Monday, December 31, 2012

Moving on Up... to 2013!

New Years Eve.  A time to reflect.  A time to plan for a new year.  A time to start over, to set new goals and to make ourselves better in the coming months.



For as much as a planner as I am, one would expect me to make long lists of resolutions each New Years Eve.  It may come as a surprise to many of you, but I simply don't.  Oh, I used to.  But years of experience have shown me that that particular "wish list" of change just isn't the way to get me motivated.  If nothing else, it gives me an opportunity for failure and disappointment.


I read an interesting article last week specifically addressing my zodiac, Scorpio.  It was dead on (for me anyway) so I thought I'd share.  For the record, I'm not one of those type of people that reads my horoscope everyday and believes it will all come true.  Nope, I'm not that gullible (insert laughter now).  No I believe our fate is made by our decisions, our paths and sometimes just pure luck (being in the right place at the right time).

But this one did strike me as accurate - as it relates to me anyway.

In essence, it indicated that we are an "all or none" group of people.  Nothing in moderation.  If we set our mind to something, we go all in.  Scorpios do nothing in moderation.  Which unfortunately can lead us into an obsessive compulsive way of life if not careful.

Yep, that would be me.  

I'm all in.  Or I'm not.  There isn't a lot of gray matter in my life.  I think that is one of the things Hubs loves about me.  I also think it is his biggest challenge.  From me, anyway.

If I were going to set any goals today, it would be more of the same (and I'm sure similar to your lists as well).  Of course I have an entire set of goals for my career so I won't bore you with those.  Maybe if I write down a couple of things I'll stick to them?  It's doubtful.  But I'll try.

Okay, here goes.

1.  Lose weight.  Shocker.
2.  Run more.  Another shocker.
3.  Eat food as fuel.  Yeah, I'm sure you're surprised.
4.  Slow down my voice.  Speak with clearer intent.
5.  Ask for what I want and need.
6.  Stop apologizing for things that are not my doing.
7.  Be brave.  Confront with confidence when necessary.
8.  Organize my personal space but stop worrying over disorganized spaces (desk drawers).
9.  Love myself more - stop being so critical of myself.
10.  Forgive myself and others more freely.

And finally... prepare the house for sale.  

Hubs and are reaching for more financial freedom.  We are at a place where people and living are more important to us than where we reside.  Yes, we love our home.  We love our neighbors.  We love our 'hood.  We love everything about this space.  We picked everything out in this house together, with ease.  In fact, it was the easiest thing we have ever done in our marriage.

Which is why it is so easy for us to do it again... in another place.

Sure, it makes us a little sad.  But why wouldn't it?  We have built memories here that will last us a lifetime.  

But more memories will come.  I'm just sure of it.  Because we won't wait for fate to take charge - we will build it ourselves.  

I hope all of you have a happy, safe and memorable New Years Eve celebration - whether it be out celebrating with friends or snuggled warmly in your homes with your families.  I wish for everyone the best in the coming new year and may all of your wishes, goals and dreams come true!



Happy New Year!

Jen




Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gimme a Break!

You would have thought we played an official NBA team last night.

Coop on the free throw line


Three years ago, we decided to move little guy from our local recreational basketball league to a competitive team. After one of our games, little guy and I went into the bathroom to change his clothes. Upon exiting, the opposing team's coach approached me.  She told me she liked Coop's size and asked if we would like to join her team. Right in front of our coach. Class move.

I thanked her for the offer and politely declined.  Then somehow, she got my email.

Over the course of the next two years she barraged me. I explained to her I wasn't interested- we loved our coach, our team and weren't leaving.

After our season ended, we decided it was to much on him and moved him back to rec. She continued to push me.

She was an ex college player and was living vicariously through her players. It was so obvious.  She rattled her resume to me every time we spoke.  As if I care.  I'm far more interested in the way you address my son than I am in what you did 20 years ago.

Flash forward to 2012.  We joined a competitive team again.  This time I did a ton of research on every Division 1, 5th grade team in the Kansas City area.  Some were cut from the list quickly if I already knew them.  And her team was one of them.

Now.... we play her.  That's almost worse to be honest.  She has truly taught her boys straight up street bully ball.  She screams from the sideline (standing, of course) the entire game.  If a referee calls a foul on one of her boys, she screams at them, too.  She complains loudly that our team (and every other team, for that matter) are "dirty players".  ESPECIALLY if she loses.

We drew the short straw and played her this weekend.  The first time we faced them this season we won.  We certainly weren't going into the game assuming we would though - her boys are tough.  This go around, they won by about the same we beat them by the last time.

But it wasn't easy.  Not just the playing, either.  Her parents are a complete nightmare.  They scream at our boys the entire game.  Through free throws, while running down court, when shooting.  It doesn't really matter.  They act just like the leader of their team.  Hmmm.. I wonder why?

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone last night.  Parents were yelling at each other, kids were mouthing off, the coaches were arguing.... it was not my idea of a good time.  As soon as the game ended, my heart palpitations finally slowed down.

Today, however, we beat both teams in our pool.  Our reward?  We have to play her again tomorrow.

Ugh.

I honestly am not sure I have enough Xanax to get through the game.  She stresses me out that bad.

The best though.... at the end of our game against her Friday night, right at the buzzer, one of her bully kids slammed into Coop (on purpose, I swear).  He took an elbow to the face, falling and bouncing his head off the court floor.  It was LOUD.  He was not happy.  After coach and I got him up off the floor  (making sure his eyes weren't dilated), she tried to come over and shake Coop's hand to say good game.  It is the nice thing to do, after all.

Not gonna happen.  Hubs was in between the two of them faster than anything I've ever seen.  Mr. Protective.  I barely caught what was happening and just had to laugh.

Wish me luck, friends.  You all should know by now how much I love confrontation.  Should be a great game tomorrow.  Thank God we just got paid - we may need bail money.

Have a great Saturday night!


Jen

Friday, December 28, 2012

FRIDAY FAVES!!

Wow - who would have known I would already be typing the FINAL Friday Faves of 2012!  This year has absolutely FLOWN by for me with very few breaks.  Our year has been filled with emotions, both good and sometimes not so great, but together as a family we triumphed all events with as much grace we could muster.

In honor of 2012, below are my fave photos reflecting my favorite memories.  Most of you walked through these with me throughout the year so hopefully you will remember them fondly as well!


JANUARY

Oh Lord.  Truth be told, I didn't make it to midnight so technically I guess this is a 2011 picture.  But I tried.  I really, really tried.  No thanks to Parks' Jagermeister!

Love the EC girls!!

FEBRUARY

Every year since we moved to Eagle Creek our good friends and neighbs (the Fains) have opened their home for the annual neighborhood Superbowl Party (well - all but the first year.  The Harlow's hosted and them promptly moved after that.  Hmmm..)  We drink, eat and lay around screaming at the television.  Good times!  I never have a pic of hubs and I during the event but I always have a picture of the gracious hosts!  Thanks for the fun, Fains!




MARCH

I loved that St. Pats fell on the weekend this year!  KC has a great celebration and hubs and I were right in the thick of it this year.  Even nabbed a hotel room and stayed downtown!  The bands were great, the green beer was smooth and fun was had!




APRIL

Bigs, aka Little Guy, had a great soccer season.  What made it the best though was his cheering section.  Who else has that many fans?  Bubba, Kate, E, Granny, Pooh, Hubs and I were at almost every spring soccer game.  The weather was fantastic this year - we hardly ever froze as in years past.  The best part of this support system were the game day treats provided by Granny and Pooh - donuts! I honestly think that was little guy's fave part :).



MAY

TD and I joined our EC friends to tackle the Brew to Brew race in Kansas City this year.  I have never laughed so hard!  We all jumped into our friend Jason's sweet ass (mini)van (yes, all 10 of us), rode to a local brewery and ran roughly a zillion miles in 10 legs.  Some of us struggled (I honestly about died on my 5 mile run in the 108 degree heat) but others breezed through and carried the rest of us.  Great fun was had by all!




JUNE

Ugh - tough month.  Bubba swore in and joined our illustrious United States Navy, boarding a plane that very day.  It was a rough go for Katie and me.  So we did what family does best... we clung together tightly and didn't let go.  It became my mission in life for those two months to make her laugh as often as possible, trying to lighten to load of loneliness she surely was feeling.  But as sad as our hearts were feeling, we were all filled with overwhelming pride for this man, soon to be Sailor.



JULY

This summer brought about the BEST in baseball history for the Davis family!  Little guy made giant leaps in improvement as both a pitcher and a hitter.  He worked as our closer most games and pitched beautifully once his arm was warm.  He claimed two home runs this season and to many doubles and triples to count.  Our team went on to be the champions of our division - an accomplishment the boys will surely never forget.  For us parents... we screamed at the top of our lungs every game, sitting on the edge of the bleachers praying for each boy as he approached the mound.  It is truly the best family we have ever had sports wise.  I blogged a lot about it this summer, how bio parents, step parents, grandp's etc. all came together for these 12 little boys in perfect harmony.  And that it was - a perfect season.




AUGUST

And just like that, the summer flew by and our son became a United States Sailor.  Graduation was amazing, one of the best experiences I have ever had.  My pride was so overwhelming I could barely contain it.  Hubs and I both cried during the ceremony.  My son was completely changed after 8 weeks of boot camp, in ways I could have never imagined.  




SEPTEMBER

For the first year in more years than I can remember, Hubs stepped back coaching football.  It was bittersweet to say the least.  Sure, he was on the sidelines helping from time to time but the direct impact on little guy was most definitely apparent.  I'm certain that 2013 will bring about more change with the direction we take but I trust in Hubs to do what is best for our little guy.  Either way, we had a great season, some great learning opportunities and little guy made some great new friends.




OCTOBER

October would not be October without my annual girls trip to Hermann!  We had an absolutely blast this year!  Found some new spots (dancing, drinking, mayhem), loved on our house (as we do every year) and laughed singing all the way there thanks to DJ Jazzy Jen and Steph (our fearless driver).  I can't wait for next year's trip!!



NOVEMBER

Best month ever.  Not only my birthday month and fave holiday, Thanksgiving, but this November was my first trip (of many) to the West Coast to see my kids.  I have struggled so much with their move - I miss them all terribly.  But Hubs was right (as he often is)... getting there, seeing their environment and knowing they are safe, happy and settled gave me a great peace of mind.  I spent those four days running around chasing E, giggling and tickling and hugging Kate ever time I got the chance.  I cried all the way home but purchased my next ticket to see them shortly after arriving home!  I'll be back soon, kids!

Nana Presents :)

DECEMBER

There are so many pictures of December to chose from.  It was a fantastic month with family and friends, not to mention Christmas!

I'll finish though with my favorite Christmas gift given to me:  a Bravelet.  For those of you not familiar, a woman started this company after making bracelets for herself, her sister, her mother and father after her mother was diagnosed with cancer.  So many people approached her about the beautiful bracelets that she started her own company, color coding each one she made to specify a certain cause.  The best part?  She donates portions of the proceeds to each cause she represents.

Mine?  Of course.  Support the Troops.  The military has been a part of my family for generations but now that my son has joined it means even that much more to me.  Even as an extended family member of my Sailor, the Navy has treated us just like part of their giant family.  My bracelet will remind me every day of the sacrifices they make for my freedom.

I couldn't be more proud to support our United States Military.  God Bless them ALL!



I hope you had a fantastic 2012 and I wish you the best in 2013!! Thanks for all of your support, comments and continued reading my crazy rants and raves.  I hope I've touched you in some way with a post or two - if for no other reason than to realize I'm about as crazy as they come!  Happy New Year!

Jen





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Unexpected Fulfillment

I try very, very hard to follow the Four Gift Rule for my little guy.  Not in that he only receives 4 gifts, but that they have relevance to one of the four rules.  As a reminder (or in case you've never heard), here they are:


So each year, I shop for clothes (easy, anything with an Under Armour logo works for him).  I shop at Barnes & Noble (again, easy... he LOVES to read and loves all things Wimpy Kid).  His want list is SUPER easy - he only writes down ONE thing that he wants more than anything in the entire world.  Simple, solved.

It's the needs list that I struggle with. What does he really need?  To be honest with you... not much.  Little guy has never needed for much in his life.  I feel fortunate for that and proud because of it but I worry that there is a key element of life that he isn't learning.  Or maybe I should just shut up and be happy that I am able to meet his needs.  I certainly don't intend to make him struggle but I do want him to know the difference between a need and a want.

On Christmas morning, little guy pounced down the stairs.  The excitement in his face was almost unbearable to see - he could hardly contain himself.  As he turned the corner into the living room, he saw his brand new Playstation 3 with a big red bow around it and squealed with delight.  He fell upon the floor and did some weird break dance looking move (yes, I totally tried it in the 80's.  So what?!).  We sat and watched him silently for moments, smiling inside and out.  It was awesome.  He asked if he could fire it up and of course we said "GO FOR IT!" as I trotted to the kitchen to make some coffee.

He loved his gift.  He still does.  He is in total heaven.  But it wasn't until Christmas night that I watched his need unveil itself to me and be fulfilled in front of my very eyes.

First off though - I was quite concerned about the games he received this year to go with his PS3.  Shooting games.  War games.  In light of Connecticut (and all the other evils in the world right now), I have been really worried about him being influenced by these games.  Becoming a recluse.  Being that boy that hides in front of the screen for hours, desensitizing himself to death and destruction.  Genuinely worried about it.  

It took a great deal of discussion to help me find calm with it, from both hubs and Bubba.  

Stage right, Jeremy.  We had chat off and on all day on Christmas Day.  I was so sad we weren't together - our first Christmas season apart from one another in 23 years.  Ugh.  My heart was breaking.  Kate was sending me pictures of Eli and I would laugh and then tear at every single one - so sad to be missing his little joys, his laughs, his excitement. 

Jeremy gave us all the best present ever and fulfilled little guy's need list perfectly Christmas day.  In the stuff Santa brought, little guy was given a headset.  Online access to that game I hate.  But with that, came online access to Bubba.

Yep, he could talk to Jeremy.  And not only did they talk, but Jeremy directed Coop through the game, protecting him from hearing other people's smack talk, teaching how to play and providing him guidance in only a way a big brother can.

They played for hours together.  Each time I walked by the living room, I smiled at Cooper.  My heart was so full, so happy.



His needs were met by his big brother this Christmas.

I'm a lucky woman.  I didn't pull it off on my own but God unveiled it to me. It's crazy how that happens!

Have a great Thursday, friends!
Jen



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Cause You Gotta have Faith

What a whirlwind weekend!  I feel so blessed, ever so apparent this time of year.  Only appropriate that I share a story with you this day.
 
A little girl in the 70's with three siblings, I was not raised in a church.  I was not given any religious education at home (unless you consider my mom's 2 favorite cuss phrases were Jesus Christ and God damn).  I didn't understand anything about religion at all, although we did have this really cool manger set up every year at Christmas that I would play with like a doll set.
 
I have one picture taken of me with my mom's handwriting on the back "Sunday School, 1978".  I have no memory of church or Sunday school, ever.  So I have no idea where that was taken.
 
And so it goes, my life journey with no religion.  When I married the first time I was married by a Mormon preacher outside since I had no church (nor did I want to be Mormon).  Sure, I listened to the words he spoke but wasn't really interested in understanding most of it. 
 
In my 20's, I remarried.  My father in law is a Baptist minister and he married hubs and I.  We had several sessions with him before we married that were quite lively.  I don't think I could possibly ever forget challenging him on the true meaning and intent of tithing.  Somehow, I still made it into the family!
 
Hubs and I went to church a bit in our 20's but nothing regular.  He had been in church his entire life and had a significant religious education but as many young people do he had moved away from the practice and ritual.  I certainly wasn't going to push the topic as I had no interest at all.
 
By my mid-20's though, my mom became ill.  The conversations started pretty slowly but ramped up significantly by the time I was 30.  She started to pray a lot.  She talked about God a lot.  She worried that she wasn't strong enough in her faith to be granted entrance to Heaven.  She became a God fearing Christian before my very eyes.  No, she didn't attend church.  I don't ever recall her owning a bible.  But she spoke to the Lord every single day... many times a day.  And she talked to me about it.
 
After 8 long years of trying to conceive, hubs and I learned of my pregnancy with the little guy.  In all definitions, it was a miracle.  Not that all of them aren't, by any means.  But it was pretty miraculous given our circumstances.  I started to wonder.
 
Coincidentally, Bubba had a friend and he and his family had a great church that they had invited us to many times.  One Easter Sunday during my pregnancy, we finally went to church.
 
Everything changed quickly.  We loved it, all of us.  Even Bubba.  So we joined.  I became confirmed in the Lutheran faith.  I was baptised, finally (at age 30) along with Bubba and the little guy.  Bubba completed three years of confirmation classes and became confirmed.  He went on to complete 4 years of private Lutheran high school education, learning more about being Lutheran and all other religions that I could even fathom.
 
Life became busy.  We built a house.  Bubba got married (by that same Baptist minister (and his Pop).  We gained Sassy and then of course, Nugget.  We shipped Bub off to the Navy (along with his fam).  We had two back surgeries.  And somehow, through all those miracles, we fell out of faith.
 
No excuses.  It just happened.
 
This Christmas season, little guy began asking me a lot of questions.  Who is Jesus?  I know it's his birthday, but why is he important?  What did he do?  Why do bad things still happen if he is our Savior?
 
Yep.. great questions.  So we did only what I know to do - we took him to church.  Candlelight Service, to be exact.

 
 
I have to say though that I was a bit intimidated.  I was pretty sure they were going to slap a visitor badge on our shirts, it's been so long since we've been there.  You wouldn't have known it though - they welcomed us as if we had never left.
 
But the biggest surprise?  Cooper's excitement.  His steady gaze at Pastor as he spoke.  He took in every single word uttered.  2 hours before church service he was jumping into the shower to get ready to go.  I honestly haven't seen him get that excited in a long time.  He was THRILLED.
 
In total shock and awe, I tried to soak in his reaction.  He loved every minute of the service.  I have never seen him sit so still and be so in tune with what someone else is saying (I sure hope he does that at school but I know better!)  He talked about the service off and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  And much to my surprise, he has asked when we are going back.
 
I admit as the "unchurched" girl that didn't go to church regularly until I was 30, I do find solace and comfort in our church.  Our members are kind, comfortable, regular people just like us.  Both of our Pastors are fantastic, giving us energy in equal but different ways.  The only final thing we need to do is introduce ourselves (and Coop) to the new DCE (the one Bubba had has moved).
 
It is ironic that at little guy's age this is almost the same time we began taking Bubba to church.  I think God may be intervening somehow, gently reminding us our responsibility and duty to teach little guy. 
 
Hubs bought me a CD for Christmas and as I type this entry I am listening to a song that fits perfectly.  Kip Moore wrote it especially for me, I'm sure.  Lyrics are below and here is a link to the song if you want to hear it --->  Faith When I Fall.
 
Faith When I Fall
 
I know it's been a long time since the last time we talked
I know I've been a stranger and that's all my fault
And asking you for anything don't really seem right
But the winds of change are blowing so I'm begging you tonight

I know the rain is coming and it's sure gonna pour
I know there ain't no running from this kind of storm
It's gonna get harder and harder, they keep on pushing through
I'm gonna wanna quit, so I'll be counting on you

When the clouds start parting and the sun starts shining through
This time I wont forget, I wont forget about you

CHORUS


Give me love when I ain't got nobody
A little hope when I ain't got none at all
Give me love when I ain't got nobody
A little hope when I ain't got none at all
Give me light up ahead on a journey
Give me strength when I'm standing
And faith when I fall

Give me strength when I'm standing
And faith when I fall, yeah

Have a great Wednesday, friends!

Jen



Monday, December 24, 2012

I Still Believe

Merry Christmas Eve!  Or as us parents like to call it... countdown to mayhem.

I am so thankful that little guy takes after me with his literal interpretation of the world.  Yes, sometimes it makes him a little gullable (okay, ALL of the time) but this translation does has its upside.

He still believes.




I'm one lucky momma.

And no, he's not special. Let me clarify.  He WANTS to believe.

Yep, his desire of wanting and hoping there is a Santa is much, much higher than his doubts.  I know this is probably the last year that I've got him here but I really hope it isn't.

To help him along, I sent him a letter.  Well... I didn't send him a letter. Santa did.  Mailed with a special seal, from the North Pole of course.  Here are a few excerpts:

Dear Cooper,

Merry Christmas!  I am happy to know that even though you are getting older your name constantly appears on my Nice list.  Please try to keep up the good work, Cooper.  I see this year that you have made quite a few accomplishments - your first home run, signed up for choir, trying the trumpet and you even won a spot on the Gunners (basketball team)!  GREAT JOB!  You have become such a fine young man.

I know that you are getting too old for children's toys but I do see that you are hoping for a Playstation 3.  Well Coop, I will make sure to pack it in my red bag for you.  I know as you get older it gets harder to believe in me.  But remember this:  it's not just about believing in me but about believing in the Spirit of Christmas.  Even though you may think you are to old for me I will still be checking in on you from time to time and making sure that your name stays on my list.  

It will be great to come see you this year.  Please tell your friend Carson Wooster that I will be coming to see him, too.  I also know you like to stay up late but please try to get bed early on Christmas Eve so I can bring my magic to you.

Keep up the great work and I will visit soon!

Your friend,

Santa

Wowzers, right?  Even mentioned his friend's name and included a packet of reindeer food.

He bought it.  He totally bought it.  Well, if nothing else... he now doubts his friends that tell him Santa isn't real.  Sure, he knows Santa doesn't come down our chimney (given we have a gas fireplace).  He knows he can't really drag around the world's gifts in one night.

But he still wonders.  How?

We keep it up of course by telling him that we couldn't afford the things that Santa often brings him.  And sometimes Santa brings things mom wouldn't really approve of, so he knows it can't be me.

I want to bottle up the wonder in his mind, the look in his eyes and the excitement he feels when he bounds down those stairs tomorrow morning realizing his wishes came true.  Santa really is a very cool dude.

I'm so excited for church tonight.  We haven't been in a long while and I really want to get back.  It's time for Coop to start confirmation and what parents would we be if we only forced Bubba to go through that? :)  I painfully miss my momma.  I miss the WC kids so much it stings.  Church will hopefully help tie all of those emotions together and soothe my heart.

Merry Christmas, friends.  Have fun with your traditions tonight and tomorrow.  Enjoy every second.  Hug your kiddos tight and love one another.  I wish you all the best.
Jen

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Welcome, Berlin!

Ahhh, sugar cookie and coffee for breakfast.

Man, I have fallen FAR off the wagon!  Not only have I not run in a bazillion months, but my food intake is.... well, let's just say it's not good.




So it should come to no surprise to my friends that have watched my hips widen before their eyes that I have signed up for the Polar Plunge.  Yeah, aptly named.  My thoughts exactly.

For those of you that aren't aware, the Polar Plunge is in January.  In Missouri.  And we plunge into a lake.  In January.

Yeah, it's a little bit cold.

All of the proceeds (we raise money to get in rather than pay money to participate) go directly to Special Olympics.  Near and dear to my heart, my sister participated in the local games as a kid.  If you want to sponsor me, I'd totally love you for it.  Here is my link:  Jennifer Davis Super Polar Plunge

Coincidentally, the Kansas City Zoo just acquired a second polar bear... a 23 year old female, Berlin, to join our Nikita.  We are praying for a love connection.

Hmmm... I think God is trying to tell me something.

I'll just go ahead and call myself out now.  I've gained 20 (5)ish pounds since August..  Yikes.  I quit running after football season started and we stopped training for the marathon.  And that's all it took.  Stopping.

I read motivational quotes all the time being that they are slathered all over facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.  I know what it takes to get what I want.  I'm just not doing it.

I think I'd be a great candidate for the lap band.  Anything that keeps me from eating so damn much.  My problem isn't that I don't like to exercise - in fact I really love it.  The problem is that I can't stop eating snacks, primarily sugar.  It's a miracle I haven't developed diabetes yet.

So as I stuff one more sugar cookie down my gullet, I'm going to continue to eat without guilt for the next two days.  Then I'll get on it.

Another day, right?  What can it hurt?

Have a fantastic Sunday, friends!


Jen

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kübler-Ross Model Nailed It

I've been waiting for the appropriate time to share and I suppose now is as good as any.

American Foodservice, hub's employer for 13 years, has sold.  A family owned business for 26 years, they made the decision last week to sell to a regional player, Reinhart Foods.  They have gone from a 125 employee locally owned business to a 14,000 employee, largest privately owned food service distribution company in the country.  Yeah - quite a difference.



I have quite a bit of experience with M&As, consulting with private equity firms that are purchasing organizations.  It's a little bit different to be on the other side.... and on the impacted end.

Suffice it to say, we've gotten really good at yoga breathing over the course of the last few weeks.  Deep breaths, calming chi, all that jazz.  So far it's working pretty well.  And the acquisition has caused some bumps in the road but otherwise seems to provide some advantages to hubs, so we are happy about that.

But I had forgotten that the employees of the impacted acquisition actually grieve the change.  Full five stages and everything.  When they first hear the news, they are in shock.  Total disarray for about 5 minutes.  Cannot believe what they are hearing.  Complete denial.  And then.... the ANGER.  I can't believe I was loyal to you and you sold the company, anger.  Everyone gets there eventually.  Slowly, they move into bargaining - trying to figure out what could have been done to have not sold the company (even though it's totally out of their hands).  Slowly, move into sadness.  This one may take awhile.  And finally.... acceptance.  It is what it is.  There is nothing I could do to make it any different.

Long term?  We don't know.  We are relying on faith.  Going with the flow.  Every day is a new change, a new adjustment for hubs.  And I have to say, as much crap as I give him for requiring structure, he is battling through all the changes beautifully well.  I'm not so sure I could handle it that well.  And the unknown... well, it's definitely lingering in the back of both of our minds.  

But we can't live in fear.  Because that's not living at all.

I gave Kate a necklace when Jeremy left for boot camp that aptly said "One Day at a Time".  I think I might have to borrow that mantra for awhile.  A simple reminder that sometimes you just have to get through that day and allow yourself to feel the success of it rather than worry about the future days ahead.

So as Christmas inches closer, I'm even more grateful that we have a warm home, food in our fridge and are able to provide for our family in the manner in which we do.  And I'm unafraid of change (so I keep telling myself over and over)... if we have to change, we will.  And we will still have a warm home, food in fridge and will provide for our family.  We are warriors and will continue on.

Have a great Saturday, friends.  Stay warm today - it's freezing in the Midwest! I have started my 5 day vacation of hibernation and I'm totally excited about that.  I have no intention of leaving the house other than to visit the P's on Sunday.  Yep - just call me a hermit!


Jen

Friday, December 21, 2012

FRIDAY FAVES!!

Man, the weeks are FLYING by!  Christmas is almost here and the Davis household is buzzing with excitement of the upcoming fun. This year will definitely feel very different with my WC kids gone.. very quiet and intimate with just us three.  I'm really looking forward to the down time - life has been pretty crazy lately.

Well - finally Friday Faves before the big day!  Hope you enjoy my final Christmas (and other) finds of the week!



FAVE CHRISTMAS MOVIE

Yep, it's the obvious one.  A Christmas Story.  Each year TBS runs this classic for 24 hours between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I think in total I have seen it roughly a million times but in our house it never grows old.  I'm certain the WC kids will have it on at some point during that time just like us (only 1,600 miles away!)





FAVE YUMMO

Oh... yes please!  This just screams CUT ME!  Click here for the fab recipe to this brilliant ice cream cake!  ---->  Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake







FAVE SASSY

I know SEVERAL kids that I could send this shirt this holiday season!  In all honesty though, I made a decision this past year to "unfriend" any child under the age of 18 with exception to one of my nieces.  I just don't want to be guarded in my words because a kiddo might see something I write.  Plus I can't deal with all of their DRAMA! :)






FAVE CHRISTMAS HYMN

Love, love, love this song.  Love it.  Quite frankly, something about the tune and the words literally brings tears to my eyes every single time I hear it.  And sometimes they flow.  I think it's beautiful.






FAVE KIDDO IDEA

I totally love this!  What a fantastic idea... Santa's elves blocked the door while Santa was working and the kiddos break through in the morning to get to the tree.  FUN!





FAVE GAME IDEA

We play a LOT of games over the holidays with our little guy.  And no, not just the video kind.  We are a traditional board game kinda group and have all of the classics including some newer versions as well. 

But this is AWESOME.  We don't always get snow on Christmas (and the WC kinds may love this idea since they will get NO snow EVER!) so what a great way to have a fight.... INSIDE!  Oh yeah, this may have to become a new tradition!





FAVE FASHION

Bring it to momma!  I love leggings, completely love them.  So no doubt I fell in love with these.  They are AWESOME!!  I have got to nab a pair (or five) for the winter!  And the best part?  They are only $6!!






FAVE CARD IDEA

I absolutely love this and wish my stupid impatience didn't get the best of me most days.  If I could take more time to be this caring and thoughtful it would mean so much more to me (and I'm sure the recipient!)





FAVE SPARKLIES

Wow.  Just wow.  These are so fantastic.  Louboutin Glitter Flats.... who knew??  I know a certain niece that would just DIE for these shoes!







FAVE COOKIES

Well, not mine, exactly.  But TD absolutely LOVES sugar cookies.  How cute are these guys?




Happy Friday, friends!



Jen

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Ah.  The treasured snow day.  The dream of all kids.  The official right to stay home and play hookie without getting in trouble.

Little guy will be so pleased.  When he wakes up, that is.

As I tucked him into bed last night, he clung a little bit tighter than usual.  He even asked me to snuggle, which is out of the norm the past few years.  The past week of discussions about Sandy Hook have left him a little tattered around the edges.  It's hard enough to live in a world filled with senseless violence but the hard part for me is stripping the kids of their youth, naive sense of protection and innocence.  It just breaks my heart to watch my little guy try to grasp a very grown up situation.

So I hugged him a little bit tighter.  Today was going to be a very peaceful day at school filled with movies, jammies, cocoa and camaraderie.  He will be sad that he will miss that fun but I'm sure elated that it's a SNOW DAY!

I don't remember a snow day last year but the year before was filled with lots of them (or maybe two years ago?)  We were pounded with several inches and stuck inside for a couple of days.  Little guy drug out every blanket, pillow and piece of furniture he could slide into the living room to make a tent and camp out all day.  It was absolutely awesome.  I can't wait to see his face when he wakes up.

Cheers to all my friends and the kiddos for getting a free day off.  Enjoy your time and stay warm and safe!!

First Snow of 2012 (and Snow Day!)


Happy Thursday, friends!


Jen


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Opening at the Nuthouse

I am losing my ever loving mind.  I swear I am a wreck this time of year. 
 
Working through enrollment meetings with all the employees smoking (in an enclosed warehouse), shopping after work for last minute teacher's gifts and that hard to buy person (which took way to long with no bathrooms in sight), the grocery story with screaming kids hungry and tired from their own days and then home at 8:30 for an evening of cooking, cleaning and wrapping.  I am seriously completely exhausted.
 
So it's no doubt that I am certain I have failed my recent health risk assessment.  A new one that I have never seen before that asked a TON of questions related to sleep apnea: 
 
1.  Do you feel tired after a lunch without alcohol?  - wait, what?  Lunch without alcohol?  Just kidding... sort of.
 
2.  If you ride in a car for more than an hour do you get sleepy?
 
3.  Could you fall asleep if you laid down in the afternoon for a nap?
 
Okay seriously - either I'm totally ill or this test is S T U P I D.  What adult DOESN'T get sleepy after lunch?  Maybe those that aren't coffee / caffeinated all morning?  And what adult doesn't get sleepy on long car rides?  The rhythm alone is enough to put any mom to sleep in an instant.  And nap time?  Are you kidding me?! 
 
And no, I don't have sleep apnea.  But I do have another sleep disorder.  Not enough sleep.
 
I come from a family of sleepers.  My mother could lay her head down anywhere, anytime and fall asleep, even if only for 5 minutes.  I vividly remember her telling me as a child that she needed to "rest her eyes for a minute" which translated into "get out of the house and go play, I'm tired".  Both of my son's sleep beautifully and have since birth... all the way through the night early, always in their own beds and nap time was never hard (except taking it away).  Had they not had to enroll in school and grow up I'm sure both of them would still be napping every day.
 
 
Little guy sleeping after school... great position on the neck!
 
And me?  Well, I certainly don't get enough sleep.  I get 5 or 6 hours, prefer 7 or 8 but truth be told need probably 9 or 10.  When I am on, I am ON... full on.  My mind races at top speeds the majority of my waking hours and my heart is typically passionately involved in whatever I'm pursuing at the moment, so come nighttime this is one tired girl.
 
I told hubs this morning that I needed a weekend away, just to sleep.  I could seriously see myself snuggling in at the cabin we stayed at earlier this year and sleeping for 48 hours straight.
 
I'm sure that's not normal.  Then again, neither am I.
 
If I don't get some sleep STAT I'm going to end up in the nuthouse.  Oh well... at least then I could sleep.
 
Happy hump day, friends!


Jen

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's a SECRET!

My hubs is such a big kid at Christmas.  He carefully shops, picks out special wrapping for our gifts (not from the giant pile of accumulated wrapping over the years) and strategically starts to place them under the tree the week before Christmas.

Let the taunting begin.

"I know what this one is...." as he happily shakes and dances around the room with a beautiful package.  Or if it's heavy, he'll just hang out under the tree pointing and mocking me that I can't have it yet.

He can barely contain his excitement.  But somehow he manages to keep it in check, even if I beg him to let me have one early (because I am completely impatient).

Flash to the big Navy boy.  Oh Lord that boy is a mess.  Not only can he not contain his excitement much like his Dad he takes it to a whole new level.

He can't even get the gifts wrapped before giving them away.

The WC kids (west coast) have done a fantastic job of furnishing their new home.  They have purchased furniture, art and momentos to make their space their own.  They have replaced almost all of their "hand me down" furniture with their own style and with no surprise have picked out some awesome stuff!  For Christmas, they gave themselves a joint present of new bedroom furniture to accompany their new bed and no doubt it will be absolutely beautiful.

So like all of us marrieds, they told each other they would just buy one gift for Christmas since their big gift was purchased together.

How's that going?  Right.  My son CANNOT buy a gift, wrap it beautifully and allow Sassy the feelings of excitement and anticipation.  Nope.  He can't do it.  Usually he gives her gifts on Christmas Eve, if he can make it that far.

Not this year.  

Her present came to her in the parking lot after he bought it.  Yep, didn't even make it home.  Didn't even get the price tag off.

Oh Lord.  I'm gonna kill him.

I know that our nugget doesn't quite get all of the Santa stuff yet but my son has forgotten the element of surprise.  The excitement a person has when they open that special gift and know how carefully it was selected.  The appreciation and gratitude when a person opens socks that they REALLY, REALLY needed.


Yep, he has forgotten that.  Somehow I swear I will give it back to him.  I should have mailed their gifts late and had them arrive right on Christmas Eve.  For all I know he will tear through those before the big day!

He loves when I blog about him about as much as he loves brussels sprouts but the truth hurts sometimes.  Maybe my public outing and embarrassment will help him change his ways a bit.

But I seriously doubt it.

Happy Monday, friends!


Jen




Saturday, December 15, 2012

One Party Down, One More to Go

This weekend is BUSY as I'm sure most of you are this time of year!  Holiday parties Friday and Saturday night, basketball tournament with three games somewhere tucked into there and (hopefully) final shopping for the little guy.  Oh yeah, and those "last minute gifts" for the hairdresser, teachers, etc... can't forget those.  Oh, and at some point I need to make Christmas cookies.  The boy is looking at me with that face... "where are the sweets, mom?"

I have the privilege of being part of our associate committee at my office and the holiday party was definitely a fun experience!  Along with 5 other people, we have been crazily shopping for the past month purchasing over 50 gifts for our hard working associates to be given.  As most of you know, I am a serious purpose shopper - I go into a store with intent and purchase exactly what I need and get out.  I've never been that girl that "goes shopping" for 8 hours and doesn't buy anything.  That whole concept just kills me.  It has never been something I've been interested in doing.  But I did have two great partners in my portion of the shopping.  Here's one of my partners in crime:

JD and CG


But I learned a few valuable lessons in this experience:

1.  It's hard to buy for people you don't know.  Not only that, but gifts that will be picked (meaning you don't know who will get them).  That's HARD.
2.  Electronics still seem to win in both men and women in terms of gifts.  Interesting.
3.  Cold hard cash is always good :)
4.  When you walk around a look aimlessly at stores you can actually find things YOUR people will like.
5.  Shoppers are rude at Christmas.  Period.  But we were really lucky with fantastic salespeople for the most part.

The party went off without a hitch and I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time.  The food was good, the guitar player was cute (yep, I said that) and the white elephant and Madlibs games seemed to make people smile.

And after the tragedy of yesterday, we all needed a smile. I can't blog about it right now.

I need to run and make my list for the day.  Time to get some stuff accomplished.  I hope you have a great Saturday, friends!

Jen


Friday, December 14, 2012

FRIDAY FAVES!!

11 days until Christmas.  Ugh!  Where does the time go?  I still have a ton of running to do to prepare which makes me oh so happy.

But for the first time EVER I got in a little trouble for my blog post Monday (Bah, Humbug!).  Davis is such an optimist.  He absolutely, positively LOVES Christmas.  He loves shopping and giving thoughtful gifts to me.  So my little negative rant definitely got me a stern look over the glasses.

Oh well, I'm only human.

This week has been another crazy week - I have had NO time to blog which totally depresses me.  And for those of you that read faithfully - I am so sorry!  I promise to get back on the wagon very, very shortly.  Just hang in there with me, please!

Below are my loves from around the web this week.  Enjoy!

FAVE HOLIDAY APP

Oh yum!  I am a big fan of tortilla roll ups with cream cheese, black olives and green chilies but these look just as scrumptious!  I think I need to give these a try!  Click here for the recipe -->  Cream Cheese Roll Ups






FAVE HOLIDAY FUNNY

Yep, this needs to be my mantra this time of year.  I find my blood pressure raising with idiot drivers, rude shoppers and stressed out get togethers.  We should all try to keep this in check!




FAVE FASHION

Although not super "holidayish", I totally love this flowy dress.  Reminds me of Grace Kelly.  A fantastic throw around the shoulders and some awesome jewelry and it could be the perfect outfit for generally any party.  Ooh - and some giant sparkly heels?  Love it!





FAVE WARM TUMMY

Ah, I love tortilla soup.  So what is better than throwing it in a CROCK POT?  Fantastic!  I think this one is on the list if the weather ever cooperates.  I know it's winter but I just cannot eat hot soup when it's 65 outside!  Click here for the recipe --->  Chicken Crock Pot Tortilla Soup




FAVE HOLIDAY PARTY DESSERT

Okay - clearly I could NEVER get my frosting this smooth... but I totally love the idea of this tree border!  And so easy!




FAVE HOLIDAY GIFT

I love making cookies and treats at Christmas and passing them out to my friends, neighbors and co-workers.  How great are these?  And super, duper easy!  I think this may just be on the list this year.  We shall see!




FAVE COCKTAIL

Yes, please!  I'm sure only one of these would be needed (plus I'm not sure about all the junk around the rim... that may make it weird).  But these look delightful!  Click here for the recipe ---> The Candy Cane





FAVE TREE ORNAMENT

I absolutely love this idea!  This is a homemade ornament, obviously with a map.  It can be done to represent your home town, your fave destination... anything!  Love it!





FAVE QUOTE

My family will love this the most.  I absolutely love this quote!  




FAVE ENDING

Who doesn't love cheesecake?  Okay, not everyone I realize.  But this might change their minds.  How cute are these nuggets of creamy goodness??



Have a fantastic Friday, friends!!


Jen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bah, Humbug!


That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been *about*. Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage. You see what I'm saying? In your *garbage*. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice... 

 The avarice never ends! "I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue." Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this *whole* Christmas season is... 

 ...stupid, stupid, stupid!

The Grinch

I am so sad that I have fallen so far behind reading other's blogs.  It's something I vow to catch up over the holiday season as best I can.  I love reading stories of family togetherness, seasonal celebrations and overall joy being spread all over the place.... even when I don't always feel that way.
 
Christmas is by far my hubs' fave season of the year.  He absolutely LOVES giving gifts, watching the surprise and excitement when they are opened and the true adoration we all have when he gives us something we love.  And he's a REALLY good shopper.  He gives complete thought to every single purchase it makes, its intended use and meaning and purpose.  He doesn't buy "stuff" that will sit on a shelf, sit in a drawer or be unused.  It's just simply not his style.
 
Which is one of the biggest things I love about him.  We don't buy for each other often but when we do, I always win.  He, unfortunately, seems to always lose.
 
I suck at presents.  And shopping.  And wrapping. 

All of the above.
 
Christmas, much to hubs demise, is my least fave holiday.  In many ways I actually hate it.
 
The shopping can kiss my ass.  I hate consumers running around stores grabbing up crap to give away hoping it will be liked.  I hate spending money on basically everything unless I can see the end result directly.  I hate guessing what someone might want or need.

 
 
And that's about it.  I'm a NEED based girl.  I only buy what I actually need.  I don't spend hundreds of dollars on my hair, nails, clothes, shoes or even car.  I just don't do it.  But this time of year, I'm supposed to.
 
Which is why I love hubs so much.  Because he gives me things he knows I would NEVER buy for myself, things that I don't need, things that I will love.
 
Just as I've done in years past - I will promise to try really, really hard this time.  I will buy presents without worrying if the other person will love it or not.  I will try to be jolly all of the days and not scornful about the stupid returns lines, rude shoppers and zombiefied sales clerks.
 
This year was already going to be rough on me with Bubba and fam out west but I recently learned my brother and fam are moving out east... in a week.  We didn't see each other often but somehow knowing he will be gone and I can't go visit him easily will be somewhat strange to me.  At least we all have cell phones.
 
Bah humbug, friends.  I'm trying - really I am!  Have a great Monday (being jolly).

Jen