Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Four Score....

With less than 30 days until the golden night, I'm ramping up for the 2013 Oscars.  A self professed tomboy loving such a glam event?  Yeah, even a tomboy likes to be a girl sometimes.

I watched the Oscars with my momma every year growing up.  There was something about those women - the dresses, the jewels, the beautiful hair - that made me envious.  They were so famous, always with an entourage.  A lifetime away from my modest upbringing in the Midwest.

An obvious prereq for watching the Oscars is to actually watch the movies.  I LOVE going to the movies.  It's not unusual to find me sitting in the middle of the theater alone watching a flick.  Obviously that is the only way I can get most of the noms in... little guy can't see rated R and hubs does NOT share in my love of cinematic production.

This weekend, however, I found a movie rated PG-13 and drug little guy with me.  Truth be told, I gave him a choice:  we could watch Les Mis (hey, he LOVES Pitch Perfect, so why not??) or we could watch Lincoln.  He sighed, loudly.  

"Mom, are you sure I can't go into watch Parker on my own and just meet you after Lincoln?"
"No way, dude.  You're 11.  And my movie is way longer than yours."
"I could just play video games until you are finished?"
"And get abducted by a scary man with a conversion van."

Convo ended.  I won.

I knew little guy had read about Lincoln in school but wasn't sure how much he knew or remembered.  

"Age appropriate material, mom."
"Yes, my little rule follower."

I settled in close to him as the movie started out with a battle scene from the Civil War.  Ugh.  It doesn't matter how many movies I see with this scene, I still cringe up and immediately think of the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan (of which I literally sobbed the entire first 30 minutes).

Shortly thereafter, Lincoln appeared.  He was exactly as I had pictured him to be.  Daniel Day Lewis should win the O simply for LOOKING the part.  But when his mouth opened, he was absolutely amazing.  I sat in awe.  Lincoln is often depicted of having this giant, booming voice.  Historians, however, have indicated it was quite the opposite.  He was extremely articulate and soft spoken, speaking with great intent.

Boy, was he ever.

My eyes were glued to the screen.  So much so they were dry in the about 30 minutes from my lack of blinking.  The majority of the movie is spent in the House chambers, debating the proposed 13th amendment to the US Constitution.  As I finally blinked and shifted in my seat, little guy had promptly curled up next to me and fallen asleep. 

He did play three basketball games this weekend.  And went swimming for 2 1/2 hours.  I'm gonna blame that, not the movie.

Sally Fields plays the first lady and she is incredible, as always.  I love her.  She is so extremely versatile and plays crazy better than anyone I know.  Well, maybe not as good as Juliet Lewis.  Or Glenn Close.  

My gauge for a movie love of mine is how transported I feel into the storyline.  There were a couple of moments in the middle of the movie that I felt a little distant, not really engaged.  But it didn't last long.  The last 30 minutes of the movie provided a perfect wrap up on the amendment, the actions that shortly followed thereafter and the nation's reaction.

And I cried.  Hard.

It's definitely not for everyone.  I love politics, I love our nation's history and knowing what we have accomplished.  But I have to admit a probably controversial opinion.  Watching this movie, watching this President and his undying love for our country, putting the rights of the citizens first, made me yearn and ache for a better President now.  I have been openly upset about our current administration and this movie brought those feelings back to the forefront.  I want real change, real difference, truth and honesty.

Yes, I'm high... I realize I'm talking about politics here.  But there was a time, maybe long ago but still, where people put the citizens of the United States and our rights before their own interests.  Before their own agendas.  

I sure hope we achieve that again someday in my lifetime.  What a legacy we could leave to our children and grandchildren.

I'm giving the movie 4 stars but Daniel Day Lewis is a big fat 5 GOLDS.  He's totally gonna win the Oscars.

Until I see the next movie....

Happy Tuesday, friends!


Friday, January 25, 2013


Holy crapola... it is FREEZING!  Yesterday's high was 20, but the real problem is the below 0 wind chills.  Seriously cramping my style!  So what can I do?  Oh, I know.... I'll jump in a lake with 12 degree water temps.  Sure, why not?  At least I can say it's for charity.  I haven't totally lost my mind (or tried to drown / bury someone).

Onto the faves... this week seemed hard for some reason.  Guess I didn't really fall head over heels for any one thing in particular.  But this is all stuff I liked so we'll just go with that.



Okay, this I love.  Not necessarily the fabric, but the size.  My minimalist side says WAY to big but I have to admit that I snuggle quite a bit in my current chair with little guy (and hubs, too!)  This would be of perfect size for two!  I'm thinking I need to have this.  My current chair is just a tad too tight.


Love the denim.  Love green.  Love the boots.  Love the purse.  Hate the scarf (as per usual).  :)


Love this.  Thank god my BFF forgives me so much.  I'm truly not sure I could breathe if she didn't!


I have a fave little shop in a small town south of me that makes the most FANTASTIC grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet.  I have a coworker that has tried to recreate the recipe to no avail.  I'm not sure, but this just might be it!  I'm definitely giving it a try!  Click here for the instructions --->  Martha Stewart's Grilled Cheese


I absolutely MUST do this!!  I totally want to stand on the equator!  Anyone game?


Yep, I experienced this just this week.  Started to cramp, ran harder.  Didn't make the cramp go away but my run ended faster.  Whatever it takes to get it done!


I'm constantly looking for alternatives to traditional furniture.  Particularly for my future tiny house.  No doubt Murphy beds are at the top of my list.  One touch fold and out of the way!  Love it!


Little guy is going through a sweet tooth phase lately, requesting homemade chocolate pudding almost every night.  I'm pretty sure he would absolutely DIE if I made these for him!  V-Day, possibly?  Who doesn't love magic shell?? Click here for the yummy recipe --->  Hi Hat Cupcakes


Okay, I love this.  I've seen it a few times but not on a tee.  Now I gotta have it!


Boys are so funny.  Since I'm surrounded by them (first brothers, then a hubs and two boys) I never stop laughing at the stuff that they will attempt.  Here's a good one I stumbled upon!  In all fairness though.... I know a couple of girls that would have attempted the climb as well!

Have a great Friday, friends!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Goes Around, Comes Around

And the countdown continues!  Two weeks from now I'll be busily packing for the west coast and another visit with the kids.  It's hard to believe they have already been gone for almost 5 months (and even harder to believe that it has been 2 1/2 months since I have seen them in person!)

Being a mother is one of the most exciting, rewarding and difficult tasks a woman can achieve.  Born nurturers, we begin our journeys with an overflowing love in our hearts which grows stronger every day (if that is even possible).  We kiss boo boo's, we bathe, we nurse illnesses, we cheer loudly at achievements and we constantly reassure our kids that they are perfect, even when they aren't.

But at the end of the night, we collapse.  We're tired.  Our clothes are often stained, our hair is a mess, we smell like whatever craft we just finished and it's a thankless job.

Until it isn't.

I settled down on the couch one evening at about 9:00 pm.  I was exhausted - it had been a really long day at work.  Bubba had been difficult the week leading up to this night.  A growing 8 year old boy, he was becoming fiercely independent.  He didn't like school much... in particular his 2nd grade teacher.  She wasn't warm and friendly.  She was an older teacher, scheduled for retirement at the close of the school year.  It showed.  She had lost her bubbly excitement for educating.  She was tired.  I get it.  But that didn't make my life any easier.

Bubba struggled with his papers.  It seemed he had them every night.  We spent hours at the dinner table going over his homework, which seemed absurd to me at that age.  He was frustrated.  I was frustrated.  We were both tired of the battle.

So I reached for the phone and I called my momma.  I needed to get a couple of things off my chest and she was a fantastic confidant.  I could be totally vulnerable with her and get rid of all this stress in one call.  When she answered the phone, I launched into a 15 minute rant over my past week's events.  I'm not even sure I let her say hello before I started going off.  I was exhausted.  So much I couldn't even think straight.  She listened intently, quietly interjecting her umm, huh's as if to reassure me she was listening and she agreed.  When I finally took a breath, I let my real words flow.

"Mom... I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry for all the times I was difficult for you.  I'm sorry I was pushy, that I disagreed so much.  That I wasn't very nice to you at times.  I hope you will forgive me for being a tough kid.  And more importantly, I want to thank you.  I have no idea how you raised 4 children.  You are an amazing mother, then and now.  I have no idea how I would have made it this far without your love.  I love you, Mom."

I could hear her smiling through the phone.  She wasn't much on all that mushy crap.  She answered matter of factly. 

"You're welcome, Jenny.  It's my job.  You're going to do just fine.  And I think you are a terrific mother.  I promise it gets easier, eventually.  Hang in there."

We wrapped the convo and I set off to bed.  I didn't think about it much after that, other than to giggle sometimes knowing I was getting exactly what I dished out to her.

My phone buzzed with a text last night.  It was a simple line from Bubba:  Mom, call.  I shot a text back:  can't call now, in a meeting.  Call in an hour or so.  All okay?  He responded:  Yep, all okay.

Deep breath.  Sometimes I worry when I can't grab a call or text from the west coast kids.  I want to be there when they need me... every time.

My meeting went into dinner with friends.  As soon as I walked in the door, I remembered to call.

"What's up, Bub?  Is everything okay?"

Within a few words, I was immediately transported back to the call with my mom.  His message was simple.

I just wanted to call and say thanks for being such a great mom.  When I was little and now.  I don't know how you did it, but thank you... and I love you."

Potty training the toddler had pushed his buttons for a couple of days.  Watching his wife's undying patience?  Reminded him all he needed to know.

Mothers are AWESOME.  Everyday.  Endless energy to handle everything that comes up.

"If men were left to have children, Mom.... we would be extinct."

Yes son, you would.

I went to bed smiling, much as I bet my mother did so many years ago.  We had come full circle.  His new found appreciation for what I did for him would never end, as mine never has for my mother.

A triumphant day.  I can't wait to get my arms around that big boy's neck in two weeks.  I'm pretty sure I will squeeze a little bit tighter this go around.

My final words to him last night? 

"Son... don't forget to tell Sassy every single day how much you appreciate her being the mother of your children.  Because she IS awesome... everyday!"

"Yes mom... I will.  I promise."

Perfect achievement.

Have a great Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You Kept THAT?!

Interesting weekend, to say the least.  We didn't have any basketball tourneys so at times we felt a little lazy.  Okay, I felt lazy... maybe not hubs and man-child.  I have become so accustomed to getting up and run, run, running (no, not exercising unfortunately) that when I don't get up with that urgency to go, it feels quite unusual.
So I started to pack.  If I learned anything from my Realtor when we sold our first house it was that people want to see your space, not your shit.  Yep, that's what she told me.  We're tight like that.
Let the clearing commence. 
Other than a few short stints in apartments in my early 20's, I have only lived in two homes.  My childhood home (which hubs and I purchased shortly after marriage and lived in for 12 years) and my current home.  We went from 1,700 sq feet (or so) with ONE bathroom to 2,700 sq feet (plus GIANT basement and garage space) with FOUR bathrooms.   Yes, I have more bathrooms that occupants in my house.  Stupid, if you ask me.  And with just a little over 1,000 sq feet additional space, we have managed to completely cram it full of crap.  It doesn't take long, folks.
I started slow this weekend.  My closet.  Seems easy enough - I'm the only one in it.  When we built our house we reconfigured the master bedroom due to adding on a tandem garage (making it four car... again, stupid since two people drive in my house).  With the reconfiguration came a change in closet space, creating two master closets.  And one more reason for me to fuel my hoarding tendencies.
I've managed to save virtually everything I've done in the past four years and cram it into my closet.
It's ridiculous, to say the least.  Over 50 race t-shirts stack in the corner on the floor.  Race bibs are everywhere.  I have over 30 baseball caps, of which I think I wear about 5.  And don't even get me started about the shoes.  Every pair of running shoes I've ever purchased line the shelves as weird keepsake items.
And that's just one 7 x 7 space within the 2,700 sq feet.  Lord help me.
After removing a 55 gallon bag of "trash", two kitchen bags of donations and packing away all my summer clothes, I have made a VERY small dent in the damage I've caused in four years.  Ugh.
I'm bound and determined to stop the madness.  If I had a smaller space (which I will, soon!), I would have reconsidered what was important to me.  I wouldn't hoard so much crap that isn't crucial to my being.  I would have categorized what is essential to my soul rather than threw it in a room and shut the door.
Yep, I would have been MUCH smarter about it.
Wish me luck as I move into the next room, folks.  I'm seriously gonna need it. 
On a better note, I'm ready to start offloading stuff which is typically beneficial to my friends and family.  Please be patient with me if I start asking some of random questions like "hey, do you have 3 blenders?  No?  Well, would you like a couple extra?"
Oh - and the best ever... if you died tomorrow, would you want your  (parents, friends, siblings, etc)  rifling through your stuff?  Would you be embarrassed by the amount of crap someone would have to decipher?  Would they know the value it held (maybe not monetarily but sentimentally) to you?  If not, define it for them... and you.  Or get rid of it!
Have a great Tuesday, friends!


Blast Away!

Little guy has diversified and I couldn't be happier.

For the past 8 years, little guy has been wholly committed to knowing and understanding all things sports.  I vividly recall watching him climb on the couch at 4 years old and order me to change the television to Ike and Ike (otherwise known as Mike and Mike, an ESPN sports talk show).  By 5, he could carry on full conversations with hubs and Bubba about the tight end that played on the 1982 Giants team vers (versus, but he never said it the right way) the Chargers and how many yards he ran for that amazing touchdown.

And it's only gotten worse.  At 11, he knows the statistics of most players in the NFL and NBA.  He knows where all the NFL players went to college and their stats in college.  He knows every head coach and where they coached before where they are now.  He is constantly touting records of all kinds.

And it doesn't stop there.  He has expanded his interests into hockey, soccer, baseball (although not as much as football or basketball).  He knows the rules behind icing, offsides and infield outs as well as his 5th grade math homework. 

So this year, I am celebrating.  After years of all the stat nightmare within my house, little guy excitedly (forced, of course) signed up for choir.  I didn't really give him an option, truth be told.  He loves to sing, understands melody and musicality quite well, so I made him sign up.  It was one of the best things I ever did.

It came with a price though.  He signed up for band, too.  Brass, no doubt.  Have you ever heard a beginning trumpet player blow through the mouthpiece?  YIKES!  But behold.... he loves it.  Hence, the diversification process has begun.  And we had our first ever band concert.

With the new addition of hardware in his mouth, little guy is struggling with the horn.  Blowing isn't the problem - it's the armature of his mouth that is causing him some pain.  Solution?  Well, isn't that why they give you that wax crap to put on your braces?  Not for us.  Little guy tells his band teacher and guess what?  We get a bigger instrument with a bigger mouthpiece!  Our little trumpet has moved into a giant baritone.

Perfect GrandP's, with the Baritone :)
I guess I should be thankful it wasn't a damn tuba (which is what she originally wanted him to play since he's a man-child and could hold it easily).
I'm so happy he loves music.  I just sometimes wish it was art.  A much quieter activity :).
Truthfully though - mad props to the 5th grade band teacher.  She is clearly a Saint.  There is no other way to define her.  And EXTREMELY patient!  In all fairness though, the kids were extremely good for only playing their instruments for 6 months.  I was totally impressed... especially since I didn't even have to take the Advil in my pocket.
Happy Wednesday, friends!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On your Mark....

AND... we're off!  Hubs and I made a vow (okay, call it a resolution if you MUST) to run a minimum of one 5k race a month.  Running in the 'hood is always good but something happens to your dedication when you sign up (and pay) for a race.

A. You have to go, because paying $25-$35 for a sometimes crappy t-shirt just isn't acceptable.  
B. You have to run more frequently, because if you don't your race will suck (as will your lungs.  And legs.)
C. Feeling the energy that only being around other crazy runners can give off will catapult you to want to keep running.

Yesterday Hubs and I ran our January 5k and we were given the best gift ever.... a 41 degree morning!  In January!  In Missouri (well, Kansas)!  Our luck was beaming as I ran the inaugural race by this sponsor last year and it was 4 degrees.  Yes, FOUR.  With a negative 10 windchill.  And 20 mph wind.  I honestly thought I was going to die that day.

But not this January.  My luck is turning around.  It was beautiful:  the sun was shining brightly, the wind was minimal, the course was clean of snow and ice and it was 41.  This girl was HAPPY!

I love the concept of this race:  it's called the Battle of the Bean.  Coffee versus Cocoa.  I ran for coffee, of course.  Hubs ran for cocoa (not that he drinks it but he doesn't drink coffee so he chose by default I suppose).  Our swag bag was awesome with super soft tees this year that I would actually wear (in public even!), great coffee mugs and of course, Christopher Elbow chocolates post race.  

Heaven.  This girl was in heaven.

Egg Nog - um YES please!!

We didn't finish to bad considering neither of us have run much this winter.  I came home and promptly signed us up for February and March... both 4 mile races.  Bring it on!

I hope you had a great weekend, friends!  


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Ask Again

I am a boy mom.  There is no denying that.  I love to be outside, to climb, sports, sweatpants, tennis shoes and denim.  I love playing in the rain (and snow, for that matter).  I love the sun on my face and the sand between my toes.
It should be no surprise then how my femininity is often conflicted.  Oh sure, I can put on some silver bangles and dangly earrings.  I can wear a skirt and heels.  I can try really hard to be girly.
I never get it quite right.
I don't shop.  I don't like to browse for stuff.  I don't like to buy make up (and consequently only buy what is ON SALE at the drug store).  I don't get facials, mani's and pedi's except for special occasions (or gifts)).  If I have to buy jewerly, I'm just fine with Charming Charlies.  Just like if I have to buy new shoes, I'm okay with DSW or Shoe Carnival.  And I only buy what I  need at any given moment.  And I'd much prefer to buy something for a loved one than for myself.
While my behaviors may conflict with my physical being, there is one tried and true piece of me that is TOTALLY woman.  Yep.  My emotions.
I've manipulated my emotions my entire life.  I learned at a significantly young age how to get precisely what I want, when I want it.  Maybe because I'm a stubborn BOF (baby of the fam).  Maybe because I'm a Scorpio (sun AND moon).  Who knows how I developed my mad skills.  I can compartmentalize, categorize and organize my emotions into little buckets and keep them totally segregated with ease.  I can bury any feeling I have into one of those buckets and keep it from impacting the rest of me.  I wish I could put this on my resume as I have perfected it so well it should be recognized as a talent of mine.
For the past few years though my emotions have been playing hardball.  They don't bend as well as they used to.  In fact, sometimes they push back quite fiercely, rendering me nothing short than stunned.  Sometimes leaving me completely subdued, totally opposite of the real me.  It's been a struggle to say the least - one of which I sometimes lose and feel completely overwhelmed.
Not to get totally prophetic or anything, but a month ago we decided to get our hineys back to church.  Sitting in the congregation on Sundays, I have started to let go.  My shoulders are coming down a little bit.  I'm not nearly as up on the wheel.  I am physically feeling supported.  And not by the other members.  It's much bigger than me. 
Several weeks ago I sat down and prayed by myself.  Of course I gave thanks first for the things I am grateful for.  But I immediately followed it with "help me demands".  I was vulnerable, yes... but I broke some rules I'm sure for asking God to fix stuff for me.  And I knew it, as soon as it came out of my mouth.
This week, I gave up a little.  I prayed again, but this time I just gave it to God.  I turned it all over.  Every single ounce of it.  I thanked him and asked him to show me his will (give me clarity in direction).  And I let it all go.
As we continue to make the transition to move, I am breathing easier by each step.  The next opportunity is slowly making itself clear to me and I am exhaling with great comfort.  My path may not be completely clear just yet but I know whatever it may be, it will be where I am supposed to be.
Finally.  And after years of attempting to perfect my manipulation of those crazytrain emotions, the answers were there all along.  I just wasn't asking the right person.
Someday I'll get it all figured out, I'm sure.
Have a great Saturday friends!


Friday, January 18, 2013


The month of January always leaves me feeling a little blue, a little down.  I think it's the let down effect after the holidays are completed, the house is packed up of all the decor and the family and friend visits have slowed.  And honestly - I'm highly affected by my environment.  When the weather drops below 20, the sun refuses to shine and hibernation begins, I feel icky.  Isolated.

The upside to all this dreariness?  My blog becomes alive!  I post more frequently and with much enthusiasm.  I find more time to express my thoughts, scribble notes and organize.  I love that part.  I actually have time to run my life rather than racing through it with blinders on.

Enough gab... you came for the faves, right?!  Well, here you go!  Loves I found on the interweb this week.  Enjoy!


Oh, Jackson.  My Mr. Crankypants.  He's turned into an old man almost overnight.  Walter is his new nickname.  And he has a new habit of going to bed at 7 pm and waking up at 4:00 am to go outside.  God help me.  I love him dearly, honestly I do.  But he's wearing me out!


I love these bottles so much!  What a great concept.  As a red wine drinker (particularly in winter), what a great way to aerate and pour at the same time!


Okay, I love Mexican food.  I mean REALLY love it as in could eat it every day love it.  And the little nugget of deliciousness that sits on the plate?  Well, I had no idea until I saw this exactly what it was but heartily ate it up every time it came into view.  So here you go.... Mexican Corn Cake!  And guess what?  Click here and you can actually make it, too!  Mexican Corn Cake


BFF and I chat about this often.  We are totally different morning people.  She likes to get up, drink her coffee and quietly go about her morning.  Me?  When my feet hit the floor, I am going 100 miles an hour.  My mind is racing and my mouth works overtime to try to catch up.  My most efficient moments are the four hours after I wake up.  By late afternoon, the engine has come to a complete stop.  So it's not unlike me to often ask this question:  


It's still my dream to travel the country in search of beautiful tiny guest houses.  Someday I'll get to that.  For now, I'll just look at pics and drool.  This one is definitely on the list.


It's cold.  It's hat weather.  And furry boot weather.  Yep, this is it.


As I cleaned out my home office recently, I realized I have a thousand return address labels from various organizations.  Ugh.  Hate them all.  First off - none of them have BOTH of our names on them.  Secondly, half of them are just plain stupid and not us at all.  So I love this... how easy.  No, I don't want to send my Time Warner Cable bill embossed with my name.  But for my cards and letters? Absolutely!


Oh my.  Yep, this is me totally and completely.  Maybe I should blow this up into a 16x20 and put it on my wall in my house, my office, a postcard in my car, in my purse.... everywhere!!


I am so pumped about the 2013 Oscars!  I have a girls jammy party every year to watch the big event. This year I am in love with the best movie nominees!  I've got to hunker down in the next four weeks and watch every one of them so I'm ready to vote!  Bubba's fave?  Yep, this icky one... looks far to violent for me to love but we shall see.

Django Unchained... YIKES!


If I ate this every morning before work I would probably be fueled for the entire day!  Click here for the yummo recipe!  Avocado Bacon Breakfast Wrap

Have a fantastic Friday, friends!!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

But Who's Counting?

I'm almost there.  I'm almost there.

Last night I while picking up some daily essentials I stopped in the middle of an aisle in Target.  An end cap had caught my eye filled with colorful Valentine's Day merchandise.  An ache filled my heart quickly.

I miss my kids.

I say it all the time.  Every time anyone asks me "How are the kids doing?" I tear up and say the same words.  "They are doing great.. I'm happy for them.  I just miss them."

Yep, all about me still.

To cheer myself, I ran to the V day stuff.  I grabbed up trinkets left and right for my buddy.  My excitement rose as I started doing the math in my head.... 23 days.  23 more days and I will be with the kids.  I can wait 23 more days, surely.  But the real truth is that it will have been 81 days since I saw them last.


That is totally unacceptable.  I must work harder on this.  A lot has happened in the last 81 days... for us and for them.  I talk to the kids still almost every day if not every day and now with the miraculous purchase of the PS3 little guy is talking to Bubba at least once a week, one on one (which I love).  Hubs spent over an hour chatting him up this week.  But still, it's just not enough.  The ache my arms feel from not being able to hug them is indescribable at times.  Especially when we need one another.

I phoned Sassy last night with much excitement to tell her of my findings for nugget.  She answered the telephone groggily.. "um, hello?"  In an instant I knew she was sick.

Sick.  In California.  Far away.  I can't take her soup. I can't take E to the park so she can rest.  I can't get her a warm, soft blankie to snuggle with and watch bad 80's movies while making her tea.  I can't do anything.

And, the ache is back.

It's this little stuff that hurts that most.  Nugget is potty training and she sends me tons of pics (which I completely and utterly love).  I wish I could put reward stars on his chart, cheer him on and give him high fives for his success.

In 23 days, I will.  I will attempt to shower all three of them with all the love and emotion I can conjure.  I will hug them a thousand times in four days.  They will be sick of me and ready for me to leave.

One of my faves with nugget

But my soul bank will be full again until I see them again, which WON'T be in another 81 days this time.

Have a great Thursday, friends.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Post Up!

Sorry I've been MIA friends!  This basketball season is sometimes overwhelming, with tournaments all weekend long.  The upside is that we (yes, I said WE) are having a blast!  The downside?  Oh yeah, I have no TIME anymore!
Joining our team has been by far one of the best decisions we have ever made for our little guy.  Well, for now, anyway :).  We have made great new friends (as has he) and watched our little guy grow exponentially from last year.  Not only is he much more confident in his body structure (which to me would be impossible given his growth spurts are no less than 3 inches every year!), but he is much more confident in his abilities to USE his body, resulting in a much more aggressive player.
We couldn't be more proud.  Even when he makes mistakes.
We completed the third leg of our college campus tournament, which began last month at UMKC, traveled to (gag) Lawrence and ended in our fave place... Columbia!  Coop would sign up for college today if he could figure out how to get in.... particularly, Mizzou of course.  He was born for college.  He can't wait to get to college.  He doesn't care what he studies, he just wants to be there... stat.
I've learned a lot about these traveling competitive teams.  We are identified as a Division 1 5th Grade team, and as such our coach enters us in the majority of the tournaments we play as such (meaning we don't play down divisions, we play equivalent teams or higher).  The result is that we are playing some of the best teams in the state most weekends.  We don't always win.  But we don't always lose, either.  We are most definitely challenged, that is for sure!  That's why I believe little guy is challenged so well - he is finally playing with and against kids at his talent level.
Our parents are fantastic.  They don't get mad or complain if we lose (well, not to or around me anyway).  They support our coaches and their efforts knowing that we have longer term goals than just this weekend's tournament.  We are all winning, even when we are not.
This weekend though, just to take the edge off a bit, we played down in division.  To make it fair, we played up in age.  So we ended up in the 6th grade Division 2 and 3 group.  Coach didn't say of course, but I believe he was giving us a break... asking us to drive 2 1/2 hours away, pay for hotel rooms and food and playing the same ole same ole tough teams would have been a harder pill to swallow.  This way we still had competition of course, but we were given a better shot of winning more.

The Lone Star actually let these monsters in... :)

Pool time at the hotel with the team

Winning we did... but not without work!  We played four games in two days, ending the tournament run in 1st place.  The kids were ecstatic.  And so were the parents. 

Campus Challenge Tiger Classic Champions!

A weekend off and we will be back to fighting hard for movement in our tournament bracket.
It's time for soccer sign ups but since they are going to overlap, little guy has elected to sit that season out.  He is absolutely loving basketball and can't imagine trying to do both.  Me either... these p's are TIRED!  But not as much as little guy of course!

Have a great Tuesday, friends!

Friday, January 11, 2013


 Morning, morning, morning friends!  It's FRIDAY again!  Not only that, but I've awoken to an unseasonably warm morning of 52 degrees!  Road - here I come.  Immediately following my writing my feet will hit the road for some much needed stress relief.  Breathe in, breathe out... thank God for the day, for my ability to run and for all that I have... which is more than enough.

Enough mushy, let's get on with this!  Below are my FAVE things I've found this week that I want to share with you.  Enjoy, friends!


Okay, I haven't seen anything this cute in a long time.  Sure, as a mother I'm certain most would rather poke their eyes out than take the time to construct this for their little ones.  But what a game you could play!  I LOVE THESE!!  I think nugget needs a set for his bday this year!


A self professed ADD person, I think this is fantastic.  There is nothing I hate worse than when the mood in a room of gathered friends lulls for a second and EVERYONE is found guilty to be staring at their phones.  Yes, me included.  So how fantastic is this:  chuck it... don't check it.  I'm totally trying this at my next gathering!


Okay, truth be told I have ALWAYS loved cauliflower.  Cooked.  Raw.  Whatev.  But the problem is, my family isn't as keen on it, given a choice.

Potatoes are most likely my number one weakness.  Fried, baked, scalloped.  You name it.  So what perfect connection to trick my brain into thinking I am eating my fave starchy item than with this!

Mashed Cauliflower!  Click here for the recipe.  Mashed Cauliflower   I'm totally making this yummy side dish!


As I consider further downsizing my living environment, I'm reading a lot of ways to maximum the space you have.  Stage left - dressers.  Dressers are big, they are bulky, they take up a lot of room.  And I don't know about you, but the tops of them are just giant invites for me to stack stuff that I'll get to later!  

Most houses are built with 2 x 4s and they are spaced every so exactly for perfect proportion.  What's in between those spaces?  Well... nothing.  Insulation, sure... but that's it.  Just space.  So why not use it?

Love, love, love this idea.  So much.  This is perfectly fantastic, especially for a tiny home.  


Yep, still my fave always my fave.  I love denim.  There is just something about the best pair of jeans, the ones that fit you perfectly.  And who doesn't love a great hoodie and some TOMS.  Yep, love love love.


Warmth has been needed (although today you wouldn't know that).  Living in Missouri can be so cold in the winter.  We have had a ton of comfort food lately, including soups.  This one caught my eye this week so when it drops back down in the 20's next week, I'm totally making it!  Click here for the recipe....  Lasagna Soup


I love a good pair of boots.  Sassy ones, dressy ones, and of course.... kickers.  These are fantastic - and the horseshoe makes them even better.  Yep, I love them!


Love these.  I have been layering jewelry for about 5 years now and I never get tired of the look.  This one just so happens to come all together.  Even better!  Perf for St. Pats Day!


With so much violence in the world lately, I love this. Simple. Truth.  I'm proud to say that I do both on a daily basis.


I hate to iron.  Hate, hate, hate it.  I usually buy wrinkle free stuff, take my clothes immediately out of the dryer and hang them so I don't have to iron.  Hubs on the other hand?  Well, he has some fantastic dress shirts that can't avoid the need.  I hate (as I'm sure he does) dragging out the clanky ironing board, setting it up and putting it back.  How great is this?  Just slap it on the dryer and go to work!  Yep, I think this needs to be in my house.

Have a fantastic Friday, friends!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

To Own, or not to Own.... that is the question.

There is much a buzz in the media today (and everyday) in the aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.  It's quite controversial.

I don't have the answers... as most Americans do not.

But I do have opinions.... as most of us do.

It's quite a conundrum.  One school district wants to arm their teachers, allowing them the ability to bring weapons into the workplace.

Stage right - domestic violence in the workplace.

Utah wants to outfit every citizen of the state with a home weapon.

Sounds doable, since only like 25 people live in the state of Utah.  (just kidding, fellow Utahans?)

I purchased a gun for hubs for Christmas this year.  We have two guns in our home already (a 410 and and 22 given to him by his Gpa / Dad) but not what he wanted to begin bird hunting.  He has been working diligently the past two years in collecting the items he needs, training himself on his bow and now, owning a gun to prepare for his new found hobby.

It was honestly one of the eeriest feelings I have ever had.  I stood at the counter, told him what I wanted, handed him my license, filled out one piece of paper, waiting on a 5 second phone call and 20 minutes later, walked out with a weapon.

Yep, it was that easy.

Sure, I have no criminal record.  Yes, I have no felonies (believe it!).  But I could have walked out of that store and handed that gun to anyone on the face of the planet, no questions asked.  That easy.

Or hip checked on the way to my car and the gun taken.

Or carjacked at the first stoplight and the gun taken.

Anyway you want to look at it, it wouldn't have been that hard for that gun to get into some one's hands... if they really wanted it.

And that takes me to my point.  Until such a time that we teach our youth the differences between right and wrong, morals and values of life and the realities of death, we will continue to encounter such travesties in our future.  Adam Lanza was once a little boy.  He played with matchcars, legos and rode his bike, most likely.  He had someone, anyone, who hugged him and told him that they loved him.  Somewhere along the way, he fell from understanding the difference between right and wrong.  He lost his ability to decipher long term ramifications of his actions.  And he snapped.

I don't know who's fault it is.  Maybe it was his mother.  Maybe it was his school counselors.  Maybe it was the mental health system.  Maybe he was just selfish.

But I can tell you who's fault it isn't - the gun manufacturers.  They made a weapon, folks.  A legal one.  We don't have to all like it, by any means.  We certainly don't have to own them.  But we have the RIGHT given to us by the United States Constitution and our forefathers to protect ourselves from our government and tyranny.  And like it or not, that document governs our great nation.

We can all speculate how irresponsible it was for this mother to own these guns, allow her son who obviously had problems access to them and ultimately pay the price for such action.  But what we can't deny is this:  she had a legal right to buy them and own them.  She obviously did not properly store them or protect others from harm.  Of course, she couldn't have seen that coming.  No mother ever could, regardless of how unstable their teenage kids become.

I'm not totally comfortable about having this gun in my house.  It makes me a bit nervous.  I've told little guy that I will beat him within an inch of his existence (or maybe even take him out entirely) if he ever even so much as looks at that weapon.  Of course it's put away.  It's not loaded.  And it won't be - not in this house.

But don't think for one second that if someone barges in my house the first noise they will hear will be me, pumping that 12 gauge back.  Not the sound you wanna hear.  And I will go batshit crazy to protect my family, as would hubs.  Because it's my right.

Sound off.  I'm sure there will be many opinions.  I've held off not certain how I wanted to express my thoughts.

But I will leave you with this:  my heart mourns.  It mourns for the children.  For the brave teachers.  For the brave principal.  For Adam's mother.  And yes, even for Adam.  And I pray that God can place calm healing in every one's hearts and souls impacted by this event, and for those lawmakers now challenged with the question of what next?

Have a great Wednesday friends - half way through!


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Better Late than Never

New Years Eve came and went, but the memories will remain forever.  Not from memory, of course... but in my blog.  Better get it down before it leaves my brain forever!

We hosted our neighbs and friends this year and I'm pretty sure the kiddos out partied us all.  We had some awesome entertainment in my kitchen this year, thanks to Pandora.  I found an "I'm Sexy and I Know It" radio station and the hits just kept coming all night long.  Dancing ensued, mostly by the kids, and laughs were had all by all.

I usually lose my phone when entertaining but I kept it front and center this year to get some pics of the festivities.  Below are some of my faves!

Davis', 2012

Steph, Jack and Hayden
Riley and Sydney
Fains, 2012


Rignells, 2012
Jen, Kelly and Steph

Kelly, JD, Jen, Steph, Kim and of course, Phillip
Jason, TD and Phillip - Champagne Toast
As always, we had great fun, made great memories and rang in the New Year with style!