Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm feeling Harried

School's just about to come to a close (as if you all didn't know already!) and I'm staring at the calendar and wondering what fun things we can do that a) won't cost a fortune and b) can be enjoyed by everyone with the least amount of tears. I'm also wondering when I'm going to get to the projects that I want to do - like the cross-stitch I started for Jason before I began blogging; finishing up my recipe project; my picture collage project; the Emmeline apron I bought fabric to make back in April. I'd also like to spend some time at the pool with the kids - hopefully we'll be able to do that a little easier this year now that Sarah and Jason are older.

Of course, the picture collage and recipe projects are on hold until we resolve the issue with my old hard drive. I do NOT relish the idea of spending $600 (or more!) to get the data off that thing. I highly recommend you get some sort of backup going regularly, if you don't already. The external hard drive that was sitting on the floor in it's package next to my PC did absolutely no good where it was.

I have a very hard time finding the balance between spending time (quality!) with the kids and needing down time for myself. I'm used to putting S & J down for a nap after lunch and having an hour or so to myself while William entertains himself for a little bit - which makes me feel guilty that I'm not devoting that bit of time to him - and next year he'll be in school all day and that little bit will be gone for good. My whirling dervish (aka Evie) finishes up on the 12th, and I am anticipating everything being taken up just another notch. Not that I'm pointing fingers, but there is a lot more refereeing done on my part when she's at home as well.

I have a feeling I will be running a lot :-) it's a great stress reliever, and hopefully will allow me to enjoy some of the homemade ice cream I'm planning on making this summer - YUM! You all will also be happy to know - Baby Face is on patrol this evening, we can all rest easy in our beds - Mayberry is safe tonight!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mamarazzi's Favorite Things - my swap arrived! :-)

I want to thank thank thank Tammy at Home in Virginia for my terrific swap! Just look at all this good stuff - Lemonheads (LOVE them!) and Life Savers, a yummy smelling sugar scrub, Avon body wash and lotion in banana and coconut milk, some hand-made soaps (how lucky am I?!) and wax melts, a Country Sampler magazine, AND a Gordon Ramsay COOKBOOK! I heart cookbooks! I am always looking for a new cookbook to try, and this one looks fantastic. Yay!

This was my first swap and it was a lot of fun. Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes hosts these frequently so stop by and keep an eye out for the next one. Then you too can get a box 'o fun in the mail :-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So here's the story about the cop.....

We live here in a small town and in the last year there have been some problems with kids (we assume) doing some vandalism, breaking into cars, etc. So the police have stepped up the patrols, which we REALLY appreciate! Apparently, however they can mistake 6 adults walking down the sidewalk for hooligans up to mischief! :-)

We (2 neighborhood couples and ourselves) have formed a small 'club' if you will, which we have affectionately named the 'DRT' (Drinking Round Table). It's a small, exclusive (lol!) club and we 'meet' once a month to relax and enjoy adult conversation and beverages. Usually this takes place at one of our homes, but on Friday night we decided to have dinner at a local restaurant (yum!) and then see where the evening went. Since we live 1 mile from said restaurant (gotta love small town life!) we prudently decided to walk.

After dinner, around 10, we left the restaurant to go across the block to the only other place in town with a 'bar' to enjoy the local scene. After having our hearing destroyed by "Olds Kool", the band 'playing', we were walking home past the old Tasty Freeze (I told you it was a small town!) when a patrol car cuts us off by pulling into the parking lot. Old habits die hard I guess, my first thought was Crap! I don't have my ID! Baby Face (as we referred to him later) proceeded to inquire as to whether we were drinking (to which we replied, yes, that's why we're walking) and wanted to know where we were going. It took him a few minutes to recognize that he was talking to 6 adults aged 35 and up (and I'm sorry, we weren't dressed like teenagers!), and that we weren't up to 'mischief'. In the meantime the backup patrol car arrived to provide 're-inforcements', should they have been needed, I guess. As you can imagine, we had lots of fun laughing about this whole incident as we finished our walk (stumble?) home.

SO - that's the story of the cop and the DRT! I can't wait to see what happens at next month's 'meeting' :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

A LOT of miscellaneous stuff!

Ok, so I'm back! Did you miss me? :-) I think I was a little burned out on blogging there for a bit, and then there was Twilight, and then my computer crashed - but I think I'm over all that and I have a lot of stuff to share! So here goes:

Matt and I had our first night away from the kids in well, ever, last Sunday. We went to Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania to celebrate Matt's 40th birthday - and let me tell you, oh, what a fantastic place THAT is! If you are anywhere near it and want to get away, I highly recommend it. We had a package that included credit for each of us in the spa, whatever we wanted on the dinner menu, and breakfast the next day. It was FABULOUS. I've been spending a fair amount of time since we got back hunting for bathroom fixtures/vanities/tile so I can re-create the spa-like feel of their bathrooms in my own home (and since it's MY bathroom, it's the one room in the house the kids won't destroy!) Here's an example of one of their guest rooms and bath - our bath looked like the one you can see from the guest room - I love the marble tile, dark wood, subway tile, all of it!

Our room was on the front side of the resort and we had a door that opened onto the porch that ran all the way across the front of the building. Unfortunately, it was only about 55 degrees so we weren't able to sit out there much, but I did read a little bit in the sun Monday morning while waiting for Matt to finish his turn over at heaven the spa.

We drove back home Monday afternoon and then went to see Evie move up from being a Daisy (Girl Scout) to Brownies! It's weird, she put that sash on and it's like she aged 2 years right before my eyes! How is it that she will be 8 next fall? I'm baffled.

Tuesday evening I mentioned to William that it might be time to try riding his bike again - we took the training wheels off last fall and he was very gun-shy of riding it after falling a few times - and he was surprisingly willing! So out we went, and let me tell you, he got the hang of it just like that - I guess it's one of those things where when you're ready, you're ready and you catch on in a snap. I'm so proud of him! Although now I've created a monster who can't seem to get it through his head that he needs to listen to Mom and stay on the sidewalk, not ride up people's driveways, and STOP if there are people in his path. BEFORE you plow into them! oy. At least now that he can ride and Jason's big enough, we can go bike riding as a family - something I'm REALLY looking forward to! Yay!

Yes, he has a helmet, I had to buy him the next size up.

Evie & William racing

Sarah and Jason enjoying the beautiful afternoon

Sometime late in the week Matt ran outside with the camera after seeing this really cool rainbow in a cloud! He says it's from ice crystals and it was really amazing to see - I've never seen anything like that before!

and finally, after a long weekend of fun, including dinner out Friday night with friends followed by drinks and being stopped by a cop while we WALKED home (Have you been drinking? Yes, that's why we're walking!) and lots of chores, including Matt tearing apart the dryer to figure out why it smelled like fire (I am NOT buying a new one until I have room for a front loading pair!), Matt took William outside to work on a project and was soon joined by Sarah and Evie who wanted to paint too. All while Jason rifled my craft box which had been left open on the kitchen table. A good time was had by all!

So that's it for me for now, this weekend gave me a small taste of what life will be like in 3 weeks when school's over - the challenge of keeping 4 kids occupied while trying to keep up with the grass and outside schmutz that gets tracked in, the laundry, and general upkeep of the house. I have a feeling it will be exhausting - but I have our beach trip in August dangling in my mind like a carrot to pull me through what I'm sure will be a summer filled with plenty of blog fodder. So stay tuned!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Need an Edward Fix??!

So I've finished the books and watched the movie (!) - now what do I do to satisfy my craving for Edward-y goodness? (Thanks Erin, for that particular phrase - it's been in my head all week!) Why, read Midnight Sun, of course! For those of you who aren't aware of this, Stephanie Meyer had started a draft for a novel of the Twilight story from Edward's point of view - all that good stuff that was going through his head in the first book that you couldn't see from Bella's point of view. It's about 264 pages and you have to read it on the PC, but a little discomfort is a small price to pay, no? Here's the link to her website page about Midnight Sun, you can get to the PDF file at the bottom of the page:

Unfortunately, according to her page, she doesn't intend to finish this one, as too many 'pirated' copies were released. Thankfully, she did publish this 'official' draft for us all to enjoy. (Sigh) Guess I'll be in line with all the teenagers when the next movie comes out in November...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Please bear with me! :-)

So I'm really bleary eyed from staying up WAY to late reading the Twilight books (sorry I've been neglecting you all!) and I come down this morning to find my computer all torn apart - EEEK! Matt went to check the weather this morning and it wouldn't wake up - he went to restart it and got "hard drive failure - hit F1 to continue" OMG what a disaster! I have about 2 years worth of pictures on there that are NOT backed up (baby Jason's whole life!), MS Money, all our tax returns, blah blah blah. Now, we're not completely stupid, we were AWARE that it should be backed up, but Matt was never able to get my PC to back up to the server and just didn't pursue it (because, as I'm sure you are, we're busy with other things too!) Not 3 weeks ago he bought a 1 terrabyte external hard drive that was sitting on the floor right next to it. Lot of good that did, huh?!

Anyway - hopefully the data is recoverable (please God!), it's not like it was in a fire or anything; and Matt's ordered a new hard drive that should be here Tuesday. But until that arrives and he can install it/an operating system/all the applications I need, I am dead in the water except when he's here and I can borrow his laptop. But hey! Maybe I can get some projects done while I wait, since I can't blog and I'll be finished the last Twilight book by tomorrow (hee hee!) Matt and I are off tomorrow afternoon for our 24 hour get-a-way, so I look forward telling you all about the resort later in the week when I get back. CYA!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do Not Disturb

I've fallen into Forks with Bella and her friends. See you when I come up for air....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I don't think it could have been any nicer!

First, Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there! I, for one, had a wonderful day! Evie (who has been planning this for a month!) brought me breakfast in bed (pancakes, strawberries, coffee and orange juice - prepared by Dad, of course!) I had the luxury of staying in bed until I finished breakfast (heaven!) and then came downstairs to find some lovely gifts waiting for me :

Truffles from Schakolad, an Ann Taylor gift card (!) and the new Nora Roberts novel; not pictured are my cool new Skechers! The flowers came on Friday....

then Matt took the little ones to Lowes for project mateials while Evie and William came to church with me.

By the time we got home, Jason was napping; I grabbed lunch for myself and then spent most of the afternoon on the deck with Edward and Bella while I read Twilight. Ok people, I see what all the fuss is about and I am HOOKED. I'm surprised I'm actually sitting here typing instead of reading but that's probably due to the wine I drank while cooking dinner (and after). Which I didn't mind cooking because Matt had all the kids outside while I cooked in peace. Crabcakes! I've never met a crabcake I didn't like :-) Then we got the little ones to bed while I made those little individual molten chocolate cakes, which we ate while playing Mario Kart with Evie and William. and oh how I do suck at video games :0

Anyway, the only thing I didn't do today which I had planned was run, but tomorrow I am BACK ON THE WAGON people, time to get serious & get this flab gone! I'm done with it following me around. No Excuses!

I hope you all had a wonderful day, I thoroughly enjoyed mine - it's back to the grind tomorrow, and Matt's out of town again until Thursday evening - last trip for a while, so that's all good!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gifts from the other side of the world

Matt returned from Guam on Saturday and he (of course!) came bearing gifts! A seven hour layover in Japan was enough time for him to leave the airport and visit the nearby town of Narita with a colleague. They visited a temple and did a little shopping, and brought back some pictures for me to share with you!

Whenever Matt goes on a long trip, Evie gives him a Littlest Pet Shop pet to take with so he will remember her; he always takes a picture of it wherever he is :-)

All of the girls received Kimonos
(mine is blue and no I'm not going to model for you)

William received this cool suit of armor

I received a tea set and the big kids now have chopsticks to keep!

We're all very happy to have him home safe and sound!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fitness, fatness and frustration - oh my!

It has done nothing much other than rain here for the last week which has really done a number on my mood (to say nothing of the hormonal roller-coaster I feel like I'm on, sorry if that's TMI). We finally saw some sun today and the rain should hopefully be finished by Saturday night - please! I haven't even felt like blogging for goodness sake! Being cooped up in the house with the family grates on the nerves at times, and today I foolishly thought I could have breakfast with friends before I went grocery shopping. That bit me on the a$$ when Jason fell asleep in the car for 20 minutes on the way home and then didn't want to nap until 4pm. Which is right when Sarah woke up. Par for the course for this week. On the bright side, William and I went to the nursery yesterday and picked up a truckful of perennials to plant, if it ever stops POURING! :-) I'm feeling the need to dig in the dirt. And also get me some church, but that's for another post.

THIS post is about running, eating, health and weight loss - and what conclusions I've come to after training for my race.

Big revelation number 1:

When I started training for my 10k race 9 weeks ago I was able to complete a 2 mile run in about 25 minutes. On Saturday I was able to run 6.2 miles in 56:34 minutes. I finished 30 out of 86 women in my age group, and 624 out of 1207 runners total. Almost in the top half of the group. Why? Because I was commited to doing it, and I stuck with the program as it was laid out for me, even when I didn't feel like it very much. Don't ever say "oh I could never do this/that/the other" because you CAN. You just have to work up to it! I don't think I'll ever attempt a marathon, or even a half-marathon, but another 10k I probably will. I have a lot more energy now than when I started and I love being able to run with William as he tries to master riding a bike. Now that I'm done 'training', my goal is to run 4 to 6 miles 3 days a week, and add the FIRM workouts in another 2 to 3 days; I FEEL stronger and healthier even though I've come to realize:

Big revelation number 2:

Ok so now I'm fit, why am I still fat? (or, fatter than I'd like?) BECAUSE I'D HAVE TO RUN 10 MILES EVERY DAY TO SUPPORT MY CALORIE CONSUMPTION. It's far easier for me to exercise than it is for me to NOT put the food in my mouth. I played around with some calorie calculators today and discovered that even my daily intake goal of 1800 was still too high to lose 1lb of fat per week; my goal needs to be closer to 1650 - if I couldn't stick to 1800, how am I going to manage even less? This is where my inner fat lady gets the best of me. I love food! Take me out to eat, and I'm drawn to the seafood pasta dishes every time. Carbs are what I crave and it's going to take some serious discipline for me to break out of this rut. I think what I'm going to have to do is make up my meal/snack list for the day and post it in the kitchen, and write myself notes everywhere to remind myself that each little bite adds up. We'll see if that gets me anywhere. I think I've just gotten discouraged because I really thought that the exercise would motivate me to watch what I eat better. It's not just about the weight - it's the fact that the noshing I'm doing is not fruits & veggies & stuff that's good for me, it's chocolate and M&M's and sugar and sweets - which does nothing for my mood, my 'seat' or my teeth.

So - if I haven't bored you senseless by this time, thanks for listening, I feel better just for having gotten this all out. Here are two links I found interesting if you'd like to do some research for yourself:

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to try to cut back on the sugar :-) - and also I want to show you what Matt brought us back from Japan!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Friend Making Monday!!!!

Kasey at All That is Good is taking a break this week from Friend Making Monday so Amber {aefilkins} is hosting today! She has all the info you need & Mr. Linky's Magical Widget to link your post back to, so head on over to join in the fun and get connected!

This weeks question is a fun one, Name 5 toys that remind you of your childhood.

This will TOTALLY date me, I'm sure, but here goes:

1) Holly Hobbie rag dolls
I had Holly and 3 of her dear friends, loved them all!

2) the Barbie Motor Home
this was actually my sister's, but we had tons of fun with it!

3) Darci fashion doll
Everyone has had Barbie, but do you know who Darci is??

4) Simon
This was a BIG DEAL on Christmas morning!

5)Gnip Gnop
We didn't actually have one, but friends did and it was FUN!
So that's my five! Go to Amber's to see everyone else's top 5; also, this is my LAST DITCH effort to recruit people for my Pay it Forward post, don't be chicken, join in! and have a terrific week :-)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

As Colleen commented the other day, today is a big day for me - I ran a race and finished a marathon! Matt's plane should be on the ground right about now so my marathon week of caring for the kids by myself is almost over. Thank you GOD! It's been a long one, I don't know how single parents do it! I know he got the kids some goodies in Japan (he had a 7-hour layover in Tokyo) because AMEX called this morning to make sure the toy store charge wasn't fraud. I can't wait to see what he brought them!

Today was the 10k and I am very happy to announce that I completed it in under 1 hour. Yes, 1 hour! My Dad and Evie were there at the finish for me and I think he was surprised to see me that soon. Hee hee! I don't know my exact time yet, it will probably be in the paper on Monday, but it was just over 9 minutes per mile. I am really amazed, I was expecting to be closer to 10 or 11. I really lucked out with the weather, it was overcast, a little drizzly and about 60 degrees, which made it a LOT easier than hot and sunny would have been - and probably helped me with my time.

It was an interesting experience - I'm used to running my little 2 mile loop & always knowing where I am & how far I have to go; today, I had NO clue where I stood; supposedly there were markers, but I didn't see a time clock or marker until mile 5 (maybe that was a good thing!) - at that point I figured I'd be in around 1 hour. There were over 1200 people running today, if you can imagine! Anyway - here's some pictures (courtesy of my Dad and Evie!), I've got to finish Matt's birthday cake & get the pizza dough going in the bread machine! I'll talk a bit more about this on EMME at Amber's on Wednesday :-)

Ready, set, go!

Me, almost at the finish line! Wahoo!

Evie and me, post race

Evie enjoying my popsicle wearing
Grandad's hat from his visit to Hoover Dam

My support team!
Thank you both for getting up at 5:45
so I'd have someone at the finish line today.
I really appreciate it!

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