Thursday, February 28, 2013

The TGIF Blog Hop

Welcome back to the TGIF Blog HOP!!!

The TGIF Blog Hop is a great way to gain new followers and bring more traffic to your blog. It's also a great way to meet other bloggers and get great tips, ideas, and read cool blog post.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Victories Come in All Sizes

I went to bed early last night, as I have all this week.  Okay that's only a few days but for me it's a start.  ;)  I'm usually in bed between midnight and 1:00 and up by 6:00 with a few interruptions in the night.  A sound 8-hours of sleep seems impossible most days, but in truth it's not.

I use the excuse of straightening up when the kids go to bed or spending 'quality time' with the husband (watching movies).  The fact is I need to stop looking at sleeping as a waste of time.  I know it's important.  I make sure my kids get between 10 and 12-hours each night and I can see the benefits.   I wish they took naps, but they rest during the day and bedtime seems to go smoother now that I don't fight them during the day to sleep.  (Whatever works.)  ;)

So this morning, after a full 8-hours of sleep I woke before the alarm and got ready for the gym.  It was cold and wet this morning.  Still dark outside at 6:00 and the coffee, couch and Kindle looked too inviting to turn down.  So I didn't.  With yoga pants on I curled up on the couch and read for an hour.  When 7:00 came I set out the kid's breakfast and read some more while the oldest got ready.  I made their bed, got the twins dressed and put away the breakfast dishes and back to the couch.

When the husband got my keys and headed out to take the oldest to school I stopped him.  It was a half-hearted attempt and one he almost turned down till he asked if I was going to workout.  "Yes, I guess."  Then he handed me the keys.  Not because he wants to push me, but because he wants to encourage me and said he'd workout from home and watch the kids.

As I'm driving the oldest to school I'm thinking about just heading home, or maybe shopping, anything but working out.  I just didn't feel like it.  Though the sun was out now it was still cold and wet.  I don't like working out on the best of days, so a drizzly one felt like all the excuse I needed.  <sigh>  I dropped her off.  I turned my car home and then made a quick turn towards the gym... which is just an alternate route home.  I could still pass the gym up if I felt like it.

But I didn't.  I pulled in to the parking lot   Sat in my car a minute and asked myself why I was here.  The membership fee is less than a fast food dinner for the family.  It's not like it's killing us.  I could just let it expire.  Okay, so my 40th birthday is only about 4-months away, but hey, I said I'd be fit at 25, 30, 35... what did it matter?  My husband loves me, all of me.  My kids think I'm great.  I have tons of friends who see past it.  Why am I here?

Why was I there?

Another minute passes.  Even with 8-hours of sleep I'm tired.  I can feel the depression seep over the already productive day.  I feel the extra weight pulling me down.  I know the moment I step out of the car I'll be pulling down my shirt, adjusting my sweater and generally feeling uncomfortable in my clothes.  I hate this.  All of this.  It's not who I see in my mind.  I love being active.  I enjoy sports, not the watching of them, but the participating in them.

I did major damage to my joints in school sports, but it shouldn't be what  holds me back.  It wasn't the end of my active life, it was just an excuse and one that got worse with weight gain.  Twelve years at a desk, twelve years of long commutes, twelve years of Dr Pepper breaks (okay that was not an issue) kidding!  <shakes head>  ;)

Then a child, then stress eating, then twins, then more stress eating.  Toss in depression, even suicidal thoughts and I woke up one day wondering what happen to the girl who hated to sit still?  The one who jumped at the opportunity to do things.  When did I trade in my tennis shoes for a fat suit?

So I opened the car door, I stepped out, I adjusted my shirt, my sweater, I avoided the puddles in the parking lot and I told myself 10, maybe 20-minutes on the bike.  NO more than 30-minutes.  So when 30-minutes showed on the readout I got up.  I did it.  I wasn't impressed with myself because I knew I could do more.  Lots more.  But I wasn't on the couch depressed.  And I knew why I was there.  I hated feeling this way and had for years, but now I've run out of excuses.  Even I don't believe myself anymore.

It was a small victory, but it was mine.

With only 30-minutes on the bike I had time to grocery shop.  We had all the staples but we needed meats and sides.  I was hungry.  Grocery shopping 101 says never go hungry.  But my outlook was different.  So I knew I could do it.  I've done it before.  I love grocery shopping without the kids.  The first 10-years of our marriage I didn't appreciate it.  But now... I live for it!

I stayed to the outside of the store avoiding all the boxed stuff.  Though I did grab granola in a carton as well as Wheat Thins but hey, I didn't get fat overnight and I won't get fit overnight.  ;)  I splurged on some port wine cheese and wine but if I've learned anything in my nearly 40-years it's that diets suck, they aren't practical and everyone eventually fails at them.

Food isn't just fuel, it's fun.  God made it beautiful.  Man made it bland and ugly and we've excepted it.  Yes a Thin Mint tastes great, but they don't make my mouth water like a perfect apple or a sweet orange.  And though I won't turn a few down, I'll leave the box for another time instead of one sitting.  ;)

This picture I took today of just a few things I bought.  I realize it's silly to take photos of food, unless of course you're a foodie.  :)  But I didn't take this for my blog, I posted it on my desk top to remind me of what's behind the fridge doors and cabinets.  
I keep some of the fruits out, but the twins would eat them up in a day if I didn't put some of it back.  And the veggies sometimes go bad because I forget.  But on my desk top I pass by it each day and remember, "Hey, I have an eggplant I need to cook and peppers that would go great in stir fry."  And isn't it pretty?  I've never seen a box of anything look this good.  

Homemade wine in the background rounds the picture off nicely.  ;) 

Monday, February 18, 2013

MHO Monday Mingle Blog Hop

Welcome back to the Monday Mingle!
Hosted by

This Week's Theme: KIDS

This Week's Questions:

1. Do you have any kids? If so, how many? If not, how many do you want or do you want any?

I have 3 kids, a 9-year old daughter and 3-year old boy/girl twins… and we’re done.  ;)

2. What is the cutest thing you've ever heard a kid say?
Just one?   My oldest says something at least once a week that has me laughing. 

3. What is your favorite memory as a kid, if you could pick one?
My parents and I took a 9 day vacation and went to 9 different states.  We saw the Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone Park, The Royal Gorge… we followed a rain cloud that only hit the back of the car while the windshield stayed dry and we saw a thunderstorm under us on Pike’s Peak. 
It was a great week with 8 track tapes and no distractions but each other.  :)

4. As a kid, what was your favorite subject in school?

Literature, any excuse to read and talk about it.  Sadly I was terrible at grammar and spelling, but still pulled off good grades because of content.  Yay for that!  :)

5. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I loved watching This Old House with my mom and dad and just new that’s what I’d do when I grew up. 
Buy an old house, restore it, keep notes and photos of the progress, write a book on the house and its previous owners and then sell them both.  (House and book and make enough money to move on to the next project.)  I’ve sorta done that with our first house, a 1920’s Farm House, but no book was written.  :)   

Okay, now it's your turn. Grab the button and questions and repost on your page!!! You don't have to answer the questions, you can just repost the button. Link your post up and mingle with other bloggers!!! No rules, just meet new people!
Next week's theme: SECRETS

Fancy Lofts, Lots of Food and a Happy Dude!

So we skipped town for the weekend.  Okay it was just one night but it was nice.  Matter of fact we decided this summer we're scheduling a long weekend in Fredericksburg for another wine tour, Bed & Breakfast stay and just time away together.  We've been married nearly 20-years.  We NEED time away.  ;)

But this weekend it was busy, we left at around 6:00 AM and drove to our home town to drop off Girl Scout cookies (so glad to have that temptation out of the house) to the husband's family.  When we finished we meet friends for lunch at Red Hot & Blue for some barbecue.  YUM!!!

Then we headed to our hotel after fighting with the massive amounts of road construction going on in Dallas.  UGH!  Five years away from the big city and I don't miss a minute of it.  Give me Abilene's wide highways with a dozen cars and I'm a happy girl.   :)

So you might have seen where we got a great deal on the room, just $68 for a Saturday night?  If not, that's what we paid... my cheap little heart went  pidder-patter.  ;)  Based on the reviews and photos the place looked cool.  Like too cool for old farts like us, but we wanted something different.  We don't stay in hotels very often but it seems cheap or expensive they all feel about the same.  Yes the more expensive ones give you more 'freebies' *cough* and they're cleaner, but all in all it's pretty much the same.

Not this place.  And it's not for everyone.  But instead of carpet it was concrete.  Instead of hotel art *blech* it was local art.  No fancy furnishings but more of an IKEA feel.  Which was a fun change.  No the couch wasn't something you snuggled on, but who does that in a hotel anyway.  It's ALL about the bed.  And that sucker was LUSH!

I also loved the lighting.  No harsh bright lights.  All of it was soft or muted but the bathroom light was bright.  The wall of mirrors helped.  :)
The shower had a waterfall head... LOVED!, the basin was cool, they had a single serve Keurig machine with 4 choices along with all the sweeteners.  And of course your standard stuff like ironing boards, iron, blow dryer,  flat screen TV and alarm clock... but that was unique too because it had an iPhone docking station.

The mirror in the shower was a bit intimidating,
but it fogs over so no worries.  ;) 

Coffee & Tea available along with bottled water...
I had already had my water ready for tea.  ;) 

Over to the left is the shower stall and sliding bathroom door.
The shower stall was great.  It's defused glass so you might see a silhouette
but not much else.  But the sliding door left a large gap.
That was our only complaint.  Yes we've been married nearly 20-years
but we still like our privacy.
"Hey honey, can you get some more ice and take your time please?"  ;) 

Cool artwork.  

After a quick look around our room and resting for a bit we left again for Uncle Julio's which the husband specifically requested.  ;)  And then had a few beers at The Flying Saucer where we got to hear Fire Sale from Austin play.  A fun 3 piece band.  Afterwards we went back to the hotel to crash.
A long shower under that super cool waterfall head and then we fell asleep knowing no kids would be crying in the middle of the night or waking us up at 6:00 AM.  Nope... we did that on our own.  <sigh>  Never fails.  BUT we did lay around till 9:00.  Slowly got ready and finally headed out when the cleaning crew knocked on our door around 11:00.  Oh we could have stayed another hour, but we needed food.

And lucky for us La Madeleine's was just down the road.  Brunch was great, coffee was better and we even left with some tiramisu to go.  ;)

But the best part of the weekend might have been when the husband and I meet with the man who taught him all about jewelry making and he was able to buy the bench he learned on as well as a lot of other tools.  I had wanted to wait for his 40th birthday in May, but just couldn't.  He's wanted one for about 15-years now and to be able to buy the one he learned on was too good to pass up.  Needless to say he's a very happy man.  :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Fly on the Wall


So as a mom I have magic kisses. 

It’s a mutation that happens soon after you have your first baby. In the beginning it helps sooth your child to sleep or reassures them when they’re upset, but then one day you realize its power. And it’s great! That is until your kids hurt the bottom of their dirty feet, bust a snotty nose or in the case that just happened where Little Man bit his tongue. 
I tried the kiss my finger touch his tongue method… he wasn't satisfied. <sigh> 

I’m no longer a fan of Magic Mom kisses. <wipes mouth off>


I wrote out our IRS refund "fun" money shopping list. This is the money we get to spend after having paid off the last of our debt:

1. Toilet Seat (I had to return, but it's been replaced.)
2. Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Heater (Wouldn't fit due to old swamp heater in the way.)
3. Closet Door (Fixed no need to buy one.)
4. Weed and Feed (Done!)
5. Garden Irrigation System  (Have enough supplies to do it.)
6. Garden Fencing  (Too stinkin' expensive.)
7. Gutters for Front Porch (Totally forgot... didn't bring the list.)  ;) 

Also, the oldest was grounded; part of her punishment was no TV… unless the twins had something on. She hates Dora. She didn’t at their age, but at 9… <eye roll> So anyway, I’m putting the laundry away down the hall and I hear Dora say her same ole spiel; “So where do we go next?” and under Karate Girl’s breath I hear her mumble, “How about off the cliff Dora?” I thought maybe I misunderstood but sure enough when Dora repeated herself KG says it again, but this time she gets the twins to chime in, “Off the cliff Dora, jump off the cliff!” I had to bury my face in a pillow for fear they’d hear me.


Heading off to church I notice Karate Girl was wearing flip flops. Not only is it cold and the shoes over-sized, but her toenail polish was just little flecks of blue paint. It looks bad. 

While dropping the twins off in the church nursery Little Man steps on the back of her over-sized flip flops and she nearly trips. When she starts to get on to him I said, “…and that’s why you shouldn't wear flip flops to church.”

And my sweet little girl, the one I pray over every night and give a dozen kisses to every day had the gall to tell me, “And you’re not supposed to wear house shoes to church either.”

I added a day to her grounding and she said it was worth it. I waited for God to smite her but THEN when I told the husband he started to laugh and gave Karate Girl a dap and a ‘good job’.

All this while in church. <sigh> There is no hope for my family!!!


Returned a toilet seat.  It was the highlight of my day.


So I had just curled up on the couch with my blanket, some hot tea and my Kindle when I hear some crackling noise coming from the kid's room. "What can that possibly be?" I look towards the piano at the stacks of Girl Scout cookies that need to be picked up and I start to wonder. When could they have possibly have grabbed a box. When I turned the kettle on? When I switched the laundry over? More noise comes from their room. <sigh> FINE!

I walk in to their room and both dive under the bed. The crackling noise is louder. "Guys, what do y’all have?" I see a lone Peanut Butter Pattie in an outstretched hand; "Sorry mama." Then Blondie kicks out TWO empty boxes. "What have y'all done!?!" She sticks her hand out and hands me the empty plastic tray. (The noise that sent me to their room in the first place.) I hear another, "Sorry mama." But this time they both start to laugh and say, "Soooo good mama!" I pick up the empty boxes, the empty trays, the empty foil like wrappers and find that one has a few cookies left.

With puppy dog eyes they watch as I slowly eat the left over cookies in front of them. "That'll learn ya! Now go grab some Thin Mints. Mama's heard they taste great straight from the freezer."


I lied to my kids to get them to eat dinner.  It was just a geographical lie... so it's not really a lie... right?  Anyway it had me thinking about the craziest lie my parents told me.

For me it was my dad telling me that the flashing sign at the bank that told the time and temperature was run by little people. When I questioned him further not knowing if I should believe him or not, he explained that you almost never see little people on the street like you do in Oz. That was because they lived in an underground city where they ran all the street lights, railroad crossings and signs like those at our local bank.

I’m ashamed to admit how long I believed him. <blush>


Painting canvas, it's all I did.  The whole day.  I'm behide on laundry and chores, but it's done dang it!

Marshall's is super 'funny'.  ;)  

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Monday, February 11, 2013

MHO Monday Mingle Blog Hop

Are y'all following the MHO Monday Mingle with Story of a Girl and Funny Postpartum Lady?  If not you should.  Each week they'll ask a few questions pertaining to a certain topic.  It's fun and easy.  This week's topic is: Love  
You know... cause it's Valentine's week.  :)  

1. Who was your first love?

That would have to be Chuck Ramsey from daycare.  I have a teddy bear I named Chucky Bear after him.  We went to Merrymac Daycare in Duncanville together and I have no idea where he is now.  But he was so cute to a 5-year old me.  :)

2. Do you remember your first kiss?

If you mean a quick peck on the cheek then the above mentioned guy.  
If you mean swapping gum then that would be Danny Frailey who is still good friends with the husband and I.  Matter of fact I'm really good friends with his wife.  (I like her more than him these days.)    ;)  

3. What are your plans this Valentine's Day?

Not much since it falls on a Thursday, but Friday night we're going to a youth fundraiser at the church with a candle light dinner, dessert and movie.  And then Saturday and Sunday we're headed to Dallas to visit some friends and getting a hotel room for just the two of us.  (Kids staying at home where my mom will watch them for us.)  

4. What do you love most about your spouse?

I've been with my husband for 20-years now. We've been married 19 of those years this past December.  There is a lot I love about my guy, but if I had to just give one reason it would have to be his devotion to our marriage.  He has a lot on his plate with a 6-day a week job, our Etsy shop, his work with the church band and caring for 3-kids a wife and a home, but he never falters   He's pretty great.  

5.  What would be your DREAM Valentine's Day gift?

A night at a nice hotel where we can eat out in a nice restaurant if we'd like or order room service.  Stay in robes all day or dress up to go on the town.  Maybe even a long soak in an over-sized Jacuzzi with no interruptions.  (Oh wait, we're doing that this weekend!)  ;)     

Now it's your turn.  Go link up, jot down the questions, follow Story of a Girl and Funny Postpartum Lady and check back next week when the topic is: Kids!  
And have a Happy Valentine's Day with the one you love.  :) 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spider-Woman is Legit Y'all!

It was brought to my attention today that not everyone knows about Spider-Woman.  I KNOW shocking!!!  So as a community service I shall do my best to get y'all up to date on Jessica Drew AKA Spider-Woman.  *The other incarnations of Spider-Woman don't matter.  First lesson.  ;)

Okay, Spider-Woman first appeared in the 1977 Marvel Spotlight #32.  Now you might think I had to Google that, but I didn't.  Know why?  
My basketball number was 32.  Coincidence?  

A year later she had her own comic book.  (I own all 50 of them.)  

In 1979 she had her own Saturday morning cartoon.  
I never missed an episode.  :)   

I even had her Underoos!

*She was also in an SNL skit:  Superhero Party

So what makes Jessica Drew/ Spider-Woman so awesome?  
She can fly, not swing from building or glide, but fly. 
She puts off pheromones that can make a person love or fear her.
She has a venom blast that can stun or kill.
She can adhere to walls.  
She is immune to all poisons and radiation. 
And of course she possess all the superhuman traits like 
speed, endurance and strength.
She's also had some cool jobs and affiliations:  
She's been a PI, a spy and a bounty hunter.
She's also worked for Hydra, Shield, S.W.O.R.D. and the Avengers... 
both old and new.
So my question is:

That's right, superhero chick up front,
superhero dudes in the back.  ;) 

Anyway, 35-years later she has a new comic book series that's been made in to motion comics.  I've read and watched them all as well.  

 Okay, so there's a quick look at Spider-Woman.  She's legit y'all.  ;)

*If you have Netflix you can watch her motion comics instantly so go check it out.  And of course YouTube has her original Saturday morning series.  Karate Girl has seen them all.  :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

It doesn't get easier, just different.

I didn’t get moving fast enough this morning to go grocery shopping alone so I loaded up the twins and headed to our local supermarket.  It was packed, I almost drove back home but with friends coming to stay the night I knew I’d have to come back in just a few hour.  With happy smiles and promises of fun I loaded the kids in the double seated grocery cart and dodged cars and slow moving pedestrians.    

As we entered the store I pulled out my list and pen and decided on a plan of attack; household stuff first, frozen foods last, keep to the back with the wider aisles to avoid grabby hands from grabbing and move fast.  No price comparing, no wandering down the fresh baked goods or specialty cheeses and wine… just get what I need and get. 

Before the toilet paper and Kleenexes but thankfully after the Aleve, Little Man decided he’d rather be home playing with his trucks and in his frustration decided to crush his sister against the other side of the cart.  Blondie let out a howling scream; “Guys, let’s at least get to the meat before we try to kill each other.”  I found some cups with Spider-Man and Tinkerbell and for a few minutes they were happy.  I made it through the water and tea as well as the lunchmeats and then I could feel the tremor of a full blown melt down coming. 

“Guys, you’ve been fed, you pottied, you have cool cups to ‘fist-a-cups’ with (It’s a game where they put cups on their hands and punch each other… on the other person’s cup.  I know it’s lame but it works… most of the time.) and if you can last just a bit longer we’ll have fruit salad for lunch.  Deal?!”  Cocked heads and quivering chins… I felt the restlessness build but still had half my list to go through.

As we made it to the cereal aisle I found some Matchbox cars.  (Yes, when shopping with the twins I will resort to bribing. I do the same to the husband… don’t judge.)  ;)  This was pure genius.  Both happy and both knew the rules; ‘You can’t open till after we check out.’  They smiled and played with their packaged cars.  The world was back in balance. 

And then I saw her, the other mother with twins.  But she was braver… or crazier, because she also had their two siblings.  She had the look of a desperate woman in search of a window to jump from.  The twins were fighting and the other kids were asking for everything they saw.  As I followed behind her I helped with tossed shoes and we smiled the mom smile.  The, “I understand what you are going through and I promise not to judge when you pass the beer and wine section.  Matter of fact I’ll help you find the best deal” look. 

After several aisles, lost shoes and looks of utter stress she turns to me and says, “Please tell me it gets easier.”  I couldn’t lie to her.  Too many had done it to me.  “I’m afraid not, but it does get different.  They learn to communicate, they get out of diapers, they start figuring out how to share better and you grow with them.  Different is good.” 

She started to smile and just as I was about to initiate a fist bump Little Man put Blondie in a headlock and the ear piercing scream that only a 3-year old girl can do echoed throughout the store once again.  It was my queue to wrap things up.  We gave each other a reassuring nod and the slightly insane mom grimace.  Both making promises to our kids that we were almost done. 

Lesson for the day: sacrificing a few hours of sleep for a peaceful trip the grocery store… always worth it.