Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Favorites!!

Hey ohh . . . it's Friday!!  Word to your mother that makes me happy, therefore, we must do a Friday Happy Dance!
So let's discuss some Friday favorites today! 

1.  My friend Tina gave me a belated Christmas present and proper praise and delight need to be expressed for all the world to see!  ZOMG . . . how awesome is this ornament?  And really, it's sound advice because duh, you should read my blog!
2.  New year, new you . . . so in keeping with that theme, I joined the Mama Laughlin Diet Bet that kicked off at the beginning of the year!  The final weigh in was due today and damn skippy if I didn't lose 4% of my body weight and was declared a winner, winner chicken dinner!  Woot!  So I get my $35 buy in back plus a share of all the folks that caved to the cravings and are blaming it on the ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-al-co-hol!  Sorry I'm not sorry for them because I win more! 
3.  I'm so not a girly girl and have never figured out how to flat iron my hair.  Womp, womp.  My friend Michelle is always so cute and does hers every day so I asked her to teach me how it's done.  So she came over armed with her Chi and gave me a lesson!  I think it looks pretty, but it felt weird all flat on my head.  And as she was doing it she couldn't believe how long my hair has gotten. 
I've done it myself a couple times since then so I'm practically a pro!  I consider it my last hurrah before I have to start going with the wash and set like my mom does!  To prove that I was capable, I sent Michelle a picture of the first time I did it myself.  Clearly I'm a professional selfie taker in the mirror as well.  #creeper
4.  Amanda tells me recently that we need a snack basket in our car.  My friends Cindy and Andrea have one, and she would like the option of a snicky snack when she gets the hunger pains.  Since I forgot to eat that morning and found a random chia granola bar at the bottom of my purse, I thought it might not be a bad idea!  I dug out an old craft basket and loaded it up with mostly healthy stuff and a few protein bars for me.  She was super excited!
5.  So of all the crap I need to do around the house, I make this little craft-tastic idea a priority this week.  I love Christmas cards and don't want to throw them away, but have never figured out a way to keep them so they weren't just a stack in my basement.  So I got all crafty this week and got a jump ring thing to string them on and voila!  I even got Amanda to do all the dirty work of hole punching and stringing them on!  Now next year I'm going to sit them around at the holidays and plan to take a trip down memory lane! 
6.  I'm excited about all the fun stuff planned for this weekend!  I'll recap next week but until then, here's a fun hint about what's going down tonight!  Friends that "get" you and crack you up all at the same time are priceless!
Well, that's all folks!  Have a fabulous weekend!  January out!  And I'm linking up with Amanda because why not?!? 

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Weekend That Was

I can't seem to get it together to blog about my weekend on Monday so it might just have to be a Tuesday thing.  Mondays usually consist of me tackling the mountains of laundry and cleaning the house up from the weekend.  #jealous

Friday was lame.  And that's cool when you're married with kids.  Or is it?  I keep telling myself that anyway.  It was cold and dreary.  My friend from Florida, ironically named Summer, kept texting me how warm and sunny it was down there.  I was all like bitch please . . . go away!  I was under a blanket with a space heater directed at me trying to take a nap.  
Know what really chaps my hide?  Having to set my alarm on a Saturday.  Sometimes it's got to be done when big things are happening. 
My oldest was offered the chance to take the SAT early, as in 7th grade early, and he agreed.  I didn't give a rat whether he did or not, which is a new leaf for me.  Normally I am "that" mom pushing her kids to do all the things, but I've realized as they get older that the drive needs to come from within if I want them to succeed.  Not from their mother.  That is a hard lesson . . . btw.  

I thought he would be in with just a bunch of other 7th graders but so not the case.  We get in line with what seems like every high schooler in the county and let me tell you, that is not a pretty sight.  I swear we didn't look that haggard when I was in high school.  Comfort is one thing.  Slob is another.  
I'm assuming he took the same test as he would in high school since he said his classroom was full of high schoolers, and they pulled the tests all out of the same box.  And no where did it ever say "P"SAT.  In his words, "It was difficult, but easy in some parts.  And long."  Sounds about right.  Then he got to spend the night with a friend and basically play video games for 24 hours . . . he was happy!

Amanda left in the early afternoon on Saturday to head to a Hot Wheels roller skating party and spend the night with a friend!  
That girl loves a play date and all I see is the back of her shirt if she's invited somewhere.  Bye mom.  She also had to practice her Talent Show try-out routine with her friend . . . a song and dance to It's A Hard Knock Life from Annie.  Can't say I'm sad I had to miss those practice sessions.  

Kyle and Getzy had a dudes day of video gaming and eating out since I took off before lunch with my friend and 5 teenage girls down to Buckhead to help chaperone/celebrate her daughter's 15th birthday!  That's right . . . FIVE of them.  That involves a lot of giggling, talking, text and eating.  And that was just us!  Ha.  I threatened to wear a huge ball gown to celebrate the quinceanera celebration . . . if only I could still fit into my prom dress!    

Our first stop was Lenox Square Mall where we enjoyed a lunch at Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar.  I ate the healthy low carb meal and topped it off with a shared bottle of wine.  Whoops.  Except no, totally worth it! 
Then we released the beasts, I mean teenage girls, to shop until they drop, and we headed out on our own!  My friend Cindy has taught me about shopping goals . . . as in specific plans for the trip.  She wanted to find jeans, but I didn't have any items on my list.  Sometimes though items find you, and I treated myself to this delightful necklace from Loft.  I'm drawn to the blue. 
After awhile we both agreed we needed to 'caffinate' so we treated ourselves to the very trendy Flat White from Starbucks.  Since I'm cutting out the sugar, this worked out nicely . . . although my favorite is the Cinnamon Dolce Latte.  And btw, what the hell is "ristretto?"
Then the girls were ready to move on so we headed to Phipps Plaza just across the way.  We had one goal here . . . a double ear piercing.  Cindy has wanted to get a second hole in each ear for awhile but just hadn't really had the opportunity.  Well, opportunity knocked on Saturday in the form of seeing a Claire's and embracing the YOLO idea!  The girl helping us was adorbs and so sweet!  Cindy held the cute bear and my hand and voila . . . they look fabulous!  So proud!
The trip to Phipps was short lived so then the girls wanted to go to Target.  Well, ok . . . so off we go!  It's their day . . . we are happy to indulge!  Again, we leave them to their own devices and find them munching on snacks and driving each other around IN the cart.  Too funny!  And yes, much of their weekend was spent like this . . . staring at their phones!
Finally, they are shopped out and we head to our final destination . . . the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead . . . because we are fancy like that.  Ok, my friend is fancy, and I'm just glad she lets me tag along!
We come in with our bags from shopping, luggage, a birthday cake and a bunch of girls . . . you know the patrons were thrilled to see us!  We got two suites and Cindy informed the girls that if we go a call from security, there would be hell to pay!  They didn't want to go out for dinner so they ordered room service, and we indulged in some cocktails.  We did a late room service appetizer dinner . . .  yummy!
We checked on them every once in awhile and did the birthday singing and cake thing, but they were awesome and apparently got lots of sleep!  I, however, did not.  Perhaps because it was hot, not in my own bed, or because the Goose (as in Grey) was on the loose the night before. 

I was back on the healthy train the next day and enjoyed a Western Omelet for brunch.  I gave away my home fries and biscuit . . . that, my friends, took some serious self control.  I did tell those girls to enjoy their metabolism as they ordered their carbo loaded breakfasts.  I was totally just jealous.  The fun was over so we headed home.  I managed to hold the couch down all day until we met friends for Mexican for dinner.  I didn't even have a margarita or a single chip . . . I call that winning.  It clearly took a lot out of me because I fell asleep during my beloved Downton Abbey.  And that was the weekend that was . . . how was yours?

Linking up with Bianca because I love a weekend recap!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekending . . .

What I really miss when I look back on my lack of posts is just remembering the day to day stuff . . . life at that point in time. 
That quote rings so true . . . especially for us moms (and dads) out there.  Sometimes the monotony of the day to day life is exhausting, but that IS life.  I remember just trying to get through the exhausting days of babies and toddlers and wondering when it was going to get easier.  Well, physically it's easier now, but the worries are just different.  And I can say without a doubt that I would give anything to go back in time to when they were little . . . because the days when they leave us are closing in, and it scares me.
All that really to say that I'm going to try and do weekend recaps, starting with this weekend!  And since I just decided this, my pictures are lacking but that's okay . . . gotta start somewhere! 
So we may as well start on Friday . . . literally a day full of volunteering after Amanda's mid year awards ceremony!  Her awards are for behavior which I think is kind of hokey, but it's what they do at her school . . . I'm just glad she's behaving!  It's a crappy shot because I wasn't close and then had to crop out all the other kids.  Boo.
Then I rushed over to the middle school to work each of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade honors celebrations!  Honestly, while it was a zoo, it was fun!  There are some great ladies who volunteer, and the kids are pretty awesome too!  Since the middle school went to semesters, there is only one of these a year and they did it up right!  The kids had over an hour of jumpy time and then went to the theater to walk across the stage to some loud music, flashing lights including a disco ball and their name scrolling in the background to receive their certificates!  I'm a proud mama . . . the 7th grader made Principal's Honor Roll (all A's) and the 6th grader also made Honor Roll!  Rock on boys!
Starting Thursday night and continuing Friday night, most of the day Saturday and all afternoon and into the evening on Sunday, I volunteered to be a small group leader for the Created By God program at a local church!  I blogged about it last year when my middle son attended . . . check it out here!  You cannot volunteer when your child is attending so this was my first opportunity to volunteer and see it from their perspective!  Whoa.  They definitely understand the Birds and the Bees in detail when it's over!  Next year Amanda gets to attend so I thought it was paying it forward by donating my time this year!  I really enjoyed it and would gladly do it again . . . it's just a big time commitment! 
My favorite show comes on Sunday nights and my friend and I like to get together to watch it . . . who here is a Downton Abby fan?  Can I get an amen for how awesome it is? 
The Dowager Queen cracks me up with her quotes . . . this one seems appropriate!
The most exciting news from the weekend is that Getzy and I bought plane tickets for our summer family trip out west to attend his family reunion!  
The reunion is in South Dakota, but we plan to hit North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and fly in and out of Denver, Colorado.  Getzy has been to all of the contiguous 48 states except Montana and the Dakotas!  This will round out his collection and then that leaves Hawaii as the only state left to see! 
If you have any must see attractions from these areas, give me a shout . . . the planning has just begun and all lodges in the park are already booked.  Bummer. 
Monday was a sleep in day for all which makes me happy!  Amanda got to attend Horse Camp which makes her happy!  However, she wasn't so thrilled when I picked her up because she rode a new horse (to her), and he was a bit of a wild man. 
Leo has been lame and hasn't been doing lessons recently.  Well he's back in action and apparently excited about it.  Too excited for Amanda's taste, and she had a meltdown in the ring.  I'm glad I wasn't there for that because I'm not really that kind of mom.  We had a long talk with her trainer afterwards, and we both assured her that we thought she was a better rider than she thought she was. She left the barn happy . . . sometimes days like that are the best learning experiences and will make her a better rider!  
We rounded out the weekend with Getzy making some chicken wings, and my friend and her boys coming over for dinner!  I love to have folks over for dinner . . . especially when Getzy has the main dish covered!  I also love to be invited over for dinner . . . just a little tidbit for you!  
And I have been listening to this song on repeat . . . everyone around me is sick of it!  Getzy did admit he likes it so that is a win!  

Since Grooveshark is being a little beotch . . . here is the video which really is pretty awesome!  Turn it up!
 Hope you had a great weekend!  Did you do anything exciting?   
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Track the Tank Giveaway: What Motivates You?

The workout tank has made it's way around the good old USA and now it's time for you to win it!  A big shout out to Tia and Candra for coming up with this fun idea and including me in it!
The point was to sign the tank, blog about what motivates you and send it on to the next blogger!  I think it's pretty cool we all managed to pull this off, and it actually founds it way home! 

And my motivation is still the same . . . check out my post here!

It's easy to enter to win!  Follow some awesome blog ladies on their life journeys and earn chances!  Good luck to you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Shitter's Full and Other Christmas Tales

Happiest of New Year wishes to you and yours . . . 2015 is excellent so far, but I need to recap the holidays for posterity . . . I get it if you just want to skip it!  I mean seriously, who doesn't love to talk Christmas in mid January?  Basically no one!

I made a choice not to update the blog in December.  Since I've had at least one post a month since I started, my plan was to do a holiday recap before the end of the year.  My plans changed when I got the best Christmas gift EVER from Getzy.  Are you ready for this?  I cried.  He had my blog, since inception through the last post in November, printed into a hardback book.  He used and I love it!  So naturally, I waited until 2015 to post so the book would encompass the complete years of 2013 and 2014.  It really made me wish I posted more so that is one of my goals for 2015!
Now how about I explain the title?  Well, my mom came to visit so naturally a major household items breaks.  On Christmas Day, like straight out of the Christmas Story movie, Getzy is in the basement and curse words float up the stairs.  I go down to investigate and apparently the sump pump has picked Christmas to quit us.  The seal was broken and as God is my witness, it was awful.  We are both standing there just in awe of how gross the whole thing was, and I happily announced that the "shitter was full" like Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation.  Getzy was not amused.  I was not amused when we figured out how much it cost to replace it.  Merry Christmas to us! 
So let's back up and cover all the holiday events of 2014.  The holidays kick off at our house when our Elf, Lucky, comes to town.  I bought the book and elf the first year it was available (2005) at the Junior League's Mistletoe Market.  The author and her daughter were selling the books in a booth at the market and signed our copy for me!  So for 9 years our elf has focused on just moving every night and never did any shenanigans . . . and he was very happy about that.  Well, this year my daughter heard about the antics of some of her friends' elves and decided to take matters into her own hands.  She left him a very polite note to please be silly. 
Naturally Lucky couldn't disappointed her and so a season of shenanigans began with this . . .
And thank goodness for Pinterest and Facebook friends who shared great ideas!  Here are a couple of his tricks . . . nothing too crazy because being naughty is hard work!  He did manage to do something "silly" every day!
I cannot resist the Santa picture every year.  We go see the same one at a nearby mall, and it's a tradition I don't think I'll ever be able quit.  I used to make a big production over it, and then I realized that was more stress than necessary.  So now I let the kids just go as they are and while the boys don't want to go, they do it for me.  They do put their foot down about sitting on his lap.  Agreed boys.  This year Ryan asked for an X-Box, Kyle asked for headphones and Amanda asked for a camera. 
So that leads to another holiday photo . . . the annual Christmas card.  Usually I hate this task but since my photographer friend took family portraits this year, my life was made easy, and I had these out earlier than ever.  Shout out Summer!  I didn't buy enough so those closer to the end of my labels went without . . . next year I'll do better!  Pinky swear. 
And feel free to add me to your list . . . I LOVE to receive Christmas cards!  I hang them all around the kitchen and look at them often!  This year I'm buying one of those craft ring things and am going to put them all on there to set out next year. 
Decorating starts early around here because there's so much of it to be done.  Somebody (two thumbs pointing back at self) has a Clark Griswold philosophy on Christmas and way overdoes it every year.  We decorated 11 trees this year . . . and by we I mean me and Amanda because the male Getz' just aren't that into it.  South Pole elves.  Here's a tree sample . . .
They aren't super fancy but they so make me happy!  My favorite is the "travel tree" with the homemade ornament tree coming in a close second!  And of course my dog tree . . . makes me so happy!  And speaking of my dogs, I got myself some new Christmas jammies that sport my favorite canine! 
 And not to be outdone with cuteness, Abby strikes a pose!
My poker ladies enjoyed a holiday dinner out on the town!  We laughed until we cried and acted like fools . . . so much fun!
I organized a holiday party for Amanda's class the last day of school before holiday break.  Pro-tip for those over achieving room parents: I recommend organizing a gift card wreath for the teacher.  Everyone donates a gift card, and I attach them with floral picks and a cute bow!  Simple, easy and very much appreciated!
I had the brilliant idea of letting my kids have holiday parties for their friends (insert sarcasm).  The boys combined theirs and so ten middle school boys were at my house for 3 hours . . . about 2 too long!  Getzy made chicken wings, and we served Grinch hats, chips and dips and a cookie cake, at the request of the boys.  All good parties end with goodie bags so for middle school boys I included sparklers, a carabiner and candy!
The major activity for the night was poker.  I was hoping it would last longer than it did, but who was I kidding?  Their attention spans aren't that long! 
It was all fun and games until a friendly fight ensued that left one crying and one pinned to the ground.  My favorite quote of the night was from the one doing the pinning . . . "I watch a lot of WWE!"  It wasn't serious, but enough to make me edgy.  After that I took the older boys outside to run off some energy.  All is well that ends well.

I love a holiday party!  I get to dress a little fancy and hang out with my friends.  It's even easier when the kids are invited!  My friend Lynn has one every year, and it makes me happy to go!
Next up, Amanda's holiday party!  I must say . . . the girls were easier!  Amanda decided what she wanted to do which included cupcake decorating, making cupcake ornaments and an ornament exchange!  So cute!  And my mom arrived just in time to help with the fun!
We really only had one holiday adventure and that was going to see It's A Wonderful Life at an historical theater in a nearby town square!  Amanda got out of it because she was a horse camp!  And I do mean got out of it because seriously, that movie is barely a Christmas movie and kind of boring.  Gasp!  I said it.  It was cool to hear the antique organ playing Christmas carols and he invited folks up to watch him play.  We were close because shockingly, the theater was mostly empty! 
Here's a quick Christmas Eve and Christmas morning recap . . . we go to church on Christmas Eve to the early service.  There is always a candlelight singing of Silent Night and it just feels so nostalgic.  The kids always get to open one present on Christmas Eve and yes, it's usually pajamas! 
Christmas morning was way earlier than it has been in years past.  For whatever reason none of us could sleep so we got up at 5:55 a.m.  We do the Christmas pickle tradition where the person to find it gets to open the first present . . . Ryan always wins.  Then we try to open presents one at a time but Amanda usually gets ahead of us!

I always make everyone pose with their presents!  Getzy hates it and the kids don't like it, but they all tolerate it for me.  One day they will thank me when they go back and have these memories! 

Getzy wanted a new Jeep bumper and winch but too bad for him!  And of course no one asks mom to pose for the Christmas tree photo so I have to take my own.  Sad face. 
And finally, so I can remember in years to come, here are some of my new holiday decorations!  We got a new tree for the front window . . . love it!  My friend Michelle came over to put the fancy new mesh around it with me and then proceeded to make fun of all my ornaments.  It was actually a very hysterical conversation . . . no offense was taken!  Several of them are admittedly tacky so she started me on the "right" path with the cute new sleigh ornament!  Speaking of tacky, I loved the "Define Naughty" sign when I saw it, and it immediately made me think of my friend so I got her one too!  I treated myself to the Hallmark Brady Bunch one because that was my favorite show when I was a kid.  I found a Petey dog decoration that I simply could not resist.  I love a homemade gift and my friend Andrea painted the snowman picture for me . . . like with her own hands!  That makes me so happy!  And finally, I like to make ornaments and send them to all my friends from our girls' trips and naturally I keep one for myself.  Happy memories for sure!
Well, that's a wrap on the holidays of 2015!  I feel like I run like a fool every year in December, and then it's over in a flash.  I find that on Christmas Day after the presents are opened that I'm a little sad.  I'm ever grateful that my mom spent the holiday with us and wish I had more pictures with her.  I do realized how blessed we are and am grateful that Getzy works so hard for our family. 

I wish each and every one of you a healthy and prosperous 2015 . . . may all your dreams come true!
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