Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sew Tired

I'm taking a little break from sewing to write to you.  To tell you the truth, I needed a rest.  I wish I could say that sewing was a stress reliever for me, but sadly, it makes me tense.  I'm not that skilled at it, so I think that's the main problem.  I wish I was better than I am.  Tonight, I've been working on a few  projects and I'd show you pictures, but they are Christmas gifts.  I'll have to show you after they've been given.

I think the last time I wrote, I was getting ready for our Favorite Things Book Club.  It didn't disappoint.  Jackie hosted and she outdid herself!  The food was delicious and the discussion and gifts were great, too.  I drew number one, so I got to go first and last.  For some reason, this was very exciting for me, and I may or may not have danced a tiny bit.  Yes, I'm as embarrassing as ever.  I ended up with something I've really been wanting to buy.  I had in fact mentioned that I wanted one to two people last week!  It was a French press, along with some Starbucks coffee and the cutest mug.  Perfect!

On Thursday morning, we went over to a friend's house to make and decorate Christmas cookies.  The girls thought it was the best thing ever!!!  Our friends had recently gotten a new Golden Retriever puppy, and I have to say, he is the cutest thing I've ever seen.  He reminds me so much of our old dog, Cooper.  Just for a second, my cold heart melted and I thought very seriously about going right out and getting the girls one!  But then I remembered I'm still in the throws of potty training, and I should probably get one done, before I start on another.  I do think we're getting closer, though.

The rest of the week went quickly.  On Friday night, we went over to another friends' house for the loveliest dinner of soup and sandwiches.  We ended up staying way too late, and it was pretty hard to get up for Sabbath School and Church the next morning.  After Church, we napped until late afternoon.  We were supposed to go over to a neighbor's house for dinner, but at the last minute, they had to reschedule because of a sick kiddo.  Instead, we took the girls to the school for a special babysitting thing they were doing and Mark and I hit the town for a fun date.  We stopped at Starbucks for a warm drink, then headed downtown to our favorite Mediterranean Restaurant.  We did a little shopping and finished the night with dessert at a restaurant we had never tried.  It was great!

When we got back to pick the girls up, one of the babysitters told me that Kiki told her that she got a quarter every time she poops.  She wanted to see if she was supposed to give her one.  This took me by surprise, because 1) we've never given her any money for pooping and 2) I had no idea she knew what a quarter even was.  My child the entrepreneur/swindler!  

Today, I've done a whole lot of Christmas shopping.  I was able to mark pretty much everyone off our list, except one, and Mark is in charge of that one.  I'm feeling much better.  I still have a few gifts to make, but I got all of the supplies.  I still haven't sent out all my Christmas Cards.  They've been ordered, addressed, and stamped for days, but I can't seem to get them to the post office.  That's on my to-do list for tomorrow.

My French Press in action! 

My attempt at the Nativity Lunch! 

The belly dancer at the Mediterranean Restaurant.  It was so awkward when she came to dance by our table.  We didn't know what to look at!  What is protocol on that?! 

When I came home from shopping today, I found my three loves asleep on the couch together.  How sweet is that! 

Well, I better get back to sewing.  At least I have the Griswold family to keep me company as I work!  Best movie ever!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Back on the Potty Train

Does it get any better than Christmas?  I sure don't think so!  I just love everything about it--the decor, the food, the music.  The best part is the whole reason for the season, of course!  The girls are really loving everything.  They are constantly singing Christmas carols, or at least their versions.  Kiki's favorite song is "No Way, A Manger?" instead of "Away in a Manger".  It's so funny to hear her sing it.

We are deep in the trenches of potty training.  We started on Wednesday, and for the most part, Kiki has done amazing!  Not to say she hasn't had her share of accidents.  She definitely has, but we've gone three days accident-free.  I also don't have to ask her if she needs to go anymore.  She just goes on her own.  She's an old pro and I'm so proud of her.  I still don't trust her in panties, after a very gruesome poop incident, but I feel we are getting close, and pull-ups will suffice until that time.  My favorite potty training memory thus far happened on Thursday after Kiki, having spent quite some time on the potty trying to go,  came out of the bathroom and stated, "Sorry guys, it's just not coming out."

I just realized I didn't get to tell you all about our Thanksgiving!  It was lovely.  Stephen, Michelle, and Greyson came for a week long visit and we were so excited.  It was just so nice to spend quality time with them.  For the most part, we did a lot of relaxing, but we also shopped, went to Greenville, decorated for Christmas, played at parks, ate fantastic food,  each went on a child-free date, among other fun things.

We were so sad to see them go.  Kiki was asleep in the car when we dropped them at the airport and slept the hour long trip home.  When she woke up, as I was getting her out of the car, she looked around and saw that it was just the three of us.  Her lower lip started to quiver and she started to cry.  She sadly asked, "Where's my Greyson?!"  I was so sad, too.  It was so nice having such wonderful company.

The whole visit was good for me.  I was able to cut back on the amount of social media I usually partake in. With my phone at my finger tips, I constantly find myself checking Facebook or Instagram.  It's aggravating to me that I don't have more self control, but having the break has helped me not be as needy of it all.  I'm trying to not get sucked back into the madness!  I still check, but it's not as much of a crutch as it had been.

We had a nice weekend.  On Friday evening, some friends invited a few people over for pie at their house.  It was a little late by the time we got home, but the girls didn't seems to mind being up late and partaking in dessert.  In fact, they seemed very happy about the whole thing.  On Sabbath, we visited a different church than we usually attend, because a friend texted on Friday night and said she needed some help.  Her hubby was out of town and she needed help with her kiddos, because she was singing.  I've been in a similar spot, and was happy to help out.  That night, David and Elizabeth invited us over. We went on a walk around their property, then came back for dinner.  After putting the kids down, we ended up talking for hours and partaking in peppermint ice cream and homemade hot fudge...YUM!

On Sunday, we worked around the house.  I attempted my first batch of toffee.  I had watched Michelle like a hawk while she was in town when she made some, and hoped that I gleaned enough to be successful on my first go at it.  Although it wasn't a total failure, it wasn't perfect.  I have a feeling it's a recipe that takes years to figure out.  I was making the toffee for  the Christmas party for the girls' dorm students at Fletcher Academy on Sunday afternoon.  We watched a Christmas movie and ate pizza and snacks with the girls and they all seemed to have a blast.  After that, I met a few friends to watch Catching Fire, which I had really been dying to see.

This week has been relatively uneventful.  Yesterday, the girls and I worked on a few projects around the house.  We have been sewing a gift for someone for Christmas and that's kept us very busy.  Tonight was the Christmas party for Mark's work.  It was lovely, in spite of the fact that I'm a nervous wreck at things like that.  Tomorrow night is book club and our Favorite Things gift exchange.  It's my favorite book club of the year.  It's so fun to see the different gifts that people bring.  I got my "favorite thing" last night.  It was a hard choice, but I ended up with something that if no one else likes it, I won't mind at all going home with it.  I guess that's why it's my favorite thing:)

Here are a few pictures from the last few days...

Mark and Stephen put some lights out front. 

Now that I have two doors, instead of just one, my wreaths don't work anymore.  I'm not ready to make a huge investment right now, so I reused last year's snowflake wreath idea.  My old one got broken in the move, so I had to make two new ones.  It's a very easy and inexpensive project and also kid-friendly.  All it takes is popsicle sticks, white paint and some sort of glue.  I used hot glue.  

One night, Michelle and I attempted a photo shoot with Grey.  What a cutie-pie!  

The girls and Auntie Michelle at Fall's Park

My best attempt at a group picture. 

My little buddy and me

Uncle Stephen and Keeks

Michelle had a constant companion in Rosie.  

Kiki is never very far from the Christmas tree.  She's even been known to eat ornaments.  I know, so unlike her! 

My little angel 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


So, today was my 33rd birthday.  It was a lovely day, spent with the three people I love most in the world.  They were very sweet to me today and I feel very blessed.

Sometimes, I wonder when I'll start to feel like a grown-up.  I mean, 33 seems pretty old, but I feel like an awkward teenager most days.  I still feel so shy walking into a room of people, even people I know really well.  I still get my feelings hurt easily, and worry way too much about the way I look.  It's got to get easier, right?  I've heard 40 is when you really come into yourself.  I guess time will tell!

I didn't finish drinking all of my water yesterday!  I'm pretty behind tonight, too, but I've got a bit of time before I plan on heading to bed.  I can drink 6 glasses in an hour, right? :)  If you're playing along at home, I hope your water drinking journey is going well and you're starting to notice results!

Before I leave you tonight, I just want to thank you for reading along with me through another year of my life.  It means a lot and I couldn't be more thankful for you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Croissants, Oui, Oui!

Yesterday, I took the girls for their yearly doctor's appointment.  Yes, I was late again, but I think they've come to expect it from me.  I was a little nervous taking them both, but I thought it would be better to just get them both over with in one she-bang.  Luckily, Mark was able to pop over for some of it, and that was so nice.  The girls did relatively well.  Not to say that there weren't a few tears, here and there, but overall, not too bad.  Rosie wept when they pricked her finger for blood.  Kiki, on the other hand, looked at her finger, and very matter-of-factly stated, "That hurt".  They react so differently and it's really funny to watch.

My favorite thing from the visit, was when the doctor asked Rosie what her favorite food was.  Of all things, she said croissants.  What kind of sophisticated kid am I raising?  I can assure you, the sophistication doesn't come from me.  My least favorite thing, was that the girls are both anemic:(  She said that a lot of vegetarian kiddos are.  I had been giving them the gummy vitamins, and didn't realize they don't have iron in them.  I've been stuffing kale and spinach down them today.  It's amazing what they'll eat, when you get them to play like they are bunnies and you are feeding them.  

Kiki is still on the small side, but the doctor was very impressed with her growth.  This time last year, she was in the 3rd percentile.  We are now in the 39th, so we are making great strides:).  Rosie is tall for her age, which I had thought might be the case, but was excited to hear.  I'm hoping she reaches a height that I only can dream about.  Rosie has perfect hearing, and 20/25 vision.  The nurse said she might have to be referred for her eyes, but when I asked the doctor, she said anything up to 40 is normal in kiddos her age.  I was picturing little sophisticated Rosie in adorable reading glasses there for a second, but I am beyond relieved that it's not the case.   

After the appointment, a friend had invited us over to make applesauce with a few other ladies.  I have never made apple sauce, except in the crockpot, so it was fun to learn the process.  I feel a little like a pro now.        

Today, we got up early because Clarissa had texted to let me know that Mean Mr. Mustard, a wonderful little restaurant we love, was closing.  We felt it important that we go before the last day, so we met her there.  It was such a nice breakfast, but was so sad, too.  I can't imagine losing my job right before the holidays.  After that, we headed to the library for awhile.  The girls picked out a bajillion books and then we came home and read, and read, and read.  We had a full afternoon, as well, but the girls are still laughing in their bedroom and its almost 9!  These girls.  I have to admit, I love to hear their giggles.

We are getting very excited about Stephen, Michelle, and Greyson coming for Thanksgiving.  The girls couldn't be happier to see that precious little baby.  I have a feeling that he's going to be smothered with attention.  He might learn to walk, just to get away from them:)  We can't wait!!!!

Here are a few pictures from my phone...

She wanted to look like a ballerina to go to the doctor.  

Love these three!

Making Wishes

Fun on our walk

Really loving their new hats.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gotta Go

So, pretty much all I've been doing for the last two days is peeing.  The water is working.  That is all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Things You Might Not Know

I've really enjoyed reading the different "Things you Might Not Know about Me" lists all over facebook right now.  It's so fun to find out facts that I might not have known about people, otherwise.  I've thought about doing one on FB, but for some reason, I prefer to share stuff on my "safe place", this blog.  Yes, I know posting it here is far from safe, but at least I know not more than ten people are reading it!

1.  I worked for an electrologist/esthetician for one summer in high school.  I will forever regret not having her take care of all of my unwanted hair when I had the chance!!!  

2.  One of my besties and I tried out for the Amazing Race in our younger years.  Sadly, we didn't make the cut.  

3.  As a kid, I sang background vocals on Gospel Bill's Kid's Sing Praise album.  

4.  As a pre-teen, I had the biggest, hugest, most embarrassing crush on....wait for it...Michael W. Smith.  I don't get it either.

5.  When I was about three, I stuck a crayon in my nose and it melted.  I had to have surgery to have it removed.  Yes, I have always been bright:) 

6.  I was born with "elfin" ears.  They have little points on the end from the way I was laying in my mom's tummy.  I was called Dr. Spock growing up.  This "Trekki" guy that I used to work with, told me that there are people out there that would pay big bucks just to touch these ears, if I was interested...I'm not:)     

7.   I took piano lessons for many years, but I still can't play a song from start to finish unless I write the names of all the notes in.

8.  Being on SNL has always been a dream of mine.  

9.  My mom told me when I was growing up, that I didn't like deviled eggs, boiled eggs or bread pudding, because she hated them.  I still don't like those things, but I've never tried them:)  It wasn't until high school that I tried cottage cheese, because I "didn't like" it either.  I learned that I actually don't mind that one.  

10.  In high school, I beat a 6'3'', 250 pound guy in an eating contest.  Food is no match for me.  

Up for a Challenge?

UPDATE  Daniela emailed me to warn me that I typed 30 liters, instead of 3!  I apologize if you were totally overwhelmed by that amount of water.  Ha!  I'm excited to have friends participating, too!  How fun!!!

Is it just me, or am I the only one who's felt really dry lately?  This last week on Facebook, I noticed a few of my friends were starting on a 30-day water drinking challenge.  They each took a picture of themselves before, without wearing make-up, and posted them to the FB group page and plan on posting their results after 30 days.  There were a few pictures of people who had completed the challenge, and their before and afters were AMAZING.  After only 30 days, they looked almost dewy and so much younger.  Many people lost weight and others just felt better all around.  I was already seriously considering participating, but when I talked to Elizabeth, who told me she was going to participate and wanted me to, I just had to! (Holy run-on sentence!)  I also got Andrea to join me.

The goal is to drink 3 liters (or more) of water a day.  Just thought you might be interested in joining in on the fun.  Be sure to take a very unflattering, no make-up "before" photo and drink your crazy amounts of water everyday .  You don't have to share your results, but I'd love to hear/see them!  Don't be deterred if you have never been a real water drinker!  They said those that are just starting will have the best results!

I used to be a major water drinker, but lately I've fallen off the wagon.  In fact, there was a day last week where the only water I drank was the water that was used to make my cup of morning coffee.  How sad is that?!  I'm literally hanging my head in shame right now.  I know better!  Anyway, I'm super excited about getting back into this healthy habit.  I'm also really hoping that I am less cracky by the end of this.  My lips and hands are so chappy and I'm ready for my skin to be supple and glowing!
Cheers to good health, friends!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Let it snow!

Today, the girls and I did a little snowy photo shoot.   There was a chance of snow last night that didn't materialize, but we didn't let that stop us.  We brought the shoot inside and made our own snow...problem solved! Taking pictures of kids is tough, but we had a great time.  Our house is now a disaster and Kiki broke my favorite lens, but all in all, I consider it a success.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Well, it's been a minute since I've updated!  Things have been good.  We've been really busy, but I can't pinpoint exactly what we've been busy doing. I thought I would go through my phone pictures and share our goings on.

We FINALLY got the chandelier up in the play room!  Wiring isn't our forte and it may or may not have taken us half the day one Sunday, but it's done and that's what counts:).  Also, it is very green.  

Two Saturdays ago, our friend Becky invited us to go with her and her boys after church to Carl Sandburg's house/property.  We went on a great hike and then spent some time with the goats. 

Thursday was not only Halloween, but my wonderful hubby's 32 birthday.  We didn't have any plans, other than me cooking Mark's favorite meal, but our friend, Anca, emailed to see what we were doing that night.  I told her to come on over, if they were up for it, and they agreed.  We hadn't really seen them since the girls' birthday, back in August, so it was great catching up.  The girls loved having Caroline visit! 

The Birthday Boy! 

Dueling Where's Waldo's 

She called herself "Where's Waffle"

Their very home-spun costumes.  I had to sew Rosie's shirt from a woman's shirt and let me say, it was the worst thing I've ever done.  Luckily, it only had to hold up for a few hours.  

This kid makes me laugh! 

Sassy Waldo

Our friends, the Heinrich's, were headed to Gatlinburg this past weekend, and decided to stop in for a visit on their way.  We were so excited to see them and have them spend the night. They are totally "salt of the earth" kind of people and we always have so much fun when we are with them.  We toured them around Asheville and took them to Tupelo Honey for lunch. Before they left, we took a few family photos for them. They needed pics of their family of four before it becomes a family of five, yay!  I think they are sold on the area.  If only we could convince them to move here!!!  


On Sunday, we went to the Biltmore for the day with the Wrights.  We biked, hiked and picnicked.  It was a great day!  We were so exhausted when we got home!  

We borrowed a bike seat that goes on the front of my bike, so you can't tell, but Kiki and I are getting ready to head out on our bike here.  

Lauren and Mark 

Someone showed us a screech owl in this tree.  It's in the bottom of the big knot.  It was the cutest thing! 

I told this little family about it and at first they didn't seem too interested.  I felt dumb for sharing, but then they got SOOO excited.  I had to get this picture of them and their excitement. 

The view from our hike.  

After our long day, we were exhausted, but ended up heading to the church for a fall festival.  The girls had fun riding the train and eating food.  I had to leave early to go to a meeting, but it was nice.

This was the only picture I took and, as you can tell, it's not the greatest quality:)  

So, that's what we've been up to in a nutshell.  Tonight, I had photography class.  I'm learning a lot, but I'm worried it's not going to stick.  This brain of mine is starting to wear out. For example, I said to my mom today, "I have to go to that place.  The one where you can send stuff to people in the mail."  Yes, I said that.

Well, it's way past my bedtime, so I better head to bed.  I don't think lack of sleep will improve my brain functioning any.  Hope your week is off to a great start and that your every day word recall is better than mine:)