Thursday, January 23, 2014

Birds and the Bees

My middle child got "the talk" last week.  Yes, THAT talk.  Getzy took him out to a local sports bar/restaurant where they hung out, ate, played darts and finally . . . grossed Kyle out!
This guy . . . so darn cute . . . and smart . . . and funny!
Getzy gives the talk because he's the dude . . . I get to give the talk to Amanda.  It will be the exact same week in 2016 when she will get it.  Ryan got it the same week in 2013.  We're on a schedule like that.

Ok, we aren't really that OCD (maybe a little) . . . it's because when my kids are in 5th grade, they take a three day class over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend at a local church called Created by God.  They learn it all.  ALL.  No stone is left unturned in the sexy time department. 

It's a long weekend, but so worth the time.  The man who created the program, Dr. James Ritchie (the kids call him Dr. J.), has taught it over 130 times to over 3,000 kids.  I'm so thankful my kids have had the opportunity to attend. 

There are student sessions, parent sessions and student/parent sessions.  Boys and girls are in the same big room learning the same things . . . that way boys learn about girl stuff and vice versa.  It's faith based but not preachy.  All lifestyles are discussed without judgment. 

Getzy and I attended together so Kyle knows we are a united front and that he can come to both of us with questions.  The goal is to create an open environment where the child feels like he can talk about anything.  

I like to think I'm a professional . . . that's based on the fact that I received an A in my college Human Sexuality class.  I was one of 6 people (out of like 200) that got to exempt out of the exam for my high grade.  So duh, I have credentials. 

Kyle seems to have taken it all in stride.  He's had a few questions and general commentary.  I was driving him home after class one day and he says, "Mom, now that I know how a baby comes out, it's kinda gross." 

I agreed, but then I had what I felt was a serious parenting win.  I told him that when you think past the "gross," it really is a miracle from God.  I told him how cool I thought it was that my body carried a life until it was ready to live on it's on, and then my body brought it into this world.  And what Dad and I created was a living, breathing, thinking, feeling person . . . amazing.  He was quiet for a moment and then said, "It's gross to a kid, but I can see where a grown up thinks it's a miracle."  Very sweet. 

I also shared with him how I thought babies came out of belly buttons when I was a kid.  He said that's what he thought too. 

I don't remember having a "sex" talk with my parents, but I did get a book with pictures.  And with the magic of the Internet, here it is!

I remember being so fascinated.  And I vividly remember the "paper" pictures . . . tasteful, yet simple, right?
These images clear things right up . . . or not.
Those naughty chickens.  Don't forget, I had chickens growing up so now I knew exactly what they were doing.  Eeeewwww.

I did get the "period" talk from my mom.  You know those defining moments in life seered into your memory where you remember where you were and what you were doing . . . we were driving in our big, blue van one evening out shopping and she gave me the deets. 
Our looked just like this but blue . . . fancy, right? 
Truth be told, my neighborhood friend spilled the beans way before my mom got around to it.  She was a couple years older and wiser and was kind enough to fill me in.  And just like Kyle, I remember finding it so hard to believe and declaring it gross. 

Times are changing . . . my babies are growing up.  I know this is a good thing, but some days I wish I could turn back time.  And in keeping with the throw back theme, I think it's time to introduce Kyle to some old school 90's with Salt-N-Pepa . . .
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So what am I gonna do about it?

I'm talking about the extra weight I'm carrying around that needs to go.  I have been on an 'eat all the things' plan since October . . . and it's caught up to me.  Damn.  So in summary, I need 18 pounds to get gone.  Buh bye.     
Why 18 pounds?  That will get me to my Weight Watcher goal weight.  It's January, so it's time to buckle down . . . because my pants are having a hard time getting buckled.  Like for reals.  I'm sitting here typing this with my jeans unbuttoned . . . you can't un-see that image.  You're welcome. 

Good news . . . I have a plan.  Or plans.

Plan #1 - I say go with what you know, and for me, that's Weight Watchers
I've been super successful on this in the past . . . and one day I'm going to treat it like a lifestyle change and not a diet.  One day.

I joined last October in a feeble attempt to stop myself during the eat fest that is the last three months of the year.  I went once.  So basically I donated to Weight Watchers last fall.  Stupid.

My friend agreed to start going with me.  That's a huge win/bonus for me because the three times (yes, f'ing three times . . . you'd think I would have it figured out by now) I've been successful at losing weight with WW, I attended meetings with friends.  Shout out DA and SF!  I suck at the on-line accountability . . . I need to show my face at a meeting and get on the scale.

Plan #2 - I joined Skinny Meg's new year DietBet.  What is that you ask? 
Well, you pay money (this one was a $25 buy in) to join an on-line group that has to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks, or lose your money.  However, the upside is if you lose the weight, you split the total pot along with the other folks achieving their goals.  And who doesn't want to take pictures of themselves on a scale and send it off into the internets?  Yeah, that was good times.
Plan #3 - Keep a resolutions calendar.  I prefer to write stuff down . . . with an actual pen.  So I went crazy and purchased a calendar at the dollar store. 
I like to see progress so writing things on a monthly calendar page helps me to visualize it.  I'd really like to see some progress in my pants fitting better . . . I'll get there!

Plan #4 - Get back to 5:30 a.m. Boot Camp.  I am super excited that boot camp moved back to Tues/Thurs instead of Mon/Wed.  Me getting up early on a Monday just wasn't going to happen.  In fact, I started back this morning and loved it!
Plan #5 -
Go to the gym.  I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that I joined Youfit last year sometime before fall . . . I went a few times and then quit going.  For shame.
I'm a social girl so to go to the gym by myself is hard, even if they have a television on every piece of cardio equipment.  My monthly membership isn't expensive, and I can bring a friend anytime for free . . . anyone want to go to the gym with me?  Crickets.  I understand.  But I've been once already, and I'm going to keep it up . . . I'd like to go a couple times a week, even if it's just a short cardio workout.  I'm starting to realize doing a little is better than zero.  Fact.

So there it is . . . big plans.  Huge.  Let's do this. 

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Monday, January 13, 2014

"Snow" Day

On Tuesday this past week, my kids were supposed to go back to school after the winter break . . . they had been off since December 20th.  But alas, we had a "snow" day, or if you live in Georgia, a "cold" day. 

Since the wind chill had the temperatures below freezing, school was cancelled.  In fact, it was the coldest temperatures in Atlanta since 1993.  I was thrilled . . . another morning of sleeping in, not packing lunches and another day without homework.  Score.  

My kids did get to have some real snow days on their trip to Ohio with my best friend.  Talk about cold . . . it was fuh-reezing up there.  In fact, my friend drove through a storm to get to her parent's house . . . nerve wracking for sure for this mama back home.

In the end, it was all worth it . . . check out these goofballs in the snow!
On Saturday, they went to Valley's Edge Snow Tubing
This was a two-fold decision.  One, my friend loves an adventure so why not take the kids to a proper snow tubing park?  And two, apparently dragging sleds back up the hill after sliding down gets old after awhile!  The snow tube place had a pulley system to hike them back up the hill after the ride.  My friends are funny AND smart. 
I asked them if they were cold playing in the snow.  They all very emphatically said no, unless their face was it . . . which for the boys, was apparently often.  According to Kyle, "It tasted so good!"  Freak.
Their last adventure for Saturday night was trekking over to Richmond, Indiana for "the best pizza" at Clara's Pizza King.  Even better than the pizza, getting to eat inside a double decker bus.  So cool. 
And the trip came to an end by leaving around 4 a.m. on Sunday morning to beat the snow storm expected in the Midwest.  We flew in the same morning from D.C. and my family was all together again by 11 a.m.  So blessed.  Despite the long drives, no complaints from the kids and they had a blast!  And I'm still friends with my BFF, so I'd say it was a win for everyone!
Here's to many more adventures in 2014!
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We said good bye with lots of hellos

We had a whirl wide of a 24 hours this weekend . . . we flew to Washington D.C. on Saturday morning and were back in Atlanta by 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.  While it was a quick trip, it was full of wonderful moments. 

It always freaks me out when Getzy and I go anywhere together without our kids.  I pray for them and for us all to be safely reunited . . . even if it's just us going out to dinner.  So as we were seated on the plane on Saturday, we took a selfie to text to our oldest to tell them we were taking off and how much we loved them. 
We were so blessed to have friends pick us up at the airport and chauffeur us around while we were in town.  They are like one of the 12 people that actually read my blog so I told them I needed photos . . . and/or kisses. 
Our first stop was the Silver Dinner in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.  I used to work at an office in the area so it was so cool to be back there. 
It was nice to sit and catch up on old times with several of Getzy's fraternity brothers.  They kept arriving and our table kept expanding.  So many good laughs and great stories. 

We left there and headed to the Celebration of Life Service for our dear friend C.A.M. Wagoner.  His service was packed . . . like a full house with probably 700-800 people.  That just goes to show what an amazing man C.A.M. was . . . a friend to all.
It was amazing.  Yes, it was sad beyond words, but at the same time, extremely uplifting.  I laughed more than I cried.  That may sound odd, but there were several tribute speakers from all parts of C.A.M.'s life with wonderful stories to share. 
His handsome little son read John 3:16 . . . now that will melt any one's heart.  And his two beautiful daughters sang a song together called "Our God."  There is no other way to describe it other than they nailed it.  Their voices were strong and confident and simply amazing.  The pastor remarked how he'd never been to a funeral service where a song got a round of applause and a standing ovation.  It was moments like this that made this such a memorable experience. 

At the end of the service, they played a video montage of C.A.M.'s life . . . a much too short 42 years.  His wife painstakingly put it together to celebrate him, his friends and family.  It was set to music and started from birth.  It was beautiful and the tears started flowing.  C.A.M. was a drummer and loved music.  Here are the songs from the video in the order they were played.  I couldn't find The Lucky One by Edwin McCain so that is left out.  Music is part of who I am so this was especially moving to me.  The last song was the hardest as so many of the pictures were of him and his children and near the end.   
We were able to hug and love on his wife Becky briefly after the service.  She made me cry when she told me Kyle now has a guardian angel in heaven watching over him . . . C.A.M. and Becky are Kyle's godparents. 

Becky is truly the epitome of grace and love . . . a Proverbs 31 woman if there ever was one.  She is as beautiful on the inside as the outside.  I will pray for her and her children for years to come and hope that they find much happiness in life. 

We left the service and checked into our hotel.  A block of rooms were reserved at the Four Seasons in Georgetown . . . wow, what a beautiful hotel.  Being in D.C. was so nostalgic for me . . . it's where I felt like I discovered who I was and also where Getzy and I met. 

We did a quick change and headed out to dinner with Getzy's fraternity brothers to a restaurant in D.C. called The Oceanaire.  We had a private room and our service was outstanding.  It was a wonderful night sharing funny stories of C.A.M. and toasting his life. 
It has been several years since all these fellows have been together so we corralled everyone at the service from the fraternity to take a picture.  It turned out amazing.
If there is to be a good out of the sad, it's that so many folks were reunited from times gone by . . . and much discussion was had around getting together more often and not waiting for another tragedy to reconnect with friends.  

A recurring theme of C.A.M.'s service was his ability to make connections.  Remember that folks . . . life is better when we connect with people so take time to tell someone you care.  It might just make their day.

To all my friends near and far, I care about you and your family.  Please call or better yet, come visit.  And don't be surprised if my family and I show up to visit you one day soon!  Much love to you all in 2014!
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Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Christmas Memories . . . a little late

Since my kids have up and left me for snowier pastures, I've got a little free time and thought I should probably do a Christmas post.  I tried to disconnect from electronics during the holidays.  I was mucho successful . . . except for the smutty books that occupied my attention for a few days.  Nothing says Christmas like a trashy romance. 

Let's start with our Christmas card for 2013.  It should be noted that I loathe doing the cards, but I love receiving them from other people.  And in the end, I'd feel guilty not doing them, and they usually turn out cute. 
And since I had last year's card still hanging on my fridge, let's do a comparison for funsies.  And yes, our dogs are featured every year!
My mom came for a short visit the weekend before Christmas . . . she is seriously the best. 
And can you stand how amazing she looks for freaking 70 years young??  I cannot.  Here's hoping it's in the genes. 

So we did our "Christmas with Granny" on Friday night . . . the kids were so excited!  Mom always comes up with great gifts, and I love to spoil her too . . . she deserves it!
The "big" gift from Granny was a karaoke machine . . . too bad it didn't come with earplugs.  Seriously, louder is definitely not better. 
We started hosting an "Italian Christmas" dinner party last year for our close friends.  There is nothing Italian about us . . . it just seemed fun and tasty.  Since we couldn't get our dates sorted during the weekends of December, we ended up having it on Christmas Eve this year. 

It was potluck and everyone brought amazing dishes.  We provided the main dish which was The Pioneer Woman lasagna . . . it was fabulous.  We even had two sets of grandparents join for a total of 21 guest this year!  Know what?  It was so much fun. 

I only took one photo . . . which is pretty ridiculous.  I couldn't resist capturing Santa and his Elf on film . . . because nothing screams Elf like a pair of Louboutins.  I guess I was having too much fun the rest of the time to take pictures. 
Ever year on Christmas Eve the kids get to open one present . . . it's usually pajamas.  Duh.  This year I had requests to hide the boxes so I had Santa and his Elf do the dirty work before they left.  Again, no pictures, but they are wearing them in the Christmas morning photos so I don't feel so bad.

Santa comes to visit the tree in our basement . . . mostly because there's room to spread out and open gifts.  Here is our tree before the orderly Christmas gift opening . . . because I'm married to an OCD extremist.  Yes, I just said that.  Open gift.  Deal with paper and box.  Put in stack.  Move on to next person.  Rinse and repeat.  He's a freak.  But I love him.
We do the Christmas pickle tradition . . . or at least our version of it.  Santa hides the pickle some where on the tree, and the person who finds it gets to open the first gift. 

My oldest makes it his mission to find it every year . . . he succeed again.  And note the elf hat . . . he swindled it away from the Christmas Eve Elf.  Well played kid.
In our house, we only ask Santa for one, maybe two, gifts.  And Santa gifts are wrapped in special paper with fancy bows since they are different from the others.  And since Santa is pretty awesome, each child received the one item they asked him for this year. 

Another annoying tradition is when I make everyone pose by the Christmas tree with all their gifts for the year.  I think it's cool to be able to look back over the years and see what each kid is into at the time.  I tell them to just shut it and make me happy.  And they do.
And Getzy even humors me even though he finds it annoying.  Fair is fair.  I find it annoying how orderly it all has to be, and then he proceeds to take off every tag and throw away every box before we even know if stuff works.  Kuh-razy.  Fact.  But he's at least cute.
Getzy's twin brother and his family joined us the day after Christmas for a visit.  They have 2 boys and this is what happened for three solid days.  And that's a tub of beef jerky on the table because well . . . jerky.

Getzy did manage to tear them away from their gaming long enough to help him make Fatayers (pronounced Fa-toy-yas) and Baklawa (the Syrian spelling of baklava) . . . the same type of food his family used to make given their Syrian heritage.  Both were very tasty.
Overall it was a great holiday season.  There were things I wish we had made time to do, but we spent time with great friends and family, and that is what matters the most.
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ohio or Bust . . . for my kids anyway

So my best friend calls me this morning and asks me how I feel about her taking my three kids, her two kids and another friend's kid on a road trip to Ohio to play in the snow.  Yes, she is nuts.  That is clearly why I love her so. 

She was taking my kids anyway for part of the weekend because Getzy and I have to travel to Washington, D.C. for our friend C.A.M.'s memorial serviceSo I call Getzy to discuss.  We both agree it would be fun . . . our only hesitation was letting go of control.  I could play the "what if" game all day, but I just have to trust God that they will be safe and sound.  I trust my friend and her parents are amazing so why hold them back?  The kids were super excited to go.  So this just happened . . . and I held it together. 
So say a prayer for their safety, and that they will come home to be healthy and happy on Sunday. 

Makes me think of this song . . .

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions, Goals, Whatever . . . Make it Happen

Seriously?  It's 2014 . . . where does the time go?  I feel like I just did this whole New Year's thing. 
I do love a fresh start so New Year's is an OCD lover's dream.  I'm a habitual resolution maker.  I should probably mention that I'm also an equally habitual resolution breaker. 

Its kind of like Newton's 3rd law of motion in a figurative sense . . . for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  I get started with a bang, and then all my good intentions fizzle.  Not sure why . . . but I should probably figure my shiz out. 

I feel semi-obligated to list some resolutions here . . . my public decree of my "home improvements," if you will.  Perhaps some accountability, in the form of writing it down and being able to go back and review things in black and white, will help me accomplish what it is that I set out to do.  My inclination is to say "maybe not," but that's defeating myself before I even get started.  I can do any damn thing I set my mind out to do . . . and so can you.

Ok . . . onto the list.  And it should be noted I truly love a list.  While the first one is my main goal, the rest are in no particular order. 

1.  This might not seem like a big deal to some, but this really sets the tone for most of my other resolutions because it allows me to have more time in my day. 
I am a great volunteer because I will Get. It. Done.  But sometimes it's at the expense of myself or my family.  I will not have time to work out, or fix dinner or really to do a myriad of other things that would ultimately make me happier.  I've got to sit on my hands this year and not say yes to any other volunteer commitments. 
2.  I could go with the generic work out more resolution, but I think I'd like to one up that and say I'd like to run a half marathon this year.  Do I love running?  Not so much, but I love the way I feel afterwards and the calorie burn.  And Getzy got me some fancy new Bose workout ear buds so I'm convinced they are going to help me run like the wind! 
3.  And cue the weight loss resolution . . . drop and give me twenty.  Pounds that is.  I'd like to shake loose of 20 pounds and KEEP THEM OFF.  That's the trick.  I can lose weight, but I can find it right back.  Every year.  Rinse and repeat.  I lose around 20 and gain it back by the end of the year.  Seriously.  Enough is enough.

4.  Be more deliberate about my spending.  Sometimes I think I'm spendy (pretty sure that's a word) and sometimes I think I'm not.  (And quite frankly, we don't ask Getzy his opinion on these matters.)  I really think I need to just be a bit more mindful of not duplicating items I already own and taking a few days to really decide if it's a need or a want.  Wants are ok . . . just in moderation. 

5.  In that same vain, really cleaning out my house from top to bottom.  We have plenty of room so clearly we have too much stuff if our house starts to feel small.  

6.  Update the interior of our main floor . . . ok, I know this goes against not spending, but it will at least be deliberate.  We want to hang our tv over the fireplace, add some built in cabinets, paint, update fixtures and furniture.  Our style has changed over the years, and it's time for a fresh look.

7.  Connect more with people I care about . . . past and present.  I'm grateful in that I have friends from all points in my life . . . but the time gets away and months, even years, go by, and I haven't connected with them to just say hi, I miss you and I still care.   

8.  I would like to walk my dogs more.  They deserve to leave the back yard and enjoy some exercise.  And Abby may, or may not be, a few pounds over her ideal weight.  
9.  Bark less.  Ok, yell less, but I do crack myself up.  Shocking . . . I'm loud, and I tend to yell as my main form of communication.  Half of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it.  I suppose being more patient goes along with this . . . I'm pretty sure this will be a life long endeavor.   Gotta start somewhere! 

10.  Menu planning and updating my cooking arsenal.  I like to cook but can get stuck in a rut fixing the same old things.  Sometimes the old standards are just what you need, but we all could use some new spice in our life, so to speak. 

11.  Focus on my marriage . . . as parents of active kids, we tend to go, go, go with their activities and forget to make time to just enjoy each other.  Date nights are critical . . . to reconnect and talk without distraction.  Sometimes we get mired in the details of life and forget how much we really like each other's company.

12.  Take time to play or hang out with my kids.  Sometimes I get too busy to just have fun with them.  I'd also like to take them out individually more often . . . I love one on one time with them. 
13.  Be grateful.  For all the blessings . . . great and small. 

14.  Organize years of pictures.  I might even get crazy and try to make online photo albums.  That would be epic. 

15.  Keep on blogging . . . it brings me such joy when people tell me they love to read it.  It brings me joy to write down my current thoughts and share pictures.  It brings me joy to re-read posts and think about my kids having this from their mom when they get older.   

16.  Grab every opportunity for an adventure by the horns . . . life is too short to sit still and watch it pass you by.  I'd like to take my mom and kids to Savannah and Charleston for a visit.  My BFF and I want to take the kids to Memphis for our annual adventure. 

17.  Be a great friend.  My ladies are super important to me and are a great support system . . . in the good times and the bad. 

18.  Laugh often.  And loudly.
19.  In that same vain, attend church on a more regular basis.  I love the church we joined . . . it makes me happy.  We just need to get our lazy butts up and moving.

20.  And finally, continue to be bad ass.  My kids, and Getzy, need to know that I've still got it.  Whatever "it" may be. 
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