Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Resolutions

For 2011 and 2012, I wrote down some adjectives as goals.  One-word phrases that I hope to achieve in the coming years.  Sometimes I have had great success in achieving those words, and sometimes I've had less success.  In all, adjective goals worked really well for me. 

Survive: I'm still here, so I survived!  I am a few weeks shy of being finished with the Terrible Twos (bring on the thrilling threes!  I hear they're worse... oh lord help me...).  I'm a mom to two, and I think I'm doing pretty well.  Laura's in a big girl bed, and has been wearing big girl undies at night for a few weeks now... only a few accidents!

Travel: We made it to Cape Cod, Seattle, The Bahamas, Tennessee, and a few trips to both sets of grandparents.  With two kids.  In our fabulous minivan!  I'm a total minivan convert.  I had my MIL's station wagon the other day and actually missed my Odyssey.  WOAH.

Sexy: Gavin did a number on my still-pregnant body; I did not feel sexy for any part of 2012 that I was still pregnany.  But that being said, I think I bounced back pretty well.  I feel confident in my body and clothes more days than I don't.  I still have some work to do, but... I'll take it.

So that's 2012 for you.  Adjectives that I mostly lived up to.  I'm not doing adjectives this year.  This year I have real goals.

1) Run the Cherry Blossom 10-miler.  I was not expecting to get a number when I signed up for that lottery.  But I did get a number, so I will be running in a 10-mile race on April 7th.  Which means I need to lace up my sneakers and hit the trails!  I'm hoping that the race will be incentive to really get into shape and lose the baby weight I've had since (before) Laura. 

2) Buy a new house.  Nate and I are seriously talking about our next house, where it will be and when we can buy it.  We have a few things to do with our current house before we can buy another, but we're already making those steps.  It's something I hope will happen in 2013, but I guess I'll survive if it takes a little longer.

3) Finish this huge thing at work!!  It wouldn't be very "anonymous" of me to say which project or where I work, but... it's a really big deal and we're set to be finished in September.  There's a lot to be done, and who knows if the contractors will finish on time, but we have a donor counting on the September date!! 

There are some other goals for this year, too... but I think three is enough!  I hope everyone has a fun and safe evening.  See you next year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Recap

All in all, our Christmas was wonderful and also pretty awful.  Nothing tragic or anything, but... well, it started on Thursday when Nate had to drive to Roanoke to fight a speeding ticket.  Did you know that anything over 80 MPH in Virginia is a felony?  Yeah.  And sometimes you get a dick wad judge who compares your speeding to the tragedy in Connecticut.  Yeah.  My husband was compared to that.  I'm not sure how he managed to stay on his side of the judge's bench and NOT strangle that man.

At any rate, we all hopped in the car Friday after work and drove to my parents in Massachusetts.  It was an 8-hour car ride that Nate was not excited about, having spent 8 hours in the car (and all day at a courthouse) the day before.  But we made it up without incident.  Saturday and Sunday were fantastic.

Nate and my dad spent all morning together, running through town with a bunch of guys, drinking a ton.  I hear they had fun.  My sister was home from a semester in Paris and I got to hug her and talk to her in person and catch up and it was wonderful.  My brother, sister-in-law and niece were there as well.  That evening, I got to catch up with some high school friends I hadn't seen since we graduated - twelve years ago.  It was awesome.  My dad made delicious pot roast and potato pancakes for dinner and we all ate till we could eat no more.

Sunday, we did early Christmas with my brother and his family, before they headed to her family's house for real Christmas.  We all received some wonderful gifts... and some surprises!  My niece was wearing a onesie telling us all she had a secret!  She's going to be a big sister in July!!  Total surprise for EVERYONE involved - my brother and sister-in-law most of all!  We are all thrilled.  We ordered a massive amount of Chinese food for dinner that night, and almost didn't realize that Laura ate at least two packets of silica gel desiccant.

And did you know that the number for poison control is NOT under the number for 911 in some phone books?  And that if you call 911 they cannot connect you to poison control?  And that 911 (in my parents' town at least) automatically sends the ENTIRE BRIGADE for every 911 call placed?  So about five minutes later the firetruck, ambulance and police force were crammed into the foyer, high-fiving a very excited almost-three-year-old who was perfectly fine.  So that was exciting.  Note: don't eat silica gel packets, but if you do just drink some water and skip the 911 call.

Monday went really well until Nate was very suddenly very ill.  We were sitting at a friend's house, chatting and having fun, and all of a sudden Nate was white and dizzy and ready to die.  If it was a ploy to get out of church, it worked.  He was sick the whole night and all of Christmas.  My dad fell victim just after we opened presents Christmas morning.  It was a real treat!

But Santa came and Santa delivered.  We were all spoiled, with tons of clothes and so many toys.  Laura got her coveted Doctor Kit - with a lab coat to boot!  Gavin received a race car, which was totally necessary of course.  We were able to visit my grandmother in the afternoon, and my dad rallied enough to make (if not eat) Christmas dinner for the three of us who were well enough.  My mom, sister and I really enjoyed the beef tenderloin!!

We spent 11 hours in the car on Wednesday, battling snow and traffic to get home.  Did I mention it's a 7-hour drive?  It was miserable, but we made it.  I went to work yesterday and today, and will head to my in-law's tonight for Christmas Part II.  Probably not our best Christmas... but it was still pretty fantastic all in all!

IMG_4590 IMG_4599 IMG_4600 IMG_4627 IMG_4634

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Almost Here!

Christmas!  It's as if I suddenly came out of a fog of disorganization, looked at a calendar and realized OHMIGAH IT'S CHRISTMAS!!  I knew it was coming, but WOW did this month fly by.  We've been busy doing Christmasy things at our house, even if I seriously thought I had a whole 'nother week to get stuff done.

We got a Christmas tree on the 2nd.


We had our annual Christmas party on the 8th.


We made a Gingerman House on the 10th.

gingerman 005

Laura was the cutest pine tree ever at her school's Christmas Program on the 12th.


Laura and Gavin got to see Santa a second time on the 13th.


We baked cookies for our beloved teachers on the 17th.


And now here we are.  I'm finishing a few things at work before the end of the year (even though I'll be one of the few at work on Thursday and Friday next week), and we'll drive up to my parents' tonight.  Christmas is HERE!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cookie Therapy

I started to get a grip on myself on Monday, after venting through my post about trust, and mostly after reading the status update on Facebook from Gavin's teacher:

Thinking of A and A [her daughters] at school today

and loving on my babies at work. All 3 of my babies are sound asleep. ♥


My baby!  The teacher was loving on my baby!  Who was sound in his innocent sleep.  I can picture his bald little fuzzy head asleep in the crib, pacifier at the ready, blankie in hand.  His two sweet baby friends positioned the same nearby.  Three babies - my baby - surrounded by love.


And it made me feel better.  I was reminded that while, yes, I send my children off into the big scary world three mornings a week, they are met by love and protection.  My children have wonderful teachers.  My children are happy and cared for and loved - and that's really all I could hope for in the end.


I read the words of Gavin's teacher and started to feel better.  I went home and baked cookies to give to the teachers at day care, my heart filled with appreciation for all that they do.  I added some sugar to the mixing bowl, and was reminded of all the sweetness around me.  I mixed in the creamy butter and didn't feel so jaded by the world.  Laura added the Hershey Kisses to the cookies - and I placed my own kisses on her cheeks. 


Laura and Gavin have their last day of school for the year today.  Laura will have her class party this afternoon, and I'll pick her up hopped up on sugar.  As it should be.  Laura will ask five bajillion times if she can open her presents yet, and I'll read The Grinch Who Stole Christmas at least twice tonight.  This is how it should be.  And I am glad.

Monday, December 17, 2012


This morning was so hard.  I have been dreading this morning all weekend.  The first morning back to school after the senseless loss on Fridays.  Loss of lives.  Loss of innocence.  Loss of trust...

I put so much time and effort into finding a day care, one I could entrust with the care of my children.  It was no small task.  I have had some bumps in the road with the day care we chose, but for the most part I send my children off to school three mornings a week, trust they are cared for, loved and educated, then pick them up expecting smiles and stories in the evening.  I trust the teachers. 

I never realized that I needed to trust everybody else.  I didn't think about needing to trust the other parents at the school, the other tenants of the church that hosts the school, the other... whole rest of the world.

This morning was so hard.  I lifted my children out of the car  and out of my care, and left them with my whole heart in a building that I hope and pray I can trust.  As if drop off this morning wasn't difficult enough, Laura was in tears about not wanting to go to school.  "Mommy, I just don't want you to leave me!"  Well kiddo, I don't want to leave you either. 

I can't wait to pick up my children after school today.  I can't wait to see those bright faces.  I can't wait for their hugs.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm a Little Pine Tree

Laura made her stage debut on Wednesday as a Pine Tree at her school's annual Christmas Program.  She had one of the "bigger roles," as she was on stage (with her best friend, of course!) for the entire two verses of "I'm a Little Pine Tree."  While every child was on stage at some point during the program, most were only up to deliver a brief line between songs.  So pictures, of course:

Laura, the cutest pine tree ever! (Laura's on the left, and the tree on the right is pretty darn cute, as well!)

So proud of herself (as she should be), after the show!

I gotta be honest, I was not expecting much from this show.  Forty kids aged 2 through 5, singing fifteen songs?  It sounded sorta... awful.  I was completely surprised by the great job the kids (and teachers) did in creating a wonderfully, hilariously adorable Christmas program.  A show where every child was proud of her role.  A show where, ok yeah, the singing was off-key at best, but the kids had SO MUCH FUN!  A show with absolutely priceless costumes... So much proud laughter from the friends and family in the (enormous) audience.  I am so excited for next year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Gingerman House

She darted past her teacher to chase me down the hall yesterday morning.  Pointer finger extended, telling me to wait: she had something important to tell me.

Mom!  Houses!
Gingerman houses!
Let's make gingerman houses tonight!

So when we got home last night, I found some ice cream cones, a can of frosting, the Halloween candy we can't seem to get rid of, some pretzel sticks, and a few Pepperidge Farm gingerbread men for good measure.

We made a mess, ate tons of sugar, and had the most wonderful time.

We made a Gingerman House.

Monday, December 10, 2012

An Apology and Complaint

You know why I haven't been posting as much lately?  I can't effing stand uploading photos through  Can't stand it.  I must be doing something wrong, but it's just a bear to get images added and appearing the way I want them to.  And even then - UGH.  I just can't wrangle anything on here the way I want to. 

I have so much to say, so many images to post... and I just can't get myself pysched enough to battle the image uploader.

It's been well over a year, and I still miss Blogger.

So if there is anyone out there who has tips and wants to help a mother out, PLEASE!  I am all ears.  I have cute kids.  I like the show them off.  I'd like to show them off here.  I need help.  Or a switch back to Blogger.

Friday, December 7, 2012

These Two

I love watching their relationship grow: they love each other so much.   I know they have years of bickering ahead of them - the hair pulling has already started (though only one of them has hair, and only one of them is pulling it).  I'm sure there will be tears and shouting and jealousies in their future.  But for right now, they are best friends and co-conspirators.  They are a devoted to each other in a way only siblings can be. 

So much love.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Craft: Felt Tree

I am sure you have seen this pin on Pinterest?


So cute, right?  I had been planning for ages to make this for Laura, and just needed to get to Michael's.  The shopping trip was on my agenda for Saturday, following an evening Ladies Craft Night with some friends from day care.

Our craft nights are a lot of fun.  Whoever hosts picks the craft, which is a surprise for everyone else.  Everyone else shows up with wine and snacks.  We craft, gossip about day care, lament about toddlers, and have a great time.  When I showed up to my friend's house on Friday - lo and behold! - PILES of green felt, ready for us to make our trees!  I might have squeaked with excitement.

I ended up make twenty-five little ornaments for Laura's tree, with the idea that it could one day be an Advent Calendar.  However for this year, I stuck it up on the wall Saturday night (after I added a few finishing touches) while Laura was in bed, and threw all the ornaments on at once.  Laura zeroed in on it immediately Sunday morning, and was delighted!  A tree she could decorate all by herself!  Over and over again!  With a little felt purse (oh yes I did!) to store the ornaments in!

This was a definite Pinterest success.  Get out, get yourself some felt, and start cutting!  We love our felt Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#30daysofthankful, Fifth and Final Installment

November 25-30
I am thankful I did this.  In part to document a lovely month with my wonderful family.  But also because it's proof that I am probably not cut out for a larger photo-a-day project, like Project 365.  This was hard for me to keep up with!  But the end result?  Love it.


#30daysofthankful, Part 3

So kind of a funny thing.  I created a whole collage for November 13-18 weeks ago, and never posted it.  So here it is.  And stay tuned for the fifth and final installment!