for my God and the ultimate gift of his son.
and of course I'm thankful for my husband and kids. they're my life.

but this year I have a few "non-traditional" things that I'm especially thankful for.

like albuterol.

Lillian caught a cold, and good grief, we'd be in a load of trouble if it wasn't for albuterol. I hate that she has asthma, and that somehow every time we go to Orange City we have major issues with it. and she hates "the shakes" she gets when she feels all doped up.

but she can breathe. all thanks to albuterol.

and speaking of sick, I'm so so so thankful that my kids are all old enough to tell me when they're gonna throw up. I'm not sure WHY, but man, my kids have always gotten sick a LOT. every year, we get hit hard. the good news is that it's not that major to us anymore. we get sick, and then we get better, and it's not like our world gets turned upside down like it used to when I was a "new mom" with sick kids. We just do our thing, get through it, and buy stock in Clorox wipes. and now that they can tell me when it's gonna happen, it just makes the sick season that much better. (Brielle threw up in the van last week, and that's when i realized how long it had been since I had cleaned it up when it wasn't in a bucket. it made me thankful.) :)

and when my kids are sick, they get better. and that's something major to be thankful for. My heart just HURTS for people who's kids are sick and may not get better. I haven't stepped foot in a hospital for a long time, but for some people, it's "home." I still think of little Aria's family, and their loss earlier this year. and the hundreds and thousands more that I don't even know about. I'm so thankful that sick to us means clorox wipes and albuterol.

another thing I'm particularly thankful for this year is our Christmas decorations. they're nothing fancy. we bought a fake tree and put up maybe a FIFTH of our millions of ornaments. they don't match. there's no theme. but they're ours. and we also have a few homemade items. probably chinsey looking to some, but they were cheap and I made them. so I like them. and we have our AWESOME nativity set. It's the willow tree one, and I think I have all the pieces. I have always LOVED it, and Steve's family gave me a few pieces every year til I had them all. and I just love it, still. and the last thing we have is our garland for our railing. My mom always loved to put garland on the stair railings. I was trying to just add one new thing each year for our decorations, and that year was my favorite addition.

Some years it's hard to be thankful for things like family gatherings and such because our family has changed so much in the last five years. and honestly, sometimes I think it's just easier to not all be together with the changes so obvious and staring you in the face. it's HARD to face it. every time. But aside from my mom missing from the pictures, I'm so thankful for so much of it this year. thankful that my brother could make the trip. and thankful that he brought the awesome texas roadhouse rolls. thankful that Mel was there and her calming presence, always. thankful that Dad and Judy could make it when we first thought they couldn't. thankful that they have each other. and thankful for my one-of-a-kind niece Hazel, and her non-stop entertainment. and her brother and parents that I just love beyond words. And thankful that my aunt, uncle, and cousin could join us, as they do most holidays, just to hang out and play games and love on the kids. we weren't ALL together. Ohio is a long drive. :( but those of us who could gathered just for a day, half a day really. and for that I'm thankful.

I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm always thankful for our stuff. And in a year where we have to prioritize paying our bills over buying Christmas gifts, I'm just so thankful for what we already have. I love it that I'm having a really hard time coming up with a Christmas list for other family members, because we're just working really hard and being content with what we have. and it feels good. I'm always thankful for times like this, usually later more so than in the moment, but this time I'm trying to be thankful NOW. when it's a bit harder.

and, even when my neck has a kink and my fingers are burned, when my basement is a (beautiful) disaster, and there are not enough minutes in a day, I'm thankful for the pinkadink. maybe it's too "traditional" for this list, but i have to write it. I'm in the midst of some growing pains right now, but it's good. I have to figure out how to think with a business mind, and how to value my time, and how to do what's best for the business AND my family at the same time. it's tricky. but I'm so thankful that God has blessed this business so much that I even have to figure it all out. it's a good place to be.

and while that does NOT "sum up" my list of thankfulness this year, it'll have to do for now.

Friday, November 18, 2011

the diet coke diaries: the fat lady sang

so, I thought I'd take a quick minute to give an update on the diet coke issue.

it's a shocker, but I'm totally done. I don't even like it that much anymore. I almost NEVER drink it. it's that 'almost' part that gets me though. Occasionally I'll find myself drinking one, or ordering one, or whatever the case, out of HABIT, when I KNOW I'm not even going to like it! it's a strange strange drug I tell you. But most often, I CHOOSE water over diet coke. and even I'm in shock.

most days I'll have a big tall glass of water mixed with a little cranberry pomegranate juice, and a couple teaspoons of chia seeds in there. yep, chia. as in chia pet. I probably have a giant chia pet sprouting in my stomach. :) but it's a great 'superfood' and I really like the texture in my drink. and I also like plain water too! read that again, would ya? I like WATER!

I cannot even explain to you how exciting this is to me. if you know me well, you probably thought I'd never last in this whole 'game' of giving it up. my love was too deep and my self control was too...shallow? :) but somehow I did it.

and, if you don't want to read this next paragraph, go ahead and skip it. possibly TMI for some people, but I have to tell you!

ok, my body has seen MAJOR changes with such a lack of chemical! it's unbelievable! and it's most obvious for about a week, once a month. ;) All the things that my body used to experience on a regular basis have come back to me. and, while I find myself VERY inconvenienced by it all, I think it's really good that body is in a more natural state! I always kind of thought that diet coke didn't really affect me that much, but it can NOT be a coincidence that I am really crabby and craving sushi and chocolate once a month ever since I quit it! It's like my body is finally aware of what it's going through, and responding accordingly, instead of being sort of numbed by whatevertheheck they put in diet coke. Now, don't ask my sweet husband or kids about how they feel about my more natural state. I'm still working on how to control my 'new' sensations. :) but I feel like it's such a GOOD thing to be more natural. and it's not only about PMSing. All of my emotions seem a little more real. I love harder, I cry more, I FEEL my heart hurting more for other people. I'm undisguised.

ok, so are you one of the people who is totally addicted to soda like I was? don't worry, I don't judge you. :) and you know what else? Don't expect me to even encourage you to quit drinking it. This has been such a journey for me. I've talked to so many people who are quite entertained by the whole 'diet coke diaries' idea. and I'm so glad. :) It's rather entertaining for me to write actually. But going through the process has really taught me so much. But I had to be READY. I wasn't ready for a long time. I had tried to quit so many times before, but even I wasn't convinced that it was going to be for good. this time was different. It was like I really wanted to overcome it.

and I did.

and now I feel like I can do ANYTHING!

but if you're not ready, don't worry. it's not that big of a deal. it will never work if you aren't ready to conquer it. and if you ARE, I can promise you that it gets better! and there's such a freedom in knowing that if I want a diet coke with my pizza, then by golly, I"m gonna have one. I'm past the point where I feel like I'm DEPRIVED of something I love. I feel good.

I feel GREAT! (like I knew I would...eventually.)

so, signing off from the 'diet coke diaries!' yay me! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

busy, busy. dreadfully busy.

any other Veggie Tales fans out there singing along with me? It's the good Samaritan story and Larry is stuck in a hole, head first, and everyone who passes him tells them they're too busy to help. and the song is pretty catchy.

and somehow I'm both Larry and the others. I'm stuck in my own hole and can't even help myself! I'm busy, busy, dreadfully busy, more than an octopus, more than an ant!

anyway you get the picture.

October is one of my favorite months. actually THE favorite. hands down. So many wonderful things to celebrate. fall, my mom, my son, my business. but MAN what a whirlwind! for a quick catch up, here's what we've been up to:

*Steve started his new job, which is a huge blessing. He's still quite stressed and works long hours, and now working late is like 6 or 7, so we'll TAKE IT! at least he's CLOSE and the kids toddle in to bring him his lunch every day on our way home from getting Josiah from preschool.

*speaking of Josiah, he's 5 now. and we celebrated with a Spiderman party in OC. fun times. But on his actual birthday, I was super sick and couldn't even go out to eat with my family. :(

*speaking of eating, things have changed here. We've moved to a plant based diet. Lots of whole grains, fruits, and veggies, and it's so so so good. I haven't had meat, cow's milk, or butter in two and a half weeks! I started it for health reasons, and to do what I can to minimize my risk of getting cancer. I'm quickly running out of meal ideas and such, but I'm mostly in the phase where I"m learning so much and super excited about it. It's doing a lot of what my mom started doing after her second diagnosis, when I thought she went off the deep end a little. :) but now I realize she was just doing everything she could to fight the cancer, so why wouldn't I start now???

*speaking of my mom, October 23rd marked 5 years since her death. We celebrated a couple different ways this year, but not our usual big shabang because I was sick for most of it. :( I'll do a post about it later though, and hopefully I can add pictures, unlike the last time I tried that.

*speaking of pictures, I've actually been really busy this fall taking pictures, which is crazy. I have a pretty good camera, and some pretty good friends, so I took some pretty mediocre pictures of them. :) I've always loved photography, but's just something I don't have a lot of time to learn about. SO, I just offer my free services to my friends, and lots of people took me up on it this year. I think I've done like 4 or 5 different groups or families this year. acutally, yeah, I have my 5th on Sunday. hopefully it's not too cold!

*speaking of, crap. I got nothin. it was flowing so beautifully til just now. so I'll transition into talking about the pinkadink. I spend almost every sleeping children minute to work on pinkadink, which means naptimes and after bedtime. But what that means is I stay up late and get really super tired, and I'm way behind on orders, and I'm way behind on life, and I was apparently way behind on BILLS which was really bad, and I had no idea. because almost my whole mind is filled up with pinkadink right now. it got pretty bad recently when either one of my kids or I was sick for almost 2 weeks straight. just a little reprieve between each one and then bam it was back. so anyway, it's been a rough go here, but I think we're done for now! last night I chose to skip all my work and go to bed with my hubby at like 930 or some crazy hour. and it was such a long beautiful wonderful night. amazing what a good night's sleep will do for you. and tonight it's back to the grind. If you happen to know anyone who's waiting so very patiently for a pinkadink order, please tell them it's coming soon.

alrighty, well, there's the boring update. but now you know why I haven't posted. I'm pretty sure that nobody's been sitting around waiting to get an update on my life, but I have gotten a few comments recently about the lack of posts. you go. don't expect much more though til after christmas or so though.

because I'm busy, busy, dreadfully busy...
( thought it was finally out of your head. you're welcome.) :)