10, 9, 8, 7, 6....

It is almost time for the countdown! Wow what a year it has been.  Weight has been lost, miles have been run, challenges and obstacles have been overcome.  A baby has grown into a one year old and a little girl left the preschool stage.  Jobs have come and gone and goals have been met and exceeded.

Just tonight I watched as my baby girl fearlessly laced up the hockey skates and stepped out onto the ice for the first time alone.  The chair she held was soon pushed aside and I witnessed her fly solo across the ice.  The ride home from the family fun of skating, sledding, bonfires and fireworks was full of excited chatter from the back retelling us over and over how much she loved skating. Max was amazed with the fireworks and was secretly walking when no one was looking and squealing with delight as he was pulled across the ice in the sled.

I am so lucky.  Tonight is the 13th year D and I will ring in the year with a kiss and I am very much looking forward to locking lips with the love of my life and welcoming the beginning of 2013.  What will it bring us I am not sure, although perhaps a third little bundle may be on my wish list :0).

I wish that all wishes are granted, laughs come easy and friends are always near to everyone.  If 2012 had any indication I am in for an absolutely fantastic year to come.  My little family is going to just bloom even more and I know that we are going to have one fun year!!!

Happy New Year!!!!!

Believe...

....in yourself.

It's funny.  It hit me tonight. It was not all the miles logged training, or the dozen or so races I ran this year.  It was not at the end of my half marathon or after accomplishing my sub 30 5k goal.  I was not even all of the running that I logged in November or the pride in being able to hit the road in the dark and the extreme cold, or how now I think nothing of pushing BOB loaded with kids in order to squeeze in a run.  It was tonight.  I finally feel like I earned my running tattoo tonight.

I hit the road late, after 8.  I had already worked out and even pulled the kids in their sled to the store to rent a movie for D and I's date night tonight, but I went anyway.  I laced up, through on hat and mittens and my fabulous red running jacket and stepped out the door.  I stepped out into white out winter wonderland.  The snow was coming down heavy and quick at a slant.  The sidewalks already had an unplowed 2 inches on them and snow felt like tiny pin pricks on my face.  BUT, I started out.  It was slow, it was quiet and it was beautiful.  I didn't go out because I had too, I didn't go out because I had a goal to meet, or something to prove.  I just went out because.  I was out alone, I went out happy and I thought as I hit the first 1/4 mile.  I LOVE it out here.  Running is not a chore.  I proved I could run in the heat, the sun and the gorgeous fall weather. Tonight the conditions were not prime for running, as my feet felt the pavement under the snow I was truly enjoying myself.  Tonight, I proved that yes I can make myself into anything.  I earned my tattoo.  The wheels are now turning and my design skills are being put to the test.  I think I may just know exactly what and where the next round of ink will be.  And even though I do not regret any of my tattoos this one,  THIS ONE will be something that I earned by believing in myself. 

Twas the Night Before Chirstmas...

And all through our home, the finishing touches were being perfected by us little knomes. 
The Children were snuggled all warm in their beds, as final exhaustion lowered their sweet heads.
We drove through the town, seeing lights that we found and the Christmas music was playing the most glorious sound. 
We had spent the night visiting our families with the most wonderous delight.
Sharing food, laughs, and even an engagement, there were gasps!
Now the gifts have all been layed, the cookies digested and Santa's note was looked at with great admiration.
Tomorrow brings wonder, excitement and joy.  As our littles will squeal over each little toy.
The memories we make will be held onto tight and looked back upon next Christmas night.
To all of our friends both near and away, we wish you a very magical day.
Now bedtime is here for even us elves who are squirming with thrill inspite of our exhaustion...
Yes the rhyming is done, I must go to bed.
So Merry Christmas to all and to all a good sled.....
GOOD NIGHT!
 

Dear Max,

We celebrated you today.  You turned one.  You took great joy in your special chair Mommy and Daddy got you.  You even decided to stop walking in secret and took off across the room for us all to see.  The last year has gone by so quickly.  You were born a year ago and I swear the smiles started before we even left the hospital.  You have brought so much light and laughter into our family.  I had a hard time falling asleep last night, and in fact saw the clock mark your special day before I even went to sleep.  I spent the night just thinking about you.  How you have changed our family, yet how it feels like you have always been right here with us.  You fit in so extra perfectly. 

You are Ella's Goodgie, Daddy's Big Guy and Mommy's Love Bug.  You have such an amazing personality.  From the moment you were born you were this little laid back thing.  You came out calm and content.  You snuggled in my arms just like you still do.  You make so many people happy.  You are amazing, smart, funny as all get out, care free, and daring.  You can charm a room full of people and make your sister laugh until she cries.  You can make Daddy drop whatever he's doing and you make Mommy's heart sore.  You make being a Mommy so easy.  You are full of giggles and smiles and mischief in a good way.  You take delight in all things and always have a kiss, a hug or a snuggle to pass out along with your sweet smile.  You are the most perfect addition to our family and we couldn't have picked a more precious baby.

You turned one today and I love you more than you will ever know.  You have given me a year of pure joy as a mommy.  Watching the love you and your sister have is the most phenomenal thing I could ever witness.  You my dear sweet boy are such a beautiful soul and the world is going to see something big of you some day I just know it. 

I love you my dear sweet boy, and you will always be my very special second born. 

364 days

It's been 364 days since we received one of our very best Christmas gifts ever. For some reason we keep having December babies and this actually makes sense considering what little miracles they are.

One year ago tonight I was in the midst of labor with my little mister. I had just packed up my first baby and sent her off in the capable hands of my parents and was settled in to await the delivery of my little guy. I can't believe it's been a year. This year with my little ball of delight has flown by. The 14 months of TTC him was so drawn out and torturous but all of the constant smiles and laid back attitudes of Mister Mister have completely taken all of those dark times away.

I kissed my happy little baby goodnight tonight and sent him off mirroring his huge grin. Tomorrow I will wake to his little pice ringing out with mama and greet him with his vampire toothy grin as a big one year old.

Good night sweet boy <3

conflicted

It was about a week ago that I declared I was leaving Facebook and for the most part I have not been present there.  I have not however, deactivated my account yet.  At first I told myself it was because I was signed up to win some great giveaways and I needed to see if by chance I win.  But deep down there is a real reason....

I can't really bring myself to do it.  While I full out admit that I have a slight addiction to constantly seeing what is going on and making every second of the entirely too cute lives of my children visible to all for pure bragging rights (My kids are awesome I have to shout their totally adorable antics to the world!!!!), I also use it for a connection.  A connection to some really wonderful friends and family.  We have family all over the states and I enjoy seeing their day to day life and come to find out after a few comments from the last family Christmas party they actually enjoy my picture and kid story overloads.  But I also have a group a friends.  A group that has been through hell and back together.  We have brought each other through so many bad times and cheered each other through so many good times.  This group started out as just my "Internet friends" but you see they are not JUST my Internet friends anymore.  They are more.  We have formed a bond and yes some may be closer to others but we are all there for each other.  If I left Facebook how would I share with them what is going on?  Yes we text and call and see each other at least once a year but really I do not want to miss out on the day to day lives of these girls.  I would never have the chance to run into them in the grocery store, or call them over for a glass of wine (although there have been MANY a times I wish I could walk into one of their kitchens and sit there and cry and drink and talk with them).  I can't get in the car and drive for a few hours and end of spending the weekend with them. (Well yes I could do this with one!).  But you see these girls brought me through my first pregnancy, they were there COMPLETELY when TTC Max.  They cheered and cried and threw me a very special party when I was pregnant with him.  I have lost weight with them, grew my self confidence because of them, learned things I never knew, read some good books, laughed and cried and just built this connection.  All mostly because of Facebook.  So that is probably the real reason I have not just walked away yet.  I do need to do something, I admit I have a problem but I need to work on not losing this amazing group of women while I correct my problem....

So maybe, I do not get rid of Facebook all together.  Maybe, I severely dwindle my time I spend on there.  Maybe, I delete the app off my phone, and set a timer at night for use at night.  Maybe I only check in on Mondays or Fridays. Or maybe never during a certain time frame.  I am not sure.  I am looking forward to more ME time, more less rushed time and more real life play dates but I need to make a compromise here and I need to be held accountable for that. 

Decisions are hard!

time

Time, oh how it slips by so quietly and so quickly each and every day.  There are never enough minutes in the day to do all that needs to be done let alone all the little fun making memory extras that I like to throw in. So right now, while one child is sleeping still and one is playing contently at my feet and getting VERY close to taking his first steps as long as he thinks no one is watching, I decided to take some of my precious time and make an announcement.  Of course, all while using one eye to keep a look out for those first few steps if Mister Mister decides he wants to take more than 2. His current record.  

I am leaving Facebook, yes you heard me right.  The huge social media network that is EVERYWHERE will no longer be my home in the New Year.  I am not sure how this is going to all go over yet.  I mean I am on Facebook a ton.  I check in in traffic, while the kids nap, while I am making lunch, while Ella is in ballet. I am constantly quickly uploading pictures.  After all, who doesn't want to see my adorable kids, right? I have a friend who recently took this plunge and while I am not usually a follower, I decided to be this time.  You see all those quick, little check ins add up.  I may only be on for a minute here or there but if I took all those minutes I may end up having enough time during the day to not only get all the things for the day done, BUT also score some me time.  

I know for sure I am going to have some withdrawals.  Oh my Facebook has been a part of who I am for so long.  Its my deal finding, mommy networking, idea inspiring and running motivation go to!  I just need to find replacements for those things, (Hello Pinterest, Retailmenot and real LIVE play dates).  I do have a group of precious friends, that had better up their text plans because those girls know I can't go without them for too long!  

So, as I prepare to say farewell my friends (on Facebook ONLY!) I am gearing up my blogging skills.  After all, I can't make you all give up seeing adorable updates on the home front.  And where else would I post words I never thought I would utter (We do NOT put waffles in our ears.), Ella-isms and I am sure some Max-isms someday too, or any other news I want to shout to the world (perhaps my new 2013 running accomplishments?).

For the record Mister Mister decided to NOT take those steps and played with the iPad very quietly, what a good little monkey he is :0) 



 

Dear Ella,

You turned four today.  You have grown another year and managed to take my love for you to a whole new depth.  We celebrated you today.  It started this morning when Blueie surprised you with a birthday wish and a decorated house.  Complete with a decorated special breakfast chair.  Today was wonderful.  Watching you just have pure joy at being the center of attention and the special birthday girl was just priceless.  However, my favorite part of the day was not the decorations, not the cupcakes we made together, or the special dinner we cooked. It was not seeing your excitement with your new ballet leotard and tickets to the Nutcracker or the birthday "coffee" we shared.

While all of those things were fantastic my absolute favorite part was this afternoon.  When the whole house was quite and asleep.  The tree lights were on and you curled up in my side and we watched your special fairy show that you love so much.  Then the best thing happened.  You closed your beautiful eyes and snuggled in deeper as you fell asleep.  I just sat there and watched you and smiled as I just thought of all the wonderful things that make you, YOU!

You, my beautiful sweet soul are the most amazing little girl.  You are kind, generous and so sweet.  You are funny beyond belief and smarter than I could have ever imagined you would be.  You are gorgeous and talented, crafty and spunky.  You can make mommy laugh at the drop of a hat and put a smile on my face instantly brighten any mood I am in.  You know how to love and love deeply.  You have a wise and kindred soul.  You are inquisitive and knowledgeable with a memory like a steel trap.  You love fairies and princesses, singing and dancing, art and cooking.  You are this whole, little, complete ball of sunshine that has brightened my sky for the last 4 years.

I love you sweet Baby Girl Sunshine Duck (the name you insist I call you when you are not insisting I call you Wanda, Tangled, Dora, Sister Princess, Max's Mom, Brit, or whatever other name strikes your fancy).  You make mommy so very very VERY happy that I was blessed with such an amazing baby girl.  You will forever and always be my first special baby. 

Love,
Mommy

It always sneaks up....

In little ways every day I see my baby grow. I see how her mind is working, changing, growing, filling full of useful knowledge. I see her pants start to get shorter and her dresses become shirts. I witness the quick thinking of a growing sassafras and think, wow! Look at this little girl getting so big. I witness all of these things yet, I don't let them sink in. And then it happens, we are on the eve of another birthday. Four this time. FOUR! Where did the time go? With her birthday tomorrow I actually have to let it sink in. All those things I've been witnessing. Yeah my baby is getting older.

4 years ago at this time I was in hour 47 o labor. Only 10 more hours left until my sweet baby girl would enter this world and instantly make it a better place, a more magical place, a brighter place. Gosh darn do I love that little girl. She's completely got me head over heels in love. I love we to the moon and back.

I sat reading to her tonight. All snuggles in on my lap. I can't believe it was the last night I would read to my three year old. Tomorrow it will be my four year old. As she looked at me with her huge gorgeous sparkling eyes and said "when I'm four will you still pick me up and hold me?" I near about lost it. Yes baby girl. I'll always pick you up and hold you. Even when you're 44!

Now with bittersweet tears I'm off to hang up the surprise birthday decorations and spend the rest of the night walking down memory lane. There will be lots of picture flipping and smiles of that I'm sure.

Slap in the face...

Earlier this year I stepped on the scale and was VERY pleasantly shocked to find that I had lost a lot more weight than I thought and my weight loss total had reached 101 pounds.  Yeah a pretty big accomplishment in our house hold.  I mean, never before have I been so committed to a journey of me.  It is all outward appearance yes, that I know.  And does it make me a bit vain to now have two kids, be in my 30s and weigh the least I have ever weighed?  Maybe, I mean I am not sure its vanity but it most definitely is pride. 

I always reserved myself to be the fat girl, the chunky one.  I was always the girl in a group of guys and it never really mattered because I was just the chubby chick.  I was the fattest sister, the fattest cousin and the fattest friend.  And without me even realizing it, I have reversed this image of myself.  My weight loss journey has been A LONG time coming. After all, my highest weight was in college ummm 5 year 10 years ago.  I have gotten married and birthed two kids and somehow have ended up the smallest ever.  Now I can share clothes with my friends, my sisters, and my cousins. 

Now, I have known in my head my weight loss number for a few months, but it was not until last weekend that I got a slap in the face for what that meant. Last weekend was the wedding of our friend and it was a glamorous affair.  I struggled for weeks about what dress I was going to wear.  I tried on dozens of dresses, and modeled them for D's family, my family and even text modeled them to a few close friends.  I got lots of great feedback and votes for a few of the dresses.  My SIL even looked me straight in the eye and said "I am not sure what your problem is, the dress looks fantastic on you.  You've worked hard, what is your hang up?!"  And I looked at her and just plain shook my head.  I did not know what my problem was.  I was trying on size 4 and even size 2 dresses and I just didn't feel like they worked for me.  The night of the wedding I put on the dress that received the most votes and stepped in front of a full length mirror for the first time in over a year.  Right then and there I got a HUGE slap in the face...

Holy SMOKES, I was tiny. AM tiny!  The number knowledge didn't matter, the compliments were received and I smiled and said thank you but never believed them.  It took the full length mirror and an image that I didn't realize was me to actually "see" myself for how far I have come.  It truly is amazing how tiny I am now, and I use the term tiny in reference to myself only.  I know that I could go a tad smaller and that I am still not the smallest but I am most definitely not MY biggest anymore. 

I am proud of the fact that I have met a goal that I didn't even realize that I had at first.  Bringing down Christmas decorations yesterday, I found an old picture in the attic.  It is probably the closest picture I have of how large I let myself get.  The sad thing is that it is still about 30 pounds under what I was at my biggest.  I did a side by side and there are no words of how proud I am of ME.  Yes, I am proud of MYSELF, I am learning to accept myself and just be me.  Weight loss isn't necessarily what makes a person, pounds never EVER define who you are, but the fact that I COMMITTED to this, I saw it out and I WORKED MY ASS OFF and didn't give up on myself most certainly means that I CAN DO ANYTHING. 

Live, Laugh, BELIEVE in YOURSELF!

So blessed

I turn, ready for this? I'm only admitting it once.... 30, yes three oh, dirty thirty and all of the above tomorrow. And in 30 years I have had so many many blessings!

*I was born to wonderful, kind, generous, warm, loving parents.

* I grew up with a little sister and friend.

* I have always been surrounded by family. All yes ALL of my aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins lived within a short distance.

* I met, fell in love with and married my best friend, soul mate and other half of my heart early in life.

* I have friends, close friends. Some I have known since kindergarten. Others from high school. Then even more from mommy groups and P street living. And yes even some from the good ole Internet that have quickly turned into real life friends and not just Internet ones ;0)

* I married into a great big fun loving clan! Drinks are always hoisted in good cheer an laughter is plentiful. My in laws for the most part even like me, even when I'm just me and not Party Christina.

* I have two of the most intelligent, adorable, cuddly, happy children EVER!!!! Both of them are just priceless!

* We have made our house a home. A true cozy little nook that belongs to my little family and always has an open door to all.

* I have a college degree, have run a half marathon, have my health, lost a 101 pounds and am lucky enough to stay home and raise my littles.

All of these and even still more blessings have been piled upon me in just 30 short years. I wouldn't trade my life for a billion Coach bags! After all I just got one this weekend from my family along with some beautiful accessories and gift cards to take my new smaller body shopping for clothes that actually fit!!!

This weekend was perfect. I so enjoyed girl time with my mom and sister and Princess Pie. A surprise party that was so thoughtfully and beautifully pulled off. My decorations were tailored for me. Seriously, it screamed C all over the place! I felt the love from all the people gathered both here and in spirit and I just spent the afternoon spoiling myself. Tonight with Jammie's and tea in front of the fire playing a wild game of Ants in the Pants. Life truly doesn't get any more perfect than this. I am pretty sure my next 30 years are just going to rock!

Good night all, when I wake up I will be 25 again ;0)

making time

You see, right now with two sleeping babies in the house and a Princess Pie off at school, I have some time.  Some time for me.  It is not often that I get that time.  In fact on a daily basis I do not even have time for everything let alone some spare time to carve some out for just myself.  But, I need to do that.  I need to remember that I can get more done when I actually take the time to breathe once in a while. 

Work, this little part time passion job that I took on, has been anything but to say the least.  I believe in the theory WHOLE heartidly but well I am having trouble fitting the pieces together.  Most days I literally feel like I am drowning and there is no way to come up for air.  I am hoping that soon, soon things will be up and running smoothly.

But for now, now I am promising myself to take some time to spend more time with my family and more time for myself.  I have missed writing and I really want to sit down and blog some more. I also have some family projects in mind that I am bound and determinded to do, thanks Pinterest!!!!

Now off to cut more leaves for our Tree of Thanks before school pick up and babies wake up!

Say WHAT?!!?

So again it's been awhile and forever since I've blogged. It's been summer time so the amount of down time I have had is none existent. Now that's summers over it should slow down. Well in theory yes, but my first free weekend since May is in November and it's my only free weekend through to the new year. I do have plans now to be a better blogger so ummm i say that but we will see...

So what's up on P street? My Friend Running has been sticking around an not letting me down. In fact I'm up to going 10 miles at a time. What has this lasting friendship done? Oh just made me reach a ONE HUNDRED AND ONE pound weight loss mark. I mean it's hard to believe but I used to weigh 101 pounds more than I do now. I have been flabbergasted with the results. I mean I'm almost 30 with TWO kids and I am smaller now then I have ever been in my life. It's pretty cool actually :0).

My friend E is also down at least 100 pounds and together as FFU (Former Fatties Unite) we are pushing our fabulous looking new selves to new things. We both ran mud runs of sorts this passed weekend and have been putting some miles down on the pavement. One thing E has done though is an awesome, amazing, freakin fantastic photo shoot with her new self. The photos came out awesome and I'm pretty sure her hubby thinks so too. When she first dd her shoot I was impressed and inspired but being the shy quiet type would never considered doing one myself. Now? It may be because I'm turning 30 or that after two kids my body is more comfortable to be or heck it's probably the confidence of losing over a hundred pounds I'm considering it. When will I ever have another chance? My twenties are running out, so should I embrace it and celebrate my accomplishments? Hmmm I just may. Although no one but me and photog would ever know that I risked being so daring. I kind of like this new, running, more confident me. I will take on my dreams and accomplish them!

A challenge


I admit by no means am I a perfect mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, runner and the list goes on.  I never try to be perfect, in fact I usually just try to be me.  The real me, not a me that I think people want to see and often times I fail at that.  I say things or dont say things based on what I judge others want me too.  Except with a certain few.  With a few I am totally me.  I say what I want, when I want and how I want.  And lately, lately I have surrounded myself ONLY with the people I feel comfortable being the true me around.  And actually, it has made me a less stressed, happier person in general. 

With all that being said, I often wonder why we can never show our "faults" to the world.  Go on Facebook, look at the status updates, 99% of them will be along the lines of; My whole house is cleaned, laundry done, organic groceries bought, kids ate only fruits and veggies because that's what was requested, I ran/worked out/yoga posed myself better than anyone else... And then the comments the comments of well how fast did you run? how far? I did it better by 10 seconds, my kids are bathed in bed and ate even healthier... and blah blah blah.  You see, I do this, I admit it.  When I run I post it, I am proud of myself, when my kids do something awesome I post it, I am proud of them too.  But here's the thing, here is what I try so hard not to do and I wish more people would do the same.  I *TRY* (it doesnt always work) try to not one up others in the comments I make, I also try to let others see when I "fail".

So my challenge to you, do I have any readers anymore?  Its been so long since I blogged I probably lost my audience or my lone reader, is post some things this week, or tell some people this week things that would look like "failures", that are not the glorified triumphant one uppers.  Let others know that, yes sometimes I have my shit together but sometimes I don't.

I will start here:

My baby does not sleep through the night, he is 8 months and does not sleep through the night.
I let me kids watch t.v. everyday.
There are meals when I do not even offer a veggie because really, its not worth the fight.
Baths do not happen every night, even when there are dirty feet and hands and faces we clean them up with a face cloth and off to bed they go.
I let my baby cry in the middle of the night if its before midnight and between midnight and 5 am.
I am a SLOW runner, I often set out for a certain distance and let myself quit.
I ate dinner, cookies (like 4 oreos and 2 homemade cookies), a bowl of ice cream AND a bag of popcorn tonight.
I do not visit my grandparents like I should.
I procrastinate with the best of them.
I curse.
.....ok I think thats all I should post tonight, but you all get my meaning.  Life is not perfect, you are not perfect, get off your high horse and own up to it and stop trying to make others feel bad with your one uppity-ness....

Oh but I *DID* manage to get all my laundry washed, dried and put away.  My hamper is EMPTY right now....woot woot!



 


Special memories

Wow it's been forever and then some since I have logged in and blogged. Time has been a factor, with trying to
balance two kids, the house, errands and now my new job, but honestly inspiration has been a factor too. I just haven't had any write down and share worthy thoughts. I most definitely have had some share worthy memories lately but I've been too busy cherishing them to sit down and share.

Driving down the road today however, Ella had some pretty adorable Ella-isms that were just so adorable I wanted to roll down my window and share with the construction men in the corner. My first thought was I'll post to Facebook but I already have been ribbed about all the picture overloads I'm capable of so I refrained from that then I got to thinking I should have a notebook where I write these down with. It's way too hard to look back through status updates and so I have a feeling all the Ella-isms I've posted will e lost anyway. Then it dawned on me, blog them, DUH! They need to be recorded because they could be used against her, errrr I mean they would make cute readings some day.

So now that I've rambled and sort of built up these adorable Ella-isms let me share them with you. Now the cuteness level is probably based on pure biased opinion but humor me anyway and let out a smile and a great big awwww :0)

(in the car driving home a song called can you canoe comes on kids xm radio) "oh mom it's the canoe song! (a few verses of the song go by) oh mom I just love this song. It makes me think of daddy and makes me want to go fishing with him. It makes me remember the first time he took me fishing and I just love him so I love this song too cause I like thinking about daddy"

(again listening to the radio a couple I songs later a song from The Little Mermaid soundtrack comes on) "you know I wonder if she realizes if she gets feet she would have to get a new daddy. Hers is a mermaid and I think she would be sad and miss him".

Oh and one from yesterday as well even though I did post it on Facebook

"I need some space. I'm feeling like a grouchy sister. Don't worry I'll be back and we can use my imagination, today I want to be a doctor, ok?"

A dozen....

Eggs? Roses? Donuts? Cookies? Nope a dozen YEARS! That's right a dozen years have passed since I was just a girl sitting in study hall and D was just a boy sitting there trying not to be grouchy from cutting weight. Things have most definitely changed and evolved over the years. D no longer cuts weight for wrestling. Now he's my crazy running husband who thinks running a marathon isn't far enough and has his next 50k in the planning stages. I am no longer just a girl, now I am also a wife and a mommy. Our love isn't just the flirtatious infatuation that only high school kids get but a true full of ups, downs and laughs and tears that has bonded us together closer than I ever could have thought waas possible. Over the last 12 years we have graduated high school, graduated college, plotted careers, turned a house into a home and brought the two most precious souls earth side. I love that man with all my heart! For every lost key situation, or messy counter in the morning, dirty clothes not in the hamper and countless other little things that drive me just a little insane there are good sweet times that occur 100 times more often. My husband is a man that will rescue me from the brink of losing it from no sleep by coming home sweeping up both kids, packing them in the stroller and initiating a family run. Coming back taking them both to cook dinner and then doing bath and bed. Leaving me to regroup, get my run in, get some work done and enjoy the cocktail he picked the ingredients up for on his way home to rescue me. He's the type to sing our son back to sleep at 1am so cousy have a break and the chance to sleep. He knows how to step in right before Princess Pie and I go head to head over clothing choices. He just gets me. I know that even when we have rough times that it will all come right again and all that will be left of the rough time is a closer bond and tighter love. Twelve years is a such a short time in the whole scheme of things but it sure has built an endless love between just a girl and a weight cutting boy.

go go go

If you want to stop starting over, then stop giving up.

This body made babies, it can put one foot in front of the other for 13.1 miles.

14 minute miles or 7 minute miles is STILL a mile.

As slow as that was you still lapped everyone who's sitting on the couch.

HELLO again blog world.  It has been FOREVER but I miss writing.  I just haven't really had anything to write about and honestly I have been in a little bit of a funk.  But those little quotes of motivation above along with a fantastic group of women that always love me no matter what I have to say, how bad I suck at running or how goofy I am have pulled me back. 

You see I refuse to make excuses and I refuse to give up because I AM going to run this thing called a half.  I just haven't been feeling the love for myself so I let it go for about a week.  But this passed week I have been back! Sunday D and I hit the road running with the kids, Monday a very dear friend and I pushed through the wall and both ran 4.08 miles.  The furthest either of us had run (me minus the one 10k I ran almost a year ago) and Thursday I got up at 4:30 so an equally determined neighbor and I could put in another almost 3 mile run.  I am BACK and actually I am as slow as ever BUT I am running further so I'll take it.

You see even after accomplishing that this week I was still eh about it all BUT you see I am a person who is not constantly whining (I can't stand whiners!) about wanting to exercise but not being able to because of (insert a number of stupid reasons here) or when they could exercise not doing it but then complaining complaining complaining.  If you do not like something then CHANGE it.  YOU have the CHOICE to make yourself into whatever you want to be.  If you actually want to be the whiny little complaining always looking for sympathy and complements then by all means continue on your way.  But if you actually want some of these goals you whine about then GET UP AND DO IT!

I will be taking my own advice and owning up to every choice I make.  Whether its with my running, my parenting or even my housework.  Yes I will probably get into another funk at some point but there are these women who I know will be there to remind me to get my funk on and then get over myself.  I do have lots and lots and LOTS going for me and from here on out whining is going to be something I try MY BEST not to partake in...

Christina Brown?

Yesterday was the first of my races on the docket for the upcoming race season. It was a small town local race and perfect to see if I could go at it for 3 miles again. It also happened to be D's day for a 20 mile training run. In order to squeeze both things in he left the house at 6am and ran toward the race event to meet me there by 9:15 in order to take the kids so I could run. When the kids and I arrived and checked in we walked around a bit until D showed up. Well he had only run 18 of his 20 miles so he ran I've and signed up to run the race as well. Can we say over achiever? The eve started, Max stayed behind with my old boss, Ella was strapped in BOB and Derrick and I both took off. It didn't take long for him to leave me in his dust (show off) but I kept at it slow and steady like. I managed to cross the line having run the entire 5 kilometers and saw that I was just seconds over my fastest ever time. Had my little lady who lives in my phone been working I am sure I could have picked it up at some point to have finished with my best time but eh who cares I finished. While waiting for the awards to be given (we knew the guy who won the whole thing, D's cousin) I joked with D about probably winning something even though he ran 18 miles before the race and pushed our 3 year old the entire way. And yep sure enough he was called up for winning in his age bracket (damn him!). But then the unthinkable happens. I am standing there talking and I hear fastest female finisher for the 20-29 year olds, Christina Brown. Oh wow cool there is another Christina Brown here what does she look like? No no you say you mean it's me? I won??? No way must have been a mistake. But nope it was me. I did it. I managed to place in one of these 5k things. In a bigger race my time would have meant squat but you see in this one the one I ran it meant I placed. And gosh dang it I'll take that and feel super proud of it on top of it all!!! I am a runner!!!

Yes Baby Girl

Today was Saturday, family day right? Nope, wrong. You see it's spring and spring when you heat all winter with a woodstove means wood gathering, cutting, splitting, stacking season. It means D is up with the sun and out in the yard splitting the wood he went and found, cut and hauled home or out finding more. This Saturday was slightly different in that I could just throw Ella out in the yard with him to give myself a break in the normal weekday schedules since he actually went and helped his dad cut down a tree for wood turning today (side note ya'll should see the bowls that get turned in my father in laws basement, they are GORGEOUS!!!!). Ok so today i was on my own again just like it was a Monday or Tueaday. I hate this. I hate not waking up with my hubby still in bed, I hate not having breakfast together or doing fun family things. But I understand the wood needs to e set up to dry now so it's ready for when it's cold. So today I took the kids on a family outing by myself.

I loaded everyone up, including the dog, and set off for our annual first trip of the season Aggie's run. Aggies is only the best place in the ENTIRE world to get ice cream. And only my Princess Pie respects the sacredness of the first ice cream of summer the way I do. We rolled in and anxiously waited our turn. It was well worth the wait!!! Ella and I shared a special ice cream lunch on the way to my parents house for a round of visits while we waited for Derrick to get back.

On the way home unheard the sweetest request from the backseat. "Mama you know the old cowboy song? Could you sing it to me?" you see the old cowboy song is the song Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. Derrick has been singing that song to Ella since before she was even born and lately it's been a request quite frequently but only daddy could sing. I was so honored this afternoon that I replied. Why yes baby girl I know that song and I'd be happy to sing it. What she doesn't know yet is the reason I know that song. The first time. I mean the very first time I fell in love with D was while we were laying there talking one night, and he sang that song to me. I went home and goggled it so I could listen to it over and over. That song will always bring me back I that night that my heart was first lost to my very own "old cowboy".

How true!

D and I have an on going joke that we are C+ parents. Whenever, one of the kids is dirty, outside without a hat, up really late or numerous other faux pas that would earn us the evil eye from the above it all parent, we look at each other shrug and say yeah C+ parenting thats us. I mean we do, or let our kids do, a number of things that the "best" parents would never dream of doing or letting their kids do. Ice cream for dinner, skip a bath night, have a Wonder Pets marathon when you are just too tired to do anything but for the *gasp* second or even third time in a week. I have picked up a dropped paci and stuck it right back in, used a cart withOUT a cart cover, let the baby sit in a poopy diaper for more than 5 minutes and gave in to the toddler screaming for chocolate just so I could get a shower. Our kids do not have the latest fancy gadgets or best toys. Clothes are hand me downs and thrift store finds, and yes my three year old dresses herself in whatever clothing she chooses. It may not be the best choice for the daily activity (hello new Fairy wings!) but eh whats letting her decide going to hurt anyways?

I joke about this but I often feel like a failure. Like I am not doing enough, teaching enough, or interacting enough. How many books did I read today? Did it make the recommendation? Whens the last time we did a craft? How healthy was lunch? Crap did I just let her drink tonic water and now her bones will develop holes in them? Oh my gosh is she behind in her letter recognition? She doesn't know her age every time I ask? He's not sitting, or rolling? OH.MY.GOODNESS! All these other moms have it so so so together and I just flounder through....

But you see, here is the deal. I read this blog today, and it made me cry and it made me see. This whole social media gamut of things I love doing, Facebook, blogging, Pinterest all of these things AND the local mom's groups make me feel this way. I am CONSTANTLY comparing myself to all of these "better" moms. Ones who have a craft that fits in with their theme of the day, whose lunches are always healthy, organic and served looking like a scene out of a fairy tale, the ones who bring their kids to the park at least once a week. But really, REALLY!, I need to stop doing this. Because at the end of the day given the choice of going to bed with food in their hair, with the mismatched have seen better days blankets still in a half fort on the living room floor since the floors were not vacuumed today, I am certain that my kids will choose ME.

My kids do not care if I get a gold star or A+ at being a Mommy. All they care about is the love that I show them. If I can express half of what I feel for these kiddos then I am doing an outstanding job. I love my kids and as long as they know that well then, thats enough. The floors aren't always cleaned, the toilets aren't always scrubbed. I may not have showered or washed my hair, I may in fact still be wearing yesterdays yoga pants. Craft time my not come this week, neither may the park but you know what? It is OK, my kids have love and well love is all that matters. LOVE is what makes a mommy not how many neat ideas she has. Will I still use Pinterest and pin things that I may one day do with my kids? Heck ya, but I am not going to beat myself up if I never end up doing it, or well I am going to work really hard on not beating myself up anyways :0)

Hippity Hoppity!

What a superb Easter Sunday it was. We truly are blessed in all things. I mean I had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, really couldn't begin to think anything could top that!!! The night of sleep lead into a fantastic family day. Watching the joy on the face of Princess Pie this morning was so heartwarming. And when she took the little brother doll the Easter Bunny left in her basket and gave it to her brother because it was just his size my heart literally burst with pride. She handed that doll over and talked with Mister Mister for 10 minutes about how special and cute he is. Mister was ALL smiles and a ball of cuteness this morning and I can't imagine what life was like before those two precious miracles.

Family morning was packed up and moved over to my parents house around 9:30 and our day of visiting began. First stop my mom and Dad's where muffins, fresh fruit AND mimosas were waiting. Soooo awesome! We then went and visited my grandmother and got some very cute pics of her with the kiddos. Back to my mom and dads again for a late brunch (boy can my dad rock the eggs!!!!) and a couple of egg hunts. One for the little kids and one for the big kids. After 30 mins of running and laughing with just a little pushing, my sister happens to be a little competitive...., we packed it inside to admire the loot and talk. And that concluded Easter part 2 or well 3 since we did an egg hunt yesterday as well.

On to the last round of Easter at the Browns. The kids fell asleep in the car D dropped me off 3.26 miles away from his patents and as they drove home to put wood on the fire I ran my way into the last round of celebrating. It was a battle ground of road let me tell ya! A steady incline the whole way. I did however, run my first mile at a 9:50 pace which is lightening fast for me! The second mile was done at a 9:56 pace and well the remaining was a 10:40 pace. Eh so I'm not fast and maybe walked a few mailboxes but I made it.

The food at this round was so yummy too, hello twice baked potato!!! And of course the wine was flowing. No one seemed to mind my hysterical running attire (should have taken a picture!) and at least they were chuckling at Miss Sass while she sat on the floor in her tiara throwing a fit over having to eat a banana (really should have photographed this. It was quite funny and could have been used as blackmail for future butting of the heads...)

We are now home all is quite and I am about to make this long winded blog entry even longer by adding a slew of pictures that I didn't bombard Facebook with. Aren't you the lucky reader who gets slammed with them here instead :0). HAPPY EASTER!

It is Beer THIRTY!

The love of my life turns 30 tomorrow. Yes that's right the big 3 0. My gosh the twenties flew by!!! And what kind of wife would I be if we did not celebrate the momentous occasion with a party. So I decided a surprise party was the way to go and theme? Well beer tasting of course :0)

With the help of my in laws, parents and sister we managed to pull off the surprise.

The cars were hidden down the road, the decorations were up and fabulous and the beer was cold! The house was full of family and friends and it really was a great time. Derrick was shocked and pleased that so many people came out to celebrate him.

I will be accepting my wife of the year award next Sunday at 2pm in case anyone was wondering ;0)

Happy Birthday Babes!!!!

Working Mama

So I had my first night away from my kiddos for professional development...

I am glad that I went to the conference. Lots of neat ideas and really really good keynote speakers! Even though i was walked in on twice yes TWICW while trying to pump and had lunch with strangers I well let's just say strangers I didn't click with who left me craving a glass of whiskey I mean wine it was a great day.

D got to experience night time with kiddos while I tossed and turned in my hotel bed. He got to hand the kids off with instructions for my mom while I was up before 6am battling it out with the traveling business men over gym equipment. By the way, I managed to snag the treadmill I wanted, ha! And then he got to have a lovely kiddo pick up after a day of no napping.... While I rode 2.5 hours in a car with adult conversation ;0).

Lots of ideas for the program are now rolling around in my head, vying for spots with everything else rolling around in there. And after putting my sweeties to bed (both of whom went right to sleep at 8 and slept straight through until 5, not sure what D was talking about when he said he had a rough night, haha!) I crawled in my own bed thankful for who I am and what I do. I have a passion for this program and truly whole heartily believe in the cause. I can't wait to be a part of this initiative (Maine Family Literacy Initiative), and I love how it allows me to still be a mom first! A mom who goes to conferences occasionally but a mom who doesn't have to trade in what she already lives doing. I just get to add to it. Making sure more families get to have the magical experiences that my own family gets too :0)

Perks and Bonuses

So my days are full of love and fun. I mean aside from photography I have the exact career I have always wanted. I am blessed that my wonderful husband, even the key loser that he is, wants me home as much as I want to be home with my munchkins. My career path is highly under paid in legit money coming in but boy oh boy do I get lots of perks.

I wake up to the most beautiful kiddos EVER! I get to witness the love they have for each other and listen to their amazing personalities. Right now Princess Pie is big into playing school. She's the teacher and Max and Lucy Holly are her "kids". Mister Mister is growing super fast! Reaching for toys and getting ready to roll over. His head control is amazing considering the size of the noggin he's able to hold up!

In the afternoon while Max is asleep I get to watch Princess Pie create and boy can she ever. Today after reading the book Perfectly Square, she went into our craft with a vengeance. She took 6 squares and had me rip, cut, shred and crumple them. She then created a scene that she picked what day of the week she wanted and told me what each picture was. The results were so cool I made a days of the week chart for her to use.

When Max wakes up I get my special time with him. Cuddles and coos and little baby giggles are music to my ears.

While no money comes in for this job my payment in love and happiness far out weighs money for a beach vacation or new wardrobe :0)

Oh yes I&apos;m still here

Oh boy so blogging has fallen off my radar. How did this happen? I had and still have the intent to blog more than last year but at this rate I will fall short. It's not my fault though! Blame Mother Nature. You see in Maine in March the weather is yuck yuck and more yuck with maybe a day thrown in that is sunny and 45 or 50. Just enough of a tease to make spring fever wreck havoc on your life. However, oh man has that NOT been the case. After the 15 inches of snow we got the first week the weather has been beautiful! For example yesterday was 90*, yes nine zero not a typo, at 3:00 in the afternoon!!! It has been gorgeous and summer like for the last week and really beautiful and spring like before that.

We bought our very own swingset an after long installation hours it's in and we are enjoying it! Lots and lots of outdoor playtime has taken place of blogging. Every night I drag a very dirty and exhausted little girl in the house, clean her up and put her to bed and then do it all again the next day!!!

Oh and ummm yeah I also am preparing to go back to work. So blogging will soon fall even further down the list. :0)

Twisted panties

So the snow is back and so is my need to vent and rant. Facebook and the whole social media thing is awesome. It allows me to keep up with friends and family all over the country and meet incredible new friends. While we come together over common things like having December babies, living in the same area or sharing the same parenting skills it also allows you to see some complete whack jobs.

Honestly I get we are all different. We parent different. We eat different. And we have different beliefs. However, sometimes I have literally sat here shacking my head in disbelief. See here's my deal, I can not stand cant stand it at all the people who a) go on and on complaining about this and that. Complaining they can't afford vacation or food or heat and then getting jobs they refuse to hold because they hate them. So guess what we pay for their assistance. B) people who refuse to help themselves. Oh I'll just sign up for assistance no need to look for a job and better myself. I get it we all fall on hard times but I'm so tired of those who are constantly having "hard times". And the cream on top? Oh wait I'll just throw another kid into the mix.

For those of you who know me you know that it's no secret that we worked for each child we have. My kids could never be more wanted. Do they drive me a bit batty? Well yes but I would NEVER complain about having them or complain about how hard being a mom is. I wanted this mom job and I would not trade it in for anything. But my biggest and I mean my biggest pet peeve in the world is people having babies just cause everyone else is and sitting there pregnant while they complain about the kids they have and how they can't afford the ones they have and about how they can't handle the kids they have.

I have been a witness to too many couples desperately trying for a baby, a second baby and third and struggling month after month. They want these babies they can handle and afford them and yet each month it's another crushing failure. While some just get to sit home, collect assistance and constantly complain while popping them out.

Oh boy does this make me so angry!!! And yes I am very aware that some people need the assistance, use it and then get back on their feet without abusing it. Or some have disabilities that prevents them from working and they need assistance so not against help but I'm against those who abuse it have the audacity to complain about everything at the same time.

Phew end rant and I do feel better now that I got some of that out. Oh and by the way I wish I could weed the cray- crays out of my social media since it is awesome to use it as an advice outlet and mommy sanity camp but they are out there, sometimes undercover! Guess I better just keep my eyes out for them and hit the cray cray alert button instead :0)

Let the sun shine!

Oh my goodness today is gorgeous!!! The sun is shining the temps are high and the first taste of spring is here! With a day like today I can't even work myself into a proper rant. So instead we are beach bound to properly enjoy the weather!

Rants, sweet notes and a brag or 2...

First of all some of my very pet peeves are coming more and more into my life and I keep biting and biting my tongue. I'll blog about them some day but first I need to talk to my wonderful sister in law and neighbor so that they know that they are NOT included in my rants. There are exceptions to everything and they are the exception to my rants on twin moms and moms of boys. Both happen to be moms to twin boys :0)

Next I received the most amazingly sweet thank you letter in the mail today. Honestly, why can't other moms encourage and compliment each other every day instead of try to out do and one up everything. That sweet little thank you note made my day, it put a smile on my face and made me realize how important kind words are. More often than not moms are always always trying to say they work harder, their kids are better, they endured the more intence labor. Why can't we say, Oh boy what a great job your doing showing your kid how to (insert any number of things here), I like how you handled that or any other numerous little compliments that would make a mom's day! I will treasure my little note and pull it out when I need a pick me up thats for sure!

And now my brags:

I have the best, most intelligent kids EVER!!! Ella is becoming a pro at writing her name and drawing people. AND she is so kind to her baby brother. I love how they interact already :0) See exhibit A and B.

exhibit A




exhibit B

Winter Wonderland

Well this winter has certainly not been much of a Maine winter. And I like that! However, since our only significant snow was in October it has been a looooong winter of asking about building snowmen yet. Well we are in for a doozy apparently tonight where more than 10 inches is supposed to fall. And my response? BRING IT! Yes I am excited about the snow. Although, obviously not as excited as my 3 year old.

While I set out for my training run, already falling snow be damned!, Ella watched the flakes fall at the window. While I mapped out my furthest distance and overall time spent running yet, she worked on D about taking her out to catch snowflakes. We both have success! I just came in from accomplishing todays training goals. (By the way I now call myself a runner!) and Ella is outside already using her sled on the grassy hill that has just a dusting of snow. Now for a hot bath while Max naps and hot chocolate by the fire when L and D come in and we have the perfect night before the white!

Feb 29th?

Yep Happy Leap year all!!!!

It's like gaining a whole extra day of doing exactly what I love :0) So far today we have "gone fishing", went "camping" played in our rainbow rice and reminisced together on the couch. Max is playing with Ella's old favorite rattle and I showed Ella a pic of when she was a baby playing with it. That led to a 10 minute session of scrolling through my iPhone Facebook pics of Ella. She got such a kick out of it and I can't believe how fast the years have gone.

The rest of the day will be spent hunkering down in preparation of the blizzard about to hit. I am hoping I can get to the gym to get a run in before it starts but I am glad to be getting a good storm. There has not been a day since October where we stayed in sweats, drank hot chocolate and bundled up multiple times to take a turn on the hill with our sleds. BRING ON THE SNOW!!! I am totally doing the snow dance tonight and wearing my jammies inside out and backwards ;0)

I may also be hoping for a nap today. If I can get both kids down at the same time this afternoon I am so going to curl up myself. I am so so so tired today. My body feels heavy and my eyes just want to close. I hope the sickies stay away, but I have a feeling I am fighting something since Mr. Max only wakes once or twice a night now I know I am not exhausted...

celebrating

Thursday marked our five year wedding anniversary and then on Friday D and I dropped the kiddos off and headed out for our night away. It was hard waaaay harder than I thought to leave those two kids behind and at one point I may have tried to use my power of suggestion to have D turn the car around to pick them up to bring them with us...

But I am glad that I didn't. We arrived to a very beautiful hotel (a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to a great friend for helping us score that deal!) pahked the cahhh and went out in search of lunch. It was nice to sit there and sip a cocktail and talk, just talk about anything and everything. Then oh boy lunch was followed by a wonderful nap. Sleeping on my own in my own space for any amount of time has not been something I am accustomed too! Nap was followed by shopping and more drinking and a very expensive cab ride which led to more eating and more drinking and drinking...

I still had to be up every 4 hours to pump through the night but that was ok. I was able to go right back to sleep, again in my OWN space!!!

I really truly had an amazing time celebrating with my love (even though he did lose the car when he forgot where he parked it and finding it entailed a 30 minute running sweep of the parking garage...). The best part though was walking through the door of my parents house where the kids were so excited to see us. Max was full of huge smiles and Ella was super proud of herself for being such a big girl and spending the whole night without crying for us. Although she did admit when I asked her what her favorite part of the weekend was that it was when Mommy and Daddy came to pick me up :0)

I am so looking forward to all the years to come with the love of my life!

PS This wont mean a thing except to my female readers, but the wedding dress that I wore 5 years ago is too BIG for me now!!! After having two kids and the last one only being born 10 weeks ago I think thats a pretty big success!!!

PPS Ella had fun trying my dress on the other day :0)

Crazy in Love after Five YEARS!

As I sit here in bed listening to one of my babies quietly playing dollhouse over the monitor before she begins her day and my other baby's tiny little baby snores as he lays so peaceful next to me, I can't help but miss the love of my life. Five years ago we joined our hearts together forever. These past five years have been amazing. We have worked side by side in so many things and have created a love that is unbreakable and beautiful.

Over the last five years we have seen our role models celebrate 30 and 35 years of marriage. We have learned what love and marriage looks like from them. We turned a broken down 1870 house into a home. A home that is warm, comfy and cozy and is abound with the sounds of tiny feet and baby cries. We learned how to parent together and parent together is exactly what we do. It is truly a 50/50 union when it comes to our kids. And probably the most important and amazing thing we have done is bring our two babies into the world. We had long struggles that brought about lots of stress and sadness but together we held on and were so incredibly blessed with our beautiful and super smart Princess Pie and our adorable and extremely laid back Mr. Max.

Love is an amazing and powerful feeling and force. I fall in love with my man again and again. I'm so lucky to have a man by my side that loves me, supports me and all my crazy dreams and quirky ideas. Growing old along with him is absolutely what I want to do. With a union and love like ours I know the next 70 years will have more ups than downs, more laughs and than tears and more love than words are capable of documenting.

Happy Anniversary Cowboy. You stole my heart and made it grow. You give me the confidence to be me, even with all my weirdness and you make me the happiest girl on the block! Love you forever, for always and no matter what.

Prayers, positive thoughts and crossed fingers...

So lots of thoughts have been swimming around in my head and I am able to think about them while driving so I tend to make lots of errands up to run lately :0). Seriously though I have a plan to one day be living my dream. Well, I honestly am already living my dream but one day within the next 10 years I hope to be working my dream and fulfilling a hobby turned dream job. Certain things (like extra cash) need o happen first and I'm really hoping that a phone call I got the other day is the answer in the first step of my business plan. So cross all fingers and toes for me. Things are starting I change and I'm liking it!!!

lOvE

love (n.) a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection (as for a parent, a child, or a friend), sexual passion or desire, a person toward whom love is felt; sweetheart.
   
There is no doubt about it, today is the day for love. See for me I feel love towards my dear little family 365 days a year. But do I call this a commercial holiday that is just a waste of money? Heck NO! I love yes LOVE the fact that today I can love on my sweeties in the most corny way and not get made fun of for it. You see I love all those corny romantic and cheesy ideas that get brought to light on Valentine's Day. My hunny and I love each other and the kids so much that words can not even explain it. I could never get down in writing the love that I feel for life, for family and for friends. But today, today I get to be all out cheesy about it and well I LOVE it!

So as I sent some friends a picture valentine about loving them more than ally whores love crack and lovingly shopped for some items for the kids cupid baskets (inspired by a fellow mom, thanks Bree!), I had a smile on my face all day. Ella and I spent the afternoon making project after project for D. And tonights plans are not all about dropping the kids off and going out. Instead we are spending the evening in with the little loves of our lives too. We have plans of a picnic dinner, special play time and then cuddles before bed. D and I will then transform our living room into a campsite by dragging down the air mattress, throwing together a blanket tent and stealing the kids sea turtle that projects stars onto the ceiling. We will then camp out just like the night we did when D proposed (of course this time we will be woken up every few hours by a hungry little boy). I can not wait.

So Happy Valentine's Day to all. I hope that you all got a chance to do something totally cheesy in the name of love today!

And here are the two most precious loves of my life, in love with each other already :0)

Business Venture....

OK so it wasn't any surprise that I did not get any photographers to offer me a job blogging about their shoots, I mean that would be way to easy of a dream come true right? Even though we make it on one income bringing in some extra money is always good right?

After working 12 summers at a local rec summer camp program, I will NOT yes folks NOT be going back this year. Am I sad? Actually, no. I do not feel the little tug pulling me back in like I have years passed. I don't feel needed there at all anymore in fact. So where does that leave me? Well I usually can sub to bring in extra but that's out this year since I do not want to have to worry about feeding schedules and places to pump for $65 a day. I know my lovely sister-in-law may be able to get me in on waitress a few nights a week but my confidence level for that is nil. I do not feel confident enough AT ALL to wait on tables. So I am doing a few things to bring in some extra cash. They do not bring in nearly enough extra, for things like upcoming wedding trips and camping or 30th errrr I mean 25th birthday bashes, but they are a start.

Number one I have joined a local, or a couple of local yard-sale Facebook pages and have been posting unwanted stuff like a mad women for some extra cash. In fact every time Ella sees something by the door she immediately asks what I am trying to sell this time. And yes she may have taken things to her room in fear of mommy trying to sell them. It's not so bad so far I have earned almost $200 this way....

Number two: I posted these pictures on said yard sale sites with the caption of "My new hobby PM me if you are interested in me making anything for you"




Well I actually got lots of interest but no one really wanted to buy since they thought I was charging too much. In fact, I am making them for very little profit when all is said and done but oh well. EXCEPT!!! Yes one lady decided to order not just letters but letters AND a stool!!! I just got done making her matching set and will hopefully be delivering them soon! Not sure if I can make this business venture work but its kind of a fun one to try :0) Oh and here is the picture of the finished stool and letters for LANDON!

Who woulda thunk it?

Ok so I have this passion, well my kids are my top passion, but I have this other passion. I LOVE absolutely love photography. I enjoy seeing moments that others have captured. I could go and look at pictures for hours (and this is why Pinterest is BAD for my time managament!). But I also have visions when I am out and about or playing around with the kids of what a photo captured at that moment would look like. I enjoy having a camera in my hand and trying to get the image in my head to come out in a photo. Often times I fail but I SEE what should have been.

My all time dream EVER would be to be able to take professional quality photos of what I envision. I have taken a class and caught some pretty good photos and because of that class my cousin and my aunt asked me to take their wedding photos this past summer. I hesitated but jumped at the chance. After all weddings AND taking pictures those are two of my favorite things! (being a wedding planner is another dream of mine!) Anyway so this March I am doing the photos at another cousins wedding AND drum roll please...............

A non family member saw the photos I did and asked me to do hers as well! I mean I am totally excited that I get to play for a day at something I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE doing. Am I nervous? Oh heck yeah. I want to give her the moon in her photos and I am afraid I will fail. But I will damn well try my best to capture every precious moment in both my upcoming photo shoots!!!

Now here are some of my photos that I captured this past summer :0)



Why Hellooooo!

Ok so who am I and what have I done? I am a crazy mother of two who now thinks that anything is possible. I am not sure if it is my sleep deprived self or the empowered self after giving birth to a gigantic 7 pound 13 ounce baby boy. However, in a haze of extreme cockiness the other night I went and officially signed myself up to run a half marathon. Yep, that is right folks I am supposedly going to be running 13.1 straight miles this September. HOLY HELL is all I have to say about that. Yeah I ran lots of 5ks last year but thats 3.1 miles. How the heck can I tack on an extra 10?

So with training thoughts RUNNING (hahaha I crack myself up!) through my head I have to make an official plan of attack. I need to come up with a way to train my body to accomplish this feat. I downloaded an app, because why yes there is an app for everything and after a day where I started wishing I had a career that afforded me the luxury of a lunch break and the chance to use the potty without an audience I made the call.

I called my old pal Running to see if she was mad at me for not being in touch for so long. She informed me she was willing to meet again and I met D at the door in my full running gear (Hello bright red not very attractive running jacket that I earned every thread of!). I went out in a balmy 30 degrees and put my head down and went for it. I wanted to see what I could do after taking a running hiatus. Well, Running and I still like each other. I may not be able to go out and run 13 miles tomorrow and it may take me all summer to even attempt to try to do the full 13 BUT I was able to run one mile tonight without stopping and had it not been so cold I probably could have done at least one more. So there ya go. I am on my way to training for an event that I had never ever EVER deemed myself capable of doing before. I am going to put my best foot forward (hardy har har) and give it all I have, I may walk some of it but I can guarantee I will run more than I ever have in my life before :0)

Oh and now that D is home and is in the kitchen cooking with both kiddos I have heavenly plans of a shower and a martini. It's not a martini Monday martini (Thank goodness its Thursday and not Monday!), it's a Mental health Martini!

still *blushing*

So today is Monday, we all know that Mondays are the most hated day of the week and its for good reason. Today started off around 2am for me and thats fine. I have actually adjusted to the early mornings and function ok with little to no sleep right now. However, back to Monday. Mondays are always hard since I get a little spoiled on the weekends with D waking up early and cleaning the whole house and baking fresh muffins each morning, ready when I get out of bed. But Mondays, I wake up to just me, me and two kiddos. This Monday we decided to hit a play date and get out of the house.

So after getting myself and two kids up and ready and fed, the mouse that was in the trash was an obstacle that I had to deal with in panic mode in the middle of all this. However, we made it, in the car and it was only 8:55. We arrive at the play date and all is good. I get Ella ready to have some snow fun and Max decides eating is more important so there I stand in full outside gear nursing the baby as Ella gets ready to slide. We have a ton of fun staying out for an hour and Ella just enjoying the playing in the snow with the other 3 year olds.

All is still good when we march back inside for a snack and some more play before we head home for lunch. We play, I tell Ella its time to head home for lunch, I stand up and right then and there total embarrassment sets in. Because as I glance down I notice a yellow, gooey puddle on the floor, and as I look for the source I notice that there is also yellow gooey-ness running down my hand. Yep it was POOP. Max decided to that before we left a major blow-out was in order. There was a puddle on the floor, down the ottoman and yes down my own leg and up my sweater as well. I stood there totally frozen and bright red. How the heck am I going to clean this up. Where should I even start. Well, my luck runs back to being good for a bit since the host of play group is the most laid back and kind mother and knows exactly what I am going through, it had happened to her once. As I clean up Max another awesome mom helps me clean myself up and keep all the other kids away from the blast site.

Boy oh boy what an ordeal and my cheeks have now stayed red all the way home, through lunch and even as I put everyone for a nap. I am now sitting here mortified and yet relieved that if it had to happen it happened at the house it happened at. Not many people would have reacted so calm and nice through all of that!

Now I think in the words of Uncle Larry and my sister-in-law, it is totally a martini Monday!!!

What?! NO!

Max is 4 weeks old today FOUR WEEKS! What?! No! Say it ain't so. Where is the time going? I can not believe that he is already 4 weeks. These last weeks have passed in a busy blur. We had the holidays and the whole getting back to a schedule thing.

We now pretty much have some things figured out. I know that I can get out of the house with both kids to get Ella to school, go to story hour, visit or run errands. In fact I took both kiddos to Target the other day and ended up nursing while pushing my cart through the whole store, so yep things are doable. Are they difficult? No not really just different. Having two takes some different ways of thinking and planning. I now have to get 3 of us dressed and ready (4 if D is home) and that takes a bit more time.

Max is doing FANTASTIC. He is such a chill baby and pretty much hangs out doing whatever all day. Night time is still our "hard" time of day and its only because he tends to want to be up and interact until 1am and then cuddle with mommy (although daddy is acceptable now too!) for the rest of the night. He has stopped nursing so often and now does 2-3 hour stretches with some 4 hour ones thrown in over night. He is "smizing" and I think smiles wont be too far behind. He has very bright and alert eyes and loves to look at his big sister. His eyes also are getting lighter, staying blue perhaps?

Ella is hands down the best big sister ever. She really makes having another one super easy and exciting. She loves Max but not over the top. She is gentle and caring and I love that the first thing she does every morning is run straight to Max with a beautiful smile and a warm "Good Morning buddy". She really has adjusted well to the whole new person in the house thing.

D, D is balancing it all. He is pretty sleep deprived but insists on helping me out when ever he can. I love watching him make plans with Max and have play time with both kids. He is still making dinner (not tonight I am on my own and I am HATING IT! I am thinking of ordering takeout...) and is pretty amazing.

Me? Well, I am in awe that I am now a mommy to a little boy. There are definitely things that I am still trying to figure out (really seriously poop has so many places to hide on a boy that diaper changing is always an adventure. From dodging the pee sprinkler to finding all the poop). I need to still find a balance between the two and acquire more patience. I need to somehow learn that sleep is not necessary and get some clothes that fit me. (although yoga pants are so comfy!) I can not wait to start running and have just a few more weeks to go!!!

Now, I must suck it up and leave the quiet behind. Its 5 and I should wake Ella up from her nap and figure out something for dinner, seriously pizza delivered to the door is all I am thinking I can muster up. And brace myself for 4 more hours of single parenting. Curse these day business trips!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Ok so I was planning this blog out in my head on TTC and infertility. It is no big secret that these are topics that I hold close to my heart and am VERY passionate about. In fact I can get pretty easily riled up overhearing someone say, oh when are you having a baby? Its not rocket science. Or my husband just looks at me and I get pregnant, its pretty easy. And oh the list of completely idiotic comments goes on and on. However, while nursing my little one in the wee hours of the morning I came across something else that gets my blood BOILING!

Why do women feel the need to degrade each other so much? We are constantly on society's case for devaluing us. We are on men's cases for devaluing us. But in this culture I think that women devalue and degrade each other in far worse ways. We JUDGE and judge and judge to the point of no return. It's pretty sickening actually. You have the passive aggressive type of judgers and the full blown down your throat you did something so wrong judgers.

While I was pregnant with Max I stumbled upon a Facebook page called Birth Without Fear (Thanks to a fellow hypnobirther!) I LOVED LOVED LOVED this concept. I mean hadn't I just blogged myself about women putting the unnecessary feeling of fear into other women? Women now feared the most beautiful journey they will ever be on. Why do we feel the need to make hurdles for each other? And now that I have had Max I continued to follow to hear about other people's glorious births. And last night, or I should say this morning I realized that ALL of the birth's were completely drug free and that to them that was the ONLY way to have a fear free birth AND to have it be beautiful. I myself had some used drugs. Should I be made to feel beaten down and broken like I couldn't quite accomplish it? However, I relented and just enjoyed reading all the different birth stories, even though I knew my birth story would never be featured because I didn't do it the "right" way. And then it happened, I lost it in anger when the circumcision talk started. We all have different opinions on this matter and really I do not want to even get in to it. Can't we just accept that some of us made one choice while others made the other?

Here all these women were saying HORRIBLE things about other mom's who chose the opposite of what they chose. Regardless of the reasons for each choice it should be left alone. Why why why do we as women feel the need to make others feel inferior because of a personal choice that was made for THEIR family? No choice can be right or wrong. Why can't we just embrace each mom's journey as a MOM and respect that not all opinions are going to match up?

Because of a comment made last night on Birth Without Fear, I have now chose to stop following and realize that for some who claim to be open minded they most certainly are only open minded if you follow their thought train. So this girl is getting off at the next station and refuses to ride that train any longer.

By the way I was so wound up that I planned a whole blog post at 4 am this morning. However, that one did not get written since I was snuggled up with my sleeping little man. I just hugged him tighter and cursed in my head alot :0)

Do they really exsist?

So, I made it back to the blog this week, super yay for me! In fact I have even managed to get a few consecutive hours a night of sleep. I have managed to doze between 12:30 and 3:30 and then again until around 5:30. This does not mean I am sleeping in my bed, nor that I am very comfortable while dozing BUT I am getting some shut eye so it helps. Max just prefers that him and Mommy sleep downstairs on the playroom couch which is near the woodstove. I am not sure if it is the the noise of the blower, the glow of the embers, the heat that is radiating off it OR the fact that he gets to sleep on my chest as I sit half reclined on the couch. Im going to guess that it is mostly probably my snuggle hold that helps him sleep but it also has to be something about the room since this hold does not work when I am in my own bed next to my husband. Actually maybe, its the lack of D that he likes since from 10pm to 7am he gets my undivided attention. He is a mama's boy and I actually secretly (well not so secretly as of this moment) love that he loves me so much :0)

So anyway, now that I am feeling a little refreshed, I have been thinking I need a job. Not so much for the money since we have adjusted pretty well to just not having money. Although, I kind of would really like a new car, a bigger car. I have been dreaming of a van and for those who know me really well you know my extreme dislike for them. But the Versa as much as a great little car that she be, is NOT handling two very well. Just putting a diaper bag in sends us over our space limit and everything gets crammed in. But I would like a job that I can obviously do from home because one thing I am not willing to do is give up my Mommy job title. I tried that once and hated it. I am not meant to be a work out of the house mom, I just can't do it. I need to be the one to be there each and every day. Granted there are days when I am barely sane when D walks through the door but I wouldn't trade it for the world. So I need something I can do at home, from home that lets me use my brain in a different way each day.

How do people score these at home jobs? What types of jobs allow for at home working? I totally need to research this and beg people to let me in on the secret! I am even willing to go back to school to score a sacred work from home job. Do I have any readers at all that know anything about this? Help a girl out and let me use my brain some. I am really good at fort design, role playing in pretend play and leading a school on ballet (which I bet you all have never seen a nursing ballerina, but you would have if you happened to come over today around 11 am! But I do have other talents and being a super fast learner who has an excellent memory with a need to organize are among them.

Any advice?